Pacific Eden ... never to be repeated

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#1
Sydney
3 Posts
Joined May 2017
Recently went on my first cruise with a friend who is a seasoned cruiser on the Pacific Eden, Fremantle return via Broome. Wasn't I in for a surprise?
Average age was about 80, noisy kids dominated the main pool area and surrounds, land tours extremely overpriced. I could have accepted all of that but worst of all was the food. If you didn't know what good food was you might have been happy on the cruise.
The Waterfront restaurant was the worst of all the restaurants. Totally tasteless and not as represented on the menu. You can't advertise chocolate ganache and then serve mousse. A very bad mousse at that. Satay chicken without satay was totally tasteless. Service and comprehension of English by staff was extremely poor.
Then Angelo's, the Italian restaurant. Grissini with fennel seeds, oregano and Parmesan sounded good to me as a light entree but plain, powdery grissini appeared instead. The reason given by the chef? No fennel seeds, oregano or Parmesan was loaded onto the ship. How strange! Parmesan appeared as my dessert. Osso Buco with gremolata was my choice for main ... anaemic dish that only tasted of strong rosemary. As for the gremolata, it was substituted with some very roughly chopped parsley and garlic. Now that's not a gremolata! Radicchio salad contained the old brown outside leaves that should have been discarded. Surely it's not hard to serve the red inside leaves? Saving grace was a $65 bottle of Italian wine.
The Pantry (buffet style eating). Headed for the fish and chips the next day but was direly disappointed again. Frozen fibrous tasteless fish covered in thick batter leaving raw batter inside! By this stage I wanted to get off.
Next up was Luke Mangan's Salt Grill which cost $49 ph. At last, a meal that didn't make me choke. Well worth the price. Steak was over cooked but they happily cooked another that was just perfect.
Angelo's again. Menu had changed so decided to give it another go but sadly no better. Parmesan cheese plate was good though.
Back to The Pantry. Indian and Mexican stations were the best but still quite poor.
Don't want to even remember the Asian restaurant.
Treated ourselves to Luke Mangan's on the last night and it was very good as usual.
The ship was like a floating aged care facility come RSL. Time for P&O to get their act together.
Made some espressos in the cabin but stopped doing that when the cabin staff only wiped out the cups and the teaspoon leaving coffee residue on both.
Not a happy cruiser.
#2
I come from a land down under
23,487 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Not sure I can reconcile "average age about 80" with "Noisy kids dominated the pool area".
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#3
Queensland, Australia
281 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
The only real complaint from the OP seems to be the food and as we all know, this is purely personal. Such a shame, Eden is quite a beautiful ship.
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#4
Sydney
3 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by GUT2407
Not sure I can reconcile "average age about 80" with "Noisy kids dominated the pool area".
Well quite clearly there were both age groups dominant. It was senior staff who stated the average age, not me. Most of the staff agreed that it was a highly unusual 'old' group. But that doesn't preclude children who were poorly supervised by parents being present. No, I'm not an old grump but I raised my children to be respectful of others when they're outside the home. This wasn't evident on the ship.
#5
Sydney
3 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by Porky55
The only real complaint from the OP seems to be the food and as we all know, this is purely personal. Such a shame, Eden is quite a beautiful ship.
Yes, the main complaint was the food and the ship is beautiful in the common areas but not in the cabins which desperately need refurbishment. This is planned in June I believe.
I agree that food is subjective but I'm a chef and I can recognise badly prepared food when I taste it. We met many other well-travelled guests on the ship who felt the same way and we're surprised by how very bad the food was compared to other ships. A real shame as the food was the major drawback. Certainly wouldn't sail P&O again if that's their standard.
#6
Victoria, Australia
454 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
As food is subjective and your friend is a seasoned cruiser as opposed to your first time, what was their opinion of the food? I have found food on all my cruises on a couple of different lines to be fine. There will always be some dishes I prefer to others , but that happens with my own cooking as well.


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Pacific Eden - March 2016 Melb to Kangaroo Island return- 4 nights b2b ~
Pacific Eden - 2016 Melb to Eden return - 4 nights

Pacific Eden - Nov 2015 Freo to Sydney ( 10 night inaugural cruise)
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#7
Queensland, Australia
281 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by Miascuzza
Yes, the main complaint was the food and the ship is beautiful in the common areas but not in the cabins which desperately need refurbishment. This is planned in June I believe.

I agree that food is subjective but I'm a chef and I can recognise badly prepared food when I taste it. We met many other well-travelled guests on the ship who felt the same way and we're surprised by how very bad the food was compared to other ships. A real shame as the food was the major drawback. Certainly wouldn't sail P&O again if that's their standard.

Miascuzza, just curious then why if your companion is a seasoned cruiser - you both chose Pacific Eden - it is a well known fact that the ship interior was refurbished but the cabins weren't? So many beautiful ships to choose from cruising out there .......
Second, as a chef, you will probably be critical of all mass produced cruise line meals - perhaps cruising isn't your type of holiday
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#8
Sydney, Australia
13,974 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by GUT2407
Not sure I can reconcile "average age about 80" with "Noisy kids dominated the pool area".
Agreed, that doesn't make sense.

