59 Brisbane First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

Overall we very much enjoyed out trip. Have not done much previous cruising so not comparing, as many others seem to be doing. We were very well looked after with embarkation/disembarkation with wheelchair assistance. Cabin was very neat ... Read More
Overall we very much enjoyed out trip. Have not done much previous cruising so not comparing, as many others seem to be doing. We were very well looked after with embarkation/disembarkation with wheelchair assistance. Cabin was very neat and tidy and the cabin stewards we had were very very good. The Pantry provided everything we could have wanted, and though its the same basic theme every day, the actual offering in each place changes so its actually not the same day in day out. The food there was very good, and the staff always willing to try and help as much as possible. We did have some weather issues and the itinerary for Cooktown was changed, but for us that made no difference as we were not planning to take the tender in anyway - and P&O can't control the weather. Probably the only disappointment was the Waterfront rest. on the Christmas Day dinner. It did seem a bit disorganised, and we would have liked a glass of wine with our dinner but there didn't seem to be any drinks staff around at all. Apart from that though it was a great trip. I think it really is what you make of it - we were just happy to be travelling, relaxing, and being looked after with no cooking to be done etc. I did hear some complaining it was not as good as other cruises they had done. There were still some teething issues going on, but nothing in life is perfect. We certainly did not have any issues as others seem to have had with their cabin, we were very impressed with the staff and we loved the Pantry. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The whole 10 days we were served the worst food we have ever eaten. There was a couple of meals that were nice (not outstanding) and the rest were disgusting. Food was very bland, luke warm and badly cooked and the same offerings day after ... Read More
The whole 10 days we were served the worst food we have ever eaten. There was a couple of meals that were nice (not outstanding) and the rest were disgusting. Food was very bland, luke warm and badly cooked and the same offerings day after day. Soups and gravies where as salty as the ocean, meats undercooked, roast vegies of carrot, potato and 80% tasteless swede and bacon like boot leather. There was long waits to be seated at the restaurant and we soon learnt not to leave going out for dinner too late, meal sizes were not big enough so you needed to allow enough time to grab something extra to eat or go to bed hungry. If you think you can grab something to eat any time think again, the pantry was only open for a few hours at meal times, no morning tea, afternoon tea or late night snack. If you slept in or lost track of time (two things you should be able to do while on holidays) you would miss meal times. We had to buy a watch to keep an eye on the time (no clocks worked on the ship). There was a coffee machine which made very bad coffee or tea bags to make you own, plastic mugs and sticks to stir, not high class. Otherwise you could drink water or at breakfast time orange or apple juice watered down so much it tasted like cordial. Alcoholic drinks also tasted weak and very expensive. Any time you shared a table with another cruiser you heard more stories of the bad experiences, the whole vibe of the ship was a very unhappy one. The beds were comfortable but the linen stained and clean towels delivered to your room also stained. The bath to step into the shower is very high, elderly or unable people would have a very hard time. The daily activities pathetic, boring and repetitive. So perhaps fill in some time walking around the deck, parts of the deck were always closed for cleaning and maintenance. During the day staff were varnishing or painting and the strong chemical smell drifted everywhere. Talking about smells, occasionally a very bad smell like sewerage or vomit would drift through the hall ways and bed rooms. The lifts at both ends of the ship did not always work, out of 8 lifts sometimes only 2 would be working which meant long waits, crowded lifts or take the stairs. Staff service around the ship was mixed, some friendly and helpful, some rude. It was difficult to communicate with most as we could not understand them and they could not understand us. A new refurbished ship, the decor was ok but some bad design elements. Particularly the pantry seating, a lounge and coffee table was impossible to eat a meal at or you could choose to perch on a very high bar stool. There was some tables and seats but not enough to cater at meal times. In the restaurant the tables were too small, the dinner plate did not fit on the table so overhung above your lap, we also noticed that bread rolls, butter dish and glasses were not always changed between sittings. The pool was far too small for the amount of people and you were just lucky if you found an available seat to relax. The ship leaked after a small shower of rain and buckets were placed around to catch the drips, not what you would expect. The entertainment was good but shows were short and not many for the length of time onboard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We had a lovely 10 day cruise out of Brisbane on the Legend of the Seas & I must admit prior to boarding I had some concerns about cruising for 10 nights (especially after reading quite a few negative reviews). I was more than ... Read More
We had a lovely 10 day cruise out of Brisbane on the Legend of the Seas & I must admit prior to boarding I had some concerns about cruising for 10 nights (especially after reading quite a few negative reviews). I was more than pleasantly surprised. We boarded in our home town of Brisbane & as we had a Junior Suite (8580) we were pleasantly surprised by priority boarding. From the time we were dropped off by our taxi we were on the ship in under 45 minutes. My partner & I had decided to take his 11 year old son on a holiday as he has just finished primary school. We looked at many options but decided on the cruise due to the large number of activities available & the very reasonable cost. The kids club for children of this age on our ship wasn't managed as well as we may have thought. There were obviously insufficient numbers so they lumped the 9 - 11 year old children in with the younger group. None of them were at all happy; however in saying that the ship is an extremely safe environment for pre teens & he found some friends & spent quite a bit of time playing mini golf, swimming & enjoying the never ending flow of soft serve ice creams. The service in the dining room was exceptional. We did have a set dining time of 6pm & were rewarded with fabulous service & meals every night. When we were on the ship we did eat all meals in the dining room as the buffet style of windjammers had no appeal. As I celebrated a birthday whilst aboard we did visit one of the specialty restaurants. The food was great but I don't think i'd consider paying the extra dollars again as the dining room food was of equal quality. The ports of call were lovely but most of all the staff were spectacular! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
First cruise and never again with Royal Caribbean. Where do I start. Waited 3 hours in the hot sun to check in because RC hadn't trained the local check in staff and their system kept crashing. Stuff like this happens and is part ... Read More
First cruise and never again with Royal Caribbean. Where do I start. Waited 3 hours in the hot sun to check in because RC hadn't trained the local check in staff and their system kept crashing. Stuff like this happens and is part of life. How did RC handle it. By ignoring it. So Bad start. Walked into the ship and left to fend for ourselves. No staff present except door scanners. Eventually found our way to the room 8517. Tiny for 4 people. Beds weren't made up. Worse of all room 8517 is beneath the pool bar so thump thump all day and night above our heads. Stopped at 1am. Went to the bar for a drink. Waited 30 minutes each time. Lack of stuff and all spoke broken English and were too busy to offer customer service. Lack of staff across all levels of the cruise. Except the Japanese restaurant Izumi which was the one highlight. We paid $100 for that privilege. Food in all other areas was average and looked like it was brought in form Asia with them. Meat was heavily marinated. Went to customer service area and queued once again. Internet wasn't working and was intermittent. Ship is looking tired with rust, broken fixtures and hanging wires and the pool was murky and heavily chlorinated!! I could go on and on. This was a sampler cruise so I expected it to be exceptional to lure first time cruisers to RC . I got the opposite. The guinea pig cruise to test the boat out for the next cruise that left the same day we arrived back in. The family has vowed to disown me if I book another cruise with Royal Caribbean. I did however love looking at the deep blue water and wished I had a fishing rod. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Well where do I start.!! This was my families first cruise. Both late forties with two teenagers. We booked the sampler cruise as we expected it to be of the highest standard as this cruise company lure first timers like myself into a ... Read More
