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214 P&O Australia Cruise Reviews

My sister, niece and nephew and I were very excited to go on our 7 day cruise to the South Pacific. We didn't care even when the Pacific Dawn had trouble at the Brisbane dock - we were on holidays! We did care when we woke up to the ... Read More
My sister, niece and nephew and I were very excited to go on our 7 day cruise to the South Pacific. We didn't care even when the Pacific Dawn had trouble at the Brisbane dock - we were on holidays! We did care when we woke up to the announcement that due to more trouble we would now miss Noumea. It was worse when we got home and was told this had been ongoing for months. The $50 per person credit was a joke especially when the kids didn't get it as they were under 13. When I asked why we were told that it was because they didn't pay as much. That's not true as our cabin cost the same for four people regardless of age. Overall we had a good time - after all your holiday is what you make it. We had a fabulous time on Lifou - I highly recommend the forest grotto tour and in Vila - we did snorkelling from the semi-submersible in the morning; Eskasup village tour in the afternoon and still managed to do some duty free shopping and visit the markets. The food on the Dawn was very average. The dinner menu was very limited and the buffet meals were very poor. My sister and I got food poisoning - very bad combined with the movement of the ship. The drinks were overpriced when you could get them. We only managed to get wine service in the dining room one night out of the seven - the staff would ignore you or were too busy. The only free coffee was via a Nescafe machine on the pool deck and it was terrible The staff service was OK overall but I wouldn't suggest you ask for help with the internet - you won't get any. They also tended to direct you to other departments e.g the pursers desk said we could get extra copies of the daily letter from the cabin steward and vise versa BUT the worst part of the cruise was that for the last two days the water was undrinkable. At breakfast in the dining room just before disembarkation we were served water that looked like someone had put off milk in it. We noticed all the tables still had full glasses. Three stars for P&O ships is highly over-rated and overpriced. My experience is not unique as I discovered by talking to other cruises. My husband and I are planning a cruise and my only criteria is that it is not P&O. You get much better service on the 4 star cruises for around the same money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
The Pacific Dawn cruise in Nov 2010 from Brisbane - Noumea - Lifou - Vila - Brisbane was our 7th experience on-board a mix of ocean and river ships. It was the first time that my wife and I had taken the plunge of spending a bit more and ... Read More
The Pacific Dawn cruise in Nov 2010 from Brisbane - Noumea - Lifou - Vila - Brisbane was our 7th experience on-board a mix of ocean and river ships. It was the first time that my wife and I had taken the plunge of spending a bit more and deciding to enjoy the delights of an up market Mini Suite. It even came with a $150 credit toward the cabin on-board account. We were looking forward to this for many months and if our past experience was anything to go by, then the extra room size would be greatly appreciated. I don't intend to cover off all the topics recommended by the Cruise Critic guidelines since many people have given their valuable insights already, but I would like to warn fellow travellers against making the same major mistake that my wife and I made. We thought (foolish people I hear you say) that paying for an upgraded cabin - top floor, deck 11 or Aloha deck, no less - would come with all the benefits of luxury cruising. Not so. The Cabin. The suite (and Pacific Dawn generally) is a bit tired. If you are a fan of marble slabs, then the bathroom is right up your alley. For me, it was too 1960'ish to be impressive. Plugs that don't work and shampoo sachets that are seldom replenished just don't cut the mustard. The 14 inch LCD TV was okay since we had bought our binoculars with us (the 2 adjoining cabins had 32 inch LCDs). The cabin decor is dull and uninspiring with black stains (probably gum) scattered around the carpet. I found some strange pills just under our bed on day 3. So when did they last give this place a real clean? All in, we would have taken these minor glitches in our stride, apart from a fairly significant problem - NOISE. The Noise. The cabin, A165, is starboard side and located directly under the entrance to the main free dining restaurant. Unfortunately, it is also under the table tennis table and conveniently under the snack bar that sells chips and other hot snacks until late in the evening. The deck above is also the main pool deck where a number of significant social activities are conducted at various times during the cruise - all very boisterous but none of these were any cause for concern and in fact, while we heard a little distant music it never reached the level of being disturbing. So what was the problem? Well, the decking above is wooden and is probably glued very solidly to the metal sheets comprising our ceiling. P & O, bless their cotton socks, then thought it was a good idea to place plastic chars and tables on this wooden deck. The resulting scraping of the legs of both table and chairs vibrated very clearly right through the deck into the cabin with the same effect that a boom box would have. This noise started at about 6.30 am and lasted until early next morning - every fine day of the cruise. It was to our saving grace that the first 4 days of the cruise were wet and miserable, so we were spared this torment until Wednesday. But then along comes Thursday and Friday, both fine and fair. Wednesday evening I was able to take a sleeping pill and finally dozed off to sleep about midnight with the scraping going full bore upstairs. Thursday night, rang the reception about 12.30 am and was told that the duty manager would look into it - and that she may visit my cabin to listen to the problem. Hadn't arrived by 1 am, so went up on deck to see the duty manageress having a nice chat with the drunk revellers. At 2.30 am the party goers went home and I dozed off to sleep. Friday night I began a 15 minute interval call to reception to complain from 10.30 pm onwards. Last call at 11.15 pm seemed to have some effect as the noise died away at that point. The Lesson. Don't pay good money for a Mini Suite on the Pacific Dawn - go budget and get a good nights sleep. Better still, don't go P & O. What could and should have been a very reasonable cruise was significantly spoiled by having to suffer from insufficient sleep in a cabin that promised much but gave little. The management were not overly helpful and needed significant prompting to resolve a routine complaint. I did not want to stop people having a good time, I would just have preferred that they did it on top of someone else's cabin - like the Captain's for instance - not mine. Will we recommend P & O - not on your life. Had 6 other cruises with other lines and enjoyed every one of them, and will cruise again, but never ever with P & O, thank you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Having traveled on this ship now 5 times I personally would never step foot on it again it is looking tired and nothing more than a party ship since it's changed to it's departure port of Brisbane. Embarkation. The ... Read More
Having traveled on this ship now 5 times I personally would never step foot on it again it is looking tired and nothing more than a party ship since it's changed to it's departure port of Brisbane. Embarkation. The check-in was open from 8am and seemed to be running OK, we were told we would board around 10.30am we got called through at this time only to have to wait for Australian Customs to have there tea-break (no fault of P&O). We boarded the ship as we had been on it before we did not need to be told where to go to find our cabin, But if this was your first time then you were direct to the ship map next to the lift. Cabin and Cabin Steward. We booked an inside cabin this time we normally book a outside window. The cabin was tired looking the carpet was dirty and stained and for the first time on any cruise I have been on I question if the sheets were even clean. The steward which I will not name was not one of the best we have ever had, The cabin on same days was not cleaned until the late afternoon and if you showered for dinner the towels were not changed until the next day as the cabin never was done at night (very unusual for a cruise holiday. But the worst thing of all was on the day of Dis-Embarkation we were all advised that the ship will be running late into Brisbane by 2 hours and if we could all be out of our cabins by 8am. So we set our alarms for 5.45am and the automatic phone wake up call for 5.45 as well, Just after 5.30am our cabin door was opened by the steward and shouted out wake-up call (even though we had the do not disturb card in the door) 15 Min's later the automatic phone and alarms went off. We went down to breakfast at 6am (and once again put the do not disturb in the door )and left the ipods/computers etc on the side as we would pack these into the backpack last. We returned to the cabin around 6.45am to find our cabin door open we looked around and all the cabin doors for this steward were also