Forever Young: Cruising with P&O at 21

22 October 2014

As a child, Brisbane local Helen Collyer, experienced the joys of cruising while on holidays with her family, however her latest cruise experience on Pacific Dawn to the South Pacific was her maiden P&O voyage as an adult. Travelling with one of her best mates, she set off to experience a different side to sailing the high seas.

We caught up with Helen to find out exactly what it’s like being forever 21 and cruising with P&O...

 Cooling off at 'Mystery Beach' - one of the Island stop-offs on Helen's cruise

What sparked your interest to go on a cruise?

Me and my best friend wanted to do something different for New Years Eve, so thought a cruise would be a fun way to bring in the New Year.

What did you enjoy most about the cruise? / What was your biggest highlight?

Best part of the cruise was that we didn’t have to worry about anything; it was all done for us. We also really enjoyed the themed nights such as tropically themed Beach Night and swashbuckling Pirate Night.

 Fiji dancers at a local village

How long was the cruise for?

Twelve nights.

What ship did you travel on and where did you go?

Cruised on the Pacific Dawn to Isle of Pines, Mystery Island, Port Denarau, Suva and Port Vila.

Tell us more about the stops you made and the cultures you experienced?

In Fiji the people were amazingly friendly and welcoming. One of my shore tours was a trip into a local village where we lucky enough to be shown around their village by locals and treated to a display of traditional Fiji dances and culture, including a kava (the Fiji national drink) ceremony.

Another fun tour was the off road buggy in Port Vila. This was possibly the most fun I had on this holiday.

 Helen (R) and her friend Peta after their off road buggy ride!

What kind of activities did you get up to on board? How did you spend your days and nights?

On board we mostly relaxed by the pool or napping during the day. At night we would enjoy an extremely yummy dinner at the Waterfront restaurant. After this we would either go enjoy the nights' evening show or go to the Dome (the nightclub). Some nights (beach night and New Years) there was a party on the pool deck.

Did you meet some interesting people, make any new friends?

I was fortunate enough to make friends with people from Mt Isa, who I have kept in contact with since the cruise and have caught up with them if they have been in Brisbane.

 View of beach through the trees on Isle of Pines - "Just makes you want to go swimming!"

Would you recommend P&O cruises to friends your age?

I would definitely recommend P&O Cruises to anyone of any age who is after a stress free holiday.

Are you planning on taking another cruise?

I’m definitely planning on doing another cruise.

Where would you dream cruise destination be?

Dream cruise destination would probably be New Zealand or Asia.

If you’re young and free, chances are you enjoy:

a) Fun in the sun

b) Nightlife

c) New experiences and making new friends

All without too much effort involved? So #GenI! Package these elements up in equal parts. Shake. Then stir – and you've got a P&O cruise to remember.

Rachel Surgeoner

A self-confessed 'food-tourist', I take hunting for the world's greatest sandwich very seriously, my quest has taken me from Berlin to Hoboken. Stopping off only for vintage shopping, craft beers and Mediterranean sunsets.