56 P&O Australia Pacific Jewel Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to South Pacific

I chose to do this cruise as I had never been on one before and thought a short one would be a good introduction. The overall cruise was lots of fun but there are some less than great things. This ship is the oldest and is about to ... Read More
I chose to do this cruise as I had never been on one before and thought a short one would be a good introduction. The overall cruise was lots of fun but there are some less than great things. This ship is the oldest and is about to be decommissioned, you can tell. The rooms look very tired and the colour scheme is so early 90's it sometimes hurts. But on the flip side, the bed was really comfortable and the shower was fantastic! The Pantry...This was really crap. The food that is included in your fare comes from here. Its fatty and made from low quality products. I struggled to find something that I wanted to eat. One dinner there was seriously nothing. I'm a dessert lover and often the desserts were really bland. The pannacotta was tasteless and the custard was so thin it wasn't even custard. The onboard activities were so much fun! Trivia and bingo were my favourite. The stand up comedians were also hilarious. The gym was basic but still very functional! I went every day. Now my number one peeve - up-selling of products! The seminars they run are a ploy to get you to buy something. I was really mad at this. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
First cruise and I was terrified due to negative reviews on here. Our review...well we are now hooked....an amazing cruise. We ate everywhere...enjoyed it all. The ships crew are constantly cleaning to keep the ship presentable. The ... Read More
First cruise and I was terrified due to negative reviews on here. Our review...well we are now hooked....an amazing cruise. We ate everywhere...enjoyed it all. The ships crew are constantly cleaning to keep the ship presentable. The entertainment is amazing. Attend as much as possible. All incredibly enjoyable especial the Maquee live shows. Entertainment crew hilarious Mathew Dom Pablo Miguel etc. We had the smaller cheaper cabins which were perfect for our budget and needs....hot showers were amazing. Many reviews complained about the interior being old....well I'm no spring chicken either any more but it's how you present yourself and this ship is no different....the decor is gorgeous. We did a few pacific Islands and pre booked our tours through the ship and had a great time being emersed in the culture and saw some amazing scenery. All our kids 3-17 attended kids clubs Turtle cove HQ and HQ+ and loved it experience. We also had EDGE packages. These were prepaid great for 7-25yrs. Our adults would probably pay per session next time as didn't get the value from pre purchasing. Thankyou from the bottom of our hearts for your passion to serve. Sad to see you retiring but hope to travel again with P&O and see some familiar faces. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Everything went perfectly on the cruise, went on a 7 night from melbourne around australia. The service was excellent, the atmosphere was excellent and was worth the money. We had a balcony cabin, Our cabin was abit tight but thats ... Read More
Everything went perfectly on the cruise, went on a 7 night from melbourne around australia. The service was excellent, the atmosphere was excellent and was worth the money. We had a balcony cabin, Our cabin was abit tight but thats probably because i didnt know what to expect. The dining was perfect, weather it was the free buffet or the fine dining restaurants. The entertainment was really good. Didnt expect so much but was really happy. There was never a dull moment. Either in the day shows or the adult comedy shows or even sitting at a bar having a few drinks. I went with my partner and i advise couples to get the ultimate romance package. Very good value. The shore tours are good but have to book them in advance to get a good one and be prepared. But once again i cant stress enough the great service from all staff. Thank you guys so much for the wonderful journey Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was my second NYE cruise upon the Jewel, my first being 5 years prior, and boy, was this one a let down. Cheap and nasty holiday and a far cry from how they used to be. Food was bland, dry, over-cooked and recycled. If you wanted ... Read More
This was my second NYE cruise upon the Jewel, my first being 5 years prior, and boy, was this one a let down. Cheap and nasty holiday and a far cry from how they used to be. Food was bland, dry, over-cooked and recycled. If you wanted quality, you were forced to pay for one of their restaurants. Entertainment was boring and often had me looking for something to do for 3-4 hours at a time. There was an excessive amount of trivia which is cheap to run. DJ Josh had terrible song choices and it only improved when Miguel took over. The Big Screen on Deck 14 gained more black dots across its screen across the duration of the cruise. By the end, we couldn’t see a thing and it wasn’t worthwhile watching movies! The Dome was dead and everyone got kicked out by 1am, not 3am as it used to be. The music wasn’t anything you could dance to. People were unnecessarily being RSA’d for “drinking too much” when they hadn’t. There wasn’t any communication about gastro outbreaks even though I heard through crew that people had be confined to their cabins. Some friends in other cabins found mould in their showers and bed bugs in their mattresses. This was disgusting! Some of the crew in the Waterfront were rude and arrogant. Honestly, I think they’ve given up as this ship as been sold. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
After travelling on the Jewel in 2012 - we decided to head off again in Dec 2018 as it was the only boat leaving our desired destination at the time we wanted and the port we wanted. What a major disappointment from our 2012 cruise. We ... Read More
