1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises Australia
  4. P&O Cruises Australia Cruise Reviews

1,391 P&O Australia Cruise Reviews

In one of the the three restaurants. The Menu offered Beef Cheeks. What was served was Ox tongue. Lots of gravy didn't conceal the fact the it wasn't Beef Cheeks. Didn't send it back as we had other commitments ... Read More
In one of the the three restaurants. The Menu offered Beef Cheeks. What was served was Ox tongue. Lots of gravy didn't conceal the fact the it wasn't Beef Cheeks. Didn't send it back as we had other commitments and the Serving Staff were very busy. Perhaps too busy! At the Pantry. The Menu was offering a Pork and Peppers Roll for lunch. What was handed out was a ham and salad roll. Questioning didn't do any good. At the Restaurants. One person only looking after the orders of many waiters at the main despatching point for the Restaurants.. Result. Long delays for drinks. The persons serving have no idea of the need to serve beer and wine that has been chilled properly and not put in the fridge just before dinner. Getting a glass for beer is another issue that leads to even longer delays. The waiting time meant that the food was served and going cold before the drinks came. (Talking about 15 to 20 minutes) Even complaining to the Supervisor did not resolve the issue as insufficient staff at the serving point. Serving of wine and water at the table. Training needs to happen so that staff do not 'slop' the wine and water over the sides of the glasses and the table. Being dressed up to enjoy the evening is a pleasing aspect of dining but having wine and water dripping onto clothes is a real issue. The "Smokers" are a real problem outside the Dome. The wind blows the stale smoke into the 'smoke free' space as the automatic doors just keep opening when anyone is near the Lifts. The Lifts are mostly 'Under Maintenance' so waiting ends up the 'norm' with unacceptable time frames. Very annoying when needing to move handicapped and elderly to other decks. These are the reasons for rating Dining as "Poor". Toilets are an issue near the Swimming Pool as they are often have wet floors and poorly maintained with simple items like paper. There is an issue with the toilets in most of the public areas. The 'Kids Club" was excellent. The Adventure Program was great. The Gym was fine. The engagement with the various staff running the entertainment was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I have not cruised with P&O Australia in 3 years and last sailed with Pacific Dawn. When the opportunity to sail onboard the Pacific Aria presented itself my dad and I could not resist. This review will be a little lengthy but to ... Read More
I have not cruised with P&O Australia in 3 years and last sailed with Pacific Dawn. When the opportunity to sail onboard the Pacific Aria presented itself my dad and I could not resist. This review will be a little lengthy but to summarise our expectations were well and truely exceeded. Embarkation- We had been assigned 12:00pm boarding time as our cabin was only allocated close to the sail date. We arrived at the port at approximately 11:00am and dropped our bags off. A staff member told people that they were only allowing people with 11:00am boarding in and others to come back again in an hour. We took the opportunity to go around and get some photos of the ship before boarding. Once we realised that they were letting people board we went right back to the terminal. Check-in was fast and efficient and done in around 15 minutes maximum. It was all brilliantly organised. We waited maybe 20 minutes for our group to be called and then headed onboard the ship. We already had a plan and went straight to "The Bar" located deck 8 aft to book in some of our dinner reservations. On embarkation day you are allowed to book any 3 nights, and then return the following day to book the rest. Overall we never had a problem with booking in to the restaurants and always got the times and dates we wanted. The Waterfront- We ate breakfast here everyday except disembarkation day and found the meals to be great and overall a great way to start your day. We also opted to have lunch here almost everyday that it was open and thoroughly enjoyed it. The few dinners we had here were also amazing. We were unable to fault the food or the service. Angelos- We dined here twice for dinner, once with menu A and once later in the cruise with menu B. This was a great place to go for dinner however we felt that menu A was the better. Dragon Lady- The absolute highlight of the cruise when it comes to food. We were absolutely blown away with the fact that we were on a P&O ship and not in a proper restaurant. The food was impeccable and always pleasing. We dined here twice, once with menu A and again on the final night with menu B. We had such a hard time deciding what to order as simple we could have eaten any of the dishes they all sounded amazing. Everything about this restaurant was a 10/10. The Pantry- We only dined here a few times and found it to be ok, you were able to find something to eat but it was not our favourite. Salt Grill & Chefs Table- We did not dine here and once we got onboard and tried the free food we were glad we didn't waste our money paying for food. The Ship- Absolutely stunning decor all around the ship. The staff work tirelessly to make sure it is looking its best and always feels welcoming. Despite the cruise being sold out and almost at capacity (official count of 1460/1500 passengers) it never felt crowded. Yes we had to wait for service at the bars at times but that was due to going at peak times (the Ocean Bar during trivia, or The Dome at start of service in the afternoon). Overall I would absolutely not hesitate to book another cruise on this ship and actually encourage people to book on this ship and experience it for themselves. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
See New Guinea. Particularly Rabaul and Volcanos, Milne Bay. Ship left 14hrs late, had been docked facing upriver and they couldn't turn it around. Cruised to Milne bay at 13-14 knots, three days at sea. Return trip 19-20 knots. Late ... Read More
See New Guinea. Particularly Rabaul and Volcanos, Milne Bay. Ship left 14hrs late, had been docked facing upriver and they couldn't turn it around. Cruised to Milne bay at 13-14 knots, three days at sea. Return trip 19-20 knots. Late departure used as excuse to cancel Rabaul. Docked at Milne bay, quite good and interesting .Kirinina very good beautiful people. Kitava didn't dock captain said seas were too rough, I think trying to make up lost time due to medical evacuation. Conflict islands, had to change your money for vouchers. Most things much more expensive than Kirinina. Eg 1 hour snorkeling booked on the ship $80. The ship was certainly showing its age, the cabins were adequate and the cabin staff excellent. Dining was good in the actual dining room but up in the pantry I would describe as like a feed lot. We did have a beautiful meal in salt and peppers but $60 pp extra. Entertainment was average, some routines a bit old.Any extra services ridiculously expensive. Meal service in the dining room was good but at the bar if you didn't stand in front of the staff you didn't get served. Order a soft drink, fill the glass with ice first then add the soft drink, wasn't refrigerated. All together probably my worst holiday experience. No more cruises for me. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Having cruised with P&O numerous times I was looking forward to cruising to PNG. Unfortunately this cruise was unsatisfactory & well below expectations. It was delayed 16 hours, there was no sail away party. The ship has been sold ... Read More
