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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My son's 6 years old, I wanted to test his 'sea legs' on a mini cruise and Pacific Explorer was right time right place to fit in with school hols. Embarkation was amazingly straight forward from White Bay Cruise Terminal, although there ... Read More
My son's 6 years old, I wanted to test his 'sea legs' on a mini cruise and Pacific Explorer was right time right place to fit in with school hols. Embarkation was amazingly straight forward from White Bay Cruise Terminal, although there is no car parking anywhere nearby which is a bit annoying given the acres of space in the adjacent area. Rooms - Our 'Stateroom' was clean, tidy and kept that way by Donny and Joseph during our trip, thank you very much guys (in case you're reading this). Food - The main food area is 'The Pantry' which is essentially a food court as you'd find in major cities. There were eight different choices for Lunch and Dinner including Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Roast, fish and chips etc, all of which were quite satisfactory. Breakfast choices were cerial, yoghurt, fruit and full english with an abundance of surprisingly good bacon. There was also a good salad and fruit bar, a reasonable selection of bread, self service tea and coffee and a bar with Barista made coffee (not included in price). If you're in a largish group don't expect to be seated together at busy times. The pantry also offers sandwiches, rolls and wraps during the arvo which were very good quality. Also included in the fare is Dragon Lady (Chinese) and Angelo's (Italian), Dragon Lady decor is a fantastic subdued black with exceptionally well thought out lighting, food is what you'd expect from any Chinese restaurant in the world - Chinese. We didn't eat in Angelo's but we were told it was good. Next up is 'Lukes' and 400 Gradi , Luke's is an alfresco 'grill' overlooking the pool area designed by Luke Mangan, a limited menu but very good quality, try the Korean Chicken Burger with pickles, absolutely fantastic. 400 Gradi was exceptionally good, a fantastic selection of good quality Italian Prosciutto and Salami, traditional Italian style pizza and possibly and the best Semi Freddo in the Southern Hemisphere, seriously, it really was that good. Neither restaurants are included in the fare but the cost is modest, starter, pizza, two desserts, three glasses of wine and four mocktails set me back $40, 'Lukes' was similarly inexpensive and the staff in both could have come directly from a top City restaurant, very, very good at what they do (to the point of going to another of the ships bars to get me a particluar wine). There are other restaurants but we didn't get time to go to them. Entertainment - Every evening a programme is supplied detailing the next days events of which there is about 50 or so between the hours of 7am and midnight, too much to go into here but something for all age groups. The main deck has two pools, two hot tubs a well stocked and efficiently staffed bar, a MASSIVE movie screen and lots and lots and lots of noise, the PA system pumps music, trivia, exercise routines and movie soundtracks relentlessly from early to late, fortunately it's a good quality sound system. Kids - There are two main clubs, 6 and under and 7-11 year old's, (apparently something for teenagers as well) both are very well staffed (I guesstimated 1 supervisor per 6 or 7 kids). The club has secure buzz entry and kids under 8 are not allowed to leave unless a parent is there. Adults - The ship has an adults only retreat, conveniently located adjacent to the kids club. It has three hot tubs, a pool, plenty of loungers a very well stocked bar and is situated at the back of the ship with open views of the ocean. I didn't experience any of the other adult attractions as I was travelling with a 6 year old. Passengers - It would be difficult not to have regular chats with other passengers given the close proximity dictated by the limited space, I struck up countless friendships with people of all age groups all of whom were thoroughly enjoying themselves. Crew - 850 crew to 2500 passengers, all are clearly very well trained, seemed happy doing what they were doing and always keen to assist in any way they could, I can't over emphasize the consistently positive attitude I encountered with the staff and crew, absolutely amazing team, if you're a P&O boss you need to give these guys a pay rise, all of them. Finally, having read some of the other negative reviews it should be pointed out that this ship is very family oriented, if you struggle being in a 'captive environment' surrounded by kids and/ or enjoy your privacy and solitude then this particular cruise ship probably isn't for you. Have a fun cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This Cruise was a 80th Birthday surprise for my father. We had planned to take a cruise with our immediate family for my dad's 80th. After much planning and secrecy we managed to celebrate this momentous occasion with 6 nieces and ... Read More
