Thursday, February 28, 2019

Paihia Haere Mai

Click the image to read the inscription (prayer) 
that accompanies this statue in the heart of Paihia.  
Haere Mai to Paihia

This carved wood statue greeted us as we returned to the small town of Piahia, Bay of Islands, New Zealand after exploring the islands and caves by boat.

Haere Mai (click for pronunciation) is a Māori greeting: come here!  welcome!

Dolphins

The dolphin has special meaning to the Māori people, who often described dolphins as taniwha, or water spirits, and told stories about certain taniwha that had intervened in human life.

According to Ngāti Wai people, who inhabited islands off Auckland’s eastern coast, dolphins acted as messengers in times of need, carrying news from the islands to the mainland.


Bay of Islands On Your Own
Paihia photo album


For those that don't want to book a ship's excursion, you can visit the iSite (information site) once you arrive in Paihia by ship tender.  You will find these visitor information centers throughout your stay in New Zealand. 

Tour like a local with the information provided by workers at these centers.  They can provide you with ideas about things to do, how to get around, and even book your tours.

When we first arrived at the ship, we had been talking with our cabin steward about our cabin bar setup, and the topic of Orange Fanta® soda came up.  We found out he liked it as well.  In one of the shops, we asked where we might get some snacks and soda, and they directed us to the local grocery store, just down the block.  We found the orange soda on sale there, so we bought a few bottles, including one for our cabin steward.  He was quite surprised when we gave it to him.

We had a very enjoyable time exploring this little town following our shore excursion.




Additional photos can be found on our Australia & New Zealand Shutterfly page

Paihia photo album



Click on the image to the left for more Blog posts about this trip.



@ChrisPappinMCC


Connect With Us On


Sign-up for Exclusive Email Offers



Where have you explored? 

Gather your travel and food pics and join us every Wednesday night for the latest installment of #FoodTravelChat



Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Bay of Islands New Zealand

click to enlarge map

After two days of sailing across the ditch, we arrived in our first port of call, Bay of Islands, New Zealand.  This is an area on the North Coast of New Zealand, home to more than 140 subtropical islands.

It is world renowned for big game fishing. While we wouldn't be fishing, we were transferring to a boat for our excursion.  But first, we boarded one of the ship's tender boats to Paihia.

A specially designed speed boat was waiting for us as we departed the tender boat.  It would take us out on an exciting boat ride into the Bay of Islands, and around to the wilder, seaward side of the outer islands.  Watch this video to get an idea of how we explored deep caves and viewed majestic cliffs.




Following our close up view of the cave we stopped off at one of the bay's best islands,  Roberton Island.  The front of our boat got close to the island and then one of the crew lowered the stairs for a wet landing. There was a path to hike to the summit of the island.   We didn't do so, but wish that we had since the views from there were stunning.

Tip:  Take off your shoes and roll up your pants legs if you don't want to get them wet when landing on the beach.  The island's "sand" is  volcanic rock, so you'll want to have water shoes or good hiking shoes to put on once you land on the beach.


More pics in our Bay of Islands photo album
This tour was one of the highlights of our New Zealand cruise adventure. The crew made sure that everyone had the opportunity to get any photos that they wanted. When the boat was speeding across the bay, the front window was closed, but they would open it up when we approached our destination for up close inspection. The final highlight was getting pictures of our anchored ship as we returned to the tender boats.


Additional photos can be found on our Australia & New Zealand Shutterfly page

Bay of Islands


Click on the image to the left for more Blog posts about this trip.





@ChrisPappinMCC


Connect With Us On


Sign-up for Exclusive Email Offers



Where have you explored? 

Gather your travel and food pics and join us every Wednesday night for the latest installment of #FoodTravelChat

Saturday, February 23, 2019

How Suite it is on Celebrity Edge

EDGE VILLA
click images to enlarge

When it came to designing new suites, Celebrity didn’t stop at just one.  These six Edge Villas, two-story luxury residences are the first of their kind in the fleet. Each offers a spacious 950 square feet of split level, indoor-outdoor splendor. With one bedroom and two bathrooms, Edge Villas are perfect for up to four guests and families of four.

The unique design of the Edge Villas seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor living. With two stories of windows that look out over the terrace (featuring a three-feet-deep plunge pool and inviting lounge furniture) to the incredible ocean views beyond, it’s an open and airy environment that truly invites the outside in, and vice versa. Edge Villas not only offer private outdoor terraces, but they also have direct access to an exclusive area for Suite Class guests,

THE RETREAT

Edge Villa guests step right out to The Retreat Sun Deck and The Retreat Pool, complete with The Retreat Pool Bar. But, it’s more than a luxurious outdoor area, The Retreat is the social epicenter for every Suite Class guest on board and, beyond its outdoor spaces, it offers The Retreat Lounge, and Luminae at The Retreat. All indulgent. All complimentary. All private and exclusive to all Suite Class guests.

