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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We picked this for a cheapie weekend away, and to check out Pacific Explorer having traveled on Carnival Spirit twice for a total of 17 nights and RCI Voyager OTS for 9 nights. We have always had balconies and will continue to book them ... Read More
We picked this for a cheapie weekend away, and to check out Pacific Explorer having traveled on Carnival Spirit twice for a total of 17 nights and RCI Voyager OTS for 9 nights. We have always had balconies and will continue to book them for longer cruises but as this was a shortie we decided to check out an ocean view stateroom instead. Lots of groups on board celebrating milestone birthdays, bucks, hens etc. Not many children evident, possibly due to being a 3 nighter. This was a Comedy Cruise, however we found most of the comedy to be pretty disappointing. Just the luck fo the draw on this I would say. Embarkation took about 25 minutes, no complaints. However, White Bay v.s Circular Quay is really a pain, particularly on the return as we were heading straight to work. Sailing away under the Harbour Bridge however is fantastic. Muster held indoors and seemed pretty well done. Indoors means you are more comfortable, can hear and so are more likely to pay attention. Our room # 8234 had a lovely big picture window but was certainly smaller than any we have previously been in and the bathroom is tiny. Both my husband and I commented that we would struggle with this on a longer cruise. We may have felt a little less confined if we had a balcony. It was adequate for a short cruise, and our attendants were lovely and did a great job of waving their magic wand over the room twice a day. Wish I could bring them home with me. The internal areas on this ship are lovely, certainly nicer than Spirit and perhaps even nicer than Voyager. I love how the evening party events are in the atrium and seem to draw you in from anywhere. Entertainment vibe was very good all over the ship. I feel P&O do this very well and seem to "get" Australians. Lots of lovely bay window nooks around the ship to curl up in for a chat or a read or just to people watch. These were a lovely find. External: pool deck fine, love the artificial grass on a lot of the outdoor areas, seems to make it less slippery. The adults' area at the back did not really appeal to us, it does not help that a smoking section is on the port side of The Oasis at the rear. We just could not really warm to it, but perhaps are biased after loving Serenity on the Spirit. The front adult area is lovely, with pretty lounges, but no permanent bar there and mostly unusable for the short time we were on due to the fact that it was usually too windy. (expected on moving ships at the front). Food: Pantry was OK, and I do like the fact that most of the food is served to you and not handled and coughed all over by everyone. I would rate it as 2.5 stars overall. I love the idea of three different styles of venue so that you feel that you are dining in a different restaurant each evening. I also liked the smaller more intimate feeling of them. Husband, however, felt that he prefers the larger MDRs on other ships. The fact that you have to line up and book on the first day however in order to get a table is a pain in the butt and for the life of me, I cannot work out how they cannot have a better system like other lines seem to manage. Big downside. Food was generally OK - good in the restaurants, in fact overall I thought the MDR was more consistently OK than the last time we were on the Spirit. Over the 3 days we had all dinners in one of them, 2 breakfasts and one lunch. All quite enjoyable. Drinks: Corona $AU8, cocktails about $AU12. Gym: very small. Lots of opportunities to pay extra for the usual things, including food, however we did not feel the need to spend extra on a 3 night cruise. Staff all very friendly and Explorer is a nice pick for a short trip getting away from it all. Would consider again. Read Less
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
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
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
If you enjoy bad service, filth and bad food then this trip is for you. My wife, 3 yr old and myself went on the cruise to nowhere ex Durban on 29 Jan 2016. We booked a suite which was the only good part of the trip as it was large and ... Read More
If you enjoy bad service, filth and bad food then this trip is for you. My wife, 3 yr old and myself went on the cruise to nowhere ex Durban on 29 Jan 2016. We booked a suite which was the only good part of the trip as it was large and luxurious with a balcony. However everything else was terrible. The worst was the hygiene. Cups were always stained with "stuff" encrusted at the bottom, on the lip and sides. There was vomit on carpets that were never cleaned the whole 2 days at sea. Linen and towels were terribly stained. Then the food -really awful and bland. It is all you can eat but the food is so terrible that you don't wanna. Also the buffet kept running out of food and you had to wait about an hour before the next batch was prepared. No complimentary juices at lunch or dinner, only at breakfast The fine dining was a bit better but nothing grand as you would expect. And don't bother complaining - it would be a miracle to see any senior personnel at the stations and the others you complain to just shrug their shoulders and do nothing. Read Less