After travelling on the Jewel in 2012 - we decided to head off again in Dec 2018 as it was the only boat leaving our desired destination at the time we wanted and the port we wanted. What a major disappointment from our 2012 cruise. We loved the locations and the entertainment but everything was sub standard. The food was very ordinary and bland and the service was poor (except the bar staff in The Orient - they were amazing!) The kids (teenagers) hated kids club. They said the supervisor were boring and didn't join in. So they decided to come with us everywhere - on our last cruise - we rarely saw them! I know the ship has been sold but surely you could have maintained the same quality we received last time we travelled on the Pacific Jewel. The entertainment was fabulous. The cruise directors were hilarious and Jasper Malone and Danny Black were outstanding musicians. The shore tour we were going to do was a rip off. We saved $400 by booking it ourselves which included lunch and shuttle from ship! You can take 12 soft drink cans per person - we had 4 people so 48 cans (Half price at Coles - total cost $22) We had heaps and brought some home. Saved a fortune doing that - drinks package are a rip off. If this was your first cruise you probably wouldn't care but it wasn't and I noticed a significant difference! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise as a family to visit Papua New Guinea where my father served in WW2 and my husband spent his childhood. We took our daughter and grandson to visit this town and experience our family history. When we couldn't ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a family to visit Papua New Guinea where my father served in WW2 and my husband spent his childhood. We took our daughter and grandson to visit this town and experience our family history. When we couldn't leave Brisbane on time and the Captain knew he could not make up the time to get to PNG on time, we should have been bused to Fisherman Island as other P&O cruise ships do regularly. Why was Rabaul the port cancelled? An officer on board told us that it had to be Alotau or Rabaul and most people wanted to see Alotau. I certainly wasn't asked and everyone we spoke to agree, they wanted to see Rabaul, so where did this consensus of opinion arise. We arrived in Alotau a day early because they were preparing for their festival the next day and locals were not expecting us. I can understand medical emergencies then delaying us twice more and missing a further port, despite us sitting within swimming distance of the island for half a day. Overall, a disastrous cruise, staff were rude in the duty free sales section, not upholding advertised specials. Entertainment below par, 1 or 2 acts of national standard but these performers were not seen again, all in-house performers (no doubt cheap). Food was the worst I have have ever experienced in years of cruising. Cost cutting by P&O has denigrated their cruise lines across all aspects and we will never travel with P&O Australia again. Please don't confuse this with British P&O, they are excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Paid for a cruise to Rabaul & Islands of New Guinea. 14 hours late leaving port at Brisbane, this immediately caused the Captain to cancel Rabaul (which was supposed to be the highlight of the trip). Another island was cancelled ... Read More
Paid for a cruise to Rabaul & Islands of New Guinea. 14 hours late leaving port at Brisbane, this immediately caused the Captain to cancel Rabaul (which was supposed to be the highlight of the trip). Another island was cancelled because he couldn't anchor the ship. Fridge not working in our room,& told no replacement on board. Return to port in Brisbane saw us docked at Fishermans wharf & then put on buses to get back to Hamilton Wharf. Food service upstairs in "The Pantry" was poor in places with the rest just passable. To get a bowl of breakfast cereal you have to line up 20 deep to wait your turn. It made better sense to try something else. Meals in the restaurant were warm at best when served, with the wait at times being nothing short of ridiculous. An afternoon tea did not even come with a dry biscuit as everything was packed away. (How un-Australian) Music in the Atrium was always too loud & any requests to turn it down were largely ignored. Many requests were put to cruise director that we were not all deaf. Air conditioning was at a level where the vast majority were wearing jackets to keep warm on decks 5-6-7. (in the tropics) Staff tried hard but not hard enough to convince me to ever use P & O again. You didn't deliver on what I paid for & I reckon some form of compensation is not out of the question. To cancel 2 ports with no redress was not acceptable. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise primarily for its destinations in PNG. We had been before and this time wanted the kids to experience the people and culture of the PNG islands. We knew the Jewel was old and on its way out of the fleet but as said, ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for its destinations in PNG. We had been before and this time wanted the kids to experience the people and culture of the PNG islands. We knew the Jewel was old and on its way out of the fleet but as said, destination was our focus. There were a number of mishaps on this cruise that resulted in two missed ports and two medical evacuations - I won't pass judgement on the decisions made by the captain, I'll trust that he made the decisions he had to make. All I will say, in seven cruises I have never experienced so many problems with clearing and securing ports. FOOD - food was great. The Pantry is really good. Each meal you can decide if you want Indian, Mexican, Italian, Carvery, Fish & Chips, salad, sandwiches etc. Its like a host of pop-up restaurants. It's always fresh and hot, unless you turn up close to the end of service but why would you. The Waterfront restaurant was our preferred dinner option and the food was faultless. The service was really down on the first few nights compared to previous cruises. Meals were passed along the table guest to guest instead of being served correctly. Wine was not topped up, no ice bucket. Then one night our table wasn't ready so we ate at another waiters section and the service was great so we secured that table for the rest of the cruise. CABIN - faultlessly looked after. ENTERTAINMENT - overall it was ok, however, night one is an intro to the stage productions that