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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Simply chosen on price, saw it advertised and thought we'd give P&O a go. Decent sized cabin but first let down was the TV, an old silver LG thing, very small with a fuzzy picture, you couldnt actually see the screen from the ... Read More
Simply chosen on price, saw it advertised and thought we'd give P&O a go. Decent sized cabin but first let down was the TV, an old silver LG thing, very small with a fuzzy picture, you couldnt actually see the screen from the bed so you had to sit on a small sofa to watch anything. No on demand movies. Our room was next to some really loud machine that started up when we left port for about an hour and did the same when we were arriving in port. At Cairns it started up at 4:30 am !! No it wasnt the Thrusters or the Anchor as it went on too long, never found out what it was (We were near the Bow of the ship). Overall the food wasnt great but there was the odd good meal, mostly at Angelo's the Italian restaurant The food at Dragon Lady was quite poor and Im a fan of Asian cooking. Annoying there is only the buffet on deck 11 to get a tea or coffee in a plastic cup (complimentary) and room service has to be paid for.. No fridge in room. The entertainment crew was very poor in our opinion, the cruise director Kabir was childish (way too young) and the rest of his staff didnt engage us as staff on previous cruises have. I didnt rate them. We like trivia but but could never get a seat in the Oceans bar (There is no Vista type lounge) unless you went there about half an hour before kick off. Some good music on in the Blue Room at night but again always struggled to get a seat. The Theatre was way too cold and there were no stage sets, only giant screens that changed as the show progressed, no live band for the shows only backing tapes and the singers appeared to be miming. The buffet is quite good and I like the way the food is served to you (not help yourself) although there was no enforcement on hand sanitising, there was a machine but pushed against a wall, most people ignored it. The best thing about this cruise was the crew, they were all very friendly and helpful There was a crew talent show but it was at 10:15 pm (our bed time is 10:30 so sadly missed that, why couldnt it be in the afternoon ? I never found out the Captains name, there was no Captains reception as on other cruise lines Read Less
Sail Date: August 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Leaving from Singapore - good - visiting Bali & Lombok but mostly for Dili and Komodo Island. Cabin 4115, well serviced. Shore excursions unsure as we did our own in Bali, Lombok was dreadful (when we know it can be lovely). Dili, ... Read More
Leaving from Singapore - good - visiting Bali & Lombok but mostly for Dili and Komodo Island. Cabin 4115, well serviced. Shore excursions unsure as we did our own in Bali, Lombok was dreadful (when we know it can be lovely). Dili, Timor not good with a $40 Visa charge, told not to use taxis - but $80 pp for a tour with ramshackle buses, no air con, broken seats, spare tyre in middle of the bus! P&O are running these - once 2 buses returned from the early (short) tours no one bothered. Also some passengers were left (for 10 mins supposedly) at different points of interest, not picked up again for 1.5 hrs in such heat. Ship-First, it was cheap $1065 pp 14 days, Singapore to Cairns. Check in wasn't too bad but passengers walking around with suitcases in the Singapore mall had no idea they could relieve themselves of them early, I felt like a Tour Guide as I (we) constantly approached people with luggage, telling them where to go to leave it. Checking in appeared Ok but no information where to wait etc and people already felt 'uninformed' about what was going on. Then 4 international forms to fill in. Sitting for a while we then asked when would we be boarding, and were told, 'now' if we want too (really) how odd is that? On board, luggage in our room, all good, buffet all good OK. Never been with P & O before. OK, by about Day 5 you are fed up with The Pantry (buffet) food, the (Fine) Dining Room is lovely but never seen so little served on a plate! Amazing to see the tables mostly empty! Asian restaurant, setting was lovely but food so pour, very little Asian about water broth with a noodle in it. Can't remember the main meal, followed a huge bowl of so called sticky rice and mango. Sorry this was rice and mango sauce. Dining Room food - went for lunch a couple of times, such a lovely venue but no one there - such poor food - 1 tiny scoop of ice cream half melted by the time it came all the way up from the kitchen. Same at breakfast, the poached eggs were hard & cold. Again, very few bothered to use this lovely venue. Aircon was dreadful, freezing in our quite nice cabin. 4 layers of clothes, socks and doona and still got sick. Eventually aircon fixed (NO) turned off. Now for 12 more days no aircon. $400 to see doc, quarantined so couldn't see the Komodo Dragons, hubby also forced to pay for tablets too just in case he got sick. Money Money, Money. Pay $9.50 for pizza, $5 for hot dog (we don't eat them). Brekky is OFF at 9.30, no supper after the late show. Cakes, fortunately we don't bother much, but I chose an apple slice one night, crap! Panacotta - crap - it was milk jelly! Ship has just come out of dry dock, looks lovely but back pool was leaking into rooms, had to be emptied, elderly people sitting around in lounges wondering where they would sleep that night. So much lack of information, mini suite (s) flooded. General use pool, after 2 days a child was sick in it, so no pool again while it was cleaned, refilled & now freezing. Shows were quite good and we went most nights, but a cuppa and bit of supper & chat with new found friends is nice before heading off to bed - but not on P&O. General areas are lovely but something was/is missing, so many unhappy people who had cruised with other lines, buffet crew obviously told not to serve too much, but scrapings off the board of ham is just that 'scrapings'. Chili (no taste) curry (no flavour) wine was warm when served from a deck bar, had to ask for glass of ice! Why? No Diet drinks when I have a diabetic husband and we'd purchased the lemonade package because it says there were Diet drinks included. (I think $149 for nothing). Salad items were lovely, so fresh and crunchy even the celery was not stringy. NO cheese, asking was a real shock to the poor girl. A cheese platter consisted of less that 1/2 slice of sandwich cheese cut into 4 pieces. Maybe we chose the Weight Watchers Cruise by mistake! First and Last time with P&O. We also consoled ourselves it was CHEAP and that's exactly what it was. Even lifeboat drill was odd, our station was No7 I think but we had to go to lifeboat station 11 to find the crew member with a No7 placard - guess we wouldn't bother in a real emergency-but it was a joke - why are we not laughing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
Singapore was amazing. We lined up for quite a while to get on the ship. Our cabin was very hot to start with but the air con was fixed on the second day and was much better. The food in the buffet was okay, the restaurants were also ... Read More
Singapore was amazing. We lined up for quite a while to get on the ship. Our cabin was very hot to start with but the air con was fixed on the second day and was much better. The food in the buffet was okay, the restaurants were also okay. The shampoo in the bathroom ran out on the third last and was never refilled (not that we asked them to, but they should have noticed you would think). The service desk were very abrupt and seemed to not really want to help you at all. The staff in the bars and food area were all very polite and smiled every time they saw you. Did a shore excursion at most stops and was rather underwhelmed given the cost. Watched most of the entertainment which was quite good, I'm not really one for watching these but my friend likes them so I went too. I enjoyed most of them. One pool was opened two days after we left and the other the following day. Given swimming is one of my fav things to do this annoyed me a bit. It was also hard to get a seat in a shady area as they allowed people to set up for the day meaning unless you were up with the crows and claiming a spot you had to sit out in the heat (which I can't bear). Despite all this I did very much enjoy the cruise as these are all little things that in the big scheme are just a little annoyance. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Chose this cruise for my 50th because of the ports & seemed like a good deal. Cabin was ok with good storage. Was disappointed with a few things. Missed out on ports due to weather. Would like to do it again at different time of year ... Read More
