2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
this cruise was amazing, coming with one side of the family it was a fantastic trip. Everyone was always occupied and the activities couldn't have been better. There were lots of shows to watch and parties to go to. Our room was a bit ... Read More
this cruise was amazing, coming with one side of the family it was a fantastic trip. Everyone was always occupied and the activities couldn't have been better. There were lots of shows to watch and parties to go to. Our room was a bit small, but our room stewards couldn't have been better. Every day there were great activities on for the whole family, which varied from White parties to Gatsby dance classes. The food in the pantry was pretty good, but could have been better if there was a bigger range. The pizza restaurant on level 8 served amazing food, and so did Dragon Lady (level 5), the only disappointing part was that it cost more to eat at these places.Our cruise travelled to Noumea, Maré, Lifou and Isle of Pines. This trip had been going smoothly until day 6 when the weather in Maré was miserable, as it was raining all day, when we reached Isle of Pines the following day (the last island) we were told that we weren't going to be getting off the ship due to the swell. The rocking of the boat was definitely noticeable throughout most of the trip but sailing with P & O Pacific Explorer was great!. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
It was a Dark Mofo 6 night mid-winter escape to Hobart that caught my eye. To Tasmania in the middle of winter ? Yeah why not. I have fond memories of the Dawn Princess but not very good memories of some of P&O Australia's ... Read More
It was a Dark Mofo 6 night mid-winter escape to Hobart that caught my eye. To Tasmania in the middle of winter ? Yeah why not. I have fond memories of the Dawn Princess but not very good memories of some of P&O Australia's "new" (old) ships. I thought my experience on the Pacific Eden' inaugural trip from Fremantle to Sydney a couple of years ago would have cured me from every going near P&O Australia again but....I must have had a lapse of concentration. Pacific Explorer seems to have a terrible problem with what I suspect is their sewer system. For two days the stench in the Atrium on Deck 4 level was eye watering and then one morning I woke to find the stink had found its way to my cabin on that same level. It leaves a metallic taste in your mouth. You need to escape to the open decks. But stench aside and in most other places I enjoyed myself very nicely. FOOD The Pantry is not much better than a shopping centre food hall. Its seems the food is all put out on display at the beginning of service (and replenished obviously) I mostly found things to be lukewarm or cold. Breakfast eggs were like golf balls. Toast was cold and chewy and they have the worst coffee I have every had on a cruise ship...thank you Nescafe. I restricted my visits there in the end to just lunch for a sandwich and a salad and some fresh fruit which were all very good. The dessert displays at night were sometimes a bit dramatic (one night it was pink on pink on pink) but EVERYTHING comes out of the same packet and tastes the same, no matter what colour the cake is. The Waterfront Was very nicely laid out in smaller sections and the menu was interesting despite lots of pay for extra's items and the service was pretty good by friendly staff. A glass of wine order at dinner seems to throw everyone into a spin however and one night I waited 30 minutes for the wine to arrive. Other nights I was well in to my meal before the wine finally arrived. Breakfasts in the Waterfront are very nice, very sane and civilised and the eggs, toast, and coffee are quite okay. Avoid the Pantry buffet bun fight. Alfredo's was very good (1st night) but after that I just dined in the Waterfront in the same area and mostly the same table where the staff and service was very good and the food quite surprisingly good. There were a couple of misses on the menu but after the Pacific Eden where everything on the menu that trip was a HUGE miss, I managed okay this time. Pizza For lunch one day was very nice. Not very warm but quite tasty. The Public Rooms have been very nicely decorated and service is very good. I left most of the entertainment on board to the night owls. The Dark Mofo inclusions for on land at Hobart were generous. Will I go P&O Australia again, ahhm, not sure. They need to fix that stink on the Pacific Explorer though. Everyone was talking about it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We picked this for a cheapie weekend away, and to check out Pacific Explorer having traveled on Carnival Spirit twice for a total of 17 nights and RCI Voyager OTS for 9 nights. We have always had balconies and will continue to book them ... Read More
We picked this for a cheapie weekend away, and to check out Pacific Explorer having traveled on Carnival Spirit twice for a total of 17 nights and RCI Voyager OTS for 9 nights. We have always had balconies and will continue to book them for longer cruises but as this was a shortie we decided to check out an ocean view stateroom instead. Lots of groups on board celebrating milestone birthdays, bucks, hens etc. Not many children evident, possibly due to being a 3 nighter. This was a Comedy Cruise, however we found most of the comedy to be pretty disappointing. Just the luck fo the draw on this I would say. Embarkation took about 25 minutes, no complaints. However, White Bay v.s Circular Quay is really a pain, particularly on the return as we were heading straight to work. Sailing away under the Harbour Bridge however is fantastic. Muster held indoors and seemed pretty well done. Indoors means you are more comfortable, can hear and so are more likely to pay attention. Our room # 8234 had a lovely big picture window but was certainly smaller than any we have previously