01 September 2011

Cruise! Part 1

Guess what I've just done?! Hubby and I went on our first ever cruise! It was also a very belated honeymoon, as we never had one (only 26 years late!). We went on the 10 day Tropical Dreams cruise on P&O's Pacific Pearl.

There's a lot to show you, so I'll do this in several posts over the next week or so  :)

We left on Friday 19 August ... here's our straw sun hats and our boarding passes for the 7 am flight from Canberra to Sydney ...

A nice surprise was the Meet and Greet service at the Sydney Airport ... we were just looking around for the train into town, when we noticed a woman standing by the baggage carousel with a Pacific Pearl sign - they could take us and our luggage directly to the harbour, and arrange for our suitcases to be delivered to our room (for a fee), an offer we gladly took up, much less lugging of cases around and wandering the streets of Sydney. This also allowed us to check in very early, so we had time to go to the Sydney Aquarium which was just up the road.

There we saw the dugongs - 2 of only 8 captive dugongs in the world! Proof that a diet of lettuce / sea grass can make you fat, LOL  ;)

This fellow was swimming over our heads, over the underwater tunnel!

The day was very cold and wet, so we got a taxi back to the wharf, and it was time to board! This is a shot from the gangway ...

Hubby happily looking out on a dreary wintery Sydney day, from our room!

Our cabin was very nice, compact but plenty big enough.

Our cabin was well situated (by accident, not having any experience of such things) - quite central in the ship, on Deck 6. This was the scene just around the corner from us: The Mix bar, which was a nice quiet place to sit and read / knit / play cards during the day.

And the view over the railings ... this is the Atrium, the central hub of the ship, and where most of the shops and several cafés were located, as well as Reception etc.

At around 4 pm we set "sail"! Two tug boats helped push the Pacific Pearl under the Harbour Bridge and out of Sydney Harbour. We did brave the top deck for a while, but the weather rapidly worsened and by the time we hit the open ocean, it was quite rough going. A lot of people suffered with bad seasickness that first night ... we felt a bit queasy at times, but nothing too bad. In fact, Hubby loved the rocking motion and slept better than he has done in years (yes, we're trying to figure out how to make our bed at home to do the same, possibly chihuahuas in a wheel, with a cradle contraption?!).

Here's the minuscule bathroom, which had toilet, sink, cupboards and shower. The shower had a retractible clothes line in it too, which is just as well  — there was only ONE laundrette on board for the whole 1,800 passengers! We just washed a few things each day in the basin.

A nice cuppa tea in the buffet restaurant (The Plantation). What a view, hey? Hygiene was very important on board ... every time you entered an eating area, there was someone there with that water-free hand sanitiser gel, which everyone had to use.

We had two sea days, finding our way about the ship, getting to know the routines, and starting to wind down from a hectic week leading up to our departure. Our cabin steward was Eldose, a smiling young Indian boy.

On Sunday morning we docked in Brisbane. Because the bad weather was travelling up with us (sigh) we had to dock at the Fisherman's Wharf area, where the industrial ships docked, rather up upriver in Brisbane. This engendered a few plan changes, but nothing too dreadful. We caught up with my puzzle writing buddy (and sole colleague), Greg Parker of The Puzzle Wizard fame). It was just great to see him again after several years!

Some brekkies in bed were had ... free apart from a $3 room service fee ...

Picturesquely churning waters of the Pacific Ocean ...

And a sunset to end this post on ...

To be continued ...


  1. I'm looking forward to going on this cruise through your photos! I'd really like to go in a cruise, but worry about seasickness (I used to get seasick on the ferry to Manly, heh!)

  2. Awesome, I've never been on a cruise and it was nice to see your lovely pictures. I'm glad you had fun. What a wonderful thing for you and your hubby to do. : ))))) I would have loved to have been stowed away in your suitcase on that trip. Cool photos and looks like a great ship to chillax on!

  3. Since my husband spent 6 years in the Navy, he says he's been on all the ships he cares to. This is ok with me since I have terrible motion sickness.

    It looks like your honeymoon was well worth waiting for!

  4. Oh how exciting!! What beautiful water and sky views. Your cabin looks so nice, and not really small and I love that you are right next tot he relaxing bar!! That's a lovely looking breakfast in bed too!!

  5. I knew you'd love it! And oh, being rocked on the cradle of the deep is sooo soothing! Ralph might try a hammock and see if it does the same thing to his alpha rhythms. I've seen beds hung from the ceiling by big chains, like a giant swing. Shouldn't be too hard to work a rocker into that.

  6. mmmm lovely! You look so relaxed and happy xxxxx I also love the rock of the ocean. Yum.

  7. You could try a big old waterbed - plenty of waves then.

  8. You would need A LOT of chis in that wheel for perpetual motion! But nice to see pics and hear all about it and look forward to further installments :0


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