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Sail Date: November 2017
firstly, the cruise to nowhere was nice and relaxing but the time on board was to short, the trip says 3 days and 2 nights but we didn't spend 3 days, on Monday we had to leave the ship at 8. the 11 deck food not so good, the ... Read More
firstly, the cruise to nowhere was nice and relaxing but the time on board was to short, the trip says 3 days and 2 nights but we didn't spend 3 days, on Monday we had to leave the ship at 8. the 11 deck food not so good, the place smells bad. the crockery was also dirty. the cabins are ok the food on the 5 deck was lovely. the dinner portions are very small the soups was lovely the beef burgers should be reviewed, taste bad. the queues for lunch on the first day is a put off the pizza was good the juice from the machine must be changed the ice cream was lovely the public toilets was dirty the crew on board are very friendly and helpful I travelled with a 5 year old, and she enjoyed it over all the experience was good, I will go again Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We booked this cruise as this ship seemed to offer lots of entertainment and dining options. Our fourteen and seventeen year old daughters loved the teen club Entourage and made a group of friends that they spent every evening with. We ... Read More
We booked this cruise as this ship seemed to offer lots of entertainment and dining options. Our fourteen and seventeen year old daughters loved the teen club Entourage and made a group of friends that they spent every evening with. We loved the various restaurants and seldom visited the buffet, with the exception of my oldest daughter who went to the buffet multiple times a day. Cagney's was my favorite. The Brazilian meat place was my youngest daughter's favorite. The dueling piano bar was awesome. We never sat at the main pool as the chairs were perpetually reserved. The 60 minute rule was never enforced. There are many deck chairs available on the sun decks away from the pool area. The ropes course was great. We loved Tortola. We booked a cabin with balcony for my wife and I and an inside stateroom across the hall for the girls. This worked out great as sharing a bathroom with three women is all but impossible. Read Less
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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My husband and I went on our first cruise for our 10th Anniversary and it was absolutely amazing. Check in went smoothly, even though they were very busy, the staff were very polite. Embarkation went well, we only had to wait 20 mins ... Read More
My husband and I went on our first cruise for our 10th Anniversary and it was absolutely amazing. Check in went smoothly, even though they were very busy, the staff were very polite. Embarkation went well, we only had to wait 20 mins for our group to be called. Staff were great and all very helpful! Housekeeping were very helpful and friendly service, no request was too much. Always saying hello to us as we walked down the hall. Our cabin was just what we needed. We spent more time out and about than in our cabin. Couldn't get the aircon to work though. Food: Plantation food at dinner was a bit meh, but breakfast and lunch were great. Waterfront was lovely. Waiters were very efficient... but felt like they were hovering for our plates as it was so busy. Disembarkation went very well also. We had such an amazing time, next time we will take the kids!! The best holiday we've ever been on. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
P&O Australia is what it is, a budget cruise line so my expectations are lower and in general they do a good job, its obvious that the Pearl is past it and has not received the upgrades that the others have as it is retired next year ... Read More
P&O Australia is what it is, a budget cruise line so my expectations are lower and in general they do a good job, its obvious that the Pearl is past it and has not received the upgrades that the others have as it is retired next year but why is the service and food so poor in comparison. We don't have the nice new buffets but the food served is a miss match of items that just don't go together and most of it is served cold. The coffee in the machines is just awful and you are not even provided with a tray anymore, assumedly so people take less. The room I had was a mini suite and these are nice on a P&O Ship but its the little things that I notice, no chocolates at turn down any more, the water in the room was removed after the first day and the door did not latch other than a hook so you could not close it once on the balcony. The Waterfront Dining was average but after an incident with four very rude women just turning their backs on us as the staff made us share with them we were put off, we asked to be moved but this all turned out to be to hard when they wanted to place us on the table next to where we were, basically we were to embarrassed to return again. It was billed as a comedy cruise that was a cruise to no where but there was only shows in the evening, the first night we had a ventriloquist and an 11pm comedy show, the second a comedy variety show and another late night show then the third night singing and dancing show and one comedy show at 11pm that was the best in the cruise. But what about the day time, we spent all day with very little to do, the entertainment team was on board and they did one show, why not put on some matinee shows and day time comedy, after all it was a comedy cruise. You get to see the same amount of comedy on an average Carnival Spirit cruise. Overall it was a good way to spend a weekend but maybe just cruise somewhere on Carnival Spirit instead, same amount of comedy but a much nicer ship. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I went on this cruise as part of a wedding. The wedding itself was very nice, it was held in the Dome, which was closed for the event, although the staff in charge of the music screwed up multiple times. And that was the good part of the ... Read More
I went on this cruise as part of a wedding. The wedding itself was very nice, it was held in the Dome, which was closed for the event, although the staff in charge of the music screwed up multiple times. And that was the good part of the cruise. The ship itself was smaller than usual, being a Comedy Cruise, the layout seemed fine although there was only 1 pool and 2 spas in the main pool area. My cabin was dated, I was on deck 5 and the bunk bed above me creaked all night, and i dont mean every now and then, almost constantly throughout the rocking. The dining was absolutely abysmal and i would not eat the food on the ship if it was free. The pantry was boring and lacked variety, the Italian restaurant had disgusting bread-sticks, flavourless food and a very boring menu. The Pantry (buffet) was slow and tedious, taking away the option for collecting your own food, meaning you had to get another plate if you wanted to go to a different cuisine, the food itself was bland and mostly rubber (i couldnt pierce the top of my jelly with my spoon). There were very few activities and the entertainment was very average. The service was very mediocre, the staff in the restaurants were incredibly slow and I payed no attention to them, as opposed to other cruise staff, which are usually quite joyful and get to know everyone. We did travel with children who were bored out of their minds the whole 3 days. Would never travel on this ship ever again. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Diamond Plus cruiser with RCCL, but have sailed other cruise lines. Just let me say the pre-cruise terminal experience was different and not very well organized. One person telling you to go here and there with no signage. Thank ... Read More
Diamond Plus cruiser with RCCL, but have sailed other cruise lines. Just let me say the pre-cruise terminal experience was different and not very well organized. One person telling you to go here and there with no signage. Thank goodness I knew how the process was suppose to work. For a new cruiser, it would be daunting. Your sea pass card awaits you in your room. I booked a balcony on deck 8, thankfully not to far from Aft elevators. Stateroom attendant did a great job. Lets just say there is a lot of walking on this ship. We did the classic complimentary dining, (rotated between the free dining rooms each night with the same table and wait staff. We had table 101 for 2, with Christian as our waiter, he and his wife (asst.waiter) were great. We ate in Chic, Grande and American Icon, our least favorite was American Icon which I thought I would like the best. We ate lunch in Chic one day, the lobster/shrimp saffron rissoto was the best. Smoked potato soup not too good. Our waitress did not tell us that the tuti salad bar was available. Windjammer food the same as always, but variety was much smaller than I felt in the past. Only one waitress offer to get us drinks. Indoor pool and solorium were packed everyday. You could not enjoy Johnny Rockets as it is located on the outside pool deck, where they normally would have ice cream stand. Concierge Lounge has a beautiful view, once you find it at the end of deck 12 staterooms, be prepared for a long walk down a crooked hallway. Two 70's caberet show was cancelled, Queen show worth it to see, Atomic Punk (Van Hallen show), loud but ok. Casino, only wasted 5 dollars, no wins. Slots expensive, penny slots actually cost more than 3 dollars per spin on some. Not much variety. Only place we didn't go was SeaPlex. We saw Northstar and Windtunnel experience. Don't waste money to dine in Solorium Bistro (lunch or dinner) or go there for breakfast. Only came across one disgruntled employee, he was the concierge person in the diamond lounge on deck 5 outside the theater. No food was available in Diamond or Concierge Lounge due to them not passing Noro Virus inspection from last cruise. Ship seems a little top heavy as it swayed more than most and the overall design, had an Asian feel, no glitz, cheap poster pictures, Floors 3,4,5 not designed for amount of people on ship, to many expensive shops, Disembarkation was easy and fast after all the selfies left. Would I go again, only if prices came down, because I can drive to port and not fly. But for now, will try Baltimore and continue to fly to Florida to cruise. Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Here is our opinion of this fabulous ship: LIKED+ • LOVED the ship itself. It’s new and beautiful so what’s not to love. • We had a D7 balcony cabin which was great. Lots of storage closets and drawers too. The best part ... Read More
