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Booked this cruise because I wanted to see the South Pacific but was somewhat disappointed. Stops in Fiji were not very good. Vanuatu was much nicer especially if you like to snorkel. Lifou, New Caledonia was also very good for snorkeling. We had to skip Noumea, New Caledonia due to high winds. I was told it is common for some ports of call to be canceled on South Pacific cruises. Passengers were mostly Australians and many we met had taken this cruise in the past. Dinners in the main dining room was overall not as good as other cruises we have been on but the classic items were available every night. Breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer was also not as good as other cruises. Entertainment was poor so we skipped the nightly shows. We did not take any ship excursions as they were overpriced and I don't care for all the waiting and lines one must deal with when on a ship excursion. Dinner and cabin service was very good, better than what we experienced on other cruises. This cruise is good if you wish to spend much time snorkeling or laying on the beach but I'm no longer interested in either so I would not take this cruise again. First port of call was Newcastle where we did a lot of walking. We decided to tour Newcastle on our own. We were not allowed to walk from the ship but there was a free shuttle bus which dropped us off at Queens Wharf in front of the Six Degrees restaurant. We wanted to see Fort Scratchley and the Christ Church Cathedral and at the advise of a tourist guide at the shuttle stop, we walked to Fort Scratchley than to the Cathedral. It is much easier to walk to the Cathedral from Fort Scratchley direction since the road from Queens Wharf to the Cathedral is very steep. On the way from the Fort to the Cathedral we passed the salt water pool and Newcastle Beach which was having a surf meet. Newcastle Beach looked much nicer than Nobbys or Horshoe beach. After the Cathedral we waked down the very steep hill where there is a long row of stores across from the Wharf. Our next stop was supposed to be Noumea, New Caledonia but our itinerary was revised due to cyclone Oma. After 3 sail days we reached Lautoka, Fiji. Cost $9 USD for round trip shuttle ride which dropped us off in front of Jacks clothing store. We would have walked from the ship to town but it was very hot and humid that day. Lautoka is not a very nice town and I would not go there again. Next stop was Suva, Fiji. There were tours offered on the pier and we decided to take a 4 hour group tour to a village and waterfalls which cost 95 Australian dollars for 2 persons. The van held about 18 persons and was air conditioned and comfortable. There was a warrior dance show at the village. The waterfall was down a steep, slippery, muddy trail and there was only 45 minutes total time available for those whom wanted to swim in the falls pool. Our tour guide was great but because of several people in the group and the lack of time management, our tour arrived at the pier 1.5 hours later than it should have. Next stop was Port Vila, Vanuatu. We decided to take a private taxi tour and paid 150 Australian dollars for 3 hour tour to The Reef Vanuatu Zoological and Blue Lagoon. At the Reef Zoological you can see baby and older turtles, fruit bats, parrots and other animals. There is a 17 Australian dollar per person entry fee but I feel it was worth it. Next stop was the Blue Lagoon where you can spend your time swimming. There is an entry fee of 4 Australian dollars per person. Was very crowded due to all the other cruise ship passengers. We were next driven to Port Villa to shop than back to the ship. Next stop was Mystery Island which is only good for snorkeling. Didn't stay on shore long. Next stop was Lifou, New Caledonia. We walked up to Notre Dame church which provided a great view than walked to Church of St Francis Xavier than back to the ship. Last stop was supposed to be Noumea, New Caledonia but the wind was too strong so our ship headed back to Sydney.

Just okay

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by Hamakua

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: South Pacific
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
Booked this cruise because I wanted to see the South Pacific but was somewhat disappointed. Stops in Fiji were not very good. Vanuatu was much nicer especially if you like to snorkel. Lifou, New Caledonia was also very good for snorkeling. We had to skip Noumea, New Caledonia due to high winds. I was told it is common for some ports of call to be canceled on South Pacific cruises. Passengers were mostly Australians and many we met had taken this cruise in the past. Dinners in the main dining room was overall not as good as other cruises we have been on but the classic items were available every night. Breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer was also not as good as other cruises. Entertainment was poor so we skipped the nightly shows. We did not take any ship excursions as they were overpriced and I don't care for all the waiting and lines one must deal with when on a ship excursion. Dinner and cabin service was very good, better than what we experienced on other cruises. This cruise is good if you wish to spend much time snorkeling or laying on the beach but I'm no longer interested in either so I would not take this cruise again.

First port of call was Newcastle where we did a lot of walking. We decided to tour Newcastle on our own. We were not allowed to walk from the ship but there was a free shuttle bus which dropped us off at Queens Wharf in front of the Six Degrees restaurant. We wanted to see Fort Scratchley and the Christ Church Cathedral and at the advise of a tourist guide at the shuttle stop, we walked to Fort Scratchley than to the Cathedral. It is much easier to walk to the Cathedral from Fort Scratchley direction since the road from Queens Wharf to the Cathedral is very steep. On the way from the Fort to the Cathedral we passed the salt water pool and Newcastle Beach which was having a surf meet. Newcastle Beach looked much nicer than Nobbys or Horshoe beach. After the Cathedral we waked down the very steep hill where there is a long row of stores across from the Wharf.

Our next stop was supposed to be Noumea, New Caledonia but our itinerary was revised due to cyclone Oma.

After 3 sail days we reached Lautoka, Fiji. Cost $9 USD for round trip shuttle ride which dropped us off in front of Jacks clothing store. We would have walked from the ship to town but it was very hot and humid that day. Lautoka is not a very nice town and I would not go there again.

Next stop was Suva, Fiji. There were tours offered on the pier and we decided to take a 4 hour group tour to a village and waterfalls which cost 95 Australian dollars for 2 persons. The van held about 18 persons and was air conditioned and comfortable. There was a warrior dance show at the village. The waterfall was down a steep, slippery, muddy trail and there was only 45 minutes total time available for those whom wanted to swim in the falls pool. Our tour guide was great but because of several people in the group and the lack of time management, our tour arrived at the pier 1.5 hours later than it should have.

Next stop was Port Vila, Vanuatu. We decided to take a private taxi tour and paid 150 Australian dollars for 3 hour tour to The Reef Vanuatu Zoological and Blue Lagoon. At the Reef Zoological you can see baby and older turtles, fruit bats, parrots and other animals. There is a 17 Australian dollar per person entry fee but I feel it was worth it. Next stop was the Blue Lagoon where you can spend your time swimming. There is an entry fee of 4 Australian dollars per person. Was very crowded due to all the other cruise ship passengers. We were next driven to Port Villa to shop than back to the ship.

Next stop was Mystery Island which is only good for snorkeling. Didn't stay on shore long.

Next stop was Lifou, New Caledonia. We walked up to Notre Dame church which provided a great view than walked to Church of St Francis Xavier than back to the ship.

Last stop was supposed to be Noumea, New Caledonia but the wind was too strong so our ship headed back to Sydney.
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 4D 6618
Cabin had full size couch, cooler, and safe but no small round table. The shower is of the old small round type which doesn't have much room, newer ships have larger rectangular showers. 6618 is in a great location since it extends out the furthest from the ship which offers great balcony views and is next to the elevator and stairs. Our dining room was on deck 4 so we only had to exit our room and walk down two floors to be at the entrance to Sapphire dining room, did not need to use the crowded elevators.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews