25 P&O Australia Pacific Jewel First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

I am writing to advise other potential future customers for a P&O Cruise and the treatment they can expect. This is a account of many issues that occurred on our cruise that completed on the 27th May. Cruise J624 on the Pacific ... Read More
I am writing to advise other potential future customers for a P&O Cruise and the treatment they can expect. This is a account of many issues that occurred on our cruise that completed on the 27th May. Cruise J624 on the Pacific Jewel. We organised a holiday voyage to join up 3 separate family's as we all live apart from Melbourne up to Townsville. As we had kids, were advised to book real early as only a limited amount of children are allowed on board, due to this we had payed full price as this cruise was organised over a year ago so no discounts. On arrival at our cabin on departure (16th May) in the corridor outside our room was 5 blower/driers going and a strong smell of heavy deodorisers. The next day we awoke to a large commotion going on outside our door, the cabin had a pool of water flowing in under the door and seeping in to under the table some 2 metres inside the cabin. The cabin cleaner knocked on our door and told us a leakage had sprung from the clean water main outside the cabin and not to worry. About 20 minutes later the room started to stink and we found out the leakage was raw sewage! I went into the corridor and P&O staff were using a 10 metre long sewage snake on the pipes in the wall behind our cabin. The whole family including kids had been walking through this mess it to access the bathroom! The 5 P&O workers outside our door knew it was sewage and lied to us. We were finally offered a downgraded cabin a week later we accepted. My kids, wife and mother had to sleep in a cabin stinking of sewage. This sewage issue was obviously a ongoing issue from a previous cruise and not adequately fixed. Other issues. 1/ we booked 2 ad joining cabins, we were separated. 2/ kids club, we chose P&O over other cruise options as kids club advertised for 2 to 6 yo. We tried to book out now 2yo in and were told by kids club staff this was not possible as all children attending must be fully toilet trained before they can attend? As our 2 year old is not toilet trained he could not attend at all! This is not made clear and only when you review the fine print is it pointed out. The small compensation paid onboard for 3 adults (our child not included,,why) to us over this issue was the same as the 5 adjoining cabins, but they only had raw sewage outside the cabin, not over 2 metres inside the cabin, this leaving the cabin stinking and ongoing air dryers required to be in our room. Since our return I have been constantly trying to get adequate compensation from P&O. Have finally been offered another $750 in total for our cabin of 4 on top of the on board compensation of about $450 and a $200 payment for a room downgrade. Have spoken to a few legal services and have been told as it happened on a overseas registered ship in international waters, it's not like a simple small claims tribunal claim. Think VERY seriously about taking a future voyage. A lot better holiday options out there. The onboard staff look like walking Zombies, can walk pass the reception desk and see the same faces dreaming of better places to be, the cabin attendants, food staff all look totally burnt out from working 16 hour days. The whole first week I must have visited the reception desk about 20 times trying to get my family out of that cabin and had to deal with their pathetic but well practiced customer "conflict resolution" tactics. I watched the same women on reception run behind the counter every time I was in the line as she did not want to deal with me. She preferred her co workers to handle my inquiries (yes I know you did!) Would love to hear from others on our voyage down on deck 5. The beautiful islands we visited were amazing but all of the issues we all had in our time on the Pacific Jewel and your staff completely spoilt it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My wife and me (late 40's early 50's) just returned from our first cruise just a 4 night cruise from Sydney to Tangalooma island and return,we had our 2 adult children and their partner's for a total of 6 of us in 3 sea view ... Read More
My wife and me (late 40's early 50's) just returned from our first cruise just a 4 night cruise from Sydney to Tangalooma island and return,we had our 2 adult children and their partner's for a total of 6 of us in 3 sea view rooms on P and O's pacific Jewell which i believe was partially refurbished in early 2015. After paying our deposit i started to do a bit of research and found a lot of negative reviews especially regarding the food so i was not expecting to much but i was pleasantly surprised. Boarding the Pacific jewell was a breeze because it was not leaving Australia their was no customs hassles,they still x-rayed our carry on and put us thru the metal detectors but from the time of arrival at the White Bay cruise terminal ($ 75.00 for a maxi taxi from central train station for 6 of us) to the time we were in our rooms would have been 30 minutes max,15 minutes later we were having lunch in the Pantry with a selection of Australian food roast beef and vegies today,Fish and chips,Chinese,Indian curries,fruit,and of course dessert. their were 6 different counters arranged in a semi circle and you joined the que at whichever counter you wanted, picked out what you wanted and they dished it up on a plate for you, you could go to as many different serverys as you wanted even eat dessert first.Their was also a pizza bar $9.00 and a burger bar not sure of the Price.. The quality of the food ranged from so-so to quite good, if you got something that you did not like you just left in on the table for the friendly staff to pick up and went and tried something else,because the pantry is open from 0630 to about 9.30am for breakfast and 11.30 to 2.30 for lunch and 5.30 to 8.30 the ques are not to long maybe 4 or 5 mins. Breakfast was really good,coffee,tea,fruit juice, scrambled eggs.omlette,poached eggs,fried eggs bacon pancakes,pastries,fruit etc etc. After lunch we went for a wander (it takes a few days to work out where everything is) and had a few drinks before we gathered for our safety briefing.The alcohol prices were not to high $6.00 for a stubby of midstrength,Carlton Dry $6.95, Caronas about $7.50 i think,their were a variety of other beers spirits about $10.00 a shot and lots of cocktails ranging from about $12 to $16 ther was one bar we found the Orient which had a few craft beers and ciders on tap but unfortunately they were served in plastic schooner "glasses". when we booked our cruise we recieved a bonus of free soft drinks so not sure of the price of soft drink..their was also the Waterfront restaurant which was free as was the pantry we tried that one night while the food was good it took a long time to be served so we did not go their again,the other 2 options were the Lunar Asian Restaurant $29.00 0r the Saltwater grill $59.00 we did not try either of these.if you went on a 7 night or longer the pantry might get a little repetetive. The cabins were roomy enough with a king sized comfy bed a TV plenty of cupboard and hanging space,a desk, while you could only fit one person at a time in the bathroom it was not to small the shower was also a good size. The day at Tangalooma resort was the highlight of the trip for us a beautifull sunny day we hired a few kyaks for $25 for 90 mins swam at the beautifull beach ate prawns had a few beers before us boys went on our Quad bike tour which was a bit slow for us but still ok,the girls went and fed the Dolphins which they said was unorganized and not as good as they had expected. We only went to one show which was a magic show and was ok.Visited the Casino a few times Roulette, poker,Black Jack,and pokies. Chilled on the back deck read a book.Ate to much.. The disembarkation was quick and hassle free as well. Summary;; we all had a great time you can do as much as you want theirs lots of organised activities or just chill around the pool or one of the deck bars, we found 4 nights good 6 or 7 would be great any longer i think i would get a bit board, we had great weather sunny and calm seas which also helped..I would go again and probably will.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Deck 11 On arrival we opened the draws next to bed to unpack our clothes when I noticed dirt & hair in the draws as well as the table tops, I wiped these out with my own sterile wipes which I bought on board in which I then called the ... Read More
Deck 11 On arrival we opened the draws next to bed to unpack our clothes when I noticed dirt & hair in the draws as well as the table tops, I wiped these out with my own sterile wipes which I bought on board in which I then called the housekeeper supervisor to bring it to her attention in which she stated the room was rushed cleaned because of the quick turnaround & apoligized, hair was also present in the bathroom. Included in our booking was a bottle of champagne on arrival which was not there. The total each for this room was $800. The Pantry was the same food every night with not much variety, eggs were served cold in the morning in which we told the supervisor who tested them & apoligised. The I Love Burger Pizza shop was a discrace advertising a gourmet burger in which the mince was of low quality & the bun all soggy and gross looking. The Mini suite was the biggest nightmare as it is directly above the ships main deck 12 where the pool & entertaining area's are, the floor surface is deck wood & the tables,chairs above were dragging on the wood 24/7 in which just vibrated & made constant ridicilus noise 24/7 in which you could not sleep at all, you could also clearly hear people walking above This went on every night. The rooms also had very thin walls in which you could hear the people in rooms & there TV's on at every stage of the cruise. For the money we paid it was a rip off & nightmare of a holiday, Do not book these mini suites if you want a decent night sleep. The exiting of the ship was not organised as Mini suite guests have priority exit but this was delayed & other groups had left first... Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Just back from our first cruise with my wife. I have a cafe, 28 staff and have high standards so I understand hospitality. Good service we very much enjoyed the short trip from Melbourne to Sydney and had a ball. I can not understand ... Read More
Just back from our first cruise with my wife. I have a cafe, 28 staff and have high standards so I understand hospitality. Good service we very much enjoyed the short trip from Melbourne to Sydney and had a ball. I can not understand the negative reviews and think they would moan as they are just moaners on a ship or on land…. Staff: Were very friendly and very helpful on the whole trip. Waterfront: Very clean, heaps of options on the menu and the food was great, white table cloths and very enjoyable service. Pantry: Very clean, heaps and heaps of options, Asian, Fish & Chips, Mexican, Indian, Roasts, Salads, Sandwiches and rolls etc etc, and of course desserts. Food was hot and very good for served buffet style food, also a tea and coffee station, orange and apple juice plus chilled water. opens as soon as you board the ship if you are hungry The Grill: Very clean, If you are hungry after out side of dining hours you can buy, Burgers - Hotdogs - Nachos -Chips for $ 3.00, Bucket of prawns $ 15.00 or fantastic large pizzas for $ 9.50) Beverage Packages: We chose $ 7.00 per day for soft drink as we are not big drinkers or $ 69.00 per day for the alcohol package, you can use all over the ship or pay as you go. Entertainment: Heaps to choose from on different decks day or night Cabin Mini Suite 11146: Excellent, larger than we had thought, clean, very comfortable bed, balcony to just looking out to sea or the views as we went along the coast and brilliant views of Sydney. The cabin is cleaned every day and turned down at night. Arriving and Departure of ship: Very well organised I’m taking my son on a second cruise on the Eden next month and can not wait to experience another P&O ship. Please do not listen to the moaners, P&O give a great cruise at a very affordable price, I felt sorry for the staff at times. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We departed on the 11th of January 2016 for a relaxing cruise. The first thing we noticed was the ease of getting on the boat, unlike an airport there was staff everywhere to help with luggage, fill out forms and give you advice. A great ... Read More
We departed on the 11th of January 2016 for a relaxing cruise. The first thing we noticed was the ease of getting on the boat, unlike an airport there was staff everywhere to help with luggage, fill out forms and give you advice. A great start. Once on board we received exceptional service from all staff who appeared to actually enjoy their jobs. Our cabin was fine 5th deck interior ( a result of booking very late) Our cabin steward Floraliza was pleasant and hard working keeping ours and I suspect 19 other cabins spotless. The food was first class the entertainment very good with plenty of activities to keep you occupied if you need it. The thing that surprised me most was the price of things. Drinks were pretty much on par with restaurants, coffee $3.50 for a cappuccino, cocktails $12 - $18. The shops selling every day items (bandaids, sunscreen first aid etc. were resonable. I expected everything to be hugely marked up. Duty free alcohol was on par with Port Vila prices maybe a couple of dollars more. Overall we had a great trip and will cruise again. Suggestion: Names on tags of staff and guests could be more prominent - makes it easier to say hello for those of us with bad memories for names. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My Husband & I were excited but a little anxious about heading on a planned P&O trip due to the regular negative feedback people had left on P&O Facebook page! We decided it will be what we make of it! Sorry about the essay ... Read More
My Husband & I were excited but a little anxious about heading on a planned P&O trip due to the regular negative feedback people had left on P&O Facebook page! We decided it will be what we make of it! Sorry about the essay but our trip was 98% positive keep reading! Here is our review: We have just returned from comedy 'taster cruise' off Melbourne on the Pacific Jewel. We were in a level 5 'budget' cabin after purchasing a deal from scoupon. Our cabin was fabulous, easy to get to, clean, comfortable bed, tidy, good view & had everything we needed. Even the cloth shower curtain didn't get stuck to you (as they do.) Our room stewardess Liza was most attentive & made sure our every need was met! Her towel art- very cute & clever! Note: Tip your steward in person! In fact, all of the staff couldn't do enough for you, most of them loved their jobs! The entertainment/shows/bands were all great & there was a huge variety of things to do included in your ticket price!! Yes you had to pay if you wanted to do bingo, casino, some craft, & adventure activities (if you didn't everyone's ticket price would be higher!) There was so much to do at times there wasn't time to stop without 'missing something!' Now for the food..... I am a chef & we found the food to be good. The Pantry is a novel idea for a buffet, it allows for a variety of food without a single queue everyone lined up in. Indian, Asian, fish/chips/pizza Mexican, Roast, salads/soup/ sandwiches & of course dessert!! In 3 days I wasn't able to try everything, however the food we had was hot, tasty & better than the 'buffet slop' some places dish up. We were quite annoyed at the constant whinging & comments about the food onboard!! Folks you need to remember the chefs are feeding 2000 people every meal sitting for a DAILY budget of at a guess $15-$20pp at most!!! What do you expect?? One thing I will say is I hope they change variety of dishes more often on a longer cruise. However, like I said above, because we were there only 3 days we didn't have to eat the same thing twice (unless we wanted to!) The Waterfront restaurant was available unlimited (you could eat here every meal if you wanted) for a 3 course meal breakfast/lunch/ dinner for no addition cost. I would describe this as 'formal dining' with budget A La Carte food. You needed to book a table in this restaurant which had staggered times (the booking process was a little clunky & could use a little work)- more complaints heard (again how many meals do you think chefs can prepare at once!) The service was fabulous and staff were almost too attentive, the meal's we had were served quickly, were nice & presented well. The steak was cooked med/rare but was chewy, however it wasn't eye fillet or scotch so difficult to make tender!! The other courses spot on! Overall we had a positive experience & really enjoyed ourselves. We have picked up lots of tips for a longer cruise next time! As for all the 'negative Nancy's' out there you're never going to be happy as you clearly want champagne on a beer budget!!! Remember you get what you pay for! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was my first cruise so I dont really have a benchmark. However, I set out not expecting much as I was told that P&O is at the lower end of cruise lines. We totally enjoyed our cruise and the faults I will mention were really quite ... Read More
This was my first cruise so I dont really have a benchmark. However, I set out not expecting much as I was told that P&O is at the lower end of cruise lines. We totally enjoyed our cruise and the faults I will mention were really quite minor. Cabin Balcony cabin was quite roomy and very clean. Balcony is small but functional. Bathroom was clean and everthing worked. Better than I expected. Bars All good and the prices for drinks were reasonable. Some bars charged more than others and I didnt quite get that. Entertainment Theatre is smallish but didnt see anyone having to stand. Seats a bit uncomfortable. Shows were good - Bev Killock was awesome. A few more movies would have been nice. Pool area Probably the bogan and kid hangout of the boat. Not a major problem but turned us off using the pool a bit. Food Pantry was OK if you got the food when it first came out. Bit of a zoo at breakfast. Waterfront restaurant food was average and didnt bother again after the first night. Room service was cheap but food was cold. Salt, the Luke Mangan, was over rated and not worth the surcharge ($49pp). The high tea, however, is a must at $20pp. Luna was an unexpected jewel. The food was awesome and rivalled the best city restaurants. At $29pp I wouldve gone again if we had time. Overall You get cheap rooms but pay for a lot of extras. Ship is not too bad for its age and I didnt notice much roll with the waves. Odd tip! Im very tall and except for the corridors had few problems with ceilings. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We booked a 4 berth cabin all paying the special price of $355 each, friends a couple of weeks before the cruise got a twin share for $190 each with an added a $25 upgrade to a room with a balcony. One member of our group injured ... Read More
We booked a 4 berth cabin all paying the special price of $355 each, friends a couple of weeks before the cruise got a twin share for $190 each with an added a $25 upgrade to a room with a balcony. One member of our group injured themselves after booking and ended up wearing a boot and needing assistance (wheel chair). I rang and spoke to staff about maybe needing a more suitable room. I was told check when you board. When boarding, Was told check at reception. Reception placed us 2nd inline for a room upgrade come back after 7pm. We had boarded at 11.30. So couldn't really settle in room. I checked after 7pm to be told that we could be upgraded to twin share rooms for an extra $350 per person. Of course we didn't take them up of their ridiculously priced offer. It seemed they were all very helpful getting the wheelchair person on and off the boat but didn't care once she was on it. Food in the waterfront restaurant was awful. Prawn salad entree consisted of about 4 shrimp, a bit of lettuce, mayo and 2 finger sized sticks of toast. Pork belly was a very dry marinated pork fillet. The pantry was no betterr. We were told by a staff member that reception is open all night. NO it's closed 12- 6am. The staff are very friendly and only passing on decisions re room made by supervisors an above, so you cant blame them. The comedians were very funny and highlight of the cruise. Huge lack of communication regarding boarding passes and departing passes. Whats with being asked to leave your bags out the night before you depart??? Unfortunately the 1st night was cancelled due to engine trouble, we had bad weather the first night, it was very rough and many were sick, a little better the second and of course the day you get off at 8am its 31 degree's and beautiful. Don't think I'd do it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My husband and I have just returned from our first cruise on Pacific Jewel for 7 nights. Before leaving for the cruise I had heard negative comments about P & O cruises, but we were pleasantly surprised. The check-in staff at the ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from our first cruise on Pacific Jewel for 7 nights. Before leaving for the cruise I had heard negative comments about P & O cruises, but we were pleasantly surprised. The check-in staff at the cruise terminal were both friendly and helpful. We were impressed with our oceanview room and the friendly staff. Our only complaints were that we would like to see more areas restricted to smoking. In an ideal world, smoking on ships would be banned totally. Smoking should be restricted to one deck.We would've liked to have walked on the open decks to experience the sea breeze, but were confronted by dreadful smoke fumes which ruined the experience. Thank you Pacific Jewel for a wonderful cruise. It has given my husband and I further incentive to go on another cruise in the future. Julie and Peter - August 2015. We enjoyed the entertainment on board, the comperes Marios and his friend were fantastic, Bobbi was lovely. The musicians and singers were also good. We participated in the trivia, tai chi, cruise info seminar and I also danced in the "white evening". While I was extremely happy with the service onboard I did not like being asked "Want a drink? by one of the female Philippino drinks waiter - this is not a professional way to ask someone if they would like a drink. A couple of the male Philippino male drink waiters could have have appeared happier - one did not smile at all. These are only minor issues. Kojak (who I believed was called Brian) in the Waterfront Restaurant was fantastic as were all the staff in this restaurant. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Having endured the worst of yet another cold Melbourne winter my wife and I found ourselves more than ready for a mid year escape. We hadn't previously considered a cruise however fortuitously an advert for P+O popped up on screen ... Read More
Having endured the worst of yet another cold Melbourne winter my wife and I found ourselves more than ready for a mid year escape. We hadn't previously considered a cruise however fortuitously an advert for P+O popped up on screen whilst looking at holiday options. We followed the link to the many specials on offer at the time and booked ourselves a 7 night Pacific Island cruise departing from Brisbane. Being new to cruising we figured the duration was not too onerous and we could simply put it down to experience if we didn't like it. Thankfully, the experience turned out to be nothing but positive. From the well sized cabin to the excellent choice of restaurants and variety of cuisine on offer we simply had a ball. Both crew and passengers alike were friendly and seemingly shared the same intent to have a great time every moment of the day and night. Its fair to say we have come home for a rest after enjoying the various entertainment that is on offer from first light to well into the night however that was our choice and those seeking a less stimulating cruise could equally sit back and relax the days away. If I had to fault anything, it would be the boarding process. Despite having allocated boarding times it seemed to involve a lot of queuing and waiting. In the scheme of things though this was a minor problem and it was soon forgotten. When on board, everything else was well run and timed to perfection. Without a doubt our first experience of cruising was brilliant and we cant wait to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Embarking was easy, a walk in the park until the steps present small issues if your struggling with knee injury or the like ... Once on board the staff met us at the doorway to the Atrium, first impressions , OK , moderate, not shiny but ... Read More
Embarking was easy, a walk in the park until the steps present small issues if your struggling with knee injury or the like ... Once on board the staff met us at the doorway to the Atrium, first impressions , OK , moderate, not shiny but clean and well presented with comfy chairs spread out to lounge in .. this Atrium became the area of choice after 4pm when the temps outside got cooler, Charlie's bar is present and Alfred does his job perfectly always remembering ones name . A pleasant added bonus . We stayed in a triple room, window, deck 9 , would definitely aim at the same area again Our room stewards work hard and we tipped them for their efforts . The new Pantry was a major let down, the food bland, repetitive and most of all the same ol every day for 7 days with small differences . The staff again work hard in these areas .. long hours and try their best to reduce the queues. We only ever experienced short waits . The seating is fair, hard to grab a low table for a group at anytime of day really, always ending up on high stools .. Made it difficult for those with small children . Entertainment was ok , the shows each night differ, I can say average for a cruise, we expected no different . The Music on board was consistent, the activities we found ran into each other with times overlapping make it difficult to get to . Art Auctions won us with learning and purchasing a new collection a worthwhile experience , Thanks to the Park West Gallery . Kip, Dan and Steve . Many thanks . disembarking no issues, bar service great, for a budget cruise to wet ones feet it served us well. Id recommend for anyone not wanting to travel outside of Australia and wanting to keep the budget low . Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Just arrived back today Sunday 12th July!!! This was my first time on a cruise and I wasn't disappointed. There was 9 females ranging from approx. 40 - 80 years of age celebrating my girlfriends 50th birthday. We had a hoot!!! As with ... Read More
Just arrived back today Sunday 12th July!!! This was my first time on a cruise and I wasn't disappointed. There was 9 females ranging from approx. 40 - 80 years of age celebrating my girlfriends 50th birthday. We had a hoot!!! As with any holiday there is always good and bad but any problem we had was rectified as soon as it was reported. The food was lovely, we eat breakfasts and lunches at the Plantation restaurant and yes it could be a little repetitive but it was very nice especially the sweetie section and I wish I had caught his name but the gentleman behind the counter was so helpful and lovely even brought a vanilla slice to my table when they had run out. If you do have something you don't like don't complain just put it to one side and go and get something else it is as simple as that. If you do want to let them know that something is not up to standard let them know in a constructive way and I am sure it will be rectified straight away. My suggestion though would be to attend a little bit out of the normal 7am and 12 midday as it can get very crowded but we did not have to wait to long and it was a nice way to have a chat to other passengers who were waiting in line. We had dinner at the Waterfront most nights and the table service was amazing and the food was lovely and restaurant is in a pretty setting. They made my friends 50th birthday so special and I had pre ordered a birthday cake which was both yummy and beautiful to look at. We joined in on the available activities which were offered and I would highly recommend the martini making classes, lots of fun and not to mention you got to drink 4 beautiful cocktails. We visited Noumea, Mare and Port Vila. Unfortunately, the weather was not kind to us, but this is something there is not control over and you just have to grin and wear it and not allow it to spoil your holiday, as the beautiful south pacific waters are so warm it doesn't matter if it is slightly overcast and drizzling. Had a great snorkel on Mare Island, took the little tut tut train around Noumea. The tour guides voice was a little annoying but as we were only there for a short time it was the best on offer to see the island, especially considering the weather. We hired a driver called Makenzie on Port Vila for the day who drove a pink van and he went out of his way to ensure we made the most of our time on the island. I would highly recommend Mackenzie if you can find him in his pink van he was so lovely and helpful. When you get off the boat all the drivers will be waiting either up to your right or at the gate. If you see a pink van or when you get to the gate just ask for Mackenzie. We visited the cascade falls and climbed to the top absolutely breathtaking and went to Hideaway Island and snorkelled and sent a postcard in the underwater letter box which is not as easy as it sounds...but we all finally got it in the box!!! For those of us not up to the walks or snorkeling he took them to other sites on the island such as the coffee plantation and then came back an picked us up. He also managed to find a