Things no one tells you: waiting to drive on board takes a very long time. Bring a book. If you have passengers I would recommend that they go on board without you and taking everything to the cabin for you. You and the car will be waiting for what seems like forever. Oh, and getting there first doesn’t mean your car will go on first – they sort the cars by size – which due to balance makes sense.
When I arrived on board I ran to my seat, put my stuff down, applied sunscreen, got my camera and ran to the outside stern area to get a good seat. And when the ship started I enjoyed watching Melbourne disappear into the distance, and then we were treated to a magnificent sunset.
I took so many photos of the sunset - I can not decide which ones are the best.
Warning: In summer if you watch the sunset the kitchens might be closed by the time you get to the restaurant.
The food in the Leatherwood Restaurant was beautiful, small but nice. I did have to have all three courses to feel full. The other restaurant was a buffet and everything looked very oily and there was not much for vegetarians.
Level seven of the ship has two restaurants, a couple of bars and plenty of chairs to sit down and enjoy the ride.
I had trouble getting to sleep – someone nearby was reading and their light kept me awake. Going to Tassie I only get two hours sleep. I was sort of happy that I woke up really early. I found a comfortable position at the bow of the ship and watched the sky slowly turn blue and the mountains around Devonport appear with the entire deck to myself.
Going back to Melbourne on the ship I was quite exhausted so I sat in my recliner and watched Devonport disappear as I did Killer Sudokus. The recliner room was half empty and they seemed to have empty chairs between everyone which made it a lot more comfortable. I was glad that I booked my tickets very early as I was able to get a front row seat in both directions.
I was able to sleep for four hours going back, and woke up as we gained mobile phone services through Port Phillip Heads. It was beautiful to watch the lights of Sorrento, Blairgowrie, Mt Martha glide past, and record their interesting signals of the channel markers.