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Old April 2nd, 2007, 09:11 PM
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Default Forum for questions and answers about the lands Down Under

This is a new forum for questions and answers about cruises and other topics about the Australia and New Zealand.

We look forward to your questions and answers from our readers who have cruised here.

Take care,
Mike
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Old April 3rd, 2007, 03:55 PM
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Can you move it up so it is alphabetical like the rest of the destinations?

BTW Thank you. My BF is dying to go to Australia. I hope to get a lot of good info on here Carla
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Old April 6th, 2007, 05:59 PM
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Wow! Ask and you shall receive! Thank you for doing this.
We are sailing Mercury to this itinerary 1/20/08.
We are flying into Sydney on 1/19, staying one night at the Hilton, boarding the ship on 1/20. It doesn't sail until 6 PM on 1/21, so we have another extra day there. A couple who are near neighbor,s who were also on our Jan. 29 Mercury MR cruise, are also going on this cruise. Stu called me and told me he was able to get a flight out of Dayton. Previously Celebrity said they would fly only out of Cleveland, Columbus or Cincy. My TA found out that Stu had a Custom Air package at no additional cost and she was able to do the same for us. YAY! We live 15 min from the airport, otherwise we would have had to drive 90 min. or more to the Cincy airport (which is really in KY) and worry about getting there and back, inconviencing our kids or other relatives or paying a fortune in parking fees.
The itinerary is:
Day
1 Sydney--Embark
2 Sydney-depart 6 PM
3 At sea
4 Melbourne, Aust. 7AM-6 PM
5 At sea
6 Hobart, Tasmania 7 AM-6PM
7 At sea
8 At sea
9 (Cruising ) Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound (New Zealand)60-90 min stops at each, probably just for photo ops.
10 Dunedin, NZ 8AM-6PM
11 Christchurch, NZ 7AM-6PM
12 Wellington, NZ 7AM-5PM
13 Volcanic White Island (Cruising) 5PM-7PM
14 Tauranga, NZ 9AM-6PM
15 Aukland, NZ Dock at 6AM
We are staying 2 extra days at the Crowne Plaza in Aukland.
I found out on another Destinations board that a visa is required, but Americans can do it online.
Yes, it is not cheap, :eek: but fortunately we have the money, time and mobility to do it. We will be 66 and 63 when we go and are not getting any younger, so we better do it while we can.
Anyone else going Down Under?

1/02 Explorer E. Carib.
1/03 Explorer W. Carib.
8/03 Summit Alaska cruise/tour
2/04 Adventure S. Carib.
2/05 Galaxy Panama Canal
6/06 Jewel Brit. Isles/Nor. Fjords + 3 days in London
1/07 Mercury Mexican Riviera
1/08 Mercury Aust/NZ
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Old April 6th, 2007, 09:19 PM
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We are seriously considering Australia as our next dream trip (after AK). What worries me most at this point is the 24 hour plane trip from here! How long does it take to recover from that before you can enjoy the cruise?
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Old April 7th, 2007, 11:52 AM
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Not having been there yet, I don't know how long it will take. I'll see if I can find out other people's experiences on the CM site.
We won't be in a plane 24 hrs straight. We change planes twice each way, but I think the longest leg will be 10 or 11 hrs straight. Jet lag is usually worse coming back from the west, so after we're home it could be bad. But then we can sleep whenever--the greatest perk of retirement. Here is our flight itin:
DAY-ORD (Dayton, OH to Chicago O'Hare)
Depart 1/17 @ 4:04 PM Arrive 4:25 PM
ORD-SYD Depart 6:30 PM arrive SYD 7:50 AM.
We change to a larger plane in San Francisco, but the flight # stays the same. I don't know the time of the connection yet.
Coming back from Aukland:
AKL-LAX 7:40 PM - 10:30 AM
LAX-ORD 1:00 PM- 6:59 PM
ORD-DAY 9:50-11:08 PM
I haven't had a chance to figure out the time differences to and from the US. I know it's an hour from here to Chic. and about 5 hrs from Chic. to CA.
Last summer we flew 6 hrs from Philly overnight to London before our Jewel cruise. We had little or no sleep, but were so excited to be there with our British friends waiting at our hotel to take us sightseeing, we didn't feel tired at all and had a wonderful time. Never felt wiped out and were on the go the whole weekend before the cruise. I think adrenaline just takes over.
The other thing is that the cruise doesn't really start until the evening after we board, which gives us another day to adjust. But we will not spend it sleeping because we want to see as much as we can while we're there. I would love to somehow make it to the Great Barrier Reef to snorkel. Maybe there will be an excursion. It's too far away to go on our own.
Have you booked Alaska yet? We had a fabulous time on our first Celebrity cruise on Summit in '03. I hope you have time for the land tour, too. You need two days in Denali to have time for the longer trip into the interior--more chance to see wildlife.
I have other cruises planned in my head for after Aust/NZ. Galaxy to the Med, cruise to SA, not sure which ship. And eventually I want to see the "other" S. Carib. islands--Barbados, Antigua, St. Lucia, Tortola, Grenada, etc.
So many cruises, so little time!
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Old April 11th, 2007, 09:43 AM
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Default Feb 17 cruise on mercury.

kmm44
We are on the Feb. 17 cruise , but we are doing the 3 day pre-cruise to take in the Great Barrier Reef. This has been our life long dream ----can not wait. We have the exact same itinerary. Hope you will have some time to post a few notes about your trip before we leave on ours. This site should be a great help to people.
Steve
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Old April 11th, 2007, 11:00 PM
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I would have loved to do the land tour, but the $$$$ was not in our budget with the cruise/air already costing an arm and a leg and two pints of blood. :eek:
I'll be sure to give you a report. Time will go by fast, just like it did before our European cruise, booked 13 mos ahead and starting 16 mos after our previous cruise. That's the longest we've had between cruises.
We have had a return to winter lately and I'm not ready for next winter, even with the cruise coming up, so I will enjoy the warmer temps if they ever come back. lol
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Old May 6th, 2007, 08:51 AM
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Hey why didn't anyone (MIKE!) tell me about this new forum??!!! Grrrr

Kmm I am seriously jealous of your Mercury cruise. I would love to do it with you.

When you get to Wellington take a rain coat and not an umbrella as it blows a lot here, but since it is mid summer it probably won't be raining anyway.

If you decide to walk to and from the CBD instead of bus or cab make sure you cross to and from the eastern side of Aotea Quay at the railway station (huge brick building on Bunny street) as the cars speed along that road and it is 4 lanes wide and there are no other crossings available between the ship and the station.
The ship will dock near the Westpac Stadium which we call the "cake tin" which you will understand when you see it.
http://www.wises.co.nz/#c/2r8nx/6f36v/0/

I flew from Auckland to LA non stop once and it was 11 hours.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 08:33 AM
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We're going on the SP to A/NZ on Feb 26, 2008. We arrive in Sydney a couple of nights before boarding the ship. Do you know of any lodging that offers transportation from the airport to their place, then from their place to the Princess boarding?

If not, any advice on making it work without private transportation (e.g., rental car) will be appreciated.


Thanks.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Lee
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Old November 24th, 2007, 06:58 PM
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Default weather and water temps in Jan

So what would the weather be in Jan feb or March. Consiering a 2009 cruise. We love to swim and snorkel.
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Old November 25th, 2007, 01:56 AM
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Those months are the warmest of the year (mid-late summer).
Swimming would be dependant on which cruise you take.
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Old December 9th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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We travelled to Au for a 3 week stay in 2000. Did the SE quad- basically Sydney, Alice Springs (uluru) , Melbourne. . . a fabulous vacation. Now we're looking forward to cruising on the Mercury Jan6 & visiting NZ. We are also taking an Alaska cruisetour July/08 on the Sapphire Princess. 10 will be in that party with 2 folks planning on flying up to Pt Barrow so that they can dip a toe into the Arctic Ocean. It's great to be 60 and retired!
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Old February 17th, 2008, 02:22 PM
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Sorry I didn't get back here in time for Travel 25.
Jiffymom--the weather we had was more like an Alaska summer. Jan. temps were in the 70s, give or take a few degrees. I wore shorts on the ship and only one day off. DH never wore his shorts. March is getting close to their autumn and may be even cooler. In general, the weather was pleasant, not really hot.
If you want to snorkel, the Great Barrier Reef is probably your best bet because it's warmer there. But it's 1000 mi. farther N. and entails a pricey land tour.
The only snorkeling excursion in our booklet was an 8 hr tour out of Melbourne, "Snorkeling with Sea Dragons" a guided snorkle in port Phillip Bay--$139. You would need a wetsuit for this and other waters on the ship's itinerary. There may be other possibilities offered by private companies.
DH doesn't snorkel due to eye problems so we booked tours that he could participate in. We'll be going back to the S. Carib next Jan. and I hope to get back to snorkeling. We book catamaran tours with free drinks and optional snorkeling, something for each of us, lol.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 11:47 AM
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What is the origin of the name "Oz" for Australia?
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Old May 19th, 2008, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyD
What is the origin of the name "Oz" for Australia?
http://www.aussieslang.com/slang/aus...g-o.asp?page=2
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Old May 19th, 2008, 09:18 PM
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We'll be in the land down under in December. Is it true Americans should refrain from trying to sound local by saying "G'Day" and it makes us sound ridiculous? (and possibly rude?)

I've heard that tipping is not expected and that a tip is included in meals, taxi's and excursions in the tab, true???

