Anyway, I have a phone number to call the hotel where they're staying before they get on the cruise. Now there are many problems when calling another country: time of day, connection, rates, etc. However, I ran into one that I completely didn't expect when calling New Zealand: Linguistic.
Here's a basic rundown of the conversation:
Young woman: Auckland Heritige Hotel.
Me: Yes. I'd like to get in contact with Jeanne and Wayne Moore who are staying there.
Young woman: [something unintelligable]
Me: Well, I'm trying to reach my parents. Jeanne Moore and Wayne Moore. They're staying at this "Auckland Heritige Hotel" and this is the number I was given.
Young woman: [same unintelligable thing]
Me: Well, I can't read what their writing is here and I think we've got a bad connection, so I'll call back when I figure out what they wrote.
Young woman: OK. Thank you.
Now, I just copped out there. I could read everything written on the paper and the connection was fine. However, I'm not going to spend international phone rates going "Hunh? What did you say?" several times. Having little experience with Australian and New Zealand speakers, I thought it was just English in a funny accent and a bit of weird slang. I guess I was wrong. I'll call tommorrow, when they're on the ship and I have more information, like room number and whatnot. Plus, the ship people are American, so I'll probably understand them better.