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307 P&O Australia Cruise Reviews

We went on this 7 night cruise with our two young children (2 &3) it said family friendly and plenty to do etc. Cons- I wouldn't bother taking little kids on this cruise ship there wasnt much for small kids to do they ... Read More
We went on this 7 night cruise with our two young children (2 &3) it said family friendly and plenty to do etc. Cons- I wouldn't bother taking little kids on this cruise ship there wasnt much for small kids to do they couldn't do any of the activities, turtle cove was good but have to leave the kids there and go and some kids don't like to be left with strangers. There was messy play which went for 20mins in the morning and then the water park which was freezing even on a 30 degree day. Took way way to long to get off the boat was lining up for over an hour for Noumea, and 45mins for Lifou was fairly quick at Port Vila but to get off to come home was waiting way to long again really unorganised. They Also broke my brand suit case and were very rough with throwing them on and left them in the rain. Towards to end of the cruise the youth workers started to seem grumpy obviously getting over working 7 days a week but weren't as cheerful. Pros- Food was good and big variety Ports were really nice and loved them Workers at resurant were really lovely and always tried to make the kids laugh All up was a nice trip but would definitely not use the cruise ship with kids as its not very family friendly as they advertise Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this ship because of affordability- that it was travelling from Singapore to Brisbane and going to Komodo and Darwin for our son was living there. We were excited to be doing something different and the ship had been in dry ... Read More
We chose this ship because of affordability- that it was travelling from Singapore to Brisbane and going to Komodo and Darwin for our son was living there. We were excited to be doing something different and the ship had been in dry dock before heading out of Singapore. New carpet, bedding and some painting done. Food in the pantry good but very busy hard to get seat Waterfront restaurant was our pick mostly - nice menus but didn’t change breakfast menu the whole time and the other meals were good mostly but not fantastic. Salt grill was good but don’t know if it was worth the money - I had lamb cutlets which I could not eat they were big but not cooked properly. Fat not rendered, my husband meal was nice. Shell and Bones good value for money, with other dishes for non seafood eaters. Bars nice and friendly waiters especially Michael at the Ocean bar. Unfortunately by the time we were heading to Komodo I had got a very heavy head cold and cough. My husband ended up with this as well but about a week later. Everywhere you went on the ship there were people coughing and blowing their nose. Quite a few people were taken off the ship by ambulance at different ports. We have now been home 5 days and we are both still sick. I have ended up at hospital today with a diagnosis of Bells Palsy which is connected to the viral infection we got on the ship. I had read in the reviews that a lot of people on the previous cruise going to Singapore had the same thing - cough and cold. So it does make you wonder. We were very careful upon boarding use hand sanitizer, wiping over cabin with dettol wipes, not touching hand rails. Staying away from others when we were at our worse. We always had flu shot prior to leaving. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The following includes some activities/pitfalls to avoid or be aware of on P&O cruises overall the Pacific Explorer was a fun ship with some great people looking after you but P&O need to supplement their discounted fares so be ... Read More
The following includes some activities/pitfalls to avoid or be aware of on P&O cruises overall the Pacific Explorer was a fun ship with some great people looking after you but P&O need to supplement their discounted fares so be aware they are not happy just charging the cruise price they need to extract more to remain profitable. I’d estimate based upon prices and upsell pressure their looking at making $500 to $1000 per guest so add that to your cruise price when factoring in the cost. They also operate under a first and second class citizen model. Unless you book your tours with them or book a suite you’ll have to wait up to two hours longer to disembark at destinations which use tenders. That’s 10-20% less shore time if your a second class citizen. Then there’s the continual upsell it starts before you leave with about 20 messages in your cruise application about insurance and then they start abusing your personal email address with multiple messages even after you update your cruise app to reflect you do not need insurance. I got insurance for two people for less than what they charge for one. Before you jump in about it not being fit for purpose my wife is from overseas so we had to submit to the French embassy for a visa and they approved the visa with the level of travel insurance we had. The level of cover was not basic it was greater than the P&O offering in many areas. So only a rich fool would use the insurance offered by P&O. Then you get to your room and there’s two robes and an umbrella on your bed. Don’t break the seal on the plastic or you just incurred $75. All up there is close to $100 of “optional” up sell items in your cabin on arrival. Choosing your cabin. Deck 10 is probably the best others all have problem areas like deck 11 below pool deck, deck 9 above casino etc. remember level 7 has most of entertainment so avoid above and below. Now the departure process. If you don’t know you can drop your bags off at anytime so don’t drag them around as you visit the opera house or tackle the hills of the rocks area. They do have a lot of people assisting at checkin so it goes quite quick and usually you can get on before your allotted time just check when you drop your bags. Next the food I have seen posts ranging from its pigs slop to rave reviews. The range and preparation is good but there is a lot of lower grade cuts of meat so the food is just ok. It’s not top restaurant quality but it’s ok and you won’t go hungry. You also have to remember their catering for 2000 plus people and aim at the lowest common denominator so no strong flavors. Even if it’s Garlic Mushroom soup you’ll struggle to taste the garlic. We tried to eat dinner at the specialty and main restaurants as the taste was better but still some cheaper cuts and lack of strong flavors. We avoided the buffet for dinner but for a family it’s pretty good with kids with finicky tastes. You can go back as many times as you like no need to create a Mixed food mountain enjoy the taste of each separately and take your time. As soon as you get on board go down and book your restaurants for dinner on level 6 for the whole cruise you may miss one free drink but you’ll be better prepared for the rest of the trip. Dragon Lady and Angelos change menu about mid cruise so book one early and one late to sample the full range of their offerings. The entertainment is fantastic great musicians, shows. and entertainment but often too little of appeal is on at the same time so everyone is trying to get to the same thing. If you want to enjoy a show I recommend you get there 20 minutes early even for entertainment in the pubs as there won’t be a seat but one will open up in 15-30 minutes in the pubs if you can wait and stand for that long. Staff well there’s three categories and a specialist group. The people who look after your room are super friendly and happy to help with anything. The entertainers who on the whole are great professional and upbeat in the face of a number of rude and drunk people. Then there’s the general service people in the restaurants and shops. Most of them are very nice the rest rude arrogant, racist non service people. If you hate people that much change industries don’t continue in customer service. But the most annoying people of all are the photographers. Whether your trying to board the boat, relax on a deck chair, enjoying the departure party, your dinner or getting off at a departure point. They are there and get grumpy/disappointed if you say no thanks. They continually block passage ways, arriving piers, stairs, kick you out of chairs when listening to entertainment all so they can gouge money. Now 30 years ago before the iPhone, Samsung et al, I got the idea