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139 Auckland to South Pacific Cruise Reviews

Overall this was a very good cruise. We choose this cruise due to the itinerary and were happy with all ports of call except Suva. (the other side of the island is much nicer). Pago Pago was a pleasant surprise with a good swimming beach ... Read More
Overall this was a very good cruise. We choose this cruise due to the itinerary and were happy with all ports of call except Suva. (the other side of the island is much nicer). Pago Pago was a pleasant surprise with a good swimming beach just 5 mins walk from the ship. (at Sadie's by the Sea, $5 to use) Kauai was a highlight, with the NaPali coast simply spectacular. Snorkeling with the Stingrays and Sharks in both Moorea and Bora Bora was also great fun. We had good weather for the vast majority of the cruise with no rough seas at all, although they somehow managed to blame the weather for our late arrival into Auckland. I think they simply forgot daylight saving being introduced that morning. The ship is in reasonable shape with my only moan being flaking paint in one of the spa pools. We had an internal cabin and this was fine and had everything we needed although they are not really designed for the beds to be set up as a queen. The cabin steward was excellent. We used anytime dining and this worked well for us. We mostly eat in the restaurant on sea days and the buffet on shore days. The food was very good throughout the entire cruise. The crew were very good and our few requests or questions were handled promptly. The shops on board were a little disappointing and in particular lacked Princess branded clothing. There were regular sales which was good to see. The evening shows were good and for a 35 night cruise I only thought one show was poor (a Bett Midler impersonator) with many people walking out. We didn't attend too many of the daytime activities, although I did attend some lectures, and mostly spent my time reading by the pool. We did use the gym each sea day and this was adequate. Embarkation was reasonably smooth but disembarkation in Auckland was a mess due to our late arrival. People leaving in Auckland were told to stay on board (with some people fearing they were going to miss connections) as the luggage had yet to be off loaded. Some passengers, including us, went off anyway and found the luggage already waiting. A disappointing end to an otherwise very good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise as we had never been to Vanuatu before and this was the only cruise line which departs Auckland for this destination. We also have done two previous P&O cruises which have been ok. However the standards have ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had never been to Vanuatu before and this was the only cruise line which departs Auckland for this destination. We also have done two previous P&O cruises which have been ok. However the standards have dropped with much cheaper food lines. You can definitely see where cut backs have been made to the food which is presented. This was very dissapointing and would possibly prevent us from sailing with P&O in the future. Even in the sit down dining restaurants it was difficult to find something descent to eat. We also thought the ship could do with a good scrub down. The main viewing windows on the ship in the dining areas & restaurants were green from algie and looked disgusting. Surely there must be a way these can be cleaned as they bought the whole ship standard down. The staff were all pretty good though. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was a special trip celebrating a milestone 50th birthday. We are well seasoned cruisers and have been on most of the lines except Silversea and Crystal with 60+ cruises under our belt. SUITE: We booked the lowest level suite with ... Read More
This was a special trip celebrating a milestone 50th birthday. We are well seasoned cruisers and have been on most of the lines except Silversea and Crystal with 60+ cruises under our belt. SUITE: We booked the lowest level suite with a guarantee to upgrade to a min cat 3, and received a cat 6 up on deck 11. The room was perfect and spacious. Tons of room, excellent layout, with perfect service from our room stewardess. We had everything we needed in this room and loved the ability to split the room with blackout curtains in half so the early riser didn't disturb the other pax. Bedding quality very high. FINAL SCORE: A+ FOOD; DEFINITELY not 6 star. BIGGEST disappointment of the cruise! The menu in the main dining room was repetitive. Colonnade food comparable to HAL/Princess/Celebrity buffets. Nothing special, too many carbs/starches not enough high quality proteins or veggies. Sliced meats and cheeses were what you would find on other CCL ships. BALONEY served as a tapas? Yup. They also put it out on the buffet and the "Epicurean extravaganza". SERIOUSLY. We paid $450/pp/day to be served baloney? We did enjoy Earth and Ocean several times especially the smoked chicken starter. Fun place to dine weather permitting. TK grill was very good, but doesn't measure up to land based TK restaurants. This was still the best dining spot on the ship. Sushi was nice, pretty typical of what you find on land serving average sushi. But at lunch, due to penny pinching, they didn't serve raw fish. Our best meals were the TK special nights in the colonnade. They felt the most authentic and had cheeses you wouldn't find anywhere else on the ship. Main dining room has some outstanding nights, others it was OK. Just not consistent especially with beef dishes. Our last surprise when it came to food was the ship running out of standard menu items...60+ cruises never had a ship tell me they didn't have the item on the menu we ordered. IF you're a foodie, skip Seabourn and go with another cruiseline (Oceania, Regent). FINAL SCORE: C SHIP: was a perfect size, and never felt crowded. No lines for anything and the layout had great flow. The colonnade could get crowded in the AM requiring you to sit outside during peak hours. This tended to be the only time noticing how many were onboard. Lots of places to hang out and relax. High quality furnishing and art work. FINAL SCORE: A DRINKS: Bars had just about any type of premium liquor you could want. Beer selections were more limited. Want an IPA beer? Nope. How about a wheat beer? Nope. Craft beer? Nope.. You could find a nice selection of complimentary wines some better than others, the staff were more than willing to change out the wine if you were unhappy. Bar service overall was great. Servers couldn't remember what you ordered (they weren't allowed to write it down) and made multiple return visits either to ask again or brought your the wrong drink. This happened in the Observation lounge only. No problems in other venues. Coffee in Seabourn square is excellent. FINAL SCORE: B ENTERTAINMENT: Best was duet in observation lounge, Rachael and Vladi. The lounge band was also fun and played popular music from the 60-80's. They did seem to get a little repetitive in their playlists. CD Chris was prior west end actor/singer and had the best voice on the ship. Wish he would have sang more than twice during 15 days. The main shows were OK and geared towards the 70's crowd. We felt it lacked the energy and excitement of Oceania's ships. Very little stage magic, just singing with no sets or costumes. FINAL SCORE: C ACTIVITIES: Sorry this was sorely lacking. Sea days had very few options. One cooking demonstration in 15 days? Trivia, casino (which opened at 3pm on sea days), lectures or sitting by the pool were about all you had for options. A few games of corn hole (baggo). They did offer nice prizes of high quality. We were so looking forward to the brochure selling us on the "Marina" on the back of the ship. We had several protected bays during the cruise they could have deployed it in, but that never happened. How about the famous and well marketed "Caviar on the surf"? Yeah, never happened. We heard this sometimes turns into "Caviar in the pool"? Nope, Band played ONCE the entire 2 weeks on a sea day by the pool for 1 hour. Maybe a dance party under the stars? Nope, didn't have any. FINAL SCORE: D PORTS: The highlight of the NZ/Australia trip was seeing the Penguins march from the beach in Phillip Island...or that was the plan. Instead the captain decided 14 hours before arrival we would be leaving at 2pm vs 11pm. WHAT? "due to high winds" we needed to leave 9 HOURS earlier than planned! The seas were dead calm when we left the protective bay we tendered at... Like 1-2 ft seas. Barely a ripple in the water. I checked my phone, and the winds were going to pickup slightly in the afternoon (below 20mph). The REAL reason we were leaving early? Terrible seas the next day (sea day) w/25ft+ waves and big winds over 40MPH. We were putting along the entire time at about 12 knots riding the waves like a giant surfboard. Actually most of the time the ship moved it was slowly at 12 knots. We could have cut the crossing from NZ to Australia down to 2 days from 3. We could have skipped Eden vs leaving Philip Island early. Eden had very little to offer. FINAL SCORE: B SERVICE: Employees are the strong suit of Seabourn. Most knew our names after a few days. We were very surprised they could do this with 600 pax on board! They tried to bend over backwards and help with any request. They learned your drink or food preferences. It was the saving grace of our cruise. The people are what makes this ship stay afloat. We felt like we knew crew members on a more personal level too. I will say the officers were invisible most of the time. The crew were always present; ready, willing, and able to serve with a smile! FINAL SCORE A+ IF Seabourn improved the food quality/variety and entertainment/activities, we would consider returning and they could refer to this as a 6 star cruiseline. Until then, we have booked a Silversea cruise leaving in 60 days and will return to Oceania in the future. Food is subjective to a degree, but we have a good idea of what other lines offer and how it compares to Seabourn. I hope someone is listing at corporate office. FINAL SCORE B-. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
