The itinerary of the cruise is outlined below, with a map to show you the layout of the cities and ports that we stopped at.
ITINERARY & MAP TO SHOW THE JOURNEY
Jan 10 - depart
Jan 11 At Sea
Jan 12 At Sea
Jan 13 At Sea
Jan 14 - Auckland 1:00PM to 8:00PM
Jan 15 - Tauranga 8:00AM to 7:00PM
Jan 16 - Gisborne Wheelchair Access mot possible, stayed on the ship.
Jan 17 - Wellington 9:00AM to 7:00PM
Jan 18 - Akaroa Wheelchair Access Limited
Jan 19 - Dunedin (Port Chalmers) 8:00AM to 6:00PM
Jan 20 - Fiordland National Park 8:00AM to 5:00PM
Jan 21 At Sea
Jan 22 At Sea
Jan 23 Melbourne arrive 6:00AM
The first three days at sea were a mixture of good and bad emotions as my morning routine, which usually takes two and a half hours from the time I get bout of bed, to the time I am dressed, would take us about three and a half hours. The first night when I went to lower my bed to the right height so that I could transfer on to it, was a disaster. The bed wasn't even and flat at the top and bottom, it turned out that when it got to a certain height, the head end would go down much lower than the foot end. I really thought that the company had sent me the wrong bed. I couldn't believe that this was happening after all the chaos on the first day. So we used the hoist to get me out of bed, and put me on to the bed which was incredibly difficult because the room had carpet which created so much friction. As well as the fact that there wasn't enough room for a large turning circle for the hoist in lining it up with the bed.
I'll just jump ahead a few days here, as I don't want to give a blow by blow account of everything each day, however here is the magic of what happened with the bed issue. The kicker about the bed is that about 5 days into the trip, Peta and myself both looked at each other one day, at the same moment, and suggested we move the angle of my bed a little more and pull it away from the wall. I can't begin to tell you how hilarious that turned out to be, AS THE BED MUST HAVE BEEN CATCHING ON SOMETHING ON THE WALL ( HEAD END), AND SUDDENLY WENT FLAT AND EVENLY when it went down! We never used the hoist after that.
It was rather funny to watch my carer Peta run from one side of the room to the other when there was a large swell. Not to mention me hanging on to the end of the bed in the shower chair while she was getting ready. We didn't have rough ocean at all, it just took a few days to get used to the change in motion. I absolutely loved it. Especially at night time when it felt a though the ship was rocking me to sleep. We had the most fabulous weather on during the three days at see for each afternoon the sun came out, however it was rather cool, especially at night time.
I spent much of my time those first three days just exploring the ship for it was enormous. And of course my camera lived around my neck all the time except for when I was sleeping. It took a while to understand the "cruise concept", and in fact I didn't get it until the last few days if not once I got home. Most people I met were all seasoned cruisers in that they had done many cruises. I didn't realise there was a program that was put in your "letter box" outside your door each evening for the next day, until about day 8 of the cruise. There was no communication around the fact that it was there. Then it was about getting my head around all the people just standing and sitting around all the time while we were at sea for three days. There was never a seat available in the public areas. Plus all they seemed to do was eat, drink, eat, sit, eat, drink, sit etc all day long. I found most people were Australians, were really not interested in chatting, or you'd meet great people and never see them again. There was very little suggestion about meeting for dinner etc, they'd stay in their little groups. I did meet a wonderful man who was just like Spike Milligan, I adored him, his wife and sister.
We had amazing meals at various restaurants. By day three I started to relax, although that always takes a while when on holiday. You don't realise how wound up you are, and how fast paced life is until you unwind, especially on a ship, as there is no cell phone or internet connection, it all runs off satellite. Mum found it very difficult not being able to communicate with me to see where I was, as the only stupid system they had really didn't work very well. Eventually we'd just say "see you at the coffee shop at 4 pm, if not at dinner at 6 pm", it was easier. However it was also great to see teenagers talking to each other and not on their phones, plus people not texting and walking everywhere. In actual fact it almost forced you to switch off quicker and chillax.
There was entertainment on the ship however that was all outlined in the daily program, and as I hadn't discovered it, I didn't understand the whole "planning" routine. It didn't matter as I found plenty to do each day. In fact I didn't even have time to read a book! I was in photograph heaven.
The first lot of photos are of the cabin, inside the ship, on the decks, and just a few of the extraordinary food dishes. I just forgot to take photos of the food as I had started to relax fairly quickly, my brain was in holiday, and it was always to yummy looking so we'd start eating it quickly. I'm still working on Wellington's page and those after that so if you can help yourselves from not looking at those, then you won't miss out on anything :)
BELOW ARE TWO MOVIES THAT I MADE.
THE FIRST ONE SHOWS YOU WHAT THE OUTSIDE DECKS LOOK LIKE, ESPECIALLY FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF SOMEONE IN A WHEELCHAIR.
THE SECOND VIDEO IS SIMILAR HOWEVER IT IS OF THE INSIDE OF THE SHIP.
In a wheelchair permanently since early 2010 due to a disease called NMO. I am loving getting out and about in my wheels. My blogs capture my journey.