Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024
Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Cruise Day 2 - On the Ship - Sunday, December 24, 2023

******** HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BOB! ********

It's Bob's day today. We will celebrate with a special dinner at Onda by Scarpetta Italian Restaurant on board.

Since we spent two days sightseeing in Sydney, we stayed on the ship and checked our "Freestyle Daily" newsletter for what was happening today. It was a mish-mash of things we chose. 

After a wonderful breakfast in The Local, we relaxed in The Atrium to watch a slide show about upcoming cities on our cruise. That made us very excited to get on with our travels!

We plan to walk all over Dunedin and
go to their free museum as well.

Can't wait to find a bunch of murals!

I wish we had time for this. We'll see.

Walking to this location is too far from 
the shuttle drop-off point in Dunedin.

Napier: We have a tour scheduled that includes
the National Aquarium of New Zealand.

After our tour of Napier, we plan to spend
the afternoon walking around town.

We will see the beach when we go by on
our tour to Rotorua.

If we had a car, we would go here.
However, our all-day tour will be to
Rotorua to see the thermal activity.

After the slide show of upcoming attractions, we stayed in The Atrium to watch the movie "Paint," starring Owen Wilson. Here's a synopsis of the flick.

What a stupid, slow movie. Did it make it into the theaters? I kept falling asleep and that's the only reason I stayed for the whole movie. When I was awake, Bob and I kept looking at each other and making faces of disbelief. Dare I say, "It was like watching paint dry?" We don't recommend it. 

We had lunch, took a nap, and read. At 4:30 pm, The Atrium was the place for "Visual Trivia: Birds of the World." That was hard. We got far fewer than we thought we would. The birds of North America were mostly easy. What made it difficult was that you couldn't just say hawk or wren, you had to specify what type of hawk or wren. There were so many birds we didn't know. We need to go to more foreign countries!

Dinner reservations at Onda by Scarpetta were at 5:30 pm when our ship pulled away from the port. From our window table, we could see sites in Sydney as we left. 

Luna Park is across Sydney Harbour
from the Opera House.

We sailed under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Luna Park is tucked in on the lower left.

Our dinner was served, starting with bread service, followed by salads. I had Branzino (similar to sea bass) with rainbow cauliflower. Bob had Tuna with string beans, shiitake mushrooms, and carrot ginger pureé. We also had wilted spinach with nutmeg, mushroom trifolati with garlic and parsley, and roasted carrots with thyme, orange and tahini. It was wonderful.

Bob's birthday dinner at Onda by Scarpetta.

Bob's tuna at the top, vegetables in the
middle, and my Branzino on the bottom.

As we dined, we passed under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Then, we went past Admiralty House and Fort Denison. 

The Admiralty House below is the Sydney residence of the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. It was once the colonial-era home of the Admiral commanding the Royal Navy's Australia Station. At the bottom is the former Royal Marines' barracks.

Admiralty House.

Fort Denison is located on a small island in Sydney Harbour. A former penitentiary and defensive facility, it is also known as Rock Island and Pinchgut.

Fort Denison

The Sydney Harbour Bridge and
Opera House are behind us now.

We turned our attention to dessert. NCL had a birthday cake for Bob. We thought it would be free, but it was not. Oh, well. We enjoyed the heck out of it!

Happy birthday, Bob!

The cake was excellent: light & moist.

The pilot boat led us out of Sydney Harbour.

We are exiting Sydney Harbour by Sydney
Harbour National Park and headed out 
to the Pacific Ocean.

At 9 pm, we watched "Freddie's Queen," a rock concert celebrating the best of Queen. Kathryn Relf, a musical theater graduate from Laine Theatre Arts, put on an amazing, high-energy show in the Stardust Theater. We were singing and dancing in our seats!

Fifteen minutes after "Freddie's Queen" ended, we went to the Spinnaker Lounge for the Christmas Eve Party, described as an evening of elegance and enjoyment. I was in a red dress and silver, sparkly high-heeled sandals. Being out on the open ocean, the ship was rockin' and rollin'. It was hard to stay upright! Sometimes I was hanging onto Bob or a column on the edge of the dance floor.

The Spinnaker Lounge, our go-to place
for drinking and dancing.

The Spinnaker Loungge.

With our unlimited drink package, we also had our fair share of alcohol. We made it through the first hour and then decided to give it up. The elevator took us down one floor to our room. We called it a night. 

Tomorrow, we will be at sea all day on our way to Melbourne, Australia. 

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