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309 P&O Australia Cruise Reviews

For our cruise we had booked a boarding time online, arrived about ten minutes early and were told there was a backlog of passengers, we had to stand for nearly two hours, not a good start! Our cabin ( 10152) was fine but very cold due to ... Read More
For our cruise we had booked a boarding time online, arrived about ten minutes early and were told there was a backlog of passengers, we had to stand for nearly two hours, not a good start! Our cabin ( 10152) was fine but very cold due to the A/C having no workable control, serviced every day with a chocolate except for the last four nights. The staff and food were excellent in our opinion but the entertainment was disappointing to say the least, the exception being the Jazz vocalist on the last night, he was good.General criticism from our group was lack of (free) activities whilst at sea, by the way, the Capuccinos in the coffee shops were great (served with a chocolate). We were warned by the Captain three days into the cruise of higher than normal sickness on board, unfortunately we had to visit our Doctor when home, my Wife and I were diagnosed with Influenza A (Bird-flu) and another lady in our party had to spend three days in hospital with Pneumonia. We were glad to be home, cruising is not for us, having said that, there were some on board who enjoyed themselves. The Pacific Jewel is in a tired state and I wonder if the refit later this year will improve on this? I would add that we found getting on and off the ship at the ports to be frustrating, most of the time only one crew doing the checking off and on. The people of Portland, Burnie (volunteers) did a wonderful job once we had docked. P & O put out a flyer for Hobart stating there were complimentary buses for a shuttle into and from the Town, not so (and hasn't been for the past two years) I have received an apology regarding this! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We travelled Melbourne to Perth- 9 nights 3 of us in a cabin on deck 10 near Oasis. We were travelling as VIP'ers. So our experience was way different to most. We got a huge amount of freebies, like champagne and canapes in our ... Read More
We travelled Melbourne to Perth- 9 nights 3 of us in a cabin on deck 10 near Oasis. We were travelling as VIP'ers. So our experience was way different to most. We got a huge amount of freebies, like champagne and canapes in our cabin, bowls of fruit, extra toiletries, free drinks in the casino, free bridge tour, meet the officers party. Putting that aside the rest of the cruise was just okay. I was disappointed with the lack of variety in both the MDR and the buffet. I had breakfast most days in the buffet and with the excpetion of a sausage change and a couple of pastries it was the same every day. The MDR had the same menu as well for breakfast every day. The dinner menu didn't change either. As VIP's we had a meal at Salt Grill- the cover charge is $49 a head- total waste just as well we got it for free. BUT we did pay the $20 cover charge for afternoon tea at Salt Grill.. That was really fantastic, way better than what I have had on the Queen mary. I can so recommend it. Don't eat lunch before you go. It will fill you up. I really enjoyed the shows at night. My entire day was planned around dinner and the shows. During the day not much in the way of activites, many of them you had to pay. Or there would be 2 or even 3 avtivities on at the same time, It's hard to be 3 places at once. Would only travel P&O again if the price was right or going to a place I really want to visit. Look at my cabin review below 10284. Our cabin 10284 at the back near Oasis was a good position as close to the end lifts that went up to buffet and down to MDR. We did have a connecting door and could on occassions hear our next door neighbour. But other than that a very quiet cabin. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Sailing on the Pacific Dawn was our 3rd cruise since we caught the Cruise Bug 2 years ago and we wont be sailing her again or a P & O cruise. P&O is a 3 1/2 star cruise line at the best. Food is alright - Buffet lunch and dinner ... Read More
Sailing on the Pacific Dawn was our 3rd cruise since we caught the Cruise Bug 2 years ago and we wont be sailing her again or a P & O cruise. P&O is a 3 1/2 star cruise line at the best. Food is alright - Buffet lunch and dinner is something you would try once and not come back. Breakfast in the buffet was okay for it being quick and available. Luna for dinner was very good food but on the Dawn the restaurant is a sectioned off part of the Buffet Plantation restaurant. Paying a premium for the food in Luna is fine but to have screaming kids peering through a screen from the Plantation is very off=putting. The Waterfront offers okay a la carte but even on a 7 night cruise the menu is repetitive and gets boring. The cruise seems affordable until you start buying drinks. wow it will add up. P & O don't offer the opportunity to pre=purchase drink packages like Royal Caribbean which at least makes it so you can budget. Big Mistake P & O. The entertainment on this cruise was way below par. The Dawn rely on Karaoke as the main form of evening entertainment. Pro entertainment seems to only last about 30 min sessions by the time they start. Shows are mainly amateur performances put on by the crew. Average at best. And then there is the "Sell Sell Sell" attitude of the crew. Cabin and balcony is good. Very small gym located way down the bottom of the ship. Embarkation was terrible. This is possibly the fault of Brisbane Port. So Slow. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Enteraintainment was boring, and had the same acts as it did 2 years ago, but not the same performers thats for sure. The ship has proabaly had better days as it was built in 1991, rust on the decks and nearly every where you look on its ... Read More
Enteraintainment was boring, and had the same acts as it did 2 years ago, but not the same performers thats for sure. The ship has proabaly had better days as it was built in 1991, rust on the decks and nearly every where you look on its exterior. If you are seeking an all you can eat buffer type of food, go to plantation. Or a ''5 star'' resturant experience, go to the waterfront the staff and waiters are amazing and treat you like royals. The food is pretty good too. Missed out on Port Vila as the ship was containing needed supplies for the locals, didnt get to get off the ship. It was a let down as other cruise liners like on Carnival or Royal caribbean were dropping off supplies and also going to another port for the day. There was no compensation of missing out on the port. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We went on Pacific Island Hopper from Brisbane -> Noumea -> Lifou ->Port Vila -> Brisbane Cabin - Good , neat and well presented Cabin Steward - Very very Good Shark Shack - Children's entertainment - Excellent ... Read More
