P&O Favourite in Dry Dock

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 | 0 comments
The Pacific Dawn, a favourite of the P&O Australia fleet, is now in dry dock, and renovations are beginning- an exciting development for those who cruise on her. Upgrades will include a big screen, changes to some bars and venues to bring them more in line with the Pacific Pearl and Jewel, and some new restaurants.

Some cabins will become interconnected for families, and the suites and mini-suites are getting a revamp. Regular Pacific Dawn cruisers, take note: the naming of cabins will change during the dry dock. Cabin numbers previously starting with A will now start with 11, B will be replaced with 10, C with 9, D with 8, E with 6, P with 5 and F with 4. For example, what was C126 will now be 9126.

Here are some dry dock pics from P&O Australia's facebook page:

Looks impressive from this angle!

Lifeboats waiting to be reclaimed

The screen arrives

The business end


Goodbye to the Bengal Tiger

Author: Ryan Posa+

Vancouver Cruise Port

Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2012 | 0 comments
Vancouver cruises leave from Port Metro Vancouver. It has two terminals, named Canada Place and Ballantyne.  Canada Place is located at 999 Canada Place, and Ballantyne at 655 Centenniel Road. These are both right in downtown Vancouver, making the city easily accessible to cruise passengers. They are both highly regarded for bagagge handling and customer service. Many cruises to Alaska leave from here.

Ship Docked at Canada Place
by Thomas Quine Flickr Creative Commons

The city of Vancouver is a wonderful place to spend a few days at the beginning or end of your cruise. Its residents pride themselves on the multicultural and eco-friendly nature of their hometown, and it is consistently judged one of the world's most liveable cities. It is also known for its natural beauty, situated between the mountains and the sea.

Stanley Park, bigger even than New York's Central Park, has 200km of walking tracks including 8km of pleasant strolling along the sea wall. It is a true urban oasis and a great spot to visit. The city's Aquarium is another major attraction, which has not only a variety of creatures on display but a funtioning marine research centre. Granville Island, a peninsula in the city centre, is host to great markets, theatres and galleries. Vancouver won't disappoint!

Check out cruises departing from Vancouver and more info on Port Metro Vancouver.

Author: Ryan Posa+

Los Angeles Cruise Port

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Los Angeles' cruise terminal is grandly named the World Cruise Centre. It is located in San Pedro, 30 minutes from central LA on the I-110. Parking is available with a shuttle from the parking lot to the terminal. The Centre has berths for 3 ships. Four lines have homeport agreements there, and many, many others call there during the year.

 by Wilson Loo Kok Wee Flickr Creative Commons

Los Angeles is amongst the most famous cities in the world, mostly for its residents, many of whom are famous themselves. It is a place of glamour and the hollywood sign, Rodeo Drive and tours of stars' homes. Up your chances of seeing celebs by dining somewhere hip like the Ivy or Koi (if you can get a reservation!) and walking Rodeo Drive. See the Walk of Fame on the Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, and people-watch to your heart's content at Venice Beach.

L.A has some great options if you have the time to travel a bit out of town, so are great for embarking or disembarking passengers who can take a day or two one side of the cruise. Disneyland is chief amongst these options. A real must-do for visitors to L.A! It is 25 miles northeast of downtown LA, in Anaheim. Santa Monica Pier is another favourite destination with it's famous pier, and Laguna Beach and Malibu are beach towns within easy driving distance.

Check out cruises departing from Los Angeles and more info on the World Cruise Centre.

Author: Ryan Posa+

Venice Cruise Port

Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2012 | 0 comments
Venice's cruise terminal is located on Tronchetto Island in the northwest of the city. Ferries and hydrofoils also leave from here, making it a bustling waterway. Many of the cruise companies offer a free shuttle to the terminal from Piazzale Roma, and a private taxi from there takes around 5 minutes. Bus Line 6 also goes very close to the Cruise Terminal.

