We arrived at the port to find what must have been every one of the 2000 passengers waiting to board the ship so embarkation was the longest we have ever waited considering we have done 8 cruises previously.
Many aspects of the cruise did not live up to our expectations.
We used the Plantation buffet rarely as it was always so crowded it could be hard to find a seat once you had your tray of food. Waterfront was the a la carte restaurant where you could choose starter, entree, main and sweet. At dinner There was a menu that remained the same throughout the cruise and one that changed daily. As the standard was a bit hit and miss maybe they should concentrate on quality rather than quantity. Some items we received were just Luke warm, some were rather bland while others were very good. Ther was a distinct lack of any good seafood.
We usually used the Plantation for breakfast and lunch. The eggs benedict at breakfast were delicious.
We have always More
previously had afternoon tea and late night buffets included in the cruise cost. On Pacific Dawn if you wanted food outside the breakfast lunch and dinner times it was extra.
If you found a beer or drink you liked they were not always available in all the bars. Prices for the beers varied considerably as there was canned, bottled and draught. Cocktails started at $9.90. A gin and tonic was $6.90
The New Zealand ice cream was delicious and you got a massive scoop for $5 or a sundae for $9.90. I loved the hokey pokey.
The entertainment team tried their best but it wasn't that good. However we have to realise this cruise has many youngsters on so we did find the shows a bit basic and the pirate show was especially childish.
If you go to Anthony's cruise long trivia it is mainly music and film gathered from the music and films he likes so bear in mind that he is 25. And if you endure each night do not expect the amazing prize he promises to be much. He is however a charming young man with a wonderful giggle.
We had an inside cabin on deck 9 which was perfectly adequate with lots of wardrobe space and a big shower with lashings of hot water - do take your own shampoo as that which is provided is rather harsh.
Our cabin steward Lorence was a delight and often left us a towel animal.
The destinations were Port Vila, Pentecost, Luganville, Wala, Mystery Island and Isle of Pines. The ones we got to were great apart from the downpours in Port Vila but we begged a bin liner off Lorence and poked our heads through the top as raincoats.
Unfortunately we were unable to get to Pentecost and Mystery Island due to high winds and rough seas and the dive on SS President Coolidge was cancelled for the same reason.
Overall I think P&O are cutting down on quality. They have increased passenger numbers by 500 and reduced crew by 200 so standards are bound to fall. Less