Our time in the campervan came to an end way too quickly despite it being seven months. For the last part of our trip we wanted to take it a little easier and still see a lot. For this reason we had booked our first cruise at the end of March. With the Pacific Dawn we went from Brisbane to Singapore in 14 days.
The Pacific Dawn was our home for 14 nights. Built in 1990, the ship is 245 m long, 56 m high and holds a total of 2,020 passengers. During our time on board it was not fully booked. About 1,600 guests were on board.
The check in was similar to a flight. We handed in our luggage, checked in with our documents, were assigned a cabin and were quickly on board after about half hour (and after a security check).
The luggage was brought to our cabin and we took the time to stroll around the ship. And the restaurant was open already. Then Christiane found that the Pacific Dawn has its own New Zealand Natural ice cream stand, which is her absolute favourite 🙂
At two o’clock we left Brisbane and at the same time the “Anchors AWEIGH” party started. Crew and passengers danced to Macarena and how could it be any different, of course the Australians all turn left instead of right – always this special 😉 Turning to the left during Macarena, driving the car on the left side of the road and the sun also turns to the left in Australia, i.e. over the north. So we’re lucky that at least the clocks turn to the right… and that we didn’t go dancing. Because as two of four Germans on board we would have been the only ones to dance “right”… and that says a lot for me 😉
Our everyday life on the ship
Everyday life was of course mainly determined by the opening hours of the various restaurants. Breakfast was served until 10:30 am, lunch started at 11:30 and ended at 14:30. Dinner was then from 17:00 – 21:00. In the meantime one could of course also snack at different bars…
So of course our everyday life started with breakfast. But getting up is such a thing. As proud occupants of an inside cabin, there was no daylight for us that would at least show us about the time to get up. After breakfast we went to the sun deck with an extra coffee. Here people were observed or read.
We tried to find our way to the gym almost every day. If you have the chance to eat a lot three times a day, you run the risk of gaining a lot of extra weight. And as we’ve been on the road for more than seven months now, the space reserves in our clothes were already used up 😉
Our other activities were mainly relaxing, reading or watching movies on the big screen at the pool.
All in all, there are various offers for activities throughout the day. For example, we took part in a wine and cheese tasting, which was very informative and delicious.
In the evening there is always some sort of entertainment in the theatre and afterwards you can have a Schlummifix (aka night cap) in one of the different bars or the disco.
Heading north along the Great Barrier Reef
From Brisbane, we first went north along the Australian coast. So exactly in the opposite direction we had travelled in the last 30 days with our campervan. We drove along between the continent and the Great Barrier Reef and thus got views of the islands of the reef several times 🙂
On the second day it was whale watching time, because many whales take a break in front of Fraser Island on their way to the south, so they came towards us. During our whale watching tour at Hervey Bay two weeks before we already got quite lucky with sightings. Now whole groups of whales came towards us and even jumped out of the water – a great spectacle!
We were less lucky on the fourth day of our journey, because the planned shore leave in Port Douglas was cancelled because the waves were too high. The shuttle boats could not take any passengers without risk, which is why the captain cancelled it for safety reasons. We used this day to write new posts for our blog.
For us that meant five days at sea in a row… that was quite a change compared to seven months of road trip freedom.
Let’s go to Darwin!
After we had reached the northernmost point of Australia – the Cape York Peninsula – we went west to Darwin.
Sometimes we drove close to the coast or passed beautiful islands on our way.
Now we had arrived in the Indian Ocean and we couldn’t get enough of the colours.
And in the evening there was also a great sunset.
After five days at sea we finally reached Darwin at night and when we got up in the morning, we had already moored at the harbour.