Published: January 12th 2012January 12th 2012
Days on board are full of things you can choose to do, this was Euchre
Large swells of up to 9 metres kept the ship rocking a little during the night on our course to New Caledonia. You certainly feel it particularly at the front of the ship. We are going at the speed of around 17 knots so not really fast.
Climbed the 7 flights of stairs this morning up to the 12th floor to the Plantation Restaurant for breakfast which is buffet service. Must admit this made me feel quite queasy and breakfast sort of settled it down. It will be very tempting to overeat during this cruise, there is so much available and being no cost, you just say " sure another piece of toast would be ok". Hence my wanting to climb the stairs and not use the lifts, plenty of them but an easy option.
Each day there is a newsletter produced telling you of the events of the day so you can develop your personal program. There is a lot on offer, from paid boot camp to free lectures on health and well being, trivial pursuit and shows and lots of music venues.
So this morning events have been: Trivial pursuit
View from the side
where we got 13.5 out of 20 and we were the winning team, winner spoils 2 stubby coolers. Following this was a game of euchre, we did not have enough people at our table for 500, Paul joined us for this. He is a regular cruiser, and is on this cruise with his wife, 4 daughters and 2 of their partners. Getting the grey matter going is this mornings plan, so word games and sudoku were other options.
Running the word games is a young crew member from Somerset England whose principal job on board ship is a dancer in the evening shows. He represents 1 out of the 34 nationalities of the crew. The captain is Italian and most of the food crew are Philipino. Last night we met Rodwin who was looking after our table for dinner. He spends 8 months apart from his wife and child in the Philippines and would like to move to Australia in order to be with his family all the time.
There is a huge mix of ages and types on board, the young ones hang out a lot on the pool deck, but there are
Paper Plane competition
plenty of spaces and places to be.
Today we have decided to do the buffet for our meals, lunch was plentiful, nicely cooked and presented and the wait staff are brilliant. Real coffee is a bought item at either the Cafe on deck 12 or Charlie's on deck 5 but we have got a frequent sipper card going already, what with Martin's 3 coffees a day and my 1-2 we shall be getting good use of it.
All purchases on board are cashless. You have a preset ship credit card and use this to purchase anything while on board. You can choose to tip when you sign each purchase docket signing in another area. At the end of the cruise this is tallied and you pay the bill. There are many opportunities to buy; wine tasting classes cost as do the beauty treatments and most of the exercise options. Even the bathrobes in the cabin cost $29 if you choose to open the packet and use them.
We purchased our snorkel gear today, to hire fins, mask and snorkel is $49 for the cruise and you get to keep your snorkel.
Celebrity heads with the dancers/singers of the crew
To purchase a snorkel and mask is $45 and since we have reef shoes we have decided this is the better option for us for our 6 days spent on Vanuatu and New Caledonia.
We were sleepy sheephys after lunch and before my inaugural table tennis tournament we retired for a nap and tv and blog time in our cabin. The cabins are really quite spacious, queen bed,desk, very adequate wardrobe and quite a large ensuite. Aircon, a window, what more do you want?
Table tennis was looking intimidating when 20 young and fit men rolled up,
1 other woman and 1 other person my age. Imagine your basic table tennis bat, add to that quite a large amount of roll,wind and direct sunlight. I didn't get past the 2nd round but didn't embarrass myself either, it was fun.
Back to deck 7 and The Connexions bar and 3 rounds of celebrity heads with the crew playing along, 3 out of the 4 are dancers, it's a busy life on board with everyone doubling up with various jobs. Had to have another round of trivia, gotta love keeping the grey
5 performers were on board doing aerail and gymnastic type of feats, this was in the Atrium of the ship which is the middle, levels 5-7
The nice part of this ship is that the whole boat is licensed meaning you can take drinks from one place to another as well as food. We love cheese and biscuits with a drink in the afternoon and the pool deck was perfect this afternoon. As we head more north east it is getting warmer, seas are still quite choppy but I have my sea legs now.
The atrium is the centre of the ship with decks 5-7 opening up with surrounding balconies on each deck. Tonight we were treated to 4 circus artists, 3 from Colombia and 1 from Greece, mostly aerial work, very up close and personal. There was so little room for them but they were superb, silks, trapeze, rope and hip hop.
Deck 8 houses the Marquee which is the major entertainment area on board. This seats 800 people in 2 tiers, full stage with all light and sound facilities. Tonight's early show at 7-45pm was "Girt By Sea" a look at life and music in Australia from the 1900 to now, 8 young dancers/singers high energy, great medley mix of Aussie music from
the 70's & 80's.
Upon entering any of the restaurants all are offered hand gel, after walking up many flights of stairs and holding the handrails this is a must, imagine a bout of anything breaking out on board with such a closed small environment and so many people. Our bottle of wine from tea was hardly touched so we took it back to the small fridge in our cabin.
Had to revisit the Karoke and tonight I sang "We Are Australian" Seekers version which went ok other than some of the words being rather random on the screen. It's the risk you take. This is a popular entertainment venue, seats are hard to come by, bar staff work really hard, so we settled in for some hilarious song versions and then the following "Perfect Match".
The staff that host these events are slick and practiced, many years and months at sea and the lots of shows, they are entertaining.
And just because we had not done much today (how to fit a million things into a day) we ended our night with live stand up comedy in the Marquee.
Scrabble set booked out from the library
Paul Brasch was very funny very topical and performs at all the big events in Australia.
Phew one big day!