Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day 15

Day 15 – Penang - Mumbai – Wednesday 30/5/12

Weather – Generally fine with heavy cloud cover. Heavy seas, Strong Winds 24C - 28C
Sunrise – 6.23am
Sunset – 7.02pm
Time difference - minus 3 hours ex Sydney.

At 8am this morning we passed 5 miles north of Rondo Island which lies off the northern tip of Sumatra, leading us into the Great Channel and the Bay of Bengal, part of the Indian Ocean. Around midday we sailed 36 miles south of Indira Point at the southern tip of Great Nicobar Island. We maintained a westerly course through the Bay of Bengal towards Sri Lanka which we will pass on Friday morning.

The smooth seas of through the various Asian straits are behind us, and Indian Ocean has welcomed us with some real ocean going conditions for the first time since we left Sydney. Strong South Monsoon winds have buffeted the ship most of the day, with some heavy seas and strong swells actually make a pleasant change – says he who sits in a low midship cabin that is as least affected as any in the ship :) Port side of Promenade deck 7 was closed most of the day due to the conditions, mainly the wind issue I think.

The heavy seas colliding with the bow of the ship make for some good photos which I will post when possible. The splash of the water against the ship rose well over deck 7 as you will see in the photos, so the deck was a tad wet. It was quite good sitting out there (in a sheltered spot) and just watch the strength of the relentless seas buffet the ship this size and move it about at will.

As you would expect, the pool deck was not as popular as usual, and there was noticeably more people indoors on the lower decks. Trivia crowd gets bigger by the day, speaking of which, our team bounced back to form today, only 3 off the leader.

It has been nice to have a break from port days after having 3 in a row. Four days at sea now until next port – Mumbai. We received all our excursion tickets for the ports between Dubai and Dover. This is the sector of the cruise (which starts next Wednesday 6/6/12) we are really excited about, as there are some big items on the agenda for us over the next month and a bit.

The Suez Canal, The Pyramids, The Lost City of Petra, Acropolis, Valley of the Kings, Anzac Cove, Pompeii, Mt Vesuvius etc etc, the list goes on for this upcoming sector through the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Still we must not get ahead of ourselves as we still have two more big ones in the next week with Mumbai on Sunday, and Dubai on Wednesday!!.

We slipped straight back into relax mode today, with a bit of reading, and ocean watching. We got down to the Vista Lounge a bit early for our Trivia today and the dance lesson was still going, so we joined in and learnt the basics of the Jive. I reckon we did OK given we missed the first bit of the lesson. Donna thought it was a success simply because I did not happen to squash her toes with my size 10s for a change :)

Line Dancing and Zumba was back on the program today for Donna, although it was straight after lunch which today we elected for the Quatro pizza (4 quarters with your choice for each) from the Pizzeria – Double toppings (Thanks for the tip Joanne !!)

Captains Circle cocktail party this evening for us. It is not that grand an event, but it is an opportunity to catch up with friends with free booze on offer :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 14 - Penang

Day 14 – Penang - 29/5/12

Weather – Fine and Sunny. 29C – 34C.
Sunrise – 7.03am
Sunset – 7.28pm
Clock back another hour last night – now minus 3 hours ex Sydney.

During the night we sailed parallel to the Malaysian coast. At midnight we passed 3 miles starboard of the small island of Buloh, and shortly after at 1am, Pangko Island 9 miles starboard. At 4.30am we approached and passed around the northern coast of Pinang Island, then set course through the North Channel and boarded the pilot at 6.30am. We were alongside Swettenham Pier International Cruise Terminal by 8am.

We were up in time for the approach into Penang as dawn broke. We had the perfect view of the Pilot boarding this morning. I dunno how these guys do it, seriously, you could not pay me enough to jump from a boat to a ship at that speed. I wonder how many get squashed in the process.

Well considering this was a port we did not have any great enthusiasm for visiting, we ended up having a fantastic time. We had been here on a previous cruise, and it did not really connect with us, funny how things can change.

