The Pacific Pearl is an older ship (built in the 1980's) that was added to the P&O Australia Cruise fleet in December 2010. Overall impressions of the ship are very good. You can clearly see that it is an older vessel while at the same time you can clearly see that a lot of money has been spent on
the public areas, particularly the dining areas and the atrium/lobby.
The food is of an excellent standard, and if your budget allows then I would say an evening at Salt Grill is a must. The cover charge for this restaurant is AU$40pp and worth every cent. The main dining room is also of a high standard with plenty of menu choices.
The only low light would be cabins. No money has been spent in this area apart from the flat screen TV's and linen. Hopefully a refurbishment of the cabins is planned sometime soon.
Overall the ship is of a higher standard than previous P&O Australia ships and the product is definitely moving in the right direction. I would certainly take another cruise on the Pacific Pearl. Hopefully one day soon.
First time cruisers, we went on to celebrate Husbands 80th Birthday and we had a fantastic time. Staff were always smiling and friendly, cabin lge and comfortable. entertainment excellent. Loved the cocktail nights, it was lovely to get all dressed up, and the cocktails were yummy. Could not find
fault with anything. We are now saving to go again for my 70th Birthday August 2012. Thank you P&O for a great cruise to Tassie.
Love Love Loved it !!!!!
This was my first cruise ever.Eternally grateful to my son and his girlfriend to shout both mothers for a get to know each other cruise.1 mother from NZ & 1 from Germany.,son & girlfriend live in sydney. The 4 of us had the most fantastic time.The crew were absolutely the best. Friendly,smiling,helpful,using our names etc.cabins were kept spotless.Spacious cabins with everything you need.Wait staff were excellent and very quick to clean up after you,and with a friendly smile.Service was excellent.Plenty of good food.Lots of food lol.(but I own a bakery and that was not mudcake.Mudcake is not made of coconut.)
There was so much enternment we didnt get to partake of it all.I think that's a guise to get you back to finish it.! Im saving now.!We had fun getting to learn our way around,(good exercise)and yes,sometimes SOME of the lifts were out of order,others to choose from.And they were quickly fixed.But after all that food there are perfectly good staircases and faster than lifts anyway by the time the lift takes you up and down all over the place and stops at every floor but yours.Loved the shore tours.Son taught me to snorkel for the first time ever.Walked round Mystery Island in 53 mins.Perfect beaches.Went to Lifou,Noumea and Isle of Pines as well.So many shows that we missed some.All highly entertaining and I saw shows I don't go to on land.It's opened my eyes to new possibilities.
So,P&O Cruises,I will shout my praise loud and clear.(I did & now another son and his fiancee going cruising for honeymoon in jan 2012). On the Pacific Pearl.
I thought the Pacific Pearl would be a good introductory cruise for New Zealanders and Australians. The food was very good, the cabin were clean and configured well. I like the large TV outside it was nice to lay out by the pool and still be able to watch a movie. The down side... the wait staff
were not familiar with the ship and could have been a bit more friendly but I'm sure this will come with time and training. Overall, I had a wonderful time on this ship. Happy cruising!
The main part of the ship was very good. The bathroom in the cabin was a bit tired. I had got impression that the ship had been re-done, but now realise only parts had. The service was very good and even when I saw that they had to deal with some of the not so poilte passengers.Food was very good,
good choices. The entertainment was fabulous as were the activites and plenty to choose from. We did our own shore tours. I have reccommended the Pacific Pearl cruise to others and I will definitely like to go on another.
As first time cruisers we werent sure what to expect, and to a degree we boarded the Pacific Pearl, bound for the South Pacific, with a little trepidation. The boarding process was stunningly efficient and we were in our cabin less than 30 minutes after our taxi pulled up at the wharf.
We had selected an inside cabin in the midships to minimise the possibility of motion sickness and our plan worked well. If you aren't sure how you travel, book an inside cabin as near the centre of the ship and as low in the water as you can. However, to avoid engine noise and vibration we chose deck 10 and still didnt have any problems.
Our cabin was spotless and remained that way with a very good clean each day and indeed the whole ship was immaculate throughout. As a larger than average guy, I was a little worried about access to the bathroom and shower - there are many hotels where I have to peel a layer of skin to squeeze into the shower recess, but on the Pearl I had no such problems, with a large opening to the shower and the small step into the shower actually saved the water from running over the bathroom floor - an extra bonus.
After getting on board and unpacking the bags, which arrived at the cabin as we did, we went for some lunch in the buffet. As a general recommendation, ony go to the Buffet when you absolutely HAVE to because the Waterfront Restaurant is much nicer. Table service by friendly waiters, an ever changing and brilliantly diverse menu and everything served hot and fresh in quick time. There is nothing wrong with the buffet food, but the restaurant is far more civilised and dining at each meal is a social event as much as a culinary one.
