10 Brisbane First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

My first & last, ship was meant to have been refurbished garbage.baths dangerous for older travellers had to climb up over old baths to have a shower.no fridge,no clock radio.food thepantry y was like a cow shed lining up for the same ... Read More
My first & last, ship was meant to have been refurbished garbage.baths dangerous for older travellers had to climb up over old baths to have a shower.no fridge,no clock radio.food thepantry y was like a cow shed lining up for the same food every night.asked for a wake up call at 3am on the morning of australia day still waiting.nothing to do on board most people sat around the pool aera wonder if most people held their urine in the unkept pool,most sat and drunk coffee if the coffee machines were working.the first night we had to get the maintance man to show us how to use the tap over the bath.had to have room service as I was in isolation I got bread & jam still waiting for a knife.we believed the aria was docking in the passenger terminal instead around at white bay balmain.glad to get home people who thought the ship was okay I wonder what they live in.tv wasn't working had to get help,public toilets blocked its a wonder the travellers didn't get cholera told us to wipe door handles but there wasn't many tissues around just empty boxes.staff worked long long hours us Aussies would never do that, Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
P&O advertised ship as new ship, it wasn't. It was a new ship to their fleet but built in the 1990's. The cruise was so boring with very little for passengers to do. The entertainment director should be ashamed. The evening ... Read More
P&O advertised ship as new ship, it wasn't. It was a new ship to their fleet but built in the 1990's. The cruise was so boring with very little for passengers to do. The entertainment director should be ashamed. The evening shows were good, but why did we have 3 nights of movies instead of shows? Daytime on-board activities consisted of things like, open deck stroll, board games, bean bag toss, table tennis (there are only two tables which were always occupied), basketball / volleyball (only one court). 3 bands all playing same type of music (predominantly jazz). There was a small dance floor but no-one there playing music to dance to. There was one short dance lesson per day with no social dancing as such. Many people wanted to dance but couldn't. We in the end stayed in our cabin watching TV out of sheer boredom. Half way through the trip we found out you could borrow DVD's which we did until the DVD broke after the first DVD. They had a cinema with day time movies but the globe blew on day 2 and no-one fixed it despite being told. The cruise would have been OK if the Entertainment Director actually did her job and programmed activities that entertained. Karaoke and Bingo is not for everyone. Everyone we spoke to said this was the worst cruise ever. Some had sailed with P&O before some up to 8 times. These seasoned cruisers did say that other P&O cruisers were a lot better than this one and we should not form our opinions from this cruise alone. It will be hard for us to book P&O again due to this mind numbing experience. Please lift your game P&O. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I do not appreciate being the test dummy for an international cruising company to help them sort out their inadequacies and failings as a service provider. We changed rooms 5 times in 7 days as they could not get the toilets working. The ... Read More
I do not appreciate being the test dummy for an international cruising company to help them sort out their inadequacies and failings as a service provider. We changed rooms 5 times in 7 days as they could not get the toilets working. The entire deck 9 port side had similar problems which were not resolved at anytime during the cruise. The final straw came when the toilets actually began to overflow and spill into the cabins. The Aria is an old ship with a very dubious refurbishment. on the surface things seemed okay but very little worked properly, the food was mediocre and the less said about the entertainment the better. A very expensive but thoroughly unpleasant experience which will never be repeated. As the ship had only had its relaunch voyage a month earlier very few of the systems worked properly and the crew, although lovely in themselves, gave the impression that they were continually 'fighting fires' and trying to rectify issues as they went along. Everyday presented new and interesting ways to ruin your holiday however the great consistency was the failing toilets. It was always an exciting time at 3am, having to get dressed to use the public toilets and then playing the lottery of whether the public ones would flush. A very poor performance from P&O in this case. I think the high point was when we sat down to dinner with another couple who said ' we are having an awful time with the cabins but there is one poor couple who have changes rooms half a dozen times' They were quite surprised that the couple they were taking about was us, almost as much as I was surprised about our new found celebrity status as the nomads of Aria, maybe David Attenborough could make a documentary about our travels from cabin to cabin. With this, I am therefore sure I am not the only person delivering a negative review. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Top 10 issues with the Pacific Aria: 1. The cabins flood. All types of cabin, on multiple levels, including suites and especially the penthouse. This is because the external drainage system doesn’t work and the seals around the ... Read More
Top 10 issues with the Pacific Aria: 1. The cabins flood. All types of cabin, on multiple levels, including suites and especially the penthouse. This is because the external drainage system doesn’t work and the seals around the external doors and windows have eroded and haven’t been refurbished. As soon as any water gets onto the external decks, it ends up in the cabins, goes out into the corridors, runs down the internal stairs, and also leaks down into lower cabins. When the carpets begin to dry out, the smell is unbearable. The build-up of undrained water on the decks also causes the ship to list alarmingly. Don’t leave anything on the floor of your cabin, and pay close attention during the evacuation drill (although the lifeboat used to take us to Hamilton Island also leaked significantly, so perhaps it won’t even matter). 2. The Elemis spa hard sell. The staff at the Elemis spa use all kinds of shady tricks and intimidation to attempt to extort money from passengers. The relaxing effect of a couples massage is somewhat undone when you’re shut into the room afterwards, whilst the masseuses split you up and simultaneously try to pressurise and berate you into taking additional costly products and treatments. Another tactic - telling customers who’ve booked in for a treatment that they have in fact actually booked in for a much more expensive treatment. Continuously trying to pressure customers who are in the middle of one treatment, into taking an additional treatment at the same time, despite the customer repeatedly declining this. It would be nice if the Office of Fair Trading would take some action against Elemis and P & O for this outrageous behaviour. Stay out of Elemis at all costs. 3. The food is low grade pig swill. In fact, it’s so bad, that I’m suspicious about the authenticity of any review which says that the food is “tasty”. Scrambled eggs are made from powder. Disgusting. Sausages are made from some kind of artificial substitute. Disgusting. The black pudding is the most repellent piece of food I’ve eaten in my entire life. It is so unbelievably bad, that I actually recommend you try it once. In the restaurants, the meat (notably the beef) is predominantly fat, and is flavoured with salt, salt and salt. Copious and sickly amounts of butter are also used as the other source of flavour. Everything is a simulation of a piece of proper food. If you order a croissant, you’ll get bread shaped like a croissant. The Pantry is poor. Avoid Angelo’s like the plague. The Dragon Lady is surprisingly passable (if you can get a table). Waterfront was also passable (but then we were comparing it with Angelo’s). 4. There is an incredible amount of ship movement, even in calm seas. I excitedly shot out of bed one morning and over to the window, to view the huge storm I presumed was taking place. Nothing. Calm seas. A touch of breeze perhaps. This lead to full days of many people being sick. One day the pool was closed (and half the water lost) because there was so much movement. One can only imagine what will happen when the boat encounters any kind of seriously rough sea. Stock up on hard-core anti-sickness tablets. 5. The communal areas are shoddy. The ceilings leak when it rains. The ceilings leak when it’s dry (I’m guessing it’s the air conditioning system). Water cascades in from the decks. Buckets everywhere. Areas taped off. Waterfalls cascade down through the lifts, which are out of service most of the time. Inside the lifts, the handrails are broken, and the name ‘Pacific Aria’ is on pieces of cardboard taped over the ship’s previous title. Contact P & O for an early cancellation and a full refund if you have mobility issues, as you won’t be able to move between decks. 