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219 P&O Australia Cruise Reviews

My wife and I spent Christmas on the Pacific Eden as we have traveled P&O before and were disappointed that a new ship should offer such bad experience. Due to a virus on the prior cruise, our departure was delayed 4 hours so we ... Read More
My wife and I spent Christmas on the Pacific Eden as we have traveled P&O before and were disappointed that a new ship should offer such bad experience. Due to a virus on the prior cruise, our departure was delayed 4 hours so we missed Sydney Harbor in its splendor. The ship then docked early at the end of the cruise for cleaning so we missed sailing into port in the morning. Nora virus is hard to contain and the crew were cleaning tables in public area but the handrails on stairs and halls were constantly sticky. The restaurant staff did not wear gloves and the same menus were passed to all passengers every day so where they ever cleaned - I don't think so. The state of the sea at Mooloolaba was dangerous with the tender boat rising and falling about 1 meter. We saw one lady fall and require medical attention while a small child was lucky not to be dropped when a crew member on the catamaran missed holding the child. Ships Condition - As a former Shipwright and Naval Draughtsman I was aghast at the condition of a newly refitted ship. I was going down a public ladder near the bridge and nearly cut and broke by fingers which became trapped in a rusted hole on the underside of the railing. I asked to speak to the Chief Engineer to advise him of the defect but I was never contacted; the message was titled "Defective Guardrail". Rust holes are appearing in the funnel overhang. Pipes are rusting near flanges. Structural sections are showing rust through the newly painted surfaces. Vent ducting and pipes at the forward end of Deck 6 Promenade is growing algae and mold. Newly painted surfaces along the Promenade Deck are flaking because the old surface was not etched prior to painting. Sewage smells are present on several companionways throughout the ship. The light switch on the metal frame door was hanging out. The power outlet on the desk fell off. Both the switch and power outlet had buildups of dust which is a fire hazard. Restaurants - The food offered in the Pantry was OK if you like Mexican, curry or fatty Fish 'n Chips. There was a roast of the day but the salads were not that interesting. We dined mainly in the Waterfront for breakfast and dinner but also used Angelo's and The Dragon Lady. My main complaint with the restaurants is that the menu is limited and does not change too much however the food is well cooked, presentable and tastes good. We only tried the Dragon Lady once as the menu is limited, does not change and the Soft Shell Crab was very oily. We decided our lunches would be light so we had a roll each followed by fruit salad and yogurt unfortunately the rolls were dry for the first few days. Staff - Our cabin staff were excellent and worked hard all the time, 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. The staff in the Waterfront were mainly surly and under trained. The white wine was served warm and we had to ask for ice buckets and then the ice for the bucket. There were more staff in the bar areas where the ship could make money. Entertainment - The shows were excellent although if you do not like modern interpretive dancing, it is better to miss the show; saying that, the dancers were talented and put a lot of effort into the shows. The guest artists, dancers, musicians and magicians were fantastic although the shows were only about 40 minutes duration. The Christmas Eve show was very short and could have gone longer with more audience participation. Silent Night done to a rap-style arrangement with vocal acrobatics failed. Hygiene - Nora-virus was rampant on the ship. Entry to dining areas required the cleansing of hands however it was the first time I had not seen crew members in attendance at the stations to ensure everyone washed. On many occasions people went through without washing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Returned home today from cruise No 20. and felt so disappointed that I had to write this review. I have enjoyed more than thirteen P&O cruises starting on the Pacific Sky, The Pacific Sun, Jewel, Pearl and my latest and possibly my ... Read More
Returned home today from cruise No 20. and felt so disappointed that I had to write this review. I have enjoyed more than thirteen P&O cruises starting on the Pacific Sky, The Pacific Sun, Jewel, Pearl and my latest and possibly my last adventure the Pacific Eden. I have also sailed on the Carnival Spirit, Holland America and Cunard with sister lines and also Celebrity. This ship needs so many things to be fixed and P&O need to sort this out pretty quickly. I believe this ship has been rushed into service without a proper mechanical overhaul. We had no air conditioning at all in our cabin for twelve days and nothing done to fix it. A number of cabins on deck five starboard experienced water leaks that flooded cabins and a number of upper cabins had leaks from balconies flooding cabins from broken drainage. The interior window frames were rusted right through in the public areas and the ceiling panels were damaged in a number of areas. Public area toilets were out of order for most of the cruise and this became an issue on debarkation morning when we were asked to check out of our cabins at 6:00 am with no functioning toilets available. Staff tried hard but are seriously under resourced so long wait times for food and general confusion about orders. There was added pressure on the restaurants as most people refused to eat at the Pantry as the carpet and furniture were dirty and there was a bad smell from the rear of the food area that was very unpleasant. The menu in the Pantry did not change for the 12 days on board. The restaurants food was OK but would rate as RSL or Bowling Club standard. You could not get any food after 9:00 pm from the Pantry and the coffee shop/ ice cream bar also closed so you could only purchase room service if you wanted something after the show. We saw three good shows from guest entertainers over twelve nights and the on board entertainers in the show lounge were good but the production was not. We endured forty five minutes of pagan chanting one night that had a large number of the audience get up and leave and thats a first for me on any ship. The communication on board from the Entertainment staff is zero and most communication from the rest of the crew is a one out of ten. Bingo seemed to get the biggest announcement but we got nothing from the crew as we sailed past Willis Island and most people missed seeing it. The ship was also on heightened alert with the Novovirus claiming 60 victims including some of the entertainment staff. A number of the crew left the ship before our cruise and were not replaced including a band who were meant to play the blue room. How much karaoke can any person take for 12 days when your short on entertainers. Everywhere you looked the ship looked dirty as the crew washed down anything you touched in the decontamination plan but they did not wipe away the residue which was sticky and attracted more grime. This has been my first cruise I was actually happy to get off and thats sad. Having payed so much more for this cruise than any other cruise previously taken I expected more and it failed to meet expectations. Hope P&O sort this out as the Staff may just stop trying all together if this continues. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We booked our Christmas cruise on the Pacific Eden as we were taken in with all those beaut photos in the P & O cruise book and on their website of the transformed Holland America ship. Also there was so much emphasis put on the ... Read More
We booked our Christmas cruise on the Pacific Eden as we were taken in with all those beaut photos in the P & O cruise book and on their website of the transformed Holland America ship. Also there was so much emphasis put on the "fresh and fantastic foods" including King Island cheeses, 100% grass fed beef, Tasmanian salmon, and "fresh bread all served warm for every meal by bakers who work in shifts around the clock to ensure every morsel is as fresh as possible". I will say that the lounges, bars, restaurants, theatre and pool decks were attractive, but the quality of the food was sadly lacking. We ate mainly in the Waterfront Restaurant where for the first few nights it was impossible to get the attention of the overworked waiter to place our drink order, making do with the water on the table. The meals were served warm at best, the King Island cheese came in a tiny square measuring no more than 3cm square that I periodically ordered for desert and came with a few grapes, pickles and unfresh bread. The 100% grass fed beef was tough, the Tasmanian salmon was offered once during the cruise, but it was delicious and the "fresh bread rolls" - choice of white or brown only, were never served warm. I discovered one morning that smoked salmon and tubs of yogurt were available even though they were not advertised on the menu, you just had to ask for it! Tea/coffee after dinner was never offered by the staff due to the business of the restaurant. However, it therefore meant a trip up to The Pantry on deck 11 to queue up for our tea. Not the best finish to a fine dining meal! THE PANTRY - I discovered cheese and crackers were available from Sugar Bun - they were NEVER on display, but they would give them to you if you asked. Again you have to know they are available. The deserts were, for the most part, dry, unappealing and tasteless with the exception of Christmas pudding