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332 P&O Australia Cruise Reviews

I chose to do this cruise as I had never been on one before and thought a short one would be a good introduction. The overall cruise was lots of fun but there are some less than great things. This ship is the oldest and is about to ... Read More
I chose to do this cruise as I had never been on one before and thought a short one would be a good introduction. The overall cruise was lots of fun but there are some less than great things. This ship is the oldest and is about to be decommissioned, you can tell. The rooms look very tired and the colour scheme is so early 90's it sometimes hurts. But on the flip side, the bed was really comfortable and the shower was fantastic! The Pantry...This was really crap. The food that is included in your fare comes from here. Its fatty and made from low quality products. I struggled to find something that I wanted to eat. One dinner there was seriously nothing. I'm a dessert lover and often the desserts were really bland. The pannacotta was tasteless and the custard was so thin it wasn't even custard. The onboard activities were so much fun! Trivia and bingo were my favourite. The stand up comedians were also hilarious. The gym was basic but still very functional! I went every day. Now my number one peeve - up-selling of products! The seminars they run are a ploy to get you to buy something. I was really mad at this. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I have not previously done a short cruise so when the price and timing worked in with our life we booked around 5 weeks from sailing in a twin berth ocean view level 8 right near the back. Embarkation Not sure why but they started a ... Read More
I have not previously done a short cruise so when the price and timing worked in with our life we booked around 5 weeks from sailing in a twin berth ocean view level 8 right near the back. Embarkation Not sure why but they started a bit late but it was quite smooth once it got going, before getting on I had a good look at where our cabin was (we only found out days before) so when I got on I was able to make my way directly to our room which was ready, by chance we saw our bags on the way so grabbed them as well on the way to the room. The Cabin The rooms on Explorer are not huge but for 2 it was adequate and comfortable, the windows on level 8 outside (where the life boats are not) are huge and offer a great view out and somewhere to sit to admire the view. The bed was comfortable, the AC and fridge worked as did all of the things that are supposed to work but the shower was locked at a just warm temperature that I would have liked to be hotter Food An important feature of cruising to many and if its the most important thing to you P&O is not your cruise line, 3 night cruise allowed us a night in each free restaurant and no need for the pantry, no meals were great but all OK Entertainment Really good, there were 4 comedians on board who did a range of shows which I really enjoyed, the only criticism would be the venue for the late comedy shows was too small and even half an hour early there wasn't many seats. One of the PG shows was a mime act which was also great. besides the comedy they also put on a "rock of the ages" show which was 45 minutes of non stop entertainment and a fantastic show. Service Our room steward asked us early how often we wanted our room cleaned which I found unusual, normally its daily with a nightly turn down but for our first 2 days we were happy to go along with not being disturbed by it only having the towels changed over, the last day he cleaned up for us doing a really good job of it and he did the turn down, I kind of feel he was a bit lazy with us but at the same time I didn't mind it and to be fair if there was anything we wanted he provided without hesitation so I am actually going to say that was a good thing as much as I am sure plenty of others would not have been so happy with it. Other service throughout the cruise didn't stand out either way for the most part, the future cruise lady was really helpful and went out of her way to help us, dining staff were efficient, friendly and accommodating with the more senior staff doing the rounds to make sure we were happy at most meals. The ship I often read reviews where it seems some people have a terrible experience because of things like "they allowed somebody in the dining room wearing a T shirt" or "the ship needs repair" or "I noticed a rust mark" or my favourite, "the chairs look old", if this is you spend twice as much for a newer ship on another line because it is a 20 (plus) year old ship and it does show signs of its age but for me that does not detract from how much enjoyment I can get from it, in fact some of my more memorable cruises have been on ships not long before they are retired from the fleet, Pacific Sun, Celebrity Century and the Pearl. Value Everywhere you go there seems to be something to spend more money on, while giving me a free short massage as I was walking through they tried to sell me a hair cut and shave for around $120 which I found outrageous and every meal seems to have "indulgent" items to spend more on. The free food venues close at 9 so if you want something to eat after that you are paying for it but with a little will power its easy enough to say no to the extra items. With the above in mind however it was a good value cruise, P&O bank on you spending more money during your cruise to make up for the cheap fare and while I do spend some money whether it be a beer with a meal or buy something from the shop it still ended up cheap for me and certainly my on-board spend was no more than it would have been with any of the more expensive lines The drinks package Being a 3 day cruise you cant have the alcohol packages (not that I do normally) but they still offer the 2 non alcoholic packages, $7.50 per day for soft drink only or $19 a day (if pre booked otherwise its $25 on board) for mocktails, coffees, juices, water hot chocolate, iced chocolates or soft drink. My wife paid the $19 per day before we left and probably got the value from it whereas I drank water and free tea from the buffet and had 2 or 3 bears a day for around the same amount of money which worked out better for me (and probably healthier as I didn't drink more than I needed trying to get my money worth) To sum it up I have now been on 9 cruises in 7 years with 4 different cruise lines on 7 different ships, mostly P&O and I am yet to have a cruise that I didn't enjoy, your more upmarket cruise lines are better for a lot of reasons and deserve a loyal following but for me I love cruising so much I prefer quantity to quality (most of the time), this doesn't mean I wont spend more to go on the other lines but I do spend a lot of time looking for the good deals which do come up if you are prepared to be flexible, my problem is that when I am looking I normally find much better value deals with P&O that I cant resist :) Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My husband and I had never been on a cruise before but wanted to try one. We booked one for a great price despite the negative reviews we read online about the Pacific Aria and P&O. I'm so glad we did, we loved it!! Pros: ... Read More
