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3,852 South Pacific Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise because it was the only option that was available for school holiday. The cabin and balcony are small for $4040. The food is average overall. The continental breakfast on Deck 9 is really a disappointment with limited ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was the only option that was available for school holiday. The cabin and balcony are small for $4040. The food is average overall. The continental breakfast on Deck 9 is really a disappointment with limited choices. The main dining is ok only because of the melting chocolate cake but not great. Outdoor facilities are always occupied such as golf, basketball, pingpong. I had tried at least 3 times and eventually given up trying coz always crowded. The basketball court (apparently also for volleyball) is very small and always full of people. The staff are very friendly- perhaps the only highlight. Entertainment such as shows and live music are only average. I went to the same 3 Islands the same deal last year with Pacific Eden which i paid a lot less but with much greater experience on board. Overall I am greatly disappointed and won't come back at all. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise as it was the only one that suited a family holiday in School holiday times. 5 of the 7 guests have cruised extensively before, 2 were new to cruising. They will not cruise again after this experience. The rooms ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was the only one that suited a family holiday in School holiday times. 5 of the 7 guests have cruised extensively before, 2 were new to cruising. They will not cruise again after this experience. The rooms were terrible. Torn carpets, everything is falling apart. The rooms are dirty (could clearly see spilled drinks and food just left on the walls) mould throughout bathrooms and around windows on oceanview rooms. The sheets are just nasty, stained from years of use. You did not feel like lazing around in your room that is for sure. One of the rooms was so bad it took several days of complaining but eventually the bathroom was regrouted and siliconed. It shouldn't take days to get an issue sorted. And for all these inconveniences a bottle of wine was offered and dinner at salt. No room change or refund, disgusting customer service. The rooms smelled, they are in need of a thorough deep clean. Add to all this that for most of the cruise the a/c around the boat seemed to not work very well especially in the rooms. Some people we spoke to could not get there rooms below 25 degrees. On the last few nights it did start to work better but black dust and dirt was coming out the vents. Back to the smells, the boat is just old. All the bathrooms in the main areas always seemed to be overflowing constantly, not just 1 but everywhere you went. You spent a lot of time holding your breathe as you walked past certain parts. As for activities, there is not a lot to do on p&o ships. It was our second time on board one of there ships and I don't think i would ever cruise with them again. There are plenty of other options and good deals out there. If your just looking to buy a drinks package and get hammered drunk all day, then maybe this is for you but everything about p&o compared to other lines is budget. Everything is an extra. I've been on budget ships before and you get what you pay for, but for the price of these cruises for a few hundred extra i would definately go on something else. Pacific aria should be retired well and truely. P&O should be ashamed to be charging guests for such a horrid experience. I also feel extremely sorry for all the staff stuck on board, they seem severely over worked. They all look tired, and fed up, cant blame them. 2 guys cleaning 36 rooms, no wonder they are filthy. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We'd previously done the Pacific Islands Cruise on Pacific Dawn with P&O and wanted a cruise departure from Brisbane. Papua New Guinea wasn't even on our radar but the dates aligned and we thought 'why not'? We ... Read More
We'd previously done the Pacific Islands Cruise on Pacific Dawn with P&O and wanted a cruise departure from Brisbane. Papua New Guinea wasn't even on our radar but the dates aligned and we thought 'why not'? We booked our first balcony cabin and we wont go back to ocean view again. With school holiday pricing it was not a budget cruise like our first one but it was nice to treat ourselves. It's so nice to have extra space in the room as well as the deck which had 2 chairs, sunlounge and small coffee table. Our room (9070) had a great queen sized bed while our daughter slept on the converted sofa. She loved having her own space. There's loads of hanging and drawer storage too, though large suitcases wont fit in cupboards (tip..they will fit under the bed if left opened which is great for shoe storage) Our room had a bar fridge (other rooms don't). We were able to take our own soft drinks which was great given we didn't opt for a drinks package this time and saved a heap of money. The bathroom was fitted with spa bath which we loved. The toilet looked new and the shower pressure and temperature control were great. Our room stewards were brilliant as always and it was great coming back after lunch to an immaculately presented room. Aria is an excellent ship. Just the right size with good facilities and heaps of restaurants and bars to choose from. The decor is great and beautifully fitted out. The lounge are in the Atrium on level 6 is great for playing games or reading. There's always organised games here too and some cool prizes to win. We always found room by the pool on the sun lounges. The pool and 2 spas were crowded with kids but being school holidays that's understandable. The sliding roof is brilliant and the lounge areas to the side of the pool are very popular. We didn't get to go to the adults only area as our daughter decided HQ was not for her. (one day!!) The gym is amazing with great panoramic views. My wife is quite the gym junkie and she found everything she needed. She also indulged in a massage at the spa which we paid more than we should (the same massage was offered on the last day for much cheaper) Our daughter also got a great hair cut which she is busily instagramming everyone about. Food was generally good. The Pantry is a great concept and the food is better than the old buffet style with lots of variety. Some hit and misses but great breakfasts! Angelos Italian was very disappointing. Flavourless and bland. Dragon Lady was above average. Salt grill was sublime. The Waterfront is a beautiful restaurant but the service has gone down hill. I don't know if P&O are pushing for more business like service from their waiters but many have little personality and aren't friendly. Very robotic. There were of course some exceptions. The menu feels very limited and my daughter struggled to find anything on the main menu. Entertainment was good. Its very cabaret in style which is not to our liking but the movie theatre was great and the TV in the room had some good shows and movies. There's also a massive DVD library. We picked 2 but they were never delivered. Ports of call for PNG are hit and miss. Alatou was not very pleasant and not much to see if you don't do a planned tour. Kitava was missed due to weather. Kiriwina was good. Very cultural with heaps of markets and great beaches to swim in. The locals are very friendly and we enjoyed our outrigger canoe ride across the reef. The highlight though is Conflict Islands. Its paradise in one easy to navigate small island. Sublime beaches and snorkelling. Tip- take your own snorkel gear and make your own way to eastern tip of the island. Save yourself $100 in excursions which happen off the same beach. It's a beautiful walk along the beach or through the middle of the island. Weirdly this island doesn't use money, rather a voucher system. You have to buy the vouchers from a kiosk (long lines) and then use the vouchers at the bar, gift shop, water activities kiosk or restaurant. Food is pretty good and the bar is well stocked with local and international beers. There were no issues with gastro on board that we knew of. Disembarkation took us about 15 minutes, we were home in 45. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my second Wind Star cruise and like most always wanted to experience Tahiti since I was a boy and Mutiny on the Bounty. Luckily I have a friend who lives in San Diego (Carolyn) and she also wanted to go so no worry about the ... Read More
This was my second Wind Star cruise and like most always wanted to experience Tahiti since I was a boy and Mutiny on the Bounty. Luckily I have a friend who lives in San Diego (Carolyn) and she also wanted to go so no worry about the single supplement and as we fly from LAX this was perfect. We did the air, hotel, cruise from Wind Star and was very pleased with all aspects of the package except dealing with any information for the air portion was difficult at best. I did better with the 8 hour flight than I thought as they fed us twice and we had good selection of movies on the seat back. Landed and customs was easy and bus was waiting to take us to the Intercontinental Hotel and this was 6 am and I was worried that our room would not be ready but our keys were ready and they delivered our luggage promptly. Room was nicer than I expected and we had a view of the water from our balcony and Moorea across the way. Had the buffet breakfast which was included as well as next mornings and were amazed at the beautiful water and reef so close and waves breaking over it. Rested that day and early afternoon next day bus took us to the ship. Easy check in as there were 142 passengers and no problem getting to our room 231 which was upgraded from 1st floor as I had sailed with Wind Star before. Room was forward but was convenient to areas we always ended up. Everything about crew that other reviewers have posted is true and especially Achmed who always took care of us at breakfast and lunch and at dinner on the Motu. Edison and John were two bartenders who always offered a cold Hinano when they saw me on deck or on the Island, the captain was most friendly and gave report each morning which was very informative and we enjoyed talking with him at the past guest party. I am experienced with the Caribbean so was not able to find much info about our ports as Tahiti is different and ports do not really have that many tourists so the beaches are on the Motu's and luckily we spent the day on two. We took a tour around Bora Bora and made usual stop at Bloody Mary's for a cold beer and flush handle in Men's room is "different". Finally we had to leave ship and I wondered what time we would be able to get in our day room at hotel. Once again room was ready and what a relief to not have to sit and wait for later in the day. Flight back was fine and our trip was over. If I was to go again I would schedule more excursions from the ship to see more of the islands we were at and more snorkel chances. Pearl shops everywhere and Carolyn bought a necklace which is a good item to bring back from Tahiti. For the guys wondering the beer in Tahiti (Hinano) is very good. Was a trip of a lifetime and was higher cost than any other trip I have taken but was worth it to experience this beautiful part of the world. The Tahitian people are very friendly and what a great experience, and thanks to Carolyn for coming along as otherwise I would never have the chance to experienced this beautiful part of the world, Wind Spirit was the perfect to experience Tahiti and fully recommend it to those who are debating this trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have wanted to go to Tahiti and the surrounding islands since I read "Mutiny on the Bounty" and saw the movie over 50 years ago. This has been number 1 on my bucket list and after seeing advertisements for Windstar over the ... Read More
I have wanted to go to Tahiti and the surrounding islands since I read "Mutiny on the Bounty" and saw the movie over 50 years ago. This has been number 1 on my bucket list and after seeing advertisements for Windstar over the years it just seemed the perfect way to see these spectacular islands and it REALLY was. I won't do a lengthy review as more than enough people on this site have already done so and I concur with all the superlatives. Great food, great destinations, and an EXCELLENT crew that are so very helpful and generally just really very nice. Customer service to the max! A special shout out to Nicola and Kristy that handle most of the day to day customer service items and excursions. And another shout out to Shane for taking people to the Motos for the wonderful island lunches and dinners as well as other excursions. Also the food service/wait staff are incredible and we enjoyed every meal we had on board. The only concern (and it is minor) is that if someone has mobility issues with walking, the stairs may present a problem. Unlike the big ships Wind Spirit does not have an elevator so that may be an issue for some people. I would advise someone to stay no lower than deck 2 if you have an problems with stairs. A fantastic cruise that lived up to every one of our expectations and then some. Highly recommend!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My husband has always wanted to go to Bora Bora and our travel agent told us of this spectacular way to see Bora Bora and French Polynesia. We weren’t disappointed. The Wind Spirit ship and crew are equally as amazing. We enjoyed all ... Read More
My husband has always wanted to go to Bora Bora and our travel agent told us of this spectacular way to see Bora Bora and French Polynesia. We weren’t disappointed. The Wind Spirit ship and crew are equally as amazing. We enjoyed all aspects of this cruise and bar none it was the best of the four cruises (Disney, Royal Carribean, Celebrity) we done so far. Everything from the crew, the ship, the food and the accommodations were five star all the way. You will not be disappointed. They have everything very well organized and nothing is too much trouble for them to do for the guests. We even got Canadian news delivered to our stateroom everyday. That was a nice touch. I liked that the dinner dress code was ‘dress casual’ in the dining room. One night they do a bbq on the deck and shorts are acceptable. Also, they take you to a private motu in Bora Bora for a buffet dinner and show and you can also wear shorts that night. Can’t think of anything that could be improved. We were very satisfied. Enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The guys in the dinning room that looked after us GUSTI, WAYAN AND WIJAYA where so good to us made our experience wonderful great service and could not ask for better service thank you guys we will miss your great smiles The cubin we ... Read More
The guys in the dinning room that looked after us GUSTI, WAYAN AND WIJAYA where so good to us made our experience wonderful great service and could not ask for better service thank you guys we will miss your great smiles The cubin we had some problems with the toilet did not flash for the first 2 days we asked for some one to fix it but it was still not flushing when we complained the third time it was fixed the fridge in the room did not work and the ship swaied so much that I could hardly sleep Intertainment was great fun we really enjoyed it just wish it was less movement in the cubin that was the most disappointing part of the cruise... I would like to travel again with carnival if the price was right and the cabin was not so ruf my family also traveled with me but because of the last experience they would rather try a different ship or cruise and Sertenly not at the tail of the ship it was not the best I've ever had I travel with ships before and I must say this ship was not for the weak stumik any way hope you take my review quite series and please reward those guys in the dinning room service they were amazing .... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We won this cruise for 2 at Gosford RSL so we started out ahead, included premium drinks package. After reading reviews here I upgraded our cabin from Ocean View Room to a balcony cabin as my wife is a late sleeper and I could sit ... Read More
