23 Brisbane Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

Since I had not been on a cruise before, a friend asked me would I like to go to see if I would like it. I absolutely enjoyed it very much and I would like to go again. Having a disability which requires me to use a walking ... Read More
Since I had not been on a cruise before, a friend asked me would I like to go to see if I would like it. I absolutely enjoyed it very much and I would like to go again. Having a disability which requires me to use a walking stick and some limited movement, I was worried how I would manage, but I managed very well. From embarking to disembarking everything was Great, even the weather was perfect. All staff and crew were friendly and helpful. The stateroom was ideal for me., especially having grab rails in the shower and near the toilet. I enjoyed taking my time walking around the ships and I had no difficulty get on and off the tender when going ashore. I enjoyed the entertainment, movies and the wonderful food and I even got to see dolphins , the one thing I wanted to see. If you have a disability or mobility issues, I recommend checking out going on a cruise. Rough seas I think would be a challenge getting around, but I think I would stay in my stateroom, order room service and when the seas calm down, I would head out to enjoy everything the ship had to offer. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise simply for the itinerary. We didn't make it to the fiordlands due to weather, which we understand. The ship seemed understaffed and I've definitely been on happier ships. Late embarking led to harried crew ... Read More
We chose this cruise simply for the itinerary. We didn't make it to the fiordlands due to weather, which we understand. The ship seemed understaffed and I've definitely been on happier ships. Late embarking led to harried crew ordering us to our muster station, where we were told to move when we tried to put our heavy carry on luggage and stroller down. So sitting on a step which was the only available seating, we waited 40mins for the muster briefing to begin. Time enough I would have thought to drop our hand luggage and stroller in the cabin. When we did get to our cabin, it was to find a dirty plate with cold food under the bed along with a dirty sock and paper. I won't mention what was near the drinks tray, suffice to say the room felt vey dirty. Again I blame understaffing. The attitude of the crew improved toward the end of the first week however, the emphasis on 'cruise status' and the colour of your ships card was obvious all through the cruise. Very disappointing. The upper bunks in our cabin were incredibly uncomfortable, with mattresses like cement. We initiated a roster system so the adults could take turns having a comfortable nights sleep in the lower bunk. Princess it seems have iniated a Third Class system, keeping tradition with the Titanic. While there were some fun moments, those aimed at a younger demographic for a change, they were far and few between. Our grandson loved kids club, and was cared for beautifully by them. Sadly there were no really child friendly outdoor areas, and instead of an adults sanctuary, which was in fact the whole ship, we could have done with a family sanctuary, one to keep out the grumpy older passengers. We are a fit 63 years old, yet on this ship I felt 30 years old still the overly loud music played near the pool was a poor effort to acknowledge younger minded passengers. I'm a retired RN, and I understand the special needs of the elderly however, almost an entire ship devoted to them alone is too much. If the line only wants that demographic on board they should be fair and state as much in their marketing. Traditional dining in the Rigaletto restaurant was fantastic. Our waiter Rod and assistant waiter Joel were unbelievably caring and attentive. Service was impeccable. They were incredibly patient with our grandson and intuitive of our needs. We can't thank them enough. Buffet dining was relatively bland and hot foods were especially lacking in variety at breakfast and lunch. Food options it appears were sacrificed for a larger seating area, which given the number of passengers who ignored signs designating tables for the disabled, it seems there still weren't enough. We had no trouble finding a table somewhere everyday though. We paid over $600 to go to Hobbiton on a bus with non-existent air-conditioning for an hour both ways, were rushed back to the bus because the driver gave us the wrong time. Too huge a group meant standing for too long in the heat, with a couple of people close to fainting. Not worth the cost. Price of alcohol on board was phenomenal. A bottle of wine on board selling for $55 can be bought for $30 in Australia. Wine by the glass averaged at $15 a glass. Cocktails averaged at $15 a glass. Our cabin was noisy on port days as the ship docked and the disembarkation equipment was erected. On one night at 10.30pm a balloon drop party with loud rock and roll music was held 100 metres from our room and went on until 11.05pm, waking our grandson and his designated babysitter - grandfather, but then again third class doesn't count. Considering the complaints we had to hear from certain upper deck passengers when forced to queue at ports, I understand the need to inflict the party on us. If I sound a little unhappy it's because I am, an expensive, long anticipated holiday was a disappointment. Princess line please be honest in your marketing approach, and try to remember the colour of your cruise card just depends on how many repeat cruises you make. Mine will forever remain the colour it is. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Booked two Suite cabins #11117 and #11116 - Cabin was ok but a little dated - clean and reasonable size - bed was comfortable, but pillows cheap and hard. Cabin attendants were really good. When you book a suite with P&O you have no ... Read More
Booked two Suite cabins #11117 and #11116 - Cabin was ok but a little dated - clean and reasonable size - bed was comfortable, but pillows cheap and hard. Cabin attendants were really good. When you book a suite with P&O you have no recognition or any worthwhile benefits at all and certainly don't feel like a VIP. They need to take note of what Royal Caribbean do for guests who book suite's. We were suppose to have priority boarding, but apparently there was a wedding party that they decided had priority above suite guests. It started to rain and only when bitterly complaining (as i had my mother in a wheel chair outside) that they finally allowed us in to register and board. The common areas were over crowded at all times (except when we docked at Airlie Beach) and you could never get seats around the pool. Dining areas were also way overcrowded (what i would refer to as a pig trough) and constantly bumping into people and queuing for meals. It would take nearly 20 minutes or more to get a meal then line up to get a drink at the bar - by then my food was cold. Food on the whole was really average and in some cases disgusting. The main restaurant was really old, boring and nothing more than a Coles cafeteria. If your disabled and in a wheelchair then forget it as it's so not wheelchair friendly. Had so much trouble pushing the wheelchair around and doors that were constantly closed made it impossible. Even corridors that seemed blocked all the time, which meant i had to go all the way back and around the ship. Lifts were a real pain and spent so much time waiting to get to different levels on the ship. Entertainment and activities were just average. I would never step foot on another P&O cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The ship is a smaller on then the P&O Jewel and the P&O Dawn which makes it much easier to get around and to learn the lay of the land. Half the amount of passengers, than the Jewel or the Dawn make it infinitely more hygienic. We ... Read More