open (even though no one had to be out of there cabin until 8am)we checked to make sure nothing was missing. This was the first time on any cruise I have been on that I did not tip the cabin steward. Public Areas. In general are kept clean but the carpeted area's are looking old and tired. Entertainment. The Pirate's of the Pacific is good but the other shows are only average at best which are done by the Pacific Entertainers, The only other shows were Ash Puriri singing which was good and a local show when we were in Noumea. The other activities on the ship even trivia which i enjoy doing are way below what you would expect to find on a cruise. The Cruise Director is not the worst I have seen, But is fighting a losing battle with what he as to work with. Dining Room / Buffet The food in the palm court dining room is no world beater but is what you would expect from this class of ship, The only thing like could do is cook the veggies a bit more as they are rock hard. The dinning room staff are friendly but do not expect service you would get on a higher class ship for example starters coming out at the same time as main meals for people would not happen and dirty glasses on a table is a no no. On the last formal night the usual chocolate's came out well now do i describe this a mass of little chocolate pieces dropped in a slab of white chocolate and cut in to small pieces and add that to a orange dyed coconut to sum up awful. The last thing regarding the Dining Room is there dress standards there is not any. Everything from passengers wearing jeans with holes to t-shirts and shorts, With formal nights being no different passengers from Brisbane most seem to have a attitude we don't have to dress up. The Maitre-d who should be there to make sure dress codes are applied does not seem to care the only time i saw him was at the captain's party and for the food director is one of the most rudest person I have come across on a ship. The buffet food can only be described as below bad even the wife who eats most things Say's it's awful if you enjoy everything cold and not cooked very well then this is the place to try. One other place where I ate on the ship was the grill prior to this cruise the food as always been very good but no surprise it as changed as well, The kebab I have always ordered as not only gone up by $4 but is now put on pitta bread which is not toasted with chucks of meat instead of shaved along with core of the tomato really good stuff not. Overall Like stated before I have been on this ship 5 times now and since it's arrival in Queensland the standards have dropped to a new low which I thought P&O Australia could not even achieve. I have never thought the idea of removing the tipping from your cruise is good way to go unless the service is bad I think that now makes my mind up that i am correct. As for the captain telling people that we have brand new ship from last December sailing from Sydney in the Pacific Jewel maybe he should get his facts right and say it's 15 years old and has been renamed. My next cruise was going to be on the Sun Princess from Brisbane in December this year but I am now in the process of changing to a different ship not leaving from Brisbane. *Note cruise left from Brisbane and not Sydney but on the port of embarkation box it does not show Brisbane on it* Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
This ship is dark,dreary and past its use by date. Service was shocking;we had problems oredering wine with our meals,wine turning up after meal was completed for 3 nights running,waiter seemed suprised when we asked for the wine to be ... Read More
This ship is dark,dreary and past its use by date. Service was shocking;we had problems oredering wine with our meals,wine turning up after meal was completed for 3 nights running,waiter seemed suprised when we asked for the wine to be served before the start of meal.On ordering a bottle of sparkling wine waiter appeared with 1 sherry glass and 1 wine glass !! Dirty glasses were placed on our table,and left for the duration of our meal,despite asking waiter to get rid of them,these were NOT our glasses.Open sitting dinner does not work;despite going to the inconvenience of booking a table we still had to wait.We were also shocked at poor dress standards of other diners,it is not polite to wear baseball hats at the table,nor wear boardies or thongs! 5 days passed before we were approached by a waiter out on the decks,same poor service in Charlies cafe.Waiters walked round in a dream and would not give eye contact. Why does the music have to be so loud out on Lido deck?Why do we have to put up with music videos going on the screen all day long?Surely the staff could see the mass exodus when dreadful Rap,Hip Hop music was put on.If we were at a resort we would NOT want a large screen flickering all day long,KEEP the screen for night time,movies under the stars....do not inflict it on passengers. P&O you lost a lot of money from wine,beer,cocktails and coffees sales due to poor waiting staff. We also did not appreciate the very loud music from the Lido,we could actually hear it in our cabin on deck 10.The balcony was virtually unusable due to outward opening door,also the stench of cigarette smoke wafting up from deck 7 and down from deck 12,we had asked for non smoking,we should have been told smoking was on the starboard side. We spent $9.000 dollars on this cruise,and feel very cheated on our experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
If you are looking for a cruise company that cares about its customers P&O Pacific Dawn is the one company you should avoid like the plague. This is a bottom of the pile cruise where you are just a 'punter' to be ... Read More
If you are looking for a cruise company that cares about its customers P&O Pacific Dawn is the one company you should avoid like the plague. This is a bottom of the pile cruise where you are just a 'punter' to be processed through the system. In 35 years of travelling for work and vocations this is the worst service I have ever received. If you want to feel used and exploited this is the cruise for you. Everything has to be paid for as an extra except the instant coffee, which says it all. If you want to spend you day in a queue, meals, bar, pool, gym or even for coffee this is the cruise for you. We had a suite and still had to queue for food and to get into the restaurant, where the service was along the lines of 'get them in and out as fast as you can'. Service is processed and systematised to the extent that if you ask for anything not included in the process the staff just ignore you. People had to queue for an hour just to book in order to get Christmas dinner! Dress code, what dress code? On formal nights many passengers were admitted to the restaurants wearing singlets shorts and thongs. Since when has cut of jeans, exposing the cheeks of your arse, and a bikini top been formal wear. Guys wearing jeans and singlet as cocktail wear! I know we are pretty laid back in Australia but this was offensive and ruined the whole point of formal and cocktail nights. The gym and spa are on the 2nd level in the bowels of the ship and you can hear all the noise of the engines when you are trying to relax in the spa. The gym staff where great and really helpful but the gym was obviously an after thought and to small for 1600 passengers. Should have been on a higher deck with sea views. Again an example of P&O doing everything on the cheap. When we had a problem that needed sorting out initially the reception staff were just bloody rude and unhelpful, quoting P&O processes. It was only when I pointed out that the receptionist was being rude and could she indicate how to fix the problem instead of making excuses that we got a result. This cruise is obviously cheap and cheerful and the staff are obviously well used to dealing with the bottom end of the cruise market (hence you are not allowed to bring any alcohol onto the ship). Drinks very expensive and you even have to pay for a decent coffee. If you are looking for relaxation, style, quality and outstanding service avoid this cruise ship like the plague. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
As is the case with many reviews, this review will not cover competing brands or make comparing or contrasting comments relative to any other cruise company. Ive only ever cruised with P&O - hence the point of my review title. Ive ... Read More
