December 24, 2011 Sydney to Auckland - Holiday Cruise

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#1
Simi Valley, CA
1,318 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
We just booked. Since I did not see another thread for this sailing, I thought I would start one. We are Harvey and Lauri and we will be meeting up and sailing with our new friends, Gayle and Steve, from the UK.

Is anyone else joining us? I hope we get a lively, fun, interesting group of travelers on this thread and have lots of port and tour discussions as well as getting to know each other in the long months leading up to the cruise.

Lauri
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Our Past Cruises:

Costa - Magica - Mediterranean and Africa
Viking - Emerald - Yangtze
HAL - Noordam - Southern and Eastern Caribbean
HAL - Noordam - Transatlantic
HAL - Maasdam - Canada and New England
RCCL - Radiance of the Seas - Australia & New Zealand
Carnival - Splendor - Mexican Riviera
Star Princess - South America and Antarctica
HAL - Amsterdam - Baltic
Oceania - Nautica - Rome to Singapore
NCL - Jade (and 1 other) - Eastern Med and Trans-Atlantic
RCCL - Song of Norway - Carib (first cruise in 1974) and Brilliance of the Seas - Western Med
Crystal - Crystal Harmony - Hawaii and Transpacific
Carnival - Triumph - Carib
Royal - Royal Odyssey - Eastern Med
Renaissance R - 3 - Tahiti (our wedding cruise)
Sitmar - Fairsky, Fairwind and Fairsea - Alaska and Mexico
Princess (multiple times) - Dawn, Sun, Sea, Pacific, Royal, Golden, Grand, Crown, Star, Diamond, Regal and others from the "Love Boat" days - Western Med, Hawaii and Trans-Pacific, Panana Canal, Carib, Alaska, Mexico and China
Celebrity - Century and Summit - Alaska and Carib
Uniworld - River Beatrice - Danube (for another type of experience)
Also went to Bermuda, but can't remember the ship...probably one of the above.
#2
UK
529 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by Lauren Spray
We just booked. Since I did not see another thread for this sailing, I thought I would start one. We are Harvey and Lauri and we will be meeting up and sailing with our new friends, Gayle and Steve, from the UK.

Is anyone else joining us? I hope we get a lively, fun, interesting group of travelers on this thread and have lots of port and tour discussions as well as getting to know each other in the long months leading up to the cruise.

Lauri
Hi Lauri,

Yes, I hope that we get loads of fun people who know a lot about the ports that we will be visiting so that we can all get some fantastic 'private' tours off the ship.
#3
Simi Valley, CA
1,318 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Hi Gayle,

Thanks for joining the party. If I know you, you can't wait to get the party started.

Lauri
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Our Past Cruises:

Costa - Magica - Mediterranean and Africa
Viking - Emerald - Yangtze
HAL - Noordam - Southern and Eastern Caribbean
HAL - Noordam - Transatlantic
HAL - Maasdam - Canada and New England
RCCL - Radiance of the Seas - Australia & New Zealand
Carnival - Splendor - Mexican Riviera
Star Princess - South America and Antarctica
HAL - Amsterdam - Baltic
Oceania - Nautica - Rome to Singapore
NCL - Jade (and 1 other) - Eastern Med and Trans-Atlantic
RCCL - Song of Norway - Carib (first cruise in 1974) and Brilliance of the Seas - Western Med
Crystal - Crystal Harmony - Hawaii and Transpacific
Carnival - Triumph - Carib
Royal - Royal Odyssey - Eastern Med
Renaissance R - 3 - Tahiti (our wedding cruise)
Sitmar - Fairsky, Fairwind and Fairsea - Alaska and Mexico
Princess (multiple times) - Dawn, Sun, Sea, Pacific, Royal, Golden, Grand, Crown, Star, Diamond, Regal and others from the "Love Boat" days - Western Med, Hawaii and Trans-Pacific, Panana Canal, Carib, Alaska, Mexico and China
Celebrity - Century and Summit - Alaska and Carib
Uniworld - River Beatrice - Danube (for another type of experience)
Also went to Bermuda, but can't remember the ship...probably one of the above.
#4
UK
529 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by Lauren Spray
Hi Gayle,

Thanks for joining the party. If I know you, you can't wait to get the party started.

