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Queen Mary 2 Sydney to New York, March 6 to April 25, 2020


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There are plenty of stops between Sydney and Southampton or have these been cancelled?

 

We are due to board in Cape Town on 1 April.

Edited by longton
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28 minutes ago, longton said:

There are plenty of stops between Sydney and Southampton or have these been cancelled?

 

We are due to board in Cape Town on 1 April.

I wouldn't say "plenty of stops" but there are several in Australia, Mauritius, Reunion, and 2 in South Africa, plus a LOT of sea days crossing the Indian Ocean.  If any if these stops get cancelled and become sea days, there's nothing wrong with that on the world's only true ocean liner.

 

Roy

Edited by rafinmd
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Day CS+1, Wednesday, March 4, 2020, Sydney


The Crystal Serenity left Circular Quay at 7PM.  Queen Mary 2 is at sea from Brisbane to Sydney.  The sun rose at 6:43 and set at 7:27.  
The moon set at 12:39AM and rose at 3:10PM


While I couldn't really see much of the ship from my room, the string of lights was pretty much all visible when I woke up.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/serenam.jpg


I had gotten the word that my laptop could not be repaired in Sydney and I left the hotel about 9 to retrieve it.  What had been a light rain at 8 had become stronger and I came back pretty wet.


My major plan for the day was the Hop On Hop Off bus.  There are 2 loops in Sydney and my plan was one loop Wednesday and the other Thursday.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/bigbus.jpg


I started with the city loop and with the rain the bus was pretty crowded.  I was one of the first ones on and quickly snagged a window seat.  By the time the bus left there were a number of people standing.  With the rain photos were a challenge but I did get a couple.  The El Alamein Memorial Fountain in Kings Cross is a memorial to Australian soldiers killed in the battle of El Alamein, Egypt in 1942.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/alamein.jpg


A bit further along we passed St. Mary's Cathedral.  Sydney has Anglican and Catholic Cathedrals, St. Mary's is the Catholic one.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/stmarys.jpg


The rain slackened off as I rode and near the end a few brave souls were even going to the upper level of the bus.  I disembarked at my starting point about 12:30.


I did not stray too far from the hotel in the afternoon.  My host in Dunedin clued me in about a couple of grocery stores near me.  I was pretty well set from my visit to IGA but did look for a couple of things at the Coles in Wynyard.  I bought an 8-pack of Diet Coke for QM2, small baggies of potato chips, and blueberries for an evening snack.  I will probably check out the slightly closer Woolworths on Thursday.  Soon after I returned from Coles my dry cleaning was delivered.


When I left home documents from QM2 were not yet ready.  I took care of that courtesy of QM2.  I printed out my boarding pass and baggage tags in Serenity's computer center.  The tags are just paper, and to give them a little more substance I borrowed the hotel stapler and stapled them to my Crystal disembarkation tags.  They should work quite well.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/qm2tags.jpg


I left the hotel about 6 for a burger and Serenity's sailaway.  Something I don't normally see on Serenity is the hatches used for line handling in an open position.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/fwdhatch.jpg


All aboard was 6:15, and the gangway was pulled back just after 6:30.  I saw the first ropes slacken about 6:45, the rest a couple minutes later and when I heard the roar of the bow thrusters moved back to the ferry dock area.  Serenity turned towards the sea just before 7.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/sail0304.jpg


I hadn't really seen the sun or the moon for a couple of days but the moon was overhead when I looked up.  It was clouded over by the time I left for the opera house.  When I returned to my room I got my last look at Serenity as she sailed out between the Opera House and the Circular Quay East shops.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/moon0304.jpg


My show was at 8:45 and I left the hotel about 7:30.  The Musical Six is a story about the six wives of Henry VII.  The Studio is a multi-purpose venue with a permanent balcony but the seating on the main floor (where I was) is temporary seats placed on risers.  My seat was of the stackable type which could be easily taken out.  The show was about 75 minutes, ending just after 10.  It was quite dark in the Studio so the only photo I got was of the final bows.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/six.jpg

I was back at the hotel about 10:30 and in bed about 11.  According to Marine Traffic my two ships probably passed in the night a little before 1AM.