It is with great sadness that I am writing this review as I have never had to write a negative review before, however we have written to Seabourn since returning home and as they refuse to accept responsibility for issues then I feel it is ... Read More
It is with great sadness that I am writing this review as I have never had to write a negative review before, however we have written to Seabourn since returning home and as they refuse to accept responsibility for issues then I feel it is my responsibility to inform potential customers of potential problems.. We chose the cruise as part of a long holiday to New Zealand. We had travelled on Seabourn Encore the previous year to Australia and were mainly satisfied so we didn’t hesitate to book again. There was not much availability so our cruise consultant chose a cabin for us. Our cabin was appalling, ( see review below). We tried to change cabin, we were more than willing to pay to upgrade but the head of Guest Services said she would come back to us and never did.( we had already tried to get info about the cabin before leaving the UK) It was very galling to see the Seabourn Venture staff and even guest entertainers had cabins in better areas than we were allowed to purchase. Our first day was ok and then for some reason despite knowing of bad weather the captain decided to sail the ship to Norfolk Island. I had 4 days flat on my back with sea sickness as the swell was a constant 13-19ft and the ship was unstable, making it very uncomfortable to move around. At times it felt very dangerous. As expected we could not tender at Norfolk Island, In fact Seabourn have only tendered 2 out of the last 18 attempts!!!! Why did they attempt it knowing the weather was bad? And why do they not publicise how unlikely it is that the visit to the port of Norfolk Island will be successful? On the 6th day I made it out of bed and managed an excursion but then I started to feel ill. I was in agony. I was forced to see the ships doctor and found out I had streptococcal tonsillitis. Apparently there had been an outbreak on the previous cruise and a few of the crew caught it. We thought it was because nobody is asked to use the hand sanitizer anywhere on the ship and therefore hygiene standards are not as good as they should be. This was not the case when we were on the ship last time. Standards have definitely dropped over the year. I then spent another 3 days in bed, having to visit the doctor again to get stronger pain medication as I was in agony. It cost me 400 dollars through non of my own fault!!!! I have to say that Madeline our cabin attendant was fantastic and tried very hard to help me whilst I was ill. She was very sympathetic and genuinely cared. A credit to Seabourn. I recovered and then managed to enjoy visiting the other ports we did dock or tender at. The food standards have definitely dropped since the previous year. I can only describe the food as very boring, apart from the pool bar at night where at least the food had some flavour. We spoke to so many people who felt the same that we stopped speaking to people as we were not only bored with the food but bored with talking about it!! The entertainment was lack lustre and uninspiring. Cost cutting could be seen in all areas. On a positive the shore excursions were well organised and the staff very friendly. Please be careful when choosing a V1. It is very different to a V6 and I would hate anybody else to run off the ship at the end of a cruise as we did because we could not wait to leave. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our first cruise on the Encore class ships. We have previously sailed 8 times on Seabourn: 1 Legend, 3 Odyssey, 3 Quest, 1 Sojourn. We had read mixed reviews of the Encore and Ovation, and were hesitant to sail on them. ... Read More
This was our first cruise on the Encore class ships. We have previously sailed 8 times on Seabourn: 1 Legend, 3 Odyssey, 3 Quest, 1 Sojourn. We had read mixed reviews of the Encore and Ovation, and were hesitant to sail on them. However, this cruise featured a good price on itinerary/destination we liked, so we decided to give it a try, and assess the mixed reviews about the Encore class. Based on this cruise, we would book the Encore class again. Unfortunately, on the first day, we almost felt that this would be our last Seabourn cruise. We had poor and inattentive service in the Colonnade at lunch, better service at dinner but miscommunication between servers and kitchen, so the food was not as we ordered. The next day, we met with Executive Chef Joseph to discuss our dietary needs (low-sodium). Chef Joseph met our dietary needs with the best food we have had on Seabourn; low-sodium but very flavorful. We pre-ordered dinner the night before, and our food in the Restaurant, Colonnade, TK Grill, and even in Sushi was prepared to accommodate us. However, the one large dining negative during the cruise was in Earth and Ocean on the first night it was open. We received an invitation base on our platinum status. Unfortunately, Chef Frank was apparently unwilling or unable to reduce the amount of salt in his dishes and did not prepare entrees we could eat, even though we spoke to him earlier in the cruise, pre-ordered the night before, and spoke to members of his team earlier in the day. The appetizers and desserts were quite good. Much has been written about the decline if the level of service with the launching of the Encore and Ovation, and the increase in general in the number of cruise ships competing for experienced crew. We have experienced occasional service problems of the Odyssey-class ships after the launch of Encore, and had occasional problems on board Encore. Service on the starboard side of the Colonnade was quite poor at the start of cruise; the port side team was much better. It appeared that the starboard side team was either new to Seabourn or newly working with each other. Their service improved after a day or two, and was at an acceptable Seabourn level. We encountered one of the servers in other places on the ship, and she always remembered what we preferred to drink and would search if it was not close at hand. By day two, almost all of the crew and many of the officers knew our names. Everyone was friendly and smiling. Our suite stewardess did an excellent job cleaning the suite, even with our changing daily schedule , which could have us out of the room by 7 AM or sleeping in until noon. She kept our refrigerator refilled. We attended and enjoyed the special wine tasting. We thought the sommeliers excellent, knowledgeable, friendly, and accessible. Natalia, assistant sommelier, would suggest and find a complementary wine we liked in the Colonnade or TK Grill. We do not understand the comments by other reviewers that they could not get a properly made mixed drink or cocktail. Drinks were well made and balanced. We had excellent, friendly, and professional service at the bars. Our favorites were “Jimmy” in the TK bar, Artem in the Club (and in relief at the Sky Bar), and Marcos at the Sky Bar. Fillippa was great in the Observation bar and as “fill-in”. However, as noted below, there were problems in the on board selection of liquors and wines. Apparently, various supplies were missing from the initial major resupply in Auckland at the start of the cruise. This included most Scotch whisky, Sauterne, and New Zealand wines and beers! We were very disappointed by the inability to resupply the missing beverages. We received no good answers to our questions from the F&B and Bar Managers as to why nothing could be obtained in the various ports we visited. The featured Bollinger Champagne was not available at the Retreat: we were told it had all been drunk on New Years Eve! (No, we did not pay for the privilege of sitting in the unattractive Retreat, there was an open “Bollinger party” on the first afternoon.) Space on board, even with 150 more guests, was not an issue. There were no problems at pool. As comes as no surprise, we found the Retreat to be a waste. After seeing it on the first day, we did not find it an attractive or inviting space, and would not have gone there again even if it were free. Differences from Odyssey class The Colonnade seemed much larger inside; outside is a bit larger than Odyssey