Well where do I start.!! This was my families first cruise. Both late forties with two teenagers. We booked the sampler cruise as we expected it to be of the highest standard as this cruise company lure first timers like myself into a world of cruising. How wrong I was. We arrive at the terminal and are forced to wait 3 hours on the hot sun to check in. No drinks offered. No anything. No acknowledgment by Royal Caribbean. We found out from the check in stuff they hadn't been trained in RC systems and that these systems were also crashing. We board the boat. No staff there to meet us just a couple of guys scanning our passes. ( Not even a lanyard to hold them ). We make our way to the room. Room 8517. Terribly small and like a metal coffin. No fridge and a small shower with a white curtain that clings to you. Beds not made up. The we hear bang bang thump thump above us. Oh no we are beneath the pool bar. And we find out later its the all night dance bar. Always the optimist I head to the bar to drown away the initial first impressions. The bar is three deep and takes 3 minutes to get a drink. Totally understaffed. This happened throughout the tour. Always waiting in a queue. The customer service on this ship was terrible. Many seemed like they didn't want to be there and spoke broken English so hard to communicate with. The ship itself is tired with heaps of rust. I noticed all the small things like broken fittings and dangling wires. The main inside area are in pretty good condition with the main atrium a standout. Food was very average and all the meat I got at dinner was heavily marinated. We did have one highlight. The Japanese restaurant Ilumi. It cost us US$100 for the four of us but worth it and we experience great service and fresh yummy food. Embarkation was great as we were asked to take our own bags and wheel them off the ship. This saved a lot of time as we rushed off. I managed to slip over 4 times on the slippery deck. I suppose that part of cruising but note to wear boat shoes next time. Went to the casino and they convert $100 aussie to $67 US. I win some money but they refuse to convert back into Aussie. They mention I can go to customer service and to it. No way as I didn't want to wait another hour in that queue. The Entertainment seemed ok. That's if you like a Beatles revivals with a 60 year old as the lead singer with a Beatles bob and a teenager in a bob as his backup. Very funny really and they were very good. All the little things kept adding up over the next few days along with the lack of sleep due the noise above and we were so glad to get off this ship. The ship of the damned I keep calling it. Haha I read that RC doesn't give a rats about these reviews or the survey they ask you to complete. My Family and I will never cruise Royal Caribbean again. I feel they took us Aussies for mugs and sent down a undermanned tired ship. I really cant believe they were this bad. You would think its all about customer service on a cruise ship. Maybe they have been around too long and have forgotten that people matter. We will cruise again but the family has to get over this one. They are still traumatised by the Alpha Alpha Alpha call over the loud speakers as someone near our dinner table keeled over and was wheeled out on a stretcher. That's life. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Our first cruise and we had a great time, but more due to our attitude and ability to turn an ok time into a good one.. The good... Bed is large and very comfy, room is clean and tidy and room staff do ana amzing job.. The food in ... Read More
Our first cruise and we had a great time, but more due to our attitude and ability to turn an ok time into a good one.. The good... Bed is large and very comfy, room is clean and tidy and room staff do ana amzing job.. The food in Angelos restaurant and The Dragon Lady was currently free and absolutley delicious with top notch service... The decor on the ship is very attractive, but extremely un practicle... Its hard to find seats that are comfy anywhere , but they look great. The food in the pantry and free waterfront resteraunt I thought was fantastic, but certainly would lack variety on a long cruise if your budget prevented you from accessing the other resteraunts. The drinks package is fantastic, although possibly around $10-$15 too expensive to be considered great value... At $78 per day, for every day including disembarkation day where you leave at 8am, you have to drink a lot and consistently a lot to make it worth while... We regretted buyng it but only slightly.. big drinkers would love it. The entertainment needs to be more regular..we often found patches where we couldnt find entertainement as they where having breaks , or it was a case of musical chairs trying to follow performers doing very short gigs... Part of the problem is its a very small ship, thus less entertainment overall... For me my biggest gripe was that one spa was not working and the other one was filled with kids the entire cruise.., they seriously need both working and there should be designated times where no kids are allowed in the spa's The other big negative is the prices of the actual day spa, gym sessions, drinks and day tours.. Fairs fair, but these prices are rediculous for a ship refistered ina low tax environment, with a captive audience and paying low to very low wages... Most Day tours can be booked for hal price off the ship. The day spa is so expensive its almost half the cost of our cruise for a pamper, and to have to pay $13 to get access to a decent bike in the gym really annoyed me.. Given they where there and almost all other equipment was free... Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
terrible honeymoon experience with a shocking ending it is meant to be a once in a lifetime experience where you should be treated special and i thought a cruise ship would be the perfect way to start our new life as husband and wife ... Read More
terrible honeymoon experience with a shocking ending it is meant to be a once in a lifetime experience where you should be treated special and i thought a cruise ship would be the perfect way to start our new life as husband and wife together. one spa was closed for the whole 11 day trip. we got the drinks package where we got told by room services that the water in the rooms wasn't included yet when we went to lukes restaurant it was included in the drinks package so how does that work. food at the pantry was all over the shop some days was okay other days uneatable and the people serving it where sloppy and rude. for example i got a roast one day and had gravy. the gravy had been sitting for bit and so it had a skin on it he served the skin to me except only half made it on to the plate the rest was dangling and dripping off he looked at it said sorry and passed it to me i asked him to get a napkin and wipe it off please. another time i went to the pantry for dessert went to get the lemon meringue tart she could work out how to cut the meringue part so scraped it off and just served me the lemon tart part. my husband ordered a wrap from Mexicana told the man what he would like. the staff didn't listen to him at all my husband hates avocado so the man put everything in the wrap and then put a huge amount of avocado on the top my husband said i didn't say avocado and so he guy scraped it off instead of making a fresh one and still served it to him. also i noticed that the hand sanitisers were empty at some stages. the waterfront restaurant strange how hey call it the waterfront when they close the blinds during dinner and refuse to open them even during sun set very disappointing. you get told to share a table at 5.30pm when the place is empty why.? we are on our honeymoon its meant to be romantic. you can get fresh chills for breakfast but during dinner they dont have them. you order a glass of wine but they dont bring it till after you buy your dinner oh and if you have the same wine they take away your dirty glass and refill it even when theres lipstick all over it. they forget to bring half of you meal, the muscles at lunch said they came with chips we nearly finished the meals and had to ask where the chips were and then they bring them out this happened twice. they bring out mains before cleaning up your entree pasta plates which we had stacked neatly and put to the side. on the last night this is unbelievable i was eating my steak came to the end of the meal where something sharp stabbed my gum i pulled out a piece of metal that wouldn't even bend about 2cm long (I've come to realise later that i think it was off a wire brush) it was quiet dangerous and we got the manager of the restaurant to come over he quickly took away my plate and came back and asked if i needed medical assistance i said no, he then asked if he could get me a drink snd saw that i had the premium drinks package so that wouldn't really make any difference. so he sent out some ice cream and asked for our room number. me and my husband thought that would perhaps mean they were going to send something up to the room but nothing. very very disappointing and dangerous aswell. lukes restaurant was the highlight of the dining experiences they actually bought out a compliment dessert that said congrates on the plate 10/10 for that restaurant amazing service can't fault it highly recommend ordering the cheese its like a show when they bring it out its amazing. bar staff in the martini lounge are perfect well trained super polite and attentive 10/10 and peter milligan fantastic entertainer 10/10. the debut show the contemporary piece CRAP. but the comedians and a man of a thousand voices amazing so entertaining. we had a problem with the pool water turning my hair green after a 15 min swim so called reception had to wait 1 and 1/2 hours for them to call back with an answer. during that wait we called another two times to find out what was taking so long for a call back they said the manager was out. we went to use the laundry on the second day they were all out of order except for one when we asked the room service guy where the washing detergent was he said he didnt know as he was new so he said to call reception, so we asked him the number for reception again he didn't know. staff where all very green and undertrained coming from a hospitality job i noticed staff were not only chucked into the deep end with no training some had attitude problems aswell. at one stage our room cleaner came into our room with no knock before hand (we had already had our room cleaned,it was to tell us the reception number but we had already gone and found out the number ourselves) we are honeymooners so found this very inappropriate and at an akward time to say the least. as honeymooners we didn't feel spacial at all all we got was a little room park on our door and balloons one day i expected a bit more. never again will we ship on the aria. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We found that it was relaxing. The food in the Pantry, as others have said, lacked variety. What was there was good, but needs to be changed. There also should be some simple food for lunch (proper sandwiches, made to order). Cabin ... Read More
We found that it was relaxing. The food in the Pantry, as others have said, lacked variety. What was there was good, but needs to be changed. There also should be some simple food for lunch (proper sandwiches, made to order). Cabin staff were excellent and everyone else we dealt with were mostly friendly. Some of the areas they did seem bored. Overall we enjoyed the shows and entertainment and would go again. We travelled by car to port. Embarkation and disembarkation was as good as can be when dealing with Port Authorities. We arranged our own shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Here’s my experience! :) I’m 24 and this was my first cruise and my first time going out of Australia. I went with my two best friends, one whom had already been on the same cruise, and the other had already been to Vanuatu. We ... Read More
