1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises Australia
  4. P&O Cruises Australia Cruise Reviews
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I have done 53 cruises and this would be in the top 5. Every thing was great,. The staff was fantastic. They soon learned your name. The Pantry food was great. Especially the asian soups which was special. The Waterfront restaurant was ... Read More
I have done 53 cruises and this would be in the top 5. Every thing was great,. The staff was fantastic. They soon learned your name. The Pantry food was great. Especially the asian soups which was special. The Waterfront restaurant was so-so.and the speciality dinning was ordinary but cheap at $30 Lots of kids on this cruise 470. Lots of young couples. A old and dated ship but lots of character. The smallest balcony I have ever had, about a meter wide. Then cabin was good, clean and well maintained. Entertainment was fantastic, great broadway shows. Comedian was great. When you consider the cost which was cheap as a sole passenger. It was value for money and I would do it a again and again. The staff made the cruise they were exceptional I loved them. The Orient bar had the cheapest beer on tap I'm have ever had $6 a schooner. I would recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
First cruise and I was terrified due to negative reviews on here. Our review...well we are now hooked....an amazing cruise. We ate everywhere...enjoyed it all. The ships crew are constantly cleaning to keep the ship presentable. The ... Read More
First cruise and I was terrified due to negative reviews on here. Our review...well we are now hooked....an amazing cruise. We ate everywhere...enjoyed it all. The ships crew are constantly cleaning to keep the ship presentable. The entertainment is amazing. Attend as much as possible. All incredibly enjoyable especial the Maquee live shows. Entertainment crew hilarious Mathew Dom Pablo Miguel etc. We had the smaller cheaper cabins which were perfect for our budget and needs....hot showers were amazing. Many reviews complained about the interior being old....well I'm no spring chicken either any more but it's how you present yourself and this ship is no different....the decor is gorgeous. We did a few pacific Islands and pre booked our tours through the ship and had a great time being emersed in the culture and saw some amazing scenery. All our kids 3-17 attended kids clubs Turtle cove HQ and HQ+ and loved it experience. We also had EDGE packages. These were prepaid great for 7-25yrs. Our adults would probably pay per session next time as didn't get the value from pre purchasing. Thankyou from the bottom of our hearts for your passion to serve. Sad to see you retiring but hope to travel again with P&O and see some familiar faces. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Each year for my birthday I choose to treat myself to a holiday as I live alone and normally people are friendly and fun. The price for the getaway on Pacific Eden was a bargain. However, the dining experience was the worst I have ... Read More
Each year for my birthday I choose to treat myself to a holiday as I live alone and normally people are friendly and fun. The price for the getaway on Pacific Eden was a bargain. However, the dining experience was the worst I have ever had. My past experience on cruises was that I would be seated with a larger table and enjoy their company for the cruise. On this cruise, they sat everyone who came together, together in their group, small or large tables to suite. It seems they do not know how to cater for the solo traveller, but had so many small tables they tend to want to sit you on your own. My birthday was not a total disaster, as a visit to reception had Elizabeth, one of the PAs join me for dinner on the 2nd last night (is in the photo added) after which I managed to find some friends. Elizabeth also managed to get me a reservation for dinner in the booked out restaurant for my birthday, it was still dinner on my own, but the staff looked after me and sang me happy birthday. The staff are generally lovely, and you'll enjoy the dining experience if you are travelling with others, but maybe avoid this dining experience if travelling alone as you have to work really hard to not feel isolated. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Having travelled a few months ago to Tasmania and enjoying myself decided on another cruise on Explorer, what a terrible cruise, Kids allowed to run a muck. I have never seen soo many snotty nosed crying uncontrollable kids. I came on this ... Read More
Having travelled a few months ago to Tasmania and enjoying myself decided on another cruise on Explorer, what a terrible cruise, Kids allowed to run a muck. I have never seen soo many snotty nosed crying uncontrollable kids. I came on this cruise to enjoy myself and some down time not to put up with children whos parents cant be bothered looking after them properly. The smoking on deck 7 near the Explorer bar was just awful creeping up to deck 8, the smell of pot on the Oasis deck that had been smuggled on board by a group as well as crew members smoking on deck also the amount of Adults allowed to drink in the spas and crew serving them. Where was the Security? fights beaking out on the ship.The disgusting Pantry floor and windows, went in for breakfast usual time 6.30am and floor was filthy from night before this continued all the way through the cruise so I ate in my room. What is up with the tender boats? sending back empty tender boats being told not to get on them when people are waiting to go back to ship. "Note to photo staff" when someone tells you four times they dont want the full photo package listen to them, very pushy. Why is the food not served at the proper temperature? COLD FOOD. I did not appreciate my cabin steward coming into my room whilst I was at breakfast, EARLY, to clean it at least wait till I put up the CLEAN MY ROOM SIGN. Watch the dogs on Isle of Pines they bite! and there are a few not so nice characters watching your possessions keep an eye out, as well as some not so welcome signs. I DO NOT recommend this ship for elderly passengers unless you enjoy unruly kids and second rate service save your money go elsewhere. I wont be cruising with P&O again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Embarkation was very smooth and quick. Our cabin was clean and there was a short wait for our luggage to be delivered to the room but we had no concerns. Good times pamphlet was easy to read with lots of interesting activities to ... Read More
Embarkation was very smooth and quick. Our cabin was clean and there was a short wait for our luggage to be delivered to the room but we had no concerns. Good times pamphlet was easy to read with lots of interesting activities to do. Waterfront restaurant had good food and was easy to get into with and without a reservation. The Pavlova dessert was AMAZING. Highly recommended even for the $9 price tag. Seven / Let's Misbehave / Rock shows were awesome - very talented entertainment staff always great shows. just magnificent. I love walking along the promenade deck except when portions are roped off and you have to detour back inside the ship to continue the lap and when you have to walk through a cloud of cigarette smoke (that definitely ruins the experience of walking around the ship and enjoying the seas air and views). Breakfast is always the worst meal of the day on cruises but breakfast under this new Pantry layout was DISGUSTING. The hot food (bacon, eggs, etc) were always cold and waiting in line for toast made it even colder. It is really difficult to get seats in The Pantry and the food is getting even colder by the time you find a seat. if you stay away from hot food and lines even the cold breakfast foods like yogurt and fruit were inedible. The Pantry is so chaotic - people walking every which way and people walking through the food area when they are leaving. no hand washing was enforced and broken soap dispensers was ignored by the staff. The staff were very slow in cleaning the tables in The Pantry which led to less tables being available and it was difficult to get a staff members attention is you wanted them to come clean a table for you. This was also noticeable around the ship as large stacks to used plates and cups were seen every including in elevators and under stairs. It may be a cruise ship and staff are there to pick up a lot of items but people can be sucks pigs leaving their leftovers everywhere. The Pantry at Lunch was not much better - too chaotic and too difficult to get seating for terrible tasting food. i recommend avoiding The Pantry at all costs. The opening times of the Pantry was awful. if you wanted a snack outside of The Pantry opening times there was nothing available unless you were willing to pay extra money. No sweets on offer between lunch and dinner times except the $5 a scoop ice cream. also the Pantry only offered Apple & Orange Juice with breakfast after than you could not get any drinks other than tea and coffee in the Pantry. No staff available to ask about getting other drinks with lunch?? the watersides were fun but lots of rules and issues about earrings. we took off our big earrings and went on the slides twice but then suddenly they changed their minds and we could not slide with any earrings in even small sleepers that were not going to come undone. make up your minds. many children were unsupervised as well and very pushy when trying to get past you on the stairs up to the slides. 