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

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
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
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
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
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
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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