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11 P&O Australia First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

Just returned from a trip up the West Australian coast first ocean cruise to experience what a longer cruise would be like. Have recently done excellent river cruises through Europe. The Pacific Eden is a rust bucket with gaffer tape ... Read More
Just returned from a trip up the West Australian coast first ocean cruise to experience what a longer cruise would be like. Have recently done excellent river cruises through Europe. The Pacific Eden is a rust bucket with gaffer tape covering over rust hole on the exterior of the ship and painted over some of the tape was pearling off and you could see the rust holes in the metal. The ship was old and tired light globes not working throughout the ship. Furniture in the Pantry eatery was dirty and not cleaned for a considerable amount of time. Bad smell from rotting food waste coming from one side of the Pantry for the whole trip. Lactose free milk served up had gone off so was the next carton supplied. The food was very average and bland throughout the restaurants. The quantity of food served in the restaurant were very minimal requiring to get extra food from the Pantry after the main meal. Had trouble getting a drink from one of the Waterfront restaurant at dinner asked 4 waiters to take our order and told us they were too busy finally spoke to a manager to get eventually served. The extraction system in our bathroom stopped working for 4 days resulting in the area turning into a sauna when having a shower and still wasn't working when we retuned to port. Although we enjoyed the trip and the crew were very nice how ever the expected standard from P&O was very lacking. Our next cruise will be with another cruise operator. It appears this company is on a cost cutting exercise. Will next time check the reviews before booking. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I am writing to advise other potential future customers for a P&O Cruise and the treatment they can expect. This is a account of many issues that occurred on our cruise that completed on the 27th May. Cruise J624 on the Pacific ... Read More
I am writing to advise other potential future customers for a P&O Cruise and the treatment they can expect. This is a account of many issues that occurred on our cruise that completed on the 27th May. Cruise J624 on the Pacific Jewel. We organised a holiday voyage to join up 3 separate family's as we all live apart from Melbourne up to Townsville. As we had kids, were advised to book real early as only a limited amount of children are allowed on board, due to this we had payed full price as this cruise was organised over a year ago so no discounts. On arrival at our cabin on departure (16th May) in the corridor outside our room was 5 blower/driers going and a strong smell of heavy deodorisers. The next day we awoke to a large commotion going on outside our door, the cabin had a pool of water flowing in under the door and seeping in to under the table some 2 metres inside the cabin. The cabin cleaner knocked on our door and told us a leakage had sprung from the clean water main outside the cabin and not to worry. About 20 minutes later the room started to stink and we found out the leakage was raw sewage! I went into the corridor and P&O staff were using a 10 metre long sewage snake on the pipes in the wall behind our cabin. The whole family including kids had been walking through this mess it to access the bathroom! The 5 P&O workers outside our door knew it was sewage and lied to us. We were finally offered a downgraded cabin a week later we accepted. My kids, wife and mother had to sleep in a cabin stinking of sewage. This sewage issue was obviously a ongoing issue from a previous cruise and not adequately fixed. Other issues. 1/ we booked 2 ad joining cabins, we were separated. 2/ kids club, we chose P&O over other cruise options as kids club advertised for 2 to 6 yo. We tried to book out now 2yo in and were told by kids club staff this was not possible as all children attending must be fully toilet trained before they can attend? As our 2 year old is not toilet trained he could not attend at all! This is not made clear and only when you review the fine print is it pointed out. The small compensation paid onboard for 3 adults (our child not included,,why) to us over this issue was the same as the 5 adjoining cabins, but they only had raw sewage outside the cabin, not over 2 metres inside the cabin, this leaving the cabin stinking and ongoing air dryers required to be in our room. Since our return I have been constantly trying to get adequate compensation from P&O. Have finally been offered another $750 in total for our cabin of 4 on top of the on board compensation of about $450 and a $200 payment for a room downgrade. Have spoken to a few legal services and have been told as it happened on a overseas registered ship in international waters, it's not like a simple small claims tribunal claim. Think VERY seriously about taking a future voyage. A lot better holiday options out there. The onboard staff look like walking Zombies, can walk pass the reception desk and see the same faces dreaming of better places to be, the cabin attendants, food staff all look totally burnt out from working 16 hour days. The whole first week I must have visited the reception desk about 20 times trying to get my family out of that cabin and had to deal with their pathetic but well practiced customer "conflict resolution" tactics. I watched the same women on reception run behind the counter every time I was in the line as she did not want to deal with me. She preferred her co workers to handle my inquiries (yes I know you did!) Would love to hear from others on our voyage down on deck 5. The beautiful islands we visited were amazing but all of the issues we all had in our time on the Pacific Jewel and your staff completely spoilt it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My mum has been cruising with P&O for several years and she has always had nothing but great things to say, she would rave about how the service is always top notch and their is always a great variety of food. My mum took me with her ... Read More
My mum has been cruising with P&O for several years and she has always had nothing but great things to say, she would rave about how the service is always top notch and their is always a great variety of food. My mum took me with her on her latest cruise which was very different to what she had been explaining. She couldn't believe how much the staff and food had changed and was very disappointed that I would not get to experience the way P&O use to be. There seemed to be allot less staff and most of them seemed miserable. In the plantation restaurant there was meat only on 2 out of the 7 nights and the rest of the time it was bland casserole and curries. If you wanted a drink you would usually wait for a staff member to pass and they would promptly take your drink order however this was not the case, after waiting and waiting you would eventually get tired of waiting and you would have to go and line up with everyone else that were waiting for drinks. I got to know several other regular cruisers on the ship and they all seemed to agree that P&O has changed and it is no longer the great service and experience that they were once accustomed to. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Our first cruise and to be honest I feel as if I will not feel safe to try another. The emabarkation was well organised and the staff very engaging. Cabin was adequate and comfortable. We did not find our luggage for sometime even ... Read More
Our first cruise and to be honest I feel as if I will not feel safe to try another. The emabarkation was well organised and the staff very engaging. Cabin was adequate and comfortable. We did not find our luggage for sometime even though other people's were left outside their cabins. Eventually located it abandoned outside a lift. Neither of us get seasick (previously have been out on fishing boats etc). We did become very unwell but this was after consuming food from the pantry. The food is cold. Bacon and eggs, grilled fish so cold it was inedible. Tried to get a simple salad from the salad section. The top layer of the salad looked good but when served only 1percent contained what was on show the rest was lettuce from underneath. Sandwiches were not available only rolls that had an overload of bread and minuscule filling. Hungry we ate the luke warm zucchini soup. Hours later we were both vomitng. We are both health professionals and suspect the recent "gastro" outbreak was probably more attributed to the inadequate temperature control of the food rather than a virus, fellow passengers had the same complaint. The Waterfront Restaurant served delicious hot meals but was overcrowded and there were long waits to be seated. People trying to avoid the pantry! Sometimes just a snack for lunch is nicer than another sit down meal. Do not even think you will find a healthy salad sandwich anywhere on the Pacific Eden. It is understandable why buffet style has been replaced due to hygiene, however not to maintain food at a safe temperature is worse. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
My partner and I booked this cruise in New Zealand to travel ex Aus to New Caledonia and Vanuatu. 1st issue was we were sent updated boarding times. We then arrive to find out we are last there and almost missed embarkation. Fine, ... Read More
My partner and I booked this cruise in New Zealand to travel ex Aus to New Caledonia and Vanuatu. 1st issue was we were sent updated boarding times. We then arrive to find out we are last there and almost missed embarkation. Fine, anyway 1st impression of the boat as it sat moored were so so.. Certainly looked like it had been around a while. The cabin: Anyway, we get on board, find our cabin with zero guidance from staff after going past the VERY rude, and consistently rude security staff (they were something which irritated me more and more as the cruise progressed, power trip much?) Get to the cabin, its OK. Certainly not new or done up as is suggested, think 1995 if you are lucky. Worn out couch was unusable asides from sitting things on it, and low and behold - No fridge! Then we noticed when trying to sleep, the window creaked. And creaked, and creaked! Seriously annoying. Air conditioning was as useful as a 5inch fan blowing warm air on you when you sleep in 30 degree heat. Bathroom, used a bathtub shower (with a broken tap) which is frankly dangerous in moving seas, not impressed. Luckily bed (well beds, 2 x singles pushed together) were newer than the boat and relatively alright to sleep. The ship is old, and the ship is stuffed. Lets be honest. Holland America sold it because it was heading for scrap, obviously that's where P and O do their shopping. I want to be clear, the boat has not had this amazing overhaul like they claim. Its a dog. It has a few areas where new paint has been painted (they are still doing this as you cruise, brilliant) but overall its shocking. Just walk around the back and try open the busted doors to climb to deck 10/11. Many things out of order, lifts etc. But the major, ask any Pacfic Aria passenger about - The Plumbing. The old vacuum toilets DONT WORK. If you like using the toilet and having to look at what you left there for hours, the Aria is for you. Also frequent toilet spill overs, and one day some cabins on deck 6 spewed everything up, through the cabins and into the corridors. That was a smell to wake you up. I was horrified to see after all these major issues, they sailed the ship again within hours of us getting off with more victims. I watched it sail from Brisbane airport down the river thinking how glad I am to be off that thing. People will get sick, frankly the boat is not seaworthy. I could go on and on, the food was something to behold as well. I do not know how they manage to make everything taste as awful as they did. Thanks P&O, I lost weight on my cruise. If you like tasteless, cold, canned and tinned everything, youll love this. I also hated the constant hounding from the sales people at the overpriced elemis at sea (240 bucks for a massage? really??) and the clowns in the photo booth. I spent the first few days avoiding these sales traps, felt like a harvey norman store at sea. The destinations were fine but p&o have nothing to do with them. I can recommend never booking a tour through the ship - you will be ripped off in a big way. Entertainment was poor, DJ Saccary or whatever handle he goes buy has some horrendous music taste and forces you to listen to his rubbish. If you want to kill the buzz, get this guy to your party. The entertainment director was just irritating, and loved herself. The amazing prizes for her trivia shows (which if you are not an aussie, dont bother) included a $2 credit card holder or a glass case. yay. I use the term entertainment loosely. Mind you the kids roaming around in gangs yelling and screaming seemed to enjoy it. P&O are not an affordable all inclusive holiday, the extra costs are everywhere. So its expensive, dirty and rather boring. Many many other areas are a sore point, however the reviews from all are pretty consistent. I also think we were lucky as when it rains, this boat really shows its colours. I plan to complain to P&O formally and I also think the maritime watchdog should be looking at this company. Avoid like the plague, or risk catching it. 1st and last time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
terrible honeymoon experience with a shocking ending it is meant to be a once in a lifetime experience where you should be treated special and i thought a cruise ship would be the perfect way to start our new life as husband and wife ... Read More
terrible honeymoon experience with a shocking ending it is meant to be a once in a lifetime experience where you should be treated special and i thought a cruise ship would be the perfect way to start our new life as husband and wife together. one spa was closed for the whole 11 day trip. we got the drinks package where we got told by room services that the water in the rooms wasn't included yet when we went to lukes restaurant it was included in the drinks package so how does that work. food at the pantry was all over the shop some days was okay other days uneatable and the people serving it where sloppy and rude. for example i got a roast one day and had gravy. the gravy had been sitting for bit and so it had a skin on it he served the skin to me except only half made it on to the plate the rest was dangling and dripping off he looked at it said sorry and passed it to me i asked him to get a napkin and wipe it off please. another time i went to the pantry for dessert went to get the lemon meringue tart she could work out how to cut the meringue part so scraped it off and just served me the lemon tart part. my husband ordered a wrap from Mexicana told the man what he would like. the staff didn't listen to him at all my husband hates avocado so the man put everything in the wrap and then put a huge amount of avocado on the top my husband said i didn't say avocado and so he guy scraped it off instead of making a fresh one and still served it to him. also i noticed that the hand sanitisers were empty at some stages. the waterfront restaurant strange how hey call it the waterfront when they close the blinds during dinner and refuse to open them even during sun set very disappointing. you get told to share a table at 5.30pm when the place is empty why.? we are on our honeymoon its meant to be romantic. you can get fresh chills for breakfast but during dinner they dont have them. you order a glass of wine but they dont bring it till after you buy your dinner oh and if you have the same wine they take away your dirty glass and refill it even when theres lipstick all over it. they forget to bring half of you meal, the muscles at lunch said they came with chips we nearly finished the meals and had to ask where the chips were and then they bring them out this happened twice. they bring out mains before cleaning up your entree pasta plates which we had stacked neatly and put to the side. on the last night this is unbelievable i was eating my steak came to the end of the meal where something sharp stabbed my gum i pulled out a piece of metal that wouldn't even bend about 2cm long (I've come to realise later that i think it was off a wire brush) it was quiet dangerous and we got the manager of the restaurant to come over he quickly took away my plate and came back and asked if i needed medical assistance i said no, he then asked if he could get me a drink snd saw that i had the premium drinks package so that wouldn't really make any difference. so he sent out some ice cream and asked for our room number. me and my husband thought that would perhaps mean they were going to send something up to the room but nothing. very very disappointing and dangerous aswell. lukes restaurant was the highlight of the dining experiences they actually bought out a compliment dessert that said congrates on the plate 10/10 for that restaurant amazing service can't fault it highly recommend ordering the cheese its like a show when they bring it out its amazing. bar staff in the martini lounge are perfect well trained super polite and attentive 10/10 and peter milligan fantastic entertainer 10/10. the debut show the contemporary piece CRAP. but the comedians and a man of a thousand voices amazing so entertaining. we had a problem with the pool water turning my hair green after a 15 min swim so called reception had to wait 1 and 1/2 hours for them to call back with an answer. during that wait we called another two times to find out what was taking so long for a call back they said the manager was out. we went to use the laundry on the second day they were all out of order except for one when we asked the room service guy where the washing detergent was he said he didnt know as he was new so he said to call reception, so we asked him the number for reception again he didn't know. staff where all very green and undertrained coming from a hospitality job i noticed staff were not only chucked into the deep end with no training some had attitude problems aswell. at one stage our room cleaner came into our room with no knock before hand (we had already had our room cleaned,it was to tell us the reception number but we had already gone and found out the number ourselves) we are honeymooners so found this very inappropriate and at an akward time to say the least. as honeymooners we didn't feel spacial at all all we got was a little room park on our door and balloons one day i expected a bit more. never again will we ship on the aria. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was my 1st ever cruise I have been on. I chose this short cruise to take my mum in law on for a special time to not have to cook as we are the cooks in out households. We were very disappointed in the food, the pantry food was ... Read More
This was my 1st ever cruise I have been on. I chose this short cruise to take my mum in law on for a special time to not have to cook as we are the cooks in out households. We were very disappointed in the food, the pantry food was tasteless veggies were real hard, noodles dry, fried rice bland, we also ate at the Waterfont restraunt and our meals were just warm. The ship decor is amazingly outstanding, there was plenty of seating around the ship, the show very brilliant and the staff were friendly, I hope they can improve on the food side of things. I was hoping to look at doing a Christmas cruise with our family in 2016, I'm not quite sure anymore. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Wonderful ship, where nothing major went wrong - but most of the things you take for granted didn't happen. We weren't told about clocks going back until the morning after where many people got up to find that the ... Read More
Wonderful ship, where nothing major went wrong - but most of the things you take for granted didn't happen. We weren't told about clocks going back until the morning after where many people got up to find that the cafe/restaurant was not open (it was 6.15 not 7.15 and we don't open until 6.30) At one end of the ship 3 out of 4 lifts were out of service (they probably hadn't finished putting the lovely wallpaper in the lifts!) The cabin was lovely, and the DVD player completely unexpected - so it wasn't of any use as we had no DVDs with us. Unfortunately I heard many complaints and a number of people said "P&O - never again" which was a real shame as the ship is lovely, and I want to sail again on a longer cruise - hopefully they will sort out the poor service at the Waterfront restaurant. . Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We live in the Gold Coast, and all of the stops that were made, we thought we were having a deja vu moment back in the Gold Coast. The places we got off (Airlie Beach and Yorkeys Knob) were nothing special at all, and not worth spending ... Read More
