1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises Australia
  4. P&O Cruises Australia Cruise Reviews

1,395 P&O Australia Cruise Reviews

I am an ex customer service manager and you have to get things 100% right to get 10. You got things 60% so you get 6. Main problems were : cockroaches in the shower ( -4), staff English problems (-1), missing Lifou stop with no ... Read More
I am an ex customer service manager and you have to get things 100% right to get 10. You got things 60% so you get 6. Main problems were : cockroaches in the shower ( -4), staff English problems (-1), missing Lifou stop with no compensation (-1), no Australian response by company to my problems (-1) expensive shore tours (-0) Shark Shack kids release documentation inadequate (-0). Bonus plus points for missing Lifou stop as due to safety concerns ( +2) Cruise soft drink package (+1). Cannot fault the stewards 100% to those guys. I would pay them more ! The room was only average due to cockroaches in the shower, bunk beds that rattled when engine changed occurred, the décor was average, the window needed cleaning on the outside. The ship décor varied from good to average, I know it's a big ship but they said it had been recently refitted so finding rust here and there sort of threw me.... I rated the Pantry as better service than the Waterfront restaurant due to the time we had to wait over 20 minutes after finishing our mains to get our desert one bight and also asking the male order taker on our final night if I could have an entrée variation to be told No - I had to pick an entrée on the menu. The food quality was rated slightly better in the Pantry due to some meals at the Waterfront being inedible. The bar service in both restaurants was good, but the actual bars themselves let the side down in that my order for "a diet coke with half ice and lime" was constantly served with a lemon. An English problem seemed to exist not only for me but others I observed. The gentle relaxing music was good, the only problem for me was not enough of it; the onboard movies at the big screen suffered from loud to whisper audio tracks, cigarette smoke in the non smoking area and drunken party animals needing to be satisfied ( no crew intervention to keep them quite only little old ladies !). Our kids loved the Shark Shack ( 7-10) activities at first but became jaded after a week due to repeat activities and aggressive older children ruling things at times. I had a problem with their film release documentation for the kids performance. A paralegal could drive holes in it let alone a lawyer. It would not hold up in court. The staff at the reception desk were on the ball at all times. If they could not help me, they got someone who could. I rated them 10 ! Retail I rated 9, not for me but for what I saw them do to help others. My only concern was things were a bit pricey and you had to look around for bargains. P & O cruise control failed on the internet a couple of times so I gave it a 9. The pre-cruise information was vast, I was able to find answers to almost all of the variety of questions my wife and I could come up with on the web sites ( cruise control and P&O). I tried the online chat which was a bad experience for me as I had a question not answered by the FAQ. Getting the P&O policy thrown back at me did not amuse, as I wanted the policy explained for my situation. We embarked seamlessly and disembarked seamlessly. Our main bag was obviously searched by someone, we presume it was security/customs. Hint to whom ever did it : Put things back where you found them. I won't mention my wife and daughter's underwear :) The tenders were good and safety paramount. We did not take any shore tours as we found them locally for 1/3 to 1/2 the price. Yes we may not have had airconditioned travel or a well paid guide but the shore experiences we had were all worth remembering. Noumea, Port Vila, Mystery Island and Isle of Pines were all worthwhile in their own way. We especially loved swimming at the last two on great beaches. Lifou was cancelled due to weather conditions, it was not safe. I agree with the Captain's decision here. The wind and sea were too rough. This decision affected my 6 year daughter mostly as she was heart set since starting the cruise on seeing the vanilla plantation there. It would have been nice to see some compensation for the missed stop but none arose apart from refunded booked and paid tours. We filled in the exceptional service cards for the three staff we found exceeded our expectations at every turn. The beaches at Isle of Pines and Mystery island. The waterfall near Port Vila ( the one with water, not the famous one without). Three great staff we remember treated us like family. I've listed a number of issues they could possibly have addressed but they did not. Customer advocacy gives you a chance to improve and make things better for those that discuss issues, and the future customers. Overall it was an average to good cruise. The locations were worth it, and as a family of 4 we would travel again by P&O. In summary my big mark against Pacific Jewel was the cockroaches. For the price we paid a noisy cabin was not too big an issue, but health related problems and two kids 6 & 8.... Yes I can say I dropped off the card notifying them of the problem and the next day they were onto it. Cockroaches can carry norovirus so they tell me. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We organised a family reunion and were travelling as a group of 26 adults and 5 children. We found customer service when booking the restaurants as a group was very poor and manager of the Monky Bar was terribly rude. There are 3 ... Read More
We organised a family reunion and were travelling as a group of 26 adults and 5 children. We found customer service when booking the restaurants as a group was very poor and manager of the Monky Bar was terribly rude. There are 3 restaurants you can dine in that are included in your fare. Angeles was very good as was Dragon Lady and the Waterfront was quite nice. There was also The Pantry which did all day buffet which was ok, particularly for those that like to graze through the day. We stopped at Hamilton island for the day and due to large swells the tenders were delayed which meant we were running late for the buggies we had rented....the tour staff were not accommodating whatsoever in assisting us to make any other arrangements and again, terribly rude. We all agreed cocktails,spirits and shooters seemed to be watered down heavily! Ship has been refurbished and rooms are quite nice though the finish on all decks and outdoor areas very badly done. Overall a very average trip and don't think I'll be cruising with P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
First time cruisers - a convenient way to have a family reunion - group of 30. Flew in from Sydney - as we had once lived in Brisbane no need to spend any extra time here - had our embarkation time - not sure why as 300 odd people were in ... Read More
First time cruisers - a convenient way to have a family reunion - group of 30. Flew in from Sydney - as we had once lived in Brisbane no need to spend any extra time here - had our embarkation time - not sure why as 300 odd people were in front of us and an hour and 15 later we boarded the boat. First sight of our cabin - decent size, nice balcony, king size bed all good - then the bad! Bath robes wrapped in plastic on the bed - should we open them we would be charged $25 for each - a cleaning fee apparently! TV was on with a loop recording advising us of how to wash our hands and advisable to use our own toilet and not any of the public ones. The shower/bath was pretty grubby - mould throughout the grouting. First meal was in the Pantry - awful - had a roast beef sandwich the bread was stale. vowed we wouldn't eat here again. Unfortunately on the day we toured Hamilton Island we had to be out early and the restaurant was closed - so we had breakfast in the Pantry - awful - the scrambled eggs were cold, sausage inedible, poached eggs were fine as was the toast! Waterfront restaurant was fine - plenty of course choices for breakfast lunch and dinner and all the meals we had were good. The service was completely hit and miss. We also ate at Angelos which was very good - Dragon lady not so much and the service also hit and miss. We ate at Luke Mangans and paid the extra for a good meal with excellent service. We saw 2 shows a magic and a comedian - both quite good. We kept away from all the loud bands and djs as that is not our thing, but lots of people seemed to enjoy them. We only had the one excursion and that was delayed due to bad weather - completely understandable. However once we got on shore our tour had been cancelled and we were left standing on the port with 2 elderly 81 yr olds with no transportation and a very rude P & O staff member who could offer no alternative! We felt that the drinks on board are hugely expensive and watered down/ as well as complete price gouging in the spa and we got tired of crossing out the 5% tipping they added to every bill! I'm not a cruiser and P & O have not changed my mind. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have just come back from the Hamilton Island cruise on board the Aria. Having been on the Pacific Dawn twice in the past five years I was keen to see what the Aria had to offer. It is a smaller ship, which I didn't find to be ... Read More