My husband and I had never been on a cruise before but wanted to try one. We booked one for a great price despite the negative reviews we read online about the Pacific Aria and P&O. I'm so glad we did, we loved it!! Pros: *I had low expectations due to reviews online stating the food was crap. My expectations were exceeded and I was impressed by both the food in the restaurants and the Pantry! Especially the restaurants! Advice: get one member of your group/ couple to go straight to the desk at Angelos restaurant as soon as they can, and immediately book Dragon Lady and Angelos, even more than once each! Waterfront is easier to book in for, those other two are difficult. These 3 restaurants are all free. We enjoyed dining in restaurants at night instead of the Pantry at night. *loved the shows, musicals, and things the itinery lists you can attend. Especially that last musical! *we found alot of fun or decent things to do in the itinery to keep us occupied *I would describe our affordable room as decent sized, not as the 'sardine tins' size I've heard it described as *last boat I was on I got so sea sick. On here I was fine. I started off on travel calm till I realised I didnt need it. *loved the themed parties and how its a cleaner club environment before 11pm each night *we were occupied enough that we didnt go for board games or books or sunbaking (4 night cruise) *most of the staff were kind, friendly *I loved getting the opportunity to dress up well at nights, dine in restaurants without paying extra, attend shows and go dancing and have a couple drinks *vegetarian friendly *the way the ship is decorated and designed and styled was very very nice and well thought out! *coffee tastes good and is available free when the Pantry is open (which is most of the time I think?). Glad they offered more than just cows milk *barista coffees are available for purchase in takeaway cups anytime to take anywhere on the ship *try Dragon Ladys shared plates for two people option!!! Wow! *this ship has an adults only pool of good size. Good.. Coz I hate kids splashing :P *cruise director Kabirs jokes over the speaker were funny Cons: *my husband and I need a particular environment to sleep easy and this wasnt it. We needed sleeping pills every night.. But we have struggled to sleep elsewhere before where I thought it would have been easy to. Occasionally there were people talking loudly in the hall at night but that wouldnt be as much an issue if you dont go to bed early. At one point for 30 mins the wind made the motor boats squeak. We were on deck six where motor boats were pended above the deck outside our window *the staff may be afraid of people burning themselves.. So most things are (in my opinion) not hot enough. I got used to it.. But the coolest was coffee at the Waterfront (ask for very hot coffee there). Concerned about food poisoning if its not hot enough. I didnt get sick *the hallways had a bad odor but it wasnt very strong *some staff werent friendly enough but thats the same everywhere *nearly all the staff are foreign. So there was a language barrier once. Does the company employ them so they can pay really low wages? I dont know *I'd like to try out another P& O ship next time as I've already explored the Aria sufficiently *if future shows are the same then I might need to bring a book or play one of their board games. Maybe *it is very easy to spend alot of money on board. With so many hours free its very popular to purchase many drinks. I'm glad we didnt purchase the drinks package we were tempted to, as it turned out cheaper buying drinks individually. *on non-sea days, try leave the boat at non-peak times if you dont want to stand in queues for awhile *I saw some of the prices in nicer rooms for the same cruise I went on. It wasnt worth those large amounts of money per person for those rooms. Perhaps people who spend heaps on cruises have very high expectations and are more picky with complaining? *when restaurants are prone to getting fully picked out.. You are asked if you will share a table. This can be hit and miss. We did this three times and twice it was ok but another time it was actually so awkward and couldnt wait to leave. I would prefer to book all restaurants at the start of the cruise with no share tables, just in case *the aircon wasnt cool enough in The Pantry dining area at times *the deck seats for dining arent shaded so get used to that and bring sunnies and you'll be fine Looking forward to my next P&O cruise, as I was left impressed! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We travelled on a 4 night cruise on Pacific Explorer to Moreton Island and had a great time. The public areas on the ship have all been refurbished very nicely with modern touches. The cabin was more dated but still had plenty of room ... Read More
We travelled on a 4 night cruise on Pacific Explorer to Moreton Island and had a great time. The public areas on the ship have all been refurbished very nicely with modern touches. The cabin was more dated but still had plenty of room and was very clean. All of the staff were friendly and accomodating. Food overall was very good. We ate most meals in the Waterfront Restaurant and the food was of a high quality. 400 Gradi was also very good and the cafe and Ocean Bar were good for relaxing. The buffet was fine for casual eating although was always very busy. Kids club staff were great and my daughter enjoyed the activities. As she was under five I was given a pager so staff could contact me on at anytime which was a nice touch. My daughter also enjoyed the waterpark as the pools were too deep for small children. Themed nights were fun and we enjoyed making Gatsby headbands for the party. Although purchasing the photos on board is quite expensive, we enjoyed getting all of our photos taken at different backdrops and looking through them later. Overall, we had a really good time and I'd travel on the Pacific Explorer again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I bought the Australian Open Cruise as a birthday present for my mum. It was a chance for the two of us to take a cruise trip to Melbourne that we had talked about for years. POSITIVES: The embarkation experience was excellent! ... Read More
I bought the Australian Open Cruise as a birthday present for my mum. It was a chance for the two of us to take a cruise trip to Melbourne that we had talked about for years. POSITIVES: The embarkation experience was excellent! Plenty of friendly staff to navigate you through the process. Embarkation was easy and fast! The ship itself is beautiful! The public areas are all extremely well presented. And there were a variety of areas to chose from catering to all tastes. The cabin was surprisingly spacious. There was plenty of room to move around in the cabin and the cabin was also well laid out. The cabin stewards (James and Willie) were great. Very friendly and attentive. The cabin was always kept very clean. We saw a few of the shows. Twice Upon a Time was a modern dance performance and was excellent. The stage setting, costumes and music/score was of a very professional standard. We had plenty of laughs at the Murder Mystery activity. And recommend you get in on this activity if available. The room service food and beverages were very good. Highly recommend the wedges and the beef nachos. And Earon, the Room Service Steward, took real pride in his work. he's a credit to the team. Generally the personnel on board were very pleasant. There were options of locations to eat - Angelo's, Dragon Lady and the Waterfront were all restaurants that were included in the fare and are all worth experiencing. Ken, the acupuncturist, was knowledgeable, ethical, professional - and the treatment works! Highly recommend a visit! The staff at the Spa were generally very nice and the treatments were good. NEGATIVES The aggressive sales pitch at the Spa. When you first get on board you are faced with an army of day spa staff that offer you a tour of the Spa facilities - all with a view of signing you up for as many events and services as possible. The Spa competition has you there under false pretenses. The Spa manager (I think she was the manager, as she wasn't in a uniform) was very unpleasant and discourteous. It was a shame that the staff, who were very lovely and competent, were pressured to sell product at every consultation /service. Also, day in port specials were non existent (unlike any other cruise I have been on). The Pantry is the general "food court" area. It was difficult to get a seat at lunch and dinner times (never tried to at breakfast). There clearly isn't enough seating. Also the structure of the food service was disappointing. There were about 10 different types of food, including dessert station. Each station had 2 - 3 options to chose from. Staff at the station dished up very small servings of your selection and you were sent on your way. The only station that was reasonable with it's offering was the dessert station, who recognised that the portion sizes wouldn't fill a mouse so would ask if you would like a second options. Also, the fish was dreadful .. it was mushy/sloppy! the only fried food that I have ever seen that was in that state. On other cruises, the buffet areas worked much better! Also, the Pantry was opened at limited hours. On other cruises this sort of facility is open 24/7. The only other negative was the disembarkment. On other cruises, if you were going to take your own luggage off, you could disembark at your time of choosing - you didn't have to go with a designated group for your deck. Also, our group was told to be at a designated are at 8.50am. We arrived at 8.45am (as did others) only to be told that our group had already been called. Unacceptable! Also, the announcements calling groups to disembark are not made over the ship - so you can't hear it in your cabin. Again, on other cruises, you can remain in your cabin and wait to be called. Overall a very positive experience. Except for the Pantry and the Spa. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
