I WAS on a Royal Caribbean cruise from Sydney to Cairns in October-November this year.
When we visited Newcastle the volunteers were exemplary. They welcomed the cruisers with fanfare, friendliness, assistance, knowledge, handouts, etc.
We were escorted from the ship by local buses which ran every 10 minutes to and fro. The drivers were extremely helpful and friendly.
When we alighted, we were greeted by the many volunteers in their yellow T-shirts offering any assistance they could. It was a real carnival atmosphere and what you expect from cruising.
They had printed material available for what to do in Newcastle, they provided verbal assistance on where to go and how to get there, they had stalls where souvenirs could be purchased or just provided a welcome. They were in attendance all day.
The Fort Scratchley guns were fired twice for us. We were really made to feel very welcome to the steel city.
Many passengers were pleasantly surprised at the beauty they saw, which was totally unexpected by many.
While I now live in Canberra, I still felt a sense of pride with what we experienced in Newcastle.
Janice Curran, Fisher ACT
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