The ship is a smaller on then the P&O Jewel and the P&O Dawn which makes it much easier to get around and to learn the lay of the land. Half the amount of passengers, than the Jewel or the Dawn make it infinitely more hygienic. We spent a delightful week without the smell of effluent which is always a bonus. Loosing the smell of effluent on the open decks is always a delight, as is not contracting a bout of Novo Virus. The Aria is not a new ship but it has been looked after well. There are clean carpet, wallpaper and curtains with no stains decorating the whole ship. The upholstery on seats is in good condition as is bench tops, tables and other furnishings. The ship has been renovated but there are signs of age here and there. Being wary of the Novo virus I didn't swim in the pools but they appeared quite clean and smelled fresh. The main pool has a dome over the top and they do not hesitate to close it if the weather has even the slightest change. Theatre There's a small intimate theatre where films are shown several times a day. The screen is the same size as our largest television at home but can been seen easily enough from all over the room. Parents tend to use the theatre as a baby sitting area and have no problem dumping kids of all ages there, leaving them unsupervised to the annoyance of anyone who actually went to see the film. This was major turn-off and I was put off going back. Restaurants The Pantry, the main eating area is like a food court in any shopping mall. You walk around choosing from each different 'stall' what you feel like eating. Don't be afraid to put you plate over the counter and ask to have the chips put on the plate you already have food on. Don't be afraid to ask for a bigger serving either. This new idea is to stop pigs from loading their plates a foot high with food they will waste, to stop dirty people from pawing the slice of bread that will end up on your plate, to stop mouth-breathers from coughing/sneezing all over that same slice of bread. And it works. You know the food on your plate is as clean as it can be for you. After a couple of meals form The Pantry though, everything started to taste the same. There's a lot of choice there but nothing is exciting. Believe me, I know how that sounds but it is what it is. In other restaurants the meals are ordered by you and served to your table by wait-staff. We ate in The Waterfront and The Dragon Lady, you should too, they are a nice experience for you and are part of your package but you have to book into them. I don't know why you have to book because there are always empty seats everywhere maybe its to add to the ambiance. These meals are a little more exciting and we enjoyed the change of scenery. Note: a glass of Cab. Sav. red in The Dragon Lady was $13.00 with the bottle being $49.00 the same bottle in the bar upstairs was $28.00. Seems everyone thinks corkage is a big thing. I don't mind a surcharge because its a dining room but that $21.00 mark-up, is over the top. We are on a ship ! Surely, it all came from the same storage pallet ! One thing we did do, each night we visited a little shop in The Pantry and had the girl put together a cheese platter which we bought back to the cabin to have with a wine and a movie. A small indulgence that we enjoyed very much. The Beauty Salon (These days it's called a Day Spa 'sheesh') We bought the 10,20,30 package from the salon Elemis and did not regret it. If you can't afford all of them and need to choose one, buy the seaweed wrap. The attendant named BM is wonderful, ask for her if you can. She sure knows how to spoil you and leaves nothing to chance. Every little detail is attended to and you are made to feel quite special. BM never missed saying hello to me when she saw me around the ship later and even made some time in her very busy schedule to stop and ask me how I was feeling for the rest of the week. I cant say enough about this attendant, she has a wonderful skill she is an ultimate professional that has a very personal touch. I thoroughly enjoyed the Fire and Ice mani-pedi with Chi-Chi who is such a lovely person and certainly knows what she is doing and Zen who did my crystal massage is an excellent professional. We went to a couple of seminars such as the “How to Get Your Metabolism Going” and “Feet and Posture” (or something like that). They were interesting and we would have attended more except for the 'hard sell' at the end of everything in which you participate. I totally got sick of having to listen to the spiel of how I really needed to buy this or that product just because I turned up. This made the seminars/talks/conversations very impersonal and I came to feel like I was being perceived as nothing more and an open wallet regardless of how it was disguised. So if you attend these things be prepared for that hard sell at the end because, regardless of how personal they are making it all feel, they are going to go for your money just as soon as they get to it make no mistake. Cabin We had a balcony cabin and there's a lot to be said for that. We came on a weeks cruise just to catch some well needed R&R (work life balance n all that) so we indulged in some massages and the balcony. We spent a lot of time sleeping, resting and getting away from people , the cabin with the balcony was ample room for us to stretch out and sleep, watch TV (lots o free DVDs available) eat and relax. There are a few things aging in the cabin, some cracked tiles, worn metals, scratched surfaces on the porcelain, just little things like that but on the whole the cabin is comfortable. We must remember that The Aria is not a new ship. Cabin Attendants I talked to various passengers around the traps and most were pleased with their cabin attendants. I was however surprised to see that I was not the only one that was not completely happy with the cabin service. The cabin was clean, don't get me wrong but the service, while cheerful, was not always satisfactory. For instance, one day we had to make our own bed, towels that we left on the floor were not always replaced and requests were not always attended to, I ordered two DVDs for a nights viewing, when they had not been delivered by lunch, I reminded the attendant of my request, then again at 4pm and again at 6 with the reply, “I will get them for you before 9pm” they never came that night but were at our door the next morning but just a little too late. I know these are small things but they add up, over a week. Miscellaneous Even though you are only cruising the Whitsunday Reef, ring your mobile provider and have them turn off international roaming. I manually turned off IR on my cell but my provider still charged me for international rates even though we never left Australian waters then my data went over the limit and I was charged international pricing for this as well. I now have to have one of those extra long calls to Telstra. Don't bother taking the walking jaunt around the ship on Deck 6 while it would be lovely, there are always a bunch of smokers out there waiting to make you feel sick. It's hard to believe some people still smoke in 2018 but there they are, on Deck 6. In my time, smoking will be made illegal in all public places eventually, even on the Aria but not just yet. To all the smokers reading this, Namaste. The washing machine is 3 x $1.00 coins (28 minutes cycle on normal/warm) and the dryer is 3 x $1.00 (45 minute cycle) free detergent. Free games such as Jenga, Scrable, Chess are available on the floor with the internet stations. Internet packages are available but are very expensive. 90 Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I have been to almost two dozen countries and on dozens of holidays, but never have I wished for a holiday to end, until this one. My partner and I chose this holiday because the locations were appealing and because of my disability, ... Read More
I have been to almost two dozen countries and on dozens of holidays, but never have I wished for a holiday to end, until this one. My partner and I chose this holiday because the locations were appealing and because of my disability, other mobility impaired people, find the method of cruising enjoyable and more convenient. Right from our booking experience in November, the booking agents were discriminatory and told me that accessible rooms were $400 more; I had a sour taste in my mouth. I wanted so badly to be convinced that I was wrong and that P&O were capable of providing a good experience, but sadly I wasn’t. I was made to feel like a second-class citizen from the start. When we embarked, (five hours late, with no compensation), we went to wash up in our room, only to find that our “accessible room”, that according to the booking agent would suit my needs, wasn’t accessible at all! I would suggest more adequate education is needed for booking agents. This was extremely distressing so my partner spoke to reception that called a man named Sid and apparently all the rooms were full. I became quite flustered and upset and explained to Sid that the lack of useable facilities would mean that I couldn’t wash and in the night would have wet myself or would have to find one of the very few, (far too few), disabled public toilets. Oh joy! He said he would ask if any of the SIX accessible room occupants would swap and let us know. I said if not I wanted to leave but apparently, akin to prison, you can’t do that. Seriously, only six disabled rooms is ridiculous though!!! Fortunately for us an accessible room had been allocated to a completely able bodied young couple, so we swapped. They were compensated and we were not! Second-class citizen? I understand that poor weather is beyond P&O’s control, however, weather forecasts exist and we were constantly assured that P&O have full faith in the Bureau of Meteorology, yet, P&O allowed us to waste $150 sailing the rough seas to Whitehaven Beach where we were greeted by cloudy skies and three torrential downpours. I honestly feel like it was a total waste of money, but the greed of P&O outweighed the passenger enjoyment. Further to that, the fact that P&O even run cruises during monsoon season, where it is highly likely the cruises will be uncomfortable and unpleasant is wrong in itself and to be quite honest, robbery. The process of re-embarking was also so disorganized, it took absolutely ages, security were so disorganized and seemed really