Champagne Bay, Espirito Santo, Vanuatu

Crystal clear waters

Espirito Santo literally means ‘Holy Spirit’.  Espirito Santo is the largest of Vanuatu’s islands and its population is around 30,000.  Luganville is the largest town however it is often referred to as ‘Santo’.  The people of Vanuatu are known as the happiest people on earth and their happiness is contagious. On the morning our ship […]

Turtle Bay, Efate Island, Vanuatu

It''s a very beautiful beach

After visiting Cascade Falls we asked Willie if he could take us to a place where we could swim with turtles.  He told us there was a place but it was on the other side of the Island and as such, would be an additional AUS$50.00 in costs.  That seemed very reasonable and so back […]

MS Oosterdam – An Overview

The aft end of the ship from Deck 3, a great place to walk around the ship.

I thought you might like a tour of the Oosterdam but be warned, this post has a lot of images! The Oosterdam is a very beautiful looking ship from the outside and I love its navy blue lines.  However when we walked onto the ship I was immediately struck by the overpowering use of teal […]

Cascade Falls, Efate Island, Vanuatu

Family shot

Efate Island in Vanuatu is home to Port Vila, the country’s capital city.  At Efate, cruise ships can dock rather than anchor off-shore so we were able to walk off the ship, rather than arrive in tender boats.  We knew we were in a tropical paradise before even walking off the ship as local musicians […]

Lifou, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia

Loving the water and about to go for a snorkel

Lifou is the largest of the four Loyalty Islands that form part of New Caledonia, a French-speaking country in the South Pacific.  British sea-faring merchants named the four islands the ‘Loyalty Islands’ because of the remarkably friendly indigenous people and nothing’s changed; they still are extremely welcoming and friendly. The official language is French with […]

Pinnacle Grill on the Ms Oosterdam

And the night begins

The signature restaurant onboard the MS Oosterdam is the Pinnacle Grill.  Unlike the ship’s two main dining options, the Lido Buffet and the Vista Dining Room, there is an additional charge of US$29.00 (AUS$34.00) per person to dine in this restaurant.   The executive chef of the Pinnacle Grill is Rudi Sodiman who is the Holland […]

Isle of Pines and Oro Bay (or Ile Des Pins and Baie d’ Oro)

Water so clear, clean and warm.

There are no prizes for guessing why this tiny island in the pacific with a population of just 2000 is called, ‘Isle of Pines’.  The Island is part of French-speaking New Caledonia.  From Noumea (capital), it’s a 20-minute flight or a three-hour ferry ride but most tourism arrives by cruise ship where the ships anchor off-shore […]

MS Oosterdam, Pacific Treasures Cruise

Miss Arabella.  Don't anyone say that's a Pina Colada in her hand!

I’m back.  Back from two weeks onboard Holland America Line’s MS Oosterdam.  I didn’t expect to not be in communication with you while I was gone and thought I’d be able to spend a few hours each day in the ship’s library keeping in touch.  However, the internet charges were opportunistic to say the least […]

Manfredi at Bells, Breakfast

Outdoor dining on the verandah

Remember when we went to Bells?  Well after our enormous degustation dinner you wouldn’t think we would be wanting a huge breakfast but it’s amazing what a bit of sea-air in a country setting will do to your appetite.  Breakfast at Bells is served from 8am until 10am. We sat on the verandah where there […]

In My Kitchen, January 2014

Move over, Nicole Kidman, I'm the new Stepford Wife.

You can all stop holding your breath because yes, it has arrived.  All good things come to those who wait and so here is my brand-spanking-new food processor.  Barely was it unwrapped on Christmas morning when it was placed on the bench, plugged in and run until the motor ran hot.  And it’s been in […]