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Sydney To Tahiti to Hawaii Ovation


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So, my DW has been on me since 2011 when we visited Heron Island after a cruise on the Sapphire Princess from New Zealand and then visited Heron Island to return.  So, way back on December 14, 2017 I booked this cruise which sails April 17 from Sydney, visiting, French Polynesia and ending in Honolulu.  Hard to believe it has been that long ago.  

 

We originally booked a flight that was only a two stop, flight since United had a direct flight from Houston to Sydney.  Several months ago, they discontinued that flight.... so now, we have this delightful long layover followed by a long layover.... joy.

 

When we land (theoretically in Sydney at 7AM we have 3 hours to clear whatever governmental hurdles the Aussies have in order to catch a domestic Qantas flight departing at 10AM.  We then connect in Brisbane to another Qantas flight (if it is like last time it is a prop plane) to Gladstone, which is an industrial looking port city.  Then we will catch a helicopter to Heron Island, which if I remember properly is about a 30 minute flight or about 70 miles.  

 

We will spend 3 nights before reversing the flights to Sydney.  We will spend a night at the Marriott Circular Quay before boarding the Ovation before noon.

 

I probably won’t post much at Heron Island, but hope to regularly update the forum.  

 

jc

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I’m so excited for you! This sounds like an amazing vacation. 

 

And I’m excited because it’s bringing Ovation one step closer to Alaska!

 

Can’t wait to hear about it!

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4 hours ago, taglovestocruise said:

Have a great cruise, we have the April 2020 TP booked.  Only 1 non stop flight LAX to Sydney. 

 

I would love to do this trip next year, but not sure my husband is up to the very long flight.  We're coming back from Hawaii the end of this month and that's an 8 hour flight to Atlanta, so we'll see how that goes

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5 hours ago, xpcdoojk said:

So, my DW has been on me since 2011 when we visited Heron Island after a cruise on the Sapphire Princess from New Zealand and then visited Heron Island to return.  So, way back on December 14, 2017 I booked this cruise which sails April 17 from Sydney, visiting, French Polynesia and ending in Honolulu.  Hard to believe it has been that long ago.  

 

We originally booked a flight that was only a two stop, flight since United had a direct flight from Houston to Sydney.  Several months ago, they discontinued that flight.... so now, we have this delightful long layover followed by a long layover.... joy.

 

When we land (theoretically in Sydney at 7AM we have 3 hours to clear whatever governmental hurdles the Aussies have in order to catch a domestic Qantas flight departing at 10AM.  We then connect in Brisbane to another Qantas flight (if it is like last time it is a prop plane) to Gladstone, which is an industrial looking port city.  Then we will catch a helicopter to Heron Island, which if I remember properly is about a 30 minute flight or about 70 miles.  

 

We will spend 3 nights before reversing the flights to Sydney.  We will spend a night at the Marriott Circular Quay before boarding the Ovation before noon.

 

I probably won’t post much at Heron Island, but hope to regularly update the forum.  

 

jc

 

Alaska cruise 😉

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We hit it at a good time.  Food was excellent drinks excellent.   They actually had Gran Marnier instead of the usual never heard of brand that they serve in Dallas.  

 

So, we are onboard.  I just posted a bit about the Key in the giant Key thread.  Didn’t want to have this thread end up somewhere special.

 

The flight to Sydney from SFO was long.  I slept fitfully in United economy plus section, but I did sleep, until my wife woke me up about 6 hours out because our row was open so I could use the bathroom.  So, awake, I watched the Crimes of Grindlewold or whatever it is, and read.  Got to Sydney on time.  Was told we needed 3 hours to clear customs and transfer to domestic terminal for our flights to Brisbane and ultimately Gladstone.  It took about 2 hours or a bit less.  Ate breakfast in Terminal 3 had a giant ham egg and cheese croissant and coffee.  Flight to Brisbane had WiFi and was just over an hour.  Got on a Dehaviland Dash 8 400, twin prop plane for another hour to Brisbane.  Gathered luggage and boarded Helicopter with Marine Aviation to Heron.  40 minutes later we were checking in and drinking our welcome mock tail.  