uncomfortable with having to re-board a disabled passenger. I understand that passenger safety is important to avoid death and lawsuits but in Cairns after we sat waiting for hours, our excursion was cancelled, so we were left to figure out a plan for the day. This was my third visit to Cairns, and without a car, it’s a very very small city! There wasn’t any compensation or genuine apology for the fact that due to the awful weather, Willis Island was skipped all together. The way back to Brisbane was so rough that the outdoor areas were all blocked off and the small space they cordoned off was partly for smokers and the other part smelt so much of smoke that it made me feel sick. Two of the shows were also cancelled which was very disappointing, particularly The Velvet Rope. Our arrival in Brisbane was delayed by 6.5 hours so we missed our flight and the extremely unhelpful man at reception gave us a phone number and without help or financial assistance from P&O we had to pay $192 to book a new flight! In a more general aspect, there is a significant lack of disabled toilets and the one on Level 7 next to The Marquee shouldn’t even really be called disabled, it’s just a bigger ladies toilet. The food in The Pantry was never more than lukewarm and was so tasteless. The food I had was always dry and overcooked too. I’d also like to comment on our room. It was the front room, the furthest from the lift if an emergency occurred and even though it was as accessible room, the room entry and toilet entry had a thick metal strip that my walker couldn’t roll over it had to be bumped over. As the poor weather escalated our room, (right at the front), became more and more unstable and as the weather deteriorated, the noises in our room were so loud that for the last three days we couldn’t sleep. I tried earplugs but it was too loud, so I tried sound-blocking headphones, but it was so loud that even on the maximum volume, I couldn’t hear the words to my audiobook. On the last night we even went and found a couch in a bar to try and get a couple of hours of sleep. I don’t know what it was, perhaps waves smashing the boat, but in our room, it literally sounded like bombs were being dropped every few seconds and the genius that put wooden cabins in a metal boat is responsible for a constant creaking sound. Like I said, I’d like to have a positive memory but it’s the worst experience I’ve ever had and all I have to remember it is severe sleep deprivation and a cold. The P&O reception staff has such a lack of knowledge it was astonishing. The whole experience made me feel like an inadequate member of society who wasn’t welcome and was just an unnecessary burden. The P&O tagline is “like no place on earth” for me that place was hell. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We have done 10 cruises before this, all small expensive boutique cruises. It was time for a short break and in desperation booked on the Aria for a seven night cruise. All the negative reviews and media did not help our stress levels, ... Read More
We have done 10 cruises before this, all small expensive boutique cruises. It was time for a short break and in desperation booked on the Aria for a seven night cruise. All the negative reviews and media did not help our stress levels, but we needed a quick break. We were in for a massive surprise. Our balcony suite was really nice, all the staff friendly and helpful. Entertainment was great. We loved the food. Salt is a must. Dragon Lady and Angelos were also good. My favorite was the Pantry. I used to grab a plate and walked around picking my favorite bit from every stall. Waterfront is average to good. Only one negative, if you like your eggs perfect its going to be hit and miss. The ship is very accessible for the disabled and there were heaps of people in wheelchairs having a great time like all the others. We only had a long queue to get on the ship, but its the same as when we fly international. This is mainly due to people not following their embarkation times and showing up whenever they want to. The one other issue raised in the past is the ship not catering for smokers. This is not true anymore as deck 12 has a great spot high up for the smokers with the Dome Bar just inside to grab a cocktail. We had 100km/h winds and 6 meter swells on the way back from Vanuatu. The ship coped magnificently with only a small amount of rolling and pitching considering the weather. (I am an ex naval officer who has spend a lot of time at sea in different ships and atrocious conditions.) All in all it was the best value holiday we ever had. We will be back. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We had to cancel our 4x4 trip to the Simpson desert. I was looking forward to this trip , the car was ready and the bags was packed. Then my husband had to have an emergency hip replacement. This would have been his 3 in just 5 months. ... Read More
We had to cancel our 4x4 trip to the Simpson desert. I was looking forward to this trip , the car was ready and the bags was packed. Then my husband had to have an emergency hip replacement. This would have been his 3 in just 5 months. Holding back the tears with the lump in your throat as the specialist explains the procedure once more , To help my husband to heal I thought of a cruise, he got the ok from the doctor and all I had to do was book. ITS THE BEST THING WE HAVE EVER DONE LAST MINUTE CRUISE. Was relaxing , healing , exciting , it gave us something to look forward to. Booking the cruise was easy , I had a cruise booked within weeks. Our cabin was perfect, especially the cabin crew. They made us laugh everyday. We ate breakfast and dinner in the restaurant every morning and night, and enjoyed every meal. We had a ball with the passengers as they where all friendly. My husband and I was able to visit the islands as disembarking was easy . For the entertainment well , we only watched a few. As we enjoyed sitting by the bar playing the games and chatting with other passengers . We had a ball. This cruise was healing, exciting, relaxing , comfortable and very friendly Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We travelled in a group of 4 couples on this short cruise from Brisbane and had a very good time. The main entertainment was several comedy shows, some rated PG which were (usually) ok for children, and some R rated for the adult themes ... Read More
We travelled in a group of 4 couples on this short cruise from Brisbane and had a very good time. The main entertainment was several comedy shows, some rated PG which were (usually) ok for children, and some R rated for the adult themes and language. We preferred the PG rated shows, which showcased the quick minds of the comedians without the swearing. I think that the nature of the cruise meant that there were very few children on board. The shows were generally very good, and we really loved the gong show, where fellow passengers could have a crack at stand up comedy - what a surprise that was! But by far the best entertainment was the range of extremely talented musicians on board. A fabulous singer/guitarist at the Oasis setting the relaxing mood, the girl with the haunting voice at the Lido, the piano player in the Blue Room and the band (Alter Ego?) at Oceans Bar, who took requests and could play and sing anything! The musicians were all superb. Now the food - we all thought that the 'food court' style of The Pantry was a positive step up from the usual buffet and the food there was simple and tasty. It is hard to get a table here though and tables are not cleared very quickly. Breakfast at the Waterfront was pretty good, but other meals were a bit hit or miss. Angelo's (the Italian) was average and Salt was disappointing (both our fish dishes were overcooked). Service is generally slow. We were unable to get into The Dragon Lady even though we tried booking after lunch on the first day - so get in quick if you want to eat here. Drinks: Coffee is best in Oceans Bar. The mocktails were way too sweet so we ordered them with soda water to dilute them. (Refreshment package was well used). Favourite cocktail - Pink ginger cosmopolitan! Drinks seemed to be diluted later in the evening. Suggestion to management: Move the trivia to a larger venue - maybe the Dome? People were sitting on the floor! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We picked this cruise because we we invited to cruise with friends that surprised us with them renewing their vows. The Captain did the service and the staff made the day so very special for our friends.It was very special to be there with ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we we invited to cruise with friends that surprised us with them renewing their vows. The Captain did the service and the staff made the day so very special for our friends.It was very special to be there with them to see them do it again after 30 years. I was their bridesmaid 30 years ago and was so happy to be there again this time and be part of it. All staff concerned were very professional and made the trip just so special. The fine dinning waiters from table 10 were absolutely spot on with their service and deserve a Huge 10 out of 10. Thank you guys for making out trip memorable. All in all considering this was our 1st cruise we would give the whole experience a huge thumbs up. Thanks again for helping me with my dissabilities. I was very impressed with the hygiene practiced by the staff and the lovely personalities of all of the staff. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Sailed from Sydney to Darwin on Sea Princess. Ship is showing its age a little, but well maintained, clean and fabulous crew and amenities. Cabin (C627) balcony suite was small but very comfortable, clean and in good condition, ... Read More
Sailed from Sydney to Darwin on Sea Princess. Ship is showing its age a little, but well maintained, clean and fabulous crew and amenities. Cabin (C627) balcony suite was small but very comfortable, clean and in good condition, comfortable bed, very quiet and not far from lifts. Cafe dining buffet was good (probably 7 out of 10), and restaurants were very good (8 out of 10), but steak house was divine (9 out of 10 - no one is perfect, but this went close!!). Fantastic, friendly and helpful staff everywhere despite being poorly paid (they rely heavily on tips to make a reasonable living). Evening entertainment was fantastic, particularly geared for an older audience. Very few children on the cruise, and fortunately those that were on board (this time) were quiet and well behaved. Excellent value for money and Princess cruises will be well up on our list for our next cruise adventure. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Why can't their be an area that is not focused on alcohol. What ever happened to family dance night where there is no bar or alcohol involved. As a family we love all activities. We paid for the gold tickets for the adventure park ... Read More
Why can't their be an area that is not focused on alcohol. What ever happened to family dance night where there is no bar or alcohol involved. As a family we love all activities. We paid for the gold tickets for the adventure park and our children couldn't use their tickets because the adventure park office didn't open until the third day of cruising. We have one adult daughter, three teenaged youth and one under 12 child. We don't drink neither do our children. We participated in all the dress up parties but they were overcrowded. If you had children you had to sit it out because they couldn't come join in the fun it's not appropriate to have alcohol around them. Every floor had a bar and the cruise parties were alcohol focused and we didn't want our son or youth around that. We took our son up to the children's den and there was nothing up their for him to do. Overall, the food, staff and accommodation was good but it would have been perfect if there were options for non-alcohol drinking adults and there adult children. We wanted to listen to the comedy but that was in the bar. We wanted to watch a family movie but there was bingo in the auditorium. Disappointed with not enough options for families. We went swimming after breakfast and guess what everyone is drinking alcohol. Went to spend time in the spa pool, well they were drinking their too. My son wants to cruise again soon, but the alcohol focus is a turn off for me. Our bathroom had built in dirt in the hand basin. Two adults in our group complained about hitting their head on the upper bunk bed. No towels for the swimming area. Including myself. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Lovely ports of call made us choose this itinerary and adult medium ship. Dining was excellent, lectures varied and interesting, the evening entertainment was on the whole very good but the Headliners on ship singers and dancers were ... Read More
Lovely ports of call made us choose this itinerary and adult medium ship. Dining was excellent, lectures varied and interesting, the evening entertainment was on the whole very good but the Headliners on ship singers and dancers were absolutely excellent. All very talented and ranked as good as any west end show. The cabin was the problem A86 mid aft four down from midships on port side. See cabin review and beware! Not worth the money. Excursions were varied and we took advantage of many in countries as Australia, New Zealand, Papa New Guinea, Japan, South Korea and China all well organised on time and educational. The dining area was well laid out although our table 48 was over the top of the propellor shafts and not only noisy but juddered from the vibrations. Most ships seem to think that rear ship for dining front for theatre and entertaining all at low level. Better if higher up, less shaking and stick the night club and gyms down the rear. Conversation had to be raised when ship moving above 17 knots, obviously designers never take a holiday on cruise ships. Still did not spoil a wonderful holiday (except cabin) see below. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
The 4 of us are from Sydney. We flew to Brisbane, booked an Uber taxi to the cruise terminal. The ship is small, it my 5th cruise with the Princess line. I'm only interested in short cruises, my budget and time allows me to do this. ... Read More
The 4 of us are from Sydney. We flew to Brisbane, booked an Uber taxi to the cruise terminal. The ship is small, it my 5th cruise with the Princess line. I'm only interested in short cruises, my budget and time allows me to do this. Passenger service desk was attentive and great customer service, there were 3 printing stations to print and track your expenses. A few families due to the school holidays, a few Asians, but mainly Aussies, and all age groups. There was also 2 weddings performed in this cruise. When the ship left Brisbane, there was no real entertainment like they do on Golden and Diamond Princess, just sad and no real vibe. Embarkment and Disembarkement was excellent, as one of us had a disability. The staterooms on Sea Princess are very small, but you get by. Our room attendant, Jayson was great, and as always we tipped him. I felt a lot of rocking and slightly sea sick in the stateroom when siting down, I think it's because we were at the back of the ship, but for sleeping no problem, as we were out on the deck most of the day. All other room attendant and staff always acknowledged our presence when walking pass. The ship needs some refurbishment and especially with plumbing issues. Some rooms had big toilet issues. We dined in the Rigoletto dining room, for 5.30pm sitting. Our waiters Vladyslau and Rodigo was great, and ensured we we satisfied with our meals - we tipped them too. Roast beef dish was melt in your mouth, Curtis Stone was offered on the menu - the seafood stew was terrible. Paella dish was also terrible. The seafood terrine was delicious. The Horizon buffet is the same as usual, just ok to if you are hungry or if you want to pig out. There is always something there for you eat. Great desserts and presentation. New Zealand ice cream bar is no longer free, you must now pay. Coffee no matter what is terrible, but you get by. The Terrace Grill was fine, but there was a lot of wastage with people taking more than they should on to their plate....just plain greedy. The piano/singer, Funch was great with oldies and mid 40-50s. Did not like the group band Steel or the comedian with his farting jokes, people were walking out. I guess they were cheap to hire. Princess is cutting down on expenses, treasure hunt was cancelled. Did not partake in activities. Karoke was held for 3 nights, 1st night we had a terrible, boring host. 2nd night did not attend, 10.30pm starting time....rather a late start. 3rd night was great with a new host, and the audience wanted more. The music book choice is rather bulky and tack-icky, taking too long to find a song choice, and disorganised. Overall our 3 nights was good, to relax, to recharge, and to eat and eat more, with great weather. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Just back from an eight day cruise to the South Pacific. What a wonderful time we had. Couldn't ask for anything more from the crew and the facilities on board. My only negatives and perhaps I am being harsh was the day stopover in ... Read More
Just back from an eight day cruise to the South Pacific. What a wonderful time we had. Couldn't ask for anything more from the crew and the facilities on board. My only negatives and perhaps I am being harsh was the day stopover in Lito, still wondering why we stopped there. Mystery Islanf was beautiful, sparkling clean water. Not sure about Port Vila, cheap duty free. Drinks aboard are reasonably priced, stubble of fourex gold was $6.50 US. We had contemplated buying the drinks package, $66 AUS before we left, $79 US once on board, a bit steep. You would to drink an awful lot to be in front. Food was good, went o Romeo and Juliet formal dining for first couple of nights, ended up eating dinner at Windjammer which was great and less formal, heaps of food and good quality. The staff both in housekeeping and bars were very helpful and would rate them very high. The only downside, is that the Legend will soon leave Australian waters for good, I hope a Royal Caribbean have a replacement ship in mind for Brisbane, not keen on travelling to Sydney for catch a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
By Far my most enjoyable family cruise. Our room attendant was fantastic, the food attendants in the Windjammer were on top of the food, cleanliness and drink service. The variety of foods to choose from was very good. I think the ... Read More
By Far my most enjoyable family cruise. Our room attendant was fantastic, the food attendants in the Windjammer were on top of the food, cleanliness and drink service. The variety of foods to choose from was very good. I think the only complaint I heard from my group was BBQ was not always available, and a bit of dryer chicken here and there. Several nights there were extra servings of Soups & deserts like the warm chocolate and banana strudell MMMM MMM. Lots of variety of activities available and something for all ages. I thoroughly enjoyed the mini-golf together with my daughter and as it is available 24 hours, we could putt through at out own pace without holding anybody up, which is great as I am usually on O2, so I slipped it off to be a bit more free (but slower) to play. Embarkation was quick and easy as I am priority assisted and disembarkation was an absolute breeze! The quickest EVER to pick up our bags on Tuesday and go through customs etc. we were off the ship and in our car by 9am! :) I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday on board and my husband found it very easy to organise a special touch to celebrate it at dinner. The chocolate cake was moist enough to me to be a mud cake with like a layer of gnache of some sort chilled in a layer in it. The entertainment at night was varied and as I had seen a few shows opted to try for a few different things like the quizz's, watching karioke and the casino. The Magician Comedien Nick Nikolas was awesome and performed on 2 nights. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
chose a panoramic suite for its size - 220 sq.ft My wife requires a walker for mobility and when beds are apart cannot get walker all the way into the room cabin 7553 is about 170 and when compared to 7057, 7553 is about 2.5 ft. ... Read More
chose a panoramic suite for its size - 220 sq.ft My wife requires a walker for mobility and when beds are apart cannot get walker all the way into the room cabin 7553 is about 170 and when compared to 7057, 7553 is about 2.5 ft. narrower. A hell of a lot of space. We were charged the same amount as suite 7057 which was occupied by my sister-in-law and her daughter. There were no pool deck bbqs. or lunches There were no aerial shows although all the equipment was there. 1 lift stuck on level 8 for the last 3 days of the cruise. top tier event held on 8th night out of 11 night cruise all staff were excellent though short staffed. The dining room waiters were excellent. Our table waiters made coming to the dining room an adventure. Overheard that the main room dining were down to 3 chefs on each floor. Will not travel again with RCI Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We have heard great reviews about this ship approx 1hr after boarding I wanted to get off and out of there when you walk in there is nobody to greet you and show you to your rooms which you can not access until 1300hrs this is beyond a ... Read More
We have heard great reviews about this ship approx 1hr after boarding I wanted to get off and out of there when you walk in there is nobody to greet you and show you to your rooms which you can not access until 1300hrs this is beyond a joke as I am disabled and needed to have a rest. Inside this feels very closed in and cramped it needs to be opened up more from what I could see around the ship this needed a serious overhaul with everything as everything looked to old hat in the way things are done I have disembarked today and was glad to get off the staff when available were help full but it looks like this is sailing on the cheap. This seems to very under staffed with the way things are done around the ship. If this is a preview of what the other R.C.ships are like this has turned be of going with them. Entertainment was good if you could afford to play the pokies or spend you time at the bars the shows when they were shown was good. I had noticed that around the ship that some of the power points were hanging out of the walls and would consider dangerous as some one getting to close could rip their leg open or worse get a electric shock. Because there was not much to keep the children occupied they would run stupid like getting lifts and keeping them so no other pax could catch them I had seen this happen for approx 15 min. Where was security to keep them in check and also stop them from running around the decks and knocking pax over but I know they will go to almost any length to annoy other pax Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
7 night Barrier Reef cruise. The Pacific Dawn is now around 25 years old and its beginning to show with dated decor (read lots of browns, orange and cream) everywhere on board. Time for a revamp. Those seeking a five star pampering ... Read More
7 night Barrier Reef cruise. The Pacific Dawn is now around 25 years old and its beginning to show with dated decor (read lots of browns, orange and cream) everywhere on board. Time for a revamp. Those seeking a five star pampering are well advised to research before booking with P&O as this ship is not in the five star game. It's a 3 1/2 star liner at best and it doesn't hold itself out to be any more which is fine as it targets the biggest demographic in Australia and does it well. If you're looking for sophisticated elegance try elsewhere just don't whinge when this doesn't live up to lofty expectations. You get what you pay for and the line delivers on most counts. The on board entertainment was quite good and it kept most of the 2000 guests entertained. The top deck was pretty much taken over by the bogan crowd with all their, look at me, tatts on display. The amount of drinks sold on board over the 7 days must be staggering as it was unusual to walk anywhere on the boat without seeing someone with a beer or cocktail in hand, but to their credit, I didn't see any signs of aggression as staff kept everything running smoothly. Bar Prices: Bar prices were comparable to South Australian bar prices which is to say - high! Still as everyone one on board was on holidays that didn't seem to matter at all as they must have sold a few truck-loads of beer and cocktails. Restaurants. Waterfront restaurant was very good although the steaks were pretty low quality - but when you’re pumping out maybe hundreds of meals at a time the overall experience is positive. Waiting staff were great with hardly any delay between courses. Plantation restaurant - buffet style, lots of choice - all you can eat, and looking at the size of a large percentage of the guests on board, that's a lot. There’s an awful lot of negative reviews of this buffet but the constant lineup of guests puts paid to those whines. Not too many concerned about diet on this cruise! It seemed to be all about quantity. Luna restaurant - We had Japanese menu at $29.00 PP. Fabulous tasting menu of Japanese food. highly recommend. Best dinner on the ship. Salt Grill - Luke Mangan - $49.00 PP. Quality top end ambiance. Excellent staff. The ocean trout main was excellent. The steak; well it was cooked but it looked like it was sourced from a Coles 3 pack and cooked on the plate at Bunnings on a Saturday morning. I’ve had a heck of a lot better at my local pubs. So on that score it was a bad fail. Poor reflection of the brand. Cabins. TIP - starboard (odd numbered cabins) offered better views of tender operations, ports and Willis Island on this cruise. We stayed in a mini suite so it was bright and airy with room to move. A high note being the towel animals our cabin stewards made up with the beach towels in our cabin on a couple of nights. The one HUGE issue we had on the entire trip was the aircon which was set to just above freezing and could only be modified to even colder!! The only saving grace being we could open the cabin door and let beautiful sea air in which was much preferable to cold aircon. This detracted from the whole cruise experience as both my wife and I came down with colds on the second day which lasted all of the cruise. This being a huge issue as when you come in from heat outside into cold cabins and back out again, it plays havoc with your respiratory system. And it wasn't just us, I spoke to many other guests and they all said the same thing. Damn cold. Also felt very cool temperatures in bars and some restaurants. To be fair, I called maintenance and they came quickly and checked it but nothing changed and it remained cold. The end result of which, was on the last days of the cruise, a lot of people had raspy, hacking coughs, which if P&O is concerned over on-board illnesses (and they better be) they must give this matter urgent attention. Shore tours. The shore tours are expensive but that is probably one way of paying for the big catamarans they hire as tender boats to escort guests to shore. The ships lifeboats are an interesting way to get to shore as this is all part of the holiday experience. The reef cruise trips are close to actual prices but you’re paying a premium for land content – to hire the buses. TIP. Rent a car. I hired a car in both Port Douglas and Cairns. The rent a car offices in Port Douglas are only a 4 minute walk from the marina where the tender drops you off. Then you've got the day to explore. I drove up to Daintree and Mossman Gorge and did tour around Port Douglas. if you can share with a couple of others this makes for a cheap day out as you’re not subject to tour operators timeframes and you see equivalent of three shore tours for about a quarter of the price. In Cairns, catch a shuttle bus at Yorkeys Knob $15 return into Cairns or share a cab as we did $48 (one way). We drove up to Palm Cove which is the best kept secret not covered on any shore tour. I wasn't the only guest who rented a car though in Port Douglas so pay to book well beforehand as they sold out. Limited Mobility The ship is quite wheelchair accessible however getting to shore when ship moors off shore as it does on all stops on this tour requires tenders and some effort moving through crew quarters and service elevators. With the tenders there are steps to be negotiated so some ability to walk must be factored in although with some of the big catamarans guests can travel up a ramp. And this with calm seas. If its choppy, I’d be very careful before trying to negotiate that. You MUST check beforehand at each stop. All in all, good experience. It’s a floating moving hotel and the crew kept it safe and clean. Its run like a very well oiled machine. It’s not for the sophisticated traveller who wants a pampering but it does the job very well as I’m sure all the guests who put on 5kg (and that would be a lot) would agree. All they need to do is fix the damn aircon. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Like others, read a lot of reviews of the Aria after booking and surprised at all the negative stuff. Well, you can ignore all of the whiners, the Aria is a fine ship. Boarding in Brisbane for an 11 day trip to the Islands was a breeze, ... Read More
Like others, read a lot of reviews of the Aria after booking and surprised at all the negative stuff. Well, you can ignore all of the whiners, the Aria is a fine ship. Boarding in Brisbane for an 11 day trip to the Islands was a breeze, all the staff I met on the first day are helpful and pleasant at the terminal. Some of the reviews whine about no one to show you to your cabin, well how old are you people? 6 perhaps ... take the lift. A couple of the lifts were not working but only rarely so. But ... nothing wrong with the stairs ... how lazy can one get with some people, get some exercise if the lifts are busy. Decor on board is wonderful, nothing to complain about there ... the reno of the ship isn't complete anyway. The art work on board is to be upgraded in the future. I rather liked the art on the Pacific Dawn, hopefully an art program is in the near future when I take another trip on the Aria next year. The whiners have complain about the food ... ridiculous. The food and service were all great. The Waterfront restaurant was superb. Just to try it, I went to the Salt Grill to compare. The waiters were excellent but why should they not? they were on the Waterfront service a few nights before. The food? excellent but it was no better or worse than the Waterfront and you had to pay - from that angle the Salt Grill was a waste of time an money. You get the same food and the same good service from the Waterfront, which is included in your journey's price. The whiners also complain about having to wait for entry into the Waterfront, not once did I have to wait more than 30 secs. The whiners also complained about the Pantry - all excellent food and service. All hot meals, the breakfast menu was fine so too lunch. Entertainment on board was superb .. the choices were varied to all tastes including the adult only variety - never went to the dirty jokes night, never have found that sort of thing even vaguely funny. Same on the Pacific Dawn .. don't like the genre of the humour, don't go. The bands were all good, loved the blue room, very good place to sit a while, same on the Dome when nothings on ... its the most peaceful part of the ship, but same too on the Dawn. The piano bar on board was great ... very good as was watching people at the casino losing all their loot. why? A friend who worked at a Casino in the 70's said that the tables and machines are all geared for house wins, never for the punter, just don't use them anywhere. The cabin stewards are excellent, made the holiday better by keeping the cabin spotless. Couldn't ask for better service and attitude from them at any time. Room service was excellent, the whiners said they had to wait too long, never waited more than 10 mins for room service but then, I asked for a Pizza to go with a rather good bottle of red. Big deal, it was a good night and slept out on the balcony under the stars. Possibly the only strange thing on board was the collection of the duty free at the end of the voyage, now that was a bit of a shambles, that was done a whole lot better and quieter on the Pacific Dawn and very efficient in comparison to the Aria, that needs to be looked at - perhaps use a much larger space for the collection than what was on offer. The other odd thing was the safety drill ... well its the same as an airline safety message, no one listens to that sort of thing either and in Brisbanes hot humid weather, perhaps indoors is a better place to have it, or half the passengers indoors and half on the deck. The safety message procedure doesn't work on the Aria, oddly enuf on the Dawn, far easier and far more pleasant to go thru and well ignore like everyone else does. Another thing the whiners were complaining about was the bathroom in the cabins. Why? nothing wrong with them. My 89 year old Mother also had no trouble with the bathroom layout or the height of the bath. Tho its not at first clear how to turn on the hot water or how to use the shower ... but that only took a minute ... a long hot shower every day tho, very nice. The shower gel, conditioner and hair shampoo was also pleasant stuff not as the whiners say but ... you lot didn't think to bring your own? Its a hotel people, on the water but a hotel with hotel amenities and prices. A good hotel but a pleasant enjoyable hotel to stay in for 11 days. The disembarkation in Brisbane was on time, easy and without fuss, don't know what the whiners were complaining about. Even the taxis were no trouble to get, the drivers service as good as the service we received on the Aria. Ignore the whiners about the Aria, its a good ship, good crew, good food and entertainment. One word tho, the steps leading to the tenders on a couple of rough sea days were a little dangerous, so all care an attention must be taken getting off the ship to the tenders and getting back on board. Again for limited mobility people, the Dawn is better that way as well. Looking forward to the trip next year on the Aria ... should be just as great and relaxing as this trip. Wonderful.. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
About a week prior to embarking on our cruise on Legend of the Seas I decided to read some reviews. I was shocked to see it receive ratings of 1 and many many complaints. Those reviews completely dampened my enthusiasm for the cruise and ... Read More
About a week prior to embarking on our cruise on Legend of the Seas I decided to read some reviews. I was shocked to see it receive ratings of 1 and many many complaints. Those reviews completely dampened my enthusiasm for the cruise and we set off with very low expectations, and feeling a little depressed at the thought of Christmas at sea with such an awful experience ahead of us. I am pleased to say that we had an experience that was completely opposite to what others had described. Every single staff member was extremely friendly and helpful. I could not find any fault whatsoever with any of them. My husband is disabled and even the ground staff went out of their way to assist us. We fly often and never receive the kind of attention we did from these staff. A big thank you to them!!! There were rarely the big queues others described in the coffee shop - at peak times yes, but that happens in every coffee shop. I had also read that there were big queues for everything, but we did not experience those at all. The crew had a great numbering system to avoid that happening. There was a great variety of food available but I have to highlight the Chef's Table as being an absolute standout!!! Five courses with matching wines was amazing value at $100pp. We loved it. So, my advice to first time cruises - be careful what you read! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The ship is falling apart, constantly learning of people being moved from their rooms due to water leaking from the ceiling and walls, one lady i know woke up with ankle deep water in her room, ants through at least 6 cabins and the lovely ... Read More
