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Royal Caribbean South Pacific Cruise {Review}

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Royal Caribbean South Pacific Cruise

Post Last Modified – February 25, 2024 ¦

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A Review Of Our Royal Caribbean South Pacific Cruise

On our first visit to Australia a few seasons ago, we included an amazing …

🌺 Royal Caribbean South Pacific Cruise 🌺

in our travel plans. This particular cruise departed from the beautiful; ⚓ Sydney Harbor in Australia. The cruise we chose, made stops at some stunning tropical destinations in the 🏝 South Pacific.

South Pacific Banner

Our 11 night cruise was in the month of February and we were on board Royal Caribbean’s …

“🛳 Rhapsody of the Seas. 🛳”

This was most certainly, one of the main highlights of our Australia vacation. It was a fabulous cruise with absolutely perfect weather, friendly staff and amazing food the entire voyage!

First, check out my short 📹 video clip of the views you will experience in Sydney, Australia’s beautiful harbor!

Sydney Harbour Australia – YouTube Video

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Be sure to spend a few nights in Sydney, as there’s so much to see and do in and around the city!

Our 11 Night Royal Caribbean South Pacific Cruise

Cruise Ship Flags

There are numerous cruises departing from {Sydney, Australia} throughout the year. If your travel plans can include one of these cruises, you simply must try to add it to your travel itinerary, like we did.

Just departing from ⚓ Sydney Harbor, is worth the 🎟 ticket 🎟 alone!

Sydney Australia Harbour

Sydney harbor has been 🏆 voted as one of the {Best Harbors in the World} to depart from, and for good reason. The scenery is spectacular, as you wind your way out to open sea.

For those of you who may be searching for a cruise that departs and returns from Sydney, then consider taking a cruise much like ours.

Believe me, the eleven nights spent on board passed far too quickly, and had us wishing for just a few more days to enjoy onboard. As luck was on our side, we experienced 🌞 sunny days and calm seas the entire journey.

Below, is a recap of our ⚓ ports of call on this incredible cruise holiday.

Royal Caribbean South Pacific Cruise Sunset Photo

Departing Sydney at 🌇 6:30 in the evening was ideal!  

We were able to enjoy the 🌅 sun beginning to set and the wonderful views out on deck, as we slowly cruised out of the harbor.

For the next three evenings we would sail over 1,500 kilometers to our first destination; 🏝 Noumea, New Caledonia, arriving at 🌅 7:00 am.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Upper Deck

I’ve included a few of my recommendations, based on our own personal cruise experience.

Like any other 🚢 cruise, you do have the option of booking off shore 🤿 excursions directly with the cruise line. This, for both convenience and peace of mind.

Or you may choose to make your own personal arrangements, as we did.

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If you make your own off shore excursion arrangements, it is your responsibility to be back at the ship before departure. The ship will not wait for you if you’re late! 🙁

 A Pleasant Day In Noumea On Our Royal Caribbean South Pacific Cruise

Royal Caribbean South Pacific Cruise – 1st Port of Call

Noumea Harbour

New Caledonia is a; French Territory, and what is referred to as a special collectivity of France. Noumea is the largest of the surrounding 🌴 islands and the Capital City on the island of Grand Terre.

This is a bustling port city with a growing population, 🏫 university and much more to offer locals. The official language spoken is; French, but many locals understand English.

So getting around is a 🌬 breeze. Because this island is of French influence, the local pastry shops and cafés from what I understand are to die for!

Noumea Tour Desks

🚌 Shuttle buses will take you into the town center from the dock, which is just a few minutes away. There you will arrive at a small 🛍 plaza type mall where the ‘Office Du Tourisme’ is located. 

Just upstairs you’ll find local vendors selling their wares.

Unless you plan on taking the ships shore excursions, I recommend simply purchasing an all day 🚍 Hop On/Hop Off bus pass, at one of the many tourist outlets in the mall.

Shuttle Bus In Noumea

For $15 aus {during our visit}, you can make your way to the beaches and shops by bus, getting on and off at your leisure. This is a great and inexpensive way to get around easily, and enjoy your short time on the island.

There are complete tours also available for around $30 aus.

