The first 2 nights on the open ocean was the scariest for me. The boat tossed and moved like a roller coaster. I was ready to call coast guard to come and get me off the boat. Even contemplated whether to sleep with my life jacket on. Woke up both mornings with a throbbing neck and it felt like I had a brick for a pillow. The rest of the cruise around the islands was smooth sailing.
Plantation - The food was ok for me. A typical buffet breakfast. Cereals, Bacon, Eggs etc. Pass the powdered egss. There is fresh cooked eggs further on the line. lots of sick looking people there hehe.
Lunch and dinner was ok. Always something different (Im not fussy). No ice-cream...only custard if you can find it.
The Waterfront - You have to dress up in long pants to get in. They offer fine dining if your into it. The food was ok there but you might find youll want to go to the plantation for a top up. Only went there twice.
There is no free ice cream or Soft drinks in the plantation restaurant but there is a Coffee/Tea machine in there which you can get for free 24/7. You have to buy your own soft drink if you want one to wash down your food.
Staff - The staff are mainly Asians and Indians with a few Islanders. The best Ive ever come across. Worked to death and underpaid but they still manage to smile.
Deck 12 has a grill and these guys will work through cold howling winds to cook you a feed. I reckon the bosses should stand out there and try it. I bet theyll whinge like babies.
Entertainment - Short lived
Mostly musicals - I found it to be boring. (my own opinion)
The circus was entertaining but short lived. i dont blame them. they have to perform on a rocking boat. But Worth watching
Karaoke.- Very humorous. Probably the best laughter in the cruise. They have guts getting up there on stage and singing like choked chickens. Full credit for providing great entertainment.
Bingo - 30 dollars for 5 games. If your use to the long games then this isnt for you. Like I said only 5 games.
Casino - The toughest machines you will ever find. Make sure you got lots of money to donate to them.
Disco - if your up for a boogie then head on up there and bust a few moves. Its at the front of the boat on deck 14 so dont worry if you cant dance the movement of the boat will make you do some funny moves.
Movies - Days and nights on the big screen.
TV - Forget it. Unless your a Brit then all you get its BBC news and the odd movie during the day which has re-runs until the next day. No foxtel on board. You might get to see the end of a movie but dont worry. the movie will restart straight after it and youll get to see the beginning of it too.
Highlights - The islands were some of the best places you could visit. Blue crystal clear waters. Great to snorkel around.
Villa - Very interesting. The cabbies when you get off the boat hassle you. There is stalls as soon as you get off the boat. A trip into town will cost you 10 Aussie dollars. We had 4 in a cab. If they say 1000 dont panic. Its 1000 vatu. Same as 10 aussie dollars. You can barter and pay them 30 for a tour around the place for an hour or so. Most speak English.
Mystery Island - Stunning! Go see for yourself.
Isle of Pines - Awesome. Do the natural aquarium....you wont regret it.
Noumea - Forget it. A bunch of unfriendly frenchmen. Did the 25 dollar bus trip. Paid for it on shore. Way cheaper than booking it through the overpriced prices on the boat. I heard the Tchou Tchou train was a waste of time.
Meet the Captain and crew - Great one to go to on board the ship. Captain Lorenzo was very humerous. Just dont ask him about the Concordia. (LOL)
The Captain - Loved his daily commentary about the ships location and other interesting things on history.
The Pools - Mostly closed when the winds were high and the boat was rocking around at sea. They almost emptied themselves sometimes. But they were open when in port and calm days. You can lounge on the decks and join the pink prawn club if your into sun cancer hunting.
The cruise was a once in a lifetime experience for me. I dont think ill make it to pirate school. The days at sea were boring with minimal entertainment and all everyone does if eat and drink. Very easy to rack up a huge bill. So watch what you buy and make sure you can afford it.
Apart from a few young punks causing fights and having to be locked up in their rooms for a few days, the cruise for me sure was an experience. You get to meet some great people on board from all over Australia.
Take your laptop for movies for at sea days.
Dont think you can cause a ruckus because you will be locked up for a few days. These guys are strict.
Sea sickness tablets if you do get sick. They charge around $100 to go to the docs to get a shot.
Aussie dollars are ok in Villa they prefer it.
Not so ok in Noumea. So get some french money but the tour operators on shore will accept Aussie dollars.
The teller machine on the boat works and doesnt work so take some cash with you. I guess it depends on the satellite. They dont use any cash on board the boat but it will come in handy for the islands. Sometimes theres a line-up and the machines run out of money or they go offline so take cash.
Internet is very expensive on the boat. So bring lots of money if your an internet nut (Haha)
Tours booked on the boat are very expensive. You can go on shore and theres many operators selling the tours for 1/4 of the price. But just remember dont miss the boat. They wont wait for you so make sure your back on time.
I was on deck 11 in the middle towards the back. If I ever go on another cruise I would not choose it again (period) Pick a room with a window. At least youll know what time of the day it is. There are hardly any clocks on the ship so you dont know what time it is when your passing through time zones. My room was dark (no windows) Mind you it would be good for any vampires who like it that way.
Otherwise enjoy the trip. For all you first timers like me. I hope this prepares you for it. Eat drink and be merry and enjoy the cruise. Oh and youll love the orange carpet. make it interesting if your thinking about getting sick and the boat rocking from side to side. I survived and so will you so Good luck and Bon Voyage :-)