Review of Pacific Jewel deck 12 (Lido-Pool-Bridge)
The fore-located Navigation Bridge and the adjacent Captain’s Suite and officers quarters are inaccessible to passengers.
Thermal Suites are accessible via Sun Deck 14 only. The facility is part of the ship’s Spa complex and includes aromatherapy showers, sauna, herbal steam room, meditation room with red decor and 4 red leather relaxation pods. The panorama sauna is in traditional Northern European style with ocean views.
With starboard location is the “Salt Grill” specialty restaurant by celebrity chef Luke Mangan. Reservations are required, surcharges PP apply, and the venue is closed on port days. It can be booked for dinner between 5.309 pm. On sea days it is open for lunch from 11:30 am to 1 pm. (US$39) and high tea from 3 pm. (US$20). Dinner menu includes 1 starter, such as oysters or tapas (US$2 each) and sophisticated salads, raw dishes, or dishes like tempura prawns or 5 spice cured duck, with almond dressing, golden beetroot, baby lettuce and crisp pancetta. A main dish can be selected from 4 types like Australian lamb chops, 300g scotch fillets, 200g tenderloin steaks, BBQ Cajun spiced baby chicken/pork cutlets with the option choose from multiple side dishes. Four fish dishes are also available to choose from: ocean trout, barramundi, tuna and snapper with a surcharge of US$22 for a roasted lobster tail. The 8 desserts include the floating island, with fresh fruit and berries, Frangelico anglaise and chef's liquorice parfait.
“The Cafe” bar (portside) serves the Lido pools area with light snacks and drinks from 6:30 am. After 10 am, passengers can order wine or cold beer. The comfy couches make it lovely to relax up until 10:30 pm. The Cafe has a faux chocolate block-style bar, that is coupled with elegant European design. It offers sweets like freshly baked Belgian waffles, chocolate ravioli, tea, coffee and cocktails. 4 computer terminals are also available.
At the “Aqua Hut” (portside) guests can hire snorkeling equipment for the P&O shore tours. The Aqua Hut offers “Tabata” snorkeling gear available for purchasing.
The Pacific Jewel ship’s pool area has 2 rectangular swimming pools with 2 whirlpools and a shaded stage (for live performances) in between. The pools area is served by the Lido Pool Bar (drinks), The Grill (fast food & BBQ fare /complimentary during the day, but charges apply after 5pm) and the Ice Cream Bar (“New Zealand Natural” ice cream, offering also the P&O Cruises Australia line’s “Choc Hokey Pokey” flavour /charges apply). In the evenings, the pool deck hosts open-air deck parties.
The “Luna” restaurant is an Asian-cusine specialty dining venue (cover charges AU$29 PP apply). In the Luna’s menu are Japanese and Thai specialties. Menus change regularly and include popular favorites such as pork belly and watermelon, sashimi tacos, creme brulee of lemongrass with white chocolate.
The “Plantation Restaurant” is a lido buffet restaurant for casual dining. Dining times vary (sea / port days): breakfast (6:30-11 am / 6-11 am), lunch (11:30 am - 2:30 pm / 11:30 am - 3 pm), dinner (5-9 pm).
In 2015, the Plantation buffet restaurant was refitted into “The Pantry” – the P&O Australia ships’ new marketplace dining concept. The Pantry complex includes the following food corners and bars: Fish & Chips bar (named Hook’s), Curry House (toppings/salads bar), Mexicana Bar (Latin cuisine), “BBQ carvery (named Fat Cow), deli sandwitches bar (named Kettle & Bun), The Grill (burger bar, AU$3-AU$20), Asian stir-fried food station (named Stix), dessert bar (named Sugar Bar). The beverages bar sells wine by the glass, beer and specialty coffees (barista-made).
The “Shell & Bones” (a la carte pricing, at the rear of The Pantry) opens daily from 5:30 to 9 pm. It does not have its own dining room and at night is converted into a dining space via a partition. The menu features dishes like Portuguese-style roast chicken, Singapore-style crab (US$25), hot seafood extravaganza (US$50 for 2). Sides like garlic bread, potato wedges and grilled corn cobettes are complimentary as are the kids options of fish fingers or seafood party plate. One dessert is only offered: apple and rhubarb crumble with New Zealand Natural ice cream (US$9) designed to share.