Monday, 22 December 2014

Cruise ports NZ

On our cruise  with Royal Caribbean on Voyager of the Seas, we stopped in Auckland, Tauranga (Rotorua), Napier, Wellington, Picton in New Zealand.  Here are just some of the photos from the ports:

Auckland in the dawn light

Bored with normal photos I used an app to take this

Auckland Zoo's Rhino

Always love seeing Giraffes

We just watched the Penguins of Madagascar on the ship in 3D

Went to MOFAT museum.  

Auckland's Sky Tower in the reflection

Giapo's cones (we didn't have any of them)

Creating a Gelato masterpiece here

The weather was terrible but we had booked in for a Railcruising so after driving there we hopped into these self driving cars

View from the back seat is good

The Mount from the ship.  The weather really was terrible.

Yep.  We're welcome but it'd be better in good weather I suspect!

Napier puts on a great welcoming party with music, flowers and dressed up characters

Went to the national Aquarium.  Seahorses!

Piranhas stay so still.  It's amazing! 

Gold fish.  I wonder if they would adopt Aquaponics ;)

Napier's lovely Art Deco buildings

Wellington's cable car view

Queuing for the cable car...

Botanic Gardens greenhouse 

Need rice!  Need Sashimi.  Love the artwork on these walls.  So bold.

I've seen this how many times now in Wellington!?  (my 4th visit to Wellington)

Old St Paul's Cathedral

At each of the ports it looks like they are deforesting NZ!  Or it's timber season.

In Picton we were on a cruise that specialises in deliveries.  Tourists are cream were we pay to watch them deliver goods... 

Queen Charlotte's Sound is amazing and these places are only accessible by boat

Or helicopter!

The water is amazingly blue and clear.

And yes we are back in Sydney.  So many photos of the Sydney Opera house and it still doesn't get old.  
Check out the food post as well.  As with all of these, photos more than words :)

Food glorious food! Cruiseship style

On a cruise ship a lot of it is about the food.  And boy was there plenty of it!!

Here's some food porn from my phone (Nexus 5).  I used the Lens Blur function for most of it... and as you can see I didn't necessarily check it was good before closing my phone off.

My phone only syncs when it's on Wifi so it did a lot of syncing when we got back home!

In the captions below where MDR is used it stands for "Main Dining Room" which is the included food with the cruise.  We tended to let the waiters (we had Michael and Feliciano look after us in the Main Dining Room) recommend us something... found that was very reliable in finding something amazing to eat.

MDR Prime Rib

MDR Sliders (mini burgers)

MDR Dessert (some gateaux)

MDR Fish (sorry can't remember!)

MDR Cheesecake

MDR SoufflĂ© (was definitely not the best I have had) 

MDR Escargot (my mother very disappointed with this)

MDR Lamb (yum!)

MDR Chocolate cake ?  :)

MDR Chocolate something!  
We rarely ate at Windjammers the buffet for lunch and never for dinner just because we liked the MDR... but it was our place to go for brekkie.  Here are a couple of photos at a lunch:
Salad bar at Windjammers

Condiments galore!

Cheese anyone?

Sweets and Desserts

These always looked great.
The guys were constantly topping them up!
Different station!

Premade Salads
 We ended up splurging and eating at a couple of the speciality restaurants.  Chops Grille and Giovannis.  There was a Japanese place on board too but we stuck to Italian and Steak :)

Chops Grille - Fillet Mignon - very yum!  (this one has a surcharge)

Chops Grille - Mississippi Mud Pie - very rich between a mousse cake and mud cake... 

Chops Grille - Huckleberry Cheesecake

This wasn't on the ship but at Giapo in Auckland.  It's Gelato as you have never seen before!  Amazing experience!

Photo of both mine and Will's Giapo options.  We chose two flavours each -- all were good.  The option we didn't choose which tasted fab was Lamington.  Maybe next time we're in Auckland :)

Giapo looks pretty unassuming!

MDR Baby shrimp cocktail / salad

MDR Fried cheese

MDR Dessert :)  (food fatigue!  at least in remembering what we had!)

MDR Dessert Pecan Pie perhaps?

MDR Roast beef (their beef was almost always fab!)

MDR Roast Chicken.

We went out at Tauranga to go Railcrusing and then were desperate for something a bit Asian/Chinese.  Like noodle soup.  We ended up at a Yum Cha joint :)
BBQ Pork Rice Noodle

Har Gow

Stuffed Tofu

Giovannis: Osso Bucco

Giovannis Dessert Cart

MDR Fried Chicken

MDR: Seafood medley

MDR Coconut dessert

Wellington: Sushi place for some Sashimi on rice.  Yum!

MDR: Potato soup with Bacon (no guesses as to whose starter this belongs to!)

MDR: Polenta

MDR: Prawns

MDR: Pad Thai (wasn't that tasty but we did ask for some chilli sauce which made a huge difference!)

MDR: Boston Mud Pie?

MDR: Fish/Seafood Pot Pie

MDR: Salmon Fillet

MDR: Mousse

MDR: Apple Crumble
Surprisingly (in a good way!) the desserts were never very sweet.  I think the sweetest one I had was the one above as a crumble.  I asked for the Almond Butter ice cream which they had as a special ice cream instead of the standard vanilla (they will give you multiple desserts if you want to so I just substituted it). I liked the ice cream so much I asked for it especially the following night as just ice cream and avoided the other desserts.  (their pistachio ice cream wasn't very nice though so not all their special ones are good!)

Johnny Rockets

Johnny Rockets appetizers

Johnny Rockets - we shared a Sundae

Johnny Rockets - my Chicken Salad

Johnny Rockets is considered a Speciality Restaurant with a ~$5.90 surcharge)

MDR: More prawns

MDR: Lasagne (finally!)  Apparently tasted better than it looked.

Chops Grille - Mushroom Soup (yum!)

Chops Grille - Black pepper bacon (yum!)

Chops Grille - Scallops (yum!)

Chops Grille - Some sides

Chops Grille - Seared Tuna (was good but if I went again (?!) I'd have the steak.

Chops Grille - Chocolate cake with liquid centre (yum!)

Chops Grille - Red Velvet cake

I took photos of food I had, Will had, my Mum had and Uncle Archon.  Not all food was photographed just the ones that looked impressive in most cases (other than the Lasagne) or had something special about it.

I would recommend trying some of the speciality restaurants to others although the main dining room always had good food.   Chops Grille was our favourite and we went there twice.  Johnny Rockets was good too.  Would have liked to have tried a milkshake but just no space and time to try it.