2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose the Great Barrier reef 10 night discovery in a balcony room. The positives Housekeeping and entertainment were good with no issues. There are a few negatives The food particularly in the pantry was bland and dry. No ... Read More
We chose the Great Barrier reef 10 night discovery in a balcony room. The positives Housekeeping and entertainment were good with no issues. There are a few negatives The food particularly in the pantry was bland and dry. No variety unless you like curry or a roast. The breakfast options were a bit better. The waiters never came to us to offer a drink, They clean tables only. On Princess Cruises they routinely would ask if you wanted a drink. That counts for paid drinks as well. On that note, without the drinks package all that was included was water or watered down orange juice. The poocific explorer on some days there was a sewerage smell around deck 12 and even in our room. We notified reception and they sanitized our room promptly to their credit. Also they don't tell you at time of booking that the waterslides cannot be used at the reef. Travelling with a child we would have liked to have been informed. I think i will stick to princess cruises Read Less
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had previously cruised with Explorer several times and hoped it would still be good. Unfortunately due to the high decibel noise of the (background) music at the venues daytime and evenings while waiting for a game show or trivia to ... Read More
We had previously cruised with Explorer several times and hoped it would still be good. Unfortunately due to the high decibel noise of the (background) music at the venues daytime and evenings while waiting for a game show or trivia to commence the sound was painful. This also continued at the same level for the singers and dancers shows Several people were unhappy and I spoke to the Cruise Director about it but was ignored. I also asked the sound engineer to turn it down a little and he said his instructions were to be loud as it encouraged people to join in. Unfortunately it just meant that after 10 minutes with my fingers in my ears I could not take any more and had to leave One Theatre show was actually offensive and I do not know how anyone can think that the background of a dirty padded cell with a bed and a woman tied to it being interfered with by several 'doctors' is at all funny Avoid the slumber show it stinks Other shows I had seen previously which was lucky as I could not take the much higher decibel level this cruise The cabin staff were great even when one was off ill the other did an excellent job. Tendering was hit and miss calling us down to join the queue when there was no tender there or in site meant we were an hour standing on the stairs instead of waiting in the lounges Dining was 'different' We always use the dining rooms but twice had to leave as there was nothing on the menu which we could eat and had a good meal in the pantry. The menu shows strange mixes of ingredients so instead of a fish or meat dish you would find evidence of the other item mixed in Unfortunately the one evening we both had the roast lamb it was awful, strings of grissle and fat and no meat whatsoever. Sadly after 8 or 9 cruises with P&O Australia I do not think I can risk my hearing again and will continue with the other companies instead Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Have cruised before on Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria and wasn’t disappointed So disappointed this time around Meals average No dress code in Restaurants and children in adults only area Great Gatsby party was such a let ... Read More
Have cruised before on Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria and wasn’t disappointed So disappointed this time around Meals average No dress code in Restaurants and children in adults only area Great Gatsby party was such a let down people dressed up waiting for the party to start just hanging around stairs etc The band played wrong era music rock and Beatles Then when they did the Charleston it was by record Back to school was fun Shows were hit and miss Cabins are ok plenty of space balcony was big enough for two but needs the refurbishment Two many costly extras that are free on other cruise line Edge a waste of money and Soda drinks packages use cans to fill the glass which was often warm or flat Our cruise was a great price so I wasn’t expecting too much but unfortunately I was disappointed with the food choices in the restaurants and didn’t match was on the menu to on the plate 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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We travelled on a 4 night cruise on Pacific Explorer to Moreton Island and had a great time. The public areas on the ship have all been refurbished very nicely with modern touches. The cabin was more dated but still had plenty of room ... Read More
We travelled on a 4 night cruise on Pacific Explorer to Moreton Island and had a great time. The public areas on the ship have all been refurbished very nicely with modern touches. The cabin was more dated but still had plenty of room and was very clean. All of the staff were friendly and accomodating. Food overall was very good. We ate most meals in the Waterfront Restaurant and the food was of a high quality. 400 Gradi was also very good and the cafe and Ocean Bar were good for relaxing. The buffet was fine for casual eating although was always very busy. Kids club staff were great and my daughter enjoyed the activities. As she was under five I was given a pager so staff could contact me on at anytime which was a nice touch. My daughter also enjoyed the waterpark as the pools were too deep for small children. Themed nights were fun and we enjoyed making Gatsby headbands for the party. Although purchasing the photos on board is quite expensive, we enjoyed getting all of our photos taken at different backdrops and looking through them later. Overall, we had a really good time and I'd travel on the Pacific Explorer again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
After reading the previous reviews of the Pacific Explorer, I embarked on this cruise with a level of trepidation. My fears were unfounded - what we experienced were highly motivated and friendly staff, a small balcony cabin that was ... Read More
After reading the previous reviews of the Pacific Explorer, I embarked on this cruise with a level of trepidation. My fears were unfounded - what we experienced were highly motivated and friendly staff, a small balcony cabin that was perfectly adequate for a short cruise and great entertainment. Food quality was inconsistent - there were some standouts and some pretty average dishes - in our experience, the staff were more than happy for a meal to be sent back and swapped for something else and for multiple courses to be ordered. Nothing was too much trouble. We found the Waterfront and Angelo's to be the pick of the restaurants but Dragon Lady was ok too with some interesting dishes - my advice would be to try all three early. Menu in the Waterfront changed daily and half way thru for the other two. The speciality restaurants did book out on the first day so my advice would be to book for the entire cruise - you can always cancel or change a time later. This was a school holiday cruise but children numbers were booked and youth security was always on hand to deal with any unruly children. All in all high recommended given the price point - yes you have to pay for some extras but prices are modest and the fare is cheap to start with compared with the other lines. We had the drinks package - it is ok value especially if you get it on sale but found we didn't drink that much after the first few days. My only serious criticism is the lack in variety in on-board activities - lots of trivia and late night karoke but not much else. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We thought this cruise was great, relaxing, comfortable, affordable and we enjoyed it so very much. Only downfall was jewellery policy on the water slides. Our theme parks here in Oz do not have that policy so I enjoy the water slides. ... Read More
We thought this cruise was great, relaxing, comfortable, affordable and we enjoyed it so very much. Only downfall was jewellery policy on the water slides. Our theme parks here in Oz do not have that policy so I enjoy the water slides. Body jewellery is an upcoming thing and not everyone can take them out, so I think this policy needs reviewing. Staff were awesome and Bingo/trivia was a blast, so much fun and laughter. Theme night Gatsby was awesome. All in all fantastic.Crew were very friendly, helpful and our room was always clean. We did alot of relaxing on the deck under the shade, and the onshore tours were great. We winged it with all onshore stuff but it was great as we got to take a Buggy out in Noumea. This was an adventure driving on the opposite side of the road to Australia took a little getting used to for my hubby. Isle of pines is definately a place to go back too. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We loved our 8 nights cruise on P&O Pacific Explorer! I thought it will be very basic cruise but all my expectations were exceeded by far! Selection of meals and restaurants was very good, quality of food was good, delicious and ... Read More
We loved our 8 nights cruise on P&O Pacific Explorer! I thought it will be very basic cruise but all my expectations were exceeded by far! Selection of meals and restaurants was very good, quality of food was good, delicious and mostly healthy meals (in comparison to some other cruises where free junk food was so bad and in large quantities). Italian restaurant Angelou’s and Graddi 400 Pizza restaurant were fantastic! Loved quality Italian wines too. Pantry the buffet style dining was very good too, with many healthy and fresh cooking! Beautiful interior of the ship, immaculate spaces, cabins were a bit small but we spent lot of time going around.... Entertainment was fantastic too! For example, Blanco and Gatsby dress up parties, Titanic show, Misbehave show and much much more. The crew did an amazing job, well organised cruise and we all felt very comfortable and looked after. Thank you so much P&O Pacific Explorer! 17/01/2019 A family with kids and grandparents from Sydney. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Second cruise (First was also Explorer). Cruised wih my 5yo and myself. Cabin: 9205 Window cabin with unobstructed view, and a queen bed. This room had more than enough space for our 2x suitcases and drawer space for all our clothes. ... Read More
Second cruise (First was also Explorer). Cruised wih my 5yo and myself. Cabin: 9205 Window cabin with unobstructed view, and a queen bed. This room had more than enough space for our 2x suitcases and drawer space for all our clothes. The suitcases could fit under the bed, but there was plenty of space in the wardrobe for them to stand in so no need. Tv and fridge in room were used daily and both great. My 5yo packed a few toys and there was plenty of space for him to play with them on the ground in our room while watching tv in the evening. Ship: Becuase we done the Chrsitmas cruise, the ship was decorated beautifully with Christmas trees / decorations / gingerbread houses all over the place. We even had fake snow! Food – The Pantry: Food wasn’t too bad. Lots of options to choose from. Only ate at the Pantry during lunch time, so no comment for breakfast or dinner. It wasn’t easy trying to find seating, so that was annoying. Waterfront: Mainly ate here. Could not fault the food. Breakfast menu was the same every day, but enough options to choose something different every day if you liked. Lunch and dinner menus different every day. I enjoyed all of my meals at Waterfront. Dragon Lady: Went once, and never got around to going again. Not bad. Lukes: Yummy burgers and fries. Although you must pay, it is a nice area to sit and watch over the pool area or while a movie is on. Shell and Bones: Beautiful food (extra charge). This is just a sectioned off part of The Pantry, so it doesn’t feel very ‘restauranty’. Angelos: Did not use so no comment Entertainment: Attended four (free) shows in the Marquee, with every single one of them being amazing. The entertainers on board do a fantastic job! I was early to each show, so had no problem finding seats, but it does fill up fast. P&O Edge / Waterslides - did not use so no comment. Kids entertainment: Turtle cove – my son absolutely LOVED it. He would stay there all day every day if I let him. They had so much for the kids to do: face painting, games, songs, play stations, dancing, acting, everything. Service: AMAZING. Room stewards go above and beyond, always there if you need something or have a question. They make the kids feel welcome in an unfamiliar place. Bar staff everywhere I could not fault. Always greeting everyone with a big smile. Waiters in the Waterfront always lovey. Other passengers: A great mix of families / elderly / 20-30 year olds. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. There is always a few disgruntled passengers, but it’s easy to ignore them! Money: Used Aussie dollars on all islands. I would recommend changing big notes ($50, $20) at reception on the ship to smaller notes before going on the islands. Islands – Noumea: Bought the hop on hop off bus ticket once we got off the ship. Spent the day at Lemon bay beach which was clean, beautiful with plenty of trees for shade. Lifou: Spent a few hours at the beach the tenders dropped us off at. Nothing spectacular, stayed a few hours and then went back to the ship for lunch. Port Vila: Booked an all day tour via Facebook. (Blue Lagoon Bus Tours). Our stops included Blue Lagoon, Rarru waterfalls, Mele beach bar for lunch and drinks, and then duty free before heading back to the ship. This tour was a 10/10. Would book again! Mystery Island: Spent all day at the beach. The most beautiful island we have been to. You don’t even need diving gear to see the fish swimming around the coral. Markets were amazing, and the locals were all beautiful people. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
As a family we have cruised on 3 previous occasions. The 1st time was on P&O Cruises 'Pacific Eden', the 2nd time was on P&O Cruises 'Pacific Aria', the 3rd time was on Carnival Cruise Lines 'Carnival ... Read More
As a family we have cruised on 3 previous occasions. The 1st time was on P&O Cruises 'Pacific Eden', the 2nd time was on P&O Cruises 'Pacific Aria', the 3rd time was on Carnival Cruise Lines 'Carnival Spirit', and finally this time on P&O Cruises 'Pacific Explorer'. The cruise-liner I'm reviewing today (P&O Cruises 'Pacific Explorer') is by far the most outdated ship we have traveled on to-date. It was previously known as P&O Dawn Princess and was supposedly refurbished in 2017, but most of the common areas feel worn down and dated. Apart from the extremely small rooms and dilapidated common areas, it features eight restaurants (including the all-day eating area known as 'The Pantry'), four swimming pools, five spas, seven lounges and bars, and two places to look after children. See the cabin review below for further details. For entertainment it also has a water slide, a zip-line, a 'walk-the-plank', and you can do the 'Titanic experience', as well as things like a rock-climbing wall. Whilst the ship itself feels out-dated, the service from the staff was second to none - they could not bend over far enough to help make the cruise an enjoyable one, which is good, because without them I'd be rating the experience as 1 out of 5 stars.... with the staff I can give it a solid 3 out of 5 stars..... I'd still rate Carnival Cruise Lines 'Carnival Spirit' as the best in its class out of the 4 ships I've been on. The review is apples for apples - we have chosen a Balcony cabin on all 4 cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We travelled on the Dawn Princess ,Pacific Explorer a few Times before she became the Explorer . We had to have a look what she was like after the Refurbishing in 2017 ! Dining Rooms lost their Charm . Waterfront looks like a Container ... Read More
