14 May 2019 | Sydney NSW, Australia
13 May 2019 | Turramuarra, Sydney
12 May 2019 | Turramuarra, Sydney
11 May 2019 | Turramuarra, Sydney
10 May 2019 | Nambucca Heads
09 May 2019 | Surfers Paradise
08 May 2019 | Surfers Paradise
07 May 2019 | Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia
06 May 2019 | Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia
03 May 2019 | Airlie Beach
02 May 2019 | Airlie Beach
01 May 2019 | Airlie Beach
30 April 2019 | Townsville
29 April 2019 | Charters Towers
28 April 2019 | Mount Isa
27 April 2019 | Tennants Creek
Day in Brisbane
16 May 2019 | Brisbane
Woke up around 7:30 and it was light already. Sea Princess docked up the Brisbane River at 7 am. I'm sure many people got off already for their tours. We downloaded apps and videos since our Telstra Phone coverage was working here. Got showered and dressed and headed to Deck 5 Dining room for breakfast. I had some cooked apple slices along with fried eggs and bacon, plus a bran muffin for my breakfast, along with lemon water. Mark had apple danish, eggs, bacon and hash browns with his coffee. We had a small table by the window and no one joined us. There were not many people in the dining room at all. Once done, I made a stop at the Pursers desk. I wanted to let them know that our toilet failed yesterday, but our balcony looked like someone was painting and dropped white paint on our chairs. As well as some very bad rust on the edge and I was afraid to go near it and get it on my clothes. By the time we walked up to our cabin, the room steward was not only cleaning our balcony after being on open ocean with salt spray, but he was prepping the room to clean up the rust. So, we did an about-face and headed to another area of the ship to let him work. When we got back the balcony looked much better. We also had a follow up call from the ship to make sure we didn't have any other concerns. The rust spots are not quite gone, but at least it's better. Then we got ready and headed off the ship. Mark checked Google Maps for some shops a few blocks away. Not sure why they haven't added a whole lot more stores in this area. It's mainly restaurants and trust me, we have all the food we could desire on the ship. We were tied up at the edge of the Brisbane River. There was quite a bit of construction going on in the area. I told Mark that I didn't even see any security to keep unwanted vehicles from coming close to the ship. I guess they are not worried about that. We have a patrol boat on the water side of the boat, making sure boats don't come clear. We did a lot of walking and found a few things like spare batteries, that we didn't bring with us. They are lacking in tourist shops close to our dock. I really expected to see a lot more. We did see people wheeling in several casks of wine. Not sure if they are charged a fee for them or not. We brought one with us and no one said a word. The only traffic on the river has been the ferry boats going back and forth. Our temperature was nice and warm this morning, reaching a high of around 23C or more. At least while we were walking, I had to take off my sweater. We walked back to the ship and had a late lunch on Lido Deck. They did have a lot of choices on their buffet. Everything from fish, veal, chicken, beef and all kinds of sides to go with them. Then they had a section with sandwiches, which they heat up in the panini press. Lots of fresh salad items and fresh fruits as well as a full array of desserts. We don't want to eat anything that is sugar free. I am still waiting for a piece of cheesecake. We headed back to our cabin and had a rest while we updated our files and did some research in our upcoming stops. We do have a tour booked for the Komodo Dragon National Park on our next stop, which will be in a week or so. Other than that, we have to look at the tours available in each place. Some of our fellow guests said they like to do the Hop On Hop Off Buses in most cities and check them out. Was posting pictures on Facebook and realized that I didn't take too many pictures yesterday. Plus, we haven't even seen all the different decks. Headed to the very bow of the ship and took some pictures. Anita offered to take our photo, which was so nice. She told us a lot about the tours that they had booked. Will see if there is any way to join them. We commented on the gray clouds and then all of a sudden we got a light rain. We climbed up the set of stairs and got out of the rain, but could not get into the Lido deck as there was a posted sign on the door. We just waited for a couple minutes and the rain ended. We continued our walk around front and back of the ship on our deck. Lots to see. Including a basketball court. Mark and I tossed some balls, attempting to put them in the hoop. I think we are out of practice. It was fun.
Headed back to our room. Will post today's blog. I will continue to create the daily blogs while we are on the water. Our next stop may not have wifi so we will update when we get to Singapore. We did not have to participate in today's Ship's Safely Meeting. It was only for the newcomers on the ship today. Many passengers got off this morning. Someone said we had around 1500 passengers and it may be a bit higher of a number. We have met a lot of very nice cruisers on this ship. Thanks for your emails and messages. We tried to make a few phone calls today. Dinner is coming right up.
