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418 South Pacific Romantic Cruise Reviews

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
When we booked with Flight Centre Werribee we asked for oceanview cabin and we also said that we were going for our honeymoon the lady through Flight Centre said that she will tell P&O it was our honeymoon and see if we could have an ... Read More
When we booked with Flight Centre Werribee we asked for oceanview cabin and we also said that we were going for our honeymoon the lady through Flight Centre said that she will tell P&O it was our honeymoon and see if we could have an upgrade and when we went in to get our tickets she said all was good and we got our upgrade as we boarded the Pacific Dawn and went to our cabin we were in the middle of the ship with two single beds in a quad room so our honeymoon didn't get off to a good start as we were very disappointed in the room we got .Not only we had to wait for them to re fix the cabin we were right across from the Turtle Cove kids club that was very noisy you could hear them through the walls there was a missed communication from Flight Centre P&O because we already boarded they couldn't do anything about it will very disappointed not a very good way to start our honeymoon. Other than the cabin service weird head from Shell on bones restaurant was outstanding and staff in there also very friendly. We went on to have a very good cruise besides the cabin we had funny moments and memories at the last I like time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise after much investigating dining, entertainment and other reviews. We were in cabin Emerald 735 with the obstructed view as they called it. The balcony was wonderful no obstruction st all. If you wasn't to book ... Read More
We chose this cruise after much investigating dining, entertainment and other reviews. We were in cabin Emerald 735 with the obstructed view as they called it. The balcony was wonderful no obstruction st all. If you wasn't to book I aft cabin I strongly suggest this one. Yes it was on top of club fusion but we heard absolutely nothing at all. The worst we heard was the hangers sliding back and forth on a day we had 10'15 ft. seas. Cabin steward Luis wss amazing The buffet I felt was very repetitious and somewhat cold when it came to food temp. My dining room waiter for the most part was Shane from Jamaica truly a class act Specialty dining for our anniversary was at the Crown Grill. It was outstanding. Bridget out server went over and beyond the call of duty to make our evening a night to remember. And lastly. Sabatinnis was my overall best. My favorite meal is Veal Parm but it wasn't on the menu. My hubby just happened to run into the main chef there and asked if he could make it. I was enthralled when Chef came to my table and said he was doing the dish. Above all I would absolutely day it was my personal favorite. We also dined at Planks which was very good and definitely worth the upcharge. Overall it was a great cruise. We also booked a cruise on Enchantment Jan 2021 back to back 14 days. This was a bucket list check off for us. And Todd Veautour, I couldn't imagine having that experience with anyone but you. It was an awesome anniversary cruise. And again I can't stress if you get the chance to book aft go for Emerald 735. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Loved this cruise!!! This ship is georgeous!!! The medallion is so easy to use. Definitely makes shopping and playing slots a breeze! Our cabin was a nice size with a pretty good amount of storage. The bed and pillows were ... Read More
Loved this cruise!!! This ship is georgeous!!! The medallion is so easy to use. Definitely makes shopping and playing slots a breeze! Our cabin was a nice size with a pretty good amount of storage. The bed and pillows were great. The air conditioning was pitiful though. So bring a fan!! We had an extended balcony which was really nice! We cold spread our patio furniture out more. Wanted to enjoy a nice breakfast on our balcony but the room service menu was lacking!! Just danishes and a bacon egg biscut. The stores onboard had a little bit of everything I bought a couple dresses and found one to be an irregular. Disappointed in that. But kept it as I had already torn the tag off. The shore excursions were over priced and rushed. As they are on all cruises. Would have liked to have seen more entertainment like musicals or plays. Bingo is only 4 games each time. It takes longer for them to set up bingo than it does to actually play it. But over all we enjoyed our cruise. And we have already started planning our Alaskan cruise with Princess!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We love sailing with Princess and enjoy the traditional atmosphere and older crowd. This cruise was great except for a few issues... Embarkation was bad from the start due to customs issues and computer problems. But I think it was ... Read More
We love sailing with Princess and enjoy the traditional atmosphere and older crowd. This cruise was great except for a few issues... Embarkation was bad from the start due to customs issues and computer problems. But I think it was just a fluke, It took several hours even for priority boarding ...They gave us free drinks on board with a nice apology for the delays. We were a party of three staying in the family suite on dolphin deck. It was beautiful and very nicely appointed. This cabin has a large balcony at the front of the ship. Great to watch the Panama Canal and sit outside when docked. Couldn’t use it much when we were at sea due to the wind. Our room steward Jose was warm and very friendly and efficient. We enjoyed the cruise director staff and our club class dining servers the most on this ship. The went above and beyond to provide excellent service. Other onboard entertainment was kind of a crap shoot. We loved Korey the piano guy in Crooners. Most nights it was hard to get a seat. The production shows were outstanding with professional singing and dancers, complete with beautiful wardrobe and sets. We really enjoyed those. We were disappointed in the visiting entertainment that were flown in. Comedy, magician, and singer we did not care for. What they lacked, entertainment crew made up for in trivia games, vow renewal service, dance off, themed nights, karaoke, and all round fun activities. Lots to do if you wanted to participate but not overbearing. The entertainment crew worked really hard to engage with all the guests. We particularly liked Phil, Alex, Ashleigh, and Scotish Ken. They made ever event fun and inviting. Food was basically good, ports were great, ship is beautiful and clean. We enjoyed the formal dining most nights and went to the buffet a few a few times. We found that mostly bland, lacking in variety. The themed seafood night was great though, complete with oyster bar, king crab and shrimp. That was the night we left Puerto Vallarta, so don’t miss that. The staff in the buffet dining though were great. We got good service and usually had no problem finding a seat. My main complaint was the food there was often bland, repetitive and frankly kind of strange. Sometimes it seemed like they were just recycling leftovers in weird combos that really didn’t go together. The presentation was beautiful but just didn’t taste very good. We never went hungry though, that’s for sure and always found something to eat :) The pizza, Stromboli, burgers and hot dogs were always available and really good. We loved the laid back feel of this ship and the passengers, we never felt rushed or crowded. In general this was one of favorites we’ve ever done and would highly recommend it. Will be sailing again on the same ship to Hawaii. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Was for our 10th wedding anniversary ,disappointed in the ship and how old it is inside for the 1st since we have cruised we didnt take any pictures of the interior ,the only good thing is that it's going in for major changes just ... Read More
