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434 P&O Australia Sydney (Australia) Cruise Reviews

We have cruised with P&O Australia before, with mixed results, so we were a little hesitant about booking this cruise. But the price was outstanding and the OBC too good to refuse. Having just got off the Sun Princess a month ... Read More
We have cruised with P&O Australia before, with mixed results, so we were a little hesitant about booking this cruise. But the price was outstanding and the OBC too good to refuse. Having just got off the Sun Princess a month before, we were immediately "at home" in our cabin (balcony, deck 11, forward). In fact, on waking up a couple of mornings I had to remind myself were on the Explorer and not a Princess ship! As they used to say about shoes, our cabin "was well worn, but worn well". Jomon and Komang did a sterling job of keeping everything clean and working well — and were always bright and sparkly as well. The only "fault" we had on one day was a distinct lack of hot water, but I think that was related to a ruptured steam pipe in the engine room that caused a minor emergency. The food was pretty much hit-and-miss. We ate mainly in the MDR because we actively dislike the "Smash-and-Grab" (buffet). The menus were quite extensive but became a little repetitive by the end of the cruise. Having said that, there is only a limited number of ways you can serve eggs for breakfast, for example. Generally, the food was tasty and filling. We also tried Angelo's and Dragon Lady and would rate them satisfactory rather than excellent. Luke's served excellent burgers for a light lunch (extra charge). We didn't go to 400 Gradi, the pizza place — nor did many other people! I never saw more than 8 people in there at any one time. And, despite that, they still insisted on shutting down the thoroughfare to the forward areas — a minor annoyance but unnecessary, in my view. I think the entire area is being revamped in the current refurbishment; it was covered in plastic when we left. We booked the Love Riot show and dinner option. What can I say! The menu was I feel too adventurous and lacked organisation. (The seafood bisque, for example, was burnt/over-salted and near as damnit to inedible.) The show itself was in a similar vein. The contortionist was great; the male pole dancer ditto, but the rest was a lot of flashing lights and "music" and commentary at a volume that fell just short of painful. It was disjointed, with little flow. Full marks to the guys and gals for their efforts, but it was ... juvenile ... to say the least. And PS: Fishnet tights with holes in them are NOT a good look! As for drinks, bottles of wine are quite reasonably priced. Cocktails about $13AUD — except when I asked for a gin martini, straight up, no vermouth. This apparently caused minor conniptions and I was charged for two separate shots of gin, which came to $20. The same thing WITH vermouth was $13 — I gave up and drank margaritinis instead ... Service everywhere was with a smile. We couldn't have asked for better. Ports? Well, being from Western Australia, we're pretty "Asia-ed-out", so nothing special there. Some minor irritations with shoreside medical inspections for coronavirus, but they were there for a good reason. The skipper was incredibly protective of the passengers and insisted checks be done onboard, which they eventually were. (We had no reported cases onboard.) He was most upset when we had to put all those with Chinese passports ashore in Cairns; they were not allowed to stay onboard. Would we go again on Explorer? Sure. The value for money is hard to beat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
went with this cruise as a good way off spending 2 days at the open ,as has been said the boat is getting old and in some places it shows but i was surprised overall there are a lot off areas to sit and have a drink etc. the staff do a ... Read More
went with this cruise as a good way off spending 2 days at the open ,as has been said the boat is getting old and in some places it shows but i was surprised overall there are a lot off areas to sit and have a drink etc. the staff do a great job some off the managment staff did not measure up they think there very inportant people the food i wood score c+ there were some very good things but some poor as well drinks are a little higher in price than other cruises i have been on the wine $40 for a $10 wine shop bottle no happy hours anywhere entertainment was a bit off hit and miss some good we were 7 hours late leaving sydney still waiting for them to say sorry no offer off a drink or any compo when you loose 10%off the time on board you would expect something from p+o but no $75 to use sauna for 5 days only cruise line i have been on that charges for this its going to take a lot for us to go p+o again i would only go with them as a last ressort look to other lines ,i was happy with the cabin good size bed was very good but no fridge same cruise next year is$400 more bad joke should be $250 less Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We needed a break after a very busy year and decided to try a cruise for the first time. Not being sure what to expect, and not being sure if we would enjoy it, we were very pleasantly surprised that there were plenty of places to escape ... Read More
We needed a break after a very busy year and decided to try a cruise for the first time. Not being sure what to expect, and not being sure if we would enjoy it, we were very pleasantly surprised that there were plenty of places to escape the crowds on the ship, the Pacific Explorer. We are both 60 ish and travelled as a couple without any children. During the cruise (8 nights) we did not feel overrun by kids, or forced into small talk with other guests, there were no forced activities, and the food was great. The ship was in good condition, with attention paid to keeping everything clean and tidy. We loved the Blue Room nightclub for its moody decor and live music, and also the Bonded Store bar for its stylish elegance and quite space away from the busier parts of the ship. Our cabin (oceanview) was compact but light and airy, and made very good use of space for storage. We had plenty of hot water for showers and the bed was quite comfortable. I had read reviews that the beds were uncomfortable but our room 8041 had a good mattress and pillows. Our cabin stewards Anup and Gab kept everything spic and span and were always there with a cheery greeting. The staff throughout the whole ship were friendly and helpful and added to the overall enjoyment. We found the included food at Dragon Lady and the Waterfont was of a very good standard, and was equal to or better than the other paid restaurants. We did not eat at The Pantry, it was just too noisy and crowded for us. The Taste of Salt degustation (paid for) was exceptional, and the serving staff made that experience even more amazing. We also did the paid for dinner with the Love Riot show, but found that meal to be ok but not great. The Dragon Lady high tea was also a highlight.The live shows were all very good with a wide variety of styles so there was plenty to suit varying tastes. Our only disappointment was the very small pools in the adult only areas, and the difficulty in getting a lounge to relax near the pools. The attendants did not seem to keep an eye on those 'reserved' lounges where no-one came near them for hours. But that seems to be a common problem! We will definitely do more cruises in future now that we have gotten over our initial concerns about crowds, noise, being overrun by kids, and standard of food. I only hope future cruises can match the experience we had on Explorer. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Our family of 4 had a 5 nights cruise to Tasmania. Both the embarkation and disembarkation were quite smooth. The public area of the ship is nice, but the cabin shows its age. We had a inside cabin. This was the first time for me to be in ... Read More
Our family of 4 had a 5 nights cruise to Tasmania. Both the embarkation and disembarkation were quite smooth. The public area of the ship is nice, but the cabin shows its age. We had a inside cabin. This was the first time for me to be in an inside cabin, so can't compare with other ships, but to me it is really small and there was no room to store our suitcases. I enjoyed the food at Angelo, other restarunts are okay, not fantastic. Especially the food at the Waterfront was disappointing. Our last dinner on the cruise I ordered a salmon dish. It was dry, overcooked and tasted like cardboard. The Pantry had a good variety of food, but not good quality. My kids really enjoyed the food there though. Entertainment and activities on the ship was good. My teenage daughter really enjoyed the shows at night and my 9 year old son enjoyed the waterslide and the pool. My husband and i went to the Love Riot show. We paid for a VIP ticket which included a 5 course dinner at the Waterfront before the show. We booked because we heard it was good, however I was disappointed. The 5 course dinner looked and sounded fancy, but the flavour was disappointing. The show iself was okay, but not worth the money. It's not any better than the free show you can get on the ship. The cruise director was very good. Other staff are a mix. Our cabin steward was very lovely. The lady who served us in the Dragon Lady was very nice, but some other the staff in the restaurants looked like they didn't want to be there. We curtainly didn't feel as welcome as we did on other cruises in some of the restaurants. We enjoyed the our shore excursion at Port Arthur and the tenering process was good, but it was possible because we booked the excursion with the ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My husband and I absolutely loved this ship. There were lots of entertainment and there was always something to do. If you are not into their activities, then you can spend your time eating at their amazing restaurants. The Pantry has ... Read More
My husband and I absolutely loved this ship. There were lots of entertainment and there was always something to do. If you are not into their activities, then you can spend your time eating at their amazing restaurants. The Pantry has plenty of options but the food in D Angelos and Dragon Lady and Waterfront are superb. 400 Gradi has awesome pizza and meats and cheeses but you need to pay. However, the quality of their food is as best as the top restaurants in the Sydney CBD yet at half the price. D Angelos and Dragon Lady were included in the fare but were just as good too as any 5 star rated restaurant. The staff were all lovely and we throughly enjoyed their classes. All of their staff were helpful and knowledgeable and always looked happy to see you. Drinks are also reasonably priced. We didn't get to swim in the pools though and do the waterslides but they looked enjoyable as there were quite a lot of people. But it is alright as we got to swim a lot during the shore tour. Our cabin was very functional. Although it was a bit small compared to a hotel room it was in no way less in quality. Their airconditioning worked well and they had plenty of space and drawers to put all your stuff in. Their shower area even had more racks than most hotels we have stayed in which was amazing. Our room steward was very caring and was always happy to help and kept our room clean. We enjoyed the cruise so much we booked another. Would highly recommend P&O Explorer. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Our group of friends found a good deal for a cruise and not many of us had been on one before so we took a shot at it. We found the rooms to be quite small but very clean and comfortable. Everything looked great at the start - the ship was ... Read More
Our group of friends found a good deal for a cruise and not many of us had been on one before so we took a shot at it. We found the rooms to be quite small but very clean and comfortable. Everything looked great at the start - the ship was pretty, seemed to be well kept/maintained, there seemed to be a large selection of food and activities. I'll start with the pros: The cruise offered free shows and entertainment every night. These were absolutely fantastic - singing, dancing, comedy - the production value was great and I thoroughly enjoyed all of them. The entertainers are incredibly talented and the sets and music were beautiful and I highly recommend going to see every show. Apart from the set shows, the live music in the different lounges/public areas was nice. A lot of the activities we were interested in had to be paid for so we didn't do those, except for one show "Love Riot" which was decent. The service on the cruise is stellar - our room stewardess was incredibly kind and helpful, as were all the waiters/waitresses and servers at the restaurants and "the Pantry". They seemed incredibly hard working and underpaid, and were the friendliest people I encountered on the cruise. The ship itself looked nice. As previously mentioned it was clean, well-kept and maintained. Pleasing enough to look at and comfortable enough to hang out in with friends. The rooms were clean, the beds were comfortable and room service was lovely. There are two waterslides on the cruise that were also quite fun. Didn't have to wait long to use them and they were a good length. We visited Moreton island and booked a Snorkelling Tour which was incredible. Definitely recommend that and keen to go snorkelling again. Very quick and easy to replace your cruise card if you lose it. Visit reception, tell them your room number and name, and they print a new one within the minute. Surprisingly no fee either. The cons: Where to begin? Each of us purchased an additional $30 package that led us to believe we would EACH get $50 of on-board credit to spend on the cruise how we liked. That was a lie. We received "$50 of cabin credit". With 2-4 of us in a room, we collectively spent an extra $420 to only receive $200 of "on board" credit. Absolutely ripped off. We spoke to reception about it multiple times to see if it was a mix up, only to be turned away and once even told "the system is down". Fees everywhere, some of them very sneaky and hidden. Large bottles of water in our room which were not free, bathrobe and slippers which were not free, everyone was automatically charged a "$1 donation" which we were not told about (only found out once we checked our accounts). The food is terrible. The main food area (The Pantry) is a cafeteria-style buffet which looked great upon first impression with a wide variety of food. Everything is set up in different sections of cuisine and set out very nicely. That's where the good impressions end though - most of the food was dry, bland and flavourless. Each night we visited a restaurant that required a reservation (The Waterfront, Dragon Lady and Angelo's) and most of the food was disappointing save for a few dishes. Despite the terrible food at The Pantry, we had some hopes for the restaurants only to be disappointed each night. The Waterfront was the best of the three - particularly the "casserole" dish entree which was really good. All the best food on the cruise had to be paid for separately - our group regularly visited Luke's for burgers and fries, and the pizzeria. Not much to do at night and strange rules. Granted, there are parties almost every night however I am not a big party person and prefer quiet nights. Attempted to play ping-pong on the first night only to be told that the ping-pong tables "close at 5pm" (??????). It's not even dark by 5pm - an Australian sunset in December is at 8pm. Pools also close early so no chance for a night swim. On the last night, three friends and I found a quiet area to sit down and talk, only to be told to move to the main outdoor deck. This is more a stab at the other cruise passengers than the cruise itself, but the people there were very loud and rowdy, smoked so much (I was coughing the entire time) and even destroying property - I witnessed people punching down and kicking signs with no consequence. We felt insulted to be told off for talking in a quiet space and then witnessing this idiotic behaviour without a peep from the crew, and eventually decided to retire to a cabin. There is very little mobile reception/service on the cruise (you could buy wifi packages that were pricey). The ship had it's own free wifi where you could access a website to talk with other people on the cruise. This was a nice feature to include however the website design is terrible. Incredibly slow and clunky, I couldn't even read all of my messages because I had so much trouble scrolling up conversations. Terrible UI and design. I'll end the review here. I had a decent time because of the people I was with and the pros I mentioned, however I will not be recommending this cruise to anyone. The cons heavily outweigh the pros and I have a sour taste in my mouth from this experience. I guess that's what you get on a "cheap" cruise. At least I got some cute photos. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
It was advertised as a Bounty Adventure, to follow the route taken by the mutineers from the Bounty after they put Bligh and some onto a whaling boat. We visited Norfolk Island, two places of Tonga including Nuku'alofa, three for Fij ... Read More
