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31 P&O Australia First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

Because we wished to see the West coast of Australia, I must say all about the ship was very good, I think those that complain must be a little hard to please. I found the food in the Pantry to be most adequate and suitable for what ... Read More
Because we wished to see the West coast of Australia, I must say all about the ship was very good, I think those that complain must be a little hard to please. I found the food in the Pantry to be most adequate and suitable for what we required, choice was good and I thought the servings were sensible( you can always go back for more if you need to) We Enjoyed the atmosphere and the crew and everybody associated with the Journey were pleasant and helpful. I would love to cruise again. Extremely relaxing holiday, All I had to do was get up in the morning have a shower and decide what to have for breakfast and how to fill in my day. There were so many choices, It would be hard not to be content,. I noticed the crew gave very good attention and service to those who were disabled or older. the rooms were comfortable and clean, the staff kept the room and linen very clean, Ashley and Fred were our room attendants, they were very pleasant and helpful. All in all I did really enjoy myself. Including shore trips. Thankyou Pacific Eden for giving us the opportunity to have a great relaxing holiday. I certainly would do it again probably very soon. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I have to start with this: 10/10 cruise Embarkations: Paid parking with bus shuttle 2 minutes away, pretty easy. Got on the ship at 11:30am, checked the room, had time to look around, booked the free Dragon Lady and Angelos ... Read More
I have to start with this: 10/10 cruise Embarkations: Paid parking with bus shuttle 2 minutes away, pretty easy. Got on the ship at 11:30am, checked the room, had time to look around, booked the free Dragon Lady and Angelos restaurants (Monkey bar) and went to the Pantry for lunch. Cabin 4227 (Ocean view, aft): Spacious, 4 beds, mattresses and pillows are really comfy. TV with the latest movies or the footy. Shower is a bit weird but you dont need to much effort to make it work. Food: Pantry: 10 different places with good variety and changes at every serve. It is 100% much better than any self-serve buffet, 2 people serving per place and the max waiting time was 2 minutes. Lady Dragon: nice setting, great Asia food, quick serving times (5-10 minutes) Angelos, more modern and elegant setting, Italian food, quick serving times (7-10 minutes) Waterfront: we went there just once for breakfast, it was pretty good and large sizes, there was a queue went we left at 8:30. I saw you get a pager if there a long queue. The Grill: We got Nachos and Pulled pock sandwich, great and cheap, 3 dollars each. Lounges: Great for a drink, live music and people serving you everywhere. Pools and Spa: Great for everyone, kids and adults Entertainment: Shows every night: 1 - Anthony B Laffan - Hypno-Mentalist - 10/10 Funny and entertaining. 2 - The Velvet Rope - Good musical 3- Off the Charts - Great and entertainment musical, great voices and girls 4 - Bingo - presenter was just so funny and made us all laugh all the time Parties: 1 - White night: people had a great time 1 - Gatsby Party: everyone dressed up and having fun Kids Clubs (7-9): My kids had a blast and they didnt want to get out even at 10:30pm Costs: Beer: 7-9 Cocktails Crew: Everyone on that ship has great energy, they all say hello and make the best effort to make you feel at home and stress free. Disembarkation: Easy, took us 5 minutes, bus shuttle waiting outside for us, in the car in another 5 minutes. It was so much fun and stress free that we are coming back soon. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I think we had such a good experience because our expectations were so low due to the reviews we read before going. Embarkations was easy, no issues although our bag arrived at our room damaged which I believe was mostly handled by ... Read More
I think we had such a good experience because our expectations were so low due to the reviews we read before going. Embarkations was easy, no issues although our bag arrived at our room damaged which I believe was mostly handled by staff that were not aboard the ship. Our cabin stewards were fantastic, they would usually be servicing rooms by the time we had left for breakfast and our rooms would always be made up by the time we'd returned. The same goes with dinner, they were very onto it and would service it as people left their rooms as opposed to knocking and bothering you while getting ready or just busy doing things in the room. One night we received chocolates on our pillows and another the towel animals, which were a lovely touch, the kids loved it. We dined in dragon lady, angelo's and waterfront which were nice enough but had very few options. They are not exactly child-friendly either as there aren't seperate menus for children. The staff in angelos did go above and beyond though and offered things that were not on the menu but it seemed to vary with different staff. We also were seated at two seperate tables in all restaurants which unfortunately meant we didn't always have the same waiter, which in turn meant we ordered and finished at different times but overall pleasant, just not ideal for bigger families/groups wishing to dine together. The Pantry was great, plenty of options and plenty of food for everyone and more accommodating for families/bigger groups. The food was about 10 times better than the restaurants too. We would eat early at each meal time so it almost always felt like there was food constantly. We didn't eat from the grill(little takeaway cafe they had by the lido pool) because we were always full but prices were very reasonable for what they had to offer. We did however splurge a bit on the Ice Cream which costs roughly around the same as what you'd pay at any ice creamery on land. Shows were fantastic, something different every night of our cruise and all the activities they had planned that we attended were well organised and fun. P&O call centre told me that the Gatsby party was 18+ and the white party was for everyone but every theme party they have onboard is both for adults and children, except they are held at different times of the evening. The kids spent a lot of time in the kids club and I guess their desire to keep going back speaks for itself. That includes the kids club for the teens, they had every intention of not going themselves but ended up there most of the time and I know the fantastic staff had a lot to do with why they kept wanting to go back. Overall, it was a fantastic getaway with little to no problems for us. We would definitely go on the Pacific Aria again but would probably request the same rooms through fear of pulling the short straw on one of the others. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We had a fabulous time on the Pacific Eden. Honestly, it was our best holiday ever. We loved our balcony cabin, lots of room, fridge, lounge area, plenty of storage. The stewards, waiters and entertainment crew were always friendly, ... Read More
We had a fabulous time on the Pacific Eden. Honestly, it was our best holiday ever. We loved our balcony cabin, lots of room, fridge, lounge area, plenty of storage. The stewards, waiters and entertainment crew were always friendly, professional and obviously well trained. Love the renovated areas, the Pantry was okay for breakfast, but we preferred going to the Waterfront for lunch and Angelos or Dragon Lady for dinner. We enjoyed going to trivia and bingo - so many laughs. The shows each night were terrific. I haven't laughed so much in years. Cyclone Winstone stopped us from visiting Noumea and caused a few rough days, but fortunately we were not sea sick. Can't wait to holiday again on this fabulous ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Just back from our first cruise with my wife. I have a cafe, 28 staff and have high standards so I understand hospitality. Good service we very much enjoyed the short trip from Melbourne to Sydney and had a ball. I can not understand ... Read More
