S: Pacific Jewel Cruise 25 July 2011
BC: DEPARTED | AUSTRALIA | 25 July 2011
FC: Cruising the South Pacific The Pacific Jewel 25 July 2011 12 nights - Vanuatu & New Caledonia
3: We had been really looking forward to this cruise. I had booked it over 7 months ago so for it to finally be here was exciting. There was a real party going on baard as we were leaving We checked out our cabin & headed up top deck to watch the ship leave the harbour. John took us down as he was meeting Rona who was coming in on the same ship we were going on. Uncanny! she had been on a foody weekend but the weather was so rough they didn't get out of the harbour the first night. Thank god the weather had picked up by the time we were due to leave. It was an event finding the ship though as it had docked in Darling Harbour not Cirqular Quay as we were told. Therefore we had to get a taxi around after John had gone due to the mixup.
5: LEAVING SYDNEY The sun was shining when we left but the clouds were rolling in. I think the rain followed us for a few days unfortunately.
7: Sailing out through The Heads wasn't too rough at all. Having been on a cruise before I knew I'd be OK but wasn't sure about the others. It was all good! No sea sickness at all.
8: Time to Relax
9: First day and night at sea. Time to explore of course we had to try out the chocolate cafe! There was so much food...... Thank god for the stairs as we were on deck 10 while the restaurants were on deck 7 & 12. Shopping deck 5-7.
10: First Formal night The show "dancing through the years" was so much fun and the costumes were brilliant!
13: First formal night. Fun getting dressed up. The kids looked so good!
15: This gentleman below did a good job of handling a childs' query as to why he (Santa) was here and not at the north pole. He told them he needed a holiday too and it was a good way to check who was being naughty or nice. Great answer!
16: Barry took some amazing sunrise photos throughout our holiday. The first morning he was up before all of us naturally and while sitting having a cuppa he was asked by a crew member what he was doing up so early (it was only 7.30). He said it was late for him. He said at least he wasn't as silly as those bootcamp fitness nuts doing their thing. We all can't understand why you want to do that when you are supposed to be on holiday.
17: Sunrise on the 3rd morning
18: BONDI BEACH is one of Australia's most famous beaches and among the world's most well-known beaches. The beach is roughly a kilometer long and is located on the east coast of Australia and is a suburb of the city of Sydney. | Not a big Island but it looked lovely. We got wet here both swimming and by the rain. We were told that one side of the island was more stony underfoot than the other for swimming. The locals were cooking lobster on the beach but it was too wet to eat it comfortably and we were told there would be better opportunities elsewhere. | Isle of Pines
19: We had one of the best viewing spots on our deck. Just a few doors down from our cabin was an exit onto a deck that few people knew about. It was quiet a lot because it wasn't known well. We met a few people out there and had some great conversations with them. As you can see Barry got some brilliant photos here. It was perfect for viewing the ship come into a port.
20: First port of call: Isle of Pines | Someone forgot to take his wallet out before he went for a swim...priceless!
21: Beautiful island with no beer! Yes a ship full of Aussies coming and they don't have any beer! For Shame!
22: This was so much fun the show was laugh out loud funny & the audience participation was an added bonus. | Ahoy there! It's Pirate Night! | Audience participation included games like having audience members throw fish down on to the stage from the balcony while the others had to try to catch them in a net. It was all in aid of the pirates getting the treasure
23: Barry had me laughing so hard! Totally embarrassed the kids as he really got into the spirit of the night chasing people with his fake sword that was used as a prop for the photos.
25: Mystery Island
27: I got dunked!
28: OMG Lobster! Barry was in heaven $30 for this.
29: This is the plane landing strip on the island used in world war II. Turn 180 and the beach is directly behind.
30: We had a lovely time on mystery island. The kids had their first fresh lobster and loved it. The water was warm but very salty which made it hard to dive down and try out the underwater camera . | We had to wait about 2 hours to get the tender out to the island and it was an event waiting to go back as we got soaked in the tropical rain shower. Just as well we were already wet from our swim.
31: Port Vila | Very Wet and humid. It seemed to rain every time we stopped for a break in between shopping (so cheap). Taxis were a constant hassle. There is never a taxi when you need one back home but not here!
32: This is what Port Vila is supposed to look like on a clear day. | Barry being Barry couldn't help himself! This cutout was outside the entrance to one of the local bars.
33: It was western night. Barry bought the toy guns and blow up horse in Vila. Certainly made for many comments during the night.
34: Didn't take Michael long to discover his favourite drink, Strawberry Daiquiri
35: This is where Barry got sunburnt! out on deck. He went with Emma over to Wala while Michael & I stayed up in the adults only lounge. Very relaxing. | Wala
39: Champagne Bay!
40: For $2 we were able to have our photo taken with the wild life the locals were showing. Another creature was a python (I wasn't going there) A fellow passenger asked me to take her photo with it. She was braver than me! Emma thought the children were beautiful! | Memories
41: Lobster Time | We had to wait a while for this lobster but it was worth it! Only $15 ea. Barry & Michael washed them in the ocean and then just pigged out. I am sure it is one of the kids best memories.
