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276 P&O Australia Cruise Reviews

What an amazing holiday and why did we wait 30 years to do a cruise? We were awake early (4am) due to time difference so grabbed a coffee and made our way day to a viewing deck to watch the Pacific Dawn come in from its previous cruise. ... Read More
What an amazing holiday and why did we wait 30 years to do a cruise? We were awake early (4am) due to time difference so grabbed a coffee and made our way day to a viewing deck to watch the Pacific Dawn come in from its previous cruise. With the sun shining behind her, it was a sight to behold and well worth it. We met a few fellow passengers at the same time. Excitement levels were building!!! You can drop your bags off early which we did at 8am and then went and had breakfast at a local café watching the loading of supplies and bags and the unloading of passengers. Boarding was seamless and again get on board early. We targeted 11am and it took approx. 40 minutes. We could have been earlier if we wanted too. You can book your dinner, find your cabin and get your bearings. Bars are open and so are the restaurants for lunch!!! Munster stations for lifeboat drill before 2pm departure. We were lucky with the weather with fine weather and smooth sailing all the way to Port Vila. On the homeward journey seas were supposedly 2.5m which caused a few bumps at the front and back of the ship at times, but it wasn’t rough, and I didn’t feel sick. I took no travel sickness tablets and I survived. My wife preferred to lie down on Thursday afternoon and slept but was fine on the Friday as she adjusted to the motion. Highly recommend - research, research and research before you go from best cabins, Port tours (check out private operators too), meal times and what to do and avoid. Planning will lead you to a much better and successful cruise experience in our view. We were prepared! You can book Port tours via CruiseControl well before you depart on your cruise. For tours with limited number of places available this is recommended. Only 200 people out of 2000 get to go snorkelling at Lifou and there were a lot of disappointed people on the day. Another advantage of booking via P&O means priority disembarkment to meet your planned tour and you are returned in time prior to the ship departing. Each Port has operators where ship berths with tour options and these are sometimes cheaper than arranging on board or pre-book with a reputable private operator. In Vila beware of paying up front as the operators have known to drop and leave you at your first destination! Paying when you get back to the ship gates avoids this issue. Friends arranged a private tour in Vila and again only paid upon returning to the Port gates but had a great day and a lot cheaper than available on the ship. Research, research and research. Port Vila has cheapest duty free (will deliver to the ship) however the ship will match the price with a photo of the price and product. The product I wanted was only $1 more expensive on board, so I choose to not buy in Vila and get it on board. I found out 2 days after we left Vila, they had sold out on Day 2 of the cruise of the bottle I wanted!! Another recommendation is booking a circular table at a set time each night for dinner in restaurant. You meet new people and food is amazing. We dined there most days for breakfast and dinner with great table service and great meals. No queuing for meals and no crowds. If you are still hungry after dinner – you can go upstairs to the Pantry or snack there earlier in the evening instead. We used to do pre-dinner drinks at 4:30pm and enjoyed a bucket of prawns ($15) with cheeses and sushi from buffet. You can cancel your booking on any night if you wish to go earlier or eat upstairs in Pantry Buffet selection. Indulgence Menu items cost extra if you wish to treat yourself. We didn’t go to the other paying restaurants. We booked at 8pm each night and looking back missed a few activities so planning is important. Pantry Buffet is busy between 5 & 7pm. There is a snack bar, but you pay extra and has chips, burgers etc. There is so much to do on board and this is published daily in a newsletter which you receive the night before, so you can plan your next day if you wish. Take a highlighter and mark the activities you wish to do. Re-reading these newsletters now there were a few other things I wished I had gone to. Plenty of trivia competitions and challenges. Again, another great way to meet people as you form up a team together from your table or those around you. Personal fav was musical trivia with Christian – a great chance for a sing song and laughs. The song title was easy (everyone sang it for you!!!) but the artist was little bit more challenging. Whilst the entertainment shows weren’t to my liking, a search of You Tube shows there can be some great shows and it’s about your ship and timing!! On the other hand - the hypnotist and comedians were well worth it. There are theme parties to attend at nights. These are known before you leave allowing you to plan your wardrobe accordingly. Lot easier for males than ladies. My formal wear one night had braces added for the Gatsby Party! Most people get dressed up but not compulsory. Just adds to fun. We brought a drinks package – got a great deal at third of the normal price and drank lots of cocktails etc without worrying about the cost. On average we would have spent $40 - $60 per day. I doubt we would have brought the cocktails if we were paying for each drink but without worrying about a surprise bill at the end, we could try whatever we liked. Highly recommended. There are photographers everywhere with formal photos on theme nights, boarding the ship, portside and various activities. All available for purchase. We did buy some nice formal photos from theme nights but did so as a digital version (approx. $20 per image) and you can then print and distribute as many as you need and want. All up with port trips, photos, bingo night x2, prawns, indulgence meal, rum tasting activity and other minor expenses we spent an extra $500 over our cruise cost remembering we did have a drinks package which included water which we stored up in our cabin fridge. If you have a special occasion do let restaurant staff know beforehand and your room stewards. They do make a fuss and make that special occasion even more memorable. Disembarkment varies from 6:30am and from your allocated time is approx. 10 minutes. On average you will be off the boat by approx. between 7:30 and 8am. If using, Go Catch promotion these are good services but run to the time you specify. If you are early you need to wait as they are very difficult to get hold of. Our flight arrived early so we were waiting for approx. an hour at the airport the night before and again we booked one for 9am and had an hour to wait after we had disembarked. Worked for us as there were four of us with bags and most taxis don’t take more than four. There are a lot of negative reviews written but our experience was nothing but fantastic. Doing it with another couple or a group of friends is highly recommended or make friends on board and do activities together. Research and research so you know what to expect and you shouldn’t be disappointed. You can do as much as you like or as little as you like however where can you go on holiday and have so many activities at your disposal that are free and included in the price? We are converted and will do another cruise without waiting 30 years. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
we needed a cruise fix . the ship is old and i believe it's sold ..but the staff made up for its age the food was great in the mdr ..didn't eat in the pantry . had dinner at salt very nice .. have been to the ports ... Read More
we needed a cruise fix . the ship is old and i believe it's sold ..but the staff made up for its age the food was great in the mdr ..didn't eat in the pantry . had dinner at salt very nice .. have been to the ports many times .but haven't done the city lights and micro brewery in Noumea ......so we did ......do it it was so much fun . also did the pub crawl in Vila again lots of fun ....the people there are so friendly ..we don't normally drink (very little ) embarkation and Disembarkation went very smooth . as i get claustrophobic we always get a balcony ...this has the smallest balcony i've ever had you couldn't sit looking out to the ocean without your feet resting on the railing ...forget about laying on a recliner entertainment was of the same as all cruises the performers were great .. some of the entertainment was for a younger crowd but we still enjoyed it all service was of the highest quality ..especially at front service desk . didn't travel with children would we go again a BIG YES .. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was my 11th cruise in 6 years. 3rd one for this year. I had the best time. We enjoyed ourselves. We had a balcony suite which was so relaxing watching The water from our cabin. We went to The Gatsby, Bianca White & farewell ... Read More
This was my 11th cruise in 6 years. 3rd one for this year. I had the best time. We enjoyed ourselves. We had a balcony suite which was so relaxing watching The water from our cabin. We went to The Gatsby, Bianca White & farewell parties were all good fun. The band's were so good and the piano player was great. My personal favorite... the show entertainment team. Lead singers, Sam, Katherine & Ben were just awesome so we're the dancers. Loved it. We went to every show. The Crew are super friendly and some of them are so funny. Food was so good in the Pantry. Can't wait till my next cruise next year. I recommend everyone to take a break. Go on a cruise. There is no better place to relax, be pampered and have fun. And the kids have a ball. You'll never get them out of kids club. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We really enjoyed this cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were both very well organised and fast. The Pacific Explorer feels smaller than it is, and it can be hard to get seating, especially in the Explorer Hotel. We only went to ... Read More
We really enjoyed this cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were both very well organised and fast. The Pacific Explorer feels smaller than it is, and it can be hard to get seating, especially in the Explorer Hotel. We only went to the Waterfront Restaurant once - the husband's meal was fine, mine was cold and quite unpleasant so I didn't want to go back again. Every meal we had at Luke's was fantastic, and we really like the new Pantry. Food wastage is obviously much reduced and we never over-ate. The blue room is nice, the band "SoundBlasters" was great fun. Bonded Store was too expensive for us so we didn't use it at all. we enjoyed Dragon Lady and Antonio's - I recommend the Primitivo red wine. We also really enjoyed 400 Gradi - the salads are so good we didn't even need to have the pizza - especially the roasted carrot salad - I could eat that all day. Love Riot dinner and show was great fun. The dinner beforehand was a bit disappointing but the dessert made up for all of that - quite a spectacle. We went to Noumea, Mare and Isle of Pines. The snorkling was great at Mare and Isle of Pines. There's a lady on the beach at Mare who cooks chips in oil over an open fire. They were the best chips we've had for a long time. We also went to nearly every show and enjoyed them all. Finding a seat was not a problem except for the last night when there was only one show. Marius, who was tasked with the bingo events, is very funny indeed and made bingo a lot of fun, even though he was a bit too fast when calling out the numbers. The trivia competitions were far too hard (except for the majority rules, and pub quiz). I saw more than a few people give up on the trivia competition because they only had a handful of answers; two, or maybe four, out of 20. All in all, we were sad to leave. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We loved our cruise and thought the food was great, the service good and the rooms comfy. Such a great atmosphere and entertainment staff were so funny! Great bars, nice restaurants. I read reviews that The Pantry wasn’t very ... Read More
We loved our cruise and thought the food was great, the service good and the rooms comfy. Such a great atmosphere and entertainment staff were so funny! Great bars, nice restaurants. I read reviews that The Pantry wasn’t very good but I thought it was very good. Such a huge range of food to choose from and very tasty. Waterfront could be a bit slow but just a good excuse to relax and enjoy our evening. I actually preferred the lunch menus in Waterfront rather than dinner though. There was more variety for lunch. We did a couple of extras- High Tea- great value and the cocktail making class- also great value We watched 3 shows- all which were great but the best was definitely Tenori. They were amazing! We got an amazing price on Groupon for this 3 night cruise and loved every second- definitely won’t be our last cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was my first cruise, I chose this to see if I would like to cruise. I had a lovely time. The crew were reallyfreindly and .helpful. There was always something to do. They had game shows, trivia, dance classes, yoga. I had a massage at ... Read More
