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Solstice Live: Australia/NZ/Hawaii, Many Pix’s, Jan. 20-Feb. 3

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What absolutely wonderful pictures and what a terrific trip for you and Penny! Thanks so much for taking your vacation time to giive us this wonderful travel blog!

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Terry,

 

I did the bridge climb and Kangaroo Island in 2007, and toured the Opera House in 2012, when we did your identical cruise. Can't wait to see your photos from the two-day Queenstown excursion!

 

Plz. be careful when photographing the sheep shearing. Those bleacher-style seats are not meant to have you stand up on the top levels. Ask Paige.

 

Keep enjoying and allowing us to enjoy right along with you.

 

--May

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Good to re- live our time in Sydney (2008) through your photos.

It is somewhere I would love to return to!:p

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Your pictures are awesome, Terry. Great narrative, makes me wish that we were with you. We'll be there in a short time and your pictures are getting me ready to enjoy all that is being offered in NZ, Australia. thanks.

Pat

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Terry, how lovely to see a nice pic of you and our lovely Penny together as well as all the other super photos. Just wait until you reach my beloved NZ! :)

 

If you can squeeze in a swift trip to Lake Wanaka and Arrowtown from Queenstown, I know you would love it there and the pie shop facing the lake, best pies in the world according to a very friendly Aussie we met there. :D

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Terry, how lovely to see a nice pic of you and our lovely Penny together as well as all the other super photos. Just wait until you reach my beloved NZ! :)

 

If you can squeeze in a swift trip to Lake Wanaka and Arrowtown from Queenstown, I know you would love it there and the pie shop facing the lake, best pies in the world according to a very friendly Aussie we met there. :D

 

Hi Essexlass :)

Have you been lucky enough to cruise with Terry?

 

I spent one short week on the North Island. What a wonderful place, but I'll never forget how very much like home it looked as we came in to land in Auckland.

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-------What a wonderful place, but I'll never forget how very much like home it looked as we came in to land in Auckland.

 

I thought that parts of the South Island were 'the Pennines by the Sea.'

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Great photos! Wow! This trip is on my bucket list for someday in the future. Right now just having fun planning our first med cruise (postponed from last year). Your photos and commentary on those ports have been most helpful as well! Really enjoying your report on Australia so far!:D

Edited by shoelover536
typo

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I thought that parts of the South Island were 'the Pennines by the Sea.'

 

We lived in Penistone, in the Pennines when we visited NZ :D

I could hardly believe I had travelled so far, only to see a very familiar landscape.

 

I notice we have South Yorkshire (me), North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire in this thread ;)

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shoelover536: two thumbs up. Great photos! Wow! This trip is on my bucket list for someday in the future. Right now just having fun planning our first med cruise (postponed from last year). Your photos and commentary on those ports have been most helpful as well! Really enjoying your report on Australia so far!

 

RJHNorthyorks: Great review! Only 9 months until our trip to Australia and Solstice Cruise.

 

Essexlass2: Terry' date=' how lovely to see a nice pic of you and our lovely Penny together as well as all the other super photos. Just wait until you reach my beloved NZ! If you can squeeze in a swift trip to Lake Wanaka and Arrowtown from Queenstown, I know you would love it there and the pie shop facing the lake, best pies in the world according to a very friendly Aussie we met there. [/quote']

 

May B: reliving so many wonderful memories. Terry' date=' I did the bridge climb and Kangaroo Island in 2007, and toured the Opera House in 2012, when we did your identical cruise. Can't wait to see your photos from the two-day Queenstown excursion! [b'] Plz. be careful when photographing the sheep shearing.[/b] Those bleacher-style seats are not meant to have you stand up on the top levels. Ask Paige. Keep enjoying and allowing us to enjoy right along with you.--May

 

Appreciate ALL of the continued great interest for those dropping by, those making good comments, giving helpful tips, reliving wonderful past memories, etc. Keep it coming!! This fairly young live/blog is now over 6000+ views. Lots more pictures to post today and in the coming days as we arrive tomorrow in Milford Sound and go to see other parts of New Zealand's spectacular South Island.

