254 Brisbane Family Cruise Reviews

Loved PAST Sea princess cruises. Great food, entertainment and great staff. Completely opposite in staff value. Very unethical and not up to scratch. Head waiter at table completely useless, i complained about a bottle of white wine ... Read More
Loved PAST Sea princess cruises. Great food, entertainment and great staff. Completely opposite in staff value. Very unethical and not up to scratch. Head waiter at table completely useless, i complained about a bottle of white wine that was left open and not refrigerated for TWO days.It was completely off! Nothing was done about it. It cost me another $50 for another bottle. Complained at Service desk on last day, still charged for two bottles, NOT GOOD ENOUGH!! 24th Feb filled out cruise survey, no response. NOT GOOD ENOUGH!! Partner and i have done about 15 cruises between us. No more Princess cruises for us... PENDING IF WE RECEIVE A SATISFACTORY REPLY OR NOT! At least they fixed our cabin woes. But for a bottle wine, no refund! Its the principal of it all! We call it customer service!! Should train their staff to be more understanding at complaint levels Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My daughter had been on Carnival and Princess Cruises. She wanted us all to go on one together. A lovely ship with the majority of staff that were just so friendly. Room decor a bit dated and the windows had obviously seen many days at sea ... Read More
My daughter had been on Carnival and Princess Cruises. She wanted us all to go on one together. A lovely ship with the majority of staff that were just so friendly. Room decor a bit dated and the windows had obviously seen many days at sea so they looked dirty although they weren't. Very spacious, a/c worked great. It was the last voyage from Brisbane as it will remain in Melbourne for a bit of time. We mostly had to dine at "The Pantry" or " The waterfront". The Asian and Italian Restaurants were booked out for the entire cruise on the first day obviously by Cruisers who knew the ropes. A more fair system would be to be given a voucher with your cruise ticket to all of the restaurants. A lot of the meals in the pantry that had meat (Asian, Indian meals) were very tough and not very flavorsome and often not hot at all. The desserts looked good but very underwhelming to eat. A lot of variety so you can find something you'll like. Majority of staff are very hard working and very pleasant. A handful of staff that serve up the food weren't impolite but very disinterested in being there. So many were serving tiny portions so I'd often hear younger guys asking for bigger serves. Great entertainment all around the ship. There is a lot of things you pay for on P&O that is included on other cruises. I heard many people continually mentioning this. Many people were also questioning their accounts. I think by 9.30 the only food available is a place that sells pizza's, pies, hamburgers. I cant emphasize enough of how friendly and hard working the staff are. We stopped at Eden, it was so beautiful to arrive at. We visited the little marked on the pier. Brought some lovely organic chilli relishes. You must check that out. My daughter and husband enjoyed the onboard parties. The view and comfortable chairs up at the Dome is not to be missed. So many lovely sitting areas. A seperate pool just for adults as well as the one kids can go in. If i could be guaranteed a spot in one of the 2 restaurants we had no hope of getting into, then I'd consider going again. The crowd on board were the friendliest, happiest people I've come across in a long time. The atmosphere was amazing. Young, old and inbetween everyone was so beautiful. Elma up at " The Waterfront Restaurant" was a real sweetheart. Elfy at " The Pantry" was always smiling and her happiness is infectious. Make sure you get hold of the daily itinary so you know what's on. We didn't get 2 days so we missed out on a lot. I didn't realise i needed it until people mentioned it. I assume someone took it from outside our door. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Always wanted to see New Zealand and we thought that a cruise would provide the best opportunity to visit the various regions. We took the New Zealand 15 day cruise with Princess and were booked on the Sea Princess. While we enjoyed all ... Read More
Always wanted to see New Zealand and we thought that a cruise would provide the best opportunity to visit the various regions. We took the New Zealand 15 day cruise with Princess and were booked on the Sea Princess. While we enjoyed all of the Ports of Call and tours there were some negative aspects to our cruise. We had never sailed on the Sun Princess but were aware it was smaller than the Royal Class ships we were used to sailing on. It also was not equipped with the Princess "Medallion" system. Big negative was that the Sea Princess (22 years old) is not very well maintained with copious amounts of rust, aging facilities and decor along with average food. Cabin was small and again was showing its age. As experienced cruisers with Princess we anticipated top tier dining and unfortunately were disappointed with the overall quality of what was offered. The Sun Princess crew that we came in contact with were all very helpful and courteous in every respect. Without exception they all worked hard to make everyone feel comfortable during the time we were aboard. On the entertainment side, we enjoyed the evening shows which were professionally produced and interestingly enough had a large contingent of Americans all of whom were outstanding. New Zealand was fabulous even though we missed part of our itinerary due to weather and a couple of port calls were shortened. Great people, great and very scenic country with excellent port calls, some too short, and very good well organized shore excursions. We will have many fond memories of our Tasmania & New Zealand Cruises for many years to come. In summation the value for what we paid was below average primarily due to the ship's condition and food. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We read all the negative reviews expecting this cruise to be substandard. This cruise was perfect, staff great. I have no idea what people complain about and wonder if there is an expectation beyond what people pay for. Service great, food ... Read More
