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SpeedNoodles

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  1. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Standing Ovation from the Land Down Under - New Zealand 11 Nights Feb. 2, 2020   
    The open sea appeared in the distance.





     
     
  2. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Standing Ovation from the Land Down Under - New Zealand 11 Nights Feb. 2, 2020   
    Everywhere I looked was a photo opportunity.  


    On both sides were inlets and fjords.








    As we sailed along islands emerged from what appeared to be solid land. 


  3. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Standing Ovation from the Land Down Under - New Zealand 11 Nights Feb. 2, 2020   
    With the sun rising by the minute the beauty of this region became more apparent. 




    Like Alaska in some ways this is what sets these cruises apart from a traditional cruise.  It's amazing to see the ship in such close proximity to land and the peaks of the mountains around us.  It has to be experienced in person to fully understand.




    Amazing for a ship this size to navigate in these narrow waterways.

  4. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Standing Ovation from the Land Down Under - New Zealand 11 Nights Feb. 2, 2020   
    Somewhere around 8am we approached the entrance to Dusky Sound.

    There was a sea mist in the air that made photography challenging.


    At this early hour the sun was low and very bright.  That didn't help with photography.


    Pictures don't do it justice.  It was stunning.



    Looking forward it was hard to see where we were going or how we would fit in between the islands.

    As we slowly made our way forward a path opened up for us.

  5. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Standing Ovation from the Land Down Under - New Zealand 11 Nights Feb. 2, 2020   
    Day 9 - Cruising Through The Sounds
    Last night our Captain had apologized again for having to skip Dunedin but was very optimistic about Dusky Sound. 
    Milford Sound was still questionable since they had sustained flooding recently.  Something like a month's worth of rain in a few hours.  That had washed a lot of debris into the Sound and as of last night it was closed to ship traffic.
    Overnight we had cruised around the Southern tip of New Zealand.

    This far South we are out of range of O3b satellites.  That period of intermittent connectivity yesterday occured as we switched over to traditional satellites for internet and so our internet speeds had slowed and ping times (latency) had increased dramatically.  Very much like Voom in Alaska.  

    For those keeping score at home, 12°C or 54°F.

    Little did I know we were about to experience the highlight of the cruise.
  6. Like
    SpeedNoodles got a reaction from Skigoofy in Standing Ovation from the Land Down Under - New Zealand 11 Nights Feb. 2, 2020   
    You are truly a class act, @twangster. You are so appreciated, and not just for the amazing photos.
  7. Like
    SpeedNoodles got a reaction from Cruising to Retirement! in Standing Ovation from the Land Down Under - New Zealand 11 Nights Feb. 2, 2020   
    You are truly a class act, @twangster. You are so appreciated, and not just for the amazing photos.
  8. Like
    SpeedNoodles got a reaction from ellcee in Royal poor customer care dealing with Anthem   
    I kept thinking, as some people were complaining that they weren't doing enough, "Just hang tight, this isn't over, their offers may change with time."  Auto-refunding for no shows without any communication is pretty awesome. Definitely disappointing, and inconvenient for those who've planned their week/vacation around it, but I think Royal is taking what is a really unfortunate situation, that they did not create, ,and doing their best with it.  I do feel for those whose vacations are altered, though.
  9. Like
    SpeedNoodles got a reaction from Ogilthorpe in Online check in   
    I've found that to be typical.  It'll eventually allow it on the app.  Checking in on the app is nice because you can scan your passports, take a photo directly on the app, and you'll be much more likely to get expedited arrival (which you wont' get by checking in online).
  10. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to SteveinSC in CoronaVirus what's next ?   
    Im a statistics guy.....probably a carryover from being a sports junkie....but here is what stands out to me about the Coronavirus fiasco.  The news says "135 people on the Diamond Princess has confirmed cases of coronavirus"  Sure, sounds like a good amount of people, especially if youre one of the 135.  BUT.....what percentage of the ships total people on board is that? The ship had 3,700 on board (counting crew) when it arrived in Yokohama.  That is 3.6% of people on board, that had or have since been confirmed to have coronavirus.  3.6%!!!!!! I like my chances of NOT getting it.......
  11. Like
    SpeedNoodles got a reaction from Jamie A in Online check in   
    I've found that to be typical.  It'll eventually allow it on the app.  Checking in on the app is nice because you can scan your passports, take a photo directly on the app, and you'll be much more likely to get expedited arrival (which you wont' get by checking in online).
  12. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to Matt in Do you take your passport or just a copy of with you on excursions?   
    Always take it with me off the ship, except CocoCay or Labadee. No point there.
    Photocopies are useless. It's like photocopies of cash...you can wave it around all you want, but no one is taking it.
  13. Love
    SpeedNoodles got a reaction from bhageerah in Do you take your passport or just a copy of with you on excursions?   
    Yeah, I'm always rather baffled at what good a photo or a copy would be.  But people like to do it.
  14. Like
    SpeedNoodles got a reaction from Baked Alaska in Royal poor customer care dealing with Anthem   
    I kept thinking, as some people were complaining that they weren't doing enough, "Just hang tight, this isn't over, their offers may change with time."  Auto-refunding for no shows without any communication is pretty awesome. Definitely disappointing, and inconvenient for those who've planned their week/vacation around it, but I think Royal is taking what is a really unfortunate situation, that they did not create, ,and doing their best with it.  I do feel for those whose vacations are altered, though.
  15. Haha
    SpeedNoodles reacted to Matt in CoronaVirus what's next ?   
    This, this and more of this!
    Watching TV, they make it seem like it's around the corner lurking

