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ellie1145

Come sail with me on a virtual cruise on Majestic Princess to Fiji!

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I've been away for a few days in the wilds of Scotland with no internet access so have just managed to teleport myself back to Sydney in time for my absolute favourite holiday,  cruising!

I have loved all the Scottish references in Sydney, I have never thought of going to Australia we have always headed to the USA having family there and just love going there.  However I am now thinking post covid when its safe to go back (pleeese let it be safe soon ) its somewhere to consider. 

Thank you for all the time you have taken over this trip report, I knew when I got back it would be so interesting to read and catch up on  what I had missed,   now we are all onboard Yay!!! let the cruising begin! 

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What an absolutely incredible journey!  Your pictures are just amazing.  We were lucky enough a few cruises ago to get a free upgrade to a mini-suite and it's been hard to not stay with a mini since.  We really like the extra space with the love seat/couch.  Ready to sail along and have a spectacular time.  Thanks for allowing us to join the adventure!!

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Posted (edited)

  So hoist up the John B’s sail

   See how the mainsail sets 

   Call for the Captain Ashore.....🎶

 

 

At last! The gangways have been retracted, the ropes are let go, and we watch as Majestic Princess slowly slips her moorings, and moves gently away from the berth.

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Nothing can compare to the feeling of standing on a ship as she makes her way out of port, and Sydney is such an extraordinarily beautiful sailaway.

 

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The sun is dipping in the sky. Like a golden orb, it fill The Rocks with a fiery glow.

 

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She inches out from the dock, her powerful bow and stern thrusters beginning to churn up the water.

 

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Inch by inch she moves away from her berth...

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The little ferries must wait for this leviathan of the seas to manoeuvre herself into the harbour basin, ready to turn and set sail for the open sea.

The pilot stands guard as the ship moves slowly out. 

 

 

Within minutes the little ferries are on their way again.

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The beautiful bridge is bathed in evening sunlight and the harbour is busy with numerous little boats and ferries hurrying past.

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A powerful tug stands guard at her bow, ensuring that she comes to no harm during this exacting manoeuvre It’s a tight turn, but she manages it with ease.

 

The Opera House appears on the horizon, bathed in light. 

 

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The skyline of Sydney slowly disappears from view and we must leave our balcony and finish getting ready for dinner. 

 

🎶   So long, farewell, auf wiedersein, goodnight

        I hate to go and miss this pretty sight.....🎶

 

We say ‘farewell’ to the Sydney Opera House.

 

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Edited by ellie1145

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Sorry about the photos not being in the right order, had some problems editing it! 🙀

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I really love your use of words.  My eldest sister is a linguist.  She would absolutely love to read some of your descriptions!  

 

Finally, we are off to sea and our adventure truly begins!!!   🙂  🙂 

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9 hours ago, ellie1145 said:

 

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This apartment block looks wonderful. What a view they must have of the ships! I think I would be wasting so much time just looking out of the window if I lived here..

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It looks as if each apartment has the same chairs on the balcony, which is really small, but I guess the view makes up for it!

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This is the Park Hyatt Hotel. The rooms are pricey and book out quickly for New Years Eve as they have a great view of the fireworks. Next time you are in Sydney you could stay here and look out of the window or sit on the balcony watching the view! 😀

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, PurpleTraveller said:

 

This is the Park Hyatt Hotel. The rooms are pricey and book out quickly for New Years Eve as they have a great view of the fireworks. Next time you are in Sydney you could stay here and look out of the window or sit on the balcony watching the view! 😀


Thank you so much for that. My son was looking at the photos and said ‘it’s not an apartment block mum, it’s a hotel, they wouldn’t all have the same seats on the balcony if it was apartments.’ So that has solved a mystery for us. 👍

 

I can imagine the view on New Year’s Eve. Spectacular! 

 

 

Edited by ellie1145

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2 hours ago, USCcruisecrazy said:

I really love your use of words.  My eldest sister is a linguist.  She would absolutely love to read some of your descriptions!  

 

Finally, we are off to sea and our adventure truly begins!!!   🙂  🙂 

 

Thank you so much for your very kind words. It makes it all worth while.

 

Yes, we are off on our cruise at last. It’s been a long time coming but we really are on our way! 

