Our Trusted Travellers journey began on a Monday meeting at the Rocks cruise terminal. We boarded the Carnival Splendour and headed for the South Pacific islands. Once we settled into our home away from home, we grabbed a bite to eat before joining the Sailaway Party! While on deck we waived goodbye to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House as our holiday began. The rest of the night was spent getting to know one and other and dancing the night away.
The morning came and we all met up for a delicious buffet breakfast, with so many choices we didn’t know were to start. Then we decided to go and explore the ship, which was twinkling with decorations for Christmas in July. So many lounges, bars and shops even a lolly shop a many of us found hard to walk past with out a quick stop on the way. We braved the wind and played almost impossible but very funny game of mini golf. Then more exploring of the Splendor followed by a delicious meal in the dining room. The show tonight was a glorious song and dance experience
After breakfast in the waterfront dining we all decided to go and sit up on the main decks and watch the bean bag toss, one of the participants made it all the way to the grand final. Then we went to watch the early show in the showcase room then off to a comedy show and the all dancing all singing disco show. All this before enjoying a delicious meal in the dining room then off again for more music and 80’s disco. We even got to meet the captain in the lift while we were heading to bed.
Our first island stop was the city of Noumea in the tropical paradise New Caledonia. It is a beautiful city and also a port, so the ship sailed straight in and the group walked off and we were in Noumea. We then went on a bus into the city and into the local arts and craft market with so many fabulous souvenirs to be bought by our keen shoppers.
Some of us booked a ride on the brightly coloured Tchou Tchou Train which took us from the lookout where we took amazing photos of the lagoon and barrier reef, around the city along the palm lined streets, through one of the oldest districts and along the sparkling waters of Orphans Bay and Lemon Bay. All the while telling us much about the history and the people of Noumea in English and also the native French.
Some of the seasoned travellers who had been on several trips previous trips to Noumea decided to stay aboard the ship and lazed in the almost empty spa pools and enjoyed exploring the whole ship again without any other passengers around.
That Lifou Lifestyle
Today the ships small tenders (boats) were lowered down the side of the ship for all of us to travel to the island of Lifou. The open air wharfside markets were run by the local Kanak people with locally produced arts and crafts and everyone found souvenirs to take home. Some of the girls had their hair plaited while sipping on coconut drinks, while others walked to the chapel with stunning panoramic views of the crystal-clear waters. The locals also entertained us with a basket weaving display and traditional dance and performance.
While waiting for the tenders to return us to the ship we happened to spot a turtle swimming alongside the jetty towards the shore.
Also known as Inyueng is beautiful unspoilt and uninhabited island that is part of the Vanuatu region. The island was a crowd favourite where you can meet the locals from the neighbouring island Aneityum. While on the island you could try the local foods, grab a fresh coconut or some souvenirs for our friends and family. Our travellers spent the day getting a relaxing massage on the beach , going for a swim and exploring the island.
The ship berthed at the Port Villa the harbourside main hub of Vanuatu on Efate island. The National Museum of Vanuatu, inside the cultural centre, displays artifacts such as slit gong drums and outrigger canoes. The town is the base for diving and trips to Mele Cascades, and multi-tiered waterfall with rock pools in a tropical rainforest. Most of the passengers either walked or caught a bus to town. Not us… we took a water taxi right to the centre of town. We stepped out the boat right in the middle of colourful markets selling produce and local handicrafts. Then we strolled along the waterside to the large duty-free shopping at the end of town. We had a fantastic time walking the markets and meeting the friendly locals while looking at the clear blue water around the island.
Our first full day of sailing after our 4 days of stopovers, and a chance for us all to get back into the huge Bingo games, play deal or no deal, improve our karaoke singing, and see the nightly show extravaganzas. Some of us enjoyed floating the spa pools or relaxing in the sunshine in the food was just amazing.
Two new hilarious comedians joined our ship as we said farewell to the other comedians that had entertained us on the first part of our journey.
After a good night rest we went to breakfast and made our plans for the morning. We enjoyed playing Bingo and deck games shopping on board the ship and then met up with the group for lunch. We made plans to go and see the comedy show and Rock and Roll show later in the night. After the amazing rock and light show we got to meet the cast and had photos taken with them.
Our last sailing day together. We were all amazed at how quick our trip had gone with so much to do each day, more great shows, more Karaoke, more high stakes Bingo, more fun games but all of a sudden we realised our trip was nearly over. How amazing we were all strangers at the beginning of the trip and great friends by the time it was over.
Our final day began with a buffet breakfast where we shared our favourite moments throughout the trip. We said our goodbyes to the Carnival Staff and thanked them for their wonderful service all through our time aboard. Though we were all sad to say goodbye we were thankful for all the new friends we made and cannot wait to see each other again on our next Trusted Travel adventure.