What Can You Do on a Cruise
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My family just came back from an 8 Nights New Caledonia cruise on Carnival Spirit and everyone had a fantastic time as well as chalking up a number of new experiences. The cruise comprised 4 days at sea (2 days to/from Sydney and New Caledonia islands) and docked at Isle of Pines, Mare and Noumea. This was our first cruise and we were a bit wary after reading all the horror cruise reports in the media. However, we were pleasantly surprised at how safe we felt on board and how clean and well-kept the ship was.
Being cruise newbies, we went on the "Get to Know Your Ship" tour and attended the talk by the Cruise Director to learn the ropes. The talk was especially useful. We were told that a daily activity newsletter, Fun Times would be delivered to our cabins each evening. This newsletter highlighted the top activities for the next day and had a tear-out section that listed all the activities by time sequence and all the dining options for the day. This tear-out sheet, Sail and Sign card and water bottle were the only things that we carried around with us during the cruise. So, what can you do on a cruise? The list below is based on our cruise on Carnival Spirit.
For the Food Lovers
– enjoy the food! All the meals were included in the cruise fare, except for dining in specialty restaurants. On our cruise, pizzas, soft serves, tea and coffee were available 24 hours and popcorns were provided on open-air movie nights. For breakfast, there were continental breakfast, hot food buffet, breakfast pizza, create your own omelette and Mexican breakfast every day. For lunch, we had the options of Guy Fieri burgers, Fat Jimmy BBQ, Mexican food, sausages and pies, buffet and lots of desserts. For dinner, we chose 'anytime dining' when we booked our cruise, which allowed us to dine at the restaurant at our leisure. The other option is 'fixed time dining', which required you to be at the restaurant at a specific time. Other choices included buffet dinner and paid dining at the specialty restaurants. We found out that the buffet dinner included some of the restaurant's menu items. If you need snacks outside the dining hours, you can take some food back to your cabins.
We got to enjoy food from the specialty restaurants (without paying for them) by going to the cooking demonstrations and tasting sessions. We literally had a 4 course lunch during one of the demonstrations! On Noumea, we found a French bakery that served such yummy pastries that we had both morning tea and lunch there.
For those who enjoy live entertainment
– take your pick each night from stage performances at the theatre, performances at the pubs, piano sing along sessions and Karaoke. All of us agreed that the stage performances, which included musicals, magic shows and game shows, were the highlights of the cruise. We were particularly impressed with the Miss Houdini show.
For the nature lovers
– sunrise and sunset times were shown on the television daily and the islands have lush greenery, pure white sand, crystal clear water and colourful sea life. Isle of Pines is a lovely island for scenic strolls, swimming and snorkelling. Yejele Beach on Mare has abundant reef islets with lots of colourful fishes, making it an excellent spot for snorkelling.
For those into fitness
– my sister went to the daily early morning stretch classes and the gym was opened for use all the time. There was also a track and mini golf on the top deck. Paid personal training sessions can be booked with the trainers at the gym. The personal trainers also conducted free talks on various topics during the cruise.
For those who feel lucky
– Bingo sessions seemed to be on all the time and the casino was opened whenever legislation allowed the cruise line to do so. There were also lucky draws at most of the talks and activities on board.
For those who want to relax
– with paid room service, you can actually stay in your cabin and do nothing. If you prefer doing nothing in the open air, there were lots of deck chairs to laze in.
There were so many activities that it's not possible to write about all of them in a single article. We missed an ice sculpture session because we were in the middle of a cooking demonstration. We have no idea what activities they organised for the 700 children on board but they all looked very happy whenever we come across them. Children were allowed to be in the pubs until 10pm and we saw an impressive Karaoke performance by a little girl. Duty free shopping was also available on the ship.
We enjoyed the cruise so much that we are planning to go on another one. My mother said it was the best holiday she had ever had because she didn't have to do any planning. If you have been on a cruise that you enjoyed, please let us know.
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