As is the case with many reviews, this review will not cover competing brands or make comparing or contrasting comments relative to any other cruise company. Ive only ever cruised with P&O - hence the point of my review title. Ive been on cruises P&O in 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2012 on the Sky, the Star and the Dawn respectively, as time has gone on, the experience has become progressively worse. Bearing in mind, i am making comments fully aware of the bargain basement price of $700, hence my 5 Star rating for "Value for Money". When it comes to spending $700 and getting as much as you do and going where you go, it truly is an unbeatable holiday proposition. However, therein lies the problem for me. My first cruise was relatively expensive in comparison to the one i went on last week on the Dawn. It had a high proportion of middle-aged families and pensioners - which for me (at the time) - was a total nightmare in terms of the fun police making permanent and constant patrols of the buffet and the cinema aisles. The service level was fantastic, theme nights were fun and you were made aware them in advance, BBQ's were set up on the beach at the islands visited and you could enjoy the pleasure of having roasted, grinded and strained coffee beans rolling over your tongue without a price tag that would collapse a small banana economy. Now, i have taken into consideration i may have found this new found floating utopia even more awesome because id never been on one before - but im forced to dismiss this logic as ive come to realisation all the little, minor things that really made the cruise as good as it was, have somehow gone missing of late. Wheres the BBQ on the beach? Wheres the warm welcome and happy farewell from the dining room waiters? Wheres the bar tender with character? Wheres the relaxed atmosphere? Im sure they exist somewhere, just not on the Pacific Dawn. The ship is; aged and tired, the gym is tiny, everything costs (a lot of) money, there isnt much to do on sea days, anything you ask for will amount to an issue of some sort and the sales tactics get a bit tiring after a short amount of time. For example, photographers in your face every day taking photos trying to get you to buy them, not making theme nights definitively known before you board the ship but coincidently selling theme night related stuff during the day, peddling poor quality plastic strobe cups and the list goes on. Nothing can be done outside the boundaries of the rules on P&O anymore. You cant modify a meal, ask for a change in something, ask for help with anything. You seem to receive some sort of South East Asian cold shoulder that would send a chill down the spine of a frozen fossil if you would dare ask for a side of chips. I do believe that this phenomenon of pathetic service stems directly from P&O relieving the cruises of set dinner times. Which of course, meant you sat at the same time on the same table and shared stories with the same waiter. They built repport, you made a familiar relationship and the result was a kind thanks and some legal tender to go with it. It gave the people who helped make your cruise more enjoyable an incentive to make it just that little bit better. The new way; sitting anywhere, booking whenever, wearing whatever (seriously) and speaking to the waiters like trash has resulted in them losing their service mojo. You can see it in their eyes that they would rather be dragged through a chilli farm than have to serve another Australian bogan that wont let the moths out of their wallet. Lets not forget to mention the two "tough" security guys that spoke a mother like she was a total moron because she (unbeknowst to her) attempted to walk into the "nighclub" with her child in an attempt to find her husband after 10pm. Lucky you were there lads... Who knows what would have happened... I could really go on in length about how much the quality of the cruises have declined, but that would be in direct corrolation with their subsequent decline in price, so what can you expect? I wont go on another one. Which is shame, because i have some fantastic memories of P&O when they really put in the effort on the little things. The decline of quality (and its breakneck pace) has resulted in P&O being the JetStar of cruise lines; you get the ticket and some "food" and literally everything else (even a pen for Bingo) has to be paid for. Id rather pay a decent amount up front and have a "real" stress free holiday with exceptional service. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
Our initial impressions weren't great. There was a lot of queuing up to get through before we boarded. Then we got a terse note in our cabin to say our luggage had been 'confiscated' and we had to go and queue again, like ... Read More
Our initial impressions weren't great. There was a lot of queuing up to get through before we boarded. Then we got a terse note in our cabin to say our luggage had been 'confiscated' and we had to go and queue again, like naughty schoolkids. By this time, we'd really had it with queuing! It turned out we had a pair of scissors (which we'd taken on many cruises before) that were an inch or two too long for P&O. Why they couldn't have delivered the bag to our cabin and then asked us for the scissors (which I wouldn't have minded), I don't know. Presumably it would have cost them an extra few cents in crew payments and, as we found out, saving money and skinning their passengers seems to be a major focus for P&O. It's possible that the cruise line depends on having a lot of first-time cruisers - who don't know any better - on these trips. So, from having sailed on a few ships, here are a few observations... 1 Many ships have, say, seven restaurants and you may have to pay for one of them. Pacific Dawn has 7 restaurants and you have to pay for FIVE of them. The restaurants you don't have to pay for are the buffet, which was dire, and the Waterfront, which was better but no more than 'OK'. Oh, and the 'you pay' restaurants and cafes weren't exactly cheap. You even had to pay for a burger and chips by the pool and it was at least as expensive as eating ashore. 2 If you've cruised before, do you remember how nice it was to go to afternoon tea and have a cuppa and a cookie or cake while a string quartet (as on Princess ships) plays? Well, forget that on PD. The free restaurants seemed to be closed outside main meal times although, of course, you could still get a cuppa and cookie if you were prepared to pay for it! 3 Remember how you got other goodies like ice cream free of charge on other ships? Well, not on PD. One scoop in a cone cost $A5. Besides the charges for what's usually free, there were silly signs of cost cutting. For example, there were no tissues or bottles of body lotion in the room. These are minor irritations but they add up. And so it goes. There were good things about the cruise - the crew all did their best and the disembarkation was very efficient (no doubt because it's in P&O's interests to get people off the ship quickly) - but the overall experience left a sour taste in our mouths. We won't travel P&O again and, if you're a first time cruiser, it would pay to look around and see if you can pick up a cruise from, say Royal Caribean or Princess. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Just returned from our 2nd cruise - this one was on the Jewel and the previous cruise was on Carnival Spirit. What a massive disappointment!! According to fellow diners who WERE regular P&O cruisers, and from our experience, the bean ... Read More
Just returned from our 2nd cruise - this one was on the Jewel and the previous cruise was on Carnival Spirit. What a massive disappointment!! According to fellow diners who WERE regular P&O cruisers, and from our experience, the bean counters have destroyed the experience by cutting back on so many of the things that make cruising enjoyable. We found the quality of the food in the buffet very poor, the cost of a the 'extras' excessive, the level of service to cabins below standard (one service a day), free food during the day outside of meal hours is no longer available. Other ships provide free food options and a large choice in the buffets. Everything and I mean everything, costs more. A big shock was the internet which works out at approx $50 per hour!!!!! OMG! Plus it is extremely slow and you can only access it in public areas. Drinks are expensive and you are not allowed to bring any alcohol on board. The Oasis area is a joke - only a scrap of shade, no pool or spa area - but there is a shower! So you are forced to use the main pool area which is constantly filled with very loud music, screaming kids and the design doesn't allow for adequate air flow on hot days. The design of the ship is very poor! The Spa (which makes money - although way over priced) takes up the prime view areas - which is strange as if you are having a treatment you have your eyes shut?? As a result you can't sit and watch the view from any of the bars as in the only one that does offer a side view, the lounges face inwards! The tiny gym is dangerous and seems to have been an after thought. Communication to passengers is sparse and you have to rely on 'passenger whispers' to find out what is going on. The entertainment was ok - but nothing amazing. At night, there isn't really anywhere with atmosphere where you can dance or sing along. On the few times when people started to dance, everything stopped as they only have 45 minute sessions? Strange! Please save yourself some money and avoid going on the Jewel. You may spend a little more initially on the other lines but you will have a much better experience and in the end it will cost the same. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
There were a few good things about this cruise, the best part was getting back home! Boarding at White Bay was great, taxi arrived at 11.30 and we were in our room buy 12 noon! we did get preferential boarding, which I appreciated. Sat ... Read More
