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75 P&O Australia Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

It was somewhere I wanted to go. I wish to thank DR Google from the Waterfront Resteraunt, who looked after my allergies, and made sure I had wonderful meals. I thank you so much you really took care of me and was a lovely friendly person ... Read More
It was somewhere I wanted to go. I wish to thank DR Google from the Waterfront Resteraunt, who looked after my allergies, and made sure I had wonderful meals. I thank you so much you really took care of me and was a lovely friendly person who made me feel relaxed about being allergic. Unfortunately, my friend was put out about my kind caring treatment and I was unable to thank you personally, and give you a good tip. So sorry about that, I felt so bad. Because you were wonderful and I never had any symptoms on board, it was great not to worry about the food myself, I am so grateful. I hope you get to read this, you said say you are Marlon Brando as a joke. Very nice and kind Dr Google I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You made my cruise much easier and enjoyable. :-) 9198 Overall the whole Cruise was fun and exciting. To find places on decks was easy due to information at the lifts. The rooms were lovely with the large balcony. Had an awesome view of the sea. The cabins were looked after very well, staff attending were wonderful and helpful. All food on board was really tasty. The food staff were excellent and caring to my allergy needs. Gatsby party was fun away to sea party was fun and the white party was fun, but what I liked most was the Blue Room where they played Jazz every night. Great musicians, loved the saxophonists playing, really really great to see and hear. The best thing about the whole Cruise was being at sea, loved it. The crew made the trip really easy and relaxing. Thank you P&O I will definitely be looking forward to my next Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose to do this cruise as I had never been on one before and thought a short one would be a good introduction. The overall cruise was lots of fun but there are some less than great things. This ship is the oldest and is about to ... Read More
I chose to do this cruise as I had never been on one before and thought a short one would be a good introduction. The overall cruise was lots of fun but there are some less than great things. This ship is the oldest and is about to be decommissioned, you can tell. The rooms look very tired and the colour scheme is so early 90's it sometimes hurts. But on the flip side, the bed was really comfortable and the shower was fantastic! The Pantry...This was really crap. The food that is included in your fare comes from here. Its fatty and made from low quality products. I struggled to find something that I wanted to eat. One dinner there was seriously nothing. I'm a dessert lover and often the desserts were really bland. The pannacotta was tasteless and the custard was so thin it wasn't even custard. The onboard activities were so much fun! Trivia and bingo were my favourite. The stand up comedians were also hilarious. The gym was basic but still very functional! I went every day. Now my number one peeve - up-selling of products! The seminars they run are a ploy to get you to buy something. I was really mad at this. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I bought the Australian Open Cruise as a birthday present for my mum. It was a chance for the two of us to take a cruise trip to Melbourne that we had talked about for years. POSITIVES: The embarkation experience was excellent! ... Read More
I bought the Australian Open Cruise as a birthday present for my mum. It was a chance for the two of us to take a cruise trip to Melbourne that we had talked about for years. POSITIVES: The embarkation experience was excellent! Plenty of friendly staff to navigate you through the process. Embarkation was easy and fast! The ship itself is beautiful! The public areas are all extremely well presented. And there were a variety of areas to chose from catering to all tastes. The cabin was surprisingly spacious. There was plenty of room to move around in the cabin and the cabin was also well laid out. The cabin stewards (James and Willie) were great. Very friendly and attentive. The cabin was always kept very clean. We saw a few of the shows. Twice Upon a Time was a modern dance performance and was excellent. The stage setting, costumes and music/score was of a very professional standard. We had plenty of laughs at the Murder Mystery activity. And recommend you get in on this activity if available. The room service food and beverages were very good. Highly recommend the wedges and the beef nachos. And Earon, the Room Service Steward, took real pride in his work. he's a credit to the team. Generally the personnel on board were very pleasant. There were options of locations to eat - Angelo's, Dragon Lady and the Waterfront were all restaurants that were included in the fare and are all worth experiencing. Ken, the acupuncturist, was knowledgeable, ethical, professional - and the treatment works! Highly recommend a visit! The staff at the Spa were generally very nice and the treatments were good. NEGATIVES The aggressive sales pitch at the Spa. When you first get on board you are faced with an army of day spa staff that offer you a tour of the Spa facilities - all with a view of signing you up for as many events and services as possible. The Spa competition has you there under false pretenses. The Spa manager (I think she was the manager, as she wasn't in a uniform) was very unpleasant and discourteous. It was a shame that the staff, who were very lovely and competent, were pressured to sell product at every consultation /service. Also, day in port specials were non existent (unlike any other cruise I have been on). The Pantry is the general "food court" area. It was difficult to get a seat at lunch and dinner times (never tried to at breakfast). There clearly isn't enough seating. Also the structure of the food service was disappointing. There were about 10 different types of food, including dessert station. Each station had 2 - 3 options to chose from. Staff at the station dished up very small servings of your selection and you were sent on your way. The only station that was reasonable with it's offering was the dessert station, who recognised that the portion sizes wouldn't fill a mouse so would ask if you would like a second options. Also, the fish was dreadful .. it was mushy/sloppy! the only fried food that I have ever seen that was in that state. On other cruises, the buffet areas worked much better! Also, the Pantry was opened at limited hours. On other cruises this sort of facility is open 24/7. The only other negative was the disembarkment. On other cruises, if you were going to take your own luggage off, you could disembark at your time of choosing - you didn't have to go with a designated group for your deck. Also, our group was told to be at a designated are at 8.50am. We arrived at 8.45am (as did others) only to be told that our group had already been called. Unacceptable! Also, the announcements calling groups to disembark are not made over the ship - so you can't hear it in your cabin. Again, on other cruises, you can remain in your cabin and wait to be called. Overall a very positive experience. Except for the Pantry and the Spa. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
First cruise and I was terrified due to negative reviews on here. Our review...well we are now hooked....an amazing cruise. We ate everywhere...enjoyed it all. The ships crew are constantly cleaning to keep the ship presentable. The ... Read More