36 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
As a seasoned cruiser, being on no fewer than 9 cruises over 15 years, on all different lines, I decided to write this review. These are my thoughts and what I feel is a balanced review. I was a bit apprehensive to go, as P&O I do ... Read More
As a seasoned cruiser, being on no fewer than 9 cruises over 15 years, on all different lines, I decided to write this review. These are my thoughts and what I feel is a balanced review. I was a bit apprehensive to go, as P&O I do find get negative or poor to average reviews. We are a family of 5, married couple with 3 children Miss 15, Miss 13 and Mr 4. We decided to have a quick 3 night cruise on the Jewel, as it worked with our busy lifestyle, and hadn't been on a P&O ship in over 10 years. As our most recent cruise was on Carnival Spirit,(March 2015) this would be a good comparison to do my review on. We drove from Adelaide, arrived Early into Port Melbourne at 10:30am. Picked the 12 midday embarkation option. We proceeded to the dock @ 10:45am, thinking we are way to early, but no, we pretty much walked on the ship just after 11am! We were welcomed on board and asked if we needed any help, but declined. Cannot complain about the service. On embarkation, we did the usual tour of the ship,( my favourite part!) and although the ship is getting old, was very impressed with the décor, condition and cleanliness of the ship, say compared to the Spirit. I actually expected much less, so it exceeded my expectations already. Constant refurbishments has kept it modern as can be for a ship of this age and design. We had 2 x inside cabins one deck 11 and 1 x deck 10. Not ideal, as we booked so late on a special price, but you get what your given. Our cabin is small, but clean and adequate. Everything was in our room, eg, pacific daily, kids club info,beds were great. Cabin stewards introduced themselves to us and gave great service. Our beds were arranged incorrectly, asked to bed changed. Done straight away. Our room steward did a great job, very efficient and made up our room in an acceptable time and turn down @ night. Dining. I was looking forward to the Pantry as it is a new concept. It has its pros and cons. These are my personnel thoughts and observations Let me explain... Pros; Less food variety = better quality food, Yes. Food hot, Yes. They serve the food to you. This eliminates many food safety issues, but also stops people piling food onto their plate. Remember, you can go back as many times as you want. Cons; You have to retrain yourself on how to eat at the Pantry. Instead of choosing 20 items to pile on your plate each day, ( at a normal buffet, for example) just pick one or two. On the 3 night cruise I struggled to visit each station at the Pantry over lunch to experience all the offerings unless I double and tripled up. I would not travel on a cruise any longer than 7 nights max with the pantry as it will get boring really quickly. Modern fit out, with chairs, but some too tall for kids like my 4 year old. Hard to get a seat at peak times (especially for a family of 5) The Pantry has very tight opening/closing times witch I did not like. Waterfront restaurant was excellent in comparison to the empire on the Spirit. We booked each day for 6pm dinner as a family. No issues with trying to book. Could either ring to book (yes they answered straight away) or rebook after dinner when leaving. Service was always fast and efficient but lacked personnel service, a little robotic. Food quality was good to great, reasonably hot. Food choices were plentiful and enjoyed the everyday food options and the share plates. highlight for us was the chicken share plate (this changes each night) and I recommend the chicken wings in the bucket. As good as on land. We only did breakfast once in the dining room, a bit average and didn't go back . Didn't try lunch in the Waterfront as ran out of days! My wife and I, did Salt Grill one night. Excellent food, great service. For $50 a head a fair price. To eat this quality, and amount of food on the main land would be twice as much. Entertainment was good, with enough options to meet most peoples needs in a ship that's not designed for that many things on at the same time. The shortcomings of an older ship trying to keep up todays standard. The new Bianco, Gatsby theme nights are slick, and much more upmarket than ever before. Comedy shows were great, highlight was the passenger comedy show with no more than 10 separate acts, with possibly the funniest and bizarre things I have seen in a long time. Production show Dejav was new and fresh. I suspect the older crowed would hate it, but I've had to put up with Piano Man, big Band etc same production shows for years. Thank god for new LCD screens now do away with props. No more anchor band, all now a distant memory. I suspect they can introduce new production shows monthly if they had too. Still plenty of other live music groups to choose from within the ship. The kids had a great time, but the two older did prefer the Spirit. Mr 4 year old couldn't wait to get to kids club. In summary, we had a great time on the Jewel. I think P&O get a bad wrap, but I don't understand why? Yes it's not 5 star, but I knew that going on. It was value for money and delivered a great product. I'm grateful for any cruise and lucky that we have the opportunity to cruise. Would I cruise on the Jewel again, probably not only because we like to experience as many ships as possible. We would however, book with P&O again if the price and itinerary was a good fit for us. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was my first cruise with norwegian after 4 with Carnival. We got the the manhattan pier at about noon and it was very confusing compared to past cruises. We traveled with two other families and we met them aboard the ship. Once aboard ... Read More
This was my first cruise with norwegian after 4 with Carnival. We got the the manhattan pier at about noon and it was very confusing compared to past cruises. We traveled with two other families and we met them aboard the ship. Once aboard the ship we found our room and explored the ship. the ship is beautiful! Our first activity was the ropes course. We went on when it opened and it was very fun. we also ended up doing the ropes course again the next day since they never opened the water slides. The next day on the ship while we were at sea we enjoyed dancing by the pool side. The service on the ship was ok. the crew members did not seem as friendly as on Carnival and did not go out of their way for you. Our cabin was the family ocean view on deck 5. it was nice however was a little small for five people to stay in. We ate in the manhattan room the first night and enjoyed our meal. We also enjoyed O'Sheehans irish pub. The entertainment was great! we enjoyed the rock of ages show as well as the piano bar and the fire and ice show. Overall we had a great time on the cruise. the main crtisism i would have is that the crew were not very friendly and the ship seemed a little disorganized in coordinating events. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
I felt the need to write this review because I went on a cruise to nowhere 2 days on and off... Staff didn't have to go out of there way... Yet they did. Bartenders, room attendants, waiters, casino staff... Everyone exceptional. I ... Read More
I felt the need to write this review because I went on a cruise to nowhere 2 days on and off... Staff didn't have to go out of there way... Yet they did. Bartenders, room attendants, waiters, casino staff... Everyone exceptional. I love NCL and this just confirmed why.. This was my thitd time on this ship and I love it. Passengers were a little different on this trip a kind of strange crowd... But that's what makes this ship so much fun the diversity! I am sailing again in June in the Haven I am counting the seconds!! I had a balcony this time room was nice. Thanks for the special memories my NCL family!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
Would not recommend to any one, 3 hour wait to check in & board after two computer break downs, boarding staff were so unorganised, we were in the line up for 2 hours then staff let people go through in front of us that had only waited ... Read More
Would not recommend to any one, 3 hour wait to check in & board after two computer break downs, boarding staff were so unorganised, we were in the line up for 2 hours then staff let people go through in front of us that had only waited 1 hour. 20 minute wait at all bars at any time of the day for the entire trip. Most of the staff on board were very unfriendly and very hard to communicate with as they didn't speak or understand english very well. Toilet in our room blocked up. I was happy with the food, although this one positive thing is not enough to encourage me to sail again with royal caribbean the legend of the seas. They advertised entertainment for three things that never to place. On departure when paying my bill, 45 minute wait in line up (again) they couldn't process my bill as there was an issue with payment through my credit card which turned out to be the cruse lines fault!! Very unhappy. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
I was a bit wary of cruising mainly due to seasickness experienced on car ferries from UK to France. I decided to take the plunge with my experienced cruiser family. To my delight, I didn't feel nauseous at all. We had a great cabin ... Read More
I was a bit wary of cruising mainly due to seasickness experienced on car ferries from UK to France. I decided to take the plunge with my experienced cruiser family. To my delight, I didn't feel nauseous at all. We had a great cabin on deck 6 which was quiet and well appointed with a cheerful steward looking after us. The ship was very clean and hand sanitizer is used in every food area. The crew members are helpful and enthusiastic. We lounged in the adult only pool with the cocktail of the day, ate tasty meals in the dining room and the Windjammer cafe. We enjoyed the dance show and the ice show was fantastic. I tried ice skating and rock climbing and danced the night away poolside. It was a brilliant introduction to cruising and I will definite be back for more. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
