27 Brisbane to South Pacific P&O Australia Pacific Jewel Cruise Reviews

Paid for a cruise to Rabaul & Islands of New Guinea. 14 hours late leaving port at Brisbane, this immediately caused the Captain to cancel Rabaul (which was supposed to be the highlight of the trip). Another island was cancelled ... Read More
Paid for a cruise to Rabaul & Islands of New Guinea. 14 hours late leaving port at Brisbane, this immediately caused the Captain to cancel Rabaul (which was supposed to be the highlight of the trip). Another island was cancelled because he couldn't anchor the ship. Fridge not working in our room,& told no replacement on board. Return to port in Brisbane saw us docked at Fishermans wharf & then put on buses to get back to Hamilton Wharf. Food service upstairs in "The Pantry" was poor in places with the rest just passable. To get a bowl of breakfast cereal you have to line up 20 deep to wait your turn. It made better sense to try something else. Meals in the restaurant were warm at best when served, with the wait at times being nothing short of ridiculous. An afternoon tea did not even come with a dry biscuit as everything was packed away. (How un-Australian) Music in the Atrium was always too loud & any requests to turn it down were largely ignored. Many requests were put to cruise director that we were not all deaf. Air conditioning was at a level where the vast majority were wearing jackets to keep warm on decks 5-6-7. (in the tropics) Staff tried hard but not hard enough to convince me to ever use P & O again. You didn't deliver on what I paid for & I reckon some form of compensation is not out of the question. To cancel 2 ports with no redress was not acceptable. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Having cruised with P&O numerous times I was looking forward to cruising to PNG. Unfortunately this cruise was unsatisfactory & well below expectations. It was delayed 16 hours, there was no sail away party. The ship has been sold ... Read More
Having cruised with P&O numerous times I was looking forward to cruising to PNG. Unfortunately this cruise was unsatisfactory & well below expectations. It was delayed 16 hours, there was no sail away party. The ship has been sold and the new owners were on board with paint samples, carpet samples, tape measures wandering around measuring things. 2 ports were missed, the main one being Rabual. The captain took 3 days to sail to PNG but only 2 to get back to Brisbane. We could have easily made it to Rabual. Entertainment was lacking. Food quality hit & miss. A huge disappointment in many ways. At the end we were herded into buses for a half hour trip back to the terminal. Not one passenger received a feedback survey to fill in. I guess P&O only like to receive positive feedback and knew there would be none from this unsatisfactory cruise. Would I recommend P&0. NO. Prior to this cruise I would have said yes. The cruise J846 to PNG was so unsatisfactory that a petition was started. Close to 300 signatures. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see New Guinea. We were 14 hours late leaving Brisbane - our first night spent portside. Consequently we didn't get to Rabaul,the most important port on the cruise. The captain then decided ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see New Guinea. We were 14 hours late leaving Brisbane - our first night spent portside. Consequently we didn't get to Rabaul,the most important port on the cruise. The captain then decided it was too rough to put the tenders out for Kitiva- - 2 ports down! Two medical evacuations which of course are not the fault of P & O but did the captain have to close down 4 decks for 3 hours! Supposed to disembark at 7.30 a.m.and finally made it at 8.30. Had to dock at Fisherman's Wharf and bus it to Hamilton Port because once again the captain decided it was too windy. Was this his first cruise! It was our 23rd and by far the worst we have ever done. The crew did their best to keep everyone happy but 1800 passengers were *******off! It is now a week since we arrived back and we still have not received the questionnaire for our feedback. I don't think they are game to send them out. I would never recommend P& O to anybody. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Chose cruise for destination,boarded at 1.30pm left dock 14 hrs late after captain said too windy to leave,missed two ports one because we left late second because of medical emergency ,on the way back another medical emergency so captain ... Read More
Chose cruise for destination,boarded at 1.30pm left dock 14 hrs late after captain said too windy to leave,missed two ports one because we left late second because of medical emergency ,on the way back another medical emergency so captain said we will not be docking at Portside we will dock at the grain wharf and bus it to Portside, when speaking to workers at Portside they said they could not understand that has ships had come up the river in worst conditions than that.whilst at kite a the captain said seas to rough will not be tendering today so will miss port, again been sailing quite a while now have seen it a lot worse conditions and still use the tenders.whist at kirrawena only used two tenders and as soon as people got off they started to return in a short while the Queue was massive people had to wait in the really hot weather terrible no shade available. No cultural show as the people there didn’t know we were coming in that day, no one from p&o told them about itinerary change.The entertainment on the ship was way below expectation,food very poor, needless to say we and plenty more people on this cruise all said never again with p&o. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise as a family to visit Papua New Guinea where my father served in WW2 and my husband spent his childhood. We took our daughter and grandson to visit this town and experience our family history. When we couldn't ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a family to visit Papua New Guinea where my father served in WW2 and my husband spent his childhood. We took our daughter and grandson to visit this town and experience our family history. When we couldn't leave Brisbane on time and the Captain knew he could not make up the time to get to PNG on time, we should have been bused to Fisherman Island as other P&O cruise ships do regularly. Why was Rabaul the port cancelled? An officer on board told us that it had to be Alotau or Rabaul and most people wanted to see Alotau. I certainly wasn't asked and everyone we spoke to agree, they wanted to see Rabaul, so where did this consensus of opinion arise. We arrived in Alotau a day early because they were preparing for their festival the next day and locals were not expecting us. I can understand medical emergencies then delaying us twice more and missing a further port, despite us sitting within swimming distance of the island for half a day. Overall, a disastrous cruise, staff were rude in the duty free sales section, not upholding advertised specials. Entertainment below par, 1 or 2 acts of national standard but these performers were not seen again, all in-house performers (no doubt cheap). Food was the worst I have have ever experienced in years of cruising. Cost cutting by P&O has denigrated their cruise lines across all aspects and we will never travel with P&O Australia again. Please don't confuse this with British P&O, they are excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Here is my feedback from my latest cruise (J846) I must say that all the crew were great,10 out of 10. The same with the Entertainment and Lightning up front. Well, I never did see Rabaul. But let’s start: As I boarded the ... Read More
Here is my feedback from my latest cruise (J846) I must say that all the crew were great,10 out of 10. The same with the Entertainment and Lightning up front. Well, I never did see Rabaul. But let’s start: As I boarded the ship I realised that I had joined a floating Old Age Home. (With all the things that go with it). As it got closer to our 4pm departure a broadcast was heard: Due to unforeseen circumstances there is a change of our departure time. The ship was to leave at 4pm Sunday but left at 6am Monday. My 1st day at sea was spent at the Brisbane dockside. -There goes the Sail Away Party On the way to the first port (Alotau) We heard another announcement: Due to unforeseen circumstances there is a helicopter emergency evacuation due to a sick passenger. All 4 decks are closed due to a full fire drill in case the helicopter crashes. No food from top deck .All passenger squashed down to the lower decks. Older passengers looking for non existing seats. Later on another announcement from the captain: Due to unforeseen circumstances Raboul port has been cancelled. Before arriving at Alotau I happened to look down to the reception area and found passengers waiting with suitcases etc. They left the ship and made their own arrangement to return to Australia. (Wonder why) Alotau was great 10/10 We are on the way to Kitava Once arrived lots of people wanted to get on to the island. Just by looking at it I found it was small with hardly any amenities so I stayed on board (that was lucky) Four tenders ferried the passengers to a rather long and narrow jetty. After about an hour a broadcast from the captain was heard: Due to unforeseen circumstances there will be a delay in our departure time. This is due to passengers returning early to the jetty whilst we still got passengers leaving. -So a great bottleneck occurred on the jetty. Some passengers told me of an hour wait on the jetty before returning Later on in the afternoon a broadcast was heard: Due to the delay of getting all the passengers back on board Trobian Island has been cancelled. Off to Conflict Island. The island was great no problems 10/10 Now on the way back to Brisbane. After about a third back we heard an announcement: Due to unforeseen circumstances there is a helicopter emergency evacuation due to a sick passenger. All 4 decks are closed due to a full fire drill in case the helicopter crashes. No food from top deck .All passenger squashed down to the lower decks. Older passengers looking for non existing seats. So we should be arriving in Brisbane Dockside shortly. But before we make it, a we heard an announcement: Due to unforeseen circumstances we won’t be going to the Brisbane port but instead to the Fisherman Island Port. (Great jubilation erupted especially from the elderly). We now are at Fisherman Island Port: All the Luggage was deposited on the hot concrete (was 31Degrees) Everybody shuffled slowly to a temporary security and passport check to be greeted with a row of busses to speedily bus the 15000 or so passenger’s luggage and their 2 cartons of bottles back to the Brisbane terminal. Once arrived there the entire luggage was once again deposited on to the hot ground. and no shuttle bus to our car parking station. (Arrived after a quite a while) But overall a great time was had by all of us (not). Still waiting for a response from P&O. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Chosen to return to a country that I worked in the '80s. Positives: Crew, but not the Captain. Entertainment by the crew, and general positive attitude when future employment, following sale of ship in 2019, not always known. ... Read More
Chosen to return to a country that I worked in the '80s. Positives: Crew, but not the Captain. Entertainment by the crew, and general positive attitude when future employment, following sale of ship in 2019, not always known. Negatives: Tired ship despite refurbishment; changes to itinerary due to weather (T&Cs permit, but choice of excluded port not well received); standard of food not satisfactory; entertainment so so; the Captain (not seen, rarely heard expect for bad news, midday reports dropped off); travel insurance letters not issued to all passengers; the Captain; some rude and objectionable staff that did not consider disabilities an issue; balconies so small you can't open the door outwards and sit comfortably; the Captain; return to Brisbane at Fishermans Wharf (not Hamilton Wharf) due to wind that would've delayed the ship's departure for Port Moresby. In summary, the worst cruise I have experienced and that discounts the two medivacs and delayed departure (again due to wind). There was more but that's enough. PS: Sone concerns the spirits were watered down. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise primarily to visit Ribaul , unfortunately it did not happen, due to unforeseen problems. I realise the Captain had to make certain calls but it was a great disappointment ,to the majority of passengers that we were ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily to visit Ribaul , unfortunately it did not happen, due to unforeseen problems. I realise the Captain had to make certain calls but it was a great disappointment ,to the majority of passengers that we were unable to dock there. Like many others we had wanted to see where our fathers had been stationed. during the War ,especially as it was so close to Remembrance Day. If the Captain had perhaps explained why we couldn't get to Ribaul, instead of saying it had been decided to leave it off the itinerary, that may have helped. Saying instead he thought going to the islands was a better option for us. The 2 medical emergencies could not have been avoided and were handled well, so we were told frequently. The Jewel is a very tired old ship. Everything VERY worn. The food , especially in the pantry was a great disappointment. Onions with everything! Breakfast was the highlight of the day and well cooked but the others .. fish was soggy, every bread roll had onions, other dishes quite spicy and really simpler fare would have appealed to a lot more. Dinning in Watermark was the best option and the restaurants you paid for as well as the only decent coffee!! The serving staff were excellent but the chefs...…….well. I doubt I will be going on a cruise in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
See New Guinea. Particularly Rabaul and Volcanos, Milne Bay. Ship left 14hrs late, had been docked facing upriver and they couldn't turn it around. Cruised to Milne bay at 13-14 knots, three days at sea. Return trip 19-20 knots. Late ... Read More
See New Guinea. Particularly Rabaul and Volcanos, Milne Bay. Ship left 14hrs late, had been docked facing upriver and they couldn't turn it around. Cruised to Milne bay at 13-14 knots, three days at sea. Return trip 19-20 knots. Late departure used as excuse to cancel Rabaul. Docked at Milne bay, quite good and interesting .Kirinina very good beautiful people. Kitava didn't dock captain said seas were too rough, I think trying to make up lost time due to medical evacuation. Conflict islands, had to change your money for vouchers. Most things much more expensive than Kirinina. Eg 1 hour snorkeling booked on the ship $80. The ship was certainly showing its age, the cabins were adequate and the cabin staff excellent. Dining was good in the actual dining room but up in the pantry I would describe as like a feed lot. We did have a beautiful meal in salt and peppers but $60 pp extra. Entertainment was average, some routines a bit old.Any extra services ridiculously expensive. Meal service in the dining room was good but at the bar if you didn't stand in front of the staff you didn't get served. Order a soft drink, fill the glass with ice first then add the soft drink, wasn't refrigerated. All together probably my worst holiday experience. No more cruises for me. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We previously been to PNG on Aria and it was great so when our friends where going on this cruise we thought we would join them. Ship was 14 hrs late to leave port so this meant we would not get to Rabaul. Emergency evacuation of ill ... Read More
We previously been to PNG on Aria and it was great so when our friends where going on this cruise we thought we would join them. Ship was 14 hrs late to leave port so this meant we would not get to Rabaul. Emergency evacuation of ill passenger meant we stayed at Kirawina Island overnight resulting in getting to Kitava late. Then we were informed we would not be going ashore in tenders because of so called wind and big swell. Debateable but you can not do anything about it. Next we had another emergency evacuation near Willis Island and were all sent to lower levels for safety reasons which is understandable but there was no extra extra entertainment just go to shop or bars and tea and coffee you had to buy. Then we had to dock at Fishermans Island disembarked at about 8.30am lost baggage meant we waited around for at least an hour an half finally getting back to starting port at 11am. We commend P&O for the care of ill passengers but think they were not truthful about other incidents. Jewel is sold off and is probably a good thing. The food was an improvement since our last P&O cruise. The entertainment was not quiet as good though.The crew and entertaiment staff were excellent.Our cabin staff kept the cabin spotless and fixed any problem we had. We still enjoyed the cruise and with the coming of some more new ships will make a good improvement to P&O.The service from our waiters in the waterfront restaurant was excellent as they also entertained us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise primarily for its destinations in PNG. We had been before and this time wanted the kids to experience the people and culture of the PNG islands. We knew the Jewel was old and on its way out of the fleet but as said, ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for its destinations in PNG. We had been before and this time wanted the kids to experience the people and culture of the PNG islands. We knew the Jewel was old and on its way out of the fleet but as said, destination was our focus. There were a number of mishaps on this cruise that resulted in two missed ports and two medical evacuations - I won't pass judgement on the decisions made by the captain, I'll trust that he made the decisions he had to make. All I will say, in seven cruises I have never experienced so many problems with clearing and securing ports. FOOD - food was great. The Pantry is really good. Each meal you can decide if you want Indian, Mexican, Italian, Carvery, Fish & Chips, salad, sandwiches etc. Its like a host of pop-up restaurants. It's always fresh and hot, unless you turn up close to the end of service but why would you. The Waterfront restaurant was our preferred