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214 P&O Australia Cruise Reviews

I travelled with my wife & first time cruiser daughter. We had been looking forward to a relaxing 7 night cruise to the South Pacific; how wrong we were. It beggars belief how a company or for that matter a captain of any worth would ... Read More
I travelled with my wife & first time cruiser daughter. We had been looking forward to a relaxing 7 night cruise to the South Pacific; how wrong we were. It beggars belief how a company or for that matter a captain of any worth would take a ship load of passengers out toward a cyclone; it's not like they didn't know about it we knew before we left Melbourne. I would have much preferred P&O to have given us the option of a refund or a credit to use at another time than to have been subjected to the horrendous conditions that they put us in. I guess that it was all about profits rather than passenger safety or pleasure. I myself do not get sea sick but my wife does and she spent a lot of time lying down feeling very unwell while my daughter who suffers from anxiety spent most of the time worrying if we would get back to Brisbane at all. The fact that during dinner we heard a really loud bang & the ship listed to one side causing food, glasses and other objects to be swept off the table was very unnerving. Did the captain or anyone from the bridge speak to us to reassure us that all was well NO. The next afternoon the captain spoke about the incident; very poor communication. We spent a day and a half in Noumea; what a waste of time that was. We arrived late Sunday afternoon everything was closed & on the Monday it was a public holiday plus they were closing early because the cyclone was heading their way. We had to miss 2 ports and head back to Brisbane which meant spending 4 days crawling back at 10knots in 7-9 meter swells & 100-120km hour winds. This is not what I would call a relaxing cruise. Did P&O care? Not on your life they offered no compensation; just a letter for our travel insurance claim which lead to nothing because we could not get the port charges itemised. We have since heard that Insure& Go are the best ones to go with as they will cover you for missed ports; so that's a great tip. P&O have never been high on our list of companies to cruise with but we thought for 7 nights how bad can it be? Disembarking was a joke. We had to set the alarm for 5.30am so we could be out of our cabin by 6.30am because the ship was sailing again at 2pm. I'm glad I wasn't on that cruise as some of the cabins were wet (ours included) there was a smell of vomit in some corridors so it would not have been a pleasant arrival for the new passengers. We had to queue for 90 minutes to collect duty free alcohol which was so disorganised that people were getting very frustrated as some had to catch flights interstate. I would never recommend P&O to anyone as all they care about is profits. They would have to be the worst cruise company I have ever had the unfortunate pleasure to be involved with. I actually wonder if they read these reviews or the follow-up reviews that you get when your cruise is over. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Firstly, I thought i would start by saying I never usually write reviews but it is imperative that I get this out there to perhaps stop people from making a massive expensive mistake in booking a cruise with P&O! My brother picked ... Read More
Firstly, I thought i would start by saying I never usually write reviews but it is imperative that I get this out there to perhaps stop people from making a massive expensive mistake in booking a cruise with P&O! My brother picked this P&O for his 21st birthday. My whole family (plus others) came along. Between us we spent around 20k just for the bookings without expenses on the boat and I can tell you now, you couldn't give me 20k to go on another cruise with P&O again. It was absolutely the worst experience of my life. The cruise was meant to be a 7 night cruise to Noumea, Lifou and Port Vila. We set sail from Brisbane and upon boarding the ship we heard other passangers talking about a cyclone in Vanawatu. We thought this was a little odd as we hadnt heard anything and P&O didnt communicate anything so figured it wouldnt be an issue... How wrong we were!!!! About half way to Noumea the captian made the annoucement that there was infact a cyclone due to hit Vanuatu which could impact our itinerary but he would keep us informed. We were all a little frustrated but hoped that it would pass by the time we got there. Just before arriving in Noumea another announcement from the captian.. This was to inform us that the cyclone would be hitting Vanuatu and the catagory had been upgraded to a catagory 5. We were advised we would get one day in Noumea but we would miss out on going to Lifou and Port Vila and we would we would have to leave Noumea just before the cyclone hit and then the boat would turn around and head back to Brisbane... BUT.. they would take 4 days for the return journey! You can only imagine the disappointment and frustration we had over this annoucement. We arrived in Noumea later then the expected time and it was alomst nightfall when we arrived. Most places were already closed. We were then informed that Noumea had a public holiday on the Monday so therefore most of the shops/restaurants would be closed and most of the shore tours had to be cancelled because of the terrible weather. They couldnt dock the ship in the normal port so they docked in the shipping container wharf, not really ideal and certainly not attractive to look at. Noumea was a complete disappointment. To think we spend 20k to go to a town that was a ghost town. Hardly any shops were open, majority of restaurants were closed. As you can imagine the weather was also so awful raining, windy and cloudy. We boarded the ship really disappointed with the experience of Noumea only to be told the conditions on the way home were home to be rough.. this was an understatement!!! I can honestly say there were multiple times i was scared for my life onboard that ship! Because P&O had to make up the days, the captian decided to travel back to Brisbane doing approx 10knts. In cyclonic weather, winds up to 60knts, swell at 7m. It honestly felt like we were in a washing machine. I woke up many nights thinking the ship was going down. I was flung out of the shower which the crashing of the waves hitting the ship. All the restaurants on board were mostly booked up because of the extra days we had at seaso we had no choice but to eat at the pantry most of the time which is honestly the worst food. A few people on board got gastro from it. My parner said the food as his FIFO camp in better then the rubbish they serve. The few times we could get into a resaurant the staff couldnt even get the bookings correct and booked on the wrong dates and then were so rude and tried to blame it back on us. A complete diaster!! Because of the weather the pools had to be drained, the lifts were out of order so the poor elderly people had to try and get up and down the stairs with the boat rocking. so danergous for them. We were bascially stuck inside with very little to do unless you wanted to spend money on botox or gambling or you could watch a movie. P&O advertise the latest new release movies on their website.... I'm not sure if you would call the Notebook a new release considering it was released in 2004!! The entertainment and activites were a joke and mostly aimed at you spending more money. Most people got extremely sea sick because of the conditions, myself included. P&O offered sea sick tablets, AT $20 PER PILL!!! They couldnt have cared less how sick we felt as long as we were spending money they didnt care at all! Not once did they offer us a way to contact people back home to let them know we were still alive. The wifi on the boat was terrible, you pay so much money to use it but you have to pretty much sit in the reception area for it to work. Myself and others complained profusely and requested to take us back to Brisbane early as the conditions were awful. We were told this wouldnt happen as head office made the decision to keep us at sea. Bascially we felt like prisioners on the ship with no control over what was happening to us. The aircon on the ship was