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28 P&O Australia Cruise to Nowhere Cruise Reviews

We picked this for a cheapie weekend away, and to check out Pacific Explorer having traveled on Carnival Spirit twice for a total of 17 nights and RCI Voyager OTS for 9 nights. We have always had balconies and will continue to book them ... Read More
We picked this for a cheapie weekend away, and to check out Pacific Explorer having traveled on Carnival Spirit twice for a total of 17 nights and RCI Voyager OTS for 9 nights. We have always had balconies and will continue to book them for longer cruises but as this was a shortie we decided to check out an ocean view stateroom instead. Lots of groups on board celebrating milestone birthdays, bucks, hens etc. Not many children evident, possibly due to being a 3 nighter. This was a Comedy Cruise, however we found most of the comedy to be pretty disappointing. Just the luck fo the draw on this I would say. Embarkation took about 25 minutes, no complaints. However, White Bay v.s Circular Quay is really a pain, particularly on the return as we were heading straight to work. Sailing away under the Harbour Bridge however is fantastic. Muster held indoors and seemed pretty well done. Indoors means you are more comfortable, can hear and so are more likely to pay attention. Our room # 8234 had a lovely big picture window but was certainly smaller than any we have previously been in and the bathroom is tiny. Both my husband and I commented that we would struggle with this on a longer cruise. We may have felt a little less confined if we had a balcony. It was adequate for a short cruise, and our attendants were lovely and did a great job of waving their magic wand over the room twice a day. Wish I could bring them home with me. The internal areas on this ship are lovely, certainly nicer than Spirit and perhaps even nicer than Voyager. I love how the evening party events are in the atrium and seem to draw you in from anywhere. Entertainment vibe was very good all over the ship. I feel P&O do this very well and seem to "get" Australians. Lots of lovely bay window nooks around the ship to curl up in for a chat or a read or just to people watch. These were a lovely find. External: pool deck fine, love the artificial grass on a lot of the outdoor areas, seems to make it less slippery. The adults' area at the back did not really appeal to us, it does not help that a smoking section is on the port side of The Oasis at the rear. We just could not really warm to it, but perhaps are biased after loving Serenity on the Spirit. The front adult area is lovely, with pretty lounges, but no permanent bar there and mostly unusable for the short time we were on due to the fact that it was usually too windy. (expected on moving ships at the front). Food: Pantry was OK, and I do like the fact that most of the food is served to you and not handled and coughed all over by everyone. I would rate it as 2.5 stars overall. I love the idea of three different styles of venue so that you feel that you are dining in a different restaurant each evening. I also liked the smaller more intimate feeling of them. Husband, however, felt that he prefers the larger MDRs on other ships. The fact that you have to line up and book on the first day however in order to get a table is a pain in the butt and for the life of me, I cannot work out how they cannot have a better system like other lines seem to manage. Big downside. Food was generally OK - good in the restaurants, in fact overall I thought the MDR was more consistently OK than the last time we were on the Spirit. Over the 3 days we had all dinners in one of them, 2 breakfasts and one lunch. All quite enjoyable. Drinks: Corona $AU8, cocktails about $AU12. Gym: very small. Lots of opportunities to pay extra for the usual things, including food, however we did not feel the need to spend extra on a 3 night cruise. Staff all very friendly and Explorer is a nice pick for a short trip getting away from it all. Would consider again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I have not previously done a short cruise so when the price and timing worked in with our life we booked around 5 weeks from sailing in a twin berth ocean view level 8 right near the back. Embarkation Not sure why but they started a ... Read More
I have not previously done a short cruise so when the price and timing worked in with our life we booked around 5 weeks from sailing in a twin berth ocean view level 8 right near the back. Embarkation Not sure why but they started a bit late but it was quite smooth once it got going, before getting on I had a good look at where our cabin was (we only found out days before) so when I got on I was able to make my way directly to our room which was ready, by chance we saw our bags on the way so grabbed them as well on the way to the room. The Cabin The rooms on Explorer are not huge but for 2 it was adequate and comfortable, the windows on level 8 outside (where the life boats are not) are huge and offer a great view out and somewhere to sit to admire the view. The bed was comfortable, the AC and fridge worked as did all of the things that are supposed to work but the shower was locked at a just warm temperature that I would have liked to be hotter Food An important feature of cruising to many and if its the most important thing to you P&O is not your cruise line, 3 night cruise allowed us a night in each free restaurant and no need for the pantry, no meals were great but all OK Entertainment Really good, there were 4 comedians on board who did a range of shows which I really enjoyed, the only criticism would be the venue for the late comedy shows was too small and even half an hour early there wasn't many seats. One of the PG shows was a mime act which was also great. besides the comedy they also put on a "rock of the ages" show which was 45 minutes of non stop entertainment and a fantastic show. Service Our room steward asked us early how often we wanted our room cleaned which I found unusual, normally its daily with a nightly turn down but for our first 2 days we were happy to go along with not being disturbed by it only having the towels changed over, the last day he cleaned up for us doing a really good job of it and he did the turn down, I kind of feel he was a bit lazy with us but at the same time I didn't mind it and to be fair if there was anything we wanted he provided without hesitation so I am actually going to say that was a good thing as much as I am sure plenty of others would not have been so happy with it. Other service throughout the cruise didn't stand out either way for the most part, the future cruise lady was really helpful and went out of her way to help us, dining staff were efficient, friendly and accommodating with the more senior staff doing the rounds to make sure we were happy at most meals. The ship I often read reviews where it seems some people have a terrible experience because of things like "they allowed somebody in the dining room wearing a T shirt" or "the ship needs repair" or "I noticed a rust mark" or my favourite, "the chairs look old", if this is you spend twice as much for a newer ship on another line because it is a 20 (plus) year old ship and it does show signs of its age but for me that does not detract from how much enjoyment I can get from it, in fact some of my more memorable cruises have been on ships not long before they are retired from the fleet, Pacific Sun, Celebrity Century and the Pearl. Value Everywhere you go there seems to be something to spend more money on, while giving me a free short massage as I was walking through they tried to sell me a hair cut and shave for around $120 which I found outrageous and every meal seems to have "indulgent" items to spend more on. The free food venues close at 9 so if you want something to eat after that you are paying for it but with a little will power its easy enough to say no to the extra items. With the above in mind however it was a good value cruise, P&O bank on you spending more money during your cruise to make up for the cheap fare and while I do spend some money whether it be a beer with a meal or buy something from the shop it still ended up cheap for me and certainly my on-board spend was no more than it would have been with any of the more expensive lines The drinks package Being a 3 day cruise you cant have the alcohol packages (not that I do normally) but they still offer the 2 non alcoholic packages, $7.50 per day for soft drink only or $19 a day (if pre booked otherwise its $25 on board) for mocktails, coffees, juices, water hot chocolate, iced chocolates or soft drink. My wife paid the $19 per day before we left and probably got the value from it whereas I drank water and free tea from the buffet and had 2 or 3 bears a day for around the same amount of money which worked out better for me (and probably healthier as I didn't drink more than I needed trying to get my money worth) To sum it up I have now been on 9 cruises in 7 years with 4 different cruise lines on 7 different ships, mostly P&O and I am yet to have a cruise that I didn't enjoy, your more upmarket cruise lines are better for a lot of reasons and deserve a loyal following but for me I love cruising so much I prefer quantity to quality (most of the time), this doesn't mean I wont spend more to go on the other lines but I do spend a lot of time looking for the good deals which do come up if you are prepared to be flexible, my problem is that when I am looking I normally find much better value deals with P&O that I cant resist :) Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
It was our wedding anniversary so we thought a short cruise would be a good way to celebrate. We had been on a P&O cruise before and so had high hopes about eveerything. Sadly we were very disappointed this time. Embarkation was ... Read More
It was our wedding anniversary so we thought a short cruise would be a good way to celebrate. We had been on a P&O cruise before and so had high hopes about eveerything. Sadly we were very disappointed this time. Embarkation was pretty easy. No problems there. On board the ship there was a very unpleasant smell in some areas, like sewerage. Our room was small but ok as we only needed to sleep there. The bed was quite comfortable and the feather pillows really good. The air conditioning in the room was also good. The thing we were most disappointed with was the food and some service. We did not like having to line up for service in The Pantry, particularly when the staff behind the counter did not or could not understand what you asked for meaning you had to ask several times. The food in almost every instance from The Pantry was really tasteless. I couldn't honestly make a comment about how delicious any hot food or dessert was with the exception of porridge with yogurt and the french toast. Everything else was bland and boring. We ate at Angelo's, the Dragon Lady and the Waterfront. These restaurants proved to be better. The biggest disappointment of all was the Shell and Bones seafood restaurant inside the pantry. That should have rung a bell but we thought there would be different chefs to those in The Pantry. Unfortunately I don't think that was the case. We ordered a hot Seafood Extravaganza anticipating something out of the ordinary, but no, it was very disappointing and to make matters worse, it was a paying restaurant. My husband, a keen fisherman and very good cook of seafood, said it was the worst seafood meal he had ever had. The (American) lobster was tough, the tiny (and I mean tiny) fried scallops balls and prawns in breadcrumbs were cooked in old oil it seems as they were very dark brown and overcooked, the salt and pepper squid had no salt or pepper and a little bit rubbery, the 3 octopii were the size of 10cent pieces. No oysters, no mussels and not even a few chips. We were so disappointed. The staff overall on the ship were very friendly and courteous and helpful. No complaints there. The lifts at the end of the 3 nights were starting to break down making moving between decks time consuming and difficult for those who couldn't manage the stairs. We also experienced two toilet facilities where the toilets weren't flushing. A real bugbear was how inconsiderate some people were with monopolising the popular deckchairs. People would put towels or bags on them early and disappear leaving an empty but monopolised chair for long portions of the day. With limited seating in popular areas some sort of time limit on chairs should be worked out. The entertainment was quite good, especially the rock band revival show and the trivia nights. Overall it was nice to be on the water relaxing but my husband and I would not go on this particular ship again as it definitely didn't measure up. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We had a very enjoyable cruise on the Pacific Aria. Our cabin (9090) was quite spacious with a balcony & spa bath. The stewards were fantastic with daily servicing and turn down service, even leaving a cute towel animal one evening ... Read More
We had a very enjoyable cruise on the Pacific Aria. Our cabin (9090) was quite spacious with a balcony & spa bath. The stewards were fantastic with daily servicing and turn down service, even leaving a cute towel animal one evening (a penguin). The activities were continuous, but the booking process was a bit frantic - queues of people waiting to book restaurants and activities upon boarding. We boarded in the first half hour and got a place on every activity and restaurant, but there were only a few places left in some cases. The restaurants were average, with Waterfront food and service being not good at all. The service at Salt was excellent, and the food was very good. The bar service was very good, and there were plenty of staff around asking if you wanted a drink. The quality of the activities was very good - I have attached the activity schedule & daily listing which is delivered to the cabin each night for anyone who is interested in going on this cruise. We had no idea what to expect on board and were pleasantly surprised by how many food & wine relate activities were available. My recommendations - as soon as you get on board go up and book your activities and restaurants. Make sure your wine and cocktail times are in the afternoon - drinking at 11am is not so great! Also, we lined up activities at 1pm, 2pm & 3pm - it was hard going! I would suggest doing the 1pm & 3pm only! The Martini & Cocktail Mixing classes were great - especially Agnes who ran the Martini one - so funny! The boat was clean and in quite good condition, aside from a mildly unpleasant smell from behind the bars when the dishwasher was running. The staff entertainment was not the best - the Sideshow Alley & Velvet Rope shows were quite amateur. There was a great piano singer though, Raymond Vee (I think). We had the beverage package - non-alcoholic. I don't think we saved anything, maybe broke even, but it was so nice being able to get juice, coffee, ice coffees, mocktails & water 'without paying' (as we had paid 3 months earlier). The drinks prices were very reasonable though - juices about $3 and cocktails mainly $12. The bar staff will make cocktails not on the menu upon request, if they are not busy. These usually cost more than $12 (up to $17). All in all we have a very enjoyable weekend and would go again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My husband and I went on our first cruise for our 10th Anniversary and it was absolutely amazing. Check in went smoothly, even though they were very busy, the staff were very polite. Embarkation went well, we only had to wait 20 mins ... Read More
My husband and I went on our first cruise for our 10th Anniversary and it was absolutely amazing. Check in went smoothly, even though they were very busy, the staff were very polite. Embarkation went well, we only had to wait 20 mins for our group to be called. Staff were great and all very helpful! Housekeeping were very helpful and friendly service, no request was too much. Always saying hello to us as we walked down the hall. Our cabin was just what we needed. We spent more time out and about than in our cabin. Couldn't get the aircon to work though. Food: Plantation food at dinner was a bit meh, but breakfast and lunch were great. Waterfront was lovely. Waiters were very efficient... but felt like they were hovering for our plates as it was so busy. Disembarkation went very well also. We had such an amazing time, next time we will take the kids!! The best holiday we've ever been on. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I went on this cruise as part of a wedding. The wedding itself was very nice, it was held in the Dome, which was closed for the event, although the staff in charge of the music screwed up multiple times. And that was the good part of the ... Read More
I went on this cruise as part of a wedding. The wedding itself was very nice, it was held in the Dome, which was closed for the event, although the staff in charge of the music screwed up multiple times. And that was the good part of the cruise. The ship itself was smaller than usual, being a Comedy Cruise, the layout seemed fine although there was only 1 pool and 2 spas in the main pool area. My cabin was dated, I was on deck 5 and the bunk bed above me creaked all night, and i dont mean every now and then, almost constantly throughout the rocking. The dining was absolutely abysmal and i would not eat the food on the ship if it was free. The pantry was boring and lacked variety, the Italian restaurant had disgusting bread-sticks, flavourless food and a very boring menu. The Pantry (buffet) was slow and tedious, taking away the option for collecting your own food, meaning you had to get another plate if you wanted to go to a different cuisine, the food itself was bland and mostly rubber (i couldnt pierce the top of my jelly with my spoon). There were very few activities and the entertainment was very average. The service was very mediocre, the staff in the restaurants were incredibly slow and I payed no attention to them, as opposed to other cruise staff, which are usually quite joyful and get to know everyone. We did travel with children who were bored out of their minds the whole 3 days. Would never travel on this ship ever again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Fantastic fun filled girls weekend away..... Thank you Pacific Eden you put on a great Adelaide comedy 3 night cruise. Gosh, where to start, embarking couldn't of been any easier our luggage was taken before we boarded the ship then ... Read More