Here’s my experience! :) I’m 24 and this was my first cruise and my first time going out of Australia. I went with my two best friends, one whom had already been on the same cruise, and the other had already been to Vanuatu. We departed from Brisbane, and I had parked my car at portside parking, it was affordable and convenient. Check in was easy and didn’t take long, we were the stowaways, so check in was around 12-12:30pm I think. You get your picture taken and you receive a cruise card which is your everything once you’re on the ship! It’s your room key and your money. You put cash onto the card or you can set it up with a debit or credit card. I used cash. There are computers near the reception desk to check your balance. Once we were on the ship, I remember being really nervous and excited! Shortly after boarding, we had to assemble in our designated areas in a case of emergency; ours was the casino, with your life jacket to listen to instructions of what to do in an emergency situation. Your stewards inform you once you get to your room where you have to go etc. After that was finished it was time to explore! We headed straight for the top deck for the sail away party and a few celebratory drinks! It was magical, leaving Brisbane and seeing the city and the beautiful blue water. It was fun going underneath the bridge and the horn sounding (it was so loud haha). Drinks At first I had XXXX gold beer that was about $6 from memory; you just swipe your card. Spirits from $7 to $9. Cocktails from $10 to $20. We were lucky enough to be able to purchase an alcoholic beverage package. It cost around $70 per day and you can only buy it on the 1st or 2nd day of the cruise and it’s for the whole duration of the cruise. So I paid $480 (approx.), the deal is unlimited drinks, to the value of $12 (which is perfect, beers, cocktails and spirits are all within this range), only one drink at a time and you cannot buy for other people. DEFINITELY BUY THE PACKAGE IF IT IS AVAILABLE! It saves a lot of money. When you are kicking back on the deck having a cocktail, a glass of wine with dinner or several, or in the Dome having a night out dancing and enjoying a rum ($8-$9), it all adds up. I definitely got a benefit out of the package. Great job P & O for offering it! Oh and this package includes, coffee, bottles of water (not the big ones in your room though) and soft drinks. There is also a soft drink package for like $50 (from memory), unlimited soft drink, great if you don’t drink alcohol or for the kids etc. The Ship I’m use to the sea because I love fishing and going out on boats etc but I did take quick eze on two occasions (one when we first boarded and one on the way back to Brisbane – the weather was so rough!) It was easy to navigate around the ship, elevators were slow though because of the amount of people obviously, so we would take the stairs often, great exercise though to burn off the delicious food and beverages! On the first day we did the treasure hunt, had to go to multiple places on the ship and get staff to sign off, then once completed, cards were drawn out and people won prizes. Some great prizes hey, I ended up winning a massage to the value of $120. AMAZING! The beauty place is expensive but if you’re into pampering yourself or even Botox, it’s all available at a cost. Room We were on deck 10, inside room (no view). Loved it, great choice. And not far from an elevator too. It cost us each $780 approx. Food The plantation is a buffet style restaurant – we used this for breakfast or for a quick bite to eat for lunch sometimes (they prepare rolls and sandwiches etc and we use to just take them with us). However, this is at the back of the ship and my gosh you can feel the waves haha and you can see the ship going up and down, I was a bit queasy eating here but if you went out on the balcony (if you could find a seat) it was enjoyable, the fresh air made it better. The Waterfront Restaurant was our favourite place to eat. Breakfast was only ok, a bit unorganised. Lunch was alright, the same again. However dinner was amazing! We booked each night for 8pm, you can choose to share a table with strangers or just get one for your group. I loved the menu and there is a huge variety. Entrée, main and desserts are available and you can choose whatever and how many you want! All included in your cost. Staff We were soooo happy with majority of the staff, our stewards were fantastic and polite (everyone says good morning and afternoon). They made us several towel animals haha. But the most memorable (they helped make our trip amazing) were our waiters in the Waterfront restaurant. Elma and Mervyn, we wrote them great feedback on the cruise and tipped them. We asked to sit in their area every night. You will definitely find staff that remember you and make you feel welcomed! Activities Plenty to do! I thought that I’d be relaxing on the deck all the time sipping away on cocktails, tanning for the whole duration! Oh no! There are soooo many activities to do during the day and night! It was fantastic. You get the daily schedule the night before and we were actually planning our day out so we could attend certain things and schedule it around meal times etc. I like golf and they actually had chipping and putting games, just a bit of fun. You do can as much as you like or as little as you like, it’s really up to you. And certain things are repeated so you can go another time. The big entertainment shows were good, singing and dancing stuff. The staff are so talented!! I love the comedy nights (adults only), celebrity heads, I can’t remember the name of it but it was a game where 4 staff had to tell us the definition of word and we had to guess who was correct – it was so funny! Willy the entertainment director is hilarious haha. There’s even a casino with roulette, poker, black jack and poker machines. They have bingo too! Big jackpots as well. Shore Tours We pre-reserved ours. Two stops we used the gangway and in Lifou we had to use Tender boats to get on shore. They were easy and quick for us. Noumea – was the first stop – think we got there at 3pm and had to be back on the ship on 9pm We used their currency which is Franc and you can exchange money on the ship or in Noumea when you get off. In Noumea is a better exchange rate. I was a bit disappointed in this place, we didn’t go out of the town, we stayed in the middle and walked everywhere, went to see the churches etc, hardly any shops were open (siesta or something or maybe people are broke and heaps of shops are closed), I tried some kind of beef mince spring roll which was nice, oh and the main park has free wifi, youll see heaps of locals chilling around, that’s why probably . We did the night chou chou train – which departed at 5pm or so and it arrives in time to get back on the boat, It was great, you get to see all the different bays and stories etc – and you get a quick snack and drink Lifou – We used the Franc again, got there in the morning and think we had to be back on by the afternoon (can’t exactly remember) When you get on shore there are markets set up and food, I had a Panini and fresh coconut. Oh and also tried their Number One beer (that’s what it’s called haha) tasted like a mid to me We walked to the church up on the hill, amazing views, great panoramic shots Definitely pre-reserve the jinek bay snorkelling at Lifou. There are limited places and heaps of people missed out. It was beautiful! I loved it. We took our own snorkelling gear and reef walkers (you can hire them but I wouldn’t) make sure you have a waterproof camera, some awesome photo opportunities Port Villa – Used Australian money, you got the day to enjoy it had to be back on the ship by 4pm or so. In the harbour it is sooo beautiful from up on the ship. When you get off the ship, you go to the right to go wait for the shore tours (it’s not far). You go to the left to go into town. We did the Ocean Walk shore tour, that was great, I was nervous at first but it was excellent. Just make sure you take your waterproof camera though, the people take photos which you can buy but they also take pictures on your camera for you. You get to feed the fish and touch sea cucumbers etc I loved it. Now haha when you want to go into town, be prepared to be shocked! You are immediately confronted by the taxi men who want to take you. We paid $10 which is good. The driving is insane! You’ll understand once you’re there haha. We got dropped off in the main street and walked to the duty free shop! We bought our alcohol and they transport it to the ship for you and you collect it on the last morning of the ship. We then went to the Jungle Café which has free wifi when you purchase something! If you wanted to connect to the world, you could go here. I tried there tusker beer and I really liked it. MOST IMPORTANTLY (well for me anyways) haha People have lizards and they put them on you and charge you to take a picture! I’m so glad my friends warned me, I was freaking out! My eyes were peeled for these people and multiple times I screamed when they approached haha, although there was a beautiful green one! I admired it from afar haha I’m not sure if it was lack of sleep or what, but I was very keen to get back on the boat. It was maybe overwhelming, the markets are packed and the shops with food and souvenirs and people. Word of advice, buy souvenirs from the town and not at the markets near the ship. It is much much cheaper to buy in town. E.g. fake Oakley sunnies cost me $5 from in town. At the markets near the ship they wanted $25. On the way back to the boat, we got a water taxi – I loved it! Paid $15 for the three of us. I love the water and it was beautiful. Once on the ship we were on the adult’s only deck, sipping cocktails, watching the sun setting, waiting to sail away (watching people running back to the ship who were late hahaha). Other After vila it’s like a two day journey back to Brisbane – and wow, was it choppy! You could absolutely feel it and every now and then the whole ship would shudder. In the waterfront restaurant, the cupboards and draws were opening and closing, that’s how rough it was. Crazy! On bad weather days they close off