... and so we are headed for home after a whirlwind tour of New Zealand! We enjoyed our time, saw some cool stuff, had fun, learnt stuff. If I could change anything, it would be to have a sea day in the middle so we could have a rest day, because you get all 'touristed" out.
Anyway, the weather was fine, we had had a nice trip, but we were ready to get back home (there's nothing like your own bed!).
It was nice to be back at sea - no where to go, nothing to see, but onboard entertainment. We watched a lot of movies, read a lot of books and the kids did lots of craft in the kids club.
Unfortunately, because ships are contained environments, with lots of people, germs spread quickly. I think because of all the handwashing videos and pump packs of anti-bacterial handwash everywhere, we did not experience any of the noroviruses (which produce nasty gastro-intestinal side-effects), but Video Boy did come down with a nasty cold in Bay of Islands, followed by Wombat Girl, then hubby (on formal night). I was taking my vitamins and trying not to let any of my family breathe on me, but on our trip home in the car, I succumbed too, and spent the first days at home feeling quite wretched, and understanding why hubby didn't feel like formal night!
|Don't touch the handrails...|
I attended a behind-the-scenes tour of the Princess Theatre, where most of the shows were held. The lead singer complained that she had been singing with a dreadful cold that had been going around that week, so it seemed that we were in good company! I have done a fair few performances on a range of stages, so it was really interesting - I cannot imagine dancing when the seas get really rough, though!
|View of the audience from the stage|
|Backstage dressing room was tiny!|
|View from the wings|
I was going to stay and watch Water For Elephants after the tour, but so many people were hacking and coughing, I got germ-phobic and headed back out into the fresh air!!
They rope off the pools when the seas get too rough (although I did find on this cruise they shut them down much quicker and much calmer seas than compared to last cruise). If you look carefully (sorry about the film quality) you can see the water sloshing forward and backward into and out of the pool - it might give you a little idea of how much the boat moves.
I either must have got my sea legs, or the Sea Legs medication available in New Zealand recommended to me by a veteran cruiser really worked wonders, because I felt much better on the trip home.
It was our 16th wedding anniversary on the last full day at sea. Hubby was feeling yuck from his cold, so I celebrated by reading in the library or out on deck - so much for togetherness!
|We got balloons and cake!|
We had to pack our bags the night before - that was a fun task (not) - the boat was rocking, my head was pounding with the looming cold and there were clothes and junk everywhere! Anyway, I got most of it shoved back in from whence it came and remembered to leave a change of clothes out for everyone for the next day.
It was early in AM (and a change of time zone) when we got in the heads at Sydney Harbour. But it never fails to delight me:
Changeover day is amazing - they have everybody all organised so they get to their flight or hotel as smoothly as possible and all passengers have disembarked by 9:30am. In the life of the cruise ship, they spend minimal time in port, with all new deliveries of food and stock on board, rooms cleaned and ready to embark a new shipload of passengers for the next cruise by midday!
If only they could organise Sydney traffic as well, we'd be very happy customers!
So that's our trip - hope you enjoyed it - we certainly did! We will probably go back to New Zealand at some stage and we will probably also take another cruise at some stage (maybe somewhere warm). We don't know where are next holiday will be, but now it's time to get back home, get unpacked, and get ready for Christmas!!