We read all the negative reviews expecting this cruise to be substandard. This cruise was perfect, staff great. I have no idea what people complain about and wonder if there is an expectation beyond what people pay for. Service great, food in buffet and free restaurants average, but you get what you pay for. If people expect high quality food while travelling 7 days to 2 countries with five star service while not paying for it, then complain away. Cruise was awesome. Please people see for yourselves and don’t believe the negative comments as gospel. A tip, a drink package at 100.00 Australian a day gives you 15 drinks a day. I could not use it and think next time will pay for the drinks as I go along. I feel people complain over minutiae. Great cruise and would book with them again. Please book salt restaurant, you pay for it and it’s the best food on board. I go back to saying, you get what you pay for otherwise don’t complain. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise for the itinerary to Papua New Guinea from Brisbane We are big princess fans and took our children and granddaughter on this cruise for a great family vacation We were all staying in club class mini suites We ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary to Papua New Guinea from Brisbane We are big princess fans and took our children and granddaughter on this cruise for a great family vacation We were all staying in club class mini suites We have previously stayed in a suite with star princess and club class Mini suites on crown princess This smaller ship is wonderful Yes she is much older but everyday she is clean and sparkling for the new day But all cabins have been refurbished and the princess beds Devine The food is first class and the staff across the whole ship are fantastic We are just about to head off the the Caribbean on the new sky princess and hope she is as good as sea princess By the way we encountered some good swells while away and she is very stable and most of the time you forget you are on a ship Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Chose this cruise for family of 8. Three children under 18, parents in 40’s and grandparents over 60. We grandparents have spent much time on Sea Princess, each sailing we notice the cut downs everywhere - staff, indifferent service ... Read More
Chose this cruise for family of 8. Three children under 18, parents in 40’s and grandparents over 60. We grandparents have spent much time on Sea Princess, each sailing we notice the cut downs everywhere - staff, indifferent service by some, lousy movies on deck and on cabin TV’s. Very little for under 18’s unless in kids club. Also for the under 50’s. Still the same ‘games’ etc. very little deck parties, games and not much nightlife for them. Overall, tis my opinion that a lot of things were just ‘tired’. Same old, same old and didn’t notice anything new. Perhaps I am being somewhat ‘picky’. So many small things that were ‘wrong’ led to an overall ‘feeling’ of disappointment. Sea Princess attention to detail was sadly lacking in many areas. Food slopped in and out of bowl in Traviata was a ‘surprise’. At the start, all of our cruise cards were incorrectly labelled as set dining, cruise personalizer was anytime dining for all. We had to go from one place to another to have this ‘fixed’ - with a paper sticker over that part of card. Food in Horizon Court still not hot enough. Some new ‘rules/regulations’ were rubbish stuff. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Me and the wife chose this cruise because the ship sailed from brisbane and we took our kids with us so it worked for us to sail on aria. As my review title stated good that p and o are getting rid of this ship in the next year or so its ... Read More
Me and the wife chose this cruise because the ship sailed from brisbane and we took our kids with us so it worked for us to sail on aria. As my review title stated good that p and o are getting rid of this ship in the next year or so its old and in need off a massive makeover rust everywhere on the ship the entire cruise maintenance was getting done cutting rust off the ship and repainting which left a toxic smell in our cabin for most of the cruise. There is not alot to do on the ship so if your someone that likes to always be doing something you will get bored very quickly. To the positives crew was very polite and helpful our room stewart's yuyus and budi were great and to len and freddie in the restaurant areas where fantastic great with my to little children always happy to see us. Food on board was better than i thought it was going to be the restaurants which were complementary were really good. Boarding and disembarking the ship was brilliant very will organised and a easy process. I would not book another cruise on this ship though but i would book another cruise with p and o this was our first cruise with p and o. i hope this review is helpful to someone Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose Princess Cruises because we wanted to see New Zealand. This was our 9th Ocean Cruise with various cruise lines, and we have also been on 10 River Cruises, mostly with Viking. We chose Anytime Dining, not wanting the ... Read More
We chose Princess Cruises because we wanted to see New Zealand. This was our 9th Ocean Cruise with various cruise lines, and we have also been on 10 River Cruises, mostly with Viking. We chose Anytime Dining, not wanting the alternatives of either an early sitting (5:30pm) or a late sitting (7:45pm) and not wanting to use the buffet on Deck 14. We had to wait outside the dining room, sometimes for as long as 30 minutes, when we wanted a table on our own. Hardly anytime dining, so we mostly said we were willing to share a table with others, which has its drawbacks. I often had to wait more than 30 minutes for my one breakfast dish, while others at the table were having fruit, muesli, pastries, etc. We went to the buffet a few times, either just before or just after an excursion, but it was awful, standing around looking for a table which was just about to become available, and trying to grab it before someone else got there first. We only went to the Princess Theatre once, as it was far too loud, same as with the Movies Under the Stars. I said to my daughter that they should take into account the average age of the passengers when setting the volume. She said that they probably had done just that! I drink cider, so my choices were limited, either Strongbow, which is not to my liking, or Angry Orchard, which was fine. Except when the ship ran out of them after the first week. Fortunately, I found that the Wheelhouse Bar on Deck 7 had Bulmers Cider on draught, unfortunately it was only open in the evenings. Any more complaints? I thought the bar prices were a bit on the high side, Aus$ 8.75 for a 330ml bottle, and Aus$ 12 for a pint. Excursions were also a bit pricey; we pre-booked one with Shore Trips and Tours before we left home, and it was about half the price of the equivalent ship's excursion. What did we find acceptable? Embarkation and Disembarkation were well organised, cabin was kept clean, the food in the restaurant was excellent, the bar staff were always cheery, and Midnight Duo were our favourite entertainers. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have sailed 2X with Pacific Aria and now did our second trip with the Dawn due to the kids section as we took our son and his family with us which made it their 1st cruise and our 4th cruise. Needless to say the kids play area was too ... Read More
