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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - DESTINATION AFLOAT -

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.

THREE

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?

FOUR

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.

SEVEN

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.

EIGHT-

year-old Michaela from Aus­tralia is an ex­pert on: Fi­jian hair braid­ing (ev­ery­one’s do­ing it). The best

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