Category Archives: Carnival Spirit

Noumea and Amedee Island – New Caledonia

On our cruise, our first port of call was Nouema. After sailing for 60 hours without seeing land, when we docked at Noumea harbour, I was really excited. The morning we reached Nouema, I opened our window and was so happy to be at the port. As fun as it was to go around the Carnival Spirit doing various things, being on a boat for a long time gives you a feeling as if you are always moving or swaying.

AS told me that is what being drunk feels like. I have never been drunk in my life so I don’t know how it feels but if that is what being drunk feels like I don’t want to be drunk ever.

On the morning we arrived in Noumea, there was an audible excitement around the cruise. We had arrived somewhere beautiful with blue water and lots of history.

There were heaps of things one could do while in Nouemea like taking a ‘Tchoo Tchoo Train’ tour, do a city tour, do a village tour and many more but we didn’t want to think much so we booked a whole day tour to Amedee Island.

We had heard that Amedee Island was really beautiful so I was looking forward to snorkeling and geared up for that. Our tour included the following things.

Activities included:

  • Glass Bottom Boat ride
  • Reef Exploration Cruise
  • Lighthouse visit
  • Sarong tying demonstration
  • Coconut tree climbing demonstration

Island Lunch included:

  • Welcome cocktail
  • Buffet lunch with wine – during a South Pacific folkloric show
  • Coffee and Tea

So after breakfast we went to the meeting point from where we were to catch a bus to a smaller boat and then to Amedee Island. The Amedee Island is a natural marine reserve, situated on the New Caledonian barrier reef, in the biggest lagoon in the world. And this ‘secret’ paradise was classified as a unique UNESCO heritage site in 2009.

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As we exited the ship, we were greeted with a landscape of skyscrapers and yachts. We had reached the rather westernized capital city of the French territory of New Caledonia: Noumea. There was a photographer who was taking our photo with local people as we were getting off the ship.

There were buses from a company called Mary D which was taking us on a short bus trip to board the ferry. The boat was called, Mary D Princess which took 45 minutes to get to the Amedee Island. As we got closer to the Island, we saw the beauty blue water and white lighthouse. I knew that we were going to have a great day as the water was crystal clear.

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When we got on the Island, I could see why they called it Paradise. The water was crystal clear and I could see fishes swimming near the shore but one has to be careful as there were sharp pieces of coral, dead leaves, and the odd piece of broken glass everywhere. I was glad that we packed our reef shoe so we didn’t have to worry about all that at all.

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As there were many activates set for the day we decided to go and visit the light house first before getting into the water.

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We climbed to the top of the 150 years old lighthouse – all 241 steps. The lighthouse was built in the 1860′s in France by Napoleon III and transported to the Island. It stands 56 metres tall and is the second highest lighthouse in the world.

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By the time we made our way up the tight spiral staircase to the top, I was huffing and puffing but once I was on the balcony, I knew all the effort was worth it. Fighting against the wind we opened the solid iron door and we saw an amazing view of the lagoon, reef, and the little islands.

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The water looked just amazing and people on the island very tiny.

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We went around the tiny balcony of the lighthouse and once we rested and enjoyed the view, it was time to come down as there were many more things on our list before going back to our ship. Coming down was rather easy compared to climbing up.

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Next, we decided to take a ferry ride to explore a part of the barrier reef where we were told we might see turtles, rays, or dolphins. There were not many people on board so we went outside to deck hoping for a better view. Once we were in the correct area, the boat stopped and the guide threw breads. Once the bread was in the water heaps of fish came.

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Unfortunately we didn’t see any turtles since we can’t control what wildlife we would see. So we made our way back to the island.

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By that time, it was almost time for lunch so went to the lunch area where there were served a huge array of salads, fruits, seafood, hot dishes and ice-cream, buffet style, while performers entertained us with local traditional music and dance.

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As it was Christmas Eve so Santa came in a speed boat with lollies for kids.