We just got back from Norwegian Cruise to nowhere that started from New Orleans. We were booked from 11/13/15-11/15/15. It was party of 10 that went on a three days cruise. It is our first time to cruise in United States. It was three ... Read More
We just got back from Norwegian Cruise to nowhere that started from New Orleans. We were booked from 11/13/15-11/15/15. It was party of 10 that went on a three days cruise. It is our first time to cruise in United States. It was three family and 10 members. We (three of us) stayed at stateroom 11130 on eleventh floor, room with balcony. We are absolutely amazed with service, organization and everything in between. Even though the arrival took a little of time due to many new customer service representatives doing check ins, we had best time from the moment we entered the ship. Service was amazing, starting with clean room, enough towels, very nice bathroom. We were told that there is a children station where they had programs for children. Our 6 years old girl LOVED it. Splash Academy rocks!!! The staff was awesome! My husband and I had a lot of time for ourselves to enjoy, which we were not able to do it in ages. Our child couldn't wait to go on all scheduled programs. There is a lots of food options, entertainment, ... shopping, but we ate mostly in Venetian. The service, food, everything is 5 stars. Servers were exceptional. Staff from Monte Negro and Croatia were the most pleasant ones, but all others as well. Great experience. We went to Irish Pub, to Club to dance, awesome! Our overall experience was GREAT one! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We only spent a night on board the Escape and didn't see all of it, however, the bits that we did see were awesome! Firstly, the rooms. Size wise, they similar to those on MSC, Princess and Royal Caribbean. The shower was the ... Read More
We only spent a night on board the Escape and didn't see all of it, however, the bits that we did see were awesome! Firstly, the rooms. Size wise, they similar to those on MSC, Princess and Royal Caribbean. The shower was the largest that I've had on a ship, with it being equivalent to a proper shower cubicle at home. In the suites (which our friends had) the shower was a rectangle that ran the width of the bathroom, so pretty big. Colours are nice and have the usual amenities. For those who would use a travel cot, there is plenty of space alongside the wardrobe. We were a family of three, so we had a drop down bed; all pretty standard. The facilities on this ship are what makes it such a fantastic ship for families. The high ropes were great fun. There was a queue for this activity, but as you just get stopped on and then get on your way, there is no waiting around. The queue time was less than 5 minutes, even though the queue seemed pretty big. The course is well done; you can often choose a "solid path" or a woolly rope path, whichever you feel most comfortable with. The guys that work on there are great; I had a wobble at the zip wire across the ship, but the staff made me feel better and encouraged me to carry on. A word of advice; the course goes right around the front of the ship and the exit is where you start. I didn't realise that I had to go all the way back to the beginning until I had been on the course about 25 mins. Had I have realised, I would have turned back earlier. The walk through weather feature was in a really cool 'room' at the front of the ship, it had a real party atmosphere and is well worth a visit. The arcade room is fab. A must do is the paceman air hockey. At certain points in the game, 20 pucks invade the table and you have to go crazy trying to pot them. Other fun games included bowling on deck 7, pool, basketball etc. The food on the Escape was excellent, with many options of eateries and cuisines. We went to the show and ate in O'Sheehans Irish bar: nachos and fajitas. Good food for a quick eat. We needed to get our little girl to bed. Our friended ate in the complimentary Manhattan restaurant. They had lobster and steak, both of which were excellent. Everyone that we spoke to said the same. The show 'the Million Dollar Quartet' is really worth seeing. Our 4 year old sat through 90 minutes, foot tapping away and the finale got everyone, including ourselves up on their feet dancing. It was, by far, the best show we have seen at sea. Even my husband, who would always much rather sit in the sports bar of a ship really enjoyed it. The water park was worth stripping to swim wear on a cold October day! The slide with the inflatable tubes was great. It has jazzy lights inside so it's a bit different. The yellow slide is quite serene. Both were suitable for small children. The two thrill rides were closed, which was disappointing because they too looked fab. The children's water park had enough to