Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Zealand & Australia 3: We board our cruise ship.

Others, who have cruised before will find this amusing, but I could not get over the size of this ship as we rolled our suitcases around the corner, and saw it for the first time.  

From the vantage point above, our ship looks like a big star fleet ship out of Star Trek.

 It is 951 feet long, 123  feet wide and has 17 decks. We paid a little extra and got a stateroom with a balcony.  We found this well worth the money.  I spent many happy hours standing out on our balcony, watching the sea.

Our room was on the port (left side) on deck 12.  It is visible in the image above, on the second row of blue balconies from the top, just a little forward of the large white ball visible on the top of the ship.

The boarding process was very well organized and painless.  They issued each person aboard the ship a plastic card with a magnetic stripe on the back.  Melony is looking at hers, above, as we made our way up the gangplank.  This card served as identification, our room key, and our on-board credit card.

I took this just as we stepped on board.  The ship carries 2670 passengers and a crew of 1238.  I had wondered how they would manage to get all the luggage aboard the ship.

Here we can see the fork lift loading a container of luggage on board.  But, what caught my eye, was the line of empty trolleys from containers that had already been loaded.  I was glad I wasn't the one who had to sort all that luggage and deliver it.

The ship has a main gathering area, I think they refer to it as the Promenade area.  It's three stories high in the middle of the ship.  It felt to me that it was included in the ship's design in order to give a bit of a spacious air to the large, multi-storied, floating hotel.

There is an on board casino, and bars all over the place.  We weren't, but if a person is into drinking and gambling, this place could be a paradise.  Fortunately, there are also other things to do.

The ship has three swimming pools.  There are outdoor pools midships and stern.  The midships pool area has a movie screen where they show movies all during the afternoon and evening.

An indoor pool, is perfect when the weather gets too cold or windy for the outside pool.  Notice how both pools are surrounded by a nicely sculptured wall.  That wall is necessary to keep the water in the pool area when seas are rough.

And, of course, what ship would complete without plenty of deck chairs for lounging.  And plenty of waiters to take your drink order while you lounge.

I looked down over a railing while we explored the ship for the first time.  I saw this image and had to snap my shutter.  Melony says this was invasion of privacy, and that may be true.  But, I loved the way this young woman was already situated the afternoon before we sailed, ready to get away from it all, but was talking on her cell phone.

The ship had elevators, of course, but we took the stairs most of the time.  We did that in order to get some exercise on the ship, what with all the food and all.

I have to say that it was a bit of a chore running up or down six or seven flights of stairs to get where we needed to go.  The blur is Melony streaking by, trying to beat me to the top.

Our room was small, but very well organized, with plenty of storage space.  I have felt more cramped in a Holiday Inn room than this one.

Here's a view from the balcony window looking toward the door.  The bathroom and closet are to the right in front of the door.

We had plenty of closet space.

And the bathroom, while small, was serviceable.  The shower is just in front and to the right of the toilet.

I took a shot of the Auckland harbor from our balcony before we cast off.  You can see the ship's bridge superstructure poking out on the right.

And then we were underway, had enjoyed our first meal in the formal dining room, and began settling in and organizing our room as the sun set just after 8:30pm. I kept having to remind myself.  It was summer there.

Next, we visit Christchurch.
Continue on to Post 4: Christchurch by clicking here.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home