Brooke Crees; 21 years of age.

Set sail on the Radiance of the Seas – January 2015

Having never been to Sydney before we decide to fly over a day early to check out some of its tourist highlights. We stayed on the Darling Harbour which was a lovely sight to see, especially at night.

The next day we set sail on the Radiance of the Seas. We got a taxi to the ship around 12pm. Check in was very easy. Our bags were taken and loaded on the ship by welcoming people and then we headed to check in with our passport and documents. By 2pm we were in our room and by about 3pm are luggage had arrived to our door.

The ship was docked between the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. Everyone was out on deck looking out over the two of Sydney’s top tourist attractions as we set sail on this amazing journey.

We had a large ocean view stateroom on deck 7 right up the front of the ship. Our room had a lot of space and was very comfy. It had everything you would need including a large kind bed, couch, tv, mini fridge, bathroom, mirrors, bench etc.

Sitting in our room in front of the window view
We had 3 days of sailing before our first tender. Throughout this 3 days we explored what the ship had to offer. To our surprise it had everything!

Some of our favourite places included the indoor solarium, the outdoor pool, the casino, the rock climbing wall, the mini golf on top deck and the cinema.

The ship also had such a variety of amazing food throughout the day and night.

Isle of Pines, New Caledonia – Stop 1

Our first stop was at the Isle Of Pines. This island was full of amazing people, culture and scenery. We decided to get a tour of the Island to see what it had to offer. It cost us $20 (Australian currency) to see the whole island by taxi which took us about 40 minutes. We visited the prison, church, villages and some amazing scenic sights. We then spent the rest of the day on the Island snorkelling around the reefs.

Stop 2 – Lifou, Loyalty Islands

Our second stop of the cruise was Lifou. This was an amazing place to snorkel. As we got onto the island we followed the crowd and walked about 500m to a magnificence snorkelling spot. It was amazing. It had many coloured small fish and reef which made it the perfect snorkelling spot. We then had a rest on the shore, and later found some cliffs to jump off.

Luganville Vanuatu

In Luganville we hired a driver for the day with 6 other friends we had met on the ship. We all jumped in the back of his Ute and toured the island stopping at different places for a snorkel and swim.

We first went to the Blue Hole which was an amazing fresh water swimming hole with rope swings and wooden planks and ladders built to jump off.

We spent a few hours there and then met up with our driver to take us to a restaurant situated on the beach surrounded by little handmade shops. Here we ate lunch, went for a snorkel and relaxed by the beach.

We then met with our driver again to go to a well-known snorkelling place called million dollar point. This snorkelling place was the best yet with ship wrecks, and sea life scattered along the ocean floor.

We snorkelling for around half an hour and then relaxed on the shoreline reading the signs filled with history placed around the snorkelling place.

We then headed back to the ship.

Stop 4 Champagne Bay

Champagne Bay was by far my favourite island we stopped at.  When we reached champagne bay we were met with our same taxi driver as yesterday. He was happy to take us exploring the island and his village. We then headed to the blue lagoon, which was another fresh water hole. Later we went to have lunch at a restaurant situated on the beach and finished the day again relaxing on the island.

Stop 5 – Vila, Vanuata

Vila was out last stop before we headed back to Sydney. Wade went on a fishing charter tour whilst I spent the day exploring the shopping on the island. I went on a water taxi across to the shops where they had cheap duty free alcohol. I bought a litre bottle of Vodka that cost me $12 and a litre bottle of Captain Morgan that cost me $15. What a bargin! They also have many other shops and café’s on the island.

That night aboard the ship we headed back to Sydney. We sailed for the following 2 days and before we knew it we were back docked in the Sydney Harbour.

What an amazing journey this cruise had been with the many life long memories we had made.