We figured we'd probably never fly to Vanuatu or Fiji so why not try cruising. This South Pacific 14 day cruise offer popped into our inbox and we signed up - no consideration for the ship or the time of year - but it turned out to be a great decision. We had such a good time!
The Majestic Princess is a very big ship but we never felt crowded. It did take us a while to find our way around but all that walking helped work off the extra food we ate.
It was a largely older group of people on board, but there were families and quite a few children too - a nice mix.
The cabin had a large (very comfortable) bed and pillows (we asked for extra pillows which was not a problem), ample storage and hanging space (and coat hangers). The bathroom is tiny but well designed. The shower worked well - getting the right temperature is easy. The balcony is small but there is room to sit and relax with drinks. We were just above the life rafts (Deck 9) with an unobstructed view. Felt very little ship movement - midship towards the aft - though the seas were slight the entire trip - except for the last night. I was worried about being seasick but never had a problem.
Lifou is a beautiful island accessed by tender boats. It's very hot so take water with you and money for drink (coconut or soft drinks available). They take AUS$ and NC Franc. Try to travel light or with a backpack. You may do a bit of walking if you choose to visit the church on the hill (worth it for the view and the butterflies) or Jinek Bay.
We really wanted to go snorkeling at Jinek Bay but there were no tours on offer pre-cruise. The ship did not advertise that we would could only purchase permits to Jinek Bay on the ship so many of us were turned away when we rocked up expecting to buy them there. Really disappointed because it looked stunning. Had to make do with swimming on the main beach near the wharf which was still nice. Good idea to take reef shoes with you as the beach is covered in broken coral.
Another tender accessed island. Dravuni is truly picturesque. The softest grass - I thought it was fake. It's a tiny island - c.2km long and 300 metres wide I believe. The beach is great but, again, you'll need reef shoes. I walked across the island (through lush jungle) and along a few tracks but didn't trek up to the top of the hill because I'd only worn reef shoes across to the island. If you want to walk to the top, wear sneakers or something supportive. You can visit the local school. The locals are lovely. There are lots of stalls offering hair braiding, massages, drinks and souvenirs. Also a few selling BBQ fish and these roti with a potato curry inside (they were delicious). Spent the rest of the day swimming.