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13 P&O Australia First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

Deck 11 On arrival we opened the draws next to bed to unpack our clothes when I noticed dirt & hair in the draws as well as the table tops, I wiped these out with my own sterile wipes which I bought on board in which I then called the ... Read More
Deck 11 On arrival we opened the draws next to bed to unpack our clothes when I noticed dirt & hair in the draws as well as the table tops, I wiped these out with my own sterile wipes which I bought on board in which I then called the housekeeper supervisor to bring it to her attention in which she stated the room was rushed cleaned because of the quick turnaround & apoligized, hair was also present in the bathroom. Included in our booking was a bottle of champagne on arrival which was not there. The total each for this room was $800. The Pantry was the same food every night with not much variety, eggs were served cold in the morning in which we told the supervisor who tested them & apoligised. The I Love Burger Pizza shop was a discrace advertising a gourmet burger in which the mince was of low quality & the bun all soggy and gross looking. The Mini suite was the biggest nightmare as it is directly above the ships main deck 12 where the pool & entertaining area's are, the floor surface is deck wood & the tables,chairs above were dragging on the wood 24/7 in which just vibrated & made constant ridicilus noise 24/7 in which you could not sleep at all, you could also clearly hear people walking above This went on every night. The rooms also had very thin walls in which you could hear the people in rooms & there TV's on at every stage of the cruise. For the money we paid it was a rip off & nightmare of a holiday, Do not book these mini suites if you want a decent night sleep. The exiting of the ship was not organised as Mini suite guests have priority exit but this was delayed & other groups had left first... Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our family recently experienced what a horrible cruise is all about. The first moment we embarked on board we were greeted by phantom service - there was no smiles, or hello welcome aboard, nothing. Quite different to what you see on TV. ... Read More
Our family recently experienced what a horrible cruise is all about. The first moment we embarked on board we were greeted by phantom service - there was no smiles, or hello welcome aboard, nothing. Quite different to what you see on TV. One bed was so hard I thought I slept on concrete, the air con was freezing, the thermostat already at max. Then the meals, pantry meal area - opens 3 times daily, less variety and talk about black labelled cheap food, even my dogs eat better than that. The water front dining - preheated food served on the table at 1000 degree plate that will burn your hand and God help me if it was one of the children hand that grabbed the plate. One crew member behind the Bain Marie was so rude, he would raise his voice at you while serving. As far as cleanliness goes, the cabin corridor smells, tops deck full of beer cans soft drink cups etc left there for the entire trip, the steam rooms covered in genital hairs (must be shaving season) and the steam/bath shower is blocked. But with all the negative mentioned there is one positive note. To all P&O crew staff, you need to take a bow to this guy, Percie who takes care of the cabin duty. He is very polite, helpful, full of smile and courteous. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
My first & last, ship was meant to have been refurbished garbage.baths dangerous for older travellers had to climb up over old baths to have a shower.no fridge,no clock radio.food thepantry y was like a cow shed lining up for the same ... Read More
My first & last, ship was meant to have been refurbished garbage.baths dangerous for older travellers had to climb up over old baths to have a shower.no fridge,no clock radio.food thepantry y was like a cow shed lining up for the same food every night.asked for a wake up call at 3am on the morning of australia day still waiting.nothing to do on board most people sat around the pool aera wonder if most people held their urine in the unkept pool,most sat and drunk coffee if the coffee machines were working.the first night we had to get the maintance man to show us how to use the tap over the bath.had to have room service as I was in isolation I got bread & jam still waiting for a knife.we believed the aria was docking in the passenger terminal instead around at white bay balmain.glad to get home people who thought the ship was okay I wonder what they live in.tv wasn't working had to get help,public toilets blocked its a wonder the travellers didn't get cholera told us to wipe door handles but there wasn't many tissues around just empty boxes.staff worked long long hours us Aussies would never do that, Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