and need for a ship photographer but now I can take 100 snaps filter it down to 5-10 and get them made into prints wall hangings, coffee cups, plates, mouse Mats, T-shirt’s, a picture book, or even a glowing plastic replica of the moon with the photo etched in. I don’t need to be interrupted all the time by a predatory photographer who tries to sell me the print at a higher cost than the GDP of a small West Indies Island. $80 for three small 6x4 prints if you take advantage of the onboard discount. Ports of call if you are docking to a pier it’s busy for first 30 minutes but then it’s easy to get off the ship. If your stops involve using tenders you may as well give up for the first hour or more. Each tender takes about 15 to 20 minutes at least and cannot operate in rough waters. They use multiple tenders but are restricted by single point loading and unloading bottlenecks. Consequently they land about 6 boats each hour. Each holds about 100 people so with 2000 people on the boat that’s 3 hours to get them all transferred. No wonder so many stay on the boat. Next year they take on a bigger ship of 2500 capacity. Tenders are a 2000’s solution to a 2020’s world I’d cancel if I had a cruise with three tender stops again. The Shore Tours they do have a lot of them and the more popular ones book out very quickly so if you have your heart set on one book it early and suck up the high price tag. The sales pitch is all based on fear. “If you book a tour with us and your late we’ll hold the boat for you if you book with others you’ll miss the boat”, or my favorite which I think should be referred to consumer affairs “we have insurance so if something happens your covered if you book with the local providers they don’t so you won’t be covered”. So none of the local tour providers have insurance you know this for a fact? And it appears they are saying your travel insurance won’t cover you if you use a local tour provider. At the time of writing oxygen was still free but I’m sure P&O corporate are working on a way to charge you for that. I researched the price of food and drink before I left and it was probably a year old but most of the prices have gone up by about 10-15% some exceptions. CPI is running at 1-2% but in keeping with their pirate ancestors P&O can increase costs by 10-15% in a year or so. My wife forgot her conditioner so $8 for a small travel size bottle on board. 1st Lesson gentlemen the free shampoo conditioner is not the same so do not suggest that 2nd Lesson double check you have everything. Bottled water $5 a bottle with two bottles laying in wait in your room not for free but you guessed it upsell break the seal and your charged. Not all the food and drink is free and what is and what isn’t will surprise you. I had the premium drinks package and soft-drinks package which includes soft drinks and alcoholic drinks up to $13 but not tea or coffee and 600ml bottled water was free at the bars but I had to pay for water in my room. Now specialty ice cream you pay for but they don’t have any ice cream unless you buy the specialty ice creams so parents expect To pay $5-10 for an ice cream for your kids. No soft serve machine like all other buffets in the world. There is an Italian restaurant in the list of free restaurants but you can’t get pizza you have to buy that at a specialty pizza restaurant. You can’t bring water on board in your luggage but can bring 12 cans of soft drink each. Confused I think that’s the intent so you drop your guard and pay for something that’s not included in your package. Time to talk about the boat. It’s has seen better days despite this pig having a fresh coat of lipstick in about 2009 and a tidy up in 2017 it’s showing it’s original manufacture date of 1997. It sort of looks like they just paint over the rust and everything has this rough bubbly finish hiding the imperfections. TV’s and other appliances in rooms don’t work with quick turnarounds they don’t seem to have time to fix things. You will need a masters in Electrical Engineering to be able to work out how to switch on and off your lights in the cabin. On a positive note the public areas which have high traffic appear well maintained as with the deck chairs and cushions. There is a lot of things to do with most tastes catered for but with 2000 people all looking for privacy or a unique experience this isn’t going to happen. Repeat together “yes we are all individuals”. Finally check your bill. I had the drinks packages but still had charges for soft drinks on my bill totaling about $20 Luckily it was easy for me to get them removed but what if you didn’t have a drinks package how would you go trying to argue you didn’t incur those costs. I also had a charge where they over charged my wife $15 for a charge but couldn’t prove it so had to suck it up. Seemed a common complaint with many people saying they had additional items added to their bill. I think they make an extra $15-30,000 per cruise from these types of overcharges if you use my example and don’t get them rectified. In summary a cruise on the Pacific Explorer is overall a nice vacation nothing special. Adjust your thinking before you come even with drinks packages it’s not an all inclusive holiday. Also check if your happy to be second class or want to pay the extra for first class, also P&O don’t have any loyalty packages so you don’t loose anything by trying other providers so try the others next time. The use of tenders it’s past their use by date only use ports with pier facilities or have one tender stop maximum. Check your cruise and change accordingly. If P&O changed but one thing it would be free or at most cost price water in your cabin you shouldn’t profiteer from water and most importantly it would improve the demeanor of your customers who feel like P&O are breaching the Geneva Convention by charging so much for water. Positives Cabin and Entertainment Staff Good Adults Only Areas Boarding Process Rest and Relaxation Areas Food preparation Negatives Continual Habitual Up Sell Prices and Unregulated Increases Bland food not matching ambience and service Photographers Bottled water policy/price Deceptive tour sales Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Here is the short version of my review. My longer detailed version is below. If you are a first time cruiser with no expectations and you are looking for an average cruise on an average ship with an average crew the pacific dawn is ... Read More
Here is the short version of my review. My longer detailed version is below. If you are a first time cruiser with no expectations and you are looking for an average cruise on an average ship with an average crew the pacific dawn is perfect for you. However, if you are an experienced cruiser with expectations for anything above the bare minimum I would absolutely avoid this ship and this cruise. Long version: this was the first time my wife and I had ever cruised with P&O and it will be the last. We paid a little bit more with Holland America but we had a much better experience! I can't say anything was really TERRIBLE about P&O and the Pacific Dawn but there was nothing above the bare minimum either. There was rust in our cabin and on the outside of the ship. The ship is 28 years old and it is dated and worn out. Half way through our cruise some of the toilets on the lower decks started to back up and smell really bad. Our bed was nice but the pillows we were given were terrible. The crew were nice enough and were never rude but most of them never went out of their way to learn our names or give us anything above the bare minimum. The food was not bad but it was very average. We were not impressed. P&O also charges 5 dollars or more for all the extras (ice cream, hamburgers, hotdogs etc) the only food they don't charge extra for is the food served at breakfast, lunch or dinner The on board entertainment was not bad but again, it was very average. Their "library" is a mobile book cart and the selection is extremely limited. The TV in our room wasn't on demand. If you wanted to watch something you had to plan your day so you wouldn't miss the movie. Now for the positives: P&O does not charge that daily gratuity fee which is very refreshing. Additionally, not every show or every meal were terrible but overall, both the shows and the meals were just average. They did offer a free kitchen gallery tour which many other cruise lines charge upwards of 50 dollars for. That was neat. Also our room stewards really did a good job taking care of us. Some of these complaints might seem petty but as experienced cruisers we just expected more and were disappointed. But as the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for". P. S. Full disclosure, after we disembarked in Singapore P&O claims they are putting the ship in dry dock for 12 days and renovating everything. Unfortunately we weren't on board the ship again to see the results. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
