1. The Pacific Pearl was marketed as "The New..." when in fact it was the Arcadia built in 1980's as a passenger vessel and did not present well as a cruise ship.
a) No public areas to relax comfortably without loud pop music blaring forth. One exception - "The Oasis", a small open area aft deck 8 with only 22 deck lounges. One had to get there early to claim one. Deck lounge rage was seen here !
b) The Marquis auditorium audience area was poorly designed. Access to seating was obstructed by railings, making entry and exit difficult. View of stage was obstructed from most seats on upper level.
c) Public toilets were few and far between. They were not cleaned regularly and were sometimes 'out of order'.
d)There were two coin Laundries for guest use. One was permanently closed leading to chronic congestion and "Laundry Rage". (Something new !)
e) The Gym was in a small room with low ceiling on deck 2 with inadequate ventilation. Some equipment was broken and remained so for the duration. When Gym fresh towels ran out they were not replaced. Patrons were required to pay extra to use spa.
2. The Hotel section was badly managed and organized.
a) Reception desk personnel were unhelpful, sometimes rude.
b)The food on this cruise was the worst. It was akin to boarding house slops. The Bistro (Called "The Plantation") featured the same salad every day. Hot meals were badly prepared, sometimes cold. Not appealing.
c) The dining room food was below an acceptable standard.
d) Wait staff appeared untrained and were in a constant state of chaos. Service was very slow. (One hour 50 minutes for a three course meal !)
e) Bistro staff appeared reluctant to replenish food in the displays and had to be asked. One man with a Chef's hat did not know what Grapefruit was! We had to ask for tea bags for the only 4 beverage dispensers on the entire ship. At breakfast time, they ran out of clean cups.
f) Crockery issued in bistro queue was always still wet and smeared. Crockery was also badly worn and scratched.
However the food and service at the specialty Restaurant "Salt by Luke Mangan" was excellent, but cost extra $40 per head to eat there.
What wonderful itinerary planning to have a cruise ship visit a French port (Moorea) on Bastille day ! There was no public transport on arrival or Taxis.
The visit to Apia, Western Samoa was cancelled without any explanation, until we were informed that we were to stay at Papeete overnight.
During the second day our cabin was partially flooded because the toilet overflowed and we were unable to use the bathroom for two days. The cabin stank. We were told that the ship was fully booked and no alternate cabin was available. The same thing happened two days later at 4:AM. It was not until we demanded to be flown home from the next port and a complete refund that the cabin carpet was replaced and the fault rectified.
My Birthday arrangements were not recognized and hotel staff were not interested.
For this 28 day cruise there was no Manicurist on board. !!
My advice for anyone contemplating a cruise : DON'T GO P&O !