I've made all our travel plans so all that is left to do is pack and triple check we have our passports! We've decided to stay in Sydney for two nights before our cruise, so Thursday and Friday nights and then head straight home after our cruise on the 9th February.
I've booked a twin room at Valentine on George which is about 5-10 mins walk from Central at $140/night, the cheapest I found and pretty reasonable too considering it's Australia Day when we check in. It's also close to Chinatown and Darling Harbour and with it being easy walk (will confirm when we've actually done it!) to Central Station it shouldn't be too much trouble getting to Circular Quay on Saturday for our CRUISE! We've got our Opal cards for the train so we don't need to worry about getting tickets, just tap on/tap off! I wonder if mum will get stuck in the turnstyles again (she did this on a previous cruise we took which left from Sydney)?
Cream puffs! It is now a must do when we go to Sydney and Chinatown, get some cream puffs. Well for Emma and me anyway and probably Kyle now that he's tried them!
We're catching the XPT day train on Thursday (free for mum and $63 for me) which takes around 8 hours (this includes the bus from Port Mac and wait time at Wauchope Station) and arrives at Central Sydney around 3.30pm, we're flying home (Virgin - $110 each, they did have a flight for $95 but I missed booking that as we hadn't locked in what we were doing. Thankfully it didn't go up too much!). That was the only way I would have it otherwise I would have just flown each way from the GC and let mum catch the train on her own!
I keep checking the RCI website to see if any more Entertainment or Activities have been added - so far it's been a Character Breakfast which is aimed mainly at families and kids ($12 adults, free for kids) and a Behind the Scenes tour of the ship ($137pp) - a bit pricey but would be really interesting. I have done a tour of the galley on the Pacific Dawn when they did those. I also check out the drinks package to see if they've got any of those on special, none so far. Earlier on they did have the standard package half price. ($41 down to $20)
Still haven't booked any shore tours, we'll just do our own thing I think. Cheaper. I'm looking at the kayaking trip in Noumea. It looks fun and also looks like we'd get to see more than just Noumea town. It's $109ea and the tour is listed as 3 hours, 1 1/2 of this is the actual kayaking. If I don't book this we'll probably just walk around the town for an hour or so, maybe go to the Casino (supermarket) and spend the rest of the time on board. We possibly may not even get off the ship. Who knows???
We've got our travel insurance, always a must, I went through Webjet (Allianz) as they seemed to be the best value. There are so many to chose from it can get confusing and time consuming but we always have travel insurance, mainly for the medical cover as this is what can cost thousands, even tens of thousands, if you get sick or injured when on holidays. I used one of the comparison websites to help narrow it down. I did use Tick Insurance once for a cruise we did a little while ago but read the reviews for them and they were really bad so didn't want to risk it. Maybe that's why they were so much cheaper than everyone else, they never payout claims!
I 'think' I've got everything covered now, I just need to start getting a lot more orders in to pay for it all now! Anyone need a gift hamper???? :-)