Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Around Australia - Sea Princess - Brisbane

We were docked at the commercial port located about 45 minutes out of the central business district (CBD). Our original plan was to take the Princess shuttle into Brisbane, take advantage of the free bus transportation in the CBD, visit the botanical garden, and then head back to the ship. I did some asking on the Cruise Critic forum about the cost of the shuttle and got varying answers but most people agreed it was about AUD$25 per person. Princess had an excursion that did essentially what we wanted to do for AUD$65. At this point, having caught the same cold about 3/4 of the passengers had, and not having slept well for several days, I decided for the bit of extra $ to make it easier on us and we'd take the excursion.

(As it turns out, there was no cost for the shuttle. Brisbane was the first port of call after an international port and EVERYONE had to exit the ship to go through immigration. For those that had no plans, it meant sitting around the terminal for 2 to 3 hrs. Princess made it an easy decision for those that wanted to get into Brisbane for a couple of hours.)

Our excursion was to be a drive-by in the CBD and then a visit to an overlook and the botanical gardens. This is a city on steroids that doesn't know what it wants to be when it grows up. There is construction everywhere. And some of the strangest building designs I've ever seen. And then stuck in between these towering buildings are small/medium 100+-year-old buildings from early Brisbane. Touring the CBD was quite an eye-opener.

Traffic was awful. And I'm sitting on the bus thinking that we made the right decision not to do it ourselves.

Our next stop was the Cliffs Boardwalk, where we stopped for pictures.

And then the Mt. Coot-Tha Summit.

What I didn't know was that Brisbane has two botanical gardens, one in the city and one well out of the city, on Mt. Coot-Tha. And what the tour description didn't do was specify which gardens we would be going to.

In the end, it really made no difference which gardens we went to. The one on Mt. Coot-Tha was lovely but it would have been nice to know .....

And with the temperature much higher than we expected, we were very happy we did not have a lot of walking to do, with the excursion bus delivering us door to door.

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