It was a Dark Mofo 6 night mid-winter escape to Hobart that caught my eye. To Tasmania in the middle of winter ? Yeah why not. I have fond memories of the Dawn Princess but not very good memories of some of P&O Australia's ... Read More
It was a Dark Mofo 6 night mid-winter escape to Hobart that caught my eye. To Tasmania in the middle of winter ? Yeah why not. I have fond memories of the Dawn Princess but not very good memories of some of P&O Australia's "new" (old) ships. I thought my experience on the Pacific Eden' inaugural trip from Fremantle to Sydney a couple of years ago would have cured me from every going near P&O Australia again but....I must have had a lapse of concentration. Pacific Explorer seems to have a terrible problem with what I suspect is their sewer system. For two days the stench in the Atrium on Deck 4 level was eye watering and then one morning I woke to find the stink had found its way to my cabin on that same level. It leaves a metallic taste in your mouth. You need to escape to the open decks. But stench aside and in most other places I enjoyed myself very nicely. FOOD The Pantry is not much better than a shopping centre food hall. Its seems the food is all put out on display at the beginning of service (and replenished obviously) I mostly found things to be lukewarm or cold. Breakfast eggs were like golf balls. Toast was cold and chewy and they have the worst coffee I have every had on a cruise ship...thank you Nescafe. I restricted my visits there in the end to just lunch for a sandwich and a salad and some fresh fruit which were all very good. The dessert displays at night were sometimes a bit dramatic (one night it was pink on pink on pink) but EVERYTHING comes out of the same packet and tastes the same, no matter what colour the cake is. The Waterfront Was very nicely laid out in smaller sections and the menu was interesting despite lots of pay for extra's items and the service was pretty good by friendly staff. A glass of wine order at dinner seems to throw everyone into a spin however and one night I waited 30 minutes for the wine to arrive. Other nights I was well in to my meal before the wine finally arrived. Breakfasts in the Waterfront are very nice, very sane and civilised and the eggs, toast, and coffee are quite okay. Avoid the Pantry buffet bun fight. Alfredo's was very good (1st night) but after that I just dined in the Waterfront in the same area and mostly the same table where the staff and service was very good and the food quite surprisingly good. There were a couple of misses on the menu but after the Pacific Eden where everything on the menu that trip was a HUGE miss, I managed okay this time. Pizza For lunch one day was very nice. Not very warm but quite tasty. The Public Rooms have been very nicely decorated and service is very good. I left most of the entertainment on board to the night owls. The Dark Mofo inclusions for on land at Hobart were generous. Will I go P&O Australia again, ahhm, not sure. They need to fix that stink on the Pacific Explorer though. Everyone was talking about it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise as we had never been to Vanuatu before and this was the only cruise line which departs Auckland for this destination. We also have done two previous P&O cruises which have been ok. However the standards have ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had never been to Vanuatu before and this was the only cruise line which departs Auckland for this destination. We also have done two previous P&O cruises which have been ok. However the standards have dropped with much cheaper food lines. You can definitely see where cut backs have been made to the food which is presented. This was very dissapointing and would possibly prevent us from sailing with P&O in the future. Even in the sit down dining restaurants it was difficult to find something descent to eat. We also thought the ship could do with a good scrub down. The main viewing windows on the ship in the dining areas & restaurants were green from algie and looked disgusting. Surely there must be a way these can be cleaned as they bought the whole ship standard down. The staff were all pretty good though. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had previously cruised with Explorer several times and hoped it would still be good. Unfortunately due to the high decibel noise of the (background) music at the venues daytime and evenings while waiting for a game show or trivia to ... Read More
We had previously cruised with Explorer several times and hoped it would still be good. Unfortunately due to the high decibel noise of the (background) music at the venues daytime and evenings while waiting for a game show or trivia to commence the sound was painful. This also continued at the same level for the singers and dancers shows Several people were unhappy and I spoke to the Cruise Director about it but was ignored. I also asked the sound engineer to turn it down a little and he said his instructions were to be loud as it encouraged people to join in. Unfortunately it just meant that after 10 minutes with my fingers in my ears I could not take any more and had to leave One Theatre show was actually offensive and I do not know how anyone can think that the background of a dirty padded cell with a bed and a woman tied to it being interfered with by several 'doctors' is at all funny Avoid the slumber show it stinks Other shows I had seen previously which was lucky as I could not take the much higher decibel level this cruise The cabin staff were great even when one was off ill the other did an excellent job. Tendering was hit and miss calling us down to join the queue when there was no tender there or in site meant we were an hour standing on the stairs instead of waiting in the lounges Dining was 'different' We always use the dining rooms but twice had to leave as there was nothing on the menu which we could eat and had a good meal in the pantry. The menu shows strange mixes of ingredients so instead of a fish or meat dish you would find evidence of the other item mixed in Unfortunately the one evening we both had the roast lamb it was awful, strings of grissle and fat and no meat whatsoever. Sadly after 8 or 9 cruises with P&O Australia I do not think I can risk my hearing again and will continue with the other companies instead Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Have cruised before on Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria and wasn’t disappointed So disappointed this time around Meals average No dress code in Restaurants and children in adults only area Great Gatsby party was such a let ... Read More
Have cruised before on Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria and wasn’t disappointed So disappointed this time around Meals average No dress code in Restaurants and children in adults only area Great Gatsby party was such a let down people dressed up waiting for the party to start just hanging around stairs etc The band played wrong era music rock and Beatles Then when they did the Charleston it was by record Back to school was fun Shows were hit and miss Cabins are ok plenty of space balcony was big enough for two but needs the refurbishment Two many costly extras that are free on other cruise line Edge a waste of money and Soda drinks packages use cans to fill the glass which was often warm or flat Our cruise was a great price so I wasn’t expecting too much but unfortunately I was disappointed with the food choices in the restaurants and didn’t match was on the menu to on the plate Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Exceeded expections: The choice of restaurants, quality of food and service was outstanding. The entertainment, shows and bands were exceptional - thoroughly enjoyable. The staff were wonderful, particularly our cabin stewards. ... Read More
