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126 P&O Australia Senior Cruise Reviews

This was a last minute booking as it fitted with time off work and was inexpensive. We are Elite on Princess but have cruised with P&O several years ago and were not expecting it to be of the same standard, however we were ... Read More
This was a last minute booking as it fitted with time off work and was inexpensive. We are Elite on Princess but have cruised with P&O several years ago and were not expecting it to be of the same standard, however we were pleasantly surprised. The ship is small so easy to find your way around and very nice inside, quite different to other ships we have been on, more like a modern Hotel. Our room was a ocean view on deck 4, all we could get at that late stage, but it was quite large compared to some of the rooms we have been in on other ships. The only issue was machinery noises from below at night and the air conditioning that had a mind of its own and no matter where the controls were set varied between freezing cold and hot. We normally take the traditional dining option on Princess but did enjoy the options of the different dining rooms - Angelo's, Dragon Lady and the Waterfront. The food was what you can expect on a cruise ship and remember it is not expensive. Some meals were very good and some not so good. It was necessary to book well in advance if you wanted a specific time, in order to see the shows and while this was ok on a short cruise we would still prefer the Traditional dining option - same time, same table, same people, same waiters on a longer cruise. There was no shortage of variety as although the menus were quite small they changed every 4 days. We only ate in the Pantry at lunchtime and breakfast on shore days when we had early starts. There was a huge variety to choose from and generally the food was good. It was a little disjointed though having to go to different stations to put a meal together. Best to find a table then check out what you want, and then get to the stations with the longest queues first otherwise the hot food will be cold. The entertainment was excellent, the production shows, guest artists and live music was as good as any we have seen on a cruise ship. Sideshow alley, the magician/singer duo, and the Hawaiian Comedian were stand outs. Embarkation and disembarkation was very well organised, as good as we have come across. The Tendering process was poor, we gave up in Lifou after waiting over 1 1/2 hrs in the morning. And when I finally went ashore in the afternoon it took over 2 hrs from the time I joined the queue for the return journey, all the time standing in pouring rain - not pleasant. It is a small ship and therefore there are not the facilities we are used to. There is no hot tub in the adults area and as the main pools were freezing cold the two hot tubs in the main pool area were always full of children. It was the school holidays and we understood that the capacity of children allowed on board was maxed out. There are no wine lists in the bars - only in the restaurants and although there was a good range of wine in the restaurants it was very limited in the bars and there was different availability in the different bars. Bottled wine was in the $30 to $60 range with reds in Angelo's generally more reasonable than a good Chardonnay anywhere on the ship. It was good to see the ships security policing the R18 shows and adults only areas and crew removing towels from loungers that had been left by lazy and thoughtless passengers. The Unesco Heritage site snorkelling trip in Noumea was a highlight despite poor weather conditions. Expensive but well worth it, one of the best snorkelling sites we have been to in many years. Sharks, turtles, lots of tropical fish both small and large, moray eels and great coral. Having a guide with us made it feel much safer and they knew the best spots to go to. On a sunny day this would be stunning!! The shore excursion to Mare was also good, nice beach with easy swim to some coral reefs with some brightly coloured tropical fish. Due to poor weather we did not get to visit Mystery Island. Overall a good cruise and certainly value for money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Before traveling we read many negative reviews about this ship so our expectations were quite realistic. It was a taster cruise to see if I could handle the seasickness and being on board for days in a row. We had an amazing time and ... Read More
Before traveling we read many negative reviews about this ship so our expectations were quite realistic. It was a taster cruise to see if I could handle the seasickness and being on board for days in a row. We had an amazing time and could find little fault. For the price we paid, we didn't expect the highest quality food or the most luxurious accommodation but our meals in the specialty restaurants were fine. Yes the serves were small, but extra dishes could be ordered. I loved the smaller serves, compared to the huge meals served in most restaurants everywhere these days. The staff were amazing. Nothing is too much trouble. We found the entertainment to be excellent with something for everyone. I am sure there are more glamorous ships on offer but we went with an open mind and a positive attitude and enjoyed the whole experience. On this comedy cruise we laughed our way across the Tasman. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
To give this review some context we are somewhat experienced cruisers having been three times on RCL, twice on Carnival and once on Celebrity, three of those cruises were for nineteen nights and the rest shorter. Pacific Dawn is an ... Read More
To give this review some context we are somewhat experienced cruisers having been three times on RCL, twice on Carnival and once on Celebrity, three of those cruises were for nineteen nights and the rest shorter. Pacific Dawn is an older and smaller ship than most we’d been on but after the refurbishment the interior of the ship is typical of most ships and in good condition. The ship had recently been affected by Cyclone Oma so there were more than the usual signs of surface rust showing, the crew were always painting whenever conditions allowed. Cruise ships are like aircraft they are constantly in use, a docked cruise ship is just eating money, so a quick turnaround is always the norm, this necessitates maintenance being done whilst a ship is on a cruise. Overall, we thought the Pacific Dawn was well maintained and in good condition considering its age. Our cabin was a suite (SA) on deck eleven, it was very comfortable, the carpets and everything that wasn’t nailed down had been replaced during the refurbishment. That said we aren’t 5 Star travellers, preferring budget airlines and better rooms in 4 star hotels instead of standard rooms in 5 star hotels. Without question the best thing about this ship are the crew, an amazing bunch of people, they were always, friendly, smiling and helpful. We ate in both the Main Dining Room and The Pantry as well as room service breakfasts on most mornings, the room service breakfasts were excellent as were some of the meals in the other two venues, however we felt that choices in the MDR were somewhat limited and seemed designed more to impress than please, a lady on an adjacent table received a turkey breast that was so tough she couldn’t cut it and it was replaced by another, somewhat better but still tough. Some of the meals were excellent, barramundi in filo pastry, Italian meat balls and lasagne with quinoa spring to mind, my wife who is less adventurous found most of the meals a bit too exotic and settled for soup and desert on many nights, she was obviously disappointed (her waistline wasn’t!) Here again the staff were excellent! Our experience in the Pantry was similar with their breakfasts quite good when we ate there but on occasions the