18+ area was nice except for a couple of very loud annoying drunk women cackling away for 4 days and people hogging the hot tubs for many hours & not sharing. getting drinks was a slow process sometimes especially if you wanted to ask the bar tender any questions who would answer 1 then serve somebody else. Mock tails were never mentioned on any menus and had to be asked for specifically and then the bar tender would walk away to serve someone else without waiting for our order. Swim towels available in the rooms was much more helpful than other ships where you have to search for towels yourself and then walk back to the pool you want to use. Spa services are so expensive! $39 for an eye brow wax and then they try to sell you a special brand of face toner and cleanser for $60 each. what a rip off. Dinner at the Dragon Lady was excellent. Dinner at Angelo's was lovely, though the portion sizes were a bit small. getting drinks around the ship were sometimes a but confusing, the menus all said Pepsi / Pepsi max drinks but when you asked for Pepsi the staff looked at you blankly and said they had Coke / Diet Coke. also for non coffee drinkers it's difficult to get a non coffee drink. the menu only offered coffee flavored drinks and when a Iced Chocolate was asked for the staff would still make an Iced Chocolate Mocha even though they promised a non coffee Iced Chocolate. they even seemed confused when asked for a simple hot milk drink. entertainment activities was mostly fun though the paper flower making class was a bit ridiculous. the teacher did not explain / show the steps very well and when you asked for help or for her to repeat the steps she was slow at acknowledging us. learning the steps for the Gatsby flash mob was fun but when the time came for us to do the dance in the Atrium it was far too crowded and not enough space for the steps we were taught including Charleston kicks. it became very claustrophobic on the dance floor. we were promised confetti at the end of the dance which did not occur. The photo department...terrible photos and terrible prices! we are all dressed up in Gatsby outfits but the photographer cut off our fingers and outfits and was bamboozled when we had our own poses already chosen. all they want you to do is stand in the same spot every time and then they don't really check if you have closed eyes. the new digital kiosk system can make finding your photos easier but each staff member trained differently or incorrectly gives you different information. e.g. 1 staff member said you can only order digital copies from the kiosk and physical copies you had to find yourself in the many boxes of mixed photo graphs where another said you could order digital and physical copies from the kiosk (but after i had already spent 30 mins or more searching through the multiple piles of mixed photos for any photos of my group). shore excursions... we went to Moreton Island and we booked the snorkeling tour and the feeding the Dolphins tour. we were told to get a tender at least 90 mins before our tour time to make sure we didn't miss the tours but then we were so early for the tour that we were waiting for an hour for our tour to start. we were also not given enough information and were not told to dress in our swimmers before hand. once in the wet suit snorkeling was a beautiful experience. highly recommend. afterwards we had to wait for our next tour. so had a late lunch and a beach swim but still ended up waiting for many hours before the Feeding the Dolphins tour started at 5pm. the tour size was enormous! at least 100 - 200 people. we then had to wait another 90 mins while a buffet was served (which we could not eat as we had had lunch not long ago) & a dolphin presentation was held, before we even saw a dolphin. then we were joined by another 100 people from the island who wanted to feed dolphins before were were allowed to line up and grab our fish to feed to the dolphin. once in the water it was a very quick few seconds where the dolphin snatched the fish from your fingers a photo was taken and you were pushed back onto the shore where P&O staff were waiting to rush you on-board a boat to tender you back to the ship. lots on long waiting time for a very quick experience and then being rushed back onto the ship. shopping on-board ship is the usual clothing and jewelry - it's fine as long as you fit into small/medium sizes, anything bigger than a large is not catered for. it's all very expensive even when 50% off. i do enjoy cruising but there are a lot of little things that made my Pacific Explorer Experience not perfect. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Travelled to Tasmania, Port Arthur. WARNING! if you have mobility issues or are overweight Port Arthur is not for you! Dont listen to the wingers this is a great ship. Food and entertainment were very good ate mainly in the Pantry, up to ... Read More
Travelled to Tasmania, Port Arthur. WARNING! if you have mobility issues or are overweight Port Arthur is not for you! Dont listen to the wingers this is a great ship. Food and entertainment were very good ate mainly in the Pantry, up to date movies in your cabin, the Sanctuary was good to go and hide and soo peaceful. Adults only area was good a little small, my only complaint was there is a designated smoking area, however it did not stop some smokers from leaving the area to take photos around you and therefore you were subject to smoke, very disrespectful. Cabin stewards are always the best, reception staff very good in fact did not have an issue with anything on the ship unlike Pacific Eden which should be sunk and used as an artificial reef although I think even the fish would be too scared to go on board. I only have good tings to say about this ship.I have done 7 cruises, 5 with P&O and booked this ship for next year. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I’ve been on quite a few cruises and chose this one for the destination and price. P&O is a budget line. Ship: Really great sail past Moreton Island. lovely modern decor throughout. Curtains on the pool deck and deck chairs on the ... Read More
I’ve been on quite a few cruises and chose this one for the destination and price. P&O is a budget line. Ship: Really great sail past Moreton Island. lovely modern decor throughout. Curtains on the pool deck and deck chairs on the promenade deck smelt (of vomit, urine, and dampness) and needed cleaning. Duty Free alcohol for purchase onboard was fairly expensive in comparison with pricing on other ships I’ve been on and probably on par with Dan Murphys. Unfortunately all shore tours in Port Douglas were cancelled due to rough seas but we were able to go ashore later in the day after the seas had settled a little. Embarkation: smooth, there wasn’t a long wait and they had a guitarist playing to entertain those waiting - a nice touch. Service: in the dining room it was mixed, sometimes ignored, sometimes slow. Great Australian Entertainment Director: Ben. Captain Ian Dockeray provided regular updates and each day would name and wish happy birthday to crew members (a lovely touch). My room stewards AJ and Michelle were lovely and always greeted me by name. Food: in the Waterfront Restaurant the cauliflower soup was excellent, the beef tip was over cooked and tough and didn’t come with vegetables (you need to order separate sides). The dinner menu was significantly reduced in the Waterfront restaurant - 3 entree choices, 3 mains and 2 salads (the rest you have to pay for). A lot of gouging for money: hotdogs, pizza, hamburgers, ice creams etc you pay extra for. The Pantry closes at 9:30 so if you want to eat later you’re forced to pay. It’s also very crowded at night and hard to find a table (they close off the back of the pantry for their pay extra restaurant Shell and Bones. The salads and soups in the buffet are delicious and fresh but the desserts are of poor quality compared to other cruise lines. No ice buckets offered for wine purchased in the Waterfront Restaurant. Bread on the second night was stale. On cocktail nights dress wasn’t enforced, a lot of passengers were wearing jeans and t-shirts in the Waterfront Restaurant. Entertainment: Soloists in the public areas were great. Production show Seven Deadly Sins, Velvet Rope and Slumber were excellent - great costumes, great sets and dancing- singing was also of a high standard but may have been due to a pre recorded sound track. The towel animal show on the last see day with the room stewards was a lot of fun. They played the Winter Olympics on the pool deck screen which was very enjoyable. Because I’ve done a few cruises, I was invited to the senior officers party, which included a complimentary photo with the Captain, canapés and drinks. I found days at sea a little boring entertainment wise. There was always trivia available but not much else. There only appeared to be a lot of up sell opportunities for the company to make extra cash eg get a flatter stomach, boost your metabolism, foot analysts, the casino and spa treatments. A matinee movie in the theatre would have been good. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We cruised on the P & O Pacific Eden on 1st December 2017 for a six-night cruise to Tasmania. We were rather worried because of all the negative reviews which we had read. Contrary to this we had a very pleasant trip when all our ... Read More
We cruised on the P & O Pacific Eden on 1st December 2017 for a six-night cruise to Tasmania. We were rather worried because of all the negative reviews which we had read. Contrary to this we had a very pleasant trip when all our expectations were exceeded. It is an old ship, but our room 'Stateroom' was very comfortable and clean. The bathroom also old with a bath to step into for a shower but clean. It was serviced every day. Our room was tidied and cleaned each day including our bed made each morning and turned down before the night. The aircon was nice and cool and we slept well each night. The crew was very helpful at all times, but I guess it always helps if there is a mutual exchange of respect. The meals were totally opposite to the negative reviews - food was always hot, and satisfying. The Pantry was our favourite...the variety was amazing! The 'Waterfront Restaurant' very nice and I feel sorry for the poor waiters carrying those burning hot plates. I have included some photos which you can judge for yourself. With taste I think there is a phenomenon of being at sea... tastes are slightly different, for example my cup of tea. using the same tea as back at home tasted not as strong. Not sure why but the food was fantastic. At the Pantry you could go for second helpings if so desired, but tried to resist and used the stairs for exercise instead of the lift. Sadly because of adverse weather, the Ship Captain made the decision to sail West and around Tasmania and to Hobart, wisely choosing passenger safety over the stop over at Port Arthur. This choice made sailing more comfortable for us. Although we missed out on Port Arthur, spending time on the ship made up for it in comfort. The shows were very entertaining, and we enjoyed the Jazz Band at the bar, the Trivia, games and activities all very good. The decks were never overcrowded. We thoroughly enjoyed our stop over at Burnie and Hobart. Our pre-booked on-line Shore Tours tickets were delivered to our room. Overall we had a great and restful holiday and don't understand why people complain so much? We recommend this cruise as a great holiday for a very affordable cost. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