No tours arranged for here, we elected to just get off the ship and explore, and see where we ended up (i.e. hanging loose :). Such an easy disembarkation, onto the pier (last visit this was a tender port onto a pontoon jetty), then a rally through the armada of taxi drivers and out onto the street. After dodging cars, trucks, buses, motorbikes we only got a few hundred yards up the road when Donna spotted a sign at a bus stop that announced a free public bus shuttle , called Red CAT. We checked out the map on the sign, did not really know where it went , but noticed that where it terminated, the Green CAT made the return journey back towards the ships berth, so on we got.

I had my iPad map up (Triposo app), and we tracked where we were going against that. After about 15 mins Donna recognised the big multi storey shopping joint from last visit (cant remember its name), so we hopped off. It was 9.15am, but the sign on the door said the shops dont open till 10am. We were on the hunt to solve of phone dilemma so we elected to wait it out at Starbucks, which of course has free wi-fi.

An easy connection enabled a few Skype video and phone calls. They were such a success we have reconsidered our haste to restore a mobile phone connection. With communication capability via Skype to Skype, Skype to Phone, Email, Facebook, and of course this blog, we are not really sure if we are going to need more. If we have issues finding wi-fi, we can always resort to buying a local SIM to make calls, so we may just wait and see for now.

A few quick scans of a few shops and we were off in exploration mode again, making our way in the general direction of the ship through the streets of Georgetown. We wandered through the historic streets, taking in a little bit of history and just generally soaking up the atmosphere of the locals at work, rest and play.

Whilst waiting to cross the road on one occasion I felt a very heavy rain drop on my shoulder, and looked up at the sky which a clear blue, with not a cloud in sight. That could only mean one thing, which Donna confirmed with a laugh... yep a bird shat on me, and it was a big one. Luckily we carry half a chemist shop around with us, and Donna was able to clean and sanitise me well enough to continue.

A few photo ops along the journey, with the SHB visit to Penang recorded, and also one for you Wayne B – fire station, will be posted when we can. We came across one of those street malls where vendors cook meals for the locals. The aroma that wafted out of this open air mall was just delightful. We generally have a rule not to eat or drink anything from a street vendor, or a street mall joint...well the seal has been broken. I surveyed the vendors offering and we plucked up enough to have a go. Heck, how could bugs survive a good cooking in a wok.huh.

I ordered the Tom Yam Fried Rice, and Donna the Pineapple Fried Rice. Fried rice may seem like a tame meal for some (a la Nathan) to try, but for us it was good enough for our initiation. They were fantastic, just fantastic, so full of flavour..yummy yummy yummy. My stomach has still not recovered from the assault it received at the Equinox Restaurant in Singapore two days ago, and every meal since has been small and light, so a small serve of this rice was more than sufficient. I am writing this well over 3 hours after the meal, and the flavour is still in my mouth...soooooo nice !!!

We have a lot of port days earmarked as free days to just hang loose and see where the day takes us. Today was a good example of how you can get an enriching visit in just a few hours ashore, without the need for an organised guided tour. Lets hope they are all as successful as this one. :)

At 4pm we let go mooring lines and retraced our courses through the North Channel towards Malacca Strait. Once in the Malacca Strait various westerly courses were set to cross the northern part of the Malacca Strait towards Rondo Island off the northern tip of Sumatra, on route to Mumbai.

Another light dinner for us in the Regency. We have both dropped back to one course meals since the degustation delight in Singapore, although soufflé was on the menu, that can never be resisted – papaya and banana flavour tonight :)

Nothing on the entertainment menu really enthused us , so we had an early night.

Thank you for all the comments we are getting, here and on Facebook. We do read them all, but we just do not have the time to answer them all :) We are still getting reports of folk not being able to make comments. I have checked the settings, and it should all be working OK??? Another thing that must have been designed by Bastards Inc :).

