Pacific Eden Ship Review

Any Cruise, Anywhere, Any Time

Pacific Eden

Reviewed by: Richard Boyce

Cruise Line: P&O Cruises Australia

Itinerary: Papua New Guinea

Size of ship: 1,258 passengers

Passenger capacity: 55,541 GRT1,258 passengers

Year Built: 1993

Where the ship cruises: South Pacific, Papua New Guinea, Asia, Australia

Currency onboard: Australian dollars

Embarkation/disembarkation: Amazing – super efficient. The Cairns terminal is so close to town, is modern and we were on the ship in no time.

Main features: The ship features an after deck with a pool and bar set aside for adults only. The deck has various sun lounges and hammocks set about.

Most suited to: All age groups

Atmosphere: Modern Australian

Encounters with Service Staff: All the staff I met were very friendly and efficient.

Staterooms: My cabin was an ocean view and very comfortable with a great bed, and the bathroom had Elemis products which was lovely. There is a safe and desk in the room and a small sofa to relax on.

Dining experience: There is an abundance of dining experiences on-board this ship, including Salt Grill by Luke Mangan, Angelo’s and Dragon Lady.

I was lucky enough to experience all three of the above speciality restaurants which I suggest you try to book the minute you board the ship. There is a cover charge to eat at Salt Grill (approx. $49 for dinner). A suggestion, the seared scallops and the truffle infused honey on the cheese plate!!

Angelo’s and Dragon Lady have no cover charge and are therefore very popular with guests once onboard. A pleasurable experience in both. It’s also worth noting that the menu changes halfway through the cruise so if you are booking more than once be sure to book at the beginning and end of your cruise. Although service at times was a little slow I was very happy with the food and ambience on offer.

“The Pantry”. Options available here include Indian, Mexican, Fish and Chips, Asian style stir fries, fresh sandwiches and rolls, a carvery and the mandatory salad, sweets and fresh fruit bar. I found the food of a good standard although perhaps a little repetitive. Certainly something for everyone. The Waterfront was also a lovely experience with a varied menu. We dined here on several occasions for breakfast and dinner.

Entertainment: P&O now have set theme nights on their cruises. This is dependent on the length of the journey. On our seven-night cruise we sampled all three themes – White Party, Gatsby and “Back to School”. I have to admit after long days on the island and in the classroom, I missed the “White Party” and “Back to School” but got a taste of the “Gatsby”. It was lovely to see all the guests make such an effort and by all accounts, it was plenty of fun.

I really enjoyed the ambience of the “Blue Room”. A great spot for a pre-dinner drink and perfect music to set the mood. The shows and entertainment on board were of a high standard, particularly the vibe in the Piano Bar and the jazz music onboard.

Activities: Another favourite spot to unwind at the end of the day or even a quiet spot to enjoy a good book was the “Oasis Bar” and pool at the back (aft) of the ship. Another option is the top deck pool which is ideal for all weather with a climate controlled retractable roof. There is also a gym and Spa onboard for any beauty needs, The Dome nightclub, P&O Edge program, Marquee theatre for live shows and movies and The Casino to name just a few.

Family Facilities: I wasn’t onboard with my family so I didn’t review this are. However there are dedicated Kids Club areas onboard: Turtle Cove aged 2-6 years, Shark Shack aged 7-10 years, HQ teens aged 11-14 years and HQ+ aged 15-17 years.

Self Service Laundry: Yes there is one on Deck 6, however, it is heavily patronised. The ship also offers laundry and dry cleaning facilities at an extra charge.

Insiders Tips: As the speciality restaurants, Angelo’s and Dragon Lady do not have a cover charge it is wise to book these dining experiences as soon as you board the ship as they book out very quickly.

