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Tara Jane

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About Tara Jane

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Melbourne Australia
  • Interests
    Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Japan

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  1. Just booked solstice aukland to Sydney 1 dec includes flights to Auckland 1 night accommodation 12 night cruise $1499 inside guarantee. Guess I'm not the 1st 😉 to get this deal. Includes bay of islands and Hobart.
  2. Thank you found it just checking it out now😀
  3. Interested. I'm hunting for the TA no luck. Found on some but not at that price with OBC Any help available? Much appreciated.
  4. Another option if you dont have a lot of luggage is chat to others queuing up for a taxi and find another couple to share the taxi to the airport. We did that from Sydney OPT to airport. But it needs to be done while in the queue not when climbing into the taxi or the driver will not be happy.
  5. Yes there are luggage lockers at Osanbashi. You might be lucky using the same pier as they are both celebrity ships. It is possible that you might be able to disembark the first ship and then drop the luggage for the 2nd ship. We did a B2B and spent our day doing the hop on hop off by another name bus. It was only about 500 yen and was a great day. One of the stops was Sankein gardens which were lovely, particularly as we had a couple of older folk with us who aren't great walkers. They managed to get around the gardens just fine. The bus stopped right outside the main doors of Osanbashi pier.
  6. And thank you Martincath for the YWCA recommendation. It was perfect for our needs loved the kitchen and lounge areas. Only negative was the weather the day we were in Vancouver it rained non stop. We took a van from ship to YWCA $20 fare was 7.20 rest luggage and tip. One of our rooms was ready so were able to put all in there. Took the train to canada place some did the IMAX canada others wandered til lunch time then gave up on the weather and train back.
  7. It was a Toyota not sure of the model as we dont have that model. I know Toyota as it had the symbol on the steering wheel. Seated 3 in the back row 3 in middle and 1 in the front. Amongst our group was one using a walking stick another who had both knees replaced others reasonably agile. The agile ones took back row. Room for 4 large cases in the boot or trunk as they say in USA plus all 6 hand luggage items. Looked more like a car than a transit van.
  8. I am an over planner and just spent a month travelling with 5 others all aged mid 60s to almost 80. Part of our travels included cruising Yokohama to Alaska and Vancouver and extra time in both Vancouver and Victoria. I found on line a taxi service that would accommodate all 6 of us and 4 suitcases and hand luggage. Horst from Uptown taxis was exceptional. I had prebooked a taxi for us to meet the ferry at Swartz Bay, however our ferry was delayed due to mechanical issues. Phoned, and no problem Uptown could still provide us with tansport and Horst drove us to Butchart gardens. I had not booked a transfer from the gardens to our hotel in Victoria as a. We didnt know how long we would want at the gardens. b. We werent sure how reliable or good the taxi service would be. On our way to the gardens we had a great trip, learning more about Victoria and arranged with Horst that we would call him about 30 mins before we required a pick up. When ready we phoned and he arrived in only about 15 mins and again gave us a great trip to our hotel the Helm's Inn. Again we arranged for pick up the following day to take us to the airport. Horst arrived as arranged and we had a great trip to the airport. As 6 older not elderly lol travellers I could not recommend Horst from Uptown taxis highly enough. He was punctual, friendly, handled our luggage and helped us in and out of the taxi. All at very reasonable price, and no asking for a tip, but of course we were so happy with the service we were more than happy to give a tip for the exceptional service we received. If you need to be driven around Victoria contact Uptown taxis, ask for Horst and tell him Judith from Australia recommended you.
  9. We dont bother buying sim or mobile wifi. Just use wifi in hotels and trains etc. We did have to phone our hotel yesterday and just used our mobile for the short call. If you do decide to rent take at look at cruise port navigation website. Owned and operated by heather hopkins Clement who previously was the port lecturer in diamond princess cruises around Japan. We use viber to connect with family back home for free.
  10. If you play your cards right it doesnt have to be expensive. I work on $1000 au per week and always stay within that budget. Last year we were away 3 weeks and total cost was $2300 includes flights, cruise, hotels pre and post cruise, transport and food. We never eat in fancy restaurants, use JR pass and business hotels. Sightseeing can be very reasonable. To enter tourist attractions where we live can be $30 = 50 au very easily. To do the same in Japan might be 600 yen. Many shrines/temples are free but if not certainly cheap 400 - 500 yen. The most expensive we have found in Nikko might cost you 3000 yen for a full day of sightseeing. True Japan is more expensive than Bali, Thailand etc but it is very different to those countries.
  11. I always do my own bookings. We have done last minute cruise bookings one year 9 nights for under $500 aud last year 19 nights for $1185 aud. Always inside. But booking last minute is extremely stressful trying to coordinate everything and sometimes you save on cruise but end up paying more for flights. If you are still working and have commitments you cant just up and leave then last minute isn't a practical thing to do. Also you need to be aware of holidays and peak time in Japan. Peak time =high prices and crowds. You are talking June which is good weather wise. July/August are distressingly hot but also peak time for festivals all over Japan. We suffer the heat for festivals and found our time in port were much longer than non festival time cruises. Some nights were 11pm departures and once midnight. Arriving 7 or 8 am gives you a wonderful long day to get out of the town then come back later in the day for festival activities. non festival cruises had much shorter port time. .I've no idea what weather you are used to where you live. I'm off to Japan end of this week wont be back til end of May and wont be spending time on cc whole travelling. So best if you dont have immediate questions to wait til end May to hit me with all your questions. Have fun planning.
  12. To me you are on the right track but financially 7 days land would be more useful. To avoid boring everyone else would you like to email me gran.of2athotmaildotcom That way I might be more use to help you plan specifics.
  13. In Tokyo or Yokohama? I can recommend hotel edit in Sakuragicho Yokohama. Not 5 star but clean and comfortable. Need to book a long way ahead to get good price. I always book on website with free cancellation option. Be aware that hotels in Japan have small double beds that they sell for 2 people. Definately not 2 westerners. We tend to book twin beds as a true double size will often have one side against the wall. Ok if you dont need a trip to the bathroom during the night.😉
  14. Tara Jane