It was advertised as a Bounty Adventure, to follow the route taken by the mutineers from the Bounty after they put Bligh and some onto a whaling boat. We visited Norfolk Island, two places of Tonga including Nuku'alofa, three for Fij but only two were possible due to high winds for Dravuni Island, we were able to visit Port Denarau and Suva before our final stop at Noumea. We had a descendent of the mutineers who lives on Norfolk Island to give us talks about the island and the mutineers, very interesting. We were disappointed by the lack of variety for activities, most were held inside eg trivia and bingo during the day, it would have been good to have more exercise activities such as gentle exercises or aquarobics. Our Tai Chi class which was much enjoyed was discontinued after the teacher had to disembark at Suva ? reason. We had a couple of sessions from a doctor who spoke about healthy living, this would have been good if done at beginning of cruise, so many grossly overweight passengers on board. The Black Circus venue needs a lot of work done, old tired seats, too few seats for so many people wishing to attend the morning trivia and bingo sessions. The whole ship looks tired and will need refurbishment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise because of it's Mutiny On The Bounty Theme,a chance to follow in the steps of Captain Bligh and visit Norfolk Island with a guest lecturer onboard. It did not disappoint in this regard,Rhonda ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because of it's Mutiny On The Bounty Theme,a chance to follow in the steps of Captain Bligh and visit Norfolk Island with a guest lecturer onboard. It did not disappoint in this regard,Rhonda Griffiths the lecturer was outstanding,add to this the rest of the entertainment put on by P&O and other than Music Cruises we have done,well done P&O. Boarding was late due to Medical emergencies which could not be helped but otherwise very smooth as was also our departure from the ship. This was the fifth Cruise we have undertaken across P&O.Princess and Royal Caribbean and it's important to compere not only ships but also the cost and reasons for sailing. The service was outstanding wherever we went and we both commented that it would have to have been the FRIENDLIEST cruise we have taken from both staff and fellow passengers. Dining met all of our expectations with only the exception of Dragon Lady which just wasn't to our taste and in the pantry cooked breakfasts had a tendency to be cold by the time you were seated,however we never experianced any seating issues when dining. The Marquee Theatre required seating 30 minutes prior to Shows to obtain preferred seating areas which we easily overcame,however Black Circus provided a challenge for popular shows. We booked Shore Tours through P&O at all destinations and were very pleased with all that we undertook,the only rushed one was at Norfolk Island,the Convict Settlement Tour. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We thought we would give a cruise a go for the first time and it was a huge waste of money and it was a stuff up right from the start. We didn't get the room we paid for and the day we got on board was very close to the day we were ... Read More
We thought we would give a cruise a go for the first time and it was a huge waste of money and it was a stuff up right from the start. We didn't get the room we paid for and the day we got on board was very close to the day we were getting off. The room is no bigger than a jail cell and the bathroom you cant hardly move as it was that small.We went with a child and they hated it with a passion.Even though we had a balcony you could not sit outside or have the door open without the really strong smell of cigarette smoke so get a blacony if you want to end up with CANCER. On the pool deck adults could not get into the very small spas as it was built for 2-3 adults comfortably and even then all you could do is breathe the strong smell of cigarettes so again stay on if you want second hand smoke and CANCER.Everything was a money grab including bingo / eateries on board / hardly anything for free. Its all a gimmick to rip you off and the money on your account you had better watch that as they will take money out without your knowledge and then say oh you dont want to donate ?? What a lot of CRAP and the so called on shore tours are so bodgy and overated it has a bloke that uses cheap camera gear that doesn't even work or set up properly i think 5 year old kids could do better that was so badly done and disorganized. The labour they have on the boat are been ripped off in wages and im talking about anyone that is not in a white uniform as like kitchen staff / cleaners etc and we felt so sorry for them as they get paid $28 a day , yes thats right a DAY for a 10.5 hour shift and that is 7 days a week. What a misjustice for these poor people and P&O cruises take advantage of them and treat them as slave labour.These cleaners and kitchen staff are the most freindlest people and hard working i have ever seen especially in the pantry. They will bend over backwards to help you and are always helpful. We gave a lot of them good tips even though you don't need too and a lot of them send most of their wages back home to their own country and what we were told are on the boat for around 7 months at a time working 7 days a week. We were disgusted at the way P&O crusies take advantage of people from other countries and use them as slave labour.These people were the only ones that were polite and courteous as the ones in the white uniform wouldn't give you the time of day.The ONLY reason it made it a bit better was the cleaners / kitchen staff / and manual labour they had working on the decks as they were so much more polite and helpful than the P&O staff that were just there to take your money which ever way you could. We went to make a booking with some of the PAID resturants on board but their attitude sucks but we gave it a go anyway. What a joke as the food was sloppy and dripping with oil and even the meat was hard as a rock. YOU wouldn't even give it to the dog so for a meal for 3 of us cost us $167 and it was just rubbish / Mcdonalds or KFC would have been better and you know what that is like at times. Over rated and poor quality rooms and dont be surprised if you dont get the room you pay for as we talked to another couple who did not get the room they paid for and had to have 2 of the kids sleep in the same bed as the parents as they did not get the room they payed for and P&O staff said nothing they could do on board. So watch out people Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were offered this cruise at a great price we like the P & O dining arrangements and love the entertainment. The prices of duty free also equaled the best at port which was a real bonus, that left more time for leisure when in ... Read More
We were offered this cruise at a great price we like the P & O dining arrangements and love the entertainment. The prices of duty free also equaled the best at port which was a real bonus, that left more time for leisure when in port. The service in the dining rooms was excellent as was our room service. The Pacific Explorer has a bowling green on deck 11 and we had a great time there with fellow passengers and the host was great. the tendering arrangements were much better than we have experienced before with more tenders operating which made it so much quicker. We didn’t need to get tickets as it was so efficient. The balcony cabin was the standard Princess balcony as the ship was the Dawn Princess previously. We found it nice and clean and the stewards kept it tidy for us. Service at the bars was good but we noticed that they didn’t remember our drinks next day as they did on the Pacific Eden which is a smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
To celebrate our 30th anniversary we decided to take a 3 day cruise which fitted in with work and having somebody to keep an eye on our kids while we are away. We had done a comedy cruise earlier in the year and had a great time so when ... Read More
To celebrate our 30th anniversary we decided to take a 3 day cruise which fitted in with work and having somebody to keep an eye on our kids while we are away. We had done a comedy cruise earlier in the year and had a great time so when the price and timing was right we booked. Embarkation, From getting to the overseas passenger terminal to sitting in the buffet eating lunch was no more than 15 minutes, certainly the fastest I have ever gotten on board, I think they started boarding early so there was absolutely no backlog when we arrived. The service The service was what we have come to expect from P&O, efficient and friendly but certainly different to what you might expect on a more upmarket line. The food, Its edible but not great, we had our first night at Angelo's, it wasn't special but considering the price (free) I am not complaining. The second night was at Dragon Lady where we had the share set menu, plenty of food, some of it was pretty good, the service was a little slow but we were in no rush so not a big deal. Entertainment We missed the comedians on the first night but those who saw them said it was good. The second night we did make the later show, Tahir was good but Mick Meredith probably by his own admission didn't have his best show, I have never seen a comedian so put off by some of the audience members and it definitely affected the show, to be fair on the comedian, a lot of people up the back wouldn't stop talking and one heckler tried to take over the show with some kind of vendetta from years ago, the result was a show more in line with a school teacher swearing