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The Final Day: Back to Melbourne for Lunch, Back to Adelaide for Dinner - Queen Elizabeth Cruise 2020

The Polly Woodside Tall Ship, Melbourne.
The Polly Woodside Tall Ship, Melbourne.
The Queen Elizabeth Cruise Ship arrived back in Melbourne sometime in the early hours of the morning on Sunday, February 2. One of the few benefits of being in 'riff-raff' class is that we'd be among the last to disembark at 9:30am, allowing us to relax for one final time with an unhurried breakfast in the Britannia Restaurant.

If this is your first time (or first post) reading about the cruise my partner, Enigma, and I took on the Queen Elizabeth at the end of January, beginning of February 2020 you may like to go back and start from the beginning by clicking this link (posts will be listed in reverse order). It may be your last glimpse into the world of cruise ship holidays pre pandemic 2020.

It was 10am by the time we were actually leaving the boat and collecting our bags from the terminal. We were asked to wait in the upper level of the Britannia restaurant while they double checked that all final guests still on the boat were present.

Melbourne Pier.
Melbourne Pier.
Not being international travellers we didn't have to deal with customs or so getting off the boat was as easy as checking ourselves out (with our id cards), heading through the terminal to collect our luggage and walking back out into Melbourne from the pier.

The tram we needed to catch to get back to the Skybus terminal in the city had a stop pretty much right across the road from the dock. Enigma thought we would need to reload our tram cards but, as it turned out, they were still fully loaded with the original amount because, when we boarded the tram in Melbourne at the beginning of the trip, we were in the free ride zone. As such no money was deducted.

We were probably supposed to swipe the cards once we left the free zone but not knowing this, we didn't, and our stop was only a few stops outside the free zone anyway.

Back in the city we got off the tram at the same stop we had caught it at the trip's start, so the bus terminal was just across the road. Our plane wasn't until around 6:15pm which meant we could spend some time sight seeing in Melbourne (or so we thought).

We had planned to leave our cases in the public lockers you can rent at the bus terminal but after spending way too long trying to find a locker bank that was even working we conceded defeat.

Regrouping after tea and biscuits at a cafe in the terminal we decided to drag our cases with us down to nearby Batman Park. Thinking it was a nice day to sit in a park and not have to drag our bags around everywhere.

Batman park is right on the Yarra river that runs through Melbourne. Right on the river there is a helicopter landing pad where you can book helicopter rides.

Beyond that there's not a lot to see in Batman Park. The most interesting thing about it is the name and it is a nice park to sit in with your lunch. We happened to sit near a young fellow who was behaving a little erratically and had a collection of suspect bottles along with the half drunk bottle of whisky he was holding.

He was talking a lot to himself and doing some weird stretching exercises. While he didn't bother us he eventually wandered off and started talking to other groups of people around the park.

Over the river was the Melbourne convention centre where the Australian Open tennis tournament was happening. Which isn't what caught our eye. Right alongside was 'food truck alley'. It was getting close to lunchtime so we decided to head on over.

We walked along the otherside of the river, dragging our cases (fortunately both had wheels) behind us, stopping for a rest alongside a tall ship museum. A little further up we came across a hamburger restaurant where I bought us both their signature burger with chips for lunch.

Melbourne River by the Convention Centre.
Melbourne River by the Convention Centre.

As we sat down at the outdoor seating to eat our burgers we managed to choose a bench table that, once we were seated, blocked the view of the river for two 'fitness' girls at the table behind us. They clearly weren't happy at our seating choice but the view wasn't that great (mostly an industrial shed covered in graffiti), and they could've chosen our seats if the view was that important.

Continuing to drag our bags around Melbourne wasn't appealing so we headed back to the Skybus for the trip to the airport.

Arriving at the airport at 5:15pm, we had an hour to kill. Fortunately we had our devices and internet so it really wasn't that big a deal, plus Enigma had bought some Krispy Kreme donuts.

Obligatory photo out the window on the flight back to Adelaide.
Obligatory photo out the
window on the flight
back to Adelaide.
From here on the flight was uneventful, and Enigma's daughter picked us up from the airport in Adelaide and took us home.

It would be another month before the world would really start going into lockdown, and we even got another short weekend holiday in before it did.

So much of the Australian Pandemic experience was sourced back to international guests on cruise ships that it's a little hard to imagine what that industry will be like post lockdown.

Regardless, I hope you enjoyed reading of our experience of being on a week long cruise around some of the Australian coastline. Enigma and I have fond memories of our time and would be planning another cruise. We'd actually like to do one of the cruises to New Zealand, which may still be possible at some point in the future. Here's hoping.


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