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Papua New guinea is a must go destination for everyone no matter what age and background you are. Returning expatriates, returning ex-service personnel, children of those who once lived in PNG, inquisitive travelers etc. Our first time with Princess Cruises and they excelled in every area. In Alotau we did the Cultural Festival on board tour which was worthwhile. We noted that independent travelers still had to pay the same as passengers if they wanted entry. Good range of cultural dancers and the arts and crafts were very nice and affordable. We noted that the sellers were not used to haggling and when we were dropped off at the local market on the way back to the ship we could see why. All the produce in the markets was marked with a price and that was what was paid. There were other tours to suit other interests such as WWII or local village and cooking tour. Off to Kitava Island where we were greeted by three young ladies in traditional dress who we felt were only doing it because their mum had insisted. We saw her taking note of the numbers of passengers getting off the tenders so I'd say she billed the cruise line for the privilege as many of the other children had signs "K5 a snap" in front of themselves. The primary school children were there to greet us and put on small performances and were a delight. More carvings, shells, string bags (bilums) for sale. Lovely place for a swim and snorkel. Off to Rabaul where we took a full day tour with Kokopo Tours (wish I could insert their flyer here so others could benefit!) AU$150.00 each including water and lunch at the Gazel Peninsular Hotel. Saw everything there was to see, Yamamoto's bunker, Bita Paka War Cemetery, Kokopo War Museum and Cultural Center, Hot Springs, Volcano, WWII Zero crash site etc. The devastation of the last major eruption in 1994 is still very evident. Sea day before reaching Doini Island for more snorkeling, dance groups etc. More arts and crafts to buy. What a great little 'resort' island. Check out www.doiniisland.com and if you're cruising there pre-book snorkeling or trips to Samarai Island etc. Love to come back and chill!!!! 2 more sea days and back to Brisbane. On the way up to PNG and on other sea days we were entertained by very knowledgeable speakers who obviously loved their work. All in all a very pleasant visit to our next door neighbours.

Papua New Guinea

Sea Princess Cruise Review by exkiap

16 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2015
  • Destination: South Pacific
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
Papua New guinea is a must go destination for everyone no matter what age and background you are. Returning expatriates, returning ex-service personnel, children of those who once lived in PNG, inquisitive travelers etc. Our first time with Princess Cruises and they excelled in every area. In Alotau we did the Cultural Festival on board tour which was worthwhile. We noted that independent travelers still had to pay the same as passengers if they wanted entry. Good range of cultural dancers and the arts and crafts were very nice and affordable. We noted that the sellers were not used to haggling and when we were dropped off at the local market on the way back to the ship we could see why. All the produce in the markets was marked with a price and that was what was paid. There were other tours to suit other interests such as WWII or local village and cooking tour. Off to Kitava Island where we were greeted by three young ladies in traditional dress who we felt were only doing it because their mum had insisted. We saw her taking note of the numbers of passengers getting off the tenders so I'd say she billed the cruise line for the privilege as many of the other children had signs "K5 a snap" in front of themselves.

The primary school children were there to greet us and put on small performances and were a delight. More carvings, shells, string bags (bilums) for sale. Lovely place for a swim and snorkel. Off to Rabaul where we took a full day tour with Kokopo Tours (wish I could insert their flyer here so others could benefit!) AU$150.00 each including water and lunch at the Gazel Peninsular Hotel. Saw everything there was to see, Yamamoto's bunker, Bita Paka War Cemetery, Kokopo War Museum and Cultural Center, Hot Springs, Volcano, WWII Zero crash site etc. The devastation of the last major eruption in 1994 is still very evident. Sea day before reaching Doini Island for more snorkeling, dance groups etc. More arts and crafts to buy. What a great little 'resort' island. Check out www.doiniisland.com and if you're cruising there pre-book snorkeling or trips to Samarai Island etc. Love to come back and chill!!!! 2 more sea days and back to Brisbane. On the way up to PNG and on other sea days we were entertained by very knowledgeable speakers who obviously loved their work. All in all a very pleasant visit to our next door neighbours.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Alotau Cultural Festival
    This tour CANNOT be taken independently!!! If you want to walk into town it's about 25-30 mins. In the heat it can be tiresome. There are vehicles (not necessarily taxis) which will take you into town at Kina5 per head. Cultural Festival is examples of the various traditional dancing styles plus the opportunity to go in a war canoe for a ride. Not sure how much it is but make sure they don't charge you twice as much to bring you back eh!!!! Arts and crafts were there buy the bucket load and were very inexpensive when you consider the craftsmanship involved. The heavy wood IS EBONY the lighter wood is 'Nugget Boot Polish black!!" Great carving no matter what type of wood. If buying check for borer holes. The smallest hole stick a pin in it and if it comes out wet DON'T buy it. Aussie Quarantine will take it for fumigation and it'll cost to get it back. String bags or bilums are a must get for the ladies and presents for your friends. They are all hand made and do stretch a lot. The plastic ones are made from recycled rice bags and not worth the effort.
    View All 22 Alotau Cultural Festival Reviews
  • Kiriwina and Kitava (Trobriand Islands)
    We visited Kitava one of the Trobriand Islands. Some ships go to Kiriwina Island and some do both. I think the local from all the surrounding islands had come to Kitava before the ship arrived. Fantastic opportunity to see more craft work and possibly buy. The local pre and primary school was in full voice soliciting contributions. I changed the small Aussie coins that had been donated for Kina as they wouldn't have been able to bank these. Aussie notes can be swapped at the bank but there are always excessive charges so if you are going to make a donation ask if you can take there coins, $5 and $10 notes and give them a larger Kina note in exchange. I'm sure you'll spend the money when you get home or you can use it to pay your on board account!! You'll also get ride of any Kina you have left for a good cause.
    View All 35 Kiriwina and Kitava (Trobriand Islands) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Kiriwina and Kitava (Trobriand Islands) Cruise Port Review
  • Kokopo/Rabaul Full Day Tour
    Would love to put a PDF here!!! We saw everything there was to see. WWII Barge tunnels, Admiral Yamamoto's Bunker, Rabaul History Museum next door, Hot springs and active volcano just over the bay (probably 2km but looked pretty close to me), Kokopo War and Cultural History Muesum, Various tunnels all over the place, Volcanological Observatory (great photo opportunity to take pics of ship and surrounds), Various markets but we were there on a Sunday so most closed or very little there. The local will take every opportunity to sell you something at the Port Gates so it's worthwhile getting back a little early and taking a look at what's available.
    View All 13,792 Kokopo/Rabaul Full Day Tour Reviews