Just back from our first cruise with my wife. I have a cafe, 28 staff and have high standards so I understand hospitality. Good service we very much enjoyed the short trip from Melbourne to Sydney and had a ball. I can not understand the negative reviews and think they would moan as they are just moaners on a ship or on land…. Staff: Were very friendly and very helpful on the whole trip. Waterfront: Very clean, heaps of options on the menu and the food was great, white table cloths and very enjoyable service. Pantry: Very clean, heaps and heaps of options, Asian, Fish & Chips, Mexican, Indian, Roasts, Salads, Sandwiches and rolls etc etc, and of course desserts. Food was hot and very good for served buffet style food, also a tea and coffee station, orange and apple juice plus chilled water. opens as soon as you board the ship if you are hungry The Grill: Very clean, If you are hungry after out side of dining hours you can buy, Burgers - Hotdogs - Nachos -Chips for $ 3.00, Bucket of prawns $ 15.00 or fantastic large pizzas for $ 9.50) Beverage Packages: We chose $ 7.00 per day for soft drink as we are not big drinkers or $ 69.00 per day for the alcohol package, you can use all over the ship or pay as you go. Entertainment: Heaps to choose from on different decks day or night Cabin Mini Suite 11146: Excellent, larger than we had thought, clean, very comfortable bed, balcony to just looking out to sea or the views as we went along the coast and brilliant views of Sydney. The cabin is cleaned every day and turned down at night. Arriving and Departure of ship: Very well organised I’m taking my son on a second cruise on the Eden next month and can not wait to experience another P&O ship. Please do not listen to the moaners, P&O give a great cruise at a very affordable price, I felt sorry for the staff at times. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Just like a few others here, I was a bit concerned about the negative reviews concerning Pacific Aria. If there really were problems earlier on, then I guess I do feel sorry for anyone who had a poor experience but whatever teething ... Read More
Just like a few others here, I was a bit concerned about the negative reviews concerning Pacific Aria. If there really were problems earlier on, then I guess I do feel sorry for anyone who had a poor experience but whatever teething problems may have been present when this ship started cruising from Australian ports late last year seem to have been ironed out. We had a great time. The food was good, the staff were friendly and helpful and, if the vibe was right some of them could be very humorous and entertaining. Be friendly and polite to the crew and you'll get it back in spades. Above all, don't be put off by the earlier poor reviews and ratings. We ate in the Pantry for most breakfasts and lunches, we tried the Waterfront for dinner, we had one dinner in the Salt Grill and splashed out for one dinner at the Chef's Table (Highly recommended if your budget will allow it). At $49 per head it's a 7-course degustation dinner presented by the executive Chef and complete with wines (included in the cost) matched to each course. You would pay a lot more on land for this. It was also a great way to meet other guests and as the wine flowed and the good food kept coming the atmosphere became convivial to say the least, including the vibe between the guests and the staff. Oh, almost forgot that the chef took us on a tour of the immaculately clean and efficient galley of which he was justly proud. No need to worry about food hygiene on this ship, I can assure you. Boarding and disembarkation was a breeze and the tender boat transfer to Hamilton Island was well organised. Be aware though, that the tenders are actually lifeboats so don't expect creature comforts like padded seating and air conditioning. Cabins were roomy and well serviced on a daily basis (well, twice daily if you count the fact that the staff turn your bed down for you while you're out taking in dinner and a show). Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Nervous first-time cruisers, especially after I was told about this site and read the negative reviews from November, December. But hey it was far better than our best expectations. Embarkation was made so easy, booked for a 12 pm ... Read More
Nervous first-time cruisers, especially after I was told about this site and read the negative reviews from November, December. But hey it was far better than our best expectations. Embarkation was made so easy, booked for a 12 pm check-in, were on the deck having a drink at 11:45 am. Our room was spacious, clean and very comfortable. Bathroom was very good, my wife has some mobility problems and the bath/shower was not a real problem as mentioned in earlier reviews. The food rated from good to great, we dined in four of the restaurants (the Pantry, The Waterfront, Dragon Lady and Angelos), never had a bad meal and service was always spot on. The adults only pool area was great of a day and the bars with their entertainers were great during the evening. We didn't attend the shows or themed parties, but heard nothing but good things about them from other guests. My only biff was the beer was a bit more expensive than I thought it would be as we are a thirsty couple our bar bill was more than I had planned. Overall great cruise, relaxing, brilliant staff and crew, really good dining experience, well be back. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Never having been on a cruise before, I came across this website and thought it would be a good way to get some insight. I read about 30 reviews from guests aboard Pacific Aria since 2015. The large majority were so negative I became ... Read More
Never having been on a cruise before, I came across this website and thought it would be a good way to get some insight. I read about 30 reviews from guests aboard Pacific Aria since 2015. The large majority were so negative I became very apprehensive about our forthcoming cruise. I wondered if I had made a mistake in booking because the reviews complained about everything about this ship - the staff were withdrawn, the food was mediocre, the cabins leaked and toilets overflowed. Staying home sounded like a better option. Well we did attend our cruise - a three night Food and Wine Cruise from Brisbane - leaving January 29. It was nothing at all like those negative reviews. In fact, we loved every moment and found the staff, the food, the cabins and the ship's public areas more than satisfactory. It was a great weekend away! The extreme negativity oozing from the reviews is simply inaccurate, and says more about the reviewer than the cruise itself! Sure some guests may have experienced unfortunate incidents, but perfection is an unachievable goal in holidays, and indeed life. If you believe the staff to be withdrawn and unfriendly, try smiling and saying thank you. We witnessed quite rude manners from other guests on our cruise, particularly in the food venue, the Pantry. I found that by being courteous to the staff, they responded in kind. Other positives: the bedding and linen was very clean and crisp, waiting at food venues was manageable, and often times we walked straight in to be seated, the entertainment was enjoyable (a comic hypnotist one night and a song and dance production the other), the kids club was relaxed and fun, food was accessible, plentiful and of a good standard. As my first introduction to cruising, it was a good start. I would definitely go on another cruise with P&O. Don't let the bad reviews put you off! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was my first cruise and I went with seven other girls, two who had cruised before. We went on the Pacific Eden and were really excited until we started seeing all the negative feedback, but decided this was our trip and we would enjoy ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I went with seven other girls, two who had cruised before. We went on the Pacific Eden and were really excited until we started seeing all the negative feedback, but decided this was our trip and we would enjoy being in each others Company. The embarkation was easy, travelling from Sydney Central Station by taxi took about 20 mins and cost around $30. Staff were very friendly, professional and guided everyone in the right direction. Our boarding was delayed 2 hours but ship still set off at 6pm. We were able to have something to eat once we boarded. The food was great, tried most of the restaurants and ate in the waterfront and pantry as well - all really nice, great choice, not big portions but you could go back for more and we never encountered any line ups. The only line ups were at the Coffee/Ice Cream where you paid $3.50 for a small coffee and it was excellent. We tried Salt Grill - superb - food was excellent as was the service. All staff in every restaurant were very friendly, polite, professional. It would appear that P & O took on board the feedback as I or anyone in my group could fault the service. Cabins were very clean, beds and bed linen of exceptional quality. Cabin stewards very helpful, friendly, professional. We went off at Mornington Peninsular for the day - tender process was easy and well organised. Disembarkation was again well organised. Entertainment on board of a high standard and the Entertainment director has out a lot into the shows and all the entertainment crew were fantastic, mingling with passengers and just having a lot of fun. We enjoyed the trivia (in particular the music through the decades) as well as a couple of games of bingo and dressed for each of the theme nights. Overall it was a fantastic 4 nights away. My tip would be to work out what and when you want to eat and book the speciality restaurants as soon as you can - they book out very quickly. Drinks were well priced around $39 for a good bottle of wine, $16 for cocktails etc. We also ordered a birthday cake for our friend at Angelo's restaurant - the cake was magnificent and the staff made such a performance of presenting the cake - it really made the night. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We just got back from this cruise (our first experience with crusing and I'm hooked). We were quite worried given the negative reviews, however, it was a fantastic experience. Embarking was quick and easy, our cabin was perfect, ... Read More