First cruise and I was terrified due to negative reviews on here. Our review...well we are now hooked....an amazing cruise. We ate everywhere...enjoyed it all. The ships crew are constantly cleaning to keep the ship presentable. The entertainment is amazing. Attend as much as possible. All incredibly enjoyable especial the Maquee live shows. Entertainment crew hilarious Mathew Dom Pablo Miguel etc. We had the smaller cheaper cabins which were perfect for our budget and needs....hot showers were amazing. Many reviews complained about the interior being old....well I'm no spring chicken either any more but it's how you present yourself and this ship is no different....the decor is gorgeous. We did a few pacific Islands and pre booked our tours through the ship and had a great time being emersed in the culture and saw some amazing scenery. All our kids 3-17 attended kids clubs Turtle cove HQ and HQ+ and loved it experience. We also had EDGE packages. These were prepaid great for 7-25yrs. Our adults would probably pay per session next time as didn't get the value from pre purchasing. Thankyou from the bottom of our hearts for your passion to serve. Sad to see you retiring but hope to travel again with P&O and see some familiar faces. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
First time cruising and had mixed expectations about what to expect. I can honestly say after this experience I will never cruise again with P&O. 1. Drinks Package: Purchased this after paying $750 for the 8 day package. Seemed ... Read More
First time cruising and had mixed expectations about what to expect. I can honestly say after this experience I will never cruise again with P&O. 1. Drinks Package: Purchased this after paying $750 for the 8 day package. Seemed like good value, and was, but the only down side was the drinks are watered down and nine times out of ten you only get half nips for the cocktails. Seems to be the general consensus with everyone that I talked with on board. When you pay good money, you expect value, not in this case. 2. Gambling: Observed from a distance and staff were happy to continue taking thousands of dollars off patrons why they were quite clearly intoxicated and unable to make logically decisions. As soon as they leave the table, cut them off from drinks and say they have had enough for the night. Quite clearly this should have happened long before it got to this stage, and they had wasted thousands on gaming. My belief is, if you can't drive a car at 0.05, why should you be allowed to gamble away your life away while being heavily intoxicated and under the influence of alcohol. 3. Rooms were out dated and had quite a fowl stench coming from the carpet, which appeared to be damp, and window clouded and full of mould. Only view was of a cloudy and overcast window. 4. Entertainment for adults is limited, kids movies shown throughout the day, and kids allowed up in adult only areas till 1130pm at night, which allows 2.5 hours child free until the venue closes. Adult only area has two hot tubs that hold 10 people maximum and 10 sunlounges. This makes sense when there is nearly 1000 adults on board, not!!! 5. Food was okay from the pantry, but would pass on breakfast and dessert in the future. Toast was stale and cold and seemed like it had sat there for 24 hours. Simple fix would be to allow patrons to toast their own. Luke Menigan and New Zealand ice cream best part of the trip and great value for money. All in all, mixed experience and views. Would do another cruise, but just not with P&O as I believe you are blantaly ripped off by a company that only cares about its profits, and not providing patrons with what they have paid for. Please be aware and read reviews before cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
On the 28th December 2018 we embarked on a New Years cruise with P&O (the prices for this particular cruise were double if not triple normal prices due to the time of year). The dramas started when we paid for priority checkin however ... Read More
On the 28th December 2018 we embarked on a New Years cruise with P&O (the prices for this particular cruise were double if not triple normal prices due to the time of year). The dramas started when we paid for priority checkin however our tickets did not list this, it wasnt such a big issue, however at the time we didnt know this was just the start of the many issues we would experience. First day on the cruise one of our suitcases never arrived to our room, after calling reception we were told to wait and they will contact us back once they have tracked it down. 1.5 hours later sitting in our room waiting for a call back we called receiption to find our bag was there and we could come down and collect it. CABINS The first 3 days at sea were rough (with approx 6 foot waves) which is not uncommon however the front of the boat was particulary bad and majority of the time we could not be in our rooms due to the severity of the movement. Now to give you some background prior to this cruise we were on another cruise with RC which was in the middle of a cyclone with 8 foot waves and had little to no issues with our room which was also located at the front of the boat so it seems this particular boat with P&O may of not be of the same standard mechanically. Our room was on level 11 (pool 12 and pantry 14) which was a great location however levels 5,6,7 are also great as they are close to bars , reception and shops. Cabins were clean and liveable however they do not reflect the standard you would expect when paying a minimum $6k a couple (interior room) on new years. They are the original cabins and corner rooms are particulary smaller. If you are particular with pillows make sure you take your own as they are not the best. The rooms do have a safe and fridge and a great little sensor light for night time toilet trips. They also only have 1 australia power point , 1 european power point and 1 US power point. The rooms do have a hair dryer however they are very basic. Overall we were fine with our rooms however during our trip the toilet blocked up , lost all power and lights in our room at 12am in the morning and also had issues with the door locks not recognising our cards. A special mentionto the room attendents who do an amazing job , are very fast and are friendly. FOOD Not to bad, same as most cruise boats. We liked lukes , dragon lady and the cafe for cakes and tea. We love how P&O have set up the pantry as it stops alot of food being touched by other guests and limits food waste. Special mention to 400 grandi , great food , amazing staff and a nice quiet place on the ship. STAFF We were extremly lucky to experience great staff at the ocean bar , the cafe and 400 grandi. They are extremly helpful and accomodation. ENTERTAINMENT For a New Years cruise entertainment was limited however for a standard cruise it was not bad. Love riot was a great show (approx $15 per person) it was well worth it. Please note P&O seem to limit any adult only shows for 9pm and 10pm at night which wasnt always the best if you have a port day the next day. Please note lawn bowls and slides are not open permently only certain hours. PORT DAYS / TENDERS For locations with a port it was very simple and quick to get off and well organised. For ports which required tenders it became a bit of a mess and for one of our ports we waited 1.5 hours and then gave up getting off. Some people waited over 2 hours to get off and no explanation was given. After speaking to people who were lucky to get off we found guests on the beach kept snorkeling in the tender lanes which would then hold up the boats. P&O didnt seem to get these people out of the water or issues warnings to causing delays for other guests and some guests didnt even get off. SHORE TOURS We were lucky enough to do a great snorkelling tour in Santo which was well worth the money. However the couple we were travelling with did a village tour on another island and it was nothing like the tour summary and they did not learn anything from it. GUESTS Possibly some of the worst behaviour I have seen. Many of the guest were extremly rude , self centred , would push past or push in lines and we even experienced guests permently calling our room at 1am even though they were told they were calling the wrong room. Kids where still running around after 9pm and would often fill up the lifts or press all buttons inthe lifts. Our last morning there were kids outside our cabin door screaming at 5am with parents who did not care (our room was out of the way). The experience which really sent us over the edge was this one lady which we had to ask 4 times to move so we could sit down on the first day and book restaurants. We then had to ask her another 6 times to move so we could get up from our seat. I also experienced a lady at the gym who proceeded to push pass me and tell me she was waiting for a tredmill and she was next in line..... mind you i had been on the equipment for a good 5 mins before she appeared from somewhere having a cry. Please note the gym gets packed out and runs out of room and equipment duringthe mornings. Overall terrible behaviour and this doesnt even go into the fights , yelling and crappy comments we heard being shouted between guests and at the poor staff. LEAVING THE BOAT You are told to put your bags outside your room between 4pm and 8pm the night prior. Please note no where do they say you can self assist and take your own bags off but you can do this and it will get you off the boat faster. We got off the boat at 740am (we were told 720am for group 1 and 2). When we finally got off to collect our bags, our bags where not out yet and we had to wait atleast 30-40mins for our bags to come through. If you are being picked up or have a flight please keep this in mind. LIFOU If you are travelling to Lifou please note you need a ticket for jinek bay. If you do not get a ticket you will not be able to snorkel. Even though this is plastered everywhere we watched many people ignore this and walk in 30 degrees heat to the bay to then be disappointed. Quick tip, everyday you get a newsletter , make sure to read the back page for sales and spa deals. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
To celebrate her 50th birthday my niece decided to invite us all to join her on a cruise and P&O Aria South East Asia was the nominated ship. I flew from Auckland to Brisbane on the 11th August 2018, spent two nights there with ... Read More
To celebrate her 50th birthday my niece decided to invite us all to join her on a cruise and P&O Aria South East Asia was the nominated ship. I flew from Auckland to Brisbane on the 11th August 2018, spent two nights there with friends and on Monday 13th I met up with the rest of the group (17 of us) and we flew to Singapore where we spent two days shopping and sightseeing before boarding our ship on the 15th August bound for Bali, Komodo Island, East Timor, Cairns, Airlie Beach Brisbane. What an amazing experience. The ship was huge and enjoyed exploring and meeting so many other beautiful travellers. Some like myself were newbies, while others were old hands at cruising. Our cabin had a balcony and was very comfortable, though the couch our room mate slept on was not so good. Though she reported to the house staff, it was not repaired so she had to compromise by using our extra pillows to adjust the level of her bed. Dining was amazing, with a great selection of foods in The Pantry and restaurants with great service and selections on their menus. Embarkation and disembarking were well organised. Also the shore tours were great too, Entertainment, and activities on board were fabulous. I also enjoyed having Acupuncture while on board as I suffer from hip and back pain and I am truly amazed how much relief and great I continually feeling following my treatment. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I joined this cruise as part of a group so I didn’t take advantage of the onboard activities and bars. Our departure from Sydney was on time and boarding was pretty straightforward. Luggage arriving from a 12-1 boarding by 2:30. ... Read More
I joined this cruise as part of a group so I didn’t take advantage of the onboard activities and bars. Our departure from Sydney was on time and boarding was pretty straightforward. Luggage arriving from a 12-1 boarding by 2:30. The boat was clean but in places worn. We had a twin bed layout. The beds were pretty hard. The balcony cabin was compact with litte space apart from the balcony and a 1 meter area adjacent to the beds. Fortunately the beds have space for luggage below. The desk is tiny - just enough space for a laptop and bed side accessories. Storage in the wardrobe was good for 2 people. There were 4 PowerPoints 1 us on the desk, 1 US below a tiny hallway shelf and a European and Australian by the TV. The bar fridge below had enough space for 6 water bottles or 12 cans. I ate at the waterfront on a few occasions food was good but. It spectacular but the space was often cramped. Better for breakfast or lunch. 400 Gradi had excellent pizza’s and there was usually spare space for additional diners. The pantry food was average. Think food court in your local mall. I enjoyed the breakfast options, the Indian and carvery. The Chinese was poor the times I tried it. The deserts looked great but the were little more than sugar and food colouring. When cheese and biscuits were offered they were good. The soups I tried were usually bland. The staff were friendly and helpful. There were many activities available but often these prevented use of the facilities. For example when a movie played above the pool deck it was so loud that I had to leave the area. Similarly activities in the explorer bar made it hard to enjoy a social drink if you were not participating. Fortunately there were many other bars to use. On the whole I got what I paid for. Perhaps i’ll Go more upmarket next time or budget for meals in the pay restaurants most of the time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My first cruise. Escape to the warmth en route to Fiji for 8 days. Fun filled days, great food, (The Pantry and Waterfront Restaurant absolurely splendid. Wonderful resaurants - Chefs Table is a must; Island excursion's to ... Read More
My first cruise. Escape to the warmth en route to Fiji for 8 days. Fun filled days, great food, (The Pantry and Waterfront Restaurant absolurely splendid. Wonderful resaurants - Chefs Table is a must; Island excursion's to outer islands just wonderful. Dravuni Island tremendous. Tour operators were alot of fun. Loved the singing. Water warm. Nightlife greatest fun.- Gatsby Party and Back to School meant dressing up and great dancing. Great drinks. My cabin was very private and comfortable. Very clean. TV room reception ace. Thoroughly enjoyed the open air big movie screen, and The Cafe. The on board lectures were informative and very helpful eg acupuncture and posture lectures. It was fun attending the opening of the new on board Pandora Shop. Embarking and disembarking very organised. On board shopping great value. Great gift specials. Very kind and very helpful staff. Didn't want to come home! Saving for my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I took 18 elderly(70 up to 98) folk on the 4 day cruise as a real treat from our club. We choose the one that just went to sea as a lot had no passports and most importantly once on board it was safer than going to ports as 4 were on ... Read More
