A Travellerspoint blog

Home Port - Sydney

Saturday, 8 February 2014


View 2014-01 Pacific Islands on greynomadm's travel map.

An early start today and we are up in the Horizon Court well before the sunrise. Quick breakfast then out on deck to watch the Opera House and the Bridge as we pass bye. Picked up our 'carry on' and availed ourselves of the Platinum Lounge set up in the Vista Lounge. We were the third batch to be directed ashore, a totally painless process as our passports weren’t even inspected. Out to the concourse and aboard the 'Shuttle' to Central Station by 08:00.

Arrived early at the Murray's Coach bay and we departed about 15 minutes ahead of schedule. A stop at the Airport International Terminal where any vacant seats were quickly filled. Non-stop to Canberra - 3 hours and 30 minutes. The countryside is parched and there is also evidence of recent fires in places.

Natalie is there to collect us and she showed off her Consulting Room on the sixth floor of one of the office towers. The room is small but quite adequate and will require just some furniture, some personal adornments and it will serve the purpose perfectly. A quick lunch at their place before heading down the Kings Highway. We set off at 14:30 and the temperature was nudging 39 °C. Thankfully somewhat cooler when we arrived home.
Cleared our backlog of Emails and postage and generally eased back into life at home. There's certainly a lot of truth in the statement "There's no place like home".

For those who may be interested, the Captain's Cruise Summary tells me that we've sailed 4120 Nautical Miles or 7622 Kilometres.
This is the last entry in this blog. Thanks for your interest and occasional comments.

This link should take you to today's images on my 365 Project http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-02-08
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 15:53 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Last Day at Sea

Friday, 7 February 2014

The Sun Princess continued on a South West course heading for Sydney and leaving the choppy waters in our wake. The gentle rocking contributed to a great night's sleep. The sunrise this morning was sandwiched between dark storm clouds and a sullen sea. The colours were magnificent but limited to a knife-cut along the horizon. Later the sun broke through and we enjoyed a sunny day.

Breakfast and time spent reading in the International Café. Chatted to some strangers who dropped in to occupy the vacant seats. One individual appeared to be confused about the disembarkation process. He either didn't read the notice or failed to comprehend it.

Up to the Horizon Court for lunch and then Jenny found a charm for her bracelet so my $0.03 bill has increased somewhat. The two bottles of whiskey have been delivered to the cabin, I'll try to ensure they get home in one piece this time.

Spent most of the afternoon reading the Kindle and then packed our luggage. Big surprise, everything fits - sort of 8-)

Whatever we wear tonight will have to do for the trip home. Lovely dinner again tonight and it was a little bit sad to say goodbye to Crispin and Alexander and our dinner companions. Despite only having a little over an hour together each evening we've learnt a bit about each-other.
Attended the final show for the cruise and quite enjoyed it.

I will post this blog tonight and that will be the last update from aboard the Sun Princess. Hope you've found the daily tale at least a bit interesting.

This link should take you to today's images on my 365 Project http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-02-07
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 02:48 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

All At Sea - Destination Sydney

Thursday, 6 February 2014

The ship was lively during the night but we appear to have avoided the cyclone. Storm clouds blocked the sunrise and we encountered a rain squall just before 06:00. After breakfast we occupied two spaces in the International Café reading our Kindles. The flea market sale was as chaotic as always and even Jenny couldn't find anything to buy there.

Up to Deck 14 for lunch and back to the cabin to write, read and rest a while.

Spent the afternoon in a horizontal position reading relaxing and resting - the 3Rs. Dressed for the formal night and the parade of the 'Baked Alaska' by the assistant waiters and the cooks. The desert was terrific and as there were very few of us at dinner there was plenty of it. Went to the Vista Lounge to watch a performance by James Lamont, billed as a 'Physical Comedian'. Clever tricks, not so funny humour and overall a rather pathetic show.

Found our disembarkation documents on return to the cabin, had to see the front desk to have them changed to an earlier time. With any luck when we achieve 'Elite' status they will get it right first time around.

