(21st – 24th Feb)
Quite a few of the passengers disembarked in Auckland and were replaced by new faces, not Kiwi’s as you would expect, but Aussies taking advantage of a shortish cruise back home. We are told that there will be a further 200 disembarking in Sydney and we will be among their company. On the 22nd we met a couple during lunch who we discovered had been allocated to our evening dinner table, not unusually they were Brits that had relocated to Australia quite a few years ago and were at present about to downsize their home near Sydney to another, a short distance away. They were taking the cruise to escape the stress of the lead up to the moving day. Not an option open to Sarah or Jamie on their recent house moves, but I am sure they could see the benefits of doing such a thing.
Unfortunately, on what should have been our first full compliment of evening diners on our table, Ian and Diane were guests at another couples’ renewal of their vows and had been invited to the celebratory meal and were absent.
As we ploughed our way towards Australia, the weather cooled down to a more reasonable 25 degrees, but the swell increased to around 3m which made for some erratic movement of the ship. Whilst walking along the decks you would suddenly get the sensation that you were walking up hill with a heavy body and then a few moments later one of descending downhill with a floating sensation, though there are no visual clues as to what is happening other than a feeling. Whilst lying in bed, this rhythmic fluctuation from heavy to light has the benefit of lulling me to sleep, I am not so sure about Sue. However, on cruises in the past I have occasionally had to dine on my own due to Sue’s seasickness, not so on this trip, so far.
A funny thing is coincidence. Our cabin is located on deck 6, our lifeboat is also number 6, but much stranger is that on each of the shore tours (every single one) we have been allocated number 6. So guess what our allocated three digit number dining table is? 666? No, it is 111. Also, the other day I noticed that there is no deck 13, it took 50 days to spot that. I wonder if Chinese cruise ships are missing deck 7?
On the final evening before landfall in Australia the captain gave an announcement during dinner that they had been closely watching a cyclone developing over the Tasman Sea and this had now led to his decision to stay two nights in the safety of Sydney harbour rather than one and miss visiting Hamilton Island. I was surprised by the amount of cheers that went up, indicating that this decision was most welcome. I know Sydney is a great place to stay but I have never been to Hamilton Island so I would have been disappointed, but a cyclone is a cyclone and in a ship it isn’t wise not to take them seriously.