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.
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.
Good stop for snorkeling or laying on the beach. Side of island with pier has small waves. Other side is much calmer and better for snorkeling.
Went to The Reef Vanuatu Zoological and blue lagoon. Long ride on bumpy roads.
Not a nice town.
Did not see much in Sydney as we were not interested in anything offered.
Nice town. Not a lot to see but good for a beach day.