Fantastic fun filled girls weekend away..... Thank you Pacific Eden you put on a great Adelaide comedy 3 night cruise. Gosh, where to start, embarking couldn't of been any easier our luggage was taken before we boarded the ship then delivered to our rooms. We were upgraded to an ocean view rooms (big thumbs up). Rooms were spotless and smelt clean. Between the 5 of us we were given $125 in credit and 2 soft drink packages straight off the bat that was a great start to the weekend. So the drinking began in the Ocean bar where we met some great friendly staff that looked after us throughout the trip and even appreciated our sense of humour. So a massive thank you to Lanoan and Marie Joy in the Ocean bar and Margaret in the Mix @ Casino bar These guys made our girls weekend the best yet. The entertainment was some of the funniest comedians I have seen in a long time. Two in particular was Jarred Fell and Mr Bingo!. Jarred, Thankyou I haven't had a good belly hurting laugh like that in a while fantastic! Mr Bingo, I have never been a fan of bingo but if every bingo could have their very own Mr Bingo I would go to them all! Oh yes and we won the jackpot so yay for bingo!!!! The food was great we mainly ate at the Pantry so much to choose from and all was very tasty and such friendly and helpful staff. The Passenger Stewards on deck 4 were hard working, friendly and so helpful. So I would recommend to anyone thinking about a weekend away jump on board the Pacific Eden great value, great food, friendly helpful and entertaining staff you would love it as the 5 of us did. We will be back!!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This is not the first cruise I have been on, have previously been on P&O Pacific Dawn. This was a food and wine cruise. To be honest the rooms were ok, bathroom was smelly and damp. The was a lot of noise from the staff areas above ... Read More
This is not the first cruise I have been on, have previously been on P&O Pacific Dawn. This was a food and wine cruise. To be honest the rooms were ok, bathroom was smelly and damp. The was a lot of noise from the staff areas above moving furniture around at 4-6am. This was some sort of storage area above the room. I like the idea of The Pantry, but the food was well below the standard we were expecting. It was bland, overcooked, the food in Waterfront Restaurant was no better, terrible to be honest. We also managed to get a table in Dragon Lady and again thought we would get better food but were sorely disappointed. The food was inedible and 3 dishes were sent back. A few of the staff on board were happy and helpful but overall we found the crew to be very bored, rude and unhelpful. It was like they REALLY hated their job and you were a big inconvenience to them. They really did not want to be on that boat doing that job it was plainly clear. Seemed like a lot of staff were in training, just didn’t have a clue. Some were quite rude too. Overheard some other conversations and this was the feeling for most people, food was terrible and staff rude and not trained. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I was worried about going on the Pacific Eden after reading some bad reviews, but I loved it. Our cabin was large comfortable and very clean. The ships decor was lovely and very stylish. Loved the entertainment and the food was good. ... Read More
I was worried about going on the Pacific Eden after reading some bad reviews, but I loved it. Our cabin was large comfortable and very clean. The ships decor was lovely and very stylish. Loved the entertainment and the food was good. We ate in the pantry , waterfront restaurant and Angelo's Italian restaurant and never had anything that we didn't like. We had breakfast in our room one morning and it was delivered on time and hot, so no complaints. Overall we had a wonderful time and came away feeling happy and relaxed. Even though it was only 3 nights we did a lot and it felt like we had had a proper holiday away. love that the cruise left from Adelaide.That's where we live so no flights and hotels to worry about. Will definatly think of sailing on the Pacific Eden again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Like many others have mentioned I was worried leading up to our cruise after reading the negative reviews. We are loyal Princess cruises and this was our first P&O Australia cruise. I decided to go with a positive, go with the flow ... Read More
Like many others have mentioned I was worried leading up to our cruise after reading the negative reviews. We are loyal Princess cruises and this was our first P&O Australia cruise. I decided to go with a positive, go with the flow attitude ... after all a day on a cruise ship has to better than a day in the office. I loved every minute of our cruise and want to thank P&O for allowing Adelaide passengers to embark and disembark in our home port! Checkin was painless and fast. Loads of volunteers to point you in the right direction and then plenty of P&O staff to check you in fast. We dropped our bags at the cabin, met our cabin steward (both were excellent and friendly) and then headed straight down to book the speciality restaurants. This was a full sailing. On the walk to the monkey bar, I keep taking photos and commenting on how beautiful the ship was. There were loads of different bars each with its own theme and all newly renovated. Loads of comfy chairs in all the bars to suit any size group. Lots of natural light with large windows. We managed to get a table for 4 at Angelos & Salt but couldn't get into Dragon Lady. There were lots of people lining up to register for the various food and wine events and am sure most would have been a sell out. From here we headed up to the pool to grab some lunch. We walked through the pantry and I am a fan! We found a spot by the pool, again beautiful decor and did a bit of people watching, everyone seemed happy, as we waited for our hamburgers to be made at The Grill. Burgers were great ($3 each) and I was happy to see Carona beer available. Muster was painless and out on the open deck. Then it was off to Oasis Pool (adults only area) for sail away. Loved this area and spent a lot of time here. Beautiful thick padded lounges, large cushions, private cabanas, relaxing/chill out music, no problems getting towels, a bar and also walk around bar tenders. From here you can watch the ships wake and also kids on "the edge" . I'd like to thank the captain also for giving us such a smooth and scenic sailing. At night were were close to the Adelaide coast line so you could see lights the whole time and then during the days we were up and down the Yorke Peninsular with great views of land on either side of the ship all day and always changing. It was really nice to track backwards and forward along Kangaroo Island coast line. Bring banoculars! There were loads of activities on all day and night and the ship never felt crowded. We attended one cooking demo which was very good, walked past trivia which was packed, played a bit of tennis (the court is now a volleyball court, but we could still hit over the net) this was a bunus for cruising from homeport we could bring our racquets. Attended one show, went to bianco party which was well attended, walked the open decks and spent loads of time at The Oasis Pool. No complaints at all about our cabin, outside deck 5. Large, loads of hangers and draw space, big picture window and normal bathroom (shower over bath). No fridge but no big deal for a 3 night cruise. Dining - we ate at Angelos the first night. Georgous looking restaurant, beautifully renovated. Food was all good, no problems with service. (No cover charge) Salt was an absolute highlight for our entire party of four. Great service, nice restaurant, never felt rushed, waitress happy to chat and seem proud to be working there. She was very helpful with suggestions on food and explaining the menu. Large wine list and Salt felt private and quiet with a door at the enterance to stop outside noise. Would highly recommend. Waterfront restaurant was dinner on our last night. We went down at 7pm to get a buzzer for 8pm and it worked perfect. Not sure on why people complain about getting a buzzer. Went to a pre dinner show and then chilled at a bar listening to a guitar player. We were buzzed at 8.01pm and when we arrived we were shown straight to a table of four. Not made to share with strangers which was nice. Food was all good and hot, plenty of options including steak, another newly renovated restaurant with modern decor and various size tables and plenty of tables by the windows. Pantry - ate here twice. No complaints from me. Maximum I ever saw in a line was 5-6 people and always moved fast. Loved the concept of staff serving you. I didn't find serving sizes small, loved the idea of sandwhich and salad bars. I've read complaints about lack of seating at the pantry. I never saw this and we would take out meals out the back and sit in Oasis Pool area. All in all I had a great time and I would cruise on Pacific Eden again. I'm looking forward to welcoming her back to Adelaide in 2017. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We recently boarded the Pacific Aria on a 3 night Food and Wine Cruise to nowhere. We have cruised several other times on both the Australian based Carnival ships and the Pacific Dawn and Jewel. I was looking forward to seeing this ... Read More
