Questions: Hotel for layover in Cairns, Air Niugini, and Jetstar Airways,NEED ADVICE! [Archive] - ScubaBoard - Scuba Diving Forum - Diving Social Network

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ewaiea
March 27th, 2010, 08:06 AM
Anyone ever stayed at the Mercur Harbourside in Cairns?

I have a 8 hour layover (from 11pm-7am) on my way to Papua New Guinea. I have about 2 days of straight travel and this would be a chance to get 3-4 hours of much needed sleep at the half-way point. I think the Mercur Harbourside is the hotel I am going to book, have any of you stayed there? Is it hard to get taxis around midnight or thereabouts to the hotel? What about taxis back to the airport at around 4:30am? Is the hotel located in a safe area? Anyone with experience in the Cairns area or who has words of wisdom getting into/out of Papua New Guinea is more than welcome to lend their advice...:confused: Is arriving at the Cairns airport for check-in at Air Niugini 2 hours prior to departure enough time?

Anyone ever flown Jetstar Airways from Honolulu to Sydney? Is it true that they often offer last minute upgrades to "Star Class" for under $400?

If any of you can answer any of the above questions I'd very much appreciate it. I asked this question in the liveaboard forum but it was probably the wrong forum to ask that question...

Damselfish
March 28th, 2010, 03:39 PM
Don't know about that hotel or PNG, but I wouldn't worry about transportation at your arrival and departure times. My sense is they're one of those places with enough odd hours arrivals and departures from wherever that dealing with it is just a normal part of business. I don't recall what time we got into Cairns, but if there is a flight coming in, I'm sure there will be taxis at the airport expecting passengers. We also left Cairns at a similar hour. Told our hotel we were leaving at whatever ridiculous hour and asked about checkout and taxis. I think they pre-arranged for a taxi to pick us up when we needed so we didn't have to worry about it in the morning. And they were staffed for guests to check out at any time of the night, didn't have to do it the night before or anything like that. (The people working at 3am weren't exactly the A-team, but that's another story.)

ewaiea
March 28th, 2010, 08:00 PM
I solved the hotel dilemma.....not sure if this is true or not but someone on the flyertalk.com/forums stated that the Cairns Airport closes at night for a few hours.....???? Kinda weird I know, but if it does close it makes my decision about yay or nay on the hotel pretty easy.

I went onto wotif.com and booked myself a room at the Palm Royale, it's a hotel that is about 5 miles from the airport with a free shuttle service available 24/7. They normally charge $145 per night, but on wotif.com I got a room for $50! And that's not just because I booked a short 4 or 5 hour stay, it's just that they apparently reserve these rooms ahead of time and sell them cheap. FWIW those of you going through Australia, they have this going on with some of the nicest hotels and they have a customer service line for the USA and other countries.

I've also heard that Air Niugini opens for check-in about 2-2.5 hours prior to departure so 5am should be early enough to check-in for a 0700 flight on the 22APR2010.

Still not sure about Jetstar upgrades except that if I show up early for the flight 3 hours prior they might have some seats available.

Neville Dipell
March 31st, 2010, 08:06 PM
You'll have no problems in Cairns, but be carefull in P&NG, there are some very good diving sites, particularly on the North Side west of Lae but be very carefull in the major towns like Port Moresby and Lae, it's not the safest place in the world. If you want really good diving try to get to Kieta, Bougainville. Some of the best diving in the world.
Regards - ND

ewaiea
April 1st, 2010, 02:48 AM
You'll have no problems in Cairns, but be carefull in P&NG, there are some very good diving sites, particularly on the North Side west of Lae but be very carefull in the major towns like Port Moresby and Lae, it's not the safest place in the world. If you want really good diving try to get to Kieta, Bougainville. Some of the best diving in the world.
Regards - ND

I appreciate the warning, I won't be diving around mainland New Guinea, I'll be doing the north side of New Britain island on the Peter Hughes Star Dancer. I will be staying at Walindi resort the night before I board the boat, then in Port Moresby one night on the way home, but it's going to be at the Airways Hotel which is unfortunately expensive but they have a free shuttle and it's on a secure property. Nonetheless, I'll be watching my back wherever I'm at. I won't be leaving the complex unless it's going to/from the airport.

Lunahippo
February 18th, 2011, 02:22 PM
how was your experience with air niugini and the airport? i'm traveling solo (Female, 30) in july and have an 8 hour layover in port moresby en route to sydney and then back to the states... on the way there i'm heading from cairns, a couple hours in moresby and then on to kavieng. my biggest fear is actually missing my flight home since i have to get back to work, but i only today realized i'd be in port m that long....

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