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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise because embarkation was local and we didn't have to fly somewhere else to experience our first cruise. We traveled as a family (4 of us) with some family friends. (3 of them). Embarkation was chaos, but ... Read More
We chose this cruise because embarkation was local and we didn't have to fly somewhere else to experience our first cruise. We traveled as a family (4 of us) with some family friends. (3 of them). Embarkation was chaos, but with a little patience and abit of understanding, it didn't really take that long to go through the process before finally ending up on the boat. The boat was in pretty good nik considering its age. Made us wonder about what it would've been like in its prime. Still, everything looked fine and also we had nothing else to compare it too. Our cabin was a quad, oceanview and enough room for us. The dinning was fantastic, but i must admit, we did get sick of eating at the fine dining restaurants. Sometimes a simple sandwich or some good ole home cooked food is what we started craving towards the end... Service - well, some rude, but the majority were fantastic; Of the rude ones, my terrible attitude kicked in and the little voice in my head said - you wanted to work the cruise ship so...... Our kids loved the ship - especially with the soft drinks and Edge pass packages!! They did find the kids clubs abit boring as they're more action adventure kids as opposed to the indoor on playstations all day type!! We found the shows really good, the guests fantastic, and my man Faraz our cabin steward was the bomb. We gave that dude some extra coin when we left. We "hooked that brother up".... One thing of importance to note - I've read lots of reviews on here about VIP this and VIP that on board other ships. The Pearl didn't make any of us feel excluded. You ALL lined up for dinner. You ALL lined up for Tender boats. Whether you had black undies or white undies - all the same skid marks!!!! Overall, thanks to the Pearl for an awesome first cruise and for popping our cherry :P Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise for the port of call at Komodo Island. Our boarding experience was good, cabin (ocean view) was larger than most modern cruise ships but in a very poor state of repair. The floor gave underneath you when you walked ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the port of call at Komodo Island. Our boarding experience was good, cabin (ocean view) was larger than most modern cruise ships but in a very poor state of repair. The floor gave underneath you when you walked near dressing table and had a large nail/screw sticking out of the carpet. These concerns were addressed to a certain extent but as this was the last cruise for the Pacific Pearl under the P&O banner staff not really interested. Cabin steward was excellent. The food onboard was very disappointing. Dining room staff was very good but food was not. If you wanted anything decent to eat like a steak, plate of prawns or lobster it was available every day but you had to pay an extra charge. To me this was appalling. People go on a cruise for an all inclusive holiday not to be ripped off for anything decent to eat. The deserts were tasteless in fact they all seemed to taste the same. If you had a cup of expresso type coffee, which you paid for, the pastries were charged for at $4 each. They were very tasty and the lemon meringue pie was a proper desert not like what was served one evening in the Horizon Court one evening which was a blob of yellow flavored goo with a smudge of meringue on top which was blow torched brown. The entertainment was ok but not much of it during the days at sea e.g., 7 or 8 times sessions by Spa Staff trying to promote their services or selling something. Very crude Australian woman comedian she was disgusting. This cruise has left me feeling very disillusioned with cruising but one thing for sure we will never cruise P&O Australia again. Our impression of them is that they try to gouge as much as they can from you. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This was our first cruise - family of three. Can totally recommend this to everyone. We found arriving to board the most daunting - not having done it before - but there were people everywhere and it seemed a little crazy. But, the ... Read More
This was our first cruise - family of three. Can totally recommend this to everyone. We found arriving to board the most daunting - not having done it before - but there were people everywhere and it seemed a little crazy. But, the staff at the check-in desk were more than happy to help and send us in the right direction. We had a balcony cabin (well worth the extra $ if you can). The cabin was well serviced, great comfortable space. Great size bathroom too. The staff were amazing - always working and very friendly and helpful. The food was great - lots of choices. Never went hungry! Even our son was satisfied and he can be a fussy eater! The ship itself was great too - heaps of things to do and explore. We had time to relax too! We went to a couple of shows which were great, nice to have the choice of different things to do and see. The HQ kids club was amazing - our 12 year old son was more than happy. The staff were really welcoming and friendly. The shore tours were well organised and heaps to choose from. Christine, the tour manager, is amazing. She is really helpful and always smiling. We found no problem with disembarkation - really when docked at port otherwise had to queue to get off - but we had some priority tickets so we could skip the queue. They come with the balcony cabin - so another reason to book that, Sad to see the Pearl leave - would have loved to go on another cruise on her. Will definitely go on another P & O cruise. Thanks so much for making our experience so memorable and amazing! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This was my second cruise, and both cruises have been on the Pacific Pearl. The entertainment staff and the cabin stewards were excellent, they really go all out to make sure that your cruise is enjoyable. The shows were great, and there ... Read More
This was my second cruise, and both cruises have been on the Pacific Pearl. The entertainment staff and the cabin stewards were excellent, they really go all out to make sure that your cruise is enjoyable. The shows were great, and there was plenty of entertainment available. I found the food average. You get what you pay for and if you really want something nice then you need to pay the extra and go to salt grill. I like the fact that there are so many hand sanitisers around the place and that the staff ensure you use some before helping yourself in the plantation restaurant. Embarkation was a bit of a nightmare to be fair, as were some of the lines for tenders. Through no fault of the staff or the company there did seem to be a flu going around the ship and this wasnt pleasant on the day of disembarkation when everyone was squished into the various lounges with standing room only awaiting their turn to disembark, surrounded by other guests who were coughing and spluttering. There has to be a better way............ We did end up getting sick and the disembarkation system seemed to be a sure recipe for it. We had some amazing experiences on the ship and it really is a wake up call when you get off and you are met by everyday rudeness, something that you largely seem to escape from when on board both from the wonderful staff and the friendly fellow passengers. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
My wife and I treated ourselves to a 10-day around NZ cruise aboard “Pacific Pearl”, leaving Auckland on Feb 28th. It was the first (and last!) cruise for us – I doubt we will ever entertain another. On arrival for embarkation, we ... Read More
My wife and I treated ourselves to a 10-day around NZ cruise aboard “Pacific Pearl”, leaving Auckland on Feb 28th. It was the first (and last!) cruise for us – I doubt we will ever entertain another. On arrival for embarkation, we had to queue in the hot sun for about 30mins, following which we entered what can only be described as an enormous old cattle shed. Prior to entry we were obliged to dispose of what water we had in our own drink bottle despite the fact that it was very hot in there. There must have been over 1500 people queueing in parallel rows (as at an airport) and we were stuck in there for about 2hours. It was a shambles. It was extremely hot and uncomfortable and many folk were coughing in the humid atmosphere. We felt exhausted by the time we reached the check-in point. However, we were eventually processed courteously and efficiently and were very pleased to finally get on board. Our cabin was clean and tidy and we met our two cabin stewards who were very polite and helpful and easy to get on with. It was disappointing that the cabin window was so filthy. (You pay extra for a window cabin so it would be nice to be able to see out of it!) Apart from that the cabin was comfortable, as was the bed. The bathroom was clean and toilet & shower were good. There was always hot water throughout the duration of our cruise. P&O’s description “State Room” is a bit OTT though! We had no trouble adjusting and getting into “cruise” mode. The food and service in the Waterfront Restaurant were excellent and the Plantation where we went for breakfast was generally very good. We enjoyed a couple of evenings in The Orient bar. We had a package deal called “The Lot” which meant our drinks (alcoholic or not) were free provided they didn’t exceed a certain price. This worked well but we found it very odd that it didn’t seem to apply to water! There were 2 large bottles of water in our cabin which were free initially but once they were finished P&O wanted to charge an exorbitant price to replace them. Then we found out that bottled water was free but only if you obtained it yourself from one of the bars – and only then you could only have one small bottle per person per transaction. About 48 hrs into the cruise I began to feel like I was developing a cold. We noticed a lot of people coughing – particularly in the Plantation restaurant. Normal social protocols like covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing didn’t seem to apply to everyone and there were quite a number of people coughing openly over food or into the general atmosphere. I must stress that P&O are not to blame for people’s behaviour in general but I’m just telling it like it was. To cut a long story short my cold developed into a nasty ‘flu (which I’m certain I got from my time in the cattle shed). Then my wife went down with it too so we sought medical attention from the on-board Doctor. The Doctor and medical staff were lovely and treated us promptly and with kindness and compassion. As expected, we were masked up and sent back to be confined to our cabin for a couple of days – which we didn’t mind because we didn’t feel up to much socialising anyway. Whilst confined to cabin, it would have been nice to have had something light to eat. Maybe a boiled egg and toast or a little ice cream – something like that. But no apparently that was too much trouble. All that was on offer was Pizza, soup, hamburgers or a bowl of wedges. Normally yummy but not the sort of thing you fancy when you’re down with the ‘flu. One of the medical staff told us they had been trying to get a sick menu up and running for some time but without success. To be fair, we did get a couple of cabin visits from a lovely caring nurse who checked our temperatures; etc. Judging by the number of files the nurse was carrying, we were a long way from being the only ones confined to cabin. Unsurprising really. When you are confined to cabin due to illness, your cabin stewards are temporarily replaced with a team who come in twice daily to sanitise the area more thoroughly than would be done by the cabin stewards. Affectionately known as the “Hit Squad”, these guys are fast and cheerfully doing a job that not everyone would relish. A point to watch out for here - we were later to discover that our travel insurance company viewed our sickness as two separate “events” and thus applied the policy excess twice despite the fact that we took out one policy in my name to cover both of us. No amount of arguing with them helped (of course not – they’re an insurance company) During the course of the voyage, the scheduled stops at Stewart Island and Picton had to be cancelled because of bad weather. This was disappointing for many but didn’t bother us too much as we were happy to be in our cabin. We are both good sailors and I actually love watching rough seas – a pity I couldn’t see much due to the state of the window! Despite what I have written so far, we are not serial complainers and no doubt would have enjoyed our time much more had we not been unwell. The Captain came across as very competent and explained his reasons for cancelling the two stops very succinctly and professionally. Some people we spoke to were disappointed that the ship returned to Auckland via the East coast of the North Island instead of the West Coast as they were under the impression ( as we were) that the cruise would circumnavigate the country. This turned out not to be the case. We cannot blame P&O for the weather of course but we do feel that, given the cost of the cruise, they could have done much better with both embarking and disembarking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2017