After reading the previous reviews of the Pacific Explorer, I embarked on this cruise with a level of trepidation. My fears were unfounded - what we experienced were highly motivated and friendly staff, a small balcony cabin that was ... Read More
After reading the previous reviews of the Pacific Explorer, I embarked on this cruise with a level of trepidation. My fears were unfounded - what we experienced were highly motivated and friendly staff, a small balcony cabin that was perfectly adequate for a short cruise and great entertainment. Food quality was inconsistent - there were some standouts and some pretty average dishes - in our experience, the staff were more than happy for a meal to be sent back and swapped for something else and for multiple courses to be ordered. Nothing was too much trouble. We found the Waterfront and Angelo's to be the pick of the restaurants but Dragon Lady was ok too with some interesting dishes - my advice would be to try all three early. Menu in the Waterfront changed daily and half way thru for the other two. The speciality restaurants did book out on the first day so my advice would be to book for the entire cruise - you can always cancel or change a time later. This was a school holiday cruise but children numbers were booked and youth security was always on hand to deal with any unruly children. All in all high recommended given the price point - yes you have to pay for some extras but prices are modest and the fare is cheap to start with compared with the other lines. We had the drinks package - it is ok value especially if you get it on sale but found we didn't drink that much after the first few days. My only serious criticism is the lack in variety in on-board activities - lots of trivia and late night karoke but not much else. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
A good experience only marred by the noise from the Blue Room below so loud the bass made our floor vibrate. Reception staff fall far below the rest of the crew in responsiveness and only Head of department and fred worth feeding. ... Read More
A good experience only marred by the noise from the Blue Room below so loud the bass made our floor vibrate. Reception staff fall far below the rest of the crew in responsiveness and only Head of department and fred worth feeding. Salt Grill my Luke Mangan is a truly great experience and Anant was a highly experienced server. At A459 a head it isn't dear for this class of restaurant. Try dining in the top end of any Western City. The tender operation is pretty amateurish. If P&O had organised Dunkirk the outcome would have been disastrous. Overall Room and F&B service was first rate and food much better than expected. The Pantry is an interesting concept where all members of the family can find what they want. All specialty inclusive rtestaurants are good. Dragon Lady menu isn't your local Chinese suburban offerring so don't expect your Chow meins etc Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We had a great cruise. The cabin staff were amazing and attention to detail was spot on. Loved the entertainment and the dance classes were so much fun. Food was amazing and the staff in the Pantry and Waterfront really looked after us. ... Read More
We had a great cruise. The cabin staff were amazing and attention to detail was spot on. Loved the entertainment and the dance classes were so much fun. Food was amazing and the staff in the Pantry and Waterfront really looked after us. We dined at the Pantry for breakfast and lunch and most dinners we ate at the Waterfront. We really enjoyed the destination and shore excursions. We enjoyed the theme nights and the game shows that were held on the ship. The entertainment crew had us laughing the whole time. We did the Mix cocktail course on the sea days between New Zealand and Hobart. That was good value. We visited the spa a couple of times and loved the pampering we got. The gym was a bit on the small side but by the end of the cruise, there was plenty of room as people didn't attend in the same numbers. Overall, we had a great time and would travel on the Jewel again if it wasn't leaving the fleet. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Sydney - Adelaide - comedy cruise - no ports. Embarkation -at Sydney International Terminal Circular Key - easily the best experience on embarkation of any cruise, very quick no fuss bag drop off and straight on-boarding (did not ... Read More
Sydney - Adelaide - comedy cruise - no ports. Embarkation -at Sydney International Terminal Circular Key - easily the best experience on embarkation of any cruise, very quick no fuss bag drop off and straight on-boarding (did not need to wait for designated time slot), very short but efficient registration with very friendly staff - thanks ladies/gents; hassle free trip on board with usual photo ops, on-board packages- spa/gym etc, our bags already delivered to our room. Ship - yes it is an older tub but to my view has been very well maintained and was very presentable with only minor signs of aging, overall was very impressed with the various venues/bars/public areas/shops etc. Particularly liked the main theater black/silver deco type theme. Public facilities all the ones used were very clean. Outside areas also appeared to be well maintained in general - only tardy area on level 12 edge/court area - showing weathering and age. This ship was much better maintained than previous vessels. Layout and size - probably not a fan of the general layout being an older design has some short comings, particularly around the Pantry area, seating and size; also not as keen on a ship this small - would probably prefer the 2000-2500 guest mark and slightly bigger size ship. Still very happy with the new experience. Entertainment/shows/activities - Comedy cruise (2nd cruise) so looking forward to the entertainment after huge disappointment on Carnival Spirit and a let down on Norwegian Jewel; was not disappointed and generally found the over 18 shows to be worthwhile and entertaining, was not a fan of all of the performers but Bob Downe and Ellen Briggs were terrific. The magician ?? Galea was also very good; didn't see any other cabaret performances - i know we missed at least one but don't know if there were others. - on board activities eg trivia etc was very enjoyable and the staff were excellent, particularly the uber funning bloke from Manchester. - tried the whisky tasting and really enjoyed the experience - but would suggest P&O try to use some different less common products in the whiskies they choose as in this case of the 4 on offer, i've tried them all in some form, so some less popularly available would be appreciated. - also opted in for the wine tasting - again great experience thanks John (happy scot) and good value, unfortunately P&O have an arrangement with the winery/vineyard on board and the tasting is only of their products, in our group one of the tasters really knows his stuff and generally the product was below par, other myself included who wouldn't have the fogyist weren't over impressed by the Hunter samples on offer and there were plenty of samples covering right across the range from whites/reds and dessert. Still worthwhile. Service - top marks to all of the staff across the ship, we had terrific service throughout with little to complain about or nothing really, sure some staff were a bit happier and smiley than others, some were finishing up when the boat reaches Singapore etc but generally all terrific. Excursions - a big NONE - water only 3 nighter down the coast around the bend and across the bottom, did have a bit of mildly rough seas on first day down to tip of Vic and maybe around the bend but nothing extreme. FOOD - P&O dropped the ball a little in this area, we were restricted to the Waterfront and Pantry as dining options along with some snacks at Ocean/blue bars and Grill. We could not get into Angelo's and heard bad reports of guests waiting up to 1hr just to order their meals - would have given it a try if available (had our names down on a waiting list). Whilst the food was generally okay - it wasn't great or memorable, we did get a couple of very good dishes at Waterfront but I've had much better on Royal Caribbean and worse on Norwegian Jewel. The breakfast menu was pretty much standard fair with smaller portions but pretty nice; toast was crap - very