Originally, we planned a fourteen day cruise on Holland America’s Maasdam in the middle of what was to be a four-week Australia/New Zealand vacation. After listening to my struggle with arranging a post-cruise train tour of New Zealand, my husband asked, “Why not take another cruise? Isn’t there a ship returning to Sydney from Auckland?”
Of course there was a ship…the same one on which we would arrive in Auckland. At first I was dumbfounded at my husband’s suggestion. This is the man who for years was reluctant to cruise and now…28 days! Really?
As we talked about it, the advantages of our new plan because clear…extra days in each of our New Zealand ports and on the return cruise, a visit to Burnie, Tasmania instead of Hobart. Plus, we’d have a long day in Melbourne. Within minutes I phoned our travel agent who was able to book a cabin on the same deck for our second cruise on MS Maasdam.
And then we had to adjust our itinerary…changing our return flight on Qantas and booking a hotel for a long Christmas-shopping weekend in Sydney. Our trip grew from four to six weeks, but as retirees time is our friend.
I dream now of 28 days at sea…al fresco lunches poolside, walks along the promenade after dinner and views of the Southern Cross from our balcony as we cross the Tasmanian Sea. Of course, we’ll be off ship many days exploring the towns and countryside of New Zealand. I’ll share stories and photos of those adventures as we go along.