Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
twangster

Live - Standing Ovation from the Land Down Under - New Zealand, 11 Nights Feb. 2, 2020

Recommended Posts

Beautiful images Twangster! Next time maybe try a different beer though - VB is not our best 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Missusdubbya said:

Beautiful images Twangster! Next time maybe try a different beer though - VB is not our best 😉


Couldn’t find any Fosters.  JK.  
 

Tried several local beers.  VB wasn’t bad, better than many American beers.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, twangster said:


Couldn’t find any Fosters.  JK.  
 

Tried several local beers.  VB wasn’t bad, better than many American beers.  


Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@twangster, your pictures are breathtaking! I am loving following along. 
 

I’m wondering how you managed to get clear pictures of Ovation coming into port from the pedestrian path over the harbor bridge. In some of your pictures I could see the fencing that was in place for safety, but it wasn’t visible in your shots of the sunrise or Ovation.

 

Thank you for taking the time out of your trip to share with us! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@twangster

 we’re on ovation in a couple of weeks ,can you tell us the bands.

 I told it was rock the boat and Lucy dobro. 
 Lucy just flew home because her mum is sick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After dropping my luggage around 9:45am I headed back to the bridge!

 

This time with my backpack full of my camera gear again and I immediately noticed the albatross around my neck.   I had a free pass to the Pylon Climb and time to kill before boarding so... 


ov_day1pm-1.jpg

 

The Pylon Lookout is found on the first Pylon walking up the bridge from Sydney.  It opens 10am to 5pm and normally costs $19 AUD for adults.

 

ov_day1pm-2.jpg

 

More stairs, a total of 200 to reach the top.  No lift. 

 

ov_day1pm-3.jpg

 

Part of the way up the stairs get wider.

 

ov_day1pm-4.jpg

 

ov_day1pm-5.jpg

 

ov_day1pm-6.jpg

 

ov_day1pm-7.jpg

 

ov_day1pm-8.jpg

 

ov_day1pm-9.jpg

 

More bridge climbers.

 

ov_day1pm-15.jpg

 

ov_day1pm-10.jpg

 

ov_day1pm-11.jpg

 

ov_day1pm-12.jpg

 

ov_day1pm-13.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some views from the top of the pylon:

 

ov_day1pm-14.jpg

 

ov_day1pm-16.jpg

 

 

ov_day1pm-17.jpg

 

Granted today is a little hazy so with better conditions the views would be even better. 

 

There is a small gift shop and some displays that provide facts about the bridge.   There is also a small theater running a video on a loop that talks to the construction and history of the bridge. 

 

ov_day1pm-18.jpg

 

Back down walking off the bridge for the last time:

 

ov_day1pm-19.jpg

 

Once down off the bridge and walking towards the ship on surface streets you can see the lower support sections where the bridge climbs begins the trek towards the arch.

 

ov_day1pm-20.jpg

 

ov_day1pm-21.jpg

 

Edited by twangster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back down to the ship I could see boarding was beginning.   

 

ov_day1pm-24.jpg

 

ov_day1pm-23.jpg

 

The cruise terminal has no waiting area inside so appointment times are strictly enforced.  Once the ship is ready to board they’ll open the doors and start looking for early appointment times.

 

ov_day1pm-22.jpg

 

With the new expedited arrival feature boarding is pretty quick and pretty much a non-stop flow through check in, Australian immigration and finally security.

 

To give you an idea how my timing went this morning, this next picture was at 10:15am as I walked towards the Pylon to start my climb.

 

ov_day1pm-30.jpg

 

This next picture was at 11:41am after I had cleared security and was on the gangway about to walk on the ship.

 

ov_day1pm-31.jpg

 

And with that the cruise can finally begin!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/29/2020 at 12:33 PM, John&LaLa said:

Impressive. We are scheduled for next spring

 

Me too...but doing that route out of Sydney on Serenade....of whom is currently docked next to us here in St. Thomas while on board Vision...such a pretty lady!  🙂 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, perfect match said:

I’m wondering how you managed to get clear pictures of Ovation coming into port from the pedestrian path over the harbor bridge. In some of your pictures I could see the fencing that was in place for safety, but it wasn’t visible in your shots of the sunrise or Ovation.