dinner option and the food was faultless. The service was really down on the first few nights compared to previous cruises. Meals were passed along the table guest to guest instead of being served correctly. Wine was not topped up, no ice bucket. Then one night our table wasn't ready so we ate at another waiters section and the service was great so we secured that table for the rest of the cruise. CABIN - faultlessly looked after. ENTERTAINMENT - overall it was ok, however, night one is an intro to the stage productions that will be on throughout the cruise but it was only shown once so if you were on the second dinner sitting you missed out and for us, we never really knew what was worth seeing or not worth seeing throughout the cruise, not smart. SPA - Critics say it's expensive but they clearly don't go to many high end spas, it is what it is. PUBLIC AREAS - For some reason people had a real habit of securing prime spots on the pool deck and oasis with their towel and then barley using the seat of deck chair. Some would be up there at 7am, secure a big area (up to 8 seats) and just have one person fending other guests off all morning until their family creeps out of bed at 11am. Staff never once cleared towels or articulated that this was not acceptable as they do on other cruises. If a guest is using the pool deck, more than just a towel would be sitting at their deck chair. BARS - Fine but no happy hour as with other cruises. SMOKING - Far too many smoking areas. Smokers would get within a few metres from their smoking area (pool deck) and light up, staff had to walk through and clear and clean, reports of smoking in rooms. Time for smoke free cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Got the cruising bug again after a 30 year hiatus, this cruise being the 3rd in 3 years on or around my birthday. First was the Pearl out of Sydney, second Dawn out of Brisbane & this year Jewel out of Brisbane. Embarkation was ... Read More
Got the cruising bug again after a 30 year hiatus, this cruise being the 3rd in 3 years on or around my birthday. First was the Pearl out of Sydney, second Dawn out of Brisbane & this year Jewel out of Brisbane. Embarkation was smooth, though the drop off for taxis is chaotic, two years in a row the taxi driver & traffic marshal have had fierce words when dropping me off. I chose a late boarding time, and had a stroll around portside & some pre cruise beers. When I arrived at my appointed time there was barely anyone there & I was on board in minutes. My cabin was very good, 11203, just a few doors from the Oasis. Though the Pantry was overhead I did not experience noise problems. The cabin stewards were excellent. The Pantry was my only dining venue. I travel alone, and prefer a minimum of fuss. The style of service suited me (no temptation to overeat) & I sat mostly at the high rail around the edge, with a view of the sea. I'm not a fussy eater & found the food satisfying. Only small gripe is the sometimes slow service at popular bars, as cocktail drinks were popular, & take an eternity to prepare. At the sail away party there were a couple of beer trolleys in service, which were quick & efficient. The only entertainment I observed were the singer/guitarists who popped up at various time in various venues. They were good, if a bit repetitive. My cruising style is very laid back: carry a book and follow the sun about, having some beers on the way. So no reports on the activities! Though the kids on the flying fox were having a good time, and as the weather was near perfect it was operating day long. Didn't book any shore activities, just strolled the streets of Noumea & Port Vila, and only went ashore at Mare to walk about. Sounds boring! A problem out of P&O's hands is the scrum at the dock in Port Vila, All I wanted was a water taxi to the centre of town & had to run a gauntlet of eager tour operators. Safety boarding & using the water taxis was a bit dodgy too, 14 people on mine, barely six inches of boat above the waterline. I got the platinum internet package, it worked fairly well on my phone & tablet, and the cost was covered by my room credit given by P&O for their 85th birthday. I will definitely cruise again, especially if I can find a cruise line that does deals for singles. At the moment I pay for 2, which is fair enough from P&O's point of view! But some sort of discount would enable me to go on more & longer cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Thought it was an inexpensive option for family holiday. Now know not a good choice. Pantry food boring and disappointing.....Hot food warm, cold food almost the same. Strong smell of sewerage on every deck except where smokers were. ... Read More
Thought it was an inexpensive option for family holiday. Now know not a good choice. Pantry food boring and disappointing.....Hot food warm, cold food almost the same. Strong smell of sewerage on every deck except where smokers were. No cheap options if one wanted to try something different. Free coffee unpleasant. Spa prices ludicrous. Shore tours when not cancelled were good. Most Staff we had dealings with were excellent though. Thought organization could have been better and announcements clearer. Unless one likes to get drunk or gamble, not a lot of activities. Edge staff very good with grandsons. Pools quite small....couldn't even get in the on deck Spa tubs for the number of kids in there. Elemis at sea Spa well overpriced and overcharged. The Jewel is tired that's why its being sold. Don't expect luxury... unless you have lots of money to try the upmarket bits. And expect to pay through the nose for anything extra. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
we needed a cruise fix . the ship is old and i believe it's sold ..but the staff made up for its age the food was great in the mdr ..didn't eat in the pantry . had dinner at salt very nice .. have been to the ports ... Read More