 

We are now completing the second of our two days needed to cross the Tasman Sea from Hobart, Aust., to NZ. Seas have been a little rocky, but not as bad as it could be in this area noted for "troubled waters"!!

 

Have had a better chance to sample more on-ship dining, the evening shows in the Solstice Theater, doing program presentations and . . . today . . . tour the ship's Bridge. More pictures and details below.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Celebrity Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 158,754 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

 

 

From our Bridge Tour this morning, here are some visual samples. The Bridge is on the same level as our room, the tenth floor. First, here is a view from the outside of the portion of the Bridge that hangs out from our ship. You can set some people in a later group doing this tour in the glassed, over-hang area. Next is inside this glassed over-hang with the ship officer explaining what all of the many buttons, dials and knobs do to control the ship's speed, direction, etc. Plus, you can see many other screens that update all of the key navigating information, etc.:

 

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This next picture shows the glassed opening in the floor of this portion of the Bridge where the officers can see straight down to the water and be able to check how close is the ship to a docking point. The second picture down from this control area showing the side of the ship and various balconies on this port side of the Solstice.:

 

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Finally, here is an example for the details on one of the screens in this control area of the Bridge. Then, in the green sweater, you see me in the main control area of the Bridge with the two big, high-back chairs for the Captain and other top officials to direct and control the ship's operations. With computerization, the actually space needed for this equipment is actually fairly small. This ship was completed in late 2008 and is fairly new to be incorporating the latest technologies for sailing.:

 

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If you can squeeze in a swift trip to Lake Wanaka and Arrowtown from Queenstown, I know you would love it there and the pie shop facing the lake, best pies in the world according to a very friendly Aussie we met there. :D

 

I don't think the guests get much choice in where they go, but the two days include a forest walk to waterfalls, winery, a steamship ride to a sheep-shearing and sheep dog exhibition, a viewing of bungy jumping (or for an additional fee, YOU can bungy jump -- perhaps Terry will!) and a stop in Arrowtown, where there is a lovely little museum. Even though we were there early in the a.m., shops were open and doing a nice business.

 

Two lunches and a dinner and a breakfast are included, all fun local meals, and if Terry and Penny are fortunate enough to have the same tour guide I did, Steve from Wales, they will indeed learn much about the history of New Zealand.

 

Oh, and a stop at the train station. All of Terry's photos are so wonderful and I am certainly looking forward to all of them -- including the train station!

 

And before they even step foot in New Zealand, I am guessing Terry will take some wonderful photos of Milford Sound.

 

It's no surprise to us, your fans, Terry, that there have been 6,000 views here. Whoever sees a thread started by you can't resist!

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Here are photo highlights from the Tuscan Grille. This was one of our top favorites from our June 2011 Solstice sailing in the Med. Key tip? Pace yourself. You can get very full, fast!! You won’t go away hungry from this great dining setting.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

 

For dining in Tuscan Grille last night, we started with a nice glass of sparkling Italian wine (Prosecco Spumanti). Fun, especially as the glass kept being re-filled!! One bread stick (got to save room for the later “good stuff). My first choice for “primi piatti” was this pictured crab cake with a good sauce. It’s called Polpette do Granchio. Roasted pepper caponata and basil emulsion. Also had, but not pictured, the Calamari, too. Then, this next shows this “warm-up dish” of Pomodora e Mozzarella di Bufala. Finally, the main course was Lobster Papardella Alfredo. But, the best is always saved for last . . . a nicely designed and super tasting of this Italian favorite, Tiramisu. Others had for dessert (called dolce here in this speciality dining palce) either Toffee Panna Cotta, Pistachio Marble Creme Brûlée or Dark Chocolate Fondue. I also had some Limoncello to top off the dining delights. Did we like it all? Absolutely!! Plus, we had lots wave action to see (and survive) from this great viewing position on the back of the ship with its big glass windows on the fifth floor of the Solstice. We also had a decent amount of other weather activity to observed from here as the sun was setting and darkness arriving. Dined with Karen and Ed from Columbus. They are doing their first Solstice cruise and initial trip down under. They are both attorney, so we behaved and kept it legal.:

 

