Second Day at Sea

Date: 19th December 2022


I am happy with my morning routine. First a loooong walk from my room to the far end of the corridor which stretches the full length of the ship then up two flights of stairs to The Pantry for breakfast of cereal and coffee.

Pacific Adventure Deck 11 Passageway

After breakfast it is up another flight of stairs to deck 15 for a 30/40 minute walk around the ship’s gangways on that level. Ironically it takes me past the ship’s gymnasium where there are many people doing exactly the same thing but on a treadmill. There seem to be a few regulars walking at this time of the morning – we nod and chat as we circulate.

Pacific Adventure Walking RoutePacific Adventure Walking Route

Following this I returned to my cabin for a shower and a change of clothes. I also washed a couple of T shirts and undies so that I have enough clothes to last me the entire holiday. I set up a temporary line on the balcony to dry them.

Pacific Adventure My Washing


This morning was going to be slightly different as there was a compulsory Covid test for all passengers to be carried out at 10am, all activities ceased and everyone remained in their room to self test and were not allowed to leave until the cabin staff confirms a negative test. Mine was good and I was out very promptly.

`Pacific Adventure Covid Test

Went down to the Avalon Cafe for a chai latte and Danish Pastry to celebrate.

221219 026 Pacific Adventure Lobby

Sat in the lounge watching activities and reading my book until lunch time when again I went to The Pantry but this time settled for a decent sized roast beef sandwich and a coffee. I did notice that the Fish and Chips looked very good. I arrived  much later than yesterday but the crowd seemed bigger if anything, I suspect arriving when they open at 11.30am might be the way to go in future.


Spent most of the afternoon in the Oasis Bar or on the deck above lying on a lounge chair listening to music on my headphones. No, I was not sunbathing but ensured that I was always in the shade. To be honest I didn’t think the lounge chairs were that comfortable.


This evenings meal was at Angelo’s Restaurant. It is Italian style food and the menu is in Italian. The food was decent enough and I had a pleasant meal.

Pacific Adventure Angelo's Restaurant

Afterwards visited the Blue Room for a VB or two and some live music before attending the early concert in the Marquee Theatre. I can’t say either provided music to my taste. The singer in the Blue Room sang sort of soul and R & B but it was an enjoyable enough way to spend the evening with a couple of beers.

The concert was not to my taste either, The singer was actually quite funny and the music passed the time. The theatre was much less than half full (at a guess) possibly because it was the early 7pm performance and a lot of younger people walked out during the show but I stayed until the end.

Pacific Adventure The Marquee Theatre

Afterwards I had intended to go back to the Blue Room for a band called  Spicy Margaritas but in the event I was quite tired so read my book and settled for an early night, this band will have to wait for another night.

First Day at Sea

Date: 18th December 2022


I woke up just before 6am with the sun streaming in my window – didn’t close the curtains (seems little point).

Had a shower and got dressed, found the daily newsletter in my letter holder outside the cabin door, I checked to see what time breakfast was served in the various restaurants. The Pantry seemed to be the earliest opening at 6.30am so I made my way up the stairs to the 14th deck.

My first mistake! I found myself on the 15th deck couldn’t understand it and it was only when I checked the deck plans near the lifts that I discovered that there is no 13th deck, it goes from 12 to 14. Daft!

The Pantry is a number of separate “stores” each providing things like bacon and eggs, fish and chips etc. Personally I am not a fan of a cooked breakfast preferring coffee and cereal and at first thought that was not a choice but asking one of the girls proved me wrong she showed me where to get cereal like Weet-Bix etc.

Exercise and Exploration

After breakfast went looking for a place to walk, Actually this ship doesn’t really have a long(ish) walk but on Deck 15 found a reasonable circuit for an half hour walk which brought up a bit of a sweat.

Pacific Adventure Family PoolPacific Adventure Deck 15Pacific Adventure Deck 15Pacific Adventure Deck 15Pacific Adventure Deck 15221219 010 Pacific AdventurePacific Adventure Covered Pool

Needed another shower after that and took my book with me to look at the bars and other facilities which seem to be clustered around decks 5, 6 and 7 in the middle of the ship. I tried sitting in various areas watching the other passengers between reading, even enjoyed a Chai Latte in the Avalon Cafe before wondering if there was an adults only area on the ship.