will be on throughout the cruise but it was only shown once so if you were on the second dinner sitting you missed out and for us, we never really knew what was worth seeing or not worth seeing throughout the cruise, not smart. SPA - Critics say it's expensive but they clearly don't go to many high end spas, it is what it is. PUBLIC AREAS - For some reason people had a real habit of securing prime spots on the pool deck and oasis with their towel and then barley using the seat of deck chair. Some would be up there at 7am, secure a big area (up to 8 seats) and just have one person fending other guests off all morning until their family creeps out of bed at 11am. Staff never once cleared towels or articulated that this was not acceptable as they do on other cruises. If a guest is using the pool deck, more than just a towel would be sitting at their deck chair. BARS - Fine but no happy hour as with other cruises. SMOKING - Far too many smoking areas. Smokers would get within a few metres from their smoking area (pool deck) and light up, staff had to walk through and clear and clean, reports of smoking in rooms. Time for smoke free cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Thought it was an inexpensive option for family holiday. Now know not a good choice. Pantry food boring and disappointing.....Hot food warm, cold food almost the same. Strong smell of sewerage on every deck except where smokers were. ... Read More
Thought it was an inexpensive option for family holiday. Now know not a good choice. Pantry food boring and disappointing.....Hot food warm, cold food almost the same. Strong smell of sewerage on every deck except where smokers were. No cheap options if one wanted to try something different. Free coffee unpleasant. Spa prices ludicrous. Shore tours when not cancelled were good. Most Staff we had dealings with were excellent though. Thought organization could have been better and announcements clearer. Unless one likes to get drunk or gamble, not a lot of activities. Edge staff very good with grandsons. Pools quite small....couldn't even get in the on deck Spa tubs for the number of kids in there. Elemis at sea Spa well overpriced and overcharged. The Jewel is tired that's why its being sold. Don't expect luxury... unless you have lots of money to try the upmarket bits. And expect to pay through the nose for anything extra. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this ship for a not too expensive cruise with out family. We boarded in Brisbane and that was well organised and hassle free. On 1st impressions the ship is old, rusty, worn carpet, stained, marked walls but reasonable clean ... Read More
We chose this ship for a not too expensive cruise with out family. We boarded in Brisbane and that was well organised and hassle free. On 1st impressions the ship is old, rusty, worn carpet, stained, marked walls but reasonable clean apart from that. Our cabin was the same - old and tired. The bed was quite comfortable albeit a bit lumpy and no sheet, just a duvet or doona (whatever you want to call it). Our sheets were old and stained and never changed on the 8 day cruise. Our balcony was filthy and looked like it had never been cleaned. There were some problems with the pipes in the companionway and our cabin went without water a couple of times and we couldn't use the toilet for quite some time. They plumber had to have access to our cabin and when we came back later on the door was not locked. Lunches were not so good. Hot food cold and cold food warm, even when the buffet had just opened. More or less the same food day after day but the desserts were surprisingly good. Dining room dinners were terrible and high prices for very ordinary wines. Entertainment was very ordinary but the staff did a great job in trying to spruce it up. It was annoying that 1 group was able to shout foul language on the odd occasion at the nightly music trivia (in front of children) and no effort was made to stop them. The ugly Australians! The smell of cigarette smoke is always prevalent as it wafts inside from the smoking areas. It is very bad on the pool deck and it's a pity that non smokers are disadvantaged in favour of unheathly, selfish people. All in all the cruise was just okay and 99% of the crew and staff were very friendly and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My daughter, grandson and I recently went on another short break cruise out of Auckland. We did this cruise last year and loved it so decided to go again and were especially looking forward to seeing the recent renovations onboard. ... Read More
My daughter, grandson and I recently went on another short break cruise out of Auckland. We did this cruise last year and loved it so decided to go again and were especially looking forward to seeing the recent renovations onboard. We got a mini suite again but this time but on the opposite side of the ship as our last room was a bit noisy in the evening as it was under the Grill. This time we were under Shell and Bones and it was very quiet - no problem at all with any noise. (Last room was 11164, this time 11163). Food was really good in both Waterfront Restaurant and the Pantry. We had breakfast every morning at the Waterfront and found this to be very relaxing. We had two evening meals in the Waterfront and one in the Pantry - all enjoyable. We actually got a table early in the Pantry before it opened and that made for a much more relaxed dinner there. My grandson (12) again loved the HQ kids club and spent a lot of time there. We did the gatsby dance lesson and that was great fun. We also walked around the entire ship and only used the lift once, on formal night. My exercise tracker showed that I'd walked up over 120 flights of stairs in three days so I was happy with that given that I'm 61. I must mention the shows which were much better than last time. The production and staging was fantastic and we absolutely loved them. Our room steward was wonderful and made up the sofa bed each night and then back to a sofa for daytime - something that didn't happen on the last cruise. We also had really good bathroom supplies including beautiful top brand body lotion, shampoo and conditioner etc. Last time we didn't get these quality products. We didn't find any hard sell or having to pay extra for everything (as was said in previous reviews). We enjoyed the trivia quizzes and other free entertainment put on for us. It was a great surprise as well to find we could buy unlimited wifi for only $19 for the three days. Great to keep in touch with family while away. Overall we really couldn't fault our cruise. Yes the Jewel is getting an older ship but it is generally in great condition for a short cruise out of Auckland. So much so that my daughter and her husband are off again in July and my husband and I in August. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I have just returned from an 8 night Fiji Experience Cruise on the Pacific Jewel (me + my two kids, 6 & 8 along with other family & friends) and I have to say that overall it was a wonderful experience. The staff were very friendly ... Read More
