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213 P&O Australia Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise as it was the only one that suited a family holiday in School holiday times. 5 of the 7 guests have cruised extensively before, 2 were new to cruising. They will not cruise again after this experience. The rooms ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was the only one that suited a family holiday in School holiday times. 5 of the 7 guests have cruised extensively before, 2 were new to cruising. They will not cruise again after this experience. The rooms were terrible. Torn carpets, everything is falling apart. The rooms are dirty (could clearly see spilled drinks and food just left on the walls) mould throughout bathrooms and around windows on oceanview rooms. The sheets are just nasty, stained from years of use. You did not feel like lazing around in your room that is for sure. One of the rooms was so bad it took several days of complaining but eventually the bathroom was regrouted and siliconed. It shouldn't take days to get an issue sorted. And for all these inconveniences a bottle of wine was offered and dinner at salt. No room change or refund, disgusting customer service. The rooms smelled, they are in need of a thorough deep clean. Add to all this that for most of the cruise the a/c around the boat seemed to not work very well especially in the rooms. Some people we spoke to could not get there rooms below 25 degrees. On the last few nights it did start to work better but black dust and dirt was coming out the vents. Back to the smells, the boat is just old. All the bathrooms in the main areas always seemed to be overflowing constantly, not just 1 but everywhere you went. You spent a lot of time holding your breathe as you walked past certain parts. As for activities, there is not a lot to do on p&o ships. It was our second time on board one of there ships and I don't think i would ever cruise with them again. There are plenty of other options and good deals out there. If your just looking to buy a drinks package and get hammered drunk all day, then maybe this is for you but everything about p&o compared to other lines is budget. Everything is an extra. I've been on budget ships before and you get what you pay for, but for the price of these cruises for a few hundred extra i would definately go on something else. Pacific aria should be retired well and truely. P&O should be ashamed to be charging guests for such a horrid experience. I also feel extremely sorry for all the staff stuck on board, they seem severely over worked. They all look tired, and fed up, cant blame them. 2 guys cleaning 36 rooms, no wonder they are filthy. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our second cruise on this ship, the first was a disappointment as you will see in our previous review but we wanted to go to Cairns and couldn’t fly so it was Hobson’s choice. We had a balcony cabin which was a good size and ... Read More
This was our second cruise on this ship, the first was a disappointment as you will see in our previous review but we wanted to go to Cairns and couldn’t fly so it was Hobson’s choice. We had a balcony cabin which was a good size and quiet comfortable except for the bathroom which was a disaster. The shower was over a spa bath and impossible for anyone with even a minor disability to access, the toilet was designed for very short people and was very difficult to get off for elderly people, although a toilet raiser was supplied on request. Most disappointing was the food, we tried the pantry but found the food cold and unappetising. The seating arrangement was modern cafeteria and almost impossible to get a table for two. When possible we ate in the Waterfront restaurant and again were disappointed. The selection of dishes was very limited and the standard of cooking poor, in some cases inedible with that kept warm to long flavour. There was no decent coffee shop and the service was very poor generally resulting in us having to go to the bar a join a line to order. Entertainment was bog standard and after twenty cruises had nothing new to attract us.there was no classical music or decency comedy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted somewhere different to the Pacific Islands and it suited our timeline. We flew to Singapore and had a few days there before embarking on the Dawn which was an easy process except for the “Taking” ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted somewhere different to the Pacific Islands and it suited our timeline. We flew to Singapore and had a few days there before embarking on the Dawn which was an easy process except for the “Taking” of our passports, with no receipt of SUCH. Wasn’t impressed by this. Our cabin was OK. Plenty of room for 2 people. I think it went downhill from there. Went to the Pantry to have a look, well if you call it a look. We could not see out of the very dirty windows. Can’t take decent photos through windows as they are all almost opaque, we were told it is because the ship is old and it’s on the inside of the double windows and can’t be cleaned. Just terrible. The whole ship is like this. Have to go on deck to see clearly, and not on the smoking deck or you almost suffocate in the smoke. Air conditioning, or lack of it in our room from day 1. Was eventually fixed albiet, could not adjust it at all, till the second last day when it died again and then we were offered a fan as a replacement!!!!! A couple of days in and our sink plug would not unplug. Their solution to this was to pull it right out and sit it on the side of sink which left a gaping hole, we could not fill and heaven help if anything fell down the hole. Then our toilet would not flush, first thing in the morning, both busting to go. It really was a nightmare with the plumbing. The rest of ship had many, many problems with toilets not working in public area and cabins, air conditioning only worked overtime in the Marqui area where it was freezing cold every day for activities and entertainment. No wonder everyone was coughing by the end. Apparently this virus has been on this ship for years as per other reviews. Now for the food, was fabulous the first night in the Waterfront restaurant, but it went downhill from there. Very strange combination of described flavours. Mostly you could not taste any of these. Fresh basil was described on one, well one miniscule flake of green was probably basil? Meat is also inedible. Veal saltimboka was full of gristle and unchewable. Orange, marzipan bread & butter pudding had no orange at all and not sure on the marzipan, I couldn’t tell. And, their signature “crispy cream puff” with passion fruit. What a joke. Dense, doughnut like ball with no passion fruit in sight, just maybe a touch of orange colour with no flavour is on the menu every night. YUK!!! The Pantry has a wide selection of different cultures of food but usually it is cold. All the food is out by 5 o’clock to feed the under 15 kids, but is there for the rest of us. It sits for hours if not popular. I had Indian food on the last night and when I tried it the rice was dead cold, the curried veggies were tepid and the curry almost cold. Could not eat it. So much waste. The bacon at breakfast is almost unchewable, the toast is cold and you have to go two or three stations down to get rock hard butter for your toast. Ridiculous!!!!! Now to the swimming pool. Postage size pool. Over 6 foot deep with vertical ladders at the sides. People could not stand in it, kids who could not swim could not use it. Very, very difficult to get out of it. There is a kids water play area next to it that used to be a pool. I think I only saw kids playing in it about 3 times. What a waste, could have been a shallow pool for the kids. Activities, they had lots of trivia but was so hard to get a seat or join in as there just isn’t enough seating areas except for the Marquis which they only used for bingo and night entertainment. Only had 1 movie in the Marquis area and it was packed. Should have used this area more but it was always freezing in there. Shore excursions are very expensive, but did one in Bali and the Komodo tour. Very well organised and enjoyed them both. Only got off ship yesterday morning so this is very fresh, had to be out of cabin by 6-30, what is with that?? Needless to say I will never ever do a P&O cruise again if this is there standard of service. Oh, almost forgot, on the morning of disembarkation we had our onboard account in our box outside door. There was a $30 onboard credit stated on there. I queried this and it was for compensation for aircon, toilet issues. I asked for it in cash, but no they said I could spend it onboard. On what, nothing is open when in dock. Laughable!!!!!!!! NEVER AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My Fiance bought this cruise for my 50th birthday. We departed from Singapore on 25/08/19. Singapore is a magnificent place by the way. The first thing we noticed was that the ship was not the gleaming white vessel depicted in the ... Read More
My Fiance bought this cruise for my 50th birthday. We departed from Singapore on 25/08/19. Singapore is a magnificent place by the way. The first thing we noticed was that the ship was not the gleaming white vessel depicted in the brochures. On deck 12 there are large windows which are held in by steel bracelets. These brackets in places were rusted through and effectively were holding nothing. The carpet outside our room was marked and stained and the hallway smelt musty. There was also an odour of raw sewerage which remained inside and outside for the rest of the cruise. This smell was disgusting. The carpet in our room was frayed, wet and musty. The carpet had to be lifted and dried with a blower. The shower had active mould growing around the top. The shower vent was rusted as was the outer wall. Fittings were missing off the toilet and the toilet brush was disgusting. At night our cabin door squeaked constantly to the point that we had to jam paper in it to quieten it. In some toilets cisterns were not secured to the walls. One tap was covered in duct tape to stop a leak. Some of the doors in public toilets were swollen from moisture and smelt bad. Every day they would incinerate rubbish which would cause black soot to fall all over the back of the ship including in your drinks, food and clothing. All of the windows on the ship were filthy - even at the start of the cruise. The cabin walls are incredibly thin and you can hear everything going on the next cabin. Activities are tailored toolder people. The pool is tiny. Damien Mullin (Elvis) was very good as was the comedian Stephen Whiteley. The rest of the entertainment was so so. There was plenty of food but the same thing was served many different ways. Eg todays roast became tomorrow's stir fry the sandwiches on the third day. The staff were friendly but even their enthusiasm does not not make up for the tired old tub they work on. The ship had been dry docked in Singapore for 14 days for maintenance so it must have been bad before. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise because it was going to Singapore , what a mistake , smell of sewerage everywhere , our toilet kept blocking up .Over crowded ,swimming pool was more like a bath tub .Had to wait hours to get on and off ship by tender ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was going to Singapore , what a mistake , smell of sewerage everywhere , our toilet kept blocking up .Over crowded ,swimming pool was more like a bath tub .Had to wait hours to get on and off ship by tender .Staff as usual were excellent hpwever management treated everyone lime cattle .Never again ,got charge for visa to Timor , only out about the day before we arrived there , then price went up 33 1/3 % overnight . Lined up everywhere for food , half the time couldn't get a seat when dining or for shows . Found most ot the staff who were higher up in rank rude and arogant . The ship itself is old , there is rust everywhere and bits were actually falling off .A lot of the facilities were out of order and were never fixed the whole time we were on the cruise . Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to the Darwin Cup and Komodo Island. All that dates aligned with the ship docking in Darwin on the date of the Darwin Cup. Paseptic Doom Room 8107 -do not go there. I was so excited to be ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to the Darwin Cup and Komodo Island. All that dates aligned with the ship docking in Darwin on the date of the Darwin Cup. Paseptic Doom Room 8107 -do not go there. I was so excited to be going on a cruise, Brisbane to Singapore, with stops at Port Douglas, Darwin, Timor Leste, Komodo Island and Benoa Bali. I had read some bad reviews and also some good reviews about the Pacific Dawn and I decided to go with the the good reviews. I booked an interior room and were surprised to have been given a complimentary upgrade to cabin 8107, obstructed view. The first night we noticed our floor vibrating, then the loud noise from the band, then karaoke (help me please). We made the decision to not come back to our cabin till after 11.30 to avoid this. We had a great few days enjoying the ship. The decor is very modern, and we soon settled in to ship life. Day 2 my