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16 P&O Australia Cairns Cruise Reviews

This was our second time on Eden - the first time was two years ago and we loved it which is why we returned. If anything the ship was better second time around. Beautifully furnished, spacious, friendly and attentive staff - could not ... Read More
This was our second time on Eden - the first time was two years ago and we loved it which is why we returned. If anything the ship was better second time around. Beautifully furnished, spacious, friendly and attentive staff - could not fault it. The food on the whole was good, tasty and beautifully presented. Temperature appeared to be a problem with many meals lukewarm at best. Waterfront (the main dining room) has a great menu with something for everyone. Dragon Lady was great but Angelos not as good. Drinks are a reasonable price, and again a great selection. Our cabin (deck 4 oceanview midship) was spacious and spotlessly clean. Itinerary was great - I wasnt sure about visiting NewGuinea and was actually talked into the cruise but we thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone. We were not able to tender to Gizo Island due to rough seas but full marks to the Entertainment team for putting together a great day at sea at short notice. Cruise was ex Cairns - embarkation very easy, well organised. Disembarkation just as easy - we were off the ship and in our hotel within 30 minutes. Disappointed that Pacific Eden had been sold on but I have been told Pacific Aria is exactly the same so will have to find out for ourselves (hopefully soon!) Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We did the Eden cruise departing Cairns on 27 July to New Guinea. We are sorry that P&O has sold this ship on, as we found it to be a delightful, smaller ship. We hope her sister ship, Pacific Aria, will be as good when we sail on ... Read More
We did the Eden cruise departing Cairns on 27 July to New Guinea. We are sorry that P&O has sold this ship on, as we found it to be a delightful, smaller ship. We hope her sister ship, Pacific Aria, will be as good when we sail on her in the future. The ship had a lovely "happy" feel to it - the staff all seemed to be genuinely happy. (This is in contrast to our last cruise on Golden Princess! It did not have a good feel at all). I was a little concerned about what to expect, having heard that P&O had bought her from Holland America line and the ship's age. No need to have worried - we just loved this ship. (We are disenchanted Princess cruisers and this ship has restored our love of cruising). It has a fairly stylish decor (as opposed to the fairly garish one of Pacific Dawn). The fixtures and fittings are great and we just loved the layout. It has so many little bars/relaxing areas tucked away. This makes for being able to sit and relax with a drink, without crowds in large areas. Great coffee is also available at these areas, so no need to wait 20 mins at the ice cream area for coffee (as on a previous review). It also had a "quiet room" where we enjoyed being able to sit quietly and read. Each night there are different musicians in the above bar areas. If you have a favourite area, you can just stay put there, as the musicians all move around during the evening. We found the quality of the music excellent although a little too loud at times. There were 3 theme nights and it was great to see so many people dressing up for the them. The crew-provided entertainment was very good - particularly choosing the best "towel animals" and the music trivia "play". The Entertainment Director was excellent - the best we've had on any cruise. We had a fairly calm cruise but unfortunately on the morning of our arrival at Kitava Island, the wind had come up and it was too strong to put the tenders out. We did a local tour of Alotau which we organised ourselves and found this excellent. We also took donations for the children (as we had read on prior reviews) such as band aids, pens, pencils etc. so we were a bit sad to have missed Kitava for this purpose. You can barter for some of the baskets and wood products on Kiriwina (& Kitava if you get there) Islands but if you go to Conflict Island (which we did love) there is no bartering and the prices are higher. We had hoped to try the Flying Fox with Edge, but unfortunately it was too windy for that. Food: I too would suggest booking at Waterfront at 6.15 or 6.30 pm so you can go to 7 pm shows. Food there was excellent and the waiters great. We were thrilled to be able to get a table for "two only" whenever we wanted without "grumbling" from wait staff (again on recent Princess cruises). Food at The Pantry had a good selection, although we did have the usually heard grumble that it needed to be hotter. Our (second) visit to Salt Grill was excellent. We will do that again!! We didn't go to Dragon Lady but friends did and they enjoyed. We went to Angelo's on our last night