the top decks and the side decks for safety reasons obviously. Oh and deck 7 on one side is the smokers deck or there’s one up on deck 13 in a corner near the Dome. The dome is the night club. The DJ was pretty terrible for the first few nights, but then the last two nights he actually let a good song play. Oh KARAOKE! There are some talented people, I tell you. My friend and I sung on the first night after a bit of Dutch courage haha but karaoke is on every night. Bars There are different bars, different vibes etc. You’ll work it out which one you enjoy the most. TIP! If you are on the top deck and the bar near the pools is BUSY AS! Go to the dome and get your drinks there, so much quieter, quicker and not far to walk. Parties We had a white party, Gatsby and back to school. Every night is just a big party really, if you want it to be. On these themed parties, staff come out and dance for a bit Although we did speak with an older couple who were staying on one of the upper decks and they could hear the music. So keep that in mind when booking. Gatsby was the BEST! Definitely dress up, it is good fun. Photos There is always a photographer out and about. Before you get on the ship you can get a picture, when you get off on every shore tour, on cocktail nights and on party nights. Definitely get your photos taken and then go check them out. E.g It costs like $120 for 4 pictures, get one free. Plus many many more options. It’s pricey but hey, some of the pictures turn out amazing! And a great way to remember the cruise! Getting off/Duty Free Items We had to collect our duty free at 6:30am I think, we had breakfast afterwards though You get a time and place to meet to get off the ship, ours was ahead of schedule and was easy as. Finding our luggage was easy too. All of this is explained in booklets that you receive the night before Overall The company I had, my two best friends, definitely made the trip! Everything else was amazing and I’m definitely going on another. I’m going to do the New Zealand cruise. :) Go on a cruise and enjoy it! I hope you have just as an amazing time as I did. It caters for everyone! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Here’s my experience! :) I’m 24 and this was my first cruise and my first time going out of Australia. I went with my two best friends, one whom had already been on the same cruise, and the other had already been to Vanuatu. We ... Read More
Here’s my experience! :) I’m 24 and this was my first cruise and my first time going out of Australia. I went with my two best friends, one whom had already been on the same cruise, and the other had already been to Vanuatu. We departed from Brisbane, and I had parked my car at portside parking, it was affordable and convenient. Check in was easy and didn’t take long, we were the stowaways, so check in was around 12-12:30pm I think. You get your picture taken and you receive a cruise card which is your everything once you’re on the ship! It’s your room key and your money. You put cash onto the card or you can set it up with a debit or credit card. I used cash. There are computers near the reception desk to check your balance. Once we were on the ship, I remember being really nervous and excited! Shortly after boarding, we had to assemble in our designated areas in a case of emergency; ours was the casino, with your life jacket to listen to instructions of what to do in an emergency situation. Your stewards inform you once you get to your room where you have to go etc. After that was finished it was time to explore! We headed straight for the top deck for the sail away party and a few celebratory drinks! It was magical, leaving Brisbane and seeing the city and the beautiful blue water. It was fun going underneath the bridge and the horn sounding (it was so loud haha). Drinks At first I had XXXX gold beer that was about $6 from memory; you just swipe your card. Spirits from $7 to $9. Cocktails from $10 to $20. We were lucky enough to be able to purchase an alcoholic beverage package. It cost around $70 per day and you can only buy it on the 1st or 2nd day of the cruise and it’s for the whole duration of the cruise. So I paid $480 (approx.), the deal is unlimited drinks, to the value of $12 (which is perfect, beers, cocktails and spirits are all within this range), only one drink at a time and you cannot buy for other people. DEFINITELY BUY THE PACKAGE IF IT IS AVAILABLE! It saves a lot of money. When you are kicking back on the deck having a cocktail, a glass of wine with dinner or several, or in the Dome having a night out dancing and enjoying a rum ($8-$9), it all adds up. I definitely got a benefit out of the package. Great job P & O for offering it! Oh and this package includes, coffee, bottles of water (not the big ones in your room though) and soft drinks. There is also a soft drink package for like $50 (from memory), unlimited soft drink, great if you don’t drink alcohol or for the kids etc. The Ship I’m use to the sea because I love fishing and going out on boats etc but I did take quick eze on two occasions (one when we first boarded and one on the way back to Brisbane – the weather was so rough!) It was easy to navigate around the ship, elevators were slow though because of the amount of people obviously, so we would take the stairs often, great exercise though to burn off the delicious food and beverages! On the first day we did the treasure hunt, had to go to multiple places on the ship and get staff to sign off, then once completed, cards were drawn out and people won prizes. Some great prizes hey, I ended up winning a massage to the value of $120. AMAZING! The beauty place is expensive but if you’re into pampering yourself or even Botox, it’s all available at a cost. Room We were on deck 10, inside room (no view). Loved it, great choice. And not far from an elevator too. It cost us each $780 approx. Food The plantation is a buffet style restaurant – we used this for breakfast or for a quick bite to eat for lunch sometimes (they prepare rolls and sandwiches etc and we use to just take them with us). However, this is at the back of the ship and my gosh you can feel the waves haha and you can see the ship going up and down, I was a bit queasy eating here but if you went out on the balcony (if you could find a seat) it was enjoyable, the fresh air made it better. The Waterfront Restaurant was our favourite place to eat. Breakfast was only ok, a bit unorganised. Lunch was alright, the same again. However dinner was amazing! We booked each night for 8pm, you can choose to share a table with strangers or just get one for your group. I loved the menu and there is a huge variety. Entrée, main and desserts are available and you can choose whatever and how many you want! All included in your cost. Staff We were soooo happy with majority of the staff, our stewards were fantastic and polite (everyone says good morning and afternoon). They made us several towel animals haha. But the most memorable (they helped make our trip amazing) were our waiters in the Waterfront restaurant. Elma and Mervyn, we wrote them great feedback on the cruise and tipped them. We asked to sit in their area every night. You will definitely find staff that remember you and make you feel welcomed! Activities Plenty to do! I thought that I’d be relaxing on the deck all the time sipping away on cocktails, tanning for the whole duration! Oh no! There are soooo many activities to do during the day and night! It was fantastic. You get the daily schedule the night before and we were actually planning our day out so we could attend certain things and schedule it around meal times etc. I like golf and they actually had chipping and putting games, just a bit of fun. You do can as much as you like or as little as you like, it’s really up to you. And certain things are repeated so you can go another time. The big entertainment shows were good, singing and dancing stuff. The staff are so talented!! I love the comedy nights (adults only), celebrity heads, I can’t remember the name of it but it was a game where 4 staff had to tell us the definition of word and we had to guess who was correct – it was so funny! Willy the entertainment director is hilarious haha. There’s even a casino with roulette, poker, black jack and poker machines. They have bingo too! Big jackpots as well. Shore Tours We pre-reserved ours. Two stops we used the gangway and in Lifou we had to use Tender boats to get on shore. They were easy and quick for us. Noumea – was the first stop – think we got there at 3pm and had to be back on the ship on 9pm We used their currency which is Franc and you can exchange money on the ship or in Noumea when you get off. In Noumea is a better exchange rate. I was a bit disappointed in this place, we didn’t go out of the town, we stayed in the middle and walked everywhere, went to see the churches etc, hardly any shops were open (siesta or something or maybe people are broke and heaps of shops are closed), I tried some kind of beef mince spring roll which was nice, oh and the main park has free wifi, youll see heaps of locals chilling around, that’s why probably . We did the night chou chou train – which departed at 5pm or so and it arrives in time to get back on the boat, It was great, you get to see all the different bays and stories etc – and you get a quick snack and drink Lifou – We used the Franc again, got there in the morning and think we had to be back on by the afternoon (can’t exactly remember) When you get on shore there are markets set up and food, I had a Panini and fresh coconut. Oh and also tried their Number One beer (that’s what it’s called haha) tasted like a mid to me We walked to the church up on the hill, amazing views, great panoramic shots Definitely pre-reserve the jinek bay snorkelling at Lifou. There are limited places and heaps of people missed out. It was beautiful! I loved it. We took our own snorkelling gear and reef walkers (you can hire them but I wouldn’t) make sure you have a waterproof camera, some awesome photo opportunities Port Villa – Used Australian money, you got the day to enjoy it had to be back on the ship by 4pm or so. In the harbour it is sooo beautiful from up on the ship. When you get off the ship, you go to the right to go wait for the shore tours (it’s not far). You go to the left to go into town. We did the Ocean Walk shore tour, that was great, I was nervous at first but it was excellent. Just make sure you take your waterproof camera though, the people take photos which you can buy but they also take pictures on your camera for you. You get to feed