Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pacific Jewel - 26 January 2013, Noumea

Happy Australia Day! and we're spending it in Noumea - woo to the hoo!
View from our cabin window - slowly getting closer to the dock
 We arrived in Noumea at about 8am, the last time we cam here was on the Pacific Dawn (2010) and it arrived at around 3pm so this time we'll get to spend the whole day here. We haven't booked any tours and just plan to wing it, probably just walk and walk and walk.
Welcoming committee!
 By the time we got upstairs they had finished their dancing and had gone!

Another day, another view

The main Cruise Terminal
No tenders are needed at Noumea so it's an easy walk off walk on whenever you like. We didn't rush off the ship as there were lots of people heading off for their prebooked tours, no sense joining in the rush - breakfast and the buffet is calling :-)

There were a lot of tours to select from in Noumea from 1 hour long to all day ones plus you could also book tours in the main cruise terminal - just make sure you are going to be back in plenty of time as the ship only waits for P&O booked tours if they're running late!

This morning we didn't go to the buffet (gasp!) for breakfast, we actually went to the grill which is just before the buffet (you walk through it to get to the buffet). We had the most delicious made to order egg and bacon roll, yummo! The grill is free but also does have times where they change the menu and there is a charge. This is normally when the buffet is closed - to begin with we thought everything at the grill was extra! The lady that came over and cleaned out table said that the little boy in front of us had been to the grill every morning for his egg and bacon roll (all by himself) she thought he was adorable. He was probably about 10 - this is one of the many wonderful things about a cruise, your kiddies are safe and have freedom to do (pretty much) what they like. We had heard people complain at the 'unruly' kids but we never came across any, I think some of the adults acted a lot worse than any of the kids!

Breakfast done headed off the ship, like always they scan your card as you head off. We left the ship at about 9.30am - time to explore.

Our cabin is 7th from the front (below the P&O)
 Through the cruise terminal and outside we headed. If you need to and didn't already on the ship you can change money inside the terminal plus be spruiked to by many people trying to get you to do their tour! Upstairs in the terminal are some markets - the prices aren't that cheap but nothing is in Noumea.

Which way should we go??
 We were decided on which way to go, to the left, to the right, straight up??
Coconut Park - in the middle of town
 We decided on heading towards the middle of town, not a very far walk from the ship, and go from there. There is a large park in the centre of town, lots of open space - there is also an Information Centre there. It wasn't open yet when we first went there so we had to use our own sense of direction!
Rotunda near the top end of Coconut Park

Noumea street with our Jewel at the bottom
Having the Jewel as a guide helps you from getting too lost - you can see her from most of the streets!

This is at the top of the town - lovely views from the church
 You could see the Jewel from the steps of the church and most of Noumea city.

This is a couple of streets up from the terminal, to the left.

Got a map!
 After doing a big loop of town we went back to the Information Centre and it was open - got our map! We had a look where we'd been and then where to next. We decided on heading towards the marina and follow the waters edge around as far as we could or, at least, as far as we could manage!

As mentioned before Noumea isn't the cheapest of places for shopping but I did want to get something! We went into a few of the shops, especially the homeware type stores (I love brica brac) and ended up buying a few small bits and pieces. We hadn't changed much money so I couldn't get too carried away. There was suppose to be a very yummy patisserie but we didn't come across it on our travels - we didn't know where abouts it was but apparently it's about one street up from the cruise terminal. There are lots of yummy treats on the ship so it didn't worry us not finding it!

It was bit drizzly off and on during our stay in Noumea but still quite warm - we were prepared though and had our brollies.

The Jewel was our landmark so we never got lost!

The Marina with a touch of rain

The Jewel in the distance

Our walk took us passed the marina - so many yachts! We even saw a few sea snakes. The roads are quite busy to it is best advised to use the traffic lights, cars and buses wait for no one. It was quite a long walk but the majority of it was relatively flat and we weren't in any hurry (except maybe to get back to the ship for lunch!). A lot people don't like Noumea and even question why the ships stop here but, for me, I quite like it. It isn't the prettiest of cities or the cheapest but it's different! There are so many tour options available and there are also so lovely beaches quite close to the ship. The food is meant to be great, there are lots of restaurants and cafes to choose from with a few just down from the cruise terminal.

Casino Supermarket

On the way back to the ship we stopped in at the Casino (it's a supermarket!) - it's fairly large and includes a bottle shop, bakery, deli, clothing and of course groceries. We wanted to get some soda water but it was a bit expensive so just ended up getting a few packets of chips etc.

Almost lunch time so we head back onto the Jewel - it's Australia Day so there were Aussie flags flying and meat pies!

With all the food we're eating we need to take the stairs!

Meat Pie and a Thai Salad
I don't think we've had a bad meal on the Jewel! We really liked the buffet and grill and the way they are set out. The variety of food was great as was the quality. With lunch done we decided to head back off the ship for some more sightseeing - and to work off the meat pie and dessert!

Yummy dessert! (no lamingtons though)

We can still see you!

After walking off our lunch and taking more happy snaps of Noumea we head back to the Jewel. It was around 4pm by the time we got back onboard. Sailaway was about 5.30pm so this gave us plenty of time for a freshen up before heading outside for our final sailaway. We would now being heading back to Sydney - the days just fly by, especially the port days!

Our nibblie hall from the supermarket!
We headed out to deck 7 to watch us leave the dock and sail out of Noumea - the weather was just glorious!
Leaving Noumea

Cocktail night tonight

Noumea Marina

Full steam ahead into the sunset
We were now on our way back home, next stop Sydney. For something different we decided to have our pre dinner drinks on Deck 5 near the Promenade Bar - it was nice but the air conditioning was a little cold. The is the same deck that the Waterfront Restaurant is on so there were lots of people walking past us heading for dinner.

Outside the Promenade Bar

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