6-24 August. Leaking old ship poorly maintained. During the voyage constant leaks could be seen coming from overhead Water Tanks (so we were told). Drying machines and buckets were placed in hallway (Deck 9) We were told some cabins had ... Read More
6-24 August. Leaking old ship poorly maintained. During the voyage constant leaks could be seen coming from overhead Water Tanks (so we were told). Drying machines and buckets were placed in hallway (Deck 9) We were told some cabins had damp carpets which they were trying to dry. On route to Komoda Island 16 th August the ship suddenly lurched to port (mid morning)causing concern to many passengers. The ship scraped along a coral reef so passengers were told. In the Waterfront Dining area we were finishing breakfast, suddenly cupboards and shelves were opened and china and utensils flew across the floor. Staff appeared from the galley, and started trying to sweep the broken china together. All looked very shocked, along with many passengers finishing their meal. There was a poor follow up P.A. about an hour later with an explanation “ the problem was caused due to an outgoing tide and the narrow channel the ship was in”! Constant maintenance, painting, welding etc. caused the walking deck (deck 6) to be blocked off in places. The Pantry eating area (deck 11) had water from the adjacent swimming pool wash into the food area when the ship leaned over suddenly. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was my 6th cruise in 3 years and I only booked it because I wanted to go to the Great Barrier Reef (before Lord Commander Marmalade kills it). Unfortunately this was the only cruise going at the time I could take off work. I had a ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise in 3 years and I only booked it because I wanted to go to the Great Barrier Reef (before Lord Commander Marmalade kills it). Unfortunately this was the only cruise going at the time I could take off work. I had a cabin on Deck 9 close to the middle lifts, which was a little noisy but not overly so. As I was travelling alone the room was big enough for me and I had heaps of space, not sure how it would be for a couple in a room this size (OA class of cabin). The Pantry - Sorry folks but it sucks. I understand why P&O replaced the traditional buffet (People you need to wash your hands, obvious much). The food options were awful and the variety was missing. I've been spoilt on Carnival Spirit and Legend, as they have Pizza Pirate and Guy's Burger Joint (all inclusive) you have to pay for these on the Dawn ($9.50 per pizza and $3 for a burger). Breakfast was hard for me as I like Italian style (continental) breakfasts and they didn't have much in the way of meats and cheeses, basically none at all. Main Dining Room - Food wasn't that great and weirdly they had better food on sea day lunches than they did for dinner. Desserts were woeful, both in the MDR and the Pantry. Explains why they sold so much chocolate in the shops. The entertainment staff worked hard and they could do a bit more trivia, though I was on 3 winning teams so that was great. Name that Tune was fun especially when the numb nuts would sing the title too soon (major Homer Simpson moment every night). Drinks were a bit more expensive $12 for an average cocktail (btw they are $10.50 on Carnival). There is a drinks package but as I don't drink enough to justify it I didn't buy this, but if you are a big drinker then go the package. (MSC Cruises have the best drink package of all cruise lines, just saying). Ports - The cruise went to Airlie Beach, Yorkey's Knob and Port Douglas. Overall they were ok and I had a good time. At Port Douglas the water was rough and the tender back to the ship was like a roller coaster ride, so sick bags were being handed out freely. I got soaked from the water coming into the boat which concerns me as these are also lifeboats in case of an emergency. Brisbane Cruise Port - The start and end point of the cruise and it's no longer adequate. Getting off the boat was a major trek to the pick up point for my airport transfer. I've been privileged in Sydney that exiting cruise ships is really easy. I really feel for those with walking difficulties or kids as it wouldn't be fun. Overall - I can say I've been on P&O but no I won't do it again. I'm going back to Carnival and when I want to do something special I'll save and go back on Royal Caribbean. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
1) Toilets - the public toilets on level 7 & 8 were disgusting. on many occasions I found poo and blood on the toilet seat as did my friends. I found 1 toilet blocked. I often use the public toilets and each time I never found one ... Read More
1) Toilets - the public toilets on level 7 & 8 were disgusting. on many occasions I found poo and blood on the toilet seat as did my friends. I found 1 toilet blocked. I often use the public toilets and each time I never found one clean. 2) Waterfront - the service was very slow. staff were always busy but at my lunch experience we tried to get a waiter attention just to look at the menu as we did not order our dessert with our mains and we had to wait a long time. they always appeared to try to look away. the food tasted very average I did not enjoy my lunch.I had the chicken cabiata and it was very small and had no flavour. the brownie should have been warmed as it was hard to eat cold. All serves in all restaurants were very small. Should not have to pay to have steak. We did not like the bench seating, very uncomfortable and was stupid the only bench seating in the restaurant. At our dinner there were about a dozen chairs to one side store and not being used. we asked if we could swap 4 chairs for the bench seat, we were even willing to do this ourselves. they said no too hard to do. 3) Pantry - did not like the grilled fish, was not nice and I did not like the desserts. I am not a big cake person and I did not like the flavours or the selection of the cakes and the pretend cream, not enough on the pavlova. at lunch there was food all over the pantry floor carpet under some tables that had not been cleaned from breakfast. 4) Boarding - was not happy that we could not board until 6pm as the evening was rushed getting to dinner then too tired to change into white clothes. we felt like we were ripped off not getting our full holiday experience that day. 5) Cabins - were lovely, big and clean although the my bed was not made properly, I had to redo the bottom sheet and it was crumpled and not not on the bed properly. very poor. 6) General - the quality of the food in general and the dirty toilets made the holiday and big disappointment. toilet wise - this it the reason cruise ships have gastro problems 7) Entertainment - the comedian was the best entertainment he was very funny. i did enjoy the illusionist too 8) Movies - too cold in the movie theatre. everyone was cold. i even say people carrying in blankets who previously knew. I was cold the whole time and now I have a cold. 9) Angelos - my best dining experience although I did not know how much I was paying for a glass of wine until I say my account. single glass of wine option was not on the wine list. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Food poisoning and latness so missed event cost money. Food was cold and bathroom was dirty. enough said but had good rest as was in bed from food poisoning. food was cold. Portions was toddler size so had to order two. Décor of ... Read More
Food poisoning and latness so missed event cost money. Food was cold and bathroom was dirty. enough said but had good rest as was in bed from food poisoning. food was cold. Portions was toddler size so had to order two. Décor of the boat is run down and some areas has broken light fittings at chld reach in dinning areas. Fitting was falling from roof. staff was in negative mood but not customers. Missed a trip as fog set in and because I thought that could get refund with a problem if it was book through P&O I was so wrong. When arrived 15 minutes late ATV trips said bad luck have to book later trip. I xplained that I could not and there is no refund if you don't rebook. Well a bit hard when you got food poisoning and have to return to boat. So there goes 100 bucks. Back on boat to bed, medical was cheap and gave me some pain killers which helped. Stuck in room watchin same move 5 times suxs. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
The cruise ship itself is very nice, great little lounges to have a relaxing time. The Marquee Theatre is beautiful & the shows there were wonderful. The Staff were very friendly & helpful The cabins (We had a quad share ... Read More
