Sunday, November 13, 2016

Cruise Review

Sailing Out of Vancouver
When we first told people we were going on a 43 day cruise to New Zealand, many reacted with “Oh my, 43 days on a boat, how will you manage?”. I thought that now that we are back on land a quick review of the cruise might be interesting.

The Length
Tendering to Port
We did not find the cruise long. There is always something you can do and the many sea days crossing the Pacific were perfect times to relax and read. The ship always has things going on to keep you busy; culinary classes, gym sessions, dance classes, lectures or movies. The nice thing is that after 43 days, we were quite prepared to leave the cruise where on a short cruise you are always feeling sad that it is over. It was however sad to sit out on the balcony in Auckland and watch the ship sail away without me.

The Weather
What can I say, we left in the fall just as it was getting colder back home and traveled around to the other side of the world to spring and temperatures getting warmer. We left as
Visiting Another Port
things were dying off and arrived to see everything just coming into bloom. It was 15 – 20 when we left Dartmouth, and that is what it was here in New Zealand when we arrived. Now we did have to sail through a few days of hot sunny south pacific days, but I managed. It rained only once while we visited a port, and Regis missed one day of swimming in the oceanview pool due to rain, and had to use the indoor pool. It rained through Doubtful sound, but I thought it added to the beauty, and we only had one day of rain here in New Zealand so far.

A Beer With Friends
The Food
The food on the boat was always excellent. Although some meals were repeated the menu was usually varied enough to always give us lots of choices. They did not do so well on the seafood early on, but seemed to get much better as we went on. We generally ate in the dining room for dinner, but usually had breakfast in the Lido buffet. This was often our choice for lunch as well. There was often a special lunch put on in the pool area, and there was an excellent hamburger place that served good burgers, hot dogs and fries. We found that the open seating option allowed us to meet many different people and we made a number of friends who we ate with multiple times. . . now if I could just recall their names.

The Entertainment
This was a weakness for sure. I was looking forward to the B. B. King Blues club, but the
Sunset at Sea
band played mostly the same songs for 43 days. The first band had a female singer who could sing the blues, but only knew four songs. She sang four songs at 8:45, and repeated them at 9:45 and 10:45. The real surprise was when they brought a new band on in Hawaii, and I thought I’d get now songs, but all new people but played mostly the same stuff. Needless to say I stopped going after a few nights. The entertainment troop was not much better. They had four shows they performed and these were repeated on each leg of the cruise. They did bring on new entertainment along the way, but most of them were not that good.

Anchored in the Pacific
The Ports
Many of the stops we made along the way were regular cruise ports such as San Diego, Hawaii and Sydney, but some of the Pacific islands were only included because they were convenient stops for the re-position cruise across the Pacific. This often put us in container piers or lumber piers and we had to be shuttled to towns nearby, because we were not allowed to walk through the piers. Some of these ports did not really have much to offer cruise passengers. I also felt that some of the ports were presented by the staff slightly different from the reality we saw.
Sailing Away Without Me

So, all in all, 43 days on a cruise ship is just fine. We arrived in New Zealand happy, well fed, rested and with no jet lag. We are still happily talking to each other and have made some nice new friends. Now I notice that there is a 60 day cruise around South America . . . . . . . 

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