We have sailed 2X with Pacific Aria and now did our second trip with the Dawn due to the kids section as we took our son and his family with us which made it their 1st cruise and our 4th cruise. Needless to say the kids play area was too cold for the kids so there were hardly any kids in there, the main pool was very dangerous as it just went down so he couldn't swim in there as hot tubs just too hot but you could have up to 12 kids in it at anytime.There was hardly any entertainment for the little kids. They only had 2 waiters on top so you had dirty plates and glasses sitting there for hours, no waiters to come and take your drink orders unlike the 1st time. The Aria was on top of their game on that one at all time. Plus the Aria has 3 free restaurants as to only 1 on the Dawn. The Aria Pantry also had more selection as oppose to the Dawn pantry. The waterfront restaurant, I will give our waiter Khaled for table 4 10 out of 10 as not only was he entertaining with my grandson, but alway very polite and helpful. The whole ship could have done with more of him. The entertainment fell down badly. I would rate 2 out of 10.Not good at all. I bought some inch of gold jewellery and when I got home, found that I was given a dodgy clasp that didn't open or close.Won't make that mistake again. The staff although tried to be happy, you could see they were very tired which was sad to see. Needless to say my son and family will never cruise again and we will never cruise the Dawn again. If I could get my money back I would as I paid for all 5 of us. We like to go every 6 month so it will be the Aria until the new port is open with more ships on offer. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Staff generally trying hard to please but let down by poor planning and ignorance. Do not travel on this vessel if you are vegetarian, vegan or allergic to anything. Examples include chicken in the vegetarian dishes, not by accident. ... Read More
Staff generally trying hard to please but let down by poor planning and ignorance. Do not travel on this vessel if you are vegetarian, vegan or allergic to anything. Examples include chicken in the vegetarian dishes, not by accident. Evidently chicken is a vegetable? One of my party is allergic, two don’t eat meat. One restaurant catered if preordered but everything else was unwilling to modify even a salad roll. Very disappointing. The cabin is worn, needs painting and the fridge acts like a hot box (it does not work). Room service breakfast for my mothers room never showed up and an industrial dishwasher opposite our room blew up leaving our room filled with a pungent, fowl smell. Also, the shower fittings seem to have been retrieved from the titanic. All in all, it’s a cattle class experience at a first class cost. May the fleas of a million camels infest your armpits, or, take a cruise on the Pacific Aria. Suggest it only for those you wish to scorn. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We went on this 7 night cruise with our two young children (2 &3) it said family friendly and plenty to do etc. Cons- I wouldn't bother taking little kids on this cruise ship there wasnt much for small kids to do they ... Read More
We went on this 7 night cruise with our two young children (2 &3) it said family friendly and plenty to do etc. Cons- I wouldn't bother taking little kids on this cruise ship there wasnt much for small kids to do they couldn't do any of the activities, turtle cove was good but have to leave the kids there and go and some kids don't like to be left with strangers. There was messy play which went for 20mins in the morning and then the water park which was freezing even on a 30 degree day. Took way way to long to get off the boat was lining up for over an hour for Noumea, and 45mins for Lifou was fairly quick at Port Vila but to get off to come home was waiting way to long again really unorganised. They Also broke my brand suit case and were very rough with throwing them on and left them in the rain. Towards to end of the cruise the youth workers started to seem grumpy obviously getting over working 7 days a week but weren't as cheerful. Pros- Food was good and big variety Ports were really nice and loved them Workers at resurant were really lovely and always tried to make the kids laugh All up was a nice trip but would definitely not use the cruise ship with kids as its not very family friendly as they advertise Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise as Dream cruises were starting cruises out of Brisbane and we were hoping to have a new choice for our cruises from this port. In over 45 cruises we have to say it was the worst ship we have ever been on. The staff ... Read More
We chose this cruise as Dream cruises were starting cruises out of Brisbane and we were hoping to have a new choice for our cruises from this port. In over 45 cruises we have to say it was the worst ship we have ever been on. The staff were great. What food we ate in the Western dining room was very good. Minimal menu but excellent in quality and taste. Everything else was indescribable. Some of the entertainers were good too. It was like something out of the 1970 s. So much on board is pay pay pay. That is hiw you get loyalty points too. How mych you spend. So old and in need of a complete overhaul. Unless you travel in the most expensive sections of the ship and eat in the select 1st class section restaurant Forget it. . They should have left it as it was when it was the Virgo. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first cruise, just myself and my partner. It was the Fiji Adventure 12 night cruise, sailing on the Pacific Aria. We stayed on deck 6, in cabin 6023, a sort of oceanview cabin but the view looked out onto the deck which ... Read More