There is indeed – the Oasis Pool a small swimming pool and bar right at the stern of the ship behind The Pantry Restaurant where there were comfortable seats and tables as well as lounge chairs.

Pacific Adventure Oasis Pool Adults Only AreaPacific Adventure Oasis Pool Adults Only AreaPacific Adventure Oasis Pool Adults Only AreaView From Oasis Pool Adults Only Area


By now it was lunch time  and because it was close I thought it was time to try The Pantry’s selection of food, I ended up selecting sausage, mashed potato, peas, onions and gravy. Actually it was too much for lunch so will try sandwiches over the coming days. It was also very crowded so perhaps later is better?

Back to the cabin for a nap afterwards.

Afternoon and Evening

The main bar (Adventure Hotel) on board seems always packed, perhaps not full but crowded, it is where a lot of events happen, Trivia and the like. Nearby is a smaller bar called the Blue Room which, so far, seems rarely packed, indeed  this afternoon I was there mostly by myself or occasionally a couple would wander in for the odd drink. You don’t even have to go to the bar to get your drink, a waiter brings them to you.

Dinner this evening was in the Waterfront Restaurant, it seems to be the largest of the three complimentary restaurants and it was here that I was booked for tonight’s meal. I was actually in a bit of a rush because I wanted to get back to the Blue Room for the music at 6pm. I had an entre of duck  and a main course of Scallop and Mussel Pie, the entre was OK but the pie was delicious.

The casino on board seems pretty large but personally I just go through it on my way to somewhere else.

Pacific Adventure Casino

Returned to the Blue Room after dinner to enjoy the band, a girl singer accompanied by a trio of piano, bass guitar and drums which was fine especially accompanied by Victoria Bitter. Actually the VB was in cans, I hate drinking out of cans but they gave me a chilled glass when I asked so all was well.

Pacific Adventure Blue RoomPacific Adventure Blue Room

I attended an adults only “Sit Down Comedy” show in the main theatre (Marquee) after 10.15pm. It was moderately funny but either the PA system was badly set up  or I am getting deafer because I couldn’t understand what he was saying half the time. If he was on again I wouldn’t bother.

…and so to bed.

Embarkation Day

Date: 17th December 2022

Why? You may well ask…

A few years ago I went on a cruise, it was not something I had ever thought about doing or was particularly interested in doing but this was a family affair, a celebration of my daughter, her husband and friend’s 30th birthdays. In the event it turned out to be better than I expected but perhaps not good enough for me to want to go again.

A combination of circumstance  this year made it look like I would spend Christmas alone, which, after the great debacle of 1971 when, for job related reasons, I spent Christmas Day alone eating a chicken the size of a sparrow and listening to John Lennon’s “So this is Christmas”, was not an event I cared to repeat.

A couple of months ago I started looking for Christmas holiday packages but was quite surprised to discover that they barely exist. I came across a P&O 10 day cruise that left before Christmas and returned after Boxing Day but when I tried to book there were no vacancies so I thought that was that. However a week or so later I received an email from P&O telling me of special cruise offers and to cut a long story short I paid for a balcony cabin with an obstructed view on this Christmas cruise.

I was only advised about a week before sailing of my cabin number together with a note to say that I had been “upgraded”. So here I was on yet another cruise set to sail with only a few weeks notice on Pacific Adventure. I was off to the south Pacific – visiting New Caledonia and Vanuatu on a very large ship indeed!

P&O Pacific Adventure

Getting There

No rush, don’t need to catch the train until after 9.30 so I watered my pot plants in the hope that they will survive until my return.

The train was late arriving at Central but still that is no worry the bus to White Bay didn’t leave until 1pm, there was over an hour to kill so sat down on one of the seats in the Grand Concourse and prepared to wait. Had only been there for five minutes when some fellas in Hi Vis and P&O shirts wandered by asking for people waiting for the shuttle bus. They said there were people waiting at stand 1 just outside the station so I wandered out. In fact there was one couple! But here was as good a place as any to wait.