I took 18 elderly(70 up to 98) folk on the 4 day cruise as a real treat from our club. We choose the one that just went to sea as a lot had no passports and most importantly once on board it was safer than going to ports as 4 were on walkers. I found the staff were so helpful and pleasant BUT the ship was terrible. 1.No toilets on reception floor 5 th deck. 2.Shampoo ect in cabin were in big containers and some folk could not handle using them. 3.The food in the Waterfront restaurant was not pleasant mostly pasta last night I purchased a nice steak for dinner out of desparation. The selection (3) of food on the menu I felt was poor. 4.The plantation room food set up was terrible it was risky for the elderly as it is set up like a food stall area and you have to move from one to another to see selection and then stand in line to be served with children running around and folk dropping food fighting for this and that it is the worst I have ever seen. They only had one area to get it from. All other ships I have been on have had 2 smorgesboard areas to get your food from. By the time you got your food it was cold but the time you got back. I saw not trays either to carry your lunch back on and one place for utentsils. 5. There was no fresh fruit ie apples ,bananas .watermelon ect ect at all on board. I got the feeling this is a training ship as it was shabby rust appearing in places the showers ect. Though it was a great experiance for the folk that went I advise elderly to check the ships out before they go on and the Jewel give it a wide berth. P.S. Entertainment was wonderfull until the last night when a comedian it was the most disgusting performance of filth I have had to endure on any cruise I have been on the the ladies did not like it one bit the F & C words plus all the others and many groups of folk got up and left which he ridiculed it was the most discusting show I have ever had to sit through. God knows what the comedy cruise is like and glad we weren't on it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We did this cruise to compare the two cruise lines with the idea of a multi generational family holiday. We have cruised several times with different companies. Usually we exit Sydney - this time with P&O out of Brisbane. There is ... Read More
We did this cruise to compare the two cruise lines with the idea of a multi generational family holiday. We have cruised several times with different companies. Usually we exit Sydney - this time with P&O out of Brisbane. There is nothing as beautiful as Sydney Harbour on a cruise regardless of the ship. Everyone should try it at least once. Similar size ships Pacific Dawn and Sun Princess. Pacific Dawns refurbishment is really good and puts it a step above Sun Princess - particularly for young families. The Water Park, water slides and kids clubs look great. Only one pool on Dawn dominated by kids. Great poolside furniture on Dawn but starting to break and not being repaired. Sun princess furniture in better repair but not as many options. More quiet locations for adults on Sun Princess. Movies under the stars better with Princess - I love their warm blankets and pop corn. Shows were better produced with Princess however all public areas were far better with P&O - the refurbishment shows strongly here. Cabins were similar in size but Princess balconies seemed larger and worked better due to the sliding door. I like to leave the door open at night to get fresh air. P&Os wardrobe is better set up but both balcony cabins had equal and plenty of storage. Bathrooms were comparable however Princess gives you more toiletries. Linen is far, far better on Princess so if you like crisp white linens you will be disappointed with P&Os offer. I would have put them in the rag bag for cleaning use to be honest. Princess has a top sheet but none on P&O despite asking for it to be put on. Cabin cleanliness was comparable however I did step on broken glass, quite a large piece, left over from a previous user, in the P&O cabin. Luckily I was wearing shoes. Only received one cabin turn down service with P&O. Princess was efficient every night with chocolates on the pillow. Staff were, without doubt, better trained and more efficient on Princess. This goes across the board from dining room to casino attendants. I had to go to the bar each time for a drink this would have never happened on Princess. Actually maybe P&O don’t have roving waiters? I’m not so sure now. Food - poor quality and variety on P&O whereas Princess has always been outstanding. I found that the food choices that kids would want around the pool like chips, hot dogs and burgers and ice cream were an extra cost on P&O whereas Princess this is all included. This is a significant issue where I think P&O has dropped the ball and is taking advantage of their cruisers. Food choices in The Pantry were the same for three days running. I wouldn’t like to do a longer cruise with P & O for this reason. Princess food was fresher, more variety and overall just so much better. Their bread and cakes are simply outstanding. So the wash up P &O Public areas are much better particularly night club areas Princess cabins are better P&O for families - much more variety for the kids Princess for food - wins easily across the board in all areas Princess for older families 15+ and couples Entertainment better on Princess Staff on Princess win hands down. Princess better value to me. Families watch out for all the extras that P&O don’t include. I hope this helps. I will cruise again with P&O when taking my grand kids but will choose Princess for couples cruising. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
To celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary We begun our cruise by the check-in staff very awkwardly telling us that there is an issue we wanted a a double room/bed with obstructed sea views, the obstruction was the port holes were ... Read More
To celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary We begun our cruise by the check-in staff very awkwardly telling us that there is an issue we wanted a a double room/bed with obstructed sea views, the obstruction was the port holes were closed, so we saw nothing until the day before we docked. We are pensioners and were not able to climb up into bunk bed, the young cabin boy was so sorry and advised us to go to the admin staff I wanted to get off the ship and would have until my husband came back, they had assured him that they would find another cabin but could not help until ship left the port and they would contact us, we waited in the cabin not touching anything or unpacking for 4 hour, my husband went back to desk who informed him that there were no other cabins and that was that, he asked what about double bed and was told a double bed would not fit in. By now i was crying and my husband took the mattress of the upper bunk and put it on the floor the young man looking after us said he was told to offer us a trundle bed which we declined, my husband complained again and he said someone may be getting off at the next port we knew he was lying because he would of known if it was happening and we were told we'd refused a trundle my husband suffers from back pain and i recently had two knee replacements, we got the trundle and it was bad sleeping on the floor on a mattress and having 9" to walk down the side of the but the trundle was like a hammock sinking in the middle on 3" foam we both had to sleep on a single mattress for three nights and 4 nights on and off the trundle I could go on and on but it was the worse experience we have ever had and all we wanted was a double bed and a lovely week to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary i don't think that was asking to much I won't even start on the cleanliness or food. Hope this review helps some one else not waste their money on P&O Watch out in the pantry for the waxed lemons in bowls with scrapings off where rats scratch to big for mice. Def give this ship a giant miss Mr and Mrs J M & C Laurie Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
