59 Brisbane Entertainment Cruise Reviews

Our 1st ever cruise was some 10/12 years ago on P&O Pacific Star. Well, haven't things changed (for the better). We were very happy with the offering from P&O and in particular the crew on board the ship. They were a credit to ... Read More
Our 1st ever cruise was some 10/12 years ago on P&O Pacific Star. Well, haven't things changed (for the better). We were very happy with the offering from P&O and in particular the crew on board the ship. They were a credit to the Company and although the ship is an older vessel (certainly showing external signs of age) the vibe on board was friendly and efficient and the crew appeared (primarily) to enjoy their job. Admittedly we did have lower expectations having travelled with the more highly rated Celebrity and Princess Lines, however we were overall quite impressed with the majority of aspects onboard. A special mention to the bands. . . both Popcorn and The Lazy Leis were fantastic and the jam session on the last evening involving all performers was truly memorable . . . very talented. On board crew shows were excellent, a couple of guest performers are past their use by date and appeared to be simply topping up their super. Production shows were considered to be a significantly higher standard - crew shows were particularly entertaining viz LipSync Battle. Having Petro Civoniceva on board was a nice touch as well. . .thanks to him for his valuable time and open participation. A couple of constructive comments . . . the Tendering situation needs work - whoever made the decision to honour the tickets from the aborted tender operation in Port Douglas in preference to distributed tickets for Dili needs to consider their future. . . a real howler. Actual Shore time was significantly reduced in both Dili and Bali due to sea swell and the large number of Ships Tours and "Priority" passengers. Made our own arrangements re a tour in Timor Leste and also Bali - understand cruise coys favour their own shore excursions though we prefer the small group experience v's a coach load. Anytime dining in the Waterfront took a few days to sort out - many passengers had made permanent bookings which meant there was initially up to an hours wait for anytime dining - this resolved itself after 4 nights when some perm bookings were a no show and therefore cancelled. Could easily do with an additional lunch menu in the Waterfront restaurant for variety . . .only 2 menus for the 14 days. . . though there was the variety in The Pantry. Drink prices are excessive though consistent across all lines - what did happen to duty free prices??. . .would like to see a similar policy to that of Princess. . ie allowed to bring a bottle of wine pp onboard. There was sufficient entertainment with usual trivia etc however big screen movies were heavily weighted in favour of children's themes and animations - this despite the small number of children on board. Special mention to the Captain for his accessibility and daily broadcasts - very approachable and informative (luvs his "Minions") . Upon arrival in Singapore, we skipped the long taxi lines and got the MRT direct to the Airport for flight back to BNE. Very efficient disembarkation, despite the fact the ship was advertised as docking at Marina Bay - instead we turned up at Harbourfront - this caught many off guard. Singapore has such a great public transport system - even with luggage. Extremely happy with our decision to revisit a P&O Aust classic ship - overall a good value for money cruise - we will be back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I wish to make a few comments about my recent 3 night comedy cruise aboard P&O Pacific Dawn from Brisbane. I have travelled on this ship for a previous South Pacific Cruise as well as several cruises aboard Princess and Norwegian ... Read More
I wish to make a few comments about my recent 3 night comedy cruise aboard P&O Pacific Dawn from Brisbane. I have travelled on this ship for a previous South Pacific Cruise as well as several cruises aboard Princess and Norwegian cruise lines. I felt that the standard of customer service on the Pacific Dawn has declined to almost deplorable level, most notably the friendliness of staff and their readiness to offer help. The meals were mediocre at best. The choices were limited and it was a struggle at some meals to find something appetising. I also felt that there is a culture of penny pinching, as in everything is at an extra cost. As an example I was shocked at The Indulge menu in the main dining room, at an extra cost. And The Grill has a fee for food items. We did visit Salt and enjoyed our meal but I was violently ill a few hours later and believe the sea scallops were to blame (I commented to my fellow diner at the time that they tasted a bit strange). The ultimate insult was to be asked to vacate our cabin at 6:30am on our disembarkation day. This was our holiday, not bootcamp. Lots of very grumpy travellers that morning! Breakfast was offered until 7:30am on the last morning but was served in a rushed brusk manner. Add to all this the unpleasant smells in some corridors, the slow lifts which would sound fault alarms when they were half full, the blocked toilets on various decks, and the very inappropriate locations of Trivia and other social events (the lobby???, really) which were much too small for all the attendees, and you can perhaps understand why I am disappointed with the way the P&O experience has declined to the point that the brand is being harmed. Cheap can be good, but cheap and nasty is NEVER good. Regretfully I will not be travelling with P&O again on my future cruises, since standards have dropped a step too far, and with plenty of competition I will be looking for more pampering and attention in the future. Good Points: The bed was comfortable, and the comedy acts and other entertainment were very good. Embarkation was quick and easy. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Hi just got back from a p&o cruise on the dawn I think it’s time the ship had a up grade the floor in my cabin felt not to stable and there was a real bad smell around the ship Food was always the same entertainment was average.id ... Read More