Jenny, as my resident scribe, completed the "Incoming Passenger Cards", the "Crew Recognition Forms" and the gratuities envelopes for the cabin steward and the dinner waiters. I've checked my on-board account and it would appear that we will 'owe' Princess the princely sum of $0.03. That will be an interesting credit card transaction.

Another sea day tomorrow and then we'll sail into Sydney.

This link should take you to today's images on my 365 Project http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-02-06
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 02:52 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Noumea New Caledonia

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


View 2014-01 Pacific Islands on greynomadm's travel map.

The weather was hot and humid but the sea was totally calm as we entered the De la Havannah Channel on our approach to the container wharf in Noumea. The storm clouds blocked the sunrise as they have done on a number of occasions. Breakfast and collected our gear for the Shore Excursion. We were on Deck 7 as the ship inched up to her berth where we were welcomed by a troupe of local musicians and dancers.

By 09:00 we were assembled in the theatre for our Shore Excursion and shortly afterwards taken to a very well appointed coach. Our local guide spoke excellent English and guided us through the history and culture of New Caledonia. We visited the first Catholic Church built on the island and the top of a hill overlooking the city. Next stop a beach-front hotel for coffee, pastries and some retail therapy. The temperature continued to climb and there was a hint of rain in the air. It was a relief to be back aboard the air-conditioned coach.

By just after 12:30 we were back aboard the ship and indulged in 'home-made' pies again. Tried out the afternoon movie "The Way Way Back", lasted about 20 minutes and walked out again. I wonder how they justify spending money on making some of these flicks.

There was an announcement from the bridge as we are about to depart at 17:00. A tropical depression North of New Caledonia has been upgraded to a cyclone and is heading towards Noumea. The Captain intends to track to the North West to put as much distance as possible between us and the storm. He warned us of increasing seas during the night and advised caution when moving about the ship. Could get interesting.

Lovely dinner as always and then to the theatre for the crew's show- always a riot. Thirty minutes before start time the place was packed and people were turned away. They brought out balloons and the crowd reverted to childhood and bounced them all over the auditorium. There were the usual magnificent voices from unexpected quarters. Cabin stewards, housekeeper, cook and even a carpenter all carried off songs in a most professional manner.

After the show we ducked up to Deck 14 for a quick drink, I finished off this blurb and will post it tonight. The ship is decidedly lively as I write this.
A sea day tomorrow as we try to beat the cyclone on our way to Sydney.

This link should take you to today's images on my 365 Project http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-02-05
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 02:38 Archived in New Caledonia Comments (1)

Sea Day - Destination Noumea

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Spectacular sunrise this morning, I spent 40 minutes and captured about 80 images of the ever-changing spectacle. I tried a number of different vantage points and I'm faced with the happy dilemma of trying to select for the 365 Project. Breakfast out of the way I posted my blog and my 365 Project images for the past 2 days.

Attended the Navigation At Sea Lecture in the theatre. The main points I remember is that the Sun Princes cost $300 million to build in 1995 and she was one of the largest cruise ships at the time.

Off to lunch at Verdi's Pizzeria on Deck 8 to see what they have to offer. The pizza was delicious, thin crisp crust and very tasty topping. We were one of the first to arrive and the service and delivery was very prompt. jenny went off to see a fashion show and I stayed to read. No surprise, I was fast asleep when she returned.

We had an invitation to the Captain's Circle Cocktail Party, dress was smart casual so it didn't appear to have the impact of previous events. One interesting number was that over 65% of the passengers were repeat cruisers. Some overachieving lady was on her 51st cruise. Lovely dinner again and afterwards we enjoyed a show in the Vista Lounge. A very funny man from Sydney had most of us laughing. I'd never heard of him, perhaps you have, his name's Darren Sanders.

Back to the cabin to finish this tale so that I can upload it tonight. Clocks go back one hour overnight and we're due to arrive in Noumea at 09:00 tomorrow,

This link should take you to today's images on my 365 Project http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-02-04
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 02:18 Archived in New Caledonia Comments (0)

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