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217 P&O Australia Cruise Reviews

We recently took the 3 night cruise just to have a weekend away. No more with P &O - they describe this as a sampler - if we were first timers this would be the first and last cruise we would be taking. Ship is below 3 stars in ... Read More
We recently took the 3 night cruise just to have a weekend away. No more with P &O - they describe this as a sampler - if we were first timers this would be the first and last cruise we would be taking. Ship is below 3 stars in ambience, decor, furnishings and service. It certainly has the Luke Mangan Salt Grill restaurant on board and this was excellent and fantastic value for another $30 per head but getting a reservation was like winning the lottery. It could only take 35 or so at a time because of the kitchen's capability so can you imagine what it was like with a good percentage of the 1900 passengers trying to book. The same thing happened at the main restaurant also - below capacity because of the kitchen's ability to cope, and sending people up to the buffet instead. ( A much cheaper way of catering to the masses too I might say). No flower arrangements, no grand staircase and a lot of singlets, tatts and thongs on board. Queues at everything all the time. Martini classes were excellent but again could only take 45 people so one had to get there about 45 minutes before to ensure getting in. Staff were most obliging but there are not enough of them. Cabins are serviced once a day only. Also had a problem in being downgraded from a guaranteed balcony cabin to an ocean view as the cruise was overbooked. This was apparent at check in which took 45 minutes to an hour and remember, no customs or immigration required. Never again with P& O. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Please note Port of embarkation was Brisbane. We recently cruised the south pacific cruise from 6th March till 11th March 2010. This was our seventh cruise (second with P&O, first one with the Sun) and it rated as the second worst ... Read More
Please note Port of embarkation was Brisbane. We recently cruised the south pacific cruise from 6th March till 11th March 2010. This was our seventh cruise (second with P&O, first one with the Sun) and it rated as the second worst overall. Although we had a great time the ship is in bad need of being upgraded, the ship had buckets collecting water leaks in all sorts of places. We paid extra for a mini-suite (first time) and we lost power on 2 occasions, both times it took 1.5 hours for someone to turn up to rectify the problem. The staff are quite friendly, however, we found with the anytime dinning that the waiters were not as good as on ships with set dining times. We previously cruised on the Sun with set dining and it was the best service we had experienced. On the Dawn you can make a dinner reservation and we did for the same table each night, we had the same waiters Made and Maria and they were great. The service by them was great, however, the food dished out by the kitchen was not. As previously stated this was our second least enjoyable cruise and unfortunately it appeared that any non meat on a dish was prepared too far in advance, eg potato gratin, came out cold, the potato had gone grey and tasted grainy. The meat on the dishes was always cooked good, however the fish was always overcooked and the steak on the lunch menu was always well done. The pavlova was disappointing, whipped meringue on a plate and touched lightly with a torch. The production shows were great and of a high standard compared to other shows we have experienced. The guest comedian was also highly amusing and also sang and played the clarinet and saxophone, Baker Street was a highlight. The ship saw some pretty rough weather, especially the last night, but the Dawn seems to feel the weather a lot more than other ships with movement the entire cruise so if you get sea sick make sure you take medication, otherwise you can buy tablets on board. The ports- Lifou and Villa were most enjoyable, make sure you walk over the hill at Lifou to snorkel. Noumea is a big let down. We didn't book any tours through the cruise ship as most things are twice the price. We got off in Noumea and for $15 got about an hour and a half tour of Noumea, near the end the driver told us not to be in the city after 6 as it turns into a ghetto. At 5:15 all the shops had their garage doors half way down already. So be careful if you decide to stay after this time as the ship doesn't get in till around 3pm. We ate at the buffet only out of necessity, ie. If we missed the dining room opening times. The buffet only has two lines as it is all in one section instead of being segmented like other ships and the queues are usually long and for some reason moves incredibly slow as people seem to take soooo long to pick up a piece of food and place it on their plate. We didn't hear anyone speak highly of the buffet and the food on it wasn't enjoyable. Breakfast was the only meal that seemed to be served fresh. One last tip be careful of signage in the shops claiming 30% off, as it isn't. I had an argument with staff as this sign was suddenly placed with the watches and when i went to purchase it was for full price and then the staff told me it is 30% off high end prices??? I assume this means 30% of the maximum retail price? Needless to say I didn't purchase the watch. We were advised that the ship will be in dry dock in May so we hope it is for an upgrade, as for P&O advertising Australia's first superliner (Yeah, we get a second hand ship that almost 20 years old), it seemed as though the Pacific Sun had more open spaces than the Dawn. Anyway in the future we will be flying to Sydney and cruising with Royal Carrabean or Holland America or one of the other cruise liners now coming to Australia, not only are they cheaper their ships and food are superior, why P&O are still so expensive is a mystery. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
Previous Oct 2010 south pacific cruise from Sydney cancelled so a 25% discount for this one prompted upgrade to mini suite on deck eleven, big mistake.Noise from top (pool) deck was horrendous music too loud and especially the scraping ... Read More
Previous Oct 2010 south pacific cruise from Sydney cancelled so a 25% discount for this one prompted upgrade to mini suite on deck eleven, big mistake.Noise from top (pool) deck was horrendous music too loud and especially the scraping & banging of tables and chairs at 3,4 & 5am, management obviously aware of this problem for some time proven by fellow passengers stating that their travel agent had warned them against selecting cabins on this deck, When you pay for the most expensive cabin you expect according conditions, not on this ship.Control of children especially in the adult only whirlpool spa areas of the pool deck was non existent.Should have done more research into scheduled on board activities (is that possible?) would have known cruise theme was "Bogan Bingo Trivia Festival".Set up of bars was poor almost like suburban pub or club.The Oasis bar can only be accessed by paying membership of $10/day.Majority of entertainers were sub standard and the scheduling of their appearance was quite hectic/confusing.Drinks very expensive(and no excise?)may be making up for the cancelled cruise.Have to pay for spa/gym access, never on previous cruises even with P&O.TV screens in cabins may be a minor point but its 2011 not 1990 upgrade required so you can at least "see the picture". Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
From the moment we stepped on board the Pacific Jewel the service and ship was awful. Prior to cruising we were issued tickets advising we had single beds. I phoned to advise we need a double bed as we are partners, to which they ... Read More
From the moment we stepped on board the Pacific Jewel the service and ship was awful. Prior to cruising we were issued tickets advising we had single beds. I phoned to advise we need a double bed as we are partners, to which they advised was fixed. Of course, on arriving at the ship we had been given single beds. We phoned reception to get this fixed, and once done we wished we had stayed with single beds as the gap between the beds was very uncomfortable. The lights in our cabin did not work. It took 8 phone calls to reception and 3 days before anyone came to fix it. The service was disgusting! We could not use the safe or the robes as that space was pitch black dark, even during the day. On day 3 we resorted to stealing towels from the Cabin Stewards trolley as the towels in our cabin were not being replaced. We would leave the wet towels on the floor, only to come back and find them hanging on the back of the door and no new towels. Again, it took several phone calls to reception to get this fixed. We were disappointed to find there is only 'Anytime Dining' available on the ship and no set dining times. The service in the restaurant mirrored the service elsewhere, terrible. It took half an hour to be served, and not a drinks waited in sight! We ordered a bottle of wine which disappeared after filling our glasses. Eventually we ended up requesting the bottle be left on the table as night after night the bottle would disappear and never return. In total we were kicked out of the dining room 3 times, once for wearing shorts to dinner on a casual dress day, once for wearing a hat on a port day and once for wearing a singlet at lunch time on a port day. We wanted to use the steam room to which the spa staff inform us costs $170.00. And it turns out, you cannot access the steam room for a one off session, you must pay $170.00 and that allows you to use the steam room at any time during the cruise, they do not have single access passes. It was day 5 of our cruise at this point, so if you pay on day 1 its $170.00, and if you join on day 5 it is still $170.00. We booked our shore tours using the online system ensuring us and our friends in another cabin were all on the same tour. Of course when we got on board we received a call on the second sea day advising they had stuffed up the tours and we were not all booked on the same tour. Of course, the next day we went to the tours desk to find a new tour we could all do together only to be told that we could not cancel the initial tours as we had not given them 48 hours notice! Finally, we purchased alcohol in the duty free shop on day 4 of the cruise which was immediately charged to our on-board account. On the final sea day, no sign of the alcohol. We phoned reception who advised us that it had all been delivered and to take a copy of the receipt to reception as evidence of the purchase. We did this, only to be given a letter which said 'Dur to an accounting error there was insufficient alcohol on board to fulfil your purchase'. However no one had been refunded the money they spent. Instead people were given the option of cancelling their self-assist disembarkation to wait for the alcohol the next day or get a refund. I spent a complaint letter to P&O Australia advising how disappointed I was at the poor standards and service on board, only the be sent a reply saying 'as a goodwill we will offer you a $100.00 credit off your next cruise'. unfortunately, I will not be spending another $5,000.00 just to redeem a $100.00 credit and be treated in the same manner. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Background I have done 24 cruises and cruised on P&O on 3 previous occasions, with all the rest of my cruises with Princess. This cruise was a very last minute thing, booking only a week prior to the cruise (I was desperate for a ... Read More
Background I have done 24 cruises and cruised on P&O on 3 previous occasions, with all the rest of my cruises with Princess. This cruise was a very last minute thing, booking only a week prior to the cruise (I was desperate for a holiday). Unfortunately, there were no Princess ships in Australian waters at this time and this cruise was the only cruise available that suited price and timing. Itinerary The cruise was named Week Fantastique, Voyage W120 and was for 7 nights on the Pacific Dawn. It left Brisbane on a Saturday afternoon, had a day at sea, then arrived in at Noumea mid afternoon on Monday departing at 11.00pm that night, then the next day at Lifou, followed by a day at Port Vila, then 2 days at sea arriving back at Brisbane at 6.00am the next Saturday. Embarkation Like most cruise lines, it was drop your baggage at the front of the terminal. If you had printed off your baggage tags from the internet prior to arriving, it was super quick. Otherwise, a rather lengthy wait entailed to obtain blank luggage tags. Once in the terminal, it was queue up to receive your cruise card, provide credit card info, passport inspection and customs. P&O do not have a Past Passenger Program in place so it is join the queue for everyone. People who have cruised with P&O many times queue up with people who are first time cruisers. The Only exception was people who had booked suites or mini suites who had their own express check in. From time of dropping off suit cases to time we walked onto the ship was just short of one hour. Stateroom We booked an ocean view cabin and were on deck 6. The cabin was right opposite the lift well, so we had lift foyer noise and often could hear conversations outside, including in the middle of the night which was annoying. The cabin itself was adequate and more spacious than Princess cabins. Plenty of clothes storage and hanging space. Bathroom was the usual compact size, but only soap and shampoo provided. No conditioner or moisturiser provided like Princess do. Aqua Spa The Aqua spa on board provides access to a gym, spa treatments and a thermal room consisting of a small sauna, a small steam room and 2 tiled hot beds and a relaxation area consisting of 6 lounges and complimentary fruit and chilled water to relax after spa treatments. However, for some unknown reason, the Aqua spa is situated on Deck 2 mid ships, yes that's right....deck 2, below the actual water line!!! It don't get much lower than this on a cruise ship and is certainly the lowest I have ever been!! There is no natural light and whilst sitting in the thermal room or in the relaxation area, all you can hear is the mechanical clunking of the workings of the inner bowels of the ship. Not very inviting I am afraid. The Aqua spa is well appointed and nicely colour toned, and is obviously an addition at a recent dry dock renovation, but why they couldn't have put it somewhere else is beyond me. There is a kids centre up on deck 14 (above the buffet) which surely could have housed the Spa and the kids centre could have gone down to deck 2. Would be much more attractive and inviting and much easier to get to. I just want to touch on the costs of the Spa. As with all ships, the spa treatments can be quite costly. Well, the Pacific dawn is no different. I always enjoy a sauna and/or steam at the end of the day on a ship, something I don't have access to at home. Well, the only sauna and steam on the Pacific Dawn is in the Thermal room and they charge $99 for the privilege of using it for a 7 day cruise. No pay as you go or daily rate, it was $99 or nothing. Sure you have unlimited use and they throw in one "free glass of champagne" after each time you use it to enjoy whilst laying in the relaxation lounge. So, after the first day, I thought I could do without it, but into the second day, I was longing for a "sweat" so I went and signed up. The sauna and steam were quite hot and served their purpose, but no where worth the cost. And to obtain your "free glass of champagne" (Now I was going to get my money's worth!!), you had to go to reception and ask for it, which became quite uncomfortable the second time around. And on the second time, the champagne they served up was flat, dead flat, and I had to ask for another glass. I didn't ask nor was I offered for champagne again. They sold a maximum of 20 couples spa passes per cruise (that's 40 people) and it became very crowded in the thermal spa at times. Late afternoon was always popular and there were a couple of occasions when people came in and literally could not fit in. The spa treatments on the Pacific Dawn were, in my opinion, quite expensive. An example follows...on most ships I have been on, they offer a sampler of 20/20/20 which consists of 20 minutes of different spa treatments of your choice, a sampler of each. For the one that you like, you can come back and get the full treatment. The cost of this on the Pacific Dawn was $139, with a 15% discount on port days. We have seen this as low as $99 on other ships on port days. On our day on the ship in Noumea, my wife decided to have a facial. She rang up and enquired. They could fit her in in 15 minutes and the 15% applied. The facial was very nice and when she went to pay for it, she got over charged by $30. When she queried the price, they said she had had a facial and another treatment, bringing the total to $30 more. She complained and they then charged her the initial agreed price. Dining The one and only dining room was very spacious and quite nice in decor. It had a high ceiling which gave it the "more space" look. You had to book and could not just walk up and be seated. They stated you could only book on the day of the meal, and no matter what time you rang or personally attended to book, the only time available was 8.00pm or 8.15pm. I found out on the last night of the cruise that some passengers had permanent bookings each night. I don't know why this wasn't offered to all. The menu in the dining room was the same every night. The lunch menu was also the same every day. However, it was vast and provided lots of choice and the meals were very nice. Staff were not friendly and not attentive. On one night, we were not given a menu for 40 minutes after being seated. At lunch one day, we arrived at 1.45pm and were told to "order quick" as the dining room was closing. We did eat in Luke Mangin's Salt Restaurant one night and would highly recommend it. One of the nicest meals (I had the steak) we have had in long, long time and well worth the cover charge. Book early as it does book out. We were fortunate enough to have Luke travelling on our cruise for the first couple of nights and he was in the restaurant the night we ate in there. Waiter attention in here was excellent. The buffet was dual sided and plenty of eating space. It is not open 24 hours, only for meal times. Quality of food was average. Afternoon tea was below standard and the worst I have been to. Waiter service was atrocious, Drinks Alcohol was very expensive on this ship. The cheapest glass of wine was $8, and that was bar prices. It was dearer again in the restaurant. In the bars, they do not print on the wine list what the cost of wine is, which was very strange. They just list what sort of wine they have in one sentence. When you asked the waiter the cost of a glass of Shiraz or Riesling, the waiters did not know and you were surprised what the cost was it arrived. A drink that costs $9.85 on Princess ships cost $13.80 on this ship. Coffee was also more expensive on this ship than Princess ships. Coffee cards are not available, which are so handy on Princess ships. At afternoon tea, you had to buy your cookies, whereas on Princess ships, they are free. However, with every cup of coffee you purchase, you receive a free chocolate, which was a nice touch. Entertainment Entertainment was good. The circus acrobats in the Atrium were very good. On the last night, they had different entertainers/musicians gather in the Atrium and they would sing or perform whatever they wanted. This was excellent. Very low key and informal, but excellent entertainment. Ship The Pacific Dawn is the old Regal Princess from the Princess Fleet. I was a bit sceptical about what condition she would be in, but I was not disappointed....truly a magnificent ship and in very good condition. The makeover she would have had prior to joining the P&O Fleet has certainly beautified her. There were 5 main entertainment areas, the Bengal Bar, the Promenade Lounge, the Show Lounge, the Dome and the atrium. The Bengal Bar was host to most of the game shows and trivia during the day and the Promenade Bar was the piano lounge, which had perfect ambiance at night with candle lights and soft lighting. The Show Lounge is badly designed I think and could be better done. Unless you are sitting in the first few rows directly in front on deck 7, the view elsewhere is not that good. The seating incline in not that great so you are always looking at the person in fronts head and the side seats actually side behind the action, so you can't get a front on perspective. The seats on the upper level (deck 8) you have to look over/under the safety barriers. Seats at the side on this level have the same level as below. The Dome is the Night Club on board and was well attended by many passengers, dancing their cares away until the early hours of the morning. Got extremely