Hi just got back from a p&o cruise on the dawn I think it’s time the ship had a up grade the floor in my cabin felt not to stable and there was a real bad smell around the ship Food was always the same entertainment was average.id write this on there Facebook page but it looks like they only pick the good comments. I think it’s time they up graded the ship and the entertainment and more things to do iv been on 4 cruises on this ship and found this one to be boring sorry p&o hopefully this review helps to make an improvement not so much bring it down after all people sacrifice for for mouth s years to go on a cruise of a life time . But I’m finding p&o it’s all about the turn around not what the people want hopefully this review improves things on the ship thanks ange Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
First cruise for us. It was my husband's surprise 50th gift. We never made it to any of the shows, or any of the parties, nor did we partake in any activities. Instead, we spent our three days wandering aimlessly throughout the ... Read More
First cruise for us. It was my husband's surprise 50th gift. We never made it to any of the shows, or any of the parties, nor did we partake in any activities. Instead, we spent our three days wandering aimlessly throughout the boat, stopping regularly to eat, drink, watch wave patterns, and shop duty-free. It was exactly the break we needed forcing us to smell the roses. We travelled nowhere in particular and did the lazy-circle more than once without even knowing it. The staff were amazing. So polite and so friendly but clearly scarred by previous experiences with unkind passengers. There was no rest for the staff but not once did they complain. Food was incredible actually with lots of variety and a daily menu change. Our last lunch included prawns and mussels. It was so easy to eat healthy on this sea-break. But it was also a carb-lovers delight so we were never left feeling hungry. Service at The Waterfront was high class with speed and professionalism at every meal. Entrees are small but there is nothing to stop you from then going to The Pantry for a top up. Yes, there were lots of bogans and loud mouth swearing teenagers but we managed to find peace and quiet every time we sought it out. And yes, we too found an item from a previous traveller, however, having stayed in many hotels over the years we were not surprised at all. Room attendants do not have the luxury of time in these scenarios, in fact, they have approx. eight minutes to clean each room before the next lot of passengers embark. Again, I want to celebrate the staff. My hat goes off to anyone who can put up with daily abuse from drunk and/or entitled passengers and still come back on shift with a smile. Thank you to our stewards Mel and Mai. You made us feel very special. We will remember our maiden voyage fondly, because of you. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
First time traveling to New Zealand and first time on Princess line. Unexpected problem at the start and cruise cut short by 3 days due to cyclone.. can't help the weather. Just myself and best friend on this trip. Embarkation ... Read More
First time traveling to New Zealand and first time on Princess line. Unexpected problem at the start and cruise cut short by 3 days due to cyclone.. can't help the weather. Just myself and best friend on this trip. Embarkation went smoothly as did disembarkation when we returned. Entertainment was fantastic something for everyone.Especially one group in particular- Mosaic was their name..great band.All staff were amazing very friendly knowledgeable approachable. Food was amazing we had anytime dining. Service terrific staff amazing food fantastic Lots of areas to have quiet time or be active.. enjoyed very relaxing massage inn the spa.. staff running activities were easy going friendly Cabin was very clean and tidy. Looked after each day by amazing staff.. had arranged day tours before arriving. Organisation of these was well done.. buses were then when required. Left on time. Ticked off a couple of things inn my bucket list . visited Tauranga and went to Hobbiton and while in Aukland violated Sky Tower.. amazingly stunning views Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The ship was good, food was good, shame about the night entertainment as there was not much of it! One passenger even called it "ghost ship" as hardly anyone around owing to lack of decent music entertainment! Will not sail ... Read More
The ship was good, food was good, shame about the night entertainment as there was not much of it! One passenger even called it "ghost ship" as hardly anyone around owing to lack of decent music entertainment! Will not sail with Princess cruises again! Horizons buffet situated in wrong area, in middle causing feeling of sea sickness owing to no open windows so had to rush I , get food, rush outside to fresh air! Also very hot inside. PACIFIC Dawn buffet much better placed at rear end with open doors & windows. Alcolhol prices were also higher priced than P & O not that i drank much only couple beers @ $8.75 can! W one from $11 up! Also only swimming pools, no water slides etc. So all in all people if you just want to sit around doing nothing, & early night,then this is for you!!! Am 81 years & found it all boring!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I have cruised with Princess before and the staff are excelent. The ship is well set out. I always book internal cabins and they are well appointed and kept clean. I like the darkness of the internal room you can sleep in if you stayed up ... Read More