Lauri
I bet we have some of the others from the Antartica troop join us ... I can feel the music begin!!!1
#5
Simi Valley, CA
1,318 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Yes, let's try to bring some people from the Star with us.

Until others join, we will be talking to ourselves.
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Our Past Cruises:

Costa - Magica - Mediterranean and Africa
Viking - Emerald - Yangtze
HAL - Noordam - Southern and Eastern Caribbean
HAL - Noordam - Transatlantic
HAL - Maasdam - Canada and New England
RCCL - Radiance of the Seas - Australia & New Zealand
Carnival - Splendor - Mexican Riviera
Star Princess - South America and Antarctica
HAL - Amsterdam - Baltic
Oceania - Nautica - Rome to Singapore
NCL - Jade (and 1 other) - Eastern Med and Trans-Atlantic
RCCL - Song of Norway - Carib (first cruise in 1974) and Brilliance of the Seas - Western Med
Crystal - Crystal Harmony - Hawaii and Transpacific
Carnival - Triumph - Carib
Royal - Royal Odyssey - Eastern Med
Renaissance R - 3 - Tahiti (our wedding cruise)
Sitmar - Fairsky, Fairwind and Fairsea - Alaska and Mexico
Princess (multiple times) - Dawn, Sun, Sea, Pacific, Royal, Golden, Grand, Crown, Star, Diamond, Regal and others from the "Love Boat" days - Western Med, Hawaii and Trans-Pacific, Panana Canal, Carib, Alaska, Mexico and China
Celebrity - Century and Summit - Alaska and Carib
Uniworld - River Beatrice - Danube (for another type of experience)
Also went to Bermuda, but can't remember the ship...probably one of the above.
#6
UK
529 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by Lauren Spray
Yes, let's try to bring some people from the Star with us.

Until others join, we will be talking to ourselves.
OR just laughing because this is soooooooooooooo insane!!!
#7
Simi Valley, CA
1,318 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Now we have a new way to communicate...is that what you were laughing about and referring to as insane? Daily e-mails, 2 cruise critic threads, and phone calls and we don't run out of things to say.
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Our Past Cruises:

Costa - Magica - Mediterranean and Africa
Viking - Emerald - Yangtze
HAL - Noordam - Southern and Eastern Caribbean
HAL - Noordam - Transatlantic
HAL - Maasdam - Canada and New England
RCCL - Radiance of the Seas - Australia & New Zealand
Carnival - Splendor - Mexican Riviera
Star Princess - South America and Antarctica
HAL - Amsterdam - Baltic
Oceania - Nautica - Rome to Singapore
NCL - Jade (and 1 other) - Eastern Med and Trans-Atlantic
RCCL - Song of Norway - Carib (first cruise in 1974) and Brilliance of the Seas - Western Med
Crystal - Crystal Harmony - Hawaii and Transpacific
Carnival - Triumph - Carib
Royal - Royal Odyssey - Eastern Med
Renaissance R - 3 - Tahiti (our wedding cruise)
Sitmar - Fairsky, Fairwind and Fairsea - Alaska and Mexico
Princess (multiple times) - Dawn, Sun, Sea, Pacific, Royal, Golden, Grand, Crown, Star, Diamond, Regal and others from the "Love Boat" days - Western Med, Hawaii and Trans-Pacific, Panana Canal, Carib, Alaska, Mexico and China
Celebrity - Century and Summit - Alaska and Carib
Uniworld - River Beatrice - Danube (for another type of experience)
Also went to Bermuda, but can't remember the ship...probably one of the above.
#8
Australia
307 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
HI Gayle and Lauri, we have just booked this cruise and are really looking forward to it. Christmas and New Year on the high seas
We are Chris(tine) and Tim from Western Australia. First time to New Zealand for us.
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#9
Simi Valley, CA
1,318 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Hi Chris and Tim,

Welcome to our roll call. Happy to have you join us! I was beginning to think we were sailing by ourselves. If you booked this early, you are probably great planners, like we are.

This will by our first trip to Australia and New Zealand. Can't wait to learn all about the places we will go. Gayle and Steve have been before.

Please keep checking in with us.