and custard on Christmas Day. The slices that were available from the Kettle and Bun when the Sugar Bun was closed between lunch and dinner, tasted stale and tasteless. We had been looking forward to eating at the Chef's Table, but this was not on offer and not much of an explanation given as to why. Many of the public toilets around the ship remained out of order for the whole cruise - not good enough, especially when there are not many toilets on each floor anyway. Also, we found it totally unacceptable that the water was barely warm in these washrooms, yet there was much emphasis put on washing your hands with hot water, due to the norovirus on the ship. Often sanitising machines were empty at both the Waterfront and The Pantry. It needed members of staff to check on them regularly. Sanitiser machines should have been available at the Marquee Theatre too, but weren't. We were disappointed that we never saw sight of the Captain. Whatever happened to the welcoming cocktail evening where passengers get to meet the Captain and his officers? We had sailed past Willis Island with no announcement being made from the Captain and yet that was to be worthy of seeing. The shows were great, especially those preformed by the dancers and singers of the Pacific Eden. However, in one show in particular - Patrick Roberts the violinist, the noise level was excessive and as a result, his beautiful playing couldn't be fully appreciated. In the cinema where films were screened the picture and sound were out of sync by several seconds. We walked out of one picture as the story line was just to hard to follow! We and others reported this problem, but nothing was ever done. We won't be doing anymore cruises with P & O that is for sure. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The boarding was the first event when the camera broke down and we were recalled to retake the pics finally on board our cabin (suite) was a delight until you came to open the wardrobe which refused to budge we got this solved eventually. ... Read More
The boarding was the first event when the camera broke down and we were recalled to retake the pics finally on board our cabin (suite) was a delight until you came to open the wardrobe which refused to budge we got this solved eventually. We were then presented with a bill for $936 for excursions we had not ordered we managed to get them refunded all but $186 which is still being debated and looks like the little man is. Going to be the loser. The aria has or is meant to have had a refit but sadly this was done on the cheap and cracks are appearing especially in bathroom floors. The new idea of the pantry works well and the food although virtually tha same everyday is good. The seating is ok but the stools are a joke. The bar areas are very good and you never seem crowded. Breakfast room service is the worst ever breakfast ordered for 8 arrives at 6 with half missing .sleep quality is excellent. The shower over the bath is a challenge for the elderly. The shows so far have been first rate .the staff are great and willing but seem untrained. We are now docked in cairns for 2 days but so much noise from machinery on the dock no chance of a rest. Would i use this company on a future cruise no way they are so far behind princess as to be lost. I HOPE SOMEONE READS THESE REVIEWS AS WORDS SPREAD VERY QUICKLY Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Our third cruise with P/O, and well, after all the media hype, the glossy promo pics, overall quite disappointed, on the surface the Aria seemed fresh, stylish and a little funky, and that's where my best impressions stopped!! From ... Read More
Our third cruise with P/O, and well, after all the media hype, the glossy promo pics, overall quite disappointed, on the surface the Aria seemed fresh, stylish and a little funky, and that's where my best impressions stopped!! From the unmotivated, clueless, sometimes outright rude and unwilling staff and crew, to the absolute appalling food offerings, to lack of any sort of uplifting entertainment, to the third class areas the full paying smoking passengers were forced to endure, and the overall lack of customer service, this cruise was a massive disappointment! P?O, you need to pull this ships act together or it will become a vessel you will struggle to fill, very quickly, with social media these days and the massive amount of disappointed passengers I met on board, but also who are already and have previously posted bad reviews, and the speed of which these shocking reviews will spread, I don't envy the task ahead to start to improve this ship, I also see the eden has equally bad feedback, from the pathetic dessert offerings in the pantry, well if you call it offerings, 1 cake, same old tiny tarts every day, and other tiny bland selections, either you found the worst pastry chef around or you didn't find one at all, add to this no cream, ice-cream or any other sought of accompiant was available to go with the sad sweets, and the fresh fruit was either stale, sometimes bordering rotten, or plain old unripe, again the same old offerings every day, and also with no cream, ice-cream etc.!!! the other food offerings where either closed, booked out every day, or uncontactable when you did try to get the very rare reservations, managed to get breakfast and lunch a few times at the waterfront, again nothing special, terrible service, rushed and sometimes out right rude, again a disappointment. Our room was ok, but the linen was not changed at all, we were on a ten day cruise, no turn downs on many nights, and on one occasion the room attendant tried to remove our coat hangers to give to another cabin, they were only spare as we had the clothing on that would have hung on them, my list of gripes could go on and on! But I think that others will also add to the already growing list of complaints regards the Aria, and its crew..pick it up P/O, although I will never know as I will never board one of your ships again through choice, mmm, remember also that there are now many other choices to choose from!! I hope that Carnival reads these reviews and acts upon them, so as to at least improve the experience for those unlucky enough to get on board the Aria in future !!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
No one should have to pay so much money to be on a place on earth like this. The service in the main dining room (The Waterfront Restaurant) was well below par with all other cruise ships I have travelled on. Not even table cloths on ... Read More
No one should have to pay so much money to be on a place on earth like this. The service in the main dining room (The Waterfront Restaurant) was well below par with all other cruise ships I have travelled on. Not even table cloths on tables. No pepper and salt on table. I had to ask for everything and then wait. Waiters took us to our seats and just left us there standing. Many did not make us feel welcome. We paid the full price of $2,000 per person for this 10 day cruise whilst others paid only half and many of them were still not happy. We were told that P&O had introduced the Aria and Eden to Australia to provide a new (up market) and better style of quality of cruising to their fleet. Our ship the Aria did not even come up to the quality of the other cheaper P&O ships. It was "Like no Place on Earth"! 1. Two of the four lifts in the bank we had to use were out of service most of the cruise. 2. Hand rails in lifts had fallen off others were just about to. 3. Smokers were positioned very forward of the ship on the promenade deck and this meant that the smoke blew right down the full length of the deck. 4. When doors opened up at that end the smoke would enter the ship. 5. On many days the promenade deck could not be used properly for lapping when walking for exercise as often the deck was closed off in small section for crew maintenance. 6. Not one proper formal night in the main grand Waterfront restaurant. 7. The Gatsby night was a Fizzer. Played one Charleston C.D then went to rock Band. So many people dressed for this and nothing happened. 8. Don’t know what happened to the Vegas night. 9. The Alcohol deal seemed to be aimed at young and big drinkers but most passengers were in a much older group. The rest were families. 10. Some of the public toilets we not working properly and were unusable. 11. No one to greet passengers properly when embarking the ship to direct passengers to their cabins. We just had to work all that out ourselves. 12. No staff at entrance to pantry to direct passengers and make sure that all passengers cleaned their hands before entering. 13. Some bars supplied coffee/Cappuccino without sugar. 14. Did not always receive a receipt for drinks when purchased on card. 15. There was a cover charge for Cabin room food service. (New one to us) 16. Passengers were not informed that they had to book for Christmas dinner. 17. Fridges removed from cabins. 18. No wine storage for diners in the Waterfront main dining room. 19. No table cloths on tables in the Waterfront main dining room. 20. Grove in table collecting crumbs and bits of food in the Waterfront. 21. No salt and pepper on tables and no salt and pepper waiter service in Waterfront. 22. No seating by waiters in W/F. Just delivered to table and left standing. 23. Service very slow when requesting things from waiters in W/F. 24. Waiters in W/F looked stressed and looked like they lacked support. 25. Food not always cooked well in W/F. 26. Ordered Ravioli one night and it was served in clumps stuck together and under cooked. Did not taste as nice as one would expect. 27. Fish often smelt far too strongly in Waterfront restaurant. 28. Wife had to help herself to folk and spoon from another table in W/F. 29. Many of the crew were new to cruise shipping. (We asked them) 30. If many of the crew were still in training then we should not have paid the price we did for a luxury cruise. 31. Many of the passengers we spoke to paid only $850 - $1,000 each for the same cabin with view on the same level as us. We paid $2,000- each. 32. Not only were we very disappointed in the service but then we had to listen to other passengers complain about their dissatisfaction for ten days also. 33. Due to bad weather and safety we Missed Cook Town, very disappointed as I did really want to see that one place. Especially after attending a informative session in the Marquee show room about Cook Town. Shame we could not have stayed in Cairns another night knowing that Cook town was a no goer before we left Cairns. We know that the weather could not be helped but to stay on on board to be reminded of the bad service did not help either. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
