Is it worth the 13 hour flight?

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#22
Sydney, NSW, Australia
667 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by TucsonRick
We are scheduled to sail on the Dawn Princess with ports as follows: Auckland, New Zealand, Tauranga, New Zealand,Napier, New Zealand,Wellington, New Zealand, Akaroa, New Zealand, Dunedin (Port Chalmers), New Zealand,Fiordland National Park, New Zealand, Melbourne, Australia, Sydney, Australia.

Australia and New Zealand are on my bucket list but long airline flights are like torture for me. Is it worth the 13 hour flight from LA to visit these ports?

Rick
Hi Rick

Ahh - the wonderful memories - 1st meeting you and Jeff on a crowded vaporetto in the pouring rain on our 1st day in Venice to the wonderful tour in Ephesus when it was so hot!!

Congratulations on your 20th Anniversary which you will celebrate next year.

We fly premium economy whenever possible on long flights - just that bit of extra room to recline plus a footrest makes it so much more comfortable.

What a shame you won't be arriving in Sydney until after the Mardi Gras at end of Feb through to early March - you guys would have enjoyed the experience I'm sure.

We are flying out on April 9th to do a 37 day cruise, Miami to Seattle with Panama Canal Transit, so unfortunately we will not be around to catch up with you both. This cruise is a reunion cruise for a group of 8 that cruised together on the 2nd part of the Westerdam cruise including Elaine and Charles, so we are all very excited about catching up with wonderful friends we made.


Regards to Jeff and enjoy your cruise

Lesley
#23
Melbourne/AUS
736 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Melbourne in April can be any kind of weather, warm or cold. For instance yesterday was cold, windy and raining, and I had the heater on all night. Today is warm and the sun is shining, and I'm sitting here in a tshirt

Pack layers to allow for both cool and warm weather.
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#24
Tucson, AZ
741 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Originally posted by shadow10
Hi Rick

Ahh - the wonderful memories - 1st meeting you and Jeff on a crowded vaporetto in the pouring rain on our 1st day in Venice to the wonderful tour in Ephesus when it was so hot!!

Congratulations on your 20th Anniversary which you will celebrate next year.

We fly premium economy whenever possible on long flights - just that bit of extra room to recline plus a footrest makes it so much more comfortable.

What a shame you won't be arriving in Sydney until after the Mardi Gras at end of Feb through to early March - you guys would have enjoyed the experience I'm sure.

We are flying out on April 9th to do a 37 day cruise, Miami to Seattle with Panama Canal Transit, so unfortunately we will not be around to catch up with you both. This cruise is a reunion cruise for a group of 8 that cruised together on the 2nd part of the Westerdam cruise including Elaine and Charles, so we are all very excited about catching up with wonderful friends we made.


Regards to Jeff and enjoy your cruise

Lesley
Hi Lesley!

A bit of a reunion this has turned out to be. I guess I shouldn't be supprised that you and Elaine are on this board. Yes, our Mediterranean cruse was wonderful, pehaps the best I've been on.

Sorry that we won't be able to see you and Ken when we are in Sydney. We are planning to stay there several days after the cruise. Being an architect, I've always been fancinated with the opera house and can't wait to see it. I may email you for suggestions of other sites to see.

Your cruise sounds great! I've been thru the canal three times now.

Our best to you and Ken,

Rick
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#25
Sydney, NSW, Australia
667 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by TucsonRick
Hi Lesley!

A bit of a reunion this has turned out to be. I guess I shouldn't be supprised that you and Elaine are on this board. Yes, our Mediterranean cruse was wonderful, pehaps the best I've been on.

Sorry that we won't be able to see you and Ken when we are in Sydney. We are planning to stay there several days after the cruise. Being an architect, I've always been fancinated with the opera house and can't wait to see it. I may email you for suggestions of other sites to see.

Your cruise sounds great! I've been thru the canal three times now.

Our best to you and Ken,

Rick
We have Elaine to thank/blame for our Panama cruise, she sent through a wonderful offer from her TA that included flights, pre and post accommodation, onboard gratuties plus cruise - to good to pass up.

Happy to give you any advice about my hometown, also put the Queen Victoria Building on your list to see - my favourite building in the city

Ken says hi

Lesley
#26
Spokane, Washington, USA
1,389 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by TucsonRick
. . .

Australia and New Zealand are on my bucket list but long airline flights are like torture for me. Is it worth the 13 hour flight from LA to visit these ports?

Rick
Rick,

I think everyone on this board would agree that the trip is worth the time traveled. So now lets talk about your options to reduce the level of torture.

1) If you have lots of money, it's real easy. I do lots of long-distance international travel for business. Flying in lie-flat business class seat is really, really nice. Most of the airlines have lie-flat business class seats available if you can afford about $7k round-trip.

2) If you have time to accumulate FF miles, business class and/or first are a lot more affordable, as in almost free. I'm flying first class from SYD to LAX using FF miles I accumulated through business travel and credit card sign up offers. All I'm paying is about $125 in taxes. See a web site called "thepointsguy" on how to get lots of FF miles without flying.

3) If it's the flight duration that bothers you, break up the trip from LAX to Auckland (AKL) with a free stopover in Tahiti (French Polynesia) on Air Tahiti Nui, one-way fare $950. The non-stop flights from LAX to AKL practically fly right over Tahiti. LAX to Tahiti (PPT) is 7.5 hours. PPT to AKL is 6 hours. I'm doing this for my upcoming Auckland to Sydney cruise. We are staying 5 nights in Moorea. Tahiti is on our bucket list!

For the SYD-LAX trip, break up the trip with a stop over in Hawaii, one-way fare about $1200. SYD to HNL is about 10 hours. HNL to LAX is about 5.2 hours. (You can even get a non-stop from HNL to PHX). It's even shorter if you go AKL - HNL - LAX, assuming you don't mind the three hour flight back from Sydney to Auckland.