keep younger children busy and the red slide was a lot more surprising than it looked! The pools were actually quite warm. Warm water was being pumped into the pools, so up near the wall waterfall it was actually like a warm shower. My little one laid down in this area and stayed there for quite some time. Bars- there are lots! Our favourite was the Brew House on deck 8. It's got a really cool vibe and we had some fun in the photo booth. Hubby really enjoyed choosing from tens of draught beers. We had a look around the kids club. It was enormous, with play stations, huge bean bags and plenty of space to let off steam. The staff were cheery and helpful. Despite being on the ship only a small time, we had a great experience and can't wait to sail on the Escape again. Though there isn't marble everywhere or diamond staircases, this ship certainly has the wow factor because of the entrainment, food and activities. Can't wait for our NCL cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
This was my tenth cruise and the only one I've ever done for one night. I usually do Princess or Royal Caribbean so was keen to try Norwegian. Just did the one night inaugural sailing from Southampton. Only its second night of ... Read More
This was my tenth cruise and the only one I've ever done for one night. I usually do Princess or Royal Caribbean so was keen to try Norwegian. Just did the one night inaugural sailing from Southampton. Only its second night of paying customers at sea. This review is therefore mainly my opinion on the layout and decor as opposed to the service etc which only cruisers experiencing a longer period aboard can really comment. First glance the ship.is big and nice to look at but nothing particularly spectacular. Boarding is on deck 5 which has nothing much on it so first impressions are of a very long voting corridor. No grand atrium entrance as is the norm. The decor in the ship is very modern and dark brown. Think boutique hotel meets Ikea. The interior is quite dark and not particularly open. There's not much height variation as you walk through the ship and I felt claustrophobic and I don't normally feel that on a ship. The atrium is very basic and not at the central hub as in so many ships. It is small and lack lustre and has fruit machines around the top level. Really? What were they thinking of? The lifts are enclosed and there's no nice look out when you leave them. It's all very dull and dreary I feel. The promenade deck is very lacking too. It's covered mostly with lifeboats so there's no nice walk to have around the ship nor any seats to sit on. The show was excellent. A 50's musical play featuring 'Jerry Lee Lewis' and gang who were amazing musicians but not the usual singing and dancing revue I was perhaps hankering after. It did last over an hour and a glad which I thought was good. The meal in the restaurant was excellent quality however the tables were so close together and the noise horrendous. The casino was more of a walk through and looked a bit like a nice working men's club rather than a cruise ship. The buffet was again quite penned in a d dark and claustrophobic compared to what I'm used to. Was like being in a department store cafeteria rather than a cruise ship. The food was okay at the buffet but not especially good. The room was very nice with all amenities including hairdryer, safe, LCD tv etc. The bed was amazingly comfy. The bathroom was fab with loads of room and a proper nice big shower cubicle. The top deck of the ship was really good with two nice pools, big waterslides and a really cool overhead ropes course which all our party enjoyed. A bit like Go Ape but smaller. The outside disco sail away was good with excellent sound system and deejay. All in all I wouldn't really want to spend any more time on this ship. I much prefer a bit of bling and the refinement and great customer service that you get on Princess and the fab entertainment on Royal Caribbean. It might suit some people but not for.me. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Sailed on the Norwegian Escape for my partner's mother's Birthday (one night cruise from Southampton). Firstly - the ship was beautiful with fantastic restaurants, good food from what we experienced, good facilities, nice clean ... Read More
Sailed on the Norwegian Escape for my partner's mother's Birthday (one night cruise from Southampton). Firstly - the ship was beautiful with fantastic restaurants, good food from what we experienced, good facilities, nice clean staterooms and overall great potential. However, on this occasion we were extremely disappointed by the NCL customer service, complete lack of organization and very poor communication between staff and towards customers. The first example of this concerns evening dining - we were told early in the day there would be no need to book a table at the complementary restaurants as we would not have a problem getting a place. However, when we arrived for dinner that evening we were met with an hour long queue, with no staff seeming to know what was going on or willing to offer an explanation or any help or assistance. Eventually we were turned away along with