This was my first cruise, I chose this to see if I would like to cruise. I had a lovely time. The crew were reallyfreindly and .helpful. There was always something to do. They had game shows, trivia, dance classes, yoga. I had a massage at the spa which was very good. I had my 10 year old grandson with me. The cruise was for his birthday. Everybody made a fuss of him for his birthday. He loved it. I ate at Angelos really lovely service and food, the waterfront which was also good. We also ate at the pantry which has a huge choice of different nationally foods. The live shows were really great. The kids club was great. There was heaps of different places to just chill out. Great music. The only negative thing that I would say was the length of time it took to get to Airlie beach on the tender. over 50 minutes, I’m now planning my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
To celebrate her 50th birthday my niece decided to invite us all to join her on a cruise and P&O Aria South East Asia was the nominated ship. I flew from Auckland to Brisbane on the 11th August 2018, spent two nights there with ... Read More
To celebrate her 50th birthday my niece decided to invite us all to join her on a cruise and P&O Aria South East Asia was the nominated ship. I flew from Auckland to Brisbane on the 11th August 2018, spent two nights there with friends and on Monday 13th I met up with the rest of the group (17 of us) and we flew to Singapore where we spent two days shopping and sightseeing before boarding our ship on the 15th August bound for Bali, Komodo Island, East Timor, Cairns, Airlie Beach Brisbane. What an amazing experience. The ship was huge and enjoyed exploring and meeting so many other beautiful travellers. Some like myself were newbies, while others were old hands at cruising. Our cabin had a balcony and was very comfortable, though the couch our room mate slept on was not so good. Though she reported to the house staff, it was not repaired so she had to compromise by using our extra pillows to adjust the level of her bed. Dining was amazing, with a great selection of foods in The Pantry and restaurants with great service and selections on their menus. Embarkation and disembarking were well organised. Also the shore tours were great too, Entertainment, and activities on board were fabulous. I also enjoyed having Acupuncture while on board as I suffer from hip and back pain and I am truly amazed how much relief and great I continually feeling following my treatment. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
First time cruiser and very impressed with P&O Pacific Explorer. After reading every single review about this ship I wasn’t sure what to expect. I must admit I did wonder if I was wasting my money booking with P&O but that was ... Read More
First time cruiser and very impressed with P&O Pacific Explorer. After reading every single review about this ship I wasn’t sure what to expect. I must admit I did wonder if I was wasting my money booking with P&O but that was definitely not the case! Just a quick background I cruised with two other adults and my son (4yo). Cabin: 9097 Balcony. I chose this room because it was very close to the launderette and lifts. Would choose again. The bed configuration was bunks pushed together. The room was small but adequate. There was enough drawer & closet space for all 4 of us to empty our suitcases and pack them away. I asked the room steward to take the little seat under the desk, and that’s where the 2x smaller suitcases were stored. We loved the balcony – mostly used to dry our swimmers every afternoon. We used the tv and fridge which were both great. My 4yo packed a few toys and there was enough space for him to play with them on the ground in our room while watching tv in the evening. Food: The Pantry was great but got pretty boring pretty fast. Breakfast we dined at the Waterfront. Same menu every day but always beautiful food. Lunch was usually at the Pantry (sometimes great, sometimes not) and dinner reservations at any of the free restaurants. We did not try any of the restaurants you had to pay for. Didn’t see the point. I would recommend booking the restaurants you want to go ASAP as they fill up fast. The wash / sanitize stations at the front of each restaurant was great. Entertainment: Although we did not attend the Gatsby, Back to School or Bianco parties (too late for us) they looked great! We did however attend the Adele Experience which was amazing. P&O Edge / Waterslides - did not use so no comment. Kids entertainment: Turtle cove – my son absolutely LOVED it. He would stay there all day every day if I let him. They had so much for the kids to do: face painting, games, songs, play stations, dancing, acting, everything. They did have a super hero themed day which would have been good to know about beforehand so I could have packed an outfit. Other passengers: A great mix of families / elderly / 20-30 year olds. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The kids in / around the pool area was abit much sometimes, but nothing to complain about. I found if you got to the pooling are early enough to score some great seats you were fine for the day. We did come across a few ‘angry, disgruntled’ passengers. But it seemed like they would just whinge for the sake of it. (Your on holiday, relaaaaaaax) Money: Used Aussie dollars on all islands. I would recommend changing big notes (50, 20) at the reception on the ship to smaller notes before going on the island. Noumea: We done the Amadee Island shore tour. $200 pp and $130 for kids, and it was an 8 hour tour. Expensive but well worth the money. We traveled on a bus (5 mins) to a boat where we all jumped on and traveled to Amadee Island (45mins). Once there we were broken into two groups and went on a glass bottom boat tour around the coral reefs of the island. Saw plenty of fish and sea turtles. After this it was free time (there was a shop you could hire snorkles and goggles from) We spent our day swimming and relaxing. Banquet bbq lunch was provided with juice, wine and punch. After lunch was a show from the locals. Was nice to sit there and watch them dance while eating. Beware plenty of snakes every where. If you don’t bother them they wont bother you! Lifou: Spent the day at the beach the tenders dropped us off. No shore tours available. Nothing spectacular, stayed a few hours and then went back to the ship for lunch. Mare: Again, no tours available, but did buy return bus tickets to Yejelle beach. Absolutely beautiful beach! The best sand and water ever. There was snorkles and canoes to hire during the day which was great. They did have a few stalls with food & drinks which I thought was well priced. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our second time on Eden - the first time was two years ago and we loved it which is why we returned. If anything the ship was better second time around. Beautifully furnished, spacious, friendly and attentive staff - could not ... Read More