We travelled on the Dawn Princess ,Pacific Explorer a few Times before she became the Explorer . We had to have a look what she was like after the Refurbishing in 2017 ! Dining Rooms lost their Charm . Waterfront looks like a Container Dining Room , with Food to match . Items on the Menu , when they came to the Table could not be Identified as the Item you ordered . Garden fresh Vegetables was a term used on the Menu ,yet on most Dishes we ordered they could not be found on the Plate . After alternating between Dragon Lady and Waterfront for 3 Days ,we gave the Dining Rooms a miss ,and went to the Pantry where you could see what you where eating ! Most Upgrades in the Public Areas were ok .Some were obvious Money generating changes , we did not use .We could not Comment on them . Food in the Pantry was fine . The best Idea was that Passengers could not serve themselves .What happened after the Food got to the Table is a different Story . Cleanliness in the Dining Room and Pantry left a lot to be desired . It is either Lack of Staff or inadequate Training causing these Problems . Entertainment in the Marquee Was excellent !Cruise Director and her Programm to entertain Guests very good . Except for Love Riot ,deserves to be Kiel hauled !! Embarkation went Fine , Disembarkation not so .Could have been because Tent Disembarkation set up . The Ship and Cabin were fine , Shower Cubicle a bit Tired ,Floor does look a bit worn ! Service was excellent , Except for lack of Staff during Rush Hour at Pantry ! Tender Services a little shoddy ,but you can always blame the Wind. We will not go with P&O again ! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I have recently been on the Pacific Explorer from 18/10/18- 3/11/18 and I agree with Micheal Graham review of this cruise journey of 16 nights. I was also on this same ship last year when it was the Dawn Princess and I noticed quite a few ... Read More
I have recently been on the Pacific Explorer from 18/10/18- 3/11/18 and I agree with Micheal Graham review of this cruise journey of 16 nights. I was also on this same ship last year when it was the Dawn Princess and I noticed quite a few changes since it changed to P&O. I have travelled with different P & O ships, Princess and Carnvial for last 10 years and I found this time that the cruise ship was lacking in several areas and I am not someone that usually writes reviews but felt a need to this time. I agree with the size of the staterooms as we were on deck 10 with an inside cabin with all the balcony suites surrounding us. I was on board Pacific Aria earlier in the year that is a smaller P&O ship and our interior room was on a lower deck and it was larger than Pacific Explorer that is a bigger ship. We called our room the closet as a joke. In the waterfront restaurant on two occasions they forgot two items that I had ordered as well as one night our party of 4 was served a cold main meal but we didn't complain as we didnt want to get the staff member attending to our table in trouble but we were not impressed. Also in waterfront restaurant there was not a lot of choice in menus and same menus repeated over several days. Not enough seating in lounge areas for the passengers. Repetition of same movies and documentaries on televisions in our rooms and not enough entertainment on top deck and repetition of same songs. Showroom shows were ok but I have been to better on previous cruises. The 10th deck launderette had washing machine out of order and only 3 for whole deck and when it was put back in the steward told me it still had a leak and had to be taken away again to be looked at. The public areas looking very tired and need to be updated, painted or replaced. The marquee especially had broken seats and several of the tray table openings on the arm rests were broken and the red seats reminded of the old mecca movie theaters and they were uncomfortable as well. I decided to take the plunge and have a massage on the ship even though I knew it was ridiculously expensive at $170.00 and this was the discount! but then when I was there I got conned into having the hot stones at $20 a pop for my back and feet so add another $40 onto that at $220.00. At the beginning and end of massage I was continually trying to be sold products or services that I didn't want and I didn't appreciate the hard sell either on my holidays. I know it was of my own doing but never again. I also didn't appreciate that every time you went anywhere near the Elemis Spa or on your way to the pantry for food that you were greeted at the lifts by the spa staff trying to do the hard sell and con people into buying expensive Elemis products or services trying to con them into buying off the shelf orthotics etc. I overheard a staff member telling a passenger that had custom orthotics by a podiarist at home, that the ships orthotics were better! So in summary I didn't like the hard sell of the spa and their promotions that suck people in and then sell them things they didn't want. There were a lot of hidden costs that you had to pay for including ice cream from kiosk on deck that I was already aware of but on other ships it is included and we were charged a surcharge for booking a specialty restaurant of $10 just to name a few. The coffee in the pantry was average at best so if you wanted a cappuccino it was at a cost in the pantry and it was quite weak as well. After speaking with quite a few passengers, we were all disappointed that our cruise due to unfavourable weather and swell conditions and safety of passengers could not land on Norfolk Island. After speaking with some passengers they picked this cruise due to the shore tour of Norfolk island in particular and some passengers were meeting friends on shore who lived there. People who booked shore tours not with P&O lost their money on the shore tours booked privately. I don't have a problem with not landing at a shore destination due to weather and safety conditions but when a ship promotes a shore destination that they hardly ever get to due to weather conditions and lack of quality wharf to land tender boats on from what I have read on internet and heard from other passengers, then they should not advertise that location as a shore destination but rather scenic cruising as this is what we did when we couldn't land there. As our cruise was called ' the mutiny on the bounty' cruise it was a destination that was part of the history of this story so it is a destination that you can't really cut out of the itinerary. The tender service was a bit chaotic at times. It took over 1 hour to get to the Tongan island on the smaller tender boats due to the wharf size there but they could have advertised that this was the case the day before so we were aware of the wait period. When we docked at Noumea I heard that they had problems with the gangway so everyone was crowded in the stair wells and lift areas and stressed trying to get off the ship so they didn't miss their shore tours and one passenger was even in tears. It was cold and hot respectively in different parts of the ship so you didn't know whether to take a jacket when visiting different areas of the ship. Our room thermostat stayed the same temperature it felt like no matter where you situated the thermostat dial in the room. The internet connection wasn't great and granted were were on satellite in middle of the ocean but for what they charge you for internet on the ship and the amount of times you are actually connected is very limited. Overall I still enjoyed my sixteen night holiday that included our bonus drinks package included as part of our deal when booking this holiday so that was a big savings but still quite disappointed in a number of areas with this ship. I have the say the crew were wonderful and I could not fault them in their attentiveness towards us throughout the cruise. 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I went with my family on this cruise and for the most part we enjoyed ourselves! Pros: Our luggage arrived to our room on the first day really quickly. Embarkation was a fairly quick process. Our room steward Gemma was amazing. ... Read More