and were disappointed. I have to say I think there was something drastically wrong that night as the waiters and the atmosphere was not good. I suspect this may have been a one-off, and we will give them another try in the future. We did a shore excursion at Conflict Island on a glass bottom boat. I have to say I was very disappointed with this. We were in the queue well before the appointed time but our group of four were the last aboard. They obviously over-booked this session as the last two people really couldn't see much at all as they were sitting too far out from the viewing window. We did enjoy the commentary from both a marine biologist and a native gentleman giving us the history of the island. If you are doing this excursion, make sure you get at the front of the queue. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Hi everyone My daughter and I have returned back to Cairns after 7 days on the Pacific Eden for her voyage to PNG for my daughters 13th birthday and it was absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, the weather prevented us from docking at Kitava ... Read More
Hi everyone My daughter and I have returned back to Cairns after 7 days on the Pacific Eden for her voyage to PNG for my daughters 13th birthday and it was absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, the weather prevented us from docking at Kitava which was terribly sad for the locals as many of us on board had donations for the children. However, the rest of the trip was just awesome. The staff went above and beyond for us and I cannot thank them enough for their sheer hard work and hospitality. Too often, I see complaints about cruise ship service, however all I saw were extremely hard working staff who do very long days but always have the energy for a chat and smile. Massive thanks to Adam Mark and Ruby at P&O Edge for their fantastic efforts, you sure made my daughter smile, especially after arranging for her to meet the Captain for her birthday :) She was absolutely shell shocked that her dream to meet the Captain came true :) Matthew, well words cannot justify just how utterly awesome and brilliant you are! Our cabin stewards Rothy and Cazy, you work so hard and we thank you so much for looking after us! Neil, Shaun and so many others, you made our holiday just the best. Sadly this was out last trip on the Eden as she is being sold but we hope to see you on another cruise line next year. Cheers and all the best! X Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We choose our cruises for the availability of when we want/can cruise and also very importantly, the destination. My brother had previously sailed on the Eden and had a wonderful experience on their first ever cruise, so I had no qualms ... Read More
We choose our cruises for the availability of when we want/can cruise and also very importantly, the destination. My brother had previously sailed on the Eden and had a wonderful experience on their first ever cruise, so I had no qualms about sailing on her, even after the negatives I had read on this site and Facebook. We do like our privacy and time on our own so we chose a suite for our accommodation, the fact that P&O are a cheaper cruise line than others we have cruised with, we were able to afford the extra for our suite, the suite amenities were excellent, the perks included; free laundry, room service breakfast, separate dressing room with ample cupboard space, priority embarking, disembarking and tenders. We ate in all of the restaurants except for Salt and enjoyed every morsel we ate. The Waterfront had a good selection and we always found something that appealed, we ate there for breakfast and lunch on most sea days. We also ate in the Pantry, but not as often although what we did eat there we couldn't fault, when we did choose to eat at the Pantry we usually took our meals back to our cabin and ate them there, I think seating can be a problem there during peak times. Salt Grill had very tasty burgers, hot dogs, pizza and my husband scoffed a whole bucket of prawns to himself, all for a nominal fee. Both speciality restaurants served gourmet food and the service was excellent, both menu's changed half way through the cruise. It is a good idea to book all your restaurants at the beginning of the cruise, quite a few people who didn't book were turned away during the cruise as the Waterfront was booked out. On the first day we went straight to the Monkey Bar and booked for the whole cruise. Plenty of on board activities, we participated in a few Trivia contests, Bingo and had a dabble in the Casino, the duty free shopping was also good, they had daily sales on watches, hand bags, wallets, jewellery, perfume and makeup. For the first time on a cruise I utilised the Spa, having my eyebrows and eyelashes tinted, waxing and a hair treatment. All of these services were excellent and a very reasonable price, although I did choose to go on days when they