As we leave Melbourne…I thought I would make some comments regarding our day there.
- We were briefed the night before on the various excursions offered….and then we were told a bit about arrival. Etc. All of us were a bit confused as to the Shuttle taking us to the center of town….whether it was free…whether we would then connect to another bus, or whatever.
- A brief map was shown, but not clearly explained….so all we really knew was that we were going to be docking…and if we wanted to go to the center of town, a shuttle bus would be available. Poorly explained.
- We docked at 8 AM on the Melbourne day…..and there were a number of shuttle buses waiting for those the got off at that time. We were later getting off…but as we exited the ship we went into the terminal building, and there in the middle was a large Information (I) desk and area, and a number of red shirted folks were there to answer questions.
- We were then told that to get into the center of town we would have to buy a $15 pass…that would allow us to ride the shuttle into town….and then enable us to travel on the public transportation around the downtown area.
- We bought the pass and boarded the shuttle…and it was about a 20 minute drive to the center of town….where we were once again met by red shirted workers that helped all, answered questions, etc….they gave us maps, etc….and told us about some nearby attractions, etc….including walking across the river to Flinders Station and Federation Square, which is the center of downtown. This is about a 10 minute walk,…..across the river with all of the beautiful buildings in the area along the river…very beautiful. While we were in Federtion Square, we went into the Cathedral, which is right at the Square, where they were having a Deacon Ordination service to a full hous.
- From there we took a City Central tram heading towards the Melbourne Museum…..this was a crowded ride on the Central City tram…jammed into a car with about 50 Asians….and then getting off to walk about 30 minutes to the Museum. Through some beautiful gardens…..we got to the modern Museum…went in and ate…then met the girl from Redding, who’s mother was Liz, the sax player in the big band, etc…small world.
- We then walked about to the Melbourne Library, which is a huge historical library similar to our Library of Congress…very impressive….
- Then caught another tram back to the central point where we would get the shuttle back…..but decided to get on another tram to go to the Botanical Gardens and the War Memorial…..too much in one day….we made it there, but the kids and all were tired so decided to go back to the bus pick up point….which we did…waited for 10 minutes then the 20 minute ride back to the ship by 4 PM…a tiring and long day.
As a CLS…..in my Melbourne presentation, use maps and lots of photos …and make it very clear as to the Shuttle…the trams in town…the main things to see…and the overall size of Melbourne . It is a city of 4 million….not a small town at all….and very busy and congested, although one of the more beautiful cities due to the parks and trees and flowers….very attractive city, but not one that you can see in a day or two. The point should be made that in one day, all one can see are the main areas and main attractions. And the excursions, such as a Panorama Melbourne would be a good idea if you want to see a lot. For a couple, probably the hop on hop off might be the right way to go….
I should emphasize that one day in Melbourne should tell you whether you want to come back or not…..and I think 3 days would be a minimum…depending on how it is scheduled, etc….The museum is well done and well worth 2 or 3 or more hours….it reminded me of the Smithsonian….very modern and very well done. Impressive. We were told the big market is worth going to…..and certainly the Flinders Station area is worth time. It seems like, as in most big cities, there are certain areas where tourists gather, such as Federation Square…and the River at this point is beautiful. The city landscaping is beautiful and the many thousands of palm trees add to the majesty of this beautiful city.
In a presentation…the Top 10 would be good…but be sure and make simple and clear the arrival and the shuttle and the bus ticket…..where it takes you to, and where you can go from there. Use photo maps to show the areas, etc…..otherwise folks will not maximize their time. And allow time to get back to the Ship, as at the end of the afternoon…traffic can become a hassle….