  16. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to Matt in Royal poor customer care dealing with Anthem   
    Sorry this has ruined your vacation, but this is the media's fault, not Royal Caribbean.  
    A scare was created when one local news decided to run on a rumor, and a media circus ensued that ended up being for absolutely no reason.
  17. Haha
  18. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to Matt in Sharing a drink package?   
    It's against Royal Caribbean's rules and morally wrong. Don't do it.
  19. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Standing Ovation from the Land Down Under - New Zealand 11 Nights Feb. 2, 2020   
    Day 8 continued...
    Kind of a gray dull day but the sea was amazing to watch from my balcony.  It's quite mesmerizing.  I used the day to catch up on this thread.  My Royal excursion for Dunedin was automatically refunded.

    Tonight live from the Ed Sullivan Royal Theater... The Australian Beatles!






    Very good and quite enjoyable.
  20. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Standing Ovation from the Land Down Under - New Zealand 11 Nights Feb. 2, 2020   
    Day 8 - Dunedin Sea Day 
    I had a feeling based on prior announcements we wouldn't make Dunedin.  Morning confirmed that.


    Given our position well off shore at this hour I knew we wouldn't be visiting Dunedin on this day.

    This is perfect.  We never made it to the South Island of New Zealand.  This is actually pretty ideal.  Now I have full and legal justification to book another cruise to New Zealand.
    We slowed our speed and took the windy swell under a nice gentle speed.  Eventually our pilot for the sounds approached and we turned to shelter the pilot boat from the wind.


    The turn gave those on the port side a nice view of the coast.



    I'm time shifting here.  Captain Ryan recorded a video that was put on RCTV later on this day.  I'm cheating by throwing it in here.  
    I always appreciate when the Master of the vessel takes the time to explain in detail why we had to skip a port.  

    The channel into the port is very narrow and not a simple straight line.  That makes it complex for a large ship (or any ship) to navigate safely in strong winds.

    And so we will slowly continue our way towards the sounds for tomorrow.
  21. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Standing Ovation from the Land Down Under - New Zealand 11 Nights Feb. 2, 2020   
    Back on the ship here is the bus area for cruise ships at the port.  It's very well organized.


    Did I mention trees are a major export for New Zealand?

    Some views of the harbor from the ship.

    Sail away and back into the Pacific.


    I hit the motherload in the Windjammer tonight.  I used to painstakingly carve the skin off with a knife but I've learned there are a lot of nutrients in the skin so after a quick rinse... yum.

    Temperature tonight for those keeping score.

  22. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Standing Ovation from the Land Down Under - New Zealand 11 Nights Feb. 2, 2020   
    Back to the ship where I jumped on the free shuttle bus back to downtown.
    One of the cruise ship shuttle bus stops:



    The Beehive as our driver called it.  This is where the New Zealand politicians work.




    Very walkable and pedestrian friendly.






  23. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Standing Ovation from the Land Down Under - New Zealand 11 Nights Feb. 2, 2020   
    Our bus driver pointed out the two bus stops for the free cruise ship shuttle as we drove past them.  I use an app called Anchor that allows me to create way points that I can later call up and reference.  This app has been invaluable on this cruise with the city shuttle buses.  
    As our driver told us about the bus stops I created anchor points for them.


  24. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Standing Ovation from the Land Down Under - New Zealand 11 Nights Feb. 2, 2020   
    The museum has an outdoor area called Bush City.


    They have some cave simulations.



    Outdoor walking paths lead to city views.



    With time up it was time to re-group at the bus outside.
  25. Like
    SpeedNoodles reacted to twangster in Standing Ovation from the Land Down Under - New Zealand 11 Nights Feb. 2, 2020   
    Our next stop was the Museum of New Zealand.  This was unguided, we had an hour to self explore.

    Free to enter but there is currently a Wonderland exhibit that has an additional charge.  The rest was free.


    From the Endeavour.  



    Kiwi birds.

    This globe depicts the tectonic plates and one of them runs right through the middle of New Zealand.

    Since the Caribbean has had some earthquakes recently here are the plates for that region.


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