This Cruise was a 80th Birthday surprise for my father. We had planned to take a cruise with our immediate family for my dad's 80th. After much planning and secrecy we managed to celebrate this momentous occasion with 6 nieces and nephews joining in the celebrations, making a total party of 12 people. We had decided on the Fraser Island cruise as this was one destination my dad had wanted to visit, but had never gotten around to. Unfortunately due to poor port conditions and bad weather we were unable to visit the island. All of our party had planned different shore tours, and we were disappointed about the missed port, but understood the safety implications the Captain had to make. This means we will have another chance to visit, hopefully in the near future, but not by the means of a Cruise. We had booked 3 Balcony cabins on deck 10. They were the perfect size with comfortable bedding, a decent sized lounge and bathroom and a very spacious balcony. We were positioned close enough to the oasis pool area which made it an ideal spot when we wanted to take a quiet dip in the pool. As always the case with P&O the cabin stewards are always helpful and efficient. In fact all the staff on the ship were friendly and professional. They not only had to deal with passengers that were disappointed with not disembarking at Fraser Island, but the weather was wild and rocky with many people suffering from seasickness. Overall the ship is in need of an update and maintenance. There was rust coming through on the balcony in places and some of the public areas were looking a bit warn. Considering the ship went through 45 knot headwinds with swells up to 8 metres I think it was doing alright. The Pantry is a new concept that I liked as it kept unsanitary hands away from the food, but it did create longer lines and slower serving times with people. We found that if you wanted to visit the Pantry do it in the quieter times very early or very late breakfast. We only visited the Pantry for lunch on the boarding day and never went to the Pantry for dinner. Most of our meals were taking at the Waterfront and Angelo's, both come very highly recommended. The food in all the service areas was top notch, with much variety. We found the Gym and excercise classes were a great way to get the day started. The main criticism I have with the facility is they don't open until 7am. As we are early rises this can throw you out of your routine for the first day, but eh we are on a holiday so it's good to be a little flexible. The equipment is first class, with great cardio equipment and very good strength conditioning machines. The instructors not so enthusiastic, I took a class which was meant to be a kick boxing class, but ended up being a circuit class with some boxing components, what made it worse was the instructor was as excited as a deflated balloon. The shows were pretty good, I think they had entertainers that could actually sing this Cruise. The comedian was very good and well received. The other activities on the ship were conducted by a variety of staff who did their jobs with a lot of humour, which was very well appreciated by the Australian passengers. As the cruise was an 80th that turned into a family reunion, it was great to get together with family members we don't get to see very often as we live in all areas of Australia. Well done P & O for making a difficult cruise due to poor weather conditions into a resounding success for our family holiday. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Travelling with a 14 year old and hoped all the extras activities would be great on the refurbish ship. Firstly the virtual video is not accurate. Refurbished external yes but certainly not cabins. We were in 10204 balcony bed was ... Read More
Travelling with a 14 year old and hoped all the extras activities would be great on the refurbish ship. Firstly the virtual video is not accurate. Refurbished external yes but certainly not cabins. We were in 10204 balcony bed was saggy, carpets old very tight space. I had a wheely walker and had to fold up to take in side. Meals in Waterfront were not much different to home meals, water fish main like soup, meatloaf as a example. Dessert nothing to write home about. Angeles not really Italian and Dragon Lady best but very small meals. They advertise anytime dinning but everywhere has to be booked. Do this as soon as on board. The biggest rip of is the extra activities. Zip line walk plank. Segway obstical coarse What a Joke. 15 meters on side of deck going around a few top hats (same as used on round works). My grandson and his father paid for the Gold Edge pass. Unlimited use of activities. The Edge centre was only open each day for a short time. Only able to do 2 activities each day. Plus different ones available each day. It cost the same for a 8 day cruise as a 13 night cruise. No complaints about staff except shortage of but others worked very hard as usual. No drink service in Pantry, line up. Pantry food cheaply made, scarcity of meat. Fish and chips best. Salad small but ok Will we go again. NEVER. Back to princess or Holland America. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We originally decided to choose the Dawn because the family friendly facilities and activities appealed to us. This was our first cruise, so naturally we were excited with anticipation and certain expectations. The pantry restaurant which ... Read More
