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TLCOhio

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

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Wonderful photos again Terry, you're bringing all the memories flooding back from our trips in Australia. I'm hoping to go back again later this year, but the Baltic first - so many places, so little time :) BTW, did you do a blog when you cruised the Baltic? Can I hitch up to that too? I'm presently gleaning info about all those ports of call.

 

"How can you not love seeing the Koalas up close and personal?"

 

They're so cute that I've got one set as my desktop here. So I have a koala desktop and a NZ screensaver, best of both worlds :D

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Essexlass2: Wonderful photos again Terry' date=' you're [b']bringing all the memories flooding back from our trips in Australia[/b]. I'm hoping to go back again later this year, but the Baltic first - so many places, so little time BTW, did you do a blog when you cruised the Baltic? Can I hitch up to that too? I'm presently gleaning info about all those ports of call. "How can you not love seeing the Koalas up close and personal?" They're so cute that I've got one set as my desktop here. So I have a koala desktop and a NZ screensaver, best of both worlds

 

jobinhume: 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.

 

bye-seaya: Wow! Terry - Thank you for this amazing review and photos. Totally awesome!!

 

Essexlass2: Have you been lucky enough to cruise with Terry? Sadly no' date=' 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. [/quote']

 

neenee61: Hey Terry' date=' [b']welcome to our beautiful down under.[/b] Continue having a great time and look forward to cruising with you in 15 months. Cheers Denise (nee nee)

 

MicCanberra: The animals photos look fabulous BTW' date=' the bird in question [b']looks like a plover[/b]. cheers mic

 

drarill: 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' date=' are you [b']enjoying your Celebrity Suite?[/b]

 

Appreciate ALL of the added nice and kind comments, questions, added info, etc. Very helpful and good for the sharing that can be done with such a blog.

 

First things, first. The rough seas in Tasman Sea have continued and made my wife very, very frustrated. She's not happy!! Wondering why any cruise ships would ever be sailing this sea. That's her question to me. Lots of "rock'n and rolling". Looking out early this morning, it continues as we get ready to do our sail-in to Milford Sound. Hopefully, it will be much calmer there. BUT, it seems that we'll get some rain there today, including in Queenstown.

 

For Q-town, here is what AccuWeather says right now: Today, Sun., Jan 26, cloudy with showers, high of 66°, low of 36°; Mon., Jan 27, beautiful with sun and clouds, high of 67°, low of 48°. After we leave Queenstown, it will be Tues., Jan 28, sunny and warmer, high of 78°, low of 52°; Wed. Jan 29, mostly sunny and very warm, high of 79°, low of 49°. For southern NZ, those near 80 temps seem much above average.

 

By contrast, tonight in Columbus, Ohio, it will be minus one, but a feel like it is minus 24. Glad we are not in Ohio now!! Smart to be down under in January to escape the cold!! Maybe that will make my wife happy to compensate for these rough seas in the Tasman.

 

For essexlass2, I did not do this type of blog in 2008 when we had a wonderful sailing from Dover, UK to the Baltics and Russia. I did postings, but at that stage, I had not gotten to be able to do the larger pictures. Later in February, remind me and I can share the link for that text info and the small, tiny pictures. In recent years on the Northern Europe boards, I have done many of the large pictures and key highlights from those key ports. It would be great to sail with you and others. Not sure where the next cruise would be for us. Would like to do some looping of southern South America, SE Asia, South Africa, etc. Lots of options, but two grandsons and only so much time and money. Sorry!!

 

For drarill, YES, it is wonderful to have extra room with a Celebrity Suite. It is a very well designed. Part of the best news is being so central and quick/easy to the mid-ship elevators. Saves lots of time. On a fourteen day cruise, having more room and flexibility really makes a positive difference. There are some good, added perks, too. Can share more of those details later.

 

Great added info by MicCanberra on the bird in question looking like a plover. Added reactions, info, seconding of that bird naming?

 

Appreciate the kind NZ welcome from neenee61 or Denise. We are excited about our many stops here. That was a key reason to pick this cruise.

 

For jobinhume, yes, this two-day, overnight excursion in Queenstown is through the cruise ship. Since we get off of the ship in the middle of Milford Sound, that's the only way to accomplish this trip. We will have some free time in the afternoon in Queenstown. If I was so inclined (which I am not), I could do bungee jumping during this afternoon timing window. As I understand, there is a location in Queenstown that offers this jumping option. Maybe the logistics could be worked out to get to the original stone bridge location. BUT, as I understand, we could do it today. Not sure the weather will be ideal today in Queenstown. BUT, for Monday, the forecast does look better for our activities on that day as we journey to Dunedin with a number of key stops.

 

Still have lots more photos to process and update. Will share as time permits.

 

Keep up the good comments and interests. Happy to share more.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Super loved Dubrovnik!!! See more details and lots of great visual samples/examples at this link. Have had over 19,942 views on this posting and appreciate those who have tuned-in and dropped by.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1439227

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Terry,

Fabulous review and photos. This is a trip DH and I want to do when we retire (and therefore have the time to do it properly.)

