Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Dark and Light

Dark and Light

I decided to make my Dark and Light entry on the theme of cruise ships so that all the photos would have similar subject matter.

 MS Europa – Hapag Lloyd Cruises.  The first one is a crop of one that I did not like so much. I used my PC’s photo editing tool to change it to black and white and give the appearance of an orange filter. The dark elements are the threatening looking clouds and the light, the sun breaking through. The second photo was taken on the same day but in this one I just cropped it a bit and used the auto enhance feature in Picasa.

Europa in Hobart in February 2016

Europa in Hobart in February 2016

Europa in Hobart February 2016

Europa in Hobart
February 2016

Dawn Princess –  Princess Cruises

Another cloudy day in Hobart and another cruise ship. Hobart is such a great place to photograph cruise ships as there are several good vantage points. I probably cropped this photo after I took it but left the even nastier looking rain clouds as I thought they were a great contrast to the white ship. I like the red frontage of the cruise terminal as well.

Dawn Princess -Hobart

Dawn Princess – Hobart

Carnival Legend – Carnival Cruises

Carnival Legend was visiting Sydney when we were there and this is a nice bright picture of her at Circular Quay. This picture is definitely in the “light” category.

Queen Victoria – Cunard

Also in Sydney in March 2016 was Queen Victoria the newest Cunard cruise ship. The “Queens” always have dark coloured hulls which contrast with their white superstructure. Incidentally I was quite surprised to learn that Carnival, the world’s biggest cruise company also owns Cunard which I think of as essentially British.

Carnival Legend - Sydney 2016

Carnival Legend – Sydney 2016

Queen Victoria, Sydney , March 2016

Queen Victoria, Sydney , March 2016

Ovation of the Seas - Hobart ,13 Dec 2016

Ovation of the Seas

A local coffee shop in Hobart welcomes the ship to Tasmania.

A local coffee shop in Hobart welcomes the ship to Tasmania.

 

On Tuesday Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas made her maiden visit to Hobart. She is currently the fourth largest cruise ship in the world and the largest to ever visit Australia. She can carry over 4,500 passengers and looks like a seagoing building. Since last summer TasPorts has carried out work which allows the larger cruise ships to berth at Macquarie Wharf  2 which is the closest to the CBD. Last year Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and other large cruise ships were obliged to berth at another wharf which has a less pleasant outlook. Passengers can now walk out of the cruise terminal and down to the waterfront in five minutes.

Ovation of the Seas towering above local buildings.

Ovation of the Seas towering above local buildings.

A new hotel is being built next to the cruise terminal. It’s not quite finished yet but has been designed to complement the existing wharf sheds. You can see in the following pictures how the ship completely dominates the landscape.

Ovation of the Seas - Hobart ,13 Dec 2016

Ovation of the Seas – Hobart ,13 Dec 2016

Ovation of the Seas - Hobart ,13 Dec 2016

Ovation of the Seas – Hobart ,13 Dec 2016

 

There are probably not many ports where the public can get such a good view of a cruise ship from various angles. My pictures were taken with my 18-55mm zoom lens. Some were taken from Elizabeth Street Pier, some from the pontoons at Kings Wharf and the close-ups from  Franklin Wharf near the Antarctic Memorial sculptures.

Map of the waterfront.

Map of the waterfront.

The tower above the Bridge and viewing lounge is the North Star observation platform which would be a pretty cool spot to take photos from as well.

Ovation of the Seas - Hobart ,13 Dec 2016

Ovation of the Seas – Hobart ,13 Dec 2016

Ovation of the Seas - Hobart ,13 Dec 2016

Ovation of the Seas – Hobart ,13 Dec 2016

Ovation of the Seas - Hobart ,13 Dec 2016

Ovation of the Seas – Hobart ,13 Dec 2016

 

I was particularly pleased to see Ovation of the Seas because Naomi and I plan to sail on her in 2018 so naturally we have been reading all about her for the past few months. I’m getting quite a nice collection of photos of cruise ships now and am looking forward to photographing more of them this summer.

 

Ovation of the Seas - Hobart ,13 Dec 2016

Ovation of the Seas –  The Bridge

 

 

Ice Show at Sea

Outside Studio B in the Photo Centre.

Outside Studio B in the Photo Centre.