6. The staff. Some are very rude (one woman refused to look at me whilst speaking). Some tell outright lies to your face (“this is the first time the cabins have ever flooded”, “we had 2 metres of rain”). The captain woke everyone on the ship at 5am with an in-room announcement about the laundry having to be checked for a fire. He made a second in-room announcement about there being no fire (5.05 am?). He made a final announcement explaining (unconvincingly) why he required to keep making these in-room announcements (5.10am). Coincidentally, the staff drill used a few days later was an identical scenario regarding a fire in the laundry. Annoyingly, all other announcements made on the ship (i.e. the ones you need to hear) aren’t made in-room. Treat everything you’re told by staff with due scepticism. 7. General state of the cabins. They badly need to be refurbished. We were in a suite and bits of peeling wallpaper had been taped back on. The sockets hadn’t been converted to Australian sockets. In the dressing area, you could only use American or European plugs. In our bathroom, there were screws missing from the door handle, there was rusty water running from some of the fittings, and every hook on the shower curtain was completely rusted. I’m also convinced that our towels weren’t changed – just refolded once dry. Bring a plug converter if you plan to use a hairdryer or straighteners. 8. The air conditioning has a mind of its own. From freezing in the morning, building gradually throughout the day to a balmy 28 degrees. It seems to be impossible to override this. 9. The Oasis (the adults only pool deck) is near useless, as there is virtually no shade. Skin cancer all round, thanks. 10. Couldn’t get an advance reservation at Salt, even though we supposedly had priority. I actually didn’t believe the maître-d’ when he told me it was fully booked for the next evening (given that, unless you were in a suite, you weren’t able to make a reservation until 8am the next morning). But by that point in the cruise, I actually didn’t care any more. Top 5 goods points: 1. The gym is very nicely kitted out, with plenty of benches, free weights and cables, and good opening hours. Also very quiet, as most people ignored it in favour of weird free seminars on weight loss and fat burning. Go figure. 2. P&O ultimately dealt with the immediate flooding issues by replacing smelly carpets in suites and agreeing compensation whilst still on board (which was impressive during the Christmas period). 3. There was a great little band which played the Blue Room (although this was somewhat ruined on the last night when members of the on-board shows interjected themselves into some of the songs). 4. I liked the fact that you could get breakfast delivered to your suite as late as 9.30am (once we’d worked out what was worth ordering). I recommend the banana bread and asking for eggs to be poached. 5. Bed was very comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Ok where do I start? This was the worst and most boring holiday of our lives. If you hate someone recommend the P&O Aria. Nothing to do but eat, drink and listen to lame lifeless entertainers. Cabins looked nice we had a balcony, ... Read More
Ok where do I start? This was the worst and most boring holiday of our lives. If you hate someone recommend the P&O Aria. Nothing to do but eat, drink and listen to lame lifeless entertainers. Cabins looked nice we had a balcony, although the aircon was useless it didnt cool the room and fridge was useless too couldnt chill our drinks. They had a DVD player but no DVD's to watch? We kept checking outside to see if our bags had been sent up, we eventually found them up the other end of the corridor even tho they were clearly marked with our names and room number. We went for a walk on Deck 6 but you couldnt walk right around the ship as Portside was closed off and Starboard was full of coughing smokers. The adults only pool was like a plunge pool The Pantry looked good on the promos but in actual fact it was like being trapped on a floating foodcourt. Food was the same everyday no variety, had to line up for everything, food was often cold and the roast veg was very undercooked, oh and if you wanted icecream with your dessert you had to pay $5. There weren't enough tables and chairs and what was with all the stools, bit hard to climb up on and very uncomfortable. Waterfront restaurant was average with rude waiters. One girl took 3 or 4 tags to go sort out the drinks for different tables then didnt know whos tag belonged to who. The other free restaurants were always booked out and you were not able to book ahead which either pushed you to others you had to pay for, or back to the (foodcourt) Pantry. Day 2 it began to rain and didnt stop, that's when the leaks appeared all over the ship. Towels, blankets and buckets were all over the eating areas, halls and stairwells. Dirty water was dripping on tables where people were eating staff had to tape off sections of the ship and where trying to dry carpets with airblowers we even saw them doing this to an electrical box, maybe that's why the lifts were always out of order. An annoucement at 5am that there was a fire in the laundry was a little off putting. The reception staff were rude and most unhelpful but that could be due to the fact that there was a huge language barrier, very frustrating. This ship is far from new so why advertise it that way? And why run a cruise up to Cairns in the wet season, but more fool us for booking it for that time of year. By the 5th day we'd had enoughwe got off at Cairns and stayed off. This was our 1st ever cruise and after that experience, we will NEVER do another one. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The whole 10 days we were served the worst food we have ever eaten. There was a couple of meals that were nice (not outstanding) and the rest were disgusting. Food was very bland, luke warm and badly cooked and the same offerings day after ... Read More