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After a scrumptious buffet lunch and a display of dancing, we decided to swim and snorkel as that was the real reason we choose the particular trip. The water was just beautiful, you didn’t have to swim far to see beautiful corals and colourful fishes.

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We also saw lots of while/colourless fish which almost blended in with the water and of course the water snake. They told us that the snake doesn’t bite until we annoy them so I was very excited to swim with them. They were black and light brown in colour and I couldn’t keep up with them.

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After swimming and snorkeling we were really tried so decided we should go on Glass bottom boat. I was a bit sceptical at this point, as our previous experience with a glass bottom boat in Thailand had not been very fruitful. When we got on the boat I was happy to see that they had a huge glass bottom, and already suckerfish had stuck themselves to the bottom of the boat enjoying the free ride.

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As we went further out into the ocean, they fed food from tubes on the boat and heaps of fishes like black and white zebra fish, butterfly fish, and amazing multi-coloured fish, blue Nemo and many other fishes appeared, To our excitement we also saw turtles multiple times and it was just amazing.

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Everyone one the boat were happy with the trip.

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Back on the Island, there was coconut tree climbing and coconut cutting demonstration happening. I watched and tasted the freshly cut coconut. It was really yummy and definitely fresh. Then we went to the only souvenir shop in the island to see if we could buy anything.

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Before long, our time on Amedee Lighthouse Island was over and it was time to return once more to our ferry for journey back to Noumea.

Because the tour was all day, we had left the ship at 8.30am and got back only 15 mins before sail away, we didn’t really have time to explore Noumea proper this time. I wished I had more time to get to know it a bit more, and understand its people. But both I and AS were satisfied with our day and couldn’t wait to have a hot shower and go to dinner as we were famished after an eventful day.

Take care everyone ,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Water Park and Green Thunder on board Carnival Cruise

When I was doing the research for our holiday, everyone’s review talked about the new ride called Green Thunder on Carnival. Everyone was saying thing that the Green Thunder slide is the highlight of the water park so I had already decided that I have to try it. I was scared but at the same time, I knew it was going to be fun.

So on one of the sea days, I and AS got water ready and went to the water park at the top of the ship. I was intimidated and scared thinking of the floor dropping out from under me at the start of the ride but I decided to do it first to take the fear out of me.

AS stayed on the bottom so he could take some photos and I walked the long stairs to the top. There was a short queue and in no time it was my turn.

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I climbed into the green capsule, crossed my feet and arms as I prepared to plunder Carnival Spirit’s Green Thunder, the fastest and steepest water slide at sea.

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I was standing as high as any passenger can go on the ship. Then the countdown began and the floor just fell away; I felt like I was falling from the sky for a few second.

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Then when I looked around I could see the sea through the green tube and I was on the edge of the ship with nothing between me and the ocean except a centimetre’s worth of green tubing and some flowing water. According to the experts, I was travelling at 65km/h.

My scream hurtled with me down the green tube as did a I free fall. And in a few seconds, I was at the end of the slide. It was an adrenaline rush that pushed me to do more rides but I had to make sure AS had his turn as well. It is a surreal experience and very similar to the experience we had at water world and wet and wild before.

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He did the same process and this time I was capturing the moments for him. He was down in a few seconds as well and that was when we just got started.

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Unfortunately, Green Thunder stopped operation after a while as it was a bit windy so we went around the water park to find the other ride.

There is a smaller version of green thunder called Twister. It is not as steep and scary as Green Thunder but still fun so I decided to go on it as well.

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After the monster one, it was a piece of cake but I went on it a couple of times as well as it was so much fun.

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Then we walked around the kids area where there is a mini-slide and “splash zone” which comprises of a giant splash bucket that once full drenches everyone in its path below and some water fountains.

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We took a few photos before both of were chilled because of the strong wind.

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As much as it was fun to be on slides, once we were out of water, it was too cold. We didn’t want to catch a cold so decided to go back to our room for a hot shower.

Both AS and I really enjoyed our time in the water park and we will recommend everyone to enjoy that area at least once if anyone is going on the same cruise.

