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Review - Sydney to the South Pacific on the Splendor


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Really enjoying your review!  Interesting that you were charged for what Carnival calls "Tea Time" here in the States. I was on Sunshine two weeks ago and there wasn't a charge.  Having said that, your Tea looks a bit more robust.

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Vaccine and health insurance??

I’m booked on a transpacific leaving Sydney in Feb (not Carnival) and this is the first I’m hearing of these requirements. Do you know if it is specific to Carnival? My line just says they will follow local requirements but I only see vaccines as recommended not required. 

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4 hours ago, travelingtink said:

Vaccine and health insurance??

I’m booked on a transpacific leaving Sydney in Feb (not Carnival) and this is the first I’m hearing of these requirements. Do you know if it is specific to Carnival? My line just says they will follow local requirements but I only see vaccines as recommended not required. 

Yes, you must be vaccinated.   Yes, you must have  insurance covering Covid if you are stopping at a South Pacific port - this was relevant to the ports I visited  - Noumea, Lifou, Mystery Island (& Vila which we didn’t) and the countries needed to be specified on your insurance.  
 

I do not know if it applies to any other ports in the region.

 

I would be having a conversation with your TA or calling your cruise line.

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5 hours ago, ninjacat123 said:

Really enjoying your review!  Interesting that you were charged for what Carnival calls "Tea Time" here in the States. I was on Sunshine two weeks ago and there wasn't a charge.  Having said that, your Tea looks a bit more robust.

Thank you.  Always interesting to see the differences between what is offered in the US and what we get down under.

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First port is Noumea.  A letter from the Captain was delivered to our cabins the night before, informing us that no swimming is currently permitted at Noumea city beaches due to recent shark attacks and that the beaches are expected to be closed for many months (whilst authorities install shark nets).

 

A local lady was flown to a hospital in Sydney after being savaged by a shark and tragically an Australian man died very recently after being attacked by a shark.B9AFE8B4-5E88-42B7-A1F5-87DE71881E49.thumb.jpeg.c085f6a01eca50bf78d053027d3c1c96.jpeg

 

 

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3 minutes ago, aussielozzie18 said:

First port is Noumea.  A letter from the Captain was delivered to our cabins the night before, informing us that no swimming is currently permitted at Noumea city beaches due to recent shark attacks and that the beaches are expected to be closed for many months (whilst authorities install shark nets).

 

A local lady was flown to a hospital in Sydney after being savaged by a shark and tragically an Australian man died very recently after being attacked by a shark.B9AFE8B4-5E88-42B7-A1F5-87DE71881E49.thumb.jpeg.c085f6a01eca50bf78d053027d3c1c96.jpeg

 

 

Yikes!!  And I worry about jellyfish.  I'm glad Carnival was on top of this.  Is there access to a pool at the beach?  Or simply stay on board?  Thx!!

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Courtesy of online cruise groups & Smart Traveller, I knew this in advance and one of my favourite port excursions was still open to swimming/snorkeling.3BE3CA64-E12D-4BD9-AD69-0A8F22BD99FB.thumb.jpeg.45530f49df01d7b766c6d24c64420ad8.jpeg

 

Amedee Island (Phare Amedee) is one of the most popular excursions - whether you are doing a land vacay or on a cruise ship to Noumea.

 

It’s located 25km from Noumea and is reached via a approx 40min boat ride.

 

Photos courtesy of Mary D, the company that operates the day tours to the island (booked via Carnival).
 

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Ships dock in Noumea at an industrial port.  So although, you are docked, you must take one of the free coach transfers (less than 5mins) to the nearby tourist terminal.  There you can book local hoho buses, Chou Chou trains and locals tours or simply walk into the city centre.  There is a supermarket nearby and a very very popular French cake shop and McDonalds for those who have a craving after 2 sea days 😀

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4 minutes ago, aussielozzie18 said:

Courtesy of online cruise groups & Smart Traveller, I knew this in advance and one of my favourite port excursions was still open to swimming/snorkeling.3BE3CA64-E12D-4BD9-AD69-0A8F22BD99FB.thumb.jpeg.45530f49df01d7b766c6d24c64420ad8.jpeg

 

Amedee Island (Phare Amedee) is one of the most popular excursions - whether you are doing a land vacay or on a cruise ship to Noumea.