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3 hours ago, USCcruisecrazy said:

What an absolutely incredible journey!  Your pictures are just amazing.  We were lucky enough a few cruises ago to get a free upgrade to a mini-suite and it's been hard to not stay with a mini since.  We really like the extra space with the love seat/couch.  Ready to sail along and have a spectacular time.  Thanks for allowing us to join the adventure!!

 

Thank you so much UScruisecrazy (😉) Glad you are enjoying the photos. They say every picture tells a story so I’m pleased they are adding to mine. 

 

Yes, the mini suite is really lovely. We enjoyed the comfy sofa and often sat and watched a movie.  I absolutely loved the bath, too. But it’s difficult to return to anything less — we only had an outside cabin on Allure of the Seas, and thankfully we didn’t miss the mini suite as we were busy all the time, but on a long voyage with several sea days it really came into its own.

 

You are most welcome! We are very pleased to have you onboard, and joining in the adventure. 

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3 hours ago, winifred said:

I've been away for a few days in the wilds of Scotland with no internet access so have just managed to teleport myself back to Sydney in time for my absolute favourite holiday,  cruising!

I have loved all the Scottish references in Sydney, I have never thought of going to Australia we have always headed to the USA having family there and just love going there.  However I am now thinking post covid when its safe to go back (pleeese let it be safe soon ) its somewhere to consider. 

Thank you for all the time you have taken over this trip report, I knew when I got back it would be so interesting to read and catch up on  what I had missed,   now we are all onboard Yay!!! let the cruising begin! 

 

We missed you, Winifred, glad you had a great time in the wilds of Scotland. Thank goodness this is a virtual cruise and you were able to teleport yourself back in time to not miss anything, and to join us onboard Majestic Princess. 

 

The more we have got to know Sydney, the more we like it. We would so love to return, and indeed, were planning to do the same sort of trip in January 2021, but we just can’t risk it. There are too many unknowns, and we don’t want to get booked on a cruise which will get cancelled. It’s too heartbreaking.

 

But we will live in hopes that one day our beautiful cruise ships will be able to sail the world again and give us all so much pleasure. 

 

Our cruise really has begun! 

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, TeaBag said:

Loved your departure from Sydney.  i would just love to go back there as it's such a lovely city.

Is the answer Diana Ross?

 

Indeed it is, TeaBag, the wonderful Diana Ross and ‘I’m Still Waiting.’ What a fantastic singer. 

 

Your super powered, Mini, collapsible, Vortex vacuum cleaner, small enough to fit in your handbag, is winging its way to you as we speak, via Amazon [the river, of course).


Glad you enjoyed our departure from Sydney. Hope you, too, return one day.

Edited by ellie1145

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4 hours ago, USCcruisecrazy said:

Grandchildren are the best.  We just visited our two granddaughters in Las Vegas a few weeks back.  🙂

 

Aren’t they just!

 

It’s the first time we’ve been able to see him at our home, though only in the garden, since the first week of March, which has been absolute agony. Four and a half months when you are just 4 is such a long time to wait, and he has grown and changed so much even in that short time. 

 

But he’s really Covid savvy, and talks about ‘when all the Coronavirus has gone, nana” and he washes his hands carefully. It’s amazing to see how these children have adapted. Sadly, we have much more to come with the winter approaching, so it’s good that he understands the rules. 

 

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ellie 1145 ...Thank You so much for uplifting my spirits ....my family are all safe and well but not close by ..your adventures are so therapeutic .

Have doubts about November cruise now ...UK and Ireland trip both cancelled but I am enjoying this trip on Majestic Princess ,I just booked a B2B on her January 2022.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, ellie1145 said:

 

 

 

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The skyline of Sydney slowly disappears from view and we must leave our balcony and finish getting ready for dinner. 

 

🎶 

The building above with the white cross is the school my husband went to.  Yes, he did spend alot of time looking out the window!  Have been following you since day one but joined you in Singapore, a short flight of five hours from Perth (Western Australia) where we live.  We have been there many times but I still learnt new things from you!  Looking forward to Fiji as we are hoping to go back there next year, sadly looking more doubtful.  Love your writing and photos thanks you're keeping my spirits up with three cancelled trips so far.