class, but usually crowded. There is additional outside space on the deck below, which is accessed by a stairway; it appeared to be used by only a few people. The layout of the Colonnade is awkward. There is a large column in the narrow main corridor that everyone has to squeeze past entering and leaving, and getting food. The column is right in front of the main serving area, and the entrance to outside deck is through the narrow corridor. There was no prepared to order pasta at lunch, and no board listing the daily fish special. The stateroom lock is a very nice change, since the key card can be lplaced on the sensor pad without removing the card from the pocket folder. (A minor thing, but we always found it difficult to remove the card in order to insert it in the lock slot, usually several times to get the lock open, and then to fit it back in the pocket.) There is a nice night light in bathroom. The shower seemed to be slightly larger, Perhaps the toilet paper holder was meant to be “artistic” or something, but the paper roll continually fell off. Also, the paper itself could have been much better. (Or maybe we just do not like sandpaper?) The curtains in the suite were not as black out but were good enough. The Veranda suites are slightly longer and slightly narrower. Storage is arranged differently, overall better, with better storage including a shelf in the closet and larger storage over the tv. The vanity (?) at the foot of the bed is much shallower, and we found it pretty useless, nothing fit inside and the narrow top held much less. The television is much larger, as is the couch. The chairs are much more comfortable and easier to move. An interesting change is that all elevator buttons are on the left as you enter the car, rather than on the side between the two elevators. The Encore felt more stable, with no vibrations at stern and no ship noises in the suite. Shows in the Salon were negatively affected by noise/music from The Club on the deck below. Ports and excursions Our cruise was scheduled to call at Norfolk Island, an Australian territory, that required us to get Australian visas. We believe the Encore was required by New Zealand law to leave New Zealand waters after a certain number of days. Since the cruise before ours spent several days in New Zealand at the end of the cruise, and the following cruise would be spending several days in NZ bath the start, we were the one required to take a day in Australia. Before the cruise, we looked at photos of Norfolk Island and wondered how we would be able to land through the various coral reefs. When the Encore arrived there, there were 3 1/2 meter swells at the ship and 2 1/2 meter swells at the pier, and this was after going from the planned landing side of the Island to the “sheltered” side! After a while at anchor, we left and headed south. The Captain later announced that the conditions at Milford sound would prevent us from entering the fjords, and we would go between the North and South Island to have better weather on the voyage to Stewart Island. It seemed that many passengers were very upset that we would be missing a port and a scenic cruising day. We, however, have been in the Tasman Sea before, and were quite happy to avoid bad weather in the Sea! We also have enjoyed trans-Atlantic cruises, and were not really sympathetic to the complaints about being on a ship for four days without getting off. As a good will gesture, Seabourn offered everyone a credit equal to 20% of the base fare of this cruise, to be used on a future cruise that was booked during 2019, even if the cruise itself was after 2019. We thought this was extremely generous and not required, since weather-related changes are beyond Seabourn’s control, and really should not be a complete surprise to someone who takes a cruise. However, there were still many grumbles and claims of how this was the last Seabourn cruise they would take. We took two Seabourn shore excursions, in addition to the one cancelled on Norfolk Island. We also took two independently arranged tours. Stewart Island bird sanctuary by zodiac was nice; some birds, mostly hard to see, good presentation by local guide. Many blue penguins on zodiac ride along island and back to ship. At Tauranga we took the self drive train and thermal area tour. The train was fun, but the entire tour was cut short. The tour was scheduled for 8 1/2 hours but, due to the sailing windows resulting from tides, was reduced to about 4 1/2 hours. The Maori presentation was abbreviated and combined with lunch. The thermal area visit was greatly shortened and we found it poor, especially compared to our Seabourn tour last summer in Iceland. The up side was that we did not have to worry about the effect of the sulfur on asthma! Having spoken to the excursion staff on the dock before the tour, they were expecting us at Seabourn Square after the tour. They offered us a 50% rebate on the cost of the tour, which was larger than we would probably have asked for. They made us feel very satisfied. The ironic aspect of the day was that, due to high winds which delayed bunkering and impeded getting off the dock, the ship missed the earlier sailing window that the Captain had changed the sailing time to meet, and thus we actually left the port about 5 hours later, a little after the originally scheduled time. Overall, it was a very nice cruise, not perfect but very good. Seabourn handled the weather-caused problems well in our estimation. Beverages should have been resupplied better, but we still found plenty of excellent things to drink. We have two future cruise deposits, and we will certainly use them to cruise again on Seabourn. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We were very interested in seeing both the North/South Islands and specifically Milford Sound. In fact we were one of the 25 passengers who booked the ship's excursion to get off the ship for thee days/2 nights and rejoin the ship in ... Read More
We were very interested in seeing both the North/South Islands and specifically Milford Sound. In fact we were one of the 25 passengers who booked the ship's excursion to get off the ship for thee days/2 nights and rejoin the ship in Port Chalmers so that we could really experience Fiordland National Park and Queenstown. This was the main purpose of choosing this cruise. Due to rough seas on the West coast, this was cancelled. A huge disappointment. To make it worse, the Captain came on the speaker system for no more than a minute to say that we would be skipping this port. [Found out later that skipping this port is not uncommon.] No detail information, no empathy expressed. This lack of communication from the captain was typical of him throughout the cruise. Other reviews have also commented on the lack of the other Officers presence, especially the Hotel Director. We agree. We had 5 full days at sea with lack of supplies. [eg. Bartenders were hiding supplies from each other, spoiled lettuce, no fresh berries at breakfast.] Overall service in the restaurants were mediocre. Poor training. Except for the waitress, Anjde, table 50, in the Compass restaurant who was excellent. Bar service in Club 5 [Artem, thank you] and Keller were excellent. However, we usually love the Observation Bar but the service was terrible throughout the cruise. Long waits for orders to be taken and many times not delivering what was ordered. [This was not due to overcrowds in the bar but just incompetence.] The ship did not staff the Guest Services adequately when the ship needed them to help passengers adjust tour/schedules when port changes were made. And Guest Services Staff lacked information on what was going on. Housekeeping was outstanding. However, on arrival, it was at least 6:00 PM and some luggage was missing. We walked up and down the halls and had to track down our own luggage. We have traveled on Seabourn for at least 80 days and are not sure we will travel with this line again. To top it off, we not only gave written feedback when we were actually on the cruise, but we completed the customer satisfaction survey after our return, providing our contact information. We provided the feedback that is stated above. Two weeks later, we then get an email from the President of Seabourn saying he hopes we enjoyed our cruise and hopes that we will sail with them again. Does this line not listen to the feedback? Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose tis cruise to see Milford Sound and Norfolk Island. You can imagine that we were suitably unimpressed, along with many others, when both destinations were cancelled due to weather. This resulted in 5 days at sea as there was no ... Read More
