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Pacific Explorer Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
133 Reviews

My Pacific Explorer Experience

Pacific Explorer Cruise Review by jschenk

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Apr 2018
  • Destination: Australia & New Zealand

Embarkation was very smooth and quick.

Our cabin was clean and there was a short wait for our luggage to be delivered to the room but we had no concerns.

Good times pamphlet was easy to read with lots of interesting activities to do.

Waterfront restaurant had good food and was easy to get into with and without a reservation. The Pavlova dessert was AMAZING. Highly recommended even for the $9 price tag.

Seven / Let's Misbehave / Rock shows were awesome - very talented entertainment staff always great shows. just magnificent.

I love walking along the promenade deck except when portions are roped off and you have to detour back inside the ship to continue the lap and when you have to walk through a cloud of cigarette smoke (that definitely ruins the experience of walking around the ship and enjoying the seas air and views).

Breakfast is always the worst meal of the day on cruises but breakfast under this new Pantry layout was DISGUSTING. The hot food (bacon, eggs, etc) were always cold and waiting in line for toast made it even colder. It is really difficult to get seats in The Pantry and the food is getting even colder by the time you find a seat. if you stay away from hot food and lines even the cold breakfast foods like yogurt and fruit were inedible.

The Pantry is so chaotic - people walking every which way and people walking through the food area when they are leaving. no hand washing was enforced and broken soap dispensers was ignored by the staff.

The staff were very slow in cleaning the tables in The Pantry which led to less tables being available and it was difficult to get a staff members attention is you wanted them to come clean a table for you. This was also noticeable around the ship as large stacks to used plates and cups were seen every including in elevators and under stairs. It may be a cruise ship and staff are there to pick up a lot of items but people can be sucks pigs leaving their leftovers everywhere.

The Pantry at Lunch was not much better - too chaotic and too difficult to get seating for terrible tasting food. i recommend avoiding The Pantry at all costs.

The opening times of the Pantry was awful. if you wanted a snack outside of The Pantry opening times there was nothing available unless you were willing to pay extra money. No sweets on offer between lunch and dinner times except the $5 a scoop ice cream.

also the Pantry only offered Apple & Orange Juice with breakfast after than you could not get any drinks other than tea and coffee in the Pantry. No staff available to ask about getting other drinks with lunch??

the watersides were fun but lots of rules and issues about earrings. we took off our big earrings and went on the slides twice but then suddenly they changed their minds and we could not slide with any earrings in even small sleepers that were not going to come undone. make up your minds. many children were unsupervised as well and very pushy when trying to get past you on the stairs up to the slides.

18+ area was nice except for a couple of very loud annoying drunk women cackling away for 4 days and people hogging the hot tubs for many hours & not sharing. getting drinks was a slow process sometimes especially if you wanted to ask the bar tender any questions who would answer 1 then serve somebody else. Mock tails were never mentioned on any menus and had to be asked for specifically and then the bar tender would walk away to serve someone else without waiting for our order.

Swim towels available in the rooms was much more helpful than other ships where you have to search for towels yourself and then walk back to the pool you want to use.

Spa services are so expensive! $39 for an eye brow wax and then they try to sell you a special brand of face toner and cleanser for $60 each. what a rip off.

Dinner at the Dragon Lady was excellent.

Dinner at Angelo's was lovely, though the portion sizes were a bit small.

getting drinks around the ship were sometimes a but confusing, the menus all said Pepsi / Pepsi max drinks but when you asked for Pepsi the staff looked at you blankly and said they had Coke / Diet Coke. also for non coffee drinkers it's difficult to get a non coffee drink. the menu only offered coffee flavored drinks and when a Iced Chocolate was asked for the staff would still make an Iced Chocolate Mocha even though they promised a non coffee Iced Chocolate. they even seemed confused when asked for a simple hot milk drink.

entertainment activities was mostly fun though the paper flower making class was a bit ridiculous. the teacher did not explain / show the steps very well and when you asked for help or for her to repeat the steps she was slow at acknowledging us.

learning the steps for the Gatsby flash mob was fun but when the time came for us to do the dance in the Atrium it was far too crowded and not enough space for the steps we were taught including Charleston kicks. it became very claustrophobic on the dance floor. we were promised confetti at the end of the dance which did not occur.

The photo department...terrible photos and terrible prices! we are all dressed up in Gatsby outfits but the photographer cut off our fingers and outfits and was bamboozled when we had our own poses already chosen. all they want you to do is stand in the same spot every time and then they don't really check if you have closed eyes. the new digital kiosk system can make finding your photos easier but each staff member trained differently or incorrectly gives you different information. e.g. 1 staff member said you can only order digital copies from the kiosk and physical copies you had to find yourself in the many boxes of mixed photo graphs where another said you could order digital and physical copies from the kiosk (but after i had already spent 30 mins or more searching through the multiple piles of mixed photos for any photos of my group).

shore excursions... we went to Moreton Island and we booked the snorkeling tour and the feeding the Dolphins tour. we were told to get a tender at least 90 mins before our tour time to make sure we didn't miss the tours but then we were so early for the tour that we were waiting for an hour for our tour to start. we were also not given enough information and were not told to dress in our swimmers before hand. once in the wet suit snorkeling was a beautiful experience. highly recommend. afterwards we had to wait for our next tour. so had a late lunch and a beach swim but still ended up waiting for many hours before the Feeding the Dolphins tour started at 5pm. the tour size was enormous! at least 100 - 200 people. we then had to wait another 90 mins while a buffet was served (which we could not eat as we had had lunch not long ago) & a dolphin presentation was held, before we even saw a dolphin. then we were joined by another 100 people from the island who wanted to feed dolphins before were were allowed to line up and grab our fish to feed to the dolphin. once in the water it was a very quick few seconds where the dolphin snatched the fish from your fingers a photo was taken and you were pushed back onto the shore where P&O staff were waiting to rush you on-board a boat to tender you back to the ship. lots on long waiting time for a very quick experience and then being rushed back onto the ship.

shopping on-board ship is the usual clothing and jewelry - it's fine as long as you fit into small/medium sizes, anything bigger than a large is not catered for. it's all very expensive even when 50% off.

i do enjoy cruising but there are a lot of little things that made my Pacific Explorer Experience not perfect.

jschenk's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin IA 11088

Cabin was very good. nice and clean. friendly staff though thick accents was tricky to understand sometimes. air conditioning worked well, no problems with toilet or shower. loved the little animals made out of towels :)

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


great experience

View All 6 Snorkeling Reviews
Wild Dolphin Discovery

very long waiting for a 2 seconds experience and the being rushed back onto the tender boat

View All 2 Wild Dolphin Discovery Reviews

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