The cruise ship itself is very nice, great little lounges to have a relaxing time. The Marquee Theatre is beautiful & the shows there were wonderful. The Staff were very friendly & helpful The cabins (We had a quad share ocean view) were clean & quite spacious with plenty of wardrobe/draw space The Waterfront Restaurant, not enough choices, nice what we ordered BUT the table booking plan was bad. We could only book up to 5.30pm after that, come back later 8/8.30 We wanted to eat about 6.30 & see the show afterwards, so we went to the Pantry. The pantry is not working, each station had a meat dish too tough to eat & the vegetables were cold. I love desserts, but I don't like cake. Not much except cake. The windows were so salty from the start, we couldn't see out very well, Last year great fireworks in our area paid for by P & O I believe, we could see a few from the Opera house in the distance as well This year we were told, hurry out for 9.00pm fireworks, people left the deck at 9.50pm in disgust. If they had waited ten more minutes, 5 minutes of fireworks in the distance. Not much entertainment around the ship at night, very quite inside A bit disappointing, would not recommend this trip Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Went on this cruise with my family, to Airlie Beach and Surrounds, the destinations were beautiful, and the staff onboard were incredible kind and patient. Being my first cruise, honest to say it was relaxing and the seas were calm, ... Read More
Went on this cruise with my family, to Airlie Beach and Surrounds, the destinations were beautiful, and the staff onboard were incredible kind and patient. Being my first cruise, honest to say it was relaxing and the seas were calm, however on the last day it was a little choppy. Food was good, some variety, in the major restaurants the culinary techniques could be a little more sophisticated. Drinks prices were at a reasonable price. The parties were outstanding! Very lively and talented performers on the ship, especially the musicals performed, they were magnificent. Bianco and White Parties were such fun! Mixology classes/ Tequila Tastings are a must do, especially if you are hungover from the night before from the incredible parties, as was I, it really helped wake me up! We made incredible cocktails, and the best thing was that we got to drink them too! Cabins were neat and clean. But we were hardly in our room because there is so much to do and see when your onboard. Service: Shoutout to Ajay and Andrew the two cabin stewards on our level were always positive and so kind! Overall I loved cruising onboard the Pacific Aria, and I am planning another cruise! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Four night cruise from Sydney to Moreton Island. This was our second cruise, our first being nine nights to New Caledonia on Carnival Spirit in Feb 2016. Embarkation at the White Bay Container Terminal was fast and efficient. ... Read More
Four night cruise from Sydney to Moreton Island. This was our second cruise, our first being nine nights to New Caledonia on Carnival Spirit in Feb 2016. Embarkation at the White Bay Container Terminal was fast and efficient. Navigating into the carpark beforehand was more of a challenge, but we found our way in eventually (the gps was completely out of its depth). Our balcony room on level nine was roomy enough and adequate for our needs. Our luggage was delivered within a reasonable timeframe. Disembarkation was also very smooth. Dining The Pantry - crowded and stuffy. Quite often long lines for food and usually very difficult to find a place to sit. The layout makes it feel very cramped, and air con seemed to be absent at times which makes it worse. The use of round coffee tables throughout this area also detracts from the experience - low round tables with long, straight bench seats simply don't work. The food itself is of average quality, but it is a good idea how they have staff serve the food rather than self serve as this alleviates hygiene concerns. The Waterfront This is main dining room and we had two breakfasts and two dinners here. The breakfast menu is the same each day and the service was good and the food was hot. The dinner menu changes each day. The service was generally good, the meals were hot on arrival. Food quality and portion sizes were acceptable, though a little small. At our first meal there we ordered mango brûlée for dessert. Yuk. No hint of mango in this dish which consisted of a shallow dish with a thin layer of something like baked custard in it. Salt Grill $49 aud per head - bookings essential. Due to the popularity of this venue we had to accept a 5:30 booking for dinner. Food quality was very good and the service also very good. Flavoursome meals here which contrasted with the tendency towards the bland at the other restaurants. Desserts were also very good. Dragon Lady - modern Asian fusion. Very good service. Food portions were ridiculously small. Main meals would have been considered entrees anywhere else. Desserts were poor. We tried the mango with sticky rice, but again no trace of mango to be found, we also had the chocolate slice which seemed to be made from gelatin and even though it looked like chocolate, it didn't taste like it. Angelo's - Italian restaurant, others in our group had dinner there on the first night and reported that it was terrible and strongly recommended that we avoid it. So we did just that. The dining experience for us on Carnival was better across the board. There was good coffee to be had from a couple of locations -$- ocean bar on 8 and the ice creamery on 11. Entertainment In this area P&O had the edge over Carnival IMO. We really enjoyed the Blue Room with the jazz or blues band each night. Real music played by musicians has always been my preference as opposed to carbon copy cover songs. The acoustic guitar player, Troy, was very good too, playing recognizable covers but well and truly in his own style. The song and dance shows in the large auditorium were not much different to what we had seen on Carnival and are ok if you like that sort of thing. The theme nights were both great, the Gatsby Party on the second night was well attended throughout the various bars on level 8 with maybe half the people making some kind of effort at dressing in theme. Lots of dancing and even some free glasses of champagne being handed around. Would have been nice if the entertainers had dressed in theme too (I am talking about the blues band here.) The White Night party on deck 11 on the third night was great fun too. Pumping music a mixture of DJ and live band worked really well and a fair percentage of those in attendance were in white (to some extent). Steady Eddie was great on the final night. More comedy would not have gone astray. The only time we found ourselves relocating to another bar to escape an act on stage was the final night during the 'staff jam session' in the Blue Room. Not good. The Staff Most staff were attentive and cheerful, but some were decidedly not so. No eye contact and seemingly more intent in returning to other things. This was quite noticeable from day one on this ship. Carnival has a sizable edge over P&O in this area. The Cruise Our cruise started by not starting! Our departure time of 5pm came and went while we sat expectantly on the outside rear deck with cocktails in hand. Eventually an announcement came over from the captain 'on the bridge' that due to a malfunction with the electrical control system out departure would be delayed. Long story short, it took a day and a half to resolve the issue so Moreton Island was dropped from the itinerary and we cruised in the ocean for two days. All passengers were promised a full refund of their cruise fare. I am sure that many, like myself, compensated by drinking more than they may have done otherwise and this may have contributed to the enthusiastic participation and dancing on both party nights! Overall - we really enjoyed our cruise on the Pacific Eden with our group of family and friends. Highlights were the party nights and the onboard live entertainment. The bar areas were all very nice. Downsides were the food which was generally mediocre, and the unforeseen technical issues which unfortunately denied us a full day of travel. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Reasonable cruise ,great stateroom good cabin staff. The new look pantry wasnt all it was cracked up to be it did the job . No food available after 9 at night ,So if you fancy a cheese and crackers later at night you better grab what ... Read More
Reasonable cruise ,great stateroom good cabin staff. The new look pantry wasnt all it was cracked up to be it did the job . No food available after 9 at night ,So if you fancy a cheese and crackers later at night you better grab what they have early and take to your room for later. Burgers were extra cost Pizzas were extra cost Waterfront main dining room was OK ,but different table every night ,so same old questions. Food in waterfront ** stars . Shows were good but obscure music /songs ..cast were great. Canned music for shows no live band on stage . Seating was not the best only if you got there early some of the chairs in atrium 3 floors need to go on a bonfire ,arms with grease and sweat .Did try Luke Mangans Salt grill now that was good . to many uncontrolled brats Drinking for a great part of the passengers started early .Wonder they werent drunk most of the day . pool area one for kids other for adults ..Two spas about the size of dinner table HOGGED by kids. A cruise that was really for the teens to early 30's Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I had read so many divergent reviews for Pacific Aria, I wasn't sure what to expect. I can see how it gets both rave and scathing reviews. it depends on your expectations. Dining Much better than I expected. The pantry does seem ... Read More
