We were out at sea. Both David and I slept in quite a bit and did not wake up until 11am. We got dressed in our swimmers, hopeful that the sun would warm up a bit and take the chill out of the wind and headed up to get a buffet breakfast. It seems that we were not the only ones who slept it. EVERYONE was up there! Luckily they have a lot of stations where you can get various foods and drinks so we did not have to wait in the line long. There are lots of tables up there two, and no one minds if you have to sit on one already occupied, everyone is very happy to share with you.
After breakfast we both wanted to do a little bit of sunbaking. The pool was way too cold but we noticed that no one was in the spa (on the serenity deck) so we decided to hop in. It is a very small spa compared to others on the ship, but still claims it can fit 8 people. In order to accommodate everyone they place a 15 min limit for time allowed in the spa which is good because then you get a constant rotation and everyone should get a turn. As I said at this point in time there was no one there so we hoped in and enjoyed the bubbles and the warm water. Not too long after another person joined us and we got to talking about life the universe and everything. He was telling us how he brought this land which he was setting up to grow various fruits and vegetables and that he planned on hiring back packers to work the land in exchange for wages, food and accommodation. He was also going to have musicians come and play and have groups of pople stay there. The back backers would help run the retreat as well. It sounded like a very awesome idea.
Not long after two girls joined us. They were about 18/19 and had been on the very same cruise before. We asked them what sort of things we should do when we got to the islands. They suggested we snorkel at Isle of Pines and find free WiFi in Noumea. All very good advice. It was at this point that another couple joined the spa, needless to say it was getting crowded at this point. Dave and I had started to prune as we had been in the water for well over 30 mins chatting away with everyone. We thought we would be nice and get out of the water as to make room for others.
After having a shower and getting dressed it was time for lunch. We headed to Empire and asked for a table and were promptly seated with several other young people. The couple seated to our left was very friendly and from our neck of the woods! Everyone else on the table seemed to be grumbling about being sat with strangers. Again the food was wonderful. I did order a burger which had a sad piece of lettuce and onion on it, and my chips must have been flown in from maccas as they were cool and stale L but what can you do! We didn’t know that we should of ordered desert when we ordered the rest of the food so the waiter started clearing away our cutlery. I quickly grabbed the spoons while David asked for the desert menu!
We went for a walk trying to find the “Techno Arcade” as we heard they had play station 4’s and XBOX Ones we could play and our gaming fingers were already getting itchy after not having access to anything like that for 24 hours. We had made the decision together to leave our 3Ds’ at home, which I regret even as I type. Oh well. Some holidays are made better when you are “unplugged”. We had no luck finding these mysterious consoles and gave up.
After that we went back to the room and I decided to do a bit of reading, perhaps book some shore excusions for Lifou, Nomea and Mare. Dave went for a walk, while I used the tv to order the excursions. For Lifou I booked a tour called “Forest and Secret Grotto”, The tour guide would tell us about medicinal plants as well as show us some critters and a cave with stalagmites and stalactites! I love caves so I had to book that one. For Noumea it was a choice between canoeing or stand up paddle boarding. After talking with David I went for the paddle boarding. I booked it later on in the day so that in the morning we could look for the elusive free WiFi. There was only one shore excursion for Mare, there was a trip to Yejele Beach, a lagoon type beach with lots of coral formations for good snorkelling! With everything booked I decided to do a bit of reading while David went on another walk, he wanted to go buy me a present as I had brought him a bottle of scotch from Duty free the night before.
When he got back we went up to the Deck and watched the sun set in the wind. It was quite remarkable as neither of us had seen the sun set over nothing but water for miles around. We discussed that it was weird that there was no ‘sea smell’ and that perhaps we had gotten used to it or that there was something else other than sea which created the smell like seaweed or bacteria or something.
We got back to the room and a few moments later there was a knock on the door. A stewardess had a bottle of champagne and two classes, I was a little confused because I hadn’t ordered it but David said it was ok, that it was my present! We took the champagne out to the balcony to have a drink. We chatted about our first date and how it was a secret first date meaning I didn’t know we were out on a date, I thought we were just two people out on the town having a good time. David is very sneaky. That was a little more than four years and seven months ago! David got up and attempted to get on one knee (it was very rocky) as he produced a ring from the inside of his jacket and I stared in amazement before my eyes welled up with tears of joy. I gave him a big hug trying to stop the tears and pull myself together. It took a good 30 seconds before I could say yes and put the ring on my finger. I don’t really remember the specifics and I have to keep asking David what he said because my mind went completely blank when it happened!
We celebrated that evening by going to Empire and getting lobster, which costs $25. We tried to finish the champagne but it didn’t happen L. After dinner we went as saw the show in the Pharaohs Palace, it was spectacular! The singing, the costumes, the band! The dancers were a bit meh, but I am a harsh critic. I think they did amazingly well considering how rocky the boat was! They could have exhumed a bit more energy though. After the show we ran down stairs to catch the comedian. It seems everyone had heard about it by then because we couldn’t get a seat! We stood up the back and watched. So funny!
What a wonderful day and what a magical night!