This was our first cruise, just myself and my partner. It was the Fiji Adventure 12 night cruise, sailing on the Pacific Aria. We stayed on deck 6, in cabin 6023, a sort of oceanview cabin but the view looked out onto the deck which people could walk around on. It’s due to make stops at; Port Vila (Vanuatu) Port Denarau (Fiji) Suva (Fiji) Mystery Island (Vanuatu) Isle of Pines (New Caledonia) Everything went as the cruise says, except due to rough sea, our stop at Isle of Pines was cancelled and changed to Noumea so we didn’t lose a stop. We didn’t buy the drinks package, and still only spent $800 on board for the whole trip. Ship: The Pacific Aria, I believe is the smallest ship P&O Australia currently have in their fleet. From the moment I stepped on this ship I liked it a lot. The carpet and decorations were nice, staff greeting people in friendly manner, as expected, and the whole new experience of been on a cruise ship for both of us added to the excitement. Within the first few hours we were familiar with the location of most on board shops, bars, pool areas, casino, marquee for the shows, etc. It was a good layout and easily remembered. Cabin: We stayed in 6023. It’s classed as an obstructed oceanview room on deck 6. It looks out on the the deck which people can walk the whole way around, and is underneath the marquee. You see many people walk past this cabin at all times of day and night through your window. It was a nice cabin, very clean and well kept, size was bigger than I expected. Shower worked well and was in a bathtub. The only negative thing I can say about the cabin was the fact that it was underneath the marquee, and you can hear bangs and music pretty loudly from above during show times, if your not at the shows that is! Dining: We were happy with what the pantry had to offer. All sorts of different food every day, served pretty much throughout the whole day. Plenty of tables so always somewhere to sit even at the busiest times. We managed to get to the Waterfront Restaurant & Angelo’s. Both restaurants need booking and there is no charge for eating at them. I suggest booking tables at these places as soon as you can as we only managed to go to each restaurant once. The Waterfront was average. Not too much on the menu, but something for everyone. Angelo’s, in my opinion, was absolutely fantastic. I had the lasagne and would definitely say it was the best lasagne I have ever had. Entertainment & Activities: Every night you receive a newsletter for the next day, which has what’s going on’s and show times through the whole day. Easy to read and definitely a lot going on. You will never get bored, there is something for everyone. Shows, fitness, sales, and more. Shows in the marquee were 19:30 and 21:30 every night, and we went to quite a few. I believe there was a few on later on certain nights also. There is also a cinema that has a few movies on a day, which we went to a couple of times. There’s plenty of stuff on the tv in your room also. Cruise director Cole is always telling you about what’s going on so you don’t miss out. Service: It was great. Our room attendants were a lady called Joy & a fella who’s name I can’t remember, but they were fantastic. Every day smiling and asking how we are, and they did an amazing job with our cabin. Service throughout the whole ship was great, in the restaurants and bars, reception & activities. The captain every day explains your position in the ‘mighty’ ocean, and talks about the weather & times your expected to dock at wherever your going. Not sure of his name, but he was Italian and regularly walks around the ship. It was also his idea to cancel our stop at Isle of Pines due to rough sea, and make a stop at Noumea instead, so we don’t lose a tour day. We wouldn’t of been able to get onto the tender’s at isle of pines. Ports & Shore Excursions: The only difference Port Vila; This was our first stop. It was a really nice place. We did the turtle sanctuary shore tour, which took us on a 45 min bus ride to a small beach, then about a 45 minute boat trip across to another island. We saw some dolphins on the way. We then stopped for an hours swim & snorkel, the water was really clear and lots to see. The gear provided wasn’t in great condition but was still usable. After the swim we had lunch cooked by some locals which was a really nice bbq. Then we made our way to where the turtle sanctuary was. There was lots of baby turtles separated into different tanks for different ages, and then eventually released when they become less easy to be preyed on. I think we would of got back to the ship around 15:30/16:00 so was not much time to go anywhere far due to the ship leaving around 17:30 so the tour is pretty much a full day. Port Denarau; We did the Oolala Island tour, so didn’t spend much time in Port Denarau at all. Upon arriving we got on a locals tender but it was big, so heaps of people transferred quickly. Then we took a boat from Port Denarau to Oolala Island, which took a little over an hour. Oolala Island was my favourite place we went, it is visually stunning and the sea is so warm and clear, snorkelling here was truely unbelievable. The staff on the tour were friendly and the is lots to drink, and snacks, and there is multiple things to do on the island. You can borrow snorkelling gear and do your own thing, or go with a guide, or you can go on a glass bottom boat. They cooked a bbq lunch which was nice and offered free beer during lunch. Suva; We did a city tour, which a tour bus took us on a drive around Suva, some local towns and made a stop at the museum. Plenty of interesting things to see at the museum. The bus got back to Suva around 12:00/13:00 so still plenty of time to explore the city. We got some hassle from locals, trying to get us to buy from certain shops, but I suggest just try stay with your group and don’t stop and talk to anybody that seems overly friendly. Mystery Island; We only did a small snorkelling and clear kayak tour here. It wasn’t great, the gear was in poor condition and the snorkelling guide didn’t say much or seem interested as been a guide at all. The kayaks were in very poor condition and a bit of rough sea made the floats on the side break off. We didn’t eat on the island so can’t comment on the food. Cancelled Isle of Pines stop and changed to Noumea; Noumea was my second favourite stop, and I’m glad we ended up coming here. Lots of French culture, markets, and easy to get around with the red & blue busses that circle the city every day. We did our own thing here, and only bad thing I can say is it’s pretty damn expensive. Shops close from 12:00 - 14:00 or something too so be prepared for that. There’s a nice beach nearby with amazing sea colours, and a restaurant area with lots of choice. Also an aquarium but we didn’t make it there. Tours Overall; We did a decent few tours, booked through p&o and spent about $1000 for them for the two of us, but I’d suggest to people not to book tours through p&o because we found that it was half price for some of the same tours once your on shore. Cruise overall; We both had a fantastic holiday on our first cruise and enjoyed every stop in a different way. We had fun on all the sea days and enjoyed all the shows. We didn’t buy the drinks package, and still only spent $800 on board. We would definitely return on this same cruise, on the same ship, with the exact same crew anytime, and P&O have done a great job with everything. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
