Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Cruise Update…finally

well we have been back for a couple of weeks but it has taken me that long to finally go through the photos i have taken and sort them out.  2000+ photos down to a selection every day to share is a daunting task especially when i really have already deleted all the ones i didn’t want ad still left with 1709.  Eeeeek – definately not all of them are getting scrapped.  Time for another story book to be printed i think.  Getting back into the swing of things at work has been harder than i thought with me crashing on the couch as soon as dinner is over.  i don’t know how many times i had full intentions of updating my blog and well then i hit snooze.  eeeek sorry girls.  Beware this post is a little photo heavy but i have put them into slide shows for each day – so i totally understand if you don’t look at all the pics but if you have time and you have never been to the South Pacific you will get a little glimpse of how beautiful the place really is.
all i can say about the Radiance of the Seas  - Royal Caribbean line is is WOW.  The actual scapping group compared to last years cruise was much smaller but we still had lots of fun together and from my point of view it was great as i got to know the girls personally a lot better than i would have if it had been as big as last years – anyway i just want to thank all you girls for what i think has been one of the most fun cruises we have done yet and i really look forward to next years.
I personally want to thank Bo Bunny, Pink Paislee and Darkroom Door for sponsoring some of the classes.   I think by far the one of the highlights for me was watching you girls everyday gathering and collating all the things you collected over the day and updating your albums each night.  I loved poking my nose into the conference room at night to catch up with whoever was in there and seeing what you had been up to.  You certainly have inspired me to finish my example off here at home.  Its funny when you teach you give out the ideas and suggestions etc for what you can put inside it but i thoroughly enjoyed watching you ladies jump on board with the whole idea.  Seeing many of you almost complete the album in the  12 days to take home a fantastic memento of your trip was a little buzz for me.  Plus many of you gave me so many good ideas as well – i guess that is what i love about teaching so much is that i often learn just as much from the participants in the classes.  It really is such a share share hobby and why i love it so much.
The captain signed the front of my album with the new logo for Royal Caribbean – which will be on all advertising soon. “The Sea is Calling Answer it Royally.” He was great, we asked him if he would come to our cocktail party on the last night and he did so that was lovely to be able to have photos taken with him and the group.
Personally one of my favourite classes to design was using the Pink Paislee Nantucket range.  I now have all my photos sorted and will have to finish off these layouts by adding a favourite photo to them but as you will see below it is still going to be hard to work out which photos to use.  It really was a fun range to work with.
Its going to be hard to share with you the whole trip so i am going to do it as best as i can and give you a couple of highlights of each day, hopefully in the near future you will see my favourites of these pics scrapped up.
Day 1 – Leaving Sydney
Sydney is an exciting place to be even if you are only there for the day to board the ship.  The kids also were sooo excited to be on the Radiance ship because in addition to the rock climbing wall, it also had a water slide, mini golf and basketball courts to play on.  If you have never cruised before it is truly one of the most relaxing holidays you can have – provided you don’t snorkel 7 days in a row like we did.  You can also RELAX….

Days 2 and 3 –Cruising
We stuck into our first class at 10.00 this morning which was the start of the cruise ship album.  Decided to do this one first to give the ladies something to work towards finishing by end of the cruise.  Halfway through the class we were called outside onto the decks to yell out to the passing by sister ship – Rhapsody of the Seas.  The Captain used to work on that ship so both ships would slow down and everyone would scream out and it was a little competition between which ship had the noisiest passengers. As you can see from these photos too, the food was glorious and we had little animals put on our beds every second night made out of our towels.
Day 4 – Noumea
We did the touristy thing and went on a City Tour and then relaxed the rest of the afternoon at Lemon Beach where the kids had fun swimming out to the pontoons and doing backflips and diving off….  Also the island in one of the photos is Castaway Island from the show Survivor – not exactly in the middle of nowhere as it looked like on the show.

Day 5 – Lifou – Loyalty Islands
Beautiful beaches here to the left and right.  We stayed on one side of the island then walked up the top of the hill to a old church that is being renovated.  Beautiful view at the top back over the beach adn ship, and then over to the other side of the island for a swim in a little watering hole where you had to climb down into the water via an old ladder made from branches.  Kids loved this.

