1st out of the 8 countries of our 4 weeks in Europe.
Our second stop on the cruise was Maré.
This post is going to be super short as there wasn’t that much to do on this island / stop as the only thing to do was go to Yejele Beach. The cruise will give you the on-shore excursion (and it’s the ONLY excursion available) because it’s really the only thing to do!
As per usual, caught the tenders from the cruise to the wharf – probably about a 5 minute trip again. But the water in New Caledonia – Omg, where on earth have you seen water THIS blue?!
We found out later that our cruise bffls (hi Kayla & Josh!) took the risk like the first stop and decided to get to the island THEN see if they could go by local tours at a cheaper price. However, were told they had to pay the same amount to get on the same van to the main beach. So book on the cruise for this island 🙂
Like Isle of Pines, they had people singing when you docked off the tenders and welcoming you to their island /home. Love ittt!
It was about a 10-15 minute drive from the wharf to Yejele Beach – but quite the ride!! The drivers drive like 100km/h and there’s so many hump, you’re basically airborne for a good 5 minute in total of the ride… even the other men on the bus were fearing for their lives HAHA
Maré is really.. paradise. No other words. The beach is crystal clear and it’s just soo beautiful!! I don’t have any better words to explain this, but hopefully the pictures and videos can do some justice.
We snorkeled for a good hour or two and saw so many corals and fishiesss! There was this beautiful bright purple coral – better than what i’ve seen in Great Barrier Reef. HAHAH I was swimming around this for a good 10 minutes before Ray slowly gave up on waiting for me and swam off. Unfortunately Ray’s GoPro randomly stopped working in the first 5 minutes we were in the water so we couldn’t take many underwater photos 😦
Clouds rolled in eventually and it sprinkled a little 😦
There were the usual coconuts and ‘chicken kebab’ on the island but we settled for chips – can’t go wrong with that right? HAHA. Better to be safe than sorry.
This little ‘majestic’ dog came about who only lingered around to eat my chips >=( ..
HAHA, clearly not a fan of random pregnant stray dogs coming up to me…
As mentioned in the last post about Isle of Pines, each islands’ coconuts tastes different. This one was more sweet if I recall correctly. And I think as this island /beach was a lot more busier, they didn’t bother cutting it open for people to eat the flesh.
MA MACHO MAN hahahaha.
Anyway, we headed back on the bus back about 330-4ish? (They need you back on the boat by 5pm so they can sail off to the next stop). So we just chilled around the wharf / pier before we got back on our tenders to the boat.
Standard Ray leaving me behind to walk towards where the roads and part of the island was closed off due to land slides..
These kids are so beautiful! All the kids in New Caledonia would come up to you and say hello and just wave to you. This group of kids literally came up to us and asked if we wanted a photo with them. They were absolutely so friendly and beautiful!!
Back to the boat we go…!
Lifou next stop! I promise I’ll try not to take too long like I did this post.. It’s just been so busy! 😦
Embarking Carnival Spirit cruise @ Cirqular Quay wharf 🙂
Our first port that we stopped at was Isle of Pines.
This island was the smallest that we conquered, as there is only about a population of 2,000 people in total. (To put this in perspective, the amount of people on the cruise could easily overrule and take over the island if they wanted to…)
We woke up SUPER early on the morning at about 6am (as did everyone on the boat I believe) and eventually got out of bed at about 6:30am then got changed and went to get breakfast at the Empire Restaurant. By the time we were done it was about 8am where we went to the Pharaohs Palace (the biggest ‘theatre’ on the cruise) to get our tender stickers.
Haha, as expected and told, there were a few people already waiting in line to get their numbers called out. Probably because this was the first stop and we had already been on the boat for about two and a half days so people wanted to get out ASAP, haha.
Tender stickers are basically a number ticket for your tender (HAHAH the obvious – but just incase!) and once they call your number out, you walk to the designated area to board the smaller little life looking boats (or they probably are legit our life boats..) where they transport you out to the actual island.
Luckily for us, we didn’t have to wait that long – probably max 5-10 minutes and we were on our way! The weather wasn’t exactly welcoming especially seeing it was our first stop – however it was still so warm despite the somewhat heavy rain.
When we got to the island, there was a wharf that led you to where people were selling local goods in their little huts (accessories / braiding hair) and singing songs in their native language (French x Kanak). It started raining heavier so of course I insisted on buying raincoats despite us going into the water within the next 5 minutes (…or what we hoped for anyway …)
NOTE: there are plenty of tours that you can join on the Carnival Cruise (or whatever cruise line you are going with), however just a side note, they can be quite pricey. We decided against booking any tours on the cruise after many recommendations by other people and took the risk in figuring things out on shore.
As this was our first port, we walked in with a blind eye and wasn’t sure or wanting to take risks and just joining any local tour (they didn’t look too inviting either AND also there were no other people waiting for their tour) so we decided against it and hoped we’d manage..
