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Published: March 30th 2014
Today (Sunday) the ship arrived in Sydney, about 5:30 this morning. We didn’t get up until 6:00, although we probably could have slept a little longer, but we didn’t want to take a chance. We were up, getting dressed, and packing the last few belongings in our carry bag. We were able to get to the dining room for one last sit-down breakfast. We were recognized by the door attendant who asked if we wanted to sit in Kim’s section again. We had only done that once before (not knowing at first Kim had a specific section), but somehow she recognized us anyway. Bottom line is that we had one last 3-course breakfast and readied ourselves to leave the ship.
Back in the cabin, we had time to rest a few minutes before taking our carry bags to the Vista Lounge. This gives us a chance to mention that our cabin is right outside the elevators on the aft section of the ship. They go up to the top (Lido) deck but only go down to the Promenade Deck. That was not an inconvenience today, but on other occasions we had to walk to mid-ships and take the
Atrium elevators on down to the dining room on deck-5. The elevators in the bow of the ship go from 4-14, so it’s just a little lesson to study the ship’s diagram before selecting our cabin on future cruises. We were able to adjust though and it just gave us a little reason for a short walk sometimes.
This will hopefully be the last day of our Aussie “cruise-do”. The sea air, sunshine, breeze, etc. is pretty hard on a hair-do and we frequently looked pretty much not-brushed almost as soon as we went out of deck. But there was no breeze today in Sydney (just sunny sky and 76 degrees) and we’ve been a little better at keeping our well-coiffed look.
One last item we forgot to mention about the ship. Most of the 2nd
cruise they did not schedule a Knitters and Natters meeting. Janet finally talked to the deputy cruise director and asked for it to be back on the schedule. Anyway, the last full day at sea they made a special comment about her on the TV (the Wake Show) saying that she had thanked them for finally scheduling it again. So Janet is now a TV personality (sort of).
Back to the story, we had a short wait in the Vista Lounge until it was time for our group to leave the ship. We took our things and walked down the gangway one last time. The Sydney port terminal is very close (much closer than some ports) and our suitcases were all lined up neatly for each person to find their own bag (separated by color-code – we were coded Red-1). We put our suitcases on a luggage cart and pushed them thru the exit. Someone from Customs collected an immigration card that we had already completed, but no one checked our passport (or visa) and no doggies sniffed our luggage. They probably knew that everyone had boarded in Australia and there were no places to disembark outside of Australia, so there was no reason to make it any more difficult than necessary. Do you think the US would work that way? Probably not.
We were shown to a taxi that drove us to our hotel. We walked down the gangway at 9:00 and into our hotel about 9:30. Surprisingly they had a room for us that early and even provided us with a free upgrade to a “king bed” in a room with a “city view. We unpacked some of our things and left other stuff in the suitcase for later in the trip. By 10:00 David was back down at the Concierge Desk getting him to call our tour group to confirm our pickup for tomorrow morning. He even scheduled a pickup for the 2nd
half of our tour on Wednesday. All things went quite well in transitioning from the ship – just like we’d hoped.
Our room is much larger by comparison to the ship (certainly in the bathroom). David had estimated the size of our ship bathroom about 4x7, which is about the same as our guest powder room at home – which does not include a shower. Anyway, this is spacious. Some of our previous hotel selections in Paris and London had been surprising.- “quaint” is a charitable description of some of them. That’s not a complaint as much as praise for this hotel. It is called The Menzies and is very nice. David has tried to take a couple of pictures and will add those if all goes well.
Janet rested in the room and David went scouting the local neighborhood. Since it is Sunday, many places were closed, but he did find a store where we could get a few things that he brought back to the room. Then it was his turn for a little nap and Janet worked on her needlework project (easier without the ship rocking). On the other hand, we are still trying to get our “land legs” as the floor seems to be rocking slightly when we stand still. But that will pass soon.
After we were both rested, we went to a “pie shop” and got a small lunch. Janet got a beef & cheese pie and David got a sausage roll. Then we got some cookies and went back to the room for a small lunch. Afterwards, we planned an excursion down to the area where we’d stayed previous and checked to see that the computer would work here.
After we rested in the room much of the afternoon, we went looking for Opals for Helen. She had made a special request but except for the souvenir stores, the jewelry places were closed. It is quite likely we will have more opportunities to shop. We didn’t want a big dinner, but while we were out we looked for something to eat. Mel & Kim would be sadly disappointed in our choice – a chicken sandwich from Hungry Jack (sure looked like a Burger King otherwise). We also stopped at a wine store and got a bottle of wine to drink in the room later. For dessert we are having chocolate chip cookies from the grocery store. This evening there was no show in a theater, just a couple of TV shows and then off to bed. So the lifestyle has taken a significant downgrade today. L
Tomorrow we should have a more interesting report to file.
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