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Published: October 7th 2018
Day 7 and 8
We were headed back to Sydney and although it felt a little like the holiday was almost over we still had 2 more days at sea. There was still lots to do on board and we wanted to make the most of it.
We checked out and played a few games. Watched shows and drank cocktails, sunbathed, ate lots and used the time to relax. Nicki and I did a Latin dance class together, which we both enjoyed even if we did look frogs in a blender..and so did everyone else. We may even do more lessons.. we will see..
Kym went missing for about an hour, no one knew where he was. The ship had 2 water slides. The yellow one was open, slow but afforded a view of the oceans expanse. The green slide had a vertical drop, similar to a slide I had tried when I was in Malaysia. This is where Kym was, observing other people using the slide... many of them young children who passed by him multiple times as he contemplated tackling the green tube that not only had a 10ft drop but also went off the side
of the ship (not that you could tell when you were in it). The ride perhaps lasted 10 seconds. He did it.. eventually and probably made a few friends as the kids and some of the parents had gotten to know him well... Curt and I went on as well, Curt had gone on previously. The ride was short and exhilarating.
Before getting ready for dinner, Kym and I lounged on a day bed watching the sunset. Its something you can never get sick of.
Another elegant night, more photos, more food, more drinks, an inappropriate adult games night (we have so many ideas for one at ours!!) more comedy and a show took us into the night.
Wanting to sleep in the next morning knowing that this was the last day to do so didn't happen. It sounded like maintenance work happening right below us and both of us begrudgingly got up early. They were cleaning our balcony and I remembered I had left some items out and checking to see if the coast was clear grabbed the items quickly in my birthday suit and surprised the maintenance man that I didn't notice.. ahhhhhh..
breakfast we purchased our duty free and picked a photo and frame to take home to commemorate our trip. The are so many photos and it seemed a waste that we were only taking one away with us. I can see how people get sucked into buying and spending so much extra money on a cruise. I could also see how much of a cheap option it was to go cruising if you are on a budget too.
I wasn't feeling well and spent time in my cabin reading. I was on holiday to relax and didn't mind wasting it actually doing nothing. The great thing about the cruise, you could do as little or as much as you wanted. I did participate in a few games including a scavenger hunt and a movie song quiz.
Our last night of dining and we had our waiters. Great bunch of people. Everyone was so friendly and went over and above being just a waiter or just a cleaner. You did feel special that's for sure.
Kym and I had been looking forward to this meal.. well our entree.. escargot and it was delicious. Best entree of the cruise
for me. And now I can say I have eaten snails along with a long list of other 'less common' foods. Nicki tried them but didn't like them (more for us!). Another great thing about cruising, you could order more than one entree, main or dessert if you wanted. (Pretty sure I have gained 5kg in a week) You could try foods you may not have normally ordered and not worried about if you didn't like because you could order something else.
We finished the night with 2 comedy shows and a rock musical show.. and that suited us to a tee.
Cruising definitely has lots of advantages. It was also nice to have someone clean your room, wash your bedding and towels and leave cute towel animals on the bed for you each night. There was something for everyone on board. Being school holidays, this cruise was full of children and they entertained themselves, not on Facebook but by playing games and interacting with each other. There were board games and pub type games, a library, kids club, mini golf and table tennis. The were 2 family pools and 2 theaters that had shows or movies playing.
For the adults the was an 18 plus swimming and relaxation area and not all shows were kid friendly so the adults could be adults without worrying. Whether you were 1 or 100 it was a great holiday. We barely felt the ship move on the ocean and we got to fit in so much and still felt relaxed at the same time.
A few tips about Carnival Spirit
You can bring 12 cans of soft drink on carnival cruises. We didn't find energy drinks on board and Kym would definitely get them next time, we returned home with lots of cans.
The alcohol was reasonably priced. Buy a bottle of wine and keep it rusty in your own fridge or if you are dining in their kitchen. Buy 4 beers and save $2 and if you don't drink them keep them in your fridge. If you are drinking spirits, ask for a double shot, it's cheaper and then either use a can that you brought or buy a mixer. The cocktails were often very syrupy, we woke up a few times with more of a sugar headache than a hangover. Alchemy Bar is more expensive but
better quality alcohol.
Bring an arsenal of medicine, it's really expensive on board. ( ie: Gastro stop, paracetamol, nurofen, mylanta, throat lozenges, cold and flu tablets..) or make sure you know someone who will (thanks Nicki!!)
The coffee was average, however there was one machine at the front of the Lido Buffet that had coffee beans and ground them fresh. All but one coffee tasted good to us. If you are someone who prefers cafe coffee bring your own pre ground coffee and a plunger. There is a couple of cafes on board. You can also just get the 'foam ' from the machines if you wanted a latte or cuppacino with your coffee.
Some people brought coffee mugs, we did but didn't use them. We did use insulated water bottles which kept the water cold. Essential for tours and also walking around the boat.
Your cabin key is used for everything, you will need a lanyard. I had a wrist one cause I struggle with anything around my neck. (They have lots to purchase on board... again expensive)
Get your duty free on day one.. save 10%
Be aware that any seminars, pamper
sessions and the like are a sales pitch. Great if you want that sort of thing but can be a waste of your time. The jewelry shopping was another one of those. Lovely jewelry, expensive but again if it's your thing then go for it.
The cookies are the best.
Bring glad bags. Take cookies to islands for snacks...
If you have an allergy or food intolerance the Empire Silver Service Restaurant cater, you pre choose your meals the day before so the chef can prepare them especially for you.
Buy reef shoes and snorkeling equipment before you go away, on board it is expensive to hire or purchase. (If you plan to only try snorkeling once, hiring from one island is around $15)
Bring $5 Aussie bills, you will get the change back in the local currency.
New Caledonia does not have many signs in English and many people don't speak it either or much of it. Download the offline French Google Translate if you really think you will need it.
Many tours are wayyyyyy cheaper when you book from the islands rather than from the cruise. If you are going to
Marè, you don't have many other options though other than a shuttle bus to the beach. If you want food at the beach, get in quick, stuff sells out (like coconuts).
There are lovely places to snorkel, PLEASE buy reef friendly sunblock. Sunscreen bleaches and kills the coral (Isle of Pines had signs asking people not to use sunblock in the water but ask the signs were in French...)
The app chat feature is worth the money if you are part of a big group (saves you scouring the boat looking for people )
Virgin offer a bag collection from the boat terminal to the airport for $25 and you can check in as you disembark the ship, leaving you free to explore Sydney without carting or storing luggage. Great if you have a flight later in the day. (The ship also offer a collection service with a tour of Sydney for $60 per person which includes transporting you and your luggage to the airport)
Go with family and friends, its so much fun!
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