I have cruised with Princess before and the staff are excelent. The ship is well set out. I always book internal cabins and they are well appointed and kept clean. I like the darkness of the internal room you can sleep in if you stayed up a little too late which we did on most nights. The food is excellent no matter where you dine they always have something for everyone. We celabrated Australia Day on the ship and the Entertainment staff went to all lengths to provide a great day on the pool deck. They had Pie and Pavlova eating competitions, egg and spoon races and the band played great music. The entertainment for the whole cruise was great they cater for all tastes. The staff are super attentive, always there when you require something. They get to know you and what you drink where it is coffee or a cocktail. If you have toured New Zealand by land before you should try it by sea. The coastline is spectacular. We enjoyed all the ports with alot to see and do. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We took our 88 yr.old mother for her first cruise and to have Christmas lunch at sea. She really enjoyed almost everything - especially the shows and music lounges and was roaming until well after her normal bedtime. Unfortunately, ... Read More
We took our 88 yr.old mother for her first cruise and to have Christmas lunch at sea. She really enjoyed almost everything - especially the shows and music lounges and was roaming until well after her normal bedtime. Unfortunately, we missed out on Christmas lunch as the officers had decided to have it the day before on Christmas Eve as they do in Europe, and we, like many other disappointed passengers, were not informed of this change.Our table Maitre de in the dining room, when learning of our plight managed to'rustle up' some Xmas puddings from the meal we'd missed. Catrina was a 'gem'. It really took the edge off the cruise with our mother! NB, We had already booked for the 106 day World Cruise for 2018 on the same ship, otherwise would reconsider future cruises on Sea Princess. Also we had advised Princess we would need a wheelchair for my mother to board. Unfortunately, we had to wait over 1 hour in a crowded, stuffy 'waiting area' as there were not enough chairs nor handlers, causing our mother to become quite distressed. NB - We have booked a 7 nighter on Sea Princess for February as a 'practice run' for the World cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We have sailed with Princess for 9 voyages, 8 of which were on Sea Princess. Every cruise has been filled with friendly outgoing staff, from the Head Waiters right thru to the Cabin Stewards. We were on the ship straight away and this ... Read More
We have sailed with Princess for 9 voyages, 8 of which were on Sea Princess. Every cruise has been filled with friendly outgoing staff, from the Head Waiters right thru to the Cabin Stewards. We were on the ship straight away and this time our luggage was there about 5 minutes after we arrived. We have had a balcony on every cruise but 1 and would have to recommend these cabins, they are spacious with fridge and a great balcony for some private moments. The entertainment is first class with something for every one's taste. We always go with the traditional dinning, because it allows us to get to know our servers and fellow passangers at our table. Well worth considering. In all the times we have cruised with Princess we have never had one complaint about the service we receive. The staff- even though they have to deal with some INTERESTING clients-always come through with dignity and respect ( much more than I would have). We do not do many of the excursions, but have heard a lot of positive comments. We do not travel with children, but think they must be well looked after because, when we do see them on the ship, they seem to be having a great time. We have only cruised on one other line, and they do not compare to Princess. We wil continue cruising-but only with Princess- for many years to come. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I was warned, I read the reviews however for whatever reason still decided to book a cruise due to the convenience. A major reason for this was the fact we live on the Gold Coast and it's only a short drive to the terminal in Brisbane ... Read More
I was warned, I read the reviews however for whatever reason still decided to book a cruise due to the convenience. A major reason for this was the fact we live on the Gold Coast and it's only a short drive to the terminal in Brisbane Queensland. Someone mentioned prior to the cruise that the Dawn was like a floating RSL but I've never been in an RSL that was as dirty or staff as rude as the Pacific Dawn. As we're ushered on through an area reminiscent of an oldSydney Ferry, we were quickly encouraged to move through to our rooms while navigating our way through a barrage of sales desk selling one thing or another. Imagine our shock to finally arrive to our balcony room on the 10th floor to be greated by a bed that had been tidied however had blood stains and hair across its blankets and pillows, a bathroom that had discarded toothpaste in the sink, hair in the shower as well as used towels. What a way to start a holiday! I now know why they refer to it as like no place on Earth because I'd doubt you'd find another $400 a night room like it anywhere in the world. While there were a few exceptional staff members most would be more suited working outside of the hospitality industry as they couldn't even be bothered to greet you as you approached a bar or food area. One waiter brought my breakfast out without key ingredients and plonked it on the table without any explanation why it was incomplete. Further investigation established they had run out but no alternative was mentioned when ordered. Last but by no means the least, for a cruise liner plagued by reports of serious illness aboard, you can imagine my surprise when i saw a tablehand drop the cloth they were using to wipe down tables on the floor only to pick it up and continue to wipe down tables people used to eat meals on adjacent to the Pizza bar. Just shows how little regard they have for the well-being of their passengers regardless how good their brochures look. It's ultimately a slick marketing company getting paid the big bucks to turn this mutton into lamb! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
What a wonderful time!! The food, the service, the entire experience - from start to finish - we loved it all! Even though it was our first cruise and we were told by some others that there were fancier cruises out there, for us it was ... Read More
What a wonderful time!! The food, the service, the entire experience - from start to finish - we loved it all! Even though it was our first cruise and we were told by some others that there were fancier cruises out there, for us it was just spot on. Be sure to read the TIPS below for some helpful hints re:this ship, but the following might answer some general questions. The staff? So helpful, friendly - just such lovely people - from servers, waiters, entertainers, activity hosts, security - they just made the cruise so special for you. The food? The Pantry had great offerings - and this from fussy eaters. Additionally, three great, included restaurants provided an up-market pace. The Dragon Lady offering a range of Asian cuisine from different countries was a fave. Irrespective of venue, the service was was wonderful and helpings were endless. We didn't try the non-included restaurants as we just didn't see the need, but a fellow cruiser raved about the Salt Grill. The crowds? There were families and kids on board but we didn't often see or hear many youngsters; same as there our fair share of baby boomer / grey nomads, but they seemed to party just as hard as their younger counterparts! I think the ship was pretty full but we didn't notice - the occasional wait for a barista coffee, but everything else was reasonable. The entertainment/activities? There seemed lots to do for all ages - sample pages from Good Times pic attached. Towel Animal Parade was a huge surprise (pic attached), as were the Sit-Down Comedy shows (definite crowd pleasers, some R18+ and ID checked). Production shows pretty good; trivia; activities; etc. Plenty to do!! Prices? We were amazed how reasonable things were - $4/$5 for barista coffee & frappe's, lots of cocktails for $12 (some $15-$17), $6.50-$8 for a beer, it was even cheaper for the NZ ice-cream on-board than it was on land in Cairns! All except - bottled water - that was ridiculous, and the photos were expensive, but they were very professional and looked it, so, probably cheaper than land prices. TIPS - water and tea/coffee stations available 24/7 - take a travel mug &/or water bottle so you can take drinks easily from the Pantry back to your room or around the ship; - different spa vouchers & offers were given to rooms daily through out the cruise (most days) - fill out the free raffle tickets in your embarkation booklet but for the spa ticket only tick the areas you actually might use (not what you are 'interested in'); - consider the drinks package - although prices are reasonable, you just tend to drink more than you normally would (even/especially non-alcoholic ones); - check what times tours are leaving so that you can avoid those times yourself for getting on/off at ports; and take a back pack / bag when you go - if taking food off the ship and they see it you're up for hassles - most evening show times tend to be 7pm & 9pm so if booking restaurants consider accordingly - most shows went for ~45 mins - If queuing for a show, level 7 starboard door tended to open first; - don't go early, or late, for safety drill - just when told to do so to save unnecessary waiting; - bring a lanyard for your cruise card (one that can detach at the end easily to hand over your card for swiping); - using the cash kiosks was quick and easy - you can keep an eye on your account via the app available through their intranet - hassle free and no charging to cards, even when checking out, no dramas! - level 6 has the best laundry, all use $1 coins - plus our room had plenty of hangers and a line over the shower; and - check the deck plans carefully if selecting cabins - deck 6 had windows out to the walking track so curtains would have to be kept closed most times; dis/embarking occurred deck 3 & 5 so choose carefully if considering as queuing occurred outside many of these cabins; smokers are outside on deck 6, mid-ship/aft starboard side; deck 10 has restaurant, etc., above and can be noisy; deck 9 was fantastic. Mid-ship best for minimal noise (I'd keep away from stairs/lifts). Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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
See New Guinea. Particularly Rabaul and Volcanos, Milne Bay. Ship left 14hrs late, had been docked facing upriver and they couldn't turn it around. Cruised to Milne bay at 13-14 knots, three days at sea. Return trip 19-20 knots. Late ... Read More
See New Guinea. Particularly Rabaul and Volcanos, Milne Bay. Ship left 14hrs late, had been docked facing upriver and they couldn't turn it around. Cruised to Milne bay at 13-14 knots, three days at sea. Return trip 19-20 knots. Late departure used as excuse to cancel Rabaul. Docked at Milne bay, quite good and interesting .Kirinina very good beautiful people. Kitava didn't dock captain said seas were too rough, I think trying to make up lost time due to medical evacuation. Conflict islands, had to change your money for vouchers. Most things much more expensive than Kirinina. Eg 1 hour snorkeling booked on the ship $80. The ship was certainly showing its age, the cabins were adequate and the cabin staff excellent. Dining was good in the actual dining room but up in the pantry I would describe as like a feed lot. We did have a beautiful meal in salt and peppers but $60 pp extra. Entertainment was average, some routines a bit old.Any extra services ridiculously expensive. Meal service in the dining room was good but at the bar if you didn't stand in front of the staff you didn't get served. Order a soft drink, fill the glass with ice first then add the soft drink, wasn't refrigerated. All together probably my worst holiday experience. No more cruises for me. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
What an amazing holiday and why did we wait 30 years to do a cruise? We were awake early (4am) due to time difference so grabbed a coffee and made our way day to a viewing deck to watch the Pacific Dawn come in from its previous cruise. ... Read More
What an amazing holiday and why did we wait 30 years to do a cruise? We were awake early (4am) due to time difference so grabbed a coffee and made our way day to a viewing deck to watch the Pacific Dawn come in from its previous cruise. With the sun shining behind her, it was a sight to behold and well worth it. We met a few fellow passengers at the same time. Excitement levels were building!!! You can drop your bags off early which we did at 8am and then went and had breakfast at a local café watching the loading of supplies and bags and the unloading of passengers. Boarding was seamless and again get on board early. We targeted 11am and it took approx. 40 minutes. We could have been earlier if we wanted too. You can book your dinner, find your cabin and get your bearings. Bars are open and so are the restaurants for lunch!!! Munster stations for lifeboat drill before 2pm departure. We were lucky with the weather with fine weather and smooth sailing all the way to Port Vila. On the homeward journey seas were supposedly 2.5m which caused a few bumps at the front and back of the ship at times, but it wasn’t rough, and I didn’t feel sick. I took no travel sickness tablets and I survived. My wife preferred to lie down on Thursday afternoon and slept but was fine on the Friday as she adjusted to the motion. Highly recommend - research, research and research before you go from best cabins, Port tours (check out private operators too), meal times and what to do and avoid. Planning will lead you to a much better and successful cruise experience in our view. We were prepared! You can book Port tours via CruiseControl well before you depart on your cruise. For tours with limited number of places available this is recommended. Only 200 people out of 2000 get to go snorkelling at Lifou and there were a lot of disappointed people on the day. Another advantage of booking via P&O means priority disembarkment to meet your planned tour and you are returned in time prior to the ship departing. Each Port has operators where ship berths with tour options and these are sometimes cheaper than arranging on board or pre-book with a reputable private operator. In Vila beware of paying up front as the operators have known to drop and leave you at your first destination! Paying when you get back to the ship gates avoids this issue. Friends arranged a private tour in Vila and again only paid upon returning to the Port gates but had a great day and a lot cheaper than available on the ship. Research, research and research. Port Vila has cheapest duty free (will deliver to the ship) however the ship will match the price with a photo of the price and product. The product I wanted was only $1 more expensive on board, so I choose to not buy in Vila and get it on board. I found out 2 days after we left Vila, they had sold out on Day 2 of the cruise of the bottle I wanted!! Another recommendation is booking a circular table at a set time each night for dinner in restaurant. You meet new people and food is amazing. We dined there most days for breakfast and dinner with great table service and great meals. No queuing for meals and no crowds. If you are still hungry after dinner – you can go upstairs to the Pantry or snack there earlier in the evening instead. We used to do pre-dinner drinks at 4:30pm and enjoyed a bucket of prawns ($15) with cheeses and sushi from buffet. You can cancel your booking on any night if you wish to go earlier or eat upstairs in Pantry Buffet selection. Indulgence Menu items cost extra if you wish to treat yourself. We didn’t go to the other paying restaurants. We booked at 8pm each night and looking back missed a few activities so planning is important. Pantry Buffet is busy between 5 & 7pm. There is a snack bar, but you pay extra and has chips, burgers etc. There is so much to do on board and this is published daily in a newsletter which you receive the night before, so you can plan your next day if you wish. Take a highlighter and mark the activities you wish to do. Re-reading these newsletters now there were a few other things I wished I had gone to. Plenty of trivia competitions and challenges. Again, another great way to meet people as you form up a team together from your table or those around you. Personal fav was musical trivia with Christian – a great chance for a sing song and laughs. The song title was easy (everyone sang it for you!!!) but the artist was little bit more