been in and the bathroom is tiny. Both my husband and I commented that we would struggle with this on a longer cruise. We may have felt a little less confined if we had a balcony. It was adequate for a short cruise, and our attendants were lovely and did a great job of waving their magic wand over the room twice a day. Wish I could bring them home with me. The internal areas on this ship are lovely, certainly nicer than Spirit and perhaps even nicer than Voyager. I love how the evening party events are in the atrium and seem to draw you in from anywhere. Entertainment vibe was very good all over the ship. I feel P&O do this very well and seem to "get" Australians. Lots of lovely bay window nooks around the ship to curl up in for a chat or a read or just to people watch. These were a lovely find. External: pool deck fine, love the artificial grass on a lot of the outdoor areas, seems to make it less slippery. The adults' area at the back did not really appeal to us, it does not help that a smoking section is on the port side of The Oasis at the rear. We just could not really warm to it, but perhaps are biased after loving Serenity on the Spirit. The front adult area is lovely, with pretty lounges, but no permanent bar there and mostly unusable for the short time we were on due to the fact that it was usually too windy. (expected on moving ships at the front). Food: Pantry was OK, and I do like the fact that most of the food is served to you and not handled and coughed all over by everyone. I would rate it as 2.5 stars overall. I love the idea of three different styles of venue so that you feel that you are dining in a different restaurant each evening. I also liked the smaller more intimate feeling of them. Husband, however, felt that he prefers the larger MDRs on other ships. The fact that you have to line up and book on the first day however in order to get a table is a pain in the butt and for the life of me, I cannot work out how they cannot have a better system like other lines seem to manage. Big downside. Food was generally OK - good in the restaurants, in fact overall I thought the MDR was more consistently OK than the last time we were on the Spirit. Over the 3 days we had all dinners in one of them, 2 breakfasts and one lunch. All quite enjoyable. Drinks: Corona $AU8, cocktails about $AU12. Gym: very small. Lots of opportunities to pay extra for the usual things, including food, however we did not feel the need to spend extra on a 3 night cruise. Staff all very friendly and Explorer is a nice pick for a short trip getting away from it all. Would consider again. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
On the 28th December 2018 we embarked on a New Years cruise with P&O (the prices for this particular cruise were double if not triple normal prices due to the time of year). The dramas started when we paid for priority checkin however ... Read More
On the 28th December 2018 we embarked on a New Years cruise with P&O (the prices for this particular cruise were double if not triple normal prices due to the time of year). The dramas started when we paid for priority checkin however our tickets did not list this, it wasnt such a big issue, however at the time we didnt know this was just the start of the many issues we would experience. First day on the cruise one of our suitcases never arrived to our room, after calling reception we were told to wait and they will contact us back once they have tracked it down. 1.5 hours later sitting in our room waiting for a call back we called receiption to find our bag was there and we could come down and collect it. CABINS The first 3 days at sea were rough (with approx 6 foot waves) which is not uncommon however the front of the boat was particulary bad and majority of the time we could not be in our rooms due to the severity of the movement. Now to give you some background prior to this cruise we were on another cruise with RC which was in the middle of a cyclone with 8 foot waves and had little to no issues with our room which was also located at the front of the boat so it seems this particular boat with P&O may of not be of the same standard mechanically. Our room was on level 11 (pool 12 and pantry 14) which was a great location however levels 5,6,7 are also great as they are close to bars , reception and shops. Cabins were clean and liveable however they do not reflect the standard you would expect when paying a minimum $6k a couple (interior room) on new years. They are the original cabins and corner rooms are particulary smaller. If you are particular with pillows make sure you take your own as they are not the best. The rooms do have a safe and fridge and a great little sensor light for night time toilet trips. They also only have 1 australia power point , 1 european power point and 1 US power point. The rooms do have a hair dryer however they are very basic. Overall we were fine with our rooms however during our trip the toilet blocked up , lost all power and lights in our room at 12am in the morning and also had issues with the door locks not recognising our cards. A special mentionto the room attendents who do an amazing job , are very fast and are friendly. FOOD Not to bad, same as most cruise boats. We liked lukes , dragon lady and the cafe for cakes and tea. We love how P&O have set up the pantry as it stops alot of food being touched by other guests and limits food waste. Special mention to 400 grandi , great food , amazing staff and a nice quiet place on the ship. STAFF We were extremly lucky to experience great staff at the ocean bar , the cafe and 400 grandi. They are extremly helpful and accomodation. ENTERTAINMENT For a New Years cruise entertainment was limited however for a standard cruise it was not bad. Love riot was a great show (approx $15 per person) it was well worth it. Please note P&O seem to limit any adult only shows for 9pm and 10pm at night which wasnt always