For those on the 1/31/04 cruise from Auckland to Sydney, would anyone out there with extended stays in Sydney be interested in sharing the price for a all day Limo tour of Sydney? It would begin at 8:00am and end at 7:00pm. The price I believe if my memory serves me correctly was $660.00AUD for the 11 hour tour. Any one that is interested just let me know.
We did an all day bus tour on our last visit to Sydney. We will be in Sydney for 3 days but will be looking for something different. I've heard mention of the Blue Mountains. I'll be looking closer at those options in the November-December time frame though.
Eleven hours is just too long of a tour for us! We like to get out and walk. However, we did note that you'll be there seven days. Frank sent me a good source of day tours at www.travelthere.com and then click on the field glasses and enter your criteria. I found a nice day tour to the Blue Ridge Mountains. We'll be at the Hyatt in Sanctuary Cove the first three nights post cruise, then back to the Holiday Inn in the Rocks area of Sydney for the next four nights, flying back to LA on the 21st. Where will you be staying in Sydney.
We did an all day tour back in 2000 of the Blue Mountains through a private agent that we contacted on George Street in Sydney before we arrived. It was fantastic and the Blue Mountains were simply gorgeous. If I remember correctly it was only about $100 AU pp and included lunch. There are many tours available so it is well worth checking into. BTW-We were in a four wheel drive mini bus and ended up being the only ones on the tour. What a delightful day it was!
Enjoy your adventure.
Toto (with less than two weeks until we cruise the Star Princess from LA back to Sydney)
We plan to do a day tour to the Blue Mountains, too. Am finally settling down to figure out what we'll do in each port. Since we'll arrive in Auckland at 5:30 am on the day the ship leaves, I think we'll just arrange for a driver to meet us at the airport after we've had time to eat breakfast and gather our luggage, then give us a 4 hour tour of the city before heading to the ship.
In Wellington, we might just walk around. Has anybody found something terribly interesting to do there?
Christchurch is supposed to be a good walking city, too.
In Dunedin we've signed up for an all-day tour to a peninsula to a penguin colony, the chocolate factory, and a wildlife sanctuary.
After one day cruising the fjords and two more at sea, we thought that just getting out and walking in Hobart would be good. The Pub Walk sounded fine, but then the accountant in Mike came out: we decided that we could treat a whole lot of you to three pints of ale for the $76US that Princess wants to charge for that with quite a bit left over, no doubt. So we're going to arrange our own Pub Walk and maybe have more than 3 pints. Anybody want to join us?
Adelaide is a puzzle. With more than a million people, it hardly seems a walking city, yet I want to get to the opal mine store at the Rundle Mall and do some shopping. What do others plan to do in or out of Adelaide?
In Melbourne we most likely will take one of the Puffing Billy tours; I love trains!
Which gets us to Sydney; we've discussed it above. Would love to hear what the rest of you are planning for your shore excursions. By the way, we have a sea day after departing Auckland so I was thinking that a get acquainted party on the sea day would be good so we could all meet one another.
I usually let my wife pick out the shore excursions and just go along for the ride. She usually picks some kind of bus ride that gives us an overview of the area we are in. But she hasn't gotten in the mood yet as we have a lot of other stuff going on. It probably has to do with our cutting short our 18 day cruise from SF to Tahiti when it reached Maui.
Sounds like a good idea to meet on the sea day. We're doing the usual crap shoot for table mates. We've requested to be at a table for 8 because we like to meet different folks and we are early sitting types. We don't like PC dining as we like the waiter to get to know our likes.
Hello i am getting personel emails re this thread.Thats okay but thought i would let you know.Iam not sure how its happening.
Now if you like trams why not cruise the streets of Melbourne on the Tramcar Restaurant.Depending on the day you are there you may have to Charter it.Minimum 24 Dinners.Its a quality way of exploring Melbourne.Its easy to charter.
I wont be on your cruise i am out of Auckland Re Star on 8th December.
Could you give us the name and info..on the tour company you contacted for the Blue Mountain tour from Sydney...we are booked for Jan. on the Star Princess...will be in Sydney for four days before...thanks...
Preliminary cruise docs have arrived; the Princess website is taking for shore excursion bookings, and I'm finally getting excited about this cruise!
