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44 P&O Australia Cairns Cruise Reviews

booked this cruise from our home port of Cairns with a drinks package at a good price. We were concerned by the reviews and we had also just finished a cruise from Hawaii to Sydney on Celebrity Solstice. So we went with our eyes wide open. ... Read More
booked this cruise from our home port of Cairns with a drinks package at a good price. We were concerned by the reviews and we had also just finished a cruise from Hawaii to Sydney on Celebrity Solstice. So we went with our eyes wide open. it was going to be a 3 star ship which is typical of P and O australia and we were not expecting the bells and whistles of Solstice. We went with 3 other couples and had a great time. embarking and disembark worked well. the ship was fine, obviously an older ship but in reasonable condition. particularly liked the lounges and bar arrangements. entertainment was consistent.The dancing and music in the theatre was high energy but missed the mark in my opinion. One of the shows was just too dark and a lot of the music i have never heard before. choreography was great but music choice poor and did not relate to the audience.it felt like they had done the choreography .and then picked the music to match it. if they had chosen music the audience could relate to the shows would have been better received The pantry worked well. plenty of choice and no issues with the food being not warm enough. they have to do something about the crazy decision to put coffee tables into this area. what were they thinking?? its an easy fix and will complement the area by giving every diner a table to sit and eat at. The main dining room is big and very well done....but its half empty every night. It looks like they dont have the staff so you are lining up for a table and there are empty tables every where. speaking of staff, it was very hard to get any inter action from them in any of the dining areas. The food was fine if a little on the small size with some serves. Actually some serves were miniscule. The same can be said for the asian and italian restaurants. good food, small portions and unsmiling stiff staff serving you. the swimming pool at the aft is a great idea, no kids and a small bar. but it was almost comical to see almost everyone gathered around trying to find what little shade is on offer. the drinks package was a first for us. we like a drink but at $79 a day you have to be drinking non stop to get value. with 4 port calls in 7 days you spend a lot of time off the ship so i found myself drinking just because i was on a package and not necessarily because i really wanted "another cocktail". we did not get close to drinking $79 worth on any day, which surprised me and were happy it was an add on to our booking. the last day i only had 2 drinks as i had had enough of alcohol. P and o certainly have it right with their drinks staff. plenty of them walking around and getting you drinks and we met some lovely staff in the bars. Alatau was nothing special, walked down town. the memorial had interesting info re the war in milne bay. Kitiva and Kiriwini were very interesting. walked with a local guide and had an interesting time with the natives. Conflict was very pretty, the owner has done a great job with the facilities in such an isolated spot Apparently previous ships have had trouble tendering to this island. the jetty needs some modification as there is a big gap between the tender boat and getting onto the jetty. its an accident waiting to happen with older cruisers for sure, but even the young would have to be careful. our cabin was fine, ocean view on deck 6 and was in good condition for its age. little things like wardrobe doors not closing properly, otherwise it was a good size, bed was great and both stewards did a great job. Overall we had a good time on a 3 star ship that had the bonus for us of being a $20 taxi ride from our house. would i go on Eden again. probably yes , from Cairns. but if i had to hop on a plane to go to Brisbane or Sydney i would most likely cruise on Princess, RCI or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Cruise was part of a package deal ,flying from Melbourne to Cairns.Pacific Eden is an easy ship to find your way around,the new facilities from bars,restaurants to entertainment areas are really tastefully done. Other parts of the ship ... Read More
Cruise was part of a package deal ,flying from Melbourne to Cairns.Pacific Eden is an easy ship to find your way around,the new facilities from bars,restaurants to entertainment areas are really tastefully done. Other parts of the ship including cabins are looking a bit old but everything worked well on the ship. Food was a disappointment,menus are average and in some restaurants don't vary much. Entertainment was good in the Marquis theatre and the bands in the bars were good. Good ship to cruise for families,with excellent clubs and facilities for children. Leaving the ship at Cairns was not well organized and rather congested. Overall good value for money and a good selection of port visits,especially Mystery Island and Noumea. For a small to mid size ship this ship is a great option if you want to combine it with a stay in beautiful Cairns and go to the barrier reef. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
As with other people, we were quite nervous as there were a number of negative reviews of the Pacific Eden and we had to fly to Cairns from Brisbane to embark. However the cruise was more than adequate with only some minor irritations. ... Read More
As with other people, we were quite nervous as there were a number of negative reviews of the Pacific Eden and we had to fly to Cairns from Brisbane to embark. However the cruise was more than adequate with only some minor irritations. Let's face it, life in general has minor irritations.. Positive: the basic rooms are bigger then the other p&O ships and this is a big plus. You can actually walk around and sit on a two seat sofa. The air conditioning was wonderfully cold. The entertainment was great with Alter Ego band absolutely fantastic. The shows were good with talented singers but I would have preferred more popular themed songs. (personal choice). We attended a lot of trivia. Get there early as they are very popular. Minor issues with strongly accented trivia hosts. hard to understand the questions. however great fun. food: no longer self serve but as far as I'm concerned this is a plus. People have complained that servings were smaller. Seriously!!! If you are hungry, go and get another serving. I don't know what P&O thinking is but letting the staff serve you means there is no chance of other passenger's dirty unwashed hands can contaminate the food.(I still see people leaving the toilets without washing their hands.) The cutlery is also wrapped up in a serviette for you. The pantry area is cleaned scrupulously each night. Angelo's and the Asian Lady? restaurants were good but bookings fill up fast. Shore excursions no more than average. Not enough tenders operating to get people on shore. (maybe all the rest were lifeboats. People were still waiting to get off at 11:30 in the morning. But all day stops so no pressure to return. some of the smaller first time places could not cope with the large influx of people. no taxis/buses available. no adequate shade. Costs of tours courtesy of P&O as usual price gouging. The four of us went to see the Second World War sites which was great and the scenic islands belied the terrible history. The New Guinean and Solomon Island people were wonderful. Heart warming to see whole island turn out waiting to display their culture for the visitors to see. would definitely go n Eden again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was a pretty much overrated trip. While the staff were great, the charges were pretty steep and it was (initially) difficult to get around. Food was o.k. - although Luke Mangan's Restaurant should be thrown out as it is ... Read More
This was a pretty much overrated trip. While the staff were great, the charges were pretty steep and it was (initially) difficult to get around. Food was o.k. - although Luke Mangan's Restaurant should be thrown out as it is simply overpriced and overrated! The Waterfront Restaurant was excellent, as was Dragon Lady and Angelos - but getting into them proved to be the problem. Bar service was excellent, although for a duty free environment, costs were excessive. The prospect of listening (again) to a Scottish Bar Attendant in the Blue Room Bar as he whinged and whined about the poor salaries paid by P&O made sure that I didn't go there very often. Entertainment was o.k. - but Loud! The Magician show was very amateurish. By the end of the trip I would have gladly gone shark fishing with most of the 5 -12 year old kids on board - using them all as bait! Those kids - and, on the main, - their parents spoiled the trip for several of us older citizens. Drunken yobbish Bogans do not entertain me at all. I will not be travelling on P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
my wife and i were very dissapointed in the Eden,this was our fourth cruise,and I would rate it as the one we liked the least, too many uncontrolled ,noisy children,running everywhere,round pool area, along corredoors,in the marquee,and ... Read More
my wife and i were very dissapointed in the Eden,this was our fourth cruise,and I would rate it as the one we liked the least, too many uncontrolled ,noisy children,running everywhere,round pool area, along corredoors,in the marquee,and in the thearter during shows,making noise in the Atrium till past midnight,Meal times was always a scramble,The theater is second rate, very small,acute viewing angle when seated close to the screen in the side seats, plus the projector ,located in the rear is so low people walk through the projected image wnen getting to or leaving their seats.Very amaturish.Most arears always seemed crowded, we concluded that there are too many cabins and the recreation areas are insufficient to comfortably accomodate the number of passengers onboard.We felt the food was not of very high quality, though there was plenty of it.If any reading this have been on the Dawn you,ll be dissapointed if you expect the Eden to be equal,or better, it doesn't come close. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The terminal in Cairns did a great job on embarkation and disembarkation the staff were professional and friendly. The gang plank was quite steep and difficult for some older passengers. On this cruise we visited Papua New Guinea and ... Read More
The terminal in Cairns did a great job on embarkation and disembarkation the staff were professional and friendly. The gang plank was quite steep and difficult for some older passengers. On this cruise we visited Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and had a lovely time at the various ports Alotau, Rabaul, Honiara and especially Kivata island and Gizo island; which were very primative but full of lovely friendly people. I would recommend visiting and I would love to go back one day BUT NOT ON Pacific Eden! This ship is really starting to show its age even though P&O have tried to market it as a NEW member of the Australian fleet. The air conditioning is virtually non existant in The Pantry which is P&O's sad replacement for The Buffet. When entering The Pantry you should expect to be hit with a fresh heat relieving breeze and a tantalising hit of aromas from the various stations but unfortunately that is not the case, the first thing to hit your senses is there is no refreshing air then the smell - an aroma very close to over cooked Brussel sprouts. The salad bar is basically a lettuce bar nothing interesting, with processed meats. There is a Roast section and the roast changes from day to day but the sides are virtually the same every day. The fish and chip section never had a French fry available only wedges even though there were pictures of fries all around. The Indian Curry section used an awful lot of potatoes in the dishes, Mexican was ok, Chinese the noodles changed but the flavour was similar and the Sandwich Bar had a choice of 3 pre made Rolls- One day they had Duck Cocktail which was duck in a thousand island dressing with lettuce, normally there would be a roast meat that had been in the roast section the day before. The Pantry has a closed in feeling because of the screens and high seating used, and then you have the silly coffee tables that you are supposed to eat off. Who ever designed the seating was either stupid or totally mad- so many high tables with high stools great when you are young but really awful for the older cruisers. The main dining room food was better but don't expect a table cloth cause they don't use them. You will see tables being washed/wiped down going from table to table without rinsing the cloth then cutlery and crockery laid down on the bare surface of the table even glasses placed upside down. It worried me because apart from the machine at the restaurant door there was not anyone enforcing the cleansing of hands before entering the restaurant that you normally have on other cruise lines. The shows and entertainment crew were good but in the theatre the lamps are being held together with sticky tape. The air conditioning did not work properly in our cabin and we had to ask for top sheets as it was to hot to sleep with the doona on the bed. Other passengers complained that their air could not be turned down. Other passengers also told of water leakages in their cabin and carpets being wet. The bathroom consisted of a bathtub with overhead shower, the taps are showing their age and the shower curtain really needed to be replaced as it had mood and mildew on it. There is a small vanity and sink a couple of small shelves and a toilet. The cabin size was ok, carpet looked a bit tired, the beds were comfortable and the pillows were different 1 was standard size the other extra large. The power outlets are for Australian plugs but my hair straightener would not work and the hairdryer supplied was pretty useless. The main pool was very green compared to the adult pool. But there was hardly any shade at the adult pool which forced us to use the main pool. If they close the roof on the main pool it becomes a sauna as there isn't any ventilation. A few opening windows would help! I had a drink package that included alcohol,water and coffee which was quite good except on a port day I asked for a bottle of water to take ashore then I ordered a coffee to have while waiting for the tender and I was told I had to wait 3 minutes between my drinks! Sensible service of water and coffee! Most of the staff were very nice. My friend and I both felt that the ship either needs more work or to be retired after all why would Holland America sell her if she was still up to it? Sorry Captain I love your accent but not your ship and she certainly isn't beautiful. I will not cruise on a P&O ship again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I found P&O Pacific Eden to be below expected cruising standard. Penny pinching in many areas. Coffee, ice-cream, pizza all need to be bought to get good quality, very basic items on a cruise. Same items are available in your cruise ... Read More
I found P&O Pacific Eden to be below expected cruising standard. Penny pinching in many areas. Coffee, ice-cream, pizza all need to be bought to get good quality, very basic items on a cruise. Same items are available in your cruise price, but are of very poor quality. Food quite boring and poor quality, expect if you can get a booking into one of the commercial dinning areas. Cabins good and cabin crew great. Small lounge areas with super loud music or quiz calling, could not have a conversation and also have music, just too loud. Bar staff good, wine and beer good. Mixed drinks and cocktails appeared very watered down, prices still high for duty free drinks. Entertainment and ok, saw different shows each night. Reception and Tour desk staff appeared bored with their jobs and had a pretty much, whatever attitude, only had one question while on trip and could not get any answers. Shore trips cancelled twice Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Boarding: Instructed to show up at 11am, we expected a gentle progress suggested by the red “Priority” notice on our E-ticket. It seemed everybody had an 11am date and 1500 people were trying to progress through registration, ... Read More
Boarding: Instructed to show up at 11am, we expected a gentle progress suggested by the red “Priority” notice on our E-ticket. It seemed everybody had an 11am date and 1500 people were trying to progress through registration, border control and security. Someone took pity on us and we were probably the 300th couple to board. The Room: Sold as a “suite”, our room was twice the size of standard balcony rooms and while having an en-suite bathroom, had no separation of bedroom and living space. Nevertheless it was pleasant, had loads of storage space and a little wardrobe – dressing room. It also had a Nespresso machine and a fridge. The balcony was large and populated by 2 sunbeds in disgusting condition and a relatively decent table and 4 chairs. We were greeted by our splendid room stewards Aime and Joshua who produced a bowl of fruit and bottles of water. The Pantry: The Pantry offers a variety of dishes from little “stalls” and we were able easily to find a table at which to enjoy them. We discovered subsequently that when in a port, the main “Waterfront” restaurant closes so The Pantry becomes the only lunchtime venue. On these occasions the whole place is hugely overcrowded and lunch becomes a bunfight. The Waterfront: A large and nice room aft, it is the main restaurant on board. At mealtimes there is a queue stretching past the lifts to get in. From our observations this is not because they are short of tables, but is a scheme intended to ease the workload of the wait-staff and galley. We found that by going straight to the Maitre d’ and saying we only wanted a table for 2, we were admitted immediately. The menus were interesting but the dishes themselves were only a chef’s impression of what the dish should be. Probably about 7 out of 10. Angelino’s and The Dragon Lady Respectively these are the Italian and the oriental themed eateries. No queues at the restaurants, but long queues to make the required bookings at the “Monkey Bar”. More intimate than the Waterfront we had some really good meals there. Probably 8 out of 10 Salt: This is the Luke Mangan inspired venue and is charged to one’s account. We went for a dinner and a lunch – the menu is the same but lunch is cheaper. We enjoyed our meals there and would give it 9 out of 10. Public spaces and bars: I thought the décor was generally of the Leagues Club meets RSL style. The Blue Room was the closest to “cool”, but it was occasionally spoiled by an entertainer with more volume than talent. The bar staff are competent and charming but are hindered by P&O’s strict cocktail recipes that deliver very watery drinks. Having tried the cocktails we stuck mainly to wine. There is a “Mix Bar” where one can get real cocktails, but at an exorbitant price. Drinkers beware! We took the $69 “Drinks Package” because we didn’t know better. This came to $138 per day or $1,380 for the trip. Outside of the Mix Bar “cocktails” are between $11 and $12 each, beers are between $5 and $6 each and most glasses of wine are between $9 and $11. The package only allows drinks up to $12 but does not allow one to buy bottles of wine. We could have saved money by putting bottles of wine – between $27 and $40each on our shipboard account; spending - say $90 per day – and stashing them in our fridge when not in use. Anyway, you do the arithmetic for your typical usage. Fellow Passengers: Because school was out there were quite a few children. Those we saw were well behaved but most were squirrelled away on the top deck and cared for by professionals. The Oasis Deck on 10 aft was barred to kids – very good idea. There were a lot of folk of pensionable age and a significant number of obese (some morbidly) people. P&O aim for the bottom of the market with very cheap accommodation and it shows. The somewhat slack dress code meant many blokes wore jeans , or worse – shorts after 6pm. On the other hand, most women made an effort. Don’t look for “cool” if you go P&O. Problems: The drain in our bath/shower was probably blocked by 22 years of hair and soap, so one was ankle deep in dirty water by the end of a shower. This was reported twice but totally ignored by the maintenance crew. The crew name badges were in a font so tiny that normal people could not read them. What is the point of P&O asking for crew plaudits if we had no idea who they were? Decent glasses of wine in the restaurants were priced beyond the $12 limit of the Drinks Package Conclusions: We took the cruise because it departed and returned to the wharf opposite our flat. I am not sure that would be sufficient reason to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I have been lucky to have cruised more than 30 times on 15 different ships - large and small. This little ship stands out as an absolute jewel. It's décor is very tasteful and at no time did it feel crowded. There are so many ... Read More
I have been lucky to have cruised more than 30 times on 15 different ships - large and small. This little ship stands out as an absolute jewel. It's décor is very tasteful and at no time did it feel crowded. There are so many lovely areas to sit and read or watch the world (or sea) go by. Service is very good and there is plenty to do during the day and evening. I was concerned about the food because of the reviews I had read before my cruise but found these concerns to be totally unfounded. The food was good with a really good choice of venues. Sometimes it wasn't steaming hot but certainly not cool. The main restaurant has been designed to feel like an upmarket shore side restaurant with no extended area of huge shared tables. Instead smaller, separated areas. Very nice. The alternate restaurants were really good and The Pantry an excellent concept. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was my first cruise. I didn't know what to expect other than some reviews I read on the Internet.. There are so many people with opinions out there and I think there are many people that just love to complain. I had an inside ... Read More
This was my first cruise. I didn't know what to expect other than some reviews I read on the Internet.. There are so many people with opinions out there and I think there are many people that just love to complain. I had an inside cabin on the P&O Pacific Eden. I was greeted by Ernie, which was the man in charge of my cabin.. From the minute I arrived on the ship up until leaving, Ernie was there and was the friendliest guy.. I would like to say that every staff that I talked to on the ship was amazing.. People don't realize that you get what you give.. If you're nice to the staff, they'll be nice back.. By the time I left, many of them knew me by name.. With so many people on board the ship, I didn't think that would be possible.. About the ship.. I was worried from reviews that the ship would be in bad shape and the food would be terrible.. I chose the Pacific Eden because I knew it was recently refurbished... What a beautiful ship.. Everything was done extremely well.. When you go to restaurants like the Dragon Lady and Angelos, you actually feel like you're in a high class restaurant in the city.. The Waterfront restaurant was difficult to get into due to the fact that the setting can't be beat and it's a sit down restaurant with service. So many people tried to eat there, which would create a queue.. I could have waited 15 or 20 minutes to eat there, but I didn't need to.. The reason why was the Pantry.. What a cool idea.. This isn't a ship buffet.. This is a place with about 10 different stations for many types of food.. In one meal, you could have Mexican, Asian, Salads, etc. It was awesome to be able to pick and choose what you wanted.. I found the quality terrific and didn't mind missing out on some of the other restaurants due to having the Pantry... I did eat at Dragon Lady and Angelos and was extremely impressed with the service, quality and atmosphere... The shows were good on the ship.. Depending on what you're into.. I wasn't into the modern dance show they had, but my roommate loved it.. I loved one of the singing shows, but my roommate didn't like that one.. So to each their own.. I think everyone like the adult comedy act.. Brilliant... :) We didn't get a chance to go into shore on all of the days due to wind.. So you do have to expect some people getting let down if their main goal is to see some of the ports on the holiday.. I didn't care as I was just trying to get away from reality for a while and just wanted to sit on a boat and enjoy life... So that's what I planned for and wasn't disappointed when we missed two ports... I haven't been on some of the "other" cruise ships out there, so I can't compare them.. I can just say from my experience on this ship that I had a great time and would love to do it again very soon... I have given everything top ratings as I wasn't let down by anything on this holiday.... Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Reading the reviews before we left, was confusing, some had a great time (these included frequent travellers) others bagged it, or tried to compare it to other cruise companies. I'll start by saying we had a great time. I will also ... Read More
Reading the reviews before we left, was confusing, some had a great time (these included frequent travellers) others bagged it, or tried to compare it to other cruise companies. I'll start by saying we had a great time. I will also not compare this cruise to others, until the end. So where to start, ahhh the beginning: P & Os website provides enough information to get onto the ship, generate your booking, and a few tours. On this trip around some PNG Islands, there are not that many tours - I did have to ring P&O once, and send a few emails to get things sorted out. Embarkation / Disembarkation: Cairns does not normally turn around 1450 passengers in a few hours, so we expected delays. They weren't to bad by any standards, and we were quickly onboard (about 15mins all up) - longest queue was for the security x-ray machine (run by our local airport who are notoriously bad at that!). Quickly checked our cabin, they were all ready prior to boarding, and then booked all our restaurants for the week trip - a good point learnt from other reviews on this site. Bookings are at the Monkey Bar, between Angelo's and Dragon Lady - and yes, do book early! Food, oh yes, the all important food question. The Pantry - No I am not a fan. The health aspect is obvious, the patrons cannot access any food, so stops someone from sneezing, coughing or pre-sampling your food (we have seen it). The area is not overly large, and the food options can be limited. Space is a premium, and it can get quite crowded around the peak meal periods (but no surprise there). The hours are limited, so don't expect 20hr grazing rights, and closes at about 9:30pm. It is good for a top up between meals (when open). Breakfast was standard - cooked, cereal or fruit. Lunch was a mixture of salads and cooked meals (including curry, asian, rolls and fish and chips), and dinner was something similar to lunch, but a bit more filling. The Waterfront - A single story contemporary style, with anytime dining option only. Did breakfast, lunch and dinner on seas days. Best place to go to for lunch (and by reports for breakfast as well). Dinner did get very crowded, and often people had to wait 10-20 mins for a seat. Also you miss out on have the same wait staff and table companions (if that's important for you). The food was pretty good, small sizes but filling, and the service was pretty good, but could be a little slow at peak times, and drinks waters could be hard to find. Quality wise, this would be somewhere between a good pub restaurant and a 3.5 star restaurant - not fantastic, but highly satisfactory. Angelo's - need to book, and can book more than once. Its included in the cost of the ticket. Quite nice, a good feel, but a little bright. Service in here was quite good, and the menu changes every few days. Again not large sizes, but filling. Service is a bit more personal here, and its a lovely place to dine. Dragon Lady - Asian Fusion restaurant (everyone knows the style, but is still trying to figure out what it means). Like Angelo's, the service is a notch from the the Waterfront, and the options are reasonable. The servings are quite small, but satisfactory come the end of the meal. We did prefer Angelo's out of the three. These areas can be busy during peak times (1800-1930) so plan ahead. Salt Grill - this was talked up by pretty much everyone that went, and so we had high expectations, which probably fell a little short (especially for $49.95 per person). That said the service was very good, the quality of the meals was up there, and the experience was of a good 4 star restaurant. Selections for mains was steak or fish, but a good range of options, and sides a-plenty. Was a nice evening. Chefs Table (yes we did every dining option on this trip) - Fan-bloody-tastic. Cost $99 each, but was worth the experience. Firstly the staff (Onile and Antonio) did a great job, and we got to met all the Chefs. Anyway, starts with a glass of Champers and an hors d'oeuvre, followed by a tour of the galley (the galley is tiny!! This is a place of miracles considering what is produced). Then came another 8 courses, with paired wines. The group is limited to a maximum of 14, and we all became good friends over the evening. The meals were small, with the accent on presentation and quality. Each chef came up and explained his creation, which added a great touch. 4.5 hours later we all left with a great experience behind us. a freebie photo of the group, and a chefs surprise later in the trip (I wont spoil the surprise). Will do it again and again. The best dining experience at sea we have had. The bars, there were several bars around the ship, our favourite being the Blue Room, best music, closely followed by Mix (good piano player - Chester, and cocktail guy - Jamie). The Ocean Bar had plenty of room and the Dome had great views (and was good during they day to read a book - when activities were not on). As bars go, these were of a good standard, and reasonably priced (for a tourist trap). Could use an extra bar staff or two in each area during the busy periods. Casino was small and intimate, but we only lost $40 all trip, so quite bit of fun. Reception / tour desk. Only needed them once or twice, and though not being overly friendly on one occasion, they came through with the answers. You can check you account balance at an ATM style kiosk, and for those who want tight control over expenses you can transfer money into your onboard account from your banks (EFTPOS) or withdraw cash and manage you account at reception. The reception also advertised a money exchange for the PNG stops. Entertainment, overall the musicians were really good, and interacted well. There were crowd favourites, but we had some great musical sessions. Music was available somewhere from midday to midnight, with a short break around dinner. Stage shows - The stage area is on the small side, and has no live music component. That said they have some very imaginative and well prepared shows. The talent of both the performers and the technical staff makes these shows work. Visibility due to the layout of the Marque theatre can be problematic, but get in early and grab a good spot, it will be worth it. There were two late night comedy shows and one magician - comedian, All comments were heard after these shows (not quite our style, or past our bedtime) were very positive. SPA, over priced (fairly normal) but we did use the Thermal Room (package for two for 7 days $199, or one was $129). We took good advantage of these facilities, and so did a number of others, but was not too crowded. Jacuzzi, hot beds (heat tile beds - very relaxing at the end of the day), steam and aromatherapy rooms, sauna and a quiet area. Yep, will do those again. Adults pool, surprisingly there was enough space, but not much shade, very pleasant in the evening. The general pool area was normally busy, but still with room to sit around, and the Grill (chips, pizzas, burgers, etc.) and New Zealand Ice Cream stores were very good and good value. Duty Free shopping, again a bit ht and miss, a lot of stuff just too expensive, gut still sold memorabilia and some munchies at reasonable rates. A wasted area was the promenade deck, that area would be great with a supply of deck chairs, and was only really frequented my the smokers. Worst point - tender operations. Trying to fit 1450 passengers through one outlet (which is also the receiving area) is poor planning. Also the pontoon setup is very susceptible to any type of swell or wave action. This meant issues at one site, and no off loading at another (for information P&O, 20 - 30 kt winds, 1m-2m swells are NORMAL for this area for about 6-8 months of the year). Overall the quality of the ship and it surrounds were quite good, the service was friendly, but maybe not enough during the busy periods, while I believe The Pantry may have missed the mark. Would we do one again, yes, if the price was right. So here's the rub. We are still new at this cruising thing, but having been on two RCIs and one Celebrity boat, all >14 days, and all in a balcony; we have come to expect a certain level of service. Does P&O have the same finishing touches - No; does P&O have the same ration of staff to wait on you - No; does P&O offer free room service or free snacks 16 hours a day - No. So why would we do it again, for the price you get a good level of accommodation and food, you get friendly service and a smile, and we had a great time. We likened it to comparing a Hilton service to a Travelodge Service (sorry if the analogy doesn't mean much to some), but these 7 days cost us a fraction of the other trips in comparison, and we enjoyed every minute. We could've sat there comparing away (and we did), but it meant nothing, it was trying to compare oranges with banana's - don't bother, just enjoy. So Celebrity it's not, but great fun all the same, it all comes down to what you can afford, and P&O is great on a budget, while if we had the cash we would still like to go with RCI or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We boarded in Cairns which is where we live. We celebrated our anniversary on board. I was quite nervous early on about booking this cruise due to some negative reviews however I was fortunately able to put this into perspective. ... Read More
We boarded in Cairns which is where we live. We celebrated our anniversary on board. I was quite nervous early on about booking this cruise due to some negative reviews however I was fortunately able to put this into perspective. This ship has been running since December 2015 and it carries around 1500 passengers each trip. While it is in Cairns for 8 weeks it will carry 13 thousand passengers. As you can see on this website there have only been 178 reviews since the ship started last year and of those 43% are positive. Of the negatives some are clearly offering important feedback and others IMO are being a bit picky. Due to the negative reviews I made a point while I was onboard to ask every single passenger we came in contact with what they thought of the ship, cruise food etc and apart from one passenger who's complaints IMO were ridiculous (no white table cloths in the Waterfront and not enough variety of food) EVERYONE loved it. So please be assured that atleast during our trip any early day problems have been rectified, everything was fantastic for us and all of the other people we spoke to. The ship was a great size (not too big) it was easy to get around and find things. There was plenty of places to sit and relax or read and although it was school holidays and the ship was fully booked it never felt crowded and we didn't notice many kids. I was a little nervous about dining (due to reviews) and did take some of my favourite snacks onto the ship however my worries were unnecessary and I took my food back home with me. The food was amazing - there was so much variety. We had breakfasts, lunches and dinners at The Pantry and never really had to line up and never had trouble finding a seat. I did find the lower lounge type tables a bit silly for eating at and not sure what the designers were thinking but we were never forced to use these tables as others were always available. Only on the last morning it was very busy and crazy due to all passengers having to vacate their cabins at 7am, however everyone was fed and the food was still great. There was a huge variety of food in The Pantry and serving sizes for us were generous however you could always ask for more and the staff were only to happy to provide. The food variety changed daily e.g different salads each day in the salad area, different soups each day, different curries each day, different roasts each day, different sweets each day, different Spanish food and a variety at the Mexican counter. I liked that we were served by staff - it felt like a more hygienic style of eating. You could take food from the Pantry anywhere on the ship to eat and on occasion we took it back to our room. The food was hot and plentiful. There was no awful smells as some others have mentioned only delicious food smells!! The fish and chips were yummy and the little pastry cases in The Sugar Bar with strawberry or pistachio cream were my favourite!! We ate at The Waterfront also for breakfasts, lunch and dinner. It was a more upmarket feel than the Pantry and the service was excellent. Again you could order as much as you wanted off the menu. One day my husband ordered 3 breakfasts! They also brought around toast and Pastries at breakfast time. There was a selection of juice and fresh coffee and tea. Each meal we had here we enjoyed. We only had to wait one night as we were a table of 8 and went down at 630pm, however they gave us a buzzer and we went off to the Blue Bar (upstairs) to have a drink. 20 mins later they had a table for us - we were able to bring our drinks with us to the restaurant. There was beautiful fresh bread rolls on the table for dinner and lunch and delicious butter. There was no table cloths on the lovely timber tables which did not bother us but for some reason this has been mentioned as a negative by others. The Dragon Lady, Angelo's and Salt Grill should all be booked on day 1 or you could miss out. They are all amazing places to eat and offer a good variety of food. The menu at Angelo's changed mid cruise on our 7 night cruise and we were lucky enough to have both menus. We had one dinner and one lunch at Salt Grill. The food and service here is outstanding and the value for money exceptional. We left here feeling extremely full. They served us the most delicious chocolate cake for our Anniversary, I was going to take it back to our room for later but after one bite we had to finish it! We had Nachos on day one at The Grill and found them to be quite average - mostly chips and little topping but for $3 this was hardly a disaster! The Bars were well laid out and the singers/musicians were fabulous. There was plenty of comfortable seating and while we were there they never felt crowded. We soon worked out it was more economical for us to purchase bottles of wine which we could move round the ship with us each evening rather than buying glasses here or there. Glasses started at $8.50 each and bottles started at $30. The wine we had was lovely. The entertainment was great. We went to the shows each evening and loved the talent of the singers and dancers. One of the shows was hard to follow but they did explain this in the beginning (showing a making of the show) however the technical skills of the dancers was impressive and we still enjoyed it. The entertainers in general were great. The comedians were funny and worth staying up late for. The Marquee Theatre was a lovely intimate theatre with comfortable seating. You could take drinks with you to the theatre or order them in there from the waiters. The service we received was outstanding - we have stayed in some lovely hotels before and the service on this ship was right up there. They were constantly asking for and acting on feedback. We were always nice and polite to the staff and this was always returned to us. These people work extremely hard and take very good care of you appreciating this rather than demanding it worked very well for us as you would expect. I was surprised to learn a lot of the staff board the ship and work every day for 6 or 7 months at a time before returning to their families and then re board the ship to do the same several weeks later. Our cabin stewards started at 7.30 each morning and finished at 10.30 each night 7 days of the week and always had a lovely smile - I found this amazing. We did have one shore trip cancelled due to weather and herd some people complaining. I was happy that the Captain made this decision and was looking after our safety. It seems easy to make throw away comments when you have no knowledge of what is involved in getting 1500 passengers off and then BACK ON a ship safely. All different ages and abilities need to be considered. If you want to guarantee to get off at all ports don't go on a ship - fly there. The Captain sent the Tender across to check if it was safe and we watched it return with water crashing over the bow - it would have sat much lower in the water with 60 or so people on board. I listened to a couple of people whining and then met some of the staff who were booked to have a day off that day to go snorkelling on the island. Instead they had to throw on their uniform and come back to work to serve us in the bars etc. They did this with professionalism and a smile - no complaining. At least we were able to stay on the beautiful ship and keep relaxing while they looked after us. Yes it was a shame we didn't get off but I still had a great day. Shore tours - we did the full day Tawali resort and skull cave in Alotau. It was a great adventure for us. We were first off the boat and last back on at the end of the day. It is a 1 hour 30 min bus ride on a bumpy road each way with no toilets along the way - so DO NOT have that extra cuppa with breakfast :-). The first toilet is on the boat they use to transfer you to the resort. The snorkelling at Tawali (unfortunately only 1 hour) was amazing and lunch was delicious in the most picturesque setting. They did not tell us we could use the resort pool after lunch and only found out as we walked past it while looking around after eating but we had already changed and left our swimmers back at the restaurant and then we ran out of time. Please do not expect any luxury the people here live a very basic lifestyle. After lunch when you visit the skull cave and waterfall take some small Kina notes with you as the locals have a few small things to sell like carvings and necklaces etc. We found the tour very interesting. Tendering on and off to the other islands was easy for us. Unfortunately when we stopped at Kitava it was raining until lunch time and then most people decided to quickly exit the ship as they were running out of time as the ship departed at 4pm. This of course caused long lines and delays and some unhappy customers. We went to the island mid morning when it was still a little rainy and had no wait. People must remember they are on a ship with 1500 people and at certain times there will be lines for tenders - if this bothers you don't cruise. Snorkelling in Kitava was lovely off the little island it costs 5 Kina each way for the locals to take you across - make sure you have 5 Kina notes for this purpose. The only other time we had to wait for a tender was in Kiriwina at lunch time. We were going back to the ship for lunch and as it turned out there was only 1 Tender running as the other one had engine trouble. The line was long and in the sun and again I am sure some people were not happy. They replaced the broken tender as quickly as they could. Unfortunately they did not inform us of this difficulty I only found out later when I spoke to someone who was on the broken Tender. It would have been better if passengers waiting inline were informed. If I can offer some other tips they would be: Take your own goggles and fins if you have them. I think it is $40 or $50 to hire on the ship. Take an umbrella to protect from sun and rain (ours was well used). Take a highlight pen to highlight what activities you would like to do on the daily schedule. Try and take small Kina notes - if you can't get small notes try and change larger Kina notes in Alotau before getting to the smaller remote islands. On the smaller Islands locals will ask you to exchange Australian dollars to Keena as they have no other way of doing it and some tourists have unfortunately paid them in Aus dollars. Please change it for them - they will give you a better exchange rate then if you sell it back to the ship or money exchange for example if they give you $20 you will give them 40 Kina which is $1 for every 2 Kina. Buy back on the ship was $1 for every 3 Kina. The locals really appreciate you helping them exchange money they can't really use. Please donate to schools and community groups these people are very poor and donations are really appreciated. We had a local teacher as one of our guides and she said they need donations of writing books, pens, library books, balls, dolls, Caps and fishing gear. If everyone took a couple of items it would be great - you just need to find the right person to give it to. The school children are often in groups singing so try and find a teacher. PLEASE do not take lollies! There are so many children and the people who were giving out lollies were actually causing sadness. These communities have no way of dealing with tooth decay and we all know what it is like to have a tooth ache. I heard some one say one or 2 lollies wont hurt but if every visiting ship was bringing in lollies it becomes a problem. If you are happy with staff on board offer them a tip - it is never expected but always appreciated. Take ginger tablets regularly until you get used to the movement of the ship. Lastly the Internet. We purchased the unlimited package within the first 24 hours for $89. It does not work so well in the rooms but works well (and fast) in most of the public areas especially near the Dragon Lady and Angelo's. Initially it worked well for me but then the pages seemed to be unable to load. It was trying but just couldn't load - I became frustrated. As it was unlimited I didn't think I needed to log out. However for some reason either not using it or moving around the ship it just automatically logged me out with out me knowing. There was nothing to state this and the pages kept trying to load but wouldn't. In any event I quickly worked out as soon as it stopped loading pages I needed to re log in and as long as I was in a public hot spot area all worked fine. I was able to send videos and photos galore. I needed to keep in touch with my family while we were away as my parents were ill. I was able to help a couple of other passengers once I worked this out who were also frustrated with the internet - they were very grateful. I have informed P and O via the feedback form asking them to give people clearer instructions re logging out and back in. If you are thinking of cruising give this ship a try - we had a lovely relaxing time and were looked after so well. It was definitely the romantic break we were looking for. Can't wait to cruise again!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Well as all my previous reviews I try to keep things real giving my honest opinion of good and bad, the good news is there is not much bad to report here! a real pleasant surprise. First we have never considered a P&O cruise before, ... Read More
Well as all my previous reviews I try to keep things real giving my honest opinion of good and bad, the good news is there is not much bad to report here! a real pleasant surprise. First we have never considered a P&O cruise before, this is mainly due to the 41% ratings by previous reviewers, very offputting. We have mostly travelled with Princess.who regularly have 80% ratings. However never say never, we were made an offer on a suite which we could not refuse, embarkation was a breeze due to priority check in, took about 20 mins to suite. I did notice that even without priority check in the queues were moving quick, my impressions were they were very organised. Our suite was incredible, huge amounts of space inside and out, so good we eat breakfast on our balcony each day, a lovely perk. We were concerned about kids on board due to school holidays but there were only around 50 and were mostly well behaved. We found the food at the pantry very good, the watermark very good and Angelos very good. If I was to find fault it was not easy to eat healthy in the pantry, I had one choice per day, the rest pretty junky. There was much confusion regarding the Asian restaurant, on booking we were advised that Gluten free was not an issue, but upon checking at the restaurant we were informed that there were no GF option so it was back to the Watermark. My wife has a sweet tooth, but unfortunately requires Gluten Free, despite numerious little tasty afters, most days she was limited to ice cream or jelly! At night we eat at 5.30pm with no problems, however I think readers should be aware that if you are a 7.30pm diner you face long queues and can be sent away with a buzzer to await a table. You are in a different table each night so you don't really build any rapore with staff. Also as per other diners there does not seem to be enough drink staff, we were left on many occasions with a meal with no drinks. We solved this issue by buying a bottle of wine with our meal. There did not appear to have dedicated drinks staff. TIP You need to book the speciality restuarants in person as soon as you board, they do not answer the phones and get booked up quickly. The excursions were interesting, however we were unable to visit Kiriwani, although as stateroom passengers we had priority tendering this was nil and void because the ship had stopped tickets to get ashore, we sat along with 200 others in a very hot corrider which did not move for an hour so we gave up. Also very disappointing we could not get to the Conflict Islands due to swell, they did not have a plan B and sailed away shorty after arrival. Bars were very good and the service was excellent, I had a drinks package but unless you are a very serious drinker you will not get the full value of this. Cant' comment on the shows as we did not attend any but can say the entertainment in the Mix Bar was very good with acoustic and piano sessions very enjoyable. Kudos to the young passenger who played a few tunes on the piano after the show, very entertaining and must have took a lot of bottle! For people (like me) who want to stay in shape I was very impressed by the gym, it was never crowded and was larger than average. Disembarkation was again a breeze. So overall we had a great time and really cannot believe the amount of bad reviews this ship has had in the past, I definitely recommend it and as we speak we are trying to book another! best value cruise we have ever been on. Do not believe the bad reviews, you will not regret it if you go on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
First time cruiser, left from Cairns, Booked a suite which I was really impressed with, especially after reading all the negative reviews. We had plenty of hot water, toilet never blocked once, aircon worked well, cabin very clean and ... Read More
First time cruiser, left from Cairns, Booked a suite which I was really impressed with, especially after reading all the negative reviews. We had plenty of hot water, toilet never blocked once, aircon worked well, cabin very clean and always serviced. Embarkation was very easy especially with priority boarding. Food in the pantry was very good and plenty of it, sometimes small portions but just ask to put some more on and they will oblige. Ate in all the restaurants and food was very good. The shore tours were organised very well in PNG but unfortunately did not get off the ship at Conflict Islands due to large swell, not the ships fault and a refund was immediately credited. Entertainment was excellent, saw all the shows, played bingo, trivia, casino and more. Take it from me as I was nervous due to bad reviews but this is a really nice clean ship with a very hardworking crew. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We just got back from the PNG cruise out of Cairns. The only downside really was the lack of information given before the cruise which continued on through each day on board. As soon as you got on board there was a bombardment of ... Read More
We just got back from the PNG cruise out of Cairns. The only downside really was the lack of information given before the cruise which continued on through each day on board. As soon as you got on board there was a bombardment of signs, flyers and little desks around for the First 24 hours sale! The photo package, the drinks package, the Spa package, the Edge Package, the internet packages, the Thermal Suite membership etc... I would have preferred all of this was available before the cruise so that I could make an decision before I got on board, not bombarded & feeling overwhelmed before the ship even left dock! Luckily someone had told me to book the Dragon Lady, Angelo's & Salt Grill as soon as we boarded so we got a night in each, Dragon Lady was the best. The first days flyer had information on the restaurant options including opening times for port or sea days and evening meal choices. Seems sensible enough - but - none of this was repeated on any of the next 6 day's flyers so it was a guessing game to try to turn up on time! We turned up at the Waterfront on the sea day at 1.30pm to be told they closed at 1.30pm so go away. My only other bit of advise is to only eat breakfast once in the Pantry - after that go to the Waterfront. The staff were generally lovely, the stewards were fantastic, the entertainment staff were fun, the coffee lady's at the Ice Cream shop made great coffee (had to pay for it though) and the restaurant staff had a joke with us most nights, so that was nice. We got a good price for this cruise so I am happy enough with it but if I'd paid full price or anywhere near it I would have been very disappointed. Advise to P&O - include the coffee!! include the Social media internet package ($10 per day) and do a photo package which is pre purchased and includes a digital copy of every photo taken! The photographers worked hard to get people interested in having their photo taken but the to have to pay $25 per photo to be printed??? Who prints photos much anymore! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We were very pleasantly surprised with Pacific Eden After reading a lot of poor reviews, we did not have high expectations for the cruise. The staff were by welcoming, our cabin was clean and we'll set out. We had more cupboard ... Read More
We were very pleasantly surprised with Pacific Eden After reading a lot of poor reviews, we did not have high expectations for the cruise. The staff were by welcoming, our cabin was clean and we'll set out. We had more cupboard space for our clothes than on most other cruises that we have done. We had heaps of coat hangers so,unpacking was made easy. Lunch in the Pantry was very good the decor lovely with plenty of seats. We never had to wait very long for a table. The new design makes the area more relaxing and not the overcrowded push for food. The seating around the pool areas is very modern and relaxing. We liked the the speciality restaurants, especially as two of them are free. You just need to book. Plenty of bars around the ship with good entertainment, once again lots of seating areas. Great value for money!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Embarkation was quick & trouble free as we had the help of staff at the terminal for my 86 yr old mum with her wheelie walker. It was unfortunate that we (and others with disabilities) were expected to walk right around the building ... Read More
Embarkation was quick & trouble free as we had the help of staff at the terminal for my 86 yr old mum with her wheelie walker. It was unfortunate that we (and others with disabilities) were expected to walk right around the building past the buses to the mini bus at the back of the carpark for transport to Fisherman's island wharf. Our room was a disability room #8106 which was spacious, well fitted out & clean when we arrived. We were only a few doors from the casino but this was about the only noise we didn't hear. There must have been children in the corridor above as we had a " herd of elephants" coming through the ceiling every time they ran to their cabin. We didn't need to go to the bars on deck 7 as we could hear every word sung by their entertainers at night. There was plenty of food in the buffet & the staff were very quick to offer mum help with her tray. There were many times when most things (including roast potatoes when lamb roast was served) were covered in chilli or other spices. This made it hard for those who cant eat spicy food. It is so easy to provide a sauce to be added to food but impossible to remove it. Having cruised on Sun Princess 18months earlier I find it impossible not to compare the two experiences. The entertainment was a standout difference. The quality & number of choices of both daytime & nightime entertainment on Pacific Dawn were disappointing. The in room TV could have had a movie on it during the day for those who were feeling a bit too seedy to sit on top deck. The same episode of Packed with the Rafters was on every day & 2 years old. There was too much reliance on karaoke & talent quest to provide what the entertainment crew are being paid for. Unfortunately the weather was bad so we had rough seas & strong winds for the 7 days with only a few hours of calm seas. This could not be avoided but P & O could have done a lot more to entertain the passengers who were unable to do what they had paid their money for. We arrived in Noumea 3 hours late which made sightseeing tours a waste of money. There wasn't much provided for those who were unable to use the pools due to the rough seas. As I didn't have children on the cruise I cant comment on the kids clubs but there were a lot of kids with their parents during the day which we didn't see on Princess. Missing out on our days in port was disappointing but safety must come first. We did go to Champagne Bay which was lovely but I waited for over an hour in the queue to return to the ship. The tender boats were operating but not full on each trip. Fortunately all those waiting did so with good humour & we were able to stand in the shade of the huge trees. It would have been difficult on a hot day. Thanks to the help of the staff we had a super easy disembarkation when we arrived in Brisbane even if we were an hour later than our requested time & second last to leave the ship. Mum is pleased that she has faced her fears & survived the cruise ( she has had a fear of boats all her life)but we are both disappointed with the cruise itself. I will cruise again but probably not with P & O. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Firstly we has some rough weather, actually very rough, apparently very unusual for this time of the year. We were 3 hours late out of Brisbane, 3 hours late into Noumea, we missed Lifou and port Villa, but made it to Champagne Bay, all ... Read More
Firstly we has some rough weather, actually very rough, apparently very unusual for this time of the year. We were 3 hours late out of Brisbane, 3 hours late into Noumea, we missed Lifou and port Villa, but made it to Champagne Bay, all due to bad weather. But we had a great cruise. To be fair we went on a cruise to be on the ship, not really minding where we went, we hadn't really intended to get off and had no tours booked.On the Friday before we left P and O made a decision to embark from fishermans island instead of Port Side. Firstly I received a text, then a phone call, then an e-mail and there was a note on the Facebook site. Rumours ran riot as to why. There was a very strong wind warning for Brisbane and this was the reason given. With all the extra effort P & O had to go through for this I don't think it would have been a decision made lightly.Embarkation - we got to port side around 1.30pm for our 2pm check-in. It looked chaotic, but it actually was very smooth. We had to fill in a health questionnaire and immigration form. We then checked-in. We had our photo taken, given our cruise card and sip information and Pacific Daily, and a boarding number. When our number was called we went through security and onto a bus for a ride over to fishermans island. This was a little difficult as we had hand luggage and had to carry this on our laps, with handbags, etc. when we got to fishermans island it was through immigration (if the immigration lady had a personality it would have been lonely - she was very rude and felt sorry for people from overseas who may have received this treatment from an Australian. Then through security (checked our had luggage for alcohol as I had bottles of mineral water) and onto the ship. We went straight to our room, and our luggage was waiting. Our room steward Peter introduced himself and asked if we had any special requests. So by 3pm we were on board and unpacked. Even though it was a late check-in lunch was still provided. We ate a snack at the Plantation restaurant (the buffet), which was beautiful. Sail away party on the top deck and we were off.Cabin - we were in cabin 10163 deck 10, balcony cabin. The cabin was spotlessly clean, well equipped and of a good size. The bathroom was good with a shelf and two cabinets behind the mirrors. There was plenty of hanging space, a lot and coat hangers, and heaps of draws. We stacked our suit cases under the hanging space. There is only one power point so I would recommend taking a power board and we took an extension cord as well as my husband had a C-Pap machine. Our Cain was cleaned twice a day, with fresh towels if you wanted them. We had towel animals, and chocolates at turn down each night.Food - we ate at the Plantation Restaurant for all of our meals. This suited us, and what we wanted. It was great to be able to try a little bit of everything. I tried food that I have never tasted before and would never order in a restaurant because I didn't know if I would like it our not. Breakfast - there were a large number of cereals to choose from, then cheese and cold meats, juice, fresh fruit (beautiful) , toast, and then Danishes (oh I am going to miss them). Then there was the hot food. Scramble eggs, sausages, potatoes, bacon, porridge, boiled eggs, baked beans, fried eggs, pancakes. Tea, coffee, milk and water was also available. My husband likes his coffee, and was very happy with the (free) coffee, Nescafé. There was a large variety of teas. The tea, coffee and water was available all the time. Lunch - there was usually a different theme every day, for example Mexican, Asian etc. you started with salads, individual items, then made up salads eg. Coleslaw, potato salad, and pasta salad. Then there were two different bread rolls made up, followed by cheese and cold meats and fresh fruit. Then the deserts - yum! There was always jelly and an assortment of other deserts. They were small, but I thought this was good as you could have a selection. Then there was the hot food, there was always a large selection. Over the cruise we had different flavoured rice, casseroles, enchiladas, stir fries, pasta dishes, roast meat, and lots of other things I can't remember now. Dinner - again this started with salads, followed by cheese, and crackers, then fresh fruit, deserts, bread rolls and hot food. There was always veggies, pasta, a meat dish, fish, roast meat and a special dish. We found the food always fresh and hot. It tasted lovely and there was a lot of flavour. Most of the time we had no trouble getting a table. Night time was harder as part of the restaurant was divided off for the Asian speciality restaurant, which I didn't think fair. When the weather was good it was nice to eat outside. For the sail away and island night they had a BBQ on the pool deck. We also got some snacks at The Grill, here you can pay for extra things like pizzas, hamburgers, chips etc. we got a late night snack of chips which was $2 for a large bowl. There were also two coffee shops. A coffee was $3.50, iced coffees $4 and large cookies were $2. There was also the New Zealand ice cream - ice cream cones, sundries, milkshakes. At $9.50 for a large (regular really) thick shake it was a bit pricey. Entertainment - wow. The shows were fantastic. Night 1 was a little show just giving you a taste of what was coming in the days ahead - Pacific Entertainers comedy, and pacific cirque. Night 2 was a Motown performance. This was great, considering how much the boat was moving (I couldn't walk in a straight line) I don't know how they managed to dance so well, with high heals on! Night 3 was the comedian/magician he was really good. Night 4 was the pirate show, this had audience precipitation and was great. Before the show started all the little kids walked through all dressed up like pirates singing a pirate song. Night 5 was the singing game show (you didn't have to be able to sing, just have some knowledge about songs) where you could win a cruise. This was also the night the Pacific Cirque performed this was incredible to say the least. DONOT miss this show. The best spot was deck 6 in the atrium. This was the highlight of the entertainment. Night 6 was the crew entertainment. This was good and ok. The Pacific Cirque and Pacific entertainers performed again and some other acts by the crew. It was really rough so they all did really well. The last night was the final of the karaoke, we missed this, not our thing. All of the shows has a 7.30pm and 9.30pm time slot. We usually got there about 7pm for the early show and had coffee or cocktails. Our entertainment director was Gemma, she was fantastic. Always full of energy, and smiling and happy and loved to tell us a story after each show. I actually spoke to here ashore in Noumea, and even off duty so to speak, she was still happy to have a chat.Ports - well we were 3 hours late into Noumea due to and weather and it was wet and windy when we got here. All the tours had been cancelled except for the sunset bus tours. Unfortunately by the time everyone got off the ship and the tours got away it was basically dark, then it rained, so there was not much to see. People I knew who went on the tour were not happy and got half their money back. We got off for a walk on "solid" ground. We walked up and around the park and had coffee in a small cafe in the park 'Lannexe' it was lovely, the people were very friendly. They take australian dollars, but no coin and change in given in pacific franc. Coffees were $7 each. We then went to the 'Casino' the local supermarket for some supplies. It was very busy, dirty and very expensive. They take australian dollars, but who new the exchange rate, and change in given in francs. We bought 2 packets of Pringles, two small packets of nuts, and a 6 pack of small bottles of mineral water = $30 australian, a bit much I think. Anyway we know now. Admittedly we only went into the centre of town, but for the short time we had there I would not get off again. The place was dirty, and the people rude. Maybe out of town it was different, but we did not get the chance to see. We then had Lifou cancelled due to bad weather. The captain decided to head to port villa straight away and try and beat the weather there, unfortunately we didn't get there in time and were unable to berth. Disappointing for some, but not really that bad. I think it was a hard decision for the captain to make, but he had to think of our safety. We then headed to Champagne Bay. Some of the passengers were really happy with this as it is a beautiful spot. A tender port. The water was warm and inviting. Many passengers snorkelled. The locals were lovely and very friendly. They had a marked set up with sarongs, jewellery, and other clothes and souvenirs. The weather was overcast and humid. It was nice on the pool deck for the afternoon and a swim (yes the water was a bit cool).It was island night tonight with a BBQ and entertainment by the pool, the later entertainment had to be moved into the dome nightclub, a bit disappointing, but unavoidable.Other Entertainment - there was lots to do or nothing if that's what you wanted. There were exercise classes and spa treatments and the gym, which all cost extra. There was bingo, martini classes, wine appreciation classes, a lot of weight loss and cosmetic classes, trivia, karaoke, origami, dance classes, knitting classes, art lectures and art actions, a virtual bridge tour and a cooking lecture and tour of the galley, there was an afternoon, early evening and late night movie on the big screen on the pool deck, there were also a lot of games on the pool deck, unfortunately most of these were cancelled due to the poor weather, and a lot more I can't think of. Lounges - we loved the dome. It was great sitting in the comfy lounges looking out over the front of the ship. Hubby even had a nice doze there one morning. We also liked the area outside the orient bar, the oasis (adults only) and outside the coffee shop on deck 5. It was lovely on the pool deck. The pool was open twice, but even though it was a bit rocky you could get out of the wind and sit in deck chairs or at table and chairs and watch everything going on. There were alway wait staff here to take you orders for drinks of coffee.Drinks - a xxxx Gold (in a can) was $5.50. A corona was $7.95 and cocktails were from $9.95 to 11.95. Coffee (speciality) $3.50. Duty Free - because we didn't stop in Port Villa there was a rush on duty free alcohol. Some items sold out. It is a lot cheaper than Australia, but apparently cheaper in Port Villa. Some people very VERY upset they had run out of some items, but it wasn't anyone's fault we didn't stop in Villa, and maybe they shouldn't have left their order till the last day. The 'special' market as not that cheep. I couldn't see too much difference in prices. Some must have as there as a lot of 'bad' behaviour here (the older cruise lady can get quite pushy when there might be a discount available). Duty free perfume wasn't that cheep. My perfume is a $20 cheaper in Australia not duty free. There were brand name handbags and surf wear, but I couldn't tell you if this was cheep or not.Photos - there were photographers taking photos at varies places. The photos are then displayed and you can purchase them or not. There were photos for embarkation, sail away party, getting off the ship in port, and formal nights, island night, cowboy night and pirate night, you get the idea. We took advantage of the portrait sitting and got some beautiful photos. They were $30.00 each or buy 4 and get the 5th one free. The other photos were about $20, but there were a lot of package deals available. I also purchased a lovely 'pacific Dawn' phot from for $12.50. There we two types of complaints in this area, some said they were trying to take your photo ALL THE TIME or there wasn't enough people taking photos. We had outer photo taken as many times as we wanted. Yes they asked if your photo taken but if you didn't you could politely decline and that as fine. They were not pushy or rude. The photography people were great. I had a problem with my own camera and they were very helpful in trying to fix it. Unfortunately it couldn't be fixed, yet they didn't push any products on me.Shops - there was lots of souvenirs available and they were pricey. There was also snacks, chips and lollies, again pricey. The post cards were 50c which I thought was ok. Staff - fantastic is the only way to describe them. Our cabin steward was lovely. He was very good and always smiling and happy. He gave us good advice and looked after us. The bar staff were also great. They have fantastic memories and would always remember your drink. They never spilt anything even in the rough seas, I guess they were used to it. The reception staff were great. I think they may have had to put up with a lot of complaints but they were still smiling and happy to serve you. The captain was continually given us updates as to the weather and our situation. The cruise director was lovely and the wait staff in the Buffett great. The whole time we were sailing staff were cleaning, walls, handrails, toilets, floors, tables all being cleaned all the time. We had been told there was a few people confined to cabins on the previous cruise because so illness, but there was no sign of it on our cruise. People were sea sick, a different thing.We didn't have any children so didn't take advantage of the children's club. Apparently there was 350 kids on board, but we didn't see that much of them. Disembarkation - this was easy! A few days into the cruise we were asked if we had any special time for disembarkation, we filled in a form, and received a letter telling us of our disembarkation time, and luggage tags. We put our luggage out the night before. We got up in the morning, collected our duty free, had breakfast, collected our carry-on luggage from our room, and met in our designated area. We waited here and then given the ok to leave the ship. We 'clocked' off with our cruise cards, made our way to our luggage, which was all lined up neatly, through immigration and customs (just had to walk through) and we were off. So easy. I think it might have been that easy to embark if we had been able to get on at port side.In closing we had had a great cruise. We ate, relaxed, were entertained, and enjoyed ourselves. Yes we had bad weather, but you can't control that. We didn't get seasick, we were prepared. We had started taking Avomine two days before we left and every day on the ship. Some people said it did not work, but they didn't start taking them till they were sick. A few people have made so really bad complaints about Pacific Dawn. I had read them before booking and was really worried. I shouldn't have been. This was a cheaper cruise. Yes the ship is a little tired and yes things on board are expensive - they are on all shops. But the staff were fantastic. We had tissues in our cabin, lots of fresh clean towels, hand towels, face washers and beach towels. The food was lovely, I can't imagine how they feed that many people every day. The food was fresh and inventive, tasty and hot. The ship was also very, very clean!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Pacific Dawn: P&O Australia. Sail date 21st May 2011, 11 nights New Caledonia & Vanuatu. After reading past reviews of this ship and after viewing past drunken passengers videos on youtube, we were a little hesitant about stepping ... Read More
Pacific Dawn: P&O Australia. Sail date 21st May 2011, 11 nights New Caledonia & Vanuatu. After reading past reviews of this ship and after viewing past drunken passengers videos on youtube, we were a little hesitant about stepping onboard P&O Australia's publicized ship of "Brisbane's First Super Liner". This is no Super Liner, once it may have been but, those days for this ship have long gone. The ship is 21 years old and sadly now is showing her age badly. The previous day to our embarkation we received a text and email from P&O Australia confirming that the ship had hit bad weather on the return leg to Brisbane and this would delay the departure of our cruise time. In the end, due to tide restraints I suspect, the actual delay was only 1 hour. I checked the bridge cam at 6.30am on departure day and it was already secure and tide up at the cruise terminal. We arrive at the terminal at 11.30am to find utter chaos, people everywhere and, only one visible P&O shore staff outside. We knew the drill and it was easy to see where we were to depart with our cases, already tagged with cabin numbers, to the porters loading the conveyor belt. We then go inside the terminal to find a very long snake line with literally hundreds of people waiting in-line to be checked in. At least 20 staff were busy taking passenger's identity pictures and giving out cruise cards. We soon arrived at our check-in agent, considering the numbers checking in about 30 minutes. Given a number to board, we then waited to board, just after 1pm before our numbers were called. Another line to be scanned and security cleared prior to boarding. Finally we are on board at 1.15pm. No staff directing anyone that we could see, but being past cruisers we knew the drill, find the lifts, go to your deck and look for the ships deck plan and find your cabin number. At the cabin, key card into the slot, open the door to immediately see that the carpet was old, dirty, and threadbare around the edges and did not even fit to the walls of the cabin. Check the fridge and that too was dirty. Bathroom, immaculate, what a relief. The glass patio door to the balcony nor the fixed glass pane had not been cleaned for a very long time, it was filthy dirty. Never on a cruise ship have I ever seen such dirty windows both inside and out upon arrival. The balcony had lots of old paint flaked from the balcony chairs. The balcony floor was covered with flaked bits of rust and paint from the ships structure and from the chairs. It is clear that the balcony to this cabin is not cleaned on a regular basis. We leave our hand luggage and go to the buffet for lunch. A more detailed review of the buffet will be covered later. Lunch taken, we explore the ship and take pictures before the ship is packed to capacity. 30 minutes later we have discovered everywhere and even find the library, locked with no staff in sight. We later found out that this library is not maintained by P&O Australia and the books therein were left over by the last shipping line and is currently topped up with gifts, books left by past passengers. Also the library has very limited opening times unlike say Princess who leave the library open all of the time and you sign in and out your own books for reading. We found the ships dancers manning the library, knowing nothing about the books, clearly the books were originally intended for American readers. The quality of the books is shameful. I read one of these books "Miracle in the Andes" which incidentally is a great book and once you pick it up you will be unable to put it down. But the condition of the book had the entire picture pages loose, just stuffed inside. There were several books in this state. For a supposedly luxury cruise ship, this was a disgrace. Now we return to our cabin, my suitcase has arrived so I duly unpack. The steward arrives and introduces herself. I point out the dirty stain marks all over the carpet and she agrees that it has to be cleaned. She also informs me that out of the 17 cabins she takes care of each day, 6 of them have carpets in this sate. I never saw evidence of this, as all others that I could see seemed to have been refitted with newer carpets than this BC grade cabin which for 11 days we had paid $4998.00.($454 a day) 20 minutes later the deck supervisor arrived, the steward had called him in to take a look. We were then told that the past passengers of this cabin had wrecked the room, damaging both bedside light switches and spilling red wine all over the carpet plus other liquids. No doubt the liquid stains on the glass window/door were also the result of the cabin being trashed. The supervisor says that he will get the carpet shampooed and cleaned the next day. We accept this but point out that some of these stains are not only past guest's accidents or whatever, but caused by age and time from a rusting superstructure. We point to the very large rust water marks which is evident of time, for a re-fit but we do not mention that fact. The next day, true to his word, whilst we are away from the cabin for breakfast the cleaners are in and shampoo the carpet, only the affected area and not the whole cabin. We are informed that the stains are too bad to be removed and that they will change the carpet. We are surprised that they carry spare carpets on-board but leave the cabin for two hours and return after lunch. The carpet has been replaced and fitted, badly but hey, they did it in two hours and at sea. Upon arrival we also checked the pillows to see if they are clean. Our past experiences tells us, pillows on cruise ships are often overlooked for washing. When we remove the pillow protectors all 4 pillows are badly stained with other peoples perspiration/sweat and all pillows have deep yellow marks and smell very badly of odour. Immediately the steward, who has seen this a thousand times I'd imagine, brings new ones and apologises but blames the time frame of change over-day and all she has to do in such a short time. We accept this and sympathize with her situation of 17 cabins and a complete change around. We cleaned the fridge ourselves and never mentioned the dirty glass windows, hoping that as like other cruise ships, the window glass would be cleaned at some point during our cruise vacation. Sadly, on this ship they were never cleaned nor was the balcony. The same paint chips scattered around the balcony were there at the end, the very same one's which were there on day one. Our light switch was fixed on day three, after we again had pointed this out to the steward that it was a safety issue, a piece of insulation tape over the top of bare electricity power wires is not a safe way to protect you when using a switch in the darkness of the night, or half asleep. Dining Onboard: The main restaurant has seating for 800 as we were informed by the crew. With 1760 passengers on our cruise, is this why they choose to name the dining as 'Anytime dining'. Open and anytime it may be called but open timing it most certainly is not. On the first night we had requested a table upon booking the restaurant for 8 or 10. Upon entering the restaurant we were shown to a table of 6. 4 others were already there and eating. Having nothing of this, we return to the front where the staff are all huddled and demand a large table as requested. They must keep table 133 on the first night for people who will not be just put anywhere, as everyone on the table had a similar experience. Nevertheless, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the whole table turned out to be one of the very best we have ever experienced on any one of our 22 cruises so far. We all then tried to book this same table the next night for 6.30pm, after all it is anytime dining. We were then told no, this table is only used at 6pm or 8pm, now what do you wish. 6.30 We say, no they say, 6 or 8. We insist its anytime dining so they say you can have table 78, which we accepted. At table 78 we can see table 133 is still unoccupied. We call the waiter and he's amazed we were not allowed the same table. How do they expect you to tip a particular waiter at the end of a cruise if you cannot join the same table every night if you should so wish? From that night on, we conformed to what they wanted and relented to a 6pm dinner time. Thus we now have table 133, the same waiter who I know is happy as at the end of the cruise as every single couple on the table tipped him well, making his cruise with us or ours with worthwhile. The quality of the food was good. 7-8 out of 10(7-8/10) Not as good as Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and not in the same class at all as Cunard and P&O UK, let alone Crystal. Nevertheless, although portion size was restrictive, you could ask for double portion is you wished. I loved the portion size control as this is my first cruise where I actually left the ship losing half a kilo rather than putting on 3 - 4. So I was happy, very happy. Tipping: As this ship and all of the P&O Australia fleet advertise. The ship has a no tipping policy. Yes I know in Australia in general one does not have to tip. I actually agree with this policy wholeheartedly and agree with not having to tip as is compelled to in the United States. But quickly here, the food prices in the states are much cheaper than here in Australia and the wages paid to waiters in the USA is very low compared to here. So USA, yes tipping is necessary where as in Australia tipping is not necessary. However on a cruise ship it has always been that the cruise lines makes a mint out of you and, then you are advised that you have to tip as well. Doesn't seem fare does it. Until you dig deeper and find out that these stewards and waiters do this for normally $50 a week and rely on your tips to make up their wages to maintain their families in their own homelands. An example of this is say a steward would get on average $5 a day tip, over a week that's $35 multiply that by the 17 that's $595 plus his $50 and you're up to $645. But again remembering that they work very long hours and 7 days a week for 8-9 months for that. Then they have 2-5 months out of work waiting for their next contract. The reason they do it, simple, the need to feed their families, as at home at best they could only expect to earn $50 a week. So by going on these cruise ships, they are actually much better off, financially that is. Now back to P&O Australia, they now pay these Stewards & Waiters $200-250 per week. And say it's not necessary to tip, but in so doing they have removed half of their possible wage. This is why, some of you may have experienced some slack service at times. But we never did, and most whom we talked with, were still tipping their waiters and stewards. Good on you all, is what I can say. That's how it should be. After all, working 7 days a week for 6 or 8 months is no easy task. Alcohol Policy: This ship has a strict BRING NO alcohol on board policy. They just want you to buy everything on board at very much inflated prices. They do not pay duty and tax on their prices but you are paying equal to or more than what you would here in Australia. Apart from the couple of cheaply priced wines in the restaurants, the rest is expensive and not even reasonable. The ship x-rays your luggage as it boards your cases and, if you are seen with an empty or full bottle of alcohol in your luggage it will be securely kept for you and returned after the cruise. You will be called down to deck 4 to open and have your case inspected and your booty confiscated. Some cruise lines within the Carnival banner, will allow you to bring alcohol onboard with you. Some will even supply it to you in your cabin at Duty Free prices and some lines will even provide you with a fully stocked mini bar for your own in cabin consumption, whilst others will provide you with two bottles of spirits along with mixers all included in your booking price. So for this Cruise line or any cruise line with this restrictive policy of allowing no alcohol in your cabin because as they say, they have a responsible alcohol policies to ensue you do not drink yourself silly. They are blatantly and knowingly infringing your human rights. They are treating you as irresponsible adults and not someone enjoying a holiday, where yes, most of us will have a wee drink or two. If a hotel stopped you from carrying in your own alcohol there would be an outcry but, for a ship this type of search and remove is okay. Remember these rules that this particular cruise line have introduced as only enforceable if passengers agree to these restrictions. Everyone should make a stand and everyone should pack empty spirit bottles or full ones in the cases that way, they just could not handle 1760 passengers' bags all lines up in a 4m x 4 area on deck 4 to be opened. They just couldn't cope. But we are all used to being told what we should do and not do, in this dictatorial world, our freedoms are slowing being eroded from us all everyday. This is yet just another one of those silly rules which should be banished. Party Ship: The entertainment staff encourages all guests to attend the dome after 10.30pm each evening to party. Indeed the Entertainment Manager always mentioned the dome and its activities after each evening shown in the show lounge. They hold different events in the dome, it seems, precisely designed to encourage you to drink and party to the small hours. The videos on Youtube are evidence of such antics and carryings on which emulates from too much alcohol. Also the onboard video produced for you to buy as a memento, also captures these party events. Showing copious amounts of alcohol being served and people being just plain silly. The ship definitely has a party type atmosphere feel about it, right from the sail away parties, to the so describe 'fun party nights' in the dome. Saying all of that, which is true, downstairs in the lounges and bars I never once encountered rowdy or drunken behaviour associated with too much alcohol. So maybe, and I mean just maybe, P&O Australia by segregating these party nights up in the dome away from the other public areas, are possibly better able to control the hot, shake it all about and must be loud types. Thus able to cater for all, be that young, middle aged or old-en's on the same cruise ship. Where other ships actually only cater for middle aged and the older generation. This is possibly why the P&O Australia ships are filled with all age groups from kids to grannies. All which seem to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere onboard generated by all of the crew. Our cruise was outside of the school holidays, nevertheless, we encountered at least 60 children onboard whose parents had taken them out of school. Buffet Restaurant: Breakfasts here would be a delight for most. They served each and everyday an excellent full cooked English breakfast, where you could order your eggs as you liked. The bacon was short-back and not streaky as most cruise lines use. The cereal section was limited to about 5 varieties but hey, if you couldn't choose something else then you really are being too picky. There were always lines to grab a tray and plates, the line moved quickly. Out of 10, I would have to give them 9/10 for the breakfast. This they excelled at: Lunchtime: Here too the variety was always different in the hot section. The cold and salad section was nearly always the same or very similar. The cold meats were limited to just two varieties per day and was repeated nearly the same everyday. Only occasionally were the mortadella and salami replaced with something else. The bread was small slices, airy and of no substance. A very light bread. The rolls we small and only white or white offered. Occasionally a brown one would be offered. So to make a sandwich was almost impossible as the size of the bread was one bite and it would be gone. Only on one day, were filled round larger bap type rolls on offer. I suspect left over from the deck barbeque the previous day. I had one and it made a very nice change from the mouthful of air bread previously encountered on other days. For the first 7 days no waiters offered us any drinks with our lunch. I did see a drinks station tucked up at the end and thought that on this ship they had done away with the wine waiters at lunchtimes. On the last 3 days it seemed that all the waiters had been instructed to drum up and sell more alcohol at lunchtimes, as everyone came around trying to persuade us to max out our cards. Maybe they had been put on a bonus scheme or they had not reached their targets of selling enough alcohol. Overall the lunchtime quality and service was not as good as the Palm restaurant of the evening. The carpets around the edges under the windows were never cleaned whilst we were onboard, food droppings were there from one day to the next. Although the main carpet was cleaned just not behind the tables next to the windows. Also the air vents above the dining area were all full of dust, not cleaned in a very, very long time. This really does need immediate attention. Overall at lunchtimes including service 7/10. Never used the buffet for an evening adventure as we prefer the formality of a full service restaurant. Entertainment: Show times were designed for you to spend extra times in the bars and to spend more money onboard. Considering dining times are classed as open but in reality its 5.30 to 6pm and 8-8.30pm, the shown times were constantly 7.30pm and 9.30 pm. Making it impossible for anyone dining at 8pm to see a show. On other ships Showtime's are 6.15 for second sitting passengers and 8.15 for first seating passengers. Occasionally on some it has been 8pm and 10pm. All of these times allow all passengers to see a show, not on this ship though. Consequently the 7.30 shows were always packed out and the 9.30 ones only half full. But the bars were always full of people spending money and drinking. I guess they have it planned out that way. Bugger the passengers as long as the ships making money. The quality of the shows was poor in comparison to the other cruise lines mentioned already in this review. We did have 5 shows on this 11 night cruise but you could not call them Broadway or West End adaptations. Disappointing after being spoiled in the past by other cruise lines with their style and quality of theatre style entertainment. Ports of call: One has to do it to say you have done it. Out of the 6 ports of call only two were actual ports of call, all the others we anchor offshore and tender in. After 4 tender ports you really are all done with tendering. Yes it costs the cruise lines much less to anchor offshore rather than find a port that can take your size ship. But for you as the passenger, it's a hassle , line up for tender tickets, line up to get out and then line up to get back to the ship. Tender ports generally are places which are less habited and therefore you will have less to do. If you are from Queensland, nothing beats a Queensland sandy beach. Not even one in French New Caledonia or Vanuatu. So don't expect to be thrilled or exasperated by the places in the middle of the South Pacific. Just enjoy the ride and enjoy the cruise the rest is just not on my radar screen as enjoyment. A walk past a pig with its front leg tied to a tree a goat too. Or a baby turtle in a washing bowel where you will be charged $2 to take a picture. This is animal cruelty and the cruise ship which organizes these types of stops should inform the land owners that unless they stop this type of ridiculous tourist trap behaviour they will no longer call there. That way, this animal cruelty will be not seen as a way to earn money from these cruise ships. The only port worth another visit was La Vila. Many of the cruise passengers were first time cruisers, one can see why when the ports of call out of Brisbane and Sydney are limited to these outcast Islands of new Caledonia and Vanuatu apart from of course beautiful New Zealand. But there are only so many times you can cruise the New Zealand without it becoming too familiar. Overall: P&O do an excellent job of filling their ships, considering the real lack of real ports of call. They price their product which attracts not only older cruisers but families with young children. The downside is that the quality of the product overall must lie within the price and as such, don't expect to be on Cunard's Queen Mary or on one of the many ships that sail under the P&O UK flag. The Australian ships may have the same P&O flag but the two products are light years apart. The ships of P&O Australia are the cast off's of other lines within the Carnival brand, which they themselves have been awarded the newer much more elegant and updated ships of the 21st century. Considering that this ship had a major refit in May 2010, clearly our cabin on B deck was missed. Whilst it was clear that the majority had received new carpets it was disappointing to have been allocated one which clearly missed the inspections just 12 months ago. The public rooms clearly have received a refit and looked good for a ship 21 years old. Sadly I am sorry to report that the painting maintenance and lack of general cleaning in parts is letting the brand down. I hope that soon they put this right as the costs associated with a refit which are astronomical in financial terms, will all have been lost in a couple of years without the maintenance upkeep needed with such a vessel. The ships officers and crew on all ships do a remarkable job, this ship was no different, they are small floating cities each with their own charm and deportment. Would I sail on a P&O Australia ship again, not if I had another option or they upgraded their quality of product, which I cannot see them being able to do with the limited numbers of people within easy reach of Australia. Most passengers originated from within Australia, unlike other cruise lines which seem to attract guests from all over the world. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
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