Saturday, December 4, 2010

Time For an Update

Thought it time I added some more, so decided to write what we currently have planned for a few ports. Will do them in the order we are visiting and will do the first 4 now. It will be interesting to see what the final decisions we make are and see if we kept to our plan. At the moment it is a mix of private and Princess tours, with probably more Princess tours. Except for Katie having been to KL before the rest of the places are all unknowns! So being novices we are happy to take the tours in a lot of very popular places with Princess in the knowledge that they have been there done that ( and they will wait for late tour buses) and being the height of the tourist season , tourist coaches don't have to queue like the general public at a lot of the more popular attractions. As each port is only a day we were never going to get a in depth local view of too much, but am more than excited being able to see so much in the one trip and this will give me an idea of the places I want to see more of. Probably all of them.......let alone Alaska, the Northern Lights, Terracotta Warriors to name a few more not going anywhere near on this trip. (Best I start investing in Lottery tickets :)

But back to the first port of call Darwin. We intend doing one of the infamous “Jumping Crocodile Tours”. Even though Katie has had her own crocodile for work, ( Gucci is only a metre long ) , we still want to see the big crocs in their own habitat. After the cruise there may be time to do some last minute shopping in Darwin to get things that some-how escaped my brilliant lists!

For a true "Top End" adventure travel to the Adelaide River for a scenic cruise in search of the famed "jumping crocs" - the crocodiles shoot out of the water in pursuit of their prey!

Board your riverboat for an approximately 60-minute cruise along the murky waters of the Adelaide River, home to the most dangerous reptile in Northern Australia. These huge salt-water "jumping crocodiles" are the stars of your fascinating cruise, shooting out of the water in pursuit of their prey. The river is also home to a wide range of wildlife including Magpie geese, Kites, corellas, wild pigs and buffalo.

Board your tour transfer bus at the pier and travel through Darwin. Drive south on the Arnhem Highway to the vast wetlands near the mouth of the Adelaide River, keeping an eye out for the area's unique wildlife and flora.

Singapore :- We weren't sure what to do here but Katie has a friend from Uni who has just returned back to her home in Singapore, so we are hoping that because it will be a Sunday we will have our own private tour guide in Shuling. If not,  then we think we can manage to get around on our own.

Kuala Lumpur :- I'm trusting Katie here as she has been 3 times, mind you one was a school excursion, the 2nd was a weekend away from Padang Uni in Indonesia with some friends and the 3rd was a speaking contest. So not sure she was taking much notice thinking that one day she'd be responsible for her mother's sightseeing and shopping pleasures! We will probably use the Princess shuttle from the port to KL for the convenience

Langkawi :- When we first started looking into things to do here,  there was zip-lining available through Princess but in this year's brochure it has been taken out. Mind you this was probably the only port that we weren't in agreement on on things we wanted to see and do. Katie was happily going to do the zip- lining through the canopies and I was looking to do the more sedate mangrove cruise. But now that she can't do that with Princess (probably could privately but now happy to change), we will do this one with Princess.

WHAT YOU VISIT: Kilim Marine Park WHAT YOU DO: Leisurely guided paddle on 2-man kayaks LUNCH: Lunch accompanied by beverages at the Fish Farm in Kilim Park - additional beverages available for purchase 
WHAT YOU SEE: Delicate ecosystem of tidal mangrove forest, isolate islands, lagoons and dramatic limestone rock formations with fanciful names WILDLIFE: The park is home to brown eagles, tree crabs, iguanas and Macaque monkeys Kilim Marine Park is a delicate ecosystem of winding rivers, mangrove forests, isolated islands and dramatic limestone rock formations. Explore this fascinating place on 2-man kayaks. Paddle into the Bat Cave and view the Elephant Stone and the Hanging Gardens. The park is also home to brown eagles, Macaque monkeys and tree crabs.
Transfer to a motor launch for the approximately 3/4 hour cruise to your departure point in Kilim. After basic instruction and a safety briefing, set out on a leisurely paddle through this ecosystem of tidal mangroves, lagoons and isolated islands. The preserve is dotted with dramatically shaped limestone formations including the Temple of Borobodur, the Elephant Stone and the Hanging Gardens. Explore Gua Kelawar, the Bat Cave, and keep watch for brown eagles, tree crabs, iguanas and Macaque monkeys. Your destination is the Fish Farm, located within the mangroves.
Lunch is served among the mangroves at the Fish Farm. Additional beverages are available for purchase at the restaurant.
Enjoy views of Langkawi's dramatic coastline of isolated bay and islets during the ride to and from your kayak departure point.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Going to be a Grandma!!