the fish and touch sea cucumbers etc I loved it. Now haha when you want to go into town, be prepared to be shocked! You are immediately confronted by the taxi men who want to take you. We paid $10 which is good. The driving is insane! You’ll understand once you’re there haha. We got dropped off in the main street and walked to the duty free shop! We bought our alcohol and they transport it to the ship for you and you collect it on the last morning of the ship. We then went to the Jungle Café which has free wifi when you purchase something! If you wanted to connect to the world, you could go here. I tried there tusker beer and I really liked it. MOST IMPORTANTLY (well for me anyways) haha People have lizards and they put them on you and charge you to take a picture! I’m so glad my friends warned me, I was freaking out! My eyes were peeled for these people and multiple times I screamed when they approached haha, although there was a beautiful green one! I admired it from afar haha I’m not sure if it was lack of sleep or what, but I was very keen to get back on the boat. It was maybe overwhelming, the markets are packed and the shops with food and souvenirs and people. Word of advice, buy souvenirs from the town and not at the markets near the ship. It is much much cheaper to buy in town. E.g. fake Oakley sunnies cost me $5 from in town. At the markets near the ship they wanted $25. On the way back to the boat, we got a water taxi – I loved it! Paid $15 for the three of us. I love the water and it was beautiful. Once on the ship we were on the adult’s only deck, sipping cocktails, watching the sun setting, waiting to sail away (watching people running back to the ship who were late hahaha). Other After vila it’s like a two day journey back to Brisbane – and wow, was it choppy! You could absolutely feel it and every now and then the whole ship would shudder. In the waterfront restaurant, the cupboards and draws were opening and closing, that’s how rough it was. Crazy! On bad weather days they close off the top decks and the side decks for safety reasons obviously. Oh and deck 7 on one side is the smokers deck or there’s one up on deck 13 in a corner near the Dome. The dome is the night club. The DJ was pretty terrible for the first few nights, but then the last two nights he actually let a good song play. Oh KARAOKE! There are some talented people, I tell you. My friend and I sung on the first night after a bit of Dutch courage haha but karaoke is on every night. Bars There are different bars, different vibes etc. You’ll work it out which one you enjoy the most. TIP! If you are on the top deck and the bar near the pools is BUSY AS! Go to the dome and get your drinks there, so much quieter, quicker and not far to walk. Parties We had a white party, Gatsby and back to school. Every night is just a big party really, if you want it to be. On these themed parties, staff come out and dance for a bit Although we did speak with an older couple who were staying on one of the upper decks and they could hear the music. So keep that in mind when booking. Gatsby was the BEST! Definitely dress up, it is good fun. Photos There is always a photographer out and about. Before you get on the ship you can get a picture, when you get off on every shore tour, on cocktail nights and on party nights. Definitely get your photos taken and then go check them out. E.g It costs like $120 for 4 pictures, get one free. Plus many many more options. It’s pricey but hey, some of the pictures turn out amazing! And a great way to remember the cruise! Getting off/Duty Free Items We had to collect our duty free at 6:30am I think, we had breakfast afterwards though You get a time and place to meet to get off the ship, ours was ahead of schedule and was easy as. Finding our luggage was easy too. All of this is explained in booklets that you receive the night before Overall The company I had, my two best friends, definitely made the trip! Everything else was amazing and I’m definitely going on another. I’m going to do the New Zealand cruise. :) Go on a cruise and enjoy it! I hope you have just as an amazing time as I did. It caters for everyone! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our first cruise, so we really didn't know what to expect. After what I was told was a fairly long wait to get on board (I did not know this at the time), I went to explore the ship and have some lunch. I found a very good ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so we really didn't know what to expect. After what I was told was a fairly long wait to get on board (I did not know this at the time), I went to explore the ship and have some lunch. I found a very good range of food at the Horizon Court. We had booked an inside cabin on deck 6, so after lunch we went to look at it. Small but adequate is now I would describe it. We did not intend to spend a lot of time in there, so it was not going to be a problem. The first night sleeping was not too good, the A/C was very drying on my nose, I must remember to take a fess frequent flyer spray with my next time to moisturize the nasal cavities... I have since spoken to a lot of people who had balconies who tell me that they had their doors open most of the time, as the A/c was playing up with them too!. I have actually ended up with a very bad throat infection. It started out as a dry cough, then sore throat, now a day after getting of the ship it is fully in my head nose throat and chest! Not good. I was told that a lot of people were having the same symptoms and some of the staff had it too! The ship has sailed off to New Guinea yesterday afternoon, I wonder how many will be sick while on it up there? Entertainment was excellent, the singers and dancers were so full of energy, and I also enjoyed the lady entertainer Maggie... Saw most of her shows! I did miss out on seeing the Elvis Impersonator, I was disappointed when I found out how great he had been! Champagne bay was lovely... Clear beautiful water, locals were cooking up lobsters for sale and I bought a few little things from the markets and a sweet piece of pineapple to eat. Photos with birds, snakes, turtles and lizards where some of the offerings from the locals. We were in Port Vila for 2 days so we really got to explore the area. We hired a taxi for the 2 days with the same driver. 4 people $50 each, each day. He took us to the Tanna coffee roasting factory, the secret gardens and shopping in town for duty free the first day. Second day was a trip around the whole island, we saw a lot of the destruction from the cyclone they had had in May 2015, took pictures from the top of hills and visited the hot springs, they had been hit badly with the cyclone but we still had a dip in the pool, just like a hot bath... very relaxing. Next we visited the Blue lagoon, had a swim and some of my party were swinging off the ropes and dropping into the water, we all had a fantastic time! Next was Lifu, we started to walk around, not really knowing where things were. I wanted to go tot he vanilla plantation, but the others wanted to go swimming. We went on a 2 hour tour with a local lady in her car, went past the catholic church, to the little shops (Hardware and supermarket) and to the beach. It was a very windy day, so only 1 of our party had a swim, the rest of us just walked the beach. I must say that Lifu was not my favourite island. Mystery island was next, very small island that is not inhabited. (No one lives there as they say it is haunted!) The surrounding islander people only come over to make their markets. All of the same items that I had already seen on the other islands, nothing different. Weather was drizzly rain the whole time, my husband went back to the ship before the others in my group and was stranded on a tender for 1.5 hours. No one's fault the engines were playing up, he did get some nice chocolates for his trouble though! THe last stop was Noumea, I must say that this was my favourite! We took the Tchou Tchou train around and saw a lot, it was a guided tour and was most informative. I would highly recommend to anyone!! Next we got on the "hop on hop off" bus and went to the aquarium. Very nice, although I did feel a bit sad for the sea turtles in there big tank. 2 more days at sea and then home to brisbane, Disembarkation was very smooth and quick. All in all, I really enjoyed the cruise, i just hate the fact that I am now sick with this throat infection that I am sure was caused from the A/C. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Well, to say my lady, my children & myself were looking forward to this break, would of been an understatement, but unfortunately this was all turned upside down. Being the first time on a cruise and having purchased it for my ladies ... Read More
Well, to say my lady, my children & myself were looking forward to this break, would of been an understatement, but unfortunately this was all turned upside down. Being the first time on a cruise and having purchased it for my ladies birthday present we could not wait. Unfortunately, because of events that unfolded,in the end,we could not wait to get off. Ironically, about two days before we were due to board, i was warned by another disgruntled passenger ( a friend) who had been on a previous cruise on this ship,totally running down the pacific dawn and its food, service, etc. But i dismissed this as a personal thing as far as they were concerned and determined to to let their assessment not spoil our holiday. The first night we went to have dinner in the smorgasbord restaurant. To say the food was second rate was a pretty accurate assessment, but we just dismissed that as maybe it will get better and although we discussed between us that it was not real good, once again decided to not let that spoil our holiday. This was the first disappointment, having heard how beautiful the food is on cruise ships is. Being an entertainer myself, and looking forward to seeing some world class acts, sorry, there was none, and how the artists persevered with the inadequate sound systems, that were being kept way to soft for any sort of dynamics is beyond me. But once again, this was not going to spoil our holiday. The second day was a little confusing as my on board credit card was rejected. After getting in contact with the card provider, knowing there was ample funds available, they notified me it was just a security measure because i didnt notify them i was going overseas, which was fair enough, then they also told me it was all taken care of. I notified the reception that the card was all fine now and they