partner came down with very bad head congestion and rough cough. By Day 6 I also had it. So we did not contaminate others, we lay low and and hid in our cabin. That’s when we noticed the little laneway outside our cabin carrying all kind of engineering/ seamen past our cabin window. One whole afternoon they were grinding metal outside our windows. So curtains closed during the day, and noise till 11.30 pm each night. As we disembarked in Darwin to head to the chemist for medication, we noticed a couple of 100 more people with the same problem cough. After we were feeling a little better and not contagious we ventured out. One night in the Marqee lounge, the chorus of coughing was louder than the entertainment. My guess would be that the air conditioning on this ship is very sick. We washed our hands thoroughly, used the sanitiser, I sanitised our cabin twice a day with eucalyptus spray. You can’t catch it through the food handling as the staff handle all the food. So I am guessing if you go on this ship get a balcony cabin so you can have fresh air. I am sitting by the pool right now and it is a chorus of coughing. Now down to the sewerage problem. The first couple of days all was fine, then a massive sewerage smell started sweeping over the ship. Staff outside the Marquee were spraying air freshener on to the carpet to try to cover it up. The smell was very dominant around deck 7,8,9 and 11. This is not good enough P&O. This is a major health risk to your staff and your passengers. I do hope that this is your major priority of your 2 week dry dock in Singapore. Getting off the ship at tender ports. It is so slow. Arrive Bali at 8.00am, still trying to get off at 12pm. Not complaining as I can see the problem, but just be aware if you book tours privately. Promenade bar is a great spot to get a serious drink and unwind before dinner. A very big Thank-you to John and Bella for looking out for us. Orient Bar Too noisy for me, always trivia, games, karaoke going on , but way to loud for my tastes. The Pantry Food acceptable, the only problem for me was if I wanted butter with my toast, I had to line up in 2 queues, as the butter did not live with the toast. A good concept of a food court style. Stops germs spreading. Food was ok, service was excellent. The Waterfront Gone are the days of having the same table for dinner every night. But it was ok, we got used to it. The food was of an acceptable standard and the service was efficient. Salt Grill What a disappointment We had dined here previously 10 yeas ago on the Jewel. It was brilliant back then. I ordered sashimi scallop. There was more potato on the plate than scallop, and covered in a green herb sauce that totally over powered the delicate taste of the scallop. I had a steak that was a little on the tough side for main. I had the cheese for dessert, which was the smallest serving of cheese I have seen on a platter. All in all very bad value for money at $59 per head. Nice wine list though. We also had the afternoon tea at Salt Grill which was very good at $29. I wish they would change the menu as I would have liked to this again. Chefs Table Pre dinner canapés with Australian Sparking, followed by a 7 course degustation. This was a lovely meal, the standout dish for me was the lobster bisque We had Tuna Lobster Bisque Barramundi Strawberry Daquiri Steak Mango dessert Cheese platter All dishes had accompanying Australian wines. It was a very well balanced out menu Shell & Bones Thanks Kylie for a wonderful night. The food was what I expected and the prices reasonable. We ended up esting here Twice The Grill Perfect Pizza, excellent. The Spa Did not go to the spa as the prices were off the charts. I really wanted a masssge but not at those prices. I wonder how many people would book treatments if the prices were not so high. Our Cabin 8107 Very clean, our steward James was fantastic looking after us in every possible way. Hot water is magically hot and pressure is the best. But as above, do not book this if you want privacy or peace and quiet. The Orient bar runs all day and concludes at 9.45 and some nights 11.45pm. All access tour. I really wanted to do this, it was something I was looking forward too. We had the access all area’s tour booked, but we are both so sick and we don’t want to affect anyone else’s holiday. The staff are amazing, they go above and beyond any request possible. If it were not for the bad cabin and illness I would rate this a really good cruise. Day Trips Port Douglas Too rough to tender. Darwin Went to the Darwin cup, the buses run for free from the city service. The set up on the day is great, Hundred of long tables under cover for the public. Timor Leste We chose to tour privately with Timor Adventures. The tour was great, but we were pushed for time due to the tender process getting off the boat. Our tour was scheduled to leave at 9am, but it did not leave until 11am, whilst we waited for people to get off the boat. We drove out to the old fort, stopped at an old gaol, seaside lunch, Cristo Rei and the cemeteries where the massacre was. We learnt a lot about the struggles of the people of Timor Leste. Komodo Island We booked a private tour here with Beyond Komodo Tours. It was the highlight of my trip. We had a small group tour of the dragons, sighting 7 in total. We then went on a boat to Pink Beach where we were given snorkelling gear and were dropped straight on the the reef. It was spectacular, beautiful corals and a multitude of fish. Then we were served a delicious lunch of prawns, calamari, chicken, eggplant and stir fry with rice and noodles. Thankyou Leo from Beyond Komodo. This made our trip. Bali Another private tour in a car to Ubud, we visited the monkey forest, a traditional housing compound and a Lewakcoffee house. As we struggled to get off the ship again due to tended, we missed 4 hours of our tour. We used Hire Bali Driver. Leo was very good trying to fit in as much as possible. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I wish to make a few comments about my recent 3 night comedy cruise aboard P&O Pacific Dawn from Brisbane. I have travelled on this ship for a previous South Pacific Cruise as well as several cruises aboard Princess and Norwegian ... Read More
I wish to make a few comments about my recent 3 night comedy cruise aboard P&O Pacific Dawn from Brisbane. I have travelled on this ship for a previous South Pacific Cruise as well as several cruises aboard Princess and Norwegian cruise lines. I felt that the standard of customer service on the Pacific Dawn has declined to almost deplorable level, most notably the friendliness of staff and their readiness to offer help. The meals were mediocre at best. The choices were limited and it was a struggle at some meals to find something appetising. I also felt that there is a culture of penny pinching, as in everything is at an extra cost. As an example I was shocked at The Indulge menu in the main dining room, at an extra cost. And The Grill has a fee for food items. We did visit Salt and enjoyed our meal but I was violently ill a few hours later and believe the sea scallops were to blame (I commented to my fellow diner at the time that they tasted a bit strange). The ultimate insult was to be asked to vacate our cabin at 6:30am on our disembarkation day. This was our holiday, not bootcamp. Lots of very grumpy travellers that morning! Breakfast was offered until 7:30am on the last morning but was served in a rushed brusk manner. Add to all this the unpleasant smells in some corridors, the slow lifts which would sound fault alarms when they were half full, the blocked toilets on various decks, and the very inappropriate locations of Trivia and other social events (the lobby???, really) which were much too small for all the attendees, and you can perhaps understand why I am disappointed with the way the P&O experience has declined to the point that the brand is being harmed. Cheap can be good, but cheap and nasty is NEVER good. Regretfully I will not be travelling with P&O again on my future cruises, since standards have dropped a step too far, and with plenty of competition I will be looking for more pampering and attention in the future. Good Points: The bed was comfortable, and the comedy acts and other entertainment were very good. Embarkation was quick and easy. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I have been on many cruises with various cruise line. This has been my 5th P & O and I must say after this trip I will never sail with P & O again. The cabins are so small that you don't even have room for your luggage ... Read More
I have been on many cruises with various cruise line. This has been my 5th P & O and I must say after this trip I will never sail with P & O again. The cabins are so small that you don't even have room for your luggage when you empty it. Not even under the bed which is where you normally would store it. The entertainment was very average. The food was below standard except for the in 400 Gradi, which was excellent. The cruise director and her crew were excellent. As were the cabin staff. But the biggest problem a of all was a stench that was evident throughout the whole ship for 5 of the 6 days. People could smell it in their rooms, the dining areas and the bars. There was just no escaping it. The reception staff kept making excuses, but at no time were we ever given the truth about the smell or was any sort of apology given. At one stage the even tried to say that it was a passengers deodorant. We spoke to other passengers who said that they had had the same problem previously on the Explorer. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This is now our third cruise, our second (and last) with P&O. Our first cruise was with P&O on our own and we weren’t impressed, but it was our first and a few years ago now so we thought we would give them another try. The money ... Read More
This is now our third cruise, our second (and last) with P&O. Our first cruise was with P&O on our own and we weren’t impressed, but it was our first and a few years ago now so we thought we would give them another try. The money grab of the century is probably the easiest way to explain it, no happy hours for drinks, no coffee card and the cocktails were so watered down that having 2 of them back to back had no effect at all, just lolly water. The ship is tired with outdated decor. The food was just ok, the Pantry (or pigs trough as we called it) was ordinary, little variety and didn’t change. The Waterfront was ok, but always rushed with a small menu which also didn’t change much. The language barrier was an issue at times also and when asking for certain items to be added or subtracted from a meal it was a bit of a lucky dip. The ship was so crammed with people it was very difficult most times to get a seat to watch any of the entertainment. We decided to try out the Salt grill, which was about $100 extra per couple, the food was very good, but the service was poor, getting the cooking of our steaks wrong and reaching across us often during service. (The Luke Mangan blurb in the menu also had spelling and grammatical errors, he would not be happy) We were unable to stop at 2 out of the 5 islands, I know this is out of their control, but at Conflict Islands the ship left immediately once the decision was quickly made at 9am, then sailing back slowly because of the extra time which made for a very bumpy ride. Many seasick for that next day. I had to go back twice where extra drinks were put against my cruise card, when challenged about it they said they yelled out to me but I walked away, mind you I then sat in the lounge where the bar was for the next hour or so, but nobody came over to me even though the same person was floating around taking drink orders, I had to sort it out, dishonest is a word which comes to mind. Ok, ok, ok, it can’t be all bad I hear you thinking! Well the production shows were very good, but because the Marquee theatre is so dated, their electronic screen, which is a big part of their show is stepped back behind the curtains and unless you sit in the front area, you can’t see it. This was often an issue because of the amount of people crammed onto this boat. Overall a terrible experience, my son and daughter in law came with us and have now asked us not to invite them on another cruise because of how bad this one was. Avoid at all costs, go for another cruise line if you can. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
It was my birthday month and I was celebrating my birthday on board the Pacific Jewel P&O. P&O had said they had given me a birthday package and asked me when I would like it. I had said the first day 1/3/19 when I got on the ship ... Read More
