Last day of cruising…

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The last day of cruising and the sun rises in a huge ball of fire over the port of Tauranga.

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The morning sun highlights Mount Maunganui as the tug boats gently nudge the Oosterdam into the dock. Tauranga is the home of my daughter and we will be meeting her later today.

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Look at that blue sky it is a perfect Easter Saturday and we walk along the wharf and notice the cherry picker with a crew cleaning the outside windows. It certainly is a ship-shape ship. Only a 15 minute walk to the centre of Mount Maunganui and time for a short look around down town.

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The local art group have a display in the park. The standard is high and we admire the paintings.

Then Jackie picks us up and we go for a coffee, then on to her place.

I’ve developed a sore throat and a slight cough, I’m not feeling 100%. There has been a lot of coughs and colds going through the passengers and I hoped I had escaped it, but it seems to have caught up with me on the very last day. So far Jack is OK.

Being Easter it is the Annual Tauranga Jazz Festival. 3 years ago we were here and enjoyed the music and dancing in the streets (Take a look at that post here) So after lunch we walked the short distance to the Esplanade to join the crowds enjoying the music.

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Jack soon found a willing young woman to dance with him.

Then he found another willing person. I was fascinated with the dancing style of the bloke in blue behind Jack. What would you call his style?

We only had a couple of hours before it was time to head back to the boat. It was good to catch up with Jackie and Greg, even though it was only for such a short time. But we will be coming back again in a couple of weeks to stay longer.

So now it was time to pack our bags. The organisation of every thing on board is immaculate and the routine for the bags and leaving tomorrow morning is all orchestrated to the last detail. The bags must be outside our cabin door by 11pm with colour coded and numbered labels. Then some one will whisk them away ready for us to pick up as we leave. Tomorrow they have almost 2000 people to collect luggage and disembark. Without the organisation it could be chaos. I’m impressed.

Just a couple more details to tidy up, take the books back to the library and the video back to the front desk and at the same time check our account. There has been a couple of things I have to pay for but only expecting approx. $150 on our account. BUT it is just over $300… I scan the account. How can it be!!! Then I found it, “service charge”, Each day I had put the “service please” sign on the door, thinking, in my innocence, that was in the price of the cruise. The sign was to let them know we were not there and it was free for them to go in… Well I guess it must be some where in the small print that room service is an extra. Oh well I did enjoy not having to do any thing for 14 days and having clean towels, beds made. But it had gone through my mind that not many doors had the service sign out, I thought maybe they were all sleeping in….

Next morning we docked at Auckland the final destination.

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I had requested a 9am departure as my son and partner would be picking us up. So we had time for one last delicious breakfast. The intercom started calling the colour codes and numbers at 7-30am. It was just after 9 when I heard our “yellow 5” called. The bags were all lined up near the exit. We soon found ours and headed down the gang-plank with a group of the friendly staff waiting to wave us good-bye.

Arrived Auckland PC 025

So what was my final impression of the cruising lifestyle?

For a totally relaxing holiday I would rate it a 5 out of 5. The food was excellent, plenty of variety and choice of restaurants. Immaculate presentation, well organised. Friendly, helpful staff. Good variety of entertainment every night. Plenty of space to, surprisingly, find quiet spots to be on my own. The cabin had a window and was larger than I expected, another plus.

Value for money, definitely. The extras were there to pay for, if you needed them ie. alcohol, spa treatment, personal trainer, casino. But the basic fare covered all you needed for life on board. ( We could’ve made our own beds!!!)

On the minus side, the tours were expensive and only having a few hours in each port it is very restricting for actually getting to see and appreciate each place. I like to take my time exploring new places and do not like moving around to a time frame with a crowd. But I knew New Zealand so the reason for this trip was not to see the country or go on the tours, but to experience a cruise. So on that basis I thoroughly enjoyed the journey.

Would I do another cruise? I’m not sure… I certainly would not take a cruise to a country I had never been to before, preferring to fly there and take my time exploring and travelling on land to my itinerary.

A few days after we settled in with my son, Jack developed the cold. We both had a very bad dose. Maybe because we had not been able to have the flu injections before we left Australia. The weather also was dismal. So we just relaxed enjoying life with Laurie and Kerry. And unfortunately sharing our cold with them…

We had another 4 weeks in New Zealand and have now been home in Australia for 3 weeks. My how time flies…

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Categories: cruise, Jazz festival, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, Oosterdam, photos, Tauranga | Tags: , , , | 37 Comments

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37 thoughts on “Last day of cruising…

  1. I’ve enjoyed doing this tour with you although it’s something I haven’t done myself. Appreciated your comments on the pros and cons of cruises at the end of your post – very helpful. Had to go to the desktop to see Jack dance and boy I’m glad I did – I’d have danced with him in a minute!

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  2. Jack is a star! 🙂 I am not a cruise person either. But I am tempted to give it a try sometime. Have only been on a slow cruise down the Nile so far, but that is docked most of the time, so doesn’t really count as a cruise.

