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My review of P&O cruise to South Pacific

W J
Sydney, Australia
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16 posts
5 reviews
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My review of P&O cruise to South Pacific

I just want to do a review of my cruise to Vanuatu and New Caledonia last year because I got so much help from others that I think it's only fair that I "pay it forward".

Context - we went on the PAcific Jewel on a 10 day cruise. It was me and my gf (both in our late 20s) and it was our first cruise. We absolutely loved it.

Neither of us had really thought about doing a cruise but one day we walked by Flight Centre. It was only $1100 per person for 10 days! So we figured we may as well give it a go.

We had an interior room. I think next time we'll go a window room if it's only a bit more expensive, but the interior room is fine. TIP - at night, turn your tv onto the ship webcam so you know what time it is when you wake up. Oh another TIP, bring a watch. There are few clocks on the ship & none in your room.

Customer service was great. Our room was cleaned twice a day! Everyone was really nice. There was no tipping on this cruise, at least no pressure to tip. We tipped our cleaner but he never expected it or mentioned we should (TIP - give away your leftover currencies from the islands as tips). He had just been so nice to us through the whole 10 days.

Every day you will get given a program which has loads of activities like shows, theme nights, movies, dancing lessons, that kind of stuff. We bought Kindles thinking we'd have plenty of time to sit and read. Didn't really use it - there was so much on.

THere's a whole team of entertainers and there's generally 1 or 2 shows a night. Lots of dancing, singing, acrobatics, comedy... really enjoyable.

Food was great. There's a free buffet (Plantation) and sit down (Waterfront) restaurant - you can order as MUCH as you want and the food is high quality. I ordered about 5 entrees and 2 mains once (and finished it!). Also, I would recommend trying the 2 paid restaurants La Luna and Salt Grill. For just $20-30, it's a 5 star meal.

We made 4 stops. Vale, Noumea, Lifou and Mystery Island. We decided to risk it and do our own tours. This has its good and bad sides. Firstly, don't listen to what they tell you onboard - you can ALWAYS bargain.

In Vale, we paid $180 for a guy to drive us around. But he was really pressuring us and we should've just walked away (I blame 3 days of cruising leaving us a little dazed and off our guard). Later we found out that we had to pay for all entry fees and that other ppl had paid $50 to hire someone for the day! Having said this though, we went to lots of places and it probably would've cost the same had we booked on the ship.

So aside from Vale, where it can be a little intimidating if you don't like bargaining, the other places, absolutely don't book onboard.

Noumea (which was fairly boring) you walk straight into a tourism info center where the tours there are much cheaper.

Mystery Island you can't book cause it's a small island. You should buy all your souvenirs on this island cause its cheapest. It was just a nice beach day. We had a $20 lopster each (we bargained it down from $25!) for lunch.

My favourite island though was Lifou. There's a beach area within walking distance of where the ship docks where there is some awesome snorkelling. We also went for a walk around n some guy took us to a random cave somewhere with a pool inside. That was fun too!

I might mention some bad things too. There weren't many facilities on the Jewel. There was two tiny outdoor pools and two tiny spas. Half the time, they weren't working and when they were, you had to fight the kids to get in. It would've been good to have an adult area actually.

Alcohol was fairly expensive and they had so many bars. We don't drink a lot so for us, it would've been good if they had less bars and more facilities.

We talked to other ppl onboard and generally, the first timers like us really loved it but the veteran cruisers thought the other cruise companies were better. But we loved it. I've travelled quite a lot and a bit of a shoestring traveller so this was something different, but yeah, we'll definitely go cruising again!

Melbourne, Australia
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120 posts
50 reviews
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1. Re: My review of P&O cruise to South Pacific

cool! Thanks for the review

Gosford, Australia
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499 posts
43 reviews
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2. Re: My review of P&O cruise to South Pacific

Hi W J, thanks for the effort of writing a review of your cruise. We're going on Pacific Pearl in a couple of weeks and it's always good to hear about other people's experiences. Sounds like you had a good time, don't let the veteran cruisers bother you.

SYDNEY
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1,970 posts
11 reviews
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3. Re: My review of P&O cruise to South Pacific

Thanks for taking the time to post your review, am going also on the Pearl and it is good to have some experiences of others hand.

Cheers

Australia
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1,347 posts
44 reviews
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4. Re: My review of P&O cruise to South Pacific

Thanks for posting your report.. sounds like you had a great time.

We're taking our first South Pacific cruise on the Jewel for 10 days at christmas so was great to read about your experiences. We are a couple that has had kids and now they're gone.. yay!!! We'd like a nice restful cruise without screaming kids all day, I think you can pay a fee to go to the Oasis for a kid free time??? I apologise to anybody taking kids on a cruise, I know that sounded awful!! Just please don't have your kids in the bar at 11pm!!!

Thanks again, great to hear from someone that's been there.

Gosford, Australia
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499 posts
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5. Re: My review of P&O cruise to South Pacific

LarnAustralia,

On Pacific Pearl, which is the ship we went on in June, Oasis was free. It wasn't huge, but it was pretty good anyway. Cruises are a great holiday for Mums of any age, but kids really shouldn't be left to run free without adult supervision, I agree with you there for sure!

Hope you have a great time.

Tracey.

Melbourne...
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1 post
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6. Re: My review of P&O cruise to South Pacific

Hi Larn,

I am planning to travel on the Pacific Pearl with my wife this Christmas. My research has suggested that the weather in New Caledonia and Vanuatu is not the very best between December and March. How was your experience as far as the weather is concerned?

Abhas

Australia
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1,347 posts
44 reviews
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7. Re: My review of P&O cruise to South Pacific

Abhas... we're going at Christmas too so not sure... who knows what mother nature will give us?? Have fun though whatever the weather.

Tasmania
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47 posts
9 reviews
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8. Re: My review of P&O cruise to South Pacific

We are going on Pacific Pearl 17 October for 10 nights and would love to get some tips and hear about the ship. This is our first cruise! Only 38 days to go!!!

Hobart, Australia
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12 posts
54 reviews
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9. Re: My review of P&O cruise to South Pacific

so are we!

departing 26th.

If you'd like to share some private tours we would be happy to join up with you.

We are retired "professionals" on our first cruise around the islands, but have been on the Alaska one

Tasmania
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47 posts
9 reviews
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10. Re: My review of P&O cruise to South Pacific

We actually leave on October 17 and return on 27th. Would love to hear from anyone that is on the same cruise as us. Leave Sydney 17th on Pacific Pearl. Getting excited and anxious as this is our first cruise.