Date: 20th December 2022
Woke to a miserable, cloudy sky.
As usual was up about 6 am and visited The Pantry for breakfast at half past, before beginning my daily walk. As I walked the ship made its way between the reefs that protect Noumea and by the time I had finished walking it was well into the harbour preparing to dock.
After my shower the ship was along side and the ship’s PA announced that most of the shore trips had been cancelled because of bad weather. Fortunately (or unfortunately as it turned out) the tour I had booked, the Tchou Tchou Train, had not been cancelled but would be a coach only trip.
The crew were issuing debarkation tickets for visits to the town via free shuttle bus and announcements for this continued on a fairly regular basis. The dock is a working dock so it was too dangerous for people to be wandering about in the port and they had to come and go on a bus.
At 10.30 I made my way onto the dock to join my tour bus.
The Tchou Tchou Train
This tour was definitely not a highlight of the trip but a fairly dull coach ride around the bays of Noumea in the rain with a stop at a very damp lookout. The view would have been quite spectacular in decent weather but today’s rain obscured just about anything except the guns (donated by Australia but never fired in anger) and the French Military area. I think we actually passed the Tchou Tchou train tour at the top of the lookout and even though it was raining and the carriages had transparent weather protection it would still have been a more interesting trip than just being driven about in a bus.
The bus allowed passengers to depart in the town to catch the shuttle bus back to the ship. I elected to stay on the bus and go back to the ship, I have been to Noumea before in better weather.
My cabin steward had left a very odd towel arrangement.
As it was after midday made my way up to The Pantry for some lunch.
Afternoon and Evening
I spent the afternoon lazing about in a couple of the lounges, had a beer or two in the Blue Room, read my book and before I knew it it was time to think about dinner.
Tonight it was my turn at Dragon Lady again, this time I was rather stuck away in a corner but another couple at the table adjacent chatted to me, it was their first cruise which was a surprise as most of the passengers seemed to have gone cruising multiple times.
For some reason the staff at the restaurant seemed completely disorganised and the meal, while perfectly edible was actually a shambles, I was given two desserts but as I had waited ages between courses I ate them both.
At 7pm attended the The Marquee theatre to see Lisa Couch “Powerhouse Diva”, actually she wasn’t bad she sang some good songs – Tina Turner, Cher, Roy Orbison type of thing – and she was moderately funny too. However in my opinion one act with a band is not a “show” but something you expect to find in one of the bars. So far the theatre entertainment had been pretty disappointing.
When the show was over I made my way back to the Blue Room for the last set of the Leon Experience while I waited for the Spicy Margaritas to perform.
The Spicy Margaritas weren’t bad either they sang a a few older songs, some Van Morrison, even “Stand By Me” but then they moved on to modern stuff that I hadn’t heard before and after 40 minutes I decided it was time for bed.
Where is Noumea? I hear you ask…