|Bay of Islands|
|Bay of lots of Islands|
Tender tickets were collected from just outside the Two70 lounge and then we were asked to wait in the main lounge areas or decks, deck 4 and 5 for our numbers to be called. Not everyone listens to this and get in the way as they wait on the stairs but that's quite normal. Some people just think they can do what ever they want, when ever they want. We didn't have to wait too long for our number to be called and it was pretty quick after that to get onto the tenders. The Ovation has a dedicated area on deck 2 for tendering and debarking so this saves so much time with the tendering process. It's laid out very well and very easy to navigate. The staff were happy and helpful and made sure we were all safe getting onto the tender, being on the tender and getting off the tender. Of course, once again, there are people who choose to do their own thing and ignore the staff but the staff did a great job. The trip wasn't very long, maybe 5 minutes or so and there were shuttle buses waiting for us to take us into the main town of Paihia. We decided to walk into town, which was about a 20-30 minute easy walk along the water. It was NZ's Waitangi Day (I think it goes all month so not really a 'day') so there were heaps of police and people about. Waitangi Day is to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 - New Zealands founding document.
|The tender getting ready for us|
|Heading into town - we chose to walk and not catch the shuttle bus|
|Found the town|
|Caught the Fast Ferry to Russell (it's not an island)|
After catching the Happy ferry back to Paihia we slowly walked back to the tenders and made our way back to our wonderful ship.
|On the Happy Ferry back to Paihia|
|I can see why they call it the Bay of Islands|
We'd certainly worked up an appetite so weren't we lucky that we had a three course meal ahead of us. Although, you could technically make it as many courses as you wanted. Two starters, two mains, two desserts, heck why not three desserts! We didn't go that crazy, three courses was sufficient. (ok ONE time, ONE time I had two mains but that wasn't me that was our waiter :-)) and tonight we also both had a scoop of ice cream with our dessert which I guess is TWO desserts BUT we didn't have dessert the night before so just balancing it out ;-)
|Yum yum yum|
The waitstaff and chefs did a bit of a show for us all. So lovely to see them enjoying themselves.