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10 Brisbane to Cruise to Nowhere Cruise Reviews

We had a very enjoyable cruise on the Pacific Aria. Our cabin (9090) was quite spacious with a balcony & spa bath. The stewards were fantastic with daily servicing and turn down service, even leaving a cute towel animal one evening ... Read More
We had a very enjoyable cruise on the Pacific Aria. Our cabin (9090) was quite spacious with a balcony & spa bath. The stewards were fantastic with daily servicing and turn down service, even leaving a cute towel animal one evening (a penguin). The activities were continuous, but the booking process was a bit frantic - queues of people waiting to book restaurants and activities upon boarding. We boarded in the first half hour and got a place on every activity and restaurant, but there were only a few places left in some cases. The restaurants were average, with Waterfront food and service being not good at all. The service at Salt was excellent, and the food was very good. The bar service was very good, and there were plenty of staff around asking if you wanted a drink. The quality of the activities was very good - I have attached the activity schedule & daily listing which is delivered to the cabin each night for anyone who is interested in going on this cruise. We had no idea what to expect on board and were pleasantly surprised by how many food & wine relate activities were available. My recommendations - as soon as you get on board go up and book your activities and restaurants. Make sure your wine and cocktail times are in the afternoon - drinking at 11am is not so great! Also, we lined up activities at 1pm, 2pm & 3pm - it was hard going! I would suggest doing the 1pm & 3pm only! The Martini & Cocktail Mixing classes were great - especially Agnes who ran the Martini one - so funny! The boat was clean and in quite good condition, aside from a mildly unpleasant smell from behind the bars when the dishwasher was running. The staff entertainment was not the best - the Sideshow Alley & Velvet Rope shows were quite amateur. There was a great piano singer though, Raymond Vee (I think). We had the beverage package - non-alcoholic. I don't think we saved anything, maybe broke even, but it was so nice being able to get juice, coffee, ice coffees, mocktails & water 'without paying' (as we had paid 3 months earlier). The drinks prices were very reasonable though - juices about $3 and cocktails mainly $12. The bar staff will make cocktails not on the menu upon request, if they are not busy. These usually cost more than $12 (up to $17). All in all we have a very enjoyable weekend and would go again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My husband and I went on our first cruise for our 10th Anniversary and it was absolutely amazing. Check in went smoothly, even though they were very busy, the staff were very polite. Embarkation went well, we only had to wait 20 mins ... Read More
My husband and I went on our first cruise for our 10th Anniversary and it was absolutely amazing. Check in went smoothly, even though they were very busy, the staff were very polite. Embarkation went well, we only had to wait 20 mins for our group to be called. Staff were great and all very helpful! Housekeeping were very helpful and friendly service, no request was too much. Always saying hello to us as we walked down the hall. Our cabin was just what we needed. We spent more time out and about than in our cabin. Couldn't get the aircon to work though. Food: Plantation food at dinner was a bit meh, but breakfast and lunch were great. Waterfront was lovely. Waiters were very efficient... but felt like they were hovering for our plates as it was so busy. Disembarkation went very well also. We had such an amazing time, next time we will take the kids!! The best holiday we've ever been on. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We recently boarded the Pacific Aria on a 3 night Food and Wine Cruise to nowhere. We have cruised several other times on both the Australian based Carnival ships and the Pacific Dawn and Jewel. I was looking forward to seeing this ... Read More
We recently boarded the Pacific Aria on a 3 night Food and Wine Cruise to nowhere. We have cruised several other times on both the Australian based Carnival ships and the Pacific Dawn and Jewel. I was looking forward to seeing this "new to P&O" ship. As far as first appearances go, most areas seemed to be beautifully re-furbished. There were several bars and lounges that were decorated nicely. Very sophisticated. Except for the interior of the lifts. They were ugly. I loved the outdoor areas around the main pool. Loved the lounges and the retractable roof. Great in the rain. The bars looked great but it was a pity I could not enjoy them because the air-conditioning was freezing and due to the warm weather we had been having, I unfortunately did not pack a jacket. Our cabin was an interior double on deck 6 and was spacious enough. The room had not been refurbished but the was not an issue. What was an issue was the toilet that didnt flush, the shower that was tricky to turn on and the temperature changed from hot to cold to hot again and also the room temperature was so cold, that it was uncomfortable to be in without laying under the doona. We had it turned to heat as far as it could go, and it was still freezing. We ate in the Pantry, the Waterfront and Salt Grill and we thorougly enjoyed all venues. We had a dinner in the Italian restaurant but I didn't rate it. I felt there could have been more events centred around the Food and Wine theme. We really wanted to do the Mix Academy but it was booked out by midday on day one before we had even sailed. Disappointing. We did a wine tasting by Watershed Wines and we enjoyed that. We also enjoyed the presentations by Chef Daniel. Very useful tips just wish there were more presentations like this. And menu sheets after the presentation so I could remember how he cooked things would have been great. I would have also liked to have been able to do some type of Galley Tour in keeping with the theme, and maybe a presentation from the captain or executive chef about the inner workings of the ship and/or galley. We didn't see any shows so can't comment on these. It was too cold to sit in the cold theatre on those uncomfortable chairs (tip for the ladies, the backs of the chairs rub right on the bra strap and after a while it hurts). I know I must sound like I'm wingeing; I'm not usually a complainer. I am booked to go on the Aria again next year and I'm actually looking forward to it. I'll just be better prepared next time. I just feel that the re-furbishment didn't go far enough. Even in the lifts, there was a sign with the old Holland America name " MS Ryndam". You can make an old ship look pretty, but you can't change the old bones and you will notice some problems due to the age. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This ship has seen better days, the cabins, going by ours and others of our friends who embarked on the two day sample cruise were very very small. We had a balcony and it was the smallest cabin we have ever had on any cruise and we have ... Read More
This ship has seen better days, the cabins, going by ours and others of our friends who embarked on the two day sample cruise were very very small. We had a balcony and it was the smallest cabin we have ever had on any cruise and we have done many. there was no drinking water, no fridge, the showers were miniscule with 'Shower curtains' if you please, no shower gel/soap in the bathroom which was so very tiny, our bathrooms on our yacht were bigger. No storage for suitcases, only one chair in the cabin to sit on, so it meant one person had to sit on the bed. Many people on the ship had no hot water, The service at the coffee shop and the bars was appalling, with long Que's, and with very long waits to be served. the coffee shop does not open until after Seven thirty in the morning, and then was under staffed, so no early morning Café Latte, plus you could not get one in the buffet Restaurant, most annoying. The Cabin attendants were almost useless, we asked 4 times to get the Queen bed made up into the two singles that were booked, this was finally done after we rang housekeeping for the second time at 11pm, we had to then vacate the cabin to let the attendants rectify the problem. The food in the main dinning room was unexciting with very small portions , some gold rated passengers we sat with told us the menus have not been changed for years and the food in other of Royal Caribbean Ships was much better. We found we could have an Entre, Main and Dessert, or a Soup Main and Dessert, but could not have the very small soup portion as well as an entre, could not have a salad and steamed veges with our Main, either. The only high light was the shows, which were first rate, and the entertainment in general was very, very good. The general consensus was, 'Royal Caribbean' sent this old tied ship down under hoping the 'Aussy's' don't know the difference, WELL SORRY,WE ALL DO. We were told we had to bring our own suit cases off the ship, which we did and on reflection it was probably a good idea, as we got off quicker. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Would not recommend to any one, 3 hour wait to check in & board after two computer break downs, boarding staff were so unorganised, we were in the line up for 2 hours then staff let people go through in front of us that had only waited ... Read More
Would not recommend to any one, 3 hour wait to check in & board after two computer break downs, boarding staff were so unorganised, we were in the line up for 2 hours then staff let people go through in front of us that had only waited 1 hour. 20 minute wait at all bars at any time of the day for the entire trip. Most of the staff on board were very unfriendly and very hard to communicate with as they didn't speak or understand english very well. Toilet in our room blocked up. I was happy with the food, although this one positive thing is not enough to encourage me to sail again with royal caribbean the legend of the seas. They advertised entertainment for three things that never to place. On departure when paying my bill, 45 minute wait in line up (again) they couldn't process my bill as there was an issue with payment through my credit card which turned out to be the cruse lines fault!! Very unhappy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Backing up the reviews previously, I can concur that this was a dreadful "taster" cruise for anyone. The 3 hour queue in the sun to board due to "technical" difficulties (which later turned out to be caused by a lack of ... Read More
Backing up the reviews previously, I can concur that this was a dreadful "taster" cruise for anyone. The 3 hour queue in the sun to board due to "technical" difficulties (which later turned out to be caused by a lack of training for staff on new procedures); the well deserved and highly anticipated cold drink in the bar after the boarding farce was met with long queues AGAIN. Bar staff were miserable as sin too. No Expresso Martini, as no expresso machine at the bar, No Pino Colada so no Daiquiris, No Apology accompanied either. Dinner was fine, nothing extraordinary by any means. Simple, non fussy fare. Service was good. Morning coffee and again, long QUEUES...aaargh! Even bigger QUEUE for breakfast, so decided on buffet. Gross! At least we did not have to wait 2 hours for our breakfast, according to another passenger. Lunch - small QUEUE but faced with very poor food. Pitiful "Royal" beef burger and chips, and a truly disgusting Spaghetti Seafood Marinara with FISH STICKS no actual seafood!!!! Photos of both shown to friends to who could not believe the poor quality. Never, never again will we book another RCI cruise - not worth the risk. Thankfully it was only two days and not longer. Feel really sorry for those using the experience to get a 'taster' for cruising as they will be choosing different holiday options in future ... as will I for a while. Princess and Celebrity were exceptional and the contrast between them and Royal Caribbean could not be any larger. P&O still preferable in my book. Land based resort holidays for me for a while... Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We eventually boarded the ship after 3 hours of waiting which was not a good start. We are Crown and Anchor members which usually means you get priority boarding but not in this case. We were told when putting our luggage in that they were ... Read More
We eventually boarded the ship after 3 hours of waiting which was not a good start. We are Crown and Anchor members which usually means you get priority boarding but not in this case. We were told when putting our luggage in that they were only boarding suites not all members? However staff were going up and down the line with cold water to alleviate the heat. When we got on board we went to the buffet for a late lunch where we found the food to be ok but the desert section was completely unappealing with fruit salad, jelly in a cup, biscuits and what looked like a mass produced sponge cut into cubes. The bar staff were completely snowed under as the cruise line pushes the drinks packages but does not allow enough staff to after for this. To wait for up to 45 minutes to be served is completely unacceptable. The bar lines were huge and people were getting very annoyed. The lack of staff extended to the dining staff where we had dinner the first night. We were seated at 7.45 pm and finished our desert at 10.30pm meaning we missed the show. too slow!! Breakfast the next morning was even worse. We were seated along with 8 other people at 8.10am and had to ask for our water glasses to be filled after 30 minutes. Coffee and tea were offered but never refilled. After an hour of waiting for breakfast and getting no answers from our wait staff I went to fetch the Maitre D to sort out the problem. He was no help as he told me to be seated and then disappeared. Another 20 minutes passed and a trolley with our breakfasts appeared but was then left as she said she was waiting for two more. At this stage one of the guests at our table told her if she did not serve them out then the guest would serve them out as we were all totally annoyedly this stage. I ended up waiting 90 minutes for oatmeal! We left the ship having never once seen our steward although the room was cleaned so he/she must have come. The food in the dining room at night was very nice and the second night of dining the service was much better. The ship is old and the hallways a bit musty. The pool areas are really nice and the Adults only solarium was lovely with healthy options for lunch at the Park Cafe.The bar in this area still had huge waits for drinks. There are things to like about this ship, the promenade is good, there is a kettle and mugs to have a cup of tea in your room, pool areas are lovely and the theatre is good but unless the staff issues are sorted out I will not be sailing on this ship again which is a shame as we were so looking forward to having a Royal Caribbean ship sailing out of our home port. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I booked this cruise as a spur of the moment decision and as it was over a weekend I didn't require time off from work. The pacific aria has just undergone a refurbishment and they did a great job on her. The various public venues ... Read More