We went on Pacific Island Hopper from Brisbane -> Noumea -> Lifou ->Port Vila -> Brisbane Cabin - Good , neat and well presented Cabin Steward - Very very Good Shark Shack - Children's entertainment - Excellent Entertainment - Great ( Good work Tim, Willy & Haden) Food - Extremely poor. ( Like buying a meal for $10 all you can eat restaurant - Plantation Restaurant) Food Choices - Vegetarians don't bother catching this ship, Ship induce you to go to salt gril or other restaurants and ask you to pay. Overpriced food. I recommend you to starve for a couple of months before going on this ship. Then it may taste good. For ordinary people who enjoy food, please look for some other cruise. Photography - Good, They do a good job. Not bad prices Embarkation/ Disembarkation - Good Job. Smooth Sail. Capitan & Other Staff - Very well behaved and very friendly. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I am an experienced traveler though not an experienced cruiser. Let me say firstly that the cruise ex Fremantle to Geraldton, Broome, Lombok, Bali and Komodo was fantastic value for money. What I would have liked is to pay more to GET ... Read More
I am an experienced traveler though not an experienced cruiser. Let me say firstly that the cruise ex Fremantle to Geraldton, Broome, Lombok, Bali and Komodo was fantastic value for money. What I would have liked is to pay more to GET more. Its best described in star rating. Accomodation 2 star. (went 12 nights without a fridge in my cabin. Everyday I was told it was getting fixed. Food 4 star in the restaurants... 2-3 star in the buffet. Drinks 2 star. Beer $8.00 .After 2 days at sea you couldn't buy a bottle of wine under A$50 which sells at any land based outlet for $16.00.( And P&O have the benefit of duty free buying!!!) A very poor effort. Entertainment 3 star. Staff 3 star. Those that historically get tipped were good. Those that didn't were plain rude. Shore Access. 2 star. You spend ALL day queuing for a 3 hour shore time. Will I sail again.... maybe... with P&O.... never. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Would we travel again with P&O? No, not to any place that requires tenders, until they fix their process. Only average rating due to tenders. On booking our TA warned that its not the same level as our previous trip on Voyager of ... Read More
Would we travel again with P&O? No, not to any place that requires tenders, until they fix their process. Only average rating due to tenders. On booking our TA warned that its not the same level as our previous trip on Voyager of Seas. We chose this trip due to new to us ports & other family going. Embarkation was smooth & quick for us, as we had a suite we could fast pass the queues. Any water you have in carry on is confiscated, open or not (P&O policy) - same applied for when you are returning from shore excursions. Disembarkation was also smooth - we booked the bus transfer to airport on board & little waiting meant we could change flights our flights home to an earlier one. Food was better then expected. Tried both Japanese & Thai in Luna - great & excellent service. Generally service received was excellent. Pleased that P&O make the effort to do a good espresso in its venues (unlike RCI). The dining areas appeared to be cramped & always seemed busy. Kids early dining meant they could go to kids club & us to a kid free dinner. Kids club was great - great carers, lots of activities, even dance parties on the pool deck! We had a few days of rough weather, so they took them down to the teens area (level 2) to continue activities. Also took them to some of the entertainment shows which they enjoyed. Good that it had a self service laundry, which meant I could pack less on flights. Geraldton had very little open as it was a Sunday - markets were good for a browse. Broome - the hovercraft was fun & the camels would have been better if you had an extra 30mins to sit & enjoy the beach after your ride. Komodo island - the swimming at pink beach was a highlight. The 2 bad parts of the trip - * Booking shore excursions before the trip - tours became available via cruise control sporadically for booking. Several calls to the P&O line resulted in different times out that they would be available for booking - between us & another party, we would check daily & call each other if something became available - some trips like Komodo Is with pink beach, was only available online for a few hours - we were lucky enough to get seats on one of our most wanted tours. * Tender operations - when you don't have shore tours booked, and you follow their instructions, we waited over 3 hours in Lombok to get off (we were lined up early too). We were wiser in Benoa, but still waited 2hrs, even though they seemed to get a larger transfer craft to help. Even at Broome, when you walk off, they needed to improve - we had gotten off to go to town & came back with plenty of time to join our shore tour, but waited over 20mins on the dock as they only had 1 gangplank (letting people off) working - they evidentially let us walk up the staired gangplank after advising of our situation - it was only that we had friends on the tour that they waited. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Having just came of celebrity solstice at Easter this was a little extra trip so solstice was still fresh in mind so with that I'd say pacific jewel is a very old ship in the middle of a much needed Reno , you can see that they have ... Read More
Having just came of celebrity solstice at Easter this was a little extra trip so solstice was still fresh in mind so with that I'd say pacific jewel is a very old ship in the middle of a much needed Reno , you can see that they have started this already with more on going and planned, the highlight of this cruise is the entertainers they put solstice ones to shame, the young band undercover were fantastic , the main jewel entertainers singers, dancers, circus acts were extremly talented, shows were very good. The food was good won't say great as not much options in buffet, main dining good ,service lacking at times. Didn't try any paid restaurants . The room was good enough for 3 nights tip for those with thick or long hair take your own hairdryer iv short fine hair and I struggled with the old hairdryer nozel is long rectangle shape hopeless for Presion drying. Staff were polite, and friendly , apart from one who when asked by a friend where jewellery was from that was on sale , she said England my friend being English said oh iv never heard of it sales person said rather bitchy "I'm sure you don't know everything about England" when my friend said pardon she refused to repeat it . Overall we had a good cruise would do it again but in a bigger group, won't take as many dress up clothes either as it's a very casual cruise even on there "formal night " people were in fine dining in track pants and daisy duke cut off shorts Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Having just came of celebrity solstice at Easter this was a little extra trip so solstice was still fresh in mind so with that I'd say pacific jewel is a very old ship in the middle of a much needed Reno , you can see that they have ... Read More
