Wednesday, 20 January 2016

The Big Adventure - Week Eight : The Cruise

Sunday January 3rd:
We spent a quiet day around Noosa and Peregian.   It was somewhat cloudy, so we just spent the afternoon by the pool reading our Kindles.   Tomorrow we head back to Sydney and onward to the cruise part of the holiday.

Tuesday January 5th:
Today the cruise started.    It was pouring with rain as we departed Sydney, so our last image of the city was not as good as it might have been.  I am always rather ambivalent about cruising, but I hope I’ll enjoy the next two weeks.

This evening we had a drinks reception with our fellow Pied Piper travellers.   I was pleased that there were only 20 in the group.   Perhaps I will not be too intimidated by them and perhaps I will remember their names as the cruise progresses.   Dinner was okay.   We are settled into our cabin and quite relaxed.

Wednesday January 6th:
A sea day.  The ship is huge and completely full – over 2500 passengers.   Queues for everything.   To be honest, the list of activities was not inspiring – art auctions, quizzes, bingo,  dance classes etc.   This evening’s show was a bit bland.    And we have not been given the free drinks package that came as part of our booking – which has necessitated a lot of correspondence with Celebrity Head Office.    So it is a bit of a disappointing start to the cruise.

Thursday January 7th – Melbourne:
We met up with my cousins Yasmin and Gina in central Melbourne.  It was good to see them after so many years, even though they had a few tales of woe about illnesses within their family.   We also had time to stroll around central Melbourne and take a tram to St Kilda beach.   Back on board, the show, the Aussie boys, was excellent and we have finally been given our drinks package.   So things are looking up.

Friday January 8th – at sea:
A very quiet day reading and sorting out computer files.

Saturday January 9th – Hobart:
We took a tour to Port Arthur.  This is a couple of hours from Hobart.    It was good that this allowed us to see some of Tasmanian scenery, but unfortunately we did not return in time to see anything of Hobart.     Post Arthur was fascinating.    In 1830, this penal colony was formed to deal with the worst convicts from Sydney and Melbourne – particularly multiple offenders.    It was a tough and harsh environment, with floggings, long-term solitary confinement and some degree of violence.

Sunday January 10th – at sea
To be honest, I am not impressed by Celebrity Cruises.   The accommodation and food are fine.  The programme of events is large, but bland.   There is nothing to stimulate the mind.  The lectures are of marginal interest, many activities are chargeable and a lot of those lead to a hard sell.  So today I did very little.  The show this evening, a new Zealand singer called Will Martin, was very good.

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