 Ship Visiting Venice
by ryanfb Flickr Creative Commons

The city of Venice needs no introduction- it is widely hailed as a place of beauty, art and romance. Instead of honking cars on dusty streets, it has gondolas paddled on canals by gorgeous Italians. Visit the Piazza San Marco, home to many amazing churches, buildings and galleries. See some amazing glasswork on the islands of Murano, or shop for a genuine venetian mask. Tour the city from the water and marvel at the engineering of a city built on a lagoon, or wander the streets and piazzas to spot artisans, architecture and find great gelaterias and pizzerias!

Have a look here for cruises departing from Venice and more information on the Venice Cruise Terminal.

Author: Ryan Posa+

Southampton Cruise Port

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Southampton, the UK's major cruise port, has 4 cruise terminals over 2 miles of waterfront. These are called Mayflower, City, Ocean and Queen Elizabeth. They are not far from central Southampton and about 80 miles from London.

 Southampton Docks
by Jim Linwood Flickr Creative Commons

Southampton itself, although often used just as a cruise gateway to London, is a very interesting city in itself, especially for those interested in all things nautical. From being a port of transit for the Norman conquerors, cnetre for shipbuilding in the Middle Ages and the No. 1 Military Embarkation Point during the Great War, to its current status as the major cruise port and important cargo point for the UK, Southampton has a rich maritime history. The SeaCity Museum is the best place to learn about the city's relationship with the ocean, and the Titanic Trail takes you to see its links with the great and unlucky liner, from memorials for various groups onboard to the places where passengers would have embarked.

For great shopping, eating and people watching, try the Ocean Village marina development. Stonehenge is not far out of the city, and the Isle of Wight makes a great scenic day trip. The New Forest is also nearby, the largest area of unenclosed forest and pasture in England.

See here for cruises departing from Southampton and more information on the Southampton cruise terminals.

Author: Ryan Posa+

Singapore Cruise Port

Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 | 0 comments
Ships to Singapore dock at the purpose-built Singapore Cruise Centre, which makes getting on and off the ship simple and easy. Located in Keppel Harbour, it is about 15 minutes from the city centre and right next to one of the largest shopping malls in Singapore. Due to open in 2013 is an even bigger and better cruise terminal, the International Cruise Terminal, which will accomodate the world's largest ships.

Singapore By Night
by Yutaka Tsutano Flickr Creative Commons

Singapore is truly a world city. It is hugely multicultural, modern and a leader in commerce, culture, tourism and numerous other fields. Singapore can be considered somewhat sterile, as it is crazily clean and tidy, as well as having a very low crime rate, but in fact despite the extreme order it is a fascinating melting pot. If you have a few hours to spare and want to chill out, just sit in a cafe and watch the whole world go by! The city is in fact a city-state, and is on an island connected to mainland Malaysia by bridges, and the population is made up of Malays, Chinese, Indians, Filipinos, Thais and a huge number of other ethnic groups.

Shopping is highly rated in Singapore, and Orchard Road is the spot for it. For a more natural pastime, the Botanic Gardens are a great place for a walk. Art galleries, museums and other forms of entertainment abound. There is also a zoo, a Universal Studios and various other theme parks, and neverending bars, restaurants, clubs and just things to do in general.

Have a look here for cruises departing from Singapore and more information about the cruise port.

Author: Ryan Posa+

Auckland Cruise Port

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Auckland is growing in popularity as a cruise destination, and has several options for cruise ship docking. Princes Wharf Passenger Terminal is the main one of these, and Queen's Wharf is used as a secondary dock when needed. These are located right in the downtown area, right near the main drag of Queen Street and the Britomart transport centre.

 Auckland as seen from Princes Wharf
by Aidan Flickr Creative Commons

Auckland city offers many options to pass a day. The War Memorial Museum is located in the hilly park of the Auckland Domain and is New Zealand's most significant museum and collection. The Maritime Museum and trendy viaduct area of bars and restaurants is just around the corner from the cruise wharves. The Britomart precinct, mixing heritage buildings with modern ones, is a great place for coffee and people-watching, and around the Aotea Square halfway up Queen Street you will find the Aotea Centre with ballets, music shows and other entertainment, as well as iMax, New Zealand's largest movie screen.

Outside of the central city, there are many more things to see, so if you are embarking or disembarking in Auckland take some time to see the Waitakeres mountain range and the wild black sand beaches out west, or the sedate swimming beaches of the North Shore.

