Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 6 Darwin

Just a quick update as we are in port and I can post using my Optus credit on the IPhone. Last time I can do that until we find free wifi in other ports. This morning we did the Jumping Croc Tour with Princess on the Adelaide River. It was really good, as well as the crocs being fed, they also fed some kites. They were amazing they grabbed the small bits of meat in their claws and then ate the meat on the fly. After that the bus dropped us down town and we had lunch and wandered about and bought some stuff. But .......the 2 bottles of wine we bought were confiscated and will be returned at Dover. The officer said the policy about wine had changed last month. I'm sure some folks will have managed to bring it on as we saw some passengers not even going through the whole x-ray part that most of us did. Nothing much planned for the rest of the day but might post some pics after Katie's camera has recharged later. Still no grand daughter for those that are following. Hopefully news from Dr tomorrow :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 5 sea

Today was actually a quiet day, we played morning trivia then went up
for a swim, Katie was the ref for the now daily volleyball game as she
says she sucks at playing it. She stood on the side of the pool with her
black hat on and black and white bikini so she at least had referee
colours on! After lunch I did my mile of the promenade deck while Katie
came and read in the room. Then we had a small afternoon snack and went
up to have a game of shuffle board but alas it was taken, so I threw a
few baskets on the basketball court, lucky no-one was there to watch my
technique! While we were waiting for the afternoon trivia we sat on the
deckchairs and discovered a lovely thing........around 4pm on the open
deck they bring around milk and cookies. Yep yummy big soft biscuits and
cold milk, this is the first time we had been there at that time but now
thinking we might manage to be up there around that time on other days
too! After the trivia we came back to the room for a lie down, Katie
napped and I read. As we had some time before dinner we decided to
venture to the gym, Katie wanted to walk on a treadmill as the promenade
deck walking isn't for her especially when walking with the sea. She is
ok "against" the waves but not so much going with the flow! Luckily or
in my case unluckily there were 2 treadmills available so off we went, I
lasted 20 mins and I made sure I was going .2 faster than the two 80
years old either side of me! I got off after the 20 mins and weighed
myself and Katie did the same after her 50 mins. We felt so good about
not putting on any weight as yet that we ate dessert at dinner. We do
that every night but felt less guilty tonight :) Think I'll do a
weigh-in every few days because all the wonderful food is sure to catch
up sooner rather than later.........

Me standing on glass with the ocean 85ft below

Katie and I with Captain Todd McBain

Me , yes in a dress I actually have legs!


Day 4 Sea

Another fun filled day and we are even starting to tan! Though today its
more just a red nose each.......We started the day with breakfast in the
dining room, which was a slower pace and the food was as usual
delicious. We then bravely ventured up to Zumba class, which is held in
the Vista lounge. There is a space near the stage which was filled and
then the whole auditorium was filled with people dancing around the
lounge chairs, 300 all up. (I will get a photo of the lounge). There
were men and women of all ages, it was great fun, worked up a sweat and
smiled throughout the whole thing. At the moment it is on every 2nd day
with line dancing being the other day, but everyone today asked if we
could have it every day at sea. Because of all the different things
happening every day venues are limited where things can be held. We
definitely needed a swim after Zumba so up to the pool we went, and just
to change things around we went to a different pool, we still have one
more to try. After the swim we watched an ice carving, very impressive.
Next was supposed to be the wacky pool games but Katie and 1 other were
the only "volunteers" and because they needed more participants (think
the concept works better with a younger demographic than on this cruise)
, it was postponed. A volley ball net was set up instead and there were
actually 2 teams of 5 each and a couple of more young folks were
discovered! So Katie isn't totally alone in her age group.

its a swan but you need to rotate your head, sorry!

from our balcony

A nice light lunch was had then we went and had a game of Scattegories,
played as singles instead of teams as there was only 7 who came but it
was lots of fun. There was a an auction with free champagne on at the
same time as well as other competing things like sun baking and scenic
cruising. Then a little relax until afternoon trivia which is always fun
and entertaining. Dinner was pizza at the Pizzeria, yummy! Then we went
to watch The Green Hornet on the MUTS screen (a huge screen on pool
deck, Movies Under The Stars) . We sat comfortably on the lounge chairs
which have been given extra padding from the day time and supplied with
free popcorn but sadly we couldn't quite hear every word spoken plus not
really our type of movie so after about 20 mins we gave
up..........instead we went down to the vista lounge for some dicey
wooden horse racing, you bet $3 on a horse, a field of 6 and four races,
and 3 of the crew dressed up to move the horses down the track. I wish
we had taken a camera cause the costumes were very funny! We also came
out ahead, so happily came back to bed, and now that we have left the
east coast and the Great Barrier Reef the seas are rocking a little bit
again, which one of us is enjoying. Katie is still taking her meds so is
actually fine as she hasn't had the wrist bands on for a couple of

Sunday, May 29, 2011


just a quick word, thanks Di and Linda for your comments, nice to know some-one is reading this :) I would comment after yours but for some reason this isn't behaving as it did at home, so when I go to comment it doesn't say its me?? When we are in Darwin in a wi-fi spot and not paying for it on the ship, cause it is slow and pricey, I shall try to figure out what it is doing.........

