We were bus number 5 and our first stop was Mermaid Leather, where they made products from fish skins. All we saw was a 10 minute DVD of past TV features followed by a look round the shop. Next was The Section Glass Gallery where they wanted you to buy jewellery or plates. We had far too long here so I went back on the bus. Next was a brief photo stop at Pink Lake, which apparently is no longer pink.
Despite 4 visually impaired ladies, not one person at the front offered to move. One bloke did reluctantly, the same one who tried to push past me as we were being led to the tender. His wife stayed at the front, pretending to not understand much English despite being fluent. I had two of them next to me a couple of times. Because too people would just sit anywhere after getting back on rather than return to their previous seats, even those saved for the ladies ended up being taken. It’s unbelievable just how selfish people are but they’d hate it done to them. In the end, after our stop at Twilight Beach, they stayed firmly onboard down the front. Such a shame. There was an ice cream van at the beach doing a roaring trade from the coaches. He ran out of rum & raisin and said no one told him a cruise ship was coming.
Another brief stop at another beach then Rotary Lookout, paid for by the local Rotary Club, before heading back to the dock. The tender had trouble docking and they only seemed to be running three so you had a wait. It reminded me of the awful organisation in Cabo San Lucas with Vision in 2008.
Once everyone was back at the ship it was straight to the Windjammer! Sat with two ladies from my tour and another lady joined us. After Diamond Club it was a silent sailaway about 7pm.
Quick drink in the Quill & Compass, which I love more than the pubs on Voyager and Freedom class. A New Zealand couple from my tour were in there so we had a chat. After dinner it was the show called Piano Man, featuring music from Elton John, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and a couple of others. It was really good. Then bed!
Our first full sea day on the 25th March and the clocks going forward 90 minutes screwed everyone’s body clock up.
Lazy day apart from Diamond Club. JJ is such a great loyalty host. Our first of three formal nights. Skipped the welcome party because of my knee and back. At dinner I was told I could have the potato curry without bell peppers, which my waiter said shouldn’t be in it anyway. I told him the first time I had it on Vision 5 years ago it didn’t, a year later it did and they STILL omit that additional ingredient from the menu across the fleet. Even the pasta in the Windjammer is served with it. Yet you can’t get any in the salad station unusually. Why? Probably because they’re shoving them in all the food! When are these chefs going to understand many dishes should NOT contain it, they don’t need them for colour or with chillies and spices. My allergy is rare but many just hate the bloody things. Now, I love the potato curry but in 2011 and 2012 they wouldn’t let me have it on Vision and never offered to make it without. So when I go back I’m going to point out I did on Indy and Radiance then see what they do.
The show was Beatle Magic, Australia’s premier tribute act. If these are the best, I dread to think what the worst are like! I’ve seen far better on Norwegian Epic and Balmoral even though the set lists are identical. The ‘Paul’ at least was left-handed but the jury’s still out as to whether he or any played guitar. Certainly he had a backing track when he sang Yesterday and they used tracks a lot of the time. I liked the ‘Ringo’ who appeared to be the only one trying to be who he was meant to be.
Sally was there, who I’d met on the first day before we left Fremantle but her friend Paul wasn’t. We went to the Quill & Compass afterwards for the last 45 mins or so of Joe Dougherty who was great. It was such as great atmosphere.
Then bed after putting the clocks forward yet another hour.
Another late start after another rough night. They closed the port side of the Prom deck but starboard was open while horseracing was going on in the Centrum.
After lunch I watched Meet The Fokkers on the TV before reporting my aircon was constantly on hot even when on cold. Usually it’s the other way round! Maintenance came within 15 minutes and it was fixed. Then I remembered my pre-order hadn’t been taken for dinner so sorted that on Deck 5 before some shopping! They have a couple of things I’d bought on Connie last October (and brought with me) but also some different and it was 50% off. No postcards – grrr! Why have a logo shop when there’s hardly anything with the ship or even Royal Caribbean on it???? So none of them or a T-shirt this trip. Tracey Shield started 4pm rehearsals so another show to miss. Many who saw her first didn’t like it. People said that on whatever other cruise I’d been on where she played. Diamond Club and the food got in on deck 11 – yum! Our first Crown & Anchor booze up tonight which I skipped. Dinner then bed. So exciting – not!