Comedy cruise was chosen as a birthday get-together for friends and family. A bit miffed that P&O didn't also mention it was an NRL cruise for the Auckland 9's but that's no reflection of the ship. This was our ... Read More
Comedy cruise was chosen as a birthday get-together for friends and family. A bit miffed that P&O didn't also mention it was an NRL cruise for the Auckland 9's but that's no reflection of the ship. This was our second P&O cruise in 3 months and we preferred the Pearl to the Jewel, even though it's older. The decor is brighter and the whole ship just looked and smelt fresher. The crew were long-term Pearl staff, with some there since before it coming to P&O, and they have a pride in the ship (more so than the Jewel crew) and they told us that they were sad it was leaving the fleet. The facilities were all good, but I agree with some reviews that some areas were cold (Connexions). Our 17yr old had a ball in HQ+ but our 16yr old didn't. Entertainment was great and the food got better over the cruise. Funny that we preferred the buffet style (The Plantation) over the newer style in the Pacific Jewel (The Pantry). That said, we ate mostly at The Waterfront and the service was excellent (thanks Gerlie!). Special meal at Luna was brilliant and it was good to try the Thai after having the Japanese on the Jewel. I can see why P&O is replacing their ships with Princess ships (The Pearl is being replaced by the Dawn Princess) but this is a good ship and well loved. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2017
Went on this cruise with 7 other people, to the Australian Open Tennis. Outside the cabins - the entertainment areas and restaurants were so cold - everyone was wearing warmer clothing. The Marquee was like an ice box most days, as was ... Read More
Went on this cruise with 7 other people, to the Australian Open Tennis. Outside the cabins - the entertainment areas and restaurants were so cold - everyone was wearing warmer clothing. The Marquee was like an ice box most days, as was the Connexions area. Also the entertainment was not as good as previous years - too many seminars - I'm not on a cruise to learn how to get rid of wrinkles, or how to whiten my teeth nor to get a flatter stomach. The Waterfront Dining room was great, and the staff really helpful and willing to please. The Plantation not so good when full of people, hard to find a seat at times. The food was sometimes not hot enough. My group really enjoyed every night playing the "Name that Tune" Trivia - that was a lot of fun. overall the staff on the ship are really friendly and helpful Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2017
firstly the service in the waterford restrauant and the food was wonderful the service in the rest of the ship was fine some staff were extremly friendly, others, to them it was just a job. Entertainment was ok some of the shows not too ... Read More
firstly the service in the waterford restrauant and the food was wonderful the service in the rest of the ship was fine some staff were extremly friendly, others, to them it was just a job. Entertainment was ok some of the shows not too good but the effort put in by the staff was high Bingo was fun as was triva The theme nights were ok,some people never knew certain things were on as they never saw it on their iteniary so some people were dressed up others weren't but the nights were good and fun My complaint is the ship is old and has been sold so maintenance was not good Our room along with many others had no air conditioning and were very hot and stuffy we had to leave the door open trying to get some cool air inside.Our Steward got a fan for us so that was ok but it was noisy so made sleeping restless other people went and slept in their kids rooms(which had A/C) to get some sleep.We couldn't go lay in the room during the day We complained from day one and were not given any acknowledgement until day 5,the person on the phone had asked that we only complained for 2 days but i said no 5days so far and they said they were working on it &that we would get some sort of compensation which turned out for us $150 each which in reality is one day,it seems others got more and less than that so there was no uniformity,there were other maintenance probs as well and when you pay $1300 you would expect some comfort and air con which was fine in the other part of the ship but not the cabins and i have filled out the feed back form and have not been contacted, People who got on after we docked back in Sydney would have experienced the same problems Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We recently cruised on the Pacific Pearl (January 2017) to the South Pacific islands in and around Noumea. Our one big regret is that we will not get the opportunity to sail on the Pacific Pearl again, P&O are selling her off later in ... Read More
We recently cruised on the Pacific Pearl (January 2017) to the South Pacific islands in and around Noumea. Our one big regret is that we will not get the opportunity to sail on the Pacific Pearl again, P&O are selling her off later in 2017! It was my first cruise and i loved it, it may not be as big as the new mega cruisers but it had character and the staff were excellent! If you get a chance sail on the Pacific Pearl before P&O sells her off! The cabins are good with a larger shower than you find on other ships. Dining was good value, even the Salt Restaurant that you pay extra for but cheaper than you would get for the same in Sydney! Entertainment was very good and catered for many diverse tastes in music, comedy and movies. Service could not be faulted, wanting to please when ever and where ever possible! Port and shore excursions were good value and you could do as much or as little as you want spend up or save what ever, but we liked to support the locals where ever and when ever we could. Overall, excellent experience and value, highly recommended! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Cabin is very small with four beds (beds are extremely comfortable though), the top beds retract into the roof. I would personally recommend getting an unlimited soft drink pass as the staff there make beautiful delicious drinks within ... Read More
Cabin is very small with four beds (beds are extremely comfortable though), the top beds retract into the roof. I would personally recommend getting an unlimited soft drink pass as the staff there make beautiful delicious drinks within seconds. The entertainment is OK, but things could be added and improved to laser tag to make it more enjoyable for the kids. Staff for EDGE aren't very friendly and overall seem like they dislike their job. Food and cleaning staff are extremely quick and efficient, our bags got delivered to our room before we could get there! Waterfront Restaurant and the Orient have very good food but the dessert menu needs to be expanded. Decor of the halls and rooms feel very warm and homely, not polished and pristine which I found really good. However, the windows at the edge of the boat on deck 12 need a clean badly! I like how they have a gym there as well. A lot of new feeling equipment! Overall the cruise is good for adults who want to drink and relax, but for energetic children it doesn't have quite enough to do. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
Left on 30th Dec, New Year's cruise. White Bay was a little hard to find initially but once there the boarding process was easy, quick and hassle free. Equally finding our cabin and having our luggage delivered was prompt and again ... Read More
Left on 30th Dec, New Year's cruise. White Bay was a little hard to find initially but once there the boarding process was easy, quick and hassle free. Equally finding our cabin and having our luggage delivered was prompt and again hassle free. However the cabin, more precisely the bathroom was a disgrace. We paid premium rates for a balcony suite, and yes we got the balcony but the state of the bathroom was unbelievable. The wall had very old waterproof sheeting which was bubbling, the metal joints were rusty and there was evidence of mould on the silicone joints. The tiled floor was equally unbelievable, tiles loose and concrete loose underfoot. Very unpleasant. They did glue down the tiles on the third day. The rest of the room was quite pleasant, but every time I had to go into the bathroom, I shuddered. I had notified P & O that I was gluten free and unfortunately the choices for me were boring and uninviting, so I chose to put my own food choices together and that worked ok. The restaurant "Salt"was excellent, "Waterfront Restaurant"was inclusive of cost and pretty good food.The "Plantation Restaurant"which was also price inclusive was good food but repetitive. As far as the entertainment goes, good variety and choices but disappointed with the actual New Year's activities which I think could have been better organised.. Generally the entertainment catered for the young set and since we are a retired couple, our choices were not so good. The room service was excellent and friendly and this comment would extend to the majority of the staff throughout the ship, but I was surprised that only Asians were employed in the restaurants and other service areas. We only left the ship for Noumea and Mare and felt that the excursions were well organised and quite enjoyable. Price wise we felt the cost of the other islands was a bit of a stretch for us. This was our first ever cruise and based on this cruise I have been saying to friends "been there, done that, don't need to do it again". Off our bucket list! May review this statement at some time in the future but it won't be with P & O. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
To be fair, The Pacific Pearl is going to be removed from the P&O fleet in March 2017, so to make comment on the overall state of the ship is not appropriate. What I would like to focus on are the things that are P&O brand. ... Read More
To be fair, The Pacific Pearl is going to be removed from the P&O fleet in March 2017, so to make comment on the overall state of the ship is not appropriate. What I would like to focus on are the things that are P&O brand. We were travelling as a family of four (kids: 3 and 8 years old) with an extended group for christmas. The idea was that we didn't have to bother with travelling to anyone's house or cooking christmas meals. it was supposed to be an enjoyable and relaxing time. Our 3 year old who was in the midst of toilet training wasn't allowed to attend kids club as they don't deal with nappies. Neither were there any age appropriate activities on board for her. The pool had been contaminated by another child on the first day, so was closed for a couple of days whilst it was drained, sanitised and refilled which meant that she could even go swimming as the "kids pool" on deck 14 was a standard 6 Foot depth with only side hold capacity if one needed a rest, and she would have had to have battled with the umpteen dozen other tween/teens. Our 8 year old on the other hand, had a blast. There were plenty of activities that kept him occupied and he was better able to handle the 'kids' swimming pool. The family activities provided each day were really pitched more towards kids at his age point upward. He also was excited to sleep in the top bunk in the 4 berth cabin. There were two 'included' dining options. 1 is the buffet style "Plantation Restaurant" which I believe has been replaced with "the Pantry" on other P&O ships. This is a buffet style restaurant that has a varied selection of freshly prepared food ranging from salads, and cold cuts and soups to roasts, pastas, Asian choices and desserts. This my preference for breakfast and lunch each day. The other 'included' dining was the Waterfront Restaurant, which is a la carte with a daily themed cuisine. There are two sittings (which is not well explained in the pre cruise information) so if you want to eat early, you need to book on the first day for the entire cruise. Our wait staff of an evening were extremely attentive and professional, however, service was variable depending on whether it was breakfast or lunch and where you were situated in the restaurant. Christmas morning was particularly deplorable..I don't know if staff were on a skeleton crew or just hung over..but we had to repeatedly ask for items such as milk and butter, which were normally placed upon seating. Overall, the food at Waterfront tended to be a little salty for my palate and portion sizes were variable...either too big (for entree) or too small (for main). Both of these restaurants close outside of mealtimes, leaving only 'paid' options. In fact paid options is my biggest gripe with P&O. We were fortunate enough to receive a 'soft drink package' with our ticket, but this didn't include bottled water. the 'premium drinks' package was $79.95 per person per day if purchased before boarding. For a company who promote RSA, I met many cruisers who had taken advantage of this package and were 'taking advantage' of the package from 10am. Alcoholic beverages are very expensive for international waters where I believe alcohol used to be served at duty free prices. A glass of wine starts at $9.50. Most cocktails start at $12, beers were around $8 and the cheapest bottle of wine was $27. Espresso style coffee was extra and there were lots of 'activities' that were plus. eg...cocktail mixing, wine tasting, a behind the scenes tour of the engine room and bridge, twice daily jackpot Bingo ($30 for 5 games), the spa regularly promoted 'specials'..eg...$145 massage for 45 mins!!! (and they add a 5% gratuity to this). Overall, the cabin stewards, wait staff and bar staff were very friendly, the captain gave a 2 hour presentation on the ship, her history, and maritime functioning in the millennium, which was very interesting and informative. Of all of the ports, I found Mare to be the most disappointing....Unless you wanted to pay $20 per head to catch a return shuttle to the other side of the island where the beach was, there was really no options for going ashore, especially for people with small families. As it turned out, there was a plague of blue bottles at the beach, so it wasn't desirable to swim in any case! I think Lifou would be a better option as a destination. On this cruise, there were 3 destinations that required tendering ashore. Each time, this process took extended periods. People reportedly were waiting up to two hours to board a tender, which is too long for people with two small children. On the first port day...the queue blocked the Atrium and went up the stairs until after midday..when we waited 15 minutes. This meant that we got ashore close to 1pm and our 3 year old was ready for her nap by 2.30pm. We received a free shore tour as part of our ticket, which was the hop on hop off bus in Noumea. We found this to be a great idea, but it was $10 per person if you bought it ashore (i think cheaper than P&O). Overall, as a Mother, I enjoyed not having to buy food, prepare food, cook it, clean up after the kids, getting on and unpacking and staying in the one location.....but I was not able to completely relax as the kids club could not accommodate our needs. I believe that other families considering a cruise should think about this. 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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
A family Christmas (with 11 and 13 year olds) was the idea: no cooking, no shopping, lots of snorkelling and relaxing. And we got that in spades. The kids loved it, especially the activities arranged for their age group. They made friends ... Read More
A family Christmas (with 11 and 13 year olds) was the idea: no cooking, no shopping, lots of snorkelling and relaxing. And we got that in spades. The kids loved it, especially the activities arranged for their age group. They made friends and had a wonderfully independent time. The islands we visited were also a delight and we were blessed with great weather. Isle of Pines, Mare, Port Vila, Mystery Island and Noumea. But...the food was very very ordinary and we coined a description for a lot of it, especially the desserts, which was "zombie food" – because zombies are undead and don't care if their food tastes of nothing and is dry and awful. The cabin crew and wait staff are terrific – friendly and efficient. The higher-ups are not so nice and don't seem to care a lot. Some were really snotty. Is it because the ship has been sold? The captain was a cack but I don't think it was intentional. He seemed to think very highly of himself and his voice and went on forever in his announcements and a 2 (two!) hour lecture about the ship (which I did not attend btw). The handling of our first day ashore was appalling: people had to queue for 1.5 hours to get on a tender. Lots of kids, oldies and so on standing, standing, standing and no one did a thing or cared less. This aspect of the cruise was the pits. Would never go on this ship again if it was the last one available. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
We were looking for a Christmas cruise. Would be unlikely to use P&O again after our experience on this ship. Ship was old but quite Ok. Cabin staff and reception were fantastic and extremely friendly and helpful. The cabin ... Read More
We were looking for a Christmas cruise. Would be unlikely to use P&O again after our experience on this ship. Ship was old but quite Ok. Cabin staff and reception were fantastic and extremely friendly and helpful. The cabin was dated but we still found it comfortable. The windows were filthy and my husband asked the bosun if they could be cleaned but because they were so bad cleaning made little difference. Entertainment was average except for the comedian on the last night and the Marquee showroom was really dated and uncomfortable. Bar staff were unhappy, rude and unhelpful. Two bars side by side which served different draft beers/ciders and it was easier to go next door to get what you wanted yourself than suffer the eye rolling of the drink waiter. Plantation closed totally after breakfast, after lunch then at 9pm at night. Waterfront Restaurant staff were mediocre as was most of the food served except breakfast which was great. Pools were very cold with tiles coming off. Embarkation and disembarkation were quite smooth. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
just returned from a 4 night moreton island cruise with my partner,best mate and his wife on the p&o pacific pearl. it was a mostly enjoyable experience couldn't fault the room the service (our cabin stewards john and christie ... Read More
just returned from a 4 night moreton island cruise with my partner,best mate and his wife on the p&o pacific pearl. it was a mostly enjoyable experience couldn't fault the room the service (our cabin stewards john and christie were very welcoming and friendly) and somehow remembered our names. and greeted us everytime they saw us the entertainment was pretty good too. as was the food in the waterfront restaurant and especially the salt grill that we treated ourselves to on the last night at sea. most reviews say that this place is expensive and bad value 3 courses of proper restaurant quality food was pretty damn good value if you ask me. another nice touch was the unexpected addition of the soft drink package to our cruise cards.embarking and disembarking both went smoother and quicker than expected even when boarding the tender boats for the shore excursion to the island. the only gripes i have was that everything had a closing time.and the cocktails were very weak especially for the price you are paying for them. and there needed to be more clocks scattered around the boat. it makes it hard to know what the time is when you go in and out of a different timezone and dont wear a watch. (i usually carry a phone but left it in the safe as i had no reception at sea anyway) all in all id still do it again. albeit with a bigger budget next time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Embarkation onto the ship was quick and easy, and as the ship was rather smaller than other ships we have travelled on before, it was easy to get around, Our Outside Cabin on deck 8 was roomy bright and well cleaned inside, however the ... Read More
Embarkation onto the ship was quick and easy, and as the ship was rather smaller than other ships we have travelled on before, it was easy to get around, Our Outside Cabin on deck 8 was roomy bright and well cleaned inside, however the bed badly needed an upgrade, and the pillows were just horrible. The large picture window was filthy on the outside, and this was noticeable on most of the windows around the ship. My pet hate of the P&O fleet is the very poor lack of interest in the waiter staff towards customer service. Most of the time they milled around in small groups, and broke away just to clean your dishes away. As the seas were a little rough on arrival to Morton Island, we were all rather let down, as the captain announced over the P.A that the tenders had been cancelled, and we were moving on back to Sydney, and skipping this stop. Now I don't criticize the decision to move on, as everybody's safety was taken into account, however no alternative port or destination was offered, or even considered, and no mention of any token reimbursement was offered, for missing our only destination port. Our dining experiences were very average, with the few choices on offer being rather bland, overcooked, and boring. We did try the grossly overpriced Salt grill one night, and where the food was a lot more tasty, the added $49pp cover charge, was not good value at all. Entertainment on this ship was vibrant and very entertaining, and this is what made our holiday better than a complete disappointment. Disembarkation off the ship was reasonably easy, but very congested as most guests wanted to get off the ship early and quickly, queuing up in all the isles and stairwells was not a good look. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We were travelling with 2 others and chose this cruise as it went to Norfolk Island and Tonga. Unfortunately we did not get to Norfolk Island due to large swells at the landing point. I am not sure why they continue to advertise Norfolk ... Read More
We were travelling with 2 others and chose this cruise as it went to Norfolk Island and Tonga. Unfortunately we did not get to Norfolk Island due to large swells at the landing point. I am not sure why they continue to advertise Norfolk as I don't know how often they actually get there. This was the third time this ship had tried and failed. Apart from that, the cruise was good and did manage to get to all other ports. We flew into our embarkation city and had organised airport to ship transfers which worked well. At the cruise terminal we were chosen to participate in a trial to combine customs with immigration procedures and this enabled us to get onboard very quickly. The oceanview cabin was a really good size with plenty of room to move around. The shower was an oblong shape with plenty of room also. We found the quality of the food a lot better then previous P&O cruises we had been on and the service was also very good. The first night on the ship we organised for the same table each night. The service options were 5.00pm or 7.15pm so we opted for the early seating. The entertainment on board was quite good and we managed to get to most shows. As ti was a Bounty cruise, they had a quest lecturer doing a few talks on Mutiny on the Bounty history which were very good. We did not book any port excursions through the ship. Having been to most ports before, we did our own thing by booking local tour operators once leaving the ship. Our ports of call were, Nuku'Alofa and Vava'U, Tonga; Suva, Port Denarau and Dravuni Island, Fiji; and Noumea, New Caledonia. At Nuku'Alofa it cost us $180 for 3.5hrs driving around the island looking at local sights. At Vava'U we asked a local to take us to a resort where we could have a swim, a drink and a meal so ended up at the Tongan Beach Resort where we had to pay ten Tongan Pa'anga to get in but it was a nice relaxing time spent there. At Suva we went to the Grand Pacific Hotel which was under construction last time we were there. It looks like it is based on Raffles Hotel, Singapore in the style of construction. It has a nice outlook over the water. I also paid AUD5 for one hour of unlimited Wifi connection there. Wifi connection on board the ship is very expensive and slow, so we did not bother with it. After that, we went downtown to have a look at the city centre. We had also been to Port Denarau a few times so we went to another resort for a swim and lunch. Dravuni Island was a really nice surprise. Typical tropical island with nice beaches, palms, stalls and friendly people. We had a swim in the ocean and walked over the island. Noumea was another place we had visited a few times previously, so we went to Lemon Beach for lunch. Overall, this was a very good cruise, however, 5 days at sea before we reached land due to our missing Norfolk. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
this was the longest cruise we seniors have ventured on and the main reason for going was to visit Norfolk Island. The big disappointment was not getting onto Norfolk Island and later found out that 1/10 attempts get there.!Embarkation and ... Read More
this was the longest cruise we seniors have ventured on and the main reason for going was to visit Norfolk Island. The big disappointment was not getting onto Norfolk Island and later found out that 1/10 attempts get there.!Embarkation and disembarkation are always a little trying and you have to be patient. The Pacific Pearl was in need of a lot of repair and some of this was taking place whilst we were on board and many areas were out of bounds whilst repairs were taking place. Water leaked from the ceiling in many different areas and Lifts being oos made it difficult for those with disability. The windows were dirty even in the show-time entertainment area. If you were sitting in the balcony and had to see through glass railing it was filthy. The cabin with a window was clean and well presented, excellent entertainment and activities on board, especially the knitting squares for charity, service excellent and no complaints with ports and shore excursions except the price of some! Dining in Waterfront was disgusting at times as we always had to order extra veg on the side because there was not enough food on plate. Seafood on the menu was sadly lacking and I had one prawn on one meal! The waiters told us they were embarrassed to bring some food to the table because of quality and quantity. Food in Plantation was displayed 11.30 until 2.30 when it was cleared away. If you returned from an excursion ashore and missed lunch the only choice was to have a disgusting hamburger or pizza which you had to pay for. The only Coffee shops on board sold cake and sweets, no savoury or healthy items, not even a sandwich. Other cruises we have been on have good food available 24/7!!! Even the Cocktails lacked all the little trimmings (cherries, umbrellas, olives, fruit etc.) that make them look so inviting!! We will choose another line for our next cruise and would not recommend P&O ever. Goodbye P&O. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Our 5th Cruise with P&O and our second on the Pearl, will unfortunately will be our last with P&O. The condition of the ship (poor maintenance) and the food selections had deteriorated considerably since our last cruise on her ... Read More
