This in normally not a travel blog, but we had such a great trip, I thought it was worth sharing.
Day 1 Wednesday 9th October
Got up 4am, got ready to go called the cab about 5.15am, took the cases out the front. The cab soon arrived and we were off to the airport.
The plane was boarding 7.35am so we did the security scan, I always set it off because of my knees, one half and one full. They always ask if I want to go in a private room. We waited by Gate 4 with our water and ate the bananas we bought from home. Simon rang to say goodbye. We were soon bowing boarded 20 D and 20 F, smooth flight left a little early but with the head wind arrived just after 10.40 am NSW daylight savings time, it was about 1.20 minute flight.
Got our case alright then looked for a P&O sign, found a lass holding a sign and met up with the bus, several other couples got on the bus and introduced themselves Christine and Allan (who was funny making jokes along the way) hope to catch up with them again.
Drove through Sydney, several long tunnels and winding roads, we need up at the dock (not Circular Key) and got off. We took our luggage over to the luggage collection point, retrieved our camera, video, and ipad before heading into a big check in area. We saw a couple of our fellow bus travelers who said do the check in to get your number to go on board. We did this, showed our passport, and the customs form and got our P&O card, put in our lanyards straight away. Soon we were chatting with Christine and Allen, who introduced us to another couple and her sister in law, then our number 5 was called and we joined the queue to go on to the ship. A customs check of our passports and customs docket, another scan because I set off the alarm again, this time she got me to put my leg on a stool and she scanned each knee individually.
The walk through to the ship seemed to take ages but was probably only about 5 minutes. When we got on board, as we had already pre-swiped our debit card at the original check in, we had joined a queue but realised we didn’t need to be there, we went up to our room. What a lovely cabin, balcony with a brilliant view of Sydney, the ‘Harbour’ bridge in the distance. Magic!
By now it was about 1 pm and we were hungry. We were told we could get a meal in the Plantation Restaurant Level 12 aft, so we made our way there. Buffet style restaurant, Clive grabbed a salad roll, ceased salad same as me and fruit, I just started with salad and bread rolls. There were lots more there but not many seats so we took a pew and had our meal meeting other new people.
Then we took off for a walk about to get to know the ship, met Alan and Christine briefly again then went on exploring. We had walked past the swimming pools to get to the restaurant, now on the other side we found deck chairs and kids area at the back of the ship. We did a walk back through and to our cabin on deck 11 it was just after 2.30pm and our Cabin Steward, Ophelia had stressed that Muster was 3pm, in our Pacific Daily it was 3.30pm, so I unpacked while Clive napped. Everything away by 3.15pm and a good read of our daily program revealed sail away party 4pm as the ship leaves Sydney. The sirens sounded and Muster called we went to our level 8 then 7 with life jackets in hand to do the legally required drill.
Quickly we dropped our life jackets back in the cabin and headed for the top deck so we could get a great view as we left the harbour. I worked out the video and hopefully took some great shots, Clive has the camera too, and we both got shots of the navy ships, the Harbour bride and Opera house, fantastic stuff. Clive called our son Simon at work to tell him how great it was.
Then we went back to our cabin to dress for dinner. Walked around a few restaurants then, without a booking went into the Watermark, happy to share a table we took our seats. Met Michael and Fiona, Rodger and Dorothy, had a lovely meal and chat. Then back to the cabin for a quick check of the Pacific Daily times for the Ships tour 8pm, then the ‘Welcome Aboard Show’. The tour ended up being only 20 passengers following a lanky young Yank (called Houston) who took us around, described the different restaurants and shops, our dinner mates joined this too.
After this we went to the show, got a nice seat but left to check where my bag was because I thought I’d left it in the restaurant, it was in the cabin. Disaster avoided, we went back to the show, no seats now so stood at the back holding onto a table as the ship now moving a lot. It was a great show, how the dancers do such great routines when the ship is moving is beyond me.
Then we went to see if our embarkation photo was ready, it was so we got it. Now after 10pm we were tired so headed to the cabin to sleep.