We chose tis cruise to see Milford Sound and Norfolk Island. You can imagine that we were suitably unimpressed, along with many others, when both destinations were cancelled due to weather. This resulted in 5 days at sea as there was no alternative plan in place. The general staff were terrific but the interaction of the Officers was almost non-existent, to the point that two officers standing with the Captain were incapable of acknowledging the guests or even making eye contact. Amazing! The Captain did make the time to speak with us and was very engaging. This Cruise Line is geared to Americans and their needs no matter their proportion of guests on board. We have has two delightful cruises with Seabourn previously and all that was good about them was missing from this cruise. One of the stops advertised was Christchurch, port of call was Akaroa, but there was no provision made for people to travel to Christchurch unless they paid for a tour. The line is no longer competitive in relation to its competitors and lacks the friendliness and ease of them. It is the small things that count and these, sadly, have gone. The icing on the cake has been the lack of response from our review and a subsequent email addressed to the President - Richard D Meadows. The obviously do not consider guest's feedback very highly. Unfortunately we, and others we spoke with, are not likely to cruise with Seabourn again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
It appeared we would see all coasts and important ports of New Zealand - that was not the case. We missed 2 ports due to high seas. One was major. We did not see any of the western coast. We discovered later that the ship frequently ... Read More
It appeared we would see all coasts and important ports of New Zealand - that was not the case. We missed 2 ports due to high seas. One was major. We did not see any of the western coast. We discovered later that the ship frequently cannot go to the west coast. See we spent 4 days in a row at sea. We also went to two small dingy towns instead of staying longer in two quaint towns. We never stayed over night in any town so we’re unable to book nocturnal tours to see penguins or kiwis. Luggage handlers were painfully slow. Food was adequate, nothing special. There were only 4 restaurants. One required reservations to be made before the cruise. It was nothing special. One was poolside but closed for 3 nights. So it was sushi or cafeteria food. On arrival our room had a bowl of over ripe fruit. We had brown lettuce in our salad twice. Room service food was cold so we reverted to only ordering coffee in the morning. They could handle that. The bathroom outlets will not support any hair appliances. You must do hair drying and curling in a dim hallway outside the bathroom. Showers are very small. Entertainment offered was for for the over 70 crowd or lounge lizards. We contacted customer service day 1 of our cruise and have not heard from them yet even though we called our travel agent to nudge them. We were approached by some managers in the restaurant who apologized and asked how they could help. However it was in front of groups of people, so we were uncomfortable with trying to resolve issues in that venue. However the maids and waitstaff were wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose Seabourn, when l gave up on Viking(10 sailings) failed to offer any loyalty program to those who had been loyal to them. $200 off, like anyone gets on 2nd voyage was not thrilling. Well, l am back to being a Viking loyal fan. ... Read More
I chose Seabourn, when l gave up on Viking(10 sailings) failed to offer any loyalty program to those who had been loyal to them. $200 off, like anyone gets on 2nd voyage was not thrilling. Well, l am back to being a Viking loyal fan. I have always thought that those who give low scores are just being jerks. NOT SO!! SEABOURN EARNED THIS SCIRE OF 1. Here's why: 1.5 hr wait at airport for transfer after 17 hr flight. 2. Captain skipped highlights if trip, Norfolk Island and Milford Sound. Made the decision to skip Milford 2 says ahead if time! 5 straight days at sea. 3. Activities during those days? Needlepoint and bridge, lecture on Sotheby's Auctions! Little on New Zealand. 4. 2 ports where 300 and 600 were number of residents. Residents if Dunnedin asked why we were stopping at Gisborbe, calling it a boarded up dump. They were right, though people were very nice. 5. Arrived 2.5 hrs late for Totorya, where we had full day tour. Tiur cut short by 3 hours, and when boarded captain delays sailing for 3 5 hrs because of the tides!! Arent tides posted a year in advance? 6. Grand salon has big columns that block views for good portion of the seating. 7. Service slow in restaurants. Coffee arrived 20 plus minutes after dessert every evening. Long waits once seated to be approached by staff. We traveled so far and saw so little. 16 day trip was a total disappointment! I would never travel with Seabourn again. Loyalty program not as important anymore, though l sure hope Viking will launch one to reward their most loyal travelers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This is a nice cruise ship. Before going I had read some negative comments about the larger Seabourn boats. This proved to be completely unfounded,as at no point did it feel crowded and we did not have to wait for any meals in the ... Read More
This is a nice cruise ship. Before going I had read some negative comments about the larger Seabourn boats. This proved to be completely unfounded,as at no point did it feel crowded and we did not have to wait for any meals in the main restaurant or the Colonaide. Bar service was brilliant in the Club and Pool Deck. Overall cleanliness and repair is first class on what is addmitidly a new boat. The crew were without exception pleasant and easy going. There were obviously a few new people on the crew but they seemed to settle down quickly into the routine. The passengers were a nice mix of Americans,Europeans and Antipodeans which gave the ship a relaxed and pleasant vibe. We failed to get into a couple of places due the weather but unfortunately that’s the thrill of cruising. The issue was dealt with well by customer services in my view.They did however take a bit of unnecessary grief from a small group of passengers but most people carried on relaxing and eating and drinking. Embarkation and disembarkation were well run. The only issue that in my view was a problem concerned passports.These were kept by the ship for the entire cruise,however you needed photo ID in the ports in NZ, this was not advised prior to travelling and caught a few people out. I have registered my displeasure with Seabourn and my agent. Purely by chance my wife and I were carrying our driving licences as we were going to hire a car later in Australia. The cabins are lovely with loads of storage and everything worked. The only unpleasant room on the boat is the gym which as on all cruise ships is ludicrously hot. Overall great cruise with some nice people and a good crew. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We went on this 3 day cruise to try a short cruise with P&O to see if we liked cruising ...we were on level 6. We had a leak outside our door ..which the cleaners explained was from a plumbing pipe from the upper stories bathroom ... Read More
We went on this 3 day cruise to try a short cruise with P&O to see if we liked cruising ...we were on level 6. We had a leak outside our door ..which the cleaners explained was from a plumbing pipe from the upper stories bathroom .."rusty pipes" he said "old ship" "P&O sell soon!" They put some plastic down on the floor ..so I guess that fixed that?! The staff were friendly and helpful ..all except a couple of control freaks that were no fun at all. But then when you work long hours for 8 months with no day off you probably would get a little bit short tempered with guests! The food was tasteless and cheap ,,smelly fishy fish and coloured sugar cakes. The entertainment was quite good with comedian "Garry Who" giving us a laugh the first night ..the second night the show was canceled because of technical issues (maybe the leaky pipes were dripping into the microphones?) BINGO with Michael was fun but when your paying $30 a ticket you would want it to be! I paid $30NZ for 8 x 1.5Ltr bottles of water to be in the cabin on arrival, but we had to ask for them and we only got 6 bottles, so they were 6 very expensive bottles of water. Be wary when you get your account ..P&O add a "P & O Partnership Charity Donation" ..which was $1 per passenger AUS $ which is $1.53 NZD ..which adds up to around $2500 that P&O make from every guest on every trip for nothing??? When I got home I called P&O questioning this, as I did not authorize any charity payment to come off my card, so they are refunding this ...but I wonder how many other guests question this? Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
we enjoyed so mch the staff n crew members were just soo amazing always greeting u with a smile n ready to help . we loved the food n drinks n the entertainment .there is soo mch to do .even the kids were kept busy with lots of activities ... Read More
we enjoyed so mch the staff n crew members were just soo amazing always greeting u with a smile n ready to help . we loved the food n drinks n the entertainment .there is soo mch to do .even the kids were kept busy with lots of activities on board.we went to waterfront restaurant abd as it was my dads birthday they brought a cake with candles n sang a birthday song for him made us feel soo special .definitely will recommend to others to go and enjoy with family .thanks to all the staffs again also to the room attendants jun and joel i think u guys were just awesome .our kids enjoyed the jaccuzzi and the pools .our overall experience was just awesome and amazing .we would plan another one soon this time for longer period of time .maybe a trip to fijji islands or Vanuatu would be fun Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Yes I know I said we would never go back on the Jewel unless it was free... but this cruise was SO cheap we couldn't resist! Ha ha. And boy are we glad we did! We paid NZ$800 (twin share) for 10 nights to Fiji and Tonga and also ... Read More
Yes I know I said we would never go back on the Jewel unless it was free... but this cruise was SO cheap we couldn't resist! Ha ha. And boy are we glad we did! We paid NZ$800 (twin share) for 10 nights to Fiji and Tonga and also had around $250 of freebies each (inc AUD$100 room credit, free Wifi, free $5 icecream daily each, free dinner at Salt Grill for 2, free soft drinks package each) plus a discounted drinks package for $33 p/day p/person discounted down from $79. How can you say no with that kind of past passenger offer? That was through an email promo through P & O. And aimed at Past Passengers. We booked directly through the P & O NZ website. And we got a room upgrade from the cheapest interior to an interior room on 11 just a few steps away from Oasis. So no balcony required for us, we just went to Oasis when we wanted to sit outside. This cruise was fabulous. SO much better than the one in May! It seemed like all of the issues we had were addressed. Every.single.one. Unbelievable. And the food was warm and hot! And not overcooked! Yay! (read my earlier review on here). Staff were all great. Especially the ones in the Cafe on 12. Eager and helpful. A huge turnaround from the last cruise on the Jewel. The Oasis didn't smell like an old unwashed Dim Sum restaurant either! Auckland is such a breeze for embarkation and disembarkation. The staff work very hard to ensure a stress free and easy process. Full credit to them. We had no issues. But my nice new suitcase has a massive dent but these things happen. I can't believe how different this cruise was from the last one. We were so apprehensive as the last one was *really* awful. Seriously. Our faith has been restored and can't wait to go on another again. Tours: We did one tour in Tonga. The half day one to the other side of the island of Nuku'Alofa. Was around $49 each from memory. Went to a resort. Was pretty basic (no pool) however we saw numerous humpbacks jumping and breaching from the shoreline. Was amazing. Far away but you could still see them quite well. Take binoculars and take a snack with you as chips were like $10 a pack from the bar there. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
everyone said you will love it, so much to do, do as little or as much as you want... for the $4000 we paid we should have complained about the two beds pushed together and the extraordinal rock. My husband is a fisherman and it made ... Read More
everyone said you will love it, so much to do, do as little or as much as you want... for the $4000 we paid we should have complained about the two beds pushed together and the extraordinal rock. My husband is a fisherman and it made him queasy. The ship is dated the Waterfront restaurant very average. Overpriced wine and limited choice, watered down cocktails and dark dingy bar areas. Entertain makes upthe score, the music was excellent, comedian so funnny, theme nights a good laugh. Very loud cruise director with a sense of purpose... The spa was reasonably price, I had my hair cut and coloured the cut was lop sided. Colour not what I asked. Elimis products ... well agin for the $3000 we spent on body cleansing and we do feel better, no weight loss, body shrinking baths I havent lost a centermetre, face products very nice. Sorry PNO you didn't do it for me. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
For this review I shall cover the dining, the cabin, the staff and the activities/entertainment on the P&O cruise ship Pacific Jewel. Starting with the dining, you have three choices. The Waterfront Restaurant, the Pantry, ... Read More
For this review I shall cover the dining, the cabin, the staff and the activities/entertainment on the P&O cruise ship Pacific Jewel. Starting with the dining, you have three choices. The Waterfront Restaurant, the Pantry, and the extra charge restaurants. The Waterfront Restaurant The menu consists of four sections. The entrees, mains, With A Twist (an item can be served as an entrée or main) and INDULGE. Dessert menus are separate. I have included a photos from a leaflet headed “Your DINING Choices”, which was in the compendium of information for the Pacific Jewel cruise ship, and photos of two sections of a typical menu (“With a Twist) and (INDULGE). In “Your DINING Choices” under the heading “Free Included in Your Cruise Fare” the Waterfront restaurant claims an extensive range of a la carte menu items, a menu that changes daily, and a sophisticated selection of both classic dishes and cutting edge cuisine. This is a blatant fabrication. First, the menu did change, but not daily. There were never more than three items to choose from in any section (except “INDULGE” - more on that later). Secondly, almost every main was pasta, chicken or fish, or some commonplace dish like beef pot roast, chicken lasagne, or sausage rolls (yes, sausage rolls), flank steak. A typical dinner might be meat balls, or meat loaf or sliders on a large portion of some form of potatoes, rice, or pasta. Vegetables were available, but they were never served with the meal unless you asked for them. This is cutting edge cuisine? I had fish for one meal and squid for another. Both had a strong odour, usually caused by being stored too long. When you put your nose next to a fresh fish, all you should smell is the sea or no odour at all. Cooking will not cause a fish to have an odour unless you cook it in stale oil. But what about the “INDULGE” section of the menu? Steak tartare for an entrée, double aged York Sirloin Steak, or Lobster Tail Tempura? This may not be cutting edge, but it certainly sounds tempting. But Wait! There’s more! The steak tartare entrée is an extra $8.00AUD and the sirloin steak is an extra $19.00AUD. The lobster tail tempura is only $29.00AUD. Hang on! Where have I got it wrong? The Dining Choices leaflet said “Free Included in Your Cruise Fare” and the first item under that is the Waterfront Restaurant. There is no mention of extra charges for anything in the Waterfront restaurant. I think the daily menus for the Waterfront restaurant are for the most part boring and bland and I suspect that they are that way for two reasons. One, the ingredients are cheap, and two, if you want the truly nice food that their advertising promises on your cruise holiday, you have to pay more. This can add a significant cost to your budget. The dessert menu was no different. If you wanted something less banal you could pay $9.00AUD for the fruit pavlova. It did, however, give me the best laugh I have had in a long time. In the daily selection of the dessert menu was listed “Specialty Ice Cream”. When I asked what the specialty ice creams were, the response was “Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry”. If you want something besides chocolate, vanilla and strawberry there is an ice cream kiosk (not in the restaurant) where you can get a single dip for only $5.00AUD. Yep, that’s right. $5.00 for one dip. Be sure you avoid your kids spotting this place. The Extra Charge Restaurants Like most cruise ships, the P&O does offer dining choices if you want something extra and are willing to pay extra for it. The P&O has four: Salt Grill (celebrity chef dining), The Grill (al fresco burgers, pizza’s, pies and chips), Chef’s Table (very expensive degustation with wine pairings), and Shell & Bones (seafood and grill). We did not use the extra charge restaurants so I cannot say anything other than that they are available. The Pantry The Pantry is a food court style of service from seven kiosks in a horse shoe arrangement around the aft end of the ship. Seating is organized on the outside of the food service area. We ate all our dinner meals in the Waterfront restaurant, so cannot say what the food was like for dinner in the Pantry, but I was told that they served the same thing as the restaurant. We ate our lunches at the Pantry. Each of the food kiosks are named. Stix (Asian noodles, rice and stir fry - usually chicken), Kettle & Bun (Soup - one choice, sandwiches - two choices), Mexican (Taco or Wrap), Hook’s Fish & Chips (F&C, squid, seafood Paella), Curry House (bread, usually one Indian dish). And lastly, the Fat Cow. They claim roasts of chicken, leg of lamb, pork, beef, ham. I absolutely never saw a piece of ham, roasted or otherwise, on offer for the whole 10-day cruise at any meal in any location. Likewise I never saw a pork roast (I would have had it - love crackling), or beef roast, though it may be possible that after day after day of chicken on offer I quit stopping at the Fat Cow and may possibly have missed something. One thing about that, you could be sure that if you missed something one day, it would probably be there tomorrow as the menu seldom changed. Each kiosk offers their food in different dishware. For instance, soup would naturally be served in a bowl. A sandwich on a saucer sized