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Chef's Table - Pacific Explorer

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This will be our first P&O cruise and I was wanting to book the Chef's Table.  Never done this before on any cruise so any useful information would be really helpful.  We are on the Pacific Explorer to New Caledonia in July.

 

1. It is worth it? Most important.

2. Do they have this option every day of the cruise? presume it may only be available on a sea day. 

3. Can we book this ahead of time?  There is currently no option to do so when I log into our cruise.

 

Any information will be appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

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The chef's table is done very well on the Explorer. It is held in a private room in the main dining room. 

Food presentation is excellent and wines are matched to each course. 

On a cruise to Noumea there will be at least one dinner, more are added depending on demand. There are no pre-bookings so go to Angelo's restaurant on embarkation and put your name down. You can also make bookings for other restaurants, love riot and the high tea (highly recommended). 

I have done it quite a few times and thoroughly enjoyed it. Loved the wines, food and the good company of generally like minded foodies. 

 

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Thank you very much for the information andlep.  This will be our first P&O cruise so most things will be new, including 'anytime dining'.  We have always wanted to do a Chef's Table experience so will take your advice and make a booking asap. 

 

Any other information you can provide to make the most of this cruise would be really helpful.  Not much on the Pacific Explorer specifically on this Board.

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5 hours ago, aussiebossyboots said:

Thank you very much for the information andlep....... 

 

You are welcome 😁 

Here are some of my tips:

Get the romance package. Bottle of moet champagne and strawberries on arrival, canapes delivered every day, two breakfasts in bed, credit for dinner at 400 gradi or shell and bones and one free portrait. All for 200 dollars. 

 

The love riot dinner and show is great for a fun, light-hearted night. Food is a little average (though very well presented) but for the price is well worth it. 

 

Adults only bonded bar is the best place for a quiet drink /cocktail. The cocktails are more expensive (they really push Archie Rose gins) however you can order drinks from the blue room next door. 

 

The whisky tastings and cocktail lessons are great fun.

 

Take a European power adaptor if you have one so you can have two power points (pic attached). 

 

High tea is great value and highly recommended(pic attached).

 

The explorer has very small cabins, however heaps of drawers and cupboards. The beds fit suitcases underneath. 

 

Breakfast at the waterfront is a much more civilised affair than the buffet.

 

If you are going to Noumea and want to try real French cuisine, you can't go past Marmite et tire bouchon  or splurge on  le roof for a very romantic lunch literally on the water. 

 

There is an active pacific explorer face book page that is good for information. 

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Wow!  Great information.  I would have never have thought about a Romance Package:classic_happy:  Even at our age it sounds great and good value too depending on the dinner credit.  Can't check into Cruise Control as P&O are currently having issues.  So, would you pick Gradi or Shell & Bones?

 

I have heard about Love Riot and was contemplating just doing the show only, but will now think about adding the dinner component.  As we are going during the school holidays (hubby is a school teacher) the Bonded Bar sounds like a good space to relax.

 

Thanks also for the heads up for the European power adaptor - we do have one.

 

Afternoon tea.... well that does look very tempting.  Depending on how much snorkeling we do, hope we can fit one in during the trip.

 

Maybe we should start our own topic about what to do on the Explorer, really cannot find much by searching, especially things to do on this cruise when we really love snorkeling - really an old love that we have decided to reignite before we get just too old. 

 

You are just a wealth of information. Thanks heaps:classic_biggrin:

 

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So, would you pick Gradi or Shell & Bones?
 

 


400 gradi hands down



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On 5/6/2019 at 2:41 PM, andlep said:

You are welcome 😁 

Here are some of my tips:

Get the romance package. Bottle of moet champagne and strawberries on arrival, canapes delivered every day, two breakfasts in bed, credit for dinner at 400 gradi or shell and bones and one free portrait. All for 200 dollars. 

 

 

It's called the "ultimate romance package". Forgot there is the romance package and the premium package as well.

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I did check P&O website under Cruise Control and could only find a Special Occasions & Birthday Package which includes 'sparkling wine' on arrival - no mention of Moet!.  Also a birthday cake , birthday card and canapés on cocktail night.  On the Pacific Explorer there is a $120 credit for dining at either Shell and Bones or Gradi 400.