I'll take my parting shot from sailaway.  After I walked up to the ferry dock to watch Serenity turn towards the sea there was a street violinist playing.  With the Serenity's passenger load dropping from 900+ to 200+ literally overnight I found it amusing that as Serenity backed away from the dock he was playing the Titanic theme.  His next song was "Time to Say Goodbye".  I just found those 2 selections a bit amusing.


Roy

 

PS:  Costa Deliziosa is currently at Circular Quay.  Queen Mary 2 dropped anchor about 6AM local time this morning (2 1/2 hours ago) and has several tenders in the water.  I'll go by the tender dock for a look a bit later in the day.

 

Capture.JPG.0e5af98e4a887f9530cee92a5fb93814.JPG

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15 minutes ago, travelnap said:

Roy, I look forward to following the rest of your voyage on the Queen Mary.  Bon Voyage for the second leg off your trip.

Thank you.  Sadly, those disembarking tomorrow in Sydney are not having good weather for their last port call.

 

Roy

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Day CS+2, Thursday, March 5, 2020, Last Free Day in Sydney


The Crystal Serenity is at sea from Sydney to Mooloolaba.  Queen Mary 2 is anchored in Sydney Harbor.  The sun rose at 6:44 and set at 7:26.  The moon set at 1:16AM and rose at 4:08PM.


When I first looked out the window there was a cruise ship docked but it was neither the Crystal Serenity nor Queen Mary 2.  It was instead the Costa Deliziosa.  Queen Mary 2 dropped anchor out of my sight about 6AM at Sydney's Athol anchorage.  Both ships are in Sydney for 2 days.  Costa swapped passengers on Thursday and will change places overnight with QM2 for my turnaround day.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/deliziosa.jpg


By the time I went to breakfast it looked like the start of a nice day.  When I went out and boarded the HOHO bus about 9:30 I was able to sit on the upper level for the short ride to the transfer point to the blue route, and again on the top deck of a very nearly empty bus.


The first 45 minutes or so were nice as we made a wide circle heading along trendy Oxford Street.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/oxford.jpg


By Bondi Beach it was still viable on the top deck although the drizzle was getting more noticeable.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/bondi.jpg


I was forced to move to the lower level about the time we got to Rose Bay, a picturesque bay with an illustrious history as a seaplane base.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/rosebay.jpg


When we got to Sydney's Central Train Station I both wanted to look around a bit and also needed a toilet break.  Australia's classic train, the Indian Pacific, is now in private hands and runs only once a week, but it uses Central Station.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/railhall.jpg


There was a long wait for the next blue bus and it was crowded.  I took several photos on the blue route that I can't identify in retrospect.

 

https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/bluebus.jpg


It was a fairly short ride back to the transfer point where I took a fairly short ride on the red route back to the Opera House.  This bus was very crowded and I was forced to stand.  The rain was quite heavy.  I had lost my umbrella on the bus Wednesday and bought a new one on leaving the bus.


The tender dock is at the "Man of War" steps just on the inland side of the Opera House.  I thought with the umbrella I could get to that point without getting too late but was a bit over optimistic.  QM2 was sitting out there shrouded in mist.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/qm2athol.jpg


A combination tender service was established using both Cook Fast Ferries and QM2's own tender boats.  In addition to the regular QM2 pop-up there was a good sized tent for people waiting to board the tenders.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/tenderssyd.jpg


I discovered a bit late that I could actually get back to the hotel without a lot of exposure to the rain.  The Opera House has a lower concourse with restaurants that runs from the building proper to the Circular Quay East shopping complex and then under the tracks and Cahill Expressway back almost to the hotel.  I learned after getting pretty well soaked.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/concourse.jpg


It rained heavily all afternoon.  I took the plunge of a trip to the super market a couple of blocks away at 4 and came back soaked again.  The good news is I was looking for blueberries for an evening snack and instead found raspberries which I prefer.


The rain did let up around dinner time and I hope will stay that way long enough for an easy trip to  Queen Mary 2 in the morning.


