My last journey on the Spirit was several years ago on a night sailing and I have always wondered if I missed anything. As I discovered on this trip I hadn’t – all there is to see is the water! I may have seen a few dolphins but that could have been a hopeful mirage. In fairness it was a rather cold day so I spent all but an hour of the journey inside. If I had rugged up and ventured out onto the deck I may have seen more wildlife.
While chilly, there was hardly any wind, resulting in a very smooth crossing. It seems I was lucky. Experienced Spirit of Tasmania patrons talk of some rough crossings.
As a result of the benign weather conditions I could happily explore all those areas open to day ticket holders. They included the Tasmanian Market Kitchen, Bar 7, The Terrace Lounge Bar, the Top Deck Lounge, the Reading Room, the Game Zone, Gaming Station, Kids Play Area, Admirals Gaming Lounge and cinema.
Off limits were the cabins and the recliner lounge. I could have paid more for access to these areas but thought on a day sailing they were unnecessary. My assumption was correct. While the Spirit was busy – there were more than 900 people on board – I had no trouble finding a seat. My wanders around the ship suggested level 7 was the most popular area. The gaming and play areas were also very well supported. I spent my time on level 9 and there were plenty of empty seats around me.
My enjoyable day included listening to music, reading, eating and looking out to sea. Our late arrival was the only minor disappointment. While the ship was due to dock at 6.30pm, we didn’t arrive until 7.30pm. No explanation was given for the late arrival.
How Did It Rate
What: Spirit of Tasmania Day Sailing
When: October 29, 2016
How Did It Rate
Check in was quick and efficient. As I was travelling without a car I checked in at the main passenger terminal, where I was given my boarding pass. A security guard searched all my bags before boarding.
The size of the ship meant there was plenty of room, even with 900-plus people on board.
Food outlets seemed to cater for a range of tastes and budgets. The Tasmanian Market Kitchen served more substantial meals while the bars sold pizzas, focaccias and other lighter options together with hot and cold drinks. Prices were reasonable.
The live music performance from Tasmanian singer-song writer Jacob.
While there wasn’t much to see in the middle of Bass Strait, being on the Spirit provides some great views of Port Melbourne, Port Phillip Heads and the Tasmanian coast.
The tourism hub provided useful information about touring around Tasmania. Passengers, especially those who were regular visitors to Tasmania, were also happy to share their recommendations of places to visit and stay.
The pantry, a type of convenience store selling sandwiches, snacks and gifts, ran out of newspapers by 8.30am. The ship didn’t leave until 9am! As the bars serving coffee didn’t seem to open until after sailing, the pantry’s coffee machine seemed the only option for those wanting a coffee. If you enjoy a good cup of morning coffee, it might be wise to have your coffee before boarding!
Our late arrival.