322 P&O Australia Pacific Eden Cruise Reviews

5 night cruise from Sydney to Tasmania The cruise was from White Bay. There are a number of ways to get to the ship. Taxi from Central, taxi from Town Hall. An alternate method, which we did, was to go to Wynyard and take the ... Read More
5 night cruise from Sydney to Tasmania The cruise was from White Bay. There are a number of ways to get to the ship. Taxi from Central, taxi from Town Hall. An alternate method, which we did, was to go to Wynyard and take the Barangaroo Exit, walk through the tunnel. As you exit the tunnel, veer to the left, pass David Jones and head straight to the water and in front you will see King St Wharf. From the wharf, ferries run frequently on cruise ship days to the White Bay Cruise Terminal. One way fare is $9 per person and takes 10 minutes. Embarkation was smooth and we were on the ship in no time. The Ship The ship’s layout and décor is fine. The ship is a small ship. We had an inside cabin and was quite large. The bathroom was well laid out. Our room was very clean. The room stewards were efficient and friendly. Entertainment Excellent. There were 3 production shows and 2 comedians in the 2 level Marquee Theatre. There were regular movie showings in the dedicated theatre and there were regular trivia, flower making etc.. throughout the day. Ports 2 scheduled stops were Port Arthur and Hobart. Port Arthur being a tender port and due to a pending severe storm this port was cancelled. Hobart The ship was docked near Constitution dock and is an easy walk into town. Hobart is a walkable town and can be done on your own. Salamanca and Battery Point is worth a visit. Food The Waterfront Restaurant Any time dining. We tried this venue once. After being seated (around 5.30pm) we waited some time before a waiter appeared and took our order eventhough the restaurant was nearly empty and there were waiters standing around doing nothing. It took 30 minutes to get 2 satay sticks, and then another 30 minutes to get the main meal. The meals were lukewarm at best. God help the wait staff if they ever got busy. We did not go back. The Pantry This is essentially set out like a food court. The variety was limited. The quality of food in this area could be deemed no better than low grade bistro food eg.. in the Curry House, their menu’s hardly varied and they served it on an ongoing basis. Taco’s were available for dinner and everything that was served was LUKEWARM. Absolutely could not recommend the Pacific Eden. The food was CRAP. One positive in this area was that passengers were served by the staff and not allowing any passengers to handle food. This would have greatly reduced the risk of an outbreak of noro virus which can be a common problem on cruise ships due to lack of proper personal hygiene. Disembarkation We docked at White Bay at 8.00am. Getting of the ship was smooth and quick. Because it is peak hour in the CBD we opted for the P&O coach transfer to Central at a cost of $15 per person rather than taking a taxi at that time of morning. In General If you are looking for a sophisticated, peaceful and restful holiday P&O Eden is not for you. A large number of passengers had a varied understanding of casual dress. Children on board were generally noisy and ill mannered . We will not be going on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This cruise was recommended by a friend. Knowing this is a fairly old ship, we did not know what to expect. we have cruised before & we traveled with the people who recommended the cruise.The cabin (balcony on 9th deck) was clean and ... Read More
This cruise was recommended by a friend. Knowing this is a fairly old ship, we did not know what to expect. we have cruised before & we traveled with the people who recommended the cruise.The cabin (balcony on 9th deck) was clean and what we expected. The air conditioning did not work in many of the cabins on the same deck when we boarded but it was fixed before we sailed & worked quite well after that. The crew were excellent in all areas except the dinning room. Some didn't seem to want to be there. The dinning room arrangement in our opinion is hopeless!! You couldn't book a table & had to line up for a table which took quite a bit of time to be available, although when in the dinning room there were many empty tables but still a big line up out the door of the dinning room. Probable not enough staff. The rest of the sip was good, everything worked fine. We anchored in the harbour for Aus. day & saw all the action on the harbour in the day. The fireworks were at Darling Harbour, so we could not see it from the ship. There was a small fireworks display in the Circular Quay area but was fairly small. Would we take or recommend the cruise again - NO. For the ship, YES, it is a good but small ship but the dinning setup needs to be revised to accommodate larger numbers of diners. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
The cruise ship itself is very nice, great little lounges to have a relaxing time. The Marquee Theatre is beautiful & the shows there were wonderful. The Staff were very friendly & helpful The cabins (We had a quad share ... Read More
The cruise ship itself is very nice, great little lounges to have a relaxing time. The Marquee Theatre is beautiful & the shows there were wonderful. The Staff were very friendly & helpful The cabins (We had a quad share ocean view) were clean & quite spacious with plenty of wardrobe/draw space The Waterfront Restaurant, not enough choices, nice what we ordered BUT the table booking plan was bad. We could only book up to 5.30pm after that, come back later 8/8.30 We wanted to eat about 6.30 & see the show afterwards, so we went to the Pantry. The pantry is not working, each station had a meat dish too tough to eat & the vegetables were cold. I love desserts, but I don't like cake. Not much except cake. The windows were so salty from the start, we couldn't see out very well, Last year great fireworks in our area paid for by P & O I believe, we could see a few from the Opera house in the distance as well This year we were told, hurry out for 9.00pm fireworks, people left the deck at 9.50pm in disgust. If they had waited ten more minutes, 5 minutes of fireworks in the distance. Not much entertainment around the ship at night, very quite inside A bit disappointing, would not recommend this trip Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I have seen many negative reviews so what are P&O doing about these? It was a last minute request from my partner to spend time together and since we had a fantastic experience on the Pacific Jewel 3 years ago she suggested that we ... Read More
I have seen many negative reviews so what are P&O doing about these? It was a last minute request from my partner to spend time together and since we had a fantastic experience on the Pacific Jewel 3 years ago she suggested that we repeat the experience. The Eden was the only ship for the time that my partner could get leave to travel to Aus to meet and go cruising. Entertainment on board was good with a couple of comedians and the staff performance. The staff were excellent. The captains voice was confident and evident though we did not see him. We did not need to but on all the other cruises this was the case. I think he was helping the executive chef find the elusive spices and herbs. This brings me to the food. On the Jewel we did not have a bad meal on 13 night cruises. I have been on 8 cruises including Fairstar the fun ship and I dare say the decor then reminded me of the Eden now. A bit harsh perhaps but this is no garden of Eden. Torn curtains in the cabin which needed to be laundered at the very least though I fear they may have disintegrated in the process. But back to the food because I kept going back on the ship in case there had been an epiphany but alas this was not to be. I completed a survey which had been placed on the table one evening which elicited a response from the crew. Could I please explain my concerns to the executive chef? Of course it would be my pleasure. Chef will come to our table. Good I will attempt the desert. Chef will meet you at the exit after dinner. Good it will give me a chance to finish this delicacy without interruption. Sarcasm is from my mothers side of the family. I waited at the exit and informed the staff. We will get chef. Approximately 10 minutes later chef was still missing along with the spices and herbs. I do hope they find them safe and well. Sous chef appeared and was more interested in offering me a meal in Salt Grill by Luke Mangan. Since we could not get a booking at Angelos and only an 8:15 at Dragon Lady on the final night was arranged, this would be great. Wine and sparkling mineral was on me and they even charged me for the water though I had a refreshment package. Another less than desirable purchase. I will expect a refund for the water. An explaination provided was that the kitchen on Eden is smaller than Jewel. I have eaten better quality and tasted more exciting food cooked on a 1 burner stove on a sidewalk. Another reason was the menu had changed. Yes it had and it was not a change for the better. All these experiences were in the Waterfront. In the Pantry they made a lovely roast and Yorkshire pudding. I am not English so I found it novel and enjoyable. They have curry. Thank goodness. That will have flavour. Three different curries all with the same flavour. If bland is a flavour. 