See here for cruises departing from Auckland and more information on the Auckland cruise terminals.

Author: Ryan Posa+

Perth Cruise Port

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The Port of Perth, and its cruise terminal, is actually located in the neighbouring and much smaller city of Fremantle. The trip into Perth's city centre is only 30 minutes. The quickest way is by train from Fremantle's stunning Victorian-era railway station.

by eGuide Travel Flickr Creative Commons

The city of Perth is located on the Swan River, 20km inland from the coastline where Western Australia meets the Indian Ocean. It stands alone on the west coast, and is one of the most remote cities on the planet- its nearest decent-sized neighbour being Darwin over 2,000 kilometres away. The Swan River foreshore is a great place for strolling and stopping at a cafe, and Perth is a well-laid out city so you can explore museums, shops and gardens with ease.

 Out on the coast, Cottesloe Beach is a favourite spot for swimming and sunbathing, or you could take a boat trip out to Rottnest Island. The nature-lovers will find plenty to do in Perth. Midgegooroo National Park is close to the city, and Lake Monger 10 minutes away is a hotspot for bird watching. For great views of the city and river, climb the DNA Tower in King's Park.

Check here for cruises departing from Perth and more info on the passenger terminal.

Author: Ryan Posa+

Fremantle Cruise Port

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Cruises to Fremantle (the smaller neighbouring city to Perth) dock at the Fremantle Passenger Terminal on Victoria Quay. The terminal is located just inside the Inner Harbour and very close to central Fremantle, so you can find all you need in the way of shops, bars and the rest just by getting off the ship and walking for a few minutes.

Fremantle is known as Freo by the locals and is very close to the bigger Perth, but distinct culturally. It is known and loved for its beautiful heritage buildings. If you are interested in history, there are numerous heritage trails that snake through the city- the Convict Trail, Maritime Heritage Trail, the Discovery Trail, the Writers Walk and more. If you are there in the weekend, be sure to visit the Fremantle Markets, open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The open-air section is a wonderland of fresh food and produce including amazing seafood, and inside there are stalls with locals selling everything from homewares to photography. As a port city, there are many ocean-based activities on offer from Fremantle- swimming with dolphins, kayak tours, or just eating fish and chips overlooking the fishing boats!

 Fremantle Harbour and Maritime Museum
by Mark Pegrum Flickr Creative Commons

Fremantle is a great base for visiting Western Australia- so if you are embarking or disembarking there, take a few days to see the sights from laidback Freo.

See here for cruises departing from Fremantle and more information on the Fremantle cruise terminal.

Author: Ryan Posa+

Melbourne Cruise Port

Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 | 0 comments
Station Pier is the cruise terminal for Melbourne, and is only 3km from the CBD, on the coast in Hobson's Bay. The city centre is based around the Yarra River, and easy to reach from the terminal with public transport, especially the handy Melbourne trams.

 Station Pier
by Daryl Cook Flickr Creative Commons

Melbourne has a reputation to uphold as one of the world's most liveable cities, and the culture capital of Australia. It has a stately New England air when compared to places like the Gold Coast, and is welcoming, laid back and elegant. Walking around the city is made easy as everything is centralised. Timeless architecture and great restaurants and bars make up the inner city scene. The city is intersected with leafy parks and walking paths, including the Fitzroy and Royal Botanic Gardens.

The city is very multicultural and diverse, so be sure to check out a few of Melbourne's many neighbourhoods and eateries.Federation Square is a hub of activity, with galleries, cinemas, shops and cafes surrounding an open area often used for concerts.St Paul's Cathedral is a must-visit spot for those with a love for architecture and history, and on Tuesday and Thursday-Sunday, Queen Victoria Markets tantalise locals and visitors with fresh produce, delis, eateries and clothing stalls.

Look here for cruises leaving from Melbourne port and more detailed information on the cruise terminal.