I had read so many divergent reviews for Pacific Aria, I wasn't sure what to expect. I can see how it gets both rave and scathing reviews. it depends on your expectations. Dining Much better than I expected. The pantry does seem a bit like a suburban food court. But some of is quite nice. Some of the mexican and indian is quite good. It depends on the day. Sometimes it is quite bland. the waterfront is quite good. As other people have written the servings are quite small. I found Angelos quite disappointing. Although they did have nice gnocchi. Dragon was really, really good. We ate here twice. The real highlight was Luke Mangan's salt grill. One of the best meals I have ever had. The scallops and crab omelette are simply stunning. However, as much as I loved his signature dish, the lime and liquorice parfait, its not for everyone. Cabin It was fairly small but the bed was really good. My partner didn't like the pillows. I thought cabins needed a bar fridge. Ports and shore excursions As lots of people have previously written, you have to be patient. it seemingly takes hours to get everyone on and off the boat. it can be frustrating that we heard you need an disembarking card in Noumea. But then later saw a sign saying that if you had booked an excursion you didn't need a card. Then the next day in Mare we thought we don't need an embarkation card only to find out from other people you do. P & O really need to do something about this. The chou chou train was really good. However we got to Noumea on a Sunday and everything was closed. The beach at Mare is really special. I wouldn't say it compares to Fraser island or Cable Beach, Broome but it does have the relaxed South Pacific vibe. Port Vila, what can you say but dreadlock holiday by 10cc will go through your mind. the women look quite open and friendly. The men look sullen, stoned and not so friendly. The in your face "lets rip off the rich westerners" schtich as soon as you get off the boat onto the wharf can be a bit confronting. Misc Get the unlimited alcohol card. However you can only get drinks for $!2 or less and only one every 10 minutes. So even after drinking all day you will go to bed sober. And yes the boat rocks. I would do another cruise. Not in Australia but in Europe. My partner says she would never do another cruise. I guess it depends if you don't mind being surrounded by loud hordes of people all the time. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Been on 4 previous P&O cruises, which were fabulous. Waterfront restaurant food on the Aria was mediocre at best. Lots of dishes were over seasoned, especially with salt. Burnt desserts, hot food was served luke warm & cold food ... Read More
Been on 4 previous P&O cruises, which were fabulous. Waterfront restaurant food on the Aria was mediocre at best. Lots of dishes were over seasoned, especially with salt. Burnt desserts, hot food was served luke warm & cold food was served luke warm. Extremely disappointed. Pantry was better than the old serve yourself, but staff would not put food on the same plate at different stations. Makes it extremely difficult to juggle 3 plates, cutlery & a cuppa when your trying to find a seat. Average age on this cruise was at least 65. So many wheely walkers it was hard to get into a lift, made me take the stairs (which was a hidden bonus). My companion had a broken foot & the stairs were still the best option. Don't expect to get a seat around the pool on Lido deck, for some reason people decided to use the couches as beds all day every day. So seating for up to 14 was taken up by 3 people, in numerous sections. Butterflys on the carpet, don't make up for happy, friendly staff who can speak English well enough to understand you & converse. Staff at the Pantry had such limited English they couldn't tell you what was in the dish. Not great for anyone with food allergies. Room Stewards were fabulous on this ship. Entertainment was mostly comedians. Some definitely need to get a real job, heaps of people walked out of these shows. Musical shows were good. Didn't like the layout of the ship. Had to go up or down a floor to get to Waterfront if you were at the front of the ship. Bars on the same deck as cabins, walking deck & smoking area on same deck as cabins. Blue room extremely noisy & very dark. Ocean Bar was nice, but always crowded with trivia contestants. Trivia was a cruise long thing, so you had to be there the first day. So other contestants told us. Bingo $30 a day, 5 games low prizes. Dome was great for a relax provided they weren't having jazzercise, pilates or tap dancing classes in there. Would not sail on the Aria again. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Just back from a 4 night cruise on the Pacific Aria - we specifically chose a 4 night due to the negative reviews here and we didn't want to be stuck on a boat we hated for a long time. First up - Aria is a beautiful ship, the ... Read More
Just back from a 4 night cruise on the Pacific Aria - we specifically chose a 4 night due to the negative reviews here and we didn't want to be stuck on a boat we hated for a long time. First up - Aria is a beautiful ship, the makeover has been done extremely well and the interiors, especially the public areas have been done beautifully. The staterooms have been given a makeover with new beds, which are fresh and comfortable, the built in robes do show some signs of wear but nothing to worry about. We found the staff to be friendly and helpful, of course some are still finding their feet, but all in all we were very happy with service. Food sometimes was a little cold, in both the waterfront restaurant and also from the Mexican restaurant in the pantry, but sometimes Mexican meat gets cold fast. We were surprise how much we liked the pantry, especially since we dislike buffets in general and steered well clear in our last cruise. Waterfront is a beautiful restaurant and there are a Good selection of choices available, we especially liked the theme specials that differed each evening, Dragon lady also has an amazing ambience, however food here was lukewarm at best, with dishes not having good flavour or simply just lacking something. Soft shell crab was too greasy, the beef cheek was served sliced which was disappointing when expecting a chunk of beef cheek. Salt grill is exceptional, excellent service and the food was the best on the ship. Highly recommended. The bars on the Aria are great - they are small and cosy and so much better than the larger bar concepts from the older p&o ships. Entertainment was fantastic, with live acoustic singers - the piano guy Anthony in Mix and Gordon guitar in casino bar were exceptionally good. The pacific show and music from the Gatsby party was outstanding. We bought the thermal suite package which was great, however the aromatherapy room only functioned one day and the men's sauna was off cold one day. Both issues were rectified by Amber the spa manager who was helpful and apologetic. The only major issue we had on the cruise was our toilet not flushing. We reported it to the cabin steward, and also followed up with reception and nothing was done. 3 days in we complained to a manager who followed up, and on the final day we eventually got a response that someone had looked into the toilet and it as working - it wasn't. The most frustrating thing wa she lack of response from anyone about the issue. It took 4 days just to get someone to tell us they had looked at the issue. Not sure how anyone can know what is being done when there doesn't seem to be a linked computer system on the ship with notes linked to each cabin? Biggest thing was we didn't want to let that issue spoil our cruise. Overall, Aria is a beautiful ship and the crew, although new, are doing a fantastic job. We met people who had been on the inaugural voyage and also said the improvements were a 180 turnaround, initial negatives were mainly resolved. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This is my third visit via P & O to the South Pacific and the destinations were the calling card along with a great price. Talked into it by my travel agent at the last minute, hence the price, but the South Pacific is a wonderful ... Read More
This is my third visit via P & O to the South Pacific and the destinations were the calling card along with a great price. Talked into it by my travel agent at the last minute, hence the price, but the South Pacific is a wonderful place to go. Our Ship the Pacific Jewel at 70,000 gross tonnes, is not small and provides many activities and entertainment /dining options. I will dispense with list as P & O obviously have that info for you on their website etc. Pros & Cons together then: The embarkation ( of 2,000 of us) was handled with efficient ease from check in to gangway, and long as you have yourself organised , its easy to do. Cabin was clean tidy and welcoming , ocean view forward location. Cabin Steward was helpful and obliging. Theme nights were not widely advertised pre cruise so wing it there, and maybe do your homework with your TA. This cruise had the unexpected feature of being a wedding cruise for the brother ( and soon to be sister in-law) of the cruise director , romantic to many , but the said Cruise Director , Sandy, laid it on thick and loud and brash. Selling carpets previously I suspect. If he yelled 'BINGO' on the ships PA system one more time... anyway, the wedding was apparently nice and took the place of the Captains Cocktail Party evidently, as it wasn't held this time, senior hospitality staff informed me. Food quality varied each day from below average to very good in The Pantry ( cruise included dining) . The Waterfront ( five star dining) cuisine was excellent. The eminent arrival of Cyclone Winston while we were in the area, caused a change to our itinerary which was Mystery Island to become Champagne Bay Espirto Santo. I took the independent tours on shore at Noumea & Vantuau as these are cheaper and more personal. First time cruisers might want to take ship booked shore tours as a up front try. If your adventurous , save your money. The Islands of New Caledonia & Vanuatu are beautiful, safe and very interesting. Enjoy them. Cabin TV was poor this time, in picture quality, and the Cruise channel had the TV Guide which was hard to use. Hard copy print as an option would be better. The looping Documentary of P & Os history while interesting the first couple of time was annoying by the four day. TV on demand should be installed with better sets. Photos and Videos on board , take your own, the package is not worth the high cost. Get roaming on your phone and the internet is still extortionate in cost. Drinks cost are about the same as Pub/ club prices in Australia. Avoid the Beverage package unless you think you can drink $80 plus worth of alcohol a day , every day! hmmmm. But the Bar staff were very hospitable and efficient. Take a cheery disposition with you in all, heard and saw some couples squabbling, not on a cruise please!? The young people seem to behave themselves better than some seniors. (sigh) . Anyway a three star outing for P & O this time. OK cruise with some improvement needed here and there. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
