Day 7 was a sea-day with a difference. Instead of being surrounded by open sea and waves, we were privileged to be able to witness the majestic beauty of New Zealand’s Fjordland and the wonderful ‘Sounds’.During breakfast we sailed through beautiful Dusky Sound, followed by Doubtful Sound at lunchtime and then the magnificent tree covered cliffs and snow-capped mountains of Milford Sound in the afternoon. The most amazing aspect of the day, however, was the weather. Our guide Dirk Younkerman, who has sailed the Sounds on many occasions, told us he saw peaks he has never seen before. The annual rainfall in this area is tremendous, but not for us - we had brilliant sunshine all day and were able to take advantage of viewing from balconies and decks.
Days 8 and 9 were normal sea days. The weather changed and the sea was a little choppy (actually, quite choppy at times) , but there was plenty to do on board. We attended Beyond the Podium presentations, one on sea life in Australia and New Zealand, one on the Fiery Pacific Rim – volcanoes and earthquakes around New Zealand and one on seabirds.
We listened to Les DeMerle ,who leads the on-board jazz band, talk about his early years in New York and his experience with big bands including the Harry James Band and Frank Sinatra- fantastic. We saw a presentation on Celebrity's new European River Cruises, learned how to make the perfect Pavlova and of course spent hours on the treadmills in the gym.
The nightly shows were a wonderful Neil Diamond tribute and a cirque soleil type spectacular full of vibrant colours and extraordinary highwire acts. We dined at Silk Harvest which is the ships' Asian cuisine restaurant and met a lovely couple from Cairns who may be interested in housesitting for us sometime down the track.
Now we're in Hobart, sitting at a table inside Dome having morning tea! The weather is amazing - sunny and mild, obviously put on just for us...