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About SinbadThePorter

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    Cool Cruiser

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    South Pacific

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  1. I hope so. If the virus takes off I won't be able to go on any more "long weekends" up the coast. I just got back from Noosa yesterday. It's obvious numbers are down on weekdays, but the weekends seemed to be doing good business.
  2. That sounds like an average. As with all averages, half will be above that and half below. That said, only a couple of days are likely to be above 90 degrees.
  3. No need. They are picking up White Bay, putting it on the back of a trailer and taking it down to Botany Bay.
  4. It's all a matter of probability. The probability of having a cyclone interfere with your cruise is higher in February than it is in November. That is not to say that it is a high probability in either case. I wouldn't worry too much about cyclones, the area of the South Pacific you are looking at covers several million square miles, so there is plenty of room to avoid them if they occur. Just book the cruise you like for the time you like.
  5. To give people an idea of what is worth visiting, maybe we should make a list of favourite ports. My top three: Dravuni Conflict Islands Isle of Pines And for completeness, bottom three: Lautoka Alotau Suva
  6. I think the itinerary on the Brisbane cruise is better than the Sydney one. The only downside is that Sydney is a much more scenic port. It is a buzz to depart down Sydney Harbour and out through the heads, and although Brisbane has its strong points, a vibrant night life is not one of them. Lone Pine is not the only place in Queensland you can fondle koalas. There is also Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin) to the north or Dreamworld Amusement Park on the Gold Coast to the south. An alternative to staying in Brisbane is to stay on the Gold Coast. The advantages being the night life and beaches as there are no real beaches in Brisbane. Things to see in Brisbane: Tangalooma St Helena Island South Bank Mt Cootha Lookout with Botanic Gardens and Planetarium Eat Street Northshore That said, Sydney is the more interesting city for tourism by some margin.
  7. That's the thing about Libertarianism, it works right up until the garbage has to be taken out or the dog needs to be walked. 😁
  8. This doesn't affect me but I am curious, are those intending to cruise early 2021 able to get insurance against covid related events? Like a medevac from the ship due to collapsed lungs, or returning to port due to ship wide outbreak? My measure of when cruising will be viable is when I can get insurance for such events and I was wondering if it already exists.
  9. I didn't say it would, but it could definitely be affected by one as I said. The May cruise I mentioned was headed straight into a cyclone that formed over Vanuatu while we were cruising, when we turned around and went back to Brisbane. Thus we missed Port Vila entirely. If she really wanted primitive, then PNG is the go. I'm of the same opinion, the more "primitive", the better. 😎
  10. For Carnival Corp here: "During the pause in guest operations, the monthly average cash burn rate for the second half of 2020 is estimated to be approximately $650 million." "Second quarter 2020 ended with $7.6 billion of available liquidity, and the company expects to further enhance future liquidity, including through refinancing scheduled debt maturities. In addition, the company has $8.8 billion of committed export credit facilities that are available to fund ship deliveries originally planned through 2023." I'm not too sure how easily the money can be moved around between accounts, but it suggests to me that more than 12 months of this hiatus would put the company in real trouble.
  11. Another consideration is the weather. February is usually the hottest month in Australia, while April is on the edge of cooler weather. In the islands this makes no difference, but if you are spending time in Australia, it might. Also, you would be very unlucky to have a cruise affected by a cyclone, but February is the height of the cyclone season in the region and April usually the end of it. That said, the only cruise I've been on that was affected by a cyclone was in the islands in May, so you never know.
  12. Both are good cruises. Sydney is the more picturesque port. Brisbane is rather less photogenic. Noumea: A major city. Almost all cruises to the South Pacific from Australia go to Noumea. For that reason many cruisers are rather blase about it. The restaurants along Lemon Bay are nice and there is a fine beach. Further around there is Anse Vata Bay, also nice, and a jump off point to Duck Island for swimming and snorkeling. If you are feeling adventurous an excursion out to Amedee Island is worth it for the historic lighthouse, the snorkeling and swimming with turtles. Mare: Yejele beach is just about the only attraction. A beautiful beach, great for swimming and snorkeling. You get there by a bus excursion from the tender jetty. There are usually local vendors selling drinks, food and hair braiding. Mystery Island: Undeveloped tropical island apart from grass airstrip and some huts. Very pretty with great snorkeling. Actually named Inyueg Island. Locals usually come across from the main island to sell knickknacks and boat rides. Lifou: Tender port with lots of available excursions. Most popular is Jinek bay for snorkeling, a shortish walk from the tender jetty. Cost was $10 payable at the bay, I don't know if it still is. The view over Santal Bay from the church at the top of the point nearby is worth the climb and is free. Isle of Pines: No need to go far. As soon as you walk off the tender jetty there is a beach to the left and a beach to the right. The right one is great for snorkeling around a tiny island that is said to be sacred. You aren't supposed to walk on it. The left one is good for sunbathing and swimming. Both are very pretty and free. There are also lots of excursions to other parts of the island. Santo: I haven't been, I had a December cruise booked which was going there and if it had I would have tried for an excursion to Champagne Bay and to visit one or more of the blue holes. Port Vila: A major city on the island of Efate. Not very interesting on its own, so get an excursion out of town to see the cascades waterfall, the blue hole or else a day pass to one of many resorts. Iririki island being the closest and easiest to get to by water taxi from the dock area. Port Denaru: I haven't visited as my cruises to Fiji have had the misfortune of visiting nearby Lautoka instead. Don't go to Lautoka. Dravuni Island: One of my favourite places in the South Pacific. Beautiful, small island that looks like a tropical paradise ought to. There is a tall hill on the southern end which has a great view from on top, but is a considerable climb. If you want to snorkel, go to the northern end of the island, i.e. turn left when you get off the tender jetty. All the times I've been there the rest of the shoreline had murky water. If you cross the island to the eastern side, you will likely be Robinson Crusoe all on your own as the locals only live on the western side.
  13. Knowledge of coronavirus and its effects have changed more in the past 6 months than in the last 30 years. Do you really expect the CDC to be giving out the exact same advice that they gave out 6 months ago?
  14. I remember it as dinner = lunch, and tea was the main meal of the day. Perhaps you're thinking of afternoon tea.
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