challenging. Whilst the entertainment shows weren’t to my liking, a search of You Tube shows there can be some great shows and it’s about your ship and timing!! On the other hand - the hypnotist and comedians were well worth it. There are theme parties to attend at nights. These are known before you leave allowing you to plan your wardrobe accordingly. Lot easier for males than ladies. My formal wear one night had braces added for the Gatsby Party! Most people get dressed up but not compulsory. Just adds to fun. We brought a drinks package – got a great deal at third of the normal price and drank lots of cocktails etc without worrying about the cost. On average we would have spent $40 - $60 per day. I doubt we would have brought the cocktails if we were paying for each drink but without worrying about a surprise bill at the end, we could try whatever we liked. Highly recommended. There are photographers everywhere with formal photos on theme nights, boarding the ship, portside and various activities. All available for purchase. We did buy some nice formal photos from theme nights but did so as a digital version (approx. $20 per image) and you can then print and distribute as many as you need and want. All up with port trips, photos, bingo night x2, prawns, indulgence meal, rum tasting activity and other minor expenses we spent an extra $500 over our cruise cost remembering we did have a drinks package which included water which we stored up in our cabin fridge. If you have a special occasion do let restaurant staff know beforehand and your room stewards. They do make a fuss and make that special occasion even more memorable. Disembarkment varies from 6:30am and from your allocated time is approx. 10 minutes. On average you will be off the boat by approx. between 7:30 and 8am. If using, Go Catch promotion these are good services but run to the time you specify. If you are early you need to wait as they are very difficult to get hold of. Our flight arrived early so we were waiting for approx. an hour at the airport the night before and again we booked one for 9am and had an hour to wait after we had disembarked. Worked for us as there were four of us with bags and most taxis don’t take more than four. There are a lot of negative reviews written but our experience was nothing but fantastic. Doing it with another couple or a group of friends is highly recommended or make friends on board and do activities together. Research and research so you know what to expect and you shouldn’t be disappointed. You can do as much as you like or as little as you like however where can you go on holiday and have so many activities at your disposal that are free and included in the price? We are converted and will do another cruise without waiting 30 years. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was my 11th cruise in 6 years. 3rd one for this year. I had the best time. We enjoyed ourselves. We had a balcony suite which was so relaxing watching The water from our cabin. We went to The Gatsby, Bianca White & farewell ... Read More
This was my 11th cruise in 6 years. 3rd one for this year. I had the best time. We enjoyed ourselves. We had a balcony suite which was so relaxing watching The water from our cabin. We went to The Gatsby, Bianca White & farewell parties were all good fun. The band's were so good and the piano player was great. My personal favorite... the show entertainment team. Lead singers, Sam, Katherine & Ben were just awesome so we're the dancers. Loved it. We went to every show. The Crew are super friendly and some of them are so funny. Food was so good in the Pantry. Can't wait till my next cruise next year. I recommend everyone to take a break. Go on a cruise. There is no better place to relax, be pampered and have fun. And the kids have a ball. You'll never get them out of kids club. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We were pleasantly surprised by the Pacific Dawn. We had a balcony, which was very small but the outlook was great. The cabins were clean and had usual 3 star amenities liquid soap, shampoo/conditioner and tissues. The cabin stewards were ... Read More
We were pleasantly surprised by the Pacific Dawn. We had a balcony, which was very small but the outlook was great. The cabins were clean and had usual 3 star amenities liquid soap, shampoo/conditioner and tissues. The cabin stewards were very helpful and friendly. On the cruise we mainly ate at the Waterfront Restaurant and there was always enough choice. Always remember the kitchens are in the bottom of the boat so don’t choose food that would dry out easily. The Pantry always had a lot of food to choose from. We were on a cruise with 2000 people but it never seemed overly crowded. We always got a seat and there were some quiet areas on the boat. The live music was great I would have liked a bit more live music on deck in the afternoons. You have to remember most people pay less than $200 a day to travel on this boat. This includes all your meals. You can’t get a cafe breakfast for less than $20, $25 for lunch and $30 for dinner so I think paying less than $200 a day for accommodation, transport, food and entertainment is unbelievable value. It is not 5 star but neither is the price . If you don’t want to spend money at Airlie grab your towel and head to the lagoon, it is beautiful and view is priceless . If you want quiet time head to decks on 6 or 7 - heaps of seating or to The Dome. It was a great cruise with great staff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We booked this cruise using Marriott Vacation Club points for the 2 nights from Brisbane to Sydney. We wanted to experience the maiden voyage into Sydney. We found the ship to be in very good condition and enjoyed the experience very much. ... Read More
