Dear Fellow Mature Travellers
A new cruise from First Mate of the good ship Mature Traveller Robyn Buckley
I have just returned from an eight night cruise on the Majestic Princess, left Sydney 4th February till 12th, for me way too short… Sydney, Tassie.
What can I say about the ship, beautiful, very clean, and full of natural light a grand lady. Our cabin deck E amidships and close to the lifts, we had an obstructed view balcony; our cabin was always so clean. It was easy to get around as most Princess ships are set out more or less the same.
The Glass Sea Walk was very good, people below looked like ants, loved it, but it was only a short walk. The ship has 19 decks, 18/19 half decks, unfortunately I was unable to get to those decks, would you believe not enough time. I walk with a walker and I found the passengers and staff were all so kind and helpful, there were a lot of people with walkers, scooters and wheel chairs. When Pat my partner and I arrived a lovely lady named Veronica met us, she took us right up onto the ship, she was so friendly and helpful, a credit to Princess dock crew.
We left Sydney about 6.45pm. There was plenty of entertainment, super show in the Princess Theatre with Chris Watkins on electric violin. The shows on this ship are spectacular.
First sea day, all the usual things to do, Trivia, Zumba, Bingo and I could go on, but I am sure you know. Then next Port, Melbourne, I have relatives in Melbourne, so was picked up at about 11am, we went and had a look at the house where my father was born, and yes it is still there in Middle Park, we did a bit of a tour, then settled down for a long lunch, the banter was fantastic seeing we have not seen each other for over 20 years, got back to the ship abut 5pm, it was leaving at 9pm that night.
There a lot to see in Melbourne, Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, Queen Victoria markets, loads of good eating places. The next day was a sea day, as usual plenty to do, and lots of live entertainment. We have had wonderful weather and smooth sailing. Scenic cruising the following day, Great Oyster Bay and Freycinet Peninsula, just beautiful, amazing cliff faces, very, very picturesque, the Captain announced that there were dolphins crossing the bow of the ship on the port side, so went as fast as I could with my walker, of cause too slow and missed them, shame really, I really wanted to see them in the wild.
We arrived at Port Arthur in the morning, but had to use tenders to get onshore, wow what a remarkable sight, the old Fort and the vista, we decided to get the hop on hop off bus, a 1929 Chevie, with 4 side doors to get in, and steps so high, Pat had to lift one of my legs onto the first step, then his shoulder under my bum, the heave and the lady inside had my arms, shame no photo.
We stopped at the Lavender farm, then the Tasmanian Devil UNZOO, we saw the Devil getting fed, wander through the kangaroos, wallabies, golden possums, eagles, hawks and falcons, but it is mainly a devil sanctuary, loved it. Then back onto the old Chevie, oh dear had to sit at the very back, which is sticking out after the wheels and only coil suspension, the other lady and myself have screw and plates in our backs, the ride back to the tenders, was so funny, both of us said at the same time all the screws in our backs have come loose, but it still was so much fun, still laughing about it. So much to see, so historic and only 200 people live in Port Arthur, interesting.
Next stop Hobart, how pretty this place is, again we got a hop on hop off bus and did not get off, stayed on for an hour and half tour, and the driver so informative. Again such a lovely place, Salamanca Place, Sandy Bay, Huon Valley Apple Shed, so many historic sites.
The Captain said we would have to leave Hobart 3 hours early, as we will be heading into a storm, so upset like a lot of others, they was just so much to see. It was a public holiday, many shops and markets closed.
Next day a Sea Day heading home, I do not like the end of cruises having to go back to reality. We did not hit any storm; sea’s just a tad rough. Got back into Sydney the usual time 6am. It was an incredibly smooth disembarkation, Pat and I had late disembarkment which was good, took out time, I was taken off in a wheel chair, right to the taxi rank. I can’t thank the dock staff and Majestic crew enough. Looking forward to the chance to sail in her again one day, GOD willing. I would love to also visit Tasmania again, such a calming lovely laid back place.
Thank you Robyn Buckley
Princess Cruises: https://www.princess.com/