Firstly- we don't expect more than 3 star from P&O, you get what you pay for and we love our fun cruises on them. This was a short break weekend away cheaper than going to the city and a show for 2 nights for us so we loved the pricing.
1. Andrew with our pick up shuttle at airport, despite major airport disruptions due to a power out affecting a whole terminal in Sydney, he got us together, arranged a special bus, entertained us on the way to the dock and got us through the priority line due to delays, 12 minutes from unloading to on the ship, a record. He needs to be snapped up for customer relations on board guys, really.
Was upgraded 5 decks from 5 to 10- very nice we thought, the Ocean View cabins on deck 10 are set up with the bed under the window so you cannot go up and look out from close, view on water below therefore non-existant, cabins are otherwise identical.
Jewel- since we have previously only been on the Pacific Dawn (3 times), we did notice improvements in Jewel even though she is virtually identical, these include increased width on upper deck ' track' so much less crowded on the sailaway. More reliance on live music and entertainment on top deck not just the 'big screen' which was really nice. In fact the live music through the ship was good and not ear chrashingly loud so good one there P&O.
Liked the guest performer, Excellent room steward who literally 'hunted up' new pillows for us after the first night.
Loved Connections, removing the outside walls and having a bigger area well set up, it was the place to be and had good wait service as well.
I can see what they are trying to do with the buffet set up, problem is that all lines 'meet' in the middle with nowhere to go so causes a congestion. Also people at the bar hold up people trying to move around food, bar needs to move away.
And talking bar- service was next to non-existant. Everywhere except Connections we had to go to the bar to get a drink or even a coffee, and when you did, had to wait on inter-crew conversations to finish before they would notice you standing there.
Pillows- we both had almost no sleep and headaches first night from pillows, just terrible flat hard things all the same. Reception were not interested in arranging new ones, our room steward had to go looking, took him hours but he managed to get us 2 from somewhere- one shaped memory foam and 1 higher padded.
Art- poor poor poor, variety, quality, pricing all well below par and the staff were abysmal. Dawn eats Jewel in this respect.
Turn down service had gone since last Voyage (Oct 13), only 1 room tidy a day. Sorry but the lights turned down low, bed turned down etc when we come back at night may be small but it is a highlight of cruising for us, we hated not having it.
All in all we had a good time, but could well be our last P&O unless the new ships are an upgrade since our next trip is on Cerlebrity and may be hard to go back afterwards, especially with P&O seeming to be 'slipping' still?