More about our trip soon.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Celebrating Christmas on board Carnival Spirit

Our cruise on Carnival was advertised as a Christmas cruise so obviously I was expecting the Christmas to be special on board.

As soon as we walked onto the ship, I could see that they had beautiful Christmas decorations everywhere. It actually felt like Christmas all the time we were on board.

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Definitely, Christmas day was very special. We had sea day on the 25th of December so everyone was on the ship. They had announced the previous day that they were going to have special Christmas lunch so we were looking forward to that.

On Christmas morning, after a quick workout at the gym, we went to the buffet area for breakfast. Most of the staff and some of the cruisers were already wearing Christmas hats, ties, headbands and earrings. The environment was very festive and there were tables full of families enjoying the Christmas breakfast.

IMG_1043-tile-vertAll the dining areas had watermelons craved with figurines like, Merry Christmas, Santa’s face, flowers and other the Christmas decoration. Also there was an area where they built a gingerbread house, some snowmen and it looked really pretty.

IMG_1024 (2)We had our usual breakfast and as it was nice and fresh. When we were done with breakfast, we saw that a few staffs were craving something on a big block of ice.

We went back to our room and on the way back we saw many rooms door decorated with Christmas decoration. Actually, they were giving prizes for best-decorated doors.  Once in the room, we had a shower and went back to the buffet area again and was surprised to see this beautiful ice carving of Santa with his reindeers and it looked absolutely amazing.

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The staffs on board worked really hard to make sure the ship had full Christmas vibe. The captain of the ship was walking around wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and we managed to take some photos with him too.

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After admiring all the decoration on that floor, we went around to find more activates. Everywhere we saw people in Santa hats and red outfits. I felt like I was in a mall somewhere, not on a ship.

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There were photographers capturing family photos with Santa and Christmas tree and there were families enjoying their time together. For me and AS, we didn’t want photos with Santa so we kept on roaming around until we found the hall where bean bag throwing competition was about to start. It was going to be Men Vs Women.

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I wanted to take part so went and had my name written down. After a few minutes, game started. 4 males vs 4 females.  They gave us 4 bean bags about 10 inches square and it had to go inside a board with a small hole around 15 feet away.

It was a fun game. The first few times, all my bags were either on the floor or on the board but once I got the hang of it, I scored a few points. It was entertaining for everyone watching as well but unfortunately, the male group won the game.

By that time, it was time for us to go to the restaurant (Empire dining room) for our Christmas lunch.

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When we arrived at our table, there were already Christmas crackers on the tables and the staffs were in a festive mood wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas. Rest of the couples from our table arrived and we started the lunch.

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They told us that they used to have Christmas dinner before but for the first time, they were organising Christmas lunch because that is an Australian tradition and they wanted us to enjoy an Aussie Christmas. It was really thoughtful of the management and staff because it was extra hard work for them to organise the special lunch.

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The menu was even more aussiefied with crusted lamb roast, prawns and pavlova on the menu. We loved the food and it was fun popping Christmas crackers and wearing the hat. I have to admit, they made us all feel special on the special day.

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After lunch, both of us were so stuffed that we went to the upper deck and just relaxed on the lounge. We enjoyed the beautiful sunset on the horizon before going to the room to get ready for dinner.

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Like every day, the Empire dining room served one of the best dinners and we were happy with the service and food.

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After dinner, special Christmas show was organised in the main hall (Pharaoh’s Palace) so we went there.

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The Christmas show was fun with Christmas carols from the singers and some kids, followed by Christmas song, Christmas story and many more entertainment and of course Santa Clause.

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Overall, AS and I had a splendid Christmas on board Carnival Spirit.

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On the way to our room we had a quick stop at the casino and had some fun :).

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We were both tired after a while and were off too bed.

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Hope all of you a great one too.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Celebrating AS‘s birthday in the middle of the Pacific Ocean

On 28 of December, it was AS’s birthday and we had a sea day on the cruise. Since AS has been in Australia, he has been lucky enough to celebrate his birthday in different places every year. Three years ago, we were in Brisbane, two years ago, we were in Vanuatu, last year it was Nepal and this year it was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Before we even started our holiday, AS warned me not to embarrass him in from of lots of people in the ship by letting them know that it’s his birthday. I love to do all those stuffs but he is a very private person so I respect his decision. I promised him I was not going to do that and I would not buy him a cake either.