Having cruised with P&O numerous times I was looking forward to cruising to PNG. Unfortunately this cruise was unsatisfactory & well below expectations. It was delayed 16 hours, there was no sail away party. The ship has been sold and the new owners were on board with paint samples, carpet samples, tape measures wandering around measuring things. 2 ports were missed, the main one being Rabual. The captain took 3 days to sail to PNG but only 2 to get back to Brisbane. We could have easily made it to Rabual. Entertainment was lacking. Food quality hit & miss. A huge disappointment in many ways. At the end we were herded into buses for a half hour trip back to the terminal. Not one passenger received a feedback survey to fill in. I guess P&O only like to receive positive feedback and knew there would be none from this unsatisfactory cruise. Would I recommend P&0. NO. Prior to this cruise I would have said yes. The cruise J846 to PNG was so unsatisfactory that a petition was started. Close to 300 signatures. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see New Guinea. We were 14 hours late leaving Brisbane - our first night spent portside. Consequently we didn't get to Rabaul,the most important port on the cruise. The captain then decided ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see New Guinea. We were 14 hours late leaving Brisbane - our first night spent portside. Consequently we didn't get to Rabaul,the most important port on the cruise. The captain then decided it was too rough to put the tenders out for Kitiva- - 2 ports down! Two medical evacuations which of course are not the fault of P & O but did the captain have to close down 4 decks for 3 hours! Supposed to disembark at 7.30 a.m.and finally made it at 8.30. Had to dock at Fisherman's Wharf and bus it to Hamilton Port because once again the captain decided it was too windy. Was this his first cruise! It was our 23rd and by far the worst we have ever done. The crew did their best to keep everyone happy but 1800 passengers were *******off! It is now a week since we arrived back and we still have not received the questionnaire for our feedback. I don't think they are game to send them out. I would never recommend P& O to anybody. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Chosen to return to a country that I worked in the '80s. Positives: Crew, but not the Captain. Entertainment by the crew, and general positive attitude when future employment, following sale of ship in 2019, not always known. ... Read More
Chosen to return to a country that I worked in the '80s. Positives: Crew, but not the Captain. Entertainment by the crew, and general positive attitude when future employment, following sale of ship in 2019, not always known. Negatives: Tired ship despite refurbishment; changes to itinerary due to weather (T&Cs permit, but choice of excluded port not well received); standard of food not satisfactory; entertainment so so; the Captain (not seen, rarely heard expect for bad news, midday reports dropped off); travel insurance letters not issued to all passengers; the Captain; some rude and objectionable staff that did not consider disabilities an issue; balconies so small you can't open the door outwards and sit comfortably; the Captain; return to Brisbane at Fishermans Wharf (not Hamilton Wharf) due to wind that would've delayed the ship's departure for Port Moresby. In summary, the worst cruise I have experienced and that discounts the two medivacs and delayed departure (again due to wind). There was more but that's enough. PS: Sone concerns the spirits were watered down. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise as a family to visit Papua New Guinea where my father served in WW2 and my husband spent his childhood. We took our daughter and grandson to visit this town and experience our family history. When we couldn't ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a family to visit Papua New Guinea where my father served in WW2 and my husband spent his childhood. We took our daughter and grandson to visit this town and experience our family history. When we couldn't leave Brisbane on time and the Captain knew he could not make up the time to get to PNG on time, we should have been bused to Fisherman Island as other P&O cruise ships do regularly. Why was Rabaul the port cancelled? An officer on board told us that it had to be Alotau or Rabaul and most people wanted to see Alotau. I certainly wasn't asked and everyone we spoke to agree, they wanted to see Rabaul, so where did this consensus of opinion arise. We arrived in Alotau a day early because they were preparing for their festival the next day and locals were not expecting us. I can understand medical emergencies then delaying us twice more and missing a further port, despite us sitting within swimming distance of the island for half a day. Overall, a disastrous cruise, staff were rude in the duty free sales section, not upholding advertised specials. Entertainment below par, 1 or 2 acts of national standard but these performers were not seen again, all in-house performers (no doubt cheap). Food was the worst I have have ever experienced in years of cruising. Cost cutting by P&O has denigrated their cruise lines across all aspects and we will never travel with P&O Australia again. Please don't confuse this with British P&O, they are excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Paid for a cruise to Rabaul & Islands of New Guinea. 14 hours late leaving port at Brisbane, this immediately caused the Captain to cancel Rabaul (which was supposed to be the highlight of the trip). Another island was cancelled ... Read More
Paid for a cruise to Rabaul & Islands of New Guinea. 14 hours late leaving port at Brisbane, this immediately caused the Captain to cancel Rabaul (which was supposed to be the highlight of the trip). Another island was cancelled because he couldn't anchor the ship. Fridge not working in our room,& told no replacement on board. Return to port in Brisbane saw us docked at Fishermans wharf & then put on buses to get back to Hamilton Wharf. Food service upstairs in "The Pantry" was poor in places with the rest just passable. To get a bowl of breakfast cereal you have to line up 20 deep to wait your turn. It made better sense to try something else. Meals in the restaurant were warm at best when served, with the wait at times being nothing short of ridiculous. An afternoon tea did not even come with a dry biscuit as everything was packed away. (How un-Australian) Music in the Atrium was always too loud & any requests to turn it down were largely ignored. Many requests were put to cruise director that we were not all deaf. Air conditioning was at a level where the vast majority were wearing jackets to keep warm on decks 5-6-7. (in the tropics) Staff tried hard but not hard enough to convince me to ever use P & O again. You didn't deliver on what I paid for & I reckon some form of compensation is not out of the question. To cancel 2 ports with no redress was not acceptable. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Here is my feedback from my latest cruise (J846) I must say that all the crew were great,10 out of 10. The same with the Entertainment and Lightning up front. Well, I never did see Rabaul. But let’s start: As I boarded the ... Read More
