Why are we blogging?

We thoroughly enjoyed the blogs from those on the World Cruise 2010. They were so useful and some were also very entertaining and so we we started our own, late 2010, ready for the 2011 cruise(s).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Days 93/94 Cruising to Tahiti August 25/26th

Our bowling hasn’t improved so 5 minutes after the start, we were enjoying the coffee – but no mini chocolate doughnut.  Life can be so cruel at times.  There was no morning dance class as Alana was at the cruise staff awards lunch and we had a dining room lunch catch up, with a lady Paula shared a cabin with when she was 17!
To the dance class afterwards but the floor was so crowded that try to do a whisk and chasse was difficult with bouncing into someone so we sat down for a while.
Back at the cabin, the air conditioning engineer called in (it had been reported by our cabin steward) and is now working – rather too well!
The evening meal is often a time to be a little inventive and between us, we cause Watchara all sorts of deviations from standard.  I opted for the herbed shrimp main as a starter, followed by the roast pork.  Garry and Joanne made a tentative announcement that they have provisionally booked on next year’s cruise...  Meanwhile, we are debating whether or not to hop off at San Francisco, as the run back to NZ is almost identical to this sector but with additional Hawaiian stops that we have already done.
Once again, to the Atrium after dinner for Alan & Alana’s entertaining quiz (on Fairy Tales...) then a very pleasant chat with another dance couple from Perth.
Papeete (Tahiti)
A slight relapse on the sleeping patterns and shoulder pain.  Ho hum.  It will give Nina, our acupuncturist something to work on...  We had set the alarm for 7am but woke before that to the usual extra noises signifying a port arrival.
We last visited Papeete about 4 years ago for a long weekend when it failed to live up to expectations due to the weather, a surprisingly sub-standard Sheraton Hotel and the fact that most places were closed for Bastille Day, plus high prices.
This time, the weather was perfect and berthing almost on the sea front is fantastic (a far cry from many stops that are in container ports) with local music to greet us.  We managed eventually to get on an 8:30am Princess Island tour that was originally advertised as being by private car!  It ended up as 4 full sized air conditioned coaches.  Just a two and a half hour tour with about 4 short stops at monuments and a waterfall. Just our luck that as soon as we reached the waterfall car park, it rained! The other stops gave us time for photographs - French Polynesia is a photographer’s paradise, particular if you like beach and waterfront pics, which I do.   I never tire of taking pictures that have nature’s vivid blues and greens.
Returning to the ship at 11:30 meant an early lunch, before heading to town again to wander around.
The contrast between the displayed food here and that in Nice couldn’t have been more marked. How much of that is due to the relative wealth of the South of France is difficult to ascertain.  The harbour-side in Papeete is welcoming and modern, but the town itself is rather tatty and doesn’t have the appeal of the stops in central America for example.  Graffiti blight’s the area, which once again, is rather sad.  
We wandered around for a while but weren’t tempted to spend so we certainly didn’t need any local currency.
We were feeling in need of a drink once back on board so I used one of my reduced stock of Robert Timms coffee bags and we succumbed to temptation by grabbing a (small!) plate of corn chips, guacamole and sour cream and a fresh baked oat and fruit ‘cookie’...
Whilst Paula watched a show by a local cultural group (in the ship’s theatre, which was packed), I spent an enjoyable 15 minutes chatting to young Josh, a Canadian who joined the entertainment staff in Fort Lauderdale.
Just Dennis and Anthea at dinner but a very pleasant meal. Sailaway was very pleasant with a good sunset and the ship cruised out of the harbour past a narrow opening alongside the reef and just beyond the end of the airport runway.  (See pic).
A fair few passengers were excited at the announcement that the Australia vs NZ Tri Nations rugby final would be screened on the large outdoor screen – at midnight...  Before that, we went to an Australian impressionist (Keith Scott) in the Vista lounge.  Another top show and even though we didn’t know several of the Australian politicians, it was still a very funny show.
We grabbed a lounger on deck at 11:30 after Alan’s session (Alana wasn’t at all well) and settled down to enjoy the night air and I elected to try and get excited at the thought of a rugby match.  I’d had enough after twenty minutes but stayed to half time, when NZ were down 20-3. Bed was therefore 1:15am...  Bora Bora tomorrow and nothing much planned.  

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