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1,397 P&O Australia Cruise Reviews

This was our 4th cruise and having had 3 other cruises which provided us with much better basics, we were very disappointed in this P&O cruise. The crew and staff were all friendly and attentive, no fault could be found with them, but ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise and having had 3 other cruises which provided us with much better basics, we were very disappointed in this P&O cruise. The crew and staff were all friendly and attentive, no fault could be found with them, but that can't make up for mediocre food and humdrum entertainment. We took this cruise expecting to relax in a semi-pampered atmosphere, thus we booked the balcony cabin. We were VERY impressed with: the embarkation procedure (organized, quick, painless) the way in which staff encouraged all diners to use the hand-cleaning dispensers (politely insistent) and were observed frequently throughout the day to be cleaning handrails and "touchable" surfaces in their admirable efforts to maintain healthy levels of cleanliness in that regard. However, the food selection at the Plantation restaurant for dinners and lunch were abysmal. Having 3 "different" leaf salads to choose from, the differences being the addition of one or two ingredients, seemed to stretch the term "selection". Just offer lettuce and allow guests to choose from a large variety of add-ons please instead of P&O picking the add ons. All too frequently the meats offered (lamb, beef, pork) were tough. Even in casseroles like the sweet & sour dish the pork was unpleasantly chewy. And who would enjoy a daily choice of three different flavors of gelatin for "dessert" options? Granted there were a few cakes and once I saw fruit tarts of some sort offered. But in an effort to impress the "pretty" cakes that were available often sat around as they were not necessarily tasty. Choices of simple flavors of chocolate, vanilla etc. would have probably gone over much better. And what about biscuits (cookies)? Nary a one the whole time. I am sure that there would have been plenty of folks wishing a small portable sweet to savor later. No puddings. No ice cream. Even a simple soft serve yourself machine would have been nice. But that brings me to another sticking point, the fact that P&O believes that a "nominal price" for a single scoop of ice cream is $5.00! My last criticism of Plantation was the substandard breakfast buffet which included slightly warmed bacon with fat mostly uncooked, VERY dry scrambled eggs, fried eggs that were too gelatinous from sitting under hot lights, and pancakes of inconsistent quality. The only day they were edible beyond a first bite was the day we left the cruise (Wednesday). The lowest point was being asked what kind of toast I wanted (wheat) and being given 2 pieces, both of which had 25x50cm of MOLD on them. We expected more from the Waterfront restaurant because it was going to be a proper sit-down dinner. However, the service was sub-standard which resulted in: not getting our orders correct, not being brought bread or butter until the meal was served or we asked for it, not getting drinks in a timely fashion, and finally food arriving only slightly warm. The best meal I had was one where I asked to have the salmon/ dilled potato entree (one slice of fish over a half cup of potatoes). Not being very hungry, and not wishing to waste food, I asked this to be served to me as my main an chose the chicken broth with vegetable wonton as my entree. When the salmon did arrive (at twice the size!) it was more cold than hot. I knew this was not correct as another diner at my table had this item as their entree and it arrived hot for them. Breakfast seemed to be a repeat of the selections at Plantation with the difference being that it was served individually. We did not dine at La Luna though we had a look at the menu and that evening there were only two non hot/ spicy options. As for Salt Grill, that WAS worth spending extra money on! Maria and Danny took care of our table and are to be commended for their professionalism and attention to detail. Both of them helped make our dining experience stellar that evening. I have NO issues with bar bills for various soft drinks or alcohol, but I found it annoying to be forced to pay for something to eat if I was feeling peckish or, in future, to know that I would have to bring my own snacks along on the cruise unless I was not going to be bothered by paying $6.95 for a small tube of Pringles. Enough about food, onto entertainment. According to what I read on the P&O website: The best cruises bring you unforgettable entertainment. As the stars sparkle in the night sky, so do the stars on stage. Every P&O Cruises ship features a choice of dazzling entertainment for your exclusive pleasure. Spectacular shows you won't see anywhere else. Actually I found it to be forgettable entertainment. Though clearly they tried, the quality just wasn't there. Perhaps there wasn't much to choose from at the time of booking but sadly the fact is that the stage performances were not even as good as some high school productions I've seen. I was struck by the lack of creativity, innovation, sophistication that I had previously enjoyed on other cruises. I do not need or desire anything so "high brow" but over-used humor, and high school antics, with a dose of double en tendres to "spice" things up seemed more suitable for a less intelligent adult audience. I found it unfortunate that there were two shows offered as a one time only option and those occurred during day tour times. Having seen a preview of the "magician" (who was predictable) it was of no great loss to have missed him. However, I feel the acrobats were performers that should not have been missed. And it would have been nice to have added another booking of that show during the time we spent outside of Noumea, given that many people did not disembark due to the lateness of our arrival hour. Having said all that, had the food and entertainment not been so abysmal we would have remained for the duration of the trip, rough seas aside. As it was, we did not take the tour we had paid for in Port Vila, and instead booked a flight back to Brisbane. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Just came back from 7night cruise to South Pacific Islands... Pacific Dawn is a fun ship to be on as it has entertainment all hours although some shows don't start till 11pm which was too late for us in the first few nights. The good ... Read More
Just came back from 7night cruise to South Pacific Islands... Pacific Dawn is a fun ship to be on as it has entertainment all hours although some shows don't start till 11pm which was too late for us in the first few nights. The good points was the bars and entertainment areas have been freshened up and look great. nick and Zoltina J the Entertainment director are an excellent team and brought laughter and good times with them wherever they were on the ship. I would go back on just for their entertainment. The rooms are a bit dated and they could use new mattreses and their are no tissues in the rooms. (even three star hotels have tissues) we had to blow our noses on toilet paper which doesn't look good in main dining room. drinks are about $8.40 for basic spirits, $9.90 to $11.90 for cocktails and basic beers in stubbies $5.50. The buffet would be one of the worst on a cruise shipmate have encountered and the staff don't speak very much English so can't get you something like lemon for the fish. (why don't ships put a little bowl of lemon out with fish dishes) I'm not a foodie but it was bad. If you want cold cut meat you could get it morn noon and night....and it looked to be same stuff just more dried out. Two thirds of deserts were same every day and had no taste so you didnt bother unless you really like jelly in a bowl. No ice-cream on board unless you went to dining room or paid five dollars a scoop at ice cream parlour. The tours purchased onboard were rip offs we got off at new caledonia. And got on the little trains for thirty dollars a person where the ship charged $79 a person. Over 50% profit to p&o what a rip off. We had restricted view room so we could buy more drinks with money saved. I wouldn't do this again as I had an audience when I got out of the shower to get dressed with staff in the tenders doing checks and getting woken up at 5.30am with staff in workbooks walking past ur window. If p&o just got little less stingy and fixed buffet and few small things it would have been a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
This was our second cruise. It was a food and wine short break only 4 days. We thought it was a great opportunity to try out P&O and see if we like it. It was 16 of us family and friends. We had a fantastic time!!It is realy a party ... Read More
This was our second cruise. It was a food and wine short break only 4 days. We thought it was a great opportunity to try out P&O and see if we like it. It was 16 of us family and friends. We had a fantastic time!!It is realy a party boat! Embarkation was smooth and pleasant (Barangaroo) took around 20 minutes to get on-board. Our room was ready when we got there around 1.30 pm.Rooms are spacious with good size bathroom (but old style) plenty of room to hang n put things away. Clean but could use a little bit of TLC. Sail away party was the best.Bit crowded but was absolutely full of good viber. There are plenty of bars, and a good size theather.I have to say entertaiment was absoultly great! Fantastic! Music everywhere and good programs. The ship is smaller cruise ship therefore evrything is more smaller and not as spacious around the ship as it was on the other cruise ship. Hardly any windows!! The center is only 3 decks high and dark. The pool area n the upper deck walikg track are pretty good. Plenty of things are happening there. Main dinning was good but only because we were with friends. Food would have been just amezing if it was the right temperature. They served very nice food but they were just warmish. Service is very poor in the main restaurant. Waiters are not smilling or making any effort to make u feel special ......they just do their job put the plate infront of you. Personly I found that very hard to comprehend cos on our first cruise was just 4 weeks earlier with a different cruise line, where we were treated like Royalities !:) The buffet is small and crowded most of the times. Food was average there, And yet again the shaking from the ship's propeller. Cocktails were not as good n full of ice! Not as much option to dine around or have a snack after hours. On jewel there is charge for pizza (was very odd). I had a felling that U acctully end up spending more while cruising with this cruise line. Also the back of the ship n sometimes the AFT of tshe ship shakes like........a spring u just pressed down. Constantly shaking!From the ship's propeller . Imagen the vibration of an electric toothbrush.It was annoying very much so. The restaurants are there (back) and the oasis which is a bar with chairs u can just relax......but u can't cos of the shaking. The thing is we had a fantastic time with our friends n relatives. But the 3 nighter was just enough. With friends and family for a good party and a few days I would sail on her again anytime. I would not consider to sail on her again just the two of us or for a longer trip.(Although they have great itineraries.) But would go again with friends and family on a short break like this was anytime because somehow we did have a great time after all. We are cruising soon and I will keep you posted. Thank you for reading   Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We've been on seven cruises with four different lines and this was disappointing in comparison. Pacific Dawn - 7 nights, Queensland tropical coast. WHAT WE LIKED Staff were obliging, had great English, and were diligent. From ... Read More
