A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: greynomadm

Disembarkation & Trip Home

Monday, 7 October 2013


View 2013 Polynesian Cruise on greynomadm's travel map.

The ship arrived in Sydney Harbour in almost total darkness as Daylight Savings had commenced the previous day. We didn't get to see any of the Tall Ships that were visiting an we ducked under the Bridge while it was still too dark to take photos. By the time the sun made a show we were almost along side at the White Bay Terminal and had lost the view of the harbour.

We disembarked at 0730 and collected all four cases, our two and the two belonging to Barry and Barbara. Straight through Customs and out into a very well organised pick-up area. Thanks to some helpful 'staff' we found our contact courier who took the two stray cases. He'd been trying to ring me but my useless phone wasn't even finding a service. We then found our ship-organised shuttle to Central Station and were there at about 0835. There were two editions of the Murray's Coach and we were on our way by 0845. Dream run out to the Airport and onto the M5 and we arrived in Canberra a good 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Nat & Frog were there to pick us up and whisked us out to their place for a quick lunch and we hit the road for home about 1400.

Traffic was light heading down to the Coast but was almost bumper to bumper in the opposite direction. For a long way East of Braidwood the string of cars was barely crawling. We slipped down the Clyde and through Batemans Bay with no significant delays, arriving home just after 1600. Called in on our mate Michael and relieved him of our backlog of snail-mail. It took many hours to just sort through it and read some of it. Magazines will have to await their turn !!

Fantastic cruise, well organised disembarkation and dream trip home. Will do it that way again provided Natalie can arrange the Canberra transfers.

This marks the end of the blogs for this adventure, hope you enjoyed them.

My photos are posted each day to http://365project.org/tonydebont/365
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 23:43 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Last Full Day

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Today is the last full day of the cruise. The seas abated considerably overnight and the outside temperature has also gone down. The sunrise was rather reluctant with solid black clouds all along the horizon. Someone asked me if I was having a love affair with the sunrise and I could certainly see the connections. Just like a lady she is sometimes spectacular and occasionally quite dull. There are times when she dazzles for a short time and at others her beauty lingers. Ever changing and at times unpredictable and reluctant. Despite or because of that I turn up early each morning and wait in anticipation. Today she was late and didn't display her full splendour.

Schedules are in turmoil because of yesterday's weather. My first appointment is for the Marine lecture in the Theatre at 1000. Today we explored the whale family and the features that link them together. Our concept of 'nice' dolphins was somewhat destroyed when it was revealed that a gang of male dolphins will harass a female and then rape her.

Tried something new today, the Sunday Brunch in the dinning room. It runs from 0900 to 1300 and features some spectacular food displays and total chaos in the room. For starters it is open seating resulting in Jenny and I being added to a table of eight to make up the numbers, they all knew each other and we were a bit of a spare wheel. Might be 'fun' for an organised group but not when half the group is waiting outside for the half that is already seated inside. Then there's a menu from which one can order a variety of dishes with waiters trying to deliver meals while at the same time we're invited to help ourselves from the buffet of fruits, breads, cheeses and sweets and cakes. Add to that the need for replacement cutlery depending on what food was obtained from the buffet. Above all that were people with camera, phones and iPads wanting to take photos - including me.

Time to burn some photos to USB sticks for Joseph the cabin steward and James for his memories. Then it will be time to start packing all the gear and selecting clothing for tomorrow's trip home. Time now is 1530 and we're all packed and sitting back reading while we wait for meal time having done all the packing. We must be learning how to do things efficiently, I don't remember being this ready this early before.

Before dinner we listened to the choir singing a medley of songs to wish us goodbye, they make a beautiful sound for a thrown together group and limited time for practice. Dinner was a subdued affair, Marilyn and Jim dropped in to say goodbye then went off to watch the Grand Final, so there was just George, James and the two of us.

Jenny was suitably embarrassed when a group of waiters sang Happy Birthday and presented her with a small cake. Shortly after that we were asked to stamp, clap and cheer as the Assistant Waiters and the Junior Cooks staged the Bomb Alaska parade around the dining room. With my normal ice-cream and Jenny's cake the slice of Bomb Alaska was really an over-kill.

Handshakes and hugs all around and we returned to the stateroom. I finished this blog and will post it tonight as a final dash at using up a little of Jenny's Internet allocation. It is an embarrassment to be left with about 400 minutes but the connection is almost unworkable. Will place a final entry from home in the next few days. Thanks for following this drivle 8-)

Heading home tomorrow.
My photos are posted each day to http://365project.org/tonydebont/365
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 01:55 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Crossing the Coral Sea

Saturday, 5 October 2013

I left Jenny in bed and headed up to catch the sunrise. I was greeted by strong winds and a decided chill in the air. The sunrise was spectacular and worth the early rising. I had breakfast at the Horizon Court and returned to the stateroom. Jenny had her breakfast delivered by the 'Room Service' waiter and declared that she was feeling a lot better.

We made up some gratuity envelopes and vacated the cabin so that Joseph could wave his magic wand and make it all look bright and sparkly again. After a short time in the Crooners Bar, Jenny headed off to craft and I joined a growing crowd in the Theatre.

Today's event was a Culinary Demonstration to be followed by a Galley Tour. The Executive Chef and the Maitre d' Hotel, supported by a huge cast of cooks and waiters provided and hour of enjoyable antics on stage while passing on some excellent culinary tips.

I had arrange to meet up with James for the Galley Tour. Early in the cruise I had mentioned to the Chef that James had worked aboard a cargo ship as the baker during WW2. This being a good four weeks later I wasn't sure if he remembered so it was a great surprise that when I made the introductions he welcomed James and asked him to wait for the 'tour' to complete. When the last of the passengers had completed the tour, the Chef led James through the bakery and the pastry area and introduced him to the staff working in those areas. James was treated like a VIP and you couldn't knock the smile off his face. Wherever we went the Chef introduced him as a man who was doing their work, only 70 years ago. Staff of all ranks stopped their work to shake his hand.

When we left the galley James kept on saying 'That was the most memorable part of this cruise'. I was very happy to have made his day.
By this time the ship had entered an area of rougher weather and the ship has reduced speed to battle some significant chop.

The central stage of the Horizon Court was was the focus of a Pastry Extravaganza featuring and all manner of sweet decorations. The inclement weather had brought all the sun worshippers indoors and it was impossible to photograph the cakes for the crush of people surrounding the display.

After lunch we returned to the stateroom we were amazed to see the spray from the bow-wave occasionally reach our window on Deck 9 !! With Deck 3 being the sea-level deck we are at least six stories above the water. Awesome !! Decided that the best way to enjoy this ride was to adopt a horizontal position, surprise surprise, I fell asleep. Awoke about about 1530 and started to write this and found that the ship's actions caused me to miss-key more often than normal.

Formal night tonight and lobster on the menu, I elected to try the Beef Wellington and was certainly not disappointed. The ship continues to crash through and into the waves. All entertainment in the Theatre, 2 decks below us, has been cancelled due to the violent movement of the bow section

The Captain made his farewell speech and promised calmer seas ahead. There was a large gathering in the atrium as he recounted the significant highlights of this voyage. Will now close this note and find somewhere to upload it.

Last day tomorrow.
My photos are posted each day to http://365project.org/tonydebont/365
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 02:14 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Isle of Pines, New Caledonia

Friday, 4 October 2013


View 2013 Polynesian Cruise on greynomadm's travel map.

An early start to the day as I greet the sunrise and then linger on Deck 15 and watch the ship's progress to our destination. I have obviously confused this destination with one we visited in 2010. I'll have to check out where that was. Joined Jenny for breakfast and later convinced her that she should see the doctor about her persistent cough. She's been given some antibiotics - at a price of course !!

Collected our tender tickets and went ashore to see the brilliant white beach sand and clear water - no we didn't enter the water but it looked nice. The temperature continued to increase and we headed back to the ship. On downloading my images from the camera I discovered there were a number 'missing'. I suspect there was some form of error message I didn't see on the LCD screen.

An early lunch and we retired to the stateroom where Jenny succumbed to the drowsiness caused by the medication. I've decided to join her in her relaxation.

Jenny slept soundly for most of the afternoon but was still less than her bubbly normal self. I convinced her to order Room Service for dinner tonight and also for breakfast. She will see how she feels tomorrow before deciding whether she will venture out for her craft session.

With Jenny in the stateroom there were just five of us for dinner and we were the only table in our section that had anyone. No one seems to know why there were so few at dinner.

Jenny's 'Room Service' was judged better than OK so she must have enjoyed it. There is another of the wacky melodramas in the Vista Lounge but it doesn't start until 2145 and that's too late for me. The ship has turned Westward on our way to Sydney, two sea-days away.

I'll take this up to Deck 14 and send it off and retire to the stateroom.

More tomorrow.
My photos are posted each day to http://365project.org/tonydebont/365
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 01:59 Archived in New Caledonia Comments (1)

At Sea En-route to Isle of Pines

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Managed to capture the assent of the sun through the clouds over a 45 minute period. The little camera is doing a reasonable job but I really long for the replacement of its big brother. Normal breakfast at the Horizon Court and a short stint in the Crooners bar to read the Kindles. I went off to secure a seat for the Captain's Q&A session in the Theatre. There were no new revelations and the usual inane questions from the audience.

After this session a good number of us stayed for the Marine Biology lecture entitled "Tenacious Turtles and Slithering Sea Snakes". As always, very informative and entertaining illustrated by video footage taken by Dr Gloeta Nassie recently. Up to Deck 14 for lunch with today's theme being King Neptune and while there was an emphasis on fish in the buffet there wasn't the elaborate displays that have marked other themes.

Back to the stateroom to sort out today's images and to start this blog. Joined a fair crowd in the Theatre to listen to the Chief Engineer a jolly Irishman who was still talking 90 minutes later when I had to leave to get ready for dinner.

Dinner was an Italian themed menu and featured many interesting dishes. The ice-cream was particularly good tonight. I'm down from four scoops to two scoops to try and restrict the growth of the girth. Tonight's entertainment doesn't appeal to either of us so I will upload this now.

More tomorrow.
My photos are posted each day to http://365project.org/tonydebont/365
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 02:02 Archived in New Caledonia Comments (0)

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