Christmas Day at Sea

Date: 25th December 2022

Morning

The sky was cloudy but the sun occasionally shone through however it is still warm and humid – high 20s or low 30s I would guess.

Had my usual cereal for breakfast before going for my walk. I passed all the usual suspects, when I say “passed” I mean those circumnavigating the ship in the opposite direction to me, those travelling in the same direction inevitably passed me Sad smile.

This is the first Christmas for years where I haven’t been setting up the BBQ or some tables for Christmas lunch. Am realising that tomorrow is the last day of this cruise and that I will be home on Tuesday.

I took a few pictures of my cabin for posterity.

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Today’s towel arrangement was even more bizarre than usual but did include a Christmas Card from the Captain. I can’t complain about the cabin or the steward, everything was kept spick and span.

Pacific Adventure Christmas Towel Arrangement

Afternoon

Lunch in The Pantry was quite special today, there were prawns and seafood though I stuck to sandwiches and a burger followed by an ice cream from the Ice cream place on deck 14 then wandered around the ship watching and enjoying the Christmas activities – that was basically my afternoon.

Dinner

They did make a special effort with the evening meal with some Christmassy fare though I seemed to choose the least Christmassy of them all, a prawn and mango salad for entre followed by beef, bacon and mushroom pie with ice cream for dessert. I really enjoyed what I had, the Christmas stuff had too many green vegetables for my taste, the service was fast and efficient today.

After dinner in Angelo’s I wandered into the Blue Room for a beer while I waited for the evening show in The Marquee. It had a band and two ladies singing which was a bit of an improvement but to be frank the overall standard of the entertainment on this cruise has been pretty lacklustre.

Pacific Adventure Christmas ShowPacific Adventure Christmas Show

After 9pm I returned to the Blue Room to watch the Spicy Margaritas  for a while before bed. Recognised a couple of Michael Jackson songs but left when they took their break.

While I was in the Blue Room had a look at the cocktail menu, it seems to have quite a variety of cocktails if you like that sort of thing though personally I stuck with VB.

Pacific Adventure Cocktail Menu

It is noticeably cooler outdoors this evening, I would guess only in the low 20s.

Pacific Adventure Sunset

To be fair it was a better day than this blog would indicate, there was something happening all over the ship, I just didn’t take pictures of it.

Christmas Eve at Sea

Date: 24th December 3022

Breakfast

Because it is Christmas I treated myself to some yogurt as well as my usual cereal for breakfast Winking smile

Once again it is a cloudy morning but warm – 30°C at a guess, during my walk there was even a few spots of rain but nothing spectacular. I notice that my knee is hurting a bit so instead of the stairs at the stern of the boat I kept to the one level for the last couple of circuits. Out of interest I timed my regular morning walk – it takes five and a half minutes to do the circuit with the stairs. I usually see the same people every morning doing exactly the same thing (except they do it much faster).

The weather soon brightened up and I took a trip round the ship’s upper decks to get some photos before the rest of the passengers were fully awake.

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In this photo I have marked my cabin balcony with an X. It is taken from the top of the bridge (see first photo above).

Pacific Adventure My Cabin

The weather has been pretty good so far apart from the wet day in Noumea. As we are at sea the whole time until we reach Sydney the weather doesn’t really matter, in fact a storm would be interesting to see.

Lunchtime

Went down to the Lobby to see the promised snow but it was packed. The weather meanwhile had gone from grey to brilliant sunshine and an almost cloudless sky. It was still a bit humid but the temperature is probably in the low 30s. Really nice on the upper ‘decks. I even lashed out on an ice cream.

All the swimming pools looked full as I walked past but the ship had picked up some interested flying visitors.

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I presume, but have no idea, that they are Albatrosses , they glided around the front of the ship for hours, I tried to take some pictures of them with very limited success. We are hundreds of kilometres from any land by now, heading SSW but currently still north of about Rockhampton

Evening

At Last!!! A proper variety show, Christmas themed (well, you can’t have everything Winking smile) three quarters of an hour of dancing and singing – about time too. They even used the snow making machine (I hadn’t missed much in the lobby) and had a singalong.

Pacific Adventure Christmas Eve ShowPacific Adventure Christmas Eve ShowPacific Adventure Christmas Eve ShowPacific Adventure Christmas Eve Show

BTW: All the photos taken in the theatre were taken with my phone so mediocre quality

Port Vila

Date: 22nd December 2022

Morning

It was quite a shock this morning to look at my watch and realise that it was Thursday and that the cruise was into its 5th day already and that there were only five days left.

I was up as usual at 6am and having breakfast at 6.30 after which I spent 40 minutes pounding the decks pausing only to take the occasional photo as the ship entered harbour and docked in Port Vila.

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Port Vila was a stop on my previous cruise so I decided that I would not be going ashore today but would have a lazy day on the ship (ie much like most days aboard).

