Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
dleighb

Finally Starting to Get Real!

Recommended Posts

I think you may be mixing up stinging fish with box jellyfish:'). Don't worry most tour operators if there is a swarm they give you special suits to wear that will protect you. Just check with the tour providers what their policies are to be sure.

 

There are two direct flights from Cairns to Auckland they cover everyday except Wednesday. One is with Air New Zealand and the other Philippines Airlines. I am in agreement that going to Brisbane is a bad idea:( You will spend more time travelling to the GBR than at the GBR and since you have so little time you should find a way to make the most of it:D Unless of course you are a destination ticker in which case I guess it will do;p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you do decide to go to Cairns I suggest actually staying at Port Douglas, an hour away by shuttle bus.

 

For a reef trip I recommend Wavelength https://www.wavelength.com.au/ which departs from Port Douglas.

 

Then do a Daintree Forest tour with Tony's Tropical Tours https://www.tropicaltours.com.au/.

 

I recommend the Meridian Port Douglas apartment hotel. https://portdouglasmeridian.com/about/ It's one block from the main shopping street, and an easy walk to the marina. Tours pick up at the apartments. No children under 16 either. We've stayed there a number of times and always loved it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I was just informed Philippines airline no longer runs the Cairns to Auckland route:( But Air New Zealand is still going but no flights Wednesday or Tuesday.

 

If you are looking to sightsee Sydney driving is a bad idea. I can't speak to Berlin but as a local I will avoid driving in Sydney city as often as possible. It is that bad:eek:. To the airport you will end up on highways and see very little, besides you can't visit the Royal Botanic Gardens by car and those are some of the best views of the harbour;). Besides most of the main tourist attractions are in the vicinity of the OPT and the rest are reachable by foot or one or two stops from Circular Quay station. No need to to rent a car:cool:

Edited by ilikeanswers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So. . .it seems the majority feel that the better option is:

 

SYD to Cairns on the Dec 14

Cairns Area 15 & 16

Return to Sydney or Brisbane on 17th for our anniversary dinner (possibly Auckland).

Home on the 18th because we are already pushing it for vacation days around the holidays, and we are going to pretend that we will actually be able to work on the 19th and 20th. Ha ha ha!!!!

 

As long as we don't die from stinging fish or box jellyfish or whatever things I've read about that are fatal in the GBR in December, then I'm game. The Cairns area does seem much nicer. Wasn't this my original idea?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went to a marvellous French restaurant in Sydney last night in Darlinghurst which is only a mile from the CBD. It’s called Loluk Bistro.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you do decide to go to Cairns I suggest actually staying at Port Douglas, an hour away by shuttle bus.

 

For a reef trip I recommend Wavelength https://www.wavelength.com.au/ which departs from Port Douglas.

 

Then do a Daintree Forest tour with Tony's Tropical Tours https://www.tropicaltours.com.au/.

 

I recommend the Meridian Port Douglas apartment hotel. https://portdouglasmeridian.com/about/ It's one block from the main shopping street, and an easy walk to the marina. Tours pick up at the apartments. No children under 16 either. We've stayed there a number of times and always loved it.

 

 

This. Do this.

 

You will have a trip to remember!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I'm coming back to this because it will be easiest to keep all my crazy ideas in one thread. I think I am narrowing in on post-cruise crazy trip to GBR. Sydney to Cairns on debarkation day (Saturday), GBR (Sunday), Daintree (Monday), fly back to Sydney for anniversary dinner at French Restaurant and maybe a semi-romantic after dinner night walk across the bridge because we really aren't doing much in Sydney which I know is a shame, but that's what happens when you try to have your cake and eat it too. Having your cake, eating it, and not gaining wait is just impossible, so you have to give something up.

 

 

So, now on the front end. I'm really, really bummed, that I'm not going to see Mt. Cook. But then, I got this great idea, that maybe I could do a similar crazy trip on the front end of this cruise. Yes, yes. I have already admitted that I know it is insane, but I have done a lot of insane things in my life, so this would be par for the course. The trick would be convincing my husband. Below are my thought options:

 

 

Arrive Auckland Saturday, fly to Mt Cook, scenic flight and bum around Mt. Cook area on Sunday, fly back to Auckland on some horrid early flight to board ship on Monday.

 

Arrive Queenstown Saturday, one way rail or coach tour or something to Mt. Cook on Sunday. Scenic flight over Mt. Cook (would have to be afternoon and I read that clouds are more likely). Overnight in Mt. Cook for crazy morning flight to catch ship on Monday.