Here is my feedback from my latest cruise (J846) I must say that all the crew were great,10 out of 10. The same with the Entertainment and Lightning up front. Well, I never did see Rabaul. But let’s start: As I boarded the ship I realised that I had joined a floating Old Age Home. (With all the things that go with it). As it got closer to our 4pm departure a broadcast was heard: Due to unforeseen circumstances there is a change of our departure time. The ship was to leave at 4pm Sunday but left at 6am Monday. My 1st day at sea was spent at the Brisbane dockside. -There goes the Sail Away Party On the way to the first port (Alotau) We heard another announcement: Due to unforeseen circumstances there is a helicopter emergency evacuation due to a sick passenger. All 4 decks are closed due to a full fire drill in case the helicopter crashes. No food from top deck .All passenger squashed down to the lower decks. Older passengers looking for non existing seats. Later on another announcement from the captain: Due to unforeseen circumstances Raboul port has been cancelled. Before arriving at Alotau I happened to look down to the reception area and found passengers waiting with suitcases etc. They left the ship and made their own arrangement to return to Australia. (Wonder why) Alotau was great 10/10 We are on the way to Kitava Once arrived lots of people wanted to get on to the island. Just by looking at it I found it was small with hardly any amenities so I stayed on board (that was lucky) Four tenders ferried the passengers to a rather long and narrow jetty. After about an hour a broadcast from the captain was heard: Due to unforeseen circumstances there will be a delay in our departure time. This is due to passengers returning early to the jetty whilst we still got passengers leaving. -So a great bottleneck occurred on the jetty. Some passengers told me of an hour wait on the jetty before returning Later on in the afternoon a broadcast was heard: Due to the delay of getting all the passengers back on board Trobian Island has been cancelled. Off to Conflict Island. The island was great no problems 10/10 Now on the way back to Brisbane. After about a third back we heard an announcement: Due to unforeseen circumstances there is a helicopter emergency evacuation due to a sick passenger. All 4 decks are closed due to a full fire drill in case the helicopter crashes. No food from top deck .All passenger squashed down to the lower decks. Older passengers looking for non existing seats. So we should be arriving in Brisbane Dockside shortly. But before we make it, a we heard an announcement: Due to unforeseen circumstances we won’t be going to the Brisbane port but instead to the Fisherman Island Port. (Great jubilation erupted especially from the elderly). We now are at Fisherman Island Port: All the Luggage was deposited on the hot concrete (was 31Degrees) Everybody shuffled slowly to a temporary security and passport check to be greeted with a row of busses to speedily bus the 15000 or so passenger’s luggage and their 2 cartons of bottles back to the Brisbane terminal. Once arrived there the entire luggage was once again deposited on to the hot ground. and no shuttle bus to our car parking station. (Arrived after a quite a while) But overall a great time was had by all of us (not). Still waiting for a response from P&O. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise primarily to visit Ribaul , unfortunately it did not happen, due to unforeseen problems. I realise the Captain had to make certain calls but it was a great disappointment ,to the majority of passengers that we were ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily to visit Ribaul , unfortunately it did not happen, due to unforeseen problems. I realise the Captain had to make certain calls but it was a great disappointment ,to the majority of passengers that we were unable to dock there. Like many others we had wanted to see where our fathers had been stationed. during the War ,especially as it was so close to Remembrance Day. If the Captain had perhaps explained why we couldn't get to Ribaul, instead of saying it had been decided to leave it off the itinerary, that may have helped. Saying instead he thought going to the islands was a better option for us. The 2 medical emergencies could not have been avoided and were handled well, so we were told frequently. The Jewel is a very tired old ship. Everything VERY worn. The food , especially in the pantry was a great disappointment. Onions with everything! Breakfast was the highlight of the day and well cooked but the others .. fish was soggy, every bread roll had onions, other dishes quite spicy and really simpler fare would have appealed to a lot more. Dinning in Watermark was the best option and the restaurants you paid for as well as the only decent coffee!! The serving staff were excellent but the chefs...…….well. I doubt I will be going on a cruise in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Chose cruise for destination,boarded at 1.30pm left dock 14 hrs late after captain said too windy to leave,missed two ports one because we left late second because of medical emergency ,on the way back another medical emergency so captain ... Read More
Chose cruise for destination,boarded at 1.30pm left dock 14 hrs late after captain said too windy to leave,missed two ports one because we left late second because of medical emergency ,on the way back another medical emergency so captain said we will not be docking at Portside we will dock at the grain wharf and bus it to Portside, when speaking to workers at Portside they said they could not understand that has ships had come up the river in worst conditions than that.whilst at kite a the captain said seas to rough will not be tendering today so will miss port, again been sailing quite a while now have seen it a lot worse conditions and still use the tenders.whist at kirrawena only used two tenders and as soon as people got off they started to return in a short while the Queue was massive people had to wait in the really hot weather terrible no shade available. No cultural show as the people there didn’t know we were coming in that day, no one from p&o told them about itinerary change.The entertainment on the ship was way below expectation,food very poor, needless to say we and plenty more people on this cruise all said never again with p&o. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise primarily for its destinations in PNG. We had been before and this time wanted the kids to experience the people and culture of the PNG islands. We knew the Jewel was old and on its way out of the fleet but as said, ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for its destinations in PNG. We had been before and this time wanted the kids to experience the people and culture of the PNG islands. We knew the Jewel was old and on its way out of the fleet but as said, destination was our focus. There were a number of mishaps on this cruise that resulted in two missed ports and two medical evacuations - I won't pass judgement on the decisions made by the captain, I'll trust that he made the decisions he had to make. All I will say, in seven cruises I have never experienced so many problems with clearing and securing ports. FOOD - food was great. The Pantry is really good. Each meal you can decide if you want Indian, Mexican, Italian, Carvery, Fish & Chips, salad, sandwiches etc. Its like a host of pop-up restaurants. It's always fresh and hot, unless you turn up close to the end of service but why would you. The Waterfront restaurant was our preferred dinner option and the food was faultless. The service was really down on the first few nights compared to previous cruises. Meals were passed along the table guest to guest instead of being served correctly. Wine was not topped up, no ice bucket. Then one night our table wasn't ready so we ate at another waiters section and the service was great so we secured that table for the rest of the cruise. CABIN - faultlessly looked after. ENTERTAINMENT - overall it was ok, however, night one is an intro to the stage productions that will be on throughout the cruise but it was only shown once so if you were on the second dinner sitting you missed out and for us, we never really knew what was worth seeing or not worth seeing throughout the cruise, not smart. SPA - Critics say it's expensive but they clearly don't go to many high end spas, it is what it is. PUBLIC AREAS - For some reason people had a real habit of securing prime spots on the pool deck and oasis with their towel and then barley using the seat of deck chair. Some would be up there at 7am, secure a big area (up to 8 seats) and just have one person fending other guests off all morning until their family creeps out of bed at 11am. Staff never once cleared towels or articulated that this was not acceptable as they do on other cruises. If a guest is using the pool deck, more than just a towel would be sitting at their deck chair. BARS - Fine but no happy hour as with other cruises. SMOKING - Far too many smoking areas. Smokers would get within a few metres from their smoking area (pool deck) and light up, staff had to walk through and clear and clean, reports of smoking in rooms. Time for smoke free cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We previously been to PNG on Aria and it was great so when our friends where going on this cruise we thought we would join them. Ship was 14 hrs late to leave port so this meant we would not get to Rabaul. Emergency evacuation of ill ... Read More
We previously been to PNG on Aria and it was great so when our friends where going on this cruise we thought we would join them. Ship was 14 hrs late to leave port so this meant we would not get to Rabaul. Emergency evacuation of ill passenger meant we stayed at Kirawina Island overnight resulting in getting to Kitava late. Then we were informed we would not be going ashore in tenders because of so called wind and big swell. Debateable but you can not do anything about it. Next we had another emergency evacuation near Willis Island and were all sent to lower levels for safety reasons which is understandable but there was no extra extra entertainment just go to shop or bars and tea and coffee you had to buy. Then we had to dock at Fishermans Island disembarked at about 8.30am lost baggage meant we waited around for at least an hour an half finally getting back to starting port at 11am. We commend P&O for the care of ill passengers but think they were not truthful about other incidents. Jewel is sold off and is probably a good thing. The food was an improvement since our last P&O cruise. The entertainment was not quiet as good though.The crew and entertaiment staff were excellent.Our cabin staff kept the cabin spotless and fixed any problem we had. We still enjoyed the cruise and with the coming of some more new ships will make a good improvement to P&O.The service from our waiters in the waterfront restaurant was excellent as they also entertained us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
What an amazing holiday and why did we wait 30 years to do a cruise? We were awake early (4am) due to time difference so grabbed a coffee and made our way day to a viewing deck to watch the Pacific Dawn come in from its previous cruise. ... Read More
What an amazing holiday and why did we wait 30 years to do a cruise? We were awake early (4am) due to time difference so grabbed a coffee and made our way day to a viewing deck to watch the Pacific Dawn come in from its previous cruise. With the sun shining behind her, it was a sight to behold and well worth it. We met a few fellow passengers at the same time. Excitement levels were building!!! You can drop your bags off early which we did at 8am and then went and had breakfast at a local café watching the loading of supplies and bags and the unloading of passengers. Boarding was seamless and again get on board early. We targeted 11am and it took approx. 40 minutes. We could have been earlier if we wanted too. You can book your dinner, find your cabin and get your bearings. Bars are open and so are the restaurants for lunch!!! Munster stations for lifeboat drill before 2pm departure. We were lucky with the weather with fine weather and smooth sailing all the way to Port Vila. On the homeward journey seas were supposedly 2.5m which caused a few bumps at the front and back of the ship at times, but it wasn’t rough, and I didn’t feel sick. I took no travel sickness tablets and I survived. My wife preferred to lie down on Thursday afternoon and slept but was fine on the Friday as she adjusted to the motion. Highly recommend - research, research and research before you go from best cabins, Port tours (check out private operators too), meal times and what to do and avoid. Planning will lead you to a much better and successful cruise experience in our view. We were prepared! You can book Port tours via CruiseControl well before you depart on your cruise. For tours with limited number of places available this is recommended. Only 200 people out of 2000 get to go snorkelling at Lifou and there were a lot of disappointed people on the day. Another advantage of booking via P&O means priority disembarkment to meet your planned tour and you are returned in time prior to the ship departing. Each Port has operators where ship berths with tour options and these are sometimes cheaper than arranging on board or pre-book with a reputable private operator. In Vila beware of paying up front as the operators have known to drop and leave you at your first destination! Paying when you get back to the ship gates avoids this issue. Friends arranged a private tour in Vila and again only paid upon returning to the Port gates but had a great day and a lot cheaper than available on the ship. Research, research and research. Port Vila has cheapest duty free (will deliver to the ship) however the ship will match the price with a photo of the price and product. The product I wanted was only $1 more expensive on board, so I choose to not buy in Vila and get it on board. I found out 2 days after we left Vila, they had sold out on Day 2 of the cruise of the bottle I wanted!! Another recommendation is booking a circular table at a set time each night for dinner in restaurant. You meet new people and food is amazing. We dined there most days