The trip would be interesting because we had not been on one of the bigger RC ships to date and also it would be a sample of how Vanuatu and New Caledonia were shaping up after the over two years with no cruise passengers and their money.
Things were ominous at Sydney Terminal when we were handed a sheet of paper advising that Mystery Island was cancelled because of wharf repairs. The rumour mill suggested that the real reason was that RC refused to pay the locals a fee. If the latter is true the fee idea might not be wise. Missing out on 4000 fat white people with pockets full of money is surely an economic blow. I believe Mystery Island is very popular with cruise ships because it costs the cruise companies no money to stop there. Anyway we had lost one of our stops.
(We had three medical emergencies on this trip. The second saw us stuck in the centre of Port Vila harbour all day. It was in fact the day we should have been at Mystery Island. No doubt the captain was doing the right thing vis a vis the medical situation but he would have been quietly pleased at the fuel he was saving by not having to sail around in circles all day.)