It was my birthday month and I was celebrating my birthday on board the Pacific Jewel P&O. P&O had said they had given me a birthday package and asked me when I would like it. I had said the first day 1/3/19 when I got on the ship which we had been on before. BUT NO, I never got it at all. This didn’t start out to be a pleasant cruise from day one.I had gone down to the front counter several times and ask them about it, they said they would get on to it each time I asked, but as usual had gone on deaf ears, like the rest of the complaints they were getting. The drink package we got, waste of time and money, ran out of just about everything. The staff were rude and couldn’t wait to get off the ship in my eye and in a few other customer I spoke to as well. There were a few that were lovely but very few. The crew were probably upset because so many customer were complaining to them and they took the brunt of it. Customer, myself and my husband were getting upset with the alcohol, food, service, entertainment, stock it shops and closing the shops before the cruise had ended, air conditioning not working and a lot more things running out and not working on this cruise. I did relax as I stayed in the cabin a lot because I was upset and crying most of the time because of what was going on or should I say what was not going on, quality wise. Getting up at 5:30 am to collect our passports, on holiday and when you didn’t need to get off the ship till 9:30am. Other ships delivered them to your cabins the night before. I have but in a complaint to P&O and they said they would get in touch we us in 5-10 working days, have heard nothing. DEAF EARS AGAIN. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Having just returned from the Airlie beach cruise I thought i would share my thoughts on this cruise. 1/ Ship overcrowded, especially at meal times. 2/ The Pantry, worst food I have ever had on a cruise (and I have been on a few). No ... Read More
Having just returned from the Airlie beach cruise I thought i would share my thoughts on this cruise. 1/ Ship overcrowded, especially at meal times. 2/ The Pantry, worst food I have ever had on a cruise (and I have been on a few). No room to sit & P & O in their wisdom decide to shut half of it at dinner time to allow them to open a restaurant in the same area. The idea of the Pantry doesn't work, long ques waiting for servers to dish out the food. Take a leaf out of other cruise lines and revert back to Buffet style dinning. Same food virtually ever meal. 3/ Understaffed, trying to find a waiter on the pool deck is like trying to win the lottery. When you walk up to the bar you are not given receipts for drinks, so you have no idea what the staff are charging you. 4/ Ship is in bad need of maintenance, rust everywhere, stained floors, windows you cannot see out (dirty need cleaning or replacing) nearly all areas of ship had unpleasant smell. All in all a very disappointing cruise for our first & last cruise with P&O, we will be sticking with Royal Caribbean & Princess Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Chose cruise for the itinerary & offered 2 days in Cairns. We are from Canada & wanted to experience great Barrier Reef without being rushed. Cruising is our vacation style of choice & have cruised in excess of 30 cruises with ... Read More
Chose cruise for the itinerary & offered 2 days in Cairns. We are from Canada & wanted to experience great Barrier Reef without being rushed. Cruising is our vacation style of choice & have cruised in excess of 30 cruises with other cruise-lines, mostly Princess. Everything about the Aria was shameful! Maybe they know they have the monopoly of that route so don't feel effort is necessary. We were aware vessel was older & refurbished but were unprepared for the shabbiness & filthy state of the ship. Customer service was non-existent & downright rude from some servers/bar-tenders. This was the ONLY time I have ever been hungry on a cruise, the food was totally inedible. The buffet alternative "The Pantry" looked like a prison cafeteria & the food being slopped out on a tin plate looked even worse. The specialty restaurants served lukewarm or room temperature food, instead of hot or chilled ! The servers had no product knowledge, were ill-informed, or didn't speak English......or, plainly didn't care! We demanded a refund for our purchased spa pkg on the first visit when nothing was working & the shower heads & hose had mould & mildew dripping down everywhere. Our balcony room was shabby although our cabin steward did make an effort to keep it groomed. Sadly we couldn't use the balcony due to the grime, paint splatters everywhere & toxic fumes coming from a very sticky railing. This experience was SO BAD we opted to get off when we reached Cairns. Never have I ever come close to any consideration like this on ANY type of vacation. It cost us a lot of extra money, but our physical health & mental anguish was worth it. Interestingly not ONE PERSON asked why we were disembarking 3 days early !!!! My recommendation NEVER, EVER go anywhere near this disgusting experience !!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We've done a few cruises now, the Pacific Dawn about 8 years ago, Royal Carribean and MSC so generally have the gist of cruising worked out. We know the Pacific Dawn is a bit old and dated but with an 8 & 10 year old chose the ... Read More
We've done a few cruises now, the Pacific Dawn about 8 years ago, Royal Carribean and MSC so generally have the gist of cruising worked out. We know the Pacific Dawn is a bit old and dated but with an 8 & 10 year old chose the ship for the convenience of sailing from Brisbane where we live and the promise of a recent refit. Except for a missing suitcase ship boarding went well and the ship itself wasn't too bad, what you would expect with clean rooms and generally clean ship. Once onboard there was the usual up sell of alcohol packages, services, shore excursions etc, no surprises. The ports of visit make this cruise good anyway but we were disappointed with general P&O way of doing things compared to the identical cruise we did with Royal Carribean, this time 3 years ago. While the boats and activities were similar, we sailed on the Legend of the Seas, RC just seemed more organised, communicated much better and the cruise went much easier. P&O's left hand does not know what its right hand is doing. In particular: Things we really liked about our recent Pacific Dawn 7 day Pacific Cruise: * Edge activities, ropes, zip line etc, kids loved it and team running it were awesome! * Waiters and room staff, as always they work so hard and are always friendly. * Food good although see below about seats and waiting. * Ports of call, good. Things we disliked about our recent Pacific Dawn 7 day Pacific Cruise: * Too much drinking and encouragement of drinking. On the first day we couldn't find the TV remote and the recurring P&O message about responsible service of alcohol kept playing but from what I witnessed the reality did not match the rhetoric. * Our room was near the main entrance and the music would flow straight through the walls. I get they're trying to keep the party going but at 11:30 at night when the music is still pumping and the kids can't sleep this is not much fun for us. * A lot more extra charges on P&O, extra for this extra that, even extra for some menu items within the standard restaurant which is part of the including price. * First in best dressed policy, getting seats at a dinner table was about booking the best tables early which we weren't informed about and ended up at a 7:45pm table, not ideal with kids. * We NOW know the Natural Aquarium at Lifou had to be booked even before boarding, would have been nice to have been told before the 1k trek in the blazing sun. Lots of us got caught out with this one. * Lack of seats at the 'Pantry' which is the main buffet eating area. * Arriving at Noumea at 3:30pm, not sure why, Royal Carribean on the same itinerary had us there in the morning. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
First time cruising and had mixed expectations about what to expect. I can honestly say after this experience I will never cruise again with P&O. 1. Drinks Package: Purchased this after paying $750 for the 8 day package. Seemed ... Read More
First time cruising and had mixed expectations about what to expect. I can honestly say after this experience I will never cruise again with P&O. 1. Drinks Package: Purchased this after paying $750 for the 8 day package. Seemed like good value, and was, but the only down side was the drinks are watered down and nine times out of ten you only get half nips for the cocktails. Seems to be the general consensus with everyone that I talked with on board. When you pay good money, you expect value, not in this case. 2. Gambling: Observed from a distance and staff were happy to continue taking thousands of dollars off patrons why they were quite clearly intoxicated and unable to make logically decisions. As soon as they leave the table, cut them off from drinks and say they have had enough for the night. Quite clearly this should have happened long before it got to this stage, and they had wasted thousands on gaming. My belief is, if you can't drive a car at 0.05, why should you be allowed to gamble away your life away while being heavily intoxicated and under the influence of alcohol. 3. Rooms were out dated and had quite a fowl stench coming from the carpet, which appeared to be damp, and window clouded and full of mould. Only view was of a cloudy and overcast window. 4. Entertainment for adults is limited, kids movies shown throughout the day, and kids allowed up in adult only areas till 1130pm at night, which allows 2.5 hours child free until the venue closes. Adult only area has two hot tubs that hold 10 people maximum and 10 sunlounges. This makes sense when there is nearly 1000 adults on board, not!!! 5. Food was okay from the pantry, but would pass on breakfast and dessert in the future. Toast was stale and cold and seemed like it had sat there for 24 hours. Simple fix would be to allow patrons to toast their own. Luke Menigan and New Zealand ice cream best part of the trip and great value for money. All in all, mixed experience and views. Would do another cruise, but just not with P&O as I believe you are blantaly ripped off by a company that only cares about its profits, and not providing patrons with what they have paid for. Please be aware and read reviews before cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
On the 28th December 2018 we embarked on a New Years cruise with P&O (the prices for this particular cruise were double if not triple normal prices due to the time of year). The dramas started when we paid for priority checkin however ... Read More
On the 28th December 2018 we embarked on a New Years cruise with P&O (the prices for this particular cruise were double if not triple normal prices due to the time of year). The dramas started when we paid for priority checkin however our tickets did not list this, it wasnt such a big issue, however at the time we didnt know this was just the start of the many issues we would experience. First day on the cruise one of our suitcases never arrived to our room, after calling reception we were told to wait and they will contact us back once they have tracked it down. 1.5 hours later sitting in our room waiting for a call back we called receiption to find our bag was there and we could come down and collect it. CABINS The first 3 days at sea were rough (with approx 6 foot waves) which is not uncommon however the front of the boat was particulary bad and majority of the time we could not be in our rooms due to the severity of the movement. Now to give you some background prior to this cruise we were on another cruise with RC which was in the middle of a cyclone with 8 foot waves and had little to no issues with our room which was also located at the front of the boat so it seems this particular boat with P&O may of not be of the same standard mechanically. Our room was on level 11 (pool 12 and pantry 14) which was a great location however levels 5,6,7 are also great as they are close to bars , reception and shops. Cabins were clean and liveable however they do not reflect the standard you would expect when paying a minimum $6k a couple (interior room) on new years. They are the original cabins and corner rooms are particulary smaller. If you are particular with pillows make sure you take your own as they are not the best. The rooms do have a safe and fridge and a great little sensor light for night time toilet trips. They also only have 1 australia power point , 1 european power point and 1 US power point. The rooms do have a hair dryer however they are very basic. Overall we were fine with our rooms however during our trip the toilet blocked up , lost all power and lights in our room at 12am in the morning and also had issues with the door locks not recognising our cards. A special mentionto the room attendents who do an amazing job , are very fast and are friendly. FOOD Not to bad, same as most cruise boats. We liked lukes , dragon lady and the cafe for cakes and tea. We love how P&O have set up the pantry as it stops alot of food being touched by other guests and limits food waste. Special mention to 400 grandi , great food , amazing staff and a nice quiet place on the ship. STAFF We were extremly lucky to experience great staff at the ocean bar , the cafe and 400 grandi. They are extremly helpful and accomodation. ENTERTAINMENT For a New Years cruise entertainment was limited however for a standard cruise it was not bad. Love riot was a great show (approx $15 per person) it was well worth it. Please note P&O seem to limit any adult only shows for 9pm and 10pm at night which wasnt always the best if you have a port day the next day. Please note lawn bowls and slides are not open permently only certain hours. PORT DAYS / TENDERS For locations with a port it was very simple and quick to get off and well organised. For ports which required tenders it became a bit of a mess and for one of our ports we waited 1.5 hours and then gave up getting off. Some people waited over 2 hours to get off and no explanation was given. After speaking to people who were lucky to get off we found guests on the beach kept snorkeling in the tender lanes which would then hold up the boats. P&O didnt seem to get these people out of the water or issues warnings to causing delays for other guests and some guests didnt even get off. SHORE TOURS We were lucky enough to do a great snorkelling tour in Santo which was well worth the money. However the couple we were travelling with did a village tour on another island and it was nothing like the tour summary and they did not learn anything from it. GUESTS Possibly some of the worst behaviour I have seen. Many of the guest were extremly rude , self centred , would push past or push in lines and we even experienced guests permently calling our room at 1am even though they were told they were calling the wrong room. Kids where still running around after 9pm and would often fill up the lifts or press all buttons inthe lifts. Our last morning there were kids outside our cabin door screaming at 5am with parents who did not care (our room was out of the way). The experience which really sent us over the edge was this one lady which we had to ask 4 times to move so we could sit down on the first day and book restaurants. We then had to ask her another 6 times to move so we could get up from our seat. I also experienced a lady at the gym who proceeded to push pass me and tell me she was waiting for a tredmill and she was next in line..... mind you i had been on the equipment for a good 5 mins before she appeared from somewhere having a cry. Please note the gym gets packed out and runs out of room and equipment duringthe mornings. Overall terrible behaviour and this doesnt even go into the fights , yelling and crappy comments we heard being shouted between guests and at the poor staff. LEAVING THE BOAT You are told to put your bags outside your room between 4pm and 8pm the night prior. Please note no where do they say you can self assist and take your own bags off but you can do this and it will get you off the boat faster. We got off the boat at 740am (we were told 720am for group 1 and 2). When we finally got off to collect our bags, our bags where not out yet and we had to wait atleast 30-40mins for our bags to come through. If you are being picked up or have a flight please keep this in mind. LIFOU If you are travelling to Lifou please note you need a ticket for jinek bay. If you do not get a ticket you will not be able to snorkel. Even though this is plastered everywhere we watched many people ignore this and walk in 30 degrees heat to the bay to then be disappointed. Quick tip, everyday you get a newsletter , make sure to read the back page for sales and spa deals. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was my second NYE cruise upon the Jewel, my first being 5 years prior, and boy, was this one a let down. Cheap and nasty holiday and a far cry from how they used to be. Food was bland, dry, over-cooked and recycled. If you wanted ... Read More
This was my second NYE cruise upon the Jewel, my first being 5 years prior, and boy, was this one a let down. Cheap and nasty holiday and a far cry from how they used to be. Food was bland, dry, over-cooked and recycled. If you wanted quality, you were forced to pay for one of their restaurants. Entertainment was boring and often had me looking for something to do for 3-4 hours at a time. There was an excessive amount of trivia which is cheap to run. DJ Josh had terrible song choices and it only improved when Miguel took over. The Big Screen on Deck 14 gained more black dots across its screen across the duration of the cruise. By the end, we couldn’t see a thing and it wasn’t worthwhile watching movies! The Dome was dead and everyone got kicked out by 1am, not 3am as it used to be. The music wasn’t anything you could dance to. People were unnecessarily being RSA’d for “drinking too much” when they hadn’t. There wasn’t any communication about gastro outbreaks even though I heard through crew that people had be confined to their cabins. Some friends in other cabins found mould in their showers and bed bugs in their mattresses. This was disgusting! Some of the crew in the Waterfront were rude and arrogant. Honestly, I think they’ve given up as this ship as been sold. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
After travelling on the Jewel in 2012 - we decided to head off again in Dec 2018 as it was the only boat leaving our desired destination at the time we wanted and the port we wanted. What a major disappointment from our 2012 cruise. We ... Read More
After travelling on the Jewel in 2012 - we decided to head off again in Dec 2018 as it was the only boat leaving our desired destination at the time we wanted and the port we wanted. What a major disappointment from our 2012 cruise. We loved the locations and the entertainment but everything was sub standard. The food was very ordinary and bland and the service was poor (except the bar staff in The Orient - they were amazing!) The kids (teenagers) hated kids club. They said the supervisor were boring and didn't join in. So they decided to come with us everywhere - on our last cruise - we rarely saw them! I know the ship has been sold but surely you could have maintained the same quality we received last time we travelled on the Pacific Jewel. The entertainment was fabulous. The cruise directors were hilarious and Jasper Malone and Danny Black were outstanding musicians. The shore tour we were going to do was a rip off. We saved $400 by booking it ourselves which included lunch and shuttle from ship! You can take 12 soft drink cans per person - we had 4 people so 48 cans (Half price at Coles - total cost $22) We had heaps and brought some home. Saved a fortune doing that - drinks package are a rip off. If this was your first cruise you probably wouldn't care but it wasn't and I noticed a significant difference! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our first P&O cruise was wonderful, This cruise was a special Anniversary for us and being at Christmas we thought it would be extra special. All of it was a complete & utter let down the buffet food was just not up to standard ... Read More