had discounts. All of the public areas, bars and seating areas were lovely, we found all of the bar staff to be friendly and we never ever waited more than a few minutes to be served. Entertainment was very good, we didn't go to all of the shows as some didn't appeal, but what did see was very entertaining. All of the ports we visited were amazing, we did the Alotau Cultural Festival in the morning and then my husband went on the Milne Bay WW2 tour in the afternoon. Kitava is a beautiful untouched island, no actual tours but the locals take you across to the smaller island on their sail boats, or you can take a walking tour to the skull caves. In Rabaul we did the half day Volcanic tour and it was fantastic, it included a visit to the Volcano Observatory, perched high on a hill where you get a fantastic view of the port and the Eden, it also takes you to the base of the volcano that blew in 1994, it is acutally a Caldera (super volcano). We didn't do a tour on Gizo, we had originally booked the Sanbis Resort tour but it was cancelled so we just walked around had a drink at the hotel and purchased some souvenir's. Honiara we walked outside the port terminal and picked up a tour with Manahem tours, excellent, it cost 100AUD for the both of us, we had our own tour guide and driver in a late model van which was air conditioned, they also supplied water and coconut water, they took us to where we wanted to go, which really appealed to us. We came across a few serial whingers on the cruise, who were never going to be satisfied but you get that on any cruise. All cruises are what you make of them. P&O go out of their way to help, we met a lady who's luggage went astray, (Virgin was her airline and they couldn't care two hoots) it didn't turn up until our last port Honiara, the ship sent a crew member to the airport there to collect it for her, they also let her choose some clothing and items from the shop for free. It seems her luggage was put on the wrong flight and sent to Canada!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We had heard some not great reviews of P&O, but loved the idea of PNG as a destination. We have cruised four times before and we thought P&O was great. We loved the Australian feel of the ship, the smaller size, awesome ... Read More
We had heard some not great reviews of P&O, but loved the idea of PNG as a destination. We have cruised four times before and we thought P&O was great. We loved the Australian feel of the ship, the smaller size, awesome entertainment, great dining choices, and great kids club. We chose to eat in the Waterfront or specialty restaurants for most meals where we found the food really good. Service was mixed....some people were very attentive and others not so much. Salt really was exceptional and worth the surcharge. We are vegetarian and always found at least a couple of options we could choose. The Pantry was okay and I liked the Asian and Indian stations. Sometimes seating was hard to come by. Everything we ate there was delicious. Our kids loved going to Kids Club each day and did all the Edge activities as well, which were huge highlights. We were lucky in that we were able to get to each of our 4 ports in PNG. Tendering service was slow the first day (it was rough), but more efficient the other days. We thought the entertainment was really great with a variety of bands, singers, and productions each night. The main areas of the ship were modern and bright. I particularly loved the soft loungers by the pool and the comfy seating on that deck. We were super impressed with our first cruise experience with kids and would definitely sail with P&O again. You can read our full review of our itinerary here: https://www.5losttogether.com/papua-new-guinea-cruise-tips-ports/ Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Local friends of ours found an amazing promotional rate for this short term cruise and so we decided to join them. We were a little apprehensive as we had heard the line had a reputation for party makers and could get a little rough but ... Read More
Local friends of ours found an amazing promotional rate for this short term cruise and so we decided to join them. We were a little apprehensive as we had heard the line had a reputation for party makers and could get a little rough but our cruise was nothing like this. Embarkation was quick, friendly and efficient as was disembarkation - which was also the most relaxed we have experienced with a nice late morning departure. The ship is obviously quite old and my guess is it is an old HAL ship as it has a gorgeous complete promenade which is very wide and a great quiet spot to watch the ocean from. We were in an inside cabin which was a decent size with plenty of storage. The bed was very comfortable. I didn't like the shower design and the water temperature was very inconsistent (read boiling or freezing), while we were lucky our friends and others experienced numerous