I chose this cruise because it visited many ports that I visited, along with my parents 40yrs ago. The Sun Princess was welcoming and comfortable as ever, and the seas were kind all throughout this memorable 20-day journey.
Sun Princess has had some back luck of recent times, and we found the ship as being dated yet exceptionally clean, all the staff were welcoming and friendly, and the overall service provided all over this ship was first class.
Our Balcony Cabin on deck 9, C406 was clean comfortable and relaxing, our dining experiences were commendable, and once again service was exceptional from all the staff we interacted with throughout the journey.
The floor shows were very entertaining, and well produced, however If you wanted to see any show starting at 7.45pm in the Princess theatre, you needed to be seated no later than 35 mins early to guarantee a seat. The highlight show on this cruise for me was Bravo, and this provided a simple touch of class. I say Bravo to all those people who provided us with this very special performance.
Alotau didn't impress me on this cruise, and was our first port of call, however this port did have some WW2 history, that many passengers were very happy to explore, personally though I would have preferred to give this port a big miss.
Doini Island was our second stop, and provided a very picturesque beach setting with warm clear waters for swimming and snorkelling.
Kiriwina Island was our 3rd stop and once again provided a beautiful beach and crayfish cooked fresh that morning for $10 each, Yummo! This was also a very good port for purchasing quality hand carved woodwork items, that I had no issues bringing back into Australia.
Kitava, unfortunately was a No Go, as the seas were too rough to operate the tenders with any degree of safety for the passengers. Many thanks to the captain for making this tough decision.
Rabaul, was a dirty port, and we didn't take a planned tour, because the roads were badly damaged by heavy rain from the previous days. Some tours went out to various destinations that had WW2 history, and the feedback from those who went on those tours was favorable.
Honiara was a very busy port and town centre, Traffic here was chaotic so we walked up to the main road, purchased a cool drink at the local fuel stop, approached a clean taxi, and hired this driver for (100 Kina) $19 per hour. He took us to Turtle Beach, which was located approx. 40 mins drive to the west of the Island. This was just beautiful as we had this entire 300m beach to share with only 2 other couples, for over 2 hours.
Luganville in Vanuatu, was a port we took a half day tour with Princess to a Northern Beach and a Blue Lagoon, and the trip gave us a glimpse of the treasures these Islands have to offer, and exceptional value for our Aussie dollar.
What we learnt after we left Luganville, was that our next port, and arguably one of the best beaches in the world, was only 50 mins drive North from Luganville Port. Had we known how good Champagne Beach was going to be, we may have considered taking a taxi to a private resort close by, spent the night on the Island, then met up with the ship on Champagne Beach the very next day.
Champagne Beach was a treasure, clear warm water, snorkelling on the point, pure white sand in and out of the water, plenty of shade to keep cool under, Heaps of seating and local stalls selling freshly prepared food, artefacts and handcrafts. And the best of all, two stalls selling freshly caught live Crayfish and Mud Crabs, ready for purchase around $25 each. These were cooked and cleaned for you within 15mins, then presented to you on a traditional Palm Leaf, along with slices of locally grown lime. Wow! This port is a must do if you like calm and relaxing beaches.
Vila was our last port of call overseas, and as usual this Island has many treasures to share. We took a private tour along with 6 other couples from Cruise Critic, with Lelepa Island Day tours. They picked us all up as scheduled @ 8.30am sharp, whisked into the city to get our duty-free shopping completed early, then down to a private beach landing that had two boats waiting to cross a straight over to Lelepa Island.
The Island was beautiful, had rustic and well maintained facilities, they cooked us a sumptuous BBQ meal, we swam in warm coral filled waters, visited a cave with Island history, went snorkelling in 15m deep water, where we fed reef fish that boiled the water from our lunch scraps. Visited the local tribe and purchased locally made artefacts, and then returned back to the Ship by 4.15pm as arranged. This was an exhaustive day, but was exceptional value at only $125pp, www.lelepaislandtours.com
Brisbane Australia, provided us with clear weather and a pleasant 25 degrees to take in the sights, and tours by choice.
Sydney welcomed us by sailing under the Harbour Bridge, with the sound of Bagpipes in the distance from scheduled Anzac Day dawn commemorations, the water was very calm, the setting couldn't have been timed better, and the occasion sent chills down your spine, as we sailed towards our berthing at White Bay.
Our cabin was small yet comfortable and clean. The large flat screen television was excellent, however the live view options were poor. Movie choices were plenty and excellent. Balcony was rather small, and two adults cannot lounge within this space, however as the weather was very hot and humid, time spent on our balcony was very limited.
Sydney is a beautiful Port, and welcomed us home to bagpipes playing in the distance at Dawn, as we sailed under the Harbour Bridge.
Very Poor location of PNG. Port was dirty, hot, uneven walkways, and not a very pleasant place to visit. Given a choice, I will stay on the ship if returning to this port.
Kiriwina is a very rustic island, with very friendly people, so eager to please and help you. The entire villages seemed to line the main street with their wares up to a village 20mins walk away. Upon returning to the beach, I found a local trader selling freshly caught and cooked Crayfish for $10 each. Kitava unfortunately was a no go as seas were too rough to do tendering to the shore.
Again Rabaul was a very old and buzzing port. All the local roads were badly damaged from heavy rains prior to us arriving and this caused many tours to be cancelled. This Island has much WW2 history and many travelers who came for this experience were happy with their adventures.
Took a local taxi from Main busy Rd, for 100 kina per hour $19 Australian. Drove out to Turtle beach, paid the locals $3 each for the right to swim on their beach, then enjoyed this beautiful setting with only two other couples around. On the drive back to town we stopped at a local roadside BBQ selling fish, Chicken, and local foods.
This is in my opinion, one of the best beaches of the world. Plenty of wide silky smooth sand, down to warm and inviting calm waters. Then sit under a palm tree and hop into a freshly cooked and prepared Crayfish or Mud Crab for around $20 each, along with fresh lime wedges. Locals had many stalls selling local cold beer, cooked foods, and locally made clothing and Artifacts. This is a destination to put on anyone's bucket list for sure!
Picked up @ 8.30am and driven into town to purchase duty free alcohol. Then down to a private beach jetty, where two boats whisked us over the straight towards Lelepa Island. Walked down a jungle path, learning of the medicinal plants on the Island. Stopped at a beautiful and rustic beach oasis, where we swam in the clean and reef filled waters. Had a sumptuous BBQ lunch prepared for us, then visited a local cave with Island significance. Off then to a reef filled snorkeling hole 15m deep, and waters so clear you could see the bottom. As we swam as this point they fed the fish from our luncheon scraps, and the water boiled with reef fish. Off then to the local Island village, to meet the people and see their wares for sale. Trip ended with a shuttle back to the ship by 4.15pm. This all day tour was the highlight of my cruise, and was exceptional value @ only $125pp.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Tour to Australia zoo was ok, but was hurried from the get go. Upon arrival at the zoo we were told we had 2 hrs to take in the sights before we were off to Montville, then sightseeing of the glasshouse mountains from a high point.All day tour cost $200 pp and in my opinion didn't provide good value for what we received.View All 12 Australia Zoo Reviews