Cruising Insights

Time to share a few more onboard cruising insights.


Absolutely adore the sense of humour our cabin stewards have had. Treat the staff with respect and they will brighten your day, every day! These beautiful people generally work the first three months on board of 12 hour shifts, seven days per week at sea, for board and lodgings only. Yes they are unpaid. After the trial three months, they are paid a salary- usually not a big salary. For most of the cabin/hospitality crew, their earnings are sent home to their families. Depending on contracts, crew can be on board for 3, 6, 8 or more months at a time. That’s why you become their family.

On the Christmas cruise last year all the different staff were excited about finishing work on Christmas Eve and heading back to the crew deck for secret santas and a Christmas party for each crew area, except the cabin stewards. We were told by our steward it was left to the manager of each crew area to organise the party for their staff. Unfortunately cabin crew missed out.

Spare some time for your crew. Most of these people, especially cabin & hospitality, think and treat the cruisers like royalty, no matter which cabin you are staying in. They generally love to interact, and will do anything to make your cruise memorable. We have never had bad service on three cruises. We have however observed some people treat staff with disrespect , there are some amazingly ignorant people in this world.


Atrium Christmas Markets on board Pacific Dawn. Look carefully and you can see the fake snow. There is duty free shopping and a variety of shops onboard. No doubt you are looking for a bargain. After a few days on board there will probably be a sea day with markets. These are popular, and you can find some good buys here. Keep in mind though, there will be more, and sometimes better specials later in the cruise. Often the last few sea days before you return home, is the opportunity to pick up a bargain, as they roll more sales to tempt as many cruisers as they can.

Most South Pacific cruises will include a stop at Port Vila. Onboard, they will tell you the duty free alcohol is cheaper than Vila. It’s not. They will also tell you that if you buy onboard then find it cheaper in Vila, take a photo and bring if back to ship then they will match the price. Well good luck taking a photo- you are not allowed to take a photo in Vila’s duty free. I can assure you though the alcohol etc is much cheaper there than the ship. Much cheaper!

Yes you pay for your alcohol on board, however, you can still come across some palate soaking freebies! Art auctions, normally held over a few days, attend these, enjoy the free bubbles… you view the artworks, always a fantastic selection of memorabilia and art. The champagne waterfall…more free bubbles! Attend a whiskey tasting or cocktail making class or a wine tasting. It might cost you the price of a couple of drinks but for that you’ll get to taste or make at least double that. Keep an eye out in the daily newsletter, check all the listings for the next day, you can have a great time on board for quite cheap. Enjoy!

Whiskey tasting, yes water supplied but you also have the opportunity to taste some very expensive whiskey. Well worth it!

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