cold/dried out; bread rolls etc could be better; pancakes very well received; Tea/coffee hit and miss in relation to being warm/hot; the Waterfront was passable - if not great. The Pantry was very average in my view, did try some of the selections on first day and for one lunch - pretty much same fare across the cruise; dessert bar was pretty awful - really cheap crappy desserts; Salad bar - didn't actually try due to uninspiring selection (RC much, much better); tried a small croissant for early breakfast very poor inedible felt stale the small cake/muffin was alot better. Not a great bread selection, fish chips okay and very popular but fish over battered and soft not crispy - still tasted fine. Did not try the additional pay options (have on other cruises) as short cruise. Did not like the additional menu selection in the Waterfront for special selection like lobster tails you have to fork out extra cash for - seems to be a trend on cruises and one I don't like - if i want to pay extra for a special meal i'd opt to go to one of the paid venues on the boat. Think they should just offer a bigger selection on the main menu and leave off the add-ons. I'd say overall the dining experience was pretty average - certainly not tragic or terrible but could have been much better - this is a real discouragement to opting for further cruises on this line, experience with dining on Royal Caribbean and Princess was far superior; not so on the Carnival and Norwegian and this influences future choices - booked cruise in May on Royal Caribbean so hoping they live up to our expectations. Overall value for money, entertainment, amenities, service and food was pretty impressive and happy with the experience. Disembarkation - whilst a little different in 8pm bags outside room and no option to carry off your own luggage, it was again pretty flawless - meet at desiganated time at the Magestic theater, wait to be called, stroll down to level 6, swipe off and then easy luggage pick up. Train from port to Adelaide CBD waiting at dock area - short stroll, railway staff and volunteers fantastic, $10 all day public transport card for train and later tram ride out to Glenelg- what more could you want or expect. Hats off to P&O just a fantastic onboarding and off boarding experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The public areas on the ship were very nicely decorated. It never felt crowded and there was always plenty of spaces to sit. I loved the Bonded Store and the Blue room, very nice bars to have a quiet drink in. The food in the restaurant is ... Read More
The public areas on the ship were very nicely decorated. It never felt crowded and there was always plenty of spaces to sit. I loved the Bonded Store and the Blue room, very nice bars to have a quiet drink in. The food in the restaurant is average, but that seems to be case on all cruise lines now, cutting back costs. The Pantry was the same. I do find P&O to be the worst for additional charges, other lines, include pizza, ice cream and hamburgers for free, and at every meal the menu shows additional items that can be bought. It was a comedy cruise and I was surprised and horrified that on the last evening the comedy show, which should have been free, you had to purchase tickets. Entertainment is supposed to be included in your cruise fare, bad move P&O. The staff on the ship were very good. Embarkation and disembarkation were very quick and smooth. I was disappointed that standards have dropped, in the dining room, short and thongs was acceptable for the evening meal, really? We had sailed on the Eden before but found this ship much nicer and not as crowded. The cabins are showing their age and are in need of a refit. Shopping was disappointing, high end shops with no one in them. The cruise director Zoltena J, I only saw once, and at best she only does the trivia, I think she should work harder and put more daytime entertainment and activities on. On most ships, you see the captain walking around, not on this cruise, only heard from him once and that was at the safety drill. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I have always wanted to go to New Zealand and after half a dozen domestic cruises with P&O I decided cruising was the way to go. With 6 sea days and 1 different ports it was a great mix of sightseeing and the usual cruise fun. I am ... Read More
I have always wanted to go to New Zealand and after half a dozen domestic cruises with P&O I decided cruising was the way to go. With 6 sea days and 1 different ports it was a great mix of sightseeing and the usual cruise fun. I am in my 40's and cruised with my Mother so we definitely have different opinions and wanted different things but found we usually agreed. We left from Sydney (a first for me), at White Bay. The facilities were ok, the staff helpful and embarkation was fabulous. We had a noon boarding time but the process went really smoothly and we were on the ship by 11.45. The ship was great, the public areas really well done, clean and modern. Had all the facilities we needed & really liked the Explorer Bar but was rarely enough seating when 'things' were on, could have included more without being cramped. I think the Marquee should also be bigger ideally but having Black Circus at least gives other options. Minor grumble is that you cant get waiter service in the Marquee and the bar next door (Explorer) can be bedlam at times, so go to another bar and bring your drift with you. Blue Room seems under utilised but nice, and the cocktail classes were fun! It was great to have areas where you can chill (loved the window seats) the atrium was a great meeting spot. Have to admit that now and again on certain decks (mainly lower) there was a smell of sewerage which I had read about previously but it wasn't often, and not that bad. Room wise we had a balcony and it was great to have but I think it reduced the cabin size though as space was a premium. Definitely adequate and had all the essentials but I'm glad there wasn't 4 adults in the room (just 2). Our steward was awesome, nothing was too much trouble! Really helpful to have a fridge too. The entertainment team was fabulous - I am in love with Marius (LOL) and Zoltina J is just great. Went to the majority of the shows in the Marquee, really well done even if not all my type of thing. The last nigh Lip Synch Battle had to be a highlight. Also went to 2 lecture series. The first was by Mark McCreadie (ex-police dog handler & author) which was great, loved the stories and the message. The second was presented by Alex (from the Entertainment Crew) about the personal story behind the Titanic. This was unbelievable and on the last seminar, people were in tears as Alex did such a wonderful job. He as articulate, passionate, knowledgeable and completely enthralled me. Trivia was fun and there was plenty to do should you wish too. We did do the Love Riot show (including the dinner) one night. The dinner was nice, great value at $39 and the show enjoyable but had seen better. The performers were really amazing, really clever but it did seem all a bit haphazard - no particular story to tie it together. I was aware it was 18+ and there was some nudity which doesn't worry me at all but wasn't really sure why it was there? Didn't use the pools, slides or Edge at all but they weren't overly crowded. Lounges could be hard to find sometimes but there was usually other options in the adult only Oasis or Sanctuary which was good. To say it was right on the commencement of school holidays I was surprised by how few kids I saw. Another experience we had was the Luke Mangan Degustation dinner which I think was $110pp. This was lovely and would definitely recommend it. With 7 courses, each with wine we were spoilt. The food was amazing, the 2 waiters did a great job and after over 3 hours+ hours we were full of good company, unbelievable food & possibly a tiny bit tipsy. Regarding other food options: * We did Waterfront for dinner a few time, nice food, never cold and good service but after a while the menu does get monotonous. We never used it for lunch and only once for breakfast. * The Pantry was pretty good, some dishes better then others but usually nice, warm and with some variety. Can be hard to find a spot and missed having a bigger external area where you could sit if you wish. * Went to Angelo's and Dragon Lady only once. Dragon Lady I found dark, with no atmosphere. The food was good and nicely presented but not my type of food. Angelo's was a disappointment (food was bland, Lamb Shank really fatty - but other people we