Our Cruise Holiday: Part One


Now that we’ve been home a few weeks Naomi and I plan to tell the story of our holiday. We both took many photographs that we want to share and Naomi also took movie film. We hope to post a little bit of that as well once she’s edited it all.

We’ll probably write some of these posts together and some separately as sometimes we went our own way and did different things or the same things but on different days. We hope that you will enjoy reading them.

Our Holiday Begins


After almost two years of planning and waiting it was time for our cruise holiday to begin. Of course there were preparations to be made especially for our pets.  Two days before the trip my friend Nicola took Cindy and me to the kennels where she would be staying for the next few weeks. Cindy has been going to the same kennels since she was five months old so the people know her well and like her. Just the same I always feel bad when I have to leave her.

Polly was to be left at home and Nicola or her partner Dave would come every day to feed her and make sure there were no problems around the house.  I asked my “garden guys” to come as usual to cut the grass and packed my things. I was ready to go.


Naomi’s holiday began a day earlier than mine as she had arranged to spend the night before we left at my house.

Well I decided to take a week off work before the trip in order to be better prepared. I hate last minute rushing around as that is how you to come to forget things. I had to get my hair done, pack, tidy the house and get to Vanda’s the day before the trip. My first day was about getting my babies to the kennels and catching up with John my neighbour as I wanted to ask him to keep a friendly eye on my home while I was away. He agreed happily so I felt much better about no one being there while I was away. Getting all four animals to the kennels was no fun. The cats were very hard to get into their cages. In fact both of them got quite stroppy with me and in the end I was only able to get Panther into a cage. I have two types and one opens from the top while the other from the front. They hate the front opening one. I had to take three to the kennels and go back for Tigerwoods. I prayed he had not taken off somewhere. I had to drop him off in the afternoon on my way to Vanda’s place. The two dogs were quite good and excited to go for a car ride but naturally upset about being left at the kennels. Toby howled the place down. I must say it was very hard walking away and leaving them there. I hate it in fact and all I want to do is race back and get them.

The rest of the day was uneventful. At home before going to Vanda’s I did a last check of the house and my luggage before loading the car and locking up. I drove a yowling Tigerwoods to the kennels and then drove to Vanda’s. She had prepared a nice dinner. We then spent a quiet evening watching videos on You Tube.

Next morning we set off bright and early for the airport. We dropped Wazza at his holiday car park where he would stay for three weeks. I hoped he had other Fords to talk to while he was there. We had a nice drive and everything went fairly smoothly.



This view needs no introduction. Photo by Naomi


After checking in our luggage at Hobart Airport we had a pretty uneventful two hour flight to Sydney. We had a lot of luggage so we opted to get a taxi to our hotel. We discovered that getting anywhere from our hotel was going to be difficult despite the inner city location because of the road works on nearby George Street where a new light rail system is being constructed. We found it easier to use taxis during this visit although we did do some walking.

We hadn’t made a lot of plans for our short stay in Sydney but one thing that we did want to do was have dinner at the Sydney Tower Restaurant. We thought that it would be a nice treat to see the lights of Sydney from the revolving restaurant and we were not disappointed. I did not want to take my DSLR to dinner so I only took a couple of phone snaps while Naomi took some film.

The view from the restaurant taken with my smart phone.

While we were having dinner we observed a young woman at the next table who was playing with her phone for the entire meal. She did not seem interested in the spectacular views; she didn’t talk to her companion. She did not even eat her food!  We wondered why she had bothered to come at all.

The next day we spent a little time at Central Station which is a favourite place of ours. We’d heard it was due to be renovated again and we wanted to take some photos before that happened.

Sydney Central Station March 2018 photo by Vanda

After checking out of our hotel and storing our luggage we walked from the cruise terminal to the Sydney Opera house as neither of us had been there for many years. On our first visit to Sydney we did a tour of the backstage areas of the theatre but even if we still had the stamina we didn’t have the time for that so we contented ourselves with taking photos of the building, the harbour, and the ferries and of course Ovation of the Seas now berthed across the harbour at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Sydney Opera House March 2018 photo by Vanda
Ovation of the Seas at the Overseas Passenger Terminal photo by Naomi

There were a lot of tourists wandering around taking photos of each other and themselves and as usual we were asked to take photos of couples together. We didn’t mind that but did get rather impatient with the “Selfie Brigade” who seemed to be constantly getting into our pictures.

We did manage to take some nice photos of ferries including Narrabeen, one of the large Manly ferries and the recently renamed May Gibbs which was originally given the controversial (and stupid) name of “Ferry McFerryface”.