I will load photos at the next free wifi spot when we have time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day 13 - Port Klang

Day 13 – Port Kelang (for Kuala Lumpur - 28/5/12

Weather – Fine, with periods of cloud, 29C – 34C.
Sunrise – 7.03am
Sunset – 7.20pm
Note for future cruisers – Free wi-fi in Glenn Cruises Terminal.

At midnight we passed 18 miles from Bengkalis Island (Indonesia) on our port side, and at 1.30am we passed 8 miles starboard of Melaka (Malaysia). The pilot climbed on at 5.30am and guided our approach to Klang Selatan channel which led us to Glenn Cruises Terminal.

Today we went on our first Princess tour. We had no plans for this port, as we were here a couple of years ago, and did the KL tour. Just a few days prior we elected to do something a bit different – Princess call them 'Off the beaten track' tours, but they aren't really.

First stop (after a 45 min bus ride) was a visit to a Malay home. The family who lived there were very welcoming, and even put on a lovely little morning tea. The home had fantastic gardens with orchids, vegies, herbs etc etc. It was certainly something different, and we were we decided upon it. The SHB hat also made an appearance here:)

A photo stop at the Blue Mosque followed. This mosque looked very much like the one on the way into KL last visit, but I guess it would huh.

Next stop was in Little India. We were wondering if this was going to give us a sample of what was to come in Mumbai !! It certainly had a vibrant atmosphere, and we quite enjoyed it. We would have liked to have had more time there as the sights, music, noise, smells were a little captivating, so the anticipation of Mumbai on Sunday amped up a bit. On the way back to the bus Donna stopped at a street stall and bought a pair of shoes (of course). $3 is a pretty fair price I would have to begrudgingly admit.

Another photo stop at the Sultans Palace, and then we were on the way back to the ship. Back at port Donna and I had a humorous little exchange. Whenever we have a stop somewhere, I whip the iPad out of the backpack and check out signals of the off chance there maybe free wi-fi about. In the Port terminal there is a room set up with public telephones. I sat in there to wait for Donna who was checking some clothes stalls etc (of course). So I whip out the iPad, and shazaam, there was a really weak signal, but a signal all the same. Donna calls out to come along..yeah yeah, hang on a tick I think I have got something...Donna's response - Yeah, thats because there is a wi-fi zone in the next room!!

We had a good strong free wi-fi signal, so we did a bit of stuff, took our gear back to the ship, grabbed a bite, and the netbook and went off back to the wi-fi room in the terminal. It was good to be able to check bank accounts, catch up on mail, update blog and facebook etc. It was quite noticeable that as the room filled up, the connection really slowed up which I guess is quite understandable.

At 7pm we were off again. Initially the pilot set northbound courses leading back to Malacca Strait, where a north-westerly course was set for our next port of call, Penang.

Photos Port Klang visit

Malay house visit, including SHB photo. Various photo ops. The wi-fi room at Port Klang terminal

Monday, May 28, 2012

Day 12 Singapore

Day 12 – Darwin – Singapore - 27/5/12

Weather – Early rain, then cloudy morning, Sunny, 28C – 29C.
Sunrise – 6.56am
Sunset – 7.07pm
Note for future cruisers – Free wi-fi in new Cruise Terminal. Free Public Bus shuttle to the nearest MRT station (Marina Bay). Princess shuttle to Marina Bay Sands is $8.

At 3am this morning Sun Princess entered the Singapore Strait Traffic Separation Scheme, passing 7 miles from Bintan Island (Indonesia) on our port side, and approximately 5 miles south of Malaysia on our starboard side as we passed Horsburgh Lighthouse. The pilot jumped aboard at 5.45am and guided our approach to our berth on a northerly track through the East Keppel Fairway, passing close east of Sentosa Island. We were alongside the brand spanking new International Cruise Terminal at Marina South on time at 7am.

Singapore = Amazing Day

The new International Cruise Terminal at Marina South is amazing ! It's big and well planned as you would expect in Singapore.