Here is our opinion of this fabulous ship: LIKED+ • LOVED the ship itself. It’s new and beautiful so what’s not to love. • We had a D7 balcony cabin which was great. Lots of storage closets and drawers too. The best part was the balcony: nice and large with 2 chairs that reclined and footstools (that stored under the chairs) to make it into your own lounger. LOVE THAT. These balconies beat the newer ships on both NCL and Princess as most of their balconies are tiny. • Nightlight in the bathroom and the lighted circle on the cabin mirror • We found the food to be good in the dining rooms and Windjammer. Always could find things we liked and I can’t think of anything we didn’t. Very happy lobster was served in all dining rooms the last night; it was delicious. Café 270—their stuff was just ok. We winged it with dining (I didn’t realize set timing was an option but that’s ok) and we didn’t wait more than 10 minutes to be seated for lunch or dinner. • Coconut ranger cookies. Even the chocolate cupcakes in the Windjammer were fabulous. It is rare I find a dessert on a ship that is so good I want more than one. • Solarium. LOVE this space and its location. • Tequila tasting was fun and the host was entertaining. He also makes fabulous drinks in Bolero. • Different drink menus in various bars. I like variety. • Two70. Awesome multi-purpose, three decks high room at the stern of the ship with many windows. • The café in the Promenade that had drinks (water, coffee, tea) and snacks. The pizza place was busy. • If you upload your credit card and photo, check-in is really a breeze and there are lots of check-in agents with their devices as soon as you enter the terminal. Present your pass and passport, answer the health questions, and you’re done. The longest line was after check in at security, and even that wasn’t long. I’d say it was 15 minutes tops from the time our feet entered the building to the time we boarded the ship. Great process once in the terminal (but not up to that point; see below) DID NOT LIKE • ONE dining room open for breakfast! Come on. You need TWO open. Didn’t make it there because both mornings we stopped down at 9am and since they stopped seating at 9:30 some RC guy told those of us beyond a certain point in the line that we needed to go elsewhere. Not sure if this is the case on longer cruises, but it needs more than one dining room open for breakfast on a ship this size. • Didn’t find a lot of the staff to be warm and friendly, though our cabin stewardess was. • The port! The long road into the port had horrible traffic. If you arrive between 11 and 1 you will wait in a long line of cars. The wait in the port was longer than our ride to the port. They need to separate those who don’t want to drop off their luggage first. This would make things move quicker. Even on longer cruises I can cart my luggage from a parking space to check-in. We got to our cabin around 1 and when I looked out over the port roads at that time there was no longer a line. So if I sailed from here again, I’d aim to arrive after 1. Others from the roll call arrived very early and had no lines, so that’s another option. • $30 and $40 for wine tasting? Really? Four two-ounce servings of wine (I checked to see what this included). Way too much $. • Guest Services only has 4 stations (with a human) for a 4,000 pax ship. Not sufficient. NEUTRAL • North Star was awesome. If you don’t have a reservation though, don’t bother. The standby line hardly moved as everyone who had a reservation seemed to show up. Even with a reservation I’d say we spent an hour there from start to finish. It was worth it to do once. • We Will Rock you was just ok, and I found it to be too long. They had technical difficulties about ¾ through the show so we left when it stopped at that point. Spectra was cancelled one night too for technical difficulties. • A lot of TV channels (not just news) which led the boyfriend to view TCM channel’s movies from the 40s and then try the (lame) pickup lines from those on me. Amusing at first, but then not. Other: Why do people have to be told to wash their hands often. Sad! Wish their deck plan indicated whether the bed was by the slider or by the bathroom. I think someone has started a chart on this so I can add my two cents for the cabins we had on this cruise. I would sail on Anthem again. While some things were a slight annoyance, I did like the ship a lot and would love to hang on my balcony again. You can always find things to pick on I think; I prefer to focus on enjoying my time on a ship! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We enjoyed most aspects of this cruise. Embarkation was easy and for those Aussies who're wondering about the cruises that don't dock anywhere - no, you don't need to bring the kid's passports, your medicare card ... Read More
