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About IWantToLiveOverTheSea

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  1. Just curious: When was the ship originally scheduled to depart Sydney? I think, but could be wrong, thst all cruisers embarking a ship are required to be at check in or on board 2 hours pre-departure.
  2. Just back from 2 cruises on Regatta in Australia late December to late August. Not sure if anyone has reported on these, but this is what we had for our cruises: Adelaide Aus - tram right at port that goes to center city ticket kiosk; no shuttle Akaroa, NZ tendered to center of town Albany, Aus - shuttle to town center Burnie, Taz, Aus - mandatory shuttle to Maker's Workshop in town; meet guides/taxis there. Same shuttle goes to shopping area and museum area Geraldton, Aus - shuttle Melbourne tram 109 is 5-10 minute walk from port, buy ticket at convenience store next to it, no shuttle Napier - shuttle to iSITE info center in town on Marine Parade Perth/Fremantle - don't think was shuttle, but not sure, as we walked to nearby ferry dock. Train station very close to dock. Phillip Island Aus-long tender ride in, then shuttle to beach/boardwalk area. Limited car hire, taxis, etc. day we were there Picton Aus - shuttle to iSITE tourist info center city takes 5 minutes but can walk easily in 10-15 if follow blue line on sidewalk Sydney - turnaround day, no shuttle or ferry available at White Bay. Taxis into town available. Tauranga/Rotorua NZ- disembarked here (early); not sure if shuttle offered Wellington NZ - shuttle to several places center city In general, shuttles ran fairly frequently, leaving soon after we were cleared by the authorities, and the last one was about an hour before the ship's departure time, which was generally a half hour after "back on board" time.
  3. We just got back from our Bali, Australia & NZ trip. Thank you for the Picton information, everyone. I ended up taking a Delivery boat tour around the area - delivering cases of Corona beer and toilet paper, picking up or delivering the occasional box or bag of things, and ferrying hikers to points along the hike that is very popular there. The first part of the trip wasn't great, as it's pretty much the same route the cruise ship takes to get into Picton. However, the last part of the ride was scenic and very nice. It can be booked last minute, I believe, assuming there's room for you. It was not crowded at all when we left from Picton. Picton is nice in that you can walk from the port to the central business district, and the blue line leads the way! I enjoyed my visit. The Gannet Safaris tour from Napier was awesome - assuming you like to see large birds close up. I'm not sure how late they're there, so check with the company. On cruise days they meet you at the back of the MTG building (museum) - close to where the shuttle will drop you, which is close to the iSite info center. You can sit on the wall that surrounds the park and esplanade there to wait for them. You do NOT meet them right next to the MTG building, though - go across the street! The drive up to the Cape was a bit lengthy and not for the faint of heart. But the whole experience was wonderful, and for a photographer like me, it was a dream come true! You'll be asked to pay before the cruise, but given that I was afraid of missed ports because of the bush fires, I asked to pay on the day of the tour. They said no problem. We also had time to walk around Napier, looking at Art Deco buildings, old cars, and murals on walls. The iSite can give you more info on those. The National Tobacco Building is wonderful, but too far to walk. The shuttles arranged by cruise ships do take you to the Aquarium, though - if you're into that, and just walking down the Marine Terrace promenade is worthwhile in my opinion. Yes, the whole city is a bit touristy, but oh so fun. I may have mentioned this before, but if not: If you're stopping in Bali, I can recommend an incredible driver/guide (inexpensive, as they all apparently are) who can take you around. There isn't anything to do at or really near the port.
  4. I was just there, and only had an hour and 15 minutes as part of a day's tour (by choice; we saw other things). If you have limited time as I did, you can still see the awesome Artist's Palette and Champagne Pool, walk across the bridge there, and see the emerald-colored pool. We debarked too late to see the geyser, but that was not on my radar anyway, so no matter. The walk I took was fairly easy. Just follow the path and you'll get there before long. After the Champagne Pool I walked a bit more, but came to a large number of steps downhill. I wasn't sure if I would have to go back up those steps (fairly steep) and didn't want to be late getting back to my spouse and tour guide. Therefore, I decided to backtrack a short way and walk in the direction of the exit (marked at Champagne Pool) to go back out. While only having that limited amount of time is certainly not even close to ideal, it was good enough for me. I saved the map from Waiotapu; perhaps I can attach it later when I have more time. But I just followed the well-marked path from the start (just below the restrooms, where you're asked for your ticket and have your wrist stamped), read the placards along the way, took quick pictures (sorry for lopsided one of Artist's Palette, had to get down and shoot from wood fence to get what I wanted), and walked until I decided it was time to go back. The traffic along the beach area WAS slow and clogged up. However, it was a beautiful late Sunday morning drive in the shadow of Mount Maunganui.
