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323 Brisbane to Australia & New Zealand Cruise Reviews

Traveling to far off places is both exciting and enriching. I can’t think of a much further destination than Australia. While this is not our first visit to Australia, it was our longest. Thirty one days is what we spent in total. ... Read More
Traveling to far off places is both exciting and enriching. I can’t think of a much further destination than Australia. While this is not our first visit to Australia, it was our longest. Thirty one days is what we spent in total. Because we fell in love with Sydney on our last visit, we again scheduled a few days stay in this beautiful city at the Westin Inn. We chose this cruise because it circumnavigated the whole continent of Australia. On our last visit, we were at the tail end of a cruise that began in Auckland, New Zealand, and sailed south around that beautiful country, and terminated in Sydney. This cruise allowed us to visit multiple ports as we sailed counterclockwise around Australia. This provided a fascinating overview of the many different geological and commercial venues that adorn this country. A surprise port was in Alotau, New Guinea! Princess Cruises provided numerous opportunities to enjoy excursions in each port of call. There were excursions that all passengers could enjoy. Of course, you have to expect that a particular excursion might be cancelled due to lack of guests signing up. Reimbursements are made in these rare cases. Don’t miss taking the spectacular Skyrail Gondola ride in Cairns, or the Ngilgi Cave trek in Margaret River(Busselton). Entertainment on board featured some of the best musicians that we have ever experienced! Two were especially spectacular, that performed in Crooners Bar Lounge area. They were Pierre Eugene and the Moonlight Duo. Pierre, a pianist from Haiti, sang songs in his mellow, romantic voice, that covered the eras from the 1930’s through the present day. The Moonlight Duo, beautiful young ladies, that played piano and violin, enthralled guests in Crooners as well as in other venues around the ship. I could go on and on, but I’m sure space is limited. Let me end by just stating that Princess made every aspect of this cruise effortless and gracious. Princess remains the number one choice of ocean going cruise lines for us, and we have sailed with quite a few other lines. If you have the time, this will be a cruise of a lifetime, that you will never forget! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
round australia, previously done this cruise with Princess. So disappointed in ports of call, only reason for going to PNG appears to be so they can sell duty free on board, barely worth the effort. Port Moresby would have least been worth ... Read More
round australia, previously done this cruise with Princess. So disappointed in ports of call, only reason for going to PNG appears to be so they can sell duty free on board, barely worth the effort. Port Moresby would have least been worth getting off, but not Alatoa, what’s there? On board shops selling usual cheap souvenirs, although plenty of top priced jewellery if you wanted that and expensive USA clothing. Strident on air communications to sell the art on board. The staff are all excellent, really could not do enough for you, helpful and pleasant. This cruise had loads of passengers, myself included, who had wheeled walkers and some electric scooters and wheelchairs, all were treated with exceptional kindness. The food, was amazingly good, there was always plenty of choice. I did miss not having much ‘named’ fish to choose from however. Getting off ship in Sydney to visit relatives from White Bay was a real problem, We had to get to Manley so involved taxis on top of ferry journey. On screen information regarding this was very mediocre and other passengers felt annoyed, as we did with lack of it. Then to arrive at at circular quay and see another huge ship anchored there, really! Overseas visitors we spoke to, were less than enthusiastic re this cruise, feeling that they had seen nothing of the real Australia, every port was a replica of the previous ones, just another spot on the map. This I agree with. Have been told this cruise for the next 18 months is already wait list only. We had problems getting a booking as due to my accident were unable to book well in advance, Princess had a deposit and wait list from both ports, Sydney and Brisbane for us, eventually we had to book with USA agent who gave us an immediate confirmation, guaranteed cabin on the deck we wanted, this no doubt, is why we ended up with a small cabin. But, why could Princess not do that? As we are now both 80, it’s probable we won’t be using Princess again. Final note, felt this cruise was 2 weeks too long. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our second cruise on this ship, the first was a disappointment as you will see in our previous review but we wanted to go to Cairns and couldn’t fly so it was Hobson’s choice. We had a balcony cabin which was a good size and ... Read More