It is not very often you get to see an ice show at sea. In fact I had never been to an ice show before seeing the one on Explorer of the Seas.
The ice skating on Explorer of the Seas is held in Studio B which is a multi purpose venue on Deck 3. There was also open skating for passengers but as I don’t skate I forgot to check out when this was happening. Studio B is a small venue so to attend the ice show you had to go on a designated day based on your Muster number the same as for tickets for the shuttle bus in Picton. Naomi was not interested in seeing the show but I was curious because I thought I might get some good photos.

Studio B Explorer of the Seas

Studio B set up for the Ice Show..

Video photography was not allowed and flash was forbidden. The former I think was for copyright reasons and the later for safety reasons. The skaters have enough to contend with doing their routines on a moving surface. There were a couple of falls but I was very impressed with their skills dealing with the challenge of ice skating on a ship on a surface that would have been melting because of the lighting. The costumes and lighting were excellent too.
Because of the restrictions I took my little Canon Powershot instead of the Nikon. I was not sure if I would be able to get any good pictures at all without flash but I did get a few. Others were too blurry as I was not quick enough to focus on the movements in low light. The show was based on the four seasons and ran for around an hour from memory, maybe a little less. It was well worth seeing. Here are my best pictures from the show.

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Our Final Port – Auckland

The last place we visited on our cruise was Auckland. Naomi had visited there for a day back in the 1980s when she cruised on the old P&O ship “Oriana” and she had liked it very much. At that time Auckland was a city with a population about the same as Adelaide where we lived at that time. Naomi remembers seeing intersections where you could cross the road diagonally so I am guessing that Auckland was a quieter city then

Now it is a bustling city, more high-rise than Wellington and with a vibe that reminded me of Sydney. Naomi said that there was little or nothing she remembered from her previous visit and certainly didn’t spot any diagonal street crossings. We did see people crossing diagonally but did not see the lines marked on the road. I googled to see if there were any surviving ones and learned the proper name for these crossings is Barnes Dance Crossings and that Auckland was the first city to introduce them in 1958. I have never seen one in Australia.

We were very lucky that the Auckland Overseas Passenger Terminal can accommodate large cruise ships although apparently when Ovation of the Seas calls there next summer she will not be able to berth there. It must be a problem for many port  cities with cruise ships getting so large.

We arrived early to find that we had a neighbour, at an adjoining pier was “Diamond Princess”. It was nice to disembark from the ship and be able to walk straight into the city centre. What was the first thing we did? We caught a ferry of course. As we did in Sydney we wanted to photograph and film the harbour from the water and we also wanted to see what the Auckland ferries were like. We had seen them busily going back and forth across the harbour with the morning commuter traffic while we waited for quarantine to give the all clear for passengers to disembark. The ferry terminal is one of the nicest buildings we saw in Auckland so it was a good opportunity to photograph that as well.

Diamond Princess, Auckland.

Diamond Princess, Auckland.

It was nice to be able to walk straight off the ship and into the city centre.

It was nice to be able to walk straight off the ship and into the city centre.

The Overseas Passenger Terminal in Auckland

The Overseas Passenger Terminal in Auckland is designed to resemble a ship.

This is the grandest building we saw in Auckland.

This is the grandest building we saw in Auckland.

The Sky Tower is the tallest building in Auckland.

The Sky Tower is the tallest building in Auckland.

A short trip across the harbour is Devonport. We didn’t have a lot of time to spend there, We strolled the main street and the esplanade where we enjoyed watching some birds being fed, mostly gulls. Devonport is also the home of the Royal New Zealand Navy and the base was at the other end of the esplanade so we walked as far as we could and turned back.

Back in the city we went to look at the Britomart Building which is Auckland’s transport hub. We went inside to look at the station and I managed to take a couple of pictures. Naomi did not fare as well. She reached the platform and a zealous employee would not let her take photos claiming that the flash would dazzle the driver. She would not listen to Naomi who was trying to tell her that she only intended to photograph a stationary train and as it is a dead end station the driver would be at the other end of the train anyway. I turned my flash off and took mine from half way up the escalators.

Inside the railway station.

Inside the railway station.

The Britomart Building, Auckand's Transport hub.

The Britomart Building, Auckland’s Transport hub.