Lauri
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Our Past Cruises:

Costa - Magica - Mediterranean and Africa
Viking - Emerald - Yangtze
HAL - Noordam - Southern and Eastern Caribbean
HAL - Noordam - Transatlantic
HAL - Maasdam - Canada and New England
RCCL - Radiance of the Seas - Australia & New Zealand
Carnival - Splendor - Mexican Riviera
Star Princess - South America and Antarctica
HAL - Amsterdam - Baltic
Oceania - Nautica - Rome to Singapore
NCL - Jade (and 1 other) - Eastern Med and Trans-Atlantic
RCCL - Song of Norway - Carib (first cruise in 1974) and Brilliance of the Seas - Western Med
Crystal - Crystal Harmony - Hawaii and Transpacific
Carnival - Triumph - Carib
Royal - Royal Odyssey - Eastern Med
Renaissance R - 3 - Tahiti (our wedding cruise)
Sitmar - Fairsky, Fairwind and Fairsea - Alaska and Mexico
Princess (multiple times) - Dawn, Sun, Sea, Pacific, Royal, Golden, Grand, Crown, Star, Diamond, Regal and others from the "Love Boat" days - Western Med, Hawaii and Trans-Pacific, Panana Canal, Carib, Alaska, Mexico and China
Celebrity - Century and Summit - Alaska and Carib
Uniworld - River Beatrice - Danube (for another type of experience)
Also went to Bermuda, but can't remember the ship...probably one of the above.
#10
Texas
37 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
WOW!!! What a early planning. We are badly want to go on this cruise but we do not know how much the air is going to cost us. Since it is a holiday time, it could be expensive and we are party of four.

Any idea about the air from US?
The least expensive cabin on this ship is $1999. Did anybody get a better deal?
#11
Simi Valley, CA
1,318 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Sorry, Toocool, I do not know how much the air will be for next year. Expensive, is my guess. We can start booking air 330 days out and we'll have to shop around. Some people wait and watch the airfare until the last minute to book in hopes that the fare will come down, and others, like me, like to lock in a good price when I see it. Hard to predict the best way to go.

Good luck and I hope you decide to take this cruise. Let us know what you decide.
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Our Past Cruises:

Costa - Magica - Mediterranean and Africa
Viking - Emerald - Yangtze
HAL - Noordam - Southern and Eastern Caribbean
HAL - Noordam - Transatlantic
HAL - Maasdam - Canada and New England
RCCL - Radiance of the Seas - Australia & New Zealand
Carnival - Splendor - Mexican Riviera
Star Princess - South America and Antarctica
HAL - Amsterdam - Baltic
Oceania - Nautica - Rome to Singapore
NCL - Jade (and 1 other) - Eastern Med and Trans-Atlantic
RCCL - Song of Norway - Carib (first cruise in 1974) and Brilliance of the Seas - Western Med
Crystal - Crystal Harmony - Hawaii and Transpacific
Carnival - Triumph - Carib
Royal - Royal Odyssey - Eastern Med
Renaissance R - 3 - Tahiti (our wedding cruise)
Sitmar - Fairsky, Fairwind and Fairsea - Alaska and Mexico
Princess (multiple times) - Dawn, Sun, Sea, Pacific, Royal, Golden, Grand, Crown, Star, Diamond, Regal and others from the "Love Boat" days - Western Med, Hawaii and Trans-Pacific, Panana Canal, Carib, Alaska, Mexico and China
Celebrity - Century and Summit - Alaska and Carib
Uniworld - River Beatrice - Danube (for another type of experience)
Also went to Bermuda, but can't remember the ship...probably one of the above.
#12
Texas
37 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by Lauren Spray
Sorry, Toocool, I do not know how much the air will be for next year. Expensive, is my guess. We can start booking air 330 days out and we'll have to shop around. Some people wait and watch the airfare until the last minute to book in hopes that the fare will come down, and others, like me, like to lock in a good price when I see it. Hard to predict the best way to go.