 

More later.  Got to run about the ship.  I am dissappointed that the CL which is 10 doors from our cabin is only for Suites and Pins, as a lowly D+ I am going to have to take the long trip to the DL and the Music Hall for coffee.  Drinks not a big deal, but I was sorely looking forward to having a machine that close in the morning.  

 

JC

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27 minutes ago, xpcdoojk said:

 I am dissappointed that the CL which is 10 doors from our cabin is only for Suites and Pins, as a lowly D+ I am going to have to take the long trip to the DL and the Music Hall for coffee.  Drinks not a big deal, but I was sorely looking forward to having a machine that close in the morning.  

 

JC

 

Ouch, no heads up 🤔

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Not quite true, found out Sunday before we flew out.  

 

Do you think my key will work in the morning?  Or are they smart enough to program us D+ out.  I will probably test it in the morning.  Yes, I am a bad person.

 

jc

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4 hours ago, xpcdoojk said:

Do you think my key will work in the morning?  Or are they smart enough to program us D+ out. 

On the Navigator TA last year, when D+ were not allowed in the CL, D+ Seapass cards didn't work on the door. Enjoy the Flowrider.

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Seapass didn’t work, walked to forward stairs, down 8 flights further forward to DL, entered, line was great two ladies finishing up.  As I walked up they said the milk in the machine is not working.  Great... so I go thru the doors to the music hall which is the overflow room and the door locked behind me.  Nobody in the bar, machine behind bar so not feasible to operate.  Walked out the open door to the royal esplanade.  Since we get a free coffee daily, I first went to Sorrentos, only brewed coffee walked out to the Pattiserie across the hall, 20 people in line.  I was like crap, I need two and I only have my card.  So, I walked back to the DL and a crew woman had shown up and had a terrible milk accident, and I helped her clean up, and fixed my two coffees.  On the return to the aft elevators, I noticed one of the women who told me no milk in the Pattiserie line and told her the milk was fixed and she thankfully got out of the line.

 

So, the flowrider, the only session was 5 to 7 temps were dropping rapidly from 70 to lower 60s as the sun set.  They told me that I had to sign a waiver to use my board, which is a Waveloch, I was like no it is an official flowrider board, so, I try the shortest really worn out board and immediately stunk it up.  So, another guy said there was no one in the sports hut to sign a waiver, and I was like crap.  So, went down there and there was a person there, and he said your board is a Waveloch you don’t need to sign a waiver.  So back up to the flowrider.  Where I promptly stunk it up on my own board.  I was sticking every where on the wave.  Finally after a few bad runs I decided, I was just going to surf and ignore the constant sticking, so I had a couple of decent runs including a spectacular wipeout at the top of the wave over the top.  Do, I need to wax my board?  Do they need to turn the pressure up?  After about 75 minutes of bad surfing I decided it was cold, and went to cabin to go to the DL for a drink and dress for dinner and sailaway.

 

O, the flowrider line was full of familiar faces from the Symphony TA, Charlie from SF Bay Area Jasper from San Diego(is all he does is cruise?), Bob from Georgia who was on the last Ovation cruise in 2017 from Singapore, and Graham (Graeme?) from my roll call and Australia who feels like someone I have known forever, but probably just met last night.  Met a lady from Montreal too, signing the waivers who was on the Ovation cruise too.  Most of them have buddies on the cruise, and some of them are on a back to back to back.  

 

The noodle bar on the pool deck is now some sort of fish restaurant, but it wasn’t open when I walked thru that area.  Not sure what to make of that.  

 

Dinner was at Jamie’s had the calamari, cold, prosciutto and melons, yummy, and the bruschetta good.  Main was the chicken cacciatore and it was excellent and way too much food.  New staff all over the ship (as they shipped a bunch from other ships to re-crew the Ovation as I am sure many of them will function better on other ships in the China market.  This ship always seems a little off compared especially to the Symphony that was over the top customer service focused.  For example in the room it the diamond cocktail hours were 4:30 to 8.  Which since I was flowriding my wife despite my saying not likely to be that early went as did dozens of others only to find it was closed. DW was telling the Concierge she was only following what the paperwork said, and another man was like yeah.  So, I think they opened at about 5:15...  Bob from Georgia left the flowrider to go to the DL before me, and was walking out when we went walking in about 6:30.  He said it was insane and was leaving.  We walked into the Music Hall and walked to bar immediately got two classes of wine.  Noticed thru the glass open sofas in the DL, and walked in sat down on a big sofa by ourselves.  10 minutes later Charlie showed up and joined us.  Then off to dinner.  On the odd things about Ovation is we move the clock forward today at noon.  Huh... how the heck does that work??  Our 12:40 Ifly we got a message is now a 3:40 Ifly on our tv.  When we were booking our 5 night dining package yesterday it doesn’t show any of our My Time dining times I booked online months ago, but on the Royal IQ app they all show up.  