Ports:
Alotau is the capital of Papua New Guinea’s Milne Bay Province and the gateway to some of the most remote island communities remaining in the world today. This is a place that is enriched with age-old culture and traditions. The area claims its fame in the history books where the Battle of Milne Bay took place in 1942 and an Australian digger was awarded a Victoria Cross for bravery. I decided to pre book a shore tour to the “Traditional Cultural Festival”. Just a short 10 minute drive from the ship to a local village where traditional dancing groups come from far and wide to perform their traditional dances. A perfect introduction to the Island culture and amazing and intricately detailed costumes. Stunning traditional canoes and ’kundus’ feature prominently in this exciting cultural festival.

Kitava is one of the four major islands in the Trobriand Islands group of Papua New Guinea. Also in the Milne Bay Province. Here you will find one of the world’s most intact island cultures. We were lucky enough to be one of the select few to experience this culture. Surrounded by stunning beaches we were welcomed by a pod of dolphins from our tender boat. We were taken by traditional boats (for approx. 5 kinas – $2.50) to a sand atoll called Nuratu just 300 metres off the main beach Navau. We were also able to meet with some of the local villagers and experienced several traditional dances by the local children who are permitted to have the day off school whenever cruise ships arrive.

Kiriwina Island is the largest and by far the most populous of the Trobriand Islands, with a population of 12,000. Once again blessed with some remarkable weather this was also a tendered port, the ship anchoring so close to the island that I was tempted to swim ashore. One of the local villagers was kind enough to take us on a walking tour to his village. We then had time to explore this beautiful Island, experience the local markets, schools and sample some of the local seafood but the most memorable part of this port was to experience the traditional Trobriand Cricket. Introduced to the island by the missionaries in 1903, it is played right in the middle of town with what felt like half the village taking part, play stopping intermittently for jeering, singing, ceremonial dancing and plenty of whistleblowing.

The Conflict Islands – truly amazing!! A picturesque group of 21 islands surrounding a bright blue lagoon, the Conflict Islands are home to one of the world’s most biodiverse reef systems. Just a short walk from our tender across the other side of the islands; what was waiting for us was pristine sand and water as far as the eye could see. We were able to hire a paddleboard and glass bottom canoe for the day which made for some amazing viewing. A haven for snorkelers and divers alike, this is one place I could certainly see myself enjoying for longer than a day.

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Pacific Eden

Reviewed by: Richard Boyce

Cruise Line: P&O Cruises Australia

Itinerary: Papua New Guinea

Size of ship: 1,258 passengers

Passenger capacity: 55,541 GRT1,258 passengers

Year Built: 1993

Where the ship cruises: South Pacific, Papua New Guinea, Asia, Australia

Currency onboard: Australian dollars

Embarkation/disembarkation: Amazing – super efficient. The Cairns terminal is so close to town, is modern and we were on the ship in no time.

Main features: The ship features an after deck with a pool and bar set aside for adults only. The deck has various sun lounges and hammocks set about.

Most suited to: All age groups

Atmosphere: Modern Australian

Encounters with Service Staff: All the staff I met were very friendly and efficient.

Staterooms: My cabin was an ocean view and very comfortable with a great bed, and the bathroom had Elemis products which was lovely. There is a safe and desk in the room and a small sofa to relax on.

Dining experience: There is an abundance of dining experiences on-board this ship, including Salt Grill by Luke Mangan, Angelo’s and Dragon Lady.

I was lucky enough to experience all three of the above speciality restaurants which I suggest you try to book the minute you board the ship. There is a cover charge to eat at Salt Grill (approx. $49 for dinner). A suggestion, the seared scallops and the truffle infused honey on the cheese plate!!

Angelo’s and Dragon Lady have no cover charge and are therefore very popular with guests once onboard. A pleasurable experience in both. It’s also worth noting that the menu changes halfway through the cruise so if you are booking more than once be sure to book at the beginning and end of your cruise. Although service at times was a little slow I was very happy with the food and ambience on offer.

“The Pantry”. Options available here include Indian, Mexican, Fish and Chips, Asian style stir fries, fresh sandwiches and rolls, a carvery and the mandatory salad, sweets and fresh fruit bar. I found the food of a good standard although perhaps a little repetitive. Certainly something for everyone. The Waterfront was also a lovely experience with a varied menu. We dined here on several occasions for breakfast and dinner.