This was our second cruise on this ship, the first was a disappointment as you will see in our previous review but we wanted to go to Cairns and couldn’t fly so it was Hobson’s choice. We had a balcony cabin which was a good size and quiet comfortable except for the bathroom which was a disaster. The shower was over a spa bath and impossible for anyone with even a minor disability to access, the toilet was designed for very short people and was very difficult to get off for elderly people, although a toilet raiser was supplied on request. Most disappointing was the food, we tried the pantry but found the food cold and unappetising. The seating arrangement was modern cafeteria and almost impossible to get a table for two. When possible we ate in the Waterfront restaurant and again were disappointed. The selection of dishes was very limited and the standard of cooking poor, in some cases inedible with that kept warm to long flavour. There was no decent coffee shop and the service was very poor generally resulting in us having to go to the bar a join a line to order. Entertainment was bog standard and after twenty cruises had nothing new to attract us.there was no classical music or decency comedy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Before traveling we read many negative reviews about this ship so our expectations were quite realistic. It was a taster cruise to see if I could handle the seasickness and being on board for days in a row. We had an amazing time and ... Read More
Before traveling we read many negative reviews about this ship so our expectations were quite realistic. It was a taster cruise to see if I could handle the seasickness and being on board for days in a row. We had an amazing time and could find little fault. For the price we paid, we didn't expect the highest quality food or the most luxurious accommodation but our meals in the specialty restaurants were fine. Yes the serves were small, but extra dishes could be ordered. I loved the smaller serves, compared to the huge meals served in most restaurants everywhere these days. The staff were amazing. Nothing is too much trouble. We found the entertainment to be excellent with something for everyone. I am sure there are more glamorous ships on offer but we went with an open mind and a positive attitude and enjoyed the whole experience. On this comedy cruise we laughed our way across the Tasman. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
When we booked last year we didn't know it would be an EXC cruise. We thought we'd give the new product a go but it seems to be a cost cutting venture. We went to the major ports of Noumea, Port Vila and Auckland on sundays when ... Read More
When we booked last year we didn't know it would be an EXC cruise. We thought we'd give the new product a go but it seems to be a cost cutting venture. We went to the major ports of Noumea, Port Vila and Auckland on sundays when everything is closed and the other days to beaches where it didn't matter. The cruise hopped around with no order or reason to be in these ports on sunday....maybe cheaper docking charges? Entertainment was very poor with nothing organised for sea days other than lectures on photo, computers and upcoming ports given with no enthusiasm. The were lots of BBC wildlife documentaries on both the main stage and on the Tv in cabin. We have yet to find what the cruise director KK did other than make introductions on stage. Entertainers were " more classical than fun" and their appearance times were hard to fit in with dinner in the dining room. There were no fun activities and you felt you were in an old folks home although they have more organised for them! Everything was dead after 11pm. Food was plentiful but tasteless. One night after a drinks get together at 7 and then going to the show until 8.45 we found the restaurants were closed and we were told to order room service to get anything. The Explorations coffee shop closed at 9pm and you could only get tea or coffee from the Lido if you were lucky enough to find some milk. The whole cruise lacked atmosphere, not what you want on a long awaited holiday! The ship is old but spotlessly clean. The cabins are large and well equipped. The crew are amazing, always helpful and smiling. They made the trip worthwhile! The ports visited were Ok but as I said some would have been more enjoyable if they were open. The beaches and snorkeling were wonderful. HAL excursions were over priced and much cheaper and better bought on shore run by the locals. Come on Holland America pick up your game and give us back what we came to expect from you. There were a lot of us complaining about this voyage and we hope all cruises will not become EXC. We will be watching as we have booked South America and Antartica for next year and if it's an EXC we will be cancelling. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Because of the ports of call around the Pacific and previous cruises with HAL had been quite good. Embarkation at Brisbane was fine. Our Neptune suite felt like the same as previous on the other HAL cruise, very comfortable and ... Read More