We originally decided to choose the Dawn because the family friendly facilities and activities appealed to us. This was our first cruise, so naturally we were excited with anticipation and certain expectations. The pantry restaurant which was inclusive of our fare seemed appealing at first, with selections and choice of various flavours of dining tastes. As the days went on the food became repeatative and average. I noticed the trifle looked like they recycled left overs and put it together to fool us into eating a different trifle. Breakfast not bad nice to have bacon and eggs, but scrambled eggs were cold. Pastries seemed quite bland. The ship itself being the size it was, encouraged you to walk a distance to get where you were going. Various areas and structures badly needed painting, or repairing, I spotted cracks peeling paint, on beams, walls etc. A highlight was the outdoor pool area, great for the kids, waterpark nice, slides good pool a little small. Large screen good for movies out on deck. There are amazing vantage points for taking photos especially front of boat on deck 10. The Edge activities are great for kids and adults. We paid $116 for a gold pass unlimited for our 14 yr old. He really became much more active. It’s good too to give the parents some down time.We only had an inside cabin, no windows. At first when we arrived we noticed only two single bunk beds made up. We had our 14 yr old with us. We complained as the sleeping arrangements didn’t suit our situation. They wouldn’t allow the third top bunk to come down for safety reasons. We were adamant and demanded a queen bed( two singles really put together), and a roll out bed for our son. So really get the point across if you’re not happy. We got our “queen” bed and single bed. Not much room in cabin but I thought there was plenty of storage space for clothes. There were drawers and four hanging spaces for your clothes. I recommend you take your own pillow, as we found the pillows thin and therefore got sore necks.Everyday you would receive a newsletter for the days activities, which was good, the entertainment team were awesome, always in high spirits, the shows were always packed I thoroughly enjoyed them, you can order a drink just before the show with roaming waiters but sometimes hard to flag them down when there’s a full house get there early for good seats and to get served by the waiter. I took part in the hypnosis show absolutely fantastic. The service everywhere was always friendly and impeccable. Our stewards always smiled and knew our name and were only too happy to assist us with whatever we needed. We gave them a tip daily. A few tips on Port disembarking, and tenders. When going ashore by tender, it pays to get up early get organised, pack sunscreen, water, etc, get to breakfast early, and head to the meeting point, in our case, the promenade level 7. If you get there first or earlier you will get on the tenders earlier. If you get there late you will be lining up. Then you are handed a ticket number and told to wait in the atrium till your number is called. So the later you get to the promenade the longer the ticket call. Anyone doing the New Caledonia, Fiji, Lifou, Vanuatu trip, the first mentioned island is great for snorkelling, and relaxing but not too much to do, Fiji, great for shopping, the currency was good $1.58 to our Australian dollar so we got a bit more back on exchange. Keep your wits about you, don’t carry valuables in your pockets as you may get pickpocketed, my son almost got robbed, ushered into a back room while trying on a chain, but he rushed out so a close call. If you get off in Fiji be prepared to say no because you be approached by locals trying to pursuade you to go to a particular shop, don’t buy from on street shops go into shopping centre, to avoid getting ripped off. But we enjoyed the shopping off the street. If you hop into a taxi as you get off the ship, the driver will try to get as much money out of you by wanting to drive you around and into the country ( good chance of being robbed). We walked everywhere it wasn’t far from the ship anyway. Port Vila the best stop save some money for this one! Great tours, they have a Nike shop good value for money, we went to the blue lagoon unforgettable experience especially for the kids highly recommended. I wanted to spend longer in Port Vila, when you dock they have markets dockside great variety and I bought some beautiful dresses there. Oh and it’s a good idea to purchase the drinks package if you’re someone who would love to laze by the pool and sip on a cocktail, or not worry about how much you’re clocking up in cost. We regrettably didn’t get the drink package because my partner thought my $300 on board credit would last me 12 days. Nup we ended spending around $2000 which was too much last two days we ran out of money so I was miserable not being able to enjoy cocktails near the end of the cruise. We spent $200 in one night at the white party yikes so least with drink package you can relax and have as many cocktails as you like. We bonded with the staff so when disembarking in Brisbane I cried because truley speaking the staff really do make you feel special. The waterfront is better than the pantry but you need to book your table. Better quality and slightly better variety. Well sorry this is a long review but from one first timer to another it’s good to know this stuff before you go so you are better prepared and in for a more enjoyable experience. Happy travels and bon voyage. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