Chose this cruise for my 50th because of the ports & seemed like a good deal. Cabin was ok with good storage. Was disappointed with a few things. Missed out on ports due to weather. Would like to do it again at different time of year on a different line. The Edge was well over-priced with only 1/2 the activities listed available. Then missed out on several due to weather. Lucky to get any interaction from wait staff at meals- normally this is part of the cruise experience. A lot of staff didn't smile. Had to sleep with a 'toilet' smell from the aircon one night. One whole wash load was eaten (damaged) by the clothes dryer. Took about 10 days of badgering to get a birthday cake (gluten & dairy-free & not that hard to do), which only happened 5 days after talking to head chef. Very unimpressed with shore tours. Disorganised departures. Poorly defined- 90min drive took 3hrs! & Souvenier shops- jewellery & bags eg. purse $1000!! No meals provided on tours not returning till 2:30-3pm, then no resturants open. On our 3hr bus drive (no toilet) we were each handed a couple of sheets of toilet paper as there was no paper at the toilet stop. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Went on the cruise with my fiance, On arrival to the room found the Rubber Bath Matt with mould on it and silicone around bath also mouldy After a big day on shore tour 9 Hours looking forward to a swim at the pool at the adult ... Read More
Went on the cruise with my fiance, On arrival to the room found the Rubber Bath Matt with mould on it and silicone around bath also mouldy After a big day on shore tour 9 Hours looking forward to a swim at the pool at the adult only pool area and a drink at the bar only to find the area closed for a private function. This occurred 3 times throughout the 2-week cruise. One day while at the pool area relaxing painters decided to start grinding above this area creating lots of noise and fumes, paint flakes. After complaining to security the works stopped. When it rained counted up to 12 Buckets and slippery floor signs on deck 11 from the Pantry through to the pool and bar. Food on the ship including restaurants was of a poor stranded and many guests complained. Shore tours poorly organised and long delays getting on and off the ship, queuing hour and a half to get off and on. Communications regarding tours were poor and often the requirements for that tour not met. The second week we cancelled the tours and did our own thing, had more fun. Staff not very friendly or helpful. Paid $80 for an internet service that was so slow it was unusable On a positive note, drinks package was great and on board entertainment great. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
stranded in Singapore ship left 1 day late. Had to queue up twice over 2 days to board up to 4 hours quality of food hit and miss at all locations lounge bar prices for drinks bar staff making cocktails using a 2 nip measure ... Read More
stranded in Singapore ship left 1 day late. Had to queue up twice over 2 days to board up to 4 hours quality of food hit and miss at all locations lounge bar prices for drinks bar staff making cocktails using a 2 nip measure only filled half way average musicians and the good ones played for limited times 2 hour queue's for tender tickets then 2 hours wait for tender on every shore day Obnoxious bogans some Russian assaulting staff and other passengers in bars and at reception. shorts, caps and wife beaters in restaurants and bars at night time no wonder there were intimidating muscled up bouncers all around the ship very short stops onshore not full days over zealous sales scams on activities described as lectures most activities closed like water slide, flying fox. Fantastic and accommodating staff with the exception of some higher ranking flamboyant englishmen who appeared to consider passengers as an annoyance Great selection of cold beer Having cruised in other parts of the world for less money this cruise and what is being sold in Australia just doesn't compare. suggest if looking for a cruise try Asia or the USA and not on an Australian run ship. Steak and lobster included as standard don't pay for any extra food, take your own drink for the cabin. treated well as if you are a customer not an inconvenience. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
First time with P&O as we wished to experience this cruise company for ourselves. The ship was delayed after the refurbish by a day and a half. P&O put up at their expense in a quality hotel. They also provided inconvenience and ... Read More
First time with P&O as we wished to experience this cruise company for ourselves. The ship was delayed after the refurbish by a day and a half. P&O put up at their expense in a quality hotel. They also provided inconvenience and out of pocket compensation with on board credits which were generous. The mini suite was roomy, clean and tidy, thanks to the very busy housekeeping staff. The Waterfront Restaurant was the only letdown. Served meals on bowls, including steak, while the presentation and food substandard and definitely restaurant quality. The restaurant service staff were brilliant. The Pantry was refurbished into a number of micro food service areas with various cosines. This was an terrific change which went away from the smorgasbord. The food was good quality with lots of choices. The water-slide and edge activities were another great improvement. Overall the experience with P&O Pacific Dawn was positive. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We decided to take this cruise as it was a great opportunity to experience the ship straight after refit. Plus I needed a new wardrobe. We arrived in Singapore early having travelled light (hand luggage only, basically, Tuxedo, White ... Read More
We decided to take this cruise as it was a great opportunity to experience the ship straight after refit. Plus I needed a new wardrobe. We arrived in Singapore early having travelled light (hand luggage only, basically, Tuxedo, White Dinner suit for Gatesby and Bianco outfit - for those that have not sailed P&O before these are some of the theme nights). We did not stay in expensive accommodation in Singapore, 2 star only in Kalang but 8.6 score on TripAdvisor. We explored and shopped and at the end of the seven days I had a full wardrobe. The evening prior to departure we received a message that the cruise was delayed as they needed to do some more maintenance, however check in was still at the allocated time to get our cruise card etc and also the details at which Hotel they would accommodate us. With less than 24h to spare P%O found suitable accommodation in various Hotels across Singapore. Us four had to move from our 2 star Hostel (with bunk accommodation to get used to living in an inside cabin) into two separate rooms at the 5 star Fairmont Hotel and all on the account of P&O. We did not mind we took it as our first Port Day of our cruise considering they had issued our cruise card. Initially it was hoped we would board in the early afternoon, but there were some further delays, including Legend of the Sea needing our berth for our medical emergency that passengers were not transported to the cruise terminal until 1900h. It then took a while to board everyone. We did not get onto the ship until 2300h. Instead of waiting in the waiting area and then board and heading to the Pantry we just had dinner at the cruise terminal, after all Singapore is cheap if you eat where the locals eat. There were some complaints from passengers waiting but patience is virtue. Once on board, we explored the ship found the photographers for our mandatory "welcome aboard photo"(first time I actually had to look for the photographers :) ). And then explored the ship. The changes to all the lounges on Deck 7 - Panorama deck and deck 12 and 14 Lido deck were