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levart57

Saphire Princess, January 30, 2005

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I think the US $ is the weakest it has been in a long while. Good luck, you will love Alaska. I am looking forward to the fjordland cruising to compare it to other fjords we have seen. I am planning to go back to Alaska next summer, too.

 

What kind of clothes should we bring for Australia for early February? Will there be a lot of rainy days?

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Weather- it depends where you are going. It is summer here then. Sydney and anywhere south of there can be anything from extremely hot to quite cool and in the case of Melbourne and Tasmania very cold. I think plan for a summer with a sweater and jacket. If visiting Queensland it will be hot- usually 28-32 deg C each day- the thing that varies is the humidity. Can be very humid and it is the rainy season, which we haven't seen for the last few years until this year which has seen flooding in some parts. Sue

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I must have been daydreaming when I said that Tas has the same currency as Auckland. You can secure Australian dollars in Hobart at an atm. The shipdocks at a central location.

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We will be In Sydney for three days, a day in Melbourne, and a day in Hobart. I guess we will take very little hot weather clothes and more for the cooler weather. Thanks for the info.

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I looked up the Australian rate yesterday & it showed $100 US =$132 Aust. i was quite surprised I haven't checked the NZ rate yet.We were in Australia 10 yrs ago (Dec) and it was spring and very warm.During this cruise for Australia warm weather clothing would be good.I'm not sure about NZ since it covers such a diverse area.The good news is that the summer there starts in late Dec thru early March.

We'll be on the Sapphire for the 30th also and after that taking the land trip to Ayers etc.If anyone hasn't hooked up on a private tour in New Zealand we'd be interested in seeing what's avaliable outside the ships programs.This will be our 13th cruise and as I'm sure you know the ship's prices are generally much higher and quality compared to the locals many times don't match.

Have any roll calls been started on disembarking?If so who ,where,etc.Any ideas would be welcome.

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Estebofarr, I hope I didn't confuse you with the weather- having said that those places can get quite cool, it could be extremely hot the whole time-

Tasmania for example when I was there in January was almost snowing one day and a few days later it was 40deg C for many days. Sydney will probably be warm . There is a saying that you can get all four seasons in one day in Melbourne (its true!) I think you need to be prepared for all seasons, which is a nuisance when you are packing. As you only have a day in Melb and one in Hobart you won't need a lot of the warmer clothes and if in Sydney you get caught you can always buy something! Sue

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Estebofar, You guessed my online name fairly close .We were orginally from Chicago and have retired on Lake Murray in So. Carolina thus SC Chicago Guy. My name is Joe also and the Mrs. is Chris (from England) we just celebrated our 41st anniversary.We usually go a few days earlier also but somehow I goofed and we will arrive on the 30th.We've been to Australia before from Melbourn to Carnes every bigcity along the coast and a short cruise( 4 days) from Carnes to the great barrier reef which I snorkled and have never seen such vivid colors in my life.

The exchange rate is in our favor (its pegged to the US $) in the far east the Euro has no effect on it and in this case we benefit.It would be nice to meet on the sun deck. On our way to LAX we land in Chicago @11.45 AM & leave @ 12.35PM to LAX. Looking forward meeting you. have you ran across any tours outside whats offered from Princess that looks better or more reasonable? Take care.

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We would also like to go to Cairnes and Ayers Rock but time will not permit. We really want to spend the days after the cruise in Sydney, there is so much to see. Who knows if we ever get back that way again. Stranger things have happened before. On our last cruise we also met for lunch open seating on one of the sea days. It was a nice way to get to know one another. If the wait staff knows we are coming, they can put tables together.

 

Joe, I hope you and Chris (my eldest daughter's name) have enough time in Chicago between flights. We have about two hours also, and are just concerned about the weather. We have been thinking of North Carolina for a retirement home. Seems most of Florida goes there in the summer. But, we like South Carolina, too.

 

Sue, I'm just concerned about the weight of the luggage. Empty, the bags are heavy. We'll have to spread everything out and distribute it amongst the bags. I wonder if we'll need shorts at all.

 

Janis

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Janis,

 

You will be visiting both Melbourne and Hobart during our hottest time of the year. We can have days of 40C here which is well over 100F so I would pack light clothes for your visit, but bring either a light windcheater or a light waterproof jacket in case it either rains, or we have a cool wind.

 

It is true we can get four seasons in a day, but that is after a very hot night with a northerly wind and then we get a wind change to the south. The temperature then drops quite a lot and by the end of the day we can end up with rain.

 

Sydney also can have cool weather. We have been there at Christmas and have been cold and needed warmer clothing. Here in Melbourne we do not have much humidity at all wheras Sydney has quite high humidity and it can be only 85F yet it feels a lot warmer and sticky.

 

Just come prepared with some layers and you will be fine. New Zealand is also much cooler than here.

 

Have a wonderful cruise and I hope you enjoy our great countries.

 

Jennie

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Janis, yes you will need shorts and with any luck tha is what you will wear most of the time- as Jennie said a few layers will be fine.

A shame you haven't got time for Ayers Rock and Cairns but you can't do everything- a good excuse for another trip!. If you do ever decide to come out and do another one don't forget to include the top end of the northern territory as well as the centre- we did Kakadu, Katherine gorge etc this year and I absolutely loved it. Ayers Rock is more well known as a tourist destination (and is great also), but Kakadu (at the right time of year) is totally different but very worthwhile. Sue

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I am a great fan of Nevil Shute books and I would love to see it all. But, as it is we will be out of our country for almost three weeks and need to get back.

 

As we are from Florida, we have an abundance of hot weather so cool weather sounds pretty good to us. But, we do have jackets and such so its just a question of taking it all.

 

Thank you for all your help. I KNOW we will enjoy your beautiful countries.

 

Janis

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We also are on the January 30 cruise. We will be with another couple and will be celebrating our mutual 40th wedding anniversaries. We live in Florida and they live in the Chicago area. Hope to see you all at the Tradewinds Bar.

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Welcome Jeandarlene More Florida people. Are you also on our United flight from LAX?

 

We are getting up a nice group of people. We should have enough to get group rate reductions on anything we want to do! Anyone have any suggestions on how to do that?

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There are a number of hidden treasures to see when you visit CHCH that are not on the regular tour bus routes. A good taxitour service is available for the seasoned traveller. See you there :D

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North Canterbury has a number of wineries all of which offer free tasteings. The scenery is graet on the way out and back, and with my taxitour you are able to stop where you want for as long or as short as you want(Bus tours are usually abit rushed). http://www.nztaxitours.orcon.net.nz/ (unfortunately the contact numbers and e-mail are a bit outdated on my website, but I'll be at Lyttleton when the ship arrives). You can contact me via my profile on CCritic site.

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Andyscab, How long is your tour of CC and what do your charge? Is it better with more and how many can you take?I would be interested if you could let me know the particulars.Thanks Chione.

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Chione,

A quick tour of CHCH from Lyttleton can be done in around 2hrs, but that would be quick. There is a standard rate per/hr per vehicle, I can take upto 4 people. Contact Via taxitours@gmail.com

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Just a note for anyones information, Despite what the ships newspaper may say before you get into a port, all of the New Zealand ports have good and reliable taxi services, which in most cases offer more competitively priced tour packages than other tours offered onboard. (Taxis prices' are per vehicle not per person and are alot more personel and flexable)

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