24 Brisbane First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
We had a lovely 10 day cruise out of Brisbane on the Legend of the Seas & I must admit prior to boarding I had some concerns about cruising for 10 nights (especially after reading quite a few negative reviews). I was more than ... Read More
We had a lovely 10 day cruise out of Brisbane on the Legend of the Seas & I must admit prior to boarding I had some concerns about cruising for 10 nights (especially after reading quite a few negative reviews). I was more than pleasantly surprised. We boarded in our home town of Brisbane & as we had a Junior Suite (8580) we were pleasantly surprised by priority boarding. From the time we were dropped off by our taxi we were on the ship in under 45 minutes. My partner & I had decided to take his 11 year old son on a holiday as he has just finished primary school. We looked at many options but decided on the cruise due to the large number of activities available & the very reasonable cost. The kids club for children of this age on our ship wasn't managed as well as we may have thought. There were obviously insufficient numbers so they lumped the 9 - 11 year old children in with the younger group. None of them were at all happy; however in saying that the ship is an extremely safe environment for pre teens & he found some friends & spent quite a bit of time playing mini golf, swimming & enjoying the never ending flow of soft serve ice creams. The service in the dining room was exceptional. We did have a set dining time of 6pm & were rewarded with fabulous service & meals every night. When we were on the ship we did eat all meals in the dining room as the buffet style of windjammers had no appeal. As I celebrated a birthday whilst aboard we did visit one of the specialty restaurants. The food was great but I don't think i'd consider paying the extra dollars again as the dining room food was of equal quality. The ports of call were lovely but most of all the staff were spectacular! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Here’s my experience! :) I’m 24 and this was my first cruise and my first time going out of Australia. I went with my two best friends, one whom had already been on the same cruise, and the other had already been to Vanuatu. We ... Read More
Here’s my experience! :) I’m 24 and this was my first cruise and my first time going out of Australia. I went with my two best friends, one whom had already been on the same cruise, and the other had already been to Vanuatu. We departed from Brisbane, and I had parked my car at portside parking, it was affordable and convenient. Check in was easy and didn’t take long, we were the stowaways, so check in was around 12-12:30pm I think. You get your picture taken and you receive a cruise card which is your everything once you’re on the ship! It’s your room key and your money. You put cash onto the card or you can set it up with a debit or credit card. I used cash. There are computers near the reception desk to check your balance. Once we were on the ship, I remember being really nervous and excited! Shortly after boarding, we had to assemble in our designated areas in a case of emergency; ours was the casino, with your life jacket to listen to instructions of what to do in an emergency situation. Your stewards inform you once you get to your room where you have to go etc. After that was finished it was time to explore! We headed straight for the top deck for the sail away party and a few celebratory drinks! It was magical, leaving Brisbane and seeing the city and the beautiful blue water. It was fun going underneath the bridge and the horn sounding (it was so loud haha). Drinks At first I had XXXX gold beer that was about $6 from memory; you just swipe your card. Spirits from $7 to $9. Cocktails from $10 to $20. We were lucky enough to be able to purchase an alcoholic beverage package. It cost around $70 per day and you can only buy it on the 1st or 2nd day of the cruise and it’s for the whole duration of the cruise. So I paid $480 (approx.), the deal is unlimited drinks, to the value of $12 (which is perfect, beers, cocktails and spirits are all within this range), only one drink at a time and you cannot buy for other people. DEFINITELY BUY THE PACKAGE IF IT IS AVAILABLE! It saves a lot of money. When you are kicking back on the deck having a cocktail, a glass of wine with dinner or several, or in the Dome having a night out dancing and enjoying a rum ($8-$9), it all adds up. I definitely got a benefit out of the package. Great job P & O for offering it! Oh and this package includes, coffee, bottles of water (not the big ones in your room though) and soft drinks. There is also a soft drink package for like $50 (from memory), unlimited soft drink, great if you don’t drink alcohol or for the kids etc. The Ship I’m use to the sea because I love fishing and going out on boats etc but I did take quick eze on two occasions (one when we first boarded and one on the way back to Brisbane – the weather was so rough!) It was easy to navigate around the ship, elevators were slow though because of the amount of people obviously, so we would take the stairs often, great exercise though to burn off the delicious food and beverages! On the first day we did the treasure hunt, had to go to multiple places on the ship and get staff to sign off, then once completed, cards were drawn out and people won prizes. Some great prizes hey, I ended up winning a massage to the value of $120. AMAZING! The beauty place is expensive but if you’re into pampering yourself or even Botox, it’s all available at a cost. Room We were on deck 10, inside room (no view). Loved it, great choice. And not far from an elevator too. It cost us each $780 approx. Food The plantation is a buffet style restaurant – we used this for breakfast or for a quick bite to eat for lunch sometimes (they prepare rolls and sandwiches etc and we use to just take them with us). However, this is at the back of the ship and my gosh you can feel the waves haha and you can see the ship