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cece50

Your Insights?....Sydney to Auckland

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Would love to hear recommendations and insights for our Sydney to Auckland cruise in early December on the Muse.   We will be spending about 4 days in Sydney pre cruise, so any thing we must do, must see, must eat while there would be greatly appreciated.   Our route will take us from Sydney onward to Melbourne, Hobart, then to New Zealand cruising the Sounds and then calling on Port Chamers (Dunedin), Lyttelton (Christchurch), Picton, Tauranga and then Auckland.   

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Hi ,

 

In Sydney on past trips,we stayed at the Shangri La in the club rooms .Excellent views of the Opera house and bridge.

The ferries are great to take you to the Zoo and other points in Sydney.We always try to book a show at the Opera House and enjoy the restaurants nearby.The wine tours are also nice ,but it can be a long day.

 

We are arriving in Sydney on the Oceania Regatta from San Francisco the same day as embarkation for the Muse .Ship to Ship.

We will be in Auckland for 8 days before going back to LA on New Zealand Air.

 

 

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I second the suggestion for the Shangri-La on the Club Floor.  Great views, nice snacks, great service, etc.  We have stayed there two different times before embarking on cruises.

 

One of the best things we have done in the days prior to starting the cruises was to take a cooking class at the Sydney Seafood School.  We have taken classes all over the world (do it when traveling as one of our regular things) and this school was the overall best one we have ever been to:  there was didactic teaching and demo before starting, then each person had a full kitchen station (shared with 3 others), then the "team of 4" made the whole meal, then everyone sat down and ate the meal along with Australian wines.  Really fantastic.  We would have done it again, but what was being offered when we were there the second time was the same one we had taken before.  Highly recommend!

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17 hours ago, cece50 said:

Would love to hear recommendations and insights for our Sydney to Auckland cruise in early December on the Muse.   We will be spending about 4 days in Sydney pre cruise, so any thing we must do, must see, must eat while there would be greatly appreciated.   Our route will take us from Sydney onward to Melbourne, Hobart, then to New Zealand cruising the Sounds and then calling on Port Chamers (Dunedin), Lyttelton (Christchurch), Picton, Tauranga and then Auckland.   

 

Although we did not do Sydney to Auckland with Silversea, I can offer many, many ideas and tips from when we did this "adventure" five years ago.  Out sailing did not involve Melbourne or Picton, we did many other of these key locations you will be visiting.  From my live/blog connected below, you can see a ton of pictures and details for many excellent options to consider.  Among my key suggestions/potentials would be: 

 

1. For Sydney, consider the Harbour Bridge walk.  I am not a "youngster", but it worked well for me and provide such awesome views and a heighten understand for what it took to construct this world "icon". With 360-degree views of Sydney, including the Opera House, the attraction is rated by many as the number one “adventure” in town. Rates vary depending on the time of day or evening when doing. Loved this exciting climb up to the top, seeing upclose the unique history for how this bridge was built, etc  The Opera House is also super fascinating to tour, plus see a performance there, etc., etc.  We stayed at the Four Seasons, which is close and handy to many key attractions.  Much more on the full live/blog.  

 

2. For Auckland, much exciting there, including, if possible, taking a day to visit Waiheke Island.  Super enjoyed this island that only about eleven miles from the largest city in New Zealand. You can check ferry schedules at:*
http://www.fullers.co.nz/tickets-fares/timetables/waiheke-island.php
We had a rental car from Fun Rentals Waiheke Ltd. and visited a winery, beach and spent the most time at the Cornell Bay sculpture park. See more at: http://www.connellsbay.co.nz. Advance reservations are needed to visit here, plus your own transportation.

 

3. Carefully consider options to do Queenstown.  Why?  Our two-day, overnight tour to Queenstown was done through our cruise ship. It is not possible to set-up this tour independently as the ships do not dock or normally stop at a location in middle of Milford Sound. Although this Queenstown option is not cheap and lessens some of the potential sights in certain of the other sounds and scenic fjords, we super enjoyed this “adventure” that provided a wide sampling of New Zealand’s scenic South Island.