so cold and you couldnt go outside unless you wanted to be blown out to sea. Because of the rain parts of the ship flooded and the doors, openings had to be covered with towels. Some parts of the ship stunk of vomit because of how many people were sick. We were told they would not be refunding us as it states in their terms and conditions they are allowed to change route if the weather doesnt permit. Well P&O there are so many things you could have done to make this awful situation better or not happen at all. They could have made the decision to take us to a different route, anywhere else that didnt have a cyclone would have been great. They could have communciated to us about the cyclone before we boarded the ship and given us the option on what we would like to do given we had spent the money for a GOOD expereince.They could have offered all passangers a way to contact family to let them know we were safe (just). They could have offered freebies such as drinks or massage or at least something to make it a little better but P&O offered nothing at all. P&O knew this information before we left Brisbane but kept it quiet and decided to put our lives at risk by taking us straight into a cyclone. We should have been given the option before we boarded the ship to continue or not with the cruise. Had this information been communicated to us, we would have forfitted the amount we had spent to not go on the cruise. I would never ever recommend P&O cruises to anyone. I would highly recommended if you are thinking about doing a cruise to choose another company. I will be take my compliant with them further as this simply was not good enough in my view. My words of advice....DO NOT GO P&O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I have travelled with P&O before and therefore I had fairly low expectations as I know they are at the low end of the cruising spectrum. But we still had fun on our first P&O cruise and so when friends asked us to join them on ... Read More
I have travelled with P&O before and therefore I had fairly low expectations as I know they are at the low end of the cruising spectrum. But we still had fun on our first P&O cruise and so when friends asked us to join them on another we decided to accompany them. I wish we hadn't gone!!.... P&O ignored the very public travel warnings advising all vessels.. including cruise ships NOT to travel into the seas around New Caledonia and Vanuatu due to dangerous weather conditions caused by Cyclone Donna. The passengers, including us, who contacted P&O the day before we were to set sail, the same day that the travel warnings came out, were advised that passenger safety was P&O's first priority and that we would be advised of any itinerary changes that would need to be made due to the cyclone. We knew and accepted that cruise ships often need to reroute and change the itinerary destinations due to weather conditions and so we began to laughingly call this our "Magical Mystery Cruise" and wondered where we would end up. What we DIDN'T expect was for the ship to try outrunning the cyclone in a vain attempt to keep to the scheduled itinerary. Especially when it had already been reported that the ports in those islands would be closed due to the cyclone. A senior crew member even admitted to one of our fellow passengers that they always knew the ship would never make it past Noumea. And yet they continued to sell onshore tours for those islands without a word. Refunds were eventually given for prepaid shore tours but were paid into our on board credit instead of cash back or back into our Visa account where it originally came from. We made it through awful weather conditions to Noumea where we docked in a cargo port for a day and a half (on a public holiday so nothing was open) before being told that the ship must leave immediately because it was too dangerous for us to stay. Instead of getting us all back home to calm seas quickly... the captain chose to draw out our trip back so they could still give us a 7 night cruise. One of these nights was terrifying when the ship obviously HIT something with a huge BANG and then listed at a severe angle for over an hour... bottles fell off of shelves and smashed... the bar staff had to try to hold on to the large coffee machine to try and stop it sliding onto the floor... both passengers and crew looked scared but there was no announcement from the bridge to let everyone know it was ok. It was obvious to everyone that the ship was not coping with the weather conditions, there were leaks everywhere and the next day the captain announced that he had to suddenly change course to prevent the ships rudder from further overheating!! I spent most of this "cruise" feeling either sick, anxious or terrified. P&O is still refusing to take any responsibility for this nightmare... even though I know they have received hundreds of complaints. Be very careful when you choose to cruise with P&O... it would seem that they are allowed to do whatever they want with you once they have your money... even sail you into a cyclone!!... DON'T expect them to try and provide you with an enjoyable holiday... It has been two weeks now, I am still sick and shaking and have had to seek medical attention as a direct result of this hellish experience... which I PAID for!!... Travel insurance will only cover me if I have any "out of pocket" expenses... I could have received a full refund of my fare if P&O had the common sense to cancel the cyclone cruise.... Or had given me the choice to cancel in light of the travel warnings. The response that I and probably hundreds of other upset passengers have received from P&O is basically..... You paid for a 7 night cruise and we delivered a 7 night cruise.. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it but that's not our fault. I wonder how many other companies would get away with this type of attitude and treatment of their customers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
In the main dining area, the meals are not a buffet but served by staff behind high glass windows. This means queuing for a bread roll, then another queue for salad, another queue for meat, then battle to find a table to sit with your ... Read More
In the main dining area, the meals are not a buffet but served by staff behind high glass windows. This means queuing for a bread roll, then another queue for salad, another queue for meat, then battle to find a table to sit with your family. When I went to get a drink my meal was taken by the waiter! This eating experience is a logistical nightmare when you have two children. So we tried to book a table at the restaurant on the first day, only to be told to come back in half an hour as the reservations manager is not here...then still not here come back in 20 minutes...then told to just wait until she returns, then queue again. The restaurant phone was engaged all afternoon and was told they take the phone off the hook and won't take bookings til 5 pm, although the instruction to passengers is "Reservations are Recommended, open from when you arrive on board". I went to reception to ask for help...was I doing something wrong? No help was given. We spent an entire afternoon on this task, and finally were placed at a table with another family. The facilities are terribly inadequate. The advertised facilities and services such as the flying fox and water slide are only open at unpredictable times depending on staff availability, so constant disappointments. The pool area is very small for the number of passengers and was always difficult to find a place to sit. You had to hover like a vulture waiting to swoop. The staff all looked very over-worked and had trouble keeping up with picking up dishes and rubbish left behind as people moved on, so the pool deck looked like a clutter of rubbish for much of the time. My family ended up passing the time in a bar playing Uno and card games for the entire three days. Remember, once you are on board you can't get off. Extremely unhappy prisoners of Pacific Dawn. We have cruised before with other companies and thoroughly enjoyed it, but never again with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was unfortunately the worst cruise I have ever taken and would never ever cruise with P&O again when there are so many other cruise lines out there that offer a far superior product at the same cruise fares. Service- This ... Read More