Day at Sea
16 May 2019 | Brisbane
Woke up around 7. Mark went to the bath room and our toilet wouldn't flush. So, we got dressed and Mark paged our room steward. Then he looked out the door and found him in the hallway. Blister came in and checked something. Then told us he would have to call maintenance. We left to have breakfast up on Deck 14, Lido. We ordered our omelets for breakfast and were given a paper receipt. We passed that on to the table staff to retrieve. I added bacon and a stewed tomato. Mark also added a few other things. Our omelets arrived. They also brought Mark a cup of coffee and me some cranberry juice. Once breakfast was over, we headed back to the cabin. The room was made up and the toilet was working properly. We put on our swimsuits and headed up to the pool and hot tubs on Deck 12. There were a handful of people around at that time. We picked up some towels and selected a couple of lounge chairs. The sun was out and it felt nice and warm. We headed to the hot tub first. I almost couldn't stand the heat but made it in. The jets were wonderful on my sore muscles. Then we noticed one lady going into the small pool. We joined her and had a lovely conversation with Diane, from Sydney. Also, met her husband, Jeff, who was doing some exercises at the gym which bordered the pool area. They have taken this world cruise before and recommended some outside tourist companies for both St Petersburg and Iceland tours. Her cabin is also on our same deck 11, Aloha. I am interested for sure. The pool water was very cold, so we didn't really get in too deep. Then we headed back to the hot tub and warmed up. Then enjoyed sitting on our lounges for a few minutes. We visited with another couple from Gold Coast. Then headed to our cabin and enjoyed a shower. Got dressed and headed to an Astronomy Lecture with Donna the Astronomer, which was back in the Princess theater. It was interesting because of all the history surrounding Australia astronomy. Then we headed to lunch. Decided to go back to the Lido Deck on 14. I found lots of cooked veggies to go with some roasted turkey. Mark added a few potatoes. We had a dessert and then headed back to the Princess theater for the movie called Christopher Robin. Lots of people in the theater. The movie started right away and we enjoyed it. After the movie was over we walked back to our cabin. I was planning to go to the gym but ended up having a nap instead. Mark found Fox News tv channel which we enjoyed watching. Got dressed up for dinner tonight as Mark knew that he couldn't wear shorts. One couple was already at our table #87. Ian and his wife. They have taken this cruise 6 times already. Wow! Talked to them for a while before Gregory and Maxine showed up. They are from Arizona. Enjoyed our meal. I had chicken plus veggies, while Mark had a cannelloni dish. We finally made it to the Monte Carlo casino. They had one roulette wheel going. The chips were $2 each with minimum $10 bid each round. Talked to the dealers and ended up each getting some chips. Not one of either our numbers came up so it was not a lucky day for either of us. Yuck. It doesn't make me want to play again. Checked out their machines but no other players in the casino. Their slots were all penny machines and not really any that we have been playing in Australia. Headed to Princess theater for tonight's show with was a musical called Encore. They had a big orchestra with dancers and singers. Lots of familiar songs. Many in their original European languages.
There were no open seats so we sat in some reserved seats instead. No one was using them. After the show, we headed up to Deck 14 to get a drink of water. We were surprised that it was still open for dinner. Mark and I both had some bread pudding for dessert. Several members of the crew showed up to eat their late dinner. I started talking to one of the ladies and asked if she was part of the orchestra that just performed. She was a trombone player. She told us she was from Philly. She will be on board until NY. Then we headed over to the deck with the Movie Under The Stars, which was The Ant-Man & the Wasp. We got to see the end of the movie. We took a blanket and sat on one of the lounges and enjoyed a small bag of popcorn. We were getting tired by now. It was around 9 pm and we headed back to our cabin. Watched some tv and listened to some Youtubes that Mark downloaded. It's after 10 pm and we are getting ready to call it a day.