met loved it) so didn't go back. * Luke's (Burger Bar on Deck 14) was good and although its not free, its good value. We used it a few time and was great to look over the pool or watch a movie while having a drink & dinner. * 400 Gradi on Deck 8 looked great but we never ate there. It was hard to locate as often you couldn't get in and only later found out that you must use the glass lifts in the atrium (and my Mum not great with lots of stairs) - something for next time. * Charlie (Café) as nice, awesome cakes but the coffee was never fabulous (anywhere in the ship actually). Would be great to have a second café on the pool deck like Pacific Dawn does. * Shell & Bones - never got there but had eaten there previously and was looking forward to it but ran out of time. Overall the service was also good all around. Reception were really helpful and most of the staff in the bards & dining rooms were polite, helpful etc. Entertainment crew must get tired smiling all the time LOL but they were upbeat , fun and seem to really love their job. The Captain was great especially when we encountered really rough sea for 24 hrs on our way home, having updates was really helpful and the daily catch up was good. Disembarkation was fairly smooth. We had booked a transfer on board to get to the airport upon our return which was good value at $20 pp. We had an early start and was at our designated spot on time by 6.50am but was a little miffed that we then had to wait for 45 mins without any info as to why the delay but it didn't affect us much. Finding our bags in a mad house of luggage was interesting, some more signage would be helpful but still found our bags quickly and were on the bus in plenty of time. With 3 ships is port in White Bay that morning I was surprised it all went pretty well. I will do a separate review on the shore tours or this will be a novel but have to say there was plenty to choose, some a little overpriced but not all and enjoyed them all. Hope this is helpful. Pacific Explorer may not be as 'posh' as some other cruise likes in Australia but its great value, a lovely ship and staff on board are very proud of P&O. You will have a great holiday if you just give it a go! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Got the cruising bug again after a 30 year hiatus, this cruise being the 3rd in 3 years on or around my birthday. First was the Pearl out of Sydney, second Dawn out of Brisbane & this year Jewel out of Brisbane. Embarkation was ... Read More
Got the cruising bug again after a 30 year hiatus, this cruise being the 3rd in 3 years on or around my birthday. First was the Pearl out of Sydney, second Dawn out of Brisbane & this year Jewel out of Brisbane. Embarkation was smooth, though the drop off for taxis is chaotic, two years in a row the taxi driver & traffic marshal have had fierce words when dropping me off. I chose a late boarding time, and had a stroll around portside & some pre cruise beers. When I arrived at my appointed time there was barely anyone there & I was on board in minutes. My cabin was very good, 11203, just a few doors from the Oasis. Though the Pantry was overhead I did not experience noise problems. The cabin stewards were excellent. The Pantry was my only dining venue. I travel alone, and prefer a minimum of fuss. The style of service suited me (no temptation to overeat) & I sat mostly at the high rail around the edge, with a view of the sea. I'm not a fussy eater & found the food satisfying. Only small gripe is the sometimes slow service at popular bars, as cocktail drinks were popular, & take an eternity to prepare. At the sail away party there were a couple of beer trolleys in service, which were quick & efficient. The only entertainment I observed were the singer/guitarists who popped up at various time in various venues. They were good, if a bit repetitive. My cruising style is very laid back: carry a book and follow the sun about, having some beers on the way. So no reports on the activities! Though the kids on the flying fox were having a good time, and as the weather was near perfect it was operating day long. Didn't book any shore activities, just strolled the streets of Noumea & Port Vila, and only went ashore at Mare to walk about. Sounds boring! A problem out of P&O's hands is the scrum at the dock in Port Vila, All I wanted was a water taxi to the centre of town & had to run a gauntlet of eager tour operators. Safety boarding & using the water taxis was a bit dodgy too, 14 people on mine, barely six inches of boat above the waterline. I got the platinum internet package, it worked fairly well on my phone & tablet, and the cost was covered by my room credit given by P&O for their 85th birthday. I will definitely cruise again, especially if I can find a cruise line that does deals for singles. At the moment I pay for 2, which is fair enough from P&O's point of view! But some sort of discount would enable me to go on more & longer cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I went with my family on this cruise and for the most part we enjoyed ourselves! Pros: Our luggage arrived to our room on the first day really quickly. Embarkation was a fairly quick process. Our room steward Gemma was amazing. ... Read More
I went with my family on this cruise and for the most part we enjoyed ourselves! Pros: Our luggage arrived to our room on the first day really quickly. Embarkation was a fairly quick process. Our room steward Gemma was amazing. The room was always spotless and she was always asking us if we needed anything else. I loved coming back to my room and seeing yummy chocolate, a note or a towel animal. Cocktail prices were surprisingly cheap and the service time was really quick. A lot of times at night there was hardly anyone around due to there being an older demographic. We loved the themed nights The food was pretty good. We loved the specialty restaurant Luke's however the deserts in the Pantry could have been better. At peak times it was also hard to find a set. Cons: There isn't a large variety of activities and the good activities such as the mechanical bull riding or walk the plank aren't free. It would be much better if this was included. The entertainment venue (Marquee) is way too small and you had to arrive an hour early if you wanted a seat. The entertainment offered here was also poor so we didn't really bother. The cruise director was highly annoying and talked for ages about pointless things. The tender process was slow and we had to wait quite awhile. The professional photos are really overpriced as is the spa. We enjoyed our hot stone massage however. The gym also needs a makeover. It is tiny. Don't bother with the "Love Riot" show. I had seen other reviews on here that it was amazing but it was such a let down and not worth the $15. Ports We missed our first point of call - Norfolk Island. We didn't mind that much as we were having a good time on board. Tonga ports - there wasn't much to see and do. Wouldn't go back. Suva, Fiji - good for getting souvenirs Dravuni - Fiji - we loved this place. Snorkeling, beach and water is amazing. Port Denarau - We did a shore excursion where a boat took us to a separate island. It was great. We got a buffet lunch, free drinks, snorkeling, use of paddle boards and went on a glass bottom boat. Noumea - We did the duck island tour, it is a must! Such amazing snorkeling, we saw turtles, big fish and reef sharks. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
New cruise, wanted to go snorkelling and swim with dolphins. the boat was very small but loved the room configuration as bunk beds were seperate from the adults bed. Our room 6088 was great!, good convenient spot. Pantry food was great ... Read More
New cruise, wanted to go snorkelling and swim with dolphins. the boat was very small but loved the room configuration as bunk beds were seperate from the adults bed. Our room 6088 was great!, good convenient spot. Pantry food was great as more hygienic. Restaurants were 8/10. Staff were pretty good considering there long hours etc. Entertainment staff were good, however didnt provide much entertainment on the theme nights..boring!!!!!!. show entertainment was okay. The comedian and papau new guinea singer were standouts. things to note... Ice dispensor on board so you can use a cup and fill your water bottles (wide brim). take your own snorkelling gear and sunscreen. Book the restaurants for the whole week as soon as possible to avoid missing out. Take some extra coat hangers as plenty of hanging space . If kids dont have drink package, take the 12 cans per person onboard and a thermo cup and fill it with ice and the softdrink. be super aware, papau new guinea native boats can capsize so take the bigger ones and a floatie for kids or people who cant swim or at least limit to two people on small ones. Pack your gear in a waterproof bag. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We were pleasantly surprised by the Pacific Dawn. We had a balcony, which was very small but the outlook was great. The cabins were clean and had usual 3 star amenities liquid soap, shampoo/conditioner and tissues. The cabin stewards were ... Read More
