Can P&O Be Serious With Pacific Explorer Add On Charges?

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#21
Canberra Australia
43,808 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by ccsclean21
Hi MicCanberra My wife and I are RCL loyalists but did enjoy the pacific Jewel and my wife usually gets nails done on the ships and she stated that prices for nails and facials were cheaper than other lines and very friendly staff as well, not that RCL staff are not friendly they are as well. The things you have to pay extra for are the activities where as it's included on other lines then there is the ice cream as it is New Zealand ice cream but you can get sorbet free in the MDR just ask and your friendly waiter will bring you heaps then there is the burgers and pizza which you pay extra for I don't know how much as I was happy with the all inclusive food. What ship are you going on and when?
I am on the Eden in November and the Explorer in December. I tend to eat in the MDR whenever possible so do not pay for the ice cream or burgers. I do go to specialty restaurants and will pay for wine tastings or cocktail making and such but you do that on most lines any way. We tend to select our P&O cruises by cheap deals lately.
#22
New Zealand
151 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
On Monday we are off on our third P&O cruise, and fourth overall. We spend on average $10 per day - mainly as the hubby has super sensitive taste buds so we may buy water, and a daily barista coffee. I have an occasional coke. For me I don't feel like there is a demand for extra money - you can spend plenty if you choose too, but we have an amazing time without a huge additional spend.

We have purchased extras (hot dog etc) but mainly when it is late night and you just feel like junk food. I have always felt the prices were reasonable.

It is not just cruising that is becoming less generous. A few years ago room service used to be free, now even breakfast comes with a $5 charge at most hotels.

While some people see a loss of generosity with the midnight buffets etc disappearing I also see the limitation of waste and the reduction of gluttony. I do eat more than normal when on a cruise, and I guess you can say I don't know what I have missed.
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#23
Sydney
47 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
I find that variety falls in the food in MDR and Buffets when there is a speciality restaurant on board and I have been on a 5 star ship that the MDR room and buffets were set up to force you into the speciality restaurant or "it felt like that" by either having very poor food choices and quality or the MDR you had to wait even though we had made a booking and we still had to wait over an hour to get a table and a lot of passengers felt the same way we did that the line was trying to push us into the speciality restaurants. Those speciality restaurants are popping up everywhere on ships. I found that P&O Pacific jewel had better food and service than on that 5 star ship and we were sorry we didn't stay with RCL or P&O Australia but you live and learn. The benefits of P&O Australia cruises is that there is no gratuities,and they use Australian dollar not US$ that in it's self is a big money saver and you still get great service and great food in the Buffets and MDR not feeling like you are being pushed into a speciality restaurant, I just like to see all inclusive and leave the wallet at home. Let those TV chefs set up their restaurants on land and leave the cruise ships alone.
#24
Sydney
47 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Here is a question to everyone, How many of you would like to have cruise lines have all inclusive cruises and no extra charges, no even for that special coffee.
I reckon everyone.
#25
Canberra Australia
43,808 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
I think it would be price dependent. Recently found an invoice from a cruise in 2002 and cannot believe how expensive it was compared to todays prices. The competition is doing us many favours even if standards or quality have dropped on some lines.
#26
115 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Originally posted by ccsclean21
Here is a question to everyone, How many of you would like to have cruise lines have all inclusive cruises and no extra charges, no even for that special coffee.
I reckon everyone.
They do exist, just expensive
#27
Sydney, Australia
14,621 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by ccsclean21
Here is a question to everyone, How many of you would like to have cruise lines have all inclusive cruises and no extra charges, no even for that special coffee.
I reckon everyone.
I don't mind some extra charges. What I object to is when they cheapen the base standard excessively so to get anything reasonable you have to pay more.
#28
Sydney
47 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
I agree with you The_Big_M Thats what happen on a 5 Star ship we took in Europe. I think they were trying to pay for the ship in one cruise as everything was expensive and as MicCanberra stated that is true too because I can remember paying for cruises back in 1983 and I paid over $2500 for an inside small cabin on a 14 night cruise and the only food was a buffet in the morning and lunch in the MDR and if weather was good they had cold meats and salads and very poor selection of deserts then Dinner in the MDR and that was pretty much it but you did get alcohol duty free and you could buy bottles of alcohol on shore and bring onto the ship and drink it but the alcohol was reasonably priced onboard so why bother buying it on land to bring back except for duty free to take home. You didn't have much choice of ships to go on, you either had old crap or very old crap and I asked a purser back then "that's what they were call back then not hotel directors like they are called now " why don't they bring the nice ships over to Australia as I felt there would be a market in it and got told that they wouldn't bring nice ships over because Australians drink too much and would ruin the new ships, what *#&*&# head and I spoke to someone at RCL in America around 1985 or so and got told it would cost too much to reposition a ship to Australia and that was when they had the Monarch of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas, but what do I know, and look at them today and if one of them took my advice back then one of them would have controlled the market being the only decent ship in Australia so yeah things have improved in cruising but I don't want to see quality of food go down and ships full of Celebrity Chef restaurants to the point that there is no MDR or buffet and you have to pay for everything. Believe me I saw what potential cruising in Australia would be back in 1980s and no one listened so am I right with this one we will have to wait an see and the only thing that will stop quality falling into the bows of the ships is the passengers. There was an oversupply of cruise ships in the Caribbean back then and was building so they sent them to other parts of the world to try to escape the heavy competition as that is what is forcing prices down in the Caribbean, oversupply of cabins. But least we are getting some very nice looking ships and we should thank the crew who look after us as they spend months away from their family to give us a fantastic holiday so to all the crew of every cruise ship thank you for your fantastic service and friendliness.
#29
Batehaven, Australia
11,517 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by pptt
Agree, after 32 cruises, this will be our last in September with P&O. Forever putting your hand in your pocket