going up and down, I was a bit queasy eating here but if you went out on the balcony (if you could find a seat) it was enjoyable, the fresh air made it better. The Waterfront Restaurant was our favourite place to eat. Breakfast was only ok, a bit unorganised. Lunch was alright, the same again. However dinner was amazing! We booked each night for 8pm, you can choose to share a table with strangers or just get one for your group. I loved the menu and there is a huge variety. Entrée, main and desserts are available and you can choose whatever and how many you want! All included in your cost. Staff We were soooo happy with majority of the staff, our stewards were fantastic and polite (everyone says good morning and afternoon). They made us several towel animals haha. But the most memorable (they helped make our trip amazing) were our waiters in the Waterfront restaurant. Elma and Mervyn, we wrote them great feedback on the cruise and tipped them. We asked to sit in their area every night. You will definitely find staff that remember you and make you feel welcomed! Activities Plenty to do! I thought that I’d be relaxing on the deck all the time sipping away on cocktails, tanning for the whole duration! Oh no! There are soooo many activities to do during the day and night! It was fantastic. You get the daily schedule the night before and we were actually planning our day out so we could attend certain things and schedule it around meal times etc. I like golf and they actually had chipping and putting games, just a bit of fun. You do can as much as you like or as little as you like, it’s really up to you. And certain things are repeated so you can go another time. The big entertainment shows were good, singing and dancing stuff. The staff are so talented!! I love the comedy nights (adults only), celebrity heads, I can’t remember the name of it but it was a game where 4 staff had to tell us the definition of word and we had to guess who was correct – it was so funny! Willy the entertainment director is hilarious haha. There’s even a casino with roulette, poker, black jack and poker machines. They have bingo too! Big jackpots as well. Shore Tours We pre-reserved ours. Two stops we used the gangway and in Lifou we had to use Tender boats to get on shore. They were easy and quick for us. Noumea – was the first stop – think we got there at 3pm and had to be back on the ship on 9pm We used their currency which is Franc and you can exchange money on the ship or in Noumea when you get off. In Noumea is a better exchange rate. I was a bit disappointed in this place, we didn’t go out of the town, we stayed in the middle and walked everywhere, went to see the churches etc, hardly any shops were open (siesta or something or maybe people are broke and heaps of shops are closed), I tried some kind of beef mince spring roll which was nice, oh and the main park has free wifi, youll see heaps of locals chilling around, that’s why probably . We did the night chou chou train – which departed at 5pm or so and it arrives in time to get back on the boat, It was great, you get to see all the different bays and stories etc – and you get a quick snack and drink Lifou – We used the Franc again, got there in the morning and think we had to be back on by the afternoon (can’t exactly remember) When you get on shore there are markets set up and food, I had a Panini and fresh coconut. Oh and also tried their Number One beer (that’s what it’s called haha) tasted like a mid to me We walked to the church up on the hill, amazing views, great panoramic shots Definitely pre-reserve the jinek bay snorkelling at Lifou. There are limited places and heaps of people missed out. It was beautiful! I loved it. We took our own snorkelling gear and reef walkers (you can hire them but I wouldn’t) make sure you have a waterproof camera, some awesome photo opportunities Port Villa – Used Australian money, you got the day to enjoy it had to be back on the ship by 4pm or so. In the harbour it is sooo beautiful from up on the ship. When you get off the ship, you go to the right to go wait for the shore tours (it’s not far). You go to the left to go into town. We did the Ocean Walk shore tour, that was great, I was nervous at first but it was excellent. Just make sure you take your waterproof camera though, the people take photos which you can buy but they also take pictures on your camera for you. You get to feed the fish and touch sea cucumbers etc I loved it. Now haha when you want to go into town, be prepared to be shocked! You are immediately confronted by the taxi men who want to take you. We paid $10 which is good. The driving is insane! You’ll understand once you’re there haha. We got dropped off in the main street and walked to the duty free shop! We bought our alcohol and they transport it to the ship for you and you collect it on the last morning of the ship. We then went to the Jungle Café which has free wifi when you purchase something! If you wanted to connect to the world, you could go here. I tried there tusker beer and I really liked it. MOST IMPORTANTLY (well for me anyways) haha People have lizards and they put them on you and charge you to take a picture! I’m so glad my friends warned me, I was freaking out! My eyes were peeled for these people and multiple times I screamed when they approached haha, although there was a beautiful green one! I admired it from afar haha I’m not sure if it was lack of sleep or what, but I was very keen to get back on the boat. It was maybe overwhelming, the markets are packed and the shops with food and souvenirs and people. Word of advice, buy souvenirs from the town and not at the markets near the ship. It is much much cheaper to buy in town. E.g. fake Oakley sunnies cost me $5 from in town. At the markets near the ship they wanted $25. On the way back to the boat, we got a water taxi – I loved it! Paid $15 for the three of us. I love the water and it was beautiful. Once on the ship we were on the adult’s only deck, sipping cocktails, watching the sun setting, waiting to sail away (watching