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About westcoasttech

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    The Olympic City of Vancouver
  • Interests
    Travelling and planning my next trip!
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    I'll tell you once I've tried them all!
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Tahiti and her islands

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  1. When I was planning this trip I could find very little info about the Murray Princess. I’m not really in a position right now to write a full length review, but will post a few pics just in case there is any one looking into booking it. The bottom line is I loved it! I did the 3 night route B2B with the 4 night to make a 7 night cruise, but that did mean that I repeated some of the route. It was very different to anything else I’ve ever done and very relaxing. I was the only non-Aussie on the 1st part and on the 2nd part there was a total of 3 non-Aussies. I met some lovely people on-board and the crew was amazing! I’d love to do it again some day! I’d be happy to answer any specific questions for any one heading down under.
  2. I sailed through Papeete on the Ovation of the Seas in April, and saw what I presume was the Aranui 5 hiding at a far dock. Really looking forward to getting to know her better and see her close up next Spring!
  3. I've got a week cruise of the Dalmatian Islands from Dubrovnik to Split booked with a company called Nature Trips at the end of September. I haven't been able to track down an actual ship name on their website but the pictures look similar to the ship you were on. I'm going with an open mind as I haven't been able to find much info or reviews from past travellers! Perhaps you can answer a few basic questions: How big was the room (compared to the average cruise ship room)? Any luggage restrictions? (It's part of an longer European trip and am bad at "packing light"!) How was the "motion of the ocean" on the smaller vessel? Overall impressions?? My cruise is listed as "half board", was it the same for you? If so presume that you're in port for evening meals and can just head to any restaurant you like? Thanks for any info!
  4. Check out: https://www.seastarcruises.com.au/ And see if they have anything that fits. I had a similar problem - travelling on NCL Jewel which has an overnight at anchor (tendering), but the ship schedule has it arriving too late on the first day and leaving too early on the 2nd, to fit a lot of the private tour schedules. Seastar is actually putting on a group tour for our ship that leaves later (on our Day 1) - it's a shorter tour with only the one stop rather than the full day tour - but it fits both from timing and pricing and several from my ship have signed up for it. It might be worth dropping them an email, if they can get a full group from your ship they might adjust to suit. [I travel in February next year, so can't give a full review yet.]
  5. Thanks! The news just popped up on my phone and I'm doing a happy dance! Okay, will admit that it's mostly for selfish reasons in that I can now take the Overland for my extended Aussie trip - but am also happy for the towns and communities (and employees) on the route that the service has got a reprieve for at least one more year! It should also be noted that the person who started the petition on change.org is continuing to fight for increased services on the line.
  6. So, I've read the latest news reports that the federal government has pulled the funding for the Overland .... They still seem to be saying that it "may" not be running come January so I'm still holding off booking the flight instead. I've got all my connections and hotels based around the dates, so I have to get from MEL to ADE somehow or other on Jan 26, and really don't fancy going through the airport on Australia Day weekend! There is a petition on Change.org to save the service - which I've added my name to - if anyone else wants to check that out. I know that travelling by train is very old fashioned these days, and everything is centred around the $$, but feel sad for the communities that will lose one more option for transit. As an ex-brit, who used to take the train alot in the UK, and who now lives in Canada (another big country with very little useable train system) I'm also sad that a lot of the "new" generations will never have the feeling of taking the train and watching the countryside change around them. Flying may get you there quicker but you don't get to see anything but the inside of a tin can and I think you totally lose the perspective of distance travelled too!
  7. I'm on the NCL Jewel which is overnighting in Cairns with a tender service to/from Yorkey's Knob. You would think there was plenty of time to do a full day snorkel, however we don't arrive until 10 am on the first day (too late for the full day tours) and leave at 6 pm on the second. I have found an operator that offers a full day snorkel that "kind of" fits for Day 2. They are scheduled to arrive back at Cairns Marina at 4:15 - 4:20 pm (but don't guarantee it!), it appears to be a 30 minute trip (by taxi?) back to Yorkey's Knob from the marina. With a 6:00pm sailaway, tenders should be running to at least 5:30pm, so in theory there is about 30 minutes "wiggle room" in the timing. So ... am I crazy to consider this tour? (I'm normally one of those that allows plenty of time to get back to the ship before sailaway, especially when tenders are concerned.) Would you take the "risk"? (After Cairns the ship has 2 sea days before it ports in Darwin, so that would be a lot of time to spend with just a swimsuit and a towel, if I did miss the ship!) Advice and experiences please?
  8. I see it listed that Bella and Fantastica classes can pay an upcharge to use the Aurea "private" sundeck (aka Top 16/18/19 etc). What is this charge? Is it a charge for the whole week (or length of cruise)? I've seen the list of prices for a sunbed either per day, or half a day - is this the same thing? Or is it a weekly pass like the POSH/VIBE pass you can get for the "away" class and above ships in NCL? Like many others trying to work out the value of booking Aurea, as access to a slightly quieter area is important to me. Thanks!