 

4. Tauranga-Rotorua: We used Grumpy's Transfers & Tours at http://www.grumpyslimo.co.nz. We set up to visit one of the famed thermal parks, including the Maori*culture-focused Te Puia that is near Rotorua city (about an hour from where our ship docked). This trip included some wonderful scenic drives. Te Puia has a geyser, mud pool, Kiwi Birds, a Maori carving and weaving school and a Maori concert inside a genuine Maori Meeting House. 
For more on the Maori cultural/natural area:
http://tepuia.com/attractions_geysers_pohutu_geyser_rotorua.htm

 

5. Tasmania: Worked with Judy Livingston of Eye See Personalised Tours, e-mail to eyesee@netspace.net.au, to design a custom schedule that worked for our group to the historic Port Arthur prison site and Bonorong Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Plus, a wonderful lunch, etc. For this popular wildlife area, you can see more at: http://www.bonorong.com.au.
Judy’s website is: http://www.eyeseetasmania.com.au

 

Happy to answer any and all additional questions.  Don't be shy!!

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling for "down under” wonders. Exciting visuals with key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 218,918 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

Edited by TLCOhio

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We've visited Sydney a couple times the last few years. Strongly recommend the Koala Sanctuary at edge of town. Little smaller than a zoo, but it has mostly Australian animals and you can touch the koalas. The kangeroos hop around you as you sit on benches. It's kinda on the edge of town but well worth the visit. Also strongly recommend an afternoon at Bondi Beach, one of the world's great beaches. Huge, wonderful people watching, frequently has surfers, and you might even see some topless sunbathing Also strongly recommend hop-on hop-off bus. They take you to a lot of places, aren't real expensive, and you can get off in some spots if you want. As good a city tour as you can get. LittleRedJohn

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Thanks Everyone for all your recommendations.....very helpful👏

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Hi Okwfreak.....am I understanding correctly.....you will be boarding the Muse in Sydney as an extension of your first cruise on Oceania from the West Coast?

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12 hours ago, cece50 said:

Hi Okwfreak.....am I understanding correctly.....you will be boarding the Muse in Sydney as an extension of your first cruise on Oceania from the West Coast?

 

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Hi CECE.

 

We will be boarding Regatta in San Francisco on November 1, 2019 34 days. Then embark on the Muse on December 6.We will stay on in Auckland for 8 days and then fl back to Los Angeles.

 

We can not wait!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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Okwfreak.....what a great adventure across the Pacific!   We will look forward to meeting you onboard The Muse.  This is our very first venture to Australia & NZ.    We will  have a few days in Sydney pre cruise, but will have to be on our way to San Diego via LA the day after the cruise ends to spend the holidays with family in So Cal.   We hope to return to New Zealand at a later date to explore more in depth and take in a few rounds of golf......we hear it’s spectacular.   

 

We we are fairly new to cruising.....Athens to Barcelona on Seabourn Encore last May and will be boarding Seabourn’s Ovation in Lisbon cruising to Amsterdam this May.  This is our first with Silversea, & we are very excited.   

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7 hours ago, cece50 said:

We we are fairly new to cruising.....Athens to Barcelona on Seabourn Encore last May and will be boarding Seabourn’s Ovation in Lisbon cruising to Amsterdam this May.  This is our first with Silversea, & we are very excited.   

 

Noticed about your upcoming Lisbon cruise going north to Amsterdam.  As detailed below on a live/blog, we did nearly two years ago a similar cruise with Silversea that involves many of the same ports, including Bilbao, Bordeaux, etc.  Let me know any questions for Lisbon, etc.  The capital of Portugal is a totally wonderful city with so many great options both in that city and nearby.  How much time ahead of your cruise will you have for Lisbon?    Loved Lisbon and nearby!!  As proof, below are just a few visual "evidence" samples. Many more pictures on the full live/blog.  You will find Silversea and Seabourn to be fairly comparable.  We have sailed with both lines.  

