This was our 6th cruise with P&O Australia which have been mixed in among 8 with Princess. We rate this the best we have had with P&O. We had read a lot of negative reviews about the Eden but went aboard with an open mind and were very pleasantly surprised with what we found. The public areas which have undergone refurbishment were superb. The decor was different to what we had previously experienced and it was obvious a lot of thought and planning had gone into what P&O was wanting to achieve.
The lounge and bar areas were beautiful. Inside, we loved the Ocean Bar, Mix Bar, the intimate Blue Room and the Dome. While outside, the Lido deck with its retractable roof and the adults only Oasis deck at the back of the ship also very good. All of these were part of the refurbishment and the atmosphere of each was very relaxing. The Oasis can get hot during the day as there is not a lot of shade so we best enjoyed it towards the end of the day. The shopping areas were also very nicely refurbished.
We thought the overall dining experience was very good. We had read complaints about the Pantry concept but we were very happy. We found the variety was very good with choices of Indian, Mexican, Malaysian, seafood, salad, meat, sandwiches and rolls and of course, desserts. It is like a food court arrangement and each of these "outlets" had different offerings for lunch and dinner each day. There was virtually no queuing and no problem finding seating. Salt Grill was excellent as usual and we found the Italian restaurant, Angelos and the Asian restaurant, Dragon Lady also very good. Possibly the service in Angelos was a bit quick as our three courses were over and done with in about 45 minutes. The service was very friendly and efficient however. We had mixed thoughts on the Waterfront restaurant as we had an excellent meal on one night but another was fairly average. We are not seafood eaters so that probably narrowed our choices somewhat. It would be beneficial, for those like us, if the nightly menu was displayed beforehand to see if it would be worth our while to choose to dine there that night or not.
What had not been part of the refurbishment was our Suite. Having said that, it was still very clean and comfortable. The bed was excellent and allowed for a great night's sleep every night. The bathroom was spotless and even though we had no issue, the shower was in the spa bath which some may have trouble accessing. It would not take much to dress the room up by maybe replacing the curtains, the artwork on the walls, replacing the TV with a more modern and slightly larger model and definitely by replacing the two sun lounges and four chairs on the very large balcony which were very old. These are superficial issues and really did not affect our holiday but having said that, it is one of the reasons why we are not giving an overall 5 star rating. There were a couple of minor issues such as with a light switch on one particular night and fresh towels that were a bit damp. All issues were acted upon very promptly and so no complaints in that regard. Above all that, our cabin Stewards were very friendly, hard working and efficient.
Very knowledgeable guide and the visit to the Twelve Apostles was outstanding.