many customers who HAD booked tables (having been given the opposite advice to our party). The customers at the back of the queue were not kept updated or informed of the situation and continued to queue long after those at the front had been told there would be no spaces for over an hour. This situation was the same for all complementary restaurants and we ended up paying to eat at one of the fine dining restaurants. On this occasion - after a great deal of complaining - NCL did the right thing and refunded us for this meal, but there were many customers who were not so lucky and this did not detract from the stress and time taken out of our one night on board the ship. The second issue concerned lost property - An hour or so after leaving the ship my partner and I realised we had left both our passports and my purse in the safe in our cabin. A very stupid mistake on our part but one which NCL dealt with extremely poorly. I called the Southampton office straight away and was told they'd call me back promptly and would do everything they could to reunite me with my belongings. They did not call me back. I called again later that day and again they failed to call me back. The next day, having been told everything would be done to track down the belongings, I was simply told I would have to send an email describing my belongings as they had all the lost property in boxes which had not been checked yet. Over the next few weeks I had to call again and again and explain the situation over and over again, each time I was told they had not checked the lost property yet and would call me back with information and each time they did not. It was about 4 weeks later that I was finally informed that my passports were in an office in London and about a month after my cruise I got them back. My purse, which had been with the passports in the safe in cabin had somehow 'gone missing' and could not be returned. No effort was made to look further into this by NCL. Overall, a cruise with fantastic potential ruined by NCL's incompetence. Would not recommend. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We have just returned from a family taster on the new escape. We were by in large impressed with the ship,but it had teething problems. The life boat drill was a shambles I appreciate that it has to be done but to wait for everyone to turn ... Read More
We have just returned from a family taster on the new escape. We were by in large impressed with the ship,but it had teething problems. The life boat drill was a shambles I appreciate that it has to be done but to wait for everyone to turn up well past it's start time was ridiculous, the majority of us turned up and signed in when told but there were passengers just strolling in well after, a waste of half an hour especially when you are only on board for less than 24 hours. We have previously sailed in the Epic so the Escape had a lot to live up to and in some cases it didn't. The drinks were very expensive as was the al a carte menus. We were fortunate enough to have booked a dining time at the Manhatten Room because they were queuing to get in. Not all that impressed with the menu and way too much garlic butter on the steak. We were disappointed that there was no childrens menu in the restaurants, our 10 year old son had to eat an adult meal which was too much for him and only one thing tat he liked on the menu. All the bars were good and served a nice prosecco. Our stateroom was lovely although we didn't like being woken up by an announcement in the middle of the night about a code bravo. The beds in the stateroom were extremely comfortable. Breakfast was a free for all with passengers bringing their suitcases in the garden cafe and all trying to find a table. We thought the staff were friendly and pleasant. All in all we had a good time but had we not have cruised before it might have put us off, but because we had such an amazing time on the epic we will be cruising again. We won't ,however, be doing a taster again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
There were 7 people in our group, all of whom have cruised many times before. This was our first time with NCL and if this is any indication of their standards - never again! Having arrived we took a number and after about an hour were ... Read More
There were 7 people in our group, all of whom have cruised many times before. This was our first time with NCL and if this is any indication of their standards - never again! Having arrived we took a number and after about an hour were called to check in. We then had to sit down again (or stand as there were no seats available) and wait another hour to be called to board. Service on board was very slow and the drinks were very expensive (2 rum and cokes $21.50 plus 18% tax). Waited half an hour to be seated in the main restaurant and 2 hours later (having only eaten starter and a main course, both of poor quality) we left. At no time did we see a wine waiter. After dinner we went to the District Brewhouse where the live pianist was very good; unfortunately all the best seats were taken up by crew members who seemed to treat it as their own private club. Overall we have left with the opinion that NCL is very expensive (all restaurants except the main restaurants carry a surcharge or are a la carte), the service is slow and standards are not as high as other cruise lines we have experienced. The only good thing about this taster cruise was the Million Dollar Quartet show which was excellent! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Well this was our first time sailing with NCL...so it was great to sail on a brand new ship!The Escape is a great sized ship with plenty to do and see. The Top deck was great with the slides and pools along with a huge ropes course and of ... Read More