Having just came of celebrity solstice at Easter this was a little extra trip so solstice was still fresh in mind so with that I'd say pacific jewel is a very old ship in the middle of a much needed Reno , you can see that they have started this already with more on going and planned, the highlight of this cruise is the entertainers they put solstice ones to shame, the young band undercover were fantastic , the main jewel entertainers singers, dancers, circus acts were extremly talented, shows were very good. The food was good won't say great as not much options in buffet, main dining good ,service lacking at times. Didn't try any paid restaurants . The room was good enough for 3 nights tip for those with thick or long hair take your own hairdryer iv short fine hair and I struggled with the old hairdryer nozel is long rectangle shape hopeless for Presion drying. Staff were polite, and friendly , apart from one who when asked by a friend where jewellery was from that was on sale , she said England my friend being English said oh iv never heard of it sales person said rather bitchy "I'm sure you don't know everything about England" when my friend said pardon she refused to repeat it . Overall we had a good cruise would do it again but in a bigger group, won't take as many dress up clothes either as it's a very casual cruise even on there "formal night " people were in fine dining in track pants and daisy duke cut off shorts Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Having cruised only a year ago on the Pacific Dawn, I was looking forward to a smorgasbord of yummy food and loads of entertainment. Unfortunately, it seems things have slipped somewhat! Most general entertainment was of RSL style ... Read More
Having cruised only a year ago on the Pacific Dawn, I was looking forward to a smorgasbord of yummy food and loads of entertainment. Unfortunately, it seems things have slipped somewhat! Most general entertainment was of RSL style (karaoke, trivia, bingo) with nothing through the day. Heck, on the last cruise there was laser shows, superb cirque style acts in the artrium, champaign glass towers, etc, etc. The evening shows themselves were reasonable but nothing too special - commendations though to the shows that were not performed by the P&O team ... very good! Food was classic smorgasboard in The Plantation and seemed similar to our last cruise. Particularly annoying though was the very deliberate absence of trays ... so you were left clutching cutlery and loading bread, dessert, juice and main course all on one plate. What was not lacking was the additional activities that had an additional charge. These were promoted as daily activities in the program but playing laser tag, rock climbing or computer car racing were never my idea of what to do on a cruise...and certainly not to pay for it. Whilst staff remained friendly and professional, I was left feeling as though the cruise had gone from extravagant to stingy in less than 12 months and our family will look beyond the Pacific Dawn in future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Having cruised on 4 other lines since we last cruised P&O Australia, it was a big step back to the Jewel. Cons Booking anytime dining in MDR is a tedious process that is required nightly for the first 3 nights Quality of food ... Read More
Having cruised on 4 other lines since we last cruised P&O Australia, it was a big step back to the Jewel. Cons Booking anytime dining in MDR is a tedious process that is required nightly for the first 3 nights Quality of food in MDR is a bit hit and miss. More ice than cream in MDR ice cream (likely to promote sales of NZ Icecream on deck 12 at $5 a scoop. No soft serve in buffet (now the pantry after June 15 refit) Burgers, hot dogs and pizzas are $5, $3 and $10 respectively Dress code not enforced in MDR, t-shirts on formal night. Many patrons do not have an 'inside voice' when dining in MDR Drinks are expensive.. Mixed drinks $9-10, Beer $7, cocktails $10 - $15 No drinks packages No bar nibblies, even in the cocktail bar (Mix) Onboard duty free, (jewellery, alcohol, cosmetics, watches) expensive, cheaper in Australia. No forward lounge with a view Adults only section (Oasis) has no pool or hot tubs All coffee shop food @ $4 per item Fee for room service food Tendering process is very slow (3 hours until open acess) The Pantry changes very little and lines are long Pros The ship is very clean Service quality is HAL/Princess Standard Cabin size is adequate MDR dinner selection is good (albeit quality is sporadic) Showroom productions are quite good (3 nightly sessions) Public rooms are cosy Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This is our second cruise so we decided to cruise on the 7 day island hopper that left brisbane on 30-06-15, last year we also booked the 7 day island hopper and booked a suite 11121 on the p&o dawn, the noise from the deck above every ... Read More
This is our second cruise so we decided to cruise on the 7 day island hopper that left brisbane on 30-06-15, last year we also booked the 7 day island hopper and booked a suite 11121 on the p&o dawn, the noise from the deck above every day and night was unbearably, this year we booked a mini suite 11142 on the p&o jewel after p&o gave us a $400 discount due to noise on previous cruise, well this room was even worse than the dawn suite with constant noise from chairs and people running around 24 hrs a day, the night of the bianco party was unbearable with even the paintings and fixtures vibrating from the music above don't waste your money on one of these suites, book a room lower down ship embarkation from brisbane was was a shambles with app 200 people standing around on footpath waiting for there number to be called, my wife asked if she could go inside to use toilet and was refused entry disembarkation from ship in brisbane was very well organised with app 10min from ship to carpark disembarkation at "noumea" was a shambles as everyone tried to leave the ship at the same time, with some passengers almost missing there trips, most of the people getting off were just walking up town, it would have been better if they ask for people not going on prebooked tours to wait 30min before disembarkation "mare" was disappointing with markets limited in merchandise and the only attraction being the beach on the other side of the island "vila" was very well organised for excursions with a great selection and all having a particular staggered meeting time at wharf, uptown duty free shopping was great and the locals very friendly, the only drawback was the minivan taxis harassing you for a fare to and from the ship the new pantry design worked well, except trying to find a seat at busy times the pantry food was fair and they had a good selection for all three meals the service and dining selection of the food in the waterfront restaurant was great, we booked the same table every night as the waiter was exceptional the live shows entertainment each night was fair with most shows only 30-40 min but not as good as the previous dawn cruise last year the mini suite we had was clean and well presented but the fixtures are dated, probably the worse was it had a full size bath with very high sides which meant you had to be very careful on stepping out and even worse when ship is rocking, last year the suite on dawn was a shower cubicle was was easier to use the stateroom service daily was good with the beds made early and room cleaned, they were a bit lax in replacing items used daily such as bottled water and shower items we were surprised that on the jewel bottled water in mini suites is not free as this was complimentary on dawn in a suite, we did manage to have our laundry done for free but the room steward could not tell us what services were complimentary to these rooms we live 3 hours from brisbane so leaving on a weekend was good as the traffic was limited on the roads, we parked at portside parking which was a 5 min walk if you use the rear gate, its much quicker to walk than wait for shuttle bus to take you to and from parking "SUMMARY" i would give it a 3 star for service etc, but would never book a mini suite or suite again, don't waste your money and go above balcony level Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Embarking was easy, a walk in the park until the steps present small issues if your struggling with knee injury or the like ... Once on board the staff met us at the doorway to the Atrium, first impressions , OK , moderate, not shiny but ... Read More
Embarking was easy, a walk in the park until the steps present small issues if your struggling with knee injury or the like ... Once on board the staff met us at the doorway to the Atrium, first impressions , OK , moderate, not shiny but clean and well presented with comfy chairs spread out to lounge in .. this Atrium became the area of choice after 4pm when the temps outside got cooler, Charlie's bar is present and Alfred does his job perfectly always remembering ones name . A pleasant added bonus . We stayed in a triple room, window, deck 9 , would definitely aim at the same area again Our room stewards work hard and we tipped them for their efforts . The new Pantry was a major let down, the food bland, repetitive and most of all the same ol every day for 7 days with small differences . The staff again work hard in these areas .. long hours and try their best to reduce the queues. We only ever experienced short waits . The seating is fair, hard to grab a low table for a group at anytime of day really, always ending up on high stools .. Made it difficult for those with small children . Entertainment was ok , the shows each night differ, I can say average for a cruise, we expected no different . The Music on board was consistent, the activities we found ran into each other with times overlapping make it difficult to get to . Art Auctions won us with learning and purchasing a new collection a worthwhile experience , Thanks to the Park West Gallery . Kip, Dan and Steve . Many thanks . disembarking no issues, bar service great, for a budget cruise to wet ones feet it served us well. Id recommend for anyone not wanting to travel outside of Australia and wanting to keep the budget low . Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I'm writing this so people know how the drinks package is working. P&O are doing an un-advertised drinks trial. Price was $533 for 7 nights per person, no apparent requirement for all people in the cabin to take it up. For ... Read More
I'm writing this so people know how the drinks package is working. P&O are doing an un-advertised drinks trial. Price was $533 for 7 nights per person, no apparent requirement for all people in the cabin to take it up. For that, you get all drinks up to $12 a serving. That covered every cocktail except 2 (long island iced tea, and a rum thing), all beers, one of each type of wine and bubbles, most of the spirits, cans of jim beam and coke, vodka and red bull, soft drinks, specialty coffee, water, juice etc. To be honest, we didn't ask for anything that we couldn't get. It was a bit painful because they would only give one drink person, so i had to take my wife with me to the bar to get 2 drinks, where on celebrity you could just take two cards to the bar. I guess they will learn these things. They also do a sale on the computer for every drink, so rather than scanning one card and selling 2 drinks, they go through the whole process twice. The cocktails at $11 or $12 only have 1 1/2 nips in them, so its easy to drink a lot of them. $8 or $9 for imported beers adds up too. Overall, we are not party animals and i reckon we would have spent the same without the package. However, the package takes all the stress away and you can enjoy your drink without worrying about the cost. For anyone out for a party cruise, its an absolute bargain. The drink service was pretty slack at times, but i don't think most people had the package, so they were slow serving paying customers as well. As for the Dawn herself - the boat is old but neat and tidy. My wife went on her earlier in the year and thinks it has a had a refurb. Certainly nothing to complain about. The big problem is the small charges for EVERYTHING. You cannot eat anything on the ship from 2.30 to 5.30 each afternoon without paying for it. They charge a few dollars for burgers, hot dogs, chips, pizzas, ice cream, cakes, and anything else they can think of. No afternoon tea in the dining room. Then they charge you for room service delivery (but i could not find that charge listed on the menu). The buffet is by far the worst i have ever seen at sea. Think the sunday roast at the local bowls club, but not as nice. (The main dining room was ok though) The staff were all pleasant and helpful. Overall, well worth what we paid to go, but i would spend a little more next time. One complaint, they have dropped frequent traveller benefits, so while you earn points towards Princess Captains Circle, you don't get any of the benefits. Would priority boarding hurt them so much? Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I tried to find an email address so I could complain to P.& O. direct but alas could not find one after searching high and low. They must hope that we will just go away. Anyway here I go. I was told by other work colleagues that ... Read More
I tried to find an email address so I could complain to P.& O. direct but alas could not find one after searching high and low. They must hope that we will just go away. Anyway here I go. I was told by other work colleagues that they weren't real happy with cruise but thought I would judge for myself. This was my 5th cruise. 3 with P. & O and two on Princess Sun. However I did enjoy PNG but would not recommend Alotau War excursion. Way to expensive and didn't really see war memorabilia, had air-con in mini-bus. Rabaul War Memorial was excellent but not enough time at sites and forget the Queen "Whoever" steps, waste of time. Time better spent at Museum and Cemetery. Lots to see and not enough time. No air-con in mini-bus. Islands and water are beautiful. Snorkelling great. On ship Beer at Lido was far from cold enough whether tap or cans/bottle. Bar staff lacked knowledge on how to even pour a beer. Even after politely mentioning to them quietly. They still had no idea. We ended up being told by another passenger that the cafe at the other end had cold beer. Service around pool was extremely poor. Most passengers got their own. Not good for bar sales nor recommendation. Restaurant food was poor. Menu wasn't up to par. Service was slow. Eating and trying to get to 2045 show didn't happen unless went earlier. I have always eaten at 8pm on other cruises and made it to late show. Drink waiters didn't come around unless called for. Perfume discount sales. Don't bother. Can get cheaper on mainland at Chemist Warehouse and the like. On Princess gym has a view of ocean. Maybe swap gym and kids area. They don't really enjoy the view. I love cruising but will have to think seriously whether to go with P. & O. again as the standard appears to be slipping. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was a 4-day cruise from Sydney to Moreton Island and return. Whilst the cruise itself was very good, the standard of food and service was definitely below par. P&O Australia is generally cheaper than other cruise lines servicing ... Read More
This was a 4-day cruise from Sydney to Moreton Island and return. Whilst the cruise itself was very good, the standard of food and service was definitely below par. P&O Australia is generally cheaper than other cruise lines servicing Australia, and you get what you pay for! The compulsory safety demonstration was awful, with both levels of the theatre overcrowded and apparently no air-conditioning. In future, if I cruise again with P&O, I will arrive late and, even though I might have to stand, I will not have to wait 20-30 minutes, crammed in like sardines in a overly hot auditorium, for the lecture to begin. P&O have introduced what they call The Pantry for their buffet service. On this cruise it was self-serve, but many times guests have to go to several stations to get a full meal. In the Waterfront Dining Room, food was average, and the only thing which arrived hot from the kitchen were the soups. Staff were not well trained, for instance starting to clear the table before all diners were finished, and, at times, being over-familiar with touches. However, for a short break it was just what the doctor ordered. My adult daughter and I chose a snorkelling excursion on Moreton Island and it was the best snorkelling experience I have ever had. There was such a variety of fish, including a huge shy grouper and several stingrays. It was truly a value for money excursion. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Aria review 25 November 2015 We booked an inside cabin for this two night inaugural cruise from Sydney to Brisbane. Inside cabin 5020 was really large, much bigger than we have had before. This was our 18th cruise overall, and third ... Read More
Aria review 25 November 2015 We booked an inside cabin for this two night inaugural cruise from Sydney to Brisbane. Inside cabin 5020 was really large, much bigger than we have had before. This was our 18th cruise overall, and third time on P&O, and we usually have a balcony (we have had an inside on Pacific Pearl and Voyager of the Seas). The inside cabin had lots of storage/wardrobe space, a three seater lounge, and a good sized bathroom with a large vanity. The bedding arrangement was twin beds, which we would normally have a queen. But having the twin beds gave the room even more space, so having the twin beds was good. The mattress and bedding was all new and very comfortable. All of the other furnishings were in good condition. The only item needing maintenance was the make up mirror. Our room steward and his assistant were both very friendly and helpful, and our room was spotless. It was also a quiet room. We didn't watch a lot of TV, but there was news, sport and a movie channel, plus some others. Reception was good. Embarkation for us was 12.30pm, but when we arrived the staff advised there was going to be a delay in boarding. And there was, but only about 5 minutes. It went very smoothly, and the Sydney staff were very friendly and helpful. The muster drill was a shambles, we were all crowded onto the outside area of deck six, under the lifeboats. We couldn't hear the announcements, passengers were talking and continuing to chat even though the staff were asking them to be quiet 'so we can hear the announcements' but they didn't stop talking. We were on Port so we were in the shade but it was still uncomfortable. Our friends were on the other side in the sun. Not nice. The 5 ship spectacular concert was amazing! Our ship had four bands playing, including Jessica Mauboy. All were fabulous, and the fireworks and sail away past the other ships was just incredible. We danced for hours. They gave away souvenir hats and lanyards. Best sail away ever! Well done P&O! We had drinks in the upstairs bar in The Dome. Service was very good, our drinks waiter there was Raymond. Very friendly and professional, with quick service. Cocktails were around $11 or $12 and they had a large range. Views from up there are amazing. All bars and restaurants have been refurbished and looked like new. We also had a drink in one of the downstairs bars the second evening and the service was slow. The bar was busy and short staffed. The staff there did what they could, but it was obvious they needed more people. We ate at The Waterfront Restaurant for lunch both days, breakfast both days, and dinner once. We waited in a long queue for breakfast the first day, there were plenty of tables but not enough wait staff to attend to them. Waiting in the queue, and seeing the empty tables, was making people angry. After a few minutes an officer arrived and the line started moving. I think they started to sit people even though the wait staff were already stretched. Once seated, service was good. Some people were obviously training and the others were trying to show them the ropes. So a lack of staffing impacted on something that should have been routine, and this was poor planning on behalf of P&O. Queues for dinner the second evening formed after the show was finished, however we managed to get there just before this. We only ate at The Pantry once, and this was just to grab some dinner and go back out to the concert. The food was good, and the area was clean, and the service was good too. Friends of mine had breakfast there the second day and said the floor had not been cleaned since the day before. Another staffing issue I would imagine. Zoltina J was the entertainment director and she was fabulous. We attended trivia sessions and Zoltina was very funny and interacted very well with the crowd. She is an asset to the ship. We also used the duty free shop, service was okay. Disembarkation was delayed as we came into the dock late. The staff kept us informed and it was no problem. Instead of catching a taxi into the city, we walked about 200 metres in front of the ship to the ferry dock, and caught the ferry into the city, for about $5.80 each. What a great way to enter the city, much better than being on the roads. The ferry docks right in the heart of Brisbane, and it was an easy walk to our hotel. So overall we had a good time, the ship is smaller than we are used to but that was nice. It was easy to find your way. Some areas had not yet come on line such as The Edge outdoor area, and the machines that give you your account. There were some teething problems but the biggest issue was the lack of staff. P&O emailed us apologising the teething problems and offering a discount off a future cruise. We were offered $112.25 each, and my friends (who had a balcony) were offered $149.75 each. This is a nice goodwill gesture, and amounts to about 25 per cent of our cruise price. We have 18 months to use it, I am sure I will have no problem putting it toward another P&O cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Our first cruise and we had a great time, but more due to our attitude and ability to turn an ok time into a good one.. The good... Bed is large and very comfy, room is clean and tidy and room staff do ana amzing job.. The food in ... Read More
