Friday, 3 January 2020

Golden Princess - December 2019 / January 2020 Post 1

I rejoined one of my favourite ships, Golden Princess, in Melbourne on December 20th for a Christmas / New Year cruise from Melbourne, returning on January 2nd. It was extra special for me because my dear friends, Jules and Phil, came along as well. It was another fabulous cruise with the usual wonderful Princess staff, service and food.


Despite having visited New Zealand dozens of times over the years, this was my first call to Picton. Another beautiful New Zealand port.


A beautiful, peaceful Christmas morning in Akaroa.



Majestic Princess, another favourite of mine, arriving mid-morning.

Captain Dino Sagani manoeuvring his massive ship alongside in the tight space between Golden and the tug pier.

Sailing from a very blustery Tauranga.
A photo of us from a passenger aboard Majestic Princess.

Sailing past Mount Manganui.

Sailing from Auckland, the last port of the cruise before returning to Melbourne.

Golden Princess - December 2019 / January 2020 Post 2

 People around the ship and ashore.

Me with the excellent  Captain Aldo Traverso and his lovely wife, Veronica.

Part of the wonderful Skywalkers team, Reynold, Greg and Jofy.
A lovely Moet brunch ashore in Auckland with dear friends Jules, Sheree, Arnold and Phil.
Sheree and Arnold.
I was pleased to perform a magnetic compass adjustment on departure from Akaroa. Me on the bridge with Guiseppe, the First Officer.
One of the ship's Quatermasters.
Enjoying a lovely, peaceful lunch in the ship's Sanctuary at Wellington.
It is indeed a small world in the Princess cruises family. Larry, now a Head Waiter on Majestic Princess, has been a friend of mine for many years on many cruises.
Jules and Phil during a bridge visit.
Wonderful Maitre d' Carlos Justina hosted a splendid private lunch for us with the senior Hotel staff.

A cheerful family of  Filipinos, now living in LA and Las Vegas, at the next table. Lovely people.
My delicious dinner on the last night of this cruise. Maitre d’ Carlos who, as always, has been a magnificent host throughout, organised this surprise dish (cotechino with lentils) for me which is a New Year’s Day speciality from the Modena region in Italy. It was the perfect comfort food for the last night.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Ruby Princess - September / October 2019 Post 1

 On 11th. September I flew from Melbourne to Vancouver with Air Canada, then on to Seattle the next day. Here I joined Ruby Princess for her final 2019 Alaskan cruise followed by her repositioning to Sydney for the southern summer cruising season. The ship was very comfortable, the quality of food aboard was excellent and, as always with Princess, so were the efficient, friendly and obliging staff and service. I disembarked on her maiden arrival in Sydney on 23rd. October after a fabulous 38 day voyage.

The next adventure begins - leaving Melbourne for the direct flight to Vancouver.

I had an enjoyable lunch at the Vancouver Club.

The club is across the road from the cruise terminal.

Relaxing at the airport hotel after the long flight.

Flying into Seattle where I stayed for another 2 nights before joining the ship.

Enjoying a lovely breakfast as we sail through Alaska’s Inside Passage towards Juneau. With my excellent waiter, Efren.

HAL's Eurodam  arriving followed by their Nieuw Amsterdam (below).

About to sail from Juneau.

My favourite spot in the Vines bar for pre-dinner wine and tapas.

Ruby Princess - September / October 2019 Post 2


With Golden Princess (right).
New mooring lines.

 A rare shore excursion for me - a most enjoyable 3 hour train ride up into the mountains and back.



Looking back down a valley towards the port.

The Canadian / US border.

Sailing from Skagway.