 

It’s located 25km from Noumea and is reached via a approx 40min boat ride.

 

Photos courtesy of Mary D, the company that operates the day tours to the island (booked via Carnival).
 

Looks beautiful!!  Will the shark issue limit this excursion?

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17 minutes ago, aussielozzie18 said:

Thank you.  Always interesting to see the differences between what is offered in the US and what we get down under.

Reading that statement I thought that YOU might be interested in seeing what the transition was like back in 2012. We were onboard the Carnival Spirit as she sailed from Hawaii to Australia for the first time, the Australian television stations were right on it (you'll notice the news helicopters flying around the ship as we arrived). I've been following your wonderful review with interest----here's what it was like "back in the day". Feel free to skip the first 96 pix (prep for the cruise) and #378 on (after the cruise). Thanks once again for your review. Just click on Our cruise to Australia, and click on the picture if you want to make it larger.

 

Our cruise to Australia

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3 hours ago, aussielozzie18 said:

Courtesy of online cruise groups & Smart Traveller, I knew this in advance and one of my favourite port excursions was still open to swimming/snorkeling.3BE3CA64-E12D-4BD9-AD69-0A8F22BD99FB.thumb.jpeg.45530f49df01d7b766c6d24c64420ad8.jpeg

 

Amedee Island (Phare Amedee) is one of the most popular excursions - whether you are doing a land vacay or on a cruise ship to Noumea.

 

It’s located 25km from Noumea and is reached via a approx 40min boat ride.

 

Photos courtesy of Mary D, the company that operates the day tours to the island (booked via Carnival).
 

What a nice review.  I enjoying following your thread.

 

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Are you using a phone plan in the ports?  I’m also unsure about whether to take any currency for Lifou or Noumea, could you please say what you have done?  
We are planning to go the cultural centre and aquarium, using the hop on hop off bus where possible.  Might just use my credit card and pay the international transaction fees as I can’t find any reasonably priced travel card that has Pacific francs on it.

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46 minutes ago, 2022cruisey said:

Are you using a phone plan in the ports?  I’m also unsure about whether to take any currency for Lifou or Noumea, could you please say what you have done?  
We are planning to go the cultural centre and aquarium, using the hop on hop off bus where possible.  Might just use my credit card and pay the international transaction fees as I can’t find any reasonably priced travel card that has Pacific francs on it.

Hi.  This cruise was last week 

15-24 May.

 

Currency: In general in Noumea city you need Pacific Francs or an international credit card for the shops, cafes etc.

 

Some of the local tours that leave from the tourist centre that I mentioned previously will take AUD (not sure about USD)

 

Hoho to the Aquarium is a great choice.  It’s a small aquarium but beautifully done & very interesting to visit.  Note the Aquarium only takes Francs or credit card.

 

Phone plan - I didn’t organise one.  
 

I just bought 24hrs of Carnival internet @$35 (there is also a $25 package) twice during the cruise to message family & friends back home.

 

Will explain currency at other ports when I get to them.

Edited by aussielozzie18
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Noumea to Amedee Island booked via Carnival.  It’s a full day tour.

 

Meeting point in MDR.  Short coach ride from ship to dock where high speed boat transferred us to the island.  Comfortable 40 min boat ride.  On the way across, staff gave us coloured bracelets for glass bottom boat ride session and showed us an info sheet of the day’s activities.

 

Weather looked threatening but we stayed dry and the temp was pleasant.

 

F04061FB-6F88-45BD-8C63-36A59DCB79A6.thumb.jpeg.99c41dfb1fc8201260bbfc79038926a7.jpeg

 

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Amedee Island/Phare Amedee is an uninhabited Island with just a caretaker who is rostered on. 
 

