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1,386 P&O Australia Cruise Reviews

My husband and I had never been on a cruise before but wanted to try one. We booked one for a great price despite the negative reviews we read online about the Pacific Aria and P&O. I'm so glad we did, we loved it!! Pros: ... Read More
My husband and I had never been on a cruise before but wanted to try one. We booked one for a great price despite the negative reviews we read online about the Pacific Aria and P&O. I'm so glad we did, we loved it!! Pros: *I had low expectations due to reviews online stating the food was crap. My expectations were exceeded and I was impressed by both the food in the restaurants and the Pantry! Especially the restaurants! Advice: get one member of your group/ couple to go straight to the desk at Angelos restaurant as soon as they can, and immediately book Dragon Lady and Angelos, even more than once each! Waterfront is easier to book in for, those other two are difficult. These 3 restaurants are all free. We enjoyed dining in restaurants at night instead of the Pantry at night. *loved the shows, musicals, and things the itinery lists you can attend. Especially that last musical! *we found alot of fun or decent things to do in the itinery to keep us occupied *I would describe our affordable room as decent sized, not as the 'sardine tins' size I've heard it described as *last boat I was on I got so sea sick. On here I was fine. I started off on travel calm till I realised I didnt need it. *loved the themed parties and how its a cleaner club environment before 11pm each night *we were occupied enough that we didnt go for board games or books or sunbaking (4 night cruise) *most of the staff were kind, friendly *I loved getting the opportunity to dress up well at nights, dine in restaurants without paying extra, attend shows and go dancing and have a couple drinks *vegetarian friendly *the way the ship is decorated and designed and styled was very very nice and well thought out! *coffee tastes good and is available free when the Pantry is open (which is most of the time I think?). Glad they offered more than just cows milk *barista coffees are available for purchase in takeaway cups anytime to take anywhere on the ship *try Dragon Ladys shared plates for two people option!!! Wow! *this ship has an adults only pool of good size. Good.. Coz I hate kids splashing :P *cruise director Kabirs jokes over the speaker were funny Cons: *my husband and I need a particular environment to sleep easy and this wasnt it. We needed sleeping pills every night.. But we have struggled to sleep elsewhere before where I thought it would have been easy to. Occasionally there were people talking loudly in the hall at night but that wouldnt be as much an issue if you dont go to bed early. At one point for 30 mins the wind made the motor boats squeak. We were on deck six where motor boats were pended above the deck outside our window *the staff may be afraid of people burning themselves.. So most things are (in my opinion) not hot enough. I got used to it.. But the coolest was coffee at the Waterfront (ask for very hot coffee there). Concerned about food poisoning if its not hot enough. I didnt get sick *the hallways had a bad odor but it wasnt very strong *some staff werent friendly enough but thats the same everywhere *nearly all the staff are foreign. So there was a language barrier once. Does the company employ them so they can pay really low wages? I dont know *I'd like to try out another P& O ship next time as I've already explored the Aria sufficiently *if future shows are the same then I might need to bring a book or play one of their board games. Maybe *it is very easy to spend alot of money on board. With so many hours free its very popular to purchase many drinks. I'm glad we didnt purchase the drinks package we were tempted to, as it turned out cheaper buying drinks individually. *on non-sea days, try leave the boat at non-peak times if you dont want to stand in queues for awhile *I saw some of the prices in nicer rooms for the same cruise I went on. It wasnt worth those large amounts of money per person for those rooms. Perhaps people who spend heaps on cruises have very high expectations and are more picky with complaining? *when restaurants are prone to getting fully picked out.. You are asked if you will share a table. This can be hit and miss. We did this three times and twice it was ok but another time it was actually so awkward and couldnt wait to leave. I would prefer to book all restaurants at the start of the cruise with no share tables, just in case *the aircon wasnt cool enough in The Pantry dining area at times *the deck seats for dining arent shaded so get used to that and bring sunnies and you'll be fine Looking forward to my next P&O cruise, as I was left impressed! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We travelled on a 4 night cruise on Pacific Explorer to Moreton Island and had a great time. The public areas on the ship have all been refurbished very nicely with modern touches. The cabin was more dated but still had plenty of room ... Read More
We travelled on a 4 night cruise on Pacific Explorer to Moreton Island and had a great time. The public areas on the ship have all been refurbished very nicely with modern touches. The cabin was more dated but still had plenty of room and was very clean. All of the staff were friendly and accomodating. Food overall was very good. We ate most meals in the Waterfront Restaurant and the food was of a high quality. 400 Gradi was also very good and the cafe and Ocean Bar were good for relaxing. The buffet was fine for casual eating although was always very busy. Kids club staff were great and my daughter enjoyed the activities. As she was under five I was given a pager so staff could contact me on at anytime which was a nice touch. My daughter also enjoyed the waterpark as the pools were too deep for small children. Themed nights were fun and we enjoyed making Gatsby headbands for the party. Although purchasing the photos on board is quite expensive, we enjoyed getting all of our photos taken at different backdrops and looking through them later. Overall, we had a really good time and I'd travel on the Pacific Explorer again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This cruise was from Sydney to adelaide, so it worked perfect for my friend and I who live in both of these places. Loved leaving from Sydney harbour and how they played some opera music I thought that was awesome. We saw a pod of dolphins ... Read More
This cruise was from Sydney to adelaide, so it worked perfect for my friend and I who live in both of these places. Loved leaving from Sydney harbour and how they played some opera music I thought that was awesome. We saw a pod of dolphins and some seals which was amazing and going pass Wilson’s promentry was spectacular. I particularly enjoyed the comedy and the piano playing by John Milligan. I went to his show two nights because I enjoyed it so much. I was just very relaxed and loved being at sea. Our cabin was great but maybe a little smelly when we got on, a bit of room spray and was all good. Our cabin person Nash was really friendly and helpful. We used the gym and the spa which was really lovely. It is a bit hard to do yoga and do the exercise machines when the boat is swaying, but was an experience. It was sad to dock and have to come back to reality. Thanks for a great time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Third time cruising with PnO, family of four (kids 10 and 12). We just got back from our amazing week on the Dawn, we were blessed with calm seas and great warm sunny weather, with just the odd shower on port villa stop. But ... Read More
