From chocolate-laden pancakes to late night comedy, find out what a typical day cruising the South Pacific with Carnival Legend is like courtesy of my food-filled diary.
7:00 I wake up as excited as a kid at Christmas who is on good terms with Santa. I yank back the curtains on our balcony stateroom to confirm we are on a ship and I hadn’t just dreamt it. Outside there’s nothing but ocean for miles and miles; our first stop in New Caledonia is another 2 days of sailing away. In the meantime we’re going to get acquainted with the Carnival Legend.
8:00 There are a couple of choices for breakfast this morning. Knowing I severely lack self-control when it comes to the breakfast buffet, we opt for the sit down service in Truffles Restaurant instead. You may dine alone or be seated in a group and we opt for the latter in order to gain some insider tips from the frequent cruisers. The service begins with warm pastries and English Breakfast Tea. I want every hot item on the menu – torn between French Toast, pancakes and Eggs Benedict – and eventually opt for the latter, reminding myself there’s a whole 10 days to try the rest of the dishes.
9:00 First port of call is the aptly named Serenity retreat, an adults only section of the ship with padded sunloungers, hammocks and pod-style sunbeds that face out to sea. Bar staff come around offering cold drinks but I’m still contentedly sipping a latte I picked up from the coffee bar on the way here.
11:00 After much cajoling I trepidatiously try out the Green Thunder water slide. Riders stand upright on a trap door that gives way at the touch of the button, sending you flying in a loop that extends off the side of the ship. It’s an exhilarating ride, but I’m glad when it’s over!
12:00 We take a stroll to the duty free Fun Shops, but having lost money in the casino on the way, settle for a bag of sweets from Cherry On Top instead of a TAG Heuer watch!
13:00 Time to eat again already. Lunch options at the Unicorn Café include a selection of snags and pies, sandwiches from the deli, salads, pizzas and a range of international hot meal options. The poolside grill serves up burgers and chicken schnitzel until 4pm, after which Freshie’s Corner opens up next door offering a range of fresh seafood, like pots full of prawns and traditional fish n’ chips. (Note: there is a nominal extra fee for this.) After much indecision I settle on a selection of Asian dishes from the Good Eats section of the buffet, including saucy chicken satay and a tasty Nasi Goreng, making sure I leave just enough room for a visit to The Sweet Spot.
14:00 A few laps of the top deck are needed after indulging in a few too many desserts at The Sweet Spot. (I had to try the cheesecake AND apple pie for research purposes!) One lap of the sun deck clocks up 600 steps on the Fitbit and takes approximately 5 minutes. We do 10 laps to ease our consciences. Later we join some competitive teenagers in a round of miniature golf – only once did my ball look like it might fly off the end of the ship!
16:00 Justin heads off to test his Simpson’s knowledge at the Legend’s Café trivia, which gives me some time to suss out the spa. The friendly team inform me they have special offers during port days so I make a note to return and book an appointment then. The spa has its own whirlpool and is also connected to the gym, which features a modern row of running and cross-training equipment overlooking the front of the ship. It will be a great way to earn our dinner later on in the trip.
17:00 Justin and I regroup at Serenity and order drinks to commiserate his loss at the Simpson’s quiz (there were some more die-hard fans than him there, apparently!). From the comfort of a hammock I sip on a frozen daiquiri and enjoy the sunset. (Whilst marvelling at the skill it took for me not to spill it!)
19:45 We’re on the assigned dining package which means we dine at 7.45pm every night in Truffles Restaurant with the same set of diners and waiters. The staff are fantastic – both efficient and entertaining. They crack jokes, perform tricks, even do a dance routine before dessert, all the while making sure our glasses are never empty and everyone gets the right dish. (Or 2! On the nights we couldn’t decide between the specials the waiters simply bought us both dishes.)
Tonight I plump for a steak with green beans, peppercorn sauce and mash potatoes and can’t believe they produced something this tasty and well presented from the galley of the ship. I finish my meal with a crème brulee so good I spend the rest of the trip talking about it.
We get to know the other guests at our table more and more each evening and fast become good friends. (Shout out to Kim, Kenny, Sarah and Michael if you happen to be reading this! It was wonderful spending our evenings with you.)
21:30 Nighttime is when the fun really starts. Justin and I wouldn’t class ourselves as cabaret people but the entertainment on board is so good we’ve embraced it! At 21.30 we head to the Follies Theatre for a music and dance performance by Playlist Productions. The Carnival dancers boogie their way through a selection of Motown hits, with staging and costumes that perfectly match it.
10.30 From 10.30 ‘till late we sit on a couch in the Punchliner Comedy Club and laugh until our bellies are hurting. Two international acts per night perform a set of stand up comedy. Tonight was the turn of London comic Anil Desai who does such a brilliant impression of an Indian Homer Simpson, we leave the comedy club still laughing about it.
Billie’s Bar is hosting a sing-a-long with Adam (another Brit!) and he’s bantering with the audience as much as playing music. We stop for one more drink and request Stevie Wonder. On the way back to the cabin we consider throwing some shapes on the retro light up dance floor at the Medusa’s Lair nightclub, but it’s been a long day and our energy levels are waning. Plus there will be heaps more opportunities for that the rest of the trip.
Just before bed we glance at the Fun Times, the activities schedule that gets left by housekeeping every evening next to a rather impressive towel art animal. There’s live music, fine dining, more comedy and a hypnotist to look forward to tomorrow. But first, bed. My pillow is calling..
You can book your Carnival Cruise with Cruiseabout who offer great rates, bonus onboard credit and reduced deposits. Sail aboard the Carnival Legend to the Isle of Pines, Lifou, Mare and Noumea on a round trip journey from Sydney priced from $1299* per person in an inside cabin. Visit the Cruiseabout website or call 1300 450 133 to find out more.
*Prices are based on twin share rates and are subject to change and availability, T&Cs apply.
Cruiseabout hosted our trip for review purposes. All opinions (and kilos gained) remain my own, as always!