Thought to write a review on our second trip on this boat to Vanuatu and Noumea on Jan 30th 2014.This 11 night trip only provided one of the stops we were hoping for out of 5 as there was rough weather off some ports and we were rediverted to Fiji and Port Denerau..We missed Vila which we liked and Lifou,and whilst we would not recommend Fiji(suva) it was brilliant to be woken(even at 6.45 am) to the sound of the police marching band parading along the dock to welcome the boat.Prices in this port unbelievably high from clothing to alcohol.
Port Denerau is a delight and for an $8 fee you could ride the Bula bus along the coastal area to see the resorts built on the beach.Cruisers are welcome to swim in their pools and we had a nice day there.
My favourite Isle of Pines is ALWAYS perfect with powdery sands (not coral where you need reef shoes)
CABINS-Comfy,love the affordable extended balcony rooms (one of the few boats that have so many at reasonable fare).If you spend the bit extra we'd highly recommend-great for sunning ,drying clothes etc .For those who want to know -there is no usb in side of the tv and viewing is very limited programming ,not that you come on a cruise for that.Cabin steward Ketut (and others) do a marvellous job,fresh towels ,perfect service always.Bit annoying how robe doors open on the bathroom door but a minor thing.Lots of storage for clothes etc .
FOOD- Prefer the dining room for dinner and breakfast to avoid crowds and recommend the Eggs Benedict!This room is quite beautiful and opulent .Our Maitre d Desi is probably the best Iv'e experienced and female .Every night she welcomes you and brings warm fun atmosphere where she encourages staff to perform-sing/dance for our enjoyment.Conga lines,Macarena etc so go for it .Waiters are brilliant and our Thai head waiter Coolman was fantastic.
The buffet is fine but I guess not quite the selection of food we have encountered on the Princess Line-but heh ...it's a food fest up there.Drinks are affordable but dearer than on land -cheapest white wine $30 but if unfinished the staff would cork for you and bring it back next night.
SHOPPING ON BOARD- same old same old-perfume no cheaper ,lots of cheap watches or Very expensive ones ,hats ,bags etc .Alcohol was very reasonable -Bombay Saphire in a litre bottle was $19-about $60-70 here?Best place for shopping is Vila -cheaper again !Great how you can use the machines to check and print out your expenditures onboard..
GENERAL-Very kid friendly ---bit too much ,saw kids sitting on bar stools at 9pm etc They tend to take over Karaoke rooms and you have to leave the area even quicker than the adults sounds.Wouldnt recommend school hol's unless you are a parent with kids.
STAGE shows -good ,however we noticed a lot of people leaving as it is a bit deafening in there-sound way high.
Very quick embarkation and disembarkation -well done Carnival
All in all would recommend this cruise line and this boat to all ,fab surroundings and affordable balcony rooms .Going to try the new Carnval Legend when it comes in few months