We are home again from our cruise on the Coral Princess around New Zealand.

Happy New Year to you all and your families … let’s work on making it a good one.

Not much I can say that was really great on this cruise … we missed two ports due to the fact that divers had to clean the hull of sea snails before we could enter NZ waters. COVID was still active on board with many suffering 7-day cabin lockdowns, including two members of our little group of six. Julie tested positive when we arrived home yesterday, thankfully I was negative.

One highlight was the number of veterans onboard, we had a veterans gathering each sea day at 4:00pm. I was pleased to catch up with a couple of Veteranweb blokes and some that have now joined us.

Busy day today going through heaps of emails that with likely take a couple more days. With Julie down I have to do the shopping today … lots of special treats in the trolly when I shop.

Bear with me over the next couple of days as I get squared away.



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  • Richard Barry OAM January 3, 2023  

    I have organised for the 10th intake NS Vietnam Veterans to take a trip on the Coral Princess out of Brisbane on the 16th January 2023 to Tasmania. Wives too of course.

    Do they have a veterans get together on board by any chance?

    • Ray Payne January 4, 2023  

      Yes Richard they have a hosted veterans gathering on the first sea day and then unhosted each sea day. Usually held at 4:00pm our gatherings were really good.

  • Frank January 3, 2023  

    Glad you had a great time Sorry abouit Julie getting the bug I had it 3 weeks ago
    Happy New Year to you and Julie

  • Keith Pratt January 3, 2023  

    Keith Pratt
    Glad to hear you had a good break.
    Poor Julie catching the Covid it will be with us for many years to come.
    Your lucky I rarely get to go shopping by myself
    “Because I don’t know how to shop”

  • Malcolm Evans January 4, 2023  

    Hi Richard. I’ve done many cruises on Princess and it would be unusual for them NOT to have a veterans get together each day while at sea. Keep in mind that you not only get Aussie vets, but vets from all countries. There are many activities happening at the same time, so it is not unusual to see people at one get together and then not again for some time. Not that they don’t want to meet up, but family often have other ideas as to what they should be doing. I am on the same cruise so hopefully will catch up.

  • Richard Barry January 4, 2023  

    Malcolm Evans. Thank you for that. Yes, will look forward to meeting and having a chin wag. As Ray Payne said the first sea day will be hosted. We’ll have to make sure we set aside 1600 hours daily for Happy Hour. We are all NS (mainly 6RAR – SVN 1969). Most of the wives like to meet elsewhere for a coffee etc.

  • Richard Barry. January 4, 2023  

    Ray Payne. Thanks for that Ray. Should be good. Will make it a compulsory Happy Hour.

  • Richard Barry. January 4, 2023  

    Hi there Malcolm.

    Excellent. Looking forward to catching up. Most of our blokes served with 6RAR in SVN in 1969.

    We will have to try and create Happy Hour 1600 hours daily. The women usually go off for a coffee somewhere.

    Last time I went to one of these on a ship a lovely young female Captain was present and we all got on with her. When we parted I asked for a hug “because such an opportunity was not possible in 1967/69”. She was a good sport.

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