I went with my family on this cruise and for the most part we enjoyed ourselves! Pros: Our luggage arrived to our room on the first day really quickly. Embarkation was a fairly quick process. Our room steward Gemma was amazing. The room was always spotless and she was always asking us if we needed anything else. I loved coming back to my room and seeing yummy chocolate, a note or a towel animal. Cocktail prices were surprisingly cheap and the service time was really quick. A lot of times at night there was hardly anyone around due to there being an older demographic. We loved the themed nights The food was pretty good. We loved the specialty restaurant Luke's however the deserts in the Pantry could have been better. At peak times it was also hard to find a set. Cons: There isn't a large variety of activities and the good activities such as the mechanical bull riding or walk the plank aren't free. It would be much better if this was included. The entertainment venue (Marquee) is way too small and you had to arrive an hour early if you wanted a seat. The entertainment offered here was also poor so we didn't really bother. The cruise director was highly annoying and talked for ages about pointless things. The tender process was slow and we had to wait quite awhile. The professional photos are really overpriced as is the spa. We enjoyed our hot stone massage however. The gym also needs a makeover. It is tiny. Don't bother with the "Love Riot" show. I had seen other reviews on here that it was amazing but it was such a let down and not worth the $15. Ports We missed our first point of call - Norfolk Island. We didn't mind that much as we were having a good time on board. Tonga ports - there wasn't much to see and do. Wouldn't go back. Suva, Fiji - good for getting souvenirs Dravuni - Fiji - we loved this place. Snorkeling, beach and water is amazing. Port Denarau - We did a shore excursion where a boat took us to a separate island. It was great. We got a buffet lunch, free drinks, snorkeling, use of paddle boards and went on a glass bottom boat. Noumea - We did the duck island tour, it is a must! Such amazing snorkeling, we saw turtles, big fish and reef sharks. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Hello All, Having just returned from our first P&O cruise after 6 cruises with carnival - I thought I would share some relevant comparisons that would highlight what each provide and what potential cruisers may find appealling ... Read More
Hello All, Having just returned from our first P&O cruise after 6 cruises with carnival - I thought I would share some relevant comparisons that would highlight what each provide and what potential cruisers may find appealling Our family has sailed on Carnival Legend twice and Carnival Spirit 4 times and now on Pacific Explorer last week - all trips to pacific islands for snorkelling as the main event out of Sydney BOARDING - both lines have a smooth and efficient entry to the boat - we have never been delayed in 7 total cruises (always choose the earliest time possible to get lunch on boat - and arrive even earlier at Circular quay as they will let you board in the previous 30 minutes time slot if you dont have the earliest possible). Expect a 20 minute process. If possible book a cruise leaving from Circular Quay as White Bay terminal is a nightmare to get to, especially on day of return when all you want to do is get home fast !! ROOMS - we have always booked a Balcony room. Rooms on Carnival are well designed and include a lounge and desk with chair along with the beds - so reasonable size and comfortable. Room on P&O was alas a broom closet - with no lounge at all and poor use of space so for us with an additional 18 months old cot in the 2m x 2m living space - there was basically no room to live ! Bathroom tiny on P&O - functional on Carnival. Carnival have suitcases fit under all beds - P&O did not ! Toilets notorious for blocking on P&O - ours blocked on 2nd last day (and was fixed in about 8 hours)- Carnival we have never had an issue BALCONY - Carnival have lights on the balcony - whereas putting children to bed at 7 pm - lights out - with one parents staying with our 18 month old and 5 year old - naturally that parent would sit on the balcony reading etc etc - EXCEPT - you may not believe this but the P&O setup had balcony light built right next to curtain runner - BUT THE CURTAIN WAS ON WRONG SIDE OF LIGHT - meaning that the light shone into the room, not onto the Balcony when curtain closed !(rendered our balcony useless after 6 pm - kids were trying to sleep). We asked reception for a portable lamp but they refused our request. P&O actual balcony design is better - there is some shade areas on the side so if sun is out in force - you can sit there all day and find some shade - Carnival it is wider full view but sun blaring means its just too glary and hot at times out there -------------------------------------------- FOOD - the real difference here was one of frustration with P&O - in that they monetise all the great foods that you hope for on a holiday and that kids are looking for. Hamburgers - all paid $7 each on P&O - all free on Carnival. The burgers are both really nice with the Guy Fieri burger (free) slightly better and with more options than the Luke Mangan cafe paid burger. Pizza - 24hours and free on Carnival - rolled in front of you fresh for trad Italian thin crust pizza ready in 10 minutes. Pizza all filtered into specialist restaurant on P&O - $16 each - nice and more restaurant quality but Carnival was the nicer pizza and for free (there is no food after 9 pm on P&O - except small paid cafe) Ice-Cream - 24 hours and free on Carnival - none available on P&O except branded shop NZ Ice cream all paid Restaurants - both very high quality food and cant be faulted - cant separate them - 3 courses and can have anything you want and however much. Specialist restaurant on P&O - Italian - was really lovely. Dinner reservations were easier and better organised on P&O as it was a simple phone call but you did have to book every day - Carnival if you have any time dining you get a pager when you turn up and need to wait usually (but fixed dining you just walk straight in to your table with same waiters). P&O are going for more upper class quiet atmosphere in restaurant - muted lighting - whereas Carnival go for family oriented brighter lighting and have a song and waiters dancing (5 minute intrusion - Im not a fan of the silly carry-on)! Buffets - this is where there is a difference. P&O have gone for a food court, always served by staff approach with seven different stations - quality varied widely - Pantry layout worked very well in that we rarely if ever waited too long - lines were not too long. Stations are 1 Indian 2 Asian 3 Roasts 4 Pasta 5 Mexican 6 Fish and Chips 7 Desert Sugar Bar The Indian was disappointing as I was looking for the classic butter chickens, masalas, kormas and hardly ever had these sort of dishes - just dal after dal and lots of vegetarian naturally. Asian - this was the worst option - Australian want westernised Chinese like your honey chicken, lemon chicken, mongolian lamb, sweet and sour pork - instead this was really old stale boring trad Chinese - nasi goreng, lamb stir fry (hoi sin sauce with wet cabbage sitting in wok for ages with the toughest boot leather lamb ever) - and it rarely ever changed Fish and Chips - fantastic - as good as this can get Mexican - really nice variety and especially the beef dishes with nachos or wraps Pasta - alas really big dry pasta bakes - you would hope for fresh and replenished pasta staples but it really was average quality at best without much choice Roasts - seemed quite good - irish stew, hams, leg of lamb with a few veggies Desert Bar - the most disappointing of all - you really better like light cream cakes - they were nice but repeated every day ad nauseum - saw the Butterscotch cream cake 5 days in a row. We were hoping for some mousse, eclairs, donuts, slices, ice-cream, mud cakes, tarts, cookies but it was all so similar Ice Cream - none - see above - monetised Carnival buffet is different - self serve and served by staff - a lot more variety with multi dishes at many stations - but also some really average stuff