Author: Ryan Posa+

Sydney Cruise Port

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Sydney is Australia's only cruise destination with two dedicated cruise terminals- and with the rising number of ships heading down under to be based out of Sydney, it needs them! The Overseas Passenger Terminal is located before the bridge in Circular Quay, and Wharf 5 in Barangaroo, inside the bridge in Darling Harbour. Both of these are very close to the city centre, making it a simple business to get off the ship and look around. These two world-class facilities are making Sydney one of the world's most highly regarded cruise destinations- and it is certainly Australasia's best.

 Circular Quay
by Terrazzo Flickr Creative Commons

Sydney is an amazing world city. Sailing into the harbour and spotting the Harbour Bridge and curving roof of the famous Opera House is an experience not to be forgotten! If you dock at Circular Quay, these two attractions are close at hand- it is located handily in between the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. It is also a major transport hub, and public transport is close at hand at Barangaroo too.

To truly experience Sydney, just get off the ship and go for a wander- the best shopping is right there in the CBD. There are also several museums, including the Hyde Park Barracks, the Art Gallery of NSW, the Museum of Sydney and more. The historic Rocks district near Circular Quay is home to heritage buildings and the city's oldest pubs, and also near the Quay are the beautiful Botanic Gardens.

A favourite activity in Sydney is to take the Manly ferry across the harbour to visit the laid-back peripheral neighbourhood of Manly. There is a lot to offer in this seaside resort- beaches of course, great food and shopping, scenic and heritage walks, numerous golf clubs and parks.

Have a look here for cruises departing from Sydney port and more information about the cruise ports.

Author: Ryan Posa+

Brisbane Cruise Port

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Cruises from the sunny Brisbane leave from the International Cruise Terminal, which is 10km from the city centre. If you don't have your own transport, there are regular buses running from central Brisbane. The terminal is home to Portside, with apartments, restaurants, bars, retail and other facilities- so you don't need to stray far from the ship if you don't want to!

by eGuide Travel Flickr Creative Commons

 As a port stop or an embarkation/disembarkation port,  there is a lot to see and do once in the city proper. The South Bank is a cultural mecca and has 17 acres of parkland and museums, galleries and walking tracks. The city's retail hub is Queen Street, and there are beautiful Botanic Gardens and the State Art Gallery with a huge collection of amazing Aboriginal works. The river snakes through the city and out into Moreton Bay, and is put to use as a main travel artery, so take a ferry to see the sights from a different angle.

If you are willing to venture out of the city, the delights of the Gold Coast and Surfer's Paradise are only an hour away and are Australia's riviera- where the surf and sand meet the high-rise city. The hinterland behind this coast is just as amazing, if a little less bustling. Lush rainforest and many vineyards offer amazing scenery.

Find cruises leaving from Brisbane port, and more detailed information about the port itself here.

Author: Ryan Posa+

Retire at Sea?

Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 | 0 comments
Most retirees can't afford the minimum $1 million entry price for a suite on a condominium cruise ship like The World, a ship full of luxury private residences at sea which continuously circumnavigates the globe. What a lifestyle that would be! However, for retired cruise lovers there are ways to maximise your time at sea.

When not working, you are freed up to take advantages of the best deals whenever they may arise- no worrying about busy periods at work, school holidays and the like which narrow many people's options severely. You can take advantage of last-minute deals- Cruise Sale Finder often has as much as 70% off cruises as departure date nears, and with reduced responsibilities, these deals are perfect for retirees. Imagine the excitement of booking a cruise that departs in two weeks! Repositioning cruises are often cheaper, and allow for a wider range of sights and experiences as the ship moves between two parts of the world. The opportunities for retirees are endless!

Another option is a world cruise. Anyone working is unlikely to have the time for this, but for those retired who have the cash- and these are very reasonably priced- a world cruise would be an incredible experience. These can take up to 1/3 of the year, so you could even do a short-term let on your house to recoup some costs! Here are some world cruises- this one even leaves from Sydney! Some cruises are very long but do not quite do a full circumnavigation, like this Grand Exotic Expedition.

The opportunities are endless when you are retired- cheaper cruises, longer cruises and varied destinations. make your retirement amazing by spending time at sea!

Have a look here for great cruise deals.

P.S Wouldn't it be nice, though?

Author: Ryan Posa+