Almost all of this cruise was marred by the side effects of Tropical Cyclone Lucy, we had barely a sunny or calm day so tempers were getting a little frayed by the end of it, especially as Lautoka had to be cancelled as a port of call. Being on Deck 2 we had 6 metre waves crashing over our window for several days, which made for interesting if a little uncomfortable viewing.
Sea sickness affected a number of passengers so why on earth were we never told about the free seasickness pills available in the medical centre reception on Deck 1. Luckily I knew about these from another passenger on a previous voyage and was able to pass on this information to a number of other grateful sufferers. It did mean the participation in the some of the dance type and more physical events were down as the passengers appeared to be weighted towards the elderly and those having trouble getting around in the conditions. Having said that the entertainments staff were doing a wonderful job under very trying circumstances and we found plenty of things such as trivia quizzes, shows etc to occupy ourselves. the new entertainments manager Tanya impressed us with her personality and obvious dedication and she is a great asset to the ship.
My husband is slightly disabled by arthritis and was very cautious in the conditions, we saw three people fall over in the theatre one night. He felt the lack of fresh air as it was too windy to go onto the outside decks for most of the trip and although the solarium is lovely and we spent a lot of time there it is very enclosed. The seating around the pool on deck 9 was fine for the able bodied who can get on and off the low loungers and the only other option was the chairs at the tables which were often occupied, although once the reggae band started it did tend to empty them of the mostly elderly occupants. Nothing wrong with them musically, just very loud and apparently not really to the taste of the older passengers. Surely it would be possible to provide more user friendly seating options for the disabled and elderly on the decks?
The food was excellent both in the windjammer buffet and Edelweiss fine dining. Our waiter Marlon and his assistant Jagdish were absolutely brilliant and I cannot speak highly enough of the service. Our cabin attendant John was also excellent and everything we asked for was delivered promptly and the cabin was kept spotless. The very personable Captain Rick kept us fully informed of the weather and itinerary change and it was nice to see him out and about on the ship.
Feel we must caution people about the transfer costs from Sydney domestic airport to the ship. We took a taxi and it was $35 Australian to the ship and $38 back for the two of us, in total $73 plus $10 in tips for all the help with the baggage etc. The ship bus transfer are $61.50 US per person each way, at the time of writing they were using an exchange rate of 82 cents Aus to the US dollar so the total cost would have been almost $300 Australian for two 15 km journeys. Everything on the ship is priced in US dollars.