Week 1 June 2016:
On the first day, of the week, we drove to Sydney to stay with one of our daughters before we set on our cruise.
Two days later we caught the train to Circular Quay and then walked to the overseas terminal. After filling in the paperwork and going through customs we boarded the Dawn Princess at 12.15 pm. Our room was on deck 10 on the port (left hand) side. We have a balcony and from the bed there was a view of the Opera House. In the afternoon there was a lifebelt drill where we learnt how to put on our lifebelts. This was in case of an emergency. Fortunately there were no emergencies on the cruise. After dinner we walked around the promenade deck. Three times equals a mile. This gives you some idea of the size of the ship which accommodates 2000 passengers and about 800 staff.
The next day we ran into rough seas churned up by the east coast low that dumped lots of rain along the east coast. We did not patronise the dining rooms all day. Many passengers were in the same boat (pun intended) and sea sickness was widespread.
The next day the sea had calmed down and things aboard returned to normal. We have breakfast with a couple from Guyra a town north of Yallaroo.
We docked at Brisbane and caught a shuttle bus to the centre of the city. From there we walked to the Roma Street Parklands. The large area of gardens was once railway yards. Two plants were of particular interest. One was a tall melaleuca similar in size and appearance to M. quinquenervia but with attractive red brushes rather than the usual cream blooms. Banksia robur was the other plant of interest. This species grows in moist, coastal areas and has large yellow-green flower spikes. Both plants were growing beside a water feature. In the afternoon we took a free ferry ride down the Brisbane River. That night we finally met the guests that we would be having dinner with each night. There were seven at the table and we got on well with everyone.
The next day we attended a lecture on piloting through the reef given by the pilot who will guide the ship through the Great Barrier Reef. This was the first of three piloting lectures. They were all very interesting.
Each night after dinner we walk around the promenade deck.