On the morning of his birthday, I work up, put the card I had for him in front of him and went to shower. When I came back, he was awake but he didn’t see the card. I wished him Happy Birthday and we went to shower. I moved the birthday card from the bed to the dressing table hoping he would see it when he comes out of shower and gets ready.

To my dismay, he didn’t see the card for another 10 minutes so I ran out of patience and gave him the card :). When I asked him why he did not see the he said he did not have his glasses on!

He read the card and hug me and thanked me for making him feel special. He was happy with the card and a watch, the one I bought before we left10884014-horz

As the cruise always served a lovely breakfast, we went for breakfast. When we opened the room door, we got a card for AS from the cruise.The breakfast was as usual awesome with too many options to choose from.

We just went to stroll around the cruise after the breakfast and I let him do the things he wanted to. I really wanted him to enjoy his day. As if everyone knew that it was AS’s birthday, the lunch that day was Chocolate Extravaganza.  Imagine AS’s happiness when we went to the dining room :).

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It is a chocolate buffet with items you can’t even imagine. I am sure AS was able to get “chocolate high” by just looking at those items. Just have a look on what they served. Lots of different chocolate items like chocolate wontons, chocolate cake, banana fritters, fudge , puddings , chocolate-dipped churros, home-made marshmallows, doughnuts , jelly candies, and fresh fruit that can be dipped into chocolate fountain and much much more.

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We had a lovely lunch and we went to watch a magic show. The magician was just OK but we had fun. When we came back to the room, we found a plate of cakes and chocolate covered strawberries left in the room. It was just perfect.

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It was “Elegant Night” that evening on the ship so it was a perfect opportunity for both of us to dress up for dinner.

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I wore my black floor length gown and he wore his purple shirt, purple tie and black pant with purple stripe. By then both of us were tanned and I have to admit, he was looking great and I feel blessed to have him in my life.

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As everyone was wearing their best evening dress, when we walked out from our room to the main hall, the hall looked amazing and it reminded me of the moment from Titanic when Rose (Kate Winslet) comes to the ballroom and  Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) sees her. Anyway, we had a great time walking around and taking photos and mingling with other guests and it was time to go for dinner.

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AS asked me again if he will get any surprise and I promised him that I hadn’t organised anything. So as usual we met other couples from our table. They wished AS Happy Birthday and then we started our dinner. The dinner was awesome with a 3-course meal. We were spoiled with choices of food and by the time for dessert I didn’t even want to eat anymore.

As we were conversing on the table, one of our new friends told me that she had informed the waiter that it was AS’s birthday and as we saw nights before that, everyone in the restaurant room would sing the happy birthday song once the cake is out.

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I was glad that AS was getting the cake for his birthday. So after our dessert came, our waiter brought a cake with a candle for AS. AS was literally blushing when the waiter announced to the whole restaurant that it is his birthday and we all need to sing the song. So more than 100+ people sang happy birthday and he made a wish and blew the candle. I am glad AS enjoyed his cake and it was a happy evening for us.

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After dinner, we went to the show and it was just amazing night for both of us. AS had a great day in the middle of Pacific Ocean for his birthday.

Once we were back, I had organised a party at our place for New Year but I sneaked in a cake with the help of my SIL. When the cake came out and we all were singing happy birthday, AS was confused as it was few days past his birthday.

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I was so glad and he had no clue we were having a cake for his birthday. He made me promise not to do anything on the ship but I had made no promises for our home so it was my opportunity to make sure he gets a proper cake for his birthday.

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The cake was chocolate mud cake, AS‘s favourite and we all loved it.

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I am just happy that AS got two cakes for his birthday and he had a wonderful time both the days. I hope to celebrate many many of our birthdays together and with full of love.

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Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO