Twin ships Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas sail the South Pacific from late October to April. Explorer cruises include a sevennight Pacific Island Getaway departing Sydney November 19, 2017; from $1319 for the first guest and $659 for the second guest in an interior stateroom, or $1589 for the first guest and $829 for the second in an Oceanview stateroom with free upgrade to a Balcony stateroom. Promotion applies to bookings made before June 30. More: royalcaribbean.com.au Noumea have been cancelled as a safety precaution — something to do with stormwater. There will be no kayaking on the Dumbea River for us, but there are compensations. I am already on to my second novel, and my primary schooler has made approximately nine new best friends in the pool, some of whom he knows by name.
suave American crooners were at the heart of the Rat Pack; close your eyes in the Palace Theatre and you’d swear our own Tom Burlinson was the fourth. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr … and Burlinson. When he sings “Like the sailor said, quote, / Ain’t that a hole in the boat? (I hope not!)”, you just know he’s made that crack before, and still you love it. The ex-Man from Snowy River is my pick in a line-up of matinee and evening shows that also includes electric-rock violinist Jane Cho, stand-up comedians and a mashup of 1970s and 80s film musicals that plays to the teenage years of the average adult passenger. That’s me, apparently. Flashdance, anyone?
people could fit quite comfortably into our Junior Suite, with its king bed and double sofa bed that would revert to sofa form by day, if we could be bothered to entertain. There’s enough room to swing a cruise keycard on a lanyard, chill out with a late-night movie on TV in the sitting area or kick back on the balcony with a cheeky vin blanc from the Noumea shops. Though when the teenager discovers room service — “you can use the TV remote to order free food any time, Mum” — the suite starts to feel just that little bit smaller.
days — that’s how long it takes the crew to serve up 105,000 meals. My boys may be responsible for a fair whack of the 18,000 slices of pizza consumed. I have acquainted myself with some of the 29,484kg of fresh vegetables, though I’ve also put a fair dent in the 2631kg of cheese — it turns out room service does a pretty fine plate of fromage, perfect for wine o’clock on the balcony after a solid day of snorkelling. The 30,283 litres of ice-cream? I think I’ve seen most of that disappear into the families fringing the pool deck.
year-old Michaela from Australia is an expert on: Fijian hair braiding (everyone’s doing it). The best