The tours the local provide however, are basically the same as the ones they offer on the boat – AND at a much, MUCH more cheaper price. So if you can round up some people or notice people lining up for them – go for gold!! (or you’ll miss out like us on this island :()
Sooo, having already made clear that we were silly on this port, we couldn’t get anymore sillier by following a family /friends of about 15 people….
It was the lost, following the lost.
We literally walked on the road for about an hour in the rain, around half the island, to get to the beach… where it would’ve taken us less than 10 mins to walk ON the actual main beach that connected you to the more isolated part. Stupid move.
We were SOOO lost and all these cars would drive past us REALLY quickly and it was just.. not the best experience.
…not a single person behind us 😦
When we finally got to the part of the beach we wanted to swim at, we got our snorkel gears on and packed away our raincoats LOL!
It was actually really warm in the water despite it raining so much that you could hear the raindrops while snorkelling.. and the water still remained soo nice and clear!
There were quite a number of different fish, but wasn’t THAAAT many. There were also these black fishies that are very ..aggressive looking. They’d come towards you and look at you really closely as if protecting their home and ready to attack. HAHAH I was actually so afraid they’d bite me because once when my mum went snorkelling in Fiji, some fish bit her – like No. Thank. You.
We snorkelled for about.. an hour? or so, then we left to go back on the boat to have lunch as there wasn’t too much to eat on the island.. I mean really, if you’re given unlimited amounts of food on the boat – why not catch a 5 min boat ride back to get a good feed right? HAHA.
After lunch we rushed back onto the little tenders and back out to the island where we bought our first New Caledonian coconut!! You actually pick which one you want and they chop it open for you.
Let me tell yaaaaa, each island, each coconut tastes different! This one was more natural tasting compared to the other ones. After you’ve finished with drinking it, they actually cut it open for you to eat the flesh!
We explored the island a little more and walked to some dead end because Ray was so certain that by walking this way, we would end up being able to conquer the entire island. Haha, he was wrong – because we got to an abandoned warehouse with broken / used equipment such as TVs, radios, cars, batteries, ..you name it! Thought I’d be cool and take a few ‘gangster’ photos but I’ll only show you how it partially went down…
No-ones watching on the right? No.
How about the left?
Okay, lets just settle for a normal photo. HAHA
We also visited their little local shops (with their proper shops – there was only 3….) where they had handmade towels and keyrings, etc.
We chilled at their main part of the beach which was closest to the wharf, however as we got changed back on the boat, we just walked around the rocks and chilled by the water instead of snorkelling again.
The little locals kids – soo cute! The children at New Caledonia are actually so adorable!!
SUPER IMPORTANT NOTE: YOU CAN FORGET ANYTHING, BUT DO NOT FORGET TO BUY REEF SHOES!!! Yes you can walk in thongs and barefoot, but to have reef shoes will help you navigate through the water without hassle (and looking like you got a broken foot..) All the beaches /ports we went to in New Caledonia had lots of broken reef on the sand which actually hurts walking on. So, invest in a pair before you go on one of these cruises – it’d be worth it!
There wasn’t actually too much to do at this island besides snorkelling.. so we headed back to the boat at around 3-4ish and took a nap until dinner time. We were exhausted.
Stay tuned for the next update on Maré – I’d say Maré was nicer than the last time I went Great Barrier Reef…………… #coralbleaching 😦
To all those dearest and nearest to me, you’ve probably already been recommended by me to go on a cruise (sorry not sorry.. >=)) I recently went on one with Carnival and boarded their Spirit lines to New Caledonia for 9 nights.
It was simply amazing. Like, SO good, SO relaxing, SO chilled. And my god, their crew members are outta this world. Each and every one of the crew members service was unbelievable – we all questioned how they are ALWAYS so chirpy and happy ALL the time.
Our amazing room steward – Ketut!!
Anyway, we boarded Carnival Spirit on a Sunday at Circular Quay and went through customs and errythang. They’re obviously not as strict, but they do prohibit a few items (drones, power boards, etc – but probably best to check with your cruiseliner if you do cruise one day!), however they allowed each person to take 12 bottles of 600ml drinks. Oh, and make sure you bring a lanyard! Because that will come so handy as you use it to pay for things – it’s basically your pass to food, drinks, cash, restaurants – anything you can think of (yes, even gambling!).
There’s SO much to do on the boat itself! Ping pong, pools, spas, saunas, shows, trivias, gameshows, the list goes onnnnn. They have daily schedules which your cabin steward leaves outside your room everyday and you basically just follow the schedule and go to whatever you wish to see. You’d be surprised though, there was about a total of 2200ish guests and 800-1000 crew staff – yet the cruise is SO big you sometimes don’t see the same face twice in the 9 whole days that you’re together for.
By the time we departed Sydney Harbour it was like 4-4:30ish, and we just chilled by the pools in our little hut.. THESE THINGS ARE THE BEST! You literally have your own personal space and 99% of the times, you fall asleep in these little huts because it really can’t get anymore chilled than this.