Was for our 10th wedding anniversary ,disappointed in the ship and how old it is inside for the 1st since we have cruised we didnt take any pictures of the interior ,the only good thing is that it's going in for major changes just dont change the crew they are excellent had a great room attendant and server manny in la veranda , love the stops in Bora,Janine,tahaa,moorea fakarava was nothing special unless you dive , the average age was mayb an issue but it's the ships decor that was real bad ,room service was great food was good enough just was expecting more for the money we spent but in the end although the crew were good it didnt justify the money spent free wifi and some excursions would have made it a better deal but it just the look of the interior of the ship which will remain with us just wasnt luxury at all even at the tender arrivals old carpets and nothing luxurious about waiting area other cruise lines do a better job but I'll be honest this is our opinion because people looked happy mayb just wasn't for us . Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this trip as it went at a suitable time and to different islands to our last cruise. We found staff always happy and helpful. As I am celiac, we chose set dining in the dining room For breakfast and dinner. This meant I ordered ... Read More
We chose this trip as it went at a suitable time and to different islands to our last cruise. We found staff always happy and helpful. As I am celiac, we chose set dining in the dining room For breakfast and dinner. This meant I ordered the night before and they were then able to accomodate my requirements. My husband had a few meals that were not as hot as they could have been however compared to barreling in the smorgasbord area on deck 7, we would take the dining room food any time. The other area was good for a quick meal, but certainly not a relaxing one for us. I would happily recommend this cruise to anyone. We booked excursions on the boat as well as some that were not organised by the cruise line. Definitely preferred the private tours as they were much more personable. Next cruise I would like to do the tour behind scenes on the ship. I was too late to book this. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Relaxing 2 weeks. Dining room was a highlight. Food was brilliant. All staff on board were friendly and helpful. Share by Curtis stone was really good. Would recommend. Needs more shared outdoor areas and more seating inside. Shows were ... Read More
Relaxing 2 weeks. Dining room was a highlight. Food was brilliant. All staff on board were friendly and helpful. Share by Curtis stone was really good. Would recommend. Needs more shared outdoor areas and more seating inside. Shows were good. Very smooth check in and disembarkation. An older crowd though so not that great got younger cruisers as the entertainment was directed to the older demographic. Other than that it was a nice cruise. Got to see some beautiful places. Dravuni was the most beautiful place I have seen. Spent the day swimming and hanging out with the locals. Getting to shore at our stops was easy and well planned. Our balcony room was great. Excellent wardrobe and storage. The bed was amazing. If I could I would of taken it home with me. Best sleep I’ve had in a long time. Would cruise princess again if just for that amazing bed! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Awful, nasty experience. Jeez where do I start?? I will dot point.. * the room had ONE power point. That's all. Called guest services and asked for an extension cord as I have a cpap machine. They didn't know what an extension ... Read More
Awful, nasty experience. Jeez where do I start?? I will dot point.. * the room had ONE power point. That's all. Called guest services and asked for an extension cord as I have a cpap machine. They didn't know what an extension cord was. * The so called lemonade is lemon cordial, the iced tea was a really strange flavour. Coffee from the machine was actually undrinkable... it was like drinking the grinds and hot water. We bought two cappuccinos from a cafe and they were barely coffee... so NO coffee for the whole trip * At brekky they have 2 toasters for everyone... be prepared to wait an eternity. * The staff still open ypur door of the room even when thete is a do not disturb on the door... not very nice when you're half naked * You can download their app and "free wifi" however if you want to keep contact and chat with another person on the ship it costs $9. So take a kiddies radio if you want to keep contact with ypur kids/ partner/ whoever, bring a radio on board. * it costs $30 to get JUST social media on the trip, or pay $50 to get that and e mail etc. The internet " cafe" is 3 computers in a walkway and cost , minimum, $15 for 24 hours. * the tv in the room is old , has about 8 channels, no movies or anything remotely watchable. There's no DVD player. * There's shampoo, soap and body wash in ypur bathroom. That's it. * The so called ' serenity ' adults only area was far from serene... jam packed and blaring music. I don't think they know the meaning of serenity. * The included restaurant... where to start? Firstly you have to stand in a huge queue, where you see the first staff with an I pad. Tell her your cabin number and she taps away at it for about 5 minutes, says no table available. Take a buzzer and go away!!! Come back when the buzzer goes. Get shown your table and given a terribly expensive wine list. The wine I like is usually $15 a bottle. There it was $50. And no option to buy just a glass. So no wine, lemonade or coffee. Then they blare this music out and do a dance. It's so noisy that we can't talk to each other. * The food was the absolute last straw. It was so disgusting that I am making a formal complaint. * NOT WORTH IT, DONT GIVE THEM YOUR HOLIDAY MONEY, wish I hadn't!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
we went as part of a wedding group, we were invited to attend a wedding on the cruise. wonderful time was had. Food was often cold, and bland. The fish at the Pantry is disgusting (can think of no other word for it) need to use a ... Read More
we went as part of a wedding group, we were invited to attend a wedding on the cruise. wonderful time was had. Food was often cold, and bland. The fish at the Pantry is disgusting (can think of no other word for it) need to use a different type of fish. The rooms were very clean and tidy. The staff were wonderful and so helpful. Bingo was great and entertaining but quite expensive for the few games you play. Bit disappointed with the confidentiality of some of the staff. Our daughter-in-law was only 8 weeks pregnant at the time of the cruise and it is a requirement to let the cruise know if you are. Seeing as they had paid travel insurance, and she had found out a few weeks before the cruise she thought she had best let them know. But they had not told anyone else!! Found out after the cruise that the cruise co-ordinator had told all the wedding group that she was pregnant as one of the other girls in the wedding group was pregnant also . Needless to say they were very disappointed as they hadn't even told family members, and did not want to take any of the glory from the couple who were getting married. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My husband & I had saved up for our 25th anniversary to go to Tahiti. It was SO worth the wait! No lines anywhere - and they treat you like royalty. The ship is the perfect size. The staterooms are so comfortable. We got a balcony ... Read More
My husband & I had saved up for our 25th anniversary to go to Tahiti. It was SO worth the wait! No lines anywhere - and they treat you like royalty. The ship is the perfect size. The staterooms are so comfortable. We got a balcony room near the front on Deck 7, and were not disappointed. I enjoyed the entertainment at night when I could stay awake that late(!). The dancers are very good. Mahana took us on a ship tour the first afternoon. She was adorable. We tried all 3 restaurants, but we found that the “Veranda” was a bit too fancy for our tastes. Actually, our favorite foods were at the private motu (Taha’a stop) and our ship excursion to a motu in Moorea. We enjoyed the continental breakfast items in the back of the ship every morning. All the croissants you could dream of! All of the ports were just amazing!! SO many shades of blue in the crystal clear water!! Abundant sea life to explore while snorkeling. We saw the huge manta rays, swam with black tip reef sharks, saw a baby whale breaching, spotted eagle rays in large groups, watched dolphins playing. I was amazed at all the different vibrant colors of the clams (oysters?!) in the water. Bright turquoise, royal blue, green, purple, tan, etc. And if you attend the talk onboard about how they cultivate the “black pearls” that Tahiti is known for, it’s very interesting. We enjoyed the pool on the ship and had it all to ourselves! It was crazy! We hardly ever saw anyone in the nice plush lounge chairs around the pool. Maybe the sun is just too intense there for most of the “older” clientele. So if you want to be pampered on your vacation and skip the crowds of the colossal cruise ships, take a Paul Gauguin Cruise. We would highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our annual two week cruise and again just perfect. The cabin clean and plenty of room. Staff attentive and helpful. Food always hot and plenty of variety. Balcony dinner just an experience, if you have a balcony, you should do. Beautiful ... Read More
Our annual two week cruise and again just perfect. The cabin clean and plenty of room. Staff attentive and helpful. Food always hot and plenty of variety. Balcony dinner just an experience, if you have a balcony, you should do. Beautiful food and your own personal waiters, set up on your balcony just beautifully. You start with a cocktail of your choice and appetisers, bread, followed by a further four courses and champagne cost $125...so worth it. Production shows excellent, headliners mostly a hit, a couple of misses. Overall we had a wonderful time. The water shuttles if you’re in a hurry to get off can be a bit of a wait. No issue to us as we just strolled off when ready. The ports are good and you can do your own thing or pick up tours just off the ship on dock. An older group of passengers but the kids that were onboard seemed to have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
With only a day and one-half to explore Sydney, we only captured a small glimpse of this charming city. Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly and very quickly for us. Our balcony cabin was roomy and nicely ... Read More
With only a day and one-half to explore Sydney, we only captured a small glimpse of this charming city. Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly and very quickly for us. Our balcony cabin was roomy and nicely decorated. Cabin steward was excellent. Being as it was at the front part of the ship, anywhere between 4,000 and nearly 6,000 steps were done daily.With so many guests, I worried about elevator wait times, but there was rarely much wait times. We were disappointed with food preparation. Chicken was consistently tough, and other meats overcooked and dry. Wait times for mains were extraordinarily long most evenings in the dinning room, and I found the Buffet confusing. For instance, all the cold cereals were in an entirely different place to the hot. Most of the entertainment was top notch with the notable exception of two or three. Also disappointed with one guest services' staffer whosexEnglish skills were so bad, neither of us could understand each other. Why would the ship put someone like that in that position? Excursions desk seemed able only to sell the excursions, but in some cases knew nothing about them. When I asked who might know more about a particular excursion marked 'strenuous', I was told I could see a picture, as if that would tell me what I needed to know Ports were interesting. The one excursion we did purchase from the ship was a hop, on/hop off bus tour in Noumea. It was very well organized and the best deal on offer. We found all offers to be cost prohibitive. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I have wanted to go to Tahiti and the surrounding islands since I read "Mutiny on the Bounty" and saw the movie over 50 years ago. This has been number 1 on my bucket list and after seeing advertisements for Windstar over the ... Read More
I have wanted to go to Tahiti and the surrounding islands since I read "Mutiny on the Bounty" and saw the movie over 50 years ago. This has been number 1 on my bucket list and after seeing advertisements for Windstar over the years it just seemed the perfect way to see these spectacular islands and it REALLY was. I won't do a lengthy review as more than enough people on this site have already done so and I concur with all the superlatives. Great food, great destinations, and an EXCELLENT crew that are so very helpful and generally just really very nice. Customer service to the max! A special shout out to Nicola and Kristy that handle most of the day to day customer service items and excursions. And another shout out to Shane for taking people to the Motos for the wonderful island lunches and dinners as well as other excursions. Also the food service/wait staff are incredible and we enjoyed every meal we had on board. The only concern (and it is minor) is that if someone has mobility issues with walking, the stairs may present a problem. Unlike the big ships Wind Spirit does not have an elevator so that may be an issue for some people. I would advise someone to stay no lower than deck 2 if you have an problems with stairs. A fantastic cruise that lived up to every one of our expectations and then some. Highly recommend!!! 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
My Fiance bought this cruise for my 50th birthday. We departed from Singapore on 25/08/19. Singapore is a magnificent place by the way. The first thing we noticed was that the ship was not the gleaming white vessel depicted in the ... Read More
My Fiance bought this cruise for my 50th birthday. We departed from Singapore on 25/08/19. Singapore is a magnificent place by the way. The first thing we noticed was that the ship was not the gleaming white vessel depicted in the brochures. On deck 12 there are large windows which are held in by steel bracelets. These brackets in places were rusted through and effectively were holding nothing. The carpet outside our room was marked and stained and the hallway smelt musty. There was also an odour of raw sewerage which remained inside and outside for the rest of the cruise. This smell was disgusting. The carpet in our room was frayed, wet and musty. The carpet had to be lifted and dried with a blower. The shower had active mould growing around the top. The shower vent was rusted as was the outer wall. Fittings were missing off the toilet and the toilet brush was disgusting. At night our cabin door squeaked constantly to the point that we had to jam paper in it to quieten it. In some toilets cisterns were not secured to the walls. One tap was covered in duct tape to stop a leak. Some of the doors in public toilets were swollen from moisture and smelt bad. Every day they would incinerate rubbish which would cause black soot to fall all over the back of the ship including in your drinks, food and clothing. All of the windows on the ship were filthy - even at the start of the cruise. The cabin walls are incredibly thin and you can hear everything going on the next cabin. Activities are tailored toolder people. The pool is tiny. Damien Mullin (Elvis) was very good as was the comedian Stephen Whiteley. The rest of the entertainment was so so. There was plenty of food but the same thing was served many different ways. Eg todays roast became tomorrow's stir fry the sandwiches on the third day. The staff were friendly but even their enthusiasm does not not make up for the tired old tub they work on. The ship had been dry docked in Singapore for 14 days for maintenance so it must have been bad before. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had been on a cruise with 600 passengers and decided it wasn’t for us. Wind Spirit has only 130 passengers and 100 crew and our experience was so different - we loved it. The crew was charming, helpful, knowledgeable and attentive and ... Read More
We had been on a cruise with 600 passengers and decided it wasn’t for us. Wind Spirit has only 130 passengers and 100 crew and our experience was so different - we loved it. The crew was charming, helpful, knowledgeable and attentive and our cabin was very comfortable and kept spotless. We enjoyed the most delicious food with lots of fresh tropical fruit, an amazing variety of salads and superbly cooked meats with a large selection of desserts. For dinner there were two fine dining restaurants and a wide ranging and interesting menu. The shore excursions were well run - since this cruise was round Tahiti there was snorkelling, diving, picnics on beautiful little “motus” or tiny islands, tours with local historians around the islands and visits to pearl farms and vanilla plantations. But what made it for us was the charm of the Captain and his crew - they were all friendly, approachable and made everyone feel very much at home. We recommend this cruise so very warmly. There is nothing we didn’t love about it.... Read Less
Sail Date August 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
My spouse, and my brother and sister with their spouses decided to try to get a vacation together and visit the South Pacific. it was easy to pick the islands around and including Tahiti. Should we cruise to do land tour. After only a ... Read More
My spouse, and my brother and sister with their spouses decided to try to get a vacation together and visit the South Pacific. it was easy to pick the islands around and including Tahiti. Should we cruise to do land tour. After only a brief discussion, we chose Windstar Cruises, Wind Spirit and, boy are we glad! The ship is small, only 148 passengers tops. The staterooms are on two decks, every one of them nearly identical. Practical room with room to hide suitcases. Bathroom only accommodates one at a time, but it works fine. Food, what can we say but, great! Great variety at all meals starting with breakfast. The one "specialty" restaurant is Candles, overseen by Assistant Maitre'd Prast. He and crew of wizards lay out great dinners under the stars on the rear deck. The Wind Spirit's entire crew are always welcoming guest when they see them, a very nice touch. The have a open Bridge Policy. You can tour the bridge at almost anytime. We met several very friendly officers while on the bridge. The Captain, Lyubo Garcityanov is available at all times. We had several very nice and long conversations with the Captain, who told us he evens call his mother regularly. A really nice man. Between ship arranged BBQ's on Motus and crew talent shows, it hard to thinks of a funnier cruise ship on the seven seas! The Wind Spirit is just the ideal ship for those who don't like crowds, who want good food, and the most beautiful islands anywhere. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
First time on Carnival cruises. Not disappointed at all. Rated excellent for service,entertainment and cleanliness. Every stop was on time.Weather was great (August) and that's the best time to visit these islands with lower temps and ... Read More
First time on Carnival cruises. Not disappointed at all. Rated excellent for service,entertainment and cleanliness. Every stop was on time.Weather was great (August) and that's the best time to visit these islands with lower temps and humidity. Only onboard on top decks we need some extra warmth. Could not fault staterooms with excellent stewards. A good surprise was the Carnival Hub app that simply works so well. Text to your friends anywhere onboard for $9pp is fair. It also has 'what happening' for the whole cruise with the ability to notify 15 mins before what you choose. The app contains details of event locations with maps plus ship time. You don't have to pay for internet use for this...just as well as the cheapest deal is $120 that only gives Facebook/Messenger (no calls but pic and vid work) and very limited Google. No emails at this price either...have to pay $60 more for that. Entertainment was high standard with excellent showrooms. Soft drink package is $82.50 but I should have considered paying separately as were only $1.75 each. Great free coffee,Pizza and ice cream all 24 hours. Coffee included cappuccino and hot chocolate with frother. Pizza was OK but not fabulous. Same as ice cream. Gym etc was very modern and well equipped with steam room sauna and spa in a private atmosphere. Restaurants had beautiful decor nice meals with excellent service. Felt that meals repeated with limited choices but themes were a nice touch. Every night the staff added a few minutes of dancing that we looked forwarded to. They also dressed for theme nights. We did not dine at extra cost restaurants so cannot comment on these but they seemed enticing. The burger bar and Tacos were a nice option. Did not try the topside grille but it smells nice when passing. Finally saw Mystery island after previous cruises could not get there. We thought they underrated it. Beautiful clear waters with nice beaches to snorkel free. Good tracks as well that avoids getting bogged in sand. Plenty to do in a nice surroundings. Mare island wasn't much but still was enjoyed as long as you can walk a few Klms. Vila doesn't change but there's still plenty to do and the only place to shop duty free. Lifou is still lovely. 9 years ago we snorkeled in Janeck bay free - now it's $30pp! The cave trip is definitely worth the $10 but it's around 2k walk and not sold on ship. A lovely trip overall only slightly spoilt by rough weather on way back. Big swell of 6-8 meter waves rocked the ship forward to aft but the great stabilisers reduced the sideways movement. Some passengers over dramatised the movements after a few plates were broken and thought they were going to die so contacted the media for their fame - but most knew they were in good hands and returned on time. I've been in much worse when the harbour was closed for 2 days and nobody was even injured! Accolades to Carnival's Captain and all staff for a great trip. I would rank Carnival above some other brands. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Here is the short version of my review. My longer detailed version is below. If you are a first time cruiser with no expectations and you are looking for an average cruise on an average ship with an average crew the pacific dawn is ... Read More
Here is the short version of my review. My longer detailed version is below. If you are a first time cruiser with no expectations and you are looking for an average cruise on an average ship with an average crew the pacific dawn is perfect for you. However, if you are an experienced cruiser with expectations for anything above the bare minimum I would absolutely avoid this ship and this cruise. Long version: this was the first time my wife and I had ever cruised with P&O and it will be the last. We paid a little bit more with Holland America but we had a much better experience! I can't say anything was really TERRIBLE about P&O and the Pacific Dawn but there was nothing above the bare minimum either. There was rust in our cabin and on the outside of the ship. The ship is 28 years old and it is dated and worn out. Half way through our cruise some of the toilets on the lower decks started to back up and smell really bad. Our bed was nice but the pillows we were given were terrible. The crew were nice enough and were never rude but most of them never went out of their way to learn our names or give us anything above the bare minimum. The food was not bad but it was very average. We were not impressed. P&O also charges 5 dollars or more for all the extras (ice cream, hamburgers, hotdogs etc) the only food they don't charge extra for is the food served at breakfast, lunch or dinner The on board entertainment was not bad but again, it was very average. Their "library" is a mobile book cart and the selection is extremely limited. The TV in our room wasn't on demand. If you wanted to watch something you had to plan your day so you wouldn't miss the movie. Now for the positives: P&O does not charge that daily gratuity fee which is very refreshing. Additionally, not every show or every meal were terrible but overall, both the shows and the meals were just average. They did offer a free kitchen gallery tour which many other cruise lines charge upwards of 50 dollars for. That was neat. Also our room stewards really did a good job taking care of us. Some of these complaints might seem petty but as experienced cruisers we just expected more and were disappointed. But as the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for". P. S. Full disclosure, after we disembarked in Singapore P&O claims they are putting the ship in dry dock for 12 days and renovating everything. Unfortunately we weren't on board the ship again to see the results. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have been to Tahiti in the past, but never taken a cruise. We decided to give it a try so we could experience several islands and excursions in a short amount of time, without having to worry about accommodations or dining. There were 8 ... Read More
We have been to Tahiti in the past, but never taken a cruise. We decided to give it a try so we could experience several islands and excursions in a short amount of time, without having to worry about accommodations or dining. There were 8 of us in our group ranging from 8 to 82 years old. Overall, the ports of call, excursions, crew service, food and cabin were superb. We loved the fact that it was a small cruise (300+ passengers) because everything was more personal. The Good - The food was top notch. Good breakfast and lunch selection and very good dinner selections. The waiters were very attentive. - The cabin was comfortable and nice, but the extras (food, cleanliness, special requests, etc) made it special. - The excursions were entertaining and varied; scuba departing from the on-ship marina was a very nice touch. Room for Improvement - It was somewhat of a hassle having to stay in a hotel a day before departure and during the day of disembarkation. In addition, it wasn't clear what kind of food was included at the hotel; the food was just OK and expensive. - The pool is definitely small and it more for show than actual usage. - The online excursion reservation system was fine, but make sure you do it before the cutoff date. - The entertainment was adequate, but having the same band for "everything" during the cruise got a little tiring. We enjoyed immensely our cruise and next time we will probably do the tuamotus... One last piece of advice, even though the gratuities are included, do leave gratuities to the 4 or 5 people that were outstanding during the cruise; they do appreciate it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We booked this cruise to celebrate our 40th anniversary. This is our third Windstar cruise in the past 5 years and it was amazing. 140 passengers, 102 crew members that spoiled us for 11 days. Our trip included airfare and all the ... Read More
We booked this cruise to celebrate our 40th anniversary. This is our third Windstar cruise in the past 5 years and it was amazing. 140 passengers, 102 crew members that spoiled us for 11 days. Our trip included airfare and all the transfers during the trip. We were met at the airport and taken by bus to the Intercontinental Hotel for our overnight stay. This hotel is a lovely oasis with a variety of pools, a lagoon and beach with plenty of water sports activities. All the transfers were smooth and efficient. The check in process at the ship the next afternoon was smooth and fast. Our cabin was mid ship on the first level. The cabin is small, but very well appointed. Plenty of space for our bags, our clothes and snorkeling gear. The cabin steward kept the cabin clean and neat throughout the trip. We purchased the laundry plan and each morning a bag of dirty clothes were picked up and at the end of the day clean clothes were waiting for us in our room. It allowed me to pack all the clothes I need for an 11 day cruise including my snorkel and mask in a single carry-on suitcase! My wife has some food allergies and wait staff on board made sure that her food was prepared in a manner to not allow any cross contamination that might impact her health. Breakfast and lunch were served with the choice of indoor or outdoor seating. Breakfasat included a nice spread of fruits, fresh baked goods, buffet style eggs, bacon, sausage, etc or you could order a made to order omelet, or a choice of about a half dozen other entries that were varied each day. (Pancakes, french toast, eggs benedict, ....). Lunch included a choice of salads, a handful of buffet style entries and a fresh food station that varied each day (tacos, pasta, roast). The wait staff provided excellent service. Dinner was served most nights in the large indoor dining room, and