amazing. The new waterpark looked great, the waterslide awaited our attendance and the Pantry (formally buffet) looked spectacular. The Dome (front deck 14) was beautiful how they changed it with lounges etc. Café on Deck 12 looked very inviting. The ship had truly undergone a transformation, and is now in a class of its own, in a truly positive sense. We decided to retire to our inside cabin 10225 quad. The ship left sometime in the morning and by the time I arose it was daylight and we were at sea. One of the first things we did was to book the chef's table, one of the best experiences on a cruise and such value for money. All your drinks included, nine course meal, they even gave us a special cook book, photo and a tour of the galley. All this for $100. By the way, we did no have any drinks packages, none of us are big drinkers and we would not get the value out of it. We ate most of our main meals in the MDR late sitting. The meals were fine and varied. You can order as much or as little as you like. The first few evenings it took the service staff to adjust and sometimes meals were a bit longer than normal, but we did not mind, after all we were on holidays and had great table conversations. My comrades were late risers so I mostly had breakfast on my own at the waterfront and met many interesting people. My friends went to the Pantry. Lunch was a bit of a mix, I mostly went to the Pantry as I normally only have a light lunch. The meals in the Pantry are varied and there are lots of food stations. Or for a small fee you could order meals from the Grill. I forgot to mention that P&O also gave us compensation of $150 for the day lost plus refunded us the cost of one day. Many passengers seemed to be anxious for their money and lines at the Pursers desk for the first four days were very long. Also OBC that came with the bookings did not initially show up. I knew that they would sort it out and by day 5 all monies had been credited. One issue on board was with the Destinations manager ie shore tours. Somehow the individual in charge would not let anyone of the ship unless they were able to proof that they had paid for a tour with a company. His demands were excessive and his attitude was unhelpful bordering on arrogance. Passengers had all the documents that the P&O said the needed and he still would not permit them to get off the vessel once we arrived at Komodo. He was adamant that people would only be able to go to Komodo Island if they had booked a shore tour with him. I am not sure what he told the senior officers but it seemed he pushed his way through, until an email was received from a senior person in P&O corporate (someone on the cruise met this person at their Hotel in Singapore and had his detail). Next thing we knew he was called into the office by one of the senior Hotel staff and half an hour later everyone who had a confirmed booking with a tour operator on Komodo was permitted to go. Our first stop was Benoa, we were slightly late and this delayed the tender process. Tendering was slow and shore tours had priority. By the time we got off we just hung around Benoa and did not venture into Bali. I have to say though that the drivers there are rude, they would not leave us alone. I speak Indonesian very well and told them in a friendly way that we were not interested, one guy however kept on harassing us for the next 10 minutes. Benoa is a long way from Denpasar, Kuta, Sanur, Nusa Dua. What the locals should do is introduce water taxis like they have in Villa, because it is only a short distance by boat to some of the nice beaches. Next stop Komodo which was amazing certainly go and visit the big lizards and then snorkel at Pink Beach. After that Darwin, Cairns and Airlie Beach. Tendering remained an issue due to the distance and I assume the unfamiliarity of the terrain (water) Ships life though was excellent, we met many nice people and the staff were great. I enjoy how the senior officers always have time for a chat and even get to know you. Same with some of the entertainers. Entertainment on board was varied and P&O regularly change their production show. On this cruise they had the Premiere of a new show - Seven (about the seven deadly shows). The show was excellent one of the best I have seen on ships, and I can not for the life of me fathom why (and here we come to issue number 2) the cruise director did not promote this great show from the beginning. His promotion was almost non existent. Worse his senior cruise Director Alun was on board too. I can not understand how they could let this get away. Then again we hardly ever saw the cruise director, in the end I just said Pablo (who). His excuse that he had lots of meetings to attend was unacceptable and if I were in the shoes of P&O corporate I would take a serious look at those two. Getting back to this new show. So little to no promotion, then on the night dress for the day was smart casual, honestly, when you have a new show you make it a black tie event, you get people to dress to the hilt, you make it a major event not to be forgotten, the houses should be "sold out" standing room only. In this case it was not and I lay the blame square at the feet of the cruise Director. He has now received the razzie award from me. The show itself was just amazing. Talking more about cruise Director Pablo (who). He has a 14 day cruise (ok one day lost in Singapore). He has three events to plan - back to school, Bianco and Gatesby) and four major production shows. Now why on earth does he try and squeeze everything in at the back end. Bianco and Gatesby back to back and then he failed to schedule a production show because he left it too late. One a seven day cruise, cruise directors squeeze it all in, but on a 14 day cruise he and his boss Alun (since he is on board he can take some responsibility too) fail even in such a simple task. Now the band Alter Ego, great, then the group with the two violinist, just amazing (their name currently eludes me) and some of the guest entertainers were great too. One added group of entertainers where the complaining passengers and the ones spreading rumors. The rumors got better and better the longer the cruise went. For the record I will now correct these rumors. No passenger punched a receptionist. No Russians had a fight on the Lido deck and went to the brigg. No 67 passengers left the cruise unhappy in Darwin and no 250 left unhappy in Airlie Beach. It does not cost $1,000 to visit someone in sick bay. There were others but these were the funniest ones. The waterpark opened up in Darwin, unfortunately after 60 minutes a passenger had an incident, they were at the bottom of the slide and another passenger slid down and could not avoid them and she hit her head. For safety the slides were closed as the light mechanism at the top of the slide had turned green even though the previous slider had not yet excited. The slides stayed closed for the next two days after which they reopened. The slides were great fun and is good exercise too. Another thing I forgot, for the first week we received a Blue Edge card so I finally managed to climb the funnel (two thirds at least) walk the plank and go to the crows nest. Myself and my friends had a great time, we really went with the themes, dressed up during cocktail nights, had the right close for the various theme nights, as did many other passengers. It is so nice to see so many passengers engaged. That is what I like about cruising with P&O they do themes so well, better than any other line and I have been on many (RCL, Princess, HAL, Carnival). There were some teething issues - you will always have them after a major refit, but overall it was an excellent cruise, I will certainly do it again when the opportunity presents itself. Now I have rated some areas below excellent such as the gym, unfortunately Deck2 is just not a nice location. Embarkation was slow and we know why so that was ok, and shore tours, I explained why, he lost a lot of goodwill. Otherwise though it was great and I look forward meeting some of the wonderful staff again on my next cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Very good price for a fly/cruise Singapore to Cairns. This was another cruise unable to tender into Benoa, Bali due to swell. Diverted to Lombok. Makassar, Komodo Island, Dili & Darwin all went off well - but Cooktown too much ... Read More