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#30
3 Posts
Joined Dec 2017
Don't forget that these things might be included on other lines, but you also pay much more to sail with those lines. P&O gives you the option to sail on the cheap (can be $100/night for accomodation and meals) and only pay for those extras that you really want. I'd prefer that than pay $200+/night and get free icecream. I am glad to see that the waterslide is free, was thinking they may charge for that.
#31
Brisbane
576 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by 10bosch
I haven't cruised with P&O before, and am going on the Explorer at the end of July.

I will probably pay to attend the Black Circus as I find the idea of Dinner and a Show appealing. However we won't be visiting Lukes, 400 Gradi Pizza or the Edge. I think we will stick with the Waterfront Restaurant and the Pantry.
Everybody seems to have forgotten about the Dragon Lady and Angelo's restaurants. Still free and still, as far as I am concerned, head and shoulders over the MDR and probably the best free dining of any ship in Australian waters.

Also the Black Circus is a venue, the show there is called Love Riot. Somewhat risque, but nothing you couldn't take your granny to.
#32
Sydney
47 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Hi
I was on the 3 night comedy cruise 14th to 17th December 17 Pacific Explorer and the Dragon Lady and Angelo's is free, just book as soon as you get there.
I have been on other cruises like the Pacific Jewel twice and the last time was last year 2016 and the food in the MDR was quite good but this time on the Pacific Explorer in the MDR the food was shocking, I asked for a steak and got a piece of meat that looked dry but when you cut it the meat just pulled apart and looked as though it had been stewed and eating it was very chewy and the menu was very limited, so go to Angelo's or Dragon Lady you won't be disappointed. I normally have my dinner in the MDR but the food was not up to scatch and I don't know why the menu was so limited with choices and thought maybe because it was just a short cruise but that is definitely not the same standard as what was on the menu on the Jewel far from it.
I can say one thing about P&O Australian ships there is always something going on in the entertainment scene even past mid night and the service on board was excellent and staff very friendly.
While on board I heard that the Golden Princess was going to be renamed and handed over to P&O Australia It is starting to look like a hand me down line where Princess lines send their outdated ships too.
It's like a big brother or sister handing down clothes they have outgrown and the younger kid who gets all the old outdated stuff. How about some new ships.
You don't want the nick name, The hand me down line.
#33
Sydney
343 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
I agree the food in MDR on Christmas cruise was awful. I ordered a crumbed veal that arrived with spaghetti bolognaise on the side instead of any vegetables. Strange combination.
#34
Sydney
47 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Hi Pacificlover
That was the worst restaurant food I have ever had. I have been on the Jewel twice and the food in the MDR was quite good with good variety but on this ship there was no real variety and I was not game to ask for another steak as the last one was terrible and it pulled apart and looked sinewy which it was " very Chewy"
I don't know why such poor menu and food in the MDR but they better fix the problem fast as they will loose passengers.
The ship was very nice, the crew fantastic, Angelo's and Dragon Lady's restaurant was excellent and the staff in both those were fantastic. I can honestly say that the crew onboard the Pacific Explorer were the best I have come across in all the ships I have been on but fix the food and menu in the MDR.
#35
Sydney
343 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
I agree totally. In every way (bar MDR) my Christmas cruise was fantastic. The vibe on the ship was wonderful. The children dressed in their pixie and fairy outfits was lovely to see. I certainly want to do another Christmas cruise, but will have to think long and hard about my choice - cheaper with P&O but do I want to eat in The Pantry every night? Dragon Lady was good, but we did not try the Italian.
