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Pacific Eden Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
302 Reviews

You get what you pay for.

Pacific Eden Cruise Review by aoharris64

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2016
  • Destination: Australia & New Zealand

My wife wanted to take me on this short cruise to see how I would cope on a longer cruise in the future and to determine what my expectations were.

We were able to get a good deal on the suite (10030) as it was expected to gave us a few priority perks (embarkation / disembarkation / dinner bookings) and a bit more room. Having never done such a cruise I had little to compare to for size of the room - the suite was about the size of a standard Sheraton or Intercontinental Hotel room but with a lot of storage area for stowing things away. The bed was very comfortable (slept very soundly) but the television (which we rarely looked at) was strangely small for the room. The rooms have not been refurbished and look a little old and tired - though some of the furniture looks to have been replaced but not all. There is nice outdoor furniture which is comfortable. Found the curtains somewhat thin so the sun came through at 5am in the morning. Overall not bad. The best part was the two cabin stewards taking care of our room - very attentive, nothing too big a problem and lovely natured.

Please note this is supposed to be a refurbished ship recently purchased from another liner - the plaque showed built in 1997. The common areas look to have been upgraded but the living areas i.e. suites had not evidently. There is new paint on the balcony but you can see wires handing down and wear and tear issues throughout.

We booked three restaurants - Salt (Luke Mangan), Dragon Lady & Angelos.

Salt (1st night) - lovely food as you would hope for from a Luke Mangan restaurant but having been to his restaurant Glass at the Sydney Hilton, you can't compare the service. They need a bit more training about the basics - like taking plates away when both parties have not completed their meal (OK in a cafe not in a good restaurant). Reasonable overall.

Dragon Lady (2nd night) - lovely decor but possibly the worst asian food I have ever had in my life. Tasteless (for all items), dry (for what should have been slow cooked beef cheeks) and soggy (for soft-shell crab). The crème brûlée was like an omelette as it was so over done. I thought it might have just been me being precious but after looking around the restaurant and seeing the reactions of the other diners I was not alone.

Angelo's (3rd Night) - Service much better than Dragon Lady. The food was no where near perfect but by this stage it was obvious that the food was coming from a central kitchen and the Italian food travelled better than the Asian. Went for another long cooked meal - this too was on the verge of drying out (we were eating at 8:00 so I suspect they had cooked everything in one go for earlier clients). The pasty desert which was supposed to have ricotta in it was empty and dry.

The Pantry is the new version of a smorgasbord - they basically break it into different types and serve it too you. We had breakfast here one morning and it was quite alright - nothing to write home about but no issues. We did also get breakfast in our room but it was cold by the time it got to us (along walk to deliver not the waiters fault).

As for lunches and dinner at Pantry - very bland, very boring food. I asked the Indian food server (the food was Indian he wasn't) if there was anything spicy and he said "no". Like they were appealing to the lowest common denominator.

We also ate at the grill near the main pool - $15 for a bucket of prawns, $3 for a burger, $3 for pulled pork roll and $9.50 for pizzas. Obviously do a better job when cooked for order. All very nice.

Conclusion - whoever is in charge over the food needs to have a good think about what they are providing - poor quality for items that simply shouldn't be and boring / bland and dried out food on offer.

As for the bars - lots of them of different make up. The waiters seemed enthusiastic though again in some instances undertrained. Management fault again. Blue Room (salsa music) and Ocean bar were our favourites (the later also had morning coffee) with attentive service. There was a very nice fellow who got used to us coming in after / just before dinner at the Blue Room each night and he couldn't have been more helpful. Wish I could remember his name as he was a standout on the cruise - ironically he always remembered our names.

We didn't go to the day trip on Moreton Island as I had been there many times previously. They had issues getting people on and off (due to sea conditions) and I heard a few people got sick on the tender transfers but as far as I could see it was very professional with more than enough notices.

Embarkation and Disembarkation were no issues for us and again it seemed to be quite professional.

Enjoyed but there is room for improvement and obviously what pay for (Salt / Grill) is what you get.


aoharris64's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Cabin Review

Cabin Suite 100030

We were able to get a good deal on the suite (10030) as it was expected to gave us a few priority perks (embarkation / disembarkation / dinner bookings) and a bit more room.

Having never done such a cruise I had little to compare to for size of the room - the suite was about the size of a standard Sheraton or Intercontinental Hotel room but with a lot of storage area for stowing things away. The bed was very comfortable (slept very soundly) but the television (which we rarely looked at) was strangely small for the room.

The rooms have not been refurbished and look a little old and tired - though some of the furniture looks to have been replaced but not all. There is nice outdoor furniture which is comfortable.

Found the curtains somewhat thin so the sun came through at 5am in the morning.

Overall not bad. The best part was the two cabin stewards taking care of our room - very attentive, nothing too big a problem and lovely natured.


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aoharris64
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