tatootist as one of my friends gets a small tattoo in every country she visits!!! Such a beautiful accomodating man. I was pleasantly surprised at the prices of drinks on board and sipped many a cocktail which were delightful. Like I said sometimes you have good and bad on a holiday and if anyone tries to put you in room 8109 head for the hills!!! This room is directly above the Connections Bar where a lot of the entertainment occurs and it is very very loud( might be good for younger people who would be down there anyway) the room is much larger then normal cabin so that is a huge plus but it is very hard to sleep until after 1am also very hard to catch up the next day to have an afternoon nap as the entertainment starts at midday and the whole room vibrates BUT as soon as we reported it to the lovely girls on reception we were soon contacted by the lovely night manager Emile could not do enough for us. Moved us into a very quiet room on deck 5, we also received a complimentary bottle of wine and he checked in with us to ensure everything was ok. Another incident which happened in the dreaded room 8109 was our bathroom flooded and my friend clothes all got damp. Emile immediately organised a laundry service. Thank you Emile you made a wonderful trip even more wonderful with your fantastic customer service and I wish you well in your future career. June was providing our cabin service in 8109 and that was the only sad part about leaving this room. June was lovely and cleaned the rooms twice a day and nothing was too much trouble and always done with a beautiful smile. I unfortunately got very unwell for a couple of days and had to go to the medical centre. I cannot fault the medical centre, the staff there were amazing and the treatment I received was top notch. They must be the most friendly, best looking bunch of doctors and nurses I have ever seen and so friendly. Enjoyed my Pandora story with the lovely nurs Anna and had quite a giggle with her despite feeling unwell. As a result of getting unwell on board, just a reminder to anyone who is travelling, always purchase travel insurance as overseas medical treatment costs a pretty penny but when you are unwell you really do not want to wait to get treated. Highlights far outweighed what little lowlights there were and I would like to thank all the staff and crew for making my first cruising experience a very pleasurable one. Next time and there certainly will be a next time, lets just hope the weather turns it on for us as well. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I am an experienced traveler though not an experienced cruiser. Let me say firstly that the cruise ex Fremantle to Geraldton, Broome, Lombok, Bali and Komodo was fantastic value for money. What I would have liked is to pay more to GET ... Read More
I am an experienced traveler though not an experienced cruiser. Let me say firstly that the cruise ex Fremantle to Geraldton, Broome, Lombok, Bali and Komodo was fantastic value for money. What I would have liked is to pay more to GET more. Its best described in star rating. Accomodation 2 star. (went 12 nights without a fridge in my cabin. Everyday I was told it was getting fixed. Food 4 star in the restaurants... 2-3 star in the buffet. Drinks 2 star. Beer $8.00 .After 2 days at sea you couldn't buy a bottle of wine under A$50 which sells at any land based outlet for $16.00.( And P&O have the benefit of duty free buying!!!) A very poor effort. Entertainment 3 star. Staff 3 star. Those that historically get tipped were good. Those that didn't were plain rude. Shore Access. 2 star. You spend ALL day queuing for a 3 hour shore time. Will I sail again.... maybe... with P&O.... never. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was our first cruise was a little unsure what to expect, but from the moment we arrived at the Terminal were treated exceptionally well. Upon arriving at our oceanview cabin a room steward appeared and happily brought our luggage into ... Read More
This was our first cruise was a little unsure what to expect, but from the moment we arrived at the Terminal were treated exceptionally well. Upon arriving at our oceanview cabin a room steward appeared and happily brought our luggage into the cabin and explained everything about the cabin and ship. We found the staff and crew on board were the friendliest people on earth, always smiling and acknowledging you by name, especially the cabin stewards making little towel animals for the bed. The meals in Plantations and the Waterfront were fantastic with plenty to choose from, ooooohh the pastries and deserts were incredible, the only negative was the coffee stations would break down quite abit. The entertainment was brilliant with plenty of choice between stage shows to just chilling on the pool deck watching a movie. The tours available were fantastic with a good selection to choose from, Komodo Island tour including Pink Beach was my highlight, it is a bucket list item ticked also the Elephant Safari was brilliant. The ship was starting to show signs of wear but was going to dry dock in may, but was still very comfortable, my only concern on the Cruise was that our Air Conditioning in the Cabin broke down only 3 days into our cruise. I would recommend this company, boat and crew to anyone wanting a relaxing holiday. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My husband and myself went on the Comedy Cruise which left Perth on the 3 April 2015. This was our first cruise as a taster to see if we enjoy "Cruising". In some ways I am glad it was only for three days! We had a mini-suite ... Read More
My husband and myself went on the Comedy Cruise which left Perth on the 3 April 2015. This was our first cruise as a taster to see if we enjoy "Cruising". In some ways I am glad it was only for three days! We had a mini-suite which was fantastic and our cabin steward was very helpful. The food was very disappointing. We ate at all the food outlets and restaurants. The Buffet was uneatable, The Grill not much better and the Waterfront a little better. In all three the staff were very rude. We ate in Luna (Asian) one night and was well worth the extra $$. Staff were also very good. We ate at Salt Grill twice. Food was good the staff and service excellent. Our Cruise was overbooked and P & O were phoning customers two days before offering refunds. If you have already booked and get offered a refund I would highly recommend you take it. We will give "Cruising" another go but definitely not with P & O. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I had never cruised before so was unsure of how I would like it but after hearing from friends who have cruised and hours of YouTube/google etc. etc. I was expecting quite the holiday Travelling with my partner – this is us Me late ... Read More
I had never cruised before so was unsure of how I would like it but after hearing from friends who have cruised and hours of YouTube/google etc. etc. I was expecting quite the holiday Travelling with my partner – this is us Me late 40’s – partner 70 - we have been in a relationship for 21yrs Middle class, we work hard to get and do nice things This is our once a year big holiday My before cruising expectation was of an endless orgy of food, fun and visiting idyllic paradises. Not all of the following can be contributed to the company/ship but are just part of the overall experience. Firstly before even leaving we experienced an issue with our account being paid by another person/s in Nov 2013 which you think ok surely P and O can just remove the payment to let us get on with what we needed to do, nope. I was told they can only leave it on there til the actual payer was found. I after several phone calls insisted on them taking off the payment, I was assured this would happen 2 days later (New Year’s Eve 2013) we received a cheque for the excess amount (our cruise was nearly paid off when this happened) We banked the cheque (won’t go into detail on the phone calls, promises promises etc. etc.) and then only by me calling them found out they removed the full amount (Jan 2014) that was incorrectly credited to our account and we had 7 days to pay our balance or our cruise could be cancelled due to non-payment, nice work “customer service” – imagine me rolling my eyes sarcastically. Ok so payment made – ready for cruise We arrive and the line is huge but being priority check in (booked a min suite ) made it easier although having outgoing cards to fill in with the other forms would have made things a bit smoother. So on we go Suite was nice, large and well set out, plenty of hanging and drawers. Balcony was smaller and scrappier than I imagined ( paint on paint , plastic flooring was dirty and had corners sticking up, two basic chairs and table ) but was one of the best parts of the cruise due to being able to just sit outside quietly looking at the ocean or watching us enter or leave the islands. The only real issue with the room was the bathroom, the shower head is set so it goes across the bath now down the length of it so between the wall the head is mounted and the wall that divides the basins is only the width of the bath which was ok but not really enough room to wash in/under, if it was facing down the length of the bath is would have made so much difference. Being on the 11th deck the above 12th and open deck allowed for some noise but not enough to worry us too much. A little exploring and we found the ship to look quite old and not as “flashy” as one may think a cruise ship would be but it had some nice features. As we hadn’t eaten we decided to go to the buffet for a quick bite before the sail away party. Here’s where one of my expectations gets a reality slap in the face, the food was atrocious, harsh but fair I believe. The lunch offer was less than expected and the quality to match. If I was to say it was worse than the worst buffet/RSL I have ever eaten at it would be too complimentary. This is an overall of the lunches and dinners we experienced at the “buffet” Breakfast –bacon , eggs, sausages and toast ( there were cereals / fruit and Danishes ) so all pretty standard and ok – but for god sakes P and O get some juice glasses instead of expecting a shot glass of oj or apply juice to be enough -Biggest complaint – crap coffee, Nescafé machine that I tried once and it was like drinking warm brown water. -breakfast also allowed you to get food from the grill, bacon/egg rolls etc. so again breakfast was pretty standard but acceptable. Lunch – Lunch also allowed you to access the grill for burgers/chips/sausages -Both breakfast and lunch at the grill section were at no cost- The lunch buffet offered 2 types of rolls I tried a few and ended up removing the ingredients and filling it with hot chips -other offerings were basically the same as I am about to describe in the dinner buffet section, aargh the anticipation must be killing you ; ) Dinner (or tea as we say in S.A) Given a tray its then an offering potato of some description, the next meat ( stewed mostly ), some over sauced (mostly cold ) fish, the obligatory offering of veg and some meat carved, rice, glass noodly chow mein number. There was a cold option, 2 meats and 2 salads with bowls of chopped food ready to be made into a salad with an over mayoed potato or pasta salad just for a laugh. The bread rolls were great and the little desserts nice but no ice cream in sight -the grill also suddenly became fine dining and cost extra at night as well??????? Same stuff but now cost????? -Unimpressed with the buffet offerings we did go to the restaurant ( the included one ) and it was a reasonable 3 course meal but again nothing that I thought “ hey I must rave about that when I get home “ Service in both areas was great and tables cleared quickly We did try out the pay for restaurants Salt Grill – lovely meal, my partner’s steak was not quite to his liking and there was no hesitation from the staff to replace it without question, all my food was fantastic, great food and staff La Luna – we went when the menu was Chinese (didn’t end up trying the Thai the following week) and the food was also lovely with service to match. -Lol, sorry just remembered, we thought we may get room service one evening (at full price of course) Pizza, can of solo and some wedges please – here you are some sloppy limp watery round piece of dough with a hint of toppings and to match some cold un crisp wedges – wedges were replaced but pizza was rolled up like wraps and consumed – at least the can of solo was cold -one day we ordered a bucket of prawns on the open deck (for a price of course) and I must say they were very tasty prawns -you know you hear about how fantastic the food is, how fat you will be when you come home, there’s always something to eat, free this, free that Well I am here to say if you travel on the Pacific Jewel you won’t find that, you won’t starve but don’t expect a culinary experience of any description. Ok that’s the food out of the way, thank god, my first meal when I got home was a pizza from Saints Pizza Henley Beach (08) 8235 1099 Love these guys Entertainment – The puppet comedian was a riot and I only caught a couple of other shows which were good. The seating was horrid, if you didn’t get a seat closer to the front you had to sit on some cloth covered bench which was the worst, except for maybe the casino pokies machine stools. Also the tables or chairs were bolted down so moved around on the wooden floor to easily. We did go to bingo a couple of times and the bingo caller was funny. We did go to most of the bars and all were comfy but the overall feel of the ship is old and no matter how much new lighting they put in it was still old. The first time I ordered a pint of my favourite beer ( after a hot sweaty walk around Port Vila markets ) the keg ran out , I was told it may take up to 20 minutes to change which I found strange. I never found out if they changed it or not The Mix cocktail bar, slightly more expensive but worth it, made great cocktails but was really just a bar in the middle of the deck with a few seats, not really a bar as such?? The staff were very friendly, as expected as that’s what their job is, twice staff went over and above what they should do and it was nice as I kinda believed they actually did want to help and not just do what they were told to. The islands we visited were nice and the tour I did was fun but I cant say I would want to visit them again soon as it would be much of the same (for what we wanted to do on each one). The amount of money we paid for this trip I really expected more. I would cruise again but not on P and O. Sad as the pre cruise set up is better than others I have investigated, can pre pay $ and spa treatments, flights and transfers, will allow you to change the cruise if one comes up cheaper or they decrease the price of the one you chose but sadly the cruising bit fell short. I did enjoy the cruise and there were some really good points, sadly it’s only the negative ones that seem to linger after it’s all over. I am sure there would be plenty of people who will think differently and that’s ok we all have an opinion, this is mine.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was our first cruise. We took our two adult daughters to visit Port Vila, Lifou and the Isle of Pines and were expecting lots of interesting activities, lovely cabins, good food and great service. The good points were the Waterfront ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We took our two adult daughters to visit Port Vila, Lifou and the Isle of Pines and were expecting lots of interesting activities, lovely cabins, good food and great service. The good points were the Waterfront Restaurant with 5 star food and service and attentive, friendly waitstaff. Our waitress remembered our names from the very beginning, no matter where she was working, and was an absolute delight. When one of us was sick, she put together a plate of cheese and biscuits to take back to the cabin. At the end of the cruise, she hugged us all as we said goodbye. She was an absolute asset to P & O, as was the cabin steward and other waiters. The food in the buffet was a bit hit and miss - lovely breakfasts but pretty ordinary food the rest of the day. My rating of 3 for dining is really an average between the Buffet and the Waterfront Restaurant. The evening productions (musical theatre and circus performances) were outstanding and we enjoyed the trivia quizzes, however unfortunately there was very little else of interest and we struggled to 'fill in' the day. There is only so much reading you want to do for 6 sea days! There were very few movies for adults and unless you got there 30 minutes before they started, you couldn't get a seat. Many of the activities cost extra or were talks designed to sell the ship's products or services, such as the spa. How often do you want to listen to what to do about your wrinkles and puffy eyes? This talk seemed to be on every day. If you like gambling at the casino and playing Bingo, that could have occupied a lot of your time but if that's not your thing, then there wasn't much else. Bridge was on at 8am each day and unhosted - so if you turned up and three other people did at that crazy hour, you might have a foursome for bridge. Dancing classes didn't happen for the first few days and then started on the days people were on shore. There were no interesting talks as on other cruises we've heard about, e.g. on the history and culture of the places we were visiting. There seemed to be a big emphasis on making money from the expensive alcohol (apart from the cocktails which were cheaper than bars at home). We spoke to quite a few people who had cruised on that very ship or with other P & O ships and all of them said that the standard of this one was disappointing compared to other cruises. They all said that the number of activities had really reduced, there wasn't enough to do and things that were previously free now cost extra. Some also said the emphasis seemed to be more on drinking alcohol "because that's where they make all their money". The ship was in need of refurbishment in many areas where it looked 'tired' and 'old'. Our cabin, 11150, was a mini-suite with balcony on Deck 11, the highest level of cabin on the highest deck, so the most expensive. Our daughters were in a cabin with window down the passage from us. Although our cabin was a good size with a very comfy bed and good quality linen, the carpets were stained and the tiles in the bathroom were badly cracked. However the greatest problem we had was the noise of the cabin. I can't believe that I just read a review of a cabin on the same deck written in April 2011 complaining of the same noise for the same reason! I wish I'd read it before leaving. Obviously this hasn't been addressed in the last two years. 11150 was under the open deck with pools. Every day and night we heard deck chairs being moved for long periods of time while staff stacked them and put them out, or people dragged tables and chairs around. We mentioned this to Reception but they were completely disinterested. On top of this, we heard all the music from the bands playing on deck which wasn't too bad until one night when the noise was reverberating off our walls and ceiling. Fortunately it stopped at 11.30 pm but not too good with sick members of the family. It appears that the ceiling wasn't insulated at all. We also had an excessive, odd noise in the air conditioning for about 2 days and one night: the incessant 'beeping' overnight prevented sleep altogether. Fortunately it righted itself and the maintenance staff did investigate. The cabin also creaked and groaned all night with the swell! Our daughters' cabin further up the passage (11196) had no noise from the deck above (they were under the restaurants) but the air conditioning fan appeared to be on 'high' for the entire cruise. They were told that all the cabins had air conditioning like that, which obviously wasn't true. We spoke to several other passengers who had lovely quiet cabins and normal air conditioning in lower decks and those who were experienced cruisers told us never to stay on the top deck. What a shame, considering it was also the most expensive. We also found it difficult to get a refund for a shore tour when one of our daughters was too sick with a virus to get out of bed for an entire day. We were told we couldn't get it without taking her to the doctor on board and that person agreeing that she was sick enough not to go. She didn't need a costly medical consultation, but just needed to sleep. We had given 3 hours' notice that she would not be going but the inflexibility and lack of concern of the Reception staff was unbelievable! It was such a shame to have these negative experiences and we would never sail on the Pacific Jewel again or even with P & O. Fortunately the good points I mentioned above are things we will always remember happily but the negatives will stick with us too.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Let me start off by saying I was the last person who thought i would be going on a cruise but i have to say it was the most amazing thing i could of done! Once you get onto the ship there is nothing left to do, just sit back and relax! you ... Read More
Let me start off by saying I was the last person who thought i would be going on a cruise but i have to say it was the most amazing thing i could of done! Once you get onto the ship there is nothing left to do, just sit back and relax! you don't have to worry about checking into hotels or anything! We went on a 4 night cruise on a P&O Australia boat called the Pacific Jewel. It only had one port of call and that was Morton island, just off Queensland Australia. Let me start by telling you about the ship, We forked out and got a window room and it was great! lots of room and very neat and tidy(not to mention the amazing view), It was plenty off room for me and my partner even a nice size bathroom. We were on the 5th floor and i prob wouldn't go any higher then that as it was perfect because you couldn't really feel any rockiness at all. After i finished unpacking we went from one side of the ship to another to check it out and it exceeded all my expectations. The ship was tidy and well looked after. There was an array of bars, dining options, and boutique shops, not to mention the extensive selection of entertainment. My first stop was the buffet for lunch and i was instantly impressed with the spread. They had everything from roast dinner to Indian cuisine, hamburgers and chips and also a fresh fruit bar and a dessert bar. After lunch i headed back to my room and found the daily news paper so i started planning my day. There so much to choose from that there was not enough hours in the day. Anything from art to cocktail making classes(i highly recommend doing the cocking making class at mix bar), live shows, dance classes and more. One of the highlights for me was watching Beyonce on the big screen on top of the deck. I also participated in the on board trivia and karaoke which seemed quite fun for everyone. At night we chose to dine in the on board restaurant which had a lovely reoccurring menu available everyday accompanied by a menu of daily specials that changed everyday. This makes every dining experience different everyday. So in conclusion the pacific jewel provided an excellent first cruise experience. I would have no hesitations recommending this ship to my family and friends and anyone else who is thinking of going on a cruise with P&O. I love everything that it had to offer and it made my 21st birthday a very memorable time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Just got back from our first cruise. In spite of the weather being average the cruise was great. From the time we got to the dock to the time we reached are cabin the whole process was completed in 1,5hrs. Our luggage arrived to our ... Read More
Just got back from our first cruise. In spite of the weather being average the cruise was great. From the time we got to the dock to the time we reached are cabin the whole process was completed in 1,5hrs. Our luggage arrived to our cabin in quick time also. Was greeted by are cabin steward,Toto, service was outstanding he really looked after us and ensured any queries we had were dealt with straight away he also follow up. Meals were great did become a bit boring by day 10 we sat around and guessed what was for lunch today. Plenty of bars and lounges to sit around and while the sea days away. Photos the ships crew take are OTT $30.00 for two photos. Aqua Sauna and Steam Zone prices again OTT. The Gym was excellent used it every other day. Duty Free Shopping on board "dear" becomes cheaper closer to the end of the trip 40-50% off. Don't buy up early. We did are duty free in Villa. Kids are well catered for even though we had none we did not see the kids that much during the day so they must have enjoyed the entertainment provided. Night life plenty to do, one of the highlight's was Pacific Cirque the show was fantastic. The Pacific Entertainers led by Sandy who loves BINGO they also did a great job. The Marquee seating is uncomfortable. P&O need to rip it out and put in more comfortable seating. Be prepared to spend up to $400-$500.00 on drinks this included bought coffee it was better than the free at least you got a chocolate with it.Drinks range from approx $7.00-$12.00each. The Art Auction did not impress myself I thought what was on offer was pretty ordinary and I did not see much chance of them increasing in value. Water front Restaurant service was outstanding I have only experienced that type of service in high end restaurants. Salt Grill, was put off by the cover charge of $22.00 this was the only priced advertised at the front door it would have been nice to see the meal prices also at the front. La Luna did not try as the girls were not into Asian Food. The service by all staff was outstanding. When you got within one meter of a crew member they greeted you, they always had a smile on their face. The crew made up for any shortfalls the ship weather threw up. The Bar Staff I got to know some of them quite well and got talking to them were they lived etc. Make a point of filling out the Proud Forms it helps the guys for Promotion and earns the another Proud Badge. Leaving the ship once we docked back home. We were off the ship and in a Taxi within the hour of docking. In summary value for money did not have to lift a finger P&O and team ensured we sat back and relaxed. Will we do it again you bet next time we are taking the whole extended family. Thanks P&O and Team, lots of memories came flooding back from are time in the islands back in the 80s. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
This 9 day cruise out of Sydney was great. Make sure you label your suitcases at home. Saves hassle at departure time. We are first time cruisers. We enjoyed our holiday. Tips for booking a cruise: check your Itinerary to see how many ... Read More
This 9 day cruise out of Sydney was great. Make sure you label your suitcases at home. Saves hassle at departure time. We are first time cruisers. We enjoyed our holiday. Tips for booking a cruise: check your Itinerary to see how many Port Days you have and how many Sea Days you have. If you depart from Brisbane, you can decrease the amount of time you have at sea (if you are heading for the South Pacific). There is plenty to do on the ship but we preferred the Port Days. NOUMEA: take note that if you arrive there on a Monday, several museums are closed e.g. Tjbaou Cultural Centre. Passengers who were booked on Shore Tours through P & O were able to go to this place but I'm not certain that they went IN it!You need to do your homework. Buy the Lonely Planet guide book. It's certainly easy to book trips yourself once you disembark from the ship at NOUMEA. It's very organised in a chaotic kind of way. We found a tour for $15.00 which gave us a 45 min bus ride around the city. After this mini tour, we were given a pass to ride around on the local bus which took us to the beaches etc. Perfect. Excellent value. Have your snorkel and facemask with you. We walked to the markets which took 5-10 mins. Handy to speak French at this point! Just aim for the Marina. Note that by 9.30am the markets were all but over! This was a Monday so don't know if that is typical. We found a place for a coffee and baguette! I read somewhere that one Monday of the month, the markets do not operate at all. Our ship did not 'park' at the end of the town (which would have been so handy) but in an Industrial Area nearby. Passengers were very efficiently transported from the ship to the Terminal where we should have pulled in. (Another ship had booked the spot!) Not a problem though. Currency: it really was very handy to carry South Pacific Francs. The onboard rate that the ship had was fine. You can exchange them back again if you don't use them. Noumea was expensive. Across the road from the Terminal is a Supermarket if you get hungry. MYSTERY ISLAND: Our favourite. Do all your shopping here and hair braiding $12.00, massages $15.00 etc! Lots of stalls to wander through. It was rather surprising what was available considering it is an uninhabited island! Locals came over to the island for the day to set up shop. This is Vanuatu not New Caledonia and the prices of everything reflect this! LIFOU: A funny little island where it was hard to get away from everyone! Snorkelling was great. Exit the ship and wander up through the carpark then turn left when you hit the road. About 5 mins along the road will be a turn to the right, not sign posted. This is where you snorkel with the hordes! Very good though. The church was in the same vicinity. Another nice stroll. ISLE OF PINES: Snorkelling here was fabulous. Don't get off the ship without your snorkelling gear on any Port Days! The lobster was nice but a mere morsel! Good way to use up your spare francs. There was a very civilised 'pub' at the end of the beach but you have got to explore a bit to find it! CHILDREN: We did not have ours with us but I noticed very few children had any swim aids and the water can be very deep in places we snorkelled. It sure would have made it more enjoyable for parents and kids if they had a float aid on! There were lots of Dads being 'strangled' in the water! MAIN TIP: Diet before you take this cruise! Bon apetite! Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
