We were an extended family group which included 6 children between 3 - 11 and 8 Adults 35 - 65, across 5 cabins. Oh yes - and we were all on our first cruise!
The other members of our party were in cabins that had a window looking out to the sea, but my partner and I decided we wanted a bit of luxury and booked ourselves a balcony suite , which was absolute heaven!
The Oosterdam was fantastic - particularly for the children who spent most of their time in the kids club , which they absolutely loved. We only ever really saw the children at meal times.
Meal times in the formal dining room were fantastic - the waiters went out of their way to look after the kids and entertain them , they were sensational. The food was out of this world and catered so well to my partner's diabetes , he couldn't believe they made sensational deserts just for diabetics like him. We discovered an entire fridge of diabetic deserts up in the Lido dining area!
Talking of the Lido , great food, from breakfast to supper. The French Onion Soup is to die for , and it is available every night in the main dining room (if you must have it every night). The Pinnacle Grill impressed my partner so very much , he said he had never tasted a better lobster tail in his life.
Our cabin was 6069 on the Upper Veranda Deck. It was lovely having the veranda to go out and sit and watch the waves go by, or have a couple of other family member pop up and join us for a drink. The beds were sensational , extremely comfortable, and we were rocked to sleep every night. There was loads of cupboard space to fit all of our stuff, and the bathroom was a pretty good size too. The guys who looked after our cabin were fantastic and treated us to a different towel critter every night. I had expected to experience a little sea-sickness but didn't have any at all, which was pretty amazing given that we spent at least some of the cruise dodging cyclones.
The only thing I would criticise is the coffee , it was dreadful. Even in the Explorations Lounge where you pay extra for it, it was horrible. We're going to take our own instant next time we go , yep it's THAT bad!
Wow what a fantastic cruise, what a great crew, great food, extraordinarily relaxing, lovely friendly service staff and great cabins. I can't wait until December 2013.
Fantastic cabin - loads of room for the two of us. Once we unpacked we put our cases under the bed - there was plenty of cupboard space.
Extremely comfortable beds with lovely linens.
The bathroom was a good size - only used the jacuzzi once, but it was lovely that once!
The cabin guys were fantastic and kept it very clean. To be honest, we hardly ever saw them but the room was spotless every time we got back to it. I felt very spoilt.
I loved having the balcony to sit out on, get fresh air and watch the world go by. We invited other family members to join us on the balcony more than once - it fits 5 - 6 people very comfortably.
Noumea is horrible - get out of the port and go to a beach!
Could not find Port Vila - Fantastic - went over to Iririki Island resort after having explored the markets and eaten a huge seafood platter lunch at the "Chill" restaurant.
Could not find Mystery Island: Lovey, but wear reef shoes!
Isle of Pines: beautiful!