Flew from LAX to Sydney 2 days prior to cruise and arrived in Sydney just in time to feel the effects of the remnants of a Level 1 Cyclone. Landed early Sunday morning, and flight was one of the most turbulent we have ever flown. Upon landing in Sydney, the pilot asked that everyone remain in there seats until health officials came on board to interview a passenger who had vomited during flight. We had a concern that we could possibly get quarantined on cruise ship due to coronavirus, but never thought we might be quarantined on flight and never make it to the cruise ship. Health official boarded the plane in full protective gear and luckily determined that passenger was apparently just suffering a stomach alignment.
Pre-cruise, we stayed at the Hilton Sydney, which was centrally located in city but a distance from Overseas Passenger Terminal. Very nice hotel and would highly recommend. We were stuck in hotel room Sunday due to heavy rain and strong winds from cyclone remnants. However, Monday was clear and sunny. We pre-booked for a Hop-on / Hop-off bus tour, which also included a harbor cruise on Captain Cook Cruises. Red line tours the city, which takes you down to harbor next to Opera House. Also took Blue line which took us over to Bondi Beach where we had lunch; reminded me somewhat of southern France ports.
Embarkation: Ruby Princess was docked at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, which was located across inlet from the Opera House and adjacent to ferries. Bag drop is available at terminal if you arrive early and want to tour city before boarding.
We booked a Club Class mini-suite on Deck 9 (Dolphin), and were very impressed with the spaciousness of cabin. Had a separate closet area for hanging up clothes and shelves for storage. Only drawn backs were: (1) shower head was meant for a person 5’ 5” (I’m 5’ 10” and had to bend over backwards to wash hair); and (2) baloneys on decks 9 and 10 were open (no overhang from deck above) so very sunny and lacks privacy. Cabin Steward was aways proactive in servicing room.
We pre-booked for a Hop-on / Hop-off bus tour, which also included a harbor cruise on Captain Cook Cruises. Red line tours the city, which takes you down to harbor next to Opera House. Also took Blue line which took us over to Bondi Beach where we had lunch; reminded me somewhat of southern France ports.
Docked away from city center in cargo port area but continuous free shuttle bus service was provided. Simply but, this was a big city port call, but had various historical buildings as New Zealand’s capital. Weather was cloudy with light rain/mist later in the day, so me merely took shuttle bus into city and rode cable car up to botanical gardens. Gardens were a disappointment since being late Summer there was very little flowering plants except in one area. We definitely would like to tour again in late Spring.
Ship actually docked in the Town of Mt. Mauganui, which was a 5-10 minute walk directly off ship. We did a self-tour of town and walked up Mt. Mauganui. Ensure that you walk to the other side of town to see and walk a beautiful beach area. Very few passengers took shuttle over to the city of Tauranga.