cruising PNG and the Solomon Islands
We board the Pacific Eden at the Cairns passenger terminal, the boarding process going as smoothly as we’d expect when 1500 passengers are all anxious to get on board.
This cruise interested us on two counts, the first being the ports visited. Our first port of call is Alotau in Papua New Guinea. We then carry on to Madang, Wewak, Viti Islands and Rabaul. Then it's on to Gizo and Honiara in the Solomon Islands before returning to Cairns.
The second reason is the Pacific Eden. I have always admired the Holland America ships and it would be interesting to see how the Ryndam has been converted to the P&O Australia family.
We have booked a suite, which is ready for us when we board, complete with a bottle of sparkling wine. The suite comprises a bar area, a walk-in wardrobe and dressing room, spa bath, king size bed and tea and coffee making facilities. The private deck is equally impressive, with two loungers, a table and four chairs - with still room for more.
On meeting our steward and stewardess (Clive and Bea) we can tell immediately that we are in good hands, and this proves correct. They look after our every need for the 14-day cruise and are always there when needed.
Food is never a problem when on a cruise. Around every corner we find an eatery of some kind, and on the Pacific Eden we are spoilt for choice,
The main buffet restaurant is the Pantry, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This has serving stations specialising in Indian, Chinese and Italian cuisines. As well there’s a carvery, fish n chip bar as well as salad and dessert bars.