Because of the ports of call around the Pacific and previous cruises with HAL had been quite good. Embarkation at Brisbane was fine. Our Neptune suite felt like the same as previous on the other HAL cruise, very comfortable and immaculately clean. How ever, the joy seemed to stop there! It appeared that the staffing levels had been reduced and things just took that little longer for serviceand attention. Prices have certainly increased and being in US$ for an Australian NZ Pacific cruise was a bit of a pocket hit when the service charge was then added. As we're the tours. This resulted in many of the passengers taking local tours upon going ashore. Including several US passengers. I will blame ourselves for not realising that it was an exploratory cruise with lectures mainly for entertainment. The result was a very dull and boring onboard cruise. At least during the day there could have been some life around the pool area. Nothing! People sat around bored looking at each other, looking at each other. If it wasn't so sad, it could have been funny. Then there's the food!! Oh dear!! The food was the worst I've had on the past 23 years of cruising. I am sure they constitute left overs in an attempt to make a curry. The curries were so bad, twice I attempted and had to bring to the attention of the food manager. The lunchtime pizza's were so heavy with grease, they were stuck to the pizza pan! I think the cheese was not pizza cheeses? Dining room food was OK, but the standard certainly has dropped. OXTAILS! My Lord, my mother served that on tight money days and it is now served as cruise cuisine. No more veggies served on the side, all piled under the meat selection and often not hot as the over run servers can't get it to you in an acceptable time. I do not fault the servers, they are marvellous, just not enough of them. As for the food quality and selection, again no fault of the kitchen hands, this come from above them. Being mainly Indonesian or Indian in the kitchen, they know how to make a good curry or Indonesian food, but cook what they are told to. The evening entertainment in the bars mostly were over before evening dinner was finished and the crows nest entertainment was a recording DJ when there was some passengers to try and entertain. The passengers were an older interesting mix but they were still alive and they were also disappointed in the lack of entertainment Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We did a Auckland to Sydney cruise on the Maasdam just prior to Christmas last year. Needed to go to sea again(yes I am getting hooked) and found a great deal for a Brisbane to Auckland via South Pacific so jumped at it. Booked a ... Read More
We did a Auckland to Sydney cruise on the Maasdam just prior to Christmas last year. Needed to go to sea again(yes I am getting hooked) and found a great deal for a Brisbane to Auckland via South Pacific so jumped at it. Booked a outside cabin and a few days before we left we’re given a free upgrade to a balcony suite.woopee. Embarkation was as smooth as we had come to expect,this was our 6th HAL cruise and we were on board and enjoying lunch by 1.30pm. Cabin was great,level 9 forward. Nice size plenty of space and storage. HAL might want to upgrade the tv as the sets are getting a bit old. Quickly slipped into a routine. Cabin stewards introduced themselves that day and as usual greeted us by name thereafter. A few sea days in the cruise but days went quickly between talks workshops trivia etc. Blessed by good seas and weather throughout. The 3 excursions we went on ran like clockwork. The islands we visited were interesting and in most part beautiful. The colour of the water wow. Friendly locals. No complaints at all. Really appreciated the Mariners presentation and lunch. It’s just one of the things that HAL do that puts them above others in my opinion. It was only a 14 day cruise but we covered nearly 4000 nautical miles. Would recommend to anyone especially those thinking about doing a long voyage to test their ability to manage sea days. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise to PNG as we wanted to experience something different. I don't understand why some cruisers give such bad reviews. I did my research I knew what to expect and the Aria is a nice ship and much better than I ... Read More
We chose this cruise to PNG as we wanted to experience something different. I don't understand why some cruisers give such bad reviews. I did my research I knew what to expect and the Aria is a nice ship and much better than I anticipated . I have no complaints re the food ,I enjoyed most of the meals and we tried all of the restaurants We were on deck 10 room 10070 . I had read some complaints about this room because the cabin staff had their work station opposite us but we were not bothered by any noise and the work trolleys were not in our way. If we walked out of our room and the staff was there my Husband told them we could be bribed with chocolate! It was a great location just a short walk to the adults only area and bar . Yes this area needed more shade. We have cruised with 3 cruise lines and the shows on this cruise were the best we have seen. The was plenty of activities ,trivia on the sea days was a lot of fun just for the laughs. Staff were always smiling and happy and I have no complaints re the service in the bars and Restaurants. If you are expecting 5 Star food and service you will be disappointed go with an open mind and don't fret it something isn't perfect and you will enjoy yourself. The Tendering could be improved but we got to all of the destinations as we were lucky enough to have calm seas. It was a bit rough on the way home the captain kept us up to date and he advised us about the seas, he was quite funny when he told us in his Italian accent he would give us a nice ride home. Embarking and disembarking was the most efficient I have experienced an any cruise line Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose this cruise as a short break as for people that are time poor these are really good cruises to jump on. The ship itself was nice and I found it to be a younger demographical for age pax is it was repositioning. I found the food in ... Read More
