Friday, January 6, 2012

Somewhere in the Tasman Sea

Our final port visit of the trip was Bay of Islands, unfortunately we never made it there. The weather got really bad overnight, not to mention the rough seas, and we were unable to pull in. Usually a pilot boat meets the cruise ship and helps it navigate the waterways into the port. The visibility was so bad the pilot boat couldn't meet us, which also meant the tender boats would not have been able to get us safely to shore. So we missed out on seeing the Bay of Islands. Big bummer. To make it up to us, the Captain of the ship drove us out and around the storm and we got the most amazing weather of the entire cruise! We got to sit out by the pool, in our bathing suits (not bundled in towels) and tan burn. It was fabulous! I was so happy to see the sun I didn't put on any sunscreen for the first 20 minutes, BIG mistake. I was a lobster from the neck down for the rest of the trip. But I was a happy lobster so that's all that matters.
me, before the burn of 2011. haha

We read our books and drank some ice cold blended drinks. Ahhhh so relaxing! And then Matt got sucked in to a belly flop contest. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He didn't want to play at all, but got "told" by the cruise director that he would be volunteering. haha. Being the good wife that I am, I happily documented the event.

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Even though he doesn't have a belly, only abs of steel, he actually won the water displacement challenge. He got second place overall after they completed the loudest, most painful belly flop portion. He took home a really nice silver medal. :) And we celebrated with more spa time.

The following we day we got to do something really cool. We took an all access tour of the ship.
super excited!

For a small nominal fee a group of 15 people got to see it all! We got a tour of the kitchen....

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And the many, very organized freezers where they store all the food.
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Matt is pointing to the "Ice Cream" freezer......and that is all the Ice Cream!!!
Thumbs up for Corona!
milk, does a body good
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One of our favorite waiters.............and the best sign ever. perma-smile.

We also saw all their admin offices, laundry facilities, trash/recycling, etc. It was really interesting to see how much work and effort goes in to making the ship function properly. All of the people work so hard and are really passionate about their jobs. And each job, no matter what it is, is vital to making it all run smoothly. It's a well-oiled machine.
soda can Christmas ornaments in the recycling department
the engineering room. Where are all the hot guys shovelling coal into the burners??

Our last and probably coolest stop was The Bridge. We spoke with the Captain for a bit and then one of his Officer's game a small presentation. They let us take as many pictures as we wanted and even sit in the Captain's chair!
Our room is right there
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Matt, checking out the equipment.................me and the helo pad!!
the view straight down....hello ocean.
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chilling in the Captain's chair. hehe

This little excursion was one of my favorite things we did! And it was the perfect thing to do while we were at sea, lounging around all day. If you ever go on a cruise, ask about the all access tour, it was really fun!

The next morning we pulled into Sydney bright and early. We woke up just as the sun was coming up and got to see the most amazing views of the Opera House.

After 14 days at sea, touring the beautiful country of New Zealand, and experiencing all it has to off, they made us leave. :( We were very sad to go, but also super excited for the next adventure....Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef!!

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