This was our second time on Eden - the first time was two years ago and we loved it which is why we returned. If anything the ship was better second time around. Beautifully furnished, spacious, friendly and attentive staff - could not fault it. The food on the whole was good, tasty and beautifully presented. Temperature appeared to be a problem with many meals lukewarm at best. Waterfront (the main dining room) has a great menu with something for everyone. Dragon Lady was great but Angelos not as good. Drinks are a reasonable price, and again a great selection. Our cabin (deck 4 oceanview midship) was spacious and spotlessly clean. Itinerary was great - I wasnt sure about visiting NewGuinea and was actually talked into the cruise but we thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone. We were not able to tender to Gizo Island due to rough seas but full marks to the Entertainment team for putting together a great day at sea at short notice. Cruise was ex Cairns - embarkation very easy, well organised. Disembarkation just as easy - we were off the ship and in our hotel within 30 minutes. Disappointed that Pacific Eden had been sold on but I have been told Pacific Aria is exactly the same so will have to find out for ourselves (hopefully soon!) Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
we enjoyed so mch the staff n crew members were just soo amazing always greeting u with a smile n ready to help . we loved the food n drinks n the entertainment .there is soo mch to do .even the kids were kept busy with lots of activities ... Read More
we enjoyed so mch the staff n crew members were just soo amazing always greeting u with a smile n ready to help . we loved the food n drinks n the entertainment .there is soo mch to do .even the kids were kept busy with lots of activities on board.we went to waterfront restaurant abd as it was my dads birthday they brought a cake with candles n sang a birthday song for him made us feel soo special .definitely will recommend to others to go and enjoy with family .thanks to all the staffs again also to the room attendants jun and joel i think u guys were just awesome .our kids enjoyed the jaccuzzi and the pools .our overall experience was just awesome and amazing .we would plan another one soon this time for longer period of time .maybe a trip to fijji islands or Vanuatu would be fun Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We did the Eden cruise departing Cairns on 27 July to New Guinea. We are sorry that P&O has sold this ship on, as we found it to be a delightful, smaller ship. We hope her sister ship, Pacific Aria, will be as good when we sail on ... Read More
We did the Eden cruise departing Cairns on 27 July to New Guinea. We are sorry that P&O has sold this ship on, as we found it to be a delightful, smaller ship. We hope her sister ship, Pacific Aria, will be as good when we sail on her in the future. The ship had a lovely "happy" feel to it - the staff all seemed to be genuinely happy. (This is in contrast to our last cruise on Golden Princess! It did not have a good feel at all). I was a little concerned about what to expect, having heard that P&O had bought her from Holland America line and the ship's age. No need to have worried - we just loved this ship. (We are disenchanted Princess cruisers and this ship has restored our love of cruising). It has a fairly stylish decor (as opposed to the fairly garish one of Pacific Dawn). The fixtures and fittings are great and we just loved the layout. It has so many little bars/relaxing areas tucked away. This makes for being able to sit and relax with a drink, without crowds in large areas. Great coffee is also available at these areas, so no need to wait 20 mins at the ice cream area for coffee (as on a previous review). It also had a "quiet room" where we enjoyed being able to sit quietly and read. Each night there are different musicians in the above bar areas. If you have a favourite area, you can just stay put there, as the musicians all move around during the evening. We found the quality of the music excellent although a little too loud at times. There were 3 theme nights and it was great to see so many people dressing up for the them. The crew-provided entertainment was very good - particularly choosing the best "towel animals" and the music trivia "play". The Entertainment Director was excellent - the best we've had on any cruise. We had a fairly calm cruise but unfortunately on the morning of our arrival at Kitava Island, the wind had come up and it was too strong to put the tenders out. We did a local tour of Alotau which we organised ourselves and found this excellent. We also took donations for the children (as we had read on prior reviews) such as band aids, pens, pencils etc. so we were a bit sad to have missed Kitava for this purpose. You can barter for some of the baskets and wood products on Kiriwina (& Kitava if you get there) Islands but if you go to Conflict Island (which we did love) there is no bartering and the prices are higher. We had hoped to try the Flying Fox with Edge, but unfortunately it was too windy for that. Food: I too would suggest booking at Waterfront at 6.15 or 6.30 pm so you can go to 7 pm shows. Food there was excellent and the waiters great. We were thrilled to be able to get a table for "two only" whenever we wanted without "grumbling" from wait staff (again on recent Princess cruises). Food at The Pantry had a good selection, although we did have the usually heard grumble that it needed to be hotter. Our (second) visit to Salt Grill was excellent. We will do that again!! We didn't go to Dragon Lady but friends did and they enjoyed. We went to Angelo's on our last night and were disappointed. I have to say I think there was something drastically wrong that night as the waiters and the atmosphere was not good. I suspect this may have been a one-off, and we will give them another try in the future. We did a shore excursion at Conflict Island on a glass bottom boat. I have to say I was very disappointed with this. We were in the queue well before the appointed time but our group of four were the last aboard. They obviously over-booked this session as the last two people really couldn't see much at all as they were sitting too far out from the viewing window. We did enjoy the commentary from both a marine biologist and a native gentleman giving us the history of the island. If you are doing this excursion, make sure you get at the front of the queue. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Hi everyone My daughter and I have returned back to Cairns after 7 days on the Pacific Eden for her voyage to PNG for my daughters 13th birthday and it was absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, the weather prevented us from docking at Kitava ... Read More