pluming issues and many of the public toilets were often closed. The interior public spaces had obviously had a refit and were the decor was superb - especially in the dining and bar areas. Dining was reasonable depending on where you ate and what you ordered. Typically we found simple dishes like salads, roasts etc done very well whereas Asian dishes in particular tended to be very ordinary. Make sure you get reservations for the main dining room and the complimentary specialty restaurants. We loved the Italian, thought the Asian was just ok (but liked the space and service). The main restaurant was a nice area especially for lunch. The buffet was an interesting concept more like a food court, unfortunately we found the food to be plain and didn't eat here very often.Service was very good throughout. Our only port was Fraser Island and unfortunately due to mechanical issues we didn't make it but the ship gave everyone obc as compensation and most found it fair and there were very few complainers. In fact by mooring in Hervey Bay we got to see whales and dolphins while enjoying a few "complimentary" beverages due to our obc. Entertainment was reasonably good, the singers and dancers were enthusiastic and the stage design and costumes were some of the best we have seen. Unfortunately there is no live orchestra but there were plenty of live musical acts around the ship. The guest comedian was not funny at all unless you simply like to hear swearing replacing punch lines. There were more activities on this ship than any other we have been on (and I thought NCL was amazing in this aspect). You could not have been bored. There were numerous parties held, trivia, arts and crafts lessons, silly sports and loads of dance classes (which we loved). This ship was great for those who like to do things or socialise. 2 pool areas, full promenade deck, crows nest bar, multiple restaurants and several bars made it a fun ship to explore. Would probably try again but still concerned by its reputation out of the bigger ports on longer itineraries. Think we were lucky with our fellow passengers (very few troublemakers). Bravo to the wonderful crew (proves inclusive tipping doesn't detract from service levels and if anything improves them) and the well designed ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Pacific Eden has just returned from a multi million dollar refurbishment, mainly of the public areas. The results are stunning. Fresh and vibrant colours and quirky but interesting artworks. I was expecting something of a much lower ... Read More
Pacific Eden has just returned from a multi million dollar refurbishment, mainly of the public areas. The results are stunning. Fresh and vibrant colours and quirky but interesting artworks. I was expecting something of a much lower standard (which would have been fine as it is a P&O ship, not Princess or Cunard after all). Upon first boarding it was hard not to say "wow- that is nice" upon entering every new public area. Boarding in Cairns - efficient (although we had priority as a suite guest, the queues were well controlled and moved quickly) The Suite (10011) - the largest most spacious cabin I have ever been in. Plenty of room around the beds, coffee table that converts to a dining table inside and balcony dining table for 4 as well as two loungers, Large ensuite with spa bath, new looking carpet (the rest of the furnishings were still a bit dated but this did not bother me as overall the impression was good). Public areas (bars, lounges, dining rooms, auditorium, atrium) - all refurbished and a delight to be in and to walk around (pictures attached) Food - generally of good standard. I can see some people would complain about certain specific meals but if you choose wisely from the menu the quality was generallly great with just a few misses. The specialty restaurants were all great but hard to get a booking for some unless you are a suite priority booking passenger or prepared to queue at 6.30am each day. No need for bookings at the main restaurant Waterfront. We just rocked up and got a table straight away when we did not have bookings elsewhere but recommend you do so at 5.15 or 7.15pm which is the two main sitting times (although it is available at any time during the dinner and breakfast and is open for lunch on sea days. Chef's Table - I would highly recommend, especially early on in the voyage as this then introduces you to the chef and maitre' d and can unlock doors for the rest of the trip. 7 course degustation of very high quality food and wines with generous pours (virtually bottomless top shelf wine for the whole 3 hours) at just $99 pp. There was room for plenty more Chefs table bookings on our cruise - it is held subject to 12 bookings per night but was only held on about every 2nd night due to lack of demand on our voyage Entertainment - the 3 main musical acts we frequented were all fantastic and played often in a variety of venues. Highly Strung (similar to the Coors), Willowspeak (solo accoustic guitar with a wide variety of pop songs and a great personality), and Karowayova (sp?) a Kiriwina local who has moved to Australia and has the most divine singing voice and some great songs she wrote herself. The ship's singers and dancers and band were also very good - better than most cruises I have been on. Itinerary - Alotau - Least favourite of the stops but still interesting. It was Commemoration day public holiday so the shops and markets were closed until midday but still plenty of things to see within an easy walk of the ship. Hundreds of private tour operators touting for business just outside the wharf, a few nice bars to sit and relax nearby in the resorts. Kitava - unfortunately turned into a sea day due to poor weather Rabaul - Great stop. We did a private prearranged snorkel tour with Rabaul-Kokopo Dive. We were picked up at the ship, had a high speed boat trip close past the volcano to a dolphin area (35 minutes) to be towed beside the tenders amongst the playing dolphins with supplied snorkel and mask, then taken to a sunken WWII Japanese zero plane wreck still in good condition just below the surface. Some of the clearest water and most interesting unspoiled coral you will find anywhere. Dropped off at their HQ for lunch at Rapopo Resort and we stayed relaxing at the resort until a tender took us back to the ship just before final boarding. Others in our group took a half day bus tour with them to see the highlights of Rabaul. If you have nothing planned, again there are hundreds of private tour operators touting just outside the terminal Kiriwina Island - Due to the steep drop off from the fringing reef, we anchored about 100 metres from shore. An impressive sight with the ship so close to the beach that the ship's wifi even still worked fine on the beach. A large friendly local community greeted us warmly with local markets, performances, escorted village walking tours etc and again great snorkeling on the edge of the reef in crystal clear waters. This was the best stop for picking up a wide variety of crafted souveniers (although we missed Kitava which could have been equally as good). Best to use Kina and if you have too many Kina remaining for the remainder of the itinerary, they were very eager to exchange Aussie Dollars at a very good exchange rate 2:1. Conflict Islands - this would have turned into another sea day due to the strong SE wind, but the island has just completed a new floating 320 metre pontoon jetty on the Western side out over the coral reef, and we were the first ship to try it out. A big thanks to the captain who positioned the ship off the jetty with the bow and stern thrusters all day (too deep to anchor) and gave us the chance to experience this amazing coral atoll island. It is privately owned by an Australian conservationist, so they preferred Aussie Dollars (exchanged for vouchers to buy food drinks, etc when you step ashore). Great beaches, plenty of shade, a nice walk around the whole island (about 5 KM) where we got to see how rough it was at the Eastern wharf and why we would not even be there were it not for the new Western wharf. Food was so-so (purchase BBQ, stale buns etc) but purchase drinks readily available and lots of extra activities to purchase if you were looking for other things to do. Doini Island - Much smaller than Kiriwina so a more intimate setting with very friendly locals selling their (more limited) wares. Lots of school children performing dances and singing with a pleasing very generous amount of donations coming forth from the cruise passengers (last stop so a chance to offload any remaining Kina). Well developed bar with toilets and a small gift shop at the tender wharf for resting and listening to a local band playing. Good snorkelling off the easiest access beach of the cruise (no fringing reef to get over, just a lot of isolated bombora reefs, mostly unspoilt and close to the surface) Disembarkation - The Cairns terminal is very small so baggage claim can be congested, and due to the large number of passengers buying wooden and shell artifacts, customs was very busy with a long queue. It is fine to bring wood and shell products back into Aus as long as they are clean and free of any visible signs of insects. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I have been reading reviews of Pacific Eden for over a year now, & based on our recent experience, I believe P&O have addressed all of the issues people were complaining about. We did the 7 night Nov 4th PNG trip from Cairns, ... Read More
I have been reading reviews of Pacific Eden for over a year now, & based on our recent experience, I believe P&O have addressed all of the issues people were complaining about. We did the 7 night Nov 4th PNG trip from Cairns, & stayed on for the 4 nights back to Sydney. It's one of the best cruises we have taken. The ship is just beautiful! Yes, there are signs of age if you go looking, but there are so many lovely areas . The Blue Room, the Ocean Bar & The Dome all beautiful places to enjoy a drink, as well as many other smaller nooks. We found the drink service to be great-we rarely had to wait more than a few minutes to get drink service-I have waited much longer on The Solstice many times. The drink staff were very friendly & happy to have a joke & a laugh. First impressions of the food in the restaurants was that the portions were small, however I always had plenty to eat. My husband is a big eater & often asked for a main course for his entrée as well as his main, & there was never a problem with him doing that. We like to eat late & never had a problem getting a table in The Waterfront around 8pm. We ate at Angelo's once, & Dragon Lady twice & really enjoyed all meals. We did the Chefs table one night & it was fantastic! ($99pp) We had 8 courses, matched with wines, & the chefs came out & explained their inspiration for their dishes-also a couple of lovely gifts came along with the evening (no spoilers!). I found The Pantry to be quite ok the couple of times we went there, but my husband wasn't a fan (I suspect due to the lack of greasy unhealthy kiddie food). He did take a liking to "The Grill" & was particularly keen on the Meat Pie & Mushy Peas, which I must admit was VERY good & for just $3 kept him happy, so I was happy too. We loved our Cabin, it was very comfortable,& no problems at all. Of the PNG ports... Sometimes confronting , but mostly delightful. Some great swimming & snorkelling, lovely people, amazing scenery, & throw in some interesting WWII history & its a truly fascinating learning experience! We loved The Eden & will quite happily travel on her again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Papua New Guinea Island Encounter We'd taken a cruise on Aria earlier in the year and due to poor cabin selection had a horrible time. As a result of the complaint we made we were offered, and took, $1200 credit with P&O as ... Read More
Papua New Guinea Island Encounter We'd taken a cruise on Aria earlier in the year and due to poor cabin selection had a horrible time. As a result of the complaint we made we were offered, and took, $1200 credit with P&O as compensation. PNG had always been somewhere that had interested us so we used the credit to book a suite on the seven night PNG cruise out of Cairns. Six weeks after we'd booked, at what we thought was a fair price, P&O had another sale. Booking cruises is luck of the draw. If we'd waited we would have paid $1300 less for the suite and received $350OBC plus beverage package for two of us (we travelled with a friend). $2000 is a BIG difference :( Anyways, to the cruise. We flew up to Cairns from Brisbane on the morning of departure. As we'd booked a suite we were able to check-in right on 11. First warning. If you have any issues walking up steep slopes then you might have a problem walking up the gangway. My partner had an operation on his knee the week before and the long steep ramp was very difficult. We were able to go straight to our cabin - 10054 - where we were met by our cabin attendant Myron. After the Oz Day cruise disaster I was very careful with the cabin selection and 10054 was perfect. It was mostly under the overhang of the pantry. We're not sunbakers so this suited us perfectly. Myron showed us everything in the room. Priority tender tickets were in an envelope with explanation on how to use them. There was a full size bottle of bubbles in the fridge. Fruit basket. We didn't have three of everything - glasses, cups etc but they were there when we came back from lunch. He explained that they would put the sofa bed out each night while we were out. The suite was really nice and a great size. Easily enough room for the three of us, even with the sofa bed folded out. It's tired though and needs a refresh badly. The arms of two occasional chairs in the room were covered in that ingrained dirt that builds up after 20 years of hands rubbing them. Yuk! The veranda furniture is pretty nasty for a suite. The cushions were dirty, the table corroded. Time to be replaced P&O. The bathroom had a full size bath and it was super clean - I've seen pictures of grotty silicon and grout but ours was spotless. Shower temperature was an issue the entire cruise. It was very difficult to have a warm shower. It was usually cool, with a burst of scolding every now and then. We talked to a couple of neighbours and we all had the same issue. Our suite also had an 'extra' safe. There was a small one in the wardrobe but also a newer larger one attached to the cabinet right next to the tv. Very weird! Ports. Alotau - we are not ship's shore tour people but it was too hard to go private so we booked the Milne Bay Historical tour. Expensive for a couple of hours but super interesting. Each minibus had their own guide. Ours, Fabian, was a great guy. Very proud of the history of Milne Bay, something he didn't know much about until P&O started to cruise to PNG. It was a common theme everywhere we visited - P&O was bringing great benefit to PNG. Our friend and I left the tour at the war memorial in town (my partner went back to the ship as he worked all week) and we walked back to the ship. We are fairly intrepid travellers but I didn't feel hugely safe in Alotau. Lots of groups of men, youths and boys sitting around pretty much doing nothing that aren't giving off the most friendly vibes. I suppose I wouldn't like thousands of people descending on my suburb either. We spent a couple of lazy hours at the Alotau Waterfront Lodge before heading back to the ship. During the late afternoon a cultural group performed on the dock - drumming, singing and dancing. Kitava - The priority tender tickets worked a treat. Hint - if you have them, walk down the hall to the embarkation steps, not force your way down the steps thought the people who are waiting. If you don't fit at the end of the tender queue your first on to the next. Most of the tenders in the morning were greeted by a large pod of dolphins that was hanging around in the channel right near the jetty. The locals have set up an endless row of stalls in the shade behind the beach. They all sell pretty much the same carvings and baskets but it is all quite nice. There were a number of little enclosures with groups of children in them singing and dancing. They were from local schools or churches. Each one had metal drum in front for donations - goods or money. I took a boat over to Uratu to snorkel. It was 5 kina each way for whatever boat you got on - sailing or paddled. The water was beautifully warm but the snorkelling was pretty ordinary. It was a beautiful day so I didn't really care. One of the small sail boats capsized and seven passengers ended up in the water. My partner was in the tender that picked them up. No injuries, just wet people. It was a nice place to just hang on the beach. Long, hot tender queue to get back to the ship. Kiriwina - Another spectacular day and a gorgeous place. The ship anchored very close to the jetty. Cliffs along the coast in one direction, stunning white sandy beach in the other. We didn't race off here so need to use priority tickets. Similar to Kitava along the beach but behind it is a large 'oval' and then a short walk away a village. A local - John - started talking to us while we watched the performance by a large group of young guys (very funny, the locals were screaming with laughter, all about fertility with some very obvious phallic references - warning to those easily offended) and kind of hung around most of the day. He watched our bags when we went snorkelling. Eventually the sell happened and we bought a couple of carvings. Who knows if they were a good price. We didn't care. He was a nice guy. I gave him a Wheels magazine I had with me and he as very chuffed. John said his son would love it. Long hot tender queue to get back to the ship. Conflict Islands - After we left Kiriwina the captain asked us all to do an anti-rain dance as the two forecasts he had for the Conflict Islands weren't too flash. It was fine when we arrived but as windy as forecast. They sent a tender in to check the jetty on the island. It was borderline but they decided to get us ashore with the exception that anyone with mobility issues couldn't go. It was just too bumpy getting on and off the tenders. I decided to go over early in case it eventually got too windy and again flashed the golden priority tender ticket. We were the first Eden cruise to land on Conflict Islands and the first to visit all four ports. The atoll and its islands are privately owned. Panasesa, the island that you visit, is very manicured and every comment we heard was that it was the favourite visit. I'm going with it was because there was no-one trying to sell you something. I did a circuit of the island and then took a tender back to the ship. The skipper of the tender took four goes t get us alongside. I've taken a lot of tenders, in some very ordinary conditions and never seen anything like it. He was hopeless. We gave him a round of applause when we were finally tied up alongside the tender platform. The three of us pretty much went straight back over. Our friend and I had booked the snorkelling trip and my partner just went over for a walk around and a swim. The snorkelling trip was great. We both wish it had been longer. We took a very wet ride in a small skiff to a larger boat from where we got into the water. It had a platform that lowered down into the water to make it easier to get on and off. They offered hot and cold drinks before and after we got in the water. The snorkelling was pretty good - some ok coral, plenty of fish, warm water. The rest of the cruise. Food - we ate everywhere but Chef's Table. The Pantry - we like the concept of The Pantry but agree that the seating in the