17 Perth (Fremantle) to Asia P&O Australia Pacific Eden Cruise Reviews

After just coming off the Ovation of the seas I was a bit hesitant cruising on the small Pacific Eden, but found the ship very relaxing and casual.Overall, I could not find any major faults with the Eden, although the food was below ... Read More
After just coming off the Ovation of the seas I was a bit hesitant cruising on the small Pacific Eden, but found the ship very relaxing and casual.Overall, I could not find any major faults with the Eden, although the food was below standard in the waterfront and pantry restaurants, where the food was often luke warm. I was surprised at how casual everything was and took far two many dressy clothes.there were no formal nights. They did however have a Gatsby and Bianca (white night) which was a lot of fun.The staff in all areas were excellent and the entertainment great. As for our cabin on deck 5 the only complaint was there was no fridge which would have been handy to keep our drinking water cold. Compared to the rest of the ship, the cabins and corridors are starting to look tired. We have been on several P&O ships and if you are looking for a cruise to relax and unwind then I would say that the the Pacific Eden would top them all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our first cruise. My overall rating is excellent in all areas. Cabin was on deck 5 ocean view midship was excellent, bed was the most comfortable I have slept in for a long time. Staff on board were marvellous, couldn't do ... Read More
This was our first cruise. My overall rating is excellent in all areas. Cabin was on deck 5 ocean view midship was excellent, bed was the most comfortable I have slept in for a long time. Staff on board were marvellous, couldn't do enough for you and always very friendly. Food and service in restaurant's was amazing, pantry food was great with a large variety to choose from. Décor and furnishings throughout the ship were amazing and always somewhere different to sit and relax with a book or a drink. Could not dock in Bali as swell was too dangerous for passengers safety, a very large cat boat was organised by P & O to help get passengers of but after an hour or so trying decided it was in the passengers best interest to abort. Thankyou P & O for putting safety first. I don't understand the bad reviews I have read about Pacific Eden, I think some peoples standards are way too high or they are just generally whingers. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
People are amazing, not sure what you expect on a cruise ship unless you are so dis-satisfied with yourself and travelling companion/s that you could not find enough to do. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that people are unable ... Read More
People are amazing, not sure what you expect on a cruise ship unless you are so dis-satisfied with yourself and travelling companion/s that you could not find enough to do. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that people are unable to entertain themselves anymore because they are so obsessed by playing with their mobile phones etc, What about reading a book and talking to each other people!! This was our sixth cruise, most with P & O, and a couple on river cruises through Europe and the UK. On Pacific Eden, showers were hot, toilet always flushed, food was hot in all eating facilities, We have dined in 4 star Michelin restaurants and whilst we are not claiming the food was to that standard it was far better than some comments that have been made in this site. Food at the Pantry - great selection, different each day and served hot, Waterfront same basic menu but a different themed special daily served hot, so plenty of choice. As we had done some prior research, when we boarded we booked Angelos, Dragon Lady and Salt Grill as we were aware they booked out early and they were all very, very good. Cannot believe people were not happy, but I guess when you hear complaints that the "white night" was ruined because it occurred on the Italian themed night and that the Pasta sauce stained your white clothes probably sums it all up. Staff were very friendly and always had a smile, possibly because we always greeted them with warmth and a smile and didn't treat them as servants. Wonderful cruise, we did exactly what we wanted, enjoyed each others company, read books and totally relaxed. We also don't understand the negative reviews but maybe the comment about Italian night demonstrates that you can't please all of the people all of the time. Wi-Fi a little slow which is obviously subject to satellite signal when you are in the middle of an ocean but as we operate an accommodation business we found it to be acceptable to stay in contact with our business. Would travel again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise as it was leaving from Perth going to Indonesia and the price for the cruise inside was just $750pp. Ive got to tell you I was worried about taking this cruise due to all the poor writups about the ship. I knew in ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was leaving from Perth going to Indonesia and the price for the cruise inside was just $750pp. Ive got to tell you I was worried about taking this cruise due to all the poor writups about the ship. I knew in my heart they could all not be true as we travelled in her as the Statendam a Holland America barely a year ago and I was