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Experiences on our 40 day Maasdam cruise which started Oct 7, 2019


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Just got back from a fun 7 hr excursion to the Yanchep NP where we saw koala bears, kangaroos and a variety of birds.
 

After a buffet lunch there, we stopped by a large cemetery where the kangaroos roamed free and then on to a lake where black swans were quite plentiful. We were lucky enough to get some great shots of a mother and her 3 chicks. Then after a quick tour of Perth and Fremantle, it was back to the ship.
 

To top it off the temps were in the low 70s with clear skies and a light breeze. It definitely was a nice day for an excursion, regardless of which one you were one. Hopefully the hot days like we dealt with in northern and northwestern Australia are all behind us now. 
 

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5 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

How was the Pinnacles Desert and what did you see?

After leaving Yanchep we headed north to Nambung National Park.   We visited the beautiful beach area.   There are huge shifting sand dunes there.   Then we went to nearby Pinnacles, also part of Nambung.  We hiked through the vast number of pinnacles ending up on a lookout where we had a picnic supper and waited for the sunset.  The clouds were pretty but ended up blocking the sunset.  Then we headed back toward Perth, stopping once to stargaze.   Four of us from roll call had ridden the train to Perth to meet this excursion at a hotel.   Turned out two others from the ship were on it and had been picked up in Freemantle.  Great for us, too, as the guide returned us to the ship at 10:15 p.m.  Long but very good day.

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2 hours ago, HokiePoq said:

After leaving Yanchep we headed north to Nambung National Park.   We visited the beautiful beach area.   There are huge shifting sand dunes there.   Then we went to nearby Pinnacles, also part of Nambung.  We hiked through the vast number of pinnacles ending up on a lookout where we had a picnic supper and waited for the sunset.  The clouds were pretty but ended up blocking the sunset.  Then we headed back toward Perth, stopping once to stargaze.   Four of us from roll call had ridden the train to Perth to meet this excursion at a hotel.   Turned out two others from the ship were on it and had been picked up in Freemantle.  Great for us, too, as the guide returned us to the ship at 10:15 p.m.  Long but very good day.

Sounds like a great excursion!! Thanks for sharing the details. 

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5 hours ago, HokiePoq said:

After leaving Yanchep we headed north to Nambung National Park.   We visited the beautiful beach area.   There are huge shifting sand dunes there.   Then we went to nearby Pinnacles, also part of Nambung.  We hiked through the vast number of pinnacles ending up on a lookout where we had a picnic supper and waited for the sunset.  The clouds were pretty but ended up blocking the sunset.  Then we headed back toward Perth, stopping once to stargaze.   Four of us from roll call had ridden the train to Perth to meet this excursion at a hotel.   Turned out two others from the ship were on it and had been picked up in Freemantle.  Great for us, too, as the guide returned us to the ship at 10:15 p.m.  Long but very good day.

 

Great report.

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Had a fun excursion in Albany today which is on the southwestern tip of Australia. We took a 4 hr excursion to the Torndirrup NP to see the land bridge and the Albany wind farm where its 17 wind turbines generate 80% of the electricity for the 40,000 people that live in the area.
 

Didn’t see many wild animals other than a King Skink eating on something tasty along the trail and a view different species of birds. But, what we also saw was a wide variety of flowering plants growing wild all along the way.
 

It was also a little chilly in the low 60s all day, so I guess it’s time to start wearing our jackets on our excursions as we will be sailing along southern portion of Australia for the next week or so. 
 

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On 11/5/2019 at 12:40 AM, Ken the cruiser said:

Hopefully the hot days like we dealt with in northern and northwestern Australia are all behind us now. 

 

Hopefully you do not have to eat those words.

Glad you brought your jackets.

Nice photos.  Thanks for sharing so much about this Xquisite voyage.

Barbara

Edited by bcummin
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Here’s an interesting tidbit. As of a few days ago starting in Perth, HAL has separated the combined function of the “new” Cruise and Travel Director position into separate roles, a cruise director and a travel director.
 

Prior to this Kay Clark, who took over for the previous Cruise and Travel Director who fell sick and left the ship on the leg prior to us boarding in Auckland, has filled that combined role, and I might say quite nicely.
 

However, we now have a new CD, Warren Mullins, and Kay will continue on as the Travel Director and continue to give port lectures. What their other duties are remain to be seen. So far the only thing we have noticed Warren do is give the morning announcement and introduce the guest entertainer last night while Kay gave a port lecture. 
 

Also, don’t know if this role splitting is isolated to the Maasdam cruise we’re currently on or if it’s occurring fleet wide. I guess only time will tell. 

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We are in Adelaide today and if you ever get to this port and you love animals, we highly recommend going to the Cleland Wild Life Park. Basically it’s pretty much open for you to walk around anywhere within reason for a couple of hours and see a variety of kangaroos, wallabies, emus, dingos, koala bears, wombats, monitors and a wide variety of birds, all in a natural setting. With regards to the various kangaroos, wallabies, emus and much of the bird life, you could walk right up to them if they would let you. Definitely a cool place to go on an excursion!

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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I guess we won’t being seeing Kangaroo Island on this cruise. Due to high winds and rough seas and a fast approaching storm from the west, the Captain has made the decision to cancel the port and head without haste towards Melbourne.
 

As far as staff changes go, it seems the CD, assistant CD and travel director all work directly now for the production manager whereas before the assistant CD worked for the CD (according to the “assistant CD” we talked with yesterday said). But that was yesterday...

 

A8A6CD12-B3DA-4CA2-876F-423A9C77A0F9.jpeg

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Sorry that Kangaroo Island was canceled.  Hopefully you will really enjoy Melbourne.

I do not remember ever hearing of a Production Manager before.

Are you getting enough inspiring and informative presentations to truly appreciate the wonders of Australia?

Barbara

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1 hour ago, bcummin said:

Sorry that Kangaroo Island was canceled.  Hopefully you will really enjoy Melbourne.

I do not remember ever hearing of a Production Manager before.

Are you getting enough inspiring and informative presentations to truly appreciate the wonders of Australia?

Barbara

I believe we are. All of the lectures so far have been very informative and delivered by folks that have “walked the walk” so to speak with the presentations they have each given.
 

You can definitely tell when someone is reading from a script or outline versus someone that really knows the subject being discussed from personal experiences, which the presenters we’ve heard from this entire cruise seem to have. 
 

However, we did talk with an Aussie couple this morning at breakfast that told us about the Great Australia Bight which we hadn’t heard about yet. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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4 hours ago, erewhon said:

Sorry that you missed Kangaroo Island, due to weather conditions, we also missed the Island during an Australian Circumnavigation cruise.

 

Shame you missed Kangaroo Island.  We visited there while on a Noordam cruise in 2018 and I seem to recall that the water was quite rough when we were on the tender.  Still, safety comes first.

 

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50 minutes ago, ozcruizer said:

 

Shame you missed Kangaroo Island.  We visited there while on a Noordam cruise in 2018 and I seem to recall that the water was quite rough when we were on the tender.  Still, safety comes first.

 

I think it was a combination of the rough port conditions today along with some forecasted 30 ft swells in the evening hours along with a storm brewing in the west we would be cruising through after we left Kangaroo Island on the way to Melbourne.
 

We’re glad the Captain made the tough decision and we’ll just have to wait to see the seals on another cruise. 

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