#36
Brisbane
576 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by pacificlover
will have to think long and hard about my choice - cheaper with P&O but do I want to eat in The Pantry every night? Dragon Lady was good, but we did not try the Italian.
I much preferred Angelo's over the MDR or the Pantry. You can arrange a regular booking on the first day aboard.
#37
Came from the land above to the Land Downunder
6,565 Posts
Joined May 2008
Originally posted by Cruisemagpie
Just read the Cruise Critic review of the Pacific Explorer, the renewed Dawn Princess which we quite enjoyed in the past. Surely others must feel somewhat puzzled by the latest cruise industry grab for guests cash.
The new Luke's Café to charge $6 for French fries and up to $15 for a hamburger, a seven course meal at the Chef's Table $99. The Pizzeria will set you back $25 for a cheese board,$9 for salads and $12 to $16 for a pizza. That's not all folks, $10 for breakfast room service and the P&O Edge Adventure park will be a steal at $139 adults and $119 kids for unlimited access.
We know what they are thinking in the P&O board room, profit, profit, profit but will cruisers go for it?
Add to this the service charge on drinks, tour costs and the extras may cost as much as the cabin hire for the cruise.
Is this the future of cruising? If so our cruise days are numbered after more than 50 cruises.
Obviously the new generation of cruisers have a different attitude to cash and cruising than us old timers and the cruise industry is planning ahead but will cruisers follow?
Well P&O are at the very least teaching the Aussie cruisers a few lessons after being forced to suspend gratuities on all Aussie cruises.


Same on all P&O Australia ship but NO SERVICE CHARGE ON DRINKS ETC
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#38
Auckland, New Zealand
510 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
Originally posted by ccsclean21
I reckon everyone.
It's easier to buy the experience you want at a value you think fair if you start with a base fare that is roughly the minimum any passenger would want and then let those that want more add on. For example, we don't drink alcohol and so I'd not want to think part of my fare was to pay for this and especially not on a itinerary with a sizeable number of Australians onboard (or Kiwis for that matter).

The key for us is to choose a cruise line where the minimum price is not too low since in our experience the demographic that is attracted is not one we want to mix too closely with. We've sailed P&O only three times and each time was a "never again" experience; we meant this after the third such experience.

The P&O base fare is designed to attract cruisers who can not otherwise afford to cruise. It's a business model that has worked very well for them even though they need more security staff per capita compared to more expensive lines; they save in plenty of other areas.

It's fair to say that P&O have had to lift their game in the last few years as fundamentally nicer cruise lines started competing for many of their passengers. Still, charging for a pizza will always remind you that you're down at the very bottom tier of cruising. Per day though you probably come out around about even on a like-for-like except for the demographic differences.
#40
Sydney, Australia
14,621 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by ccsclean21
i think that P&O should add a few free things like the pizza and burgers. Surely they don't make that much money by charging for them.
Not sure how much money they make; it's probably not much in the scheme of things. However, when you make it free, demand increases and they may well need to scale up just to supply which can be problematic. (And then people get dissatisfied because it's run out/they have to wait).

As for being worthwhile charging though, Celebrity thought it worthwhile to add a USD10 charge for burgers a few months back, so the bean counters still see merit in that revenue anyway.