Adventures on Deck.

Regal Princess..

Okay now lets see… I left home on Sunday 21st at 3pm, arrived in Auckland an hour later, then arrived in Sydney waited an hour or so, flew 14.5hour and ended up bored at Dubai airport for 5 very long, very early hours. Left there and found myself in beautiful Venice 5 hours later. Picked up by the port agent and arrived at the hotel some time later, I didn’t even make it to dinner I was well and truly fast asleep to the pouring rain, and thunder by half 7pm.

An early start, picked up and brought to the beautiful Regal Princess, over six miles out and I could see the ship, I couldn’t see the city, but I could see the ship, she towered over Venice!

I joined to find a cabin to myself which only lasted a few days. I did a little exploring on my first day to find we were in Red level and I actually shouldn’t have been wondering passenger areas. This ship is massive, and its not an understatement.. to walk from my cabin to the crew mess feels like it takes days!

Joining the ship in Venice was wonderful! Not only did we only set sail at 11pm (so nothing was expected of me until drill at 10pm) but we went straight to another port, no sea day which is a first for me! So two days in and I had only shown up for drill!

There are a few familiar faces around which is welcoming, and a few to still join which I know of.

After leaving Venice we arrived in Ravenna, another Italian port, but unfortunately I hadn’t received my Laminex yet, so no shore leave for me. The next day however we found ourselves in Dubrovnik, Croatia, this now makes 33 countries in my country count!  … Never dreamt it!

Now my personal favourite day of the trip was an early start and a flight to San Francisco to see my Prince charming. The Star Princess was docked in San Fran so Kyra and I visited for the day, we were lucky to be able to go onboard, and I got to spend the day with my love Fiore, highlight of my trip! I loved that Fiore got to meet my sister; she had a good time onboard too. We spent the afternoon around the pier before heading back to LA to pack to fly out back home the next day.

I had a wonderful time with Kyra, I did have one day where I just needed to get away from her – not seeing each other for six months then spending every hour together 11 days straight did become a bit much! So I spent an afternoon at the mall getting my hair done, bit of me time! Disneyland was incredible, California adventure too, the whole trip was really really wonderful! 

We did a day on Hollywood Blvd, went to Madam Tussauds Wax museum which was good fun, and wondered around the Walk of Fame. Hollywood wasn’t actually very welcoming and is voted our least favourite day of our trip.

We had a few evenings back at both parks, at night the parks are beautifully lit up, they have a fireworks display every evening in Disneyland, over the castle which was really lovely, and in California Adventure they have a ‘World of Colour’ light display which was incredible! A light show over Paradise Pier, the lights were projected onto fans of water, it was like watching a childhood of Disney all at once, really something beautiful! Defiantly recommend it! 

The next day we visited The Warner Brothers Studios in Hollywood, we did the VIP Set tour which was really cool, got to see the Set for Two and a Half Men, see the fake city streets, saw hundreds of props too! See all the vehicles from all the Batman movies, all together for the first time ever in one room.  Learnt a lot about the film production there and best of all, got to take a seat on the couch in the set of ‘Central Perk’ from Friends. There was a museum with all the Batman costumes from the last 75years of Batman which was really cool too.

After a coffee break we went back to the other side of the park where the Zoo is, by now the sun was just starting to set. Pam took us to this beautiful old settlement, Balboa Park. The buildings were stunning and with the sun coming down on them it really added to the aesthetic of the area. This was my personal favourite part of the day, the stroll through here was really beautiful, I’d love to spend a day here, just picnicking in the sun.

Our evening was spent at the Gaslamp district, which again was another really neat part of the city, had a great vibe to it! We grabbed dinner there before Kyra and I took the train back up to LA. San Diego was really really nice! Out of everywhere we visited though our trip, and actually everywhere I’ve seen in the States so far, it’s by far my favourite city.

I have been in contact with a passenger I meet earlier in the year, Pam, who offered to show us around San Diego if we decided to head south as part of our trip, seeing as San Diego is new to me I took her up on the offer. Kyra and I took the train down to San Diego where Pam meet us for the day. We went to the world Famous San Diego Zoo, which was incredible! The size of the park is insane and the range of animals there was really something special. My personal favourite saw seeing the Polar Bears – they are not an animal you see every day! We managed a sneak peak at the Panders as the wait was so long! The zoo covers a lot of ground so we decided to do the bus tour, the open bus takes you around a loop of the zoo, with commentary from the driver, this way we could fit in a lot, learn a little and then head back to the exhibitions we really wanted to see. There was a cable car which goes over the zoo from one end to the other which was a great was to see the surrounding area and the size of it all!

From the Zoo we went across town out past the airport toward the islands which look back over the city, even without my glasses it was a beautiful view, San Diego really is a beautiful city. Kyra saw really taken by the fact that in the distance you could see Mexico. 

The next day we visited California adventure, the park opposite Disneyland, this, this was incredible this park honestly made our jaw drop! We walked in the Hollywood Blvd. and it was like being in another world, and once we made it into Cars land we were sold! It was like walking into the movies Cars, every detail matched the movie! Incredible! But it was hot! And to add to the heat raider springs must be the hottest place in the park as it has the ‘new’ tar-sealed road just like in the movie, and the heat coming back off that just adds to the 30 degree day!

We arrived at the park after mid-day, to avoid the heat but also when we set our alarms that morning it was very hard to get out of bed! We spent the rest of the day there; I managed to get Kyra on the rollercoaster – California Screaming – which was hilarious! I had tears in my eyes, not just from the wind but from laughing so hard at her, she was petrified, but still managed to do it again! We played games on the pier arcades, which turns out Kyra is very good at, winning large soft-toys – there was a reason she packed light!

We managed to fit most of the rides in, including the radiator racers in Cars land which added to the feel of being in a movie, and we finished off the day on Grizzly Peak, with a water ride which left us soaked and cooled off before heading back to the hotel.

Our first day we went to Disneyland, which was incredible, it’s beautiful and it really is like being in a fairy-tail. Disneyland has a wonderful classic Disney feel to it. We spent almost the whole day there, we arrived by 9am, spent the whole day on rides, saw parades and called it a day about half 5, the sun was hot and as the sun set the day just got hotter and hotter..  There were so many little kids dressed in Disney costumes, the staff would address them as ‘prince’ or ‘princess’ it was really cute, when they say it’s the happiest place on earth, I’d have to agree, everyone was in good spirits, everything about the day was positive and magical.

Now let’s see… I flew 12hours home to spend 11 days at home pretty much sleeping the whole 11 days then flew right back to the states, this time with my sister Kyra to tackle Disneyland!!

Kyra and I have said forever that we would visit Disneyland together and after months and months of waiting we finally set off on an adventure of a lifetime!

A wonderfully long 12 hour flight later -which Kyra managed to sleep most of, I on the other hand didn’t- we arrived in LA and made our way to our hotel, we stayed in the Staybridge Suits which is a neighbourhood hotel to Disneyland, which was really nice, big room, swimming pool (much needed and was the first thing we did on arrival) and friendly and incredibly helpful reception staff too. On arrival we hit the pool – we left 8 degrees to a wonderfully hot 30 degrees! And that night we were well and truly asleep by 9pm! And woken to the fireworks in Disneyland! 

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”

Packing again… This time for a holiday! Flying to Los Angeles tomorrow with my sister Kyra to visit DisneyLand!!
So excited! While there we are going to visit a passenger I met, Pam, in San Diego and we will spend a day in San Francisco. It’s going to be a full on 11 days in the states… Bring it on!!