40 Minutes before breakfast ends they are not frying eggs. Oh well yesterday it was the bacon so why not the eggs turn today? Chipped crockery in the Dragon Lady was surprising, not really, since this is a smaller dining room. Two pieces so it may have been the look that they were working towards. Shabby. Not chic. All meals we were told are prepared in the same kitchen? Salt Grill was excellent but why do I need to pay $39 per person when with a little more effort they could serve the same in the Waterfront. Silly me then I would not go to Salt Grill. Angelos and Dragon Lady cannot cater for all guests and since there is no surcharge why could all guests not be able to chose from that menu while sitting in the Waterfront? All the food comes from the same kitchen and I can only assume are being prepared by the same staff. Meals in the Waterfront seem to have been waiting for a victim for hours under the harsh Australian sun. The sauce had dried at the edges and the fish was dried throughout. I looked at my shoes longingly but thought I would look a fool walking out of dinner wearing one small fish on one foot having eaten a perfectly good shoe. The ship is old and tired. I have seen ramblings somewhere that it had been refitted recently. I hope they artanged a discount because they should have or did they just tart up the public areas and hope that the lights did not work in the cabins and you would not notice. Our cabin came with a sauna. Bet you did not see that advertised. We did not ask for one and we had no choice in the matter. We had one and that was the end of it. If you had a shower then stepped into the cabin there was little difference in the temperature. There is zero ventilation in the bathroom and the little airconditioning that could, would not. So we stepped from the shower into the sauna which used to be the cabin. The best thing to do would be to go to dinner while the room cooled down. Perhaps they will have something exciting on the menu. They should by now. If the dinner is not exciting I might fall asleep because I keep getting woken by the loud clanging of metal on metal whenever we crest a swell or bottom out in the trough. Could be a loose anchor. Or the spice rack. Reminder not to get a cabin up the bow in future. It wasn't a problem the last time. Perhaps they are extending the kitchen out the front but they could chose a better hour to do the work. They do need a bigger kitchen. But Luke can cope in the current one just fine. I am very easy to please. In the last 30 years the palate of the average Australian has matured because of our diverse culture. To claim that food is bland to cater for this palate is an insult. Yes there will be some who cannot and do not enjoy food with a little more flavour but why P&O do you think that we should all be offered the same? It seems that the Pacific cruising grounds are in demand and this demand is now being met with the introduction of older ships like the Eden. Why then could they not be to the same standard or has the standard on the Jewel dropped to this level as well. The Jewel is an older ship I am aware but there is a difference in quality. Even the crew admit this. But sir this is a smaller boat. Size does not dictate quality. We have 4 banks and now it looks like our options for cruising are diminishing as well. Since Carnival is the parent company are they aiming at different market segments for their different cruise lines? I guess it will be land based holidays or a trip overseas to try one of the other cruise lines because I will not endure another Eden. Not unless I want my teeth whitened, or a series of Botox injections. They can keep their refreshment package as well. They kept adding charges to my bill for refreshments despite me showing them the refreshment sticker on my pass. I would then have to line up at reception to have the charges deleted. But only after explaining why I thought I should not be charged twice for the drink I consumed. 'Sooooo....what do you want me to do about it?' I suggested deleting it as had been done the previous night. 'Oh...ok...but I don't have the authority'. Why not link this information regarding the package that customers have purchased and have the POS system take care of it? Final Suggestion P&O, a trip following the spice route. We can use those other ships. But don't expect me. I think I am busy that day. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We were a family of 5 with kids aged 13, 10 and 6 and did an 8 night cruise to the South Pacific. Overall decor and layout - very good. Loved all the small spaces. In the evening you could walk from one small bar to another and there ... Read More
We were a family of 5 with kids aged 13, 10 and 6 and did an 8 night cruise to the South Pacific. Overall decor and layout - very good. Loved all the small spaces. In the evening you could walk from one small bar to another and there would be live music going on in each. The public spaces are beautifully decorated. Love the feel of the Lido deck with its striped deck chairs. Cabin - we had an inside on deck 4. Cabin was clean and bathroom very good. We had a shower, not a shower over the bath so that was good. The cabin steward was lovely but service definitely a step down from Carnival. However it was still adequate and didn't detract from our cruise at all. Food - a very nice surprise. We ate in all the venues and liked them all. Angelos was my favourite and Dragon Lady my leas favorite. Loved the food in the pantry and liked this concept better than then buffet. Gym - Great size for the size of the boat. Able to get on the cardio machines even in peak hour (7-8.30am). Very clean and well-laid out with a great view. Staff were very friendly. Entertainment - I enjoyed the shows by the Pacific Performers. Much, much better than Carnival. The live music was also great. We love trivia but found it was at awkward times and in venues that were too small so we hardly did any this cruise. Tendering - excellent. We like to get off early and were on the first or second tenders each day. No waiting whatsoever. Couldn't fault it. The Edge - Took a few days for us to get the booking system figured out then smooth sailing. Some days things were cancelled due to wind but they ended up being repeated later in the cruise. Kids' favourites were the flying fox, walk the plank, abseiling and laser tag. Staff were lovely. Kids club - very good. Much better than Carnival. All 3 kids loved it. Had to drag them out of there to spend time with us. Great trip and we wouldn't hesitate to book with P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Thank You to Pacific Eden P&O and all the staff for the great experience we had. I was a bit nervous going because some of the negative reviews. What will the staff be like? Will we get good service considering we be stuck in the ship? ... Read More
Thank You to Pacific Eden P&O and all the staff for the great experience we had. I was a bit nervous going because some of the negative reviews. What will the staff be like? Will we get good service considering we be stuck in the ship? Will the negative experience stop us from future cruising since this is our first time? What will the food like? However, I don't know what's the negative reviews talk about. These people must be very hard to please! I find our experience was very positive. From the fist time we step on the boat, we were greeted with a welcome on board smile. The rooms Stewarts Sammy & Sarmijan greeted & welcome us & introduce themselves. We was treated with courteous in the restaurants and the pantry. Infect every staff members on the ship was very courteous & polite. They really make an effort to make sure we feel welcome and enjoy the cruise. The entertainment was great. We love the comedian show. The food was terrific. They always change their menus. Overall it was a very enjoyable experience & we got no hesitation to cruise with P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I choose this cruise for my sister's 50th birthday and New Year's Eve. As soon as we got on the ship we felt it was not as welcoming as cruises we have been on with Princess Cruises. I sailed with P&O in 2006 & ... Read More
I choose this cruise for my sister's 50th birthday and New Year's Eve. As soon as we got on the ship we felt it was not as welcoming as cruises we have been on with Princess Cruises. I sailed with P&O in 2006 & 2010 and we enjoyed ourselves immensely and I find it incredible that the standard has dropped so much. The cabin was okay but I had to complain about the poor air conditioning in 3 of the rooms as we had a group of nine to celebrate the birthday. That was sorted but on deck 8 where all of the entertainment occurred on quite a few occasions it was unbearably hot. I complained and was told that it was warm due to the large crowd in the blue room and the heat from the casino was probably drifting into the area making it warmer as well. It was cool at reception on deck 7. What a joke!!! I went to bed. The speciality restaurants were also warm and uncomfortable. Some waiters snatched my cruise card from me when I ordered drinks/coffee and on occasions snatched the menu from me. This is one of the first cruises where I had to move out of the waiters way rather than the waiter making room for the passenger. Having to book dining sittings is ridiculous. P&O call it anytime dining!! It could not be further from the truth. They also charge extra for delivering food to the cabin, ice creams that melted as it was so hot on Deck 11 and on and on it goes. I felt like I was constantly being gouged for extra money all of the time. As if the $6,400 I paid was not enough. The entertainment was below average and there was not much to do on sea days. The cruise director has to be the worst I have ever experienced and I have done 7 cruises. There wasn't even a tv guide so you would no what was on TV when I had to get away from it all. The food was average to below average and the menu presentation leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe P&O staff on the cruise should sail with Princess Cruises and learn how to provide a great experience for passengers Some of the photographers were in a hurry and took terrible pictures. When we got off the ship in ports or on tenders the photographers were back on the ship after 3 hours of taking pictures. I missed a couple of photo opportunities because of this??? Why??? Shore excursions are too expensive so we made our own arrangements in port and got better value for money. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth. The only good thing were the cabin Stewards who seemed to be a little more polite than the rest. I will never sail with P&O again I was so disappointed. This is the first cruise where I could not wait to get of the ship I am looking forward to going back to Princess Cruises and the Golden Princess in December 2017 Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Our experience on the Pacific Eden was very average. The cabin beds were uncomfortable, and very hard.The top bunk wasn't even fit for a child to sleep in, the mattress was hard and very thin. The Dining had no variety same food ... Read More
