MS Karnika

MS Karnika Review and Specifications

Specifications of MS Karnika

Year built1990  /  Age : 29
Flag state United Kingdom
BuilderFincantieri (Monfalcone, Italy)
ClassAustralia
Building costUSD 280 million
OwnerEssel Group (via Zen Cruises India)
OperatorJalesh Cruises India
Speed23 kn / 43 kph / 26 mph
Length (LOA)245 m / 804 ft
Beam (width)32 m / 105 ft
Gross Tonnage70310 gt
Passengers1674 - 2009
Crew621
Passengers-to-space ratio35
Decks12
Cabins837
Decks with cabins6
Last Refurbishment2018
Former namesCrown Princess, A'Rosa Blu, AIDAblu, Ocean Village 2, Pacific Jewel (P&O), Karnika
Christened byQuentin Bryce (P&O Australia)

Review of MS Karnika

Launched in 1990 as Crown Princess, MS Karnika cruise ship was part of P&O Australia's fleet (as "Pacific Jewel") between 2009-2019. In 2019, the liner left the PandO fleet, with its final cruise departing from Melbourne on February 24.

In late-August 2018, Zen Cruises (new company established by Essel Group, India) was announced as buyer of the vessel. Essel Group (founded 1926, headquartered in Mumbai India) is an Indian conglomerate of several corporations with business divisions in media, news, technology, entertainment, packaging, infrastructure developments, financial services, precious metals (gold and silver refinery), education, charity. The Essel Group-owned Zen Cruises is lead by Jurgen Bailom (CEO and President).

Vessel's official delivery to Zen Cruises was on March 12 (2019), followed by a major drydock refurbishment. Renamed "Karnika", the liner starts operations for Zen Cruises (via the brand "Jalesh Cruises") on April 17, 2019, from homeport Mumbai. The christening ceremony is scheduled for April 19 in Port Mumbai.

History - construction and ownership

P&O Cruises is a subsidiary company and two brands owned by Carnival Corporation - P&O UK and P&O Australia. In 2000, P&O Cruises became subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises, which in 2003 merged with Carnival Corporation. PandO is the world's oldest cruise company, starting passenger shipping operations in 1822 on the routes connecting England with Iberia.

Pacific Jewel cruise ship

The 1950-passenger ship Pacific Jewel used to be part of the German-based AIDA Cruises and the now-defunct Ocean Village Holidays company, before joining P&O Australia fleet in 2009. The "dolphin-like" ship was designed by Italian Renzo Piano. Jewel's sister ship is Pacific Dawn.

  • The vessel was launched on May 25, 1989, as "Crown Princess", and delivered to P&O Princess Cruises on June 29, 1990. The inaugural voyage started on July 8.
  • In 2002, the shipowner P&O Princess Cruises created A’Rosa Cruises (Germany-targeting brand) and transferred the vessel, renaming it “A’Rosa Blu”.
  • In 2004, the new shipowner Carnival Corporation transferred the vessel to the AIDA subsidiary, increasing its capacity (to 2014 passengers, 621 crew) and renaming it to “AIDAblu”.
  • On April 24, 2007, started Ocean Village Two's Inaugural cruise (Mediterranean itinerary) following a drydock refit at Lloyd Werft (Bremerhaven Germany). The vessel joined its fleetmate Ocean Village One (currently Columbus).
  • Pacific Jewel cruise ship as design is sister to Pacific Dawn and similar to Pacific Pearl (CMV Columbus since 2017) and Crown Princess.

Pacific Jewel cruise ship (Ocean Village 2)

In 2010, the Ocean Village company ceased operations. In November the vessel was refurbished in Singapore (at Sembawang Shipyards), renamed “Pacific Jewel” and started a South Pacific cruise itinerary program with departures from homeport Sydney NSW Australia.

Cruise itinerary program

Pacific Jewel itinerary program was based on Australia cruises from homeports Sydney,Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Fremantle, including roundtrip “South Pacific Islands” voyages to Fiji, Vanuatu, Santo, New Caledonia, repositioning, cruises to nowhere and short-breaks to Queensland, Great Barrier Reef, Papua New Guinea, Coral Coast and Indonesia.

