Counting Cats in Zanzibar Rotating Header Image


This weekend I am off for a while.

I have a milestone birthday coming up, and no, I am not telling which milestone, and I have been given a gift of a five week cruise on board Sea Princess.

The itinerary is:

Sydney, Nuku’alofa, Honolulu, Kaui, Maui, Kona, Hilo, Papeete, Moorea, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Pago Pago, Suva, Noumea.


Australia, Western Samoa, Hawaii, Tahiti, French Polynesia, American Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia.

Ya gunna miss me?


  1. John Galt says:

    21st birthday again Cats? Enjoy yourself and have a nice time.

    While the Cats away, the mice will play – provided the server behaves itself…

  2. RAB says:

    Oh the Horror! You’ll just have to grin and bear it won’t you Cats? :-)

    Yes we will mind the store till your return, I may even resort to some anecdotes…

  3. RAB says:

    Oh and by the way… can we run a book on which Millstone er… Milestone birthday it is?

  4. Sam Duncan says:

    Ya gunna miss me?

    If you hadn’t told us what you were doing I might not have. ;) Sounds like a great few weeks. Have a good time.

  5. CountingCats says:

    You’re free to run a book on whatever you like, just as I’m free to decline to cooperate…

  6. RAB says:

    Isn’t he coy ladies and gentlemen? :-)

    I happen to know exactly how old you are, so would have won hands down. I thought it was only ladies that were sensitive about their age and shouldn’t be asked. I’ve told you all mine.

    Do us a travelogue about it though. I’ve done a cruise and it was very enjoyable. But the problem is that although you will meet some very nice and interesting people, generally speaking the types that take cruises are the sort you would run a mile from in real life. Er … but you can’t. You are banged up on the same ship for much longer than your immune system can survive them. And I only went for a week down the Nile, you are going for a month. Bon Voyage my friend!

  7. dcardno says:

    Cats – sounds like a wonderful trip:e enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

    RAB – sorry, but you are just wrong. On the right cruise line, the other guests tend to be interesting, reasonably accomplished without being smug about it, and gregarious. I have never failed to enjoy myself on a cruise, and I am sure Cats will feel the same!

  8. Lynne says:

    What a fantastic birthday pressie, Cats. Can’t think of a better way to spend hitting such a miletone.

    I didn’t celebrate mine, nor the next milestone and certainly not the one that is approaching all too quickly. I stopped counting at 37. (clue)

    Enjoy your cruise, you lucky, lucky chap. :D

  9. Mr Ed says:

    Enjoy the trip, North Korean missiles are unlikely to spoil it.

  10. bilbaoboy says:

    Five weeks?

    50 ‘innit !

  11. CountingCats says:

    Actually, it’s gunna be the food.

    An unending stream of restaurant quality food, from six in the morning to eleven at night.

    The instant breakfast ends morning tea starts. Then lunch, hours and hours of lunch. Afternoon tea, dinner and supper.

    There is the dining room with waiter service, the pizzeria, and the cafeteria on the top deck. For those who get peckish between times there are hot dogs, hamburgers and plates of chips by the pool, and ice creams, gelato and sundaes at the kiosk at the other end of the pool.

    Every last morsel included in the price and free at the point of delivery.

    Oh Lor…

  12. Paul Marks says:

    Cats you lucky Aussie b……..

    You watch out. I may go all Social Justice on you and pull out your whiskers!

  13. RAB says:

    Yes, you can’t wack an all inclusive holiday. I’ve had several and the food was wonderful. And like you say, it is on tap all day and night.

    At home I generally skip breakfast, starting the day with three cups of industrial strength tea and nothing else. But on our last all inclusive in Turkey (absolutely beautiful resort) I was scarfing up pancakes and honey, bacon and sausage, melon and yoghurt… you name it. Plus the bars were open almost 24 hours too, and there was Archery and rifle shooting too. It was hard to find the time to sleep! Enjoy Cats, you deserve it. Things are looking up.

    No decardno I’m not wrong, just with limited experience of Cruises. Ours was down the Nile from Luxor to Asswan. It was a Mafia run boat and any trouble from the Egyptian crew and they’d be sleeping with the crocodiles, and they knew it. Luxury, wonderful food etc. But of my fellow guests I seemed to be the only one who actually knew or gave a damn about what we were looking at each day… namely the temples and the Valleys of the Kings and Queens etc.

    There were some rum characters on that trip I can tell you. Jennifer, a late 50s rich alchoholic from Sandbanks in Dorset, who we dubbed “Mae West” on account of her general demenor, never ever managed to get down for breakfast and therefore fucked up our schedule something chronic. She could manage to find a bottle of Vodka in the middle of the desert however. We even took a hot air Balloon trip from the very spot that the recent tragedy occured and had no problems at all. Ours was an uncrowded basket, with a balloon built in Bristol and a pilot trained in Bristol (talk about coals to Newcastle, I live in Bristol Balloon capital of the universe).

    But I am well used to dealing with odd and eccentric characters, they are attracted to me for some reason (can’t think why can you?). So yes it was a pleasurable trip, but generally I like to be free to roam on my holidays, not be cooped up with folk with no choice in the matter. Each to his own like. ;-)

  14. PeterT says:

    Kauai is very nice. When I went highlights were the north shore, which is very wet but extremely beautiful, and a snorkeling tour along the south west coast (a national park). Hopefully you will get some free time and not get frog marched around the island by some cruise boat rep.

  15. Julie near Chicao says:

    Happy Birthday, Cats! It sounds fabulous, especially the non-stop food. Remember to lick your whiskers often–no point letting good cream and sardines go to waste!

    Now, on more serious note: I assume that there’s a ticket for me too. Somehow it hasn’t arrived yet, so should I swim to Sydney tonight and meet you there? My assignment is fact-finding, so as to determine who is correct above: RAB or dcardno. Kindly e-mail me the info at once, as it’s a long walk from here to the Left Coast, and then there’s that long swim.

    Back to an even more serious note, this time genuinely so: Have a wonderful time and a very, very happy Birthday. And be sure to tell us every last detail when you return!

    ;) :) :) ;)

  16. CountingCats says:


    Ok, this is me being an intellectual snob.

    I’m sorry, but my expectation is that conversation will be more like I experience every day here on Queenslands sunny Gold Coast than I found at the Friedman Conference in Sydney last weekend.

  17. Julie near Chicao says:

    Oh dear. Cats, how awful for you. Is there any way you could exchange your cruise ticket for passage on Doc Brown’s DeLorean back to the Friedman conference, which will be repeated weekly for five weeks, and then return dri–er, flight???–back to Queensland to arrive in May, 2013?

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