We arrived in Adelaide on the 27th March. As my tour wasn’t until 11.30am, I stayed in bed a bit longer. There was a crew drill so the Prom deck was out of bounds, as I discovered when I was quickly moved out of the way before a lifeboat landed on my head! It was raining and cool.
The cruise terminal is really nice and airy. Reminded me of some European ones with the shops.
I went to board the bus and, as there were three with the first two almost full, I went to the last. While the other two left before 11,30am, we waited for 2 people who didn’t show so off we went! The viewing point was a bit rubbish due to trees blocking the view. Mount Lofty had low cloud so you couldn’t see anything. We went past a beach, saw a replica boat then returned to the ship for 3pm.
Sailaway was 4pm, which I almost missed and typically the sun came out! I have noticed the Captain NEVER tells you the wind speed and you don’t get it on the info channel (nor Celebrity) but it’s always been a force 8 upwards.
As, like Fremantle, it became windy as you neared open water, I began doing a Marilyn Monroe impression so headed for the Diamond Club. Bed after dinner and we’d lose another 30 minutes.
Final sea day before our next port and we had snow! Only briefly around 11.50am which turned into sleet then rain. It was 13c and we were more rough. A couple of loud crashes in the Windjammer, one following the Captain saying it wasn’t as bad since we’d slowed down!
Since the motion was playing havoc with my knee, I spent the afternoon resting it then went to Diamond Club. We hit some squalls but got rainbows!
Dinner, Quill & Compass then bed.
Hobart and a decent arrival time of 10.30am! Pity I stayed in bed for it although I heard our bow thrusters as we neared the dock. I was doing the Hobart Lookouts and Gardens tour at 12.45pm so had some time. The gangway on my deck was also used so you had to go forward to the port side to get out.
After lunch I was lucky enough to see inside the Concierge Lounge thanks to a dozy American lady. Initially, I found her trying her keycard in the Diamond Club slot so I pointed out it was the wrong one. She kept asking if her card was mine. Anyway, she got into the correct one, asked again if her card was mine then proceeded to say how she liked JJ, our fabulous Diamond Club hostess, which they don’t have. The lounge used to be the cigar bar and I spent many hours in the equivalent on Jewel but not to smoke. Once I’d taken my pictures, we both left after she realised you push not pull the door.
I went back to my cabin, grabbed my stuff and went ashore to wait. Our tour group was number 22, guide Frank and driver Frank, though he was referred to as Francis to avoid confusion. Our first stop was the Inverawe Native Garden, where the owners, Bill and Margaret Chestnut, have planted about 200 native plants. If you wanted refreshments it cost AU$5. Unfortunately, due to my knee, I wasn’t able to see much and what I did all looked the same. So I headed out to take photos of the Margate train, which just sits there. We had an hour here but were allowed back on the bus about 20 minutes before time.
Then it was up to Mount Wellington, unless visibility was crap then we’d go elsewhere, Frank said. The road is extremely narrow but we got to the top. It was freezing but a gorgeous view. Being afraid of heights, I got as far as I felt I could before going back.
A brief photo stop to see the façade of Cascade Brewery, the only original part left then to Rosny Point Lookout for about 15 minutes, short drive through Hobart and back to the ship.
When I tried to get photos of me with the ships, one of the security guards said “See those ropes? The ropes will snap and we’ll have to give you mouth to mouth resuscitation.” That’s a new one!
And so back on and pointed to the deck 4 gangway which was mountaineering with a bad knee then Diamond Club!