At the end of 2016 my friend and I went on a last minute cruise with Carnival Legend to the South Pacific. It was a 10 day cruise visiting New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
We booked through the Carnival AU website for $990 for a balcony “guaranteed” room. Guaranteed was cheaper and it basically meant we couldn’t choose our room but were guaranteed a balcony. It was a good deal, for just under a $100 a day, for a balcony?? Yes please!
The cruise left from Circular Quay in Sydney Harbour. Getting on the boat went pretty smoothly because we were prepared with all our documents- very important to do before hand if you want to get on quicker.
It was easy to find our room and it didn’t take long for our bags to arrive. Once settled in we went walking round the boat and watched as we left Circular Quay.
I had done a lot of research on cruise boats and their prices so I knew Carnival was not the fanciest cruise out there but for 2 students the price was pretty good. Now, saying that… the decor of the boat… OLD and takes some adjusting. It’s a lot of gold, orange, yellow and brown tones with busy wall art at every corner. My friend and I couldn’t stop laughing the whole ten days! The room was the same, old furnishings, old appliances and etc. It wasn’t cramped, it just felt cramped due to the decorating. Lots of orange and wood. There was a couch in the room however we put our suitcases on it because we didn’t want to sit on it! It was terribly old and gross and because we put our suitcases on it, it felt like we had more room.
The bathroom was ok. Not terrible, but not great. That’s really all I have to say about it.
Food/ Dining Experience
Dinner was one of my favourite parts of the day. We were put on a great table with 4 other girls/ladies and we had many laughs over the 10 days.
We had the head waiter and he made sure everything was perfect and made sure we all ate enough. He made sure all dietary requirements were met, he made sure we had a good time and he always made sure he had a big smile when serving us.
Food for dinner was usually pretty good. Great restaurant food, could it be better? Of course but I never disliked a meal to the extent where I couldn’t eat it.
Breakfast was always standard. Pastries, fruit, eggs, pancakes, beans and so on. We always went to the dining room instead of the buffet.
And lunch was kind of a grey area. We were always so busy we didn’t really keep up with the lunch schedule. When we did eat lunch we went to the sushi bar, the restaurant and a few times to the buffet area. However, on port days we didn’t really eat lunch because by the time we got back on the boat it was 4pm. So we’d have snacks around the ship instead.
There is plenty to do during the day. You can lay in the sun, relax in a lounge pod, chill in a hot tub or swimming pool, play trivia and Bingo. That is just the beginning. Every evening you would get the following day’s schedule. We usually did trivia for one half of the day and then laying in the sun on the other half.
In the evening we would chill in our room till dinner getting ready, go eat dinner, watch the theatre show then rush to the comedy lounge- the comedy in the evening was amazing! One of the best parts of the cruise. Afterwards we would go hang out and dance at the club on the boat until we found our way back to the room. The club was fun, however they did play the same songs each night.
The islands/ports you visit are very nice and like paradise if you enjoy the beach, sand and the ocean. We visited Isle of Pines, Lifou, Mare and Noumea. We did have changes in our itinerary due to weather. We were not suppose to visit Isle of Pines however it was beautiful! Noumea was the only port that was a developed town. The other ports were small and not very developed however that didn’t stop the adventures.
If you want to see more about the ports I have other posts about them.
Things I Learnt/ Tips
- You do NOT use your phone. It can be left in your room. It gets in the way and you don’t have internet, unless you pay for it however I found it got in the way of experiencing and relaxing. So leave it in your room
- Lanyards are cool on cruise ships. They’re dorky on land but onboard they make life easier. You carry your cruise card, id and itinerary in it so your hands are free. I recommend getting a lanyard. Trust. Me.
- Sitting on a table with people you’ve never met before can be great. You meet new people and friends you can spend the cruise with.
- Pace yourself, especially if you’re on a 10 day cruise. You’re on a boat for 10 days with the same people and the same drinks. Drinks are cheap and big so make sure to pace yourself.
- Get up early. I don’t mean 5am but a good morning hour like 7/8am. It gets you up so you can make use of the money you’re spending. You will also make breakfast on time and the earlier you are the quicker the service will be. You can sleep after the cruise.
- The chances of you getting a cold is HIGH. If your roommate gets sick, chances are you will. So hand sanitiser is your best friend.
- There’s plenty to do you’ve just got to search for it. Many people say cruises can get boring but you just need to look for the fun activities they have going on. If you just want a tan and lay in the sun all day that’s great but there are heaps of activities to do on board.
- They can really accommodate to ANYTHING. If you have a dietary requirement, no matter what it is, they can accommodate for you, easy. All you have to do is ask.
The cruise was great. Would I do it again? Yes! There isn’t much I would change to how I approached the cruise in terms of spending my time whilst on the boat. It is a great cruise for everyone even young adults who like to party a bit and it’s great if you want to relax. The food and decor could do with improvement however the service was amazing! I couldn’t put a negative point on the service. Price wise, I thought it was good value. If it was cheaper I wouldn’t complain. If you break it down it was only $99 a day for a room, travel, 3 meals with a 3 course dinner and free activities. Considering return flights to one New Caledonia island is $991 from Sydney… I think the price is pretty good.