Monday 15 July 2013 Our Last Day at Sea
Happy birthday to our niece Tara, we hope you’re enjoying your first birthday overseas and that London has turned on a great day for you.
After breakfast 8 of us went to join in on a behind the scenes tour of the ship (you had to be over 8, so the youngest 3 went to kids club for the morning). It was a great way to spend almost 3 hours. We toured through 3 of the ships many kitchens, storage area, the laundry, crew area (dining rooms, training areas, their lounge and bar, etc), the Engineering department and the Bridge. It was facinating to see how they cope with the daily demands of about 3500 people in total (crew and passengers). We had a good Q & A with the captain (and all the other section managers in their areas) and a couple of photos up on the bridge. Along the way we had snacks and drinks at strategic areas (the main kitchen and the crews lounge) before finishing the tour with drinks in the Nouveau Restaurant. Casey (from HR) our guide was a wealth of information and very accomodating.
Some interesting facts – when we dock in Sydney they will take on board $400,000.00 worth of food, $70,000.00 of alcohol and $1,000,000.00 worth of fuel!!
Since we finished up on Deck 10, Deb and I took the opportunity to have lunch at Fat Jimmy’s. They serve the best pulled pork there. Yummmm.
The afternoon was pretty relaxing, Deb did a bit of reading and starting repacking our bags, and I took Ella and Ethan up for a game of mini golf (putt-putt) followed by icecream and drinks. From there I got Deb a cup of tea and we went back to our room. It was nice to see Carly there with Deb. Apparently while I was out, guests services dropped off 4 plates of cakes for us, an added bonus from our tour this morning, so I guess we will have to share them with all the others.
Carly left with her plate and Deb dropped some into Ben’s cabin. That left Deb and I with a plate with 1 cake for me and a couple of chocolate dipped strawberries for later.
We headed off down for dinner one last time. The meal was great as usual. It was a little unusual, in the fact that we didn’t order dessert like we normally would, I thought they must be doing something special for the last night., and never gave it another thought. Silly me!!! LOL I should have guessed something was up when Ethan, sitting next to me seemed VERY excited. A little after we had all finished our mains in came of head waiter Ronald, holding a glistening Chocolate Cake with happy birthday Pa written on it and with candles ablaze. Next thing I had a serviette, that had been folded into a crown/hat, placed on my head and everyone at our table and all the wait staff in our area were singing Happy Birthday to me. I was touched. Carly had arranged the cake and it was gluten free so everyone could enjoy it. But that wasn’t the end of it. Who should walk up to our table but the ships resident table entertainer and magician extraordinaire “Pablo” (the same guy from our Chef’s Table dinner). He did another card trick and of course had me think of a number between 1 and 100, and then he wrote a number on a card while he was “reading my mind” (poor guy must have got very disturbed doing that!), and shazzam, he got it right. AMAZINGGGGGG.
At the end of dinner we said our good byes to our waiters and all the people in the dining room that made our cruise very special.
And to finish off our cruise properly it was a shortish walk to the Shanghai Piano Bar, to claim our seats at the bar in front of the piano, and wait for the “Piano Man” Tim to arrive.
Once he arrived he did his usual 1 hour kids show, he cleans up his act for them and has loads of fun, his version of Doh Ray Me is very amusing. Just before his break he asked if there were any birthdays being celebrated, I tried to get out of it but I couldn’t and yes, I had the microphone back in my hand and did my second solo performance of Happy Birthday, luckily tis time I didn’t have to put a Marilyn Munro spin on it, LOL.
After his first break Tim had a steady flow of passengers and crew come through the bar and we all sang our lungs out. At one point he was joined but a trumpeter from the ships “big band” and they did a great version of “Twist It , Shake a Tail Feather”, then the trumpeter dude said he had to go and started to walk away, when Carly requested and Tim started to play “What a Wonderful World” and the trumpeter was back in a flash, eyes beaming and trumpet blasting, it was so good!! We were originally going to have an early-ish night, but somehow we were still there at the end, again!! Such a good night. We keep saying we have to find a good piano bar in Adelaide, but it doesn’t look like there is even a bad one!!
Tomorrow we arrive in Sydney.
16 July 2013 Sydney and the end of our cruise.
We woke at about 6am. The previous evening we decided to leave our curtains open so we would be woken by the sunrise, but we woke early and when we looked out the windows all we could see were the lights of the Harbour Bridge. We both got up and soaked up the view, had a few hugs on our balcony and enjoy the last moments we could. After we finished packing and were ready for the day, we both had a Chocolate Coated Strawberry and had a cheers to the cruise, it really has amazed both of us how much we have enjoyed it. We went down for breakfast at 7 and were given the Captains Table for our last meal on board. We had a couple of photos taken, for one everyone insisted on looking sad, it seemed wrong to smile as well wanted to stay! After breakfast we all went up got our bags and met up again before eventually debarking (yes, they call it ‘Debarking”, not disembarking). We all got through and off the ship in no time and found our Maxi-Taxi waiting for us. It was such a good idea to book our taxi’s, we jumped a very long queue.
We made it out to the airport in good time and all settled into the Qantas Club for a relax before our flight. Everyone appreciated the chance to relax in comfort and the little ones loved the family corner in the lounge. We boarded our flight at 10:45 and were back on the ground in Adelaide at about 12:30 pm and back home by 1:15.
It was so good to see Aiko, our puppy. And she was very pleased to see us.
Everyone of us are very sad the whole cruise thing is over and are already talking of doing another one. We will see. We just got a text from Sarah saying Sophia (our 2 year old granddaughter, wanted to know when they were going to the piano bar tonight.
I hope you have enjoyed reading and sharing in on our adventure as I have recording it. We are getting a nice little Travel Log going now and it’s always great to go back and re read our adventures.
I will post a few pics as we get them all together, hopefully very soon.
We have a couple more trips away planned for the year, Port Victoria (again) in Sept and India in Oct/Nov. Can’t wait for both of them.
Bye for now.Number of View :27048