right. Lets start with the inside cabin, these were not done up in the refit but there was no need as they are spacious. We also spent quite a bit of time in a suite visiting friends,this too was spacious but required an update, which the ship was doing proressively throughout the cruise.Did we have problems with our toilet during the cruise? Yes we did. On one occasion it was not flushing correctly so we rang mainteinance and they came and fixed it while we sat around the pool having an afternoon cocktail. This is our 20th plus cruise and let me tell you, all ships toilets stop working some time over a 12 day period. Get over it, its usually something the next cabin has tried to flush! the food.There was not much seafood or steaks but there was a wide variety of food to eat. we ate mainly at the main retaurant and was satisfied with th portions but that didnt stop me odering 2 or even 3 entrees some nights because they just sounded so good. We also ate at the marketplace and was very happy with the new serving style. you could always ask for another spoonfull of your favourite dish if you wanted to. The ques, i think,were actually smaller than on the serve yourself ships as everyone was going the right way. the shows were of some of the highest standards we have seen. In short we cant wait to go again Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Sailed 18th July Freemantle to Singapore. Boarded with an open mind and was not disappointed.We really loved this ship; it's size it's ambience and overall easy running was to our liking.All the people we met were great and ... Read More
Sailed 18th July Freemantle to Singapore. Boarded with an open mind and was not disappointed.We really loved this ship; it's size it's ambience and overall easy running was to our liking.All the people we met were great and most of these were in the Waterfront where we make a point of sitting with different people each night Even though the ship left late'this was not a real problem once on board.The decor of the bars was really soft and appealing;knowing this ship had a makeover from it's previous HAL days.All the lounges were decorated in the same soft tones. We got to like a couple of bars in particular that were quieter .I think the Blu room where there was one of the best jazz bands i have ever come across on a ship.Also the Dome up the top deck which retained a quite atmosphere. I do want to add that this ship was better maintained than many of the younger ships we had been on; something which really surprised us.No visible rust on the open decks! Getting to the food.We came to like the Waterfront after a few days.Even though you could not complain about the food quality in any part of the ship.The Waterfront was appealing to us as it was less hurried;no queuing (which was not really an issue) The coffee was great in the waterfront but the self service machine in Pantry was not for us We were both lucky not to put on any weight on this cruise as the portions in the Waterfront are small but you can always ask for more or doubles so never an issue with food.As usual you have the element of overweight people that stuff their faces as if there was going to be a food shortage .Having said that they are on most cruises I will make one comment on the service even though i consider ourselves privileged to be served when most of the countries in Indonesia we stopped at; people would give their eye teeth to experience what most Aussies take for granted Sometimes the service was very slow ;other nights it was spot on.A minor detail overall.We got the impression that many of the staff in the dining room were undergoing training of some sort We did not get off at all the ports of call as this voyage was a means to an end for us as our son lives in Singapore.I must be honest and say i do not feel completely at ease with Indonesia in general;so the sea voyage was more important to us Most of the crew work pretty hard and long hours and we rewarded a few of them and they were worth it I guess my only gripe would be that they did not have any organised Bridge on board and i had to organise a group of about 12 of us.Once again not a major issue on a lovely ship Most of the entertainment was good;some shows better than others Was surprised there was no bar fridge in our outside cabin;but as we had a drinks package it was of no real concern.This was the first time we had no balcony but did not feel closed in for it as the windows are large The one island we did enjoy was Komodo island and the once in a lifetime experience to see the Dragons.Awesome to say the least Embarkation was not as smooth as normally expected because of the ships late arrival and turnaround.Getting off was very well organised and easy at Singapore I think that pretty well covers it.One last point the Adults only area at back of ship was delightful and the rule of no children was enforced.There were 115 children on board but mostly well behaved from what we could see Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Chose this cruise due to itinerary and cost - $1350 each for ocean view room and drinks package. Everything was as expected - meals good and plenty of variety. Specialty restaurants also good. Musicians were generally above average esp ... Read More
Chose this cruise due to itinerary and cost - $1350 each for ocean view room and drinks package. Everything was as expected - meals good and plenty of variety. Specialty restaurants also good. Musicians were generally above average esp the jazz boys but towards the end of the cruise seeing and hearing the same sets was boring for guests and I suspect the musos. Evening shows varied in quality - comedians were great but the coreographed shows were amateur - i don't blame the dancers/singers but the material was like something you'd see in a high school hall. Excursions were ok but Komodo Island was a $129 (x2) guided walk as the dragons had headed to the hills to mate. The dopey dragon we saw at the end may have been too ugly to find a partner... Service overall was as you would expect and staff are generally professional and efficient. Waterfront service was patchy though - timing often quite bewildering in terms of course delivery. Also difficult to get a drink when you wanted one - often had to go get our own from another bar. All that said, we had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday, met some lovely people and would do it all again in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Had a terrible experience on the Eden and would definitely not recommend this cruise line to anyone. Hated the overall experience, couldn't wait to get off the ship. We experienced very bad weather on the way home, arriving 6 hours ... Read More
Had a terrible experience on the Eden and would definitely not recommend this cruise line to anyone. Hated the overall experience, couldn't wait to get off the ship. We experienced very bad weather on the way home, arriving 6 hours late, thus missing our flights. We had to book new flights. We are now out of pocket $2,500 because CoverMore Insurance are refusing our claim. CoverMore are recommended by P&O on their website. So not only do I feel ripped off after my terrible cruising experience, I now have Incurred a debt, that I thought would be covered by my travel insurance. I have cruised before with Carnival, who were fantastic. P&O - never again!!!! Cons- atrocious food, mass produced microwaved slop. Caravan like accommodation. Lack of activities on board Shocking Tendering process Lack of communication from captain in relation to delays and problems. Invisible captain, never made an appearance. Ship didn't dock at Bali, should never have been promoted as a port of call, false advertising, Restaurants fully booked from day 1. Disgusting sewerage smell in The Pantry (aka the pig trough) Expensive overpriced drinks Appalling Internet, that rarely worked and they had the audacity to charge people for this! Pros Staff in general were friendly, in particular housekeeping staff. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We spent a few days in Perth before sailing on our first cruise heading to Indonesia. Embarkation took around 90 mins. Our balcony room was an adequate size for 3 adults on the 9th floor. All the bar areas are beautifully presented. ... Read More
We spent a few days in Perth before sailing on our first cruise heading to Indonesia. Embarkation took around 90 mins. Our balcony room was an adequate size for 3 adults on the 9th floor. All the bar areas are beautifully presented. We had the free Premium drink package which allowed you to have a large range of drinks on board. Cocktails were really good. The staff mostly were very friendly and appeared to work very hard.There were some real characters that made it fun. Thank God for Marius ! We never once saw the captain and only heard from him when there was a problem with weather conditions. Staff l spoke to had never seen him.Communication was slack. We couldn't get into Bali which l understand happens but we were not even informed that we were sailing away. Very disappointed with the food in all areas except Salt Grill. By the time we ate there anything fresh would have been lovely. The pantry smelt like a hospital kitchen and generally tasted like hospital food. The whole area was like eating in a coles cafeteria with not enough seating. Serving sizes were very small and l am not a big eater. Angelo's and Dragon lady again very basic food you could easily whip up at home and you walked away hungry.Menu the same day in day out. The gyoza's at Dragon lady were like cardboard and the chilli crab was just dripping in oil. Couldn't eat it. Entertainment was good but not enough. We filled our days and emptied our pockets at bingo and the Casino. Any extra classes like the cocktail mix or wine tasting you had to pay for. The shour tours were very average. We will never pay for a P&O one again. The Salon for massages and facials etc was so expensive. Experienced cruising travelers kept saying don't let this ship put you off cruising it was that average. Most people said a 3/10. So in saying all that did we enjoy it ? Kind of. Would we sail with P&O again ? NO WAY. It would be ok for a quickie but too small and not enough happening for a longer trip. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this cruise because it was from our home port and the special was too good to refuse, or so we thought. If I had payed the full fair i would not have been happy. The positives: Firstly our stateroom was roomy, great to have the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was from our home port and the special was too good to refuse, or so we thought. If I had payed the full fair i would not have been happy. The positives: Firstly our stateroom was roomy, great to have the daylight and the cabin staff, Dora and Raymond were amazing. Not so hot was the disgusting smell in the corridor after pipes broke flooding the passage. Wet carpet ..., Yuk. Our room also got so cold we needed extra blankets. The aircon could not be adjusted and our room was frigid on the last 4 days of the cruise. Reported the matter but alas still waiting though the toilet was fixed quite quickly. The food in the pantry was almost inedible. It was cold, over or under cooked and you had to move around different stations to get bread, butter where you had to join yet another cue. The worst and fir me most dangerous aspect of eating at the pantry was the fact that I could not be sure if food was made with fish sauce which can be deadly to people like me allergic to shellfish. The staff at the Waterfront were stressed and unfriendly if not downright rude but suddenly about half way through the cruise there was a marked change in attitude. All became clear when we were given a questionnaire to rate the food and service. The food was better though the service very slow. The entertainment was good but repetative and activities enjoyable. Party nights were great. Paying for all the extras that come free on other cruise lines was a bit of a put off. The tender services were chaotic to say the least. They need to consider going into port in Benoa (Bali) as it would seem that they actually rarely get in there. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Indonesian Adventure cruise out of Fremantle visiting ports of Komodo Island, Makassar, Lombok, Probolinggo and Bali. Of all my 7 cruises in recent years this is the worse and if it is typical of P&O then won't travel with them ... Read More
Indonesian Adventure cruise out of Fremantle visiting ports of Komodo Island, Makassar, Lombok, Probolinggo and Bali. Of all my 7 cruises in recent years this is the worse and if it is typical of P&O then won't travel with them again. All other cruises have been very good/ excellent. The best feature of ship was the cabin size was room. Food and service was generally poor with tough meat and luke-warm food. There was long waiting time for service in the main Waterfront dining room and in the other self-serve "The Pantry" and difficult to find a table and seating. Staff service in restaurants and bars was generally slack and with a few exceptions staff seemed unhappy and some completely ignorant. Exception being cabin staff and casino staff who were friendly and helpful. Ship used tenders to disembark for shore trips. The access walkway too steep and dangerous for less agile passengers. At Bali which was to be the highlight port for most passengers we were not able to disembark at all due to slight sea swell. Other ships visiting Bali dock at the port and no such problem in getting on shore. Most passengers were very disappointed and some extremely angry. There had been no forward info prior to booking that we may not be able to disembark. The shore excursion at Probolinggo with a visit to the volcanic Mount Bromo was the highlight for us, but overpriced at $300 each person. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was my 4th cruise on Pacific Eden, No problems, Food was excellent, Entertainment was great, Staff were fantastic, They never stopped smiling and could not do enough for you, Could not leave the ship due to heavy swell in Bali and hit ... Read More
This was my 4th cruise on Pacific Eden, No problems, Food was excellent, Entertainment was great, Staff were fantastic, They never stopped smiling and could not do enough for you, Could not leave the ship due to heavy swell in Bali and hit a big storm 2 days out from Fremantle on journey home, Ship handled conditions very well, Captain put passenger safety well ahead of getting back to Fremantle at scheduled time. Only complaint I heard was long wait to get ashore at one port of call, Would recommend this cruise to anyone, Met many nice passengers, Scenery was very nice and the people of Indonesia and Java were polite and friendly Lots of kids due to school holidays but never saw or heard them, They were happy in the kids club, Fellow passengers I spoke to said they were going home to book another cruise within 24 hours of getting home Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Fremantle departure and return and to allow my wife a break from the domestic duties and to test P&O (not that impressed in comparison - cunard -azamarra - river cruises) we had a suite and similar to a previous reviewer and reiterate ... Read More
Fremantle departure and return and to allow my wife a break from the domestic duties and to test P&O (not that impressed in comparison - cunard -azamarra - river cruises) we had a suite and similar to a previous reviewer and reiterate her comments the food and service in the main areas a little disappointing ate mainly night @ the exclusive restaurants ie: salt - dragon lady - angelos which were excellent in service and preparation - my opinion in comparison they travel at three knots - not as proficient as expected - lack a little professionalism ie not many white shirts with braid moving among the passengers - not as enthusiastic as the in general as the staff all seemed a little tired maybe the effect of the ships rolling stone itinerary - on our cruise we also could not disembark Benoa - think company to dollar consious to spend the $20K USD to wharf up so all stops are tender only (swell dependent ) lot of unsettled passengers as I feel Bali was a highlight for most ( been there several times so not concerned ) but others were - NB Mr P&O this is the highlight for most on this cruise to Indo fix it pay the docking fee and charge a little more hopefully in not to distant future EDEN will go in for accommodation area refit public areas recently refurbished and presentable a few chairs need attention in the Dome some a little shabby - suggest when boarding if you intend to using the internet buy the cruise package $99 as it is slow and if you have a sat phone take it - be aware of an extended pre- auth on your card even after disembarkation $400- $500 even after full payment - all in all will we sail P&O again maybe maybe not but wont say never - happy cruising - ciao 4 now Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We really enjoyed our first cruise on Pacific Jewel and embarked with a positive attitude as the process was so stress-free. We were presented with a pleasant cabin and our stewards maintained our accommodation to a high standard. The ... Read More
We really enjoyed our first cruise on Pacific Jewel and embarked with a positive attitude as the process was so stress-free. We were presented with a pleasant cabin and our stewards maintained our accommodation to a high standard. The decor was modern and the Oasis and top deck pool were lovely. Entertainment consisted of the performers we were familiar with and was a joy once again. The band Alter Ego was awesome and we generally followed them around each venue and that's pretty much when the positive vibes end! Our teenage daughter attended the HQ several times to be presented with another TV watching activity and it is fortunate she made a friend outside of the program or she may have driven us all insane. Quizzes were often repeated, too little time was dedicated to this popular activity and they were often held in too small a venue which resulted in passengers bickering over available seats. Of course, there was the usual passengers behaving badly in reserving whole seating areas for their imaginary friends (generally the older passengers). Shore leave was cancelled with little explanation and there was the usual debacle of boarding the tender boats rather than dock at the available ports. Last but certainly not least, the food was poor. Whilst I support the removal of the buffet due to high wastage and compromised hygiene, I do not understand why the quality had to go too? Veg was plain and undercooked, meat was overcooked and dessert was bland and the overall choice was limited. The Italian and Chinese restaurants were booked out early for the duration of the cruise and the Waterfront restaurant was a huge disappointment from our last cruise. After the cruise, I noted P&O also take a little extra when swiping your cruise card (which doesn't appear on ship statement) which they assure will be refunded in "5-7 business days", which wasn't something I was aware of prior. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this cruise because it was heading to Indonesia. Due to the weather we were unable to tender into Benoa. I am not sure why Pacific Eden is not able to dock there. Pacific Eden has had a facelift in the public areas but yes she ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was heading to Indonesia. Due to the weather we were unable to tender into Benoa. I am not sure why Pacific Eden is not able to dock there. Pacific Eden has had a facelift in the public areas but yes she is still an old ship! We had a suite on deck 10 with a large balcony. As part of the suite we received a very nice afternoon tea each afternoon ... the same every day! Meals in the Pantry and the Waterfront Restaurant were luke warm. Service in the Waterfront was very slow. The meals we ate in Salt Grill, Angelo's and Dragon Lady were very good and the service was great. We booked The Chef's Table ... that was a fantastic experience. A great night out but we were not offered the tour of the galley as advertised. Gatsby night had the most participation of all the theme nights ... it was good fun The best part of our cruise was the nightly entertainment ... the second reason we boarded this cruise was because The Alter Ego were the party band on Eden. Aldi, VJ, Trias and Dimas are lovable boys with great music. This is the first time that we really noticed kids everywhere. Maybe the kids clubs are not used as much? Every day the two spas were full with kids! This is our fourth cruise with P & O but we have also tasted Celebrity Solstice and that is a class above these ships. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose the Pacific Eden because it was based in Fremantle which meant no flying! We were very wary of how this cruise was going to go because we had seen so many poor reviews but I have to say we were pleasantly surprised. This was ... Read More
