Saturday, February 26, 2011


This morning we were docked in the beautiful city of Geelong. As I mentioned before the primary purpose of this stop is to allow passengers the option of going via coach to Melbourne along the coastal route. However, it was about a 10 hour trip with the various stops, so we just remained on board. We had a wonderful day with warm sunshine (yeah it’s back)! We had lunch by the pool, read our books, and took it easy until arriving in Melbourne. This evening was a special event at the Regent Theater for all guests. I’m having trouble remembering exactly, but I believe it’s one of the oldest restored ballrooms in the country. It is a very intricate Spanish Rocco style. 
As we were driving from the port to downtown we noticed what a huge city this is – second only to Sydney. I’m not sure either of us were prepared for the large skyscrapers, beautiful architecture, and what looks to be fabulous shopping! One at the ballroom we were greeted with drinks, canapes, and of course a great Australian trio. We were to be treated to all sorts of wonderful performances including a barbershop quartet, who had initially posed as waiters.
It was a cute segway to the beginning of the show. After performing several songs from the 50s and 60s we transitioned to 2 opera singers who performed many famous opera pieces. The final group was about 20 young girls who sang acapella. Most of their songs were Australian and even had some dance moves they performed. They did a fantastic job.
As we departed from the venue listening to a didgeridoo player, Bambi and Frederick were there to greet us. It seems so amazing to be so far away and yet see someone familiar, they were a most welcomed sight!
The weather had becoming a bit gloomy and even had a few showers that we managed to avoid. We went to the Sofitel up on the 35th floor for a glass of wine before dinner.
Looking up from 35th floor of the Sofitel.
We all had just a great time talking that before we knew it the time had flown by and it was almost 9:00 pm and we had an 8:00 reservation. We did finally arrive and had a wonderful Italian dinner. Since we had a snack at the Regent, we decided to all graze a little. Tonight was our first opportunity to try the oysters here and they sure a terrific. We also shared some calamari and several gourmet pizzas. As if that weren’t enough, we had several desserts that we shared along with some “flat white coffee”. This was a brand new one to me. It’s sort of a cross between a cappuccino and a latte. It was now nearing midnight and Mom and I both realized that we never asked if there was a time to be back on board tonight. Traffic in the city was very heavy – almost as though we were in the middle of NYC. The port had closed to car traffic, so we had quite a walk in front of us, and it was totally deserted. We were a little concerned until we finally saw some of the staff from the ship coming off to go into town. I think we were about the last ones back on board tonight. We are finally in our room and it’s near 1:00 AM. We are fortunate enough to have Bambi and Frederick to take us around tomorrow – we can’t wait!

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