just finished a cruise with P & O and boy were we disappointed. The cruise was from Melbourne to the South Pacific and return to Melbourne. To start there was limited pre cruise information sent out by P & O. Once boarded there ... Read More
just finished a cruise with P & O and boy were we disappointed. The cruise was from Melbourne to the South Pacific and return to Melbourne. To start there was limited pre cruise information sent out by P & O. Once boarded there was a flood of detail some of which should have been given before embarkation. Whilst the ship was in reasonable condition and the lounges and entertainment areas all fresh and well maintained the same could not be said for the formal dining experience. The dining room was tired in its decor. The newer ‘Pantry’ area had limited seating and finding a seat each meal was a hit or miss. The poor quality food and the additional costs were over the top. There were half a dozen food stations in the casual ‘Pantry’ eating area. They each had a few different types of food that they would serve you on request, problem was that they did not change their menus for the whole cruise. Every day the same old thing. That probably would have been ok but the quality was poor, the meals bland and usually over salted. The food at best could only be described as canteen food and was poorly presented, and generally pretty tasteless. Next was the hand in pocket approach for anything different. Want a decent coffee, add $4.50, want the can of coke not a glass, add $4.50. Want a hot chocolate add 6.50. Want ice-cream outside dinner, add $$ and so on and so on. The main dining room decor was tired and again the menus for mains did not change for the entire cruise. Another funny thing would be the descriptions on the menus not quite matching what was served. The explanations were, run out of some of the ingredients! The dining staff were excellent and helpful and ensures that you were looked after through out the cruise. The bar staff on the other hand were usually grumpy and uncooperative and clearly not enjoying their job. Port and shore excursions were well organised but had limited spaces so were hard to get a place. Did my bookings on the second day and out of 6 excursions I ws interested in, I only managed to get on two. The first port of call, The Isle of Pines took two hours to disembark on the tenders so by the time we got off we had missed the tour. Whilst they had four tenders running, they were only filling one tender at a time one person at a time. For 1900 eager travellers to get off the ship it was a shambles but improved as the cruise went on and the passengers did not try to all disembark when the ship first called into port. That was fine but with limited time on shore, this only limited it even more. Entertainment was good with a wide selection of shows for all ages and tastes. On the second last day they had run out of sick bags on Deck 7. So in summary, the cruise was as advertised but the food was very poor and the additional costs to have anything other than the norm was grating. I don’t think P & O had done their homework on what the passenger expectations were and had tried to cut corners too far. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
As a group we chose this cruise for a New Years eve and cruise along to South Australia and back. Amazing that it took two days to reach Tasmania from Melbourne. We had a balcony cabin midships as we would normally do on our cruises. ... Read More
As a group we chose this cruise for a New Years eve and cruise along to South Australia and back. Amazing that it took two days to reach Tasmania from Melbourne. We had a balcony cabin midships as we would normally do on our cruises. Cabin presentation was reasonable but like the rest of the ship, it is suffering from age and lack of attention to maintenance. Everywhere you go you can easily see rusted areas that have (if lucky) been roughly painted over without proper preparation, broken fittings and generally sloppy presentation care. evening meals was an experience! Waiting in long queues in the hope of getting a table was a totally new experience for us on a cruise ship and this even though we had booked time slots. typical of most cruise ships, the so called duty free shopping is just an excuse to work back from the ever mythical RRP but in reality no bargains to be had and not even from the Chinese junk clothing sale held to try and attract market place buyers was worth while. Food areas shut down early where on other cruises we have been on here and Europe, many are open late including free ice-creams, hamburgers etc. but not on this ship. If you want one of those things, you pay and pay. You guessed it, we are not using this ship again and will more carefully vet the next cruise to ensure the experience is not repeated. Wee do not mind paying for our cruise but value for money must come into the equation and here the balance was no where near correct. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We chose this cruise as it was one of the few that left from Melbourne, so we didn't have the hassle of planes/trains etc prior to the trip. We enjoyed the ports of call, and some of the staff couldn't have been better. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was one of the few that left from Melbourne, so we didn't have the hassle of planes/trains etc prior to the trip. We enjoyed the ports of call, and some of the staff couldn't have been better. However, the overall food and restaurant experience were appalling. Bad organisation, cheap food, no change of menu, no flexibility with dining times, having to queue for breakfast, upstairs pantry - don't even go there .... you had to pay for a lot of the food, and which cruise line does not put food on after 9 pm on New Year's Eve, for heaven's sake? THIS ONE!!! We would hang out to be on shore just so we could find something decent to eat. The biggest problem with P&O is that even though they get you to complete a survey on your experience, they don't seem to give a toss at how bad the review is. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
OK so I'm going to apologise for the length of this review ..I've never felt strongly enough to write one before and there is really so much to comment on and obviously if you're reading this you want to know more about the ... Read More
OK so I'm going to apologise for the length of this review ..I've never felt strongly enough to write one before and there is really so much to comment on and obviously if you're reading this you want to know more about the ship. We've cruised many times on Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival and several P&O ships ...enjoyed them all and I had just come off a Carnival cruise the month before with my sister where there were heaps of inclusions, the food was fresh (some things even get made to order) and I danced every night.... I honestly struggled on this one .... I heard many other passengers say "this will be our last cruise with P&O! and I would have to agree .. P&O are charging more but providing far less than ever before and the penny pinching is really obvious ..The ideas were there but they just haven't pulled it off...This could have been so much better! There are no inclusions and no small luxuries - their slogan "free to do everything - free to do nothing" should actually say" free to do everything - but nothing is free!" They've provided nice furnishings in the public areas and not much else... combine this with the 20 somethings who purchase the drink package and were determined to drink their own weight in alcohol and at times it felt more like a Contiki tour on water than no place on earth. If P&O's goal was to be the new Fair star fun ship congratulations they've achieved it! P&O are taking a new direction that will ruin them if they don't turn this around and quick! Still thinking of going? Below I've reviewed some of the issues, the food, the NYE party and the entertainment. P&O are advertising it as a smaller classier, more luxurious , upmarket ship and it sounded just like what the doctor ordered to to finish off from an extremely difficult and hectic year running a business, recovering from cancer and a to celebrate our anniversary...My husband and I booked early November with another couple and grabbed whatever was available and booked a two balcony cabins on deck 10 (near the suites)...although it was a bit expensive we felt it would be worth it especially for NYE ....this was before the first cruise in November and when the bad reviews started I thought it was just a combination of teething problems and people whinging... but sadly it's all true!. I'm not a whinge and I always try to make the best of bad situations so overall I made sure I had a good time but