food was pretty ordinary, on the first day I had an Asian dish with beef that was very tough, on another occasion they had a lot of cinnamon and sugar donuts which looked lovely but required some serious chewing to eat. On the other hand the fish and chips were excellent, the deserts were variable some good some not so good which pretty much sums up the food generally. The Pantry is an excellent concept as long as it is well staffed and in our experience it was, there is no doubt that having all of the food served from behind glass will limit the gastro problem as people can’t drop a spoon on the floor and put it back, taste food off the spoon and put it back etc etc as is sometimes seen in the traditional buffets. The eating areas are also divided into smaller areas which avoids that cafeteria feeling of some ships. We had drinks before dinner most nights in the Cocktail Bar on deck seven overlooking the Atrium, the service was good but they repeatedly ran out of martini glasses and had to serve them in a wine glass and a beer glass was no where to be seen. Pretty poor form for a cocktail bar. Like all cruises common sense is required if you don’t want to search for a table in the Pantry don’t go at peak times, the same can be said for going ashore by tender, after all it’s a holiday, will another half hour ruin your day? We didn’t go to any shows but we did go ashore in Alotau to the Cultural Festival which was excellent, didn’t in Kitava because it rained on and off, Rabaul was a fascinating place and really took some getting used to because people would come up to you, introduce themselves and thank you for visiting Rabaul, one of those situations that invariably invokes the “what are you selling response” but these people were genuine and a refreshing change to the usual run of spivs and hawkers you come across on shore visits. We also went ashore in Kiriwina and had a swim as well. All of the islands were worth a visit but be sure to have reef shoes, the coral can be very sharp, even on some of the beaches. Regardless of the ups and downs we enjoyed our cruise to PNG, there were a good range of people on board, a few children but overall a well-behaved and friendly crowd. Would we cruise again with P & O? Probably not, but we choose cruises by itinerary and when we booked this was one of few cruises going to PNG, that has now changed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We found the embarkation to be okay but it didn't run as smoothly as Sydney. ( our hometown). The ship Aria we found to be very small compared to other cruise ships we have been on. These are the points we enjoyed about the boat. ... Read More
We found the embarkation to be okay but it didn't run as smoothly as Sydney. ( our hometown). The ship Aria we found to be very small compared to other cruise ships we have been on. These are the points we enjoyed about the boat. * Small & intimate - easy to get around. * Pools were never crowded so easy to get a deckchair . Deck 10 pool was empty most of the time so great for relaxing. We just didn't like the chairs as very uncomfortable. * Bars all had a nice ambience especially the Blue Room. * Limited children onboard. Dining - the best All we can say is thank goodness for Salt Grill Restaurant as we dined there most evenings . The food & service were outstanding for a cruise ship. We also loved the Chef's table - excellent yummy degustation with interesting people. So, so - restaurants. Dragonlady - food was cold & horrible... the worst restaurant on the ship. The Waterfront - okay food but the menu didn't change which made it boring. Ambience & atmosphere, service was excellent. Angelo's - okay but nothing to write about. Just average. The Pantry - Not enough seats - horrible dining experience. We felt like we were living in a boarding school. However; we did like the salad bar & curry bar the best. Breakfast - on our balcony which was blissful although the food was pretty ordinary. Casino - We found the staff to be unfriendly & unhelpful . We did have a few wins on the roulette table & pokies which made our evenings fun. Entertainment - good quality entertainment. We enjoyed the comedy shows the best. Service - Level 10 staff were fabulous - especially our butlers. Great having free laundry done everyday & our ice delivered to the room. Drink package - we wished we hadn't brought it as we found it hard to use it up everyday. Overall - We did enjoy our cruise, especially having a suite & dining at Salt Restaurant which made our cruise more memorable. We also loved visiting PNG islands , villages, schools & hospital. A suite is a MUST on this ship.... Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We took this short, 4 day local cruise because my husband has recently become disabled and wheelchair dependent, and we both wanted to see how we would manage by ourselves on a cruising holiday with his disabilities. We were in one of only ... Read More
We took this short, 4 day local cruise because my husband has recently become disabled and wheelchair dependent, and we both wanted to see how we would manage by ourselves on a cruising holiday with his disabilities. We were in one of only 2 wheelchair accessible cabins. Sadly, they were obviously included as an afterthought because they were both located on deck 4, at the very front of the ship (so the ride through rough weather wasn't at all pleasant) but we didnt have any choice. Ideally, these cabins should have been positioned near the elevators to allow easier access for people with disabilities. The cabin had tiny port hole windows - they had paint all over them and were so filthy it was hard to see anything through them. However, the cabin itself was very spacious so as to accommodate our wheelchair and other equipment, although the layout was not at all wheelchair friendly. It was almost impossible for my husband to get into bed because his wheelchair couldn't be positioned along side the bed, necessitating the need for me to push, pull and roll my husband into position from the foot of the bed and he isn't a small man! The corridor leading from the elevators to our cabin was very long and narrow and quite often the cabin stewards and cleaners would block the passage with their cleaning equipment making it all but impossible to manoevre the wheelchair through the obstacle course. The elevators, we found, were extremely tiny and my husbands wheelchair only just squeezed in sideways, with me and maybe one other person being able to get inside at the same time. In regards to restaurants it is essential to make reservations the immediately upon embarkation otherwise it is highly likely you will be eating in "The Pantry" for the entire cruise. This is located on the Lido Deck and replaces the traditional buffet however the food is average food court fare, akin to what you would find in your local shopping centre, and is only open at set times, unlike other cruise line buffets which are pretty much open most of the time. There are 3 other "free" restaurants on board - Angelo's (offers tiny portions of mediocre Italian cuisine - you can upgrade to "nicer" food for a fee), The Waterfront (A La Carte dining; tiny portions; we paid a fee and upgraded our main course to steak - disgusting, fatty and gristly - I cook better steaks than that - so it was very disappointing to pay extra for poor quality steak) and finally, Dragon Lady Asian cuisine. This place was wonderful. We ate here on the 3rd night and were fully prepared for another disappointing dining experience, but we were pleasantly surprised as the food and service was wonderful with good portion sizes. There are also 3 places to eat where guests must pay extra - Salt Grill by Luke Mangan (we didn't dine here but we were told that the food is delicious), The Chefs Table (again we didnt dine here) and on the Lido Deck by the pool the is "The Grill". Here guests can purchase