Hi everyone My daughter and I have returned back to Cairns after 7 days on the Pacific Eden for her voyage to PNG for my daughters 13th birthday and it was absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, the weather prevented us from docking at Kitava which was terribly sad for the locals as many of us on board had donations for the children. However, the rest of the trip was just awesome. The staff went above and beyond for us and I cannot thank them enough for their sheer hard work and hospitality. Too often, I see complaints about cruise ship service, however all I saw were extremely hard working staff who do very long days but always have the energy for a chat and smile. Massive thanks to Adam Mark and Ruby at P&O Edge for their fantastic efforts, you sure made my daughter smile, especially after arranging for her to meet the Captain for her birthday :) She was absolutely shell shocked that her dream to meet the Captain came true :) Matthew, well words cannot justify just how utterly awesome and brilliant you are! Our cabin stewards Rothy and Cazy, you work so hard and we thank you so much for looking after us! Neil, Shaun and so many others, you made our holiday just the best. Sadly this was out last trip on the Eden as she is being sold but we hope to see you on another cruise line next year. Cheers and all the best! X Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our second P&O cruise, the last one we left from Brisbane, so this was the first out of NZ. We loved everything about this cruise the staff were amazing...big shout out to our waiter Christian and our room stewards Budi And ... Read More
This was our second P&O cruise, the last one we left from Brisbane, so this was the first out of NZ. We loved everything about this cruise the staff were amazing...big shout out to our waiter Christian and our room stewards Budi And Laos who were all awesome. The Pantry was different to the buffet on our last cruise, we were happy with it. The Waterfront was as great as the last cruise, awesome service and amazing food. The shows put on by the Pacific Entertainers in the Marquee were just fantastic. These people are so talented they are almost wasted at sea. The Rock Show was my favourite but there really is no end to their talents and I loved every show they put on. Bobbie, the cruise director and Danny were also great entertainement....both were extremely comical and also very friendly. We had the alcohol package which we didn’t have last cruise and it’s a must if you tend to spend a bit on the bar. We wouldn’t cruise again without it...no shock bill at the end.we treated ourselves to a massage at the spa....very pricey, but we put our on board credit towards it to soften the blow. It was a wee indulgence on our part, but worth every penny. Although my husband and I cruised alone, we met some terrific people in the ten days at sea, some who have become good friends. So all of us have taken away some great memories of our time on the Jewel and cannot wait to cruise with P&O again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We did this cruise to escape the winter in New Zealand. We are a middle aged couple. We have no children. This was our second cruise. The first was last year on Queen Victoria and going along the adriatic coast. This one was cruising ... Read More
We did this cruise to escape the winter in New Zealand. We are a middle aged couple. We have no children. This was our second cruise. The first was last year on Queen Victoria and going along the adriatic coast. This one was cruising around Fiji and Tonga. We enjoyed the ship itself. We ate more often in the Waterfront restaurant as we preferred being waited on. The service was good and so were the meals. The shows were fantastic. The seven sins was memorable. I bought the $199 entertainment package. Which included salt and grill meal. a bottle of champagne. Photo, Canapes every night. This deal was worth it. Salt and grill is fantastic. We couldn't eat it all. I had bought the wine and cheese package and the wine and fruit package. The shock was in finding that they were delivered all at once. Not spaced out over 10 days. I had bought water bottles to 6 for $20 and water is important. We didn't book any excursions. My experience last year in Europe was that they are expensive and not always what you want to do in an area. Our call at Suva..was entertaining to get on the bus there when you did not have too. You could walk off there and be in a shopping district. I got bored as although the market was interesting you can't take food on board. So I was about to go back to the ship when a taxi driver approached and offered to take me around the island for 2 hours for $40 NZ. Deal done. It was a good trip too. We did a similar thing in capital of Tonga. There the taxi drivers expect to be paid $200 US dollars so we bypassed them. We found to our couples and shared the expense of a taxi around Tonga and that was worth it. We saw all the sights. Captain Cook landing and Abel Tasman and more. My husband got sick on the way back from Tonga. He started having breathing problems. He was in the hospital on the ship. They gave him the best of care there. He had water of the lungs and heart failure. Now recovering back in NZ. It was $12,000 for 36 hours care. It has to be paid before you leave the ship. Waiting to hear from insurance. This was caused by a couple of infections. Still my experience is still positive with the ship. I will be back on this ship for the food and wine and the comedy one coming up. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Sailed the lovely Pacific Explorer. The choice of ship wasn't our main concern, it was the right time and going to the somewhere other than Melbourne winter. We stayed in Sydney the night before and stayed at the Rendezvous Hotel ... Read More
