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Pinky and Perky World Cruise #2 on the Arcadia Blog

Started by Phil, January 14, 2012, 09:06:07 PM

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Pinky and Perky

Pinky and Perky

During Arcadia's sailing from Osaka she had to stop half way across the Osaka bay due to a critically ill member of the crew that needed urgent hospital attention.
The tug that stood by as we left the berth had to race out to Arcadia and take the crew member off.

On the 28th February the Captain announced we had altered course towards Guam.
Another critically ill member of the crew needed to be airlifted off this time.
When Arcadia was within flight range, a US Coast Guard helicopter came out and winched the patient up.
Decks 10 and 9 were closed aft.
Also the outside Aquarius bar and pool, the main restaurant Meridian on decks 2 and 3, the Belvedere food court restaurant on deck 9 aft and some of the cabins around the area the helicopter would be hovering and winching down/up, were evacuated for safety reasons.
The operation was completed successfully.

Pinky and Perky

Today the 1st March 2012 Arcadia crossed the Equator at 13.30pm.

A view of Arcadia as we steam south to warmer seas, now very hot and humid.

A slightly different view from her stern.

A BBQ was laid on around the Neptune pool today.

Today was also St. David's day and for the Welsh passengers on board Arcadia, they could see the Welsh Dragon National flag flying high.

King Neptune and Captain Hook and his pirates (friendly pirates!) came aboard to celebrate the crossing of the line.
Taking good photos was as last year, near impossible due to the crowd, but it was good fun.
Here are just a few.
First the pirates and then the ships crew.


Pinky and Perky

Rabaul (Papua New Guinea). 2nd March 2012.

The small town and port of Rabaul is situated around Simpson Harbour , part of Blanche Bay , on the east coast of the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
The town- formally known as the Pearl of the Pacific- is built within a large volcanic caldera and is surrounded by active and dormant volcanoes.

A dramatic 20th century history included twice being severely damaged by volcanic eruptions, as well as being frequently bombed by the Allies during the Japanese occupation in World War 11.
At 06.00am on Monday, 19th September 1994 Mt Tavurvur erupted, closely followed by Mt Vulcan on the other side of Simpson Harbour.
The town was evacuated but eastern Rabaul was soon buried- and remains buried!!- Under several feet of black volcanic ash.
The Rabaul region sits along the volatile Ring of Fire in the Pacific, a zone prone to frequent volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
Mt Tavurvur remains an extremely active volcano today and great plumes of smoke and ash are often visible, and occasionally lava reaching the sea.

Pinky and Perky

A lovely bright morning for Arcadia to arrive in Rabaul.
This was our first sight of some of the volcanic islands.
In the second photo you can see the scares of a recent eruption with distinct loss of vegetation.

Mt Tavurvur can be seen in the background giving us a welcome signal.

As Arcadia made her final turn into Rabaul port we passed as close as we felt comfortable to Mt Tavurvur!

A very beautiful little harbour, plenty of fishing vessels in port, mostly Chinese or Japanese.

Arcadia's berth is next to the green roofed building.

More to follow, I have so many l will have to trim them to give you just a flavour of what we experienced.


Chris that "fluff" is back :doh:

Pinky and Perky

Yorkey's Knob (Cairns) Australia 5th March 2012.

This is was our second visit to Yorkey's Knob.
Named after a local fisherman from Yorkshire England called George "Yorkey" Lawson.

Yorkey's knob is the anchorage used by cruise ships too large to berth at Cairns Cruise Terminal in the centre of town.
View of Yorkey's Knob (on the left with white buildings on top) with some of the tenders and tour boats ready to take passengers to the Great Barrier Reef.

We did not book a tour here as we had a previous visit but got the free bus transfer to the town of Cairns.

Here are fruit bats also known as "Flying Foxes' to the locals.
Large numbers in the trees making at lot of noise and some awful mess on the walk ways, hope you can see them.

In the middle of Cairns the beach/sea comes in land. You can see the beach and sea, great idea.

Arcadia at anchor in Yorkey's Knob.


Pinky and Perky

It looks like some of my Rabaul photos have not come through.
Will post again, not sure if Phil can re sort them?
The system(Seacruise) was down, maybe l got mixed up with this and lost the post!.

Pinky and Perky

This post appears to have been lost , so here it is again.


The tour was exactly as we had been warned.
Ash as far as the eye could see.
This is an extremely poor country due to its economy being ravaged by volcanic eruptions.
Rabaul has no taxis, just mini buses, pot holed roads and no toilets (other than a bush!).

Here is our luxury coach that we have become a custom to in China and Japan.
Aircon, why yes we had it, just open the windows and breath in the volcanic sulphur and dust!!
Our guide is sitting facing me in front of the lady on the left. My feet were on top of the spare wheel!