The bus arrived after about 20 minutes and they loaded my case while I sat on the bus. At least it was comfortable because this turned out to be a long wait of nearly an hour and it was not until after 1.15pm that the bus finally left for the White Bay Terminal.

It got much worse…

On arrival at wharf terminal I dropped my bag at the baggage drop off point and joined the long queue outside the terminal building, this queue was slow but worse was to come.

When I finally arrived inside the building I was asked if I had completed the Verifly app. I had not, in fact I deleted it off my phone because it wouldn’t recognise my vaccination certificate so was useless. Because of this I was directed to a separate queue, this queue moved at a glacial pace and it took over an hour to get to the front, several times I thought of just going home because I was fed up with all this standing which was killing my back and walking was getting painful.

When I did eventually get to the front of the queue I was directed to a lovely lady (no complaints about any of the staff I encountered) who took pity on me, after examining my proof of Covid vaccination and RAT cassette she wrote a big P on my boarding pass. From this moment on I experienced no hold ups at all, every queue was bypassed and within half an hour I was on the ship. (A big Thank You to her)

They really need to do something about this initial queuing it was awful. No seats, no social distancing, just dreadful.

On Board

Once on board it was a matter of finding my cabin and waiting for my bag to arrive – finding a lift was the next challenge, I think the reception was on Deck 7 so I had to get to deck 11, the lifts were in great demand but eventually I did get to my deck and found my cabin. My pass key was waiting in the letter holder outside the door together with my meal times and the ship’s news paper.

My BalconyMy Cabin

I certainly had an unobstructed view of the ANZAC Bridge and the old White Bay Power Station from my balcony.

Pacific Adventure White BayPacific Adventure White Bay

The cabin was nice enough, the shower was tiny but quite useable so I watched the safety video when I was interrupted by a knock on the door it was my room steward telling me that I had to report to my Muster Station as soon as possible and that food was available at the rear of the ship.

Muster Station

The cabin had a double Australian power point as well as a couple of, what I presumed were US power sockets, so I wouldn’t need the double adapter I had packed just in case.

A hiccup

My bag didn’t arrive, eventually I found a note in the mail holder telling me it had been deemed suspicious and I needed to collect it from the library on deck 7 . After attending my Muster Station (waste of time that was) I went to pick up my bag, the girl asked if I had any alcohol or liquids in it (I hadn’t) and asked if I would open it which I did. She then said all was well and I was allowed to take it back to my cabin. Again a bit of a waste of time but so it goes.


By the time I got my bag back to my cabin the ship was moving and before I knew it we were travelling under the harbour bridge.

Pacific Adventure Leaving Sydney Pacific Adventure Leaving Sydney Pacific Adventure Leaving Sydney Pacific Adventure Leaving Sydney Pacific Adventure Leaving Sydney Pacific Adventure Leaving Sydney Pacific Adventure Leaving Sydney

As you can see it was a grey, miserable day and while it didn’t actually rain it always looked like it would.

The Evening

According to the timetable they provided my evening meal was in the Dragon Lady Restaurant. My meals are scheduled at a different restaurant each evening with different cuisine. Dragon Lady is Chinese, Angelo’s Italian and Waterfront is apparently modern Australian. I can change the venues but I will try each first. According to my schedule on Christmas Day I will eat at Angelo’s.

Dragon Lady was a bugger to find, it is on deck 6 at the rear of the boat BUT you cannot reach it directly because the theatre is in the way so you have to go to deck 7 to get past the theatre then down to the restaurant. I had to ask several times to be able to find it.

Pacific Adventure Dragon Lady Restaurant

It was a three course meal and pleasant enough, no complaints there, I had trouble hearing the girl waitress because she was wearing a mask and I am getting deafer but she was very attentive and the courses arrived regularly without any delay.

After the meal I had a look around the bars etc but I was pretty tired after today’s proceedings so I went to bed about 9.30pm.