"I wish I was one of those people that can sleep anywhere... especially airplanes."
My recent cruise came about as a result of one of my golfing friends receiving a "Sip & Sail" cruise offer in the mail. Four of us were having lunch together last Spring and we decided to go for it. There were 4 of us in the core group and we ended up with 10 ladies who went. There were 9 widows and 1 divorcee.
When we were sitting at that initial lunch we weren't thinking of the long flight and endless security checks involved in getting there. I'm pleased there are security measures in place but to say it was a nuisance is an understatement!
My first travel day started on Saturday, October 20th with getting up at 5 a.m. to finish last minute packing and get to the shuttle pick-up for our 3-hour ride from Wenatchee to the Seattle-Tacoma airport. The primary photo above is 4 of us in Seattle, with our neck pillows, ready for the first flight leg of our trip. After a short wait at Sea-Tac, we caught a 2-hour flight to San Francisco before connecting with the 13-hour flight to Auckland, New Zealand. San Francisco is where we ran into the first of many "over the top" security checks.
After much ado, the long flight and a 20-hour time difference, we arrived in Auckland at 7 a.m. on their Sunday. We were scheduled to board the cruise ship the next morning.
We were able to check into our hotel (Cordis) as soon as we arrived so that was a blessing. We all knew it wasn't going to be a good idea to take a nap so we met in the hotel lobby bar for a refreshment and talked about our plans for the day. One of those Bloody Mary's has my name on it. The Bloody Mary's were $20 NZ, which computed to $14 U.S. It was a spendy treat but well worth it!
Even after getting very little sleep on the plane and being up for some 26 hours already, we needed to stay awake during the day so we could acclimate ourselves to our new time zone. We were missing two of our group in this picture because they were trying to track down lost luggage. Since we were scheduled to board the ship the following morning, it was imperative to track down the luggage asap. Turns out the luggage for both ladies took a detour to Hong Kong and the likelihood of it arriving in time to get on the ship was in jeopardy. It all did arrive about 1/2 hour before departure and all was well.
After our refreshments, we walked down to the waterfront from our hotel and spent several hours at the pier near where our ship would be docked the next morning. When I say we walked DOWN to the waterfront, I mean that very literally. It was a steep hill and we took a taxi back UP.
We were ready for our cruise adventure. Most of the ladies had been on cruises before. Some of them had been on lots of cruises. In spite of my many travels, this was my first cruise. I was ready for a new adventure.
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
East Brunswick, NJ
Candice A. Donofrio
Fort Mohave, AZ
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