Very good price for a fly/cruise Singapore to Cairns. This was another cruise unable to tender into Benoa, Bali due to swell. Diverted to Lombok. Makassar, Komodo Island, Dili & Darwin all went off well - but Cooktown too much wind for safe tendering. The buffet food was extensive with the best dessert selection I have seen on any cruise SHIP. All served from behind glass by smiling staff who would add more if requested. Waterfront & the two other included restaurants were good but with small servings. Salt Grill was praised by all we met that had used it. [A$49 pp.] Stewards & other crew all working well & now as good as Princess. Entertainment was also good with some better than others. There were even two lecturers. AC handled the hot conditions well & some thought it too cold & were issued blankets. Toilets worked & did not hear of any problems. It should be remembered that P&O Aust. is a 3 star operation. As such it is nearly as good as some & better than some of the 4 star lines. The only real disappointment was that the majority of my fellow Australians thought they were on a BOAT!!! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Don't listen to the whingers! Great value for money and pleasantly surprised, very very relaxing. We usually only dine in the restaurants whichever cruise ship we travel on and The Waterfront, Dragonlady and Angelo's did ... Read More
Don't listen to the whingers! Great value for money and pleasantly surprised, very very relaxing. We usually only dine in the restaurants whichever cruise ship we travel on and The Waterfront, Dragonlady and Angelo's did not disappoint and all FOC. We call it controlled eating and avoid the "pig out" in the buffet or Pantry as it is called on Eden. Being served at The Pantry is so much more hygienic than a "free for all " and lowers the risk of people getting ill and stops the waste. Good change PO. Free tea and coffee, cold water available all day. If you want a snack or are fussy about your coffee you can alway purchase from coffee shop,and bars. For me a big breakfast , plate of fruit salad for lunch and the a three course dinner in the evening is more than enough. Staff ever so obliging and recognised familiar faces from other PO ships. The first few shows were a little disappointing but improved as time went on. Pool areas great though the usual selfish people who leave towels on deck chairs for hours and wander off. . Remedy, remove if no personal items , and act dumb if challenged. No one ever did! Loved the ship and would cruise again!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We have cruised many cruise lines but this was our first P&O cruise. We have always steered away from P&O because of negative reviews, particularly of Pacific Eden. However we chose the cruise because of the ports. Komodo Island ... Read More
We have cruised many cruise lines but this was our first P&O cruise. We have always steered away from P&O because of negative reviews, particularly of Pacific Eden. However we chose the cruise because of the ports. Komodo Island and Dilli in East Timor in particular. The dragons on Komodo Island were a sight to behold. East Timor is making progress after their turbulent history. I have to say that we were very pleasantly surprised by Pacific Eden. The ship is in very good condition. Our cabin (oceanview 6066) was well appointed and quiet. The crew were always pleasant and helpful. Great service from everyone. Restuarants were good. Food was fine for a three star ship. Entertainment a bit hit and miss but the cruise director, Ben, did a good job and was very friendly and always had a ready smile and greeting whenever we saw him on the ship. All in all we had a great cruise on Pacific Eden and would not hesitate to sail on her again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We went on this cruise with another couple who were both having their birthday, booked many months in advance. It was also sailing out of Singapore which I had been through many times but had never explored so we added four days on the ... Read More
We went on this cruise with another couple who were both having their birthday, booked many months in advance. It was also sailing out of Singapore which I had been through many times but had never explored so we added four days on the front for Singapore and four days in kuala Lumpur on the way home to New Zealand as that was a city we had heard many good things about. It was my second cruise, the first being on Ventura around the Med, we booked a balcony cabin thinking it would be on par with what Ventura offered. This proved to be a mistake, the balcony was shabby with old, dirty paintwork and a couple of cheap cane chairs, it ended up being somewhere to dry the washing. Biggest issue though was cabin air conditioning just did not work, this was not just us, heard this from passengers who joined the cruise out of Australia and you didn't have to look far to see portable air-con units everywhere, this was a real surprise as we had read of a major refurbishment at the end of 2015. It was clear where they spent the money, the public dining areas were very nice but cabins missed out I think and I also suspect that there is a great deal of deferred maintenance that just isn't getting done. Had our holiday just been the cruise, would have been very upset, book ending it with Singapore and KL made it a decent holiday but at best would rate the ship a 4.5 out of ten, without evidence to the contrary I would not sail on this ship again. It was interesting to note when we embarked in Singapore that you could see painters on the outside of the ship cleaning rust from around the cabin windows, they din't get many done and next time I looked you could just see undercoat where they had been working, P&O I think are run by bean-counters far too much, we did get money back from them before we left the ship but they also need to work on complaints handling as majority of staff are not Australians and getting hold of a manager takes patience. lastly, the incidentals add up, nothing is free on the ship Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We did the Thailand unleashed cruise from Singapore. We chose this cruise for the price and reading reviews on here from other people I was a bit hesitant to take this cruise. We thought it was a fantastic cruise, Well you get what you ... Read More
We did the Thailand unleashed cruise from Singapore. We chose this cruise for the price and reading reviews on here from other people I was a bit hesitant to take this cruise. We thought it was a fantastic cruise, Well you get what you pay for. If you are used going on princess or Royal Caribbean this ship is not in that category, but the ship was right size with the amount of guests it carries to access all areas on the ship. Some things are a little expensive on board like the spa. The cabin we had was a window view and it was like any other cruise ship with the staterooms, we have been on the Supertar Virgo and there is no difference in size or what you get. It was neat no problems with anything in the room. We ate in the Pantry and the food in there was great you had a good variety except breakfast was pretty much the same everyday, but I think that applies to hotels too so no difference in staying in a hotel. We ate on Angelo's Italian restaurant, it's like fine dining meals were small, which suits some people but food was great, service a little slow. We ate in the waterfront restaurant which again is smaller meals but menu changes everyday and very nice food, didn't try the dragon lady restaurant, these restaurants are all included in the cruise. The grill snack bar wasn't fantastic food, but most of the snack were only $3-$8. New Zealand ice cream was Value for money and you can get a decent coffee from there. There was. To a lot of activities to do for us but for some one else there could be, you we're given a daily schedule of what was going on throughout the day. The comedy acts and some of the theatre shows were pretty good, not a big theatre so not extravagant shows. Speaking to a lot of guests a lot enjoying themselves and some were on there for 14-21 days. The service was good in most areas of the ship Shore tours were organised well, just a little expensive, as some ports like shnoukanville we organised our own tour through trip advisor and they