 

The fencing on the water side has a slot near belly level where you can stick a camera lens through.  The lower section is a diamond pattern but the holes are large enough to also stick a camera lens through of you don't mind bending down to do so.

 

If you plan to use your phone to take pictures I'd suggest adding a wrist strap to the case.  I have wrist straps from older cameras that are useless now so I re-purpose the wrist strap from those and attach them to my phone cases.  This helps on the ship as well and relives the death grip phenomenon when holding a phone near or over a railing to take pictures.  

 

7 hours ago, Chiliburn said:

@twangster

 we’re on ovation in a couple of weeks ,can you tell us the bands.

 I told it was rock the boat and Lucy dobro. 
 Lucy just flew home because her mum is sick.

 

So far the app and cruise compass lists Pulse in the Music Hall, Lucy Dobro in Boleros, Piano melodies with Henry in the Schooner Bar,  Stephen Burke as our pub singer and Tropical Pleasure Duo at the pool.  I'll try to verify any last minute changes as time permits.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the awesome pictures from the top! 

 

BTW, Think you climbed that breakfast off!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Sydney Opera House from the ship.

 

ov_day1-1.jpg

 

Did I mention how Circular Quay is a busy ferry port?

 

ov_day1-2.jpg

 

The Sydney Harbour Bridge from the ship.  I see bridge climbers...

 

ov_day1-3.jpg

 

ov_day1-4.jpg

 

Cabins were posted to be ready at 1:30pm but at 1:10pm the announcement was made that cabins were ready. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cabin tour

 

Standard balcony cabin, port side, deck 9.

 

I've come to really appreciate the Quantum class balcony cabins.  Plenty of storage and great bathroom layout.  These are probably my favorite standard balcony cabins across the fleet.

 

ov_day1cabin-1.jpg

 

ov_day1cabin-2.jpg

 

The TV hinges outward for viewing from the sofa.

 

ov_day1cabin-3.jpg

 

Desk power includes two 110v North American outlets, 2 USB outlets and a 220v Euro power port.

 

ov_day1cabin-4.jpg

 

Bedside there is one 110v North American outlet.

 

ov_day1cabin-6.jpg

 

It's not every day your balcony view has the Sydney Opera House perfectly framed.

 

ov_day1cabin-5.jpg

 

I waited until we were at sea to take some balcony photos.

 

ov_day1cabin-7.jpg

 

ov_day1cabin-8.jpg

 

The view down:

 

ov_day1cabin-9.jpg

 

This cabin is aft of the midship elevators on the indented sections.  The view forward:

 

ov_day1cabin-10.jpg

 

The view aft.

 

ov_day1cabin-11.jpg

 

Not bad at all.

 

ov_day1cabin-12.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For anyone planning their own excursions in New Zealand this note in my cabin might help you plan timing for any self-booked tours with local operators.

 

ov_day1portnotices-1.jpg

 

One more warning about the need for an NZeTA for out of region guests.

 

ov_day1portnotices-2.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Muster drill at 4:15pm followed soon after by sail away.

 

ov_day1sailaway-1.jpg

 

And that's when the rain started.  Light at first but heavy enough to head inside.  Given the bushfires in the region I'm glad to see some rain even if it meant not taking any pictures.   Just wish it rained more and heavier.

 

ov_day1sailaway-2.jpg

 

Pretty sail away through the windows given the circumstances.  I imagine it would be very pretty under sunny skies.  Guess I'll have to book another Sydney departure to find out.

Edited by twangster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Housekeeping items

 

No sail away party on deck departing Sydney.  The Sydney City Council and the Sydney Residents Council voted to restrict music on outer decks of cruise ships.  Our CD mentioned that we have a few ports like that on this itinerary.

 

Wow bands have the muster station printed on them.  They were available at guest services upon arrival for $5 unless in a Junior Suite or better.