crowded on occasions. The Atrium spanned over 3 levels and was very comfortable. It hosted the acrobats performances and some informal music renditions. Ports Itinerary was good, although we didn't bother to get off the ship at Noumea. A case of "been there before and done that" (a few times) and the day we were in Noumea was a local public holiday with nothing open. Many passengers were disappointed with this port. I know there are valid reasons why cruise ships visit Noumea, but it is not high on our "bucket list". Expensive, streets are dirty and uninviting and the locals are not that welcoming. Lifou was just divine. One of the reasons we went on this cruise was to go snorkelling at J??? Beach, which we did. This would have been our 4th time at this port and it did not disappoint, although the amount of fish is diminishing, as is the coral. Each time we visit this beautiful island, the amount of coral dying off is noticeable. Last time we were there (late 2010), there was a wooden staircase there that led people down into the water. Although very slippery, it served its purpose. However, on this occasion, the stairs had been destroyed. Nothing left but a small viewing deck. In its place was a ladder about 3 metres high and made from local trees and tied together with vines. It was just leaning up against a small cliff and people had to climb up and down it to get to the water. EXTREMELY dangerous. How nobody fell off it and seriously injured themselves is beyond me and how long it lasts is anybody's guess. Why the locals have not built something more reliable here I don't know. They could easily charge every person swimming at this beautiful beach $1. With the amount of cruise ships calling in and people visiting this port, over a 12 month period, they would easily accumulate enough cash to build something permanent and substantial. Suggestion - P&O hire out snorkel gear for $49.95 on board the ship. You can hire it for the day for about $20 AUD on the beach here. If this is the only place you plan to snorkel on this trip and don't take your own gear, this is a much cheaper option. Suggestion - If you can, take French francs with you. The locals charge for their services and wares in both AUD and French francs. However, the change over rate is somewhat vast. Some asking prices are 1000 francs or AUD15, others are asking 1000 francs or AUD20, where in fact the official change over rate is roughly 1000 francs = AUD10. Port Vila - This port just gets better every time we visit it. We just love it. The choices increase more and more and is becoming a great place to visit for a week, not just the day off a cruise ship. The weather gods were on our side and we were able to do what we planned to do if the weather was nice and that was visit Hideaway Island. This little gem is one of Port Vilas little secrets as cruise ships no longer run shore excursions there. Although, I think the secret is out as there were many people on the beach here with the blue and white striped towels, a dead give away for cruise ship passengers. The snorkelling here on this day was the best I have seen it. As the tide was low, we had to swim out a bit to find the fish in mass, but we were not disappointed......it is on par with the amount of fish we experienced on our Shark Boy tour in Bora Bora.....aquarium sort of stuff. After Hideaway Island, we did our obligatory duty free shopping at Wing Fei (the last shop on the left of the main drag when heading out of town) and the prices were super cheap and as usual, much cheaper than on board the ship. The duty free shop on board had a sale and guaranteed that they were cheaper than on land, which sucked a lot of people in (including me unfortunately!!), but alas, they are not. DO NOT BUY ON BOARD.......Port Vila is the only place to get your duty free grog and cigs. Don't be tempted to buy anywhere else. Costs in Port Vila Taxi into/out of town - AUD5 for 2 people is a good price (Most taxis offer AUD10) Taxi to Hideaway Island - AUD50 return for 2 people (pay the lot at the end of the day to ensure the driver returns and picks you up) 2 Bottles of Gordon Gin (1 litre) at Wing Fei - AUD20 for both!! Carton of 250 cigs at Wing Fei - AUD35 Disembarkation Was well organised and spaced out. As the area where the luggage is collected is very small, only 5 colour codes of luggage could be displayed any given time. As one colour code luggage is collected, it is replaced with the next. If you decide to disembark before your colour code is due, your luggage won't be there for collection. Taxis were plentiful and waiting Overall Remarks P&O do things very differently to Princess. After cruising for so long with princess, it was hard to get use to the P&O ways. You definitely get better service and value for money with Princess. I would not cruise with P&O again I am afraid. If you don't drink alcohol, plan to not do any spa treatments and get mediocre service and attention, then this ship is for you!! PRINCESS FOR ME!!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Having been on over 25 cruises with P&O, P&O Australia and Princess cruises, I find myself at the bottom of the barrel with Pacific Dawn. Having previously cruised on her about 2 years ago, I can't tell you how different the ... Read More
Having been on over 25 cruises with P&O, P&O Australia and Princess cruises, I find myself at the bottom of the barrel with Pacific Dawn. Having previously cruised on her about 2 years ago, I can't tell you how different the two experiences were. Embarkation was chaotic, however saying that I was on board within an hour of reaching the cruise terminal in Brisbane. I told the lady at check in that I was a seasoned P&O Cruiser, and she very kindly gave me a priority embarkation number. This allowed me to get on board much quicker than I had anticipated. The ship has dated beyond belief, the carpets were worn, the ship stank of sewerage on several occasions and my cabin was probably the second most disappointing aspect after the food. My cabin was a 4 berth for one, with a queen sized bed in the centre of the cabin. The wood was chipped, damaged and looked 20 years old. The bathroom was small, cramped and smelt of mildew. The only saving grace was my cabin steward Christian. I would however say that my cabin was mid ship and didn't have any noises and was very stable. The wardrobe space was bizzare, as it was broken down into 4 sets of everything.. to accommodate for the 4 berth. A bit pointless for one!! Now onto the food. On embarkation day, I had lunch in the Palm Court. I was very happy with lunch, and thought that this would be the way the rest of the cruise would pan out. As the cruise progressed, the food got worse and worse, till the final evening, I thought I was dining in a waiter service McDonalds. Because your table was different every night, it was very hit and miss with the waiters as well. Some nights, the waiters couldn't understand English, and thought that we only had 20 minutes to eat 3 courses. Sometimes food was placed in front of you, whilst you were still eating your starter.. NOT cruise service, not cruise food. This was the last cruise before the ship went into a refit. I understand that the cabins were not going to be changed (with the exception of the suites and mini-suites) and a great deal of work was going to be on the mechanical side of things. I am booked on Pacific Jewel in September, and dreading the bad food and service. The only positive dining experience was in SALT, the additional $40 per head restaurant and the first lunch. My option next cruise on Pacific Jewel might be to eat in SALT and the Asian place. This will add another $300 onto the cruise fare as a result. Passengers were also very.. erm.. "different" with a large percentage of first time cruisers, who were intent on drinking the ship dry. Many of the cruise passengers were "red carded" so that they couldn't buy any more drinks that night. What then happened was they got their friends to buy them drinks, and so it went on. I am hoping for a much better experience in September. If not, then new cruise lines are visiting Australia for next year, and they will get my business instead of P&O. Feel VERY let down by P&O and can compare it to a very bad holiday camp in the UK! Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Just back from the Week Fantastique 7 day cruise out of Brisbane .I have done this same cruise 4 years ago on the Pacific Sun and cant believe the contrast .To say P&O have gone down market would be an understatement. What was good ? ... Read More
Just back from the Week Fantastique 7 day cruise out of Brisbane .I have done this same cruise 4 years ago on the Pacific Sun and cant believe the contrast .To say P&O have gone down market would be an understatement. What was good ? Wont take long We got an upgrade from inside to outside The cabin steward ,Christian was excelent A beer was $5.50 which compared to other cruise lines is not too bad What was bad ? Lets set the Scene .Take as many people as possible by cramming them 4 to a cabin ,reduce your costs by minimising the crew size and charge for just about everything .So 2000 people and 600 crew serving .Save further by limiting the hours the bars are open . The waiters all looked over worked and tired . Dont dare ask for anything out of the ordinary they just didnt/wouldnt do it .If you like lining up for everything this was the cruise for you .The Bar ,the Buffet ,the reception ,the kiosks ,the shops .You get the picture .I resorted to leaving the dining room to get my own beer rather than wait to be served . The staff largly avoided eye contact in case you asked for something . The Promanade deck should be renamed because so much was closed off all the time you couldnt walk it .Too many people on board equals not enough deck chairs or deck lounges .They may as well scrap the formal nights because 90% of the people didnt bother and dress codes were not enforced .It is pretty obvious that Carnaval with more ships now in Australia have taken the decision to take P&O down market by advertising low quad prices and getting the lower end of the market who would normally consider a cruise to expensive to take their first cruise . Carnaval probably knows I wont do P&O again but that I will do Princess Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
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
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
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
