The rain caught up with us this morning, but fortunately not the wind, so our scuttle along the jetty to board the Azamara Journey, while damp, could have been much more unpleasant. This is Wellington, after all.
The ship is on the small side, as with Silversea, which is what I like in a cruiser. There’s room for 686 passengers aboard, and the philosophy of the company is Destination Immersion, ie “Longer stays, More Overnights, Night touring”. Unlike Silversea, though, it’s casual, there are no formal nights, and it seems bare feet are permissible everywhere except the restaurants. They still have their standards, though: the room guide’s Guest Conduct Policy warns sternly: “Crew members are prohibited from engaging in physical relationships with guests.” Oh, and “Guests must be fully toilet-trained to enter the pool.” Good to know.
So far the ship seems, though recently renovated, a bit less fancy than Silversea, and though everything you’d want is here, not all of it is included, which is disproportionately irritating.
This afternoon we were moored in port. I did yoga, we had drinks at the bar and then dinner at a shared table in the Discoveries restaurant, where the food was very good (not helped though by our being whisked away just before the main course to fill in immigration forms five decks higher at the behest of two uniformed officials - despite our departure from NZ being five days hence). The company was amusing, well-travelled and entertaining (couples from Canada and California) and I warmed to the woman who has learned as the years have passed to travel very light, declaring “Nobody notices what you’re wearing”. Sad, but true; and also convenient.
We set sail for Picton at 9pm and went to bed to be rocked to sleep – and hopefully not turfed out of it while crossing Cook Strait (Captain’s announcement during dinner: “There will be movement.”)