hot dogs, chips, pies, burgers etc. We had a pizza late one night and hot dogs during the day after the pantry had closed for lunch. Both were just okay (nothing to write home about), but on previous cruises with other cruise lines, these items were always included in the cruise fare and not an additional fee, so I felt that this was a bit of a rip off. The actual ship as a whole was just average; the crew and staff, although pleasant and friendly towards the guests, all seemed unhappy and bored. There weren't enough staff around to keep on top of the cleaning and it was all too common in the pool and deck areas to see filthy tables, dirty dishes and food and drink spillages left unattended to, and not a bin in sight. The whirlpool spas were at a pleasant temperature but the spa jets weren't operating and they had disintegrated in places. In all, I would say our short get away was okay, but the ship lacked atmosphere, fun and excitement. The live musicians were pretty terrible, out of tune and off key, and the whole ship seemed tired, worn and lackluster. I understand that this ship has been sold and would be making its final voyage for P&O in a few weeks which would explained why it was like it was... Read Less
Sail Date February 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
Recently back from a cruise to NZ, Booking process terrible, no choice of deck, no choice of room and wasnt able to upgrade. Our cabin was very small and was directly above the band in the Explorer Hotel, we had music in our cabin till ... Read More
Recently back from a cruise to NZ, Booking process terrible, no choice of deck, no choice of room and wasnt able to upgrade. Our cabin was very small and was directly above the band in the Explorer Hotel, we had music in our cabin till late every night. When I asked to be relocated to another cabin I was given a bottle of wine and told there were no other cabins which was a lie as a another passenger was given another cabin after a domestic blue. Menu choices have been reduced with items requiring payment added to menus Generally food was good, Angelos was very good, the food in the Pantry was ok but some dishes were only luke warm and the desert selection consisted mainly of cakes and custard. This was my fourth cruise with P&O and will be my last, I must add that the first three cruises were excellent but the standard has slipped. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise primarily to visit Ribaul , unfortunately it did not happen, due to unforeseen problems. I realise the Captain had to make certain calls but it was a great disappointment ,to the majority of passengers that we were ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily to visit Ribaul , unfortunately it did not happen, due to unforeseen problems. I realise the Captain had to make certain calls but it was a great disappointment ,to the majority of passengers that we were unable to dock there. Like many others we had wanted to see where our fathers had been stationed. during the War ,especially as it was so close to Remembrance Day. If the Captain had perhaps explained why we couldn't get to Ribaul, instead of saying it had been decided to leave it off the itinerary, that may have helped. Saying instead he thought going to the islands was a better option for us. The 2 medical emergencies could not have been avoided and were handled well, so we were told frequently. The Jewel is a very tired old ship. Everything VERY worn. The food , especially in the pantry was a great disappointment. Onions with everything! Breakfast was the highlight of the day and well cooked but the others .. fish was soggy, every bread roll had onions, other dishes quite spicy and really simpler fare would have appealed to a lot more. Dinning in Watermark was the best option and the restaurants you paid for as well as the only decent coffee!! The serving staff were excellent but the chefs...…….well. I doubt I will be going on a cruise in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We previously been to PNG on Aria and it was great so when our friends where going on this cruise we thought we would join them. Ship was 14 hrs late to leave port so this meant we would not get to Rabaul. Emergency evacuation of ill ... Read More
We previously been to PNG on Aria and it was great so when our friends where going on this cruise we thought we would join them. Ship was 14 hrs late to leave port so this meant we would not get to Rabaul. Emergency evacuation of ill passenger meant we stayed at Kirawina Island overnight resulting in getting to Kitava late. Then we were informed we would not be going ashore in tenders because of so called wind and big swell. Debateable but you can not do anything about it. Next we had another emergency evacuation near Willis Island and were all sent to lower levels for safety reasons which is understandable but there was no extra extra entertainment just go to shop or bars and tea and coffee you had to buy. Then we had to dock at Fishermans Island disembarked at about 8.30am lost baggage meant we waited around for at least an hour an half finally getting back to starting port at 11am. We commend P&O for the care of ill passengers but think they were not truthful about other incidents. Jewel is sold off and is probably a good thing. The food was an improvement since our last P&O cruise. The entertainment was not quiet as good though.The crew and entertaiment staff were excellent.Our cabin staff kept the cabin spotless and fixed any problem we had. We still enjoyed the cruise and with the coming of some more new ships will make a good improvement to P&O.The service from our waiters in the waterfront restaurant was excellent as they also entertained us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Got the cruising bug again after a 30 year hiatus, this cruise being the 3rd in 3 years on or around my birthday. First was the Pearl out of Sydney, second Dawn out of Brisbane & this year Jewel out of Brisbane. Embarkation was ... Read More
Got the cruising bug again after a 30 year hiatus, this cruise being the 3rd in 3 years on or around my birthday. First was the Pearl out of Sydney, second Dawn out of Brisbane & this year Jewel out of Brisbane. Embarkation was smooth, though the drop off for taxis is chaotic, two years in a row the taxi driver & traffic marshal have had fierce words when dropping me off. I chose a late boarding time, and had a stroll around portside & some pre cruise beers. When I arrived at my appointed time there was barely anyone there & I was on board in minutes. My cabin was very good, 11203, just a few doors from the Oasis. Though the Pantry was overhead I did not experience noise problems. The cabin stewards were excellent. The Pantry was my only dining venue. I travel alone, and prefer a minimum of fuss. The style of service suited me (no temptation to overeat) & I sat mostly at the high rail around the edge, with a view of the sea. I'm not a fussy eater & found the food satisfying. Only small gripe is the sometimes slow service at popular bars, as cocktail drinks were popular, & take an eternity to prepare. At the sail away party there were a couple of beer trolleys in service, which were quick & efficient. The only entertainment I observed were the singer/guitarists who popped up at various time in various venues. They were good, if a bit repetitive. My cruising style is very laid back: carry a book and follow the sun about, having some beers on the way. So no reports on the activities! Though the kids on the flying fox were having a good time, and as the weather was near perfect it was operating day long. Didn't book any shore activities, just strolled the streets of Noumea & Port Vila, and only went ashore at Mare to walk about. Sounds boring! A problem out of P&O's hands is the scrum at the dock in Port Vila, All I wanted was a water taxi to the centre of town & had to run a gauntlet of eager tour operators. Safety boarding & using the water taxis was a bit dodgy too, 14 people on mine, barely six inches of boat above the waterline. I got the platinum internet package, it worked fairly well on my phone & tablet, and the cost was covered by my room credit given by P&O for their 85th birthday. I will definitely cruise again, especially if I can find a cruise line that does deals for singles. At the moment I pay for 2, which is fair enough from P&O's point of view! But some sort of discount would enable me to go on more & longer cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The ship is a smaller on then the P&O Jewel and the P&O Dawn which makes it much easier to get around and to learn the lay of the land. Half the amount of passengers, than the Jewel or the Dawn make it infinitely more hygienic. We ... Read More