P&O advertised ship as new ship, it wasn't. It was a new ship to their fleet but built in the 1990's. The cruise was so boring with very little for passengers to do. The entertainment director should be ashamed. The evening ... Read More
P&O advertised ship as new ship, it wasn't. It was a new ship to their fleet but built in the 1990's. The cruise was so boring with very little for passengers to do. The entertainment director should be ashamed. The evening shows were good, but why did we have 3 nights of movies instead of shows? Daytime on-board activities consisted of things like, open deck stroll, board games, bean bag toss, table tennis (there are only two tables which were always occupied), basketball / volleyball (only one court). 3 bands all playing same type of music (predominantly jazz). There was a small dance floor but no-one there playing music to dance to. There was one short dance lesson per day with no social dancing as such. Many people wanted to dance but couldn't. We in the end stayed in our cabin watching TV out of sheer boredom. Half way through the trip we found out you could borrow DVD's which we did until the DVD broke after the first DVD. They had a cinema with day time movies but the globe blew on day 2 and no-one fixed it despite being told. The cruise would have been OK if the Entertainment Director actually did her job and programmed activities that entertained. Karaoke and Bingo is not for everyone. Everyone we spoke to said this was the worst cruise ever. Some had sailed with P&O before some up to 8 times. These seasoned cruisers did say that other P&O cruisers were a lot better than this one and we should not form our opinions from this cruise alone. It will be hard for us to book P&O again due to this mind numbing experience. Please lift your game P&O. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I do not appreciate being the test dummy for an international cruising company to help them sort out their inadequacies and failings as a service provider. We changed rooms 5 times in 7 days as they could not get the toilets working. The ... Read More
I do not appreciate being the test dummy for an international cruising company to help them sort out their inadequacies and failings as a service provider. We changed rooms 5 times in 7 days as they could not get the toilets working. The entire deck 9 port side had similar problems which were not resolved at anytime during the cruise. The final straw came when the toilets actually began to overflow and spill into the cabins. The Aria is an old ship with a very dubious refurbishment. on the surface things seemed okay but very little worked properly, the food was mediocre and the less said about the entertainment the better. A very expensive but thoroughly unpleasant experience which will never be repeated. As the ship had only had its relaunch voyage a month earlier very few of the systems worked properly and the crew, although lovely in themselves, gave the impression that they were continually 'fighting fires' and trying to rectify issues as they went along. Everyday presented new and interesting ways to ruin your holiday however the great consistency was the failing toilets. It was always an exciting time at 3am, having to get dressed to use the public toilets and then playing the lottery of whether the public ones would flush. A very poor performance from P&O in this case. I think the high point was when we sat down to dinner with another couple who said ' we are having an awful time with the cabins but there is one poor couple who have changes rooms half a dozen times' They were quite surprised that the couple they were taking about was us, almost as much as I was surprised about our new found celebrity status as the nomads of Aria, maybe David Attenborough could make a documentary about our travels from cabin to cabin. With this, I am therefore sure I am not the only person delivering a negative review. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Top 10 issues with the Pacific Aria: 1. The cabins flood. All types of cabin, on multiple levels, including suites and especially the penthouse. This is because the external drainage system doesn’t work and the seals around the ... Read More
Top 10 issues with the Pacific Aria: 1. The cabins flood. All types of cabin, on multiple levels, including suites and especially the penthouse. This is because the external drainage system doesn’t work and the seals around the external doors and windows have eroded and haven’t been refurbished. As soon as any water gets onto the external decks, it ends up in the cabins, goes out into the corridors, runs down the internal stairs, and also leaks down into lower cabins. When the carpets begin to dry out, the smell is unbearable. The build-up of undrained water on the decks also causes the ship to list alarmingly. Don’t leave anything on the floor of your cabin, and pay close attention during the evacuation drill (although the lifeboat used to take us to Hamilton Island also leaked significantly, so perhaps it won’t even matter). 