The other thing that we really wanted to do in Auckland that day was to visit the Sky Tower so next we set off to find it. It was quite a long walk through the main streets which were so busy they reminded me more and more of Sydney. We found the Sky Tower and worked our way through the waiting line and finally got up to the top of the tower where we could see the city below us. At the Sky Tower you can experience walking around the outer parapet of the tower in a full body harness or indulging in the Kiwi passion for jumping off things at the SkyJump. We didn’t fancy either option and were quite happy with the Observation Decks.  Naomi pointed out a park that she thought she remembered visiting before and we both took a lot of pictures of the city, the harbour and the two cruise ships way down below us. After that we went back down in the elevator to take a look at the casino. I only stayed for a short time but Naomi wanted to stay and use up the last of her New Zealand dollars so we parted ways. I wanted to find a place with free wi-fi so I could download emails and read any important messages so I made my way back to a cafe near the terminal. The route I took was not particularly scenic and it was hot so I did not end up taking many pictures.

View from the tower across the harbour.

View from the tower across the harbour.

Auckland Town Hall from above.

Auckland Town Hall from above.

We did make sure that we got one more New Zealand ice cream before going back on board. As always we wished that we could have spent more time exploring the city. Later, as we sailed out of the harbour, the passengers on Diamond Princess lined the decks to wave while our passengers waved back.  Not long after that the ship slowed to a halt. We wondered why and realised that we were waiting for several yachts sailing in the harbour to get out of our way. This took some time and eventually the Captain gave them a blast of the horn to let them know we were waiting.

Passengers on Diamond Princess waving goodbye to us.

Passengers on Diamond Princess waving goodbye to us.

The view from our cabin as we left Auckland.

The view from our cabin as we left Auckland.

At the Captain’s Q & A one passenger asked about that incident and it turned out that the yachts had been participating in a race and were reluctant to give up their positions just because a giant cruise ship wanted to leave the harbour. Apparently the “steam must give way to sail” rule does not normally apply in harbours only on the open sea but on this occasion there was little choice but to wait. I believe the Pilot from Auckland was asked to get them to move in the end. It was rather funny and that was the only time we really heard the ship’s horn sounding that I can recall.

These yachts were too busy racing to give way to us.

These yachts were too busy racing to give way to us.

In my next and possibly last post about our holiday I’ll show you a couple of parts of the ship we haven’t covered and also feature pictures I took at the Ice Show. As always I’ve included some links at the end of the post if you’d like to learn more about some of the things I’ve mentioned.

 

 

Further Information

Barnes Dance crossings. – http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/page/auckland-pedestrians-begin-%26%23039%3Bbarnes-dance%26%23039%3B

Royal New Zealand Navy – http://navy.mil.nz/ayn/dnb/default.htm

Britomart – http://www.aucklandnz.com/discover/central-auckland/britomart

Sky City Attractions – https://www.skycityauckland.co.nz/attractions/

 

Door Napier

Napier – Art Deco Capital

Our next port of call was Napier in the Hawke’s Bay area. I had been looking forward to seeing Napier more than any other port because of the large number of art deco buildings in the town.
The reason there are so many is that on February 3 1931 an earthquake rocked Napier and the nearby town of Hastings. Many people were killed in both towns and buildings were destroyed. In Napier fires started in three local chemist shops and with little or no water pressure to fight the fires several blocks of the town’s business district were completely destroyed.

As a result of the earthquake both towns were rebuilt over the next two years and Napier in particular gained a large number of buildings designed in the art deco style that was popular at the time.
In recent times Napier has embraced its architecture as a tourist attraction and now hosts an Art Deco weekend every year as well as organising tours and events for visitors all year round.
I love this style of building myself so I was very excited to be able to spend a day in Napier.

When we arrived on Monday morning it was looking a little bit overcast but the rain stayed away as we were bussed into the town centre.Outside the tourist information centre were stalls touting tours of the town and surrounding area. There were vintage cars parked outside and the local guides were dressed in period costume.

This gentleman appears on posers advertising Napier. Photo N. Bovill

This gentleman appears on posters advertising Napier. Photo N. Bovill

Napier's main street.

Napier’s main street.

My first impression was that Napier was much larger than we expected. Naomi and I headed off down the main street trying to take it all in, there were so many beautiful buildings to admire. I could not stop taking photographs. There were some shops selling vintage or vintage inspired clothing and gift ware the largest being the Art Deco Centre near the sea front. In the shop there was a small theatrette showing a film about the disaster. I didn’t get a chance to see it but Naomi did and said that it was very interesting. I found a film on YouTube which I believe might be the same one and have included a link at the end of this post if anyone would like to see it.

