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    Sydney NSW Australia
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  1. G’day Erin, great to hear you are planning an adventure down under! Jilltoons started a similar post on this post a week os so back ‘Which Australia cruise’. There has been some great responses with detailed descriptions of the various ports and conditions in the South Pacific. I suggest you have a read through that to start with and come back to here should you have any more questions. With regards to accommodation in either Sydney or Brisbane, let us know what budget range you have in mind as the dream and the reality can be quite different.
  2. So there was nothing new presented in any of the “what the cruise lines are too afraid to tell you” that we didn’t already know about. The Titanic, the Morro Castle, the Andrea Doria, the Costa Concordia, Carnival Corporation being repeatedly fined in the USA for discharging pollutants, over tourism, norovirus, the various crimes happening on ships where, under flags of convenience, little can be done by any local authorities and of course the deadly consequences of the COVID outbreaks. All of the issues highlighted are a daily occurrence in Australia and the world i.e. accidents, negligence, corporations polluting the environment, over tourism, norovirus, justice not being seen to be served, millions being infected and thousands dying of COVID. In the end individuals, families, corporations, governments, air, land and sea travellers will all have to adjust to the ‘new COVID normal’.
  3. Yes, I too fear that we are in for another bashing with this programme. These are a couple of things I posted on a Facebook group.... “The opening of the Channel 7 promotion, under the word ABANDONED in large red capitals, says "Right now, cruise ships, by the hundreds, lying abandoned across the globe"! Abandoned? Really? They haven't even got their facts straight in the first ten seconds of the promotion so you can only imagine how they will fill the two hour time slot allocated to this "7NEWS Event”!” I was then harassed by another poster about how us “cruise nutters” were “deranged” regarding these “floating virus boats” and wanting to go cruising again. This was my response to these remarks... “Proud ‘Cruise nutter’ here ***** and assume that you are too if you are contributing to a Facebook group entitled P&O Australia Cruise Club. Not sure why you have assumed that we are experts, certainly enthusiasts, and that we would think that the cruise industry will remain as it was. Not sure either where you have assumed that we think that it’s wrong that the industry is doing all that it can to return in a COVID safe world. At the end of 2018 there were 314 cruise ships sailing with a capacity of over 500,000 passengers in total. There have been possibly 12 ships, or ‘floating virus boats’ as you call them, that were affected and perhaps several thousand passengers and crew infected. Sadly a hundred or so have died globally. Many of these infections and deaths were not as a result directly of the cruise ship however they were due to the failures of government health and quarantine policies and procedures. I look forward to watching the programme to see how these facts are presented however, by the look of the promotional advertisement, I won’t hold my breath. By the way, P&O Australia had no confirmed cases or deaths however were banned from cruising in Australia and the Pacific by our government to the detriment of the economies of our Australian regional communities and Pacific neighbours.” As they say, all will be revealed!
  4. G’day Jilltoons, great to hear that we have all been of assistance to you and that you have settled on a cruise. If I may mention a couple of things for you to consider. Looking at your past cruises they have been comparatively close to shore. One of the things with cruising the Pacific is the vast distances to get to ‘the islands‘ and it looks as though you have three sea days to Port Vila and then two sea days back from Noumea. Sea days are wonderful and I’m sure you will enjoy the sea and all that goes with it. Your first and last ports of call are the capital ‘cities’, more like large regional towns, so you will see the contrasts between those ports and the other three, wonderful and quite different beach islands. One last thing, and I’m glad you chosen this cruise, is that you are sailing out of and into Sydney Harbour. Carnival Splendor will be at Circular Quay with the Sydney Opera House on one side and the Sydney Harbour Bridge on the other. Sailaway from Sydney is something you’ll never forget. Just another tip, if you’re an early bird don’t miss sailing back into Sydney in the early morning light...brilliant! Wishing you a wonderful cruise in the South Seas!
  5. Yes, PNG is an amazing destination but I believe Carnival Spirit only has one departure a year to PNG. P&O Australia offers more regular departures. I'm booked on Pacific Princess in Mar 2022 to PNG and the Solomon Islands and very much looking forward to it. Visiting Guadalcanal and sailing over Iron Bottom Sound is a bucket list moment that I was lucky enough to do back in 1993 on Cunard Crown Monarch and can't wait to repeat it. PNG and the Solomons are an amazing part of the world and well worth a visit.