This was unfortunately the worst cruise I have ever taken and would never ever cruise with P&O again when there are so many other cruise lines out there that offer a far superior product at the same cruise fares. Service- This was the first cruise ever where getting on we were not greeted with a smile but in fact didn't even get a hello or welcome onboard they just snatched your card scanned it and gave it back then you found your own way. The staff all seemed overworked and were constantly forgetting things like cutlery with meals and would give you desert menus before clearing your mains. Most of the staff just did the bare minimum and this was the first cruise I've done where the happy staff were in the minority! Only get one cabin service a day now with no turndown, chocolates or towel animals. Dining- The Pantry - 2/10 has extremely limited selections which barely change with cheap/dodgy food and very little "fresh" options for example there is no fruit available here other than a pre diced melon mix which you had to request to be made! The meat served in the Pantry was awful just full of gristle and tasteless, was obviously the cheapest cuts. The Pantry is a P&O cut that they have dressed up as a positive in my opinion. Have to line up constantly and it definitely doesn't work with breakfast, plus no omelette or waffle stations... If you want "fish and chips" from hooks fish and chips at lunch you can't because they will only give you the fish then tell you can buy the chips to go with it from the grill.... so cheap. Waterfront- 4.5/10. The food here sounds great on the menu except it was often missing the ingredients that were meant to come with certain dishes e.g. Sauces or ice cream. The food was never as good as it sounded on the menu and whilst it was edible it was for the most part pretty unremarkable other than the Japanese pork belly which was great. P&O even had the audacity to try and charge you for burgers,fries and pizza... they are that stingy to put it in perspective. Entertainment- 2/10 Went to their production show on the first night and a school production would be more entertaining and skilled than that, was so cringeworthy and amateur with some awful vocals that made karaoke sound good! The comedians that were on board as it was a comedy cruise were the saving grace and were very entertaining! The ship- 3/10 It is a very old ship and is looking really tired,scratches and dings everywhere plus the pool deck is warped like crazy. Ship smelt like sewer in many places with lots of leaks, wet carpet and fans to dry everything, Unless you were paying extra for it on this cruise ship it was disappointing, Just do yourself a favour and cruise any other cruise line other than P&O... you will be grateful, they are all so much better no matter what other cruise line you choose. Cruises are amazing just P&O are cheating people out of the experience they should be getting from what they promise in their brochures. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
3 day Comedy Cruise out of Brisbane 25/3/17. It was delayed by half a day and we were not able to board till 7pm some were still getting on at 9:30pm. The Comedy was Excellent Steddy Eddy and Bob Down + some very funny Female Comedians. ... Read More
3 day Comedy Cruise out of Brisbane 25/3/17. It was delayed by half a day and we were not able to board till 7pm some were still getting on at 9:30pm. The Comedy was Excellent Steddy Eddy and Bob Down + some very funny Female Comedians. The food which is over half the pleasure of a Cruise was the worst we had ever had it was bland, very small amounts and tasteless for every meal, except Breakfast. All past Cruises with P&O have been fantastic. We have done lots of Cruises and we we're so disappointed by the food we were given We will NOT go on the Dawn again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Pacific Jewel 3 nights departing Sydney 17th March - worst trip I've ever endured I couldn't wait to get off. The reviewer below is spot on about everything. Ship took off half day later and was rocky as anything anyway! Was ... Read More
Pacific Jewel 3 nights departing Sydney 17th March - worst trip I've ever endured I couldn't wait to get off. The reviewer below is spot on about everything. Ship took off half day later and was rocky as anything anyway! Was seasick for two nights vomitting. Half the passengers were also sick which we gathered when all the vomit bags were out. Service was atrocious and almost laughable. Reception and room attendants responded to requests after calling a third time in a span of 2-2.5hours! We ordered two cans of soft drinks to our cabin and the waiter insisted on coming in to serve us the cans. Meanwhile my friend is on her bed in her bikini - so intrusive!! And to make it worse he was awkwardly waiting/expecting a tip. When this didn't happen he stormed out and left the door wide open. Waiters in the waterfront restaurant were snappy and rude. Particularly when we didn't order alcoholic drinks -the waiter would scoff and roll his eyes. We travelled with 4 other friends and they all experienced similar or worse! Food at the pantry was not edible and I was constantly sick and hungry. Hallways and staircase smelled old and dusty and a little urineish. They took/debited $1 without my knowledge or permission from my credit card claiming it was a "donation" to a charity. A charity I use to work for and not a genuine charity organisation!! Turns out they did this to 1950 other passengers where they racked up nearly $2000 of extra cash. I asked for an explanation and they kept repeating "sorry ma'am is automatic. It's for a C-H-A-R-I-T-Y!". Nice try. I got my refund which was a fight. It's not the $1, it's the principle!! What a shame p&o. You had to pay extra for nearly everything - little value for money. Couldn't compare to fellow cruiselines such as Carnival of Royal carribean!! Never again P&O! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Thought I would try a short cruise, to try before we went on a longer one to Fiji. I'm so glad we did. The food was awful and the staff seemed unhappy and disinterested. The pool bar staff were down right rude. Everyone we spoke to ... Read More
Thought I would try a short cruise, to try before we went on a longer one to Fiji. I'm so glad we did. The food was awful and the staff seemed unhappy and disinterested. The pool bar staff were down right rude. Everyone we spoke to was having the same experience. My husband described it as a bad Leagues club on water. The ship was so run down, even thou they modernized the buffet to the now " Pantry ", all it did was to make the rest of the ship look even older. They boasted about having more venues, the problem here was that they were very small and almost impossible to get a seat to participate in the activities. We mostly wandered around aimlessly trying to find something to do. The whole cruise was boring, boring, boring. If your not a big drinker or have a lot of money to eat at the Salt Grill, don't bother. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Landmark birthday for me so my wife and I decided to do a cruise on The Pacific Aria from Brisbane to Noumea, Mare and Port Villa and back to Brisbane. On the second day the captain informed us that one of the generators on the ship was ... Read More