The dominating feature of  

the island is the Lighthouse.  In 1861, Paris ordered a lighthouse be built due to the number of shipwrecks occurring as boats entered the lagoon.  A French Engineer from the Eiffel Tower workshops, started work on the Lighthouse in Paris.  Once it had been built, it was completely dismantled and shipped on a long voyage to New Calendonia where it was erected on the island by locals & French soldiers.  It was first illuminated in November 1865.

 

26B5BD76-8180-4639-BA67-5E82B81EC3D7.thumb.jpeg.02e08161f5b5d9efd8dd1eb4214b1fec.jpeg


8C2BCEE6-F186-428C-A53A-4C034AD36896.thumb.jpeg.711c54bf875247cdbe36c5992c9c4dde.jpeg

 

 

9D1CEAB8-9C75-422E-963F-1101A4E7D31F.thumb.png.9b6e461e0c3f9b002297aa875e47d8c6.png

 

You can climb to to the top for stunning views of the lagoon & reefs surrounding the island.  Cost is 300 francs for an adult and you need to climb a circular staircase of 247 stairs. 
 

 
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115A2B30-3176-4891-9C7A-8937CB255A07.thumb.jpeg.09be94f136a9ef343d045eac6da271c9.jpeg

 

21DDA406-C349-4169-A772-DCD119F2F53A.thumb.jpeg.cffba4b778d2034416892033546ec32d.jpeg

 

As soon as we arrived at the island, we grabbed a couple of loungers (there were plenty) grabbed our snorkeling gear (packed in suitcase for this cruise) and headed into the water.  
Within a couple of minutes of being in the water, I saw my first green turtle and during the course of several hours snorkeling during the day, I saw a total of 8 green turtles feeding on the sea grass and then rising up to the surface and then back down again to find more sea grass.  Also saw plenty of fish and coral.  Water temperature was lovely.

 

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At lunchtime the black clouds had moved away and the sun came out.

We headed for our buffet lunch which was included and was fresh and tasty served with rum punch and other alcohol followed by dessert and plenty of fresh fruit
then traditional dancing with some audience participation.8EC7D6C6-DF54-4C70-B750-DDBEA011C6CE.thumb.jpeg.ad04e256b2998350984dc07c3ee46ad4.jpeg

 

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4A75C4F2-74A6-4EDB-92D4-4A4545C0C76E.thumb.jpeg.ee0ff0bdcdc4eab21d20ecac0db116d0.jpeg

 

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87EB4C41-077C-476A-837C-2BA46AA15317.thumb.jpeg.fd2c365f79c00ccfce5f0f23a576651a.jpeg
 

973FEC0E-F6F2-4CEC-8348-AFD69D1FB1FC.thumb.jpeg.caaf12ef039e7cc75aaf5088b83bdb6b.jpeg

 

0D46677B-B79B-4C41-BEAF-A4AD4F88CFD7.thumb.jpeg.727ae2ada2e02b3a3b521181651b9f7a.jpeg

 

 

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After lunch, went for a short wander to the other side of the island.  Part of the island is closed off to protect a large colony of nesting terns.

 

Then continued snorkeling until I made a last minute decision to join our scheduled glass bottom boat tour.

 

As I was rushing to the wharf, I tripped on a tree root and went to put my hand on the tree to stop myself falling.  Thankfully a fellow cruiser grabbed my arm.  Grateful for his quick response as this was on the tree I was about to put my hand on….BE743C37-9870-42D2-8A78-50FB26E99188.thumb.jpeg.c41ff2248155810f1639f59d5d10e2ff.jpeg

 

A sea snake.  Highly venomous but unlikely to bite unless disturbed.  My unplanned actions would definitely have disturbed 😳 

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Glass bottom boat ride (included in the days fee) was excellent.  Had a young French guide who gave a very informative narration and we saw turtles, lots of big coral and because we fed the fish from the glass bottom boat, plenty of fish of all sizes.

 

At the end of the tour, we all stood up to leave the boat and the lady across from me yelled snake - a  sea snake had been curled up behind the guy seated next to her whilst we did the tour.  Our guide calmly picked it up and put in the water over the side of the boat.

 

I didn’t see any sea snakes in the water but when we first arrived at our loungers on the beach, two girls in their 20s choose loungers next to us.  As we were getting ready to snorkel, they screamed snake as one was moving in the sand under their table towards the scrubby greenery behind us.80997A0F-7FFF-4658-8A6E-258A66D35EC2.thumb.jpeg.fe5d8951638a5179c2784bf0e02f52b5.jpeg

 

 

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After more snorkeling, it was time to head back to Noumea via our fast ferry boat.

 

I have no fear of snakes, so the snakes on the island don’t bother me and I look forward to returning to Amedee Island in the future.

 

44771D55-DF61-44C4-AD24-5C5BC7012DF9.thumb.jpeg.ec07a87bea24555819380208eaeba6ef.jpeg

 

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Thanks to my fellow cruisers on this tour who kindly shared their scenic photos with me after my camera battery died after lunch.

 

After a day full of snorkeling, dinner was in the Lido Buffet, where I could fill my plate and have more than one dessert….

 

 

Edited by aussielozzie18
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Regarding currency on this island.  I had bought souvenirs here previously and with the big buffet lunch and boat tour included I didn’t need to buy anything this time around.  Video from top of Lighthouse was from previous visit.

 

You will need Pacific Francs if you do plan to climb Lighthouse & make purchases in shop or hire snorkeling gear.

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LIFOU, NEW CALENDONIA  This is a water shuttle/tender port.  Unless you had status, a suite or FTF pass or a Carnival shore excursion booked, you needed a tender ticket which were available from 7am onwards on the main pool deck.  
 

Ugh.  I am not a morning person and I horrified my kids when I told them I went up to the pool deck at 6.45am in my pjs to collect a tender ticket (pjs covered by a jacket).

 

Subsequently, I was on one of the first tenders - after showering & having breakfast.

 

Carnival do offer a couple of excursions here - a visit to a vanilla house (haven’t done but recommended by my fellow cruisers), a visit to Luecila  beach on the other side of the island and a Melanesian encounter.

 

This Island is very rustic and has very limited tourism infrastructure.  There are local

tours that can be booked on the day.  The most popular being to a dark cave for swimming.  Note, the vehicles used can be rather rustic.

 

 

Edited by aussielozzie18
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1 hour ago, aussielozzie18 said:

Amedee Island/Phare Amedee is an uninhabited Island with just a caretaker who is rostered on. 
 

The dominating feature of  

the island is the Lighthouse.  In 1861, Paris ordered a lighthouse be built due to the number of shipwrecks occurring as boats entered the lagoon.  A French Engineer from the Eiffel Tower workshops, started work on the Lighthouse in Paris.  Once it had been built, it was completely dismantled and shipped on a long voyage to New Calendonia where it was erected on the island by locals & French soldiers.  It was first illuminated in November 1865.

 

26B5BD76-8180-4639-BA67-5E82B81EC3D7.thumb.jpeg.02e08161f5b5d9efd8dd1eb4214b1fec.jpeg


8C2BCEE6-F186-428C-A53A-4C034AD36896.thumb.jpeg.711c54bf875247cdbe36c5992c9c4dde.jpeg

 

 

9D1CEAB8-9C75-422E-963F-1101A4E7D31F.thumb.png.9b6e461e0c3f9b002297aa875e47d8c6.png

 

You can climb to to the top for stunning views of the lagoon & reefs surrounding the island.  Cost is 300 francs for an adult and you need to climb a circular staircase of 247 stairs. 
 

 

IMG_1447.MOV 1.52 MB · 0 downloads  

Love the pictures! Too bad the video is one of those nasty mov files.😉😁

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