The former “Ferry McFerryface” now renamed “May Gibbs”. photo by Vanda


I love Sydney and always enjoy exploring the city and suburbs. I looked forward to seeing it again if only for a day. Unfortunately we are never lucky with hotels and so far we have not managed to find one we want to stay in again. This time we had no fridge or tea making facilities. I could not believe it. I find it hard to go without a cup of tea in the evening and when I wake up in the morning. It’s the first thing I do after I shower and dress. The kettle goes on and I have a cuppa. This hotel was near the old Capital Square monorail stop and would have been wonderful in 2015 before they ripped the whole monorail apart and tore it down. Ever since then they have been building a tramway or light rail system and Sydney CBD is in chaos due to these ongoing works. It’s murder for motorists and people who need to get from one place to another. It also makes the city look horrible. Vanda may have taken photos of the street but I didn’t bother.

George Street Sydney at night, taken on my smart phone. This was away from the worst of the road works. Photo by Vanda

We spent some time at Central Station a favourite haunt of mine. I wanted to capture more of it on film along with trains and trams running outside. I did a long walk around the building filming things here and there. One thing that I noticed all over Sydney but particularly in Central Station were all the large boards depicting the history of each iconic place. These boards had old photographs on them of how things had looked decades ago and some written information about the various scenes shown on the boards. All of these boards were meant to cover up a redevelopment going on behind them. I wondered what awful design and structure would eventually emerge from behind the old photographs. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know as I hate most new buildings. I love the grace and elegance of the buildings of the 1920’s and 1930’s. They were so grand and so beautiful. Everything is glass and cement now.

The old dining room at Central about to get renovated. Photo by Vanda
Lovely old windows at Central photo by Vanda

We also had a lovely walk around the harbour so we could see the ferries coming and going and of course Ovation. She sat proudly in her berth waiting for us to board her. We wandered around to the Opera House as it is completely opposite Ovation’s berth so a good spot to take photographs from. I wanted to get some movie film from a different location than I did the previous time so this was great. We were lucky enough to see some of the larger ferries like Narrabeen. I got some great footage of that one and also  the former Ferry McFerry Face now called May Gibbs. I think she is a writer but I don’t know really. I should say the competition to name the ferry was rigged and that was how we ended up with Ferry McFerry Face. There were some red faces after that one!

Ovation of the Seas from The Opera House. Photo by Naomi
Narrabeen photo by Naomi
Sydney Opera House from the front. Photo by Naomi

While we were walking I found a credit card on the ground and worried about the owner losing it. What if someone had picked it up and ripped off their ID or something. I wandered around looking for a place where I could hand it in but could not find anywhere. I kept it with me for an hour or so while I got my photos of the ferries and of course movie film and eventually took it to the ferry terminal. There had been a long queue there earlier at the information counter and I did not have time to wait there. Now it was shorter to I asked the people if they could do something about this person’s credit card. I could not as I had to board the big ship I said. The kind young man at the counter said he would sort it out for me. So with that job done it was time to collect our luggage from the place where we had left it and board the ship. I expect we’ll talk about that next time though. It was a nice morning in Sydney. I loved seeing the ferries again and walking around Central Station.


Finally it was time to head back to the Overseas Passenger Terminal and board the ship. We hope you have enjoyed reading this rather long post. Next time we’ll show you some pictures of the ship and our departure from Sydney.

“Ferry Mc Ferryface”

Names for Sydney ferries are usually chosen by a public competition but after the outcry about the name “Ferry McFerryface” being chosen it was revealed that it was not the first choice of the public but that of the Transport Minister.



New Sydney ferry “May Gibbs”.







I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.


  1. We used to like cruising, probably because it was — aside from getting to and from the port — really easy. You could do as much as you chose to do and nothing if you preferred. Looking forward to all the pictures to come!

    Ferrry McFerryface? Seriously?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly, there were loads of activities for those that wanted them and opportunities to meet people but if you wanted to chill on deck or on your own balcony that was fine too.


  2. The pictures of the ship, that’s a monster of a ship 🙂

    Saying good bye to my cat for a few weeks because of holidays would have been my weak point too.

    The woman in the restaurant… uh… why even order a meal if Instragram (or whatever) is more interesting. As companion I’d probably get up from the chair, leaving her alone without saying good bye. I wonder if she would have noticed 😀

    For some reason the Sydney Opera House looks smaller than I thought it would be. But I guess it’s the focal range and perspective? Or the angle where you stand. The last photos of it, there it looks much bigger.

    Awesome with the credit card. Honest people like you make this world a better place. The owner will be happy when he got it back.

    I think the first day sounds a bit like stress, but you’ve probably been more excited than stressed. I’d probably be too. I have no experience with cruised except 1 or 2 day cruises.

    I will check your next posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that the Opera House is wider at the front than around the back where we took our other photos but Sydney has grown so much since the seventies that the surrounding buildings make it seem smaller. There was a bit of stress involved in the first day or so mostly to do with airports and roadworks in Sydney as this light rail project has been going on for more than two years and the dismantling of the monorail meant that there was no public transport really close to our hotel. And as Naomi said it was unpleasant to walk amongst all that building activity. Shops were closed and even crossing the street was difficult.


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