  5. Yes, I'm overseas. I hadn't thought of asking the visitor centre to call them. But I suppose they would do that for me, and I could easily email them. Other than some occasional problems with emails not getting through or just not being answered, I've found Australian visitor centres (iSites?) very helpful. But if you would like to call Avis, that would be great. We arrive Saturday, Dec. 28 at 1 PM and depart at 9, although I'd probably return the car about 6 PM. It's my understanding that there will probably be a shuttle from the port to Albany's "Town Square," near Town Hall. So if they're open, I could probably meet someone at the town square or at the port. We would probably want a medium sized car as my husband has long legs.
  6. Hhmmm...maybe Get Your Guide or Tours by Locals or Trip Advisor has taken over the individual guides that (apparently) used to be offered!
  7. We fly to Bali. I hear they're pretty inquisitive about any and all meds. Apparently some people are questioned more than others, but the majority of people gett through without any problems. The recommendations to keep meds in bottles/packages to get a doctor's letter apply. It appears that Bali has a specific regulation that applies to travelers; perhaps it is a little more lenient than Australia's, although I didn't read either country's entire regulation. Anyway, after staying in Bali for a few days, we board the ship and stop in Exmouth, WA after a day at sea. I've read it's likely there will be a face to face immigration check, although I doubt anyone will be asking what medications we have. Then we cruise to a number of Australian ports and continue on to New Zealand. Our first port of call there, after Milford Sound, is Dunedin. We leave the ship in Auckland and fly to Hong Kong to fly home. I don't think we'll have anything questionable, or anything our doctors here in the U.S. disapprove of, but I'm trying to figure out just what I need to do in order to avoid delays or problems. My husband does have some Hemp cream that he'd like to bring as he gets partial/temporary pain relief when acetaminophin and aspirin don't work. I don't know if it has any THC in or not, as I don't know what hemp contains. The active ingredients are listed as hemp, MSM, Arnica, and Menthol. His doctor says that if it helps, he is welcome to use it. So I'm assuming that the worst that can happen is that the cream is confiscated in Bali, but who knows? I just don't want to be delayed or hassled over something as small (in my opinion, anyway) as 2 ounces of hemp cream.
  8. That was what I read as well, but I didn't actually call them, just tried to book online. We're there weird hours on a Saturday (1 PM to 9 PM), which is making things a bit harder. I'd love the option of driving around, but can also find things to do in Albany if that's not feasible.
  9. We're in Melbourne overnight on Jan. 8, so I'm hoping to see the penguins in the St Kilda part of Melbourne,. I've found this info, paraphrased by me: Each night tourists & some locals head to far end of pier as it starts to get dark, for penguins to appear. Number each night depends on number of factors, but in summer plenty, show spread over number of hours. Penguins don’t need to return each night – buoyant, can sleep at sea. Little penguins waddle over rocks to nests among rocks. Very important not to use flash as penguins don't have eye lids & flash can cause epileptic fits. Breakwater located end of pier, just past kiosk. Best viewing right after sunset at spots on boardwalk – see/smell them standing on rocks or on top of breakwater. Stay 3 meters away; don’t stand on rocks. See FAQs: http://stkildapenguins.com.au/skp/?page_id=59 and Q&As here: www.whentobewhere.com/travel-listing/st-kilda-little-penguins. Near start of pier is Catani Gardens - huge possums in trees at night. You would have to take a taxi to/from the area, as the St Kilda pier doesn't appear to be easily/quickly accessible by public transportation. However, St Kilda sounds like a kind of fun, lively place to have dinner (or drinks!), and there are other things to see. It's basically south a bit from where the ship docks. I notice that a guide on either Tours by Locals or Get Your Guide offers a tour of the southern reaches of Melbourne, including St Kilda. His description of where he goes might provide a little more information, or perhaps he could even be hired for an evening tour. Those tours are definitely small group tours, and usually with flexible itineraries, but the downside is that they are not cheap, so it's best to find another few people to join you. If your Roll Call is inactive, as mine is, that might be difficult. But those two sites should at least give you some ideas of what to do in Melbourne. For me, the problem is narrowing those things down to a reasonable amount, as there is so much that interests me! If you really want to see penguins, they can be seen on Phillip Island on a LONG day trip from Melbourne if you have a lot of time and an overnight in Melbourne. There are also a few tour operators in Dunedin who offer tours to see penguins, although they may be a different type; not sure. In Akoroa, it sounds like walking around is a tour in itself. The tourist info center has brochures on that, or you could walk up to the Giants' House, and then back down to the lighthouse and nearby Garden of Tane and Anglican cemetery. In Wellington, you might find something from Hammonds Wellington tour (www.wellingtonsightseeingtours.co.nz). They offer a shortish introductory tour at a reasonable price; minimum of 4 people, I believe. If your Roll Call is inactive and you have some time you may want to look at other Roll Calls to get ideas on what to do. I notice Sea Princess and Sun Princess go to Australia and NZ a lot - maybe take a look in the Roll Call section for them. Oceania Regatta around December - February can be good. I just jump on a Roll Call, saying I'm not on the actual cruise for that date, but "following" to get ideas. So, a question for the group: Someone either on this thread or another mentioned a "private section of Viator." Where do you find this private section? I've looked at Viator before (but never booked any tours through them) but never really noticed a private section. Is there such a thing?