people running back to the ship who were late hahaha). Other After vila it’s like a two day journey back to Brisbane – and wow, was it choppy! You could absolutely feel it and every now and then the whole ship would shudder. In the waterfront restaurant, the cupboards and draws were opening and closing, that’s how rough it was. Crazy! On bad weather days they close off the top decks and the side decks for safety reasons obviously. Oh and deck 7 on one side is the smokers deck or there’s one up on deck 13 in a corner near the Dome. The dome is the night club. The DJ was pretty terrible for the first few nights, but then the last two nights he actually let a good song play. Oh KARAOKE! There are some talented people, I tell you. My friend and I sung on the first night after a bit of Dutch courage haha but karaoke is on every night. Bars There are different bars, different vibes etc. You’ll work it out which one you enjoy the most. TIP! If you are on the top deck and the bar near the pools is BUSY AS! Go to the dome and get your drinks there, so much quieter, quicker and not far to walk. Parties We had a white party, Gatsby and back to school. Every night is just a big party really, if you want it to be. On these themed parties, staff come out and dance for a bit Although we did speak with an older couple who were staying on one of the upper decks and they could hear the music. So keep that in mind when booking. Gatsby was the BEST! Definitely dress up, it is good fun. Photos There is always a photographer out and about. Before you get on the ship you can get a picture, when you get off on every shore tour, on cocktail nights and on party nights. Definitely get your photos taken and then go check them out. E.g It costs like $120 for 4 pictures, get one free. Plus many many more options. It’s pricey but hey, some of the pictures turn out amazing! And a great way to remember the cruise! Getting off/Duty Free Items We had to collect our duty free at 6:30am I think, we had breakfast afterwards though You get a time and place to meet to get off the ship, ours was ahead of schedule and was easy as. Finding our luggage was easy too. All of this is explained in booklets that you receive the night before Overall The company I had, my two best friends, definitely made the trip! Everything else was amazing and I’m definitely going on another. I’m going to do the New Zealand cruise. :) Go on a cruise and enjoy it! I hope you have just as an amazing time as I did. It caters for everyone! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Here’s my experience! :) I’m 24 and this was my first cruise and my first time going out of Australia. I went with my two best friends, one whom had already been on the same cruise, and the other had already been to Vanuatu. We ... Read More
Here’s my experience! :) I’m 24 and this was my first cruise and my first time going out of Australia. I went with my two best friends, one whom had already been on the same cruise, and the other had already been to Vanuatu. We departed from Brisbane, and I had parked my car at portside parking, it was affordable and convenient. Check in was easy and didn’t take long, we were the stowaways, so check in was around 12-12:30pm I think. You get your picture taken and you receive a cruise card which is your everything once you’re on the ship! It’s your room key and your money. You put cash onto the card or you can set it up with a debit or credit card. I used cash. There are computers near the reception desk to check your balance. Once we were on the ship, I remember being really nervous and excited! Shortly after boarding, we had to assemble in our designated areas in a case of emergency; ours was the casino, with your life jacket to listen to instructions of what to do in an emergency situation. Your stewards inform you once you get to your room where you have to go etc. After that was finished it was time to explore! We headed straight for the top deck for the sail away party and a few celebratory drinks! It was magical, leaving Brisbane and seeing the city and the beautiful blue water. It was fun going underneath the bridge and the horn sounding (it was so loud haha). Drinks At first I had XXXX gold beer that was about $6 from memory; you just swipe your card. Spirits from $7 to $9. Cocktails from $10 to $20. We were lucky enough to be able to purchase an alcoholic beverage package. It cost around $70 per day and you can only buy it on the 1st or 2nd day of the cruise and it’s for the whole duration of the cruise. So I paid $480 (approx.), the deal is unlimited drinks, to the value of $12 (which is perfect, beers, cocktails and spirits are all within this range), only one drink at a time and you cannot buy for other people. DEFINITELY BUY THE PACKAGE IF IT IS AVAILABLE! It saves a lot of money. When you are kicking back on the deck having a cocktail, a glass of wine with dinner or several, or in the Dome having a night out dancing and enjoying a rum ($8-$9), it all adds up. I definitely got a benefit out of the package. Great job P & O for offering it! Oh and this package includes, coffee, bottles of water (not the big ones in your room though) and soft drinks. There is also a soft drink package for like $50 (from memory), unlimited soft drink, great if you don’t drink alcohol or for the kids etc. The Ship I’m use to the sea because I love fishing and going out on boats etc but I did take quick eze on two occasions (one when we first boarded and one on the way back to Brisbane – the weather was so rough!) It was easy to navigate around the ship, elevators were slow though because of the amount of people obviously, so we would take the stairs often, great exercise though to burn off the delicious food and beverages! On the first day we did the treasure hunt, had to go to multiple places on the ship and get staff to sign off, then once completed, cards were drawn out and people won prizes. Some great prizes hey, I ended up winning a massage to the value of $120. AMAZING! The beauty place is expensive but if you’re into pampering