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Here are more photo highlights from our first sea day evening after departing Hobart, Tasmania.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Here are a couple of visuals samples from the main theatre performers. First shows magician and comedian Leo Ward starting his “slight of hand” work on the Solstice stage last night. Second, he is in the audience returning the diamond ring to a female audience members who volunteered to see her valuable disappear and then, fortunately, get it returned from a totally different location. It’s magic. We were in the third row, center, close enough to watch Leo very carefully, but we were amazed in how he did all of these tricks. Plus, lots of funny comments and banter with the audience. Very fun!!:

 

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Closing the evening’s show was Cruise Director Ian Cresswell. He was born in Durban, South Africa, and raised in Melbourne, Australia. He seems very fun, outgoing and entertaining. He directs a staff of 80, including the many various music talents and others running programs and activities on the ship. Ian hosted a welcome party for our Cruise Critic group on Tuesday morning and ask me to speak as the one who started our very active roll call for this sailing. Entertaining job, plus he enjoys it and does it all well.:

 

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I don't think the guests get much choice in where they go, but the two days include a forest walk to waterfalls, winery, a steamship ride to a sheep-shearing and sheep dog exhibition, a viewing of bungy jumping (or for an additional fee, YOU can bungy jump -- perhaps Terry will!) and a stop in Arrowtown, where there is a lovely little museum. Even though we were there early in the a.m., shops were open and doing a nice business. Two lunches and a dinner and a breakfast are included, all fun local meals, and if Terry and Penny are fortunate enough to have the same tour guide I did, Steve from Wales, they will indeed learn much about the history of New Zealand. Oh, and a stop at the train station. All of Terry's photos are so wonderful and I am certainly looking forward to all of them -- including the train station! And before they even step foot in New Zealand, I am guessing Terry will take some wonderful photos of Milford Sound. It's no surprise to us, your fans, Terry, that there have been 6,000 views here. Whoever sees a thread started by you can't resist!

 

Appreciate May's good comments, details and insights on the two-day Queenstown excursion. As of 10 am this morning, they are predicting some rain in Milford Sound. That helps make the waterfalls work better, but, we'd much rather have lots of sunshine. Don't know that our luck will for good weather will continue.

 

Right now, per AccuWeather, they are saying for Queenstown, the weather will be: Sun., Jan 26, cloudy, showers; cooler with a high of 58° and a low of 36°. For Mon., Jan 27, sun and clouds with a high of 64° and a low 44°. Will need to be doing some layering as we prepare to get off of the Solstice at 8:30 am tomorrow for our overnight "adventure" to Queenstown.

 

No, sorry, I will not be bungee-jumping. The Sydney Harbour BridgeWalk was fine and great. BUT, hanging by a large rubber-band would not be wise, especially with my size. And, especially with all that I have eaten in recent weeks.

 

Have a new Nikon f1.8 35mm fixed lens that works better in lower light situations. You can see the results from this lens and my new Nikon D7100. Very pleased with the quality of these show pictures. Plus, have many more food "porn" visuals to be coming. New lens and camera working well. Getting good results. Agree?

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

If Venice is one of your future desires or past favorites, you might look at this earlier posting that I did on the Italy board that shows many options and visual potentials for this city that is so great for "walking around", personally sampling the great history and architecture. This posting has now had 33,177 views and I appreciate those who have dropped by and tuned in.

Venice: Loving It & Why??!!

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1278226

 

 

Here are six of my photo highlights from the Solstice production show called "Ghostlight--The Spirit of Broadway". Lots of great tunes, including many from the Four Season as done on Broadway with Jersey Boys. Other very good tunes that connected with many of the Baby Boomers (and older) on this cruise. The singers and dancers really worked hard and did a super good job. Great voices!! Lots of energy and excitement. Nice lighting, staging, sets, etc. First-class for a cruise ship. Not quite Broadway and London's West End. And, all done in less than hour. Worked extremely well for a night's entertainment either before or after dinner!!