A friend booked this trip for 10 friends - the food at the 'Pantry' was dreadful - the food at the preferred seating Restaurant was hit and miss although more miss - I did not see any passenger use the sanitizer in fact there was ... Read More
A friend booked this trip for 10 friends - the food at the 'Pantry' was dreadful - the food at the preferred seating Restaurant was hit and miss although more miss - I did not see any passenger use the sanitizer in fact there was no Staff to ensure it was used. You could not use the two spas as Parents would leave their young children in their me then wander off, at one stage I counted fifteen children sitting in and around a spa never again, would I ever use Pacific Jewel or any in this fleet. I have been on five cruises by different lines and ha e me r experienced such poor service and t times rude staff - I have been on Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity Cruises which are far superior to what I experienced on the P&O Pacific Jewel I am afraid I could never recommend P & O - most went back to use their own bathrooms because the public bathrooms were beyond words Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to do something special for New Year's 2017/18. As not many cruises go to the South Pacific from Melbourne, we flew up to Sydney to board P&O Pacfic Eden for a 12 night cruise to Vanuatu and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to do something special for New Year's 2017/18. As not many cruises go to the South Pacific from Melbourne, we flew up to Sydney to board P&O Pacfic Eden for a 12 night cruise to Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Before I talk about the cruise I would briefly like to mention P&O's room allocation procedure. Unlike Princess, which you usually choose not only cabin type and deck and number when you book (and which results in different prices within the one category) with P&O unless you wish to pay extra to pick your cabin, this is done automatically within the type you select, eg. interior, oceanview etc.. On the P&O cruise control website it says that you can print your documentation two weeks before the sail date. We tried to do this but the website said, that it can't be done as the rooms hadn't been allocated yet. When I rang P&O they informed me that room allocation could occur up to one day before the sail date, which I personally think is unsatisfactory, as there may be an issue with room location. I was manually emailed the documentation, but when we picked up our documents from Escape Travel, the consultant didn't believe me until i showed him the error. The embarkation procedure for the cruise was very good, with only a small wait time. When we have sailed on Princess, their wait times have been quite a bit longer and they are fairly rigid with making you wait until your boarding number is called. So we got on and were settled in fairly quickly. I shall provide a brief paragraph on each of the main areas of the cruise. The ship Pacific Eden was smaller than the other ship Pacific Jewel which we went on and was newer looking with more of a boutique and elegant feel to it. Everything was fairly accessible, although some corridors led to dead ends which could make finding some areas more troublesome. Dining on the ship was very good, with a reasonable selection of food available in the pantry, although it taking a while to get served due to their no self service ability. We dined at the waterfront restaurant which had good food and service apart from sporadically slow drink service and inconsistent enforcement of dress codes. At some times the pantry wasn't open for food and on these occasions you had to pay more for snacks. We won a dinner at the Luke Mangran salt grill which was exceptional and well enjoyed. As to be expected, snacks from the convenience stores on board were quite expensive. The activities were probably the best aspect with usually there being something to do. All the entertainment directors such as Louie, Lauren etc.. always made sure people were enjoying themselves. I got a pass for the Edge activities, which included rock climbing, cargo net and flying fox and these were all handled professsionally. The tv choices were somewhat limited with shows often being repeated during the cruise. It was good having trivia at least 3-4 times a day, but the location in the ocean bar tended to get very full and you needed to be there quite early to get a seat. The excursions were alll ran well and went off smoothly, but there could have been more tender boats going to quicken the process of leaving the ship. On one occasion we went to where tender tickets were being issued and were told by other passengers that they weren't being issued and instead we had to wait for an announcement regarding getting off without a ticket (this took at least 20+ minutes with no announcement). The ports were all easy to get off at and information was available. The port information booklets could have done with a map, which princess usually provides with theirs. Drink service was fairly good throughout and was used by my partner mainly who purchased a soft drink card. This was with the exception of when we were in the casino and she ordered a drink and the waitress forgot before going on her break! We inquired about the situation after some 20 minutes and when told of the situation I informed them, that this wasn't acceptable service. The waitress came back very apologetic and was thereafter better with her service. It was just the two of us so no children. Because of the nature of the cruise there was definitely a younger crowd which was usually fine.We think we would probably not do another New Year's cruise as it was just one of those once off things to experience. We are frequent cruisers however and usually go on one a year, with this being our 6th one. Apart from the minor issues mentioned here, the cruise on the whole was very enjoyable, especially the entertainments. We have as I mentioned previously cruised on Princess and they are our first preference, although their prices have gone up considerably recently. P&O are still an acceptable second and if the circumstances and price were right we would definitely consider cruising with them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Only ship that left from melbourne ( convenience) for new years cruise..so had no choice.. MELBOURNE NEEDS TO UPDATE THEIR HARBOUR TO ALLOW MORE SHIPS TO DOCK HERE Ship is shabby.... Quite dated... Needs to be put to rest... Drown it. ... Read More
Only ship that left from melbourne ( convenience) for new years cruise..so had no choice.. MELBOURNE NEEDS TO UPDATE THEIR HARBOUR TO ALLOW MORE SHIPS TO DOCK HERE Ship is shabby.... Quite dated... Needs to be put to rest... Drown it. Rooms were fine...except they are not sound proof..use your imagination. Staff talk about you in their own language... How is that even allowed?? It was beyond obvious... I challenged two female staff...asked them what they had just said about me...they denied it... Hello... It was beyond obvious.. Had the drinks package..omg was told off for sculling.. I don't drink that much...i would not even have used up the package or got my value's worth... What a joke. Yep... I do scull my first 2 drinks because i'm thirsssssty ..... By no means drunk then usually stop or slow down... I wasn't drunk at alllll on the whole journey. Most staff were polite. Went to reception to complain...they took the waiters side... Serioulsly?? Happened a few times to me...however ...not my friends...who are huge drinkers...me.. I think they flagged my card. Ruined the whole cruise for me... I WAS VERRRRY UPSET Some staff rude beyond words... Talk back to you when challenged. FOOD: Verrrry average ENTERTAINMENT: Verrrrry average - AMATUER - comedians were good Pools' tiny... Not enough lounges for sunny days... Big screen...what a joke... It's on the sunny deck.. Cannot see it.. Tooooo funny.. How stupid. Lame...will never travel on a p & o ship ever again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We know and expect P&O cruises to be a 3 star cruise line so we don't have high expectations we mainly cruises with them at this time of year for covenience cruised on the same ship the year before and really enjoyed the New ... Read More
