Thursday, March 28, 2019

NZ Cruise D1 Departure

Not so many taxis in St Kilda Road on a Saturday afternoon. If the driver was disappointed that it was a fare with suitcases to Station Pier and not Melbourne Airport, he did not show it. Boarding times are staggered over a few hours, nevertheless it is well organised chaos. Buses and taxis go right onto the pier to unload their passengers. The Spirit of Tasmania was also loading, adding even more traffic chaos. The pier's efficiency is constrained by its small size and there has been talk of extending it out further.

We queued to check in, not too long. We were then seated to wait for our turn at Border Force (I hate the name, but that is what it is now called, formerly Customs and Immigration). The area we were in did not have heating or cooling, which is not a problem as cruise ships don't operate from Station Pier in Winter, but it must be terrible on a hot day.  We were soon on board and found our cabin, which was on Deck 11, called Baja (pronounced Baha). I think decks 7 to 12 are for passengers, below for entertainment venues, administration, the crew, engines and whatever else a ship needs to sail. There isn't a Deck 13 and the highest is the small Deck 17.

When we sailed on the Royal Princess in the Mediterranean we had a balcony. We did not this time and it made the layout of the same sized cabin stateroom better and more spacious. But I did miss a window as an indicator as to whether it was light in the early morning. There was so much storage space. We used less than a third of the space. Unlike most accommodation, there was an adequate number of coat hangers in the open wardrobe. The shower stall was on the small side, and there were plenty of large to very large travellers on the ship who would struggle a bit, along with many people on walking frames and in wheelchairs. The lighting was quite adequate.



I wanted to be aft as we departed at 4pm to take photos. We left at 3.50. Bye bye Melbourne.


Deck 15 overlooking Deck 14 for good views of the city, views that no one will ever see unless they are departing by ship from Station Pier. There was a bottle of sparkling wine for the first passenger into the pool while clothed. I hope he took his phone out of his pocket.


Melbourne's notorious West Gate Bridge to take traffic to the western suburbs.


A bit out of order. The chaos on the pier had cleared.


If you see the ferry The Spirit of Tasmania on her own, she looks big, but our ship dwarfed her.


Looking towards Port Melbourne and Albert Park.


A forest of apartment towers at Southbank.


A friend lives in one of these very expensive apartment blocks in Beacon Cove.


Let's get the party started with crew and some passengers dancing. The bear was to have your photo taken with, which are then on public display and you can buy the photos at a rather high price. We had our photos taken a couple of times during the trip, once while boarding, but no one, least of all me, would pay for photos of us.


Melbourne's tallest building, Eureka Tower is in this photo.


Far left in the photo is a glass faced building and the top of The Highrise can be seen above it. So there Margaret, now you know.


The top of The Highrise can be seen a bit better in this photo, a little right of centre.



Container moving machinery at the docks. Melbourne has Australia's busiest container port.


The tug boat departing.


Looking towards Williamstown.


The lighthouses at Queenscliff. The next village is where Sister lives.


And out through Port Phillip Heads.


The next two days were at sea, so the next post will be Day 4 when we reach New Zealand. If you are wondering about anything about this kind of cruising, feel free to ask in comments or via email. This is our second sea cruise, third if I include our Budapest to Amsterdam river cruise which we agree was our best holiday ever, and the most expensive. You get what you pay for.

26 comments:

  1. That would be quite a novelty leaving on a cruise ship from your home town. Your room looks spacious enough but I wouldn't like to be without a window.

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    1. I too would need a very large window. The reason for travelling on a ship is to experience and enjoy the sea. Otherwise we may as well travel by plane or train.

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    2. Marie, it really was a problem in the morning, not knowing when it is daylight.

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    3. Hels, we had a balcony last time and never used it. if we did another cruise, which we won't, I would have a window, but not a balcony.

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  2. wow great travel have a nice weekend

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    1. Thanks Gosia. How are you going?

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  3. I have to have a window. But we made the mistake of having a balcony and then mini-suite. So, when we celebrate we get a mini-suite and otherwise it's a balcony.
    All the Princess ships look the same.
    Would love to do a River Cruise. Sounds lovely.
    Have you thought of doing the Panama Canal? That was good, as was the Alaska Cruise Tours!

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    1. Maribeth, you are correct, Princess ships are very similar. Panama? Flying? Tropical heat? Nah. We probably should have done the Alaskan Cruise when we were in Canada. R regrets not doing it.

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  4. The room looks comfortable.
    Was it rough through the heads?
    Oh yessss, see the High Rise. Thanks for the link and directions.

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    1. Margaret, at times the ship rolled side to side and up and down, but it was smooth through the heads.

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  5. So now we ALL know where you live, can you see the ocean from your balcony or are you too low down?
    I don't think I have any questions about the cruise, you went and came back safely and there were no news reports of passengers becoming ill for any reason.

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    1. River, yes, we can see the bay from here. The best views are from my bedroom, if the windows are clean, and they are not inside or out.

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  6. Cheryl11:55 am

    Fantastic panoramic views across the bay to Melbourne!

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    1. Cheryl, views I have never seen before.

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  7. I don't understand why the name would be changed to Border Force.
    Looks like a fun start to the cruise.

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    1. Sandra, all political. Australia has Border Force to stop people like you coming here Ok, not really you because you white Anglo Saxon. Border Force protects us from foreign types. I think that is the impression our government wants to give.

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  8. Nice views of Melbourne from the sea.
    I've only been on one cruise in the Mediterranean and had no window either, just 1 week, but I would also rather have a window if we did it again.
    The room looks spacious enough.

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    1. Sami, yes about the window. I missed the morning light.

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  9. What a wonderful cruise!!! I have not been on a cruise ship for 20+ years and I am not sure why!!! Your pictures remind me how much I love them! I think my last cruise was Princess too! Thanks for sharing these!!! Annster's Domain

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    1. Annster, it might even have been the same ship. The ship is old, although renovated a number of times.

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  10. I'm impressed with the size of your room Andrew! The last cruise ship I was on was when I was four and we were emigrating from Scotland to Africa.. my first and last 😊 Did either of you get sea sick?

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    1. No, no seasickness for us. It was fairly smooth. I was kind of hoping for some rough seas, but not like the ship off Norway experienced.

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  11. I imagined a much smaller room, so tiny you must crawl over each other. Maybe like in a train. I didn't know, have never traveled. Are the meals included in the cost of the cruise? Or do you pay for those when you choose where to eat? Are there lots of eating choices on board?

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    1. Strayer, the space is quite adequate. All meals are included, either buffet or one of the restaurants. There are some upmarket dining areas where you pay. I will get to the food options.

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  12. Anonymous8:00 am

    what tour was this? as I am looking for one from Melb to NZ next year

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    1. Princess Cruises. Golden Princess was our ship.

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