We booked this cruise using Marriott Vacation Club points for the 2 nights from Brisbane to Sydney. We wanted to experience the maiden voyage into Sydney. We found the ship to be in very good condition and enjoyed the experience very much. The food was excellent, having anytime dining we tend to eat late and was seated straight away at a table for 2. The world market place, I found the food fantastic, and in fact the 2nd night we had dinner there, as we did not fancy anything on the main dinning room menu. We enjoyed the noodle bar for lunch. The production show we thought was fantastic, it was new, and very enjoyable. We got to the Princess theatre 15 minutes before the show, and had to seat up the front, to het a better seat maybe 1 hour to 30 minutes before showtime Would I travel on Majestic Princess in the future, yes, have I cruised other cruise lines before, yes. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Just cruised on Majestic Princess from Brisbane to Sydney (2nights). This cruise was fantastic and not long enough. We had an inside cabin which was roomy enough and beds are very comfortable, but pillows not so comfortable so glad I ... Read More
Just cruised on Majestic Princess from Brisbane to Sydney (2nights). This cruise was fantastic and not long enough. We had an inside cabin which was roomy enough and beds are very comfortable, but pillows not so comfortable so glad I bought my own. I have many food allergies & intolerances & this is the first time I have eaten at the buffet & specialty restaurants as the staff were very knowledgeable & could explain the ingredients in each dish & chefs could easily modify menu options to suit my needs even coming up with options not on the menu. It made my experience all the more enjoyable. As normally this would be a very stressful experience for me. This cruise ship was very relaxing & the hydrotherapy pool helped improve my tight muscles. Though a little on the expensive side. Highly recommend this ship and can’t wait to sail it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We choose Aria because we have cruised on Aria before & enjoy the boat, on entering the cabin it looked good & on entering the bathroom only to find the plug activator to raise or lower it was broken & to be told by the room ... Read More
We choose Aria because we have cruised on Aria before & enjoy the boat, on entering the cabin it looked good & on entering the bathroom only to find the plug activator to raise or lower it was broken & to be told by the room attendant you lift it with your finger nail I said please get it fixed.We then visited the dome for pre sail cocktails only to discover the aor con was stuck on 30 degrees it was like an oven then departure was delayed due to propulsion problems & finally departed at 8.40pm. next morning Liz discovered the bath/shower area was riddled with mould we then went to reception & asked to speak to the hotel manager re our issues & was spoken to by the supervisor who saw the photos we took + she came & checked our cabin & was devastated at what she saw + we pointed out the other issues with the cabin. Front Office Manager came & spoke to us & after deliberating with others she offered us a $150 cabin credit + 2 $15 ice cream vouchers (wow). The cabin was scrubbed clean & it then presented well. To us this was not how P& O present the cabins & after 23 cruises we were not impressed with the mould & the other 5 issues Read Less
Sail Date September 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
If you're expecting high quality food and high quality entertainment, I wouldn't hold your breath. The food was sub-par, to the extent that sometimes we couldn't finish our meals. There is only access to limited food ... Read More
If you're expecting high quality food and high quality entertainment, I wouldn't hold your breath. The food was sub-par, to the extent that sometimes we couldn't finish our meals. There is only access to limited food options in terms of "included food" and the Food and Wine cruise title is a joke, since no food & wine "events" are included in the price, and also you have to book so there's no guarantee of a spot. The entertainment was also limited and pretty basic. Nothing you'd pay money to go see. Bar staff take a long time to make simple drinks. Don't bother giving your card to a "wandering waiter" because it'd be quicker to go to the bar yourself. I went on a longer 7 day cruise back in 2009 on this ship and my memories from that cruise were very positive from food to entertainment, and why I chose this again. The quality and rating has dropped dramatically. I wouldn't rate the "value of an inclusive holiday" (i.e. this cruise) that great since you have to pay for all drinks and essentially anything extra. The only positive thing I have to say was that all staff were friendly and warm, particularly the staff assigned to our cabin. They should get a raise as rumours would suggest their pay is pretty low. Also the Karaoke nights were fun, but that was entertainment the passengers created themselves. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
What a great holiday our family had, what stood out to us time and time again was how well organised everything was, from embarkment and disembarkment, shore tours and entertainment everything was run very professionally. The entertainment ... Read More
