59 Brisbane First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

First time cruisers, mid twenties. Slightly apprehensive after reading the reviews but we thought - we will make our own fun if all else fails. Essentially we wanted some drinks and sun - all in all we weren't disappointed. After ... Read More
First time cruisers, mid twenties. Slightly apprehensive after reading the reviews but we thought - we will make our own fun if all else fails. Essentially we wanted some drinks and sun - all in all we weren't disappointed. After seeing some of the deplorable behaviour from fellow passengers, I can see how some of these reviews came to be. If you're expecting a 5 star cruise, book a 5 star cruise. If you act like an entitled jerk, the staff won't be all too receptive to that. I saw a grown couple throw a tantrum and sit down in the middle of a corridor because they had arrived at the wrong time for their tender and an older woman argue with bar staff over the strength of her cocktail. We encountered nothing but helpful, friendly staff, our room attendant was exceptionally lovely and worked around our comings and goings. Say hello and thank you, your experience will be all the better for it. We were a little sea sick the first two days but grabbed a couple of DVDs from our attendant and some snacks from the Pantry, which is your standard food court fare - never had to wait more than a couple seconds to be served - and headed back to our room. A rocky ship can't really be helped! Days on the islands were amazing, everything went smoothly - we did our own thing and had a blast. Angelos and Dragon Lady were great for what they were, a cruise ship restaurant masquerading as some form of fine dining, however the service was lovely in both and food was above average - the Wasabi Creme Brulee was exceptional. Enjoyed them. Went to Waterfront for breakfast most mornings, never had to wait for a table, here the waiters appeared to be a little flustered for a simple breakfast service but it honestly didn't bother us, the food was nice and the coffee was hot. Being in the 20 - 30 yr old age range there really wasn't anything on the activity front that attracted us, however we were planning on not doing much more than relaxing with a drink in the Oasis which was amazing when the weather permitted. The Main Pool was always loud and slightly feral (like an indoor aquatic centre) however all children seemed to be having a blast. At night we spent most of our time in the Blue Room, thoroughly enjoyed the bands and table service. Bar staff here were lovely and remembered how we liked our drinks made! Rooms were in the standard of a 3 star hotel room - loved our balcony. No issues with the bathroom or toilet, the room itself was very loud and creaky, probably the biggest issue we had with the cruise. Embarking/Disembarking were smooth and fast. Keep your attitude and expectations in check and you will have a great time! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I have to start with this: 10/10 cruise Embarkations: Paid parking with bus shuttle 2 minutes away, pretty easy. Got on the ship at 11:30am, checked the room, had time to look around, booked the free Dragon Lady and Angelos ... Read More
I have to start with this: 10/10 cruise Embarkations: Paid parking with bus shuttle 2 minutes away, pretty easy. Got on the ship at 11:30am, checked the room, had time to look around, booked the free Dragon Lady and Angelos restaurants (Monkey bar) and went to the Pantry for lunch. Cabin 4227 (Ocean view, aft): Spacious, 4 beds, mattresses and pillows are really comfy. TV with the latest movies or the footy. Shower is a bit weird but you dont need to much effort to make it work. Food: Pantry: 10 different places with good variety and changes at every serve. It is 100% much better than any self-serve buffet, 2 people serving per place and the max waiting time was 2 minutes. Lady Dragon: nice setting, great Asia food, quick serving times (5-10 minutes) Angelos, more modern and elegant setting, Italian food, quick serving times (7-10 minutes) Waterfront: we went there just once for breakfast, it was pretty good and large sizes, there was a queue went we left at 8:30. I saw you get a pager if there a long queue. The Grill: We got Nachos and Pulled pock sandwich, great and cheap, 3 dollars each. Lounges: Great for a drink, live music and people serving you everywhere. Pools and Spa: Great for everyone, kids and adults Entertainment: Shows every night: 1 - Anthony B Laffan - Hypno-Mentalist - 10/10 Funny and entertaining. 2 - The Velvet Rope - Good musical 3- Off the Charts - Great and entertainment musical, great voices and girls 4 - Bingo - presenter was just so funny and made us all laugh all the time Parties: 1 - White night: people had a great time 1 - Gatsby Party: everyone dressed up and having fun Kids Clubs (7-9): My kids had a blast and they didnt want to get out even at 10:30pm Costs: Beer: 7-9 Cocktails Crew: Everyone on that ship has great energy, they all say hello and make the best effort to make you feel at home and stress free. Disembarkation: Easy, took us 5 minutes, bus shuttle waiting outside for us, in the car in another 5 minutes. It was so much fun and stress free that we are coming back soon. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
So from the start I should point out this was my first and only cruise. So you are seeming this from the point of view of what I expected to see on a cruise. My wife and I are both still working and around 60. Took the cruise to see if we ... Read More
So from the start I should point out this was my first and only cruise. So you are seeming this from the point of view of what I expected to see on a cruise. My wife and I are both still working and around 60. Took the cruise to see if we like 'cruising' with a view to longer cruises in the future. We read reviews of this ship after booking. The airport parking van dropped us at the baggage drop off and I was impressed at the organisation. A well dress lady pointed us in the direction of checking and off we headed. Once in the embarkation area, I was immediately stunned by the number of overweight western suburbs of Brisbane or Sydney types there were. Thongs appeared to be the dress code, complimented by a huge suitcase. The cruise was just 4 days and we were heading to Newcastle, so no chance of duty free shopping here. Maybe they were planning to steal some coal? Our cabin (deck 9 with a balcony) was very nice. The staff could not be better or more helpful. Some of them had been working virtually 7 days a week for 8 months without a break. Not to mention being away from home and family all that time. So give them a break. None were Australian but almost all from Asian countries. There are several free restaurants, all very nice decor but the food was basically equal to 3 star restaurant. The Asian restaurant decor (Blue Dragon) is excellent and reviews of the food were excellent. I found this not to be true but it was a cheap cruise and you get what you pay for. Make sure you book for the restaurant as soon as you get settled and go to the Monkey Bar in person to do it. Do not phone or should I say try to phone. On deck 11 is what could be described as a food court. Mexican, Chinese, Indian, fish and chips, roasts, sandwiches and deserts. Each is a smal shop in itself. Just ask for what you want. The food is good but the company is not. Pushing crowds of ugly Australians dressed in beach gear and with out the customery please / thank you. There is a fantastic gym that was used more than I thought. The gym instructor has a huge ego but the beauticians seem to like him. If he was better qualified it would have been a great advantage to the ship. There were heaps of activities and entertainment. Not shortage of shows which were excellent. Trivia several times a day and movies but the movie theatre could have been much better. Movie was blurred. There was an element of trying to sell you add on activities and my wife had 2 massages which she said were excellent. They did try to sell her other products and treatment to $800. We averaged spending $200 a day on extras and thought we were being conservative. The best coffee is in the blue room from a lady that made excellent coffee. The 24 hour tea/ coffee machine was terrible. In summary it was an interesting activity and a excellent way to determine if you like the cruising way of travel. Unfortunately it is not for me. Some short points, if you stand naked on a balcony remember that you can be seen from the upper decks. Give you room attendant a good tip as they work hard for little pay. We left $70 and often left $5 for dinner service in the restaurants. Do not be an ugly Australia and take your manners on holiday with you. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I think we had such a good experience because our expectations were so low due to the reviews we read before going. Embarkations was easy, no issues although our bag arrived at our room damaged which I believe was mostly handled by ... Read More