4) Cruise instead of fly. Hawaii to Sydney is 19 nights. Tahiti to Sydney is 15 nights. LAX to Sydney is 22 nights.
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#27
NSW, Australia
2,505 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Hi Mercruiser
We're off to Hawaii on Radiance in the morning to soak up some sun. Alaska planning is well on the way and have booked a SB end of Aug 2014. Have decided to cruise back to Hawaii. Thanks again for your previous answers to our Alaska planning.
#28
Spokane, Washington, USA
1,389 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by cassamanda
Hi Mercruiser
We're off to Hawaii on Radiance in the morning to soak up some sun. Alaska planning is well on the way and have booked a SB end of Aug 2014. Have decided to cruise back to Hawaii. Thanks again for your previous answers to our Alaska planning.

Your trip sounds wonderful. Have a great time.
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Mercruiser
Spokane, WA, USA
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#29
Nova Scotia Canada
2,462 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by Karennella
We have to travel Economy (tight husband!!) so on the 24 hour flights to Europe, which we have done the past four years, the best help to me has been to get good quality noise cancelling headphones. Last year I watched, in total, about a dozen episodes of Downton Abbey and quite enjoyed the flight.
I really dislike very short flights as it takes so long to get to the airport, throught the security etc etc. Doesn't seem worth the hassle.
Hi just reading this posts. I just finished watching season 1, 2 & 3 of Downton Abbey. Now I have to wait for the next season..

Coming from the East Coast of Canada, the long flight to Australia was either 24 or 27 hours. We flew United. From Nova Scotia we flew Chicago to LA then 14 hours to Sydney . The 14 hours was the easiest. for us we always have long flights., and yes the 14 hours were well worth it and in fact we are doing it again in 2014
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#30
London
21,972 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by TucsonRick
Is it worth the 13 hour flight from LA to visit these ports?
It's only 13 hours!

I'm shortly to do double that length of flight to get there for a week's visit, and then coming back home again. And then doing it all again in September.
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#31
Clermont, FL
1,235 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
WE just finished a 4 week visit earlier this month.

I am 6'3" and did two flights 5 + 15 hours. Orlando to Sydney, wth a layover in LA each way. \
\
Yes it worth it. Weather went from cool in the 60's at night to 90's during the day. (We did the South which was cool(Adelaide and Melbourne) and the North which was hot (Cairns Port Douglas) and everywhere in between. Since we did domestic flights prior to the cruise, the biggest challenge was keeping baggage under 23 Kg or 50Lbs. We did it though.
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#32
Ontario, Canada
517 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
One more note of encouragement: We have travelled from Toronto to New Zealand twice and to Australia eight times over the past 2 decades. Relative to a trip from Arizona, we have to fly an extra 5 hours (each way) and also must allow for extra connect time. The trip is long but for us it is absolutely worth the effort (and cost). We will be back to N.Z. this year and no doubt also to Australia before too long.

Mercruiser had some good suggestions for how to make the trip more tolerable if any of those work for you. In particular, anything one can do to get a lie-flat seat for the trans-Pacific flight is worth doing. But in our experience, the 12-14 hr overnight flight from the U.S. to N.Z. or Australia isn't much more difficult, and arguably is less so, than shorter overnight flights such as those from Eastern North America to Europe. At least the trans-Pacific flights are long enough to get a reasonable amount of rest, however fitful it may be. And the destinations make it all worthwhile. We always try to extend our trips to N.Z. and Australia to last as long as possible.

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#33
Windsor, ON
3,691 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
We think it is worth it, we have done the NZ - Aust. 14 day cruise twice. We book the rows 70-72 just two seats at the window and aisle, but a little more space and the only people you bother is each other when you want to move around.
#34
187 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
I did Australia and New Zealand 25 years ago and it was well worth it. Flew over from la and did regional flying from place to place every other day for 2 weeks and it is still memorable after all these years.
#35
Melbourne, AUS
2,738 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Yep, it is sure worth it and I agree with boards...go for the 2 sweaters down the back od the plane. We aim for them every time.
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#36
On Cruise ships and in Australia & New Zealand
7,565 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by Goldygolfer
April will also be quite cool in NZ (especially in the South Island).
It will depend on what sort of summer we New Zealand has, as if we have another summer like the last one we just had, then late March early April it should not be too bad, but if we have a crap summer then it could be cool in the south island.
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#37
19,314 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by shadow10
Hi Rick



We fly premium economy whenever possible on long flights - just that bit of extra room to recline plus a footrest makes it so much more comfortable.

What a shame you won't be arriving in Sydney until after the Mardi Gras at end of Feb through to early March - you guys would have enjoyed the experience I'm sure.


Lesley
When does Mardi Gras end in early March 2014?
#38
London
21,972 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by Jade13
When does Mardi Gras end in early March 2014?
Google is your friend!
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#39
Yachats, OR
887 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
It's a 1/2 day out of your life and you will probably sleep 4-5 hours, which means you will only spend about 6-7 hours with a screaming kid in front jumping up and down on his seat while his mother is knocked out by a sleeping pill. Then there's the guy behind you that keeps kneeing the back of your seat. See it won't be so bad!
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#40
Waiheke Island, New Zealand
1,377 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Originally posted by Jacs
13 hour flights aren't too bad, it takes us 30 to get to Europe with flight changes and we have done that twice

Yeah!! That is only half way for us from Kiwi land, then we still have to hang around for another couple of hours to take the next flight for about 10 or 11 hours or so
Done it many times and going to do it again in 105 days. Happily on the way back will have a sleepover mid way.
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