Our first cruise and we had a great time, but more due to our attitude and ability to turn an ok time into a good one.. The good... Bed is large and very comfy, room is clean and tidy and room staff do ana amzing job.. The food in Angelos restaurant and The Dragon Lady was currently free and absolutley delicious with top notch service... The decor on the ship is very attractive, but extremely un practicle... Its hard to find seats that are comfy anywhere , but they look great. The food in the pantry and free waterfront resteraunt I thought was fantastic, but certainly would lack variety on a long cruise if your budget prevented you from accessing the other resteraunts. The drinks package is fantastic, although possibly around $10-$15 too expensive to be considered great value... At $78 per day, for every day including disembarkation day where you leave at 8am, you have to drink a lot and consistently a lot to make it worth while... We regretted buyng it but only slightly.. big drinkers would love it. The entertainment needs to be more regular..we often found patches where we couldnt find entertainement as they where having breaks , or it was a case of musical chairs trying to follow performers doing very short gigs... Part of the problem is its a very small ship, thus less entertainment overall... For me my biggest gripe was that one spa was not working and the other one was filled with kids the entire cruise.., they seriously need both working and there should be designated times where no kids are allowed in the spa's The other big negative is the prices of the actual day spa, gym sessions, drinks and day tours.. Fairs fair, but these prices are rediculous for a ship refistered ina low tax environment, with a captive audience and paying low to very low wages... Most Day tours can be booked for hal price off the ship. The day spa is so expensive its almost half the cost of our cruise for a pamper, and to have to pay $13 to get access to a decent bike in the gym really annoyed me.. Given they where there and almost all other equipment was free... Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The new Pacific Eden at this stage fails to live up to the hype. Staff throughout the ship were fabulous, all day, every day no matter how much complaining there was directed at them. Our room was lovely, and the beds and pillows ... Read More
The new Pacific Eden at this stage fails to live up to the hype. Staff throughout the ship were fabulous, all day, every day no matter how much complaining there was directed at them. Our room was lovely, and the beds and pillows amazingly comfortable...and we had a bath....no mini fridge though which is not what I and others were expecting. The Pantry....its a great idea, and a way to minimise food wastage, however, there is not enough variety and not always hot enough to meet food service standards. The Waterfront Restaurant was better, different menu for every day, however food is not prepared there and by the time it gets to the tableit is not generally hot enough, they also have some timing issues to work on..we had 1 of 4 order an entree, the entree was served at the same time as the other 3 people main, not ideal, but I am sure with ti e the crew will build on their experiences and bring it up to the P&O standard. There were issues with plu,bing ..toilets in rooms and public areas breaking down frequently. We had a norovirus outbreak on our cruise, which I believe was a result of the plumbing issues..I got sick on the day we disembarked..so glad I was not that sick at sea. Not up to the standard of your other ships P&O. Bet it fixed or expect alot of dedicated cruislings to jump ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We got one of those super cheap deals, so decided to book a mini-suite - especially as this was supposed to be only a two night cruise from Sydney to Melbourne. Priority boarding - what a great idea! The day before the cruise we got a ... Read More
We got one of those super cheap deals, so decided to book a mini-suite - especially as this was supposed to be only a two night cruise from Sydney to Melbourne. Priority boarding - what a great idea! The day before the cruise we got a text telling us to check in later as there had been some delay and the ship would be leaving at 7pm instead of 4pm. Then later, we got another text telling us that the ship would not be leaving Sydney until the next day, but that we could still board and have the night on the ship, this would mean we would arrive in Melbourne a day after plan. So a few phone calls later to rearrange some arrangements, we were ready to go. Well, I guess priority boarding does mean getting to skip the lines to get to check in, but having to stand in the cattle run to board the ship didn't feel like much of a priority. Anyway, the size of the mini-suite and the appointments were quite impressive, having cruised a few times we enjoyed having the extra space. Unfortunately, the ship is showing it's age - having a balcony door that we had to get help to open as it was jammed, and having slow running drains, and rusty coloured water coming out of the shower when the water was first turned on each morning was a bit of a disappointment. Now, a word about the pantry. Disappointing. As hubby is a coeliac, we usually prefer to eat in the restaurant as we can pre-order. However, if you oversleep, sometimes the pantry is where you end up having breakfast. So what happened to the juice? And while the concept of a servery style instead of a buffet style establishment might be novel, as a person who likes "a spoonful of everything" instead of a big bowl full of one thing only, it is very restrictive. Instead of getting to sample lots of different dishes, you have a choice of either accepting the bowlful you get, and leaving most of it so you have room for something else (therefore there is still lots of waste) or only having one bowl of something. It takes away the reality of choice, while preserving the appearance of choice. AND, it also has the unfortunate side effect of forcing people who would have ordinarily eaten in the buffet to the restaurant - instead of crowds in the buffet, they are abandoning the pantry in droves and crowding into the restaurant. So instead of a nice relaxing dining experience in the restaurant, you now get the experience of standing in line to check in for your booking, and the joy of being seated at the next table to either the foul mouthed boguns, or the screaming children. Not relaxing at all. The entertainment is still good, something P&O still does very well. Unfortunately, such small changes can make a big difference to the overall experience, so unless we get another opportunity at a really cheap fare at a time when we are in need of a break from 'regular life', P&O will probably not be the go for us. We are after all, seeking a nice, relaxing cruise with a bit of nightlife, and unfortunately P&O has dropped the ball big time on the relaxation aspect of the trip. I can't comment on shore excursions, as there weren't any. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Embarkation was reasonably quick as we had priority boarding, however our boarding was delayed by nearly 4 hours as the ship had broken down with engine issues from the previous cruise. Our ship departure was delayed overall by nearly 19 ... Read More
