Who would have thought that doing a cruise on the Pacific Dawn in 2010 would get us hooked on cruising! I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. We are now constantly looking for our next cruise, it's a hobby I guess :-) 10 cruises and counting, 11 for mum - I need to catch up! UPDATE: I've caught up to mum as I did a 3 nighter without her (took my niece instead!). Tally now 12 each!
2010 - 1 cruise
- September - 7 nights South Pacific on the P&O Pacific Dawn Just the 4 girls! We visited 3 ports - Noumea, Port Vila and Lifou.
2011 - 1 cruise
- April - 12 nights South Pacific and Fiji on the P&O Pacific Dawn. The 8 of us this time! We visited 5 ports Port Vila, Isle of Pines, Pentecost Island, Port Denaru and Suva.
I can't believe we didn't do a cruise in 2012 but I think we've made up for it!
2013 - 2 cruises
- January - 10 nights (turned into 11!) South Pacific on the P&O Pacific Jewel. Just 2 of us. We visited 3 ports Wala, Mare and Noumea
- May/June - 10 nights South Pacific on the Carnival Spirit. 6 of us! We visited 4 ports Mare, Noumea, Mystery Island and Port Vila
2014 - 1 cruise
- October - 10 nights South Pacific on the P&O Pacific Pearl. Back to the 2 of us. We visited Noumea 3 ports - Lifou, Port Vila and Santo
2015 - 2 cruises (3 for mum!)
- January - 12 nights South Pacific and Fiji on the Carnival Spirit. 5 of us. We visited 5 ports - Noumea, Mystery Island, Port Denaru, Suva and Isle of Pines
- June - Mum and dad also did a 16 night cruise on the P&O Pacific Jewel from Singapore
- November - 7 nights The 5 Ship Spectacular on the P&O Pacific Dawn. 3 of us. We visited 4 ports - Newcastle, Eden, Sydney and Moreton Island
2016 - 2 cruises
- January - 13 nights South Pacific on the Dawn Princess. 2 of us. We visited 7 ports Port Vila, Champagne Bay, Mystery Island, Isle of Pines, Lifou, Noumea and Mare
- August/September - 11 nights PNG on the P&O Pacific Jewel. 3 of us. We visited 4 ports - Brisbane, Alotau, Kiriwina Island and Conflict Island
2017 - 1 cruise (so far anyway!!)
- January - 12 nights South Pacific & NZ on the Ovation of the Seas. 2 of us. We visited 5 ports - Noumea, Mystery Island, Bay of Islands, Tauranga and Auckland
- February - 3 night cruise to nowhere on the Pacific Dawn. 2 of us but this time instead of mum it was my gorgeous niece.
- August/September - 5 nights Queensland Coast on the Pacific Aria. Back to the usual 2. We visited 2 ports - Townsville and Airlie Beach.
In the 10 cruises I've done I've visited:
Noumea - 6 times
Port Vila - 5 times
Mystery Island - 4 times (didn't get off the ship on our last trip on the Ovation)
Mare - 3 times
Lifou, Suva and Port Denaru - 2 times
Wala, Santo, Pentecost, Champagne Bay, PNG ports, Newcastle, Eden, Moreton Island, NZ ports, Townsville and Airlie Beach - single visit
Wow, that's a lot of travelling and what a way to travel!
I get why the ships go to Noumea as it is an easy port to reach from Eastern Australia and it's a port that the ships can dock at but I just wish the tours were a bit cheaper so I could see more of what Noumea has to offer. I think I am going to have to budget in a tour in Noumea for our next cruise that goes there. I don't have anything against Noumea but there sre just so many times you can walk through Coconut Square and up to the church! The same can be said for Port Vila although I do like catching the water taxi across the harbour. I think if we ever went back there with the kids we would probably go out to Hideaway Island again or hire the water go karts mum and I saw the last time we were there - they looked awesome!
I've just added up our cruising days (110 and 123) and realised that we've now done the equivalent of a world cruise, just spread over 7 years and not 3 months. (I'd hate to think how many danishes and bread rolls I've eaten!) I've always been keen on doing a real world cruise but after my last cruise I'm not sure. I think I would definitely have to have a balcony room just so I always had somewhere peaceful to go to when 'people' got a bit too much. As much as I love cruising I don't 'love' people, well I don't love rude, selfish, loud people and it is inevitable that you will come across those people on a cruise. For the most part you can look passed these people but sometimes they are just so surprisingly rude or selfish it takes you by surprise that there are people like that in the world and I've now got to listen to them bitch and moan while trying to enjoy my dinner. Boo you. (Maybe I'm just cranky in my old age, well crankier!) Having said that though for the most part people are lovely and courteous, I think it's just the obnoxious ones that stand out. So far I haven't come across anyone bad enough to turn me off cruising! :-)
Shortest cruise: 3 nights for me, 5 nights for mum
Longest cruise: 13 nights for me, 16 nights for mum (and dad)
Pacific Dawn - 4 cruises, 29 nights - 7, 12, 7 & 3
Pacific Jewel - 2 cruises (3 for mum), 22 nights - 11 & 11 (38 nights for mum, 11, 16 & 11)
Pacific Pearl - 1 cruise, 10 nights
Carnival Spirit - 2 cruises, 22 nights - 10 & 12
Dawn Princess - 1 cruise, 13 nights
Ovation of the Seas - 1 cruise, 12 nights
Pacific Aria - 1 cruise, 5 nights
Hopefully there will be many more cruises in our future. We are thinking of one at the end of the year to celebrate finishing high school for one of the 'kids' but you never know what bargains may pop up during the year for mum and I. The boys want to do another cruise as well so I'm checking out the ones over the school holidays although they also want to go to the snow. They can have that to themselves. I don't like the cold!
I'd quite like to do another NZ cruise, one that either did both islands or the south island. The Ovation is doing a few NZ south island cruises when it comes back out here, so they're on our watch list. A friend is doing a 7 night cruise on the Mariner of the Seas soon seeing Thailand and Vietnam so we're very interested to hear her thoughts when she's back.
My Aunt did a cruise just recently on the Pacific Aria to the South Pacific and from all reports they had a great time and liked the ship. Another ship for us to try! UPDATE: Well we've now been on the Pacific Aria! It did take me a little while to warm to this ship but in the end I loved it. Gorgeous decor. It's a smaller ship than the other P&O ships (ex the Eden which I think is the same size) so took a bit of getting use to, for me anyway. Not a fan of the bathroom although the room did appear a bit bigger than the Dawn/Jewels.
So many cruises so little money.