42: Now the kids & Barry know why I have been raving about this place for so long.
43: No Barry didn't get this burnt here. It was from sunbaking on the deck the morning before. He was too tough for sunscreen. Paid for it later. Another girl in the cabin next to us also got burnt and everytime they saw each other it would be "hey lobster!"
46: Yes the water was this blue!
47: View from the ship as we were on our way again.
49: Island Night..... | I was sorry to leave Champagne Bay. Everyone agreed it was the best stop. I would have been really ticked if it had've been raining again. Barry got up early and said it was raining but thank god it cleared up! Tonights Island theme had been put off a couple of times due to bad weather but it was perfect tonight!
50: . | There was a real party atmosphere after having such a good day. Some of the people we met were a lot of fun. Glen here with his beard braided looked so cool! He said it took about an hour to get done.
51: sydney harbor bridge | We had so much fun getting dressed up. You could hear Barry coming with the bells on his sarong (shorts underneath). Emma was a good sport getting in on the fun.
52: PACIFIC CIRQUE | These were one talented bunch of performers! the strength, control and just Wow factor! | When one of the performers was doing acrobatics on a ribbon it was just amazing the balance they must have had. They performed about 3 times on the cruise and were also part of the stage acts on theme nights.
54: The Pacific Cirque crew
55: VANUATU | South Pacific | 1 Aug 2011
56: The Entertainers! The comedians, magicians, singers, and just plain talented were so good. Emma & I went to some on our own while the boys went to the bar. It was good to see her have tears rolling down from laughing just as much as me. Michael liked being able to go the 18 up only comedy nights. | This poor girl here was so nervous she was shaking!
57: On this night we had a champagne waterfall down in the atrium with the chefs doing a parade. | Emma having a crack up moment
58: Our last formal night. The kids looked so grown up. The sample menu shows how good the food was. With a set menu every meal as well as a special list that changed daily.
60: Noumea, New Caledonia
61: In our original itinerary we weren't going to Noumea but due to civil unrest at Emerald Bay we were unable to . Nobody we spoke to was happy about Noumea. Having been there before & not really being impressed I wasn't either but for Barry & the kids it was an experience. It was our last stop before getting back to Sydney and in a way that was depressing as it meant back to the real world.
64: The horse races were a good laugh! On the first day out they had an auction of 6 horses and whoever won had to take their horse everywhere and they could decorate them any way they wanted. A mob from Wodonga of all places, won the first horse for around $60. Others went up to about $300. On the last day of the cruise Barry volunteered to be a jockey for one race. Two big dice were thrown and one was for the no of the horse the other for the steps forward. Betting was fierce just like at any race track. The horse owners got to keep the profits!
65: Every day we received the "Pacific Daily" with information on the port we were visiting for the day, the activities on board, dress ie casual or formal for dinner along with any other news for the day such as sales etc. Emma and I did line dancing on a couple of occasions which was fun and a good work out. There was always a movie or concert showing on the cinema screen up on the top deck too. The entertainers were great too and very friendly. They would sometimes eat up with everyone else and were quite approachable. | Sandy the cruise director was a good entertainer as well. He could spin a story or two. One night he was telling the audience about some of the things guests would come out with and boy were they ridiculous. Things like one person asked if the island you could see was completely surrounded by water; another lady asked if all the crew were taken off the ship at night only to be brought back the next day. Sandy thought she was kidding with him and replied that yes there was a helicopter that picked them up and brought them back. Later he was told she had sent a letter to the cruise line asking for the helicopters to be made a little less noisy as they kept her awake; questions like do these stairs go up or down; Why won't my microwave work - it is a safe was receptions reply; How do you get the sea water into the pool & many more
66: Last day at sea here are some photos of around the deck. Opp Page: The people that you meet. Glen towered over Barry! Our waiter Nester. He was brilliant! The kids loved him and no matter you were hungry or not he always brought out extra. We had the same table every time we went so we had him as our waiter. The first night his supervisor checked he hadn't given beer to a minor as Michael didn't look 18. Emma enjoyed the mocktails!
68: I wanted to watch the harbour as we sailed in on our last morning so Barry said he would wake me at 6am seeing as we had to be out of our cabin by 8am. So here I am up on deck and I couldn't see a thing it was so dark. The harbour wasn't anywhere near so when Barry said it was only 5am I could've killed him I was not impressed!. (Especially by 9.30pm that night) Being awake now I just stayed up. I am glad I got to see the view as we have one of the most stunning harbour's in the world!
71: There were bridge climbers on top of the bridge as we were going under. We all waved and shouted to each other like idiots. It's good to be an Aussie.
72: Sydney, Australia
75: Home Sweet home: Our journey ends, we've been asked many times since would we do it again & yes we would. We have many memories that we can share and good quality family time. I hope in years to come the kids will look back and say they were glad they did it too. I know I'll miss the high tea and Barry still raves about the pastries for breaky.