Review of the Pacific Eden - 8 nights to the South Pacific

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#1
Sydney
115 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
I started writing this in the reviews section but it ended up pretty long so thought I'd post it here instead. Hope that is ok.

We have previously done 2 cruises on Carnival Legend so that is the only other ship I have to compare to.

Before going I had read some of the not-so-great reviews and was prepared for a very mediocre cruise but I have to say we were all pleasantly surprised and had a really fun holiday. Overall I found Carnival and P&O to be comparable. Some things Carnival did better (service, cleanliness), some things P&O did better (decor, entertainment) and some things were on a par (food, cabins). If we were booking again I would probably choose Eden over Legend.

We were a family of 5 with kids aged 13, 10 and 6 and did an 8 night cruise to the South Pacific.

Overall decor and layout - very good. Loved all the small spaces. In the evening you could walk from one small bar to another and there would be live music going on in each. The public spaces are beautifully decorated. Love the feel of the Lido deck with its striped deck chairs. Only let down was the adults area which has almost no shade and just wasn't that nice to hang out in.

Cabin - we had an inside on deck 4 as we wanted a cheap option. We had a few rough days and were very glad that we were low and midships as the movement didn't bother us at all while many others were looking very green. Cabin was clean, a good size and bathroom very good. We had a shower, not a shower over the bath so that was good. The cabin steward was lovely but service definitely a step down from Carnival. However it was still adequate and didn't detract from our cruise at all.

Food - a very nice surprise. We ate in all the venues so I'll describe each.

Pantry - loved this concept and found the food excellent. We ate there every breakfast, most lunches and two dinners. All were delicious. I don't think I had a bad meal. Healthy and diverse options. Particularly liked the Indian, the salads and the sandwiches at lunch. Also loved all the fresh tropical fruit available at every meal. In 8 days I didn't get to try all the options. No burgers, pies or pizzas so that might be an issue if that is what you like. My kids missed these but they are not fussy eaters and were very happy with the other options. There was a bit of a weird smell at times in the Pantry and the seating was in short supply. We carried our food outside to eat on the back deck or on the pool deck...much nicer out there.

Waterfront - ate there for two lunches and one dinner. Food was very good. Have the chicken pho as a main for lunch if you are looking for a lighter option. So tasty. Lots of seafood on the menu the night we ate there. Decor is lovely and light. Service was ok but not like Carnival. My order was mixed up on 2 out of 3 occasions but fixed quickly. Didn't detract from my experience but didn't enhance it either. Wish we had eaten there more.

Angelos - my favourite. Loved the decor, the food and the service. We tried both menus and both were very good. Was hard to choose as all options looked good. I found the serving sizes to be just right but if you have a big appetite you can easily order more than one main and a few sides. They won't mind at all.

Salt Grill - went for my son's birthday. Food was delicious but too heavy for me. Probably should have just gone to Angelos again. Lovely service though. For me I didn't think it was worth the extra money.

Dragon Lady - I really did not like it here but it was my kid's favourite so go figure. We ate here twice. I had the worst meal I think I have ever had on a cruise ship there. I ordered the vegetable noodles and got a plate of noodles. No vegetables. That was the main. Just noodles and sauce. Entree also bad. A plain chicken tenderloin sitting on a pikelet. No sauce. Yuk. Service was lovely though. They noticed I was unhappy and brought me something else. My kids had the sushi and the beef short rib and loved them. I will say the desserts were very good. Best of the cruise. Decor looks lovely but I found the combination of the dark interior and small booths and the movement of the boat made me feel a bit ill.

Gym - so good! Great size for the size of the boat. Able to get on the cardio machines even in peak hour (7-8.30am). Very clean and well-laid out with a great view. Staff were very friendly. Weights area also excellent. I saw boot camp going on and there were only 3 people doing it so that would have been excellent value. Basically personal training.

Entertainment - I enjoyed the shows by the Pacific Performers. Much, much better than Carnival. The live music was also great. Loved the Soul Music evening particularly. No kids comedy like on Carnival which was a shame. We love trivia but found it was at awkward times and in venues that were too small so we hardly did any this cruise. I was in the cabin with my 6 year old so unfortunately missed the white party and bianco night as they were on after her bed time but they sounded like they were a lot of fun and lots of people were dressed up.

Tendering - excellent. We like to get off early and were on the first or second tenders each day. No waiting whatsoever. Couldn't fault it. Not sure what the wait was like later in the day.

The Edge - we had lots of OBC so used it to buy gold passes for our kids. They loved it. Not sure if we would have bought it if we didn't have the OBC but they definitely got good value for money. Took a few days for us to get the booking system figured out then smooth sailing. Some days things were cancelled due to wind but they ended up being repeated later in the cruise. Kids' favourites were the flying fox, walk the plank, abseiling and laser tag. Staff were lovely.

Kids club - very good. Much better than Carnival. All 3 kids loved it. Had to drag them out of there to spend time with us. The kids events were also good. There was a kids bianco party, kids great gatsby party and kids karaoke. Particularly loved the kids talent show on the last day. So, so cute! My teen had a great time and the older teens also seemed very happy. All kids were well-behaved throughout the whole cruise. There are kids security guards (female) who monitor pool safety and make sure the kids stay safe and don't misbehave.

Downsides - NOT ENOUGH SHADE! This is Australia not England and most of us don't want to bake ourselves all day. They really need to sort this out. In the end we found some shady deck chairs on Deck 6 and also in a little 'secret' area at the back of deck 9 under the Oasis. Otherwise we camped out on 2 of the few shady deck chairs on the lido deck and stayed put so we didn't lose them. If you didn't get in by 8am you wouldn't get a shady chair.

Also didn't love the Cruise Director. She wasn't around much. At one event I was at it was very rough. A poor boy in the front row threw up everywhere and all over his dad. The dad was freaking out and didn't know what to do. Instead of helping him she started dry retching (please, you work on a cruise, surely you have seen people vomiting before) and then she made a joke of it and continued the event. She left the poor man to deal with it on his own with 2 young kids. Quite a few other people started throwing up too from the smell and she still didn't stop and ask the crew to help. In the end one of the other passengers stepped in to sort it out and help them back to their rooms. So unprofessional and cruel of her. I was dumbfounded.

Disembarkation was also not great. We were almost 2 hours late getting back in to port due to bad weather. So that was no ones fault but it meant that it was mayhem in all the waiting areas and there were no announcements to let us know what was happening. We couldn't hear anything and everyone was worried that they had missed their number. Made for needless stress.

Other than that it was a great trip. Islands were gorgeous as always. Just wish it didn't have to end.
#2
Melbourne
84 Posts
Joined Jun 2016
Hi Wagtail - Thanks for that great review. Much appreciated.

I am sailing to the islands on the Eden, ex Melbourne, in 5 weeks so you have relieved some of my reservations. I did a 4 night on her 12 months ago and some things were still not working right at that time, although I must admit the weather was terrible for most of the trip and we couldn't go outdoors. Lots of green people.

I am taking my "child" with me on this one (52 yr old) and his main play room is the Dome at night which on the Eden is beautiful. So glad to hear that the children were well catered for.

My main gripe on the last trip was the quality of food in the Waterfront which was awful compared to the Jewel so glad to hear it has improved. I also find the Pantry rather small and crowded and like you miss a decent adult deck space to relax in because the Oasis has the pool in the middle which means the lounges are constantly wet and it's noisy. The promenade deck does make up for this a little. I must go and find the place under the Oasis you mention.

This time we intend to try Angelos and the Dragon Lady because it is a 12 night trip. Our cabin is OV on the promenade deck and I know we will have half a view with just a bit of infrastructure in the way. Don't mind the people passing - not too many of them - and I love being able to just walk out of the cabin, around the corner and be outside. I love the old fashioned deck lounges.

Once again thanks for a great review.
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1951 - SS Otranto: UK - Aus
2015 - Pacific Jewel: Sth Aus
2015 - Pacific Jewel: Tas, Sth Aus, Vic - New Year
2016 - Pacific Eden: Kangaroo Island
2016 - Pacific Jewel: Sth Aus
2016 - Pacific Jewel: NSW, Qld - New Year
2017 - Pacific Eden: Noumea, Vila, Lifou, Isle Pines, Mystery Island


2017 - Pacific Jewel: Christmas cruise Australia
2018 - Pacific Jewel: New Zealand/Tasmania
2018 - Carnival Legend: New Zealand
#3
NSW Mid North Coast
316 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Thank you Wagtail -Syd for a most comprehensive review. We are on Pacific Eden in April and was glad to read a very positive review of the Ship. Like you it can cause a little doubt as to the quality of upcoming cruises when you read so many negative reviews of a particular Ship,however we have never been disappointed by any cruise we have taken. I am not sure what standards some people expect but after reading some reviews of cruises we were on you would think you were on a different Ship. Once agatha I you and enjoy all your future cruises.
#4
8 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
Thank you for a very detailed review. My husband & I are going on our first ever cruise on Pacific Eden in four weeks to South Pacific. I must admit, having read some very negative older reviews I was a bit nervous but nice to read a recent review. We shall be going with an open mind and I'm sure we will enjoy our time on the ocean....
#5
8 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
Onedine....we are booked on same cruise, probably same deck also. Like you I am more reassured by Wagtails excellent review. Maybe we will bump into each other...
#6
Melbourne
84 Posts
Joined Jun 2016
We are booked into Cabin 6202 so maybe we could have coffee or just say Hi. That would be nice. I have my 52 yr old son with me this time - complete opposites - me a senior citizen (female).

I too go with an open mind because you never know who the other passengers are. I have been on trips where 65% are over 60 and others where there are lots of young people and children. No way of knowing until you board and it changes the vibes on the ship. I have met lovely people of all ages.

I don't have high expectations, as long as I have a nice cabin and the staff are friendly and helpful, food edible that's ok. The rest is up to me to enjoy it.

I have only travelled P&O because the price was right and most important - Melbourne to Melbourne so I can't compare it with other lines - yet.

See you on 3rd March.
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1951 - SS Otranto: UK - Aus
2015 - Pacific Jewel: Sth Aus
2015 - Pacific Jewel: Tas, Sth Aus, Vic - New Year
2016 - Pacific Eden: Kangaroo Island
2016 - Pacific Jewel: Sth Aus
2016 - Pacific Jewel: NSW, Qld - New Year
2017 - Pacific Eden: Noumea, Vila, Lifou, Isle Pines, Mystery Island


2017 - Pacific Jewel: Christmas cruise Australia
2018 - Pacific Jewel: New Zealand/Tasmania
2018 - Carnival Legend: New Zealand
#7
Sydney
115 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
Thank you for posting replies. So glad my review was helpful and hopefully means you can look forward to your cruise worry-free. Have fun! I am jealous and wish I was hopping back on-board soon.
#8
8 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
One dine, we don't know our cabin yet, but I wil be sure to try and look you up. It's my husband & I first cruise and we are very much looking forward to it!
#9
Perth, West Australia
142 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Thanks for the review. We've booked Eden for 4 nights out of Fremantle in April. I was a bit apprehensive, but after reading this I know we'll be fine.
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Pacific Eden 29 April 2017.
Carnival Legend 23 Sept 2016. Honolulu to Sydney
Explorer of the Seas 21 March 2016. South Pacific
Voyager of the Seas 22 Feb 2015. North Island of New Zealand
Voyager of the Seas 19 Feb 2015. Sampler
Sun Princess 15 Sept 2014. Singapore to Fremantle
Serenade of the Seas 14 Sept 2013 Barcelona to Venice return
#10
Queensland, Australia
75 Posts
Joined May 2012
Thanks for the review wagtail_sydney!

How on earth did you fit 5 people in an inside stateroom?! I'm just considering booking one room for our family of 4, but can't get my head around how/where everything fits. Do you happen to have a photo of the layout? TIA
#11
Sydney
115 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
Babymoon we booked two rooms, a double and a triple. I don't think there is an 5 berth option on P&O. We didn't spend much time in our cabins except to sleep. The kids lay in there and watched a movie a few times and that's about it. Other than that we were out and about on the ship. We also travel light so don't have a lot of stuff in the cabin so it didn't feel cluttered.

There is lots of storage and it pays to properly unpack everything into the wardrobe and drawers and put your cases under the beds to keep everything tidy. That way your steward can clean your room properly each day and you don't spend your whole holiday tripping over your children's shoes and mess! Not my idea of a relaxing holiday Having 2 rooms was definitely an advantage on the bathroom and shower front. The bathroom is small for 4 of you to share.

You could book two twin rooms if you wanted more space. However this is likely to be much more expensive. Plus you need an adult in each room so you'll have to take a child each. If your kids are older you can probably get away with putting an adult in each room on the booking but getting the kids to actually sleep in one cabin and adults in the other.
#12
69 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Originally posted by wagtail_syd



Dragon Lady - I really did not like it here but it was my kid's favourite so go figure. We ate here twice. I had the worst meal I think I have ever had on a cruise ship there. I ordered the vegetable noodles and got a plate of noodles. No vegetables.



Pretty sure vegetable noodle is noodle made out of vegetable, not noodle with vegetable.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
#13
NSW Mid North Coast
316 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Just returned from 8 night West coast cruise on Pacific Eden and agree with most of Wagtails comments. Loved the concept of the Pantry far more hygienic than a traditional buffet. Agree with most comments regarding food except Dragon Lady which we loved ( each to their own tastes). .Entertainment was excellent and public rooms very stylish but not sure how those near the Casino are affected by noise from pokies etc as Casino was not operating due to WA laws on non international cruises. Cruise Director Pablo was excellent as were his team. We were in a suite which was very spacious and quiet with a great balcony but was looking tired and could certainly do with a refurbishment. Would certainly sail on Pacific Eden again. Agree that more shade is needed in pool areas particularly Oasis ( adults only area) which I am happy to say was well policed regarding children. Great value for money.
#14
5 Posts
Joined May 2017
So good to read a recent, positive review. Having just booked our trip and then reading reviews I was beginning to worry, not that we are on this particular ship but I am sure service is service across the fleet
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Cruising Newbs!
July 10 2017 departing Sydney. Pacific Explorer.
#15
Gold Coast
9,495 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by MacrowClan
So good to read a recent, positive review. Having just booked our trip and then reading reviews I was beginning to worry, not that we are on this particular ship but I am sure service is service across the fleet
You will notice the difference in service, if you are on a "happy ship", rather than one on which the staff aren't happy, for whatever reason.
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CTMA Vacancier - 2011 - Montreal to Magdalen Islands. Amtrak - Toronto to New York
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#16
Gold Coast
9,495 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by Wyuna1
Just returned from 8 night West coast cruise on Pacific Eden and agree with most of Wagtails comments. Loved the concept of the Pantry far more hygienic than a traditional buffet. Agree with most comments regarding food except Dragon Lady which we loved ( each to their own tastes). .Entertainment was excellent and public rooms very stylish but not sure how those near the Casino are affected by noise from pokies etc as Casino was not operating due to WA laws on non international cruises. Cruise Director Pablo was excellent as were his team. We were in a suite which was very spacious and quiet with a great balcony but was looking tired and could certainly do with a refurbishment. Would certainly sail on Pacific Eden again. Agree that more shade is needed in pool areas particularly Oasis ( adults only area) which I am happy to say was well policed regarding children. Great value for money.
Thanks for your comments.

I understand that the WA Laws have been changed, so casinos can now open. However, I don't know why the casino wouldn't have been open on your cruise.
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Hurtigruten - Fram - 2014 - Ushuaia to Antarctica, via Falkland Islands and South Georgia Islands.
Princess - Ocean Princess - 2013 - Dover to Iceland and Norway, via Shetland and Faroe Islands.

Princess - Ocean Princess - 2012 - Singapore to Sydney
Fred Olsen Black Watch - 2012 - The Baltic, with Norway. Dover to St. Petersburg, via Kiel Canal.
Celebrity Century - 2011 - Auckland to Sydney

CTMA Vacancier - 2011 - Montreal to Magdalen Islands. Amtrak - Toronto to New York
MSC - Poesia - 2010 - Kiel, Germany to NY. Amtrak NY to Niagara Falls, VIA Rail Toronto to Vancouver
MSC - Lirica - 2008 - Genoa, Italy to Fort Lauderdale
Royal Caribbean - Rhapsody of the Seas - 2007 - Honolulu to Sydney
Rivers of Holland Cruise - 2003 - to Amsterdam
Alaskan Marine Highway - 2003 - to most Alaskan ports of call
Star Cruises - Superstar Leo - 2003 - Sydney to Darwin
Norwegian Coastal Voyage - Naruik - 2002 - Bergen to Kirkenes
Angelina Lauro - 1971 - Sydney to Perth. Indian Pacific - Perth to Sydney (Put me off cruising for 30 years!)

P & O - Chusan - 1970 - London to Brisbane, via Africa, India and Sri Lanka (Suez closed).
Chandris Lines - Queen Frederica - 1969 - Sydney to London, via Panama, New York and Rotterdam
#17
5 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by MMDown Under
You will notice the difference in service, if you are on a "happy ship", rather than one on which the staff aren't happy, for whatever reason.
Hopefully it's a happy one then though I know a new ship will likely have teething problems 🤔
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Cruising Newbs!
July 10 2017 departing Sydney. Pacific Explorer.
#18
NSW Mid North Coast
316 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by MMDown Under
Thanks for your comments.

I understand that the WA Laws have been changed, so casinos can now open. However, I don't know why the casino wouldn't have been open on your cruise.
Yes you are correct that the WA laws have changed to allow casinos to open within the 200 mile limit but the cruise must include an international port eg Bali to allow casino and duty free shopping to occur. On the East Coast cruises stop and drop anchor for 30 minutes to qualify as an international destination. Our cruise unfortunately did not nor were the cruises for the next month. Casino staff were still on board but not vey happy as the were not assigned to other areas . The were being paid their basic salary but we're not receiving their normal incentive bonus or their share of the gratuities included in the cruise fare. No bingo either.