at the class to try to get them to shut up while rubbishing the suburbs many of them likely came from The 3rd night we saw the Love Riot and had the pre dinner degustation, for $39 each we had a 5 course meal in a closed off area of the waterfront. * Zucchini sorbet - I gave mine to my wife who said it was OK, i dont like it cooked let alone frozen * Duck beast with pickle - nice but very small serve *Heart shaped pate with jelly served with orange and thin sliced toasted bread, it looked amazing and those who ate it said it was good, mine looked just as good when we were done because I didn't eat it. * Crab (and prawn I think) bisque - This one I did enjoy * Slow cooked beef - this was a thick piece of well cooked and extremely tender beef that fell apart as you cut into it, a little fatty for my liking but i was very nice * Desert - I dont recall the name they gave it so i will just have to describe it, orange spun toffee ball on top of a chocolate egg filled with a pink cream and the eggs was sitting o na piece of sponge cake, then they got hot caramel and poured it over the toffee and into the egg which caused the toffee and egg to melt, it looked amazing and tasted pretty good too but very sweet . After this the Love Riot performers turned up and escorted us to the show and our seats at the front , they gave us a drink in a complimentary glass and posed so we could get some photos. The show it self is probably best described as an adults circus musical with some very entertaining acts by very skilled and well rehearsed performers. If you are at all offended by anything of a sexual nature this is not for you as there is some very adult only content, they do suggest there is nudity but besides bums I think that is more to account for wardrobe malfunctions which no doubt occur on a regular basis during the show. Its worth noting, the Love Riot show is $15 without the dinner, $39 with it, my opinion, if you are going to do it, spend the extra $24 Itinerary The cruise was listed as having a stop in Eden but I wasn't sure if this was going to happen because it was posted differently depending on where you read it, as it turns out we did in fact stop at Eden, the first cruise ship to do so docking at the new wharf, before going to Eden I really couldn't care less about the stop but after the day there I am glad we did spend the day there, Eden is a very scenic port and many people saw dolphins, whales and seals from the ship while in port. The locals were very happy and excited to have us there and put on a lot of stalls and entertainment ready for us. The cruise overall We splurged a little being our Anniversary and had a balcony cabin which for 2 of us cost about $1,000, an inside cabin would have been around $600 but when you consider this includes food, accommodation and most of the entertainment its good value for what you get. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We won this cruise for 2 at Gosford RSL so we started out ahead, included premium drinks package. After reading reviews here I upgraded our cabin from Ocean View Room to a balcony cabin as my wife is a late sleeper and I could sit ... Read More
We won this cruise for 2 at Gosford RSL so we started out ahead, included premium drinks package. After reading reviews here I upgraded our cabin from Ocean View Room to a balcony cabin as my wife is a late sleeper and I could sit outside without disturbing her. Cabin was 11068 on deck 11 and I was concerned that we would get noise from the pool deck toilets which were above. As it happened we got no noise from above but some through the cabin door as we were directly opposite the lifts and stairs. Going from Sydney was great as we only had to get a shuttle bus from the Central Coast and we had a good view of the opera house before departure. It was great that we didn't have to worry about number of bags and their weight. We arrived before our boarding time but porters came and got our bags ane we were efficiently boarded and could get into our cabin immediately. The wife thought that the cabin was small but in the end it did have enough storage space for us and the layout was well thought out with the twin beds being comfortable. We had 2 large suitcases of the thinner variety which went under the bed easily. Our 5 smaller bags were collapsed into the suitcases when empty and we did bring extra hangers which wasn't really necessary. Cabin staff were great and there were several nice touches such as the towel toys and our choice of room cleaning times. We were too busy with the departure party too book specialty restaurants and in the end dragon lady disappointed us with the description of ramen chicken which ended up like KFC. Waterfront and shell and bones were both good but special mention goes to Luke's above the pool deck where we went back 6 times for lunch/ dinner. We also used the Pantry for breakfast and I discovered the healthy corner. Wait staff were Filipinos which was great and we did get too eat some Filipino specialties. For us the band entertainment was the highlight. We didn't have time to go too the shows, too busy with the live band dancing and Karaoke. Real highlight was when the Karaoke machine wouldn't start and the live band just continued on for a couple of hours doing the Karaoke. We attended both the Bianca and Gatsby Parties and had fun at both. One disappointment was weather related where we could not land on the 2 small islands. We got prompt refunds and bonus 75$ though which meant that they gave me money when leaving the ship. The tourist train in Noumea was good and we bought all our souvenirs and french wine at the supermarket. Also had a good Sushi lunch! The up-sell was annoying and we avoided most of it. Lifts were also difficult to use and we often used the stairs. Drinks were good, especially the cocktails. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The following includes some activities/pitfalls to avoid or be aware of on P&O cruises overall the Pacific Explorer was a fun ship with some great people looking after you but P&O need to supplement their discounted fares so be ... Read More
The following includes some activities/pitfalls to avoid or be aware of on P&O cruises overall the Pacific Explorer was a fun ship with some great people looking after you but P&O need to supplement their discounted fares so be aware they are not happy just charging the cruise price they need to extract more to remain profitable. I’d estimate based upon prices and upsell pressure their looking at making $500 to $1000 per guest so add that to your cruise price when factoring in the cost. They also operate under a first and second class citizen model. Unless you book your tours with them or book a suite you’ll have to wait up to two hours longer to disembark at destinations which use tenders. That’s 10-20% less shore time if your a second class citizen. Then there’s the continual upsell it starts before you leave with about 20 messages in your cruise application about insurance and then they start abusing your personal email address with multiple messages even after you update your cruise app to reflect you do not need insurance. I got insurance for two people for less than what they charge for one. Before you jump in about it not being fit for purpose my wife is from overseas so we had to submit to the French embassy for a visa and they approved the visa with the level of travel insurance we had. The level of cover was not basic it was greater than the P&O offering in many areas. So only a rich fool would use the insurance offered by P&O. Then you get to your room and there’s two robes and an umbrella on your bed. Don’t break the seal on the plastic or you just incurred $75. All up there is close to $100 of “optional” up sell items in your cabin on arrival. Choosing your cabin. Deck 10 is probably the best others all have problem areas like deck 11 below pool deck, deck 9 above casino etc. remember level 7 has most of entertainment so avoid above and below. Now the departure process. If you don’t know you can drop your bags off at anytime so don’t drag them around as you visit the opera house or tackle the hills of the rocks area. They do have a lot of people assisting at checkin so it goes quite quick and usually you can get on before your allotted time just check when you drop your bags. Next the food I have seen posts ranging from its pigs slop to rave reviews. The range and preparation is good but there is a lot of lower grade cuts of meat so the food is just ok. It’s not top restaurant quality but it’s ok and you won’t go hungry. You also have to remember their catering for 2000 plus people and aim at the lowest common denominator so no strong flavors. Even if it’s Garlic Mushroom soup you’ll struggle to taste the garlic. We tried to eat dinner at the specialty and main restaurants as the taste was better but still some cheaper cuts and lack of strong flavors. We avoided the buffet for dinner but for a family it’s pretty good with kids with finicky tastes. You