My parting shot is inspired by some exchanges on the Crystal Forum of Cruise Critic.  While there are real concerns about the disease sometimes I think we have more to fear from fear itself than from the virus.  Sydney is not exactly an epicenter of the virus but reactions are puzzling.  I had not noticed anything unusual in the supermarkets but kept hearing of a run on toilet paper.  I looked and found the shelf (Woolworths Metcenter) about 95% empty, and what remained was at least partially attributable to limit of 4 packages per shopper.  While there aren't a lot of surgical masks in evidence I was quite surprised to find one being worn by an employee in the currency exchange.  Yes, she deals with the public but I can't imagine much danger working in an entirely glass enclosed booth.  Go figure.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/panic.jpg


Roy

 

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roy,

really looking forward to reading about your long voyage from sydney to new york.  whew!  that's going to be a long, long voyage.  i've never sailed on a true ocean liner, like the qm2.  how would you compare the qm2 to the serenity.  boy, you really had some nasty weather today in sydney.  i wonder if all this rain is causing mudslides and flooding in the fire areas to the south.

bon voyage and keep writing those wonderful reports of your trip.  looking forward to hearing about your days on the qm2 and how it differs from the serenity.

 

cheers,

 

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2 hours ago, USC Adventurer said:

roy,

really looking forward to reading about your long voyage from sydney to new york.  whew!  that's going to be a long, long voyage.  i've never sailed on a true ocean liner, like the qm2.  how would you compare the qm2 to the serenity.  boy, you really had some nasty weather today in sydney.  i wonder if all this rain is causing mudslides and flooding in the fire areas to the south.

bon voyage and keep writing those wonderful reports of your trip.  looking forward to hearing about your days on the qm2 and how it differs from the serenity.

 

cheers,

 

Good morning Roy!
Wished there was sunshine for your time 

In Sydney. I would still enjoy the ride on HOHO bus. The photo of Woolworths

brought back memories as a kid where it was a nickel and dime store down the street from where I grew up! Haven’t seen one since. Your quote about fear holds true. I hope I don’t get wrapped up in it next week when I board with our 3 cruises. 
Good advise my friend!

Denise😊

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Just woke up (5AM) and was a bit dismayed to see Costa still sitting there.  There are signs of progress, though.  Bow lights have gone out and there is a tug next to QM2 so the swap should happen soon.

 

Roy

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5 hours ago, USC Adventurer said:

Denise

Where will you be traveling and on which ship?

3/11-3/27 San Diego to FLL (Panama Canal)

3/31-4-15 Miami to Rome Oceania

4/19-4-29 Monte Carlo to Barcelona

4/29-5-1 Barcelona

5-1-5-7Paris 

5-7-5-8 London fly home BA to LAX and home!

Denise😊

 

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It is funny how one becomes invested in an internet stranger's experiences. I'm obsessively watching your thread because I'm anxious for you to get back to sea again!  There is no reason in the world for me to annoyed that the QM2 wasn't in place to receive you. Yet I was!

 

How's the weather today? 

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1 hour ago, CanadianKate said:

It is funny how one becomes invested in an internet stranger's experiences. I'm obsessively watching your thread because I'm anxious for you to get back to sea again!  There is no reason in the world for me to annoyed that the QM2 wasn't in place to receive you. Yet I was!

 

How's the weather today? 

So far the weather is good.  It was very cloudy this morning but right now I am looking at about 85% sunshine.  The good thing about the late swap of ships is I got a closeup view of QM2's arrival.  It's currently 10AM; the porters have 2 of my bags and I'm about to take the 3rd one over.  I should expect to check out of the hotel about 11 and one of the first ones to check in on QM2.

 

Roy

Edited by rafinmd
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It does look like a good day in Sydney weather-wise. Here's a link to a webcam image of QM2 from webcamsydney.com's image archive as she appeared at 10:00am this morning. In keeping with the philosophy of this blog, I'll leave it as a link rather than an inline image.

 

https://kirribilli.s3.amazonaws.com/20200306/Kirribilli_20200306_1000_01.jpeg

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Have been following and especially looking forward to your QM2 entries. I was scheduled to board in Hong Kong, and then Singapore when Cunard decided to bypass HK-made sense at the time. I switched my arrangements to Singapore but that began to look iffy to me. I canceled, with regret. Will be bittersweet to follow along. I especially wanted to see Mauritius and Reunion. 

 

Frances

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Greetings from not onboard QM2.  I’ve been onboard, lunch at Boardwalk Cafe, all bags delivered, and posting from the Visitor Center.  Longest Cunard Voyage by far, and will likely not choose an internet plan until tomorrow.  
 

