Colleen Watt

redwatt

Colleen Watt

My blog is a record of my memories that would otherwise be forgotten. They are too precious to be lost. It’s also to reassure our children that we are alive and well, exploring the world.



Oceans and Seas » Pacific » Tasman Sea November 1st 2022

I’ll make this the final blog for this trip. Tomorrow will be another at sea day, and we will be packing. We arrive in to Sydney on Thursday morning and will catch the trains home. Seeing that we had nowhere to go today, nowhere to be, we decided to order breakfast from room service, which could have been delightful. It turned out that toast for one person was one slice of toast. Luckily I also had 6 pieces of melon! Tom had a slice of toast as well, and cereal - with no spoon!! Oh well, back to the cafe for the next two days. We went to the theatre for the first lecture of the day - the author talking about the legal shows this time, evoking lots of reminiscing of favourite old shows. Tom ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island October 31st 2022

When we awoke this morning and looked out our window, it was as if we were looking at another ship. It was the Auckland Hilton, built on the pier in Auckland Harbour and built to look like a ship. It is actually above the international passenger terminal. We went up to the cafe for brekky and discovered that overnight the ship had been decorated for Halloween 👻 🎃 After breakfast we went ashore and walked up the hill to the Auckland Sky Tower. I took some lovely pics, but once again my phone has stopped talking to my iPad - I’ll see if I can transfer them today. We went up to the main observation deck, then up to an even higher one, which had cleaner, clearer glass, and then back down to the deck with ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Plenty October 30th 2022

We were looking forward to exploring Tauranga, particularly because it is the hometown of Cory, who will become our son-in-law in less than 2 months time! The weather, however, did not want to cooperate. We breakfasted and prepared as normal, but today there were no shuttles from the port. We walked down to the bottom of the gangway, and by then I was sopping wet in the rain and the wind, so Tom continued on his mission, and I returned to the ship. I thought I’d go via the computer tech guy to check his hours, but Ricardo was there, and assisting one person in front of me, so I waited. Ricardo found that the pics I’d been taking for the last day and a half on the iPhone were all live shots, and my iPad ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Napier October 29th 2022

Today was blissfully warm and sunny. After breakfast we got ourselves organised and got on to the complimentary shuttle into town. We had been prepared for a half hour walk to the national aquarium but the shuttle delivered us to the door. After looking at all of the critters we went and had a lovely coffee. Gosh I miss the coffee - it’s so hit and miss on the ship. Our bus driver was telling us that the short wall along the roadway was built to stop the tide from flooding their streets - but the beach is like 15 metres away. In 1931 they had an earthquake and this part of the land was raised up, making the sea wall redundant. About 250 people died and now they’ve made a memorial garden for them on ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington October 28th 2022

Things I keep forgetting: * yesterday while we were eating brekky we were watching some tiny dolphins in the water beside the shop - turns out they are the smallest dolphins in the world, and named Hector Doplphins. * our sommelier, Janine, was tellling us she lost her dad during covid - not from covid but from dengue fever, all of the hospital beds in the Philippines were taken up by covid patients. * there was a group of staff, wearing their uniforms, at the show the other night. They were the “new contracts”. The new staff get to see a show during their first week. * we keep finding people in lifts who haven’t pressed numbers. Today at lunch time we accidentally pressed the up button again before a full elevator departed so the door ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch October 27th 2022

Wha a day! We were docking as we woke this morning. After a leisurely breakfast up in the cafe we prepared ourselves and went ashore - today was so much better organised than yesterday. We were able to just walk off. We weren‘t able walk to town though, it is a working dock and we had to be bussed off. So we caught the complimentary shuttle to the local bus stop for a local bus to take us to the base station of a gondola. But no, the buses went on strike at 10am and at 9:50 the bus rolled up, the driver opened her door and said “I’m sorry, I can’t take you anywhere. We‘ll be back at work at 1pm.“ There was an American couple from California also wanting to go to the gondola, ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Otago October 26th 2022

When we awoke this morning we were making our way toward Port Chalmers, a delightful port town serving Dunedin. The journey into port reminded me so much of the journey into Belfast with small houses scattered along the way at the base of lush green hills. We have decided to do no shore excursions with Celebrity as they are so overpriced. We went up to the cafe for breakfast and were sitting out on deck as we were docking. On the wharf opposite us was a large crowd of Port Authority workers lined up welcoming us in. A group of high school students assembled on our dock and sang cultural songs to the delight of everyone who heard them. After brekky we prepared to go ashore, and then spent about 45 mins in a line up ... read more
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Oceans and Seas » Pacific » Tasman Sea October 25th 2022

Today was an easier day, much more leisurely! There was land outside our deck when we awoke, and soon after we were heading into Milford Sound, somewhat earlier than expected (Captain Leadfoot, as the amusing naturalist narrator referred to the ship’s captain). We dressed into some warm gear and went upstairs to the cafe for breakfast. It was very busy with everyone wanting to see the views of Milford Sound. It was very very cold out on deck, which is where we were whilst enjoying our brekky and mimosas. After that we took ourselves to the sky lounge where I made us a coffee each and got the bartender to put a shot of Jamison’s in it (that was allowed in our package) to make it an Irish coffee - that warmed us up! We enjoyed ... read more
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Oceans and Seas » Pacific » Tasman Sea October 24th 2022

Last night we had really calm seas and we slept soooo soundly - gosh it was good! But this morning we had a 9am lecture to get to and brekky had to be quick so we went of the the Oceanview Cafe, right down the back of the ship, the buffet, and wow, was it busy!! But it still makes for a time efficient breakfast. We were even still able to have our mimosas - starting a new habit here! 😂 Our first lecture at 9am was a very engaging fellow named Milos - he talked about volcanoes, glaciers and tectonic plates our grandson Thomas would have loved this talk. We were amazed to hear that anyone believing in tectonic plates and their movement back in the 1960s was thought to be crazy. It wasn’t a ... read more
Breakfast Mimosas!
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Oceans and Seas » Pacific » Tasman Sea October 23rd 2022

Well, what a great day we had today! With Edwin’s assistance we were able to solve some issues - he brought in a tool to fasten the divider on our balcony. It was opening during the heavy seas last night and crashing against the deck furniture (until Tom jammed all the furniture against it), and we didn’t want our neighbours wandering around on our deck! He also removed the heavy doona and left us with three sheets on our bed, so much cooler. The last problem he helped solve was the safe, which had been locked in the open position - a special little man with a special little machine had to come along and fix it, so we can stop carrying around our wallets, passports, jewellery and all of our currency, and put them in ... read more
Looking up the lift well
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