We have just come back from the Hamilton Island cruise on board the Aria. Having been on the Pacific Dawn twice in the past five years I was keen to see what the Aria had to offer. It is a smaller ship, which I didn't find to be a problem. There is just one trick you have to learn: getting across some decks requires a walk up and down a set of stairs - tricky - but you get used to it quickly. (being handed a little pocket map upon boarding helped!) We found the Waterfront to be a pleasant a la carte experience. The menu offered a good variety and everything we ordered was superb. It was a shame that you couldn't book (like on the Dawn) but you could drop into the restaurant and they give you a pager and you can just grab a drink or take a walk while you wait - a good option if you weren't in a hurry (to see a show etc.) The Pantry was where we ate most meals, due to us wanting to see shows, etc. All food options were good. I have read reviews which compare it to a food court. I can see that. But it's an upmarket food court (!) Each meal and each day the menu changes. We found there was plenty of variety, and there were options for kids too. Breakfast they will cook the eggs to your liking (we suggest poached) and you can choose from pastries, cereals, fruit, and many other options. The make your own sandwich bar was a good lunchtime choice, as well as fish and chips, etc. Dinner options always seem to include a roast, as well as asian, indian, and other dishes. If you couldn't find something to your liking then you're just being hard to please. We liked the fact that the food was served (rather than buffet, like on the Dawn, where our kids always took too much & I had some concerns about the hygiene of so many people leaning over the food) My only complaint about The Pantry was the coffee - instant coffee - and it was truly the worst on the planet. Do yourself a favour and take some decent coffee satches - you can use the boiled water and milk there and make a decent cup. Alternatively you can buy coffee from the Icecream bar - which is the option we took - delicious - but it can take a while. (you're on a cruise tho - what's the hurry?!!) We found the seating options plentiful. We did not get to Angelos' but we did go to The Dragon Lady - first class - but not for kids. If you're travelling with kids, make this one a date night :) We enjoyed the shows. They're not as professional as we saw on The Dawn, but they're free ... it's still a decent night out. The "Liars" show was fun. The comedy show was funny, but definitely 18+ Other things of note: Beds are incredibly comfortable !! Cabins are comfortable - sure a teeny bit tired - but we overlooked it. Staff - cabin staff were lovely, and friendly Wait staff - many of them seemed a touch depressed ... it's odd to be on a ship with staff who don't seem enthusiastic. ? Shopping is adequate. Bars were great. Visit them all. The Blue Room has great jazz/lounge entertainment. Kids clubs - the kids we spoke to were all having a blast. Aqua aerobics is a must do (watch or participate = equally fun!) Oasis - more shade needed ... that's probably my only negative - it is a ship so it's hard to change that. Yoga / Stretch Class / Gym - take a visit. You will be happy you did! Otherwise, all good. I would recommend it - if you're on a cruise, just chill and enjoy it, don't get caught up in the nitty gritty of what is perfect and what is not. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
being a first time cruiser with my wife and daughter we, well , I, was a little worried about some of the Reviews, plus on afternoon of departure a wind warning was current for south east coastal waters for winds over 35-40 knots, I had ... Read More
being a first time cruiser with my wife and daughter we, well , I, was a little worried about some of the Reviews, plus on afternoon of departure a wind warning was current for south east coastal waters for winds over 35-40 knots, I had read the ship was old and was hopeless in rough seas...well, trust me if your going and the weather forecast is terrible....take it from me..not a worry in the world...sure...we all felt the Ship move underfoot...and the wind gauge was showing 43 knots, everything was fine...so, if your a first timer..don't worry...its a great Ship, fantastic Staff, lots to do...do yourself a favour, go up to Deck 12, find the Dome....get right up front in one of the comfy chairs or lounges....sit there and look out over that vista...and pinch yourself that your actually sitting there looking out at that incredible view....the only negative we had was some minor food issues in the Pantry and Waterfront...otherwise a fantastic time....would recommend to anyone.... Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Great short break to Hamilton Island. The ship itself was well looked after and the crew were just amazing. I have food allergies and they were more then accommodating, I could not rave about this more. Make sure you book into ... Read More
Great short break to Hamilton Island. The ship itself was well looked after and the crew were just amazing. I have food allergies and they were more then accommodating, I could not rave about this more. Make sure you book into Angelo's and Dragon lady as soon as you get on the ship!! The rooms were small but had everything you need and they are always tidied to such a high standard twice a day. There was plenty to do and, for being a smaller ship, it never felt like you were on top of each other. I wouldn't rate Hamilton Island too highly, very commercialized and if you aren't doing a tour the only thing really to do is lay on the beach so you need to hope for good weather. We didn't, we almost weren't able to leave the ship but the crew went beyond to make sure we could visit the island. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We, a couple, have just returned from the P&O Pacific Eden cruise to Papua New Guinea. I read lots of bad reviews before departure, but decided to go with an open mind. I now believe the world is becoming overrun with wingeing people. ... Read More
We, a couple, have just returned from the P&O Pacific Eden cruise to Papua New Guinea. I read lots of bad reviews before departure, but decided to go with an open mind. I now believe the world is becoming overrun with wingeing people. We had an absolutely wonderful trip. The ship, the crew, the food , the company we met on board, the weather were all fabulous. Nothing to complain about at all. The beverage package that came with our fare was an unexpected bonus. We dined at every restaurant except Chef's Table and could not fault the food or service. There were lots of children on this cruise, but all were well controlled and we didn't see them often. The islands we visited were not touristy and we got an idea of the native lifestyle. Don't believe the bad reports.... This is a very good value holiday""" Thanks P&O... Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
booked this cruise from our home port of Cairns with a drinks package at a good price. We were concerned by the reviews and we had also just finished a cruise from Hawaii to Sydney on Celebrity Solstice. So we went with our eyes wide open. ... Read More
booked this cruise from our home port of Cairns with a drinks package at a good price. We were concerned by the reviews and we had also just finished a cruise from Hawaii to Sydney on Celebrity Solstice. So we went with our eyes wide open. it was going to be a 3 star ship which is typical of P and O australia and we were not expecting the bells and whistles of Solstice. We went with 3 other couples and had a great time. embarking and disembark worked well. the ship was fine, obviously an older ship but in reasonable condition. particularly liked the lounges and bar arrangements. entertainment was consistent.The dancing and music in the theatre was high energy but missed the mark in my opinion. One of the shows was just too dark and a lot of the music i have never heard before. choreography was great but music choice poor and did not relate to the audience.it felt like they had done the choreography .and then picked the music to match it. if they had chosen music the audience could relate to the shows would have been better received The pantry worked well. plenty of choice and no issues with the food being not warm enough. they have to do something about the crazy decision to put coffee tables into this area. what were they thinking?? its an easy fix and will complement the area by giving every diner a table to sit and eat at. The main dining room is big and very well done....but its half empty every night. It looks like they dont have the staff so you are lining up for a table and there are empty tables every where. speaking of staff, it was very hard to get any inter action from them in any of the dining areas. The food was fine if a little on the small size with some serves. Actually some serves were miniscule. The same can be said for the asian and italian restaurants. good food, small portions and unsmiling stiff staff serving you. the swimming pool at the aft is a great idea, no kids and a small bar. but it was almost comical to see almost everyone gathered around trying to find what little shade is on offer. the drinks package was a first for us. we like a drink but at $79 a day you have to be drinking non stop to get value. with 4 port calls in 7 days you spend a lot of time off the ship so i found myself drinking just because i was on a package and not necessarily because i really wanted "another cocktail". we did not get close to drinking $79 worth on any day, which surprised me and were happy it was an add on to our booking. the last day i only had 2 drinks as i had had enough of alcohol. P and o certainly have it right with their drinks staff. plenty of them walking around and getting you drinks and we met some lovely staff in the bars. Alatau was nothing special, walked down town. the memorial had interesting info re the war in milne bay. Kitiva and Kiriwini were very interesting. walked with a local guide and had an interesting time with the natives. Conflict was very pretty, the owner has done a great job with the facilities in such an isolated spot Apparently previous ships have had trouble tendering to this island. the jetty needs some modification as there is a big gap between the tender boat and getting onto the jetty. its an accident waiting to happen with older cruisers for sure, but even the young would have to be careful. our cabin was fine, ocean view on deck 6 and was in good condition for its age. little things like wardrobe doors not closing properly, otherwise it was a good size, bed was great and both stewards did a great job. Overall we had a good time on a 3 star ship that had the bonus for us of being a $20 taxi ride from our house. would i go on Eden again. probably yes , from Cairns. but if i had to hop on a plane to go to Brisbane or Sydney i would most likely cruise on Princess, RCI or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Papua New Guinea Island Encounter We'd taken a cruise on Aria earlier in the year and due to poor cabin selection had a horrible time. As a result of the complaint we made we were offered, and took, $1200 credit with P&O as ... Read More
Papua New Guinea Island Encounter We'd taken a cruise on Aria earlier in the year and due to poor cabin selection had a horrible time. As a result of the complaint we made we were offered, and took, $1200 credit with P&O as compensation. PNG had always been somewhere that had interested us so we used the credit to book a suite on the seven night PNG cruise out of Cairns. Six weeks after we'd booked, at what we thought was a fair price, P&O had another sale. Booking cruises is luck of the draw. If we'd waited we would have paid $1300 less for the suite and received $350OBC plus beverage package for two of us (we travelled with a friend). $2000 is a BIG difference :( Anyways, to the cruise. We flew up to Cairns from Brisbane on the morning of departure. As we'd booked a suite we were able to check-in right on 11. First warning. If you have any issues walking up steep slopes then you might have a problem walking up the gangway. My partner had an operation on his knee the week before and the long steep ramp was very difficult. We were able to go straight to our cabin - 10054 - where we were met by our cabin attendant Myron. After the Oz Day cruise disaster I was very careful with the cabin selection and 10054 was perfect. It was mostly under the overhang of the pantry. We're not sunbakers so this suited us perfectly. Myron showed us everything in the room. Priority tender tickets were in an envelope with explanation on how to use them. There was a full size bottle of bubbles in the fridge. Fruit basket. We didn't have three of everything - glasses, cups etc but they were there when we came back from lunch. He explained that they would put the sofa bed out each night while we were out. The suite was really nice and a great size. Easily enough room for the three of us, even with the sofa bed folded out. It's tired though and needs a refresh badly. The arms of two occasional chairs in the room were covered in that ingrained dirt that builds up after 20 years of hands rubbing them. Yuk! The veranda furniture is pretty nasty for a suite. The cushions were dirty, the table corroded. Time to be replaced P&O. The bathroom had a full size bath and it was super clean - I've seen pictures of grotty silicon and grout but ours was spotless. Shower temperature was an issue the entire cruise. It was very difficult to have a warm shower. It was usually cool, with a burst of scolding every now and then. We talked to a couple of neighbours and we all had the same issue. Our suite also had an 'extra' safe. There was a small one in the wardrobe but also a newer larger one attached to the cabinet right next to the tv. Very weird! Ports. Alotau - we are not ship's shore tour people but it was too hard to go private so we booked the Milne Bay Historical tour. Expensive for a couple of hours but super interesting. Each minibus had their own guide. Ours, Fabian, was a great guy. Very proud of the history of Milne Bay, something he didn't know much about until P&O started to cruise to PNG. It was a common theme everywhere we visited - P&O was bringing great benefit to PNG. Our friend and I left the tour at the war memorial in town (my partner went back to the ship as he worked all week) and we walked back to the ship. We are fairly intrepid travellers but I didn't feel hugely safe in Alotau. Lots of groups of men, youths and boys sitting around pretty much doing nothing that aren't giving off the most friendly vibes. I suppose I wouldn't like thousands of people descending on my suburb either. We spent a couple of lazy hours at the Alotau Waterfront Lodge before heading back to the ship. During the late afternoon a cultural group performed on the dock - drumming, singing and dancing. Kitava - The priority tender tickets worked a treat. Hint - if you have them, walk down the hall to the embarkation steps, not force your way down the steps thought the people who are waiting. If you don't fit at the end of the tender queue your first on to the next. Most of the tenders in the morning were greeted by a large pod of dolphins that was hanging around in the channel right near the jetty. The locals have set up an endless row of stalls in the shade behind the beach. They all sell pretty much the same carvings and baskets but it is all quite nice. There were a number of little enclosures with groups of children in them singing and dancing. They were from local schools or churches. Each one had metal drum in front for donations - goods or money. I took a boat over to Uratu to snorkel. It was 5 kina each way for whatever boat you got on - sailing or paddled. The water was beautifully warm but the snorkelling was pretty ordinary. It was a beautiful day so I didn't really care. One of the small sail boats capsized and seven passengers ended up in the water. My partner was in the tender that picked them up. No injuries, just wet people. It was a nice place to just hang on the beach. Long, hot tender queue to get back to the ship. Kiriwina - Another spectacular day and a gorgeous place. The ship anchored very close to the jetty. Cliffs along the coast in one direction, stunning white sandy beach in the other. We didn't race off here so need to use priority tickets. Similar to Kitava along the beach but behind it is a large 'oval' and then a short walk away a village. A local - John - started talking to us while we watched the performance by a large group of young guys (very funny, the locals were screaming with laughter, all about fertility with some very obvious phallic references - warning to those easily offended) and kind of hung around most of the day. He watched our bags when we went snorkelling. Eventually the sell happened and we bought a couple of carvings. Who knows if they were a good price. We didn't care. He was a nice guy. I gave him a Wheels magazine I had with me and he as very chuffed. John said his son would love it. Long hot tender queue to get back to the ship. Conflict Islands - After we left Kiriwina the captain asked us all to do an anti-rain dance as the two forecasts he had for the Conflict Islands weren't too flash. It was fine when we arrived but as windy as forecast. They sent a tender in to check the jetty on the island. It was borderline but they decided to get us ashore with the exception that anyone with mobility issues couldn't go. It was just too bumpy getting on and off the tenders. I decided to go over early in case it eventually got too windy and again flashed the golden priority tender ticket. We were the first Eden cruise to land on Conflict Islands and the first to visit all four ports. The atoll and its islands are privately owned. Panasesa, the island that you visit, is very manicured and every comment we heard was that it was the favourite visit. I'm going with it was because there was no-one trying to sell you something. I did a circuit of the island and then took a tender back to the ship. The skipper of the tender took four goes t get us alongside. I've taken a lot of tenders, in some very ordinary conditions and never seen anything like it. He was hopeless. We gave him a round of applause when we were finally tied up alongside the tender platform. The three of us pretty much went straight back over. Our friend and I had booked the snorkelling trip and my partner just went over for a walk around and a swim. The snorkelling trip was great. We both wish it had been longer. We took a very wet ride in a small skiff to a larger boat from where we got into the water. It had a platform that lowered down into the water to make it easier to get on and off. They offered hot and cold drinks before and after we got in the water. The snorkelling was pretty good - some ok coral, plenty of fish, warm water. The rest of the cruise. Food - we ate everywhere but Chef's Table. The Pantry - we like the concept of The Pantry but agree that the seating in the space needs to be rethought, especially the low tables. They just don't work. We tried most outlets and have no complaints. The Mexican was a hit as was the sandwich station. My poached eggs were perfect each time I had them. For anyone who complains they have to remember they are on P&O, not Celebrity. Dragon Lady - as advised when we were boarding the ship we booked three restaurants straight away. Dragon Lady, Salt and Angelo's. You were limited to three. I saw no evidence of any priority for suite guests as advertised. The serving sizes in Dragon Lady are even smaller than they were in January. We said it then and I'll say it again - it's a good idea that hasn't got the execution quite right. Soggy sweet potato chips. A brulee that was more like a mousse. Nevertheless we enjoyed it enough to make another booking as we left as the menu was changing mid-cruise. Salt - a very strange experience. We arrived and got a very strange greeting. Did we have a reservation? Sure did. I looked at the list on the desk and pointed to our reservation that had been marked off. Someone else had come in and said they were us! Having an extra table obviously threw them. Service was weird. We had multiple people asking the same question. When my medium rare steak arrived it was well done! They took it straight back but by the time the second steak arrived the others had finished their mains. Then despite saying that I didn't need more vegetables or mash it arrived. At least we didn't get charged twice! Angelo's - what a let down. We liked Angelo's last time. Not this time. Sat in table right at entrance. Rushed through our meal like nothing any of us have experienced before. Servings so small they wouldn't even qualify as tapas. The cheese 'platter' was hilarious. Entertainment Production shows - the only one we didn't like was Twice Upon a Time. It was weird. We like dance but the dancing and singing left us cold. We didn't go to any of the other shows. Lounges and bars - we liked the duet that played around the ship and The Edens who played in the Blue Room. We thought Alter Ego were terrible (were they just crew members moonlighting as a band?) and did not get Spencer Chester at all. Was his act that he couldn't sing or couldn't play piano? Obviously plenty did get him as the bar was full every time he played. Everything else Myron and Michell kept the cabin spotless. Made very good use of the unlimited bottled water. Loved the officer's cocktail party - we talked to the Staff Captain for the whole event - super interesting guy. I've never commented on a captain before but Gavin Pears was great. Very visible. Was always stopping to have a chat. It was very obvious that the crew really liked him. Embarkation and debarkation were both painless. We didn't make use of the suite lounge in Salt and just sat out by the pool until we left the ship. It took longer than we'd thought it would getting off - an hour from walking down the gangway to getting in a taxi. By the time we got to the airport they were calling our flight. We really enjoyed the cruise. Eden is a nice ship but is already showing wear only after just a year. The cushions on the loungers around the Oasis just look dirty. The cabins need refurbishing. Get rid of the dumb spa baths and replace them with proper big showers. The verandah furniture on suite balconies looks lost, and cheap, in that huge space. We enjoyed it enough that we're now investigating a Solomon Island's cruise with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We quite enjoyed our short (4 night) cruise on Pacific Aria to Hamilton Island. However, after this recent trip and a previous North Queensland cruise on Pacific Dawn, we must say we are not great fans of P&O Australia and that we are ... Read More
We quite enjoyed our short (4 night) cruise on Pacific Aria to Hamilton Island. However, after this recent trip and a previous North Queensland cruise on Pacific Dawn, we must say we are not great fans of P&O Australia and that we are unlikely to travel with them again. Pacific Aria is in reasonable condition for an older ship and it appears that most of the earlier problems that were reported in the first few months of its Australian deployment have been sorted out. Embarkation and dis-embarkation were both very well organised and the crew that we encountered were almost without exception courteous and friendly. We liked the quality and variety of food available in The Pantry although the bare, unvarnished wood tables look a bit cheap. A basketball court is located directly above the starboard side of The Pantry, which makes for an interesting acoustical experience at times. We had one meal in each of Angelos and Dragon Lady and we quite enjoyed the food and ambience in both. The food and service in The Waterfront was OK but unexceptional. It would have been nice, for example, if shrimp cocktails had been available on the menu - maybe they were at times, but we did not see them. We were always able to get tables for two with little if any wait, which was good. However, the tables themselves were fairly small and there were no table cloths or place mats. The sea conditions were fairly calm during most of the trip and there was little perceptible ship motion, particularly on the outbound trip to Hamiton Island where the ship seemed to be travelling at a relatively slow speed of around 12-13 knots. On the way back, the scheduled travel time was 2 hours less so the ship travelled at faster speeds of up to 16 knots, and there was some uncomfortable vibration in our Deck 10 cabin at times, We did not go to any of the performances in the theatre but we liked the live music that we heard in the various lounges. One major disappointment was that we had pre-booked an excursion to the Great Barrier Reef during the visit to Hamilton Island, but this was cancelled the night before we arrived as there were apparently not enough passengers for P&O or the tour operator to justify going ahead with the excursion. So instead we spent a couple of relaxing hours on the island. There was some fantistic scenery as the ship sailed by some of the Whitsunday Islands after departing Hamilton Island. In conclusion, it would be nice if P&O spent a little more money on the food and facilities to make their cruises a bit more of an up-market experience. Until that happens, we are unlikely to go with them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Chose this cruise as I was turning 70 and was looking for memorable experience to celebrate this milestone in my life. However on boarding Pacific Jewel was totally underwhelmed from the start. Without detailing problems experienced they ... Read More
