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Roll Call: Star Princess 1/31/04

M

Mike & Charlotte

Guest
#1
Who else will be aboard? I heard it's sold out already; must be popular and it promises to be a great cruise. I know that Frank will be there, as well as Bev. Who else? And what do you plan to do ashore?

Charlotte
 
D

DBR

Guest
#2
There is two couples go on the Star 01/31/04. We are going two days before on the 27th. We are from ND so the weather there should be better the here at that time.
If it is like last year it will be about -25 or so here then.
 
B

Becky Phillips

Guest
#3
My husband and I are on board with you Charlotte. With an extended 8 days in Sydney!!! What ports would you like to know about. I think we have something planed for most all of them.
 
M

Mike & Charlotte

Guest
#4
Hi David and also Becky,

I think we all met on another board, or on an earlier post on this one, which I couldn't find the other day when I started this thread.

At any rate, we've got an all day trip planned out of Dunnedin, and that's it, as far as plans for the various ports-of-call.

We will have no time pre-cruise, but post cruise will spend 3 days in Sanctuary Cove, a 90 minute flight north of Sydney, followed by 4 days in Sydney. We want to take an excursion into the Blue Ridge Mountains one day; there are several companies that do that, but haven't decided on which yet.

We have no plans for the other ports. The big thing in Hobart seems to be the old penal colony, but that doesn't interest us. Maybe we'll just hitch a ride into town and then walk around in some of the ports. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Happy cruising,
Charlotte
 
M

Mike & Charlotte

Guest
#5
Finally, I was motivated to get moving on planning this cruise. Here's what we've come up with, port-by-port.

Auckland. Since we'll arrive in Auckland at 5:30 am on the day the ship leaves, I think we'll just arrange for a driver to meet us at the airport after we've had time to eat breakfast and gather our luggage, then give us a 4 hour tour of the city before heading to the ship.

Wellington. We love to walk so we might just walk around. Has anybody found something terribly interesting to do there?

Christchurch is supposed to be a good walking city, too.

In Dunedin we've signed up for an all-day tour to a peninsula to a penguin colony, the chocolate factory, and a wildlife sanctuary.

Hobart. After one day cruising the fjords and two more at sea, we thought that just getting out and walking in Hobart would be good. The Pub Walk sounded fine, but then the accountant in Mike came out: we decided that we could treat a whole lot of you to three pints of ale for the $76US that Princess wants to charge for that with quite a bit left over, no doubt. So we're going to arrange our own Pub Walk and maybe have more than 3 pints. Anybody want to join us?

Adelaide is a puzzle. With more than a million people, it hardly seems a walking city, yet I want to get to the opal mine store at the Rundle Mall and do some shopping. What do others plan to do in or out of Adelaide?

Melbourne. Wwe most likely will take one of the Puffing Billy tours; I love trains.

Sydney. Upon disembarking on 2/14, we'll head for the airport and fly to Brisbane, then rent a car and drive to the Hyatt at Sanctuary Cove, where we'll spend 3 days. Then we'll fly back to Sydney for 4 days at the Holiday Inn in Old Sydney, the area called the Rocks by Circular Quay. We plan to do a one day tour to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the one that takes us up in a bus and returns via riverboat. We also want to take in a plan and do a Harbor dinner cruise, as well as a day spent on the red bus, hop-on/hop-off type. We'll fly home on Saturday, 2/21, and what a long day that will be! We'll arrive 5 1/2 hours before we depart.

Would love to hear what the rest of you are planning for your shore excursions. By the way, we have a sea day after departing Auckland so I was thinking that would be a good day for a get acquainted party so we could all meet one another, after conversing on the Boards for so long.

Happy cruising,
Charlotte
 
J

Jenna

Guest
#6
We're really getting excited about planning too!! My husband and I will definitely be on one of the train trips and we love to visit wineries. Also, the jet boat trip looked interesting. Has anyone found any excursions not offered by Princess that look good? My daughter is in New Zealand right now and is going hot air ballooning tomorrow. That would be fun, but I don't think we get in to port early enough for that!
 
D

DBR

Guest
#7
Four of us are planning a Classic Jaguar Limousines tour in Dunedin. I set it up right with the co.. The cost was alot lower then the cruise one. $390.00 NZ dollares or $220.70 US for the day. You can go anyplace you would like. Castle tour, Royal Albatross, Yellow eyed Penguin tour and lunch. All I did was e mail them and set it all up. Then I call to make sure it was done.
In Wellington we are going on the Honespun New Zealand tour. My wife is a quilter and it looks like the giude is a renowned quilter and you should see some quilts and crafts I hope. As most husbands I just follow my wife!!
In Melbourne I think I am, maybe my wife will be going on the Ghost towns, Mines and Mountains 4WD safari tour.
The rest of the stops we are still thinking about!
Anything will be better then the -20 that we would be having in good Old ND.
 
M

Mike & Charlotte

Guest
#8
Hi David, Becky, Jenna, and everybody else who plans to be on the Star, departing January 31. The fires are down to smouldering, ash is no longer falling from the air, and the lungs are starting to clear, preliminary cruise docs arrived, Princess is taking shore excursion reservations on the website, and I'm finally getting excited about this cruise!

Wellington is supposed to be a good walking town; lots of good views from the hills and stuff. Think San Francisco, is what I've heard. Additionally, the Red Car funicular is supposed to lead to good sights. Mike and I might ride the Red Car, then get some walking in, followed by our own pub tour in the afternoon. My quilting days ended with Girl Scouts, and that was a mighty long time ago, but hats off to your wife, David, for her handicraft.

Christchurch has a good botanic garden, I've heard, with some kind of a boat return to town that is reminiscent of Venice's gondolas; I'll check further into that soon.

In Melbourne, we've booked the MEL-B Puffing Billy tour, which goes to a wildlife sanctuary with lunch at a winery. Billy isn't air conditioned, but it's only a 20-minute ride so I think we'll be able to tolerate it, no matter what the temp. The mine tour does sound interesting, but in Tahiti we decided that our backs just didn't much care for the way 4WD vehicles handle bumpy terrain.

On another Board an Aussie suggested that (after visiting the opal mine store in Rundle Mall) we take the tram outside the mall to Glen Elg at the end of the line. He said that the views from the tram and the town of Glen Elg were the highlight of his trip to Adelaide. I think we'll try that; it's a fairly large city so I was at a loss there.

In Hobart we've decided to grab a taxi and see the Bonorong Wildlife Park in the morning. If anybody would like to share the taxi with us, let me know; I'm sure it will be cheaper than the Princess tour. In the afternoon, we'll most likely do our own pub tour there, too.

Finally, I've gleaned all the information that 38 fellow shipmates have posted on Cruise Critic, CruiseMates, and Cruise-Addicts, compiling it into an X-Cel spreadsheet. Would be happy to share with people on the January 31 cruise; e-mail me at craven3 at adelphia.net, omitting the spaces and substituting the "at" sign for the word, of course. They come in handy for contacting those we've met on the Boards when aboard. By the way, I was thinking of having the Cruise Critic/CruiseMates/Cruise-Addicts Party the first day at sea. Any thoughts on that?

Here's to a great cruise,
Charlotte
 
M

Mike & Charlotte

Guest
#9
You asked for sources of shore excursions, other than Princess. So far I've found several, as listed below:

Wellington: go to wellingtonnz.com and then go down to sights and activities. There are lots of things listed.

Christchurch: to to www.christchurch.org.nz and then click on visiting. There will be various options.

Dunedin: We're going with Arthur's Tours. It's smaller groups, planned to your liking, and about half the price of Princess.

Hobart: I found two sources at experiencetas.com.au and also at cruisedownunder.com

Adelaide: Go to www.southaustralia.com then click on Adelaide and look to the left for tours, etc.

Melbourne and Sydney: www.affiliate.viator.com has tours in both cities. So does www.sydneydaytours.com.au Additionally, www.visitours.com.au has Sydney tours.

Happy cruising,
Charlotte
 
B

Becky Phillips

Guest
#10
Charlotte, we are also going with Arthurs Tours in Dundin sounds like it will be great.