I went with a friend on the Wine and Food Cruise 28 /3/14. I was not happy with the overall hygiene in the ship. I have cruised over a dozen times, mainly on Royal Caribbean and have never seen such poor hygiene practices. There ... Read More
I went with a friend on the Wine and Food Cruise 28 /3/14. I was not happy with the overall hygiene in the ship. I have cruised over a dozen times, mainly on Royal Caribbean and have never seen such poor hygiene practices. There wasn't anyone making sure you used the hygiene soap at the buffet or dining room. Walking up hall ways there was a smell of sewerage now and then. I started getting itchy on the second day of the cruise and by the time I returned home I had a severe rash and unbearable itch. I went to my doctor and he said I had bed bugs. Our cabin steward did not leave appropriate papers in our room on the first night and we missed out on booking a bus from the terminal on disembarkation. When we spoke to a crew member at reception they were very rude and not sympathetic or apologetic at all. We did not have our bed turned down at night which all other cruises do. The night before we disembarked we went back to our room after dinner at around 8pm to grab our jackets and the cabin steward was vaccuming our room which seemed very strange. It should have been done the next morning after we disembarked. Then later that night when we returned to go to bed we went to the safe to get our purses out and the safe door was already opened. Very poor security. The gym is very small way to small for 2000 passengers. The drinks were also very expensive. My family cruised on the Pacific Dawn many years ago and it was great. But after cruising with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity would NEVER cruise or recommend P&O to anyone. The food was also very poor. Not a lot to choose from the buffet. The dining room was OK but service very slow. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
After our first P&O debacle where our room was double booked and the service lacked ...well, service! We were quite hesitant to rebook, but we were assured by P&O that our experience was a once off, and then we haggled between the ... Read More
After our first P&O debacle where our room was double booked and the service lacked ...well, service! We were quite hesitant to rebook, but we were assured by P&O that our experience was a once off, and then we haggled between the P&O sales rep and our travel agent, and decided to give them a second go. They were told numerous times that this was a special occasion and my fiancé attempted to call ahead to organise a romance package. He was told that he would need to call back within 3 weeks of our departure. When he did as instructed by the P&O sales rep, he was told he should've arranged it earlier and there was nothing they could do to organise anything as it was too late. He asked if he could at least arrange balloons for the door, and was asked how he intended to get the ballons to the ship on the day. He asked them if they could provide balloons, as we'd seen them on cabin doors on a past cruise, and the lady 'suddenly' recalled that she was able to do that. However when we arrived on the ship there were no balloons in sight, and my husband had to bring this to their attention twice throughout the day before something was done. There was also no fruit basket supplied (as advertised for our mini-suite room rate). The Salt Grill lobster was dry and overcooked, and the only part of the meal worth mentioning was the amazing truffled mashed potato, which was one of the side orders. The Captains Table was worth the extra $$$ as the food was sensational (we'd experienced that quality previously at Salt Grill, which is why we were so 'underwhelmed' this time around. The manager knew nothing about the pillow menu advertised on the website, so my fiancé had to take him to the internet area to show him (after trying to see him for 3 days, then eventually stalking the main office til he appeared.) As with our previous P&O experience, this left us feeling like just another number, and as P&O charge for EVERYTHING on board, we were down about $2000. As there is just the 2 of us, we were trying to figure out how this would blow a family's budget. P&O looks like a cheap cruise option, but they truly make up for it by fleecing you for every last cent possible while on board. Happiest moments- seeing flying fish, getting back to our cabin in the afternoon to find a new towel animal each day (this time round we took a long time cruiser's advice and left $5 each day. This was a bit of a novelty for us, because it's something very clever that the cabin attendants can do. We'll definitely think long and hard before booking P&O again. The boats are old and tired, and very rusty (the lady in the suite just down from us said her room flooded so badly when it rained they had to replace the carpet twice.) and the extra costs make it just as expensive as the other cruise lines anyway. We're looking forward to our first trip on the Celebrity Solstice in December. We've been told we will surely notice the difference. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
(Honeymooners) My husband and I were supposed to do the great barrier reef discovery cruise but due to cyclone Ita it had to be changed. We disembarked from Brisbane and went to Sydney, Newcastle and Morton Island. For 7 nights I found ... Read More
(Honeymooners) My husband and I were supposed to do the great barrier reef discovery cruise but due to cyclone Ita it had to be changed. We disembarked from Brisbane and went to Sydney, Newcastle and Morton Island. For 7 nights I found this a bit boring! We obviously wanted to go somewhere a bit more romantic which obviously wasn’t the cruise lines fault that we had to change. It was just disappointing we weren’t given the option to rebook at a later date. So we choose to give it a go as everyone says cruises are so much fun and you will just love being on the ship! This wasn’t the case for us! We had a balcony room which was ok. Still small and the bathroom is very tiny and dangerous if you fall. Our first sea day was very rough. We woke up during the night with the bed rocking and the walls creaking. My husband and I took sea sickness tablets every day but he did spend the first day very sick! The whole time when at sea I felt dizzy and just wanted to lie down. I found all you all day is wait around to eat! The movies on the deck on the big screen were disappointing as all the sunbathing lounges would fill up quick and then you wouldn’t be able to watch the movie unless you stand! Also the sun glare is so painful on the screen if you don’t have sunglasses on. It would be better if the movies were also being played in the Marquee theatre at the same time. We ate at the plantation as the waterfront was always booked up every time I tried to book there. Breakfast was great at the plantation! They had a big variety! Lunch was fine but dinner was quite bland and boring. Room service was great! We did that twice and we had wedges which were only $6! And plenty for 2 people. We treated ourselves to a couples message $360!! It was very expensive but we really did enjoy it. Very relaxing! The staff are such hard workers! I really felt bad for a lot of them. It would be nice to see them get a break and just enjoy themselves. I felt uncomfortable at times making them waiter over me when they have been doing such long hard days. I think the cruise is great if you have children and they can be fully entertained while you can have a break and relax. Or if your travelling with a bunch of friends and you like the party life. If your like my husband and I, and are happiest when cuddling at home watching movies then you may not enjoy it as much.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
I guess we knew what we were in for while we were still in the check-in hall. Hundreds of loud bogans yelling at each other, pushing and shoving and making us think we had made a big mistake. Yes, we had made a mistake but we did the best ... Read More
I guess we knew what we were in for while we were still in the check-in hall. Hundreds of loud bogans yelling at each other, pushing and shoving and making us think we had made a big mistake. Yes, we had made a mistake but we did the best we could with what we had. Our mini suite was very nice. A comfy bed and a cabin steward that kept our room tidy and clean. The downside? We were directly below the open deck so had to endure chairs being dragged across the deck (our ceiling) at all hours of the day and night. Then they were lowering the tenders directly below our window anytime after 5 o'clock am. What a racket!! The buffet was adequate but was somewhat akin to feeding time at the zoo and the al-a-carte Waterfront was very hit and miss. After a couple of meals we chose to pay extra and eat at the more upmarket restaurants. The staff were helpful and friendly for the most part but seemed to be getting fed up by the 5th day and it showed. All in all, the experience was a great disappointment but it has not put us off cruising - we will just not go with P&O again. They obviously cater for a certain demographic so next time we will be more discerning and choose another more up market cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Admittedly first time on a large cruise ship. If this is indicative of cruising it shall be my last. A) Pacific Dawn is in need of maintenance - state room - bathroom had rust in various locations = needs immediate attention. - public ... Read More