Aboard Sea Princess
14 May 2019 | Sydney NSW, Australia
Alarm woke us up at 7. We got the sheets off and put in the last load of laundry. Finished putting our luggage together. I had some peaches and a yogurt for breakfast. Mark had cereal. We collected all the trash and Mark took it down to the trash bins. Made a few phone calls. Finished packing and cleaned up some. Just before 10, we got a call from Jenny saying that the traffic was backed up and Jeff would be late meeting us. That was okay as we were already ready to go. We locked up Stephy's place and took our bags down to the car. Fit all the bags inside and waited for Jeff to show up. Had a lovely talk with him and returned Stephy's keys and we were on our way to Manly Beach. Thanks, Jeff, for all your help. And also, thanks, Stephy!! Mark and I parked at our usual 2 hours free parking lot and walked out to the ocean for our last glimpse of that beautiful beach. At first the waves were pretty small and we did see a few surfers in the water. Lots of people around, including a group of young school boys on a field trip. We stopped for lunch at a small cafe, called Ground Zero, close to our car park. Mark and I both had egg and bacon wraps with chips. Then we walked to the parking lot and retrieved most of our luggage and walked over to the Manly Pier. I stayed with the bags while Mark walked back to the car. He drove the car back to Hertz. Then caught an Uber ride back to the pier. We had our Opal Cards and he purchased tickets on the slow ferry to downtown Sydney. Our ride was 35 minutes. It was great to be back on the water. To see all the sights that we had seen every time we took Charabia around the different harbors to downtown. The breeze was cold to me. Today's temperature reached 23C. However, we were moving pretty good. Arrived in Circular Quay around 2:15 pm. We pushed our roller luggage over the paving stones in front of the pier and around to the one side where the Sea Princess was docked. There was no line ups at all to get on the ship. They took our two roller suitcases right away. We went to check in but they didn't have our room keys. They were still on board. We were early getting here as they didn't expect us until 4 pm. We waited and were given temporary passes until we got on board. Then someone went and found our room keys. We found our balcony cabin on the Aloha Deck which is actually on Deck 11. We have a great view from up here. All the balconies are covered balconies. Should be great for all the ocean crossings. We have a lovely cabin. This one even has a small bar fridge. We are right beside the Opera House with a great view all around downtown Sydney. We took time to head to Dec 14, which is the Lido Deck. Mark got a coffee and I had some water. We each sampled a dessert. Then we toured our ship. Walked around the pool and spa area. We also toured the spa and gym. Our boat drill is in 15 minutes. We would like to post this before we leave. Thanks for all the good wishes as we begin this World Cruise!!
13 May 2019 | Turramuarra, Sydney
Woke up at 7 with the alarm. I did not sleep well after a certain hour. So, I got up and did some more packing. Then returned to bed. I was able to fall asleep. I was in a deep sleep with dreams when the alarm went off. Had breakfast and got ready. We went down to the garage and finished cleaning out the car. Worked on packing up the things we bought yesterday. Then walked up to the post office a couple of blocks away. However, they could not ship big items or over 4 kilograms. So, we walked back to Stephy's and took the car to another post office. We got to park right in front of their store and was able to post one last box. Our next stop was the nail salon which I had used before Christmas. I have some very hot pink finger and toe nails just in time for the upcoming cruise. Mark was able to get his hair cut at the same location. We then drove over to Manly and met David for lunch. Thanks, David! It was great to catch up! Mark and I took advantage of being at Manly Beach, to take a short walk and marvel at the beautiful shades of blue and other colors in the waters crashing into the beach. Only saw a few surfers in the water. No wonder, it was only around 22C today. The sun shone all day, which helped with the cool air. Our next stop was the shopping mall outside of Manly. Mark wanted to visit the Telstra store and ask about foreign phone service with our Aussie sim card. I was able to find a new pair of running shoes as mine were getting too worn to wear. Since our time in Australia is almost done, Mark suggested we take a drive back to The Newport. This was the big restaurant at the top of the hill, where we anchored off for a few weeks in the Pittwater area. He said we could go to their gaming room and try our luck one last time. Mark was the lucky one, cashing out up $37 while I got my money back and broke even. But we had a fun time. We had a great chat with the hostess who filled us up with a bag of treats to take home and loved hearing about our Australian adventures. Our evening plans with Don, our boat broker, did not work out as he had a very busy day. So, we drove back to Stephy's flat. By the time we got back, the air was much cooler. We were going to walk over to Dominoes and grab a pizza for dinner, but we decided we still had some food to use up. The other strange happening is that our Sea Princess returning from NZ was delayed getting back here. So, they told us not to come to Circular Key until 4 pm when we planned to be there at noon. We are disrupting Jeff's schedule so that we can leave a little later tomorrow. Thanks, Jeff & Jenny!! That also means we need to keep our rental car for a few more hours. Mark is checking our paperwork. We can use this extra time to plan our cruise destination tours. At least our bags are pretty much packed. Thanks for your emails and messages. Not sure how much wifi coverage we will get being offshore of Australia. We will have one day at sea before spending a day in Brisbane. Then, we leave Australia and head to sea!