  6. Pacificlover, thanks for your reply. Your comments are exactly why I was asking that question. Near the end of one Pacific cruise aboard HAL's Oosterdam we were at dinner with an English couple. We, of course, were talking about previous cruises and when I asked them what their thoughts were of the Pacific (this cruise was through Noumea, Vanuatu and Fiji) her immediate response was 'primitive'. She certainly didn't mean it in a derogatory sense however she explained that after several cruises through the Caribbean it was a real 'shock'! I too have cruised the Caribbean and the Pacific is definitely different, hence my question for Jiltoons. As I heard many years ago "it's not the same, that's why you came!" Have you cruised Tahiti? The ultimate! Take care.
  7. G’day Jilltoons, great question and you have received some great answers so far. May I ask you a couple of questions? What are your expectations for a South Pacific cruise? Over several cruises I have visited all of the ports you mention and have my own opinions on them however I’m interested in your expectations so we can hopefully meet and exceed them. Also, what other cruises to ‘island’ type destinations have you done i.e. Caribbean or the Mexican Riviera?
  8. Host Jazzbeau, thank you for your responses in particular the comparison above. There is a bit of 'industrial clutter' behind her in the image, it will be a better comparison when we see her at sea.
  9. From Cruise Industry News, a first look at the stretched Star Breeze on her sea trials. Can’t wait to hear more.
  10. So, some good news today according to the P&O Australia update released this morning regarding the, not unexpected, withdrawal of Pacific Dawn from the P&O Australia fleet. When asked "When will Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter join the P&O Cruises Fleet, they answer that Pacific Adventure will join the fleet in December 2020 and Pacific Encounter in 2021.
  11. Yes, they aren’t cheap as they’re operating with all Australian registration, officers and crew and everything that comes with that. Their itineraries are amazing including Tasmania, Queensland and the Kimberley. One day, eh!
  12. It was an amazing morning. I was on Pacific Jewel and at dawn off the Eastern suburbs it was breathtaking. Pacific Pearl lead the 5 then Jewel and Dawn then Aria and Eden. Dolphins off the bow of Pacific Pearl just added to the magic of the moment.
  13. Coral Expeditions commence expedition cruising from Cairns onboard the 72 passenger Coral Discoverer on We 14 Oct 2020 so domestic cruising is back next month.
  14. We seem to know what will happen with Sun Princess with her new career at Japan Grace as Peaceboat. It will be interesting to see what happens to Sea Princess. To both Sun and Sea thank you for being part of the Australian cruising scene, you will both be missed. From the Princess website: September 21, 2020 5:10PM PT SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Today, the world’s leading international premium cruise line, Princess Cruises, announced the sale of two of its ships, Sun Princess and Sea Princess, to undisclosed buyers. The sale of these vessels is in line with parent company Carnival Corporation’s plan to accelerate the removal of less efficient ships from its fleet. “Sun Princess and Sea Princess contributed to significant growth in Australian cruising,” said Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz. “Both ships defined the premium cruise experience with Australians and New Zealanders spending close to 14 million nights aboard these ships. While it is never easy to say goodbye to any ship in our fleet, this will allow us to deploy newer ships enhancing our offerings for Australia cruisers and focus on exciting newbuilds like the upcoming delivery of Enchanted Princess.” The first ship in the Sun Class, Sun Princess was introduced in 1995 debuting in the Caribbean and was amongst the largest ships in the world at the time. The 2,000-guest Sun Princess also sailed in Alaska and Panama Canal, among other destinations, before being homeported in Australia in October 2007. Sun Princess also helped us open the Japanese market in 2013 as the first foreign-flagged cruise ships to offer cruises designed specifically for the Japanese. The 2,000-guest Sea Princess became synonymous with World Cruises, completing over half of six global voyages since 2009, including the first ever world cruise from Australia. During her time based in Australia, Sea Princess travelled the equivalent of 35 times around the world. Prior to joining Sun Princess in Australia, Sea Princess sailed in Europe and Alaska as well as the Caribbean, including serving as homeport ship in Barbados in the early 2000s. Due to the imminent departure of these two ships from the fleet, Princess Cruises will cancel published itineraries which include: Sun Princess sailings from December 28, 2020 through August 14, 2021 Sea Princess sailings from December 23, 2020 through November 9, 2021
  15. And so it comes to pass ... confirmation this afternoon that Princess has sold Sun Princess and Sea Princess. It seems that Sun Princess is going to Japan Grace as a Peace Boat. What is to happen with Sea Princess is, I believe, still unknown. Sea Princess is currently off Changi in Singapore and Sun Princess is currently off the coast of Singapore with many of her fleetmates.
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