Our experience on the Pacific Eden was very average. The cabin beds were uncomfortable, and very hard.The top bunk wasn't even fit for a child to sleep in, the mattress was hard and very thin. The Dining had no variety same food every breakfast lunch and dinner. After 6 nights you had eaten every thing that was on the menu and our cruise was for 12 nights. Childrens menu was at 4.15 who feeds their child at that time and if you were on an island they missed out. The pantry did not cater for children at all, not many children like Mexican, Indian, dried up deserts even the salads weren't traditional. Entertainment was poor. The bands were not up to the standard of our previous cruise and some couldnt't even sing. One of the entertainers forgot the words. The restaurant dining was awful. The Dragon Lady forgot to serve half of our table and when it came it was cold, not good. We had to wait a long time for service. The bars are no where big enough to cater for the passengers, if there was an activity on you could not find a seat to sit in to do the activity. If you wanted to sit and have drink it wasn't possible because the seats were always taken, you had to sit in it all day or you would lose it. Service was ok but could be better. We told our children about the towel animals which we loved on our last cruise, the children were excited to see them and we didn't even get one. The childrens clubs were not very exciting just making things that they can do at home. The basketball ring was outside and you couldn't shoot hoops because the wind blew the basketball away, a joke really. Do you really expect a child to be able to play basketball against that wind, we nearly got blown over board. All in all we were not impressed everything was very average and not up to standard. Won't be using your cruise line again unless there is a drastic change and it would have to be a good one. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We took the cruise for a rest but our cabin (with balcony and bought early at "full" price) was badly affected by noise from the galley above - starting at 4am and finishing after 10pm. We found out that P&O were aware of the ... Read More
We took the cruise for a rest but our cabin (with balcony and bought early at "full" price) was badly affected by noise from the galley above - starting at 4am and finishing after 10pm. We found out that P&O were aware of the problem of noise especially with our cabin but they never warned us and were happy to take top dollar from us. To add insult to injury, we made a written complaint immediately whilst we were onboard but nobody contacted us. Then when we arrived home we logged complaints but still no reaction. The morals of P&O leave a lot to be desired and their customer service is ZERO. They are mercenary and don't care about their passengers, just the money. To knowingly sell a substandard cabin at full rate is a disgrace. Avoid P&O and ships in the Carnival Cruise Line. The food was mediocre with no fresh seafood and little fresh fruit. The entertainment was spectacular. The cabin and bathroom size particularly were good. Apart from having to deal with dramatic noise from 4am we had a good cruise but didn't get the rest we anticipated. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this Christmas cruise so that our family of 9 could have a relaxing time together over Christmas. My son paid more than $8500 for him, his wife and 3 teenage boys - we could have ( and should have ) all stayed in a high class ... Read More
We chose this Christmas cruise so that our family of 9 could have a relaxing time together over Christmas. My son paid more than $8500 for him, his wife and 3 teenage boys - we could have ( and should have ) all stayed in a high class resort for less than that amount and enjoyed ourselves a whole lot more!!!! You had to book in to every restaurant that you wanted for dinner and for 7 of those 10 nights on board we were not able to sit together as a family for meals even though there were empty tables around and they would not move them together The food was NEVER hot - just warm and as for the Pantry - you had to line up for the lousy food they dished up and then try and find a table to sit at. The tours and activities were soooo overpriced it was a joke - how can families afford the prices they charge???? l love Bingo but even that was outrageous at $30 a pack (5 games ) twice a day ! But the best was yet to come - on Xmas eve morning at 6am my daughter in law lined up ( 2 hours before opening time ) so that we could book a large table so we could all be together for Xmas night dinner at 7.45pm - we finally got to the table at 8.20pm - had the usual nearly cold dinner - no decorations whatsoever on any table regarding anything Xmassy and most people were dressed in Gatsby clothes as there was a party on after dinner - couldn't the ship had that on another night and kept Xmas day a bit more sacred !!!!!!! P&O l will never go on one of your cruises again and will tell everyone who asks me about the cruise not to bother either - you have done yourselves a disservice by charging so much and giving so little, you are a money hungry organisation and your ship is just organised chaos !!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Pacific Eden is a pretty ship. I liked the fact that it was smaller than other cruise ships mainly because I liked the feel of the movement of the ship over the waves. I slept like a baby every night and afternoon nanny naps. I found the ... Read More
Pacific Eden is a pretty ship. I liked the fact that it was smaller than other cruise ships mainly because I liked the feel of the movement of the ship over the waves. I slept like a baby every night and afternoon nanny naps. I found the bed to be extremely comfortable. Many people complain they are too hard but I like a firm mattress, and I so wish I knew where to buy pillows like P & O supply on their ships. I did not like the fact they put doonas on beds instead of sheets and blankets... too hot.. Glad I knew beforehand and bought my own sheets and requested a few blankets off the cabin steward. Embarkation was a breeze and the new Wynyard Walk from Wynyard station great..straight to the King Street ferry wharf and within 15 minutes was on the ferry and around to the whitebay cruise terminal. Bought the ferry tickets online so nil problems.. In fact we were the only ones who availed ourselves of this service. Sort of felt like James Packer as the ferry was 2 storeys with a bar..seats about hundred.. and 2 passengers..us. Disembarkation..was again without a hitch. We had fine weather all the cruise. The cabin 4115 was clean..silent.. and superb cabin stewards.. Ferdy and Jo. The air conditioning leaves a lot to be desired.. barely on.. one night I spent a few hours on deck as it was cooler.. another I complained and it worked reasonably well.. I have seen others on this forum say it was too cold.. I found the opposite.. my airconditioner at home works better. P& O also should really do away with the baths in the cabin.. This is Australia and most Aussies use showers.. not to mention that a few days into the cruise.. someone obviously ( I found this out from the staff) left their plug in the bath.. and it flooded not only their cabin but the one next to it.. The passengers were moved to other cabins while they dried out the cabins but in doing so made a great inconvenience to us further up who had to put up with the sound of loud dryers well into the night and reduced airconditioner.. it would have gone on if I had not complained. I also think that P & O should invest in fridges in all cabins.. Food was okay.. not 5 star but okay.. We ate at the same table most nights.. and had lovely , expert, courteous waiters.. Wilson and Shapmil but one or two times we were put elsewhere... ended up walking out halfway through one meal as the waitress was rude and abrupt and stood around watching the others run off their feet while she did nothing. After waiting almost an hour between courses and without any plates being removed from the table by the time the next course arrived,, I had had enough, the meal wasn't worth the wait.. We stopped at Gladstone.. give that a miss..what a dump.. but the other ports.. Hamilton Island, Cairns and Moreton Island were very good. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise as it fitted in with our dates available. Once we arrived on board, we knew immediately we had made a bad choice but kept trying to think positive. The food was most days inedible. It was cheap meat covered with ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it fitted in with our dates available. Once we arrived on board, we knew immediately we had made a bad choice but kept trying to think positive. The food was most days inedible. It was cheap meat covered with many sauces to disguise it. The sweets were not appealing, the menu rarely changed. The restaurants food and service were appalling. Christmas Day we were lined up like cattle with the boat rocking very badly. Many older passengers were struggling to stay upright. The food had not much resemblance to a typical xmas dinner. Stingy decorations, no entertainment, no activities or variety, no music on decks by the pool, no bar service, constant queues and lines to make bookings into the restaurants to find they were full. Guests treated rudely throughout every corner of the ship. When boarding the tenders, the elderly were left to get on themselves, most of which struggled and some falling in front of us. It was up to the passengers to help them on as the P & O staff just stood back. Just upsetting and appalling, it was like the walking dead. Nothing to do but go to the pool, try to eat the slop given and go to bed to do it all again the next day. The night shows were average 30 - 40 mins max. Just a cheap disgusting cruise with many unhappy passengers who couldn't wait to get off! You should be embarrassed P&O! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Four night cruise from Sydney to Moreton Island. This was our second cruise, our first being nine nights to New Caledonia on Carnival Spirit in Feb 2016. Embarkation at the White Bay Container Terminal was fast and efficient. ... Read More