Entertainment: P&O now have set theme nights on their cruises. This is dependent on the length of the journey. On our seven-night cruise we sampled all three themes – White Party, Gatsby and “Back to School”. I have to admit after long days on the island and in the classroom, I missed the “White Party” and “Back to School” but got a taste of the “Gatsby”. It was lovely to see all the guests make such an effort and by all accounts, it was plenty of fun.

I really enjoyed the ambience of the “Blue Room”. A great spot for a pre-dinner drink and perfect music to set the mood. The shows and entertainment on board were of a high standard, particularly the vibe in the Piano Bar and the jazz music onboard.

Activities: Another favourite spot to unwind at the end of the day or even a quiet spot to enjoy a good book was the “Oasis Bar” and pool at the back (aft) of the ship. Another option is the top deck pool which is ideal for all weather with a climate controlled retractable roof. There is also a gym and Spa onboard for any beauty needs, The Dome nightclub, P&O Edge program, Marquee theatre for live shows and movies and The Casino to name just a few.

Family Facilities: I wasn’t onboard with my family so I didn’t review this are. However there are dedicated Kids Club areas onboard: Turtle Cove aged 2-6 years, Shark Shack aged 7-10 years, HQ teens aged 11-14 years and HQ+ aged 15-17 years.

Self Service Laundry: Yes there is one on Deck 6, however, it is heavily patronised. The ship also offers laundry and dry cleaning facilities at an extra charge.

Insiders Tips: As the speciality restaurants, Angelo’s and Dragon Lady do not have a cover charge it is wise to book these dining experiences as soon as you board the ship as they book out very quickly.

Ports:
Alotau is the capital of Papua New Guinea’s Milne Bay Province and the gateway to some of the most remote island communities remaining in the world today. This is a place that is enriched with age-old culture and traditions. The area claims its fame in the history books where the Battle of Milne Bay took place in 1942 and an Australian digger was awarded a Victoria Cross for bravery. I decided to pre book a shore tour to the “Traditional Cultural Festival”. Just a short 10 minute drive from the ship to a local village where traditional dancing groups come from far and wide to perform their traditional dances. A perfect introduction to the Island culture and amazing and intricately detailed costumes. Stunning traditional canoes and ’kundus’ feature prominently in this exciting cultural festival.

Kitava is one of the four major islands in the Trobriand Islands group of Papua New Guinea. Also in the Milne Bay Province. Here you will find one of the world’s most intact island cultures. We were lucky enough to be one of the select few to experience this culture. Surrounded by stunning beaches we were welcomed by a pod of dolphins from our tender boat. We were taken by traditional boats (for approx. 5 kinas – $2.50) to a sand atoll called Nuratu just 300 metres off the main beach Navau. We were also able to meet with some of the local villagers and experienced several traditional dances by the local children who are permitted to have the day off school whenever cruise ships arrive.

Kiriwina Island is the largest and by far the most populous of the Trobriand Islands, with a population of 12,000. Once again blessed with some remarkable weather this was also a tendered port, the ship anchoring so close to the island that I was tempted to swim ashore. One of the local villagers was kind enough to take us on a walking tour to his village. We then had time to explore this beautiful Island, experience the local markets, schools and sample some of the local seafood but the most memorable part of this port was to experience the traditional Trobriand Cricket. Introduced to the island by the missionaries in 1903, it is played right in the middle of town with what felt like half the village taking part, play stopping intermittently for jeering, singing, ceremonial dancing and plenty of whistleblowing.

The Conflict Islands – truly amazing!! A picturesque group of 21 islands surrounding a bright blue lagoon, the Conflict Islands are home to one of the world’s most biodiverse reef systems. Just a short walk from our tender across the other side of the islands; what was waiting for us was pristine sand and water as far as the eye could see. We were able to hire a paddleboard and glass bottom canoe for the day which made for some amazing viewing. A haven for snorkelers and divers alike, this is one place I could certainly see myself enjoying for longer than a day.

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