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maf101
September 3rd, 2006, 01:27 AM
I put some photo's on the net. They're at http://community.webshots.com/album/553741571Zgonul?vhost=community&start=0

aussiedisneyfan
September 3rd, 2006, 01:36 AM
Yay, new photos to look at. Thanks. :)

aussiedisneyfan
September 3rd, 2006, 01:54 AM
Wow there are some beautiful ones in there. I am about half way through. Up to the snorkelling. You take as many photos as I do. :)

maf101
September 3rd, 2006, 03:57 AM
I made a new album with lots more snorkeling photo's. These photo's have being express fixed with photo editing software. The colour may be wrong in some photo's. I haven't sorted through the blury ones yet, so hopefully most of them are okay.

http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/553743408MGnchE?vhost=outdoors

Have a Good Trip
September 3rd, 2006, 05:09 AM
Welcome home Michelle - thanks for all the great photos. It brought back memories of when I called at those locations. Which was your favourite? I'd say mine would be Yasawa.

Tim

aussiedisneyfan
September 3rd, 2006, 05:24 AM
Wow, they are amazing. What camera did you use? Where abouts on Yasawa did you snorkel? Am saving some for tomorrow.

maf101
September 3rd, 2006, 06:10 AM
My favourite Island is Yasawa. I loved the snorkeling! We snorkeled just past the big rock that is to the left of where you get off the tender boat. I went fairly deep. We asked a local where the best snorkeling is and they said it is on the other side of the Island.

The camera is a Kodak DX7630. It's a 6 mega pixel camera. It's nothing fancy. I bought a dicapac underwater case off eBay. It worked okay. The only problem was I couldn't see anything on the LCD and the viewfinder was blocked. I took every picture by guessing what I wanted was in view.

The pictures in the shallow water turn out great. The photo's in the deep water do require cleaning up with photo editing software. I used Photo Impact to clean up some of the photo's in the 'Snorkeling Yasawa' album. All the photo's in the 'Pacific Sun 2006' album are the unedited originals.

girl05
September 3rd, 2006, 06:15 AM
Welcome home!
Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing them with us. Looks like you had an amazing time!
Cheers, girl05

kezza
September 4th, 2006, 01:39 AM
welcome home maf, photos look fab. Thanks for sharing. kerri

discovery
September 4th, 2006, 06:28 AM
Hi Maf...those photos look fabulous. And one thing more...I finally saw the picture that I am looking for.

I have one question....what is that picture in the restaurant? Is that from the Burgundy or Bordeaux? Is it a parade of some sort? Looks fun....would you know the names of the waiters in the photos? I can tell they are from different countries.

Hope you can reply..thanks....

Skyrules
September 4th, 2006, 07:39 AM
Hi Maf...those photos look fabulous. And one thing more...I finally saw the picture that I am looking for.

I have one question....what is that picture in the restaurant? Is that from the Burgundy or Bordeaux? Is it a parade of some sort? Looks fun....would you know the names of the waiters in the photos? I can tell they are from different countries.

Hope you can reply..thanks....

That would be the traditional "Baked Alaska on Parade" on the final formal night (usually second last night of the cruise).


Kym

kaseyoz
September 4th, 2006, 08:33 AM
It is always wonderful to look at new photos and relive your own cruise.
With the new webshots page is it possible to view as a slideshow, i cant seem to find it!!

maf101
September 4th, 2006, 08:21 PM
I have one question....what is that picture in the restaurant? Is that from the Burgundy or Bordeaux? Is it a parade of some sort? Looks fun....would you know the names of the waiters in the photos? I can tell they are from different countries.

It is in the Bordeaux restaurant. Kym is correct. It is from the 2nd last night. It was a real fun evening. The waiters did the parade around the restaurant. Everyone was cheering. There was singing and everyone danced to the Chicken song. The chefs in the kitchen came out and everyone waved their napkins in the air. I loved it. We mostly filmed it with the camcorder.

I don't know the names of all the waiters. Our waiter was Beebep (spelling?). He was excellent. We loved him so much we filled in a C.R.U.S.I.E (you made a difference) comment card for him.

There is a link on the right of the thumnails which says 'view as slideshow'. Here's a direct link to the slideshow http://family.webshots.com/slideshow?ID=553741571&key=Zgonul

suexxx
September 5th, 2006, 06:40 AM
Hi Maf100. What a geat cruise you had. Your pictures are great. Thanks for giving up your time and reporting from your cruise. It felt as if we were there. Have you any more to tell us all? Which cabin and deck did you have? Was it as good as you hoped? How was it using the tender boats? Which excursions did you do and how were they? How as the weather? Suexxx

maf101
September 6th, 2006, 03:24 AM
Hi Maf100. What a geat cruise you had. Your pictures are great. Thanks for giving up your time and reporting from your cruise. It felt as if we were there. Have you any more to tell us all? Which cabin and deck did you have? Was it as good as you hoped? How was it using the tender boats? Which excursions did you do and how were they? How as the weather? Suexxx

Alright. I'll try but I think it will be very boring to read!

Cabin/ Stateroom
We was in R78 an outside 4 birth on deck 4. The cabin was good. It is better laid out than the cabins on the Sky. The in-cabin movies are now free which is something we have paid for on our previous cruises. They aired movies such as Silent Hill which is in the cinemas and other fairly new movies. Our room was cleaned daily and our beds were folded down at night. On occasion our room wasn't cleaned until dinner time.

Bathroom
The bathroom has a step in get into it. There is a small clothes line in the shower. We asked for a shower chair and we was promptly bought a shower seat which my mother then used. The shower is okay but the water temperature varies during your shower. It will become very hot or cold momentarily. It is best to shower when everyone is off the ship. You'll then have excellent pressure and it will stay close to the one temperature.

Tender Boats
The tender ticket service is terrible. They tell you not to get your tender tickets until after you have had breakfast and are ready to leave. We followed this advice for Dravuni. We didn't get off the ship until around 1pm. What you do is you queue up for tender tickets at least half hour before they start handing them out at 7.45am. You'll probably get tickets in blue 3 if you do this. The tickets are in groups. They usually go through 2 colours such as Blue 1 though to Blue 10, and then on to the next colour. Some people will get as many as 40 tickets. There seems to be no limit. The delays with the tenders will start immediately because these people won't be ready and the tenders will be stuck waiting for more people to fill up the tender. This happened with the first tender on Yasawa and we was let on it because they needed people.

Getting onto the tender might look a little scary to some people. My mother has limited mobility and she used a wheelchair most of the cruise. She was able to walk on and off the tenders with assistance. There isn't many steps. There are rails and staff members to assist you. Everyone has a seat on the tender. They can hold 120 people per a tender but they usually fill them to a maximum of 110. They allowed my mother to take her wheelchair and I saw other people take bicycles to the Islands.

Weather
The weather was great. It was cold the first couple of days and after that it gradually warmed up. It was never hot. There wasn't much humidity. It was warm enough to swim.

It might not feel hot but you do get sunburnt very easy. I got very burnt in our first port because I didn't bother with sun screen. I look like a freaky red sea monster in some photos! Don't under estimate the sun. Wear lots of sunscreen! I did get a tan though but my arms are peeling :(

Was it as good as you hoped?
The answer is YES!!! We booked this cruise over a year before it sailed. I spent a lot of time thinking about what it would be like and reading through this site. My expectations were high.

The ship is in great condition. The public areas are well kept. The only issue I had with the public areas is the location of the Legends bar. The people in there are heavy smokers and the smoke blows out through to the surrounding areas. I went to the Casino briefly on the Casino smoke free night and the smoke was blowing out of the Legends bar straight through the casino. I had to leave because I couldn't stand the smoke.

Food
Now here's a complaint!!!! There is too much food on this ship. It is impossible to be hungry. Okay so it isn't a complaint! It does takes a lot of effort to purchase food onboard. I managed to buy a Pizza and I'm also proud to report that I bought an ice cream one afternoon! The reason you never need to purchase food is the buffets. They only close for a brief amount of time during the morning and then lunch doesn't finish until 3pm. You then have 3.30-4pm afternoon tea with scones and cream and at 5.45pm it is 1st sitting dinner.

There is a choice of dinning in the restaurant for breakfast and lunch. I preferred the restaurants for breakfast. They make the best omelets!
There is plenty of variety in food. For breakfast there's cooked meals, cereals, cakes, fruits, yogurts. I can't remember everything. For lunch, the buffet menu will vary. You can get pizza, sandwiches, rolls, hamburgers, cold salads, various hot foods, desserts, pasta, cheese and biscuits etc. Again there's lot of choices.

For dinner there is always something strange on the menu. Our favorite question is "what's that?" Our pronunciation of what we wanted to order usually went like "I'll have that (points finger) and that (points finger again) and that! And I'll have cake. Thank you!" There is alternative food on the menu such as grilled chicken breast served with veggies and chips.

Beverage service
I don't drink but who can resist the lovely cocktails?? I drank more on this cruise than I have in my entire lifetime. I'm not kidding! A bottle of wine is usually around $26. If you go to the grapevine wine tasting which is $9.95 you get to taste 5 different wines. We tried 2 whites, 2 reds and a sparkly. I don't like the reds. We bought a bottle of wine for each sea day. I have the beverages menu and the winelist from wine tasting. I might post them somewhere but I'm not sure about copyright laws.

Entertainment
The activities onboard didn't interest me much. They seem to repeat themselves. I had hoped there would have been a bit more variety but alas, there wasn't. There is activities such as watching sports DVDs, t-shirt painting, art auctions, earring making, cards, dance lessons, table tennis, trivia, shuffleboard, needlepoint and other things such as bingo and seahorse racing. There's some other stuff too.

For people like me you can go to the library and access the Internet. I only used 3 hours of Internet in 2 weeks. This is an amazing achievement. Only 3 hours! I don't know how I managed that. There's shopping, sunbathing or as luvvin_u_2 said in another thread, you can sunbake! You can make friends in the bar, relax and read a book or play games in the library, or watch new release movies in your cabin. Simply put you do your own thing. That's what I did.

The night time shows are excellent. I absolutely love the Pacific Sun entertainers. They did 4 shows. They were in the welcome aboard show, they did the Piano Man, the Tribute show and the G'Day G'Day show. My favourite was the Piano Man. On the other nights they had various guest entertainers. We had Con Shawnery, Jackie Love, Patrick Brady, Morgan Kent and Rod Stewart. People such as Rod Stewart are imitators but they're good at what they do. We also had late night bingo, a movie night with Mission Impossible 3 and a passenger talent show.

Onboard services
I didn't really use the onboard services. We bought some photo's from the photo labs. The prices vary. This is from memory:
Boarding Photo: 19.95
Formal portraits: 24.95
Most other photo's: 11.95

Ports of call
We visited Noumea, Dravuni Island, Suva, Yasawa, Port Vila, Mystery Island and Ouvea.
My favourite place was Yasawa. I loved the snorkeling.

Noumea is a very expensive place. Our tour guide told us a loaf of bread costs $8. You can imagine what other items cost. This is a pretty place to sail into but when you dock you'll see the vacant lots and see it isn't all that great. The tours there make it a worthwhile stop. There are some beautiful lookouts and other things to see.

Dravuni Island: we had a long wait before our tender tickets was called. I went snorkeling for the first time and I was amazed to see fish underwater. I didn't see very many fish. I can't really comment on the snorkeling here as I was a bit nervous and I stayed in shallow water.
My sister and mother looked around the school and had a lot of island kids around them. I didn't get to spend much time there. It would have been good to have a full day to explore.

Suva: I didn't like this port. I felt uneasy and I wanted to go back to the ship most of the time I was there.

All the ship tours were mostly culture related and I wasn't interested in them. The tours that sounded slightly interesting were priced over $100 a person and we didn't feel they were worth that amount of money. We walked around Suva. We was warned about people trying to sell wooden swords and told not to give anyone your name. As soon as we was off the ship we had people trying to get us to buy sight-seeing tours and other stuff from them. We kept walking. A lot of people say Bula and ask if you're from Australia. There was a lot of road rage and people shouting. I didn't like it. We managed to find a shop called 'Jacks' or something similar. We bought some souvenirs and went back to the ship. One of the ships tours stopped there also so I guess it was the place to go for shopping.