Embarkation was reasonably quick as we had priority boarding, however our boarding was delayed by nearly 4 hours as the ship had broken down with engine issues from the previous cruise. Our ship departure was delayed overall by nearly 19 hrs, with our arrival scheduled to be delayed into Melbourne one day later. The ship was Modern, Bright, and Generally Comfortable, except for the seating in the Pantry. Communication on the ship was very poor most of the time, and the safety drill was a joke. Our cabin was an upgrade from an Inside to a Balcony cabin, and the extra room and fresh air was a blessing. The cabin was very clean, and well serviced throughout our trip. The reception area was always very busy, yet the wait to speak with someone was quite reasonable. Reception always provided friendly and helpful information, despite the many grumpy customers they serviced. The dining experiences on this cruise were well below par compared to other services we have undertaken. The Waterfront Restaurant was Bright, Roomy, and had a good feel about it, however the meals were either overcooked, cold, and were all very much on the small size and tasteless. We had bought a drinks package, yet the drinks waiter had to take our lanyards up to the counter to prove we were entitled to drinks that we ordered. Our dining experiences in the Pantry were really no better, you had to queue up at multiple stations to get what you wanted to eat, and by the time you sat down with your complete meal, it had gone cold. This new concept which no-doubt has been introduced to reduce food wastage and gluttony, and also to save P&O plenty of money. In my opinion this is a disaster just brewing, that will cause many seasoned passengers to avoid longer P&O cruises altogether in the near future. It is very evident that P&O is marketed towards the first time cruises, and passengers on a limited budget, however because you have to pay extra for anything decent to eat on board, people are not saving money at all. Having to pay $49pp to attend The Salt Restaurant is a joke. Princess charge only $25pp for the same fine dining experience. Entertainment on the ship was good, and the singers and dancers did a great job, I did however find the costumes were very odd for the themes. The comedian was not very funny, and he was very crude, the Hypnotist was fantastic and his show was very entertaining. Disembarkation was quick and without any issues, we were off the ship roughly 20 mins before our scheduled departure time, with no queues to deal with. My summary of this ship is that it is focused on newbies, and passengers up to 35 years of age. P&O had better think very carefully about charging extra for just about everything whilst you are onboard. Overall for the very special price we paid, I felt we got great value for our money, however had we paid full fare I would have been greatly disappointed. One thing for certain I will never go on a cruise that exceeds more than 4 days in duration with P&O again, and only on a heavily discounted fare. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Thiz was my 30th cruise We actually booked b2b a 2nite syd to melb then a 3 nite melb melb cruise Went with a mate59 and 60 and where not gay. havent donep&ofor about 10 yrs and i am elite with princess. The ship dad ... Read More
Thiz was my 30th cruise We actually booked b2b a 2nite syd to melb then a 3 nite melb melb cruise Went with a mate59 and 60 and where not gay. havent donep&ofor about 10 yrs and i am elite with princess. The ship dad engine problems so we actually spent first nite and full day tied up at glebe wharf to p&o credit the gave everone a days refund on their ticket and 50 bucks onboard credit. Full service happened whilst onboard. First time in pacific jewel different crowd to princess a lot younger and more tattoos.i though she seemed high density and a little worn out but spotlessly clean and reasonably well run even though i did notice she seemed understaffed. I had cabin9136 putside quite a large cabin compared to princess with a huge wardrobe area normal bathroom usual stuff fridge tv etc cabin was dated lots of wood but kept spotless by attendant Usual shipboard bars nice public rooms We went to pantry for a snack onboarding Where do i start spotlessly clean looks impressive but the food like a cafeteria You want fish and chips no thanks its basa a crap farmed fish from vietnam. Igot a chicken avocado roll beautiflly presented wtapped in paper i worked out 1 avocado does 20 rolls it was thinly smeared like butter and i actually got a finger size piece of chicken. The other stations were similar indian /mexican / roast beef/ sweets Basic ingredients but i must say well presented and visually attractive and served by servers. Havingsaid that id say 99%of people would tell you its the best meal they have ever had.. the pantry had plenty of seating stools tables but i noticed only 3 busboys cleaning up and boy did they know how to drag it out. Had brakfast there not much better scrambled eggs from a bottle i didnt have any you will never see salmon here tiny pastries ajuice in the tiniest glasses you ever see with some sort of toxic waste disguised as juice. Didnt do dinner at the pantry. And it closes at 10 am so bad luck if you get up late any way enough of that usual daytime activities in loinges or out on deck we just sat out rear deck on lounges as we had fantastic weather on run down to melb. If your hungry during day want a burger you pay a pizza chips maybe a bucket of prawns you pay same goes for room service. Drinks usual prices .same idiotic sales on ship and i think they have art auction as well.no library Lots of nitetime activity floorshows a comedy act r rated it was great and the dome and casino were very busy. They have anytime sitting at waterfront restuarant always a queue it seemed understaffed and half table were always empty. One server per table no bread rolls a guy comes around with a basket and doesnt come back unless you ask. A weird menu bucket of wings /burger / pizza the only place you dont pay thats on always available section the normal food was v ok but i must admit i cant remember anything i ate but you wont see prawns lobster big juicy steaks . Breakfast in waterfront was similar i had smoked salmon it was the bits and pieces of smoked salmon. Anyway we saied to melb then took off again to wilsons prom turned around and went back again. Wilson promnis a couple of rocks in the ocean. We had a few comedy acts on this cruise they were all pretty good and i thought hilight of trip. Went to dome as well saw a passenger abuse a staff member over a minor issue i reported the passenger to security discretely . Overall pacific jewel is ok i probably wouldnt go back unless i got a cruise for 500 bucks think i stick to princess. But if you like partying and lots of activities its great fun but take into consideration the fact you have to pay for all the little extras Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Having cruised on the Jewel and the Pearl we were keen to try the new ship. First impression, we liked the decor, reminded us of boutique hotel style. There always seemed to be a lounge to chill in with something going on in it. The ... Read More