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 3 Sea

Well......its been a hard day, but some-one has to do it. After eating
dessert every night, we started with a nice light breakfast of fresh
fruit and a small bowl of cereal, then did a wander of the boat and took
the camera and video camera to get some shots of the pool deck area. Ran
into a friend who asked where we going to trivia so did that and got the
same score as our first day, but if we played by work rules we may have
done much better!! Then decided a swim would be the thing , so I bravely
put on the swimmers (no photos of that) and we had a lovely swim before
venturing to lunch. Had salad with just a tiny bit of pasta......mmmmm.
Then back to lying on the deck chairs and reading our kindles. Found out
because we were so close to land we had normal phone coverage, so folks
everywhere were ringing home and sending texts. Katie also used that
unexpected bonus to download a few more books to her kindle. Once we
lost the coverage we decided to have some free ice cream as we had done
the 3 laps of the promenade earlier (which is 1 mile), before venturing
to a rum demonstration. Had a rum history lesson and free tasting of 3 types
of rum. I tried the Bacardi (took me back to my teens), then we had the
Captain Morgan, but gave the Bundy a miss. Katie tried the Captain but
decided she prefers her rum mixed into a cocktail. Luckily there is a
team cocktail event in the next few days, so she'll put her hand up for
that, maybe both of us will.......stay tuned for that. We are running
into different folks we have met and its always nice to stop and say hi
to them all. Even though there are close to 2000 passengers on board,
no-where has felt crowded and there were only 6 of us in the pool
together and funnily enough 2 were Sue and Colin who are our table mates
in the dining room each night. Each night if you choose to eat in the
main dining room you are seated at the same table. We are on a table for
6, Sue and Colin from Tassie and Vicky and Micky from NSW. They are
lovely company and we are all getting off at Dover. Each day we check
out what is being served on the menu that night and so far it has been
tempting enough so that we haven't yet ventured to one of the other venues available.

pool area with big movie screen in background

more pool

After our rum tasting we came back and thought about the gym but decided
on a pre dinner nap. Dinner is at 7.45pm each night if you choose the
main dining room, which we did again and again ate the 3 courses!
Luckily they are small. ( if I repeat myself about facts, please forgive
me as I don't reread much that I write ever). After dinner we went to
the night club Jammers where there was a Wii dance competition, there
were only about 20 folks there and of those 6 had a go. Katie being the
trooper had 3 goes, but the funniest was watching 2 young (under 25)
guys going against each other (twice!) . Katie beat both of them and
another lady, am so happy that her dance lessons paid off. We are now
back in our rooms, reading the daily patter, which is a newsletter
advising of all the activities for the next day and we have highlighted
a few we want to do........ice carving demo, wacky pool games, zumba,
trivia, art auction, horse racing and more. It will be interesting to
see which ones we do.

Day 2 Sea

Began the day with a leisurely delivered breakfast on the balcony, mind
you with our balcony being on the east at the moment, it was extremely
bright with the sun reflecting off the water, but I managed to endure!
We had a quiet morning and wandered down to watch a martini
demonstration , it was very entertaining and realised we need to carry
our camera more.......Katie even won a martini but kindly donated it to
me. Interesting way to start the day! As the sun was shining, Katie
thought she might have a swim, so we went up to the pool deck for lunch.
Katie had on her bikini, but the water was a tad cool, so just got some
sun. I just lay there , looked around as we listened to a 4 piece music
group and thought , how good is all this!! Then we both went and had a
seaweed wrap with a head a back massage, that was heaven, so had an arvo
nap before we had to dress up for formal night. Another missed camera
opportunity for us, as everyone looked really good, the Captain gave a
speech, introduced the crew and there was a spectacular champagne
waterfall. After dinner we went to a show in the theatre, really good
singing and dancing. Oh..............the Captain also made an
announcement mid afternoon advising that we were only on 3
engines........just glad we are a ship not a plane!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 1 sea

After a rocking sleep, we awoke and had a quick bite to eat before
meeting up with a group of people we had been sharing tips with on the
internet site "Cruise Critic". It was great to put faces to names and we
were given name tags to wear for a few days to recognise each other as
we wander around the ship. The Captain, Cruise director, Head of
catering and some other important personnel came and spoke to the group,
which was lovely of them to take the time. We went to morning quiz time
and played in a group of just Katie and I, you can have up to 6. There
were 20 questions, and unlike at work where the 5 of us get to give an
answer, here we had to write only one answer on the sheet and at the end
give it to another team to mark!! Suffice to say we didn't win......
Being our first day at sea we ventured to the Dining Room for lunch and
shared a table with 2 other couples and over ate. Hopefully we will
control ourselves in the next few days, but the food is delicious. We
planned to go to a lecture on The Great Barrier Reef which we will be
going through in the next couple of days but had a nap
instead......priorities. Then wandered down to the arvo quiz, but the
questions were harder and we were in a team of 6, so we may just stick
to the morning one. That way we only embarrass ourselves. Katie decided
she would like to see what classes the gym offered but unfortunately we
had to walk through the spa , so ended up booking us a massage each! But
luckily there were leaflets on gym classes and spa services, so we
brought those back to he room to read further. Dinner was again in the
Dining Room and again was wonderful, seeing we have only been using the
stairs, no lifts, we indulged in dessert, who can resist Grand Marnier
Orange Souffle for me and banana and coconut sorbet for Katie. We
finished the night watching a comedian, who was quite good, he also sang
and played the clarinet. The seas had calmed and there was no rocking,
which I missed....
I am writing this on my balcony early on Day 2, with sun and calm seas
and looking forward to the rest of today......massage and formal night
being some of the things, and maybe will take a photo or two to
brighten this up.
And still no granddaughter......