for breakfast and dinner with great table service and great meals. No queuing for meals and no crowds. If you are still hungry after dinner – you can go upstairs to the Pantry or snack there earlier in the evening instead. We used to do pre-dinner drinks at 4:30pm and enjoyed a bucket of prawns ($15) with cheeses and sushi from buffet. You can cancel your booking on any night if you wish to go earlier or eat upstairs in Pantry Buffet selection. Indulgence Menu items cost extra if you wish to treat yourself. We didn’t go to the other paying restaurants. We booked at 8pm each night and looking back missed a few activities so planning is important. Pantry Buffet is busy between 5 & 7pm. There is a snack bar, but you pay extra and has chips, burgers etc. There is so much to do on board and this is published daily in a newsletter which you receive the night before, so you can plan your next day if you wish. Take a highlighter and mark the activities you wish to do. Re-reading these newsletters now there were a few other things I wished I had gone to. Plenty of trivia competitions and challenges. Again, another great way to meet people as you form up a team together from your table or those around you. Personal fav was musical trivia with Christian – a great chance for a sing song and laughs. The song title was easy (everyone sang it for you!!!) but the artist was little bit more challenging. Whilst the entertainment shows weren’t to my liking, a search of You Tube shows there can be some great shows and it’s about your ship and timing!! On the other hand - the hypnotist and comedians were well worth it. There are theme parties to attend at nights. These are known before you leave allowing you to plan your wardrobe accordingly. Lot easier for males than ladies. My formal wear one night had braces added for the Gatsby Party! Most people get dressed up but not compulsory. Just adds to fun. We brought a drinks package – got a great deal at third of the normal price and drank lots of cocktails etc without worrying about the cost. On average we would have spent $40 - $60 per day. I doubt we would have brought the cocktails if we were paying for each drink but without worrying about a surprise bill at the end, we could try whatever we liked. Highly recommended. There are photographers everywhere with formal photos on theme nights, boarding the ship, portside and various activities. All available for purchase. We did buy some nice formal photos from theme nights but did so as a digital version (approx. $20 per image) and you can then print and distribute as many as you need and want. All up with port trips, photos, bingo night x2, prawns, indulgence meal, rum tasting activity and other minor expenses we spent an extra $500 over our cruise cost remembering we did have a drinks package which included water which we stored up in our cabin fridge. If you have a special occasion do let restaurant staff know beforehand and your room stewards. They do make a fuss and make that special occasion even more memorable. Disembarkment varies from 6:30am and from your allocated time is approx. 10 minutes. On average you will be off the boat by approx. between 7:30 and 8am. If using, Go Catch promotion these are good services but run to the time you specify. If you are early you need to wait as they are very difficult to get hold of. Our flight arrived early so we were waiting for approx. an hour at the airport the night before and again we booked one for 9am and had an hour to wait after we had disembarked. Worked for us as there were four of us with bags and most taxis don’t take more than four. There are a lot of negative reviews written but our experience was nothing but fantastic. Doing it with another couple or a group of friends is highly recommended or make friends on board and do activities together. Research and research so you know what to expect and you shouldn’t be disappointed. You can do as much as you like or as little as you like however where can you go on holiday and have so many activities at your disposal that are free and included in the price? We are converted and will do another cruise without waiting 30 years. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Got the cruising bug again after a 30 year hiatus, this cruise being the 3rd in 3 years on or around my birthday. First was the Pearl out of Sydney, second Dawn out of Brisbane & this year Jewel out of Brisbane. Embarkation was ... Read More
Got the cruising bug again after a 30 year hiatus, this cruise being the 3rd in 3 years on or around my birthday. First was the Pearl out of Sydney, second Dawn out of Brisbane & this year Jewel out of Brisbane. Embarkation was smooth, though the drop off for taxis is chaotic, two years in a row the taxi driver & traffic marshal have had fierce words when dropping me off. I chose a late boarding time, and had a stroll around portside & some pre cruise beers. When I arrived at my appointed time there was barely anyone there & I was on board in minutes. My cabin was very good, 11203, just a few doors from the Oasis. Though the Pantry was overhead I did not experience noise problems. The cabin stewards were excellent. The Pantry was my only dining venue. I travel alone, and prefer a minimum of fuss. The style of service suited me (no temptation to overeat) & I sat mostly at the high rail around the edge, with a view of the sea. I'm not a fussy eater & found the food satisfying. Only small gripe is the sometimes slow service at popular bars, as cocktail drinks were popular, & take an eternity to prepare. At the sail away party there were a couple of beer trolleys in service, which were quick & efficient. The only entertainment I observed were the singer/guitarists who popped up at various time in various venues. They were good, if a bit repetitive. My cruising style is very laid back: carry a book and follow the sun about, having some beers on the way. So no reports on the activities! Though the kids on the flying fox were having a good time, and as the weather was near perfect it was operating day long. Didn't book any shore activities, just strolled the streets of Noumea & Port Vila, and only went ashore at Mare to walk about. Sounds boring! A problem out of P&O's hands is the scrum at the dock in Port Vila, All I wanted was a water taxi to the centre of town & had to run a gauntlet of eager tour operators. Safety boarding & using the water taxis was a bit dodgy too, 14 people on mine, barely six inches of boat above the waterline. I got the platinum internet package, it worked fairly well on my phone & tablet, and the cost was covered by my room credit given by P&O for their 85th birthday. I will definitely cruise again, especially if I can find a cruise line that does deals for singles. At the moment I pay for 2, which is fair enough from P&O's point of view! But some sort of discount would enable me to go on more & longer cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I have recently been on the Pacific Explorer from 18/10/18- 3/11/18 and I agree with Micheal Graham review of this cruise journey of 16 nights. I was also on this same ship last year when it was the Dawn Princess and I noticed quite a few ... Read More