The ship is falling apart, constantly learning of people being moved from their rooms due to water leaking from the ceiling and walls, one lady i know woke up with ankle deep water in her room, ants through at least 6 cabins and the lovely aroma of sewerage floating through the pantry and other sections of the ship. many people would get the runs after eating at any of the food locations. the pantry has many large leaks in the roof causing them to close at least 2 stations of the buffet and cordon off the buckets everywhere(one of which was 16 buckets in one location) BUY YOUR DUTY FREE ALCOHOL IN VILLA at feung kuei much cheaper than the ship The Edge wasn't open for the first 8 nights. no communication before the cruise even after we learned it had not been available on the cruise previous to ours. the 8th night we received notification of the edge finally being open when the ridiculous price list turned up with an offer of an adults for kids prices deal if you booked for the next day, however if they had to cancel it for whatever reason no refund or reschedule. when one of our group tried to book they attempted to charge full price. we were guaranteed a photographer would be available for the edge but on the day we were informed that the activity was not going to be on, the photographer was not coming and it was tough luck. after speaking with a manger we were told we would get a full refund, come the final day charges still on the bill and told that they would not give us the money back even though they said they would. if you would like to use the spa...... i hope you like to share the 1 working spa with kids using water guns that is until later at night when they throw the nets over all the pools ..... which only opened after the 3rd day of smooth sailing. Do you like elevators? if you can get one that works and you don't get stuck in them (happened to me and a disabled woman with her husband, it was their second time) i hope the floors you select stay selected and you don't imitate a yoyo for several minutes. which whilst entertaining the first time it happens can be hazardous when the hand rails fall off. the decorartion in the elevators is lovely i especially liked the double sided tape left where they had placed cardboard placards with "pacific Aria" on them. at the end of the cruise 1 elevator had a metal sign with the ship name the others either had MS RYNDAM or picture of the ship taped or again just the tape. but don't forget this only is a problem on 75 percent of the elevators because a minimum of 1 in 4 front and back are out of order everyday. if you were told this is a new ship the fine print should inform you "new to the P&O line" twice previously suffering from a norovirus outbreak as recently as july 2015. as for the food, the pantry serves the same food every morning and lunch and almost the exact same every dinner. the waterfront has a great selection with few good waiters. if you suffer the displeasure of this ship try to get alex as your waiter only decent one we found having eaten there 7 times. the dragon lady and antonellis well after the 10th attemot to get through the booking to hear a busy tone we gave up. booked out everyday. although from other people on the ship we missed nothing. it was a 50/50 if you would have bad food, bad waiters and long wait times. or a good experience. Do you enjoy the scenery whilst looking out the window to avoid wind or smokers. well look between the smudges, salt and whatever the hell else junked them up. fair enough if it had been only a few windows but almost every one was dirty so pick the cleaner options and ignore the surrounding areas. deck 6, can enjoy starboard side smoker alley or port side closed almost every day. as well as a fair amount of light coming through the windows which even if you use a coat hangar to clasp the "black out" curtains together will leave you with enough light to navigate your room at ease and no fear of stepping on anything or running into anything especially the fridge which even if you need one for medication good luck getting one. one lady who requested a fridge (which when booking they said was no problem) waited three days and when she finally confronted the french bloke she was angry he responded with i am not going to help you because you yelled at me. no news if her husband became ill or not but she cancelled her next cruise on the aria right there and then. Tenders or lifeboats which ever you prefer are dropped at any place without a big enough port so enjoy a lovely 5 am wake up when they drop the noisy things outside your window and tie off ropes immediately beneath your window. i took photos a couple of times this happened and the manager refused to accept it. there was barely any light on the horizon but i was lying because all the crew member responsible for the tenders are lazy and only turn up around 6 or 7. as for the cabins. most of the light switches work, the light covers are stained as are some of the decorative covers for the beds, which can include if your lucky lipstick or tears in pillow cases and sheets. my sister had poo stained underwear in her cabin upon entry and when she dropped it onto the reception desk it was ignored as if it did not matter. the showers can come with a bath tub which if an elderly person attempts to use may have extreme difficulty. and trying to figure out the shower is about a 20 minute experiment due to faulty buttons and dodgy setups with no instructions. if you make a complaint about this you are promptly treated like a moron for not knowing that the cabin boy/cleaner should have shown you .... and the 22 other cabins he was responsible for. you need to start the water running, press the button as many times as it takes for it to change to the shower head, then pull back on the switch on the other tap to add hot water sounds easy but try to figure it out when the taps go opposite directions and the button to switch from tub to shower head works occasionally. Oh and don't forget to tighten the fittings to stop the hot water jetting from the fixtures to your privates (your welcome) and don't mind the rust. the room comes with a tv and dvd player. the adds look and sound beautiful, the movies which repeat all day alll four of them on 2 channels or the same 2 tv shows on a third channel will repeat after 4 days but it doesn't matter that they repeat it's so you can try to hear the parts you missed when the picture or sound stopped randomly or glitched badly. and no guide for times just watch the end of a movie you have or haven't seen and you'lll know a new one is about to start that you have probably seen. but avoid the torquay or the marquay because being that uncomfortable on the seats, which if you aren't in the front row can't show you more than a half screen and heads should be illegal. the torquay is freezing which made a few people leave, and even the projector shoots through peoples heads. almost forgot the marquee leaks too have fun with that. if you would like to encourage binge drinking you can grab the 79 dollars a day pack which must be bought on in the first 48 hrs and is for the entire 10 days including disembarkation day. while the drinks are expensive, unless you plan to drinks consistently all day or maybe just 8 cocktails at night because you can only order drinks up 11 dollars in value, cocktails are 11,12 or 16 dollars. you are going to be having difficulty making it worth your while. the soft drink package is more reasonable at 7 dollars a day, if you ask for less ice you can get lucky with only half to three quarters of the glass full with ice. you cannot get a can of softdrink unless you pay $3.50 on top of the package which is meant to be unlimited softdrink. if you go to a bar you can get flat coke from a can that has been sitting on the bench for no one knows how long or from the tap with a ridiculous amount of ice. if you use the cruise control site don't worry about the on ship parties, for the 2 weeks prior to the cruise it probably won't show you where you are going or what is available. apparently there is another app that had the correct info but P&O failed to inform us. consequently we missed 5 separate dress up nights which makes you feel really good to be the odd one out especially the next morning when people ask why you didn't show and you get to see the pictures and hear the stories. the laundromat fees apply, but 1 of the 3 washing machine and 1 of the 3 dryers were broken the whole trip. the walkways between cabins are wide enough to walk past people but if you follow anyone in a wheelchair watch and be amazed as they have to bash against the cleaners carts while staff members watch including one of the managers, when i offered to help the man he said it was ok he was used to it now. and the bloke on reception the one with unending empathy lol, good luck getting change from him. he refused to hand out smaller denominations even though he had tens of thousands worth (from the managers mouth there was more than enough for everyone on board to take hundreds in 5s every place we stopped) do you enjoy the view from the front of the vessel? well No your not able to go there. aircon is dodgy in some rooms power