  10. We've booked That's the Spirit Tours for a 4-5 hour exploration of Devonport and the coast on the way there. I found the Discover Burnie tourist information center to be very helpful with ideas.
  11. So if we're not flying into Australia, simply boarding a cruise ship elsewhere that visits Australia, does this mean I basically pretty much only have to worry about how the meds (including OTC??) are bottled/packaged, and whether I have a letter from my doctor?
  12. I would like to go to the Whaling Station and around, but I couldn't find a place to rent a car, since we're there on a Saturday afternoon and night. I struck out with Avis & a Car-Truck rental place I found. Would anyone know of another rental place that might be willing to rent a car in the afternoon, with return around dinner time? Or is there another way to get to the Whaling Station? I contacted Busy Blue Bus and they plan to offer a tour to Torndirrup Park, The Gap and Natural Bridge for people not taking the cruise ship excursions. But I could do so much more if I could rent a car. I've seen a picture of the ANZAC Museum, and it's indeed stunning.
  13. A lot of those products, from what I've seen, are made from hemp oil. Is hemp oil really illegal in Australia?
  14. I haven't been to Bali (yet) but have done a lot of research, and bought a book on Bali by Tuttle from Barnes & Noble. I'm in the process of hiring the driver hallasm used, because earlier this year, someone else recommended him, and others then used/liked him. We're not going to be in Bali just for a day, though, so I'll try to address my comments from the standpoint of spending a day in Bali rather than spending several days before joining the cruise ship. It has been really hard figuring out what I wanted to do, as there were no real "tours" to simply read and make decisions. And the ship isn't offering any excursions, as it's embarkation/disembarkation day. Traffic can be bad in the southern part of Bali, so once you get the book you ordered, I would look at various parts of Bali and pick just one or two to explore. And of course, I would start your day as early as you can, and allow plenty of time to get back to the ship. My place of choice would be Ubud, in central Bali. There's lots there, and on the way up you could drive through some small towns to see (but not necessarily to shop!) some crafts people/shops along the way (Sukawati, Mas, Bali Bird Center, etc.) You could also go through Sanur, a beach on the southeastern side of the island. However, if you're going in December, and probably January as well, keep in mind that there will likely be some rain, but apparently not all day. It's the wet season. Unless you're young and beach loving, I would stay away from the big beach area on the west side of the island (Kuta, Nusa Dua, etc.) - winter time rain, traffic, not too authentic. Getting up to Ubud might take up to two hours, and certainly at least one, but there are great things you could do around there like temples, rock carvings, Elephant Cave Goa Gajah (great exterior), rice fields in the city or outside at Tegallalang, Tirta Empul temple where people stand under the holy springs, etc. If you want something closer to the port, which is in Benoa, you might want to see if you can find the Roll Call for Oceania Cruise's Around the World Cruise this year (2019). Someone on there went to some pretty interesting places in Bali on a day tour, and those places were closer to Benoa than Ubud. I was drooling over the pictures she took. There is a big, maybe touristy but also maybe pretty visually-stimulating center a bit northeast of Benoa. I can't remember the name, though, but for people with limited time, it may be a good option. I don't suppose you'll be in Bali Dec. 21 (this year), but if so, you may be on my cruise!
  15. Thank you both for the replies, info, link, etc. Since I like to pre-plan, and because I'll have a number of days for touring, I'm going to hire a driver. However, someone on my cruise is now asking if a driver can be hired on the dock once your cruise ship pulls up. I assume that's possible, but does anyone know for sure? If anyone has gone to one of the dance performances, I'd love your impressions. Part of me thinks I'll be too tired after touring, or that I'll find them a little too long, or too contrived or touristy to completely enjoy. The Kecak looks almost too dramatic, and the Barong I saw on Youtube too violent. But then part of me says I should go anyway. And what about food? We can't afford to eat too much, or eat too many unfamiliar foods, and get bali belly before going on a cruise. But how do you pick what you think might be the safest places to eat, and what to eat?
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