Four night cruise from Sydney to Moreton Island. This was our second cruise, our first being nine nights to New Caledonia on Carnival Spirit in Feb 2016. Embarkation at the White Bay Container Terminal was fast and efficient. Navigating into the carpark beforehand was more of a challenge, but we found our way in eventually (the gps was completely out of its depth). Our balcony room on level nine was roomy enough and adequate for our needs. Our luggage was delivered within a reasonable timeframe. Disembarkation was also very smooth. Dining The Pantry - crowded and stuffy. Quite often long lines for food and usually very difficult to find a place to sit. The layout makes it feel very cramped, and air con seemed to be absent at times which makes it worse. The use of round coffee tables throughout this area also detracts from the experience - low round tables with long, straight bench seats simply don't work. The food itself is of average quality, but it is a good idea how they have staff serve the food rather than self serve as this alleviates hygiene concerns. The Waterfront This is main dining room and we had two breakfasts and two dinners here. The breakfast menu is the same each day and the service was good and the food was hot. The dinner menu changes each day. The service was generally good, the meals were hot on arrival. Food quality and portion sizes were acceptable, though a little small. At our first meal there we ordered mango brûlée for dessert. Yuk. No hint of mango in this dish which consisted of a shallow dish with a thin layer of something like baked custard in it. Salt Grill $49 aud per head - bookings essential. Due to the popularity of this venue we had to accept a 5:30 booking for dinner. Food quality was very good and the service also very good. Flavoursome meals here which contrasted with the tendency towards the bland at the other restaurants. Desserts were also very good. Dragon Lady - modern Asian fusion. Very good service. Food portions were ridiculously small. Main meals would have been considered entrees anywhere else. Desserts were poor. We tried the mango with sticky rice, but again no trace of mango to be found, we also had the chocolate slice which seemed to be made from gelatin and even though it looked like chocolate, it didn't taste like it. Angelo's - Italian restaurant, others in our group had dinner there on the first night and reported that it was terrible and strongly recommended that we avoid it. So we did just that. The dining experience for us on Carnival was better across the board. There was good coffee to be had from a couple of locations -$- ocean bar on 8 and the ice creamery on 11. Entertainment In this area P&O had the edge over Carnival IMO. We really enjoyed the Blue Room with the jazz or blues band each night. Real music played by musicians has always been my preference as opposed to carbon copy cover songs. The acoustic guitar player, Troy, was very good too, playing recognizable covers but well and truly in his own style. The song and dance shows in the large auditorium were not much different to what we had seen on Carnival and are ok if you like that sort of thing. The theme nights were both great, the Gatsby Party on the second night was well attended throughout the various bars on level 8 with maybe half the people making some kind of effort at dressing in theme. Lots of dancing and even some free glasses of champagne being handed around. Would have been nice if the entertainers had dressed in theme too (I am talking about the blues band here.) The White Night party on deck 11 on the third night was great fun too. Pumping music a mixture of DJ and live band worked really well and a fair percentage of those in attendance were in white (to some extent). Steady Eddie was great on the final night. More comedy would not have gone astray. The only time we found ourselves relocating to another bar to escape an act on stage was the final night during the 'staff jam session' in the Blue Room. Not good. The Staff Most staff were attentive and cheerful, but some were decidedly not so. No eye contact and seemingly more intent in returning to other things. This was quite noticeable from day one on this ship. Carnival has a sizable edge over P&O in this area. The Cruise Our cruise started by not starting! Our departure time of 5pm came and went while we sat expectantly on the outside rear deck with cocktails in hand. Eventually an announcement came over from the captain 'on the bridge' that due to a malfunction with the electrical control system out departure would be delayed. Long story short, it took a day and a half to resolve the issue so Moreton Island was dropped from the itinerary and we cruised in the ocean for two days. All passengers were promised a full refund of their cruise fare. I am sure that many, like myself, compensated by drinking more than they may have done otherwise and this may have contributed to the enthusiastic participation and dancing on both party nights! Overall - we really enjoyed our cruise on the Pacific Eden with our group of family and friends. Highlights were the party nights and the onboard live entertainment. The bar areas were all very nice. Downsides were the food which was generally mediocre, and the unforeseen technical issues which unfortunately denied us a full day of travel. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
10 night cruise to New Caledonia. Beautiful islands with crystal clear water and white sands. Embarkation was generally by tender which worked in a ticket based system which worked well. The ship is tastefully decorated and despite its ... Read More
10 night cruise to New Caledonia. Beautiful islands with crystal clear water and white sands. Embarkation was generally by tender which worked in a ticket based system which worked well. The ship is tastefully decorated and despite its age is well looked after and felt very comfortable. Lovely main theatre Food was generally good throughout all the restaurants and booking system seemed to work well. Drinks a bit pricy but probably normal for cruise ships these day. Entertainment was excellent with some fantastic musical theatre shows which were very impressive and performed by super talented performers. Performers took time to speak to you around the ship which was a lovely and interesting. During the day the ship carried out various activities which were plentiful if you had had enough of sitting in the sun. Staff were very polite and helped make it an enjoyable cruise experience. Overal a very enjoyable cruise which far exceeded expectations Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Despite the negative reviews that had been given, the itinerary and the fact that Eden is an old Holland America ship led me to booking this cruise prepared to give the ship a fair go. If you want to read on further you may but to cut to ... Read More
Despite the negative reviews that had been given, the itinerary and the fact that Eden is an old Holland America ship led me to booking this cruise prepared to give the ship a fair go. If you want to read on further you may but to cut to the main point we had a wonderful time and have no complaints. There were a couple things to be worked on but nothing that we hadn't experienced on many of the other cruise lines we have sailed with. Sydney embarkation uncluding a ship transfer all went smoothly. Luggage was in our room very quickly and stewards introduced. We had an obstructed oceanview on deck 6. It was a perfect location. Large cabin with a bath in ensuite which I lived. However these pose a problem for people with mobility issues. Cabins are still serviced twice daily with rotating chocolates and towel animals. Very nice. Shortly after embarking had our first experience of the Pantry. The first thing that strikes you is the decor- modern and interesting. We ate here for breakfast every day and found it very satisfactory. Scrambled eggs particularly good as was the hollandaise sauce for poached eggs. Ate lunch here as well and enjoyed the variety of soups, curries, sandwiches and salads. Other days had nachos from the grill. For dinner half was at the Waterfront and rest at Dragon Lady, Angelos and Salt Grill. Some highlights at Waterfront- snails as good as had eaten anywhere, chickpea rissoles and anything with pork. Loved dragon lady and the variety of food there- menu changes every week. Salt Grill was pretty good. Unfortunately my husbands chops were tough but my selection was good. We had no difficulty booking in for speciality restaurants but this might only apply for longer cruises. There was plenty happening on board to keep you entertained and lots of lovely spaces to enjoy. Lectures were fantastic and informative. The one thing I didn't enjoy was the shows. I thought they were dark themes. Ports of call on this cruise were amazing and life challenging. If you can you should go esp to Kiriwina and Kitava. Could not fault the service from the ships crew. However the reception girls could improve their helpfulness and demeanour. Give Pacific Eden a chance. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We choose this cruise as it was not your average destination & we wanted to experience a different culture & people. The ship sailed from Cairns Aust. We live in Central Victoria. So right from the get go we were up for extra ... Read More
