I have wonderful memories of my time on "SS Australis". It was a cruise holiday to Fiji from Sydney in 1968/69. It was a 15-day cruise and we had Christmas and New Year on the ship.In those days, the ships were usually divided into first and second class passengers, but that ship on that cruise was an all-class ship, which meant we could go anywhere on the ship. It was the end of my first year working as a school teacher in Sydney, and I had just turned 20 when I boarded the ship. I remember the streamers as we left the Overseas Terminal in Sydney to set off on this great adventure, waving to Mum and Dad, and my boyfriend (later to become my husband), as they stood on the pier wondering if I would return from the wild sea!! The ship was full of young people out to have fun, and we sure did have fun!! I don't remember making it to breakfast once in the whole cruise, as we would party all night and finally collapse into bed in the early hours of the morning. I remember that my mother, who was a wonderful dressmaker, had made me 15 beautiful after-five dresses to wear to dinner each night, and how we would love getting dressed up each evening, having spent the day lazing around the pool and flirting with all the great young guys on board!! Our cabin was a two birth (bunks) cabin down in the bowels of the ship on the bottom deck. We could also feel the vibrations of the engines and hear the noise from them, but we didn't care as we were young and adventurous, and in fact it was a great place to be as most of the young people were there, as that was all we could afford. Cruising was very expensive in those days! We had to go up the narrow hallways, stepping through bulkhead doorways to the communal bathrooms, but we loved it!! I remember the 'flash' dining room, and the fact that we had lovely 'older' people at our table. I remember receiving wonderful service from the waiters,and also wonderful service from our cabin steward!! I met a super-gorgeous 'older man' (I think he was about 26!) and having a wonderful, romantic on-board romance, which ended when we arrived back to Circular Quay where both of our partners (his girlfriend, my boyfriend) were waiting for us!! We had some wonderful on-shore adventures together, but the most memorable of these was a wonderful, moonlit night at Savu Savu, where we sat on a grassy slope in front of a Service Club of some kind that was on a hill, and we gazed out through the palm trees, beyond the beach, to where our ship was anchored out to sea, all lit up and looking amazing, and I remember thinking that this was the most magical experience of my life, and that I could have gone on doing this forever!! I remember the nights in the 'lounge'...the band and the dancers...and especially the celebrations of New Years Eve!! Yes, I do remember the red eyes from the chlorine in the pool on deck, and how we had to use eye drops to make our eyes look beautiful for the nights!! I also remember a big inside pool on one of the lower decks, and visiting it late one night. Wow, what a wonderful time we had on the Australis!! This was the start of my love affair with cruising, and when 'The Love Boat' started on TV it was my favourite show, and I remember feeling very special as I had experienced this life! It was 40 years before I was lucky enough to go on a cruise again, and this was on "Pride of America" around the Hawaiian Islands in 1988. I have since been on another 9 cruises and am about to embark on my next one in a week's time on "Celebrity Solstice"...at 132,000 tonnes it will be VERY different to that little 'SS Australis', which I thought was huge at the time!! Gone are the days of the little inside cabins next to the engine room....now it is the big balcony cabins for me (at 64, I now enjoy the luxury of space and fresh air!!) However, nothing will ever take away the wonderful memories I have of that first cruise on "SS Australis"!!!!!