Thursday, February 7, 2013

Our 115 day World Cruise, day 33, Auckland New Zealand

Well, you are not going to believe this but I am still deleting photos from iPhoto.  I deleted 7,000 last night.....which is I started out with only 1,000!  I really messed this new computer up!  And I did it all by my self!  yep, it was me!  Also I cannot find my photo stream... I know it is in the cloud but I don't know which cloud to look in! lol!  I found it!


Because I cannot find my photo stream, I can't find the pictures that I have taken!
in the last 2 days.  I am hoping that it won't take me more than another day to mess it up really good and then maybe I might even call the TECH line and get some help!

Today, after breakfast, we went and had our finger nails done.  While I was waiting for Vicki I went into Kohl's and scouted out some new underwear.

After our nails we went home and had our favorite lunch and then I got back on the computer and  started deleting pictures!
Vicki had an appointment for her hearing aids and then we were off to see her mother.  After visiting  with her, we were off to Kohl's again to snatch some underwear.  This was a very uplifting experience! lol! .  Now it is time for dinner .  Let's go to Chipotle's and have a burrito.  And we did and it was very good.  Now on the way home, of course, we stopped at QT.  Now go home and delete delete delete and have no regrets...except for the one regret.....I regret starting this whole process, especially when Apple would have done it for free!
Now they will probably charge me because i have messed it up so bad! lol!
lol   Don't worry... let's just  DANCE!!!

Where we did not go today....but the Amsterdam did!

Auckland New Zealand

Postcards from Paradise

 Auckland, New Zealand Day Two February 6, 2013 Wednesday

Auckland, the City of Sails, is the largest and most modern city of New Zealand. More than 1/4 of the population live in this beautiful place. There are over 102 beaches for water sports, and 70,000 powerboats and sailing vessels in the harbors. And it is also a popular port for cruise ships. We were not alone, since the smaller Europa and the huge Voyager of the Seas were also docked here, both arriving in the early hours of the morning. The Royal Caribbean ship was so large that it blocked out the multi-story Hilton Hotel from view. John and Diane, who were staying there, would have a big surprise when they woke up this morning and opened their drapes. They'll be looking from their hotel balcony right across to the verandas on the ship.

We have visited this lovely city on many occasions over the years. Having gone on numerous excursions of the city and nearby countryside, we decided to explore on our own this nice day. Tomorrow we have a tour booked with our travel agency, so today will be for walking, eating, and shopping.

Heading left once off the ship, we spent all morning walking through the America Cup Village. This whole area has been re-done, creating a pedestrian path that included a lift bridge, cafes, sculpture parks, kids parks, and boats....lots of boats. Besides the population from three cruise ships (we figured about 5,000 people plus crew), the locals were out and about for a national holiday, Waitangi Day, the nation's birthday. Lots of activity was happening around the sailing boats with crowds going on day trips.

We proceeded to walk across the lift bridge, when the alarm sounded. Rushing to the other end, this bridge slowly opened up to let tall boats go in and out of the harbor. Pretty cool to watch. The neatest boat we saw was the Prada sailboat, which we are certain will be participating in races tomorrow. We counted 20 crew members on that vessel to man the sails, etc.

Since we wanted to work our way into the downtown area of the city, we made our way back to the ship. We were able to exchange some US dollars for New Zealand dollars near the ship, since the gals at the front desk had run out of money. And the banks were closed, so we would have to wait until tomorrow to cash more. For that reason, we lunched on the ship. Full service was in effect with the boarding of new passengers, and we like that. The pizza has to be served, instead of sitting outside on the pans for all to touch. John and Diane had boarded by now as well, so we spent some time welcoming them onboard.

There were a few items we needed to buy, so we set off for a second walk. That took us up the hill to the Sky Tower, the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere at 328 meters high. We did not wish to go up in the tower...been there, done that, but it was fun spending some time in the casino. Good excuse to sit and relax for a bit, and play the slot machines.

On the way back, we went into the mall nearest the ship and found what we needed easily. What shocked us was how much everything costs. Even though the US dollar equaled 1.20 New Zealand dollars, the prices in the stores were sky high. Perhaps the wages of the locals are good, we hope. Even our most cherished hokey pokey ice cream was $5. for a single scoop. And that's about all we did buy.

At the Countdown Market up Quay Street, we found a few more items for our room snacks. We always like to check out the cheeses available locally. At this grocery outlet, a pound hunk of swiss cheese was over $20. Wines were high too. Glad we don't drink them.