but really delicious stuff - so I found Carnival winning in end because I could find really great things amongst stuff I didnt like but with P&O - quality was as described above and variety wasnt there Seating - could not find a seat at lunch time on P&O a number of times - so seating was inadequate - also happens a little on carnival but apart from first day - could always find a booth - overall same for both lines. --------------------------------------- SHOWS - Carnival have a 3 tiered theatre so that you can walk in with 1 minute to go and find a seat no problem. P&O have a 1 level theatre with massive seating issues - 2 times out of 4 I had to walk out as there was not 1 seat left. On last night - our children loved the Rock concert 2 nights previous - we intended to go back for the 90's pop concert - wetn early to get an aisle seat with an 18 month old - instead - we found 3 seats in the mobility seating - were told to move - and there were 80 people standing at back aisles on each side - there were simply not enough seats. I had to leave with my family arguing and staying in the back row - awful experience. P&O musicians superior to Carnival - rock concert they had a live band as well as the singers - and the musicians and mixing were superb - incredibly good - where Carnival show is more cabaret and still OK - but P&O better in terms of their musicians throughout the whole ship --------------------------------------- TENDERS Both lines do them pretty well -with P&O seeming to be better organised and not as rushed ---------------------------------------- SHIP LAYOUT - I absolutely love the top deck round lounges (pods) with cover and privacy - on Carnival boats - they would be the spot I spend the most hours in. Pillows - ocean views - wind protected - lounges angled so they are private - perfection ! Much to my chagrin I found the P&O boats had nothing to cater - simply nothing. Every single deck chair was turned facing inwards towards the pool / middle of boat squashed in like sardines and the two glass angled panels and framework blocked view to the ocean really badly. Generally P&O boat was cramped and no where near enough chairs - whereas Carnival I could name 4 or 5 reading spots or quiet spots where I loved to sit - indoors and out. The bigger boat pays off with this sort of stuff. Just not a lot to do on P&O - no basketball court, no soccer court, no running track, hardly any standup comedy - adult area was really lame and small on P&O. Bowls was complete waste of time because the ships movement meant the bowls did not track with curve - and space was too narrow - so no one ever played it. Elevators were a slow nightmare on P&O - much quicker and more of them on Carnival. With a pram, we waited for endless minutes as elevators did not come or were filled (ended up carrying the whole pram up 4 levels up stairs after standing for over 10 minutes after safety drill) OVERALL - we will not be cruising with P&O again - Carnival from now on. It really depends on what you are looking for but we found P&O signicantly inferior in many areas that affected the quality of the holiday. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
First time cruiser and very impressed with P&O Pacific Explorer. After reading every single review about this ship I wasn’t sure what to expect. I must admit I did wonder if I was wasting my money booking with P&O but that was ... Read More
First time cruiser and very impressed with P&O Pacific Explorer. After reading every single review about this ship I wasn’t sure what to expect. I must admit I did wonder if I was wasting my money booking with P&O but that was definitely not the case! Just a quick background I cruised with two other adults and my son (4yo). Cabin: 9097 Balcony. I chose this room because it was very close to the launderette and lifts. Would choose again. The bed configuration was bunks pushed together. The room was small but adequate. There was enough drawer & closet space for all 4 of us to empty our suitcases and pack them away. I asked the room steward to take the little seat under the desk, and that’s where the 2x smaller suitcases were stored. We loved the balcony – mostly used to dry our swimmers every afternoon. We used the tv and fridge which were both great. My 4yo packed a few toys and there was enough space for him to play with them on the ground in our room while watching tv in the evening. Food: The Pantry was great but got pretty boring pretty fast. Breakfast we dined at the Waterfront. Same menu every day but always beautiful food. Lunch was usually at the Pantry (sometimes great, sometimes not) and dinner reservations at any of the free restaurants. We did not try any of the restaurants you had to pay for. Didn’t see the point. I would recommend booking the restaurants you want to go ASAP as they fill up fast. The wash / sanitize stations at the front of each restaurant was great. Entertainment: Although we did not attend the Gatsby, Back to School or Bianco parties (too late for us) they looked great! We did however attend the Adele Experience which was amazing. P&O Edge / Waterslides - did not use so no comment. Kids entertainment: Turtle cove – my son absolutely LOVED it. He would stay there all day every day if I let him. They had so much for the kids to do: face painting, games, songs, play stations, dancing, acting, everything. They did have a super hero themed day which would have been good to know about beforehand so I could have packed an outfit. Other passengers: A great mix of families / elderly / 20-30 year olds. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The kids in / around the pool area was abit much sometimes, but nothing to complain about. I found if you got to the pooling are early enough to score some great seats you were fine for the day. We did come across a few ‘angry, disgruntled’ passengers. But it seemed like they would just whinge for the sake of it. (Your on holiday, relaaaaaaax) Money: Used Aussie dollars on all islands. I would recommend changing big notes (50, 20) at the reception on the ship to smaller notes before going on the island. Noumea: We done the Amadee Island shore tour. $200 pp and $130 for kids, and it was an 8 hour tour. Expensive but well worth the money. We traveled on a bus (5 mins) to a boat where we all jumped on and traveled to Amadee Island (45mins). Once there we were broken into two groups and went on a glass bottom boat tour around the coral reefs of the island. Saw plenty of fish and sea turtles. After this it was free time (there was a shop you could hire snorkles and goggles from) We spent our day swimming and relaxing. Banquet bbq lunch was provided with juice, wine and punch. After lunch was a show from the locals. Was nice to sit there and watch them dance while eating. Beware plenty of snakes every where. If you don’t bother them they wont bother you! Lifou: Spent the day at the beach the tenders dropped us off. No shore tours available. Nothing spectacular, stayed a few hours and then went back to the ship for lunch. Mare: Again, no tours available, but did buy return bus tickets to Yejelle beach. Absolutely beautiful beach! The best sand and water ever. There was snorkles and canoes to hire during the day which was great. They did have a few stalls with food & drinks which I thought was well priced. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Food; 4 stars really excellent given this was an inexpensive holiday where the quality was much better than most average pubs/restaurants around town. We are Italian, cook well and are generally fussy about quality so I think we can say... ... Read More
Food; 4 stars really excellent given this was an inexpensive holiday where the quality was much better than most average pubs/restaurants around town. We are Italian, cook well and are generally fussy about quality so I think we can say... It’s not the best food but it is definitely good. Ship public areas: it’s beautiful. The interior designers have nailed a contemporary comfortable classic look. Again not 5 stars but really excellent 4 and1/2 star. Entertainment: 5 star! Brilliant. One performance had me up asking for an encore. I’m not a fan of the musical genre we prefer dance, modern circus, and theatre but the shows onboard are fantastic. We have been on a Celebrity cruise and P&O in the uk and these were so much better. Cabin: 3 star .....interior cabin 9197. Small and sad with mattresses which were a lower in the middle but after getting a sore back they replaced it with a hard mattress which was better. Bathroom small but functional. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first family cruise. We have two teenagers 16 and 14. My husband and I really enjoyed the whole experience. However I did feel there was a lack of things to do for the teens especially in the evening. Out of the 10 days 6 ... Read More
This was our first family cruise. We have two teenagers 16 and 14. My husband and I really enjoyed the whole experience. However I did feel there was a lack of things to do for the teens especially in the evening. Out of the 10 days 6 evenings were adult only shows. While there are other things happening at the same time options are much the same karaoke or trivia. The things they could go to they did enjoy. However we felt each thing didn’t last long enough 45 mins was the average. In order to secure a seat you needed to arrive at least 20 mins before. Which leaves you stuck with no seats for anything else. There seemed a massive shortage of seating anywhere there was anything on. Shows at 7 pm and 9pm were packed and many standing. Getting a seat in explorer hotel forget it. We seem to spend most of the night hunting for seating, some nights just giving up and going back to our room. The activities on board that the teens enjoyed cost extra laser tag Hover ball archery and mechanical ball only happened at time slots on varying days and they needed to be booked a day ahead. Table tennis tournaments my son loved , except when he waited for the advertised teen tournement to be told it was only for hq members( kids club) yet in the daily good times there was no mention of having to be in kids club. If your kids like to spend time in kids club then I think it would be ok although my daughter did go once and said it was quite boring and activities were very young. I would cruise again but without the kids as we spent a lot of time trying to entertain them. Bingo was great fun and Marius was an absolute joy and brightened our day. Only down side at $30 a go for the family was $120. The session is 5 games. Would like to see bingo extended maybe instead of two sessions a day one longer session. The entertainment team were outstanding and a real asset we can’t fault any of them. We ate at the pantry breakfast lunch and dinner and visited 400 grandi for pizza eat in and take out. The pantry food we found to be nice. I’m vegetarian and there was enough variety. The only downside is by the time you have found a seat often food is luke wArm. I didn’t like the sweet bar much and found the cakes to be quite dry and the taste the same. The pastries however for breakfast were a huge hit. Drink wise. My hubby and son got the soft drinks package $75 and my daughter and me the one that included coffee and mock tails water and soft drinks. $250 We found these to be well worth it. Hubby was undecided if to go for alcohol package, he was only one drinking. He brought individually and prices are standard a Vb was $6.5 and bourbon and coke $9. He ended up spending a lot less than the package so worked out well. Our cabin was better than I thought it would be after reading past reviews. We had a balcony room and the kids in one next door. They are basic but adequate. The room stewards do an amazing job and they were very clean and accommodating for extra blanket towels etc. the only negative I had ,was the double bed was two singles pushed together which were different heights. And one was rock hard and I had a bad first night as I suffer with chronic pain. But then hubby and I switched sides and he didn’t mind the very firm side. The other side (bed) was very comfy. Every where you go you see staff cleaning I was really impressed at the level of cleanliness. Toilet attendants are always around and everything shined. Bannisters were polished and hand sanitisers are located around food areas. Getting on and off the ship was very smooth and the longest we queued for a tender was around 45 mins, but mostly was quicker. Getting on at the start was smooth and problem free and likewise getting off was easy and quick and well organised. Shore tours we only did one through p and o which was jinek bay passes for snorkeling. I recommend you order them on line before departing as only 200 people a day are aloud in. And was amazing experience. We arranged our own tour through Viator for Port Vila which great. Although Port Vila is a little intimidating with the locals trying to get you to use there taxis etc. once we found our guide the day went very smoothly. The main pool area we only used once but the water was pleasantly warm for winter. The kids did use the water slides but got stuck half way down and felt they were more suited to younger kids. The main pool area was very crowded most of the time with young kids and my two felt they would have like to have gone to the adult only area. I didn’t use the adult area as I felt bad the kids had to be splashed and crowded by young kids and we wanted to hang out together. They did visit the gym and said it was adequate but basic. We didn’t usterlise the onboard spa but think maybe if we travelled without the kids we may do. Overall we had a good time. But not something I’m in a rush to do again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We travelled as a family of four (2 adults and 2 teenagers) and this was our 4th cruise and our 2nd one with P&O, the previous one being 10 years ago. EMBARKATION – We arrived at the cruise terminal in Circular Quay at 11:30 ready ... Read More
We travelled as a family of four (2 adults and 2 teenagers) and this was our 4th cruise and our 2nd one with P&O, the previous one being 10 years ago. EMBARKATION – We arrived at the cruise terminal in Circular Quay at 11:30 ready for our 12 noon check-in, and were ushered through straight away. 30 minutes later we were on board (and it would have been even quicker had it not been for a delay at the customs counter, which required information from all our passports having to be re-entered manually). We were really impressed with how efficient the process was. CABIN – We were booked into a quad share ocean view cabin on deck 6. As expected it was compact and cosy – okay, it was tiny! However, we were pleasantly surprised with how much storage was available to us and we were easily able to stow away all our clothing and other belongings without having to have any clutter on the desk etc. There was enough room to store our 3 large suitcases, 1 mid-sized case and 2 smaller carry-on cases under the 2 lower berths. As recommended by other members on this page, we took along a couple of suction hooks to use in the ensuite – these were very handy. Our cabin attendant was a real legend – he was always very cheerful and friendly and kept out cabin spotless. Nothing seemed to be any trouble for him. INTERIOR PUBLIC SPACES – All of the lounges, restaurants etc are very tastefully decorated and we loved the large window seats. Unfortunately, so did everyone else! Given the size of the ship though, a lot of the lounges felt too small and it was often difficult to find somewhere to sit. This was particularly so on one sea day when the weather was rather inclement and 2 of the bars were closed for private functions. I understand most of the public spaces were refurbished when P&O took over this ship. This was obviously not the case with the Marquee Theatre though as the upholstery on those seats is definitely in need of being replaced and, surprisingly, all of the drink trays in the seats were very sticky from previous passengers’ drinks. They obviously don’t get wiped down regularly. I say surprisingly because everywhere else on the ship was so spotlessly clean. The seats were comfortable enough though and neither of these issues hampered our enjoyment of the shows. FOOD & BEVERAGES – We ate in The Pantry, The Waterfront, Angelo’s and Dragon Lady and found the food in all of them was hit and miss. In fact, we were a little disappointed to find that overall the food quality had gone down compared with our P&O cruise 10 years ago. Sometimes the meals we ordered were overcooked and dry and other times they were cooked perfectly and delicious. In any case, the food was always nicely presented, we didn’t go hungry and I didn’t have to cook for 10 days! We made dinner reservations on the first day for the whole cruise and then decided after the first 2 days that we would prefer a later dining time. We were able to change most of them without any trouble. As far as the beverages go, it would have been nice to see more variety in the range of non-alcoholic drinks available. Other than water, it seemed the only drinks available for children were sugary, fizzy drinks and 3 sickly-sweet mocktails. On previous cruises, including our previous P&O cruise, our children have drunk non-alcoholic pina coladas and other similar drinks and we would happily have purchased them this time had they been available. All the waiters and bar tenders across the ship provided a superb service – always prompt and friendly. ENTERTAINMENT – The Entertainment Team, led by Joanna (Cruise Director) and Andy (Deputy Cruise Director) were brilliant – all very quick-witted with huge personalities. The banter between them all and between them and some of the passengers was entertaining in itself. We went to all the evening shows and enjoyed them all, whether they featured the production cast or guest entertainers. The musicians on board were all very talented and a joy to listen to – our favourites were the Pacific Showband and pianist, Anthony Quimby. DISEMBARKATION – We were horrified to find out on the second to last day that we’d been given a disembarkation time of 7:35am! That was way too early to get up on the last day of our holiday. However, we went to Reception and they willingly changed it to 8:30 for us. Phew! Disembarkation was just as smooth and efficient as embarkation. Overall the service provided by the crew was fantastic. All the crew we encountered seemed to genuinely want to do whatever they could to ensure we had a good holiday. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Having read previous reviews after booking I was a bit nervous. As first time cruisers with 4 young children I was unsure how it would go. There were no issues to speak of the plumbing or smells mentioned in previous reviews. Our kids ... Read More
Having read previous reviews after booking I was a bit nervous. As first time cruisers with 4 young children I was unsure how it would go. There were no issues to speak of the plumbing or smells mentioned in previous reviews. Our kids aged from 4 to 11 really enjoyed the different kids clubs on offer for the differences age brackets. Food was good, as was the service. We really enjoyed the entertainment on offer. A great time had by all. Our group consisted of eight in total so we had two balcony cabins with bunks. Although not large we only really slept in them and we were able to get the door on the balcony between the two cabins unlocked which worked well. We tried some of the pay extra option restaurants on board and really enjoyed them. We booked the drinks package but didn’t drink enough to make this worthwhile next time. Would just stick to the soft drink package and pay for the rest as we go. We missed out on a couple of the shore tours we booked as they were over subscribed, so book early. So overall we had a great time and would have no hesitation travelling with P&O in the future, thank for a great holiday Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
There is only two positives to this cruise. I got to see Glenn Shortock sing and I bought two handbags. I have cruised on this ship when it was the Princess Dawn to Fiji and had a wonderful cruise. Now it has changed to the Pacific ... Read More
There is only two positives to this cruise. I got to see Glenn Shortock sing and I bought two handbags. I have cruised on this ship when it was the Princess Dawn to Fiji and had a wonderful cruise. Now it has changed to the Pacific Explorer and attitude change. Staff were rude and ignorant. I went to Charlie’s bar at 8.15 pm last night to get a coffee(no one around) and there was five staff behind the counter and I waited 7 minutes (yes I timed it) before asking if anyone was serving and a reply back that they were a bit busy. ( they were standing there talking between themselves) The food in the pantry was the same every day. The entertainment was appaling. If you are going to have theme nights such as Gatsby night at least play music related to that period, not have a young band playing all the latest hits. Also the bands should at least know some songs which suit all age brackets as 75 percent would have been over 50. (The male dou weren’t too bad) I have on 17 cruises, 5 being this type of cruise and this would rate as the worst. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Do yourself a favour and do not book this cruise ship if you are thinking about it. This was my 3rd cruise. We travelled as a large group of 15 and we’re all so disappointed. I’ll start with the positives - our room steward Yuyus ... Read More
Do yourself a favour and do not book this cruise ship if you are thinking about it. This was my 3rd cruise. We travelled as a large group of 15 and we’re all so disappointed. I’ll start with the positives - our room steward Yuyus was fantastic. He Went above and beyond any request we made. The cabin itself is old and dated but it did the job. The restaurants NOT included in the fare price are delicious - we paid for a pizza at 400 gradi or a burger at Luke’s grill every day. They made nice soup. THATS IT for the positives. Now for the negatives - The food that IS included in the fare especially at the pantry was horrible to say the least. It was always just cold -warm. Never hot. I’m 5 months pregnant so it really concerned me, especially when they didn’t know if the Hollandaise sauce contained raw egg!? (Turns out it was pre packaged). Some of the bar staff in the pantry and deck 12 pool were so so rude. I had an unlimited refreshments package (everything except alcohol included). They tried to charge me $2 to heat up each bottle of milk for my 1year old daughter even though milk is free! There are no microwaves available to passengers on the ship so I didn’t have any other choice! Then I was questioned as to why I got 2 bottles of water 40 minutes apart - I explained that the water is not kept in the fridge, it was sat on the bar bench in 30 degree heat and I’m pregnant... they didn’t care and made me feel like I was trying to rort my drinks package! They had wet paint on the main deck flooring and had re varnished the stair hand railings mid cruise - didn’t make any sense as to why they’d do it mid cruise? Most nights they’d just put on a movie for entertainment, not much excitement on deck like other cruises I’ve been on. Laundry facilities were broken down half the time and detergent, softener and token dispensers don’t work - remember to take your own detergent! Entertainment shows were ok, but bingo is sooo expensive! Ping pong tables and bats are falling apart. The kids water park water is not heated and on one of the highest decks. It was so windy my 3.5 year old couldn’t really enjoy it. The only heated pool was the spas and the adults only oasis pool - young kids were freezing as the pool water was ridiculously cold! Overall, if I could give this a 1/2 star rating I would. Honestly, don’t waste your money! I wish I’d taken into account more the other reviewers comments and spent my money elsewhere! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Embarkation We got to the port very early so I cant complain that we had to wait a while, even so, once the ball got rolling it was smooth and seamless. The Ship My previous cruise was on the sister ship Sun Princess so the layout ... Read More
Embarkation We got to the port very early so I cant complain that we had to wait a while, even so, once the ball got rolling it was smooth and seamless. The Ship My previous cruise was on the sister ship Sun Princess so the layout was very familiar and I had no trouble in finding my way around. The public areas were spacious and well appointed most of the time but certainly peak times at any location and it does get cramped most notably "The Pantry" and both of the show lounges. Its an older ship and even after the recent upgrades there are signs of wear but not enough to cause any concern. There are a lot of dining options to pay extra for and some of these are located in the worst places, one of them on level 8 which prevents you from accessing past the restaurant on that level, instead you need to go up or down a floor to get past which can be a pain. Dining Let me start by saying that I went on the cruise with very low food expectations and ended up finding it satisfactory, you simply cant compare P&O food to other cruise lines without also considering the price you paid for the cruise. There are a lot of options to spend more and seemingly a lot of limited repetitive choices to help sway the cruise cards towards those options. I didn't visit any of the "pay extra" venues but there were many times in the free venues where I struggled to find a meal option that I was looking forward to or really enjoyed. There were some dishes that I did enjoy but often there would be elements to the meal that were just not right, the dry crumbed turkey fillet which would have been great with a gravy or sauce or the Lebanese chicken skewer with "homus" which would have been great if only the homus didn't have the consistency of soup or the canolli that had a great filling but was left too long before serving and lost it's crunch . I got the impression that its a new menu, they were constantly asking what we thought of our meals or if there were any problems and to be fair they were happy to try to please or offer another meal if we hadn't eaten much. I found Dragon Lady to be the pick of the free venues. A word of advice with either Angelo's or Dragon Lady, book the day before or you may not get in, the Waterfront, we never bothered to book and never had a problem getting in. Entertainment / Activities I'm not interested in the cabaret style shows so didn't bother too much to watch them but the comedy magic act (Jack Black) and the 2 comedians (Garry Who and Jarred Fell) all put on very entertaining shows. Service Again, consider how much you paid for the cruise and adjust your expectations accordingly, I cant say I had bad service at any time but definitely some stood out much more than others, the girl serving coffee on level 5 who was quite possibly the friendliest cruise staff I have ever encountered and our room stewards Daniel and Vincent were as good as any cabin staff we have had on any cruise line. On the other end of the scale though there were some who didn't do any more than they had to. Ports Our itinerary included 4 ports, Santo, Pentacost, Vila and Lifou on 4 consecutive days, Pentacost being the only port we hadn't visited previously was a real thrill to see and the locals quite literally risk their lives to entertain us with their land diving, it is hard to see it as anything other than pure madness combined with pure bravery and definitely something you wont see elsewhere Kids club My 2 kids almost 13 and almost 14 used to love kids club but for some reason they have developed a thing where they think they will have more fun without it, while I am sure they are wrong with that thinking I cant make much comment on it as they didn't go beyond the initial signing in. Overall P&O offer a very competitive option tailored to the Australian market and they are good at it. Compare them to other cruiselines and you will find a lot of little extras missing but as a general rule no other cruiseline is as cheap and no other cruiseline understands how to entertain Aussies quite as well as P&O do, To be completely honest, if they were not cheaper there is no way I would choose them but like all cruiselines you need to consider the entire package. they are cheap, visit some unique ports, have a younger more energetic crowd and they know how to entertain their audience, their service, food options and luxury touches fall way short of all other cruiselines servicing Australia and if the above reasons are not enough to make up your mind its kind of good too have the "limited luxuries" so you will appreciate them more when you go on the more up market cruiselines next time Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
It was my first time on a cruise I went with a group of family.We embarked at the OS Terminal At Circular Quay and it felt like a cattle muster but went relatively smoothly the staff herding us like cattle were very rude and gruff I think ... Read More
It was my first time on a cruise I went with a group of family.We embarked at the OS Terminal At Circular Quay and it felt like a cattle muster but went relatively smoothly the staff herding us like cattle were very rude and gruff I think they had their customer service and friendliness surgically removed not a good look if you were from overseas. .Once on board the crew were very friendly and helpful. Cabin was clean and comfortable.The food in the Pantry was just ok nothing special and it got very crowded with people wondering about trying to find seats it was no different then going to the local RSL.The coffee was horrible.I paid for a coffee thinking it would be a bit better than the machine coffee found it was just as bad.I had water for most of the trip.I am not a drinker so the cocktails and wine did not appeal to me.The staff working in the pantry did not seem to be as happy as other staff. We had dinner in the Italian restaraunt and found it to be just ok nothing special.The waterfront restaurant was the same nothing out of the ordinary but ok. There are lots of little bars tucked away around the ship and if you drink alcohol you can get service anywhere although in some places it seemed people were waiting a long time for their drinks.Luckily there was a water container on each bar. The flying fox and walk the plank had to be paid for which if you had kids or liked that sort of thing could get quite expensive..The pools are really crowded with lots of kids but that’s ok cause that’s what kids like.The adults only part gets very crowded and noisy.I went to deck seven which did not seemed to be as crowded and was ok.There was not much else that interested me I went to trivia a couple of times but you can only do so much trivia.When my companions went to do what they wanted I just wandered around There is not much signage telling you where things were so I just wandered aimlessly.Most days there was only one toilet working in the women’s toilets and there didn’t seem to many around so I would go back to the cabin.Im sure there are toilets dotted around the ship but they are hard to find well I couldn’t find them.They are not really clearly marked. The weather was lovely and seas calm.We called in to Moreton Island and I must say it was really boring.It was a Saturday and we expected that there might be some small markets on but there was nothing.It was ok if you wanted to go snorkelling to a helicopter ride or anything like that but really the only activity if you were older was to have a coffee or drink and look at the ship you had just got off.We just went for a walk and stayed about 1/2 hour and went back on board.I would have thought that with cruise ships doing regular stops to Moreton Island they would make an effort with music or something.Doesnt make you want to go there again.As in any tourist destination it was very expensive as well. Would I go again....probably not.However nearly everyone I spoke to all said the same thing that while PO were ok Royal Carribean was much better .While I didn’t have a horrible time I think if I hadn’t gone with the people I did go with I think it would have been a different story. All in all it was just an ok experience nothing to write home about.I might look into Royal carribean. 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

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise