Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Cruise & Manly with Family

Leaving Sydney on our ship Rhapsody of the Seas - Uncle Kevin & Great Uncle Norman

Gorgeous Sydney


After the ship was out of Sydney Harbour we went up to the bar with the best view for our first ship cocktail!
From left: Amy, Joni, Mom, Faye, Grandma Sis, Me, Murray, Norman & Kevin

The next day we were at sea - which means relax at the pool!

Aunty Joni & Uncle Kevin

Murray enjoying his drink of the day!

There were a lot of activities to choose from on cruise days including dance lessons!

And every evening we loved coming back to our room to see what towel animal we would have tonight - cute dog here with Murray's sunnies!

There was also a rock climbing wall at the back of the ship

Murray went up a couple of different routes - quite challenging!

Murray working on his brain power

And the food - how can you go on a cruise and not talk about the food - yumm

My Dad's friend Kim was the champ of eating in our group - he ordered 2 desserts and we all had a laugh at what they ended up looking like!

And you have to love the tricks the waiters can do - pretty darn amazing!

Ahhhh and a pig - cute!

Until I sat down and bumped the bed and his head fell off!!! Oops!

There was also napping at the pool of course

and cocktails!

and great to be with family - Me with Aunt Sue & Uncle Joel

There was also a lot of live music options - which means dancing of course!

Ohhh a snake


And the most important part of this holiday - family!!

Gotta love the chocolate buffet - fabulous - except for that it started just after we finished dinner! We had the late setting of 8:30, which means we usually finished up after 10. A chocolate buffet afterwards made us so full we could barely sleep - ha!

It was just fun to dress up a bit too - Murray & I with my parents

Grandma Sally also played Waltzing Matilda one night so we could all sing along!

The views from the ship were lovely as well

Our first cruise formal night! Me with my lovely Grandmas Sis & Sally

Murray looking like a giant next to Grandma Sis!

My Dad speaking at our private cocktail party - right at the back of the ship -very cool!

Me & Kevin

Grandma Sis & Faye

My parents - looking lovely all dressed up

and Kim & Mary

Next day we got a little boat from the cruise ship to a pontoon off of Airlie Beach
Joni and I opted for the sting suits - both to avoid stings from jellyfish and just for extra warmth!

They were NOT the most flattering outfits - did keep us warm though!

We saw some amazing HUGE clams - this thing is about 5 feet long!

Lots of lovely bright coloured fish

Not the most flattering photo of me - but kind of a cool pic

There are SO many different varieties of clams


Kevin enjoyed the snorkeling too!

A great day, although the boat ride out & back was quite rough! And AMAZING to see the great barrier reef for the first time:)

The next day our ship stopped at Port Douglas

First stop on our tour was a stop at an animal park - you can just see the joey's tail sticking out of her pouch!

Joni giving the mama a snack

Cassowary's sure are gorgeous - apparently they are quite mean though!

This is a photo of a photo - we thought it was cool though!

Fresh mango anyone?

Or perhaps a lychee?

We also did a boat trip where we looked for crocodiles, we saw one tiny baby one, wrong time of year for this I guess

Looking back to our ship - I love this photo!

Heading out of Port Douglas

Murray enjoyed looking at all the boats

Leaving Port Douglas

And our second formal night - me with my parents

Me & my Grandmas

Later that evening Kevin went to get drinks because the pool bar was closed!

And everyone sat around enjoying a cigar

Next stop was Cairns - We just walked around town for the day which was nice!

The boys patiently waiting as the girls shopped....

Before boarding the ship we had a cocktail party at the pier which was fun!!

Kim enjoyed his huge blended drink!

We went up that evening to the top deck to watch the ship pull away from the pier. This is only the second time our ship has docked here because it is SUCH a narrow canal - pretty amazing!

We also stopped one day in Brisbane & our friends who used to share a flat with us in London showed us around town! It was great to see them. Here's a picture of Murray, Mike & Me at Brisbane's highest point. Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of us with Jen & their cute little boy.

Coming back into Sydney

Garden Island

The Prime Minister's House

Gorgeous morning sunrise in the harbour

When we got back into Sydney some of us then went on a little city walking tour. We went to see the Opera House, then made our way back to explore The Rocks area.

Later that afternoon we made it back to the hotel in Manly

And caught up for dinner with my sister-in-law Helen

The next day was the official grand opening of Ben & Jerry's shop in Manly (Ben & Jerry were even there!) So cow's were all over the place - ha ha

I LOVE the ice cream van!

The view from the hotel rooms of manly in twilight - pretty colors

As you may remember from a previous post - some of the group went scuba diving

They went straight off of Shelly Beach

The walk from Manly to Shelly has all sorts of gorgeous sculptures for you to look at - this is my favorite

That evening we had a small group over to our place - and surprised Grandma Sis with an early birthday cake!! (her b-day we just over a week later on xmas eve!)

It was fun to have a mini celebration with her!!

Steve & Selina came down to say hello as well and everyone Loved their gorgeous little girls Amelia & Clara

For the group's last full day in Sydney, we took a tour out to the Blue Mountains

with a stop at Featherdale on the way - I love how you can get right up close to the kookaburras!

Mom, Me & Grandma petting a koala

Grandma Sally feeding the kangaroos

Ha ha - cute! We all enjoyed the park!

Mom & Me with the 3 Sisters

Joni enjoyed her souvenirs just a bit too much!

and Kevin caught a cat nap on the way back

It as a great day trip - Featherdale, fun revolving restaurant lunch with amazing views of the mountains, 3 sisters view point and then some shopping in the cute town of Leura!

When we got back we dressed up Norman for the ongoing group competition (the 35 of us had been split into 3 groups). The game was called 'tacky tourist.' We didn't win, but I think it was set up!! Our outfit was definitely the best of the worst - I mean how can you beat that umbrella hat for tacky??

We had our farewell dinner at Ribs & Rumps

And the food was fab as usual!

and back at the hotel we got some more pics

Me, Murray, and Murray's sister Helen

Love that shirt Norman! (I picked it out!)

ah ok? ha ha

It was a FABULOUS trip!!! We had SUCH a fun time with family, the cruise was great too, and it was wonderful to have everyone in our area of Sydney for a few days as well to show them around:)


  1. Fantastic photo story. Thanks.
    Love Dad

  2. Great pics!!
    Wish we were still there!!
    Love ya ~Joni

  3. Looks like you guys had a great time !
    Muz - your haircut is way too practical.....

  4. You have some amazing pics as always! Miss you guys!
    Love ya!

  5. Monique it looked like you had a great time, such wonderful photos.

  6. Great job of documenting a wonderful trip to Oz!
    Love, Mom

  7. Awesome pics! Looks like you guys had a great time. I reallllly want to go on a cruise. I haven't been on one in forever!

  8. Looks like a wonderful time! Photos are great!

    Im from MN too.... stumbled upon your blog today... posted to my favorites..

    Hope your well.

  9. Faye says: WOW! What wonderful pictures you and Murray take. Thanks for sharing - especially the ones from the Great Barrier Reef - gorgeous!! I am slowly putting together a scrapbook - had to get through the holidays first. Australia rocks!!! Faye