We recently boarded the Pacific Aria on a 3 night Food and Wine Cruise to nowhere. We have cruised several other times on both the Australian based Carnival ships and the Pacific Dawn and Jewel. I was looking forward to seeing this "new to P&O" ship. As far as first appearances go, most areas seemed to be beautifully re-furbished. There were several bars and lounges that were decorated nicely. Very sophisticated. Except for the interior of the lifts. They were ugly. I loved the outdoor areas around the main pool. Loved the lounges and the retractable roof. Great in the rain. The bars looked great but it was a pity I could not enjoy them because the air-conditioning was freezing and due to the warm weather we had been having, I unfortunately did not pack a jacket. Our cabin was an interior double on deck 6 and was spacious enough. The room had not been refurbished but the was not an issue. What was an issue was the toilet that didnt flush, the shower that was tricky to turn on and the temperature changed from hot to cold to hot again and also the room temperature was so cold, that it was uncomfortable to be in without laying under the doona. We had it turned to heat as far as it could go, and it was still freezing. We ate in the Pantry, the Waterfront and Salt Grill and we thorougly enjoyed all venues. We had a dinner in the Italian restaurant but I didn't rate it. I felt there could have been more events centred around the Food and Wine theme. We really wanted to do the Mix Academy but it was booked out by midday on day one before we had even sailed. Disappointing. We did a wine tasting by Watershed Wines and we enjoyed that. We also enjoyed the presentations by Chef Daniel. Very useful tips just wish there were more presentations like this. And menu sheets after the presentation so I could remember how he cooked things would have been great. I would have also liked to have been able to do some type of Galley Tour in keeping with the theme, and maybe a presentation from the captain or executive chef about the inner workings of the ship and/or galley. We didn't see any shows so can't comment on these. It was too cold to sit in the cold theatre on those uncomfortable chairs (tip for the ladies, the backs of the chairs rub right on the bra strap and after a while it hurts). I know I must sound like I'm wingeing; I'm not usually a complainer. I am booked to go on the Aria again next year and I'm actually looking forward to it. I'll just be better prepared next time. I just feel that the re-furbishment didn't go far enough. Even in the lifts, there was a sign with the old Holland America name " MS Ryndam". You can make an old ship look pretty, but you can't change the old bones and you will notice some problems due to the age. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We enjoyed most aspects of this cruise. Embarkation was easy and for those Aussies who're wondering about the cruises that don't dock anywhere - no, you don't need to bring the kid's passports, your medicare card ... Read More
We enjoyed most aspects of this cruise. Embarkation was easy and for those Aussies who're wondering about the cruises that don't dock anywhere - no, you don't need to bring the kid's passports, your medicare card will do as ID for them just fine. The adults DO need photo ID though. Obviously if you're taking a cruise that's going overseas then everyone sailing needs a passport. This paragraph has nothing to do with the cruise itself but parking in the area of the melbourne cruise terminal... I googled parking nearby for rates and found two car parks within walking distance. I even called them to make sure of the parking prices and was told that we didn't need to book, we could just arrive on the day and park. We arrived fairly early and found that both paid parking places were very small and completely full! The good news is that if you're happy to park your car on the street then go looking in the back streets (or call the council and ask them where you can park) and you'll find some all day parking. I wouldn't leave my car there for weeks on end, but we were happy to do that for 3 days. I had heard that the 3 night cruises were mainly party and booze cruises so i was hesitant about going on one. I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe it does happen, but i didn't notice it on this voyage. The comedians were great (and ones that we've heard of!). The food was good. We ate at Angelo's and the Dragon Lady and both provided great service. We weren't so impressed with the lunch service at the Waterfront Restaurant - the menu didn't change and it wasn't very adaptable. We found the selection of kids meals to be rather small at all the sit down resaurants. The food at the pantry was good but like other reviewers before me, i didn't like the pantry's style of serving. Buffet and tray style works soooo much better. There also seemed to be a lack of seating available. i wasn't a fan of having to buy pizza, burgers and so forth on the pool deck, so i didn't. I also agree with other posters that using the public toilets were a hit and miss experience. There weren't enough toilets on the pool deck and this was a problem in all of the busy areas. The staff running the activites were really lovely. Alun's morning chat and trivia was a treat. Luckily i got there early on the first morning to do the daily puzzles and saved a table for our team, as it was standing room only by the time Trivia was due to start. We love trivia and we weren't dissapointed in the amount of opportunities to play. I only peeked at the Gatsby party but it looked like heaps of fun. There was also quite a talented duo performing songs at the sail away party. It would be nice if they offered a different soduko everyday in their puzzle sheets but a soduko puzzle was only offered on the first day. They did different types of puzzles on each day. This was great but i prefer sodukos. There was a cinema but we never got the opportunity to sit down and watch a movie. They were either on when we wanted to do something else, or movies that we had no interest in seeing. Unfortunately we sailed during the coldest and windiest days of February so we wern't able to make use of the pool (which was only open on 1 of the days of the trip). The kids loved the kids club (mostly due to the fact that they were able to play on the Nintendo Wii) and we all so had a great time doing the scavanger hunt with them. I would have tried the bingo but I wasn't preparred to pay the prices that they wanted for a game sheet. One thing i always take notice of is the quality of the photographs taken by the ships photographers.... We always try to take a family portrait on formal nights as it's a cheap way to get the job done. We were very happy to purchase our photographs. I should also note that we purchased the endless soft drinks package before boarding. When we got on board we asked where we needed to get our sticker and were sent to the pool deck. We told the person behind the counter that we had pre purchased the package and they just nodded and put our card through the machine and put the appropriate sticker on it. Of course, when we got our bill at the end of the cruise we found that we had been charged twice for it. We got the bill late on the last evening so we had to go to the reception super early on the morning of disembarkation to sort the problem out. We were told that we should have gotten a room card when we embarked with the soft drink symbol already printed on it. I remember asking the person processing our embarkation about the soft drink package and they said that we had to sort that out on board. We're weren't angry about the inconvienience, but we could have done without it. Even though we had a great time, i don't think i would have enjoyed a longer trip on this boat as there weren't that many more options for our entertainment. They might offer more things to do on longer cruises but we managed to do everything that we wanted to do on this voyage. 3 nights seemed to be the perfect amount of time on this ship for us. What i like most about cruises is that you can do them with few out of pocket expenses, but there seemed to be more out of pocket expenses on this one than on others (not counting MSC and Costa cruises, they've turned out of pocket expenses into an art form!) Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was my third cruise, and my first on the Pacific Eden. Also my first cruise with my 11 year old, low verbal autistic child with me. First, the ship, it was beautiful. Plenty of seating areas, beautiful decor, and a lovely ... Read More
