by Sharon Micallef
Sharon finds taking the grandkids on a cruise holiday is great way to spend quality time away from phones and ipads, teaching them about the world and how to travel.
I recently took my daughter’s youngsters Laylah (7) and Malique (4) on a 10 day Pacific Island cruise aboard P&O’s Pacific Explorer. Let me say right from the start: it was a brilliant holiday.
The kids had a ball, I had a ball. We were able spend time getting to know each other, sharing thoughts and ideas and exploring new places.
I have done a lot of cruising, but for my grandchildren it was a whole new world. They couldn’t believe the size of the ship and all the things you could do, from kids’ clubs to water slides and the daily buffet.
From the very afternoon, leaving Sydney Harbour, I watched my grandchildren learn that there is a whole new world to be discovered out beyond the horizon and the best way to explore it is on a cruise ship.
P&O’s staff were fantastic in looking after the kids and, while I had some trepidation beforehand that they would not enjoy the Kids’ Club area, it turned out to be exactly the opposite: they loved it!
“Can we go to Kids’ Club” was the daily request from my grandkids, which left me time to unwind, relax and enjoy some pampering after a busy few months.
At our first port of call, Vila, I took the kids to the beautiful Turtle Cove for a hands on experience with the gentle 100yo monsters. Being able to swim with the turtles and feed them was a life changing moment where they learnt that the fascinating creatures they see of TV and movies are real.
I was going to take them to nearby Blue Lagoon for a swim, but we ran out of time. If you leave early, you can do both attractions in a day and get to the ship in plenty of time.
Next up was the unique Mystery Island, Vanuatu’s gift to the world. I have yet to discover a more beautiful place in the South Pacific. You are tendered to shore through sparkling turquoise waters to a jetty where the cares of the world seem a million miles away.
We found a good spot on the white sands under a coconut palm and then went shopping in the friendly little island style outdoor arcade. Laylah had her hair braided while Malique went off chasing crabs and climbing trees.
The water at Mystery Island is stunning. It is always blue, always clean and clear and teems with sea life of every imaginable kind.
Back on board, the ship’s attractions continued to win the grandkids over. If they weren’t at Kids’ Club, they were on the water slides.
Pacific Explorer has an excellent water park with two slides and a play area for smaller kids with warm water.
On board are four swimming pools, eight restaurants, five Jacuzzis, seven lounges and bars. There is literally something for everybody on board.
We enjoyed the specialty dining experiences at the Dragon Lady Chinese, Angelo’s Italian and Luke Mangan’s Salt restaurants, all eye-openers for two kids who had never see such lavish food and service.
After dinner, we took in the shows in the main auditorium called the Marquee. Once again, seeing live professional performers up close was fascinating for Laylah and Malique.
Finally, if you are looking for a holiday to share with the grandchildren, I would highly recommend a cruise on P&O Pacific Explorer. https://www.pocruises.com.au/ships/pacific-explorer