However, a small word of warning for the first time cruiser... try to ignore the comments of the seasoned travellers you might be placed on a table with. For some reason anyone who has sailed before will spend AGES telling you how bad the ship you are on is and how all their other cruises were MUCH better. It probably isnt true in most cases and they are just trying to be smart and all knowing, but it can actually make you feel discontent with what is a brilliant ship with great facilities.
Another must to avoid are the strange folk who have turned cruising into almost a full time occupation, racking up dozens of cruises just so they can be the most travelled on any cruise they do. This weird breed are SO boring they can kill at twenty paces! If you find some people you get along with, try to arrange to sit with them as often as possible and avoid the risk of getting the negative or boring frequent sailors.
Food quality, quantity and variety is unbelievable - so expect to put on some weight because it WILL happen. Cruising is not for those wanting to crash diet. We had been concerned about having to pay outrageous amounts for water to drink on board, but it was free and available from the Buffet area any time. This saved us a LOT of money and made the trip even better value.
All day and every evening there is something to do SOMEWHERE on the ship. On the Pearl there was a troupe of top class circus entertainers with juggling, trapeze and so much more. Be warned if you are seriously scared of heights, even WATCHING these guys was terrifying to me! They are amazing. There was also a brilliant laser dance show which just didn't go on long enough and several big colourful stage productions with song, dance and many costume changes.
Again, if you are new to cruising check out the aft (non pointy end) of decks 10 and 9 where a quiet piece of sun bathing can be had with very few other passengers interrupting your peace, or below on deck 8 there are the spas and a bar for those that need a little more than their own company. This area is totally child free.
When you arrive at ports avoid the pre-arranged tours, as they are expensive. When you step ashore there will be plenty of buses, albeit a little rustic compared to the glitzy P & O hired vehicles, which actually added to our fun and enjoyment, or taxis, willing to take you on pretty much the same tour for a fraction of the cost. For example on the Isle of Pines we had a 45 minute tour which took in pretty much the same things offered by the P & O tour, but we paid $15 per head (or 1000 francs each) compared with P & O charging around $60 each.
One of the very few negatives on our cruise was our Cruise Director who we didnt like at all. It may well have been just us, but we found him obnoxious and very unfunny! He was from Liverpool in England and with so little talent I couldnt work out why they hadnt just hired someone decent from Australia. Generally I dont think he ruined anyones holiday - but he didnt add to it. If you are lucky you wont have a cruise director called Willie on your cruise.
The weather was mixed, but in August it was what we expected with the trip to and from the Islands a little grey and cool and our time in New Caledonia and Vanuatu spent with mostly sunny days in the low 20's - PERFECT for long walks along sandy beaches or around the markets and stalls.
Because we didnt have the same table at the Restaurant more than once, we couldnt justify tipping the waiters at the end of the cruise, but many who had requested the same table each meal did. We left $20 for our cabin steward and that was about it.
The night before our return to Sydney our bags were collected and we were told to be at the Orient Bar at 8.10am for disembarkation. Amazingly, a few minutes before 8 we were told to go to deck 5 where we joined a very short queue before strolling off the ship, through immigration and after collecting our bags, passing through customs and we were in a taxi by 8.30am.
My advice to new cruisers would be to take less clothing than you think you will need. For nine days 3 or 4 tee shirts and three long sleeved tops would have been fine, but we took more than double that! Despite our over packing so dramatically, in the cabin there was more than enough space for everything we had brought with us and in the bathroom with two large storage areas to pack away my tolietries and my wifes excessive cosmetics and magic potions that keep her beautiful!
My advice to P & O would be to try to keep the annoying regular cruisers away from the new ones so they dont whinge about how bad everything is - when in fact it isnt!
There were heaps of kids on board, but they never became a nuisance to this particular grumpy old man and didnt affect the holiday at all.
All in all, a great holiday experience for a fraction the cost you would pay ANYWHERE else for the same kind of facilities, meals and travel. At less than $100 per person per day it is simply amazing value and I can understand why people get addicted to this sort of vacation.
Well, this was my third cruise, and to date, the best (yes, I seem to say that after every cruise!)
Before my first cruise a couple of years ago, I was slightly put off from cruising. I thought of it only for "oldies" who simply lazed around on deckchairs grumbling about nothing!
But as I would ascertain, this was far from the truth!
Following two magnificent vacations on board P&O Sun, I couldn't wait to go on NZ's own liner Pacific Pearl. In fact, it was booked on the day of return from my previous trip!