Jalesh Cruises Karnika itinerary program is based on itineraries between homeports Mumbai and Mormugao (inaugural season) and Middle East itineraries. Jalesh Cruises shore excursions program includes tour options in large port cities like Kochi, Chennai, Vizag (Visakhapatnam), Mormugao, Mumbai, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Colombo, Muscat, Ras Al Khaimah, Singapore, Penang.

Cabins

The ship has a total of 837 cabins (of which 36 Suite, 162 Balcony, 209 Inside) in 26 grades. Most staterooms are 190-ft2 Oceanviews (436). Of all cabins, nearly 25% are with private (step-out) balconies. The largest stateerooms are the Suites (560 ft2).

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

The cruise liner has 5 dining venues. P&O AU recruited its first ever celebrity chef manager (Luke Mangan) to add his touches to the food menu in the Salt Grill (steakhouse and seafood restaurant). The ship also has a dedicated chocolate cafe serving chocolate ravioli, warm chocolate fondant, Belgium waffles, gourmet cookies. The buffet restaurant, a la carte Main Dining Room and The Grill add more fine dining options. For a fee is the Asian La Luna Restaurant with an 8-course banquet. VIP dining is offered by the 14-seat "Chef's Table" package (in the Galley/kitchen).

Follows the complete list of Pacific Jewel restaurants and food bars.

  • Waterfront Restaurant (open-seating dining room; each of all three dining rooms on Pacific Jewel is operated with “Your Choice Dining” (a la carte) menus for breakfast and lunch, and offers a 4-course dinner menu. Tables seat up to 10 guests. Dining times vary according to sea/port days)
  • Chef’s Table (in the Waterfront Restaurant's Wine Room; specialty dining venue with gourmet private dining and tour of the galley)
  • The Luna room (Asian-cusine banquets; features Japanese and Thai specialties)
  • Salt Grill (reservations-only specialty restaurant via partnership with Australian celebrity chef Luke Mangan)
  • The Pantry (self service buffet restaurant with an open-air terrace)
  • The “Shell & Bones” (a la carte pricing, at the rear of The Pantry)
  • The Grill (lido BBQ)
  • New Zealand Natural (ice cream bar).

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

The cruise ship featuress an exquisite Aqua Health (Spa and Fitness / wellness complex) that spans on 2 decks and is sized 1300 m2. It consistssof  11 oceanview treatment rooms (for massages), Beauty Salon, Gym, Thermal Suite.

Daytime activities range from whiskey tastings and martini mixology classes to quilling and salsa dance classes. Passengers can enjoy karaoke, bingo and trivia games held daily. The daily onboard schedule on seadays is packed with activities. The poolside LED screen on Pool Deck is largely used for broadcasting full-length musical concerts, live sporting events, reality shows, movies.

Evening entertainment is standard cruise ship fare with a mix of guest entertainers and Broadway-style production shows. For kids, innovative activity clubs include Turtle Cove (ages 3-6-yo), Shark Shack (ages 7-10-yo) and HQ for teens. Adults can relax in the child-free Oasis on ship's top deck, while all ages enjoy the swimming pool on Lido deck and the adventures of P&OEdge program, held all over Jewel, with a climbing course on the funnel and a zip line across the top deck.

Follows the complete list of Pacific Jewel lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.

