So, before we get to New Zealand, we have two days at sea. I love cruising (I know not everyone does) because:
- it's easy - they bring your bags to your room, you unpack, and then everything is taken care of!
- no cooking - and all the meals are included in the price of your fare!
- the food is (generally speaking) yummy!
- people come and ask you if you would like a drink while you sit by the pool!
- you wake up in a new location everyday!
- lots of things to do!
We opted for two interior cabins. Now, as far as Princess cruises are concerned, Wombat Girl slept with my in a queen cabin and Video Boy was with my husband in a twin. In reality, they kids bunked in together and we got our own room, which I affectionately called "the Cave". Not much room, but comfy:
The interior cabins are of course, the cheapest. And they don't bother me too much, except the very strange sensation of waking up and not knowing whether it is morning or night, sunny or cloudy. You can turn on the TV and look at the bridge cam and that is the next best thing.
One of the pluses of cruising is Kids Club is included in the price. When we cruised the South Pacific a couple of years back, my kids didn't really enjoy Kids Club. There were hundreds of kids onboard and I think they found it a bit too overwhelming. A couple of years of maturity, only 23 kids on board (including ours) and they really enjoyed it this time. Art, craft, science activities, Sing Star, PS3, Guitar Hero, pajama parties...they had it all!
They also celebrated Halloween, which we have never done. The kids got dressed up and went trick or treating on board! Great decorations on board and I finally got to understand some of the fun of Halloween.
It wouldn't be a cruise without FOOD! Yes, you can buffet or room service 24 hours a day! And it is included! Or, you can choose to go to the fine dining restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And there is a poolside grill, pizza/pasta place or cafe's for coffee. Most of it is included in your fare. It is difficult not to err to excess, but I think we managed quite well and I was as shocked as could be when I got back on the scales at home and hadn't put on any weight!!!
|Our preferred breakfast locale...|
|Video Boy's buffet choices were a constant source of wonderment and amusement!|
|...and the yummiest desserts....|
The worst thing that could happen would be to get bored on board! So there are plenty of choices to prevent that. The kids enjoyed Giant Jenga (cheered on by a bunch of grandmas and grandpas)...
...there lots of shows in the theatres (most of which are suitable for children)...
...lots of reading to get done...
|Quite a nice spot for some reading|
|Yes, my knees did get sunburnt!|
|Promenade deck - nice spot for reading out of the sun|
I would love to proudly write here that I went to the extremely-well equipped gym daily and power-walked the promenade deck, but alas I cannot lie. We did walk lots on our shore trips, though. We also did not buy any art at the auctions, play bingo, participate in the Princess Pop Star or Choir, learn to play bridge, have a massage or beauty treatment, get our gait analysed or have a cellulite treatment, but they were all offer (plus a whole bunch of other stuff!).
|But we did learn how to make origami boxes...|
A new feature on board which we did not have on our previous cruise was the Movies Under the Stars outdoor theatre (complete with popcorn). I loved Twilight and hubby loved Lord of the Rings and the kids enjoyed Cars 2. We also enjoyed a family movie night or two, snuggled up on our big bed, eating room service. I have to say our sleeping habits (not helped by the Cave) tended to staying up late and sleeping in!!
|That's dedication - Twilight in the rain!|
|My favourite cocktail - the "ultimate cooler"|
|What's a cruise without champagne? Cheers! |
(Stylish shoes, Ingi, BTW)
But, yanno, not everything is pleasant on board. Some lowlights:
- Significant numbers of older people on board, which in itself is no biggie, but they are sooooo slooowww at everything, from gettting on and off the ship to serving themselves fruit salad. Got a bit much by the end of the trip
- Germs. Any confined space means germs are easily spread. Hence the anti-bacterial handwash everywhere and the highly enjoyable hand-cleanliness video before every movie. Our catch-cry became "don't touch the handrails" after we saw a man cough, sneeze and blow his nose into his hanky and then proceed to drag it along the handrails. Don't touch the handrails. Or the elevator buttons. We all caught a cold anyway - but thankfully at the very end and I was the last to succumb, so I sit here typing with my first head-cold in a year.
- Seasickness. The boat moves. A lot. Some people (like my annoying husband and son) are not affected in the slightest by this. Others (me and to a lesser extent, my daughter) feel every heave and ho. Did you know there are 6 different ways a boat can move? Yes, there are - heave, sway, surge, yaw, pitch and roll. Our boat, despite being very "stable" experienced every one of those on the trip over the Tasman Sea. Nothing you can do but take your Sea Legs medication and snooze it out.
Not long now until we see land again!!!