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Star Review R631


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What can I say? Our clothes have shrunk and so have our wallets, but hey, our first cruise was great!

 

After landing around 8.30am we got to the wharf at 9.15am & were immediately ushered to one of the 2 luggage 'drop off' points. From there we got a boarding pass and we were at the check-in counter by 11.30. My heart sank when the lady at check-in began to click madly at the computer, double check our tickets, smile assuringly at us & attempt to interrupt her collegues for assistance. Having got through that awful queue wait, I could contain my self no more...Is there a problem? I enquired. Nothing the supervisor couldn't help with she assured me! Bless the supervisor I thought:confused:

We had been upgraded!:) So it just goes to show that it can definitely happen at the last minute as I was still checking our cruise personaliser daily.

We were still in an inside cabin, mid ships, but were now on Deck7..Wow! So that was great, but I knew then my chances of running into/meeting Sherrie would be even harder!

 

Deck 7 (Aloha) was good for us due to having the boys at the kid's 'clubs'. Right up the hallway, & also because the Showlounge was a few metres away & there was only a few stairs to swagger down on, from the various venues upstairs. We didn't use the lifts once.....let's face it, there has to be some form of exercise to work off all that food! Yep, the food was good!

 

The boys had a ball! Our oldest was sea-sick for the first couple of days but it only slightly dampened his hunger:eek: & desire to meet up with the other teens whenever he could. It was great to get a CD of Teen Club pics at the end of the cruise ($5) that he will have as a keepsake of the fun he had. It was a strange feeling the night hubby & I retired early ,10pm, & noted that our children we still out partying!

 

We saw 3 shows & enjoyed them all, especially G'day G'day. We went to the Sea-horse racing & had a good laugh & won a little, went to Bingo once & discovered a whole new world...not sure it's our scene, did the wine tasting, learnt a lot & enjoyed many laughs with those at our table, & also went to all the auction days...never intended to buy anything but I did:D & once again we met some great people. We sampled all the bars but stayed loyal to those outdoor, and the Piano Bar as they were relatively smoke free.

 

The food was good everywhere but our best meal was at the Bahia Steakhouse which we sampled on the second formal night. Melt in your mouth steaks! We enjoyed having breaky at the Bordeaux as it gave us the opportunity to meet others. If we manage another cruise one day we will definitely request seating with others...as much as we adore our kids we enjoyed sharing meals with new faces whenever we could. We usually had lunch at the Lido ,Pizzeria end, as the queues could be long at the aft end. We were pleased to have taken the early sitting for dinner as we could get up to a show and have plenty of time to while away the evenings with a cocktail ,or 2!, after the show. The boys were always biting at the bit to get back to their friends too.

 

We enjoyed all the tours....Le Petite train in Noumea, Cliffs of Jokin in Lifou (what a magical place Lifou is) and The Ekasup Villiage in Vila. We shopped away in Vila and wished we had had more time...we had lunch at Au Peche Mignon & took a sample of their divine cakes back to the ship which topped the day off. It was sad leaving Vila as we knew that moment was the start of our return to Brisbane.

 

Of all the wonderful advice & suggestions I have been given from others on this site I was most grateful to have taken:

- a suction capped toothbrush holder

- a notepad

- a hanging shower caddy

- an extension power board

- an alarm clock (inside cabins can be dark!!)

The only thing I wished I'd had?...wait for it...this is the Virgo in me...a stapler or paper clips to keep all those bloody receipts in order:D .

 

We have had a wonderful holiday and now I must be off.....the washing is beconning to be retrieved and sorted....ho hum...

 

Cheers

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Hello Nerissa,

I was lovley to read about your first cruise. We are about to do a similar cruise in 2.5 weeks, so I had my ears pricked. I have taken it all onboard, but have to ask about the suction toothbrush and shower caddy. I assume that these stop one's cleaning gear from walking during the wavy times? Or is it perhaps that the recesses are so small there is no room for anything? Hope to see you on site a bit more with all the latest news.Thanks again for your story.

Cheers,

Kinka

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Kinka, the bathrooms are quite small, A couple of small shelves and small space on sink. There is also no hooks/ shelves in the shower recess. I took a shower caddy last time because we were away for 5 weeks and so took large bottles of everythng it was very handy, hung it off the shower head. I have just bought a some toothbrush holders for us today. I didn't get suction ones but the type that has the removable tape.

 

Nerissa, glad you had a lovely time.

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Hello Aussie,

Thanks for that info. I knew I would end up (almost) packing the kitchen sink LOL. The "must take list" is a whopper already, but I really appreciate being forewarned. By the way, are there tea and coffee making facilities in the cabins? Hope the sun is smiling in Canberra. It's a gorgeous day here.

Cheers,

Kinka

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Loved reading your review Nerissa and your upgrade would explain why I never saw a family with two boys of similar ages to my two girls anywhere near us on Baja. Lucky you! I have started a review but after reading yours I realise I can be a bit long winded with the written word it seems.:o I have filled an A4 page with just the first day - it was a very long day though! ;) I might have to do some serious editing. I was surprised, though, at the shower caddy suggestion as we had a small shelf in our shower which had plenty of room for shampoo and conditioner bottles and another little recess which held the soap container. The power board definitely is a must have especially if you have two digital cameras, a video camera, a hair dryer, and a straightener all requiring a power point.:o I too am a Virgo Nerissa and would try my hardest to collect all those little yellow receipts and keep them all in one place to check off at a later date but have not even looked at them. ;) Kinka - definitely no tea and coffee making facilities in the rooms but you can order room service for those early morning cuppas, makes a good wake-up call as well.

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Kinka, there are tea and coffee making facilities up on deck 9 which are open 24 hours. If you are packing absolutely everything then take a thermos too and fill with hot water to make your own coffee. :) We actually took coffee last couple of cruises as we were also staying in motels etc at the same time, never have enough coffe in them.

 

Rallo, post it all, I love reading the reviews. I don't remember the shelf in the shower, but then it has been 9 months and I have a brain like a seive.

 

As I am only packing for one this time instead of three I keep thinking of all the little extras I could pack. On one of the US based threads someone even suggested a blender to make your own cocktails :D

 

The one thing I dislike about the Aussie ships is the fact that there is no fridge or tea/coffee in the cabins.

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I have started a review but after reading yours I realise I can be a bit long winded with the written word it seems.:o I have filled an A4 page with just the first day - it was a very long day though! ;) I might have to do some serious editing.

 

Don't edit it!! I love reading long detailed reviews :D

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Rallo don't edit a thing. Love reading every word of a review.

 

Nerissa loved your review. Great suggestions re toothbrush holders, shower caddy and paper clips. I too am a virgo and past cruises have driven me nuts with the receipts all over the place so a paper clip is a damn good idea.

 

Kerri

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Hello Aussie,

Thanks for that info. I knew I would end up (almost) packing the kitchen sink LOL. The "must take list" is a whopper already, but I really appreciate being forewarned. By the way, are there tea and coffee making facilities in the cabins? Hope the sun is smiling in Canberra. It's a gorgeous day here.

Cheers,

Kinka

 

Hi Kinka!

It is definitely difficult working out what to take & what not to. Let me tell you though that we took way too manyclothes...I can hear the "we told you so"'s from here!....our luggage was frankly embarrassing....we had too large suitcases, a small overnighter and a carry-on for two adults & two kids 15 & 12. Having said that though, I washed my undies each day (there is a small line in the shower) and did use the $25- laundry-bag service when it was offered (about the 5th day into the cruise)...also interesting to note on that point that some posters here have said this offer was only limited to a certain no. of articles, but our steward said to pack the bag as full as you wanted...I neatly folded everything & fitted in heaps!:p I know it's fine to re-wear clothes, but by the end of the cruise when there were queues to buy last minute things, my hubby & I smelt many fellow travellers who should haveused the laundry service!:eek:

 

As Rallo has said, there is no real need for a shower caddy.I had bought a 'Woolies' one, made out of the bra wash bag material so it took up very little space. There is plenty of space in the shower to put bottles etc. and the area above the sink is fine also.....I liked having my stuff away from 'the mens' & could have managed without it. When we got into our holiday appartment in Brisbane though, it was a godsend as there was only a soap shelf in the shower area!

 

I did buy thermos' for hubby & I but didn't take them in the end. We love a strong coffee and ended up buying it from the bar when we were desperate...for $2.50 it was worth it. We just cut down on our coffee intake! I would take the thermos next time.:D

 

Sherrie, I did attempt to 'find' you. I plucked up the courage to ask 2 families if they were you:o ....they must have thought me very odd. Hubby went down & asked the purser if there was a way to contact someone we'd never met (now that'sodd) & the nice lady said she just needed a first name & deck no. & she would ring on our behalf. Easy! So armed with that knowledge I rocked up the following day & got a guy who knew I was odd, & gave him a speel, to which he said, I can't contact anyone without a surname. Ofcourse it was too easy! You must write up your review. I edited mine too as there were a few minor down-sides for us, but I didn't want to post 'complaints' too early in the process.

 

Cheers

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Hi Nerissa

 

Do you intend to post any photos on the web? I might try, never done it before and not sure if I'm fully comfortable with the idea even though I've loved looking at other people's. We might realise who we are that way and if we passed each other in the corridors.:D I wonder if you're oldest son was one of the boys onboard my oldest daughter thought was cute!! ;) You will definitely have to let us know your complaints along the way as will I.

 

Sherrie

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...The only thing I wished I'd had?...wait for it...this is the Virgo in me...a stapler or paper clips to keep all those bloody receipts in order:D .

 

 

Cheers

 

Know exactly what tou mean. And yes, I too am a Virgo.

 

Karen

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....we had too large suitcases, a small overnighter and a carry-on for two adults & two kids 15 & 12. Cheers

 

Well, we did have one extra child but we took 3 large suitcases & 2 large duffle type bags on wheels. Yes, 1 large bag each!!.

 

Karen

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Hi Nerissa

 

Do you intend to post any photos on the web? I might try, never done it before and not sure if I'm fully comfortable with the idea even though I've loved looking at other people's. We might realise who we are that way and if we passed each other in the corridors.:D I wonder if you're oldest son was one of the boys onboard my oldest daughter thought was cute!! ;) You will definitely have to let us know your complaints along the way as will I.

 

Sherrie

 

I wouldn't know how to put the pics up :confused: and I wouldn't feel comfortable about it either! I do have a lovely pic of the bathroom basin if anyone's interested:D Talking of basins, our basin plug was immovable from the outset & unfortuneately it was stuck 'in' the hole. It took 3 days for it to be fixed so we had a full basin which hubby 'emptied' using a glass each day...it's not much fun using a shower to clean your teeth in unless your actually having a shower! (How many showers can one person handle in a day?:p )

 

Cheers

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