240 Brisbane Family Cruise Reviews

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
P&O Australia have really dropped the ball on their service standards. We have recently returned from a cruise to Papua New Guinea, from Brisbane, return to Brisbane. Then stayed on the for the 4 night crossing to Auckland where she ... Read More
P&O Australia have really dropped the ball on their service standards. We have recently returned from a cruise to Papua New Guinea, from Brisbane, return to Brisbane. Then stayed on the for the 4 night crossing to Auckland where she will be based until August, This was marketed as a Comedy Cruise. Whilst the ship was very good and appeared in good condition we did have a plumbing issues in our cabin, outside on deck 4. The cabin was very nice and well planned with a 3 seat settee, plus a chair, but no fridge or kettle were provided. The shower is over a tub with very high sides. Could be an issue for those with mobility problems. It is too short for an adult to sit in, you'd have your knees up under you chin. There was very good storage and hanging areas. The former library in HAL days has been converted to the Blue Room bar. It is very nice indeed, but personally I miss the library. The library now consists of a small bookshelf on wheels, wheeled out each day in the Atrium. Given that the target market spend most of their time on cellphones this is probably understandable. The main area of disappointment is in the food and service areas, particularly in what is now known as the pantry, previously the buffet. Firstly the staff has been considerably reduced and the very competent Filipinos have been replaced by others, mostly Indian and Sri Lankan. .They are no where near as enthusiastic and helpful, and often they are quite surly. I must stress, the Vanuatuan staff are great, as usual. Tables take forever to be cleared, and then usually they are not even wiped clean, just a brush with a napkin to flick the crumbs on to the floor. This did improve near the end of the cruise, but was still not good. On the morning we arrived back in Brisbane my wife and I were in the pantry area before it was opened and you could clearly sea dirty tables, and goodness know when the carpet was last vacuumed. Given this was before most people has risen and after what I would have thought was nightime cleaning, I was very surprised indeed at the situation. There is also no one ensuring hands are sanitised prior to eating, first time I have never seen this on a cruise. As for the food, well cost cutting is very evident here. The pantry is no longer self service, the reason given was health related due to people coughing and touching food etc, and this I can understand. But I am sure the saving in food wastage must be huge also. It was noted how skimpy servings were. And if more was requested, the feeling was it was resented. Fish and chip section was great, except the fish I am sure, was the very cheap and nasty Bassa, and in very small portions. The roast section was great, and was my favourite. Why though, and this was something we heard a lot of people complain about, was why, on a ship marketed to Aussies and Kiwis, was there a Mexican and Indian section available every day, and yet our favourites of meat pies, burgers and pizzas were only available on a counter on the pool deck and had to paid extra for. And no sausage rolls or cornish pasties at all. This makes no sense whatsoever considering the market.. At breakfast there was no cold fish, salmon, kippers, herring etc, no porridge, and worst of all, and a major irritant for me, no freshly made omelets, only some revolting ones cooked on a large tray, not flipped, and cut into squares that tasted nothing like an omelet. On the sandwich bar, they were all ready made, you could not make up your own choice. There was only one type of cold meat available. And the rolls, sandwiches were full of mayo...yuk. There was no afternoon tea provided and If you returned late from ashore there was nothing at all to eat. In the main Waterfront dining room, any steaks were extra cost!!!. Beef Wellington $31, Eye filet, $36. Never ever seen this before. Lobster as an extra I can understand, but steak !!. A flank steak was offered, 3 very thin slices. In the two other free restaurants, Angelos, and the Asian, they were great, and we rotated our dining areas each night. Sometimes though, again, portions could be very small. But lovely ambiance. Servings generally, were very small everywhere, and for the first time on a cruise, I went up to the pantry for extra's on two occasions, as I was still hungry !. All in all there was very strong smell of cost cutting in all areas. Given we have not cruised with P&O Aust since 2014, this was our 6th cruise with them, the changes were very noticeable, No meetings for singles, LGBT etc, no meetings with Dr. Bill (The AA's), In fact not even a Sunday service, (I would stress none of these are my cup of tea !), But surprising never the less.. Thankfully, no art auctions either. That was a bonus !. But everywhere was the hard sell for Elemis beauty deals, it drove me mad. And why cannot a decent coffee, which is extra cost, be served in a decent cup and not a paper cup. (P&O claim they are Eco friendly) There is now loud music everywhere, the worst being around the pool deck in the afternoons. I don't mind music at all, but all does it all have to be so loud. I much prefer the softer music in her previous HAL days. I appreciate that P&O are aiming for a younger market, but the lowering of the dress standards in the evening dining areas was a bit much. Since when did thongs, singlet, stubbies, or thongs, beach shorts, t-shirt and beanie constitute "smart casual". Or thongs, sox, dirty tracky daks, t-shirt and beanie. The most outrageaus being a female in her 20's, wearing jeans with a bib, and being naked from the waist up, except for the bib !!. None of these were questioned or turned away in the dining room. That is just low life and not what we come to expect on a cruise. Sorry P&O Aust, you have lost us, the ship is lovely, the ship size is spot on, entertainment good, ports were great, cabin service superb, tenders crews, as usual top class, but as for the rest, ....NAH....I think it is Princess, HAL or CMV for us from now on. Read Less