Sailaway is midnight so I’ll sleep in tomorrow, and unpacking comes first.  If I don’t post for a few days I’ll catch up.


Captain Hashmi still on board, Paul O’Laughman is now Entertainment Director.

 

 Roy 

Edited by rafinmd
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happy to know you're aboard the qm2 now.

were there any special health inspections before boarding the ship?  did they take your temperature for the virus?  how is the ice cream on the qm2?  as good as ben and jerry's on the serenity?

 

cheers,

david

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Day QM2-0, Friday, March 6, Board QM2, Sydney, Australia

 

Sorry one photo is sideways.  No time to check comments right now, classical concert in 5 minutes.

 

The Crystal Serenity is in Mooloolaba.  The sun rose at 6:45 and set at 7:25.  The moon set at 2:16AM and rose at 5:03PM.


When I woke at 5 Costa was still at the dock.  Very soon thereafter her bow lights went out and the ships began to swap spaces.  I walked down to the terminal for QM2's arrival at the terminal until the first lines went out about 6.  I had planned on a photo but had forgotten to take the memory card out of my computer.  The photo I am using is from later in the morning, and a comparison of where the bow ended up vs the Crystal Serenity.  I was  standing closer to Serenity than to QM2 but the point where Serenity's bow stood was closer to QM2's bridge than to her bow.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/bowposition.jpg


The view from my hotel window gives a vivid view of how much taller QM2 is than Serenity.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/hotelview2ships.jpg


I made a mid-morning trip up to the Woolworths and bought a fruit cup as part of my breakfast.  Walking back towards the Four Seasons I was looking directly at the Harbor Bridge.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/georgestreet.jpg


My 2 rolling bags were 50 pounds each, the large back pack 33 pounds, and the carryon bag turned up at 19 pounds.  The weather was fine and the port accepted bags early.  I took one of the rolling bags and the back pack down to the porters about 9.  There is a discussion of rat guards on the Holland America forum so I paused on the way back to take a photo of the ones used on QM2.  


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/ratguard.jpg


I took the second of the rolling bags down about 9:30.  All of my bags had been delivered by 1 when I returned from my lunch.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/bags0306.jpg


The porters had told me to return about 11:30 to check in.  I checked out of the hotel about 11 and was told by a port employee to return at 2.  To her my Diamond Status made no difference.  I asked to see a supervisor; she never produced one but said "maybe they can take me at 12".  When I returned just after noon the terminal was busy but nothing it couldn't easily handle.  I was on board at 12:20 and dropped my carryon in the room.  I'm in 8025, an obstructed balcony.  I'll say, I look directly out at lifeboat number 3.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/8025qm2.jpg


The outdoor grill on QM2 is called the Boardwalk Café (on deck 12) and it's rarely open on crossings.  It wasn't mentioned in the Daily Programme but I went up anyway and it was open.  I had always thought of it as a culinary wasteland but the choices and quality were a lot better than I remembered.  When I returned I set all the bags out to start unpacking after a final walk to the visitor center for the last of the free internet.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/boardwalk.jpg


The Muster Drill (new guests only) was at 5:  My station in the Café Carinthia was pretty well filled.  I have heard just over 1000 boarded in Sydney, perhaps 1/3 of the ship's capacity.  Dinner was at 6 at table 211, a 6-top on the top seating level of deck 3, not by the window but with a view outside.  Four of the others are on until Southampton.  The fifth is a sister in law of one of the others, an Aussie who is only on from Sydney to Fremantle.  I asked the head waiter for advance copies of the menus and expect a daily sheet with the lunch and dinner menus.  It's a simple format but easily scannable and particularly makes it easy to plan my lunches based on my dinner plans.  My first dinner choices were chicken consume, leg of lamb, and ice cream.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/dishes06.jpg


I took a token walk around the promenade deck after dinner.  It was not really dark yet but the moon was showing through the clouds.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/moon0306.jpg

A local show was supposed to be the featured entertainment but they cancelled at the last minute and a movie was shown instead.  I did not go.  As I rounded the aft of the deck the bridge was quite pretty in the twilight.  


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/bridgenight.jpg


Being very late in posting on my first QM2 day I'll take my parting shot from Paul O'Laughlin's morning show.  His quote of the day, "Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else."

 

Roy

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