We've been on seven cruises with four different lines and this was disappointing in comparison. Pacific Dawn - 7 nights, Queensland tropical coast. WHAT WE LIKED Staff were obliging, had great English, and were diligent. From the cabin stewards through to the cleaning staff, all were thorough and provided great service. The Kid's club staff were lovely. The food in the restaurant was good and Luke Mangan's was great (worth $40 per head). If you want to pay an additional $95 per head, the Chef's Table is fabulous - best experience on the ship. The Cirque de Solei (please excuse spelling) shows were amazing. The Pacific Entertainers provided two excellent shows. Self service laundry is fantastic (particularly with a family of four.) Embarkation and disembarkation, effortless and efficient. The ports were fantastic - particularly Pontoon Reef tour with Quicksilver at Port Douglas. Book directly with tour guide as P&O double your costs for this tour. Same with Skyrail and Kuranda at Cairns. Prebook or hire a taxi and pay when you get there - a third of the price! WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE About 95% of all on-board entertainment was geared towards selling P&O services and products. Pay, pay, pay. Am not sure what the Cruise Director does besides promote P&O Products. Most adult onboard entertainment which was 'free', was late at night, after 10.30pm. Understand the rationale. No food on offer, so pay, pay, pay, and it encourages drinking all day and night! Being kicked off the outer decks at 5.30pm (sun still shining and seas calm) to be herded into the interior of the ship. The Buffet - DO NOT GO THERE. Worst buffet we have EVER experienced and shuts at 9pm, so for hungry teenagers - who of course missed dinner because they had 'better things to do', by the time 10pm and onwards comes, they are hungry and only alternative is to flash the card and pay, pay, pay. PHOTOS - every nook and cranny was stuffed with photo studios, and every onboard activity was snapped, eating, drinking, walking, talking - you get the picture - ha ha. Photos were expensive - no packages offered, in comparison with other cruises who most certainly have this option. No dining packages, no drinks packages - so pay, pay, pay, for every single thing. Art auction - awful. Cabins, new carpet - good, rest of interior dated, but clean. Kids club. Both boys were at HQ 11-14. They enjoyed the other kids and the staff, but... one air hockey table - no puck by day three. Three only playstations for around 70 kids - easter time. Nothing else on offer in terms of facilities. One ping pong table on pool deck which was shared with every other kids club and adults. Not good - really not good in comparison with other lines. So... in summary. If P&O is your first cruise - I believe you will have a great time, but for those who have something to compare it with, Pacific Dawn will leave you wishing that you had sailed on one of those 'other' lines. We most certainly did! Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Embarkation was quick & trouble free as we had the help of staff at the terminal for my 86 yr old mum with her wheelie walker. It was unfortunate that we (and others with disabilities) were expected to walk right around the building ... Read More
Embarkation was quick & trouble free as we had the help of staff at the terminal for my 86 yr old mum with her wheelie walker. It was unfortunate that we (and others with disabilities) were expected to walk right around the building past the buses to the mini bus at the back of the carpark for transport to Fisherman's island wharf. Our room was a disability room #8106 which was spacious, well fitted out & clean when we arrived. We were only a few doors from the casino but this was about the only noise we didn't hear. There must have been children in the corridor above as we had a " herd of elephants" coming through the ceiling every time they ran to their cabin. We didn't need to go to the bars on deck 7 as we could hear every word sung by their entertainers at night. There was plenty of food in the buffet & the staff were very quick to offer mum help with her tray. There were many times when most things (including roast potatoes when lamb roast was served) were covered in chilli or other spices. This made it hard for those who cant eat spicy food. It is so easy to provide a sauce to be added to food but impossible to remove it. Having cruised on Sun Princess 18months earlier I find it impossible not to compare the two experiences. The entertainment was a standout difference. The quality & number of choices of both daytime & nightime entertainment on Pacific Dawn were disappointing. The in room TV could have had a movie on it during the day for those who were feeling a bit too seedy to sit on top deck. The same episode of Packed with the Rafters was on every day & 2 years old. There was too much reliance on karaoke & talent quest to provide what the entertainment crew are being paid for. Unfortunately the weather was bad so we had rough seas & strong winds for the 7 days with only a few hours of calm seas. This could not be avoided but P & O could have done a lot more to entertain the passengers who were unable to do what they had paid their money for. We arrived in Noumea 3 hours late which made sightseeing tours a waste of money. There wasn't much provided for those who were unable to use the pools due to the rough seas. As I didn't have children on the cruise I cant comment on the kids clubs but there were a lot of kids with their parents during the day which we didn't see on Princess. Missing out on our days in port was disappointing but safety must come first. We did go to Champagne Bay which was lovely but I waited for over an hour in the queue to return to the ship. The tender boats were operating but not full on each trip. Fortunately all those waiting did so with good humour & we were able to stand in the shade of the huge trees. It would have been difficult on a hot day. Thanks to the help of the staff we had a super easy disembarkation when we arrived in Brisbane even if we were an hour later than our requested time & second last to leave the ship. Mum is pleased that she has faced her fears & survived the cruise ( she has had a fear of boats all her life)but we are both disappointed with the cruise itself. I will cruise again but probably not with P & O. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Firstly we has some rough weather, actually very rough, apparently very unusual for this time of the year. We were 3 hours late out of Brisbane, 3 hours late into Noumea, we missed Lifou and port Villa, but made it to Champagne Bay, all ... Read More
Firstly we has some rough weather, actually very rough, apparently very unusual for this time of the year. We were 3 hours late out of Brisbane, 3 hours late into Noumea, we missed Lifou and port Villa, but made it to Champagne Bay, all due to bad weather. But we had a great cruise. To be fair we went on a cruise to be on the ship, not really minding where we went, we hadn't really intended to get off and had no tours booked.On the Friday before we left P and O made a decision to embark from fishermans island instead of Port Side. Firstly I received a text, then a phone call, then an e-mail and there was a note on the Facebook site. Rumours ran riot as to why. There was a very strong wind warning for Brisbane and this was the reason given. With all the extra effort P & O had to go through for this I don't think it would have been a decision made lightly.Embarkation - we got to port side around 1.30pm for our 2pm check-in. It looked chaotic, but it actually was very smooth. We had to fill in a health questionnaire and immigration form. We then checked-in. We had our photo taken, given our cruise card and sip information and Pacific Daily, and a boarding number. When our number was called we went through security and onto a bus for a ride over to fishermans island. This was a little difficult as we had hand luggage and had to carry this on our laps, with handbags, etc. when we got to fishermans island it was through immigration (if the immigration lady had a personality it would have been lonely - she was very rude and felt sorry for people from overseas who may have received this treatment from an Australian. Then through security (checked our had luggage for alcohol as I had bottles of mineral water) and onto the ship. We went straight to our room, and our luggage was waiting. Our room steward Peter introduced himself and asked if we had any special requests. So by 3pm we were on board and unpacked. Even though it was a late check-in lunch was still provided. We ate a snack at the Plantation restaurant (the buffet), which was beautiful. Sail away party on the top deck and we were off.Cabin - we were in cabin 10163 deck 10, balcony cabin. The cabin was spotlessly clean, well equipped and of a good size. The bathroom was good with a shelf and two cabinets behind the mirrors. There was plenty of hanging space, a lot and coat hangers, and heaps of draws. We stacked our suit cases under the hanging space. There is only one power point so I would recommend taking a power board and we took an extension cord as well as my husband had a C-Pap machine. Our Cain was cleaned twice a day, with fresh towels if you wanted them. We had towel animals, and chocolates at turn down each night.Food - we ate at the Plantation Restaurant for all of our meals. This suited us, and what we wanted. It was great to be able to try a little bit of everything. I tried food that I have never tasted before and would never order in a restaurant because I didn't know if I would like it our not. Breakfast - there were a large number of cereals to choose from, then cheese and cold meats, juice, fresh fruit (beautiful) , toast, and then Danishes (oh I am going to miss them). Then there was the hot food. Scramble eggs, sausages, potatoes, bacon, porridge, boiled eggs, baked beans, fried eggs, pancakes. Tea, coffee, milk and water was also available. My husband likes his coffee, and was very happy with the (free) coffee, Nescafé. There was a large variety of teas. The tea, coffee and water was available all the time. Lunch - there was usually a different theme every day, for example Mexican, Asian etc. you started with salads, individual items, then made up salads eg. Coleslaw, potato salad, and pasta salad. Then there were two different bread rolls made up, followed by cheese and cold meats and fresh fruit. Then the deserts - yum! There was always jelly and an assortment of other deserts. They were small, but I thought this was good as you could have a selection. Then there was the hot food, there was always a large selection. Over the cruise we had different flavoured rice, casseroles, enchiladas, stir fries, pasta dishes, roast meat, and lots of other things I can't remember now. Dinner - again this started with salads, followed by cheese, and crackers, then fresh fruit, deserts, bread rolls and hot food. There was always veggies, pasta, a meat dish, fish, roast meat and a special dish. We found the food always fresh and hot. It tasted lovely and there was a lot of flavour. Most of the time we had no trouble getting a table. Night time was harder as part of the restaurant was divided off for the Asian speciality restaurant, which I didn't think fair. When the weather was good it was nice to eat outside. For the sail away and island night they had a BBQ on the pool deck. We also got some snacks at The Grill, here you can pay for extra things like pizzas, hamburgers, chips etc. we got a late night snack of chips which was $2 for a large bowl. There were also two coffee shops. A coffee was $3.50, iced coffees $4 and large cookies were $2. There was also the New Zealand ice cream - ice cream cones, sundries, milkshakes. At $9.50 for a large (regular really) thick shake it was a bit pricey. Entertainment - wow. The shows were fantastic. Night 1 was a little show just giving you a taste of what was coming in the days ahead - Pacific Entertainers comedy, and pacific cirque. Night 2 was