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Cruise Ratings
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
cabin great ,staff great, food average ,shore excursions way over the top in price ,cant walk around the whole ship on any deck its designed different ,was upset that we could not see the fjords in new zealand because it was rough ... Read More
cabin great ,staff great, food average ,shore excursions way over the top in price ,cant walk around the whole ship on any deck its designed different ,was upset that we could not see the fjords in new zealand because it was rough apparently, but was not happy to here a much smaller ship P and O explorer was able to go there when we should have been there . any one wanting to go really do your homework on the excursions better off booking on shore or private before you go . found the food in the buffet average and was the same most days ...the times we dined in the dining rooms the food was ok the bakery was great the cakes etc were very nice....they make a fortune on bingo and of course the jackpot went off on last day as all the ships do they were a tad cheaper to play then royal caribbean . our cabin was alweays kept very clean and well looked after fresh towels etc everyday .i would suggest to check account every day as one day there was an extra four drinks on there that we did not have to the vale of 34 au dollars .....they were very good on giving us a refund ...but best to check and keep record of what you purchase . also when you order your wine etc if you are an aussie make sure you ask for aussie wine ...they tried to give me some chardonay from america it was like drinking chemicals took it back ...so you have to be quite clear to ask for aussie wines .to round this off i can only compare with one other cruise we booked this one because of all the hype about it ...yes its fairly new ,yes its a lovely ship ,but seriously our cheaper cruise was just if not better then this one ....will i book with princess if we go on another proberly not . Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this for a relaxing holiday break. I usually spend a lot of time on deck 7 Promenade deck enjoying walking and hearing and seeing the ocean in peace and quiet. Was extremely disappointed at the lack of a Promenade deck on this ... Read More
We chose this for a relaxing holiday break. I usually spend a lot of time on deck 7 Promenade deck enjoying walking and hearing and seeing the ocean in peace and quiet. Was extremely disappointed at the lack of a Promenade deck on this ship. There were short areas on deck 7 but with these narrow and hemmed in with the lifeboats and most areas blocked off. There is a shorter deck area for walking on deck 17 but there is no overhead cover so not as good if it is hot or raining. The gym has lots of walking machines/treadmills but this does not match a walk enjoying the sea breeze and sound of the sea. The entertainment shows were great and very professional, meals on board were excellent, and the staff very friendly and attentive. I felt though that the ship is too big with larger passenger capacity yet reduction in personal space. Some of the specialty restaurants are multipurpose and used as cafes during day while they are open to music from piazza at night. There is a great pizza restaurant onboard (no extra cost). All up a beautiful ship but next time I would prefer to go for a smaller older ship with my beloved deck 7 Promenade escape. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Not a family friendly ship. Had a quad cabin on Marina deck and when beds lowered from roof the ladders obstructed the main walkway for door/bathroom. Bathroom very small compared to other cruises Dont try to get food or drinks after ... Read More
Not a family friendly ship. Had a quad cabin on Marina deck and when beds lowered from roof the ladders obstructed the main walkway for door/bathroom. Bathroom very small compared to other cruises Dont try to get food or drinks after 11pm apart from the Piazza which dies off after midnight..with a majority of cruisers elderly which is what Princess have pitched this cruise to Cruised with a party of 8 and all agreed Royal Carribean and Carnival are better designed for families and have better used space on the ship You have to get a seat in theatre at least 45 minutes before shows which were average on some nights...Comedian and magician good Missed the fjords due to.poor weather..loved Akaroa and Tauranga where we did our own excursions to Rotorua where we went to the gondola and Luge..well worth the trip. First cruise on Princess and will be looking elsewhere for the next in 2019 Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We sailed on the Regal Princess in June this year and wanted to compare vessels. From the very first impressions it was obvious this ship was indeed designed for the Chinese gambling market, a beautiful ship none the less but has missed ... Read More