The ship is a smaller on then the P&O Jewel and the P&O Dawn which makes it much easier to get around and to learn the lay of the land. Half the amount of passengers, than the Jewel or the Dawn make it infinitely more hygienic. We spent a delightful week without the smell of effluent which is always a bonus. Loosing the smell of effluent on the open decks is always a delight, as is not contracting a bout of Novo Virus. The Aria is not a new ship but it has been looked after well. There are clean carpet, wallpaper and curtains with no stains decorating the whole ship. The upholstery on seats is in good condition as is bench tops, tables and other furnishings. The ship has been renovated but there are signs of age here and there. Being wary of the Novo virus I didn't swim in the pools but they appeared quite clean and smelled fresh. The main pool has a dome over the top and they do not hesitate to close it if the weather has even the slightest change. Theatre There's a small intimate theatre where films are shown several times a day. The screen is the same size as our largest television at home but can been seen easily enough from all over the room. Parents tend to use the theatre as a baby sitting area and have no problem dumping kids of all ages there, leaving them unsupervised to the annoyance of anyone who actually went to see the film. This was major turn-off and I was put off going back. Restaurants The Pantry, the main eating area is like a food court in any shopping mall. You walk around choosing from each different 'stall' what you feel like eating. Don't be afraid to put you plate over the counter and ask to have the chips put on the plate you already have food on. Don't be afraid to ask for a bigger serving either. This new idea is to stop pigs from loading their plates a foot high with food they will waste, to stop dirty people from pawing the slice of bread that will end up on your plate, to stop mouth-breathers from coughing/sneezing all over that same slice of bread. And it works. You know the food on your plate is as clean as it can be for you. After a couple of meals form The Pantry though, everything started to taste the same. There's a lot of choice there but nothing is exciting. Believe me, I know how that sounds but it is what it is. In other restaurants the meals are ordered by you and served to your table by wait-staff. We ate in The Waterfront and The Dragon Lady, you should too, they are a nice experience for you and are part of your package but you have to book into them. I don't know why you have to book because there are always empty seats everywhere maybe its to add to the ambiance. These meals are a little more exciting and we enjoyed the change of scenery. Note: a glass of Cab. Sav. red in The Dragon Lady was $13.00 with the bottle being $49.00 the same bottle in the bar upstairs was $28.00. Seems everyone thinks corkage is a big thing. I don't mind a surcharge because its a dining room but that $21.00 mark-up, is over the top. We are on a ship ! Surely, it all came from the same storage pallet ! One thing we did do, each night we visited a little shop in The Pantry and had the girl put together a cheese platter which we bought back to the cabin to have with a wine and a movie. A small indulgence that we enjoyed very much. The Beauty Salon (These days it's called a Day Spa 'sheesh') We bought the 10,20,30 package from the salon Elemis and did not regret it. If you can't afford all of them and need to choose one, buy the seaweed wrap. The attendant named BM is wonderful, ask for her if you can. She sure knows how to spoil you and leaves nothing to chance. Every little detail is attended to and you are made to feel quite special. BM never missed saying hello to me when she saw me around the ship later and even made some time in her very busy schedule to stop and ask me how I was feeling for the rest of the week. I cant say enough about this attendant, she has a wonderful skill she is an ultimate professional that has a very personal touch. I thoroughly enjoyed the Fire and Ice mani-pedi with Chi-Chi who is such a lovely person and certainly knows what she is doing and Zen who did my crystal massage is an excellent professional. We went to a couple of seminars such as the “How to Get Your Metabolism Going” and “Feet and Posture” (or something like that). They were interesting and we would have attended more except for the 'hard sell' at the end of everything in which you participate. I totally got sick of having to listen to the spiel of how I really needed to buy this or that product just because I turned up. This made the seminars/talks/conversations very impersonal and I came to feel like I was being perceived as nothing more and an open wallet regardless of how it was disguised. So if you attend these things be prepared for that hard sell at the end because, regardless of how personal they are making it all feel, they are going to go for your money just as soon as they get to it make no mistake. Cabin We had a balcony cabin and there's a lot to be said for that. We came on a weeks cruise just to catch some well needed R&R (work life balance n all that) so we indulged in some massages and the balcony. We spent a lot of time sleeping, resting and getting away from people , the cabin with the balcony was ample room for us to stretch out and sleep, watch TV (lots o free DVDs available) eat and relax. There are a few things aging in the cabin, some cracked tiles, worn metals, scratched surfaces on the porcelain, just little things like that but on the whole the cabin is comfortable. We must remember that The Aria is not a new ship. Cabin Attendants I talked to various passengers around the traps and most were pleased with their cabin attendants. I was however surprised to see that I was not the only one that was not completely happy with the cabin service. The cabin was clean, don't get me wrong but the service, while cheerful, was not always satisfactory. For instance, one day we had to make our own bed, towels that we left on the floor were not always replaced and requests were not always attended to, I ordered two DVDs for a nights viewing, when they had not been delivered by lunch, I reminded the attendant of my request, then again at 4pm and again at 6 with the reply, “I will get them for you before 9pm” they never came that night but were at our door the next morning but just a little too late. I know these are small things but they add up, over a week. Miscellaneous Even though you are only cruising the Whitsunday Reef, ring your mobile provider and have them turn off international roaming. I manually turned off IR on my cell but my provider still charged me for international rates even though we never left Australian waters then my data went over the limit and I was charged international pricing for this as well. I now have to have one of those extra long calls to Telstra. Don't bother taking the walking jaunt around the ship on Deck 6 while it would be lovely, there are always a bunch of smokers out there waiting to make you feel sick. It's hard to believe some people still smoke in 2018 but there they are, on Deck 6. In my time, smoking will be made illegal in all public places eventually, even on the Aria but not just yet. To all the smokers reading this, Namaste. The washing machine is 3 x $1.00 coins (28 minutes cycle on normal/warm) and the dryer is 3 x $1.00 (45 minute cycle) free detergent. Free games such as Jenga, Scrable, Chess are available on the floor with the internet stations. Internet packages are available but are very expensive. 90 Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Nil