We just got back from this cruise (our first experience with crusing and I'm hooked). We were quite worried given the negative reviews, however, it was a fantastic experience. Embarking was quick and easy, our cabin was perfect, almost every crew member we encountered during the trip was friendly and helpful, there was only 1 bucket catching a leak during the whole cruise and I only noticed it because of all of the previous reviews. We enjoyed the shows and the live music (particularly Sibling Rivalry in the Ocean Bar - don't miss them). 7 out of 8 elevators were in service (unlike previous reviews). The shower isn't difficult to work (yes there are 2 knobs - one for temperature and one for the flow of water - not rocket science). Spas were working (but always full of kids). Washing machines and driers were working and everything was very clean. Being a smaller boat there are less activities, but we were never bored and neither were the kids. There are a lot of things we didn't get to do. The only small complaint I would have is with the food - it was often very good, but it was also a bit hit and miss. Some of the dishes had an unusual flavor. I didn't eat the same thing twice unless I loved it so much and wanted more - there was plenty of variety. I saw that there had been complaints about the ship rocking due to being smaller - apart from the 1st night when we had 53 knot winds, I didn't notice it and didn't see anyone else feeling unwell. I drank tap water the whole time from the bathroom in our cabin - it was clean and tasted good. I can't wait to go again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We departed on the 11th of January 2016 for a relaxing cruise. The first thing we noticed was the ease of getting on the boat, unlike an airport there was staff everywhere to help with luggage, fill out forms and give you advice. A great ... Read More
We departed on the 11th of January 2016 for a relaxing cruise. The first thing we noticed was the ease of getting on the boat, unlike an airport there was staff everywhere to help with luggage, fill out forms and give you advice. A great start. Once on board we received exceptional service from all staff who appeared to actually enjoy their jobs. Our cabin was fine 5th deck interior ( a result of booking very late) Our cabin steward Floraliza was pleasant and hard working keeping ours and I suspect 19 other cabins spotless. The food was first class the entertainment very good with plenty of activities to keep you occupied if you need it. The thing that surprised me most was the price of things. Drinks were pretty much on par with restaurants, coffee $3.50 for a cappuccino, cocktails $12 - $18. The shops selling every day items (bandaids, sunscreen first aid etc. were resonable. I expected everything to be hugely marked up. Duty free alcohol was on par with Port Vila prices maybe a couple of dollars more. Overall we had a great trip and will cruise again. Suggestion: Names on tags of staff and guests could be more prominent - makes it easier to say hello for those of us with bad memories for names. Read Less
Sail Date January 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
Now as AverageJo said.... Let's clear things up! We read so many negative comments on here, we were about to cancel the trip and lose our money, thinking the lost money would still have been a better outcome. Well thank goodness we ... Read More
Now as AverageJo said.... Let's clear things up! We read so many negative comments on here, we were about to cancel the trip and lose our money, thinking the lost money would still have been a better outcome. Well thank goodness we gave it a go. Those whingers and whiners out there.... yep, we saw some of the issues you raised. Did it interrupt or negatively impact our experience - definitely not. I would hate to live in a world where the negative holds the power. This ship and crew gave us our best holiday ever.... EVER. And yes, we were told there is so much better cruises out there. Well if there are, we can't imagine much better. The staff who work 14 hours a day, 7 days a week... were always happy, accommodating, friendly and approachable. The Pantry food was good and yes, on a lengthy trip might start to get boring.... but then you have at least 4 other places to eat!! And the best was the Waterfront of us - 2 adults and 2 kids under 12. The service, food and experience were great. Then there was the entertainment. With the split up of port stops, we always have something to do.... or if needed nothing to do! The floors shows were amazing, the kids club fantastic, the gym was excellent, the pools great, the bars wonderful. Well done to all the staff on board. Stuff the negatives. It's a mindset! There were odds and ends that could be improved - i.e free kids ice cream. But, when you stop at a place like Suva.... and see the people and how they live.... and then get on board to a twice serviced room (internal too and still great!), with food at your beck and call, with friendly staff all around you, with entertainment for all, with tours and beautiful beaches, and at a very reasonable price for 4 people ... seriously how could you complain? It was our best holiday and we would definitely recommend this cruise ship. Thanks to all the staff on the Aria.... especially those behind the scenes - the chefs, engine room staff, maintenance staff, bag collectors etc. Well done to you all and thank you. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My husband and I spent our first wedding anniversary on this ship. And I couldn't have asked for a better mini break. We had a ball, and can't wait to get on another cruise. We were lucky enough to meet and have luke Mangan cook ... Read More
My husband and I spent our first wedding anniversary on this ship. And I couldn't have asked for a better mini break. We had a ball, and can't wait to get on another cruise. We were lucky enough to meet and have luke Mangan cook for us. His food was as incredible as I had imagined, actually, even better. Angeleos was also delicious, and as it was free I certainly couldn't complain, even though so many reviewers on here have. The Pantry, also, terrific. For the amount of food they serve, I am still surprised how fresh, and delicious it was. The room was dressed beautifully, comfy bed, great air con, fantastic balcony! After reading these reviews I am shocked at how many people could not understand that the staff, new to a new ship may also be figuring things out. I now take my hats off to them again as they no doubt copped a lot of grief from so many whinges only days before my boarding. Absolutely opened my eyes and I cannot wait to get on P &O again!! Special thanks, and appreciation goes out to the staff on this ship, who have given me some of the most wonderful memories. I had the pleasure of meeting some of the loveliest bar tenders, wait staff, and the lovely ladies at reception, and of course, the crazy and hilarious house keepers. You guys are doing an awesome job. The boat looks incredible. Considering we were only on this ships second voyage I can't wait to see how incredible your boat will be next time I hop on!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Here’s my experience! :) I’m 24 and this was my first cruise and my first time going out of Australia. I went with my two best friends, one whom had already been on the same cruise, and the other had already been to Vanuatu. We ... Read More
Here’s my experience! :) I’m 24 and this was my first cruise and my first time going out of Australia. I went with my two best friends, one whom had already been on the same cruise, and the other had already been to Vanuatu. We departed from Brisbane, and I had parked my car at portside parking, it was affordable and convenient. Check in was easy and didn’t take long, we were the stowaways, so check in was around 12-12:30pm I think. You get your picture taken and you receive a cruise card which is your everything once you’re on the ship! It’s your room key and your money. You put cash onto the card or you can set it up with a debit or credit card. I used cash. There are computers near the reception desk to check your balance. Once we were on the ship, I remember being really nervous and excited! Shortly after boarding, we had to assemble in our designated areas in a case of emergency; ours was the casino, with your life jacket to listen to instructions of what to do in an emergency situation. Your stewards inform you once you get to your room where you have to go etc. After that was finished it was time to explore! We headed straight for the top deck for the sail away party and a few celebratory drinks! It was magical, leaving Brisbane and seeing the city and the beautiful blue water. It was fun going underneath the bridge and the horn sounding (it was so loud haha). Drinks At first I had XXXX gold beer that was about $6 from memory; you just swipe your card. Spirits from $7 to $9. Cocktails from $10 to $20. We were lucky enough to be able to purchase an alcoholic beverage package. It cost around $70 per day and you can only buy it on the 1st or 2nd day of the cruise and it’s for the whole duration of the cruise. So I paid $480 (approx.), the deal is unlimited drinks, to the value of $12 (which is perfect, beers, cocktails and spirits are all within this