we needed a cruise fix . the ship is old and i believe it's sold ..but the staff made up for its age the food was great in the mdr ..didn't eat in the pantry . had dinner at salt very nice .. have been to the ports many times .but haven't done the city lights and micro brewery in Noumea ......so we did ......do it it was so much fun . also did the pub crawl in Vila again lots of fun ....the people there are so friendly ..we don't normally drink (very little ) embarkation and Disembarkation went very smooth . as i get claustrophobic we always get a balcony ...this has the smallest balcony i've ever had you couldn't sit looking out to the ocean without your feet resting on the railing ...forget about laying on a recliner entertainment was of the same as all cruises the performers were great .. some of the entertainment was for a younger crowd but we still enjoyed it all service was of the highest quality ..especially at front service desk . didn't travel with children would we go again a BIG YES .. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this ship for a not too expensive cruise with out family. We boarded in Brisbane and that was well organised and hassle free. On 1st impressions the ship is old, rusty, worn carpet, stained, marked walls but reasonable clean ... Read More
We chose this ship for a not too expensive cruise with out family. We boarded in Brisbane and that was well organised and hassle free. On 1st impressions the ship is old, rusty, worn carpet, stained, marked walls but reasonable clean apart from that. Our cabin was the same - old and tired. The bed was quite comfortable albeit a bit lumpy and no sheet, just a duvet or doona (whatever you want to call it). Our sheets were old and stained and never changed on the 8 day cruise. Our balcony was filthy and looked like it had never been cleaned. There were some problems with the pipes in the companionway and our cabin went without water a couple of times and we couldn't use the toilet for quite some time. They plumber had to have access to our cabin and when we came back later on the door was not locked. Lunches were not so good. Hot food cold and cold food warm, even when the buffet had just opened. More or less the same food day after day but the desserts were surprisingly good. Dining room dinners were terrible and high prices for very ordinary wines. Entertainment was very ordinary but the staff did a great job in trying to spruce it up. It was annoying that 1 group was able to shout foul language on the odd occasion at the nightly music trivia (in front of children) and no effort was made to stop them. The ugly Australians! The smell of cigarette smoke is always prevalent as it wafts inside from the smoking areas. It is very bad on the pool deck and it's a pity that non smokers are disadvantaged in favour of unheathly, selfish people. All in all the cruise was just okay and 99% of the crew and staff were very friendly and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Nil
My friend who has not cruised wanted a 3 day experience. As a 4 time cruiser the food was appalling cold, hard to put a fork into and no taste, bland and unappetising. No beverage package available. My friend doesn’t have a credit card ... Read More
My friend who has not cruised wanted a 3 day experience. As a 4 time cruiser the food was appalling cold, hard to put a fork into and no taste, bland and unappetising. No beverage package available. My friend doesn’t have a credit card as was paying cash as her load and go card was not accepted everywhere else but P&O cruises. Beds hard pillows too soft. Staff unfriendly and not helpful except our cabin staff, 1 bar staff, spa staff and 1 pantry staff member. I also had the privilege of catching up with ex work members on the cruise for the same reason and also appalled by the cruise. Good thing was leaving the ship. On exiting I have never had to take my own bags off a ship until Jewel. I will never sail P&O again and word of mouth is a powerful tool. My survey has not received by email so I am voicing my dissatisfaction on behalf of me and ny friend. I have been informed jewel is being sold off but any P&O experience will not be on my radar. You need to go Royal Carrabien and a good experience and upgrade you services. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We loved our cruise and thought the food was great, the service good and the rooms comfy. Such a great atmosphere and entertainment staff were so funny! Great bars, nice restaurants. I read reviews that The Pantry wasn’t very ... Read More
We loved our cruise and thought the food was great, the service good and the rooms comfy. Such a great atmosphere and entertainment staff were so funny! Great bars, nice restaurants. I read reviews that The Pantry wasn’t very good but I thought it was very good. Such a huge range of food to choose from and very tasty. Waterfront could be a bit slow but just a good excuse to relax and enjoy our evening. I actually preferred the lunch menus in Waterfront rather than dinner though. There was more variety for lunch. We did a couple of extras- High Tea- great value and the cocktail making class- also great value We watched 3 shows- all which were great but the best was definitely Tenori. They were amazing! We got an amazing price on Groupon for this 3 night cruise and loved every second- definitely won’t be our last cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
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
Firstly let me say that our last P&O cruise was 10 years ago and we vowed "never again". However we needed a mid year break this year and the only ship sailing out of Brisbane was the Jewel. I fully expected a ship that ... Read More
