Cruise Review: P&O Jewel Sydney 3 night cruise
So I just completed my first cruise. I’m hardly Christopher Columbus after doing it, we only sailed out of Sydney’s Rose Bay for three nights at sea before turning around and coming back. A cruise to Nowhere basically. I checked in with P&O cruises Australia aboard the Pacific Jewell for 3 nights of freedom!
I wasn’t sure if I was really ready to be one of those purple haired bingo woman cruising the world trying to find my Captain Stubing as a love interest. Hell, I’m not that old yet! My expectations of the cruise was just that though, something along with The Love Boat crossed with an RSL club bowls night. In fact, the three night Sydney cruise was anything but…
The P&O Comedy cruise from Sydney is rumored to have the highest spend of ANY cruise in the world, per person over the bar! For a three night cruise, many of us spent in the hundreds (my bill was a paltry $302) I heard others complaining their bill was in the $1000’s!
Once I boarded the ship, it was not hard to see why… there had to have been at least 20 different stag and hens groups (bucks parties) looking for their that 3 nights of freedom and debauchery. These kids were ready to spend! Groups were cut off the bar after the first night- I’m surprised some of them weren’t cut off before the ship even left Sydney Harbour!
The party had started on deck 12 before the ship had even sailed I was sipping a wine fearing my bingo arms wouldn’t be up to scratch, when I realised I was actually surrounded by some serious talent. Girls in Tutu’s, guys in matching t-shirts, and far, far less RSL members than I first thought! This was a booze cruise.
P&O are generally more of a family brand, their usual ship would be made up of Golden Oldies, Young families and couples, with almost no “young crazy drunk people”. If you were to book their 9 nights South Pacific cruise for example, you would bump into no raging 20 somethings, it’s just not that sort of demographic. The 3 nighter though? Don’t bring your kids!
Food on board ranged from fantastic (the Pizza at 2am) to the downright rubbish (the cheese platter in the Al La Carte Restaurant) but most meals are included in your fare, so the holiday is a bargain!
The Buffet is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the array of food was great, even the fussiest eaters would find something there.
The a la carte restaurant was also open for 3 meals a day, however, I only found myself there for the dinner service.
You can also book into Luke Mangan’s Salt restaurant on board for an additional fee ($40 for dinner, $30 for lunch) but do it before the ship sails! I cannot stress this enough! Booking are taken on a first in first served, and tables for lunch and dinner service for the entire trip was booked out before the ship left Sydney!!
On board entertainment is included in the fare as well (see, this is really is a resort on water!) we were able to sample Line Dancing Classes, Comedy workshops, mini golf championships, Pub Quizzes, random lectures (I didn’t bother with these, obviously) Wine tasting and Martini Classes ($16pp, but with 4 wines/cocktails served) and more!
Each night there was a comedy act on the main stage, we were lucky enough to be treated to shows by Bev Killick and Tom Gleeson, hilariousness ensured and drinks were drunk. Easily, the highlight of the Comedy cruise, which, I guess, is the point.
My cabin type was an “outside” which basically means, I have a window, that doesn’t open. It was decent thought, On deck 9, and at the front of the ship. The rocking was noticeable, but that may have had something to do with the number of wines consumed on board. The window makes a difference too I think. Sure I didn’t look out of it much (not much to see really, ohhh water, yeah seen that already) but it helps to stabilise yourself when the ship does rock. Just look to the horizon. My cabin guy was called Marvin, he was a champ! They look after your cabins, keep them clean, and are generally just all round good guys!
I was able to get a glimpse into someones Balcony room… Ok, so I asked if I would rummage around their cabin for 2 minutes, but was too embarrassed to ask if I could take photos. I have a feeling they thought I was a bit odd already. “Hi, I’m a travel agent, do you mind if I just check out your cabin configuration?” The poor guy probably thought he was going to get lucky! Anywho, the cabin was much larger, it also had a nicer bathroom and a 2.5 seater couch in the room. The balcony was big enough for two to stand on, with room. But they did complain that when the wind was up, it made having the door wide open impossible. I imagine it would be much better on the longer cruises, where getting fresh air every now and then would be nice.
The price difference between the cabin types really isn’t all that much, an interior cabin goes for around $400 per person, with the window cabin $700pp and a balcony $850pp. Ish. If you get the cabin on sale, you would pay even less!
Unfortunately, the weather was a bit rubbish for the last half of the trip, so the deck chairs were empty and the decks soaked with rain. Thankfully most of my pictures were taken on the first day when it was still kind of sunny!
Cruising is fantastic value! I’d do one again for sure, in fact, I’m eyeing up a longer South Pacific cruise, I hear they see a bit more, and drink a bit less? 🙂