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sailing Away

We are on the ship! We arrived at the wharf around 1.45 in what can only
be described as wet, cold, windy miserable conditions. My sister Diane
came into the terminal with us and joined the queue to book in. We were
given our cards and also a boarding number, ours was lucky 13! Once we
had that there were announcements that due to the high winds, boarding
has been delayed (guessing the gangways were swaying a fair bit) but
that they would try to get everyone on as fast as was safe. The first
lot to board after we arrived were number 7, so after that it went fairly
quickly. But we were probably there in the terminal around 90 mins or
so. Actually after the initial excitement when we saw the ship from the
Anzac Bridge (or some-where) to actually getting on board after the
delay, it was more of a relief than a total thrill.
We then came to our cabin and started to unpack our hand luggage
while waiting for our large stuff. My big bag came first so we did some
of that then had safety muster where we put on the life jackets etc.
Back to the cabin and my other bag had arrived , so we did that then
went and had a very late lunch, more afternoon tea snack. Back to the
cabin and Katie's backpack had arrived, so we asked our lovely steward
Robert for some more hangers and we we nearly done in, too much unpacking. During all our
unpacking the Captain made an announcement that we would be leaving
late, so instead of 4pm it would be 6 or so, and that once outside the
Heads there would be a 7 metre swell and some rocking and rolling during
the night but by this time tomorrow it should be calmer. Katie was
thrilled by that news, so popped a pill , put on her wristbands and off
to our late dinner we went. After dinner we came back to the cabin and
spent the night being rocked and creaked to sleep. So after a tiring day
we are looking forward to the next 53.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Away we go

Well it's nearly away we go, just need to finish packing, drive to Sydney via Moss Vale to visit family tomorrow, then one more sleep after that and it will be "away we go" !!
I have now decided that if it isn't packed or done .......its too bad. My brain has actually given up thinking but hopefully that function returns once we are on the ship. At least all my lists that were blu-tacked around the study have gone, so I am assuming that I have done them all.
No sign of granddaughter arriving before we go tomorrow, oh well she'll come when she is ready, not when we all want her to.
My next entry will be from the Dawn Princess and hopefully I will post every day so I have a journal of what I got up to (all good things !)
Grant and I 1986, he is about to become a dad himself :)

Monday, May 16, 2011


My countdown clock tells me I now have 8 days and 21 hours to go. It is counting down to midnight so I guess I actually have a few more hours up my sleeve before we actually sail. Then again I will probably be awake from midnight in anticipation.
On Saturday (21st) it will be 4 years since Chris died, and then 4 days from then til we go. Four years ago I never would have dreamed I would be going on this cruise.
 When I first saw Princess World Cruises advertised 3 years ago, I always thought that one day I would love to do that. (don't we all dream of doing things) So about 18 months ago I started to seriously think about it, with the motto,  that you really don't know what the future holds so best to make the future the present. When I had finally made my mind up to do the trip in 2011 I was going to do it solo because I thought I may never get a chance to do this again and even though I am  introverted and going alone was a scary thought,  many of the ports included were ones I really wanted to see, so I bit the bullet and told Katie I was going to do it. She being rather cluey noticed that the price for one is the same as for two, so she gets to come along for the ride. Which is rather special having my daughter along to share the experiences. Although missing my first granddaughter's 2 months of life kind of sucks.
 Some of the places we will be visiting were places that Chris and I had dreamed of visiting once we retired. Except it wouldn't have been via a cruise cause Chris never liked the thought of being stuck on a ship for days on end. Think his visions were of The Love Boat ! So even though I'm not retired and won't be with Chris I will be seeing some amazing things and I am very very excited.

Friday, May 6, 2011

No more work for 3 months

Just thought I'd like to state that I have officially started my holidays! I now have a short time to finalise everything. Only realised yesterday that one of my credit/debit cards expires in June, so I had to ring the bank to request it be sent early so I can give the companies that automatically debit my account each month, the new expiry date. Don't want to come home to gas and electricity and phone cut off! I was assured the card would be here by the end of next week, so I will know the new expiry date soon enough. But it was one unexpected thing I have to deal with. Luckily with the trip so close now, it didn't actually feel like a drama at all. Must be those excitement endorphins kicking in. Lets hope the adrenaline rush stays until we sail to get everything done with limited stress, then I can get on the ship, grab a drink and go ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh