The newest member of the P&O fleet, the Pacific Pearl offers a beautiful and stunning way of seeing the Pacific Islands.The Pacific Pearl is the newest member of P&O Australia’s Cruise fleet. She is based in Auckland, New Zealand, and took to the Pacific Ocean in December 2010 for her first voyage. In Auckland, she is billed as New Zealand’s first cruise liner.
The History of the Pacific Pearl
The Pacific Pearl was built in 1987, and spent ten years cruising around the USA as the Star Princess. In 1997, she was renamed Arcadia and sailed around Europe, and offered around-the-world cruise vacations. In 1993 she became the Ocean Village, traveling around the Caribbean. Re-fitted in Singapore, now the Pacific Pearl now sails around the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand and Australia.
On December 21, 2010, P&O hosted a massive launch party for the Pacific Pearl on Queens Wharf in Auckland. Here the ship was officially christened by her godmother, Barbara Kendall. Kendall is a New Zealand icon, having competed in five Olympic Games, winning gold in Barcelona, silver in Atlanta and bronze in Sydney. The cruise ship was highly anticipated, and already has a dedicated fan following on social networks, such as Facebook.
Facilities on Board
The Pacific Pearl has three main restaurants on board: The Plantation Restaurant, The Grill and The Waterfront Restaurant. All provide meals for passengers without additional charges. Additionally, a cafe on Deck 12 and another on deck five provide meals at a fee. Celebrity chef Luke Mangan’s Salt Grill is also available on board. At a $40 (AUS) per head, the Salt Grill provides the ultimate in fine dining for a small price.
The Pacific Pearl em> has specialized area’s and facilities for children. Turtle Cove, The Shark Shack and HQ provide entertainment for children and teenagers on a daily basis. Two swimming pools are located on Deck 12. Sit in the pool and watch a movie on the giant screen, or swim up to the Splash Bar for a drink.
The Oasis is a relaxing location for adults. Here tropical fruits and fresh juice are served to patrons. Sitting on the more comfortable sun loungers, or in the spa pools at the aft of the ship, many relaxing hours can be spent. On deck two, the health center is located, providing a gym, salon treatments, massage as well as a state of the art thermal suite.
Cruising around the South Pacific, you can expect to spend hours sitting or lounging on deck, taking in the many color changes of the ocean below, or watching the sun set against a perfect ocean backdrop.
The Pacific Pearl has world class entertainment every day. The Pacific Entertainers put on full scale musicals, with stunning costumes and set. The Pacific Cirque perform complicated routines both in the indoor Atrium and outside above the pool. The Sit Down Comedy Club provides some of Australia and New Zealand’s best comics on a nightly basis in the Dome.
Deck sports as quoits, cricket, and boules are popular with all age groups on board. Inside, dance classes are offered, from Latin to Ballroom to Hip Hop. Craft lessons are held, as too are daily trivia quizzes. For the more adventurous, try your hand at learning circus skills such as juggling with the Pacific Cirque.
Being on a cruise is much like a giant party. Theme nights are popular on board. Some of the themes available are Island Night, Pirates, Country and Western and Rock ’n’ Roll. Each theme night is paired with entertainment. The ships photographers will be out in force catching those dress-up moments.
Ports of Call
The Pacific Pearl stops at some of the most stunning islands in the South Pacific. From bustling cities like Suva, Fiji or Noumea, New Caledonia, to tiny deserted islands as Mystery Island, Vanuatu, expect a diverse and enjoyable range of day stops. Snorkeling and swimming are popular shore activities, as too are more adventurous tours. Book in with the Shore Tours Desk and see what options are available.
The Pacific Pearl has been beautifully refitted and restored, offering the latest in cruise entertainments, as well as some of the activities expected on a cruise ship. When thinking of your next vacation, consider a jaunt on the P & O Pacific Pearl. The P&O Pacific Pearl website has further information.