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About roothy123

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    photography, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania & Viking
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Santorini is my favorite port, but suggest going out of Fira and exploring the island!
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    just pics, but see www.pbase.com/roothy123

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  1. Where in the Caribbean are you going?
  2. Hi hallasm. You might remember I'm going to Bali and hiring Dewa in Bali in December. Anyway, after Bali we go to Australia and New Zealand, visiting Napier for a day and ending up and going home from Auckland. I suppose which city you'll like most will depend upon whether you like small cities or large cities, but I'll add my two cents worth, without having been to either city! Auckland is one of those few places on our cruise where I can't find a whole lot of things that really, really interest me. I'm sure others might disagree, though, as there are bound to be museums, animal sanctuaries, plus big city things that interest plenty of people. Napier, on the other hand, is a lot smaller and probably has fewer things to do overall. However, it seems to be fairly interesting and fun, though perhaps a big touristy compared to Auckland, a real, live city! There are a lot of art deco buildings in Napier, although most don't look absolutely fabulous, and there are lots of rides in antique cars, a few wineries, and a pretty close up view of a large, fairly active (maybe only Dec. - Feb.) gannet (bird) colony. The gannet colony is accessible by tours that go there by land in a vehicle or along the beach by some kind of buggy. I suppose it's possible I just haven't researched Auckland enough to find fabulous things to do there, but at this point, I'm thinking I'll have as much fun in Napier as I will in Auckland - for the day I spend before heading home early the next morning! Enjoy New Zealand!
  3. Hi suncity girl. I think you're on "my" first cruise, which goes Bali to Sydney. I was reading about the Healesville Sanctuary excursion you posted. If I ever do more than just read Cruise Critic I may join you on that one. Anyway, I agree that the roll calls are suffering these days - for whatever reason(s). If you think your roll call is bad, you should see the ones for my cruises - Bali to Sydney and Sydney to Auckland! But I'm hoping things change at least a little as all of us Australia cruisers get closer to December. If not, we may not even have enough people for a shared excursion or a meet and mingle, which is kind of sad. But at least for Aus and NZ, there seem to be many decent tour options that don't require an individual to get a group together to make sure the tour is a go or is affordable. Therefore, I'm not stressing on the lack of response to roll calls. However, I have been wondering, like you, where the heck people are!
  4. I had no idea any cruise ship docked anywhere other than Cadiz. However, that's great if yours does. If not, there are buses and trains from Cadiz to Seville, and when we were in Cadiz on Regatta, we used the bus there and train back. We weren't in Cadiz overnight, but with the time we had, we managed to see a number of things in Seville, have lunch, and be back on the ship for an earlyish dinner. I went back out and walked along the seafront around dusk and saw locals and tourists enjoying sunset on the beach. Some people may not want to make the effort to get to Seville for only 5-6 hours, but we found it worthwhile. But I also liked what I saw in Cadiz as well. Either place you dock, I suspect you'll have a nice experience.
  5. Late to add to this, but IF you're interested in fun and fanciful mosaic works of art, the gardens of the Giant's House look fabulous to me!
  6. I just heard it on the news. It's such a shame. I feel like I live in a Communist country now, where we are no longer able to choose where we go for vacations. I'm very glad I got to Cuba when I did. It was a wonderful experience, and it saddens me that other Americans have to miss it.
  7. Thanks for your information. It's funny, while researching Dunedin I found a video that showed the ride on the Seasider train and I thought, wow, that looks beautiful in a couple places but not very exciting in others. Then I realized the actual trip was a bit long, and a lot of the journey had apparently not been filmed, or was edited out. Also, the person filming it was apparently riding with the engineer, up top, and probably had a better view of things than I would have down at the bottom. So I decided a trip on the train was not for me. I don't know if you took this train ride or the other, more well-known one, Taieri Gorge, but I'm definitely leaning against any train rides, even if they're available with the weird hours we're scheduled to be in Dunedin. We're scheduled to be in port 11 AM to 8 PM, so I'm finding a few things will be difficult to do. But at least if we're renting a car, that will open up some different possibilities.
