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Thursday, January 12, 2006

: No local brew but oh what a view

'Snails, they're actually really nice.' "


No local brew but oh what a view : " 'Snails, they're actually really nice.' "

WHEN luxury superliner Diamond Princess docked in Hobart yesterday it was an opportunity for Brisbane couple Brendan and Athena Jackson to do some sightseeing -- and some important shopping.

"They have lots of European and American beer on board but not much Australian beer," Mr Jackson said.

"So, we thought when in Tasmania ..." -- and held up a six-pack of Cascade Draught.

The Jacksons are on a 12-night cruise with their four-year-old daughter Amelia and Mrs Jackson's parents on one of the world's biggest cruise liners.

They boarded in Sydney and their cruise finishes in Auckland, New Zealand, in about a week.
It was just something we always wanted to do," Mr Jackson said.

"I've never been on a boat cruise. We wanted to give it a burl and see how it went. We'd do it again."

Mr Jackson, a joiner, and Mrs Jackson, a school psychologist, have been enjoying the facilities and hospitality on the 290m-long vessel.

"We've had lobster and last night I had escargot," Mrs Jackson said. "Snails, they're actually really nice."

Mr Jackson said: "They say you put on a kilo a day while you're on a cruise.

"But we have to walk 250m each way between our room and the dining section, so we walk half a kilometre for every meal."

Mr Jackson's only regret was his brief visit to the ship's casino, where the cheapest poker machines cost $US0.25 to play.

"It didn't take me long to lose $50," he laughed.

"Been there, done that, won't be doing it again!"

The 116,000-tonne Diamond Princess can carry 2700 passengers and 1100 crew and is the biggest in the Princess fleet.

The ship has a revolutionary dual-diesel-and-gas propulsion system that makes it one of the world's most environmentally friendly liners.

It has five swimming pools, 10 eateries, 13 bars and lounges, two night clubs and a wedding chapel.

The liner left Hobart just after 6pm yesterday.

The Diamond Princess will make another eight visits to Hobart this cruise season.

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