I booked this cruise as a spur of the moment decision and as it was over a weekend I didn't require time off from work. The pacific aria has just undergone a refurbishment and they did a great job on her. The various public venues were great with many bars and little alcoves around the ship to enjoy your time on board. The staff on board were very friendly and helpful. It does though feel that it is slightly understaffed. This was mostly evident in the waterfront restaurant. It took quite some time for orders to be taken and then for the entree to be served. Also it felt that the casino was understaffed (and very small). With times when there was minimal staff on duties when the casino was busy and closing fairly early (1am) when there were still a few people willing to keep on gambling. The shows on board were great with 'side show alley' being a highlight. Also Taylor Moss, a country-rock vocalist being great. I travelled throughout the ship to watch her perform. A great talent. Looking forward to the next opportunity to travel on the pacific aria. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
50 percent of the public toilets on board were out of order. The floors of the ones which did work were often covered with (used) toilet paper and weren't clean. Paper towels to dry your hands weren't refilled once they were ... Read More
50 percent of the public toilets on board were out of order. The floors of the ones which did work were often covered with (used) toilet paper and weren't clean. Paper towels to dry your hands weren't refilled once they were empty. Many of the lifts were out of order. One 60 kg person travelling solo in the lift was enough to make it read "overloaded" and refuse to work. Lifts which did work often had cups and glasses piled into the corners and left there. Food in the Pantry was repetitive (same food every day) and ordinary in terms of standard. The Pantry is NOT buffet style. It's bain-marie food which you ask for and a crew-member then puts on a plate for you. Think Coles Cafeteria. It does eliminate the wastage (and the slow buffet queues) you see on the other P&O Australia ships, but it's still not a venue you look forward to dining in. On the first night, the Angelos and Dragon Lady restaurants were closed due to private functions. Waiting time for the Waterfront Restaurant was over an hour. Although the Waterfront restaurant is on Deck 7, it must be accessed from Deck 8. None of the public toilets on Deck 7 work. Of the 2 sets of female toilets on Deck 8, only 1 set is operational and it consists of 2 toilets, one of which is permanently locked. Advance bookings at the Waterfront restaurant are not permitted, however you needed to queue in order to get a beeper to come back later. We waited over an hour and then when our beeper went off we needed to queue AGAIN before finally being shown into the restaurant. Then when we finally got into the restaurant half the tables were vacant. Why?? The showers in the cabins were difficult. Initially the water would run dirty brown but it cleared after a minute or so. At 5 pm all we could get was hot water and no cold. At 11 pm all we could get was cold water and no hot. Air conditioning problems are rife. Some areas are arctic and some areas (like the sides of the Pantry and the Dome nightclub) are like sitting in a sauna. Entertainment was hit-and-miss. A Sit Down Comedy Club comedian on the last night was superb. A "comic" hypnotist and the resident entertainers were an outdated cliched yawn. The sound systems need to be worked out. If there was a live artist in one of the bars then it was difficult to carry on a conversation. Watching the people participating in Karaoke it became obvious they had no sound feedback so they couldn't hear themselves OR their backing music. The nightclub floor was largely empty as the DJ just put an album on and let it play through. When we asked if they'd play dance music we were told there were people on board from head office so the album was what they had to play. We were bored out of our minds on this ship. The adults-only pool area is a decent size but needs some options for shade. Regarding the shops, I'd forgotten a toothbrush and it turned out it wasn't possible to purchase one on board. Half the stock they DO have in the shops doesn't have prices on it. The VIP earlybird booking bonuses we were entitled to weren't provided so we needed to queue in line at reception to chase them. On a positive note, the beds were comfortable and the cabin stewards were friendly chaps. Drink prices are reasonable, even if the service is slow. Holland America must be laughing their heads off to have got rid of this ship. I've done at least a dozen cruises with various cruise lines and this is easily double-the-worst of them. If your idea of a great cruise is; * queuing for average food, * searching for a working toilet, * taking the stairs because the lifts don't work * doing trivia quizzes (win a HAT!) and * playing bingo then go for it. Otherwise, I suggest booking ANYTHING else. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015

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