This was my third cruise, and my first on the Pacific Eden. Also my first cruise with my 11 year old, low verbal autistic child with me. First, the ship, it was beautiful. Plenty of seating areas, beautiful decor, and a lovely atmosphere. I watched 2 movies in the cinema, not bad, but i do prefer the outdoor screen on the other ships more. Also getting to the dining rooms was a little confusing till you worked out best ways to get there. Our room was clean, fairly spacious and our attendants did a great job tidying up after us, and looking after us in general. Our TV didn't work, I rang reception, explained it will be an important feature to our room considering in the evenings ill be keeping an autistic kid occupied with it, and it was replaced within 20 minutes of the call. Brilliant. I didn't get to check out Oasis for kid free time, but I will make a point of it next time. The pool was not filled for the first day due to tiles having been replaced, but once it was open, it was great to swim in. We made use of the spas till then. Food was abit below the standard i have had previously with P&O, portion sizes were smaller, less sides were available, but there was always something tasty available to eat. I generally prefer to eat in the dining room for dinner, but ended up preffering The Pantry on this cruise. The grill closed slightly earlier one night, so we ordered room service (burgers and chips). It came fast, was hot and tasted great. My guilty pleasure of the cruise though were the little fruit flans they have at the sugar bar. Service was abit different to previous cruises too, there were less waiters wandering around the pool deck, but there was still plenty of access to get a drink, i just had to wander to the bar slightly more than i was used to. The staff were all lovely, and went out of there way to accomadate any possible request we had. Entertainment was the usual, Karaoke, Live music, Trivia, Scavenger hunts. The kiddo went to kids club for about half of the cruise, and he loved it. The staff were fantastic, had no worries about his autism, and when he disrupted the movie, they didn't page me and stop his fun, they let him play star wars (one of his favorite things), and kept him happy till I arrived to get him. I was worried that I would be paged with every issue and have to collect him, this did not happen. The kids staff are wonderful, and happy to deal with disabilities. I also loved seeing the bar staff dressed for gatsby night, so did my son, he was happy, cos they were dressed exactly like him, he felt even more special. Overall, a little different from my past P&O cruises, but still every bit as enjoyable, and I am happily booking us both in for the New Years cruise now that i know that even though my child has a disability, we will both get to have a great holiday. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Our first cruise and to be honest I feel as if I will not feel safe to try another. The emabarkation was well organised and the staff very engaging. Cabin was adequate and comfortable. We did not find our luggage for sometime even ... Read More
Our first cruise and to be honest I feel as if I will not feel safe to try another. The emabarkation was well organised and the staff very engaging. Cabin was adequate and comfortable. We did not find our luggage for sometime even though other people's were left outside their cabins. Eventually located it abandoned outside a lift. Neither of us get seasick (previously have been out on fishing boats etc). We did become very unwell but this was after consuming food from the pantry. The food is cold. Bacon and eggs, grilled fish so cold it was inedible. Tried to get a simple salad from the salad section. The top layer of the salad looked good but when served only 1percent contained what was on show the rest was lettuce from underneath. Sandwiches were not available only rolls that had an overload of bread and minuscule filling. Hungry we ate the luke warm zucchini soup. Hours later we were both vomitng. We are both health professionals and suspect the recent "gastro" outbreak was probably more attributed to the inadequate temperature control of the food rather than a virus, fellow passengers had the same complaint. The Waterfront Restaurant served delicious hot meals but was overcrowded and there were long waits to be seated. People trying to avoid the pantry! Sometimes just a snack for lunch is nicer than another sit down meal. Do not even think you will find a healthy salad sandwich anywhere on the Pacific Eden. It is understandable why buffet style has been replaced due to hygiene, however not to maintain food at a safe temperature is worse. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I think the reason for the negative reviews on this ship is that people have champagne tastes on a beer budget. I went on a 3 night Food & Wine cruise and really enjoyed it. This was my first cruise, and given the negative press, I ... Read More
I think the reason for the negative reviews on this ship is that people have champagne tastes on a beer budget. I went on a 3 night Food & Wine cruise and really enjoyed it. This was my first cruise, and given the negative press, I decided the best thing to do was go with an open mind. I traveled with 3 girlfriends & we all had a good time overall. A bit of a breakdown: The Room We shared a 4 berth oceanview cabin, which had 2 x single beds, a sofa & a bunk. The mattresses were reasonably comfortable & there was plenty of space to store all our luggage. The bathroom could use some touching up - there was obvious rusting & the shower curtain had mould stains. Could have used a few extra power points (4 girls getting ready at one time could be a challenge) & the TV quality wasn't great. We didn't spend a great deal of time in the room though so we were happy with what we had. Housekeeping was a little frustrating. Towels were not being replaced when left on the floor, & after 3 calls made to housekeeping over the course of an afternoon yielded no results, we ended up finding an unattended cleaning trolley & pinching some clean towels from there. Food Make sure the first thing you do when you reach your cabin is get on the phone & make a reservation at Salt Grill! Yes you pay extra, but it is absolutely worth it. The scallops were the best I'd had & I'm told the chocolate tart deserves a moment of silence. Luke Mangan was also sailing & popped out to say hello to the guests. The Pantry is pretty much a food court, we grabbed some food from there on the first day & didn't really enjoy it, so we stuck to Waterfront for the rest of the trip. Waterfront is lovely. Every time, we were welcomed with a squirt of Purell & never had to wait for a table. We didn't go out of our way to avoid peak times either. Variety in Waterfront is great. I have seen that people have complained about serving sizes - I had no issue, particularly if I was ordering entree, main & dessert. If you're extra hungry, order another serve - it's not going to cost you more! I will note that there were some issues with the food being kept warm on its trip from the kitchen to your table. Service was reasonable. Bircher muesli for breakfast was delish. Bars & entertainment Low points: The Gatsby & Bianco parties. Each person in the band seemed to be playing at a different speed making the music jarring. Apart from a couple of props, there was nothing particularly special about the parties. Service - while bar service was mostly great, there was an issue with a staff member who gave my friend still spring water when she'd asked for mineral water (she didn't specify sparkling). Rather than just swap the bottle, the staff member proceeded to argue with my friend until I pointed out that the bottle said Spring water, not mineral. It was a simple miscommunication - the server made it a bigger issue than it was. High points: The Blue Room - lovely atmosphere & music, a great spot for a cocktail & to enjoy some Jazz in the evening. Trivia - I have never laughed so hard at trivia as I did at the music trivia event with The Alter Ego. Evening shows - love the Mindreader, comedian was great too. The Marquee can get VERY hot - we didn't stay for the show on the first night because we were sweating as soon as we walked in the door. It seemed that a request to the staff fixed the temperature within an hour or so, although I did have to ask each day. A great introductory cruise for this beginner. I don't think I'm a cruise convert & I think I might go for a more upmarket cruise line next time, but P&O still delivered on what I paid for. No Noro Virus either! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
My Husband & I were excited but a little anxious about heading on a planned P&O trip due to the regular negative feedback people had left on P&O Facebook page! We decided it will be what we make of it! Sorry about the essay ... Read More
My Husband & I were excited but a little anxious about heading on a planned P&O trip due to the regular negative feedback people had left on P&O Facebook page! We decided it will be what we make of it! Sorry about the essay but our trip was 98% positive keep reading! Here is our review: We have just returned from comedy 'taster cruise' off Melbourne on the Pacific Jewel. We were in a level 5 'budget' cabin after purchasing a deal from scoupon. Our cabin was fabulous, easy to get to, clean, comfortable bed, tidy, good view & had everything we needed. Even the cloth shower curtain didn't get stuck to you (as they do.) Our room stewardess Liza was most attentive & made sure our every need was met! Her towel art- very cute & clever! Note: Tip your steward in person! In fact, all of the staff couldn't do enough for you, most of them loved their jobs! The entertainment/shows/bands were all great & there was a huge variety of things to do included in your ticket price!! Yes you had to pay if you wanted to do bingo, casino, some craft, & adventure activities (if you didn't everyone's ticket price would be higher!) There was so much to do at times there wasn't time to stop without 'missing something!' Now for the food..... I am a chef & we found the food to be good. The Pantry is a novel idea for a buffet, it allows for a variety of food without a single queue everyone lined up in. Indian, Asian, fish/chips/pizza Mexican, Roast, salads/soup/ sandwiches & of course dessert!! In 3 days I wasn't able to try everything, however the food we had was hot, tasty & better than the 'buffet slop' some places dish up. We were quite annoyed at the constant whinging & comments about the food onboard!! Folks you need to remember the chefs are feeding 2000 people every meal sitting for a DAILY budget of at a guess $15-$20pp at most!!! What do you expect?? One thing I will say is I hope they change variety of dishes more often on a longer cruise. However, like I said above, because we were there only 3 days we didn't have to eat the same thing twice (unless we wanted to!) The Waterfront restaurant was available unlimited (you could eat here every meal if you wanted) for a 3 course meal breakfast/lunch/ dinner for no addition cost. I would describe this as 'formal dining' with budget A La Carte food. You needed to book a table in this restaurant which had staggered times (the booking process was a little clunky & could use a little work)- more complaints heard (again how many meals do you think chefs can prepare at once!) The service was fabulous and staff were almost too attentive, the meal's we had were served quickly, were nice & presented well. The steak was cooked med/rare but was chewy, however it wasn't eye fillet or scotch so difficult to make tender!! The other courses spot on! Overall we had a positive experience & really enjoyed ourselves. We have picked up lots of tips for a longer cruise next time! As for all the 'negative Nancy's' out there you're never going to be happy as you clearly want champagne on a beer budget!!! Remember you get what you pay for! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
As a seasoned cruiser, being on no fewer than 9 cruises over 15 years, on all different lines, I decided to write this review. These are my thoughts and what I feel is a balanced review. I was a bit apprehensive to go, as P&O I do ... Read More
As a seasoned cruiser, being on no fewer than 9 cruises over 15 years, on all different lines, I decided to write this review. These are my thoughts and what I feel is a balanced review. I was a bit apprehensive to go, as P&O I do find get negative or poor to average reviews. We are a family of 5, married couple with 3 children Miss 15, Miss 13 and Mr 4. We decided to have a quick 3 night cruise on the Jewel, as it worked with our busy lifestyle, and hadn't been on a P&O ship in over 10 years. As our most recent cruise was on Carnival Spirit,(March 2015) this would be a good comparison to do my review on. We drove from Adelaide, arrived Early into Port Melbourne at 10:30am. Picked the 12 midday embarkation option. We proceeded to the dock @ 10:45am, thinking we are way to early, but no, we pretty much walked on the ship just after 11am! We were welcomed on board and asked if we needed any help, but declined. Cannot complain about the service. On embarkation, we did the usual tour of the ship,( my favourite part!) and although the ship is getting old, was very impressed with the décor, condition and cleanliness of the ship, say compared to the Spirit. I actually expected much less, so it exceeded my expectations already. Constant refurbishments has kept it modern as can be for a ship of this age and design. We had 2 x inside cabins one deck 11 and 1 x deck 10. Not ideal, as we booked so late on a special price, but you get what your given. Our cabin is small, but clean and adequate. Everything was in our room, eg, pacific daily, kids club info,beds were great. Cabin stewards introduced themselves to us and gave great service. Our beds were arranged incorrectly, asked to bed changed. Done straight away. Our room steward did a great job, very efficient and made up our room in an acceptable time and turn down @ night. Dining. I was looking forward to the Pantry as it is a new concept. It has its pros and cons. These are my personnel thoughts and observations Let me explain... Pros; Less food variety = better quality food, Yes. Food hot, Yes. They serve the food to you. This eliminates many food safety issues, but also stops people piling food onto their plate. Remember, you can go back as many times as you want. Cons; You have to retrain yourself on how to eat at the Pantry. Instead of choosing 20 items to pile on your plate each day, ( at a normal buffet, for example) just pick one or two. On the 3 night cruise I struggled to visit each station at the Pantry over lunch to experience all the offerings unless I double and tripled up. I would not travel on a cruise any longer than 7 nights max with the pantry as it will get boring really quickly. Modern fit out, with chairs, but some too tall for kids like my 4 year old. Hard to get a seat at peak times (especially for a family of 5) The Pantry has very tight opening/closing times witch I did not like. Waterfront restaurant was excellent in comparison to the empire on the Spirit. We booked each day for 6pm dinner as a family. No issues with trying to book. Could either ring to book (yes they answered straight away) or rebook after dinner when leaving. Service was always fast and efficient but lacked personnel service, a little robotic. Food quality was good to great, reasonably hot. Food choices were plentiful and enjoyed the everyday food options and the share plates. highlight for us was the chicken share plate (this changes each night) and I recommend the chicken wings in the bucket. As good as on land. We only did breakfast once in the dining room, a bit average and didn't go back . Didn't try lunch in the Waterfront as ran out of days! My wife and I, did Salt Grill one night. Excellent food, great service. For $50 a head a fair price. To eat this quality, and amount of food on the main land would be twice as much. Entertainment was good, with enough options to meet most peoples needs in a ship that's not designed for that many things on at the same time. The shortcomings of an older ship trying to keep up todays standard. The new Bianco, Gatsby theme nights are slick, and much more upmarket than ever before. Comedy shows were great, highlight was the passenger comedy show with no more than 10 separate acts, with possibly the funniest and bizarre things I have seen in a long time. Production show Dejav was new and fresh. I suspect the older crowed would hate it, but I've had to put up with Piano Man, big Band etc same production shows for years. Thank god for new LCD screens now do away with props. No more anchor band, all now a distant memory. I suspect they can introduce new production shows monthly if they had too. Still plenty of other live music groups to choose from within the ship. The kids had a great time, but the two older did prefer the Spirit. Mr 4 year old couldn't wait to get to kids club. In summary, we had a great time on the Jewel. I think P&O get a bad wrap, but I don't understand why? Yes it's not 5 star, but I knew that going on. It was value for money and delivered a great product. I'm grateful for any cruise and lucky that we have the opportunity to cruise. Would I cruise on the Jewel again, probably not only because we like to experience as many ships as possible. We would however, book with P&O again if the price and itinerary was a good fit for us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The Pacific Eden is sold to people as a refurbished Ship. It is far from it! OK on the good side, the restaurants are brand new and are very well decorated as is most of the bars. The rooms and general public areas are all very old and ... Read More
