Norwegian Cruise Line Embarkation Sydney 2019
The day had finally arrived; today we leave for Sydney to cruise to New Zealand. One of the best things about cruises is that there is so much choice. Gone are the days that going on a cruise meant long voyages with set dining times and formal dress. These days no matter what sort of experience you want from a cruise, there is a ship and itinerary for everyone.
Sydney was beautiful. We love watching the harbor, relaxing in the gardens, and wandering the city’s walking trails and beaches. Over the years, we’ve visited Sydney a handful of times, exploring it more and more with each visit. We developed local friends who have opened up their city to us. We’ve seen all the major attractions, the smaller attractions, and everything in between. We can rattle off restaurants, bars, and hidden markets and trails with the best of them.
“A Journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”
Pre-cruise we stayed at Great Southern Hotel Sydney, which is a heritage listed hotel dating back to 1854 located in the vibrant heart of the city. With easy access to the city’s entertainment, shopping and tourist attractions, it’s an ideal location. In the foyer was our dear friend from our Europe Trip to great us. We dropped our bags and dropped by Paddys Market for a chat and look around. Paddy’s Markets, Sydney’s biggest markets have a wide variety of stalls; food, fashion, gifts and gadgets in a true market atmosphere, with over 1,000 stalls.
The next day bright and early the renovated and refreshed Norwegian Jewel made her way into Sydney Harbour in the morning for her second season with amazing new facilities and new shows. The refreshed ship features redesigned staterooms, renewed public spaces and recreation areas, new and updated restaurants, bars and lounge and two brand new shows “Rock You Tonight” and ship exclusive “Velvet”. Nearly all dining, bar and lounge offerings on Norwegian Jewel were updated, and two new venues were opened – The Pit Stop and Bliss Ultra Lounge, replacing the Sky High Bar and FYZZ Cabaret Lounge.
We swiftly dropped our bags off and quickly moved pasted the Norwegian desks to a lengthy line at immigration. What a stupid set-up this process was. There were 4 immigration officers checking two and a half thousand cruisers, to then finally pass that hurdle to then meet lengthy lines with three x-ray machines.
We picked the Norwegian because of the 16 impressive dining venues, and 15 bars and lounges including champagne, sake, mojito, whiskey and cabaret, as well as a poolside bar for afternoon cocktails at sea. Norwegian Jewel’s arrival breaks the mould when it comes to freedom and flexibility, ushering in a new style of cruising with no set dining times, no pre-assigned seating and no dress codes, giving Australian travellers the unique opportunity to create bespoke cruise holiday experiences any way they want. We were keen to explore the raft of dining possibilities like Brazilian steakhouse Moderno, sizzling specials at Teppanyaki Room, authentic American fare at the ever-popular Cagney’s Steakhouse, Tuscan country flavours at La Cucina, and sushi and sake at Chin Chin Asian.
“Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.”
“Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures.”
Whether you’re a veteran cruiser or a first timer still getting your sea legs, you’ll know that sailing the high seas is about much more than shuffle board and sun beds. We dumped our backpack in the room and took a quick tour around the ship and ventured to deck 12 for the sail-way party. One of the boons for Aussie cruisers is the increase in ships sailing down under. Not only do you have your choice of itineraries, you also have the chance to sail out of one of the most spectacular harbors’ in the world. A sunset sail away past the Opera House is a must-do for any cruiser – it’s the best view in town. The Sail Away party always kicks off a cruise; and cocktails as you pass by Sydney’s most iconic location is a spectacular way to begin any holiday. Drinks for flowing, cameras were flashing, and Kim was chatting to some fellow travelers. It seemed the ship was made up of Americans on top followed by Australian and patchy English-Canadians-Asian-Europe travelers.
“To live is the rarest thing in the world, most people exist. That is all.”
Norwegian Cruise Line Embarkation Sydney 2019
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“If happiness is the goal – and it should be, then adventure should be top priority.”