 

There is a section that says 'More products coming to the shop soon' so I will check closer to the sail date.

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Hope they haven't discontinued it ☹️

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2 hours ago, aussiebossyboots said:

I did check P&O website under Cruise Control and could only find a Special Occasions & Birthday Package

All figured out. Go to Occasions packages and choose the A-Z drop down menu on the top right of the page and click on A-Z. 

Ultimate romance package appears 👍

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P&O doing something strange.   Did as directed in your post, and only found 10 results - none of which are the 'Ultimate Romance Package".  There is a Premium Romance Package which includes Moet, chocolate strawberries on arrival, canapés on cocktail night and romantic breakfast in bed for $99.

 

Maybe P&O are assessing the value of offering this package for this cruise or may be we are not entitled as this is our first cruise with P&O.  Will look again closer to sail day.

 

Thanks for taking the trouble to help.

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1 hour ago, aussiebossyboots said:

P&O doing something strange.  

Strange indeed. If you want this package, give them a call and see what they say. Anyway, I am sure you will enjoy your cruise.

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I have seen it mentioned elsewhere that P&O appear to have discontinued this package, but definitely keep an eye on the planner in case it reappears.

 

I cruised on Explorer at the beginning of May and did both "A Taste of Salt" and "Love Riot" with the meal included. Both evenings were fabulous, a lot of laughs and great food.

 

As for snorkelling, let us know where your cruise is stopping as we did lots on ours!

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35 minutes ago, LincolnLegend said:

I have seen it mentioned elsewhere that P&O appear to have discontinued this package, but definitely keep an eye on the planner in case it reappears.

 

Hopefully, it will not be discontinued. It is very easy to miss because when you open the special occasions tab in cruise control, the sorting order defaults to Z-A and the ultimate romance package is not visible. It only becomes visible when you click the drop-down menu and change the order to A-Z. I thought it was discontinued as well until someone on Facebook pointed this out to me 🙂

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1 hour ago, LincolnLegend said:

I have seen it mentioned elsewhere that P&O appear to have discontinued this package, but definitely keep an eye on the planner in case it reappears.

 

I cruised on Explorer at the beginning of May and did both "A Taste of Salt" and "Love Riot" with the meal included. Both evenings were fabulous, a lot of laughs and great food.

 

As for snorkelling, let us know where your cruise is stopping as we did lots on ours!

 

We are going to Noumea, Lifou, Mare and Isle of Pines.  Currently we are looking at:

 

Noumea:  Speed boat to an ocean reef - $80 per person.  Another option is Duck Island also the same price.  Decided that the day trip to Amedee Island is a bit too expensive.  The other two excursions give us 1/2 a day to wander around Noumea.

 

Lifou:  Jinek Bay Marine Reserve - half day

 

Mare:  Yejele Beach - On your own

 

Isle of Pines: Both, Moro Island Lagoon Exploration ($130 per person/2 hours) and Turtle Bay ($130 per person/2 hours) seem just expensive for the length of time in the water. 

 

So, your comments/suggestions would be most helpful, especially for Isle of Pines.

 

Thanks again in advance.

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53 minutes ago, andlep said:

Hopefully, it will not be discontinued. It is very easy to miss because when you open the special occasions tab in cruise control, the sorting order defaults to Z-A and the ultimate romance package is not visible. It only becomes visible when you click the drop-down menu and change the order to A-Z. I thought it was discontinued as well until someone on Facebook pointed this out to me 🙂

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Found it - thanks.  Looks like a great deal so will book.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, aussiebossyboots said:

 

 

Found it - thanks.  Looks like a great deal so will book.

Great to hear! One thing to note is that you get two baby bottles of sparkling wine for breakfast and you can order as many dishes as you want (breakfast). 🙂

Edited by andlep
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Hey aussiebossyboots, I haven't snorkelled from Noumea, but have enjoyed the aquarium, the tchou tchou train and the hop on - hop off bus at various times. There is also a Patisserie one block to the right of the cruise terminal that will spoil you for ham and cheese croissants for life!

 

Lifou: OMG don't miss the Jinek Bay pass! We spent about 2.5 hours in the water there, we ended up right out at the drop off, which we were told afterwards usually  results in a whistle and call back but didn't for us. So many fish and critters among the coral and outcrops, it was fabulous!