Frank, we'll be docking at Circular Quay. That's where the new international cruise ship terminal is, in The Rocks area of the harbor. Actually, it's just on the other side of the bridge from Darling Harbor, where the older cruise ship terminal is. You can verify that at www.sydneyports.com.au then clicking on Cruising, and after that clicking on Cruise Schedule.
Bob B. from Florida, will you be on our January 31 departure? If so, I'll add your name to our list for the Cruise Critic/CruiseMates/Cruise-Addicts Party on the first sea day. To answer your question about companies that do tours to the Blue Mountains, I plan to use the one that Frank found at www.travelthere.com When you get to the site, scroll down to the binoculars and select Sydney. A menu of tours will come up, and select Blue Mountains. I'm favoring the one that takes you there in a bus and returns via river boat. The prices are quite reasonable; remember they are in Australian currency, much less than dollars.
By the way, Ive kept a spreadsheet on the pre- and post-cruise and other plans that the 38 people I've found on the boards for the Jan 31 cruise have mentioned. I'd be happy to share with others on the cruise; e-mail me at craven3 at adelphia.net, omitting the spaces and substituting the "at" sign for the word, of course.
My wife hasn't gotten around to looking at the shore excursions, so I said I would. I'm not quite sure what we want to do. Usually I look for half day tours unless I'm in some place where I need all day to see Paris or Rome. But for some of these ports, we have sea days between to relax but I don't know if I want to spend 8 hours on a bus?
I'm at a loss for what to do at Christchurch as none of the buses there are air conditioned and this is supposed to be summer there. But maybe it doesn't get too hot and that might be manageable? I don't know. We do hit 3 ports a day after a day at sea, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. But after that we have a sea day between ports which is nice. The train sounds interesting in Dunedin. The puffing Billy train trips in Melbourne seem too long a day. Plus, they mention that if the weather is too dry, they'll substitute a diesel for fire safety reasons.
Anyone have a suggestion for a good overview trip for these various ports so one gets a nice idea of the cities we'll be docking near?
There is a pretty good discussion of what some of the cruisemates are doing on www.cruisecritic.com then clicking on message boards, then going to the Princess Board, and finally looking for a thread called"Roll Call: Star, Jan 31, 2004, Auckland to Sydney"
Some people have special interests, like quilting, so the excursion to see quilts being made piqued one person's interest. On another thread we found a person who calls himself DiceThrowDickfromChicago who was arranging a trip for 6 out of Dunedin; we grabbed the last two seats in his van. Arthur's tours; he found them on the Fodor's site. We'll go to a penguin sanctuary and chocolate factory on the Otago Peninsula, plus other places.
I'm with you, though. Sitting on a bus all day isn't our cup of tea so we usually try to avoid all-day excursions. We try to get out and walk as much as possible; that's why we're opting for doing our own thing in most places.
One of our fellow cruisers who calls himself OlderPilot suggests this for Wellington, "There is some good information on Wellington at the following site: www.Wellingtonnz.com then click on "Sights and Activities".
Here's what Mike and I plan to do in the various ports. Wellington is supposed to be a good walking town; lots of good views from the hills and stuff. Think San Francisco, is what I've heard. Additionally, the Red Car funicular is supposed to lead to good sights. Mike and I might ride the Red Car, then get some walking in, followed by our own pub tour in the afternoon.
Christchurch has a good botanic garden, I've heard, with some kind of a boat return to town that is reminiscent of Venice's gondolas; I'll check further into that soon. I must check further into that boat ride.
In Melbourne, we've booked the MEL-B Puffing Billy tour, which goes to a wildlife sanctuary with lunch at a winery. Billy isn't air conditioned, but it's only a 20-minute ride so I think we'll be able to tolerate it, no matter what the temp. The mine tour does sound interesting, but in Tahiti we decided that our backs just didn't much care for the way 4WD vehicles handle bumpy terrain.
On another Board KiwiKruzer suggested that (after visiting the opal mine store in Rundle Mall) we take the tram outside the mall to Glen Elg at the end of the line. He said that the views from the tram and the town of Glen Elg were the highlight of his trip to Adelaide. I think we'll try that; it's a fairly large city so I was at a loss there.
In Hobart we've decided to grab a taxi and see the Bonorong Wildlife Park in the morning. If anybody would like to share the taxi with us, let me know; I'm sure it will be cheaper than the Princess tour. In the afternoon, we'll most likely do our own pub tour there, too.
