Exploring New Zealand on the P&O Pacific Explorer 2024


Exploring New Zealand on the P&O Pacific Explorer 2024

Embarking on our second cruise to New Zealand, this time aboard the Pacific Encounter by P&O, we couldn't help but reminisce about our previous journey on the Norwegian Jewel from Sydney. Departing Brisbane on the 24th of February, we eagerly awaited the adventure that awaited us.


Sailaway Party 

As the clock struck 3 p.m., the ship released her mooring lines, and we sailed away from Brisbane, passing the scenic Moreton Island on starboard. 

Filled with excitement, we grabbed refreshing cocktails and made our way to the top deck for the lively Sail Away Party, where the entertainment crew, some passengers danced the afternoon away. Over the next three days at sea, we filled our days with engaging activities like Uno, Trivia, and engaging in friendly conversations with fellow cruisers.


Featured Show - Balancing Act

During the first 3 sea days on the cruise, we had the pleasure of attending a few of the ship's feature shows. ‘The Balancing Act’ was a jaw-dropping performance that kept us on the edge of our seats. The incredibly talented performers showcased their balancing skills, seamlessly jumping from one feat to the next. 

Musicology was another showstopper, taking us on a musical journey through different eras and genres, which kept us tapping our feet and singing along. Lastly, 

The Sit Down Comedy Club with Johnny Kats had us laughing uncontrollably as he regaled us with hilarious stories and witty jokes. His humor was relatable and genuinely funny, making it a delightful evening. Overall, the feature shows were a highlight of our cruise. The impeccable talent, stunning costumes, and impressive productions made for an unforgettable entertainment experience.


Each day brought new game shows, such as Perfect Match and Celebrity Heads, that kept us engaged and entertained.

One of the charms of cruising is the incredible culinary experiences on offer. We must say that dining at Dragon Lady onboard the P&O Pacific Encounter is an experience like no other. The Asian-inspired restaurant takes you on a culinary journey with its vibrant ambiance and delectable menu.

The menu at Dragon Lady offers a wide range of Asian dishes, from sushi and sashimi to dumplings and stir-fried specialties. Each dish is beautifully presented, showcasing a true fusion of flavors and textures.

One standout dish that we highly recommend is the crispy Peking duck. The duck is perfectly cooked, with crispy skin and tender meat. It is served with fluffy pancakes, Hoisin sauce, and a mix of fresh vegetables. This dish alone is worth a visit to Dragon Lady.

Another great dish to try is the Thai green curry. The flavors are balanced and authentic, with just the right amount of spiciness. The curry is flavored with aromatic herbs and spices, and it pairs perfectly with a bowl of steamed rice. The service at Dragon Lady is top-notch. The staff is knowledgeable, attentive, and always ready to assist with any dietary requirements or preferences. The dining experience is elevated by the friendly and professional demeanor of the staff.

Overall, dining at Dragon Lady is a treat for the senses. The food is exceptional, the ambiance is inviting, and the service is outstanding. If you're a fan of Asian cuisine, this restaurant is an absolute must-try during your voyage.

Luke's Bar and Grill offers a casual and relaxed dining experience with a focus on delicious grilled meats and seafood. This restaurant is the perfect place to satisfy your cravings for classic comfort food. The menu at Luke's Bar and Grill features a variety of dishes, but the highlight is definitely the grill section. Whether you're in the mood for a perfectly cooked steak, succulent prawns, or tender chicken, their grill selection has something for everyone.

Apart from the grill options, Luke's Bar and Grill also offers a range of appetizers, salads, and tasty desserts. The service at the restaurant is friendly and efficient, adding to the overall enjoyable dining experience. In terms of ambiance, Luke's Bar and Grill provides a casual and comfortable setting. Whether you're looking to have a hearty lunch or a relaxed dinner, this restaurant offers the perfect atmosphere.


All in all, Luke's Bar and Grill is a fantastic dining option. The menu is extensive, the food is flavorful, and the overall experience is enjoyable. If you're a fan of grilled meats and comfort food, you won't be disappointed with a meal at Luke's.

Blessed with fantastic weather and an abundance of activities, the days seemed to fly by as we made the most of every moment on board before arriving at the port of Auckland on Wednesday, February 28th.

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