My partner and I are both first time cruisers, booking the trip as a way to relax and unwind at the end of a hectic year for both of us. We had read fairly mixed reviews about the Pacific Jewel thus we boarded not really knowing what to ... Read More
My partner and I are both first time cruisers, booking the trip as a way to relax and unwind at the end of a hectic year for both of us. We had read fairly mixed reviews about the Pacific Jewel thus we boarded not really knowing what to expect, reminding ourselves to keep an open mind and to go with the flow. Embarkation was a fairly easy process. We were dropped off at Wharf 5 at 11:30 and by 12:30 we were checked in, through customs, into our room, booked into Salt and at the Plantation buffet for lunch. There was a bit of a snafu with our room at first. When we arrived, there was no key in the door. We hoped that meant our room was double booked and we'd be upgraded from an outside cabin to a balcony or mini suite. Alas, the people on the cruise before us had lost or left with the keys and new ones needed to be coded. It was a minor problem fixed up in no time by our accommodation steward, Adrian. Speaking of Adrian, he was just fabulous. A friendly and warm person for whom nothing was too much bother. We were extremely happy with the service he provided, and we will miss seeing his smiling face on the way to breakfast each morning and dinner at night. Unfortunately the same could not be said for the staff at Waterfront. We ate at Waterfront for a majority of our meals as the buffet was not really our thing. The service was very hit and miss. We were hoping to find a waiter we liked and book the same table each night, unfortunately that wasn't to be. I understand that the service staff work very hard, and very long hours, yet when we would make a simple request (Such as asking for tomato sauce to go with chips at dinner or Vegemite for toast at breakfast) it was as if we'd just asked them to cut off their own hands and these requests had to be made two or three times. I also had an incident at breakfast where one of the wait staff was bringing me my croissants. I saw him drop one on the way, and so I got a plate with just one croissant. When I asked for a replacement it took five minutes of explaining and arguing as to why I should get another. I know that sounds petty but it is a great example of how most of the staff at Waterfront just could not be bothered, or were too tired to care. At the opposite end of the spectrum, our dinner at Salt was just spectacular. We went on the second night of the cruise and spent the rest of our week talking about how good the steak we had was. The food and service there were equally amazing and definitely worth the money. We heard other people complaining about it, that they didn't like the ordering process or that the food was just average but I am pretty sure they were on drugs. Don't listen to those people, definitely go to Salt if you have the chance. We managed to see most of the nightly shows. I wasn't expecting much, a bit of school spectacular mixed in with RSL dancers but I was pleasantly surprised. The Pacific Cirque troupe was extraordinary and the shows put on each night by the Pacific Entertainers were of a high quality. The only lowlight for us was Danny McMaster. His show was very second rate. It seemed he hadn't learnt any new impressions since the mid 90's and after his third horrible racist joke within minutes we walked out in disgust. Unfortunately it seems that kind of humour appeals to most people and we were the only ones not laughing, so I'm sure he will continue to be booked. We had lots of fun on board the ship, having a few drinks and enjoying the sun and people watching. We tried as many different things as we could and made the most of our eight days at sea. A special shout out needs to go to Scooter the sports coordinator for his trivia each night. A good laugh and we managed to learn a bit about Canadian sports. The in-room entertainment was a bit interesting. They only seemed to play two movies, either Big Momma's House or Ocean's 11. It also only had BBC World News or Sky News UK which meant that we had no idea what was going on in Australia for the whole time we were away. To the ports. We didn't book any shore tours as we weren't sure what we were going to do. In Noumea we ended up booking our own ride on the tour train, which was good fun. At the end they dropped us off at Lemon Bay, a great place for a spot of lunch and to swim in calm protected waters. If you're going to Mystery Island or Isle of Pines as we did, I highly recommend taking a snorkel and aqua shoes with you. We had never snorkeled before but after picking up a cheap snorkel and goggles at K-Mart and aqua shoes at Target we thought we'd give it a go. Definitely the right decision. The water is so clear at Mystery Island and there's so much fascinating coral to look at. Isle of Pines had so many different types of fish, it was just amazing. Our only regret is that we didn't get an underwater camera to get some shots of the fish. Oh well, next time! Sadly our eight nights were soon up and it was time to leave. Disembarkation was very smooth. Our group's meeting time for disembarkation was 8am and we were off the ship and in a taxi with our bags by 10 past 8. All in all we had a fantastic time. There was plenty to do to keep us entertained, and we also had lots of time to relax. We deliberately had low expectations but they were more than exceeded. When it comes down to it, your cruise is what you make of it. Like I said in the beginning we kept an open mind and a smile on our faces and it meant that we had a wonderful week that we will remember forever.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We were 1st time cruisers so I can't make comparisons, but there's no need because we thought the Pacific Jewel was great. A few highlights: Service - staff were ALWAYS polite, friendly and well-informed. Not once were we ... Read More
We were 1st time cruisers so I can't make comparisons, but there's no need because we thought the Pacific Jewel was great. A few highlights: Service - staff were ALWAYS polite, friendly and well-informed. Not once were we fobbed off or rushed when we had questions. Everyone we spoke to seemed to enjoy doing their job. Everything was micro-managed so that we never waited more than 1/2 an hour to disembark or return, even on tenders. Amazing organisation. Being at sea - I loved being on the ocean, the roll of the ship and the fresh (sometimes very fresh - it was cold!) air Entertainment - what a talented crew! I went to every show and enjoyed them all. Also went to dance lessons, trivia, bingo...something for everyone. Food was very good at the Waterfront - service from our wine waiter Christian and waiter Roshan excellent. Food at the buffet was not quite the same standard but still good. A few things we found underwhelming: Cost of the Internet! Prices at the spa were ridiculous. There were a lot of sessions that were really sales pitches - for detox products and the like. Behaviour of some other passengers - cutting in queues and taking food from the buffet with their fingers (yuck). Only one laundrette for 1900 passengers! Unexpected pleasures: It was so easy to meet people. Walking the length of the ship several times a day going here and there - great exercise. Changing for dinner - I expected this to be a chore as we're pretty casual, but we found it made a nice contrast to everyday life. Overall: I'd always wanted to try a cruise and enjoyed it very much. However we did find 13 nights a bit long. For a first-time cruiser I'd recommend a shorter cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
I had read a lot of information regarding cruises on the internet. There was quiet a lot of negative comments that I filtered out as I decided to emabrk on my first cruise with my partner. He has cruised before, and told me it was great, ... Read More
I had read a lot of information regarding cruises on the internet. There was quiet a lot of negative comments that I filtered out as I decided to emabrk on my first cruise with my partner. He has cruised before, and told me it was great, but I had reservations. Well let me tell you about it. We arrived at Sydney airport to be greeted by P & O staff, we were taken to a bus and loaded on and out of the airport with barely enough time for a toilet stop. The service and speed was great. We arrived to the wharf, and after filling out forms, which I had to beg a pen off a fellow traveller, P & O , you should offer pens at this stage, but other than this very small problem, we were on the ship within 15 minutes. No queues, nothing. It was so highly organised and ran as smooth as possible. Every little bit of information we needed was in our cabin, and with a quick introduction by Richie, our brilliant minder we were off for the most relaxing 2 weeks of our lives. Our room was twice as large as I thought it would be, we had a small balcony. Everything we needed was there.And plenty of storage, we unpacked in to full size drawers and cuboards, ans stowed the suitcases away. The food was brilliant. The Waterfront restaurant was outstanding, very surprising quick service with escellent food. I was worried about the reservation system, but whether we mae a reservation or not we were always seated for dinner. the buffet was of an extremely high standard and was a great standby for the nights we could not be bothered dressing up for. Salt grill was absolutely amazing. I could never aford to eat at a restaurant like that at home. We went there 3 times. La luna was good, the service great, but I thought the food lacked a little. Overall I would rate the food expereince a 5/5. I did have one small concern, the rpice of the wine was a little expensive. As we were eating