 

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Here are some highlights for some of the sea day activities. Plus, of course, they serve lots of food and beverages.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Here are three examples for naturalist Milos doing his speaker series presentations, including great humor with nice substance on his details for factors on the world’s creatures, how the earth was formed and evolved, etc.. :

 

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Here was the Executive Chef doing a cooking program in the main lobby. Was fairly crowded on this first of the two sea days crossing from Tasmania to NZ.:

 

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Loving it Terry, bringing back lots of memories, Milos is great value, tried to never miss one of his presentations. I am glad the entertainment is still good, the later part of our last cruise, the main male lead got a sore throat and couldn't perform, this meant the other lead had to sing all the parts, he did altright but some songs were noticeably not quite right for his voice.

I assume Robert is still the head chef, he is amazing and runs all the kitchens with expertise and finesse, if you love to eat, and drink fine wine, try and get onto the head chefs table in Murano's, (ask at Murano's).

Hope the weather stays good for your Milford sound cruise, what you want is rain for a few hours before 6am and then you want sunshine for the rest of the day, it will provide the great waterfalls. Keep the pics coming.

cheers mic:D

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In two different sets of pictures, here is more on the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary with wombats, emus and the famed Tasmanian devil, plus plenty of Kangaroos and other birds and animals of interest. We only had a short time here on Wednesday afternoon, but it was a “rich target zone” to see so many different creatures. This park is located nearby to Hobart, but still out in the “country”. The pictures speak for themselves on these various animals.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Here is one of the Tasmanian Devils with the unique identification stripe showing on its back. That stripe is like their fingerprint, different on each one, according to the park expert. Not a big creature. Didn’t get to see its teeth, but you have to admit that their names are a little scary. Don’t put your fingers too close to their teeth!:

 

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Here is a full view of an emu at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Next is Susan from our group getting ready to feed an emu, but becoming a little surprised by how aggressive this unique animal got by putting its head under the fence. Finally, a really close-up view of their heads. Susan thought they seemed fairly oily on the tops of their heads. Not all animals are cute and perfect in their looks!:

 

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Here is a little wombat. Did you think they look like this?:

 

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Not sure of this bird’s name, but it sure looked different and interesting. Don’t see these in Ohio or the midwest!:

 

TasWildlifeCtr17_zps3d85b0e1.jpg

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Here is more from the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary from its location nearby to Hobart.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

 

How can you not love seeing the Koalas up close and personal? Unlike at Kangaroo Island, we did not see this one in the wild, but here we got closer. What a face? So, so super cute!!:

 

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Here is a mother Kangaroo with the baby “Joey” in the pouch. We saw two different mothers carrying babies in their pouch.:

 

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Here is Karen from our Central Ohio group finding a cute Kangaroo for feeding. And, surprise!!, this mother has an even more lovable baby in the pouch. This is getting really up close and personal.:

 

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Here is a larger group of Kangaroos. Quite a wide range of ages and sizes. :

 

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Here is our long-time friend, Dennis, with Janet’s help, taking a picture, up close, of the Kangaroos.:

 

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Thanks Terry!! amazing blog and pictures! This trip is on our bucket list!! We had Ian as our CD last summer on the Eclipse and liked him a lot. BTW, are you enjoying your Celebrity Suite?:):)

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Hey Terry, welcome to our beautiful down under. Continue having a great time and look forward to cruising with you in 15 months. Cheers Denise (neenee)

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Hi Essexlass :)

Have you been lucky enough to cruise with Terry?

 

I spent one short week on the North Island. What a wonderful place, but I'll never forget how very much like home it looked as we came in to land in Auckland.

 

Sadly no, never cruised with Terry, but I think it would be a GREAT experience judging by past cruises Terry and his wife have done.

 

I lived in a suburb of Auckland (Titirangi) for a while and have toured both islands quite extensively. NZ is a beautiful country with so much to offer and in hindsight I wish I had applied for citizenship.

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a viewing of bungy jumping (or for an additional fee, YOU can bungy jump -- perhaps Terry will!) and a stop in Arrowtown, where there is a lovely little museum. Even though we were there early in the a.m., shops were open and doing a nice business.

 

I was very interested in this trip but the descriptions seemed to indicate that just watching Bungy jumping was the option.

 

Did you take this trip on Celebrity? If I could find out if bungy jumping is an option I am very interested in this.

 

Thank you in advance for your reply

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