We were pleasantly surprised by the Pacific Dawn. We had a balcony, which was very small but the outlook was great. The cabins were clean and had usual 3 star amenities liquid soap, shampoo/conditioner and tissues. The cabin stewards were very helpful and friendly. On the cruise we mainly ate at the Waterfront Restaurant and there was always enough choice. Always remember the kitchens are in the bottom of the boat so don’t choose food that would dry out easily. The Pantry always had a lot of food to choose from. We were on a cruise with 2000 people but it never seemed overly crowded. We always got a seat and there were some quiet areas on the boat. The live music was great I would have liked a bit more live music on deck in the afternoons. You have to remember most people pay less than $200 a day to travel on this boat. This includes all your meals. You can’t get a cafe breakfast for less than $20, $25 for lunch and $30 for dinner so I think paying less than $200 a day for accommodation, transport, food and entertainment is unbelievable value. It is not 5 star but neither is the price . If you don’t want to spend money at Airlie grab your towel and head to the lagoon, it is beautiful and view is priceless . If you want quiet time head to decks on 6 or 7 - heaps of seating or to The Dome. It was a great cruise with great staff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
A short mid-week cruise for a birthday celebration outside the main cruise season saw our party of six booked on Pacific Eden. Mixed reviews had lead to low expectations but these were exceeded in almost every way. While the pantry and ... Read More
A short mid-week cruise for a birthday celebration outside the main cruise season saw our party of six booked on Pacific Eden. Mixed reviews had lead to low expectations but these were exceeded in almost every way. While the pantry and the main pool were somewhat dominated by families and children our somewhat older group was able to find quiet places inside and outside and for dining. Booked a guarantee suite on deck 10 and when room allocation was due I was offered an upgrade to the penthouse for an nominal fee. This gave our group a spectacular oasis with dining room, lounge, 2 bathrooms and a kitchen. It also conferred VIP treatment when booking or visiting any of the restaurants. For Dining we tried Salt, where the food was excellent, Angelos and Dragon Lady where the food, service and ambiance was very good (particularly for a venue included in the cruise fare) The Pantry had a selection of good food but was a bit crowded and busy for us. While I could pick individual dishes as being not quite worthy of compliments overall the dining even including the maligned waterfront were better than expected based on other reviews. We did not see much of the production shows but did catch a comedy quiz in the theatre and some live music in various bars around the ship. DJ's tended to be not to our taste but live bands were varied and entertaining. The gym was well equipped with cardio and weight machines and held a number of classes in various disciplines. Thermal suite was one area showing its age with some rooms out of order. One Spa treatment was a massage with hot stones and bamboo which was effective in relaxation. For overall value short cruises tend to be a higher cost per day than some longer cruises on special. For a celebration the bar bill can also rack up quickly without the option of a drinks package. Public areas look quite modern for the most part. Cabins are a bit dated and showing wear and tear. *as are the Thermal Suites) Service throughout the ship was friendly and available if not quite as skillful as on some other lines specialty venues. No long delays getting drinks and room service was also good. I have marked enrichment activities and shore excursions as average only because we did not use them. I would have gone snorkeling but the water still a bit too cold so we enjoyed a relaxed and peaceful day onboard. Would I book P&O over Celebrity or Princess. No, but if you do find a short cruise that works for you or your group don't be afraid of going on P&O as it can be an enjoyable experience. And if you ever get offered the Penthouse, take the option. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My wife and I took this 4 night cruise for a short break, I was looking forward to it as we had never cruised on Pacific Aria before, this was my 6th cruise and I must say I enjoyed the ship itself once you've worked out how to get ... Read More
My wife and I took this 4 night cruise for a short break, I was looking forward to it as we had never cruised on Pacific Aria before, this was my 6th cruise and I must say I enjoyed the ship itself once you've worked out how to get around the ship, it dosen't take long to get to where you want to be. The decor gave a nice intimate feeling, embarkation/debarkation was nice and quick the cabin had good amount of room and also had a decent sized shub which was good as I love to have a bath, just as well because the spa pools on the lido deck were not usable for me as one was cold and the other was luke warm. We tried all the main restaurants including Luke Mangan's, I would give Luke Mangan's and the Dragon lady four stars for food and service Angelo's three stars and the Waterfront two stars the food there was terrible the menu was limited and the only redeeming factor was the service.We also did the high tea which we loved defintely worth paying the $25 for if you love your food. The Pantry was a pleasant surprise compared to the buffet's I've been to on other ships the food was of a decent quality the lines were short the food court concept worked very well we preferred it to the waterfront which is saying something as we prefer to go Al'acarte. The highlight of the cruise for me was the entertainment, the shows at the Marquee were excellent a lot of talented performers on show, however what I loved best was the band Lazy Leis they were brilliant and Wesley at the Mix Piano bar could really get us singing, very enjoyable if you love to sing along.The Dome was a great place to go especially around dusk, its a lot smaller than the Dome on the Pacific Dawn however it had a much nicer more intimate feel to it you also felt closer to the view you were seeing through the full room height windows the bar was right in the middle which was easy to access. Being a for night cruise we had one shore excursion at Airlie Beach which seems to have got a lot busier than it was six years ago when we visited it on the Pacific Sun. Overall it was a very pleasant cruise just a bit too short I would love to do a longer cruise on Pacific Aria as long as it had the same entertianers on board. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My Partner and I needed some time out to relax, life has been very hectic and stressful this year! So we decided to take a short cruise to unwind and stay connected. The cruise ship was lovely, I liked the idea of the pantry, it saves ... Read More
My Partner and I needed some time out to relax, life has been very hectic and stressful this year! So we decided to take a short cruise to unwind and stay connected. The cruise ship was lovely, I liked the idea of the pantry, it saves waste, and spreading germs.The restaurants were lovely, food was pretty good. Our first night we were not impressed with the waterfront restaurant, they seemed confused, and service was very slow, our meals which we opted to pay for were below average. We gave it another go on the third and last night and the food was lovely and the service was. Exceptional. Entertainment enjoyable, there was always something to do on board. Loved Christian from South Africa, he did the bingo, he was great, so entertaining and just a happy go lucky person, very pleasant to be around. Most of the staff was friendly, there was a few that looked like they hated their jobs. To sum things up I’d recommend anyone to book the cruise as it was good value for money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The objective of our first cruise was to get to places best accessed from the sea and to return to past haunts: the destination, not the journey. Thanks to the reviews on this site and elsewhere we had a good idea of the ship and how ... Read More