I can't imagine not tipping if we have a really great tour guide.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 11:55 PM
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Tipping is not expected. We did tip the first 2 tour guides, but then noticed no one else was, so we didn't do it after that.
In Aukland we put a tip on the table after the first meal in a restaurant (force of habit)and the waiter was surprised. No one else was tipping, so we quit that, too. Considering how expensive the food was, it was good to save money, lol.
It never occurred to us to try to sound Australian and we never heard any other "foreigner" do it either.
We were on Mercury for the Jan. 20 Sydney-Aukland cruise. It was a great trip!
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Old September 18th, 2008, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmm44
Wow! Ask and you shall receive! Thank you for doing this.
We are sailing Mercury to this itinerary 1/20/08.
We are flying into Sydney on 1/19, staying one night at the Hilton, boarding the ship on 1/20. It doesn't sail until 6 PM on 1/21, so we have another extra day there. A couple who are near neighbor,s who were also on our Jan. 29 Mercury MR cruise, are also going on this cruise. Stu called me and told me he was able to get a flight out of Dayton. Previously Celebrity said they would fly only out of Cleveland, Columbus or Cincy. My TA found out that Stu had a Custom Air package at no additional cost and she was able to do the same for us. YAY! We live 15 min from the airport, otherwise we would have had to drive 90 min. or more to the Cincy airport (which is really in KY) and worry about getting there and back, inconviencing our kids or other relatives or paying a fortune in parking fees. ITs a pity you dont spend more time in Sydney you can travel easy with the busses trains and ferrys plus walk every where. have you got it wrong when you say we are down under ? we see the sun before you do plus we are a day in front surely that meens aussie and n/zealand are on the top of the world. enjoy your trip Grumphy
The itinerary is:
Day
1 Sydney--Embark
2 Sydney-depart 6 PM
3 At sea
4 Melbourne, Aust. 7AM-6 PM
5 At sea
6 Hobart, Tasmania 7 AM-6PM
7 At sea
8 At sea
9 (Cruising ) Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound (New Zealand)60-90 min stops at each, probably just for photo ops.
10 Dunedin, NZ 8AM-6PM
11 Christchurch, NZ 7AM-6PM
12 Wellington, NZ 7AM-5PM
13 Volcanic White Island (Cruising) 5PM-7PM
14 Tauranga, NZ 9AM-6PM
15 Aukland, NZ Dock at 6AM
We are staying 2 extra days at the Crowne Plaza in Aukland.
I found out on another Destinations board that a visa is required, but Americans can do it online.
Yes, it is not cheap, :eek: but fortunately we have the money, time and mobility to do it. We will be 66 and 63 when we go and are not getting any younger, so we better do it while we can.
Anyone else going Down Under?

1/02 Explorer E. Carib.
1/03 Explorer W. Carib.
8/03 Summit Alaska cruise/tour
2/04 Adventure S. Carib.
2/05 Galaxy Panama Canal
6/06 Jewel Brit. Isles/Nor. Fjords + 3 days in London
1/07 Mercury Mexican Riviera
1/08 Mercury Aust/NZ
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 04:23 PM
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grumphy, did you have a question? I see my post, but not a comment or question.
It hit me like a ton of bricks when I re-read the line, "Yes it is not cheap, but fortunately we have the money, time and mobility to do it. We will be 66 and 63 when we go and are not getting any younger so we better do it while we can."
My DH, Vern, passed away 6 weeks ago on Aug. 13th. We thought we had at least 20 more years of cruising together, but obviously that wasn't God's plan. The lesson to all is not to postpone the fun stuff.
We had booked two cruises for next year--Jan. 19th-30th on Galaxy to the S. Carib. and June 3-15th on Summit, Barcelona to Venice. I thought I would have to cancel, but my TA told me to wait in case I found someone else to go with me. I'm happy to say that Vern's sister is going with me in Jan. and I have a tentative companion for June.
It's really weird how life goes on, even though sometimes I just want to crawl into a hole and stay there. Thank heaven for my wonderful family and Vern's and our dear friends. they have been there for me at all times and I have to be strong for them.
Looking forward to the Jan. cruise will help my SIL and me get through the holidays and keep me out of the hole.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmm44
grumphy, did you have a question? I see my post, but not a comment or question.
It hit me like a ton of bricks when I re-read the line, "Yes it is not cheap, but fortunately we have the money, time and mobility to do it. We will be 66 and 63 when we go and are not getting any younger so we better do it while we can."
My DH, Vern, passed away 6 weeks ago on Aug. 13th. We thought we had at least 20 more years of cruising together, but obviously that wasn't God's plan. The lesson to all is not to postpone the fun stuff.
We had booked two cruises for next year--Jan. 19th-30th on Galaxy to the S. Carib. and June 3-15th on Summit, Barcelona to Venice. I thought I would have to cancel, but my TA told me to wait in case I found someone else to go with me. I'm happy to say that Vern's sister is going with me in Jan. and I have a tentative companion for June.
It's really weird how life goes on, even though sometimes I just want to crawl into a hole and stay there. Thank heaven for my wonderful family and Vern's and our dear friends. they have been there for me at all times and I have to be strong for them.
Looking forward to the Jan. cruise will help my SIL and me get through the holidays and keep me out of the hole.
Sorry to hear of your loss KM.

Grumphys statement is buried in the quote just above the itinerary.
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Chin Chin and all that!
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Old September 27th, 2008, 09:44 PM
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KM so sorry to here of your loss my Quote about on top of the world was just a bit of Aussie Humour. you will enjoy your Cruise, good luck for you in the future Take Care Grumphy
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