plate. Fish and chips are served in a wire basket lined with faux newspaper. Others serve with a dinner size plate, and desserts are presented in a small bowl. So what’s the big deal? Simply this. You only have two hands. There are no trays - none. If you want, say, soup and sandwich and a cup of coffee, that’s two trips to your table. One to deliver the soup and sandwich and one to fetch the coffee and return. Then you might want some dessert. That’s another trip. If you are like most cruisers you want to sample a bit of this and a bit of that. After all, this is your chance to try something or have something you might not cook at home. But you have to work for it. And if you can, imagine someone who uses a walking stick to help get around, and has only one hand to hold something. Remember, no trays. Oh, almost forgot. The silverware is wrapped in a cloth serviette and holding it in your hand makes it difficult to hold anything else in that hand. I put it in my pocket, but the ladies don’t always have pockets. So to summarize, the Pantry may be the most hygienic way to serve food (you can’t serve yourself like you could in a smorgasbord style) but it is terribly inefficient and frustrating to the diner. Everything, absolutely everything, is self serve. No staff to fill your water glass, fetch a cup of tea or coffee, or to help you with your food to your table. No trays. And the food is plebeian. Hardly the culinary adventure or deferential treatment you expect on a cruise holiday. The Staff Every staff member we had any thing to do with was absolutely marvellous. Friendly, helpful, always a happy greeting. The cabin staff added a few moments of humour with their “towel art”. A dog, peacock, monkey, etc. Photos attached. It was nice that a few of the staff remembered us from previous cruises (even on another cruise ship). Activities/Entertainment For the evenings “shows” the level of quality can best be described as the performers were either on their way up or down. Primarily solo singers, musician, magician. A gym is available and is included in the cruise cost, but special classes could attract a cost. There are special areas and activities for kids, and they are separated by age in three groups. I overheard (more than once) how it was hard to get the kids to leave to go for a meal, and they wanted to go back asap. My travel agent told me that P&O limits the number of kids that they will take on any given cruise, probably so they can keep a minder/child ratio for most effective results. Sounds like they have got it spot on with the kiddies. Other activities, e.g., the casino, bingo, trivia quizzes are pretty much standard on all cruise ships we have been on. Movies in the cabin were very limited. There were many movies on deck twelve, usually billed as movies under the stars, but these were mostly shown during the day. Not ideal lighting conditions, and the viewing is from deck chairs around the swimming pool. An open area is not an ideal venue for good acoustics so the sound suffers. Dialogue can be lost when someone shouts or screams (as kids do when they play in the pool), or even adults talking in a loud voice as they pass by. So, would I recommend a P&O cruise on the Pacific Jewel? Only if it is on their absolutely must do bucket list and they cannot afford to book another cruise line. For anyone else I would want to make sure they knew what was really included, the quality of what’s included, and the extra costs that can be involved. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our second P&O cruise, the last one we left from Brisbane, so this was the first out of NZ. We loved everything about this cruise the staff were amazing...big shout out to our waiter Christian and our room stewards Budi And ... Read More
This was our second P&O cruise, the last one we left from Brisbane, so this was the first out of NZ. We loved everything about this cruise the staff were amazing...big shout out to our waiter Christian and our room stewards Budi And Laos who were all awesome. The Pantry was different to the buffet on our last cruise, we were happy with it. The Waterfront was as great as the last cruise, awesome service and amazing food. The shows put on by the Pacific Entertainers in the Marquee were just fantastic. These people are so talented they are almost wasted at sea. The Rock Show was my favourite but there really is no end to their talents and I loved every show they put on. Bobbie, the cruise director and Danny were also great entertainement....both were extremely comical and also very friendly. We had the alcohol package which we didn’t have last cruise and it’s a must if you tend to spend a bit on the bar. We wouldn’t cruise again without it...no shock bill at the end.we treated ourselves to a massage at the spa....very pricey, but we put our on board credit towards it to soften the blow. It was a wee indulgence on our part, but worth every penny. Although my husband and I cruised alone, we met some terrific people in the ten days at sea, some who have become good friends. So all of us have taken away some great memories of our time on the Jewel and cannot wait to cruise with P&O again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We did this cruise to escape the winter in New Zealand. We are a middle aged couple. We have no children. This was our second cruise. The first was last year on Queen Victoria and going along the adriatic coast. This one was cruising ... Read More
We did this cruise to escape the winter in New Zealand. We are a middle aged couple. We have no children. This was our second cruise. The first was last year on Queen Victoria and going along the adriatic coast. This one was cruising around Fiji and Tonga. We enjoyed the ship itself. We ate more often in the Waterfront restaurant as we preferred being waited on. The service was good and so were the meals. The shows were fantastic. The seven sins was memorable. I bought the $199 entertainment package. Which included salt and grill meal. a bottle of champagne. Photo, Canapes every night. This deal was worth it. Salt and grill is fantastic. We couldn't eat it all. I had bought the wine and cheese package and the wine and fruit package. The shock was in finding that they were delivered all at once. Not spaced out over 10 days. I had bought water bottles to 6 for $20 and water is important. We didn't book any excursions. My experience last year in Europe was that they are expensive and not always what you want to do in an area. Our call at Suva..was entertaining to get on the bus there when you did not have too. You could walk off there and be in a shopping district. I got bored as although the market was interesting you can't take food on board. So I was about to go back to the ship when a taxi driver approached and offered to take me around the island for 2 hours for $40 NZ. Deal done. It was a good trip too. We did a similar thing in capital of Tonga. There the taxi drivers expect to be paid $200 US dollars so we bypassed them. We found to our couples and shared the expense of a taxi around Tonga and that was worth it. We saw all the sights. Captain Cook landing and Abel Tasman and more. My husband got sick on the way back from Tonga. He started having breathing problems. He was in the hospital on the ship. They gave him the best of care there. He had water of the lungs and heart failure. Now recovering back in NZ. It was $12,000 for 36 hours care. It has to be paid before you leave the ship. Waiting to hear from insurance. This was caused by a couple of infections. Still my experience is still positive with the ship. I will be back on this ship for the food and wine and the comedy one coming up. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
After reading a lot of reviews about how bad P&O are we decided to give them a go and were we in for a surprise. Just did the 15-day June cruise on Pacific Jewel to the islands from Auckland and we are happy to say, they did it better ... Read More
