Pacific Encounter Review

Not bad, but some disappointments

Review for the South Pacific Cruise on Pacific Encounter
6-10 Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms

Additional details

Sail Date: Oct 2023

This was our first experience with P&O Australia and our expectations were not high. The 10 night cruise was to Papua New Guinea and consisted of four ports and six sea days. This cruise was sold out.

Before we departed Brisbane Cruise Terminal the captain announced that due to civil unrest in Rabaul we would no longer be visiting that port. We were looking forward to Rabaul as this seemed to be the most interesting port on the itinerary. Was this a hasty decision by the cruise line? The decision to cancel was made on Tuesday and we were not due to visit until Sunday? Perhaps we could have still visited Rabaul harbor for scenic cruising without actually docking in the port? Very disappointed not to have seen the volcanoes. No further information was ever provided.

Pacific Encounter is now 21 years old and the public areas have recently been refreshed and are stylish, modern and good looking. We especially liked Encounter Hotel and The Bonded Store which has the feel of a gentlemen's club. The staterooms however are showing their age.

Cabin Review

Mini-suite category MB on deck 9. Clean and tidy, although a bit tired and dated. The room was serviced twice daily with a turndown service in the evening. Everything was in good working order except water in the sink and the bathtub was very slow to drain away. Two flat screen TVs, a safe, and plenty of storage space. Two Australian and several US power points are provided and there are USB chargers in the table lamps. Category MB does not allow access to the Byron Beach Club.

The balconies on this deck have no roof and are completely exposed to the weather. They become unbearably hot in the full sun and unusable when raining. They are also overlooked by balconies on decks 10, 11 and 12 so have zero privacy. If this does not appeal to you avoid mini-suites on deck 9. What were the ship's designers thinking?

Port Reviews


Alotau is a port town with virtually no tourist infrastructure. Take a shore excursion to Milne Bay or stay on the ship.

Conflict Islands

A beautiful tropical island. There are facilities to store bags and hire snorkeling equipment. There is also a bar, toilets and a place to buy snacks and trinkets. Cards only, cash is not accepted. Access from the ship is by tender boat to a floating pontoon bridge. Great place to spend a few hours.

Kiriwina (Papua New Guinea)

Nice beach with a market that stretches hundreds of meters where the locals sell wood carvings and other trinkets.

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