We know and expect P&O cruises to be a 3 star cruise line so we don't have high expectations we mainly cruises with them at this time of year for covenience cruised on the same ship the year before and really enjoyed the New Years atmosphere this cruise was so different it was as if P&O are trying to save a few extra dollars again noticed less options in the Pantry (the buffet replacement ) to the year before usually 3 types of eggs on offer now only 2 each morning on the breakfast menu also at lunch and dinner not as many dishes on offer at dinner lots of people enjoy taking cheese and biscuits back to their cabins to have for supper but they keep the sliced cheese hidden in a fridge at the Kettle and Bun sandwich ,soup, salad bar. You don't ask you don't get'. meals at the Waterfront restaurant were nice went Twice to Salt grill extra costs $49.99 pp for tea worth every cent cabin was great BA balcony a couple of doors down from last year drink service on the pool deck was very slow seemed like not enough staff to take your drink orders although the staff coped the best they could it was sometimes faster to go to the bar to order your own drinks maybe this due to the new all inclusive drinks package and more people ordering it met some fantastic people on board and attended some great acts and shows in the theatre including Steady Eddie we had priority embarkation at checkin within 10 min we were in our cabin baggage arrived 5 min later Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We cruised on the P & O Pacific Eden on 1st December 2017 for a six-night cruise to Tasmania. We were rather worried because of all the negative reviews which we had read. Contrary to this we had a very pleasant trip when all our ... Read More
We cruised on the P & O Pacific Eden on 1st December 2017 for a six-night cruise to Tasmania. We were rather worried because of all the negative reviews which we had read. Contrary to this we had a very pleasant trip when all our expectations were exceeded. It is an old ship, but our room 'Stateroom' was very comfortable and clean. The bathroom also old with a bath to step into for a shower but clean. It was serviced every day. Our room was tidied and cleaned each day including our bed made each morning and turned down before the night. The aircon was nice and cool and we slept well each night. The crew was very helpful at all times, but I guess it always helps if there is a mutual exchange of respect. The meals were totally opposite to the negative reviews - food was always hot, and satisfying. The Pantry was our favourite...the variety was amazing! The 'Waterfront Restaurant' very nice and I feel sorry for the poor waiters carrying those burning hot plates. I have included some photos which you can judge for yourself. With taste I think there is a phenomenon of being at sea... tastes are slightly different, for example my cup of tea. using the same tea as back at home tasted not as strong. Not sure why but the food was fantastic. At the Pantry you could go for second helpings if so desired, but tried to resist and used the stairs for exercise instead of the lift. Sadly because of adverse weather, the Ship Captain made the decision to sail West and around Tasmania and to Hobart, wisely choosing passenger safety over the stop over at Port Arthur. This choice made sailing more comfortable for us. Although we missed out on Port Arthur, spending time on the ship made up for it in comfort. The shows were very entertaining, and we enjoyed the Jazz Band at the bar, the Trivia, games and activities all very good. The decks were never overcrowded. We thoroughly enjoyed our stop over at Burnie and Hobart. Our pre-booked on-line Shore Tours tickets were delivered to our room. Overall we had a great and restful holiday and don't understand why people complain so much? We recommend this cruise as a great holiday for a very affordable cost. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was our third cruise with P&O and our our 13th in total. There were four of us on the trip (a 4 day comedy themed cruise from Auckland to Sydney), my wife and I and my sister and brother-in-law who were taking their first ... Read More
This was our third cruise with P&O and our our 13th in total. There were four of us on the trip (a 4 day comedy themed cruise from Auckland to Sydney), my wife and I and my sister and brother-in-law who were taking their first cruise. Our overall impressions were not great. Whilst the entertainment provided by the five “resident” comedians was good and a couple of the chances to discuss comedy were excellent, the rest of the cruise was disappointing, the service was patchy and the crew weren’t particularly engaging or seeming to enjoy themselves. Dining The food was a particular issue, the pantry is very poor quality, my brother in law described it by saying you’d be very disappointed if you received similar at the food court in your local shopping mall. Some of it was almost inedible (I had an oatmeal for breakfast one morning that had clearly been made by someone who had never seen oatmeal before, it was cold and had a soup like consistency). The dining room was of better quality but only slightly and the amount of selection available had diminished significantly from our two previous P&O voyages. We dined there for dinner twice and lunch once and the organisation of the groups turning up was pretty shambolic especially on the first night when although we had booked a dining time it was just chaos trying to get in. We dined once at Salt and that was of a really good standard although at an additional $49 pp you would hope so! Accommodation We had both booked ocean view cabins on level 9 which were fine and the Jewel (along with the Dawn) have some of the best designed showers at sea with plenty of room in them. Entertainment Staff I was interested to note that P&O had changed the title of the cruise director (which sort of makes sense actually) to entertainment director. It’s a bit of a damning indictment that just a few days after the cruise I can’t recall her name and she was practically invisible the entire trip apart from introducing the evening show. One of her offsides (Steven) was far more visible and if I hadn’t known better would have assumed he was the cruise director. Misc The constant charging for every minor addition was pretty annoying and although I get that it is at the budget end of the scale, it felt like you were being nickel and dimed at every point, even the wellness lectures were a thinly disguised chance to sell over priced orthotics. I was disappointed for my sister and brother in law who had really been looking forward to the trip especially as we had been bugging them to come on a cruise with us for years but left feeling like they had a really low budget experience. On the up side the boarding and departures were very well organised and for once boarding times were actually enforced by the shore staff in Auckland resulting in manageable queues and an easy boarding experience. Even as an entry level cruise I struggle to give this more than two stars and that will unfortunately be our last P&O (Australia) cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We travelled in a group of 4 couples on this short cruise from Brisbane and had a very good time. The main entertainment was several comedy shows, some rated PG which were (usually) ok for children, and some R rated for the adult themes ... Read More
