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As a family we have cruised on 3 previous occasions. The 1st time was on P&O Cruises 'Pacific Eden', the 2nd time was on P&O Cruises 'Pacific Aria', the 3rd time was on Carnival Cruise Lines 'Carnival Spirit', and finally this time on P&O Cruises 'Pacific Explorer'. The cruise-liner I'm reviewing today (P&O Cruises 'Pacific Explorer') is by far the most outdated ship we have traveled on to-date. It was previously known as P&O Dawn Princess and was supposedly refurbished in 2017, but most of the common areas feel worn down and dated. Apart from the extremely small rooms and dilapidated common areas, it features eight restaurants (including the all-day eating area known as 'The Pantry'), four swimming pools, five spas, seven lounges and bars, and two places to look after children. See the cabin review below for further details. For entertainment it also has a water slide, a zip-line, a 'walk-the-plank', and you can do the 'Titanic experience', as well as things like a rock-climbing wall. Whilst the ship itself feels out-dated, the service from the staff was second to none - they could not bend over far enough to help make the cruise an enjoyable one, which is good, because without them I'd be rating the experience as 1 out of 5 stars.... with the staff I can give it a solid 3 out of 5 stars..... I'd still rate Carnival Cruise Lines 'Carnival Spirit' as the best in its class out of the 4 ships I've been on. The review is apples for apples - we have chosen a Balcony cabin on all 4 cruises.

Misleaing cabin sizes shown to you on the P&O website when you book

Pacific Explorer Cruise Review by NickPet

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Trip Details
As a family we have cruised on 3 previous occasions. The 1st time was on P&O Cruises 'Pacific Eden', the 2nd time was on P&O Cruises 'Pacific Aria', the 3rd time was on Carnival Cruise Lines 'Carnival Spirit', and finally this time on P&O Cruises 'Pacific Explorer'.

The cruise-liner I'm reviewing today (P&O Cruises 'Pacific Explorer') is by far the most outdated ship we have traveled on to-date.

It was previously known as P&O Dawn Princess and was supposedly refurbished in 2017, but most of the common areas feel worn down and dated.

Apart from the extremely small rooms and dilapidated common areas, it features eight restaurants (including the all-day eating area known as 'The Pantry'), four swimming pools, five spas, seven lounges and bars, and two places to look after children.

See the cabin review below for further details.

For entertainment it also has a water slide, a zip-line, a 'walk-the-plank', and you can do the 'Titanic experience', as well as things like a rock-climbing wall.

Whilst the ship itself feels out-dated, the service from the staff was second to none - they could not bend over far enough to help make the cruise an enjoyable one, which is good, because without them I'd be rating the experience as 1 out of 5 stars.... with the staff I can give it a solid 3 out of 5 stars..... I'd still rate Carnival Cruise Lines 'Carnival Spirit' as the best in its class out of the 4 ships I've been on.

The review is apples for apples - we have chosen a Balcony cabin on all 4 cruises.
NickPet’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience

Cabin Review

Cabin 9169
The rooms are extremely small and unlike all the other ships we have traveled on, if you choose a balcony cabin, the area for the balcony is taken out of the size of the room - leaving it very small.

It is unable to (despite what the pictures show on P&O's website) accommodate a 3 adult family - the only way for you to have your room in this configuration is to put two lots of bunk beds together to form a bottom and a top double bed.

On the previous three ships our balcony cabin has been in the format of a queen bed and a separate sofa which folds down into a bed at night - leaving more than enough room to move around.

Also on the previous three cruises we have been able to fit our suitcases in our room - on the P&O Pacific Explorer we were forced to place them on the balcony leaving us less room to sit - they also decided to hose down the balcony on the second last day without moving the suitcases. This meant that the night before disembarkation I spent 4.5hrs of my day using a petty hairdryer to dry the suitcases so our clothes weren't destroyed when we put them in for the trip home.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    A bit over a half day tour which allows you to see the views of Devonport, including the Peninsula. See the art-deco architecture and more in the historical village. There are plenty of opportunities for photo stops, including Mount Victoria and North Head where the magnificent panoramas of the Hauraki Gulf, Takapuna Region and Rangitoto Island can be admired. Devonport is most noted for its timber colonial architecture, glass art gallery, and confectioners. Return to Auckland via the ferry at your own discretion.
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  • Bay of Islands
    2hr ride on an extremely comfortable boat which gives you an opportunity to see marine wildlife, cliffs and hidden caves and also stop at a beautiful secluded island.

    Would very much recommend it.
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