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Carnival Luminosa - Day 1

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Travelled from Gold Coast to the Cruise Port in Brisbane via private car transfer on Sunday, March 12th. I would have taken the commuter train like I did on the way down, but the tracks were closed for maintenance and the bus service that was running in its place would have required 3 transfers and that was more than I could stand to bare with my luggage, so car service it was.


It was about an hour 30 minute car ride, and my driver insisted that I sit in the front seat with him to "get the full experience." I obliged, and ended up appreciating the conversation and views.


Boarding the boat was a bit stressful. New Caledonia requires some very specific, printed travel insurance documents and I hoped I had my paperwork lined up, but you never really know until you pass that checkpoint if what you have is going to work. Thankfully it did, and I was on the boat after about 90 minutes of waiting in various lines for paperwork, check-in, normal security and then finally Australian Border Security.


I didn't really have an official backup plan if I failed to get onboard, but had a visit to Sydney and Melbourne in the back of my mind if the shit hit the fan...


Thankfully, onboard, I found my way to the buffet for some lunch and then took a much needed nap after the days stresses...


Dinner on the first night of a cruise is always filled with a bit of anticipation. As a solo traveler, I chose to be seated at a shared table, meaning you get placed with other strangers. As my 7:45p dinner time arrived, I walked into the main dining room, found table 357 and was seated with a group of other renegade solo travelers. We laughed our way thru the first nights dinner and I would say enjoyed each others company.


Georgia (Georgie), Matt, Nicole and Agustina hail from around the world. Georgie calls Carnival Cruise Line home. Literally...she was just getting back onboard after spending 3 weeks with her parents in Melbourne but has something like 260 days booked on cruise ships this year. She is a choreographer and uploads training videos to students around the world and finds cruise ship living less expensive than a home based apartment.


Matt, a single guy from Brisbane just decided to go on holiday. None of his mates could join, so came on his own.


Nicole...I missed much of her story while Augustina and I were chatting but I know she's a bartender at an upscale bar where patrons brag about their Ferraris and Porsches and she remains unimpressed, as they all have Ferraris and Porsches. Seems like a good head on her shoulders 🤷🏻‍♂️


Augustina, who sat directly across from me is from Malaga, Spain but has been living in Gold Coast, Australia for the past 4 years. She's traveled and lived in multiple continents and I feel like I have a lot to learn from her and her experiences. She's turning 40 this year and seems to be on a similar journey of self-exploration.


While not wishing my holiday away, I am not going to lie that I am looking forward to tonight's dinner. I can already tell it'll be an enjoyable conversation and needed human connection, even if just for an hour over dinner.


The Ship:

The Carnival Luminosa.

Rebranded from Costa Cruises, a European-based sister cruise line to Carnival, was recently refurbished (aka Dry Dock) and rebranded as a Carnival Ship recently. The ship itself is a bit more elegant than some of the other Carnival ships, think nicer finishes and light fixtures, but is also much older and thus seems a bit tired. It'll be more than comfortable for the next 11 nights, just not a glamorous new ship.



Cabin:

I am in a Spa balcony Cabin on Deck 8. It's a normal balcony cabin in the forward section of the ship, adorned in a red and gold color scheme. Again, a bit dated but clean and comfortable.


The Spa category gives me complimentary access to the ships spa from 8a-10p daily. Think heated stone loungers, a relaxation room, Sauna, Steamroom, hydrotherapy pool/hot tub and discounts on spa services.


Itinerary:

We are scheduled to visit Lifou, New Cadelonia on Wednesday; Mystery Island, Vanuatu on Thursday and then Nomeau, New Cadelonia on Friday.


It's unsure if we will make it to Vanuatu, as the county has been hit by 2 cyclones (hurricanes) and 2 earthquakes in the past few weeks, the most significant being a 6.5 on 3/3/2023 and then a 5.7 just last night.


The island nation is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. The Survivor fan in me hopes we get to stop. The human in me hopes the people of the remote island nation are ok. Sure, their economy has a strong tourism component, so I am sure going helps them with the rebuilding process, but visiting after so many recent natural disasters can't be easy on any port.


Recap:

I've been onboard for about 24 hours now. The layout of the ship is easy to navigate with most public spaces on decks 3 + 4 or up on the Lido Deck (9). Lido consists of pools, the spa and the buffet. Lower decks holding Java Blue (coffee shop), casino, comedy lounge, theater, main dining room, with bars spread out amongst all of those levels.


No photos to upload today. Today is a sea day, as is tomorrow where we will be sailing the calm waters of the South Pacific. I'll snap some pics around the ship and share soon.


-Cole from America.


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about me:

Hey!  I am Cole from Grand Junction, Colorado. In 2023 I stepped on all seven continents, in a single calendar year, solo!

The year continues to shape my life and my lust for travel.

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