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Everything posted by Flickit

  1. Earlier this month I did a Melbourne-NZ-Melbourne cruise on the QE... We booked a $20aud airport shuttle bus through Cunard to get from Tullamarine Airport to Station Pier. (That was a bit of a shambles but I wont go into it)... We had an embarkation time of 2:30pm, the Cunard shuttle bus arrived at the port around 2pm, we were directed from the bus up into the terminal and workers unloaded our luggage from the bus and took care of it... (the luggage arrived in our stateroom later) In the terminal we were met by a huge crowd in a snake-like line, many hundreds of people, it took a good hour to get through check-in, Customs, and then onto the ship, it wasn't much fun.... (There was a separate express lane that seemed to be reserved for Grills passengers, (I think it may have been called 'Priority Embarkation'?), they bypassed the huge check-in line, and disabled/wheelchair people were ushered into a sitting areas and processed quickly also, as they should be) 'If' I could pick a time to arrive at the port I think I'd be arriving early, earlier than my allocated time, to try my luck and attempt to beat the huge crowds, lol...
  2. I always travel with a couple of Power-Banks, a 10,000mAh and 20,000mAh, I've never had an issue... I always keep the 10,000mAh in my walk around backpack just in case I get caught out with a low phone/camera/tablet battery, handy if you get delayed anywhere, airports that lack charging points or such... Be mindful if you're flying with them you have to pack them in your carry-on luggage, do not pack them in your checked luggage... (The logic is: it's easier to put out a battery fire in the cabin rather than the cargo hold) https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/items/power-banks https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/packsafe/lithium-batteries Also be mindful around 20,000mAh is about the maximum size you can fly with, most common ones are this size or smaller... I always end up using them for one thing or another... On my recent NZ cruise I left a power-bank and an old phone in a dry-bag secured to a balcony chair to record the GPS track for the whole cruise, so I could tie my AUS & NZ roadtrip GPS tracks together on my map...
  3. With my recent Aus-NZ QE cruise I was a little nervous about taking spirits on because most companies are VERY strict in Australia with carry-on liquids due to past issues, (Dianne Brimble and the likes)... I embarked with a bottle of wine in my carry-on backpack and 1L of spirits in my checked-luggage, then at two ports I purchased 1L of spirits onshore which I carried back on through security and the scanners, no one seemed to care, no issues at all.. I was glad to have alcohol on hand.. Half way through the cruise I called room service and asked for a beer package, I wanted 6 ciders for the bar-fridge (as per the room service menu), I was informed they have no cider and the only beer available was Corona, ugh...
  4. QE in Hobart today & tomorrow: https://www.transport.tas.gov.au/managing_the_roads/trafficcameras/traffic_camera_-_abc_round-a-bout4 (My homeport, wish I was still onboard)
  5. If you're taking out dedicated travel/cruise insurance make sure you read the fine-print, and make sure your policy actually covers for covid related issues !. Australia Post and Medibank Private both offer very similar 'Cover-More' Insurance, but Aus Post DO NOT cover for any covid related cancelations or amendments, where as Medibank Private does cover for these things, and with the members discount Medibank was only slightly more expensive than Aus Post...
  6. A correction: The cruise was the 3rd to the 17th of Dec, the Captains announcement about 'Respiratory Illness' was on the morning of the 15th, here's the last half of it: A couple of other things: - I went into this cruise prepared for covid, case numbers in Aus have been picking up slightly in recent times so I was expecting there to be some onboard... - I embarked with 20 Covid test kits (Most Aussie states still hand them out for free), we used most of them.. Due to my travel partners early symptoms, and with me testing positive, they tested every day from day-3 onwards.. I tested for 7 days, from getting a sore throat and testing positive, until I tested negative... - I embarked with a good supply of throat lozenges (thankfully!), Anticol, Soothers, Fishermans Friends, Vicks-Vapodrops, and 'Strepsils Anaesthetic', I found the Anticol and Fishermans-Friends the best for taming the sore throat and cough, my travel-partner preferred the Vicks for their non-covid cough/tickle... - I had a good supply of ibuprofen, (I prefer them over Panadol), I went through quite a few, 2 morning, 2 early PM, and 2 at night, from testing positive until the end, I believe they helped with the body & head aches... - I took on a couple of packs of anti-bacterial wipes, from testing 'positive' until the end I frequently wiped down the cabin and bathroom surfaces in an attempt to prevent my travel-partner catching it also...