 

Do one of the above options and arrive on Friday but fly to Auckland on Sunday for an overnight before the cruise. That would allow us to see a maybe a tad bit of Auckland although honestly, I think if we haven't died of fatigue and jet lag by then, we probably would end up crashing in the hotel and missing Auckland anyway. And the whole reason we are doing a cruise and not a land tour is because my husband hates packing up and going from hotel to hotel. The first option would minimize that.

 

So, thoughts, rash political statements about my sanity or lack thereof. And, yes, I did look at flying RT to Sydney from DFW and then taking a one way from Sydney to Queenstown to Auckland but the air time simply increases too much when I am trying to use my miles on American. So a bunch of one way trips it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just reminder that this will be in the cyclone wet season. If the seas are rough, the small boats don't go out to the Great Barrier Reef, so the shorter the visit the higher the risk.

 

If time permits, Lady Elliott Island and Heron Island are both actually on the Great Barrier Reef, at the southern end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep. Weather is a risk. But weather is always a risk. I grew up on the Gulf Coast, so I get hurricane season. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that since we will be there earlier in the summer, it will be like hurricane season in the states earlier in the summer. It's sometimes bad in June and July, but not like August, September, and October. So matching that to the seasons there, it sometimes happens in November/December, but more likely in January, February, and March. Maybe? Keeping my fingers crossed anyway. I'm also hoping for a clear day in Milford Sound in December which I hear is pretty hit or miss too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yep. Weather is a risk. But weather is always a risk. I grew up on the Gulf Coast, so I get hurricane season. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that since we will be there earlier in the summer, it will be like hurricane season in the states earlier in the summer. It's sometimes bad in June and July, but not like August, September, and October. So matching that to the seasons there, it sometimes happens in November/December, but more likely in January, February, and March. Maybe? Keeping my fingers crossed anyway. I'm also hoping for a clear day in Milford Sound in December which I hear is pretty hit or miss too.

 

Yes. The last couple of years we've had cyclones in April, which is late. We had beautiful weather in the Sounds in December, so I hope you are lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't risk a flight from Mt Cook on embarkation day. If that flight is delayed or cancelled by weather you might not make it back to Auckland in time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flights from Cairns to Auckland are only operated by Air New Zealand in the winter - so the Kiwi's can get some sun.

 

Cyclones on the east coast in December have been rare in recent years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re your planned Mt Cook trip. I hope you have all your ducks in a row. I can't find any direct flights to Mt Cook from Auckland, only to Queenstown.

Queenstown to Mt Cook scenic flight 3 hrs $600 per passenger. Probably not do-able with less than two full days. As many overseas visitors have found out to their detriment, distances in NZ are much harder/ longer to cover than comparable in the US. And GPS units have sent people on un-navigable routes on many occasions.

Edited by Belmont Babe
Clarification

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BelmontBabe, you are correct. I've been researching options all day. This is harder to do when you are over a year out and can't research actual flight dates, but I want to have a plan because I've just realized that we will be leaving on the day before Thanksgiving which is one of the worst air travel days in the U.S., so I need to be ready to book my air like super early if I want to try for priority economy. I don't know if DFW SYD is a hot ticket item for people's 4-day holiday weekend, but I don't want to take chances. I also have to ease my husband into these plans and budget for them.

 

 

 

So. . .current pre-cruise plan I am attempting to sell my husband on:

 

 

Non-stop Dallas-Sydney on Qantas leaving Wed, arriving Friday because the laws of time and the international date line steal a day from me. Continue on same day to Queenstown or Christchurch.

 

 

Saturday - Insane day trip tour from Christchurch to Queenstown (or vice versa) via Mt. Cook which can include helicopter trip, weather permitting. Yes, I found one!

 

Sunday - spend day unconscious and recovering in Queenstown or Christchurch. If you had a day to spend unconscious and jet lagged, would you choose Queenstown or Christchurch? I am assuming that we would get out and walk about some. Yes, the cruise stops in Akoroa, but I want to do a Harbor Wildlife Cruise there, so I am not sure that I will make it into Christchurch. Is that horrible to miss Christchurch?

 

Monday - take ridiculously early flight to Auckland which hopefully will still be available in December 2019. Pray that there are no flight delays, arrive Auckland around 10:00am and head to ship for check-in. Now, I've never flown in the morning of a cruise before. I've always thought people are insane to do that, so I may convince my husband to accept spending three nights in three different hotels and fly in to Auckland the night before. What is the worst that happens? If we miss ship sail from Auckland can we board at the Bay of Islands? I am assuming that we could.

