The ports of call were so interesting. Doing a Pacific crossing was on the wish list. Having travelled through the Suez Canal previously we wanted to travel through the Panama Canal on this cruise. Embarkation in Papeete, Tahiti was easy. Our concierge level cabin 7060 was lovely, clean and comfortable. A bottle of Jaquart Brut was waiting for us on arrival in an ice bucket. Wonderful destinations in the Tahitian area such as Hua Hine in the Society Islands, Rangiroa, French Polynesia in the Tuamotu Archipelago, Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands. Friendly and efficient customs immigration into the USA at Hilo in Hawaiian Islands on June 13th 2015. Highlight was an evening provided by Oceania on the battleship Missouri in Honolulu, Oahu on June 14th 2015. A visit to Maui and Lahaina town into which you can walk straight from the ship was so enjoyable. We really enjoyed a tour of Nawiliwili at Kaui, Hawaii.
5 days at sea from Hawaiian Islands to Los Angeles was smooth easy sailing and so relaxing and pleasant. Tours offered in Los Angeles were limited and poor. Loved San Diego and the tour. Cabo San Lucas in Mexico is an easy walk from the ship but there isn't much on shore except shops selling souvenirs and resorts. Huatulco Mexico was picturesque and we went on a catamaran along the 5 bays and swam in the green water. In Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala we drove to the border with El Salvador and did a safari. There was an election taking place and the woman running for office was the daughter of man who committed genocide. Interesting place. Corinto Nicaragua was experiencing a severe dust storm when we visited with high winds, very poor air quality and low visibility - echoes of environmental issues with ploughed bare lands during the beginning of hurricane season and high winds. Puntaneras, Costa Rica was peaceful and we enjoyed it there. Panama Canal transition took an entire day and was very interesting. Cartagena in Columbia saw us doing a tour of the walled city. The town is 1 kilometre from the port. Exiting the Panama Canal the sea state was very rough with 65MPH and number 11 on the Beaufort Scale winds.
Horrible violent seas followed in the next few days with mountainous rough waves. The roof on the Terrace Cafe fell in! Wave height was 11.5 to 16 metres (37 to 52 ft) and exceptionally high waves with very large patches of foam driven by the wind and large amounts of airborne spray severely reduced visibility. Wind crept up to 72MPH. As number 12 on the Beaufort Scale is an actual hurricane we were creeping up that level of weather so the captain made the decision to change course to sail us alongside Kingston in Jamaica and Haiti towards Cuba in an attempt to escape the sever tropical storm. An announcement was made 'for the safety of all on board we are changing course...' We headed on the 'Old Bahama Tunnel' towards the port of Miami and the weather severity subsided. A dramatic end to a long cruise but most people were OK other than airlifted out in the middle of the night due to injuries by the US Coast Guard!
Beautiful midship stateroom. Highly recommend as feel less movement and its quite spacious. Lovely Bvulgari toiletries including perfumes. Full menu of cooked breakfast for room service unlike verandah staterooms which are only offered continental breakfast. On a long cruise we valued having such a nice room.
Embarkation port. I think we piggybacked on another couples transfer from Intercontinental to the Ship in a luxury vehicle. Very easy transfer.
Biggest atoll in French Polynesia and in the Tuamotu Archipelago. We walked along the village road to a beach near the resort with overwater bungalows. The temperature was 80 degrees F / 27 degrees C. Swam in the clear blue water. You will need aquatic shoes here at the ocean floor is sharp and hurts with coral rocks underneath the surface. Handicrafts are sold on shore. Known for its vineyards of Carignan, Italia, Black Muscat and an absence of grapevine pests such as defoliating insects.