For context this was our 5th cruise. We have sailed on Holland America's Maasdam ( Southern Carribean), Carnival Breeze (Mediterranean), Royal Caribbean Navigator Of The Seas (Mediterranean) and Ovation OTS( New Zealand). This was our first cruise with P&O Australia.
My wife and I and 2 friends sailed to Papua New Guinea on February 22 out of Brisbane for 10 days. At this time travel restrictions were in place for several countries due to Civid-19. Check in was easy and friendly. We were prepared to have our temperature reading checked but the only extra requirement was to complete a questionnairre regarding travel in last 14 days. No other efforts to screen possibly ill passengers and in short order we were on board. Luggage was delivered to the room quickly. Hand sanitizer stations were everywhere and for the first day or so a crew member was everywhere with a bottle of sanitizer. After the first 2 days however passengers were left to sanitize themselves. Our room was an ocean view cabin on deck 10. It was clean and the bed was very comfortable. The cabin stewards were pleasant and efficient. Lots of storage and our suitcases easily fit under the bed. The food quality was very good and we ate most of meals in the Waterfront restaurant.The Pantry restaurant had decent food but it was just to busy and unable to keep up with the volume of diners. Low ceilings, uneven floors, line ups fr everything and not enough seats. The adjoining back deck eating are was workable for Dinner (Tea) however for lunch it was just too hot out there with no shade at all. The coffee machines were finicky and the main drink station in the Pantry was too small and disorganized. The coffee was also not very good.
The public areas: The remodelled parts of the ship were very nice. The bars were clean and modern, the Atrium was comfortable. The waterfront had a nice atmosphere. The pool decks were a major shortcoming. No shade unless you are sitting under the deck and then no breeze. It is darn hot in this part of the world in February. The Adult Oasis was a nice idea but again no shade unless you got a spot under the deck overhang. There are 2 round chairs for 2 on end Oasis level. That is all the shade available. Did I mention that it was HOT? Also the two tiny jacuzzis (max 5 bathers each) on the Oasis deck were way too hot. No one could use them What was needed was a plunge pool where you could cool down. Crew members were asked to reduce the temperature but it did not change. The pool deck had one small pool that was well used by children. The two Tiny Jacuzzis on this deck were also way too hot. Subsequently they were hardly used.
Entertainment: the entertainment staff was very good. We had a lot of fun with them. The various musical entertainment on the ship was excellent. The evening shows were hit and miss. The magician was not very good as was the production show X-Centric in my opinion. The remaining shows including the comedians were enjoyable. The crew talent nite was great. The ports of call were reduced from 5 to 3 due to Covid-19. No fault of the cruise line. The extra day added to the Conflict Island stop was by far the best of the three remaining ports. Loading and unloading passengers via tenders needs work. It seemed like it was new process for the crew when it certainly wasn't.
Finally disembarkation was a gong show. It took all morning to get everyone off and we were in the last 10 or so. The cruise staff said Immigration officials were holding things up and when we went through Border Security the officials asked if the cruise was blaming them because they were having no issues. Our scheduled walk off time was 1015 and we finally left the ship at 1230.
Overall with our friends we had a fun 10 days. The ship is showing its age but in spite of that most of the cruise was enjoyable. It is easy to overlook the negative parts when you can see such a beautiful part of the world.