The Art Deco Shop

The Art Deco Shop

Retro shopping

Retro shopping

I’ll let the pictures tell the story from here and try to give a little taste of what we saw.

 

After a while Naomi and I decided to split up. She wanted to visit the Art Deco Shop again and go for a walk on the esplanade. I had seen a park with beautiful flowers which I wanted to photograph. It was raining by this time and I had to shelter for a while but the flowers were so lovely that I went out into the rain to photograph them once it had slowed to just a drizzle.


Our day in Napier was much shorter than we would have liked as we had to be back on board Explorer of the Seas before 3pm. It was still a bit drizzly when we returned but we went out on deck to see the last of Napier as we sailed away. On the shore a jazz band played for us until we sailed and then a gentleman made a short speech thanking us for visiting and they all stayed and waved as we left.

Goodbye Napier

Goodbye Napier

Information

If you would like to know more about the Hawke’s Bay earthquake of 1931 here are some links and some information about Napier’s Art Deco Trust and what it does.
http://www.artdeconapier.com/
http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/historic-earthquakes/page-6
http://www.napier.govt.nz/services/civil-defence-emergency/previous-incidents/napier-earthquake-1931/

A Magic Sunday in Wellington

Wellington is just across Cook Strait from Picton, the Interislander ferry takes about three hours to get there but for us on Explorer of the Seas it was an overnight journey. A few days later we attended a Q & A session with the Captain and some of the senior officers and a passenger asked why it had taken us so long to get there. I loved the answer which was “We are on a cruise.”

We arrived in Wellington very early though and after a short bus ride from the freight terminal (more stacks of timber) we reached the Visitor Information Centre where volunteers were waiting to meet us and help us find our way to wherever we wanted to go. We only had until about four o’clock in the afternoon to see as much as we could of Wellington and believe me that is nowhere near enough.  Naomi and I both wanted to ride on Wellington’s famous cable car and as it was Sunday and we’d heard there were markets on the waterfront we wanted to see those as well.

We were directed to the waterfront by way of an interesting bridge which the lady from the Visitors Centre told us was designed by a Maori artist.   It is a public artwork and was opened in 1994. We liked it very much.


We passed by a statue depicting rugby players. New Zealanders really love their rugby. Last year New Zealand hosted the rugby World Cup which they won.

 

Rugby sculpture Wellington

The Rugby sculpture.

Down on the waterfront we found one market which was just setting up, it seemed to be mostly produce and craft, the other one which I had read was more of a bric a brac market was supposed to be in a nearby building. We found the building but not the market so it appears we were misinformed again. I took some photographs anyway although it was a little bit overcast and dull.

Next we made our way through the city to the terminus of the cable car near Lambton Quay. There was already a long line of people waiting to ride on it. When I say long I mean the queue stretched out to the street. Unfortunately, although we didn’t have too long to wait it did mean that the car was very crowded and it was not easy to take pictures. After a short trip we arrived at the upper terminus and spent some time taking pictures of the cable car descending and then went to visit the Cable Car Museum next door.

A nearby cafe was our next stop for lunch and then we went for a walk in the adjacent Botanical Gardens. We didn’t try it because we had return tickets but you can walk back through the Botanical Gardens to the city. It’s all downhill so easier than going the other way. I definitely want to do that next time I am in Wellington.  We passed the Carter Observatory and an interesting structure called “The Sundial of Human Involvement”. It works by using a series of fixed points around an ellipse and then it takes a person standing on the right day and month within a figure eight on a brass slab to point out the correct time. In effect you become the hands of the clock. It sounds weird but we tried it and it works.   Neither of us had ever seen anything like this before but when I googled it just now several came up including some in Australia so apparently Wellington’s is not unique.

Sundial, Wellington NZ

Sundial of Human Involvement, Botanical Gardens Wellington

Wellington view

View from the Botanical Gardens.

We enjoyed the view of Wellington from the Botanical Gardens and explored a little before heading back to the Cable Car as we knew our time was short.

The cable car was not as crowded on the way down so we were able to enjoy the ride seated. Naomi was lucky enough to bag the front seat as she had her video camera. She was able to record most of the journey down to the city. I’m still waiting to see the movie but she tells me it came out quite well which she was pleased about because the camera was new for the trip.

