Day 33 – 6th February 2020, Cruising Tasman Sea

Ship's position Feb 6th

Our Current Position

We expected another quiet routine sea day, but no, the Master, Officers and Crew of the magnificent Viking Sun had a few curves to throw at us today. Although the wind died down to < 10 kts, the ship continues to be a rockin’ an a rollin’ in the SW’ly swell.

Read on to determine the curves in our otherwise routine sea day.

Temperature: 15C/59F

Wind/Weather: Wind Light Airs < 10 kts. Overcast skies, partially clearing by evening

Sunrise/Sunset: 05:49/20:21

Clox: Back an hour (Z+11)

Navigation

We maintained W’ly courses across the Tasman Sea and are on track for arrival in Hobart tomorrow. The Captain’s Noon announcement was primarily in reference to another itinerary change. The entire SE Australia coastline is experiencing some rough weather, so the Captain has cancelled Melbourne. On departing Hobart, we are bound for Sydney, arriving 1 day early.

Weather

The wind has dropped significantly, being light airs of under 10 kts. However, we still have the healthy SW’ly swell, which is causing significant rockin’ and rollin’

Meals

Another curve today, is that the galley are presenting 3 special meals:

  • Aquavit (07:00 to 10:00) – Muesli Bar
  • Pool Stage (11:30 to 14:00) – Burgers and Lobster
  • Pool Grill (18:00 to 21:00) – Tomahawk Steak

We skipped the special breakfast, heading to the MDR, where I enjoyed the lamb chops for the 2nd time this cruise. Yet again, tasty and cooked to a perfect medium rare.

Burger and Lobster Station

Galley staff making burgers and lobster

Deck 7 is too rocky for Judi, so she headed down to the MDR, while I enjoyed a lobster burger. Nice small burger, with a single lobster tail, was a perfect serving size. I heard some moaning about the lobster being over-cooked. OMG!!! this is an outdoor buffet, where the food is actually cooked in the galley and they keep it hot and serve it out here.

Lobster burger and salad

Lobster burger and salad for lunch

Great burger and good lobster were about what I expected under these circumstances. Well done to the Viking Sun for the exceptional effort to pull this off.

Activities

Yet again, my resident nurse banned walking and stairs this morning, so I started the laptop around 05:00, getting yesterday’s blog post completed and reading the football and BBC World News.

Robin Petch Presentation on Seagulls

Robin Petch our resident wildlife expert

After breakfast, Judi headed to her usual spot in the Living Room, while I went to the Theatre for Robin’s lecture on Seagulls.

Team Trivia

Immediately following the lecture, trivia was moved ahead to 11:00. Another curve today is that Trivia was called Grand Trivia and that it was hosted by Tobias & Bevan. What gives???

The first 15 questions, were given by Tobias, then Bevan added an additional 10 questions. The first 5 were brain teasers and the next 5 were name the TV program from an audio clip. We bombed with the TV programs, scoring a miserable 15/25. Bring back Tobias!!!

After lunch, the Captain hosted a presentation on the itinerary change that cancelled Melbourne and has us sailing directly to Sydney, upon departure Hobart. This was an excellent presentation, providing a considerable portion of the information available to him and his options. He showed slides of the weather projections:

  • Departure Hobart
  • Arr Melbourne, if we went
  • Dep Melbourne
  • Arr Sydney
  • Noon position for each day at sea.

The weather arrival/departure Melbourne was within limits, but the voyage from Melbourne to Sydney would have been extremely uncomfortable, especially as the Bass Straight is rather shallow. Shallow water results in a significant increase in wave height compared to the open ocean. When waves hit shallow water they only have 1 direction to go – “UP”. The ship would be unable to proceed at speed through the storm, so he projected a late arrival into Sydney of 12 to 24 hours. In addition, it would be a most uncomfortable transit. I was pleasantly surprised not to here any grumbling, or 2nd guessing.