Finally, I've gleaned all the information that 38 fellow shipmates have posted on Cruise Critic, CruiseMates, and Cruise-Addicts, compiling it into an X-Cel spreadsheet. Would be happy to share with people on the January 31 cruise; e-mail me at craven3 at adelphia.net, omitting the spaces and substituting the "at" sign for the word, of course. They come in handy for contacting those we've met on the Boards when aboard. By the way, I was thinking of having the Cruise Critic/CruiseMates/Cruise-Addicts Party the first day at sea. Any thoughts on that?
Thanks Charlotte. Some good info to digest. Most of the half day tours seem to be reasonably priced. Probably due to the currency exchange in our favor. Not like the sticker shock I'm seeing for our May cruise in Europe.
The bump I've seen is the one on my credit card. I won't see the bill until next month but I know it hit as I set up my credit card to give me a weekly email of how much has been charged so far. That helps me to see if there is some blip I'm not expecting, as if someone else is charging. Then I can go to their web site and view everything that has been charged so I can stop something quickly if I ever have an identity theft problem.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 1/31/04 Star Princess Question
Have you looked at the time zones we will be going into? They are all on daylight savings time as it is their summer but Adelaide is the strangest, it differs by a half hour rather than an hour with other time zones. Strange?
49 days to embarkation
To respond to a couple of your messages, I check the cruise cams at the Princess site regularly, especially the cams on the Star, Tahitian and Pacific Princesses. Nothing like a cruise cam to get me in the mood for a cruise!
No, I hadn't noticed that Auckland's daylight savings time was half an hour off, but I did know that some of those countries over that way did that. Yes, in my way of thinking it is strange, but, then, I think the whole daylight savings concept is strange and a bother whose logic is faulty.
OK. We decided some time ago that the party for CruiseMates, Cruise-Addicts and CruiseCritic posters would be the first day at sea. I've noted that others have their parties in one of two places: 1)On Lido Deck near the Horizon Terrace Bar, behind the Horizon Court buffet and a deck above the Terrace Pool; it's partly covered by the Skywalker nightclub; or 2)in the Wheelhouse Bar on Promenade Deck (deck 7). Also, would you prefer mid-afternoon or before dinner? Please let me know your druthers.
As far as dinner arrangements go, 16 are early seating, 8 late seating, 4 Personal Choice, and 14 unknown.
Additionally, if there are others out there who are reading this, but haven't let themselves be known, please reply on this thread or to my e-mail. We'll have name tags made up for the 38 people we know about, with a few blanks, as well.
I have no preference but I have to relate a funny incident that just happened. I was on the Compuserve forums and somehow a discussion about business class tickets got to mention the cruise. It turned out that a fellow that I've conversed with for many years on the Hawaii forum, who now lives in Kona, is going on the very same cruise with all of us. What a small world. I suggested that he check out these boards and add his name to the list.
I also got a note from Mary Ann Rizzo. She is helping escort a group. Seems she cancelled out for medical reasons but has recovered and is back with us. I don't think she or any of her group is on your list of 38.
I've never met either of these people in person but corresponded at times many years ago. Small world?
Hi Frank. Mary Ann is on my list, but not the others in the group that she is escorting. She had said early on that she doubted that she'd get together with us. I found her on Cruise-Addicts.com.
Am not sure about the friend from Kona. I do have a couple from Hawaii on the list, known only as Bev and Harold. Dunno the last name or their e-mail address; I met them on Cruise-Addicts, also. They are coming with a couple from San Luis Obispo, whose names I don't know, so I have them listed as Bev and Harold, a group of 4. If these are the same people you know, you might suggest that they contact me directly so I can e-mail them specific information about the get-together before we depart.
Now for the reason I got here today. It turns out that the first sea day is also the first formal night and the Captain's Cocktail Party. Considering that we're spread throughout all seating options for dinner, I think it would be too much to get into our fancy duds and try to hit both parties. How about 10:30 or 11 AM on the first sea day?
I think that is a better idea to meet earlier. Thanks for finding out - I won't send my tux to be cleaned when I embark. (G) The man from Kona, HI is Val. I don't have any more information. But I gave him the URLs for both this forum and Cruise-Critics.
I added Val to the X-Cel spreadsheet. Since he's from Kona, it sure appears that he's not the same as BLS, who lives in Kaulua. I can't remember which message board I met them on, but it was early summer. Haven't heard from them in a long time.