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What happens on Embarkation Day with Royal Caribbean. Sydney, NSW.

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Or What to expect when you’re embarking.

Hello my Ocean Bound Vagabonds,

I love cruising, but that first time you travel with a cruise line can be a little confusing; especially if you are new to the hustle and bustle that is cruising and customs.  Every company does things a little differently, not every line even leaves from the same port in a particular city.  So, from my experience, here’s what to expect on embarkation day with Royal Caribbean when you are travelling from Sydney, NSW.

The Explorer of the Seas was so large that it could not fit under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and we got to leave from the International Terminal in Circular Quay.  Although I was a little disappointed that my kids would not get to sail under the bridge for their first cruise, it was delightful to be moored where we had a lovely view of both the Bridge and the Opera House out on deck.  It also made it easier for anyone staying in the city before embarkation or catching public transport to get to the ship.  White Bay is a particular pain in the hole to leave from with its lack of public transport and nonexistent onsite long term parking.  My parents, who are not familiar with Sydney or the cattle crush that is the city, stayed in the city before embarkation and had navigated the whole process alone to check in before we even made it to the port from the Coast.

Upon arrival at the terminal it appeared to be a little chaotic with so many people getting out of taxis, limos and walking up from the train station.  Before jumping into the fray, this is the ideal time to take the obligatory pictures of the ship in port, once you’ve gotten into the fracas it will be too late.

Before you enter the terminal you will be directed by staff to drop your checked luggage with them and line up.  Once inside the terminal you will be given coloured cards and your Outgoing Passenger Card to fill in.  If you’re a first time overseas traveller and you have not seen one of these before, there is an example from the Department of Immigration and Border Control here.

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Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb

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There are some opportunities in life you should never pass up.  Climbing Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge is one of them.  The summit of the arch affords the most stunning view in the whole of the city and every climb has something new to offer.

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Click to save a printable PDF

Sydney’s Harbour Bridge has a history colourful enough to rival that of the their Opera House.  Rich in anecdotes and personal flair, the passion for the history and stories that went into building the bridge come through in the commentary from each individual guide.

After eight years in construction, with 1,400 men working on the crew, six million hand driven rivets (no rivet guns back then, it was all heated over the fire and thrown – yes thrown – to the guy needing to bang it into place) and with a price tag of $4.2 million the 53,000 tonnes of steel were finally officially opened as the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932.  Not content with a politician cutting the ribbon to open the Bridge, Captain Francis De Groot slashed the ribbon with his sword before the NSW premier had a chance to cut it.  De Groot was a firm believer that the only person to open the bridge should have been a member of the Royal Family and was promptly taken into custody.  Probably under charges of being a madman with a sword.  (I have not verified this fact)  A murmur, a shuffle and a reef knot later and the ribbon was ready to be cut officially by Premier Lang.

There are three climbs to chose from depending on your level of fitness, time available and budget.  BridgeClimb, BridgeClimb Express and BridgeClimb Sampler. Each one will provide you with a unique and memorable experience however it is important to know the difference to avoid booking the wrong climb for you.

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