My sister, niece and nephew and I were very excited to go on our 7 day cruise to the South Pacific. We didn’t care even when the Pacific Dawn had trouble at the Brisbane dock – we were on holidays! We did care when we woke up to the announcement that due to more trouble we would now miss Noumea. It was worse when we got home and was told this had been ongoing for months. The $50 per person credit was a joke especially when the kids didn’t get it as they were under 13. When I asked why we were told that it was because they didn’t pay as much. That’s not true as our cabin cost the same for four people regardless of age.
Overall we had a good time – after all your holiday is what you make it. We had a fabulous time on Lifou – I highly recommend the forest grotto tour and in Vila – we did snorkelling from the semi-submersible in the morning; Eskasup village tour in the afternoon and still managed to do some duty free shopping and visit the markets.
The food on the Dawn was very average. The dinner menu was very limited and the buffet meals were very poor. My sister and I got food poisoning – very bad combined with the movement of the ship. The drinks were overpriced when you could get them. We only managed to get wine service in the dining room one night out of the seven – the staff would ignore you or were too busy. The only free coffee was via a Nescafe machine on the pool deck and it was terrible The staff service was OK overall but I wouldn’t suggest you ask for help with the internet – you won’t get any. They also tended to direct you to other departments e.g the pursers desk said we could get extra copies of the daily letter from the cabin steward and vise versa BUT the worst part of the cruise was that for the last two days the water was undrinkable. At breakfast in the dining room just before disembarkation we were served water that looked like someone had put off milk in it. We noticed all the tables still had full glasses. Three stars for P&O ships is highly over-rated and overpriced. My experience is not unique as I discovered by talking to other cruises.
My husband and I are planning a cruise and my only criteria is that it is not P&O. You get much better service on the 4 star cruises for around the same money.