Just Cruisin’

So here we are, back home from a ten day cruise. I always thought such travel would be more than a little boring, but we had a wow of a time. After all, what’s not to like about total relaxation, incredibly beautiful ocean and being waited on hand and foot? Then of course more food available than you could ever hope to eat.

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And that’s without even mentioning visiting the Pacific Islands of Noumea, Mystery Island, Mare and Lifou.

I will admit that the heat was a bit extreme for my taste by the time we reached Lifou, and thought longingly of our little cool space and place in the Valley. As they say, be careful what you wish for …..we went from one extreme to the other.

Robert and I did all the touristy things, like travelling through the incredibly beautiful countryside of Noumea on a “Tchou Tchou train”, wine and cheese tastings, swimming and snorkelling with tropical fish at Mare, touring a vanilla plantation at Lifou – all really enjoyable.

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It was interesting too, meeting all the different cultures on the islands. We were told in advance that French was widely spoken. Now I’ve always fancied myself as being quite good at French (mind you, that was about four and a half decades ago). I borrowed books from the library to brush up a bit beforehand, and was determined to communicate when and where I could.

Now that’s all very fine in principle, but when it came to face to face contact the proverbial cat got my tongue and I could only manage a Merci Beaucoup, Bonjour or Au Revoir.

Finally, on Lifou, I determined to do more. After the indigenous people sang and danced for us, the group of young men were standing around on the grass chatting, waiting until their next performance.

“I’m a happy man” said one, obviously trying out his English. Seizing my chance, I said “Jolie Homme!”. He looked at me a little strangely for a few moments, and then broke into a broad grin. “I’m a pretty man!!” he shouted and started dancing and falling about laughing.

Oh dear, belatedly I realised I’d used the wrong word. So much for my linguistic expertise. Think I’ll give that a rest from now on.

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It was all great fun nevertheless and not a single boring moment on board the ship or off. There was always something happening with the ship’s entertainment – from a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party through to the fantastic evening shows.

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Thanks to those who made it all possible, daughter Stephanie for arranging our bookings firstly, and the Carnival Spirit people who treated everyone on board like special guests.

And of course Kimberley’s Pet and Taxi Service who arranged for the wonderful David and Maree to come and pet-sit our menagerie of animals, so that they could be spoilt in the manner to which we have made them accustomed.

So here below are just a few more of the photos (just slightly crazy) from our first ever (and hopefully not our last) cruise.

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