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  3. Glad you had a great time, Pauline. Loved the clip of Jack’s dance moves. 🙂 I think the service charge is a sort of compulsory tip which gets added on at the end.

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  4. Love Jack’s style, Pauline! What a lovely man you have there 🙂 I guess that guy in the background was doing hip hop? I think I’ve probably missed a lot of your cruise adventures? I’ll back track when I have a minute. Off out Nordic walking as soon as I’ve put the washing out. A sunny day- yay! (but cold) Catch you later 🙂

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  5. Well, I made a pot of tea and sat back to enjoy the rest of your NZ posts. It is a dull, humid day where I am and I needed this escape!

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  6. Joan and Terry Watson

    No doubt about Jack, will he never look his age he looks great.
    Terry wants to go on a cruise, so I will tell him your comments, hope colds soon get better, it is usually from the Air Con as it passes around everybody.

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    • I think you would enjoy a short cruise Joan. We are over the cold now and had our flu shots as soon as we got back… Yes I’m sure it was the air con and we couldn’t open our window!!! If we go again I think I would pay a bit more and get a balcony state room so I could open the door and sit on a balcony.

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  7. The web site for long tall glasses where Leo Sayer doe his dance did not show up using the Ipad.
    try hitting this Leo Sayer 1975 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B1JmBjXMck

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post Pauline it made me feel like dancing.
    Pauline that blue boy that fasinated you with his mechanical dancing.
    I could have done that except I needed you to wind me up.
    I could have done a two step, quick step, a bussinover. A Victor Silvester and a Rudi Valinntino.
    Because you know I can’t dance I am a hobo by name I just seek poultry and game.
    I didn’t learn it from Leo Sayer I just did my own thing.
    Take a trip to with Google to
    He was doing that sort of dancing back in 1975.

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  9. PS, Please tell Jack I said hello.

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  10. Oh, this just made me smile seeing Jack in action! Thanks, Pauline.

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  11. Wow Pomme, quite a trip! Must say your analysis of the cruise is roughly what I expect, so we’ve not gone that route yet. Looks like tons of fun but if you haven’t been to a place before you probably need to do a land tour. Still, wonderful doing a virtual cruise with you !!

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  12. Love that sunrise! That looks like a nice art show.

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  13. I’ve never heard of a cleaning fee like that! I guess in some ways it was good you didn’t know, although that is a lot of money.

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  14. Wow, Pauline, it’s amazing how organized that ship is. It looks like you had a great time dancing in the streets of Tauranga. I’ve seen that kind of dancing by the guy in the blue shirt, but I don’t know what it’s called. I’d call it a robot style, if I had to make up a name myself. Jack looks like he’s having a grand time.

    I’m sorry you both got sick at the end, but it sounds like you had a relaxing time in New Zealand with your son. I think it’s great you had the attitude that you were there for the cruise, and just enjoyed it for what it was. I don’t think I’d want to do it either if I was going to a new country I’d never been to before.

    I love that photo of the huge ball of the sun over the mountain. I still have to get back and read all the cruise posts I’ve missed. 🙂

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    • They had the organization down to a fine art, I guess they’ve been doing cruises for so long now they have ironed out all the wrinkles. Robot style is a good name for that blokes style. He was in a world of his own…

      Liked by 1 person

  15. oh Pomme – Jack dancing and the whole vibe of that video was fun (saw it in the reader before coming to the post) – and well, your photos are wonderful – very favorite is the one through the ship window – with the modern day camera to the left – it adds such a contemporary vibe and well, the landscape, shape of the window – etc. – and now back to have another scroll.

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  16. I have heard that about the excursions, that they are expensive, but I suppose some people like everything organised for them. I don’t mind the odd tour, but I do also like to do my own thing. Good to know about the service charge – I too would have assumed it was like at a hotel to let the chambermaids know they can come in and clean! I’m considering the cruise up the Norwegian coast partially because it is not an easy country to drive in and some of the towns they stop at are easy to tour on your own I believe.

    Love the photos of Jack – he has such energy! Hope to see more photos of NZ now 🙂

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    • You certainly live and learn Jude. I think a Norwegian cruise would be good as it is about the coastal scenery. You have so many more options for cruising from the UK

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  17. Jack struts his stuff well! I know I couldn’t do a cruise for just the reasons you put in your minuses, I would like to visit some of the places you went to though. Great photos Pauline 🙂

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  18. I’m glad someone else is an asynchronous blogger! I was heading for Warsaw before I finished with Cairns. A good stocktake of the experience; great shots of Jack dancing; and so sorry about the cold. It seems to go with the territory. Do you get sick following your own itinerary? I particularly liked the second photo: I’m a sucker for framing.

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    • asynchronous, now that is a new word for me, I had to look it up… Occasionally get sick when travelling, but not often and never enough to stop us. Yes I like to look for a frame in photos

      Liked by 1 person

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