2. The Elemis spa hard sell. The staff at the Elemis spa use all kinds of shady tricks and intimidation to attempt to extort money from passengers. The relaxing effect of a couples massage is somewhat undone when you’re shut into the room afterwards, whilst the masseuses split you up and simultaneously try to pressurise and berate you into taking additional costly products and treatments. Another tactic - telling customers who’ve booked in for a treatment that they have in fact actually booked in for a much more expensive treatment. Continuously trying to pressure customers who are in the middle of one treatment, into taking an additional treatment at the same time, despite the customer repeatedly declining this. It would be nice if the Office of Fair Trading would take some action against Elemis and P & O for this outrageous behaviour. Stay out of Elemis at all costs. 3. The food is low grade pig swill. In fact, it’s so bad, that I’m suspicious about the authenticity of any review which says that the food is “tasty”. Scrambled eggs are made from powder. Disgusting. Sausages are made from some kind of artificial substitute. Disgusting. The black pudding is the most repellent piece of food I’ve eaten in my entire life. It is so unbelievably bad, that I actually recommend you try it once. In the restaurants, the meat (notably the beef) is predominantly fat, and is flavoured with salt, salt and salt. Copious and sickly amounts of butter are also used as the other source of flavour. Everything is a simulation of a piece of proper food. If you order a croissant, you’ll get bread shaped like a croissant. The Pantry is poor. Avoid Angelo’s like the plague. The Dragon Lady is surprisingly passable (if you can get a table). Waterfront was also passable (but then we were comparing it with Angelo’s). 4. There is an incredible amount of ship movement, even in calm seas. I excitedly shot out of bed one morning and over to the window, to view the huge storm I presumed was taking place. Nothing. Calm seas. A touch of breeze perhaps. This lead to full days of many people being sick. One day the pool was closed (and half the water lost) because there was so much movement. One can only imagine what will happen when the boat encounters any kind of seriously rough sea. Stock up on hard-core anti-sickness tablets. 5. The communal areas are shoddy. The ceilings leak when it rains. The ceilings leak when it’s dry (I’m guessing it’s the air conditioning system). Water cascades in from the decks. Buckets everywhere. Areas taped off. Waterfalls cascade down through the lifts, which are out of service most of the time. Inside the lifts, the handrails are broken, and the name ‘Pacific Aria’ is on pieces of cardboard taped over the ship’s previous title. Contact P & O for an early cancellation and a full refund if you have mobility issues, as you won’t be able to move between decks. 6. The staff. Some are very rude (one woman refused to look at me whilst speaking). Some tell outright lies to your face (“this is the first time the cabins have ever flooded”, “we had 2 metres of rain”). The captain woke everyone on the ship at 5am with an in-room announcement about the laundry having to be checked for a fire. He made a second in-room announcement about there being no fire (5.05 am?). He made a final announcement explaining (unconvincingly) why he required to keep making these in-room announcements (5.10am). Coincidentally, the staff drill used a few days later was an identical scenario regarding a fire in the laundry. Annoyingly, all other announcements made on the ship (i.e. the ones you need to hear) aren’t made in-room. Treat everything you’re told by staff with due scepticism. 7. General state of the cabins. They badly need to be refurbished. We were in a suite and bits of peeling wallpaper had been taped back on. The sockets hadn’t been converted to Australian sockets. In the dressing area, you could only use American or European plugs. In our bathroom, there were screws missing from the door handle, there was rusty water running from some of the fittings, and every hook on the shower curtain was completely rusted. I’m also convinced that our towels weren’t changed – just refolded once dry. Bring a plug converter if you plan to use a hairdryer or straighteners. 8. The air conditioning has a mind of its own. From freezing in the morning, building gradually throughout the day to a balmy 28 degrees. It seems to be impossible to override this. 9. The Oasis (the adults only pool deck) is near useless, as there is virtually no shade. Skin cancer all round, thanks. 10. Couldn’t get an advance reservation at Salt, even though we supposedly had priority. I actually didn’t believe the maître-d’ when he told me it was fully booked for the next evening (given that, unless you were in a suite, you weren’t able to make a reservation until 8am the next morning). But by that point in the cruise, I actually didn’t care any more. Top 5 goods points: 1. The gym is very nicely kitted out, with plenty of benches, free weights and cables, and good opening hours. Also very quiet, as most people ignored it in favour of weird free seminars on weight loss and fat burning. Go figure. 