There were a few good things about this cruise, the best part was getting back home! Boarding at White Bay was great, taxi arrived at 11.30 and we were in our room buy 12 noon! we did get preferential boarding, which I appreciated. Sat at the dock for 12 hours, that was not a big problem as a we were advised of a nine hour delay. I felt a message or apology from the bridge that we had to go back to port after sailing would have been a good thing. I cannot see the harm in saying sorry folks we have to go back to port, no need to give the reason that some stupid person got so drunk they had to be taken off! Just a short message saying there would be a two hour delay in departing. I could not stand any longer and had to go back to the room, so missed the sailaway. We had room 10218, it was a nice room, and I was surprised how quiet it was. I could hear music at night, but that was expected and not very loud. There was plenty of hanging and drawer space. No complaints about the room. We went to the Waterfront Restaurant on the first night, the meal was the worst I have ever eaten in my life. Frozen (and I mean still frozen) little prawns for entree, then we decided to share a pizza a we were not all that hungry and thought it would be a normal pizza, but no, it was a piece of pitta like bread with about two inches of something indescribable in the centre, can't remember what dessert was as it was revolting. Having said that others have said they had nice meals there, we must have selected the wrong things, but we could not bring ourselves to go back there. I did not mind the meals at the Plantation Restaurant, and ate there the rest of the time. We did go to the Salt Grill for lunch, which was quite nice for the $75 extra, but did not think it was worth going back. We liked the shows at night, but that was the only entertainment for whole day that did not cost money. Daytime entertainment was non existent, unless you wanted to purchase art! I still do not understand this. Oh the other great things was a person dressed in a white coat, selling expensive vitamins, I cannot believe people fall for this rubbish. There was the amazing opportunity to have your footprint taken and purchase inner soles for $190. There was rock and roll advertised, but nothing going on, a couple of songs on a TV and that was it. The tender trip out to Moreton Island was really good, rough, which gave us a little excitement. I had my own snorkelling gear for Moreton Island, but was told when I got there I was not allowed to snorkel at the wrecks unless I was on a tour!! Hello it is a beach for goodness sake, I have never known a beach in Australia that you are not allowed to swim. Again, all set up to sell food and rubbish to the tourist. The other activities like quad bike rides did look like fun. Back on board and the pool was closed due to rough weather, OK not a problem but is there any reason you could not have put a movie or something on. There was an abundance of drink trolleys being pushed at you every few minutes, I could not believe one even came around at breakfast one day. I liked sitting in the oasis, but hard to get a seat most of the time. Everything was run on a very tight budget, skimping and charging at every chance. I have a feeling this company may be in financial trouble or cutting back so much to make more profit. I was not the only person who thought this, I spoke to others who thought the same. I can see how if you were in a big group and just wanted to sit and drink all day and night then it would be fine. I was bored to tears 95% of the time. Getting off the ship was awful, the cats bum woman speaking rudely to people, no information what so ever. Sat there for two hours after the time they told me to be there. I would have liked to go to the toilet but could not get to one by this stage. The corridors smelt of raw sewerage, have not been on another ship this may be the case on all of them. Would I ever go on another cruise again? NO, not even if I was offered it for free. A total waste of money and it was not cheap. I was thinking that maybe a lot of the bad reviews the people were being too fussy as I have stayed in hotels with bad reviews and they have been great for me, but now reading back on the bad reviews they are all spot on. I can only advise to look at another company, unless you want to drink all day.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Where to start....we were on deck 10, the corridor smelt of sewage as you walked through. From the moment you get on board they are trying to get more money from you, whether it is to climb the pole, use the sauna's, have a face ... Read More
Where to start....we were on deck 10, the corridor smelt of sewage as you walked through. From the moment you get on board they are trying to get more money from you, whether it is to climb the pole, use the sauna's, have a face lift, purchase expensive vitamin's and the list goes on! We enjoyed using the sauna's and steam room, however there was a significant cost to using these facilities. Other cruises I believe these facilities are free. We went in search of something to do at nights, the only place to go to dance was a small bar in what is called the dome, we were told through ship whispers that this is the hang out for young men who apparently like to grope female's, which we were told was happening on this particular cruise, so we probably shouldn't go up there. I experienced first hand the intimidation of some of these young men. And where was the security??? If there was a band playing this would last for an hour and then stop! Then nothing. There was one 70's 80's night, this music went for an hour and we were told they weren't allowed to play our style of music for the rest of the night :S As someone else reviewed, there was nowhere to go with any sort of atmosphere where you could dance and sing. The karaoke was sometimes on for an hour late at night mostly and the compare's where not approachable at all, in fact quite rude at times. There was no communication...if you did receive the daily schedule to your room it was difficult to read and work out what the important points were for the day. The Oasis area, adult retreat area, was nice and relaxing, the waiters were good, however on some days the smell of garbage drifted up from the back of the boat. The Waterfront Restaurant food was very nice and the staff wonderful, however if we slept in or wanted to eat later there was no food available, except to purchase, and sometimes not even that option was available. The buffet never appeared to be open when we wanted to eat and the time we did get food from there it was cold and the selection was very ordinary. The quality of the food was very poor! The drinks were expensive. This was my first cruise and my partners 5th, it was obvious that the standard of service, entertainment and food has dropped considerably due to apparent staff and cost cuts. We spoke to other cruisers on board who were of the same opinion. When you add the costs of the cruise, the drinks, all of the other extra's it would have been cheaper to go overseas and stay in top class hotels. We were well relieved when we disembarked this ship! We will never go on a P & O cruise again!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We have sailed 4 times on the Pacific Dawn, once on the Pacific Sun and once on Pacific Jewell since 2008. The services offered by P & O are getting worse with each trip. The number of passengers on the Dawn has risen from 1590 as ... Read More
We have sailed 4 times on the Pacific Dawn, once on the Pacific Sun and once on Pacific Jewell since 2008. The services offered by P & O are getting worse with each trip. The number of passengers on the Dawn has risen from 1590 as stated on a plaque I bought in the onboard shop, to over 2000 that were on this cruise and staff have been reduced. Services have therefore suffered. Headline Entertainment has been reduced. The Marquee Show Lounge is overcrowded due to the increased passengers so no seats are available unless you arrive long in advance of a session. In the sit down Waterfront it is impossible to get a HOT meal & I don't believe this meats Australian standards. The Plantation is where one is forced to eat on Port days due to the Waterfront now being closed on these days. It is impossible to get a seat due to 2000 passengers trying to eat at the same time. We walked the entire restaurant looking & finally handed our trays to the Supervisor due to no seating. This ship should now be called Queue Ship not Cruise Ship as you queue for everything eg half an hour to get a booking for the following evenings dinner. None of the above is exaggerated and the Pacific Jewell is worse as the Dome is taken up with Spa so all that use the Dome are forced to the other bars. P & O should lift their game as many many on this cruise stated that they would Never cruise with P & O again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
In all the years I've been a member of Cruise Critic I have never written a disgruntled and poor review but this time, the Pacific Dawn deserves my wrath. Apparently P&O have cut crew numbers down and this is very apparently ... Read More