Good luck and I hope you decide to take this cruise. Let us know what you decide.
Lauren,
I see you are sailing 12/20/2010 on Star princess. We considered this itinerary but we are going 12/20/2010 on Veendam between Santiago and Buenos Aires. Please share your experience after the trip.
#13
Simi Valley, CA
1,318 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Toocool,

You must be as busy as we are doing last minute things prior to departure. We leave for Rio tomorrow. Is your cruise going to the Antarctica, too? Can't wait to see those cute penguins! I hope poor weather isn't a factor for us and that we don't have rogue waves. We are sailing with England Swings. Have a good cruise. Let's compare notes afterwards.
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Our Past Cruises:

Costa - Magica - Mediterranean and Africa
Viking - Emerald - Yangtze
HAL - Noordam - Southern and Eastern Caribbean
HAL - Noordam - Transatlantic
HAL - Maasdam - Canada and New England
RCCL - Radiance of the Seas - Australia & New Zealand
Carnival - Splendor - Mexican Riviera
Star Princess - South America and Antarctica
HAL - Amsterdam - Baltic
Oceania - Nautica - Rome to Singapore
NCL - Jade (and 1 other) - Eastern Med and Trans-Atlantic
RCCL - Song of Norway - Carib (first cruise in 1974) and Brilliance of the Seas - Western Med
Crystal - Crystal Harmony - Hawaii and Transpacific
Carnival - Triumph - Carib
Royal - Royal Odyssey - Eastern Med
Renaissance R - 3 - Tahiti (our wedding cruise)
Sitmar - Fairsky, Fairwind and Fairsea - Alaska and Mexico
Princess (multiple times) - Dawn, Sun, Sea, Pacific, Royal, Golden, Grand, Crown, Star, Diamond, Regal and others from the "Love Boat" days - Western Med, Hawaii and Trans-Pacific, Panana Canal, Carib, Alaska, Mexico and China
Celebrity - Century and Summit - Alaska and Carib
Uniworld - River Beatrice - Danube (for another type of experience)
Also went to Bermuda, but can't remember the ship...probably one of the above.
#14
160 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by Lauren Spray
Toocool,

You must be as busy as we are doing last minute things prior to departure. We leave for Rio tomorrow. Is your cruise going to the Antarctica, too? Can't wait to see those cute penguins! I hope poor weather isn't a factor for us and that we don't have rogue waves. We are sailing with England Swings. Have a good cruise. Let's compare notes afterwards.
Sounds like we have a lot in common with each of you to date. Two Christmases ago, we took Holland America's Amsterdam to the Antarctic (starting in Valparaiso and ending in Rio). We had wonderful weather, though it was snowing when we first got to first landfall in Antarctica. Then last Christmas, we took Oceania's Nautica from Singapore to Sydney, and met some wonderful people, including some from Western Australia. We look on this trip as an extension of that one.

We are a couple from the Vancouver, Canada, area and have just got back from back-to-back cruises to the Southern Caribbean on Celebrity Summit, where we had our first. We hope to spend some time in both Sydney before we board and in New Zealand before we set off on the long flight back across the Pacific.

For the majority of you off on southern seas, we hope you have a safe voyage, and look forward to hearing about it on your return.
#15
UK
529 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by mucky duck
HI Gayle and Lauri, we have just booked this cruise and are really looking forward to it. Christmas and New Year on the high seas
We are Chris(tine) and Tim from Western Australia. First time to New Zealand for us.
Hi Chris & Tim,

Just back from our Antartica cruise .. what a great time was had by all .. a tremendous experience and great comradery...and of course, penguins!!!! We look forward to meeting you two ... have you cruised before?
#16
UK
529 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by Toocool
WOW!!! What a early planning. We are badly want to go on this cruise but we do not know how much the air is going to cost us. Since it is a holiday time, it could be expensive and we are party of four.

Any idea about the air from US?
The least expensive cabin on this ship is $1999. Did anybody get a better deal?
Hi Toocool,

We are from the UK and so I can't help you with air pricing but Lauri returns to US this weekend and should be able to give you some guidance. Hope to have you onboard!
#17
Simi Valley, CA
1,318 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
We have been home an hour and would you believe I am already checking out our thread? I second what Gayle said...our cruise was the best!

Sorry, I cannot help with airfare at this time. I have not even started looking into it. As soon as I figure out what we are going to do, I will post some information that will hopefully be of some help.

In the meantime, I am going to relax for the rest on the day. We had 3 long flights and I am pooped!

