I never sailed the islands of the Pacific, and this was a perfect opportunity to do so. A few days in Sydney prior to sailing allowed two visits to Hunter Valley (two different companies) and a lunch at the top of the Sydney Tower. Staying at the Sydney Harbor Marriott allowed wheeling your luggage right up to the ship with no problem....very handy! Boarding was quick and easy.
Tropical Cyclone Cook interrupted our visit to two ports in New Caledonia, but one stop in Vanauatu was substituted. Days were hot and sunny as we visited Fiji and Samoa - great for those who are wild about beaches, but not much in the way of historic signts.
Lots of sea days - some five in a row - gave plenty of time to kick back and read if you weren't attending a cooking demo, lecture, movie or bingo. The daily "Sip & Savor" with two wines ($4 per glass) and a good snack were led by the somalier with explanation of the wines. Something new each day, and always interesting and tasty. The wine package offerered two levels of wines - Navigator and Admiral - a variety of choices in either. I chose the lower priced Navigator and was never disappointed.
My major concern was the fact that my 3-star Mariner rate allowed a 25% discount on the wine package (but a 15% service charge was added) - making it 10% lower than the price listed in the brochure. The 3-star rating didn't do a thing toward discount pricing of a glass of wine at any lounge or even the purchase of a full bottle of wine in the dining room. All coffee at the Explorations Cafe was also discounted, but specialty coffee elsewhere was full price.
Dinners at LeCirque were enjoyable but not that exceptional considering the charge. At my second one, the Sea Bass offered was replaced with baramundi which is just not the same thing at all. On the other hand, the Cellar Master's Dinner was excellent.
Aside from food and wine - my favorite thing on board was the Piano Bar lounge that was packed every night.
As a solo traveller, it is very good. Would appreciate a few drawers instead of all the closet space devoted to shelving. The small refrigerator came in very handy, after all of the cans were removed and stored in the hassock at the dresser. Fridge magnets bought along the way will stick nicely to the metal walls (although walls don't look like metal).
My room stewards, Andre and Yoga, were outstanding in keeping my cabin in terrific shape from morning to night.
A lot of driving with stops at a souvenir shop and a golf course (for a soda). Not worth the $99.95 paid for the excursion. Reported same to front office.View All 19 Sightseeing Tour Reviews
Took the tender to shore and walked along the beautiful beach. Too hot to spend a lot of time looking at native handicraft which was colorful.
The native show and snack food was interesting and enjoyable. The crowded open bus was quite rough and uncomfortable.View All 3 Village Tour Reviews
Tour covered many interesting stops aside from a great view of the volcano area. Another stop was at a lava tube with time to walk through, and walk on the site of a long ago lava eruption.View All 153 Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Reviews