We won this cruise for 2 at Gosford RSL so we started out ahead, included premium drinks package. After reading reviews here I upgraded our cabin from Ocean View Room to a balcony cabin as my wife is a late sleeper and I could sit outside without disturbing her. Cabin was 11068 on deck 11 and I was concerned that we would get noise from the pool deck toilets which were above. As it happened we got no noise from above but some through the cabin door as we were directly opposite the lifts and stairs. Going from Sydney was great as we only had to get a shuttle bus from the Central Coast and we had a good view of the opera house before departure. It was great that we didn't have to worry about number of bags and their weight. We arrived before our boarding time but porters came and got our bags ane we were efficiently boarded and could get into our cabin immediately. The wife thought that the cabin was small but in the end it did have enough storage space for us and the layout was well thought out with the twin beds being comfortable. We had 2 large suitcases of the thinner variety which went under the bed easily. Our 5 smaller bags were collapsed into the suitcases when empty and we did bring extra hangers which wasn't really necessary. Cabin staff were great and there were several nice touches such as the towel toys and our choice of room cleaning times. We were too busy with the departure party too book specialty restaurants and in the end dragon lady disappointed us with the description of ramen chicken which ended up like KFC. Waterfront and shell and bones were both good but special mention goes to Luke's above the pool deck where we went back 6 times for lunch/ dinner. We also used the Pantry for breakfast and I discovered the healthy corner. Wait staff were Filipinos which was great and we did get too eat some Filipino specialties. For us the band entertainment was the highlight. We didn't have time to go too the shows, too busy with the live band dancing and Karaoke. Real highlight was when the Karaoke machine wouldn't start and the live band just continued on for a couple of hours doing the Karaoke. We attended both the Bianca and Gatsby Parties and had fun at both. One disappointment was weather related where we could not land on the 2 small islands. We got prompt refunds and bonus 75$ though which meant that they gave me money when leaving the ship. The tourist train in Noumea was good and we bought all our souvenirs and french wine at the supermarket. Also had a good Sushi lunch! The up-sell was annoying and we avoided most of it. Lifts were also difficult to use and we often used the stairs. Drinks were good, especially the cocktails. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
P&O Recommend passengers bring two bags: On the night prior to disembarking, passengers are required to leave their luggage outside their room for collection. Instead of thinking I was being efficient with only one bag, a second bag ... Read More
P&O Recommend passengers bring two bags: On the night prior to disembarking, passengers are required to leave their luggage outside their room for collection. Instead of thinking I was being efficient with only one bag, a second bag would have been very useful for the last overnight. Bring a lanyard, doesn’t matter what other company it promotes, everyone wears them, all colours and varieties. Book your dinners on the first day, especially if you’re travelling with a large group. Other times at the restaurants you just need to show up as your entire group before being seated. Children are well catered for at the restaurants . This was a great teaching opportunity for us to to share dining etiquette in a friendly environment. The same children’s menu that is offered at all included restaurants. Our older (12 years) children were offered to children’s menu, which was considerate of the wait staff. They were included as adults. When deciding what to spend the day doing, a highlighter marker would be useful to mark up the daily newsletter. Attend a show. They are not going to take very much time. Most were under an hour. After the show the cruise director will give information about the days activities and those coming up on following days. It would be useful to advertise how long events are expected to take for planning and group coordination. Tea and coffee, juice and water were freely available all the time at The Pantry.The Pantry hours on the day of Embarking are generous. There will be something available when you board. The room has a DVD player, but I downloaded some movies before we left. Helped when there were quiet (or needed to be quiet moments) Loved the cruise. The whole family experience was exactly what I was hoping for. A memory maker. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Everyone is free for this date to be with my siblings post 90 th Birthday Of our mother. We have enjoyed our stay as All staff were accomodating especially the Food services staff.,Emmanuel, Rodrigo, and Jennifer .There was also a cleaner ... Read More
Everyone is free for this date to be with my siblings post 90 th Birthday Of our mother. We have enjoyed our stay as All staff were accomodating especially the Food services staff.,Emmanuel, Rodrigo, and Jennifer .There was also a cleaner ,Casmina who were very polite ,hard worker and courteous Shops are good as well. It has varieties of perfumes, souvenirs and goods on special prices .Entertainment is good ,entertainers,singers are wellI prepared and professionals,We enjoyed watching them. I hope that there will be church service for us Christians on Sunday or even video of church service.We did not go to Moreton Island due to strong wind, it will be impossible to go there on small boat. The Captain decision not to go there is acceptable. Of course, safety comes first,It was well compensated by giving us refund which we used for shopping souvenirs,bought photos ,treated ourselves with yummy seafood dinner and drinks.I hope our bonding will be more when we got time together. Thank you Carnival Spirit for giving us this memorable moment. God Bless you all!, Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having been on only 5 cruises in 16 years ( on 5 separate cruise lines), we don’t qualify as frequent cruisers, but we do regard ourselves as seasoned travellers. Our most recent trip was on the Pacific Dawn, which we picked up in ... Read More
Having been on only 5 cruises in 16 years ( on 5 separate cruise lines), we don’t qualify as frequent cruisers, but we do regard ourselves as seasoned travellers. Our most recent trip was on the Pacific Dawn, which we picked up in Darwin on the way from Singapore to Brisbane. The cruise suited us as a 6-day relaxing way of returning home to Brisbane from a holiday in Darwin. We had read the range of reviews of the ship’s recent voyages, and weren’t expecting too much. Consequently, we were pleasantly surprised. Pacific Dawn is probably in its twilight years, but has many good features. Ours was an outside cabin on deck 6, so by no means upmarket. Compared with other cruise ships we’ve been on, both the cabin itself and the shower were larger and better appointed. The bed was comfortable. Everything functioned properly, and the cabin staff were attentive and efficient. Because the journey had commenced several days before we joined the ship, our social contact with other passengers was limited. Most seemed to be enjoying the cruise, but we did hear quite a few complaints. Happily, they weren’t issues that affected us. Of course, we weren’t on board to add any notches to our cruising record or to tick off any bucket list items, so that may help to account for our genuine enjoyment of the experience. Passing through the Torres Strait and around Cape York was fascinating, with helpful explanatory commentary from the Bridge. The ship’s route followed the North Queensland coast as far as Airlie Beach, and the scenery was spectacular. Our only stop and shore venture was at Airlie Beach. The process of getting ashore by tender was slow and a bit frustrating, but returning on board was quick and efficient. Every night the entertainment in the Marquee theatre was first-rate. We did find the cruise director’s regular verbal intrusions on the performances and other ship’s activities to be long-winded and unnecessary - she has verbal diarrhoea - but that was a minor irritation. There were plenty of the popular cruise activities like trivia quizzes, karaoke and bingo, but we didn't take part in them. The food, in both the Waterfront Restaurant and The Pantry bistro was quite good. We did book one specialty dinner, in the Shell and Bones Restaurant, and found both the meal and the service quality to be outstanding. The price was also reasonable, and excellent value. We understand that this may not be a ship for the jaded cruise palate, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
