Flew into Sydney from the UK the day before and stayed at the Sofitel Wentworth. The next day walked from the hotel with our cases to the quay which took 15 mins stroll downhill to board the ship at 11.30 am.The bags were taken from us and we were able to board straight away as we are Crown and Anchor members. We waited in the Solarium and had something to eat in The Park cafe until our cabin was ready at 13.00. We were 2nd dinner seating at Cascades on a table for 10 sitted with other British couples age 50-70. The standard of food was identical to other RCI cruises in that considering the large amount of passengers nearly 2800 on board the food was reasonable and the level of service by all crew was exceptional. The speciality food package of 60$ each was excellant value and worthwhile. we eat in Giovanni, Brazil Samba and chops Grille.
Other cruise reviews for this same cruise mentioned the amount of immobile passengers which I noted was a very small percentage compared to other cruises taken in USA and Europe. At no time were we personally delayed by a fellow passenger on a zimmer frame, wheechair or walking stick. Their comments are totally unreasonable and unfriendly.
The cruise director Bobby led a willing and friendly team including the captain and fellow crew members interacting with the passengers to provide unfortgetable and entertaining activites on sea days .
Recommend a ferry trip to Manley 15$ each return- although beware of the Manley flys everywhere.
Leaving Sydney sailing past the Opera House and Harbour Bridge be on deck with the video camera to record this spectacular sight.
Ship docks at Fisherman Island Grain terminal 30 mins drive to Brisbane. No public transport available . Shuttle ship
transfer 24$ each return. Get off at Elizabeth street beside the Treasury Casino. Flyers for River boat tour with www.rivercitycruises.com.au handed out. Boat departs 10 mins away beside Ferris wheel South Bank parklands jett A. Informative 90 mins cruise with free light snacks on the 1030 dept. Adult 25$ each Afterwards walk to city centre to browse the shops. Free Wifi in food mall basement adj to Tourist Information.
Tender operation to shore on catamaran. Shuttle transfer modest charge although walk only 10 mins along the coast line, very hot so take hat and water. Flea market on Saturdays and Cruise ships days. Some restaurants have free Wifi ;Carters restaurant not good bandwith. Take swim wear and towel from ship to swim in Lagoon. Swimming at sea not recommended due to Jelly fish.
Planned to use Hop on bus from ship but only 2 arrived to ship which we missed and so walked into town along new new walkway past Parliament house.Found hop on double decker bus in town 35 $ each return bus to ship taking in coastal view and 2 museums. Military museum recommended 14$ each entry fee, Free wifi in cafe. Hop on old corperation buses. Another bus company Turtle buses only single decker $25 not sure if it went back to the cruise ship.
All passengers regardless of going ashore have to pay 25$ visa for Indonesia which is debited to ships cruise account
Passports handed in on ship and stamped by Australian customs on board.
Large Catamaran tender passengers to shore.
Recommended to take ship excursion tour as taxi's are expensive and unreliable as traffic is chaotic.
Refueling stop, home of Iron Ore , everything coloured in rust. Free shuttle transfer to small town as docked in commercial port area. Free wifi at Sea farers in centre of town and also tourist information. Not alot to see, small musuem, friendly folk in the flea market and art gallery. For Woolworths take the second bus stop before going back to the ship.
Tendering with ships boats to shore. Nice walk along the front to town, Wonderful free but donations welcome in the Museum.
Recommend not to wait for taxi as there is very few available and long queues in the sunshine waiting up to 2 hours. The journey time from Freemantle to Perth airport is 45 minutes away, use the ship transfer. It is about the same cost and no waiting around. The train station is quite a walk across a pedestrian bridge, from the ship I observed 100's of passengers struggling with luggage. From previous experince the trains are quite small and not recommended to travel with luggage.