Auckland then THE cruise - Dawn Princess; Sydney-Dover-on to Nottingham to see number 1 grandson and for a rest! Rejoin at Fort Lauderdale-Auckland. Then again, Diamond Princess; Singapore - Sydney - Auckland
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, December 31, 2011
Day 26 - Top day in Hobart - Dec 20th
Paula watched the sail in as we nosed into Victoria Dock, almost down town Hobart. I continued with the fruit and on this whole cruise, I hadn’t bothered to ask for my favourite item, soft poached eggs. The scrambled eggs, even when freshly presented seemed over-cooked for me, though they do usually have scrambled eggs plus. The plus being salmon, or mushrooms, cheese etc., but they still looked overcooked for my taste!
It was only 9am when we wandered off, with no plans other than a possible hop-on hop-off bus if they had one. There was free shuttle to the information centre in town and sure enough, we spied an ex UK (West Yorkshire) double-decker bus, painted red and aptly named “Red Decker”. After a few minutes queuing whilst a Japanese tour organiser tried to establish which tour company he had booked with (it wasn’t this one...) we boarded the bus and waited for the 9:30am start. Normally, these buses only go on the hour, but they were awake enough to realise that there was a chance that of the 2,700 Diamond passengers, they stood a good chance of picking up extra trade. The bus was almost full.
Now I have often criticised tour guides in the past for drab and boring monologues, but if there was an object lesson in how to do it properly, this was it. Our driver (Mark) was informative, well spoken, funny and the sound system on the bus was excellent. He started off the tour quite slowly, letting traffic overtake as he explained the local dock history, without hurtling past at 50kmh/30mph that many seem to do. His commentary was well modulated and his dry sense of humour might have been lost on the Japanese.
Classic example when slowing at a school where there were about 50 kids, all in uniform, waiting to board a coach.
“This is my daughter’s school.” A toot and a wave. “There she is. She is the one in the blue hat...” (For those who do not understand the English dry humour, all the kids were in uniform - including blue hats....)
Our tour continued up as far as the Cascade Brewery (where several people hopped off, presumably to do the popular brewery tour).
The bus then turned around and Mark gave us a fascinating insight and information on what was the women’s prison and the role that the women (as servants) often played in the community. I am not one for history, but this aspect of social history was so well conveyed, it was captivating (excuse the pun). What the early convict settlers went through, particularly the women, really was most interesting.
The total tour took just 90 minutes and without a doubt, was one of the best tours anywhere thanks to Mark. (Monaco may be my favourite place, but Mark’s commentary was definitely the gold medal winner for the year.) As he said as we were leaving. “If you enjoyed the tour, my name is Mark. If you didn’t, my name is Basil.”
Back at the info centre, it was a short but breezy walk to the centre of town and once again, an excellent coffee at Gloria Jeans!
On our walk back to the ship, I had a real craving for decent fish and chips. We found a floating outlet at the dock and the chips were beautifully cooked (too many really - we could have shared) and a couple of nice pieces of crumbed fish. Maybe I should do a world survey on fish and chips – they vary so much on quality and price. These weren’t cheap but they were delicious.
We skipped the afternoon quiz and watched the Hobart Police Pipe band presentation in the theatre. Nice show. We then went to the early show put on by Australian comedienne Maggie. We didn’t attend her show(s) on the Dawn, so thought we’d give it ago. Brilliant singing voice, but the comedy was a bit slow for me.
A later than normal visit to the buffet... Clocks forward again tonight and another couple of relaxing sea days ahead - three if you count cruising the Milford sound. Hopefully, the fine weather will continue.
(Doing my best to catch up, so you may see more than one blog a day...)