I was very impressed with the boarding at Hamilton harbour. I have been on 21 cruises since 2008 from 2 star to 6 star cruise ships all over the world, this was the fastest and easiest boarding i have ever done in 20 minutes from the ... Read More
I was very impressed with the boarding at Hamilton harbour. I have been on 21 cruises since 2008 from 2 star to 6 star cruise ships all over the world, this was the fastest and easiest boarding i have ever done in 20 minutes from the entrance to the terminal to my cabin. I was having lunch in 50 minutes. The ship, I found to be well presented and maintained since being refurbished. My outside cabin was clean and well presented. Very comfortable. A medium size ship with 1600 passengers was not crowded, well staffed with no cues and well serviced. The staff were friendly, helpful and gave excellent service. It was the most Ozzie cruise with a range of ages and not the foating nursing home that you usually get. Lots of families, kids and young people. Polite, friendly happy, no hassles or complainers that I came across. Food was hit and miss the Pantry was a served Bistro where the menu was much the same every day and ordinary but OK. The Waterfont Restarant was the main dining room, the service was ok and the menu was good and bad. You had to book for the speciality reataraunts such as Angleos( Italian) and Dragon Light ( Asian) I didn't try the although most people were happy with the meals. Entertainment was good with a good selection of bar entertainment and main shows. If you want a good value family cruise holiday then this was great value, I don't know what people are whinging about. I enjoyed this cruise and would recommend it. Read Less
56 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Here’s my experience! :) I’m 24 and this was my first cruise and my first time going out of Australia. I went with my two best friends, one whom had already been on the same cruise, and the other had already been to Vanuatu. We ... Read More
Here’s my experience! :) I’m 24 and this was my first cruise and my first time going out of Australia. I went with my two best friends, one whom had already been on the same cruise, and the other had already been to Vanuatu. We departed from Brisbane, and I had parked my car at portside parking, it was affordable and convenient. Check in was easy and didn’t take long, we were the stowaways, so check in was around 12-12:30pm I think. You get your picture taken and you receive a cruise card which is your everything once you’re on the ship! It’s your room key and your money. You put cash onto the card or you can set it up with a debit or credit card. I used cash. There are computers near the reception desk to check your balance. Once we were on the ship, I remember being really nervous and excited! Shortly after boarding, we had to assemble in our designated areas in a case of emergency; ours was the casino, with your life jacket to listen to instructions of what to do in an emergency situation. Your stewards inform you once you get to your room where you have to go etc. After that was finished it was time to explore! We headed straight for the top deck for the sail away party and a few celebratory drinks! It was magical, leaving Brisbane and seeing the city and the beautiful blue water. It was fun going underneath the bridge and the horn sounding (it was so loud haha). Drinks At first I had XXXX gold beer that was about $6 from memory; you just swipe your card. Spirits from $7 to $9. Cocktails from $10 to $20. We were lucky enough to be able to purchase an alcoholic beverage package. It cost around $70 per day and you can only buy it on the 1st or 2nd day of the cruise and it’s for the whole duration of the cruise. So I paid $480 (approx.), the deal is unlimited drinks, to the value of $12 (which is perfect, beers, cocktails and spirits are all within this range), only one drink at a time and you cannot buy for other people. DEFINITELY BUY THE PACKAGE IF IT IS AVAILABLE! It saves a lot of money. When you are kicking back on the deck having a cocktail, a glass of wine with dinner or several, or in the Dome having a night out dancing and enjoying a rum ($8-$9), it all adds up. I definitely got a benefit out of the package. Great job P & O for offering it! Oh and this package includes, coffee, bottles of water (not the big ones in your room though) and soft drinks. There is also a soft drink package for like $50 (from memory), unlimited soft drink, great if you don’t drink alcohol or for the kids etc. The Ship I’m use to the sea because I love fishing and going out on boats etc but I did take quick eze on two occasions (one when we first boarded and one on the way back to Brisbane – the weather was so rough!) It was easy to navigate around the ship, elevators were slow though because of the amount of people obviously, so we would take the stairs often, great exercise though to burn off the delicious food and beverages! On the first day we did the treasure hunt, had to go to multiple places on the ship and get staff to sign off, then once completed, cards were drawn out and people won prizes. Some great prizes hey, I ended up winning a massage to the value of $120. AMAZING! The beauty place is expensive but if you’re into pampering yourself or even Botox, it’s all available at a cost. Room We were on deck 10, inside room (no view). Loved it, great choice. And not far from an elevator too. It cost us each $780 approx. Food The plantation is a buffet style restaurant – we used this for breakfast or for a quick bite to eat for lunch sometimes (they prepare rolls and sandwiches etc and we use to just take them with us). However, this is at the back of the ship and my gosh you can feel the waves haha and you can see the ship going up and down, I was a bit queasy eating here but if you went out on the balcony (if you could find a seat) it was enjoyable, the fresh air made it better. The Waterfront Restaurant was our favourite place to eat. Breakfast was only ok, a bit unorganised. Lunch was alright, the same again. However dinner was amazing! We booked each night for 8pm, you can choose to share a table with strangers or just get one for your group. I loved the menu and there is a huge variety. Entrée, main and desserts are available and you can choose whatever and how many you want! All included in your cost. Staff We were soooo happy with majority of the staff, our stewards were fantastic and polite (everyone says good morning and afternoon). They made us several towel animals haha. But the most memorable (they helped make our trip amazing) were our waiters in the Waterfront restaurant. Elma and Mervyn, we wrote them great feedback on the cruise and tipped them. We asked to sit in their area every night. You will definitely find staff that remember you and make you feel welcomed! Activities Plenty to do! I thought that I’d be relaxing on the deck all the time sipping away on cocktails, tanning for the whole duration! Oh no! There are soooo many activities to do during the day and night! It was fantastic. You get the daily schedule the night before and we were actually planning our day out so we could attend certain things and schedule it around meal times etc. I like golf and they actually had chipping and putting games, just a bit of fun. You do can as much as you like or as little as you like, it’s really up to you. And certain things are repeated so you can go another time. The big entertainment shows were good, singing and dancing stuff. The staff are so talented!! I love the comedy nights (adults only), celebrity heads, I can’t remember the name of it but it was a game where 4 staff had to tell us the definition of word and we had to guess who was correct – it was so funny! Willy the entertainment director is hilarious haha. There’s even a casino with roulette, poker, black jack and poker machines. They have bingo too! Big jackpots as well. Shore Tours We pre-reserved ours. Two stops we used the gangway and in Lifou we had to use Tender boats to get on shore. They were easy and quick for us. Noumea – was the first stop – think we got there at 3pm and had to be back on the ship on 9pm We used their currency which is Franc and you can exchange money on the ship or in Noumea when you get off. In Noumea is a better exchange rate. I was a bit disappointed in this place, we didn’t go out of the town, we stayed in the middle and walked everywhere, went to see the churches etc, hardly any shops were open (siesta or something or maybe people are broke and heaps of shops are closed), I tried some kind of beef mince spring roll which was nice, oh and the main park has free wifi, youll see heaps of locals chilling around, that’s why probably . We did the night chou chou train – which departed at 5pm or so and it arrives in time to get back on the boat, It was great, you get to see all the different bays and stories etc – and you get a quick snack and drink Lifou – We used the Franc again, got there in the morning and think we had to be back on by the afternoon (can’t exactly remember) When you get on shore there are markets set up and food, I had a Panini and fresh coconut. Oh and also tried their Number One beer (that’s what it’s called haha) tasted like a mid to me We walked to the church up on the hill, amazing views, great panoramic shots Definitely pre-reserve the jinek bay snorkelling at Lifou. There are limited places and heaps of people missed out. It was beautiful! I loved it. We took our own snorkelling gear and reef walkers (you can hire them but I wouldn’t) make sure you have a waterproof camera, some awesome photo opportunities Port Villa – Used Australian money, you got the day to enjoy it had to be back on the ship by 4pm or so. In the harbour it is sooo beautiful from up on the ship. When you get off the ship, you go to the right to go wait for the shore tours (it’s not far). You go to the left to go into town. We did the Ocean Walk shore tour, that was great, I was nervous at first but it was excellent. Just make sure you take your waterproof