Noumea Beachfront

🏖 Anse Vata Beach is the most popular beach where you can take a dip and just relax. Later, you can do some shopping or grab a snack, at the many outlets just across the street.

The beach is pleasant, but nothing like what you will experience in the days to come. We enjoyed a relaxing day off the ship, walking about and taking our first swim in the South Pacific! 🙂

I’ve included a link to New Caledonia’s Official Tourism website to check out.

🌅 New Caledonia Tourism 🌅

Noumea South Pacific

We returned to the ship for a 4:00 pm departure, with the next port of call …

🏝 Mystery Island, Vanuatu 🏝.

Beautiful Mystery Island Vanuatu

Royal Caribbean South Pacific Cruise – 2nd Port of Call

Mystery Island Vanuatu

Making up part of the Republic of Vanuatu, this tiny island is located the furthest south of the archipelago.

It is uninhabited for the most part, with locals coming across from neighboring islands when ships arrive, to sell their wares and set up 🍲 food and 🍺 beverage tents.

It really is like arriving on {Gilligan’s Island} in the South Pacific!

Outrigger Mystery Island

This small patch of paradise was used as an; Allied ✈ Airstrip during WWII. The strip is still visible and where the locals have set up their tents.

⚓ Anchoring offshore at 8:30 am, we enjoyed an early 🍳 breakfast and caught the first tenders over to this tiny island.

South Pacific Ocean

This was a beautiful tiny island with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters! A perfect spot to enjoy some 🤿 snorkeling and swimming..

This was a 📸 picture perfect destination to spend a relaxed enjoyable 🏖 beach day while on your cruise vacation!

Mystery Island Area Locals

It also gives you an opportunity to meet the locals, purchase some of their souvenirs and have a few snacks and beverages.

They also offered some great local entertainment as well!

Mystery Island Welcome Sign

We returned the ship for a 4:00 pm departure with the next port of call; Luganville, Vanuatu. 

If you want to see more, check out my additional post here on …

🏝 Photos of Mystery Island. 🏝

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Luganville – Vanuatu

Royal Caribbean South Pacific Cruise – 3rd Port of Call

Luganville Vanuatu

A Beach Lovers Paradise

After traveling through the night, our ship docked at the {Port of Luganville} by 10:30. After enjoying our morning breakfast, we were ready for a great day 🏊 swimming and 🤿 snorkeling on this island.

Rhapsody of The Seas Cruise Ship

Having previously read about things to see and do on the island, on one of my favorite travel review websites; TripAdvisor, I stepped off the ship ready to barter with a local 🚕 taxi driver.

Without going into great detail on this post, there are some very popular attractions, along with several beaches for you to enjoy here.

The “Blue Hole”, Champagne Beach and Million Dollar Point were our selections, from doing some research at home prior to visiting.

First stop, spectacular Champagne Beach!

Champagne Beach

Champagne Beach South Pacific

Located about 40 minutes from the ship, this beach was a must see on my list of things to see and do on this island. 🏆 Voted as one of the most 🏝 Beautiful Beaches in the South Pacific!

As a long time beach lover, I just had to experience it, and it certainly lived up to its name! 🙂

Snorkeling In Vanuatu

Enjoying a pleasant drive to the beach with our driver, it still amazes me how simple life can be and what few necessities we need in order to be happy. These island people live a quiet life and with very few luxuries, but seem to live a happy fulfilled life!

One of the first to arrive at the beach, it was simply amazing!

Imagine a beautiful calm unspoiled bay, with crystal clear waters that lead onto a soft white powder sandy beach.

Of all my travels around the 🗺 globe, this is perhaps the most beautiful beach I have ever experienced!

Local Vendor Vanuatu

Blue Holes

After enjoying a few hours here, it was on to one of the islands amazing “Blue Holes.” A lovely fresh water pool in the middle of nowhere!

A great place for a refreshing dip to wash the salt water off, after our visit to Champagne Beach. The color of the water and dense forest setting, was absolutely beautiful!

The Blue Hole Luganville Vanuatu


We did not go to the more built up and commercialized; “Nanda Blue Hole,” but to a smaller hidden piece of 🌺 paradise our driver picked out for us.