Our 5th Cruise with P&O and our second on the Pearl, will unfortunately will be our last with P&O. The condition of the ship (poor maintenance) and the food selections had deteriorated considerably since our last cruise on her in Sept 2015. We were surprised when this perception was echoed by so many past passengers. As always the staff and crew performed to the best of their abilities given the trying circumstances. P&O might want to consider advertising Norfolk Island as a "bonus" destination only, given the VERY poor success rate of the tenders actually being able to make it ashore. All the windows in the cabins and public areas needing cleaning and there were multiple water leaks on multiple floors throughout the duration. Finally, with a large elderly and physically challenged make up of the passengers, having 4 lifts "Out Of Service" for most of the cruise made it very inconvenient and frustrating for all. I know P&O have done themselves a real disservice in their cost cutting efforts and many will now seek alternative lines for their future cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We were doing Mutiny on the Bounty Cruise. We were supposed to go to Norfolk Island unfortunately the large swell on that day prevented us to get there. The staff was very good. Our cabin was small but very clean. We had a balcony it ... Read More
We were doing Mutiny on the Bounty Cruise. We were supposed to go to Norfolk Island unfortunately the large swell on that day prevented us to get there. The staff was very good. Our cabin was small but very clean. We had a balcony it did help as we could sit outside as there was no much room inside the cabin.When we had dinner in the main dinning room the food was basically cold when we did get it. The cheese platter was a joke I had a piece of camembert it measuring about 3cm by 2cm.The food at the buffet was actually better than the one in the main dining. We did have dinner at Salt were the food was beautiful. We also had dinner at Luna and at Captain Table. This is my second trip on a PO cruise ship I certainly will not go on one again as there are so many other companies. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
My wife booked this cruise for us and our two children from Sydney to the South Pacific islands during September. We had been on a cruise to New Zealand the year before on another shipping line and it was worthwhile seeing the differences ... Read More
My wife booked this cruise for us and our two children from Sydney to the South Pacific islands during September. We had been on a cruise to New Zealand the year before on another shipping line and it was worthwhile seeing the differences in the features and offerings. The Pacific Pearl is one of the older ships in the P&O fleet and is showing some of her age. The carpets, walls and Decor are a little worn but overall still very acceptable for the 10 day break. The ship is in need of a refresh but this did not distract from the many positives that the Pacific Pearl has to offer. Our cabin had sufficient room for a queen sized bed, small table, closet, and cleaning facilities. The shower and toilet area were of a decent size, a little dated, however clean and tidy. The cabin staff were attentive, with cleaning and maintaining the cabin area occurring three (3) times a day. The majority of cleaning staff, cabin crew, hospitality (bar and food) staff were internationals mostly being sourced from India and the Philippines. Staff were attentive and courteous and always willing to help where possible. There are a couple of restaurants on the boat as well as a buffet on deck 12. We primarily ate at the Waterfront restaurant with menu dining and found the food as above average. The dining options were good however, some of the food taste was not to our liking. The restaurant itself was clean, tidy and could be considered 4.5 star. We ate at the buffet for most breakfast's as it met our needs in providing a selection of fruit, cold and hod food options. There was an option of sitting indoors or out on the deck what made for a much more enjoyable experience. The Buffet experience was reasonably good and the staff kept the area clean and tidy. Food and beverage costs on the boat were reasonable however cocktails ranged from $12 -$18 and Beer started from $8, Coffee and Hot Chocolate $4.50. My wife and I are not big drinkers and did not take up the drinking package $80 per person per day, but could see how this total could easily be achieved. That being stated our daily consumption of drinks did not exceed $50 per day. The entertainment staff were good and there was an itinerary put out daily for all ship events. The ship offers the usual organised activities, Trivia, Bingo, Table Tennis, Karaoke with a nightly entertainment option (7pm or 9pm). We enjoyed the activities that were offered, however, you can choose to do all, some or none of them. The nightly shows were of average quality and we had seen better on other cruises with the exception of an Asian Comedian and the Hypnotist that were a standout. The theater could have been a little larger as the Hypnotist show had people standing in the isles. There were a number of bands on the Cruise, all of the good, however one that deserves a great mention is 'Exito'. These guys were excellent, we started hearing them in the Piano bar and were hooked, they sang all genre's of music and took requests and were excellent. On our final night, the entertainment crew brought out all the entertainers for a final night 'singing finale' in the atrium area. This is a show not to be missed ! I would have paid extra to see this show occur every night ! All the entertainers delivered high quality entertainment and most of the people on the cruise were there to watch them. Our two (2) kids went to Kids HQ (12 Yr) and HQ+ (16Yr). They spent most of their time in these places and hung out with other kids their age. The ship had planned activities for the kids which kept them busy most of the time. Our kids enjoyed the club and interactions with other kids on the trip. We purchased 'The Edge' gold card for the kids that allowed them to utilise the ships additional 'fun' activities. We were expecting kids to have on-going access to the