I chose this cruise as a short break as for people that are time poor these are really good cruises to jump on. The ship itself was nice and I found it to be a younger demographical for age pax is it was repositioning. I found the food in both the dining room and the buffet to be really nice and even though I didnt get to see a show on board there was lots of other things to do. I really enjoyed my time in the Sanctuary and Budly on board made sure that we were well looked after. I think the Sanctuary is well worth the money especially for short cruises if you want to get away from the mainstream of passengers and relax.Our cabin was a more than adequate for the short cruise however I would probably like a mini suite if I could afford it for a longer duration. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My daughters and a friend of mine decided that a two day short cruise would be fun, but we were more than 4 hours late leaving the port of Brisbane , so no movies on deck least we disturb the people living near the port, but no one ... Read More
My daughters and a friend of mine decided that a two day short cruise would be fun, but we were more than 4 hours late leaving the port of Brisbane , so no movies on deck least we disturb the people living near the port, but no one bothered to tell us until a fellow passenger told us a half hour after it should have started. Very annoying. When we went to the 9.30 movie on deck the speakers were so bad we couldn’t hear anything so gave up and went inside. The movies under the stars was going to be a high light for us. Then the next morning we got up ready for the advertised sales and shop openings, after looking around at everything and deciding on what we wanted to buy, we were told that passengers on the short trip could not buy anything that was not a necessity and then only up to $50. But there were people walking around with things that were obviously bought in the shops. No crew members could tell us why we were not allowed to buy anything, so I am still unaware what the reason was. If I had wanted to have someone tell me I couldn’t have something then I would have bought my husband along !! The cruise was not at all what I expected and I would not recommend a short cruise to anyone if this is what happens, all in all, I was very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We booked this cruise for our 35th anniversary, because it left and arrived back into Brisbane. The cruise was meant to be 14 days, but due to the weather it was reduced to 11 days. It could have been reduced to 12 days, but I think it was ... Read More
We booked this cruise for our 35th anniversary, because it left and arrived back into Brisbane. The cruise was meant to be 14 days, but due to the weather it was reduced to 11 days. It could have been reduced to 12 days, but I think it was easier for the company to completely cull the South Island, rather than have to go to the South for 1 day. The ship came into dock earlier, and the staff got the night off. Normally the turnarounds are on the same day. We were told check in would be early on our departure day, so we chose to stay close overnight beforehand. We could have gotten a lift in, but the early start was too early for our friends. So our early check-in was a total debacle ... apparently a computer malfunction, so the ship didn't end up leaving until 4.30pm. We had checked out of our accommodation for our early departure, so had to find somewhere to have breakfast (along with the other 1800+ passengers), then morning tea, and so on, just waiting around for boarding. Great start we were thinking! About the ship: The cabins were small but comfortable. We had an ocean view with a balcony. The room attendant was delightful. The bed was soft but comfortable, as were the pillows. The dining options were OK. The meal portions in the main dining room were a good size, not too large, and there was variety. The quality wasn't amazing, but it was fine, in most venues. We went to one or two shows, and they were enjoyable. We also went dancing on one night, and the band was very good. The gym was great, and thank god for the gym, it was our savior! However, there is a real push to sell the expensive Elemis detox program. This program is available online for a fraction of the cost, and there was no science behind the program that we were shown. If we could all take 2 herbal pills each day, and have them clean out our systems and eliminate everything that makes our bodies work inefficiently, I think it would be a miracle cure! In the end the science says that a good healthy diet, with exercise, and eating nutritious whole foods is the answer to good health ... makes sense to me! The demographics for this style of cruising, didn't really fit with us. We felt like we were in the middle of a shipboard conference for the aged and/or overweight. This may sound harsh, as there were some young people, and healthy looking fit people as well, but they were definitely in the minority. We had never been on a large ship cruising, and we wanted to see if it was something for us into the future. We have been to the Antarctica on a small ship and had a great time, but based on this experience, large ship cruising is definitely not our thing. Being active, I think active/adventure type cruising would be more suitable for us. On a final note, we also found that, although it sounds like you have a reasonable amount of time on shore days, the time disappears very quickly, and you don't get to achieve as much as you would like. We hired cars in 3 of the 4 stops, so we could be independent, and whilst we did get out and about, there is time lost getting to the pick up point, doing the paperwork, dropping the car back, getting back to the ship etc, and we calculated that if we had flown to NZ and hired a car for 2 weeks, travelled around NZ independently, staying in nice B&B's, eating great food, and getting in some active pursuits, the cost would have been around the same, we would have been in control of our itinerary ... and we would have had a 14 (not 11) day adventure! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We had heard from many friends how good Princess cruises were so we booked one. The first three days to New Zealand were cancelled because of Cyclone OMA. Staff were caring and efficient . Our cabin boy BILLY could not have more polite or ... Read More
We had heard from many friends how good Princess cruises were so we booked one. The first three days to New Zealand were cancelled because of Cyclone OMA. Staff were caring and efficient . Our cabin boy BILLY could not have more polite or committed to his work. Our cabin was kept in a pristine state morning and afternoon. Food was of a very high standard with many different choices daily. There was no time to get bored with such an interesting array of dishes and different cuisines. Nightly entertainment and shows were varied and extremely well performed. Shore tours were well organised and enjoyable. Our cruise director Lyn was a wonderful ambassador for Princess oozing personality and professionalism. The daily programme was jam packed with interesting and fun things to do. The assistant cruise directors were multi talented and loads of fun as well. We cant wait to book our next cruise on the Sea Princess. Lynda and Fred from BRISBANE Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We had a three day delay and security technical difficulties on boarding with our NZ cruise from Brisbane but Princess Cruises did everything to make it up to us with refunds and discounts. We were so happy with the "crew" ... Read More
We had a three day delay and security technical difficulties on boarding with our NZ cruise from Brisbane but Princess Cruises did everything to make it up to us with refunds and discounts. We were so happy with the "crew" everyone was so helpful and friendly. It was hugs all round when we sadly disembarked, just like leaving family. It was as if the "powers that be" said sorry for the delay and here is the best weather you could ever hope for, Seriously it was like cruising on a lake. The cabin was nice and the bed, doona and pillows were so soft, like sleeping on a cloud. I loved the food especially the buffet restaurant and pizza. With three sea days I thought I might be bored and took books, magazines (never read one) and crochet to do but I had SO much I wanted to do and sometimes three things at the same time so it was difficult to choose. I absolutely would go again - we did the same cruise 5 years ago and still I would love to go again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
First time traveling to New Zealand and first time on Princess line. Unexpected problem at the start and cruise cut short by 3 days due to cyclone.. can't help the weather. Just myself and best friend on this trip. Embarkation ... Read More
First time traveling to New Zealand and first time on Princess line. Unexpected problem at the start and cruise cut short by 3 days due to cyclone.. can't help the weather. Just myself and best friend on this trip. Embarkation went smoothly as did disembarkation when we returned. Entertainment was fantastic something for everyone.Especially one group in particular- Mosaic was their name..great band.All staff were amazing very friendly knowledgeable approachable. Food was amazing we had anytime dining. Service terrific staff amazing food fantastic Lots of areas to have quiet time or be active.. enjoyed very relaxing massage inn the spa.. staff running activities were easy going friendly Cabin was very clean and tidy. Looked after each day by amazing staff.. had arranged day tours before arriving. Organisation of these was well done.. buses were then when required. Left on time. Ticked off a couple of things inn my bucket list . visited Tauranga and went to Hobbiton and while in Aukland violated Sky Tower.. amazingly stunning views Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We were supposed to cruise on the 24th February, but a cyclone off the Brisbane coast stopped that. We managed to get out of port on the 27th instead. Great communication from Princess but alas we missed the South Island of NZ as a result. ... Read More