Chose this cruise as I was turning 70 and was looking for memorable experience to celebrate this milestone in my life. However on boarding Pacific Jewel was totally underwhelmed from the start. Without detailing problems experienced they were with dinning in Waterfront restaurant, lack of choices of desirable food in the Pantry. No towels or toilet paper in cabin when arriving at cabin, lack of interest to supply them when pointed out. Onshore tour a nightmare relating to tenders....or lack of. Lack of P&O staff was a problem and many of those there were unmotivated. Found the Pacific Jewel to be old & tired, certainly no wow factor. Have been on 6 previous cruises and had wonderful experiences on all 6, but not this one. The Salt Grill was a very pleasant experience & the entertainment director was to be complimented, she was excellent. We enjoyed the nightly shows, daily trivia quiz . Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My review will be judging this cruise compared to the 20+ other cruises I’ve taken on nearly every other cruise line around the World. The cruise itinerary took us to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. I found it difficult finding ... Read More
My review will be judging this cruise compared to the 20+ other cruises I’ve taken on nearly every other cruise line around the World. The cruise itinerary took us to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. I found it difficult finding cruise reviews for this itinerary, so I hope this helps those looking to do a future cruise to these ports on P&O. I believe the only other large cruise line to visit these ports is Princess. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Very good. P&O uses an e-ticket and allows you to select a preferred time range to check-in. It took me less than 15 minutes to complete the check-in process and there were no lines. Disembarkation is similar to other cruise lines. It was organized and totally completed in about 2 hours. Once my category was called, it took about 20 minutes to go through immigration/customs. The only negative was the long wait for taxis. This is not a cruise line issue, but a port location issue. Cairns does not have enough taxis to satisfy a large number of people disembarking the ship within two hours. The Ship: The Eden is a refurbished Holland- America ship. It has a very similar layout and configuration as a Holland-America ship, but a more modern style and interior. It offers basically the same options as other ships in the 1500 passenger ship range. It does not have the on-board options as the mega-ships like water shows, ice rinks, etc. It simply does not have enough space. It does have plenty to offer including an adventure park with zip-line, climbing wall, obstacle course, pools, sports, games, etc. There are several bars with different themes, Movie Theater and large auditorium for shows. Restaurants and food: It has the traditional large dining area with open seating called the Waterfront serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food was OK and acceptable for a mid-range priced cruise. The dinner menu usually had an ethnic set menu each night like Chinese, Japanese, Australian, French, Italian, etc. In addition, there were several other options that varied each night. The informal "buffet" restaurant was called the Pantry. It included a new concept with ethnic food stations like Mexican, Asian, Indian, European, sandwiches, desserts and American/Australian. The food is served by the cruise staff (definitely more sanitary) so no self-serve buffet lines . I enjoyed the variety of food, but like most cruise buffet restaurants, the food is OK but less than average taste. There are three specialty restaurants, two are free and one requires a supplement charge (AU$49). The Dragon Lady has Asian cuisine and is excellent. Angelo’s has Italian cuisine and is also excellent. Reservations are a must and should be booked ASAP on the first day. They fill up fast. I ate half my dinners in these two restaurants. The third specialty restaurant is the Salt Lick and requires a surcharge. I tried to get a reservation, but it was fully booked. I heard it was really good. My recommendation, try to have your dinners at Dragon Lady and Angelo’s and breakfast/lunch at the Waterfront. I am not discouraging eating at the Pantry, especially if you want convenience in a casual setting. Entertainment: The production shows had relatively small casts, but were entertaining with good staging. They also had two magic shows and two musicians the other nights, which were well done and entertaining. P&O offered all sorts of activities during the day, more when at sea. Wine, beer, booze tastings (surcharge), spa related, games, contests, movies, lectures and exercise. I would rate the entertainment average for this size ship. Shore Excursions: I normally do not book cruise sponsored shore excursions. I prefer independent sightseeing when in port, but I decided to book P&O shore excursions for this cruise. I was not familiar with these ports and did not know if there would be independent options available. These ports do not get many cruise ships and P&O has only been visiting these ports for two years. I was happy with the P&O excursions, but some were more pricey than the independent options. Alotau: P&O arranges a culture festival only available to cruise ship passengers. I would highly recommend this one if interested in the PNG tribal cultures. There were eight different tribes dressed in traditional outfits and included dancing and singing. In addition, there were three war canoes you can ride for AU$10. P&O arranges shuttle buses to/from the cruise ship during the morning in port. You can come and go as you please. There is not much in the town itself. The small fishing port area is colorful and with the adjacent local market. There are also a few war memorials. I took an afternoon excursion to two traditional PNG villages. More costumes, singing and dancing along with lectures on the culture and way of life. I enjoyed both shore excursions. There were also WWII history tours. Kitava and Kiriwini: We try to tender into Kitava, which looked beautiful, but the seas were too rough. P&O decided to go to another island close by called Kiriwini. This I imagine took some real logistic work by P&O given the short notice and it worked out great. Kudos to P&O and the Captain for making this call. Kiriwini was equally beautiful. No P&O shore excursions offered here. Just a beautiful beach and excellent snorkeling and lots of locals selling food, souvenirs, arts and crafts. The whole island comes down to the beach when a ship is in port. There are a few sights like a skull cave you can hire a local to show you and a few local villages. But the real attraction is the beach and clear, warm, calm water teaming with tropical fish and colorful coral. Local boys will take you on an outrigger canoe rides. Rabaul: The sail into Rabaul is spectacular. The ship passes several volcano (one active) and into a protected bay surrounded by mountains. There is not much to the town, but it has a colorful market. I took the volcano tour, which was OK. There were independent tour agencies at the dock that charged much less than P&O. The volcano tour goes to the volcano observatory for a great view of the town and surrounding volcano. Then to a village near the base of an active volcano where WWII airplane wrecks are located. The village people (not to be confused with the YMCA guys) dance and had cooking demos. The next stop was near the base of the active volcano and hot springs. The ocean water in this area is very hot due to the natural hot springs. This was the highlight of the tour for me. We made one more stop at a village next to a Catholic church. There are souvenir markets at each stop. P&O also offered a WWII history tour. Gizo: There were several P&O shore excursion options. I selected the Kennedy Island excursion, which was basically a boat ride to/from Kennedy Island, a tiny remote coral reef ringed island where American President John F Kennedy swam to after his PT boat sank during WWII. This is a great option if you want to snorkel or just relax on a beach and swim. The Gizo hotel built a nice hut with lounge, bar and flush toilets on the island. They also arranged entertainment with local teens dancing in traditional Solomon outfits. You can walk around the island in 10 minutes. It is about a 20 minute boat ride from Gizo. I think it is possible to negotiate a ride to Kennedy Island