Young, fresh & fun: Emma Lucey experiences the new era of cruising on P&O
We recently sent Sydney based travel and style blogger Emma Lucey (@emmalucey) and her partner-in-adventure, her sister Alyse on a 9-night cruise exploring the Loyalty Islands aboard the brand-new Pacific Eden with P&O Cruises.
Here’s what Emma had to say about the experience and some tips for all you youthful-cruisers out there!
SF: Was this your first P&O Cruise?
Emma: Yes, this was my first ever P&O cruise! It was so exciting to finally cruise out of my own city of Sydney to paradise.
How does cruising on Eden compare to other ships you've been on?
I found the Pacific Eden had a lovely intimate atmosphere despite it being basically a huge floating city! The entertainment was excellent and it wasn't difficult to quickly make new friends.
There's long been a stigma around cruising that it's for 'golden oldies', how do you think this is changing?
We made HEAPS of friends on board who were in their early 20s! It was like a 10 day long party on board the ship – being able to island hop around the Pacific was the cherry on top! But hey, there's nothing wrong with the golden oldies either – shout out to our friends Yen and Pat we made at the captain's party on their 30s wedding anniversary! Legends.
How does P&O cater to its youth passengers?
First thing that comes to mind is the amazing musicians on board - fresh, young talent who are so eager to party away with passengers. Same goes for the wicked bar staff and of course; The Dome nightclub was a riot every night.
What did a typical day at sea involve?
If you make it up for breakfast in time at The Pantry you'd take your ‘day sheet’ and browse through the activities in store for the day. 11am trivia was always a good start to the day - either that or chilling by one of the pools before lunch (The Oasis was always our hang out spot). Activities throughout the day were endless so if it wasn't charades in the dome, basketball upstairs or cocktail making classes in the Mix bar, you can go ahead and make your own activities... like making your way through the extensive cocktail list or trying to eat and drink at every restaurant or bar on board. Every night there was an amazing show to enjoy before heading upstairs for DJs in The Dome.
Tell us about your shore excursions?
In Noumea we did the Duck Island excursion. However, after hearing excellent feedback from other passengers, I would sooner recommend the jet skiing activity to friends looking for fun and adventure.
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In Lifou we did the forest tour – this was great for the video as we shot footage of the coconut crab and meet an awesome local guy that we were cracking jokes with. We also had an excellent time at the beach at Lifou as it was just so beautiful. Some friends also did a walk up to a point on the island by themselves and said it was amazing. Other people said they spotted quite a few turtles snoring off shore by themselves too – so a shore tour isn't really necessary for Lifou I'd say.
We were so psyched for the snorkelling safari on Mystery Island and the island itself was absolute paradise. I also heard that stand up paddle boarding activity was also popular.
Mare was definitely a highlight of the trip! The beach visit, which was the only tour available, was excellent and cheap – everyone was happy with it.
Favourite island you visited?
Mystery Island really was like a little lost paradise! Once you take a few steps into the ocean you find tropical fish swimming right by your feet! Stunning.
Coolest thing you saw?
Apart from the crazy blue water of Lifou or the unique landscape on Mare, the coolest thing I saw was actually how so many of us on the boat came together to form a fun little community – everyone looking out for each other and having the time of our lives.
What's your favourite thing about cruising?
Again, apart from being able to bounce around island hopping in paradise the best thing was the fast friends you make on board!
What makes cruising a great way to travel?
You wake up day after day and you've arrived in paradise – whether it is a beautiful island in the Pacific or just looking out the window and seeing only ocean for miles around. That's special.
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