 

Diamond Plus are still allowed in the Concierge Lounge when the numbers permit it.  No directive from Miami to restrict Diamond Plus as perceived on some ships in other regions.  Our lounge concierge has had to restrict Diamond Plus before when there are high numbers of Diamond Plus present.  Eighty or ninety Diamond Plus is a rough number that can be accommodated.  On transpacific or certain other itineraries when there are nearly 500 Diamond Plus there simply isn't enough space or servers to keep it an enjoyable experience for all guests who have access to the Concierge Lounge.  

 

The cruise terminal has no waiting area inside so appointment times are strictly enforced.  Once the ship is ready to board they’ll open the doors and start looking for early appointment times.  Once you are allowed in you flow between the required stops at check in, Australian immigration for exit purposes and finally security.  The use of boarding times keeps the flow moving with some but minimal queueing at each stop.

 

When using Voom internet, the O3b satellite platform makes it appear that I am located in Mount Airy, MD U.S.A. which is one of many earth stations for SES/O3b.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Interesting to read about NZ needing visas. Must be relatively new.  When we were there 2 years ago we didn't need them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Bailey & Sophie said:

 

Interesting to read about NZ needing visas. Must be relatively new.  When we were there 2 years ago we didn't need them. 

 

Just started in October.  Technically it isn't a VISA but an Electronic Travel Authorization.   Subtle difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RCTV Channel Lineup

 

While down under Ovation has a different channel lineup compared to when it was in the Northern Hemisphere.

 

14 - RCTV

15 - ShoreEx

16 - Cruise Compass

17 - Itinerary Map

18 - RCTV 2 

19 - Next Cruise

20 - Australian Drama & Comedy

21 - ESPN Pacific Rim

22 - Sport24

23 - Kids Programming

24 - Teens Programming

26 - ABC News 24  (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, not ABC from the U.S.)

27 - MSNBC

29 - BBC World News

30 - Sky News Australia

31 - OV Views (various outdoor cameras on board Ovation)

32 - BBC HD

33 - Red Bull TV

34 - Prime Favorites

35 - Prime Journeys

36 - XYTV

37 - Voyage Information

38 - RCTV Channel Guide

 

 

Edited by twangster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, twangster said:

 

Just started in October.  Technically it isn't a VISA but an Electronic Travel Authorization.   Subtle difference.

 

I have not seen you post the exact site for Australian Eta. I think it has the word "gov" as part of the name.

So when you get a chance or when you get home, tell where and how far in advance did you apply and the price. Thanks no hurry but when you can let me know.  Next yr USA has to so this for Europe starting July.

 I found 4 different sites all saying different things like Eta is good for 2 yrs vs 1 year.

Bye

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really enjoying your review and following along on your adventure. Your pictures are amazing! 
We’re sailing on the Ovation out of Sydney on April 20th & staying in Sydney for a couple of days pre cruise. I’ve started making notes with all the valuable information you’re giving us. Thank you so much. 
 

Jenni 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Oceansaway17 said:

I have not seen you post the exact site for Australian Eta. I think


I think I just searched for it and used a link that was official.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

11 hours ago, twangster said:

The fencing on the water side has a slot near belly level where you can stick a camera lens through.  The lower section is a diamond pattern but the holes are large enough to also stick a camera lens through of you don't mind bending down to do so.

 

If you plan to use your phone to take pictures I'd suggest adding a wrist strap to the case.  I have wrist straps from older cameras that are useless now so I re-purpose the wrist strap from those and attach them to my phone cases.  This helps on the ship as well and relives the death grip phenomenon when holding a phone near or over a railing to take pictures.


Thanks for the info. Awesome that you were able to get such beautiful unobstructed pictures! Somebody was actually thinking about the tourists with cameras who would be climbing that bridge in the future.
 

I think I need to follow your lead and pull out one of my own old camera straps and attach it to my phone. I am far too familiar with the death grip phenomenon you mentioned!  😱

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...