Archive for June, 2013

June 29, 2013

29 June 2013 – In Sydney

Said our goodbyes on Deck 12. Tim and Sharon staying in Sydney for Tim’s birhday. Linda and Steve getting plane about 2pm. Put our bags in at Virgin early. Sue, Bob, Mick, Pat, Peter and I went on a tour around Sydney to kill a bit of time. It was too wet to get out of the bus much except at Bondi Beach. Took a taxi from the airport into Sydney to look around a bit more. Had coffee at Metro Hotel then Peter had a massage and I went on the monorail. On the plane to Melbourne now.

June 29, 2013

Fri 28 June – At sea

Breakfast at 8am, yoga at 9am – only one in class. Good low workout. Rough seas. Check out latest photos. Get charger to work at photo shop. Went to have a massage then facial. Both really good. Have lunch then back to room. Peter is sleeping and come out to lunch with him. Go and pick last of formal portraits and then spend the afternoon packing. Get a present for Tim then out for last dinner at Waterfront restaurant. Celebrate Tim and Sue’s birthdays. Waiters Felix and Linton join in. They provide a scrumptious birthday cheesecake. Quickly off to Starry Night performance with all entertainers. Not bad. Bags out to be picked up. Our last night. Very sad. We’ve had a wonderful time.

June 27, 2013

27 June 2013 At sea

Breakfast at 8am with Peter,Pat and Mick then off to yoga with Zoran at 9am. There was one other lady in the class this time. The AquaSpa had a showcase on with small tastes of massage, eye collagen treatments, teeth whitening (?!), face treatments. I booked a massage and facial for tomorrow.

Everyone took part in trivia at 11am. We divided into two teams: Sue, Bob, Steve, Linda and Tim, and me, Peter, Mick, Pat and Sharon in the other. We’re a very competitive lot! Our team got 14/20. The others got 12/20. Winner got 19/20!

Off to the ice-carving on deck. In about 20 minutes Reggie carved a horse’s head.

At 1pm Pat and I did t-shirt painting in The Attic. Didn’t finish so we’ll have to go back tomorrow. Hope we can make it.

At 3pm there are Wii games on deck. Having my makeup done for the cocktail night on tonight. Dressing up to have dinner at Luke Mangan’s Salt Restaurant again. Then all meeting to have our group portrait done at 8.30pm. Feature show is: Do you wanna dance at 9.30pm. Whew I feel tired already! Let’s hope I fit it all in.

June 27, 2013

26 June 2013 At sea

Had breakfast with Pat and Mick then go find Peter who is sitting with Sharon and Tim. Had a look at the bargain sales then sat in on the ‘Flatten your stomach’ talk. Talked about detoxing your body and the lymphatic system but really wanted you to spend money! Had a massage at 11am which was wonderful. Felt really awful from doing too much yesterday and it helped. Peter was waiting for his massage with the same therapist. I went to read my book to wait and have lunch with him. He has soup, hot main course and dessert. I have a roll and a small cake.
Come to the cafe to update my diary and get on the internet.
Watched the fruit carving which was amazing. Had dinner at the Waterfront. Felix the waiter is very funny. Went to watch karaoke. Steve was first up and was really good. The other contestants were pretty good too. Steve and Sue did a duo! Didn’t know she could sing! Off to bed after that.

June 26, 2013

22 June 2013 Vila

Pat and I caught a boat to the helmet dive. It was awesome walking through the water with a clear helmet on, feeding fish with crumbs, holding a sea slug and a shell. The GoPro worked really well but moved in the helmet so all you can see is bubbles.
Walked into town with Pat. Looked around the shops. Bought earrings and a beaded ring box. Taxi drivers drove us nuts asking if we wanted a ride all the way.
Peter, Mick,Tim, Sharon and Steve met us at the market near he ship and we walked back with them. Peter bought a Hawaiian hat. Looks good on him. Caught up on emails and Facebook. Finally! Dinner at La Luna which is an 8-course Asian Chinese banquet. Delicious!
Tried watching he Liars Club show with Peter but I got sick of it. Not my style.

June 26, 2013

21 June 2013 Lifou

Pat and I got the tender boat for the Pacific Jewel to Lifou Island. Into a van and around the island for a forest walk and look at a grotto.
The natives greeted us with a song and dance. The guide explained about the healing properties of some of the plants and trees in the forest. There are two kinds of birds nest erns – poisonous and non-poisonous – pointy leaves are okay! Went into a cave to see stalagmites and stalactites. Then heard how to catch a coconut crab. They are blue and massive and can break a coconut shell.
Dinner at 6pm then off to the Pirate Show which was excellent and very funny. Then off to Pirate Trivia with a photo opportunity for pirate dress-ups on the way! Perfect match was a scream with two lots of contestants. The young guy got the older lady! Off to bed.