a Motown performance. This was great, considering how much the boat was moving (I couldn't walk in a straight line) I don't know how they managed to dance so well, with high heals on! Night 3 was the comedian/magician he was really good. Night 4 was the pirate show, this had audience precipitation and was great. Before the show started all the little kids walked through all dressed up like pirates singing a pirate song. Night 5 was the singing game show (you didn't have to be able to sing, just have some knowledge about songs) where you could win a cruise. This was also the night the Pacific Cirque performed this was incredible to say the least. DONOT miss this show. The best spot was deck 6 in the atrium. This was the highlight of the entertainment. Night 6 was the crew entertainment. This was good and ok. The Pacific Cirque and Pacific entertainers performed again and some other acts by the crew. It was really rough so they all did really well. The last night was the final of the karaoke, we missed this, not our thing. All of the shows has a 7.30pm and 9.30pm time slot. We usually got there about 7pm for the early show and had coffee or cocktails. Our entertainment director was Gemma, she was fantastic. Always full of energy, and smiling and happy and loved to tell us a story after each show. I actually spoke to here ashore in Noumea, and even off duty so to speak, she was still happy to have a chat.Ports - well we were 3 hours late into Noumea due to and weather and it was wet and windy when we got here. All the tours had been cancelled except for the sunset bus tours. Unfortunately by the time everyone got off the ship and the tours got away it was basically dark, then it rained, so there was not much to see. People I knew who went on the tour were not happy and got half their money back. We got off for a walk on "solid" ground. We walked up and around the park and had coffee in a small cafe in the park 'Lannexe' it was lovely, the people were very friendly. They take australian dollars, but no coin and change in given in pacific franc. Coffees were $7 each. We then went to the 'Casino' the local supermarket for some supplies. It was very busy, dirty and very expensive. They take australian dollars, but who new the exchange rate, and change in given in francs. We bought 2 packets of Pringles, two small packets of nuts, and a 6 pack of small bottles of mineral water = $30 australian, a bit much I think. Anyway we know now. Admittedly we only went into the centre of town, but for the short time we had there I would not get off again. The place was dirty, and the people rude. Maybe out of town it was different, but we did not get the chance to see. We then had Lifou cancelled due to bad weather. The captain decided to head to port villa straight away and try and beat the weather there, unfortunately we didn't get there in time and were unable to berth. Disappointing for some, but not really that bad. I think it was a hard decision for the captain to make, but he had to think of our safety. We then headed to Champagne Bay. Some of the passengers were really happy with this as it is a beautiful spot. A tender port. The water was warm and inviting. Many passengers snorkelled. The locals were lovely and very friendly. They had a marked set up with sarongs, jewellery, and other clothes and souvenirs. The weather was overcast and humid. It was nice on the pool deck for the afternoon and a swim (yes the water was a bit cool).It was island night tonight with a BBQ and entertainment by the pool, the later entertainment had to be moved into the dome nightclub, a bit disappointing, but unavoidable.Other Entertainment - there was lots to do or nothing if that's what you wanted. There were exercise classes and spa treatments and the gym, which all cost extra. There was bingo, martini classes, wine appreciation classes, a lot of weight loss and cosmetic classes, trivia, karaoke, origami, dance classes, knitting classes, art lectures and art actions, a virtual bridge tour and a cooking lecture and tour of the galley, there was an afternoon, early evening and late night movie on the big screen on the pool deck, there were also a lot of games on the pool deck, unfortunately most of these were cancelled due to the poor weather, and a lot more I can't think of. Lounges - we loved the dome. It was great sitting in the comfy lounges looking out over the front of the ship. Hubby even had a nice doze there one morning. We also liked the area outside the orient bar, the oasis (adults only) and outside the coffee shop on deck 5. It was lovely on the pool deck. The pool was open twice, but even though it was a bit rocky you could get out of the wind and sit in deck chairs or at table and chairs and watch everything going on. There were alway wait staff here to take you orders for drinks of coffee.Drinks - a xxxx Gold (in a can) was $5.50. A corona was $7.95 and cocktails were from $9.95 to 11.95. Coffee (speciality) $3.50. Duty Free - because we didn't stop in Port Villa there was a rush on duty free alcohol. Some items sold out. It is a lot cheaper than Australia, but apparently cheaper in Port Villa. Some people very VERY upset they had run out of some items, but it wasn't anyone's fault we didn't stop in Villa, and maybe they shouldn't have left their order till the last day. The 'special' market as not that cheep. I couldn't see too much difference in prices. Some must have as there as a lot of 'bad' behaviour here (the older cruise lady can get quite pushy when there might be a discount available). Duty free perfume wasn't that cheep. My perfume is a $20 cheaper in Australia not duty free. There were brand name handbags and surf wear, but I couldn't tell you if this was cheep or not.Photos - there were photographers taking photos at varies places. The photos are then displayed and you can purchase them or not. There were photos for embarkation, sail away party, getting off the ship in port, and formal nights, island night, cowboy night and pirate night, you get the idea. We took advantage of the portrait sitting and got some beautiful photos. They were $30.00 each or buy 4 and get the 5th one free. The other photos were about $20, but there were a lot of package deals available. I also purchased a lovely 'pacific Dawn' phot from for $12.50. There we two types of complaints in this area, some said they were trying to take your photo ALL THE TIME or there wasn't enough people taking photos. We had outer photo taken as many times as we wanted. Yes they asked if your photo taken but if you didn't you could politely decline and that as fine. They were not pushy or rude. The photography people were great. I had a problem with my own camera and they were very helpful in trying to fix it. Unfortunately it couldn't be fixed, yet they didn't push any products on me.Shops - there was lots of souvenirs available and they were pricey. There was also snacks, chips and lollies, again pricey. The post cards were 50c which I thought was ok. Staff - fantastic is the only way to describe them. Our cabin steward was lovely. He was very good and always smiling and happy. He gave us good advice and looked after us. The bar staff were also great. They have fantastic memories and would always remember your drink. They never spilt anything even in the rough seas, I guess they were used to it. The reception staff were great. I think they may have had to put up with a lot of complaints but they were still smiling and happy to serve you. The captain was continually given us updates as to the weather and our situation. The cruise director was lovely and the wait staff in the Buffett great. The whole time we were sailing staff were cleaning, walls, handrails, toilets, floors, tables all being cleaned all the time. We had been told there was a few people confined to cabins on the previous cruise because so illness, but there was no sign of it on our cruise. People were sea sick, a different thing.We didn't have any children so didn't take advantage of the children's club. Apparently there was 350 kids on board, but we didn't see that much of them. Disembarkation - this was easy! A few days into the cruise we were asked if we had any special time for disembarkation, we filled in a form, and received a letter telling us of our disembarkation time, and luggage tags. We put our luggage out the night before. We got up in the morning, collected our duty free, had breakfast, collected our carry-on luggage from our room, and met in our designated area. We waited here and then given the ok to leave the ship. We 'clocked' off with our cruise cards, made our way to our luggage, which was all lined up neatly, through immigration and customs (just had to walk through) and we were off. So easy. I think it might have been that easy to embark if we had been able to get on at port side.In closing we had had a great cruise. We ate, relaxed, were entertained, and enjoyed ourselves. Yes we had bad weather, but you can't control that. We didn't get seasick, we were prepared. We had started taking Avomine two days before we left and every day on the ship. Some people said it did not work, but they didn't start taking them till they were sick. A few people have made so really bad complaints about Pacific Dawn. I had read them before booking and was really worried. I shouldn't have been. This was a cheaper cruise. Yes the ship is a little tired and yes things on board are expensive - they are on all shops. But the staff were fantastic. We had tissues in our cabin, lots of fresh clean towels, hand towels, face washers and beach towels. The food was lovely, I can't imagine how they feed that many people every day. The food was fresh and inventive, tasty and hot. The ship was also very, very clean!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Background Information - We picked this cruise as we were travelling with friends that enjoy a good meal and a glass (or two) of wine. We have cruised before and wanted our friends to catch the bug. Sadly, the fittings and fixtures of this ... Read More
Background Information - We picked this cruise as we were travelling with friends that enjoy a good meal and a glass (or two) of wine. We have cruised before and wanted our friends to catch the bug. Sadly, the fittings and fixtures of this vessel are not in the luxury standard and they were a little disappointed. Ship Information - the ship is not in the luxury class and is showing signs of wear. The staff are friendly and make you cruise as hassle free as possible. Activities - as this was billed as a Food and Wine cruise you had to book early or rush to get good seats for the free activities. The 4 Ingredient ladies were the highlight of the trip. The wine was a sad runner up. With the amount of great Australian wineries and or wine regions this was disappointing. Cabin - the usual - our room steward decorated or door for our anniversary -- nice touch. Dining - the food was O.K not great, but I did not have to cook or wash up, so it was time to relax and chat with friends. Entertainment - the movie under the stars was an experience. A big screen with the stars above - magic.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Let me start off by saying I was the last person who thought i would be going on a cruise but i have to say it was the most amazing thing i could of done! Once you get onto the ship there is nothing left to do, just sit back and relax! you ... Read More
