A Pearler of an experience

What better way to spend your last day at sea than in the ‘Lotus Spa’ experiencing the famed Ionithermie Super Detox after days of indulgence onboard?

My first time cruiser had trialled this treatment earlier in the cruise and achieved quite impressive results so I decided to join her and try and trim off some of those excess centimetres that had made themselves at home on my body!

Ionithermie is a detoxing treatment that drains fluid and unwanted fatty deposits by removing the accumulation of toxins beneath the skin. The by-product of this is visible cellulite reduction which was a definite plus for me!

Now, if you’re after a soothing and relaxing treatment, this isn’t the one for you, but our therapist Jess, made sure we were as comfortable as possible before applying a gelatinous red algae to the areas we were targeting and, essentially, zapping us with something akin to a TENS machine.

My first time cruiser and I both lost a couple of centimetres which was impressive and made me feel a bit better about indulging in such scrumptious food all week!

The last day at sea also marks the final chance to win at Snowball Jackpot Bingo and this was something we were definitely not missing out on!

I even went all out and purchased a three game book for AUD$20 instead of my usual one game and was chuffed to find that John had also purchased me a book which we agreed to split when we no doubt won the major jackpot of over AUD$1,000.

Unfortunately there was no win for us but, we had become very proficient in marking off numbers with our daubers in a record time so there was a positive outcome and we could thank the Pacific Pearl for turning us into Bingo addicts during our time on board.

The final evening at sea granted us a very special audience with executive chef, Patrice, who took time out of his very hectic schedule to take us on an extensive tour of the galley.

What I like to dub the ‘real engine of the ship’, the galley is responsible for much of the pleasure experienced onboard Pacific Pearl and is the ‘office’ for 142 staff.

It was an honour to view the behind-the-scenes action and at dinner time no less!

Many things impressed me about Chef Patrice, but perhaps the most impressive was his constant engagement with passengers during meal service.

I have never seen an executive chef spend as much time as he did in the dining room over our cruise and it was definitely something that was appreciated by the guests, with several passengers raving about the personalised service he offered them.

The attitude of going above and beyond extends from the passengers to his staff. He commands respect, there is no doubt about that, but he also has a mutual respect for his staff and makes himself available to them when need be. A truly admirable quality.

The galley tour is offered free of charge onboard Pacific Pearl with Chef encouraging passengers to speak with Maître’d, Rossen to arrange a suitable time.

Highly recommended, it really does boggle the mind as to how thousands of delectable dishes can be served daily and just how clean an area which handles so much food around the clock is.

Chef shared his pride that Pacific Pearl purchases only Australian produce and gave us the secrets behind knowing just how much to order.

Did you know that we, as passengers, tend to follow an eating pattern when cruising?

Take, for example, a female travelling on a 10-night South Pacific cruise. We will generally eat meat as soon as we board and for the first few days of sailing with beef being the preference. This will then change to fish and vegetables once we hit the islands and need to squeeze (sometimes literally) into a bikini. Toward the end of the holiday, we figure that we’re heading home soon anyway so we might as well enjoy the enormous food offering onboard and revert back to eating a lot of meat based dishes.

It really is a psychology that is being monitored closely with each sailing.

We were taken through the Christmas preparation area where gingerbread houses and approximately 25,000 cookies were being made from scratch for the following cruise to the South Pacific.

“I will put cookies everywhere on the ship for crew and guests. Each cabin will have a bowl of cookies for Christmas.”

That is just the sort of person that Chef Patrice is.

Our final night onboard was topped off by a visit to the circus…

“Run Away to the Circus” featured the Pacific Entertainers along with the ultra talented Pacific Cirque and truly showcased the brilliance that is the performance aspect of cruising aboard Pacific Pearl.

With a surprise appearance by a very regal animal on stage (I won’t ruin the surprise), the audience was captivated and awarded the performers a rousing and well deserved standing ovation.

Our cruise may have nearly come to an end but in my books there is always time for a final boogie. There were still a few hours left before docking in Auckland after all and 80s Night at ‘The Dome’ would be where we would spend them…
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: Natalie Aroyan
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