Last night was Evening Chic night and from what I saw just about everybody made some sort of effort. Quite a mixture of styles but yet you were still aware it was a more dressier evening.
We did stick our heads in on the production show which was called Broken Strings but didn’t stay very long. Instead we just did some wandering before going into dinner where again there was just the 8 of us, and btw the sisters are from Ohio.
The weather this morning was again cloudy to start and the temperature was notably cooler than yesterday. We had heard from our guide that we might encounter some problems getting off the ship and making it to the meeting point which was the second shuttle stop. All local tours have been facing some awkwardness from the cruise companies visiting Napier who are making it as difficult as possible for them. It makes me all the more determined to use the locals! For the first time ever we had to apply for a free numbered shuttle bus ticket which we later discovered was more to do with it being a commercial port and tighter than normal security. Nothing to do with Celebrity who I have to say managed the situation rather well given the circumstances.
We had booked a tour with a company called Hawkes Bay Scenic Tours and specifically one called the Discover Hawkes Bay Shore Excursion which is aimed at cruise passengers and is a 4½-5 trip around the area taking in the countryside and all the Art Deco buildings that were detected following the earthquake there in the 1930’s. The price was $95 NZ per person which I thought was extremely good value.
Our lady guide and driver for the morning, Chris took us south of Napier and looped back taking in Havelock and Hastings. Along the way we stopped briefly at the Craggy Range Winery for a toilet stop before heading on up for the views from the top of Te Mata Peak. Nicole managed the drive up by squeezing all the blood from my hands and keeping her eyes shut tight but did confess to really appreciating the view when we got to the top.
All the time we were traveling the weather was improving and by the time we got back to Napier it was beautiful sunshine. After a quick walk round we headed back to the ship for some lunch followed by a few hours out in the sun.
A lot of our fellow Cruise Critic friends had elected to do winery tours but because Nicole doesn’t drink it would have been a waste of time and money for her. What we ended up doing was a great experience and we even managed to fill out minibus via the roll call. Hawkes Bay is a really beautiful area of New Zealand and Napier is another port which has a lot to offer. Big thumbs up from us!