 

Mare: head for the beach and take your snorkelling gear as there are some good areas, depending on the tide you may have to head out a fair way but it's all protected inside a reef system.

 

Isle of Pines: We were there at the beginning of May and did do the Turtle Bay and Brush Island excursion. We only saw 1 turtle in Turtle Bay but saw others along with rays and fish at Brush Island. To be honest, I would be more inclined to snorkel around the sacred rock, as long as the weather is kind, it is a nice swim to go right around it and there is plenty of wildlife to be seen. There are also local tours available for about $30 per head which give you a good tour of the island for a couple of hours. I found the old prison fascinating and could have spent lots longer exploring! 

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Thanks for your insights LincolnLegend.  Already decided on Jinek Bay, Mare beach transfer so that is great confirmation. 

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On 5/3/2019 at 6:16 PM, andlep said:

The chef's table is done very well on the Explorer. It is held in a private room in the main dining room. 

Food presentation is excellent and wines are matched to each course. 

On a cruise to Noumea there will be at least one dinner, more are added depending on demand. There are no pre-bookings so go to Angelo's restaurant on embarkation and put your name down. You can also make bookings for other restaurants, love riot and the high tea (highly recommended). 

I have done it quite a few times and thoroughly enjoyed it. Loved the wines, food and the good company of generally like minded foodies. 

 

How much for Chef's table and High Tea?

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The Chef's Table costs $119 per person including matching wines.  Although goodjobrob says to go to Angelo's restaurant to book on arrival, the P&O website says to go to The Waterfront restaurant.  We are going to go to both to make sure that we are booked!  This is what it says on the website:

 

The Chef’s Table is a VIP dining experience hosted by the Executive Chef and includes a welcome reception with a glass of sparkling wine and canapés, a seven course degustation menu with matching wines, a tour of the ships galley, and professional photograph of the evening.

 

Not sure about High Tea/Afternoon Tea.

 

 

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We did the Chef's Table over New Year on the Pacific Eden.  I cant recommend it enough.  I think the P&O extra's are a bit expensive sometimes, however this was well worth it for the wine alone.

 

It is all very civilised and the food is just damn superb.

 

 

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The Chef's Table was the highlight meal of our cruise - many thanks for making the suggestion.  Yes it was expensive, but totally worth the experience.  They had a second Chef's Table and I wish I knew as we would have booked for the second one even if it had the same menu.

 

We also did the dinner/show Love Riot combo.  The same chef that prepares the Chef's Table also does the pre dinner meal and it was again amazing - 5 courses without wine.  It made the whole evening an event especially the walk from The Waterfront (special area) to the Black Circus for the show was an event in itself.  We loved the show, the acts were fantastic, but not too sure about the language and the other elements of the show.

 

The Ultimate Romance Package is a must do... amazing value and it framed every day of our holiday.  I will report on it in my other post.

 

Many thanks....

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The Ultimate Romance Package framed our holiday - each day there was an offering made to our stomachs by the Gods in the Kitchen & Bar!!!  Eventually we had to give some of the offerings to our Cabin Stewards, hope that was OK and they enjoyed them.

 

The room service breakfasts were even larger that we ordered because they added extra bits.  At the end of 10 nights I really do not want to see another chocolate covered strawberry again.... well for at least another month.  The extra mini bottles of champagne came in handy for pre dinner drinks in the Ocean Bar.

 

We used the OBC from this package to eat at both Shell and Bones and 400 Gradi and agree that 400 Gradi is much better.  Shell and Bones was really strange, my husband ordered the lobster and got a whole lobster and nothing else.  I ordered the chicken and got a WHOLE chicken!!!!!  We ordered sides and they were a very large portion and the corn was frozen and looked/tasted like it was sitting in boiling water for over 1 hour.  There was enough food to feed at least 4-6 people.  Strange!

 

Yes, the rooms are small but adequate.  Overall the service level of the P&O Explorer was exceptional, what a great bunch of staff.  We only saw two shows but they were great especially the Great Gatsby Night.  Loved the bands especially Dusk to Dawn in the Blue Room - amazing singer and piano player.  We also met some wonderful people who were very friendly.

 

Overall we had a 100% fantastic time. 

 

Thank you everyone for your suggestions and comments because they really added to our overall enjoyment.

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