I think we had such a good experience because our expectations were so low due to the reviews we read before going. Embarkations was easy, no issues although our bag arrived at our room damaged which I believe was mostly handled by staff that were not aboard the ship. Our cabin stewards were fantastic, they would usually be servicing rooms by the time we had left for breakfast and our rooms would always be made up by the time we'd returned. The same goes with dinner, they were very onto it and would service it as people left their rooms as opposed to knocking and bothering you while getting ready or just busy doing things in the room. One night we received chocolates on our pillows and another the towel animals, which were a lovely touch, the kids loved it. We dined in dragon lady, angelo's and waterfront which were nice enough but had very few options. They are not exactly child-friendly either as there aren't seperate menus for children. The staff in angelos did go above and beyond though and offered things that were not on the menu but it seemed to vary with different staff. We also were seated at two seperate tables in all restaurants which unfortunately meant we didn't always have the same waiter, which in turn meant we ordered and finished at different times but overall pleasant, just not ideal for bigger families/groups wishing to dine together. The Pantry was great, plenty of options and plenty of food for everyone and more accommodating for families/bigger groups. The food was about 10 times better than the restaurants too. We would eat early at each meal time so it almost always felt like there was food constantly. We didn't eat from the grill(little takeaway cafe they had by the lido pool) because we were always full but prices were very reasonable for what they had to offer. We did however splurge a bit on the Ice Cream which costs roughly around the same as what you'd pay at any ice creamery on land. Shows were fantastic, something different every night of our cruise and all the activities they had planned that we attended were well organised and fun. P&O call centre told me that the Gatsby party was 18+ and the white party was for everyone but every theme party they have onboard is both for adults and children, except they are held at different times of the evening. The kids spent a lot of time in the kids club and I guess their desire to keep going back speaks for itself. That includes the kids club for the teens, they had every intention of not going themselves but ended up there most of the time and I know the fantastic staff had a lot to do with why they kept wanting to go back. Overall, it was a fantastic getaway with little to no problems for us. We would definitely go on the Pacific Aria again but would probably request the same rooms through fear of pulling the short straw on one of the others. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
First time cruisers with 7 year old boy. Arrived at Port, Portside parking made for an easy start. Baggage, check in, customs ect was much easier than expected, lots of people around! We had a junior suite so went straight to a suite ... Read More
First time cruisers with 7 year old boy. Arrived at Port, Portside parking made for an easy start. Baggage, check in, customs ect was much easier than expected, lots of people around! We had a junior suite so went straight to a suite counter, all very friendly. We had read many reviews just before we left which weren't that positive, so we were totally surprised to see how amazing the boat was when we got onboard. There are so many staff it's too easy to get around and they are really eager to help which was great for us being new to it. With about 1830 people and 800 staff, the service in my opinion was impeccable. We sailed out in a major swell condition and were pretty concerned but it only lasted about a day but that was a worry we had which was unfounded. After you get out into the ocean it's normally smooth sailing. Our cabin was 8070 and was under the beauty salon so we had no noise at all. We had some light vibration from the engines? When going full steam but not a problem 90 percent of the time. Cabin was definitely big enough for the three of us, balcony was great, very wide with chairs and a table. Very quiet and were able to fully block light out for any midday snooze time. Had MyTime dining which we used 7 out of 9 nights, food was very nice, staff were all over it, we used two different tables so got different waiters, all were excellent. The maitre de was amazing, he remembered us from the first night and helped us out the whole time when we wanted to change dining times ect. Our son lived in the kids club, may need to be said that on our cruise there were only 40 kids tops, all ages. Apparently the next cruise had 600! So not sure if this can be checked before time? Kids club would be a busy place I'm sure if that were the case, our son had heaps of attention and I would rate their kids club highly in relation to other resorts we have visited. We loved that there was no x box ect. There were more of an older crowd on our cruise but there were enough younger people so it suited us, we were in it for the relax factor. The ports or places visited were all good in my opinion, a few we have visited previously but so much better to see them by boat. All beautiful blue water locations, my only negative is that the cruise Should put emphasis on protecting any coral reefs as I saw some people walking on coral which upset me a bit. Plenty of shows, comedy, juggling, cabaret, had trouble getting to them all, good movies too. Chefs table states an "intimate" dining experience which we thought was for the two of us but it is with about ten people, the best deal I think is to get the all three dining experience package which would have been better. Alcohol package was hard to justify as drinks were reasonably priced onboard, I think cocktails were 10us and beers were 5.50us so make your own choice there, I had the package and it worked for me.... Nice air conditioned bar on the top deck overlooking ocean. Plenty of places to go, exploring to do. Just a quick thanks to Tedi who cleaned up our room each day, also making cool animal towels for the bed, awesome. The disembarkation was easy. Got a bus back to the car, we forgot a suit bag and were concerned about retrieving it but it took a few minutes. People will say that the boat is old, I'm aware it's not the pride of the fleet, there are a few imperfect things an older boats age will show, but we were very surprised at the quality of the carpets, decor and furniture ect. In summary, we had a ball and this won't be our last cruise by a long shot, thanks Royal Caribbean and staff. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Being our first ever cruise, I had no idea HOW I would occupy 9 days - There was happily no problem however, as the provision of a good variety of entertainment was excellent, along with exceptional service from Alexander Gahol ... Read More
Being our first ever cruise, I had no idea HOW I would occupy 9 days - There was happily no problem however, as the provision of a good variety of entertainment was excellent, along with exceptional service from Alexander Gahol (housekeeping for our room number 6630) and our waiter for table 31 in the Romeo & Juliet restaurant, 'Elford'; ALL staff aboard were very pleasant, but these 2 guys did exceptionally well with their friendliness and hospitality! Our stateroom was much larger than I’d anticipated, and left nothing to be desired (except the LONG walk to and from the nearest elevator, given that we were right at the stern) My only minor complaints are: Air conditioning in most parts of the ship were too warm (21'C would have greatly improved this!) to the point of being uncomfortable (HOT) I found. Also the temperatures seemed to vary quite a lot from area to area, but I do understand that this is difficult to avoid with a ship having doors opening and closing all the time. The elevators seemed like there was no air-conditioning at all in them, and others agreed about this. The no smoking policy from private balconies is a little tough on smokers, given how far a walk it is to the nearest smoking area. 99% of all resorts / accommodation we have travelled to world-wide, allow smoking from the balcony. A noteworthy point too, is that people’s drinking glasses left around the smoking areas did not seem to be collected by staff very often, and this could easily be an injury waiting to happen. Royal Caribbean WEBSITE is greatly inaccurate in many ways - Information on the site (i.e., cost of on-board internet) is vastly incorrect (States $35 per 15 minutes; whereas on-board it is actually $20 per day). ON that topic, I tried several times to create an account for internet access and was not once able to. I felt a little disappointed at the last 3 days of the cruise, just very slowly returning to Brisbane from New Caledonia; surely we could have overnighted at one or two of the ports, i.e., Vanuatu or Noumea, making it then possible to undertake a full island tour etc. Failing that; a circuit around the islands or even a slow journey circling or stopping at nearby Fiji would have greatly improved the content of the cruise. Disembarkation at such an early time whilst on holidays, were a bit of a shock also, when compared to normal check-out times of motels etc. On the positive side; The hand sterilizing stations found at all locations of the ship, are a great idea and I have no doubt that this vastly contributes to infection control, which many people are justifiably concerned with on ships in recent years. I would and shall HIGHLY recommend Royal Caribbean to all of my contacts without hesitation. Speaking to many passengers, they all said that this is the best cruise line they have experienced out of the many (in most cases) that they have cruised with. I will definitely look at the Royal Caribbean option first, when choosing our next voyage, which hopefully won’t be too long from now! The cruise really taught me that, it was more about the JOURNEY, than the destination. We both thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
My mum has been cruising with P&O for several years and she has always had nothing but great things to say, she would rave about how the service is always top notch and their is always a great variety of food. My mum took me with her ... Read More
My mum has been cruising with P&O for several years and she has always had nothing but great things to say, she would rave about how the service is always top notch and their is always a great variety of food. My mum took me with her on her latest cruise which was very different to what she had been explaining. She couldn't believe how much the staff and food had changed and was very disappointed that I would not get to experience the way P&O use to be. There seemed to be allot less staff and most of them seemed miserable. In the plantation restaurant there was meat only on 2 out of the 7 nights and the rest of the time it was bland casserole and curries. If you wanted a drink you would usually wait for a staff member to pass and they would promptly take your drink order however this was not the case, after waiting and waiting you would eventually get tired of waiting and you would have to go and line up with everyone else that were waiting for drinks. I got to know several other regular cruisers on the ship and they all seemed to agree that P&O has changed and it is no longer the great service and experience that they were once accustomed to. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I have just returned after 13 nights on the pacific Aria traveling to PNG. Had an excellent time! From reading previous reviews I wasn't sure what to expect but as a first time cruiser my expectations were met. Don't let all the ... Read More
I have just returned after 13 nights on the pacific Aria traveling to PNG. Had an excellent time! From reading previous reviews I wasn't sure what to expect but as a first time cruiser my expectations were met. Don't let all the elderly whingers reviews get you down! A great time was had. Pros -Lots of friendly helpful crew on board! -Good facilities, thoroughly enjoyed the pools, casino, marquee, gym and multiple bars. -Food was great especially considering the volume of passengers. The pantry had a good variety of meals to suit all pallets! The restaurants were great for the most part, obviously some meals were better than others. -Oceanview room had more than enough room for a 2 week stay, nice hot showers too! Cons -Internet was average at best, connection was extremely poor in our room but okay at other parts of the ship, for $99 I expected better. -whilst the crew did their best, 100's of people were stuck for an hour or two directly in the hot sun in Wewak whilst waiting for a tender. P&O should certainly make plans for more shade in the future. Overall I'm very happy and would highly recommend the Pacific Aria, thanks for a great trip! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Just like a few others here, I was a bit concerned about the negative reviews concerning Pacific Aria. If there really were problems earlier on, then I guess I do feel sorry for anyone who had a poor experience but whatever teething ... Read More
Just like a few others here, I was a bit concerned about the negative reviews concerning Pacific Aria. If there really were problems earlier on, then I guess I do feel sorry for anyone who had a poor experience but whatever teething problems may have been present when this ship started cruising from Australian ports late last year seem to have been ironed out. We had a great time. The food was good, the staff were friendly and helpful and, if the vibe was right some of them could be very humorous and entertaining. Be friendly and polite to the crew and you'll get it back in spades. Above all, don't be put off by the earlier poor reviews and ratings. We ate in the Pantry for most breakfasts and lunches, we tried the Waterfront for dinner, we had one dinner in the Salt Grill and splashed out for one dinner at the Chef's Table (Highly recommended if your budget will allow it). At $49 per head it's a 7-course degustation dinner presented by the executive Chef and complete with wines (included in the cost) matched to each course. You would pay a lot more on land for this. It was also a great way to meet other guests and as the wine flowed and the good food kept coming the atmosphere became convivial to say the least, including the vibe between the guests and the staff. Oh, almost forgot that the chef took us on a tour of the immaculately clean and efficient galley of which he was justly proud. No need to worry about food hygiene on this ship, I can assure you. Boarding and disembarkation was a breeze and the tender boat transfer to Hamilton Island was well organised. Be aware though, that the tenders are actually lifeboats so don't expect creature comforts like padded seating and air conditioning. Cabins were roomy and well serviced on a daily basis (well, twice daily if you count the fact that the staff turn your bed down for you while you're out taking in dinner and a show). Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Nervous first-time cruisers, especially after I was told about this site and read the negative reviews from November, December. But hey it was far better than our best expectations. Embarkation was made so easy, booked for a 12 pm ... Read More
Nervous first-time cruisers, especially after I was told about this site and read the negative reviews from November, December. But hey it was far better than our best expectations. Embarkation was made so easy, booked for a 12 pm check-in, were on the deck having a drink at 11:45 am. Our room was spacious, clean and very comfortable. Bathroom was very good, my wife has some mobility problems and the bath/shower was not a real problem as mentioned in earlier reviews. The food rated from good to great, we dined in four of the restaurants (the Pantry, The Waterfront, Dragon Lady and Angelos), never had a bad meal and service was always spot on. The adults only pool area was great of a day and the bars with their entertainers were great during the evening. We didn't attend the shows or themed parties, but heard nothing but good things about them from other guests. My only biff was the beer was a bit more expensive than I thought it would be as we are a thirsty couple our bar bill was more than I had planned. Overall great cruise, relaxing, brilliant staff and crew, really good dining experience, well be back. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
On Friday 12th February 2016 my Husband our 2 children (aged 4 ½ & 7) and my parents started our 4 night cruise from Brisbane to Hamilton island on the ‘new’ P&O Aria and back again. We were first time cruisers, my parents ... Read More
On Friday 12th February 2016 my Husband our 2 children (aged 4 ½ & 7) and my parents started our 4 night cruise from Brisbane to Hamilton island on the ‘new’ P&O Aria and back again. We were first time cruisers, my parents had been on one other cruise (Celebrity Solstice) 2 years ago. I had read both negative and positive reviews before going on the cruise. I tried to cancel our cruise after reading some of these reviews however if we had have cancelled we would have lost 50% of our money so decided to still go ahead and make up our own opinion. We stayed in Suite 10018 and my parents stayed in Suite 10026. Boarding the boat was a very smooth and speedy process, we were very happy with this side of things. Upon embarking the boat and after looking around the different areas the décor and furnishings in the main areas were lovely. Our room was very spacious, with a large dressing room and a decent sized bathroom. Some of the furniture was a little tired (ie scratches on the wooden arms of the furniture, showing signs of wear and tear), however overall we were happy with the room. We were very happy with the size of the balcony also. We did notice a fair bit of corrosion around the boat which looked like it had just been patched up with paint. First night we put the children into kids club which they loved. One word of warning the kids club is on a first in first served basis, you cannot book. One of the parents we spoke to said on one morning they had to turn away children as they were full. We did not experience this because on all occasions we just got there 10 minutes before they were due to open and we were only ever 3rd in the queue. One other thing to mention is they will not provide water and will not feed the children in kids club, you need to take your own bottle and take them out for meals. On the first night we ate out at Luke Mangan’s Salt Grill, this got us off to a very good start. The food was 5 star, we all were very happy with the quality and execution of the dishes served. Unfortunately after dinner we went back to our room to discover there had been some sort of a major leak (fire water pump cupboard was right next to our room and we saw some men in the cupboard trying to stop the leak) whch had affected the room next door to us. There was so much water that it looked like a minor river running along the carpet when the people next door opened the door to their room in order to get out. The boat personnel needed to get an industrial sized vacuum cleaner to vacuum up the water (which was very noisy in the middle of the night) and then had an industrial sized blower in the hallway outside our door which went all night (and another day and another night at least) to try and dry it all up. I felt sorry for the people next door, I don’t know what happened to them as the carpet in their room would have been totally drenched. In the middle of the night I noticed that the carpet in our room just outside our bathroom was drenched along with the carpet on my side of the bed near the bedside table (the water must have run from the room next to us into our room). I spoke to the men trying to fix the water leak problems outside our door and they supplied us with towels to put on the floor for the interim. Then the next day and for the next couple of days they had a blower in our room trying to dry it all up. Unfortunately this meant that the door to our room was left wide open in order to get fresh air in there and we felt quite compromised privacy and security wise. We complained about this to reception and they gave us $200 credit. On the second night my Mum and Dad had issues with their toilet which had blocked up. My Mum not knowing what to do pressed the button hoping to clear the problem however pressing the button made the toilet overflow. Mum called reception asap as she didn’t want anything overflowing onto the carpet, luckily the boat personnel came down promptly, fixed the problem, cleaned up the mess and disinfected everything in their bathroom. We ate at Waterfront Restaurant (ok, but nothing to rave about), Angelos (quite good would rate this as being better than Waterfront), we did not eat out at Dragon Lady so cannot comment in regards to the food here. The new ‘Pantry’ is a great idea, we found this really good food option for the children, however from our perspective we found the food ok, there was not too much variety from day to day and a lot of the muffins/pastries ect tasted the same. My husband had a really good soft burrito at the Mexican stand which he quite liked. We also ate at the little eatery near the main pool area. They had a very limited menu only selling pizzas, hotdogs and the like, you pay extra for this, however the pizzas were really good and our children really liked the hotdogs. It is a shame that there was no free icecream for the children, you had to pay extra for this. We booked in for the Chef’s table degustation experience with matching wines , this was quite good. It was really interesting getting a tour of the galley kitchen and seeing how everything works on a big boat. We enjoyed the dinner, however if we were to pick the best food of our trip it would definitely be Luke Mangan’s Salt grill. Unfortunately for my Mum and Dad the toilet issues were not over. They had one more blockage on our 3rd night out which was rectified promptly before any overflow. However on our last night/morning of disembarkation at 3.30 am their toilet blocked, they called reception said they were sending someone to fix it however this did not happen so my Mum had to wander around the ship to go to a public toilet at 4am in the morning. The toilet issue was not fixed before we disembarked at roughly 7am, so they had to use the public toilets until then. My Mum and Dad complained to reception after the first overflow situation and nothing was offered in compensation. They just said unfortunately ships toilet systems are very sensitive and sometimes these things happen. I asked Mum and Dad whether anything like this happened on the Celebrity Solstice, they did not have anything like this happen to them on that boat. On the last night of our cruise there was also another issue outside our cabin. There was water dripping from a light fitting with a bucket underneath to catch the water. Staff overall were really lovely, happy and accommodating. We only encountered a couple of staff that I would say were surly/unhappy towards customers. Our cabin stewards Bonoir & Nincia were just wonderful, nothing was too much trouble for them during our trip and they always were happy and friendly. Disembarkation was also a speedy and smooth process. On the whole we were very disappointed with the whole experience. Unfortunately we did not book at the last minute and get a good deal. This holiday was not what we would consider a cheap one for us over $5000 for 4 nights on the boat. We were expecting 5 star, as this was how P&O have been promoting these ‘new’ ships. I would rate the entire experience 2.5. I would not consider going on another P&O cruise in future. If we were to consider another cruise we would look at going on a boat that is more modern and doesn't have plumbing issues that this boat seems to have. I would have thought that all of these plumbing issues should be sorted before a ship is commissioned/launched. Saying that “the toilet system is sensitive” is not acceptable. P&O really need to look seriously at fixing these issues, otherwise their reputation will be in shatters if it isn’t already. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Hubby and I (40-something, no kids), sailed with Legend of the Seas Feb 8-18, 2016 to the South Pacific. Having never cruised before, we wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Having picked up what we thought was a pretty good deal, ... Read More
Hubby and I (40-something, no kids), sailed with Legend of the Seas Feb 8-18, 2016 to the South Pacific. Having never cruised before, we wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Having picked up what we thought was a pretty good deal, I then started to question our decision once I read a few reviews of Legend, even feeling dread as I arrived at the terminal to depart. Entertainment: - Cruise Director Chris Brown very visible around the ship. Shows were of a good quality, Elton John show highlight, comedian a bit light (probably due to the mixed group he was trying to appeal to) - Lots going on on the pool deck - games, music, food, movies. If you’re bored, then that’s your problem, not lack of stuff to do - Music Motion band were great – especially Rock Star karaoke nights when guests could sing with the band. - Jam the piano man at the Schooner Bar also pulled a good crown Pools – only 2 pools – we spent our time on the pool deck as we found the adults pool “Solarium” a bit like a library (too quiet). There was always much more going on outside (and I love people watching!), but each to his own. Gym – spin class OK, but instructor seemed to lack formal training. Zumba excellent – Alysha was a ray of sunshine Food overall was excellent. We found the dining room a bit stuffy, so mainly ate at buffet (Windjammer). It was occasionally hard to find a table in the buffet, but you could always take a plate outside which was sometimes nice (if a bit warm). We ate at both of the speciality restaurants which were both first class and excellent value for money. We had a 5 star, 4 course meal at Chops Grille for only $USD30 and took our own bottle of wine. You can’t complain about that!! Izumi was equally great – beef on hot rock is to die for. Ports - Noumea – we did a private tour around the city, then ferry to Escapade Island which was quite enjoyable. We snorkelled and saw turtles. Lovely buffet lunch - Lifou – missed due to captain decision to head north and avoid 2 cyclones which were heading our way. Good call which we totally respected and appreciated. Gives us something to come back for! - Champagne Bay – markets along the beach near the pier, and lots of locals offering tours. We took a short trip to Blue Lagoon which was nice. Had a swim and a snorkel. Also had a snorkel off the beach. Saw fish and coral. - Vila – chaos at the port when we disembarked. Police were corralling the locals who were overwhelming passengers as they left the ship. We caught a water taxi across to the town where we had a look around and bought very cheap duty free alcohol. We had an intro scuba dive booked for the afternoon, so could not go too far from the ship. Dive at twin bommies was excellent and a highlight for us. Amazing underwater life, and beautiful sights on the short boat ride out - Mystery Island – a coral island with no inhabitants, Mystery Island is a beach day – we swam/snorkelled off the beach and did a tour off the beach to the reef. Markets here too – much the same stuff as everywhere else. Swell was up and tendering was a bit difficult the day we visited. Many passengers complained and it’s obvious that if cruise ships are to continue to visit the island, then some money needs to be spent on rebuilding the pier (destroyed in Mar 15 cyclone I heard). Crew managed as well as they could and put themselves in danger to get passengers safely back to the ship Embarkation took about an hour, but was smooth. Disembarkation took 10 mins! Only downside for us was smoking on deck 9 – wafts over bar, pool, into Zumba class, all day every day. Overall we had a great time in Legend of the Seas. We are now converted to cruising and look forward to many more relaxing holidays on the seas. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Never having been on a cruise before, I came across this website and thought it would be a good way to get some insight. I read about 30 reviews from guests aboard Pacific Aria since 2015. The large majority were so negative I became ... Read More
Never having been on a cruise before, I came across this website and thought it would be a good way to get some insight. I read about 30 reviews from guests aboard Pacific Aria since 2015. The large majority were so negative I became very apprehensive about our forthcoming cruise. I wondered if I had made a mistake in booking because the reviews complained about everything about this ship - the staff were withdrawn, the food was mediocre, the cabins leaked and toilets overflowed. Staying home sounded like a better option. Well we did attend our cruise - a three night Food and Wine Cruise from Brisbane - leaving January 29. It was nothing at all like those negative reviews. In fact, we loved every moment and found the staff, the food, the cabins and the ship's public areas more than satisfactory. It was a great weekend away! The extreme negativity oozing from the reviews is simply inaccurate, and says more about the reviewer than the cruise itself! Sure some guests may have experienced unfortunate incidents, but perfection is an unachievable goal in holidays, and indeed life. If you believe the staff to be withdrawn and unfriendly, try smiling and saying thank you. We witnessed quite rude manners from other guests on our cruise, particularly in the food venue, the Pantry. I found that by being courteous to the staff, they responded in kind. Other positives: the bedding and linen was very clean and crisp, waiting at food venues was manageable, and often times we walked straight in to be seated, the entertainment was enjoyable (a comic hypnotist one night and a song and dance production the other), the kids club was relaxed and fun, food was accessible, plentiful and of a good standard. As my first introduction to cruising, it was a good start. I would definitely go on another cruise with P&O. Don't let the bad reviews put you off! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My first & last, ship was meant to have been refurbished garbage.baths dangerous for older travellers had to climb up over old baths to have a shower.no fridge,no clock radio.food thepantry y was like a cow shed lining up for the same ... Read More
My first & last, ship was meant to have been refurbished garbage.baths dangerous for older travellers had to climb up over old baths to have a shower.no fridge,no clock radio.food thepantry y was like a cow shed lining up for the same food every night.asked for a wake up call at 3am on the morning of australia day still waiting.nothing to do on board most people sat around the pool aera wonder if most people held their urine in the unkept pool,most sat and drunk coffee if the coffee machines were working.the first night we had to get the maintance man to show us how to use the tap over the bath.had to have room service as I was in isolation I got bread & jam still waiting for a knife.we believed the aria was docking in the passenger terminal instead around at white bay balmain.glad to get home people who thought the ship was okay I wonder what they live in.tv wasn't working had to get help,public toilets blocked its a wonder the travellers didn't get cholera told us to wipe door handles but there wasn't many tissues around just empty boxes.staff worked long long hours us Aussies would never do that, Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We just got back from this cruise (our first experience with crusing and I'm hooked). We were quite worried given the negative reviews, however, it was a fantastic experience. Embarking was quick and easy, our cabin was perfect, ... Read More
We just got back from this cruise (our first experience with crusing and I'm hooked). We were quite worried given the negative reviews, however, it was a fantastic experience. Embarking was quick and easy, our cabin was perfect, almost every crew member we encountered during the trip was friendly and helpful, there was only 1 bucket catching a leak during the whole cruise and I only noticed it because of all of the previous reviews. We enjoyed the shows and the live music (particularly Sibling Rivalry in the Ocean Bar - don't miss them). 7 out of 8 elevators were in service (unlike previous reviews). The shower isn't difficult to work (yes there are 2 knobs - one for temperature and one for the flow of water - not rocket science). Spas were working (but always full of kids). Washing machines and driers were working and everything was very clean. Being a smaller boat there are less activities, but we were never bored and neither were the kids. There are a lot of things we didn't get to do. The only small complaint I would have is with the food - it was often very good, but it was also a bit hit and miss. Some of the dishes had an unusual flavor. I didn't eat the same thing twice unless I loved it so much and wanted more - there was plenty of variety. I saw that there had been complaints about the ship rocking due to being smaller - apart from the 1st night when we had 53 knot winds, I didn't notice it and didn't see anyone else feeling unwell. I drank tap water the whole time from the bathroom in our cabin - it was clean and tasted good. I can't wait to go again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My partner and I booked this cruise in New Zealand to travel ex Aus to New Caledonia and Vanuatu. 1st issue was we were sent updated boarding times. We then arrive to find out we are last there and almost missed embarkation. Fine, ... Read More
My partner and I booked this cruise in New Zealand to travel ex Aus to New Caledonia and Vanuatu. 1st issue was we were sent updated boarding times. We then arrive to find out we are last there and almost missed embarkation. Fine, anyway 1st impression of the boat as it sat moored were so so.. Certainly looked like it had been around a while. The cabin: Anyway, we get on board, find our cabin with zero guidance from staff after going past the VERY rude, and consistently rude security staff (they were something which irritated me more and more as the cruise progressed, power trip much?) Get to the cabin, its OK. Certainly not new or done up as is suggested, think 1995 if you are lucky. Worn out couch was unusable asides from sitting things on it, and low and behold - No fridge! Then we noticed when trying to sleep, the window creaked. And creaked, and creaked! Seriously annoying. Air conditioning was as useful as a 5inch fan blowing warm air on you when you sleep in 30 degree heat. Bathroom, used a bathtub shower (with a broken tap) which is frankly dangerous in moving seas, not impressed. Luckily bed (well beds, 2 x singles pushed together) were newer than the boat and relatively alright to sleep. The ship is old, and the ship is stuffed. Lets be honest. Holland America sold it because it was heading for scrap, obviously that's where P and O do their shopping. I want to be clear, the boat has not had this amazing overhaul like they claim. Its a dog. It has a few areas where new paint has been painted (they are still doing this as you cruise, brilliant) but overall its shocking. Just walk around the back and try open the busted doors to climb to deck 10/11. Many things out of order, lifts etc. But the major, ask any Pacfic Aria passenger about - The Plumbing. The old vacuum toilets DONT WORK. If you like using the toilet and having to look at what you left there for hours, the Aria is for you. Also frequent toilet spill overs, and one day some cabins on deck 6 spewed everything up, through the cabins and into the corridors. That was a smell to wake you up. I was horrified to see after all these major issues, they sailed the ship again within hours of us getting off with more victims. I watched it sail from Brisbane airport down the river thinking how glad I am to be off that thing. People will get sick, frankly the boat is not seaworthy. I could go on and on, the food was something to behold as well. I do not know how they manage to make everything taste as awful as they did. Thanks P&O, I lost weight on my cruise. If you like tasteless, cold, canned and tinned everything, youll love this. I also hated the constant hounding from the sales people at the overpriced elemis at sea (240 bucks for a massage? really??) and the clowns in the photo booth. I spent the first few days avoiding these sales traps, felt like a harvey norman store at sea. The destinations were fine but p&o have nothing to do with them. I can recommend never booking a tour through the ship - you will be ripped off in a big way. Entertainment was poor, DJ Saccary or whatever handle he goes buy has some horrendous music taste and forces you to listen to his rubbish. If you want to kill the buzz, get this guy to your party. The entertainment director was just irritating, and loved herself. The amazing prizes for her trivia shows (which if you are not an aussie, dont bother) included a $2 credit card holder or a glass case. yay. I use the term entertainment loosely. Mind you the kids roaming around in gangs yelling and screaming seemed to enjoy it. P&O are not an affordable all inclusive holiday, the extra costs are everywhere. So its expensive, dirty and rather boring. Many many other areas are a sore point, however the reviews from all are pretty consistent. I also think we were lucky as when it rains, this boat really shows its colours. I plan to complain to P&O formally and I also think the maritime watchdog should be looking at this company. Avoid like the plague, or risk catching it. 1st and last time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My first & only other cruise was 25 years ago where I travelled on the Fair Star with my cousin & 2 other people for 4 days / 3 nights with no port stops. With long ago memories of fun on that cruise, my hopes were for a similar ... Read More
My first & only other cruise was 25 years ago where I travelled on the Fair Star with my cousin & 2 other people for 4 days / 3 nights with no port stops. With long ago memories of fun on that cruise, my hopes were for a similar experience on this cruise. I surprised my partner by booking this 2.5 months ago so he only found out when we pulled up at Portside Parking. We were travelling with my cousin again & her group of 5 people and from the time we pulled up to Portside Parking to the time we arrived back, the whole experience was fantastic. We lined up at 10am at the terminal, was in the waiting lounge by 10.30am and was on board by 11.30am. The process of embarking was not long at all and staff were friendly. We visited Airlie Beach and Cairns and the process for getting on & off was smooth and again not much waiting time considering the amount of people going off & coming back on. We organised our own on shore excursions at Cairns as we found it was cheaper than the ship organised prices. The entire ship staff were friendly and always smiling. We were impressed with the cleanliness of the ship and public toilets. There were crew all round the ship with hand sanitiser bottles which meant very hygienic standards. The buffet dining in Windjammer was great with a huge variety of foods and the formal dining room in Romeo & Juliet was awesome. Our wait staff was very friendly and accommodating when we wanted different orders. During the course of the cruise, we ate at both venues for breakfasts, lunches & dinners and found all times were great. The only negative we could find was waiting for drinks. Many patrons would come to the bar and not take note of where they were in the queue to be served so others were left waiting. We felt a number system would alleviate this problem as it was like this at all the bars - the bar staff can only see so much so I felt it was up to us patrons to say who was next. Apart from this, we could not find any fault. The disembarking in Brisbane was fantastic. We were given a number and time as to when we would be called up. We were scheduled for 8.10am but were called at 8.25am however we were off the ship in 5 minutes, collected our luggage in 3 minutes and the shuttle bus to Portside Parking was pulling up as we were coming out. We were home at Caboolture by 9.25am. A comment on Portside Parking: FANTASTIC. We paid $89 for the 8 days indoor parking and the service was awesome and very quick. I would definitely recommend people parking here and would do it again. Prior to doing this cruise, I read other reviews on the ship and found a lot of negative posts so I was very worried given this was a surprise trip however I can definitely say don't judge so quick as I would 100% recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Like other cruise critic folk I read many reviews prior to my cruise. 95% were negative, thus I had reservations going in.... First thing I'll say to all those 'haters' is you get what you pay for! Don't expect to ... Read More
Like other cruise critic folk I read many reviews prior to my cruise. 95% were negative, thus I had reservations going in.... First thing I'll say to all those 'haters' is you get what you pay for! Don't expect to pay a total of around $1k for a 12 night cruise with all you're accomodation and food provided and expect 5 star everything. If you want that go to a high end resort - pay the standard $1k per NIGHT (not including food!) and you'll get you're 5 star experience. P & O clearly states they are a 3 to 3.5 star cruise. Boarding the ship was seamless in consideration of the volume of people. As we stayed in a suite - yes I paid the extra! I will agree that our 'priority' checkin didn't seem to count for much but we were there early anyway so found ourselves on board approx 1.5hrs after arriving at the Brisbane wharf. All good here. Our room was fantastic (again - what you pay for), it was clean, spacious, had plentiful storage, comfortable king bed, nice balcony, etc. paying the extra we also received many extras. Refer to their website for the long list. The less you pay the greater the likelihood of not as good of an experience. Such is life. Our room attendants were 1st class and did a fantastic job under adverse conditions. I work with people who put in less than half the hours you guys do each week and they are constantly tired, whingy, and generally depressing to be around. You were both like a breath of fresh air. Thank you! Again, I disagree with the negative food reviews on board. Starting with The pantry - the variety is more than sufficient. Does it really hurt you to have to maybe consume the same thing twice during a cruise?? The quantity - if they don't give you enough the first time go back for more. It's all you can eat! Also the quality is not as atrocious as what people make out. It's average and what you would expect for the layout. Waterfront - didn't go much as we were happy with the pantry but always had good food and friendly service. Dragon lady - didn't try it. The grill - when you're craving a pizza or burger it was always great. Salt grill - incredible experience all around. Can't fault the food, service and nice quiet ambience. No it's not expensive as some people have stated!! For a 3 course meal like that you'll be paying 3 times as much at other fine dining restaurants around Oz. There were always many spare tables too because people didn't seem to want to pay/get dressed up a bit. Also for those that said they were somehow still hungry after a marquee performance - room service is available 24/7. Pay the measley fee and eat that in the comfort of you're own room....without pants!! Public areas are all very modern and inviting. Love how there are little 'escapes' for couples. Shopping options good, entertainment a plenty. Don't understand how people can be bored or have nothing to do!! They have thought of everyone from a 1 yr old to an 80 yr old. At the end of the day I went on the cruise to see Vanuatu and Fiji - the ship came second in order of priority but you can't complain of the numerous things to do onboard...it's what you make of it. Sure beats sitting in a plane or car. All staff very friendly, welcoming and generally nice. Considering the time they spend working away from home and family averaging 12 hr days, it's truly incredible. Issues I had were sleep! I'm a fairly light sleeper so I was always sleep deprived. Kids running around on the decks till all hrs of the night was the main reason. I don't think this is P&O's fault more just bad/lazy parenting. People slamming cabin doors....again not P&O's fault just selfish people not thinking of others. Spa prices were too high! Massage and facial for my wife and I cost over $600. It's a shame because I would of loved to get more done but the costs of all treatments I just couldn't justify. A few rude tourists whinging about small things also annoyed me. Be grateful you are able to have this cruise experience where many around the world are not. Lastly, I found the ship quite rocky even on calmer days. Just a heads up if you struggle with sea sickness!!! Otherwise all good!! Fantastic experience both on and off the ship, I feel blessed to be able to have done it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Now as AverageJo said.... Let's clear things up! We read so many negative comments on here, we were about to cancel the trip and lose our money, thinking the lost money would still have been a better outcome. Well thank goodness we ... Read More
Now as AverageJo said.... Let's clear things up! We read so many negative comments on here, we were about to cancel the trip and lose our money, thinking the lost money would still have been a better outcome. Well thank goodness we gave it a go. Those whingers and whiners out there.... yep, we saw some of the issues you raised. Did it interrupt or negatively impact our experience - definitely not. I would hate to live in a world where the negative holds the power. This ship and crew gave us our best holiday ever.... EVER. And yes, we were told there is so much better cruises out there. Well if there are, we can't imagine much better. The staff who work 14 hours a day, 7 days a week... were always happy, accommodating, friendly and approachable. The Pantry food was good and yes, on a lengthy trip might start to get boring.... but then you have at least 4 other places to eat!! And the best was the Waterfront of us - 2 adults and 2 kids under 12. The service, food and experience were great. Then there was the entertainment. With the split up of port stops, we always have something to do.... or if needed nothing to do! The floors shows were amazing, the kids club fantastic, the gym was excellent, the pools great, the bars wonderful. Well done to all the staff on board. Stuff the negatives. It's a mindset! There were odds and ends that could be improved - i.e free kids ice cream. But, when you stop at a place like Suva.... and see the people and how they live.... and then get on board to a twice serviced room (internal too and still great!), with food at your beck and call, with friendly staff all around you, with entertainment for all, with tours and beautiful beaches, and at a very reasonable price for 4 people ... seriously how could you complain? It was our best holiday and we would definitely recommend this cruise ship. Thanks to all the staff on the Aria.... especially those behind the scenes - the chefs, engine room staff, maintenance staff, bag collectors etc. Well done to you all and thank you. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
P&O advertised ship as new ship, it wasn't. It was a new ship to their fleet but built in the 1990's. The cruise was so boring with very little for passengers to do. The entertainment director should be ashamed. The evening ... Read More
P&O advertised ship as new ship, it wasn't. It was a new ship to their fleet but built in the 1990's. The cruise was so boring with very little for passengers to do. The entertainment director should be ashamed. The evening shows were good, but why did we have 3 nights of movies instead of shows? Daytime on-board activities consisted of things like, open deck stroll, board games, bean bag toss, table tennis (there are only two tables which were always occupied), basketball / volleyball (only one court). 3 bands all playing same type of music (predominantly jazz). There was a small dance floor but no-one there playing music to dance to. There was one short dance lesson per day with no social dancing as such. Many people wanted to dance but couldn't. We in the end stayed in our cabin watching TV out of sheer boredom. Half way through the trip we found out you could borrow DVD's which we did until the DVD broke after the first DVD. They had a cinema with day time movies but the globe blew on day 2 and no-one fixed it despite being told. The cruise would have been OK if the Entertainment Director actually did her job and programmed activities that entertained. Karaoke and Bingo is not for everyone. Everyone we spoke to said this was the worst cruise ever. Some had sailed with P&O before some up to 8 times. These seasoned cruisers did say that other P&O cruisers were a lot better than this one and we should not form our opinions from this cruise alone. It will be hard for us to book P&O again due to this mind numbing experience. Please lift your game P&O. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I do not appreciate being the test dummy for an international cruising company to help them sort out their inadequacies and failings as a service provider. We changed rooms 5 times in 7 days as they could not get the toilets working. The ... Read More
I do not appreciate being the test dummy for an international cruising company to help them sort out their inadequacies and failings as a service provider. We changed rooms 5 times in 7 days as they could not get the toilets working. The entire deck 9 port side had similar problems which were not resolved at anytime during the cruise. The final straw came when the toilets actually began to overflow and spill into the cabins. The Aria is an old ship with a very dubious refurbishment. on the surface things seemed okay but very little worked properly, the food was mediocre and the less said about the entertainment the better. A very expensive but thoroughly unpleasant experience which will never be repeated. As the ship had only had its relaunch voyage a month earlier very few of the systems worked properly and the crew, although lovely in themselves, gave the impression that they were continually 'fighting fires' and trying to rectify issues as they went along. Everyday presented new and interesting ways to ruin your holiday however the great consistency was the failing toilets. It was always an exciting time at 3am, having to get dressed to use the public toilets and then playing the lottery of whether the public ones would flush. A very poor performance from P&O in this case. I think the high point was when we sat down to dinner with another couple who said ' we are having an awful time with the cabins but there is one poor couple who have changes rooms half a dozen times' They were quite surprised that the couple they were taking about was us, almost as much as I was surprised about our new found celebrity status as the nomads of Aria, maybe David Attenborough could make a documentary about our travels from cabin to cabin. With this, I am therefore sure I am not the only person delivering a negative review. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Top 10 issues with the Pacific Aria: 1. The cabins flood. All types of cabin, on multiple levels, including suites and especially the penthouse. This is because the external drainage system doesn’t work and the seals around the ... Read More
Top 10 issues with the Pacific Aria: 1. The cabins flood. All types of cabin, on multiple levels, including suites and especially the penthouse. This is because the external drainage system doesn’t work and the seals around the external doors and windows have eroded and haven’t been refurbished. As soon as any water gets onto the external decks, it ends up in the cabins, goes out into the corridors, runs down the internal stairs, and also leaks down into lower cabins. When the carpets begin to dry out, the smell is unbearable. The build-up of undrained water on the decks also causes the ship to list alarmingly. Don’t leave anything on the floor of your cabin, and pay close attention during the evacuation drill (although the lifeboat used to take us to Hamilton Island also leaked significantly, so perhaps it won’t even matter). 2. The Elemis spa hard sell. The staff at the Elemis spa use all kinds of shady tricks and intimidation to attempt to extort money from passengers. The relaxing effect of a couples massage is somewhat undone when you’re shut into the room afterwards, whilst the masseuses split you up and simultaneously try to pressurise and berate you into taking additional costly products and treatments. Another tactic - telling customers who’ve booked in for a treatment that they have in fact actually booked in for a much more expensive treatment. Continuously trying to pressure customers who are in the middle of one treatment, into taking an additional treatment at the same time, despite the customer repeatedly declining this. It would be nice if the Office of Fair Trading would take some action against Elemis and P & O for this outrageous behaviour. Stay out of Elemis at all costs. 3. The food is low grade pig swill. In fact, it’s so bad, that I’m suspicious about the authenticity of any review which says that the food is “tasty”. Scrambled eggs are made from powder. Disgusting. Sausages are made from some kind of artificial substitute. Disgusting. The black pudding is the most repellent piece of food I’ve eaten in my entire life. It is so unbelievably bad, that I actually recommend you try it once. In the restaurants, the meat (notably the beef) is predominantly fat, and is flavoured with salt, salt and salt. Copious and sickly amounts of butter are also used as the other source of flavour. Everything is a simulation of a piece of proper food. If you order a croissant, you’ll get bread shaped like a croissant. The Pantry is poor. Avoid Angelo’s like the plague. The Dragon Lady is surprisingly passable (if you can get a table). Waterfront was also passable (but then we were comparing it with Angelo’s). 4. There is an incredible amount of ship movement, even in calm seas. I excitedly shot out of bed one morning and over to the window, to view the huge storm I presumed was taking place. Nothing. Calm seas. A touch of breeze perhaps. This lead to full days of many people being sick. One day the pool was closed (and half the water lost) because there was so much movement. One can only imagine what will happen when the boat encounters any kind of seriously rough sea. Stock up on hard-core anti-sickness tablets. 5. The communal areas are shoddy. The ceilings leak when it rains. The ceilings leak when it’s dry (I’m guessing it’s the air conditioning system). Water cascades in from the decks. Buckets everywhere. Areas taped off. Waterfalls cascade down through the lifts, which are out of service most of the time. Inside the lifts, the handrails are broken, and the name ‘Pacific Aria’ is on pieces of cardboard taped over the ship’s previous title. Contact P & O for an early cancellation and a full refund if you have mobility issues, as you won’t be able to move between decks. 6. The staff. Some are very rude (one woman refused to look at me whilst speaking). Some tell outright lies to your face (“this is the first time the cabins have ever flooded”, “we had 2 metres of rain”). The captain woke everyone on the ship at 5am with an in-room announcement about the laundry having to be checked for a fire. He made a second in-room announcement about there being no fire (5.05 am?). He made a final announcement explaining (unconvincingly) why he required to keep making these in-room announcements (5.10am). Coincidentally, the staff drill used a few days later was an identical scenario regarding a fire in the laundry. Annoyingly, all other announcements made on the ship (i.e. the ones you need to hear) aren’t made in-room. Treat everything you’re told by staff with due scepticism. 7. General state of the cabins. They badly need to be refurbished. We were in a suite and bits of peeling wallpaper had been taped back on. The sockets hadn’t been converted to Australian sockets. In the dressing area, you could only use American or European plugs. In our bathroom, there were screws missing from the door handle, there was rusty water running from some of the fittings, and every hook on the shower curtain was completely rusted. I’m also convinced that our towels weren’t changed – just refolded once dry. Bring a plug converter if you plan to use a hairdryer or straighteners. 8. The air conditioning has a mind of its own. From freezing in the morning, building gradually throughout the day to a balmy 28 degrees. It seems to be impossible to override this. 9. The Oasis (the adults only pool deck) is near useless, as there is virtually no shade. Skin cancer all round, thanks. 10. Couldn’t get an advance reservation at Salt, even though we supposedly had priority. I actually didn’t believe the maître-d’ when he told me it was fully booked for the next evening (given that, unless you were in a suite, you weren’t able to make a reservation until 8am the next morning). But by that point in the cruise, I actually didn’t care any more. Top 5 goods points: 1. The gym is very nicely kitted out, with plenty of benches, free weights and cables, and good opening hours. Also very quiet, as most people ignored it in favour of weird free seminars on weight loss and fat burning. Go figure. 2. P&O ultimately dealt with the immediate flooding issues by replacing smelly carpets in suites and agreeing compensation whilst still on board (which was impressive during the Christmas period). 3. There was a great little band which played the Blue Room (although this was somewhat ruined on the last night when members of the on-board shows interjected themselves into some of the songs). 4. I liked the fact that you could get breakfast delivered to your suite as late as 9.30am (once we’d worked out what was worth ordering). I recommend the banana bread and asking for eggs to be poached. 5. Bed was very comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Ok where do I start? This was the worst and most boring holiday of our lives. If you hate someone recommend the P&O Aria. Nothing to do but eat, drink and listen to lame lifeless entertainers. Cabins looked nice we had a balcony, ... Read More
Ok where do I start? This was the worst and most boring holiday of our lives. If you hate someone recommend the P&O Aria. Nothing to do but eat, drink and listen to lame lifeless entertainers. Cabins looked nice we had a balcony, although the aircon was useless it didnt cool the room and fridge was useless too couldnt chill our drinks. They had a DVD player but no DVD's to watch? We kept checking outside to see if our bags had been sent up, we eventually found them up the other end of the corridor even tho they were clearly marked with our names and room number. We went for a walk on Deck 6 but you couldnt walk right around the ship as Portside was closed off and Starboard was full of coughing smokers. The adults only pool was like a plunge pool The Pantry looked good on the promos but in actual fact it was like being trapped on a floating foodcourt. Food was the same everyday no variety, had to line up for everything, food was often cold and the roast veg was very undercooked, oh and if you wanted icecream with your dessert you had to pay $5. There weren't enough tables and chairs and what was with all the stools, bit hard to climb up on and very uncomfortable. Waterfront restaurant was average with rude waiters. One girl took 3 or 4 tags to go sort out the drinks for different tables then didnt know whos tag belonged to who. The other free restaurants were always booked out and you were not able to book ahead which either pushed you to others you had to pay for, or back to the (foodcourt) Pantry. Day 2 it began to rain and didnt stop, that's when the leaks appeared all over the ship. Towels, blankets and buckets were all over the eating areas, halls and stairwells. Dirty water was dripping on tables where people were eating staff had to tape off sections of the ship and where trying to dry carpets with airblowers we even saw them doing this to an electrical box, maybe that's why the lifts were always out of order. An annoucement at 5am that there was a fire in the laundry was a little off putting. The reception staff were rude and most unhelpful but that could be due to the fact that there was a huge language barrier, very frustrating. This ship is far from new so why advertise it that way? And why run a cruise up to Cairns in the wet season, but more fool us for booking it for that time of year. By the 5th day we'd had enoughwe got off at Cairns and stayed off. This was our 1st ever cruise and after that experience, we will NEVER do another one. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
So like many others I was a bit nervous about reading negative reviews and I as pleasantly surprised - I think some people will never be happy. I travelled as a single and got the balcony as it was only room available booking at the ... Read More
So like many others I was a bit nervous about reading negative reviews and I as pleasantly surprised - I think some people will never be happy. I travelled as a single and got the balcony as it was only room available booking at the last minute - while a bit of an extravagance I loved being abe to sit outside and also see the ocean every morning. The room was very spacious (some people were complaining that squeezing 3 to a room was too tight but what else would they expect when they are each only paying a third of the price). Room was nice and tidy and clean and well maintained. Bathroom was perfectly fine - I know some people have blogged shower is too small but I think that would only be a problem for someone who is very overweight). Other people have complains they got water on the floor but if you make sure shower curtain is fully closed there are no dramas. The food was amazing. I loved lazy breakfast burritos at the park cafe or some nice boiled eggs and fresh fruit in the windjammer. Lunch I alternated between the restaurant where there are amazing salads (both on the menu or custom made) and getting fresh salads at windjammer. Dinner was amazing (will now spend next two weeks at gym paying for my sins!) - 3 courses and lovely waiters. In the afternoons you can grab an afternoon salad/panini etc from the park cafe - usually accompanied by a cocktail! I wouldn't recommend he alcohol drinks package unless you want to drink a lot everyday. I didn't go for one and I drank a fare amount (1-2 cocktails and 2-3 wine per day and a soda or two) and I still didn't spend as much as the package would've cost. Everyone I spoke to who got the package noted they probably weren't drinking enough to make it cheaper. Also, take advantage of the fact that you can bring on board two bottles of wine per stateroom - nice for Predinner drinks on balcony. I loved the day spa - treatments were fantastic and the gym boot camp (pay extra for this) was well worth it - serious workout! And lazy sessions in the sauna and spa bath were daily essentials. The shore trips were well organised - I loved Lifou - butterflies everywhere in the thousands. Glass bottom kayaking and snorkelling in mystery island is also totally recommended! Kayak is mad completely out of clear plastic. Entertainment was so so, I think on larger ships you get better/bigger shows. Only real criticism I have for the trip was that everything was a big sell eg supposed pamper session was just about selling their skin products, lecture on looking younger was them trying to sell you Botox - that did distract from the cruise. The wifi was pretty limited - I bought the package as I wanted to stay in touch with people but it dropped out quite often. The staff were all gorgeous, nothing was too hard for hem and I have no idea how they all knew everyone's name! All and all totally recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
About a week prior to embarking on our cruise on Legend of the Seas I decided to read some reviews. I was shocked to see it receive ratings of 1 and many many complaints. Those reviews completely dampened my enthusiasm for the cruise and ... Read More
About a week prior to embarking on our cruise on Legend of the Seas I decided to read some reviews. I was shocked to see it receive ratings of 1 and many many complaints. Those reviews completely dampened my enthusiasm for the cruise and we set off with very low expectations, and feeling a little depressed at the thought of Christmas at sea with such an awful experience ahead of us. I am pleased to say that we had an experience that was completely opposite to what others had described. Every single staff member was extremely friendly and helpful. I could not find any fault whatsoever with any of them. My husband is disabled and even the ground staff went out of their way to assist us. We fly often and never receive the kind of attention we did from these staff. A big thank you to them!!! There were rarely the big queues others described in the coffee shop - at peak times yes, but that happens in every coffee shop. I had also read that there were big queues for everything, but we did not experience those at all. The crew had a great numbering system to avoid that happening. There was a great variety of food available but I have to highlight the Chef's Table as being an absolute standout!!! Five courses with matching wines was amazing value at $100pp. We loved it. So, my advice to first time cruises - be careful what you read! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015

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