 

I don’t get these things.  

 

JC

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9 minutes ago, xpcdoojk said:

 

 

O, the flowrider line was full of familiar faces from the Symphony TA, Charlie from SF Bay Area Jasper from San Diego(is all he does is cruise?), Bob from Georgia who was on the last Ovation cruise in 2017 from Singapore, and Graham (Graeme?) 

Was this in the regular line or Key session? I guess I will see some of them in Hawaii. 

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Regular line, we don’t get a key session until Saturday, at like 4PM.  Most of them so far I have talked to who did the B2B2B are getting off and spending time in Hawaii.  Should see the full contingent at 10 this morning for first regular session today, it is currently about 8:30AM.  Now Jasper I would guess might be on the following sailing.  He is not talkative like me and is constantly on his phone playing with pictures.  He is quite creative it seems.

 

Previous cruise to NZ had 1500 kids on board.  Clearly not that many on this sailing.  We experienced a lot of kids on Heron Island, when we got off the helicopter they immediately warned us that it was a school holiday in Australia. 

 

jc

 

 

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So, the wave was completely different today.  While I occassionally hit bottom, I was not sticking constantly, and I actually surfed pretty well.  Never made it thru the entire 2 minutes yet, but I did get close a couple of times. Started at 10 for 3 hours.  When I arrived 15 prior there were 4 there.  The line got long, with it all the way up the side and around the back in front of the IFly.  I think I got thru the line 7 times.  Bob from Georgia negotiated with Marko the sports staff manager a deal for us Saturday morning for an hour for 4 of us at $69 each.  I was like sure whatever.  So, I have that to look forward to the 3 hours of regular and the key hour on Saturday.  Of which we have a back to back Saturday...

 

More familiar faces today, so it is all of my flowrider line friends that are killing me...😈

 

We did the Ifly with an official Ifly guy it was good.  Only took 40 minutes from start to end.  

 

We are eating at Wonderland tonight, something I said I wouldn’t do again....

 

jc

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Things I learned since boarding the ship.  Australian security doesn’t know what a flowboard is.  They tried to confiscate it.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one.  I was like after it went thru the scanner, and the guy picked it up and started away, and by away I mean a long way away, so much so, that I abandoned my MacBook Pro, my Apple Watch and Ipad and other personal effects without a thought and chased him down and said, where are you going.  He responded what is this in this bag?  It is not allowed! I was it is a flowrider board, which got me a blank look as he continued walking away.  I followed he arrived at a desk with a large supervisor who didn’t look very happy, and the guy told the super that I have an item not allowed on board, the super asked me what is it.  I said it is a flowrider board, blank stare response.  I said it for use on the waverider on the ship.  You do stand-up surfing on it.  So he said it is a surfboard?  I said, not really it is much smaller and lighter.  He said, OK, just don’t carry it around the ship when you are not using it.  The security guy who took it from me didn’t look happy.

 

Another thing I learned was that  Bob from Georgia doesn’t like crowds or waiting in line.  Hence the private session Saturday morning, and the early exit from the “too crowded DL”.   Bob needs to avoid a TA.

 

The most amazing thing I learned though was from Tom, Tom is a General Contractor in Ontario, a really nice guy and good rider who doesn’t like to get wet.  That is was not amazing.  Staying in friends Jr Suite as a third and his wife in another JS getting triple points in order to reach Pinnacle.  Which they will do after this cruise.  Plus a bonus thing I learned was that they are just sailing the Hawaiian Islands on the next cruise and flying home from that last port.  Supposedly got that cheaply.  So, the Honolulu sailing will have an open cabin after Hawaii.

 

jc

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