A little scared of being contained on a boat for 9 nights, and worried that Courtney might not survive without his fitness regime and jump off the boat and swim back home. But how could I say no to the brand new PACIFIC EDEN; one cupboard, free food, crystal clear waters, and best of all, free BABYSITTING!
Staying in a suite definitely made cruising on the Pacific Eden a bit more luxurious. 2 single beds joined to make a King and a large fold out couch. Unfortunately, the sleeping arrangement didn’t work out as I planned but I’m sure Courtney and Chloee enjoyed their fold out couch.
Let’s start with the kids club. Different rooms catered to different ages. Clean with lots of variety. Thumbs up from Chloee, who was at their door every morning collecting the daily schedule so she could plan her day ahead. (Kids 8 years and up were able to sign themselves out without a parent present).
P&O guarantees every child has a place in their designated Kids Club room by only allowing a certain amount of kids per cruise. Rumour was 10%.
Also on the Pacific Eden is the Edge Adventure Park, which looks amazing and is available to all kids over 8 years of age. Unfortunately, it was not yet finished and therefore closed.
The Pantry, a new dining addition to the P&O ship was a pleasant surprise. Best explained as a small food court. All food was behind the glass and out of reach to all passengers, especially to those little grubby kid’s hands. A+++ for hygiene.
The Waterfront Restaurant, Dragon Lady and Angelo’s were the other three restaurants also available as à la carte options at no additional cost. And for those special nights, you must try the famous Luke Mangan’s restaurant ‘Salt.’ It comes at an extra cost, but I thought it was money worth spent. Thumbs up to all the restaurant managers who did their best at entertaining the kids at every meal, and just quietly maybe me too.
HINT: Book restaurants on the first day to avoid missing out. Remember to account for show times, which usually run around dinner times.
The Stage Shows run two times a night. The early time at 6:30 is perfect for families. Our 3-year-old enjoyed them all as much as me, in particular, P&O’s brand new production “Side Show Alley” and the fire-eating “Magician.” It was so cute watching Chloee; so paranoid that she might get picked by one of the cast members to join them on stage. If you’re shy, then don’t choose the front row! All shows run for around 30 minutes.
HINT: Go at least 20-mins earlier if you want a front seat.
The two pools (one is adults only) have an upmarket resort feel. Comfy sun-lounges, couches, an afternoon, live band/DJ, and a bar surround both pools. For safety reasons these pools will close in rocky seas.
I didn’t experience the Elemis Day Spa but Courtney tells me his first experience at a bamboo massage was as good as any of his deep tissue rubs.
HINT: The spa deals got better with time.
Internet was available in all lounges and restaurants. We also managed to get a few bars just outside our room in the corridor. Plans started as low as $10 a day. Many regular cruisers also brought walkie-talkies; these looked like a hit and are a free and convenient way to communicate on the boat.
I loved the boat’s little nooks and cozy lounges. Lots of places to sit, relax, and enjoy a coffee or my favorite, a cosmopolitan.
The islands: Nouméa, Mystery Island, Isle of Pines and Island of Mare, were stunning. I have never seen such crystal waters. I definitely recommend getting off and finding their hidden secrets. (Individual ISLAND BLOGS coming soon).
According to frequent cruisers, we were lucky to have made it to all four shore island stops. The weather conditions were in our favor. But be aware each stop requires a security check and sometimes a tender boat transfer which at times caused significant delays and affected the amount of time you had on land.
HINT: Get in early for a tender ticket to avoid delays getting off the boat. Pre-booked tours and suites get priority. So might be worth upgrading or booking an early tour.
Overall we had a fantastic family holiday! Courtney managed to train in the gym, which I think had one of the best views from the boat. He also managed to do some training in the room, which the kids loved as they got to join in! (Courtney’s “5 ways to exercise on a cruise” Blog – coming soon). We survived motion sickness, although some of us were better than others, not pointing any fingers…Courtney Atkinson. We saw some amazing islands probably some of the clearest waters I’ve seen in my travels! Can’t wait to sail again – Papua New Guinea looks inviting!
BIG THANKS TO VIDDY AND RAMIL OUR ROOM STEWARDS!!!