It was nice not to have to worry about getting back onboard since we were overnighting here. The ferry landing was very busy and fun to watch while enjoying our cups of ice cream. We got back on the ship by 6pm. Did we mention that the airconditioning in our room has been non-existent? Sometime during the night, the exhaust fan stopped working. The room heated up to 80 degrees again, so we reported it to our room steward with a follow-up call to the front desk folks. Two fellows came to check it out, then promised to come back shortly after we left the ship this morning. However, they did not return until 6pm with a new fan to replace the bad one. While we relaxed watching the news, two guys worked, with the curtain closed, for an hour or so, to replace that fan in the ceiling. Finally, they announced it was working, and our room would cool down soon.

Dinner was fun with our new tablemates, John and Diane, who will be with us until Cape Town, South Africa. With lots of catching up to do, the dinner went by very fast. We began re-considering our shore excursion we had booked for tomorrow. A repeat tour for us, we planned on joining our travel group for a wine country tour with tastings and a lunch. Bothered with a sore leg from tendonitis, one of us was going to have a hard time on a tour. So we asked Lucia if she had anyone who was willing to buy our tickets. Yes, there were several folks who wanted to go, so we sold them to a nice couple who tried to get on this tour since last fall. We were happy for them, and now we can spend the day in town on our own. A win-win for all.

Bill & Mary Ann


Auckland, New Zealand Day Three February 7, 2013 Thursday

After a good night's sleep, we were up early and ready to explore more of the city of Auckland. Thankful that we had decided to forego the wine tour, we knew that we would enjoy a day of freedom to go at our own pace.

The weather was very different in that some clouds were coming our way, and at times, even threatened rain. Gone were the clear blue skies we had yesterday, although it remained warm. Actually, this was much better for walking, and that's what we did.

Bill and Leta had mentioned strolling through Albert Park yesterday. Not too far uphill from Queens Wharf, we had no trouble finding the 15 acre park. It is situated on top of a very steep knoll, and we could see why it was a good area to be used as a fortification against Maori attack in the early days. During World War 2, this same park was used as a public air raid shelter. Today there are beautiful garden beds full of marigolds, petunias, canna lilies, pink, red, and white cosmos, and salvia. Scattered throughout the park are commemmorative statues from several periods of wartime. Fountains and gazebos were surrounded with many wooden benches for the locals and nearby university students to use. Huge native trees, obviously centuries old, graced the hilltop.

We made another visit to the Sky Tower for two purposes. One was for a convenient pit stop, and the other was to try our luck at the casino again. Actually, we came out a little ahead this time.

Most all of the restaurants and cafes were filled, so we lunched on the ship, then made our way back to the Viaduct harbor and the home of the super yachts. The walking bridge over the harbor entrance must have gone up and down for boats at least four times in one hour. Fun to watch how efficient the service is. And of course, on the walk back to the ship, we got our ice cream fix.

All aboard time came too soon at 4:15pm. Our least favorite activity, the muster drill, was scheduled for 4:30pm. Our group for boat number six was all present and accounted for. If there ever is an emergency, we will be ready. Now that the new passengers are boarded, the next segment to Sydney has begun. So far, the Amsterdam has traveled a total of 9728 nautical miles from Ft. Lauderdale, with many more to go.

The sailaway following the muster drill was well-attended, because few wanted to miss the scenic sail out of the Auckland harbor. The clouds had lifted and the sun was out as we headed towards the next port of Tauranga. The ship should arrive by 8am tomorrow.

Bill & Mary Ann

Photos from Jeff!


Well, our last day in Auckland was wonderful….  It was a day filled with a lot of walking, 10 miles or so.  We left early in the morning and headed up Queen’s Street and turned off once again to go to Albert Park.  It is so lovely there!  Then we walked through the Domain which is a huge green space for Auckland.  One of the highlights was Winter garden….  The plants there were exquisite!  We continued our walk past the museum and into the Parnell area.  We walked back to the port area hitting shops along the way.  The sail away from Auckland was also a highlight for the day.  Nice way to cap off the day….

1 comment:

  1. Hi there!
    Loved the photos of the flowers...very vibrant.
    Next time you or your friends are in Auckland, please look us up as we'd love to host you on a shore excursion into the west Auckland Coast & Countryside and visit our own *private* sheep farm & historic Homestead (no more than 40 mins from downtown).
    Happy travels :)