We were off the ship by 8ish and then had then proceeded to find our best option of getting to the nearest MRT station. After a few rides on the escalator, due to wandering around aimlessly, we found an information desk and found out that there was a free Public Bus shuttle to the station. We waited patiently for about 5 mins for the bus but it didnt appear as quick as we thought it should so we decided to walk to the station. It is a 45 min walk, which offsets the fact that we did not do our laps before breakfast this morning, but we probably would not do that again.

A short two stop journey on the amazingly efficient and clean Singapore MRT to City Hall, which was the nearest station to where our brunch later on was. We spent an hour or so wandering around, picking up a phone card and looking for free wi-fi which is provided at every MRT station.

We have discovered that neither of our iPhones were working despite having them all set to go before we left. Donna's worked in Bangkok last year, so we are perplexed as to why not. We will work it out as we go, besides, we have brought along a couple of the old Nokia phones, and will buy local SIMs at will.

Just before 11am met Jane and Carl at the Swisshotel where we went up to the amazing Equinox Restaurant on level 70. This place is AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING. Our table was on the windows edge overlooking Marina Bay. I am not usually a fan of Buffets, but this one is AMAZING. You name it, it was there, and top quality stuff. Once a month on a Sunday they have a Pink theme to their brunch, we picked the lucky day. Moet&Chandon Brut Rose Imperial Champagne flowed endlessly, as well as cocktails, spirits and punch.

4 Hours later, yes that is not a typo, 4 hours later, the AMAZING brunch was over, it actually ceased at 2.30, but it took us another half hour to finish all our drinks. A quick shop, $7.50 Taxi ride and we were back at the terminal. Upon entering we notice all these people on their laptops and iPads, which could only mean – free wi-fi, and such a strong signal too.

At 5pm, Sun Princess let go her mooring lines, and having cleared the berth, we initially set a southerly course to retrace our track to the traffic separation scheme and then set various westerly courses through the Main Strait to enter the Malacca Strait and followed the northwest bound traffic towards our next port of call, Port Keland.
Sailaway from Singapore is always just the most amazing thing. As one of the busiest shipping harbours in the world it provides a really interesting exit from the port.

Suffice to say a very very light dinner!!!

Singapore photos 27 May 2012

A few photos from Singapore. Approaching the new International Cruise Terminal. The most amazing PINK BRUNCH at Equinox, level 70 of the Swisshotel with the amazing Lady Jane and the amazing Cool Carl, new fully fledged members of the SHB, along with the Pink Panther and Marina Bay Sands.. Note Sun Princess berthed on the far right side of that photo.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cool Cruisers Lunch 24th May 2012

Day 11 27/5/12

Day 11 – Darwin – Singapore - 26/5/12

Weather – Fine, Sunny, 28C – 29C. Humidity – off the scale:)
Sunrise – 6.40am
Sunset – 6.52pm

Throughout the morning Sun Princess continued its passage using the “Archipelagic Sea Lane” which is the recommended shipping route through the Java Sea. Just after midnight we entered the Karimata Strait passing west of Kalimantan 40 miles to starboard. At about 5.30am we passed 20 miles port of the Mompang group of islands and entered the South China Sea with flat seas and no swell to speak of..smooth sailing :) At 7am we then passed 40 miles north-east of Belitung Island and 20 miles starboard of the small Serutu Island. We followed a north-westerly course through the afternoon and at 6.15pm we crossed the Equator.

Short update again today. Another sea day today, which was our laziest to date :) It continues to amaze me the number of people on this cruise we now know. No sooner do we sit down somewhere and we bump into someone that becomes a 15 – 30 – 45 min chat !!!

Trivia – bombed out – again

This afternoon was the usual King Neptune 'trial' of crossing the Equator. We were to lazy to go up to top deck for the event, as we had experienced the event about 6 times over the last few years.

Singapore tomorrow which we are really looking forward to. We are meeting friends Jane and Carl for a birthday brunch (Jane's) at the Equinox Restaurant which is on level 70 of the Swisshotel.