that was only possible due to traveling with good company, great weather and beautiful islands...don't get me wrong the shows were really good but the ship's new decor was all just smoke screen and mirrors to hide the issues .. Each issue on it's own may not have been a big deal but together there were just too many to ignore. Now before you read this keep in mind as a comparison the month before on the Carnival Spirit I paid a lot less but got so much more - there was free pizza & ice cream 24/7! , outdoor movies with popcorn and blankets, omelets were freshly made to order .. sandwich bar where you could get made to order toasted foccacias and the turkey was sliced up freshly there and then....there was chocolate fountains, hot chocolate, cordial all included and the list goes on! There was a fantastic live band that played all genres and I danced every night til late. The only thing I'd say is that they don't limit the number of children so something to keep in mind but there's always a lovely adults only area with heaps of beautiful cabanas for shade and guitar player singing relaxing music. So where do I start OK Firstly some positive stuff before the depressing issues - gym was good and well equipped..shows and feature acts were very good..embarkation was easy process ( delayed due to spraying for novovirus) Island destinations were beautiful.. some of the new decor was impressive especially the blue room and Salt grill bar room.. Cinema room good idea..the Marquee had plenty of seating ..plenty of wardrobe/ drawer space and hangers..luggage fits under the beds...lifts were interesting, each one different with the carpet matching the wallpaper design.. Oasis area was decorated beautifully as was the Lido Deck which had a retractable roof..Trivia was good ...Bingo jackpot was $6400...Essentials shop was well stocked with toiletries and necessary items... jamming session where all the entertainers were chosen randomly and had to pick a song within 15 seconds was great. Now the reality followed below by the food, entertainment and NYE... The adults oasis was beautiful but had absolutely no shade so forget about any fantasies you may have of relaxing out there and drinks take ages to arrive.. The Lido deck was very stifling even with the roof open and the lounges while lovely meant that there was in reality less seating as people hogged the entire area rather than just one chair...After a few days in, there were putrid smells coming from the rear of the pantry area... The tender boat transfers were the slowest I've ever experienced on any ship and taking up to an hour or more sometimes.... The cinema room was a great idea but all the movies we watched were really badly out of sync with the sound and air cond so high you needed jackets....We had a fridge but cabins below deck 10 didn't so be aware if you have medication - I heard people at the service desk complaining that requests for fridges went unanswered.......except for a dvd collection that was free to watch in your room there were no small luxuries included and every little thing was charged extra .. If you had a soft drink package your glass was filled to the brim with ice to skimp on how much was poured and requests for no ice were frowned upon...I heard they also skimped on the alcohol packages pouring smaller amounts at night... halfway through the cruise the pool and bathroom towels were always damp... some of the wall paper was peeling in the rooms and lifts..due treatment for the novovirus outbreak everything was sticky and glass was streaky ( necessary evil and happy to say didn't hear of anyone getting the virus) ...I didn't buy internet but I heard a lot of people were complaining about it...Some public areas aren't configured very well and spaces weren't used - like the blue room and the dome which are divided and entertainment can only be seen from one section and the Salt Grill Bar which is not a bar at all just a beautifully decorated room with a piano that was never played. and the room never used...the Ocean bar had a dance floor but there was never any music to dance to There were various other issues with the ship itself which even resulted in 2 announcements made at 1am and 1.30am because it was believed smoke had been smelt in the pantry . My friend had earlier pointed out to staff that water was dripping from one of the light fittings in the pantry so this was definitely a worry.... Somewhere along the way they lost some poor guys luggage and a few days into the cruise we all received letters asking if anyone had gotten it by mistake. Ummm I think I'd notice if I had someone's bag sitting in my cabin for the 3 days? OK so on to the most contentious issue on the cruise - THE FOOD! The reviews are all true it's repetitive & unimaginative not always fresh or hot.. The Pantry just doesn't work.. it is not buffet style but more food court which is good in one way as people don't touch the food but it just doesn't seem to work....everything is served to you meaning a separate plate for everything and you wait in separate lines for each and every thing you want even if its just butter and then juggle all the plates ( no trays) .. - an average meal with a drink would mean waiting in 4 different lines but as there's no trays this means several trips back and forth from the table and then go back and wait in the line again....by the time you sit down it's cold (if it wasn't already) ..at times it was ok at others it worse that bad club food - one day you could've hammered a nail in with my damper it was so hard. Cheese and crackers are hidden under the counter and only handed out in the tiniest of portions IF you're lucky enough to somehow know it's there!....I'm not the type to pile up my plate but the poor service staff have obviously been given strict instructions to serve really small portions and people were getting frustrated. At the Waterfront, there was no atmosphere and very limited menu and often hard to get a table even though the restaurant was obviously half empty ..this happened constantly ...they just didn't have enough staff to serve....the food was usually ok and definitely better than the pantry although not a huge variety.... forget about night time dress codes as I saw plenty of thongs and board shorts ... Angelo's and Dragon Lady were the same ( these had the same menu every single day and needed to be booked) there was no consistency and the same meal one night that was nice would be dry and tasteless the next. The peppers on Angelo's menu had literally one 2cm sq piece and they still ran out ..the bean soup tasted like Campbell's tinned. . First night out we ate at Angelo's where a girl vomited all over the table near us..staff covered it with a tablecloth and it sat like that for an hour! Can't tell you what that did for our appetite!! The Dragon Lady was nice but again no consistency and same menu everyday. it was a shared plate type menu and a table of 4 people were only allowed 3 small mains. The Salt grill was nice and service much better but nothing to rave about ..We didn't eat at the Chefs Table so can't comment. If you've cruised before and enjoyed the interaction with your waiter forget it! .. While beautifully decorated the dining rooms have no atmosphere and crew moral was low and I felt sorry for the serving staff who did their best but were so understaffed and overworked.. they cleared the tables while you were still eating trying to rush you out and they struggled to smile although many tried you could see how tired they were - after 9 cruises I can honestly say this was the overall worst food and service experience of any.. The production shows were really good( except for a weird chanting one) as were the feature acts but after 10pm there really wasn't much in the way of entertainment for the over 35's and many others felt the same.. they mainly catered for 20 somethings and karaoke (cringe). Soul Empire who played in the Blue room had a great voice and I was looking forward to hearing her sing but as one passagenger said to me " I've never seen anyone able to drag out a song for 10 mins using only 4 words" ...The band Alter Ego were also good and I would have loved for them to play at night in the Oceans bar to actually have a dance but they played odd hrs through out the day and this never happened... The only dancing to be had anywhere on the ship was in the nightclub to permanent doof doof DJ music ..many of us tried to go there but felt out of place and left after 10 minutes - the Lido deck parties ( sound system was terrible so music was at times distorted) and mainly catered for younger crowd as well as did the Adults Oasis which would feature DJ Moo supposedly playing smooth grooves? ...I'm not that old but at times on this cruise I certainly felt it .. Having paid for the premium drinks package meant that a lot ( but to be fair not all) of the 20 somethings wanted to drink their money's worth and weight in alcohol so at times the ship felt like a Contiki tour on water.. I was told via someone who knew the staff well that 4 male passengers were sent off the ship for fighting...another 2 were caught dangling over the handrails .... they peeled off sections of wall paper in the lifts and about 6 guys stripped the Xmas trees off of baubles and decorations and used these to decorate their various hats ..staff who saw them did nothing ...crude "rocketships" were also drawn in the smudged glass ( from the spraying due to the previous cruise Novovirus outbreak which left everything sticky).. I'm not a prude but it didn't really fit in with the "classy" image P&O were advertising. Bars were at times over run by them and what little late night entertainment was available to the over 35's such as the piano singer was impossible to