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About OzKiwiJJ

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Sydney, Australia
  • Interests
    Travel, reading, cooking
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Crystal, Princess, Celebrity,
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    At sea, preferably somewhere sunny and warm.

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  1. Have you tried all the single malts on that list? If not, why not give them a try. A few years ago we did a trip on the Royal Scotsman train, which had 50 single malts onboard, many of which we'd never heard of. Sadly we were only doing a four night trip! Each night we asked the barman to recommend new ones to try, based on our preferences. It was great fun.
  2. Not necessarily. We did a Med cruise on Royal a couple of years ago. We booked it as a 21 night cruise but it was also sold as two sectors, 10 nights and 11 nights. It was operated as individual cruises so effectively we were doing a B2B. When we booked the Sanctuary they were only officially taking bookings for the first sector, however they did make a note of our requested bookings for the second sector. Although we only booked sea days I imagine it would be no different for whole cruise sector bookings ie they would take the booking for the first cruise as a "whole cruise". However the way the Sanctuary operates can vary slightly for ship to ship so you won't really know until get onboard.
  3. But then it goes back to Sydney from Auckland on the reverse itinerary. Or you could stay in Auckland for a few days and go back on Ruby Princess.
  4. I don't know what sort of excursions NCL will offer but sometimes cruise lines have "panoramic" tours which are mostly bus travel and little walking. Also you could contact local tour operators and see what they can offer. If you look at some if the other threads on this forum you'll find plenty of recommendations. NZ is a lovely place to cruise although I'm a bit biased as I grew up there. 😉 We've done three NZ cruises so far, it's a great way for us to catch up with friends and family there.
  5. There might be a winery tour offered in Gisborne, it's one of NZ's major wine regions. Waiheke is a good choice too, there are some excellent wineries there these days from what I've heard from friends in Auckland.
  6. I agree that seeing isn't always as good as experiencing, but it beats not seeing at all. 😉 Also there are places where the view from the ship is a major highlight in it's own right. For example Kotor. The sheer grandeur of the fjord, and the transit in and out of it by ship, was incredibly beautiful. Being able to go ashore and explore the old town was merely the icing on the cake. Going through the Panama Canal is another example. Luckily we're all not restricted to one type of travel or the other, we can do both or either when it suits us. That makes life very good. 😊
  7. We've done land trips, a couple of which were quite extensive including seven weeks touring Ireland and the UK. We travelled by plane, ferry, train, and rental car. We stayed in five star hotels and simple B&Bs. We saw as many of our bucket list places as we could in that time. But I needed another holiday once we got home, it was exhausting! In the main, I agree that extended stays in places do give you a better experience of that place. But cruising offers the chance to sample different places, without losing too much time travelling from one to another as the ship travels throughout the nights, and without having to pack and unpack. Already in under five years of cruising we've seen far more places than we ever would have attempted to see by land. Some, like Papua New Guinea, wouldn't even have been on our radar for land travel. As well as the convenience of not having to unpack more than once on a cruise, there is another factor that makes cruising easier - you don't have to go out looking for restaurants, cafes, supermarkets to buy food etc. You just have to decide which of the ship's restaurants to eat in, and you don't have to walk far to get to them which is a blessing after a solid day of sightseeing. So to me the value in cruising isn't just the cost, it's also the convenience and the ease of getting from place to place. We've done some very cheap cruises and some more expensive ones and we've enjoyed each and every one of them. I am noticing cutbacks on Princess and Celebrity which concern me for future cruises. I guess there may come a time when we say these lines are not worth the cost, and the luxury lines may be too expensive. Then, I guess, we'll go back to land travel or stay at home.
  8. For others things to do in the Blue Mountains I recommend: - Echo Point for the classic views of the Three Sisters. There is a short walk there that takes you close to the Three Sisters. - Scenic World. First do the Skyway which takes you across the valley and back for great views of Katoomba Falls, then take the Scenic Railway down and do the walk to the bottom of the falls. You can either go back up on the Railway or walk past it a short distance to the Cableway. https://www.scenicworld.com.au/ - Explore the lovely shopping centre at Leura, which also has some great cafes.
  9. I would have said something like "I respect your right to choose not to consume alcohol, and I expect you to respect my right to choose to have wine with my meal."
  10. Apparently if you buy an Opal card at the airport the minimum is $35. Yes, the seniors' card is great. Not available for tourists though.
  11. In Australia the limit is $100 too. Over that you can still tap but you have to enter a pin as well.
  12. Possibly but if they are only going to do a couple of trips the convenience might outweigh any extra costs. And if they're smart they'll get a credit or debit card that doesn't charge foreign exchange fees.
  13. You don't need to get an Opal card. You can use a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. You tap the card on the reader when you enter the station (called tapping on), and tap again (called tapping off) to exit the station, then your card is charged accordingly. If you don't tap off you will be charged a maximum daily rate. This also applies to all buses and ferries that accept Opal cards. The card you use must be contactless enabled ie have a RFID chip in it.
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