My friend who has not cruised wanted a 3 day experience. As a 4 time cruiser the food was appalling cold, hard to put a fork into and no taste, bland and unappetising. No beverage package available. My friend doesn’t have a credit card ... Read More
My friend who has not cruised wanted a 3 day experience. As a 4 time cruiser the food was appalling cold, hard to put a fork into and no taste, bland and unappetising. No beverage package available. My friend doesn’t have a credit card as was paying cash as her load and go card was not accepted everywhere else but P&O cruises. Beds hard pillows too soft. Staff unfriendly and not helpful except our cabin staff, 1 bar staff, spa staff and 1 pantry staff member. I also had the privilege of catching up with ex work members on the cruise for the same reason and also appalled by the cruise. Good thing was leaving the ship. On exiting I have never had to take my own bags off a ship until Jewel. I will never sail P&O again and word of mouth is a powerful tool. My survey has not received by email so I am voicing my dissatisfaction on behalf of me and ny friend. I have been informed jewel is being sold off but any P&O experience will not be on my radar. You need to go Royal Carrabien and a good experience and upgrade you services. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The refurbishment (with the exception of the Marque which was VERY tired) was good. Our cabin stewards were very helpful and happy. Communications however were woeful including the daily newspaper, (nobody including the local bus ... Read More
The refurbishment (with the exception of the Marque which was VERY tired) was good. Our cabin stewards were very helpful and happy. Communications however were woeful including the daily newspaper, (nobody including the local bus driver knew that there was a festival parade and a wonderful fireworks display in Cairns while we were there. Many of the crew were very hard to understand as their English was not good and this included a number of public anouncements. The hygiene policeing in the dining areas was nonexistant. Having just comleted a cruise witl the Royal Caribean where you were not allowed into a dining area without "washy washy" we were a bit worried. Most of the cruise and ship was ok but we left with a feeling that improvements were required sooner than later This ship could be good value for money but management need to work on comms and hygeine before these things cause some major problems Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have previously done two cruises with P & O in 2017. Both cruises where on the Pacific Jewel.Both cruises were excellent. we decided to try pacific explorer and although we had a very good time it was not as good as the Jewel. The ... Read More
We have previously done two cruises with P & O in 2017. Both cruises where on the Pacific Jewel.Both cruises were excellent. we decided to try pacific explorer and although we had a very good time it was not as good as the Jewel. The Jewel was more user friendly for the older generation.The only real complaint with the explorer is the entertainment venues were rather small and hard to get a seat. The Margee and the Black Circus were very good and usually easy to get a seat. The entertainment on board was very good and the bands that we saw were excellent.The cruise director Joanne and her staff were very funny and were instrumental in guests having a good time. The food for the most part was good and of an acceptable quality.We only ate in the Pantry The service was for the most part excellent and the waiters were very attentive. Reception staff were very helpful and friendly getting of the ship when in port was easy and very quick.The only down side to the shore tours was that e could not get of at Moreton Island as the weather was to rough. all in all the cruise the was very relaxing and we both had a good time. Embarkation and disembarkation was handled very professionally and with the minimum amount of fuss. Overall very happy with this cruise Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This cruise was suggested by Flight centre to accompany our trip to Cairns. We chose to pay extra to have a cabin with a balcony however we were the last cabin at the rear of the ship which was a big mistake. Not only did we have the ... Read More
This cruise was suggested by Flight centre to accompany our trip to Cairns. We chose to pay extra to have a cabin with a balcony however we were the last cabin at the rear of the ship which was a big mistake. Not only did we have the extra rocking from the propellers and the noise of the engines but we had to contend with the noise of the chairs being dragged along the deck early in the morning. No chance of a sleep in. Every area had music playing at a higher level than was necessary. We felt that shore tours were too expensive and no prior knowledge that to attend the dining rooms on board required a long pants dress code for the men. We were in the tropics so long pants were the last thing on our minds to wear. The area that you could eat at wearing shorts left a lot to be desired. The food in this area was disappointing to say the least. We were able to find some extremely good bar stewards but the drinks we ordered were not the same throughout the ship hence we tended to get them from one area. The highlight for us was the people we met which made our holiday a better experience. As this was our first cruise we would not be booking another with P & O due to this experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We purchased this cruise directly from P&O website on a flash sale. They had a full suite available for $2298 for 2 people just $1149pp. This accomodation was a huge bonus, and gave us a great space as our retreat. We were in suite ... Read More
We purchased this cruise directly from P&O website on a flash sale. They had a full suite available for $2298 for 2 people just $1149pp. This accomodation was a huge bonus, and gave us a great space as our retreat. We were in suite 11115 deck 11 situated below the Salt speacialty restaurant. I’m not complaining myself, but just want to warn people to not book this suite if your a light sleeper. They clean Salt Restaurant from 11.30pm each night, and finish about 1.30am, the noise of scraping chairs, moving furniture, and heavy footsteps was constant every night. Noise started again at 5.30am till 6.30am when deliveries were being made, and boxes being dropped and moved, and more heavy footsteps. The suite had 3 Australian power points available, one in the dressing room, one where The Nespresso coffee machine is, and another above the TV where the DVD & iPod players are. We took a power board, but could have managed without it. Ronnie & Cedep were our cabin stewards who both did an amazing job, and both had very happy friendly dispositions. We had breakfast delivered to the suite each morning (except disembarkation) The selection was very good, for both hot and cold dishes, having breakfast on the balcony was a great way to start the day. Breakfast is delivered free to suites, also you can have afternoon tea delivered to you suite free of charge. Just fill in the breakfast and afternoon tea menus found beside the cups & saucers in the cupboard. Free laundry service is