  • Atrium (3-decks central open floor area and social hub)
  • Charlie’s Bar; The Orient bar (English pub); MIX (specialty cocktails bar); Connexions Bar; The Cafe; Lido Pool Bar
  • Essentials Store; Tax and Duty Free Shops; PANDORA shop (jewelry); Aqua Hut (snorkeling equipment)
  • The Marquee Theatre (2-decks, featuring large scale shows, magic and comedy acts; during the day, the theatre hosts Jackpot bingo games, trivia quizzes)
  • Wine Room (boutique winery)
  • The Big Screen (outdoor LED screen for movies, show programs, sports games)
  • The Dome (indoor observation lounge with floor-ceiling windows, large dance floor and a full service bar; transforms into a disco nightclub in the evenings)
  • Players Bar and Casino
  • Expressions Studio (Photo Gallery and Shop); Art Gallery; Internet Library; Internet Cafe
  • The Oasis (adults-only relaxation complex)
  • Promenade (deck 7), 2 pools, 2 jacuzzis
  • Aqua HealthSpaFitness (Wellness Centre with Day Spa, Thermal Suites, Fitness Centre with a separate room for classes, Massage Rooms, Aqua Beauty Salon)
  • Fun Zone kids’ centre; Teen- and Kids club lounges (offering complimentary activities by P&O youth programme: “Turtle Cove”; “Shark Shack”; “HQ” lounge; “HQ+” teen lounge)
  • P&OEdge Adventure Park experience (“high adrenalin” program with 20 different activities, such as climbing, jumping, racing, flying on ropes)
  • Jogging Track; Traditional deck games area (Deck Chess, Deck Quoits, Shufflleboard); Sports Court (basketball, volleyball, tennis); Table Tennis; Golf Nets, Lawn Bowls (outdoor bowling green).

MS Karnika wiki

Vessel’s flag-state (registry) was changed in 1992 (from Palermo Italy to Monrovia Liberia), in 2000 (to Hamilton Bermuda), in 2002 (to London UK), in 2004 (to Genova Italy) and in 2007 (to London UK). Ship's Captain is Alan Nixon.

Pacific Jewel ship started its carrier under the name "Crown Princess". The vessel was operated by Princess Cruises from 1990 to 2002. Then for 2 years it was operated as "Arosa Blu" by Arosa Cruises, then for 3 years as AIDAblu (AIDA Cruises) and for 2 years as "Ocean Village 2" (by Carnival's Ocean Village Holidays brand). In 2009, the ship was transfered to P&O Cruises Australia fleet, renamed "Pacific Jewel" and homeported in Sydney NSW (leaving from "White Bay Cruise Terminal WHT5").

The ship cruises on mostly round-trip itineraries to the South Pacific Islands ("Pacific Island Hopper") visiting ports in Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Tasmania. On Queensland cruises the ship sails to Great Barrier Reef (Willis Island), while on short breaks goes to Moreton Island. In the Southeast Asia reagion feature destinations are Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore.

Pacific Jewel's Cruise to Nowhere deals are on specially themed Australian roundtrip voayges (with no additional porst of call along the route). These short breaks are usually themed "Food and Wine", "Music" (various styles/performers), "Comedy", "Sports". P&O Australia "cruises to nowhere" prices are also inclusive of all special activites and themed entertainment on the ship, including classes and workshops, lectures, presentations, guest performances, theme parties.

In 2017, the liner replaced in New Zealand the fleet-leaving Pacific Pearl (now CMV Columbus), offering roundtrip Pacific Islands itineraries out of Auckland NZ.

Jewel was the first cruise liner to visit the privately-owned Conflict Islands (Papua New Guinea) - in June 2016. This is a group of all 21 islands surrounding a blue lagoon with a pristine reef system. This made the new destination one of the perfect ones for snorkeling and diving excursions in the South Pacific. The Conflict Islands were part of P&O Australia's Papua New Guinea itineraries. The ship operated out of Melbourne (Victoria) (between November 2017 and March 2018) for 109 days, offering 18 voyages. A new 12-night NZ itinerary visited Fiordland Park and Stewart Island. Short Breaks were offered to Eden NSW and Kangaroo Island. In 2017, following Pacific Pearl's farewell, Pacific Jewel became PandO's New Zealand cruise ship and offered roundtrip departures from Auckland NZ for 2 months (Sept - Dec) to South Pacific Islands, before returning again in 2018.

In November 2017, P&O Australia operated company's first ever "Melbourne Cup Carnival" cruise from Auckland NZ. The 10-night itinerary "Emirates Melbourne Cup" also highlighted PandO’s inaugural season in New Zealand, with roundtrips from Auckland (September 1 through October 31, 2017). This sports-themed cruise attracted around 2000 NZ racing fans as part of the 6000-contingent of P&O AU guests cruising to "Melbourne Cup Carnival". Cruise fares included admission to the Thoroughbred horse race and transfers in Melbourne. Fares on the 10-night "Melbourne Cup" voyage started from AUD 1,342 pp (quad share) inclusive of entry and transfers to Melbourne Cup.

For Zen Cruises, Karnika ship's onboard hotel and administrative services (housekeeping, reception, payroll, health, food-beverage, vendor management, revenues collection) will be run by The Apollo Group via its subsidiary Apollo Ship Chandlers.

Pacific Jewel's last cruise for P&O was the 11-day repositioning Australia-Asia (Fremantle to Singapore).

Date / TimePort
01 Mar 16:00Departing from Fremantle, Perth, Western Australia
05 Mar 07:00 - 18:00Benoa, Bali, Indonesia
09 Mar 08:00 - 18:00Pulau Penang Island, Georgetown, Malaysia
10 Mar 08:00 - 16:00Pulau Langkawi Island, Malaysia
11 Mar 08:00 - 18:00Klang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
12 Mar 08:00Arriving in Singapore

Following the liner's official delivery to Jalesh (March 12), the repositioning cruise (Singapore to Mumbai) included as call ports Colombo, Cochin, Mangalore and Mormugao.

Pacific Jewel refurbishment 2018 review

Ship's last refurbishment in March 7-17, 2018 (10-day drydock in Garden Island Shipyard, Sydney NSW) resulted in the following deckplan changes:

  • All public areas were redesigned.
  • New outdoor bowling green (Lawn Bowls) was added on deck 14 (first introduced in 2017 on the fleetmate Pacific Explorer).
  • Shell & Bones restaurant was added on deck 12 (replacing "Salt Grill by Luke Mangan"). It serves locally-sourced seafood, grilled and vegetarian food.
  • Orient Bar (signature club for live music and stand-up comedy shows on Deck 7) received new soft furnishings made from premium fabrics. 
  • Connexions Bar (deck 7) received a new pub-themed decor featuring custom-printed fabrics.
  • The poolside Internet Cafe (deck 12) was redesigned and its menu upgraded (now offering Spanish-style snacks).
  • The Oasis (adults-only retreat located aft on deck 11) received new furniture (nautical-themed lounge beds).
  • The ship's Atrium was redesigned and received new soft furnishings, accessories and hand-made artworks.
  • Works also included general maintenance, hull repainting and adding new P&O Australia livery.

Cartoon Network Wave cruise ship (Pacific Jewel?)

On January 28, 2018, the US satellite TV channel Cartoon Network announced its plans to start its own cruise line brand - "Cartoon Network Wave". The new brand is a partnership between the parent company Turner Broadcasting (Time Warner) and Oceanic Group (Asia-Pacific based cruise and leisure industry). The Cartoon Network Wave cruise line will operate voyages to 13 Asia Pacific destinations, including China, Singapore, Malaysia.

Cartoon Network cruise ship (Pacific Jewel)

The colourful vessel will start its maiden voyage from Singapore in late 2018. On board will be provided one of the best kids-themed experiences at sea. It will feature 800 staterooms, 11 entertainment decks (hosting themed nights - including theme parties and circus shows), rope course (outdoor adventure park), "Young Tooniverse" (outdoor playground for kids), Toonix pool, cartoon-themed onboard activities and amenities (entertainment, food, drinks, characters meets&greets - The Powerpuff Girls, Adventure Time, Ben 10, We Bare Bears).

The released artist’s impression images (based on the Pacific Jewel ship) resulted in speculations that the liner had been sold to the new company.

Cartoon Network cruise ship (Pacific Jewel)

However, PandO responded that the vessel stays in the fleet, with scheduled drydock refit and homeporting in Auckland NZ and Brisbane QLD.

MS Karnika - user reviews and comments

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MS Karnika Itineraries

The below listed MS Karnika cruise prices on itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Small Cruise Lines fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.

DateCruise NameDeparture PortPrice from
2019 Feb 24 16 days, one-way from Melbourne to Singapore Melbourne $1286
2019 Feb 24 5 days, one-way from Melbourne to Fremantle Melbourne $511
2019 Mar 01 11 days, one-way from Fremantle to Singapore Fremantle