What a great holiday our family had, what stood out to us time and time again was how well organised everything was, from embarkment and disembarkment, shore tours and entertainment everything was run very professionally. The entertainment team was amazing, excellent shows each night and such an abundance of activities to choose from again so well organised. Our rooms were clean and beds and pillows soooo comfortable. Food was great and better than we had expected, so much to choose from and loved that we could have a three course meal each night included in our fare. Staff were friendly. Everything about our cruise on the Aria was beyond our expectations. The only negative or beware would be the p & o edge. So glad we didnt pre purchase passes as there are only a couple of activities available each day so it was better off for us to pay individually for what we wanted to partake in. Only did the laser tag and it was a big waste of time and money. We organised our shore tours independently and saved at least 50% . Definately recommend and hope to cruise again some day ! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I wanted to take my wife on her first cruise and decided on the 4 night Airlie beach getaway, it was also our anniversary on the second day of the cruise. Loved the ship and the staff were great. We were made to feel welcome be every ... Read More
I wanted to take my wife on her first cruise and decided on the 4 night Airlie beach getaway, it was also our anniversary on the second day of the cruise. Loved the ship and the staff were great. We were made to feel welcome be every staff member and our cabin boys were great. The problems began with the food at the pantry. The first night I decided to have Chinese (Bad Move) I have no idea what spice they used and if the food was fresh but it left me feeling ill. I could taste that spice for the rest of the week and I felt ill at the thought of it. One night there was a magnificent looking roast beef, so I decided to go for that. The meat was so tough I could not even cut it with a knife never mind chew it. The Yorkshire pudding was a dry biscuit. The second day which was our anniversary, I went to the Waterfront restaurant in the morning to book a table for two for that evening and was informed that booking did not start until 2.30pm. So at 2.30 I wondered back down and was the second in line. I was told that the earliest available table was 7.45pm. Sorry to late for us as we wanted to see the show. Talking to a regular cruiser, I found out that people were booking the waterfront restaurant for the same time each night and that is why we could not get in earlier. We were not informed about this and read somewhere that it had to be booked on a daily basis. The first show was great, all singing but the artists were a pleasure to listen too and the applause was overwhelming. The second show: Singing again by the same cast, just changed the props and songs so more like the fist night, the applause was not as good. The last show we saw was the same again, the same cast singing with different props. Very little applause and people were wandering out. All three shows were the same. It would have been good to have variety shows instead of all singing. (We did have a magician one night though and that got boring after ten minutes. We were very disappointed with the food and entertainment. Again the ship was clean, something always going on and the staff were incredible, We did not have the cabin shown in the photo when booking. Finally - The price of "real" coffee was cheaper than on shore - The photo's were $25 each but a special if you purchased two - Cocktails were around $12 each - There is always something going on - The children always had something to do. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
There is absolutely nothing to complain about. I’ve been on many so called 5 star cruise lines and our stateroom was in fact in better condition than any we’ve ever been in The linen and toiletries were of a high standard. The bed and ... Read More
There is absolutely nothing to complain about. I’ve been on many so called 5 star cruise lines and our stateroom was in fact in better condition than any we’ve ever been in The linen and toiletries were of a high standard. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable The room was very spacious and it was great to have a full size bath was great. Our cabin staff were extremely efficient and polite The public areas were lovely well maintained elegant decor. The standard of entertainment was excellent athe food was delicious in all the restaurants without any surcharge. The staff were exceptionally friendly. So much fun organised and you could join in or just relax at your own leisure The ease of embarkation and disembarkation was easy and hassle free. The initial lovely ladies at the dock put everyone at ease. It was such great value. Highly recommended well done P&O Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
If you link your credit card to your P&O card they take each transaction as a 'pending payment' then charge you the whole balance at the end. Essentially charging you double & not releasing any pending payments for 7-10 ... Read More
If you link your credit card to your P&O card they take each transaction as a 'pending payment' then charge you the whole balance at the end. Essentially charging you double & not releasing any pending payments for 7-10 business days after the cruise. The food was terrible at the restaurants & the staff are so unfriendly. The staff walk around doing nothing & bothering you constantly. Departure wasn't til 8am yet I was made to leave my room at 7am because the stewardess "needed the room". Once we left the room every other cabin around us that was empty had not even been cleaned yet, I went to reception to request more blankets at 10pm & they arrived to my cabin at 12:30am. You will get asked for ID each time you go into an 18+ zone or wanted to purchase a drink, even though they take your photo upon embarkment & give you an adults pass. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018

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