Landmark birthday for me so my wife and I decided to do a cruise on The Pacific Aria from Brisbane to Noumea, Mare and Port Villa and back to Brisbane. On the second day the captain informed us that one of the generators on the ship was faulty. This would reduce the speed of the ship therefore we would arrive late in both Noumea and Mare so all tours at both ports had been cancelled. We had booked tours at both places so naturally we were very disappointed. We would however arrive at Port Villa on time and as it was my birthday that day we looked forward to the tour we had booked. The evning before we arrived in Port Villa we got a note under our door saying that our tour was cancelled due to "Operational Problems". 3 Ports and 3 tours cancelled.The ship arrived back in Brisbane 5 hours after the scheduled time, needless to say many passengers missed their conncting flights. One morning at around 01h30am we were woken by a terrible noise outside our cabin, I found a staff member vacuuing the carpets, needless to say he was asked to vacuum at a more appropriate time. 3 or 4 times day, often in the middle of the night there were terrible noises like the moving of chairs and tables above our cabin. I went upstairs on 2 occasions to investigate but could not find the cause of the noise. I asked the staff about the noise but noone was able to tell us the cause. Thi noise woke us up on at least 3 occasions. The basket ball court was above the main restaurant with constant noise of the ball banging on the ceiling throughout breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner. The main swimming pool was drained of water for the last 2 days at sea due to " Health & Safety Issues". We found th staff either very efficient and friendly (As our cabin staff were) or totally rude and disinterested in their job (Bar staff at the main pool for example). After the cruise when I complained about our experience we were offered a $150.00 discount each on our next cruise, needless to say there will not be a next one with P&O. I was also told that there were additional charges pending that were not on my final bill, I have tried for almost a week to get details of what thse charges are to no avail. The food was excellent and the entertainment was good but besides that a totally unenjoyable crise and we will never sail with P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Just wanted a short break with friends.First morning we sat down to eat at the Pantry and were next to 5 Asian ladies whom we noticed 2 of them vomiting into plastic bags. Were mortified and left straight away. Didn't seem to be ... Read More
Just wanted a short break with friends.First morning we sat down to eat at the Pantry and were next to 5 Asian ladies whom we noticed 2 of them vomiting into plastic bags. Were mortified and left straight away. Didn't seem to be anyone in charge to speak to. Definitely not enough people to clean tables after eating.Supposed to go to Kangaroo Island which didn't happen so very disappointed with that.Bathrooms in the balcony rooms not up to standard although our steward very nice.The Japanese restaurant was the highlight of the trip as was the comedian. My friends husband 1st to get sick and down to hospital.Next morning getting off lots of people saying needed to get home as were feeling sick. I got sick when got home, then my friend and then my husband. Needed the doctor and lasted 4 days with me and almost into hospital. We knew of another 4 people on the cruise that got sick as well as they lived near us.Have travelled on Princess cruises without a hitch but will never set on a P&O liner again. Was terribly disappointed and a total waste of money. This liner needs to be docked and cleaned properly before it gets worse. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
When Boarding I was told I had to go to another cabin instead of the one I booked 3 months before told I was upgraded well it turned out to be downgraded. I was placed at the front of ship which caused sea sickness, now I know what it ... Read More
When Boarding I was told I had to go to another cabin instead of the one I booked 3 months before told I was upgraded well it turned out to be downgraded. I was placed at the front of ship which caused sea sickness, now I know what it feals like, I was so sick after 2 days I complained to reception to change my cabin to mid ship as this is what I booked and wanted. All they ofered me was tablets which cost me $18 and made me so drousy and caused muscle cramps, the sea sickness was better. I could not take any more tablets so most of my trip was in bed.The people that were in the cabin I booked had only booked it short time before cruise. I asked P&O for some small refund, but they told me its there policy to change your cabin at last minute. The food at the pantry was worse than a food court I struggled to eat it and they throw food in your plate like your in a prison. Deserts were placed in hot plates. Sometims I ate my meal standing up as there were no seats. The fine dining at Waterfront was a little better, but still most things I couldnt eat had to order other foods. When I went on Princess cruise 3 years ago I ate everything and was not sick. Never again with P&O Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I chose to cruise with p&o for our honeymoon because I had travelled with them on the same boat 3 years earlier and it was great! Unfortunately within those 3 years everything had changed. The boat was so old and dirty, the buffet ... Read More
I chose to cruise with p&o for our honeymoon because I had travelled with them on the same boat 3 years earlier and it was great! Unfortunately within those 3 years everything had changed. The boat was so old and dirty, the buffet was just gross. Same crap every night, all tasted the same. The restaurant was mildly better than the buffet but still pretty awful. Cocktails were very expensive and tasted like just soft drink. The amount of alcohol you get would be 1/4 of the size of a standard shot but you sure . . as hell pay for it. The shops on board are so expensive. The stewards that cleaned our room were pissed off and not very helpful. Hardly any entertainment. The occasional karaoke and that’s it. Most bars were constantly empty, not a great atmosphere. Wifi we paid for didn’t work well at all because to many people were on it. The nicest part of the entire cruise was getting off on the islands and it was a shame we had to get back on the boat. I couldn’t wait to get home. Pretty bad when I cried (not joking) seeing aus again I wanted to get off so bad. We docked at midnight and if I could I would have gotten off immediately. We Had mix ups with the booking (p&o’s fault) took me hours on hold, and multiple calls to fix. Someone would say they fixed it but they hadn’t. Feel so bad convincing my husband to do a cruise for our honeymoon. Now saving up for a proper enjoyable honeymoon. My husband and I are very easygoing people and by no means complainers. But Its incredibly hard to find anything nice to say about our cruise. P&o were awful from start to finish in our experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I have seen many negative reviews so what are P&O doing about these? It was a last minute request from my partner to spend time together and since we had a fantastic experience on the Pacific Jewel 3 years ago she suggested that we ... Read More
I have seen many negative reviews so what are P&O doing about these? It was a last minute request from my partner to spend time together and since we had a fantastic experience on the Pacific Jewel 3 years ago she suggested that we repeat the experience. The Eden was the only ship for the time that my partner could get leave to travel to Aus to meet and go cruising. Entertainment on board was good with a couple of comedians and the staff performance. The staff were excellent. The captains voice was confident and evident though we did not see him. We did not need to but on all the other cruises this was the case. I think he was helping the executive chef find the elusive spices and herbs. This brings me to the food. On the Jewel we did not have a bad meal on 13 night cruises. I have been on 8 cruises including Fairstar the fun ship and I dare say the decor then reminded me of the Eden now. A bit harsh perhaps but this is no garden of Eden. Torn curtains in the cabin which needed to be laundered at the very least though I fear they may have disintegrated in the process. But back to the food because I kept going back on the ship in case there had been an epiphany but alas this was not to be. I completed a survey which had been placed on the table one evening which elicited a response from the crew. Could I please explain my concerns to the executive chef? Of course it would be my pleasure. Chef will come to our table. Good I will attempt the desert. Chef will meet you at the exit after dinner. Good it will give me a chance to finish this delicacy without interruption. Sarcasm is from my mothers side of the family. I waited at the exit and informed the staff. We will get chef. Approximately 10 minutes later chef was still missing along with the spices and herbs. I do hope they find them safe and well. Sous chef appeared and was more interested in offering me a meal in Salt Grill by Luke Mangan. Since we could not get a booking at Angelos and only an 8:15 at Dragon Lady on the final night was arranged, this would be great. Wine and sparkling mineral was on me and they even charged me for the water though I had a refreshment package. Another less than desirable purchase. I will expect a refund for the water. An explaination provided was that the kitchen on Eden is smaller than Jewel. I have eaten better quality and tasted more exciting food cooked on a 1 burner stove on a sidewalk. Another reason was the menu had changed. Yes it had and it was not a change for the better. All these experiences were in the Waterfront. In the Pantry they made a lovely roast and Yorkshire pudding. I am not English so I found it novel and enjoyable. They have curry. Thank goodness. That will have flavour. Three different curries all with the same flavour. If bland is a flavour. 