We travelled in a group of 4 couples on this short cruise from Brisbane and had a very good time. The main entertainment was several comedy shows, some rated PG which were (usually) ok for children, and some R rated for the adult themes and language. We preferred the PG rated shows, which showcased the quick minds of the comedians without the swearing. I think that the nature of the cruise meant that there were very few children on board. The shows were generally very good, and we really loved the gong show, where fellow passengers could have a crack at stand up comedy - what a surprise that was! But by far the best entertainment was the range of extremely talented musicians on board. A fabulous singer/guitarist at the Oasis setting the relaxing mood, the girl with the haunting voice at the Lido, the piano player in the Blue Room and the band (Alter Ego?) at Oceans Bar, who took requests and could play and sing anything! The musicians were all superb. Now the food - we all thought that the 'food court' style of The Pantry was a positive step up from the usual buffet and the food there was simple and tasty. It is hard to get a table here though and tables are not cleared very quickly. Breakfast at the Waterfront was pretty good, but other meals were a bit hit or miss. Angelo's (the Italian) was average and Salt was disappointing (both our fish dishes were overcooked). Service is generally slow. We were unable to get into The Dragon Lady even though we tried booking after lunch on the first day - so get in quick if you want to eat here. Drinks: Coffee is best in Oceans Bar. The mocktails were way too sweet so we ordered them with soda water to dilute them. (Refreshment package was well used). Favourite cocktail - Pink ginger cosmopolitan! Drinks seemed to be diluted later in the evening. Suggestion to management: Move the trivia to a larger venue - maybe the Dome? People were sitting on the floor! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our very first cruise as most of our holidays are camping holidays. This was a 10 day cruise along the Queensland coast. We were told you will either love it or hate and we absolutely loved it. Getting on and of the ship was ... Read More
This was our very first cruise as most of our holidays are camping holidays. This was a 10 day cruise along the Queensland coast. We were told you will either love it or hate and we absolutely loved it. Getting on and of the ship was relatively easy and did not take much time at all. The ship is well laid out but it does take a few days to work out where everything is. Our cabin was an interior cabin and perhaps on the small side for some. There was just enough room to walk around the double bed, but the bed was very comfortable. Never spent much time in our room except to sleep. Plenty of storage to put your clothes away. Toilet and shower worked as they should and had no problems. Room stewarts were great and always very friendly. Rooms were cleaned twice a day and fresh towels everyday if you desired. We only dined in the restaurants that were included in the cruise package. The Pantry had lots of variety and all hot food was served up for you and you could have as much or as little as you wanted. Some food stations did alter their menu from day to day but lunch and dinner were basically the same. And no the food was not kept in there for the next 6 to 8 hours. When lunch time was over it was all packed away replaced by cakes or pastries and brought out again at dinner time. Great variety of desserts every day. The Waterfront restaurant had a great breakfast, lunch and dinner menu which was changed halfway the cruise. Did enjoy the breakfast much better here then the pantry, just because of the personal service. The Asian Dragon Lady and Italian Angelos were a great destination for dinner, giving you a 3 course dinner. We did dine more often at Angelos only because our friends preferred it but both have great menus which also changed halfway the cruise. Staff in all the restaurants were absolutely terrific. I am no foodie but enjoyed all the meals thoroughly. I am a very big eater and left all the restaurants satisfied. Did not do many of the shore tours as we were lucky enough a few years ago to visit Cairns and Port Douglas and did all the tourist things then. Only did barramundi fishing at Port Douglas which wasn't long enough but hey it never is when I go out fishing.All tours seemed well organised with tenders or bus transfers. Disembarkation obviously did take a little longer when tenders were required but the overall process was pretty much pain free. People doing shore tours got first preference to disembark but that is only natural because of tome constraints. Plenty of on board activities from trivia to musical shows, comedy and the like. Had to pay a small fee for the Love Riot show which was well worth it. Was never found wanting for anything to do. Information was left in your cabin for the next day activities? The entertainment staff were terrific, very approachable and very funny. If I didn't mentioned it before, the wait staff especially in Angelos were great and we left like we were old mates. Overall we had a great time. Travelled with three other couples and we all enjoyed ourselves thouroughly. Would definitely cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My wife found a great deal on GrabOne, $1860 NZ for us and our 15 yr old son, including our flights from Auckland to Sydney. Had to put down $1300 to secure our booking, and paid the balance by around a month before disembarking. I ... Read More
My wife found a great deal on GrabOne, $1860 NZ for us and our 15 yr old son, including our flights from Auckland to Sydney. Had to put down $1300 to secure our booking, and paid the balance by around a month before disembarking. I happened to be dining next to an apparently wealthy couple who had been on numerous cruise liners, and said our cruise was the roughest they've been on, due to the heavy swells between Australia and New Zealand at this time of year, and the fact we were not long behind a storm. My wife was bed-ridden for about the first half of the journey, and the ship ran out too soon of wrist bands to help counter it, so be prepared before you board. My biggest lesson learned? Have fun as much as possible. I didn't make of the most of EVERY opportunity to DANCE!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Why can't their be an area that is not focused on alcohol. What ever happened to family dance night where there is no bar or alcohol involved. As a family we love all activities. We paid for the gold tickets for the adventure park ... Read More
