Sunday, February 10, 2013

Goodbye Sydney, Hello Sea Princess!

I have to say that I really enjoyed the beauty of Sydney's harbor.  I think it may be one of my all time favorites.  However I would not want to live there unless I could live on the water.  I saw some of the new houses being built that cost over half a million dollars and the atmosphere was stark, devoid of trees.  Like I said before, once you leave the coast the environment is very harsh.

I boarded my ship, the Sea Princess, for a two week cruise to New Zealand, right next to the Opera House in Sydney's harbor.

We sailed out of the harbor under the Sydney bridge when we departed since the cruise ships park right downtown.
I am traveling alone on this cruise joining up with friends when I get back to Sydney.  The Sea Princess tours both the north and south islands of New Zealand with 8 ports of call.
This time I got an inside room, a new experience but the price was right.  Given the cost of this round the world jaunt I needed to be sensible somewhere! 
The bad news was upon entering my room I found a letter from the captain stating that the dreaded norovirus was onboard!  I have washed my hands so many times I'm not sure I have any fingerprints left! 
I realized how truly exhausted I was shortly after we left port.  Let me tell you about inside rooms, that is some good sleeping!!  We had two sea days before reaching Fiordland National Park and I think I slept at least 50% of the time, maybe more.  The first day I know I slept for 14 hours.  I was beat AND I having trouble figuring out what time to go to bed and when to get up.  My jet lag timing is off big time!  Add to that my back was acting up so my ice pack and I stayed in most of the first sea day.  My steward comes by every night, picks up my big ice pack, puts in the freezer and delivers it back at 7 AM.  Bed has been good but want to keep the inflammation down.  This old age crap is for the birds!
Traveling alone you get to meet a lot of people.  I met a beautiful Italian girl on one of my trips in Sydney who was a helicopter pilot and a nurse from San Francisco that wants to join me on a future trip.  The Italian girl told me about some very interesting places to stay when I go to Italy again.
One thing that is making me crazy is some of the old people on this cruise.  Pushy, pulling the age card and downright ornery.  Not all are that way, some are very sweet but others need a personality transplant!  I'm still struggling with the Aussie accent too.  A nice couple asked me how I liked the troop.  I kept thinking troop, troop, what could he be saying. Turned out it was how did I like the trip!!  I told him I was going to have to get an interpreter.  It reminds of that time in Edinburgh when we only caught every 20th word that on/off bus driver was saying.  Couldn't understand him either!
Next post is Fiordland National Park.  Be prepared for some mind blowing scenery!

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