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2 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
2 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
3 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
5 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
7 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Chose this cruise for the value for money, the ship having been newly refurbished and wanted to tour the South Pacific.There were 8 of us in our group and our ages ranged from 24 to 73. We all loved our time on the ship and didn't want our ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the value for money, the ship having been newly refurbished and wanted to tour the South Pacific.There were 8 of us in our group and our ages ranged from 24 to 73. We all loved our time on the ship and didn't want our time to end. The restaurants The Waterfront, Dragon Lady and Angelos were delicious and had a great variety of food, all inclusive of the fare. I had a balcony room and it was a good size, we had terrific cabin stewards and the shower was always hot. The nightly entertainment was full of variety and alot of fun. The stage shows were awesome, the dancing, the singing and special effects were fantastic. The theme nights were heaps of fun too and we did alot of dancing those nights. During the day there were so many things to do, trivia, bingo, dance lessons, celebrity head, perfect match, cooking lessons....there was not enough time in the day or the week to do everything. Spent most time at the Oasis pool area and the drinks and music were great, very relaxing at the back of the ship watching the world go by. Mid ship is where the kids hung out in the pool but there were still heaps of lounge chairs available, whilst listening to some great music or watching a movie on the big screen. The Edge had heaps for the adventurer at heart but I really enjoyed the water slides. Finally the event staff were amazing, they were friendly, engaging, funny and they made our stay feel like we were part of one big happy family. Can't wait to cruise with P&O again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Booked spur of the moment at a bargain price. Read mixed reviews in the past, so was a bit unsure of what to expect. But had a great time sailing around the Pacific islands. We have done around 20 cruises and have just gone back to ... Read More
Booked spur of the moment at a bargain price. Read mixed reviews in the past, so was a bit unsure of what to expect. But had a great time sailing around the Pacific islands. We have done around 20 cruises and have just gone back to P&O cruises this year 2017, to try out their new ships and found P&O have certainly upped their game. The food has improved greatly. Plenty of free restaurants to choose from such as the Asian Dragon lady, or the Italian Angelo's. The Pantry which used to be called the buffet, was very spacious, and the presentation and variety of food was excellent. We mostly ate in the Waterfront restaurant which did not disappoint. The cabins were on the small side. We asked the beds to be separated and made the cabin much more spacious. The entertainment from the guests performers to the P&O singers and dancers were first class, the stage productions were extremely well done. The Gatsby night was very popular, great atmosphere. We usually go with a around 8 friends. This cruise was just the two of us, we are in our 60's but had a relaxing, and sometimes hectic time, but very enjoyable. I found the Explorer had a mixed age group, great for families. With a section for 18+ only called the Oasis. Drinks were reasonably prices, beer around $6 and cocktails $12. The staff all over the ship were friendly, and attentive. Overall a great experience. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We were lucky enough to get a last minute deal for a quad cabin which worked out roughly to be $63 pp per day making it a very cheap holiday for our family of 1 adult, and 3 children. We've never cruised P&O before and I'd always been ... Read More
We were lucky enough to get a last minute deal for a quad cabin which worked out roughly to be $63 pp per day making it a very cheap holiday for our family of 1 adult, and 3 children. We've never cruised P&O before and I'd always been hesitant to book given the rumors of it being a 'party ship' among other things. Sure, I was worried on the first couple of days seeing all of the young adults drink to excess (yes, you did!!) I quickly learnt to avoid the smoking area on Deck 12, and the Dome at night. The upside was the ship was VERY quiet until about lunchtime. We had early boarding at 1030am and it was smooth and hassle free - we were onboard just after 11am giving us plenty of time to book an early slot for dinner in the Waterfront, dumping our hand luggage in our cabins, and in The Pantry eating lunch by 1130am. there were some passengers trying to jump the queue, but staff members were asking for paperwork and those without the early boarding were not let through (Ditto with the smooth and hassle free disembarkation). Getting on early meant we could explore our cabin and the ship. We had a window view quad room on the 9th deck which was adequate for our needs. Plenty of storage space for clothing, toiletries, and cases although a few extra coat hangers would be nice. Beds were comfortable, bathroom was adequate, we have no complaints about the cabin or size of the cabin. Every staff member we encountered were delightful, polite, and friendly. We have no complaints about staff members or the service, although there was a youth security officer who might need to adjust her attitude a little and understand that not all youth are unruly. Speaking of youth, I had no idea of the amount of kids onboard until the family Halloween party - I didn't find the kids to be a problem at all, quite the contrary in fact. I do wonder if the 'kids running all over the ship' mentioned in so many other reviews were doing scavenger hunts organised by the kids club. My kids did a few onboard and it does involve doing what is needed quickly. I couldn't get my boys out of the kids club, they loved it. My other child preferred to hang out with me. We all really liked The Pantry, I'm always a little wary of buffets so was interested to see how a food court would work at sea and was pleasantly surprised. We ate breakfast quite early (by 7am at the latest), lunch at 1130am and there was always plenty of seating available mostly in The Pantry, or just outside (the exception was the last sea day and disembarkation morning). Food offerings for lunch changed daily, breakfast appeared the same, I did pop in occasionally to see what they offered for dinner and it also appeared to change daily). We had dinner at the Waterfront (also tried it for breakfast and lunch) and were happy with the choices offered, and the quality of the food however something needs to be done about the temperature - it was mostly lukewarm when arriving at the tables. This is probably my biggest whinge about the trip - I hate lukewarm and cold food that is suppose to be hot, it's just asking for a boatload of food poisoning...We didn't try the other restaurants, and only had hot chips at The Grill which were nice at the beginning of the cruise, but the Grill started to stink of old fat/oil by the end and I couldn't walk past without gagging. The ice cream was nice and we enjoyed a few of those, as well as enjoying a few cocktails - well I did, the kids had soft drink! We didn't do a lot of the activities such as quizzes etc as were content to be in the pool, on the waterslides, or chilling out on deck with a book and/or talking to other passengers. The full shows we saw were Slumber and Seven and enjoyed them both, we also went to the 'introduction show' thing on the first night. Musicians onboard were fabulous and we spent a lot of time listening and singing along in the Atrium - I'm too clumsy to dance :D We didn't do any ship shore excursions preferring to sort our own thing out which has worked well in the past, and did this trip as well. We didn't think much of Noumea, but loved Lifou and Port Vila and will happily go back to either/or both! Would we cruise with P&O again? If the price was right, sure. Read Less
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