So you want a cruise, but are unsure which of our homeported ships offers the best value.
You want the most bang for your buck, like all cruisers.
But how do you decide?
Our Quality Calculator tests ships against cabin size and crew ratio .
Now test your choice…and thanks for trade journal Travel Bulletin for the inspiration!
Pacific Eden was one of two new ships to join P&O Cruises in 2015, along with sister ship Pacific Aria. Though it is smaller than the rest of the ships in P&O’s fleet, Eden has some of the most spacious cabins and all the lines latest features, like The Pantry open dining concept (that replaced the buffet), the Oasis adults’ only retreat with a private pool overlooking the wake, Salt Grill by Luke Mangan and the Blue Room live music lounge. The main pool on the top deck can be covered by a retractable glass roof so it’s open in all weather.
Carnival Spirit is one of the few ships sailing in Australia that has been specifically adapted for the local market, what Carnival calls ‘Aussification’. A $44 million refurbishment in 2015 saw the addition of two exciting new restaurants (the Mexican-themed BlueIguana Cantina and Burger Joint from American celebrity chef Guy Fieri), two new bars, a massive cinema screen, new pool features, bigger and better entertainment, and a new kids’ club for the little ones. The ship is also home to the steepest waterslide at sea, the Green Thunder.
A $30 million makeover in 2014 gave Diamond Princess a distinctly Japanese feel. The ship is now home to the only Japanese onsen-style bathhouse in our waters and the largest of its kind at sea, featuring multiple baths, pools, saunas and steam rooms with separate sides for men and women. It also has the 66-seat Kai Sushi restaurant where chefs prepare fresh dishes right in front of diners. As with other ships in the Princess fleet, Diamond Princess shows movies on an outdoor cinema screen by the pool, complete with popcorn.
At just seven years old, Celebrity Solstice is the youngest vessel based in Australia and in 2015 was named the best domestic cruise ship. It features Celebrity Cruises’ unique Lawn Club, a half acre of real grass on the top deck for croquet, picnics and sunbathing. The ship also has luxurious AquaClass staterooms, which come with unlimited use of the spa’s thermal gardens and exclusive access to the specialty spa restaurant, Blu.
Explorer of the Seas is the largest ship based in Australia, taking the title from Voyager of the Seas when she arrived in late November 2015. The ship completed an $80 million refurb in 2015, bringing it into line with the four other Voyager class ships. New features include virtual balconies in the interior cabins, new panoramic oceanview cabins, a FlowRider surf simulator and three new specialty restaurants – Giovanni’s Table, Chops Grille and Izumi Japanese.