No longer a 5 star ship but now a 4 star ship. The cabin was very spacious. l'occitane was not provided in the room. They use a big bottle of local shampoo and conditioner. I was expecting this but they no longer have it. The ... Read More
No longer a 5 star ship but now a 4 star ship. The cabin was very spacious. l'occitane was not provided in the room. They use a big bottle of local shampoo and conditioner. I was expecting this but they no longer have it. The slippers provided was even cheap. The food was excellent. The service was very good. The ship is a bit dated. The was only 1 restroom around the major dining areas. Always a long line up when it's dinner time. The salt water pool was excellent. The bar service was good. All the staff was very tentative. All the employees know your name after meeting you for 1st day. They do not have any cognac except for the local brand which did not taste good at all. All other cognac was an extra premium. I expected more due to the amount we have paid for the cruise. I was expecting 5 star service but really only received 4 stars due to the room amenities. Lack of local fruits and dishes served. There was not much shrimp. Only 2 days did I see shrimp on the menu. 1 night of lobster. We did meet some amazing people on this cruise. Everyone was so friendly and just wanted to have a good time. The private island was wonderful to be on. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because we liked the idea of visiting a variety of Islands on our way to and returning from the Hawaiian Islands Leaving from Sydney was also a plus. The entertainers were of high quality and very diverse. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the idea of visiting a variety of Islands on our way to and returning from the Hawaiian Islands Leaving from Sydney was also a plus. The entertainers were of high quality and very diverse. Simulcast of 1st show in the Vista Lounge was great. Cruise director and staff were fantastic with great personality Entertainment in Vista in between early and late show was great. Game shows and other entertainment around the ship were great. Food excellent and dining service was varied. The Pub lunch was a different variance. Horizon cafe had a great variety with fresh food in abundance. Local dance groups boarding the ship for cultural display of dancing etc. We were blown away at being able to watch the AFL final series on our TV in our cabin in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Very impressive We were able to get our pie and chips to make the Grand final perfect Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Although the staff service, especially at the bistro, was excellent, the food after Honolulu became somehow less tasty and with noticeable less variety. Alcohol was stupidly expensive as well as other beverages. The lack of facilities for ... Read More
Although the staff service, especially at the bistro, was excellent, the food after Honolulu became somehow less tasty and with noticeable less variety. Alcohol was stupidly expensive as well as other beverages. The lack of facilities for people with special interests ie Bridge was evident and unforgiven. The disembarkation and embarkation process in Honolulu was as good as for someone who couldn't organise a "root in a brothel". You couldn't have failed any more miserably. The Captain and officer were seen only once other than their "carnavale" (official appearance). However, special mention to Herminio, Dan, Jun, Zsolt, Jeffry, Jugoslav, Nino, Mihailo, Ni Kadek, Veronica, Olena, Angel, Desiree, Lupia and our cabin stewart Loyed. The quality of fruit, especially watermelon, also deteriorated after Honolulu. At one time pears were bruised and scared, rockmelon hard and tasteless "fit for pig" consumption. I don't think I'll choose Princess again not from an Australian port anyway. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My Fiance bought this cruise for my 50th birthday. We departed from Singapore on 25/08/19. Singapore is a magnificent place by the way. The first thing we noticed was that the ship was not the gleaming white vessel depicted in the ... Read More
My Fiance bought this cruise for my 50th birthday. We departed from Singapore on 25/08/19. Singapore is a magnificent place by the way. The first thing we noticed was that the ship was not the gleaming white vessel depicted in the brochures. On deck 12 there are large windows which are held in by steel bracelets. These brackets in places were rusted through and effectively were holding nothing. The carpet outside our room was marked and stained and the hallway smelt musty. There was also an odour of raw sewerage which remained inside and outside for the rest of the cruise. This smell was disgusting. The carpet in our room was frayed, wet and musty. The carpet had to be lifted and dried with a blower. The shower had active mould growing around the top. The shower vent was rusted as was the outer wall. Fittings were missing off the toilet and the toilet brush was disgusting. At night our cabin door squeaked constantly to the point that we had to jam paper in it to quieten it. In some toilets cisterns were not secured to the walls. One tap was covered in duct tape to stop a leak. Some of the doors in public toilets were swollen from moisture and smelt bad. Every day they would incinerate rubbish which would cause black soot to fall all over the back of the ship including in your drinks, food and clothing. All of the windows on the ship were filthy - even at the start of the cruise. The cabin walls are incredibly thin and you can hear everything going on the next cabin. Activities are tailored toolder people. The pool is tiny. Damien Mullin (Elvis) was very good as was the comedian Stephen Whiteley. The rest of the entertainment was so so. There was plenty of food but the same thing was served many different ways. Eg todays roast became tomorrow's stir fry the sandwiches on the third day. The staff were friendly but even their enthusiasm does not not make up for the tired old tub they work on. The ship had been dry docked in Singapore for 14 days for maintenance so it must have been bad before. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this ship because of affordability- that it was travelling from Singapore to Brisbane and going to Komodo and Darwin for our son was living there. We were excited to be doing something different and the ship had been in dry ... Read More
We chose this ship because of affordability- that it was travelling from Singapore to Brisbane and going to Komodo and Darwin for our son was living there. We were excited to be doing something different and the ship had been in dry dock before heading out of Singapore. New carpet, bedding and some painting done. Food in the pantry good but very busy hard to get seat Waterfront restaurant was our pick mostly - nice menus but didn’t change breakfast menu the whole time and the other meals were good mostly but not fantastic. Salt grill was good but don’t know if it was worth the money - I had lamb cutlets which I could not eat they were big but not cooked properly. Fat not rendered, my husband meal was nice. Shell and Bones good value for money, with other dishes for non seafood eaters. Bars nice and friendly waiters especially Michael at the Ocean bar. Unfortunately by the time we were heading to Komodo I had got a very heavy head cold and cough. My husband ended up with this as well but about a week later. Everywhere you went on the ship there were people coughing and blowing their nose. Quite a few people were taken off the ship by ambulance at different ports. We have now been home 5 days and we are both still sick. I have ended up at hospital today with a diagnosis of Bells Palsy which is connected to the viral infection we got on the ship. I had read in the reviews that a lot of people on the previous cruise going to Singapore had the same thing - cough and cold. So it does make you wonder. We were very careful upon boarding use hand sanitizer, wiping over cabin with dettol wipes, not touching hand rails. Staying away from others when we were at our worse. We always had flu shot prior to leaving. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had been on a cruise with 600 passengers and decided it wasn’t for us. Wind Spirit has only 130 passengers and 100 crew and our experience was so different - we loved it. The crew was charming, helpful, knowledgeable and attentive and ... Read More