Why can't their be an area that is not focused on alcohol. What ever happened to family dance night where there is no bar or alcohol involved. As a family we love all activities. We paid for the gold tickets for the adventure park and our children couldn't use their tickets because the adventure park office didn't open until the third day of cruising. We have one adult daughter, three teenaged youth and one under 12 child. We don't drink neither do our children. We participated in all the dress up parties but they were overcrowded. If you had children you had to sit it out because they couldn't come join in the fun it's not appropriate to have alcohol around them. Every floor had a bar and the cruise parties were alcohol focused and we didn't want our son or youth around that. We took our son up to the children's den and there was nothing up their for him to do. Overall, the food, staff and accommodation was good but it would have been perfect if there were options for non-alcohol drinking adults and there adult children. We wanted to listen to the comedy but that was in the bar. We wanted to watch a family movie but there was bingo in the auditorium. Disappointed with not enough options for families. We went swimming after breakfast and guess what everyone is drinking alcohol. Went to spend time in the spa pool, well they were drinking their too. My son wants to cruise again soon, but the alcohol focus is a turn off for me. Our bathroom had built in dirt in the hand basin. Two adults in our group complained about hitting their head on the upper bunk bed. No towels for the swimming area. Including myself. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
40th Reunion cruise with a group of 13 in total. 4 nights to Airlie Beach from Brisbane and return. The ships public areas had been refurbished in April this year. Found the entertainment and public areas great. Our cabin was ... Read More
40th Reunion cruise with a group of 13 in total. 4 nights to Airlie Beach from Brisbane and return. The ships public areas had been refurbished in April this year. Found the entertainment and public areas great. Our cabin was comfortable for 3 adults. (Probably would have been squishy for 4) Shower was brilliant and water hot. Stewards were great. **Just a HINT*** I took a wide mouth water bottle - sports type- and refilled from ice water available on ship by filling glass and pouring into my bottle- they of course do not want you to place the mouthpiece under the tap- fair enough- we didn't need to buy water. The Pantry is the old buffet and although you are served your food I felt it was much better than the buffet style. However I really did think the food let the cruise down- Previously on cruises I have found the dining options unbelievable but was disappointed on this cruise. So we had a permanent booking for dinner at the Waterfront (a la carte) restaurant- arranged as soon as we got on board because there was 13 for dinner. Unfortunately I and most of the group felt the food was a disappointment- choices limited- no steak and the only seafood was fish- red meat meal was usually pie or stew- very disappointing for a la carte unless you paid extra. On the last night I ordered Surf and Turf- scotch fillet with half cray and 2 prawns- cost $25- very nice BUT you should be able to get red meat without extra cost. The wait staff usually rushed us as we were a large group and our sitting was 8pm - I understand they wanted to clear up BUT if that's the case say to the large group that 7.30 pm is as late as possible. Wait staff were clearing around us and dropping desert menus while you were still eating. Breakfast at the Pantry each morning was wonderful- no complaints about breakfast. Lunch at the Pantry was mixed- always asian food, indian curries and often a roast. We did eat at Shell & Bones one night and most of us shared a hot or cold platter ($60) was nice. I guess the only thing was NONE of the food was worth raving about!! And when did ALL the extra for this meal or extra for that meal come in?? Drinks were a standard price with cocktails around $9 - $14 I certainly will not be using P&O for my next cruise- some of the group had recently been on Caribbean and Princess and they especially noted the food. We had a great time because we hadn't seen each other for 5 years so from the point of view as a location for a reunion it was a great idea. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Three days was an opportunity for three new cruisers to experience cruising. Sadly this cruise didn't showcase what cruising has to offer. Problems started before we left when a Comedy cruise became a Classic cruise. P&O staff ... Read More
Three days was an opportunity for three new cruisers to experience cruising. Sadly this cruise didn't showcase what cruising has to offer. Problems started before we left when a Comedy cruise became a Classic cruise. P&O staff couldn't explain why and weren't particularly interested in assisting with enquiries. About five days out cruise returned to Comedy theme with no explanation. Fare was good value, you might even say cheap however this reflected what we were offered on board. Food was average and small servings, (at breakfast you could never find a hot slice of toast), entertainment was average and staff only moderately friendly although domestic workers always said hello. The more senior the staff member the less friendly they were. Spa and gym staff must be paid by on commission judging by the over the top selling tactics. Cabin was clean and comfortable. Cabin steward was great. Other passengers were friendly and Gatsby themed night was good but a little to crowded for that area of the ship to host. I have done many cruises before but won't be rushing back to this line. Disappointing Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My husband and I chose this cruise as I got a really great deal from Cruise Sale Finders for a 10N Mini-Suite + free Bev Package and $100 cabin credit. We hadn't been on a cruise for 9 years and thought it was about time to 'set ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise as I got a really great deal from Cruise Sale Finders for a 10N Mini-Suite + free Bev Package and $100 cabin credit. We hadn't been on a cruise for 9 years and thought it was about time to 'set sail' on a much needed holiday. I chose a time in the year that wasn't during school holidays as we wanted an 'adult break'. We've been on a few cruises in the past (Dawn/Sun). Positives: - Embarkation was so smooth as we were treated like VIPs as we had a Mini-suite so it took no time at all to board and our bags were delivered within an hour of boarding! Wow! - The cabin was fantastic and the cabin stewards were amazing (thanks Mae and Edi) - Only entertainment we loved was Steady Eddy - brilliant and funny but only had one show - Quad bike/Zego tour in Port Vila was awesome, except our Zego kept breaking down - Disembarkation was smooth as well, of and out within 15 mins - The island ports were amazing - MysteryIs was awesome as usual, Lifou was lovely and Isle of Pines was spectacular. Noumea was grubby as ever, expensive and unattractive but the shore tour to Anse Vata was worth the trip - lovely beach and delicious pastries Negatives: - Service was very slow, sometimes hard to find bar staff to serve you - Service staff always ignored you when walking past. Only people that acknowledge you were the crew in uniforms and a few of the table cleaners in The Pantry - they were lovely - Entertainment was terrible. D-grade entertainers, boring and even some of the bands playing around the ship were not very entertaining - The Jewel needs a face lift as the furniture, decor and smell is OLD, like from the 80's and is desperately asking for a revamp - Some toilets kept breaking down so limited places to use - Food option were boring, bland, tasteless and not a lot of fun options for a vegetarian - Desert options were boring and were always small little sponge cakes with cream - Kids were always hogging the spa's. All The Time!! There was only 2 and there was always 5-7 kids in them every day! So I never actually got in the spa! Overall: My husband and I love P&O and will try a different P&O ship but won't go on the Jewel unless it gets a massive upgrade. I'm looking forward to see what the Explorer can offer, so watch out P&O we might be coming back soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
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