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About RoonilWazlib

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  1. I guess I should be happy that I'm a millennial who is too cheap to even have a room with a balcony at all on our cruise in April. No chairs to be concerned with. Ha. If Hubby and I will be eating any room service breakfast, it'll be on the bed in our inside room! 🙂 P.S. Despite being millennials, we like sailing with the more mature crowd on Celebrity. Makes us feel fancy. 😉
  2. MELBOURNE Back in Melbourne, the bus driver offered to drop us off at Queen Victoria Market (we'd have to return to the ship on our own). We had a nice time wandering around. Some time spent wandering the city on foot... Then a stop for food. We took the tram back to the port.
  3. MELBOURNE This was our added day in Melbourne, so we decided to do a Celebrity shore excursion. We went out to the Dandenong region, and our first stop was Grants Picnic Ground to feed the parrots. Apparently this is the only place you are allowed to feed the wild birds. These guys know they won't get fed unless they're inside the enclosure and they will come at you; I was given a bowl of seeds, and had my camera in my other hand, so when I walked into the area and 3-4 birds immediately flew at me and landed on the tray, it made it extremely heavy for only one hand! I had to pass it over to Kevin, as I couldn't hold it! Use two hands!! Kevin was a bit uncomfortable with all the attention, but then he got used to it. We also got a bit of time to see the surrounding forest. Next up was a stop in Olinda for a bit of shopping (didn't take any pics). Back to Melbourne up next.
  4. SEA DAY I didn't really take photos this day, and I'll go over this very briefly. We ate all three meals in the buffet (we skipped formal night). Went to the shops where the lady tried REALLY hard to get Kevin to buy me jewelry, and almost had him convinced, but I talked him out of it, because it was ridiculously overpriced. We got to see some dolphins playing near the ship, which was amazing! We spent some time in the hammock near the pool, at the Hot Glass Show, at trivia, and napping in our room. After buffet dinner, we went to the mind-reading show, and then went to bed with some ship movement from the impending storm.
  5. SYDNEY We got back to our hotel and checked out on time, then walked over to the port. Check-in was stated as 11:30-4:30, and I figured we would just wait somewhere out front until 11:30, but Kevin said he was getting antsy, watching people walking towards the ship with luggage, so we followed them closer, and they had already started boarding! After hardly any time at all, we were on the ship by 11:15am! We went straight to the buffet to hang out and wait for the room announcement. It was a gorgeous day, and the views were amazing. I felt such joie de vivre. Rooms were ready around 1pm, and then we wandered the ship for a bit. Muster drill was at 4:45, and this is where we got a bit of bad news. There was a storm going on in the Tasman Sea, and the day we were supposed to cross it, they were predicting 40-foot waves!! So the captain had made the decision to push it back a day, and deal with "only" 10-foot waves instead. This would add an overnight in Melbourne, push all the New Zealand ports back a day, and cancel the scheduled overnight in Tauranga. At first I felt devastated, as I'd done so much planning to cram in a lot during the 2 days in Tauranga, and we had tickets for the Hobbiton dinner feast that only happened one night a week. It took me a while to come around and remember I was on vacation on the opposite side of the globe from my home, and that it would be okay. We had to go to Guest Relations to make some phone calls. Luckily I had printed all the phone numbers and confirmation numbers of all the private tours we had booked, and no one gave us any hassle. We decided it would be too hard to replan for shortened (Tauranga) or lengthened (Melbourne) time in ports on our own, so made the executive decision to do some Celebrity excursions for the first time. More about those later. For dinner, we took advantage of the half price first night specialty dining offer and ate at Silk Harvest. We hadn't really tried much Asian cuisine before this (a mistake we've now been making up for), and everything was really good! I can't find any photos from this, so it's possible I neglected to take any. Either way, the info would probably be outdated by now anyway. Suffice it to say, I'd definitely go there again! Then it was back to the room to relax and sleep, ready to be refreshed for a sea day the next day.
  6. Ha, that's funny, Kevin! It wasn't too terrible. We tried to sleep as often as possible during the flights, no matter the time or time zone. But we were in bed around 7pm that first night in Sydney, so it did get us.
  7. That's a bit sad about the Ibis! We definitely did not know people think of it as a pest. We thought they were so pretty!
  8. SYDNEY The next morning we woke up nice and early at 6am so we could do the Bondi/Coogee Beach walk. We took a bus to Coogee Beach, and the day started out nice and cool. It started getting hot and humid pretty quickly. A little into the walk we realized we'd forgotten to bring anything that tells time. We needed to be back to our hotel to check out by 11am. After we'd been walking awhile, we were starting to think it was taking too long. We asked another person passing for the time, and he told us "quarter to nine." Oh no, we needed to speed this up! After we seemed like ages, we finally made it to Bondi Beach, and we figured the fastest way back to the hotel would be a cab (which we don't normally do). We asked the cab driver what time it was, and it was only 9am!! There was no way it was only 15 minutes between when we'd asked the previous guy, so we knew he'd given us the wrong time. We'd rushed unnecessarily. Oh well. Lesson learned: have something with you that tells time when you have a deadline!
  9. Away we go! SYDNEY Kevin and I flew from Chicago to Hong Kong to Sydney over a total of 30 hours and in economy. We had decided to try to do our furthest bucket list destinations earlier in our lives while we still don't have back issues and major stiffness. I tried to sleep as much as possible, and when we got to Sydney, we weren't in too bad shape. We took the very smooth express train from the airport to Wynward Station, which was walking distance to our hotel (Travelodge). We decided to wander around for a bit. It was a LOT hotter than we were expecting - high 90s F. We stopped for a rest and some food. Kevin needed a cold beer. He was sweating like crazy. I was so hot, I almost couldn't eat my veggie burger due to feeling a bit sick. Still could take pics of it though! 😉 Next up we walked over to the Sydney Opera House! You can't see from this pic, but there were a lot of tour groups further back getting their pictures with it. A Princess ship was docked nearby and and one from P&O went through later. We wandered in the general direction of our hotel, walking through an interesting park area with neat plants and birds! We also stumbled upon a castle-ish government building. By this point, it was still hot, we'd been doing a lot of walking, and we were starting to feel the jet lag, so we went back to the hotel to rest for the remainder of the day.
  10. Last time I worked on a review, adding photos was really complicated, so I am hoping these days it is easier, since it's been several years. Let's test this out on a photo of Kevin and me from our honeymoon in 2013. Gosh, we both look so young! (And thin! Haha)
  11. I am going to have another go at trying to do a trip report (and actually finishing it, unlike my first attempt). My husband Kevin and I (late 20s at the time) did a New Zealand cruise about three years ago on the Solstice (I have been told it's never too late to post these!). It was our second cruise, the first being our "weddingmoon" in 2013 when we eloped in Malta. We love cruising with Celebrity, as we enjoy the more mature and calm atmosphere on the ships, and they have really good itineraries. About us: We enjoy food, but we don't know much about or seek out haute cuisine, nor wines. We enjoy sightseeing by foot and local transport as much as possible on trips, and like natural wonders and cultural experiences. I am really into photography, and that is my main interest when I travel. Kevin is a great sport and supports this. We tend to be loners and keep to ourselves, but realize the value in group activities here and there. I love to plan the crap out of our trips, but we often go off script if it makes sense - usually I'm just trying to avoid the dreaded "What should we do now?" "I don't know, what do you want to do?" So I always have things scheduled so we don't get bored. More often than not, we do stick to our plans fairly closely, and we both enjoy it that way, even though I know most people hate that. On this cruise, we got to see: Sydney Melbourne NZ fiords Dunedin Akaroa Wellington Tauranga Auckland
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