space needs to be rethought, especially the low tables. They just don't work. We tried most outlets and have no complaints. The Mexican was a hit as was the sandwich station. My poached eggs were perfect each time I had them. For anyone who complains they have to remember they are on P&O, not Celebrity. Dragon Lady - as advised when we were boarding the ship we booked three restaurants straight away. Dragon Lady, Salt and Angelo's. You were limited to three. I saw no evidence of any priority for suite guests as advertised. The serving sizes in Dragon Lady are even smaller than they were in January. We said it then and I'll say it again - it's a good idea that hasn't got the execution quite right. Soggy sweet potato chips. A brulee that was more like a mousse. Nevertheless we enjoyed it enough to make another booking as we left as the menu was changing mid-cruise. Salt - a very strange experience. We arrived and got a very strange greeting. Did we have a reservation? Sure did. I looked at the list on the desk and pointed to our reservation that had been marked off. Someone else had come in and said they were us! Having an extra table obviously threw them. Service was weird. We had multiple people asking the same question. When my medium rare steak arrived it was well done! They took it straight back but by the time the second steak arrived the others had finished their mains. Then despite saying that I didn't need more vegetables or mash it arrived. At least we didn't get charged twice! Angelo's - what a let down. We liked Angelo's last time. Not this time. Sat in table right at entrance. Rushed through our meal like nothing any of us have experienced before. Servings so small they wouldn't even qualify as tapas. The cheese 'platter' was hilarious. Entertainment Production shows - the only one we didn't like was Twice Upon a Time. It was weird. We like dance but the dancing and singing left us cold. We didn't go to any of the other shows. Lounges and bars - we liked the duet that played around the ship and The Edens who played in the Blue Room. We thought Alter Ego were terrible (were they just crew members moonlighting as a band?) and did not get Spencer Chester at all. Was his act that he couldn't sing or couldn't play piano? Obviously plenty did get him as the bar was full every time he played. Everything else Myron and Michell kept the cabin spotless. Made very good use of the unlimited bottled water. Loved the officer's cocktail party - we talked to the Staff Captain for the whole event - super interesting guy. I've never commented on a captain before but Gavin Pears was great. Very visible. Was always stopping to have a chat. It was very obvious that the crew really liked him. Embarkation and debarkation were both painless. We didn't make use of the suite lounge in Salt and just sat out by the pool until we left the ship. It took longer than we'd thought it would getting off - an hour from walking down the gangway to getting in a taxi. By the time we got to the airport they were calling our flight. We really enjoyed the cruise. Eden is a nice ship but is already showing wear only after just a year. The cushions on the loungers around the Oasis just look dirty. The cabins need refurbishing. Get rid of the dumb spa baths and replace them with proper big showers. The verandah furniture on suite balconies looks lost, and cheap, in that huge space. We enjoyed it enough that we're now investigating a Solomon Island's cruise with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We, a couple, have just returned from the P&O Pacific Eden cruise to Papua New Guinea. I read lots of bad reviews before departure, but decided to go with an open mind. I now believe the world is becoming overrun with wingeing people. ... Read More
We, a couple, have just returned from the P&O Pacific Eden cruise to Papua New Guinea. I read lots of bad reviews before departure, but decided to go with an open mind. I now believe the world is becoming overrun with wingeing people. We had an absolutely wonderful trip. The ship, the crew, the food , the company we met on board, the weather were all fabulous. Nothing to complain about at all. The beverage package that came with our fare was an unexpected bonus. We dined at every restaurant except Chef's Table and could not fault the food or service. There were lots of children on this cruise, but all were well controlled and we didn't see them often. The islands we visited were not touristy and we got an idea of the native lifestyle. Don't believe the bad reports.... This is a very good value holiday""" Thanks P&O... Read Less
Sail Date October 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
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
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 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
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
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