Second cruise (First was also Explorer). Cruised wih my 5yo and myself.
Cabin: 9205 Window cabin with unobstructed view, and a queen bed. This room had more than enough space for our 2x suitcases and drawer space for all our clothes. The suitcases could fit under the bed, but there was plenty of space in the wardrobe for them to stand in so no need. Tv and fridge in room were used daily and both great. My 5yo packed a few toys and there was plenty of space for him to play with them on the ground in our room while watching tv in the evening.
Ship: Becuase we done the Chrsitmas cruise, the ship was decorated beautifully with Christmas trees / decorations / gingerbread houses all over the place. We even had fake snow!
The Pantry: Food wasn’t too bad. Lots of options to choose from. Only ate at the Pantry during lunch time, so no comment for breakfast or dinner. It wasn’t easy trying to find seating, so that was annoying.
Waterfront: Mainly ate here. Could not fault the food. Breakfast menu was the same every day, but enough options to choose something different every day if you liked. Lunch and dinner menus different every day. I enjoyed all of my meals at Waterfront.
Dragon Lady: Went once, and never got around to going again. Not bad.
Lukes: Yummy burgers and fries. Although you must pay, it is a nice area to sit and watch over the pool area or while a movie is on.
Shell and Bones: Beautiful food (extra charge). This is just a sectioned off part of The Pantry, so it doesn’t feel very ‘restauranty’.
Angelos: Did not use so no comment
Entertainment: Attended four (free) shows in the Marquee, with every single one of them being amazing. The entertainers on board do a fantastic job! I was early to each show, so had no problem finding seats, but it does fill up fast. P&O Edge / Waterslides - did not use so no comment.
Kids entertainment: Turtle cove – my son absolutely LOVED it. He would stay there all day every day if I let him. They had so much for the kids to do: face painting, games, songs, play stations, dancing, acting, everything.
Service: AMAZING. Room stewards go above and beyond, always there if you need something or have a question. They make the kids feel welcome in an unfamiliar place. Bar staff everywhere I could not fault. Always greeting everyone with a big smile. Waiters in the Waterfront always lovey.
Other passengers: A great mix of families / elderly / 20-30 year olds. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. There is always a few disgruntled passengers, but it’s easy to ignore them!
Money: Used Aussie dollars on all islands. I would recommend changing big notes ($50, $20) at reception on the ship to smaller notes before going on the islands.
Noumea: Bought the hop on hop off bus ticket once we got off the ship. Spent the day at Lemon bay beach which was clean, beautiful with plenty of trees for shade.
Lifou: Spent a few hours at the beach the tenders dropped us off at. Nothing spectacular, stayed a few hours and then went back to the ship for lunch.
Port Vila: Booked an all day tour via Facebook. (Blue Lagoon Bus Tours). Our stops included Blue Lagoon, Rarru waterfalls, Mele beach bar for lunch and drinks, and then duty free before heading back to the ship. This tour was a 10/10. Would book again!
Mystery Island: Spent all day at the beach. The most beautiful island we have been to. You don’t even need diving gear to see the fish swimming around the coral. Markets were amazing, and the locals were all beautiful people.