2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Recently back from a cruise to NZ, Booking process terrible, no choice of deck, no choice of room and wasnt able to upgrade. Our cabin was very small and was directly above the band in the Explorer Hotel, we had music in our cabin till ... Read More
Recently back from a cruise to NZ, Booking process terrible, no choice of deck, no choice of room and wasnt able to upgrade. Our cabin was very small and was directly above the band in the Explorer Hotel, we had music in our cabin till late every night. When I asked to be relocated to another cabin I was given a bottle of wine and told there were no other cabins which was a lie as a another passenger was given another cabin after a domestic blue. Menu choices have been reduced with items requiring payment added to menus Generally food was good, Angelos was very good, the food in the Pantry was ok but some dishes were only luke warm and the desert selection consisted mainly of cakes and custard. This was my fourth cruise with P&O and will be my last, I must add that the first three cruises were excellent but the standard has slipped. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
The refurbishment (with the exception of the Marque which was VERY tired) was good. Our cabin stewards were very helpful and happy. Communications however were woeful including the daily newspaper, (nobody including the local bus ... Read More
The refurbishment (with the exception of the Marque which was VERY tired) was good. Our cabin stewards were very helpful and happy. Communications however were woeful including the daily newspaper, (nobody including the local bus driver knew that there was a festival parade and a wonderful fireworks display in Cairns while we were there. Many of the crew were very hard to understand as their English was not good and this included a number of public anouncements. The hygiene policeing in the dining areas was nonexistant. Having just comleted a cruise witl the Royal Caribean where you were not allowed into a dining area without "washy washy" we were a bit worried. Most of the cruise and ship was ok but we left with a feeling that improvements were required sooner than later This ship could be good value for money but management need to work on comms and hygeine before these things cause some major problems Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have previously done two cruises with P & O in 2017. Both cruises where on the Pacific Jewel.Both cruises were excellent. we decided to try pacific explorer and although we had a very good time it was not as good as the Jewel. The ... Read More
We have previously done two cruises with P & O in 2017. Both cruises where on the Pacific Jewel.Both cruises were excellent. we decided to try pacific explorer and although we had a very good time it was not as good as the Jewel. The Jewel was more user friendly for the older generation.The only real complaint with the explorer is the entertainment venues were rather small and hard to get a seat. The Margee and the Black Circus were very good and usually easy to get a seat. The entertainment on board was very good and the bands that we saw were excellent.The cruise director Joanne and her staff were very funny and were instrumental in guests having a good time. The food for the most part was good and of an acceptable quality.We only ate in the Pantry The service was for the most part excellent and the waiters were very attentive. Reception staff were very helpful and friendly getting of the ship when in port was easy and very quick.The only down side to the shore tours was that e could not get of at Moreton Island as the weather was to rough. all in all the cruise the was very relaxing and we both had a good time. Embarkation and disembarkation was handled very professionally and with the minimum amount of fuss. Overall very happy with this cruise Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Pacific Explorer was very familiar as been on it previously as Dawn Princess, some changes made to appeal to younger patrons with two slides, water area for kids and usual P&O activities ( that need to pay extra to enjoy). The ... Read More
Pacific Explorer was very familiar as been on it previously as Dawn Princess, some changes made to appeal to younger patrons with two slides, water area for kids and usual P&O activities ( that need to pay extra to enjoy). The entertainment crew were excellent. Joanne was cruise director and Rory deputy ( had them in the past on other ships), new staff on entertainment crew but they were all very good. We went in a group of 6 ( 3 couples ) and are all seasoned cruisers, and all impressed overall with P&O - they have improved so much since a few years ago. I think the only crap ship now is the Pacific Dawn - even staff new of this. Off course it wasn't perfect and as some have said the restaurant food is a bit hit and miss and the Pantry can give out cold food, and we had two bad steaks at the Waterfront. But with 4 places to eat at no extra cost you cannot really complain, most of the time the food is quite good and service is pretty good ( Pantry is so busy at breakfast and lunch, but that is similar on Princess and Royal Caribbean). Entertainment at the theatre ( come early or miss out - a bit like Princess - chairs looked like original from when ship was made) was very good and even the magician was good ( Jack Black) as he combined comedy into the act. We were lucky we were put in a larger cabin ( disabled - unused), but other couple had a broom closet. Bathroom had some mould under shower on floor. Most laundries had one or two broken down washers or driers, you need to look early to get your washing done - purchase coin tokens at reception $3. Bring your own washing detergent. We just hang clothes up to dry in room - crank up heat as you leave room in the morning and dry when you come back at night. Overall the price was great for what you get, you can pay a lot more for Princess, Royal Caribbean or Celebrity and now Carnival also is more expensive and get a bit more but P&O go to places others do not go and very hard to beat the value. Ports Noumea - OK if first time , but most seasoned cruisers have had enough of this port. We just walked around and went to the Museum ( cost us $3 for over 60y each, but need to take New Caledonia money) - it was much better than we expected and large inside, some signs in English - beware is closed in middle of the day. Had good wak around area again up to the church, around the bay area etc and a few coffees. Lifou - Walked up to the old church to the right about 1km max. and looked around just to warm up for swimming. Large turtle in the water at the beach, lots of snorkelling around it and then usual swimming and fish spotting. Port Vila - Water taxi into town ( still $5 each - hard to negotiate prices in the morning), then walk around and off the duty free grog shop - prices still cheaper than ship BUT ship prices have dropped dramatically - it is now only about $1 cheaper on most drinks on the island ( however can buy 2 litre Jim Beans and 1.75 Jack Daniels that are not on the ship, which makes it so much more a bargain). Island duty free delivers to ship so no need to carry around. We then went across to Irikiri Island now that it is open again after cyclone - It is now $20 to get onto island and you now only get $10 back for spending but drinks are very expensive - food not too bad, used to get $20 back for food. But can used the facilities on island for free - we went snorkelling. Lovely just to walk around island and take pictures. Mystery Island - Island is getting more and more huts and more and more islanders trying to hire out equipment and tours etc. Their were blue bottles in the water ( first time seen on island in 10 visits) and lots of people got stung, lots of vinegar dispersed by P&O first aid ( one of our group was stung and had large sting marks on her shoulder). BUT the fish were fantastic, most fish we have ever seen and coral was great also. It would have been worth the sting. Isle of Pines - went for a long walk to the end of the beach ( near whalf) and then along the bay, then up to the old prison again. Lovely island pictures taken as usual, didn't bother going swimming as nothing could be like Mystery Island and been around Sacret Rock many times. Other couple with us went swimming after lunch and said it was OK but not like yesterday. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
It was good value for the money. The overall service was good. There was not much variety entertainment in the bars. There were 4 good shows. The others were somewhat poor and cheap. The talent quest was good and entertaining. The ... Read More
It was good value for the money. The overall service was good. There was not much variety entertainment in the bars. There were 4 good shows. The others were somewhat poor and cheap. The talent quest was good and entertaining. The Circus was good but I don't think it was good enough to have to pay $15 extra. I refuse to pay $20 for a Sauna. The ship was good for family and the young people. Would not recommend it for pensioners as it was very noisy and no dancing for older generation. It was cheap entertainment as there seemed to be a lot of Trivia in the Explorer Hotel. There was one Place the Sanctuary where it was quiet. But it was very hard to get a deck chair as it was popular with people who did not like the noise. I hated the piano player as he sang out of tune and no variety. I suspect that he might have just got a free cruise. I would not pay him any money. The guitar player was good also the Blue Room entertainment was good. Restaurants The food in the Waterfront was terrible they served what looked and tasted like tinned Spagetti. The service was excellent they tried hard to make me happy. The menu did not suit me. greasy deep fried and basic desserts. The only good meal at the Waterfront was omelette for breakfast this was nice and hot. Angelos this was good for one night. dessert was Tiramisu which was the best dessert on the ship. The next night we had Spagetti Bolognese this looked like tinned Spagetti or else cooked spaghetti with commercial tomato sauce through it with 2 tasteless meatballs the worst meal ever. The service on the second night was very slow even though I told the waiter we needed to be out early. I overheard several people complaining how slow the service was. I did have to ask to have my food served hot. I expect better meals in a Italian Restaurant. The The Dragon Lady and that was good on both nights. My top recommendation. The pantry had a good selection but mostly lukewarm and you had to walk around with your plate trying to get a seat. The tables were not cleared fast enough so you had to eat with dirty plates on the tables a lot of the times. Fish and chips were hot and good. They had Paela with Mussels and that seemed to be popular. I did not have any so I can not comment on the taste.I did enjoy the Indian dishes but sometimes lukewarm. The salads were good. Desserts I did not like cakes all tasted similar. The cabin was very squashy and I knocked my ankles a few times trying to get into bed but to be fair we did get the Cruise at a special price so we did not expect too much. We did get value for money. Cabin Stewards where exceptional. I loved Mystery Island and The Isle of Pines where we took a bus onshore for $20 plus $4 extra to see a cave. This was very good value and we had 30 minutes bonus all up 2.5 hours We had to stand in line for 45 minutes to get back on board. Not sure why it took so long as they other 5 ports did not have much waiting time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
a quick 4 night getaway on Pacific Explorer. This is my third time on this ship, and actually like the interior. The cruise was out of White Bay as there was a bigger ship in the OSPT in Circular Quay. Our cabin was a mini suite, and ... Read More
a quick 4 night getaway on Pacific Explorer. This is my third time on this ship, and actually like the interior. The cruise was out of White Bay as there was a bigger ship in the OSPT in Circular Quay. Our cabin was a mini suite, and quite tastefully furnished. The beds were comfy and the pillows are actually fine (previously the pillows had been a contention on other P&O ships). The weird thing about the mini suite is the setup of the bathroom. The shower and bath are in one area, and through the door is the toilet and sink. This means that you can't get out of the bath and brush your teeth without having to go next door to the single sink. Our cabin stewards were friendly and gave us a lot of attention. Although they didn't introduce themselves till the second night. The room was serviced twice per day. The balcony is a bit small for a mini suite, not in length but in depth. Food was actually not bad at all. We went to a taste of salt (excellent and well worth the $99 per person cover charge). We also tried Dragon Lady and Angelo's as well as Shell and Bones. The disappointing thing is that if you actually want a decent meal, you have to pay for it. No drama if it's reasonably priced. Angelo's was the star of the free meal selection. The pasta was warm and tasted excellent. The secret bar is the Bonded Store, and I can highly recommend you find this small out of the way place, it's by the blue room. Blink and you'll miss it, as it's hidden around a corner. The "nightclub" which is situated in the Blue Room after about 11:30pm was always full. I've seen this either empty or over capacity on different cruises. I guess it depends on the itinerary and if the drink packages are in operation. In Moreton Island, we took the Quad bike tour. Enjoyed this very brief excursion, and maybe P&O might consider doing a longer version, as we just drove around in the sand around a made course. Fun to drive, but not really exciting views. Overall not a bad cruise, better than other P&O cruises I've been on before. 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
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
70 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
My wife and I have just returned from from a wonderful ten day cruise to New Caledonia on the newly refurbished Pacific Explorer. Being the first cruise for the crew and staff on this ship we were expecting to see some teething problems, ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from from a wonderful ten day cruise to New Caledonia on the newly refurbished Pacific Explorer. Being the first cruise for the crew and staff on this ship we were expecting to see some teething problems, however we we were completely surprised at how smoothly the whole cruise went from the embarkation to disembarkation. This was our seventh cruise and have sailed on P&O , Princess, and Royal Caribbean and have to say it was one of the best cruises we have been on. The fresh decor in the public areas was lovely and comfortable, all new sun lounges on deck areas made lounging by the pool very pleasant. Dining areas are the biggest improvement, we should know as we have previously sailed on this ship when it was the Dawn Princes. Waterfront Restaurant was warm and inviting, friendly attentive staff and good food. Dragon Lady Asian restaurant had beautiful intimate decor great food and staff. Angelo's Italian Restaurant was equally good. Menus in all three restaurants changed several times during the cruise. The Buffet now called the Pantry was fresh with a great selection of food and delicious cakes which varied regularly. Entertainment was great with several brand new shows. Our cabin was an inside cabin and this was a little on the small side, however it was quite adequate with a very comfortable bed, brand new linen and pillows. Our cabin steward was fantastic. You need to remember this is a twenty year old ship so there are some areas of the ship that are showing its age. New water slides and water park seemed to be a big hit with the kids. To sum up this is a great family ship and would recommend it to anyone. 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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