    Transfers

    Trains. or from tokyo hotels to hotels at NRT the airport limousine bus which also operates a bus transfer from NRT to YCAT. www.hyperdia for all train information. The port provided a free shuttle bus from Osanbashi pier to Sakuragicho station from there you can take a train to tokyo, however if I was planning extra days in TOkyo I would be finding a hotel in Yokohama area and just taking the 31 minutes 470 yen train into Tokyo. Check out the hyperdia link. Most NRT hotels have free shuttles. Also be aware of the wonderful luggage forwarding service in Japan. From hotel to hotel or convenience store to hotel. Depends on distance but usually next day delivery. We have sent our luggage from Yokohama cruise terminal to hotels in various parts of Japan, also to our NRT hotel where we stayed the night prior to our flight. Cost varies but somewhere around the 1800 - 2500 yen depending on size door to door. Just take small hand luggage for the extra days between if only a few days. Hotels provide so much, sleepwear, toiletries, shaver, hair comb, etc etc just about everything except deodorant and make up for those that cant be seen without it.
  15. Definately try hard to spend more than just 7-10 days in Japan. We always include about 2 weeks land travel using a JR pass either before or after the cruise. The itinerary is important we have done 3 and next week heading to do our 4th cruise of Japan but its my 15th trip to Japan. Cruising around Japan often takes you to the smaller beautiful towns where you get to meet the true locals, however it would be a huge shame not to get to see the other places when are more inland, eg mt fuji, Kyoto, Nikko etc. We were on a cruise once that had an excursion to Kyoto but those who went managed to only see the golden pavilion and one castle. It was a very long expensive day to see so little. I also believe no one should go to Japan and not see Hiroshima and Miyajima. A few cruises include it on the itinerary but not many. To save money take the hop on hop off bus although they arent called hoho but more often loop bus or other names. The most important of all is to research research research and you are doing it all right, asking here and planning so far ahead. Other option is a one day bus ticket, often 500 yen for all day buses. Consider using a goodwill guide at ports. They are volunteers who are very happy to spend the day with you taking you around a pre discussed and planned itinerary at no cost other than their fares, entry cost and meals if you are together at meal time. The guides are often students who are studying english but we have also had professionals, homemakers, uni professors and retired folk. Their english varies but all quite easy to communicate. If you decide to ask for a guide apply as soon as possible. A ship with several thousand passengers on board causes a huge demand on the few volunteer guides available. Save more money by buying anything you might want to eat at 7-11, Lawsons. family mart. They provide all you will need snack wise when off the ship, will even heat any pre packaged meals. For any little souveniers go to 100 yen shops or Daisco stores, a few others but I cant remember the names. The Japanese people are extremely helpful and go out of their way to welcome you to their country. English is a bit hit and miss but if you ask for help from a university aged person chances are you will be ok. Another hint is that they dont always understand our accents but they do understand written english. Of course these days with google translate life is much easier for the tourists. You will love the Japanese toilets, I'll leave that little secret to you to discover. The country is spotless, no rubbish, no rubbish bins, they all take their rubbish home with them. Have fun researching and planning. Cheapest way to get to the ship from Narita is the local train 139 minutes 2220 yen no transfers. Just get into the right train which starts at terminal 1 and sit in the corner til you reach Yokohama. Then change trains at Yokohama get off at Nihon Odori and a short walk or taxi to the ship. If you are looking for hotels try and book business hotels which are near stations. No 5 star but all you need at a decent price. I have never paid more than $100 aud for a room for 2 anywhere in Japan since I first visited in 1995. All rooms are basic but comfortable with ensuite bathroom and even provide sleepwear, toiletries much better than Australian hotels. Rooms are tiny but have all thats needed for a holiday on a budget. We have been on Diamond Princess x 3 cruises around Japan and about to go on our first Norweigan cruise line ship. Will be interesting to compare. Many passengers on our diamond cruises were actually Chinese rather than Japanese. After a few days you will very easily work out who is who just by observation. Enjoy one of my favourite countries. https://www.japan.travel/en/plan/list-of-volunteer-guides/ for goodwill guide information.
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