In all the years I've been a member of Cruise Critic I have never written a disgruntled and poor review but this time, the Pacific Dawn deserves my wrath. Apparently P&O have cut crew numbers down and this is very apparently everywhere you went. Our cabin was only cleaned once, not a big deal, we all managed but there was no night time turn down which I've always enjoyed. The worst problem was their food let down by unhappy staff who were poorly trained. There were no 6pm and 8pm dining times which is OK with me but every single night, every person on the ship had to either phone up or stand in a line to be allocated a table. A long queue outside the Waterfront restaurant which caused chaos as other people were trying to enter the restaurant. Plus all of this was written by hand, no computer. If you were too slow you didn't get a choice in times. One lady I met had a small child and she never got to eat in the dining room as she could only get a late sitting and by 8pm her child was asleep. The only words I can use for the food was plain, boring and repetitious and rarely served with a smile except the odd waiter. Thank you to Dora for making our dinning times passable! There are no chefs on board the Dawn or at least staff that know how to cook to order. eg Steak, medium to well done continually came out bloody. Sometimes the entree was larger than the main meal. The ravioli was always undercooked and not even warm in the middle, cakes were always dry, boring and repetitious, duck was overcooked and dry, fish was tasteless, pavlova means 3 meringues, 1 teaspoon of cream with a circle of strawberry jam, yes strawberry jam!!!! I'm insulted that anyone, let alone a chef on board a ship thinks this is an acceptable dessert!!!! I think I could go on forever but I think you understand that we are not happy cruisers and there is no way I would ever recommend P&O. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
The service and customer care was shocking, attitude was careless and dismissive! We did not expect the cruise to be top of the line "5 starts" like in Celebrity Cruises, but it even has fallen very short of being 1 or 2 ... Read More
The service and customer care was shocking, attitude was careless and dismissive! We did not expect the cruise to be top of the line "5 starts" like in Celebrity Cruises, but it even has fallen very short of being 1 or 2 Starts. The quality of the food was poor at best, but at the Salt & Grill restaurant, it was above good. Everywhere we went on the ship, we had different unpleasant aromas (especially in the lifts!). To a point I started calling it “Pee & Odour” cruise. Noisy maintenance work was carried on during Saturday morning while guests trying to have a rest! Our cabin on Deck 10 got flooded (Due to heavy rain and water accumulating on the Balcony), the solution was to have a "Air Dryer/Blower" blowing cold air in the room, which made it have an awful smell and did not dry at all. After few complaints and insisting on a resolution, we got the unwilling and unsupportive Customer Care to give us another room & $100 credit! It was "The only room" on Deck 5 that they have! Twice, ship staff have opened the cabin door while I am having a shower (This cabin seems to be dedicated to Staff!). Attitude similar to " what I can do! Sorry". It is understandable when unfortunate events happen, but alternatives and options should be presented! But the attitude was of carelessness to my comfort that I paid for. Disorganised, computer systems did not work, disembarkation was disorderly and unprepared. I will leave at that, nothing has made this trip with P&O enjoyable, except the good people that shared our frustration! Ssam Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
This was my Bucket List after 35 years of marriage and raising 6 children, it was my time for being spoilt and have someone look after me. Therefore you can imagine our excitement of finally taking the trip of our dreams with all the high ... Read More
This was my Bucket List after 35 years of marriage and raising 6 children, it was my time for being spoilt and have someone look after me. Therefore you can imagine our excitement of finally taking the trip of our dreams with all the high expectations that P&O promised in their shiny brochures. EMBARKATION My husband and I set sail on the Pacific Dawn from Brisbane heading towards New Caledonia for 7 nights. Our first taste of the disaster that was to become our holiday started at the terminal. What a dingy place that is and no one told us to expect an hour to fill out forms and there was no where to sit or rest the papers against to do so as this small place was quickly filling up with other passengers all trying to do the same paperwork. Then we were held up for an hour or so due to a problem with customs delaying our departure. SO IF YOU ARE GOING ON THIS TRIP TAKE A PEN AND BE PREPARED TO WAIT. There were shops where you could get something to eat whilst you had to wait but they were so far away you be afraid of missing your turn to get on the ship and having to wait longer. SHIP INFORMATION Once onboard we went to our cabin which we had as an 'upgrade'. It was originally designed as a quad with little room to move around the bed and it was situated right under the Marquee room resulting in all sorts of noise filtering down through the night making sleeping a little difficult at times. When we arrived at our cabin there was a Yellow card saying that I had an item in my bag that was being Confiscated and made me feel like a criminal trying to smuggle illegal goods - as it turned out it was my travel iron of all things. I was told that I could not use it as they had a laundry and I could iron my items down there. There was no mention in any of the documentation of what not to bring onboard saying that I could not bring one, even the questions on the Facebook fellow travellers page when asked say that this was a prohibitive item only that there were laundry services available for a fee. Available for a fee became the theme for this voyage. The ship itself and all the feature rooms and trimmings were tired and looked like they needed a refit. My general impression was that they were downgrading the quality and offering lower prices to get more people to travel with them. ACTIVITIES There were quite a lot of activities offered but they were so boring that it was not worthwhile going or participating. For instance the trivial quizs where half hearted as was the bingo game which I did play after paying $30 for the privilege, the casino my husband played/lost $30 without even realising it as you have to insert your card and a whole lot of rigmarole. There were only one table of each, roulette, blackjack and a poker game so if you wanted to have a flutter it became a long wait. The so-called BIG ATTRACTIONS were tired and very difficult to access. The main performance was from the Pacific Circus in the Atrium and if you did not get a seat an hour beforehand it was impossible to see what was going on. The music provided by the various bands I could have watched better at our local pub, they were tired and lacked any enthusiasm. Definitely no toe tapping fun to be had with them. Otherwise all the other activities could be had - for a FEE - a gallery excursion, a tour of the ship and etc. The theater was outdoors on the pool deck on a large screen so if you didn't get a seat right in front you had to sit on the side and not get a good viewing. Also it was cold and windy most nights so that did not encouraged us to go out much. PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS There was nothing like I imagined, no greetings from the locals, no organisation involving tour operators or how to get on to the tours, you had to sort that out all by yourself. The islands were not what we had expected them to be and there was very little cultural or background knowledge provided. Life on islands was not as romantic as I had anticipated and would rank them as being 3rd world, with a lot of graffiti everywhere. But they did use Australian dollars which was great and very little way of shops to buy trinkets for back home. DINING Terrible is what I can only describe it as. Where was all this wonderful food we were promised? The Plantation was a cafeteria at best, with not a big range of choices and if you asked for a second slice of the 'meat' of the day they snarled. The coffee was terrible and there was no cold water available. I ended up with Acute Gastroenteritis from eating there so be careful as it does happen quite frequently on the Pacific Dawn as there at least 3 other cases when I go sick. The Waterfront promised a lot and delivered not much. They said you had to dress up for the occasion but this was not the case. The meals were tepid at best and bland all the time. But it was nice being served. All the other eating venues you had to pay and as I mentioned earlier this was the theme of the ship. You also had to book for evening meals or line up for lunch and breakfast. Both restaurants had closing times and when you were in port difficult to get in Ice cream, pizza and everything else you can imagine had a price. It appeared to me that for all staff English was not their first language and they made little eye contact. if you asked them a question they appeared not to understand you so we gave up. DISEMBARKATION Once again the terminal was abysmal and dingy. You had no idea where lines started or finished. Claiming my 'illegal' iron was difficult and everyone crowded in or around the door way that made getting out difficult. SUMMARY This was first part of my bucket list and I can say that I can cross it off my list but I will NEVER travel with P&O again Everything had a price and you had no idea of what or how your spending was going unless you checked it everyday so I would highly recommend everyone to do that, as I witnessed quite a few fellow passengers have near heart attacks when they received their final bill.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was a cruise for family and friends to celebrate my partners 60th Birthday. As we had both cruised with P & O on the Jewel as recently as 12 months ago, and the fact that the cruise date had my partners birthday on the Saturday ... Read More
This was a cruise for family and friends to celebrate my partners 60th Birthday. As we had both cruised with P & O on the Jewel as recently as 12 months ago, and the fact that the cruise date had my partners birthday on the Saturday night of the cruise we chose this one. What a mistake!! The customer service all all areas was poor , about a 1 star rating. It was difficult to find any staff that wanted to serve you. The hygiene on board was almost non existent, and no emphasis was placed on hand sanitizing ,resulting in an out break of vomiting and diarrhea throughout the ship. So much so that the ship was inspected on return to Sydney by the health Department and samples were taken. We have cruised as I said with P & O before and also with other cruise lines over an eight year period and I can say that P & O have an inferior product on this ship. The only staff member that seemed interested in customer service was our Cabin Steward who was friendly and helpful at all times. Buffet food was disgusting and tasteless. Waterfront food food was nice but potion control was non existent. 6 people ordered similar or the same meals and not one had conformity, at times it looked like it had just been thrown on the plate with no care taken to ensure the sizing and presentation was correct. Waiter Service was poor and unfriendly, they were more happy to talk among them selves than serve you. After complaining we were moved to another section at Dinner service and were treated much better but it was still not without it's problems, at that stage I knew complaining again would not help as the standard of service was as good as we would get. Drink waiters in all areas were scarce and unresponsive which I found really unusual as this is where most cruise lines excel. P & O have also removed the evening turn down bed service and evening refreshing of the cabins which is also poor, again all other lines do this. Overall I would not recommend P & O again to anyone. You are paying a cheaper fare, but when you take into account the charges for items such as , decent coffee, Pizza ,ice-cream and room service , which are free on board with other lines ,it really is that you are paying more for an inferior product. P & O really need to step it up if they are going to compete with other lines for the ever increasing market.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I have cruised many times - 22 over the past 35 years. Having said this, my last cruise was 12 years ago from Fort Lauderdale in Florida aboard Royal Carribbean's Explorer of the Seas which by the way was amazing. I have not cruised P ... Read More
I have cruised many times - 22 over the past 35 years. Having said this, my last cruise was 12 years ago from Fort Lauderdale in Florida aboard Royal Carribbean's Explorer of the Seas which by the way was amazing. I have not cruised P & O for some 13 years. I was stunned beyond belief the way P & O cruising has changed. Everything was based around what they can sell you. I truly felt I was aboard a floating TVSN commercial. Everything from Lose 5" in 2 hrs to Botox parties. Magic pills for sale to by a "Snake Oil Salesman" striking fear into people's hearts spouting fear facts which in truth were absolute lies. How they get away with what they do is beyond me. They really need to be challenged. The "Salesman" muttered obsenities at my Daughter and I as he walked past on his way out. Guess he didnt like the way were not buying into his sales pitch. Disgusting but very true. The only reason we were there was because we were waiting for the next Game Show to start and he had gone over by some 20 minutes. Have your footprints taken so they can sell you something else. On and on it went. This was on a 3 night cruise mind you. The drinks were good however varied dramatically in size and cost depending on what bar you went to. I would seriously question the alcohol levels in the drinks also. I think the alcohol is diluted or halved particularly in the cocktails. Cruises are normally known for the smiles and happy dispositions of the staff. Not on this one. All but 1 member of staff were incredibly unhappy. Miserable I would go so far as to say. Many were outright rude. Again, I was absolutely stunned. This is not the cruising I remember. The food was disgusting.. Stale bread and pastries. I am certain they were left over from the previous cruise. I very much doubt that any of the bread or pastries were freshly made aboard. The only exception to this was the bread rolls at night. Portion sizes in the Restaurant were pitiful. The food was the worst I have ever encountered on any ship by far.. Orange juice was reconstituted which is fine but diluted 20 times over what it should. The soups were watery and flavourless. The sauces ie tomato sauce was diluted and was like tomato juice. Muesli was cheap rolled oats not muesli. Lemon meringue tart was served on a large plate with 3 squiggles of sauce with this little teeny weeny tart approx size of a 50 cent piece. The meringue was runny and not fully whipped and it had been blow torched slightly. Not only did it look ridiculous on the plate, it was inedible. I could go on and on and on. Most food was left on the plate - what there was of it. We went to the buffet once and that was enough. Lots of nothing. People eating from the buffet line. The rating I would give the food is a 1/10. We went to Salt - a Restaurant aboard that you can pay for. $30 for lunch and $49 for dinner per person. We went to lunch. It was OK. By comparison it was heaven but I still did not feel it was as good as it should have been. I would rate it 6/10. The Salt Restaurants on land are far superior to this one. Cabins are now tidied once per day - that is fine but a change from the previous 2 times per day. Room service is available but at a hefty price. Bottles of water are in your cabin and are $4.95 each for 1 litre. The cruise was a Comedy Cruise and it was very hit and miss with the commedians but that is very normal and really a personal thing as to taste. Trying to get into the shows and get a seat was sometimes impossible as it was already full. The weather was fantastic. Boarding and disembarkation were flawless. This was with the exception of the woman at the end of the line assisting with disembarkation. I believe she could have been African American. She was screaming and was abusive. I understand that people need to be assertive however she was extremely rude screaming abuse at people and it was just so unnecessary. P & O should be ashamed to have someone like this as your last memory leaving their ships. Many people were talking about her as we all went to collect luggage. Lasting memory on top of all the rest of negatives. I will cruise again. I love it. I however will NEVER cruise P @ O again. Disappointment plus. I will go back to Royal Carribbean. Far superior in every way. I would rate this cruise 1/10 Poor is being generous.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
My husband and I sailed on the Pacific Dawn in September to PNG. Embarkation was slow and a total shambles. Spending an hour lined up is not good enough. Accommodation was adequate, and our cabin steward Robin could not do enough for ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the Pacific Dawn in September to PNG. Embarkation was slow and a total shambles. Spending an hour lined up is not good enough. Accommodation was adequate, and our cabin steward Robin could not do enough for us. Food was average, however the Luke Mangan restaurant was outstanding. Tender boats to the islands - the first island we waited 2 1/4 hours for our boat. The second island was a bit shorter at 1.5 hours. We had booked the cruise as it was going to Rabaul where my grandfather was stationed during WWII. I had spent 6 months researching his story before our holiday. 36 hours before we were supposed to arrive, P & O decided not to go there because of "safety reasons" (volcano). Whilst I can understand that letting 2000 people loose in Rabaul may have be a safety risk, P & O should have considered the following: There were Australians in Rabaul a few days before we arrived attending commemorations of the first Australian death in WWI - we saw it on TV on the ship. There was a Princess cruise which was due in Rabaul 6 days before us - they did not disembark but cruised past Rabaul (I knew someone on that cruise). P & O didn't even bother to do that. They spent a day at sea going around in circles. More money in their coffers. We checked on the internet to see if the volcano situation had changed (got worse) since it originally erupted in August - it had not. We heard on the ship that there were people on board who had booked private tours in Rabaul but had them cancelled before we left Australia, because we were not going to Rabaul. If this was the case, then we were severely misled. I put in a written complaint on board the ship. I was told it would be passed on to the relevant department heads, but am still waiting on a reply. Even after giving them a bad survey, still no contact from them. They obviously don't care what their customers think. For these reasons I would never sail with P & O again. I have not been put off cruising in the future, however next time I will use another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Can hardly wait to see the new P&O purposely built ship for Australia. On past performance over the last couple of years it will have no restaurant or bars and passengers will be given a food hamper and carton of beer when boarding. ... Read More
Can hardly wait to see the new P&O purposely built ship for Australia. On past performance over the last couple of years it will have no restaurant or bars and passengers will be given a food hamper and carton of beer when boarding. Cabins will have the latest in hammocks with storage bins in the corner, communal Roman styled bath rooms will be provided for ablutions on the bottom deck. Entertainment will be provided by the Northern Territory Aboriginal Arts and corroboree reenactment society with highlighted guest appearances from pensioner acts. Port calls will be at the discretion of the captain allowing for the daily profit from the casino. Tendering from ship to shore will be by ships canoe if the weather permits. Dress code will be stringently enforced in all public areas with thongs, T-shirts and stubbies for the men and Bikinis mandatory for women. At last P&O have found out that Australians are not a bunch of classless ignorant Yoboos and cannot be taken for granted like Cruiselings are everywhere else in the world. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We went on the Pacific Jewel, pacific Island cruise out of Sydney 1/12/2014,from the start we did not get told were the ship was leaving from, caught the train from sydney airport to circular quay but then we had to get a taxi from there ... Read More
We went on the Pacific Jewel, pacific Island cruise out of Sydney 1/12/2014,from the start we did not get told were the ship was leaving from, caught the train from sydney airport to circular quay but then we had to get a taxi from there to White bay, It should have been on the itinerary that the ship was leaving from White bay.(we booked online with P&O).Food was very average, Went to Salt and Grill restaurant and it was NOT GOOD. The entertainment was not what they advertise, they cancelled a lot of activities and did not announce them. When it rained they swept the water off the pool deck and did not wipe the tables and chairs down.One of the pools was closed for the first three days,and on the third day there was no pools as they were painting them. When it came to Disembarking at Sydney we had a time slot but there were no announcements you had to fend for your self.Told security staff as we were leaving and told them that there were no announcements and they just shrugged there shoulders and stood there. Would not recommend P&O Pacific Jewel to any one.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
The cabin was ok ,but that was all that was ok.The food quality was very poor the fish served in the water front dinning room covered in a sauce was very dry and inedible,the only thing on the menue that was ok was the rump steak.The ... Read More
The cabin was ok ,but that was all that was ok.The food quality was very poor the fish served in the water front dinning room covered in a sauce was very dry and inedible,the only thing on the menue that was ok was the rump steak.The promotion was for an Australia Day Party in Sydney Harbour sounded great so we joined a group of 20.The weather was poor (but what the heck) no one can control that.There was no aussie BBQ? the music was JJJ play list no classic Aussie Rock until about 2pm after 3 hours of complaints. The guys playing on deck a duo were playing music to put us to sleep.The fire works a highlight was a lowlight the cruise director told us to go to the Port side we could not see a thing we should have been on the starboard side even then the ship was in the wrong position. P+O had three ships in the harbour and they provided a barge with the Fireworks but they did not co ordinate the positioning of the ship in relation to viewing the barge (a complete stuff up) We could not see any of the Sydney fireworks despite the P+O promotional promises. The cruise was expensive on a per night basis dearer than cruise we have taken Princess, Norwegian and Holland America.The value for money was terrible, the feeling in our group and others we spoke with was thatP+O were trying to gouge as many $$ out of us as possable. If you wanted some thing to eat other than meal times you had to pay. They confiscated our bottled water and 2 bottles of wne on other Carnival ships we have been allowed to bring 1 bottle of wine per head at each Port?? We have never written a negative review on any cruise we have been on 10 in all. This ship is a 2 star ship and i would rate the cruise at 2 out of 10.Beaware before you book a P+O cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We travelled from Melbourne through Port Lincoln to Adelaide. These are the points we feel important to mention to anyone contemplating Pacific Jewel vessel for cruises. Good things: 1. Some friendly staff. 2. We did not poison ... Read More
We travelled from Melbourne through Port Lincoln to Adelaide. These are the points we feel important to mention to anyone contemplating Pacific Jewel vessel for cruises. Good things: 1. Some friendly staff. 2. We did not poison ourselves with food. 3. Every once in a while reception staff were available and we did not need to queue up for an hour. Terrible things, not just bad: 1. Cheap uninteresting entertainment. Every night unless you are into noisy drunk Kareoke. 2. Casino was more closed than open. 3. Restaurants, lifts and halls smell of urine. 4. All furniture in the cabin is sticky and old. 5. Linen is grey colour. Can easily write '50 shades of grey linen' if given a bit longer. 6. Restaurant staff have Body Odour like elephants on heat. I pray that elephants do not get upset. 7. Restaurant food is greasy, full of fat, substandard by any standard. 8. Emergency drill that normally takes 2 minutes took 45 minutes with kids crying, heat getting to people, people sighing and getting mad, people forced to stand 'shoulder to shoulder' - I quote instructor here. 9. The most intellectual game outside cheap queezes was bingo with boring calls and cheap sex jokes. 10. I had to wash all my clothes 3 times to get rid of the odour that penetrates everything and is still lingering. 11. Urine smells in restaurants, filthy windows everywhere, everything sticky - unbearable. 12. Service staff with filthy smelly table wipes not waiting for us to ever finish our meals were unbrarable. 13. Service personnel talks down to anyone asking questions. I have never experiensed such shocking lack of service, filth and ugliness. Terrible, P&O, Pacific Jewel. Shocking!!!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
My husband and myself went on the Comedy Cruise which left Perth on the 3 April 2015. This was our first cruise as a taster to see if we enjoy "Cruising". In some ways I am glad it was only for three days! We had a mini-suite ... Read More
My husband and myself went on the Comedy Cruise which left Perth on the 3 April 2015. This was our first cruise as a taster to see if we enjoy "Cruising". In some ways I am glad it was only for three days! We had a mini-suite which was fantastic and our cabin steward was very helpful. The food was very disappointing. We ate at all the food outlets and restaurants. The Buffet was uneatable, The Grill not much better and the Waterfront a little better. In all three the staff were very rude. We ate in Luna (Asian) one night and was well worth the extra $$. Staff were also very good. We ate at Salt Grill twice. Food was good the staff and service excellent. Our Cruise was overbooked and P & O were phoning customers two days before offering refunds. If you have already booked and get offered a refund I would highly recommend you take it. We will give "Cruising" another go but definitely not with P & O. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Having many wonderful cruises over the past 30 years and some very happy ones with P&O we were looking forward to this cruise as it took in 3 ports that my husband had not been to. On arrival for priority boarding as we had a suite ... Read More
Having many wonderful cruises over the past 30 years and some very happy ones with P&O we were looking forward to this cruise as it took in 3 ports that my husband had not been to. On arrival for priority boarding as we had a suite booked, it all began down hill. Embarkation was a total shambles with no P&O staff to control the chaotic shambles. Waiting 1 hour at standstill in the rain with no direction from anyone was perhaps the omen of what was to come! Our only delight was our suite was wonderful. Spacious, comfortable and plenty of room to spread out after the prior boarding disaster. Our first evening, after a delay of 2 hours for sailing was the beginning of the worst cruise ever. Dining staff were searly and not polite at all. This came as quite a shock as we have always found the staff more than helpful and a pleasure to be served by. Next came the menu! Well, it only got worse by the day.....having bubble and squeak served as a main on the dining room menu?? It just went from disappointment to disappointment. Then there was the lack of dress code for the main dining room. The RSL standards would not let people in how they were letting people into dine in the evenings! The weather was out of the companies control, having said that, I do believe the company could have softened the disappointment of missing two out of the three islands by some compensation. ie: perhaps a happy hour, 2 for the price of 1 drinks, anything to make those disappointed cruisers feel at least an attempt was made to appease what was to