This is one of the best things we've done. Cruising on board a luxury ship for seven nights not only saved us a lot of time and money, but it afforded us to visit places we cannot other wise reach in such a short time and in comfort, not to mention giving us a lot of safety and security!
We sailed from Sydney to Melbourne, then Burnie, Port Arthur, Hobart then back to Sydney.
Boarding a ship is faster, no long waits at the departure lounges like in airports and you'll never get hungry while on a ship- all the food you can eat 24 hours a day, or sitdown meals - in our case four course dinners each night. Lunch can also be a sit down meal instead of buffets if you prefer! We just normally go to he buffets which are equally more than substantial as they have hot and cold dishes and sandwiches for those who like to eat on the run.
The boys had their choices of burgers, hotdogs and pizzas, either delivered to our stateroom or eaten at the Trattoria or bistro.we availed of the $11 a day unlimited drinks- sodas, fruit juices, milkshakes and even hot choc drink (except for alcoholic beverages). Being allergic to alcohol, this deal suits us well! I only paid for two as my youngest doesn' drink much anyway and hubby has his fave lagers and beers so it was worth it too! ice cream is unlimited as well but we didn't have as much as last time in Rhapsody of the Seas as the weather was a bit cooler in this trip and more windy!
Entertainment is also included in the fares, each night-the choices for fun are unlimited- there are movies, disco, night club, entertainment shows (magic, singing, dancing, musical extravaganzas, etc.), library for bookworms, golf, gym, of course the pools and jacuzzis are always there too plus the wellness & health spa offering from massages to teeth whitening.
The best bit is, someone makes the beds twice- before and after bedtime, including picking up towels, cleaning up generally your stateroom. You go away in themorning after brekky with mess and come back to a neat and tidy room, now that's heaven. With three boys, believe me, it's a welcome treat for me each day.
All those for less than $4,000. Tell me, can you match or better this for four people- 2 adults and 2 boys- 11 & 15 with all those luxuries I mentioned? I doubt it!
- Arts and Culture
Taking a coach tour to see the wonderful vistas and rich beauty of the Tasman Peninsula was one of the highlights of our cruise. It afforded us to make use of our short time in Tasmania very wisely- imagine in just four hours we absorbed a lot of information on the history and geology of the Tasman Peninsula- how the rock formations came about, the various aspects and resources some of the places we visited have on offer including their historical perspectives. It was worth every cent we paid for! Even my youngest 11 yo son was very impressed- he learned a lot fo things he wouldn't have gotten in class as the December school classes are normally just watching movies, socialising,etc as it is the end of school!
If you are on a budget, it is best to get other independent tour operators not just from the cruise ship as it can be quite expensive. However, if pressed for time, it is still a good deal- we paid from $300-$400 for our family for each 3 to5 hour bus excursions. We joined three for this cruise and were not too bad except sometimes the tour guide in the last one in Hobart tended to talk a bit more about herself- where she got married, where was the honeymoon, etc..who cares about that? We wanted more info on the places we're seeing!
Another advantage of bus tours is that you get picked up right at the port so you don't need to worry about how to make the most of your 8 hours on land. The safety factor is also important to consider. You still get lots of photos as there is enough time for sightseeing ,having meals, and shopping of course! You just have to be more alert of the time and consider other people when you are on a group tour!
Oh well, it is not all perfect! We were just too kind to complain or too lazy, I guess!
- Road Trip