After reading a lot of reviews about how bad P&O are we decided to give them a go and were we in for a surprise. Just did the 15-day June cruise on Pacific Jewel to the islands from Auckland and we are happy to say, they did it better than Princess and RCCL. We are elite members with Princess and Platinum with RCCL. First, the cons. At 28yrs she is showing her age and the recent refit has not done enough to bring her back to her former glory. There is still evidence of worn décor and bad paint work. The cabin floor is uneven, the carpet is badly laid and there are patches around the balcony door. It’s annoying having to pay for the extras you get free with other cruise companies and the tender process is long with average 1hr wait times and long runs to shore. The menu in the dining room is simple and repetitive and had charges for some dishes. Now the pros. She may be old but she is a sturdy sea boat and handled the conditions well. The cabin had none of the squeaks and groans you get on more modern ships, there is plenty of storage and has a nice big shower with good water pressure. Our cabin stewards, Rhula & Carolina are great. They really looked after us and having little daily quotes on our mirror added a nice touch. The food in the dining room, while simple, was good. Our table waiters, Kirby & Little John are also great, Always a smile and friendly. The Pantry food was also good. We had experienced a Noro Virus outbreak on a previous cruise and having it served made us feel a bit safer. The entertainment was fabulous with many great musicians including Santiago Periotti, Lucky May and Light & Rhythm. We had seven different parties that were a lot of fun and the entertainment staff stayed to the end, unlike other companies where they tended to quietly slip away part way through. The edge program, while a little pricey was a lot of fun and worth doing. Climbing the rear stack or flying over the upper deck in the middle of the ocean, nice. Generally, the crew were good and friendly. Getting to the ship was easy. We parked our car in the Downtown carpark and walked across the road and on to the ship. From the time we parked to the time we were in our cabin, about a 1/2hr. It cost $356.00 to park and no waiting. At the end of the cruise we got off the boat at 7.30am and were home by 10. We live in Hamilton, about 2hrs drive and a shuttle would have cost $350 return for two with a lot of inconvenience, so, well worth it. A couple of issues for P&O. Drop the extra charges and add a loyalty program, otherwise, a great experience and we have booked another two cruises with P&O for next year. Thanks P&O you put my concerns to rest. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My daughter, grandson and I recently went on another short break cruise out of Auckland. We did this cruise last year and loved it so decided to go again and were especially looking forward to seeing the recent renovations onboard. ... Read More
My daughter, grandson and I recently went on another short break cruise out of Auckland. We did this cruise last year and loved it so decided to go again and were especially looking forward to seeing the recent renovations onboard. We got a mini suite again but this time but on the opposite side of the ship as our last room was a bit noisy in the evening as it was under the Grill. This time we were under Shell and Bones and it was very quiet - no problem at all with any noise. (Last room was 11164, this time 11163). Food was really good in both Waterfront Restaurant and the Pantry. We had breakfast every morning at the Waterfront and found this to be very relaxing. We had two evening meals in the Waterfront and one in the Pantry - all enjoyable. We actually got a table early in the Pantry before it opened and that made for a much more relaxed dinner there. My grandson (12) again loved the HQ kids club and spent a lot of time there. We did the gatsby dance lesson and that was great fun. We also walked around the entire ship and only used the lift once, on formal night. My exercise tracker showed that I'd walked up over 120 flights of stairs in three days so I was happy with that given that I'm 61. I must mention the shows which were much better than last time. The production and staging was fantastic and we absolutely loved them. Our room steward was wonderful and made up the sofa bed each night and then back to a sofa for daytime - something that didn't happen on the last cruise. We also had really good bathroom supplies including beautiful top brand body lotion, shampoo and conditioner etc. Last time we didn't get these quality products. We didn't find any hard sell or having to pay extra for everything (as was said in previous reviews). We enjoyed the trivia quizzes and other free entertainment put on for us. It was a great surprise as well to find we could buy unlimited wifi for only $19 for the three days. Great to keep in touch with family while away. Overall we really couldn't fault our cruise. Yes the Jewel is getting an older ship but it is generally in great condition for a short cruise out of Auckland. So much so that my daughter and her husband are off again in July and my husband and I in August. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
A review (and attached experience) is always going to be subjective. We just returned from this 3 day cruise and we had a ball. What made this an "Excellent" cruise was that P&O met or exceeded our expectations (which were ... Read More
A review (and attached experience) is always going to be subjective. We just returned from this 3 day cruise and we had a ball. What made this an "Excellent" cruise was that P&O met or exceeded our expectations (which were pretty average from the outset) and the areas that were exceeded were very pleasantly surprising. I was surprised to find that I could sit out on deck and enjoy the sun on my face, live music, and the marvelous view of the wake receding into the distance in the middle of winter just a days travel out of Auckland. We enjoyed the shows and musician's very much. All the performers worked hard and had skill. The shows were not the usual over-hyped or over-the-hill affairs and emphasized great production value and entertainment to really good effect. The impression was that the dancers and singers cared about their craft, and it made the shows really enjoyable. The staff were universally friendly (if not super formal) and a complaint about cabin noise was actually followed up on. Food was as expected (mediocre) but the Salt Grill was the real McCoy. I highly recommend having a dinner there. Probably the best value for money on the ship. We enjoyed travelling with fellow Kiwis, which meant the entertainment could be pitched right and a sort of camaraderie built by the end. Thank you P&O. We would definitely cruise with you again. My advice to people considering P&O is know what you are buying. Don't expect what would cost twice as much from another cruise line and don't pay a premium price. The mini-suite was fine for what we paid (walls are thin and you will hear the deck chairs being moved about), but remember most of your cruise experience will happen outside your cabin. Suggestions for P&O: Chocolate chip cookies and popcorn with outdoor movie in the evening please; and OMG I would have paid $200 for a bottle of bad Rum instead of endlessly chasing moderate inebriation with weak cocktails. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I have just returned from an 8 night Fiji Experience Cruise on the Pacific Jewel (me + my two kids, 6 & 8 along with other family & friends) and I have to say that overall it was a wonderful experience. The staff were very friendly ... Read More
I have just returned from an 8 night Fiji Experience Cruise on the Pacific Jewel (me + my two kids, 6 & 8 along with other family & friends) and I have to say that overall it was a wonderful experience. The staff were very friendly & welcoming, the food & entertainment was great and the overall atmosphere fantastic. The rooms are a little dated (3 star) but well maintained and well laid out. Plenty of storage space (so many draws!). The common areas have recently been renovated & look great! The food in the Pantry (think buffet) was ok & I always found something I liked – it’s not gourmet food by any stretch of the imagination – I would place it slightly above food court. We choose to have dinner at the Waterfront restaurant most nights and the food there was great. On the first night the kids even managed to see a pod of Dolphins alongside the ship as they ate which was a great surprise for them. A big shout out to our waitress ‘Shelia’ who was fantastic with the kids. Despite having a large table of 11 of us to contend with, she managed to find time to show them an amazing card trick (I still have no idea how she did it!). I would also like to give a big shout out to Ria who works at the ‘Sugar bar’ in the Pantry. She was fantastic with my son (6) & always kept an eye out for him to make sure he was served – they became great friends & my son was very sad when he had to say goodbye. Also Bobbi, the Cruise Director, was amazing with him on Gatsby night. She danced with him for ages and made it a really special & memorable night for him – he was sad that he didn’t get to say goodbye to her as she made quite the impact! All in all a great experience & perfect for families. From kids club to activities to the evening shows there was always something to do. I went as a solo parent and it was great for me as well as I could get some ‘downtime’ when the kids were in kids club. No idea why there are so many negative reviews - would definitely recommend!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I chose this cruise because it was outside of school holidays and looked like it would give me a few days of rest and relaxation for for a reasonable price. The ship was swarming with kids. I must say I was extremely disappointed. ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was outside of school holidays and looked like it would give me a few days of rest and relaxation for for a reasonable price. The ship was swarming with kids. I must say I was extremely disappointed. This is my third cruise and the worst of the three. There are five different restaurants/dining facilities on this ship but only two are included in the fare price. In the waterfront restaurant (the one with table service) the servings are disgustingly small and although you can order as many servings as you like it ruins the ambience to have to order two or three servings just to get a reasonable serving. If a steak is preferred then there is another $20 charge. Lobster is another $25. The “pantry” restaurant is a free for all buffet but is not self service. The food is cooked then put into trays for serving by the staff. It is cooked and if it is not eaten immediately it sits until it is cold and tough. Poached eggs can be bounced around the restaurant. There were several Chinese passengers but very few of them ate the Chinese food. The food was basically the same everyday, although one lunch had roast lamb but this had been sitting so long it was cold. There is a dress standard on cruise ships but this was not enforced. It was common to be sitting down for dinner with someone in bare feet, shorts and singlet, some diners also wore hoodies. Fair enough they are on holiday, but so was I. Bar service was only just acceptable, whilst the stewards were generally pretty good sometime they would be missing in action - even when the bar was quiet. Some of the staff behind the bars were in a world of their own and didn't seem too interested in the paying customer. I had to ask the cabin steward to change my sheets. The sheets and pillow cases had tiny cotton buds on them (not sure what they’re called). There was a tear in the valance, tatty threads on the chair in the cabin, general tackiness. The nightly shows in the auditorium were much of a muchness same five singers doing slightly different routines. Couple of comedians one very good the other average. The staff night was probably the best of the lot and they did it for free. Every seminar ended with the presenter trying to sell something. Generally this was the worst cruise I have been on and I will not cruise with P & O again until they can wake their ideas up. The four separate stops in Vanuatu were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This ship is tired. They charge for everything they can think of.Do not recommend.No dress standards at all. Though staff in dining room and cabin,s do their best,the ship is past it,s use by date. The cabin 10156 was tired but kept ... Read More
This ship is tired. They charge for everything they can think of.Do not recommend.No dress standards at all. Though staff in dining room and cabin,s do their best,the ship is past it,s use by date. The cabin 10156 was tired but kept clean. The balcony was the smallest we have ever had,there is no way you could sit facing out to sea as it was so narrow. The beds were very hard and one lumpy There was little to no sound proofing between cabins and one side of us had noises up to 2 am some nights Dining room was acceptable with the staff working hard Entertainment in the main show room was standard cruise fare,but the entertainment else where was not the best . We do no ship tours ,the islands were easy to do your own thing . Everything was over priced and they charge for most things they can think of . Kids often out of control in the main dining room Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My first cruise. Escape to the warmth en route to Fiji for 8 days. Fun filled days, great food, (The Pantry and Waterfront Restaurant absolurely splendid. Wonderful resaurants - Chefs Table is a must; Island excursion's to ... Read More
My first cruise. Escape to the warmth en route to Fiji for 8 days. Fun filled days, great food, (The Pantry and Waterfront Restaurant absolurely splendid. Wonderful resaurants - Chefs Table is a must; Island excursion's to outer islands just wonderful. Dravuni Island tremendous. Tour operators were alot of fun. Loved the singing. Water warm. Nightlife greatest fun.- Gatsby Party and Back to School meant dressing up and great dancing. Great drinks. My cabin was very private and comfortable. Very clean. TV room reception ace. Thoroughly enjoyed the open air big movie screen, and The Cafe. The on board lectures were informative and very helpful eg acupuncture and posture lectures. It was fun attending the opening of the new on board Pandora Shop. Embarking and disembarking very organised. On board shopping great value. Great gift specials. Very kind and very helpful staff. Didn't want to come home! Saving for my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Just to preface this review, we had previously cruised on the P & O Pacific Dawn 8 months ago out of Brisbane (Balcony room) on the 7 night Island Hopper and could not fault anything. It was brilliant. This time we chose to splash ... Read More
Just to preface this review, we had previously cruised on the P & O Pacific Dawn 8 months ago out of Brisbane (Balcony room) on the 7 night Island Hopper and could not fault anything. It was brilliant. This time we chose to splash out on a Mini Suite and convinced our parents to try a cruise for the first time. So they booked a Suite too. We sailed on an 8 nighter to Fiji. From day 1 we couldn't sleep. We had the pleasure of having bins and loungers and various other items stored directly above our room on 12. It was SO noisy. You could hear constant thumping, people running, chairs scraping. Sometimes late at night and every single morning like clockwork just before 6am. During the day it was too noisy to take a nap. Our Room Stewards were nice but a little inefficient. We had to repeatedly ask for beach towels as after shore days we would leave them in the beach towel bins when coming back to the ship. We'd get back to our room to freshen up and then go up to 12 to swim or lounge around and we'd have to wait for 2 more towels. They should have just done them when they serviced our room each day. Also our room was only serviced in the afternoon so often there were plates outside our door for hours at a time. Despite us getting up and out at 6am lol. Bed was comfy though! Food was atrocious. Pantry had cockroaches running around where you get the sauces etc. Same food day in and day out. I don't think we ever had a warm meal either in the Pantry or Waterfront. It was constantly served cold or lukewarm. Even eggs being carried in from the kitchen and put directly on my plate were cold! And if you ordered any meat it was cooked so much that if you dropped it, it would have bounced from being over cooked! Waterfront was awful. However service there was fab. My parents are not fussy people and were seriously disappointed in the food, as were we. Their room on the other side of the ship than us, was under where chairs were moved every morning at 3am for over an hour so they didn't sleep well either. Oh and their A/C was faulty, then freezing, then didn't work at all, despite having someone come and look at it. The cocktails were so hit and miss it was not even worth having a drinks package, some were so gross and varied tremendously depending on who made them. One day I drank 5 Toblerone Cocktails in a short period of time and didn't even feel tiddly. It was like I had just drunk 5 chocolate shakes from McDonalds. The attitude of some of the staff members was quite indifferent. You'd be standing waiting for service at the bar and they'd take their time to even acknowledge you. Also the wait staff couldn't be found half the time to take your drink order so we gave up and just went to the bar ourselves. There were hardly any activities either. We resorted to trying to borrow a book from the library. But unlike the Dawn where it was an unlocked cupboard, the Jewel had a locked cupboard. So we'd go to this cupboard at the time advised but there would be no staff member in sight. This happened many many times. We left the book we actually managed to get at reception before disembarking because the person at the library was so unreliable. The music that they played repeatedly in the public areas (Pantry etc) drove us mad. The same few songs played over and over. As in like 5 songs. If I hear Katy Perry's 'Roar' again I will scream. Bad remakes of top 10 hits. Every day and night. We think they did it so people had their food and got out immediately. The music selection they had on the big screen on 12 was rubbish and inappropriate and SO loud we had to yell to each other so we could have a conversation. Kids were swimming in the Adults pool and nobody told them to get out. We retreated to the Oasis bar quite a bit but it stunk like an unwashed floor in the corner of a dodgy old Dim Sum restaurant and we got sick of having to get up off a lounger to get a drink as the waiter was more fond of chatting to passengers for long periods of time than taking drink orders. I could go on and on. It was SO blah. I just feel so gutted after our previous cruise being so great! What is P & O doing? My parents are never doing another cruise with P & O and we will not cruise on the Jewel again UNLESS it was free. lol. I contacted P & O with my feedback but haven't heard a word. Didn't expect to really. Go on this ship if you got your cruise at a bargain basement price, if your room is not on level 11, if you are with a bunch of people and you are going to be drinking and partying with so it doesn't matter if you sleep or not. If you want a relaxing time with great food, some tasty cocktails, excellent service and some quality sleep - give it a miss on the Jewel. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018

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