By Louise Goldsbury
Cruise Critic Australia Managing Editor
3.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Cabins

Pacific Explorer has five types of cabins: insides, outsides, balconies, mini-suites and suites. Of the 999 cabins, 603 have windows and 410 have balconies. Twenty interconnecting cabins were added during the refurbishment, to cater for families, but the decor was not changed (apart from new carpet in some rooms).

Standard cabins come with different bedding options including twin, double, triple and quad share.

All rooms have a flat-screen TV, telephone, wardrobe, desk with chair, safety deposit box, personally controlled air conditioning, an empty minibar fridge, Wi-Fi access (for an extra fee) and a compact bathroom with adequate storage, towels, facecloths and toiletries (soap, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, shower gel).

The high definition TV has HDMI and VGA outlets. Channels include Pacific Premiere (new releases and blockbusters), Pacific Flicks (more movies), Taste (cooking and lifestyle shows), Kids & You (children's programs and movies), Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, Sport24, Sky News, Australia channel (news), and BBC. Other channels created by P&O feature information about onboard activities and shore excursions and a ship cam displaying live views over the bow.

Each cabin has one Australian power point, one American power point and one European power point, so you may want to bring international travel adapters or a power board to plug in more than one device at once.

Inside: The cheapest cabins are those without a window, which means it is always dark unless you turn on the lights. Great for sleeping, this category suits people who don't spend much time in their room. The ensuite has a toilet, sink and walk-in shower. At 13 square metres, the interior space of Pacific Explorer's inside cabins is not any smaller than its ocean-view or balcony cabins; in fact, some are bigger, with a lucky dozen measuring more than 20 square metres. There are also 11 interconnecting inside cabins, each spanning 26 square metres. Inside cabins are located on every deck from 5 to 12 (except deck 7, which doesn't have any cabins).

Outside: Ocean-view cabins have a window or porthole and a bathroom with toilet, sink and shower. Twin rooms have two single beds which can convert into a queen bed; quad rooms have two lower and two upper bunk beds, some of which can also be pushed together to create a unified bed. Size varies, but most (133 cabins) are 14 square metres. Forty outside cabins are 16 square metres; 14 are about 13 square metres; and six are 21.5 square metres. Outside cabins are located on decks 5, 6, 8 (including some with an obstructed view), 9, 10 and 11.

Balcony: Balcony cabins include a private balcony, which is big enough for a small, round table and two chairs. The bathroom has a toilet, sink and walk-in shower, but no bath. Balcony cabins are located on decks 9, 10, 11 and 12. There are 354 balcony cabins with a floor area of 13.7 square metres plus a balcony of 3.2 square metres.

Mini-Suite: These larger rooms have an extra spacious living area and floor to ceiling windows that open to a private balcony. A key difference in the bathroom is there is a bath with a shower over it, which is nice if you like a bath but won't suit people with mobility issues. Passengers booked in mini-suites receive more perks than in standard cabins, such as priority embarkation and disembarkation, a welcome glass of sparkling wine, fresh fruit bowl, a choice of six types of pillows, bathrobe and slippers, evening turndown service, complimentary shoe shine, and a better brand of toiletries (Mor shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and shower gel). Mini suites, located on decks 8 and 10, are available with single beds that convert into a queen bed or as a quad share room with an extra double sofa bed. Most (26 of the 30 mini-suites) have a cabin floor area of almost 28 square metres and a balcony of 6.4 square metres. The biggest two are 36 square metres with a balcony stretching 16.7 square metres. Two other mini-suites are 30 square metres with a balcony of 7.2 square metres.

Suite: These four larger suites have a balcony, separate sitting area, walk-in wardrobe, a Nespresso coffee machine and music system. This higher category of accommodation also comes with the most benefits. Apart from all the perks of the mini-suites, passengers receive complimentary laundry service, bottled water, an invitation to the senior officers' cocktail party (on cruises of five nights or more), canapes on cocktail evenings, optional complimentary breakfast and afternoon tea served in your room, and priority when using the tenders and booking dining, spa treatments and shore excursions. Twin single beds can be converted into a queen bed, while quad rooms have an additional double sofa bed. Suites on decks 8 and 9 have a shower and a separate bath. Two of the suites are 39.5 square metres with a balcony of 10 square metres; the other two are 37 square metres with a balcony of 19 square metres.

Penthouse: The ship's best accommodation has all the perks and amenities offered to suites, as well as a separate spa bath and a king size bed. Two of the penthouses span 42.4 square metres each and have a balcony bigger than most cabins -- 25.2 square metres. The other two penthouses are 37.5 square metres with a slightly larger balcony of 26.2 square metres. Penthouse suites are located on Decks 9 and 10.

Accessible: Designed for disabled passengers, these cabins have wider doorways to fit wheelchairs, no threshold into the ensuite and more handrails around the bathroom. Only twin-share is available in this category, measuring a generous 21.5 square metres. There are six outside/ocean-view wheelchair-accessible rooms (four have views obstructed by lifeboats hanging outside) located on Deck 8, four accessible inside cabins on Deck 10 and another four on Deck 11.

Family/Interconnecting: The refurbishment saw 20 interconnecting cabins created to allow groups and families to have direct access to each other. Nine have a floor area of 27.4 square metres and a balcony measuring 6.4 square metres; the other 11 are inside cabins and measure 26 square metres.

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