a great perk for suite guests. Just fill in the laundry form, itemising your clothes with a total count, tick the same day delivery box, take no notice of the specified charges, as these are all waived for suite guests. Make sure the bag is outside your cabin door before 9am, it will be delivered back about 6pm same day, however you cannot send any laundry the day before disembarkation. The food in the Waterfront restaurant was really quite good, some dishes were perhaps a little bland, but considering the numbers they cater for we were pretty happy. The service was terrific, friendly, and helpful. If you want to try several dishes, or have seconds, they are happy to oblige willingly. We did go to Salt specialty restaurant ( surcharge $59pp ) it seemed everyone was saying it was amazing. Unfortunately that was not our experience. I’ve posted pictures of the food as presented to us. Above the steak on the right was a bowl of mashed potatoes, it looked like soup, and was disgusting. I could have served a better looking steak from my Weber BBQ. The food in the Pantry looked good, and plenty of choice. We did not eat there, as finding free tables was difficult. The Atrium area has lovely decor, as do the various bars and social facilities. The Marquee theatre is very spacious, had some really good events, and the shows are fun and entertaining. Don’t expect Broadway or London quality shows, but they provide good entertainment and colour. There were plenty of places to buy drinks, coffee of good quality, and sit and enjoy them whilst watching the passing parade. You can do as much or as little as you want. They offer all sorts of activities for young and old. I’m not a big drinker, glass of wine was about $9.00, a bottle to have with dinner from $35 to $70. You can take the bottle to your cabin and return with it the next night if you wish. We found the service throughout the ship very good, from waiter staff, reception, to cleaners. The only thing I found unpleasant, was the huge number of people consuming alcohol whilst walking everywhere on the ship, up & down stairs, in the lifts, corridors, and in the shops. There were probably up to 200 children on this cruise. I fully understand that this type of holiday is financially affordable for families, and offers many activities for children. Most children were well behaved. However some were allowed to roam and do whatever they wanted. The ports of call were good. Thought the very short time in Noumea should have been longer. Perhaps a full day in Lifou could be too long. Port Vila was great! Enjoyed the water taxi experience $5 each way to town. Some terrific duty free outlets to buy your spirits etc. They deliver your alcohol purchases directly to the ship by law, so you don’t have to carry them back on board. Other purchases like Perfume, ceramics etc you carry those back yourself. As an example, bottle of Southern Comfort 1litre $20 bottle Baileys 1 litre $19 bottle. 100 ml Prada perfume $76. Unfortunately we had some rough seas going over, and on the return. However great weather at all 3 ports. Consider taking some cans of ginger ale, and plenty of motion sickness medication with you. Watch carefully where your walking in all ports, as their footpaths and roads are very very uneven. If your fussy about pillows, We took our own, and was pleased we did. The bed in the suite was super comfortable. If your in a suite, keep a jug of fresh milk from the breakfast tray to use for your Nespresso coffee or tea you make in the cabin. As long as you don’t have too high expectations before you leave, you will probably have a good cruise experience. If you get a great suite deal, or mini suite deal, go for these as you get much more space and a few extra perks. We were very surprised to get a call from P&O 3 days before embarkation. They offered us a downgrade package. They wanted to pay us $1000 cash back, and $500 on board credit if we would move from Suite 11115 to a mini suite for the cruise. We declined the offer, as we may never get a suite deal that good again in our lifetime. We thought this was a very tacky and unprofessional tactic, it made us feel devalued as P&O passengers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Thought we would give P &O another go as they are the only cruise line sailing from Brisbane during Winter. We chose the Aria because it is a smaller ship and was overnighting in Cairns. First impression was good the ship has a modern ... Read More
Thought we would give P &O another go as they are the only cruise line sailing from Brisbane during Winter. We chose the Aria because it is a smaller ship and was overnighting in Cairns. First impression was good the ship has a modern feel with plenty of comfortable seating. The balcony cabin was quite spacious with a comfortable lounge and balcony. However the bathroom was a disappointment, the shower was over a high sided spa bath which was very difficult to get into for older people and the toilet was designed for midgets and vertualy impossible to get off without help. This was sorted later when a seat raiser was fitted. The major problem was noise at night, the cabin was directly over the ablue Room which is a club venue. At 9pm a rock band performed until midnight, the noise was incredible and sleep impossible we tolerated this for three nights in the hope it would change without success so then wrote to the Captain and Entertainment Director. We met with Senior Officers who agreed to get the time and volume reduced, this had some affect but the solution is to relocate the noisy band to an area away from sleeping passengers.. We received some compensation for the inconvenience but would rather had an u disturbed cruise. The food was ok and the ambiance pleasant but would not recommend for elderly passengers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was a reasonably priced cruise recommended by a friend and our first cruise. We loved it and the staff were extremely courteous, helpful and friendly and couldn't do enough for us. Our disappointment was the fridge in our cabin ... Read More
This was a reasonably priced cruise recommended by a friend and our first cruise. We loved it and the staff were extremely courteous, helpful and friendly and couldn't do enough for us. Our disappointment was the fridge in our cabin was not working and could not be repaired and so we had no way of keeping our water cool as the ice bucket provided did not take the size of the water bottles. We received a mere $30 room credit for the inconvenience but we felt this was a bit poor as we couldn't even take any food back to our cabin that needed to be kept chilled. We would certainly do another cruise as it was so relaxing being waited on etc. We were very disappointed with the Waterfront Restaurant meals apart from the breakfast and it was only talking to other passengers who made us aware that you could order extras eg. fried tomatoes, extra bacon, marmalade or jam etc otherwise we wouldn't have known this. Would like to make special mention of the waiting staff at Shell and Bones, particularly Bruno, the Maitre'D, the lovely thin Indian waiter wearing a cap, and the dear Indian waitress (Judy?) who were very special and so welcoming and entertaining. You made our trip very special. We look forward to doing our next cruise sometime in the near future. 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
Pacific Explorer was very familiar as been on it previously as Dawn Princess, some changes made to appeal to younger patrons with two slides, water area for kids and usual P&O activities ( that need to pay extra to enjoy). The ... Read More