I have recently been on the Pacific Explorer from 18/10/18- 3/11/18 and I agree with Micheal Graham review of this cruise journey of 16 nights. I was also on this same ship last year when it was the Dawn Princess and I noticed quite a few changes since it changed to P&O. I have travelled with different P & O ships, Princess and Carnvial for last 10 years and I found this time that the cruise ship was lacking in several areas and I am not someone that usually writes reviews but felt a need to this time. I agree with the size of the staterooms as we were on deck 10 with an inside cabin with all the balcony suites surrounding us. I was on board Pacific Aria earlier in the year that is a smaller P&O ship and our interior room was on a lower deck and it was larger than Pacific Explorer that is a bigger ship. We called our room the closet as a joke. In the waterfront restaurant on two occasions they forgot two items that I had ordered as well as one night our party of 4 was served a cold main meal but we didn't complain as we didnt want to get the staff member attending to our table in trouble but we were not impressed. Also in waterfront restaurant there was not a lot of choice in menus and same menus repeated over several days. Not enough seating in lounge areas for the passengers. Repetition of same movies and documentaries on televisions in our rooms and not enough entertainment on top deck and repetition of same songs. Showroom shows were ok but I have been to better on previous cruises. The 10th deck launderette had washing machine out of order and only 3 for whole deck and when it was put back in the steward told me it still had a leak and had to be taken away again to be looked at. The public areas looking very tired and need to be updated, painted or replaced. The marquee especially had broken seats and several of the tray table openings on the arm rests were broken and the red seats reminded of the old mecca movie theaters and they were uncomfortable as well. I decided to take the plunge and have a massage on the ship even though I knew it was ridiculously expensive at $170.00 and this was the discount! but then when I was there I got conned into having the hot stones at $20 a pop for my back and feet so add another $40 onto that at $220.00. At the beginning and end of massage I was continually trying to be sold products or services that I didn't want and I didn't appreciate the hard sell either on my holidays. I know it was of my own doing but never again. I also didn't appreciate that every time you went anywhere near the Elemis Spa or on your way to the pantry for food that you were greeted at the lifts by the spa staff trying to do the hard sell and con people into buying expensive Elemis products or services trying to con them into buying off the shelf orthotics etc. I overheard a staff member telling a passenger that had custom orthotics by a podiarist at home, that the ships orthotics were better! So in summary I didn't like the hard sell of the spa and their promotions that suck people in and then sell them things they didn't want. There were a lot of hidden costs that you had to pay for including ice cream from kiosk on deck that I was already aware of but on other ships it is included and we were charged a surcharge for booking a specialty restaurant of $10 just to name a few. The coffee in the pantry was average at best so if you wanted a cappuccino it was at a cost in the pantry and it was quite weak as well. After speaking with quite a few passengers, we were all disappointed that our cruise due to unfavourable weather and swell conditions and safety of passengers could not land on Norfolk Island. After speaking with some passengers they picked this cruise due to the shore tour of Norfolk island in particular and some passengers were meeting friends on shore who lived there. People who booked shore tours not with P&O lost their money on the shore tours booked privately. I don't have a problem with not landing at a shore destination due to weather and safety conditions but when a ship promotes a shore destination that they hardly ever get to due to weather conditions and lack of quality wharf to land tender boats on from what I have read on internet and heard from other passengers, then they should not advertise that location as a shore destination but rather scenic cruising as this is what we did when we couldn't land there. As our cruise was called ' the mutiny on the bounty' cruise it was a destination that was part of the history of this story so it is a destination that you can't really cut out of the itinerary. The tender service was a bit chaotic at times. It took over 1 hour to get to the Tongan island on the smaller tender boats due to the wharf size there but they could have advertised that this was the case the day before so we were aware of the wait period. When we docked at Noumea I heard that they had problems with the gangway so everyone was crowded in the stair wells and lift areas and stressed trying to get off the ship so they didn't miss their shore tours and one passenger was even in tears. It was cold and hot respectively in different parts of the ship so you didn't know whether to take a jacket when visiting different areas of the ship. Our room thermostat stayed the same temperature it felt like no matter where you situated the thermostat dial in the room. The internet connection wasn't great and granted were were on satellite in middle of the ocean but for what they charge you for internet on the ship and the amount of times you are actually connected is very limited. Overall I still enjoyed my sixteen night holiday that included our bonus drinks package included as part of our deal when booking this holiday so that was a big savings but still quite disappointed in a number of areas with this ship. I have the say the crew were wonderful and I could not fault them in their attentiveness towards us throughout the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Old out dated cruise ship even though it’s supposed to be renovated. Almost like staying in a back packers hostel. Really small rooms. Food wasn’t really good only if you decide to pay for it. I’ve been on quiet a few cruises with ... Read More
Old out dated cruise ship even though it’s supposed to be renovated. Almost like staying in a back packers hostel. Really small rooms. Food wasn’t really good only if you decide to pay for it. I’ve been on quiet a few cruises with other cruise ship and have cruise 29 days in total with p&o and explorer is the worst. Even the crews on top deck told us that the like pacific explorer because it’s a bludge job and easy going. Cruise director on this cruise from 18/10/18 to 3/11/18 was lazy and was hardly seen and this was mentioned by a lot of customers. Hardly no entertainment on top deck and played same songs and movie clips over and over. P&O has fallen way behind its competitors. Never again will I cruise with them again . Not enough room for anyone all areas are way to small and tender service was a joke borderline fire hazard Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
we chose this cruise because the first port of call was to be Norfolk Island. The weather did not allow a tender boat to take us on the island. We had two days at sea to get there and two days at sea to get to Tonga This meant five days ... Read More