round australia, previously done this cruise with Princess. So disappointed in ports of call, only reason for going to PNG appears to be so they can sell duty free on board, barely worth the effort. Port Moresby would have least been worth ... Read More
round australia, previously done this cruise with Princess. So disappointed in ports of call, only reason for going to PNG appears to be so they can sell duty free on board, barely worth the effort. Port Moresby would have least been worth getting off, but not Alatoa, what’s there? On board shops selling usual cheap souvenirs, although plenty of top priced jewellery if you wanted that and expensive USA clothing. Strident on air communications to sell the art on board. The staff are all excellent, really could not do enough for you, helpful and pleasant. This cruise had loads of passengers, myself included, who had wheeled walkers and some electric scooters and wheelchairs, all were treated with exceptional kindness. The food, was amazingly good, there was always plenty of choice. I did miss not having much ‘named’ fish to choose from however. Getting off ship in Sydney to visit relatives from White Bay was a real problem, We had to get to Manley so involved taxis on top of ferry journey. On screen information regarding this was very mediocre and other passengers felt annoyed, as we did with lack of it. Then to arrive at at circular quay and see another huge ship anchored there, really! Overseas visitors we spoke to, were less than enthusiastic re this cruise, feeling that they had seen nothing of the real Australia, every port was a replica of the previous ones, just another spot on the map. This I agree with. Have been told this cruise for the next 18 months is already wait list only. We had problems getting a booking as due to my accident were unable to book well in advance, Princess had a deposit and wait list from both ports, Sydney and Brisbane for us, eventually we had to book with USA agent who gave us an immediate confirmation, guaranteed cabin on the deck we wanted, this no doubt, is why we ended up with a small cabin. But, why could Princess not do that? As we are now both 80, it’s probable we won’t be using Princess again. Final note, felt this cruise was 2 weeks too long. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We'd previously done the Pacific Islands Cruise on Pacific Dawn with P&O and wanted a cruise departure from Brisbane. Papua New Guinea wasn't even on our radar but the dates aligned and we thought 'why not'? We ... Read More
We'd previously done the Pacific Islands Cruise on Pacific Dawn with P&O and wanted a cruise departure from Brisbane. Papua New Guinea wasn't even on our radar but the dates aligned and we thought 'why not'? We booked our first balcony cabin and we wont go back to ocean view again. With school holiday pricing it was not a budget cruise like our first one but it was nice to treat ourselves. It's so nice to have extra space in the room as well as the deck which had 2 chairs, sunlounge and small coffee table. Our room (9070) had a great queen sized bed while our daughter slept on the converted sofa. She loved having her own space. There's loads of hanging and drawer storage too, though large suitcases wont fit in cupboards (tip..they will fit under the bed if left opened which is great for shoe storage) Our room had a bar fridge (other rooms don't). We were able to take our own soft drinks which was great given we didn't opt for a drinks package this time and saved a heap of money. The bathroom was fitted with spa bath which we loved. The toilet looked new and the shower pressure and temperature control were great. Our room stewards were brilliant as always and it was great coming back after lunch to an immaculately presented room. Aria is an excellent ship. Just the right size with good facilities and heaps of restaurants and bars to choose from. The decor is great and beautifully fitted out. The lounge are in the Atrium on level 6 is great for playing games or reading. There's always organised games here too and some cool prizes to win. We always found room by the pool on the sun lounges. The pool and 2 spas were crowded with kids but being school holidays that's understandable. The sliding roof is brilliant and the lounge areas to the side of the pool are very popular. We didn't get to go to the adults only area as our daughter decided HQ was not for her. (one day!!) The gym is amazing with great panoramic views. My wife is quite the gym junkie and she found everything she needed. She also indulged in a massage at the spa which we paid more than we should (the same massage was offered on the last day for much cheaper) Our daughter also got a great hair cut which she is busily instagramming everyone about. Food was generally good. The Pantry is a great concept and the food is better than the old buffet style with lots of variety. Some hit and misses but great breakfasts! Angelos Italian was very disappointing. Flavourless and bland. Dragon Lady was above average. Salt grill was sublime. The Waterfront is a beautiful restaurant but the service has gone down hill. I don't know if P&O are pushing for more business like service from their waiters but many have little personality and aren't friendly. Very robotic. There were of course some exceptions. The menu feels very limited and my daughter struggled to find anything on the main menu. Entertainment was good. Its very cabaret in style which is not to our liking but the movie theatre was great and the TV in the room had some good shows and movies. There's also a massive DVD library. We picked 2 but they were never delivered. Ports of call for PNG are hit and miss. Alatou was not very pleasant and not much to see if you don't do a planned tour. Kitava was missed due to weather. Kiriwina was good. Very cultural with heaps of markets and great beaches to swim in. The locals are very friendly and we enjoyed our outrigger canoe ride across the reef. The highlight though is Conflict Islands. Its paradise in one easy to navigate small island. Sublime beaches and snorkelling. Tip- take your own snorkel gear and make your own way to eastern tip of the island. Save yourself $100 in excursions which happen off the same beach. It's a beautiful walk along the beach or through the middle of the island. Weirdly this island doesn't use money, rather a voucher system. You have to buy the vouchers from a kiosk (long lines) and then use the vouchers at the bar, gift shop, water activities kiosk or restaurant. Food is pretty good and the bar is well stocked with local and international beers. There were no issues with gastro on board that we knew of. Disembarkation took us about 15 minutes, we were home in 45. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise as it was the only one that suited a family holiday in School holiday times. 5 of the 7 guests have cruised extensively before, 2 were new to cruising. They will not cruise again after this experience. The rooms ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was the only one that suited a family holiday in School holiday times. 5 of the 7 guests have cruised extensively before, 2 were new to cruising. They will not cruise again after this experience. The rooms were terrible. Torn carpets, everything is falling apart. The rooms are dirty (could clearly see spilled drinks and food just left on the walls) mould throughout bathrooms and around windows on oceanview rooms. The sheets are just nasty, stained from years of use. You did not feel like lazing around in your room that is for sure. One of the rooms was so bad it took several days of complaining but eventually the bathroom was regrouted and siliconed. It shouldn't take days to get an issue sorted. And for all these inconveniences a bottle of wine was offered and dinner at salt. No room change or refund, disgusting customer service. The rooms smelled, they are in need of a thorough deep clean. Add to all this that for most of the cruise the a/c around the boat seemed to not work very well especially in the rooms. Some people we spoke to could not get there rooms below 25 degrees. On the last few nights it did start to work better but black dust and dirt was coming out the vents. Back to the smells, the boat is just old. All the bathrooms in the main areas always seemed to be overflowing constantly, not just 1 but everywhere you went. You spent a lot of time holding your breathe as you walked past certain parts. As for activities, there is not a lot to do on p&o ships. It was our second time on board one of there ships and I don't think i would ever cruise with them again. There are plenty of other options and good deals out there. If your just looking to buy a drinks package and get hammered drunk all day, then maybe this is for you but everything about p&o compared to other lines is budget. Everything is an extra. I've been on budget ships before and you get what you pay for, but for the price of these cruises for a few hundred extra i would definately go on something else. Pacific aria should be retired well and truely. P&O should be ashamed to be charging guests for such a horrid experience. I also feel extremely sorry for all the staff stuck on board, they seem severely over worked. They all look tired, and fed up, cant blame them. 2 guys cleaning 36 rooms, no wonder they are filthy. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We went in to this cruise expecting to be impressed. Everyone I know who has been on a cruise has loved it, raved about it, told me "you'll LOVE it - once you cruise you never go back!" And many people are repeat cruisers, ... Read More
We went in to this cruise expecting to be impressed. Everyone I know who has been on a cruise has loved it, raved about it, told me "you'll LOVE it - once you cruise you never go back!" And many people are repeat cruisers, so I was expecting it to be pretty enjoyable. Well....it was OK. I mean, it was better than being at work. However it was pretty massively disappointing as well. The ship itself was pretty dated. Our cabin (4007) wasn't awful, it was spacious enough, but the bathtub was grotty and full of mold, the fixtures all seemed a bit cheap and like they had lived a hard life. The bed was reasonably comfortable. The food was a massive disappointment. The Pantry was just gross - the food was cold and inedible 90% for the time, and it was like feeding time at the zoo - just a herd of bodies trying to ram as much food in to themselves as possible. We preferred the Waterfront, which had table service and was a generally nicer atmosphere, but the food here was extremely disappointing as well, generally tasteless and often cold, with very few options. My kids hated the children's choices as well, with the gruel-like "kid's favourite soup" and other strange choices. Kids like chicken nuggets and chips, standard sandwiches, pizza....these shoudl be standard, consistent options. We tried Angelo's one night and were hugely disappointed here as well. The chef seems to think Heinz tomato sauce is a pasta sauce, as it seemed to feature heavily in the pasta bolognese and lasagna. We cancelled our second booking. We tried Dragon Lady once. The grilled trout available one night was amazing. Everything else was again, cold, weird and barely edible. It was like they were trying too hard to make the meals interesting and exotic, but they missed the mark wildly, and we would have been far happier with standard Asian fare actually done well. Service was OK in all restaurants. Not great. Not terrible. A bit slow, but not like we had anywhere to go. The best food we had were the pizza's at The Grill that had to be purchased. They were pretty cheap, but felt like a bit of a rip off given it was meant to be all inclusive. The ports were were interesting, although we were MASSIVELY disappointed that the volcano tour in Rabaul didn't actually go up (or anywhere near) the volcano. We stayed on shore as long as possible at each port to feel like we were actually traveling. The evening entertainment, bars etc weren't bad, but got old quickly. As my husband said "it's like being on a floating Wests club". The pool was pretty tiny, but ok. The Dolphin statues seemed like a pointless decoration given they were draped in signs saying "Do not enter this area". The cocktails were pretty tasty by and large. My kids loved the kids club, and here I would give them 5 stars - the kid's staff were amazing, and they had a ball making new friends and going to all the kids' events. All in all - pretty sure we aren't "cruise" people after this, and I tend to think that the people who are (if this was all standard) have very low expectations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
P&O Recommend passengers bring two bags: On the night prior to disembarking, passengers are required to leave their luggage outside their room for collection. Instead of thinking I was being efficient with only one bag, a second bag ... Read More
P&O Recommend passengers bring two bags: On the night prior to disembarking, passengers are required to leave their luggage outside their room for collection. Instead of thinking I was being efficient with only one bag, a second bag would have been very useful for the last overnight. Bring a lanyard, doesn’t matter what other company it promotes, everyone wears them, all colours and varieties. Book your dinners on the first day, especially if you’re travelling with a large group. Other times at the restaurants you just need to show up as your entire group before being seated. Children are well catered for at the restaurants . This was a great teaching opportunity for us to to share dining etiquette in a friendly environment. The same children’s menu that is offered at all included restaurants. Our older (12 years) children were offered to children’s menu, which was considerate of the wait staff. They were included as adults. When deciding what to spend the day doing, a highlighter marker would be useful to mark up the daily newsletter. Attend a show. They are not going to take very much time. Most were under an hour. After the show the cruise director will give information about the days activities and those coming up on following days. It would be useful to advertise how long events are expected to take for planning and group coordination. Tea and coffee, juice and water were freely available all the time at The Pantry.The Pantry hours on the day of Embarking are generous. There will be something available when you board. The room has a DVD player, but I downloaded some movies before we left. Helped when there were quiet (or needed to be quiet moments) Loved the cruise. The whole family experience was exactly what I was hoping for. A memory maker. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I personally enjoyed my cruise with my family very much! We spend 10 nights on the Pacific Aria and it was awesome! Cons: -We had to skip one of the islands (Kitava) as the weather of the sea was too strong for the wee boats to take ... Read More
I personally enjoyed my cruise with my family very much! We spend 10 nights on the Pacific Aria and it was awesome! Cons: -We had to skip one of the islands (Kitava) as the weather of the sea was too strong for the wee boats to take us to the island. -If there are announcements about the activities throughout the day you can't really hear them from your cabin without opening your door (we were on deck 4). Pros: -The food was delicious and we dined in the pantry most days. We tried Dragon Lady (Asian Restaurant) and Angelo's (Italian Restaurant) once but the portions were really small. The waterfront was perfect for Breakfast and Lunch. - There were many activities to participate in on sea days such as parties, fitness/dance classes, anti-aging courses, coloring, board games, and many competitions. - The Edge was an amazing fun thing for us to do. It is a group you can sign up for and do many outdoor extreme activities like rock climbing, walk the plank, the flying fox and laser tag. -The decoration throughout the ship was really beautiful with an added touch of each elevator having a different design. - The staff was extremely kind and our Steward Dodi was amazing. Every day we were welcomed with a towel made creature and he would often incorporate my brothers' toys into the towel creature. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise because it was going to Singapore , what a mistake , smell of sewerage everywhere , our toilet kept blocking up .Over crowded ,swimming pool was more like a bath tub .Had to wait hours to get on and off ship by tender ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was going to Singapore , what a mistake , smell of sewerage everywhere , our toilet kept blocking up .Over crowded ,swimming pool was more like a bath tub .Had to wait hours to get on and off ship by tender .Staff as usual were excellent hpwever management treated everyone lime cattle .Never again ,got charge for visa to Timor , only out about the day before we arrived there , then price went up 33 1/3 % overnight . Lined up everywhere for food , half the time couldn't get a seat when dining or for shows . Found most ot the staff who were higher up in rank rude and arogant . The ship itself is old , there is rust everywhere and bits were actually falling off .A lot of the facilities were out of order and were never fixed the whole time we were on the cruise . Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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
Our 1st cruise and I booked P and O because of their $1 deposit. I've seen and heard many negatives ,particularly the Pacific Dawn. I couldn't fault our cruise at all - and I can be hard to please. But I really think some ... Read More
Our 1st cruise and I booked P and O because of their $1 deposit. I've seen and heard many negatives ,particularly the Pacific Dawn. I couldn't fault our cruise at all - and I can be hard to please. But I really think some people just like to complain and whine about nothing. From our boarding to disembarking the crew were fabulous. I found the food great (if I didn't like what I got , I went and tried something else). The people that looked after our room were warm and friendly, basically at your beck and call They remembered mine and the kids names after 1st meeting us. Waiters serving us pre dinner drinks remembered from the 1st night what cocktail I liked. The evening shows are world class. I thoroughly enjoyed them every night. The activities, whether family orientated or for myself were plentiful and fun. I absolutely was in awe of everything. These holidays are really what you put in and make of it. My family and I had a fantastic time. The best value holiday ever. And if P and O is an entry level cruise , I can't wait to try another cruise line. But I would also book another p and o without hesitation My only and biggest regret...... I didn't book one long enough. As soon as I boarded I knew 4 nights was not going to be long enough. New cruise addict here! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have cruised P&O many times from Brisbane as we do not have a lot of options for local ships - until 2020 at least. We were blown away by the service of almost all groups on this ship. The folks running the Edge program are ... Read More
