Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pacific Pearl - And we're back

We followed the Jewel back into Sydney

Beautiful Sydney Harbour

Back to Sydney. We left from White Bay but we returned the the Overseas Passenger Terminal. This ended up working out better for us as dad was picking us up and was staying near Chinatown so didn't have far to come to get us. Thankfully, being a weekend, there was some parking not too far away from the Terminal.

We left our luggage outside our cabin the night before and then collected it once we got of the ship this morning.

So glad we didn't have to catch the train home this time, yay for dad! We got home at around 1pm, if we'd been on the train it would have been about 7pm, blah.

Another cruise over and dreaming of our next cruise.......we definitely are hooked.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Pacific Pearl - Final Sea day

The Lido - heading back from the buffet with my breakfast

Our last day on board the Pacific Pearl, sad face. This cruise, like all others, just went so fast! It was a great cruise with 5 wonderful stops and I absolutely love the Pearl. I *think* this maybe my favourite ship and possibly my favourite cruise. (but all my cruises have been my favourite!) I really did enjoyed myself.  

We started our day like we started every day on the Pearl, breakfast from the Plantation Buffet enjoyed out on the Lido. It was so nice to eat our breakfast out here in the fresh air, especially when the weather was so good. Much nicer than inside the buffet with air conditioning and half a ship load of passengers. I don't know why more people don't come out here, although I think it has to do with walking and the distance from the tables to more food :-)
I wonder what I got? Danishes perhaps??
Today we basically enjoyed being on board the Pearl. We did a few laps on deck 14, checked out some lovely artwork, had morning tea on the lido, lunch from the Plantation and rounded that off with trivia, Danny Black and dinner in the Plantation! I believe we 'almost' one this trivia and ended up with a drink bottle for our efforts, go us. Only took us the whole cruise to 'almost' win!

We had gotten use to our inside cabin by now and decided we wouldn't mind doing another cruise in an insiddie as long as the price was right of course! Ever the cruise bargain hunters we are. A digital alarm clock would be useful plus a small torch can come in handy too. Other than having no window the cabin room and functionality is exactly the same as a room with a window. It is nice to be able to look out from your cabin and see where you are but that's what the TV cruise cam's for :-)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pacific Pearl - Sea day

Ordering our Egg & Bacon rolls for the Grill
We had a great day today. Some eating (as you do), some walking, some reading, playing a spot of deck quoits, cocktails with the Captain - this was the first time we have been invited! Very exciting but 'what do we wear!'. After the Captain's Cocktails we headed to our usual spot at The Orient for drinkies and Danny Black - he has to be the best singer we have seen on a cruise. Sooo entertaining!

Eating my freshly made egg & bacon roll
It was a bit windy up on the lido so we decided to check out what was happening in the atrium. In the Pacific Daily there was a Spa Treatment demo happen as well as the usual bargain shopping. Mum had a lovely neck massage and wasn't even pressured into buying any face products or booking in for a longer massage.

Shopping & Spa Treatments in the Atrium, Deck 5
Now mum was all rested and relaxed from her massage I told her we need some fresh air and exercise so up the stairs to deck 14 for a few laps
Deck 14
and maybe a sit down

Deck 14 - great deck chairs to watch the big screen from or read a book
and then a spot of lunch

The Plantation Buffet

Lunch in the Plantation
After lunch we were doing a few more laps around deck 14 when they started to set up quoits. I think they must have been desperate for players as they asked us. Obviously they didn't know how unsporty I was!

Deck Quoits
Although, I made it through to the semi finals. Tells you how great the others must have been. I even beat mum!

Semi finalist at Deck Quoits! So close to winning a cooler, ha ha
I crashed and burned in the semis, too much pressure I think. The prize was a drink cooler you know - a very sort after prize.
Drinkies after our Cocktails with the Captain!
The captain had seen us around the ship obviously as we were invited to his cocktail party later in the evening! ha ha I think it was just because we had filled out a form earlier in the cruise asking us if we would like to go to the Captains cocktail party as we had previously cruised with P&O. We weren't the only ones, I think the word 'free' cocktails gets the crowds in more than the captain. Sorry captain. After the captain did a little speech her handed over to the CD (cruise director) to announce the winners of the most cruises awards, we have a long way to go!

After dinner we went to a show in the Marque Show Lounge and then caught up with the Bombe Alaska Parade as we were leaving. We were actually headed to our cabin but ended up enjoying a bit of the celebrations in the Atrium with the Champagne Fountain and balloon drop. See we can party with the best of them sometimes!

The wait staff parade

The Champagne Fountain - I don't know how it doesn't fall!

Mum partying!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pacific Pearl - Sea Day, heading home

Brekky time, again!
I was certainly making the most of these last few days on the Pearl. Two course breakfast for me today! Seriously everything was so good. This is why I tell mum we have to use the stairs!

Brekky part 2
Mum even had some danishes, that's how good they are!

Danishes today
I take photos up on deck 14 so it looks like we do laps all the time, he he. Although, for the most part we at least walk around it once after breakfast. It's quite nice up there before the crowds and if the winds not too bad. Ocean for as far as the eye can see and for the most part it was soooooo flat.
Walking our breakfast off on deck 14
The door under the big white ball (above) leads into the Dome.