We choose this cruise as it was not your average destination & we wanted to experience a different culture & people. The ship sailed from Cairns Aust. We live in Central Victoria. So right from the get go we were up for extra costs of air fares & hotels. If we flew up on the day of the cruise & there was a problem with flights then we could have been in deep doggy do doos. The prudent thing was to go to Cairns the day before= flights + hotel +3 hours in a plane. Not actually complaining about that. But the cruise. The Eden is a rebirthed ship. We had an inside, deck9 cabin. Not badly appointed. However & this was a 1st for us......no refrigerator. We had to order one through reception & could only have one if one was available. Went to have a shower. I live on property with only tank water. My pump put out a lot more pressure than what we had on board. 2nd night in during the wee hours there was a lot of loud noises that was coming from some machinery near our cabin. it was that loud & sounded like something was breaking down that after a while I was almost ready to report it to reception, then it quietened down. I made mention to our steward the next morning. He was unaware of anything but later in the day he told me that it was an ice machine(must have been a big one). if P&O are aware of these things you would think that they would inform you of this & maybe discount the cabins that are effected by the noise. A POINT of INTEREST for all serving & ex service members. We only found out about this after we had a serviceman's meet & greet on the 2nd day. You are entitled to some sort of cruise discount or on board credits. The cruise companies don't tell you but apparently they're there .Good on you P&O & Princess. I'm 4 cruises up now & it's the 1st I heard of it Food: No real complaints, I ate well, good variety, The main restaurant, 6.5/10. prefer to have set dinning. In port the restaurant was not open for lunch. Had to deal with the buffet or as they call it, the Pantry. Can get very crowded on port days & hard to find a table to sit & eat. Good idea, prefer this over the buffet style eating. No contamination by passengers with less than adequate personal hygiene, if you know what I mean. Main gripe with the food: the wife like a lot of people is gluten free. While meals in the main restaurant was not an issue, as she was able to pre order the next days meals. But up in the pantry, especially port days, when we came back from ashore at lunch time to have a bite to eat......there was next to nothing to eat ashore.....the selection of gluten free was very limited to say the least. I did talk to another passenger who was also GF & she was having a terrible time trying to get something to eat. I explained to her about pre ordering at the restaurant. Don't know how she went, but someone other that me should have explained to her. Maybe P&O could have assisted her before embarkation. Other disappointment: The theatre: Seats looked OK, until you sat down. on the hard side & after an hour or so show they were very uncomfortable. Also seating was a bit low: obstructed view from people in front of you & if they were moving around due to the uncomfortable factor it only compounded the situation. The cruise director: after each show it was the same old tiresome lines night after night. The shows were good & enjoyed them. The ship's staff rated highly, particularly our cabin steward. nothing was a hassle for him. I should mention ....Duty free......alcohol & cigs. Very limited in what they had in the way of alcohol & even though I no longer smoke it doesn't hurt to bring some home for those that do. But no Smokes at all. It was as though this cruise only had left overs from previous cruises. Last word on the ship: embarkation & disembarking in Cairns was via a steep gangway. My wife had cellulitis & hard for her to walk far let alone up or down a steep gangway. & a young lady behind us who has had numerous hip & knee replacements due to childbirth problems struggled badly. God knows how the elderly faired. PNG: 4 Stops. Alotau, Kirawina, Katava & Conflict Islands Alotau was the highlight of our trip. We organised our own private tour. We visited a bush school & bush village. We were welcomed & made to feel very special, as they don't normally have visitors. They welcomed us into the village with a ceremonial welcoming & the students sang us a song that they had practised for weeks. We brought them a heap of gifts for the school as they have absolutely nothing. We then travelled to another 2 villages, where we were given displays on traditional activities. We also took gifts to these villages. The only other activities in Alotau was a cultural & canoe festival. We didn't experience this as we had our own tour while it was on. I didn't hear many favourable reports on this from other passengers. Kirawina & katava . Not much there. swimming, snorkelling & markets. The markets consisted of villagers selling their wares. Conflict Islands, was more of an activity stop, not much interaction with natives One thing that struck me about PNG & this is only my own personal opinion. Tourism has ruined it. Everyone is after your money. people from kids up that want to take you somewhere & show you things to canoe rides, photos or any activity. They see the cruise ships come in & its one big cash cow. I'm all for helping people out & that's why we took gifts to the places we went to or buying the odd carving which might help out. In conclusion, would I use P&O again.....yes.... Would I sail on the Eden or its sister ship the Aria....No Would I go back to PNG.... Yes but depending on where in PNG. I would research the ports of call first. If it was anything like Kirawina or Kativa then the answer is No Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I have been reading reviews of Pacific Eden for over a year now, & based on our recent experience, I believe P&O have addressed all of the issues people were complaining about. We did the 7 night Nov 4th PNG trip from Cairns, ... Read More
I have been reading reviews of Pacific Eden for over a year now, & based on our recent experience, I believe P&O have addressed all of the issues people were complaining about. We did the 7 night Nov 4th PNG trip from Cairns, & stayed on for the 4 nights back to Sydney. It's one of the best cruises we have taken. The ship is just beautiful! Yes, there are signs of age if you go looking, but there are so many lovely areas . The Blue Room, the Ocean Bar & The Dome all beautiful places to enjoy a drink, as well as many other smaller nooks. We found the drink service to be great-we rarely had to wait more than a few minutes to get drink service-I have waited much longer on The Solstice many times. The drink staff were very friendly & happy to have a joke & a laugh. First impressions of the food in the restaurants was that the portions were small, however I always had plenty to eat. My husband is a big eater & often asked for a main course for his entrée as well as his main, & there was never a problem with him doing that. We like to eat late & never had a problem getting a table in The Waterfront around 8pm. We ate at Angelo's once, & Dragon Lady twice & really enjoyed all meals. We did the Chefs table one night & it was fantastic! ($99pp) We had 8 courses, matched with wines, & the chefs came out & explained their inspiration for their dishes-also a couple of lovely gifts came along with the evening (no spoilers!). I found The Pantry to be quite ok the couple of times we went there, but my husband wasn't a fan (I suspect due to the lack of greasy unhealthy kiddie food). He did take a liking to "The Grill" & was particularly keen on the Meat Pie & Mushy Peas, which I must admit was VERY good & for just $3 kept him happy, so I was happy too. We loved our Cabin, it was very comfortable,& no problems at all. Of the PNG ports... Sometimes confronting , but mostly delightful. Some great swimming & snorkelling, lovely people, amazing scenery, & throw in some interesting WWII history & its a truly fascinating learning experience! We loved The Eden & will quite happily travel on her again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
My review will be judging this cruise compared to the 20+ other cruises I’ve taken on nearly every other cruise line around the World. The cruise itinerary took us to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. I found it difficult finding ... Read More