Yasawa: It is the most picture perfect Island you can imagine. I love it. The local people we met were very friendly and peaceful people. The snorkeling was amazing. We was told by a local that the best place to snorkel was on the other side of the Island. We forgot to ask how long it takes to get there so we decided to snorkel just past some rocks to the left of where you get off the tender.

I felt very confident snorkeling there. There was coral and the water was shallow. You can see lots of fish in the shallow water. You have to be careful not to stand up in the water or to knock the coral or fish. There was one women who kept breaking the coral. She didn't care what she did. She even scrapped herself on her belly going over the top of it.
The water does get deeper when you go further out and there are hundreds of fish everywhere. It is the most amazing experience. I can't swim but I could snorkel and I felt save to do so.

I would have spent all day there but I was sunburnt and I didn't want it to get worse. If you ever visit this Island, snorkeling is a must. The only sad thing about this place was my mother couldn't get off because the pontoon is sometimes submerged in the water. I convinced her to go on a tender boat ride with me and we was able to take some awesome photo's from the tender. My mother seemed to enjoy seeing the Island up closer.

Port Vila: Yay Vila! What a busy day. I did two tours. I went on the Lagoon cruise and the jetboat ride.

I only had a short amount of time to go shopping :( I managed to go to the Fung Kuei duty free shop. There wasn't anything there that I needed. I was hoping for some game console stuff but I didn't see any.
Fung Kuei (downtown duty free) is where everyone gets there duty free alcohol and smokes from. I don't know the normal prices of stuff but they were cheaper here than onboard the ship. Baileys was $18 1Lt here instead of 2 bottles for $40 on the ship. Australians really love their alcohol!!

After finishing up there we went to a shop down the road. I don't know the name of it. It's great for souvenirs and brand name clothing. We didn't get much time there. We noticed there was no ship people around and we saw the time. We managed to buy a lot of stuff quickly! We had a quick look around the markets near the ship and the ship sounded its horn. This scared me and I again had to check the time! Vila is great. I always love the tours and the shopping in Vila. The only problem is there isn't enough time in one day to do everything. I needed more time to shop!

Mystery Island: I didn't get to experience much of Mystery Island. I guess it will remain a mystery for now! The Island is uninhabited because the locals believe it is hunted. I didn't see any ghost or monsters whilst I was there but hey it was day time! We arrived there early. My sister and I decided to go on a snorkeling tour near a ship wreck. We got our tickets and whilst waiting for the tour we looked around the markets.

The island is only small so my energetic sister decided to spent an hour running around in circles on the beach. It didn't take her long to do a lap of the island. I laid on the beach. I ended up feeling a bit sick and decided to go back to the ship. The island guy who we purchased the tour tickets from was kind enough to refund the money.

Ouvea: Ouvea is another great Island to visit. There is a village full of huts and the only modem looking building I saw was their church. The beach is long and beautiful. The locals are friendly. The funny thing about the huts is seeing them with a satellite dish or antenna on the roof. It would have good to learn more about this islands culture.

Some of the locals performed a dance.

On the beach there was beach volley ball and island stores. We spent some time looking around the village, walking down the beach and relaxing. It is very unique Island experience. It's worth visiting.

Tours
Betweon the four of us we did these tours.
Port Vila
- Lagoon cruise
- Jetboat adventure
- Paraflying
- Introductory scuba diving

Noumea
- Motor trike ride
- Dumbea river kayak and swim
- Scenic drive with wine and cheese

I'll try and write something more about them later. I'm attempting to get my sisters to write about Paraflying and scuba diving.

Overall
Overall there isn't much to complain about. The cruise was worth the money and I want to cruise again. I'm not bothered about which ship. I would sail on Pacific Sun again. It is coming to Brisbane next year which is a good thing for me!!! I think our next cruise will most likely be on the Dawn. I doubt we'll plan anything until next year.


I have scanned some of the Sun Dailys and the beverage menu. I don't know if I can post them on webshots. I'm concerned they might be copyrighted.

