Having made all of my connections and arrived in Auckland (and been hopelessly but briefly frustrated at the airport before finally sorting my ride), I am also finally able to pick up messages.
Well, sort of. The international connection does not seem to work as expected but I am able to send a safe-arrival message home.
And get confirmation that my planned Auckland tour for tomorrow, pre-boarding my cruise, is canceled due to insufficient registrations.
This would likely be much more disappointing if it were not immediately followed by a couple of messages from Princess. We’re departing 1 hour earlier than planned, so check in will similarly move up an hour. And I’ve finally been assigned my cabin. My upgraded cabin. Upgraded to an outside cabin, with a window. Whoo-hoo!
My hotel, the very lovely Langham, is walking distance to the Quay (because it’s so directly and markedly downhill).
And so after a great night’s sleep (in a bed! hooray for horizontality!) and a leisurely coffee, I check out and begin my stroll.
I chat with a French backpacker en route and arrive at the Quay a good hour too early. Long enough to bond with a Kiwi named Mari, also too early and also being mistaken, multiple times over, as newly boarding staff rather than passengers.
But in a bit we are on board, ready to start our respective adventures anon.
And then, a few hours of exploring the ship… we all sail away.
I won’t run into Mari again until we’re both navigating customs in my final port of call. But that is many days away yet.