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We are a couple in our sixties and experienced cruisers from the UK. We were visiting family in Melbourne and did the Pacific Jewel 5 nights to Tasmania 20th Feb 2018. We often cruise Thomson (Marella) out of the UK so that is our benchmark for this review. Great weather, ship not full - cruise heaven. We liked the ship and the cabin/stewards and the destinations were fine. Sadly that is all the positives. You can't get anything to eat after 9.00 pm !! That is, unless you pay extra for a hot dog in a box. That's cross-channel ferry, not cruising !! Out on the open deck we asked a waiter to clean down the table that had food congealed all over it. He repeated what I said and walked off !! He avoided our table after that. Up in the nearly deserted Dome bar we sat for 25 minutes before one of the two waiters chatting behind the bar came over to ask if we wanted a drink. He told me they didn't do the one I wanted at that bar and he also walked off !! Some waiters and bar staff understood little english and ordering drinks could be like having teeth pulled. The Pantry buffet, which is not self service, offered a fair choice of food, mostly oriental but it hardly varied from day to day. It is arranged like a food court and this caused a good deal of milling about at peak times as people moved from station to station to assemble their meals. Entertainment was lacklustre. The high points were the two very blue comedians. Stage shows were average. In the entertainment lounge it was name that tune EVERY night, none of the daft TV game shows or larking about on the pool deck that make cruising fun. The cruise director, so important in promoting and encouraging everything on board ship, was low profile. Debarkation. We were all supposed to crowd into a lounge and wait for a chap at a table with a microphone to say which of us could get off the ship. There was nowhere to sit so we were reduced to sitting elsewhere and checking now and again to see if it was our turn. Why not make the announcements ship-wide? I pointed out to him that it wasn't working. The look on his face said it all. In the leaving pamphlet there was a reference to collecting confiscated alcohol. CONFISCATED?? We're not schoolkids mate we're cruise customers and we pay YOUR wages !! Overall I sensed low morale, poor motivation and complacent management devoid of imaginative and dynamic thinking. This could be just shipboard but I suspect it goes right to the top. Several Aussies we spoke to took the words out of my mouth - First and last cruise with P&O. I suggest the company send over a delegation of keen observers to a Thomson cruise to see how affordable cruising is done. Sadly this was a third rate budget cruise trading on an old and prestigious reputation that it didn't deserve..

Cruising with P&O. Sounds great doesn't it.

Pacific Jewel Cruise Review by greg hall

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Trip Details
We are a couple in our sixties and experienced cruisers from the UK. We were visiting family in Melbourne and did the Pacific Jewel 5 nights to Tasmania 20th Feb 2018. We often cruise Thomson (Marella) out of the UK so that is our benchmark for this review.

Great weather, ship not full - cruise heaven. We liked the ship and the cabin/stewards and the destinations were fine. Sadly that is all the positives.

You can't get anything to eat after 9.00 pm !! That is, unless you pay extra for a hot dog in a box. That's cross-channel ferry, not cruising !!

Out on the open deck we asked a waiter to clean down the table that had food congealed all over it. He repeated what I said and walked off !! He avoided our table after that. Up in the nearly deserted Dome bar we sat for 25 minutes before one of the two waiters chatting behind the bar came over to ask if we wanted a drink. He told me they didn't do the one I wanted at that bar and he also walked off !! Some waiters and bar staff understood little english and ordering drinks could be like having teeth pulled.

The Pantry buffet, which is not self service, offered a fair choice of food, mostly oriental but it hardly varied from day to day. It is arranged like a food court and this caused a good deal of milling about at peak times as people moved from station to station to assemble their meals.

Entertainment was lacklustre. The high points were the two very blue comedians. Stage shows were average. In the entertainment lounge it was name that tune EVERY night, none of the daft TV game shows or larking about on the pool deck that make cruising fun. The cruise director, so important in promoting and encouraging everything on board ship, was low profile.

Debarkation. We were all supposed to crowd into a lounge and wait for a chap at a table with a microphone to say which of us could get off the ship. There was nowhere to sit so we were reduced to sitting elsewhere and checking now and again to see if it was our turn. Why not make the announcements ship-wide? I pointed out to him that it wasn't working. The look on his face said it all.

In the leaving pamphlet there was a reference to collecting confiscated alcohol. CONFISCATED?? We're not schoolkids mate we're cruise customers and we pay YOUR wages !!

Overall I sensed low morale, poor motivation and complacent management devoid of imaginative and dynamic thinking. This could be just shipboard but I suspect it goes right to the top. Several Aussies we spoke to took the words out of my mouth - First and last cruise with P&O. I suggest the company send over a delegation of keen observers to a Thomson cruise to see how affordable cruising is done. Sadly this was a third rate budget cruise trading on an old and prestigious reputation that it didn't deserve..
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Cabin 6071
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