My husband and I commenced this cruise with some trepidation due to the large number of negative reviews. This was our first cruise with P&O, our 4th in total. This was the last voyage for the Pacific Jewell.
1: EMBARKATION from Melbourne was simple and efficient.
2: CABIN: We had an interior cabin. It was clean and tidy. Quite spacious with lots of storage. Only one Australian power outlet but we were able to get a power board. A ceiling water leak developed half way through the cruise. This was rectified after we reported it. Bed was moderately comfortable.
3: DINING: The Waterfront restaurant menu was disappointing in range. Service was efficient and staff were friendly. The Pantry had a good range of food and unlike other reviewers I found the food to be of a good standard. What I particularly like about the Pantry is that staff serve all food thus eliminating people touching and coughing over food and spreading germs. All the food is behind glass partitions. I found the sweets selection to be limited. Staff in the Pantry were friendly and helpful. It was disappointing that some items of the menu in the Waterfront was not included and an extra fee was charged. We did not try the pay restaurants. I was also a little disappointed that you had to pay for ice-cream on the pool deck. I have never come across this before.
4: ALCOHOL. There were problems quite early on with different brands of alcohol being in short supply and they eventually ran out of many wines and beer. While I was not personally impacted by this my husband was quite often unable to get his preferred beverage. I imagine that the people who had purchased an alcohol package would have been very upset, and rightly so. An alcohol package for us would have been a waste of money. I would suggest that you do your sums prior to getting a package to see if it is worth it for you. It made much more financial sense for us to purchase a drink when we wanted.
5: INTERNET: I purchased an internet package for $79, unlimited time for the entire cruise. Connection was available in all public areas but not in staterooms. The internet worked very well.
6: The ENTERTAINMENT TEAM were great and do a great job keeping everyone occupied on sea days. They all had a great sense of humour. We thought that the shows were varied and of a high standard.
7: THE EDGE: I won an Edge experience. I chose to Walk The Plank. I'm so glad that I did not pay for this. It lasted maximum of 90 seconds and would have been a complete rip off if I had to pay $24. While I enjoyed it I felt that the experience should have been longer and as I was the only person booked in to do it I could have been given extra time.
8: ROOM STEWARDS: We had Joseph and Dennis look after our room. They were very friendly and worked very hard. Our room was always well serviced.
9: PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS: We went on only one shore excursion and that was in KL. I found that it was well organised and the price was moderate. We found that we saved money by arranging independent trips at all other ports. In Fremantle and Busselton we found it interesting to wander around the towns with no tours necessary. We visited the old prison in Fremantle. That was worth a visit.
10: DISEMBARKATION: Quick and easy.
11: ATM: It was handy to be able to get Australian dollars on board for shore days.
12: CURRENCY: We used money changers at all international stops and seemed to get reasonable exchange rates. We deposited money into our cruise account prior to embarkation. This worked well for us. We got a refund of unused money the night prior to disembarkation.
13: LAUNDRY: The onboard laundry was good. Always very busy. It costs $3 AUD for the washer and $3 AUD for the dryer. Only takes $1 coins.
14: SPA: I had a massage which was relaxing. Quite expensive at $149 for 60 mins. My husband an I were both given $50 vouchers to be used at the spa as we were first time cruisers with P&O. This enable me to have a hair cut. I also purchased some Elemis products.
We liked the size of the Pacific Jewell but as it is no longer part of the P&O fleet we would happily try another P&O ship.
Spacious with good storage. No window. Clean.