9 P&O Australia Pacific Jewel Cruise Reviews for Repositioning Cruises to South Pacific

My husband and I commenced this cruise with some trepidation due to the large number of negative reviews. This was our first cruise with P&O, our 4th in total. This was the last voyage for the Pacific Jewell. 1: EMBARKATION from ... Read More
My husband and I commenced this cruise with some trepidation due to the large number of negative reviews. This was our first cruise with P&O, our 4th in total. This was the last voyage for the Pacific Jewell. 1: EMBARKATION from Melbourne was simple and efficient. 2: CABIN: We had an interior cabin. It was clean and tidy. Quite spacious with lots of storage. Only one Australian power outlet but we were able to get a power board. A ceiling water leak developed half way through the cruise. This was rectified after we reported it. Bed was moderately comfortable. 3: DINING: The Waterfront restaurant menu was disappointing in range. Service was efficient and staff were friendly. The Pantry had a good range of food and unlike other reviewers I found the food to be of a good standard. What I particularly like about the Pantry is that staff serve all food thus eliminating people touching and coughing over food and spreading germs. All the food is behind glass partitions. I found the sweets selection to be limited. Staff in the Pantry were friendly and helpful. It was disappointing that some items of the menu in the Waterfront was not included and an extra fee was charged. We did not try the pay restaurants. I was also a little disappointed that you had to pay for ice-cream on the pool deck. I have never come across this before. 4: ALCOHOL. There were problems quite early on with different brands of alcohol being in short supply and they eventually ran out of many wines and beer. While I was not personally impacted by this my husband was quite often unable to get his preferred beverage. I imagine that the people who had purchased an alcohol package would have been very upset, and rightly so. An alcohol package for us would have been a waste of money. I would suggest that you do your sums prior to getting a package to see if it is worth it for you. It made much more financial sense for us to purchase a drink when we wanted. 5: INTERNET: I purchased an internet package for $79, unlimited time for the entire cruise. Connection was available in all public areas but not in staterooms. The internet worked very well. 6: The ENTERTAINMENT TEAM were great and do a great job keeping everyone occupied on sea days. They all had a great sense of humour. We thought that the shows were varied and of a high standard. 7: THE EDGE: I won an Edge experience. I chose to Walk The Plank. I'm so glad that I did not pay for this. It lasted maximum of 90 seconds and would have been a complete rip off if I had to pay $24. While I enjoyed it I felt that the experience should have been longer and as I was the only person booked in to do it I could have been given extra time. 8: ROOM STEWARDS: We had Joseph and Dennis look after our room. They were very friendly and worked very hard. Our room was always well serviced. 9: PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS: We went on only one shore excursion and that was in KL. I found that it was well organised and the price was moderate. We found that we saved money by arranging independent trips at all other ports. In Fremantle and Busselton we found it interesting to wander around the towns with no tours necessary. We visited the old prison in Fremantle. That was worth a visit. 10: DISEMBARKATION: Quick and easy. 11: ATM: It was handy to be able to get Australian dollars on board for shore days. 12: CURRENCY: We used money changers at all international stops and seemed to get reasonable exchange rates. We deposited money into our cruise account prior to embarkation. This worked well for us. We got a refund of unused money the night prior to disembarkation. 13: LAUNDRY: The onboard laundry was good. Always very busy. It costs $3 AUD for the washer and $3 AUD for the dryer. Only takes $1 coins. 14: SPA: I had a massage which was relaxing. Quite expensive at $149 for 60 mins. My husband an I were both given $50 vouchers to be used at the spa as we were first time cruisers with P&O. This enable me to have a hair cut. I also purchased some Elemis products. We liked the size of the Pacific Jewell but as it is no longer part of the P&O fleet we would happily try another P&O ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Nil
My friend who has not cruised wanted a 3 day experience. As a 4 time cruiser the food was appalling cold, hard to put a fork into and no taste, bland and unappetising. No beverage package available. My friend doesn’t have a credit card ... Read More
My friend who has not cruised wanted a 3 day experience. As a 4 time cruiser the food was appalling cold, hard to put a fork into and no taste, bland and unappetising. No beverage package available. My friend doesn’t have a credit card as was paying cash as her load and go card was not accepted everywhere else but P&O cruises. Beds hard pillows too soft. Staff unfriendly and not helpful except our cabin staff, 1 bar staff, spa staff and 1 pantry staff member. I also had the privilege of catching up with ex work members on the cruise for the same reason and also appalled by the cruise. Good thing was leaving the ship. On exiting I have never had to take my own bags off a ship until Jewel. I will never sail P&O again and word of mouth is a powerful tool. My survey has not received by email so I am voicing my dissatisfaction on behalf of me and ny friend. I have been informed jewel is being sold off but any P&O experience will not be on my radar. You need to go Royal Carrabien and a good experience and upgrade you services. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
To start with we are loyal Royal Caribbean guests, however after going on 5 cruises on Allure, Harmony, Ovation, Explorer of the seas we wanted to try out another cruise company just to see the difference in standards. We also got this 2 ... Read More
To start with we are loyal Royal Caribbean guests, however after going on 5 cruises on Allure, Harmony, Ovation, Explorer of the seas we wanted to try out another cruise company just to see the difference in standards. We also got this 2 night comedy cruise on scoopon for a bargain rate so thought .... why not...... well.... lets start with the positives. (Btw this was a 2 night comedy cruise from Melbourne to Sydney) THE GOOD : Boarding and disembarking was easy and fast. Service is both terminals was wonderful. (I will note we were delayed 30 mins disembarking the ship due to customs, but thats not P&O's fault) Due to the smaller size of the ship its very easy to navigate and we did not have to use the lifts once. The comedy gala was fantastic and we went to every show - there were about 5 shows over the 2 days , this was the only entertainment available other than live music in the bars . Service at the bars was very fast and reasonably priced. THE BAD : SHIP: The ship is really showing its age and a-lot of the public areas have had no attention to the wear and tear of the furniture, seats were worn, chipped and some are broken. Floor under the lovely astro turf is uneven and lumpy. The room itself was clean, and a good size, however containing everything that was in the room when they purchased the ship off the last company its old, dated and the lamps were broken and held together with sticky tape. FOOD: I can only compare this to Royal but the food that was included was horrible. The items in the "Pantry" were the same items that were available in the dinning room. Food was cooked many hours before it was serviced and was only warm with that taste "that its been re-heated". Outside of the breakfast, lunch & dinner hours there is no other options for a snack unless you want to pay for it. (When we walked past a station of nuggets, chips and hot dogs at 4.30pm we asked the lady if we could just get some nuggets as we missed lunch, she rudely told us that it was for children only and we would have to wait. I would understand if there was 50 children waiting however there was no-one anywhere near and seeing there was a tray of 300 nuggets i don't think 6 would have made much difference. SERVICE: Service was very hit and miss and the Main dinning room has no dress standards - their was a mix of suits, singlets, flip flops , shirts (and even saw a guy were a suit with flip flops) ACTIVITES : Everything except for the shows are NOT INCLUDED and are at an additional cost. we did not take part in these so cannot comment but $29 for a 30 second zipline was not our cup of tea. OVERALL : We won't be going back to P&O however it was good to experience another side of cruising. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was our third cruise with P&O and our our 13th in total. There were four of us on the trip (a 4 day comedy themed cruise from Auckland to Sydney), my wife and I and my sister and brother-in-law who were taking their first ... Read More
This was our third cruise with P&O and our our 13th in total. There were four of us on the trip (a 4 day comedy themed cruise from Auckland to Sydney), my wife and I and my sister and brother-in-law who were taking their first cruise. Our overall impressions were not great. Whilst the entertainment provided by the five “resident” comedians was good and a couple of the chances to discuss comedy were excellent, the rest of the cruise was disappointing, the service was patchy and the crew weren’t particularly engaging or seeming to enjoy themselves. Dining The food was a particular issue, the pantry is very poor quality, my brother in law described it by saying you’d be very disappointed if you received similar at the food court in your local shopping mall. Some of it was almost inedible (I had an oatmeal for breakfast one morning that had clearly been made by someone who had never seen oatmeal before, it was cold and had a soup like consistency). The dining room was of better quality but only slightly and the amount of selection available had diminished significantly from our two previous P&O voyages. We dined there for dinner twice and lunch once and the organisation of the groups turning up was pretty shambolic especially on the first night when although we had booked a dining time it was just chaos trying to get in. We dined once at Salt and that was of a really good standard although at an additional $49 pp you would hope so! Accommodation We had both booked ocean view cabins on level 9 which were fine and the Jewel (along with the Dawn) have some of the best designed showers at sea with plenty of room in them. Entertainment Staff I was interested to note that P&O had changed the title of the cruise director (which sort of makes sense actually) to entertainment director. It’s a bit of a damning indictment that just a few days after the cruise I can’t recall her name and she was practically invisible the entire trip apart from introducing the evening show. One of her offsides (Steven) was far more visible and if I hadn’t known better would have assumed he was the cruise director. Misc The constant charging for every minor addition was pretty annoying and although I get that it is at the budget end of the scale, it felt like you were being nickel and dimed at every point, even the wellness lectures were a thinly disguised chance to sell over priced orthotics. I was disappointed for my sister and brother in law who had really been looking forward to the trip especially as we had been bugging them to come on a cruise with us for years but left feeling like they had a really low budget experience. On the up side the boarding and departures were very well organised and for once boarding times were actually enforced by the shore staff in Auckland resulting in manageable queues and an easy boarding experience. Even as an entry level cruise I struggle to give this more than two stars and that will unfortunately be our last P&O (Australia) cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I chose the option of a cruise so I didn't have to negotiate the tedious rigors of airport security and the daily pains of finding a place to eat and another to visit to fill in my holiday. I work long hours normally and get very ... Read More
I chose the option of a cruise so I didn't have to negotiate the tedious rigors of airport security and the daily pains of finding a place to eat and another to visit to fill in my holiday. I work long hours normally and get very little time off so the wife and I wanted a holiday that was out of NZ and stress free. The Vanuatu Explorer certainly achieved this. While the ship itself is a bit tired, they do well with what they have. Service and staff were excellent. Atmosphere of the ship itself fantastic and we finally got the rest we deserved meeting a lot of good Kiwis in the process. It is true that you need to be careful as there are cash traps, once on the ship you are tied to the boat and reliant on the prices there in which are a bit excessive. On the whole however our first cruise a success. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I recently (February 2017) went on a three day trial cruise from Melbourne to Sydney, l have never cruised before so l wasn't sure what to expect. I was incredibly disappointed with the whole trip, these ships, although clean, are ... Read More
I recently (February 2017) went on a three day trial cruise from Melbourne to Sydney, l have never cruised before so l wasn't sure what to expect. I was incredibly disappointed with the whole trip, these ships, although clean, are just too old. The food was lucky to be 2 star, and that was the part l was really looking forward too. The best thing l had in the 3 days was a hot dog which l purchased on board, The breakfast was ok, u cant do too much wrong with an egg Accommodation was clean l would say 3 star. If u are someone who travels 4.5 - 5 star hotels u will be disappointed. It was the spirit of Tasmania with entertainment. All in all it was ordinary, l wouldn't do it again, if u must cruise l would travel with one of the newer big ships that really have something to offer..: Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We picked up a bargain last minute cruise from Melbourne to Sydney, had an oceanview on deck nine. Cabin 9182, quiet, clean, and well maintained by Dannielle. This was my first time on the Jewel, and I was pleasantly surprised by how good ... Read More
We picked up a bargain last minute cruise from Melbourne to Sydney, had an oceanview on deck nine. Cabin 9182, quiet, clean, and well maintained by Dannielle. This was my first time on the Jewel, and I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. The service was excellent, lots of helpful people everywhere. Bar service excellent, lots of servers who were friendly and remembered your name. Drinks were a good price too, all in Australian dollars of course. I was on Ovation of the Seas last month, and a cocktail was $13USD ($18.50 AUD) compared to $12-$13 on Jewel. Food and service in the main dining room was better than I expected. Tiramisu was especially delicious. We did the wine tasting $22 a head, which was a funny morning. The wines were good, nothing super amazing but all delicious. Lots of trivia, including music trivia, to be had. I love trivia! Entertainment was good, a Neil Diamnond impersonator who was fabulous and a comedian who was good too. Usual marriage and liars club stuff, all good for a laugh. So glad I enjoyed the ship because I have another three short cruises on Jewel coming up. I am looking forward to being back on such a fun ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This is my third visit via P & O to the South Pacific and the destinations were the calling card along with a great price. Talked into it by my travel agent at the last minute, hence the price, but the South Pacific is a wonderful ... Read More
This is my third visit via P & O to the South Pacific and the destinations were the calling card along with a great price. Talked into it by my travel agent at the last minute, hence the price, but the South Pacific is a wonderful place to go. Our Ship the Pacific Jewel at 70,000 gross tonnes, is not small and provides many activities and entertainment /dining options. I will dispense with list as P & O obviously have that info for you on their website etc. Pros & Cons together then: The embarkation ( of 2,000 of us) was handled with efficient ease from check in to gangway, and long as you have yourself organised , its easy to do. Cabin was clean tidy and welcoming , ocean view forward location. Cabin Steward was helpful and obliging. Theme nights were not widely advertised pre cruise so wing it there, and maybe do your homework with your TA. This cruise had the unexpected feature of being a wedding cruise for the brother ( and soon to be sister in-law) of the cruise director , romantic to many , but the said Cruise Director , Sandy, laid it on thick and loud and brash. Selling carpets previously I suspect. If he yelled 'BINGO' on the ships PA system one more time... anyway, the wedding was apparently nice and took the place of the Captains Cocktail Party evidently, as it wasn't held this time, senior hospitality staff informed me. Food quality varied each day from below average to very good in The Pantry ( cruise included dining) . The Waterfront ( five star dining) cuisine was excellent. The eminent arrival of Cyclone Winston while we were in the area, caused a change to our itinerary which was Mystery Island to become Champagne Bay Espirto Santo. I took the independent tours on shore at Noumea & Vantuau as these are cheaper and more personal. First time cruisers might want to take ship booked shore tours as a up front try. If your adventurous , save your money. The Islands of New Caledonia & Vanuatu are beautiful, safe and very interesting. Enjoy them. Cabin TV was poor this time, in picture quality, and the Cruise channel had the TV Guide which was hard to use. Hard copy print as an option would be better. The looping Documentary of P & Os history while interesting the first couple of time was annoying by the four day. TV on demand should be installed with better sets. Photos and Videos on board , take your own, the package is not worth the high cost. Get roaming on your phone and the internet is still extortionate in cost. Drinks cost are about the same as Pub/ club prices in Australia. Avoid the Beverage package unless you think you can drink $80 plus worth of alcohol a day , every day! hmmmm. But the Bar staff were very hospitable and efficient. Take a cheery disposition with you in all, heard and saw some couples squabbling, not on a cruise please!? The young people seem to behave themselves better than some seniors. (sigh) . Anyway a three star outing for P & O this time. OK cruise with some improvement needed here and there. 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
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

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click