We enjoyed most aspects of this cruise. Embarkation was easy and for those Aussies who're wondering about the cruises that don't dock anywhere - no, you don't need to bring the kid's passports, your medicare card will do as ID for them just fine. The adults DO need photo ID though. Obviously if you're taking a cruise that's going overseas then everyone sailing needs a passport. This paragraph has nothing to do with the cruise itself but parking in the area of the melbourne cruise terminal... I googled parking nearby for rates and found two car parks within walking distance. I even called them to make sure of the parking prices and was told that we didn't need to book, we could just arrive on the day and park. We arrived fairly early and found that both paid parking places were very small and completely full! The good news is that if you're happy to park your car on the street then go looking in the back streets (or call the council and ask them where you can park) and you'll find some all day parking. I wouldn't leave my car there for weeks on end, but we were happy to do that for 3 days. I had heard that the 3 night cruises were mainly party and booze cruises so i was hesitant about going on one. I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe it does happen, but i didn't notice it on this voyage. The comedians were great (and ones that we've heard of!). The food was good. We ate at Angelo's and the Dragon Lady and both provided great service. We weren't so impressed with the lunch service at the Waterfront Restaurant - the menu didn't change and it wasn't very adaptable. We found the selection of kids meals to be rather small at all the sit down resaurants. The food at the pantry was good but like other reviewers before me, i didn't like the pantry's style of serving. Buffet and tray style works soooo much better. There also seemed to be a lack of seating available. i wasn't a fan of having to buy pizza, burgers and so forth on the pool deck, so i didn't. I also agree with other posters that using the public toilets were a hit and miss experience. There weren't enough toilets on the pool deck and this was a problem in all of the busy areas. The staff running the activites were really lovely. Alun's morning chat and trivia was a treat. Luckily i got there early on the first morning to do the daily puzzles and saved a table for our team, as it was standing room only by the time Trivia was due to start. We love trivia and we weren't dissapointed in the amount of opportunities to play. I only peeked at the Gatsby party but it looked like heaps of fun. There was also quite a talented duo performing songs at the sail away party. It would be nice if they offered a different soduko everyday in their puzzle sheets but a soduko puzzle was only offered on the first day. They did different types of puzzles on each day. This was great but i prefer sodukos. There was a cinema but we never got the opportunity to sit down and watch a movie. They were either on when we wanted to do something else, or movies that we had no interest in seeing. Unfortunately we sailed during the coldest and windiest days of February so we wern't able to make use of the pool (which was only open on 1 of the days of the trip). The kids loved the kids club (mostly due to the fact that they were able to play on the Nintendo Wii) and we all so had a great time doing the scavanger hunt with them. I would have tried the bingo but I wasn't preparred to pay the prices that they wanted for a game sheet. One thing i always take notice of is the quality of the photographs taken by the ships photographers.... We always try to take a family portrait on formal nights as it's a cheap way to get the job done. We were very happy to purchase our photographs. I should also note that we purchased the endless soft drinks package before boarding. When we got on board we asked where we needed to get our sticker and were sent to the pool deck. We told the person behind the counter that we had pre purchased the package and they just nodded and put our card through the machine and put the appropriate sticker on it. Of course, when we got our bill at the end of the cruise we found that we had been charged twice for it. We got the bill late on the last evening so we had to go to the reception super early on the morning of disembarkation to sort the problem out. We were told that we should have gotten a room card when we embarked with the soft drink symbol already printed on it. I remember asking the person processing our embarkation about the soft drink package and they said that we had to sort that out on board. We're weren't angry about the inconvienience, but we could have done without it. Even though we had a great time, i don't think i would have enjoyed a longer trip on this boat as there weren't that many more options for our entertainment. They might offer more things to do on longer cruises but we managed to do everything that we wanted to do on this voyage. 3 nights seemed to be the perfect amount of time on this ship for us. What i like most about cruises is that you can do them with few out of pocket expenses, but there seemed to be more out of pocket expenses on this one than on others (not counting MSC and Costa cruises, they've turned out of pocket expenses into an art form!) Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was my third cruise, and my first on the Pacific Eden. Also my first cruise with my 11 year old, low verbal autistic child with me. First, the ship, it was beautiful. Plenty of seating areas, beautiful decor, and a lovely ... Read More