Well this was our first time sailing with NCL...so it was great to sail on a brand new ship!The Escape is a great sized ship with plenty to do and see. The Top deck was great with the slides and pools along with a huge ropes course and of course crazy golf. My 11yr old loved this, along with ten pin bowling and basketball games, etc. The public areas are great and we thoroughly enjoyed having a good look around. We loved the area around the O'Sheehan's bar, there was a real buzz here. We also really enjoyed the atmosphere in the District Brew house on an evening, the photo booth here went down well with my family members. The three complimentary restaurants were beautifully decorated, along with a lot of the ships décor. The staterooms were of a good size with great sized bathrooms. We stayed in a balcony room one night and an inside cabin the other night (as booked separately) and found them a perfect size. The balcony room came with tea and coffee facilities, but apparently there was no coffee available on the ship, so one teabag had to do! Hopefully this will be sorted out on the next leg of the ships journey. The balcony itself was actually bigger than I thought. We were able to have a look around the Haven suites which were absolutely fantastic! We watched one show, The Million Dollar Quartet, the singing was great but I found the show quite long, my other family members enjoyed it though, it comes down to personal taste though so my recommendation would be to check it out for yourself. Food wise, my favourite meal was at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville's one lunchtime, both the food and service were great, fantastic Keylime pie! We tried the Manhattan restaurant one evening, this was very busy and therefore there was no personal service from the staff. There was a good ambience however. Freestyle dining is great in principal but there were so many queues around the popular eating times, and getting out of the restaurant was a challenge! Personally I would like to see more 'Classic' dishes on the menu, I didn't find the starters or deserts on the menu very interesting. I chose herb encrusted chicken for a main which came with half a tomato and a small spoon of mashed potato, no other vegetables, so a little bland. I didn't enjoy the desert. Yet again this is just my personal opinion. The Garden café was okay for breakfast but not so much for an evening meal, I found the food quite cold. O'Sheehan's served some great snacks, the apple and cinnamon pie was very nice indeed! We didn't have a main meal here, will try that next time. The drinks onboard, as on any ship are very expensive, it would be well worth choosing an alcohol package if you are onboard for longer than a couple of days. The Sail away party on the top deck ( 28th Oct) was great, a fantastic atmosphere! So overall, the ship itself was fantastic, the activities were great, the cabins were great and the general atmosphere was great! BUT my main gripe has to be the severe lack of happy smiley faces with the staff, bearing in mind this is only a couple of days into the ship's inaugural cruises. I was quite shocked actually, normally on a cruise ship staff smile at you and say hello but I simply didn't feel that on this ship, (apart from Margaritaville's) Not sure why? I do love these taster cruises though, a family member was able to experience her first cruise and loved the ship, so it was perfect that it left from Southampton, looking forward to the next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
50th Wedding Anniversary.Only time we could get family and a couple of friends all together. Booked months ago, booked table for 12 for 2030. Confirmed by e Mail. Only Manhatten dining room would accept a party this size. No ... Read More
50th Wedding Anniversary.Only time we could get family and a couple of friends all together. Booked months ago, booked table for 12 for 2030. Confirmed by e Mail. Only Manhatten dining room would accept a party this size. No children's menu, despite assurances that there would be, no table, food inedible,service non existent. Finally left hungry after 2 hours wait. Drinks expensive, staff that could speak English, unhelpful. Cabin absolutely fine, show, Million Dollar Quartet, absolutely brilliant. We have sailed on a couple of occasions with NCL, no problems at all, enjoyed the cruises, so we know this is not typical. So,so let down. NCL this should be your flagship, not your Titanic. Read Less

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