Sailed the lovely Pacific Explorer. The choice of ship wasn't our main concern, it was the right time and going to the somewhere other than Melbourne winter. We stayed in Sydney the night before and stayed at the Rendezvous Hotel Sydney The Rocks. The location is perfect, right near the OPT and literally a downhill walk to the terminal. Could not fault the hotel. The embarkation went smoothly, keep to the time allotted and you won't have a problem. Disembarkation was quick, so quick we ended up disembarking earlier than allocated. Once again keep to you allocated time and you won't have a problem. The ship is beautiful, well layed out. We loved everything and l don't have a bad thing to say about our cruise, (unsual to hear l know) personally we go with an objective of having a great time and thats what we had. The service was very good and as always they do a terrific job of running a huge ship with thousands of passengers. Why would you complain when everything is handed to you, no cooking, no cleaning and being waited on! So don't listen to all the bad reviews you hear. Everything will not be perfect their will always be something that you can find fault with but overall it was dam good. The ship tendor process to the islands was absolutely faultless, l have been on many that you have to wait around, but for some reason Pacific Explorer have this running smoothly. On every occassion we pretty much walked straight onto the tender. Food was great as well, so much choice and l love the way they have redesigned the pantry. We dined at the pantry for dinner as well as breakfast. It was great having a choice of foods (mexian, italian, fish n chips, curries, asian, roasts etc). We dined at Angelo's and Waterfront restuarant which were also good (free) We dined at 400 Gradi which was superb. (chargeable) but so much cheaper than if you dined at this resturant off ship. Entertainment was good Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Fantastic cruise, staff were amazing ,so full of energy and will go out of there way to make you feel comfortable,food in the 6 restaurants was 5 star and was excellent in the bistro area (plenty of it).We had a inside cabin,bit small but ... Read More
Fantastic cruise, staff were amazing ,so full of energy and will go out of there way to make you feel comfortable,food in the 6 restaurants was 5 star and was excellent in the bistro area (plenty of it).We had a inside cabin,bit small but comfortable.The stage shows were brilliant and other activities were great,service was top notch. All the Islands were fantastic and well worth going to. Our Cabin steward were great always with a smile and nothing was too much trouble for him. Restaurant staff in our opinion were amazing,my wife is coeliac and they couldn't do enough for her to the point of going to another restaurant to get her gluten free food when they had ran out. The Shell & Bones restaurant was quite cheap and delicious,(we had 2 full lobster Morney's for $30.00 each),and the Waterfront restaurant was delicious and included in the fare as was 3 other restaurants. Overall a fantastic holiday,would recommend P&O and the Pacific Explorer Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
What a great holiday our family had, what stood out to us time and time again was how well organised everything was, from embarkment and disembarkment, shore tours and entertainment everything was run very professionally. The entertainment ... Read More
What a great holiday our family had, what stood out to us time and time again was how well organised everything was, from embarkment and disembarkment, shore tours and entertainment everything was run very professionally. The entertainment team was amazing, excellent shows each night and such an abundance of activities to choose from again so well organised. Our rooms were clean and beds and pillows soooo comfortable. Food was great and better than we had expected, so much to choose from and loved that we could have a three course meal each night included in our fare. Staff were friendly. Everything about our cruise on the Aria was beyond our expectations. The only negative or beware would be the p & o edge. So glad we didnt pre purchase passes as there are only a couple of activities available each day so it was better off for us to pay individually for what we wanted to partake in. Only did the laser tag and it was a big waste of time and money. We organised our shore tours independently and saved at least 50% . Definately recommend and hope to cruise again some day ! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
As a complete novice cruiser, I had no idea of what to expect. I had read quite a few forum comments and by the time we departed I was expecting the worst, cold food, poor service, an old shoddy boat and anything that wasn't free I ... Read More
As a complete novice cruiser, I had no idea of what to expect. I had read quite a few forum comments and by the time we departed I was expecting the worst, cold food, poor service, an old shoddy boat and anything that wasn't free I assumed would be overpriced. I was pleasantly surprised. We stayed at the Ibis Hotel King St. It is only a short walk from the ferry terminal linking the Sydney Cruise Terminal with Sydney City. Our departure day went smoothly without any stress or overexertion. The ferry trip was hugely exciting from Barangaroo around the point to the wharf with the Pacific Eden proudly waiting for us. Whilst there is no doubt that the ship is an old lady of the sea it was in fine order and felt very sturdy. Unlike the Manly Ferry, there was hardly a rust spot to be seen and a few times during the cruise we noticed some fresh painting and varnish sprucing the floating beauty up for it's continuing adventure. Unlike many of the forums I had read, the food was hot, tasty and varied. The staff were happy and helpful, though occasionally looking a tad tired. They do work long hours. Only once did I have an issue with a member of the crew who said I couldn't use the machine that allows me to top up my card. He said the satellite phone was out, however, he did say I could use the $3.50 per use ATM, and give him cash to top up my account... Don't they use the same satellite??? We packed for fun. Out clothing included a little extra for the parties, and they were great. The chance of seeing anyone we knew was slim so we thought why not just go for gold, be a bit daring and have a blast. Our favourite day ashore was on Tangalooma Island where there is more than enough to do. The wrecks and the coral were amazing and the winter timing was perfect. I would have melted in summer. All up... this was an awesome holiday on a beautiful old ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Having read previous reviews after booking I was a bit nervous. As first time cruisers with 4 young children I was unsure how it would go. There were no issues to speak of the plumbing or smells mentioned in previous reviews. Our kids ... Read More