Quiet Day in Sydney
12 May 2019 | Turramuarra, Sydney
It was almost 8 am before we got up. Got dressed and made some phone calls using my phone, instead of Whatsapp. That took up some of our morning. We had our usual light breakfast. Then took the elevator down to the basement to get the rest of our bags out of our car. I held the elevator while Mark retrieved our bags from our car. I had to take the elevator up and down, until Mark was done, We went thru all our extra soft sided bags. We will pack one or two and leave the rest behind. Watched some tv and it was lunch time before we knew it. Took a good long walk in a different direction and found a Discount Chemist as we wanted to pick up some more of our vitamins there. Found a few more items that we need for the trip. Then stopped at Replay Cafe. I enjoyed a small quiche with bacon while Mark had a bacon and egg panini sandwich. Mark had coffee. We sat by an open window and watched the flies pester the patrons' food. That is one thing that we won't miss from Australia. Too many flies at all the restaurants. I was wearing my sweater and Mark wore a sweatshirt as the air was cool. However, after walking so far, Mark took his off. Our high today was 21C. We walked back thru the train station in Turramurra and back to Stephy's flat. Dropped off our purchases and Mark watched F1 Qualifying summary. Then we decided to try our luck at the pokies at Pymbole House Tavern. As we walked there, Mark recognized it as the bar that he used to frequent when he was under age and lived here. It was also a hotel. Mark was the lucky one again. Together we were up $13 and had some fun trying. Mark suggested taking the train back one stop, but I said we needed the exercise. So, we walked back past the flat to Coles, the local grocery store for our last grocery run. We managed to walk more than 3 miles today. We did some laundry when we got back. Thanks, Stephy! Then we took turns showering. Enjoyed a light dinner as we watched some tv. I did some sewing. We still need to sort thru all our clothes and see what will fit in our suitcases for our upcoming world cruise. We are enjoying a Hercules Poirot movie. Working on our second load of laundry. Thanks for all the good wishes for Mark's birthday and for all the emails and messages. Enjoy the weekend. Wishing everyone a happy Mother's Day, back home.
Back in Sydney
11 May 2019 | Turramuarra, Sydney
Today was Mark's special day as he celebrated his 63rd birthday. We had set the alarm for 7 am. Got up and got dressed and packed up. Mark took all our bags and packed them in the car. Then we headed out to the dining area and had breakfast. We each had eggs, bacon, roasted tomato and Mark had toast. I had apple juice and Mark had orange juice. Once done, we checked out and hit the road. I am glad I had a sweater on as it was cool this morning. The sun warmed up our day, thankfully. We were in touch with Ross & Beth, our NZ cruiser friends to meet up for lunch. They selected Settlers Tavern for lunch. We had a 4 ½ hour drive to Gosford. Lots of fellow travelers on the hiway today. Traffic was backed up once we were close to our destination. We met them at the cafe just before 1 pm. Had a lovely visit while we waited for our food to arrive. Lunch was very good. The guys enjoyed their lemon meringue tarts and ice cream for dessert. Our time together was over way too fast. We headed south from there to Sydney. The traffic was steady with several slow downs due to construction areas. We had arranged to meet Stephy's parents in order to pick up the keys to her home. Jeff met us at Stephy's building and we unloaded the car and used the elevator to take us up to her floor. Jeff brought us a thermos of coffee plus some treats. Thanks so much Jeff! After he left, we settled in. We watched some tv and were happy to be off the hiway. Mark researched the restaurants around here to find some place for us to celebrate his birthday. Lots of eateries within walking distance. It was only 16 C this morning. The high today reached 23C by mid afternoon. By the time we did our walk, we both needed a jacket. We headed to the basement and located our jackets. The walk was pleasant. We stopped at one restaurant but did not find anything on their menu that we liked. Mark had spotted a restaurant called Tapas Tapas, so that is where we headed. We sat at the counter as their tables were reserved. We did have the choice to sit at a table outdoors. However, I wanted to be in a warmer spot. We enjoyed a beverage and shared several of their small dishes, including a Portuguese Tart for dessert. It was a cold walk back. Thanks for all the birthday wishes for Mark. Enjoy the weekend!