enjoy. At one stage a french lady begged my husband to go and complain on her behalf as her english wasn't good enough. I don't blame the 20 somethings they have every right to enjoy their cruise but so do we and P&O should've thought this through and provided more diverse entertainment at night and certainly not put the most popular bartenders right next to the piano player. So many people were complaining to each other and a few saying they did the jigsaw puzzles at night out of boredom. NYE - Having never spent NYE on a cruise I imagined it was going to be something really special with lots of festive atmosphere and all the musicians jamming in one big party on top Lido deck and dancing till the early hours. It started off OK with NYE hats etc placed in our rooms and announcements that free champagne would be served around midnight...all food venues had to be pre booked which was fair enough but then dinner was a very hurried and rushed affair with no celebratory atmosphere what so ever..as always the staff are so overworked they struggled to smile.... there was a party on the Lido deck with the Alter Ego band but it was no different to any other theme night party held on the ship- the promised champagne was practically impossible to get as there weren't enough glasses or staff to serve and as passangers scrambled in search of some I noted the entertainment and cruise staff all their glasses full and in hand early on. Other entertainment was spread out across the various bars and venues around the ship which detracted from the feel of one big party as people wandered around. P&O take heed you need to rethink your strategy and your target audience - as for me.. I will be voting with my feet as will many others! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was my 4th cruise and despite the very bad reviews we were looking forward to sailing with P&O for the first time and spending 12 relaxing days with our dear friends. I was pleasantly surprised from the outset as embarkation ... Read More
This was my 4th cruise and despite the very bad reviews we were looking forward to sailing with P&O for the first time and spending 12 relaxing days with our dear friends. I was pleasantly surprised from the outset as embarkation (getting off was a whole different issue - so bad not even worth discussing!) was seamless and the initial feel and look of the Aria was clean, smart and inviting. Instantly though we got a sense that staff, although polite did not seem happy?? I initially put this down to the fact they really do not get a break as one load of passengers leaves and another boards immediately? As the days rolled on though the mood did not appear to change. The service staff are overworked as the ratio of staff to passengers is not balanced at all. They work very long shifts, given bad food and openly treated poorly at times by management which we witnessed! Our room stewards Richard and Bert were exceptional in their professionalism and fussiness of maintaining our room morning and night. All of the staff in the Ocean Bar were warm, polite and very attentive as was a team of waiters in the Waterfront Restaurant. You must ask to be served by Jayson who has many years of experience and it shows. He knows food and is keen to recommend what is good on the night!?? If Jayson is not available I suggest you ask for Alex or Tofiq for all the same above reasons. The highlight of our day was seeing Jayson each night and having the pleasure to get to know such a lovely young man. The food in the Waterfront Restaurant was very hit or miss with the food always just warm to cold. This is not the waiting staffs fault as it comes to them from the kitchen like that! Although I had the best pork Scotch fillet ever one night, the rest of the meals were not good at all, in fact on a few occasions I can say that it was inedible! The food in the Pantry was good at times but again always cold. I like the way that you are served so it is really clean and food is not wasted which is the case in buffet style eateries. Angelos and The Dragon Lady have no surcharge at the moment which is good as I would certainly not pay for food of that standard! The Salt Grill was a lovely experience and so we ate there twice where the service was exceptional with great HOT food. The ship is very boring with not much happening.The music played over the speakers is slow, dated and hardly audible at times. There should be live music on by the pool areas to create a party type atmosphere with many more shows that cater to all tastes. The entertainment on board needs a real overhaul and the people in charge need to get in touch with why people go on cruises and cater to that but I certainly got the sense that they just do not care! During this cruise I had only 4 cocktails. Three out of the 4 were horrible! It was like drinking lolly water as the alcohol content was almost non existent! Seems like Aria want your money but don't deliver what you pay for! We resorted to drinking wine and bottled beer as YOU cant water those down! Many many people we spoke to were angry about this aspect of the cruise as you associate cruising with drinking nice cocktails! The staff at reception appear to be the only ones who can answer questions and know what is going on. If you need anything fixed or cleared up see Dragan or Sunette. Although we went in with an open mind as I know that people can be hard to please I would never sail with the Aria again run the way it is even though we met some really nice passengers and staff. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
When u ask 4 3 cabins on 1 floor and u arrive to find out u and your friends are on 3 different levels and the only level u dont want to b on is 11 only to find out u r on level 11 the aircon was 2 noisy u can hear noise from above floor ... Read More
When u ask 4 3 cabins on 1 floor and u arrive to find out u and your friends are on 3 different levels and the only level u dont want to b on is 11 only to find out u r on level 11 the aircon was 2 noisy u can hear noise from above floor we didnt get much sleep also the power point didnt work how would u like to have breakfast on your own becase your friends r to far away to find out what your doing. Having the spa full of kids all day not happy when we could get in only to b told we wernt allowed it because it was closed couldnt even watch the end of the big bash until the end while sitting in the spa. The entertainment was great the hot food was cold and it felt like u had to beg for a bit more food on your plate. the cabin was very clean, there was plenty of entertainment, the drink service was great, I don't think there was much for the kids because they seem to be every where, disembarkment went well there was no hassels getting of the ship or boarding the ship. the daily planner was set out very well. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Given the excitement that the two newer ships that P & O bought were ex HAL, we decided to take a short trip to Kangaroo Island, to try it out for future reference. What a mistake! I had forgotten that P & O is budget cruising! ... Read More
Given the excitement that the two newer ships that P & O bought were ex HAL, we decided to take a short trip to Kangaroo Island, to try it out for future reference. What a mistake! I had forgotten that P & O is budget cruising! While the refurb provided some lovely public areas - namely the Pantry, various lounges /bars and a good sized cabin, the 'no frills' and inflexible approach of P & O, spoilt what should have been a nice cruise on a delightful ship. Cleanliness 1. On the first morning, my husband took hold of the folded towel from the rack and found a chunk of knotted hair - not a good start 2. the first lunch I had to reject a coffee cup in the Waterfront Restaurant because the lipstick was still there after washing! - 2nd strike 3. When trying to adjust the small flat screen TV, we noticed that underneath the TV, the dust was mounting up after only a few weeks in service - not looking good 4. Each night we had drinks in the very nice Blue Room but when after 3 days the footprints had not been removed from the window ledge, I had to say something to the waitress there. When she cleaned it ( after I told her it wasnt her job to clean it and I would be happy if she just told a cleaner to clean it), the cloth was black - by now we were very unimpressed with the general cleaning of the ship Service By now you may think we are a bit 'picky', well it was our experience with waiters in the Dome and Blue Room and the cabin steward, that there was only one pace - slow and off handed at times. We never had our cabin cleaned before 1 pm (except at debarkation) and we were midships! Our cabin steward was friendly but he never got out of 1st gear! Food Nice food at Cafe standard. The menu in the Waterfront restaurant did not change for breakfast or lunch and the dinner menu was limited in choice. Fish and chips and Hamburgers are not the usual fare of cruise ship Dining rooms but they were in the Waterfront. Do not try the Lamb Shank. It was presented as a dry insipid shank with no sauce but very nice diced carrots and parsnips. Normally, the lamb falls off the bone but I was not the only one to say, it had to cut and pulled off! It was the most unappertising meal I was unfortunate enough to be served. While the Pantry is a delightful venue, the food there is also limited in choice and flavour. Although our VIP booking entitled us to a free bottle of wine in the Salt Grill, we did not go there as we considered $50 pp was too excessive for a specialty restaurant. Cocktails expensive - cheapest is $11 (couldnt taste the alcohol) and most expensive $19 (didnt try) Shore Excursions Some excellent, some good and some bad - I guess you cant win them all! The redeeming features 1. The PRODUCTION shows - wonderful dancing and modern songs. a real treat. I could not say the same for the individual entertainers but,' each to his own' 2. Dragon Lady restaurant - great flavours of Asian Fusion food 3. The Kids Club talent show and the adult passenger talent show - well organised and a real highlight of the cruise. 4 cabin is typically HAL large compared with some other cruise lines In summary, as long as you understand that P&O offer a no frills cruise, then you will probably enjoy the P Eden. its a lovely ship that pitches and rocks and rolls badly in a moderate swell but with attractive modern decor. For us, we will not return because we prefer better food, cleaner windows that you can see out and a few peanuts with our cocktails! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
