We arrived in Papeete a day before schedule, we had to take some shelter from the bad weather and we weren’t the only ship in port. We docked at around 9PM, but it was absolutely pouring with rain, so Marian and I decided to stay onboard, sleep and wake up refreshed the following morning for our 4×4 jeep safari tour.
The day started well, even though it was still grim and very humid, but once we reached the Neptune Lounge (to meet for our tour), we were told that unfortunately the national park had been closed which subsequently meant our tour had been cancelled. We were both disappointed but as we were dressed and ready to go, we left the ship and started walking around Papeete. We made our way towards Papeete Market. It was only a short walk from the ship, no more than 5 minutes and we just made it inside when the heavens opened. The market is extensive and across 2 floors. There are people selling everything from fresh fish and vegetables to magnets and clothing. The atmosphere was electric and I thoroughly enjoyed walking around and admiring everything. One thing I will say is that Tahiti is expensive and I didn’t find the people to be very friendly. Maybe I was spoiled by the smiles and happiness in Peru, but I didn’t get the same vibe in Papeete, at all.
We stopped for some lunch and drinks and before arriving back at the ship, we found out that we would be staying in port for another night – our calls to Bora Bora and Rarotonga had been cancelled. I can’t even tell you how disappointed I was to hear that news. Both ports were 2 of the biggest highlights of the trip for me, and many others, but sadly, what can you do about the weather? It’s always better to be safe. With this news, Marian and I decided we’d head back to the ship, shower, have dinner and then head out for the evening. In between torrential downpours, we hopped from one place to another before finally ending the evening across from the ship at a local nightclub. In all, we’d had a great time in Papeete, but we were still sulking from the news of the cancelled ports.
We sailed from Papeete on Wednesday February 14th and we were straight back into miserable weather and rough seas. Captain Mattsson gave us noon updates every day on the weather and the issues it was causing us. All we could do was head for our next port and hope for the best. As I’ll explain soon, it all worked out very well!
On February 17th, we attended Denise and Christian’s wedding vow renewal ceremony. It’s not something I’ve ever been invited to before, but it was such a lovely way to spend the afternoon. We’ve made a lot of friends on this cruise and to be invited to such a personal event was incredibly humbling. There were tears which were then followed by laughs and a pleasant afternoon tea in the Black Watch Room. We all had a wonderful afternoon. Thank you to Denise and Christian for the invitation and for allowing Callao (my Alpaca) to be guest of honour, she also had fun, until someone pulled her head off! She made a full recovery, don’t worry, and the ladies that knit on Deck 7 are busy making her some leg warmers.
We crossed the International Date Line on the 17th, so basically, we went to bed on Saturday the 17th and woke up on Monday the 19th – crazy! I still can’t quite wrap my head around it all, but at the same time, I was struggling to keep up with days and time changes anyway. We went from being 11 hours behind the UK to suddenly being 11 hours ahead.
We’re at sea again today and we were expecting to be for the next 2 days, however, at noon, Captain Mattsson announced that we will be arriving in Auckland now on Wednesday morning (that’s Tuesday night for many of you) and everyone is thrilled about that. We’ll now spend 2 full days in Auckland before leaving for Bay of Islands. I’m so excited! I’ve never been to New Zealand, so I’m looking forward to exploring and having some land time that is hopefully rain free.
On the 26th of February, we’ll be halfway through the cruise and up to now, missed ports and all, it has been AMAZING! I’ve never experienced a cruise like it and we have met some wonderful people. I’m sure I’ve missed a few names and I will make up for it, but I’d like to just take a few minutes to thank the following crew members. They have all, in some way, made this cruise great and have went above and beyond the call of duty for us and many other passengers. Without them, this trip wouldn’t be the same: Manny, Mr Wilson, Alvin, Putu, Aaaron, Annie, Alex, Debbie, Herman, Captain Mattsson, Captain Danielsen, Anna, Honey, Arie, Tanu, Suchanya, Anthony, Made, Red, Pop, Mary Michelle, Aries, Derek, Joy, Paul, Raul, Gordon and Kik.