The objective of our first cruise was to get to places best accessed from the sea and to return to past haunts: the destination, not the journey. Thanks to the reviews on this site and elsewhere we had a good idea of the ship and how things worked and did not have to figure out much from zero. The destinations worked out well, we had great snorkelling on Conflict Is, Kiriwina and Gizo. Lots of tropical fish, even if the coral not as spectacular as what we saw in Fiji. Paying an outrigger canoe on Kiriwina worked well to take us away from the landing beach where coral was badly damaged. Dive Gizo took us to their private island 20 minutes from the main harbour, with good snorkelling and diving and a delicious local lunch of grilled fish and veges. Tooling around in a dugout canoe made me appreciate how much easier modern watercraft are to use. Going back to Rabaul after it was wiped out by the 1994 volcanic eruption was an eerie experience. The pre-arranged day-long Paivu Tours tour was well run and much cheaper than the ship offerings. In Honiara we just hired a cab outside the harbour with an arranged itinerary and fixed price and kept ahead of the ship's tours. Hand-crafted carvings were plentiful in Kiriwina, attractive woven bags best on Conflict Islands, and other nice carvings in Honiara near the museum and on the wharf. The demonstration village at the end of the market path in Kiriwina is very interesting and well done but lamentably sparsely patronized by the cruisers. All traders accept Aussie dollars, but local currencies are easiest for them. Tender operations for the shore visits were run very efficiently, we did not waste much time queuing. The main unexpected issue for us was that the ship's decor, services, activities and catering are pitched to please the two main groups, 70+ and bogans. The decor and food (except Angelo's) are straight out of the 1980s. Common areas are rather garishly fitted out, the unabashedly downmarket Casino being the worst. Some of the adjacent bars have the atmosphere of a 1920s Shanghai brothel. Entertainment is also aimed at the above two customer groups: ho-hum stage show, bingo, comedy based on four-letter words, rounded out by snake-oil merchant "health" offerings and discount sale of plastic sandals. Service is fine, staff are attentive and cheerful, sometimes a bit forced cheerful, clearly acting on instructions. Sharing a table at restaurants greatly facilitated booking and allowed us to meet many interesting people from all walks of life, some real off-left-field experiences. Food presentation was very attractive in all restaurants, and service was also good with just a couple of minor hitches. We found the portion sizes perfect, unlike much chatter on the Internet. Food quality did vary markedly, though. We were thoroughly impressed with the food at Angelo's. Authentic Italian flavours and meal preparation, not drowned in heavy sauces, were well paired with good varietal wines. Management and the chef deserve a medal. The Waterfront was a mixed bag, ranging from some very nice meals (eg, a tasty vegetarian burrito) to some poor ones (eg, veal schnitzel and a so-called swordfish salad that had practically no fish in a mound of cold tomato-flavoured spaghetti). Breakfast was pretty well what one could have at the Pantry, but served with much more ceremony over much longer time. The classier environment in the restaurant was the only drawcard. The Dragon Lady showed less extremes in food quality, but the meals were uniformly very pedestrian implementations of the Asian originals, as it used to be done in last-century Oz. It was a major pain to order wine at the restaurant, as they are weirdly unprepared for such an option. The restaurant décor was far too dark and the faint blue lighting neither functional nor atmospheric. The advertised menu of the Salt restaurant was too boring for us to spend extra money on, with little apart from heavy dishes of red meat. The Pantry was very functional with good basic choices and a good range of seating and attractive decor. Some offerings like the battered fish were excellent in their own category, a great lunch to repeat paired with lots of fresh salad. The dessert menu, however, is stuck in the last century with boring sponge cakes and jellies. We wanted to spend the extra money on the reportedly impressive culinary experience at the Chef's Table, but could not get in. The quality of coffee was appalling in the Pantry and at the Waterfront, the latter's brewed offering no better than the Pantry's instant with reconstituted milk powder. Only two outlets of espresso coffee on the ship, with just adequate quality, were insufficient at this day and age. There is just no excuse for this with the availability of espresso vending machines. In all, though, it was a relaxing holiday. We organized our own shore activities based on info from the Internet and had a great time. The ship was a pleasant and convenient means of transport, and once we sussed the restaurants there was good food to be had. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I joined this cruise as part of a group so I didn’t take advantage of the onboard activities and bars. Our departure from Sydney was on time and boarding was pretty straightforward. Luggage arriving from a 12-1 boarding by 2:30. ... Read More
I joined this cruise as part of a group so I didn’t take advantage of the onboard activities and bars. Our departure from Sydney was on time and boarding was pretty straightforward. Luggage arriving from a 12-1 boarding by 2:30. The boat was clean but in places worn. We had a twin bed layout. The beds were pretty hard. The balcony cabin was compact with litte space apart from the balcony and a 1 meter area adjacent to the beds. Fortunately the beds have space for luggage below. The desk is tiny - just enough space for a laptop and bed side accessories. Storage in the wardrobe was good for 2 people. There were 4 PowerPoints 1 us on the desk, 1 US below a tiny hallway shelf and a European and Australian by the TV. The bar fridge below had enough space for 6 water bottles or 12 cans. I ate at the waterfront on a few occasions food was good but. It spectacular but the space was often cramped. Better for breakfast or lunch. 400 Gradi had excellent pizza’s and there was usually spare space for additional diners. The pantry food was average. Think food court in your local mall. I enjoyed the breakfast options, the Indian and carvery. The Chinese was poor the times I tried it. The deserts looked great but the were little more than sugar and food colouring. When cheese and biscuits were offered they were good. The soups I tried were usually bland. The staff were friendly and helpful. There were many activities available but often these prevented use of the facilities. For example when a movie played above the pool deck it was so loud that I had to leave the area. Similarly activities in the explorer bar made it hard to enjoy a social drink if you were not participating. Fortunately there were many other bars to use. On the whole I got what I paid for. Perhaps i’ll Go more upmarket next time or budget for meals in the pay restaurants most of the time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I can write a million things that you can find in a lot of other places but I would prefer to give you some info that you might not find elsewhere. Laundry: Pacific Dawn has 2 self serve laundry's on decks 5 and 10. They take $1 ... Read More