Having cruised on the Jewel and the Pearl we were keen to try the new ship. First impression, we liked the decor, reminded us of boutique hotel style. There always seemed to be a lounge to chill in with something going on in it. The outdoor areas were good, with an array of comfy deck chairs, lounges tables and chairs. The retractable roof over the main pool is a good idea in inclement weather but a bit of a sauna in the muggy heat. The Dome is large and a nice area as well. The Marquee is smaller than the other ships, and there is a cinema on the Eden with 3 movies each day. The Waterfront restaurant is nicely decorated as well. Our cabin was adequate, but there was no fridge (ocean view deck 5) the bed was super comfy, nice pillows. Don't know how the shower in the bath would go in rough seas as it is very narrow, not much room to brace yourself. People with mobility issues would find it very difficult to get in and out of the shower.. Food was ok... I don't like the new Pantry idea.. Queue for your cereal to then queue for your toast to then queue for your eggs or beans, then queue for some fruit.. Phew.... Same with lunch, fish, salad, roll, all on different lines... The food was rarely hot, especially the roasts, we stuck to fish and chips.... No bookings taken for Waterfront anymore so you queued for a pager then went off for a drink somewhere.... Angelos Italian was nice but I heard complaints that the Dragon Lady servings were tiny and people topped up in the Pantry.. I felt the standard of food in the Waterfront has gone down from previous cruises.. Tendering to the islands was efficient, embarkation and disembarkation was smooth. White Bay is a pain to get to but P&O had a bus service to Central station for $15. So as 50 somethings I felt P&O are catering more for the younger set.. Don't think we would do another, might try Princess, I think too many corners are being cut to keep fares low.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We booked a 4 berth cabin all paying the special price of $355 each, friends a couple of weeks before the cruise got a twin share for $190 each with an added a $25 upgrade to a room with a balcony. One member of our group injured ... Read More
We booked a 4 berth cabin all paying the special price of $355 each, friends a couple of weeks before the cruise got a twin share for $190 each with an added a $25 upgrade to a room with a balcony. One member of our group injured themselves after booking and ended up wearing a boot and needing assistance (wheel chair). I rang and spoke to staff about maybe needing a more suitable room. I was told check when you board. When boarding, Was told check at reception. Reception placed us 2nd inline for a room upgrade come back after 7pm. We had boarded at 11.30. So couldn't really settle in room. I checked after 7pm to be told that we could be upgraded to twin share rooms for an extra $350 per person. Of course we didn't take them up of their ridiculously priced offer. It seemed they were all very helpful getting the wheelchair person on and off the boat but didn't care once she was on it. Food in the waterfront restaurant was awful. Prawn salad entree consisted of about 4 shrimp, a bit of lettuce, mayo and 2 finger sized sticks of toast. Pork belly was a very dry marinated pork fillet. The pantry was no betterr. We were told by a staff member that reception is open all night. NO it's closed 12- 6am. The staff are very friendly and only passing on decisions re room made by supervisors an above, so you cant blame them. The comedians were very funny and highlight of the cruise. Huge lack of communication regarding boarding passes and departing passes. Whats with being asked to leave your bags out the night before you depart??? Unfortunately the 1st night was cancelled due to engine trouble, we had bad weather the first night, it was very rough and many were sick, a little better the second and of course the day you get off at 8am its 31 degree's and beautiful. Don't think I'd do it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We travelled on the Pacific Jewel from Melbourne to Eden and back. We did get a terrific deal and great cabin upgrades from a 4 berth inside deck 5 to a 4 berth window on deck 8 and from a 3 berth inside on deck 5 to the same on deck 11. ... Read More
We travelled on the Pacific Jewel from Melbourne to Eden and back. We did get a terrific deal and great cabin upgrades from a 4 berth inside deck 5 to a 4 berth window on deck 8 and from a 3 berth inside on deck 5 to the same on deck 11. Both cabins were AFT 8170 and 11205. There were 7 of us, my husband and I, our 4 children aged 11, 13, 18 and 20 and our daughters boyfriend also aged 20. My husband and I have cruised with Princess and were quick to realise P&O is not of the same class. The Jewel does look a bit tired in a lot of areas and it was smaller than we expected - not a bad thing it just meant that areas got crowded easily if something was on. Embarkation was fantastic - very impressed by how quick we moved through. Luggage took a little while to reach our room and if I cruise P&O again I'll make sure the kids bathers are in carry on for the sake of peace! Our cabin was tired looking but there was heaps of storage. Only one AU power point which was a bit of an issue as I need a CPAP and it was at the other end of the bed. Our cabin steward found an extension cord which solved the problem. The beds were comfy and the pillows better than on Princess. The pullman bunks were great for the kids. In the 3 berth there was a fold out couch bed which the kids whinged about as it was uncomfortable. Muster felt a bit disorganised compared to Princess. There was no scanning of cards or checking of how life jackets went on. One elderly lady was really struggling and I helped her as the staff didn't seem interested. We didn't like the pantry. Not because of the food but because it is awkward, the flow of people doesn't work. People still want to treat it like a buffet and so drift from station to station. There are also queues snaking around everywhere. Seating at lunch was limited, as was cutlery. I'm not old but I don't like trying to perch on a stool to eat. The concept is good - the layout is bad. The Waterfront restaurant was very nice, food lovely. My only complaint is that it always felt rushed. Even though it was anytime dining we could only book at 8 pm, maybe because there were 7 of us. I had a pedicure, which was nice, as always on cruise ships very pricey. The husband and I bought a pass to the Thermal suites which are excellent. Great for peace and quiet away from the crowds on the ship. The entertainment wasn't great. We played trivia a few times which was fun. We saw one show - Off the Charts. It was pretty ordinary but then I can't sing or dance! Our 11 year old enjoyed HQ - I think because he could play computer games as we made him leave devices at home. Our 13 year old daughter didn't like it and our kids were nicknaming it Hells Quarters. On booking them in I felt the staff weren't overly interested. I think the EDGE is a bit of a rip off. It isn't available all day long and they only ran 2 activities a day while we were on the ship. I was a nasty mum and wouldn't fork out for it for the kids. The husband didn't like the lack of an included afternoon tea that wasn't sandwiches. We spent too much on Charles Bar on cake. I didn't like the fact that pizza was an extra charge. Information isn't great on the ship. Princess has kiosks where you can check your charges on your account - I couldn't find anything like this on P&O. I'm assuming I could probably check with reception but I would prefer a self serve option. Disembarkation went smoothly - although 7.30 is an early time to get off a cruise ship! At the end of the day we were on holiday and it was enjoyable and for the price we paid I can't complain. However will probably stick with Princess from now on. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
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