Today was embarkation day. A beautiful day in Sydney to celebrate our departure in style.
Everything so far has worked out perfectly.
We packed last night – a large rollaway case each – sufficient clothes we hope for 66 days of travel. Somehow, as bizarre as it might seem, I have more clothes than Merle does.
Then a briefcase for electronics – computers, iPads, chargers for this and that, double adapters and extension cords; binoculars and cameras.
Finally a carryon bag each for toiletries, changes of clothing, a couple of bottles of wine, pistachio nuts and biltong for snacking.
Took a cab to the wharf from the hotel, was dropped at the check-in area, did the Australian health questionnaire and the immigration card, registered for the cruise, passed through customs and immigration and, by noon or so were already in our cabin!
We have a balcony cabin – smaller than we had on the Pacific Princess with somewhat less hanging, drawer and storage space. Luckily the fact that I have used more than a fair share has not proven to be a bone of contention.
Departure from Sydney is an experience! Sail out of Darling Harbor, under the Sydney Harbor Bridge then past the Opera House and the magnificent buildings and residences along the shore. Farewell reception with free champagne and the resident band playing Hendrix and Clapton tunes. Questionable choice given the average age of the audience!
Spent some time exploring the facilities – lots of lounges and drinking areas; great exercise facility and spa; lovely pool for when the weather warms up (within a day or so of cruising North); a library they call the Reading room and an Internet café. We each receive 500 minutes of internet time free because we are frequent cruisers – slow upload / download times will chew that up though.
In keeping with our senior citizen status we changed our Dinner seating to the first sitting so went for dinner at 5.45pm. only two of our table mates showed up tonight – Terry and Lilly – very friendly and good company.
Now back in the room to watch a movie or read after getting this up on the web.
As far as the itinerary is concerned we are now heading North along the East Coast towards Darwin – which means 5 sea days; then 4 more sea days to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Then 4 sea days to Mumbai followed by 2 more until we reach Dubai (the end of the first leg). After Dubai we are in port after port with less free time and many interesting stops.
Tomorrow will describe the onboard routine and (hopefully) post some photos!