Let me start off by saying I was the last person who thought i would be going on a cruise but i have to say it was the most amazing thing i could of done! Once you get onto the ship there is nothing left to do, just sit back and relax! you don't have to worry about checking into hotels or anything! We went on a 4 night cruise on a P&O Australia boat called the Pacific Jewel. It only had one port of call and that was Morton island, just off Queensland Australia. Let me start by telling you about the ship, We forked out and got a window room and it was great! lots of room and very neat and tidy(not to mention the amazing view), It was plenty off room for me and my partner even a nice size bathroom. We were on the 5th floor and i prob wouldn't go any higher then that as it was perfect because you couldn't really feel any rockiness at all. After i finished unpacking we went from one side of the ship to another to check it out and it exceeded all my expectations. The ship was tidy and well looked after. There was an array of bars, dining options, and boutique shops, not to mention the extensive selection of entertainment. My first stop was the buffet for lunch and i was instantly impressed with the spread. They had everything from roast dinner to Indian cuisine, hamburgers and chips and also a fresh fruit bar and a dessert bar. After lunch i headed back to my room and found the daily news paper so i started planning my day. There so much to choose from that there was not enough hours in the day. Anything from art to cocktail making classes(i highly recommend doing the cocking making class at mix bar), live shows, dance classes and more. One of the highlights for me was watching Beyonce on the big screen on top of the deck. I also participated in the on board trivia and karaoke which seemed quite fun for everyone. At night we chose to dine in the on board restaurant which had a lovely reoccurring menu available everyday accompanied by a menu of daily specials that changed everyday. This makes every dining experience different everyday. So in conclusion the pacific jewel provided an excellent first cruise experience. I would have no hesitations recommending this ship to my family and friends and anyone else who is thinking of going on a cruise with P&O. I love everything that it had to offer and it made my 21st birthday a very memorable time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We just recently went on a cruise to Moreton Island from leaving Sydney a group of 10 of us sailed on the pacific jewel. we did not realise it was going to be a lifestyle cruise as previous when we sailed on the pacific jewel it was just a ... Read More
We just recently went on a cruise to Moreton Island from leaving Sydney a group of 10 of us sailed on the pacific jewel. we did not realise it was going to be a lifestyle cruise as previous when we sailed on the pacific jewel it was just a normal cruise with lots to find and do. But this time we found that there did not seem to have enough entertainment and did not have a lot of things we are interested in doing so some of us were a little disappointed with the way the pacific daily had been thought of. we had nice days on the cruise but when we arrived at Moreton bay we were faced with liquid sunshine for the entire day from unboarding on the tenders to the time we finally sailed away that afternoon. myself and four other of our family went and done the quad bike tour on the single quad's, in the rain. we found it good but pity we did not go for a little bit of a longer period of time as by the time we got up to the sand dunes and different people got stuck and nearly toppled off it took up our quality time to enjoy the amazing view and the thrill of riding through the sand dunes to then come back and hop off. I was lucky to ride the quad bike as having two artificial limbs I thought I might not be able to hold on as well as I did but I rode it quite well and quite surprised at the end result. the tour guides for this tour where quite helpful which helped the tour run smoothly. The most exciting part of our cruise was to be able to go and visit the captain and to have a photo taken with the captain in the atrium. we had some first time cruisers with us on this cruise and it made it easier for them for travelling with us as we had already been on this ship before. So the overall food and waiting staff was quite good but not as excellent as they had previously been on our first cruise we where a little disappointed as they should of known how many people they where going to be expecting on this cruise and to the quality of service they where going to give to their cruisers. know we are looking to see where we are going to cruise to next the bug is quite catching. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Before I begin my review, I will apologize for my comparisons to Princess Cruises. We have sailed 4 times with Princess and this was the first time with P & O, so you can undterstand why I make comparisons. I had read some pretty ... Read More
Before I begin my review, I will apologize for my comparisons to Princess Cruises. We have sailed 4 times with Princess and this was the first time with P & O, so you can undterstand why I make comparisons. I had read some pretty scathing reviews before we went, so I was prepared for some of the shortfalls. But for the most part, I was pleasantly surprised. Having said that, with a few small improvements, the experience with P & O could have been fantastic. Embarkation: Brisbane. We flew up from Melbourne the day before and stayed at the Airolodge Hotel. Brilliant place to stay and the staff were so helpful. The Brisbane terminal was really well organized, with friendly direction from staff in attendence. Just be patient - they are trying to board around 2,000 passangers. Check in all your luggage. No need to be carrying on anything but your essentials. We saw people struggling with tote bags & small trolley bags. Got no idea why. At Brisbane tehre are stairs to negotiate when boarding. There is a lift, but that fills up elderly passengers. The sail away was lods of fun. We had a beautiful day to sail down the Brisbane River & off to sea. Our bags were waiting for us & we unpacked quickly before we hit the open ocean. Do this if you can. Sea sickeness can come on from bending down to unpack your case. Accomodation: Mini Suite Our Mini Suite was spacious. Heaps of drawers & hanging space. Lovely ouinge area. However, I'd never pay the extra money again, it just wasn't worth it. P & O refurbished the Suites & Mini Suites on Pacific Dawn, but didn't do the bathrooms. Our bathroom was in pretty bad nick. The grouting & sealant had worn away on the floor & around the vanity & toilet. Our toilet flooded (it happens) luckily it flushed o.k., but just kept re-filling, so clean water. We got it to stop & mopped up, but we still ended up with pools of water everywhere. I realized it was seeping up from under the tiles, because there was no sealant b/w the tiles. I pointed it our to our cabin steward & maintence came & sealed the gaps in the floor tiles within a few hours. But still....surely that shuld be an ongoing maitenence check. Just be aware that you have step over the bath to get into the shower in the moni suits. Not that easy for older people. The balcony was a disappointment. The diagrams on the website makes it look much deeper than it is. We couldn't get the deck chairs to face out so we could sit side by side, because the balcony wasn't wide enough. Dining: We always enjoy dressing for dinner & going to the dinig room. Our first night was poor. The waiters were rushed off their feet & barely spoke to us. The second night we were put on another table, where we had wonderful wait staff, so we re-booked this table every night. Now this was a huge pain and I have no clue why P & O do this. We went through the processes to have that table, but had to ring the dinig room to confirm the booking each night. If they had set sittings, like Princes & other lines do, there would be no need for that. We still had to re-confirm the same sitting time each phone call anyway, so why not just have 2 sittings - early & late & be done with all the mucking around? Maybe because they only have the one dining room?? The food was really sub parr comapared to what we've had before. My husband even sent back a piece of Sword Fish that was rubber & bounced. I had tasteless lasagne, which was really just mince meat with a sheet of pasta on top. How can you muck up Lasagne?? The biggest bug bare was the lack of veggies & salads. You could order a side dish of veggies, but thy had the most random choices ie/ brussell sprouts or peas. A whole dish of just peas or brussell sprouts!! No green beans or broccoli - all of which keep well when refridgerated. The buffet was o.k. We ended up eating there for breakfast & lunch, because the dining room was boring!! The same menu day in, day out for breakfast & lunch. On Princess they have an 'everday' selection & then a daily specials selection. Don't know why they didn't have this on P & O. So our overall dining experience was lack-luster really. If they just had better veggie selections & more choice in the dining room, it would have been so much better. We had a night at Salt Grill. Absolutley fantastic. A must do. What you get for just $40/head is supurb. Service & food both. On the last night we did the Chef's table. What a wonderful experience. Cost us $90/head for a degustation meal. Worth it. Entertainment: The shows on board were brilliant!!!! Here we go - so much better than what we'd seen on Princess (at last a positive comaprison). The cirque troupe were spectacular. You must see them if you're sailingn with P & O. They are usually on quite early though, so take note of your daily newslettr. The bands they had on board were also fantastic. So were the comedians. Ports of Call: Luganville: We did a tour with a local company that I booked before going (we paid on the day) Paradise Tours was Fabulous - I highly reccomend them. Don't book through the ship - so much more expensive. Luganville is a large town, so do a shore tour here. Make sure you go to one of the many blue holes in the area. We went to Oyster Island on our tour for luch - just wonderful. Wala Lovely beach. Take some frisbies etc for the kids to play with. We spent quite a bit of time & had heaps of fun with the local kids just throwing frisbies & such with them. Massages & market stalls set up by the locals here. Champagne Bay One of the best beaches in the world. Just beautiful. Again markets & also a couple of bars, where you can buy the local beer or wine/champagne. Port Vila Best place in the Pacific for Duty Free shopping. The large emporium will send your purchases back to the ship for you & it will be ready for you to collect on the last day. We did a snorkelling tour from here with Sail Away Cruises. Sensational snorkelling. Otherwise - from Port Vila, there are the Water Falls, which we had been to before. A must see. Mystery Island What a beautiful surprise. Gorgeous beach here too. Now one of my favorite places. Also markets etc. Chill & enjoy, or walk & explore this little gem. Isle of Pines More established here. We took a local tour, which we found on the day. Lots of local tour companies waiting to take you around. More 'up market' markets, with some beautiful hand crafted jewelery. Tips - sign up for Martini Demo/sampling & Chapagne tasting. If you want to have a night at Salt Grill, book the 'Celebration Package'. For $150 you get a dinner at Salt Grill for 2, a box of chocolates & a bottle of Moet & $50 cruise credit. Great value. If you are doing a cruie around Vanuatu, take reef shoes. Some of the beaches have coral & rocks to negotiate. In summary, we had a great time. Onshore & onboard. The wait staff were lovely & you tend to find the ones who will respoond to your humour etc & strike up a rapour with. The dining wasn't that flash and our mini suite was a little disappointing, but at the end ot day - you get waht you pay for.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
This was our first cruise. We took our two adult daughters to visit Port Vila, Lifou and the Isle of Pines and were expecting lots of interesting activities, lovely cabins, good food and great service. The good points were the Waterfront ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We took our two adult daughters to visit Port Vila, Lifou and the Isle of Pines and were expecting lots of interesting activities, lovely cabins, good food and great service. The good points were the Waterfront Restaurant with 5 star food and service and attentive, friendly waitstaff. Our waitress remembered our names from the very beginning, no matter where she was working, and was an absolute delight. When one of us was sick, she put together a plate of cheese and biscuits to take back to the cabin. At the end of the cruise, she hugged us all as we said goodbye. She was an absolute asset to P & O, as was the cabin steward and other waiters. The food in the buffet was a bit hit and miss - lovely breakfasts but pretty ordinary food the rest of the day. My rating of 3 for dining is really an average between the Buffet and the Waterfront Restaurant. The evening productions (musical theatre and circus performances) were outstanding and we enjoyed the trivia quizzes, however unfortunately there was very little else of interest and we struggled to 'fill in' the day. There is only so much reading you want to do for 6 sea days! There were very few movies for adults and unless you got there 30 minutes before they started, you couldn't get a seat. Many of the activities cost extra or were talks designed to sell the ship's products or services, such as the spa. How often do you want to listen to what to do about your wrinkles and puffy eyes? This talk seemed to be on every day. If you like gambling at the casino and playing Bingo, that could have occupied a lot of your time but if that's not your thing, then there wasn't much else. Bridge was on at 8am each day and unhosted - so if you turned up and three other people did at that crazy hour, you might have a foursome for bridge. Dancing classes didn't happen for the first few days and then started on the days people were on shore. There were no interesting talks as on other cruises we've heard about, e.g. on the history and culture of the places we were visiting. There seemed to be a big emphasis on making money from the expensive alcohol (apart from the cocktails which were cheaper than bars at home). We spoke to quite a few people who had cruised on that very ship or with other P & O ships and all of them said that the standard of this one was disappointing compared to other cruises. They all said that the number of activities had really reduced, there wasn't enough to do and things that were previously free now cost extra. Some also said the emphasis seemed to be more on drinking alcohol "because that's where they make all their money". The ship was in need of refurbishment in many areas where it looked 'tired' and 'old'. Our cabin, 11150, was a mini-suite with balcony on Deck 11, the highest level of cabin on the highest deck, so the most expensive. Our daughters were in a cabin with window down the passage from us. Although our cabin was a good size with a very comfy bed and good quality linen, the carpets were stained and the tiles in the bathroom were badly cracked. However the greatest problem we had was the noise of the cabin. I can't believe that I just read a review of a cabin on the same deck written in April 2011 complaining of the same noise for the same reason! I wish I'd read it before leaving. Obviously this hasn't been addressed in the last two years. 11150 was under the open deck with pools. Every day and night we heard deck chairs being moved for long periods of time while staff stacked them and put them out, or people dragged tables and chairs around. We mentioned this to Reception but they were completely disinterested. On top of this, we heard all the music from the bands playing on deck which wasn't too bad until one night when the noise was reverberating off our walls and ceiling. Fortunately it stopped at 11.30 pm but not too good with sick members of the family. It appears that the ceiling wasn't insulated at all. We also had an excessive, odd noise in the air conditioning for about 2 days and one night: the incessant 'beeping' overnight prevented sleep altogether. Fortunately it righted itself and the maintenance staff did investigate. The cabin also creaked and groaned all night with the swell! Our daughters' cabin further up the passage (11196) had no noise from the deck above (they were under the restaurants) but the air conditioning fan appeared to be on 'high' for the entire cruise. They were told that all the cabins had air conditioning like that, which obviously wasn't true. We spoke to several other passengers who had lovely quiet cabins and normal air conditioning in lower decks and those who were experienced cruisers told us never to stay on the top deck. What a shame, considering it was also the most expensive. We also found it difficult to get a refund for a shore tour when one of our daughters was too sick with a virus to get out of bed for an entire day. We were told we couldn't get it without taking her to the doctor on board and that person agreeing that she was sick enough not to go. She didn't need a costly medical consultation, but just needed to sleep. We had given 3 hours' notice that she would not be going but the inflexibility and lack of concern of the Reception staff was unbelievable! It was such a shame to have these negative experiences and we would never sail on the Pacific Jewel again or even with P & O. Fortunately the good points I mentioned above are things we will always remember happily but the negatives will stick with us too.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Food & Wine, well all cruises have food and wine but this was the theme. I was a little disappointed to hear once on board that the food and wine was only a title, and didn't really reflect the cruise its. I did expect to get a ... Read More
Food & Wine, well all cruises have food and wine but this was the theme. I was a little disappointed to hear once on board that the food and wine was only a title, and didn't really reflect the cruise its. I did expect to get a glass of wine recommended etc to match the meal I had chosen. But no. Nothing free on P&O Australia ships. The cruise started out 2 hours late, even with embarkation being on time. Happens. With the cruise going south down the east coast of Australia, it didn't really give any thing to see so everything was about the ship. Whiskey tasting, 4 x 15ml nips ($16au), and a 30 mins talk, was very good to attend on day 2. Cocktail making, 4 of theses ($25au) was great fun, and a good 45 mins spent learning on how to do them correctly. Cabin on deck 6 aft was very good, good size window, better than I expected, having heard a lot of negative about the ship. Staff in general were very good, and food great. It was good to watch a game of League on the hugh screen during the day, great way to relax having a drink. The permanent entertainers were brilliant, doing a nightly show. Also had guest comedians and chefs doing 45 minute shows that were good to watch. Drinks are not necessarily cheap, so very easy to chalk up a large bar bill, but it is a holiday, so most don't care. Disembarkation was quick,with most passengers having to carry off their own luggage. Over all was a very good weekend. I'd recommend to all, especially new cruises as it short and a good way to see if you like the cruise lifestyle. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Second time on the Jewel, First time was 10 nights, this time was 4 nights, She had just had a makeover which I found refreshing. The Dome was a great improvement of the Ship. The staff were fantastic, and so friendly, I found the Food in ... Read More
Second time on the Jewel, First time was 10 nights, this time was 4 nights, She had just had a makeover which I found refreshing. The Dome was a great improvement of the Ship. The staff were fantastic, and so friendly, I found the Food in the Waterfront restaurant was slipping in standard. Not as nice as I remember from my last cruise. The buffet I found boring on these four nights as it never seemed to change. We decided to eat in La Luna, It was the best asian type menu I had eaten for along time. I would recommend to anyone who loves asian food to eat there. It was an 8 course meal.I had to pay extra, but it was totally worth it. I found on this 4 nighter the entertainment during the day was very boring, how to manage your dog, how to dress, how to bank etc, would of loved some more trivias or shows in the lounge. The new LED lights in the lounge were fantastic, making the shows brighter. We had one new show and two shows I had seen in 2012. The service in the spa was great, but they need to update with some new packages and products. My daughter had her nails done and the paints were old and they had only a few colours to choose from. I was disappointed the edge experience was not going. I was looking forward to the flying fox over the pool, and I would of loved to do the Titanic experience too. Last time I cruised we had a mini suite which was fantastic, this time I had a outside cabin with a window. It was on deck 6 and was fantastic. I found we were never in there, only to sleep, I would do this cabin type again. It was much easier getting in the shower than the mini suite, which we had to climb into a bath for the shower. Overall great experience again. Just disappointed with the food . Our experience on Tangalooma (Moreton Island) was good. A quiet resort island just off the coast from Brisbane. I totally recommend the parasailing tour, it was fantastic, we could of stayed in the air all day. We watched whales jumping and could see dolphins . You fly from the boat and land on the boat.The only downside is the guys on the boat are hopeless in taking photos. They took a few of us going and in the air but none of them worked out.You could purchase these from the Tangalooma photo shop for extra $$ We also did the Wild dolphin feeding and for $159 each, it was not worth it. There were 100 plus people doing this tour.So they made a great amount of money. We started in a restaurant , which they provided alcoholic drinks and food, which were great, as much as you wanted to eat and drink in the time allocated. From there to a computer presentation about the dolphins for 1 hour, then off to feed the dolphins. $10 hire for waders was an extra for people who did not want to get wet. And the water was very cold. We lined up and went in , we were given 3 fish to feed the dolphins. The actual dolphin feeding was over in about 3-4 minutes.It was great but you cannot pat or interact with the dolphins. Just hold a fish in your hands and they swim past and grab it. It was still good but alot of money for the time. I considered it a donation towards their dolphin program. Would not do it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Just got back from the Pacific Dawn's first cruise to Papua New Guinea. PNG is a great addition to the cruising agenda, and considering it was a maiden trip, everything ran pretty well, after a false start in Townsville. After getting ... Read More