Pacific Explorer was very familiar as been on it previously as Dawn Princess, some changes made to appeal to younger patrons with two slides, water area for kids and usual P&O activities ( that need to pay extra to enjoy). The entertainment crew were excellent. Joanne was cruise director and Rory deputy ( had them in the past on other ships), new staff on entertainment crew but they were all very good. We went in a group of 6 ( 3 couples ) and are all seasoned cruisers, and all impressed overall with P&O - they have improved so much since a few years ago. I think the only crap ship now is the Pacific Dawn - even staff new of this. Off course it wasn't perfect and as some have said the restaurant food is a bit hit and miss and the Pantry can give out cold food, and we had two bad steaks at the Waterfront. But with 4 places to eat at no extra cost you cannot really complain, most of the time the food is quite good and service is pretty good ( Pantry is so busy at breakfast and lunch, but that is similar on Princess and Royal Caribbean). Entertainment at the theatre ( come early or miss out - a bit like Princess - chairs looked like original from when ship was made) was very good and even the magician was good ( Jack Black) as he combined comedy into the act. We were lucky we were put in a larger cabin ( disabled - unused), but other couple had a broom closet. Bathroom had some mould under shower on floor. Most laundries had one or two broken down washers or driers, you need to look early to get your washing done - purchase coin tokens at reception $3. Bring your own washing detergent. We just hang clothes up to dry in room - crank up heat as you leave room in the morning and dry when you come back at night. Overall the price was great for what you get, you can pay a lot more for Princess, Royal Caribbean or Celebrity and now Carnival also is more expensive and get a bit more but P&O go to places others do not go and very hard to beat the value. Ports Noumea - OK if first time , but most seasoned cruisers have had enough of this port. We just walked around and went to the Museum ( cost us $3 for over 60y each, but need to take New Caledonia money) - it was much better than we expected and large inside, some signs in English - beware is closed in middle of the day. Had good wak around area again up to the church, around the bay area etc and a few coffees. Lifou - Walked up to the old church to the right about 1km max. and looked around just to warm up for swimming. Large turtle in the water at the beach, lots of snorkelling around it and then usual swimming and fish spotting. Port Vila - Water taxi into town ( still $5 each - hard to negotiate prices in the morning), then walk around and off the duty free grog shop - prices still cheaper than ship BUT ship prices have dropped dramatically - it is now only about $1 cheaper on most drinks on the island ( however can buy 2 litre Jim Beans and 1.75 Jack Daniels that are not on the ship, which makes it so much more a bargain). Island duty free delivers to ship so no need to carry around. We then went across to Irikiri Island now that it is open again after cyclone - It is now $20 to get onto island and you now only get $10 back for spending but drinks are very expensive - food not too bad, used to get $20 back for food. But can used the facilities on island for free - we went snorkelling. Lovely just to walk around island and take pictures. Mystery Island - Island is getting more and more huts and more and more islanders trying to hire out equipment and tours etc. Their were blue bottles in the water ( first time seen on island in 10 visits) and lots of people got stung, lots of vinegar dispersed by P&O first aid ( one of our group was stung and had large sting marks on her shoulder). BUT the fish were fantastic, most fish we have ever seen and coral was great also. It would have been worth the sting. Isle of Pines - went for a long walk to the end of the beach ( near whalf) and then along the bay, then up to the old prison again. Lovely island pictures taken as usual, didn't bother going swimming as nothing could be like Mystery Island and been around Sacret Rock many times. Other couple with us went swimming after lunch and said it was OK but not like yesterday. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
It was good value for the money. The overall service was good. There was not much variety entertainment in the bars. There were 4 good shows. The others were somewhat poor and cheap. The talent quest was good and entertaining. The ... Read More
It was good value for the money. The overall service was good. There was not much variety entertainment in the bars. There were 4 good shows. The others were somewhat poor and cheap. The talent quest was good and entertaining. The Circus was good but I don't think it was good enough to have to pay $15 extra. I refuse to pay $20 for a Sauna. The ship was good for family and the young people. Would not recommend it for pensioners as it was very noisy and no dancing for older generation. It was cheap entertainment as there seemed to be a lot of Trivia in the Explorer Hotel. There was one Place the Sanctuary where it was quiet. But it was very hard to get a deck chair as it was popular with people who did not like the noise. I hated the piano player as he sang out of tune and no variety. I suspect that he might have just got a free cruise. I would not pay him any money. The guitar player was good also the Blue Room entertainment was good. Restaurants The food in the Waterfront was terrible they served what looked and tasted like tinned Spagetti. The service was excellent they tried hard to make me happy. The menu did not suit me. greasy deep fried and basic desserts. The only good meal at the Waterfront was omelette for breakfast this was nice and hot. Angelos this was good for one night. dessert was Tiramisu which was the best dessert on the ship. The next night we had Spagetti Bolognese this looked like tinned Spagetti or else cooked spaghetti with commercial tomato sauce through it with 2 tasteless meatballs the worst meal ever. The service on the second night was very slow even though I told the waiter we needed to be out early. I overheard several people complaining how slow the service was. I did have to ask to have my food served hot. I expect better meals in a Italian Restaurant. The The Dragon Lady and that was good on both nights. My top recommendation. The pantry had a good selection but mostly lukewarm and you had to walk around with your plate trying to get a seat. The tables were not cleared fast enough so you had to eat with dirty plates on the tables a lot of the times. Fish and chips were hot and good. They had Paela with Mussels and that seemed to be popular. I did not have any so I can not comment on the taste.I did enjoy the Indian dishes but sometimes lukewarm. The salads were good. Desserts I did not like cakes all tasted similar. The cabin was very squashy and I knocked my ankles a few times trying to get into bed but to be fair we did get the Cruise at a special price so we did not expect too much. We did get value for money. Cabin Stewards where exceptional. I loved Mystery Island and The Isle of Pines where we took a bus onshore for $20 plus $4 extra to see a cave. This was very good value and we had 30 minutes bonus all up 2.5 hours We had to stand in line for 45 minutes to get back on board. Not sure why it took so long as they other 5 ports did not have much waiting time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We always wanted to depart Brisbane on a cruise and didn’t want to go to Fiji again so did the Qld coast. Embarkation was good in that there is a car park beside the terminal so family can drop you off easily. Even though we selected ... Read More
