Day 33...Circumventing the Australian continent...Final day aboard ship...Final expenses tomorrow...


The narrow peninsula in Newcastle, Australia was a pretty scene from the balcony.
 "Sighting on the Ship in Australia"


Art from the gallery.  There have been numerous art auctions aboard the ship.  Luckily, we have no reason to participate especially, as Tom says, "We don't have any walls!"
With the recent changes in the ship's itinerary, many passengers have been disappointed.  As the captain explained in yesterday's talk in the Aurora Theatre, the changes were necessary to avoid a hurricane (referred to as a typhoon in this part of the world). 

He displayed the weather maps on the screen and after seeing these the disgruntled passengers accepted that the change in itinerary was not only necessary but prudent by the conscientious captain.

Early this morning as the ship pulled toward the port of Newcastle, Australia.
As our day wore on, we stayed at our table in the Latte tudes Café while many passengers who'd attended our seminars stopped by to say hello and chat, sharing many wonderful travel stories of their own.  It couldn't have been more fun.


The busy downtown of Newcastle.
There were numerous activities occurring in the Centrum below which we could easily watch from our café table including dance practice for tonight's passenger performance of Michael Jackson's Thriller (kudos to those brave souls) and later in the day, the popular "egg drop contest."

To compete in the egg drop, passengers found various supplies throughout the ship to create some sort of device they could use when they dropped their single egg onto the Centrum floor from the railing on an upper deck.  Seeing these homemade contraptions float from above to break the egg or not, was hilarious with lots of crowd participation.


Fort Scratchley Historical site.
After the daytime festivities ended we headed back to our cabin to get ready for the evening's entertainment, happy hour in the Diamond Lounge with our two couples and a dinner for Tom and I in the specialty restaurant, Chops, hosted for us by the ship as a show of appreciation for our seminars.


Christ Church Cathedral.
Of course, going forward, should we decide to pursue it, the cruise lines corporate office works out a contractual arrangement for speakers with considerably more compensation than two bottles of wine and a dinner in a pay-for specialty restaurant. 

Generally, lecturers are provided with a complimentary cabin for two for the entire cruise.  We'll see how that rolls out for us, if we find it to be a possibility for the future.  Only time will tell as we contemplate the potential options.

Esplanade along the shoreline.
We stayed with our friends in the Diamond Lounge until it was time for their dinner.  Shortly after they left, we chatted with a couple who'd attended our seminars and then headed to "Chops Steak House."  The meal proved to be a truly extraordinary with the biggest, most tender melt-in-your-mouth-perfectly-cooked filet mignon steaks we'd had in a number of years. 


Newcastle Ferry Wharf.
After dinner, we gathered with hundreds of passengers in the Centrum for the 10 pm party.  As it turned out, we "danced the night away."  Although I drank three glasses of wine over a period of eight hours with lots of water in between, today I'm sure feeling it.  Whew!

Was it the dancing?  Was it the lack of sleep which has been an issue during this entire cruise?  We were late getting to bed most nights, getting up way too early each morning for the past 33 days.  We didn't want to miss a thing.  But, now we both feel a little rest in Tasmania might be on the agenda.  We're exhausted from having too much fun!


Pleasant scene in Newcastle.
Today's a busy day.  I have two posts to prepare; today's, and tomorrow's final expenses post which usually requires additional time to put together.  We have to pack (we'd unpacked everything for this long cruise) leaving our bags outside our door tonight before 10 pm. 

Next we need to check in for our flight (Wi-Fi issues today preventing us doing so right now), pay for overweight luggage, map directions to the house in Penguin and get the access code from the owners which I requested by email this morning.

We'll spend tonight with our friends, the final happy hour and dinner in Cascades dining room.  We've all exchanged email addresses and surely will stay in touch.  Spending time with our little group has only added to the fine experience we've had on our first over 30 day cruise.


City view of Newcastle.
Would we consider this long of a cruise in the future?  We might.  However, after this lengthy cruise, we've lost interest in the possibility of 60 or 90 days (or more) world cruises.  We do look forward to our feet firmly implanted on the ground and once again, setting up housekeeping at the upcoming first location in Tasmania.

Actually, we're chomping at the bit to cook our first meal in over three months.  As in turned out, we only cooked for 42 days in Phuket, Thailand out of the past six months.  During that period, I was still suffering with the spinal injury.  Now, fully recovered and totally pain free, I'm looking forward to our day to day activities and being able to get out and about at our leisure for some sightseeing and exploring.

Its a whole new day, a new adventure and a new leg in our ongoing world travels which we'll continue to excitedly share with each of you each day.

Be well, dear friends.
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Photo from one year ago today, December 2, 2015:
Private pier at  the Jacques Cousteau Resort in Fiji.  For more photos, please click here.

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