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Words Nahrain John
Although dubbed a world-
class facility, Sydney’s
Terminal has struggled to keep
up with the length requirements
of continuously growing mass-
But that ’s about to change.
As part of a $49 million upgrade,
due to be completed this year,
the length of the terminal will
be extended by 60 metres.
Currently it measures 220
metres – about 20 metres shorter
than P&O Cruises’ Pacific Jewel.
Despite the terminal’s
size, larger ships such as the
293.5-metre Carnival Spirit
and Voyager of the Seas have
continued to use it over the past
two years. But this has been
causing problems for smaller
vessels wanting to dock at
The upgrade will also increase
public space at the terminal by
1,000 square metres.
While the terminal’s current
shape will be retained, the
planned changes are designed
to increase the building’s
efficiency, giving it the ability to
turn around more than 4,000
passengers a day.
Changes will include
the removal of two Sydney
restaurants – Wildfire and
Ocean Room – to create more
space inside the terminal and
make way for a larger ground
floor. There will also be a refit
of the customs hall and the
However, cruise lines say the
upgrade is not enough to keep
up with growing demand and
are pushing for new facilities at
Garden Island or Port Botany.
In the 2013/14 wave season
Sydney had 259 ship visits – 19
more than the year before. But
Royal Caribbean International
and Carnival Australia say this
growth is being stifled by a
shortage of facilities.
Carnival Australia chief
executive Ann Sherry said the
redevelopment will not increase
Sydney ’s capacity. However, she
said shared access at Garden
Island with its current occupants,
the Royal Australian Navy, would
allow continued growth of cruise
industry in Sydney.
Royal Caribbean vice-
president Asia-Pacific Gavin
Smith said the organisation
favours utilising container wharfs
at Port Botany, which is already
equipped with the infrastructure
to handle large ships.
OVERSEAS PASSENGER TERMINAL
join body hunt
The monolithic and mysterious
heads of Easter Island have long
fascinated cruise passengers.
The oldest of the Moai, as the
monoliths are called, date to AD700.
The society that produced them
collapsed in the 17th century
through population growth,
deforestation and food shortages.
No one is sure why the Moai were
created. But a team of archaeologists
has dug beneath the heads to reveal
two seven-metre bodies, sparking a
hunt for more.
The discovery has rekindled
interest in the extraordinary 900
heads spread across the island.
The huge number of visitors has
sparked moves to consider a tourist
tax to help the 3,400 residents build
infrastructure to cope.
Cruise lines including Princess,
Silversea, Lindblad Expeditions,
Crystal Cruises, Regent Seven
Seas and P&O stop off at the
island, which attracts some 80,000
visitors a year.
They’ve mastered the art
of fine food, now cruise
lines are turning to beer, with
Carnival Cruise Lines even
creating its own brew.
While Celebrity Cruises
plans to serve 40 handcrafted
beers on Celebrity Equinox
and Norwegian Cruise Line is
introducing destination beers
on its ships, Carnival has taken
cruisers’ love of beer one step
further by launching its own
brew for the Australian market.
Made by Sydney’s Lord
Nelson Brewery, Thirsty Frog
Summer Ale is already being
served on Carnival Spirit. It will
also be available on Carnival
Legend when she arrives Down
Under in September.
BIGGER SHIPS? NOT A PROBLEM...
or innovations are added to ships –
dodgem cars, bowling alleys, fine-dining
restaurants – the one thing that will make or
break the success of a holiday is service.
You can solve all manner of problems
when staff are helpful, friendly and
accommodating. If they are not, a fancy meal
or a water slide won’t make any difference.
Our postbag – and inbox – contains many
comments from readers, but the one topic
that really gets them sending bouquets or
brickbats is the way they are treated by staff.
Every cruise director is well aware of the
importance of that intimate relationship
a waiter or housekeeping staff develop
with their passengers. Many training
programs have been developed to help crews
understand how crucial a strong service ethic
is to the success of a ship.
It is why gratuities became a key measure
of how a passenger felt, long before feedback
forms were invented. Today, getting
satisfactory survey results means cold, hard
cash to many crews as owners tie their
bonuses to a satisfaction score card.
So how do cruise lines fare? Below are
examples of what we’ve been told. Tell us your
own stories at cruisepassenger.com.au – and
don’t forget to vote in our Readers’ Choice
Awards on Page 94 – the best feedback you
can give your favourite line!
FOUR FAT LADIES
revelation. Some people
eat continuously, with a dozen
desserts not an uncommon
sight, or pack food in napkins
or Tupperware for later. But the
prize for gluttony goes to four
ladies who dined at each of the
four fine-dining restaurants all
‘It’s the friendly waiter, hilarious
cruise director and attentive
stewardess that will keep
passengers coming back.’
My husband and I were on board
Radiance of the Seas when the
heel of my husband’s dress shoe
came clean off when he stepped
out of the elevator. Our steward
repaired it that day and made it
better than new. It was priceless.
Uniworld head of marketing
Service is so important and it’s the
reason why a lot of cruisers return.
Guests really appreciate great
service. They always remember
that one staff member who made
their trip. Uniworld has a “little
touches”program whereby we
encourage our staff to do small
things to make guests happy.
The cruise line
Sadly, my husband and I just came
back from our honeymoon on
a cruise ship and we were very
disappointed by the attitude of
many of the crew, in particular
the bar staff. I have cruised many
times previously and have never
had this type of treatment.
It would seem to me that there
was/is a serious morale problem
on this vessel.
Cruise lines can build water
slides, flying foxes and introduce
the best restaurants on board,
but it’s the friendly waiter,
hilarious cruise director and
attentive stewardess that will
keep passengers coming back.
in the one night, choosing four
courses each time. When they
arrived at the fourth venue, they
were advised the restaurant was
about to close. To which they
responded: “Well we will just
have to hurry up then won’t we!”
Overseas Passenger Terminal
in Sydney, I feel as though it will
make no difference to the city’s
capacity. It’s taking everyone’s eye
off the ball by focusing on ships
that can’t pass under the bridge.
The entire Seabourn fleet and
most of the Holland America
fleet can fit under the bridge.
Silversea, Crystal, Viking, Regent
and Ponant ships, and countless
others, can also pass under. We
need extra berths west of the
bridge more than ever before.
website about cruise lines
introducing faster wi-fi at sea
and it’s about time they did.
With the world revolving
around instant communications,
the internet services provided
by cruise lines are abysmal,
and most charge like wounded
bulls for a few minutes of very
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