Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cue the "Jaz" Hands!

Forgive my absence, gentle readers. I have had a touch of melancholy writer's block this past week, having said a tearful good-bye to my beloved mother in Airlie Beach, and haven't had a thing to say.

Also, nothing really has happened.

While in Airlie Beach, BG did a three day cruise of the Whitsunday Islands, and came back to me sunburned and crispy, though happy at seeing humpback whales interacting with their babies (even one giving birth!), and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. I, the land-based half of this traveling organism, stayed behind and relaxed in our spacious hotel room... nothing too exciting there!

We arrived in tropical Cairns yesterday after a few days of steady driving north and said a sad goodbye to our beloved Spaceship "Jaz". You may remember that we hired a Spaceship called "Dexter" in New Zealand as well, and we have to say that we were ridiculously pleased with the whole Spaceship experience, start to finish! The administrative staff are so laid back and friendly they even drove over to our hostel to get something WE forgot to give THEM because they owed us money. Amazing.

Seriously, Spaceships are awesome. In New Zealand, we drove Dexter through both the South and North Islands, through snow, ice, rain, and sun. We drove thousands of kilometres and stopped whenever we felt like it, pulling into car-sized parking lots in malls museums all over the country. At night, we popped up the lid to the storage bay and grabbed some grub (not grubs) for dinner. Then we'd twirl the back seat around, pull out the extendable legs, and set up our bed in under 10 minutes. Fabulous! See for yourself.

We had enough room for the two of us and all of our gear.

Here in Australia, Jaz took us from Sydney to Cairns in four weeks, carrying three people and all of their useless stuff gear. This time we had a bigger fridge (yay!), and the weather was warm enough that we could put the awning up in the back, giving us approximately 30% more space and ventilation. The bed was roomy enough for mom and me to play Scrabble and also sleep comfortably at night. We could even make hospital corners on the mattress. And where was BG, you ask? He was in the tent next door. I'm pretty sure he preferred that arrangement anyway, after hours and hours driving with us, the Clones.

We chose a Spaceship over any other camper van rental for many reasons. Initially, they were pretty damn cool to look at, with their bright orange paint job and the name -- we can now say that we drove a Spaceship! The price was sweeter than sweet, as the daily rate was less than half of that of a traditional camper van, and because Spaceships are basically minivans, they use much less fuel (cha CHING)!

Then we started interacting with the staff. They were friendly and helpful. They gave us discounts, answered all enquiries with thoughtfulness and humour, and declined to take a credit card deposit on booking, saying that they "trusted [us] to show up." Then they gave us DVDs to watch (did I mention the Spaceship had a DVD player?), a Frisbee, and a deck of cards. Any technical problems that we did have were dealt with to our satisfaction and beyond, and they reimbursed us for any inconveniences that we had (there were very few.)

So, in summary... Spaceships are awesome because:

  • They're cost-effective rentals, having cheaper rates and using less fuel than campers.
  • They're convenient to drive and park, because they're smaller and more maneuverable. They fit into normal parking spaces and parking garages without diva drama.
  • Spaceships provide plenty of entertainment options, from DVD movies to iPod karaoke.
  • Do-it-yourself cooking and food preparation is a breeze with the "en-suite" gas-powered stove* and fridge.
  • Spaceship Cosmonauts (the staff) are super-helpful and super-friendly... and super-cute too.
  • Spaceships allow you to go wherever you want, whenever you want, however you want.
* Gas stoves are no longer a fearsome entity for me. Consider gas stoves conquered, with two months of use and not a single explosion or fire!


Dawn said...

They say that your spaceship came with doonas. What in the world are doonas??

Christie said...

That is so cool! Great vehicle and great customer service - what more can you ask for???

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, maybe that is a business you can get into if you ever come home!Sounds like fun! NN

C and J said...

What an awesome way to explore Australia! I didn't know those existed! Those are WAY cooler than those huge obnoxious campers!