There are certain spots in some cities that immediately identify where you are. The Sydney Opera House is such a defining feature of Sidney Harbor that you immediately know that you could be nowhere else. When the Opera House was originally designed by Jorn Utzøn, it was impossible to build the way he had envisioned it. He had designed such huge sweeping sails on the roof line that construction technology was not up to the task. Compromises were made and a slightly less grand version of his plan was built at a much grander price. He was so disappointed he went back to Denmark and never saw the most famous building he ever designed. He got a special invitation to the opening ceremony after construction was finished, but he stayed home. When you’re mad, you’re mad.
We have spent our few days here wondering around the harbor, taking photos of the Opera House from every angle, but when we got on the cruise ship and walked into our cabin, there it was again: a view from our balcony that you never tire of. We sailed away right at sunset and the city glowed.
Getting on the ship went smoothly as we expected. Cruise ships leave from Sydney regularly and the staff was a well oiled machine. Ken ran into a bit of a glitch at security when they took away his USB power strip as a fire hazard. We have used this connecting device on other cruises and managed not to burn them down, but arguing with security personnel never gets you anywhere. We will pursue getting it back when things calm down on board.
We have cruised on the Explorer of the Seas in the Caribbean before, but after sailing on the Oasis class of Royal Caribbean ships, it seems small. At the life boat drill we pondered how far away we will be from land for much of this trip and paid attention a bit more seriously. This ship has been doing the first half of our cruise for weeks now, so our stops in New Caledonia and Fiji should be routine for the crew. Time changes start tomorrow.