We had been on a cruise with 600 passengers and decided it wasn’t for us. Wind Spirit has only 130 passengers and 100 crew and our experience was so different - we loved it. The crew was charming, helpful, knowledgeable and attentive and our cabin was very comfortable and kept spotless. We enjoyed the most delicious food with lots of fresh tropical fruit, an amazing variety of salads and superbly cooked meats with a large selection of desserts. For dinner there were two fine dining restaurants and a wide ranging and interesting menu. The shore excursions were well run - since this cruise was round Tahiti there was snorkelling, diving, picnics on beautiful little “motus” or tiny islands, tours with local historians around the islands and visits to pearl farms and vanilla plantations. But what made it for us was the charm of the Captain and his crew - they were all friendly, approachable and made everyone feel very much at home. We recommend this cruise so very warmly. There is nothing we didn’t love about it.... Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The following includes some activities/pitfalls to avoid or be aware of on P&O cruises overall the Pacific Explorer was a fun ship with some great people looking after you but P&O need to supplement their discounted fares so be ... Read More
The following includes some activities/pitfalls to avoid or be aware of on P&O cruises overall the Pacific Explorer was a fun ship with some great people looking after you but P&O need to supplement their discounted fares so be aware they are not happy just charging the cruise price they need to extract more to remain profitable. I’d estimate based upon prices and upsell pressure their looking at making $500 to $1000 per guest so add that to your cruise price when factoring in the cost. They also operate under a first and second class citizen model. Unless you book your tours with them or book a suite you’ll have to wait up to two hours longer to disembark at destinations which use tenders. That’s 10-20% less shore time if your a second class citizen. Then there’s the continual upsell it starts before you leave with about 20 messages in your cruise application about insurance and then they start abusing your personal email address with multiple messages even after you update your cruise app to reflect you do not need insurance. I got insurance for two people for less than what they charge for one. Before you jump in about it not being fit for purpose my wife is from overseas so we had to submit to the French embassy for a visa and they approved the visa with the level of travel insurance we had. The level of cover was not basic it was greater than the P&O offering in many areas. So only a rich fool would use the insurance offered by P&O. Then you get to your room and there’s two robes and an umbrella on your bed. Don’t break the seal on the plastic or you just incurred $75. All up there is close to $100 of “optional” up sell items in your cabin on arrival. Choosing your cabin. Deck 10 is probably the best others all have problem areas like deck 11 below pool deck, deck 9 above casino etc. remember level 7 has most of entertainment so avoid above and below. Now the departure process. If you don’t know you can drop your bags off at anytime so don’t drag them around as you visit the opera house or tackle the hills of the rocks area. They do have a lot of people assisting at checkin so it goes quite quick and usually you can get on before your allotted time just check when you drop your bags. Next the food I have seen posts ranging from its pigs slop to rave reviews. The range and preparation is good but there is a lot of lower grade cuts of meat so the food is just ok. It’s not top restaurant quality but it’s ok and you won’t go hungry. You also have to remember their catering for 2000 plus people and aim at the lowest common denominator so no strong flavors. Even if it’s Garlic Mushroom soup you’ll struggle to taste the garlic. We tried to eat dinner at the specialty and main restaurants as the taste was better but still some cheaper cuts and lack of strong flavors. We avoided the buffet for dinner but for a family it’s pretty good with kids with finicky tastes. You can go back as many times as you like no need to create a Mixed food mountain enjoy the taste of each separately and take your time. As soon as you get on board go down and book your restaurants for dinner on level 6 for the whole cruise you may miss one free drink but you’ll be better prepared for the rest of the trip. Dragon Lady and Angelos change menu about mid cruise so book one early and one late to sample the full range of their offerings. The entertainment is fantastic great musicians, shows. and entertainment but often too little of appeal is on at the same time so everyone is trying to get to the same thing. If you want to enjoy a show I recommend you get there 20 minutes early even for entertainment in the pubs as there won’t be a seat but one will open up in 15-30 minutes in the pubs if you can wait and stand for that long. Staff well there’s three categories and a specialist group. The people who look after your room are super friendly and happy to help with anything. The entertainers who on the whole are great professional and upbeat in the face of a number of rude and drunk people. Then there’s the general service people in the restaurants and shops. Most of them are very nice the rest rude arrogant, racist non service people. If you hate people that much change industries don’t continue in customer service. But the most annoying people of all are the photographers. Whether your trying to board the boat, relax on a deck chair, enjoying the departure party, your dinner or getting off at a departure point. They are there and get grumpy/disappointed if you say no thanks. They continually block passage ways, arriving piers, stairs, kick you out of chairs when listening to entertainment all so they can gouge money. Now 30 years ago before the iPhone, Samsung et al, I got the idea and need for a ship photographer but now I can take 100 snaps filter it down to 5-10 and get them made into prints wall hangings, coffee cups, plates, mouse Mats, T-shirt’s, a picture book, or even a glowing plastic replica of the moon with the photo etched in. I don’t need to be interrupted all the time by a predatory photographer who tries to sell me the print at a higher cost than the GDP of a small West Indies Island. $80 for three small 6x4 prints if you take advantage of the onboard discount. Ports of call if you are docking to a pier it’s busy for first 30 minutes but then it’s easy to get off the ship. If your stops involve using tenders you may as well give up for the first hour or more. Each tender takes about 15 to 20 minutes at least and cannot operate in rough waters. They use multiple tenders but are restricted by single point loading and unloading bottlenecks. Consequently they land about 6 boats each hour. Each holds about 100 people so with 2000 people on the boat that’s 3 hours to get them all transferred. No wonder so many stay on the boat. Next year they take on a bigger ship of 2500 capacity. Tenders are a 2000’s solution to a 2020’s world I’d cancel if I had a cruise with three tender stops again. The Shore Tours they do have a lot of them and the more popular ones book out very quickly so if you have your heart set on one book it early and suck up the high price tag. The sales pitch is all based on fear. “If you book a tour with us and your late we’ll hold the boat for you if you book with others you’ll miss the boat”, or my favorite which I think should be referred to consumer affairs “we have insurance so if something happens your covered if you book with the local providers they don’t so you won’t be covered”. So none of the local tour providers have insurance you know this for a fact? And it appears they are saying your travel insurance won’t cover you if you use a local tour provider. At the time of writing oxygen was still free but I’m sure P&O corporate are working on a way to charge you for that. I researched the price of food and drink before I left and it was probably a year old but most of the prices have gone up by about 10-15% some exceptions. CPI is running at 1-2% but in keeping with their pirate ancestors P&O can increase costs by 10-15% in a year or so. My wife forgot her conditioner so $8 for a small travel size bottle on board. 