Chillaxing in Napier

After our busy day in Wellington, we relaxed and enjoyed our night on board ship. Last cruise we enjoyed the Wheelhouse Bar (all dark, leather lounges, pretzels, band)...

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...but this cruise we tended to the Crooners Lounge. Comfy lounges, views out to sea, grand piano. Last night we enjoyed Sammy Goldstein - great songs (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry Como etc) if a little weak in the voice department he certainly knew how to entertain the crowd.

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So, it was with very slightly sore heads (hubby and I, not the kids!) that we headed into downtown Napier on the shuttle bus. It is then rather appropriate that it is located on Hawkes Bay, which is internationally renowned for it's wine producing!

Given the kids were with us, we opted not to go on the winery tours, but instead found yet another excellent playground on our stroll down the beachfront. Hubby and I chilled, whilst Video Boy and Wombat Girl explored the equipment. There was another boy on who seemed quite intent on what first appeared to be bullying Video Boy. He kept pushing him off the "ring" thing. Every time he climbed back on, this kids shoved him back off! I was contemplating intervening, but after observing for a while, it seems like this was sort of a weird good-natured game and they were laughing. As long as no-one was being hurt. The swings were a strange set up - 4 swings where if you were facing inward, you would all swing and meet in the middle!

Anyway, the weather had warmed up a bit, and it was lovely to soak up some vitamin D. There are lots of bike shops in New Zealand and lots of joggers everywhere! It has a nice climate for running - not too hot and I looked on jealously as many people took advantage of the stunning path along the beach.

We enjoyed an ice-cream and a stroll down the path. Lovely views, but I have to say we are very spoilt by having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world on our doorstep at home. I would find it hard to enjoy lying on my towel and reading a book on these gravelly beaches!

We could have gone to the aquarium in town, but to be honest, we were a little tourist-ed out! And we have been to similar aquariums at home in Sydney, Perth and in Noumea, so we skipped it. But a little down the road, there are the remnants of the old Seaworld, and when we peeked through fence, there were seals! (or sea lions - who knows?) putting on their own private show, just for us! Someone must look after them, but it is certainly not open to the public...

Napier is probably best known as an "art deco" city. In 1931, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the richter scale virtually destroyed the entire town. So, despite not much construction happening the rest of the world due to the Depression, Napier was almost totally rebuilt in the style of the times - Art Deco! This was the highlight of many of the passengers on the cruise, but for us, we were content to take a couple of photos!

As we strolled through town, we found fantastic sales at the outdoor clothing stores - and in NZ dollars too!! Wombat Girl scored a new polar fleece top, which was nice, because her black one was getting a little stinky!

When we got back to the boat we found the local old car club had got into the swing of things, and had provided a little Gatsby type atmosphere to the trip, complete with jazz bands playing...

And just to give you a bit of perspective, the photo below shows the stern (back) of the ship. 

Look at the tiny little gold coach bus to the right! Can you see the balcony rooms at the back (above the Promenade Deck?). There is a wider one (the Suites) and a smaller one (Mini-Suite). Our interior cabin was located opposite the Suite on the top. When we win Lotto, that Suite is the cabin we will stay in - hubby snuck a look while it was being cleaned one day...uber-luxury!!


  1. I am really enjoying sharing your vacation. AND I don't even have to worry about getting seasick!

  2. I love the city photos. I've never seen buildings like that. Cool!


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