 

For southern New Zealand, you did not respond on my question as to if you are consider doing an overnight excursion to Queenstown, etc.  So much great and wonderful in NZ.  For golf, there is a spectacular course near Napier that is ranked as the 22nd best in the world.  We had lunch there and toured to see the amazing birds and dramatic coastline at Cape Kidnappers.  Excellent sights there and for so much of New Zealand.  It is super important to research and plan ahead in order to maximize your experiences in that part of the world.  Don't be shy with your follow-up questions.  

  

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Lisbon, NWSpain, Bordeaux/Brittany: Live/blog, June 2017 from Portugal to France along scenic Atlantic Coast.  Now at 27,690 views.  Many interesting pictures, details for history, food, culture, etc.:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2511358

 

Here is only a small sampling of some sights on a Sunday in lovely and charming Lisbon. Like the sunny blue skies and historic churches of Lisbon?:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger!)

June%202017A%201548_zpsn7bano7d.jpg

 

June%202017A%201547_zps1ciugdwe.jpg

 

June%202017A%201549_zpsfkbma0cv.jpg

 

June%202017A%201543_zpsowhenzlq.jpg

 

For Sintra north of Lisbon, here is one small visual sampling. Yes, as we told our grandsons, these are "Real Castles!". Really have learned lots on the unique history of Portugal.:

June%202017A%201542_zpsrs25wyvr.jpg

 

At the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the art is mostly about the building. Lighting and time of day when photo shooting allows for much creativity as to how you can capture this structure, its outdoor art, the inside drama, etc. Not your grandfather's museum!:

June%202017A%201564_zpsjjiq8ype.jpg

 

Here is one quick visual sample from being in Bordeaux. If you love history and architecture, this is the super place to be!!. Like the little boy enjoying the water experience?: June%202017A%201587_zpsw32y5i9v.jpg

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Hi Terry.....I did read your reports from the Lisbon cruise awhile back & they were so helpful & useful.  Photos....fantastic. So excited for these ports most of which are new to us.....northern Spain & west coast of France.  I love Spain & France have been looking forward to these particular ports.  We have done an extensive land & golf trip to Portugal & we enjoyed it very much.  Lovely country.  We have our private tours arranged for Northern Spain, Bordeaux & of course, Normandy (been before but need to go back).  We have travelled quite a bit to London,  Amsterdam & Belgium & excited to be touching base there again.  Hoping for good weather & seas.....

 

Regarding Queensland overnight.....sounds very appealing.  Will look through your posts for info. Do I recall this was privately arranged?  Will probably have some questions as we start focusing on December. 

 

 Yes, a return golf trip with friends to NZ will be planned for another time.  The courses’ reputations are quite good & some other friends have first hand experience.  On Our List. 

 

 Thanks again, Terry .....really enjoy your blogs 

 

Christine 

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1 hour ago, cece50 said:

Hi Terry.....I did read your reports from the Lisbon cruise awhile back & they were so helpful & useful.  Photos....fantastic.

Regarding Queensland overnight.....sounds very appealing.  Will look through your posts for info. Do I recall this was privately arranged?  Will probably have some questions as we start focusing on December.    Thanks again, Terry .....really enjoy your blogs.   Christine 

 

Hi, Christine!!   You are very nice and kind.  Glad to know you're a person of such high class, great taste and wonderful judgment to make these generous comments.   Hard to do better on the visuals than your description of "fantastic"!  But, in the future, I will strive to do better. 

 

Yes, look more at Queenstown.  In most all cases, it needs to be a ship's excursion as you are departing the ship in the middle of a fjord.  No docking is happening in that area. Can't really be done via a private tour.   To be honest, there are "trade-offs" to consider.  Much depends on your personal interests and budget flexibility.  Among the factors to consider is that doing this excursion are its costs (usually with most cruise lines, this option not cheap), potentially missing sights in the other fjords and sounds (but weather can make saying on the ship a roll of the dice),   time riding in a bus, etc.  BUT, for us, it was a smart and great choice as we were able to sample these key interior areas of New Zealand's South Island.  Queenstown is wonderful.  On my live/blog, you will see many, many visuals and details.  Seeing a gold-rush town, winery and where bungy jumping was invented were nice extras that became the "frosting on the cake" bonus.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Wonderful scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 234,249 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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We very recently booked Sydney to Auckland for next January. We're staying in Singapore (Mandarin Oriental) pre-cruise & then have 3 nights in the Four Seasons in Sydney. Post-cruise we're having 4 nights in Auckland. Any insights welcome.  I found your blog very interesting, Terry. Particularly that you looked so cold! We have 2 stops in Tasmania - it seems I will need them to adjust to the rough seas & the temperature.

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15 hours ago, nuneham said:

We very recently booked Sydney to Auckland for next January. We're staying in Singapore (Mandarin Oriental) pre-cruise & then have 3 nights in the Four Seasons in Sydney. Post-cruise we're having 4 nights in Auckland. Any insights welcome.  I found your blog very interesting, Terry. Particularly that you looked so cold! We have 2 stops in Tasmania - it seems I will need them to adjust to the rough seas & the temperature.

 

Appreciate this additional follow-up, plus the comments and questions from nuneham.  Was I looking cold during our Australia-NZ adventure???  Don't remember any serious challenges in that way.  Yes, the crossing between Australia and New Zealand can have its difficulties as the cold waters from Antarctica come up and clash with the warmer Pacific.  For us in our crossing, we had lots of "Rock & Roll"!!  

 

For Auckland, we enjoyed so much there!!  As I mentioned earlier, consider: taking a day to visit Waiheke Island.  Super enjoyed this island that only about eleven miles from the largest city in New Zealand. You can check ferry schedules at:
http://www.fullers.co.nz/tickets-fares/timetables/waiheke-island.php
We had a rental car from Fun Rentals Waiheke Ltd. and visited a winery, beach and spent the most time at the Cornell Bay sculpture park. See more at: http://www.connellsbay.co.nz. Advance reservations are needed to visit here, plus your own transportation.

 

Keep up the great questions and sharing!!  As mentioned earlier, there are so very many good potentials to consider in these two countries that you should and must do advance research to plan and prepare accordingly.  Australia and New Zealand are not like some islands in the Caribbean with limited options and a few tee-shirt shops.  AND, allow enough time before and after your cruise to go more in-depth in both amazing nations.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling for "down under” wonders. Exciting visuals with key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 210,013 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

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It may not have been you, Terry, but I remember thinking that someone looked cold. I have made a mental note to pack layers. We have been to Australia before, prior to a South Pacific cruise,  & were keen to return. A trip to the island is pencilled in & we have another full-day tour booked. This one must now go onto the back burner as we have a land trip to China in the very near future. Amazing possibilities!

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20 hours ago, nuneham said:

It may not have been you, Terry, but I remember thinking that someone looked cold. I have made a mental note to pack layers. We have been to Australia before, prior to a South Pacific cruise,  & were keen to return. A trip to the island is pencilled in & we have another full-day tour booked. This one must now go onto the back burner as we have a land trip to China in the very near future. Amazing possibilities!

 

China sounds very exciting!!  That's on our upcoming, must-do, future list.  Just need more money and time.  Agree that packing layers can be important and needed for certain area, including Tasmania even in their summer season.  Hopefully you will make it back to Australia in the near future.  Keep on planning and dreaming. 

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

SE Asia/Mekong River, Etc.!  Live/blog from early 2018, first adventure through SE Asia, stops in Hong Kong and Bangkok, before exploring all over Vietnam and Cambodia, seven days sailing on the Mekong River. Now at 45,061 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2591474

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59 minutes ago, TLCOhio said:

 Hopefully you will make it back to Australia in the near future.  Keep on planning and dreaming. 

 

 

Sorry, Terry, I mean the mental back-burner. We begin our China & Hong Kong trip in about 5 weeks, but the Singapore, Australia & New Zealand trip is booked for January/February 2020. Both require research & planning to make the most of the opportunity. Thank you for your advice.

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20 hours ago, nuneham said:

We begin our China & Hong Kong trip in about 5 weeks, but the Singapore, Australia & New Zealand trip is booked for January/February 2020. Both require research & planning to make the most of the opportunity. Thank you for your advice.

 

Appreciate your follow-up and the added timings with your upcoming travel.  To help build excitement for your visit to China in five weeks, below are a few of my "eye candy" samples for a small part of what we enjoyed in Hong Kong.  Fascinating city!!

 

YES, research and planning for many of these key locations is so very, very important.  There are so many good opportunities in Australia and New Zealand that careful advanced review is needed.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Fun, interesting visuals, plus travel details from this early 2016 live/blog. At 44,627 views. Featuring Cape Town, South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

 

From our Hong Kong Temple and market visits, here are some quick visual samples. Yes, interesting and fun! Lots of shopping "opportunities", people, activity and excitement in Hong Kong with its nearly eight million people.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger!)

CMZ_9038%201_zpsoctqyh2r.jpg

 

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We crossed from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island on the famous Star Ferry. Second is a sample of the old and new on Hong Kong Island. Lots of tall and dramatic architecture here and across Victoria Harbour in Kowloon.:

CMZ_9141%201%201_zpsq2sh9br8.jpg

 

CMZ_9159%202%201_zps3btxu06t.jpg

 

Here is the view when coming down from Victoria Peak on the steep tram tracks as another car is coming up.:

CMZ_9234%201_zpspjljfypf.jpg

 

The meat offered in this market is so fresh, it was actually alive in the morning before being slaughter. Then, direct to this market that offers even such unique side parts such as the tail, etc.:

CMZ_9266%202_zpsgyf0vpun.jpg

 

Lots of night action in Hong Kong!! First, some folks sampling the "street food". Second is a night view of the Hong Kong Harbor and their amazing lights, including of a cruise ship arriving here in Victoria's Harbour.:

CMZ_9410%205_zpseolqjqfr.jpg

 

CMZ_9403%204_zpssd6bb5qc.jpg

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No one mentioned Dunedin, but it's a great port, try to visit the penguin/albatross sanctuary if you can.  We have also done a sea kayaking excursion there which was also great.  Not much in the town itself  but great access to nature.  Melbourne is just the opposite, truly fantastic city, you can have a great time walking around and exploring on your own if you research in advance, no need to take a tour.

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In Hobart, if they offer the tour to visit the animal rescue sanctuary, it is well worth the time.  We hand fed kangaroos and saw many animals who owed their lives to the wonderful people there.  

 

In Sydney, you must go to the fish market if you do not take a cooking class.  Also the botanical gardens can be wonderful depending on the season.  Have a wonderful trip.

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We did the Muse  Sydney to  Auckland in February this year.   My husband did a full trip report on here 

 

Just remember that the Muse sails  from  the White Bay Cruise terminal   which is  not the one at Sydney Harbour Bridge.

 

If you have any questions  I would be happy to  answer.  It was a great cruise.

 

 

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Thanks Rojaan,

 

I literally read it last night.

 

Looking at booking the Jan 3 SYD-SYD because Miss W has just had her holidays changed.

 

I know it's cyclone season and stingers and everything that says wrong direction time of year!

 

Do you reckon the pool area is big enough given we have a lot of sea days?   I doubt the cruise is full because they are still throwing incentives

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