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Everything posted by SinbadThePorter

  1. If you want it, always book the price in hand rather than the one around the corner. You can always cancel and rebook later if you see it cheaper.
  2. I'll give the optimistic answer. If the ship arrives on time. If you can disembark by 7:30am. If you can get to Circular Quay station with all your luggage by 8:00am. You will get to Sydney Airport International train station before 8:30am. Then you can check luggage, pass security and find your lounge, probably before 9:30am. Then you pull out your book and have a read for 2 hours. The choice (as with the risk) is yours.
  3. Princess need to hire away Virgin's bathroom designer. The bathroom was smaller, yet the shower cubical was so much better than on Coral. They just need to add a few shelves. My experience with the restaurants was that you could almost guarantee a walk in seat at 5:30. Even if not, they would generally tell you they will try to fit you in later.
  4. It is an absolutely ridiculous setup. In that picture the bed vertical to the wall has the head next to the feet of the person in the bed parallel to the wall. If that person has their feet out from under the covers, it's a bit confronting to turn over in the middle of the night to have someone's toes in your face. The original singles configuration was for the heads to be next to each other, but that puts heads even closer together than the double bed setup, so what's the point? The best option I think is to have the feet end of both beds next to each other. The downside of that is that there is no headrest on either bed to stop your pillows from falling to the floor in the middle of the night. It's a fine example of Virgin doing boneheaded stupid things because they desperately want to be seen as outre. When it comes to beds, give me function over form any day of the week.
  5. That side unit on the bed is for turning the double bed into two singles in a L shape. It's a ridiculous concept and Virgin lost a lot of brownie points with me over it.
  6. I still drool over the memory of the pineapple paddle pops. That and the butter pecan ice cream. 🤪
  7. I'm not saying it's normal practice, but the middle of last year coming back from PNG to Brisbane we were picked out by ABF for a special going over, along with two other couples and a family. They went through everything, clothing, electronics, phones, toiletries. After about two hours one woman broke down in tears because their flight home was now uncatchable. Luckily we lived locally. After about three hours we were let go. So it never pays to assume, because the worst case scenario is always out there ready to catch you out. 🥵
  8. I find the current soft drink package to be overpriced. On our last couple of Oz/NZ cruises we swapped out the Elite mini bar contents for 20 cans of soft drink, which lasted some time. For variety we would bring on 10-12 can cartons from various port stops.
  9. Agreed. I'm on Resilient Lady right now and she's a beautiful ship. But I got on board with discounted fares, there's no way in hell I would pay full fare. The food is good, but so it is on other lines. Service is excellent, but so it is on other lines. The less said about the itinerary, the better. The ship is attractive with an industrial vibe. The cabins are functional, but with some truly bone headed design decisions. Pools are pretty pathetic. All in all, a nice cruise at a pretty outrageous list price that puts it in competition with the luxury brands and where it comes off second best. I can see myself booking my next cruise on Princess without a backward glance.
  10. Princess has some restrictions on Australian residents booking cruises through their US website. It might be easier to get your companions to book it themselves.
  11. If you have the time, the Diamond Harbour ferry leaves from near there.
  12. A taxi from the cruise terminal to either the domestic or international airport terminals will cost about $A40 plus or minus $A2. I live about the same distance from the cruise terminal as is the airport and it costs me about $38. There are usually plenty of taxis waiting outside at the taxi stand. I've caught them to go home from there probably six or seven times in the past year and never had to wait more than 2 or 3 minutes. Mostly it's just walk up and jump in. Technically it's a few hundred meters away, it's just that it's on the wrong side of the runway from the airport terminals and you have to go the long way around. But usually about 20 minutes will get you there. If they built a tunnel under the runway, you could probably walk there in 15 minutes.🤑
  13. I preferred the cartoon that came with mine.
  14. It was suggested to me while on board earlier this month that the stage mechanisms are getting extremely temperamental with age, and the number of shows per cruise will probably decline over time. So catch it while you can.
  15. As we all know, sailors and tattoos just don't go together. 🤪
  16. It's interesting that cruise ship design has returned to the straight stem on the bow.
  17. The AU socket is virtually identical to the most common Chinese socket (type I). I suspect that they might become more common as more Chinese cruise.
  18. Things are as easy as you want them to be. The things that you don't want to concern yourself with, you can just ignore. You don't need to worry about any app, each night the next day's itinerary is delivered to your stateroom on paper. If you don't want to worry about the specialty dining, then you can limit yourself to the MDR and the buffet. I'm not sure what "claim your perks" means. There are different packages available, standard, plus and premium. Unless you are a dedicated drinker, I would suggest just sticking to standard and putting the occasional drink onto your account. But unless you are somewhat gregarious and willing to suffer a certain amount of crowding on occasion, then you may feel more at home on SeaDream.
  19. I picked the number 14 bus (the only bus) near the corner of George St (the main street) and Grey St. Almost opposite the Seafarers Centre. It dropped off in Dunedin at the Bus Hub on Great King St. I picked up the bus to go back to Port Chalmers from in front of the New World supermarket on Cumberland St.
  20. Just got off Coral. I walked off and caught the local bus from Port Chalmers to Dunedin. NZ$3 each way. The bus was full but not to standing room only. You need to have exact fare.
  21. Beatleman is right, Dec/Jan is peak holiday period in Australia and NZ. If you can try for Feb or March. Australia is hotter and (generally) drier than NZ. Especially in summer. If you spend a few weeks in Australia along the coast in summer you are very likely to have two or three days in the high 30s (high 90s F). Inland Australia you will see temperatures well above 40C. In NZ that doesn't happen. A hot day there is 25C (high 70s F). Always be prepared for cold days in NZ. My suggestion would be to take the easy option and do a cruise to NZ from Sydney. Spend some time in Sydney visiting the sights and then jump on a ship which takes in the major NZ ports. In NZ try to make sure you get to see Milford Sound and the Bay of Islands. Since the sea days spent crossing the Tasman Sea from Sydney to NZ are not very exciting, you can save some travel time by catching a cruise that starts in Sydney and ends in Auckland, or vice versa. Fly into one city and out the other, while spending a few days at both.
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