My husband and two daughters, (16 and 20) really enjoyed our 10 night cruise. We had separate balcony rooms which worked out fantastic as everybody had their own space. Our room stewards were amazing and went over the top to cater to ... Read More
My husband and two daughters, (16 and 20) really enjoyed our 10 night cruise. We had separate balcony rooms which worked out fantastic as everybody had their own space. Our room stewards were amazing and went over the top to cater to our needs. The personal touches to each and every passenger had to be commended. We loved our turned down beds every night (chocolate of course) and our next days itinerary ready to go. Breakfast there were two choices, The Pantry or the Waterfront Restaurant. We found that the Waterfront was the best option for breakfast as the meals were fresher and the omelettes were yummy. The Waterfront also felt like a restaurant were the Pantry had a food court atmosphere. We also enjoyed Angelo's (Italian) and Dragon Lady (Chinese). The best recommendation, if you enjoy alcoholic beverages, is to purchase the drinks package for sure. After the second night and checking our cruise accounts, we found that we had spent way more than we had realised and really regretted not getting a drinks package. We found the entertainment staff, especially Marious, made trivia and bingo funny and kept us returning for more laughs. Joanna also has to be acknowledged for her wit, professionalism and fantastic vocal skills that she displayed for the Motown performance. We are now planning our next family cruise and recruiting more family members as we were surprised how much fun we actually had. Thanks P&O :-) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Family & Friends were cruising together, When we dined at the water front for dinner the service some nights was quite annoying night 1 we waited for 15 minits for a drinks waiter to turn up but out meals arrived first. Second night ... Read More
Family & Friends were cruising together, When we dined at the water front for dinner the service some nights was quite annoying night 1 we waited for 15 minits for a drinks waiter to turn up but out meals arrived first. Second night meals arrived finished off first course was nice but need to ask for some bread buns for our table. Yoga went to attend willing to pay the $14 per class but come on a dance floor with Laser Tag going on in the same area and the Yoga on the beach was meant to be a 7am start only to be told it is now 10.30 am hot as and high tide should be a free classes under the conditions supplied. Movie night was great the first 2 nights on the top deck but Planet of the apes 3 night in a row PLUS on the tv channel as well one of the same night . Transformers was the advertised movie a lot of people had set up early and when Planet of the apes started 75% walked away in discuss. Do it again TBA Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We cruised on the P & O Pacific Eden on 1st December 2017 for a six-night cruise to Tasmania. We were rather worried because of all the negative reviews which we had read. Contrary to this we had a very pleasant trip when all our ... Read More
We cruised on the P & O Pacific Eden on 1st December 2017 for a six-night cruise to Tasmania. We were rather worried because of all the negative reviews which we had read. Contrary to this we had a very pleasant trip when all our expectations were exceeded. It is an old ship, but our room 'Stateroom' was very comfortable and clean. The bathroom also old with a bath to step into for a shower but clean. It was serviced every day. Our room was tidied and cleaned each day including our bed made each morning and turned down before the night. The aircon was nice and cool and we slept well each night. The crew was very helpful at all times, but I guess it always helps if there is a mutual exchange of respect. The meals were totally opposite to the negative reviews - food was always hot, and satisfying. The Pantry was our favourite...the variety was amazing! The 'Waterfront Restaurant' very nice and I feel sorry for the poor waiters carrying those burning hot plates. I have included some photos which you can judge for yourself. With taste I think there is a phenomenon of being at sea... tastes are slightly different, for example my cup of tea. using the same tea as back at home tasted not as strong. Not sure why but the food was fantastic. At the Pantry you could go for second helpings if so desired, but tried to resist and used the