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Sail Date: January 2018
This particular cruise was sailing from Sydney at the perfect time to launch our three month tour of Australia and New Zealand. We selected a Club Class cabin which we would highly recommend. Our designated dining room, the Santa Fe, ... Read More
This particular cruise was sailing from Sydney at the perfect time to launch our three month tour of Australia and New Zealand. We selected a Club Class cabin which we would highly recommend. Our designated dining room, the Santa Fe, was beautifully appointed and the service was excellent, thanks Patchie. We are very active people so two weeks aboard ship was just the right amount of time for us. The destinations were interesting; our favourite being the tiny island of Dravuni. We booked a recommended excursion in Lifou, New Caledonia, out first port of call. It was described as a tour of the area and a stop at Luecila Beach. The tour guide on the bus spoke English haltingly, she did her best but it fell short. Not because of her language skills but rather due to the fact that the bus did not have a PA system and we couldn’t hear what she was saying. We were dropped off at a beautiful beach but it offered only one rickety shaded area, very primitive, too primitive in my opinion. Based on that experience, we decided to forego organized excursions at the other ports. We purchased a special thermal package at the spa for 309.00 each. Let that be a lesson to us, never again. And to whomever is reading this, trust me it is not worth it! The heated loungers were always occupied although we were assured that they were never fully occupied. One of the saunas did not work and the so called rainfall shower was absolutely awful! The temperature control knob came off in my hand and I had to quickly step out of the shower as the water became dangerously hot. We complained at the spa itself as well as the customer service desk, to no avail. But overall our cruise experience was enjoyable; we would recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Just back (literally) from the Sydney-New Caledonia-Vanuatu-Fiji-New Caledonia. I have had the most fantastic time. Same cabin as my last trip to Japan but a different feel, not so many Japanese (who are lovely) but mostly Australian, ... Read More
Just back (literally) from the Sydney-New Caledonia-Vanuatu-Fiji-New Caledonia. I have had the most fantastic time. Same cabin as my last trip to Japan but a different feel, not so many Japanese (who are lovely) but mostly Australian, Americans and Brits in the minority. Because if the Australian school holidays there were about 500 children on board, I personally didn't find this a problem although obviously the pool areas on Lido deck did get busy. Everyone friendly and friends made. She is looking a bit tired in the State Rooms but the Atrium and surrounding areas are fine for me. All staff on this particular sail were the best and an asset to the company. Embarkation Sydney was quick and organised, I was met by a Princess Rep at the airport. We were early but were able to drop off our luggage and I went for a short exploration of Circular Quay and a coffee. By 1145 I was in my cabin and my suitcase arrived soon after. I did choose Any Time Dining and for a couple of evenings used Santa Fe Restaurant. I will admit to feeling slightly awkward as a solo traveller asking for a small table. There would be a lot of huffing and puffing with explanations "there is always a lot of demand for these tables, come back at such and such a time and we'll try and fit you in - even though I had telephoned my reservation each morning. My point being that I've paid my money like everyone else and should I not want to be placed on a table of eight with strangers it is my choice to refuse! Although my wishes were accommodated I decided on day four that I could do without the stress and instead frequented Horizon Court which, although very popular, had lots of room. The food quality and choice was much better than the August sail. This time I took advantage of the evening shows at the theatre. Emma Kirk as Adele was exceptional and being honest I thought she was better - her own show was very good too. Donna Campbell as Dolly Parton was highly entertaining as well as her alternative show. The greatest pleasure for me this sail was the very high standard of the Princess Dancers and Singers - the best I have ever seen. This showed in the evening attendance at both sessions, the Theatre packed to the rafters and you had to get there quite early to have a hope of getting a seat. The performance of Bravo, the singing and dancing was perhaps their very best... It was also a nice touch to have a 'Meet the Cast' afternoon near the end of the cruise, it was lovely to get to know these hardworking young people and hear their stories. I purchased excursions in each port of call. To be honest there was only one 'great' one, the Wasaili Rainforest Walk. In fairness to Princess there is a limitation on the choice of excursions due the logistics of taking large cruise ship numbers to these small countries. It was nice to get out and about, though I did hear people complaining that the Princess Excursions were starting to get too expensive and if you felt a bit braver there were other trips on offer at the local ports at half the price which visited the same places. Although disembarkation ran smoothly getting off the ship, the Sydney transfers to the airport and nearby hotels turned into organised chaos outside the Passenger Terminal with people getting in the wrong queue, lack of information and just not enough room. As I took an extended two day stay my group was more or less last off the ship and I believe there were seven of us in total going to the Four Seasons which is literally on the Circular Quay doorstep. However we waited nearly an hour in the chaos outside for the pick up bus. If I had done a little more sensible research before I paid for the transfer I could have just walked with my case. Though