We organise for room service breakfast which we enjoy on our balcony.
By this time (7:30am) we have anchored a couple of kilometres off the coast of Airlie Beach. Since leaving Brisbane (south east Queensland) we have been making our way up the east coast of Australia to north Queensland, to the small coastal township of Airlie Beach. Today our Cruise Compass tells us it will be “partly cloudy skies” and a “70% chance of precipitation” – temperature 27oC.
Being anchored offshore we need to get a tender (catamaran) from the Radiance of the Seas to the port of Airlie Beach which takes some time (considering there are up to 2000 passengers trying to disembark). We finally reach land at 11:00am….and its pouring rain …but its warm so we find a café to shelter at and dry off over our morning coffee fix.
The rain and grey skies are disappointing and I am trying to convince Alex to imagine it all in “blue”…he is not impressed…we get to the main drag and there are road works being done along the whole length of the main street….bugger (maybe he can imagine it all without roadworks too?). It all looks a bit of a shambles. Lots of people brought their beach towels…good luck with that!
The waitress tells us that it hasn’t rained in a long time and that the rain just started yesterday….what timing…not to worry…hey… we’re in Airlie Beach!!
The township centre itself is really only one main strip of shops comprising a mix of bars/restaurants and shops selling beach gear/souvenirs and those selling tours around the area and out to the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is apparently the only living thing on earth that is visible from outer space. Popular activities include trips out to the various islands on the reef to snorkel or take a glass bottom boat to look at the reef. This is a township geared toward the “backpacker” and yachtsmen who sail the Whitsunday islands.
We reach Airlie Lagoon …
and proceed along the walkway which takes us in an arch past the beach area…
finally reaching the Whitsunday Sailing Club.
By this stage the rain has stopped but it stays overcast. We stop in at the Whitsunday Sailing Club and enjoy some prawns for lunch on the balcony overlooking Airlie Bay …this is a nice way to spend some time.
We do one further stretch along the shops before heading back to the bus which is to transit us to the tender which will ferry us to the Radiance of the Seas…what a process….we get back onboard at 4:00pm.
Shortly after we get back to our room Alex ducks off to get a coffee…when he gets back to the room he starts taking off his shirt and says to me…. “I am never wearing this shirt again”…. “what? why?” I ask.
As the story goes…on his way out of our room to get some coffee Alex saw an elderly lady in the hallway looking lost (and apparently trying her passcard on every door). “Are you lost…do you need any help finding your room?” asks Alex politely.
She said she couldn’t find her room and asked if he could help her find her room (obviously thinking Alex was a crew member, in his new check shirt). Alex took her to the interactive locator board and entered what she was saying was her room number…but the board said that room number didn’t exist. Alex figured she must have the numbers muddled up and he entered what he thought might be her room number on the board ….what do you know…success.
Alex then walked her in the direction of this room, but on nearly reaching the (possible) room she was insisting Alex was taking her in the wrong direction…Alex patiently persisted and eventually go her to what he thought was her room and after trying her passcard …the door opened.
Apparently her name was “Blanch”, she is from South Africa, now lives in America and had become separated from her friends that morning….it was now 4:30pm! Alex is now officially her favourite crew member and is now also short one shirt to wear on the cruise.
Tonight is Christmas Eve and we have carols to go to …apparently.[showmyads]
For previous Royal Carribean Cruise post see Brisbane to Airlie Beach (evening)
For next Royal Carribean Cruise post see Airlie Beach, Whitsundays, Queensland Australia (evening)