My son and his wife are going to be parents for the first time, which means I am going to be a Grandma for the first time too! Very exciting except for the fact that the baby is due some time between leaving Sydney and arriving in Darwin. Oh well, will have to Skype in ports and get lost of emails with photos, and when I get back I shall get my overdue share of cuddles.

This is a pic of us last Xmas , we don't usually wear hats like that everyday!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Shots !

I went to the doctor to see what I needed in the way of needles, was hoping nothing cause I am fairly allergic to needles (think petrified) but knew I wasn't going to get off that easily. Luckily I had had a tetanus etc booster a year or so ago, so am only in need of combined typhoid/hep A. I don't need to face that until early next year and figured with the cruise getting so much closer my excitement should out-weigh my fear by then......

Prior to seeing the doctor I had some routine blood tests taken, cholesterol was good as were the rest, though I was expecting my iron to be low but it was also fine but there was one that wasn't so good........apparently I am Vitamin D deficient. My thoughts on that was seeing as though it is now only routinely tested for, I'm sure there are lots of folks who are also deficient. Doctor told me I will need to take calcium and vitamin D indefinitely, but my cure will be a nice long cruise, I'm sure to manage some sun during that!
And speaking of cruises, I couldn't help it, I booked Katie and I on a 3 day cruise from Melbourne to Sydney in March on the same ship we are going on in May. That way we will at least have stepped foot on a ship before we embark on our adventure in under 200 days (Yay!!)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bought some things!!

Last week just after I posted my list of things to buy I found some new message boards with more things I will 'need' on the cruise, which only adds to the thrill of anticipation. With 205 days to go, I am sure I don't need any motivation to keep me excited, but adding to my lists is a sure fire way of wasting time and not doing housework. Next week my countdown clock will be under 200 and when its gets to under 100 then I will start the panicking......
I have already bought 2 of the things from my list, a pop up laundry hamper (in place of the cottony laundry bag from list), which I like already so am using now for practise, so guess I'll have to buy another one to put away for the trip, I also bought the hangy thing for bathroom.
I should really add clothes to my lists because I hate clothes shopping and that is the area that I will be most stressed about. I always pack far too much even for a weekend visit to relatives, so packing and buying for over 2 months away is going to be a big challenge. Lets hope the stress of it all makes me lose some pre-cruise weight!!! ha ha

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Keeping my 3 official followers amused

Thought it a good idea to try and write a new entry at least once a fortnight leading up to the trip.I don't want to be voted "the most boring blog ever written" . Hopefully now that Katie has finished Uni (hooray) but sadly not work, she may find time to write amusing things in here, I did make her an author as well the other day while I was working my way around this site.
While a lot of people tick off places around the world they visit, I'm looking forward to Darwin as it will be my Autralian place to 'tick' off as being the only state/territory that I haven't visited. But in 10 months time I will have a few world places I can 'tick' off as well!
I came across a couple of lists I had written down of things that I will need to take with me as advised by many seasoned cruisers and decided to put them here now and then see how many I do take and how many I do use and how many other things I wished I had taken. (and this will also change the lists from scraps of paper to something more, organised......)
So in no particular order :- magnets, zip-lock bags, cotton scarves, binoculars, post it notes, hair conditioner, coffee mugs with lids, clothes pegs, rain poncho, power board, hangy thing for bathroom, night light for same, cottony bag for wet laundry, highlighter, soft pillows, sunlight soap, stretchy shopping bags. Now the list isn't comprehensive (and reading it now it looks quite small!) or a stocktake of what I will take and because I have to travel back by plane I'm hoping to donate things like the power board to the cruisers who will be joining at Dover or elsewhere who also aren't going all the way around.
But for now it is my 1st list but I'm sure it won't be my last.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Added some pics

Well I am starting to get a basic idea of what I am doing, very basic mind you! I have added a couple of pictures, so it didn't look so bland. I do tend to "waste" time researching all the different ports we'll be visiting and deciding whether to do Princess Tours or our own. At this stage a fair percentage will be with Princess, but have already arranged a private tour of Mumbai in an air-conditioned car with own female tour guide. The hardest part so far is thinking of what to pack as I have to fly home....and the easiest part is the thinking about how exciting the whole trip will be. With 7 months still to go I can't imagine how excited we will be the day before we board.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

First Blog

OK this is a first for me, 1st time I've blogged, 1st time I am going on a cruise and 1st time I'll be going overseas. There is still 7 and a bit months until I leave with my daughter,  so hopefully by then I will have mastered this blog to make it interesting for the family and friends who have to stay behind and winter in Australia! I suppose they will expect photos and other things, I'll be happy to just get this text in the blog.........