Also..a warm welcome to Espanola. I am glad you found our thread. Hope you'll post often.
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Our Past Cruises:

Costa - Magica - Mediterranean and Africa
Viking - Emerald - Yangtze
HAL - Noordam - Southern and Eastern Caribbean
HAL - Noordam - Transatlantic
HAL - Maasdam - Canada and New England
RCCL - Radiance of the Seas - Australia & New Zealand
Carnival - Splendor - Mexican Riviera
Star Princess - South America and Antarctica
HAL - Amsterdam - Baltic
Oceania - Nautica - Rome to Singapore
NCL - Jade (and 1 other) - Eastern Med and Trans-Atlantic
RCCL - Song of Norway - Carib (first cruise in 1974) and Brilliance of the Seas - Western Med
Crystal - Crystal Harmony - Hawaii and Transpacific
Carnival - Triumph - Carib
Royal - Royal Odyssey - Eastern Med
Renaissance R - 3 - Tahiti (our wedding cruise)
Sitmar - Fairsky, Fairwind and Fairsea - Alaska and Mexico
Princess (multiple times) - Dawn, Sun, Sea, Pacific, Royal, Golden, Grand, Crown, Star, Diamond, Regal and others from the "Love Boat" days - Western Med, Hawaii and Trans-Pacific, Panana Canal, Carib, Alaska, Mexico and China
Celebrity - Century and Summit - Alaska and Carib
Uniworld - River Beatrice - Danube (for another type of experience)
Also went to Bermuda, but can't remember the ship...probably one of the above.
#18
160 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by Lauren Spray
In the meantime, I am going to relax for the rest on the day. We had 3 long flights and I am pooped!

Also..a warm welcome to Espanola. I am glad you found our thread. Hope you'll post often.
Welcome home, Lauren (and Gayle)

Once you are rested up, I would love to compare your notes & memories with our trip to the Antarctic on the Amsterdam two years ago. Hope your weather was as nice!

I notice that you are setting off again in May on the Prinsendam. I've heard lots of good things about that ship, and last summer we almost flew to Norway to take the Hurtigruten ferry/cruise ship up and back along the Norwegian coast. I did lots of research, but ended up doing a camping trip with friends to northern BC (where we visited fjords, dipped into southern Alaska and overlooked one of the largest glaciers in North America). Hopefully some day we can make it to Norway. Enjoy! After that long trans-Atlantic and northern trip, you will really need to rest up for New Zealand.

Meanwhile, most flights and hotels are beyond the reach of their calendars, so we have to sit on our hands and wait.

Have a good 2011

Colin
#19
Australia
307 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
hi everyone,
We are flying into Sydney the night before and have just booked overnight accommodation on line. I e.mailed the hotel direct and they gave me a price.. I like to do things well ahead as Christmas could be a busy time in Sydney. No flights available as yet.
England Swings, yes we have cruised a few times before but only with Celebrity once.They are our favourite line .
Chris
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#20
Simi Valley, CA
1,318 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Chris,

We also want to spend a few days in Sydney before the cruise. Any recommendations for a hotel?

Lauri
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Our Past Cruises:

Costa - Magica - Mediterranean and Africa
Viking - Emerald - Yangtze
HAL - Noordam - Southern and Eastern Caribbean
HAL - Noordam - Transatlantic
HAL - Maasdam - Canada and New England
RCCL - Radiance of the Seas - Australia & New Zealand
Carnival - Splendor - Mexican Riviera
Star Princess - South America and Antarctica
HAL - Amsterdam - Baltic
Oceania - Nautica - Rome to Singapore
NCL - Jade (and 1 other) - Eastern Med and Trans-Atlantic
RCCL - Song of Norway - Carib (first cruise in 1974) and Brilliance of the Seas - Western Med
Crystal - Crystal Harmony - Hawaii and Transpacific
Carnival - Triumph - Carib
Royal - Royal Odyssey - Eastern Med
Renaissance R - 3 - Tahiti (our wedding cruise)
Sitmar - Fairsky, Fairwind and Fairsea - Alaska and Mexico
Princess (multiple times) - Dawn, Sun, Sea, Pacific, Royal, Golden, Grand, Crown, Star, Diamond, Regal and others from the "Love Boat" days - Western Med, Hawaii and Trans-Pacific, Panana Canal, Carib, Alaska, Mexico and China
Celebrity - Century and Summit - Alaska and Carib
Uniworld - River Beatrice - Danube (for another type of experience)
Also went to Bermuda, but can't remember the ship...probably one of the above.