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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Went on my first cruise and booked 12 months ago with a $1 deposit and had a wonderful cruise. Yes it’s a old ship and yes there are a few things that can be fixed but the ship was really great and the staff where nice and friendly ... Read More
Went on my first cruise and booked 12 months ago with a $1 deposit and had a wonderful cruise. Yes it’s a old ship and yes there are a few things that can be fixed but the ship was really great and the staff where nice and friendly and always there to help. The embarkation was very smooth and was very quick. Got the ferry from darling Harbour to white bay and had a check in time at 1.30 and was on the ship about 2.pm We then had nice lunch at the pantry. Ate far to much food the whole time and had a free soft drink package which was great Disembarkation was also a breeze. Got up at 6 and had breakfast and was off the ship at 8.30. Weather was really unkind to us as we had really rough weather and the had to cancel Port Arthur and go around the west coast of Tasmania which was really nice Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We have travelled on four cruises (3 with Princess) before this one so we weren't new to cruising and perhaps had certain standards to judge this one against. Although the cruise lines are very similar in many respects and their standards ... Read More
We have travelled on four cruises (3 with Princess) before this one so we weren't new to cruising and perhaps had certain standards to judge this one against. Although the cruise lines are very similar in many respects and their standards comparable. We found a few differences (some good/some bad) between them). Here are some: . Our embarkation and disembarkation procedures werre much quicker on P&O with almost no wait times, unlike on Princess (although this may have also been to the cruise not being as popular a one). . The buffet restaruant in Princess is much better as: you can serve yourself in most areas and so have greater portion control, you aren't waiting to be served so it is much quicker, there is a greater variet of foods e.g. salads, there is more seating available. . The gift shop has a greater range of souvenirs on Princess and destination shirts which are available and often discounted later in the cruise. This wasn't the case on the P&O one. . There appeared to be less open deck areas where you could go for some fresh air on P&O. . The service in the formal restaurant, the waterfront on P&O was definitely and less attentive on P&O with drinks refilling and waiter service considerably slower. Also the supposed dress code which was present on some nights was enforced inconsistently with some people being refused entry for wearing shorts, while others were allowed in wearing shorts and t-shirts. When this was brought up with the maitre d, they claimed it was because some diners couldn't understand English well. We saw some underdressed people who were clearly aussies so this wasn't always the case. . The booking system for the formal restaurant is poor with you having to line up for a long time to indicate that you wished to dine there at the beginning of the cruise. This resulted in the rediculous situation of one passenger arranging bookings for 16 people and caused a delay of nearly 30 minutes! On Princess, passengers simply nominate a booking time before the cruise and they need to do nothing other than show up to eat. The P&O system does mean you get to meet more people, but we found on Princess that we got to know the people on our table well. The onboard ship activities were enjoyable, although it would have been nice if they could have shown movies in the theatre such as how they do on Princess during the day, considering the theatre is largely unnused then. Also some scheduled activities were cancelled without notice which wasted time. . Before our cruise we were offered a room upgrade for a very cheap price, which we have never had with Princess so this was much appreciated. . On P&O cruises you have to pay extra to choose your own room. This isn't the case on Princess as within certain categories such as interior/exterior, deck, ship position e.g. forward or midship you can choose your own cabin. On Princess selecting a cabin beforehand means that when you are choosing a potential cabin you can be aware of potential issues in regards to its location. It is also reassuring to see that you have a cabin designated for you. On P&O cruises we found out that the website cruise control which is your interface with P&O has inaccuate information. The site claims that you can print your tickets and documentation 2 weeks before the cruise date. This includes your cabin number which is when it is meant to be allocated to you. Upon contacting P&O regarding a cruise which we are taking just before the end of 2017, we found out that this isn't the case and that instead cabins are allocated any time from 2 weeks until the day before the departure date! This is extremely unsatisfactory and creates unneccesary anxiety regarding printing and preparing documentation such as tickets. Yes their system does allow for potential upgrades but it is unneccessarily inefficient. Overall we would like to say that if you are of a more mature group and want better service than Princess is probably for you. P&O are still quite good however and recently have been more affordable (probably due in part to Princess's price rises to cover the cost of their new ships). Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because it was a short break that left from Melbourne on dates that suited us. We travelled as 2 couples and 1 child, this was our 11th cruise (we've cruised 5 different cruise lines, 8 different ships). We ate ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a short break that left from Melbourne on dates that suited us. We travelled as 2 couples and 1 child, this was our 11th cruise (we've cruised 5 different cruise lines, 8 different ships). We ate all lunches and dinners in Waterfront and were pleasantly surprised by the meals. None of us had a meal we didn't like. The service did vary though and was sometimes barely acceptable and other times wonderful. Breakfast we enjoyed in the pantry, a great selection with something for everyone's tastes. Our son enjoyed kids club but didn't enjoy being forced to partake in the scheduled activities when he just wanted to play with the toys. There were some activities he simply wasn't interested in (like Gatsby headband making). I did wonder why he couldn't have just played quietly while the kids who wanted to do the activities did them (there weren't many kids on board, and seemed to be only about 8-12 kids in the Shark Shack at any one time). The entertainment - we went to the comedian the first night and left after just a few minutes when we realised he expected audience participation (being embarrassed and singled out involuntarily is not our thing! We have no problem if they call for volunteers from the audience but to be forced unwillingly is a no go, so we left). The other 2 shows, Velvet Rope and The Four Seasons Show were very entertaining. We also went to the Luke Mangan live cooking show, very entertaining, funny and we learnt a few tips. All in all, we enjoyed this cruise and would go on Pacific Jewel again for another short cruise, however, would choose a different line for longer cruises. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
A self confessed cruise snob, I had not travelled on P&O for 25 years. This came up last minute and we took a chance. Wow! So much better than we expected. Decor had a complete revamp and was sensational - second to none. ... Read More
A self confessed cruise snob, I had not travelled on P&O for 25 years. This came up last minute and we took a chance. Wow! So much better than we expected. Decor had a complete revamp and was sensational - second to none. Comfortable and a little bit glamorous. Cruise staff were as good as any other ship (reasonable but rarely exceptional) food was okay if you knew where to look and in the case of Dragon Lady - really good. My only real gripe is that we were due to arrive in our first port on a Sunday at 3pm and didnt make it till 5pm. All tours (such as they were) were cancelled. Anyone else would have spent an extra night at sea, gone to the farthest port first and work backwards to spend a full day in each. Really dumb. We went before the Christmas rush - so few kids and large parties of drinkers. Just normal people. Would suggest you also time your trip well in consideration of the above. Generally would recommend based on above and never thought I'd be saying that. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Booked spur of the moment at a bargain price. Read mixed reviews in the past, so was a bit unsure of what to expect. But had a great time sailing around the Pacific islands. We have done around 20 cruises and have just gone back to ... Read More
Booked spur of the moment at a bargain price. Read mixed reviews in the past, so was a bit unsure of what to expect. But had a great time sailing around the Pacific islands. We have done around 20 cruises and have just gone back to P&O cruises this year 2017, to try out their new ships and found P&O have certainly upped their game. The food has improved greatly. Plenty of free restaurants to choose from such as the Asian Dragon lady, or the Italian Angelo's. The Pantry which used to be called the buffet, was very spacious, and the presentation and variety of food was excellent. We mostly ate in the Waterfront restaurant which did not disappoint. The cabins were on the small side. We asked the beds to be separated and made the cabin much more spacious. The entertainment from the guests performers to the P&O singers and dancers were first class, the stage productions were extremely well done. The Gatsby night was very popular, great atmosphere. We usually go with a around 8 friends. This cruise was just the two of us, we are in our 60's but had a relaxing, and sometimes hectic time, but very enjoyable. I found the Explorer had a mixed age group, great for families. With a section for 18+ only called the Oasis. Drinks were reasonably prices, beer around $6 and cocktails $12. The staff all over the ship were friendly, and attentive. Overall a great experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Chose this cruise for the value for money, the ship having been newly refurbished and wanted to tour the South Pacific.There were 8 of us in our group and our ages ranged from 24 to 73. We all loved our time on the ship and didn't want our ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the value for money, the ship having been newly refurbished and wanted to tour the South Pacific.There were 8 of us in our group and our ages ranged from 24 to 73. We all loved our time on the ship and didn't want our time to end. The restaurants The Waterfront, Dragon Lady and Angelos were delicious and had a great variety of food, all inclusive of the fare. I had a balcony room and it was a good size, we had terrific cabin stewards and the shower was always hot. The nightly entertainment was full of variety and alot of fun. The stage shows were awesome, the dancing, the singing and special effects were fantastic. The theme nights were heaps of fun too and we did alot of dancing those nights. During the day there were so many things to do, trivia, bingo, dance lessons, celebrity head, perfect match, cooking lessons....there was not enough time in the day or the week to do everything. Spent most time at the Oasis pool area and the drinks and music were great, very relaxing at the back of the ship watching the world go by. Mid ship is where the kids hung out in the pool but there were still heaps of lounge chairs available, whilst listening to some great music or watching a movie on the big screen. The Edge had heaps for the adventurer at heart but I really enjoyed the water slides. Finally the event staff were amazing, they were friendly, engaging, funny and they made our stay feel like we were part of one big happy family. Can't wait to cruise with P&O again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Ship was old but good. Cabin was clean. Cabin stewards were friendly and helpful. Loved the towel animals. The pantry food was cold at times but good. Loved the way the food in the pantry was set up not to keen on buffets the food was ... Read More
