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About ColW55

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    Sydney AUSTRALIA
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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Rhine River

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  1. Absolutely correct and if you always sleep on one side of the bed it is a disaster when you open the cabin door and have to choose between your favourite side of the bed or sleeping near the balcony door.
  2. For us the big issue is who sleeps on which side of the bed and which side of the bed is near the balcony doors and which side is against the wardrobe or bathroom wall. If you always sleep on the left side of the bed as you look from the bottom and prefer the balcony door to the bathroom wall you need a to choose the right cabin for the port or starboard side of the ship.
  3. I think I will have to go back and spend a few nights in Nagasaki when life returns to normal. It was a beautiful city and very easy to explore. I have attached some photos of Glover Sky Road as we had no idea what it was and just guessed that it would be a way to the top of the hill. We were quite surprised to discover is an elevator, with white gloved attendant, that takes you from the bottom to the top of the hill. And it is free!! The Glover Gardens are very beautiful and you can take an English language guide when you pay your entrance fee. Definitely do this on your own rather than as a
  4. I forgot that I could add photos when I made my post about Nagasaki. The ship docked directly below Glover Gardens and it was a 200m walk to the tram stop. Transport is very simple and you really can't get lost as most locals are very keen to help as soon as you look at a map on your phone.
  5. We found out after leaving Hiroshima that a few passengers purchased a second hand kimono during their 'shopping time' in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Japanese don't normally buy second hand clothes and the kimonos were very beautiful and cheap compared to the price of a new t-shirt. If you would like to buy a Japanese kimono make sure you ask your guide if they know of any 'used clothing' stores near where you will be shopping.
  6. Osaka – It was Golden Week when we were in Japan and also the time for the inauguration of Japan’s new Emperor. We didn’t do any of the Kyoto optional tours and started with the included tour. A lot of this tour involved looking at distant buildings from the moving bus but the Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine was a great stop. It is the most important Shinto shrine in Osaka and many locals were out celebrating the crowning of the new Japanese Emperor. There are many shrines in the temple but one appeared much more important with a long queue waiting to pay respects and pray. We also did the Osaka Highl
  7. Omamori - you are definitely going to visit lots of temples during your time in Japan. Make sure you do some research and know about Omamori. https://www.tokyoweekender.com/2015/05/japanese-lucky-charms-the-guide-to-omamori/ They are beautiful souvenirs to bring back for family and friends and every temple has a unique design. Make sure you guide knows you want to buy some and they will make sure you have time to make a purchase during your visit. Don't just buy one or two - buy some at every temple you visit. You will be amazed how beautiful they look and everyone loved them when
  8. Hiroshima – another port on the Far Eastern Horizons cruise from Tokyo to Hong Kong. The Orion arrived at lunch-time on April 29 and our first excursion in the afternoon was the optional Hiroshima Castle and Shukkei-en garden Tour. The Hiroshima Castle was a bit of a disappointment - rebuilt after the war and little more than a tourist spot with a few exhibits spread over four floors. No photography allowed and no English translations. It was also very difficult to photograph the castle due to the many trees surrounding the castle. The Shukkei-en Gardens were quite beautiful and the occasional
  9. We did the Far East & Alaska cruise on the Viking Orion in April 2019. It was an absolute knockout cruise and we made wonderful friends. We spent three nights in Hong Kong before the cruise and then two weeks in Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies. Happy to share advice as required. Nagasaki was possibly our favourite port for the whole Far East & Alaska cruise as it was such an easy city to explore on our own. We did the included ‘Scenic Nagasaki’ tour and then set out again on the nearby tram to do some shopping and visit the Sofukuji Shrine (recommended by our guide as the eas
  10. Don't get me wrong I love the Blue Mountains and we regularly visit wineries in the Hunter Valley but I would not recommend either if you only have two days in Sydney. We do the Hunter Valley as an overnight or two night short break. I just think it is too much driving for a one day trip. Spend some time enjoying Sydney on your own as it is a very safe and easy to explore city. It is a bit like Vancouver but Vancouver has a better harbour district around Granville Island and Sydney has better beaches. (We don't have anything like Hastings Street but that is another story) Get the Viking shuttl
  11. Hi Andy, We live in the lower Blue Mountains, about an hour west of Sydney. The scenic part of the Blue Mts is another 40 minutes west. Personally I wouldn't recommend this tour unless you have done everything else. It will be a long bus ride and the area is still dry with large areas of burnt bushland once you get to the lookouts. It is normally very pretty , especially in Spring, but definitely not at its best at the moment. Don't do the Hunter Valley winery trip. It is an even longer bus ride (up to 2hrs each way) the scenery is only average. Both trip have a lot or freeway driving. If you
  12. Hi Andy and Judi, I checked https://www.portauthoritynsw.com.au/cruise/cruise-schedule/ and the Viking Sun will be arriving in Sydney on Tuesday February 11 at 7:00am. Make sure you are up early as it will be very spectacular sailing into the harbour if the weather is fine. The sun will be behind you and you should be able to take photos with the Sun's bow, Opera House and Harbour Bridge in the one frame. Hopefully the captain will have time to do a 360 degree pirouette between the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. The Orion did that when it visited Sydney in 2019. You are visiting Sydney at
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