We also need to go hunting for a charger for the Camera battery. I was certain that we had packed it, and it was marked off the packing list, but it aint there, so we have lost it, or not packed it..bugger.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 10 Darwin - Singapore

Day 10 – Darwin – Singapore - 25/5/12

Weather – Fine, Sunny, 27C – 29C
Sunrise – 6.23am
Sunset – 6.27pm
Clock back another hour during the night – now -2hrs from Sydney

This morning at 4am we passed 7 miles from the small island called Goagoa on our port side, and then entered the Java Sea. At 6am this morning we passed Madura Island, also on our port side, about 25 miles off. We maintained a north-westerly course through the Java Sea , and at midday we passed Baewean Island about 16 miles to port.

Another Sea Day which again means RELAX day. Sea days will be at a premium once we get to Europe as the port days will be consecutive days, with just the odd sea day here and there, so it is a case of lapping it up while it's there. LOL.

We are starting to see the odd fishing boat here and there, but usually just big empty seas, with the odd ship.

The less said about Trivia the best, it was a case of lost opportunity. We had the answers within the team, but on 4 questions we went with alternative answers,. Yep, we finished 4 off the lead. Bugger.

An afternoon on pool deck was called for, as there was not much on a very busy program to drag us away from the water and deck lounges.

Out with the suit, as it was Formal Night. We were lucky enough to be invited to pre-dinner drinks with Pam and Randy in their suite. I think the bathroom in the suite is larger than our whole cabin!!! Very noice :)

Lobster and a Soufflé on the same night, ended a lovely evening and another magic day...this is the way to commute!

Too many drinks at pre-dinner drinks meant no after dinner shows for us.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 9

Day 9 – Darwin – Singapore - 24/5/12

Weather – Fine, Sunny, 25C – 28C
Sunrise – 6.59am
Sunset – 6.56pm

Throughout the day Sun Princess maintained a west-north-westerly course through the Timor Sea and the Lombok Basin. At 7pm this evening we entered Lombok Strait passing between Lombok Island on our starboard side and Nusapenida Island on the port side. We transited the Lombok Strait on a northerly course, and passed Bali Island at 9.30pm. After rounding the east coast of Bali we went north-westerly through the Bali Sea and into the Java Sea.

Another sea day = another RELAX day. Which means I wont repeat it, coz by now you know what that means LOL

The highlight of today was our first Cool Cruisers 2012 Lunch. We had 85-90 people n the Regency Dining Room for another yummy lunch. It was great to meet more people properly as we did not get to meet everyone last week at the Meet and Greet. There is still quite a lot of people we have not yet met, or had a chat to, but hey it is only week 2 of 14 !!

I took photos of every table, which I will upload at the first free wi-fi place, hopefully Singapore on Sunday.

The weather is warming up, and a dip in the pool is becoming a daily item now.

Trivia today was Australian Trivia – 10 out of 25 was a poor score you would think, and yeah, not up there , but it was around the average – some very difficult questions. We got off to a flying start thanks to me on the first question – what year did production of Vegemite commence? I just happened to have a Vegemite sachet in my top pocket from breakfast – dont ask why – but there was the you want to know?...well look on your own Vegemite jar !!!

So we were 1 from 1..great starting ratio, it all came a gutser after that !!!

We were invited to pre-dinner drinks in the Rendezvous Bar, with some lovely people – 6.30pm every day is the go...mark that down !!

We had a choice of after dinner shows tonight. It was either a Comedy Magic show by Stephanie Harper or another Princess production show – Fiesta Latina. We chose the latter..mistake. It was an improvement on last weeks, but the standard was quite a few steps down from previous cruise shows on Sun and Dawn Princess, may be I am getting a bit pedantic, but I dont think so as it seems to be the consensus of those we chat with.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 8

Day 8 – Darwin – Singapore - 23/5/12

Weather – Fine, Sunny, 27C – 31C
Sunrise – 6.36am
Sunset – 6.26pm
Clock set back 30mins during the night at 2am (again, 2 nights in a row)

Thanks for all the comments folks. I understand some people re having trouble posting comments, I will have a check of the settings on the blog when we have internet time without the stopwatch in Singapore on Sunday.