As we were now in the CBD we walked around some of the main streets admiring the old buildings before stopping for a cold drink then we made our way back to the waterfront. It was now very bright and sunny and Naomi was keen to revisit some of the places we’d passed earlier when she felt it was too dull for filming anything.  We had a wonderful stroll through the waterfront precinct where many of the old buildings house cafe’s and businesses. Lots of people were out and about making use of the space. We passed two gaily painted pianos which were available for the public to play. I have heard of these street piano’s, I think they have appeared in cities all over the world but again this was the first time I’d seen any.

One of the old buildings we admired.

One of the old buildings we admired.

Clarries Museum. Wellington

Sadly I did not have time to find out what is in Clarrie’s Museum.

It is very hard to describe how a simple walk could be so enjoyable but I fell in love with Wellington that afternoon. I love the architecture, the water, the quotations that I saw painted on various buildings and the way that the people seemed to enjoy their city. Even the dogs were having a good time.

There are two museums located at the waterfront, the Wellington Museum which is housed in an old Bond Store on Queens Wharf and showcases the history of the Wellington region and at the other end the very modern looking Te Papa Tongarewa which is the National Museum and Art Gallery of New Zealand. Everyone says that the Te Papa is a “must” when you visit Wellington. I like visiting museums but on this visit we chose not to go because had we visited the two big museums we would not have had time to see anything else.  There are also ferries that go to other parts of the city and local trains which we would love to take so another visit to Wellington is going to be a “must”.

The Te Papa -National Museum and Art Gallery of New Zealand.

The Te Papa National Museum and Art Gallery of New Zealand.

The Wellington Museum

The Wellington Museum.

 

When we reluctantly headed back to the Visitor Information Centre to browse in the gift shop before catching the shutle bus back we were surprised to find that there was another cruise ship in town. It turned out to be “Radiance of the Seas” a younger and smaller sister of our  Explorer of the Seas. We’ve seen Radiance before in Sydney but it was a treat to see the two ships together on the wharf and to sail past her when we left at around five o’clock. Our last sight of Wellington was one of a small orange boat enthusiastically doing “donuts” before leaving us. A fitting end to a very happy day.

 

 

 

Information

For those of you who would like to know more about the places we visited or Wellington in general here are some links to explore.

Heritage Trails – http://wellington.govt.nz/recreation/enjoy-the-outdoors/walks-and-walkways/across-the-city/heritage-trails

City to Sea Bridge – http://www.sculptures.org.nz/tours/civic-square/city-to-sea-bridge

Rugby Sculpture – http://www.sculptures.org.nz/tours/civic-square/the-rugby-world-cup-celebration-sculpture

Kupe Sculpture – http://www.sculptures.org.nz/tours/waterfront-tour/kupe-statue

Wellington Botanical Gardens – http://wellington.govt.nz/recreation/enjoy-the-outdoors/gardens/botanic-garden/visitor-information

Wellington Museum – http://www.museumswellington.org.nz/wellington-museum/

Te Papa Tongarewa – https://www.tepapa.govt.nz/

 

 

Explorer of the Seas Tour – Part Four

As promised this part of the ships tour deals mainly with the Pool Deck and Sports Deck . There are not many public rooms on decks 6-10. The Next Cruise Centre is on Six, the Library and Card Room on Seven and the Online Centre on Eight but mostly these decks are staterooms. We did visit the Library a few times but didn’t find it very well stocked. There were four sets of Mah Jongg which were always in use. We never knew Mah Jongg was so popular, or so noisy. Shuffling all those tiles makes a lot of noise. We went to play Scrabble but on the first day there were only two sets, on our next visit there was only one and the set was incorrect as it had too many of some tiles. After our third visit that set disappeared completely and we had to use Naomi’s Magnetic Travel Scrabble which has really tiny pieces. There was a jigsaw puzzle or two and they had Twister, a strange game to play in a library.  If anyone from Royal Caribbean is reading this you need to get more games.

The Online Access Centre had several computers but as the ship has wi-fi all over now I wonder if they really need it. Perhaps for people to upload photos but we were told that the wi-fi was slow and intermittent at sea and it certainly was expensive. We did not expect to spend a lot of time online so while we’d have been happy to pay by the hour for what we used we did not think an expensive internet package was good value for money.