1st Lesson gentlemen the free shampoo conditioner is not the same so do not suggest that 2nd Lesson double check you have everything. Bottled water $5 a bottle with two bottles laying in wait in your room not for free but you guessed it upsell break the seal and your charged. Not all the food and drink is free and what is and what isn’t will surprise you. I had the premium drinks package and soft-drinks package which includes soft drinks and alcoholic drinks up to $13 but not tea or coffee and 600ml bottled water was free at the bars but I had to pay for water in my room. Now specialty ice cream you pay for but they don’t have any ice cream unless you buy the specialty ice creams so parents expect To pay $5-10 for an ice cream for your kids. No soft serve machine like all other buffets in the world. There is an Italian restaurant in the list of free restaurants but you can’t get pizza you have to buy that at a specialty pizza restaurant. You can’t bring water on board in your luggage but can bring 12 cans of soft drink each. Confused I think that’s the intent so you drop your guard and pay for something that’s not included in your package. Time to talk about the boat. It’s has seen better days despite this pig having a fresh coat of lipstick in about 2009 and a tidy up in 2017 it’s showing it’s original manufacture date of 1997. It sort of looks like they just paint over the rust and everything has this rough bubbly finish hiding the imperfections. TV’s and other appliances in rooms don’t work with quick turnarounds they don’t seem to have time to fix things. You will need a masters in Electrical Engineering to be able to work out how to switch on and off your lights in the cabin. On a positive note the public areas which have high traffic appear well maintained as with the deck chairs and cushions. There is a lot of things to do with most tastes catered for but with 2000 people all looking for privacy or a unique experience this isn’t going to happen. Repeat together “yes we are all individuals”. Finally check your bill. I had the drinks packages but still had charges for soft drinks on my bill totaling about $20 Luckily it was easy for me to get them removed but what if you didn’t have a drinks package how would you go trying to argue you didn’t incur those costs. I also had a charge where they over charged my wife $15 for a charge but couldn’t prove it so had to suck it up. Seemed a common complaint with many people saying they had additional items added to their bill. I think they make an extra $15-30,000 per cruise from these types of overcharges if you use my example and don’t get them rectified. In summary a cruise on the Pacific Explorer is overall a nice vacation nothing special. Adjust your thinking before you come even with drinks packages it’s not an all inclusive holiday. Also check if your happy to be second class or want to pay the extra for first class, also P&O don’t have any loyalty packages so you don’t loose anything by trying other providers so try the others next time. The use of tenders it’s past their use by date only use ports with pier facilities or have one tender stop maximum. Check your cruise and change accordingly. If P&O changed but one thing it would be free or at most cost price water in your cabin you shouldn’t profiteer from water and most importantly it would improve the demeanor of your customers who feel like P&O are breaching the Geneva Convention by charging so much for water. Positives Cabin and Entertainment Staff Good Adults Only Areas Boarding Process Rest and Relaxation Areas Food preparation Negatives Continual Habitual Up Sell Prices and Unregulated Increases Bland food not matching ambience and service Photographers Bottled water policy/price Deceptive tour sales Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My spouse, and my brother and sister with their spouses decided to try to get a vacation together and visit the South Pacific. it was easy to pick the islands around and including Tahiti. Should we cruise to do land tour. After only a ... Read More
My spouse, and my brother and sister with their spouses decided to try to get a vacation together and visit the South Pacific. it was easy to pick the islands around and including Tahiti. Should we cruise to do land tour. After only a brief discussion, we chose Windstar Cruises, Wind Spirit and, boy are we glad! The ship is small, only 148 passengers tops. The staterooms are on two decks, every one of them nearly identical. Practical room with room to hide suitcases. Bathroom only accommodates one at a time, but it works fine. Food, what can we say but, great! Great variety at all meals starting with breakfast. The one "specialty" restaurant is Candles, overseen by Assistant Maitre'd Prast. He and crew of wizards lay out great dinners under the stars on the rear deck. The Wind Spirit's entire crew are always welcoming guest when they see them, a very nice touch. The have a open Bridge Policy. You can tour the bridge at almost anytime. We met several very friendly officers while on the bridge. The Captain, Lyubo Garcityanov is available at all times. We had several very nice and long conversations with the Captain, who told us he evens call his mother regularly. A really nice man. Between ship arranged BBQ's on Motus and crew talent shows, it hard to thinks of a funnier cruise ship on the seven seas! The Wind Spirit is just the ideal ship for those who don't like crowds, who want good food, and the most beautiful islands anywhere. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Background:My husband and I traveled from the East Coast to Papeete via Delta and Air France. First visit to French Polynesia and first time on Paul Gauguin (PG). Have cruised many times on other cruise lines. Hotel Information: We ... Read More
Background:My husband and I traveled from the East Coast to Papeete via Delta and Air France. First visit to French Polynesia and first time on Paul Gauguin (PG). Have cruised many times on other cruise lines. Hotel Information: We arrived in Papeete early a.m., and had a private transfer from the airport to the pier to take the ferry to Moorea for our independently booked three night stay at the Intercontinental (IC) Hotel Moorea in overwater bungalow. Easy and quick transfer to Moorea and IC Hotel. Very pleasant stay--all meals were very good and beautiful, peaceful location. Ship Information: Efficient embarkation--there is no cruise "terminal"...passengers form a line to have passport checked and board ship. After passport check, the boarding process moves quickly--it may have taken 15 minutes from start to finish to be escorted to our cabin. The cabin was clean but showing signs of age, rust around window, large stains on carpet/dust ruffle and broken tub hardware. There was plenty of storage and closet space. The air conditioner worked very well. Leaving Bora Bora, the ship was "bouncy", we did not have bad weather or rough seas, however, there was a lot of ship movement. Mechanical/Technical Issues: One evening the ship experienced significant vibration especially in the back of the ship in the main dining room. The Captain announced the next morning we would be delayed arriving at Rangiroa due to a "technical problem". On another day, there was a water problem causing flooding on deck five in the main dining room and loss of hot water--the hot water was restored and the dining room opened after a slight delay. The food in the main dining room, L'Etoile, was very good and the wait staff, excellent. We dined in the specialty restaurants, however, our dining experience was much better in L'Etoile. Breakfast was the same buffet offering every day, however, there is a limited menu that does not change during the cruise that passengers may order from. Entertainment/Activities/Guest Speakers: The entertainment was satisfactory..but not especially good. The most interesting speaker on our cruise was the former Captain of the Queen Mary 2. Service: This is where the PG excels and earns a 5 star rating--the staff are wonderful! Ports and Shore Excursions: The Society Islands and Tuamotus are beautiful and Taha'a was especially pretty. We booked several shore excursions with PG, however, our favorite "excursion" was was our independent hike up Magic Mountain in Moorea that they crew told us about. We did not use the ship wifi--we used Tahiti wi-fi, which worked well in port except for Rangiroa and Fakarava. Disembarkation: Disembarked around 10 a.m. and traveled to IC-Papeete. Pretty property, however, check in took a long, long time. I'm thankful we had the opportunity to visit this beautiful part of the world, however, once was enough. I would not go again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