We chose the Pacific Eden because it was based in Fremantle which meant no flying! We were very wary of how this cruise was going to go because we had seen so many poor reviews but I have to say we were pleasantly surprised. This was only our second cruise, first was on RCI and very hard to compare, so I won't. Getting on the ship was a breeze, no drama there and when we got on board we were able to access our cabin and found one of our suitcases had arrived with the second arriving shortly thereafter. Arriving back in Freo was just as efficient, we were off the ship at 8.10 a.m. and in a taxi about 30 minutes later. Everything was very well organised. Our cabin was fine, we had a couple of fantastic Cabin Stewards in Arvin and Martin, nothing was too much trouble for them, very efficient and friendly. Plenty of wardrobe space and coat hangers, I would have liked a kettle in the room though so I could make a cuppa. The beds and pillows were very comfortable. We ate mostly in The Waterfront, Angelo's and Dragon Lady and had no problems at all, the menu choices were excellent. The drinks did take a little while to arrive but really it wasn't that big of a big deal. As it was my husband's 60th we booked Salt and found it to be fantastic but then so was Angelo's and Dragon Lady. We used the Pantry a few times and found that to be fine. The ship's bars were great, beautifully refurbished and were also comfortable to sit in during the day for reading etc. Each bar had a coffee machine so you could get a flat white/cappuccino etc. The entertainment was great, we enjoyed everything we went to. We never do bingo but found ourselves there most days and 'discovered' Marius - boy was he entertaining! What a crack-up. We enjoyed the Bianco and Great Gatsby nights, not so fussed on the Back to School night tho. We didn’t use the pools at all because we aren’t water babies, having had skin cancer doesn’t help, but they were both lovely, the adults only pool could have done with a little more shade. The shore stops were so-so and the only one we really wanted to do was Bali and that turned into a fizzer due to the heavy swell. We only got off the ship in Makassar and Lombok and didn’t enjoy either spot. All in all we had a great time on our cruise and would consider travelling on the Eden again if it had a different itinerary e.g. better destinations. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This cruise was departing from our home port and decided to give it a try in spite of poor reviews, to our regret. The positives included a good sized comfortable interior room and the wonderful entertainment provided by the resident ... Read More
This cruise was departing from our home port and decided to give it a try in spite of poor reviews, to our regret. The positives included a good sized comfortable interior room and the wonderful entertainment provided by the resident group of dancers and singers. The ships bars and lounges were excellent. The worst of the negatives was the appalling food quality provided. This is my 9th cruise, of which 3 have been in the last 6 months and one of the highlights of any cruise is the dining. Quality, variety,availability and presentation are essential, but sadly this ship lacked that. There is no fine dining aboard, its hard to find a table cloth anywhere except in one specialty restaurant (which is not special) except for the decor. The 2 main eating areas where food is dished up is, The Pantry that has 8 food station and a food hall environment. Inspite of any hype the food is ordinary, bland and repetitive. The alternative is The Waterfront, where you will be seated at a table (still no table cloth) with basic settings. The food you order from the menu may lose something in translation by the time it reaches your table. The servings are miniature and the quality is poor. The staff are an unhappy, friendless group probably due to their being too many diners and too few staff. Sadly the Buffet has been abandoned for the above alternatives which means there is no 24/7 food outlet for FREE late night snacks like a sandwich, cake or cookie with coffee. Food outlets close around 9 pm, though you can PAY for a burger, hot dog or pizza from The Grill, open 24/7.Room service is not free and is expensive. Shore excursions are very expensive and poorly organised. My experienced involved a 2 hour 30 minute delay getting to the tender. which really reduced the available time ashore. In closing I recommend those contemplating their first cruise they carefully consider the reviews submitted on this and similar sites and pay particular attention to those submitted by experienced cruisers. For those that have cruised before, give this ship a miss or you will be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My wife and I cruised on the Pacific Eden's Indonesian Adventure and, on balance, we returned home disappointed. First the good points. The food was generally very good. The Pantry works well with none of the hygiene problems ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on the Pacific Eden's Indonesian Adventure and, on balance, we returned home disappointed. First the good points. The food was generally very good. The Pantry works well with none of the hygiene problems associated with open buffets. Food was served hot and there was a good choice. The Waterfront Restaurant served a good selection of dishes, changed daily. The quality, with the exception of a couple of overcooked pasta dishes, exceeded our expectations. The Dragon Lady and Angelos both offered excellent dishes. We did not sample the Salt Grill but heard that it was an amazing experience, albeit at a price. There were two highly enjoyable dress up evenings and many people took a great deal of trouble with their costumes. A great atmosphere, especially on the Gatsby Evening, only slightly spoilt by the arrogant few who decided they would not follow the dress code and enter the main restaurants in thongs, shorts and singlets. The ship has been refurbished by P & O to a good standard - all the decorations and fittings were very attractive and had a good ambience. Our inside cabin was spacious and the bed was comfortable. The staff were nearly all extremely helpful and happy. Our cabin stewards were a delight and the bar staff and waiters all served us with a smile. There were over 100 children on board, nearly all well behaved, and P & O should be congratulated for keeping them entertained each day in the Kids' Club. Now for the bad points. There were problems with all the ports that we visited. First, there was Komodo Island, a must visit if you want to see the dragons. P & O had informed us before the cruise that we would be able to disembark and make our own arrangements on the island. Regrettably they announced the day before we were due to arrive that we would not be allowed to get off unless we booked one of their tours. $119 each for a 2 kilometre walk seemed overpriced. The next port of call was Makassar (or Ujang Pandang) on the island of Sulawesi. This was the only port where we actually docked rather than using the ship's tenders. We were allowed 4 hours ashore which was quite enough to see what little the city had to offer. Next was the island of Lombok, where the ship anchored some way out from the dock, involving a 20 minute each way tender trip. The ship has 4 tenders, each capable of taking 75 passengers. Anyone with a basic grasp of maths would work out that it would take over 3 hours to get the 1500 passengers ashore. Too long and tempers on board were fraying. Our penultimate port of call was Probolinggo on the island of Java. Our tender proceeded up a long channel to the dock. This was not a good experience as everywhere we looked garbage was floating in the water and there was an unpleasant stench. To be fair the town was pleasant, although not remotely geared up for tourists. We were viewed by the locals with a mixture of curiosity and amusement. Our final port of call was Benoa on Bali which was the expected highlight for the majority of passengers, many of whom had arranged private expeditions for the day. We arrived on a gloriously sunny morning to be told that we would face a 45 minute tender ride to the dock. Being a budget cruise line, one can understand why P & O don't want to incur high charges for actually docking in the port but why on earth do they have to anchor so far out to sea? To their credit, however, they had arranged for a local boat (the Bali Hai, capable of taking about 300 passengers) to use in addition to the tenders so as to get everyone ashore in a reasonable time. My wife and I boarded the first tender off the ship and noticed that there was a moderate underlying swell that made getting on to the tender slightly difficult but no problem as long as one took care. About 10 minutes into our tender ride, we were turned round and ordered back to the ship. Apparently the captain of the Bali Hai felt the sea swell was too great to allow passengers to board his ship safely. Our disappointment was huge and, although we understood that passenger safety was paramount, we felt the whole operation could have been handled far more competently. Why had we been allowed to leave in the first place? Sea swells are not uncommon, especially at this time of year, so unless P & O improve their act, people should not rely on this cruise to enjoy a day out in Bali. There was a distinctly unhappy atmosphere as the ship made its way back to Fremantle, not helped by the weather taking a turn for the worse and some people feeling unwell. There were a lot of whingers. There were a lot of other people whinging about the whinging. Not a good place to be. Next, the entertainment. The P & O singers and dancers were technically excellent but the shows they presented were not at all to our taste - generally ultra modern with the music was far too loud, the lighting too dark and with too many clouds of dry ice. On some occasions there was even some lip-synching. Guest artists included a talented young magician, an excellent Tom Jones tribute singer and an amusing comedian. The in-house entertainment team were generally excellent, especially the multi-talented Karl Bird. However, another member of the team should be told that his joke about a woman with Down Syndrome was highly offensive. Finally, the plumbing. There is no doubt that the ship has a real problem here. One expects the occasional blocked toilet on any cruise but when it happened to us 6 times in 12 nights, often at the most inconvenient of times, there is really no excuse. The plumber told us it is a major problem all over the ship and it is not all a result of people putting inappropriate things down their toilets. One night there was a burst pipe in one of the ship's bar areas which resulted in it being closed off, wholly or partially for 3 days whilst blow driers were put to work. Overall, we acknowledge that P & O are doing some things right but there were enough things wrong to spoil the cruise for us. We do not want such stress when we take a holiday. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Pacific Eden Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.8
Dining 3.0 3.1
Entertainment 5.0 3.6
Public Rooms 5.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.5
Family 3.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 3.0 3.0
Service 3.0 3.5
Value For Money 4.0 3.3

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