On December 2nd, we arrived at our final New Zealand port: Waitangi (Bay of Islands)
This port was another tender port and the weather was a little cold and rough but we were able to drop anchor and get to land.
We got off the tenders, hopped on yet another bus, and headed to the Te Waimate Mission House. Along the way the bus driver kept telling us about all the awesome things around the area that we would not be seeing. "And up ahead is the oldest building in all of New Zealand, but we aren't going there. And over here on the right is this super cool.... blah blah blah but we aren't going there either." He really started to get on my nerves. How about you tell us about the cool thing we are going to see? Huh?
We arrived at the Mission House grounds where we walked through the church, graveyard, and Mission House.
I don't know what it was but I really wasn't feeling it. I love history but I could not get into this location. We were told that in 1835 Charles Darwin came here while the HMS Beagle was at port for 10 days and I thought that was pretty cool but I just wasn't feeling it.
But then I saw this:
And BABY SHEEP!
We spent the rest of our time here watching the sheep. They are so cute!
After our visit to Te Waimate Mission we headed over to the Glow Worm Cave.
We arrived at the cave and the owner told us that the family that runs the cave are the descendants of a Maori women who lived in the cave while she was trying to get away from her abusive husband.
As we entered the cave we were told that we could not take pictures because it would hurt the glow worms.
I think I set my expectations too high on this one. I was expecting to see something like this:
But we ended up seeing something more like this:
Still cool but not as cool. Our glow worms were on their string hammocks but the strings were not as long so they just looked like stars on the ceiling of the cave.
As we were exiting the cave our tour guide told us that we could either (1) walk back through the cave or (2) we could exit through the back of the cave, climb 150 steps, and bush walk on the top of the cave back to the bus.
Everyone (except for one person) chose to do the bush walk. Oh boy did they make a mistake! The bush walk was what she said it was, 150 stairs through the bush! As I was trying to enjoy my hike EVERYONE else was complaining! Ugh! Shut up! This one lady kept saying that she deserved a gold star for completing the hike. Give me a break! Just enjoy nature and stop complaining!
After our bush walk we got back on the bus and had to listen to everyone complain as we drove back to the dock.
But before we got to the dock the bus driver took us to see the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Another super cool place that we would not be stopping at. Oh well.
We got back on the ship and got ready for our "Evening at Le Cirque!"
There are a few restaurants on the boat that you can pay extra to eat at. Josh and I ended up eating at the Pinnacle Grill a few times during the course of the cruise. Most nights they served delicious steaks, sides, and desserts (for an additional $29), but on this night they were doing a Le Cirque theme (for an additional $49).
We had just eaten at Le Cirque in Las Vegas and it was the best meal I have ever eaten so we decided to do the Le Cirque night on the ship.
I knew it would't be the same. We were on a ship. It's not going to be even close, but I was actually surprised how different it was.
[Josh and his chicken]
Le Cirque has the best creme brulee that I have EVER had so I got it for dessert. It tasted just like the creme brulee that they served to everyone else on the ship. Bummer.
[Josh got the chocolate souffle]
The appetizer and main courses were just ok and the desserts were fine. Like I said before, I knew it wouldn't be the same but this didn't even come close! I was really bummed about it.
But it's all okay! When we got back to the room this guy was waiting for us! Super cute!
During the next two days we relaxed, read in the cafe, ate, and went to shows.
By far our favorite show on the ship was the BB Kings All Star Band! They were all so amazing! They usually played three sets every night and we went to most of them. So much talent!
On the last night before we arrived in Sydney, the crew did a farewell show. It was fun to see all the cast members on the stage.