Spent a while in the morning washing some clothes in the cabin sink before hanging them on my make shift line on the balcony which could only enhance to reputation of P&O, I should have more than enough clean clothes to make it back to Sydney now (mind you I thought that a few days ago too).

Pacific Adventure Port Vila

Spent most of the morning reading with a couple of beers to help this along before taking lunch in The Pantry. I have just realised that there are two Pantrys, one on each side of the ship but only one is open at a time.

After lunch I returned to my now serviced cabin to sit on the balcony and watch the activity in the wharf below my cabin.

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Evening

Dinner was at Angelo’s Restaurant, unfortunately my table was poorly located with no one nearby to talk to but he meal was fairly good though to be honest I didn’t think there was enough choice and service was glacially slow, I was there for over an hour. Perhaps port visits slow everything down?

Pacific Adventure Angelo's

In a way the meal taking so long meant that the wait for my next event was less. I decided to go to the Maggie Scott performance in the Marquee Theatre at 7pm. By the time the show started I would say she had an audience of 50 people, probably with good reason, there was no backing band just recorded music so it was like Karaoke with a good singer.  To be honest I thought it was pretty dismal.

Pacific Adventure Port Vila- Marquee

After 9pm visited the Blue Room to listen to the band Solid Vibe, the girl has a nice voice but the songs she sings all sound the same to me. so I gave up after a few beers and sat on my balcony listening to Captain Beefheart on my head phones.

Pacific Adventure Port Vila -Blue Room

Noumea

Date: 20th December 2022

Arrival

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.

Pacific Adventure Entering Noumea HarbourPacific Adventure Entering Noumea HarbourPacific Adventure Entering Noumea HarbourPacific Adventure Entering Noumea HarbourPacific Adventure Entering Noumea HarbourPacific Adventure Entering Noumea HarbourPacific Adventure Entering Noumea Harbour

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.

Tchou Tchou Train Ticket

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.

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At 10.30 I made my way onto the dock to join my tour bus.

Pacific Adventure Noumea - Waiting for 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.

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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.

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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.

Pacific Adventure Dragon Lady

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.

Pacific Adventure Lisa Crouch

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.

Pacific Adventure Leon Experience

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.

Pacific Adventure Spicy Margaritas

Where is Noumea? I hear you ask…

Second Day at Sea

Date: 19th December 2022

Breakfast

I am happy with my morning routine. First a loooong walk from my room to the far end of the corridor which stretches the full length of the ship then up two flights of stairs to The Pantry for breakfast of cereal and coffee.

Pacific Adventure Deck 11 Passageway

After breakfast it is up another flight of stairs to deck 15 for a 30/40 minute walk around the ship’s gangways on that level. Ironically it takes me past the ship’s gymnasium where there are many people doing exactly the same thing but on a treadmill. There seem to be a few regulars walking at this time of the morning – we nod and chat as we circulate.

Pacific Adventure Walking RoutePacific Adventure Walking Route

Following this I returned to my cabin for a shower and a change of clothes. I also washed a couple of T shirts and undies so that I have enough clothes to last me the entire holiday. I set up a temporary line on the balcony to dry them.

Pacific Adventure My Washing

Morning

This morning was going to be slightly different as there was a compulsory Covid test for all passengers to be carried out at 10am, all activities ceased and everyone remained in their room to self test and were not allowed to leave until the cabin staff confirms a negative test. Mine was good and I was out very promptly.

`Pacific Adventure Covid Test

Went down to the Avalon Cafe for a chai latte and Danish Pastry to celebrate.

221219 026 Pacific Adventure Lobby

Sat in the lounge watching activities and reading my book until lunch time when again I went to The Pantry but this time settled for a decent sized roast beef sandwich and a coffee. I did notice that the Fish and Chips looked very good. I arrived  much later than yesterday but the crowd seemed bigger if anything, I suspect arriving when they open at 11.30am might be the way to go in future.

Afternoon

Spent most of the afternoon in the Oasis Bar or on the deck above lying on a lounge chair listening to music on my headphones. No, I was not sunbathing but ensured that I was always in the shade. To be honest I didn’t think the lounge chairs were that comfortable.

Evening

This evenings meal was at Angelo’s Restaurant. It is Italian style food and the menu is in Italian. The food was decent enough and I had a pleasant meal.

Pacific Adventure Angelo's Restaurant

Afterwards visited the Blue Room for a VB or two and some live music before attending the early concert in the Marquee Theatre. I can’t say either provided music to my taste. The singer in the Blue Room sang sort of soul and R & B but it was an enjoyable enough way to spend the evening with a couple of beers.

The concert was not to my taste either, The singer was actually quite funny and the music passed the time. The theatre was much less than half full (at a guess) possibly because it was the early 7pm performance and a lot of younger people walked out during the show but I stayed until the end.

Pacific Adventure The Marquee Theatre

Afterwards I had intended to go back to the Blue Room for a band called  Spicy Margaritas but in the event I was quite tired so read my book and settled for an early night, this band will have to wait for another night.