So we’ll continue in the glass elevators that travel up the centre of the ship to Deck 11. Our first stop on Deck 11 was always the Windjammer Marketplace for breakfast. This is the casual dining restaurant and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is a buffet and there are two big sections so there is room for everyone to serve themselves.  We were usually up early so we did not often find it crowded. It had a huge variety of things to eat including some I would not have thought of eating for breakfast. While at home I am usually happy with toast, onboard ship we had the choice of scrambled, fried, poached or boiled eggs,  several different kinds of sausages, bacon, cereal, porridge, fruit, pancakes or Danish. My favourites were the little English sausages with either fried eggs and bacon or scrambled eggs. I did see some donuts too but I couldn’t quite get my head round the idea of eating chocolate donuts for breakfast. Some days I had fruit to have something healthy. I think the thing with buffets, and we saw a lot of people doing this, is that you don’t have to pile your plate high. Just eat the amount you would normally eat.  The Windjammer was open right up until around 11am for breakfast so sometimes if we’d eaten before 7 am we’d pop back in around 10:30 am for a cup of tea  and a Danish for morning tea. By this time we would have probably walked around the deck on the walking track a few times and were ready for a snack. Naomi did several laps every day, sometimes morning and night, I had some trouble with my ankle so did not get as much walking done. We would also go up to Deck 12 and play mini golf and later discovered the table tennis tables.

The Windjammer Marketplace buffet-early morning.

The Windjammer Marketplace buffet-early morning.

I’m getting ahead of myself though. Deck 11 has the Windjammer, the main pool deck and the Solarium.  The main pool deck has hot tubs as well as two larger pools. The big movie screen is up there and at night sometimes people would watch movies in the tub. There were often activities like aqua aerobics in one of the pools and competitions like Officers v Passengers volleyball or  the infamous Belly Flop contest. We are not joiners so we usually looked for somewhere quieter when these things were on. Often there would be a band on the Pool Deck as well and both the main pool area and the Solarium had bars.

Band on the Pool Deck

Band on the Pool Deck

Caribbean Band

 

Explorer of the Seas. The main pool area.

The main pool area.

The Solarium is an adults only area. It has hot tubs and is partly enclosed so it offers shelter from the sun and wind. It is quieter than the main pool deck too as there was no music so we enjoyed sitting there and sometimes took our puzzle books, reading material and so on up there when we wanted to relax. Later in the cruise more people started using it and we had to find another place but for the first few sea days we had no trouble finding a good spot. We also liked the soft serve machine in the main pool area where you could help yourself to a frozen yoghurt during the day.

Explorer of the Seas The Solarium during the day.

The Solarium during the day.

Also on Deck 11 was Chops Grille, another specialty restaurant. We had a good steak dinner there one night.

Deck 12 is the Sports Deck and has the walking/jogging track, mini golf, rock climbing wall, table tennis, Flow Rider surf simulator and a court where people could play basketball, volleyball etc.

Adventure Ocean the video arcade is on that deck as well. There is a dedicated children’s area too where the few children on board seemed to spend a lot of their time. Passing Adventure Ocean and going towards the stern we found an area with table tennis tables which was a shady place to sit and on the other side Johnny Rockets Diner.

Johnny Rockets is fun. It’s decor is retro although I think it is more a 70s style diner than a 50s one. The menu is hamburgers, hot dogs, club sandwiches and sundaes or apple pie for dessert. It is a specialty restaurant, you have to pay but you don’t have to book and the cost of $7.95 for your main course and dessert is very reasonably. In addition you get the floor show. Every now and then  the waiting staff stop what they are doing and go into a dance routine miming to a record, usually either “Love Shack” or “YMCA” by The Village People. Most staff members on Explorer of the Seas seem to dance to YMCA at the drop of a hat as we saw it done at Promenade parties as well.  Unfortunately I didn’t  get any pictures of them doing this as I didn’t have the camera handy when we went for lunch.

Johnny Rockets

Johnny Rockets

Explorer of the Seas Johnny Rockets Diner.

Johnny Rockets Diner.

At the other end of the ship there is another bar, the Sky Bar, and the Vitality Spa and Fitness Centre. There you  could use the gym equipment and even have the services of a personal trainer for a fee. There was a hair salon and the beauty salon offered such services as tooth whitening, also for a fee. I don’t know about you but I don’t go on holidays to get my teeth whitened. We gave this area a wide berth.

There are still a few odd corners of the ship I haven’t shown you yet but as this post is already rather long I’ll save them for another time. Look out soon for the first post about New Zealand. I am looking forward to sharing it with you all.