Zipline, Trampoline, Segways, Climbing ladder, Funnel Climb etc. However, we were extremely disappointed with this purchase as the ship offered only one/two of these activities per day and each child could only access each activity for no more than five (5) minutes. This pass was sold as unlimited access to these activities however, this was not the case and in reality I would consider it was a waste of money.Furthermore we were on a 10 day cruise and we advised the card ran 7 consecutive days of which 5 of those days were shore days (3 tenders). So on these days we could not utilize the card. Overall we enjoyed the P&O cruise however, there are a few items that could greatly improve the experience: * The buffet closes at 9pm at night with the exception of the coffee/Team machine that was available 24/7. It would be nice if P&O could keep a limited buffet offering of deserts and biscuits available for those people with the late night munchies. After the 9pm show (Around 10pm-11pm) many people would pop up to the buffet only to be disappointed that it had nothing to offer other than a tea or coffee. * Dont get 'The Edge' card for the kids. I know that they may see their friends on the ride but it only lasts no more than 5 minutes per day and is a complete waste of money. * The Buffet dining experience could have a better selection of hot foods to cater for more tastes. The food offerings in the buffet were limited and in general you would generally find one (1) or two (2) items to eat but there wasn't a wide enough selection of food. * It would have been nice to see some type of basic vanilla ice cream (soft serve) offering in the Buffet. Deserts were generally limited to tarts, jelly and cake which weren't to my liking. Note. Ice Cream is available on-board (New Zealand Ice cream) at a cost. There were a number of other smaller issues that could marginally improve the overall experience, However, for the money outlayed for this cruise, my wife, kids and myself found the cruise to be very good. PS. Watch out for the onboard spending, its quite easy to do. One of our neighboring cabins had a $2,000 bill for additional spending. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
My wife and I are early 50;s and I might say we have travelled quite extensively, always by air. We have always laughed at Cruises, believing them to be for old and frail, the unadventurous. Were we ever wrong, yes, we stopped at routine ... Read More
My wife and I are early 50;s and I might say we have travelled quite extensively, always by air. We have always laughed at Cruises, believing them to be for old and frail, the unadventurous. Were we ever wrong, yes, we stopped at routine ports, followed a well trodden cruise path, but we discovered that a cruise was what we made of it, the islands, the locals, the crew, the entertainers, our fellow passengers, were what we made of them. And we were not disappointed, in any way. The Pearl is well staffed with a wonderful crew, professional entertainers, quiet decks, busy decks, so many and varied bars, Kids entertainment, deck chair areas galore, day shows, night shows, even an open air cinema. The food, "Plantation" a buffet restaurant for quick meals, The "Waterfront" 4 star dining, these restaurants were included in our cruise fare. Luke Mangan's "Salt" was $49 extra pp but 5 star. Drinks: Beer and wine was about $7-$8 glass, cocktails generally about $11-$12, some in the high end bars were up to $19. Many passengers purchased "alcohol" packages at $790pp (drinks up to $12), I thought this was steep, but some people got though it. We purchased the "Soft Drink" package @ $70pp and we very happy to buy our alcoholic drinks separate. The islands were beautiful, not necessarily where the ships dock, but always not very far, tours were easy to obtain, we never purchased from the ship, to expensive. Li Fou, Port Vila, Mystery Is and Isle of Pines being just beautiful. Au$ were accepted pretty well everywhere, the boat was cashless, very convenient. Duty free on the boat was very cheap, selection was a little limited, Port Vila duty free had a wide selection and was very cheap also. Wifi internet was quite expensive and poor performance. We did not use our phones at all as roaming was $1 pm, texts .75c ea. In Noumea Coconut square had a huge area of free wifi as did Port Vila duty free. If you have questions, I will try to help. Please email: ray@kool.net.au We will certainly be finding another cruise! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
It was our 25th wedding anniversary and something special was what we were after. The Pacific Pearl didn't disappoint. Booking a short 3 night 'Comedy' themed cruise was a blast. Sure the ship in parts is showing some ... Read More
It was our 25th wedding anniversary and something special was what we were after. The Pacific Pearl didn't disappoint. Booking a short 3 night 'Comedy' themed cruise was a blast. Sure the ship in parts is showing some age, a bit of rust in parts but we can't complain with the energetic and helpful attitude of the staff. We didn't book to stay all day and night in our cabin but found it adequate for our needs. We were on deck 9 with a good sized porthole, letting you see the conditions outside. On boarding we booked Luke Mangan's restaurant for our anniversary dinner, only to be told that Luke is on board the cruise. At $49 for 3 courses plus breads it was great value and even better Luke was working the floor, greeting all guests and more than happy to have a photo. He put on a cooking demonstration the following day in the Marquee showroom and besides cooking his signature dishes, was a great showroom interacting with the audience. On the comedy side, booking not knowing who we'd see, we had headliners Bob Downe, Hung Le, Rusty Berther(Scared Weird Little Guys), Dean Atkinson the ventriloquist, Kat Davidson and Kehau Jackson. (If you don't know them-look them up). The house band Exito and all the bands and musos were great, the jam on the last night was a blast. The trivia games were fun, it was a bit chilly to use the pool. The food in the Plantation was varied and had something to suit most, if you couldn't find something to taste, you're hard to please. The footy finals were shown on the big screen, Friday and Saturday night with movies through the day and night. It is entirely up to you how little or much you spend. But for a sampler to cruising, I think we'll be back. Read Less
Pacific Pearl Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.8
Dining 4.0 3.3
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 2.0 3.2
Family 4.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 4.0 3.0
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 4.0 3.5

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