Sunday, 7 January 2018

Royal Carribean South Pacific Cruise Part 1

2017 has been an EPIC year and I thought that I could do with a very relaxing holiday. I've always seen those big cruise liners and wondered what it would be like to go on one so I booked one with MW. We booked a 9 night South Pacific Cruise with Royal Carribean. 

The cruise would port at Noumea, Mystery Island and Lifou which are all tropical island type destinations. The boat is called Explorer of the Seas from Royal Carribean and it's an epic ship with 14 levels. The facilities are impressive including
  • Small Ice skating rink 
  • Rock Climbing Wall
  • Sports court (eg. basketball, archery)
  • Mini-golf course
  • Main dining room hall
  • Large buffet room
  • Many pubs and bars
  • Theatre where there are production shows
On this particular cruise as it's in December, it's also school holidays and out of the 4000 people or so, there's about 1200 children. Most of the people were from Australia with a smaller contingent from Asia, America, UK and a smattering of other places.

Checking into the boat was pretty quick with a few passport checks at approximately 3pm. Matt and I quickly check out all the facilities on the boat and get familiar with where everything is. Our bags are quickly delivered to our room as well.

The pool area is quiet on the first night and feels quite serene. I think this was the only time it was quiet. Every other time of day; it was covered with people and especially children. If you wake up early and go into the adults area called the solarium then you might be lucky and get the spa and pool to yourself.

Matt and I are well organised and book out all our dinners in the Main Dining Room via "My Time". This is what the main dining room looks like (above). Australians are quite casual and most people are casually dressed. On formal nights, 80% of people are dressed formally.

Here is the menu from my first night which has a nice variety. There's dishes that are there every night. I really like the fruit soups - they are more like fruit smoothies. On the first night though, I order another starter.

I order the prawn cocktail for the starter and Matt goes for the Watermelon and Strawberry soup (which is like a smoothie served in a small soup bowl). I thought the prawn cocktail might be like the ones you get in Australia but perhaps this is what an American one looks like - it was more like a prawn salad with a side sweet tangy chilli sauce.

For Mains, Matt goes for the prime rib and I go for the sea food pasta. The food is nice and casual rsl bistro-like. I'm not sure what my expectations were. Matt agrees and was hopeful for higher quality food but I think when you consider the price point for the cruise - I think the food is quite good.

Matt orders multiple desserts on some of the nights so he can try everything. I order the strawberry cheesecake on the first night which is quite nice - dense cream cheese. It's just the lacking of crunchy base that I was hoping for. It's a nice meal.

This is what the buffet area looks like which is called Wind Jammer. We always woke up early for breakfast so we could get a freshly made omelette with no queue and also secured a nice table with a great view (below). I quite like the breakfast at the buffet and would get the omlette along with fresh fruit and maybe a naughty hashbrown. Matt always went for bacon, eggs/omette and maybe the odd naughty pastry. 

On the second night, we also go for an evening walk upstairs and it's really peaceful. It was quite windy though. Stay tuned for my second part of the cruise

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