We found out today that we will be berthing at the brand spanking new International Cruise Terminal on Sunday. It opens on Saturday, with its first ship arrival. Sun Princess on Sunday will be it's second. It is about 2km away from the previous Harbourfront terminal used up till now.

Throughout another sea day today, Sun Princess maintained a west-north-westerly course through the Timor Sea. At 7.30pm this evening we passed 20 miles south the Indonesian island called Roti (also Rote) on our starboard side. We continued on a west-north-westerly course passing south of Sumba Island, towards Lombok Strait which we expect to transit tomorrow evening between 7pm and 10pm.

Short blog today, as we really did chill out most of the day. Yay..we saw our first sunrise of the cruise this morning, glorious sight over the stern of the ship, whilst doing an hours laps

Donna also put in a Line Dancing and a Gym session.

Much improved Trivia performance by the team today, but still not good enough to win the fantastic prize on offer.

Some late negotiations saw the NRL State of Origin game televised up on the big outdoor screen tonight, so NSW and QLD folk were happy, though the QLDers were happier at the end.

Many hours just whiled away reading and socialising etc, so sorry not much to report of note today :)

Small pokie win after dinner finished off a nice night. We should get off our butts and go to more of the shows..maybe tomorrow :)

An interesting tale from a couple of ladies we had lunch with. They ( an Aussie and an American) booked onto the cruise just the week before sailing – they decided it was a much more civilised way to get to their destination in Los Angeles than flying, could not agree more :) Because they booked so close to departure there was no time for the American lady to get the Indian visa.

The Indian visa was a compulsory requirement for everyone getting on the ship, regardless of whether or not you were getting off in Mumbai or not. To get the Indian visa one first had to complete an online application on the Indian Visa website which was designed by Bastards Inc. Then print off , take or post into Brisbane office, who sent it to Canberra consulate, who returned it etc etc etc.

So...these ladies were not in a position to do that, and the Indian officialdom were not to be budged. So the ladies were required to make arrangements to get off the ship in Kuala Lumpar (the port before Mumbai), make accommodation bookings for a few days in KL. Then book and pay for flights to Dubai, another few nights accommodation waiting for the ship to arrive there, so they could re-board. They were not happy about the inconvenience and additional expense, but accepted that was their lot given the late booking.

So after all bookings made, and expenses paid that need to be paid up front the plan was set. Upon boarding they ladies (and another 40 people without Indian Visas) were told that Indian officialdom had changed their mind and they could just stay on the ship in Mumbai.

So they were out of pocket, with flight expenses being non-refundable and not covered by insurance. In addition there are hundreds of people who got the visa, because it was 'compulsory' needlessly as they are not wanting to get off the ship in Mumbai.

Which leads me to the quote of the week. A lady from breakfast was discussing her experience when visiting the Indian Visa office in Brisbane...” I was gob-smacked when I entered the Indian Visa Office – it was full of Indians !!!! “

Yep, ya get that.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 7

Day 7 – Darwin 22/5/12

Weather – Fine, Sunny, 21C – 30C
Sunrise – 6.58am
Sunset – 6.27pm
Clock set back 30mins during the night at 2am

Notes for future travellers – Free Wi-Fi all thru Smith St Mall. New board-walk makes it a very easy stroll into town, but there is a shuttle available for a fee.

I have had some feedback that some folk are having difficulty in being able to make comments. I will check the settings, but I thought it was set up ok.

