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mahdnc

Live: Jan 2 2018 Solstice Great Barrier Reef

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Hi Mahdnc:

 

I'll be going on this cruise in March/April of this year and was thinking of booking the "Overnight on the Great Barrier Reef" excursion while we're in Cairns. I'm unable to find any reviews for it and was curious if you know of anyone who went on it and what their opinions were.

 

Great job on blogging your cruise, I enjoy reading about it. :-)

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Tonight is Evening Chic, so I will look. Here is the MDR menu during last week's Evening Chic night:

 

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Wow, looks like they changed up the "timeless entrees"...I like the new offerings!

 

Keep up the great work and enjoy the cruise!

Cathy

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Hi Mahdnc, thanks so much for this blog. We are doing this cruise B2B with New Zealand in October 2019. This will help me not only prepare, but give me info (or ammo?;p) to keep my DH, who is reluctant to go this far or be away so long, onboard with this trip. He loves to snorkel, so will really enjoy that part. Me - I will have to learn to swim and snorkel....

 

Enjoy your cruise!!

Marilyn

Edited by the mice
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Hi Mahdnc, thanks so much for this blog. We are doing this cruise B2B with New Zealand in October 2019. This will help me not only prepare, but give me info (or ammo?;p) to keep my DH, who is reluctant to go this far or be away so long, onboard with this trip. He loves to snorkel, so will really enjoy that part. Me - I will have to learn to swim and snorkel....

 

Enjoy your cruise!!

Marilyn

 

 

 

Wow. That is going to be some cruise.

 

The snorkeling and scuba diving at the GBR is amazing. We have done this many times in the Caribbean where the snorkeling and diving is great. But I was blown away by what I saw at the GBR. At times it felt like I was swimming in an aquarium. We saw beautiful Giant Clams which live only in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans.

 

Your husband will have to tolerate the time and distance of being away. And you have to learn how to swim and snorkel!

 

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Thanks for that great photo. Yes, this will be to celebrate my 70th. I figure we will be gone 31 days (retirement is good...). Hoping to fly to Melbourne and do a day trip to the Great Ocean Road, then fly to Sydney for a couple of days prior to the start of the GBR cruise. Celebrity does a 5 day RT to Melbourne prior to our GBR, but doesn't allow for doing the GBR and anything in Melbourne, plus then I'd have to add more days to see Sydney. Of course, this is MY plan....

 

I have wanted to go to Oz for almost as long as I have been married (currently 32 happy years). In addition to learning to swim and snorkel, I will probably have to learn hypnosis to use on Pete to get him to fly that distance - LOL. Piling up the frequent flier miles right now. I know he's going to love it. Good thing there are a number of sea days to give him some R&R. And I love the Corning Hot Glass shows, it's all good.

 

Keep on posting. I am loving this.

 

Happy cruising.

Marilyn

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Family time at sea: we are currently working the ship's daily crossword puzzle out on our balcony on this lazy sea day!

 

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We (blue dot) are currently sailing south and will dock at Brisbane tomorrow. Seas are smooth and weather is sunny. Ahhhhhhh.

 

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We are far enough outside of Australian territorial waters that the casino and shops are open on this sea day.

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We are far enough outside of Australian territorial waters that the casino and shops are open on this sea day.

 

do you know why the casino and shops were shut for most of the cruise?

Australia has casinos in Gold Coast, Brisbane and Cairns, so I don't know why the one on Solstice hasn't been open

 

the weather looks great - have you had any rainy days?

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Muffinz,

 

I posted earlier about the ship's casino and retail shops having to be closed when the ship is inside the 12 mile limit which defines Australia's territorial waters. I posted a photo of the bulletin that was sent to all the staterooms which explained this.

 

Sometimes the rules which prohibit operating a casino within territorial waters is aimed at protecting the land based casinos.

 

The weather so far has been good. I remembered it raining in the morning at Airlie Beach and on Day 2 at Cairns.

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stephycpd,

 

I have not run into anyone on the ship so far) that booked the GBR overnight shore ex.

 

I do know that this expensive but limited tour sold out before the cruise.

 

I certainly can see the attraction of it as we strolled the outside deck last night and observed a bright meteor shoot across the sky and we saw the Milky Way and the famous Southern Cross!

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Great review and thanks for all the pictures and info. We are going on her to NZ in just over a week. Were the chic bits dressy? Us aussies aren’t renowned for dressing up, just don’t want to over do it or under dress.

Thanks.

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So I was wrong in yesterday's post. Tonight is Evening Chic (not yesterday). I will let you know

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Glad to see Nigel Smyth, the Staff Captain, will be on board, hopefully, when we embark on 17 February. He is wonderful, personable, and my wife says, her favorite Irishman after than Rory McIlroy. ;) We've sailed with him on Summit out of Bayonne on a few occasions. He's a great guy.

 

Can you check to see if he will be on board in February/March?

 

 

 

I did not speak to Staff Captain Smyth, but one of the officers told me today that Capt Smyth will be rotating out when we return to Sydney on a few days. The replacement Staff Captain is already on board.

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Lots of great information! Thank you. Could you please tell us who is the Captain and Cruise Director? Do you know whether they are scheduled to switch soon? If it is still Captain Tasos who I hear is excellent as well as entertaining , I am hoping he will still be there on the Feb 17 th sailing. !

 

 

The Cruise Director, Liam, will be on board Solstice for the Feb 17 sailing.

 

I am not sure about Captain Kafetzis who is due for a break and will rotate out right around that time when I asked one of the officers. It wasn't clear to me what the exact date would be. I met the Captain yesterday up in the Sky Lounge. I forgot to ask him. I'm sorry.

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Can you let us know what the food is like on the formal / chic nights? and do many passengers make an effort and wear something nice? many thanks

 

 

 

Here is the menu for tonight's Evening Chic:

 

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I did not speak to Staff Captain Smyth, but one of the officers told me today that Capt Smyth will be rotating out when we return to Sydney on a few days. The replacement Staff Captain is already on board.

 

Sorry we'll miss him -- thanks for checking.

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The Cruise Director, Liam, will be on board Solstice for the Feb 17 sailing.

 

I am not sure about Captain Kafetzis who is due for a break and will rotate out right around that time when I asked one of the officers. It wasn't clear to me what the exact date would be. I met the Captain yesterday up in the Sky Lounge. I forgot to ask him. I'm sorry.

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The Cruise Director, Liam, will be on board Solstice for the Feb 17 sailing.

 

I am not sure about Captain Kafetzis who is due for a break and will rotate out right around that time when I asked one of the officers. It wasn't clear to me what the exact date would be. I met the Captain yesterday up in the Sky Lounge. I forgot to ask him. I'm sorry

 

 

 

 

Thanks for checking , if you do happen to see him again please ask when he is leaving! We have heard so many positive comments about him

 

Your pictures and information have been great and we enjoy your updates. Enjoy the rest of your cruise!

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Do they have different menus for Australua cruises?

 

It certainly looks like it, especially the Timeless entrees. Those are Salmon, chicken and steak on every US based cruise I've been on (and even the med cruise I did)

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