We live in the Gold Coast, and all of the stops that were made, we thought we were having a deja vu moment back in the Gold Coast. The places we got off (Airlie Beach and Yorkeys Knob) were nothing special at all, and not worth spending time on. The staff were friendly - some a little TOO friendly. Sometimes, when finished with room service, we would find towels missing. We understand that nature cannot be tamed; however, the ship rocked and swayed too much for what is supposed to be a stable ship. Luckily, we had a room in the middle of the ship, so the swaying was survivable. However, whenever I stepped out a few metres from my room, the swaying was severe enough to send me dashing back. This was only for the starting days of departure, and when we were returning back to Brisbane. For several days after the landing of the ship, two of three family members felt like they were still swaying on land from the horrendous waves. The cabins and deck were satisfying. The cabins had comfortable space, and there was a window where we could see the ocean clearly. On the deck, there were beach chairs we could lounge on, while watching the ocean. Entertainment was also satisfying. The performance shows and magic shows were very entertaining. Although there were good points and bad points to our stay on the ship, the stops at Airlie Beach and Yorkeys Knob and the horrendous swaying of the ship ruined the experience for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Just completed a 3 night weekend cruise from Brisbane on the Princess Dawn. Some good and bad points are listed Good. 1. Cabin Service 100% 2. Cabin cleanliness 100% 3. Charlies Bar coffee is as good as you will get anywhere 3. ... Read More
Just completed a 3 night weekend cruise from Brisbane on the Princess Dawn. Some good and bad points are listed Good. 1. Cabin Service 100% 2. Cabin cleanliness 100% 3. Charlies Bar coffee is as good as you will get anywhere 3. Waterfront Restaurant food good but limited number of tables for 2 and difficult to get one 4. Entertainment average 5. Drinks expensive but cold Bad 1. Not a trip to be recommended for Seniors. 2. Buffet food was ordinary and some just warm 3. Boarding procedure and security takes far too much time 4. Walk from security to ship boarding point much too far for elderly passengers 5. Price of everything on board much too high 6. Most seating in pool and most areas occupied by young inconsiderate passengers Would we travel P&O again? Doubt it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Admittedly first time on a large cruise ship. If this is indicative of cruising it shall be my last. A) Pacific Dawn is in need of maintenance - state room - bathroom had rust in various locations = needs immediate attention. - public ... Read More
Admittedly first time on a large cruise ship. If this is indicative of cruising it shall be my last. A) Pacific Dawn is in need of maintenance - state room - bathroom had rust in various locations = needs immediate attention. - public areas are dated and need face lift and refreshing =minor - light sconces in the Plantation dining area need to be dusted! - since you use them so much REPLACE the tenders! Disgraceful! B) -Waterfront restaurant strong on service weak on product. FOOD WAS BRUTAL! I was never fully aware of what could be ordered from the menu entrees vs rice pasta dishes ... tried to navigate this issue to get something that tasted good ...I FAILED in every attempt. Food was at its best - average... very very disappointed in this =REQUIRES IMMEDIATE ATTENTION. New chef New menu IMPOSSIBLE TO GET A GOOD CUP OF COFFEE -unless ... you paid extra. C) NEXT BIGGEST ISSUE the "up sell" You want to avoid what you paid for? then pay more... for dining for coffee for everything.... What they have done is stripped bare the cost for the cruise and then added back on items you will want for extra fees. Not a problem. But there is FAR too much effort, attention and focus on this up selling. EXAMPLE- I do not wish to be accosted by the photographers every time I dine! Nor at each port I call at! Which leads to the tendering process.... REALLY? at each port... we tendered Airlie Beach/Yorkey's Knob/Port Douglas... Airlie beach was brutal why did we stop there? absolutely tragic ... I did not sign up to be a economic stimulus package to the retirees living there. Suggestion there are NO individuals offering services upon landing... either you book with P & O or nothing. Apparently the retirees are far too busy herding passengers to take the initiative in this regard? OVER ALL very disappointed with P & O. BIG disconnect between their illusions of grandeur and the modern day reality I was confronted with. D) I support my own cases and do NOT need to support yours… donations to your charity / cause automatically applied to my bill. Whats up with that? E) Extra charges for using VISA. How is this allowed? Very shoddy business practice. VISA need to intervene.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
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