Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound…The story of a name…Making decisions aboard ship…

A small wake from the ship as we sailed through Doubtful Sound.

Yesterday, our ship sailed into Doubtful Sound, one of the three “sounds” we visited in one day, a few hours apart, as we approached New Zealand. The story of this particular sound was particularly interesting as follows:

“History of Doubtful Sound

Doubtful Sound was named ‘Doubtful Harbour’ in 1770 by Captain Cook, who did not enter the inlet as he was uncertain whether it was navigable under sail. It was later renamed Doubtful Sound by whalers and sealers, although it is not technically a sound but a fiord.

A Spanish scientific expedition commanded by Alessandro Malaspina visited Doubtful Sound in February 1793 to conduct experiments measuring the force of gravity using a pendulum, a part of the effort to establish a new metric system. The officers of the expedition, which included Felipe Bauzá y Cañas, a cartographer, also made the first chart of the entrance and lower parts of the Sound, naming features of it.

Today these form a unique cluster of the only Spanish names on the map of New Zealand: Febrero Point, Bauza Island and the Nee Islets, Pendulo Reach, and Malaspina Reach.

As we made our way through Doubtful Sound.

As our ship made its way through the relatively narrow passageway, we were in awe of the pristine beauty of the unusual location along with the other two sounds we’d visited during the day, Milford Sound, as shown in yesterday’s post with a few photos of Dusky Sound, the third in the group. 

Spread throughout the day, we spent considerable time outdoors, freezing in the cool air and wind after a long period of hot and humid weather in our travels over these past years.  In a way, it felt good to finally be cool. 

Exhaust from the ship.

As we all often do, we soon forget the discomforts of the past and only observe the moment’s conditions.  Our hooded jackets, needed to keep the rain off our heads, weren’t warm enough to keep us from shivering although we’d each worn multiple layers underneath.

In any case, we were enthralled with the  three sounds and the reality that we’d arrived in New Zealand, our home for the next three months where we’ll have a car and be able to travel about both the north and south islands at our leisure.

The colorful shoreline in Doubtful Sound.

This is our 12th cruise in 39 months.  After all these cruises we’ve come to a few conclusions that we’ll carry with us on all future cruises:

1.  We’re using cruises as a means of transportation.  In order to continue to do so, we must monitor expenses to ensure we don’t receive a huge bill at the end of the cruise.  Overspending could deter us from future cruises.
2.  The cost of excursions is often too high for us to schedule any on each cruise although we have booked one upcoming next Monday.
3.  Getting off the ship to go sight seeing with the high cost of venues and transportation (none are included in the cruise fare) doesn’t make sense when we’ll be living in the country for months to come with a rental car.  If we’re not staying in the country, then we may explore on our own, keeping the costs as low as possible.
4.  The cost of wifi is an expense we choose to bear on each cruise. On this particular cruise the cost is US $244 each (at a discount from US $299 each due to our growing priority status) in order to be able to be online at the same time.  With both of us busy with research and posting each day, sharing a connection is not an option for us.

It was rainy, cold and windy when we took this photo of Dusky Sound, the last of the three sounds we sailed yesterday.

5.  We no longer feel the necessity of dining in specialty restaurants when the food in the main dining room has been very good for both of us including my way of eating.
6.  We don’t need to eat twice a day if we aren’t hungry (we never eat three meals a day).  This morning I couldn’t eat a morsel when I still felt full from last night’s good meal of rare prime rib, salad, avocado and veggies.  I joined Tom in the dining room this morning while he had a light breakfast.  His snacking on pastries, ice cream and daytime treats has diminished on this cruise when he said he doesn’t feel like being “bloated” from excess consumption. 

Passengers aboard this boat waved at our ship as we passed in the sound.

7.  Unless the “beverage package” is included in our fare as a promotion, most likely we won’t purchase it in the future.  At US $65 per day per person, requiring that both parties in a couple purchase the same package to avoid “sharing” it makes no sense when all I drink is coffee and tea, both of which are “free” in the cafeteria on any ship.  Tom doesn’t drink enough cocktails in a day to pay for it.  Even with the included two beverage packages for this cruise, he hasn’t had more than three cocktails in a day which would average around US $10 each.  Sure, I’ve had several specialty teas and a once a day coffee with full fat cream with a splash of sugar free vanilla syrup to create my own coffee drink, it certainly hasn’t been worth US $65 per day.  I could easily forgo both of these without giving it a thought.

Following is a photo of the various drink packages offered on Celebrity Cruises at this time.  On the last cruise with Royal Caribbean (the same parent company) the cost was US $59 per person per day.  Regardless of how we access these packages, none make a whole lot of sense.

This photo of the Celebrity drink packages can easily be enlarged to
more clearly see the prices.

Do our above “limitations” inhibit our enjoyment?  Not at all!  We’re having the time of our lives meeting other passengers, interacting with the thoughtful crew and thoroughly enjoying the ship and the scenery as we continue on our way to Auckland, New Zealand, our final port of call where we’ll arrive on Tuesday, January 19th in six days. 

We’re feeling well, sleeping well, frequently walking about the ship for exercise and of course, treasuring the time we spend sharing it with all of our readers worldwide.

Have a beautiful day!


Photo from one year ago today, January 13, 2015:

One year ago, we were two days until departure to Kauai, Hawaii.  Tom took this beautiful sunrise photo from our veranda at the house in Big Island.  For more details, please click here.

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