Day 6 – Port Vila – Vanuatu
FANTASTIC day but truly need more than one day here as it was really hard to decide what to do.  Already have a list a mile long of other places to visit if we do this cruise again…  We hired Harry a drive and he drove us up to Cascade Falls and waited for us whilst we climbed up to the top of them and also had a swim in a few of the holes along the way.  Then we went around the town and over via Ferry to Irriki Island Resort.  Chilled out for a few hours and then returned via the scenic route.

Day 7 – Champagne Bay
This was probably one of my most favourite days.  Just loved this island.  Loved the crystal clear waters, the little stores, the absolutist freshest sweetest pineapple, coconut milk and the snorkelling. The girls faces when the guy put the snakes around them was priceless, Caitlin was seriously scared but the others were just plain entertaining to watch.  Boat ride in one of canoes where you could see the coral from the top of the water – unbelievable clear waters. Just a little bit of heaven on earth.  
Day 8 – Luganville
Driving around in the back of the ute was the highlight today.  Something you aren’t allowed to do back home here in Oz so the kids got a bit of thrill thinking they were doing something “norty”…  There was a couple of things we would have loved to do here like the caves but we didn’t have enough time on our stop so again another thing to add to the list for when we return.

Day 9 – Mystery Island
Little coral garden clusters is how i would describe the snorkelling here.  Gorgeous.  Again crystal clear waters, the most colourful fish i have ever seen and again i totally loved this place.  Would love to just camp out here for a few days if that was possible.  The place is awesome.
Day 10 – Isle of Pines
The highlight of this stop would have to be Caitlin and how she just decided to go and play with the local little kids.  She was gorgeous and so were they for that matter.  Also the little island that you could snorkel right around was a a bit of fun too and even though the coral seemed to be a little damaged here due to the amount of people who obviously do the same we saw some of the most amazing fish.  Probably some of the largest we saw whilst we were away.
Days 11 and 12 – Cruising
The last couple of days were the usuals things for the last days of a cruise.  The renown belly flop competition where Dad again entered under sufferance but if he didn’t Ellie wouldn’t let him live it down.  He has decided that 70 is too old to be doing this and it will definatley be his last time. Yeah right that is what he said last time too.  He came 2nd again.  Im not sure how hard you have to hit the water to win this but who knows maybe 3rd time lucky.  The Chocolate buffet is always yummy if you can stay up that long – it starts at 11pm and then you can go on a Galley tour which dad and I did, which was extremely interesting to see where/how they prepare to feed the 2000 of us on board.  We then had a cocktail party on the last night with the scrapping girls and as mentioned earlier we got to personally meet the Captain and chat to him – well that was when i finally go there– i had a pedicure booked it that just seemed to go on for ages – under normal circumstances it would have been relaxing but not when they were running behind time and i wanted to be somewhere else.  I had to laugh when i heard my daughters comment – “if the Captain is here who is driving the boat?” – cute hey!!!
Day 13 – Back to Sydney
15 Return to Sydney 11
Thanks for sticking around and reading .  Hopefully not too bored.   And well until next time…. stay tuned there WILL definitely be another scrapbooking cruise planned for 2013 and would love to have you join me.


Aussieleigh said...

Awesome pics Melissa and I am feeling very nostalgic reading your post and seeing the pics. Will be dreaming of white sandy beaches and scrapping

Al Hannah said...

Yahoo ... I can comment. Seems I can't comment if I come via the networked blogs link. But I came a different way and I can comment. I'm so pleased! I already said but I can say again ... love all the photos you have put in your slideshows. Makes me really want to go on a cruise but not in Oct/Nov as the weather isn't warm enough! Thinking maybe Bali? What you doing in Oct ... wannna come? Something to talk about when I see you tonight xo

Shelley said...

Thanks for sharing Mel. Looks like you guys had the most fantastic time. The pics are just gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

thanks for making a great cruise even better
you are a awesome teacher as well as a barrel of laughs.....
thanks for sharing your knowledge and pictures.
till next time .......
Lorene xxxxx

Lorelle said...

Great photos Melissa. Looks like it was all worth the work we did to keep it going. So glad we didn't have to cancel and you guys got to have a great cruise.
Look forward to working with you again on our next one.
Lorelle (Crafting Cruises)