Just got back from the Pacific Dawn's first cruise to Papua New Guinea. PNG is a great addition to the cruising agenda, and considering it was a maiden trip, everything ran pretty well, after a false start in Townsville. After getting on the ship, we received a letter saying that the Townsville call would now be at Magnetic Island - it appears the shiny new cruise terminal in Townsville isn't suitable for Pacific Dawn which would appear to be a bit of cock-up! However after 2 hours of trying to start tendering the whole thing was called off due to rough weather and we missed the stop all together. In contrast PNG went well. A rapturous welcome in Alotau at their new port (which was officially opened when we arrived) and a great day at the Canoe and Kundu Festival. The Prime Minister of PNG came to town to welcome us (and he did the same at Kiriwina Island, the first time he'd ever been there) and the locals were genuinely excited about the advent of cruising. The port has a few 'supermarkets' selling souvenirs, and there was a small market on the wharf. I recommend getting Kina in Australia, as the service on the ship was slow, and there are only 2 bank branches in town which saw people queue for up to 45 minutes to change their AUD. The town is close enough to the wharf to walk, but it's a long hot walk. I recommend the Battle of Milne Bay war memorial about 5 minutes walk from the centre of town back towards the ship. Kiriwina Island was another friendly stop, although the tender service brought some complaints with some passengers waiting nearly 3 hours to go ashore, despite a very short tender ride. This may get better with experience at this port. Good snorkeling, friendly locals and crazy Trobriand Cricket are highlights, however the souvenirs and crafts were pricy ($250 AUD for a wooden bowl anyone?) and some of them appeared to be mass produced elsewhere. Again this may improve with experience. The scenic cruising through the China Strait (Kawanasausau Strait) is worth getting up early for, and Doini is a pleasant spot. A small resort opens it doors, and coped pretty well with 2000 visitors although the tiny shop got a bit manic. They have built shelters near the beach, again with reasonable snorkeling and set up a couple of temporary bars and BBQs. Beer is about K12 ($5) and sausage on bread is K10. The main area has a good bar and some limited seating (although it got occupied for most of the day by those of limited mobility). The 'highlight' is a walk to the skull cave (about 1 hours walk, or 30 minutes if you get a ride on the tractor-pulled wagon each way - free, but infrequent). The last part is steep and decent footwear is required. Allow plenty of time to get there and back because the tenders won't wait. The ship was well presented, and P&O have lifted some aspects of their game in the 2 years since I last cruised with them. The cabin steward was more helpful, the food in the Waterfront Restaurant was better and more interesting, and the crew in general more cheerful. There is still evidence of on-going reductions in service in some areas to save money though - fewer waiters in the bars, no afternoon tea anywhere (unless you pay at the grill). The last night jam session by all the various performers on the ship is highly recommended. All in all, PNG is a great addition to the cruising calendar, and things will improve with experience although they were by no means bad even on the first cruise to the area. Highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Hello fellow cruisers, my husband and I joined the Pacific Jewel mainly to have some quality time with relatives who live inter state, and it was their first cruise. I have to say that P & O have certainly upted the anty..........the ... Read More
Hello fellow cruisers, my husband and I joined the Pacific Jewel mainly to have some quality time with relatives who live inter state, and it was their first cruise. I have to say that P & O have certainly upted the anty..........the food especially in the Waterfront ( Main Restaurant) of an evening was some of the best we have ever had, and we have cruised many times and with other companies. We were also looked after as though we were royalty by a lovely husband and wife team. The Jewel certainly has as much to offer as other more current ships, being that she is 23 years old. The entertainment was top class, the out fit is terrific, our balcony on 10th was closed in, so if you expect to see anything sitting out there, you need to request a railing balcony. My main gripe for writing this review gets back to the Spa and it's deals that rip people off. I enjoy attending some of the lectures and seminars relating to weight loss and eating sensibly etc as I do look after myself but am always open to new suggestions. Whilst on the Jewel I attended a lecture and consequently decided to have a body analysis for $40. This followed up by me choosing to lash out and purchase a series of pills and potions from the Elemis spa@home Range to the tune of $500. The lass who ran the seminars was very nice, took my email details and I took hers, with the promise of further information regarding diet and foods to eat to assist in becoming more Alkaline. I guess what I am warning you all, is that these pills and potions made no difference what so ever, and after returning home and emailing her and getting no response I gave up. As my husband would tell you, I am a soft touch, however I believe the ship should be monitering these products that are sold onboard, and become a bit more up to date as to the success rate before taking peoples money, and as I did suspect, there is no follow up once you disembark. Apart from that we did thoroughly enjoy our cruise, and would go back to a little P & O cruise from time to time. Cheers kerlin   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Room 11150 was large enough and comfortable. Deck 11 which was the most expensive was very noisy all day and most of the night and Reception was at best completely uninterested when I advised them of the noise. The alcohol was extremely ... Read More
Room 11150 was large enough and comfortable. Deck 11 which was the most expensive was very noisy all day and most of the night and Reception was at best completely uninterested when I advised them of the noise. The alcohol was extremely expensive and pushed on you every chance the waiters have. It is obvious the cruise managers have instructed staff to push all drinks onto holidayers all day and night and during meals. Also the individual bars have widely varied views of Responsible Service of alcohol. Some bars will sell to people very intoxicated while other bar people will cut people for no reason but with ridiculous times. This cruise company sells itself as a party ship but watch out! I am a non drinker but members of our group suffered heaps of trouble in buying drinks. You are not allowed to buy 2 drinks for yourself and if you lie and say you are getting a friend one you are barred for sometimes 5 min, sometimes 60min or until 5pm the next day. Despite this my wife was able to buy a bottle of wine everyday with 1 glass and not be stopped or questioned. After a lot of trouble my nephew and I arranged a meeting with DAVE the security alcohol and food manager. This wanker is full of shit as he promised to sort our problem but it actually got worse. The next night as a non drinker I got barred for trying to question the top deck bar idiot why he refused to sell a drink to my very sober nephew. Do not use this cruise company if you wish to drink reasonably every day without hassles. As a first time cruiser I was looking forward to the holiday and the food as my wife sailed with a very upmarket cruise liner called Silver Sea and sure raved about the food nonstop. She and I were very disappointed with the quality of the food on P & O. At its best it is little better than eat in Pizza Hut quality food, with matching service. The upmarket restaurant is called Waterfront and the restaurant does look nice but that is where the niceities end. Food is cold, not up to reasonable standards and very slow. We ended up ordering 2 entrees each in the hope one would be nice. Also the holidaying men have to wear trousers and going out shoes every night without exception in this restaurant. Shorts and thongs or sandals are not allowed and enforced. However when you walk in bitches can wear the shortest, tattiest shorts and thongs without a word being said. The entertainment during the day is nonexistent unless you want to use the casino or listen to seminars on how to part with even more money such as spa treatments, rock climbing on the boat or abseiling down the big screen on the top deck. All of these things are noted in their brochures as a small cost is applied but the actual cost is anywhere from $120 to $180. We did see the funniest comedian I had ever heard on board called Michael I think, short dude with a beard but absolutely genuinely funny bloke. He never tried too hard to force jokes, people laughing so hard they were doubled up in fits ( maybe that was the food on second thoughts). Really good audience interaction and 10/10. PLease note that nothing is free on this boat, not even a complimentary bottle of water in your room after you spend 2 hours going through the long queues and hassles boarding the cruise initially. Our group of 5 (with 1 non drinker) ended up with an On board bill of $3800 plus an extra $1000 for the onshore tours, some of which were lots of fun even though all were very overpriced. Duty Free booze can be bought on the boat at very very good prices but they are then locked away never to be seen until you depart back home. Disembarkation was well organised and quick off the boat but do not rely on taxi's to take you from the White Bridge dock, very long waits and no trains or buses are available. Security organising the taxi cues are the lowest form of workers available in my opinion. Slovenly, untidy, rude and uninterested are some adjectives I can use on this forum. In summary steer well clear of P & O and pay the extra and sail on Silver Sea cruises or similar. Good Luck. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
30 years ago, I went on my first cruise with P&O. Was fantastic. There was not very many extras. You could get pizza up till 1 or 2 in the morning for free.Booze was cheap($1.30 for mixed spirit) you didn't need a passport to go ... Read More
30 years ago, I went on my first cruise with P&O. Was fantastic. There was not very many extras. You could get pizza up till 1 or 2 in the morning for free.Booze was cheap($1.30 for mixed spirit) you didn't need a passport to go to the Islands and you could bring your duty free drinks into your cabin.How things have changed... Now its all about how much money can they(P&O) get you to spend. There is a price on everything, food that is not served during meal times and during meal times if you want something special. You pay. It's hot and you want an ice-cream, you pay. Drinks are expensive(300ml bottle of Smirnoff Ice $8.50) , makes it hard to relax with a few when all the time you are wondering how much have I spent?? There is an Art auction...Why??? So that you spend more money with them, never been on holidays and thought, I must buy a piece of art??? Photos taken by the staff are expensive(about $30). The tours are ridiculously expensive. We did our own thing in Vila and got a great deal from the locals and saw things that not many people saw( a place called the Blue Lagoon). Then there is the Beauty Spa... Wow!! There you definitely pay. The worst thing was the promo stuff they put in your door every day. Come and see us and we will get rid of those puffy eyes(for a price). Come and visit this specialist and he will make you look younger, get your teeth whitened as a couple(for a BIG price).I'm on holidays I don't really want anyone telling me how old I look or how yellow my teeth are. Ahhh!!! Enough!!! You get the picture... it just keeps going on and on. One more catch... The ship is totally cashless... you get a card that you swipe for all your purchases, so lookout!!! Its very easy(the total you spend) to let it get away from you. The Islands were beautiful, the people were friendly and the scenery is memorable. And the water and beaches fantastic. For those about to go, do yourself a favor and buy some snorkelling gear before you go. We bought some for $25, on the boat you hire it for $50 and the stuff is of poor quality. Our $25 spend was ten times better than the stuff on board,and we get to keep it. Bottom line... We enjoyed our holiday... would we go on a cruise again?? Yes!! Would we go with P&O again??? Probably not. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Spent 4 fabulous Days going up and back along the Australian East Coast. A nice verandah cabin with a balcony as this was my first ever cruise. Great company, great activities , shows. The formal eating and the Bingo was a highlight. ... Read More
