South to cooler Tassie: Pacific Pearl Cruise Review by holidaygirl61
Overall Member Rating
South to cooler Tassie
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
I was looking forward to cruising on the newly refurbished Pacific Pearl, as I had followed their More blog during the new fit-out and was suitably impressed with the new public areas.I shared a outside quad cabin on deck 9 with previous cruising friends, the cabins were not updated in the refurbs, but were typical of P&O ships, comfortable, clean and we were well looked after by our cabin steward Arnel. My cruising buddies and I prefer to dine in the restaurant and really enjoyed the new Waterfront Restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we even managed afternoon tea on cruising days. We prefer a late dinner and had no problems booking table 246 each evening for 8pm. A varied menu with suitably sized meals, great service (thanks to Tiki and Maldon) and food left us with no complaints. We did visit the Plantation Restaurant for a late lunch after returning from Port Arhur, usual buffet style food and plenty of it.
As I like a relaxing cruise I spent most of my time with a good book in the Dome, the views were amazing especially cruising in and out of ports. The sports quiz each evening was a fun half hour. What really impressed me was the rear deck areas, we were only 6 cabins from the door out to the deck 9 rear area, so grabbing a pillow and a good book from the cabin we would crash on a deck chair and spend a easy cruising afternoon. I enjoyed the evening's entertainment in the Theatre, entertaining and getting more professional with each cruise I take.(I still have fond memories of Fairstar cruising 25 years ago when cruise guests were the entertainment).
I don't do any ship shore tours so I can't comment, I hired a rental car in Burnie and Hobart and went for a days touring, super public transport and easy walking in Melbourne City. Port Arthur was accessed by the tender service which was busy so expect a wait on board, we then spent the morning taking a leisurely walk around the grounds and a look around the tourist info centre.
I love cruising and really enjoyed this cruise. I'm already planning next years cruise hopefully from Perth to Christmas Island, Broome and Bali. Less
Cabin review: 9167
We booked very early for this cruise and scored a quad cabin at the discount price on deck 9, cabin 9167. An outside cabin with four bunks, again I drew the short straw for the top bunk, comfortable mattress, nice doona and plenty of pillows, only fault I would have liked a small shelf to place book and water I was able to put my suitcase under the bottom bunk out of the way.I have cruised on all of the Australian P&O cruise ships and found the cabins on board the Pacific Pearl comparable. I'm really not fussy about my cabin as it is only a place to sleep and shower.I really enjoyed the access to the rear deck on the Pacific Pearl, only being 6 cabins from the rear door we were able to duck out and check the weather each morning before deciding on what to wear. Normal cruise boat noise, kids in cabin next door but we didn't hear from them after 10pm, ear plugs also help. Cabin service great, chocolates every second evening a nice touch.
Port and Shore Excursions
Perfect weather really made Melbourne a lovely days visit. It was super organised at Port Melbourne, tourist and transport information folk waiting to assist in the port building. We purchased a day ticket which allowed us to jump on and off the trams and buses around the inner city area. Buses were waiting at the port gates and we were in Melbourne city in 20 minutes. Tourist folk were on most city corners to help with directions. We grabbed a quick tram up to Fitzroy Gardens and visited Captains Cook cottage and took a stroll through the Gardens, we then jumped on a free city tram, it was Saturday and very busy but we found a seat and travelled around the city circle for 40 minutes. After a quick lunch and browse through the tourist shops we found a tourist guide who happily gave directions to the tram which took us back to Port Melbourne. From my comfy chair in the The Dome I enjoyed a cool drink and cruising from Port Melbourne in the evening.
I'm unable to choose any of the Tasmanian ports as they are not listed. Just quickly, as I mentioned hire a car in Burnie (pick up & drop off at Makers tourist centre where cruise shuttle bus will take you)and travel up to Stanly via Boat Harbour and Table Cape, lovely drive, takes about 4 hours return with leisurely lunch in Stanly. Again hire a car in Hobart and drive out to historic Richmond and then back through Hobart beaches and suburbs. Rental car and fuel approx $130.00 each trip. We tendered into Port Arthur, the tender service was busy so expect a wait on board, we enjoyed a few hours strolling through the grounds and a look through the Tourist centre.