Edited by Westaussie

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4 hours ago, DUCHESSRN said:

ellie 1145 ...Thank You so much for uplifting my spirits ....my family are all safe and well but not close by ..your adventures are so therapeutic .

Have doubts about November cruise now ...UK and Ireland trip both cancelled but I am enjoying this trip on Majestic Princess ,I just booked a B2B on her January 2022.

 

I am delighted that I have lifted your spirits, DUCHESSRN.

 

Having family far away is always difficult, but in these uncertain times it must be even harder to  bear. Thank goodness they are safe and well.

 

We watch CNN a lot as they provide the most world coverage of any channel we receive, here in the UK, and we follow anxiously the path of Covid-19 in the USA. I’m afraid I’ve given up watching our BBC news as it is just full of doom and gloom and constant disagreements with what our government is doing. CNN seems to do such in depth stories, which keep us abreast of what is going on in the world.

 

Florida was our second home for 10 years, though only for vacations in our villa. Whenever we land in Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale it always feels like coming home, and we miss being able to fly there so much. We grieve for the poor victims of this horrific virus, and hope that there is some relief for them soon.

 

Majestic Princess is a beautiful ship, and I think our favourite of the fleet. I truly hope that you will get to experience her in 2022. At least you will know your way round her now! 😉

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2 hours ago, Westaussie said:

The building above with the white cross is the school my husband went to.  Yes, he did spend alot of time looking out the window!  Have been following you since day one but joined you in Singapore, a short flight of five hours from Perth (Western Australia) where we live.  We have been there many times but I still learnt new things from you!  Looking forward to Fiji as we are hoping to go back there next year, sadly looking more doubtful.  Love your writing and photos thanks you're keeping my spirits up with three cancelled trips so far.

 

How fortuitous that you managed to fly in from Perth to Singapore, and join us on this adventure. Glad to have you with us. One day we would love to see more of Australia, and there are so many wonderful places still to see.

 

Thank you so much for that information. I hadn’t noticed the cross on the building, so that is really interesting. What an amazing building for a school. No wonder your husband was looking out of the window! What a view!

 

I am so sorry to hear about your cancelled trips. It is heartbreaking, I know. Having any vacation cancelled is upsetting, but having a cruise cancelled feels very different. I think we form a bond with a ship so strong that, when a cruise is cancelled, we grieve for the loss of sailing on her. I know I do. 

 

I don’t remember ever feeling sad at leaving a hotel, but saying goodbye to a ship after a cruise can actually be painful (and I have to say I always feel slightly aggrieved that anyone is going to take my place in ‘MY’ cabin!😲)

 

I’m delighted that my photos and writing have kept your spirits up. We have a great adventure to share, and so much to come in the next few days.

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Posted (edited)

A few more photos of our sailaway

 

When loading my last post I'm afraid I got into a bit of a pickle, and found that the videos had duplicated themselves several times, and when I tried to edit them I inadvertently deleted the photos I wanted, and then I could no longer edit it. 

 

So here are a few more to show our departure from Sydney. Hope you enjoy them.

 

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Captain Cook's cruises are a common sight in the harbour. We took a trip on one of their boats last time we were here and it afforded us great views of Sydney and its surrounds.

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A powerful tug stands guard at our stern 

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One of many catamarans

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We see the Overseas Passenger Terminal which we have just left.

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Luna Park

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The pilot boat stands by, ready to receive the pilot at the end of his navigational duties.

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We begin our 90 degree turn and the tug stands by ready to assist if needs be.

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The turn made, we are ready to sail out of the harbour.

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Circular Quay

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We round Bennelong Point and leave the Opera House behind. The sun finally sinks below the bridge.

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These party animals are too busy to notice this behemoth glide silently past. 

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A last view of the Botanical Gardens, opposite our hotel. People stop to watch and wave.

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We pass the naval dockyard, near to where we sat and ate one of Harry's pies, just a few days ago.

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A final glimpse of the Westfield Tower

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The tug, Svitzer Bondi, has done its job, and speeds back to port.

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Soon we will be on our way and in open sea, now the fun begins.....

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Edited by ellie1145

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Posted (edited)

Our First Evening on Majestic Princess 

 

We say a fond farewell to Sydney, as her skyline fades evermore into the distance. Now we must finish getting ready for dinner.