one night on deck in the open air. Each night the menu offered an amazing variety of starters, main courses and desserts. The dinner on deck featured grilled seafood, steak, pork and chicken options. We took a number of tours that were arranged thru WindStar. The Blue Lagoon tour on Fakarava was sold out before the cruise, so we took the Snorkeling at Pufuna tour. There was a strong current that afternoon and this tour was probably our least favorite of the cruise. Book the Blue Lagoon if you can, the people that took that tour said it was very good. On Rangiroa we took the Snorkeling at the Aquarium Coral Garden trip. It was a short boat trip to the coral reef and water was teaming with colorful fish. That afternoon we took the tender into the dock and walked around the island. We had a very pleasant stop at Josephine's overlooking the pass. The day at Motu Mahaea was excellent. We did not do an excursion that day. We swam in the waters off the private beach, enjoyed the excellent bbq lunch and strolled around the island. It was a fantastic day. The two days at sea were a little rocky. I would recommend getting the seasick patches beforehand. On Huahine we took the Sacred Sites & Cultural Walk. Our guide Manu was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot about the Polynesian people. The hike up to one of the sacred sites was not for people with mobility issues. Bora Bora was fantastic. We booked a trip via Trip Advisor with Tohora Bora Bora that was outstanding. We also booked the Shark and Manta Ray encounter with WindStar. Swimming with the sharks and rays was a highlight of the trip! For my money, Moorea was the most beautiful of the islands. My wife booked the Dolphin outing and had a great time. I booked the photo tour with Eyes of Moorea. Reno took us up to Magic Mountain and the Belvedere lookout and gave us some great tips on how to shot interesting travel photos. Overall, the tours and excursions that we took really added to our enjoyment of the cruise. Since this ship is smaller than most, it can anchor in areas away from the larger cruise ships. In fact, we only had one day out of 11 where we saw another cruise ship at the same port as we were visiting! We enjoyed the back of the ship sports deck and equipment a number of times. My friend took out the sailboat and kayak and we found that swimming behind the ship was a great way to relax after a morning of visiting one of the islands. This cruise is a great way to see French Polynesia. Excellent service, food and activities. My wife and I have traveled extensively over the years and I have to say that this trip is one of the highlights of all our travels. I look forward to returing to these islands again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
If you are expecting variety, pleasant atmosphere, entertainment, luxury, relaxation, or well maintained facilities, EVEN wifi, you'll be in for a nasty shock. This was our first cruise. We will NOT be going back to Carnival ... Read More
If you are expecting variety, pleasant atmosphere, entertainment, luxury, relaxation, or well maintained facilities, EVEN wifi, you'll be in for a nasty shock. This was our first cruise. We will NOT be going back to Carnival cruises ever again. Our cruise was just a 4 dayer to Moreton Island. It's fortunate my husband and I can entertain ourselves, because this cruiseline is geared towards a) little children who don't know any better b) people who like to be in bars for 26 hours a day c) those with bad hearing d) dummies who would pay for things that should be freely available and e)....ah...shall I say less than your average sort of person. BOARDING: We had priority boarding. It went quite well. We arrived at 11am and boarded at 11.10. The problem was, our room was supposed to be one of the first ready, and it wasn't. No where near. We had nothing to do for 2 hours + while it was sorted. In fact, doors to accommodation were closed, with signes on Do Not Enter, until 1.30. Even then, ours was still locked and incomplete with no card to get in. Apparently we should have been able to get in early. So we had to hang around, lucky Sydney was so pretty to look at. CABIN: Our room was nice, we'd paid extra for a vista suite, one of the most roomy cabins in the ship, aft. Very nice, and nice and clean thanks to our very nice lady, Sunny, who was one of the few highlights of the cruise. The balcony was dirty and glass filthy. Don't expect a roomy suite, it's still a little cramped, but to be expected. It has a very nice balcony, wrap around the stern. Worth the money for the view and the 'get away from it all'. It had a delicious bed,...that's one of the 'dot' ratings. Pillows annoying, but the bed was lovely. The room had curtains on rails which swung and squeaked after every trough and wave. Try that when you're going to sleep??? Door to the bathroom kept swinging too. The lights, which dimmed if held pressed, were a nightmare to navigate. all over the place and which ones did which was a mystery. Plenty of hanging space and drawers (if you need that sort of thing), a big bathroom, if you need THAT sort of thing. Stupid shower water mixer, obviously people are scalded by it, because there was a sign on the wall. I hate combo faucet/shower heads where you have to press or pull the button to choose. A small lounge area with TVs, one chair had back wheels missing, never could work out if on purpose so it leaned back, or not. Lounge was diabolical. FAR to wide to sit leaning back, and vinyl, so you slipped when you tried. No cushions. If you're only 157cm, (5'2") it was ridiculous. Bottles of water cost $4.50 each. Not even one for free. Hmmmm. I'm beginning to start to wonder. DECOR: of the ship......oLD FASHIONED TACK. oh me..oh my. Think a cross between a bad Buckingham Palace / Titanic / Op shop - and you'll get my drift. (pardon the pun). ANY level surface was patterned with faux 1930s patterns. Nauseating carpet patterns, golden cupids and fat GOLD heads, swirls and glass and pretend copper and brass, wood veneer, and giant chandeliers and claw footed furniture. Oh, and my personal favourite.....the fake frescos of nude gods, goddesses, angels and just...well just naked people badly painted ...actually really HORRIBLY painted, all over the ceilings and on multiple rondels around the walls. Add to that the framed artwork...matching I'll add....of (yes you guessed it) more naked people, very ordinary artworks of things like greek gods. In our suite, Venus was being fondled by Cupid. It was pedophilic. I can't understand why someone let that be hung in a room! You've no idea how off-putting it was to wake up to that huge poster every morning. the artist should be shot. So should the decorator. It was the most hideous attempt at vintage glamour I've ever seen. TACKY. Ostentatious Tack. MAINTENANCE: The outside of the ship was not much better. I was literally scared that the balcony of our room might fall off, there was so much rust under the paint. The RAILING was stuck on top of the old one, which was warped, peeeling and rusted. The glass along the railing was absolutely filthy, as were our cabin windows. That's a shame since you could see nothing when inside the cabin, looking through dirty windows and a dirty glass railing. aLL throught the ship I noticed peeling veneer, broken foam faux gold leaf cupids etc, In our suite I found it ludicrous that a fairly nice birds eye veneer was used on cupboards and drawers and then old 1980s gold tone plastic handles attached which colour was worn off. Wardrobe door would not slide. Looking at the interior of other ships, this one was a decor disaster, and I'm not even fussy! SAFETY DRILL - i WAS pretty annoyed when we were hearded out onto the deck (though the temp was nice) and made to stand there for 20 minutes, while nothing happened, then a ridiculously simple safety blurb - how to put on a life jacket. (really??) and then stand there for a nother 10 minutes whjile nothing happens. Then a very loud horn (there go a few more of my aural cilia) and we're apparently allowed to go. FOOD: tHERE are 3 main areas to eat. a) the communal eat what you want, as much as you want, wheneve you want. (Except you can't, because it's not open all the time, only the pizza, tea and coffee is.) b) The posh restaurant upstairs. c) the main restaurant comprising of 2 levels. The food was ok. Pretty good, acceptable. I don't want to make it sound great. It was fresh enough,a nd there was plenty of it. We ate at all 3 places. POSH RESTAURANT; we booked in very early. Months ago. When we arrived we were annoyed that there was not a window table as we'd asked. "Sorry, we don't do that' he said. Why book then?? He said first come first served. Again...why book then? Food was nice, but my lobster was way overcooked. I'd say in a warmer or something for a while. It was even tough to cut. (It was my one splurge dinner.) Sides were ordered. Broccoli. 2 tiny pieces of broccoli. (If I'd known that I would have order 4 serves!!) and mash with wasabi for my husband. About 2 tablespoons of mash with no wasabi. I couldn't taste any. He couldn't taste any. So I'm saying the sides were a waste of effort. Big steak though. And tender. And we were asked "All OK?" "All good?" "Is food ok?" so many times, I lost count. Literally 20 times by 3-4 different people. It was sooooooo annoying. I had a mushroom entree which was delicious. Then the overcooked lobsters. Then a chocolate sphere, which I understood to be filled with something else..., actually it was all just chocolate, melted with melted chocolate, and with chocolate inside and chocolate smeared on the edge. ERgh. I love choc. But no counterpoint to give some contrast it was sickly. Hey chef, ever heard of raspberries? or orange? or even cream? Meals are $55 for choice of 3 courses. EMPIRE RESTAURANT: (THE middle one) Staff are tremendous. Work like trojans serving all the hundreds of people, sitting at decadently decorated tables in the ostentatious huge dining room. They're quick, efficient, and super friendly. The menu is not anything special. It has most of the food that is also served upstairs at the posh restaurant (for an exctra $30), and all of the food from the serve yourself buffet, but put on a plate for you. (free). You can choose what you want, multiple times if you want. So it's really like a buffet, but you can't see the food and someone else gets it for you. It's ok food though. Except I had bouillabaise last night which was just a broth with a few teeny bits of seafood chucked in at the last minute. And a cooked apple with lime pie inside, the apple was so tough I couldn't cut it, obviously not cooked enough, and my husband had one too, but it was only half the size!!! Breakfast is also held in this room. BUFFET: Welcome to cattle class. In many respects. Pushers, shovers, pigs. (sorry, but true. - I guess this style attracts it.) I enjoyed my couple of visits to the buffet as the food was fine, it was the people who weren't. Also, Carnival, your set up...organisation of food stations is abysmal. Identical lines of food from both sides, both converging inwards to the same place is ridiculous. Especially when that place is also the coffee and tea station. I enjoyed a cantina outside which did taco type things. It was fresh and interesting. There's an all day pizza place, but other than that, only tea coffee hot choc and something they called lemonade, but to us (Aussies) it's very strong sweet lemon cordial. It was hideous. Really, no soft drinks or even WATER!!! No juice either. I suppose you could get it from the bar if you wanted to. BARS: Speaking of bars...the inumerable multiple bars all over the ship. You couldn't escape them. Clearly the focus of attention for designers. 2/3 of the public areas ...at least...were bars. Maybe you like that.. I didn't. Why on earth would you drink inside a ship, when you could ...well...drink outside of one? And why is there a need for 7 or more bars? Bar people will not make drinks to order. One day, I went to get a cocktail. I wanted one without orange juice as I'm allergic to it. I asked for a cocktail off the list, but substitute the oj for coconut milk or something, as I like it creamy. Barman said no. I thought he was joking. He said can't do. I said 'What?" he said can't leave out orange juice. I said I don't want oj. He said I can't do. People around me are shaking their heads...what? why? pick something else. OK...pina colada but no ice. No. Can't do. (pina colada's aren't made like dacquiri, they're not icy, and he was making them like that.) No can't do. I asked him why, he just shook his head. I said, but I'm paying for it!!! So I had to make a complaint. I never ever complain. Long stoir short. Dep Head Barman explained. They won't make drinks to order. Too many people on board. (I'm thinking, why would you hire barmen that can't make drinks to order? the bars are never crowded because there's so many of them.) Also, apparently no coconut milk. Really? on a tropical cruise? They use pina colada mix. No pineapple juuice, no coconut cream. Just a stodgy looking mixture. ergh. NO WIFI - unbelievably, there is no wifi on the ship. (I'm not an idiot, I can work out why. - they do not want passengers on their phones or tablets for free, instead of bars and restaurants, casino and shops where they would be spending money.) For this reason also, there is NO NEWSAGENT, NO BOOKSHOP etc on board. They don't want you reading, when you could be drinking or gambling or otherwise spending more money!!! So after leaving sydney and my 4g carks it, I start to wonder. Where is the wifi. I get the Carnival Hub,a nd to my dismay it costs $72 PER PERSON to get 4 day cruise long middle of the road wifi. (not hispeed and not all sites, eg no youtube). You can switch devices, but not at the same time. So husband and I could not be on wifi at once unless we had two accounts. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Even aeroplanes have wifi. Coober Pedy, in the desert of South Australia has wifi and that's 850 kilometres away from the nearest city. And you're telling me acruise ship, 10kms off coast, can't give wifi? It's because it's another cash grab. Pay for wifi, or pay to do something else. No entertainment for free on this ship. So we bought ONE wifi account, swapping devices, and only one of us using it at a time, when we needed to. however. IT WOULDN'T WORK IN OUR BEDROOM OR ON OUR BALCONY. Wifi is garbage on the ship. It's slow, and I don't know about you, I like lying in bed looking at emails whenI'm on hols. And I had to sit on the bed, as I couldn't sit on the slide wide sofa. But I couldn't get wifi in the bedroom. Soooooo annoying when I'd paid $72 for it. That's more than 2 months worth of wifi I pay at home! ENTERTAINMENT: As you may have observed, I'm not a fan of 24 hour drinking, gambling or eating. I naively expected there to be entertainment on board. Adult entertaiment. Not "ADULT" but for adults. Not bean bag tossing. Not the hairy chest competition. :/ NOT a lecture about ...wait for it....wrinkles. I didn't want to have my photo taken, I can do that. I would have played trivia or even bingo in a pinch, but these more fun games were held in random spaces in side passages in a few seats in a cafe with people filing past and talking through them. It was impossible. Adn it wasn't for grown ups so kids were running around and talking. Seriously? Think about it. Can't hear the question, can't hear the answer. No point. So...THINGS TO DO. Virtually nothing. Unless you like drinking eating or gambling or spending money on rubbish. There are shops (jewellery, souvenirs, photos.) tHAT'S it. There are theme nights, if you're willing to risk your hearing. An 80s night for this cruise. Nothing else going. So if it's raining or windy, be aware. You will be very very bored. No internet, no books, tiny pools, no activities worth doing. Just a thought...Carnival. Try some FREE activities. What about a 'get fit' class on the deck. What about an 'All about Moreton Island' exhibition for 2 days ont he way there, and an 'all about the ocean' exhbition on the way back. What about a singalong, a talent show, a cooking exhibition. What about a FREE tour of the engine room (you had to pay). What about a mini borrow-library? A music room? A makeup show. The activities were pathetic and cash grabs, and here's the worst of them. ART AUCTION: There was the most bizarre art show I have ever witnessed. And being an artist myself, I have witnessed plenty, including some pretty odd ones. The organiser was a woman who spoke 3.75 x the speed of sound. Even when she was speaking 'normally'. People were sniggering behind their hands at her. She needs to take something to slow her up a bit. Around 30 minutes of blurb on how, why, who and when, would have been soporific, but for the voice of Speedy Gonzales. she informed us that SHE would determine the starting price, NOT the buyers who usually start an auction. (OK....), and SHE would put in bids whenever she felt necessary. (??? OK......) And the starting bid for the first piece of work was $6000. Six Grand. Did I hear correctly? or have my ears lost 75% hearing due to the ridiculous noise of the music in all the bars? You might not flinch at that. But the 'work', was done in highlighter and permanent marker. In fact, I have never seen such a flagrant upsell, overqualifying sales pitch for such utter rubbish in all my life. The 'works', were clearly up to 20 years old, absolutely revolting pictures, sad huge old gold tone wooden frames bashed and beaten, and reused over and over agiain, with the work begin recycled for cruise after cruise, until some idiot buys it. at $6000. I would say none of the work was painted in Australia. It6 looked like 1980s American junk store stuff. Oh boy. To add insult to injury, a 'free' glass of champagne and orange was offered just before the auction to soften the wallets of the numbskulls who were considering a hefty purchase. Only to be outbid by the seller, who could put in a bid over you to bid you up. Leaving you bidding against yourself. They called it 'collecting'. You can collect art from your cruises. People. People. Do yourself a favour. Go to Saint Vincent de Paul op shop. Pick up the same type of thing for $4 and be done with it. Or better, go to the art show of a local community Art Society and pick up a beautiful artwork recently painted, with genuine provenance, and the blessing of the artist, in a clean and modern frame. $500 should buy you a real cracker! PUBLIC AREAS: did I mention the music? No relaxing music, just super loud, aggravating ear pounding music. In all the bars, and pool areas. All the time. Even the accoustic guitar guy, who was the best of them, was sooooooo loud I wouldn't have put my children in the pool near him. No relaxing anywhere there. Nup. SPEAKING OF POOLS: Not pools. small spa style areas. They LOOK like pools in the pictures because of the huge overflow areas, like paddle areas about 1" deep, but which take up 2/3 of the pool area. The pools themselves are minute. About 4-5 metres long adn 2-3 metres wide. It would fit 20 people in max. No self respecting adult is going to get into a pool that small with 100 kids trying to get in. There is a 'serenity' area which has an even smaller pool. Think about it. Thousands of people. tiny tiny pools. I didnt travel with my older chldren, thank goodness. they would have been bored out of their trees. MORETON ISLAND. We loved it. We took our snorkel gear and walked the 2kms or whatever it is up to the wrecks and swam around on them looking at the gorgeous sea life. Then found a quiet sushi bar and bought an Asahi and a sushi. OH! I almost forgot. THE SHUTTLE BOAT. How could I forget that. It was an exciting experience to say the least. The WAITING: We were told we could o over at any time. We left at 9.50. We didn't ACTUALLY leave until 11.10am. Why? because there were tiny shuttle boats, and so few of them, and we were all herded into the auditorium with numbers, waiting our turn. It took over an hour for our turn. Really? There has to be a better way. The cruise director made it sound like we were SOOOO lucky to be getting on "Now for lucky 38. If you're 38 you can go to the island!!" It was ridiculous. At least have some entertainment for the 400 or so people all waiting to leave. the DRIVER: Picture this. You give your $150,000 car to your 14 year old to drive up to the shops and back. That's what it felt like. On the return trip, our boat driver was so pitiful it beggared belief. My husband is a Master 5 ticket holder, meaning he can drive BIG boats. He felt like he should go and offer assistance he was so pathetic. First, he zigzagged his way through the passage with reverse thrusters every time he needed to slow or turn. (use twice as much fuel and spin the boat around erratically, over steering to compensate.) It took 10x longer to get back than it did to come over. Worst, when we came alongside the ship, he tried to reverse it again, it should have taken around 12 seconds, with maybe 3 manouvres. It was a fairly calm sea. He botched it so badly the boat spun around 360 degrees TWICE! another boat came in, instead, probably to show the driver how to do it. (aka don't reverse up, just drive up to it!!) our driver still did not do that, mucking around over steering and reversing, and ultimately going forward, but so poorly he crashed into the SHIP!! All the passengers screamed, and while I knew nothing would happen, the sound was tremendous and the other passengers scared. Crew were standing on the ship watching the pitiful attempt, in disbelief. There was even a small vessel coming in, a bumpered vessel like a 'pusher', to help 'push' the shuttle into position. It was atrocious. And terrible of Carnival to hire boat drivers in charge of their passengers who have no skill and put lives at risk. They should be ashamed. You may have figured this kind of cruise is not for me. I have done many things like this, and don't get seasick. But I was dismayed at this cruise. It was a cash grab pure and simple. Only the staff saved it. Most of them anyway. They were helpful and worked hard. Probably don't get paid enough for the hard work they do. Most were overseas workers from the Philippines or Russia. 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

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