Dinner, I had booked the ‘early session’ which was 5:30pm (the later session FYI is 7:45pm). THE RESTAURANT WAS SO NICE!
We were greeted by our lovely waiters and waitress Dennis (Mr D), Henry and Nadi, who we soon found were going to be serving us personally for our entire time there, not to mention the entertainment and dances they did each night for us!
When shown our table, I immediately thought ‘isn’t this table a little bit big for two?’, but within minutes we realised that there were another 3 couples who were joining us on the same table. HAHA, it was quite awkward for the first three nights of dinner together, but on the third evening, after two couples had finished and left, we made small convo with the couple next to me, Josh and Kayla, and next thing you know we spend almost every evening and after dinner events/shows together hahaha. You’d be surprised at how many people were not Sydney-siders, alone on our table we had a couple from Newcastle, and another from QLD.
With our waiters & waitress + the other Sydney couple, Emmy & Johnny
Kayla & Josh – who we became cruise bffls after our third awkward dinner together HAHA
Our menus each day. As suggested, the ‘everyday’ menu was always kept the same, and the ‘today’ menu changed COMPLETELY each day (and the food was actually pretty decent)
The next two days, Monday and Tuesday were spent at sea. The boat actually goes relatively slow at only 40km/h (the ‘fastest’ they go is only at 50km/h)
A lot of people have asked me the same questions, and I thought I’d address it here:
1) Do you get bored, and,
2) Do you get sea sick?
No – you could NEVER get bored!! There’s SO much to do!! With their schedule, its jam packed with things you could attend and things you probably wouldn’t do in your normal day to day life (e.g. going to posture sitting classes, art auctions, playing putt putt on the very top of the boat, to going to an arthritis seminar) and honestly, if you’re really not into that – you can go by the deck and chill in the little huts or hammock and stuff yourself with unlimited pizzas and ice cream.
YASS I’M GUILTY – I did that one arvo actually. Literally ate pizza, fell asleep on the hammock, woke up, had dinner, went to a few shows, had some cocktails, next thing you know, it’s 1am, but hey, let’s get some pizza again? HAHAHAH
And with seasickness, no. And I get motion sickness REALLY easily! But I also did cheat because I had those motion sickness wristbands.. and I know it’s all in the head, but I believed it helped when times got rough (literally. LOL) And I also did have medicine and ginger to back me up – it was not worth risking it and being unprepared. So if you get motion sickness or seasickness, PACK YO BAGS FULL OF IT! (Just incase anyway!)
We played our first game of bingo on our second day there!
Yeah, nah. Didn’t go too well hey. HAHAH we actually played every. single. game. of. bingo. Alone there, we spent over $120 ..AND.. we won nothing 😦 but it was pretty fun.. you’d feel like you were getting luck, then someone would stand up (standing up means you only have one more number left before bingo) and all your dreams and hopes would literally fly off that boat right then and there cos you know you wouldn’t be winning that game.
Sorry – it is quite small – but these are the schedules we get given daily on what’s happening.
There were a lot more shows on, but I’ll be blogging more about that in Part 2 later on – but my next post will be about our first stop in New Caledonia – Isle of Pines!
Hello All! 🙂
It’s been ages since I had a blog.. ages, meaning like literally over 5 years ago (if you’re counting Tumblr as a blog – if not, let’s make that over 8-9 years….)
Feeling quite noob if you ask me.
I wanted to create a blog to share all my food and travel adventures!! This idea actually came about one evening as I was doing overtime at work. My colleagues and I were discussing what would be their ideal dream job.. and when asking me, I said without hesitation, ‘I’d love to get paid to eat and travel!’, with them replying ‘well, you do travel a lot and all your snapchats are of food, so why not start a blog about it?’
..hence why I am here — SHOUTOUT TO PHAMMIE & COREY! (:
I guess I am a lil fortunate having parents who used to do family holidays overseas / interstate at least once to twice a year.
I have been in and around China more times than my fingers and toes can count, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong a few times, New Caledonia, Macau, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand and have conquered a few states in my homeland – Australia!
In less than 4 months, I’ll be travelling to Europe and will be squeezing in 9 countries in a little over 4 weeks. (#Didyouknow: Vatican City isn’t actually apart of Italy?! But infact it’s a standalone country comprising of about 400-800 people – making it the smallest country in the world!!)
Seeing Europe, and its entire different culture will definitely be eye opening.. and omg, the fooooooooood!! Cannot. Wait. #yasssthecarbs
Anyways, the 8/9 countries that I’ll be visiting are:
- Hong Kong
- Belgium (for TOMORROWLAND!! :D)
I’ll be posting very shortly of my trip from New Caledonia that I just came back from a few days ago.. I kid you not, if you have not been on a cruise yet – BOOK YOURSELF ONE NOW!! I am actually feeling withdrawal symptoms HAHA.