  9. Well skings, I hope all went well for you. I didn't rush back here to post a review as the board was down until after you needed to know about it! For the sake of anyone searching the forum in future times, I going to post a link to my previous review (comparison) of the V2V and BC Ferries, which can be found here (see post #7 on this thread): https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2548361-have-booked-new-v2v-ferry-with-bogo/?tab=comments#comment-54951248 This time I did a similar trip, but took the BC Ferry on a Thursday afternoon (instead of the Friday before the long weekend) and booked the "Royal" class on the V2V as a bit of a treat for the return trip of Victoria to Vancouver on the Sunday afternoon (I had to work on the Monday!). BC Ferries was much the same as the first time, a bit quieter as it wasn't the Friday, and I went to Pacific Buffet (C$26 per person) on board instead of the White Spot (burgers). I can recommend the Buffet, great roast beef, but go there immediately when you board, it fills up and they end up turning people away. For the V2V, the Royal class was nice, but to be honest you don't get much for the upcharge. I think there is more included luggage allowance, if that applies to you, but for a quick weekend away I only had an overnight bag this time. One free alcoholic drink is included in the Royal class (but that wasn't actually explained until I heard someone behind me ask about it). Unlimited tea/coffee/soft drinks - the attendants will come around a couple of times, but you can go and ask for more at any time. The included "meal" was really only a snack, a small salad, a choice of sandwich and chocolate truffles (yummy) as a desert. The seating is on the upper deck of the 2 decks, but type of seating is the same as the lower deck. There did seem to be more vibration from the engine on the upper deck than I remember being on the lower deck - but that might have been my imagination. We saw some Orcas and the V2V stopped to watch for a few minutes - that's something that wouldn't happen on BC Ferries! One of the crew was very knowledgeable about the whales and talked about them while we were stopped to watch. As it was October it was dark by the time we came under the Lions Gate Bridge but it was pretty to see the downtown lights (even on a rainy October evening!) They had swapped around the timing of the V2V with the Vancouver to Victoria run being in the AM and the return Victoria to Vancouver leaving Victoria harbour at 4 pm. I actually didn't mind this - it worked for me and I understand their reasoning, as tourists can now use it as a day trip to Victoria from Vancouver. (The morning run arrives around midday and then you would have about 4 hours to explore Victoria before catching the evening run back to downtown Vancouver). If you were to pay the full $120 (standard class) each way, that would be somewhat pricey, however if you can catch the 2 for 1 (or 50% off, as they were recently offering), then that is quite reasonable for a full day trip. I still think it is a good product and give them a 👍 for the service. If you can catch it with the discount then it's a great way to travel! (Just don't go for the Royal class unless you have money to spare...)
  10. Yikes! Don’t tell me it might not be running, I’m really looking forward to the train ride! I’m also planning on taking the XPT Melbourne to Sydney later in the trip. But I decided the Indian Pacific route was a little too pricey. Fingers crossed for the Overland!
  11. Many thanks for making the call Big M! Good to know that it’s not just the computer being picky. I’ll check the site in November. I’m presuming they don’t often “sell out” but I am hoping to travel Australia Day weekend so want to get it booked. Thanks so much!
  12. Is advance access to the Overland train tickets limited? I can see tickets up to the end of December, but would like to book a ticket for the end of January and I cannot get to them - it just gives me an error message "cannot access journeys" or something like that (I'm using Chome to access). I know in the UK and Europe you sometimes cannot see tickets more than 3 months in the future, is it the same here? I sent an email to an "agency" that handles Aussie train travel and they are willing to sell the January ticket to me - for a $40 extra charge! - so would prefer to book it independently (obviously!) BTW ... I know it is a very l-o-n-g trip but, hey, I like travelling by train, and on this occasion I have the time, so why not! Many thanks for any advice.
  13. Way, way in the future, but starting a thread on the slight chance that someone else out there also booked the April 11, 2020 Pitcairn Island voyage on the Aranui 5. A short time ago I stumbled on the Aranui 5 website. Having sailed on Princess from Tahiti in 2003, I've always wanted to go back to the area, but find something a little "different". When I saw the Pitcairn voyage, I couldn't resist putting myself on the waiting list - I would have probably booked the 2019 trip if it had been available, but I was way too late for that party! It's a little bit of a case of "be careful what you wish for" as I really didn't expect to be able to get a cabin, especially if they only have the one trip in 2020. But surprise, surprise, I've got a cabin, at least I have a year and a half to pay for it! I will be carefully watching for any reports from the 2019 trips!
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