knew what time you had to be back and was a great tour, would recommend to anyone, it was a full day with lunch and coffee break included, we had to pay in US DOLLARS,but worked out to be round $80 AUD, which is still $30 cheaper than thru the ship tours, We stopped in Ko Chang and other guests were telling us not to get off, nothing there, but we did get off and never listen to other people, it was one of the cleanest Asian countries I have been to, and so quiet hardly any cars on the street and great food shopping and massages, once again we didn't do shore tour they the ship as price was really high, we got off and got a tuk tuk which you share with 12 people so the cost was 50 Thai Bhat, which is $2 AUD each way to the centre of town which was about 10 mins away. Leam Chabang (Bangkok) is a very long day 2 hours by bus to go into the city and 2.5 hours to get back, due to traffic, this was worth paying $60 per person to use this thru the ship as they have to wait for you to get back to ship, if you chose to do this one without any shore tours, then it's a risk to get back on time, great shopping at MBK Koh Samui was our last port and once agin we chose to go ourselves as the island was pretty accessible and. To uch traffic, we once agin took a tuk tuk and paid $1000 Thai Bhat one way and shared it with 10 people which cost us $100 Thai each one way which is about $4 AUD. a taxi was $1500 Thai and only 3/4 per taxi, so it's worth going out and getting and sharing as a lot of tourists going to the same place as you, and the driver waited and made sure we were back I. Time to get back to ship as we used tenders that day. It was about 35 mins to Chewang Beach, really nice beach, sand a bit hot tho and people don't bug you with selling once you say no they leave you alone. Lot of places to eat and relax on the Beach. Theme nights were great worth while doing for fun. Embarking and disembarking was not a hassle Two pools on board, adult one out the back and the other one is under a retractable roof, so if it rained you could still use pool and spa and eat out there. I would go again with them, don't listen to negative reviews as I am not sure what they were expecting with the price they would have paid. Internet is expensive, so we used the photo package which gave you a couple so photos and few other options for $29.99 but it gave you unlimited internet, which normally cost from $10 per day. Otherwise a great cruise and would recommend to anyone, we did travel with teenage daughter and was a little bored but the other had fun. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise because the itinerary was great and the price was too good to give up. We have travelled with P&O before and although a budget cruise line the service has always been good. This ship was fine. Old but ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the itinerary was great and the price was too good to give up. We have travelled with P&O before and although a budget cruise line the service has always been good. This ship was fine. Old but refurbished. Food was good but P&O continue to make cutbacks. As an example, if you don't finish a bottle of wine at dinner they will not keep it until the following evening. You must take it with you. Our cabin did not have a fridge. No ice bucket was provided at the table when we initially purchased the wine and we had to constantly ask for an ice bucket when we returned. It seemed unsafe on many levels to have people wandering the ship with bottles of wine. Another example: There are no table cloths on the tables in the Waterfront restaurant. This may be fine when the tables are new but now they are chipping and look very ordinary. Tea and coffee was not offered to us once at dinner. The entertainment was fine but very little variety. Four comedy shows on a seven night cruise. There was no recognition of prior travels with P&O. No Captain's cocktail party, no fruit on arrival, etc. We are elite members with Princess as P&O cruises count for the Princcess loyalty program but no recognition is made of this on P&O. Shore tours were very expensive and we did not book any. Eg $40 for an hour tuk tuk ride in Thailand. We paid $10 off the ship. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Don't listen to the whiners! We have just returned from our cruise and had a ball. Balcony room 9207 was amazing. So spacious, big balcony. Comfiest best we've ever slept in. We got our premium beverage packages free because ... Read More
Don't listen to the whiners! We have just returned from our cruise and had a ball. Balcony room 9207 was amazing. So spacious, big balcony. Comfiest best we've ever slept in. We got our premium beverage packages free because we booked in advance so we tried lots of cocktails and great Australian wines. The cocktails were some of the best....and coldest I've ever had. The staff were all very polite and helpful. There were plenty of choices of food. The Salt Grill is a must. We felt very pampered that night. Loved the Adults only area and spent a lot of time sitting on our balcony enjoying the warm Asian sun and lovely calm waters. The Pantry idea is great. We always used it for breakfast, but one morning ordered room service as we had an early start for our shore tour. This was prompt, reasonably priced and tasty. Only downside would be the certain groups of people of a certain age on board who tried to compare this cruise with the 20+ others they have done. You need to compare apples with apples. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Travelled on Pacific Eden from Singapore for a 14 night cruise around Asia stopping at Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia. Have to say after reading the reviews prior to travel was a little concerned with regard to the negative comments. ... Read More
Travelled on Pacific Eden from Singapore for a 14 night cruise around Asia stopping at Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia. Have to say after reading the reviews prior to travel was a little concerned with regard to the negative comments. All I can say after travelling is some people obviously expect a lot out of a 3 1/2 star ship - the ship does not put it self out as a 5 star ship and for any one looking for a 5 star cruise holiday then this ship is not for you. If you want a good value for money cruise experience then Pacific Eden delivers. The cabins are some of the largest we have come across and include a bath which, while not for everybody, was no problem for us, could imagine if you were elderly then it could be an issue as the bath has quite high sides and you have to 'step' into the bath to have a shower. The food on board was great, we experienced and would recommend, all three specialist restaurants on board, we took a chance and showed up at the Dragon Lady without a reservation one night and were able to score a table. We had no difficulty obtaining a table in the Waterfront Restaurant if we arrived prior to 6.30pm - if you arrive after this time you may have to queue for a few minutes, if the wait will be longer than a few minutes you can ask for a buzzer to take away and then return when you are advised a table is available - no need to stand around and wait. The food at the Pantry was good and again we never had to wait around for service or to find a table. We used the Waterfront Restaurant most mornings for breakfast and even though there are only two menus for breakfast we found these more than adequate. Have read reviews of the food not being warm, we did not experience this at all. The guest entertainers were fabulous and found the comedians to be world class. As for the entertainment staff and onboard entertainers I think the less said the better - they did not inter act with the passengers and only were visible on deck twice over the 14 days. The bands and singers were great and one of the highlights was the 'battle of the bands' in the Blue Room. The bar staff in all the bars were friendly and knowledgable with most knowing names within a day or two of sailing, a special mention should be made of the bar staff in The Mix and The Ocean Bar the staff in these two bars help to make this cruise one of the best we have been on. The ports visited were a good mix of what the region has to offer with Koh Samui and Koh Chang in Thailand being stand outs for beautiful beaches and wonderful scenery. I would recommend P&O Pacific Eden to anybody, the ship is on the smaller side but had everything you could want and more. The ship was full for our 14 day cruise with 1,500 people on board, we were always able to find a deck chair around the pool or a seat at the Marquee Lounge to watch one of the shows, were able to get a drink when we visited one of the bars and have a table at the restaurant. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose the cruise for the ports of call and also it allowed us to add a stay in Singapore which we enjoy. Boarding was reasonable after filling out a heap of forms and then waiting in a holding area but overall about an hour to get on ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the ports of call and also it allowed us to add a stay in Singapore which we enjoy. Boarding was reasonable after filling out a heap of forms and then waiting in a holding area but overall about an hour to get on board. We have been on Volendam so were somewhat familiar with the layout of the ship albeit that it has been extensively renovated. The facilities are very good and of high quality but many areas not practical for older people, i.e. low seating with no back etc. Food variety was pretty good however it always looked better than it tasted in the pantry, I suppose for the mainly aussie customers. Waterfront restaurant was very good, food also very good however very small portions. We have had over 30 cruises on many different lines and are diamond plus on RCL, so that is our line of choice. There were many things on Eden that dis not suit us BUT does suit the target market for the ship so i get that. No tea and coffee making facilities in balcony cabins, very expensive beverage packages but i understand why, small chairs and very small table on balcony, poor quality entertainment and lack of it around the ship. The biggest dislike for us was the staff, they are generally poorly trained, most are in slow motion, there is no interaction with customers many do not even make eye contact when taking an order or delivering an order and they were dirty all black uniforms. Again all this seemed to be fine for most of the other passengers so the ship will do well servicing the aussie market, its just not for us. Interesting fact was that this cruise was a 7 night Singapore and back to Singapore cruise and it was almost ALL aussies on board, that was a surprise. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
The ship was refurbished less than a year ago but requires a really good clean. Pantry food well below average, seats were very stained & are in need of a good clean. If you just want a snack, you will have great difficulty as I ... Read More
The ship was refurbished less than a year ago but requires a really good clean. Pantry food well below average, seats were very stained & are in need of a good clean. If you just want a snack, you will have great difficulty as I was unable to get cheese, ham, or salami. You have no ability to make your own sandwich and wraps were pre-made and soggy, squid was tough, and noodles were cold. Breakfast was a little better but do not expect to get hot toast. Waterfront was better but the breakfast menu did not change for the period we cruised. Angelo's was good but the menu was limited, Salt Grill was also good but was not as good as Pacific Dawn. We did not have an opportunity to go to Dragonlady but reviews on board were good. Pacific Eden is a budget cruise ship and should be advertised that way. There are no tissues in public rest rooms, and no snacks or peanuts when ordering drinks. The majority of staff seem uninterested in serving you and are often confused requiring information being relayed multiple times. I was advised by a staff member that the majority a staff are new and very little training has been provided. It is almost impossible to get a drink alcoholic or otherwise in the Pantry, or Mix Bar. The Mix bar staff seem more interested in flirting with young ladies than serving customers. Roderick from the Blue Room was the exception and really knew customer service as well as being a skilled barman. I paid for a drink package but due to a mix up between our travel agent and P&O I only received the package 2 days before the cruise ended. Everyday I was at reception trying to resolve the issue - initially to get the package and then to obtain credits for drinks that were consumed prior to the package being added. The ships's secretary was rude and her persona is not suited to the position she holds. It was only after I sent an email from a free on shore WiFI that I became aware of what created the issue. P&O made an error but they did not want to take any responsibility for it. The information provided by the ship's secretary as to the reasons we had not received the package was inaccurate and incorrect. My travel agent CC'd Pacific Eden in an email advising that the issue was escalated with HQ, P&O and had been resolved but 8 hours after the email was sent the ship's secretary still had no knowledge of the email. This required another email from myself the last cruise day to advise that our account was still incorrect and the drinks credits had not been applied. At the eleventh hour P&O came through and applied the credits. Adding to the above my daughter had her renewal of vows on the ship and this was arranged with Natasha at HQ P&O and finalised 3 months prior to sailing but the ship's secretary had limited knowledge of what was arranged and continually stated that she was not aware and the information had not been provided to her. We had to provide proof of emails to ensure that the renewal was arranged as per what was agreed. There is a major disconnect between HQ, P&O and the ship. The cake we paid for was meant to be provided in Singapore but did not arrive and on board catering made a cake that was similar to what was ordered except the wedding theme was purple and the cake had red roses on it. Whilst the this was a renewal of vows it was considered as my daughters wedding and Natasha from HQ P&O was fully aware of this. I did read the reviews before we left and understood that they were poor but having experienced it ourselves we have to agree with many of the previous comments and will never travel P&O again. I am very glad this was our 9th cruise as those first timers with us will never cruise again and this is a shame. I kept saying the American and Norwegian Ships are so much better but given their experience I can understand their rationale. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This cruise embarked and disembarked in Singapore and was either 7 or 14 nights long. We had never been to Asia before so it was a real adventure. During our 14 night stay we visited Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and of course ... Read More
This cruise embarked and disembarked in Singapore and was either 7 or 14 nights long. We had never been to Asia before so it was a real adventure. During our 14 night stay we visited Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and of course Singapore. We were disappointed with the "pantry", much preferring the plantation layout we had experienced on Pacific Pearl. The Waterfront restaurant was a little difficult to get into at times because they don't take bookings now. We tried both Dragon Lady and Angelo's. They were both nice but Dragon Lady had a better atmosphere. Getting around was not all that easy with deck 7 blocked off part way, leaving us a little disorientated at times. Decks 6 & 12 were the only ones where you could walk around the outside. Unfortunately, they both had smoking areas. Not nice when you are enjoying a walk. The window in our cabin was at the head of the bed which made it a little difficult to watch outside without having to climb on the bed. The shower was over a bath. Not ideal when you are in the older age bracket.This was our third cruise with P & O. The first two were on Pacific Pearl and this one was on Pacific Eden. We feel that Pacific Pearl is far superior to pacific Eden and we are sad to see Pearl is going on her last voyage in March 2017. We are looking forward to doing another cruise in the future but it will definitely not be on Pacific Eden. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We cruised on the Pacific Eden out of Singapore recently for 14 nights, exploring Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia. In the lead up, we were concerned by the negative reviews of the ship and I want to try and give an unbiased and ... Read More