We were supposed to cruise on the 24th February, but a cyclone off the Brisbane coast stopped that. We managed to get out of port on the 27th instead. Great communication from Princess but alas we missed the South Island of NZ as a result. But NZ put on its very best weather for us. It was like Queensland, beautiful one day, perfect the next. I loved the new beds they’ve been on about. Very comfy. 2 fabulous comedians on board keeping us entertained and in stitches. The show band was also very entertaining. I’m doing this cruise again soon, this time hopefully I’ll get to see the South Island. The food was brilliant, I asked for anytime dining and being alone, I met new people every night. The menu was varied and food was plentiful, Lobster Tails, Atlantic Salmon, Beef Wellington, Lamb, New York Steak. And then the entrees and desserts. I think I overindulged a bit. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Unfortunately the ship lets down the rest of the cruise experience. The ship underwent a refurbishment less than 2 years ago - but you wouldn't know it. The ship in general looks conservative and dated and we were disappointed ... Read More
Unfortunately the ship lets down the rest of the cruise experience. The ship underwent a refurbishment less than 2 years ago - but you wouldn't know it. The ship in general looks conservative and dated and we were disappointed that it didn't look like it had just been refurbished (maybe it's the use of brown timber?). In fact, it looked in need of a freshening up and a bit of pizazz. The single level show room with only two access points and lots of stairs, was a big problem. The large number of frail elderly people struggled with all the stairs, and this led to considerable delays for everyone getting in and out of the showroom - the 2-level showrooms on other cruise ships had been so much easier, safer and faster to access and to exit from. The food and the rest of the onboard experience was good, though one of the guest entertainers could have been a bit better (especially when he did his second show in 3 nights). If the ship had looked exciting and modern, it would have added a lot more to the experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Traveled on Sea Princess on a world cruise 2years ago and it was excellent. Recently traveled to Papua New Guinea again on the Sea Princess and felt completely at home again. We like the smaller ships as they are more personal in all ... Read More
Traveled on Sea Princess on a world cruise 2years ago and it was excellent. Recently traveled to Papua New Guinea again on the Sea Princess and felt completely at home again. We like the smaller ships as they are more personal in all services offered. The Conflict Islands on this cruise was excellent and we were lucky to have 2 days there. The cabin staff and restaurants were 5 star. Boarding and leaving the ship was very well organised and stress free. We are hoping to do Circle the Pacific Cruise in 12 months. The Princess Entertainiers was so good and every show was so professional and high quality. The Princess web site was excellent with information for on board activities and managing day to day spending. Internet was easy to access and use. Special mention also goes to the Cruise Entertainiment Manager who was so much fun and a great entertainer in his own right. Well done Mat and will never forget his saying. What are we going have- A GOOD TIME! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Excellent cruise. The service and entertainment were above average. The shows and games shows were exceptionally well done. Plenty of things to do on board. . The ship was not too small but not too big. Captain, cruise director ... Read More
Excellent cruise. The service and entertainment were above average. The shows and games shows were exceptionally well done. Plenty of things to do on board. . The ship was not too small but not too big. Captain, cruise director and crew were the best. Had a lovely time. .Due to a hurricane we got a couple of extra days on board. The captain and cruise director kept us informed about what was happening and made the stay very relaxing. Our cabin was smaller than expected but the bed was beautiful. We went on this cruise to relax and enjoy the ship. It provided that and more. Plenty of different areas to sit and relax. Love the movie under the stars. Food was good and plenty of variety. We have traveled Holland America mostly before but I think I will be considering Princess from now on. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise as it departed from Brisbane and we had mutual friends already going. Our first impressions were of poor service. Especially in the bars. Servers weren’t just ignoring us they were downright rude. Drinks were ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it departed from Brisbane and we had mutual friends already going. Our first impressions were of poor service. Especially in the bars. Servers weren’t just ignoring us they were downright rude. Drinks were really expensive. $8.75 for a small beer. There was also a 15 drinks a day maximum on the drinks package which was not advertised. All of the entertainment on this cruise other than the movies under the stars (which is great) targets the over 60’s. There is hardly anyone in the bars of a night and the nightclub doesn’t kick of until 10pm and is also dead. The shows and musical entertainment are also for the over 60’s. For positives the ship is immaculately clean and the food at all venues is exceptional. Also the kids club is fabulous! Possibly a good choice if you are over 60. Otherwise give it a miss. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I chose the cruise to see Airlie Beach, Cairns and Port Douglas. Unfortunately weather challenges meant we didn't get to Port Douglas, which is unavoidable. Furthermore the cruise is still at sea for another few days beyond the ... Read More
