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Everything posted by IWantToLiveOverTheSea

  1. 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.
  2. Hhmmm...maybe Get Your Guide or Tours by Locals or Trip Advisor has taken over the individual guides that (apparently) used to be offered!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. A lot of those products, from what I've seen, are made from hemp oil. Is hemp oil really illegal in Australia?
  10. 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!
  11. 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?
  12. There isn't much information on here about Bali, and now I can't find a post that I found earlier this year that I found helpful. I was looking for a thread in which a driver was recommended for touring around the island. In addition to the driver recommendation, there were comments from other people who had used this driver, some general information about touring around the island, and a link to a video and blog that I was hoping to look at for ideas and inspiration. Did this thread disappear, or was it taken off for some reason? It's now finally getting close to my cruise date, and I want to hire a driver and make some plans before it's too late. Therefore, if anyone can point me to that post, I would be grateful. If not, if you could provide basic information on the following, I would really appreciate it: What is the cruise port in Benoa like (wifi? port terminal? taxis available? drivers available? shops available?) What is the airport like - very congested? Allow extra time? Wifi? In the absence of recommendations for a driver that I can arrange from home in advance, how do you hire a driver? Should this be done before you arrive in Bali? Is there a limit to how far the driver can travel? Is there a standard price or standard hours? Can you use the person for multiple days, even if you want to move from one city to another? How do you know if the person's English (or your desired language) is good? Thank you for any help you can give me.
  13. But is that typical now, at least for ports other than in Russia? I haven't been on an Oceania cruise for about a year, but I don't remember any restrictions before on when people got off the ship.
  14. Yes, when we were there some years ago (on Marina), there was a lot of congestion in the terminal the first day, as well as long lines on the ship to get off. It was one stop where EVERYONE wanted to get off as early as possible to meet tour guides. We toured with Alla, and 2 people didn't make it to the meeting place on time. After waiting a short time, Alla sent the rest of us along on our tour and had a driver stay behind to collect and catch the 2 people up to us. So terminal congestion affects a lot of things/people, and it's probably a good thing that a solution is being sought.
  15. Crazy! Glad to hear things are back to the original state.
  16. We are not using Oceania air, and not overnighting at disembarkation port. We're flying to Indonesia and embarking a cruise there that goes to Australia and then New Zealand. Disembarkation, the stop the day before and the flight home are all NZ.
  17. But are port fees per hour? Somehow I'm thinking they aren't - although I suppose dock workers might have to be paid overtime on occasion if the ship stays late.
  18. Hello. I am having a major hiccup with my flights home, and was wondering if it would be possible to leave my cruise the night before, with prior arrangement, of course. It would be in New Zealand, with no U.S. ports involved, and I would want to leave either in the morning when the ship got to the previous disembarkation port, or else perhaps late afternoon. If I need to do this, what do I do at this point? Does it take a long time to receive permission (or a "No" answer)? Thanks for any info you can give me.
  19. Anyone know if there's a place to rent a car in Eden, or would I have to go to the airport? Also, about how far is Ben Boyd Park?
  20. Could someone please tell me the status of Regatta? I thought she was going to undergo a refurbishment this fall, but has that already been done, or is it in the future, or what?
  21. And in case, like me, you are wondering how to get that plus sign on a phone, I can tell you that on a Samsung phone, you need to keep your finger on the zero key rather than tap it! Thanks, everyone, for the information. I'm going to use my cell phone and the + key, then country code etc. in Indonesia, and look up info Australia as well. My carrier charges 25 cents per minute for calls, which I assume includes roaming, but maybe I need to call them just to make sure. But 4 minutes for a dollar isn't bad, as long as I don't chat at length with anyone! I guess if I do, I'll try to use whatsapp, although that makes me a little nervous as I've never used it. Besides, I'm not sure how easy it is to find WiFi in Indonesia, starting with Bali at the airport. I probably won't need to call anyone to or from a landline, but I'm copying the info above so I'm covered. Thanks for the warnings about emojis, SMS costs (although T Mobile says texting and data are free) etc. I guess at one point I knew that 1 was the country code for the U.S. (and I think Canada?) but then forgot it somewhere along the way. When it comes to data, one thing I don't understand is why it appears that a lot of people purchase sim cards for their phones in Bali and Australia. I have a phone which doesn't accept a sim card (I don't think, anyway) so it's a moot point. However, I am (again) curious. Do they purchase a card to make it cheaper to use WiFi, or what?
  22. I'm fairly new to using phones overseas, and totally confused. I've been given a phone number for a driver/guide in Indonesia. I'm pretty sure it's his cell phone. It begins with a + sign, which I assume means I need to dial whatever access code is needed to get outside the United States (my home) in order to dial an overseas number. Then there's 62, which is the Indonesia country code. Then there's a long number - maybe 8 digits or so. So my questions are: From a U.S. cell phone do I need to dial anything other than the + to get outside the U.S.? Then do I simply dial the number I was given? I read something online (by one of the big travel gurus) that sometimes a zero must be added or dropped, but it was not clear to me where and when that would be needed. If I try to text the person, do I just use the same number, including the +? And just out of curiosity, is the long number simply a number that has been assigned to his cell phone, without relation to the area in which he lives? In other words, is there no area/province/state code used in Indonesia for cell phones like there is in the U.S.?
  23. I'm only going to Bali, plus spend some hours in the Hong Kong airport. I'm following the guidelines posted on the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. There are different tables for immunizations by age, medical condition, etc. The way I read them, the tables don't recommend the measles, mumps and rubella vaccines (which are combined into one) if you were born 1956 or earlier. However, my doctor suggested getting MMR nevertheless. I don't know if she was able to test for titer level or what, but she indicated I was not immune to rubella. My insurance company indicated they would pay for the vaccine, although I suppose I need to pay the usual copay since I need to go to an infectious disease specialist to get it.
  24. In Napier, from what I've read, there is a 3 minute mandatory shuttle from the port to the iSite Center (tourist info) on Marine Parade/Esplanade. I've also read that Pegasus Car Rental is in Napier, although not within easy walking distance of where the shuttle drops people off. But their website indicates they give rides to various places like the airport, so you may want to google them and then contact them to see what's possible. I've read that people who rented from them in Port Chalmers, which is near Dunedin, NZ, were pleased with them. That doesn't help much, but perhaps it's a start!
  25. Yes, I noticed it was an OV when we sailed. But that was in 2014 and somewhere along the way I had either forgotten about it or thought the OV was on another cruise line. I remember a lot from my off-ship experiences (wonderful cruise, Iberian Sojourn) but not ship details.
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