Third time cruising with PnO, family of four (kids 10 and 12). We just got back from our amazing week on the Dawn, we were blessed with calm seas and great warm sunny weather, with just the odd shower on port villa stop. But that's out our PnO's control and not what you want a review on. Food - 8.5/10 Overall we were very happy with the food on board, catered very well for two travellers with gluten intolerance. Our preference was the waterfront restaurant, both for choice of food and service, pantry only used when activities or shore days restricted our waterfront restaurant option. Pantry is quite crowded at peak times but this shouldn't be a criticism in my opinion as everyone has the choice. Avoid the crowd where possible to enjoy your eating experience. Highlight was the seafood platters in the shell and bones restaurant (extra cost) which was a beautiful and special meal on board. Didn't use the salt grill. Food service - 8/10 Our regular waiter Emerson was great, attentive, prompt, polite and recommended the best items on the menu each night. On one occasion (at an alternate seating) a food request (for one of the kids) was completely ignored, which was frustrating at the time, but solved by a trip to the pantry for another meal. Occasionally the wait for food was slightly longer than we wanted but it was during peak times and just gave us more time to chat about the day past. Entertainment - 9/10 Never once felt like we had nothing to do, in fact we felt unable to do everything we wanted on the program as there was so much to do. Sail away party was great (won free beer!!!), theme nights were great (Bianco, formal, Gatsby), they also had a 'back to school' night which had little interest or participation but that didn't worry us. Ben the cruise director was great. Christian was also particularly good and the rest were professional and entertaining. The shows were good, family enjoyed them however some song and dance shows aren't my thing so I wasn't fussed. Comedy nights were fun. Name that tune in the orient bar was a must and provided great atmosphere with 100+ people singing along to some classics after the music stopped. Cleanliness in general - 7/10 The biggest issue with cleanliness is the pigs who think it's OK to leave plates, cups, rubbish in lifts, hallways, upper decks etc. Whilst it is the done thing to leave it all on tables (cleaned away fairly quick most of the time), it is frustrating to see rubbish and dirty plates around the ship. I understand why there are no bins around but it was frustrating having to leave bottles or cups on tables, when other people want to come and use that space. I often walked used bottles or cups to the bar so to not leave them around. Note to others - don't be the pig and everyone will enjoy a cleaner ship. Rooms - 7/10 We were holidaying on a budget and didn't have a flash room, on level 9 towards the front of the ship. The set out of previous rooms felt bigger, often found we were in each others way when all in the room as it was tight. Only an issue a few times a day when getting ready for dinner etc. Cabin steward was polite and prompt however didn't feel like he went above and beyond like previous cruises. Pillows were shocking is probably my biggest gripe. Mabye we were spoilt previously? In any case we managed and didn't go on the cruise to hang in our cabin so it didn't affect the enjoyment of the week that much. Getting on and off - 9/10 It's a big ship, there's alot of people, often doing the same thing at the same time, expect some waiting in cues. Nothing felt like a major hassle. Well organised and as quick as it could be considering the number of people. Noumea - 5/10 Been there 3 times, like it less each time, expensive, less 'pretty' than other stops, just something about the vibe there that says 'get back on the ship'. If we go again, I'll probably consider not getting off. I would like to see the aquarium but with a 3pm arrival it doesn't leave much time to go there before closing time. Lifou - 9/10 Beautiful location, beautiful people, chilled out shopping in the local markets, great spot to swim and relax with a beer or two. Felt safe the whole time. Love it. Port Vila - 9/10 Have improved the market area, used to be hassled by the locals for day trips as you walked through the markets however now seem to have control on when they can approach you (outside the fence line). Negotiated a good deal for an air-conditioned van for the day $150 for the day for 6 people. Went to blue lagoon (11/10) which is a must, had a village tour (from vehicle) which was interesting, had the option of turtle feeding and waterfalls but choose to head to Vila early and get into the markets before back on ship. Best duty free shop on earth? Is a must. Very enjoyable day even though I've been there 3 times. Overall - 9/10 As long as you remember your on a budget ship, and look at the positives and ignore negatives which are out of the control of PnO you will have a great time. We thoroughly enjoyed our week and the minimal negatives way outweigh the positives. Can't wait to book again we are hooked. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise to attend the Australian Tennis Open in Melbourne The Waterfront Restaurant had no table clothes and the service was very poor and generaly very disappointing, Some of the staff at the reception desk were very ... Read More
We chose this cruise to attend the Australian Tennis Open in Melbourne The Waterfront Restaurant had no table clothes and the service was very poor and generaly very disappointing, Some of the staff at the reception desk were very rude, The balcony cabin that we had paid a lot of money for was very disappointing, the spa bath did not work, the plug in the bath leaked, The TV reception was very poor, which ment that we had to go to a public area to watch the tennis which was the reason that we were on the cruise the air-conditioning was impossible to regulate, it was either hot or cold, there was no WI Fi even though it was listed as being available The cheese and biscuit platter that we orded to be delived to our room had stale biscuits, Over all we were very disappointed in this tired old ship Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I bought the Australian Open Cruise as a birthday present for my mum. It was a chance for the two of us to take a cruise trip to Melbourne that we had talked about for years. POSITIVES: The embarkation experience was excellent! ... Read More
I bought the Australian Open Cruise as a birthday present for my mum. It was a chance for the two of us to take a cruise trip to Melbourne that we had talked about for years. POSITIVES: The embarkation experience was excellent! Plenty of friendly staff to navigate you through the process. Embarkation was easy and fast! The ship itself is beautiful! The public areas are all extremely well presented. And there were a variety of areas to chose from catering to all tastes. The cabin was surprisingly spacious. There was plenty of room to move around in the cabin and the cabin was also well laid out. The cabin stewards (James and Willie) were great. Very friendly and attentive. The cabin was always kept very clean. We saw a few of the shows. Twice Upon a Time was a modern dance performance and was excellent. The stage setting, costumes and music/score was of a very professional standard. We had plenty of laughs at the Murder Mystery activity. And recommend you get in on this activity if available. The room service food and beverages were very good. Highly recommend the wedges and the beef nachos. And Earon, the Room Service Steward, took real pride in his work. he's a credit to the team. Generally the personnel on board were very pleasant. There were options of locations to eat - Angelo's, Dragon