Saturday, 31 December 2016

Christmas away and a look back on my 2016

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and apologies for neglecting all my readers for the past few weeks.

As I have mentioned before, I don't like to announce to the world before I go away on Holidays, and a few days ago I returned home from a 10 day South Pacific Cruise on Carnival Legend.

Mum, just before we boarded

Overall the Decor on the Legend is rather Garish, but I found the food and some of the entertainment to be superior to P & O ships. Of course, the ship was decked out in Christmas Decorations too, and a few people even decorated their own cabin doors.

There was even this display of "Gingerbread" Houses made by the kitchen staff. They seem to be made out of whatever they could find in the kitchen, including things like crushed eggshells and nutrigrain.

Most days we would come back to our room to find cute towel animals on our bed. My favourite was the turtle.

This trip's visit to Mystery Island did not feature the beautiful clear water that I experienced back in May, due to recent storms and/or tides, so we did not get to see any fish while out swimming, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. We also enjoyed a Beer on the beach.

Mystery Island

Beer on the Beach on Mystery Island

This time my time spent on Lifou was spent snorkeling, instead of walking up to the chapel on the hill. I have never been able to snorkel successfully before, as swimming over corals, or going out past where I can touch the ground terrifies me. However, having my husband with me helped tremendously and I was able to swim around and see many different types of fish and coral, for about 2 hours. Unfortunately, my mother has been using spray sunscreen lately and loving it. But even 2 brand new cans of SPF 50 Banana boat sunscreen were not enough to protect my skin, and so my husband and I spent the rest of the cruise with quite severe sunburns. His mostly on his shoulders, and mine, well.... I'm not sure I've ever been sunburnt on the back of my thighs before....... It made sitting down for the next few days very difficult and painful.

Tender to Lifou

Approaching Lifou in the tender

Mare was the only port this cruise which I had not been to before. The side of the Island where the ship comes into was fairly underwhelming, but had a nice welcoming display by the locals as well as a few market stalls, where we bought my Husband a wooden carved Tiki head for Christmas, which he loved.

Island Welcome at Mare

However, when you pay the $19.99 (bit of a rip off) for the bus transfer to the other side of the island, you are greeted with the beautiful Yejele Beach. Lovely white sand and lots of sections of coral populated by a kaleidoscope of sea creatures, all protected by a barrier reef, made this a perfect beach for snorkeling, beach frolicking or just relaxing on the sand. Along the road are huts selling different food and drink items, and reminded me quite a bit of the Isle of Pines.

Yejele Beach on Mare

This time around I made sure I lathered on thick cream SPF 50 sunscreen. I really don't mind the greasy, heavy feel that some people complain about with some sunscreens, as I find those are the ones that work best. Just because sunscreens have the same SPF rating, does not mean they offer equal protection.

Mum and I on Yejele Beach, Mare 

Mum and I participated in a couple of Trivia sessions hosted on the ship, and we completely smashed the Country Music Trivia on Christmas Eve, beating out the second team by about 6 or 7 points (most of the trivia rounds were much closer) We won a bottle of French Sparkling wine for our efforts.

Cocktails during Trivia on Christmas Eve Morning

Then we treated ourselves to Sushi for Christmas Eve dinner. My husband and I shared the "Sushi Ship" which cost $22, and mum had 2 rolls (a California and a chicken Tempura at my recommendation) Mum said before this, that she didn't like sushi, but this place changed her mind.

Sushi Dinner for Christmas Eve

For Christmas Day, My husband and I wore our matching Christmas outfits, and I think he got more compliments from people than I did. I guess it's just a lot more unusual to see a man is custom made novelty print clothes.

We spent part of the day drinking cocktails up on the open deck, teaching Fransisco how to make origami cranes, as well as making other origami things.

Teaching Fransisco to make Origami Cranes

Fransisco's favourite thing to make was those scrunched pieces you can see on the bottom left side, which he called wombats........ Digested wombats.

Completed crane!

Christmas Day Origami!

Boxing day, the last full sea day of our cruise, Mum and I decided to go in search of the "Fishbowl" cocktail we had heard of. You can get a range of cocktails in the fishbowls, and we opted for the Caribbean Ice Tea (both being fans of Long Island Iced Teas) and then we had another during the last comedy show.

Boxing day Fish bowl Cocktails

Caribbean Iced Tea Fish bowl

All in all, it was a bit sad to depart the ship and head home to the real world where you have to cook your own meals and wash your own towels, but I was looking forward to seeing my kitties and sleeping in my own bed.

Although I have done quite a lot of interesting things this year, it has actually been a very hard year for me. Although I haven't mentioned this before on my blog, but I have actually suffered 4 miscarriages throughout this year, the most recent one happened while I was away on this cruise, which is why I didn't drink for the first half of the cruise. They have all been very early, most around 5-6 weeks, the most recent reached 8 weeks. I will be seeing a specialist in the new year to hopefully find out why this has been happening and correct it.

As such, I am very much looking forward to the New Year. Although my job as a Travel agent finished up in November, this led me to applying to University, which I will be starting in February, which I am really looking forward to. So 2016 can go die in a hole, bring on 2017!



  1. A Christmas cruise sounds like a great idea! Every time I see photos from cruises, it makes me think I need to take my friends on another one. Both our previous cruises were with P&O, so it would be interesting to try a different line. It is so difficult to go back to reality, isn't it? It's a little scary how quickly you become accustomed to returning to a magically neatened room at the end of each day.

    Best of luck for 2017 - I hope it's good to you. :)

    Katie @ Katie Writes Stuff

    1. Mum has been wanting to go away on a cruise for Christmas for years now, so we finally did it. I'm really glad we did, as I didn't think I could face Christmas at home. But yes, it's very hard to go back to reality afterwards, having to do your own cooking and cleaning :(

      Hope you have a brilliant 2017 as well!