  8. For the person(s) who did the boat tour and saw albatross, did you see just a few or a lot? And for the person who went to the Royal Albatross Center, can you venture a guess as to about how far you were from the birds, or at least how well you could see them? Did you need binoculars, a large telephoto lens, or what? And were there a lot of birds? I've been thinking of renting a car and driving up to the Center, as it sounds more interesting than seeing an occasional albatross on a boat trip, but maybe both options would be adequate. The boat trip is certainly easier and cheaper but I just can't quite figure out what I would likely see with both options. By the way, I took a screenshot of a cruise ship passing the cliff at Taiaroa Head where the birds nest. If I can find it, I'll post it in a few minutes. In the mean time, here's a webcam at the Royal Albatross Center. I suppose it won't have an albatross visible due to the time of year, and depending upon what time you view it, it may be totally dark. But I watched it in January and it was pretty interesting and fun. https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/albatrosses/royal-albatross-toroa/royal-cam/ OR
  9. I don't book many ship excursions either due to cost, which is usually inflated due to cost of motorcoach/driver rental, tips, guarantees on number of passengers, etc. But some people don't like to research non-ship excursions, don't want to take the risk of missing the ship (though that seldom happens!), don't want to have to exchange money, don't care about price, etc. etc. But I'm glad the cruise lines offer excursions, even if I don't take many of them. On one cruise, I searched high and low for a non-ship excursion in a Canadian port we'd be visiting. I never found a single one, couldn't find a rental car or cab company, and there was not much in the town we'd be visiting. Therefore, I was glad to have the opportunity to purchase an excursion from the cruise line. It wasn't terribly expensive, and I had a great time, so I was happy!
  10. h2so4, did you use Pegasus or another rental? I know there are other rental companies around Port Otago/Chalmers, but haven't gotten far enough along to find out which ones will deliver a car to the port. Do you remember which company you used?
  11. I have not been to Dunedin but am going later this year. I'm interested in the Ecosanctuary a little ways from Dunedin, plus the Albatross Center mentioned by others, plus renting a car from Pegasus. They are apparently in the terminal in Port Chalmers or will bring the car to the port for you. I'm not planning to spend much time in Dunedin, but do want to see and photograph the beautiful railway station! (Great pictures, ORV!) Oceania IS offering some very interesting excursions in the Otago Peninsula area. I always look at those to get ideas, then plan my own adventures. It's great if Oceania offers a complimentary shuttle. The port told me that normally the port DOES offer a shuttle to Dunedin, but that often it costs $20 unless a particular cruise line arranges something else! I'll look at the blogs mentioned above. Thanks for the info, and LaBellaDonna, enjoy your cruise. I think we're on the one before yours. We're in Dunedin Jan. 14 and end our cruise in Auckland Jan. 20.
  12. Is "into town" Port Chalmers, I assume? How can you get to Dunedin? Is that possible by paying the $20 (NZD or what?) that someone mentioned?
  13. You're not the first to mispell that name; won't be the last I'm sure!
  14. Does anyone have info about a shuttle in Wellington, New Zealand? I gather the port is industrial and requires a shuttle, but I'm unsure exactly where the shuttle might go. Anyone know or should I try contacting the port? Also, I'd love to find out if there are shuttles in Napier (if needed) and Tauranga, both in New Zealand. As for Dunedin, someone reported a shuttle, but Regatta and other cruise ships dock in Port Chalmers, which is not exactly Dunedin. Therefore, I'm wondering if the shuttle goes from the port (berth) to Port Chalmers (likely, I would guess) or the city of Dunedin. Does anyone know? As for Taormina, it has been a while since I've been there, so I could be totally wrong about this. However, I believe that where cruise ships dock is not actually Taormina, and depending on the location, could be a little far from where you need to be to catch a bus. With that said, however, when we were in that area, we DID take public transportation (bus? train? I forget) to Taormina, and then a bus up to the little town higher up. At that time, we docked at Giardini/Naxos. (There might be more info in the Ports of Call section of Cruise Critic.)
  15. Trivial for sure doxielover but I'm curious: Exactly how many computers and printers are there under the staircase near the Explorers Desk? And does Viking still place those cool square, no roll pens out there with a small pad of paper and some wipes?
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