Admittedly first time on a large cruise ship. If this is indicative of cruising it shall be my last. A) Pacific Dawn is in need of maintenance - state room - bathroom had rust in various locations = needs immediate attention. - public areas are dated and need face lift and refreshing =minor - light sconces in the Plantation dining area need to be dusted! - since you use them so much REPLACE the tenders! Disgraceful! B) -Waterfront restaurant strong on service weak on product. FOOD WAS BRUTAL! I was never fully aware of what could be ordered from the menu entrees vs rice pasta dishes ... tried to navigate this issue to get something that tasted good ...I FAILED in every attempt. Food was at its best - average... very very disappointed in this =REQUIRES IMMEDIATE ATTENTION. New chef New menu IMPOSSIBLE TO GET A GOOD CUP OF COFFEE -unless ... you paid extra. C) NEXT BIGGEST ISSUE the "up sell" You want to avoid what you paid for? then pay more... for dining for coffee for everything.... What they have done is stripped bare the cost for the cruise and then added back on items you will want for extra fees. Not a problem. But there is FAR too much effort, attention and focus on this up selling. EXAMPLE- I do not wish to be accosted by the photographers every time I dine! Nor at each port I call at! Which leads to the tendering process.... REALLY? at each port... we tendered Airlie Beach/Yorkey's Knob/Port Douglas... Airlie beach was brutal why did we stop there? absolutely tragic ... I did not sign up to be a economic stimulus package to the retirees living there. Suggestion there are NO individuals offering services upon landing... either you book with P & O or nothing. Apparently the retirees are far too busy herding passengers to take the initiative in this regard? OVER ALL very disappointed with P & O. BIG disconnect between their illusions of grandeur and the modern day reality I was confronted with. D) I support my own cases and do NOT need to support yours… donations to your charity / cause automatically applied to my bill. Whats up with that? E) Extra charges for using VISA. How is this allowed? Very shoddy business practice. VISA need to intervene.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
As a couple who love to cruise, this being our fifth, we have never before felt happier to disembark. Our outside stateroom was fine, with a very comfortable bed and the staff member (Mae) was lovely and kept our room spotless for which ... Read More
As a couple who love to cruise, this being our fifth, we have never before felt happier to disembark. Our outside stateroom was fine, with a very comfortable bed and the staff member (Mae) was lovely and kept our room spotless for which we were very grateful. We certainly had no issue with the majority of staff members who were friendly, helpful and courteous. When we embarked Pacific Dawn, after 3 hours of procedure in very hot conditions, we did not even rate a ‘Welcome Aboard’. A staff member stood at the doorway and pointed the way to the lifts – there was not even a smile or a word of welcome. We eventually found our cabin 9105, deposited our hand luggage and went up to the Plantation Restaurant for a cool drink. We ordered a cold beer which was delivered to our table in a bottle – we hadn’t realised we would have to request glasses! We asked for glasses and then waited 10 minutes, and after a subsequent request, a warm glass was delivered to our table. Whilst waiting on glasses, we were approached by a staff member to ask if we were interested in a Chef’s Dinner at a cost of $95.00 each. We had not had time to find out what was actually available on the ship at that time and so declined - the staff member was obviously unimpressed. We were shocked to think that within a few minutes of boarding this cruise, we were being asked to fork out yet more money. It didn’t end there, the next person to approach our table wanted us to sign up for a wine-tasting at further cost. We felt bombarded with requests for more money within minutes of boarding. May we suggest passengers are given time to unpack, at least, before requests of this nature are made. These requests should be made via a note to the cabin or intercom announcement rather than making passengers feel uncomfortable when declining. After unpacking we were informed that we would have to book a seat at the restaurant if we chose formal dining, which was our preference. On the first evening we managed to get an early seating rather than at our preferred time of 7.30pm. On every subsequent day, we phoned or personally attended the restaurant, as advised, to book a table only to be told that there were no tables available unless we ate at 5.45pm. We accepted this booking on two occasions and we enjoyed our meals although sharing the dining room with many families with small children was not our preference. We noticed later in the evening that the restaurant had many empty tables at the time we would have preferred, much to our wonder. On another evening, we were approached by the waiter and asked if we would like a glass of water and were offered two different high priced labels, the lesser cost being $4.95. We responded that we would prefer the iced water being poured from the jugs next to our table as we have never been asked to pay for water before. The waiter was unimpressed and we assumed he would provide the water requested but that was not to be. We had to request water a further two times before our glasses were filled, under sufferance. Four fellow diners at our table had not even realised they were being charged for the water they received and were very surprised when the waiter asked for their cruise cards. We decided then and there not to dine in the formal restaurant again as we couldn’t get the booking times we wanted so were left with the only other choice, the Plantation Restaurant. The food on offer at the Plantation was adequate but certainly not to the standard we had come to expect on our cruises. On one evening we queued and were passed a tray, a serviette, and a fork. The staff member handing these out then said, and I quote, “We have run out of knives, you will have to eat with a spoon”. We were stunned to say the least but went to the other side of the restaurant and found knives to use. How we were expected to cut meat with a spoon was laughable but the staff member couldn’t have cared less and gave no indication of finding any available cutlery. The Plantation Restaurant was redubbed the ‘cafeteria’ by many as there were no dress standards whatsoever and trying to enjoy a meal with others dressed in their togs, without shirts or footwear etc., was not pleasant. As passengers who had been on several cruises we were invited to the Captain’s Party which we looked forward to. It was due to start at 5.30pm so many people attended The Dome at the time specified on an extremely warm afternoon. The doors to the Dome were closed and we were asked to wait outside. There were quite of few passengers waiting, many of whom were elderly with no access to seating, and we were left standing outside the doors without airconditioning. In time the Cruise Director, Willie, advised they weren’t ready for us and to wait longer. A number of passengers complained about the heat and only then were we allowed access. The Captain’s Party lasted only 30 minutes which surprised many of us as we had been asked to attend in formal attire and had assumed it would be ongoing. A number of past passengers began discussing the cruise at this event and without exception it was agreed that this was so far below standard as to be redubbed “The Bogan Boat”. It seemed it was nothing more than a blatant grab for money at every turn. As non-smokers we were quite surprised that so much of Deck 12 was given over to smokers making it uncomfortable for others. Consequently, Deck 7 was an option for relaxation as it was non-smoking – the only problem being that deck chairs were not laid out in this area unlike the smoking section on the same Deck. On the final full day of sailing, we joined other disgruntled passengers in untying the deck chairs and laying them out so we could enjoy the beautiful weather in something other than the loud music and party atmosphere actively encouraged by P&O. When the ship visited Cairns we were informed that we should be on Deck 5 at 9am to be tendered into port. Everyone who was disembarking for the day attended at the same time causing major confusion. Those who had tours booked through P&O were the first to disembark by tender and we managed to get onto a tender an hour later. There was no extra seating available on Deck 5 and many people were reduced to sitting on the floor waiting to be called. A number of passengers just gave up and decided to stay aboard rather than have to put up with such a disorganised disembarkation. We could not see the point of everyone being told to be in the same place at 9am. We should have been given a later time to assemble. This cruise was cut short by a day because of a health emergency on the previous voyage – totally understandable in the circumstances, but the way in which we were notified and then the matter dismissed by your staff as an insignificant occurrence was beyond the pale. The pathetic offer of $100 on board credit, which did not cover the loss incurred, was an insult. To find that those on board paying quad fares received the same compensation as those who paid full fares, not to mention mini-suites or suites was appalling. The offer of a credit for a days’ cruise on the ‘Bogan Boat’ certainly did not appeal. We believe you should re-think your so-called compensation offer as it falls far short of both cost, inconvenience and expectation. All in all, we will never travel with P&O again after being so totally disappointed with such a low level of service. P&O have obviously become a floating pub and their standards have slipped to all time low.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Cruise: White Bay terminal, Sydney, to Moreton Island (just off Brisbane), back to Circular Quay. Embarkation: Cruise before us developed engine trouble so we had SMS & email to inform us ship was 4 hours late and embarkation was not ... Read More
Cruise: White Bay terminal, Sydney, to Moreton Island (just off Brisbane), back to Circular Quay. Embarkation: Cruise before us developed engine trouble so we had SMS & email to inform us ship was 4 hours late and embarkation was not till 2.30pm and the terminal had limited facilities so not to turn up early. We're from Melbourne (2 couples, so 4 of us), our plane got in at 9.30am, we sat at the airport till 1.30pm. On arrival at White Bay we found pamphlets to say that P&O had put on a free shuttle service for early arrivals. They were able to drop off their luggage and go to Darling Harbour for the day. So in other words, they rewarded the 'bad' people, those who disobeyed their instructions. They lost our goodwill. We would have loved to spend a few hours at Darling Harbour but they deliberately never told us. In future, if I sail with them, I will never listen to those sorts of instructions again. Go early, folks, and see what P&O might lay on for you. SHIP & CABIN. Cabin 9187 (window cabin). Everything looked in good condition, well kept, clean, tidy. Bed was very comfortable, room a good size compared to Princess ships we have been on. SHIP LAYOUT. Could be better. Pity there are no other hot tubs except for 2 near the pools. They were always crowded and we could not get near them. ACTIVITIES. Good if you like some adventure stuff. The flying Fox looked fun but someone in the queue told us they paid $39 for it with a Titanic moment photo. If that price is right, it is too dear for just a quick flying fox ride. WATERFRONT DINING ROOM. What a disaster this was. We were sailing out of Sydney Harbour. it was to be one of the highlights of our trip. Booked into dinner at 6.30pm and by 8PM sailaway time had only been served soup. Put it down to chaos due to late sail away. But really-90 minutes to be served only soup? The next night was the same. One and a half hours wait for soup. Surely soup would only need reheating? We walked out, our friends stayed but the rest of the meal took a long time coming, they said. Lunch in the restaurant was quite fast but dinner was atrocious as far as wait time. BUFFET-well designed, quite nice. Pity it all shuts at 9pm as it would be nice to have snack after a show. Excellent tea selection. SHOWS. We had a short cruise but there was nothing on for the first 2 nights except a comedian. No variety show at all. We went to one on the last night and it was excellent but it would have been nice to have had something eg on night 2. PORT of CALL. There was only one stop on this cruise. Tangalooma resort, Moreton Island. The pontoon, which is the part that comes down for you to walk across to get on the tender, that broke down so we were an hour delayed getting over to the Island and for us, an hour late to start our tour which was the Cape Moreton Northern Explorer tour. Parts of it were interesting but most was just a rough ride through scrub. I wouldn't do it again as it is expensive and the bus was not air conditioned. Segway ride on the sand. because our first tour was running an hour behind, we only just made this. It was the highlight of the trip. recommend it, great fun. All in all, I enjoyed the trip, it was not overly crowded as it was not in school holiday time. The ship looks well maintained as far as furnishings etc go but it may be starting to show its age mechanically as it had some engine troubles and problems with the pontoon when we were on board. It also ran very rough and swayed a lot (maybe to make up lost time). Everything costs extra, even the pizza. It's not a bad ship but next time I would like to try something better, I think. I don't like the fact they weren't upfront about there being a shuttle. maybe they didn't want too many to use the service, but they could so easily have won some good will. I understand engines can give trouble, but I don't understand why they could not have told us about the shuttle service instead of leaving us to cool our heels for 4 boring hours at the airport.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Just completed a 3 night weekend cruise from Brisbane on the Princess Dawn. Some good and bad points are listed Good. 1. Cabin Service 100% 2. Cabin cleanliness 100% 3. Charlies Bar coffee is as good as you will get anywhere 3. ... Read More
Just completed a 3 night weekend cruise from Brisbane on the Princess Dawn. Some good and bad points are listed Good. 1. Cabin Service 100% 2. Cabin cleanliness 100% 3. Charlies Bar coffee is as good as you will get anywhere 3. Waterfront Restaurant food good but limited number of tables for 2 and difficult to get one 4. Entertainment average 5. Drinks expensive but cold Bad 1. Not a trip to be recommended for Seniors. 2. Buffet food was ordinary and some just warm 3. Boarding procedure and security takes far too much time 4. Walk from security to ship boarding point much too far for elderly passengers 5. Price of everything on board much too high 6. Most seating in pool and most areas occupied by young inconsiderate passengers Would we travel P&O again? Doubt it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
P&O Feedback: Indonesia 25th March – 7th April 2015 Cabin number 6147 Where to begin? I’ll try the positives first: • Most of the crew were (as usual) very helpful and welcoming, offering that feeling of welcome and ... Read More
P&O Feedback: Indonesia 25th March – 7th April 2015 Cabin number 6147 Where to begin? I’ll try the positives first: • Most of the crew were (as usual) very helpful and welcoming, offering that feeling of welcome and belonging which we have come to expect with P&O. This applied especially to the wait staff in the Waterfront restaurant; we had the same table for dinner most evenings (Laami and Francis). Our cabin stewards (Mark and Joseph) were also extremely professional and accommodating. • The food in the evenings, for the majority of the cruise, was very well presented and of a high quality, although the buffet was (in general) warm rather than hot. Breakfast, however, was of a poor standard. For example, requests for bacon to be ‘well cooked’ were ignored on many occasions. • The shore tour to Komodo was well organised and enjoyable, the National Park staff extremely professional, caring and showing diligence in the safety and wellbeing of their guests whilst supplying ample informative talks during the tour. Now for the negatives: Health and Safety first: • Lift doors: Starboard side forward lift doors didn’t re-open when my wife wasn’t quick enough to get inside the lift. She was slowly crushed between the closing doors and had to be released by my son and son in law by brute force. • Starboard side deck 7 (outside) there was a life buoy attached to the safety rail above the scuppers (adjacent to the shuffleboard area). A length of plywood had been used to close off the scupper beneath the buoy and in so doing had trapped the grab rope of the buoy, making it inoperable! • The children from the Kids Club put on a performance in the Marquee theatre. My daughter had been late getting organised on that particular morning and had not been able to take the children to the Kids Club before the performance. Instead, they had gone directly to the Marquee and placed the children in the care of the Kids Club staff. After the performance the kids had stayed with the group. Staff realised that William (my Grandson 8 years old) had not been ‘signed in’ to the club. He was told to go down to reception (deck 5), ask for a replacement cruise card, as he didn’t have his, and then to go and find his parents and get them to return him to the kids club and sign him in, unsupervised, in a huge ship where I had spent hours looking for my wife. Where does the duty of care start and finish ? • Cables. Toward the end of the cruise the crew had the area around the shuffleboard court cordoned off whilst they carried out some maintenance operation. They were utilising power from inside the ship (power outlet outside the Marquee). The doors were not cordoned off and the cable was trailing through the two sets of doors. Each time a passenger (or crewman) used the doors the cable was crushed as the door closed. It was evident from the cable condition that it was being damaged. • The bathroom light switch in our cabin was broken. The switch itself, although it was operational, was off centre (I would guess that one of the internal pivots was broken. This shows a deficit in maintenance procedures and does not engender confidence. • I used the men’s toilet on deck 12 (beneath the big screen tv) and when I went to wash my hands I decided that the toilet bowl was a better option than the wash basin, which was extremely cracked and a breeding ground for all sorts of exotic diseases. Food and supply issues: • After only a few days at sea became apparent (or seemed so) that P&O had undertaken a ‘cost cutting’ exercise which was such that it impinged upon the comfort of the passengers in an obvios manner. • English breakfast tea, which is a weakness of mine and has always been available on earlier cruises. I was told that it was unavailable. • Bananas seemed to have taken on such value that they should have been locked in a safe. We saw them sometimes but were seldom allowed to have one “Bananas are only available for breakfast”. • Evening meals were very good until the last week, during which time the quality deteriorated to the point where we avoided the Waterfront restaurant for the last three days. Belly pork had become a favourite of mine during the cruise but, in those final days I ordered it twice and both times it consisted of almost pure fat with no meat attached. My daughter ordered a pasta dish which sounded yummy....when it arrived at table it consisted of pasta with warm cream poured over, none of the other ingredients were there and it was revolting. The final straw was being served a desert which appeared to be a slice of Woolworths swiss roll with the merest drizzle of what appeared to be chocolate ice cream topping sauce. • The Chocolate Bar cafe, on deck 12, was a regular haunt and we enjoyed the little chocolates which came with the coffee. These must have run out toward the end of the cruise as we had to ask for them, to the apparent chagrin of the staff, and we were given (instead of the usual gold wrapped chocolates) some bite sized Dairy Milk which, when opened, were discoloured and old. • We reached a point where the usual pina colada which we had with every evening meal in the Waterfront tasted very strange indeed. We sent is back and were then told that they had run out of some ingredients for the cocktail, which is an outrageous way to treat customers. Better to apologise and inform us that they were no longer on the menu than to try and pass something off as the genuine article. A Basil Fawlty moment if ever there was one! “It’s a kind of substitute veal” Passenger comfort: • One had the feeling, as soon as we became settled, that P&O were now discouraging smokers to the point where we were made to feel that they really didn’t want us aboard. The available area for smokers had been contracted (from our last cruise aboard the Jewel, 18 months ago) to about half the starboard side on deck 12. The seating available was uncomfortable and, in many cases damaged (splits in the sheet steel which tended to ‘pinch’ if care was not taken). Portside seating accentuated the ‘poor relation’ feeling as they were both comfortable and ‘non aggressive’. The strange things was that the ‘smokers seating was always overcrowded whereas the non smoking area on the deck was extremely underutilized. • Our neighbour in the adjacent cabin spent the first night sleeping on a chair in the lounge on deck six, as his airconditioning was not functioning and his room was super heated, the response to his complaint (he informed us) was that he was supplied with two fans. • The refrigerator in our cabin was hanging upon the top hinge and to close the door I had to lift it into place ..... akin to closing the gap with a besser block. • Our socialising was mainly done in the smoking areas on the ship, and only on one occasion did a waiter exchange the partially full ashtray for a fresh one. The usual appearance was of all tables with overflowing ashtrays upon them. Entertainment: • In general the quality of entertainment was pathetic. On previous cruises our main complain would have been that we had to miss some of the events which interested us because they coincided with other superb offerings. On this cruise we had to trawl the days agenda to try and find something which was vaguely interesting. Again, it seemed that either P&O were cutting back drastically or the entertainment crew had lost interest ..... would you believe that pool aerobics was cancelled because it was raining? • One day we won a trivia competition (four in our team) and the prize was coffee and cake at the coffee shop on deck 5, opposite reception. We didn’t bother collecting it until afternoon, but when we did we were told we could have four coffees but only one slice of cake! On previous cruises the entertainment team have always been active somewhere on the ship, organising games, fooling about, engaging with the passengers but this time they were keeping a very low profile. Shore Tours: This trip we only participated two shore tours. • Komodo Island. This was very well organised and was a delight. The Island guides took great care of the members of the tour and ensured that the day was memorable and enjoyable. • Elephant park tour, on the other hand, was a complete disaster. We had been on this tour on a previous cruise and it had worked really well, with ample time for all of the activities in the itinerary. This time it was an exercise in bad organisation and chaos. Firstly, the local tour operator delayed departure from the shore because some people had failed to get to the coaches in time, then all the coaches were sent to the elephant park en masse, which meant that there was in instant backlog. (On our previous tour the groups were split, some went to the elephants first others to visit the shops and temple). The tour was again delayed by 45 minutes because some people were late getting back to the coaches. By this time the passengers who had been sitting waiting were ropeable as the local tour guide informed us that, as we were running so late, there would only be 10 minutes available to visit the market/temple in Ubud. Previous tours had advised passengers that anyone not aboard the coach at the designated time would have to make their own way. This was never explained on this tour. The icing on the cake was when the local tour guide handed the feedback for to the P&O rep who accompanied us and she marked every aspect of the tour as excellent. The actuality was that we had a ride on an elephant, a photo shoot and six hours on a coach! Other concerns which again give the feeling of ‘Cost Cutting’: • Last time we were on the Jewel there was a library and, being an avid reader, I didn’t take any books with me as the selection in the library was great. I asked at reception on the Sunday and was told there was no longer a library. A library was described in the pre cruise information. • We were under the assumption that the children who attended the Kids Club would have the option of having evening meals with their friends if they so wished. The staff in the Kids Club informed us that this was no longer an option (although we DID see an order form menu for this service). • On every previous cruise we have purchased a copy of the cruise video but when we asked about getting one this trip we were informed that there was no video operator aboard. The previous videos had not been Oliver Stone quality but were a memento of the cruise. I would have thought anyone aboard could have made as good a video as those. To rub salt into the wound ‘a video of your cruise’ was regularly advertised on the TV throughout the holiday. All in all the entire cruise was a complete let down and angered my wife and I, as we had spent the last 18 months telling our daughter and family how exceptional everything was aboard a P&O cruising holiday. Complaints were constantly overheard and unsolicited negative comments were given by almost everyone we spoke with. Those who were first timers asking if it were always this bad, seasoned cruisers passing various takes on ‘never again with P&O’. There were many other instances of failure to deliver on the part of P&O but I will have lost the will to live if I continue. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was the second 3 day comedy cruise I have been on and my 6th cruise all up. This was by far the worst cruising experience I have experienced. While the ship was nice enough and the comedy was fantastic, the service and food was ... Read More
This was the second 3 day comedy cruise I have been on and my 6th cruise all up. This was by far the worst cruising experience I have experienced. While the ship was nice enough and the comedy was fantastic, the service and food was terrible. I put this down to it being a 3 day cruise and the staff don't expect many tips for the 3 days, however, the ship was full of first time cruisers and I feel sorry for them if they think this is normal. We were a group of 43 and had 4 tables booked for two of the 3 nights. The first night 3 tables were onto their desert while our table was just getting our entrée orders, the second night the same thing happened with the same table, thank god we changed tables that night. One of the people on our table that first night ordered Mango Brule. When he got his desert he questioned whether he got the right order, the waiter said "We are out of Mango but it is Rhubarb, same as Mango!" Um, I don't think so. I don't think anyone actually ate their entire meal as the food was not good. You couldn't even send it back because of how long it took to get your original meal. The only place where there were no complaints was at the specialty restaurant, which I did not go to as it was $50 per person. On every other ship I have been on the cost of specialty restaurants is $20. The other frustration for me was that my daughter had just turned 18. She was issued with a blue card (adult) which when inserted into a machine, would bring up her photo and her details. Every time she wanted to attend an 18 plus event she was asked to go back to her room to get her passport for ID. What is the point in having your photo taken and being issued a card if the staff can't be bothered using the ID machine? She should not have had to carry her passport around on her and risk losing it. On every other ship they encourage you to lock your passport in the safe and, on Holland America Line, they even keep your passport as you board and give it to you when needed for excursions. I thought it was entirely inappropriate and told the staff that each time it happened. This was an absolutely ridiculous practice that I totally disagree with. The food and service I could live with, as I think it was a 3 day cruise and think (hope) it would be better on a longer voyage. But the ID situation was inexcusable and the staff should have addressed this immediately on the first night. I would not allow an 18 yo to carry a passport around on her when she is only just legal to drink alcohol. There are much better Lines to cruise with. P&O are not for me. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Booked this Easter Comedy cruise well ahead to try out P&O, after experienced 15 trips with Superstar (Virgo), 3 RCL (Mariner, Radiance, Independence) and 3 Princess (Diamond, Sapphire, Sun) ships, I must say we were very disappointed ... Read More
Booked this Easter Comedy cruise well ahead to try out P&O, after experienced 15 trips with Superstar (Virgo), 3 RCL (Mariner, Radiance, Independence) and 3 Princess (Diamond, Sapphire, Sun) ships, I must say we were very disappointed although we paid over double for what we normally paid on the other ships. For start, we waited for an hour before we could get on because my key card wasn't ready although they got my wife one's OK (don't ask me why?). I booked online but it appeared that they don't really have any boarding sequence, so wait and wait.... While they have upgraded us, the room was noisy at sea and on the last day, banging noise from the movement of the luggage kept us awake! Lunch on the first day was a long queue, although we found out it could have been a shorter queue if we went to the otherside of the restaurant! So, it just showed that there was no one managing the crowd at the restaurant! Food-wise, it was a disappointment and the best I could describe it will be $10-a-plate food hall standard. The taste was very salty and the meat too tough. While I planned to visit the Salt Grill but I was put off by the price which is over double for similar specialty dining charged on RCL and Princess. I have lost my confidence by then. (Although the Luna, Asian-Thai is $29, it is still expensive in consideration of the menu offered.) Came dinner, at least I got a table for two but someone has completely forgotten it was my wife's birthday (that's why I booked this cruise!) In addition, the menu and food offered (in terms of quality and quantity) were far lower and worse than my previous experience on 15 trips so far! Show time, it was a Comedy Cruise and James Bustar was good (that's the only highlight). Didn't go to the late night R18+ show. For the next two days, while Waterfront Restaurant (the main dining hall) does not take booking for breakfast and lunch, but the waiters ALWAYS made us sit IN THE MIDDLE. OK, I accepted it may be first-come-first-serve, but the next day, we were brought to a table of two, they again MOVED US to another table with NO setting and we had to wait there for a good 10-15 minutes until other guests filled the table. OK, I still swallowed it. Then on the last day, they brought us to the table, lo and behold, they allowed two couples sat at two ends of the table and made us to sit in the middle again! So, it was not a case of first-come-first-serve but SELECTIVE SEATING? Not happy! Other things? No 24 hrs cafe.. We paid for an American Hot-dog and Nacho.. trust me, you don't want to try that. But it is better than the burger I saw on the other table - it was BURNT! On the last night, the food again was BAD, and I saw the lady next table had a chew on her dish and then put down the napkin and marched out. For a few nights, I had to go to the buffet dinner after the sit-down meal at Waterfront (the main restaurant) for some fruit and "supplement".... Other issues - pools, hot tubs, Gym are way too small and few for nearly 2000 passengers! The seats at the higher level of Mariquee theater were even WET! I could go on and on with the list.. Sorry, P&O, I did intend to try out Pacific Eden when it comes to Freo next year, but I'll wait until you have lifted up your game! May be they just wanted to play a joke on us with the "Comedy Cruise"? Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I was really looking forward to this S.E. Asia cruise for such a long time but was disappointed with the overall service, meals, activities and entertainment not to mention that my cabin steward threw out all my medications and other ... Read More
I was really looking forward to this S.E. Asia cruise for such a long time but was disappointed with the overall service, meals, activities and entertainment not to mention that my cabin steward threw out all my medications and other medical supplies for 6 weeks on day 2 of the cruise as I was doing back to back cruises to and from Singapore (I have since been compensated for this incident). The daily activities were mostly promoting the Aqua Spa treatments that were overpriced, wine or whisky tasting for a fee, trivia several times a day which was fantastic with Zoltina J hosting the trivia sessions, easy listening music, a few activities on decks 12 & 14 such as pool volleyball and shuttle board for a few times during the cruise. There were not enough fun activities and music and entertainment on deck 12 by the pool and rarely did we have sailaway parties like I've experienced on South Pacific cruises. The meals are about 2 star even on formal nights, for example, Shepherds Pie or Pasties. Whatever happened to Prawn Cocktails, Lobster Tails, and Escargot and so on. The meals were nothing special and depending on where you were seated, the service was hit and miss. The shore tours are over-priced however the shuttles were average price when considering the distance to get from the port to the city. The embarkation process in Fremantle was fantastic however the other ports of call disembarkation and embarkation process needs to be revised because some people missed their tours because people that were not on shore tours were permitted to disembark prior to those on the morning shore tours and the tender boats process took far too long and was often disorganised. The entertainment in the Marquee was a hit and miss affair however Jackie Love and Hayden Smith were great. I think the Entertainment Team staff could have entertained on more than 4 nights than they did during this 14 night cruise. The disabled cabin is a great size however I would never book cabin 11091 again because it was forward starboard, too far from the lift/elevator and the glass doors on deck 12 were always locked on one side making it impossible to get through using a wheelchair. I had 2 options: 1. Go up 1 deck from deck 11 to 12 and wait for someone to unlock the door or 2. Go down to deck 7, wheel from the front to the back of the ship, get the left back up to deck 12 just to get to the buffet restaurant and pool. No wonder I lost weight during the cruise which is better than gaining weight. The staff on the reception and shore tour desk were extremely helpful. Overall, I would not be tempted to do another P&O cruise in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I have done quite a few cruises with P&O and it may be my last. The embarkation process in Fremantle, Perth was excellent however both the embarkation and disembarkation process throughout the remainder of the cruise was absolutely ... Read More
I have done quite a few cruises with P&O and it may be my last. The embarkation process in Fremantle, Perth was excellent however both the embarkation and disembarkation process throughout the remainder of the cruise was absolutely appalling and so disorganised to the point wher some passengers missed their shore tours. The dining options - buffet (deck 12) or Waterfront restaurant (deck 7) or Salt n Grill or Luna (cover charge applies - deck 12) - I was unimpressed with the service and the menu on offer. I do not appreciate being offered Shepherds Pie or Pasties on a cruise menu. Whatever happened to the prawns cocktails and lobster tails on formal nights? The food was below par compared to other P&O cruises I've done in the past and compared to other cruise lines. Many of the shore tours were over-priced for the inclusions and the length of the shore tours. The entertainment was hit and miss with a few good guest artists however the entertainment team did very few shows. A word of warning - there is a lot of digital lighting effects during some of the shows which can trigger seizures in some epileptics so be careful. One of the things that really irritated me was People parking their scooters and wheelie walkers in the area for guest confined to wheelchairs. This was a nightly occurance no matter which show time - the 6.00pm, 7.30pm or the 9.15pm. P&O needs to do something about this problem in the Marquee because there are only 4 places for guests confined to a wheelchair and should not be used as a storage compartment for medical aids. The bar waiters on the Pacific Jewel provided great service on deck 12 and elsewhere. The daily activities were fine if you wanted to vegetate for the entire cruise. Come on P&O, pick up your game, not everyone wants to sit around listening to music or read a book. The activities were mainly exercises (average 5-6 times daily); movies on large screen (usually kids movies 2-3 times daily provided football did not dominate the big screen & the volume was so loud that guests had to shout so others could hear what was being said); promoting Aqua Spa treatments (4-6 daily); gambling (4-5 daily); lectures and Friends of Bill (4-5 daily); music to listen to throughout the day (at least 18-20 times daily); activities with a fee (5-6 daily); evening shows (nightly 6.00pm, 7.30pm & 9.15pm); the free activities included: trivia (2 times daily), trivia with questions (2 times daily - 1 trivia question followed by guest general enquiries), bridge (2 x daily), shuttle board (2 x daily), table tennis (2 x daily), golf (2 x daily), daily water aerobics, quoits, dance class, sunbed challenge or chair aerobics, book swap as P&O no longer has a library, and an art auction every 2-3 days. I'm afraid I need just a little more stimulation than these activities. There needs to be more fun activities and lively music on the pool deck. Overall, P&O needs to improve the service, the menu, the activities and definitely the embarkation and disembarkation process at the ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Pacific Jewel was in dry dock in Singapore and had Pantry put in place of the Plantations, replaced astro turf on top decks, Pandora store installed, unsure of what else. This was our 3rd trip on the Jewel, last trip few months previous ... Read More
Pacific Jewel was in dry dock in Singapore and had Pantry put in place of the Plantations, replaced astro turf on top decks, Pandora store installed, unsure of what else. This was our 3rd trip on the Jewel, last trip few months previous and was happy with the food and entertainment etc back then. Main change was the Pantry - It looks nice ( apparently lost over 100 seats with fitting from Plantations setup ). So now you don't get in one long line you go to separate outlets for different food ( much like the Carnival Spirit and Legend ), so only smaller lines. And you don't get to pick your food it is put on a plate for you, so lots of talking about a bit of this more of that etc. Overall the food was reasonable but seems to be much the same each day and same at lunch and dinner, food has little flavouring and very bland. There is no ice cream available, no prawns or pork or steaks as was previously in plantations. Also they now charge you for lunch hamburgers - last cruise you could get free hamburgers, meat pies and chips at lunch. There was only one lunchtime they had anything different - spare ribs once at lunch, no other things of interest. How long before they charge you for a seat ?? or use of utensils. Cruise director Allun is now so boring ( was OK when deputy, then was funny ) and very little activities during the day UNLESS you buy a package for absailing or climbing etc. Only interesting things were the daily lectures by historians or experts from different fields that related to our journey. Shore tours were astronomical prices and the biggest joke was Komodo Island - you were not allowed off the ship unless you paid $100 each for a 2 hour shore excursion, nothing mentioned in the pre cruise about that one. Also no information given for port information - only thing said was selling of shore tours, not even a map for some places. We were first ship onshore to Dili, not much to see there but somewhere different - people were nice and we went for bus rides with the locals ( 4 people for $1 American ) good fun. Semarang had the best welcoming party I have ever seen but once you left the port it was very dirty and in bad repair for everything until you got into the main shopping area which was quite reasonable. Alotau is very backward place also with nothing to see but interesting. Doini Island was interesting ( beware it's a 3 hour hard yakka walk around the island to the skull caves and back via beaches ). Just go snorkeling and swimming best side is to the left as you get off the whalf most people go the right but very little fish or coral that way ( from my last visit ). All the ports seemed fairly safe to walk around and get taxi's and local buses etc so if you get a group of 4 together you can save heaps of money by using the locals. Most places took Australian Dollars ( except for local supermarkets and buses ). Singapore was the pick of the lot for quality, quantity, efficiency, etc we spent 6 days there before the cruise and it was great. ps Forgot to mention the gym - it is so small had 4 walking machines and 2 were broken so didn't bother even turning up. Also you cannot see out the front of the ship from the Dome since they have filled it in for the spa ( more payment required for a view ), you need to go to deck 10 to a viewing area outside in the wind and sun and rain. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
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