yourself or even Botox, it’s all available at a cost. Room We were on deck 10, inside room (no view). Loved it, great choice. And not far from an elevator too. It cost us each $780 approx. Food The plantation is a buffet style restaurant – we used this for breakfast or for a quick bite to eat for lunch sometimes (they prepare rolls and sandwiches etc and we use to just take them with us). However, this is at the back of the ship and my gosh you can feel the waves haha and you can see the ship going up and down, I was a bit queasy eating here but if you went out on the balcony (if you could find a seat) it was enjoyable, the fresh air made it better. The Waterfront Restaurant was our favourite place to eat. Breakfast was only ok, a bit unorganised. Lunch was alright, the same again. However dinner was amazing! We booked each night for 8pm, you can choose to share a table with strangers or just get one for your group. I loved the menu and there is a huge variety. Entrée, main and desserts are available and you can choose whatever and how many you want! All included in your cost. Staff We were soooo happy with majority of the staff, our stewards were fantastic and polite (everyone says good morning and afternoon). They made us several towel animals haha. But the most memorable (they helped make our trip amazing) were our waiters in the Waterfront restaurant. Elma and Mervyn, we wrote them great feedback on the cruise and tipped them. We asked to sit in their area every night. You will definitely find staff that remember you and make you feel welcomed! Activities Plenty to do! I thought that I’d be relaxing on the deck all the time sipping away on cocktails, tanning for the whole duration! Oh no! There are soooo many activities to do during the day and night! It was fantastic. You get the daily schedule the night before and we were actually planning our day out so we could attend certain things and schedule it around meal times etc. I like golf and they actually had chipping and putting games, just a bit of fun. You do can as much as you like or as little as you like, it’s really up to you. And certain things are repeated so you can go another time. The big entertainment shows were good, singing and dancing stuff. The staff are so talented!! I love the comedy nights (adults only), celebrity heads, I can’t remember the name of it but it was a game where 4 staff had to tell us the definition of word and we had to guess who was correct – it was so funny! Willy the entertainment director is hilarious haha. There’s even a casino with roulette, poker, black jack and poker machines. They have bingo too! Big jackpots as well. Shore Tours We pre-reserved ours. Two stops we used the gangway and in Lifou we had to use Tender boats to get on shore. They were easy and quick for us. Noumea – was the first stop – think we got there at 3pm and had to be back on the ship on 9pm We used their currency which is Franc and you can exchange money on the ship or in Noumea when you get off. In Noumea is a better exchange rate. I was a bit disappointed in this place, we didn’t go out of the town, we stayed in the middle and walked everywhere, went to see the churches etc, hardly any shops were open (siesta or something or maybe people are broke and heaps of shops are closed), I tried some kind of beef mince spring roll which was nice, oh and the main park has free wifi, youll see heaps of locals chilling around, that’s why probably . We did the night chou chou train – which departed at 5pm or so and it arrives in time to get back on the boat, It was great, you get to see all the different bays and stories etc – and you get a quick snack and drink Lifou – We used the Franc again, got there in the morning and think we had to be back on by the afternoon (can’t exactly remember) When you get on shore there are markets set up and food, I had a Panini and fresh coconut. Oh and also tried their Number One beer (that’s what it’s called haha) tasted like a mid to me We walked to the church up on the hill, amazing views, great panoramic shots Definitely pre-reserve the jinek bay snorkelling at Lifou. There are limited places and heaps of people missed out. It was beautiful! I loved it. We took our own snorkelling gear and reef walkers (you can hire them but I wouldn’t) make sure you have a waterproof camera, some awesome photo opportunities Port Villa – Used Australian money, you got the day to enjoy it had to be back on the ship by 4pm or so. In the harbour it is sooo beautiful from up on the ship. When you get off the ship, you go to the right to go wait for the shore tours (it’s not far). You go to the left to go into town. We did the Ocean Walk shore tour, that was great, I was nervous at first but it was excellent. Just make sure you take your waterproof camera though, the people take photos which you can buy but they also take pictures on your camera for you. You get to feed the fish and touch sea cucumbers etc I loved it. Now haha when you want to go into town, be prepared to be shocked! You are immediately confronted by the taxi men who want to take you. We paid $10 which is good. The driving is insane! You’ll understand once you’re there haha. We got dropped off in the main street and walked to the duty free shop! We bought our alcohol and they transport it to the ship for you and you collect it on the last morning of the ship. We then went to the Jungle Café which has free wifi when you purchase something! If you wanted to connect to the world, you could go here. I tried there tusker beer and I really liked it. MOST IMPORTANTLY (well for me anyways) haha People have lizards and they put them on you and charge you to take a picture! I’m so glad my friends warned me, I was freaking out! My eyes were peeled for these people and multiple times I screamed when they approached haha, although there was a beautiful green one! I admired it from afar haha I’m not sure if it was lack of sleep or what, but I was very keen to get back on the boat. It was maybe overwhelming, the markets are packed and the shops with food and souvenirs and people. Word of advice, buy souvenirs from the town and not at the markets near the ship. It is much much cheaper to buy in town. E.g. fake Oakley sunnies cost me $5 from in town. At the markets near the ship they wanted $25. On the way back to the boat, we got a water taxi – I loved it! Paid $15 for the three of us. I love the water and it was beautiful. Once on the ship we were on the adult’s only deck, sipping cocktails, watching the sun setting, waiting to sail away (watching people running back to the ship who were late hahaha). Other After vila it’s like a two day journey back to Brisbane – and wow, was it choppy! You could absolutely feel it and every now and then the whole ship would shudder. In the waterfront restaurant, the cupboards and draws were opening and closing, that’s how rough it was. Crazy! On bad weather days they close off the top decks and the side decks for safety reasons obviously. Oh and deck 7 on one side is the smokers deck or there’s one up on deck 13 in a corner near the Dome. The dome is the night club. The DJ was pretty terrible for the first few nights, but then the last two nights he actually let a good song play. Oh KARAOKE! There are some talented people, I tell you. My friend and I sung on the first night after a bit of Dutch courage haha but karaoke is on every night. Bars There are different bars, different vibes etc. You’ll work it out which one you enjoy the most. TIP! If you are on the top deck and the bar near the pools is BUSY AS! Go to the dome and get your drinks there, so much quieter, quicker and not far to walk. Parties We had a white party, Gatsby and back to school. Every night is just a big party really, if you want it to be. On these themed parties, staff come out and dance for a bit Although we did speak with an older couple who were staying on one of the upper decks and they could hear the music. So keep that in mind when booking. Gatsby was the BEST! Definitely dress up, it is good fun. Photos There is always a photographer out and about. Before you get on the ship you can get a picture, when you get off on every shore tour, on cocktail nights and on party nights. Definitely get your photos taken and then go check them out. E.g It costs like $120 for 4 pictures, get one free. Plus many many more options. It’s pricey but hey, some of the pictures turn out amazing! And a great way to remember the cruise! Getting off/Duty Free Items We had to collect our duty free at 6:30am I think, we had breakfast afterwards though You get a time and place to meet to get off the ship, ours was ahead of schedule and was easy as. Finding our luggage was easy too. All of this is explained in booklets that you receive the night before Overall The company I had, my two best friends, definitely made the trip! Everything else was amazing and I’m definitely going on another. I’m going to do the New Zealand cruise. :) Go on a cruise and enjoy it! I hope you have just as an amazing time as I did. It caters for everyone! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our very first cruise so we didn't know what to expect. I had read reviews saying the Sun Princess was looking a little old but we didn't notice any wear or antiquated furniture. In fact we couldn't believe how ... Read More
This was our very first cruise so we didn't know what to expect. I had read reviews saying the Sun Princess was looking a little old but we didn't notice any wear or antiquated furniture. In fact we couldn't believe how clean everything was. During the voyage the crew perform regular maintenance so we noticed fresh varnish being put on decking, windows being replaced etc, but these things didn't hamper the trip at all. We missed Noumea due to an industrial action happening there and instead were taken to lovely Lifou. Then, due to rough seas were unable to stop at Mystery Island but the Captain ordered us to full steam to get to Port Vila around 14 hours early and we spent the night docked at the wharf. Port Vila was an interesting bustling town. But be warned, you will be hassled by taxi drivers everywhere! Champagne Bay was absolutely stunning and we were lucky enough to get an early tender in when hardly anyone was a bout. We took a trip to the Blue Lagoon which was well worth the $10 return ride and the $7 entry. Luganville was a pleasant little township. We stumbled upon the Custom Village which was fun for an hour. I would recommend you organise a tour whilst in Luganville however as there isn't much to see on foot. Our Oceanview cabin was surprisingly well fitted out. We found we had enough room and plenty of storage in the way of drawers, shelves and wardrobe space. Food was fantastic with the best of it being served every night in the dining rooms. My only critique would be with the entertainment and the steakhouse. The entertainment was great but lacked variety on a 10 day cruise. We were seeing the same entertainers performing the same songs every day. A few more entertainers wouldn't go astray. We visited the steakhouse on the final night as it had been thrown in with our package. I wouldn't say it was anything oustanding. My steak was quite fatty and a little disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Having endured the worst of yet another cold Melbourne winter my wife and I found ourselves more than ready for a mid year escape. We hadn't previously considered a cruise however fortuitously an advert for P+O popped up on screen ... Read More
Having endured the worst of yet another cold Melbourne winter my wife and I found ourselves more than ready for a mid year escape. We hadn't previously considered a cruise however fortuitously an advert for P+O popped up on screen whilst looking at holiday options. We followed the link to the many specials on offer at the time and booked ourselves a 7 night Pacific Island cruise departing from Brisbane. Being new to cruising we figured the duration was not too onerous and we could simply put it down to experience if we didn't like it. Thankfully, the experience turned out to be nothing but positive. From the well sized cabin to the excellent choice of restaurants and variety of cuisine on offer we simply had a ball. Both crew and passengers alike were friendly and seemingly shared the same intent to have a great time every moment of the day and night. Its fair to say we have come home for a rest after enjoying the various entertainment that is on offer from first light to well into the night however that was our choice and those seeking a less stimulating cruise could equally sit back and relax the days away. If I had to fault anything, it would be the boarding process. Despite having allocated boarding times it seemed to involve a lot of queuing and waiting. In the scheme of things though this was a minor problem and it was soon forgotten. When on board, everything else was well run and timed to perfection. Without a doubt our first experience of cruising was brilliant and we cant wait to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
the dawn may be an older ship but she was spotlessly clean. The service of all staff was fantastic. The activities on the food and wine cruise were excellent, especially the martini making class and the food and wine matching course. The ... Read More
the dawn may be an older ship but she was spotlessly clean. The service of all staff was fantastic. The activities on the food and wine cruise were excellent, especially the martini making class and the food and wine matching course. The food was excellent, even better that I didn't have to cook it and the variety was excellent. A fantastic way to celebrate turning 40 with friends. Highly recommend for a fantastic priced get away! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I'm 19 and this was my first cruise, I travelled with my parents and we stayed in an interior cabin. Before the cruise I did some research on the ship and found some poor reviews in this site, so I thought I might of been in for a ... Read More
I'm 19 and this was my first cruise, I travelled with my parents and we stayed in an interior cabin. Before the cruise I did some research on the ship and found some poor reviews in this site, so I thought I might of been in for a poor time, I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the cruise immensely. Embarkation: For this cruise there were delays in the morning from difficulties getting luggage and supplies off the ship and stowing new luggage and supplies. These delays meant that there were large lines when dropping off baggage and checking in but luckily these delays didn't have much effect on boarding time and we were on ship when scheduled. The Pacific Dawn was launched in 1991 but you wouldn't know that from its look. The Dawn has received a number of refurbishments since launching in Australia in 2007 to keep it looking modern and fresh and it reflects it's Australian clientele. Food: The main À la carte restaurant requires bookings for dinner as it gets quite busy. The menu for breakfast remains the same throughout the cruise. The lunch menu changes daily but may repeat over the length of the cruise. The dinner menu has some staples every night (Steak, Burger, Lasagne) but has half a dozen entrees, mains and desserts that change each night. Service was always quick and staff were always friendly and helpful. The buffet serves a wide variety of foods of a good to very good standard. For breakfast there is a full cooked breakfast in addition to cereal, yogurt, fruit, porridge, toast and pastries. For lunch and dinner there is a variety of salads, pre-made sandwiches/wraps/rolls, cold meats, soup, asian and indian foods as well as roasts, veg and assorted meats and sides. Cabin: We stayed in an interior cabin on Deck 10 at the front of the ship. The room was in good condition and larger than I was expecting. Our cabin stewards would clean the room twice daily and very helpful if you had any issues, questions or just wanted more towels. On-board Activities: There was a large variety of activities on sea days, and a smaller number of activities of port days. Activities included a variety of trivia (general trivia, sports, music), bingo, art auctions, table tennis, arts and crafts sessions, wine tasting, martini and cocktail making sessions, movies on the top deck, cooking demonstrations and galley tours, karaoke, game shows with crew (celebrity heads etc). Shore Tours: I didn't do any of the P&O shore tours. They are expensive but there is a large variety of tours and they all meet standards set by P&O and the ship will wait for you if you are on a P&O tour that runs late. Entertainment: There was a wide variety of entertainment over the cruise. There were theme nights that were held on the top deck or in the Dome if there is bad weather. these included an Island party, Country and Western Night. There was a magician and a couple of comedians that performed either family shows in the theatre or adults only shows late at night in the dome nightclub. The nightclub would run until 3AM. Throughout the afternoon and evening there was also live music on the top deck, in the atrium or in some of the bars and this included Bands, acoustic duos and a pianist. Over the cruise there were several production shows, these production shows are of incredible quality and are family friendly, high energy, fun and playful and sometimes feature audience participation. The shows cater to everyone featuring hits from the 60's, 70's and 80's through to current offerings. These shows are not to be missed. Disembarkation: We had an early disembarkation time as we had flights to catch. Disembarkation was run very smoothly with clear instructions and directions on where we were to meet, what we needed and were we were to disembark from. The Pacific Dawn is a wonderful ship to travel on and P&O have a great understanding of their clientele and their needs to provide the best experience for your holiday. I'll definitely be travelling with P&O again, both on the Pacific Dawn and on their other ships. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Boarding ran really smoothly and it only took us about 10 minutes to board. I did find the flurry of getting on, security,people shoving coffee cards and drink package cards in our face asking us to buy, have your photo taken all very ... Read More
Boarding ran really smoothly and it only took us about 10 minutes to board. I did find the flurry of getting on, security,people shoving coffee cards and drink package cards in our face asking us to buy, have your photo taken all very rushed. I found the soft drink, mock tail package well worth it but we hardly used the coffee one. I found the photo taking at every opportunity annoying and nothing more than a money grab. I just said no to photos in the end. Not having been on another Cruise ship we have nothing to compare but we found the most things to be great. The meals were absolutely lovely. We opted for the formal dining for almost every meal. We probably only ate at the buffet about 3 times and found it basic cafe type meals. The staff were exceptional and always funny. We did however find one of the head waiters very ordinary. As my husband was on crutches it was very frustrating that we were always shown to a dining table right down the back of the dining room. This was also the case for other people on walking frames etc. We should have been sat near the door. The off shore trips were well planned but quite expensive. As it was our first Cruise we decided it was best to do everything through the Company. Next time we will have confidence to do our own thing. The shows were good however after three days on shore the entertainment gets a bit repetitive. We enjoyed trivia and Bingo. The internet was a joke and very expensive, so slow and as you paid by the time online it quickly chewed up your package. The TV in the room was OK but trying to get any Australian news was almost impossible. Disembarking was a breeze. It was a great experience and will certainly cruise again.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
My husband and I cannot speak highly enough of the cruise on the Pacific Dawn. Balcony was excellent. Service was outstanding in all areas from room service to the entertainment. We arrived home wanting to cruise again to which we did only ... Read More
My husband and I cannot speak highly enough of the cruise on the Pacific Dawn. Balcony was excellent. Service was outstanding in all areas from room service to the entertainment. We arrived home wanting to cruise again to which we did only to be disappointed on the Aria. We will go on the dawn again. Everyday we participated in some activity from going on the tender boats to the various islands and at night enjoying the karaoke and shows. Love the trivia. Food was absolutely beautiful. Staff were fantastic and so friendly. what more can I say it was an amazing cruise. Thank you for all the wonderful people we met. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Hi Everyone, My wife and I travel overseas all the time , never before on a cruise. I really did not care if I went or not but was sort of pushed into it. We left Brisbane late, no surprise as I was sure that the cruise was a dud and ... Read More
Hi Everyone, My wife and I travel overseas all the time , never before on a cruise. I really did not care if I went or not but was sort of pushed into it. We left Brisbane late, no surprise as I was sure that the cruise was a dud and not for me. Well that night I went to bed after a good feed at the restaurant and 2 beers, woke up 9 hours later after the best sleep, the reasons are plain to me, no neighbours, no phone calls and no boss. The cruise was great, the food was great, the service was great and the entertainment was the best fun,(thank you Willie and the team). All I can say is that you have paid the money and did not enjoy the cruise it is probably your own fault and do everyone a favour, including yourself, stay at home because if you cannot find something to do and don't know how to enjoy life I am sure you already have the answer. Happy sailing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was a first time big ship cruise experience, not a cruise to a destination. In some respects the ship was showing its age - occasional rust spots and painting required. There were more than enough activities to make choice difficult ... Read More
This was a first time big ship cruise experience, not a cruise to a destination. In some respects the ship was showing its age - occasional rust spots and painting required. There were more than enough activities to make choice difficult - including the gym. Service was unobtrusive and more than adequate with formal dining service being generally outstanding. Port and shore excursions were well organised by the ships company but as always, then subject to shore conditions. On this cruise an anticipated late arrival and short port call put shore excursions into the "why did they bother" category. Compensation was however provided in the form of on-board credit. Embarkation could not have been faster or better organised. If only airports were as efficient. The cabin was efficiently serviced and comfortable. Again, the age of the ship showed with some minor signs of wear apparent but this really did not detract from the overall impression. Dining was varied from simply collecting a snack to formal dining to suit all tastes. It really was a case of just ask and you would most likely get exactly what you wanted in the quantity you wanted. Variety was never an issue and quality was invariably excellent. I probably never discovered all the dining options! I did not try pizza but did hear that there was a wait there (too popular at that time). Children were notable in their absence - but were on the ship as they were occasionally seen. I was informed that they were well looked after in their own area. Entertainment from the cabin TV to big screen events, and shows provided more choice than could be accommodated. Live shows were professional and classy and timed to suit formal dining. As with embarkation, disembarkation could not have been better organised. Efficiency and organisation with every effort made to enhance the cruise experience best summarises this cruise. As a first time big ship cruiser, having had previous small ship experience, the result was that I am quite prepared to go back for more.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was our first cruise and I had read everything and looked at all the pictures on the internet and determined that I was setting myself up for disappointment as it couldn't be as good as it sounded/looked. I was so wrong - it was ... Read More
This was our first cruise and I had read everything and looked at all the pictures on the internet and determined that I was setting myself up for disappointment as it couldn't be as good as it sounded/looked. I was so wrong - it was better - waaaaay better! How can the Chefs and cooks turn out five star meals each and every time? The buffet was great with everything so fresh. I wanted to take the Baker home with me. We had a balcony cabin at the suggestion of our Travel Agent but it was a bit of a waste as we were not often to be found in the cabin. I was surprised at the lack of "ship" noises - so quiet and I slept really well.. Every day we had a list of activities and I was disappointed that I had to choose one over others - there was not enough time in the day. I had expected to be bored out of my brain for the five days at sea to New Zealand. I took two books and crochet and would've been lucky to even have read five pages of my book for the whole trip. We were treated to demonstrations of "food carving" (making the decorations for the buffet) and ice carving and a peek into the spotlessly clean galley. There was movies under the stars, dance parties, karaoke, zumba, line dancing, sports competitions, healthy lifestyle "lectures" etc., etc. You could indulge in free ice cream and chips, burgers, hot dogs, pizza just for the asking as well as the restaurant and buffet. Wow! too much food - too many choices - not enough time to sample everything. When the crew wished you a "nice day" they meant it! What a treat to come back to the cabin and your bed was turned down with chocolates on the pillow and our cabin steward was such a sweetie, always making time to enquire about our day (and stopping to listen). Nothing was too much trouble for anyone. The shampoo in the shower must be formulated to the water as my hair was not responding to my normal shampoo and when i switched it was fine. We only did one planned shore excursion as we couldn't afford any more but every port we visited we found we could've spent a week there. What a lovely country and in February so refreshing to have to wear a wooly hat and scarf at times. If you haven't already done a cruise you owe it to yourself to add it to your "bucket list" How soon can I go again ??? :-) Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We were first time cruisers, family of 5, generally down to earth people who don't normally choose luxury holidays. We took two cabins, one a double, and a twin that had a fold down bed for one of my sons. Cabins were ... Read More
We were first time cruisers, family of 5, generally down to earth people who don't normally choose luxury holidays. We took two cabins, one a double, and a twin that had a fold down bed for one of my sons. Cabins were "cosy", but generally well thought out and comfortable. From the start, the staff were fantastic. Our cabin stewards helpful, always there when wanted, but not there otherwise. The waiters were likewise outstanding. During the day there was always plenty of good quality food available in the buffet restaurant, but for better family chats over meals we chose to go to the proper dining room about twice a day. For those worried about dress codes, you can wear almost anything to the buffet. In the dining room we wore what we wanted to breakfast and lunch, but for the evening meal when informal tended to be jeans and a shirt (not T-shirt). The formal meal we wore dark lounge suits, and the ladies wore dresses or skirts and a blouse. Throughout the day there is free ice cream on the top deck, delicious! You can order pizzas (free), and we saw no need to go to the speciality steak house (costs about $20) because the other food was so good. In terms of entertainment, we were disappointed not to be able to attend all we wanted to. They need to think a little more about the timings of activities for we often missed activities because the start times seemed ad hoc, so the activities overlapped. There are table tennis tables, but if you like your table tennis take your own bats, theirs have seen better days. The prom deck with its all the way round the ship walk or run is well worth regular visits, as are the shuffleboard courts on this deck. Movies under the stars (a huge screen on the top deck) is a good idea, but they frequently had the sound set so low that we couldn't hear what was going on. If this happens to you, complain till they put the sound up! The evening entertainment we went to (Queen tribute and three tenors) were excellent, we didn't go to many other evening entertainments as we were often too tired. We went along to the Bridge (card game) training and afternoon play. If you don't know how to play, or want to brush up your skills this is well worth going along to. We were on a longish cruise so did washing on board. Be prepared for a long queue for the machines, and for some of the machines or driers not to be working. Best to go along 10 mins before the laundries open, and consider going to use the laundries on other decks with less cabins! We found our clothes dried when spread around the cabin, just as well as it was difficult sometimes to get a drier. Only other advice, if you are likely to suffer from sea sickness, I advise you get sickness tablets and start taking them the day before you go. Not worth feeling grotty, and they really make a difference. Would definitely go with Princes again one day.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014

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