June 26, 2013

25 June 2013 Luganville-Santo

Pulled into Luganville to a marching band playing Waltzing Matilda and doing the macarena. Market stalls set up along he street to the town.
Pat and I got the mini bus to the ‘Canoe the Riri River’ tour. There was a long wait to get in a canoe with constant tours going through.
Glided silently through the water seeing the bottom clearly with jungle on either side. Swam in a beautiful brilliant blue water hole. We swim around a while and I try out the GoPro underwater. Nearly lose it as it comes off my head. Grab it just in time or it would have went to the bottom of the 30m pool! Others jumped in from a rope hanging in a tree. Pat and I took a walk around the site. Our guide offered to show us around including where the fresh water spring starts. The tree roots run along the ground like vines. We saw a brilliant yellow spider, luminous lizards, indigenous cabbage. It was a personalised tour as he comes from the area and showed us things we would never have noticed. Back into the canoes to the start where the vans are waiting to take us back to the ship.
We have lunch and immediately go out again to see the town. Catch a taxi but could have walked the distance it’s so short. That was a quick $5. See a frangipani tree in the street with a fern growing in it. Walked along to Unity Park where Sarakata River is and see the Chief’s Nakamal now a cafe. On to the fruit and veg market where they use woven baskets for storage. See a real estate agent with houses available for $2.2M AUD. Walked back along the street to the market for last minute gifts. Plenty of locals are singing for donations.
Have dinner at Waterfront Restaurant. Felix the waiter amuses us with his antics. After we collect more photos from the cruise and a photo album to put them in. We have heaps. Went to Connexions to listen to the band but I was so tired I went to bed at 9pm.

June 26, 2013

24 June 2013 Champagne Bay

Peter got up about 7.45am. We had breakfast together. I downloaded my photos from yesterday and wrote up notes having in the cafe. We all met at 10am on deck to go to Champagne Bay. There was a low tide so not a full tender could get in. It was a two hour wait until we finally boarded at 12 noon. Pat and I killed time walking up and round the deck and stairs. It was worth the wait though. Champagne Bay has white sand and plenty of snorkelling, not that I did any. An islander took Mick, Pat and me (Peter didn’t go) on a tour of a bue lagoon where we had a swim and to the top of the island for the view. He was playing religious music in the van which was very loud and annoying.
Had a dip in the bay just to try it out then cruised the markets again on the way back to the tender. Bought a shell bracelet and 3 wise monkeys for Shaun. Straight into lunch when we got back about 3pm. Tonight we go to Waterfront Restaurant for dinner.
Had a shower then went on deck to read a while until the island party started. Learnt several ways to tie a sarong! Quickly changed and out to the Waterfront Restaurant. Three-course a la carte menu is a lot better than the Coles cafeteria style of Plantation Restaurant. Finished just in time to see the Las Vegas Marionnettes show in the Marquee. It was okay. Not really for me. Pat and I had our portraits done island-style tonight. We think one of the photographers thought I was Pat’s daughter! Walked around a bit and watched the island party on Deck 12. Pat went to bed and I stayed on to dance the night away (a little anyway). Hopefully I got onto the DVD.

June 26, 2013

23 June 2013 Wala

Brekkie with Peter, Pat, Steve and Mick. Off to the gym for a workout. Not all machines I use are available. Booked another pampering session at AquaSpa. Reluctantly did a load of washing at the launderette with a dozen other people. Man next to me gave great instructions on how things work there. Laundry culture! Went to get coffee while I was waiting. Back to wait for the dryer. Read while I waited. Had to leave early for my Salon Sampler session-collagen, facial, head massage.
Met Peter in the room before he went ashore in Wala. Talked to Sue and Sharon a while. Had lunch alone until Pat came back from Wala and joined me.
Took the tender boat to Wala and walked through the markets on the beach. Had a couple of tours through the village for a $5 donation. Photos of natives were by donation. Not much else to buy. Swam in the water so I could at least get wet. Very rocky. Should have brought my reef shoes. Back on the boat about 3pm. The boys were not back yet. We start getting worried about 3.30pm. Last tender is at 4pm and they have been over there since 10am. Mick turns up about 4pm very drunk. Tim and Peter went straight to their rooms in the same state.
Save seats on deck for the Cirque show but it doesn’t go ahead as it’s raining. Sharon, Pat and I get dinner in shifts when Tim turns up. We go to look at the day’s photos and buy three. They start the dance party through the 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond early. The Pacific Entertainers are dressed up and dance in between everyone. It’s a lot of fun. By the time they get to the 90s I am boiling and exhausted. No one else is left at the table so I wander inside. Listen to a guitar duo in Connexions, wander around the duty free merchandise Great Expectations is playing in The Marquee so I watch that to the end then off to the snoring husband.

June 22, 2013

Thu 20 June 2013 Noumea

Pat, Sharon and I went kayaking in the Dumbea River in our first port of call, Noumea. We drove to the river,then paddled for 20 minutes upstream, pulling the kayak over low parts. We were split up with hunky males behind us in 2-person kayaks. Really it was just to distribute the weight better! Time for a rest and a swim although the water was too cold for me! Back in the kayaks downstream which was much quick and the river had risen a little so we didn’t have to get out and push. Back to the ship for lunch with the rest of the gang who’d gone on an island tour.

I did the earring workshop and went into Noumea by myself while the others went on the cultural centre tour. Boring! I explored the Noumea Museum and the shopping centre. Bought a necklace for 1000 frances (marked down from 3000). Had an icecream at the shop in the customs building and explored the market on the 1st floor.