out every night, it would have been nice to have a bottle every night, but the budget did not stretch this far. So we had a couple of dry nights. The wine list was varied and interesting, but with the Katnook at $48 per bottle, $15 in Dan Murphys, I was a little miffed. Maybe I have expensive tastes in wine, but the cheaper Rothberry line that was offered at $25 per bolltle was not to my tasting. A little more range in Pinot Noir would be nice to see next time. There was so much to do on the ship. The activities were non stop. I chose to bake ont he back deck at the Oasis, and read for most of my activities, but for the busy minded there was so much to choose from. The shows were great, I loved the Juggler, magician,the ventriliquist the late night comedy shows. The musical shows were entertaing but as these do not really appeal to me I should not probably comment. I thought that they caould be of a slightly higher standard. Everon else on board seemed to love it. The circus show with the elephant puppets was fantastic. Not to the columbian and New Zealad trapeze artists. Absolutley world class. I loved the 4 shows we saw with their juggling and trapeze work. The laser light shows were also very entertaining. Ports:  Isle Of Pines. Totally beautiful relaxing experience Mystery Island. The best snorkelling and beatiful Island Port Vila OK Suva Dirty, you need to get out of town here and do a tour Port Denaru Lovely I loved my cruise. The ports were great, and even though we missed one due to bad weather I did not mind. I hardly felt the ship move during the bad weather. Either I am an excellect sea farer from way back, or the ship has an amazing stablising system underneath it. The latter I think. I will efinately be cruising again. I am addicted. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
This was my first cruise but I really enjoyed it. I guess these things are what you make of them and my partner and I are very social people, so we chatted to most people and got to know as many people as possible. We also tried to do as ... Read More
This was my first cruise but I really enjoyed it. I guess these things are what you make of them and my partner and I are very social people, so we chatted to most people and got to know as many people as possible. We also tried to do as many of the activities as we could squeeze in so aways seemed to be running from one thing to the next. The staff were wonderful Cruise Director David Pepper was great, as were the entertainment staff - Pee-Wee, Anthony, Karen and the others. The shows were brilliant!! Girt by Sea was an Australiana show which I thought would be cheesy, but it was so well done. The main singers were Charlotte Fortune and Neil James. Both wonderful and nice people to talk to socially. My favourite would be the Mentalist show by Phoenix. I saw his first show and it was so good I saw the same show repeated again. His memory is amazing and the way he can read people's minds is mind blowing. Highly recommended. He also was social with the passengers and he did some close up tricks for my partner and I and I'm still baffled how he does them! Loree from LA was a pianist/singer playing every night. Also brilliant. Food wise, Salt was lovely ($40 surcharge) but absolutely loved La Luna ($20 surcharge). The duck was amazing! The buffet one was okay. Went there mostly because it was easy. Get ready to put on weight! The night club was fun too. My only criticism was they closed down whenever the crowd dies down. I believe they should still stay open until a set time if there are still people that want to party there. Had fun in the casino, but the bar would shut before the casino did so you had to run up to the nightclub to get drinks. Very bizarre. First port was actually Airlie Beach but it's not listed here. First time I've ever been there. We just relaxed near this big public pool near the beach. Perfect day. Beautiful But overall, excellent. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
As first time cruisers we did not really know what to expect when we committed ourselves to a cruise to "somewhere" warm, in the middle of winter, so we went into this experience without any preconceived ideas or opinions and ... Read More
As first time cruisers we did not really know what to expect when we committed ourselves to a cruise to "somewhere" warm, in the middle of winter, so we went into this experience without any preconceived ideas or opinions and without any other cruises as points of comparison. A couple of pre-trip aspects were not particularly well covered eg Despite paying for our trip about nine weeks prior to departure, we did not receive our travel package until six days before we set out for Sydney. This meant that we were unable to do any pre booking of shore trips and, consequently missed out on the popular ones that filled up quickly. Two days prior to our departure we received a telephone call detailing the embarkation arrangements and telling us that embarkation would be on a deck-by-deck basis, with times allocated to each deck. We arrived at the check-in and found that this was not the case and that embarkation was being carried out according to what time you arrived for check in These were two minor points that actually did little to detract from an overall worthwhile experience Briefly - Our cabin - An "upgrade", or so we had been told a few weeks before we left, but is high up and right at the front necessarily better than lower down and mid-ship. Not really, when boat movement became accentuated. Nicely appointed with enough room, an excellent en-suite and storage , comfortable beds etc, , mirrors to give the impression of more space but no fridge. The Ship - 20 years old, but it has had a recent refurbishment. I thought it had everything, almost There were noisy places and quiet places, busy bars and not-so-busy bars. It would have been good to have a TV screen which showed the ship's progress, other than the map on Deck 12 which had the course pencilled in. The deck crew were always present, cleaning and maintaining the vessel The food - Great selection in both Waterfront and Plantation always well cooked and presented. We tried both and didn't feel a need to go to the surcharge restaurants. It did get crowded at times in Plantation but the long hours meant that there was plenty of time when it wasn't. Booking Waterfront was more of a hassle. Reservations opened at 8 am, but were usually full by 8.15 am. The cafe made excellent coffees and hot chocolates and the coffee machine in Plantation provided drinks and Pastries for early (5.00 am) risers The crew - polite, usually friendly, efficient. The captain's talk on the running of the ship was an early highlight. He held my attention for a full hour and a half with his information and sense of humour. I'm pleased to see that tipping is going to be re-organised later this year. It seems unfair that a room steward can automatically get recognition but any other staff member has to be named and nominated. They are all doing their job. it is the extra smile or attitude that is displayed that sets one above another. Some staff seemed genuinely happy to be serving the passengers, while a few treated you as if you weren't really there. Entertainment - The Cirque Pacific artistes were top-quality. The Pacific Jewel dancers/singers were excellent, polished and professional. Yes it was the same eight people singing different songs and doing different dances, but it is a reflection on their talent, that they are able to adapt to the different themes of their shows and put together such a quality performance. We also thoroughly enjoyed Mr Fish. The other keynote entertainers gave mixed performances, with some placing too much reliance on the audience singing along and tired old jokes. A bouquet to Sarah Jane the Cruise Director and her team for keeping the various programmes humming along, with enthusiasm and a genuine wish for the passengers to have a good time. The karaoke sessions saw the usual range of talent, or lack of it, but the final of the Pop-stars competition was a real highlight. Ports of call - Some people were very uncomplimentary about Noumea. Personally I liked the place. Our choo choo train ride (paid for on shore) took us past beautiful beaches, resorts and affluent neighbourhoods. The city centre, near where we berthed, is quite old and dilapidated in parts, but it is also the largest city in Melanesia, a major port and industrial centre and its funding comes from a colonial power on the other side of the world. Mystery Island, Lifou and Isle of Pines were all beautiful spots, giving a view of how these Pacific Island people live and Vila was a long lane of market stalls and waiting taxis and minivans, unless you went further afield to do Duty Free shopping or on a shore tour Shore tours - we did one ship arranged excursion and two independent trips. The only difference would be the cost. Why are the P and O trips, for the same experience so much more expensive? Is the company receiving an overly large proportion of the cost for each trip it sells? Don't necessarily expect your guide to speak English, or to be too forthcoming with information about what he is showing you, although they do vary. The numbered tickets for the tenders was a good system, with very little waiting and the ship's end and, if you decided to leave the island before the deadline, the queues weren't too long there either Overall we enjoyed our 10 days. I am a nervous sailor. We met some interesting people who were all out to enjoy themselves and who contributed to making our cruising experience a memorable one. Thank you P & O and the passengers and crew on JO21 Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Pacific Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 3.5 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 3.5 3.5
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 3.5 3.1
Shore Excursions N/A N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.0 3.7
Value for Money 4.5 N/A

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