South Pacific Cruise Onboard the Carnival Spirit
My family and some friends went on a 9 night South Pacific Cruise on the Carnival Spirit last January. We had an absolutely incredible time. We had spent a week camping just before the cruise, so as you can imagine - the cruise was very luxurious for us all! The boarding process was extremely quick and very easy. We barely had to wait any time before we were stepping onto the ship for the first time! Like many other cruisers, the first thing we did on board was.... Head to the buffet!!! There is a reason they say to pack your fat pants! The buffet had lots of variety and we were spoilt for choice!
After lunch we explored the ship which is always one of the most exciting parts of the holiday. Although the Spirit is an older ship, she was absolutely beautiful, and looking very fresh! The ship has many excellent on board facilities. Beautiful lounges/bars, a gorgeous theatre, waterslides, mini golf, and a piano bar are only a few of the many facilities the ship has to offer.
We went up on deck for sail away which was at 4:00pm which was very exciting! Our holiday had officially begun. We had an incredible three course meal in the main dining room, and were introduced to our fabulous waiters. I had the legendary Carnival Chocolate Melting cake for desert..... and I must admit that it definitely wasn't the only time we indulged in that sweet treat! We went to the All Aboard Show at Pharaoh's Theatre which was a lot of fun, and afterwards listened to a band in one of the lounges before retiring for the evening.
First Day At Sea
Nothing beats the magical feeling of waking up to the gentle rocking of the ship and looking out of the window/balcony to see the pristine blue ocean..... I get excited just thinking about it. We woke to clear blue skies, and the ocean was very calm. Believe it or not... A few members of our group actually went to the gym that morning! There is a first time for everything! We always say we are going to go to the gym on our cruises, but it never happens. Let's just walk up the stairs to the buffet instead am I right?!
We spent the morning up on deck enjoying the pool and the Green Thunder Waterslide! I was freaking out while waiting for the floor to drop out from underneath me but it was a great adrenaline rush. In the afternoon we watched the Lip Sync Battle auditions on deck which was lots of fun, we had lots of giggles! I then went to one of my favourite places on the ship; the Alchemy Bar, to read my book and watch the magical ocean out of the window.
Dinner was a lot of fun that night. It was 'Island Night'! So all of the waiters and waitresses dressed up and during dinner everyone got up and took part in a big conga line through the dining room. The show that night was called 'Getaway Island' and was performed by the Playlist Productions cast. It was a great show, full of fantastic singing and dancing.
Second Day at Sea
Our second day at sea was just as fabulous as the first. Some of the highlights of my day included a fun Hip Hop dance class in the atrium, which was run by one of the incredible dancers on board the ship. There was a 'Chocolate Extravaganza' at the buffet which was amazing. There was chocolate fudge, cake, mousse, pineapple and strawberries. It was a delight to eat! It was Elegant night, so everyone got dressed up for dinner which I loved. The show was by an illusionist named 'Miss Houdini' and it was fantastic. There was incredible costumes as well as fantastic dancing, and amazing tricks.
We also went to the Sit Down Comedy Club to see the PG comedy show which was absolutely hilarious. I also spent an hour or so at the Shanghai Piano Bar which was a lot of fun. Rohan the piano man did a Beatles tribute show, which was a blast! You could request songs for him to sing and everyone sang along. It was so joyful!
I had a really great day in Noumea. I woke up at 5:30am and watched the stunning sunset from my balcony and watched us sail into Noumea. It was such a beautiful morning. I went to a stretch/yoga class which was so peaceful and a very relaxing way to start the day. I have been to Noumea numerous times and always have a great day. We went on a one and a half hour city tour on a double decker bus which is a really great way to explore the city. After the tour we took the 'hop on hop off' bus which took us to Lemon Beach. It is a beautiful swimming area, with crystal clear water. There is a floating pontoon, which all of the local children jump off. It was a lot of fun playing and making friends with them.
After our swim we walked to an amazing French Patisserie called 'Le Boun Choux' before heading back to the ship. Back on the ship I did a Michael Jackson dance class with one of the dancers on board which was a blast! That night I went to the 80's party on the deck which was a hoot. Everyone had glow in the dark accessories and we all danced to the night away!
Lifou Island is a tropical paradise! Words can't describe the beauty of the island. The first thing we wanted to do was go to the cave! We had no idea what to expect as it is not advertised anywhere but it was such an amazing experience. It was about a 10-15 minute walk to the cave entrance where we had to pay $10 per person to the chief of the island which we didn't mind as the money helps the people! We walked through some bush and started the steep descent through a rock/cave passage before emerging into a green and lush rainforest which was absolutely beautiful! It was a little difficult to get down to the cave but once you arrive it is worth it! It is a small cave, which is very dark and there is a small swimming hole! The water was pitch black and the only way to get in was by jumping! It was a bit scary but felt absolutely amazing once we were in! The water was EXTREMELY deep so it was very exhilarating! There was a small rocky area you could sit on in the water. It was a bit difficult to get out of the water as you had to pull yourself up with a rope but we made it! It was a strenuous but beautiful climb back up. Definitely wear sneakers or reef shoes for the journey. It was a one of a kind experience!
After our cave adventure, we walked back to the beach and had some delicious fresh coconut. We swam at the beach on the left side of the jetty where it wasn't as crowded. The water was one of the most stunning shades of blue I have ever seen! As I was swimming, I was lucky enough to see a beautiful large turtle, which stayed with me for around five minutes. It was so special to see such a beautiful creature in their natural habitat. I saw another one a bit later which was so exciting! I will never forget that experience.
Mare is another stunning island in New Caledonia. When you arrive on the island, everyone has the opportunity to board a bus which takes you to the main beach. The beach was pristine. I have never seen water that colour before! There were stunning palm trees, and lots of locals selling fresh coconuts, souvenirs and hair braiding. There was one problem though! Not a single person was in the water... We then looked down and saw the 'beautiful' sight of thousands of bluebottles lined up on the shore, and floating in the water. It was quite literally an infestation!
There was one man swimming, and if he could brave the jellyfish, so could I! The water was so beautiful, and it was an extremely hot day, so how could I not go in?! Well... I got stung! And it actually really hurt! I had a bit of an allergic reaction but that’s okay! The pain was worth it for the beautiful swim! I went in again later and had a bluebottle wrap itself around my legs but oh well! Lots of other people followed my lead and went swimming, but nobody came out unscathed! We then took the bus back to the dock, and went for a jellyfish free swim which was lovely! There was a little bit of snorkelling there which was very nice.
Isle of Pines
Our final port was another gorgeous island at New Caledonia called Isle of Pines! We hired a van for the day and did our own tour of the island. First we drove to The Natural Aquarium, which is a beautiful lagoon surrounded by greenery. To get to the main swimming area, we had to walk for about fifteen minutes through a waist deep waterway which was stunning. Unfortunately the bluebottles followed us there! And we were swarmed! But don't worry, we were prepared after the prior days events! We were all armed with flippers, pool noodles and palm fronds to ward off the little stingers! We looked like an army, it was hilarious.
We had a magical swim there. The water was so clear, that you could see all of the stunning fish without even putting your head under! There was a huge clam shell opening and closing, and we saw a sea snake and big clear jellyfish floating around. It was magnificent!
We then went to the Hortense cave. It was an amazing place to see! You walked through a beautiful lush rainforest for around 3 minutes before arriving at the incredible cave! It was absolutely huge! The deeper you get into the cave it got extremely dark, so we had to use our phone torch to be able to see. There were bats on the roof and we felt like we were in Jumanji.
We then spent some time swimming at The Rock which the island is famous for. Thankfully, it was jellyfish free!! There were lots of exotic fish, and colourful coral. We had a great time snorkelling there.
The Final Sea Days
Our final days at sea were wonderful. One of the days was Australia day! So the band was playing Australian music on the deck, and the dining room and atrium were covered in Australian flags and balloons. The crew went to so much effort for the celebrations. I watched movies on the deck, played trivia, and went to more incredible shows in the theatre. I am a singer, so I sang a song at the piano bar one night, which was such a joy. I went to more dance classes, and listened to presentations presented by the Cruise Director and the Captain which were so interesting to attend.
The crew on the Carnival Spirit were phenomenal. The Playlist cast were so friendly, and were always out and about chatting to the passengers. Our waiters in the dining room were beyond brilliant as well! They were so kind, and always made sure that we were happy. But unfortunately, all good things must come to an end! Stepping off the ship on disembarkation day was very sad, but I will always cherish the memories I made while onboard!