for some people this was not possible due to either mobility reasons or the amount of luggage. All in all though a very enjoyable cruise around the South Pacific with lots of wonderful memories. Excursions: Lifou - New Caledonia - Cliffs of Jonkin and Vanilla Planation - average excursion, pleasant ride out into the countryside to see a a feel for village life and culture. To note: if you do want to descend down to the bottom of the cliffs there are 200 rough steps. A lot of people did do this but comments were that it was a bit underwhelming once at the bottom, and of course there is the long walk back up! Vanuatu Port Vila - pleasant Blue Lagoon Barge cruise which lasted a couple of hours with free drink. The guides were very informative and entertaining. FIji Suva - Thurston Gardens and Maritime Museum - gardens nothing exceptional but museum interesting. The guide did drop us off at a certain souvenir store in Suva and TOLD us to shop! The majority of the bus just wanted to go back to the cruise ship but he insisted on parking up the bus for around 20 minutes. Those who did venture off the bus came back with very little. Savusavu - Fiji - Excursion to Wasaili Rainforest and Walk. The ticket does say 'Active' and I have never heeded the advice before as by experience all sorts of mobilities have gone on these excursions with no problems. However beware, this Excursion is very tiring - the walk takes you down steep steps onto the rainforest floor, there are some handrails, not all and it is slippy. Of course what goes down must come up again and there is very little opportunity for a breather once at the bottom before the ascent once more. Some of the steps are quite steep and the walk can be exhausting. I enjoyed the experience but realise I must get fitter!! Not a trip for flip flops. Sun hat, sunscreen and good walking shoes essential! Latoaka Fiji - Nadi Sightseeing - not one of the greatest value for money excursions. There is a 45 min bus ride down to Nadi where again you are dropped off at a Department Store for souvenir shopping loaded back onto the bus, driven out of Nadi and taken to a Marina for refreshments of melon and pineapple, free soft drink and a demonstration by the locals on how to extract coconut milk and coconut juice and a basket weaving demonstration. A bit flat really. Noumea - New Caledonia - Sightseeing and Aquarium - a much better sightseeing Excursion stopping off for photostops at vantage points and driving around Noumea. The Aquarium is well worth a visit to see the beautiful fishes, marine life, Coral and sea turtles. One fellow passenger, who took his family did mention that it would have been a lot cheaper taking the local Tchou Tchou Train around the city and independently visiting the Aquarium. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We choose it because of the different ports like suva , savusavu ect.But I found it a little disappointing there was no (24/7 international cafe), the buffet restaurant closes at (11pm) the mini golf advertised was hard to find at first ... Read More
We choose it because of the different ports like suva , savusavu ect.But I found it a little disappointing there was no (24/7 international cafe), the buffet restaurant closes at (11pm) the mini golf advertised was hard to find at first and when you finally found it there was only putters hanging around and not a( ball ) insight. So I suggest you bring your own if you want to have a game.Tours over priced and very different to the adverting on voucher for example ( Deep Sea Fishing big scam) don't waste your money you would be lucky to catch a fish at all and is you catch one it would be no bigger than your hand. it is just bottom sea fishing. However Fiji Islands are very beautiful for swimming, snorkeling or shopping very good value for money. The cabin staff and dinning staff really make you feel good about the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Wanted cruise to South Pacific 4-7 days before booked cruise to New Zealand Really enjoyed the people (very warm and loving) on the Islands we visited. Lifou and Noumea, New Caledonia; Port Vila, Vanuatu; Dravuni, Suva, Savusavu, ... Read More
Wanted cruise to South Pacific 4-7 days before booked cruise to New Zealand Really enjoyed the people (very warm and loving) on the Islands we visited. Lifou and Noumea, New Caledonia; Port Vila, Vanuatu; Dravuni, Suva, Savusavu, Lautoka Fiji We also enjoyed the cultural tours and scenic sites-5 through Princess and 2 from another travel agency. The staff were very helpful, especially at service desk. There were changes made to my tours booked in Sydney after the cruise due to a holiday and I needed to make phone calls. But making phone calls from some of the ports was not available and guest services gave me a complimentary call. The whole ship had no TV service for about half of the 2 week cruise. Also, most days there was only 1 or no washcloths available for our room and others. According to my final bill, I think everyone was given a ship board credit. Despite some issues that can be corrected, we enjoyed the cruise and would recommend this cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise because it was the only 14 day cruise that Princess does in the South Pacific. Beware, if you are considering a trip that embarks from Australia during January, you will be traveling with many, many children and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was the only 14 day cruise that Princess does in the South Pacific. Beware, if you are considering a trip that embarks from Australia during January, you will be traveling with many, many children and teenagers. As Americans, we forget that Australians are on Holiday mid-December to February 1st. There were 500+ children on board and over 200 were teenagers. Many families brought their children into the dining room for breakfast so we were surrounded by crying babies, young children standing on dining room chairs, children on the rugs and running throughout the dining room. Unfortunately, the parents did not realize that there is a more casual restaurant, Horizon Court, that would be a better fit for the family nor did they realize that the children were disturbing the other passengers. The ship is lovely and easy to learn the layout. The Cruise Director, Marcus, was new but he was the best Cruise Director ever! He spent hours with the passengers and was involved in numerous social activities which is unlike other Cruise Directors. Most spend half of their time in their office. Marcus was more sociable than the Captain. The Captain never spoke to the passengers even at the private Captain's Circle party. He never spoke to us at 12 noon while at the Sea. We would have liked to know where we were as to Longitude, Latitude, how far we have sailed, temperature outside, etc. The food was average. The dining room staff still needs training in wine and wine service. Their knowledge is poor. Sydney is a beautiful port for embarkation and disembarkation. We used the Princess pre-cruise package with 2 nights at the Four Seasons. The hotel was wonderful...our room was ready for check-in at 7:30 AM. Princess had notified them that we would be an early check-in. After flying 14 hours, it was wonderful to be able to check in immediately. We used the Ships Spa Services even though their prices are triple the price as to what you would pay in the USA. They try to sell their products so you have to be forceful and say NO many times. They tried to sell me a $262 package of products. Even though our Roll call was quiet for this trip, we met many wonderful fellow travelers and we were able to join private tours arranged by other Cruise Critic members. The information exchanged between members on the Roll Call is so valuable. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
The staff and crew were wonderful ! they were always friendly and humourous, The food was first grade at all the venues we ate at, e.g. steakhouse,savoy,pizza bar, and Horizon. The pools and spas were always clean and and fun to use, ... Read More
The staff and crew were wonderful ! they were always friendly and humourous, The food was first grade at all the venues we ate at, e.g. steakhouse,savoy,pizza bar, and Horizon. The pools and spas were always clean and and fun to use, The bars were everywhere on the ship, so no problems keeping refreshed ! BUT ! once again they were opened to all ages, this caused some grief as unsupervised teens run amuck at times and there was no seen security at these times it was upto other responable adults to say something to them to try and kerb thier ways, this is something that should be policed more, by staff and THIER PARENTS! The cabins are very small, and no lounge to sit on, the beds are old and worn and the pillows were way to soft (feather type ones) and the TV did not work, most of the time, The entertainment was first class, we enjoyed all the shows we went too, and the venues were very good, the leval of the performers was very high, We loved all the ports except Suva and Latauka, we found we could get the onshore excursions alot cheaper at the Islands when we got off the ship by the locals, than the ones offered by the cruise ship, by quite alot, But overall we had a very enjoyable time and YES we would go again, and tell friends to use Princess ! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We were hesitant about carnival but it suited for a quick trip after 5 days in sydney we did the same cruise 11yrs ago on a P&O ship but spirit was much better, we weren't planning on doing shore excursions due to the cost and we ... Read More
We were hesitant about carnival but it suited for a quick trip after 5 days in sydney we did the same cruise 11yrs ago on a P&O ship but spirit was much better, we weren't planning on doing shore excursions due to the cost and we had previously been there. Only got off in noumea to get free WiFi it is very expensive on ship. We had a minor issue with seating at emerald dining room as we wanted a table for 2 but it was quickly sorted out. For my husband's birthday we booked nouveau Restaurants it was the most amazing meal best steak hubby has ever had side dishes, dessert and service was top class it was worth alot more than $45 each. All other times we ate at emerald dining room we could not fault the food, service or atmosphere, we were very very blessed to have a private tour and tasting in galley for emerald it was amazing something l had always wanted to see CYRIL the chef was lovely and explained all the ins/outs of the kitchen, produce and training we loved the opportunity and really made it special many thanks to isabella from dining room for selecting us.. The shows were great and always little activities if you wish to do them, oncecagain many thanjs to all for a wonderful job. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
A friend booked this trip for 10 friends - the food at the 'Pantry' was dreadful - the food at the preferred seating Restaurant was hit and miss although more miss - I did not see any passenger use the sanitizer in fact there was no Staff ... Read More
A friend booked this trip for 10 friends - the food at the 'Pantry' was dreadful - the food at the preferred seating Restaurant was hit and miss although more miss - I did not see any passenger use the sanitizer in fact there was no Staff to ensure it was used. You could not use the two spas as Parents would leave their young children in their me then wander off, at one stage I counted fifteen children sitting in and around a spa never again, would I ever use Pacific Jewel or any in this fleet. I have been on five cruises by different lines and ha e me r experienced such poor service and t times rude staff - I have been on Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity Cruises which are far superior to what I experienced on the P&O Pacific Jewel I am afraid I could never recommend P & O - most went back to use their own bathrooms because the public bathrooms were beyond words Read Less

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