cords aren't taped down even if they have a large blower out for days trying to dry the soaked carpet in the pantry and on the stair cases. entertainment - well if you enjoy listening to music all night you are going to love this cruise if you wan't to do anything else the very limited options will leave you bored to the point of falling asleep and yawning on sea days. at least on port days you can leave the ship. same musicians for 10 nights, tennis and basketball courts are immediately over the pantry. the duty free shops on board are a joke. some items are 4 times the price. but a few are normally priced i don't think i found anything that was cheaper than it should have been. breakfast drink options for free are orange juice and apple juice or tea and coffee. lunch is water or tea and coffee and dinner is water or tea and coffee. if you don't like spicy food prepare to eat the same thing day and night. if you frighten easily beware the ceiling on the 11th floor no warning when they move it open or close there will be screaming and people jump or tremble visibly. entertaining for some. if you want to avoid the children do not rely on the youth security. never around when you need them and when a kid finally has a fatal accident don't be surprised. i dread the thought but if it isn't stated it will be ignored. the machines to check how much money you've spent sometimes work. one was out of order for days but not surprised if you don't know what you spend how can you be careful. the shore tours are much cheaper on the islands in vanuatu, do not pay for snorkeling tours on mystery island you can do it anywhere and the glass bottom kayaks are just pespex tubs and are terrible to use. the people running them are great though and the people in vanuatu are very nice and friendly almost beyond belief. atv and aquaquad/vego are amazing on villa, the off road buggies are good in the wet but fairly slow in the dry. you should bring goggles for both glasses do not cut it. if you get a cab in villa they will take you around the island for a cheap price. feel free to pay a little more for the cab as the buses only leave when full and take you to the more expensive places. with no warning that you may have to pay to use the toilets which are just holes in the ground. nomeau new caledonia is an absolute hole, like the valley at 3 in the morning unless you take the tchou tchou express or some other tour of the island it will be unpleasant and the general white population are very rude. if we had been informed better we would have definitely taken a tour out of the dock area to the main city and beaches. mare new caledonia, you can go for a walk to the left of the dock looking at it from the water and find i nice secluded but small beach other wise you have to pay 9.50 for the dodgiest bus/coaches i have ever seen. filthy with windows rusted to the point of almost falling out. seat belts held by wire. expect great service from most of the underpaid waiters and cleaners except in the restaurant where they may throw knives and forks at you if you tell them your steak is cold or solid. and forget the standards for steak the medium rare is rare and the medium is medium rare etc. if you order a drink before the entree that isn't alcoholic you may wait until after desert. the entertainers in general are very fun and outgoing some more than others. 2 comedy shows and one magic/singing show in 10 days the rest were dance performances which if you don't like them mean nothing to do. the movies shown in the theaters were on the tv at least 2 separate days for half the day if you have complaints write them down and keep a copy because you won't get yours back. do not hesitate to share them you will not be alone. also repairs to the ship happen almost constantly trying to remove large amounts of rust or just painting over some of it(i couldn't believe my eyes and keep telling myself it must have rust converter in it) doors, lights, elevators, the nozzles for the fire system. leaks pests, broken or missing railings all need repairs, 1.5 cm x 6 cm signs to let you know a door or railing have been coated in varnish. dents, missing pieces of wall trim, broken floor covering. if you want to book a cruise on a ship that makes you feel like your in a cheap motel with crappy food where everything is crazily expensive. this is for you! 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Sail Date December 2015
Due to recent orthopaedic surgery I could not fly long distances so had to change our planned Alaska followed by Eastern Canada cruises to something closer to home. We were delighted to be able to embark at our home port. This is the first ... Read More
Due to recent orthopaedic surgery I could not fly long distances so had to change our planned Alaska followed by Eastern Canada cruises to something closer to home. We were delighted to be able to embark at our home port. This is the first time this has happened to our knowledge. A 1 Hour suburban train ride versus 14 hour flight! Unfortunately the Port staff were not familiar with HALs usual routines. We stood in the priority boarding queue but unfortunately none of the Port staff knew to serve us. Only after a complaint to a HAL officer was the problem rectified and I am sure it will not be a problem again. The ship was clean & well maintained and the fresh flowers were a delight. The night before we departed we received a second upgrade to a A balcony suite and as it was my birthday on departure day things started in fine form. The entertainment was great, this was the best group of HAL entertainers ever on a HAL ship. Not only the 4 leads could sing in perfect pitch but the remainder of the group as well. The Murder Mystery dinner was excellent. First time I have ever been offered this on any ship. A most entertaining evening with the best dessert ever. Dining was excellent in whichever venue we choose. Again we went Open Seating and never had a problem getting a seat at our requested time. We ate several times in Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto and in both places enjoyed the extra special service. As always all staff were cheerful and attentive, any request was dealt with quickly. The mature aged cruise director was one of the best we have come across. He managed to be efficient and entertaining with out too much of the "are we having fun" attitude. Our veranda suite was perfect for our needs and the bed, again one of the most comfortable at sea. We enjoyed using our balcony for a before dinner drink or occasional room service meals. After being disappointed that we couldn't make it to USA & Canada it was a pleasant surprise just how much we enjoyed cruising in our own backyard with a side trip to Indonesia. Yes, you can go more cheaply with other cruise lines but its worth the bit extra to go with an old friend who treats us so well. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We did a 7 day cruise on the Pacific Jewel from Brisbane stopping at Noumea, Mare, and Port Villa. Firstly I will say that this is a relatively cheap cruise compared to other cruise lines and this should be remembered when reviewing. ... Read More
We did a 7 day cruise on the Pacific Jewel from Brisbane stopping at Noumea, Mare, and Port Villa. Firstly I will say that this is a relatively cheap cruise compared to other cruise lines and this should be remembered when reviewing. Embarkation was a bit chaotic with so many people crowded into a small area for processing but once on the ship this was soon forgotten. Disembarking was very well organised with smaller groups exiting in stages. The Pacific Jewel is an older ship and did feel old with not much glitter and shine to it. Most lounge areas were in the centre of the ship with minimal natural lighting so seemed dark. Cabins were a little dated but functional. I was in a wheelchair cabin which was very spacious and suitable for my needs. Dining options were good. At the Plantation buffet food was of a buffet quality. I would recommend booking daily at the Waterfront restaurant for evenings (where the food is of a good step up and of a good quality (again remembering this is not a 5 star cruise). Waterfront breakfast and lunch was excellent. Waiting staff in all restaurant areas throughout the ship were very good. More staff for taking drink orders on deck would have been better as sometimes it was hard to find them and even harder to get to the bar yourself. I thought the entertainment and activities were mediocre. Production shows weren't very good, acrobatics were ok but in the atrium which had limited access/space. I would rather see bigger production shows. I had previous done a cruise on the Pacific Sun 4 years ago and went to shows every night as were so good. This trip only sat though 10 minutes of 3 shows as were poor quality. The stop at Noumea was at 3pm which is a complete waste of time. By the time you disembark the town is only an hour from closing up, It's dark during half of the sightseeing tours. Over all it was a good cruise but not as good as last time and I won't rush back Read Less
Sail Date July 2012

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