However, I can understand the point about the food. While I liked the ship, and the fitout was excellent, with I'd say one of the best buffets of a mainstream cruise line, the food was the glaring weakness. That said Angelo's and Dragon Lady were still decent.
#9
NSW Mid North Coast
334 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
My wife and I were on the same cruise, or I think we were? I agree that the cabins are a little tired and in need of refurbishment in some areas but we were well aware of that prior to booking this cruise. From the op's mention of the coffee machine I assume he was in a suite as we were.very spacious with a huge balcony. That is the only observation mentioned that I argue totally with. This was our twelfth cruise having sailed on P&O on 3 previous occasions,Princess,Royal Caribbean,Norwegian Capricorn and P&O UK so I do have some other experiences to compare with. We found the food in the Waterfront to be equal to that on Royal Caribbean although the portion sizes could have been a little larger.and found no problem conversing with the wait staff and found their fluency in English fine as I did across the ship. The pantry food we found to be well presented, tasty and in most instances hot but could have a wider selection of dishes. Liked the concept of the pantry far my hygienic. Had a great meal in Dragon Lady. Certainly did not see noisy children dominating any of the outdoor areas and was particularly pleased to see that the adults only Oasis Area was just that child free. The cruise destination is not a young persons destination , similar to New Zealand cruises and an older age group is to be expected and perhaps your more experienced friends should have pointed that out, but the average age was certainly much ,much lower th the "80's". As a Chef I feel you are not going to find food served on any cruise line that is mass produced to serve thousands of meals a day. I found this cruise to be no worse than any of our previous cruises and represented good value for money.
As for the mention of a likeness to an RSL it was unfortunate that the Casino was not in operation as we could have had the sound effects to match. Having read the original post and my experiences I had to reply but that is what makes cruising great different people see different things and expect different outcomes.
#10
Nth Queensland
224 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Been on over 10 cruises including Celebrity and have Cruised on The Eden twice and booked to cruise on her a third time. I thought Angelos was good to very good, Dragon Lady reasonable. I love the new concept Of the Pantry and could always find something I want. The Waterfront has gone down in quality and service over the time I have been cruising p&o . There are still some wonderful staff but some clearly are too rushed and are not pleasant no matter how polite we are. The food is very hit and miss. Last time we had one breakfast at the Waterfront where everyone in our area felt like they were in an episode of Faulty Towers, it did work to bring a bit of hilarity amongst all the tables. Nobody ended up with coffee or tea throughout their meal with one man going to look for the pot to bring it back and pour everyone's coffee himself ..but like Faulty Towers he chased down a coffee pot only for it to have just half a cup left. Luke's is always a treat and well worth it.

I think as a chef your expectations would need to be lowered or they are not going to be met.. perhaps try the Celebrity Solstice and eat at their specialty restaurants if you want to give cruising a second go.


Also to start your post complaining about the elderly demographic and then complain about the pools being over run with kids really leaves me confused .
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#11
Manning Valley NSW
299 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
I really object to the references to floating nursing home. My husband and I are elderly (80's) and we participate in most of the activities on board. We do not have walking devices, and we are not incontinent, and we love cruising. At our age is is very suitable, we are not having to drag suitcases from place to place. We are 3 star mariners with HAL and Elite with Princess. We have booked a P & O cruise on Pacific Explorer and we will have a good time. We have never been on a bad cruise. It is what it is.
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#12
Sydney
163 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
Originally posted by maxmia
I really object to the references to floating nursing home. My husband and I are elderly (80's) and we participate in most of the activities on board. We do not have walking devices, and we are not incontinent, and we love cruising. At our age is is very suitable, we are not having to drag suitcases from place to place. We are 3 star mariners with HAL and Elite with Princess. We have booked a P & O cruise on Pacific Explorer and we will have a good time. We have never been on a bad cruise. It is what it is.
I find it so strange that people object to having to holiday with anyone not in their exact demographic. It is either people complaining about old people clogging up the lifts or other people outraged that children are swimming in the the swimming pools and, horror of horrors, using the corridors!

I quite like seeing such a diverse group of people all relaxing and enjoying their holidays. One of the nice things about cruising. It's a very inclusive holiday for people of all ages and levels of mobility.
#13
Melbourne
114 Posts
Joined Jun 2016
I agree with you 100% Wagtail. Age doesn't seem to matter when you are on a cruise.
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#14
gold coast
216 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by Miascuzza
Yes, the main complaint was the food and the ship is beautiful in the common areas but not in the cabins which desperately need refurbishment. This is planned in June I believe.
I agree that food is subjective but I'm a chef and I can recognise badly prepared food when I taste it. We met many other well-travelled guests on the ship who felt the same way and we're surprised by how very bad the food was compared to other ships. A real shame as the food was the major drawback. Certainly wouldn't sail P&O again if that's their standard.

for all we know you might work in mc'donalds or syds greasy spoon takeaway.
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#15
1 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Did you do the Chef's Table? As a chef myself it is the highlight of each cruise. Haven't tried Eden yet but looking forward to it in a couple of weeks.
#16
Sydney
350 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
I much rather a cruise with older passengers as usually no fights, no chundering, no loutish behaviour. Makes for a much quieter and enjoyable cruise. Pacific Eden has the disadvantage of unrefurbed cabins but the advantage of larger than normal cabins thanks to its HAL origins. I have to agree about the food. Simple things like getting a few vegies with my main have been very tricky on P & O. Its a sad fact that almost all cruise lines are slacking off with meals in the dining room, presumably to encourage people to spend up on the specialty restaurants. But certainly, if you're looking for haute cuisine then P & O Australia is not the place to look.
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