Skyrules
September 6th, 2006, 05:26 AM
Good Review and great photo's. Looks and sounds like you had a wonderful time.

A word of warning about Star if you decide to go on it with your Mum - the tenders aren't as good as those on Sun and you might find she will have a bit more difficulty with them.


Kym

suexxx
September 6th, 2006, 06:30 AM
Hi Maf100. You just keep informing us in great detail. Many thanks for the write up. One of the best I have read. If we (DH and I) have half as much fun as you did we will be over joyed. I hope I can do a review half as good as yours. Suexxx:D

kezza
September 7th, 2006, 01:45 AM
Port Vila
- Lagoon cruise
- Jetboat adventure
- Paraflying
- Introductory scuba diving

Noumea
- Motor trike ride
- Dumbea river kayak and swim
- Scenic drive with wine and cheese

Hi Maf, just wondering what the trike ride and scenic drive with wine and cheese were like. Also the lagoon cruise, was it worth it?

Thanks Kerri

maf101
September 7th, 2006, 03:18 AM
Hi Maf, just wondering what the trike ride and scenic drive with wine and cheese were like. Also the lagoon cruise, was it worth it?

Thanks Kerri

Trike Ride
Hi Kerri. My mother and 18 year old sister both went on the Trike ride. I didn't do this tour but they loved it. They were driven around for 1/2 hour. They didn't stop anywhere. They were pleased with the tour. My sister isn't talking to me so I can't tell you much about it.

Scenic drive with wine and cheese
The scenic drive with wine and cheese was terrible. I didn't like it. We went to two lookouts and stopped for 10 minutes at each. They were good for taking photos. We drove around a bit. The tour guide told us a bit about the high living costs and life in Noumea.

The wine tasting venue was changed because the original venue had closed. The alternative place was very boring. It had a bar and some tables scattered around for people to sit. It was located on a street corner. We got to taste 2 wines. They were some imported wines from France. They were very cheap and tasted terrible. The cheese ran out before everyone was able to sample them.

The sightseeing part of the tour was okay. We mainly went for the wine and cheese. If it is the wine and cheese you're interested in (like we were) then go to the Grapevine wine tasting on the ship. It is only $9.95 and you get to taste 5 wines. Unless you want to pay $72 for sightseeing, I don't recommend this tour.

Lagoon cruise
I honestly only went on the lagoon cruise to accompany my mother. I expected I would hate it but instead I loved it.

The guide is a New Zealander and he has a lot of interesting things to say. Upon walking onto the Barge, you are giving a free drink from the bar. I had the Island drink. I have no idea what was in it. They also sell some small items such as necklaces, bracelets, sarongs and a few other items.

The views from the Barge are amazing. It's very beautiful and relaxing. You can see star fish in the water. You will sail though the richer residential areas and past the resorts. Some people will wave to you.

Further down the lagoon you will see native people doing stuff on the land. You will also see people canoeing. We saw a young boy about 10. He was very good at it. This tour is slow paced and it is a relaxing way to see some of Vila's beauty and relax. I thought it was a good tour.

Rallo
September 7th, 2006, 04:01 AM
Hi Maf, You've written great reviews and I've enjoyed reading them even though I'm going on the Star and only visiting half the places you did. Just a question in relation to Vila though - Did you use Australian dollars/credit cards or local currency (Vatu) for your purchases ashore?

Skyrules
September 7th, 2006, 05:33 AM
Hi Maf, You've written great reviews and I've enjoyed reading them even though I'm going on the Star and only visiting half the places you did. Just a question in relation to Vila though - Did you use Australian dollars/credit cards or local currency (Vatu) for your purchases ashore?

When we were there we used a combination of AUD$, Vatu and credit cards.

The taxis to/from the ship will ONLY take AUD$ - it seems they aren't allowed to take Vatu. Our driver told us this when we tried to use up the last of our Vatu paying for the taxi ride back to the ship. I guess this is an attempt to stop us tourists from being ripped off by the taxi drivers.

Most of the big duty free shops have everything priced in both AUD$ and Vatu, and you can pay in either currency. Same applies in the smaller shops, by I wonder how favourable the exchange rates they use are.

Kym

aussiedisneyfan
September 7th, 2006, 06:47 AM
They are usually pretty good in the exchange. A lot of the smaller shops have signs up in the window of their rates and a lot are also about 100 vatu to $1.00. which is actually better than we got withdrawing cash from the atm.

Maf, after seeing your photos and now reading your review, I think I might do the barge trip. Don't know about the copyright but myself and others have certainly posted up pics of the newspapers etc.

howsthis
September 7th, 2006, 06:18 PM
We used Aussie Dollars in Vila for our purchases at the Duty Free.

Rallo
September 7th, 2006, 08:32 PM
Thanks everyone for your replies - I suppose I will just make sure to take Aussie dollars, credit card and small amount of Vatu.

strawberrypatch81
September 8th, 2006, 12:35 AM
I loved your photos! Thanks for sharing! :)

P.S. To all the Cruise Critics on the P&O Board, I was strawberrypatch11, but my account wasn't working! I had to open up a new one, so I am now stawberrypatch81. So I am still hanging around. I just love these boards!!! :)

maf101
September 8th, 2006, 08:56 PM
We used Australian dollars in Vila. I also took the credit card with me in case I wanted to buy something big.

I'll upload some Sun Daily's to my personal webspace. I remember reading through the Star Daily's someone posted here once. They can be insightful and interesting to read.

maf101
September 8th, 2006, 09:23 PM
I uploaded some Sun Dailys and a couple of other items to http://www.users.on.net/~stargazer/newsletters/

Skyrules
September 8th, 2006, 09:34 PM
I uploaded some Sun Dailys and a couple of other items to http://www.users.on.net/~stargazer/newsletters/

That's good - but you might need to up the resolution a bit - they're a bit difficult to read.

Kym

sarze
September 8th, 2006, 10:58 PM
the resolution is good if you save them and open them in picture viewer rather than just in internet explorer :)
Thanks for uploading them

maf101
September 9th, 2006, 01:56 AM
I created a basic site which might make it a little easier to view the sun dailys. Try http://www.users.on.net/~stargazer/index.htm

The pictures might be slow loading depending on you Internet conneciton speed.

kezza
September 9th, 2006, 02:03 AM
Excellent Maf, much easier to read. Kerri

sweet_successes
September 9th, 2006, 02:13 AM
Great Job Maf

Kids really liked the teen dailys that you put in.

Cheers Rach

suexxx
September 9th, 2006, 02:16 AM
Hi Maf101. Many thanks for the Sun dailies. First time I have been abble to read them. Couldn't access the Non Alcolic page though. Again thanks Suexxx:)

Skyrules
September 9th, 2006, 03:24 AM
I created a basic site which might make it a little easier to view the sun dailys. Try http://www.users.on.net/~stargazer/index.htm

The pictures might be slow loading depending on you Internet conneciton speed.

Ah, much better Maf! Thanks!

kezza
September 10th, 2006, 02:24 AM
It would be great if anyone out there has the Star daily and knows how to put it on here!! I've thoroughly enjoyed reading the Sun dailys.

Do they do cocktail of the day, shooters of the day etc?

aussiedisneyfan
September 10th, 2006, 03:01 AM
http://users.tpg.com.au/jkieken/cruise/star1.jpg
http://users.tpg.com.au/jkieken/cruise/star2.jpg
http://users.tpg.com.au/jkieken/cruise/star3.jpg
http://users.tpg.com.au/jkieken/cruise/star4.jpg

wenmar
October 29th, 2006, 03:50 AM
Hi

Would love to know more about your thoughts on the Dumbea river kayak and swim. Is it good for children?

Changing the subject - Glad to hear you enjoyed Morgan Kent and the Rod Stewart Show. My husband played soccer with Morgan it was amazing how often the opposition wives would say "that guy looks like Rod Stewart!!!" My daughter's god mother lives near him and he used to go to school to pick up his children wearing his yellow suit. Have seen him a few times and he does a great show. Would love it if he was on our cruise next year. Did he kick his soccer ball around on stage?