We arrived around 6.30am at the Port of Melbourne for out trip on the SOT. The drive from Discovery Park Melbourne to the dock was an easy one. It was a Sunday morning so the roads were empty and we had done a mock run without the van the day before. We would highly recommend this as GPS’s tend to take some down a residential street with heaps of humps and small roundabouts.
Check in starts 2.5 hours before departure and as we like to be organised and early we were one of the first in line. They have a traffic management team during boarding times so there are People here to direct you on where to park as you wait for boarding. On the day of our sail they were running late so we were waiting around for a while. This didn’t bother us as we were just happy to be there and in line.
As soon as you move through the gates your first stop is at quarantine. We were asked to open the back of the ute and if we had pets, petrol or firearms. After checking our gas bottles and tagging them, he then went on to asked to see our fridge. Looking to see if we had fruit/veg, fish and if our fake plants were real. Again asking if we had any firearms. Full details on Tasmanian Bio Security/Quarantine here.
All was good so we were given a red tag to display on our rear view mirror to say we have passed inspection. We then moved forward to a big turn around area and then headed alongside the ship towards the ticket booth to collect our boarding and recliner seat tickets.
On To The SOT
Boarding of the Spirit of Tasmania starts 1.5 hours before departure. So although we had started to move through the process of boarding we were still waiting behind barriers for an hour or so to board. Friendly staff are all along your route, giving you direction.
Once we drove on to the ship we were directed to park very closely behind another caravan. Second in line to get off the ship whohoo 😀 As you’re parked so close together you don’t have much room to walk pass other vans or people when heading for the stairs.
We suggest putting your door mirrors in so they cant be banged as people walk by. We also put on our caravan hand brake and left the ute in gear.
The Spirit Of Tasmania
A sparkling, cruise ship type escalator took us to one of the main decks. As we had recliner seats we went to check them out first.
Outside the recliner lounge are heaps of lockers which are deceptively larger than we thought. These are great for storing your bags, coats, electronica’s etc. You can hire one for 12hrs for only $5 and well worth it.
Back down one deck to see if we could get a coffee. The breakfast cafe was running late in opening so we headed to the bar, which also had a coffee machine. The queue was already starting as everyone had the same idea.
we had our chair booked we wanted to have a look around the ship at
the other seating options. It was so much better than I expected. I
was kind of expecting it to be like a big barge not a lovely cruise
ship. They have different kinds of seating in different areas all
Food & Drink Options On The Spirit Of Tasmania
Market Kitchen – Cafe
hung around for the cafe to open once on board and had a egg and
bacon toasted Turkish roll each. They also had a continental
breakfast bar and a selection of drinks to choose from. This place
opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner we only had the breakfast but
the menu looked nice.
can get souvenirs here as well as all day snacks. The sandwiches and
pies look really good.
bar is open for drinks all day for coffee, soft drinks and alcohol.
Terrace Lounge Bar
snacks like Pizza and Turkish rolls available as well as drinks and
decided to share a small pizza here which was $12 and really only big
enough for one person. You can also buy salads, toasted sandwiches
and ice creams. Drinks are also available from here.
We brought way to many snacks on board and a couple of drinks to save us some money but you do you have choices while on board.
keep yourself or your children occupied while on board they have a
few things available.
Arcade Room & Game Zone
A play area for young ones is on board and entertainment is around during peak periods. A Musician and Clown were aboard for entertainment for the first couple of hours on our trip.
With two cinema’s with multiple screenings this might be a good way to use up some of your time on board. Adult $10, Pensioner $7.50 and Child $5 (3-15yrs)
Admirals Gaming Lounge
If gaming machines are your thing you might enjoy this
As we have Netflix, we downloaded some movies to watch offline. This was great as time passed so quickly. If you have Spotify you can also download music, podcasts, comedy and books for offline use.
We chose not to use it but you can get WiFi onboard for $12 per hour or $20 per crossing. This is available in all public areas. You can also stream free to air TV for free.
Stuff On Board
has a heap of maps and things to see and do all over Tasmania. You
can book national park passes here and they have some specials on
to look like a library this space is open to the rest of the ship but
is made to look like a quiet space.
any information you might need about the boat etc.
have free filtered water so bring a bottle.
& Snack Machines
will find them around the ship
points are around the ship. I noticed more in the reading room area.
If you have booked a recliner chair they come with a USB port. I have
read about families bringing a power board to charge there stuff, not
a bad idea.
Did We Enjoy Our Trip Over on The Spirit Of Tasmania?
We did! It all went smoothly. From the Sunday morning, traffic free roads, calm sea, Lovely boat and friendly staff. Being organised with snacks, drinks and our own entertainment also made the 11 hour crossing enjoyable. Paying for a recliner chair is also something we would recommend if you can afford it. Having your own dedicated chair can make life so much relaxing.
If you would like to know the cost of our return trip on The Spirit Of Tasmania have a read of our last post. It has a breakdown of costs as well as the whys and wherefores. See the cost of our trip here
to enjoy our three months in Tasmania before we do a night sail back
on the SOT.
Traveller’s Guide to Tasmanian Biosecurity – What You Can and Can’t Bring into Tasmania