7 Brisbane First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

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
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
terrible honeymoon experience with a shocking ending it is meant to be a once in a lifetime experience where you should be treated special and i thought a cruise ship would be the perfect way to start our new life as husband and wife ... Read More
terrible honeymoon experience with a shocking ending it is meant to be a once in a lifetime experience where you should be treated special and i thought a cruise ship would be the perfect way to start our new life as husband and wife together. one spa was closed for the whole 11 day trip. we got the drinks package where we got told by room services that the water in the rooms wasn't included yet when we went to lukes restaurant it was included in the drinks package so how does that work. food at the pantry was all over the shop some days was okay other days uneatable and the people serving it where sloppy and rude. for example i got a roast one day and had gravy. the gravy had been sitting for bit and so it had a skin on it he served the skin to me except only half made it on to the plate the rest was dangling and dripping off he looked at it said sorry and passed it to me i asked him to get a napkin and wipe it off please. another time i went to the pantry for dessert went to get the lemon meringue tart she could work out how to cut the meringue part so scraped it off and just served me the lemon tart part. my husband ordered a wrap from Mexicana told the man what he would like. the staff didn't listen to him at all my husband hates avocado so the man put everything in the wrap and then put a huge amount of avocado on the top my husband said i didn't say avocado and so he guy scraped it off instead of making a fresh one and still served it to him. also i noticed that the hand sanitisers were empty at some stages. the waterfront restaurant strange how hey call it the waterfront when they close the blinds during dinner and refuse to open them even during sun set very disappointing. you get told to share a table at 5.30pm when the place is empty why.? we are on our honeymoon its meant to be romantic. you can get fresh chills for breakfast but during dinner they dont have them. you order a glass of wine but they dont bring it till after you buy your dinner oh and if you have the same wine they take away your dirty glass and refill it even when theres lipstick all over it. they forget to bring half of you meal, the muscles at lunch said they came with chips we nearly finished the meals and had to ask where the chips were and then they bring them out this happened twice. they bring out mains before cleaning up your entree pasta plates which we had stacked neatly and put to the side. on the last night this is unbelievable i was eating my steak came to the end of the meal where something sharp stabbed my gum i pulled out a piece of metal that wouldn't even bend about 2cm long (I've come to realise later that i think it was off a wire brush) it was quiet dangerous and we got the manager of the restaurant to come over he quickly took away my plate and came back and asked if i needed medical assistance i said no, he then asked if he could get me a drink snd saw that i had the premium drinks package so that wouldn't really make any difference. so he sent out some ice cream and asked for our room number. me and my husband thought that would perhaps mean they were going to send something up to the room but nothing. very very disappointing and dangerous aswell. lukes restaurant was the highlight of the dining experiences they actually bought out a compliment dessert that said congrates on the plate 10/10 for that restaurant amazing service can't fault it highly recommend ordering the cheese its like a show when they bring it out its amazing. bar staff in the martini lounge are perfect well trained super polite and attentive 10/10 and peter milligan fantastic entertainer 10/10. the debut show the contemporary piece CRAP. but the comedians and a man of a thousand voices amazing so entertaining. we had a problem with the pool water turning my hair green after a 15 min swim so called reception had to wait 1 and 1/2 hours for them to call back with an answer. during that wait we called another two times to find out what was taking so long for a call back they said the manager was out. we went to use the laundry on the second day they were all out of order except for one when we asked the room service guy where the washing detergent was he said he didnt know as he was new so he said to call reception, so we asked him the number for reception again he didn't know. staff where all very green and undertrained coming from a hospitality job i noticed staff were not only chucked into the deep end with no training some had attitude problems aswell. at one stage our room cleaner came into our room with no knock before hand (we had already had our room cleaned,it was to tell us the reception number but we had already gone and found out the number ourselves) we are honeymooners so found this very inappropriate and at an akward time to say the least. as honeymooners we didn't feel spacial at all all we got was a little room park on our door and balloons one day i expected a bit more. never again will we ship on the aria. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We live in the Gold Coast, and all of the stops that were made, we thought we were having a deja vu moment back in the Gold Coast. The places we got off (Airlie Beach and Yorkeys Knob) were nothing special at all, and not worth spending ... Read More