Well, where can I start, the whole trip was simply amazing. To be honest, the only time we got to relax was on the last morning as we were waiting for the departure call!
Every evening, there was an amazing performance from the Pacific Entertainers. These ranged from Pirates through to Circus. This was an act performed together with the onboard acrobats! Simply amazing, and to think that some of the feats were being made on board a floating ship!
The food on board was beyond belief! I mean, if one wanted, they could feast all day! The breakfasts went from 6 am through to 11.30 then the lunch came through to 2 pm!
But there was a lot more to do than eat, there were seminars, auctions (with Complimentary Champagne!) and the best part about it all, was that in most cases there was no additional fees.
Yes, thats right, it was included in the fare.
Then there were the exotic regions that we visited. One could simply laze on the beach, or take an adventure trip. Noumea, Mystery Island, Isle de Pines were the ones that this trip took in. Although, when I had initially booked the trip, we were also going to Ouvea. But that will just have to go on the back burner.
Now that reminds me of something else, there was also a BBQ on board! and it sure was a lot more than I could prepare at home!
This cruise had an extraordinary Cruise Director, Zoltina-J.
Admittedly, this was her first cruise directorship on the Pearl and she was a little uncertain as to the Kiwi sense of Humour! following her first showing. However Ian and I had an informal chat to her, and she changed her style from solely Australian to Kiwi, then she was off! She had mentioned that Kiwis didn't have the same sense of Humour as Ozzies! We set her straight on that though!
I arose each morning at around six for sunrise, although, there were numerous days when it didn't rise spectacularly. But there were several heart stopping sunrises seen. From then, it was action all day, through to two or three in the morning!
Well, I'd better stop now and start packing for the next one! I mean it is nearly snowing outside and freezing cold, take me back to Isle de Pines!
Pacific Pearl was an awful shock and disappointment - this ship needs to be scraped. It was old and run down with staff who were surly and uninterested. Unfortunately, many of the performers from the evening shows were injured so these shows were also disappointing. The food at The Waterfront was
good although never hot; however, the Plantation buffet was inedible. All in all, an unpleasant experience and certainly not recommended to others.
Just over 5 years ago my wife and I left Picton (NZ) where we had lived for about 12 years and returned to Christchurch.
All the time we had lived in this beautiful coastal town we were blessed and awed by the sight of many large cruise liners visiting our port, some staying for a day and others staying overnight. I have to say that we were always envious of the many travellers disembarking and could only gaze in wonderment of these huge floating hotels and wishing we could explore one from bow to stern, up and down.
We are both retired and, like many people our age, were stung by the investment companies and lost a fair chunk of our retirement fund. Then the earthquakes came (enough said). So, Lorraine and I took ourselves off on a cruise with Kiwi Cruise Sale Finder and were so looking forward to flying up to Auckland and joining P&O cruise P116 and the fact that it sailed on my 71st birthday May 2, was a treat we both looked forward to.
We arrived at the wharf early to see our great white cruiser, the Pacific Pearl, the excitement growing by the minute because at last we were going to experience what was at one time only a dream for us.
We were lucky to get on board early because we were at the head of the queue (well almost). Well .... we were amazed, everything seemed so grand, to us it was like the "Ritz". We found our cabin and to my delight there were ballons tied to the door wishing me a happy birthday. We were also greeted by our cabin steward, Leizel, and what a delight she turned out to be during our 10 days.
Off up to Deck 12 for a lovely lunch while the other passengers boarded during the afternoon.
Our first impresseions of wonderment continued for 10 days and nights, as we attended wonderful meals at the variety of restaurants on the ship, sat back and enjoyed beers and cocktails, saw some wonderful shows and entertainment headed by a lovely Australian lady by the name of Zoltina-J.
The Waterfront Restaurant was particularly nice, and we were fortunate to have two wonderful waiters Emelio and Nimpha.
Well, we both decided to visit the 'Future Cruise' desk and pay a deposit for another cruise (lol). It did not take us long because within a few weeks, we have now booked on W211P out of Brisbane next March, and since then we spotted a short break from Auckland to Sydney P206N back on the Pacific Pearl, so I hope we will see all of our favourite crew again (can't wait).
I can honestly say that neither of us wanted to get off the ship when we arrived back in Auckland! We are now completely hooked on cruising and wish we had done it a long time ago.
Thank you Cruise Republic and P&O - Fantastic!!
Exciting, riveting,relaxing experience for myself, my man and my six year old daughter. We were in desperate need of a pamper holiday as life can be tough sometimes. My daughter smiled and laughed the whole time which was a joy to see,and we took home lifetime of memories of sun soaked beaches lazy
days and friendly people.Absolutely faultless!.