The Pacific Eden is sold to people as a refurbished Ship. It is far from it! OK on the good side, the restaurants are brand new and are very well decorated as is most of the bars. The rooms and general public areas are all very old and dated. We had a suite that was nice and big, however it had a very old (Art Deco?) feel to it. The bath was badly stained and had been patched. The toilet and sinks were also stained and in bad need of replacement. The balcony was rusty and had very old broken furniture. The TV was a small old 19" Plasma, however it did have a DVD but nowhere could i find any to borrow! The bed was comfy though with a good supply of pillows. The dance floor was directly above so don't think of getting to sleep anytime before midnight! The comedy shows were excellent with a good selection of male and female performers, we didn't miss one show and were fully entertained. Now to another big disappointment - the food. The main restaurant had fantastic decor but was badly let down by the quality of food and attention to detail by the wait staff. The portion sizes were reminiscent of the old "dollar dinners" that seniors used to be able to purchase from RSL's! Food was quite tasteless and overcooked, I had to ask 3 times for a wine list and when the white wine finally arrived it was warm! I complained and got a nice cold one but no apology or attempt at rectification. We also went to the new "Dragon Lady" asian restaurant which had an amazing decor but again, badly let down by the quality and quantity of the food, try 3 dumplings or 3 small chicken satay sticks for a main course sized meal! The food we had was cold and not tasty. The rice was stodgy and over cooked as was the sushi. The wait staff were excellent, however very embarrassed to be serving such crap food General Comments: The ship had a very old oily smell to it! The toilets outside the main restaurant were dirty with waste paper bins overflowing There was no staff dispensing hand sanitisers at restaurant entries like other cruise lines have Even though the seas were very flat this little boat was pitching quite badly. would make for an interesting ride in heavy seas! The seats in the Theatre were very uncomfortable and in the upper circle there was a hand rail making it hard to see the stage. The Comedians, illusionist and actors/singers/performers and shows were excellent. We were supposed to be served complimentary coffee and pastries for Breakfast on debarkation but nothing was supplied! There is no long term parking options at White bay terminal, it cost me $60 in taxi fares from and to Central Railway. No public transport close to the terminal either! Would I go on a P & O ship again ? I doubt it. I am surprised that this long established company would serve up such a bad experience. Trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear never works. I would not recommend this to any of my friends. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
50 percent of the public toilets on board were out of order. The floors of the ones which did work were often covered with (used) toilet paper and weren't clean. Paper towels to dry your hands weren't refilled once they were ... Read More
50 percent of the public toilets on board were out of order. The floors of the ones which did work were often covered with (used) toilet paper and weren't clean. Paper towels to dry your hands weren't refilled once they were empty. Many of the lifts were out of order. One 60 kg person travelling solo in the lift was enough to make it read "overloaded" and refuse to work. Lifts which did work often had cups and glasses piled into the corners and left there. Food in the Pantry was repetitive (same food every day) and ordinary in terms of standard. The Pantry is NOT buffet style. It's bain-marie food which you ask for and a crew-member then puts on a plate for you. Think Coles Cafeteria. It does eliminate the wastage (and the slow buffet queues) you see on the other P&O Australia ships, but it's still not a venue you look forward to dining in. On the first night, the Angelos and Dragon Lady restaurants were closed due to private functions. Waiting time for the Waterfront Restaurant was over an hour. Although the Waterfront restaurant is on Deck 7, it must be accessed from Deck 8. None of the public toilets on Deck 7 work. Of the 2 sets of female toilets on Deck 8, only 1 set is operational and it consists of 2 toilets, one of which is permanently locked. Advance bookings at the Waterfront restaurant are not permitted, however you needed to queue in order to get a beeper to come back later. We waited over an hour and then when our beeper went off we needed to queue AGAIN before finally being shown into the restaurant. Then when we finally got into the restaurant half the tables were vacant. Why?? The showers in the cabins were difficult. Initially the water would run dirty brown but it cleared after a minute or so. At 5 pm all we could get was hot water and no cold. At 11 pm all we could get was cold water and no hot. Air conditioning problems are rife. Some areas are arctic and some areas (like the sides of the Pantry and the Dome nightclub) are like sitting in a sauna. Entertainment was hit-and-miss. A Sit Down Comedy Club comedian on the last night was superb. A "comic" hypnotist and the resident entertainers were an outdated cliched yawn. The sound systems need to be worked out. If there was a live artist in one of the bars then it was difficult to carry on a conversation. Watching the people participating in Karaoke it became obvious they had no sound feedback so they couldn't hear themselves OR their backing music. The nightclub floor was largely empty as the DJ just put an album on and let it play through. When we asked if they'd play dance music we were told there were people on board from head office so the album was what they had to play. We were bored out of our minds on this ship. The adults-only pool area is a decent size but needs some options for shade. Regarding the shops, I'd forgotten a toothbrush and it turned out it wasn't possible to purchase one on board. Half the stock they DO have in the shops doesn't have prices on it. The VIP earlybird booking bonuses we were entitled to weren't provided so we needed to queue in line at reception to chase them. On a positive note, the beds were comfortable and the cabin stewards were friendly chaps. Drink prices are reasonable, even if the service is slow. Holland America must be laughing their heads off to have got rid of this ship. I've done at least a dozen cruises with various cruise lines and this is easily double-the-worst of them. If your idea of a great cruise is; * queuing for average food, * searching for a working toilet, * taking the stairs because the lifts don't work * doing trivia quizzes (win a HAT!) and * playing bingo then go for it. Otherwise, I suggest booking ANYTHING else. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I booked this cruise as a spur of the moment decision and as it was over a weekend I didn't require time off from work. The pacific aria has just undergone a refurbishment and they did a great job on her. The various public venues ... Read More
I booked this cruise as a spur of the moment decision and as it was over a weekend I didn't require time off from work. The pacific aria has just undergone a refurbishment and they did a great job on her. The various public venues were great with many bars and little alcoves around the ship to enjoy your time on board. The staff on board were very friendly and helpful. It does though feel that it is slightly understaffed. This was mostly evident in the waterfront restaurant. It took quite some time for orders to be taken and then for the entree to be served. Also it felt that the casino was understaffed (and very small). With times when there was minimal staff on duties when the casino was busy and closing fairly early (1am) when there were still a few people willing to keep on gambling. The shows on board were great with 'side show alley' being a highlight. Also Taylor Moss, a country-rock vocalist being great. I travelled throughout the ship to watch her perform. A great talent. Looking forward to the next opportunity to travel on the pacific aria. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Upgraded from balcony to mini suite a week before sailing @$80 pp, was well worth it, priority checkin & transit onto the ship in a matter of minutes. Also had free soft drinks included, fruit basket & nibblies, after cruising a ... Read More
Upgraded from balcony to mini suite a week before sailing @$80 pp, was well worth it, priority checkin & transit onto the ship in a matter of minutes. Also had free soft drinks included, fruit basket & nibblies, after cruising a lot in our earlier days around South Pacific & Asia, we don't tend to do small /local trips anymore, our last 4 cruises have been repo cruises from between 18-37 days in length in Europe & America. When we boarded the Jewel we could see she is an older ship but the cabin (11126) was well appointed, the only downside is the location under the pool, the noise of the deck chairs could be annoying at times, in terms of restaurants -we prefer the cafeteria & the pantry concept was interesting, traffic flowed well, less wastage (but I don't think ruled it out ) & more healthy in terms of germs not being passed through many hands touching utensils. I would have to say thatthe Jewel are not as hygeine alert as other ships. Other lines always someone in doorways ready with sanitiser & they are well positioned at lifts & pretty much sanitiser stations at every doorway, we didn't utilise the spa or speciality restaurant services, perhaps on a longer trip, I found the service staff in all areas to be friendly & service orientated, I would happily go on the Jewel again& recommend her to others, we just spent a month on the solstice & whilst it was a beautiful ship - their unethical business practise of increasing alcohol prices by $3US per drink was an insult to the 2000 Australians who boarded in Hawaii & so I actually rate P&O higher than celebrity, the ships might not be flashy new ones but they beat celebrity hands down in terms of service & atmosphere - we also had the pleasure of celebrating the 5 ship spectacular & justice crew & exito were awesome -well done P&O it really was spectacular! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