We always wanted to depart Brisbane on a cruise and didn’t want to go to Fiji again so did the Qld coast. Embarkation was good in that there is a car park beside the terminal so family can drop you off easily. Even though we selected early embarkation time, they didn’t check that, just processed everyone as they arrived so there was quite a line up. They put you in groups to board. Plenty of seats and toilets while you wait so no dramas. We did as suggested in previous reviews and went straight to the Waterfront restaurant to book our evening dining time. Glad we did as people who left it until later were complaining there were only late slots left. Whilst down there we decided to do lunch which was delicious - better than trying to find a table in the pantry. We had a balcony cabin, chosen carefully to be in a quiet area but still had some noise disturbance- see next paragraph. Room quite small, just enough room to get around the bed, do love the walk-in robe though. The outward opening door on the balcony makes it quite the manoeuvre to get 2 people out there with 2 chairs and a table. I thought I’d planned well to avoid the Queensland school holidays but didn’t realise it was still NSW and also New Zealand school holidays so there were a lot of kids on board. I normally don’t mind kids, have 4 of my own and 7 grandkids but some of them were left to run wild. Running up and down the stairs and hallways yelling out, getting in the lift and pushing all the buttons etc. Not pleasant when you are after a quiet relaxing cruise. Another thing not done well is the movies on the big screen. I wanted to see a movie, but the only seats are all wet from the people using them whilst wet after swimming. Also there are groups of people sitting in groups nearby chatting, yelling at kids etc so nearly impossible to hear the film. Need a theatre on board! Had read previous bad reviews about the food but we loved the food both at the Pantry and the restaurant. Lots of variety and delicious. No problems either with it not being hot. I do not agree with them charging for burgers, hot dogs and pizzas. Seems silly to me when no other line does that. They do have coffee machines in the pantry where you can make yourself a reasonable cup of coffee, not like the super strong brewed stuff on the American ships. We had all tender ports on this trip. As per usual the process is quite tedious and frustrating. Shore tours booked thru the ship are very expensive so didn’t do any of those. A word of advice for those who didn’t know - you can’t use your onboard credits for bingo. I wasn’t aware of this but know now! Also note that even tho you select a late departure slot to disembark it doesn’t make a lot of difference anyway as you have to vacate your room by 7am. We did enjoy most of our cruise and would sail on Pacific Dawn again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have done 10 cruises before this, all small expensive boutique cruises. It was time for a short break and in desperation booked on the Aria for a seven night cruise. All the negative reviews and media did not help our stress levels, ... Read More
We have done 10 cruises before this, all small expensive boutique cruises. It was time for a short break and in desperation booked on the Aria for a seven night cruise. All the negative reviews and media did not help our stress levels, but we needed a quick break. We were in for a massive surprise. Our balcony suite was really nice, all the staff friendly and helpful. Entertainment was great. We loved the food. Salt is a must. Dragon Lady and Angelos were also good. My favorite was the Pantry. I used to grab a plate and walked around picking my favorite bit from every stall. Waterfront is average to good. Only one negative, if you like your eggs perfect its going to be hit and miss. The ship is very accessible for the disabled and there were heaps of people in wheelchairs having a great time like all the others. We only had a long queue to get on the ship, but its the same as when we fly international. This is mainly due to people not following their embarkation times and showing up whenever they want to. The one other issue raised in the past is the ship not catering for smokers. This is not true anymore as deck 12 has a great spot high up for the smokers with the Dome Bar just inside to grab a cocktail. We had 100km/h winds and 6 meter swells on the way back from Vanuatu. The ship coped magnificently with only a small amount of rolling and pitching considering the weather. (I am an ex naval officer who has spend a lot of time at sea in different ships and atrocious conditions.) All in all it was the best value holiday we ever had. We will be back. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
a quick 4 night getaway on Pacific Explorer. This is my third time on this ship, and actually like the interior. The cruise was out of White Bay as there was a bigger ship in the OSPT in Circular Quay. Our cabin was a mini suite, and ... Read More
a quick 4 night getaway on Pacific Explorer. This is my third time on this ship, and actually like the interior. The cruise was out of White Bay as there was a bigger ship in the OSPT in Circular Quay. Our cabin was a mini suite, and quite tastefully furnished. The beds were comfy and the pillows are actually fine (previously the pillows had been a contention on other P&O ships). The weird thing about the mini suite is the setup of the bathroom. The shower and bath are in one area, and through the door is the toilet and sink. This means that you can't get out of the bath and brush your teeth without having to go next door to the single sink. Our cabin stewards were friendly and gave us a lot of attention. Although they didn't introduce themselves till the second night. The room was serviced twice per day. The balcony is a bit small for a mini suite, not in length but in depth. Food was actually not bad at all. We went to a taste of salt (excellent and well worth the $99 per person cover charge). We also tried Dragon Lady and Angelo's as well as Shell and Bones. The disappointing thing is that if you actually want a decent meal, you have to pay for it. No drama if it's reasonably priced. Angelo's was the star of the free meal selection. The pasta was warm and tasted excellent. The secret bar is the Bonded Store, and I can highly recommend you find this small out of the way place, it's by the blue room. Blink and you'll miss it, as it's hidden around a corner. The "nightclub" which is situated in the Blue Room after about 11:30pm was always full. I've seen this either empty or over capacity on different cruises. I guess it depends on the itinerary and if the drink packages are in operation. In Moreton Island, we took the Quad bike tour. Enjoyed this very brief excursion, and maybe P&O might consider doing a longer version, as we just drove around in the sand around a made course. Fun to drive, but not really exciting views. Overall not a bad cruise, better than other P&O cruises I've been on before. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The meals were really disappointing. There is no buffet and the quality was not there. Hated the sweets that was offered. I have lactose free milk and got sick of asking as they took so long to get it that in the end I did not bother. The ... Read More
The meals were really disappointing. There is no buffet and the quality was not there. Hated the sweets that was offered. I have lactose free milk and got sick of asking as they took so long to get it that in the end I did not bother. The shows were like school productions. The seats were so hard that your bum was numb when you got up. So bad that we either left before they were finished or we did not go. . It was really cold on board at times. In our room, I had to ask for a blanket. The television channels was non exsistent. Never thought that I would be pleased to get back home to night telly. The coffee was terrible that we ended up buying a jar of coffee on shore. The have coffee machines like in service stations. The also have plastic mugs and cups. At one food station, they had divided metal trays for the meal. It felt like you were in goal. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
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