We sailed on the Regal Princess in June this year and wanted to compare vessels. From the very first impressions it was obvious this ship was indeed designed for the Chinese gambling market, a beautiful ship none the less but has missed out in many ways. The theatre (Princess) was small and the seating reminded me of a budget airline and as about as comfortable. One of the bars in the atrium is a converted juice bar ( a terrible waste of space ) and sitting at the bar with an other couple was difficult because of a large glass showcase taking up most of the available counter. The French restaurant on the same level was always empty. The atrium is typical of Princess so no further comment Our cabin was a mini suite, mid ship and on deck 15. Very comfortable and nicely fitted out but the overhang from the walkway obscured any vertical view. The crew were fantastic as usual and often went beyond. The wife and I had booked the Harmony restaurant (Chinese banquet) for our final night and were disappointed at the standard - most of the courses were sent back as too cold or inedible. Entertainment was mediocre at best but I'm sure Princess are working on it. Makes me think they are trying to cut costs. We have travelled many times with this cruise line (three time this year) and have noticed a decline in the standards offered Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We are a younger couple who didn’t not fit the average customer for this cruise. The cruise was full with older people, didn’t really appreciate our presence. If it wasn’t the passengers giving the side eye it was the ... Read More
We are a younger couple who didn’t not fit the average customer for this cruise. The cruise was full with older people, didn’t really appreciate our presence. If it wasn’t the passengers giving the side eye it was the crew. They must not expect us to spend money in this way as well. We chose this cruise for port locations. Next time we would choose to travel independently. Take a flight and stay at our destination. You get more of a geninue incounter with the land and people. Select members of crew were outstanding. Food was mediocre. Crew is trained to upsell you on EVERYTHING. Ship was clean. Available time to relax was perfect. Board game/game selection was outstanding. Onboard activities can be a little repetitive and cheesy. Wasn’t any real options for our age group except for drinking- we don’t drink a lot. We adored the center ballroom which always seemed to have older couples floating across the dance floor. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I had previously travelled on this cruise in November 2015 with my wife, who has since recently passed away. Her last wishes were for me to complete this cruise as a memory of the previous one in 2015. I have experienced a wide ... Read More
I had previously travelled on this cruise in November 2015 with my wife, who has since recently passed away. Her last wishes were for me to complete this cruise as a memory of the previous one in 2015. I have experienced a wide variety fun by joining in with the activities and even being invited onstage by Russel Harrison a great singer as one of his backup dancers ! This was one of my favourite moments and the volunteering to join in with the Chef versus the Barman Challenge as the Chief Judge, another highlight. Overall the entertainment was First Class and the Entertainment Director Du Vaal is one of the best and always took time to talk and also his team were tops. Food was adequate and activities - one could choose what they wanted to do. Either join in with the program or totally relax - your individual choice. I was also lucky enough to meet a few wonderful people with whom I believe will be life long friends. Overall - A Great Cruise one I will never forget. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We left Sydney in glorious sunshine at an early 3.30pm. Boarding was easy and efficient. The overall condition of the ship was good, older but perfectly acceptable and no way near the condition some reviews indicated. We stopped at 6 ports ... Read More
We left Sydney in glorious sunshine at an early 3.30pm. Boarding was easy and efficient. The overall condition of the ship was good, older but perfectly acceptable and no way near the condition some reviews indicated. We stopped at 6 ports and cruised around Fiordland for a day which was brilliant. It rained at all ports except 2 and rained pretty much the rest of the time- no fault of the ship/cruiseline. This did not really affect our enjoyment of the cruise. We have tried 3 other cruise lines and this unfortunately was the worst for food we have tried so far. The choice of food in the Horizon buffet was very limited and the lunch and breakfast options changed little each day - this became monotonous very quickly. There was a buffet line each side of the ship but they served the same food. The main dining room was better, but personally I found the dish selection again uninspiring with a lot of seafood dishes and not many meat options on the menu. I like seafood but my wife does not and I could see her point of view. Ships aircon seemed to make the ship warm then cool then warm again all the time. The shows were of a good standard, with a variety of acts. Entertainment during the day was good but not as good a Royal Caribbean. I thought the drinks prices for cocktails was high and the amount of alcohol in each drink was not generous- I tried a few. The staff were great and hard working. All the passengers we met had a great time and we arrived back in Sydney to glorious sunshine. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
As our first cruise we decided to book a cruise to Hobart for a sample. After all the negative reviews out there about this ship, I was quite worried. We found no problems. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly even through ... Read More
As our first cruise we decided to book a cruise to Hobart for a sample. After all the negative reviews out there about this ship, I was quite worried. We found no problems. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly even through significant down pour of rain. I would even say it was smoother than most airports. We travelled with young children, staff in the main dining room excelled at getting to know our children and understanding their needs. This give us greater comfort. Dreamworks experience went really well, children loved meeting their characters they watch so often. Entertainment with the Pixel show being theatrical and U2 cover band was liking being at an intimate concert. Magician/comedian was great entertainment. Really the only downside was the limit of activities for our children. Dodgem cars were not able to accept the age of children even if an adult was driving. Our youngest was not able to go on the slides as their was height restrictions. Unfortunately our local water slides are bigger and allows all children to participate. This restriction we had to limit our time to avoid tears. Overall we have decided cruise was a success and look forward to another longer one in a coupe of years. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We had been on the Qantum before so we kinda knew what to expect from the Ovation, both the good and the bad. The inlaws wanted to go on this particular trip so we figured a shot cruise to Tasmania will be alright on this vessel. First the ... Read More
We had been on the Qantum before so we kinda knew what to expect from the Ovation, both the good and the bad. The inlaws wanted to go on this particular trip so we figured a shot cruise to Tasmania will be alright on this vessel. First the positive: The ship is just a year old and even though it was close to sold out, the ship mostly does a good job controlling the crowds- with the exception of crunch times around dinner/shows and the elevators which were pretty much always overcrowded unless during port days. But we were generally amazed how much space was available at most times in bars and restaurants etc. Check in and boarding also was a breeze in Sydney as per usual so really no complaints in this respect. Likewise, the general areas and décor is pretty amazing throughout the ship and even our Balcony cabin appeared significantly more modern than on many other ships (albeit the same smallish size). We particularly loved the various artwork throughout the ship and the look and feel of the four different mini-main dining rooms. All pretty impressive! The super fancy entertainment options like the Ifly and Surf simulator are all geared at teens and twens who thankfully were mostly absent on this trip to the old peoples’ paradise of Tasmania. Unfortunately, people somehow still managed to bring enough of their screaming toddlers on board so that the pool turned into a pee fest as soon as the sun came out. The layout of the ship doesn’t help in this respect as both the indoor and outdoor pools are full of babies while the Adult only area consists of a couple of shallow, chlorine-smelling tubs only which simply doesn’t do it. RCCL’s very own Celebrity Cruises does this much better with their proper adult pool in the Solarium so we’ll stick to them from now on for that reason alone. We didn’t watch any of the shows (meh) or went on the fancy looking “North Star” Observation thingy either as we had already queued up for it once during that previous cruise on the Qantum and found that there’s nothing more boring than a show ride that, well, doesn’t really do a show ride but rather moves up and down at a glacial pace. La-hame! What we DID utilize though were the bars and restaurants where our feedback would be so so: First off, many of the bar menus you find online won’t apply to Australian cruises as they get massively “amended” to please the more simple crowds here. Think Crownies instead of Beck’s and VB instead of Grolsch. Arg. While we kind of expected this for the beers, we were quite disappointed to also see many of the usual nice American and European wines not to be available by the glass and being replaced by the cheapest of the cheap Aussie selections you can find: Think commercial brands like Wolf Bass Yellow label- pretty much the stuff that goes on special on the lower shelves of your local Liquor Land. I felt sad for the many Asian passengers on board- if THAT is the first Aussie wine you ever try, then you’ll go back to French Bordeaux or Italian Chianti straight away and never turn back. Which is a shame as Australia produces some of the most amazing wines on this planet, albeit that selection doesn’t go by the glass on RCCL. Back to the bars and restaurants- the robot bar is a nice gimmick but you realize very quickly why there’s still work for “traditional” bar tenders out of flesh and blood. These you get at other bars like Boleros (that one actually had the worst of the entire ship- drinks happened to be either entirely tasteless or overly strong), the English pub (our favorite place prior to when the annoying live music starts and the whole place turns into a rowdy puke-place) that did amazing decent “beer cockt-ales” or the Casino-bar which as on many ships, turned out the be the best place on the ship to grab a decent drink (and be thankfully left alone by those ever-present families with their noisy babies). Unfortunately, as on most cruise ships, the options for nightlife and music taste on board was geared at an older generation and the awful oversized rock music hall on the Qantum-class ships only make it worse. The only decent electronic sounds on the entire ship could be heard at the robot bar which unfortunately otherwise is not a very inviting place to sit down for a drink. Otherwise, it’s oldies’ music like rock, country and really awful chart kinda pop- all nothing for our ears. In terms of restaurants, we were strangely positively surprised by the main dining room (which is a quarter of a Main Dining room times four, actually, but with fixed dining you end up in only one of them and get randomly assigned by the crew so you can’t chose). Service was not to mention as always on RCCL but the food was surprisingly good quality for the most of it. We also went for two of the specialty restaurants and were a bit disappointed by both of them: Chop’s Grille, our favorite on other Royal Caribbean vessels, seemed strangely sterile in atmosphere while the steaks were indeed excellent. The biggest disappointment, however, must have been “Wonderland” which is totally oversold by the cruise line. The hard product (like everywhere on this ship) looks great at first but the space is cramped with tables and doesn’t feel very atmospheric at all. Worst was the Indian waiter who not only had a bad command of the English language (so we couldn’t understand half of what he was saying) but also wasn’t the most engaged staff member in his role. Unfortunately I cannot eat fish or seafood due to allergy which didn’t fit the restaurant well so while my partner had a huge bowl full of delicious looking deep-fried Kiamichi that was, to my chagrin, dusted in prawn, I was given a tiny little ball of duck liver parfait which was delicious but, well, not enough and some ultra boring vegetarian choices. When I asked the waiter what he recommends as a main, he told me to get the beef over the pork or chicken only to then later be totally surprised and outraged that I couldn’t eat the squid which comes with it (but isn’t mentioned in the oh so ‘magical’ menu). All in all, a disappointing waste of money for which in theory, sounded like such a cool idea. Finally, that Indian waiter gets me to talk about the staff which is probably the biggest issue here on this ex Sydney cruise. Coming from China, the staff on this boat stemmed almost entirely from four nations, China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines. If that sounds like you’d receive the same quality of service than from a bad call center, then this is because it is spot on! Zero empathy for their guests, bad command of English, robotic work directly from a training hand book, you name it. The usual Eastern European, Caribbean or South American crew members were almost entirely absent, the one great exception being the superb Romanian waitress in the English pub. Unfortunately, even the upcharge specialty dining suffered from this issue and, worst of it all, our stateroom attendant. We thought the lady on our recent Celebrity cruise out of Sydney couldn’t be topped but no- our Indian attendant, was the slackest employee I’ve ever met on any cruise ship. I wish I could put it into friendlier words but that guy was simply useless. Inquired months before to get a medical assistance set up in the room which had been confirmed but no, on arrival nothing done. Asked if we could get proper bathroom toiletries instead of only that awful dispenser stuff in the shower but got told that this is “3 in One shampoo, conditioner and shower gel”. Yep, sure, nice try! After insisting, we finally at least got two tubs of separate conditioner but that was it. Safe didn’t work on arrival and it took him 2 whole days and several reminders until he finally “called someone” who could fix it in the end. Worst was the toilet which stank like old dried urine from the moment you opened the lid. Our attendant pretended he couldn’t smell anything and then, on day 3 and after several complains, he finally sprayed something under the rim of the toilet that overpowered the stench for a day. Needless to say, on days 4 and 5 it came back and was hardly bearable. Any attempt to actually fix the problem (our guess is that the issue actually lies somewhere in the plumbing or sewage system) or to tell someone who could? Nope, not a chance. I bet all the staff will be super engaged and obedient once the ship relocates to Alaska after the Aussie season ends because there are valuable US$ in tip money waiting. Meanwhile, on the “Gratuity Included” Aussie cruises, staff can relax and slack out. Not good enough, at all! Read Less

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