We live in the Gold Coast, and all of the stops that were made, we thought we were having a deja vu moment back in the Gold Coast. The places we got off (Airlie Beach and Yorkeys Knob) were nothing special at all, and not worth spending time on. The staff were friendly - some a little TOO friendly. Sometimes, when finished with room service, we would find towels missing. We understand that nature cannot be tamed; however, the ship rocked and swayed too much for what is supposed to be a stable ship. Luckily, we had a room in the middle of the ship, so the swaying was survivable. However, whenever I stepped out a few metres from my room, the swaying was severe enough to send me dashing back. This was only for the starting days of departure, and when we were returning back to Brisbane. For several days after the landing of the ship, two of three family members felt like they were still swaying on land from the horrendous waves. The cabins and deck were satisfying. The cabins had comfortable space, and there was a window where we could see the ocean clearly. On the deck, there were beach chairs we could lounge on, while watching the ocean. Entertainment was also satisfying. The performance shows and magic shows were very entertaining. Although there were good points and bad points to our stay on the ship, the stops at Airlie Beach and Yorkeys Knob and the horrendous swaying of the ship ruined the experience for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Just completed a 3 night weekend cruise from Brisbane on the Princess Dawn. Some good and bad points are listed Good. 1. Cabin Service 100% 2. Cabin cleanliness 100% 3. Charlies Bar coffee is as good as you will get anywhere 3. ... Read More
Just completed a 3 night weekend cruise from Brisbane on the Princess Dawn. Some good and bad points are listed Good. 1. Cabin Service 100% 2. Cabin cleanliness 100% 3. Charlies Bar coffee is as good as you will get anywhere 3. Waterfront Restaurant food good but limited number of tables for 2 and difficult to get one 4. Entertainment average 5. Drinks expensive but cold Bad 1. Not a trip to be recommended for Seniors. 2. Buffet food was ordinary and some just warm 3. Boarding procedure and security takes far too much time 4. Walk from security to ship boarding point much too far for elderly passengers 5. Price of everything on board much too high 6. Most seating in pool and most areas occupied by young inconsiderate passengers Would we travel P&O again? Doubt it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Admittedly first time on a large cruise ship. If this is indicative of cruising it shall be my last. A) Pacific Dawn is in need of maintenance - state room - bathroom had rust in various locations = needs immediate attention. - public ... Read More
Admittedly first time on a large cruise ship. If this is indicative of cruising it shall be my last. A) Pacific Dawn is in need of maintenance - state room - bathroom had rust in various locations = needs immediate attention. - public areas are dated and need face lift and refreshing =minor - light sconces in the Plantation dining area need to be dusted! - since you use them so much REPLACE the tenders! Disgraceful! B) -Waterfront restaurant strong on service weak on product. FOOD WAS BRUTAL! I was never fully aware of what could be ordered from the menu entrees vs rice pasta dishes ... tried to navigate this issue to get something that tasted good ...I FAILED in every attempt. Food was at its best - average... very very disappointed in this =REQUIRES IMMEDIATE ATTENTION. New chef New menu IMPOSSIBLE TO GET A GOOD CUP OF COFFEE -unless ... you paid extra. C) NEXT BIGGEST ISSUE the "up sell" You want to avoid what you paid for? then pay more... for dining for coffee for everything.... What they have done is stripped bare the cost for the cruise and then added back on items you will want for extra fees. Not a problem. But there is FAR too much effort, attention and focus on this up selling. EXAMPLE- I do not wish to be accosted by the photographers every time I dine! Nor at each port I call at! Which leads to the tendering process.... REALLY? at each port... we tendered Airlie Beach/Yorkey's Knob/Port Douglas... Airlie beach was brutal why did we stop there? absolutely tragic ... I did not sign up to be a economic stimulus package to the retirees living there. Suggestion there are NO individuals offering services upon landing... either you book with P & O or nothing. Apparently the retirees are far too busy herding passengers to take the initiative in this regard? OVER ALL very disappointed with P & O. BIG disconnect between their illusions of grandeur and the modern day reality I was confronted with. D) I support my own cases and do NOT need to support yours… donations to your charity / cause automatically applied to my bill. Whats up with that? E) Extra charges for using VISA. How is this allowed? Very shoddy business practice. VISA need to intervene.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We're first time cruisers and really looked forward to QM2, even after reading some of the more critical reviews here. That said our embarkation was relatively painless. No problems with photo's or credit card details, but a ... Read More
We're first time cruisers and really looked forward to QM2, even after reading some of the more critical reviews here. That said our embarkation was relatively painless. No problems with photo's or credit card details, but a number of other passengers who embarked in Brisbane did have those problems. Plenty to do onboard, the presentations that we attended between Brisbane and Hong Kong were superb and well delivered. Entertainment at night was less so, with shows only lasting 45 minutes being held at 8.30pm and 10.30pm. The formal night balls it was necessary to eat at Kings Court (Pigs in a Trough is the only description for this place) early so you could attend the ball that started at 9.45pm. Had to get to the Queens Room early (at least 30 minutes) in order to get a table/seat. Waiter service patchy with the balls, some waiters were really good, some seemed to hide in the shadows. Brittania Restaurant, the food was good. We got the 2nd sitting for Brisbane to Hong Kong and again between Hong Kong to Singapore, however our table mates made for excellent conversion. Our table mates were so good, we'd meet up in the Commodore Club for pre dinner drinks most nights. The service in Brittania was good be it breakfast, lunch or dinner however at times it felt very rushed and the menu's were nothing outstanding in terms of fine dining. The Commodore Club was an absolute gem, the diamond in the mud so to speak. It was a great spot to rest up during the day just reading a book or watching the world go by whilst sipping a coffee or something stronger if desired. The only complaint about the CC was the lack of dress standards after 6pm, jacket or jacket tie were required not shorts and t shirt as we saw on occasion. The staff did not pull up the passengers either. Cabin was an inside stateroom, that was quite adequate given we had it for 25 nights. Enough storage space provided (we had 4 large suitcases with us), the beds were okay, the air conditioning blows on your heads however and we both got head colds from this. The shower space in the ensuite could be slightly bigger which would make showering that little more pleasant, plus a good power point there would also help. We had no problems with the internal plumbing of our ensuite, but other passengers on our deck, deck 4 and 6 had to go without their toilets for a whole day due to plumbing issues (perhaps caused by passengers that do not understand English and therefore put things down the toilet that resulted in having the plumbing for half the ship out of action). Service by staff on the ship was very hit and miss. In Canyon Ranch Spa, it was UPSALE UPSALE by the staff. The photographery staff were pushy in getting photos of you taken in order to sell them at USD $30 a shot to you. Again in the photo gallery it was UP SELL UP SELL, the attitudes of the staff if you didn't take an UP SELL fell accordingly. Waiting staff in Brittania Restaurant were in general good. That said my partner asked 4 times for spinnach to be served with her eggs and 4 times she was told it was not available (it was when we spoke to a 5th waiter who was very surprised that she had not been able to get spinnach daily with her meal). The less that is said about Kings Court Restaurant the better. It was where the pigs came to eat and the shit began to fly. Menu wise was bland and the menu was repeated after 10 days. Waiter service was either pathetic or barely there with lots of junior waiters running around with absolutely no idea. Drinks service was pretty thin too. Fellow passengers, some were quite old and mobile others were clearly not so mobile. A number of passengers seemed to think it was okay to leave half empty coffee cups lying around all parts of the ship and on occasion we found half eaten meal plates left near the elevators by whomever had grabbed a meal from Kings Court. Some of the passengers clearly had "I'm King" attitude and lorded it over all the staff. Some of the staff had a "don't give a toss" attitude as well, which made us wonder just why they were on the ship in the first place. Some of the Ships Officers were not in my mind even Officer material, if they could find an excuse or disappear they would do so, they would certainly not be proactive. Our stateroom steward had to be asked repeatedly for soap, shampoo, slippers, fresh towels and oh yes to change the bed linen (done only twice in 25 days accordingly to my partner). The ships library is a highlight, very enjoyable with an excellent selection of books, the only drawback was the significant number of people talking to each other (libraries are supposed to be quiet but not here). The other plus was the library was just one deck directly below the Commodore Club, so you could easily grab a book/magazine and head for the Commodore Club for a read and drink. The ship itself is grand and in places stunning to look at. Its well maintained as it should be. Using the tenders to go ashore proved to be "interesting" at best and "woeful" at worst, whilst disembarkation in the 6 ports we visited (aside from Hong Kong) was at best "woeful". It could take a hour or longer to get off the ship (granted not always the fault of QM2), but when you are only in port for a day, losing an hour is not much fun. Ships tours in general were okay but do your homework before signing up. Not much point in doing a "active" tour if you have mobility issues and have to remain in the bus for most of the tour. In fact getting to the tour buses by our less active cruisers must have been difficult given the distances they had to cover in getting off QM2 and to the bus (again not QM2's fault). Overall, as first time cruisers we found the cruise "okay". That said we would not recommend QM2 or Cunard for cruising, as Carnival Cruises who now own Cunard have got their "cost cutters" into Cunard and its been reflected in all of the above comments. Its cut cut cut and if that means service gets cut or something is not available for a passenger too bad so be it, seems to be the current prevailing attitude of Cunard towards the paying passengers of QM2 today. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014

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