40 Minutes before breakfast ends they are not frying eggs. Oh well yesterday it was the bacon so why not the eggs turn today? Chipped crockery in the Dragon Lady was surprising, not really, since this is a smaller dining room. Two pieces so it may have been the look that they were working towards. Shabby. Not chic. All meals we were told are prepared in the same kitchen? Salt Grill was excellent but why do I need to pay $39 per person when with a little more effort they could serve the same in the Waterfront. Silly me then I would not go to Salt Grill. Angelos and Dragon Lady cannot cater for all guests and since there is no surcharge why could all guests not be able to chose from that menu while sitting in the Waterfront? All the food comes from the same kitchen and I can only assume are being prepared by the same staff. Meals in the Waterfront seem to have been waiting for a victim for hours under the harsh Australian sun. The sauce had dried at the edges and the fish was dried throughout. I looked at my shoes longingly but thought I would look a fool walking out of dinner wearing one small fish on one foot having eaten a perfectly good shoe. The ship is old and tired. I have seen ramblings somewhere that it had been refitted recently. I hope they artanged a discount because they should have or did they just tart up the public areas and hope that the lights did not work in the cabins and you would not notice. Our cabin came with a sauna. Bet you did not see that advertised. We did not ask for one and we had no choice in the matter. We had one and that was the end of it. If you had a shower then stepped into the cabin there was little difference in the temperature. There is zero ventilation in the bathroom and the little airconditioning that could, would not. So we stepped from the shower into the sauna which used to be the cabin. The best thing to do would be to go to dinner while the room cooled down. Perhaps they will have something exciting on the menu. They should by now. If the dinner is not exciting I might fall asleep because I keep getting woken by the loud clanging of metal on metal whenever we crest a swell or bottom out in the trough. Could be a loose anchor. Or the spice rack. Reminder not to get a cabin up the bow in future. It wasn't a problem the last time. Perhaps they are extending the kitchen out the front but they could chose a better hour to do the work. They do need a bigger kitchen. But Luke can cope in the current one just fine. I am very easy to please. In the last 30 years the palate of the average Australian has matured because of our diverse culture. To claim that food is bland to cater for this palate is an insult. Yes there will be some who cannot and do not enjoy food with a little more flavour but why P&O do you think that we should all be offered the same? It seems that the Pacific cruising grounds are in demand and this demand is now being met with the introduction of older ships like the Eden. Why then could they not be to the same standard or has the standard on the Jewel dropped to this level as well. The Jewel is an older ship I am aware but there is a difference in quality. Even the crew admit this. But sir this is a smaller boat. Size does not dictate quality. We have 4 banks and now it looks like our options for cruising are diminishing as well. Since Carnival is the parent company are they aiming at different market segments for their different cruise lines? I guess it will be land based holidays or a trip overseas to try one of the other cruise lines because I will not endure another Eden. Not unless I want my teeth whitened, or a series of Botox injections. They can keep their refreshment package as well. They kept adding charges to my bill for refreshments despite me showing them the refreshment sticker on my pass. I would then have to line up at reception to have the charges deleted. But only after explaining why I thought I should not be charged twice for the drink I consumed. 'Sooooo....what do you want me to do about it?' I suggested deleting it as had been done the previous night. 'Oh...ok...but I don't have the authority'. Why not link this information regarding the package that customers have purchased and have the POS system take care of it? Final Suggestion P&O, a trip following the spice route. We can use those other ships. But don't expect me. I think I am busy that day. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
The ship is old and dirty, the crew are underpaid and unhappy, the food is bland and tasteless. The duty free - Well .....I bought a number of perfumes only to find them cheaper here in Australia. I bought a watch only to find ... Read More
The ship is old and dirty, the crew are underpaid and unhappy, the food is bland and tasteless. The duty free - Well .....I bought a number of perfumes only to find them cheaper here in Australia. I bought a watch only to find it $100 cheaper here in Australia...duty free ? Liars. Never again is all I can say. There was no dress code people were wandering about in shorts and singlets all night and the children were let run wild ..........NEVER AGAIN. I sailed with them 8 years ago and it was a different story, it's gone downhill dramatically. I won't ever risk a P&O cruise again.....nice staff but obviously underpaid and not too happy. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
As a regular cruiser this was my first cruise on the Aria and I was so very disappointed in the overall experience. The food was inedible even when I ordered the steak at a cost to myself I had to leave it as it was so tough. The menu ... Read More
As a regular cruiser this was my first cruise on the Aria and I was so very disappointed in the overall experience. The food was inedible even when I ordered the steak at a cost to myself I had to leave it as it was so tough. The menu selection at The Waterfront was poor and what you did get was horrible, watery soup, over cooked fish, Creme brûlée with lumpy custard and no crunch on top etc. No tablecloths on the tables and as I was travelling with my son we asked to share and was put onto a table by ourselves, service was bad not up to the usual smiles and polite conversation. The cabin was dated and didn't have a fridge which is a let down as sometimes you need a nice cold drink in your cabin. There was not enough water available throughout the ship, only during dining times. Overall the ship was dreary and boring. I am definitely sticking to other cruise lines from now on. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I choose this cruise for my sister's 50th birthday and New Year's Eve. As soon as we got on the ship we felt it was not as welcoming as cruises we have been on with Princess Cruises. I sailed with P&O in 2006 & ... Read More
I choose this cruise for my sister's 50th birthday and New Year's Eve. As soon as we got on the ship we felt it was not as welcoming as cruises we have been on with Princess Cruises. I sailed with P&O in 2006 & 2010 and we enjoyed ourselves immensely and I find it incredible that the standard has dropped so much. The cabin was okay but I had to complain about the poor air conditioning in 3 of the rooms as we had a group of nine to celebrate the birthday. That was sorted but on deck 8 where all of the entertainment occurred on quite a few occasions it was unbearably hot. I complained and was told that it was warm due to the large crowd in the blue room and the heat from the casino was probably drifting into the area making it warmer as well. It was cool at reception on deck 7. What a joke!!! I went to bed. The speciality restaurants were also warm and uncomfortable. Some waiters snatched my cruise card from me when I ordered drinks/coffee and on occasions snatched the menu from me. This is one of the first cruises where I had to move out of the waiters way rather than the waiter making room for the passenger. Having to book dining sittings is ridiculous. P&O call it anytime dining!! It could not be further from the truth. They also charge extra for delivering food to the cabin, ice creams that melted as it was so hot on Deck 11 and on and on it goes. I felt like I was constantly being gouged for extra money all of the time. As if the $6,400 I paid was not enough. The entertainment was below average and there was not much to do on sea days. The cruise director has to be the worst I have ever experienced and I have done 7 cruises. There wasn't even a tv guide so you would no what was on TV when I had to get away from it all. The food was average to below average and the menu presentation leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe P&O staff on the cruise should sail with Princess Cruises and learn how to provide a great experience for passengers Some of the photographers were in a hurry and took terrible pictures. When we got off the ship in ports or on tenders the photographers were back on the ship after 3 hours of taking pictures. I missed a couple of photo opportunities because of this??? Why??? Shore excursions are too expensive so we made our own arrangements in port and got better value for money. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth. The only good thing were the cabin Stewards who seemed to be a little more polite than the rest. I will never sail with P&O again I was so disappointed. This is the first cruise where I could not wait to get of the ship I am looking forward to going back to Princess Cruises and the Golden Princess in December 2017 Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Very disappointing. The ship was tired, We were led to believe that it had been totally refurbished. You had to pay for room serice. There was no service for tea and coffee in the pantry. We had a nice cabin with a window, but no ... Read More
Very disappointing. The ship was tired, We were led to believe that it had been totally refurbished. You had to pay for room serice. There was no service for tea and coffee in the pantry. We had a nice cabin with a window, but no fridge. Our cabin steward was very good, but the service in the dining room was of low standard, The waiters leaned over the table to serve you. No tablecloths on tables in the Waterfront restaurnt and water bottles looked like milk bottles. The food was terrible, I had fish twice and it was so overcooked it tasted like cardboard. We tried Angelos and The Dragon Lady but did not like the food there eiher. The Pantry is a good idea because you do not serve yourself and it is much more hygenic, but there were not enough tables, a lot of high stools with no backs. I will definitely not sail on the Aria again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this Christmas cruise so that our family of 9 could have a relaxing time together over Christmas. My son paid more than $8500 for him, his wife and 3 teenage boys - we could have ( and should have ) all stayed in a high class ... Read More
We chose this Christmas cruise so that our family of 9 could have a relaxing time together over Christmas. My son paid more than $8500 for him, his wife and 3 teenage boys - we could have ( and should have ) all stayed in a high class resort for less than that amount and enjoyed ourselves a whole lot more!!!! You had to book in to every restaurant that you wanted for dinner and for 7 of those 10 nights on board we were not able to sit together as a family for meals even though there were empty tables around and they would not move them together The food was NEVER hot - just warm and as for the Pantry - you had to line up for the lousy food they dished up and then try and find a table to sit at. The tours and activities were soooo overpriced it was a joke - how can families afford the prices they charge???? l love Bingo but even that was outrageous at $30 a pack (5 games ) twice a day ! But the best was yet to come - on Xmas eve morning at 6am my daughter in law lined up ( 2 hours before opening time ) so that we could book a large table so we could all be together for Xmas night dinner at 7.45pm - we finally got to the table at 8.20pm - had the usual nearly cold dinner - no decorations whatsoever on any table regarding anything Xmassy and most people were dressed in Gatsby clothes as there was a party on after dinner - couldn't the ship had that on another night and kept Xmas day a bit more sacred !!!!!!! P&O l will never go on one of your cruises again and will tell everyone who asks me about the cruise not to bother either - you have done yourselves a disservice by charging so much and giving so little, you are a money hungry organisation and your ship is just organised chaos !!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise as it fitted in with our dates available. Once we arrived on board, we knew immediately we had made a bad choice but kept trying to think positive. The food was most days inedible. It was cheap meat covered with ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it fitted in with our dates available. Once we arrived on board, we knew immediately we had made a bad choice but kept trying to think positive. The food was most days inedible. It was cheap meat covered with many sauces to disguise it. The sweets were not appealing, the menu rarely changed. The restaurants food and service were appalling. Christmas Day we were lined up like cattle with the boat rocking very badly. Many older passengers were struggling to stay upright. The food had not much resemblance to a typical xmas dinner. Stingy decorations, no entertainment, no activities or variety, no music on decks by the pool, no bar service, constant queues and lines to make bookings into the restaurants to find they were full. Guests treated rudely throughout every corner of the ship. When boarding the tenders, the elderly were left to get on themselves, most of which struggled and some falling in front of us. It was up to the passengers to help them on as the P & O staff just stood back. Just upsetting and appalling, it was like the walking dead. Nothing to do but go to the pool, try to eat the slop given and go to bed to do it all again the next day. The night shows were average 30 - 40 mins max. Just a cheap disgusting cruise with many unhappy passengers who couldn't wait to get off! You should be embarrassed P&O! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We went on the cruise To have a quick break, very disappointed in the ship. needs a makeover its so old the atmosphere of the decks. Cruised on the Aria early in the year and has a lot more to offer. There is rust showing up all over the ... Read More
We went on the cruise To have a quick break, very disappointed in the ship. needs a makeover its so old the atmosphere of the decks. Cruised on the Aria early in the year and has a lot more to offer. There is rust showing up all over the ship. when sitting at the rear of the ship you can be pelted with soot from the stacks which my wife found on her shorts after sitting on a deck chair. Most of the crew were fantastic.. Our problem we live in QLD spending most of our time in shorts. I wore dress shorts to a restaurant and was ejected for this but women were allowed to wear shorts. What happened to equal rights...The dawn is being refurbished in feb 2017 so we will see how it turns out. When going on these cruises you will find it hard to get a deck chair around a pool or on deck,, P&O fill the ships up to max and does make it hard to find your own space. We love cruising at the expense of relaxing and having your own time..The continues of pastas and rice with stews are dominant in the food supply and needs more variety. . Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
My wife and I have just recently returned from a 11 night cruise on the aria of the south pacific islands, We have cruised before but will not cruise on the aria again.The good parts of the cruise were the beds very comfy,the shows of a ... Read More
My wife and I have just recently returned from a 11 night cruise on the aria of the south pacific islands, We have cruised before but will not cruise on the aria again.The good parts of the cruise were the beds very comfy,the shows of a night were great the workers on board very polite and do anything for you and the coffee and beer were good. now for the bad. The cabins were small just get my mobility walker through the door, then horror set in when I opened the bathroom door a shower over a high bath, I could not believe it as I had looked up the cabin on out travel agents internet brochure and it said shower only, some people can not get over the bath, I know one woman that had to go to the gym for a shower. Then we went for lunch in the pantry it was only clean for a day the rest of the time you struggled to get seating and sometimes the seating you got was as if you were eating off the floor in a chinese restaurant, as for some of the younger passengers they were out right rude and had no respect for other people. most people took the lifts that's is their right but the lifts were to small and some times you would have to wait a couple of lifts to be able to fit in. It all seems like penny pinching every thing on the cheap, the carpets are a trip hazard I could go on and on , so what I want to say if you are looking to go cruising STAY AWAY FROM THE ARIA Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The time and was the main reason. the cost was low, but i was under the impression it was , reduced due to low booking rate. well, the basic eating area was like a food court, pigs to a trough. the supposed up market dining room looked ... Read More
The time and was the main reason. the cost was low, but i was under the impression it was , reduced due to low booking rate. well, the basic eating area was like a food court, pigs to a trough. the supposed up market dining room looked elegant and appealing. Food was not much better and took forever to arrive..people dressed up and but honestly it was like fake and more like fancy dress. for extra cost you could eat in the restaurant, food was actually very good .for a south pacific cruise there was NO FRESH SEAFOOD, dont expect even a prawn. ok the sea was not rough BUT the water in the pool sloshed everywhere so it was drained and NO POOL. pool deck was where smokers congregated en masse and was totally unbearable.we were near the stern and often went there but not enough deck chairs and often too hot. tender process for shore tours was ridiculous. cabin was actually better than i expected and staff magicially cleaned and tidied up without any fuss. the activities were for pensioners, bingo, name that tune honestly. shows were reasonable but few and far between. best thing were the jazz band. we went every night, even though we hate jazz. they were the only professionals on the entire boat. Ah drinks, watered down cheap spirits. we mainly stayed in the cabin or at the bar/reading area at front ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
A lot of people may jump down my throat with this review and may assume I am a high-maintenance traveller born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I'll preface this review by stating three things: 1. I have cruised P&O (Jewel) ... Read More
A lot of people may jump down my throat with this review and may assume I am a high-maintenance traveller born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I'll preface this review by stating three things: 1. I have cruised P&O (Jewel) before and had the time of my life; staff, cabin and food were excellent and I thought the cruises such grat value for money. 2. I'm a well-travelled person, having visited over 40 countries, have spent years in numerous forms of transport and accommodation (mainly budget, backpacker and lower-end), and have worked in the travel and tourism industry. 3. I'm a 30-something single who took this cruise with three likewise girlfriends for a relaxing week of cocktails, sun and fun with our only expectations to make the most of our drinks package. This could be a novel but instead I will list dot points: OVERALL Fellow passenger feedback confirmed with us that we were not the only ones on a 'National Lampoons' cruise from hell. Poor rooms, rude staff and terrible food were common themes echoed by many people we spoke to. One couple were on their fifteenth P&O cruise, fifth Pacific Dawn cruise, after having such a ball in previous years and reaffirmed ours was the worst cruise they had ever experienced and ended up leaving us halfway through as they were so disgusted. These people are not 'posh' 'silver spoon' clientele, they were a mix of middle income earners to lower income earners to even rural folk with no holiday or cruise experience. It led us all to find a phrase 'we got Dawned' everytime something bad happened. Which was how we kept our sanity and laughed where we could. THE ROOM - No air con in the cabin, therefore with no sleep happening we unfortunately spent our holiday overly tired, drained of energy and not relaxed as one should be on holiday. - We met numerous other passengers with no air con either and several with non-functioning toilets. One couple had their toilet overflow into their cabin. THE SPA My friend took advantage of the onboard advertised hairdresser special of foils, cut, style and treatment. The hairdresser caused second degree burns to my friend's scalp and ruined her hair. In three hours, she turned her blonde hair bright ginger with blue, then corrected it, then tried to neutralise it. My friend, in sobs of tears, left and I found her crying in our room. I took her back down and we spoke to the manager, who offered and OIL treatment for her burnt scalp. Basic first aid = never ever put oil on a burn. (Her scalp is now blistered and her hairdresser was able to partially rectify the colour damage). She got Dawned. THE FOOD - We dined at The Waterfront for the majority as we had done on the Jewel as we had thought what great quality it was. Not on the Dawn. Quality and service was markedly down. We had two fantastic staff we tried to book each night who went above and beyond. - Some smaller things we'd often laugh about but they did add up, for example raisons being used instead of blueberries in a blueberry dessert, an advertised prosciutto bagel arriving as a stale smoked salmon bagel, raison toast being plain white bread (as the raisons were assumedly used as blueberry substitutes), sour dough being the same stale white bread as the raison toast, rock hard bread rolls and general unfresh products across the board, sausage coming as a mashed up spam, chocolate creme brulee that had not an ounce of chocolate anywhere. Ordering beans and being told there were no beans, so ordering broccoli and beans coming out (!) Just a few examples! Got Dawned! - SALT: just divine food and great service however we were shocked that a fine dining restaurant would serve frozen oysters instead of fresh (the staff told us this). I would understand when fresh is not available and would therefore choose my dining times to coincide with ports when fresh oysters were availalble but would never, ever expected frozen. Not from fine dining. THE STAFF There were four staff onboard who we regularly interacted with who were just wonderful at their jobs. Sadly, compared to the Jewel, a lot seemed to just go through the morions, doing the bare minimum. They were friendly, but terrible at their jobs. We wondered if the Dawn might be a training ship? - One reception staff member, tasked with assiting us fix the broken air con in our room, was particularly rude and dismissive. They promised to set up a meeting with the manager however it was us as passengers who had to use our holiday time to continually visit reception to ask if this had been done (it took 4 days). He rang out room and abused my friend for something she knew nothing about. - My personal favourite was the reception staffer who phoned our room AFTER midnight asking if we would like a wake up call (lol). We got Dawned. - Bar staff's RSA was all over the place. Bar staff at one bar refused my friend a drink (it was her third) but served the 18 year old who skulled his drink in front of the bar and was obviously overly intoxicated. I can understand they are busy and make mistakes but again passengers talk and we found this was a common issue over the ship. - Another favourite: I orderd a gin and tonic and the waitress took my order, then two seconds later sitting right next to me my friend ordered a gin and soda and the waitresss said 'there is no gin'. More a funny than anything. She got Dawned. - Disembarkation staff: didn't check people's tickets getting off the ship and at one port, after we had left the ship on a shore excursion to Whitehaven Beach, a group of passengers altered the crew that they had been ushered onto the wrong boat. They didn't have ID stickers for the short cruise nor tickets so I am not sure how the P&O staff could have missed them. Due to this error we had to turn around to return them to their tender which unfortunately cut our tour shorter than it should have been. We got off the ship needing a holiday to recover from what should have been a holiday. I had had such great experiences on P&O previously so I was shocked a different ship could be so unbelievably polar opposite. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This cruise was marketed to us at a show last year as being a 'new' ship sailing to exotic locations, whilst the public areas were beautifully refurbished, the ship was old, we paid extra for a balcony but the furniture outside ... Read More
This cruise was marketed to us at a show last year as being a 'new' ship sailing to exotic locations, whilst the public areas were beautifully refurbished, the ship was old, we paid extra for a balcony but the furniture outside was one chair, a tiny rusty table and a really big deckchair whose foam cushions got wet each night , so it was damp to sit on in the morning. We never saw the Captain or any of the Officers for the whole of the trip and the Entertainment Director did not turn up at the end of the shows we saw in the theatre to close the show. The Pantry was awful, you could not find a seat as it was so busy and when you did it was like sitting in a gas station service area, very cramped, we ended up finding a table first so we could sit together and took it in turns to get our food so never ate together. The waterfront was pretty average so we booked the speciality restaurants and pad for Salt Grill (twice) and ate at the Chefs table once so burnt out our $400 on board credit we were given for booking early! The food in these restaurants were fabulous and generous as was the service, but you had to pay for it. We had to tender at 3 of the 5 islands, this required you to get a ticket at 8 am and wait for your number to be called, this could mean a wait of up to 2 hours before disembarking and starting your day, the weather was fine, it was the tying up the tenders that seemed to take so long, the staff did not seem to be too confident on managing it. On the plus side the weather was fabulous and Rabaul, and Alotaou were very interesting the other islands were just beach stops. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Brisbane - Airlie Beach - Yorkeys Knob - Port Douglas - Brisbane Pacific Dawn is due for a refit in early 2017 and really needs a massive overhaul sooner rather than later - a cosmetic refit is only glossing over. Embarkation in ... Read More
Brisbane - Airlie Beach - Yorkeys Knob - Port Douglas - Brisbane Pacific Dawn is due for a refit in early 2017 and really needs a massive overhaul sooner rather than later - a cosmetic refit is only glossing over. Embarkation in Brisbane was pretty smooth for the amount of passengers to be boarded - fairly long walk for less mobile passengers though who may not have known just how long it was - did notice a few older folk struggling. Outside cabin on Deck 10 was adequately sized but like the rest of the ship was tired and borderline clean - this is no reflection on the cabin stewards who do a tremendous job just that with the amount of people going on and off the ship and with the limited time turn around, cabins are only given a cursory clean - the carpet in our cabin and throughout the whole ship was grubby (definitely make sure you wear shoes/scuffs) and the bed linen/towels were more a discoloured cream not white - wasn't game to check the mattress ... bathroom had stains and mould in shower and an ancient shower curtain. There are 2 restaurants onboard - Plantation Buffet, if you fancy eating lukewarm food served by unsmiling staff in a cafeteria line up style then this is the place for you! This also attracted lots of people who seem to think that it is quite ok to pick food up in their bare hands and examine it and then put it back on the serving platter! Waterfront Restaurant is much better - set menu with choice of 4 entrees, 4 mains and 4 desserts and lots of happy staff - service is a bit rushed with all 3 courses served and finished within 45 minutes but nice surroundings and at least the food (whilst small servings) is palatable and hot. If you are planning on going on Pacific Dawn for entertainment - think again - only movies are shown on the open air top pool deck so if you can manage to see the screen in the sun and hear amongst the clatter of the beer cans you are doing well ... Most of the "daily entertainment" listed in the Pacific Dawn daily newspapers consists either of do it yourself stuff like Passenger Trivia and Karaoke or you can pay dearly to play Bingo or attend "seminars" on such riveting subjects as Teeth Whitening, Acupuncture, How to look years younger or Cellulite Reduction conducted by some poor P & O Staff Member from the Phillipines or Ukraine who had trouble understanding what they were given to read ... Unbelievable !!! The Entertainment Director was an absolute jerk who thought entertainment was making a fool of himself and passengers in stupid skits. Service by the staff was a bit hit and miss - most passengers seemed to agree that the Cabin Stewards are wonderful and are worked to the max by P & O (for very low wages I am sure) - Waterfront Restaurant staff were excellent - some bar staff were great and others were quite surly. We had the drinks package - $89 each per day - unlimited beer, glasses of wine, spirits, cocktails and soft drinks - no complaints there except for the soft drinks of all things ! could only find 1 bar on the whole ship who served Coca Cola - every other bar said only Pepsi available and with the soft drinks the cans are not refrigerated - are set up on the bar top and they give you a glass of ice and pour from an opened can into the glass - hence a flat, warm soft drink .... Shore tours are overpriced - P & O really put their margin on top but as you are a captive audience in so much as there is limited time to get on and off ship there is not much you can really do about it. Airlie Beach, Yorkeys Knob and Cairns are all tender ports so that takes up a fair bit of time transferring so many people to shore. Had been warned by friends that P & O Cruises were 2 star and the cruise certainly lived up to that rating. I know you get what you pay for but if you are looking for 7 days holiday with the great Australian unwashed then this is the cruise line for you. There are dress regulations but they are not enforced - every night in the Waterfront Restaurant there would be Aussies dining in their "going out thongs" - as for the rest of the ship, quite common to see adults roaming round the inside of the ships bars/buffet/cafe in bare feet !! I know it's holiday mode but bare feet should be kept to the pool area for hygiene reasons alone. There was an outbreak of Norovirus starting the first day at sea which did not surprise me with the amount of people onboard and judging by the less than clean personal habits of some passengers .... Once again, some passengers have no sense of basic good manners - quite common to go into a bar area and see people (young & old) with their feet up on the lounges - gross. If you are looking for a clean relaxing holiday, do yourself a favour and stay home and go to the local RSL every day for entertainment and breakfast/lunch & dinner - much better value ! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
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