Sunday, October 16, 2016

Australian Cruise: On Board – Day 1

Written: Saturday, 8th October

After a substantial breakfast close to our Apartment, we grabbed a taxi to take us to the OPT (Overseas Passenger Terminal). Well, getting the taxi-bit sounded OK in theory, but in reality, it seemed the rest of New South Wales had the same idea, and we were diverted away from our destination. Still, it gave us the opportunity to test the wheels on the luggage along the uneven streets of ‘old’ Sydney.

First impressions of Celebrity as a Cruise Line? Well, a bit mixed actually, if those first impressions are anything to go by - we needed to queue to drop the bags before we could queue for the queue to get on board! In fact, ultimately, there were so many different parts to the queuing, it felt like it might be a celebration of my 65th rather than my 60th, before we actually got on the Ship. And in spite of various segregations for the different classes of passengers (we’re ‘Aqua-Class’ which is a bit further up the ‘food chain’), it seemed that ultimately everyone ended up in the same line. A pity then that I hate queuing!

Eventually, we made it, where a free glass of bubbly awaited us. In spite of being one of the first on board as befitted our ‘Aqua Class’ status, the immediate area was already packed, and seating was limited. Within minutes of sitting down we’re approached to purchase ‘the drinks package’ and then ‘the dining package’ illustrating that paying for the cruise part, is only the beginning of the many ways Cruise Lines want to help travellers to empty their wallets during their time on board. A prime example of this was the extra charges to access the interweb.

Here’s a picture of me BEFORE I saw how much it cost to access the internet from the Ship!


See how relaxed and care-free I look!

Check out these prices…! Unbelievably extortionate!!

 

1 hour for $25!!!!!! and over $300 dollars for their unlimited plan!!!! Seriously!!!! After that shock, we concluded that I wouldn’t be posting my Blogs whilst on board!

Next stop was to take a few photos around the Ship. Boy, it’s a big one – probably one of the biggest we’ve sailed on (and we’ve done a few!), so we can see already that there’s bags of potential for getting lost!











Architecturally, the Ship is impressive and no expense has been spared on the fixtures and fittings. Cleary though, they’d saved some money with the signage! For first-time guests like us, the whole place was simply bewildering. So, here is a little challenge for those on the Ship for the first time – see if you can find the ‘Persian Room’! It’s a perk for ‘Aqua-class’ guests, but it took us an age to find, as it only appears once on any of the Ship’s schematics!
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…but at least the food was plentiful!

We’ve got a day at sea tomorrow and that will be a perfect opportunity to get lost explore more of what the ship has to offer!

Smile