Departing Melbourne for Sydney today, we headed off from home at 9:00am for our 11:30am Qantas flight to Sydney. We gave some final instructions to Meow Meow (the cat) and explained to him (for the fourth time) that we will be away, to use his cat door and to drink lots of water….(and before you call the RSPCA…we do have a neighbour feeding him in case he doesn’t manage to make it inside for his indoor food bowl). he’ll be fine…we think…
The trip to the airport takes us the good part of an hour and we park the car at the booked car parking facility, check our bags and board our Qantas flight. So far so good. The flight from Melbourne to Sydney is late departing and we land slightly late at 1:06pm. We have loads of time to get to the Radiance of the Seas, with boarding not closing until 4:45pm today in time for a 6:30pm sail.
The Radiance of the Seas is berthed at the Overseas Passenger Terminal located at Circular Quay/The Rocks area in Sydney and upon arrival, appreciate the size of the ship/boat/thing….it really dwarfs the local Sydney ferries.
Check in is all taken care of fairly efficiently and we head up the gangplank to officially board what will be our home. Of course we head straight to our Stateroom to check it out.
Our Stateroom is excellent and actually roomier than I had imagined. A quick guided tour will tell you there is a large cupboard space on our right (including plenty of coat hangers), opposite that on the left . the “compact” bathroom. Further into our cabin we have a desk and chair, wall mounted TV and mini fridge, opposite is a couch (perfect for two) and a tiny table (perfect for…nobody). Beyond that is our queen size bed (with cool rounded corners) complete with crisp white sheets and two pillows each. We each get our own bedside table and reading light. Our balcony is a generous size, with sufficient barriers for privacy (oh and to avoid falling overboard) and a (perfectly proportioned) table and chairs. Our Stateroom is on deck 9 (the highest deck being deck 13) and we are near the front of the ship/boat/thing.
We are told that lunch is available in the “Windjammer Café” so we head there for a buffet style lunch. Done with lunch we head back to our room and do a quick unpack. Its now about 4:30pm and we know we have a compulsory emergency procedures drill at 5:15pm. The captain comes on the intercom in our cabin and issues our (personal) invitation to the drill. With the boring bit of the cruise over with we head up to deck 11 where the main pool area is and from where there is a terrific vantage point of Sydney. On one side is the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
On the other side of the ship/boat is Circular Quay and the Opera House. We take some snaps and grab the “special” cocktail called Sydney Sunset (US$7.50) (and I even get to keep the plastic glass).
The ship sets off/sail/leaves at a little past 6:30pm and we stay on deck for a while to bid Sydney farewell.
There is time enough to grab a coffee before we head to the Aurora Theatre for the 7:45pm show. The theatre seats about 1500 people and every night there is a different show in the theatre, tonight’s show is a comedian and it is a nice introduction to cruise entertainment.
After the show we head to Cascades Dining Room which is the main dining room. Here we have our first three-course meal (with changing menu). Decisions, decisions….for entree I choose an egg tart with caramelised onion, main is white truffle oil infused mushroom fettuccini and for desert …chocolate and cherry cake with cream. This is so cool and ….hey..no washing up for Alex.
Its now about 10:00pm and time to check out the onboard Casino Royale. We have a go at the 25c slot machines (all American boat/ship/thing) and Alex plays roulette where it is a reasonable US$1 minimum bet. Between us we walk away with and extra US$50 in our pockets and decide it’s a good finish to our night.
There’s nothing nicer than fresh sheets (all done by somebody else). Tomorrow we have a day at sea.[showmyads]