We have just come back from a 7 day cruise to the South Pacific with stops at the Isle of Pines and Noumea. We fell in love with 'cruising' when we went on a Carnival Cruise from America earlier this year and ever since wanted to take the extended family on a cruise to share the experience. Our group consisted of two couples in their mid twenties/ early thirties and our parents in their 60s.
All together I have to say it was lovely. But that's about it. The stops were lovely and the food was actually quite nice (especially in the main restaurant- waterfront) but the experience didn't live up to our previous experience. The Carnival Cruise liner had fantastic entertainment on board which we missed on the P&O. We're happy to spend extra money for drinks, tours etc, however we found that the 'need' to spend extra was by far more frequent this time than on our previous cruise. A reasonably nice bottle of wine costs at least $40 and there aren't any cheap options on the menu at all. Especially putting this in relation to the only 3 star level of service and fittings of the ship we thought that was a little bit out of proportion. Altogether I would say- great for families because all the parents we spoke to loved that their kids were entertained in the various kids clubs all day. For everyone else- having done two different cruises now I would recommend carefully reading through the different features and inclusions each ship has on offer. There is definitely better value for money out there than what P&O is offering to the Australian cruise market.