Spent 4 fabulous Days going up and back along the Australian East Coast. A nice verandah cabin with a balcony as this was my first ever cruise. Great company, great activities , shows. The formal eating and the Bingo was a highlight. Paying in Aus dollars was good also. The Dawn was older but nicely fitted out. Great feeling of happiness on the boat. Nothing like I expected with bogans and drunk rolling around. Very noticeable security on board patrolling for underage kids near bars after dinner. The Bingo was great fun a very talented caller (the cruise director) made it hilarious and moved along well. Food onboard was plentiful and had a lot of variety.The patio was very thin but it was still nice being able to see outside. Lots of families and middle aged groups. The 4 days cruises seem to be very affordable and you dont have to break the leave bank by going on one. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Have not done a P&O before and won't again. Cabin (verandah) on deck 10 was fine and our cabin attendant was great, really all of the staff were really nice. I know in December we would have but running down the hallways, up and ... Read More
Have not done a P&O before and won't again. Cabin (verandah) on deck 10 was fine and our cabin attendant was great, really all of the staff were really nice. I know in December we would have but running down the hallways, up and down steps, over your head at night and running through the casino, enough rug rats!! The food in the buffet closed early at night, not enough variety, often not hot enough and no ice cream! come on you hade to go out on the deck and pay for a scoop of ice cream, really it should have been inside with the other sweets. No option of low or no sugar for diabetics amongst the desserts. Really tipped off by the no free bottled water and the best yet no beer nuts or crisps at any of the bars while you have a cold drink. How about a Happy Hour with reduced prices on cocktails? Really P&O do you have to back such basics as water especially when visiting the Pacific in Summer? Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We had sailed on Pacific Jewel in 2012 on its New Zealand run and thoroughly enjoyed the experience (even though we were plagued by mechanical problems which saw 2 highlight stop overs cancelled) while the staff from the cabin steward to ... Read More
We had sailed on Pacific Jewel in 2012 on its New Zealand run and thoroughly enjoyed the experience (even though we were plagued by mechanical problems which saw 2 highlight stop overs cancelled) while the staff from the cabin steward to wait staff were excellent that could not be said for other aspects of the cruise. We had booked to experience Christmas at sea- something special. While there were some highlights- gorgeous Christmas decorations, staff choir and carols there were areas that failed to deliver the wow factor. As other reviewers who are familiar with Jewel have stated cost cutting is certainly evident. On our previous cruise you could get a hamburger and chips for lunch from the grill located at the entrance to the Plantation buffet free of charge- not anymore. I was also shocked to see that to order breakfast to the cabin to have on your balcony also attracted quite a hefty charge- we had done this on a previous Royal Caribbean Cruise line and it was delivered free of any charge- P&O lift your game. The buffet food in the Plantation was below par in both quality and choice- and by the way why the change to very small glasses for fruit juice in the morning?? I think our local RSL has a better buffet. Again cost cutting was evident- no egg section where the chef cooks your eggs to order for breakfast as is the case on other cruise ships and was available on the Jewel before- scrambled eggs or fried eggs stewing in the bain-marie - pass the cereal please! Food was reasonably better in the main dining room- though again the cost cutters have been at it with both breakfast and lunch menus fixed, gone the ability to choose and build the breakfast of your choice, I had to resort to ordering Eggs Benedict but hold the sauce to get poached eggs. The photographs are terribly overpriced and a blatant rip off- what for $10 more you will load a digital copy onto a USB stick!!?? You have to be joking- it must have been an interesting meeting by the bean counters to think that one up. While the prices of cocktails may be viewed as reasonable the price of bottled wine was ridiculous and quality of the wine by the glass wasn't anything to write home about. The ports we visited- Vila, Isle of Pines, Lifou, Mystery Island and Noumea were all wonderful- we only booked tours for Vila and Noumea otherwise we booked local tours when we arrived. Overall the Pacific Jewel isn't what she used to be and I fail to see how P&O are offering anything remotely like value for money but I can see how anyone who has not been on a cruise before might think it was the bees knees. Our dining companions who also had cruised P&O before and experienced something much better than Jewel currently offers agreed P&O must now stand for pretty ordinary. Would we cruise the pacific again- sure. Would we book on P&O definitely not   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
The P&O Pacific Jewel was our first cruise and we chose this ship as we really didn't know any better at the time and this South Pacific cruise was cheaper than most. There were no issues with embarkation, the room was ready when ... Read More
The P&O Pacific Jewel was our first cruise and we chose this ship as we really didn't know any better at the time and this South Pacific cruise was cheaper than most. There were no issues with embarkation, the room was ready when we boarded and we had a lovely guest services attendant. The ship and cabin was in good shape and the mini suite we booked was roomy enough to accommodate 3 adults comfortably. My only gripe with the cabin was the noise from the deck chairs just above us. The buffet dining did have a good variety and I think they tried to mix it up but there was always a massive line to get some food and we often felt like we were in line in a cafeteria. The quality of the food at the buffet and a la carte was pretty average and at least a few mains on the a la carte menu was the same as the buffet but plated which wasn't exciting. The weather started turning as soon as we left Sydney so we experienced some rough seas and you could definitely feel it. Nonetheless, I think we all got used to it and it bothered us less as the days went on. We visited Isle of Pines, Lifou and Vanuatu and the best was definitely Isle of Pines. We booked a shore excursion but in hindsight, just spending a day at the beautiful beach would have been plenty. I would probably never go on the P&O again purely because there are so many other wonderful ships and destinations to experience. The next cruise we did was on the Celebrity Solstice and it was truly a world of difference. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Bearing in mind that we didn't expect similar cruising to European river cruising we were disappointed at first but mainly didn't like the colours of the inside nor the long long rows of corridors. The food was average but the ... Read More
Bearing in mind that we didn't expect similar cruising to European river cruising we were disappointed at first but mainly didn't like the colours of the inside nor the long long rows of corridors. The food was average but the service good in the restaurants we attended (all included) but that was offset by the casual atmosphere with only shorts and thongs not allowed in the main restaurant, although the girls were allowed in with skimpy shorts. The most dressed up we got was trousers and short sleeved cotton shirt and not out of place. Plenty to do and lots of entertainment of various types but nothing startling and the internal TV programming was just awful except for kids. We had a very entertaining cruise director, very gay but in a fun way and the Captain spent more time mingling with the passengers than anything else and happily posed for pictures. Cruising is cheap these days but I suspect that is because the passengers represent a captive marketing opportunity with most spending more on board than they spent for the actual cruise fee. Our balcony wasn't fully utilised because of passengers in other units smoking outside, very annoying and P and O need to enforce their no smoking rules more rigidly. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Just came back from 9 days cruise. We departed from Sydney White bay terminal. That was total mess. After checking in we we're have to wait for almost two hours to get to the ship. In my understanding were the higher deck you are, you ... Read More
Just came back from 9 days cruise. We departed from Sydney White bay terminal. That was total mess. After checking in we we're have to wait for almost two hours to get to the ship. In my understanding were the higher deck you are, you getting on the boat first like other cruise companies like Royal Caribbian. We stayed in balcony room on deck 10. The beds were very narrow and uncomfortable. The food in the buffet was terrible, limited variety and poor quality. But waiters were asking non stop if we want any drink from the bar. Waterfront restaurant food was better, but you can clearly see cut costs, quality of food not the best, also service were very slow. Everything extra costs money. Wines from the bar are overpriced and nothing special. I don't understand why p & o not allow you to bring alcohol with you from home like other cruise lines. They just want you to spend as much as you can. Photos are overpriced too. I have been on royal Caribbian recently, everything is so much cheaper and better. I also have on on Pacific Pearl in April 2012, it was very different to Jewel. Food was fantastic, cruise director excellent, overall was much better then Jewel. It is possible that P & O cutting costs and instead of improving rolling down. I was very disappointed from my last cruise with Pacific Jewel. I will never go again even if I will have a free cruise offer. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Just returned from our 2nd cruise - this one was on the Jewel and the previous cruise was on Carnival Spirit. What a massive disappointment!! According to fellow diners who WERE regular P&O cruisers, and from our experience, the bean ... Read More
Just returned from our 2nd cruise - this one was on the Jewel and the previous cruise was on Carnival Spirit. What a massive disappointment!! According to fellow diners who WERE regular P&O cruisers, and from our experience, the bean counters have destroyed the experience by cutting back on so many of the things that make cruising enjoyable. We found the quality of the food in the buffet very poor, the cost of a the 'extras' excessive, the level of service to cabins below standard (one service a day), free food during the day outside of meal hours is no longer available. Other ships provide free food options and a large choice in the buffets. Everything and I mean everything, costs more. A big shock was the internet which works out at approx $50 per hour!!!!! OMG! Plus it is extremely slow and you can only access it in public areas. Drinks are expensive and you are not allowed to bring any alcohol on board. The Oasis area is a joke - only a scrap of shade, no pool or spa area - but there is a shower! So you are forced to use the main pool area which is constantly filled with very loud music, screaming kids and the design doesn't allow for adequate air flow on hot days. The design of the ship is very poor! The Spa (which makes money - although way over priced) takes up the prime view areas - which is strange as if you are having a treatment you have your eyes shut?? As a result you can't sit and watch the view from any of the bars as in the only one that does offer a side view, the lounges face inwards! The tiny gym is dangerous and seems to have been an after thought. Communication to passengers is sparse and you have to rely on 'passenger whispers' to find out what is going on. The entertainment was ok - but nothing amazing. At night, there isn't really anywhere with atmosphere where you can dance or sing along. On the few times when people started to dance, everything stopped as they only have 45 minute sessions? Strange! Please save yourself some money and avoid going on the Jewel. You may spend a little more initially on the other lines but you will have a much better experience and in the end it will cost the same. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Cruise card When you go through check in you get given a cruise card. You can set this up with either your credit card, debit card or cash. If you choose credit you get charged 1.5% for whatever you spend on board. I chose debit, which ... Read More