be a cruise that kept all cruisers locked indoors due to the wild weather miserable! Then.....no library!! Not bringing any books onboard as there was a previously well stocked library! Oh dear, it was lucky the suite was comforting, watching the same repeat TV to pass the days. Having done many trivial and silly games over the years, our cruise was booked to go snorkelling at the islands we missed out on. After expressing our disappointment to senior staff, they did try to appease us by sitting us by ourselves ( not sure if this was to stop us complaining to other passengers ) they did try, with warm friendly service from our dining staff but it was too little too late. Sorry! To hear other passengers expressing disappointment also, confirmed we were not being unreasonable in our complaints. Passengers referring to the buffet as The Pigs Trough!! This is the first time I have ever written a negative review in over 30 years of travelling on many cruise lines and I do this with out prejudice and hope that the company can view this as such. I know I will never travel on the Pacific Dawn again but will continue cruising on other lines that can maintain a higher standard that we previously had enjoyed with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Well, to say my lady, my children & myself were looking forward to this break, would of been an understatement, but unfortunately this was all turned upside down. Being the first time on a cruise and having purchased it for my ladies ... Read More
Well, to say my lady, my children & myself were looking forward to this break, would of been an understatement, but unfortunately this was all turned upside down. Being the first time on a cruise and having purchased it for my ladies birthday present we could not wait. Unfortunately, because of events that unfolded,in the end,we could not wait to get off. Ironically, about two days before we were due to board, i was warned by another disgruntled passenger ( a friend) who had been on a previous cruise on this ship,totally running down the pacific dawn and its food, service, etc. But i dismissed this as a personal thing as far as they were concerned and determined to to let their assessment not spoil our holiday. The first night we went to have dinner in the smorgasbord restaurant. To say the food was second rate was a pretty accurate assessment, but we just dismissed that as maybe it will get better and although we discussed between us that it was not real good, once again decided to not let that spoil our holiday. This was the first disappointment, having heard how beautiful the food is on cruise ships is. Being an entertainer myself, and looking forward to seeing some world class acts, sorry, there was none, and how the artists persevered with the inadequate sound systems, that were being kept way to soft for any sort of dynamics is beyond me. But once again, this was not going to spoil our holiday. The second day was a little confusing as my on board credit card was rejected. After getting in contact with the card provider, knowing there was ample funds available, they notified me it was just a security measure because i didnt notify them i was going overseas, which was fair enough, then they also told me it was all taken care of. I notified the reception that the card was all fine now and they in turn assured me that it was all good from now on, but this was not the case, mainly because the people in reception were not doing their job properly. Three more embarrassing times my card was rejected and each time they told me it wont happen again. This was the start of frustration, embarrassment and a whole lot of unnessasary stress. Finally, the card fiasco was sorted.!!!! We then booked to have dinner in the salt restaurant about the second to last night on board, having read great reviews on it. Wow !!!! How wrong this was. The food was absolute crap, oysters and fish in tepura batter which was like leather, oysters kilpatrick had porchetta bacon on top. Tasted horrible. Then to top this night off, we had ordered our first drinks which we we consumed, then the birthday girl ordered another glass of red, of which she was refused , being told she was intoxicated. This was so wrong! we have never been so insulted in our lives and the kids , being 19 & 21years of age, were horrified. Lastly, to top off this whole so called cruise of a lifetime, when i collected my duty free alcohol it was two bottles short of which i discovered on arriving home. About the only good thing that p&o did when i complained about the missing alcohol was send me a cheque to cover it.. All in all, we had a most unsatisfactory holiday ensuring that we will never ever cruise with p&o again and also that we will let everybody know they would be making a mistake to even contemplate a cruise with you people. Thanks for nothing, except costing me a considerable amount of money and for causing my lady,who is still getting over breast cancer,total embarrasment & anxiety . Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was my second cruise on the Dawn and it will be my last. My first cruise 4 years ago was great and had no complaints what so ever so naturally thought the same about this one. Wrong! From the moment we got to the embarkation counter ... Read More
This was my second cruise on the Dawn and it will be my last. My first cruise 4 years ago was great and had no complaints what so ever so naturally thought the same about this one. Wrong! From the moment we got to the embarkation counter the problems started and continued every day even to the point at disembarking. They did not have my sister in law in the system so we had to wait for the ship to print a boarding card for her. Luckily she had her Eticket with her. We waited for an hour for this to be done and then was told she couldn't have her photo taken, it had to be taken on the ship. We proceeded to have this rectified on board and then was told she couldn't get it done on board because all the cameras were off the ship. What a fiasco. We were then told that the tours that we had previously booked through cruise control had been changed. I was basically called a liar by the shore tours manager when I told him that the information on cruise control is different than what is on his system. i was so upset by this stage they offered us a couple of free wine to help smooth things over. Our cabin was only set up for 2 people instead of 3. So we had to ask for more towels etc. This was an ongoing saga for nearly the whole trip. All we wanted was to have 3 towels, washers,glasses etc and everyday it was a drama. We eventually had to call the accommodation manager to help rectify the problems. On our second day I asked for an extra glass and our room steward basically accused me of stealing a glass to which i went to town. His words- "so am I lying" i replied that I didn't care what he said, I didn't come on the cruise to steal a water glass on my second day. What pathetic customer service. PNG we really enjoyed but again the tendering process is ridiculous. We were told at one place that they were bringing more older people back and we would have to wait to go off the ship because the older passengers were wanting to get back on board for their lunch. Seriously???? The buffet and restaurant closed spot on time every day so if you were ashore, you could not get anything else to eat for lunch after 2.30pm unless you paid for it, or wait until dinner. I have traveled on many cruises around the world and you can always get food when you come back on board. Not with this bunch. They are too tight fisted for that. You have to pay for everything now even the craft ideas. This was always free. P&O Edge was so expensive - $20 for 1 ride on the zip line! Nearly ALL the staff look unhappy and unfriendly. They are not properly service trained. They lean over you to pass menus and to refill coffee and water instead of going around the table. The buffet is so sub standard. A bowl of lettuce does not constitute a salad P&O. People want choice. The tours in PNG are sooo expensive. The History tour in Rabaul cost me nearly $130 for 3 1/2 hours and the time at the museum was 25 minutes. The actual cost for entrance was 5 kinas(approx $2.50 aud). We could not even get to have a decent look as we were being herded to all the 9 vans waiting. Disgusting. Wonder where all that money is going to? Not the people of PNG. I have read that people say you get what you pay for. While myself and my fellow cabin mates got a really good deal, The cost in our same cabin for twin was over $1600 each. That is not cheap. We have had absolutely fantastic cruises for less money,longer times and far far superior service. The DJ was just always content to play his own music and not really interested in what others wanted.They even lost my aunt's duty free alcohol on the last morning. This was my sister in laws first cruise and what a disappointment for her. Her words- "this is like a caravan park on water" The saga just went on for the whole 10 nights and never got better. I am happy to give credit were credit is due but I can't find any. Australians are a captive market in the cruising industry so we should demand better service etc. Having traveled with P&O 4 times prior, this was such a let down. Take heed P&O and lift your game or else you will continue to lose passengers just like this one. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
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