independently, but I believe most independent boat operators take you to another island much closer to Gizo. Dive Gizo arranges independent scuba and snorkeling excursions. Since I had a P&O shore excursion, I had no issues getting on the second tender to shore and could spend the whole day there. Apparently most of the independent travelers had to wait two or three hours to get off the ship due to rough seas slowing the tender process. In fact, I praise P&O and the Captain for allowing us to go on shore. It was rough enough to make it marginal on the safety side. These tendering delays reduced the amount of time on shore for many. Upon arrive in Gizo, there were locals dress in native outfits playing music and singing. You can walk from one end of the town to the other in 15 minutes. The main street is lined with shops and a local market. After the Kennedy Island tour, I walk to the end of the town and had a drink at PT109, the name of Kennedy’s WWII boat. It has a deck on the waterfront with a great view and ice cold beer. The Gizo hotel across from the tender dock also has a nice restaurant and bar overlooking the harbor. Independent tour companies had tables at the tender dock, most offering transportation to local beaches for the day. The best beach area is roughly an hour drive from Gizo. Honiara: This was the only real city we visited on this cruise. I heard they have a McDonald's. I didn’t see it or a Starbucks (thank God). There are several historic WWII sights, a few museums and a large local market that are a short walking distance from the dock. Guadalcanal was the location of one of the most gruesome WWII battles. 7000 American soldiers and 24,000 Japanese soldiers died during a six month period on Guadalcanal. There are numerous memorials and historic sites near Honiara and on Guadalcanal. The WWII war tour was one of the more popular P&O shore excursions. P&O offered several excursions, I took a culture tour to a local Polynesian village. The tour was excellent. We drove 45 minutes get to it and all the villagers came out to greet us in their native dress. We toured the village and they explain their way of life and traditional Polynesian ways, which included local food and dancing. The village is on “Red Beach,” where the Americans first landed on Guadalcanal during WWII. There are also several nice beaches less than 30 minute drive west of town. Some have WWII wrecks and most have an entrance fee. The most popular is Mbonge beach. I did not see independent organized tours at the dock, but there were several taxis waiting that can be hired for the day. Most independent travelers walked around town. If hungry or thirsty, the Point Cruz Yacht Club is only a few minute walk from the dock and locate on the water. In summary, I would recommend the P&O Eden and this cruise itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The cruise was to the Melbourne Cup. We had not been on the Pacific Dawn before and were a little apprehensive. However we were pleasantly surprised. Yes, the ship is tired but it's due for a refit next year. This was our 10th cruise ... Read More
The cruise was to the Melbourne Cup. We had not been on the Pacific Dawn before and were a little apprehensive. However we were pleasantly surprised. Yes, the ship is tired but it's due for a refit next year. This was our 10th cruise and we felt that the cabin was more comfortable than any other we have had. Certainly more spacious. The transfers to the cup were well organised. The food was a little disappointing but there was plenty to choose from. The ship could do with more areas to sit in as it was always difficult to find somewhere to just sit given that the ship was full. The crew were great and we appreciated that the captain kept us informed any time an alarm was sounded. There were 3 incidents where they called for first response teams but in each case he told us exactly what the call was for and what the outcome was. He also made an announcement any time the seas were going to be rough. We particularly loved the entertainment director and his team. Willie Lee kept us laughing the entire cruise. The dancers and production shows were first class. We would not hesitate in recommending a cruise on the Pacific Dawn. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
group of 18 choose to do this cruise who have not attended the Melbourne Cup We embarked White Bay Sydney Terminal on boarding meet the cabin staff was impressed with the cabin and each of the day cleaning and notices. Dining was good in ... Read More
group of 18 choose to do this cruise who have not attended the Melbourne Cup We embarked White Bay Sydney Terminal on boarding meet the cabin staff was impressed with the cabin and each of the day cleaning and notices. Dining was good in the Waterfront each night after show which was good entertainment with shows like the LAIR , the service in the drinks could improve in a one off beer service Casino is a no when certain people take over Roulette Tables for them self then disappearing for 15 to 20 minutes chips on the table and going out for a smoke while no one else could play it should be more control on Casino rules even taken chips off the betting mat give other people a go very annoying other wise most enjoyable for my wife and I on our first cruise lost on the cup but enjoyed the day. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This cruise was marketed to us at a show last year as being a 'new' ship sailing to exotic locations, whilst the public areas were beautifully refurbished, the ship was old, we paid extra for a balcony but the furniture outside ... Read More
This cruise was marketed to us at a show last year as being a 'new' ship sailing to exotic locations, whilst the public areas were beautifully refurbished, the ship was old, we paid extra for a balcony but the furniture outside was one chair, a tiny rusty table and a really big deckchair whose foam cushions got wet each night , so it was damp to sit on in the morning. We never saw the Captain or any of the Officers for the whole of the trip and the Entertainment Director did not turn up at the end of the shows we saw in the theatre to close the show. The Pantry was awful, you could not find a seat as it was so busy and when you did it was like sitting in a gas station service area, very cramped, we ended up finding a table first so we could sit together and took it in turns to get our food so never ate together. The waterfront was pretty average so we booked the speciality restaurants and pad for Salt Grill (twice) and ate at the Chefs table once so burnt out our $400 on board credit we were given for booking early! The food in these restaurants were fabulous and generous as was the service, but you had to pay for it. We had to tender at 3 of the 5 islands, this required you to get a ticket at 8 am and wait for your number to be called, this could mean a wait of up to 2 hours before disembarking and starting your day, the weather was fine, it was the tying up the tenders that seemed to take so long, the staff did not seem to be too confident on managing it. On the plus side the weather was fabulous and Rabaul, and Alotaou were very interesting the other islands were just beach stops. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Reasonable cruise ,great stateroom good cabin staff. The new look pantry wasnt all it was cracked up to be it did the job . No food available after 9 at night ,So if you fancy a cheese and crackers later at night you better grab what ... Read More
Reasonable cruise ,great stateroom good cabin staff. The new look pantry wasnt all it was cracked up to be it did the job . No food available after 9 at night ,So if you fancy a cheese and crackers later at night you better grab what they have early and take to your room for later. Burgers were extra cost Pizzas were extra cost Waterfront main dining room was OK ,but different table every night ,so same old questions. Food in waterfront ** stars . Shows were good but obscure music /songs ..cast were great. Canned music for shows no live band on stage . Seating was not the best only if you got there early some of the chairs in atrium 3 floors need to go on a bonfire ,arms with grease and sweat .Did try Luke Mangans Salt grill now that was good . to many uncontrolled brats Drinking for a great part of the passengers started early .Wonder they werent drunk most of the day . pool area one for kids other for adults ..Two spas about the size of dinner table HOGGED by kids. A cruise that was really for the teens to early 30's Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I have been reading reviews of Pacific Eden for over a year now, & based on our recent experience, I believe P&O have addressed all of the issues people were complaining about. We did the 7 night Nov 4th PNG trip from Cairns, ... Read More