Bevan at Hobart port talk

Bevan presenting Hobart Port Talk

I stayed in the Theatre, as shortly after the Captain’s presentation was the Hobart Port Talk. Bevan provides a quick overview of the port, with various photos, then Rob (Shore-ex Mgr) provides a summary of each tour. This is not a sales presentation, as sales are already closed, it just provides a quick reminder about the tours we have booked.

At 17:30, we headed up to the Pool area to meet Alison & Ron for the small steak dinner at the Pool Grill.

Checking out our steak before going on the grill

Small 30 oz Tomahawk Steak

The crew did an excellent job setting up the tables. Rather than the usual buffet style at the Pool Grill, tonight they provided table service, which resulted in everything running smoothly. Shortly after sitting at a table, a waiter took drink orders, then another came for the steak order – 1 Tomahawk (medium rare) with all the trimming, to be shared between the 4 of us.

Our cooked Tomahawk steak

Our perfectly cooked Tomahawk Steak

Judi knawing on the bone

Best meat is always at the bone

Washed down it with a few glasses of wine/beer, OMG!! the steak was so tender it almost melted in your mouth, was perfectly seasoned and very tasty. What an amazing dinner, great job by the Viking Sun galley and wait staff.

We vacated the table for others arriving, so headed to Explorers’ for after dinner refreshments and great views of sunset. Shortly before showtime, we headed down to the Star Theatre for the World Premier of the Viking Sun’s Variety Performance.

This is not a standard Viking Corporate show similar to the Abba, Beatles and 60’s nights, as this is a performance that Bevan and the entertainment team have developed and rehearsed aboard the ship, since departure L/A. It comprised the entire team, except the pianist and guitarist, who were performing in other venues. Even the classical duo joined the band. Enjoy the various photos from the performance, which lasted just over an hour.

Bevan Tobias, Bethan and RoxanneBevan signing from GhostBethanRoxanne signing EvitaJosh Bethan and RoxanneTobias

What an incredible show, which was entirely produced on board the ship, including the lighting and video. These people are extremely talented. On our last cruise, we had 4 singers that individually were OK, but sounded terrible together. Tonight, at times we had 8 singers on stage – Bevan, Elmer, Tobias, Bethan, Josh, Roxanne and the 2 singers from the band. They sound in perfect harmony, all 8 of them.

Exceptional show, as they performed various songs from a series of musicals.

After the show, we headed to the Torshavn for a nightcap, me a pleasant glass of 6-grapes port and Judi a Grand Marnier.

Although we received some not so great news today, about missing Melbourne and some heavy weather ahead, the Galley and Entertainment Departments ensured this was one of the best days aboard Viking Sun, so far.

As another day closes, we bid you farewell, till tomorrow and hope for fair skies and following seas.

7 thoughts on “Day 33 – 6th February 2020, Cruising Tasman Sea

  1. Thanks Dad – we are still finalising plans for the extra day in Sydney. The ship has a 5 hr dinner cruise, but it is pricey at US $600, which is CAN $800 for both of us. A cruise across the bay to Manly is definitely a great option.

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  2. A and J, What a wonderful day you had on the ship. Superb food and entertainment .Your photo of the 30oz steak made my mouth water. Have been watching an animal programme on TV. featuring the Tasman devil, apparently it is nearing extinction ,a breeding programme was started showing the 1st. pair had two youngsters so there is hope for the species. When you get to Sydney if time allows a trip across the bay to Manley is worth while.

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  3. Hope you enjoy your visit to my home port of Hobart. Lots of lovely things to see here. I am enjoying following along on your journey. We are booked on a World Cruise on Sea Princess out of Sydney in May.

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  4. Oh dear, another missed port. I would be one of the passengers grumbling. Don’t they at least give you the odds of missing these ports before you plunk down a fortune for a WC? Maybe a WC heading East would lessen the odds of missed ports.

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    • Missed ports are one of the ambiances of going to sea, on longer or more exquisite voyages. When we book a cruise we only consider the itinerary as being final when we log off the ship on disembarkation day. Everything up to that point is open to change.

      The probability of missed ports does not change whether Eastboand or Westbound, it can vary with time of year. However, at present we are experiencing significant storms at the end of summer season. The local schools only went back last week.

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