Lady and the Waterfront were all restaurants that were included in the fare and are all worth experiencing. Ken, the acupuncturist, was knowledgeable, ethical, professional - and the treatment works! Highly recommend a visit! The staff at the Spa were generally very nice and the treatments were good. NEGATIVES The aggressive sales pitch at the Spa. When you first get on board you are faced with an army of day spa staff that offer you a tour of the Spa facilities - all with a view of signing you up for as many events and services as possible. The Spa competition has you there under false pretenses. The Spa manager (I think she was the manager, as she wasn't in a uniform) was very unpleasant and discourteous. It was a shame that the staff, who were very lovely and competent, were pressured to sell product at every consultation /service. Also, day in port specials were non existent (unlike any other cruise I have been on). The Pantry is the general "food court" area. It was difficult to get a seat at lunch and dinner times (never tried to at breakfast). There clearly isn't enough seating. Also the structure of the food service was disappointing. There were about 10 different types of food, including dessert station. Each station had 2 - 3 options to chose from. Staff at the station dished up very small servings of your selection and you were sent on your way. The only station that was reasonable with it's offering was the dessert station, who recognised that the portion sizes wouldn't fill a mouse so would ask if you would like a second options. Also, the fish was dreadful .. it was mushy/sloppy! the only fried food that I have ever seen that was in that state. On other cruises, the buffet areas worked much better! Also, the Pantry was opened at limited hours. On other cruises this sort of facility is open 24/7. The only other negative was the disembarkment. On other cruises, if you were going to take your own luggage off, you could disembark at your time of choosing - you didn't have to go with a designated group for your deck. Also, our group was told to be at a designated are at 8.50am. We arrived at 8.45am (as did others) only to be told that our group had already been called. Unacceptable! Also, the announcements calling groups to disembark are not made over the ship - so you can't hear it in your cabin. Again, on other cruises, you can remain in your cabin and wait to be called. Overall a very positive experience. Except for the Pantry and the Spa. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
After reading the previous reviews of the Pacific Explorer, I embarked on this cruise with a level of trepidation. My fears were unfounded - what we experienced were highly motivated and friendly staff, a small balcony cabin that was ... Read More
After reading the previous reviews of the Pacific Explorer, I embarked on this cruise with a level of trepidation. My fears were unfounded - what we experienced were highly motivated and friendly staff, a small balcony cabin that was perfectly adequate for a short cruise and great entertainment. Food quality was inconsistent - there were some standouts and some pretty average dishes - in our experience, the staff were more than happy for a meal to be sent back and swapped for something else and for multiple courses to be ordered. Nothing was too much trouble. We found the Waterfront and Angelo's to be the pick of the restaurants but Dragon Lady was ok too with some interesting dishes - my advice would be to try all three early. Menu in the Waterfront changed daily and half way thru for the other two. The speciality restaurants did book out on the first day so my advice would be to book for the entire cruise - you can always cancel or change a time later. This was a school holiday cruise but children numbers were booked and youth security was always on hand to deal with any unruly children. All in all high recommended given the price point - yes you have to pay for some extras but prices are modest and the fare is cheap to start with compared with the other lines. We had the drinks package - it is ok value especially if you get it on sale but found we didn't drink that much after the first few days. My only serious criticism is the lack in variety in on-board activities - lots of trivia and late night karoke but not much else. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Run down and no care as this ship is sold already, not a lot of activities to do during sea days that’s when the staff decide to show up and run them anyway. The air con in our room did not work at all (along with cabins beside us) we ... Read More
Run down and no care as this ship is sold already, not a lot of activities to do during sea days that’s when the staff decide to show up and run them anyway. The air con in our room did not work at all (along with cabins beside us) we told them on the day of getting on the boat and it took them 2 days to come forward and tell us the air does not work along these cabins floor 6 (evens side of the boat) we were given a portable air con that was noisey (rattling sound) and only cool when the air was directed straight at you, right above us was the kitchen very noisey all night. The restaurants on the ship were all fantastic the food was always of high standard and never disappointed and the staff were all welcoming and friendly except the guy serving the alcohol drinks in the pantry other then him all staff were great. Disembarking was terrible sitting in the marquee room for over an hour. If this was my first time cruising I would not cruise again, however I have been on the Carnival Spirit and know cruising is fun just a shame P&O don’t care about this ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our second cruise on the Eden, same time of year as last year, same destination- Moreton Island. Firstly, overall, we had a lovely time. For 2 tired mums needing a mum-cation, let’s be honest... a rubber ducky to nowhere ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Eden, same time of year as last year, same destination- Moreton Island. Firstly, overall, we had a lovely time. For 2 tired mums needing a mum-cation, let’s be honest... a rubber ducky to nowhere would had sufficed. So the dancing, drinking and cheesy activities did not disappoint. Our cabin this time was oceanview again but instead of quiet deck 4, we were on deck 6, conveniently about 10 doors down from the atrium. We were about 10 cabins down from the smoking area and we were never bothered by people there. Most of the smokers were up on deck 12 and deck 6 was closed due to winds a lot of the time anyway. So if that is a fear you’re having about being on deck 6, fear not. We wouldn’t really know they were there. Our cabin was almost perfect except for the plug in the shower/bath which when you turned the big dial to let water out, it literally fell off! So we had our steward just remove the plug part for our stay as we didn’t want to have baths anyway. As for our stewards, we didn’t have any issues with their friendliness. I did however, have to make 3 phone calls over the space of an hour for clean towels one day. Not a major inconvenience but last year they were so much more efficient. This also happened when we would call for new beach towels as they were never by the pool and they were not the best towels to use over and over as they held the water for a long time. Onto the entertainment. The production shows had slipped. They were the exact same ones as last year only with new singers and unfortunately...and I’m no Celine Dion- they were ok karaoke as best. One in particular was so irritating people were grimacing. The comedians were absolutely fantastic and the trivia and karaoke was great as always. We did not fee there was