camera though, the people take photos which you can buy but they also take pictures on your camera for you. You get to feed the fish and touch sea cucumbers etc I loved it. Now haha when you want to go into town, be prepared to be shocked! You are immediately confronted by the taxi men who want to take you. We paid $10 which is good. The driving is insane! You’ll understand once you’re there haha. We got dropped off in the main street and walked to the duty free shop! We bought our alcohol and they transport it to the ship for you and you collect it on the last morning of the ship. We then went to the Jungle Café which has free wifi when you purchase something! If you wanted to connect to the world, you could go here. I tried there tusker beer and I really liked it. MOST IMPORTANTLY (well for me anyways) haha People have lizards and they put them on you and charge you to take a picture! I’m so glad my friends warned me, I was freaking out! My eyes were peeled for these people and multiple times I screamed when they approached haha, although there was a beautiful green one! I admired it from afar haha I’m not sure if it was lack of sleep or what, but I was very keen to get back on the boat. It was maybe overwhelming, the markets are packed and the shops with food and souvenirs and people. Word of advice, buy souvenirs from the town and not at the markets near the ship. It is much much cheaper to buy in town. E.g. fake Oakley sunnies cost me $5 from in town. At the markets near the ship they wanted $25. On the way back to the boat, we got a water taxi – I loved it! Paid $15 for the three of us. I love the water and it was beautiful. Once on the ship we were on the adult’s only deck, sipping cocktails, watching the sun setting, waiting to sail away (watching people running back to the ship who were late hahaha). Other After vila it’s like a two day journey back to Brisbane – and wow, was it choppy! You could absolutely feel it and every now and then the whole ship would shudder. In the waterfront restaurant, the cupboards and draws were opening and closing, that’s how rough it was. Crazy! On bad weather days they close off the top decks and the side decks for safety reasons obviously. Oh and deck 7 on one side is the smokers deck or there’s one up on deck 13 in a corner near the Dome. The dome is the night club. The DJ was pretty terrible for the first few nights, but then the last two nights he actually let a good song play. Oh KARAOKE! There are some talented people, I tell you. My friend and I sung on the first night after a bit of Dutch courage haha but karaoke is on every night. Bars There are different bars, different vibes etc. You’ll work it out which one you enjoy the most. TIP! If you are on the top deck and the bar near the pools is BUSY AS! Go to the dome and get your drinks there, so much quieter, quicker and not far to walk. Parties We had a white party, Gatsby and back to school. Every night is just a big party really, if you want it to be. On these themed parties, staff come out and dance for a bit Although we did speak with an older couple who were staying on one of the upper decks and they could hear the music. So keep that in mind when booking. Gatsby was the BEST! Definitely dress up, it is good fun. Photos There is always a photographer out and about. Before you get on the ship you can get a picture, when you get off on every shore tour, on cocktail nights and on party nights. Definitely get your photos taken and then go check them out. E.g It costs like $120 for 4 pictures, get one free. Plus many many more options. It’s pricey but hey, some of the pictures turn out amazing! And a great way to remember the cruise! Getting off/Duty Free Items We had to collect our duty free at 6:30am I think, we had breakfast afterwards though You get a time and place to meet to get off the ship, ours was ahead of schedule and was easy as. Finding our luggage was easy too. All of this is explained in booklets that you receive the night before Overall The company I had, my two best friends, definitely made the trip! Everything else was amazing and I’m definitely going on another. I’m going to do the New Zealand cruise. :) Go on a cruise and enjoy it! I hope you have just as an amazing time as I did. It caters for everyone! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Here’s my experience! :) I’m 24 and this was my first cruise and my first time going out of Australia. I went with my two best friends, one whom had already been on the same cruise, and the other had already been to Vanuatu. We ... Read More
Here’s my experience! :) I’m 24 and this was my first cruise and my first time going out of Australia. I went with my two best friends, one whom had already been on the same cruise, and the other had already been to Vanuatu. We departed from Brisbane, and I had parked my car at portside parking, it was affordable and convenient. Check in was easy and didn’t take long, we were the stowaways, so check in was around 12-12:30pm I think. You get your picture taken and you receive a cruise card which is your everything once you’re on the ship! It’s your room key and your money. You put cash onto the card or you can set it up with a debit or credit card. I used cash. There are computers near the reception desk to check your balance. Once we were on the ship, I remember being really nervous and excited! Shortly after boarding, we had to assemble in our designated areas in a case of emergency; ours was the casino, with your life jacket to listen to instructions of what to do in an emergency situation. Your stewards inform you once you get to your room where you have to go etc. After that was finished it was time to explore! We headed straight for the top deck for the sail away party and a few celebratory drinks! It was magical, leaving Brisbane and seeing the city and the beautiful blue water. It was fun going underneath the bridge and the horn sounding (it was so loud haha). Drinks At first I had XXXX gold beer that was about $6 from memory; you just swipe your card. Spirits from $7 to $9. Cocktails from $10 to $20. We were lucky enough to be able to purchase an alcoholic beverage package. It cost around $70 per day and you can only buy it on the 1st or 2nd day of the cruise and it’s for the whole duration of the cruise. So I paid $480 (approx.), the deal is unlimited drinks, to the value of $12 (which is perfect, beers, cocktails and spirits are all within this range), only one drink at a time and you cannot buy for other people. DEFINITELY BUY THE PACKAGE IF IT IS AVAILABLE! It saves a lot of money. When you are kicking back on the deck having a cocktail, a glass of wine with dinner or several, or in the Dome having a night out dancing and enjoying a rum ($8-$9), it all adds up. I definitely got a benefit out of the package. Great job P & O for offering it! Oh and this package includes, coffee, bottles of water (not the big ones in your room though) and soft drinks. There is also a soft drink package for like $50 (from memory), unlimited soft drink, great if you don’t drink alcohol or for the kids etc. The Ship I’m use to the sea because I love fishing and going out on boats etc but I did take quick eze on two occasions (one when we first boarded and one on the way back to Brisbane – the weather was so rough!) It was easy to navigate around the ship, elevators were slow though because of the amount of people obviously, so we would take the stairs often, great exercise though to burn off the delicious food and beverages! On the first day we did the treasure hunt, had to go to multiple places on the ship and get staff to sign off, then once completed, cards were drawn out and people won prizes. Some great prizes hey, I ended up winning a massage to the value of $120. AMAZING! The beauty place is expensive but if you’re into pampering yourself or even Botox, it’s all available at a cost. Room We were on deck 10, inside room (no view). Loved it, great choice. And not far from an elevator too. It cost us each $780 approx. Food The plantation is a buffet style restaurant – we used this for breakfast or for a quick bite to eat for lunch sometimes (they prepare rolls and sandwiches etc and we use to just take them with us). However, this is at the back of the ship and my gosh you can feel the waves haha and you can see the ship going up and down, I was a bit queasy eating here but if you went out on the balcony (if you could find a seat) it was enjoyable, the fresh air made it better. The Waterfront Restaurant was our favourite place to eat. Breakfast was only ok, a bit unorganised. Lunch was alright, the same again. However dinner was amazing! We booked each night for 8pm, you can choose to share a table with strangers or just get one for your group. I loved the menu and there is a huge variety. Entrée, main and desserts are available and you can choose whatever and how many you want! All included in your cost. Staff We were soooo happy with majority of the staff, our stewards were fantastic and polite (everyone says good morning and afternoon). They made us several towel animals haha. But the most memorable (they helped make our trip amazing) were our waiters in the Waterfront restaurant. Elma and Mervyn, we wrote them great feedback on the cruise and tipped them. We asked to sit in their area every night. You will definitely find staff that remember you and make you feel welcomed! Activities Plenty to do! I thought that I’d be relaxing on the deck all the time sipping away on cocktails, tanning for the whole duration! Oh no! There are soooo many activities to do during the day and night! It was fantastic. You get the daily schedule the night before and we were actually planning our day out so we could attend certain things and schedule it around meal times etc. I like golf and they actually had chipping and putting games, just a bit of fun. You do can as much as you like or as little as you like, it’s really up to you. And certain things are repeated so you can go another time. The big entertainment shows were good, singing and dancing stuff. The staff are so talented!! I love the comedy nights (adults only), celebrity heads, I can’t remember