We cruised on the Pacific Eden out of Singapore recently for 14 nights, exploring Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia. In the lead up, we were concerned by the negative reviews of the ship and I want to try and give an unbiased and realistic assessment of our experiences on board. I am not in any way associated with P&O and equally, my experience is not clouded by a single negative event that has me hellbent on trashing the ship/crew. Firstly, I feel compelled to comment on two recurring themes among many reviews I have seen: Staff: Comments about the negative attitude and poor service standard, to be honest, have me bemused. All the wait staff, service and drinks staff were unceasingly pleasant. Granted some were more engaging than others, however overall we found them a pleasure to deal with. I do agree some were obviously somewhat new at their job, but experience will solve that. Special mention to Room Stewards, Ramil and Hernani as well as serve staff: Kristine, Michel and Jacklynne. Alternatively, it was a common sight to see fellow passengers being overtly rude and demeaning to staff. It was breath taking to witness a group of 4 complaining loudly to the Maitre-dee of Angelos Italian restaurant that they could not be seated. Next time perhaps a reservation would be in order instead of the sense of righteous indignation. The Pantry: A source of much criticism. Common themes were: A. Food is repetitive, cold and bland: On occasions some dishes were cold however, I think the pantry is a great idea. There was a constant choice of many selections and themes. On occasions there were dishes from SriLanka, Cuba, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Germany etal. Plus roasts, salads, sandwiches, fish n chips. All with plenty of condiments. Yes the portions were generally pretty small. But guess what..... If you want more of anything, just ask....The server will happily put as much as you want on your plate. At breakfast, the selection was the same each day, but there was plenty of options from the healthy to the decadent. My summary: the pantry is a much better and more hygenic option than a traditional buffet. B. Always crowded: It was busy at peak times, but I guess thats unavoidable. We ate breakfast reasonably early, while late-ish for lunch and/or dinner. Always found a seat and the wait at each station wasnt too bad. I was not a fan of the seating options on offer. A selection of couches, benches and tables look pretty cool, but people just want to be able to eat at tables. Also some of the couches were pretty grimy and needed a good clean. C. Ship is old, dirty etc etc The ship itself is old and if you looked you can find rust etc here and there. But the maintenance staff were always out and about, touching up, painting etc etc. Overall the decor was great. Particular favourite spot to relax and chill was the Blue Room. Wonderful ambience and decor. As with the Pantry though, the seating was a little odd. Lots of back less (padded) benches scattered among the comfy chairs and lounges that looked cool but were pretty uncomfortable for those unlucky enough to have to sit there during a show. A pet dislike of mine, was the lack of a decent walking track. There is a designated circuit on the 12th deck, but it was annoying to have to walk through the smokers area on each circuit. We sampled most the dining options in addition to the Pantry: Waterfront: Service was a a bit slow, the Staff seemed stretched to manage the number of diners in there section. Food was fine, serves a bit small, but the seating options gave an overall sense of being crammed in. Angelos: Brilliant!! great wine selections and the food was delicious and well presented. Highly recommended. Dragon Lady: Be aware!! its an asian fusian restaurant. Food was delicious. Serves a little small ( I am a big eater), but the ambience and service first rate. I heard a lady complaining bitterly that it wasnt anything like the chinese restaurant at home. SaltGrill: Yes its $49/head, but well worth it. Captains Table: didnt get there , cost about $90/head. However was told by some who did it was a great experience. Also want to mention the little servery on the pool deck that sold hamburgers etc. we had a hotdog and pulled pork sandwich ($3 each) that were delicious. Recommended if you feel like a snack . We have been on 5 cruises and the entertainment was on par with any we have experienced before. One thing we did notice was the lack of PA addresses by the entertainment director. I guess it can be overdone, but its nice to be reminded whats coming up around the ship. Yes, it is detailed in the ships paper. The onboard WIFI was beyond ridiculous, it was rarely available, so slow and then subject to drop outs constantly. Totally not worth the price they charged and a rip off. Save yourself the frustration and leave the email/facebook/google/twitter etc etc aside for a few days. A nice touch on past (Carnival) cruises, was the 12 noon everyday announcement by the Captain of the course, weather, and other bits and bobs. This time the captains addresses were quite sporadic and random. Port tours were ok, but on occasions gave a sense of being disorganised. I suspect this may have been due to the ports in Asia being outside of the P&O standard stops of Noumea etc etc. I was told on a couple of tours that the day was a bit shorter than what they normally run for the itinerary at that Port: Ie the ship arrives earlier and/or leaves later. This gave rise to a sense of being rushed at certain stops. Cant help but wonder if thats a ploy by P&O to get everyone back onboard and at sea earlier where the shops are open, bars doing a roaring trade and ( I suspect) the big one: the Casino is open. Having said that, I must commend the initiative of the Captain and crew on arranging to go to Phuket a day early and arrange some tours on a couple of hours notice when we were unable to tender to Krabi due to inclement weather conditions. We had the premium drinks package thrown in as part of our booking, which was nice. Basically everything $12 and under were included. Probably 95% of each menu. With the exception of the Mixbar martinis and most "wine by the glass" options in the restaurants. At $79/head ( $89 if booked on board), do I think its value? Probably not. So, my advise..... keep an open mind, sense of adventure and have a relaxing time. Things will go wrong, but its amazing what a positive attitude can acheive. Be aware that the Pacific Eden isn't the standard of the Queen Mary or other top of the range cruises. Its probably fair to rate the Eden as a 3 to 4 star resort. But thats also reflected in the price tag. Chill out and enjoy your holiday. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was our first cruise and my husband and kids loved it. I honestly don't know why so many people whinge about the Eden. We had an ocean view room on level 5 which was fantastic, OK food is buffet style in the pantry but for the ... Read More
This was our first cruise and my husband and kids loved it. I honestly don't know why so many people whinge about the Eden. We had an ocean view room on level 5 which was fantastic, OK food is buffet style in the pantry but for the price you pay its more than acceptable, The only con was I don't think they liked kids in the waterfront and other restaurants I think more towards adults only which leaves your dining options a bit limited but we were on board for the cultural experience at the ports and not to eat ourselves stupid! 4 different ports in 7 days I thought was a great balance. Staff on board were amazing loved the towel animals in the room. Honestly I think u get out of a holiday what you put in and go with an open mind and you will love it. The staff at kids club was great, Kym was great with the origami and craft! Hope to return soon Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
I was a bit concerned after reading a few reviews and listening to people who had done a few cruises on other ships. The cabin was spotless the staff were great the choice and quality of the food was outstanding. I would be very happy ... Read More