 

Thanks,

Ohiodoglover

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Terry, Fabulous review and photos. This is a trip DH and I want to do when we retire (and therefore have the time to do it properly.) Thanks, Ohiodoglover

 

Appreciate these nice comments from our Ohio friend. Missing our two English Lab dogs, Roxie and Rudy. Roxie is a black female, age 10.5. Rudy is a yellow male, age 7.5. They are staying with "Aunt Barbie" during this long trip. Hopefully, the dogs are surviving the Ohio cold. Yes, to do this type of long trip down under in January, it does help to be retired as my wife did in late May, 2013, from her school nursing work at two Central Ohio high schools.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now over 131,975 views.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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Thanks for taking time to do this we board as you disembark in Auckland. You're really whetting our appetite!

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Terry,

Thanks so much for taking the time to post all of these wonderful photos and details on your extended trip. It is making me want to book for 2015 but the dates aren't quite right for us. But 2016 is a possibility and I love how you added on so much of Australia on your own.

 

Do love that we have finally seen your smiling face! I have always thought you must be a very warm, friendly man and your smile seals the deal for me!

 

When you are back home, I'd love to hear more detail on how you booked your Advantage flights. We have quite a few AA miles (hubby is Platinum level) and we have always thought we'd use a bunch of them for my first trip Down Under (hubby went there before I knew him!).

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Enjoying your "live" from the Solstice Terry.

 

In Queenstown try and do the Shotover jetboat ride.....it's fantastic....one of the best boat trips you can do.

 

They pick you up in town and take you up to the Shotover river.

 

http://www.shotoverjet.com/galleries/

 

 

Also the cable car is a must do.....a short walk from town.

 

http://www.skyline.co.nz/queenstown/gondola/

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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

 

As Terry mentioned, you can only do it with Celebrity, from the cruise that goes into Milford Sound and includes Dunedin as a port. In the opposite direction, the shore excursion starts in Dunedin and ends the next day in Milford Sound.

 

When we stopped at the Bungy jumping, we all watched; but my recollection is that there was enough time if one or more adventurous souls wished to purchase the actual "jump". I think they might ask you to commit, in advance, so they can be prepared to fit you into the line-up. Several other adventurers did the jump while we were there, and Mr. B. watched with interest the crew waiting at the bottom. But just b/c we could do it, in 2012, doesn't mean you would be able to, on future cruises.

 

Terry's photos will be wonderful, I am quite sure. Sounds like the weather will be good, too,that second day. And I have utter confidence in your getting us the best views of Milford Sound, even if it's raining, Terry.

 

And Terry, I can't decide which photos I love best, but the food "porn" is right up there. The marsupials are great and also my favorites.

 

The people, too! Oh heck, I just love them all. I know nothing about photography but clearly you have the right equipment!

 

Sorry to hear that Penny is frustrated with the ship's motion. We were much luckier in the Tasman Sea than we were cruising to Ushuaia from our sail-by past Antarctica. We had brought meds, and did use them once, there (plus I had chosen the most midship, low deck cabin I thought I could tolerate). Anyway, I hope you get to do all your bucket list places, but I'll love reliving southern So. America if you do it and post about it.

 

And Antarctica! Somebody called it Alaska on steroids. You will barely know what to photograph first!

Edited by May B

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Hi Terry,

At last your much awaited trip is here! And as per usual I'm learning a lot from your wonderful trip report.

Was supposed to be on this cruise with my sister, but things got postponed till 2015. We will have not have the overnight in Sydney, but booked it anyway as love the sailaway from Sydney and we will be docked opposite the Opera House. It is my sisters first cruise and hoping she gets the bug:p

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It's great seeing such an indepth blog/review of this amazing part of the world, I always love seeing how an outsider views us :) Keep up the good work, you're a one man tourism advert!

 

Great to see you were able to get upclose with some of our unique fauna. Wombats are very cute creatures, often overlooked in favour of Kangaroos and Koalas, but they're one of my personal favourites. Can be aggressive little critters though, I got chased by one once when I came across it on a bush walk :/ Oh and a group of Kangaroos is called a Mob, little bit of trivia for you there :)

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Also from Mason Ohio here. Planning our 2016 Sydney to New Zealand Cruise. Terry thanks so much for taking us along. So you didn't do the bridge climb?! The double decker bus in Sydney was also a good deal. Bondi beach is a nice option. BUT you got to see the GREAT BARRIER REEF?! Such a fun trip. Keep it coming and THANK YOU! Karen, from Ohio

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Also from Mason Ohio here. Planning our 2016 Sydney to New Zealand Cruise. Terry thanks so much for taking us along. So you didn't do the bridge climb?! The double decker bus in Sydney was also a good deal. Bondi beach is a nice option. BUT you got to see the GREAT BARRIER REEF?! Such a fun trip. Keep it coming and THANK YOU! Karen, from Ohio

 

Pictures of Terry on the bridge - post 54!

