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christyl_oz's Port Reviews of Melbourne, Adelaide, Singapore
Diamond Princess cruise in February 2010
Member Name: christyl_oz
Cruise Date: February 2010
Embarkation: Sydney
Destination: Asia
Member Review: christyl_oz's Diamond Princess Review
Port Rating: 2.0 out of 5+
Melbourne definitely needs to do something about its cruise terminal! What a dreadful introduction to Australia for first time travellers here - dingy old docks, with quite a long walk to the nearest transport if one doesn't want to take the shuttle bus all the way into the city. (the shuttle refused to drop us off at the end of the pier, saying we could only go all the way or not at all). This wasn't so terrific for my elderly father, as we really didn't want to go all the way into the city, but planned to catch the tram to visit a friend instead.

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Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
The terminal here is rather dingy, but what a welcome! The staff working there were SO friendly and helpful, and we were so touched to see the way they all gathered on the pier at the end of the day to wave us off, and call out "Aussie Aussie Aussie!". It was the friendliness we found at this stop generally that has rated this upwards: Port Adelaide itself is really bad for access to Adelaide itself, being so far out. I was fortunate to find a car hire company that would drop off at the port, otherwise we would have had our movements quite restricted. Adelaide is very dry at present, so there weren't the lovely green hills we remembered from our last visit, but the day was still very enjoyable.

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Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
A good day here, generally. Great organisation for getting us all into the city centre, although the return at the end was not so good, with long queues waiting for buses and the staff constantly trying to prevent queue-jumping. We went straight away to the Singapore Flyer and were treated to magnificent views, and then spent most of the rest of the day in Chinatown. We were fortunate that we asked some questions from the bus driver before we got off the bus,though. He had informed us that it would cost us about $4-$6 to get to the Flyer from the stop - and we had a taxi driver who first literally took us to jewellery shop (we were very unimpressed and made this clear, telling him to keep going) and then kept touching the meter during the trip. When we arrived at the Flyer, he tried to tell us the charge for the trip was $25. When I loudly protested, he dropped the cost to $15, which we then paid to prevent further dispute. He then left very quickly as an attendant from the Flyer came out and said we should have taken his number so he could report him: its apparently illegal for drivers to act in this way and not charge from the meter. I heard a similar story the next day from another cruiser,it really seems like the single day visitors are seen as "easy marks" for the less scrupulous. On the other hand, we also had great taxi drivers during the day. It just wasn't a nice start to the day, though.

I would love to return to Singapore for a longer visit and next time see the gardens and the zoo, both of which others raved about. It was such a shame that the cable car over to Sentoza Island is closed until June for renovations, too...that apparently is also worth doing.

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