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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
a quick 4 night getaway on Pacific Explorer. This is my third time on this ship, and actually like the interior. The cruise was out of White Bay as there was a bigger ship in the OSPT in Circular Quay. Our cabin was a mini suite, and ... Read More
a quick 4 night getaway on Pacific Explorer. This is my third time on this ship, and actually like the interior. The cruise was out of White Bay as there was a bigger ship in the OSPT in Circular Quay. Our cabin was a mini suite, and quite tastefully furnished. The beds were comfy and the pillows are actually fine (previously the pillows had been a contention on other P&O ships). The weird thing about the mini suite is the setup of the bathroom. The shower and bath are in one area, and through the door is the toilet and sink. This means that you can't get out of the bath and brush your teeth without having to go next door to the single sink. Our cabin stewards were friendly and gave us a lot of attention. Although they didn't introduce themselves till the second night. The room was serviced twice per day. The balcony is a bit small for a mini suite, not in length but in depth. Food was actually not bad at all. We went to a taste of salt (excellent and well worth the $99 per person cover charge). We also tried Dragon Lady and Angelo's as well as Shell and Bones. The disappointing thing is that if you actually want a decent meal, you have to pay for it. No drama if it's reasonably priced. Angelo's was the star of the free meal selection. The pasta was warm and tasted excellent. The secret bar is the Bonded Store, and I can highly recommend you find this small out of the way place, it's by the blue room. Blink and you'll miss it, as it's hidden around a corner. The "nightclub" which is situated in the Blue Room after about 11:30pm was always full. I've seen this either empty or over capacity on different cruises. I guess it depends on the itinerary and if the drink packages are in operation. In Moreton Island, we took the Quad bike tour. Enjoyed this very brief excursion, and maybe P&O might consider doing a longer version, as we just drove around in the sand around a made course. Fun to drive, but not really exciting views. Overall not a bad cruise, better than other P&O cruises I've been on before. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2017
I had never been to Australia/New Zealand. This cruise was only New Zealand and most ports were just like big American cities. Didn't see any cool animals. Shopping wasn't very good. I even went to a dollar store where ... Read More
I had never been to Australia/New Zealand. This cruise was only New Zealand and most ports were just like big American cities. Didn't see any cool animals. Shopping wasn't very good. I even went to a dollar store where nothing was a dollar. The women's T-shirts I bought in XL were all too small. Food on the ship was ok - food in the ports was much better. They even ran out of lobster before the last formal night when they always have lobster on the menu. Most of the passengers were Australian and all of the entertainers were Australian including the cruise director. One comedian talked so fast, I didn't understand a word he said. The shows were shown on 2 nights both performances to accommodate so many people. So once you saw that show, there was no alternate entertainment which seemed strange on such a large ship. A lot of the things to do on the ship were geared toward children and young adults - not a whole lot for seniors. I would like to go back to Australia next time on a smaller ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
I had a good cruise but it was not as relaxing as other Princess cruises I have done due to it being in the school holidays and the fact that they had unruly feral children aboard that were allowed to disrupt and spoil other peoples cruise ... Read More
I had a good cruise but it was not as relaxing as other Princess cruises I have done due to it being in the school holidays and the fact that they had unruly feral children aboard that were allowed to disrupt and spoil other peoples cruise experience by running, jumping, somersaulting and bombing into the swimming pools. As an adult the only time you could swim without children hassling you was in the early hours until 10:00am when the little terrors were still fast asleep. Even worst the aft stairwell was littered with empty plates, empty glasses, food scraps and garbage. The worst part about this cruise was that Princess did not attempt to control the behaviour of the children and as a result it tipped the balance from what could have been relaxing when they neglected to care about the cruise experience of guests not travelling with children. Other bad examples were wet seats in the atrium and in particular Crooners Bar where some absolute pig of a passenger(s) had come with wet swimmers from the pools and sat in the lounge chairs. Absolutely disgusting! Further more at time when I was on my balcony many bottles appear to have been thrown from the side of the ship which I began to suspect that children had placed notes in hoping that they will one day wash ashore. My word of warning is in Australia avoid cruising with Princess in the school holidays. Entertainment: This was exactly the same standard as every other Princess cruise I have done. I was very satisfied with the entertainment and shows and could not fault them in anyway. The structure was however frustrating that most shows were at 7pm and 9pm instead of 8pm and 9:45pm like every other Princess cruise I have been on. This was annoying because anytime dining did not start until 7:30pm and meant that if dining service was slow then you would miss out on the 9pm show if you like to see entertainment after dinner. I can only fathom that the change was done do appease little children and their bed time during the school holidays despite the fact that the vast majority of passengers were grown adults. Scheduling was very bad for this ship. Food: Excellent quality of food on the upper decks, buffet and Crown Grill. I absolutely loved the hamburgers and pizzas from near the Neptune Reef and Pool. Main Dining Rooms had good food but when the ship is based in Australia all the Princess favourites are removed and replaced with "crappy Australianised" menus of food that Australians do not eat. One example is that delicious "Baked New York Cheesecake" that is an all time favourite dessert is not available ever if the ship is based in Australia. It is replaced by a rather crappy and underwhelming pavlova that Australians despise. Deck Access: Very poor connection to outdoors and flow with the aft decks from 15 to 19. On the port side of deck 17 from the MUTs it was impossible to walk aft due to barricades however on the starboard side it was possible. Unlike the Diamond and Sapphire Princess, the rear of Skywalker’s nightclub had a rear veranda and open deck access with stairs to