Cruise card When you go through check in you get given a cruise card. You can set this up with either your credit card, debit card or cash. If you choose credit you get charged 1.5% for whatever you spend on board. I chose debit, which works well because at the end of each day on board they hold the amount you’ve spent on your card so they can make sure you have enough money. You can also scan your cruise card in at the kiosk and it shows you a record of how much you’ve spent each day and what you’ve spent it on. It’s really hand to check this each day to make sure you’ve been charged for all the right things. Servicing of the room When you first arrive at your cabin you will be greeted by a lovely staff member that will be servicing your room each day. They make up your beds, give you fresh towels and clean your room and bathroom. They will also tell you where you have to meet for you emergency drill. Most people aren’t paying attention when this is said, but if you don’t hear where you are meant to meet, refer to the chart on the back of your door which should have an A, B or C letter and will tell you where to meet. Don’t forget to take your life jacket to the emergency drill (your jacket will also have the same letter that is on the back of your door). Pacific Daily Every night you are delivered a newsletter called the “Pacific Daily” that outlines what will be on the next day on the ship. It includes the theme, any specials, and a detailed time outline of the day’s activities. I found that a lot of the activities during the day were more orientated for children and families and the older generation, and the night things were orientated for young adults. I found that there was so much to do at night that it clashed a little bit and you couldn’t possibly do everything. Food The buffet is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner and there are always a multitude of foods to choose from. It is hard not to already have a full plate before you’ve reached the end of the food trays. There is free water, tea and coffee (all available day round). The food there does get very boring very quickly, and if you are looking for something a little bit more fancy try the Waterfront Restaurant on Deck 7. It is FREE to eat here, you simply just need to book in advance. We had a group of 14 that we had booked in for dinner every night at 8pm. You can also book for lunch. The service and food there is 5 star. You get to choose 3 courses off a huge menu and you can order more if you are still hungry. You are served bread rolls and water and the wait staff are readily available for you to order drinks. I ate at the buffet for most breakfasts and lunches, and had 1 lunch and all my dinners at the Waterfront. It was definitely worth it. Amazing food, quality service and a beautiful setting with fantastic staff. There is another restaurant on board, called the Salt Grill which you have to pay for to eat at. Considering the service at the Waterfront I didn’t bother. The Deck There are 2 pools, a big screen, 2 spas and plenty of deck chairs out on the deck to enjoy. If the weather is bad though it isn’t very pleasant and can be quite windy when the ship is out at sea. It is a good place to meet up with people though and a good place for tanning and getting some fresh air. Photos Each day they take professional photos of everyone on board. This is usually out the front of the restaurant and also around the ship and at the docks when you get off on the islands. These photos are then displayed on deck 7 and are available for purchase. The photos are $20 each for the casual theme photos and $30 each for the professional formal photos (all are taken by the professional photographers on board). There is also an option to buy a USB stick at the start of the cruise and you get $10 digital copies of your photos but be aware, you have to pay for the photo first (so its $20 or $30 + the $10). I bought a couple while on board as the photos are amazing! Drinks The easiest thing to spend your money on is drinks (as these aren’t included). Most cocktails are $9.90 which is reasonable, and you can get a pacific island ice tea for $11.50 (which has a lot more alcohol in it). In the long run I figured out it was cheaper to buy the ice teas as they are better value for the alcohol. Just try to be wary of how much you are spending each day/night as it adds up quite quickly! There are 2 bars on Deck 7 to drink at – The Orient and The Promenade, and various other bars on decks around the ship. Night Club Pretty much every night on board is a party/clubbing night. The Dome is the night club on board and it has a big dancing floor and bar. It is up the front of the ship. Each night they have a band playing up there after dinner and then later in the night a DJ comes on. Café For afternoon tea or a snack there is a café on Deck 5 (reception level). They serve pots of tea for $3 and macaroons, biscuits and slices for $1-$3 each. It is really good value if you want something to tire you over until dinner. There is also a New Zealand Ice Creamery on board (charges apply) outside the front of the buffet. The Islands - Tours Noumea (New Caledonia): To be honest, Noumea is it bit of a dumpy place. The shops look run down and there isn’t really that much to see. When you first get off the boat at the dock there is a big building with markets all upstairs. These are worth a look. There are musicians playing also which are lovely to listen to. If you have booked a tour you simply wait to the left of the building when you get off the ship. The tour I did was the Segway adventure, and it was $105. It was well worth it. You get driven to another part of Noumea, and get taught how to ride a Segway (which is a great experience). You ride along Anse Vata Beach and go all the way to Lemon Bay. You get to taste local chocolates and local gourmet delicacies. It was a really fun tour and good way to see more of Noumea without being couped up on a bus or in a taxi. Maré (New Caledonia): is a lovely little secluded island, and to get to the island you have to get on a lifeboat which takes you ashore. You then have the option of walking around an exploring the small number of markets; or getting on a bus and going to Yejele beach (where most people go). This is a white sand beach with beautiful crystal waters and you can snorkel, swim or just chill out and sun bake. The beach was pretty packed with people off the boat but there was still plenty of room to explore. I saw lots of beautiful tropical fish while snorkelling, but unfortunately a lot of the reefs have died and are damaged due to the rising sea temperatures. Port Vila (Vanuatu): You arrive at the dock, to the left you can walk all through a very long line of markets with lots of souvenirs and flower leis (which are great to purchase for island night); and to the right is where you go to wait for any tours you have booked. The tour I picked was paradise kayak and snorkel experience. You are driven by a bus through the town of Port Vila (which is very interesting in itself – if you wish to explore this you can get a taxi to take you around). The bus arrives at Mele Bay, on another part of the island, and you are greeted by lovely staff and get in a kayak to paddle out to a little sand bar not too far away. The kayak is fun and there is a glass hole that you can see through into the water. When you arrive at the sand bar you can go snorkelling. There are a lot of beautiful tropical fish to look at and sea. Marquee Shows There are several different shows on in the marquee during the cruise. These are a must see. They are fantastic, show off some amazing talent, are well put together and full of laughs. I missed out on seeing some of the shows due to clashes with dinner, etc. but if you get a chance try to go to each show. Theme Nights On my particular cruise there were 3 theme nights: Country and Western, Pirate Night and Island Night. These tend to stay pretty consistent (as I’ve had a friend do the same cruise several times). I packed costumes in advance which in turn saved me a lot of money. It is a lot of fun to get dressed up. Most other nights were either smart casual, cocktail or formal. So pack a suit if you’re a guy, and a few classy dresses if you a female (you may want to throw in a long formal dress for formal night). Karaoke & Pop-Stars Each night they hold karaoke and/or pop stars in the Orient pub. Karaoke is more for the amateurs, and you get to pick out of a big book of songs. Be aware that there is not much modern music and it is mostly all the old classics. For pop stars you have the same song selection, but you are competing against people for a chance at performing in front of the entire boat on the last night in the Marquee. This is more competitive and designed for people that have a passion and talent for music, although everyone is encouraged to participate. Wi-Fi The Wi-Fi on board is very expensive at about 75c per minute! You can access this from your phone, tablet, laptop or from the computers available on board. I had international roaming activated on my mobile, but the maritime rates (when you are at sea) are very costly ($4 a minute for calls, $1 for each text and $15 a mb). I recommend either telling people you will be out of touch with them until you get back or just sending the odd text. Out of Noumea, Mare and Port Vila, Port Vila was the only place I could get reception (with lower rates of $1 a minute for calls, and 50c for texts). General Tips - I definitely recommend buying reef shoes and your own snorkel if you intend to go snorkelling at any of the islands. Most snorkelling tours include at least the mask and snorkel, but not always a pair of flippers. If you want to save luggage space I recommend taking reef shoes instead of flippers. - The experience of being at sea is quite different if you’ve never experienced it before. The boat moves around quite a bit and if you’re not used to it you may experience sea sickness. It is best to bring your own purchased medication (from the chemist) on board so as to save money. I purchased Avomine which was good as you take it at night (so any drowsy effects don’t matter) and it is in your system during the whole day. I took one each night and didn’t feel sea sick at all. I think everyone’s experience is different; but it can simply help to not think about it too much and just try to have fun. - There is the option of purchasing duty free alcohol on board and you can also purchase it at Port Vila. Apparently it is cheaper in Port Vila. If you buy on board, be aware that they pack it in a cardboard box without any packing. I bought 2 bottles and when I got off the boat (as you collect it when you leave) the 2 bottles clinked together and 1 shattered. I recommend opening up the box and putting an item of clothing between the 2 bottles to avoid this. - Also, the cruise I found was a party based cruise with lots of young adults on board (I am 23 so that suited me fine), but if you are not up for the party lifestyle then this cruise may not be for you. - Make sure you have plenty of cash on your card for spending (e.g. drinks, photos, tours, etc.). Altogether, including 3 shore tours, 6 photos and a fair amount of drinks each night I spent around $760. It was all worth it though!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
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