Twelve days of cruising and sightseeing down, only three more to go 😦 It’s amazing how fast it goes by. Before we jumped ship, we were thinking, “What are we going to do for 15 days!?” Oh, but how we hardly had a minute to think of an answer.

Newcastle, New South Wales:

I remember the first time I heard about Newcastle; the ship Pacha Bulka had run ashore by Nobby’s Headland back in June or so, and it was big news as it was stuck there for quite awhile. Anyway, we walked along Queen’s Wharf to Nobby’s Beach. It was a beautiful day and we decided to chill at the beach. The water was loaded with huge, crazy seaweed, but JP jumped right in like the fish he is. After frolicking, we grabbed some lunch at the Starfish Cafe, then hopped on a free bus to check out the city. It was a hop on-hop off type of bus that took us by Nobby’s Beach, Newcastle Beach, the Ocean Baths and Christ Church Cathedral. We hopped off on Hunter Street to check out the Hunter Street Mall/markets.

Although Newcastle was a nice little town to visit, I think a better port would have been Hobart or something. On the other hand, maybe it was strategic – give the people a day at a slow pace in a small town, then hit ’em with Sydney.

Speaking of Sydney, our last 😦 stop. We had a full day to explore, granted that’s really not enough to explore a huge metropolis like Sydney. But, we did our best. It was awesome, the ship docked right in Sydney Harbour! Like, for breakfast I had scrambled eggs with a side of the Sydney Opera House! It was even more awesome to see this place for the second time…the first time, you don’t take it all in.
After bumping around the Opera House and taking pics, we jumped on another hop on-hop off sightseeing bus. While downtown Sydney is very walkable, there’s so much more to see in the surrounding areas outside the CBD. So, we thought it best to get in as much as we could in the little time we had. For lunch, we stopped at the infamous Doyle’s for some – can you guess?! – fish & chips. After our late lunch, we checked out the cliffside sights and then hopped back on the bus heading for Bondi Beach. We all still had that just-ate-so-full-can’t-move feeling, so we just rode out on the bus for the rest of the journey. All in all, I think we did pretty good getting a “feel” for Sydney.

To sum up, the cruise was awesome! Sometimes there just wasn’t enough time to do everything you wanted to do, but there was at least enough time to get a good feel of every place we stopped. And, the ship itself was great – the food, the service. The weather prevented a lot of poolside time & activities, which we just replaced with indoor bingo. That’s right, BINGO! haha! I had won like $40 at one game, but my mom took the prize by winning $500 at a game! Yeah, we bought a bottle of wine with dinner that night 🙂 haha!

The cruise was also invaluable time spent with family – and travelling. What a time, really.