I can write a million things that you can find in a lot of other places but I would prefer to give you some info that you might not find elsewhere. Laundry: Pacific Dawn has 2 self serve laundry's on decks 5 and 10. They take $1 coins and it is $3 wash and $3 Dry. They also have irons in these rooms as well which (I think) are free. this price is current as at 18/08/18 Fridge: The rooms have a small fridge that is not icy cold but ok. Drinks: I have attached a some photos of the drinks menus so you can weigh up if any of the drinks packages will suit you. The promenade bar had a different drinks menu that I was have not photographed but all the drinks on it (cocktails) were above the $12. All over the ship they have more drinks than what is listed just ask if you want something different. They have other beers on tap as well. For the preminium drinks package it includes alcohol up to and including $12 in value but not specialised coffee. The lot covers everything. Shore Tours: Airlie Beach, Yorkeys Knob, Port Douglas all require you to be taken ashore by tender which can take up to an hour. Please consider this when thinking about the amount of time you have on shore. We had a 7 hour Hamilton Island tour and by the time the ship was late, we then caught a tender to Airlie Beach, a bus to another marina, then catamaran to Hamilton Island. We only ended up with about 2 - 3 hours on Hamilton Island before needing to start our way back. The Pantry: The pantry replaced the old buffet. it is still all you can eat but be mindful that it has different stations which all have their own queue. For breakfast I went to one station to get scrambled eggs, another to get sausage and another to get cereal. Make sure you do a walk around all stations before deciding what you want. I personally think the food is a little better quality than the old buffet style used to be. Photos: Are generally $30 each and an extra $5 if you want the digital copy in addition. If you buy the digital copy on its own its $20. They have different packages if you want 4 or more photos. Internet: They have various different internet packages. They offered $79 for unlimited for the 7 day cruise if you bought it in the first 24 hours. I did not purchase internet but others who did said it was pretty hopeless Rooms: Are pretty much what you would expect, not flash but clean. Staff: The majority of the staff are wonderful I can not fault them, they work very hard and are always friendly with a smile. A big chunk have worked for P&O for 10+ years which says a lot. New Zealand Ice Cream: 1 scoop $5.50, 2 scoops $6.50, 3 scoops $7.50 Banana Split $9.50 Bingo: $30 a game Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We arrived in Cairns 5 days before our departure and enjoyed relaxing and touring of few notable place before boarding the Pacific Eden. Boarding was smooth and went without a hitch the staff I. The terminal kept everyone informed and made ... Read More
We arrived in Cairns 5 days before our departure and enjoyed relaxing and touring of few notable place before boarding the Pacific Eden. Boarding was smooth and went without a hitch the staff I. The terminal kept everyone informed and made the process of boarding going through customs etc a breeze. Once on board we walk around making our self farmilar with the ship until we were called to our lifeboat drill. Although she is an olde ship the Eden is very tidy our cabin was on level 6 and was roomy and more than meant our needs every thing was in working order to and we virtually had no outside noise at all despite there being a smoking station about 50 mtrs from our window. It was cleaned everyday and turned down every evening.As far as the eating went we chose to have breakfast and lunch in the pantry every day and were surprised by the amount of choices. The food was first class and the staff were more than helpful with your requests. We choose dinner in all three free restaurants but for nd the menu more inviting in the Waterfront but could not fault the food in the Dragon Lady or the Italian one. Entertainment and activities we great the daily news letter let us plan our day as to what we were going to do especially on sea days. We chose on 2 shore excursions as we both prefer to do our own thing when travelling in new places. The snorkeling at Conflict Islands was first class the array of marine life and coral is as good as we have seen. The WW11 tour in Honiara was excellent made better but the guide we had our bus who kept us informed of everything as we toured around. As far as the service on the boat went we are not real big drinkers so we did not purchase only drinks packages as such. But we found the service was slow in peak times and got a little bit over serviced in the quiet times. The staff were always friendly and would have a chat when appropriate. They work extremely hard and should be congratulated on there friendly manner. All in al this cruise was great value P& O seemed to have nailed the entertainment side as the crew they have headed up by Pablo were sensational and always smiled and made light of things to keep the crowd entertained. I would definitely sail with P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Embarkation was faultless. The welcomed me and placed this solo traveller in the Priority line. My mini suite was very well equipped, 2 televisions, spa bath, marble shower and vanity, plus a comfortable bed. Champagne on arrival in ... Read More
Embarkation was faultless. The welcomed me and placed this solo traveller in the Priority line. My mini suite was very well equipped, 2 televisions, spa bath, marble shower and vanity, plus a comfortable bed. Champagne on arrival in the room from my lovely steward and a bowl of fresh fruit made me feel special. The Pantry was my choice for early morning breakfast, served by friendly attendants. Lunch at Luke’s was nice, but felt rushed as it is so popular. Dinner at Dragon Lady and Angelos and Waterfront were included in the fare. Shell and Bones was sensational. Solo ladies expecting service at the bars and lounges are not treated well at all. Ignored for up to 30 minutes. Cultural methinks. Shows in the Marquee was top quality however patrons left a bit to be desired. Looked back to see 10 toes on the back of the seat next to me. phew....and isle huggers annoy me. Tender priority ticket made life easy too. Loved the brand new Tenders too, very smooth sailing. Noticed a distinct difference in the clientele from when I sailed on Dawn Princess. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have previously done two cruises with P & O in 2017. Both cruises where on the Pacific Jewel.Both cruises were excellent. we decided to try pacific explorer and although we had a very good time it was not as good as the Jewel. The ... Read More
We have previously done two cruises with P & O in 2017. Both cruises where on the Pacific Jewel.Both cruises were excellent. we decided to try pacific explorer and although we had a very good time it was not as good as the Jewel. The Jewel was more user friendly for the older generation.The only real complaint with the explorer is the entertainment venues were rather small and hard to get a seat. The Margee and the Black Circus were very good and usually easy to get a seat. The entertainment on board was very good and the bands that we saw were excellent.The cruise director Joanne and her staff were very funny and were instrumental in guests having a good time. The food for the most part was good and of an acceptable quality.We only ate in the Pantry The service was for the most part excellent and the waiters were very attentive. Reception staff were very helpful and friendly getting of the ship when in port was easy and very quick.The only down side to the shore tours was that e could not get of at Moreton Island as the weather was to rough. all in all the cruise the was very relaxing and we both had a good time. Embarkation and disembarkation was handled very professionally and with the minimum amount of fuss. Overall very happy with this cruise Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I recently took a 4 day cruise to the whitsundays and was impressed with service,friendliness on this cruise ,from the Maitre D' Karthik the exec chef Jose ,restaurant manager Philipe,head waiters and waiters. on deck 10 bar is ... Read More
I recently took a 4 day cruise to the whitsundays and was impressed with service,friendliness on this cruise ,from the Maitre D' Karthik the exec chef Jose ,restaurant manager Philipe,head waiters and waiters. on deck 10 bar is very good atmosphere and enjoyed afternoon drinks,the bars are good but drinks are very pricy $16 for long island tea?? Chefs table was good food was good and portion sizes however wine matching was off the mark. Room steward very invisible and cabin shower not in good operational order. Balcony too small its more like a big window and the bed mattress very hard,cupboard room and hanging space very adequate. I would not go on a longer cruise than 4 days. There are a lot of add on payments ,room service is at a fee and pizzas are too expensive 12.50. and it seems that while you pay a reasonable but not very low price there are other costs added on if you want a bit more. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
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