the name of it but it was a game where 4 staff had to tell us the definition of word and we had to guess who was correct – it was so funny! Willy the entertainment director is hilarious haha. There’s even a casino with roulette, poker, black jack and poker machines. They have bingo too! Big jackpots as well. Shore Tours We pre-reserved ours. Two stops we used the gangway and in Lifou we had to use Tender boats to get on shore. They were easy and quick for us. Noumea – was the first stop – think we got there at 3pm and had to be back on the ship on 9pm We used their currency which is Franc and you can exchange money on the ship or in Noumea when you get off. In Noumea is a better exchange rate. I was a bit disappointed in this place, we didn’t go out of the town, we stayed in the middle and walked everywhere, went to see the churches etc, hardly any shops were open (siesta or something or maybe people are broke and heaps of shops are closed), I tried some kind of beef mince spring roll which was nice, oh and the main park has free wifi, youll see heaps of locals chilling around, that’s why probably . We did the night chou chou train – which departed at 5pm or so and it arrives in time to get back on the boat, It was great, you get to see all the different bays and stories etc – and you get a quick snack and drink Lifou – We used the Franc again, got there in the morning and think we had to be back on by the afternoon (can’t exactly remember) When you get on shore there are markets set up and food, I had a Panini and fresh coconut. Oh and also tried their Number One beer (that’s what it’s called haha) tasted like a mid to me We walked to the church up on the hill, amazing views, great panoramic shots Definitely pre-reserve the jinek bay snorkelling at Lifou. There are limited places and heaps of people missed out. It was beautiful! I loved it. We took our own snorkelling gear and reef walkers (you can hire them but I wouldn’t) make sure you have a waterproof camera, some awesome photo opportunities Port Villa – Used Australian money, you got the day to enjoy it had to be back on the ship by 4pm or so. In the harbour it is sooo beautiful from up on the ship. When you get off the ship, you go to the right to go wait for the shore tours (it’s not far). You go to the left to go into town. We did the Ocean Walk shore tour, that was great, I was nervous at first but it was excellent. Just make sure you take your waterproof camera though, the people take photos which you can buy but they also take pictures on your camera for you. You get to feed the fish and touch sea cucumbers etc I loved it. Now haha when you want to go into town, be prepared to be shocked! You are immediately confronted by the taxi men who want to take you. We paid $10 which is good. The driving is insane! You’ll understand once you’re there haha. We got dropped off in the main street and walked to the duty free shop! We bought our alcohol and they transport it to the ship for you and you collect it on the last morning of the ship. We then went to the Jungle Café which has free wifi when you purchase something! If you wanted to connect to the world, you could go here. I tried there tusker beer and I really liked it. MOST IMPORTANTLY (well for me anyways) haha People have lizards and they put them on you and charge you to take a picture! I’m so glad my friends warned me, I was freaking out! My eyes were peeled for these people and multiple times I screamed when they approached haha, although there was a beautiful green one! I admired it from afar haha I’m not sure if it was lack of sleep or what, but I was very keen to get back on the boat. It was maybe overwhelming, the markets are packed and the shops with food and souvenirs and people. Word of advice, buy souvenirs from the town and not at the markets near the ship. It is much much cheaper to buy in town. E.g. fake Oakley sunnies cost me $5 from in town. At the markets near the ship they wanted $25. On the way back to the boat, we got a water taxi – I loved it! Paid $15 for the three of us. I love the water and it was beautiful. Once on the ship we were on the adult’s only deck, sipping cocktails, watching the sun setting, waiting to sail away (watching people running back to the ship who were late hahaha). Other After vila it’s like a two day journey back to Brisbane – and wow, was it choppy! You could absolutely feel it and every now and then the whole ship would shudder. In the waterfront restaurant, the cupboards and draws were opening and closing, that’s how rough it was. Crazy! On bad weather days they close off the top decks and the side decks for safety reasons obviously. Oh and deck 7 on one side is the smokers deck or there’s one up on deck 13 in a corner near the Dome. The dome is the night club. The DJ was pretty terrible for the first few nights, but then the last two nights he actually let a good song play. Oh KARAOKE! There are some talented people, I tell you. My friend and I sung on the first night after a bit of Dutch courage haha but karaoke is on every night. Bars There are different bars, different vibes etc. You’ll work it out which one you enjoy the most. TIP! If you are on the top deck and the bar near the pools is BUSY AS! Go to the dome and get your drinks there, so much quieter, quicker and not far to walk. Parties We had a white party, Gatsby and back to school. Every night is just a big party really, if you want it to be. On these themed parties, staff come out and dance for a bit Although we did speak with an older couple who were staying on one of the upper decks and they could hear the music. So keep that in mind when booking. Gatsby was the BEST! Definitely dress up, it is good fun. Photos There is always a photographer out and about. Before you get on the ship you can get a picture, when you get off on every shore tour, on cocktail nights and on party nights. Definitely get your photos taken and then go check them out. E.g It costs like $120 for 4 pictures, get one free. Plus many many more options. It’s pricey but hey, some of the pictures turn out amazing! And a great way to remember the cruise! Getting off/Duty Free Items We had to collect our duty free at 6:30am I think, we had breakfast afterwards though You get a time and place to meet to get off the ship, ours was ahead of schedule and was easy as. Finding our luggage was easy too. All of this is explained in booklets that you receive the night before Overall The company I had, my two best friends, definitely made the trip! Everything else was amazing and I’m definitely going on another. I’m going to do the New Zealand cruise. :) Go on a cruise and enjoy it! I hope you have just as an amazing time as I did. It caters for everyone! Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
I really wanted to take the time to write this review about the pacific dawn after reading so many negative comments. We have just enjoyed a fantastic holiday which for is after travelling the world extensively, was all positive. I was ... Read More
I really wanted to take the time to write this review about the pacific dawn after reading so many negative comments. We have just enjoyed a fantastic holiday which for is after travelling the world extensively, was all positive. I was actually quite scared after reading all the comments here about pacific dawn yet we loved it. My three year old was treated like a prince, I actually had blissful moments alone just staring at the sea and my husband had a great time around the pool deck listening to live music with a beer. We met a great variety of people - all lovely - no yobbos at all as I have previously read on this site. The entertainment was fantastic- ports of call were as expected after doing my own research and the food was brilliant. I'm celiac so can not be more grateful for the beautiful gluten free food the chefs and wait staff bent over backwards to provide for me. There was a variety of people from young to old and I'm between. My little boy wouldn't stay in the kids club yet not from lack of the gorgeous staff and fun activities. It was a family holiday so we were happy to be together. After all the negative reviews I really have to say you simply get what you pay for. We grabbed a bargain with a free upgrade to level 9 with an oceanview cabin and it was great. The whole shop is immaculate regardless of the fact it is older and no it's not five star or brand new. This did not affect our time on this boat at all. The beds are comfortable. The staff are extremely happy, beautiful people who will do anything for you and even made my little boy towel animals every night. A glass of wine is $8 for a house merlot yet that's the same price you pay at a restaurant. Plus for a bargain holiday with all food provided what do you expect. The theme nights are good fun. The photos are ok yet expensive plus a hassle to find but hey. That's part of the deal. The whole cruise was actually a really beautiful experience. Something I recommend everyone to do young old or in between. There really is something for everyone. I loved the freedom of being at sad and having no phone or internet yet if you want it there is an Internet cafe. All the food outlets that charge a fee are extremely reasonable. We were so happy with the restaurant food we only went for an ice cream or coffee here and there. The activities on board are what they are. Either get involved or don't. We loved the children's family nightclub dance and the pool deck parties. And no we didn't go wild yet I really loved we could hang out together as a family in the fresh air as we sailed off from noumea with a glass of red. It's a really happy holiday and the fact you can just get in and relax with children is heaven. So for me no whinging to share. We will grab another trip on p&o anytime. Thank you for everything pacific dawn. We truely appreciate your efforts to make our holiday a great one. Stop thinking about it and just book it. You might even grab yourself a last minute pack and go deal like we did. Oh and the tours on the boat are expensive so do your research and plan ahead or book your own. Enjoy. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise