I haven’t the time now for words. Here are some pictures from my first day in Taipei.
For reasons that will become clearer in future posts, I have to be in Bangkok by the last week of this month.
I checked my Qantas frequent flyer points* with the view to making a direct flight from Brisbane. But I discovered that for about the same number of points I could go first to somewhere I’d never been before — and I’m always up for that.
Cruising is said to be the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry. It’s no surprise why.
In case you have reservations about making a reservation on a ship, here are some good reasons why sailing is the answer.
In this age of constant connectivity, we’ve all had to adapt in all aspects of our lives.
Because our bosses, our families and our friends expect us to be instant,y contactable, that means the dream of sailing away to a deserted island and truly switching off may never again be achievable.
Your choice of hotel will have a major effect on your holiday. It could make the difference between a memorable escape and a miserable time you’d rather forget.
Here are five things you should consider before you book.
“Brisbane,” said a friend over coffee, “is like a boring boyfriend.
“Dependable, but after a while you want to run away with someone more exciting.”
Brett’s travel update: after almost two months in Brisbane, I’m preparing to move on again.
Next stop, in a fortnight, is Taiwan, followed by Thailand.
Continue reading On the road again
A former colleague of mine has travelled to more than 100 countries. I don’t know if it’s his aim to visit them all, as others have done, but it’s a fairly impressive tally nonetheless.
And, as far as I know, he doesn’t just dash in and out. He takes his time to see the sights, meet people and go off the beaten track. My country tally is about half of his, but I don’t see it as a competition.
We all approach travel in our own way.
The terrible events in London have once again brought terrorism to the forefront.
Those who commit these acts choose their targets carefully: they want to disrupt the daily lives of residents and to persuade would-be visitors to stay away. Their aims are to inflict immediate damage and to create long-term economic harm.
People take cruises for many reasons. So, apart from the niche players in the market who cater to very specific interests, cruise companies have to design their ships to provide something for everyone.
That means paying close attention to the menu, the shore excursions, the amenities and, crucially, the entertainment program.
“Be careful what you wish for.” It’s an adage that applies in many circumstances.
And right now it’s germane to the issue of passenger comfort on commercial aircraft. It seems that we are getting squeezed on like sardines because that’s what comes with the lower fares that we demand.
Along with other passengers on my recent cruise on the Pacific Aria to New Caledonia and Vanuatu, I missed out on two out of three scheduled port calls due to bad weather.
I could complain, I could ask for compensation — which wouldn’t be forthcoming, since this eventuality is covered in the fine print — but, while I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to see Noumea and Mare, I believe it was the right call.
I understand why there has traditionally been a bias towards catering for couples and families, but times are changing and more people — young, old and in the middle — are travelling on their own. With this in mind, I sometimes get riled when a see “deal” that is patently biased against solo travellers.
I’ve rarely felt more welcome than I did in Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, an island nation in the South Pacific about 1900 kilometres east of Brisbane, Australia.
The people I met were friendly and very proud of their country. Taxi and bus drivers eagerly volunteered information and pointed out interesting sights.
My cruise finally found dry ground and blueish skies in Port Vila. For more photos, check Instagram and Twitter. Words will follow soon.
Watching a cooking demonstration onboard Pacific Aria reminded me what an amazing effort it is for cruise ship kitchens to prepare thousands of meals every day.
And getting a slightly dodgy dish one night reminded me that it’s impossible to get it right all the time.
I’m having a little trouble posting to this blog from the middle of the South Pacific. I am, however, updating Instagram and Twitter (see the menu at left for links). There are also new cruise-ship-related articles by me here and here.
Meanwhile, on the Pacific Aria, bad weather has meant the cancellation of stops in Noumea and Mare, so we’re steaming towards Port Vila. It’s a bit bumpy ..
I’ve arrived onboard P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Aria for a seven-day journey from Brisbane to New Caledonia and back.
I’ll be blogging when I can, and posting updates on social media. In the meantime, I’ve undertaken a reconnaissance mission and here are some pictures of the ship and the port.
As I write, my seven-day cruise on the Pacific Aria is due to set sail in eight hours. It’s been raining all night in my departure port, Brisbane, and here’s the forecast for Noumea, New Caledonia, where I will arrive on Sunday.
Wish me luck! And stay tuned for updates here and on social media.