we chose this cruise because the first port of call was to be Norfolk Island. The weather did not allow a tender boat to take us on the island. We had two days at sea to get there and two days at sea to get to Tonga This meant five days at sea before getting on land. My complaint is that we heard afterwards that ships rarely get onto island because of weather and small jetty. Cruise ships and travel agents should not sell a product that they can't deliver Buyer beware! Also this ship sells internet packages that don't work. After we couldn't get on Norfolk, to get over cabin fever, I thought i would purchase a package that gave me 500mg. After two days of trying to connect i noticed that just over half my data was already used and i hadn't even sent one email or done one search of what to expect in Tonga. I went to reception to complain and get money back, they said nothing can be done. We warned that sometimes it is slow. As soon as i said i would be writing to the Ombudsman he did some typing and said refund would be in your account later today!! Again Company shouldn't sell a product that doesn't work! This cruise was cheap for 16 days and excellent value if you are on a food fest. The entertainment was good and the director of such, Zoltina J was the one saving grace on the cruise Generally speaking the ship was overcrowded for the seating in most areas. some people would go to venues up to an hour before so that they could get a seat. On several nights we literally had to argue with other customers to get a seat at the 9pm show. On one night we arrived five minutes before only to find no seats available. We stood at back for five minutes and then left. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I went with my family on this cruise and for the most part we enjoyed ourselves! Pros: Our luggage arrived to our room on the first day really quickly. Embarkation was a fairly quick process. Our room steward Gemma was amazing. ... Read More
I went with my family on this cruise and for the most part we enjoyed ourselves! Pros: Our luggage arrived to our room on the first day really quickly. Embarkation was a fairly quick process. Our room steward Gemma was amazing. The room was always spotless and she was always asking us if we needed anything else. I loved coming back to my room and seeing yummy chocolate, a note or a towel animal. Cocktail prices were surprisingly cheap and the service time was really quick. A lot of times at night there was hardly anyone around due to there being an older demographic. We loved the themed nights The food was pretty good. We loved the specialty restaurant Luke's however the deserts in the Pantry could have been better. At peak times it was also hard to find a set. Cons: There isn't a large variety of activities and the good activities such as the mechanical bull riding or walk the plank aren't free. It would be much better if this was included. The entertainment venue (Marquee) is way too small and you had to arrive an hour early if you wanted a seat. The entertainment offered here was also poor so we didn't really bother. The cruise director was highly annoying and talked for ages about pointless things. The tender process was slow and we had to wait quite awhile. The professional photos are really overpriced as is the spa. We enjoyed our hot stone massage however. The gym also needs a makeover. It is tiny. Don't bother with the "Love Riot" show. I had seen other reviews on here that it was amazing but it was such a let down and not worth the $15. Ports We missed our first point of call - Norfolk Island. We didn't mind that much as we were having a good time on board. Tonga ports - there wasn't much to see and do. Wouldn't go back. Suva, Fiji - good for getting souvenirs Dravuni - Fiji - we loved this place. Snorkeling, beach and water is amazing. Port Denarau - We did a shore excursion where a boat took us to a separate island. It was great. We got a buffet lunch, free drinks, snorkeling, use of paddle boards and went on a glass bottom boat. Noumea - We did the duck island tour, it is a must! Such amazing snorkeling, we saw turtles, big fish and reef sharks. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had chosen to sail on the Eden for the sheer reason it fell within Children school holidays and general work commitments...you could almost say the stars aligned. So the anticipation of the trip was electric and traveling to Isles of ... Read More
We had chosen to sail on the Eden for the sheer reason it fell within Children school holidays and general work commitments...you could almost say the stars aligned. So the anticipation of the trip was electric and traveling to Isles of Pine and other islands was going to be the highlight for the family. We were told early on that the there was mechanical problems which was going to cut 2 islands out of our trip the 2 better islands which absolutely ruined the entire holiday along with terrible air conditioning through out various parts of the ship as well as our cabin. Further more due to the mechanical issue we were on the water for almost 5 days, which meant 2 days more than expected on the ship that we did not expect and stuck doing the same over and over, but what is disappointing the most is that I and many other passengers believed that the problem was apparent prior to our embarkation which is down right deceitful. I will be investigating. Who knows when we will get an opportunity to travel again to those islands. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We flew from Brisbane to Sydney to take this cruise. We wanted to see the Isle of Pines in particular. The first day out of Sydney the captain announced engine trouble - one propellor shaft was not working. He further announced that the ... Read More
We flew from Brisbane to Sydney to take this cruise. We wanted to see the Isle of Pines in particular. The first day out of Sydney the captain announced engine trouble - one propellor shaft was not working. He further announced that the ship would miss two of its four ports - and that meant no Isle of Pines. The shipped limped along at half speed or less until we got to Noumea. The ship was due into Sydney at 0700 on Friday 19th Oct. We had a flight booked to leave at 3pm - plenty of time one would think. The first day out of Noumea the captain advised everyone with onward journeys to change their plans to flight leaving no earlier than 7 pm. We were compensated by reimbursing us 2 days of the cost of the cruise. That was the bad part. The good part was the entertainment - those guys and gals are brilliant - starting with Spencer Chester the piano man. He is the best entertainer and gets the crowd singing and rocking. See more at: https://www.facebook.com/officialspencerchester/ An unexpected delight was The Highly Strung Rock and Roll Orchestra. This talented quartet features two classically trained violinists, a rock guitarist and a young singer and flute player. They are high energy, fun and engaging. We loved them. See more at: https://www.facebook.com/highlystrungrockandrollorchestra/ Congratulations t0 Pablo, the cruise director and the whole team for keeping us busy and happy for so many slow cruising days. We found the food good. Here are some tips. Order two entrees or two mains as the portion sizes in the restaurants are small. We liked Angelo's - Italian and Dragon Lady - Modern Asian. We highly recommended eating breakfast in the dining room. The Greek poached eggs with smashed avocado and feta yoghurt dressing was superb. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We attended a conference on this cruise to Papua New Guinea for 10 days. Unfortunatly there were only a few great parts. I'll start with the good points. Our room was wonderful and serciced by the loveliest attendants. It ... Read More
We attended a conference on this cruise to Papua New Guinea for 10 days. Unfortunatly there were only a few great parts. I'll start with the good points. Our room was wonderful and serciced by the loveliest attendants. It was spaceous and had everything we needed. The 5 ports and people we beautiful. The chefs tables and salt grill were the only highlights of the food. The down sides. Very strict almost harrasment by security with their RSA to the point that we didnt bother going to the bars much because they were constantly dictating the frequency we could drink. Not allowed to buy shots, bars being vacumed by 10 pm. Drinks were expensive, $19 for an average expersso martini. There was an outbreak of noroviris over 400 people affected and the entire deck 6 reaked of vomit and faeces for days. Sick people sharing tenders with well people. Attendants wearing 1 pair of gloves for the entire disembarking process touching sick and healthy people. Captains cocktail hour was cancelled due to the bug but happy for white night to go ahead. Waterfront dining was served mostly luke warm to cold. The dragon lady was over an hour and a half process for dinner and wasn't anything to write home about. Even though we had the suite with priority dinner reservations we had to book everything the first day and were given unrealistic times we cancelled most night because the quality of the food was poor. We were charged a few times for room service even though its included in the suit and had to keep going to get this rectified. The conflict island although beautiful was very expensive and if you wanted to purchase anything you had to buy their fake currencies and get charged to change it back to AUS dollars. This ship is definilty for the older population as the night entertainment was poor and scarce. Dead well before midnight most nights. Most servers and staff were polite and helful but there was so very few of them that they were under the pump and never had time to offer quality service. The 5 ports of PNG we visited were very beautiful although we had pre arranged tours I dont know how others would have faired at the large ports that is just industrial areas. The handling of the infectious norovirus was pretty poor, affected people we not restricted to their cabins and continued the spread of the virus. The poor medical staff were under the pump with no sleep for 36hours trying their best to control the situation. The enforcement of water between every drink was offensive when there were clearly certain groups of people slouching and slurring but security were too intimidated to confront them so instead they harrassed us. The coffee was expensive and of poor quality. The limited hours of food service in the pantry meant if you wanted to see a show or attend an event the food would be packed up and gone by 9. All in all our conference was fun, our shore tours were great and the specialty food was the only highlights of our trip. If you between 20-50 dont go on this ship if your looking for a great night life or lots of entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
New cruise, wanted to go snorkelling and swim with dolphins. the boat was very small but loved the room configuration as bunk beds were seperate from the adults bed. Our room 6088 was great!, good convenient spot. Pantry food was great ... Read More
New cruise, wanted to go snorkelling and swim with dolphins. the boat was very small but loved the room configuration as bunk beds were seperate from the adults bed. Our room 6088 was great!, good convenient spot. Pantry food was great as more hygienic. Restaurants were 8/10. Staff were pretty good considering there long hours etc. Entertainment staff were good, however didnt provide much entertainment on the theme nights..boring!!!!!!. show entertainment was okay. The comedian and papau new guinea singer were standouts. things to note... Ice dispensor on board so you can use a cup and fill your water bottles (wide brim). take your own snorkelling gear and sunscreen. Book the restaurants for the whole week as soon as possible to avoid missing out. Take some extra coat hangers as plenty of hanging space . If kids dont have drink package, take the 12 cans per person onboard and a thermo cup and fill it with ice and the softdrink. be super aware, papau new guinea native boats can capsize so take the bigger ones and a floatie for kids or people who cant swim or at least limit to two people on small ones. Pack your gear in a waterproof bag. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Thought it was an inexpensive option for family holiday. Now know not a good choice. Pantry food boring and disappointing.....Hot food warm, cold food almost the same. Strong smell of sewerage on every deck except where smokers were. ... Read More
Thought it was an inexpensive option for family holiday. Now know not a good choice. Pantry food boring and disappointing.....Hot food warm, cold food almost the same. Strong smell of sewerage on every deck except where smokers were. No cheap options if one wanted to try something different. Free coffee unpleasant. Spa prices ludicrous. Shore tours when not cancelled were good. Most Staff we had dealings with were excellent though. Thought organization could have been better and announcements clearer. Unless one likes to get drunk or gamble, not a lot of activities. Edge staff very good with grandsons. Pools quite small....couldn't even get in the on deck Spa tubs for the number of kids in there. Elemis at sea Spa well overpriced and overcharged. The Jewel is tired that's why its being sold. Don't expect luxury... unless you have lots of money to try the upmarket bits. And expect to pay through the nose for anything extra. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
we needed a cruise fix . the ship is old and i believe it's sold ..but the staff made up for its age the food was great in the mdr ..didn't eat in the pantry . had dinner at salt very nice .. have been to the ports ... Read More
we needed a cruise fix . the ship is old and i believe it's sold ..but the staff made up for its age the food was great in the mdr ..didn't eat in the pantry . had dinner at salt very nice .. have been to the ports many times .but haven't done the city lights and micro brewery in Noumea ......so we did ......do it it was so much fun . also did the pub crawl in Vila again lots of fun ....the people there are so friendly ..we don't normally drink (very little ) embarkation and Disembarkation went very smooth . as i get claustrophobic we always get a balcony ...this has the smallest balcony i've ever had you couldn't sit looking out to the ocean without your feet resting on the railing ...forget about laying on a recliner entertainment was of the same as all cruises the performers were great .. some of the entertainment was for a younger crowd but we still enjoyed it all service was of the highest quality ..especially at front service desk . didn't travel with children would we go again a BIG YES .. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click