Firstly let me say that our last P&O cruise was 10 years ago and we vowed "never again". However we needed a mid year break this year and the only ship sailing out of Brisbane was the Jewel. I fully expected a ship that was very run down, with 1980's overflowing public toilets after reading the reviews here. We had two cabins - a deluxe balcony and standard balcony. Both were spotlessly clean with plenty of storage. The deluxe did have a better size balcony so I would definitely recommend that one. Service on the ship was fantastic. Our cabin stewards were outstanding, bar staff were always around to get you a drink and in all dining rooms we were impressed. The Pantry is great. I cannot understand how people say that it is repetitive. There are 6 different cuisine options plus dessert to choose from so if you are on a 7 day cruise you can try one each day. On a 14 night cruise you will have to double up (oh the hardship!) As it was I had Indian and Mexican nearly everyday as they were fantastic. Food in the Waterfront was great . La Luna (Thai ) and Salt were outstanding! I realise that the Jewel is getting on in years but she is well looked after. All public rooms look good. I have been on ships younger (and more expensive ) than this and they look tired in comparison. Heard some passengers complaining when we got off that there were cut backs. Okay there may not be the milk and cookies on deck in the afternoon (who wanted that anyway?), lobster night, bombe Alaska ,the champagne waterfall ,or a library. None of these things affected our holiday. We had a great time! I could go on and on but will not. Suffice to say that I am an avid cruiser (15 cruises on Carnival, Princess, Holland America , Celebrity and P&O ) . I have travelled widely as I worked in tourism for 20 plus years. ). I definitely would recommend P&O and would travel with them again. The food and service was much better than on some of the newer ships I have been on. Great atmosphere for all ages . Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
1st time for us on the Pacific Jewel, we have been on the Dawn and Pearl before and also have sailed with Princess, HAL, Carnival and RCL. The ship was just recently out of the refit in Singapore where it had amongst others the Pantry ... Read More
1st time for us on the Pacific Jewel, we have been on the Dawn and Pearl before and also have sailed with Princess, HAL, Carnival and RCL. The ship was just recently out of the refit in Singapore where it had amongst others the Pantry installed. We were travelling in a group of 22 people with a mixture of children12 of all ages 5 to 16 and 10 adults of various ages between 35-66. Some have had some previous cruise experience with my wife and our children being the most cruised family amongst our group. Embarkation went very smooth most of us had 9:30 check in and where on board the ship at 11 onwards. Food/Drinks: Naturally the first step was drop of hand luggage in the cabin, and off to the Pantry. What a pleasant surprise to the old Mensa style and what a great experience. There are so many varieties of seating availability that you never feel crowded also the various food stations are great. There is enough variety on board for a seven night cruise that you can not taste it all unless you have multiple servings and eat there for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We mainly ate in the pantry during lunch although we did eat in the MDR on a couple of occasions too for lunch as my wife likes the mussels. Breakfast was half and half and dinner mainly in the MDR. Although some of us did the Chef's table, which I can highly recommend, for $95 including all your wines it is a culinary experience. We also had dinner at Salts on the last night, again the food was delicious and the service outstanding. Some of our friends joined in on these events and the overall comment from all was that the food and service on board was great. On a side note with regards to booking a table, which you have to do on the first night that you dine in the MDR, after that they have your preference and will pencil it in, also you do not have to rebook at the MDR, you can just use the phone in your cabin to confirm/book your table. Drinks are similarly priced to what you pay in Australian pubs/Bars there is sufficient variety on board. Fortunately P&O is priced in Australian dollars as are Princess Aust and Carnival Aust as the lower Australian dollar does have an impact now if you are on a ship that charges in US dollars. Entertainment: The main shows were great, both the production shows and the guest entertainers. They no longer have the Pacific Cirque due to I believe a recent accident and acrobatic performance is now under review. The new shows are great, although we do miss some of the older ones, but one should not be nostalgic. There is enough to do on board the ship during the day to keep oneself entertained, just check out the Pacific Daily that is delivered each night. The specialty nights was Bianco, which was a great night, unfortunately due to the weather it was below decks. Whilst they still have sort of Western and Pirates, these are no longer main events and more just for a good photo opp. They are to be replaced by Gatesby and back to school theme nights. We also had two formal nights which are a great opportunity to get dressed up, I like putting on my Tuxedo for these and my wife enjoys very her formal attire and so did most of our friends. The Jam session on the last night in the Atrium was also great fun and well worth it. Overall the standard of the various bands/musicians was good. I would have loved to spend some more evenings in Connexions but it was a bit cold there (aircon) and my wife preferred the Atrium. Service/Cabin Steward/Cabin For our family we had to inside cabins deck 5 forward. They were find for our needs and the nice thing about the P&O ships is that their cabins are very roomy and there is enough space to put things away. In April we sailed on RCL VoS and found that the cabin space was insufficient for four people. Our room steward was excellent and we also had evening turndown service. The cabin was clean and everything functioned well. All our friends were satisfied with their cabins and steward service. Ships Crew/Staff My wife and I were fortunate enough that we were invited to the Senior Officer's cocktails party. P&O used to have a captain's club but due to so many repeat cruisers they had to cancel this as they would have required at least three to four sessions as they can no longer fit everyone in. We have done about 15 cruises with P&O and Princess and received an invite. I do not know what the exact qualifying criteria is so I just mention what we have sailed. During the event I met some of the head office staff from P&O that are involved in the children's program and as we have five boys on board they certainly valued my opinion. During the Bianco