Embarking: First Impressions/First Activities

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© irene waters 2017

We left home and the minute our road trip began we stopped worrying about the dogs, Mum and all the stresses we’d been going through. All we concerned ourselves with was getting to Sydney, catching up with some friends and boarding at midday on the 19th. We did vaguely wonder if we should have purchased land trips through the ship and the alcohol package. We had done neither. As we wereon Baja Deck (deck 11) we were amongst the first to board. Our first sighting of the ship made us realise what a mammoth monster it was.

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© Helen Stromqvist 2016

Almost like my bag. I could barely lift it so it was lucky it wheeled well. We dropped our luggage off and headed for a cup of coffee and a bon voyage from our friend. We left her to join the queue.

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© irene waters 2017

I was glad we were boarding early as the lines would have only got longer as they time got later. They had it down to a fine art however and we were shepherded in quickly moving succession from immigration control, identity labelling (which we later found replaced our passport in all future ports of call and acted as our money whilst on board), customs and then on board. It wasn’t long before

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© irene waters 2017

before we found ourselves at our cabin door being greeted by balloons and poster wishing us a Happy Anniversary.

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© irene waters 2017

Inside more anniversary gifts and an invitation to join the captain at a function for celebrating people. I fell in love with my cabin immediately. A king bed, protected from suitcases with a rubber mat, a huge walk in wardrobe

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© irene waters 2017

television, desk and of course our balcony. The tiny bathroom was well set up and the water from the shower came in a strong hot jet. I later found out that the ship was designed with ecology in mind. The water was provided by the ship’s desalination plant and kept in the hold. This acted as ballast and kept the ship so stable. Only once did we roll so greatly that the water did not have time to move to the other side quickly enough to keep it on an even keel. The ship can create more fresh water than the passengers and crew can use. The surplus is bartered as wharf fees and offloaded at ports. This is particularly welcome at ports in drought, areas of low rainfall and otherwise lacking a clean water supply.

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© irene waters 2017

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I thought I would enjoy sitting out on the balcony and perhaps I would have if we had been sailing to another destination. New Zealand turned out to be both very cold and very windy. I did enjoy having it as we were entering and leaving ports.

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© irene waters 2017

The birds eye view we got from being so high up gave me images of the opera house, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Fort Denison that I had not previously seen.

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It also gave me the opportunity to keep an eye on the bridge and I took to taking photographs as soon as I woke and on sunset each day of the activity in the bridge.

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© irene waters 2017

We unpacked and watched our departure from Sydney Harbour. Our first compulsory activity was to do an emergency drill.

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© irene waters 2017

We had our muster stations – ours was the Princess theatre – where we turned up in response to the emergency blasts on the horn all carrying our life jackets. Demonstrations were given and unlike being in a plane, we all had to have a go. The Captain had a word of welcome and some words re evacuation likelihood. He told us it was extremely unlikely we would have to abandon ship but if we ever saw him in his blonde wig, dress and high heels running down the corridors we should be thinking of following for he was a firm believer in women and children first.

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Being released from the theatre, it was time to go exploring.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. Commenced a masters by research in 2014.
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18 Responses to Embarking: First Impressions/First Activities

  1. It sounds lovely. I would love to take a trip on a large boat. It seems ideal and we would not have to worry about accommodation. You travel the world on a floating hotel. But…my partner is not keen on the idea. She feels it might be boring despite the fact that those large cruisers have lots of things to occupy guests with.
    Anyway, I am working on it and would like nothing more than a ninety day world cruise, Sydney to Sydney.
    I do get lots of information and tempting offers from the Princess-Line. I believe alcohol is very expensive like $9.- a glass or $ 45.- a bottle. So is internet etc. Is that true?

    Liked by 1 person

    • We were worried as we are both introverts that the number of people would get to us. There is no way you can get bored however and you are never at sea for super long periods and the shore excursions (which I will be talking about in the near future break it up. We are now looking at 106 day round world or 86 day round South America. It was a great holiday for all the reasons you mentioned and more. Next post will be about alcohol and internet. The answer is no and yes or maybe.

      Like

  2. You do tend to leave your worries behind…once you get on that ship. you can’t do anything about them, so you might as well enjoy! So relaxing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Many more lovely years ahead. That must have been a great trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We are headed out on our 8th cruise this weekend. They are fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the captain’s sense of humor! And I had no idea that these behemoth cruise ships boast their own desalinization plants – that is an amazing idea! Can’t wait to read the next entry about your cruise.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That is absolutely gorgeous! And so interesting about the shower water. Wish you had been able to enjoy the balcony (I’m a big fan) but your photos more than made up for the view you might have had there. They are like postcards. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Paula says:

    It takes courage to leave our worries behind, but it is necessary, isn’t it. You have a lovely smile 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: # Weekend Coffee Share: 18th February 2017 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

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