My Review of Pacific Star R610

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#1
Mollymook Beach, Sth Coast NSW
277 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Hi all. Hope you like my Pacific Star review. It was almost like a mystery cruise, you never knew what was going to happen next!... if you have any questions just ask!

I'll start off from the beginning.

We flew up to Brisbane with Virgin Blue on the Friday and stayed at the Holiday Inn in Brissy. (Booked over the internet beforehand). The Holiday Inn was a lovely place to stay. We ate at the pub accross the road, $10 for every dinner and was great.

Getting on the Ship

I was expecting the worst after reading the courier mail review but was pleasantly surprised. A P&O lady met us in the foyer of the Holiday Inn at 11.15. They took our luggage and we boarded the coach. There was a 20 minute trip to the wharf. (As i didn't wait in the Transit Centre I can't say what that was like). We got off the coach and entered the tent, after showing our ID, swiping our credit cards and getting out cruise cards, we boarded the ship.. around 20 mins all up. Most people were really excited and it seemed like a few minutes.

Our Cabin

Our cabin number was 5070. We shared it with our next door neighbours and were expecting a queen bed and 2 bunks as they had told us previously. There were however 2 double bunks which was much better (we would have had to take turns in the queen bed). The rooms were a bit smaller than the Pacific Sun, but were nice. There was just enough room. The wardrobes were a good size, with plenty of coathangers, 2 drawers, and a shelf. The bags easily slid under the beds. The bathroom was small as well, with just enough room. It was quite soundproof. There was a small TV with movies going on 24 hours and the usual ship channels. We had an outside cabin with a large window which was great to look out from.

Our cabin stewards were great, and were eager to get us anything we needed.

The Ship

Yes, the ship is old.. but I think it's like this... If you look for faults you will find them, however if you don't look too hard and examine the age and state of the ship you'll find it just as good as any other. The rooms were nice, bright and comfy, and the decks were great. We had a full ship and I don't think there was a time we had to search for somewhere to sit. The pools were a bit bigger than the Sun, though were emptied for the last half of the trip due to rough seas. The spas were ok and were filled with young ones most of the time. There was a large spa right on top of the ship but it didn't work this cruise unfortunately.
The casino was not bad.. they even had a no smoking night in there which was a good idea for us non smokers.
The shops were nice... as there are specials throughout the trip don't buy up big on the first day!

Dining

Of course the food was great! Though, if youv'e been on a few P&O cruises you'll know exactly what's going to be on the night time menu as they never seem to change it.
There were alot of choices on this ship. Breakfast you could eat in the dining or buffet. We tried both but preferred the buffet as the food was layed out for you to choose what you like. If you eat in the dining for breaky dont forget to ask for the Breakfast Special.
Lunch - dining room, buffet, or burgers out on the deck. We loved the buffet as it was lovely eating out on the deck. One day was seafood with fresh prawns.. lots of them.. yumm!
Dinner - 2 sittings in the dining room. We were on the late sitting which was good.. we had time to build an appetite! Kids did go to dinner with adults but I never saw any in the late sitting. Our table waiters were great and fun.. I think P&O must treat their crew pretty good as all of the waiters were happy and eager to please. (After hearing rumers about the crew only being fed rice etc, I asked one. He told me they have their own menu, great food and are kept well fed!)
The dining room itself was large but not claustraphobic as I thought it would be as there were no windows. In fact, because it was on the lower deck and in the middle of the ship, on the really rough days it was probably the least rocky part (in my opinion).
We went to the afternoon tea once and they had lovely scones with jam and cream, cakes and biscuits. Too full to go again!
The buffet was similar to the Sun, similar lines of people every now and then. If you timed it well youd have your meal in no time.
We had a pizza one night.. $7 and yumm.
Drinks were usual price, a pity there was no cocktail of the day though! A bottle of wine was a little dear, $32 for a bottle of Asti Riccadonna.

Activities

We tried to do as much as we could on this ship. The Cruise staff were all great and kept everyone busy and happy. Dan the cruise director is the best! He is extremely funny!

There was the usual dance classes, beer coits (my husband won lots of beer!) flower making, bingo, etc etc. Everything had a fun edge to it and was a pleasure.

Movies were shown just about every day in one of the lounges, which was relaxing as the drink waiters kept you topped up while watching.

The shows were great! There were 2 new ones I havent seen before and the usual Gday Gday (seen that twice), which was cancelled anyway because of the weather. The talent show was also cancelled due to the rough conditions.

There was a comedian who was just so so, and a singer who was very good as the other entertainers.

Nightlife was terrific.. outside on deck (when the weather was good) they had the band playing, inside there was the disco for the younger ones, which we liked as well, and in the Casablanca room they had a fantastic singing duo, great for dancing to, and after that a retro disco for us 40+'s. We managed to get to bed around 1-2 most nights.

We sat in the Piano Bar a few times, I liked the look of it!

There were 2 theme nights, Hawaiian and Pyjama, and 2 formal nights.

Intinerary

This was a real mystery cruise. We all knew about cyclone Larry, on the way up though seas were really calm and everyone was comfortable.. though alot of people got extremely sunburnt!
We got to Whitsundays and unfortunately the wharf there was too damaged and closed, so we missed that port. The captain was keeping everyone informed every couple of hours with cyclone updates. We still cruised through all the islands, slowly, and got to see some nice sights.
Next port was Cairns. We werent sure we would make it in there as it was only open to small craft at the time of leaving Whitsundays. We got in however and docked, but were not sure of how long until that afternoon. Cairns was a bit battered with a few trees blown around but not that bad. Pity the train was not working so we could only do half of our tour.
Returning to the ship that afternoon we found we were staying in Cairns another day, and were being taken to Port Douglas by coach or catamaran. This day was great, just like another tour and didnt have to use those tenders. Cairns made a good night out as well with lots of places to go!
We left Cairns around 6 and headed for Willis Island, that's when things started to get rough with Cyclone Wati!
The ship was rocking, rolling and reeling and alot of people got seasick. As I am prone to seasickness I was taking Kwells from the very beginning, and thank goodness I did! I never felt seasick the whole time. My husband who never gets seasick started feeling whoosey and took a few Blackmores Ginger tablets and that fixed him up. I would recommend taking precautions before getting on even if you don't get seasick, the jab at the doctor was $140 and the tablets were extremely dear (around $14 for 10 ginger pills compared with $8 for 48 ginger pills from Coles).
There werent many people around that day, and the dining room at night was only half full, the upper deck was like a sick bay with people lieing on the deckchairs trying to get some air. That night we changed route again, moving down a chanel which we were only the 2nd passenger ship to use. Things calmed down a great deal till the next morning, where things got even rougher. It was too windy to go out on deck, with water spraying over the top of the ship. Getting around inside was hard as well as the ship was lurching and shudderring, then crashing down with a huge bang. That night the show was cancelled, as was the passenger talent show. They instead showed movies.. Cinderella Man, and still had the dancing happening. This slowed the ship down by a few hours making us late back to Brisbane, which no one minded as that meant we could all sleep in a bit longer and have a leisurely breakfast.

Disembarking

As we were flying at 12pm, we wanted to go straight to the airport and not the transit centre to make our own way to the airport. We however got tags to send us to the Transit Centre. This was fixed in no time by a visit to the pursers desk who gladly changed our disembarking ticket. The disembarking took no time at all, we were put on the coach and an 8 minute drive to the airport.

A Few Mishaps

A couple of things happened during the trip, one morning the toilets wouldnt flush, but that was fixed in around 20 minutes. The top spa wasnt working. I can't think of anything else.

Conclusion

The cruise was a great mixture of people of all ages, there wasnt a majority of any age. One thing I noticed compared to the Sun trip.. I never heard the "Pacific Sky is so much better" once. In fact I never heard one complaint, even after all we were going through. Everyone was there for a great time and thats what we had!

I hope this isn't too long and boring! I think if you go, don't compare, don't look for faults, you'll have a fantastic time on the Pacific Star!

