Tropical Traveling - My Family Travels

It’s not everyday that two 13-year-old kids get the opportunity to travel with their father to places like New Zealand,  Rarotonga, Moorea, Bora Bora, and Tahiti. That’s what happened to my brother and I on Nov. 18, 2006.  The adventures and experiences that I had on the trip will stay with me forever.


My dad works for Visit Milwaukee and he has also interviewed and written about famous Hollywood stars. He wrote a book on his interviews and experiences with celebrities and used his writings to conduct lectures on cruse ships. On this one occasion, he was able to take us with him for an unforgettable vacation.


The trip was a 10 day cruise on the Radisson Mariner from Auckland, New Zealand to Tahiti with several stops along the way.


While we flew from Milwaukee, our first adventure started in the Los Angeles airport. Before we departed on the Air New Zealand flight to Auckland, we stopped for dinner at the airport. I broke my water glass and ended up slicing my finger. It almost required stitches but luckily my dad had band-aids and antibiotic cream. That was not one of my better memories of the trip but I did learn something from it, traveling with a small first aid kit is good advice.


Auckland was great. We spent some time at a local outdoor mall, sat at a city park and watched a interesting game called cricket and paid a visit to the zoo where we saw the native Kiwi bird. We also went to the top of the Sky Tower, which offered an awesome view of the city.


On the second day we boarded the Mariner. This was not my first cruise, but the Mariner and the ports blew the others out of the water! My dad has gone on a number of cruise lines but said the Mariner service was the best. I suspect that is because free wine was served at every meal. Our room had a balcony and the food and different restaurants were all awesome.


Because of the “tropical” theme of our ports, we traveled with a Polynesian dance troupe that entertained in the dining room, by the passengers and around the ship. They were so fascinating to watch. They were like nothing I have ever seen before. The way they could dance was just amazing; they really did provide a bunch of entertainment.


The highlights of the ports were many but here are the four that standout:


          Celebrating my dad’s birthday on a beautiful beach in Rarotonga, part of the Cook Islands.

          The amazing Sheraton Hotel pool and beach on the island of Moorea.   

          Enjoying a Bora Bora burger at a small restaurant in – where else – Bora Bora! My dad complained about the high price but it was delicious. We also swam with tiger sharks. I let my brother and dad do that while I watched from a safe distant on the boat!

          Before we flew out from Papette, Tahiti, we spent the time at a Radisson hotel. The hotel had a black sand beach. I spent the whole day playing on that beach it was amazing and distracted me from the fact that our vacation was coming to an end


The only part of the trip that creeped me out was walking at night in Tahiti and having to dodge cockroaches!


Missing a few days of school and escaping the cold Milwaukee weather provided a memory I will not forget. I am ready to go again!


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