P & O The Jewell.... I went on this 3 night cruise on the 20th November 2015. The cruise was a nice way to relax but the ship was a very low class and low budget cruise ship, inside was ugly with a brown and white paint job a lot of ... Read More
P & O The Jewell.... I went on this 3 night cruise on the 20th November 2015. The cruise was a nice way to relax but the ship was a very low class and low budget cruise ship, inside was ugly with a brown and white paint job a lot of the inside walls were badly rusted but were painted over. The food was pathetic and there was no serve yourself buffet like on the other ships we have been on, the food was devided into four sections e.g.; Australian, Mexican, Indian & Chinese. Aussie food was a roast and chicken with vegetables and gravy, Chinese consisted of a pasta dish 99.9% pasta with cabbage and a few thin strips of carrot whatever meat was in it was almost invisible, and fish & chips. Mexican had three dishes and Indian had beef, pork and chicken with their Indian breads, the deserts were pathetic mainly something in a pastry shell, no ice cream and very watery custard. The meals were dished out by the workers which meant a very long wait in a queue up to 15 minutes or longer depending what food you wanted I waited 15 minutes just to get one bowl of oats which was more like runny liquid made on water-YUK. Breakfast had a good selection of cereals and hot food but by the time you got served most of the food was just barely warm. The tea & coffee was also served by a worker which meant a wait in line as well, the cups were green plastic for the hot drinks and some had dirty finger prints on them and also lipstick stains, a sure sign that they were probably just rinsed and not washed properly. It was almost impossible to get a table unless you were there as soon as they opened and on many occasions there was no cutlery, the reason given was that there were a lot of people and they had to wash the cutlery. The bathroom was so tiny anyone bigger then myself would have trouble moving inside but the worst was the towels they were supposed to be white but were off white with some even a light grey and had yellow stains as well, I was disgusted when I saw them, I like my whites to be snowy white not off white or grey, we were told not to drink the tap water but to buy the bottled water which was very expensive, but like everything on the ship they are obviously trying to save money at the expense of their customers. the window in our cabin was so dirty from sea spray we could'nt see out of it.. I have been on a few different cruise ships but have never come across anything like this before. A waste of good pension money, it takes us many months to save to go away and this was a cruise I will never forget. I will be doing my homework from now on before we go onto any more cruises.. Not happy.. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Background Information - We picked this cruise as we were travelling with friends that enjoy a good meal and a glass (or two) of wine. We have cruised before and wanted our friends to catch the bug. Sadly, the fittings and fixtures of this ... Read More
Background Information - We picked this cruise as we were travelling with friends that enjoy a good meal and a glass (or two) of wine. We have cruised before and wanted our friends to catch the bug. Sadly, the fittings and fixtures of this vessel are not in the luxury standard and they were a little disappointed. Ship Information - the ship is not in the luxury class and is showing signs of wear. The staff are friendly and make you cruise as hassle free as possible. Activities - as this was billed as a Food and Wine cruise you had to book early or rush to get good seats for the free activities. The 4 Ingredient ladies were the highlight of the trip. The wine was a sad runner up. With the amount of great Australian wineries and or wine regions this was disappointing. Cabin - the usual - our room steward decorated or door for our anniversary -- nice touch. Dining - the food was O.K not great, but I did not have to cook or wash up, so it was time to relax and chat with friends. Entertainment - the movie under the stars was an experience. A big screen with the stars above - magic.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We just did a cruise on P&O's Pacific Jewel, a three day "Food & Wine" cruise out of Sydney.This is the first time I have tried P&O, hence the three day cruise, also it left on my partners birthday, easy ... Read More
We just did a cruise on P&O's Pacific Jewel, a three day "Food & Wine" cruise out of Sydney.This is the first time I have tried P&O, hence the three day cruise, also it left on my partners birthday, easy present.It was scheduled to leave at 4pm, the Captain announced at 3.30pm that we would not be leaving until 7.30, it left the dock at 11.30pm, there was no further announcement from the Bridge re this, so much for the "sail away party" and being kept fully informed as advised at 3.30.I was told when booking that it sailed for three days to nowhere, but it sailed over night to Jervis Bay and dropped anchor next morning and stayed there until late next afternoon, not much sailing to be had, it sailed late afternoon on the second day to return to Sydney so mostly at night, so much for sitting on the balcony to enjoy the ocean.First night we had dinner in Salt Restaurant, the service and food were superb, well worth the extra charge ($40.00pp).From this point trying to organise anything was a chore, you had to stand in line,this took up to 45 minutes to try and get into any of the talks that were part of the "Food & Wine " aspect of the cruise.After enduring this, I must admit I'm not good standing in queues, when you finally reached the counter you were then told that what you wanted to do was fully booked.Not a good start, the organisation of this was abysmal.I then went back to the cabin to call the other restaurants we wanted to try, well it did not get any better, i was told i could not book for the following night and had to call back the next morning from 8am, i informed the person on the other end of the phone that i had been trying to get thru for 15 minutes, ( it seemed like hours having to dial the number over and over), they just said thats how it is.I was on the phone next morning at 8am, by the time i was answered,8.10am, La Luna the other restaurant was fully booked.We went to the Waterfront Restaurant the second night, this is the standard restaurant for the ship, i had booked in advance asking for a table for two only and was happy to wait until this could be done, we arrived at 8.00pm and was told no this was not available and we had to sit at a shared table, the service was erratic and slow, when the food arrived it was just warm, getting a wine list was a whole other experience.The cabin we had 11123 was a mini-suite, the best this ship could offer, it was well laid out, spacious and clean, the bed was good and the sheets/linen were of good quality.We didn't have in the room the inclusions that were promised with this level of cabin, i had to phone to request these, i was told the steward must have forgot to put them in the cabin.The one huge concern was the noise from the deck above, we were under the pool deck, normally not a concern, but on this ship the tables and chairs being dragged around by people just using them came straight thru the ceiling, it was unbelievable the amount of noise, it keep you awake at night and woke you up early in the morning.This level of cabin on this ship is a huge waste of money, opt for the standard balcony cabin on deck 10, it might be half the size but it will be quite and you will get a full nights sleep.Over all the ship was what was expected i suppose, ( cheap & cheerful) I was hoping for more, the staff appeared to be over worked and looked on average unhappy and tired,getting a drink at some of the bars was plain hard work, to the extent I walked off, the food was very average, good if you like warm to cold.The pay to use restaurants were very good and well worth the extra charge, the staff were very helpful, friendly and the food was hot and very tasty.As a mini-suite customer you really get nothing extra except more space in the cabin and the noise from above killed the enjoyment of that.It was worth a try, but i will not be boarding the Pacific Jewel again and will think twice before trying another P&O ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
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