the levels below. On Emerald Princess, this area existed but was barricaded off and labelled as an emergency exit. One cannot fathom the difference in rules given the ships share the exact design feature. Open deck access is important for scenic cruising and being on deck during port entrance and departure. Internet: Extremely poor bandwidth and access issues. Continual intranet dropouts during peak times as the wireless connection for the local network was not powerful enough to maintain demand. At quiet times, like during the early hours of the morning the internet worked brilliantly so this proves that when excess passengers were awake that the internet had a problem. This issue does not exist on the Diamond Princess or Golden Princess. Lastly in comparison to the Golden Princess, Sapphire Princess, Diamond Princess I found the Emerald Princess to be overcrowded and had insufficient staff to cater to all passengers. The other ships I have been on are much more relaxing and have less passengers than the Emerald Princess and in my opinion are much better ships. The Diamond Princess which is my current favourite appears to be in much better condition. My next cruise with Princess will be Diamond Princess based in Japan. I have always been happy with these cruises and unfortunately Emerald Princess in Australia has disappointed me. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Four night cruise from Sydney to Moreton Island. This was our second cruise, our first being nine nights to New Caledonia on Carnival Spirit in Feb 2016. Embarkation at the White Bay Container Terminal was fast and efficient. ... Read More
Four night cruise from Sydney to Moreton Island. This was our second cruise, our first being nine nights to New Caledonia on Carnival Spirit in Feb 2016. Embarkation at the White Bay Container Terminal was fast and efficient. Navigating into the carpark beforehand was more of a challenge, but we found our way in eventually (the gps was completely out of its depth). Our balcony room on level nine was roomy enough and adequate for our needs. Our luggage was delivered within a reasonable timeframe. Disembarkation was also very smooth. Dining The Pantry - crowded and stuffy. Quite often long lines for food and usually very difficult to find a place to sit. The layout makes it feel very cramped, and air con seemed to be absent at times which makes it worse. The use of round coffee tables throughout this area also detracts from the experience - low round tables with long, straight bench seats simply don't work. The food itself is of average quality, but it is a good idea how they have staff serve the food rather than self serve as this alleviates hygiene concerns. The Waterfront This is main dining room and we had two breakfasts and two dinners here. The breakfast menu is the same each day and the service was good and the food was hot. The dinner menu changes each day. The service was generally good, the meals were hot on arrival. Food quality and portion sizes were acceptable, though a little small. At our first meal there we ordered mango brûlée for dessert. Yuk. No hint of mango in this dish which consisted of a shallow dish with a thin layer of something like baked custard in it. Salt Grill $49 aud per head - bookings essential. Due to the popularity of this venue we had to accept a 5:30 booking for dinner. Food quality was very good and the service also very good. Flavoursome meals here which contrasted with the tendency towards the bland at the other restaurants. Desserts were also very good. Dragon Lady - modern Asian fusion. Very good service. Food portions were ridiculously small. Main meals would have been considered entrees anywhere else. Desserts were poor. We tried the mango with sticky rice, but again no trace of mango to be found, we also had the chocolate slice which seemed to be made from gelatin and even though it looked like chocolate, it didn't taste like it. Angelo's - Italian restaurant, others in our group had dinner there on the first night and reported that it was terrible and strongly recommended that we avoid it. So we did just that. The dining experience for us on Carnival was better across the board. There was good coffee to be had from a couple of locations -$- ocean bar on 8 and the ice creamery on 11. Entertainment In this area P&O had the edge over Carnival IMO. We really enjoyed the Blue Room with the jazz or blues band each night. Real music played by musicians has always been my preference as opposed to carbon copy cover songs. The acoustic guitar player, Troy, was very good too, playing recognizable covers but well and truly in his own style. The song and dance shows in the large auditorium were not much different to what we had seen on Carnival and are ok if you like that sort of thing. The theme nights were both great, the Gatsby Party on the second night was well attended throughout the various bars on level 8 with maybe half the people making some kind of effort at dressing in theme. Lots of dancing and even some free glasses of champagne being handed around. Would have been nice if the entertainers had dressed in theme too (I am talking about the blues band here.) The White Night party on deck 11 on the third night was great fun too. Pumping music a mixture of DJ and live band worked really well and a fair percentage of those in attendance were in white (to some extent). Steady Eddie was great on the final night. More comedy would not have gone astray. The only time we found ourselves relocating to another bar to escape an act on stage was the final night during the 'staff jam session' in the Blue Room. Not good. The Staff Most staff were attentive and cheerful, but some were decidedly not so. No eye contact and seemingly more intent in returning to other things. This was quite noticeable from day one on this ship. Carnival has a sizable edge over P&O in this area. The Cruise Our cruise started by not starting! Our departure time of 5pm came and went while we sat expectantly on the outside rear deck with cocktails in hand. Eventually an announcement came over from the captain 'on the bridge' that due to a malfunction with the electrical control system out departure would be delayed. Long story short, it took a day and a half to resolve the issue so Moreton Island was dropped from the itinerary and we cruised in the ocean for two days. All passengers were promised a full refund of their cruise fare. I am sure that many, like myself, compensated by drinking more than they may have done otherwise and this may have contributed to the enthusiastic participation and dancing on both party nights! Overall - we really enjoyed our cruise on the Pacific Eden with our group of family and friends. Highlights were the party nights and the onboard live entertainment. The bar areas were all very nice. Downsides were the food which was generally mediocre, and the unforeseen technical issues which unfortunately denied us a full day of travel. Read Less

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