Wanderung 26

Walkabout, Sailabout

March - May 2012


3 Previous Day
Next Day 4


Sunday, April 15th, 2012: Embarkation in Sydney, New South Wales


Before and after breakfast we tried to push all the things we had brought to Australia and all the things we had acquired during our three weeks on the road into our wheelies. As you might imagine, it didn't all fit! But by discarding a great deal of paper, snacks, bags, and other detritus, we did finally get it all in.

Neville helped us find the last final pieces we needed for our impending cruise over at the Westfields shopping center, which fortunately had a wide variety of shops. We picked up mouthwash, toothpaste, and sunscreen lotion from a grocery store, swim fins for me from a sports store, baggage straps from a purse-and-baggage store, wine from a liquor store, and shoe polish from K-Mart. using my "one-shoe" strategy had been successful, but after three weeks of constant walking my shoes were pretty scuffed up, so I thought that using some black shoe polish on them might restore them to a state where they would pass muster for formal nights on the ship.


Unfortunately, it was really time to pack up. We put the winebottles we had bought the day before into my big wheelie and packed the clothes that no longer fit into the big one plus the clothes Lynn and I had washed into the small one. Surprise, surprise, I could zip both of them.

That done, we had a long breakfast, lingering over coffee and tea and having a wonderful chat with Lyn and Neville.

Afterwards Neville, Bob, and I walked over to Westfields, the shopping center that is just minutes from their place. It looks deceptively small but is really rather large, boasting two large grocery chains (Woolworth - which in Australia is a grocery chain - and Coles). Westfields also had a K-Mart and Target store plus numerous smaller stores, as well as a "bottle shop", i.e., liquor store.

We decided we needed several toiletry items for the cruise and of course some wine. Neville purchased for us a 4 liter cask of red wine, which fit into Bob's backpack. Princess is rather tolerant of wine being brought onto ship as long as you don't want to drink it with the meal. In that case there is a corking fee. We also bought a couple of straps for Bob's luggage, and last but not least, swim fins for Bob, since his old ones had not fit into his suitcase for the trip out. I had bought a pair of junior size fins that fit rather well in my suitcase. The moral of the story is that it pays to have small feet!

Happy with our purchases, we brought them back to pack. The toiletries went into my "purse" and the swim fins were strapped to Bob's backpack. Thus all our stuff was condensed into 3 wheelies, one smallish backpack, and one large purse, in addition to our computer and camera.


After a quick lunch of meat pies, we wrapped up some of our planning and Neville drove us down to the pier while Lyn navigated. Curiously, neither the city of Sydney nor any of the cruise lines have seen fit to put any kind of signs on the streets near the pier saying something like, "Cruise Ships This Way --->", so it is very easy to get lost in the tangle of one-way and non-through streets around the Bangaroo Wharf and the driving was not easy. Thanks for the ride, Neville!

But we got to the right place in plenty of time and were welcomed aboard the Sea Princess with open arms. We ran around the ship checking out the location of various facilities until it was time for the lifeboat drill at 5:15 p.m. Actually, "lifeboat drill" is a a bit of a misnomer as there were no lifeboats involved, really. We simply repaired to the casino with our life jackets, listened to a safety briefing, and finally at the very end were shown how to correctly don our lifejackets.

We had a great time taking pictures of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and harbor area while the sun was still up, but it was even more spectacular to watch the Sea Princess ease away from the wharf and carefully go under the bridge and out through the harbor that evening after the sun had set.


After one last lunch of an Australian staple, a meat pie, we packed up Neville's car and off we went. Neville drove us into town and across the harbor bridge from where we could see our ship on Bangaroo Dock (the former Darling Harbor). We had to drive South over the harbor bridge and then head right. Surprisingly, this was the first city we ever have been to where there were no signs to the cruise terminal. So Lyn and I poured over the map she had and after one failed attempt, we did manage to get down to the terminal.

There we left the wheelies at the baggage drop off, said a tearful good bye to Lyn and Neville, and headed to check-in. Although we had been informed not to check-in before 4:30, we had no problem checking in at 3:00PM. We went to our cabin on the Plaza deck, dropped off our carry-on stuff and started to explore the ship.

The Sea Princess is a rather small ship with a maximum number of passengers of about 1900. It makes a rather intimate impression. We had a bite to eat at the buffet. At 5:15 was a life boat drill and shortly after that we cast off and were on our way.


Dusk fell as we departed and the buildings around the harbor were lit, of course, including the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House. I had never seen the bridge and opera house at night, and from the upper deck of our ship we got a great viewpoint. The photographic problem was that in the darkness the camera was taking 1/2 second exposures. Holding a camera absolutely still for 1/2 second is difficult under the best of circumstances, but since I was on a moving, rocking ship it became well-nigh impossible.

Once out past the headlands of Sydney Harbor, where we saw the lighthouse blinking at us, our ship set course for New Zealand and we went up to the buffet on the Lido deck for a quick dinner. Back in our stateroom our luggage was waiting for us, so we unpacked, which in this case took us almost two hours as we had both tried to bring sufficient clothing for a month plus our skin diving equipment. But finallly we had it all successfully stowed away and got ready for bed. Our cabin, Plaza Deck 302, was well down in the ship so we had almost no motion during the night and I got a very nice night's sleep.


The fun of having a ship at this anchorage is that it has to go under the Sydney Harbor Bridge and past the Sydney Opera House to get out to sea. Although it was only about 6PM it was already dark, after all it is autumn here, “Down Under”. Bob had a whale of a time trying to get non-blurry pictures of the harbor bridge and the opera house and he did a fantastic job. It was spooky watching the radar antenna just barely making it under the bridge in the dark.

Once there were no more photos to be had, we went to the buffet for a bite to eat, since neither of us felt like a large meal. Back in our cabin, our luggage had finaly arrived and we had to unpack and divide the allocated space fairly. After that neither of us was good for much. I downloaded the pictures from the day and was amazed how many good pictures Bob had gotten during our evening sail-away.

Copyright 2012 by R. W. Holt and E. M. Holt


3Previous Day
Next Day4

Prolog Map of Drive in Australia Map of Transpacific Cruise Epilog

March 2012
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
April 2012
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30
May 2012
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 30

Return to the Wanderungs Homepage.
Sign the Guestbook or Read the Guestbook.
Comments about this site? Email the Webmaster.
Contact Bob and Monika at bob_monika@hotmail.com.