We also booked with Mike Booker in Hobart and with Nickolas in Melbourne.

Charlotte I have been meaning to ask you if you are flying United or Air New Zealand to Auckland. We are flying Air New Zealand.

I can't belive how quickly the time is passing by, it will be here before we know it.

Happy Cruising to us all!
Becky Phillips



Star Princess
 
M

Mike & Charlotte

Guest
#11
Hi Becky,

We're flying in on Air New Zealand, arriving at 5:30 am. UGH!

Interestingly enough, our return flight is on United, but it's a code share with ANZ; we return on Feb. 21.

Only 75 days to go, and the time includes three major holidays, so it ought to pass quickly!

Charlotte
 
M

Mike & Charlotte

Guest
#12
Now it's down to 59 days till the ship sets sail. Anyone new aboard?

Happy cruising,
Charlotte
 
M

Mike & Charlotte

Guest
#13
Some time ago we decided that the party for Cruise-Addicts, CruiseMates, and Cruise Critic posters would be on the first sea day. I've noted that parties are in one of two places: 1)on the Lido deck aft, near the Horizon Terrace bar, which is directly aft of the Horizon Court buffet and one deck up from the Terrace Pool; it's partially covered by the Skywalker nightclub; or 2)in the Wheelhouse Bar on Promenade Deck (deck 7). We could have the party mid-afternoon, or before dinner.

There are 38 that we've met on the boards. For mealtimes, there are 16 with early seating, 8 with late seating, 4 with Personal Choice, and 14 unknown. If we did it before dinner, I would think that 5 pm would be the latest.

Please register your druthers; I'll have nametags made up for the ones who've signed in, and a few spares, as well. Before setting a location and time, I'd like to know what the rest of the group would like.

Charlotte
 
M

Mike & Charlotte

Guest
#14
It turns out that the night of the first sea day is the first formal night. I think it would be too much to get all dressed up in our fancy duds and attend two parties, expecially since we have a significant number in each of the three dining options. How about 10:30 or 11 AM for the get-together?

Charlotte
 
M

Mike & Charlotte

Guest
#16
Hi Becky,

We're early seating; I have you down as Personal Choice.

I also have down that you'll arrive in Auckland on January 31, the day of departure. Us, too. We'll be flying on Air New Zealand and arrive at 8 am. Troy and Glorinda Burwash from Canada will arrive about 6:30 am. What time will you arrive. It appears that most of us who plan to arrive that day are just going to go to the port area, try to dump our bags with Princess and then walk around till we can board. How about you?

Charlotte
 
M

Mike & Charlotte

Guest
#18
Here are details of the party. It will be held on the first sea day, which is February 1, at 10:30 am.

IF THE WEATHER IS NICE, it will be on the Lido Deck (Deck 14) aft of the Horizon Court Buffet in an area near the Outrigger Bar on the Horizon Terrace, which is one deck above the Terrace Pool; this outdoor area is partly shaded by the Skywalker's Nightclub, above.

HOWEVER, IF THERE'S RAIN, A LOT OF WIND, OR COLD WEATHER, we'll be in the Wheelhouse Bar, which is on Promenade Deck (deck 7), right beside Sabatini's Trattoria.

We'll have name badges for those we know about, and blank badges with a marker for those browsers who don't want to sign on message boards. We hope you'll all attend; it will be fun to put faces to the names the posters. We look forward to a g-r-e-a-t cruise and hope to meet you aboard,

Mike and Charlotte
 
C

Caryle

Guest
#19
Please add four more!!! Caryle and Jerry from Louisiana and Pat and Bill from Michigan. Really looking forward to everything but the flight!
 
M

Mike & Charlotte

Guest
#20
Hi Caryl & Jerry, Welcome aboard! Wow! Fifty-one people so far; what a party we'll have! Frank, you were right.

I've been having computer problems on the www, and have switched to my son's computer when it and I am available at athe same time. I can access e-mail from here, though, so all's right with the world.

Caryl, please send me a message directly to craven3 at adelphia.net, omitting the spaces and substituting @ for the word, and I'll send you more information. We look forward to meeting you aboard.

Thanks,
Charlotte