I chose the cruise to see Airlie Beach, Cairns and Port Douglas. Unfortunately weather challenges meant we didn't get to Port Douglas, which is unavoidable. Furthermore the cruise is still at sea for another few days beyond the original schedule due to Cyclone Oma. Again nothing that the cruise line can do about that. However the ship is tired, needs a serious clean of public areas carpeting and is looking pretty shabby on the outside with a lot of rust showing. I wonder whether Princess have chosen not to spend much on maintenance because it is approaching end of life? Air conditioning does not work effectively in a number of cabins on deck 11 and engineering could not fix. Management onboard did not appear to be concerned, with one guest buying an electric fan for their cabin with Princess approval. A number of wines on the wine list are not available. No pineapple juice, grapefruit juice or fresh grapefruits available despite being in port with plenty of opportunity to restock. Staff very engaging and appeared to do the best within the operating guidelines they have to follow. At least one senior manger I spoke to seems frustrated that they did not have the ability to fix simple issues. This was not a bad cruise, but it is important that customers understand that the ship is bit worn and you will have niggles. Probably why the cruise was very competitively priced. I agree with other comments....best deal...take your own wine onboard and pay the $15 corkage per bottle. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My sister and I live apart and she organised this cruise, my first, so we could enjoy a holiday away together. From the moment we went on board I found the staff and crew very friendly, courteous and only to willing to assist if necessary. ... Read More
My sister and I live apart and she organised this cruise, my first, so we could enjoy a holiday away together. From the moment we went on board I found the staff and crew very friendly, courteous and only to willing to assist if necessary. The Cruise Director was brilliant, the entertainment was great. Food was delicious, Room service ( cabin boy ) very friendly, helpful and always available. Movie under the Stars was great. Photographers and photo shop staff exceptional, waiting staff excellent. Was plenty of activities to chose from if you wanted or else quiet time in the library or sitting around the pool. The pools and there were plenty to chose from were very clean and well kept and there was plenty of sitting room available around them. Would highly recommend Princess Cruise ship to friends and family and with a bit of luck maybe I will get to do another in the future Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The ship was good, food was good, shame about the night entertainment as there was not much of it! One passenger even called it "ghost ship" as hardly anyone around owing to lack of decent music entertainment! Will not sail ... Read More
The ship was good, food was good, shame about the night entertainment as there was not much of it! One passenger even called it "ghost ship" as hardly anyone around owing to lack of decent music entertainment! Will not sail with Princess cruises again! Horizons buffet situated in wrong area, in middle causing feeling of sea sickness owing to no open windows so had to rush I , get food, rush outside to fresh air! Also very hot inside. PACIFIC Dawn buffet much better placed at rear end with open doors & windows. Alcolhol prices were also higher priced than P & O not that i drank much only couple beers @ $8.75 can! W one from $11 up! Also only swimming pools, no water slides etc. So all in all people if you just want to sit around doing nothing, & early night,then this is for you!!! Am 81 years & found it all boring!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Over all wonderful experience and only hiccup was we ordered wine pre cruising and when we asked for it they didn’t have it onboard and no other label we knew for similar price. We were credited but then bought wine by the glass to ... Read More
Over all wonderful experience and only hiccup was we ordered wine pre cruising and when we asked for it they didn’t have it onboard and no other label we knew for similar price. We were credited but then bought wine by the glass to find out the cabinet Sauvignon we were drinking was actually just a red blend for 42 a bottle I didn’t feel this was acceptable. Wouldn’t happen in a restaurant? Also had a few issues with reception having workers who weren’t very fluent in English. We had exceptional service from Matt Baker the cruise director and from our travitor restaurant hostess Xin Rue was certainly a highlight on our experience. Our cabin was kept beautifully and nothing was too much trouble. The destination was wonderful going to Paupa New Guinea even if we missed two of our ports due to weather. We felt the captain was very safe and thought of his passengers first. Entertainment was just the best. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Chose cruise for the itinerary & offered 2 days in Cairns. We are from Canada & wanted to experience great Barrier Reef without being rushed. Cruising is our vacation style of choice & have cruised in excess of 30 cruises with ... Read More
