I just got back from my latest cruise a couple of weeks ago, and am still suffering from cruise blues. Yes it’s a real thing! You’re sitting at home wondering what you did with your life before you went away. How did I handle making my own breakfast,lunch and dinner, or my bed? Where’s the little chocolates on my pillow every night?? What do I do instead of heading to bar each evening before dinner to chat to my favorite bar tenders and have them make my favorite cocktail without me even having to ask??? It’s a tough life on-board a cruise!
That was the 8th or 9th cruise I’ve done. I’ve lost count these days. However, it was the first time I’ve flown internationally. And doing it all by myself (i’m also someone who is not really a fan of flying to top it off). So this was going to be a bit of an adventure just getting to the ship, which would be waiting for me in Auckland, NZ, before heading back across the ditch to Sydney, then up to Brisbane, and continuing to the beautiful Airlie Beach, Cairns, Port Douglas, Willis Island then back to Sydney.
I mentioned in the last post that it was the customs officer who made me realize i’m a cruise addict! I arrived at about 6pm after a rough landing that felt like the pilot forgot where the brakes were, so I was feeling quite anxious and nervous not knowing what to expect next; I’ve watched a lot of Border Security so I know what they do to people who look nervous and suss! Anyway, the guy asks me how long i’m in NZ for, I say a day and tell him i’m cruising home.
“Would you say you’re addicted to cruising?” he asks. Uh do they have all this stuff on secret file or something? How does he know how many I’ve been on?! I tell him how many i’ve done and he tells me i’m definitely addicted and sends me on my way. I’m happy, i made it out of the airport to my shuttle bus and not onto an episode of Border Security!
7.30pm and i finally make it to my questionable hotel right int the middle of the city that looked nothing like what I booked, and with a receptionist who spoke everything bar english! The beds were basically in the kitchen with a random pipe sticking out of the wall, and the toilet pretty much IN the shower. I had to leave the door open to shower because there was no light in there, and in turn allowed all the water from the shower to go all over the bedroom/kitchen floor. And then had a very wet floor whenever i need to go to the bathroom. Thankfully I was only there to sleep. I walked out onto my ‘balcony’ (i use that term loosely) and had an amazing view of the Auckland Skytower lit up, so wasn’t all bad. Although the daytime view….I woke up to a view resembling a warzone!
I left my 22kg suitcase with the hotel the next day while i wandered around Auckland. It was a lot colder than i was expecting, but just as pretty. It’s not super big, and it’s got all the usual shops you’d find in a city – I’m not a city girl at all (grew up in Melbourne) but there’s something about Auckland that I like and i enjoyed my day walking around. I admit, the first stop i made was breakfast….at McDonalds. I know, i go to a different country and eat exactly what i can get at home. I’m a sucker for sausage mcmuffins though! I shopped, checked out the ship docked at Queens Wharf, and just took in all the sights before heading back to the hotel,then struggling down the streets of Auckland city with my 22kg suitcase in tow, and my excitement building higher than the SkyTower.
One thing i did notice, was my accent! I felt extremely Australian…I would walk into a shop and they’d ask me how I was going, and whenever i replied I would almost start laughing because for the first time in my life I could actually hear my accent! And the money! All the coins are the opposite of our Australian ones. $1 coins are the size of our $2 coins and vice versa. Same with 5c,10c etc. Quite often I felt like i was being that annoying customer taking forever to find the money and just wanted to hold the coins out and be like “here, take what you need”!
So that was part 1 of my adventure, I managed to navigate myself successfully to my hotel in another country in one piece by myself! Stay tuned for the next part.