Exceeded expections: The choice of restaurants, quality of food and service was outstanding. The entertainment, shows and bands were exceptional - thoroughly enjoyable. The staff were wonderful, particularly our cabin stewards. The ship has been updated and decor is very tasteful. The fitness centre was well equipped with a great outlook The spa was excellent The shore excursions were extremely well organised with very little waiting time for the tenders One third of our time was absolutely terrible - sleeping! The Queen/Double bed, unlike the fabulous Princess Cruise Line mattresses, were two ancient, rock hard, collapsed 'canoes' shoved together with a ridge down the middle. By day 3 I had severe pain down my leg and spent the rest of the cruise sleeping across the bottom of the two beds as it as the only part that had any support at all. Absolutely disgusted with the bed and will never ever travel on P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
P&O Australia have really dropped the ball on their service standards. We have recently returned from a cruise to Papua New Guinea, from Brisbane, return to Brisbane. Then stayed on the for the 4 night crossing to Auckland where she ... Read More
P&O Australia have really dropped the ball on their service standards. We have recently returned from a cruise to Papua New Guinea, from Brisbane, return to Brisbane. Then stayed on the for the 4 night crossing to Auckland where she will be based until August, This was marketed as a Comedy Cruise. Whilst the ship was very good and appeared in good condition we did have a plumbing issues in our cabin, outside on deck 4. The cabin was very nice and well planned with a 3 seat settee, plus a chair, but no fridge or kettle were provided. The shower is over a tub with very high sides. Could be an issue for those with mobility problems. It is too short for an adult to sit in, you'd have your knees up under you chin. There was very good storage and hanging areas. The former library in HAL days has been converted to the Blue Room bar. It is very nice indeed, but personally I miss the library. The library now consists of a small bookshelf on wheels, wheeled out each day in the Atrium. Given that the target market spend most of their time on cellphones this is probably understandable. The main area of disappointment is in the food and service areas, particularly in what is now known as the pantry, previously the buffet. Firstly the staff has been considerably reduced and the very competent Filipinos have been replaced by others, mostly Indian and Sri Lankan. .They are no where near as enthusiastic and helpful, and often they are quite surly. I must stress, the Vanuatuan staff are great, as usual. Tables take forever to be cleared, and then usually they are not even wiped clean, just a brush with a napkin to flick the crumbs on to the floor. This did improve near the end of the cruise, but was still not good. On the morning we arrived back in Brisbane my wife and I were in the pantry area before it was opened and you could clearly sea dirty tables, and goodness know when the carpet was last vacuumed. Given this was before most people has risen and after what I would have thought was nightime cleaning, I was very surprised indeed at the situation. There is also no one ensuring hands are sanitised prior to eating, first time I have never seen this on a cruise. As for the food, well cost cutting is very evident here. The pantry is no longer self service, the reason given was health related due to people coughing and touching food etc, and this I can understand. But I am sure the saving in food wastage must be huge also. It was noted how skimpy servings were. And if more was requested, the feeling was it was resented. Fish and chip section was great, except the fish I am sure, was the very cheap and nasty Bassa, and in very small portions. The roast section was great, and was my favourite. Why though, and this was something we heard a lot of people complain about, was why, on a ship marketed to Aussies and Kiwis, was there a Mexican and Indian section available every day, and yet our favourites of meat pies, burgers and pizzas were only available on a counter on the pool deck and had to paid extra for. And no sausage rolls or cornish pasties at all. This makes no sense whatsoever considering the market.. At breakfast there was no cold fish, salmon, kippers, herring etc, no porridge, and worst of all, and a major irritant for me, no freshly made omelets, only some revolting ones cooked on a large tray, not flipped, and cut into squares that tasted nothing like an omelet. On the sandwich bar, they were all ready made, you could not make up your own choice. There was only one type of cold meat available. And the rolls, sandwiches were full of mayo...yuk. There was no afternoon tea provided and If you returned late from ashore there was nothing at all to eat. In the main Waterfront dining room, any steaks were extra cost!!!. Beef Wellington $31, Eye filet, $36. Never ever seen this before. Lobster as an extra I can understand, but steak !!. A flank steak was offered, 3 very thin slices. In the two other free restaurants, Angelos, and the Asian, they were great, and we rotated our dining areas each night. Sometimes though, again, portions could be very small. But lovely ambiance. Servings generally, were very small everywhere, and for the first time on a cruise, I went up to the pantry for extra's on two occasions, as I was still hungry !. All in all there was very strong smell of cost cutting in all areas. Given we have not cruised with P&O Aust since 2014, this was our 6th cruise with them, the changes were very noticeable, No meetings for singles, LGBT etc, no meetings with Dr. Bill (The AA's), In fact not even a Sunday service, (I would stress none of these are my cup of tea !), But surprising never the less.. Thankfully, no art auctions either. That was a bonus !. But everywhere was the hard sell for Elemis beauty deals, it drove me mad. And why cannot a decent coffee, which is extra cost, be served in a decent cup and not a paper cup. (P&O claim they are Eco friendly) There is now loud music everywhere, the worst being around the pool deck in the afternoons. I don't mind music at all, but all does it all have to be so loud. I much prefer the softer music in her previous HAL days. I appreciate that P&O are aiming for a younger market, but the lowering of the dress standards in the evening dining areas was a bit much. Since when did thongs, singlet, stubbies, or thongs, beach shorts, t-shirt and beanie constitute "smart casual". Or thongs, sox, dirty tracky daks, t-shirt and beanie. The most outrageaus being a female in her 20's, wearing jeans with a bib, and being naked from the waist up, except for the bib !!. None of these were questioned or turned away in the dining room. That is just low life and not what we come to expect on a cruise. Sorry P&O Aust, you have lost us, the ship is lovely, the ship size is spot on, entertainment good, ports were great, cabin service superb, tenders crews, as usual top class, but as for the rest, ....NAH....I think it is Princess, HAL or CMV for us from now on. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Hi just got back from a p&o cruise on the dawn I think it’s time the ship had a up grade the floor in my cabin felt not to stable and there was a real bad smell around the ship Food was always the same entertainment was average.id ... Read More
Hi just got back from a p&o cruise on the dawn I think it’s time the ship had a up grade the floor in my cabin felt not to stable and there was a real bad smell around the ship Food was always the same entertainment was average.id write this on there Facebook page but it looks like they only pick the good comments. I think it’s time they up graded the ship and the entertainment and more things to do iv been on 4 cruises on this ship and found this one to be boring sorry p&o hopefully this review helps to make an improvement not so much bring it down after all people sacrifice for for mouth s years to go on a cruise of a life time . But I’m finding p&o it’s all about the turn around not what the people want hopefully this review improves things on the ship thanks ange Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Wouldn't have liked more than 4 days on this ship 4 nights was just enough The kids water area was extremely busy Pool area very busy and noisy The Pantry was overcrowded we couldn't find a table Luckily we ... Read More