  • New stunning split-level suite category 
  • 6 Edge Villas 
  • Private veranda with plunge pool 
  • Direct access to the Suite Sundeck 
  • 2 Bathrooms  
  • King bed featuring Celebrity’s Cashmere Bedding CollectionSM
  • Perfect for families 
  • Sleeps: 4 
  • Personal butler service provided in all suites 
  • Exclusive access to: - Suite restaurant, Luminae - Suite lounge with a dedicated Concierge - Suite sundeck, pool and pool bar 
ICONIC SUITE

Celebrity Edge introduces their most luxurious and spacious suite in the fleet, the new Iconic Suites. As an Iconic Suite guest, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world—literally. Positioned high on top of the ship, above the bridge, the Iconic Suites offer sweeping, panoramic views from front to back.

They’re also the largest suites in the fleet—each suite is an expansive 1,892 opulent square feet, not including the outdoor space (where you’ll find a private hot tub and stylish furnishings), which adds more than 689 square feet to the grand total. Iconic Suites boast two bedrooms (each with a king-sized Cashmere Collection bed) and two full bathrooms (featuring a full shower, whirlpool tub, and nothing but the best amenities), and enough space for six guests to comfortably unwind in. There’s even an in- suite butler’s pantry for those occasions when you feel like entertaining.

If you want the ultimate in luxury and indulgence at sea, there’s no other way to go than Iconic.
  • Exclusive to Edge Class 
  • Celebrity’s New top suite category
  • Uniquely located right above the ship’s bridge 
  • So iconic, there’s not one, but 2 suites 
  • Sweeping panoramic views
  • 2 Bedrooms 
  • Hot tub bathtub
  • Outdoor hot tub
  • King beds featuring Celebrity’s Cashmere Bedding CollectionSM  
  • Sleeps: 6
  • Personal butler service provided in all suites
  • Exclusive access to:
  • Suite restaurant, Luminae  
  • Suite lounge with a dedicated Concierge 
  • Suite sundeck, pool and pool bar
Photo Albums:
Edge Villas
Sky Suite
Luminae
Royal Suite
Iconic Suite

The Retreat
PENTHOUSE SUITE
  • 2 Penthouse Suites
  • 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
  • Master suite
  • Walk-in closet
  • King bed featuring Celebrity’s Cashmere Bedding CollectionSM 
  • Soaking tub outside on veranda
  • Sleeps: 6
  • Penthouse can connect to Iconic Suite
  • Personal butler service provided in all suites
  • Exclusive access to:
  • Suite restaurant, Luminae 
  • Suite lounge with a dedicated Concierge
  • Suite sundeck, pool and pool bar 

ROYAL SUITE

Spacious two room suites feature a large living and dining area with floor to ceiling panoramic windows that provide stunning views from every angle. The master bedroom has a king-sized bed that faces the panoramic window and overlooks the private veranda and the sea beyond. The master bathroom offers a large soaking tub with a separate shower, double sink vanity, and a sliding panel that opens to views of the sea. Royal Suites are located close to the Retreat.





November 25-27, 2018   Trade & Press Sailing

Click on Celebrity Edge's Magic Carpet to be transported to our Preview Sailing adventure.  Be among the first to see the brand new ship before it is sailing revenue cruises.


Check out our dedicated Celebrity Edge page on our Shutterfly Share Site.


@ChrisPappinMCC

Connect With Us On


Sign-up for Exclusive Email Offers



Where have you explored? 

Gather your travel and food pics and join us every Wednesday night for the latest installment of #FoodTravelChat

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Hooray for Hollywood

Discover a Garden Paradise on Majestic Princess 

click images to enlarge

Hollywood Conservatory 

Stroll through the new indoor garden located 150 feet above the sparkling ocean onboard Majestic Princess. You're welcomed by the sound of chirping birds, a lush garden environment and plush resort furniture.

Listen to intimate musical performances by live musicians, and play a game of chess using life-sized pieces. A Wishing Wall, the first of its kind at sea, allows guests to share their dreams on a mosaic tile wall.

If you are looking for a sanctuary area onboard Majestic Princess, we recommend the Hollywood Conservatory and Pool Club.
 
Hollywood Pool Club

This covered pool offers a Hollywood chic-style environment day and night, year-round, surrounded by comfortable loungers, modern sculptures and topiaries. By day, relax in the freshwater pool or soak in the steaming hot tubs — the glass dome keeps both the water and the environment comfortable despite outside weather.

We spent a lot of time here on sea days during our cruise.   Since seating is limited, it was necessary to get there early.  One of us would go there and find a place to sit, and the other would go for breakfast.


We found a location in the conservatory that also had electrical outlets nearby.   The electrical outlets were useful so that we could plug in our computer and recharge our other devices.

On sea days we would typically stay there until early afternoon when we would go to the Enclave for our daily spa visit.  After our spa time, we'd return to use the pool and hot tub before returning to our cabin to get ready for dinner.

The video clip to the right was taken after we left  New Zealand heading back to Sydney.   The seas were rough due to a low pressure system in the area, which had caused us to alter our original course.

Some other cruise lines install wave pools at additional expense, but mother nature provided this one free of charge.  The pool had been closed earlier in the day because the waves were higher, if you can believe that.




Additional photos can be found on our Australia & New Zealand Shutterfly page

Hollywood Pool Club
Hollywood Conservatory



Click on the image to the left for more Blog posts about this trip.



@ChrisPappinMCC


Connect With Us On


Sign-up for Exclusive Email Offers



Where have you explored? 

Gather your travel and food pics and join us every Wednesday night for the latest installment of #FoodTravelChat