We departed from Brisbane which is our home port so did not need to do any exploring before we left.
Embarkation was really quick this time and was relatively easy which was good.
We have been on this ship a few times before so knew our way around easily. This time our balcony cabin was more to the rear of the ship and we noticed more engine noise than previously.
The cabin itself was good and not too far to walk to the elevators or stairs. We did notice a lot of vibration when the thrusters were being used to hold the ship in position when tendering.
The bed was really good and we didn't notice the join for a queen and the pillows were excellent.
The fact the cupboard doors and bathroom door open onto each other has always been a nuisance but that is the design of the cabin and something you have to deal with.
This was our home port so did not need to take an excursion.
Unfortunately we did not get to see these ports due to rough weather and difficulties with tendering. We had been to these two islands before and were very sorry we missed them this time as they are true tropical islands and the inhabitants would also have been very disappointed the ship could not go there.
This ended up being a real surprise and the jewel of the trip. Panasea is the island we went to and it is a true tropical paradise. There are recliners available for the day (the sign said $5 per day) but we managed to get them for free, probably because the owner of the islands was on board the ship and the fact that we had two days there because we had missed the islands of Kitava and Kiriwina.
The island uses a voucher system for money which you exchange when you get there. It is dollar for dollar of Australian money, however you can exchange Kina if you have any.
This is an eco friendly island and deals heavily in turtle hatchery which you can tour. There are lots of enclosures of turtle eggs around the island with expected dates of hatching listed.
We had a wonderful day there, the weather was marvelous an the water a magnificent colour. We were able to take our recliners along the beach and sit a mere feet from the water.
The island also has an airstrip but not sure what size aircraft would use it as it is a grass strip.
A stop worth visiting again.