After transiting the Dundas Strait we passed Cape Hotham at 2.30am and then entered Clarence Straits at 3.00am, leaving East Vernon Island on our starboard side. Shortly after we passed between South West and North West Vernon Islands. We approached the Pilot station on a south-westerly course, and at 6.00am the pilot embarked. We were alongside our berth at Forthill Wharf by

We were impressed with the new wharf at Darwin, it is the first time we had been there since the area was developed. The apartments, board-walk, and retail area were quite nice. We had intended to walk into town from the ship, as we knew our way around a bit, and the new route along the new board-walk, with a lift, meant it only took about 10-15 mins to be in the middle of Smith St mall.

There was a shuttle service in to town (not run by Princess) that cost $8 each way, or $14 all day unlimited pass.

For us Darwin was always just going to be a stop to stock up on things we did not bring with our luggage, have a bit of a nose around, stretch the legs and be back on board for lunch. We had seen all the attractions on previous visits (bar the croc show, which we opted out of).

The weather was really pleasant in the morning, and made walking around comfortable. We had the netbook and iPad in the backpacks with the intent on catching up with stuff without worrying about Internet connection on board.

We had a pleasant surprise when using the iPhone in that Donna accidently discovered that all through the Smith St Mall is free wi-fi for 60mins. So with 2 iPhones, as well as the other we had 4 hours access for free if we needed it, which of course we didn't. But it was nice to catch up with Facebook, clear emails, update blog with some photos with having to worry about time limitations, and with good speed.

We were bumping into friends all over Darwin. I would have to say, this is going one heck of a trip, as we are only in day 7, and I have lost count of how many friendships, and acquaintances we have made. One of the things to do on the list today was to find a second hand copy of book 2 of Game of Thrones, as I mentioned previously I left it behind. A friend very kindly gave me her Library Card so I could download it, which unfortunately did not work. Donna found a new copy in a store, and came out with it, as well as books 3, 4, 5 and 6!!!!! Guess we know what I will be reading for the next wee while!!.

I was too slow with my camera when we got to the Woolworth Liquor store – a very funny sight. There was about 20 or people, mostly cruise folk (we are so easy to pick!) loitering outside the rolladoor, waiting for the grog shop to open to buy their sly grog.
We of course joined them, we only got a bottle of Bourbon, as Donna had already smuggled her Schnapps on board in Sydney. After loading the backpacks with supplies, and carrying 2x12packs of sugar free lemonade (to go with Donna's Peach Schnapps) we headed back towards the ship, looking for a little spot where we could siphon the bourbon into an unmarked container. We stopped at a park that did not seem to have anyone around, and did the deed. Unfortunately the unmarked container leaked, so Donna stood guard over the stuff whilst I went back into town to procure a better container!!!

By the time I had returned there a few local lads about, but no cause for concern. Another siphon procedure completed, this time successfully. We bumped into a few folk on the way back, and after some more photos, including the SHB photo for Darwin, we trekked back to the ship.

We decided we would try and not attract any attention through the screening process as we came aboard, thereby avoiding a bag inspection, and the ill gotten grog discovered. Any hope of us keeping a low profile through the screening procedure was dashed when one of the cartons of lemonade split open through the screen. The officers were very helpful in collecting the errant cans of lemonade, re-packing the carton, and we were outa there, and scrambled up the gangway, with just a few giggles !!.

A swim (Steve), spa (Donna) to cool off in time for the Sail-away. Donna also had a little pampering with a 20-20-20 (20 mins facial, 20 min massage, and a 20min foot and ankle massage).

At 4pm Sun Princess let go her mooring lines and having cleared the berth, set a north-westerly course to retrace our tracks of the morning, up through the estuary, after which a west-north-westerly course took us clear of Beagle Gulf towards Lombok Strait and Singapore.

I wish we had taken our camera to dinner tonight, we must try and remember to do so. First of all Eduardo, our waiter suggested strongly that we order the spinach and ricotta cannelloni as an entrée..which we all did, and was wonderful. Then at desert time, before anyone at the table had a chance to order, he brought out a contreau/strawberry desert topped with ice cream for every person at the table, including those of us who were not going to have desert, then he proceeded to bring out one of every other desert dish on the menu...the table just looked amazing!!