can go back as many times as you like no need to create a Mixed food mountain enjoy the taste of each separately and take your time. As soon as you get on board go down and book your restaurants for dinner on level 6 for the whole cruise you may miss one free drink but you’ll be better prepared for the rest of the trip. Dragon Lady and Angelos change menu about mid cruise so book one early and one late to sample the full range of their offerings. The entertainment is fantastic great musicians, shows. and entertainment but often too little of appeal is on at the same time so everyone is trying to get to the same thing. If you want to enjoy a show I recommend you get there 20 minutes early even for entertainment in the pubs as there won’t be a seat but one will open up in 15-30 minutes in the pubs if you can wait and stand for that long. Staff well there’s three categories and a specialist group. The people who look after your room are super friendly and happy to help with anything. The entertainers who on the whole are great professional and upbeat in the face of a number of rude and drunk people. Then there’s the general service people in the restaurants and shops. Most of them are very nice the rest rude arrogant, racist non service people. If you hate people that much change industries don’t continue in customer service. But the most annoying people of all are the photographers. Whether your trying to board the boat, relax on a deck chair, enjoying the departure party, your dinner or getting off at a departure point. They are there and get grumpy/disappointed if you say no thanks. They continually block passage ways, arriving piers, stairs, kick you out of chairs when listening to entertainment all so they can gouge money. Now 30 years ago before the iPhone, Samsung et al, I got the idea and need for a ship photographer but now I can take 100 snaps filter it down to 5-10 and get them made into prints wall hangings, coffee cups, plates, mouse Mats, T-shirt’s, a picture book, or even a glowing plastic replica of the moon with the photo etched in. I don’t need to be interrupted all the time by a predatory photographer who tries to sell me the print at a higher cost than the GDP of a small West Indies Island. $80 for three small 6x4 prints if you take advantage of the onboard discount. Ports of call if you are docking to a pier it’s busy for first 30 minutes but then it’s easy to get off the ship. If your stops involve using tenders you may as well give up for the first hour or more. Each tender takes about 15 to 20 minutes at least and cannot operate in rough waters. They use multiple tenders but are restricted by single point loading and unloading bottlenecks. Consequently they land about 6 boats each hour. Each holds about 100 people so with 2000 people on the boat that’s 3 hours to get them all transferred. No wonder so many stay on the boat. Next year they take on a bigger ship of 2500 capacity. Tenders are a 2000’s solution to a 2020’s world I’d cancel if I had a cruise with three tender stops again. The Shore Tours they do have a lot of them and the more popular ones book out very quickly so if you have your heart set on one book it early and suck up the high price tag. The sales pitch is all based on fear. “If you book a tour with us and your late we’ll hold the boat for you if you book with others you’ll miss the boat”, or my favorite which I think should be referred to consumer affairs “we have insurance so if something happens your covered if you book with the local providers they don’t so you won’t be covered”. So none of the local tour providers have insurance you know this for a fact? And it appears they are saying your travel insurance won’t cover you if you use a local tour provider. At the time of writing oxygen was still free but I’m sure P&O corporate are working on a way to charge you for that. I researched the price of food and drink before I left and it was probably a year old but most of the prices have gone up by about 10-15% some exceptions. CPI is running at 1-2% but in keeping with their pirate ancestors P&O can increase costs by 10-15% in a year or so. My wife forgot her conditioner so $8 for a small travel size bottle on board. 1st Lesson gentlemen the free shampoo conditioner is not the same so do not suggest that 2nd Lesson double check you have everything. Bottled water $5 a bottle with two bottles laying in wait in your room not for free but you guessed it upsell break the seal and your charged. Not all the food and drink is free and what is and what isn’t will surprise you. I had the premium drinks package and soft-drinks package which includes soft drinks and alcoholic drinks up to $13 but not tea or coffee and 600ml bottled water was free at the bars but I had to pay for water in my room. Now specialty ice cream you pay for but they don’t have any ice cream unless you buy the specialty ice creams so parents expect To pay $5-10 for an ice cream for your kids. No soft serve machine like all other buffets in the world. There is an Italian restaurant in the list of free restaurants but you can’t get pizza you have to buy that at a specialty pizza restaurant. You can’t bring water on board in your luggage but can bring 12 cans of soft drink each. Confused I think that’s the intent so you drop your guard and pay for something that’s not included in your package. Time to talk about the boat. It’s has seen better days despite this pig having a fresh coat of lipstick in about 2009 and a tidy up in 2017 it’s showing it’s original manufacture date of 1997. It sort of looks like they just paint over the rust and everything has this rough bubbly finish hiding the imperfections. TV’s and other appliances in rooms don’t work with quick turnarounds they don’t seem to have time to fix things. You will need a masters in Electrical Engineering to be able to work out how to switch on and off your lights in the cabin. On a positive note the public areas which have high traffic appear well maintained as with the deck chairs and cushions. There is a lot of things to do with most tastes catered for but with 2000 people all looking for privacy or a unique experience this isn’t going to happen. Repeat together “yes we are all individuals”. Finally check your bill. I had the drinks packages but still had charges for soft drinks on my bill totaling about $20 Luckily it was easy for me to get them removed but what if you didn’t have a drinks package how would you go trying to argue you didn’t incur those costs. I also had a charge where they over charged my wife $15 for a charge but couldn’t prove it so had to suck it up. Seemed a common complaint with many people saying they had additional items added to their bill. I think they make an extra $15-30,000 per cruise from these types of overcharges if you use my example and don’t get them rectified. In summary a cruise on the Pacific Explorer is overall a nice vacation nothing special. Adjust your thinking before you come even with drinks packages it’s not an all inclusive holiday. Also check if your happy to be second class or want to pay the extra for first class, also P&O don’t have any loyalty packages so you don’t loose anything by trying other providers so try the others next time. The use of tenders it’s past their use by date only use ports with pier facilities or have one tender stop maximum. Check your cruise and change accordingly. If P&O changed but one thing it would be free or at most cost price water in your cabin you shouldn’t profiteer from water and most importantly it would improve the demeanor of your customers who feel like P&O are breaching the Geneva Convention by charging so much for water. Positives Cabin and Entertainment Staff Good Adults Only Areas Boarding Process Rest and Relaxation Areas Food preparation Negatives Continual Habitual Up Sell Prices and Unregulated Increases Bland food not matching ambience and service Photographers Bottled water policy/price Deceptive tour sales Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose the Great Barrier reef 10 night discovery in a balcony room. The positives Housekeeping and entertainment were good with no issues. There are a few negatives The food particularly in the pantry was bland and dry. No ... Read More
We chose the Great Barrier reef 10 night discovery in a balcony room. The positives Housekeeping and entertainment were good with no issues. There are a few negatives The food particularly in the pantry was bland and dry. No variety unless you like curry or a roast. The breakfast options were a bit better. The waiters never came to us to offer a drink, They clean tables only. On Princess Cruises they routinely would ask if you wanted a drink. That counts for paid drinks as well. On that note, without the drinks package all that was included was water or watered down orange juice. The poocific explorer on some days there was a sewerage smell around deck 12 and even in our room. We notified reception and they sanitized our room promptly to their credit. Also they don't tell you at time of booking that the waterslides cannot be used at the reef. Travelling with a child we would have liked to have been informed. I think i will stick to princess cruises Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
this cruise was amazing, coming with one side of the family it was a fantastic trip. Everyone was always occupied and the activities couldn't have been better. There were lots of shows to watch and parties to go to. Our room was a bit ... Read More
this cruise was amazing, coming with one side of the family it was a fantastic trip. Everyone was always occupied and the activities couldn't have been better. There were lots of shows to watch and parties to go to. Our room was a bit small, but our room stewards couldn't have been better. Every day there were great activities on for the whole family, which varied from White parties to Gatsby dance classes. The food in the pantry was pretty good, but could have been better if there was a bigger range. The pizza restaurant on level 8 served amazing food, and so did Dragon Lady (level 5), the only disappointing part was that it cost more to eat at these places.Our cruise travelled to Noumea, Maré, Lifou and Isle of Pines. This trip had been going smoothly until day 6 when the weather in Maré was miserable, as it was raining all day, when we reached Isle of Pines the following day (the last island) we were told that we weren't going to be getting off the ship due to the swell. The rocking of the boat was definitely noticeable throughout most of the trip but sailing with P & O Pacific Explorer was great!. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Chose this cruise as Fiji, Mystery Island & Mare were destinations not previously been to. Whilst the weather cant be controlled by P&O the destinations & experiences are controllable. Upon arrival in Suva on a Sunday the ... Read More
Chose this cruise as Fiji, Mystery Island & Mare were destinations not previously been to. Whilst the weather cant be controlled by P&O the destinations & experiences are controllable. Upon arrival in Suva on a Sunday the tour guide on the bus informed us that on Sundays most attractions are closed but at the end of the tour would take us to the only establishment open on a Sunday being the local souvenir establishment. It doesn't make sense that P&O would schedule a cruise to arrive at a major destination in Fiji on a Sunday when venues are closed. Would have thought adjusting the sailing schedule by 1 day to arrive on a Monday is a simple solution to this disappointment. All other aspects of the cruise were amazing, cabin staff were outstanding as was the entertainment with special mention to Joanna & Rory from the entertainment team & food on offer was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
It was a Dark Mofo 6 night mid-winter escape to Hobart that caught my eye. To Tasmania in the middle of winter ? Yeah why not. I have fond memories of the Dawn Princess but not very good memories of some of P&O Australia's ... Read More
It was a Dark Mofo 6 night mid-winter escape to Hobart that caught my eye. To Tasmania in the middle of winter ? Yeah why not. I have fond memories of the Dawn Princess but not very good memories of some of P&O Australia's "new" (old) ships. I thought my experience on the Pacific Eden' inaugural trip from Fremantle to Sydney a couple of years ago would have cured me from every going near P&O Australia again but....I must have had a lapse of concentration. Pacific Explorer seems to have a terrible problem with what I suspect is their sewer system. For two days the stench in the Atrium on Deck 4 level was eye watering and then one morning I woke to find the stink had found its way to my cabin on that same level. It leaves a metallic taste in your mouth. You need to escape to the open decks. But stench aside and in most other places I enjoyed myself very nicely. FOOD The Pantry is not much better than a shopping centre food hall. Its seems the food is all put out on display at the beginning of service (and replenished obviously) I mostly found things to be lukewarm or cold. Breakfast eggs were like golf balls. Toast was cold and chewy and they have the worst coffee I have every had on a cruise ship...thank you Nescafe. I restricted my visits there in the end to just lunch for a sandwich and a salad and some fresh fruit which were all very good. The dessert displays at night were sometimes a bit dramatic (one night it was pink on pink on pink) but EVERYTHING comes out of the same packet and tastes the same, no matter what colour the cake is. The Waterfront Was very nicely laid out in smaller sections and the menu was interesting despite lots of pay for extra's items and the service was pretty good by friendly staff. A glass of wine order at dinner seems to throw everyone into a spin however and one night I waited 30 minutes for the wine to arrive. Other nights I was well in to my meal before the wine finally arrived. Breakfasts in the Waterfront are very nice, very sane and civilised and the eggs, toast, and coffee are quite okay. Avoid the Pantry buffet bun fight. Alfredo's was very good (1st night) but after that I just dined in the Waterfront in the same area and mostly the same table where the staff and service was very good and the food quite surprisingly good. There were a couple of misses on the menu but after the Pacific Eden where everything on the menu that trip was a HUGE miss, I managed okay this time. Pizza For lunch one day was very nice. Not very warm but quite tasty. The Public Rooms have been very nicely decorated and service is very good. I left most of the entertainment on board to the night owls. The Dark Mofo inclusions for on land at Hobart were generous. Will I go P&O Australia again, ahhm, not sure. They need to fix that stink on the Pacific Explorer though. Everyone was talking about it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I have been on many cruises with various cruise line. This has been my 5th P & O and I must say after this trip I will never sail with P & O again. The cabins are so small that you don't even have room for your luggage ... Read More
I have been on many cruises with various cruise line. This has been my 5th P & O and I must say after this trip I will never sail with P & O again. The cabins are so small that you don't even have room for your luggage when you empty it. Not even under the bed which is where you normally would store it. The entertainment was very average. The food was below standard except for the in 400 Gradi, which was excellent. The cruise director and her crew were excellent. As were the cabin staff. But the biggest problem a of all was a stench that was evident throughout the whole ship for 5 of the 6 days. People could smell it in their rooms, the dining areas and the bars. There was just no escaping it. The reception staff kept making excuses, but at no time were we ever given the truth about the smell or was any sort of apology given. At one stage the even tried to say that it was a passengers deodorant. We spoke to other passengers who said that they had had the same problem previously on the Explorer. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I booked this as a quick cheap getaway for a few days and it was pretty inexpensive. Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy, probably because customs wasn't involved. The condition of the ship was better than expected as ... Read More
I booked this as a quick cheap getaway for a few days and it was pretty inexpensive. Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy, probably because customs wasn't involved. The condition of the ship was better than expected as I had read reviews that it had seen better days but it was very nice and no obvious signs of wear and tear and certainly better than some ships we have been on. Lots of areas to lounge around including window seats but these were popular with the teens and 20 somethings, plenty of other sitting areas including lots of sun lounges on decks. I booked an interior cabin which is something I haven't done previously but as it was quite cheap and only for 3 nights I thought why not. The cabin was 10214 and located aft and at the end of the corridor, this I booked deliberately so no passing traffic and away from lifts and family rooms etc. The room was as expected small but clean and tidy and in good condition, just dark I wouldn't book an interior again because of the size and darkness and for the sake of a little more in price, I need light and fresh air. Overall the cabin was certainly acceptable. The shower was compact as they mostly are and we managed to squeeze in although if you were on the larger size it would be a tight squeeze. The water temp was lukewarm at best after about 3pm, so if you wanted a shower before dinner then it was a cold one. The bed was difficult to get in and out of due to the lack of room on either side and the mattress springs gave us some free acupuncture until I requested and received a mattress topper, which