I've just gotten back from my first cruise on the Pacific Sun. I'd been reading all the posts on here for a while before the cruise so the only expectations I had was from what everyone else had said about it.
Overall, it was a good trip. Not great, because of a few things, but it was really fun and enjoyable. I'll write about what I remember in headings so it's set out in a semi organised manner. :P
Boarding was scheduled to start at 3pm, for an 8pm departure. Me and my friend got to the wharf just before 4 and found no lines. We were handed two forms to fill in, one to say that we hadn't been sick and the other to say how we'd be paying for our expenses. We weren't told anything about our luggage, so we entered a queue, and proceeded through the xray machine, and got out cruise cards, and walked onboard. We carried our big luggage all the way onto the ship ourselves because we saw no where else to put it. We only saw one place for 'Passengers' to enter, so we did. But it wasn't a big deal, and we weren't the only ones who had their big luggage with them the whole way through.
The cabin was nice. A decent size and was very clean. Everythin' was working as it should have been, and within 1 minute of entering the cabin our steward, May, came and introduced herself and was really friendly. We were right in the middle of the ship, which I chose, and didnt' really feel much of the motion. I went to a cabin at the back of the ship of friends that I made on the cruise and the vibrations back there were unbelievable. Rattling noises everywhere. I was *very* glad to be in the middle of the boat.
Even though this has nothing to do with the Pacific Sun, I have to mention it because it will be mentioned further on. The weather we had on the cruise was dreadful. It was *extremely* rocky, and the motion did not stop throughout the whole cruise. I've never been on a cruise before, so I had no idea what to expect, but I did say that if this is how the ship moves on every cruise, then I have NO idea why people cruise. It felt like we were on a rollercoaster ride. Over a hundred people went to the medical centre on the first morning, and I heard people saying that even some staff were getting sea sick. So.. basically the only reason the cruise was.. not that great, was because of the weather. My friend who I went with was bed ridden for the entire first two days. So in effect I only enjoyed the nightlife on the final night when he felt a little better, as I'm not much of a 'go out bymyself' person, and wasn't in the mood to meet new people alone.
The shows on the first two nights were really good. The first night had the Pacific Sun dancers and singers doing their thing, albeit being very wobbly on stage.. The second night 'Rod Stewart' did his show which was very funny and entertaining. The third night was meant to be the "famous" G'day G'day show, which I'd heard alot about on this cruise so I was very excited, but it was cancelled due to the really rough weather, and instead they put on some movie. Demo was really funny, and the Marriage Match (I think it was called) was hilarious. I haven't laughed so much for ages. Bingo was great, with someone winning over $3000! The Terrace and the Oz Nightclub (me being 20..) were awesome. The last night of the cruise I went out and met great new people. The retro music and the new music in both venues, which are only 5 metres apart was great as we could go from one to the other all night. My friend went to bed early, but I stayed on with my new friends until the ship sailed into harbour at 4amish. Let me tell you, being drunk, on the deck of a ship at 4am after having eaten pizza, singing retro songs as you sail under the harbour bridge, is EXTREMELY fun, something I'll never forget. :P
The food was alright. Was expecting a little more but I'm not complaining at all. I only ate at the buffet once because I was feeling too sick to eat, so I can't really say much about the choices. Dinner was okay, enough to fill you up but not enough to make you feel bloated. Something I found strange was that the wait staff did not introduce themselves to us. I think they 'spoke' to us (about something other than what we were ordering) just once. They didn't learn our names, or even ask. But that's alright, it didn't bother me at all, and I'm sure it was only because it was a 3 night cruise they didn't really need to. The people on our table were great, with 2 young girls round 25ish, and a family of 4 sitting with us. Great table converstaion.
Overall it was a great cruise. If the weather had been better, I would have had the time of my life. I'm not going to recommened cruising to anyone, but if they ask I'll tell them they'll enjoy it if the weather is fine. The two young girls at my dinner table were part of a travel agent conference, and they were sent so they could sell the ship, and they made it very clear that they would *not* recommend cruising. I don't blame them, as every second face on board was pale. But that's not P&O's fault, they were great and they definately entertained me. On the other hand, there were those who did not feel sick at all, and partied on into the late hours every night. These 3 night cruises are definately about having a wild weekend. The bars were always full, people were always dancing, and the bands were always playing. However, there were the 'older' passengers who definately seemed to be enjoying their time reading and lazying about (inside the deck though, definately not outside as the deck chairs were all tied down on top of each other to prevent them from flying away - that's how windy it was :P)
Oh and another thing, the two girls from our dining table had $130 dollars stolen from their wallets one morning. Their luggage had been moved around the room and $130 was missing. They found out just before dinner, and were talking with security, and so came up to ask the restaurant if they could dine on the 2nd sitting coz they were busy with security and giving statements etc, but the staff at the restaurant plainly told them that they could NOT eat at the 2nd sitting, and if they missed their allocated time, they would miss out on dinner all together. That was something that definately shocked me, so I thought I'd mention that too. Use your safes!
Sorry about the long review. But I used to love reading reviews before I went on the cruise, so I thought I'd write my own long one for other people. If you have any other questions let me know
I have copies of all the Sun Daily's, and I'll be posting my photos online somewhere but I don't know where yet, but when I do I'll let ya'll know.