First time on Carnival cruises. Not disappointed at all. Rated excellent for service,entertainment and cleanliness. Every stop was on time.Weather was great (August) and that's the best time to visit these islands with lower temps and ... Read More
First time on Carnival cruises. Not disappointed at all. Rated excellent for service,entertainment and cleanliness. Every stop was on time.Weather was great (August) and that's the best time to visit these islands with lower temps and humidity. Only onboard on top decks we need some extra warmth. Could not fault staterooms with excellent stewards. A good surprise was the Carnival Hub app that simply works so well. Text to your friends anywhere onboard for $9pp is fair. It also has 'what happening' for the whole cruise with the ability to notify 15 mins before what you choose. The app contains details of event locations with maps plus ship time. You don't have to pay for internet use for this...just as well as the cheapest deal is $120 that only gives Facebook/Messenger (no calls but pic and vid work) and very limited Google. No emails at this price either...have to pay $60 more for that. Entertainment was high standard with excellent showrooms. Soft drink package is $82.50 but I should have considered paying separately as were only $1.75 each. Great free coffee,Pizza and ice cream all 24 hours. Coffee included cappuccino and hot chocolate with frother. Pizza was OK but not fabulous. Same as ice cream. Gym etc was very modern and well equipped with steam room sauna and spa in a private atmosphere. Restaurants had beautiful decor nice meals with excellent service. Felt that meals repeated with limited choices but themes were a nice touch. Every night the staff added a few minutes of dancing that we looked forwarded to. They also dressed for theme nights. We did not dine at extra cost restaurants so cannot comment on these but they seemed enticing. The burger bar and Tacos were a nice option. Did not try the topside grille but it smells nice when passing. Finally saw Mystery island after previous cruises could not get there. We thought they underrated it. Beautiful clear waters with nice beaches to snorkel free. Good tracks as well that avoids getting bogged in sand. Plenty to do in a nice surroundings. Mare island wasn't much but still was enjoyed as long as you can walk a few Klms. Vila doesn't change but there's still plenty to do and the only place to shop duty free. Lifou is still lovely. 9 years ago we snorkeled in Janeck bay free - now it's $30pp! The cave trip is definitely worth the $10 but it's around 2k walk and not sold on ship. A lovely trip overall only slightly spoilt by rough weather on way back. Big swell of 6-8 meter waves rocked the ship forward to aft but the great stabilisers reduced the sideways movement. Some passengers over dramatised the movements after a few plates were broken and thought they were going to die so contacted the media for their fame - but most knew they were in good hands and returned on time. I've been in much worse when the harbour was closed for 2 days and nobody was even injured! Accolades to Carnival's Captain and all staff for a great trip. I would rank Carnival above some other brands. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Embarkation - we flew up to Brisbane (from Canberra) on the morning of the cruise, this is something we would not normally do as if flights are disrupted we could have missed the ship. We arrived at Portside at around 11.15am after a $30 ... Read More
Embarkation - we flew up to Brisbane (from Canberra) on the morning of the cruise, this is something we would not normally do as if flights are disrupted we could have missed the ship. We arrived at Portside at around 11.15am after a $30 cab ride from the airport. We were able to check- in (despite our time being 12.30) and it went fairly quickly despite the line, as we were on the ship by 11.45am. We went straight to the Waterfront for lunch and we were told the rooms were already accessible. The ship - Pacific Aria - it was clean and tidy and relatively good condition despite it's age. We like the design of this class ship and with only around 1200 pax aboard it doesn't feel crowded. The cruise passengers were mainly Queenslanders, with family groups and such but not that many children. Overall it was a fairly old demographic (I would guess the av age around 70+). Service was excellent all around the ship. Food was good in the Waterfront (4 nights) and excellent in Dragon Lady (3 nights) and Angelos (3 nights), and the pantry had great selections with Mexican, Asian, indian, sandwich, fish and chip, roast, salad and dessert stations. The waterfront was open for lunch every day (even port days) and we used it often as well as for breakfast most days. Ports Alatou - we used Jaywood tours ($60pp for the two of us), which was good and they took us all over the place visiting numerous sites and highlights. We would recommend utilising the Cruise PNG page on FB which has numerous recommendations. If you want the Cultural show, Alatou tours is best utilised or the ship's tour. Kitava Island - we couldn't tender due to winds, but we were going to swim and snorkel. Rabual - we used Scenic tours ($85pp and we were put on a bus with around 10 others). It was the Volcano, town and WWII tour and was excellent, it took close to 7 hours and mainly due to road conditions slowing the drives. Kirawina Island - we swam and looked at the stalls and the village, took a canoe ride, it was low tide so snorkelling was difficult. This is the place to buy any woodwork as the selection was huge. Use up all your Kina here as well. Conflict Island - great island beautiful swimming and snorkelling. Food and drinks ashore are reasonably priced and you need to buy vouchers for the purchases (they accepted AUD and Kina). We took 210 Kina with us and had bought some dresses and shirts for our granddaughter as well as some drinks, the rest was used as tips and gifts as well as swapping our left over Kina for AUD at Kirawina as they cannot change the AUD. Debarkation - had to be out of the cabins by 6.30am (explains why the rooms were ready so early on embarkation day), we did the walk off and was in a cab by 6.45am. Overall, the cruise was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Pacific Dawn slogan is ‘Like no place on Earth’ and for a cruise liner that is old, rusty and way past it’s use by date that covered it! I booked this cruise as it’s rare to board a cruise in Darwin stopping at Timor Leste, ... Read More
The Pacific Dawn slogan is ‘Like no place on Earth’ and for a cruise liner that is old, rusty and way past it’s use by date that covered it! I booked this cruise as it’s rare to board a cruise in Darwin stopping at Timor Leste, Komodo Island, Bali and Singapore. The first meal was in The Pantry & it was very average with long queues, food was cold & to find a spare seat was impossible. All other meals were in the Waterfront restaurant. The room needed an good clean and paint and the sink was so old it was peeling enamel, the balcony had rust on the railing so a warning not to lean on it. The nightly entertainment was not world class but it was enjoyable to watch. The best meal was High Tea which cost extra but was worth it. The shore excursions were way overpriced, in Dili I booked direct with Timor Adventures, a wonderful day and Carlos our guide was very informative. Pacific Dawn staff seemed to be lack lustre and not like on other cruises where they are so happy and couldn’t do enough for you. I won’t be booking on P&O again as compared with other cruise line cruises I have done I am rating this cruise a 2, being generous. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was my 6th cruise on everything from a converted fishing trawler to a mega ship. We chose this cruise because we wished to visit a variety of South Pacific islands (Cook and Society). I'd give the cruise a B+ and our overall ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise on everything from a converted fishing trawler to a mega ship. We chose this cruise because we wished to visit a variety of South Pacific islands (Cook and Society). I'd give the cruise a B+ and our overall vacation an A. The pros include: 1) ports, 2) ease of access, 3) size of ship/number of passengers, 4) quality of food, 5) cabins, 6) excursions. The cons include: 1) mediocre service especially in restaurants, 2) entertainment, 3) tender schedule, 4) poor communication. Our window cabin felt relatively spacious (438) and was very quiet. Full bathroom and lots of storage. I wished we could have controlled how many lights were on at a given time. Beds were narrow but very comfortable. We did "separate" beds, which meant there was a sliver of space between the two. There was a small loveseat, which in this room is an extra bed. Ports we visited were really enjoyable though we heard that the last two ships had not been able to tender at Aitutaki because the water was too rough. That would have been a disappointment. Also, we were told that you don't want to book these cruises during cyclone season Dec-Feb. Except for Tahiti we tendered everyone. Mostly very short tender rides (starting at 8:30) but the schedule is once every 30 minutes in each direction not matter how close we were, and sometimes that was 2-3 minutes away. If you just miss a tender or want to be able to run back to the ship you end up with a lot of time killed. Our ship was about 2/3 of the 330 capacity. It felt busy enough up on deck. Chairs would be taken so I don't know where another 100+ would fit. And because of the relatively smallness of the ship and the multiple uses outside areas are put to, the chairs around the pool deck would start "disappearing" well before sunset as the area was readied for the next event. I found that annoying. Maybe I'd like to lounge at 4:30 or 5:00 and not have the place packed up around me. Food was good overall. We thought many of the lunch offerings were excellent. Breakfast was the weakest offering. Dinners had good choices and different menus across the three dining rooms. But acquiring the necessary reservations in two of the restaurants was a challenge between their hours and some other mystical force. Most nights if we inquired about the availability of last-minute reservations we were told "all booked up." Meanwhile, we'd peer into the windows of the restaurant throughout the evening to see myriad empty tables. And mind you, the ship was only 2/3 full. My husband was convinced the Maitre D liked it that way. Restaurant service was a whole other story. It sucked to put it bluntly. Just about no one learned our name or preferences over 11 days. During breakfast and lunch buffets good luck getting someone to offer you anything from coffee to water to taking an actual order. One morning I nearly got into a fight with a server who cleared my still-full coffee mug from the table and refused to give it back. One night, after 20 minutes had passed and no one had offered me wine, I had to resort to flailing my arms. And the alcohol may be "free" but I did not have one decent glass of wine (and there are many other choices than the two bottles of the night they highlight, which I didn't learn until almost the end of the cruise). If you order one of something, expect that two will arrive. And even if you don't order something, it may appear because you asked about it. And during dinner service the waitstaff would deliver your food and never, ever check back with you to see if it were to your liking or if you needed something else. The entertainment was passable. The piano player couldn't carry a tune and played a non-dynamic range. The magician was decent. The onboard Gauguines are cute to watch for a show or two but after that they got a bit monotonous. The best entertainment was the last night when an award-winning troupe came aboard. There were assorted activities such as craft projects and cultural talks to attend but most of these were scheduled just as excursions started. A number of passengers expressed frustration about there not being more offerings later in the afternoon as people returned to the ship. There are a wide range of high quality excursions to choose from and in many cases the vendors are the same as you would book independently. Pricing was decent. We booked some PG excursions, some on our own, and rented cars on some islands (taxis are expensive and often few and far between). We received contradictory information about excursion length (which according to cruise staff includes tendering time). A hike we booked on Moorea was listed as 4 hours one place, 5 another, and in the end was more like 6 (which caused us to nearly miss lunch - that's a whole 'nother story and yet another example of unaccommodating dining room staff). They are accommodating when it comes to rescheduling and cancelling excursions. There is a decently-equipped gym. Unfortunately, you couldn't walk the upper deck before 8:30 a or in the evening. We had to be creative in going for onboard walks. There is a steam room you can access by reservation in the spa. I managed laps in the postage-stamp sized swimming pool. The advertised onboard marina was a disappointment. Only once, in Huahine, were we able to use paddle board and kayaks. That was it from the ship. Embarkation and disembarkation are really straightforward. We arranged our own transfers and hotel, which I think made for a more pleasant experience on the last day. You can use your room until 9:30. We left the ship at 10 for a full day at the Intercontinental. Passengers being transferred by PG had to mark time on the ship until 3 when they were transferred. A lot of what I'm sharing wasn't readily communicated. One example of poor communication was that one evening we were told everyone would have to present themselves for customs in the Grande Salon when we arrived back into French Polynesia the next morning before they could get off the ship. What they failed to mention was that the entire ship would get a 7:45 a wake-up announcement and that your cabin phone would start ringing at 8 a if you hadn't shown up. I don't know why they made it sound like you could do this at your leisure rather than first thing in the morning. I don't appreciate being awakened while on vacation. I'm happy to answer questions offline: cambiare2011 at gmail. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Reef Endeavour is a small ship adapted for sailing amongst the tropical reefs and islands of Fiji in the South Pacific. It attracts divers, snorkelers and those who enjoy the cultural and historic byways of Fiji. It is not a conventional ... Read More
Reef Endeavour is a small ship adapted for sailing amongst the tropical reefs and islands of Fiji in the South Pacific. It attracts divers, snorkelers and those who enjoy the cultural and historic byways of Fiji. It is not a conventional cruise ship and certainly not a party ship. It is comfortable rather than luxurious and has its challenges for older or mobility-impaired travellers. as it has cabins entered off the outside deck with heavy doors and quite high sills which have to be stepped over to enter the cabins. Going ashore by tender presented challenges for some as sometimes you were let out into knee deep water which has rocks and coral. On one occasion, returning from an event ashore we had to wade out to the tender in the dark which was problematic. Food was excellent on 'a la carte' nights and good at barbeques and buffets. Their superb cheese plate was the best that I have ever had on a cruise ship. Entertainment was basic with a pleasant resident musician and occasional presentations of Fijian cultural activities by crew and by school children at the villages visited - the Fijians have beautiful singing voices and incredible natural harmony. Bar prices for beer and wine were expensive (Fiji taxes were blamed by the bar staff). Each day you could go ashore or take a glass bottom boat trip to view the reef. A visit to a native village was a highlight where we were welcomed with a kava ceremony, entertained with singing and fed a meal from the underground ovens common across the Pacific. Overall, an interesting trip for the divers and culture or history buffs, and for those who enjoy cruising tropical waters. The Fijian way is a little disorganised and inefficient, but they are pleasant people who always give you a smile. . Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

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