alleviated the issue somewhat. A clock of some sort would have been good as to tell the time in the morning as it was so dark it could have been 3 am or 11 am- this I didn't like and we missed breakfast in the restaurant because we overslept. We had cabin 10214 which is the last cabin , so no passing traffic which is perfect. I chose this cabin due to its location and not the deck above (11) as that was directly under the gym, then again maybe noise from the gym goers might have woken me earlier. No choccies at night and I had to remind the steward to bring us our pre-ordered water but all in all, pretty good. Food- well this was a downer for a range of reasons. We prefer to eat all our meals in the restaurants BUT they were all booked out. We attempted to eat in the Asian and Italian (included in fare) restaurants but were told by staff that they were booked out for the whole cruise. When we pointed out that they were actually empty, we were told that they have been prebooked and passengers hadn't shown up yet but they couldn't give the tables away incase they did. We found out from other staff that this is an ongoing issue, especially with short cruises. We ate in the main restaurant one night and the food looked good but was cold and this was an ongoing issue with all food on this ship, whether it was in a restaurant or the buffet, it was always cold. Restaurant staff seem uninterested and confused and the whole dining experience is unorganized and understaffed. Maybe trying to cut costs with less staff?? The main restaurant the "Waterfront" is disappointing serving cold food that should be hot and getting a drink proved to be a challenge. Some of the meals on the menu are included in your fare but the "better" ones are at a cost. This goes for Breakfast Lunch and Dinner menus, which was a bit of a surprise. Dining in the Specialty restaurants (if you can get in) is at the marked price on the menus, not a "cover charge" as they do on other cruise lines, so this can add up to be quiet a bill if you're not careful. Buffet food was served by staff at stations which is a good idea to prevent the spread of germs (BTW no one washed their hands entering the area, nor were they directed to, as on Princess). Food in the buffet was of a good variety and impressive but COLD. The design of the buffet doesn't really work as the flow of diners is impeded by queues of diners at each station, so doesn't work very well. There is also a coffee station for barista coffee which also formed a long queue which snaked its way across the path of those trying to get to a food station. Staff in the "Pantry" seemed uninterested and slow to pick up plates and don't offer to get you a coffee, juice etc at your table as they do on other cruise lines. Getting something to eat is the downfall of this ship, its disorganized, cold and mostly at extra cost. Iceream, burgers pizza etc is all extra which was a surprise as it has always been included on other cruises we have done. Entertainment- This was a Comedy Cruise which wasn't the reason we booked but an added bonus. Shows were excellent but as the venues are small it was hard to get a seat with a lot of passengers sitting on the floor. Shows were 18+ but kids were still "allowed" in with some being young children under 10etc which I don't think is acceptable and seemed to throw a few of the comedians off as they "censored" their jokes as to not offend. Staff do not police the 18+ rule. Pools- pools are clean and well maintained as are the hot tubs, not too crowded but it was June and a little cool outside. It was impossible to find deck staff for a towel or blanket and there are no towel/blanket stations to help yourself. Bars- all very good, some staff better than others. Love the Oasis Bar at the rear of ship. Very crowded on sailing out of the harbour but that's to be expected but hardly anyone there at other times. Shhhh don't tell anyone. Their programme of events isn't very informative or inclusive of all events and nor does their on-board app work. They have information screens but these either don't work or aren't up to date, so finding out what's on or where is difficult, even for a seasoned cruiser. first timers would struggle. Would I sail on Pacific Explorer again?- Maybe but would book a balcony especially on a longer cruise. Lessons learnt from this cruise- 1. P&O fares are cheaper but with all the extras you have to pay for it works out the same if not dearer than other cruise lines 2. Demographic is made up of families and middle-aged couples with a few older passengers and groups of "cellabrators"- 30th/40th/50ths, bucks/hens groups etc 3. Don't book inside cabins- not worth the saving of a few dollars 4. Pre-book restaurants otherwise, you can't get in. Maybe P&O need to look at how they manage this better. 5. Book aft staterooms - less traffic and away from family rooms with easy access to lifts and outside. 6. No kettle/ Tea/coffee facility in cabin 7. Not included in fare eateries such as burgers,pizza, icecream on pool deck or anywhere. 8. Some entertainment shows are an extra fee 9. Be prepared for a bigger stateroom account due to extras having to be paid for such as shows and food. 10. Theme nights are only just a small event and hardly mentioned or attended. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had previously cruised with Explorer several times and hoped it would still be good. Unfortunately due to the high decibel noise of the (background) music at the venues daytime and evenings while waiting for a game show or trivia to ... Read More
We had previously cruised with Explorer several times and hoped it would still be good. Unfortunately due to the high decibel noise of the (background) music at the venues daytime and evenings while waiting for a game show or trivia to commence the sound was painful. This also continued at the same level for the singers and dancers shows Several people were unhappy and I spoke to the Cruise Director about it but was ignored. I also asked the sound engineer to turn it down a little and he said his instructions were to be loud as it encouraged people to join in. Unfortunately it just meant that after 10 minutes with my fingers in my ears I could not take any more and had to leave One Theatre show was actually offensive and I do not know how anyone can think that the background of a dirty padded cell with a bed and a woman tied to it being interfered with by several 'doctors' is at all funny Avoid the slumber show it stinks Other shows I had seen previously which was lucky as I could not take the much higher decibel level this cruise The cabin staff were great even when one was off ill the other did an excellent job. Tendering was hit and miss calling us down to join the queue when there was no tender there or in site meant we were an hour standing on the stairs instead of waiting in the lounges Dining was 'different' We always use the dining rooms but twice had to leave as there was nothing on the menu which we could eat and had a good meal in the pantry. The menu shows strange mixes of ingredients so instead of a fish or meat dish you would find evidence of the other item mixed in Unfortunately the one evening we both had the roast lamb it was awful, strings of grissle and fat and no meat whatsoever. Sadly after 8 or 9 cruises with P&O Australia I do not think I can risk my hearing again and will continue with the other companies instead Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The balcony room was quite spacious and in a great location. The evening shows were outstanding, the group put lots of energy in their show and costumes, the variety was great too. This cruise could have been very nice experience, however, ... Read More
The balcony room was quite spacious and in a great location. The evening shows were outstanding, the group put lots of energy in their show and costumes, the variety was great too. This cruise could have been very nice experience, however, the way information sessions were organised, it was very clear that fitness and spa team are trying to sell you anything and everything. The sessions were not quite informative and sometimes had very conflicting information. I'm not sure why you need to sell shoe inserts and detox pills on the cruises, it is just disgusting. most fitness classes were offered at the additional cost. I think spa should be relaxation space and not pushy sales space. The reception service was rude and not helpful, all 3 attempts to get any information about tours, shuttles, etc. was a waste of time, the staff has to be trained well to communicate to guests, this ruins the experience overall. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Exceeded expections: The choice of restaurants, quality of food and service was outstanding. The entertainment, shows and bands were exceptional - thoroughly enjoyable. The staff were wonderful, particularly our cabin stewards. ... Read More
