11 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
I joined this cruise as part of a group so I didn’t take advantage of the onboard activities and bars. Our departure from Sydney was on time and boarding was pretty straightforward. Luggage arriving from a 12-1 boarding by 2:30. ... Read More
I joined this cruise as part of a group so I didn’t take advantage of the onboard activities and bars. Our departure from Sydney was on time and boarding was pretty straightforward. Luggage arriving from a 12-1 boarding by 2:30. The boat was clean but in places worn. We had a twin bed layout. The beds were pretty hard. The balcony cabin was compact with litte space apart from the balcony and a 1 meter area adjacent to the beds. Fortunately the beds have space for luggage below. The desk is tiny - just enough space for a laptop and bed side accessories. Storage in the wardrobe was good for 2 people. There were 4 PowerPoints 1 us on the desk, 1 US below a tiny hallway shelf and a European and Australian by the TV. The bar fridge below had enough space for 6 water bottles or 12 cans. I ate at the waterfront on a few occasions food was good but. It spectacular but the space was often cramped. Better for breakfast or lunch. 400 Gradi had excellent pizza’s and there was usually spare space for additional diners. The pantry food was average. Think food court in your local mall. I enjoyed the breakfast options, the Indian and carvery. The Chinese was poor the times I tried it. The deserts looked great but the were little more than sugar and food colouring. When cheese and biscuits were offered they were good. The soups I tried were usually bland. The staff were friendly and helpful. There were many activities available but often these prevented use of the facilities. For example when a movie played above the pool deck it was so loud that I had to leave the area. Similarly activities in the explorer bar made it hard to enjoy a social drink if you were not participating. Fortunately there were many other bars to use. On the whole I got what I paid for. Perhaps i’ll Go more upmarket next time or budget for meals in the pay restaurants most of the time. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our very first cruise as most of our holidays are camping holidays. This was a 10 day cruise along the Queensland coast. We were told you will either love it or hate and we absolutely loved it. Getting on and of the ship was ... Read More
This was our very first cruise as most of our holidays are camping holidays. This was a 10 day cruise along the Queensland coast. We were told you will either love it or hate and we absolutely loved it. Getting on and of the ship was relatively easy and did not take much time at all. The ship is well laid out but it does take a few days to work out where everything is. Our cabin was an interior cabin and perhaps on the small side for some. There was just enough room to walk around the double bed, but the bed was very comfortable. Never spent much time in our room except to sleep. Plenty of storage to put your clothes away. Toilet and shower worked as they should and had no problems. Room stewarts were great and always very friendly. Rooms were cleaned twice a day and fresh towels everyday if you desired. We only dined in the restaurants that were included in the cruise package. The Pantry had lots of variety and all hot food was served up for you and you could have as much or as little as you wanted. Some food stations did alter their menu from day to day but lunch and dinner were basically the same. And no the food was not kept in there for the next 6 to 8 hours. When lunch time was over it was all packed away replaced by cakes or pastries and brought out again at dinner time. Great variety of desserts every day. The Waterfront restaurant had a great breakfast, lunch and dinner menu which was changed halfway the cruise. Did enjoy the breakfast much better here then the pantry, just because of the personal service. The Asian Dragon Lady and Italian Angelos were a great destination for dinner, giving you a 3 course dinner. We did dine more often at Angelos only because our friends preferred it but both have great menus which also changed halfway the cruise. Staff in all the restaurants were absolutely terrific. I am no foodie but enjoyed all the meals thoroughly. I am a very big eater and left all the restaurants satisfied. Did not do many of the shore tours as we were lucky enough a few years ago to visit Cairns and Port Douglas and did all the tourist things then. Only did barramundi fishing at Port Douglas which wasn't long enough but hey it never is when I go out fishing.All tours seemed well organised with tenders or bus transfers. Disembarkation obviously did take a little longer when tenders were required but the overall process was pretty much pain free. People doing shore tours got first preference to disembark but that is only natural because of tome constraints. Plenty of on board activities from trivia to musical shows, comedy and the like. Had to pay a small fee for the Love Riot show which was well worth it. Was never found wanting for anything to do. Information was left in your cabin for the next day activities? The entertainment staff were terrific, very approachable and very funny. If I didn't mentioned it before, the wait staff especially in Angelos were great and we left like we were old mates. Overall we had a great time. Travelled with three other couples and we all enjoyed ourselves thouroughly. Would definitely cruise again. Read Less
Pacific Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.5 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.5 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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