After experiencing 9 previous cruises with different cruise lines/ships including other P&O Aust. ships this aussie coastal cruise was not great mainly due to the ship, Pacific Eden. Previous P&O ships were far better both in ... Read More
After experiencing 9 previous cruises with different cruise lines/ships including other P&O Aust. ships this aussie coastal cruise was not great mainly due to the ship, Pacific Eden. Previous P&O ships were far better both in quality & service. I did expect ship to be better than previous P&O ships due to the fact that I had travelled on a sister ship when it was sailing under Holland America banner. P&O's 'australianisation' of the ship has not worked with often a paint job hiding a tired ship and the alterations to dining areas has not been well thought out with passengers having to go up & down decks to get to dining areas generally affecting flow of pedestrians at peak times. The 'anytime dining' system needs to be rearranged as dining room and crew cannot cope with seating varying group sizes apart from 2 & four diners. The Pantry dining area is a disaster with staff not knowing anything about the dishes being served, food being always luke warm at best, and having to go to 3 or 4 different counters to get food items, e.g. bread rolls at one but butter at another. No trays available causing passengers to make multiple trips from table to server and back to complete there male requirements. Quality of food generally was very ordinary and always not hot including the Waterfront restaurant. One of our group required Gluten Free diet and this had been previously flagged at booking. Senior Steward did try hard to oblige but kitchen either wouldn't or couldn't oblige (or didn't know how). Entertainment around ships lounges had highlights, particularly a duo who were excellent but stage shows lacked imagination and were boringly the same as most other lines. I accept it is a new ship for P&O but staff generally were lethargic & indifferent to the provision of service with some rare exceptions . P&O's embarkation & disembarkation processes were faultless even taking into account a major delay at embarkation caused by bad weather delaying arrival of ship into port. Cabin crew were good & staterooms were typical HAL quality. Child minding crew were indifferent to needs of children and prints but I understand they were short staffed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My partner and I booked this cruise in New Zealand to travel ex Aus to New Caledonia and Vanuatu. 1st issue was we were sent updated boarding times. We then arrive to find out we are last there and almost missed embarkation. Fine, ... Read More
My partner and I booked this cruise in New Zealand to travel ex Aus to New Caledonia and Vanuatu. 1st issue was we were sent updated boarding times. We then arrive to find out we are last there and almost missed embarkation. Fine, anyway 1st impression of the boat as it sat moored were so so.. Certainly looked like it had been around a while. The cabin: Anyway, we get on board, find our cabin with zero guidance from staff after going past the VERY rude, and consistently rude security staff (they were something which irritated me more and more as the cruise progressed, power trip much?) Get to the cabin, its OK. Certainly not new or done up as is suggested, think 1995 if you are lucky. Worn out couch was unusable asides from sitting things on it, and low and behold - No fridge! Then we noticed when trying to sleep, the window creaked. And creaked, and creaked! Seriously annoying. Air conditioning was as useful as a 5inch fan blowing warm air on you when you sleep in 30 degree heat. Bathroom, used a bathtub shower (with a broken tap) which is frankly dangerous in moving seas, not impressed. Luckily bed (well beds, 2 x singles pushed together) were newer than the boat and relatively alright to sleep. The ship is old, and the ship is stuffed. Lets be honest. Holland America sold it because it was heading for scrap, obviously that's where P and O do their shopping. I want to be clear, the boat has not had this amazing overhaul like they claim. Its a dog. It has a few areas where new paint has been painted (they are still doing this as you cruise, brilliant) but overall its shocking. Just walk around the back and try open the busted doors to climb to deck 10/11. Many things out of order, lifts etc. But the major, ask any Pacfic Aria passenger about - The Plumbing. The old vacuum toilets DONT WORK. If you like using the toilet and having to look at what you left there for hours, the Aria is for you. Also frequent toilet spill overs, and one day some cabins on deck 6 spewed everything up, through the cabins and into the corridors. That was a smell to wake you up. I was horrified to see after all these major issues, they sailed the ship again within hours of us getting off with more victims. I watched it sail from Brisbane airport down the river thinking how glad I am to be off that thing. People will get sick, frankly the boat is not seaworthy. I could go on and on, the food was something to behold as well. I do not know how they manage to make everything taste as awful as they did. Thanks P&O, I lost weight on my cruise. If you like tasteless, cold, canned and tinned everything, youll love this. I also hated the constant hounding from the sales people at the overpriced elemis at sea (240 bucks for a massage? really??) and the clowns in the photo booth. I spent the first few days avoiding these sales traps, felt like a harvey norman store at sea. The destinations were fine but p&o have nothing to do with them. I can recommend never booking a tour through the ship - you will be ripped off in a big way. Entertainment was poor, DJ Saccary or whatever handle he goes buy has some horrendous music taste and forces you to listen to his rubbish. If you want to kill the buzz, get this guy to your party. The entertainment director was just irritating, and loved herself. The amazing prizes for her trivia shows (which if you are not an aussie, dont bother) included a $2 credit card holder or a glass case. yay. I use the term entertainment loosely. Mind you the kids roaming around in gangs yelling and screaming seemed to enjoy it. P&O are not an affordable all inclusive holiday, the extra costs are everywhere. So its expensive, dirty and rather boring. Many many other areas are a sore point, however the reviews from all are pretty consistent. I also think we were lucky as when it rains, this boat really shows its colours. I plan to complain to P&O formally and I also think the maritime watchdog should be looking at this company. Avoid like the plague, or risk catching it. 1st and last time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This ship is very old. it has been refurbished in certain areas but the but the cabins are tired and in great need of refurbishment.The sales brochure is deceiving as it shows pictures of the refurbished areas such as penthouse suites and ... Read More
This ship is very old. it has been refurbished in certain areas but the but the cabins are tired and in great need of refurbishment.The sales brochure is deceiving as it shows pictures of the refurbished areas such as penthouse suites and restaurants but in reality the majority of cabins have not been touched. When we cruised the ship was leaking with buckets in the corridors to catch the water. we were also irritated by the odd smells in certain areas of the ship.the air conditioning was inconsistent and was not working all the time. There was a lot of rust around the ship. it appeared that most passengers were having a good time but we felt deceived as the sales brochure gave a totally different impression to what we experienced.we love being at sea on any ship regardless of the conditions. my review is a classic case of expectations versus reality. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Disappointed that The Pantry advertising did not - in any way - live up to expectations. Fourth time cruise for me [3 x P&O, 1 x Princess] and having booked the Pacific Aria expressly due the extensive and detailed advertising about ... Read More
Disappointed that The Pantry advertising did not - in any way - live up to expectations. Fourth time cruise for me [3 x P&O, 1 x Princess] and having booked the Pacific Aria expressly due the extensive and detailed advertising about a new cruising experience, with the new The Pantry dining option. The ship is great! Small, and never had that crowded feeling, and the interiors are very well executed - classy, funky, sophisticated depending on where you were. Beds very comfortable and rooms a good size, but no room fridge and no TV program listing either in print or electronically. The Pantry dining concept is great but very disappointing in its practical execution to be honest. Repetitive and lacking variety compared to buffet-style dining on other P&O ships. The Salad Bar with two salad options is pretty dismal - especially when served up on a HOT plate straight from the dishwasher. Same goes for the Sweet Bun - Danish pastries tasted like cardboard, no matter which one you selected - and sometimes but not always on a hot plate too! A few of the serving staff were either indifferent or downright surly! Others, very friendly and always had a smile. The three restaurants [Waterfront, Dragon Lady and Angelo's] were all good, so don't bother with The Pantry.......... Overall though, where are THE VEGETABLES - anywhere on board?????? Would NOT book a P&O cruise with The Pantry option again unless there are some pretty significant changes. Princess Cruises are a touch more expensive but well worth the little extra for a really great experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Just returned from a 4 day comedy cruise on the Pacific Eden. Not sure if it was the fact that it was a cruise to nowhere but passengers were not embraced... The ship was pleasant enough however their seem to be a myriad of ... Read More
Just returned from a 4 day comedy cruise on the Pacific Eden. Not sure if it was the fact that it was a cruise to nowhere but passengers were not embraced... The ship was pleasant enough however their seem to be a myriad of underlying issues: This is cruise number 4 for our group of 10 and the first time i have felt the need to review. 1:Staff. For the duration of the cruise we experienced only 1 crew member who appeared to be happy. No smiles and fun interactions could be developed. This was also noted by our 8 fellow travelers, all seasoned cruise goers.There is a negative vibe, and dissatisfaction arising from the staff. 2: Food. One word sums it up, Cold. The new dining concept the Pantry, does not work. Cold food, small selections of bland food. The focus seems to be on mass produced club type food, with not a fresh vegetable or crispy fry to be found. There is a serious problem with under cooking items such as sausages, chicken and some veggies, which may be attributing to the apparent rise in gastro occurrences. Even the rolls/ sandwiches were of sub standard consistency. There seems to be a push for patrons to purchase food at The Grill, for anything fresh and reasonable quality. 3: restaurant capacity for the italian and asian is 100:1 x sitting only. Always booked out when you have a large passenger load. Most probably due to low standard of the Pantry. Main Waterfront dining has cold food, inconsistent quality, small servings and again disinterested / unhappy staff. 4:Ships A/C is dysfunctional in most areas. 5: On board extras and pricing is excessive and does not return much for money, services like spa, and The Edge not a value, especially for a family trying to entertain bored teens. . 6: Alcohol mixed drinks expensive, inconsistent and disappointing. 7 room maintenance and fittings such as balcony table and chairs, rusted, worn out and not to standard. Broken shower head not fixed , (couldn't hang up), despite being reported. To sum up, dont know what has happened to P&O since our last cruise 3 years age. Seems to be a totally different business model and target for the market. It is advertised as all inclusive and the best experience, but for that to occur staff need to be happy, engaged and keen to make you fell welcome. A tell tale sign is that almost every passenger commented that they never heard from the Captain, or any senior member of staff, never saw anyone of rank...... I know not a major issue, but they represent the company . Four our group of 10, an alternate cruise will be searched and booked...unfortunately. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Our first cruise and to be honest I feel as if I will not feel safe to try another. The emabarkation was well organised and the staff very engaging. Cabin was adequate and comfortable. We did not find our luggage for sometime even ... Read More
Our first cruise and to be honest I feel as if I will not feel safe to try another. The emabarkation was well organised and the staff very engaging. Cabin was adequate and comfortable. We did not find our luggage for sometime even though other people's were left outside their cabins. Eventually located it abandoned outside a lift. Neither of us get seasick (previously have been out on fishing boats etc). We did become very unwell but this was after consuming food from the pantry. The food is cold. Bacon and eggs, grilled fish so cold it was inedible. Tried to get a simple salad from the salad section. The top layer of the salad looked good but when served only 1percent contained what was on show the rest was lettuce from underneath. Sandwiches were not available only rolls that had an overload of bread and minuscule filling. Hungry we ate the luke warm zucchini soup. Hours later we were both vomitng. We are both health professionals and suspect the recent "gastro" outbreak was probably more attributed to the inadequate temperature control of the food rather than a virus, fellow passengers had the same complaint. The Waterfront Restaurant served delicious hot meals but was overcrowded and there were long waits to be seated. People trying to avoid the pantry! Sometimes just a snack for lunch is nicer than another sit down meal. Do not even think you will find a healthy salad sandwich anywhere on the Pacific Eden. It is understandable why buffet style has been replaced due to hygiene, however not to maintain food at a safe temperature is worse. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Valentines Cruise minus the care and attention of the crew being interested. The ship itself appeared in good order and the cabins plenty of space. Regrettably we found that there was no depth of flavour in our food, additionally ... Read More
Valentines Cruise minus the care and attention of the crew being interested. The ship itself appeared in good order and the cabins plenty of space. Regrettably we found that there was no depth of flavour in our food, additionally apart from the new staff on first contract it was clear that the balance of food service and hospitality staff kinda fell off the side and were quite disinterested in what they presented,served or had to interact with- this was our first short cruise so maybe they just forgot start up? We certainly gave ourselves the opportunity to consider the newer format for the Pantry, but for each portion of alternate food forgiveness we tried ended in unfinished interest,Too dry or no seasoning or just blah, punished quickly with another service fail. Dirty glasses for the wine you purchased - Hey no problem - just be clever and whip out the back for a quick rinse and pass back the rough rinsed wet goblets and be off with you. Whilst the Waterfront brings you lukewarm food when meant to be hot and warm when chilled; Paying the surchage gets no wins either at Angelos,except at least you do get clean wine glasses. The decor is quite pleasant, but there are old ship- new world problems - spasmodic air conditioning- mpeg4 movies shooting into pixels- exposed service cupboards with the doors off and that old caravan worn out thing; as well as taking a stroll through the fitness loop inclusive of the smoking area bit ironic -fitnes and passive smoke Staples like Bingo,Trivia,Karaoke,Edge experiencial and the evening show were on par for interest and the entertainers did offer enlightenment. Could've been better, might give it another chance with a new crew roster in at leats 18 months time Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
My mum has been cruising with P&O for several years and she has always had nothing but great things to say, she would rave about how the service is always top notch and their is always a great variety of food. My mum took me with her ... Read More
My mum has been cruising with P&O for several years and she has always had nothing but great things to say, she would rave about how the service is always top notch and their is always a great variety of food. My mum took me with her on her latest cruise which was very different to what she had been explaining. She couldn't believe how much the staff and food had changed and was very disappointed that I would not get to experience the way P&O use to be. There seemed to be allot less staff and most of them seemed miserable. In the plantation restaurant there was meat only on 2 out of the 7 nights and the rest of the time it was bland casserole and curries. If you wanted a drink you would usually wait for a staff member to pass and they would promptly take your drink order however this was not the case, after waiting and waiting you would eventually get tired of waiting and you would have to go and line up with everyone else that were waiting for drinks. I got to know several other regular cruisers on the ship and they all seemed to agree that P&O has changed and it is no longer the great service and experience that they were once accustomed to. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Not the first time, on P&O, but it will be the last! Ship tired, and old( in maritime years- past its use by date). The pantry a good idea, rather than self service smorgasbord (keeps grubs away from contaminating food). ... Read More
Not the first time, on P&O, but it will be the last! Ship tired, and old( in maritime years- past its use by date). The pantry a good idea, rather than self service smorgasbord (keeps grubs away from contaminating food). However, the food bland, and warm, with less than adequate tables, and chairs (seemed less than in previous ships I have been on). Dining room understaffed (wait for half an hour, whilst tables vacant). Waiters had to travel long distances, to bring food from galley, to table( poor ship design). Cabin staff, and dining room staff were brilliant, considering the poor conditions that they work under. Dining room - the team of Dennis, Yet and Ametko - wonderful. Couldn't have asked for a better dining experience. Cabin staff- Viddy and Bernie - excellent, nothing was too much trouble. The towel art was outstanding. Did not enjoy specialty restaurants. Average meals, small amounts. Cabin tired( same decor as when ship was Statendam), but comfortable. Larger balcony, than previous ships. Bed very good. Entertainment was great. Variety of acts was good. One issue we had was the extreme volume of the live music/ disco, at the lido bar/deck. Management either disinterested, or unable to do anything about the deafening problem. We left the area, the volume was painful. Ship does not ride well. In 5 meter swells, was more unstable than in previous ships in which I have experienced 9 meter swells ( I feel the ship more suited for previous cruise duty in the inside passage of Canada/Alaska). This apparently caused us to miss Noumea, which meant disabled passengers were stuck on ship for entire cruise. Disembarkation was a disaster. Seemed to be poorly organized, free for all. P&O management - poor show. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Let's start with the positives - Although disappointed that we were unable to go to Noumea (due to be our first port of call), we are grateful to the Captain and his Officers for keeping us safe, in what was the tail end of cyclone ... Read More
Let's start with the positives - Although disappointed that we were unable to go to Noumea (due to be our first port of call), we are grateful to the Captain and his Officers for keeping us safe, in what was the tail end of cyclone Winston. This disappointment was in no way a fault of P. & O., and as aforesaid, they have to be commended for making the correct decision. You will find the cabins exceedingly comfortable, (we had a balcony deck 10). The fact that the cabins have not been updated, in no way bothered me at all - they were more than adequate, beds comfortable, lots of storage etc. The decor in the cabins was really not that bad, and I think you would have to be pretty picky to bang on about it. Let's remember, this is a budget priced line. Our Cabin Stewards were absolutely wonderful, ( thanks, Viddy and Bernie), the staff out the back on the Oasis deck were terrific as well. Ryan, in the Waterfront Restaurant, has to be mentioned as well, very pleasant and accommodating. The staff in the Pantry were very pleasant, I think it's important to make eye contact with these staff members and smile at them as they are really at the "coal face" and working so hard. I noted that quite a few passengers would just bark their orders to them. The public areas are quite nice, and the guys playing jazz in the Blue Room were great! But now for the negatives - I was exceedingly worried about venturing on this ship due to negative reviews, and unfortunately, I am now in the position of having to add to that. The food on this ship is absolutely terrible, and the smells on this vessel need urgent attention. This has been said before by many other passengers, and is unfortunately true. We found the food in all restaurants (not just the pantry), to be terrible. If you want a real laugh, just order the cheeses at the end of your meal (waterfront restaurant), to see what I mean. (3 squares of "salada" biscuits, served with a sweating tasty cheese and a slither of Brie which was grey around the edges). I mean, who serves salada biscuits these days? It's not 1955! Also, order the ricotta and spinach cannelloni - you won't believe it!! We were a party of five travelling on this cruise, and on 3 separate occasions one of us had to actually spit out our food as it tasted off. ( twice in the pantry, and once with room service breakfast). Luke Mangans restaurant also extremely disappointing, and not at the standard it was 4 years ago. Staff, also, not very friendly. Food in Angelo's, very bad and staff not friendly. Food in Dragon Lady bad, but staff very nice. Not sure how P.&O. can or will fix this mess, but I think that if they don't adapt a new business model, their days are numbered. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
So, leading up to our cruise on Eden, I read the negative reviews and thought maybe people were just expecting too much... We are a family of 4, incl. 2 kids, 14 & 10. We are pretty easy to please and not super fussy so the fact ... Read More
So, leading up to our cruise on Eden, I read the negative reviews and thought maybe people were just expecting too much... We are a family of 4, incl. 2 kids, 14 & 10. We are pretty easy to please and not super fussy so the fact I'm complaining means something is really not right on this ship! Embarkation was fine, no real greeting once stepping onboard though... Cabin staff were friendly although we did have to ask for things that should have been automatically done. We had an interior room which was fine, quite spacious and decor was nice. Shower leaked every time used and our toilet blocked (as did other toilets around the ship!!!) Our air conditioning couldn't be adjusted and was Arctic! Needed a jumper to sleep and was still cold! Enquired about that but never fixed... There was a funky sewagey kind of smell in the corridors and on back outside deck overlooking oasis pool. First thing I ate in pantry was tomato soup - how do you screw that up! I'm not fussy but it was actually inedible - salty gravy!!! Some pantry foods were OK but most were very salty or tasteless and undercooked. For an 11 night cruise there was not enough variety either. Kids were not well catered with pretty much fish and chips for them every night. Staff in pantry work so hard, most look very unhappy - obvious to me they are not well treated! Waterfront was generally nice food although staff were not friendly at all. Angelos staff were actually rude to us and the food was ordinary. Hubby ordered a chicken Snitzel and that's all it was! No chips, vegs, nothing but the chicken! Dragon lady staff were lovely and it looks beautiful. I really enjoyed my meal there. Daytime activities were so boring, literally nothing to do most of the time - unless you want to do a jigsaw puzzle or play scrabble in the atrium! Not really my idea of fun! Movie theatre onboard showing ....wait for it.... Sound of Music! What the???!!! Kids club was poor and my children were actually bored most of the time! Reception staff I dealt with were surly and when I asked to speak with someone higher, I was told I couldn't! Seems receptionists run this ship!!! Had a 4 day argument with bar staff over a drink previously ordered in one bar for $11 being charged at $17 in another! Shops onboard were a joke! More expensive than home (eg. Swarovski bracelet at home $110, onboard $128!) Staff onboard are just not happy and rarely smile at you, officers who are occasionally seen, do not interact at all. Captain?! I think it was on autopilot! The only other positives I have were the night time entertainment was great and the islands were beautiful. Finally the day came to get off - what a disaster!!! Embarkation was a nightmare! No staff control at all, a crush of people on deck 4 with no cooling! My daughter was crying in the crush and my son got separated from us as people moved forward. Feel sad that we spent our hard earned money on this cruise. Sailed on Carnival Legend in July 2015 which was amazing! Will NEVER sail P & O again! Heed the warnings about Eden! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Chose this because I knew of P&O being one of the top cruise lines in the 1960s and 70s. It was a real disappointment. P&O Australia have destroyed the P&O brand. Probbaly a factor of being bought over by the down market ... Read More
Chose this because I knew of P&O being one of the top cruise lines in the 1960s and 70s. It was a real disappointment. P&O Australia have destroyed the P&O brand. Probbaly a factor of being bought over by the down market Carnival Crusie LInes. P&O used to be like travelling first class on an airline it has now deteriorated to budget airline. Cheap tickets and have to pay for everyting at high prices. The main purpose of the voyage was to extort as much money out of the passengers for drinks that they could. Usually arrive at port in the morning and leave at 6pm so that the passengers would spenfd money on the ship rather than in the port. Some ports were aonly a few hours away and it would have been nice to see some night life but this was never possible. The food was mediocre. There was a special restaurant with wine tasting and a special menu but it was never open except when the Captain wanted to entertain his own friends. For the so called formal dinners half the people did not dress up. Outside meal times one had to buy food, which should not be the case. The ships crew (Mostly Filipinos) were very good but the ships officers never mixed. One usually expects a Captains cocktail party on a ship but this did not happen. The only time the Captain could be available was for signing autographs in the shop (very tacky) or marketing cruises The entertainment was mediocre and on one night there was a completely offensive comedian, whose jokes were all about men and women's private parts and he was rude to some of the audience members. How they could employ someone like that is impossible to imagine. Most passengers that we talked to said that Princess LInes was much better. In fact a lot of those experienced passengers complained. I would never travel P&O Australia again Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
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