Exceeded expections: The choice of restaurants, quality of food and service was outstanding. The entertainment, shows and bands were exceptional - thoroughly enjoyable. The staff were wonderful, particularly our cabin stewards. The ship has been updated and decor is very tasteful. The fitness centre was well equipped with a great outlook The spa was excellent The shore excursions were extremely well organised with very little waiting time for the tenders One third of our time was absolutely terrible - sleeping! The Queen/Double bed, unlike the fabulous Princess Cruise Line mattresses, were two ancient, rock hard, collapsed 'canoes' shoved together with a ridge down the middle. By day 3 I had severe pain down my leg and spent the rest of the cruise sleeping across the bottom of the two beds as it as the only part that had any support at all. Absolutely disgusted with the bed and will never ever travel on P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Have cruised before on Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria and wasn’t disappointed So disappointed this time around Meals average No dress code in Restaurants and children in adults only area Great Gatsby party was such a let ... Read More
Have cruised before on Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria and wasn’t disappointed So disappointed this time around Meals average No dress code in Restaurants and children in adults only area Great Gatsby party was such a let down people dressed up waiting for the party to start just hanging around stairs etc The band played wrong era music rock and Beatles Then when they did the Charleston it was by record Back to school was fun Shows were hit and miss Cabins are ok plenty of space balcony was big enough for two but needs the refurbishment Two many costly extras that are free on other cruise line Edge a waste of money and Soda drinks packages use cans to fill the glass which was often warm or flat Our cruise was a great price so I wasn’t expecting too much but unfortunately I was disappointed with the food choices in the restaurants and didn’t match was on the menu to on the plate Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We picked this for a cheapie weekend away, and to check out Pacific Explorer having traveled on Carnival Spirit twice for a total of 17 nights and RCI Voyager OTS for 9 nights. We have always had balconies and will continue to book them ... Read More
We picked this for a cheapie weekend away, and to check out Pacific Explorer having traveled on Carnival Spirit twice for a total of 17 nights and RCI Voyager OTS for 9 nights. We have always had balconies and will continue to book them for longer cruises but as this was a shortie we decided to check out an ocean view stateroom instead. Lots of groups on board celebrating milestone birthdays, bucks, hens etc. Not many children evident, possibly due to being a 3 nighter. This was a Comedy Cruise, however we found most of the comedy to be pretty disappointing. Just the luck fo the draw on this I would say. Embarkation took about 25 minutes, no complaints. However, White Bay v.s Circular Quay is really a pain, particularly on the return as we were heading straight to work. Sailing away under the Harbour Bridge however is fantastic. Muster held indoors and seemed pretty well done. Indoors means you are more comfortable, can hear and so are more likely to pay attention. Our room # 8234 had a lovely big picture window but was certainly smaller than any we have previously been in and the bathroom is tiny. Both my husband and I commented that we would struggle with this on a longer cruise. We may have felt a little less confined if we had a balcony. It was adequate for a short cruise, and our attendants were lovely and did a great job of waving their magic wand over the room twice a day. Wish I could bring them home with me. The internal areas on this ship are lovely, certainly nicer than Spirit and perhaps even nicer than Voyager. I love how the evening party events are in the atrium and seem to draw you in from anywhere. Entertainment vibe was very good all over the ship. I feel P&O do this very well and seem to "get" Australians. Lots of lovely bay window nooks around the ship to curl up in for a chat or a read or just to people watch. These were a lovely find. External: pool deck fine, love the artificial grass on a lot of the outdoor areas, seems to make it less slippery. The adults' area at the back did not really appeal to us, it does not help that a smoking section is on the port side of The Oasis at the rear. We just could not really warm to it, but perhaps are biased after loving Serenity on the Spirit. The front adult area is lovely, with pretty lounges, but no permanent bar there and mostly unusable for the short time we were on due to the fact that it was usually too windy. (expected on moving ships at the front). Food: Pantry was OK, and I do like the fact that most of the food is served to you and not handled and coughed all over by everyone. I would rate it as 2.5 stars overall. I love the idea of three different styles of venue so that you feel that you are dining in a different restaurant each evening. I also liked the smaller more intimate feeling of them. Husband, however, felt that he prefers the larger MDRs on other ships. The fact that you have to line up and book on the first day however in order to get a table is a pain in the butt and for the life of me, I cannot work out how they cannot have a better system like other lines seem to manage. Big downside. Food was generally OK - good in the restaurants, in fact overall I thought the MDR was more consistently OK than the last time we were on the Spirit. Over the 3 days we had all dinners in one of them, 2 breakfasts and one lunch. All quite enjoyable. Drinks: Corona $AU8, cocktails about $AU12. Gym: very small. Lots of opportunities to pay extra for the usual things, including food, however we did not feel the need to spend extra on a 3 night cruise. Staff all very friendly and Explorer is a nice pick for a short trip getting away from it all. Would consider again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We are currently cruising PNG on the Pacific Aria. We have had two docking days and 2 tendering days with one more tender due at the Conflict Islands tomorrow 26 February which has been canceled due to the swell. Unfortunately I have to ... Read More
We are currently cruising PNG on the Pacific Aria. We have had two docking days and 2 tendering days with one more tender due at the Conflict Islands tomorrow 26 February which has been canceled due to the swell. Unfortunately I have to say that the organisation of the tendering of passengers is an absolute dogs breakfast. Three tenders trying to move a thousand passengers to and from the islands results in people waiting three hours to get off the ship and then having only a couple of hours ashore before last boat back to the ship. A lot of passengers just gave up and stayed on board. P&O needs to review their practices if they expect to attract passengers to this cruise in future. Generally the ship is very tired and shows it’s age. The crew are friendly and very accommodating and helpful. Book early for feature dining venues as people book multiple nights at a time. Drinking is expensive and the measures are doubtful and the choices are limited when it comes to beer. If you have a couple of coffees and soft drinks during the day and a couple of beers, wines or cocktails each day it’s worth considering a package. Beer averages $8, cocktails $12 -$16. We booked an access all areas ship tour which was supposed to happen on the sea days after we left PNG. Unfortunately we didn’t get the advice of when it was on and missed out. We were on this ship 12 months ago and I think the entertainment was far superior on that cruise. Admittedly the weather caused the cancellation of some shows but generally, apart from one three piece group, the entertainment was pretty mediocre. PNG is a great experience. On the islands the people are friendly and not at all pushy when offering craft and goods at the markets. If you purchase wooden products make sure they are sealed or they may be confiscated by customs on your return. There’s plenty of items produced by the local people as well as the usual rubbish made in China like caps and stubby coolers. Take plenty of Kina. Even if you don’t spend it the locals will ask you to exchange it for Aussie $ which they can’t use. You will get A$25 for 50 Kina compared to $16 from the currency traders in Australia. Rabaul was devastated by the volcano in 1995. The township was rebuilt in a new location but the small villages remain without power today so cooking is over open fire and lightning is by kerosene lamps or gas. Education is free but parents can’t afford uniforms and shoes for the kids so they don’t go to school. So all in all the destinations were very good. The service was good but the ship is tired and the organisation left a lot to be desired. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
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