the best if you have a port day the next day. Please note lawn bowls and slides are not open permently only certain hours. PORT DAYS / TENDERS For locations with a port it was very simple and quick to get off and well organised. For ports which required tenders it became a bit of a mess and for one of our ports we waited 1.5 hours and then gave up getting off. Some people waited over 2 hours to get off and no explanation was given. After speaking to people who were lucky to get off we found guests on the beach kept snorkeling in the tender lanes which would then hold up the boats. P&O didnt seem to get these people out of the water or issues warnings to causing delays for other guests and some guests didnt even get off. SHORE TOURS We were lucky enough to do a great snorkelling tour in Santo which was well worth the money. However the couple we were travelling with did a village tour on another island and it was nothing like the tour summary and they did not learn anything from it. GUESTS Possibly some of the worst behaviour I have seen. Many of the guest were extremly rude , self centred , would push past or push in lines and we even experienced guests permently calling our room at 1am even though they were told they were calling the wrong room. Kids where still running around after 9pm and would often fill up the lifts or press all buttons inthe lifts. Our last morning there were kids outside our cabin door screaming at 5am with parents who did not care (our room was out of the way). The experience which really sent us over the edge was this one lady which we had to ask 4 times to move so we could sit down on the first day and book restaurants. We then had to ask her another 6 times to move so we could get up from our seat. I also experienced a lady at the gym who proceeded to push pass me and tell me she was waiting for a tredmill and she was next in line..... mind you i had been on the equipment for a good 5 mins before she appeared from somewhere having a cry. Please note the gym gets packed out and runs out of room and equipment duringthe mornings. Overall terrible behaviour and this doesnt even go into the fights , yelling and crappy comments we heard being shouted between guests and at the poor staff. LEAVING THE BOAT You are told to put your bags outside your room between 4pm and 8pm the night prior. Please note no where do they say you can self assist and take your own bags off but you can do this and it will get you off the boat faster. We got off the boat at 740am (we were told 720am for group 1 and 2). When we finally got off to collect our bags, our bags where not out yet and we had to wait atleast 30-40mins for our bags to come through. If you are being picked up or have a flight please keep this in mind. LIFOU If you are travelling to Lifou please note you need a ticket for jinek bay. If you do not get a ticket you will not be able to snorkel. Even though this is plastered everywhere we watched many people ignore this and walk in 30 degrees heat to the bay to then be disappointed. Quick tip, everyday you get a newsletter , make sure to read the back page for sales and spa deals. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Old out dated cruise ship even though it’s supposed to be renovated. Almost like staying in a back packers hostel. Really small rooms. Food wasn’t really good only if you decide to pay for it. I’ve been on quiet a few cruises with ... Read More
Old out dated cruise ship even though it’s supposed to be renovated. Almost like staying in a back packers hostel. Really small rooms. Food wasn’t really good only if you decide to pay for it. I’ve been on quiet a few cruises with other cruise ship and have cruise 29 days in total with p&o and explorer is the worst. Even the crews on top deck told us that the like pacific explorer because it’s a bludge job and easy going. Cruise director on this cruise from 18/10/18 to 3/11/18 was lazy and was hardly seen and this was mentioned by a lot of customers. Hardly no entertainment on top deck and played same songs and movie clips over and over. P&O has fallen way behind its competitors. Never again will I cruise with them again . Not enough room for anyone all areas are way to small and tender service was a joke borderline fire hazard Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Sailed the lovely Pacific Explorer. The choice of ship wasn't our main concern, it was the right time and going to the somewhere other than Melbourne winter. We stayed in Sydney the night before and stayed at the Rendezvous Hotel ... Read More
Sailed the lovely Pacific Explorer. The choice of ship wasn't our main concern, it was the right time and going to the somewhere other than Melbourne winter. We stayed in Sydney the night before and stayed at the Rendezvous Hotel Sydney The Rocks. The location is perfect, right near the OPT and literally a downhill walk to the terminal. Could not fault the hotel. The embarkation went smoothly, keep to the time allotted and you won't have a problem. Disembarkation was quick, so quick we ended up disembarking earlier than allocated. Once again keep to you allocated time and you won't have a problem. The ship is beautiful, well layed out. We loved everything and l don't have a bad thing to say about our cruise, (unsual to hear l know) personally we go with an objective of having a great time and thats what we had. The service was very good and as always they do a terrific job of running a huge ship with thousands of passengers. Why would you complain when everything is handed to you, no cooking, no cleaning and being waited on! So don't listen to all the bad reviews you hear. Everything will not be perfect their will always be something that you can find fault with but overall it was dam good. The ship tendor process to the islands was absolutely faultless, l have been on many that you have to wait around, but for some reason Pacific Explorer have this running smoothly. On every occassion we pretty much walked straight onto the tender. Food was great as well, so much choice and l love the way they have redesigned the pantry. We dined at the pantry for dinner as well as breakfast. It was great having a choice of foods (mexian, italian, fish n chips, curries, asian, roasts etc). We dined at Angelo's and Waterfront restuarant which were also good (free) We dined at 400 Gradi which was superb. (chargeable) but so much cheaper than if you dined at this resturant off ship. Entertainment was good Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This is is the 3rd cruise for my wife and me and while that doesn't probably make us cruise experts, we know what we like....and WE LIKED THIS! This ship is now fresh, clean and staffed by some of the friendliest and most attentive ... Read More
This is is the 3rd cruise for my wife and me and while that doesn't probably make us cruise experts, we know what we like....and WE LIKED THIS! This ship is now fresh, clean and staffed by some of the friendliest and most attentive people we've had on a cruise. For a crowd of this size, embarkation went seamlessly with us getting through the terminal and to our cabin in half an hour. Our balcony cabin was spotless and was kept that way for the entire cruise by our courteous cabin stewards. But here lies the only negative of our trip...the mattress on our bed really needed replacing! The room was airy and the bathroom clean and fresh with a continuous supply of clean towels. The food on this ship was outstanding! We were slightly hesitant about the new 'Pantry' but what an improvement over the tired old buffet. Served by gloved staff from behind glass..nice sized serves and more hygienic. The other restaurants on board served a wide variety of choices and I can't recall a single below-par meal. 'Dragon Lady' soon became a particular favourite. The entertainment crew on this ship made it our most memorable cruise so far. Funny, witty, gregarious and while we aren't ones for production shows there was plenty of great activities going on around the ship. We are looking into our next cruise and if we decide to go with anyone else they will have to be right up there to compete with this! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
As a fulltime carer I needed a short break, and wanted to try a comedy cruise. Got a good last-minute deal on a penthouse suite, with its nespresso machine, spa bath, huge balcony, canapes, afternoon teas. If I'd known this boat ... Read More
As a fulltime carer I needed a short break, and wanted to try a comedy cruise. Got a good last-minute deal on a penthouse suite, with its nespresso machine, spa bath, huge balcony, canapes, afternoon teas. If I'd known this boat rocks more than others we've been on, I'd have brought a wheelchair for my caree. As it was, had to rent one (other ships supply them free), and the $150 deposit took weeks to be returned. Worse, the chair given had stuffed wheel bearings, and was very difficult to push. Warning, the medical center has very limited opening hours. I must have been caught on cctv swapping the chair for one that worked, because I was roundly berated for doing so, never mind that renting a chair that doesn't work is a breach of contract. We'd heard good things about the Shell and Bone's fish pie, but for some reason it was off the menu, and we opted for the lobster. What an unmitigated disaster, a plate full of shell holding what might as well have been crab stick covered with what tasted like melted cheddar. Really should have complained. On the upside, Dragon Lady was quite good, and no surcharge. The Pantry does a reasonable paella, and fish and chips, but the queues can be insane, and you're not supposed to take stuff back to your cabin. Embarkation was delayed 3-4 hours, we were supposed to be priority boarding but had to queue for ages, we did not get the arranged wheelchair boarding assistance until we stalled halfway up those quite steep ramps. I wanted to like P&O, Australian currency, no tipping, local employers are all good ideas. But I probably won't cruise with them again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We booked this 4-day cruise because it offered 4 days of laughter - Big Laugh Comedy. It was with some trepidation that we boarded our ship in Sydney. It had arrived 4 hours late from its previous voyage - but what better place to wait ... Read More
We booked this 4-day cruise because it offered 4 days of laughter - Big Laugh Comedy. It was with some trepidation that we boarded our ship in Sydney. It had arrived 4 hours late from its previous voyage - but what better place to wait 4 hours than close to Circular Quay and beautiful Sydney Harbour? As expected, there were long queues at embarkation, but the officials and staff were friendly. We knew this ship well as the Dawn Princess, as we had previously spent 28 days on board cruising around Australia - we have also spent 53 days on her sister ship, the Seas Princess, on a half world cruise. We were absolutely delighted at the tastefully redecorated public spaces that P&O has created! The Bonded Store, the Blue Room (which we nicknamed The Cold Bar on our previous voyages). All the dining venues have been redecorated and are pleasant and functional. Staff was very friendly, efficient and happy. The comedy was what we came for - and it was very good! Some comedians appealed to us more than others, naturally. We would love to see this particular cruise become an adult only - 15 or 18 years + event. This would make the comedy cruise very much more appealing! An added bonus for us, was the amazing quality of the restaurants and the food that P&O served up. The Dragon Lady and Angelos Dining at Sea - no extra charge - were absolutely superb! The Waterfront Restaurant was our choice for breakfast and lunch - the food was fabulous. We did not use the self serve dining room - the Pantry - but noted the improvements that P&O has created. There is still an issue with seating everyone. Our cabin, a window cabin, was roomy, had plenty of cupboard and drawer space and was adequate for our four day cruise. Much is needed to refurbish the cabin! We look forward to seeing what is achieved in the cabins........ As a bonus, we had a day on Moreton Island. We chose a shore excursion to the northern point of the island. It was a very good day tour, although very expensive. We will certainly look for more short cruises out of Sydney on this delightful ship! PS: disembarkation was a breeze! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Embarkation was very smooth and quick. Our cabin was clean and there was a short wait for our luggage to be delivered to the room but we had no concerns. Good times pamphlet was easy to read with lots of interesting activities to ... Read More
Embarkation was very smooth and quick. Our cabin was clean and there was a short wait for our luggage to be delivered to the room but we had no concerns. Good times pamphlet was easy to read with lots of interesting activities to do. Waterfront restaurant had good food and was easy to get into with and without a reservation. The Pavlova dessert was AMAZING. Highly recommended even for the $9 price tag. Seven / Let's Misbehave / Rock shows were awesome - very talented entertainment staff always great shows. just magnificent. I love walking along the promenade deck except when portions are roped off and you have to detour back inside the ship to continue the lap and when you have to walk through a cloud of cigarette smoke (that definitely ruins the experience of walking around the ship and enjoying the seas air and views). Breakfast is always the worst meal of the day on cruises but breakfast under this new Pantry layout was DISGUSTING. The hot food (bacon, eggs, etc) were always cold and waiting in line for toast made it even colder. It is really difficult to get seats in The Pantry and the food is getting even colder by the time you find a seat. if you stay away from hot food and lines even the cold breakfast foods like yogurt and fruit were inedible. The Pantry is so chaotic - people walking every which way and people walking through the food area when they are leaving. no hand washing was enforced and broken soap dispensers was ignored by the staff. The staff were very slow in cleaning the tables in The Pantry which led to less tables being available and it was difficult to get a staff members attention is you wanted them to come clean a table for you. This was also noticeable around the ship as large stacks to used plates and cups were seen every including in elevators and under stairs. It may be a cruise ship and staff are there to pick up a lot of items but people can be sucks pigs leaving their leftovers everywhere. The Pantry at Lunch was not much better - too chaotic and too difficult to get seating for terrible tasting food. i recommend avoiding The Pantry at all costs. The opening times of the Pantry was awful. if you wanted a snack outside of The Pantry opening times there was nothing available unless you were willing to pay extra money. No sweets on offer between lunch and dinner times except the $5 a scoop ice cream. also the Pantry only offered Apple & Orange Juice with breakfast after than you could not get any drinks other than tea and coffee in the Pantry. No staff available to ask about getting other drinks with lunch?? the watersides were fun but lots of rules and issues about earrings. we took off our big earrings and went on the slides twice but then suddenly they changed their minds and we could not slide with any earrings in even small sleepers that were not going to come undone. make up your minds. many children were unsupervised as well and very pushy when trying to get past you on the stairs up to the slides. 18+ area was nice except for a couple of very loud annoying drunk women cackling away for 4 days and people hogging the hot tubs for many hours & not sharing. getting drinks was a slow process sometimes especially if you wanted to ask the bar tender any questions who would answer 1 then serve somebody else. Mock tails were never mentioned on any menus and had to be asked for specifically and then the bar tender would walk away to serve someone else without waiting for our order. Swim towels available in the rooms was much more helpful than other ships where you have to search for towels yourself and then walk back to the pool you want to use. Spa services are so expensive! $39 for an eye brow wax and then they try to sell you a special brand of face toner and cleanser for $60 each. what a rip off. Dinner at the Dragon Lady was excellent. Dinner at Angelo's was lovely, though the portion sizes were a bit small. getting drinks around the ship were sometimes a but confusing, the menus all said Pepsi / Pepsi max drinks but when you asked for Pepsi the staff looked at you blankly and said they had Coke / Diet Coke. also for non coffee drinkers it's difficult to get a non coffee drink. the menu only offered coffee flavored drinks and when a Iced Chocolate was asked for the staff would still make an Iced Chocolate Mocha even though they promised a non coffee Iced Chocolate. they even seemed confused when asked for a simple hot milk drink. entertainment activities was mostly fun though the paper flower making class was a bit ridiculous. the teacher did not explain / show the steps very well and when you asked for help or for her to repeat the steps she was slow at acknowledging us. learning the steps for the Gatsby flash mob was fun but when the time came for us to do the dance in the Atrium it was far too crowded and not enough space for the steps we were taught including Charleston kicks. it became very claustrophobic on the dance floor. we were promised confetti at the end of the dance which did not occur. The photo