The whole 10 days we were served the worst food we have ever eaten. There was a couple of meals that were nice (not outstanding) and the rest were disgusting. Food was very bland, luke warm and badly cooked and the same offerings day after day. Soups and gravies where as salty as the ocean, meats undercooked, roast vegies of carrot, potato and 80% tasteless swede and bacon like boot leather. There was long waits to be seated at the restaurant and we soon learnt not to leave going out for dinner too late, meal sizes were not big enough so you needed to allow enough time to grab something extra to eat or go to bed hungry. If you think you can grab something to eat any time think again, the pantry was only open for a few hours at meal times, no morning tea, afternoon tea or late night snack. If you slept in or lost track of time (two things you should be able to do while on holidays) you would miss meal times. We had to buy a watch to keep an eye on the time (no clocks worked on the ship). There was a coffee machine which made very bad coffee or tea bags to make you own, plastic mugs and sticks to stir, not high class. Otherwise you could drink water or at breakfast time orange or apple juice watered down so much it tasted like cordial. Alcoholic drinks also tasted weak and very expensive. Any time you shared a table with another cruiser you heard more stories of the bad experiences, the whole vibe of the ship was a very unhappy one. The beds were comfortable but the linen stained and clean towels delivered to your room also stained. The bath to step into the shower is very high, elderly or unable people would have a very hard time. The daily activities pathetic, boring and repetitive. So perhaps fill in some time walking around the deck, parts of the deck were always closed for cleaning and maintenance. During the day staff were varnishing or painting and the strong chemical smell drifted everywhere. Talking about smells, occasionally a very bad smell like sewerage or vomit would drift through the hall ways and bed rooms. The lifts at both ends of the ship did not always work, out of 8 lifts sometimes only 2 would be working which meant long waits, crowded lifts or take the stairs. Staff service around the ship was mixed, some friendly and helpful, some rude. It was difficult to communicate with most as we could not understand them and they could not understand us. A new refurbished ship, the decor was ok but some bad design elements. Particularly the pantry seating, a lounge and coffee table was impossible to eat a meal at or you could choose to perch on a very high bar stool. There was some tables and seats but not enough to cater at meal times. In the restaurant the tables were too small, the dinner plate did not fit on the table so overhung above your lap, we also noticed that bread rolls, butter dish and glasses were not always changed between sittings. The pool was far too small for the amount of people and you were just lucky if you found an available seat to relax. The ship leaked after a small shower of rain and buckets were placed around to catch the drips, not what you would expect. The entertainment was good but shows were short and not many for the length of time onboard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
First cruise and never again with Royal Caribbean. Where do I start. Waited 3 hours in the hot sun to check in because RC hadn't trained the local check in staff and their system kept crashing. Stuff like this happens and is part ... Read More