I was a bit concerned after reading a few reviews and listening to people who had done a few cruises on other ships. The cabin was spotless the staff were great the choice and quality of the food was outstanding. I would be very happy to take another trip and have recommended it to family and friends. We did hear people complaing that there was not any ice cream at the desert counter but you could buy it from the kiosk. Being the first cruise ship that my wife and I have been on i can't compare it to other cruises but i could not fault any part of the trip. We were worried about the ship being over crowded and having not space to relax or finding room to sit and have a meal . It was never a problem , I will be keeping an eye out for future cruises and hope to take my children and grandchildren for a trip on the Pacific Eden so they can see for themselves what a great experience we had Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Was going on this cruise with an open mind given the negative reviews on this site. I was pleasantly surprised. Yes it's a small ship, and yes its more budget than its flashier competitors. But, service was overall very friendly by ... Read More
Was going on this cruise with an open mind given the negative reviews on this site. I was pleasantly surprised. Yes it's a small ship, and yes its more budget than its flashier competitors. But, service was overall very friendly by 99% of staff we encountered. Noted that the average age of passengers was in the late 60's, with a few kids (didn't see many at all) and a handful of younger adults. The ship is small (1,500 passengers), and you will repeatedly run into people you've met on it, which I think is nice. The size of the ship was intimate and allowed for a community feel. The gym was great, and there were free classes at 7 am and 6 pm. I would have liked, especially on sail days, for some (free) classes to be held in the middle of the day. Gym doesn't open until 7 am and closes at 7 pm. Room - Cabin was neat and everything we needed - we weren't in it for long, pretty much just to shower and sleep. My neighbour had a problem with the water flow in her shower - that was fixed promptly. No problems. Our cabin stewards were great. Hot water is slow to come through on days when the ship is docked. Seems it relies on its engines to be going to get reliable hot water. This wasn't too big an issue as the outside temperature was in the 30's with 98 percent humidity. Food - Food was abundant and the only time we saw miniscule portions mentioned in reviews was in the Dragon Lady restaurant. The portions in there were ridiculously small, so I would recommend three main courses per person. The entree was a lovely laksa style soup, but only three spoonfuls. We also had edamame beans to share. Main was tiny, and we ordered another one each. Angelo's restaurant was a disappointment in that most Aussies could cook their Italian food better. Their chef should be told tiramisu is not supposed to be crunchy, and osso bucco shouldn't need a chainsaw to cut it!! Waterfront Restaurant was where we ate the most at, and it was wonderful. Service great and friendly, and food was more than adequate sized portions. We had one dinner served there that was ocean trout and dried out, tough and horrible. No problems, they replaced it with cod which was moist and delicious. Didn't notice any awful smells in the Pantry, other than the usual food-court style deep fried oil smell. I would recommend booking both the Dragon Lady and Angelo's within 24 hours of boarding as they booked out quickly, especially the case if you have a large party with you (I was in a party of eight). Also book a table at the Waterfront for your time if you want to dine outside the 6 - 8 pm peak hour time. We ate at 8 pm most nights. Didn't eat at the Grill. Panty closes at 9 pm. This is not a cruise where there is all-day food available Drinks - Hint - if you like/need coffee in the morning and don't want to buy the barista style, get the coffee black from the machine, then walk to the fruit bar where you'll find a dispenser of fresh milk. Otherwise its those annoying UHT pods of milk. Didn't see any strict monitoring of alcohol intake, but it wasn't really required, as most guests were very well behaved. I will reinforce one person's review that they will sometimes short-change you on the spirits pour. All the bars don't have a wine list (only the restaurants have it) despite the same wine's being available. The bar attendants don't have a good grasp on its offerings. I'd suggest people take a photo of the wine list to reference at the other bars. Otherwise you'll be sent to a restaurant to check out the wine list. Entertainment - Music was sometimes too loud in some bars, especially ones you would expect people to want to talk and socialise in such as the jazz bar. We spent most time in the Dome which was quieter. Trivia was too difficult (we are weekly pub trivia participants, and the trivia they had on the cruise was not trivia). And the girl doing it had a weird accent that combined with poor AV meant it was very difficult to understand her. We gave up on it. Comedians were great, very funny, but be warned they were R-rated. The musical group was of a level of a high school musical routine. The ventriloquist was great for the kids, but David Strassman would be super annoyed that his jokes and characters were recycled (poorly) by this one. Movies were very old release (eg Slumdog Millionaire) so never went into the cinema. I purchased the internet package ($89 for the duration of the cruise unlimited). It was OK, enough to upload to social media, check your emails and Facetime Audio, but not fast enough to deal with FaceTime Video, or view videos on Facebook for more than three seconds. But that's OK - it performed all I needed it to, which was to check FB, upload to FB, check emails, and FaceTime (audio) the kids. Back to School and Gatsby nights were well attended and lots of people made the effort to dress up which greatly enhanced the party feel. If you go on this cruise, please put the effort in, you'll be pleased you did. And go to the free dance classes in the Dome in the afternoons. We learned some dances (Thriller dance, Gatsby dance, salsa dance). Lots of fun. Embarking/disembarking - Smooth embarking procedure. No problems there. You will be x-rayed on your way in at all ports of call so don't think about trying to bring in your own alcohol. It will be detected and taken off you to collect at the end of your cruise. Disembarking at the end of the cruise depends on a colour code that they decide. It can happen at a point of time in a three hour block that you have no say in. Oh and another thing. Singapore customs only allows 1 litre of spirits. I don't know why, then they were selling "two for $xx" deals without explaining this. This would be OK for a couple who were getting the same deal. Check your arrival port's customs allowance before buying. And be aware that the duty free alcohol deals aren't for you to consume on the ship. Shore - Found there was a total absence of information about the shore excursions due to P&O's terrible website - I consistently got the "wheel of death" that timed out. Anyway feedback from people who did the shore excursions through P&O was that they were a rip-off. Our ports were Langkawi (not sure why, but there wasn't much there), Krabi and Phuket (which are both a half hour drive from port) so we haggled with the local taxi drivers for transport, and Sabang (Indonesian for shanty town) - No idea why Sabang is a port in the itinerary. There are no tourism things to see or do, nothing to spend money on, no safe eating places and we went back to the ship after an hour. A waste of a port stop. Most people who went on shore did the same and said the same. My feedback to P&O was that they should have food available all the time (Pantry closes between 3pm and 5pm - that wouldn't go down well with my kids and leave me with the only option of buying food from the Grill. No thanks). Passengers should have the option of choosing a disembarking time that suits them and the others fit around it. Reception service was slow, and I'm sure that it could be sped up. Consider removing Sabang as a destination. Provide fresh milk for the coffee machine. And put fridges in the cabins. Read Less
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