department...terrible photos and terrible prices! we are all dressed up in Gatsby outfits but the photographer cut off our fingers and outfits and was bamboozled when we had our own poses already chosen. all they want you to do is stand in the same spot every time and then they don't really check if you have closed eyes. the new digital kiosk system can make finding your photos easier but each staff member trained differently or incorrectly gives you different information. e.g. 1 staff member said you can only order digital copies from the kiosk and physical copies you had to find yourself in the many boxes of mixed photo graphs where another said you could order digital and physical copies from the kiosk (but after i had already spent 30 mins or more searching through the multiple piles of mixed photos for any photos of my group). shore excursions... we went to Moreton Island and we booked the snorkeling tour and the feeding the Dolphins tour. we were told to get a tender at least 90 mins before our tour time to make sure we didn't miss the tours but then we were so early for the tour that we were waiting for an hour for our tour to start. we were also not given enough information and were not told to dress in our swimmers before hand. once in the wet suit snorkeling was a beautiful experience. highly recommend. afterwards we had to wait for our next tour. so had a late lunch and a beach swim but still ended up waiting for many hours before the Feeding the Dolphins tour started at 5pm. the tour size was enormous! at least 100 - 200 people. we then had to wait another 90 mins while a buffet was served (which we could not eat as we had had lunch not long ago) & a dolphin presentation was held, before we even saw a dolphin. then we were joined by another 100 people from the island who wanted to feed dolphins before were were allowed to line up and grab our fish to feed to the dolphin. once in the water it was a very quick few seconds where the dolphin snatched the fish from your fingers a photo was taken and you were pushed back onto the shore where P&O staff were waiting to rush you on-board a boat to tender you back to the ship. lots on long waiting time for a very quick experience and then being rushed back onto the ship. shopping on-board ship is the usual clothing and jewelry - it's fine as long as you fit into small/medium sizes, anything bigger than a large is not catered for. it's all very expensive even when 50% off. i do enjoy cruising but there are a lot of little things that made my Pacific Explorer Experience not perfect. 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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
It was our wedding anniversary so we thought a short cruise would be a good way to celebrate. We had been on a P&O cruise before and so had high hopes about eveerything. Sadly we were very disappointed this time. Embarkation was ... Read More
It was our wedding anniversary so we thought a short cruise would be a good way to celebrate. We had been on a P&O cruise before and so had high hopes about eveerything. Sadly we were very disappointed this time. Embarkation was pretty easy. No problems there. On board the ship there was a very unpleasant smell in some areas, like sewerage. Our room was small but ok as we only needed to sleep there. The bed was quite comfortable and the feather pillows really good. The air conditioning in the room was also good. The thing we were most disappointed with was the food and some service. We did not like having to line up for service in The Pantry, particularly when the staff behind the counter did not or could not understand what you asked for meaning you had to ask several times. The food in almost every instance from The Pantry was really tasteless. I couldn't honestly make a comment about how delicious any hot food or dessert was with the exception of porridge with yogurt and the french toast. Everything else was bland and boring. We ate at Angelo's, the Dragon Lady and the Waterfront. These restaurants proved to be better. The biggest disappointment of all was the Shell and Bones seafood restaurant inside the pantry. That should have rung a bell but we thought there would be different chefs to those in The Pantry. Unfortunately I don't think that was the case. We ordered a hot Seafood Extravaganza anticipating something out of the ordinary, but no, it was very disappointing and to make matters worse, it was a paying restaurant. My husband, a keen fisherman and very good cook of seafood, said it was the worst seafood meal he had ever had. The (American) lobster was tough, the tiny (and I mean tiny) fried scallops balls and prawns in breadcrumbs were cooked in old oil it seems as they were very dark brown and overcooked, the salt and pepper squid had no salt or pepper and a little bit rubbery, the 3 octopii were the size of 10cent pieces. No oysters, no mussels and not even a few chips. We were so disappointed. The staff overall on the ship were very friendly and courteous and helpful. No complaints there. The lifts at the end of the 3 nights were starting to break down making moving between decks time consuming and difficult for those who couldn't manage the stairs. We also experienced two toilet facilities where the toilets weren't flushing. A real bugbear was how inconsiderate some people were with monopolising the popular deckchairs. People would put towels or bags on them early and disappear leaving an empty but monopolised chair for long portions of the day. With limited seating in popular areas some sort of time limit on chairs should be worked out. The entertainment was quite good, especially the rock band revival show and the trivia nights. Overall it was nice to be on the water relaxing but my husband and I would not go on this particular ship again as it definitely didn't measure up. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Chose this cruise for the value for money, the ship having been newly refurbished and wanted to tour the South Pacific.There were 8 of us in our group and our ages ranged from 24 to 73. We all loved our time on the ship and didn't ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the value for money, the ship having been newly refurbished and wanted to tour the South Pacific.There were 8 of us in our group and our ages ranged from 24 to 73. We all loved our time on the ship and didn't want our time to end. The restaurants The Waterfront, Dragon Lady and Angelos were delicious and had a great variety of food, all inclusive of the fare. I had a balcony room and it was a good size, we had terrific cabin stewards and the shower was always hot. The nightly entertainment was full of variety and alot of fun. The stage shows were awesome, the dancing, the singing and special effects were fantastic. The theme nights were heaps of fun too and we did alot of dancing those nights. During the day there were so many things to do, trivia, bingo, dance lessons, celebrity head, perfect match, cooking lessons....there was not enough time in the day or the week to do everything. Spent most time at the Oasis pool area and the drinks and music were great, very relaxing at the back of the ship watching the world go by. Mid ship is where the kids hung out in the pool but there were still heaps of lounge chairs available, whilst listening to some great music or watching a movie on the big screen. The Edge had heaps for the adventurer at heart but I really enjoyed the water slides. Finally the event staff were amazing, they were friendly, engaging, funny and they made our stay feel like we were part of one big happy family. Can't wait to cruise with P&O again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Booked spur of the moment at a bargain price. Read mixed reviews in the past, so was a bit unsure of what to expect. But had a great time sailing around the Pacific islands. We have done around 20 cruises and have just gone back to ... Read More
Booked spur of the moment at a bargain price. Read mixed reviews in the past, so was a bit unsure of what to expect. But had a great time sailing around the Pacific islands. We have done around 20 cruises and have just gone back to P&O cruises this year 2017, to try out their new ships and found P&O have certainly upped their game. The food has improved greatly. Plenty of free restaurants to choose from such as the Asian Dragon lady, or the Italian Angelo's. The Pantry which used to be called the buffet, was very spacious, and the presentation and variety of food was excellent. We mostly ate in the Waterfront restaurant which did not disappoint. The cabins were on the small side. We asked the beds to be separated and made the cabin much more spacious. The entertainment from the guests performers to the P&O singers and dancers were first class, the stage productions were extremely well done. The Gatsby night was very popular, great atmosphere. We usually go with a around 8 friends. This cruise was just the two of us, we are in our 60's but had a relaxing, and sometimes hectic time, but very enjoyable. I found the Explorer had a mixed age group, great for families. With a section for 18+ only called the Oasis. Drinks were reasonably prices, beer around $6 and cocktails $12. The staff all over the ship were friendly, and attentive. Overall a great experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We took this cruise as it fell at a time we could both get time of work and get three days away. The cruise was not the first that we had been on, as a previous experience was had on the Carnival Spirit. I was a little hesitant at first ... Read More
We took this cruise as it fell at a time we could both get time of work and get three days away. The cruise was not the first that we had been on, as a previous experience was had on the Carnival Spirit. I was a little hesitant at first as I had read a large amount of negative press and ratings about this ship. Not sure why that was the case because our experience was sensational. The ship had just been dry docked for an extensive period and had had a complete overhaul to all public and common areas. The ship was very well presented and looked brand new. The cabins did not receive much upgrade during this period so they were a little tired looking but this was only due to the tremendous quality of the rest of the ship. We were booked into the dining rooms of the three restaurants on board for each dinner. These were just divine and the service was excellent. I would recommend doing this before you board. We had breakfast and lunch in the Pantry Buffet and the quality of the food was excellent. Our room stewards knew our name from the first moment we met and always greeted us with it each day. They serviced our cabins meticulously each and every day. I was so impressed with their manner and work ethic that we provided the two of them with a detailed commendation as part of the staff reward program. We had cruised once before on Carnival Spirit and were also very happy with that experience. I would cruise on the Pacific Explorer again tomorrow if I could get time off work. No doubt we will board this ship again in the future. Well done P and O and the Pacific Explorer. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was my first cruise, and it was fantastic, could not fault anything at all, . the 1st night we dined in the Dragon Lady and it was very nice, next night was at Angelos (Italian ) again very nice, the rest of the cruise we dined in ... Read More
This was my first cruise, and it was fantastic, could not fault anything at all, . the 1st night we dined in the Dragon Lady and it was very nice, next night was at Angelos (Italian ) again very nice, the rest of the cruise we dined in the Water front restaurant , and this was lovely, a 3 course meal every night and food was very well presented, and tasted great, The waiters were very friendly and helpful, most nights we had Franky as our waiter, and he was lovely, we went to Charlies for coffee and sometimes cake, each day and that was a lovely place to sit and relax and enjoy a nice coffee and the cakes were really yummy, the crew there were very friendly and went out of their way to make our time relaxing and enjoyable, The entertainment was fantastic, we went to the show each night and shows were great some night and absolutely spectacular other nights, there were plenty of bars around the ship, I spent a lot of time in the ocean bar on deck 7 at nights listening to piano melodies with Nicholas Gentile, a very talented young man with a beautifull voice, plenty of comfortable seating, or you could sit up or lie down in the window seats, and just relax with the music or with a book, went to several of the trivia events, and played bingo, that was really good, the guys doing the bingo made it so much fun, there was a over 18 section to relax in the pool and hot tubs, we went there most days and it was very relaxing, we had the refreshment drinks package, which we purchased before sailing, this was great, we got all the bottled water we needed, mocktails which were really yummy, and juices, and lots of coffee, had caramel lattee's every day which we could get at any of the resturants or bars, had breakfast at the waterfront some days the rest of the time at the pantry, which had something for everyone . would definatly recommend P&O to anyone Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Was worried about going PO after reading some comments but cannot understand why folk do not like the line we had a wonderful time food fantastic staff wonderful entertainment wonderful cannot wait to do again. Embarkation to all ports ran ... Read More
Was worried about going PO after reading some comments but cannot understand why folk do not like the line we had a wonderful time food fantastic staff wonderful entertainment wonderful cannot wait to do again. Embarkation to all ports ran smoothly and the service on board and cabin crews we wonderful. We are seniors who went at school holiday time but the kids on board were well controlled and never caused us any problems. The entertainment staff were out of this world and so friendly when even not on duty not full of their own importance but very down to earth. Really loved the whole trip. We were very lucky to even meet some of the bridge crew and they were delightful very happy to talk to you and answer questions. Some folk sit there like stuffed dummies and complain about everything but a holiday is what you put into it yourself as well as staff trying to please you. We had some illness on board but the staff responded to it fantastically and it did not spread so thank you to all the staff for their quick response. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We took a 4 day trip on Pacific Explorer from Sydney to Mooloolaba, departure was put back 6 hours till 10pm to refill freshwater ( that was not true the ship had plumbing problems ) We attempted to have a shower and NO HOTWATER and only ... Read More
We took a 4 day trip on Pacific Explorer from Sydney to Mooloolaba, departure was put back 6 hours till 10pm to refill freshwater ( that was not true the ship had plumbing problems ) We attempted to have a shower and NO HOTWATER and only cold air in room. After being given the run around for hours we were re located at 1.30am. For 4 days the ship had a sewerage stench through out , smelly , smelly , smelly , most toilets were out of order. The food in the Pantry was fresh but very average , very little variety. In general the food in your cruise package was horrible but the food you had to pay extra for was very nice. The waterfront restaurant was by far the worse , we had a very bland entrée followed by a main course we had to send back followed by a poor dessert. However on the last night we used a gift voucher we were given to the seafood restaurant and it was very good.The cabins are old and very tired , the room stewards did a good job but staff in Pantry were useless. Lack of entertainment and what was available was very average. Why is the Blue Room so cold ??? We tried it a couple of times and had to leave because it was so cold in there. In general everything about our 4 day cruise was disappointing including the sugar syrup cocktails .....just not up to standard like everything on this cruise. No more P & O Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Firstly let me say how wonderful all the crew were. Our cabin crew were so helpful friendly and efficient. Food overall was delicous except for shell and bone we ordered the cold seafood platter the seafood was not good watery tasteless ... Read More
Firstly let me say how wonderful all the crew were. Our cabin crew were so helpful friendly and efficient. Food overall was delicous except for shell and bone we ordered the cold seafood platter the seafood was not good watery tasteless and tough. Why they have no salads on that menu is beyond me. We also had the high tea please p&o advertise this better for it was the best high tea i have ever had,unfortunatly people we spoke too had not seen anything about it and missed out. Yes you have renovated. Sorry to say the loo's missed out. Being a little short i found it nearly impossible to see much of the shows so i think the marquee might be needing a upgrade. What i did see was excellent. Our cabin was old but clean but definitly needing a little reno. Overall we loved our short little cruise and are looking forward to our next cruise on the eden. Read Less
Pacific Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.3
Dining 4.0 3.4
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.3
Family 4.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.1
Service 4.5 3.9
Value For Money 4.0 3.4

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