My review will be judging this cruise compared to the 20+ other cruises I’ve taken on nearly every other cruise line around the World. The cruise itinerary took us to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. I found it difficult finding cruise reviews for this itinerary, so I hope this helps those looking to do a future cruise to these ports on P&O. I believe the only other large cruise line to visit these ports is Princess. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Very good. P&O uses an e-ticket and allows you to select a preferred time range to check-in. It took me less than 15 minutes to complete the check-in process and there were no lines. Disembarkation is similar to other cruise lines. It was organized and totally completed in about 2 hours. Once my category was called, it took about 20 minutes to go through immigration/customs. The only negative was the long wait for taxis. This is not a cruise line issue, but a port location issue. Cairns does not have enough taxis to satisfy a large number of people disembarking the ship within two hours. The Ship: The Eden is a refurbished Holland- America ship. It has a very similar layout and configuration as a Holland-America ship, but a more modern style and interior. It offers basically the same options as other ships in the 1500 passenger ship range. It does not have the on-board options as the mega-ships like water shows, ice rinks, etc. It simply does not have enough space. It does have plenty to offer including an adventure park with zip-line, climbing wall, obstacle course, pools, sports, games, etc. There are several bars with different themes, Movie Theater and large auditorium for shows. Restaurants and food: It has the traditional large dining area with open seating called the Waterfront serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food was OK and acceptable for a mid-range priced cruise. The dinner menu usually had an ethnic set menu each night like Chinese, Japanese, Australian, French, Italian, etc. In addition, there were several other options that varied each night. The informal "buffet" restaurant was called the Pantry. It included a new concept with ethnic food stations like Mexican, Asian, Indian, European, sandwiches, desserts and American/Australian. The food is served by the cruise staff (definitely more sanitary) so no self-serve buffet lines . I enjoyed the variety of food, but like most cruise buffet restaurants, the food is OK but less than average taste. There are three specialty restaurants, two are free and one requires a supplement charge (AU$49). The Dragon Lady has Asian cuisine and is excellent. Angelo’s has Italian cuisine and is also excellent. Reservations are a must and should be booked ASAP on the first day. They fill up fast. I ate half my dinners in these two restaurants. The third specialty restaurant is the Salt Lick and requires a surcharge. I tried to get a reservation, but it was fully booked. I heard it was really good. My recommendation, try to have your dinners at Dragon Lady and Angelo’s and breakfast/lunch at the Waterfront. I am not discouraging eating at the Pantry, especially if you want convenience in a casual setting. Entertainment: The production shows had relatively small casts, but were entertaining with good staging. They also had two magic shows and two musicians the other nights, which were well done and entertaining. P&O offered all sorts of activities during the day, more when at sea. Wine, beer, booze tastings (surcharge), spa related, games, contests, movies, lectures and exercise. I would rate the entertainment average for this size ship. Shore Excursions: I normally do not book cruise sponsored shore excursions. I prefer independent sightseeing when in port, but I decided to book P&O shore excursions for this cruise. I was not familiar with these ports and did not know if there would be independent options available. These ports do not get many cruise ships and P&O has only been visiting these ports for two years. I was happy with the P&O excursions, but some were more pricey than the independent options. Alotau: P&O arranges a culture festival only available to cruise ship passengers. I would highly recommend this one if interested in the PNG tribal cultures. There were eight different tribes dressed in traditional outfits and included dancing and singing. In addition, there were three war canoes you can ride for AU$10. P&O arranges shuttle buses to/from the cruise ship during the morning in port. You can come and go as you please. There is not much in the town itself. The small fishing port area is colorful and with the adjacent local market. There are also a few war memorials. I took an afternoon excursion to two traditional PNG villages. More costumes, singing and dancing along with lectures on the culture and way of life. I enjoyed both shore excursions. There were also WWII history tours. Kitava and Kiriwini: We try to tender into Kitava, which looked beautiful, but the seas were too rough. P&O decided to go to another island close by called Kiriwini. This I imagine took some real logistic work by P&O given the short notice and it worked out great. Kudos to P&O and the Captain for making this call. Kiriwini was equally beautiful. No P&O shore excursions offered here. Just a beautiful beach and excellent snorkeling and lots of locals selling food, souvenirs, arts and crafts. The whole island comes down to the beach when a ship is in port. There are a few sights like a skull cave you can hire a local to show you and a few local villages. But the real attraction is the beach and clear, warm, calm water teaming with tropical fish and colorful coral. Local boys will take you on an outrigger canoe rides. Rabaul: The sail into Rabaul is spectacular. The ship passes several volcano (one active) and into a protected bay surrounded by mountains. There is not much to the town, but it has a colorful market. I took the volcano tour, which was OK. There were independent tour agencies at the dock that charged much less than P&O. The volcano tour goes to the volcano observatory for a great view of the town and surrounding volcano. Then to a village near the base of an active volcano where WWII airplane wrecks are located. The village people (not to be confused with the YMCA guys) dance and had cooking demos. The next stop was near the base of the active volcano and hot springs. The ocean water in this area is very hot due to the natural hot springs. This was the highlight of the tour for me. We made one more stop at a village next to a Catholic church. There are souvenir markets at each stop. P&O also offered a WWII history tour. Gizo: There were several P&O shore excursion options. I selected the Kennedy Island excursion, which was basically a boat ride to/from Kennedy Island, a tiny remote coral reef ringed island where American President John F Kennedy swam to after his PT boat sank during WWII. This is a great option if you want to snorkel or just relax on a beach and swim. The Gizo hotel built a nice hut with lounge, bar and flush toilets on the island. They also arranged entertainment with local teens dancing in traditional Solomon outfits. You can walk around the island in 10 minutes. It is about a 20 minute boat ride from Gizo. I think it is possible to negotiate a ride to Kennedy Island independently, but I believe most independent boat operators take you to another island much closer to Gizo. Dive Gizo arranges independent scuba and snorkeling excursions. Since I had a P&O shore excursion, I had no issues getting on the second tender to shore and could spend the whole day there. Apparently most of the independent travelers had to wait two or three hours to get off the ship due to rough seas slowing the tender process. In fact, I praise P&O and the Captain for allowing us to go on shore. It was rough enough to make it marginal on the safety side. These tendering delays reduced the amount of time on shore for many. Upon arrive in Gizo, there were locals dress in native outfits playing music and singing. You can walk from one end of the town to the other in 15 minutes. The main street is lined with shops and a local market. After the Kennedy Island tour, I walk to the end of the town and had a drink at PT109, the name of Kennedy’s WWII boat. It has a deck on the waterfront with a great view and ice cold beer. The Gizo hotel across from the tender dock also has a nice restaurant and bar overlooking the harbor. Independent tour companies had tables at the tender dock, most offering transportation to local beaches for the day. The best beach area is roughly an hour drive from Gizo. Honiara: This was the only real city we visited on this cruise. I heard they have a McDonald's. I didn’t see it or a Starbucks (thank God). There are several historic WWII sights, a few museums and a large local market that are a short walking distance from the dock. Guadalcanal was the location of one of the most gruesome WWII battles. 7000 American soldiers and 24,000 Japanese soldiers died during a six month period on Guadalcanal. There are numerous memorials and historic sites near Honiara and on Guadalcanal. The WWII war tour was one of the more popular P&O shore excursions. P&O offered several excursions, I took a culture tour to a local Polynesian village. The tour was excellent. We drove 45 minutes get to it and all the villagers came out to greet us in their native dress. We toured the village and they explain their way of life and traditional Polynesian ways, which included local food and dancing. The village is on “Red Beach,” where the Americans first landed on Guadalcanal during WWII. There are also several nice beaches less than 30 minute drive west of town. Some have WWII wrecks and most have an entrance fee. The most popular is Mbonge beach. I did not see independent organized tours at the dock, but there were several taxis waiting that can be hired for the day. Most independent travelers walked around town. If hungry or thirsty, the Point Cruz Yacht Club is only a few minute walk from the dock and locate on the water. In summary, I would recommend the P&O Eden and this cruise itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Papua New Guinea Island Encounter We'd taken a cruise on Aria earlier in the year and due to poor cabin selection had a horrible time. As a result of the complaint we made we were offered, and took, $1200 credit with P&O as ... Read More