night I also met the Food and Beverage manager and we had a great chat (till 2am). I also met the Cruise Director and found him to be engaging with the passengers. Overall the ship staff were friendly, more friendly I must say than what I have experienced on some of the other liners. Kids club We had children in all clubs and were therefore able to give a good assessment of the activities. Turtle Cove and Shark Shack were excellent and the boys and girls in our group had a great time there. HQ and HQ plus not so much and that was due to the location of their club on Deck 2 vs the Dawn and Pearl having it on the upper decks. Consequently the teenagers did not get involved as much in their groups as what they previously have been involved in. Another bonus for P&O is the dedicated youth security they have that are easily identifiable and that keep a close eye on the children, I firmly believe that P&O excels in this area and have the best kids club program. What we very much like is how they also take the children around the ship and have various activities in the show lounge just for them. Carnival has this too to an extent which is great. Islands/Ports Noumea We have been to Noumea several times so did not plan an excursion. Our younger boys went with our friends and did the Tchou Tchou train and my wife, my oldest son and myself went to the shopping mall at Port Plaisance. My wife loves it there because there are several French boutique shops that have the right sizes for her without alterations. And sometimes you can pick up a great French bargain - although on this trip she made a slight error, she thought the bathing suite set her back $25 when it was actually $250, something about her mixing up the exchange rate. Best of all she came and checked with me and my son, as we were enjoying French wine (myself he had a coke) and snacks whilst she was shopping, on the price and I stated the correct amount - she just though I was joking. Whilst in Noumea and you want to do Tchou Tchou or bus, just check if it is more advantageous paying in dollars or XPF. The tour salesperson was great, she stated to me at present you are better off paying in A$ vs Francs (and she was correct- so thank you) Mare Again the weather was rainy but we still hoped off and took the bus to the beach where everyone goes, certainly a great beach to swim and snorkel and I would like to go back here under better conditions. The son did come out for about 45 minutes and the water was turquoise. There are some local selling various things so you can buy souvenirs etc. Don't try and walk to the beach unless you are a good walker because it is prob at least a 60 minute walk one way and then you have to get the right turn off to the beach. Vila Again an overcast day, so we just went down town in a water taxi, enjoyed the local culture, did some shopping sat in a café and then went back. Friends of ours and their girls did the snorkelling tour organised from the ship and they said they had a wonderful time. We have been to Vila before and therefore decided not to do too much because of the weather, we know we will be there again soon as most cruises to the SWP have a stop in Villa. On board shopping They now have a Pandora's store on board (if you are into that) overall there are sufficient shops etc and the lolly shop certainly was a favoured one. We have cruised sufficient time now that we are just happy to browse. The photo shop was fine and we did purchase some of the photo's as they look great and is a good memory. At least the quality of the paper used seems to be better than what we had on RCL recently. Disembarkation Again very smooth even though we had to get off at the grain terminal as the wind was too strong to allow the ship to dock at Portside. Overall This was an excellent cruise - would I do P&O again, without a doubt. Friends of ours who where first time cruisers have already booked their next cruise wanting to do the Melbourne cup and the others that were first time cruisers have seen the benefit of a cruising vacation. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
Having cruised on 4 other lines since we last cruised P&O Australia, it was a big step back to the Jewel. Cons Booking anytime dining in MDR is a tedious process that is required nightly for the first 3 nights Quality of food ... Read More
Having cruised on 4 other lines since we last cruised P&O Australia, it was a big step back to the Jewel. Cons Booking anytime dining in MDR is a tedious process that is required nightly for the first 3 nights Quality of food in MDR is a bit hit and miss. More ice than cream in MDR ice cream (likely to promote sales of NZ Icecream on deck 12 at $5 a scoop. No soft serve in buffet (now the pantry after June 15 refit) Burgers, hot dogs and pizzas are $5, $3 and $10 respectively Dress code not enforced in MDR, t-shirts on formal night. Many patrons do not have an 'inside voice' when dining in MDR Drinks are expensive.. Mixed drinks $9-10, Beer $7, cocktails $10 - $15 No drinks packages No bar nibblies, even in the cocktail bar (Mix) Onboard duty free, (jewellery, alcohol, cosmetics, watches) expensive, cheaper in Australia. No forward lounge with a view Adults only section (Oasis) has no pool or hot tubs All coffee shop food @ $4 per item Fee for room service food Tendering process is very slow (3 hours until open acess) The Pantry changes very little and lines are long Pros The ship is very clean Service quality is HAL/Princess Standard Cabin size is adequate MDR dinner selection is good (albeit quality is sporadic) Showroom productions are quite good (3 nightly sessions) Public rooms are cosy Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Hi. This was my first cruise with P&O Pacific Jewel. I knew it was only a 3 star ship and I read some Cruise critic feedback that it was just a party boat, but the cruise I was on was definitely not a party boat. It had a lot of ... Read More