The lifts near The Dome on Deck 14 (fancy)
We decided to go to the Marque to check out the Future Cruise presentation, we're always looking out for our next cruise plus it gave us an excuse (although who needs and excuse) to sit down. Like we don't do enough of that already :-)

Waiting for something to begin in the show lounge

The Mix Bar, Deck 5
We went for a bit of a wander around the ship. It's amazing how many places we never actually visited during the cruise. I think we just get out favourite places and always head there. (like the buffet) We did a spot of sun baking, in the shade, mum did some puzzles to work up and appetite and then we grabbed some lunch and sat out the back of the buffet to enjoy it. Empanades, yum!

Deck 12, catching some rays

A very yummy lunch!

I think 80% of the photos I take of mum she's eating :-)
We did some reading and deck chairing and then when it got a bit too hot we headed inside to the Dome. That's a lovely place to sit and there was some ballroom dance classes on so we could watch how coordinated (or not) some of the men were. You could tell it was the womens idea to do the dance classes! The Orient was calling our names so we couldn't be rude. Not luck at trivia, we were shocked! A nice quiet dinner in the Plantation tonight as we were quite late. We were enjoying are wine and the music too much!

Drinks, trivia & Danny Black in The Orient

Dinner in the Plantation
Another sea day tomorrow, already dreaming of my brekky!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pacific Pearl - Santo

Docked at Santo

The Pacific Pearl docked at Santo

Breakfast on the Lido at Santo

Brekky!! So good!
This is the first time we have been to Santo so didn't know what to expect. It was a glorious day, sunny, blue skies and hot. A bit like Port Vila it had markets that went on forever - they actually helped guide us into town as they went all the way there!

There isn't a great deal in Santo and it isn't the prettiest or cleanest of towns which is sad as it is set right on the water. There is a huge parkland right in the middle of town which could be so beautiful if it was looked after - such a shame.

We walked and walked and walked and then turned around and walked and walked and walked back to the ship. I dodged the 'friendly' snake, lizard and spider - no I would not like my photo taken with them thanks all the same! There were plenty of other people keen though, crazy people!

The start of the markets

The markets keep going and going

In town - Santo

Memorial in the park

The not so lovely beach with the Pearl in the background

Our lovely Pearl

The locals market


This is as far as we got - it was a LONG, hot walk

Back to the ship

Time for some ice water and shade

Back deck - off the Plantation Buffet, Deck 12
We walked around for about 3 hours and decided that would do us. Back to the ship and some lunch. We did browse the markets again and had our passports stamped ($2ea) plus bought a couple of things (one of which we ended not being able to bring back into Sydney).

We farewelled Santa from deck 7 before heading to our usual spot, the Orient. The sunset was beautiful. Mum was on a roll with the trivia but alas we didn't win. Maybe tomorrow?

Dinner was again in the Plantation and was again yummy. After dinner we headed outside to the lido and up to deck 14 for a (romantic) stroll. The kids club were using the Wii dance on the big screen, how cool! Something I'm sure they'll be talking about for a long time! Watching all that dancing made us tired so off to bed we went.

Sea day tomorrow as we head back to Sydney.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pacific Pearl - Port Vila

Breakfast on the Lido at Vila
I LOVE the danishes (if I haven't already mentioned it) I never eat them when I'm at home so these are definitely my cruising treats. I pretty much always have one (or two) with breakfast just can't help myself. The circus peeps were setting up while we were having breakfast and doing a bit of training and practicing for their show tonight. Made me dizzy watching some of them.

Deck 14 - Port Vila
After breakfast we did a few laps of deck 14 and enjoyed the view. It's great that the ship can dock here as it means it's an easy walk off walk on stop with no need for tenders.

Docked at Port Vila
We headed back to our cabin which lovely Yuri had just finished cleaning to freshen up, grab our bags, put some sunscreen on and head off the Pearl for a few hours. Look out Vila here we come!

Yuri - our lovely (hard working) Cabin Steward
Port Vila is a great port to visit. The people are friendly and it's always hot sometimes a bit too humid but you're guaranteed not to need a cardy. We didn't have any plans except for checking out the markets at the dock and then heading into town. We decided to catch a water taxi into Vila, such a wonderful way to travel much nicer than a taxi plus it cost less.

On the water taxi heading into Vila
We were dropped off in town but decided to head away from the main street and see what was further along. It was a hot walk but great to see a bit more of Vila and just how gorgeous their harbour is. There are so many cars and trucks whizzing by so you always need to be alert when crossing any roads! 

A busy little place
Port Vila harbour

Waiting for our water taxi
After a few hours of wandering around Vila we decided to catch a water taxi back to the Pearl. Our feet were tired and our bellies we grumbling!

Almost back to the Pearl
Another yummy lunch
We grabbed some yummy food from the buffet and sat out the back, in the shade, to enjoy the view and our food. It was so hot the ice in our water didn't last long. We decided to have dessert inside the buffet where it was a bit cooler. After dessert we wandered the ship and enjoyed the relative peace and quiet. It was nice to have the Pearl, almost, to ourselves!

Farewell Port Vila I'm pretty sure we'll be back!
Another wonderful day spent in Vila. Thanks mum! After dinner in the buffet we headed outside to the Lido just in time for the circus performance. Great timing! A very impressive show - the captain had to ensure that there was no movement and no wind for it to go ahead. This was the only night it was one, glad we got to see it.

Circus performance on the Lido
What a great way to end our day at Port Vila.We were absolutely worn out so like the party animals we are we made straight for our cabin and a good nights sleeps. Tomorrow we were going to Santo which is a new port for us, very exciting!