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Arriving in Aukland and on to Hamilton, New Zealand

Embarkation day was our most dramatic day. The night before, we had scheduled a lovely Indian dinner orchestrated by Anthony, our favorite waiter in Compass Rose, and Bejoy, the Butler of of our friends with whom we were traveling. It was stellar, all the better with the fantastic wine pairing suggested by Lacsman, also our favorite sommelier.


Dinner was flawless, but, Cher, complained of a sore throat. By very early morning she was having trouble swallowing and went to sick bay at 8 am. Mind you, we had to be off the ship at 8:45. Dr. Delgado, the ship's Doc, diagnosed strep throat and put Cher on IV antibiotics. So, we had a rental car waiting, we didn't want to leave our friends without knowing our next step and whether further treatment was needed, and we needed to disembark. Davor, the General Manager, was the most gracious and said that luck was with us and we could stay on board til we had a better outlook on how Cher was progressing. Jamie, our Cruise Directer, stowed our hand luggage at reception and kept checking on our progress. The Reception staff called the rental car company for us but no one was answering because it was Sunday, and finally, Davor went off the ship to look for the rental car people and get a cell number so we could call the contact directly. This is why I love Regent!

So, the end of the story was that I had to leave the ship and secure the car, the antibiotics finally kicked in enough for Cher to leave the ship, our luggage was released from security, and we traversed the invisible frontier of New Zealand without going through any sort of immigration.....did I mention it was Sunday?

We nominated Chris to be the designated driver for this trip. Cher was to be the navigator as she needs the front seat so she doesn't get car sick. Georges has a learning disability when it comes to directions and spacial awareness so all three of us counted him out without any consideration. Chris and I have had battles in previous car trips as I'm a nervous passenger and can't keep my mouth shut. For this trip, I had to promise to stay quiet or take medication that would render me unconscious.

As it turned out, Cher was in the back seat asleep as we navigated from Aukland to Hamilton to spend the night. I assumed the navigator role, helping Chris to stay on the correct side of the road and getting us to our destination. I was the picture of calm as I channeled the British GPS voice from a previous trip in Brittany. We called her Daphne, and I'm genuinely surprised that they don't call me by that name to this day!

Hamilton ended up being a rather uninspired town but it served its purpose as Cher needed to sleep and allow the antibiotic to do its job. I found a Chinese restaurant and got some takeout wonton soup which seemed to hit the spot. The next day we were on to the Waitomo glow worm caves.

Posted by Culinerrion 16:00 Archived in New Zealand Tagged new_zealand hamilton aukland

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