as many activities offered this time though. The bars were perfect. No issues at any. Theme nights great especially white night but the Gatsby party needs to be moved to a different venue as the mix bar is far too small. We went to karaoke instead. The restaurants are great. Good variety of food. Pantry was awesome, the Asian cuisine in particular was delicious. But the waterfront food was literally inedible. So much cinnamon in my fish dish- yes you read that right- that it sucked down my throat and I coughed up half a lung! So steer clear of waterfront even the other meals were pretty ordinary. Carbonara at angelos was lovely. Cleanliness of the ship was fine however, the windows for the public decks were absolutely filthy! Impossible to look out of them when sailing. And on scorching days, that was a real shame. Everyone on board was commenting on it. Probably the biggest issue, was that there was an entire section of cabins on deck 6 with no air con working. Apparently the ship Knew of this at the end of last cruise but could not get the part to fix it. Instead of informing the new passengers affected, those poor people found out after sail away party and had no aircon for Entire cruise. Due to it being a sold out trip, they could not be relocated. So we had upwards of 10 people some times, sleeping in the atrium at night! I imagine those people would be writing quite the strongly worded letter right about now. Moreton Island was fantastic again. Shore tours handled efficiently. No issues there at all. I truly think that because it’s so close to their last trip for P&O, they are not being as efficient in spending money where it is needed. Had we not been on the same cruise last year, these things probably wouldn’t have bothered us. But there was definitely a slip in the cruise this time. We will try a different line next year. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
First cruise and I was terrified due to negative reviews on here. Our review...well we are now hooked....an amazing cruise. We ate everywhere...enjoyed it all. The ships crew are constantly cleaning to keep the ship presentable. The ... Read More
First cruise and I was terrified due to negative reviews on here. Our review...well we are now hooked....an amazing cruise. We ate everywhere...enjoyed it all. The ships crew are constantly cleaning to keep the ship presentable. The entertainment is amazing. Attend as much as possible. All incredibly enjoyable especial the Maquee live shows. Entertainment crew hilarious Mathew Dom Pablo Miguel etc. We had the smaller cheaper cabins which were perfect for our budget and needs....hot showers were amazing. Many reviews complained about the interior being old....well I'm no spring chicken either any more but it's how you present yourself and this ship is no different....the decor is gorgeous. We did a few pacific Islands and pre booked our tours through the ship and had a great time being emersed in the culture and saw some amazing scenery. All our kids 3-17 attended kids clubs Turtle cove HQ and HQ+ and loved it experience. We also had EDGE packages. These were prepaid great for 7-25yrs. Our adults would probably pay per session next time as didn't get the value from pre purchasing. Thankyou from the bottom of our hearts for your passion to serve. Sad to see you retiring but hope to travel again with P&O and see some familiar faces. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We've done a few cruises now, the Pacific Dawn about 8 years ago, Royal Carribean and MSC so generally have the gist of cruising worked out. We know the Pacific Dawn is a bit old and dated but with an 8 & 10 year old chose the ... Read More
We've done a few cruises now, the Pacific Dawn about 8 years ago, Royal Carribean and MSC so generally have the gist of cruising worked out. We know the Pacific Dawn is a bit old and dated but with an 8 & 10 year old chose the ship for the convenience of sailing from Brisbane where we live and the promise of a recent refit. Except for a missing suitcase ship boarding went well and the ship itself wasn't too bad, what you would expect with clean rooms and generally clean ship. Once onboard there was the usual up sell of alcohol packages, services, shore excursions etc, no surprises. The ports of visit make this cruise good anyway but we were disappointed with general P&O way of doing things compared to the identical cruise we did with Royal Carribean, this time 3 years ago. While the boats and activities were similar, we sailed on the Legend of the Seas, RC just seemed more organised, communicated much better and the cruise went much easier. P&O's left hand does not know what its right hand is doing. In particular: Things we really liked about our recent Pacific Dawn 7 day Pacific Cruise: * Edge activities, ropes, zip line etc, kids loved it and team running it were awesome! * Waiters and room staff, as always they work so hard and are always friendly. * Food good although see below about seats and waiting. * Ports of call, good. Things we disliked about our recent Pacific Dawn 7 day Pacific Cruise: * Too much drinking and encouragement of drinking. On the first day we couldn't find the TV remote and the recurring P&O message about responsible service of alcohol kept playing but from what I witnessed the reality did not match the rhetoric. * Our room was near the main entrance and the music would flow straight through the walls. I get they're trying to keep the party going but at 11:30 at night when the music is still pumping and the kids can't sleep this is not much fun for us. * A lot more extra charges on P&O, extra for this extra that, even extra for some menu items within the standard restaurant which is part of the including price. * First in best dressed policy, getting seats at a dinner table was about booking the best tables early which we weren't informed about and ended up at a 7:45pm table, not ideal with kids. * We NOW know the Natural Aquarium at Lifou had to be booked even before boarding, would have been nice to have been told before the 1k trek in the blazing sun. Lots of us got caught out with this one. * Lack of seats at the 'Pantry' which is the main buffet eating area. * Arriving at Noumea at 3:30pm, not sure why, Royal Carribean on the same itinerary had us there in the morning. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
As our previous cruise with P & O was so enjoyable. This one was unpleasant cost a lot more, duty free was cheper in Australia. Don't travel with them. Not enough room in the comon areas for any type of ... Read More
As our previous cruise with P & O was so enjoyable. This one was unpleasant cost a lot more, duty free was cheper in Australia. Don't travel with them. Not enough room in the comon areas for any type of entertainment. All shore excursions very expensive if you book on line shore tours at least 50% less. Very noisy are only catering for the party crowd who will buy there over priced cocktails. Don't waste you time or money find another cruise line. See cabin review below, torn bedding used on beds. Cotaninated water supply so the whole ship stunk as every one had the runs, the only solution was very highly priced bottled water & 1.95 per 1.5 bottle on Australian soil and & $ 4.95 per bottle on boat with no way to have a tea or coffee as it was all made with ships water supply, even the steam to heat the milk for lattes ect. Not to mention drinks with ice. You also have to atrange your travel from Brisbane Airport to Portside dock. That's another $ 50.00 for the 2 trips. As long as you like hot curry, hot Mexican or fish you should be ok for food. Pandora and othe duty free shops cheaper on land paying duty and taxes. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We thought this cruise was great, relaxing, comfortable, affordable and we enjoyed it so very much. Only downfall was jewellery policy on the water slides. Our theme parks here in Oz do not have that policy so I enjoy the water slides. ... Read More
We thought this cruise was great, relaxing, comfortable, affordable and we enjoyed it so very much. Only downfall was jewellery policy on the water slides. Our theme parks here in Oz do not have that policy so I enjoy the water slides. Body jewellery is an upcoming thing and not everyone can take them out, so I think this policy needs reviewing. Staff were awesome and Bingo/trivia was a blast, so much fun and laughter. Theme night Gatsby was awesome. All in all fantastic.Crew were very friendly, helpful and our room was always clean. We did alot of relaxing on the deck under the shade, and the onshore tours were great. We winged it with all onshore stuff but it was great as we got to take a Buggy out in Noumea. This was an adventure driving on the opposite side of the road to Australia took a little getting used to for my hubby. Isle of pines is definately a place to go back too. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We loved our 8 nights cruise on P&O Pacific Explorer! I thought it will be very basic cruise but all my expectations were exceeded by far! Selection of meals and restaurants was very good, quality of food was good, delicious and ... Read More
We loved our 8 nights cruise on P&O Pacific Explorer! I thought it will be very basic cruise but all my expectations were exceeded by far! Selection of meals and restaurants was very good, quality of food was good, delicious and mostly healthy meals (in comparison to some other cruises where free junk food was so bad and in large quantities). Italian restaurant Angelou’s and Graddi 400 Pizza restaurant were fantastic! Loved quality Italian wines too. Pantry the buffet style dining was very good too, with many healthy and fresh cooking! Beautiful interior of the ship, immaculate spaces, cabins were a bit small but we spent lot of time going around.... Entertainment was fantastic too! For example, Blanco and Gatsby dress up parties, Titanic show, Misbehave show and much much more. The crew did an amazing job, well organised cruise and we all felt very comfortable and looked after. Thank you so much P&O Pacific Explorer! 17/01/2019 A family with kids and grandparents from Sydney. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
A good experience only marred by the noise from the Blue Room below so loud the bass made our floor vibrate. Reception staff fall far below the rest of the crew in responsiveness and only Head of department and fred worth feeding. ... Read More
A good experience only marred by the noise from the Blue Room below so loud the bass made our floor vibrate. Reception staff fall far below the rest of the crew in responsiveness and only Head of department and fred worth feeding. Salt Grill my Luke Mangan is a truly great experience and Anant was a highly experienced server. At A459 a head it isn't dear for this class of restaurant. Try dining in the top end of any Western City. The tender operation is pretty amateurish. If P&O had organised Dunkirk the outcome would have been disastrous. Overall Room and F&B service was first rate and food much better than expected. The Pantry is an interesting concept where all members of the family can find what they want. All specialty inclusive rtestaurants are good. Dragon Lady menu isn't your local Chinese suburban offerring so don't expect your Chow meins etc Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Our 3rd P&O short cruise - this one for 40th Wedding Anniversary. We booked a suite, 10010, and P&O offered special services for suite customers. So did Holland America (HM) but they failed to deliver on all counts - P&O went ... Read More
Our 3rd P&O short cruise - this one for 40th Wedding Anniversary. We booked a suite, 10010, and P&O offered special services for suite customers. So did Holland America (HM) but they failed to deliver on all counts - P&O went well above expectations. 1. Express check in - YES, very fast and friendly. 2. Cabin fine, really clean, a little old but the ship is going to another company in a month or so. It did not detract from the experience. 3. Tried all the food outlets; ie restaurants, the buffet, and the speciality ones - the Luke Mangan Salt Grill and the Chefs Table- ALL were Fabulous, especially the Chefs Table! At first the price appears expensive but in reality what you get the food, the wine, the afters it would be cheap at twice the price - DO try it! NO bad food on the ship and plenty of choices for everyone. 4. All the various crew members were always happy, helpful and ready to assist. 5. The entertainment was a 1000% better than on HM. The Blue room music variety was outstanding. So many different entertainment venues to keep everyone happy. The shows in the main theatre were amazing! Loved the magician. 6. P&O has restored my faith in big ship cruising after the HM experience killed enthusiasm. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Everything went perfectly on the cruise, went on a 7 night from melbourne around australia. The service was excellent, the atmosphere was excellent and was worth the money. We had a balcony cabin, Our cabin was abit tight but thats ... Read More
Everything went perfectly on the cruise, went on a 7 night from melbourne around australia. The service was excellent, the atmosphere was excellent and was worth the money. We had a balcony cabin, Our cabin was abit tight but thats probably because i didnt know what to expect. The dining was perfect, weather it was the free buffet or the fine dining restaurants. The entertainment was really good. Didnt expect so much but was really happy. There was never a dull moment. Either in the day shows or the adult comedy shows or even sitting at a bar having a few drinks. I went with my partner and i advise couples to get the ultimate romance package. Very good value. The shore tours are good but have to book them in advance to get a good one and be prepared. But once again i cant stress enough the great service from all staff. Thank you guys so much for the wonderful journey Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We were on board the Aria that left Brisbane on 4/1/19 bound for New Caledonia. We were very happy with all the staff on the boat, they were all marvelous. However, that was the only thing that we were happy with. I have mobility problems ... Read More
We were on board the Aria that left Brisbane on 4/1/19 bound for New Caledonia. We were very happy with all the staff on the boat, they were all marvelous. However, that was the only thing that we were happy with. I have mobility problems and use a walker. There were four lifts each end of the ship but on a regular basis 3 of the lifts would be in use by staff or out of order leaving only one lift for passengers. It would sometimes take 20-25 minutes for me to get in a lift and sometimes I was forced to carry my walker downstairs in order to get to events on time! We were very unhappy with the restaurants as well. The food in the Pantry on the 11th floor was ok but we could never get a seat (there were 5 of us) so we had evening meals in the Waterfront Restaurant and the food was not good. We wanted to try other restaurants but couldn’t because they were always booked out so we were not happy about that. Also, on other cruises (Princess etc.) we were able to go to the buffet late at night for light snacks, coffee or sweets etc. but on the Aria all the restaurants closed early (I think at 9 o’clock). Overall, a very disappointing cruise. I don’t think we will be sailing with P & O again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
