I've cruised before (even on P&O's sister companies) and can honestly say that P&O is the worst cruise line. First of all, their customer service needed multiple calls to change incorrect information they had put in our booking. The Pacific Explorer is a 1997 old rust bucket that is dated and has mold and damp smells on most decks. There are also other foul smells which goes through the main pool deck and through the cabins, most likely sewage smells. The food in all restaurants is very basic and repetitive, having gone on a 10-day cruise you really got sick of eating the same thing day after day. Our Captain was English (from England) and every time he spoke to the boat, there was always a negative spin on EVERYTHING he had to say, he was nicknamed amongst the passengers as Captain Negative. The prices for the shore excursions are a massive rip off. $100AUD per person for 20 people in a van going for a 45min 3 stop tour of an Island. Having to pay Auzzie Dollars on a NZ-to-NZ cruise just seemed like a scam, once you had paid for P&O's exorbitant prices and then exchange fees. CHECK YOUR BILL DAILY. Every cruise I'd been on previously charged you at the end of your cruise. P&O charge you daily and their bills were wrong at least 50% of the time. The internet plans are a complete waste of time $100 or A$10 per day just to be connected to social media or A$25 per day to be connected to basic internet, which buffered and you could only connect about 5% of the time.
Getting a shore via tender or via the gangway is a complete shamble. Despite every passenger having to line up the day before our first port to get our passports checked by Australian immigration, we then had to line up the next day to get a ticket to get ashore. Why this couldn't have been sorted at the same time just seems like incompetence.
The venues on board are too small for the numbers of guests that they attract. The entire experience really left a sour taste in all our mouths.