WATCH: 'Not what I expected': Gladstone shocks passengers

A COUPLE on the P&O Cruise ship has said Gladstone is "absolutely beautiful" and defied their expectations of a town dominated by big industry landmarks.

Gladstone shocks cruise passengers: Cruise passengers said Gladstone defied their expectations.

"Dry", "industrial", and "spread out" so it takes a long time to get places, are some of the images Jamie Mahon and his wife Lisa had in mind before landing at Gladstone's port this morning.

"Not what I expected at all," Mr Mahon said. "Main reason is where I come from in Canberra is we hear about Gladstone being all about mining.

"So we don't hear about the prettiness of the place. So absolutely beautiful."

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Arrival of the Pacific Dawn, Thursday, March 10, 2016. Photo Helen Spelitis / Gladstone Observer
Arrival of the Pacific Dawn, Thursday, March 10, 2016. Photo Helen Spelitis / Gladstone Observer Helen Spelitis

The couple chose to stay in Gladstone during the one-day stop-off, as the weather had been too "cold" and "overcast" during the cruise so far.

Mr Mahon said while the weather had been in Gladstone's favour over the Mooloolaba stop-off, our city had been "well-rounded".

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"Customer service has been out of this world -- you don't see it anywhere else," he said. 

"And welcoming. Really nice people. And when they see the cruise thing around your neck they want to know where you're from."

The couple had been "going on a whim" around Gladstone's streets, which had taken them to a gelato stall at the markets, Goondoon St's Light Box, and a doughnut stall.