 

 

 

And just a recap on insane post-cruise plan:

Saturday: Sydney to Cairns

Sunday: GBR or Daintree Rainforest (depending on weather forecast)

Monday: Daintree Rainforest or GBR (whichever we didn't do day before)

Tuesday: Cairns Sydney

Wednesday: Sydney Dallas

 

It all looks doable on paper although I might have to mortgage my house again. I figure if we can do eight days in a row at Walt Disney World in the parks from open to close every day, going non-stop all day with two pre-teens in the Florida summer heat and humidity,, we can survive this. Sleep is not important! We can sleep on Christmas Weekend when we are back in the U.S.! And then maybe keep sleeping on into January!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BelmontBabe, you are correct. I've been researching options all day. This is harder to do when you are over a year out and can't research actual flight dates, but I want to have a plan because I've just realized that we will be leaving on the day before Thanksgiving which is one of the worst air travel days in the U.S., so I need to be ready to book my air like super early if I want to try for priority economy. I don't know if DFW SYD is a hot ticket item for people's 4-day holiday weekend, but I don't want to take chances. I also have to ease my husband into these plans and budget for them.

 

 

 

So. . .current pre-cruise plan I am attempting to sell my husband on:

 

 

Non-stop Dallas-Sydney on Qantas leaving Wed, arriving Friday because the laws of time and the international date line steal a day from me. Continue on same day to Queenstown or Christchurch.

 

 

Saturday - Insane day trip tour from Christchurch to Queenstown (or vice versa) via Mt. Cook which can include helicopter trip, weather permitting. Yes, I found one!

 

Sunday - spend day unconscious and recovering in Queenstown or Christchurch. If you had a day to spend unconscious and jet lagged, would you choose Queenstown or Christchurch? I am assuming that we would get out and walk about some. Yes, the cruise stops in Akoroa, but I want to do a Harbor Wildlife Cruise there, so I am not sure that I will make it into Christchurch. Is that horrible to miss Christchurch?

 

Monday - take ridiculously early flight to Auckland which hopefully will still be available in December 2019. Pray that there are no flight delays, arrive Auckland around 10:00am and head to ship for check-in. Now, I've never flown in the morning of a cruise before. I've always thought people are insane to do that, so I may convince my husband to accept spending three nights in three different hotels and fly in to Auckland the night before. What is the worst that happens? If we miss ship sail from Auckland can we board at the Bay of Islands? I am assuming that we could.

 

 

 

And just a recap on insane post-cruise plan:

Saturday: Sydney to Cairns

Sunday: GBR or Daintree Rainforest (depending on weather forecast)

Monday: Daintree Rainforest or GBR (whichever we didn't do day before)

Tuesday: Cairns Sydney

Wednesday: Sydney Dallas

 

It all looks doable on paper although I might have to mortgage my house again. I figure if we can do eight days in a row at Walt Disney World in the parks from open to close every day, going non-stop all day with two pre-teens in the Florida summer heat and humidity,, we can survive this. Sleep is not important! We can sleep on Christmas Weekend when we are back in the U.S.! And then maybe keep sleeping on into January!

 

 

Hope you can sleep for a month when you get home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a note - Air New Zealand fly direct from Houston to Auckland arriving 05.55 am - catch next flight to Queenstown, flights depart every two hours from 7am to 5pm, stay overnight Queenstown, same flight times returning the next day. Stay overnight Auckland and catch ship next day. So you'd have from 10am one day to 4pm the next day to fit in you scenic flight to Mount Cook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can get all your flights to work with some wriggle room, then it is doable. I would stay Sunday night in Auckland, even if it is a late evening arrival there.

Perhaps incorporate a tour like one of these https://www.greatsights.co.nz/new-zealand-tour-destinations/mount-cook-and-queenstown/ Please note this just a suggestion, I am sure that there are many company's that offer similar services and I have not used this company and am just picking the first google selection. Trip advisor would be a useful tool as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are doing same thing Oct.29th2018 Sostice 10 night and back to back Solstice Nov. 8 from SYD to AUK. We saved enough from over years to go BOS to SYD and AUK to BOS first class to celebrate 45th anniversary a bit late. We are flying in to SYD 4 days early Staying at 4 seasons and doing a 3 day Sydney city tour with Celebrity before the 2 cruises. We booked our first seats and dates based on the City tour deal. Celebrity suggested The Grace Hotel which we were thinking of before we booked City Tour package and didn’t want to change hotels. Couldn’t do this trip without the ff points for first class and even then worried about long time on plane.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I had just one day and had to choose between Queenstown and Christchurch I would pick Queenstown every time.

 

Sent from my Lenovo A7600-F using Forums mobile app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...