Ship was old but good. Cabin was clean. Cabin stewards were friendly and helpful. Loved the towel animals. The pantry food was cold at times but good. Loved the way the food in the pantry was set up not to keen on buffets the food was behind glass and served to you which was much more hygenic than been touched by other passengers and put back again and food mixed with other food. The pantry staff were good always cleaned the tables for you which was nice. entertainment was good. The entertainment staff were excellent and we always found something to do. Waterfront restaurant had good service and staff very friendly. Loved that it was casual and relaxing embarkation and disembarkation was very well organized. Ships shore tour staff member was very helpful. loved all the places they took us. It was our first cruise and we liked it that much will be doing it again with p and o. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We took this cruise as it fell at a time we could both get time of work and get three days away. The cruise was not the first that we had been on, as a previous experience was had on the Carnival Spirit. I was a little hesitant at first ... Read More
We took this cruise as it fell at a time we could both get time of work and get three days away. The cruise was not the first that we had been on, as a previous experience was had on the Carnival Spirit. I was a little hesitant at first as I had read a large amount of negative press and ratings about this ship. Not sure why that was the case because our experience was sensational. The ship had just been dry docked for an extensive period and had had a complete overhaul to all public and common areas. The ship was very well presented and looked brand new. The cabins did not receive much upgrade during this period so they were a little tired looking but this was only due to the tremendous quality of the rest of the ship. We were booked into the dining rooms of the three restaurants on board for each dinner. These were just divine and the service was excellent. I would recommend doing this before you board. We had breakfast and lunch in the Pantry Buffet and the quality of the food was excellent. Our room stewards knew our name from the first moment we met and always greeted us with it each day. They serviced our cabins meticulously each and every day. I was so impressed with their manner and work ethic that we provided the two of them with a detailed commendation as part of the staff reward program. We had cruised once before on Carnival Spirit and were also very happy with that experience. I would cruise on the Pacific Explorer again tomorrow if I could get time off work. No doubt we will board this ship again in the future. Well done P and O and the Pacific Explorer. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Decided on this cruise because it was not too long and departed from and returned to Melbourne. The ship was built in 1989 and was very tired, dated and very much unloved. I have cruised on older ships before but they were immaculate. ... Read More
Decided on this cruise because it was not too long and departed from and returned to Melbourne. The ship was built in 1989 and was very tired, dated and very much unloved. I have cruised on older ships before but they were immaculate. Not so with Pacific Jewel. Curtains half hanging down, common areas not cleaned very well. The food was very very ordinary, including the restaurant. A very uninteresting selection for vegetarians. Eating the same thing day in day out became very boring. Our cabin was OK and the bar staff on level 5 were great although I think I could have drunk 10 cocktails and still walked a straight line! The entertainment was good. We enjoyed the lounge singers. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth. We went on a 31/2 hour Kangaroo Island tour to a winery, lighthouse and general drive of the area. That was pleasant. Overall, the condition of the ship and the awful food would not get my recommendation for others to go travel to Kangaroo Island on The Pacific Jewell. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
My wife and I with two other couples enjoyed a long boozy weekend aboard the Pacific Jewel. Boarding and disembarkation went smoothly. No fan fair like other longer P & O cruises. We were happy about that. Our cabin on the 5th floor ... Read More
My wife and I with two other couples enjoyed a long boozy weekend aboard the Pacific Jewel. Boarding and disembarkation went smoothly. No fan fair like other longer P & O cruises. We were happy about that. Our cabin on the 5th floor was fine, although we did miss the balcony from previous cruises. A/C was a bit noisy when on cold, a little bit playing around with the thermostat soon figured that out. Waterfront restaurant first night was disappointing. Small serves and selection is smaller than previous cruises. I liked the "pantry" dining set up with staff serving everyone at the food station. certainly stopped sick guests spreading the love. It seemed much more healthier although slow at times. Running our of toast and utensils at breakfast seemed a common thread. Biggest complaint about the "Pantry area" was the attitude of the staff, disinterested and did not want to b e there was the overall impression." Grumpy " sums it up. "Salt" restaurant was very good although not one course of the 8 courses was presented to us in the correct order. We all had to do a plate swap every course. The live bands were great and the 1 stage show we attended was ok. Kangaroo Island was Ok for a walk and feed at the pub. Wives were happy with the market. Overall we had a good time, lots of laughs and stories. Read Less
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