Sail Date March 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
To give this review some context we are somewhat experienced cruisers having been three times on RCL, twice on Carnival and once on Celebrity, three of those cruises were for nineteen nights and the rest shorter. Pacific Dawn is an ... Read More
To give this review some context we are somewhat experienced cruisers having been three times on RCL, twice on Carnival and once on Celebrity, three of those cruises were for nineteen nights and the rest shorter. Pacific Dawn is an older and smaller ship than most we’d been on but after the refurbishment the interior of the ship is typical of most ships and in good condition. The ship had recently been affected by Cyclone Oma so there were more than the usual signs of surface rust showing, the crew were always painting whenever conditions allowed. Cruise ships are like aircraft they are constantly in use, a docked cruise ship is just eating money, so a quick turnaround is always the norm, this necessitates maintenance being done whilst a ship is on a cruise. Overall, we thought the Pacific Dawn was well maintained and in good condition considering its age. Our cabin was a suite (SA) on deck eleven, it was very comfortable, the carpets and everything that wasn’t nailed down had been replaced during the refurbishment. That said we aren’t 5 Star travellers, preferring budget airlines and better rooms in 4 star hotels instead of standard rooms in 5 star hotels. Without question the best thing about this ship are the crew, an amazing bunch of people, they were always, friendly, smiling and helpful. We ate in both the Main Dining Room and The Pantry as well as room service breakfasts on most mornings, the room service breakfasts were excellent as were some of the meals in the other two venues, however we felt that choices in the MDR were somewhat limited and seemed designed more to impress than please, a lady on an adjacent table received a turkey breast that was so tough she couldn’t cut it and it was replaced by another, somewhat better but still tough. Some of the meals were excellent, barramundi in filo pastry, Italian meat balls and lasagne with quinoa spring to mind, my wife who is less adventurous found most of the meals a bit too exotic and settled for soup and desert on many nights, she was obviously disappointed (her waistline wasn’t!) Here again the staff were excellent! Our experience in the Pantry was similar with their breakfasts quite good when we ate there but on occasions the food was pretty ordinary, on the first day I had an Asian dish with beef that was very tough, on another occasion they had a lot of cinnamon and sugar donuts which looked lovely but required some serious chewing to eat. On the other hand the fish and chips were excellent, the deserts were variable some good some not so good which pretty much sums up the food generally. The Pantry is an excellent concept as long as it is well staffed and in our experience it was, there is no doubt that having all of the food served from behind glass will limit the gastro problem as people can’t drop a spoon on the floor and put it back, taste food off the spoon and put it back etc etc as is sometimes seen in the traditional buffets. The eating areas are also divided into smaller areas which avoids that cafeteria feeling of some ships. We had drinks before dinner most nights in the Cocktail Bar on deck seven overlooking the Atrium, the service was good but they repeatedly ran out of martini glasses and had to serve them in a wine glass and a beer glass was no where to be seen. Pretty poor form for a cocktail bar. Like all cruises common sense is required if you don’t want to search for a table in the Pantry don’t go at peak times, the same can be said for going ashore by tender, after all it’s a holiday, will another half hour ruin your day? We didn’t go to any shows but we did go ashore in Alotau to the Cultural Festival which was excellent, didn’t in Kitava because it rained on and off, Rabaul was a fascinating place and really took some getting used to because people would come up to you, introduce themselves and thank you for visiting Rabaul, one of those situations that invariably invokes the “what are you selling response” but these people were genuine and a refreshing change to the usual run of spivs and hawkers you come across on shore visits. We also went ashore in Kiriwina and had a swim as well. All of the islands were worth a visit but be sure to have reef shoes, the coral can be very sharp, even on some of the beaches. Regardless of the ups and downs we enjoyed our cruise to PNG, there were a good range of people on board, a few children but overall a well-behaved and friendly crowd. Would we cruise again with P & O? Probably not, but we choose cruises by itinerary and when we booked this was one of few cruises going to PNG, that has now changed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Having just returned from the Airlie beach cruise I thought i would share my thoughts on this cruise. 1/ Ship overcrowded, especially at meal times. 2/ The Pantry, worst food I have ever had on a cruise (and I have been on a few). No ... Read More
Having just returned from the Airlie beach cruise I thought i would share my thoughts on this cruise. 1/ Ship overcrowded, especially at meal times. 2/ The Pantry, worst food I have ever had on a cruise (and I have been on a few). No room to sit & P & O in their wisdom decide to shut half of it at dinner time to allow them to open a restaurant in the same area. The idea of the Pantry doesn't work, long ques waiting for servers to dish out the food. Take a leaf out of other cruise lines and revert back to Buffet style dinning. Same food virtually ever meal. 3/ Understaffed, trying to find a waiter on the pool deck is like trying to win the lottery. When you walk up to the bar you are not given receipts for drinks, so you have no idea what the staff are charging you. 4/ Ship is in bad need of maintenance, rust everywhere, stained floors, windows you cannot see out (dirty need cleaning or replacing) nearly all areas of ship had unpleasant smell. All in all a very disappointing cruise for our first & last cruise with P&O, we will be sticking with Royal Caribbean & Princess Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We were supposed to cruise on the 24th February, but a cyclone off the Brisbane coast stopped that. We managed to get out of port on the 27th instead. Great communication from Princess but alas we missed the South Island of NZ as a result. ... Read More
We were supposed to cruise on the 24th February, but a cyclone off the Brisbane coast stopped that. We managed to get out of port on the 27th instead. Great communication from Princess but alas we missed the South Island of NZ as a result. But NZ put on its very best weather for us. It was like Queensland, beautiful one day, perfect the next. I loved the new beds they’ve been on about. Very comfy. 2 fabulous comedians on board keeping us entertained and in stitches. The show band was also very entertaining. I’m doing this cruise again soon, this time hopefully I’ll get to see the South Island. The food was brilliant, I asked for anytime dining and being alone, I met new people every night. The menu was varied and food was plentiful, Lobster Tails, Atlantic Salmon, Beef Wellington, Lamb, New York Steak. And then the entrees and desserts. I think I overindulged a bit. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
we thought a trip to our tropic north would be different.it wasn't.the ship was old,slow and badly maintained.entertainment was non-existent,day time events were old news and boring.day trips were uncomfortable,overpriced,and ... Read More
we thought a trip to our tropic north would be different.it wasn't.the ship was old,slow and badly maintained.entertainment was non-existent,day time events were old news and boring.day trips were uncomfortable,overpriced,and sometimes dangerous.the locals seemed indifferent to tourists,with no effort made to welcome us. our cabin was adequate,but badly in need of repair.balcony was covered in rust.sewerage smell evident early mornings. now the good news.food and dining was mostly first class.all venues provided plentiful and varied meals.beer was cold,and cheap(for a cruise).staff were all cheerful and helpful without exception.brisbane port experience was excellent and speedy. the shows provided were unvariably amateur,and improvised.bands were very good,but only performed for a limited time,leaving us sitting waiting for some live music for up to two hours.shore days were badly organised,with little to do.duty free was very limited in variety,with alcohol being the only bargain. all in all,not a trip we would repeat.we paid top dollar,and recieved little in return. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Traveled on Sea Princess on a world cruise 2years ago and it was excellent. Recently traveled to Papua New Guinea again on the Sea Princess and felt completely at home again. We like the smaller ships as they are more personal in all ... Read More
Traveled on Sea Princess on a world cruise 2years ago and it was excellent. Recently traveled to Papua New Guinea again on the Sea Princess and felt completely at home again. We like the smaller ships as they are more personal in all services offered. The Conflict Islands on this cruise was excellent and we were lucky to have 2 days there. The cabin staff and restaurants were 5 star. Boarding and leaving the ship was very well organised and stress free. We are hoping to do Circle the Pacific Cruise in 12 months. The Princess Entertainiers was so good and every show was so professional and high quality. The Princess web site was excellent with information for on board activities and managing day to day spending. Internet was easy to access and use. Special mention also goes to the Cruise Entertainiment Manager who was so much fun and a great entertainer in his own right. Well done Mat and will never forget his saying. What are we going have- A GOOD TIME! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise as it departed from Brisbane and we had mutual friends already going. Our first impressions were of poor service. Especially in the bars. Servers weren’t just ignoring us they were downright rude. Drinks were ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it departed from Brisbane and we had mutual friends already going. Our first impressions were of poor service. Especially in the bars. Servers weren’t just ignoring us they were downright rude. Drinks were really expensive. $8.75 for a small beer. There was also a 15 drinks a day maximum on the drinks package which was not advertised. All of the entertainment on this cruise other than the movies under the stars (which is great) targets the over 60’s. There is hardly anyone in the bars of a night and the nightclub doesn’t kick of until 10pm and is also dead. The shows and musical entertainment are also for the over 60’s. For positives the ship is immaculately clean and the food at all venues is exceptional. Also the kids club is fabulous! Possibly a good choice if you are over 60. Otherwise give it a miss. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Departed Bne on Sat 16Feb - departure delayed due strong winds from Cyclone Oma. Instead of 2pm - departed at 10.30pm which meant we had to miss Noumea. Captain & all the crew were very helpful & because Bne Port was going to be ... Read More
Departed Bne on Sat 16Feb - departure delayed due strong winds from Cyclone Oma. Instead of 2pm - departed at 10.30pm which meant we had to miss Noumea. Captain & all the crew were very helpful & because Bne Port was going to be closed on the weekend, our cruise was extended by 3 days & we did get to visit Noumea. Some rough seas. We were on Deck 5 & water went completely over our window on a couple of occasions. But it was the best cruise because the Captain was constantly updating us & the Cruise Director & staff did their best. Free champagne on the Gatsby night & because we docked at Fisherman's Island, they provided free shuttle buses to the usual port. Food was good, loved the Pantry & always managed to find a seat. Tried Shell & Bones Restaurant & had lobster - delicious & only $29 extra. All in all the staff were wonderful & we got 3 extra nights for free. Entertainment in Theatre was spectacular. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I chose this cruise initially because it left from my home port of Brisbane. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The Princess cruise ships are A1. You would be hard pressed to find a speck of dust on the ship. The cabin was as ... Read More
I chose this cruise initially because it left from my home port of Brisbane. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The Princess cruise ships are A1. You would be hard pressed to find a speck of dust on the ship. The cabin was as clean as a new pin and kept that way throughout the cruise. Dining was excellent, but I was turned away from the steak dinner because I wasn't adequately dressed. But this was no biggie because it would need to be an excellent piece of steak to get me into long trousers and whatnot on a tropical cruise in the South Pacific. Enjoyed the entertainment, but a decent comedian and singers who can actually sing a tune and not screech into the microphone would be a bonus. Movies were good. Activities were great especially the table tennis and carpet bowls. Some shore excursions were curtailed by bad weather but all in all were great. The gym had a good selection of equipment. Footnote: The trivia sessions could be improved by having 3 multiple answers to choose from. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My wife and I chose to go on this cruise because two of our friends were taking it and asked us if we wanted to join them. Getting on the ship wasn’t too bad, there was some confusion emanating from being given two different sets of ... Read More
My wife and I chose to go on this cruise because two of our friends were taking it and asked us if we wanted to join them. Getting on the ship wasn’t too bad, there was some confusion emanating from being given two different sets of instructions from port side staff, but that was quickly overcome. The ship is small compared to some, so finding your way around doesn’t take long. We had a balcony cabin, I would say; if you can stretch yout money to at least this, then do it. You have enough room to move about plus you have the balcony to use at any stage of the cruise, it’s great for early in the morning when your pulling into port to jump out of bed and watch all the goings on outside. The main restaurant and the buffet were both fabulous, the food and service was always (I thought) of a very high standard. The shows were generally good, there were a couple that we went to that I just wanted to walk out on (they were that bad) but my wife kept a restraining arm on me (she said it would be rude) I said to her; that it was rude of them to offer up such dross. Hey ho.....all a matter of opinion. There are three things that we were most annoyed by.........the price of alcohol, around the $14 mark for a glass of wine and if you were feeling particularly flush, a minimum of around $50 for a bottle, and that’s at the cheap end. The Steakhouse.........it is the only “fine dining” experience on board. All be it in a partitioned off area of the main buffet (not in a separate venue). Reading Princesses blurb before coming on, they said it would cost an extra $29, on boarding that shot up to $35........HOW?? Secondly........don’t bother! I agree with a previous review; the steak was on the way to being tough and the veg looked like prison mush served up on plastic pudding plates. Save your money and just use the services provided that don’t cost any more. And thirdly I still get annoyed when you are charged extra to use the WiFi....this day and age this practice should not be happening. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We've done a few cruises now, the Pacific Dawn about 8 years ago, Royal Carribean and MSC so generally have the gist of cruising worked out. We know the Pacific Dawn is a bit old and dated but with an 8 & 10 year old chose the ... Read More
We've done a few cruises now, the Pacific Dawn about 8 years ago, Royal Carribean and MSC so generally have the gist of cruising worked out. We know the Pacific Dawn is a bit old and dated but with an 8 & 10 year old chose the ship for the convenience of sailing from Brisbane where we live and the promise of a recent refit. Except for a missing suitcase ship boarding went well and the ship itself wasn't too bad, what you would expect with clean rooms and generally clean ship. Once onboard there was the usual up sell of alcohol packages, services, shore excursions etc, no surprises. The ports of visit make this cruise good anyway but we were disappointed with general P&O way of doing things compared to the identical cruise we did with Royal Carribean, this time 3 years ago. While the boats and activities were similar, we sailed on the Legend of the Seas, RC just seemed more organised, communicated much better and the cruise went much easier. P&O's left hand does not know what its right hand is doing. In particular: Things we really liked about our recent Pacific Dawn 7 day Pacific Cruise: * Edge activities, ropes, zip line etc, kids loved it and team running it were awesome! * Waiters and room staff, as always they work so hard and are always friendly. * Food good although see below about seats and waiting. * Ports of call, good. Things we disliked about our recent Pacific Dawn 7 day Pacific Cruise: * Too much drinking and encouragement of drinking. On the first day we couldn't find the TV remote and the recurring P&O message about responsible service of alcohol kept playing but from what I witnessed the reality did not match the rhetoric. * Our room was near the main entrance and the music would flow straight through the walls. I get they're trying to keep the party going but at 11:30 at night when the music is still pumping and the kids can't sleep this is not much fun for us. * A lot more extra charges on P&O, extra for this extra that, even extra for some menu items within the standard restaurant which is part of the including price. * First in best dressed policy, getting seats at a dinner table was about booking the best tables early which we weren't informed about and ended up at a 7:45pm table, not ideal with kids. * We NOW know the Natural Aquarium at Lifou had to be booked even before boarding, would have been nice to have been told before the 1k trek in the blazing sun. Lots of us got caught out with this one. * Lack of seats at the 'Pantry' which is the main buffet eating area. * Arriving at Noumea at 3:30pm, not sure why, Royal Carribean on the same itinerary had us there in the morning. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Cruising wasn’t high on my to do list. Price and visions of ‘Titanic ‘ came to mind! Then mum and dad shouted the whole family on a 10 day cruise! 15 of us met and boarded smoothly and quickly at Brisbane port. First 2 days at sea ... Read More
Cruising wasn’t high on my to do list. Price and visions of ‘Titanic ‘ came to mind! Then mum and dad shouted the whole family on a 10 day cruise! 15 of us met and boarded smoothly and quickly at Brisbane port. First 2 days at sea gave us a chance to explore the ship. Our internal cabins were small but adequate, (could still swing a cat) had super comfy beds (and I don’t have a great back!) refreshed daily and yummy chocolate on the pillow at night! Nobody goes hungry on a cruise! Food everywhere in endless supply! They met our dietary requirements. Friendly wait staff. Big outdoor movie at night by the pool is a must! Lots of activities throughout the day so study the timetable the night before. We gave Zumba a go to try and reduce the food baby that had developed! Yes I’m unco! Teen club a must!! 16yr old boy not keen. Signed him up on day one.... hardly saw him again! He didn’t want to leave!! Shore excursions relaxing on beaches. Beautiful warm water but really hot the more north we got! Don’t forget you rash top, hat and heaps of sunscreen! Overall I enjoyed my first cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
14 nights is a great amount of nights to go. Staff are amazing. Entertainment is fantastic. Bar staff and housemaids can’t do enough for you. NZ is a beautiful country - plenty to see. The captain and his wife of the Sea ... Read More
14 nights is a great amount of nights to go. Staff are amazing. Entertainment is fantastic. Bar staff and housemaids can’t do enough for you. NZ is a beautiful country - plenty to see. The captain and his wife of the Sea Princess sat and ate lunch with me in Horizons buffet. Such a beautiful couple. This is why the staff are so beautiful because it comes from the top. Highly recommend Princess Cruises and the 14 night around NZ . Staterooms are wonderful and were cleaned up to 3 times a day. Food was amazing and entertainment outstanding especially MOSAIC. Kids were always happy and had so many activities to do, families around the ship had so many activities to choose from all day long. Bingo, casino, movies, coffee or tea, ballroom classes, Zumba, Trivia Games, Karaoke, dancing in the bars with Mosaic and do much more. Thank you Princess Cruise for another amazing holiday ❤️ Read Less
Sail Date December 2018

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click