Wouldn't have liked more than 4 days on this ship 4 nights was just enough The kids water area was extremely busy Pool area very busy and noisy The Pantry was overcrowded we couldn't find a table Luckily we booked our table in the waterfront restaurant and ate there every night the trick is to book your table immediately on boarding The adult area at the back of the ship was very quiet nice place to relax but a long walk to the pool The weather was very hot and unfortunately the pool area was extremely busy so cooling off in the pool was not enjoyable I Started to feel slightly unwell on the last day, I've now been bed bound for the last few days with sever flu symptoms, my husband also very ill Anyone going on a cruise please get a flu vaccination a few weeks before departure Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Did the 3 night food and wine cruise with friends on the Pacific Eden to/from Adelaide for the 3rd time in 3 years. As we had found previously, it was a pleasant way to spend a long weekend. The ship is showing its age in parts but is ... Read More
Did the 3 night food and wine cruise with friends on the Pacific Eden to/from Adelaide for the 3rd time in 3 years. As we had found previously, it was a pleasant way to spend a long weekend. The ship is showing its age in parts but is still serviceable. Like the fact that the ship has a Promenade deck that allows you to do a complete circuit of the ship. The entertainment was excellent, with the Australian Cruise Director having a good sense of humour and having having a good team. Loved our lunch in Salt (extra charge but well worth it). Angelos (Italian restaurant) and Dragon Lady (Pan Asian), which are both free, seem to have got better since our last venture on this ship. Didn’t use the Pantry but found the food in Waterfront was fine. The beer and cheese tasting, along with the food and wine pairing sessions were well run. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
To give this review some context we are somewhat experienced cruisers having been three times on RCL, twice on Carnival and once on Celebrity, three of those cruises were for nineteen nights and the rest shorter. Pacific Dawn is an ... Read More
To give this review some context we are somewhat experienced cruisers having been three times on RCL, twice on Carnival and once on Celebrity, three of those cruises were for nineteen nights and the rest shorter. Pacific Dawn is an older and smaller ship than most we’d been on but after the refurbishment the interior of the ship is typical of most ships and in good condition. The ship had recently been affected by Cyclone Oma so there were more than the usual signs of surface rust showing, the crew were always painting whenever conditions allowed. Cruise ships are like aircraft they are constantly in use, a docked cruise ship is just eating money, so a quick turnaround is always the norm, this necessitates maintenance being done whilst a ship is on a cruise. Overall, we thought the Pacific Dawn was well maintained and in good condition considering its age. Our cabin was a suite (SA) on deck eleven, it was very comfortable, the carpets and everything that wasn’t nailed down had been replaced during the refurbishment. That said we aren’t 5 Star travellers, preferring budget airlines and better rooms in 4 star hotels instead of standard rooms in 5 star hotels. Without question the best thing about this ship are the crew, an amazing bunch of people, they were always, friendly, smiling and helpful. We ate in both the Main Dining Room and The Pantry as well as room service breakfasts on most mornings, the room service breakfasts were excellent as were some of the meals in the other two venues, however we felt that choices in the MDR were somewhat limited and seemed designed more to impress than please, a lady on an adjacent table received a turkey breast that was so tough she couldn’t cut it and it was replaced by another, somewhat better but still tough. Some of the meals were excellent, barramundi in filo pastry, Italian meat balls and lasagne with quinoa spring to mind, my wife who is less adventurous found most of the meals a bit too exotic and settled for soup and desert on many nights, she was obviously disappointed (her waistline wasn’t!) Here again the staff were excellent! Our experience in the Pantry was similar with their breakfasts quite good when we ate there but on occasions the food was pretty ordinary, on the first day I had an Asian dish with beef that was very tough, on another occasion they had a lot of cinnamon and sugar donuts which looked lovely but required some serious chewing to eat. On the other hand the fish and chips were excellent, the deserts were variable some good some not so good which pretty much sums up the food generally. The Pantry is an excellent concept as long as it is well staffed and in our experience it was, there is no doubt that having all of the food served from behind glass will limit the gastro problem as people can’t drop a spoon on the floor and put it back, taste food off the spoon and put it back etc etc as is sometimes seen in the traditional buffets. The eating areas are also divided into smaller areas which avoids that cafeteria feeling of some ships. We had drinks before dinner most nights in the Cocktail Bar on deck seven overlooking the Atrium, the service was good but they repeatedly ran out of martini glasses and had to serve them in a wine glass and a beer glass was no where to be seen. Pretty poor form for a cocktail bar. Like all cruises common sense is required if you don’t want to search for a table in the Pantry don’t go at peak times, the same can be said for going ashore by tender, after all it’s a holiday, will another half hour ruin your day? We didn’t go to any shows but we did go ashore in Alotau to the Cultural Festival which was excellent, didn’t in Kitava because it rained on and off, Rabaul was a fascinating place and really took some getting used to because people would come up to you, introduce themselves and thank you for visiting Rabaul, one of those situations that invariably invokes the “what are you selling response” but these people were genuine and a refreshing change to the usual run of spivs and hawkers you come across on shore visits. We also went ashore in Kiriwina and had a swim as well. All of the islands were worth a visit but be sure to have reef shoes, the coral can be very sharp, even on some of the beaches. Regardless of the ups and downs we enjoyed our cruise to PNG, there were a good range of people on board, a few children but overall a well-behaved and friendly crowd. Would we cruise again with P & O? Probably not, but we choose cruises by itinerary and when we booked this was one of few cruises going to PNG, that has now changed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our 6th cruise, our first with P&O. Overall, a good cruise, but compared to other lines (Norwegian and Carribean) not so good. SHIP - older but refurbished in 2015 and was ok. CABIN- inside at stern. Great cabin with ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise, our first with P&O. Overall, a good cruise, but compared to other lines (Norwegian and Carribean) not so good. SHIP - older but refurbished in 2015 and was ok. CABIN- inside at stern. Great cabin with pretty good room. A bit of rust in shower but not really a problem. Biggest problem was the aisle being uneven and holes in deck beneath the carpet. A slant was ok, but not dips and holes. DINING- food overall was disappointing, particularly compared to the other ships we’ve been on.The chefs need to taste their food, some dishes too salty or not salted. The Pantry has a variety of options that were mediocre. Some dishes were ok but nothing outstanding. The Indian food was very disappointing considering many chefs are Indian. We hated the buffet style but being served by staff for every dish was unusual as every other cruise was self serve. Probably saves waste, but we didn’t like it. The waterfront restaurant was ok, but nothing outstanding. Italian was slightly better but lots of kids dining ruined the experience for us. Luke Mangaan’s paid restaurant had excellent food. Dragon Lady Asian restaurant was very good. No soft serve ice cream available... really? The paid for New Zealand ice cream was nice but expensive. We were staggered at why we had to pay at The Grill by the pool for Hamburgers, Hot dogs, Nachos Pizzas etc. Lucky the ship is Australian based cause the Yanks would go crazy!. ENTERTAINMENT- typically mixed! Most good, some excellent. Special mention for Sideshow Alley. Best we,ve seen on a cruise. SERVICE- room service was fine. Not much cleaning around ship though.Some public toilets needed more than once daily cleaning. On other cruises, water on the pool deck was wiped up almost instantly, not so on Pacific Aria. No towels at the pool after returning from a shore day was especially irritating, as were the crew comment to go and get your room towels. PORTS- ok. P&O had the best on off procedure we’ve had. Still takes some time but it just seemed to work. Good value shore excursions compared to rip off prices on other ship lines. WOULD WE RECOMMEND? Probably Not, better overall on other lines. We still had a great holiday. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Just to try out cruising. We have heard that cruis8ng is the way to holiday as we live on the road as we travel with our caravan full time. So we gave it ago. Beer run out, wine run out but the only beer we were able to buy was just so ... Read More
Just to try out cruising. We have heard that cruis8ng is the way to holiday as we live on the road as we travel with our caravan full time. So we gave it ago. Beer run out, wine run out but the only beer we were able to buy was just so much dearer than we could afford, so had used up more of our off shore spending money just to have a drink on ship. Also butter, marmite, peanut butter and marmalade run out very early in cruise. Will try amoth cruise company next time, as not happy to not be provided with services. The getting off the ship at Singapore was just a mess. Told to disembark at 9.10, Did not get off ship until 10 am, then spent 25 minutes in que to get through through immergration. No water or coffee was offered as people who had to be up and collect passport at 6am we’re getting very thirsty. No way again Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We are currently cruising PNG on the Pacific Aria. We have had two docking days and 2 tendering days with one more tender due at the Conflict Islands tomorrow 26 February which has been canceled due to the swell. Unfortunately I have to ... Read More
We are currently cruising PNG on the Pacific Aria. We have had two docking days and 2 tendering days with one more tender due at the Conflict Islands tomorrow 26 February which has been canceled due to the swell. Unfortunately I have to say that the organisation of the tendering of passengers is an absolute dogs breakfast. Three tenders trying to move a thousand passengers to and from the islands results in people waiting three hours to get off the ship and then having only a couple of hours ashore before last boat back to the ship. A lot of passengers just gave up and stayed on board. P&O needs to review their practices if they expect to attract passengers to this cruise in future. Generally the ship is very tired and shows it’s age. The crew are friendly and very accommodating and helpful. Book early for feature dining venues as people book multiple nights at a time. Drinking is expensive and the measures are doubtful and the choices are limited when it comes to beer. If you have a couple of coffees and soft drinks during the day and a couple of beers, wines or cocktails each day it’s worth considering a package. Beer averages $8, cocktails $12 -$16. We booked an access all areas ship tour which was supposed to happen on the sea days after we left PNG. Unfortunately we didn’t get the advice of when it was on and missed out. We were on this ship 12 months ago and I think the entertainment was far superior on that cruise. Admittedly the weather caused the cancellation of some shows but generally, apart from one three piece group, the entertainment was pretty mediocre. PNG is a great experience. On the islands the people are friendly and not at all pushy when offering craft and goods at the markets. If you purchase wooden products make sure they are sealed or they may be confiscated by customs on your return. There’s plenty of items produced by the local people as well as the usual rubbish made in China like caps and stubby coolers. Take plenty of Kina. Even if you don’t spend it the locals will ask you to exchange it for Aussie $ which they can’t use. You will get A$25 for 50 Kina compared to $16 from the currency traders in Australia. Rabaul was devastated by the volcano in 1995. The township was rebuilt in a new location but the small villages remain without power today so cooking is over open fire and lightning is by kerosene lamps or gas. Education is free but parents can’t afford uniforms and shoes for the kids so they don’t go to school. So all in all the destinations were very good. The service was good but the ship is tired and the organisation left a lot to be desired. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We took this short, 4 day local cruise because my husband has recently become disabled and wheelchair dependent, and we both wanted to see how we would manage by ourselves on a cruising holiday with his disabilities. We were in one of only ... Read More
We took this short, 4 day local cruise because my husband has recently become disabled and wheelchair dependent, and we both wanted to see how we would manage by ourselves on a cruising holiday with his disabilities. We were in one of only 2 wheelchair accessible cabins. Sadly, they were obviously included as an afterthought because they were both located on deck 4, at the very front of the ship (so the ride through rough weather wasn't at all pleasant) but we didnt have any choice. Ideally, these cabins should have been positioned near the elevators to allow easier access for people with disabilities. The cabin had tiny port hole windows - they had paint all over them and were so filthy it was hard to see anything through them. However, the cabin itself was very spacious so as to accommodate our wheelchair and other equipment, although the layout was not at all wheelchair friendly. It was almost impossible for my husband to get into bed because his wheelchair couldn't be positioned along side the bed, necessitating the need for me to push, pull and roll my husband into position from the foot of the bed and he isn't a small man! The corridor leading from the elevators to our cabin was very long and narrow and quite often the cabin stewards and cleaners would block the passage with their cleaning equipment making it all but impossible to manoevre the wheelchair through the obstacle course. The elevators, we found, were extremely tiny and my husbands wheelchair only just squeezed in sideways, with me and maybe one other person being able to get inside at the same time. In regards to restaurants it is essential to make reservations the immediately upon embarkation otherwise it is highly likely you will be eating in "The Pantry" for the entire cruise. This is located on the Lido Deck and replaces the traditional buffet however the food is average food court fare, akin to what you would find in your local shopping centre, and is only open at set times, unlike other cruise line buffets which are pretty much open most of the time. There are 3 other "free" restaurants on board - Angelo's (offers tiny portions of mediocre Italian cuisine - you can upgrade to "nicer" food for a fee), The Waterfront (A La Carte dining; tiny portions; we paid a fee and upgraded our main course to steak - disgusting, fatty and gristly - I cook better steaks than that - so it was very disappointing to pay extra for poor quality steak) and finally, Dragon Lady Asian cuisine. This place was wonderful. We ate here on the 3rd night and were fully prepared for another disappointing dining experience, but we were pleasantly surprised as the food and service was wonderful with good portion sizes. There are also 3 places to eat where guests must pay extra - Salt Grill by Luke Mangan (we didn't dine here but we were told that the food is delicious), The Chefs Table (again we didnt dine here) and on the Lido Deck by the pool the is "The Grill". Here guests can purchase hot dogs, chips, pies, burgers etc. We had a pizza late one night and hot dogs during the day after the pantry had closed for lunch. Both were just okay (nothing to write home about), but on previous cruises with other cruise lines, these items were always included in the cruise fare and not an additional fee, so I felt that this was a bit of a rip off. The actual ship as a whole was just average; the crew and staff, although pleasant and friendly towards the guests, all seemed unhappy and bored. There weren't enough staff around to keep on top of the cleaning and it was all too common in the pool and deck areas to see filthy tables, dirty dishes and food and drink spillages left unattended to, and not a bin in sight. The whirlpool spas were at a pleasant temperature but the spa jets weren't operating and they had disintegrated in places. In all, I would say our short get away was okay, but the ship lacked atmosphere, fun and excitement. The live musicians were pretty terrible, out of tune and off key, and the whole ship seemed tired, worn and lackluster. I understand that this ship has been sold and would be making its final voyage for P&O in a few weeks which would explained why it was like it was... Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I was very excited for the cruise and have heard many good things from family members whom have all been on cruises before (with different companies). However, there are a few things the Pacific Eden can improve on, things I expected to be ... Read More
I was very excited for the cruise and have heard many good things from family members whom have all been on cruises before (with different companies). However, there are a few things the Pacific Eden can improve on, things I expected to be done properly. Our room was very clean and neat but the towels were old and felt like sandpaper, some staysoft wouldn't hurt and new towels would've been nice. The toilet didn't have any toilet spray, which is weird because it's not really something you think of packing when going on a cruise, it should be supplied. The little shop didnt have aftersun or chewies (chewing gum), also dissapointing because those 2 things are quite important on a holiday but unfortunately people forget theirs at home alot. The pools and Jacuzzis were all cold and not heated. This was very dissapointing, barely any adults were swimming due to this. We like warmer water! Dinner wasn't supplied after 9-10pm, what about us midnight snackers? I suggest some vending machines in the hallways. Finally, on our last night we were expected to leave our luggage at our doors to be collected for departure the next day, this had to be done by 8pm, I cannot explain how annoying this was, we had to keep aside our sleepwear, toothbrushes etc and the next day's clothing, then somehow had to stuff it all in our hand luggage (backpacks and purses) when departing. Why can't we keep our luggage until the next morning? Other than those few things, everything was clean and tidy, we enjoyed the entertainment alot! I suggest improving the things mentioned above, then I'd definitely give you a 5 star rating. Thanks! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise to attend the Australian Tennis Open in Melbourne The Waterfront Restaurant had no table clothes and the service was very poor and generaly very disappointing, Some of the staff at the reception desk were very ... Read More
We chose this cruise to attend the Australian Tennis Open in Melbourne The Waterfront Restaurant had no table clothes and the service was very poor and generaly very disappointing, Some of the staff at the reception desk were very rude, The balcony cabin that we had paid a lot of money for was very disappointing, the spa bath did not work, the plug in the bath leaked, The TV reception was very poor, which ment that we had to go to a public area to watch the tennis which was the reason that we were on the cruise the air-conditioning was impossible to regulate, it was either hot or cold, there was no WI Fi even though it was listed as being available The cheese and biscuit platter that we orded to be delived to our room had stale biscuits, Over all we were very disappointed in this tired old ship Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Run down and no care as this ship is sold already, not a lot of activities to do during sea days that’s when the staff decide to show up and run them anyway. The air con in our room did not work at all (along with cabins beside us) we ... Read More
Run down and no care as this ship is sold already, not a lot of activities to do during sea days that’s when the staff decide to show up and run them anyway. The air con in our room did not work at all (along with cabins beside us) we told them on the day of getting on the boat and it took them 2 days to come forward and tell us the air does not work along these cabins floor 6 (evens side of the boat) we were given a portable air con that was noisey (rattling sound) and only cool when the air was directed straight at you, right above us was the kitchen very noisey all night. The restaurants on the ship were all fantastic the food was always of high standard and never disappointed and the staff were all welcoming and friendly except the guy serving the alcohol drinks in the pantry other then him all staff were great. Disembarking was terrible sitting in the marquee room for over an hour. If this was my first time cruising I would not cruise again, however I have been on the Carnival Spirit and know cruising is fun just a shame P&O don’t care about this ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our second cruise on the Eden, same time of year as last year, same destination- Moreton Island. Firstly, overall, we had a lovely time. For 2 tired mums needing a mum-cation, let’s be honest... a rubber ducky to nowhere ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Eden, same time of year as last year, same destination- Moreton Island. Firstly, overall, we had a lovely time. For 2 tired mums needing a mum-cation, let’s be honest... a rubber ducky to nowhere would had sufficed. So the dancing, drinking and cheesy activities did not disappoint. Our cabin this time was oceanview again but instead of quiet deck 4, we were on deck 6, conveniently about 10 doors down from the atrium. We were about 10 cabins down from the smoking area and we were never bothered by people there. Most of the smokers were up on deck 12 and deck 6 was closed due to winds a lot of the time anyway. So if that is a fear you’re having about being on deck 6, fear not. We wouldn’t really know they were there. Our cabin was almost perfect except for the plug in the shower/bath which when you turned the big dial to let water out, it literally fell off! So we had our steward just remove the plug part for our stay as we didn’t want to have baths anyway. As for our stewards, we didn’t have any issues with their friendliness. I did however, have to make 3 phone calls over the space of an hour for clean towels one day. Not a major inconvenience but last year they were so much more efficient. This also happened when we would call for new beach towels as they were never by the pool and they were not the best towels to use over and over as they held the water for a long time. Onto the entertainment. The production shows had slipped. They were the exact same ones as last year only with new singers and unfortunately...and I’m no Celine Dion- they were ok karaoke as best. One in particular was so irritating people were grimacing. The comedians were absolutely fantastic and the trivia and karaoke was great as always. We did not fee there was as many activities offered this time though. The bars were perfect. No issues at any. Theme nights great especially white night but the Gatsby party needs to be moved to a different venue as the mix bar is far too small. We went to karaoke instead. The restaurants are great. Good variety of food. Pantry was awesome, the Asian cuisine in particular was delicious. But the waterfront food was literally inedible. So much cinnamon in my fish dish- yes you read that right- that it sucked down my throat and I coughed up half a lung! So steer clear of waterfront even the other meals were pretty ordinary. Carbonara at angelos was lovely. Cleanliness of the ship was fine however, the windows for the public decks were absolutely filthy! Impossible to look out of them when sailing. And on scorching days, that was a real shame. Everyone on board was commenting on it. Probably the biggest issue, was that there was an entire section of cabins on deck 6 with no air con working. Apparently the ship Knew of this at the end of last cruise but could not get the part to fix it. Instead of informing the new passengers affected, those poor people found out after sail away party and had no aircon for Entire cruise. Due to it being a sold out trip, they could not be relocated. So we had upwards of 10 people some times, sleeping in the atrium at night! I imagine those people would be writing quite the strongly worded letter right about now. Moreton Island was fantastic again. Shore tours handled efficiently. No issues there at all. I truly think that because it’s so close to their last trip for P&O, they are not being as efficient in spending money where it is needed. Had we not been on the same cruise last year, these things probably wouldn’t have bothered us. But there was definitely a slip in the cruise this time. We will try a different line next year. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Last minute decision. Booked Thursday leave Friday as price was good. Little slow boarding, but no problems were dropped off in car park. Once on board went to room to discover had been set up for 4 people not a double! Staff said ... Read More
Last minute decision. Booked Thursday leave Friday as price was good. Little slow boarding, but no problems were dropped off in car park. Once on board went to room to discover had been set up for 4 people not a double! Staff said they would fix it, two bags in front of door for people unknown but with our room number on them? Anyways it was fixed later in evening, so all good except no face washers or tissues and cupboards door falling off and cupboards full of blankets etc... Cyclone Owen caused lots of high swells for few days and strong winds which meant we missed Hamilton Island. Made it into Cairns for an overnight stay. It's amazing how the cruise lines ( all of them) can arrange arrival times that make you miss by 5 minutes any chance of getting onto an outer reef trip unless you book onboard at $60 more than price ashore. AND ship leaves next day one hour before outer reef trips return to Cairns....amazing... Wet weather meant the Kuranda Rail was not running for the two days we were in port. Willis Island visit was good and sunny, interesting. Ship activities were the usual, however, the trivia was won by same group of retired woman 95% of the time ( even music trivia etc ), obviously they always do it as ship crew knew the names of the woman. It really sucks, and most people were cheesed off big time. Food at Pantry was good as usual - with the usual being sometimes cold food and overcooked bacon etc to watch out for. But variety was good. Italian and Asian restaurants were also good, but booking can sometimes be difficult especially for last few days. Waterfront didn't try as too many past experiences of slow service and crap food. Entertainment staff were generally good and Cruise Director Kabir was young but very dedicated and tech. savvy, He said he was Canadian with Indian ( as with India ) parents, he loved dressing with smart Indian attire. Dancers and guests performers were very good, no complaints there. Ship is well setup ( past Holland America Ship) and rooms are good size. Theatre is a bad setup at top level, the seats stick into your back and you cannot see the stage very well unless you are in the front. Downstairs is OK. Wine is a rip off ( minimum $9.50 a glass) , beer is average cost ( from $6). There was no bargains at the shops, everything was well overpriced including alcohol at same price you could buy it at BWS or any outlet in Australia. ( Price is half when ship goes to Port Vila ). Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I have a medical condition which prevents me from flying, so my wife and I decided to try this cruise as a test - if we can't fly, we'll float. The only real criteria for the selection was that it was from Brisbane and we could ... Read More
I have a medical condition which prevents me from flying, so my wife and I decided to try this cruise as a test - if we can't fly, we'll float. The only real criteria for the selection was that it was from Brisbane and we could book at short notice. The on-line booking process was very slick and loads of information provided - apart from anything that was actually happening on the cruise.... We had booked a suite so had priority boarding which went very smoothly. However the baggage tags were just paper. The P&O attendants at the terminal were very nice (they seem to employ everyone's grandmother for some reason) and the one we got stapled the absolute bejeezus out of the tags to reduce the risk of them getting torn off. So we waved our bags off in a pair - saw mine again about five minutes after we got to our suite and inexplicably my wife's about 3 hours after that. We were grateful as a number of other guests had theirs fail to turn up at all due to the tags being ripped off. Note to P&O - stick the hands deeper into the pockets and invest in tags they use at airports. More about the baggage later... The Princess Dawn has seen too many I'm afraid. There was nothing wrong with our suite except it has seen an awful lot of people. Clean, but worn smooth and a vague feeling you were staying in a Motor Inn somewhere in country NSW. Our stewards were very attentive and added a lot of touches through the four days - fruit in the room, nice little quotes on the mirror and a towel fashioned into a penguin (complete with googly eyes). The bathroom was functional decorated in grey marble which would have been fine if it had been a morgue. BUT loads of water pressure and the hot water was hot. There was a mystery puddle which seemed to manifest itself out of the wall, so we just kept throwing a towel over it and hoped it would go away. The bed was comfy with nice pillows. The balcony was OK, though it looked like it had been painted by someone with a nervous condition because it was everywhere - floor, furniture, door etc. The rest of ship was a larger example of the room - OK, but dated. It was like being trapped in an RSL club for four nights and surrounded by water. The meals from the Pantry were OK and the range was OK. I'm sure you're picking up the theme here - it was OK, as long as you don't expect too much. The front-line staff were excellent and were trying very hard to make up for the ship's many faults and failings. We heard a few horror stories - there were the people that paid for a suite which was perfect in every-way except the lack of air conditioning, so they were sleeping in another cabin in steerage. The people next to us had a faulty toilet which was proving difficult to fix. We know this because we heard a superheated exchange between her and ship's reception through the incredibly thin suite walls. Do not discuss or do anything you don't want to share with your ship mates! The entertainment and bars were all OK (there's that word again). So back to the bags. We were not aware that bags were collected at dinner time on the last night, so had to hurriedly buy an overnight bag to put our jammies in when we got off. You also had to tag you bags again (you guessed it - paper). Your bag is allocated a mysterious number (ours was 2). Which equated to a spot in the terminal shed where your bag might be. It wasn't. This phase of the trip was probably the most unpleasant. Imagine a shed with 1500 people with little sleep and hangovers, 3000 bags (some without tags) and the grandmother's shouting contradictory instructions and waving toward a mountain of bags. Airports do it so much better... Anyway, by some miracle we found our bags in two different spots and made our escape. SO - would we cruise again ? Most likely. Would we cruise with P&O ? Perhaps, depending on the cruise - would ask a lot more penetrating questions next time round. Also heed the title - you get what you pay for. This was value for money if you remember what you paid. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
A 4 day mini cruise from Melbourne to EDEN (NSW) and it was good. Food was OK. We ate mainly in the MDR Waterfront and there were no complaints. A small serve of one dish I had and the waiter offered to bring another serve or another ... Read More
A 4 day mini cruise from Melbourne to EDEN (NSW) and it was good. Food was OK. We ate mainly in the MDR Waterfront and there were no complaints. A small serve of one dish I had and the waiter offered to bring another serve or another choice. Had breakfast at the buffet and that was OK but annoyed that some people during busy times were just sitting at a table staring out to sea and not eating. . Wanted to do SALT again (did this 12 months prior and was really good) but at $59 extra perhead, my group said a firm NO. We are paying for Dinner anyway so P&O missed out on many passengers visiting. Sorry Luke Mangan, not your fault and missed your famous Licorice Parfait. Cabin OK for 4 nights, liked the bigger shower compared to Princess. Room Stewards so good but amazed at the number of cabin they have to do in a shift. Entertainment was good, tap dancing quartet were excellent. All in all, OK cruise, Different star rating to Princess so can't compare there. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
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