Papua New Guinea Island Encounter We'd taken a cruise on Aria earlier in the year and due to poor cabin selection had a horrible time. As a result of the complaint we made we were offered, and took, $1200 credit with P&O as compensation. PNG had always been somewhere that had interested us so we used the credit to book a suite on the seven night PNG cruise out of Cairns. Six weeks after we'd booked, at what we thought was a fair price, P&O had another sale. Booking cruises is luck of the draw. If we'd waited we would have paid $1300 less for the suite and received $350OBC plus beverage package for two of us (we travelled with a friend). $2000 is a BIG difference :( Anyways, to the cruise. We flew up to Cairns from Brisbane on the morning of departure. As we'd booked a suite we were able to check-in right on 11. First warning. If you have any issues walking up steep slopes then you might have a problem walking up the gangway. My partner had an operation on his knee the week before and the long steep ramp was very difficult. We were able to go straight to our cabin - 10054 - where we were met by our cabin attendant Myron. After the Oz Day cruise disaster I was very careful with the cabin selection and 10054 was perfect. It was mostly under the overhang of the pantry. We're not sunbakers so this suited us perfectly. Myron showed us everything in the room. Priority tender tickets were in an envelope with explanation on how to use them. There was a full size bottle of bubbles in the fridge. Fruit basket. We didn't have three of everything - glasses, cups etc but they were there when we came back from lunch. He explained that they would put the sofa bed out each night while we were out. The suite was really nice and a great size. Easily enough room for the three of us, even with the sofa bed folded out. It's tired though and needs a refresh badly. The arms of two occasional chairs in the room were covered in that ingrained dirt that builds up after 20 years of hands rubbing them. Yuk! The veranda furniture is pretty nasty for a suite. The cushions were dirty, the table corroded. Time to be replaced P&O. The bathroom had a full size bath and it was super clean - I've seen pictures of grotty silicon and grout but ours was spotless. Shower temperature was an issue the entire cruise. It was very difficult to have a warm shower. It was usually cool, with a burst of scolding every now and then. We talked to a couple of neighbours and we all had the same issue. Our suite also had an 'extra' safe. There was a small one in the wardrobe but also a newer larger one attached to the cabinet right next to the tv. Very weird! Ports. Alotau - we are not ship's shore tour people but it was too hard to go private so we booked the Milne Bay Historical tour. Expensive for a couple of hours but super interesting. Each minibus had their own guide. Ours, Fabian, was a great guy. Very proud of the history of Milne Bay, something he didn't know much about until P&O started to cruise to PNG. It was a common theme everywhere we visited - P&O was bringing great benefit to PNG. Our friend and I left the tour at the war memorial in town (my partner went back to the ship as he worked all week) and we walked back to the ship. We are fairly intrepid travellers but I didn't feel hugely safe in Alotau. Lots of groups of men, youths and boys sitting around pretty much doing nothing that aren't giving off the most friendly vibes. I suppose I wouldn't like thousands of people descending on my suburb either. We spent a couple of lazy hours at the Alotau Waterfront Lodge before heading back to the ship. During the late afternoon a cultural group performed on the dock - drumming, singing and dancing. Kitava - The priority tender tickets worked a treat. Hint - if you have them, walk down the hall to the embarkation steps, not force your way down the steps thought the people who are waiting. If you don't fit at the end of the tender queue your first on to the next. Most of the tenders in the morning were greeted by a large pod of dolphins that was hanging around in the channel right near the jetty. The locals have set up an endless row of stalls in the shade behind the beach. They all sell pretty much the same carvings and baskets but it is all quite nice. There were a number of little enclosures with groups of children in them singing and dancing. They were from local schools or churches. Each one had metal drum in front for donations - goods or money. I took a boat over to Uratu to snorkel. It was 5 kina each way for whatever boat you got on - sailing or paddled. The water was beautifully warm but the snorkelling was pretty ordinary. It was a beautiful day so I didn't really care. One of the small sail boats capsized and seven passengers ended up in the water. My partner was in the tender that picked them up. No injuries, just wet people. It was a nice place to just hang on the beach. Long, hot tender queue to get back to the ship. Kiriwina - Another spectacular day and a gorgeous place. The ship anchored very close to the jetty. Cliffs along the coast in one direction, stunning white sandy beach in the other. We didn't race off here so need to use priority tickets. Similar to Kitava along the beach but behind it is a large 'oval' and then a short walk away a village. A local - John - started talking to us while we watched the performance by a large group of young guys (very funny, the locals were screaming with laughter, all about fertility with some very obvious phallic references - warning to those easily offended) and kind of hung around most of the day. He watched our bags when we went snorkelling. Eventually the sell happened and we bought a couple of carvings. Who knows if they were a good price. We didn't care. He was a nice guy. I gave him a Wheels magazine I had with me and he as very chuffed. John said his son would love it. Long hot tender queue to get back to the ship. Conflict Islands - After we left Kiriwina the captain asked us all to do an anti-rain dance as the two forecasts he had for the Conflict Islands weren't too flash. It was fine when we arrived but as windy as forecast. They sent a tender in to check the jetty on the island. It was borderline but they decided to get us ashore with the exception that anyone with mobility issues couldn't go. It was just too bumpy getting on and off the tenders. I decided to go over early in case it eventually got too windy and again flashed the golden priority tender ticket. We were the first Eden cruise to land on Conflict Islands and the first to visit all four ports. The atoll and its islands are privately owned. Panasesa, the island that you visit, is very manicured and every comment we heard was that it was the favourite visit. I'm going with it was because there was no-one trying to sell you something. I did a circuit of the island and then took a tender back to the ship. The skipper of the tender took four goes t get us alongside. I've taken a lot of tenders, in some very ordinary conditions and never seen anything like it. He was hopeless. We gave him a round of applause when we were finally tied up alongside the tender platform. The three of us pretty much went straight back over. Our friend and I had booked the snorkelling trip and my partner just went over for a walk around and a swim. The snorkelling trip was great. We both wish it had been longer. We took a very wet ride in a small skiff to a larger boat from where we got into the water. It had a platform that lowered down into the water to make it easier to get on and off. They offered hot and cold drinks before and after we got in the water. The snorkelling was pretty good - some ok coral, plenty of fish, warm water. The rest of the cruise. Food - we ate everywhere but Chef's Table. The Pantry - we like the concept of The Pantry but agree that the seating in the space needs to be rethought, especially the low tables. They just don't work. We tried most outlets and have no complaints. The Mexican was a hit as was the sandwich station. My poached eggs were perfect each time I had them. For anyone who complains they have to remember they are on P&O, not Celebrity. Dragon Lady - as advised when we were boarding the ship we booked three restaurants straight away. Dragon Lady, Salt and Angelo's. You were limited to three. I saw no evidence of any priority for suite guests as advertised. The serving sizes in Dragon Lady are even smaller than they were in January. We said it then and I'll say it again - it's a good idea that hasn't got the execution quite right. Soggy sweet potato chips. A brulee that was more like a mousse. Nevertheless we enjoyed it enough to make another booking as we left as the menu was changing mid-cruise. Salt - a very strange experience. We arrived and got a very strange greeting. Did we have a reservation? Sure did. I looked at the list on the desk and pointed to our reservation that had been marked off. Someone else had come in and said they were us! Having an extra table obviously threw them. Service was weird. We had multiple people asking the same question. When my medium rare steak arrived it was well done! They took it straight back but by the time the second steak arrived the others had finished their mains. Then despite saying that I didn't need more vegetables or mash it arrived. At least we didn't get charged twice! Angelo's - what a let down. We liked Angelo's last time. Not this time. Sat in table right at entrance. Rushed through our meal like nothing any of us have experienced before. Servings so small they wouldn't even qualify as tapas. The cheese 'platter' was hilarious. Entertainment Production shows - the only one we didn't like was Twice Upon a Time. It was weird. We like dance but the dancing and singing left us cold. We didn't go to any of the other shows. Lounges and bars - we liked the duet that played around the ship and The Edens who played in the Blue Room. We thought Alter Ego were terrible (were they just crew members moonlighting as a band?) and did not get Spencer Chester at all. Was his act that he couldn't sing or couldn't play piano? Obviously plenty did get him as the bar was full every time he played. Everything else Myron and Michell kept the cabin spotless. Made very good use of the unlimited bottled water. Loved the officer's cocktail party - we talked to the Staff Captain for the whole event - super interesting guy. I've never commented on a captain before but Gavin Pears was great. Very visible. Was always stopping to have a chat. It was very obvious that the crew really liked him. Embarkation and debarkation were both painless. We didn't make use of the suite lounge in Salt and just sat out by the pool until we left the ship. It took longer than we'd thought it would getting off - an hour from walking down the gangway to getting in a taxi. By the time we got to the airport they were calling our flight. We really enjoyed the cruise. Eden is a nice ship but is already showing wear only after just a year. The cushions on the loungers around the Oasis just look dirty. The cabins need refurbishing. Get rid of the dumb spa baths and replace them with proper big showers. The verandah furniture on suite balconies looks lost, and cheap, in that huge space. We enjoyed it enough that we're now investigating a Solomon Island's cruise with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
booked this cruise from our home port of Cairns with a drinks package at a good price. We were concerned by the reviews and we had also just finished a cruise from Hawaii to Sydney on Celebrity Solstice. So we went with our eyes wide open. ... Read More
booked this cruise from our home port of Cairns with a drinks package at a good price. We were concerned by the reviews and we had also just finished a cruise from Hawaii to Sydney on Celebrity Solstice. So we went with our eyes wide open. it was going to be a 3 star ship which is typical of P and O australia and we were not expecting the bells and whistles of Solstice. We went with 3 other couples and had a great time. embarking and disembark worked well. the ship was fine, obviously an older ship but in reasonable condition. particularly liked the lounges and bar arrangements. entertainment was consistent.The dancing and music in the theatre was high energy but missed the mark in my opinion. One of the shows was just too dark and a lot of the music i have never heard before. choreography was great but music choice poor and did not relate to the audience.it felt like they had done the choreography .and then picked the music to match it. if they had chosen music the audience could relate to the shows would have been better received The pantry worked well. plenty of choice and no issues with the food being not warm enough. they have to do something about the crazy decision to put coffee tables into this area. what were they thinking?? its an easy fix and will complement the area by giving every diner a table to sit and eat at. The main dining room is big and very well done....but its half empty every night. It looks like they dont have the staff so you are lining up for a table and there are empty tables every where. speaking of staff, it was very hard to get any inter action from them in any of the dining areas. The food was fine if a little on the small size with some serves. Actually some serves were miniscule. The same can be said for the asian and italian restaurants. good food, small portions and unsmiling stiff staff serving you. the swimming pool at the aft is a great idea, no kids and a small bar. but it was almost comical to see almost everyone gathered around trying to find what little shade is on offer. the drinks package was a first for us. we like a drink but at $79 a day you have to be drinking non stop to get value. with 4 port calls in 7 days you spend a lot of time off the ship so i found myself drinking just because i was on a package and not necessarily because i really wanted "another cocktail". we did not get close to drinking $79 worth on any day, which surprised me and were happy it was an add on to our booking. the last day i only had 2 drinks as i had had enough of alcohol. P and o certainly have it right with their drinks staff. plenty of them walking around and getting you drinks and we met some lovely staff in the bars. Alatau was nothing special, walked down town. the memorial had interesting info re the war in milne bay. Kitiva and Kiriwini were very interesting. walked with a local guide and had an interesting time with the natives. Conflict was very pretty, the owner has done a great job with the facilities in such an isolated spot Apparently previous ships have had trouble tendering to this island. the jetty needs some modification as there is a big gap between the tender boat and getting onto the jetty. its an accident waiting to happen with older cruisers for sure, but even the young would have to be careful. our cabin was fine, ocean view on deck 6 and was in good condition for its age. little things like wardrobe doors not closing properly, otherwise it was a good size, bed was great and both stewards did a great job. Overall we had a good time on a 3 star ship that had the bonus for us of being a $20 taxi ride from our house. would i go on Eden again. probably yes , from Cairns. but if i had to hop on a plane to go to Brisbane or Sydney i would most likely cruise on Princess, RCI or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Cruise was part of a package deal ,flying from Melbourne to Cairns.Pacific Eden is an easy ship to find your way around,the new facilities from bars,restaurants to entertainment areas are really tastefully done. Other parts of the ship ... Read More
Cruise was part of a package deal ,flying from Melbourne to Cairns.Pacific Eden is an easy ship to find your way around,the new facilities from bars,restaurants to entertainment areas are really tastefully done. Other parts of the ship including cabins are looking a bit old but everything worked well on the ship. Food was a disappointment,menus are average and in some restaurants don't vary much. Entertainment was good in the Marquis theatre and the bands in the bars were good. Good ship to cruise for families,with excellent clubs and facilities for children. Leaving the ship at Cairns was not well organized and rather congested. Overall good value for money and a good selection of port visits,especially Mystery Island and Noumea. For a small to mid size ship this ship is a great option if you want to combine it with a stay in beautiful Cairns and go to the barrier reef. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
As with other people, we were quite nervous as there were a number of negative reviews of the Pacific Eden and we had to fly to Cairns from Brisbane to embark. However the cruise was more than adequate with only some minor irritations. ... Read More
As with other people, we were quite nervous as there were a number of negative reviews of the Pacific Eden and we had to fly to Cairns from Brisbane to embark. However the cruise was more than adequate with only some minor irritations. Let's face it, life in general has minor irritations.. Positive: the basic rooms are bigger then the other p&O ships and this is a big plus. You can actually walk around and sit on a two seat sofa. The air conditioning was wonderfully cold. The entertainment was great with Alter Ego band absolutely fantastic. The shows were good with talented singers but I would have preferred more popular themed songs. (personal choice). We attended a lot of trivia. Get there early as they are very popular. Minor issues with strongly accented trivia hosts. hard to understand the questions. however great fun. food: no longer self serve but as far as I'm concerned this is a plus. People have complained that servings were smaller. Seriously!!! If you are hungry, go and get another serving. I don't know what P&O thinking is but letting the staff serve you means there is no chance of other passenger's dirty unwashed hands can contaminate the food.(I still see people leaving the toilets without washing their hands.) The cutlery is also wrapped up in a serviette for you. The pantry area is cleaned scrupulously each night. Angelo's and the Asian Lady? restaurants were good but bookings fill up fast. Shore excursions no more than average. Not enough tenders operating to get people on shore. (maybe all the rest were lifeboats. People were still waiting to get off at 11:30 in the morning. But all day stops so no pressure to return. some of the smaller first time places could not cope with the large influx of people. no taxis/buses available. no adequate shade. Costs of tours courtesy of P&O as usual price gouging. The four of us went to see the Second World War sites which was great and the scenic islands belied the terrible history. The New Guinean and Solomon Island people were wonderful. Heart warming to see whole island turn out waiting to display their culture for the visitors to see. would definitely go n Eden again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Pacific Eden Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 3.0 N/A
Dining 3.0 3.1
Entertainment 5.0 3.6
Public Rooms 5.0 3.8
Fitness & Recreation 3.0 N/A
Family 3.0 3.5
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 3.0 3.5
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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