Launched: Originally 1991 cruising for AIDA, then became Ocean Village Two in 2007, and was relaunched as Pacific Jewel for P&O Australia in December 2009.
Cruising speed: 22.5 knots.
Number of passengers: 1,950 at double occupancy.
Staterooms: 832, 200 of which have private balconies, and there are several wheelchair accessible rooms.
Where she cruises: Australia/New Zealand, Pacific Islands
Pacific Jewel introduced a number of firsts into the Australian market, including the first high-wire circus and trapeze arena on the top deck, and P&O’s largest spa on the high seas. It also boasts the first Luke Mangan restaurant, Salt, at sea.
Who Should Go?
Families and anyone looking for an active and affordable vacation.
Things You Might Not Know
Australia’s longest running soap opera, Neighbours, was filmed live on board Jewel in August this year.
On Jewel there is a wide variety of accommodation options, most of which come with twin beds that can convert to a queen, television, bathroom, fridge and a safe. Its 206 inside staterooms vary in size and have from two to four berths, and standard outside cabins total 628, accommodating from two-to-four people, with picture windows or portholes. Higher up in the ship, on the upper decks, there are 26 mini suites with private balconies, which have a full bath tub in the bathroom and can accommodate up to four people. The decor overall is simple and elegant, with use of blonde wood, cream walls, and soft pastel colours for furnishings such as curtains and cushions
Facilities and Entertainment
This ship accommodates adults, kids and couples equally well. A key attraction is the ship’s Aqua spa comprising 11 treatment rooms with ocean views, a beauty salon, fitness centre and a thermal suite – it spans two decks forward, and P&O is claiming it as Australasia’s largest spa at sea. Jewel also has a unique aerial stage on its top deck for circus and music performances, and two swimming pools. Entertainment options are comprehensive, ranging from Broadway-style shows to live music and the circus acts outdoors. There is the standard casino on board, a decent library, some duty free shopping and eight bars and lounges. And for adults, there’s an Oasis retreat which is child-free and by booking only.
There are six dining options, top of the list of which is celebrity chef, Luke Mangan’s, Salt Grill. This is Mangan’s first restaurant at sea, and is so popular you have to make a booking as soon as you get on board or else be disappointed. Salt is an intimate venue, serving and eclectic menu of Mangan’s signature dishes such as Sydney crab omelet with miso mustard broth. Luke also sails regularly on Jewel so if you are on board, you might be lucky to spot him!
This ship also has Australia’s first chocolate café at sea, serving sweets including chocolate ravioli, baked Belgian waffles, and it doubles up as an internet cafe. The primary restaurant, seating 800, is Waterfront, which operates dinner between 5.30pm and 10pm at fixed sittings, and there’s also a casual buffet operating from 5pm until late.
The Low Down
This is a great ship for short-range and South Pacific cruising, offering decent accommodation and plenty of activities.