Our first P&O cruise was wonderful, This cruise was a special Anniversary for us and being at Christmas we thought it would be extra special. All of it was a complete & utter let down the buffet food was just not up to standard over cooked, not hot enough, especially the dessert section all of it was just synthetic tasteless crap, if you chose a hot dessert it would always be cold with lukewarm custard. Also no turkey on Christmas Day WHAT!! Waterfront Restaurant could never book a table for the early session, the food again disappointing one of the main meals (steak) couldn't eat it tough as old boots, no Christmas atmosphere whatsoever. All the trips were booked up, we were told we could have booked online beforehand we weren't told this. Entertainment what entertainment? a few name that tune evenings, The bingo was the hi light because of Mathew. I think this has completely put us off cruises, such a waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I was warned, I read the reviews however for whatever reason still decided to book a cruise due to the convenience. A major reason for this was the fact we live on the Gold Coast and it's only a short drive to the terminal in Brisbane ... Read More
I was warned, I read the reviews however for whatever reason still decided to book a cruise due to the convenience. A major reason for this was the fact we live on the Gold Coast and it's only a short drive to the terminal in Brisbane Queensland. Someone mentioned prior to the cruise that the Dawn was like a floating RSL but I've never been in an RSL that was as dirty or staff as rude as the Pacific Dawn. As we're ushered on through an area reminiscent of an oldSydney Ferry, we were quickly encouraged to move through to our rooms while navigating our way through a barrage of sales desk selling one thing or another. Imagine our shock to finally arrive to our balcony room on the 10th floor to be greated by a bed that had been tidied however had blood stains and hair across its blankets and pillows, a bathroom that had discarded toothpaste in the sink, hair in the shower as well as used towels. What a way to start a holiday! I now know why they refer to it as like no place on Earth because I'd doubt you'd find another $400 a night room like it anywhere in the world. While there were a few exceptional staff members most would be more suited working outside of the hospitality industry as they couldn't even be bothered to greet you as you approached a bar or food area. One waiter brought my breakfast out without key ingredients and plonked it on the table without any explanation why it was incomplete. Further investigation established they had run out but no alternative was mentioned when ordered. Last but by no means the least, for a cruise liner plagued by reports of serious illness aboard, you can imagine my surprise when i saw a tablehand drop the cloth they were using to wipe down tables on the floor only to pick it up and continue to wipe down tables people used to eat meals on adjacent to the Pizza bar. Just shows how little regard they have for the well-being of their passengers regardless how good their brochures look. It's ultimately a slick marketing company getting paid the big bucks to turn this mutton into lamb! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We choose this cruise because was relatively cheap and great for short break. Pretty much everything was mediocre. Food very ordinary. The pantry was boring with the same food each morning. Desert station was good. The main ... Read More
We choose this cruise because was relatively cheap and great for short break. Pretty much everything was mediocre. Food very ordinary. The pantry was boring with the same food each morning. Desert station was good. The main restaurant wasn’t any better. We had really bad weather and there was not much information or updates. Never seen The Captain and I think I heard his voice twice during our 4 days cruise. Entertainment didn’t met my expectations until last night where everybody was enjoying good, old rock’roll. Cabin was old with very firm bed and worn flat pillows. Decor was very ordinary in need of updating. There was not enough attention from the crew towards people who were sick during the really rough sea. The cabin crew on the other hand was very helpful,polite and friendly. Cruising on Pacific Jewel was my first experience with P & O . Never again on Pacific Jewel! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We choose this cruise because it was our Wedding Anniversary on the 8/12 & Ship departed from Melbourne. Speciality dining & Elimis Day Spa were the highlights. Main dining horrible. For b’fast we ordered Smoked Salmon ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was our Wedding Anniversary on the 8/12 & Ship departed from Melbourne. Speciality dining & Elimis Day Spa were the highlights. Main dining horrible. For b’fast we ordered Smoked Salmon & got tin food. OJ was just a cordial. Buffet food wasn’t a buffet at all, serving stations. Stir fry with chunks of cabbage & green capsicum, over cooked pasta. No entertainment near the pool at all. Evening show, like a school play. During the day only Trivia’s,Bingo & cooking show. Where was the Captain? On disembarking day we literally had to be dragged out at 0700am from our cabin. Not like other cruises. Disorganized disembarkion process, looked like stampede. All 3 days were very boring. Ship’s asking 4 a dramatic renovation & just say ‘Goodbye’ . We cruised before & P&O was our first cruise. Very disappointing experience. Would never sail with P&O or Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Recently back from a cruise to NZ, Booking process terrible, no choice of deck, no choice of room and wasnt able to upgrade. Our cabin was very small and was directly above the band in the Explorer Hotel, we had music in our cabin till ... Read More
Recently back from a cruise to NZ, Booking process terrible, no choice of deck, no choice of room and wasnt able to upgrade. Our cabin was very small and was directly above the band in the Explorer Hotel, we had music in our cabin till late every night. When I asked to be relocated to another cabin I was given a bottle of wine and told there were no other cabins which was a lie as a another passenger was given another cabin after a domestic blue. Menu choices have been reduced with items requiring payment added to menus Generally food was good, Angelos was very good, the food in the Pantry was ok but some dishes were only luke warm and the desert selection consisted mainly of cakes and custard. This was my fourth cruise with P&O and will be my last, I must add that the first three cruises were excellent but the standard has slipped. 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
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