I have been reading reviews of Pacific Eden for over a year now, & based on our recent experience, I believe P&O have addressed all of the issues people were complaining about. We did the 7 night Nov 4th PNG trip from Cairns, & stayed on for the 4 nights back to Sydney. It's one of the best cruises we have taken. The ship is just beautiful! Yes, there are signs of age if you go looking, but there are so many lovely areas . The Blue Room, the Ocean Bar & The Dome all beautiful places to enjoy a drink, as well as many other smaller nooks. We found the drink service to be great-we rarely had to wait more than a few minutes to get drink service-I have waited much longer on The Solstice many times. The drink staff were very friendly & happy to have a joke & a laugh. First impressions of the food in the restaurants was that the portions were small, however I always had plenty to eat. My husband is a big eater & often asked for a main course for his entrée as well as his main, & there was never a problem with him doing that. We like to eat late & never had a problem getting a table in The Waterfront around 8pm. We ate at Angelo's once, & Dragon Lady twice & really enjoyed all meals. We did the Chefs table one night & it was fantastic! ($99pp) We had 8 courses, matched with wines, & the chefs came out & explained their inspiration for their dishes-also a couple of lovely gifts came along with the evening (no spoilers!). I found The Pantry to be quite ok the couple of times we went there, but my husband wasn't a fan (I suspect due to the lack of greasy unhealthy kiddie food). He did take a liking to "The Grill" & was particularly keen on the Meat Pie & Mushy Peas, which I must admit was VERY good & for just $3 kept him happy, so I was happy too. We loved our Cabin, it was very comfortable,& no problems at all. Of the PNG ports... Sometimes confronting , but mostly delightful. Some great swimming & snorkelling, lovely people, amazing scenery, & throw in some interesting WWII history & its a truly fascinating learning experience! We loved The Eden & will quite happily travel on her again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We choose this cruise as it was not your average destination & we wanted to experience a different culture & people. The ship sailed from Cairns Aust. We live in Central Victoria. So right from the get go we were up for extra ... Read More
We choose this cruise as it was not your average destination & we wanted to experience a different culture & people. The ship sailed from Cairns Aust. We live in Central Victoria. So right from the get go we were up for extra costs of air fares & hotels. If we flew up on the day of the cruise & there was a problem with flights then we could have been in deep doggy do doos. The prudent thing was to go to Cairns the day before= flights + hotel +3 hours in a plane. Not actually complaining about that. But the cruise. The Eden is a rebirthed ship. We had an inside, deck9 cabin. Not badly appointed. However & this was a 1st for us......no refrigerator. We had to order one through reception & could only have one if one was available. Went to have a shower. I live on property with only tank water. My pump put out a lot more pressure than what we had on board. 2nd night in during the wee hours there was a lot of loud noises that was coming from some machinery near our cabin. it was that loud & sounded like something was breaking down that after a while I was almost ready to report it to reception, then it quietened down. I made mention to our steward the next morning. He was unaware of anything but later in the day he told me that it was an ice machine(must have been a big one). if P&O are aware of these things you would think that they would inform you of this & maybe discount the cabins that are effected by the noise. A POINT of INTEREST for all serving & ex service members. We only found out about this after we had a serviceman's meet & greet on the 2nd day. You are entitled to some sort of cruise discount or on board credits. The cruise companies don't tell you but apparently they're there .Good on you P&O & Princess. I'm 4 cruises up now & it's the 1st I heard of it Food: No real complaints, I ate well, good variety, The main restaurant, 6.5/10. prefer to have set dinning. In port the restaurant was not open for lunch. Had to deal with the buffet or as they call it, the Pantry. Can get very crowded on port days & hard to find a table to sit & eat. Good idea, prefer this over the buffet style eating. No contamination by passengers with less than adequate personal hygiene, if you know what I mean. Main gripe with the food: the wife like a lot of people is gluten free. While meals in the main restaurant was not an issue, as she was able to pre order the next days meals. But up in the pantry, especially port days, when we came back from ashore at lunch time to have a bite to eat......there was next to nothing to eat ashore.....the selection of gluten free was very limited to say the least. I did talk to another passenger who was also GF & she was having a terrible time trying to get something to eat. I explained to her about pre ordering at the restaurant. Don't know how she went, but someone other that me should have explained to her. Maybe P&O could have assisted her before embarkation. Other disappointment: The theatre: Seats looked OK, until you sat down. on the hard side & after an hour or so show they were very uncomfortable. Also seating was a bit low: obstructed view from people in front of you & if they were moving around due to the uncomfortable factor it only compounded the situation. The cruise director: after each show it was the same old tiresome lines night after night. The shows were good & enjoyed them. The ship's staff rated highly, particularly our cabin steward. nothing was a hassle for him. I should mention ....Duty free......alcohol & cigs. Very limited in what they had in the way of alcohol & even though I no longer smoke it doesn't hurt to bring some home for those that do. But no Smokes at all. It was as though this cruise only had left overs from previous cruises. Last word on the ship: embarkation & disembarking in Cairns was via a steep gangway. My wife had cellulitis & hard for her to walk far let alone up or down a steep gangway. & a young lady behind us who has had numerous hip & knee replacements due to childbirth problems struggled badly. God knows how the elderly faired. PNG: 4 Stops. Alotau, Kirawina, Katava & Conflict Islands Alotau was the highlight of our trip. We organised our own private tour. We visited a bush school & bush village. We were welcomed & made to feel very special, as they don't normally have visitors. They welcomed us into the village with a ceremonial welcoming & the students sang us a song that they had practised for weeks. We brought them a heap of gifts for the school as they have absolutely nothing. We then travelled to another 2 villages, where we were given displays on traditional activities. We also took gifts to these villages. The only other activities in Alotau was a cultural & canoe festival. We didn't experience this as we had our own tour while it was on. I didn't hear many favourable reports on this from other passengers. Kirawina & katava . Not much there. swimming, snorkelling & markets. The markets consisted of villagers selling their wares. Conflict Islands, was more of an activity stop, not much interaction with natives One thing that struck me about PNG & this is only my own personal opinion. Tourism has ruined it. Everyone is after your money. people from kids up that want to take you somewhere & show you things to canoe rides, photos or any activity. They see the cruise ships come in & its one big cash cow. I'm all for helping people out & that's why we took gifts to the places we went to or buying the odd carving which might help out. In conclusion, would I use P&O again.....yes.... Would I sail on the Eden or its sister ship the Aria....No Would I go back to PNG.... Yes but depending on where in PNG. I would research the ports of call first. If it was anything like Kirawina or Kativa then the answer is No Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
My daughters mother-in-law and I needed to recharge our batteries before having to look after our grand daughters for the school holidays. The 4 night cruise was the perfect fit. The cabin was pretty good but that's about it. ... Read More
My daughters mother-in-law and I needed to recharge our batteries before having to look after our grand daughters for the school holidays. The 4 night cruise was the perfect fit. The cabin was pretty good but that's about it. HATED The Pantry, I've been on 10 other cruises and in comparison the choice of food, water, juice, tea and coffee on the Aria was extremely poor. The layout of the ship is pretty silly. In order to get to reception you need to go up one floor then down the next. It doesn't have good flow. The main swimming pool area was like a sauna, there was no ventilation. Passengers had a choice if they couldn't breath because of the humidity retained in that area they could leave but I felt extremely sorry for the staff as they had to suffer under those terrible working conditions. P & O need to look at what they can do to make some of those windows open up because having the roof opened did absolutely nothing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
A lot of people may jump down my throat with this review and may assume I am a high-maintenance traveller born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I'll preface this review by stating three things: 1. I have cruised P&O (Jewel) ... Read More
A lot of people may jump down my throat with this review and may assume I am a high-maintenance traveller born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I'll preface this review by stating three things: 1. I have cruised P&O (Jewel) before and had the time of my life; staff, cabin and food were excellent and I thought the cruises such grat value for money. 2. I'm a well-travelled person, having visited over 40 countries, have spent years in numerous forms of transport and accommodation (mainly budget, backpacker and lower-end), and have worked in the travel and tourism industry. 3. I'm a 30-something single who took this cruise with three likewise girlfriends for a relaxing week of cocktails, sun and fun with our only expectations to make the most of our drinks package. This could be a novel but instead I will list dot points: OVERALL Fellow passenger feedback confirmed with us that we were not the only ones on a 'National Lampoons' cruise from hell. Poor rooms, rude staff and terrible food were common themes echoed by many people we spoke to. One couple were on their fifteenth P&O cruise, fifth Pacific Dawn cruise, after having such a ball in previous years and reaffirmed ours was the worst cruise they had ever experienced and ended up leaving us halfway through as they were so disgusted. These people are not 'posh' 'silver spoon' clientele, they were a mix of middle income earners to lower income earners to even rural folk with no holiday or cruise experience. It led us all to find a phrase 'we got Dawned' everytime something bad happened. Which was how we kept our sanity and laughed where we could. THE ROOM - No air con in the cabin, therefore with no sleep happening we unfortunately spent our holiday overly tired, drained of energy and not relaxed as one should be on holiday. - We met numerous other passengers with no air con either and several with non-functioning toilets. One couple had their toilet overflow into their cabin. THE SPA My friend took advantage of the onboard advertised hairdresser special of foils, cut, style and treatment. The hairdresser caused second degree burns to my friend's scalp and ruined her hair. In three hours, she turned her blonde hair bright ginger with blue, then corrected it, then tried to neutralise it. My friend, in sobs of tears, left and I found her crying in our room. I took her back down and we spoke to the manager, who offered and OIL treatment for her burnt scalp. Basic first aid = never ever put oil on a burn. (Her scalp is now blistered and her hairdresser was able to partially rectify the colour damage). She got Dawned. THE FOOD - We dined at The Waterfront for the majority as we had done on the Jewel as we had thought what great quality it was. Not on the Dawn. Quality and service was markedly down. We had two fantastic staff we tried to book each night who went above and beyond. - Some smaller things we'd often laugh about but they did add up, for example raisons being used instead of blueberries in a blueberry dessert, an advertised prosciutto bagel arriving as a stale smoked salmon bagel, raison toast being plain white bread (as the raisons were assumedly used as blueberry substitutes), sour dough being the same stale white bread as the raison toast, rock hard bread rolls and general unfresh products across the board, sausage coming as a mashed up spam, chocolate creme brulee that had not an ounce of chocolate anywhere. Ordering beans and being told there were no beans, so ordering broccoli and beans coming out (!) Just a few examples! Got Dawned! - SALT: just divine food and great service however we were shocked that a fine dining restaurant would serve frozen oysters instead of fresh (the staff told us this). I would understand when fresh is not available and would therefore choose my dining times to coincide with ports when fresh oysters were availalble but would never, ever expected frozen. Not from fine dining. THE STAFF There were four staff onboard who we regularly interacted with who were just wonderful at their jobs. Sadly, compared to the Jewel, a lot seemed to just go through the morions, doing the bare minimum. They were friendly, but terrible at their jobs. We wondered if the Dawn might be a training ship? - One reception staff member, tasked with assiting us fix the broken air con in our room, was particularly rude and dismissive. They promised to set up a meeting with the manager however it was us as passengers who had to use our holiday time to continually visit reception to ask if this had been done (it took 4 days). He rang out room and abused my friend for something she knew nothing about. - My personal favourite was the reception staffer who phoned our room AFTER midnight asking if we would like a wake up call (lol). We got Dawned. - Bar staff's RSA was all over the place. Bar staff at one bar refused my friend a drink (it was her third) but served the 18 year old who skulled his drink in front of the bar and was obviously overly intoxicated. I can understand they are busy and make mistakes but again passengers talk and we found this was a common issue over the ship. - Another favourite: I orderd a gin and tonic and the waitress took my order, then two seconds later sitting right next to me my friend ordered a gin and soda and the waitresss said 'there is no gin'. More a funny than anything. She got Dawned. - Disembarkation staff: didn't check people's tickets getting off the ship and at one port, after we had left the ship on a shore excursion to Whitehaven Beach, a group of passengers altered the crew that they had been ushered onto the wrong boat. They didn't have ID stickers for the short cruise nor tickets so I am not sure how the P&O staff could have missed them. Due to this error we had to turn around to return them to their tender which unfortunately cut our tour shorter than it should have been. We got off the ship needing a holiday to recover from what should have been a holiday. I had had such great experiences on P&O previously so I was shocked a different ship could be so unbelievably polar opposite. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The time and was the main reason. the cost was low, but i was under the impression it was , reduced due to low booking rate. well, the basic eating area was like a food court, pigs to a trough. the supposed up market dining room looked ... Read More
The time and was the main reason. the cost was low, but i was under the impression it was , reduced due to low booking rate. well, the basic eating area was like a food court, pigs to a trough. the supposed up market dining room looked elegant and appealing. Food was not much better and took forever to arrive..people dressed up and but honestly it was like fake and more like fancy dress. for extra cost you could eat in the restaurant, food was actually very good .for a south pacific cruise there was NO FRESH SEAFOOD, dont expect even a prawn. ok the sea was not rough BUT the water in the pool sloshed everywhere so it was drained and NO POOL. pool deck was where smokers congregated en masse and was totally unbearable.we were near the stern and often went there but not enough deck chairs and often too hot. tender process for shore tours was ridiculous. cabin was actually better than i expected and staff magicially cleaned and tidied up without any fuss. the activities were for pensioners, bingo, name that tune honestly. shows were reasonable but few and far between. best thing were the jazz band. we went every night, even though we hate jazz. they were the only professionals on the entire boat. Ah drinks, watered down cheap spirits. we mainly stayed in the cabin or at the bar/reading area at front ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click