Having read previous reviews after booking I was a bit nervous. As first time cruisers with 4 young children I was unsure how it would go. There were no issues to speak of the plumbing or smells mentioned in previous reviews. Our kids aged from 4 to 11 really enjoyed the different kids clubs on offer for the differences age brackets. Food was good, as was the service. We really enjoyed the entertainment on offer. A great time had by all. Our group consisted of eight in total so we had two balcony cabins with bunks. Although not large we only really slept in them and we were able to get the door on the balcony between the two cabins unlocked which worked well. We tried some of the pay extra option restaurants on board and really enjoyed them. We booked the drinks package but didn’t drink enough to make this worthwhile next time. Would just stick to the soft drink package and pay for the rest as we go. We missed out on a couple of the shore tours we booked as they were over subscribed, so book early. So overall we had a great time and would have no hesitation travelling with P&O in the future, thank for a great holiday Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This is is the 3rd cruise for my wife and me and while that doesn't probably make us cruise experts, we know what we like....and WE LIKED THIS! This ship is now fresh, clean and staffed by some of the friendliest and most attentive ... Read More
This is is the 3rd cruise for my wife and me and while that doesn't probably make us cruise experts, we know what we like....and WE LIKED THIS! This ship is now fresh, clean and staffed by some of the friendliest and most attentive people we've had on a cruise. For a crowd of this size, embarkation went seamlessly with us getting through the terminal and to our cabin in half an hour. Our balcony cabin was spotless and was kept that way for the entire cruise by our courteous cabin stewards. But here lies the only negative of our trip...the mattress on our bed really needed replacing! The room was airy and the bathroom clean and fresh with a continuous supply of clean towels. The food on this ship was outstanding! We were slightly hesitant about the new 'Pantry' but what an improvement over the tired old buffet. Served by gloved staff from behind glass..nice sized serves and more hygienic. The other restaurants on board served a wide variety of choices and I can't recall a single below-par meal. 'Dragon Lady' soon became a particular favourite. The entertainment crew on this ship made it our most memorable cruise so far. Funny, witty, gregarious and while we aren't ones for production shows there was plenty of great activities going on around the ship. We are looking into our next cruise and if we decide to go with anyone else they will have to be right up there to compete with this! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Why don’t p & o make the photo prices a lot more affordable to its passengers. Too expensive especially if the just throw out the ones that aren’t bought. I would have bought ALL my photos but TOO EXPENSIVE PLEASE CONSIDER THIS ... Read More
Why don’t p & o make the photo prices a lot more affordable to its passengers. Too expensive especially if the just throw out the ones that aren’t bought. I would have bought ALL my photos but TOO EXPENSIVE PLEASE CONSIDER THIS SUGGESTION I was also wondering if you can still buy photo after the cruise is over maybe from a website at a much more reasonable price The entertainment slumber and the magician. I have seen better productions put on by high school productions. BEST STAFF ON BOARD WAS MIGUEL He was simply the best and most entertaining member of staff on board. Onle extremely RUDE FEMALE STAFF in the dining room Food variety was excellent. Had a bad experience in the waterfront dining room. The almond and pea on filo pastry encrusted barramundi. I was so sick that night. Two at my table had the same dish and we both couldn’t eat the fish. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Booked on the Comedy Cruise due to a relative wanting company. Not generally a huge fan of cruising - have memories of the dreaded norovirus and terrible embarkation experience from years back. Embarkation was, if anything, worse than my ... Read More
Booked on the Comedy Cruise due to a relative wanting company. Not generally a huge fan of cruising - have memories of the dreaded norovirus and terrible embarkation experience from years back. Embarkation was, if anything, worse than my previous experience - 1.5 hours from entering the building to getting on the ship, and some had taken 2.5 hours. Paid $600 for two (4 nights), inside cabin, ended up on Deck 10. Lots of room - twin configuration (travelled with child in cabin) much more spacious than double since usable space in middle. Generally quiet as well, even though near lifts. Really loved the public areas of the ship, all the little details like the art in the stairwells and the funky lifts. Theatres were nice, especially Black Circus. Just enough loungers that there was generally one available (also middle of winter, but pools were heated). Liked curling up in the bay windows with a book. Included restaurants very pretty as well, except the Pantry self-serve which was just basically a food court ambience as you'd expect. So the ship punched above its weight in appearance. The food was "quite nice" but not amazing. A lot of it was heavy on the salt and oil, but usually something reasonable to eat. At least I didn't get sick this time, so that was a big plus. Shell and Bones was not worth the extra - seafood obviously costs a bit more which is reasonable, but it was just a roped-off area of the Pantry and really not that special an experience. Cocktails were great, and the bar staff in the theatres very efficient. Comedy shows were the main drawcard for me, and were fun. Moreton Island wasn't much to write home about - did the glass bottom boat tour to see the wrecks - but I did like the tender ride! All in all, I'm still not a huge fan of cruising, but might be tempted to go again if the cruise had a theme I liked, and if they fixed the embarkation process - possibly more lounges with ticketing to call you up in groups like they do at disembarkation to avoid shuffling along in endless queues would have helped. Luggage drop-off all worked well though. Overall still a bargain in terms of value for money. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We booked this 4-day cruise because it offered 4 days of laughter - Big Laugh Comedy. It was with some trepidation that we boarded our ship in Sydney. It had arrived 4 hours late from its previous voyage - but what better place to wait ... Read More
