We've just only got back today from our cruise to Noumea/Lifou/Isle of Pines, I was completely blown away by how friendly the staff were. There was always plenty of stuff to do and when it came time for dinner in the Empire Restaurant (Level 2 & 3 rear) it was always a pleasure to receive such outstanding service from the waitstaff. During dinnertime they'll put on a mini show for you, and some of the nights there was this guy that had the most AMAZING voice that nailed songs such as "You're The Voice", "Hallelujah", "Bohemian Rhapsody" and on the last night he took on Tina Turner's "Simply The Best" and ABSOLUTELY NAILED IT. Getting on & off the ship at each of the ports was easy - go to the Versailles or Pharaoh's Palace with your family members get a number and when it's called head down to the boat to take you across - don't forget your sign & sail card and passport.. The cabins are a bit small (to be expected) but you don't spend much time in it either to sleep or shower to get ready for dinner. The beds are comfy, but for someone my height (6' 5") they're a bit narrow and don't leave much .. but still get a good night sleep from them.
Here's a tip for new travelers: get there a fair bit before boarding time, as you'll be standing in queue a bit. Hand in your bags and get your passports ready because you'll need them throughout the process. Three more checkpoints to go through, border control, then you check in with the cruise staff at the desk .. get your sign & sail cards (also your room key) and through a metal detector and bag scanner and THEN you get to board. On your way in, head to the shore tours desk and book any tours you would like to do, then head up to Lido Deck 9 and grab a bite to eat. After some time the cabins will be ready for you, so drop down and familiarize yourself with how you get to the room and back. For us it was Deck 5 ... 5173, out of the elevators, look for the crystal blue vase, through the doorway and keep walking. You've only got one more important thing to do: muster- check your sign & sail card bottom left as you'll be given a letter what section you need to go to. Once the siren hits, and it is loud, head down and line up, listen to a safety briefing and once you're done ... you're free to roam the ship. Stick up on Deck 9 .. because when she pulls out .. you'll wanna stay up as she sails through the heads
Another tip: for the tender boat transfers, ensure that you've got everyone together, have your S&S cards and ID together and you're good to go. Isle Of Pines leave it for a bit later as there's a rush for the boats initially.
I know there's another group ready to go for today, so I honestly sincerely hope you have heaps of fun, because I know you will. One last tip is read your Fun Times pamphlet, and grab the app it'll show you what's on and where. Mark off things you'd like to do as it'll send notifications when your event is about to happen.
Have fun :)
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