First cruise and never again with Royal Caribbean. Where do I start. Waited 3 hours in the hot sun to check in because RC hadn't trained the local check in staff and their system kept crashing. Stuff like this happens and is part of life. How did RC handle it. By ignoring it. So Bad start. Walked into the ship and left to fend for ourselves. No staff present except door scanners. Eventually found our way to the room 8517. Tiny for 4 people. Beds weren't made up. Worse of all room 8517 is beneath the pool bar so thump thump all day and night above our heads. Stopped at 1am. Went to the bar for a drink. Waited 30 minutes each time. Lack of stuff and all spoke broken English and were too busy to offer customer service. Lack of staff across all levels of the cruise. Except the Japanese restaurant Izumi which was the one highlight. We paid $100 for that privilege. Food in all other areas was average and looked like it was brought in form Asia with them. Meat was heavily marinated. Went to customer service area and queued once again. Internet wasn't working and was intermittent. Ship is looking tired with rust, broken fixtures and hanging wires and the pool was murky and heavily chlorinated!! I could go on and on. This was a sampler cruise so I expected it to be exceptional to lure first time cruisers to RC . I got the opposite. The guinea pig cruise to test the boat out for the next cruise that left the same day we arrived back in. The family has vowed to disown me if I book another cruise with Royal Caribbean. I did however love looking at the deep blue water and wished I had a fishing rod. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Well where do I start.!! This was my families first cruise. Both late forties with two teenagers. We booked the sampler cruise as we expected it to be of the highest standard as this cruise company lure first timers like myself into a ... Read More
Well where do I start.!! This was my families first cruise. Both late forties with two teenagers. We booked the sampler cruise as we expected it to be of the highest standard as this cruise company lure first timers like myself into a world of cruising. How wrong I was. We arrive at the terminal and are forced to wait 3 hours on the hot sun to check in. No drinks offered. No anything. No acknowledgment by Royal Caribbean. We found out from the check in stuff they hadn't been trained in RC systems and that these systems were also crashing. We board the boat. No staff there to meet us just a couple of guys scanning our passes. ( Not even a lanyard to hold them ). We make our way to the room. Room 8517. Terribly small and like a metal coffin. No fridge and a small shower with a white curtain that clings to you. Beds not made up. The we hear bang bang thump thump above us. Oh no we are beneath the pool bar. And we find out later its the all night dance bar. Always the optimist I head to the bar to drown away the initial first impressions. The bar is three deep and takes 3 minutes to get a drink. Totally understaffed. This happened throughout the tour. Always waiting in a queue. The customer service on this ship was terrible. Many seemed like they didn't want to be there and spoke broken English so hard to communicate with. The ship itself is tired with heaps of rust. I noticed all the small things like broken fittings and dangling wires. The main inside area are in pretty good condition with the main atrium a standout. Food was very average and all the meat I got at dinner was heavily marinated. We did have one highlight. The Japanese restaurant Ilumi. It cost us US$100 for the four of us but worth it and we experience great service and fresh yummy food. Embarkation was great as we were asked to take our own bags and wheel them off the ship. This saved a lot of time as we rushed off. I managed to slip over 4 times on the slippery deck. I suppose that part of cruising but note to wear boat shoes next time. Went to the casino and they convert $100 aussie to $67 US. I win some money but they refuse to convert back into Aussie. They mention I can go to customer service and to it. No way as I didn't want to wait another hour in that queue. The Entertainment seemed ok. That's if you like a Beatles revivals with a 60 year old as the lead singer with a Beatles bob and a teenager in a bob as his backup. Very funny really and they were very good. All the little things kept adding up over the next few days along with the lack of sleep due the noise above and we were so glad to get off this ship. The ship of the damned I keep calling it. Haha I read that RC doesn't give a rats about these reviews or the survey they ask you to complete. My Family and I will never cruise Royal Caribbean again. I feel they took us Aussies for mugs and sent down a undermanned tired ship. I really cant believe they were this bad. You would think its all about customer service on a cruise ship. Maybe they have been around too long and have forgotten that people matter. We will cruise again but the family has to get over this one. They are still traumatised by the Alpha Alpha Alpha call over the loud speakers as someone near our dinner table keeled over and was wheeled out on a stretcher. That's life. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Well, to say my lady, my children & myself were looking forward to this break, would of been an understatement, but unfortunately this was all turned upside down. Being the first time on a cruise and having purchased it for my ladies ... Read More
Well, to say my lady, my children & myself were looking forward to this break, would of been an understatement, but unfortunately this was all turned upside down. Being the first time on a cruise and having purchased it for my ladies birthday present we could not wait. Unfortunately, because of events that unfolded,in the end,we could not wait to get off. Ironically, about two days before we were due to board, i was warned by another disgruntled passenger ( a friend) who had been on a previous cruise on this ship,totally running down the pacific dawn and its food, service, etc. But i dismissed this as a personal thing as far as they were concerned and determined to to let their assessment not spoil our holiday. The first night we went to have dinner in the smorgasbord restaurant. To say the food was second rate was a pretty accurate assessment, but we just dismissed that as maybe it will get better and although we discussed between us that it was not real good, once again decided to not let that spoil our holiday. This was the first disappointment, having heard how beautiful the food is on cruise ships is. Being an entertainer myself, and looking forward to seeing some world class acts, sorry, there was none, and how the artists persevered with the inadequate sound systems, that were being kept way to soft for any sort of dynamics is beyond me. But once again, this was not going to spoil our holiday. The second day was a little confusing as my on board credit card was rejected. After getting in contact with the card provider, knowing there was ample funds available, they notified me it was just a security measure because i didnt notify them i was going overseas, which was fair enough, then they also told me it was all taken care of. I notified the reception that the card was all fine now and they in turn assured me that it was all good from now on, but this was not the case, mainly because the people in reception were not doing their job properly. Three more embarrassing times my card was rejected and each time they told me it wont happen again. This was the start of frustration, embarrassment and a whole lot of unnessasary stress. Finally, the card fiasco was sorted.!!!! We then booked to have dinner in the salt restaurant about the second to last night on board, having read great reviews on it. Wow !!!! How wrong this was. The food was absolute crap, oysters and fish in tepura batter which was like leather, oysters kilpatrick had porchetta bacon on top. Tasted horrible. Then to top this night off, we had ordered our first drinks which we we consumed, then the birthday girl ordered another glass of red, of which she was refused , being told she was intoxicated. This was so wrong! we have never been so insulted in our lives and the kids , being 19 & 21years of age, were horrified. Lastly, to top off this whole so called cruise of a lifetime, when i collected my duty free alcohol it was two bottles short of which i discovered on arriving home. About the only good thing that p&o did when i complained about the missing alcohol was send me a cheque to cover it.. All in all, we had a most unsatisfactory holiday ensuring that we will never ever cruise with p&o again and also that we will let everybody know they would be making a mistake to even contemplate a cruise with you people. Thanks for nothing, except costing me a considerable amount of money and for causing my lady,who is still getting over breast cancer,total embarrasment & anxiety . Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was my Bucket List after 35 years of marriage and raising 6 children, it was my time for being spoilt and have someone look after me. Therefore you can imagine our excitement of finally taking the trip of our dreams with all the high ... Read More
This was my Bucket List after 35 years of marriage and raising 6 children, it was my time for being spoilt and have someone look after me. Therefore you can imagine our excitement of finally taking the trip of our dreams with all the high expectations that P&O promised in their shiny brochures. EMBARKATION My husband and I set sail on the Pacific Dawn from Brisbane heading towards New Caledonia for 7 nights. Our first taste of the disaster that was to become our holiday started at the terminal. What a dingy place that is and no one told us to expect an hour to fill out forms and there was no where to sit or rest the papers against to do so as this small place was quickly filling up with other passengers all trying to do the same paperwork. Then we were held up for an hour or so due to a problem with customs delaying our departure. SO IF YOU ARE GOING ON THIS TRIP TAKE A PEN AND BE PREPARED TO WAIT. There were shops where you could get something to eat whilst you had to wait but they were so far away you be afraid of missing your turn to get on the ship and having to wait longer. SHIP INFORMATION Once onboard we went to our cabin which we had as an 'upgrade'. It was originally designed as a quad with little room to move around the bed and it was situated right under the Marquee room resulting in all sorts of noise filtering down through the night making sleeping a little difficult at times. When we arrived at our cabin there was a Yellow card saying that I had an item in my bag that was being Confiscated and made me feel like a criminal trying to smuggle illegal goods - as it turned out it was my travel iron of all things. I was told that I could not use it as they had a laundry and I could iron my items down there. There was no mention in any of the documentation of what not to bring onboard saying that I could not bring one, even the questions on the Facebook fellow travellers page when asked say that this was a prohibitive item only that there were laundry services available for a fee. Available for a fee became the theme for this voyage. The ship itself and all the feature rooms and trimmings were tired and looked like they needed a refit. My general impression was that they were downgrading the quality and offering lower prices to get more people to travel with them. ACTIVITIES There were quite a lot of activities offered but they were so boring that it was not worthwhile going or participating. For instance the trivial quizs where half hearted as was the bingo game which I did play after paying $30 for the privilege, the casino my husband played/lost $30 without even realising it as you have to insert your card and a whole lot of rigmarole. There were only one table of each, roulette, blackjack and a poker game so if you wanted to have a flutter it became a long wait. The so-called BIG ATTRACTIONS were tired and very difficult to access. The main performance was from the Pacific Circus in the Atrium and if you did not get a seat an hour beforehand it was impossible to see what was going on. The music provided by the various bands I could have watched better at our local pub, they were tired and lacked any enthusiasm. Definitely no toe tapping fun to be had with them. Otherwise all the other activities could be had - for a FEE - a gallery excursion, a tour of the ship and etc. The theater was outdoors on the pool deck on a large screen so if you didn't get a seat right in front you had to sit on the side and not get a good viewing. Also it was cold and windy most nights so that did not encouraged us to go out much. PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS There was nothing like I imagined, no greetings from the locals, no organisation involving tour operators or how to get on to the tours, you had to sort that out all by yourself. The islands were not what we had expected them to be and there was very little cultural or background knowledge provided. Life on islands was not as romantic as I had anticipated and would rank them as being 3rd world, with a lot of graffiti everywhere. But they did use Australian dollars which was great and very little way of shops to buy trinkets for back home. DINING Terrible is what I can only describe it as. Where was all this wonderful food we were promised? The Plantation was a cafeteria at best, with not a big range of choices and if you asked for a second slice of the 'meat' of the day they snarled. The coffee was terrible and there was no cold water available. I ended up with Acute Gastroenteritis from eating there so be careful as it does happen quite frequently on the Pacific Dawn as there at least 3 other cases when I go sick. The Waterfront promised a lot and delivered not much. They said you had to dress up for the occasion but this was not the case. The meals were tepid at best and bland all the time. But it was nice being served. All the other eating venues you had to pay and as I mentioned earlier this was the theme of the ship. You also had to book for evening meals or line up for lunch and breakfast. Both restaurants had closing times and when you were in port difficult to get in Ice cream, pizza and everything else you can imagine had a price. It appeared to me that for all staff English was not their first language and they made little eye contact. if you asked them a question they appeared not to understand you so we gave up. DISEMBARKATION Once again the terminal was abysmal and dingy. You had no idea where lines started or finished. Claiming my 'illegal' iron was difficult and everyone crowded in or around the door way that made getting out difficult. SUMMARY This was first part of my bucket list and I can say that I can cross it off my list but I will NEVER travel with P&O again Everything had a price and you had no idea of what or how your spending was going unless you checked it everyday so I would highly recommend everyone to do that, as I witnessed quite a few fellow passengers have near heart attacks when they received their final bill.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014

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