I have just returned from an 8 night Fiji Experience Cruise on the Pacific Jewel (me + my two kids, 6 & 8 along with other family & friends) and I have to say that overall it was a wonderful experience. The staff were very friendly & welcoming, the food & entertainment was great and the overall atmosphere fantastic. The rooms are a little dated (3 star) but well maintained and well laid out. Plenty of storage space (so many draws!). The common areas have recently been renovated & look great! The food in the Pantry (think buffet) was ok & I always found something I liked – it’s not gourmet food by any stretch of the imagination – I would place it slightly above food court. We choose to have dinner at the Waterfront restaurant most nights and the food there was great. On the first night the kids even managed to see a pod of Dolphins alongside the ship as they ate which was a great surprise for them. A big shout out to our waitress ‘Shelia’ who was fantastic with the kids. Despite having a large table of 11 of us to contend with, she managed to find time to show them an amazing card trick (I still have no idea how she did it!). I would also like to give a big shout out to Ria who works at the ‘Sugar bar’ in the Pantry. She was fantastic with my son (6) & always kept an eye out for him to make sure he was served – they became great friends & my son was very sad when he had to say goodbye. Also Bobbi, the Cruise Director, was amazing with him on Gatsby night. She danced with him for ages and made it a really special & memorable night for him – he was sad that he didn’t get to say goodbye to her as she made quite the impact! All in all a great experience & perfect for families. From kids club to activities to the evening shows there was always something to do. I went as a solo parent and it was great for me as well as I could get some ‘downtime’ when the kids were in kids club. No idea why there are so many negative reviews - would definitely recommend!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This ship is tired. They charge for everything they can think of.Do not recommend.No dress standards at all. Though staff in dining room and cabin,s do their best,the ship is past it,s use by date. The cabin 10156 was tired but kept ... Read More
This ship is tired. They charge for everything they can think of.Do not recommend.No dress standards at all. Though staff in dining room and cabin,s do their best,the ship is past it,s use by date. The cabin 10156 was tired but kept clean. The balcony was the smallest we have ever had,there is no way you could sit facing out to sea as it was so narrow. The beds were very hard and one lumpy There was little to no sound proofing between cabins and one side of us had noises up to 2 am some nights Dining room was acceptable with the staff working hard Entertainment in the main show room was standard cruise fare,but the entertainment else where was not the best . We do no ship tours ,the islands were easy to do your own thing . Everything was over priced and they charge for most things they can think of . Kids often out of control in the main dining room Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My first cruise. Escape to the warmth en route to Fiji for 8 days. Fun filled days, great food, (The Pantry and Waterfront Restaurant absolurely splendid. Wonderful resaurants - Chefs Table is a must; Island excursion's to ... Read More
My first cruise. Escape to the warmth en route to Fiji for 8 days. Fun filled days, great food, (The Pantry and Waterfront Restaurant absolurely splendid. Wonderful resaurants - Chefs Table is a must; Island excursion's to outer islands just wonderful. Dravuni Island tremendous. Tour operators were alot of fun. Loved the singing. Water warm. Nightlife greatest fun.- Gatsby Party and Back to School meant dressing up and great dancing. Great drinks. My cabin was very private and comfortable. Very clean. TV room reception ace. Thoroughly enjoyed the open air big movie screen, and The Cafe. The on board lectures were informative and very helpful eg acupuncture and posture lectures. It was fun attending the opening of the new on board Pandora Shop. Embarking and disembarking very organised. On board shopping great value. Great gift specials. Very kind and very helpful staff. Didn't want to come home! Saving for my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because it was a short break that left from Melbourne on dates that suited us. We travelled as 2 couples and 1 child, this was our 11th cruise (we've cruised 5 different cruise lines, 8 different ships). We ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a short break that left from Melbourne on dates that suited us. We travelled as 2 couples and 1 child, this was our 11th cruise (we've cruised 5 different cruise lines, 8 different ships). We ate all lunches and dinners in Waterfront and were pleasantly surprised by the meals. None of us had a meal we didn't like. The service did vary though and was sometimes barely acceptable and other times wonderful. Breakfast we enjoyed in the pantry, a great selection with something for everyone's tastes. Our son enjoyed kids club but didn't enjoy being forced to partake in the scheduled activities when he just wanted to play with the toys. There were some activities he simply wasn't interested in (like Gatsby headband making). I did wonder why he couldn't have just played quietly while the kids who wanted to do the activities did them (there weren't many kids on board, and seemed to be only about 8-12 kids in the Shark Shack at any one time). The entertainment - we went to the comedian the first night and left after just a few minutes when we realised he expected audience participation (being embarrassed and singled out involuntarily is not our thing! We have no problem if they call for volunteers from the audience but to be forced unwillingly is a no go, so we left). The other 2 shows, Velvet Rope and The Four Seasons Show were very entertaining. We also went to the Luke Mangan live cooking show, very entertaining, funny and we learnt a few tips. All in all, we enjoyed this cruise and would go on Pacific Jewel again for another short cruise, however, would choose a different line for longer cruises. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise as a fun school holidays kick-off for ourselves, our 9 year old son and 3 other families with similar age kids. Was meant to be a Comedy cruise - but, for us at least, it was more of a family fun cruise. We've ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a fun school holidays kick-off for ourselves, our 9 year old son and 3 other families with similar age kids. Was meant to be a Comedy cruise - but, for us at least, it was more of a family fun cruise. We've been on one cruise before - earlier this year on the Norwegian Sun in Alaska. We were pleasantly surprised by that cruise. This one not so much. I was expecting P&O to be a bit more 'budget' than the other major cruise lines - it is. The ship is definitely older and a bit worn. Mostly clean and the crew seem to try to keep her tidy. The Pantry (buffet remade as a 'food court') and the Waterfront restaurant (only free sit down restaurant) seem to be recently updated but the rest of the ship is definitely dated. Our cabin was a 4-bunk with a window on the 9th floor, towards the rear of the ship. It was fine. Bunks were comfy. Shower was huge (compared with shower on the Sun) but looked a bit grotty and worn. It was fine for us and 2 x children (we had a child from one of the other families in with us). Dining got a bit boring after 3 days. The "Pantry" buffet was always crowded. Breaking up in to types of food (Indian, Asian, Salad bar, roast station, etc) is good because it's easier to get around, but if you want more than one type of food you have to stand in 2-3 lines. Overall quality of food was pretty average (think mid-range buffet). Everything has to be served by staff - you can see the food behind glass. I don't mind this - I think it is more hygienic, but they are not particularly generous. You have to ask for 2-3 spoonfuls sometimes. Salad bar was just basic (I love salads so nothing special - no nuts, extras) and desserts were not worth it at all - jello and bland cakes. The only other free option was The Waterfront where staff seemed overworked and food was limited both in choice and quantity. I'm pretty sure the 'roast chicken' I had one night was literally the same food from the buffet. We went back and forth whether it was worth just standing in line yourself versus slightly better atmosphere but then less choice (3 entrees and 3 mains most nights). Desserts at Waterfront were MUCH better than the Buffet - we had a beetroot and chocolate torte one night that was excellent and the next lunch's Tiramisu was very good. There is a NZ Ice cream stand by the pool - with $5/ 1 scoop ice creams. Yum. NO ice cream on offer at Buffet, but you can get some small scoops of sorbet-type ice cream at The Waterfront. We tried to get in to Salt or Luna (top up restaurants) once we got bored with the free offerings - booked solid. No opportunity to pre-book via Cruise Control. We didn't really go to many of the shows - didn't start till 9.30 or 10pm and we all had kids with us. The Zipline was fun for the kids but not really that exciting. We all played Laser Tag one morning (in the Marquee theatre) which was entertaining. These are all extra fees. Didn't make it to the Gym but apparently there is one. Not very interesting classes. Pool was ok but lots of rules - no jumping or diving. Hot tubs could have been hotter and only 2 for whole ship - crowded. We had one day of lovely weather and all happily hung out in the sun next to the pool. Next day bad weather so lots of playing cards inside. Kids club - ours went to Shark Shack up on deck 14 at the back. It was fairly spacious and well run. Our son was definitely keen on the PS4s but rarely got to play - they were either taken or 'banned' (when there was an activity on). Half the centre is for younger kids. Children 10+ are able to opt to go to the teen centre "HQ" which is down on deck 2 (yes, 2!) so our son was just on the cusp and unable to join some of the slightly older kids in our group. 10 is the cutoff - he turns 10 in a few months. Drinks at the bar didn't seem too pricey but we wound up with a pretty big bill at the end. It's a bit funny - you have to sign for a $3 nachos at "The Grill' but you can happily zip through $40 rounds of drinks repeatedly on your card and unless you ask you don't get a receipt. I'd probably get receipts next time - if for no other reason just to realise how much the drinks are adding up to. Unfortunately the weather for us was not great - as it was a 3 day 'cruise to no where' we didn't really have any port stops. We seemed to be floating around out near Great Barrier, mostly anchored. It got pretty choppy and the weather turned and it was downright horrible - gale force winds, people getting sick with the constant motion. Not much fun. Embarcation and debarcation was fine - no fuss, no trouble. Lovely to just take a taxi to the ship and taxi home (we live in Auckland so was a quick 15 min trip and then we're away). So, overall it was fun, especially with a group of families. We made our own good time. Would we do it again? Probably not - got a bit boring on the ship after a day or so, especially with bad weather. Would we take this ship for a longer cruise? Probably not - just not enough choices for food and stuff to do. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if you were off the ship at different ports each day, but still just a bit old and tired. But fine for a one-off booze up with friends 3 days max. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I want my children and families to experience cruises however i did expect them to go out so far. a cruise just off north island would have been more comfortable. The Gatsby theme was fantastic as well as Scottish dancing classes. the food ... Read More
I want my children and families to experience cruises however i did expect them to go out so far. a cruise just off north island would have been more comfortable. The Gatsby theme was fantastic as well as Scottish dancing classes. the food in the restaurants was better than the pantry. The best thing was .. no tipping.. As this was my 18th cruise.. i enjoyed it. Even better , the cruise counts towards my elite status on princess cruises. The catering is well below princess but you have more fun on P&O. I have just come off the majestic princess around the med and then going on P&O was a surprise. I was annoy that they didn't reward customers for regular cruises, They should reintroduce it. Down under offer basic food unless you pay for better.. i am no snob and like both standards but people need to realize we are having a typical family holiday with nice staff and people. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I have only been on premium cruise lines and had never considered the local P&O line but wanted to experience a few days away with my daughter and two grandsons at a reasonable price. It was with much excitement that my boys first saw ... Read More
I have only been on premium cruise lines and had never considered the local P&O line but wanted to experience a few days away with my daughter and two grandsons at a reasonable price. It was with much excitement that my boys first saw the ship and the excitement continued for the entire cruise! Yes, I've been on nicer ships with better food and more spectacular decor but guess what... we had a great time. We booked a mini suite so that we could all be in the same room with a balcony and it was a perfect size. Sure the bathroom could do with a revamp and if you looked closely much needed upgrading but we simply didn't care. Pros: - We loved all the food we had, I can't remember one thing that I didn't like. We only ate at the Waterfront Restaurant and the Pantry. We had breakfast at both places but preferred the Waterfront as it was much more relaxed. - The kids clubs were fantastic. Turtle Cove for my 5 year old and HQ for my nearly 12 year old worked out perfectly and we hardly saw the kids they loved it that much. - The drinks were a reasonable price and we could easily buy a bottle of wine and take it back to our room - or take the unfinished bottle from dinner. The wine glasses supplied were gorgeous and much nicer than the more expensive cruises I've been on. - The Gatsby night was simply fantastic. So many people dressed up. Much, much more fun than those stuffy "formal" nights on cruise ships and P&O are on to a winner with this theme. - Photographs. A few photos were taken around the ship and then we had some more formal ones taken on the Gatsby night. The lady taking these was lovely and the photos turned out exceptionally well. We were absolutely blown away by these. Cons: - There was a sewerage smell at the back of the ship, nothing too bad and it didn't affect us but not sure how that would be on a much longer cruise. - The Pantry restaurant was incredibly busy with long queues at times and it was hard to get a table for the four of us. You'd have to secure one and sit there while others got there food which meant that none of us actually ate together and someone was always off getting food. The food was great though and one day we just took our plates back to our room (which was directly under the restaurant) and ate it on our balcony. Certainly going to the Pantry once the main crowd had gone is a better idea! - Disembarkation. We were told to go to the Casino but no one came to tell us where to go. There were lots of people sitting around waiting and finally a barman said that all the staff had left! So much for priority disembarkation - we all had to queue up with everyone else. - Muster Drill. This was an absolute disaster. It was set for 3.30 pm and sail away was 4 pm. By 4.10 pm we still hadn't had our drill, we'd all been sitting at our muster station waiting for goodness knows what. We all missed sail away due to this and I for one was extremely unhappy! I love being up on top for sail away, waving goodbye etc. Very badly organised and I hope this is not a normal thing of P&O. - Noise from above the cabin. We were directly under the Grill which was open until late at night which made getting to sleep difficult. To sum up the, yes the Pacific Jewel is a little old and tired. Yes, it's in a different league to the new flash ships but what it lacked in appearance it more than made up for with friendly service, prompt attention to any problems, reasonable cost, and overall family friendly cruising. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My wife found a great deal on GrabOne, $1860 NZ for us and our 15 yr old son, including our flights from Auckland to Sydney. Had to put down $1300 to secure our booking, and paid the balance by around a month before disembarking. I ... Read More
My wife found a great deal on GrabOne, $1860 NZ for us and our 15 yr old son, including our flights from Auckland to Sydney. Had to put down $1300 to secure our booking, and paid the balance by around a month before disembarking. I happened to be dining next to an apparently wealthy couple who had been on numerous cruise liners, and said our cruise was the roughest they've been on, due to the heavy swells between Australia and New Zealand at this time of year, and the fact we were not long behind a storm. My wife was bed-ridden for about the first half of the journey, and the ship ran out too soon of wrist bands to help counter it, so be prepared before you board. My biggest lesson learned? Have fun as much as possible. I didn't make of the most of EVERY opportunity to DANCE!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose the cruise for a get away in the sun...The cruise was very good...except for Noumea. We docked on a Sunday and everything was closed. Not good when you have 3 very active boys (grandchildren) who had been at sea for 2 ... Read More
We chose the cruise for a get away in the sun...The cruise was very good...except for Noumea. We docked on a Sunday and everything was closed. Not good when you have 3 very active boys (grandchildren) who had been at sea for 2 days...Ended up taking a bus ride for a few kilometres and walked back to port. Mare is very expensive..no local buses or transport to the beach which is 30 mins in bus away from dock and a cost of $30.00 per person return. We had researched and someone said that there was a beach about a1km to the left of the dock. The people were correct with this advice but when we arrived you had to limb down a cliff ( about 8 meters high) to get t the beach. This would have been fine for fit young people but I am in my late 60's and just recovering from a total hip replacement so back to the boat we went. Very Disappointed. Suva we hated..it was very unattractive and not a lot to do. Vila we hired a taxi from the gates of the port $150.00aud for 5 hours for 7 people ( Good Value) and went to swim with the turtles...Absolutely amazing spent about 1 1/2 hours there feeding and swimming with these amazing animals then the driver took us to the Blue Lagoon where we spent about 3 hours swimming here. Both places were not offered by P & O which surprised us both were fabulous and we are really glad we did not miss the experience. The boys are still talking about the turtles. In Denaru we hired a taxi again and went towards Suva spending the day at some beautiful beaches snorkeling and swimming.. Isle of Pine..what can we say...beautiful...beautiful..beautiful. Dravini Island was great. WE saw a sign offering boat rides around the island and went..great experience....the locals here were very helpful..the children beautiful...IF YOU ARE GOING HERE THEY WOULD APPRECIATE BOOKS AND SCHOOL SUPPLIES as these are very expensive for them to buy and they really were thankful for money and donations. Must commend the Pantry on their service and their food handling ...it was great as so many people on the cruise were sick with flu coughs and colds. We had an enjoyable cruise ..was worried as we had many negative reports before we went but all in all it was good. Would go again on P & O... Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our fourth cruise with P&O and we had a great time. Some ports were great and we were very welcomed by local helpers. We were a bit disappointed when we went on Moreton Island for the Feeding the Dolphins. P&O did a ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise with P&O and we had a great time. Some ports were great and we were very welcomed by local helpers. We were a bit disappointed when we went on Moreton Island for the Feeding the Dolphins. P&O did a great organisation but after us we saw another 2 big groups to feed only 4 to 5 dolphins. It was too crowded and I hope P&O will also look into this. We found the local organization was not mature enough to look after the animals as they are wild The tenders were really good even when the sea was a bit rough. Always helpful staff around. Our overall review was great, good service and not to mention the Chef's table was a really great experience. The kids staff were great too making lots of great arts and T-shirts are always the best. The kids still like the food at home the best :-) but the pancakes were great too. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Was a bit worried after reading a few negative reviews for the Pacific Jewel. We booked a 9 night cruise to the South Pacific islands during the school holidays. From the minute we got on to the minute we got off, we had a great time. The ... Read More
Was a bit worried after reading a few negative reviews for the Pacific Jewel. We booked a 9 night cruise to the South Pacific islands during the school holidays. From the minute we got on to the minute we got off, we had a great time. The ship is in excellent condition, nice decor and very clean. Service from the staff on board was terrific. Our cabin steward, Sanjay, was very attentive and kept our cabin ship shape! The waiters were very polite and gave great service. There is so much entertainment on board that you can choose to do or not to do. Our cabin was great. A lot of hanging space with hangers and loads of drawers. The dining areas were excellent, from the Waterfront Restaurant to The Pantry, food was excellent. We ate at Luke Mangin's Salt Grill, and had to pay for this, but was so worth it. $49 per head for an amazing 3 course meal.I would recommend it highly. Entertainment was very good and plenty of it. All I can say if someone goes on this ship and does not have a great time or experience, it would be their own fault! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
didnt really want to go went to keep my better half happy as she always goes on the holidays i book. first couple of days were rocky but once the boat stopped rocking we had a great time. our granddaughter came with us and went to the kids ... Read More
didnt really want to go went to keep my better half happy as she always goes on the holidays i book. first couple of days were rocky but once the boat stopped rocking we had a great time. our granddaughter came with us and went to the kids club at the shark shack and absolutely loved it. the staff were great with the kids and how they organised the kids to perform the concert on the last day was amazing to see my 8 year old singing solo in front of three hundred people is credit to them, the edge packet was fantastic she did the flying fox countless times laser challenge segway rock climbing they were unreal. my wife and i enjoyed the entertainment especially the hypnotist.we were pleasantly surprised with our room which was a 3 berth with ocean views bigger than i expected. the staff were extremely friendly and helpful the food in the buffet at the pantry was ordinary most days but found the food at the waterfront cafe good.my wife and i were first time cruisers but are really excited about doing the south pacific cruise in the not to distant future thanks p and o we had a great time Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
To enjoy the MOFO festival, and visit Hobart and as we had previously enjoyed a cruise on Pacific Pearl, which we really loved, we found Jewel a disappointment. The cabin was very clean, but looking dated, along with most of the ship. ... Read More
To enjoy the MOFO festival, and visit Hobart and as we had previously enjoyed a cruise on Pacific Pearl, which we really loved, we found Jewel a disappointment. The cabin was very clean, but looking dated, along with most of the ship. Our cabin staff and Pantry staff and Waterview staff were really excellent, but the food in the Pantry was poor and mostly served warm or cold. The Waterview menu was poor, but the night we spent in Salt was truly first class. The Dome was a good place to sit and read and enjoy a drink or coffee, and the Cafe nice and quiet for after dinner drinks. Charlies Bar was a good place to meet, but seating was scarce. We have enjoyed quite a few cruises with a variety of shipping lines, but unfortunately this will not go down in our memory as one of the best. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have travelled three times of the Pacific Jewel in the last 18 months. It is a ship that is 27 years on the seas but well maintained both in the public areas and cabins. It is not the Celebrity Solstice or the Royal Carribean Ovation ... Read More
We have travelled three times of the Pacific Jewel in the last 18 months. It is a ship that is 27 years on the seas but well maintained both in the public areas and cabins. It is not the Celebrity Solstice or the Royal Carribean Ovation of the Seas nor does it have the extras as we call them. It is a basic ship with limited features but it does have something that draws us back to her time again and that is the dedicated staff. There are teams of people that make the voyage a wonderful experience. We were drawn to this particular cruise because of the price, $329 for a four night cruise to Moreton Island is a bargain. We love the ship for the laid back approach to cruising, it is very casual and there are no formal nights but they do have their signature white party and charleston night which a lot of people embrace and have lots of fun. Generally the four day cruises are party cruises and people lay back and enjoy every moment. Maybe some a little more than others. Of the parts of the ship the Dome is my favourite place to relax. It is generally not occupied heavily in the morning and becomes an adult only area from 12 - 3 each afternoon.Sit back with a drink and a book or with friends just watching the ocean go by. The buffet or what P&O refers to as the Pantry is divided into food groups. You have your indian station, asian station, fish & chips, Carvery, Tacos station. The Pantry ranges from reasonable selection of food to excellent food you would get in a restuarant. Although about 9am in the morning, it becomes very busy and a bit disorientated for the breakfast sitting. So we normally avoid it and head down to the Waterfront Restaurant. Having travelled on the Jewel 3 times in a short period of time we found the service and quality of food in the Waterfront was excellent. You may get a limited choice of food to eat at dinner in comparison to other cruise lines but the quality of food available is good. The lunch time menu is fixed but there much more selections to choose from on the menu than the evening meal. Over the cruises we have done on the Jewel the lunch time menu gives a very good selection of food. The entertainment was excellent and despite seeing some of the shows previously on two other P&O ships, the quality of entertainment matched any other cruise line. One of the signature productions is the Velvet Rope and despite the limited stage space, it was performed at a very standard. Cabins are well maintained and we loved the large shower area. Storage within the cabin is probably better than most modern ships. You would have to be on a very cruise to fill the drawers and storage space. One thing we love that is not on the modern cruise ships like the Ovation of Seas is the laundry. This ship has wonderful laundry with 12 washing machines and 12 dryers as well as 4 irons and ironing boards. If you have a young family and need to wash cloths a lot or someone like me that wants to iron out some wrinkles in the shirt, the laundry on this ship wonderful. On the negative P&O supplies a lot of pork dishes and on 7 cruises in the past three years we have only seen red meat served once and that was Flank Steak on this cruise. On the Eden, no red meat and the Dawn again on one night some cheap serving of red meat. You can buy a rump steak for $17 for a 300 gram steak which works out to $56 a kilo. Whilst there are choices at the Pantry, I would not want to be on a long cruise with P&O because the food in the Pantry can become boring because there is limited choice. Particularly if you like plain food there is a very limited choice of food at the pantry. Another critism of the pantry is that food is prepared and put on heating trays for up to 90 minutes before serving commences. The tempreture of that food is well below the food industry standards in Australia and you can be served fish, pork or a range of food that is basically just warm but not at the right tempreture. We noticed that they were serving hamburgers at one station, when the next lot of hamburgers were prepared they were put on top of the hamburgers that had been sitting there for 90 minutues. When we decided to eat at the Pantry we would go mid serving so that the food was served at the correct tempreture and was reasonably fresh. The Shore excursions team we absolutley loved, particulary the shore excursion manager who worked through some excursion issues and was really prompt in finding solutions. Overall, we will go back on the Jewel later in the year, our experiences overall are good and despite this ole ship of 27 years, she still has something to offer people and your experience on this ship can leave you with beautiful memories of a wonderful vacation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Pacific Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 3.5 3.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.1
Family 3.5 3.1
Shore Excursion N/A 3.2
Enrichment 3.0 3.0
Service 4.0 3.7
Value For Money 4.5 3.3
Rates 3.0 3.7

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