Went on this cruise from Easter Sunday 2011 - 2nd May. Departed from Sydney via isle of pines, noumea, and Norfolk island (never made it) and arrived in Auckland.
I have to say I was extremely disappointed with this cruise. This was nothing like what I was expecting and came up out of this cruise wishing I hadn't bothered.
To start off with lets start off with some of their false advertising:
"Ship was totally revamped in 2010"
What absolute rubbish - it had barely been revamped. The cabins had their tvs replaced with LCD tvs - everything else was original 1980s decor. The beds were as hard as planks and I didn't get a decent nights sleep throughout the whole journey. Some of the communal areas had been revamped but it was not a complete overhaul as the ceilings. The air conditioning system was ancient producing dry air and every morning we woke up with extremely sore throats. The air conditioning is also kind enough to circulate every airbourne germ on the whole ship resulting in both me and my partner getting a bad cough when we got back. I guess we can be thankful we didn't get gastro.
"Watch films poolside on a giant screen - Pacific Pearl now features a giant LED screen on the open pool deck for passengers to watch films and television programmes al fresco. It's a first for the line, but one that's popular with sister brands Princess and P&O (U.K.)."
LCD - What are they talking about?? The screen was a poor quality projector that was very hard to see during bright daylight
"The sports deck features a jogging track, and nets for cricket, golf and basketball."
the only feature thats really available on this list is the jogging track. There were no nets for cricket, golf was limited to putting, basketball had an age restriction of under 6 Year Olds...
Now for some other thoughts. Ill start off with the moer positive points:
The Entertainment was generally quite good. The Trivia and afternoon commedy was very good - at times really hilarious. The Evening shows were a bit hit and miss - some of it was very good while other shows were really terrible. the Adult only stuff was on at a completely unreasonable hour of 11pm + - if you're a kiwi you've got no chance of attending this.
The isle of pines shore port was beautiful - a nice tropical island with white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters.
Our Cabin stewart was very courteous and very helpful.
Cocktails were very nice and generally were good value for money around the $9 AU mark.
Alas that was really the end of the good parts...
The food was pretty awful. The buffet food was substandard and often luke warm or cold. The plated dinner service was usually pretty bad. The menus often switched between a fantastic selection to absolutely nothing appealing. The service was very average with the average wait time of over an hour for the food to be served - especially for the lunch service. One time we had to wait 30 minutes for desert! Occasionally they server really nice dishes but often it was below par.. My last dinner I had a roast beef main. The meat contained mainly grizzle and the potato cake was made of extremely dry mashed potato with no milk or butter.
The shore excursions were completely over priced with you often being able to get exactly the same excursion off the boat at times at half the price.
Noumea was a disappointment - it is completely overpriced and a complete rip off. Not much interesting to do in the city itself.
Norfolk island by the accounts of the experienced cruisers and staff on board is a phantom location and borders on false advertising. Some staff have not been there yet and they've been working with the company for 4 years. It usually gets cancelled due to bad weather and we didn't make it either.