in turn assured me that it was all good from now on, but this was not the case, mainly because the people in reception were not doing their job properly. Three more embarrassing times my card was rejected and each time they told me it wont happen again. This was the start of frustration, embarrassment and a whole lot of unnessasary stress. Finally, the card fiasco was sorted.!!!! We then booked to have dinner in the salt restaurant about the second to last night on board, having read great reviews on it. Wow !!!! How wrong this was. The food was absolute crap, oysters and fish in tepura batter which was like leather, oysters kilpatrick had porchetta bacon on top. Tasted horrible. Then to top this night off, we had ordered our first drinks which we we consumed, then the birthday girl ordered another glass of red, of which she was refused , being told she was intoxicated. This was so wrong! we have never been so insulted in our lives and the kids , being 19 & 21years of age, were horrified. Lastly, to top off this whole so called cruise of a lifetime, when i collected my duty free alcohol it was two bottles short of which i discovered on arriving home. About the only good thing that p&o did when i complained about the missing alcohol was send me a cheque to cover it.. All in all, we had a most unsatisfactory holiday ensuring that we will never ever cruise with p&o again and also that we will let everybody know they would be making a mistake to even contemplate a cruise with you people. Thanks for nothing, except costing me a considerable amount of money and for causing my lady,who is still getting over breast cancer,total embarrasment & anxiety . Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We live in the Gold Coast, and all of the stops that were made, we thought we were having a deja vu moment back in the Gold Coast. The places we got off (Airlie Beach and Yorkeys Knob) were nothing special at all, and not worth spending ... Read More
We live in the Gold Coast, and all of the stops that were made, we thought we were having a deja vu moment back in the Gold Coast. The places we got off (Airlie Beach and Yorkeys Knob) were nothing special at all, and not worth spending time on. The staff were friendly - some a little TOO friendly. Sometimes, when finished with room service, we would find towels missing. We understand that nature cannot be tamed; however, the ship rocked and swayed too much for what is supposed to be a stable ship. Luckily, we had a room in the middle of the ship, so the swaying was survivable. However, whenever I stepped out a few metres from my room, the swaying was severe enough to send me dashing back. This was only for the starting days of departure, and when we were returning back to Brisbane. For several days after the landing of the ship, two of three family members felt like they were still swaying on land from the horrendous waves. The cabins and deck were satisfying. The cabins had comfortable space, and there was a window where we could see the ocean clearly. On the deck, there were beach chairs we could lounge on, while watching the ocean. Entertainment was also satisfying. The performance shows and magic shows were very entertaining. Although there were good points and bad points to our stay on the ship, the stops at Airlie Beach and Yorkeys Knob and the horrendous swaying of the ship ruined the experience for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our very first cruise so we didn't know what to expect. I had read reviews saying the Sun Princess was looking a little old but we didn't notice any wear or antiquated furniture. In fact we couldn't believe how ... Read More
This was our very first cruise so we didn't know what to expect. I had read reviews saying the Sun Princess was looking a little old but we didn't notice any wear or antiquated furniture. In fact we couldn't believe how clean everything was. During the voyage the crew perform regular maintenance so we noticed fresh varnish being put on decking, windows being replaced etc, but these things didn't hamper the trip at all. We missed Noumea due to an industrial action happening there and instead were taken to lovely Lifou. Then, due to rough seas were unable to stop at Mystery Island but the Captain ordered us to full steam to get to Port Vila around 14 hours early and we spent the night docked at the wharf. Port Vila was an interesting bustling town. But be warned, you will be hassled by taxi drivers everywhere! Champagne Bay was absolutely stunning and we were lucky enough to get an early tender in when hardly anyone was a bout. We took a trip to the Blue Lagoon which was well worth the $10 return ride and the $7 entry. Luganville was a pleasant little township. We stumbled upon the Custom Village which was fun for an hour. I would recommend you organise a tour whilst in Luganville however as there isn't much to see on foot. Our Oceanview cabin was surprisingly well fitted out. We found we had enough room and plenty of storage in the way of drawers, shelves and wardrobe space. Food was fantastic with the best of it being served every night in the dining rooms. My only critique would be with the entertainment and the steakhouse. The entertainment was great but lacked variety on a 10 day cruise. We were seeing the same entertainers performing the same songs every day. A few more entertainers wouldn't go astray. We visited the steakhouse on the final night as it had been thrown in with our package. I wouldn't say it was anything oustanding. My steak was quite fatty and a little disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My husband and I have just returned from our first cruise on Pacific Jewel for 7 nights. Before leaving for the cruise I had heard negative comments about P & O cruises, but we were pleasantly surprised. The check-in staff at the ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from our first cruise on Pacific Jewel for 7 nights. Before leaving for the cruise I had heard negative comments about P & O cruises, but we were pleasantly surprised. The check-in staff at the cruise terminal were both friendly and helpful. We were impressed with our oceanview room and the friendly staff. Our only complaints were that we would like to see more areas restricted to smoking. In an ideal world, smoking on ships would be banned totally. Smoking should be restricted to one deck.We would've liked to have walked on the open decks to experience the sea breeze, but were confronted by dreadful smoke fumes which ruined the experience. Thank you Pacific Jewel for a wonderful cruise. It has given my husband and I further incentive to go on another cruise in the future. Julie and Peter - August 2015. We enjoyed the entertainment on board, the comperes Marios and his friend were fantastic, Bobbi was lovely. The musicians and singers were also good. We participated in the trivia, tai chi, cruise info seminar and I also danced in the "white evening". While I was extremely happy with the service onboard I did not like being asked "Want a drink? by one of the female Philippino drinks waiter - this is not a professional way to ask someone if they would like a drink. A couple of the male Philippino male drink waiters could have have appeared happier - one did not smile at all. These are only minor issues. Kojak (who I believed was called Brian) in the Waterfront Restaurant was fantastic as were all the staff in this restaurant. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Having endured the worst of yet another cold Melbourne winter my wife and I found ourselves more than ready for a mid year escape. We hadn't previously considered a cruise however fortuitously an advert for P+O popped up on screen ... Read More
Having endured the worst of yet another cold Melbourne winter my wife and I found ourselves more than ready for a mid year escape. We hadn't previously considered a cruise however fortuitously an advert for P+O popped up on screen whilst looking at holiday options. We followed the link to the many specials on offer at the time and booked ourselves a 7 night Pacific Island cruise departing from Brisbane. Being new to cruising we figured the duration was not too onerous and we could simply put it down to experience if we didn't like it. Thankfully, the experience turned out to be nothing but positive. From the well sized cabin to the excellent choice of restaurants and variety of cuisine on offer we simply had a ball. Both crew and passengers alike were friendly and seemingly shared the same intent to have a great time every moment of the day and night. Its fair to say we have come home for a rest after enjoying the various entertainment that is on offer from first light to well into the night however that was our choice and those seeking a less stimulating cruise could equally sit back and relax the days away. If I had to fault anything, it would be the boarding process. Despite having allocated boarding times it seemed to involve a lot of queuing and waiting. In the scheme of things though this was a minor problem and it was soon forgotten. When on board, everything else was well run and timed to perfection. Without a doubt our first experience of cruising was brilliant and we cant wait to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Embarking was easy, a walk in the park until the steps present small issues if your struggling with knee injury or the like ... Once on board the staff met us at the doorway to the Atrium, first impressions , OK , moderate, not shiny but ... Read More
Embarking was easy, a walk in the park until the steps present small issues if your struggling with knee injury or the like ... Once on board the staff met us at the doorway to the Atrium, first impressions , OK , moderate, not shiny but clean and well presented with comfy chairs spread out to lounge in .. this Atrium became the area of choice after 4pm when the temps outside got cooler, Charlie's bar is present and Alfred does his job perfectly always remembering ones name . A pleasant added bonus . We stayed in a triple room, window, deck 9 , would definitely aim at the same area again Our room stewards work hard and we tipped them for their efforts . The new Pantry was a major let down, the food bland, repetitive and most of all the same ol every day for 7 days with small differences . The staff again work hard in these areas .. long hours and try their best to reduce the queues. We only ever experienced short waits . The seating is fair, hard to grab a low table for a group at anytime of day really, always ending up on high stools .. Made it difficult for those with small children . Entertainment was ok , the shows each night differ, I can say average for a cruise, we expected no different . The Music on board was consistent, the activities we found ran into each other with times overlapping make it difficult to get to . Art Auctions won us with learning and purchasing a new collection a worthwhile experience , Thanks to the Park West Gallery . Kip, Dan and Steve . Many thanks . disembarking no issues, bar service great, for a budget cruise to wet ones feet it served us well. Id recommend for anyone not wanting to travel outside of Australia and wanting to keep the budget low . Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Just arrived back today Sunday 12th July!!! This was my first time on a cruise and I wasn't disappointed. There was 9 females ranging from approx. 40 - 80 years of age celebrating my girlfriends 50th birthday. We had a hoot!!! As with ... Read More
Just arrived back today Sunday 12th July!!! This was my first time on a cruise and I wasn't disappointed. There was 9 females ranging from approx. 40 - 80 years of age celebrating my girlfriends 50th birthday. We had a hoot!!! As with any holiday there is always good and bad but any problem we had was rectified as soon as it was reported. The food was lovely, we eat breakfasts and lunches at the Plantation restaurant and yes it could be a little repetitive but it was very nice especially the sweetie section and I wish I had caught his name but the gentleman behind the counter was so helpful and lovely even brought a vanilla slice to my table when they had run out. If you do have something you don't like don't complain just put it to one side and go and get something else it is as simple as that. If you do want to let them know that something is not up to standard let them know in a constructive way and I am sure it will be rectified straight away. My suggestion though would be to attend a little bit out of the normal 7am and 12 midday as it can get very crowded but we did not have to wait to long and it was a nice way to have a chat to other passengers who were waiting in line. We had dinner at the Waterfront most nights and the table service was amazing and the food was lovely and restaurant is in a pretty setting. They made my friends 50th birthday so special and I had pre ordered a birthday cake which was both yummy and beautiful to look at. We joined in on the available activities which were offered and I would highly recommend the martini making classes, lots of fun and not to mention you got to drink 4 beautiful cocktails. We visited Noumea, Mare and Port Vila. Unfortunately, the weather was not kind to us, but this is something there is not control over and you just have to grin and wear it and not allow it to spoil your holiday, as the beautiful south pacific waters are so warm it doesn't matter if it is slightly overcast and drizzling. Had a great snorkel on Mare Island, took the little tut tut train around Noumea. The tour guides voice was a little annoying but as we were only there for a short time it was the best on offer to see the island, especially considering the weather. We hired a driver called Makenzie on Port Vila for the day who drove a pink van and he went out of his way to ensure we made the most of our time on the island. I would highly recommend Mackenzie if you can find him in his pink van he was so lovely and helpful. When you get off the boat all the drivers will be waiting either up to your right or at the gate. If you see a pink van or when you get to the gate just ask for Mackenzie. We visited the cascade falls and climbed to the top absolutely breathtaking and went to Hideaway Island and snorkelled and sent a postcard in the underwater letter box which is not as easy as it sounds...but we all finally got it in the box!!! For those of us not up to the walks or snorkeling he took them to other sites on the island such as the coffee plantation and then came back an picked us up. He also managed to find a tatootist as one of my friends gets a small tattoo in every country she visits!!! Such a beautiful accomodating man. I was pleasantly surprised at the prices of drinks on board and sipped many a cocktail which were delightful. Like I said sometimes you have good and bad on a holiday and if anyone tries to put you in room 8109 head for the hills!!! This room is directly above the Connections Bar where a lot of the entertainment occurs and it is very very loud( might be good for younger people who would be down there anyway) the room is much larger then normal cabin so that is a huge plus but it is very hard to sleep until after 1am also very hard to catch up the next day to have an afternoon nap as the entertainment starts at midday and the whole room vibrates BUT as soon as we reported it to the lovely girls on reception we were soon contacted by the lovely night manager Emile could not do enough for us. Moved us into a very quiet room on deck 5, we also received a complimentary bottle of wine and he checked in with us to ensure everything was ok. Another incident which happened in the dreaded room 8109 was our bathroom flooded and my friend clothes all got damp. Emile immediately organised a laundry service. Thank you Emile you made a wonderful trip even more wonderful with your fantastic customer service and I wish you well in your future career. June was providing our cabin service in 8109 and that was the only sad part about leaving this room. June was lovely and cleaned the rooms twice a day and nothing was too much trouble and always done with a beautiful smile. I unfortunately got very unwell for a couple of days and had to go to the medical centre. I cannot fault the medical centre, the staff there were amazing and the treatment I received was top notch. They must be the most friendly, best looking bunch of doctors and nurses I have ever seen and so friendly. Enjoyed my Pandora story with the lovely nurs Anna and had quite a giggle with her despite feeling unwell. As a result of getting unwell on board, just a reminder to anyone who is travelling, always purchase travel insurance as overseas medical treatment costs a pretty penny but when you are unwell you really do not want to wait to get treated. Highlights far outweighed what little lowlights there were and I would like to thank all the staff and crew for making my first cruising experience a very pleasurable one. Next time and there certainly will be a next time, lets just hope the weather turns it on for us as well. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
the dawn may be an older ship but she was spotlessly clean. The service of all staff was fantastic. The activities on the food and wine cruise were excellent, especially the martini making class and the food and wine matching course. The ... Read More
the dawn may be an older ship but she was spotlessly clean. The service of all staff was fantastic. The activities on the food and wine cruise were excellent, especially the martini making class and the food and wine matching course. The food was excellent, even better that I didn't have to cook it and the variety was excellent. A fantastic way to celebrate turning 40 with friends. Highly recommend for a fantastic priced get away! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I'm 19 and this was my first cruise, I travelled with my parents and we stayed in an interior cabin. Before the cruise I did some research on the ship and found some poor reviews in this site, so I thought I might of been in for a ... Read More
I'm 19 and this was my first cruise, I travelled with my parents and we stayed in an interior cabin. Before the cruise I did some research on the ship and found some poor reviews in this site, so I thought I might of been in for a poor time, I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the cruise immensely. Embarkation: For this cruise there were delays in the morning from difficulties getting luggage and supplies off the ship and stowing new luggage and supplies. These delays meant that there were large lines when dropping off baggage and checking in but luckily these delays didn't have much effect on boarding time and we were on ship when scheduled. The Pacific Dawn was launched in 1991 but you wouldn't know that from its look. The Dawn has received a number of refurbishments since launching in Australia in 2007 to keep it looking modern and fresh and it reflects it's Australian clientele. Food: The main À la carte restaurant requires bookings for dinner as it gets quite busy. The menu for breakfast remains the same throughout the cruise. The lunch menu changes daily but may repeat over the length of the cruise. The dinner menu has some staples every night (Steak, Burger, Lasagne) but has half a dozen entrees, mains and desserts that change each night. Service was always quick and staff were always friendly and helpful. The buffet serves a wide variety of foods of a good to very good standard. For breakfast there is a full cooked breakfast in addition to cereal, yogurt, fruit, porridge, toast and pastries. For lunch and dinner there is a variety of salads, pre-made sandwiches/wraps/rolls, cold meats, soup, asian and indian foods as well as roasts, veg and assorted meats and sides. Cabin: We stayed in an interior cabin on Deck 10 at the front of the ship. The room was in good condition and larger than I was expecting. Our cabin stewards would clean the room twice daily and very helpful if you had any issues, questions or just wanted more towels. On-board Activities: There was a large variety of activities on sea days, and a smaller number of activities of port days. Activities included a variety of trivia (general trivia, sports, music), bingo, art auctions, table tennis, arts and crafts sessions, wine tasting, martini and cocktail making sessions, movies on the top deck, cooking demonstrations and galley tours, karaoke, game shows with crew (celebrity heads etc). Shore Tours: I didn't do any of the P&O shore tours. They are expensive but there is a large variety of tours and they all meet standards set by P&O and the ship will wait for you if you are on a P&O tour that runs late. Entertainment: There was a wide variety of entertainment over the cruise. There were theme nights that were held on the top deck or in the Dome if there is bad weather. these included an Island party, Country and Western Night. There was a magician and a couple of comedians that performed either family shows in the theatre or adults only shows late at night in the dome nightclub. The nightclub would run until 3AM. Throughout the afternoon and evening there was also live music on the top deck, in the atrium or in some of the bars and this included Bands, acoustic duos and a pianist. Over the cruise there were several production shows, these production shows are of incredible quality and are family friendly, high energy, fun and playful and sometimes feature audience participation. The shows cater to everyone featuring hits from the 60's, 70's and 80's through to current offerings. These shows are not to be missed. Disembarkation: We had an early disembarkation time as we had flights to catch. Disembarkation was run very smoothly with clear instructions and directions on where we were to meet, what we needed and were we were to disembark from. The Pacific Dawn is a wonderful ship to travel on and P&O have a great understanding of their clientele and their needs to provide the best experience for your holiday. I'll definitely be travelling with P&O again, both on the Pacific Dawn and on their other ships. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We went on Pacific Island Hopper from Brisbane -> Noumea -> Lifou ->Port Vila -> Brisbane Cabin - Good , neat and well presented Cabin Steward - Very very Good Shark Shack - Children's entertainment - Excellent ... Read More
We went on Pacific Island Hopper from Brisbane -> Noumea -> Lifou ->Port Vila -> Brisbane Cabin - Good , neat and well presented Cabin Steward - Very very Good Shark Shack - Children's entertainment - Excellent Entertainment - Great ( Good work Tim, Willy & Haden) Food - Extremely poor. ( Like buying a meal for $10 all you can eat restaurant - Plantation Restaurant) Food Choices - Vegetarians don't bother catching this ship, Ship induce you to go to salt gril or other restaurants and ask you to pay. Overpriced food. I recommend you to starve for a couple of months before going on this ship. Then it may taste good. For ordinary people who enjoy food, please look for some other cruise. Photography - Good, They do a good job. Not bad prices Embarkation/ Disembarkation - Good Job. Smooth Sail. Capitan & Other Staff - Very well behaved and very friendly. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Just completed a 3 night weekend cruise from Brisbane on the Princess Dawn. Some good and bad points are listed Good. 1. Cabin Service 100% 2. Cabin cleanliness 100% 3. Charlies Bar coffee is as good as you will get anywhere 3. ... Read More
Just completed a 3 night weekend cruise from Brisbane on the Princess Dawn. Some good and bad points are listed Good. 1. Cabin Service 100% 2. Cabin cleanliness 100% 3. Charlies Bar coffee is as good as you will get anywhere 3. Waterfront Restaurant food good but limited number of tables for 2 and difficult to get one 4. Entertainment average 5. Drinks expensive but cold Bad 1. Not a trip to be recommended for Seniors. 2. Buffet food was ordinary and some just warm 3. Boarding procedure and security takes far too much time 4. Walk from security to ship boarding point much too far for elderly passengers 5. Price of everything on board much too high 6. Most seating in pool and most areas occupied by young inconsiderate passengers Would we travel P&O again? Doubt it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Boarding ran really smoothly and it only took us about 10 minutes to board. I did find the flurry of getting on, security,people shoving coffee cards and drink package cards in our face asking us to buy, have your photo taken all very ... Read More
Boarding ran really smoothly and it only took us about 10 minutes to board. I did find the flurry of getting on, security,people shoving coffee cards and drink package cards in our face asking us to buy, have your photo taken all very rushed. I found the soft drink, mock tail package well worth it but we hardly used the coffee one. I found the photo taking at every opportunity annoying and nothing more than a money grab. I just said no to photos in the end. Not having been on another Cruise ship we have nothing to compare but we found the most things to be great. The meals were absolutely lovely. We opted for the formal dining for almost every meal. We probably only ate at the buffet about 3 times and found it basic cafe type meals. The staff were exceptional and always funny. We did however find one of the head waiters very ordinary. As my husband was on crutches it was very frustrating that we were always shown to a dining table right down the back of the dining room. This was also the case for other people on walking frames etc. We should have been sat near the door. The off shore trips were well planned but quite expensive. As it was our first Cruise we decided it was best to do everything through the Company. Next time we will have confidence to do our own thing. The shows were good however after three days on shore the entertainment gets a bit repetitive. We enjoyed trivia and Bingo. The internet was a joke and very expensive, so slow and as you paid by the time online it quickly chewed up your package. The TV in the room was OK but trying to get any Australian news was almost impossible. Disembarking was a breeze. It was a great experience and will certainly cruise again.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
My husband and I cannot speak highly enough of the cruise on the Pacific Dawn. Balcony was excellent. Service was outstanding in all areas from room service to the entertainment. We arrived home wanting to cruise again to which we did only ... Read More
My husband and I cannot speak highly enough of the cruise on the Pacific Dawn. Balcony was excellent. Service was outstanding in all areas from room service to the entertainment. We arrived home wanting to cruise again to which we did only to be disappointed on the Aria. We will go on the dawn again. Everyday we participated in some activity from going on the tender boats to the various islands and at night enjoying the karaoke and shows. Love the trivia. Food was absolutely beautiful. Staff were fantastic and so friendly. what more can I say it was an amazing cruise. Thank you for all the wonderful people we met. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Pacific dawn. The first ship i have ever sailed on so in all fairness can not say how it compares with other ships. However if you are prone to seasickness do not travel in december to the pacific...very rough seas on departure out of ... Read More
Pacific dawn. The first ship i have ever sailed on so in all fairness can not say how it compares with other ships. However if you are prone to seasickness do not travel in december to the pacific...very rough seas on departure out of brisbane and return into brisbane. I spent 2 days out of 7 ill along with many other passengers... As i am a smoker do not chose this ship as the ship is not smoker friendly.. there are only 2 areas to smoke and very difficult to access especially in bad weather. regardless of hoW much money you spend with p and o you will still be treated the same as every other smoker. not like every other passenger. The housekeeping staff and wait staff are very good work very hard and deserve every tip you give them as their wages are pitiful. i expect this would extend to other staff who are from poor countries working in other areas. The cruise itself with accomodation and all meals is very cheap however best you have A LOT OF MONEY to spend as you are on the ship most of the time and nearly everything has a price. the shore tours are very expensive in my opinion. charged more than back home to do equivalent things..best to select tours that are unique to the island/s and locals.. If you dont like the bistro food you can always book in to have silver service or pay for the seafood restaurant or pay for burgers or pizzas , the free coffee and tea is barely drinkable so if you are a coffee lover you will be paying for good coffee on board. There is WAY TOO MUCH lean on passengers to spend on the ship..on overpriced goods and services...all you have to say is no thankyou..simple.for those who are perhaps in the lower income brackets The goods and services however are quality products more catered for middle to upper class earners.There are a lot of different shows and entertainmnet on board and always at least one thing you will like..Great for 18 to 25 year olds who like to party pools spas sun alcohol casino and theme nights...these are a lot of fun...dress up or hardly at all...very skimpy bikinis on some of the young girls with hawaain night...im more of a spectator than a participator and enjoyed watching people and kids having fun...Heaps of places on the boat to have a sleep read a book or hide..up to you. some of the downer points: I did not like being woken before 6am by loud inroom speakers to inform passengers of small fires on the ship that had been dealt with..very stressful and alarming. I found this to be a contradiction ..the reason being that this cruise 6th to 13th dec 2014 was meant to leave brisbane at 2pm but did not sail until approx 7.30 pm that night ...the passengers were not imformed by the captain the reason why the boat did not sail at 2pm..as a result we missed our first port at noumea... This is my first and last cruise and was a gift to accompany my brother for his 50th birthday present..so this was a great disappointment...we were not offered a refund for the one day of sailing but TOLD we were being given a future cruise credit..to be spent with p and o. So be aware Aussies...if p and o stuff up your cruise or tours in any way they will not refund you...they do not abide by australian consumer laws... Also be aware as it is an older ship there are problems with the lifts...if you have bad backs hips or legs do not sail on this ship...chose a newer better maintained one...you will be forced to use the stairs many times. There are from time to time in bad weather leaks from deck 12( pool deck ) into ceilings in deck 11 so dont chose deck 11 rooms.when your agent is selecting you a room...try and chose midship where possible. Occasionally water does come up and overflow out of toilets..only some...just request another cabin if this happens to you. Make sure you take a jacket to wear with you on the ship at all times as the temperature varies from every part of the ship with aircon.. Hot water does run out on this ship so before you strip for a shower test the water in the shower first.. I feel this ship is best suited to young families young couple and young people generally.. .   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014

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