This was, yes was, the golf course in Rabaul before 1994.

And this was the airport.


An eruption in 2006 devastated this coconut plantation.

We visited a local village school and the kids put on a show for us.
Can you see the colour of the kids hair, blonde/red?
A trait carried from Malaysia and then transferred to Australia in the original aborigines.

Hot spring close to Mt. Tavurvur, boy was it hot, this was sea water and our guide claimed it runs between 70 and 80 degrees f!
Not to be tested.

Finally views of Arcadia in Rabaul Harbour.
We knew on board was a shower (boy we needed it by now!!) a cold beer!! And air condition to cool us down.
Take me "home" please.


Pinky and Perky

Pinky and Perky

A further foot note concerning Rabaul.

Arcadia's medical took some time out to visit the hospital in Rabaul, l should say the only hospital on Rabaul.
They took with them some basic medical supplies as a gift.
It soon became apparent how poor and poorly equipped the hospital was.
They sent a message back to the ship to send out some basic medical equipment and further medical supplies.
They noted that the hospital had no incubators for premature new born babies, so upon their return decided to do something about this.

So today is a "Help Rabaul" day on Arcadia.
Various events have been organized to raise funds to purchase an incubator.
Visits to the engine room, the galley chocolate making station!!, have been raffled (unfortunately the Bridge remains strictly off limits; pity l would have pledged big money for one of those visits).
Sponsored deck runs and Arcadia's casino has pledged 10% of all today's takings.
Plus many more events.

The incubator (we all hope enough will be raised to purchase 2) will be purchased by P & O Australia in Sydney and P & O will pay for them to be sent by air to PNG and onward to Rabaul.
The PNG Government has guaranteed they will be excluded from any import taxes or duty.

The plight of the Rabaul people touched the hearts of many passengers.
We could see and feel the hardship of a 4th world country, so to be able to help in a small way is tremendously satisfying for all of us on Arcadia.

As l said in my write up, despite all that Mother Nature throws at the people of Rabaul, they show outwardly, to be happy people.

Pinky and Perky

Brisbane 7th March 2012.

We visited Brisbane last year and did the city tour so this year we opted for the Gold Coast and so happy we did.

But firstly, Arcadia arriving at Brisbane container port and a view down towards CBD Brisbane.
Arcadia is too large to use the city Cruise Terminal so we are relegated to the commercial port.


We berthed at what is known as Fisherman Wharf, but really is the grain terminal!
What happened to the lovely futuristic terminal in China and Japan?
There were no facilities what so ever here.

One hour coach ride and we were on the Gold Coast and "Surfers Paradise".

Views of the stunning golden/white beaches (sorry about the dark patches top right and bottom left..sun shield not fitted properly).

Some of the wonderful condominiums and hotel buildings everywhere.

The famous lifeguard's lookouts were dotted up and down the beach.
Nets are set out in the sea to deter sharks from entering the beach areas and aircraft regularly fly around checking on shark movements.

No trip to the Gold Coast would be complete without a photo of some Aussie with his surf board.

We had 5 hours free time which was terrific.

Missus O shopped until she dropped ::) :o :P.

Me.....mmmmm, walked, photo taking, soaking up the fresh air and sun and found:
a) Some great Aussie watering holes and
b) Some "bottle shops" (places to buy drink!!) to take back to the ship!
What a surprise!!!! thumbup

Very modern, very clean, vibrant part of Brisbane. What a wonderful trip to the Gold Coast.


Pinky and Perky

Sydney 9th March 2012.

Sydney Harbour Bridge from Arcadia.
It sure was a beautiful sunny day.

Sydney city view.

Arcadia and the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.


The old and the new, or rather little and large.

We headed for China town which we had visited and really enjoyed on previous visits.
Stopped for lunch at a food court, Missus O opting for Thai food while l went for Chinese.
Best B. B.Q. in Sydney..................... and it sure was!
From the left, red pork fillet, crispy belly pork and Peking duck.Yum,yum.
Washed down with some great Aussie beer! Cheers


Pinky and Perky

Melbourne 11th March 2012.

This was our first visit to Melbourne.
Our port presenter had built up our expectations for this port of call.
He claimed it to be Australia's best city by far, a personal choice and one we and others we have spoken to do not agree.
Now we only had a look at the city whilst others who ventured outside the city could well agree with the port presenter.
We did enjoy very much our time in Melbourne, but would rank Brisbane and the Gold Coast top and Sydney second.
Cairns and Melbourne would be about the same for us.
But we still have Adelaide and Freemantle/Perth to go!

Melbourne was Australia's first "planned" city which could well account for our view!
The city centre is very large and is based on a grid system.
Streets or precincts run east to west or north to south.
A nice tram system operates in and around the city which makes the roads very wide to accommodate trams and in some places cars as well.
Crossing the roads can be difficult and with so many trams waiting to cross the path of trams running in a different direction, they can be a very slow form of transport.

The old buildings were beautiful and l will show you a photo of a street that was just full of churches.
The bad side was lots of graffiti and litter on most walkways (this was Sunday morning, the day after no doubt Melbourne's busy Saturday night, Aussies love to drink and party and the streets clearly reflected this in so many ways...l will not go into details, but you may well be able to guess!!!)

Welcome to Station Pier Melbourne.

A view downtown from Arcadia.

Station Pier severs as a cruise ship terminal and also the departure/arrivals berth for the Melbourne to Hobart ferry service.
This was one departing taken from Arcadia.

Here is a city view with 2 church spires in view and l had 2 behind me.

Here is a view of a typical tram only road, note the "San Francisco" style gradient, but not as impressive as the real thing.

We found China Town or as known locally China precinct.
Visited the Chinese Museum which was really interesting to learn about the first Chinese that came to Australia and Melbourne in 1850 following the great Australian gold rush.Photos not allowed.

We stopped for lunch, yes; yes Missus O went for Thai food, as for me, although l did like this Chinese display l went for Japanese next door.

Missus O with an Australian furry friend ::).

Two types of Melbourne transport.

The Station Pier area was well serviced by bars, excellent restaurants, grocery stores all just 150-200 yards from the ship.
The terminal had a small but well stocked shop for those last minute purchases.

Arcadia berthed at Station Pier.

As we left Melbourne the inbound Hobart ferry past us, Spirit of Tasmania 1.


Pinky and Perky

We have just passed a cruise liner traveling west to east, maybe from Adelaide to Melbourne or Sydney.

Can any eagle eye name her?

She is a bit far off. Some people say Dawn Princess others Radiance of the Seas?

Pinky and Perky

Adelaide 13thMarch 2012.

Our first visit to this port and city.

Arcadia arrived at dawn with a beautiful sun rise in progress.
Here is our first view of Port Adelaide.

A little helper standing by.

The tower is the location of the ports webcam, l have a photo which you can see a little better later.
The cruise terminal comes into view.

Welcome to Adelaide complete with a musical trio, better photo to come.

Much better photo of the Port Adelaide control tower which houses the webcam.

The band playing a kind of Gaelic skiffle type of music, very toe catching, made you want to gig a little!

Missus O finds another furry friend in Australia! ::)

We booked a tour to see the Barossa Valley visiting 2 wine producers!! Cheers
Firstly Arcadia taken from the coach as we left the port area.

The famous Barossa wine-producing region begins only 28 miles northeast of Adelaide and stretches for a further 12 miles.
The land was very flat until we reached the Barossa valley.
The climate is similar to that of Southern Europe, with very fertile land making it perfect for grape growing, fruit, flower and vegetable cultivation.
Massive olive groves also could be seen.

German immigrants developed the wine industry and today there are over 500 grape growers supplying some 50 wineries.

Our first stop was at Saltrams winery established in 1859; William Saltram was an English man from Plymouth.

We sampled some great wines, 3 whites and 4 reds thumbup.
The Shiraz was just wonderful but my favourite was a Tawny (port), 20 years old and the price reflected that.
Australian dollars for a bottle Aus$80, l think that is about the same in the US, at US$80.

We were told that the cellar we were in was haunted, strangely enough my 2 photos from inside the cellar are slightly out of focus and a lady moving in the second one was not moving when l took it :-X :help:.
Other people have also commented on their photos being distorted or their camera not functioning properly at this stop!

Some serious tippling going on here, the chap with the black cap and black shirt is our winery guide.
I have to say he did look like he had already had a few, testing the products ahead of our visit no doubt!

Some of the maturing stock thumbup.

Head wine makers home, if fact it is a European lady. What a great job she is doing.

Next off to the second winery, but first we stopped at the beautiful village of Bethany.
Lutherans founded Bethany in 1839. It is still very much a small German town in appearances.
The local church.

The Richmond Grove winery was our next stop.

Some Shiraz grapes after being pressed by "Old Bluey".

This is "Old Bluey" the basket press.

Another fine sample of quality whites and reds for us to try.
Shiraz came out top followed by an oaked Chardonnay.
A light buffet and coffee (few took coffee!), some time to buy and then back to the ship.

There were some very, very happy passengers on this bus!

We did not get to see city Adelaide due to shortage of time and to be very truthful we were not in a fit state Cheers Cheers!
Port Adelaide was much smaller than l expected, the cruise terminal was small but had some nice shops inside.
Outside the terminal there was nothing in walking distance, unlike Melbourne.
The container terminal, just up from the cruise ship berth, was also very small.