This was my third cruise, and my first on the Pacific Eden. Also my first cruise with my 11 year old, low verbal autistic child with me. First, the ship, it was beautiful. Plenty of seating areas, beautiful decor, and a lovely atmosphere. I watched 2 movies in the cinema, not bad, but i do prefer the outdoor screen on the other ships more. Also getting to the dining rooms was a little confusing till you worked out best ways to get there. Our room was clean, fairly spacious and our attendants did a great job tidying up after us, and looking after us in general. Our TV didn't work, I rang reception, explained it will be an important feature to our room considering in the evenings ill be keeping an autistic kid occupied with it, and it was replaced within 20 minutes of the call. Brilliant. I didn't get to check out Oasis for kid free time, but I will make a point of it next time. The pool was not filled for the first day due to tiles having been replaced, but once it was open, it was great to swim in. We made use of the spas till then. Food was abit below the standard i have had previously with P&O, portion sizes were smaller, less sides were available, but there was always something tasty available to eat. I generally prefer to eat in the dining room for dinner, but ended up preffering The Pantry on this cruise. The grill closed slightly earlier one night, so we ordered room service (burgers and chips). It came fast, was hot and tasted great. My guilty pleasure of the cruise though were the little fruit flans they have at the sugar bar. Service was abit different to previous cruises too, there were less waiters wandering around the pool deck, but there was still plenty of access to get a drink, i just had to wander to the bar slightly more than i was used to. The staff were all lovely, and went out of there way to accomadate any possible request we had. Entertainment was the usual, Karaoke, Live music, Trivia, Scavenger hunts. The kiddo went to kids club for about half of the cruise, and he loved it. The staff were fantastic, had no worries about his autism, and when he disrupted the movie, they didn't page me and stop his fun, they let him play star wars (one of his favorite things), and kept him happy till I arrived to get him. I was worried that I would be paged with every issue and have to collect him, this did not happen. The kids staff are wonderful, and happy to deal with disabilities. I also loved seeing the bar staff dressed for gatsby night, so did my son, he was happy, cos they were dressed exactly like him, he felt even more special. Overall, a little different from my past P&O cruises, but still every bit as enjoyable, and I am happily booking us both in for the New Years cruise now that i know that even though my child has a disability, we will both get to have a great holiday. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Just returned from a short 3 night cruise from Sydney staying in a Balcony cabin Deck 9. Firstly would like to say the ship is lovely and the entertainment was great. However...if you are intending on purchasing a drink package on this ... Read More
Just returned from a short 3 night cruise from Sydney staying in a Balcony cabin Deck 9. Firstly would like to say the ship is lovely and the entertainment was great. However...if you are intending on purchasing a drink package on this ship I would think again. We purchased the Ultimate drink package which included top shelf liquor and premium coffees and juices. We spend a fair bit of time at the Solarium bar (adults only pool area) where there were always very long queues to get a drink. I noticed a drink waiter coming around for a couple of hours on one of the days but he was no where to be seen by the 2nd day. Many people I observed were very annoyed at having to queue up constantly to get a drink. The bar service was very slow and they didn't have enough people on duty. Someone mentioned that this is common on short cruises from Sydney as they allow some of their staff to take leave during this time which results in minimal staff on duty. If you decide to purchase the drink package I would go inside and down in the lifts to the schooner bar, order drinks and bring them back up in the lift. This is much quicker than standing in line. I have cruised many times and have found the service on the RC ships through the Caribbean to be much better than what I have experienced cruising from Sydney. Perhaps it has something to do with the 'tipping' in America. I even had trouble trying to get a freshly squeezed orange juice, the wait time was very long. The water went off the first morning of the cruise so we couldn't get coffee from the cafe. We found the first night at dinner in the restaurant they were very unorganised and we seemed to have trouble ordering drinks from our drink package. The staff on the Explorer did not look happy, and the service was average. The best service I encountered was on the morning we docked. We were having breakfast in the Windjammer and the service was exceptional but I think it was because they were trying to get us to have breakfast and move on fairly quickly to disembark. Very disappointed with the service on this cruise and for that reason would not cruise on this ship again. Read Less

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