Hi. This was my first cruise with P&O Pacific Jewel. I knew it was only a 3 star ship and I read some Cruise critic feedback that it was just a party boat, but the cruise I was on was definitely not a party boat. It had a lot of families with children on board as it was the school holidays. The boarding was quite good and staff in the check in area were very helpful and friendly. When I got on to the ship it was very nice looking, and staff again very friendly. Also I noticed that there were heaps of drink waiters, and it was like this throughout the cruise and there was hardly anyone standing at the bars. I think Royal Caribbean Cruises should take note of this, as their drink waiters are virtually non existent and if you want a drink you have to queue ->so take note Royal Caribbean as you are being out done by a 3 star ship in this area. The cabin was very nice and clean. The bathroom, especially the shower, was quite big - plenty of room to turn around in the shower. There were heaps of cupboard spaces, and heaps of draws to store things. Service to the room was friendly but limited. I was surprised to find a turn down service at night with a chocolate,very nice touch P&O. Waiters on board were very very friendly and would stop to have a bit of a chat with you. To the staff on board the Pacific Jewel thank you for the great service. In the new Pantry, now where do i start - the queues were very small and finding a table to sit at was not too bad, as the old saying goes 'seek and you will find "a table"'. The food in the Pantry provided very small portions, but you can go back if you want more. I thought they would have had better selections in meats in the fat cow section, as they didn't have roast lamb and only had roast beef the first two days. All there was the rest of the time in the roast meats was stuffed pork and roast chicken pieces. The breakfast bacon was very chewy, like leather, and I finished up giving the bacon a miss on the second morning. If you wanted a fried egg and a grilled tomato you had to go to different counters to get them, and then to the toaster for the toast. By this time your meal is nearly cold. If you want a hamburger in the Pantry it had a sign up saying "Hamburger and beer $10", but you could order it in the main dining room free - needs a bit of adjusting I think, to get it right as it is only a new concept. Don't get me wrong, I think it is a great idea this Pantry. Now for the main dinning room, I had the same table the whole trip and same waiters and I cannot say enough about the service. It was exceptional. As for the meals, they were quite nice but the ice cream was more ice, like another person said in this post. The thing that I thought was a big disappointment was that there was no front view from the ship, as apparently I believe they closed off the front part of the Dome and gave half of the Dome area to the Gym, but still no view out over the front even in the gym as there was a mirror in the gym blocking the view. You couldn't even gain access to the front of the ship at all to view coming into a port, very frustrating. Some of the windows on the side need the tint replaced as they were starting to go opaque and made it hard to see out. The trip went well otherwise, and the staff on board were very friendly and helpful. And again it had no drunks causing trouble, not what I saw just families and retiree type people, plus a mix of young 20 to 30 years olds enjoying themselves and not interfering with other passengers. A great mix of people. Even the kids on board, and there were a lot of them, but they were well behaved. Parents could be proud of their children and the children seem to be having fun. To potential cruisers, don't be scared off this ship thinking it is just a drunken party boat, as it is not, and the passengers are mixed in age and travel experience, great bunch of people. The entertainment was great as there was something going on every night in a number of public rooms like piano playing and you pick the tunes as long as it was on the piano players list, then next door to the Orient Bar was karaoke at the same time, then there was the Theatre shows and plenty of seats and great shows. Also I was very impressed with the way they did their props in the shows, but I won't spoil this as you will have to see it for yourselves. To be honest in the rating, I am rating this as a very good 3 star ship, and it excelled this in personal service Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
All the staff were friendly and helpful and made you feel special. Alcohol, hand sanitizes were located in all the food queuing areas. Food was plentiful with an excellent variety, especially the deserts. Must try the Salt Grill ... Read More
All the staff were friendly and helpful and made you feel special. Alcohol, hand sanitizes were located in all the food queuing areas. Food was plentiful with an excellent variety, especially the deserts. Must try the Salt Grill restaurant, great food at a realistic price. Wow, entertainment now that was the strong point of the cruise with an amazing band called "The Alter Ego" and the on board entertainment crew held excellent productions. Special acts including Nathan Foley and the comedians were great. Even the cruise Director Alun and Joanna sang and had the ship rocking. Overall the ship was clean and well maintained. Tip, don't drink too much on the first day of your cruise as there were a few sore heads the next day. I spoke to a couple who had 20 cruises under their belt from all over the world. They said the entertainment on P&O is unbeatable and beats the rest hands down. Coin operated washing machines and dryers mid ship on the 10th floor. 3 x $1 coins for washer and dryer. Packet of powder $1. Don't do your washing on the last day as you'll be lucky to get a machine. Ensure if you have a Suite or Mini Suite you get a priority boarding pass on check-in as they forgot to issue me with one. The only disappointing thing is the pricing at the spa, massages and treatments are very expensive. My wife and I had a great time on our first cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Pacific Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 3.5 3.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.1
Family 3.5 3.1
Shore Excursion N/A 3.2
Enrichment 3.0 3.0
Service 4.0 3.7
Value For Money 4.5 3.3
Rates 3.0 3.7

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