It is Day 14 of our 18 day cruise from Tahiti to Sydney. I am enjoying the cruise and observe many happy guests. The crew has been amazing and Corey Powell is doing a great job as cruise director. In addition to all of the standard announcements that he is required to give, he adds some humor and fun. A really nice guy as well! All of the crew work so hard to please all of the guests even when a few guests are being demanding. The crew seems to be enjoying the cruise as well. Most of them work long hours, every day, away from their families for 6 months. I have lots of respect for all of them!
The South Pacific ports have been amazing and we have had good weather in most ports. My favorites so far are Pago Pago, American Samoa, Port Vila Vanuatu and Noumea, New Caledonia. Shore excursions are well managed and interesting. We did not stop at Apia, Samoa due to the measles outbreak there and state of emergency there (a wise decision). Food has been very good as expected. Fellow guests are from Canada, Australia, USA, Germany and Europe. Majority of guests are in their sixties and seventies.
Lecturers have been interesting and relevant to where we are sailing. Especially enjoyed the story of the ship's recent refit. Oceania had to move the refit of Regatta from Seattle to Vancouver, Canada due to the U.S. not allowing key contractors with special skills to enter the country. An economic boom for Canada and a multi-million dollar loss for the USA. Then it rained for 17 of the 21 days which required improvising ways to dry the finish on all of the teak wood that is applied after the teak is installed. Painting in the rain was a challenge as well and LOTS of creativity and hard work needed to complete the project. This is why they were still finishing up on the inaugural cruise to Miami. Many crew members slept thru 24 hours a day of construction and hauled all of the new mattresses and furniture in place without the use of the elevators. Wow!! Congratulations to Oceania for the successful project! The ship looks great!
Even though smaller than the Veranda cabins on Marina, there is lots of storage space throughout the cabin. New shower doors work well. Takes a little bit of time to get used to the smaller space but it is comfortable. Aft of ship is great location because all restaurants are there. The guest laundry is very good and very close to our cabin. Even though there are only 4 washers and 4 dryers for guest laundry for the entire ship, the laundry room is rarely crowded.
We boarded the ship on a Sunday when most of the island stores are closed.
We stayed over night at the Tahiti Pearl resort in Arue which was nice. Taxi to ship cost $23 for two people with luggage. Embarkation was very easy!
Been here before so did not take an excursion. Walked around shops near where tender docks.
Recommend taking a $5 per person taxi to the US National Parks headquarters and then walking back to the ship. There is a food mart next to the ANZ bank with snacks. I recommend the Wesley bookstore across from the dock. Enjoyed talking to the local folks about what it is like to live in American Samoa. Really enjoyed this port!
Walked on my own to Fiji Museum in Thurston Gardens. Very good museum and gift shop that accepts credit cards. Some inexpensive items purchased here. Walked by the president's house and many government buildings and shops. Enjoyed walking into the Grand Pacific hotel as well. Purchased some handicrafts at the Handicraft market very close to the ship.
Very much enjoyed the visit to the village next to a gorgeous beach. Ate fresh fruit, purchased some inexpensive items and enjoyed the warriors' singing, dancing as well as the lecture from the Chief of the village. We rode in 9 passenger vans.