Chose cruise for the itinerary & offered 2 days in Cairns. We are from Canada & wanted to experience great Barrier Reef without being rushed. Cruising is our vacation style of choice & have cruised in excess of 30 cruises with other cruise-lines, mostly Princess. Everything about the Aria was shameful! Maybe they know they have the monopoly of that route so don't feel effort is necessary. We were aware vessel was older & refurbished but were unprepared for the shabbiness & filthy state of the ship. Customer service was non-existent & downright rude from some servers/bar-tenders. This was the ONLY time I have ever been hungry on a cruise, the food was totally inedible. The buffet alternative "The Pantry" looked like a prison cafeteria & the food being slopped out on a tin plate looked even worse. The specialty restaurants served lukewarm or room temperature food, instead of hot or chilled ! The servers had no product knowledge, were ill-informed, or didn't speak English......or, plainly didn't care! We demanded a refund for our purchased spa pkg on the first visit when nothing was working & the shower heads & hose had mould & mildew dripping down everywhere. Our balcony room was shabby although our cabin steward did make an effort to keep it groomed. Sadly we couldn't use the balcony due to the grime, paint splatters everywhere & toxic fumes coming from a very sticky railing. This experience was SO BAD we opted to get off when we reached Cairns. Never have I ever come close to any consideration like this on ANY type of vacation. It cost us a lot of extra money, but our physical health & mental anguish was worth it. Interestingly not ONE PERSON asked why we were disembarking 3 days early !!!! My recommendation NEVER, EVER go anywhere near this disgusting experience !!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
BEST PART We were very impressed with the size of the Suite (living area, bathroom and deck), Including the free laundry services provided no matter how many cruises you've done. Also, the priority booking perk worked well, as we ... Read More
BEST PART We were very impressed with the size of the Suite (living area, bathroom and deck), Including the free laundry services provided no matter how many cruises you've done. Also, the priority booking perk worked well, as we tried to book restaurant seats late on the first day and were refused & treated like ignorant scum until later we tried again and mentioned our Suite number - then instant bookings occurred this time with only a hint of crankiness / impatience by the staff. WORST PART We found "the Pantry" to be absolutely horrid. In two words we would describe it as 'lazy' and 'cheap'. For bfast there was only one station providing both bacon and eggs and there was always a large queue for it. Another station had bacon but although it very clearly said "eggs cooked to order" on their display sign (& there was a grill plate cooker behind them) the staff would not cook eggs and sent everyone who wanted eggs to line up at the other station. We even pointed out the “eggs cooked to order” sign to one of the supervisors and he actually told us we shouldn’t be reading that part of the sign (fair dinkum!). If you wanted something from a few stations, you had to line up at each one while your meals go cold and get coughed over by people pushing past. A buffet service is so much faster - they need to bring this back. I found it very tiring and stressful to dine at the Pantry because the food choices were so poor, there was fierce competition to get seats, people were crowded together in the seating areas and in the walkways, and the ceiling was low and claustrophobic. There was nothing that impressed us at lunch or dinner at any of the stations, it all pretty much looked like the food you'd cook yourself at home. An exception is the fish and chips station that had good chips and a very nice batter, but although calamari was supposed to be served we never saw any, only fish, and the 'plates' provided were wire baskets with a sheet of paper under the food, and so very difficult to eat from with a knife and fork as the paper fell apart and the food fell through the wires onto the table so you ended up actually eating off the table itself. Some people were eating off what looked like prison or boarding school trays! (which I imagine are meant to be trendy but had the opposite effect). One station had on display at almost every visit the same thing which was a pitiful looking sliced devon sausage and tiny little piles of crudities (sliced carrots etc) and nothing else! Similarly at another station, significant display space was used up with widely spaced small bowls of cereal or very simple salads depending on the time of day. The pantry was a huge disappointment, and I dreaded going there when other dining options were not open. Instead of looking forward to meal times, we were put off at the thought as it was such an unpleasant experience. OTHER RESTAURANTS We didn't try Salt but wished we had, because we later found out that Salt meals are apparently specially prepared to order, unlike with the other restaurants the meals are pre-prepared and stored. Dragon Lady and Angelo's were good, but nothing to write home about. We did the Chef's Table and at least one of the dishes served had also been served at the Waterfront the day before (yet we paid $119 pp for 'special' meals). We think Princess Cruises do a much better job of the food in all aspects. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019

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