We purchased this cruise directly from P&O website on a flash sale. They had a full suite available for $2298 for 2 people just $1149pp. This accomodation was a huge bonus, and gave us a great space as our retreat. We were in suite ... Read More
We purchased this cruise directly from P&O website on a flash sale. They had a full suite available for $2298 for 2 people just $1149pp. This accomodation was a huge bonus, and gave us a great space as our retreat. We were in suite 11115 deck 11 situated below the Salt speacialty restaurant. I’m not complaining myself, but just want to warn people to not book this suite if your a light sleeper. They clean Salt Restaurant from 11.30pm each night, and finish about 1.30am, the noise of scraping chairs, moving furniture, and heavy footsteps was constant every night. Noise started again at 5.30am till 6.30am when deliveries were being made, and boxes being dropped and moved, and more heavy footsteps. The suite had 3 Australian power points available, one in the dressing room, one where The Nespresso coffee machine is, and another above the TV where the DVD & iPod players are. We took a power board, but could have managed without it. Ronnie & Cedep were our cabin stewards who both did an amazing job, and both had very happy friendly dispositions. We had breakfast delivered to the suite each morning (except disembarkation)
The selection was very good, for both hot and cold dishes, having breakfast on the balcony was a great way to start the day. Breakfast is delivered free to suites, also you can have afternoon tea delivered to you suite free of charge. Just fill in the breakfast and afternoon tea menus found beside the cups & saucers in the cupboard. Free laundry service is a great perk for suite guests. Just fill in the laundry form, itemising your clothes with a total count, tick the same day delivery box, take no notice of the specified charges, as these are all waived for suite guests. Make sure the bag is outside your cabin door before 9am, it will be delivered back about 6pm same day, however you cannot send any laundry the day before disembarkation.
The food in the Waterfront restaurant was really quite good, some dishes were perhaps a little bland, but considering the numbers they cater for we were pretty happy. The service was terrific, friendly, and helpful. If you want to try several dishes, or have seconds, they are happy to oblige willingly. We did go to Salt specialty restaurant ( surcharge $59pp ) it seemed everyone was saying it was amazing. Unfortunately that was not our experience. I’ve posted pictures of the food as presented to us. Above the steak on the right was a bowl of mashed potatoes, it looked like soup, and was disgusting. I could have served a better looking steak from my Weber BBQ. The food in the Pantry looked good, and plenty of choice. We did not eat there, as finding free tables was difficult.
The Atrium area has lovely decor, as do the various bars and social facilities. The Marquee theatre is very spacious, had some really good events, and the shows are fun and entertaining. Don’t expect Broadway or London quality shows, but they provide good entertainment and colour. There were plenty of places to buy drinks, coffee of good quality, and sit and enjoy them whilst watching the passing parade. You can do as much or as little as you want. They offer all sorts of activities for young and old. I’m not a big drinker, glass of wine was about $9.00, a bottle to have with dinner from $35 to $70. You can take the bottle to your cabin and return with it the next night if you wish.
We found the service throughout the ship very good, from waiter staff, reception, to cleaners. The only thing I found unpleasant, was the huge number of people consuming alcohol whilst walking everywhere on the ship, up & down stairs, in the lifts, corridors, and in the shops. There were probably up to 200 children on this cruise. I fully understand that this type of holiday is financially affordable for families, and offers many activities for children. Most children were well behaved. However some were allowed to roam and do whatever they wanted.
The ports of call were good. Thought the very short time in Noumea should have been longer. Perhaps a full day in Lifou could be too long. Port Vila was great! Enjoyed the water taxi experience $5 each way to town. Some terrific duty free outlets to buy your spirits etc.
They deliver your alcohol purchases directly to the ship by law, so you don’t have to carry them back on board. Other purchases like Perfume, ceramics etc you carry those back yourself. As an example, bottle of Southern Comfort 1litre $20 bottle Baileys 1 litre $19 bottle. 100 ml Prada perfume $76.
Unfortunately we had some rough seas going over, and on the return. However great weather at all 3 ports. Consider taking some cans of ginger ale, and plenty of motion sickness medication with you. Watch carefully where your walking in all ports, as their footpaths and roads are very very uneven. If your fussy about pillows, We took our own, and was pleased we did. The bed in the suite was super comfortable. If your in a suite, keep a jug of fresh milk from the breakfast tray to use for your Nespresso coffee or tea you make in the cabin.
As long as you don’t have too high expectations before you leave, you will probably have a good cruise experience. If you get a great suite deal, or mini suite deal, go for these as you get much more space and a few extra perks.
We were very surprised to get a call from P&O 3 days before embarkation. They offered us a downgrade package. They wanted to pay us $1000 cash back, and $500 on board credit if we would move from Suite 11115 to a mini suite for the cruise. We declined the offer, as we may never get a suite deal that good again in our lifetime. We thought this was a very tacky and unprofessional tactic, it made us feel devalued as P&O passengers. Read Less