Our 1st ever cruise was some 10/12 years ago on P&O Pacific Star. Well, haven't things changed (for the better). We were very happy with the offering from P&O and in particular the crew on board the ship. They were a credit to the Company and although the ship is an older vessel (certainly showing external signs of age) the vibe on board was friendly and efficient and the crew appeared (primarily) to enjoy their job. Admittedly we did have lower expectations having travelled with the more highly rated Celebrity and Princess Lines, however we were overall quite impressed with the majority of aspects onboard. A special mention to the bands. . . both Popcorn and The Lazy Leis were fantastic and the jam session on the last evening involving all performers was truly memorable . . . very talented. On board crew shows were excellent, a couple of guest performers are past their use by date and appeared to be simply topping up their super. Production shows were considered to be a significantly higher standard - crew shows were particularly entertaining viz LipSync Battle. Having Petro Civoniceva on board was a nice touch as well. . .thanks to him for his valuable time and open participation.
A couple of constructive comments . . . the Tendering situation needs work - whoever made the decision to honour the tickets from the aborted tender operation in Port Douglas in preference to distributed tickets for Dili needs to consider their future. . . a real howler. Actual Shore time was significantly reduced in both Dili and Bali due to sea swell and the large number of Ships Tours and "Priority" passengers. Made our own arrangements re a tour in Timor Leste and also Bali - understand cruise coys favour their own shore excursions though we prefer the small group experience v's a coach load.
Anytime dining in the Waterfront took a few days to sort out - many passengers had made permanent bookings which meant there was initially up to an hours wait for anytime dining - this resolved itself after 4 nights when some perm bookings were a no show and therefore cancelled.
Cabin size exceeded our expectations. It was light and airy and well positioned mid/aft.
Well appointed, though an older ship it had heaps of space (hanging, cupboards and drawers) and a good size shower. Easy access to rear stairs and lift lobby without the noise of passing passengers. Room was kept spotless and we were greeted by the usual assortment of towel animals and words of wisdom from our stewards.
Cabin stewards were Arnold and Ronald. . . they were excellent and always up for a chat with passengers passing in the corridor. They loved their jobs and Ronald was named employee of the month whilst we were on board. . . well deserved.
This terminal works okay for this size ship.
Initial delay as most people turned up early.
Sea swell and wind meant the proposed stopover in Port Douglas was aborted.
Other than medivacs, no-one left the ship and we sailed early for Darwin.
Always nice to get off a ship at a dock - tendering is very time consuming.
Darwin in winter is great - especially during the time of the Darwin Cup.
Very helpful greeters and easy stroll into the city - also free public transport for Seniors!!