 

It’s always pretty hectic on the first night. People don’t know where their table is, and everyone seems to be milling about outside the restaurant, but we popped down earlier and found the location of ours, so we are able to go straight to it.

 

We have a table for two, and beside us is a lovely couple from Hong Kong, and on the other side, a mother and daughter from Malaysia.

 

We prefer a table for two as, some 13 years ago, I had a parathyroid tumour removed which resulted in severe damage to my vocal cord nerve. One of my vocal cords was paralysed, and still is, to this day. A minimally invasive procedure lasting 40 minutes ended up being a major operation lasting over 5 hours, and as a result I lost my voice. But on the positive side, fears that I also had thyroid cancer proved unfounded.

 

As a teacher you can imagine the trauma of losing something so essential, but I also felt I lost who I was. Your voice, I believe, is who you are, it is who you hear in your head every hour of every day. It allows you to express yourself, to show emotion, to comfort, to show anger or frustration, to communicate and empathise, and my voice, when it slowly came back, was very different. I didn’t feel like me - although my family disagree. I didn’t recognise it as being my voice, and that was a great frustration. Until you lose your voice you don’t realise how important it is - the written word can so often be misunderstood and misinterpreted, but the spoken word has all the nuances of tone and pitch to enable the listener to understand where you are coming from.

 

In fact, cruising was a life saver. We took a BTB two week cruise on Star Princess, followed by a stay in our villa, soon after my operation, at a stage when I was angry and frustrated at not being able to communicate. I was unable to order a meal, ask for something in a shop, or speak on the telephone. Although I could utter a couple of words, a full sentence was very difficult. I was full of anger and grief, and I mourned the loss of my voice .

 

Those two weeks on the ship restored my faith that things could get better. People were kind, and our trivia group were patient when I struggled to give an answer. Instead of retreating into my shell I was able to begin to converse, albeit it minimally and with difficulties, and our lovely ship companions were very tolerant of my inadequacies.

 

Now, some 13 years later my voice is stronger, though I still maintain it’s not ‘me.’

That ‘voice’ in my head still seems different.

 

After 10 months off work I was utterly determined to get back to the profession I loved, and with the aid of a wireless headset and amplifier I did just that. The children were amazing and quickly accepted the changes, and loved my magic amplifier. They knew that even if I talked very quietly, they could still hear me, even on the other side of the room, and even if I had my back to them! Mind you, I had to be very careful, as everything I said was relayed through the speakers, even those things I preferred the children not to hear! 😉

 

My voice is now strong enough that I can teach without any aids, so for that I am very grateful. In fact, my consultant told me he had never met anyone with my degree of vocal cord paralysis being able to return to a profession where the voice is so critical.

 

But I do find talking across a big table in a noisy dining room way too much effort, hence our choice of a table for two.

 

We enjoy a very pleasant meal. There is a basket of freshly baked rolls on the table and plenty of butter...

 

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I order the double beef broth and DH passes on a starter

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I plump for the Slow Roasted Rib of Beef, and order, as usual, a baked potato and extra steamed vegetables, which arrive on a separate plate. Back in the UK we eat a lot of vegetables, so when onboard I always ask for extra.

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DH decided to have the 'always available' fish

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Edited by ellie1145

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Good night, sleep tight, see you in the morning....

 

 

We have a lovely meal, and decide to give dessert a miss and dash up for the first Trivia. 

 

We are beginning to feel tired,  so after a cup of de caffeinated tea in the buffet, we make our way back to the cabin. It’s been a lovely day, and now we are at the start of our Fijian adventure.

 

It’s time for a quick bath, which is such a luxury on a cruise, and then that wonderfully comfortable bed beckons.

 

Tomorrow it’s a sea day and we hope to meet some of our fellow CC members, as well as those who are accompanying us on our Vanuatu tour.

 

Let the adventure begin!

 

You will need to be up early for breakfast so get some shut-eye now....

 

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16 hours ago, cnd crsr said:

Thank you Ellie for saving the table by the window at lunch. I really miss the old first day lunch menu!  I always had the avocado/shrimp starter followed by the salmon. I followed your lead today and tried the beef, and agree it was delicious.

 I love all the extra space in the mini suite, and having a tub rather that the tiny shower with the clinging curtain is a plus. Too bad the balcony is so narrow😒

 

Did you see me wave from the Bridge Walk? I just had to try that one more time, but I made sure I was back before sail away!  And yes,  it was just as scary as the first time.

