In a teeming rain, we left the shelter of our hotel in Bali, wondering if we had made a good decision in booking an 18-day circuit around the barren western & southern coasts of Australia, ending in Sydney. Did we??? Well - you decide, by reading my story of our travels....
Let us begin at the very beginning...before Bali...as it takes some doing for an American to even get there. One must start from a jumping off place in the USA & that suggests a 14 to 16 hour flight to either Hong Kong or Singapore from America's west coast, with a follow-on flight to Bali. We flew out of San Francisco & on our flight, a family decided only while on board in the airport that their child wasn't feeling well enough to fly. The poor child was slung over a shoulder & taken out...& there followed a 2+ hour search for the family's luggage which resulted in a delay that made us miss our connection to Bali out of Singapore. We waited 6 hours for a follow-on flight, & so, from the time we left our home in Delaware until we checked into our lovely hotel in Bali - it was 46 hours. You can believe that, as I checked it against my watch.
Bali must be a lovely island & it is inhabited by lovely warm people, who smile & bow to you in such a gracious manner that you wish you weren't so stupid with jet lag & could actually interact with them. We spent two days holed up like honeymooners in a quite lovely room in the Conrad, in a stupefied state trying to figure out who & what we were. Meanwhile, it being January the rain TEEMED down in a way one can only imagine in movies BUT there were still Asian tourists there determined to enjoy the beaches. This proved to us that there is something for everyone in every holiday....
Embarkation onto Azamara Journey was uneventful and almost easy. My husband argues with me about our choice of cabin on every cruise but he never questions why we get to go onboard in Group 1, & we charged on board & set up housekeeping with a lovely lunch & the typical Azamara welcome. How do these people do it??? The crew work so hard & are so unfailingly welcoming & happy, eventually bringing on board their tired & worn-out who are so very very glad to be on board Azamara again (if they've ever sailed on Az before)...
And so began a wonderful cruise. There was a tweaking of the itinerary that gave us an initial 3 at-sea days, followed by wonderful overnights at Perth/Fre-Mantle, & then on to a series of small ports. We were VERY VERY impressed by every single port we visited, & VERY VERY much hope that Azamara will revisit this itinerary. It's not on their itinerary for another year at least, but I am betting that this will be the NEW itinerary for most cruise lines in years to come.
Our favorite port city - Perth - what a beautiful city! with such adventures just outside
Our favorite destination - Kangaroo Island - some lovely wineries & a brewery, plus a beautiful drive through the countryside
Our favorite shore excursion - Adelaide - to their Cleland Wildlife Park - followed by lunch on board watching sailing activity in the port
Our favorite memory - sailing into Sydney on a beautifully clear morning!
The BEST THING! - The Eagles won the Superbowl, & Azamara had a party for us!
As always, Azamara assures us that we are making the right decision in booking cruise after cruise with them. Of course we will do it again!!!!
Our cabin was exactly as advertised & was perfectly maintained throughout our trip. Our butler, Elro, could not have been better.
Traveled hours out of port to two national parks - saw koalas + natural wonders + watched lobster processing. Excellent tour!View All undefined undefined Reviews
Our tour was fine...lots of rock formations....just OK.
A quite nice tour...but the faux Stonehenge thing was ridiculous. One felt sorry for the people who built it but then, THEY were charging US money to see it!View All 8 Cape Le Grand National Park Reviews
A lovely experience in the park, & the guide took us on a lovely tour through the city. An excellent tour!View All 7 Cleland Wildlife Park Reviews
AT LAST! Steve, our guide in Sydney, gave us a very good history of Australia. He was an excellent guide & really added to our enjoyment of the MARVELOUS Sydney Opera House with a tour to Bondi Beach. Kudos to Steve the Guide!!!!View All 21 Sydney Opera House Reviews
This was the Sunday tour that included a tour of a VERY poor Historical Center + a seaside resort that offered virtually no amenities. This was NOT NOT good value for money.View All undefined undefined Reviews