Blue Holes Vanuatu

After a refreshing 🏊 swim in the crystal clear fresh water blue hole, we then made our way to …

💰 Million Dollar Point, 💰 

for some very interesting 🤿 snorkeling!

Million Dollar Point

Million Dollar Point Vanuatu

At the end of the Second World War, this Bay became a dumping ground for the U.S. Military, where all kinds of 🚛 machinery were left behind after the war.

There is also great wreck diving in the area for those interested in scuba diving.

Million Dollar Point Artifacts

Just some of the remnants of discarded 🚜 machinery, and the many other items on display at Million Dollar Point. But most of the scattered debris can be found in the water when snorkeling.

Million Dollar Point Artifacts Underwater

For WWII history buffs, this site will absolutely amaze you. Everywhere you snorkel, there’s discarded machinery debris to be found.

Million Dollar Point WWII Artifacts

We even came across a small wreck while snorkeling just offshore, in the very warm waters.

Million Dollar Point WWII Wreck

All this disgarded material left in the water, made for some excellent artificial reefs for the numerous tropical fish in the area.

It all made for some excellent snorkeling!

Be sure to check out my full post and 📸 photos of our time spent at …

💵 Million Dollar Point. 💵

Tropical Fish At Million Dollar Point Vanuatu

All in all a wonderful day, and one of my favorite islands visited on our cruise. We returned to the ship in time for our early dinner sitting, with a departure time of ⛅ 7:00pm.

Local Vendor in Vanuatu

We paid $125 aus for the entire day with our private 🚕 taxi driver. A great bargain, but even better if you travel in groups in a 🚌 mini bus from the pier.

All the drivers will put together whatever package you so desire!

Port Vila – Vanuatu

Royal Caribbean South Pacific Cruise – 4th Port of Call

Cruise Ship Dock Port Vila Vanuatu

The archipelago of Vanuatu consists of 83 idyllic islands with {Port Vila} on the island of; Efate, named the Capital City. At same time, it still remains a quiet and peaceful – South Pacific Island.

Tour Bus In Vila Vanuatu

After arriving at the dock by 8:00 am, we had a prearranged shore tour that would be taking us to a number of places throughout the day.

This was your typical touristy type affair, that at the end of the day my wife and I looked at each other and said; 🙄 “That Was … Ok.” 🙄

For the two of us, it was not really worth the expense. At least our private tour was a lot cheaper than taking one of the ships shore excursions, ending up doing the same thing.

The tour included a visit to;

Traditional Village & Dance Show

Native Dancers Vila Vanuatu

We first made our way into the countryside to a traditional island village. Here, you were entertained by local dancers and fire walkers.

Your typical very touristy attraction but at the same, you are helping to support the locals on the island.

Vila Vanuatu Countryside

As you make your way to the village in the country, there are some beautiful views of the river and dense forest to take in.

Old Boat In Vanuatu

As well, you pass by many small homes scattered along the way in the countryside.

Blue Hole Swim

Blue Lagoon Sign - Vanuatu

Next, it was on to this part of the island’s own {Blue Hole Lagoon}, for a refreshing swim. Although still nice, we were spoiled by the spectacular Blue Hole in Luganville.

Blue Lagoon Vila Vanuatu

The water was cool and refreshing, but lacked the lush colorful dense forest and 🌺 flowers as that of; Luganville. Also, the deep blue color of the water as well.

This lagoon had a more green color.

A Quaint WWII Historic Roadside Museum

WW11 Museum Port Vila Vanuatu

On our way to lunch, we made a stop at a very cool, quaint roadside museum. It was run by an elderly gentleman, who had collected various WWII memorabilia over the years.

Elderly Local In Vanuatu

A very charming man, who recalls {U.S. Naval warships} arriving on the island during the war, as a small boy. For more details and photos, check out my post here on the …

🏚 WWII Museum Vanuatu. 🏚

Lunch At A Peaceful Beachfront Hotel

Tour Guides In Vila Vanuatu

We arrived at a very quiet, peaceful beach for our lunch. There was an older, but very quaint beachfront hotel there. We were served with a nice sit down lunch, afterwards, having time to just relax and enjoy the surroundings.

South Pacific Artwork

Inside the hotel, the walls were decorated with some lovely paintings from local artists.

It was a nice break for lunch, but we were anxious to get on with the tour, as our driver and others were having a siesta! 😴

Survivor Reality Television Series – Vanuatu

Survivor TV Series Beach - Vanuatu

We then drove a short way to the location, where the hit reality television series {Survivor} took place one season in Vanuatu.

The series was filmed here in 2004 and was called the; “🔥 Island of Fire. 🔥”

Survivor Television Series Beach Hut - Vanuatu

The hut used for the show is now a 🍹 bar for tourists visiting. The beach was pleasant and very quiet. There really wasn’t anything to see, so actually it was quite boring.

I did go for a quick swim for something to do, and then we carried on to town.

Survivor Television Series Beach - Vanuatu

We made a brief stop at a lookout for 📸 pictures, and then a quick drive through the town center.

We returned back to the ship by 3:00 pm for a 5:00 pm departure.

Our driver and tour guide were very boring, and he was driving at least 🏎 110 – 120 km per hour on the small 2 lane highway, the entire time. 🫣

Definitely not worth the expense for us, and the tour did not start off well at all. 🤨 We waited in the 🚌 mini bus for ½ hour, after coming off the ship. We were driven to another meeting place and then waited another 20 minutes, for two other people.

Boring!! 🙁

Mare – New Caledonia

Royal Caribbean South Pacific Cruise – 5th Port of Call

Yedejele Beach - Mare - New Caledonia

This is another perfect island for 🏖 beach lovers!

Mare is the second largest in the archipelago of New Caledonia, and also another territory of France. This island is known for some of the loveliest beaches in the Pacific, and with the world’s second largest barrier reef!

The main attraction on the island, is taking the bus to; 🌅 Yedjele Beach.

Yejele Beach Sign

You can purchase your 🎟 tickets on board ship, at the Shore Excursion desk. Arriving and anchoring at 8:00, and after our breakfast, we disembarked taking the tender to shore, boarding the bus to the town square.

A beautiful white soft sand beach, with crystal clear ocean waters to enjoy swimming and snorkeling throughout the day.

Yedejele Turquise Beach - Mare

Vendors set up a variety of ⛺ tents to purchase wares, food and drinks. A great lazy day for us 🌴 beach lovers!

We returned back to the ship in the late afternoon for a 5:00pm departure.

The Isle of Pines In New Caledonia

Royal Caribbean South Pacific Cruise 6th Port of Call

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Anchored

This tiny island in paradise is among the favorite for most. A beautiful quaint island among those in the New Caledonia chain.

Here, you can enjoy another relaxing day on the 🏖 beach, and also it’s a wonderful spot for 🤿 snorkeling as well.

Isle of Pines Local Dancers

Helpful tips

If you intend to do some 🤿 snorkeling, try to be on the first tender ashore in the morning at 09:00. 🚶 Walk straight across over to; Kanumera Bay and Sacred Rock.

This beach is very small and gets extremely crowded later in the morning!

Isle of Pines Snorkeling

On the other side of the road, there’s a beautiful stretch of beach, where you can easily find a quiet spot of your own!

Isle Of Pines Tropical Fish

This was just another great beach day on this amazing {South Pacific} cruise!

Isle of Pines Local Vendor

We sadly made our departure at 5:00pm once again, to start our two day sail back to Sydney, with a 06:30 am departure.

As we were spending the day and evening again in Sydney, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, and were among the last to disembark later in the morning. This was a fabulous cruise and one that I would certainly do again. The weather was absolutely perfect, and with calm seas the entire voyage. We would certainly cruise with Royal Caribbean again.

The staff were wonderful, food was great, and the nightly entertainment was outstanding!

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I highly recommend including some sort of cruise vacation into your holiday plans when visiting Australia. 🗺

Be sure to check out the {Google Map} box at the bottom of this post for Sydney Australia’s exact location. 🗺

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If you like to book on your own, check out this very reputable online booking website
I use with excellent results …

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A Blogger Since 2012, Robert has a {Passion for Travel}, having worked in the industry for over 35 years. He enjoys sharing special moments & tips on; Travel, Health & Wellness, Book Reviews and much more!

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