 

Speaking of scary.... that mouth at Luna Park... do you remember the story of Jonah and the whale!!!!

 

Now I am ready for dinner... will it be another new menu...

 

Gail

 

 

It was a nice table, wasn’t it? Brilliant view of the Sydney Opera House. Good job we got there early...

 

The beef was just perfect, wasn’t it? But the soufflé, well that’s a whole other level of perfection...

 

Yes, we did see you waving from the bridge, you looked very good in your hard hat, and you managed to hide your fear very well. We were a bit worried when you waved so vigorously as we were afraid you might topple over, and that would never do!

 

That Luna Park mouth is really hideous, isn’t it? I imagine it would scare small children, ha ha!

 

Hope you enjoyed dinner, the beef was very good. Sadly we missed dessert, but I don’t think we will starve! 🤣  We can always make up for it tomorrow.....

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Posted (edited)

Explore new adventures onboard.....

 

Saturday October 19th 2019    At Sea

 

We sleep like the proverbial logs, and the ship is stable with a moderate sea. It’s partly cloudy, with sunny spells, and the temperature reaches a warm 21 degrees C (70 degrees F). She is averaging a little over 19 knots.

 

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We go down to the dining room for breakfast, and enjoy a leisurely meal before making our way up to the Hollywood Conservatory where our CC Meet and Greet is to be held between 10 am and 11 am.

 

 

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We are a little early, so take the opportunity to explore the area. There is a stunning swimming pool which becomes my first choice for my evening swim. In fact, the captain very kindly gives me private use of the pool every evening at 6.00 pm..........(and if you believe that....)

 

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There are cabanas round the edge, but plenty of comfortable loungers edging the pool. It is fully enclosed with a glass roof and best of all, it’s adult only! Now I love children, but not in a swimming pool, dive bombing and splashing me!  

 

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The Hollywood Conservatory is unique to Majestic Princess, I believe, or so we were told. It is behind the Hollywood Pool and wraps around the front of the ship with magnificent views over the bow. 

 

It is actually very quirky as you will see. 

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There are imitation topiaries scattered around, and the seats have been set up for our meet and greet.

 

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A topiary peacock

 

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There are various large games for guests to play, these are made of wood.

 

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There are also musical instruments to try out.

 

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Large seats overlook the bow

 

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Apologies for the reflections on these photos taken through the glass.

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There are card tables, or perhaps mahjong tables?

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A huge chess board

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A colourful xylophone

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At the side of the Conservatory there are little rooms with TV screens. We presume you can rent one of these?

 

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As you exit the Hollywood conservatory there is this wall, and under the flaps are wishes.

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The doors open and we join a few early birds for the M&G. It is lovely to meet so many of the people that I have been emailing, backwards and forwards, as our Vanuatu tour grew.

 

I would like to thank Patti de for organising the Meet and Greet. I know that it takes a lot of work to bring it all together.

 

There are quite a few people attending and we talk to different groups which is great. It’s a lovely room for such a gathering, and not on every Royal Class ship. It has amazing views over the bow, as the room has windows all along the front.

 

There are various large musical instruments scattered around the room which are interesting, and which you can play.

 

We notice that during the cruise, people sit up here to play cards or board games, and it is a peaceful haven which not many people seem to find. Maybe they think it’s a private area?

Edited by ellie1145

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Hi Ellie,

Thank you for the additional sail away pictures. Sydney has proven to be a spectacular sail away harbour. Last time we were here we were disembarking and the early morning arrival was wonderful with the well- lit Opera House, but that and the bridge were all we could see. I would still probably rate it as my second favourite sail in.

 

I am so glad to hear you have done so well overcoming the traumatic  loss of a vocal cord. What a stressful time that must have been. Sometimes life really hits us with challenges and your determination has paid off. However you are such fluent and descriptive writer your voice could be heard!

 

Now that we have settled in and had a very restful sleep, I am looking forward to a relaxing sea day. I am now off to the dining room for a nutritious breakfast.

Gail

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1 minute ago, rmf11699 said:

So glad you got your voice back!

 

Not sure my husband was..........no nagging! 🤣 🤣

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