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Terry,

Do love that we have finally seen your smiling face! I have always thought you must be a very warm, friendly man and your smile seals the deal for me!

 

Yes, I'll go along with that too :D

 

"Later in February, remind me and I can share the link for that text info and the small, tiny pictures. In recent years on the Northern Europe boards, I have done many of the large pictures and key highlights from those key ports. "

 

I will do that, Terry, thanks. For the moment, I am enjoying following you along on this super holiday cruise. I hope Penny is feeling much better now. :)

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Thank you for taking the time to write another fine photo travel review. Your pictures are always fantastic and the accompanying commentary is always informative.

I referred to your Soltstice blog when we planned our Med cruise on her in June of 2012. It was an invaluable planning resource.

We were in a Celebrity Suite on Solstice also! Do you have Rasti as your butler? If so, tell him Big Don and Jamey Banowetz from Indiana by way of New Orleans and Columbus say "hello!"

Thanks again and I hope you are having smooth sailing!

Edited by jameybano

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Terry,

 

Apologize for the interruption as I know you're in the middle of your grand voyage, but if you get a free minute or two, would love your feedback on this thread.

 

Smooth sailing!

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Appreciate all of the continued and nice comments, insights, etc. It's 6:30 am on a Monday in Queenstown. Much to post and share. So many more super interesting photos to upload share. Will have to do more follow-ups at a later time on the good interest on this live/blog. Now over 8,500 views.

 

Yesterday, was our sailing into Milford Sound. WOW!! Lots of clouds, some rain, overcast. BUT, the waterfalls were countless and so totally awesome. Over and lover, more and more to see. The amount of rain received in Milford Sound is huge. Rains about two-thirds of the days there. Got off of the Solstice and headed to land for our "JOURNEY" to Queenstown and seeing so many amazing sights through the interior of the NZ South Island. We have a great guide, originally from the UK, named John Wellington. It's that a great last name of Wellington, both for British and NZ history? He's been in 60 different countries and has a great personality and knowledge of this area.

 

Our first stop was worth the whole, two-day trip. We went into a NZ rainforest, hiking through large trees, lots of ferns, past roaring waterfalls, etc., etc. The pictures will show and explain more. Several other stops, including a great lunch in a lake-front town. More travel through many areas with lots of sheep being raised, seeing how deer (yes, deer, like in Bambi) are being raised here in NZ. We went through parts of Queenstown and its wonderful lake and adjusted the schedule to do a stop in Arrowtown. Great shopping (or retail therapy, as it is called in the travel business) in this historic gold rush town from the later 1800's.

 

Then to sample Queenstown, check into our Heritage Hotel that sits on the scenic, large lake. We go into main Queenstown, grab a little snack at a Thai location (as dinner will be late tonight). What's next? A wonderful "miracle"!! SUNSHINE, showing off these amazing Remarkable Mountains off in their full glory. After the rain early in the morning, to get these sunny rays was so welcomed.

 

The day's topper? Getting on the 101-year-old, coal-fired steamer ship!! Going to a very lavish buffet dinner at a sheep ranch. Saw a dog-herding demonstration, then seeing how a sheep gets sheered, touching the lamb wool, etc.

 

Lots of nice photos on all of those activities to share. BUT, today will be busy, too. We will forest go to the site where bungee jumping started 25 years ago, visit a winery, have lunch in a cute town, do touring around the Scottish-styled town of Dunedin, then go back to re-join our Solstice ship.

 

This ship excursion was not cheap, but has been so worth it. Sampling this part of NZ has been very interesting and informative. My wife has nearly forgotten the rough seas crossing the Tasman Sea.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now over 132,412 views.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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Terry,beautiful pictures. I loved the pictures of Hawaii before the cruise. I enjoyed the wombat, and kangaroos also. So happy you took the time to bring us all along with you. Thank you.

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Terry,

Awesome blog & photos!

I especially like your food photos from Tuscan Grill. I agree with your advice to pace yourself in that particular restaurant.

On a previous cruise, I was literally in pain half way through the meal due to too much good food. I persevered though, and made it through dessert. :D

 

Hopefully you are planning on visiting the other specialty restaurants on this cruise for more great comments and photos.

 

Jeff

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Terry, I almost wish we had signed up for that tour. Glad to hear you felt it was worth it. Thanks again for all the information you are sharing, can't imagine how much time it is taking for you to post all these pictures and commentary.

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Great work Terry, good to see you are enjoying your adventure !

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Ha! My tablet decided to skip that page describing IN GREAT DETAIL the bridge climb. NOW I see it. Thanks. Such a fun thing to do. Glad you got to do it. Sorry about that! Karen

Edited by boingy300

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Terry,

 

Enjoying your blog, fantastic photos.

Hope the weather is kind to you for the remainder of your visit to NZ, if you have time it's worth a visit inside the Dunedin Railway Station.

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