Pacific Encounter renovations raise the bar for P&O Cruises Australia

The 2,600-passenger Grand-class ship was delivered by Fincantieri to Princess Cruises as Star Princess in 2002.

She transferred to the P&O Cruises Australia fleet and was renamed Pacific Encounter in 2020, but was out of service due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She will arrive in Brisbane next month as part of the company’s staged recovery and will sail her first cruise from the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal on August 20 with a seven-night ‘Barrier Reef Discovery’ round trip.

Dating hotel

Midship on deck 7 is a new “super pub” called Encounter Hotel.

This will be used for indoor activities like quizzes and karaoke. Passengers will be able to sample a wide range of draft beers, craft beers and ciders.

Bonded warehouse

P&O Cruises Australia’s iconic Bonded Store has been transformed in partnership with Archie Rose Distilling Co.

Its decor is described as “quirky” and the artisanal bar will appeal to “lovers of cocktails, gin and whisky”.

blue room

The opulent Blue Room has been decorated with luxury velvets, brass finishes, dim lighting and artwork of musical instruments.

It is “reminiscent of a New Orleans speakeasy” and will feature some of Australia’s finest musicians, with an emphasis on blues and jazz.

The ocean bar

Located at the top of the Atrium, The Ocean Bar features lounge chairs and sofas in green and white with black accents.

It’s billed as the perfect place to watch the world go by with morning cappuccinos and evening martinis.

The lobby

A new feature in Pacific Encounter is The Lobby on Deck 5, with several cafes and bars, including Charlie’s.


Sitting atop Pacific Encounter on Deck 18 is Altitude, with incredible ocean views, which transforms into a high-energy nightclub where passengers can dance the night away.

About James K. Bonnette

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