2. P&O ultimately dealt with the immediate flooding issues by replacing smelly carpets in suites and agreeing compensation whilst still on board (which was impressive during the Christmas period). 3. There was a great little band which played the Blue Room (although this was somewhat ruined on the last night when members of the on-board shows interjected themselves into some of the songs). 4. I liked the fact that you could get breakfast delivered to your suite as late as 9.30am (once we’d worked out what was worth ordering). I recommend the banana bread and asking for eggs to be poached. 5. Bed was very comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Ok where do I start? This was the worst and most boring holiday of our lives. If you hate someone recommend the P&O Aria. Nothing to do but eat, drink and listen to lame lifeless entertainers. Cabins looked nice we had a balcony, ... Read More
Ok where do I start? This was the worst and most boring holiday of our lives. If you hate someone recommend the P&O Aria. Nothing to do but eat, drink and listen to lame lifeless entertainers. Cabins looked nice we had a balcony, although the aircon was useless it didnt cool the room and fridge was useless too couldnt chill our drinks. They had a DVD player but no DVD's to watch? We kept checking outside to see if our bags had been sent up, we eventually found them up the other end of the corridor even tho they were clearly marked with our names and room number. We went for a walk on Deck 6 but you couldnt walk right around the ship as Portside was closed off and Starboard was full of coughing smokers. The adults only pool was like a plunge pool The Pantry looked good on the promos but in actual fact it was like being trapped on a floating foodcourt. Food was the same everyday no variety, had to line up for everything, food was often cold and the roast veg was very undercooked, oh and if you wanted icecream with your dessert you had to pay $5. There weren't enough tables and chairs and what was with all the stools, bit hard to climb up on and very uncomfortable. Waterfront restaurant was average with rude waiters. One girl took 3 or 4 tags to go sort out the drinks for different tables then didnt know whos tag belonged to who. The other free restaurants were always booked out and you were not able to book ahead which either pushed you to others you had to pay for, or back to the (foodcourt) Pantry. Day 2 it began to rain and didnt stop, that's when the leaks appeared all over the ship. Towels, blankets and buckets were all over the eating areas, halls and stairwells. Dirty water was dripping on tables where people were eating staff had to tape off sections of the ship and where trying to dry carpets with airblowers we even saw them doing this to an electrical box, maybe that's why the lifts were always out of order. An annoucement at 5am that there was a fire in the laundry was a little off putting. The reception staff were rude and most unhelpful but that could be due to the fact that there was a huge language barrier, very frustrating. This ship is far from new so why advertise it that way? And why run a cruise up to Cairns in the wet season, but more fool us for booking it for that time of year. By the 5th day we'd had enoughwe got off at Cairns and stayed off. This was our 1st ever cruise and after that experience, we will NEVER do another one. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The whole 10 days we were served the worst food we have ever eaten. There was a couple of meals that were nice (not outstanding) and the rest were disgusting. Food was very bland, luke warm and badly cooked and the same offerings day after ... Read More
The whole 10 days we were served the worst food we have ever eaten. There was a couple of meals that were nice (not outstanding) and the rest were disgusting. Food was very bland, luke warm and badly cooked and the same offerings day after day. Soups and gravies where as salty as the ocean, meats undercooked, roast vegies of carrot, potato and 80% tasteless swede and bacon like boot leather. There was long waits to be seated at the restaurant and we soon learnt not to leave going out for dinner too late, meal sizes were not big enough so you needed to allow enough time to grab something extra to eat or go to bed hungry. If you think you can grab something to eat any time think again, the pantry was only open for a few hours at meal times, no morning tea, afternoon tea or late night snack. If you slept in or lost track of time (two things you should be able to do while on holidays) you would miss meal times. We had to buy a watch to keep an eye on the time (no clocks worked on the ship). There was a coffee machine which made very bad coffee or tea bags to make you own, plastic mugs and sticks to stir, not high class. Otherwise you could drink water or at breakfast time orange or apple juice watered down so much it tasted like cordial. Alcoholic drinks also tasted weak and very expensive. Any time you shared a table with another cruiser you heard more stories of the bad experiences, the whole vibe of the ship was a very unhappy one. The beds were comfortable but the linen stained and clean towels delivered to your room also stained. The bath to step into the shower is very high, elderly or unable people would have a very hard time. The daily activities pathetic, boring and repetitive. So perhaps fill in some time walking around the deck, parts of the deck were always closed for cleaning and maintenance. During the day staff were varnishing or painting and the strong chemical smell drifted everywhere. Talking about smells, occasionally a very bad smell like sewerage or vomit would drift through the hall ways and bed rooms. The lifts at both ends of the ship did not always work, out of 8 lifts sometimes only 2 would be working which meant long waits, crowded lifts or take the stairs. Staff service around the ship was mixed, some friendly and helpful, some rude. It was difficult to communicate with most as we could not understand them and they could not understand us. A new refurbished ship, the decor was ok but some bad design elements. Particularly the pantry seating, a lounge and coffee table was impossible to eat a meal at or you could choose to perch on a very high bar stool. There was some tables and seats but not enough to cater at meal times. In the restaurant the tables were too small, the dinner plate did not fit on the table so overhung above your lap, we also noticed that bread rolls, butter dish and glasses were not always changed between sittings. The pool was far too small for the amount of people and you were just lucky if you found an available seat to relax. The ship leaked after a small shower of rain and buckets were placed around to catch the drips, not what you would expect. The entertainment was good but shows were short and not many for the length of time onboard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Where to start? First time on a cruise and so bitterly disappointed. Following a three hour embarkation delay to disinfect the ship, my husband and I walked up the gangplank into utter chaos;. No one to greet or welcome you, harried staff ... Read More
Where to start? First time on a cruise and so bitterly disappointed. Following a three hour embarkation delay to disinfect the ship, my husband and I walked up the gangplank into utter chaos;. No one to greet or welcome you, harried staff running about the ship, passengers luggage carelessly piled up in the lift foyers and dumped outside peoples cabin doors and a sizable queue of complainants at reception. As we were unsure of protocol, and there was no one to guide us, we headed up to our room. The room was not prepared - no soap, dirty shelving from the last occupants, very little toilet paper, balcony door jammed shut and windows indescribably dirty and our luggage no where to be seen. I flagged down a steward to address the issues and he suggested we look for our bags amongst the mountains of luggage piling up in the lift foyers on various levels(!!!). Our bags didn't show up for three hours and the balcony door took another request to be unjammed to gain access. Our room was not cleaned until the following day. As we settled in we noticed the ship had begun to move (no announcement was made that we heard) so we scurried up to one of the decks to enjoy the view as we left Sydney Harbour. The food was ATROCIOUS!!! Our first meal was at Angelo's. My husband ordered spaghetti and meatballs and received something that resembled a cow pat sitting on a bed of poorly drained pasta swimming in water. It was stone cold and my meal was not much better. Pre frozen fish served cold. Yuck! We didn't receive one meal on board served at a food safe temperature. Everything was tepid at best, and frankly, no amount of heat would save the slop they were dishing up. I ordered a pannacotta that could have doubled as a superball and the creme brulee was so curdled it had the texture of scrambled eggs. When we got to Cairnes we bought a mountain of food and brought it back on board and filled our fridge. The service was ATROCIOUS! - except for our room steward, Nellie, who was helpful and delightful. A request for a pot of tea or second cup of coffee was met with an exasperated sigh and some requests were never met at all. In the end we just stopped asking as it was all too much trouble. At The Waterfront Restaurant i ordered a pork chop that arrived with three shards of bone instead of a chop - cold and overcooked. At The Dragon Lady tables were left uncleared - we spent a lengthy 1.5 hours waiting for our food and surrounded by five uncleared tables. Rumour has it the head chef was 'let go' in Cairnes and the Head Chef for all of P&O was flown in to execute damage control. The result was slightly warmer food. The king size bed in our room was very comfortable and the room/balcony proportion very good. The toilet did back up twice, however, and overflowed once, so maintenance was kept busy. This seemed to be a common problem amongst the passengers. We had a spa bath but the jets looked too rusty and dirty to risk a bath. We did not receive a Daily Schedule until day three and only received the dvd list of movies you could order two days before the end of the cruise. Only the key public areas of the ship were renovated and there were many areas on board emanating fairly unsavoury smells. Most surfaces were left wet and smeary with disinfectant and we could witness staff with masks and spray equipment making their way around the ship. The general purpose pool was out of action upon arrival (and then again later with rumours of faecal matter or vomit contamination) and the Oasis pool was so scungy looking by week two i no longer wanted to swim in it. The last day of our cruise we were informed via a slip of paper under our door that we were to vacate our rooms by SIX AM!!! Our original itinerary had us arriving in Sydney at seven with disembarkation to follow. They were in a hurry to have us vacate to disinfect the ship for the next cruise that evening. The excursions were bliss but a stark reminder of the kind of service and care we should have been receiving from P&O and were not. We feel so ripped off. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Sold as a shiny new ship, Pscific Eden was floating chaos. Fresh from dry dock, most of the public areas were shiny and new, yes, but that's where any similarity to The Love Boat ended. The majority of staff on board may have been ... Read More
Sold as a shiny new ship, Pscific Eden was floating chaos. Fresh from dry dock, most of the public areas were shiny and new, yes, but that's where any similarity to The Love Boat ended. The majority of staff on board may have been brand new, but had received little training and functionally ranged from just coping to inattentive and slow, to down right rude. The dining was mediocre at best, in fact we found the restaurants basically unusable. Twice it took 3 hours to serve a 3 course (average) meal, so we gave up and just used The Pantry, a floating food hall. The food here was also average. It varied little each day, especially the breakfast. I never need to see cold bacon and uncooked toast again. The worst part of the experience was the service. Except in our case for our cabin stewards who were excellent. Everyone on board was unhappy. Some cabins had no air con, there was no room service (the phone just rang out). The in cabin movies were in constant repeat and featured such classics as 10 year old episodes of The New Inventors (same episodes repeated constantly throughout the cruise) and week old weather from the US. I tried hard not complain but my patience was tested when I was asked by a member of the reception staff, "well, what do you expect me to do about it?" This was a reaction to my complaint a the fact that The Edge, the ships adventure area with flying foxes, funnel climbs etc was not functioning for the entire cruise. The manager of this 'service' was in a meeting for three days! I queued for 90 minutes to be treated with disdain. The ports we visited were excellent, but there were issues with the tender service. NOTHING ran smoothly. Getting off was slow and disorganised, we almost missed flights. It was a relief to get off. We felt like Guinea pigs on a practice cruise. Full price paying Guinea pigs! Supervisors, managers and chefs were conspicuously absent from public areas. In light of the complaints and chaos they should have been taking some responsibility. I asked for a complaint form but none were available. I approached an officer in a hallway and he literally RAN away from me. On the plus side, some of the entertainment and bands were good. The ship itself is only partly refurbished but quite pleasant. We made the best of our cruise and would cruise again but no way with P&O. I intend to follow this up and have asked my travel agent the same. I'm sure though, that any complaint I make will just be ignored. Cruisers beware! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Well, to say my lady, my children & myself were looking forward to this break, would of been an understatement, but unfortunately this was all turned upside down. Being the first time on a cruise and having purchased it for my ladies ... Read More
Well, to say my lady, my children & myself were looking forward to this break, would of been an understatement, but unfortunately this was all turned upside down. Being the first time on a cruise and having purchased it for my ladies birthday present we could not wait. Unfortunately, because of events that unfolded,in the end,we could not wait to get off. Ironically, about two days before we were due to board, i was warned by another disgruntled passenger ( a friend) who had been on a previous cruise on this ship,totally running down the pacific dawn and its food, service, etc. But i dismissed this as a personal thing as far as they were concerned and determined to to let their assessment not spoil our holiday. The first night we went to have dinner in the smorgasbord restaurant. To say the food was second rate was a pretty accurate assessment, but we just dismissed that as maybe it will get better and although we discussed between us that it was not real good, once again decided to not let that spoil our holiday. This was the first disappointment, having heard how beautiful the food is on cruise ships is. Being an entertainer myself, and looking forward to seeing some world class acts, sorry, there was none, and how the artists persevered with the inadequate sound systems, that were being kept way to soft for any sort of dynamics is beyond me. But once again, this was not going to spoil our holiday. The second day was a little confusing as my on board credit card was rejected. After getting in contact with the card provider, knowing there was ample funds available, they notified me it was just a security measure because i didnt notify them i was going overseas, which was fair enough, then they also told me it was all taken care of. I notified the reception that the card was all fine now and they in turn assured me that it was all good from now on, but this was not the case, mainly because the people in reception were not doing their job properly. Three more embarrassing times my card was rejected and each time they told me it wont happen again. This was the start of frustration, embarrassment and a whole lot of unnessasary stress. Finally, the card fiasco was sorted.!!!! We then booked to have dinner in the salt restaurant about the second to last night on board, having read great reviews on it. Wow !!!! How wrong this was. The food was absolute crap, oysters and fish in tepura batter which was like leather, oysters kilpatrick had porchetta bacon on top. Tasted horrible. Then to top this night off, we had ordered our first drinks which we we consumed, then the birthday girl ordered another glass of red, of which she was refused , being told she was intoxicated. This was so wrong! we have never been so insulted in our lives and the kids , being 19 & 21years of age, were horrified. Lastly, to top off this whole so called cruise of a lifetime, when i collected my duty free alcohol it was two bottles short of which i discovered on arriving home. About the only good thing that p&o did when i complained about the missing alcohol was send me a cheque to cover it.. All in all, we had a most unsatisfactory holiday ensuring that we will never ever cruise with p&o again and also that we will let everybody know they would be making a mistake to even contemplate a cruise with you people. Thanks for nothing, except costing me a considerable amount of money and for causing my lady,who is still getting over breast cancer,total embarrasment & anxiety . Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My husband and myself went on the Comedy Cruise which left Perth on the 3 April 2015. This was our first cruise as a taster to see if we enjoy "Cruising". In some ways I am glad it was only for three days! We had a mini-suite ... Read More
My husband and myself went on the Comedy Cruise which left Perth on the 3 April 2015. This was our first cruise as a taster to see if we enjoy "Cruising". In some ways I am glad it was only for three days! We had a mini-suite which was fantastic and our cabin steward was very helpful. The food was very disappointing. We ate at all the food outlets and restaurants. The Buffet was uneatable, The Grill not much better and the Waterfront a little better. In all three the staff were very rude. We ate in Luna (Asian) one night and was well worth the extra $$. Staff were also very good. We ate at Salt Grill twice. Food was good the staff and service excellent. Our Cruise was overbooked and P & O were phoning customers two days before offering refunds. If you have already booked and get offered a refund I would highly recommend you take it. We will give "Cruising" another go but definitely not with P & O. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was my Bucket List after 35 years of marriage and raising 6 children, it was my time for being spoilt and have someone look after me. Therefore you can imagine our excitement of finally taking the trip of our dreams with all the high ... Read More
This was my Bucket List after 35 years of marriage and raising 6 children, it was my time for being spoilt and have someone look after me. Therefore you can imagine our excitement of finally taking the trip of our dreams with all the high expectations that P&O promised in their shiny brochures. EMBARKATION My husband and I set sail on the Pacific Dawn from Brisbane heading towards New Caledonia for 7 nights. Our first taste of the disaster that was to become our holiday started at the terminal. What a dingy place that is and no one told us to expect an hour to fill out forms and there was no where to sit or rest the papers against to do so as this small place was quickly filling up with other passengers all trying to do the same paperwork. Then we were held up for an hour or so due to a problem with customs delaying our departure. SO IF YOU ARE GOING ON THIS TRIP TAKE A PEN AND BE PREPARED TO WAIT. There were shops where you could get something to eat whilst you had to wait but they were so far away you be afraid of missing your turn to get on the ship and having to wait longer. SHIP INFORMATION Once onboard we went to our cabin which we had as an 'upgrade'. It was originally designed as a quad with little room to move around the bed and it was situated right under the Marquee room resulting in all sorts of noise filtering down through the night making sleeping a little difficult at times. When we arrived at our cabin there was a Yellow card saying that I had an item in my bag that was being Confiscated and made me feel like a criminal trying to smuggle illegal goods - as it turned out it was my travel iron of all things. I was told that I could not use it as they had a laundry and I could iron my items down there. There was no mention in any of the documentation of what not to bring onboard saying that I could not bring one, even the questions on the Facebook fellow travellers page when asked say that this was a prohibitive item only that there were laundry services available for a fee. Available for a fee became the theme for this voyage. The ship itself and all the feature rooms and trimmings were tired and looked like they needed a refit. My general impression was that they were downgrading the quality and offering lower prices to get more people to travel with them. ACTIVITIES There were quite a lot of activities offered but they were so boring that it was not worthwhile going or participating. For instance the trivial quizs where half hearted as was the bingo game which I did play after paying $30 for the privilege, the casino my husband played/lost $30 without even realising it as you have to insert your card and a whole lot of rigmarole. There were only one table of each, roulette, blackjack and a poker game so if you wanted to have a flutter it became a long wait. The so-called BIG ATTRACTIONS were tired and very difficult to access. The main performance was from the Pacific Circus in the Atrium and if you did not get a seat an hour beforehand it was impossible to see what was going on. The music provided by the various bands I could have watched better at our local pub, they were tired and lacked any enthusiasm. Definitely no toe tapping fun to be had with them. Otherwise all the other activities could be had - for a FEE - a gallery excursion, a tour of the ship and etc. The theater was outdoors on the pool deck on a large screen so if you didn't get a seat right in front you had to sit on the side and not get a good viewing. Also it was cold and windy most nights so that did not encouraged us to go out much. PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS There was nothing like I imagined, no greetings from the locals, no organisation involving tour operators or how to get on to the tours, you had to sort that out all by yourself. The islands were not what we had expected them to be and there was very little cultural or background knowledge provided. Life on islands was not as romantic as I had anticipated and would rank them as being 3rd world, with a lot of graffiti everywhere. But they did use Australian dollars which was great and very little way of shops to buy trinkets for back home. DINING Terrible is what I can only describe it as. Where was all this wonderful food we were promised? The Plantation was a cafeteria at best, with not a big range of choices and if you asked for a second slice of the 'meat' of the day they snarled. The coffee was terrible and there was no cold water available. I ended up with Acute Gastroenteritis from eating there so be careful as it does happen quite frequently on the Pacific Dawn as there at least 3 other cases when I go sick. The Waterfront promised a lot and delivered not much. They said you had to dress up for the occasion but this was not the case. The meals were tepid at best and bland all the time. But it was nice being served. All the other eating venues you had to pay and as I mentioned earlier this was the theme of the ship. You also had to book for evening meals or line up for lunch and breakfast. Both restaurants had closing times and when you were in port difficult to get in Ice cream, pizza and everything else you can imagine had a price. It appeared to me that for all staff English was not their first language and they made little eye contact. if you asked them a question they appeared not to understand you so we gave up. DISEMBARKATION Once again the terminal was abysmal and dingy. You had no idea where lines started or finished. Claiming my 'illegal' iron was difficult and everyone crowded in or around the door way that made getting out difficult. SUMMARY This was first part of my bucket list and I can say that I can cross it off my list but I will NEVER travel with P&O again Everything had a price and you had no idea of what or how your spending was going unless you checked it everyday so I would highly recommend everyone to do that, as I witnessed quite a few fellow passengers have near heart attacks when they received their final bill.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
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