  7. I'm testing negative but I'm certainly not over it, I wonder if it's lingering symptoms or if I may have caught the flu in the last couple of days, lol... I've never had covid before so it's all been a bit of a learning experience... On the upside, it hasn't turned me off cruising and I'm looking at booking another QE cruise before she stops home-porting in Australia 🙂
  8. If you have any health concerns MASK-UP as much as possible... I disembarked the QE today after a 14-day NZ cruise, there seemed to be quite a bit of covid and other illnesses onboard... There was a lot of coughing around the ship from day-1, my travel partner ended up with flu/covid-like symptoms around day-3, they had a chesty cough and a runny nose for the whole trip, but they tested negative for covid all the way through (probably thanks to the 6 covid shots they've had)... Day-5 in Dunedin, and Day-6 in Wellington, ambulances arrived to take passengers away. Around day-10 the captain made an announcement about the level of 'respiratory illness' onboard and over-emphasized the need to sanitize and such... Towards the end of the cruise I noticed the 'HIT Squad' in the halls, I believe they're a deep-clean room sanitizing crew... I ended up with covid around 5-days into the 14-day cruise even though I was very OCD with hand sanitizing & hand washing, we mainly ate in the MDR, and we avoided crowds for the most part... I suspect I caught it from people coughing on the shuttle bus between Melbourne airport and the port on day-1, or from a guy that coughed in my face in the elevator at close range on day-2, ugh... I've only had 2 covid shots, back in 2021, I regret not getting a booster before this cruise, young (52) and foolish !...
  9. QE, Bay Of Islands NZ, (2 mins ago)
  10. There's been occasional drizzle this morning, it looks like it might clear up a bit later, at least there's no wind today.. The weather for the whole trip has been a little up and down, but not too bad, about what you expect from NZ, lol..
  11. Tauranga - Mount Maunganui today.
  12. Just departed Wellington NZ.. I LOVE the MDR window tables 😄
  13. Currently on QE in NZ.. The main show is on at 8pm, and repeated at 10pm... We've been booking the main dining room for 5.30 or 5.45 and we've had plenty of time to make the 8pm show.. Edit; added tonights schedule:
  14. MDR Dinner view in the Tasman Sea off the south coast of NZ last night.
  15. QE headng into Dunedin NZ today:
  16. I use Cashrewards a fair bit, I've received around two grand back from them in the last 3 years, no cruise bookings though... A lot of what I've claimed has been for bookings with Discovery Parks, they often have 8 or 10% cashback, BWS often have 30% cashback (usually capped at $25 or $30), any orders from eBay, Amazon, Anaconda, Chemist Warehouse, and the likes I usually activate also, a lot of the time the reward for those sites is only 1%, but they often have promotions for 10% cashback... I buy a lot of Boost (Telstra) Sim cards though them which I use in a data modem while travelling in the campervan (most winters), they often have deals where you pay like $12 for a $35 (50GB) Sim card, and the cash-reward is $18, so you get a free sim card and make $6 profit... (it just takes 3 or 4 months for the money/reward to come back to you) Most the cash rewards get approved after 90 - 120 days, it's fairly reliable, occasionally one will slip through the cracks or get denied for no reason, you just have to lodge an enquiry and they usually pay up without any issues.. For purchases to be tracked you generally have to disable ad-blockers on the sites your buying from, and most the time if you use other discount codes or the likes the cashback will be denied.. (you generally cant combine Qantas FF or Flybuys points/perks with Cashrewards, but at times you can get both, it can be a bit of a gamble)
  17. That's not really a fair statement considering a Bass Strait ferry service has no choice but to dock in Victoria, there are no other options.. I'm not too sure how the Victorian ports are structured but I was under the impression that Station Pier is owned by Vic ports/Vic Gov, and Geelong Port is privately owned? (with Vic ports overseeing vessel movements and such)... I could well be wrong... My initial comment was just pointing out how the TT-Line was basically forced away from Station-Pier by an unreasonable lease and price increase... The Tas Gov labeled it as 'price gouging', and it was said at the time the price increase was near on double, but I don't think the actual figures were ever released... At the end of the day it seemed reasonable to me that Victoria would prefer to use the Station-Pier prime position for cruise ships rather than commuters traveling on what's basically a National-Hwy... Geelong is no further away from Tassie, and being away from the city it's better suited than Station-Pier IMO, the only downside is that Tasmania doesn't have these huge billboards (ships) advertising Tasmania sitting at the end of the beach anymore, lol...
  18. The marine forecast isn't looking very good down that way tomorrow, a southerly swell, the change to buses is understandable: Winds = Easterly 15 to 20 knots. Seas = Around 1 metre, increasing to 1 to 1.5 metres during the morning. Swell = Southerly 1.5 to 2 metres, tending southwesterly 1.5 metres around midday. Apparently P&O have been paying for some passengers to fly back to Sydney, that's pretty good of them..
  19. They'll be in Hobart for another day, the ship isn't going to Port Arthur tomorrow due to weather, the company has arranged free buses to take people down there..
  20. Geelong is great for the Tassie ships, I've been through the new terminal twice this year, it's much better than Station Pier, easier access, plenty of parking, and such. (Station Pier was ok back before the local area was modernised, but in recent decades it's been a bit of a pain getting in and out of there). I'm not sure how the cruise ships would go down at Geelong with the distance from the airport and the city, I'm sure it could be managed but it doesn't seem ideal...
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