We have cruised P&O many times from Brisbane as we do not have a lot of options for local ships - until 2020 at least. We were blown away by the service of almost all groups on this ship. The folks running the Edge program are AMAZING, and everyone we encountered in the dining rooms / stateroom attendants/ restaurants were fantastic. Sadly there were too many issues with this cruise to recommend anyone travel on the Pacific Dawn. The water supply to our cabin was polluted (*see cabin info below). The food was ordinary at best - with the exception of Salt Grill which was amazing. My wife has coeliac disease, and sadly the labelling on items in the buffet was either incomplete or factually incorrect. An example was a soup at the asian area that said Gluten Free - but when I quizzed the staff I was told no - there is soy sauce in this. The waterfront restaurant made attempts to modify some dishes (dinnertime only) and these were of an ok standard. We had a lot of photos taken as part of a photo package, sadly when we checked the USB drive once at home only a fraction of the photos we selected were actually on this USB disk. This was heartbreaking as we had some wonderful dress-up shots taken of our children. I can only put this down to lazyness of the staff in the photo area. The ship is rusty and tired (it was sad seeing the rust hastily whitewashed over when in lovely Pacific Island ports) the eateries never have enough seating space and have comparably short open hours compared to Royal or Princess. Whilst the waterslides are great, they do not make up for the tiny pool or limited deck chairs on the Lido deck for a cruise with 500 children onboard. Unless you can only afford a 3 day trip from Brisbane or have never cruised before - steer clear of this ship. I took a $600 hit to the pocket by cancelling another cruise I had booked rather than sail on the Pacific Dawn - or probably with P&O - ever again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This is now our third cruise, our second (and last) with P&O. Our first cruise was with P&O on our own and we weren’t impressed, but it was our first and a few years ago now so we thought we would give them another try. The money ... Read More
This is now our third cruise, our second (and last) with P&O. Our first cruise was with P&O on our own and we weren’t impressed, but it was our first and a few years ago now so we thought we would give them another try. The money grab of the century is probably the easiest way to explain it, no happy hours for drinks, no coffee card and the cocktails were so watered down that having 2 of them back to back had no effect at all, just lolly water. The ship is tired with outdated decor. The food was just ok, the Pantry (or pigs trough as we called it) was ordinary, little variety and didn’t change. The Waterfront was ok, but always rushed with a small menu which also didn’t change much. The language barrier was an issue at times also and when asking for certain items to be added or subtracted from a meal it was a bit of a lucky dip. The ship was so crammed with people it was very difficult most times to get a seat to watch any of the entertainment. We decided to try out the Salt grill, which was about $100 extra per couple, the food was very good, but the service was poor, getting the cooking of our steaks wrong and reaching across us often during service. (The Luke Mangan blurb in the menu also had spelling and grammatical errors, he would not be happy) We were unable to stop at 2 out of the 5 islands, I know this is out of their control, but at Conflict Islands the ship left immediately once the decision was quickly made at 9am, then sailing back slowly because of the extra time which made for a very bumpy ride. Many seasick for that next day. I had to go back twice where extra drinks were put against my cruise card, when challenged about it they said they yelled out to me but I walked away, mind you I then sat in the lounge where the bar was for the next hour or so, but nobody came over to me even though the same person was floating around taking drink orders, I had to sort it out, dishonest is a word which comes to mind. Ok, ok, ok, it can’t be all bad I hear you thinking! Well the production shows were very good, but because the Marquee theatre is so dated, their electronic screen, which is a big part of their show is stepped back behind the curtains and unless you sit in the front area, you can’t see it. This was often an issue because of the amount of people crammed onto this boat. Overall a terrible experience, my son and daughter in law came with us and have now asked us not to invite them on another cruise because of how bad this one was. Avoid at all costs, go for another cruise line if you can. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Absolutely loved our time on board!! No, it is not a 5 star ship, but I didn't go on expecting that. We had beds to sleep in, a bathroom and a fridge and tv. Everything else you need is found on the ship. The guys who serviced our ... Read More
Absolutely loved our time on board!! No, it is not a 5 star ship, but I didn't go on expecting that. We had beds to sleep in, a bathroom and a fridge and tv. Everything else you need is found on the ship. The guys who serviced our room every day were friendly and very good at what they do. We ate mostly at the restaurant and loved our wait staff!! They had us in tears of laughter every night. If you go on this ship, ask to have Melvin's station!! Entertainment was great. Trivia shows were so much fun with Jim - he is hilarious! Katie, not so much, but Jim and Ashley are fantastic. They really know how to work the room. The production shows in the Marquee were very well done. Tip- when playing bingo, don't prematurely call "Bingo" or you will need to do the Chicken Dance in front of everyone Read Less
Sail Date April 2019

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