range), only one drink at a time and you cannot buy for other people. DEFINITELY BUY THE PACKAGE IF IT IS AVAILABLE! It saves a lot of money. When you are kicking back on the deck having a cocktail, a glass of wine with dinner or several, or in the Dome having a night out dancing and enjoying a rum ($8-$9), it all adds up. I definitely got a benefit out of the package. Great job P & O for offering it! Oh and this package includes, coffee, bottles of water (not the big ones in your room though) and soft drinks. There is also a soft drink package for like $50 (from memory), unlimited soft drink, great if you don’t drink alcohol or for the kids etc. The Ship I’m use to the sea because I love fishing and going out on boats etc but I did take quick eze on two occasions (one when we first boarded and one on the way back to Brisbane – the weather was so rough!) It was easy to navigate around the ship, elevators were slow though because of the amount of people obviously, so we would take the stairs often, great exercise though to burn off the delicious food and beverages! On the first day we did the treasure hunt, had to go to multiple places on the ship and get staff to sign off, then once completed, cards were drawn out and people won prizes. Some great prizes hey, I ended up winning a massage to the value of $120. AMAZING! The beauty place is expensive but if you’re into pampering yourself or even Botox, it’s all available at a cost. Room We were on deck 10, inside room (no view). Loved it, great choice. And not far from an elevator too. It cost us each $780 approx. Food The plantation is a buffet style restaurant – we used this for breakfast or for a quick bite to eat for lunch sometimes (they prepare rolls and sandwiches etc and we use to just take them with us). However, this is at the back of the ship and my gosh you can feel the waves haha and you can see the ship going up and down, I was a bit queasy eating here but if you went out on the balcony (if you could find a seat) it was enjoyable, the fresh air made it better. The Waterfront Restaurant was our favourite place to eat. Breakfast was only ok, a bit unorganised. Lunch was alright, the same again. However dinner was amazing! We booked each night for 8pm, you can choose to share a table with strangers or just get one for your group. I loved the menu and there is a huge variety. Entrée, main and desserts are available and you can choose whatever and how many you want! All included in your cost. Staff We were soooo happy with majority of the staff, our stewards were fantastic and polite (everyone says good morning and afternoon). They made us several towel animals haha. But the most memorable (they helped make our trip amazing) were our waiters in the Waterfront restaurant. Elma and Mervyn, we wrote them great feedback on the cruise and tipped them. We asked to sit in their area every night. You will definitely find staff that remember you and make you feel welcomed! Activities Plenty to do! I thought that I’d be relaxing on the deck all the time sipping away on cocktails, tanning for the whole duration! Oh no! There are soooo many activities to do during the day and night! It was fantastic. You get the daily schedule the night before and we were actually planning our day out so we could attend certain things and schedule it around meal times etc. I like golf and they actually had chipping and putting games, just a bit of fun. You do can as much as you like or as little as you like, it’s really up to you. And certain things are repeated so you can go another time. The big entertainment shows were good, singing and dancing stuff. The staff are so talented!! I love the comedy nights (adults only), celebrity heads, I can’t remember the name of it but it was a game where 4 staff had to tell us the definition of word and we had to guess who was correct – it was so funny! Willy the entertainment director is hilarious haha. There’s even a casino with roulette, poker, black jack and poker machines. They have bingo too! Big jackpots as well. Shore Tours We pre-reserved ours. Two stops we used the gangway and in Lifou we had to use Tender boats to get on shore. They were easy and quick for us. Noumea – was the first stop – think we got there at 3pm and had to be back on the ship on 9pm We used their currency which is Franc and you can exchange money on the ship or in Noumea when you get off. In Noumea is a better exchange rate. I was a bit disappointed in this place, we didn’t go out of the town, we stayed in the middle and walked everywhere, went to see the churches etc, hardly any shops were open (siesta or something or maybe people are broke and heaps of shops are closed), I tried some kind of beef mince spring roll which was nice, oh and the main park has free wifi, youll see heaps of locals chilling around, that’s why probably . We did the night chou chou train – which departed at 5pm or so and it arrives in time to get back on the boat, It was great, you get to see all the different bays and stories etc – and you get a quick snack and drink Lifou – We used the Franc again, got there in the morning and think we had to be back on by the afternoon (can’t exactly remember) When you get on shore there are markets set up and food, I had a Panini and fresh coconut. Oh and also tried their Number One beer (that’s what it’s called haha) tasted like a mid to me We walked to the church up on the hill, amazing views, great panoramic shots Definitely pre-reserve the jinek bay snorkelling at Lifou. There are limited places and heaps of people missed out. It was beautiful! I loved it. We took our own snorkelling gear and reef walkers (you can hire them but I wouldn’t) make sure you have a waterproof camera, some awesome photo opportunities Port Villa – Used Australian money, you got the day to enjoy it had to be back on the ship by 4pm or so. In the harbour it is sooo beautiful from up on the ship. When you get off the ship, you go to the right to go wait for the shore tours (it’s not far). You go to the left to go into town. We did the Ocean Walk shore tour, that was great, I was nervous at first but it was excellent. Just make sure you take your waterproof camera though, the people take photos which you can buy but they also take pictures on your camera for you. You get to feed the fish and touch sea cucumbers etc I loved it. Now haha when you want to go into town, be prepared to be shocked! You are immediately confronted by the taxi men who want to take you. We paid $10 which is good. The driving is insane! You’ll understand once you’re there haha. We got dropped off in the main street and walked to the duty free shop! We bought our alcohol and they transport it to the ship for you and you collect it on the last morning of the ship. We then went to the Jungle Café which has free wifi when you purchase something! If you wanted to connect to the world, you could go here. I tried there tusker beer and I really liked it. MOST IMPORTANTLY (well for me anyways) haha People have lizards and they put them on you and charge you to take a picture! I’m so glad my friends warned me, I was freaking out! My eyes were peeled for these people and multiple times I screamed when they approached haha, although there was a beautiful green one! I admired it from afar haha I’m not sure if it was lack of sleep or what, but I was very keen to get back on the boat. It was maybe overwhelming, the markets are packed and the shops with food and souvenirs and people. Word of advice, buy souvenirs from the town and not at the markets near the ship. It is much much cheaper to buy in town. E.g. fake Oakley sunnies cost me $5 from in town. At the markets near the ship they wanted $25. On the way back to the boat, we got a water taxi – I loved it! Paid $15 for the three of us. I love the water and it was beautiful. Once on the ship we were on the adult’s only deck, sipping cocktails, watching the sun setting, waiting to sail away (watching people running back to the ship who were late hahaha). Other After vila it’s like a two day journey back to Brisbane – and wow, was it choppy! You could absolutely feel it and every now and then the whole ship would shudder. In the waterfront restaurant, the cupboards and draws were opening and closing, that’s how rough it was. Crazy! On bad weather days they close off the top decks and the side decks for safety reasons obviously. Oh and deck 7 on one side is the smokers deck or there’s one up on deck 13 in a corner near the Dome. The dome is the night club. The DJ was pretty terrible for the first few nights, but then the last two nights he actually let a good song play. Oh KARAOKE! There are some talented people, I tell you. My friend and I sung on the first night after a bit of Dutch courage haha but karaoke is on every night. Bars There are different bars, different vibes etc. You’ll work it out which one you enjoy the most. TIP! If you are on the top deck and the bar near the pools is BUSY AS! Go to the dome and get your drinks there, so much quieter, quicker and not far to walk. Parties We had a white party, Gatsby and back to school. Every night is just a big party really, if you want it to be. On these themed parties, staff come out and dance for a bit Although we did speak with an older couple who were staying on one of the upper decks and they could hear the music. So keep that in mind when booking. Gatsby was the BEST! Definitely dress up, it is good fun. Photos There is always a photographer out and about. Before you get on the ship you can get a picture, when you get off on every shore tour, on cocktail nights and on party nights. Definitely get your photos taken and then go check them out. E.g It costs like $120 for 4 pictures, get one free. Plus many many more options. It’s pricey but hey, some of the pictures turn out amazing! And a great way to remember the cruise! Getting off/Duty Free Items We had to collect our duty free at 6:30am I think, we had breakfast afterwards though You get a time and place to meet to get off the ship, ours was ahead of schedule and was easy as. Finding our luggage was easy too. All of this is explained in booklets that you receive the night before Overall The company I had, my two best friends, definitely made the trip! Everything else was amazing and I’m definitely going on another. I’m going to do the New Zealand cruise. :) Go on a cruise and enjoy it! I hope you have just as an amazing time as I did. It caters for everyone! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Here’s my experience! :) I’m 24 and this was my first cruise and my first time going out of Australia. I went with my two best friends, one whom had already been on the same cruise, and the other had already been to Vanuatu. We ... Read More
Here’s my experience! :) I’m 24 and this was my first cruise and my first time going out of Australia. I went with my two best friends, one whom had already been on the same cruise, and the other had already been to Vanuatu. We departed from Brisbane, and I had parked my car at portside parking, it was affordable and convenient. Check in was easy and didn’t take long, we were the stowaways, so check in was around 12-12:30pm I think. You get your picture taken and you receive a cruise card which is your everything once you’re on the ship! It’s your room key and your money. You put cash onto the card or you can set it up with a debit or credit card. I used cash. There are computers near the reception desk to check your balance. Once we were on the ship, I remember being really nervous and excited! Shortly after boarding, we had to assemble in our designated areas in a case of emergency; ours was the casino, with your life jacket to listen to instructions of what to do in an emergency situation. Your stewards inform you once you get to your room where you have to go etc. After that was finished it was time to explore! We headed straight for the top deck for the sail away party and a few celebratory drinks! It was magical, leaving Brisbane and seeing the city and the beautiful blue water. It was fun going underneath the bridge and the horn sounding (it was so loud haha). Drinks At first I had XXXX gold beer that was about $6 from memory; you just swipe your card. Spirits from $7 to $9. Cocktails from $10 to $20. We were lucky enough to be able to purchase an alcoholic beverage package. It cost around $70 per day and you can only buy it on the 1st or 2nd day of the cruise and it’s for the whole duration of the cruise. So I paid $480 (approx.), the deal is unlimited drinks, to the value of $12 (which is perfect, beers, cocktails and spirits are all within this range), only one drink at a time and you cannot buy for other people. DEFINITELY BUY THE PACKAGE IF IT IS AVAILABLE! It saves a lot of money. When you are kicking back on the deck having a cocktail, a glass of wine with dinner or several, or in the Dome having a night out dancing and enjoying a rum ($8-$9), it all adds up. I definitely got a benefit out of the package. Great job P & O for offering it! Oh and this package includes, coffee, bottles of water (not the big ones in your room though) and soft drinks. There is also a soft drink package for like $50 (from memory), unlimited soft drink, great if you don’t drink alcohol or for the kids etc. The Ship I’m use to the sea because I love fishing and going out on boats etc but I did take quick eze on two occasions (one when we first boarded and one on the way back to Brisbane – the weather was so rough!) It was easy to navigate around the ship, elevators were slow though because of the amount of people obviously, so we would take the stairs often, great exercise though to burn off the delicious food and beverages! On the first day we did the treasure hunt, had to go to multiple places on the ship and get staff to sign off, then once completed, cards were drawn out and people won prizes. Some great prizes hey, I ended up winning a massage to the value of $120. AMAZING! The beauty place is expensive but if you’re into pampering yourself or even Botox, it’s all available at a cost. Room We were on deck 10, inside room (no view). Loved it, great choice. And not far from an elevator too. It cost us each $780 approx. Food The plantation is a buffet style restaurant – we used this for breakfast or for a quick bite to eat for lunch sometimes (they prepare rolls and sandwiches etc and we use to just take them with us). However, this is at the back of the ship and my gosh you can feel the waves haha and you can see the ship going up and down, I was a bit queasy eating here but if you went out on the balcony (if you could find a seat) it was enjoyable, the fresh air made it better. The Waterfront Restaurant was our favourite place to eat. Breakfast was only ok, a bit unorganised. Lunch was alright, the same again. However dinner was amazing! We booked each night for 8pm, you can choose to share a table with strangers or just get one for your group. I loved the menu and there is a huge variety. Entrée, main and desserts are available and you can choose whatever and how many you want! All included in your cost. Staff We were soooo happy with majority of the staff, our stewards were fantastic and polite (everyone says good morning and afternoon). They made us several towel animals haha. But the most memorable (they helped make our trip amazing) were our waiters in the Waterfront restaurant. Elma and Mervyn, we wrote them great feedback on the cruise and tipped them. We asked to sit in their area every night. You will definitely find staff that remember you and make you feel welcomed! Activities Plenty to do! I thought that I’d be relaxing on the deck all the time sipping away on cocktails, tanning for the whole duration! Oh no! There are soooo many activities to do during the day and night! It was fantastic. You get the daily schedule the night before and we were actually planning our day out so we could attend certain things and schedule it around meal times etc. I like golf and they actually had chipping and putting games, just a bit of fun. You do can as much as you like or as little as you like, it’s really up to you. And certain things are repeated so you can go another time. The big entertainment shows were good, singing and dancing stuff. The staff are so talented!! I love the comedy nights (adults only), celebrity heads, I can’t remember the name of it but it was a game where 4 staff had to tell us the definition of word and we had to guess who was correct – it was so funny! Willy the entertainment director is hilarious haha. There’s even a casino with roulette, poker, black jack and poker machines. They have bingo too! Big jackpots as well. Shore Tours We pre-reserved ours. Two stops we used the gangway and in Lifou we had to use Tender boats to get on shore. They were easy and quick for us. Noumea – was the first stop – think we got there at 3pm and had to be back on the ship on 9pm We used their currency which is Franc and you can exchange money on the ship or in Noumea when you get off. In Noumea is a better exchange rate. I was a bit disappointed in this place, we didn’t go out of the town, we stayed in the middle and walked everywhere, went to see the churches etc, hardly any shops were open (siesta or something or maybe people are broke and heaps of shops are closed), I tried some kind of beef mince spring roll which was nice, oh and the main park has free wifi, youll see heaps of locals chilling around, that’s why probably . We did the night chou chou train – which departed at 5pm or so and it arrives in time to get back on the boat, It was great, you get to see all the different bays and stories etc – and you get a quick snack and drink Lifou – We used the Franc again, got there in the morning and think we had to be back on by the afternoon (can’t exactly remember) When you get on shore there are markets set up and food, I had a Panini and fresh coconut. Oh and also tried their Number One beer (that’s what it’s called haha) tasted like a mid to me We walked to the church up on the hill, amazing views, great panoramic shots Definitely pre-reserve the jinek bay snorkelling at Lifou. There are limited places and heaps of people missed out. It was beautiful! I loved it. We took our own snorkelling gear and reef walkers (you can hire them but I wouldn’t) make sure you have a waterproof camera, some awesome photo opportunities Port Villa – Used Australian money, you got the day to enjoy it had to be back on the ship by 4pm or so. In the harbour it is sooo beautiful from up on the ship. When you get off the ship, you go to the right to go wait for the shore tours (it’s not far). You go to the left to go into town. We did the Ocean Walk shore tour, that was great, I was nervous at first but it was excellent. Just make sure you take your waterproof camera though, the people take photos which you can buy but they also take pictures on your camera for you. You get to feed the fish and touch sea cucumbers etc I loved it. Now haha when you want to go into town, be prepared to be shocked! You are immediately confronted by the taxi men who want to take you. We paid $10 which is good. The driving is insane! You’ll understand once you’re there haha. We got dropped off in the main street and walked to the duty free shop! We bought our alcohol and they transport it to the ship for you and you collect it on the last morning of the ship. We then went to the Jungle Café which has free wifi when you purchase something! If you wanted to connect to the world, you could go here. I tried there tusker beer and I really liked it. MOST IMPORTANTLY (well for me anyways) haha People have lizards and they put them on you and charge you to take a picture! I’m so glad my friends warned me, I was freaking out! My eyes were peeled for these people and multiple times I screamed when they approached haha, although there was a beautiful green one! I admired it from afar haha I’m not sure if it was lack of sleep or what, but I was very keen to get back on the boat. It was maybe overwhelming, the markets are packed and the shops with food and souvenirs and people. Word of advice, buy souvenirs from the town and not at the markets near the ship. It is much much cheaper to buy in town. E.g. fake Oakley sunnies cost me $5 from in town. At the markets near the ship they wanted $25. On the way back to the boat, we got a water taxi – I loved it! Paid $15 for the three of us. I love the water and it was beautiful. Once on the ship we were on the adult’s only deck, sipping cocktails, watching the sun setting, waiting to sail away (watching people running back to the ship who were late hahaha). Other After vila it’s like a two day journey back to Brisbane – and wow, was it choppy! You could absolutely feel it and every now and then the whole ship would shudder. In the waterfront restaurant, the cupboards and draws were opening and closing, that’s how rough it was. Crazy! On bad weather days they close off the top decks and the side decks for safety reasons obviously. Oh and deck 7 on one side is the smokers deck or there’s one up on deck 13 in a corner near the Dome. The dome is the night club. The DJ was pretty terrible for the first few nights, but then the last two nights he actually let a good song play. Oh KARAOKE! There are some talented people, I tell you. My friend and I sung on the first night after a bit of Dutch courage haha but karaoke is on every night. Bars There are different bars, different vibes etc. You’ll work it out which one you enjoy the most. TIP! If you are on the top deck and the bar near the pools is BUSY AS! Go to the dome and get your drinks there, so much quieter, quicker and not far to walk. Parties We had a white party, Gatsby and back to school. Every night is just a big party really, if you want it to be. On these themed parties, staff come out and dance for a bit Although we did speak with an older couple who were staying on one of the upper decks and they could hear the music. So keep that in mind when booking. Gatsby was the BEST! Definitely dress up, it is good fun. Photos There is always a photographer out and about. Before you get on the ship you can get a picture, when you get off on every shore tour, on cocktail nights and on party nights. Definitely get your photos taken and then go check them out. E.g It costs like $120 for 4 pictures, get one free. Plus many many more options. It’s pricey but hey, some of the pictures turn out amazing! And a great way to remember the cruise! Getting off/Duty Free Items We had to collect our duty free at 6:30am I think, we had breakfast afterwards though You get a time and place to meet to get off the ship, ours was ahead of schedule and was easy as. Finding our luggage was easy too. All of this is explained in booklets that you receive the night before Overall The company I had, my two best friends, definitely made the trip! Everything else was amazing and I’m definitely going on another. I’m going to do the New Zealand cruise. :) Go on a cruise and enjoy it! I hope you have just as an amazing time as I did. It caters for everyone! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Having endured the worst of yet another cold Melbourne winter my wife and I found ourselves more than ready for a mid year escape. We hadn't previously considered a cruise however fortuitously an advert for P+O popped up on screen ... Read More
Having endured the worst of yet another cold Melbourne winter my wife and I found ourselves more than ready for a mid year escape. We hadn't previously considered a cruise however fortuitously an advert for P+O popped up on screen whilst looking at holiday options. We followed the link to the many specials on offer at the time and booked ourselves a 7 night Pacific Island cruise departing from Brisbane. Being new to cruising we figured the duration was not too onerous and we could simply put it down to experience if we didn't like it. Thankfully, the experience turned out to be nothing but positive. From the well sized cabin to the excellent choice of restaurants and variety of cuisine on offer we simply had a ball. Both crew and passengers alike were friendly and seemingly shared the same intent to have a great time every moment of the day and night. Its fair to say we have come home for a rest after enjoying the various entertainment that is on offer from first light to well into the night however that was our choice and those seeking a less stimulating cruise could equally sit back and relax the days away. If I had to fault anything, it would be the boarding process. Despite having allocated boarding times it seemed to involve a lot of queuing and waiting. In the scheme of things though this was a minor problem and it was soon forgotten. When on board, everything else was well run and timed to perfection. Without a doubt our first experience of cruising was brilliant and we cant wait to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
the dawn may be an older ship but she was spotlessly clean. The service of all staff was fantastic. The activities on the food and wine cruise were excellent, especially the martini making class and the food and wine matching course. The ... Read More
the dawn may be an older ship but she was spotlessly clean. The service of all staff was fantastic. The activities on the food and wine cruise were excellent, especially the martini making class and the food and wine matching course. The food was excellent, even better that I didn't have to cook it and the variety was excellent. A fantastic way to celebrate turning 40 with friends. Highly recommend for a fantastic priced get away! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I'm 19 and this was my first cruise, I travelled with my parents and we stayed in an interior cabin. Before the cruise I did some research on the ship and found some poor reviews in this site, so I thought I might of been in for a ... Read More
I'm 19 and this was my first cruise, I travelled with my parents and we stayed in an interior cabin. Before the cruise I did some research on the ship and found some poor reviews in this site, so I thought I might of been in for a poor time, I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the cruise immensely. Embarkation: For this cruise there were delays in the morning from difficulties getting luggage and supplies off the ship and stowing new luggage and supplies. These delays meant that there were large lines when dropping off baggage and checking in but luckily these delays didn't have much effect on boarding time and we were on ship when scheduled. The Pacific Dawn was launched in 1991 but you wouldn't know that from its look. The Dawn has received a number of refurbishments since launching in Australia in 2007 to keep it looking modern and fresh and it reflects it's Australian clientele. Food: The main À la carte restaurant requires bookings for dinner as it gets quite busy. The menu for breakfast remains the same throughout the cruise. The lunch menu changes daily but may repeat over the length of the cruise. The dinner menu has some staples every night (Steak, Burger, Lasagne) but has half a dozen entrees, mains and desserts that change each night. Service was always quick and staff were always friendly and helpful. The buffet serves a wide variety of foods of a good to very good standard. For breakfast there is a full cooked breakfast in addition to cereal, yogurt, fruit, porridge, toast and pastries. For lunch and dinner there is a variety of salads, pre-made sandwiches/wraps/rolls, cold meats, soup, asian and indian foods as well as roasts, veg and assorted meats and sides. Cabin: We stayed in an interior cabin on Deck 10 at the front of the ship. The room was in good condition and larger than I was expecting. Our cabin stewards would clean the room twice daily and very helpful if you had any issues, questions or just wanted more towels. On-board Activities: There was a large variety of activities on sea days, and a smaller number of activities of port days. Activities included a variety of trivia (general trivia, sports, music), bingo, art auctions, table tennis, arts and crafts sessions, wine tasting, martini and cocktail making sessions, movies on the top deck, cooking demonstrations and galley tours, karaoke, game shows with crew (celebrity heads etc). Shore Tours: I didn't do any of the P&O shore tours. They are expensive but there is a large variety of tours and they all meet standards set by P&O and the ship will wait for you if you are on a P&O tour that runs late. Entertainment: There was a wide variety of entertainment over the cruise. There were theme nights that were held on the top deck or in the Dome if there is bad weather. these included an Island party, Country and Western Night. There was a magician and a couple of comedians that performed either family shows in the theatre or adults only shows late at night in the dome nightclub. The nightclub would run until 3AM. Throughout the afternoon and evening there was also live music on the top deck, in the atrium or in some of the bars and this included Bands, acoustic duos and a pianist. Over the cruise there were several production shows, these production shows are of incredible quality and are family friendly, high energy, fun and playful and sometimes feature audience participation. The shows cater to everyone featuring hits from the 60's, 70's and 80's through to current offerings. These shows are not to be missed. Disembarkation: We had an early disembarkation time as we had flights to catch. Disembarkation was run very smoothly with clear instructions and directions on where we were to meet, what we needed and were we were to disembark from. The Pacific Dawn is a wonderful ship to travel on and P&O have a great understanding of their clientele and their needs to provide the best experience for your holiday. I'll definitely be travelling with P&O again, both on the Pacific Dawn and on their other ships. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My husband and I cannot speak highly enough of the cruise on the Pacific Dawn. Balcony was excellent. Service was outstanding in all areas from room service to the entertainment. We arrived home wanting to cruise again to which we did only ... Read More
My husband and I cannot speak highly enough of the cruise on the Pacific Dawn. Balcony was excellent. Service was outstanding in all areas from room service to the entertainment. We arrived home wanting to cruise again to which we did only to be disappointed on the Aria. We will go on the dawn again. Everyday we participated in some activity from going on the tender boats to the various islands and at night enjoying the karaoke and shows. Love the trivia. Food was absolutely beautiful. Staff were fantastic and so friendly. what more can I say it was an amazing cruise. Thank you for all the wonderful people we met. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Hi Everyone, My wife and I travel overseas all the time , never before on a cruise. I really did not care if I went or not but was sort of pushed into it. We left Brisbane late, no surprise as I was sure that the cruise was a dud and ... Read More
Hi Everyone, My wife and I travel overseas all the time , never before on a cruise. I really did not care if I went or not but was sort of pushed into it. We left Brisbane late, no surprise as I was sure that the cruise was a dud and not for me. Well that night I went to bed after a good feed at the restaurant and 2 beers, woke up 9 hours later after the best sleep, the reasons are plain to me, no neighbours, no phone calls and no boss. The cruise was great, the food was great, the service was great and the entertainment was the best fun,(thank you Willie and the team). All I can say is that you have paid the money and did not enjoy the cruise it is probably your own fault and do everyone a favour, including yourself, stay at home because if you cannot find something to do and don't know how to enjoy life I am sure you already have the answer. Happy sailing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Let me start off by saying I was the last person who thought i would be going on a cruise but i have to say it was the most amazing thing i could of done! Once you get onto the ship there is nothing left to do, just sit back and relax! you ... Read More
Let me start off by saying I was the last person who thought i would be going on a cruise but i have to say it was the most amazing thing i could of done! Once you get onto the ship there is nothing left to do, just sit back and relax! you don't have to worry about checking into hotels or anything! We went on a 4 night cruise on a P&O Australia boat called the Pacific Jewel. It only had one port of call and that was Morton island, just off Queensland Australia. Let me start by telling you about the ship, We forked out and got a window room and it was great! lots of room and very neat and tidy(not to mention the amazing view), It was plenty off room for me and my partner even a nice size bathroom. We were on the 5th floor and i prob wouldn't go any higher then that as it was perfect because you couldn't really feel any rockiness at all. After i finished unpacking we went from one side of the ship to another to check it out and it exceeded all my expectations. The ship was tidy and well looked after. There was an array of bars, dining options, and boutique shops, not to mention the extensive selection of entertainment. My first stop was the buffet for lunch and i was instantly impressed with the spread. They had everything from roast dinner to Indian cuisine, hamburgers and chips and also a fresh fruit bar and a dessert bar. After lunch i headed back to my room and found the daily news paper so i started planning my day. There so much to choose from that there was not enough hours in the day. Anything from art to cocktail making classes(i highly recommend doing the cocking making class at mix bar), live shows, dance classes and more. One of the highlights for me was watching Beyonce on the big screen on top of the deck. I also participated in the on board trivia and karaoke which seemed quite fun for everyone. At night we chose to dine in the on board restaurant which had a lovely reoccurring menu available everyday accompanied by a menu of daily specials that changed everyday. This makes every dining experience different everyday. So in conclusion the pacific jewel provided an excellent first cruise experience. I would have no hesitations recommending this ship to my family and friends and anyone else who is thinking of going on a cruise with P&O. I love everything that it had to offer and it made my 21st birthday a very memorable time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Just got back from our first cruise. In spite of the weather being average the cruise was great. From the time we got to the dock to the time we reached are cabin the whole process was completed in 1,5hrs. Our luggage arrived to our ... Read More
Just got back from our first cruise. In spite of the weather being average the cruise was great. From the time we got to the dock to the time we reached are cabin the whole process was completed in 1,5hrs. Our luggage arrived to our cabin in quick time also. Was greeted by are cabin steward,Toto, service was outstanding he really looked after us and ensured any queries we had were dealt with straight away he also follow up. Meals were great did become a bit boring by day 10 we sat around and guessed what was for lunch today. Plenty of bars and lounges to sit around and while the sea days away. Photos the ships crew take are OTT $30.00 for two photos. Aqua Sauna and Steam Zone prices again OTT. The Gym was excellent used it every other day. Duty Free Shopping on board "dear" becomes cheaper closer to the end of the trip 40-50% off. Don't buy up early. We did are duty free in Villa. Kids are well catered for even though we had none we did not see the kids that much during the day so they must have enjoyed the entertainment provided. Night life plenty to do, one of the highlight's was Pacific Cirque the show was fantastic. The Pacific Entertainers led by Sandy who loves BINGO they also did a great job. The Marquee seating is uncomfortable. P&O need to rip it out and put in more comfortable seating. Be prepared to spend up to $400-$500.00 on drinks this included bought coffee it was better than the free at least you got a chocolate with it.Drinks range from approx $7.00-$12.00each. The Art Auction did not impress myself I thought what was on offer was pretty ordinary and I did not see much chance of them increasing in value. Water front Restaurant service was outstanding I have only experienced that type of service in high end restaurants. Salt Grill, was put off by the cover charge of $22.00 this was the only priced advertised at the front door it would have been nice to see the meal prices also at the front. La Luna did not try as the girls were not into Asian Food. The service by all staff was outstanding. When you got within one meter of a crew member they greeted you, they always had a smile on their face. The crew made up for any shortfalls the ship weather threw up. The Bar Staff I got to know some of them quite well and got talking to them were they lived etc. Make a point of filling out the Proud Forms it helps the guys for Promotion and earns the another Proud Badge. Leaving the ship once we docked back home. We were off the ship and in a Taxi within the hour of docking. In summary value for money did not have to lift a finger P&O and team ensured we sat back and relaxed. Will we do it again you bet next time we are taking the whole extended family. Thanks P&O and Team, lots of memories came flooding back from are time in the islands back in the 80s. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
I feel a lot of the things being said on here about the Pacific Dawn are quite harsh. I've seen many reviews complaining that you must pay for everything other than food and your ticket. If everything were included the price would go ... Read More
I feel a lot of the things being said on here about the Pacific Dawn are quite harsh. I've seen many reviews complaining that you must pay for everything other than food and your ticket. If everything were included the price would go up and people would complain about that.. Embarkation/debarkation was smooth and easy. Our cabin was a decent size and well cleaned everyday by our super friendly cleaner, the only problem I would point out is that the balcony was a bit dirty. But just ask someone to clean it for you and it's not a problem. The balcony is definitely worth the money. There's nothing like drinking a cocktail on your balcony watching the sunset :) The food in the buffet for dinner wasn't very good, the focused more on quantity than quality, but the breakfast and lunch buffets were good. Food in the dining hall was great, I can't fault it. The staff in the dining room were very grumpy and rude though, if we requested anything they got angry (my partner requested a second entree and the waiter frowned at us..). We had the $20 Asian set dinner one night, and I have to say it was excellent value for money and good quality food. We would definitely pay for that again. Cocktails were good, but a few of the bar staff were grumpy too. The staff at the coffee shops were super friendly though, and the coffee was really good for the price. The free coffee was terrible, but I think I'm a coffee snob haha. The shows were pretty good. Most of the comedians were terrible. They made a lot of jokes by embarrassing people in the audience (getting them up on stage when they clearly didn't want to, or calling them no fun when they said no, running up and screaming in people's ears to frighten them) which I didn't find funny at all. The gym was very small and shoved at the very bottom of the boat, which wasn't good. But they go boot camp,jogging and yoga on deck for a fair price for all you fitness nuts who don't want to be in the box of a gym. They did a lot of parties on deck and in the nightclub, which were heaps of fun ! Adults only trivia and karaoke/singing competitions in the nightclub were a lot of fun too. Bingo was really fun(even though you had to buy a pen haha), the jackpot went to one lady who won $6000 ! There weren't that many scheduled activities for younger people during the day, lots of quilting and how to lose weight/dealing with arthritis seminars. But that was ok, there were plenty of things for us to do later on in the day, it was nice to relax at the back of the ship in the adults only area during the day and do the night-time activities. Overall we had a great time and would book this cruise again in a heartbeat ! Some small complaints really don't outweigh the many good things, don't let the bad reviews on here put you off. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
My partner and I are both first time cruisers, booking the trip as a way to relax and unwind at the end of a hectic year for both of us. We had read fairly mixed reviews about the Pacific Jewel thus we boarded not really knowing what to ... Read More
My partner and I are both first time cruisers, booking the trip as a way to relax and unwind at the end of a hectic year for both of us. We had read fairly mixed reviews about the Pacific Jewel thus we boarded not really knowing what to expect, reminding ourselves to keep an open mind and to go with the flow. Embarkation was a fairly easy process. We were dropped off at Wharf 5 at 11:30 and by 12:30 we were checked in, through customs, into our room, booked into Salt and at the Plantation buffet for lunch. There was a bit of a snafu with our room at first. When we arrived, there was no key in the door. We hoped that meant our room was double booked and we'd be upgraded from an outside cabin to a balcony or mini suite. Alas, the people on the cruise before us had lost or left with the keys and new ones needed to be coded. It was a minor problem fixed up in no time by our accommodation steward, Adrian. Speaking of Adrian, he was just fabulous. A friendly and warm person for whom nothing was too much bother. We were extremely happy with the service he provided, and we will miss seeing his smiling face on the way to breakfast each morning and dinner at night. Unfortunately the same could not be said for the staff at Waterfront. We ate at Waterfront for a majority of our meals as the buffet was not really our thing. The service was very hit and miss. We were hoping to find a waiter we liked and book the same table each night, unfortunately that wasn't to be. I understand that the service staff work very hard, and very long hours, yet when we would make a simple request (Such as asking for tomato sauce to go with chips at dinner or Vegemite for toast at breakfast) it was as if we'd just asked them to cut off their own hands and these requests had to be made two or three times. I also had an incident at breakfast where one of the wait staff was bringing me my croissants. I saw him drop one on the way, and so I got a plate with just one croissant. When I asked for a replacement it took five minutes of explaining and arguing as to why I should get another. I know that sounds petty but it is a great example of how most of the staff at Waterfront just could not be bothered, or were too tired to care. At the opposite end of the spectrum, our dinner at Salt was just spectacular. We went on the second night of the cruise and spent the rest of our week talking about how good the steak we had was. The food and service there were equally amazing and definitely worth the money. We heard other people complaining about it, that they didn't like the ordering process or that the food was just average but I am pretty sure they were on drugs. Don't listen to those people, definitely go to Salt if you have the chance. We managed to see most of the nightly shows. I wasn't expecting much, a bit of school spectacular mixed in with RSL dancers but I was pleasantly surprised. The Pacific Cirque troupe was extraordinary and the shows put on each night by the Pacific Entertainers were of a high quality. The only lowlight for us was Danny McMaster. His show was very second rate. It seemed he hadn't learnt any new impressions since the mid 90's and after his third horrible racist joke within minutes we walked out in disgust. Unfortunately it seems that kind of humour appeals to most people and we were the only ones not laughing, so I'm sure he will continue to be booked. We had lots of fun on board the ship, having a few drinks and enjoying the sun and people watching. We tried as many different things as we could and made the most of our eight days at sea. A special shout out needs to go to Scooter the sports coordinator for his trivia each night. A good laugh and we managed to learn a bit about Canadian sports. The in-room entertainment was a bit interesting. They only seemed to play two movies, either Big Momma's House or Ocean's 11. It also only had BBC World News or Sky News UK which meant that we had no idea what was going on in Australia for the whole time we were away. To the ports. We didn't book any shore tours as we weren't sure what we were going to do. In Noumea we ended up booking our own ride on the tour train, which was good fun. At the end they dropped us off at Lemon Bay, a great place for a spot of lunch and to swim in calm protected waters. If you're going to Mystery Island or Isle of Pines as we did, I highly recommend taking a snorkel and aqua shoes with you. We had never snorkeled before but after picking up a cheap snorkel and goggles at K-Mart and aqua shoes at Target we thought we'd give it a go. Definitely the right decision. The water is so clear at Mystery Island and there's so much fascinating coral to look at. Isle of Pines had so many different types of fish, it was just amazing. Our only regret is that we didn't get an underwater camera to get some shots of the fish. Oh well, next time! Sadly our eight nights were soon up and it was time to leave. Disembarkation was very smooth. Our group's meeting time for disembarkation was 8am and we were off the ship and in a taxi with our bags by 10 past 8. All in all we had a fantastic time. There was plenty to do to keep us entertained, and we also had lots of time to relax. We deliberately had low expectations but they were more than exceeded. When it comes down to it, your cruise is what you make of it. Like I said in the beginning we kept an open mind and a smile on our faces and it meant that we had a wonderful week that we will remember forever.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
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