We booked this 4-day cruise because it offered 4 days of laughter - Big Laugh Comedy. It was with some trepidation that we boarded our ship in Sydney. It had arrived 4 hours late from its previous voyage - but what better place to wait 4 hours than close to Circular Quay and beautiful Sydney Harbour? As expected, there were long queues at embarkation, but the officials and staff were friendly. We knew this ship well as the Dawn Princess, as we had previously spent 28 days on board cruising around Australia - we have also spent 53 days on her sister ship, the Seas Princess, on a half world cruise. We were absolutely delighted at the tastefully redecorated public spaces that P&O has created! The Bonded Store, the Blue Room (which we nicknamed The Cold Bar on our previous voyages). All the dining venues have been redecorated and are pleasant and functional. Staff was very friendly, efficient and happy. The comedy was what we came for - and it was very good! Some comedians appealed to us more than others, naturally. We would love to see this particular cruise become an adult only - 15 or 18 years + event. This would make the comedy cruise very much more appealing! An added bonus for us, was the amazing quality of the restaurants and the food that P&O served up. The Dragon Lady and Angelos Dining at Sea - no extra charge - were absolutely superb! The Waterfront Restaurant was our choice for breakfast and lunch - the food was fabulous. We did not use the self serve dining room - the Pantry - but noted the improvements that P&O has created. There is still an issue with seating everyone. Our cabin, a window cabin, was roomy, had plenty of cupboard and drawer space and was adequate for our four day cruise. Much is needed to refurbish the cabin! We look forward to seeing what is achieved in the cabins........ As a bonus, we had a day on Moreton Island. We chose a shore excursion to the northern point of the island. It was a very good day tour, although very expensive. We will certainly look for more short cruises out of Sydney on this delightful ship! PS: disembarkation was a breeze! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
After reading a lot of reviews about how bad P&O are we decided to give them a go and were we in for a surprise. Just did the 15-day June cruise on Pacific Jewel to the islands from Auckland and we are happy to say, they did it better ... Read More
After reading a lot of reviews about how bad P&O are we decided to give them a go and were we in for a surprise. Just did the 15-day June cruise on Pacific Jewel to the islands from Auckland and we are happy to say, they did it better than Princess and RCCL. We are elite members with Princess and Platinum with RCCL. First, the cons. At 28yrs she is showing her age and the recent refit has not done enough to bring her back to her former glory. There is still evidence of worn décor and bad paint work. The cabin floor is uneven, the carpet is badly laid and there are patches around the balcony door. It’s annoying having to pay for the extras you get free with other cruise companies and the tender process is long with average 1hr wait times and long runs to shore. The menu in the dining room is simple and repetitive and had charges for some dishes. Now the pros. She may be old but she is a sturdy sea boat and handled the conditions well. The cabin had none of the squeaks and groans you get on more modern ships, there is plenty of storage and has a nice big shower with good water pressure. Our cabin stewards, Rhula & Carolina are great. They really looked after us and having little daily quotes on our mirror added a nice touch. The food in the dining room, while simple, was good. Our table waiters, Kirby & Little John are also great, Always a smile and friendly. The Pantry food was also good. We had experienced a Noro Virus outbreak on a previous cruise and having it served made us feel a bit safer. The entertainment was fabulous with many great musicians including Santiago Periotti, Lucky May and Light & Rhythm. We had seven different parties that were a lot of fun and the entertainment staff stayed to the end, unlike other companies where they tended to quietly slip away part way through. The edge program, while a little pricey was a lot of fun and worth doing. Climbing the rear stack or flying over the upper deck in the middle of the ocean, nice. Generally, the crew were good and friendly. Getting to the ship was easy. We parked our car in the Downtown carpark and walked across the road and on to the ship. From the time we parked to the time we were in our cabin, about a 1/2hr. It cost $356.00 to park and no waiting. At the end of the cruise we got off the boat at 7.30am and were home by 10. We live in Hamilton, about 2hrs drive and a shuttle would have cost $350 return for two with a lot of inconvenience, so, well worth it. A couple of issues for P&O. Drop the extra charges and add a loyalty program, otherwise, a great experience and we have booked another two cruises with P&O for next year. Thanks P&O you put my concerns to rest. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
A review (and attached experience) is always going to be subjective. We just returned from this 3 day cruise and we had a ball. What made this an "Excellent" cruise was that P&O met or exceeded our expectations (which were ... Read More
A review (and attached experience) is always going to be subjective. We just returned from this 3 day cruise and we had a ball. What made this an "Excellent" cruise was that P&O met or exceeded our expectations (which were pretty average from the outset) and the areas that were exceeded were very pleasantly surprising. I was surprised to find that I could sit out on deck and enjoy the sun on my face, live music, and the marvelous view of the wake receding into the distance in the middle of winter just a days travel out of Auckland. We enjoyed the shows and musician's very much. All the performers worked hard and had skill. The shows were not the usual over-hyped or over-the-hill affairs and emphasized great production value and entertainment to really good effect. The impression was that the dancers and singers cared about their craft, and it made the shows really enjoyable. The staff were universally friendly (if not super formal) and a complaint about cabin noise was actually followed up on. Food was as expected (mediocre) but the Salt Grill was the real McCoy. I highly recommend having a dinner there. Probably the best value for money on the ship. We enjoyed travelling with fellow Kiwis, which meant the entertainment could be pitched right and a sort of camaraderie built by the end. Thank you P&O. We would definitely cruise with you again. My advice to people considering P&O is know what you are buying. Don't expect what would cost twice as much from another cruise line and don't pay a premium price. The mini-suite was fine for what we paid (walls are thin and you will hear the deck chairs being moved about), but remember most of your cruise experience will happen outside your cabin. Suggestions for P&O: Chocolate chip cookies and popcorn with outdoor movie in the evening please; and OMG I would have paid $200 for a bottle of bad Rum instead of endlessly chasing moderate inebriation with weak cocktails. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
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