First time cruising and had mixed expectations about what to expect. I can honestly say after this experience I will never cruise again with P&O. 1. Drinks Package: Purchased this after paying $750 for the 8 day package. Seemed ... Read More
First time cruising and had mixed expectations about what to expect. I can honestly say after this experience I will never cruise again with P&O. 1. Drinks Package: Purchased this after paying $750 for the 8 day package. Seemed like good value, and was, but the only down side was the drinks are watered down and nine times out of ten you only get half nips for the cocktails. Seems to be the general consensus with everyone that I talked with on board. When you pay good money, you expect value, not in this case. 2. Gambling: Observed from a distance and staff were happy to continue taking thousands of dollars off patrons why they were quite clearly intoxicated and unable to make logically decisions. As soon as they leave the table, cut them off from drinks and say they have had enough for the night. Quite clearly this should have happened long before it got to this stage, and they had wasted thousands on gaming. My belief is, if you can't drive a car at 0.05, why should you be allowed to gamble away your life away while being heavily intoxicated and under the influence of alcohol. 3. Rooms were out dated and had quite a fowl stench coming from the carpet, which appeared to be damp, and window clouded and full of mould. Only view was of a cloudy and overcast window. 4. Entertainment for adults is limited, kids movies shown throughout the day, and kids allowed up in adult only areas till 1130pm at night, which allows 2.5 hours child free until the venue closes. Adult only area has two hot tubs that hold 10 people maximum and 10 sunlounges. This makes sense when there is nearly 1000 adults on board, not!!! 5. Food was okay from the pantry, but would pass on breakfast and dessert in the future. Toast was stale and cold and seemed like it had sat there for 24 hours. Simple fix would be to allow patrons to toast their own. Luke Menigan and New Zealand ice cream best part of the trip and great value for money. All in all, mixed experience and views. Would do another cruise, but just not with P&O as I believe you are blantaly ripped off by a company that only cares about its profits, and not providing patrons with what they have paid for. Please be aware and read reviews before cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
On the 28th December 2018 we embarked on a New Years cruise with P&O (the prices for this particular cruise were double if not triple normal prices due to the time of year). The dramas started when we paid for priority checkin however ... Read More
On the 28th December 2018 we embarked on a New Years cruise with P&O (the prices for this particular cruise were double if not triple normal prices due to the time of year). The dramas started when we paid for priority checkin however our tickets did not list this, it wasnt such a big issue, however at the time we didnt know this was just the start of the many issues we would experience. First day on the cruise one of our suitcases never arrived to our room, after calling reception we were told to wait and they will contact us back once they have tracked it down. 1.5 hours later sitting in our room waiting for a call back we called receiption to find our bag was there and we could come down and collect it. CABINS The first 3 days at sea were rough (with approx 6 foot waves) which is not uncommon however the front of the boat was particulary bad and majority of the time we could not be in our rooms due to the severity of the movement. Now to give you some background prior to this cruise we were on another cruise with RC which was in the middle of a cyclone with 8 foot waves and had little to no issues with our room which was also located at the front of the boat so it seems this particular boat with P&O may of not be of the same standard mechanically. Our room was on level 11 (pool 12 and pantry 14) which was a great location however levels 5,6,7 are also great as they are close to bars , reception and shops. Cabins were clean and liveable however they do not reflect the standard you would expect when paying a minimum $6k a couple (interior room) on new years. They are the original cabins and corner rooms are particulary smaller. If you are particular with pillows make sure you take your own as they are not the best. The rooms do have a safe and fridge and a great little sensor light for night time toilet trips. They also only have 1 australia power point , 1 european power point and 1 US power point. The rooms do have a hair dryer however they are very basic. Overall we were fine with our rooms however during our trip the toilet blocked up , lost all power and lights in our room at 12am in the morning and also had issues with the door locks not recognising our cards. A special mentionto the room attendents who do an amazing job , are very fast and are friendly. FOOD Not to bad, same as most cruise boats. We liked lukes , dragon lady and the cafe for cakes and tea. We love how P&O have set up the pantry as it stops alot of food being touched by other guests and limits food waste. Special mention to 400 grandi , great food , amazing staff and a nice quiet place on the ship. STAFF We were extremly lucky to experience great staff at the ocean bar , the cafe and 400 grandi. They are extremly helpful and accomodation. ENTERTAINMENT For a New Years cruise entertainment was limited however for a standard cruise it was not bad. Love riot was a great show (approx $15 per person) it was well worth it. Please note P&O seem to limit any adult only shows for 9pm and 10pm at night which wasnt always the best if you have a port day the next day. Please note lawn bowls and slides are not open permently only certain hours. PORT DAYS / TENDERS For locations with a port it was very simple and quick to get off and well organised. For ports which required tenders it became a bit of a mess and for one of our ports we waited 1.5 hours and then gave up getting off. Some people waited over 2 hours to get off and no explanation was given. After speaking to people who were lucky to get off we found guests on the beach kept snorkeling in the tender lanes which would then hold up the boats. P&O didnt seem to get these people out of the water or issues warnings to causing delays for other guests and some guests didnt even get off. SHORE TOURS We were lucky enough to do a great snorkelling tour in Santo which was well worth the money. However the couple we were travelling with did a village tour on another island and it was nothing like the tour summary and they did not learn anything from it. GUESTS Possibly some of the worst behaviour I have seen. Many of the guest were extremly rude , self centred , would push past or push in lines and we even experienced guests permently calling our room at 1am even though they were told they were calling the wrong room. Kids where still running around after 9pm and would often fill up the lifts or press all buttons inthe lifts. Our last morning there were kids outside our cabin door screaming at 5am with parents who did not care (our room was out of the way). The experience which really sent us over the edge was this one lady which we had to ask 4 times to move so we could sit down on the first day and book restaurants. We then had to ask her another 6 times to move so we could get up from our seat. I also experienced a lady at the gym who proceeded to push pass me and tell me she was waiting for a tredmill and she was next in line..... mind you i had been on the equipment for a good 5 mins before she appeared from somewhere having a cry. Please note the gym gets packed out and runs out of room and equipment duringthe mornings. Overall terrible behaviour and this doesnt even go into the fights , yelling and crappy comments we heard being shouted between guests and at the poor staff. LEAVING THE BOAT You are told to put your bags outside your room between 4pm and 8pm the night prior. Please note no where do they say you can self assist and take your own bags off but you can do this and it will get you off the boat faster. We got off the boat at 740am (we were told 720am for group 1 and 2). When we finally got off to collect our bags, our bags where not out yet and we had to wait atleast 30-40mins for our bags to come through. If you are being picked up or have a flight please keep this in mind. LIFOU If you are travelling to Lifou please note you need a ticket for jinek bay. If you do not get a ticket you will not be able to snorkel. Even though this is plastered everywhere we watched many people ignore this and walk in 30 degrees heat to the bay to then be disappointed. Quick tip, everyday you get a newsletter , make sure to read the back page for sales and spa deals. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was my second cruise. Maybe the bar had been set very high as my first was on the Disney Wonder and that was 5 star all the way. Boarding was easy and smooth. First hiccup was being greeted by 3 separate tables selling merchandise as ... Read More
This was my second cruise. Maybe the bar had been set very high as my first was on the Disney Wonder and that was 5 star all the way. Boarding was easy and smooth. First hiccup was being greeted by 3 separate tables selling merchandise as soon as you are on board and a lot jam happening instantly as everyone purchased lanyards for their cards. Once clear we headed for out room. We were on deck 11 in a mini suite. The room was great no complaints, yet, keep reading. I checked out the balcony and noticed everything was covered in salt and bits poop all over the chairs, not the most welcome area. As we boarded early we headed to the pantry for lunch. This is the onboard buffet. It's setup really haphazardly. Instead of one continuous counter, it's broken into many sections, each forming it's own line and making it very difficult to move around. One drink station also ment a 10 minute wait per drink. Food was ok, but had no chance to sample it all unless you wanted to queue for hours. Next we roamed the ship getting our bearings. They layout is pretty good but you can see the age, lots of rusty spots, the odd bucket catching leaks (we were still docked) and the promenade deck also covered in salt. Finally we departed, we chose to watch feom out room as we went under the gateway bridges, the party on the pool deck 12 all cheering. It was about this time we noticed if anyone danced or ran on the deck above our room, We heard everything. If we hadn't of bought ear plugs we never would have slept. Dinner was booked in the restaurant. Again a 20 minute queue at our scheduled time didn't really make sense to us. Food was good but not great, portions a bit lacking, didn't go back for dinner again. Went to the show that night, this was excellent. Dancing and singing was fantastic and extremely entertaining. Next day, breakfast we tried the restaurant again. I had eggs Benedict and struggled to find the sauce. Squbbling maybe but hey, we paid good money for this. We shared a table with another couple, grest people, highlight of the morning. Next was kids club. It opened at 10.30, such a late start. We dropped off our 7 yo only to be told we had to collect her at 12pm as they closed then for 2 hours for lunch. So rule out trying to plan anything for yourselves if you have kids. She didn't go back again. Bingo in the afternoon was very entertaining as was catching a movie on the outdoor screen. Be warned if you have kids and they want to swim. The pool is quite small and young age to climb right down into it, you have to go in with them, you can't see them otherwise. Also I found the fact every day numerous ladies found it necessary to sunbake in gstrings, topless, right next to the pool, which had kids everywhere appropriate kinda sad. Don't get me wrong, they view was great but really not the place. Ship needs a proper adults only area. Also one of two smoking areas is also right next to the pool, be warned if you have athsma issues like my wife. I smoke but always went to the designated area on the promenade. A walk around the upper top deck soon reveals the age of the Dawn. One part of the deck sunk half a foot when I stepped on it, everything has been painted over so many times it doesn't look good. The crew were a mixed bag. Room attendants were great and thorough, no complaints there at all. My daughter loved the towel penguin they made. The restaurant waiters were almost polar opposite to the point of almost rude. Basically move you along as fast as possible as there isn't enough tables for everyone, never checked drinks. Staff in the buffet were friendly, always smiling, but the often limited English caused a few issues. Quite a number of times I would have to repeat myself or id just get a smile back. Bar staff generally good but always flat chat so never time for them to offer that little bit of extra service. To sum it all up, food, terrible. Most tasted bland, if you didn't have a booking you went hungry, no food after 9.30pm unless you laid. 20 minute wait for a paid hotdog, Seriously. Buffet a real fight to get anything including a table or drink. Cabin, excellent but stay on deck 10 or lower if you like some peace and quiet. Staff a mixed bag. Entertainment for me was best part of cruise. All well done and very enjoyable. Will I sail again with P&O? Never, We'll take an extra 12 months and cruise from the USA again with Disney. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was my second NYE cruise upon the Jewel, my first being 5 years prior, and boy, was this one a let down. Cheap and nasty holiday and a far cry from how they used to be. Food was bland, dry, over-cooked and recycled. If you wanted ... Read More
This was my second NYE cruise upon the Jewel, my first being 5 years prior, and boy, was this one a let down. Cheap and nasty holiday and a far cry from how they used to be. Food was bland, dry, over-cooked and recycled. If you wanted quality, you were forced to pay for one of their restaurants. Entertainment was boring and often had me looking for something to do for 3-4 hours at a time. There was an excessive amount of trivia which is cheap to run. DJ Josh had terrible song choices and it only improved when Miguel took over. The Big Screen on Deck 14 gained more black dots across its screen across the duration of the cruise. By the end, we couldn’t see a thing and it wasn’t worthwhile watching movies! The Dome was dead and everyone got kicked out by 1am, not 3am as it used to be. The music wasn’t anything you could dance to. People were unnecessarily being RSA’d for “drinking too much” when they hadn’t. There wasn’t any communication about gastro outbreaks even though I heard through crew that people had be confined to their cabins. Some friends in other cabins found mould in their showers and bed bugs in their mattresses. This was disgusting! Some of the crew in the Waterfront were rude and arrogant. Honestly, I think they’ve given up as this ship as been sold. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
After travelling on the Jewel in 2012 - we decided to head off again in Dec 2018 as it was the only boat leaving our desired destination at the time we wanted and the port we wanted. What a major disappointment from our 2012 cruise. We ... Read More