Sue
#2
sydney, australia
6,522 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
too long and boring?...never.
Wonderful review and goes to show you can always have a great time if you are in that frame of mind. I agree "our" ships are not as luxurious as overseas ones but still a fun holiday.
So glad you got home safe, we here were always checking the cruisecams and thinking about you all.
Hope that is the last of the bad weather, hope that doesnt sound too bad.
sounds like P and O tried to make the best of it by shipping yuo into port douglas etc,
have you booked your next cruise yet!!!LOL
karon
#3
melbourne
1,374 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
hi sue great review on your mystery cruise. Thankfully all of you arrived in one piece. You sound like a good time was had even with the bad bad weather. Can you tell me when do you start taking what ever you decide to take for sea sickness. Do you take all through the cruise? do you keep taking when you got home or spot. thanks suexxx
#4
Cairns, Nth. Qld
241 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Hi Sue!
Thanks for your informative review! Nice to learn there were many positives from a trip that was likely to strike a touch of bad weather! Also pleased to hear that your stay in our fine city was a good one. Pity you didn't get to do the railway trip as the falls are particularly awesome after good rains. Maybe next time!
I shall endeavour to have a look at her when she's next in town on May 2nd.
Cheers
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Nerissa

Star R631 Week Fantastique
#5
Katherine NT Australia
551 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Hi Sue

Thanks very much for your informative review of the Star - glad to hear that you are home and safe.

Cheers rach
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Previous Cruises
Pacific Star - Moonlight Serenade - Birthday Cruise
27th May 2006 - 9th June 2006
Pacific Star - Week Fantastique - Anniversary Cruise
29th Sept - 6th Oct 2007
Pacifc Sun N740 - 18th Dec - 27th Dec 2007 - Family Christmas Cruise
Pacific Sun N929 - Week Tropique - 19th Sept 2009-25th Sept 2009 -Long Service Leave Cruise
Pacific Dawn - Week Fantastique 20th-27th November 2010 - mum and daughter time

Pacific Jewel - 27th June 2014 - Sydney/Brisbane/South Pacific/Brisbane
#6
Mollymook Beach, Sth Coast NSW
277 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Thanks

It was a bit on the scarey side... but hasn't put me off going on another.. I would love to try out the "new" Pacific Dawn when it comes down, or if any other "too good to be true" specials come!
The captain and crew were fantastic and you could tell they were doing everything in their power to make things comfortable.

Suexxx - I am very very prone to motionsickness, and even get sick on a swing, so I take alot of precautions.. other people don't need to take so many. Kwells was recommended by the chemist, it was around $6 for 10 chewable pills and I bought 2 packets. I took one on the morning of the trip, then about 3 a day. They are orange tasting and chewable, but leave a bit of a strong taste in your mouth. If the rough weather didn't start I probably would have stopped taking them but I kept it up and thankfully they worked well! My neighbour was taking ginger and they were fine untill the roughness, he started feeling sick so took a kwells and that fixed him. The kwells gave no side effects for me apart from a dry mouth, but I prefer a dry mouth to seasickness! I stopped taking them the morning we got off the ship.
#7
melbourne
1,374 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
thanks for your reply sue. This (sea sickness) is the only thing that I am worried about cruising. Anything else I feel I will be ok with.All the help we have had on this board is great. Mined you we dont go until feb 2007 but I watch the cruise cams each day.Addiction plus. sue
#8
Brisbane, Qld, Australia
154 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Hi Sue - We enjoyed your review very much and were happy to hear that the Kwells worked - the wife used them on our last cruise and found that they worked well - but she was a little worried that the Pacific Star is not all that smooth in rough water and that the Kwells may not work - (She was happy to read that they worked for you)

Thanking You
Peter & Cheryl
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: Legend of the Seas (Asia) June 2011
Pacific Jewel (South Pacific) August 2010
Pacific Sun (Noumea,Lifou,Vila) Sept 2009
Pacific Dawn (Noumea,Mystery Island,Vila) Oct 2008
Pacific Star (Noumea,Lifou,Vila) Sept 2007
Pacific Star (Brisbane - Whitsundays & Cairns etc) Sept 2006
Sapphire Princess (Australia-New Zealand) Feb 2005
#9
750 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Excellent review Sue. Thanks!
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Sun Princess March 2012 Brisbane-Sydney Repo
Coral Princess April 2011 Acapulco-Fort Lauderdale Trans-Canal
Freedom of the Seas Oct 2008 Western Caribbean
Pacific Star Dec 16, 2006 New Caledonia & Vanuatu
Island Princess Feb 8, 1991 Amazon (Manaus-San Juan)
Pacific Princess Sept 1984 Mexican Riviera
#10
Liverpool NSW
7,018 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Pleased to hear you had a great time Sue despite the weather. As you said, if you go looking for faults you'll find them. I'm certainly not going to do that. I'm gonna have a good time . Under better weather conditions it would have been a great cruise to do. I just love the Whitsundays and have always wanted to go to Port Douglas. Think I might buy some more kwells though just in case. Bought one peacket so far.

Karen
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Karen

Good friends are worth more than money in the bank - that's what I always say

*SS Australis-Sydney to Southampton-28th July -31st August 1975
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*Rhapsody Of The Seas-3rd Feb-6th Feb 2012
*Pacific Sun-N211-17th Mar-19th Mar 2012
*Pacific Pearl-P225-20th-23rd July 2012
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*Pacific Pearl-P324-8th-17th July 2013
*Voyager Of The Seas-10th-13th January 2014
*Celebrity Solstice-17th-20th January 2014
*Pacific Jewel-30th May-2nd June 2014
*Radiance Of The Seas-22nd Sept-11th Oct 2014
*Pacific Pearl-20th July-3rd August 2015
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*Pacific Aria-23rd May-3rd June 2016





#12
Burleigh Waters
143 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by sue2539
If you eat in the dining for breaky dont forget to ask for the Breakfast Special.
Thanks for a great review Sue - thoroughly enjoyed reading it and am more excited than ever now. Just wondering though what the Breakfast Special is all about. Thanks.
#13
Adelaide, South Australia
105 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Sue,
thank you, thank you, thank you, after the other reviews of the Star I was feeling really flat about our cruise in August/September as I have talked 8 other people into joining us & all I could think of was "all that money that they have forked out & their ship, food, entertainment was going to be crap. but thanks to you the excitement is starting to bubble over the top again & yippeeeee I can't wait

I have one question though did you book the transfer from the motel or does P&O have a representative/shuttle service at all the motels??? as we are staying in Brissy for a few days before our cruise so would we have to go to the transit centre or will P&O pick us up from our motel?

Oh I nearly forgot in all the excitement WELCOME HOME

Helen
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Pacific Star - Tropical Tonic R628
August 2006

Pacific Sun - Rockin The Waves N933
October 2009


#14
Sydney Au
906 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Thanks for such an honest review. Sounded like you had a great time despite the difficulties.
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Maxx

Explorer of the Seas March 6 2016
Carnival Spirit Nov 2013 - sailed
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#15
Mollymook Beach, Sth Coast NSW
277 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Thanks for responding everyone...

The breakfast special isn't that much, just if you have breaky in the dining room they have the same set menu every day, and will only give you the "special menu" if you ask for it.. it has a few different things on it.

Helen, I think P&O only pick up from the Holiday Inn and the other one they use, (Carlton?) I pre arranged it before I left through my travel agent and they had our names on a list to mark off when we boarded the bus. Otherwise it's the transit centre. I'm positive you and you party will have a fantastic time on the ship, it really had a happy party atmosphere similar to the Pacific Sky.

Sue
#16
Fremantle Western Australia
301 Posts
Joined May 2004
yes the pacific star is old but it is maintained to a very good standard.I travelled on her maiden cruise for P&O and it was a very enjoyable cruise not my best but i loved the food,cleanliness and meticulous service afforded by all the crew especially dedi and muhammad in the restaurant.My son was sea sick first couple of days and the matre d' went out of his way to make something my son would like to eat. We did encounter a sewerage smell very often but then again we were mostly enjoying the lido deck.Overall I think its great just to have a real holiday.Next booking Statendam for cruise to Auckland on the 5/1/07 as I have been told it is a nice ship.
#17
Adelaide, South Australia
105 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Thanks for that info Sue, I will check with our TA if they have organised a pick up for all of us as we are all staying at the same place.

again thank you for your review as I have my enthusiasim back & am on the hunt again for all the info I can gather to make this holiday absolutly fantastic.

One of the husbands on this trip has never been on a plane, and the furthurest he has been from Adelaide is Kangaroo Island in SA & Horsham in Vic, so he is really nervous about going so we are trying to get all the info so there will be no surprises for him, but he is willing to give this a try, for us (DH & I)we always have fun what ever the situation.

Helen
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Pacific Star - Tropical Tonic R628
August 2006

Pacific Sun - Rockin The Waves N933
October 2009