stairs for exercise instead of the lift. Sadly because of adverse weather, the Ship Captain made the decision to sail West and around Tasmania and to Hobart, wisely choosing passenger safety over the stop over at Port Arthur. This choice made sailing more comfortable for us. Although we missed out on Port Arthur, spending time on the ship made up for it in comfort. The shows were very entertaining, and we enjoyed the Jazz Band at the bar, the Trivia, games and activities all very good. The decks were never overcrowded. We thoroughly enjoyed our stop over at Burnie and Hobart. Our pre-booked on-line Shore Tours tickets were delivered to our room. Overall we had a great and restful holiday and don't understand why people complain so much? We recommend this cruise as a great holiday for a very affordable cost. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Went on my first cruise and booked 12 months ago with a $1 deposit and had a wonderful cruise. Yes it’s a old ship and yes there are a few things that can be fixed but the ship was really great and the staff where nice and friendly ... Read More
Went on my first cruise and booked 12 months ago with a $1 deposit and had a wonderful cruise. Yes it’s a old ship and yes there are a few things that can be fixed but the ship was really great and the staff where nice and friendly and always there to help. The embarkation was very smooth and was very quick. Got the ferry from darling Harbour to white bay and had a check in time at 1.30 and was on the ship about 2.pm We then had nice lunch at the pantry. Ate far to much food the whole time and had a free soft drink package which was great Disembarkation was also a breeze. Got up at 6 and had breakfast and was off the ship at 8.30. Weather was really unkind to us as we had really rough weather and the had to cancel Port Arthur and go around the west coast of Tasmania which was really nice Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because it was a short break that left from Melbourne on dates that suited us. We travelled as 2 couples and 1 child, this was our 11th cruise (we've cruised 5 different cruise lines, 8 different ships). We ate ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a short break that left from Melbourne on dates that suited us. We travelled as 2 couples and 1 child, this was our 11th cruise (we've cruised 5 different cruise lines, 8 different ships). We ate all lunches and dinners in Waterfront and were pleasantly surprised by the meals. None of us had a meal we didn't like. The service did vary though and was sometimes barely acceptable and other times wonderful. Breakfast we enjoyed in the pantry, a great selection with something for everyone's tastes. Our son enjoyed kids club but didn't enjoy being forced to partake in the scheduled activities when he just wanted to play with the toys. There were some activities he simply wasn't interested in (like Gatsby headband making). I did wonder why he couldn't have just played quietly while the kids who wanted to do the activities did them (there weren't many kids on board, and seemed to be only about 8-12 kids in the Shark Shack at any one time). The entertainment - we went to the comedian the first night and left after just a few minutes when we realised he expected audience participation (being embarrassed and singled out involuntarily is not our thing! We have no problem if they call for volunteers from the audience but to be forced unwillingly is a no go, so we left). The other 2 shows, Velvet Rope and The Four Seasons Show were very entertaining. We also went to the Luke Mangan live cooking show, very entertaining, funny and we learnt a few tips. All in all, we enjoyed this cruise and would go on Pacific Jewel again for another short cruise, however, would choose a different line for longer cruises. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
A self confessed cruise snob, I had not travelled on P&O for 25 years. This came up last minute and we took a chance. Wow! So much better than we expected. Decor had a complete revamp and was sensational - second to none. ... Read More
A self confessed cruise snob, I had not travelled on P&O for 25 years. This came up last minute and we took a chance. Wow! So much better than we expected. Decor had a complete revamp and was sensational - second to none. Comfortable and a little bit glamorous. Cruise staff were as good as any other ship (reasonable but rarely exceptional) food was okay if you knew where to look and in the case of Dragon Lady - really good. My only real gripe is that we were due to arrive in our first port on a Sunday at 3pm and didnt make it till 5pm. All tours (such as they were) were cancelled. Anyone else would have spent an extra night at sea, gone to the farthest port first and work backwards to spend a full day in each. Really dumb. We went before the Christmas rush - so few kids and large parties of drinkers. Just normal people. Would suggest you also time your trip well in consideration of the above. Generally would recommend based on above and never thought I'd be saying that. Read Less
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