After travelling on the Jewel in 2012 - we decided to head off again in Dec 2018 as it was the only boat leaving our desired destination at the time we wanted and the port we wanted. What a major disappointment from our 2012 cruise. We loved the locations and the entertainment but everything was sub standard. The food was very ordinary and bland and the service was poor (except the bar staff in The Orient - they were amazing!) The kids (teenagers) hated kids club. They said the supervisor were boring and didn't join in. So they decided to come with us everywhere - on our last cruise - we rarely saw them! I know the ship has been sold but surely you could have maintained the same quality we received last time we travelled on the Pacific Jewel. The entertainment was fabulous. The cruise directors were hilarious and Jasper Malone and Danny Black were outstanding musicians. The shore tour we were going to do was a rip off. We saved $400 by booking it ourselves which included lunch and shuttle from ship! You can take 12 soft drink cans per person - we had 4 people so 48 cans (Half price at Coles - total cost $22) We had heaps and brought some home. Saved a fortune doing that - drinks package are a rip off. If this was your first cruise you probably wouldn't care but it wasn't and I noticed a significant difference! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Embarking from Port Melbourne ,fantastic ,as was Disembarking..So fast.Cabis old but cannot compalin as it was comfortable and only spend part of time there.Always cleaned and room cleaning people such as Prince and Mary very good on Deck ... Read More
Embarking from Port Melbourne ,fantastic ,as was Disembarking..So fast.Cabis old but cannot compalin as it was comfortable and only spend part of time there.Always cleaned and room cleaning people such as Prince and Mary very good on Deck 10 evens. Food is disgusting ,All Asian and Indian ,everything has flavouring ,even baked beans,,,,,,,,,Chicken ,ham and beef etc always dry,,given a few more days ,you could light it up with match as it is very dry. Had to go to bar outside of PANTRY to get orange juice even though there was abar in the PANTRY. then we had to queue up outside at bar where Pool is to get an orange drink ,but P and O made sure plenty of alcohol available in PANTRY.,,No Mocktails,,It seems that the P and O mob want us to live on watered down alcohol drinks. No bodt coming around to ask if we wanted drinks when we were in the PANTRY,,COFFEE is so gross,Better coffee available at Service Stations better than this RUBBISH, Same old problem with TABLES,Have to have someone sit at table while partner goes to get small meal then the one at table has to go and get something over and over again,,,,WHY aren't there Trays so we can put 2 meals on it and save not being able to have meal with each other,,,,,,,,,,,,Staff always overworked but very good at jobs. laundry,you have to have Australian dollars to use Washing machine and Dryer,$3 for washing machine ,$3 for dryer, which you get dollar coins from Level 5..Detergent machines not working,Have to go to level five for a $1 packet. Feel sorry for staff there as they are doing great job with we passengers and extra work load,Artists in longes played same music every day of cruise,Cant they learn different songs ? Mathew and other guy doing trivia etc very good,bingo expensive and no one to show how to play it.No body at hand cleaning stations to make sure people disinfected Hands at events,,,,,,,,,,,,Just lucky no Virus going through ship.Staff at Waterfront very good ,but menu repeated over and over again.Staff wonderful there.TOURS,some not worth it especially the one at akaaroa where you go to hilltop pub, Pies etc cold when the Tour bus arrives and pastry items have to be warmed up,,WHy no Baimarie there at Pub,they know buses coming,Wated time there.Wellington Tour also disappointment,,Went to Look out and spent short time there and then went to Botanical garden Rose Garden,,,,,Jus a eating place and coffee place then just few minutes to see the small garden,NOT WORTH PAYING FOR.,The train trip through gorge pretty good.as is walking tour in Hobart, on our Hobart ticket ,it said to go through Terminal and go outside to meeting point,No one there.Tour guides decided to have people meet in the TErminal and no signage to let people know where new meeting area was,Considering tours are not free from P & O ,there should be a better system,Just a Pole and sign naming Tour would suffice.If doing Tours ,find some one who has done them before as you will be disappointed some times.,,,,,,,No seating in the various some times so have to stand up.............P & O seems to be Alcohol oriented and not interested in non drinkers...........Emergency Medical of patient occurred,Announcement over PA went over and over again ,took a long time for Emergency Team to arrive to level 11.The patient had to be airlifted to Helecopter,The Captain crew and Helecopter crowd fantastic doing this job,..........Standard of P & O gone down as some of Photo people arguing with Cruisers and wrong information given by Tour manager at Marquee,and they argue about iD required even though announcement says what is required,,,,,,So few thing required by P & O to make Cruise more enjoyable but it seems that P & O believe that we will cruise with them and accept what they dish up.........We are not Asian so please put more European food in Main dining room, Seriously ,the food is disgusting,,,,,,,More Pasta etc would be great but get away from Asian food ,So much waste when people cannot eat it. ,,,,,,,,pHOTOS bad systm.photos not discounted and supposedly P & O do recycling and proud of it........Seems strange that all Chemicals and paper gone into printing photos then the unwanted photos shredded,Would be better to sell photos very cheap and have photos bought then shredded,I Dining area ,there are high Stools and benches for people,Too high for Kids and people with hip problems..Just a matter of time when somebody falls from these stools. We have been on Princess and P & O before but would not go with them again and would not recommend P & O to anyone now,Pacific Dawn was great many years ago,,, as I have mentioned ,P & )O taking us for granted,,,,,,,,,we went on tour of Galley,We followed the guy down escalator ,kept walking up escalator then through,revolving door,,and back into Waterfront restaurant.no signage or explanation of how galley works or of amount of food consumed of galley tour,Not a word spoken Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We had a great cruise. The cabin staff were amazing and attention to detail was spot on. Loved the entertainment and the dance classes were so much fun. Food was amazing and the staff in the Pantry and Waterfront really looked after us. ... Read More
We had a great cruise. The cabin staff were amazing and attention to detail was spot on. Loved the entertainment and the dance classes were so much fun. Food was amazing and the staff in the Pantry and Waterfront really looked after us. We dined at the Pantry for breakfast and lunch and most dinners we ate at the Waterfront. We really enjoyed the destination and shore excursions. We enjoyed the theme nights and the game shows that were held on the ship. The entertainment crew had us laughing the whole time. We did the Mix cocktail course on the sea days between New Zealand and Hobart. That was good value. We visited the spa a couple of times and loved the pampering we got. The gym was a bit on the small side but by the end of the cruise, there was plenty of room as people didn't attend in the same numbers. Overall, we had a great time and would travel on the Jewel again if it wasn't leaving the fleet. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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