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29 Brisbane to Pacific Coastal Cruise Reviews

I personally enjoyed my cruise with my family very much! We spend 10 nights on the Pacific Aria and it was awesome! Cons: -We had to skip one of the islands (Kitava) as the weather of the sea was too strong for the wee boats to take ... Read More
I personally enjoyed my cruise with my family very much! We spend 10 nights on the Pacific Aria and it was awesome! Cons: -We had to skip one of the islands (Kitava) as the weather of the sea was too strong for the wee boats to take us to the island. -If there are announcements about the activities throughout the day you can't really hear them from your cabin without opening your door (we were on deck 4). Pros: -The food was delicious and we dined in the pantry most days. We tried Dragon Lady (Asian Restaurant) and Angelo's (Italian Restaurant) once but the portions were really small. The waterfront was perfect for Breakfast and Lunch. - There were many activities to participate in on sea days such as parties, fitness/dance classes, anti-aging courses, coloring, board games, and many competitions. - The Edge was an amazing fun thing for us to do. It is a group you can sign up for and do many outdoor extreme activities like rock climbing, walk the plank, the flying fox and laser tag. -The decoration throughout the ship was really beautiful with an added touch of each elevator having a different design. - The staff was extremely kind and our Steward Dodi was amazing. Every day we were welcomed with a towel made creature and he would often incorporate my brothers' toys into the towel creature. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Aria looked, sounded, should have been great. P&O have have always been our go to cruise line. Alas, no more, Pantry food was simply disgusting, almost inedible in general and whoever heard of turnips for every meal as veges! I hit the ... Read More
Aria looked, sounded, should have been great. P&O have have always been our go to cruise line. Alas, no more, Pantry food was simply disgusting, almost inedible in general and whoever heard of turnips for every meal as veges! I hit the wall 4 nights in where my body said no more. I simply couldn't eat any more bad food. The other restaurants were ok but helpings were small unless I paid for more! The cabin was good as was all the bars and public areas, though dated and tired. She is an older ship now.Staff were terrific too but entertainment staff targeted priorities at under 25's at the expense of the rest of us, who were the spenders. Watered down orange juice and watery cocktails and spirits also were a real low! This was the first cruise we were pleased to see end. Sad. I wonder why this great Cruise Line has dropped its quality so much. Money and savings I suspect. Still, we love cruising and will have to leave our dear friend behind and move up a level or two to get back the quality P&O always served in the past. Sad for Carnival, sad for us. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We were on board the Aria that left Brisbane on 4/1/19 bound for New Caledonia. We were very happy with all the staff on the boat, they were all marvelous. However, that was the only thing that we were happy with. I have mobility problems ... Read More
We were on board the Aria that left Brisbane on 4/1/19 bound for New Caledonia. We were very happy with all the staff on the boat, they were all marvelous. However, that was the only thing that we were happy with. I have mobility problems and use a walker. There were four lifts each end of the ship but on a regular basis 3 of the lifts would be in use by staff or out of order leaving only one lift for passengers. It would sometimes take 20-25 minutes for me to get in a lift and sometimes I was forced to carry my walker downstairs in order to get to events on time! We were very unhappy with the restaurants as well. The food in the Pantry on the 11th floor was ok but we could never get a seat (there were 5 of us) so we had evening meals in the Waterfront Restaurant and the food was not good. We wanted to try other restaurants but couldn’t because they were always booked out so we were not happy about that. Also, on other cruises (Princess etc.) we were able to go to the buffet late at night for light snacks, coffee or sweets etc. but on the Aria all the restaurants closed early (I think at 9 o’clock). Overall, a very disappointing cruise. I don’t think we will be sailing with P & O again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This is the first cruise for my husband and I, and we were not disappointed. From the moment we arrived at the port in Brisbane to when we had to disembark, everything was perfect. We were lucky with the weather until the last 2 ... Read More
This is the first cruise for my husband and I, and we were not disappointed. From the moment we arrived at the port in Brisbane to when we had to disembark, everything was perfect. We were lucky with the weather until the last 2 days, but nobody can control that. We found all the crew friendly, helpful and professional, it couldn't have been better, they really have a big job to do, and they work long hard hours, but it never shows. We loved the food that was available, and good to see no buffet style eating, as it's more hygienic, and there was never a queue. I did overhear a male passenger having a whinge and was being quite rude to the poor fellow behind the salad bar, but really? Is it the end of the world if you didn't get enough avocado on your plate?? Some people amaze me. We lashed out and booked into Salt Grill on the first night, that was amazing. Highly recommend that. Bar staff and entertainment staff were great, there is no way you could come in this cruise and say that it was boring and you had nothing to do. I would recommend that you read the daily bulletin that gets delivered to your room each evening, telling you what's on the next day, because there is so much to do, it's a shame to miss out. Also purchasing a drinks package is recommended if you are that way inclined! It does take away the stress at the end and don't end up with bill shock! It was just my husband and myself on this cruise, but did see a lot of families with small children and they seemed to be having a great time. It's a great family holiday choice. We would definitely recommend the Pacific Aria to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We travelled in a group of 4 couples on this short cruise from Brisbane and had a very good time. The main entertainment was several comedy shows, some rated PG which were (usually) ok for children, and some R rated for the adult themes ... Read More
We travelled in a group of 4 couples on this short cruise from Brisbane and had a very good time. The main entertainment was several comedy shows, some rated PG which were (usually) ok for children, and some R rated for the adult themes and language. We preferred the PG rated shows, which showcased the quick minds of the comedians without the swearing. I think that the nature of the cruise meant that there were very few children on board. The shows were generally very good, and we really loved the gong show, where fellow passengers could have a crack at stand up comedy - what a surprise that was! But by far the best entertainment was the range of extremely talented musicians on board. A fabulous singer/guitarist at the Oasis setting the relaxing mood, the girl with the haunting voice at the Lido, the piano player in the Blue Room and the band (Alter Ego?) at Oceans Bar, who took requests and could play and sing anything! The musicians were all superb. Now the food - we all thought that the 'food court' style of The Pantry was a positive step up from the usual buffet and the food there was simple and tasty. It is hard to get a table here though and tables are not cleared very quickly. Breakfast at the Waterfront was pretty good, but other meals were a bit hit or miss. Angelo's (the Italian) was average and Salt was disappointing (both our fish dishes were overcooked). Service is generally slow. We were unable to get into The Dragon Lady even though we tried booking after lunch on the first day - so get in quick if you want to eat here. Drinks: Coffee is best in Oceans Bar. The mocktails were way too sweet so we ordered them with soda water to dilute them. (Refreshment package was well used). Favourite cocktail - Pink ginger cosmopolitan! Drinks seemed to be diluted later in the evening. Suggestion to management: Move the trivia to a larger venue - maybe the Dome? People were sitting on the floor! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
It was sold to us by our Cruise sales person as a one off cruise and ship had been refurbished that's a laugh nothing to do daytime and if you drank you would have to get drunk to enjoy yourself.Need more words OK may things I could ... Read More
It was sold to us by our Cruise sales person as a one off cruise and ship had been refurbished that's a laugh nothing to do daytime and if you drank you would have to get drunk to enjoy yourself.Need more words OK may things I could write a book. Noise level at night in our cabin on the 9th level was so loud.Air Conditioning right through out the ship freezing cold and in our cabin no adjustment of direction of air flow so freezing at night.Cabin vacuumed once and dusted never, water stains on the table left all trip. Bathroom towels been there since the ship was built I think.Face washers still had someones hair on them.We asked for blankets because we don't like donas and our dog sleeps on better ones old as the Titanic that didn't fit the bed to small sown together down the middle.a disgrace Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
As we haven’t yet cruised (5th cruise) on the P & O Aria and it was leaving from Brisbane to a destination not visited before (Tonga) we decided to book an 18 night cruise. We were very satisfied with our room as it was very clean ... Read More
As we haven’t yet cruised (5th cruise) on the P & O Aria and it was leaving from Brisbane to a destination not visited before (Tonga) we decided to book an 18 night cruise. We were very satisfied with our room as it was very clean and comfortable. We like how the Staff in the Pantry dishes up your choices of foods, great infection control. Unfortunately the quality of the food provided in the Pantry was poor but the desserts were even worse being stale, tasteless and rubbery which is very disappointing, as we have always looked forward to the foods we don’t usually eat at home (eg. danishes, pudding, bun loaves etc). On the last 2 weeks of cruising I was enjoying the taste of crackers, cheese and dried fruit for dinner. The restaurants Waterfront & Angelo’s for dining were average but don’t order ice cream as it arrives defrosted. The Dragon Lady food was fresh and of good quality. The set out of the ship felt friendly and homely, especially around the Pantry and the pool area. The Entertainment proved in the evening was amazing and during the sea days the Dance Classes/Theme nights provided was totally enjoyed. Just shame about the FOOD! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I am going to cut to the chase, the only reason any people would give this cruise a good review is that they have either never cruised before and therefor have nothing to compare this against or they have no standards themselves! It was ... Read More
I am going to cut to the chase, the only reason any people would give this cruise a good review is that they have either never cruised before and therefor have nothing to compare this against or they have no standards themselves! It was second rate rubbish from start to finish. The food in The Pantry is appalling and I was served only one hot meal in 9 days!! Oh and do not waste your time complaining, they just do not give a hoot. My family and I could not wait to disembark, we have cruised before and this was total rubbish, but hey don't take my word for it, go ahead and waste $3000, I just did!! If you are a bogan you will love it, if you have an ounce of decorum, you will pay the extra and book with Princess Cruises as I intend to do so from now on. I hope this was useful to you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I have travelled with P&O before and therefore I had fairly low expectations as I know they are at the low end of the cruising spectrum. But we still had fun on our first P&O cruise and so when friends asked us to join them on ... Read More
I have travelled with P&O before and therefore I had fairly low expectations as I know they are at the low end of the cruising spectrum. But we still had fun on our first P&O cruise and so when friends asked us to join them on another we decided to accompany them. I wish we hadn't gone!!.... P&O ignored the very public travel warnings advising all vessels.. including cruise ships NOT to travel into the seas around New Caledonia and Vanuatu due to dangerous weather conditions caused by Cyclone Donna. The passengers, including us, who contacted P&O the day before we were to set sail, the same day that the travel warnings came out, were advised that passenger safety was P&O's first priority and that we would be advised of any itinerary changes that would need to be made due to the cyclone. We knew and accepted that cruise ships often need to reroute and change the itinerary destinations due to weather conditions and so we began to laughingly call this our "Magical Mystery Cruise" and wondered where we would end up. What we DIDN'T expect was for the ship to try outrunning the cyclone in a vain attempt to keep to the scheduled itinerary. Especially when it had already been reported that the ports in those islands would be closed due to the cyclone. A senior crew member even admitted to one of our fellow passengers that they always knew the ship would never make it past Noumea. And yet they continued to sell onshore tours for those islands without a word. Refunds were eventually given for prepaid shore tours but were paid into our on board credit instead of cash back or back into our Visa account where it originally came from. We made it through awful weather conditions to Noumea where we docked in a cargo port for a day and a half (on a public holiday so nothing was open) before being told that the ship must leave immediately because it was too dangerous for us to stay. Instead of getting us all back home to calm seas quickly... the captain chose to draw out our trip back so they could still give us a 7 night cruise. One of these nights was terrifying when the ship obviously HIT something with a huge BANG and then listed at a severe angle for over an hour... bottles fell off of shelves and smashed... the bar staff had to try to hold on to the large coffee machine to try and stop it sliding onto the floor... both passengers and crew looked scared but there was no announcement from the bridge to let everyone know it was ok. It was obvious to everyone that the ship was not coping with the weather conditions, there were leaks everywhere and the next day the captain announced that he had to suddenly change course to prevent the ships rudder from further overheating!! I spent most of this "cruise" feeling either sick, anxious or terrified. P&O is still refusing to take any responsibility for this nightmare... even though I know they have received hundreds of complaints. Be very careful when you choose to cruise with P&O... it would seem that they are allowed to do whatever they want with you once they have your money... even sail you into a cyclone!!... DON'T expect them to try and provide you with an enjoyable holiday... It has been two weeks now, I am still sick and shaking and have had to seek medical attention as a direct result of this hellish experience... which I PAID for!!... Travel insurance will only cover me if I have any "out of pocket" expenses... I could have received a full refund of my fare if P&O had the common sense to cancel the cyclone cruise.... Or had given me the choice to cancel in light of the travel warnings. The response that I and probably hundreds of other upset passengers have received from P&O is basically..... You paid for a 7 night cruise and we delivered a 7 night cruise.. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it but that's not our fault. I wonder how many other companies would get away with this type of attitude and treatment of their customers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Firstly, I thought i would start by saying I never usually write reviews but it is imperative that I get this out there to perhaps stop people from making a massive expensive mistake in booking a cruise with P&O! My brother picked ... Read More
Firstly, I thought i would start by saying I never usually write reviews but it is imperative that I get this out there to perhaps stop people from making a massive expensive mistake in booking a cruise with P&O! My brother picked this P&O for his 21st birthday. My whole family (plus others) came along. Between us we spent around 20k just for the bookings without expenses on the boat and I can tell you now, you couldn't give me 20k to go on another cruise with P&O again. It was absolutely the worst experience of my life. The cruise was meant to be a 7 night cruise to Noumea, Lifou and Port Vila. We set sail from Brisbane and upon boarding the ship we heard other passangers talking about a cyclone in Vanawatu. We thought this was a little odd as we hadnt heard anything and P&O didnt communicate anything so figured it wouldnt be an issue... How wrong we were!!!! About half way to Noumea the captian made the annoucement that there was infact a cyclone due to hit Vanuatu which could impact our itinerary but he would keep us informed. We were all a little frustrated but hoped that it would pass by the time we got there. Just before arriving in Noumea another announcement from the captian.. This was to inform us that the cyclone would be hitting Vanuatu and the catagory had been upgraded to a catagory 5. We were advised we would get one day in Noumea but we would miss out on going to Lifou and Port Vila and we would we would have to leave Noumea just before the cyclone hit and then the boat would turn around and head back to Brisbane... BUT.. they would take 4 days for the return journey! You can only imagine the disappointment and frustration we had over this annoucement. We arrived in Noumea later then the expected time and it was alomst nightfall when we arrived. Most places were already closed. We were then informed that Noumea had a public holiday on the Monday so therefore most of the shops/restaurants would be closed and most of the shore tours had to be cancelled because of the terrible weather. They couldnt dock the ship in the normal port so they docked in the shipping container wharf, not really ideal and certainly not attractive to look at. Noumea was a complete disappointment. To think we spend 20k to go to a town that was a ghost town. Hardly any shops were open, majority of restaurants were closed. As you can imagine the weather was also so awful raining, windy and cloudy. We boarded the ship really disappointed with the experience of Noumea only to be told the conditions on the way home were home to be rough.. this was an understatement!!! I can honestly say there were multiple times i was scared for my life onboard that ship! Because P&O had to make up the days, the captian decided to travel back to Brisbane doing approx 10knts. In cyclonic weather, winds up to 60knts, swell at 7m. It honestly felt like we were in a washing machine. I woke up many nights thinking the ship was going down. I was flung out of the shower which the crashing of the waves hitting the ship. All the restaurants on board were mostly booked up because of the extra days we had at seaso we had no choice but to eat at the pantry most of the time which is honestly the worst food. A few people on board got gastro from it. My parner said the food as his FIFO camp in better then the rubbish they serve. The few times we could get into a resaurant the staff couldnt even get the bookings correct and booked on the wrong dates and then were so rude and tried to blame it back on us. A complete diaster!! Because of the weather the pools had to be drained, the lifts were out of order so the poor elderly people had to try and get up and down the stairs with the boat rocking. so danergous for them. We were bascially stuck inside with very little to do unless you wanted to spend money on botox or gambling or you could watch a movie. P&O advertise the latest new release movies on their website.... I'm not sure if you would call the Notebook a new release considering it was released in 2004!! The entertainment and activites were a joke and mostly aimed at you spending more money. Most people got extremely sea sick because of the conditions, myself included. P&O offered sea sick tablets, AT $20 PER PILL!!! They couldnt have cared less how sick we felt as long as we were spending money they didnt care at all! Not once did they offer us a way to contact people back home to let them know we were still alive. The wifi on the boat was terrible, you pay so much money to use it but you have to pretty much sit in the reception area for it to work. Myself and others complained profusely and requested to take us back to Brisbane early as the conditions were awful. We were told this wouldnt happen as head office made the decision to keep us at sea. Bascially we felt like prisioners on the ship with no control over what was happening to us. The aircon on the ship was so cold and you couldnt go outside unless you wanted to be blown out to sea. Because of the rain parts of the ship flooded and the doors, openings had to be covered with towels. Some parts of the ship stunk of vomit because of how many people were sick. We were told they would not be refunding us as it states in their terms and conditions they are allowed to change route if the weather doesnt permit. Well P&O there are so many things you could have done to make this awful situation better or not happen at all. They could have made the decision to take us to a different route, anywhere else that didnt have a cyclone would have been great. They could have communciated to us about the cyclone before we boarded the ship and given us the option on what we would like to do given we had spent the money for a GOOD expereince.They could have offered all passangers a way to contact family to let them know we were safe (just). They could have offered freebies such as drinks or massage or at least something to make it a little better but P&O offered nothing at all. P&O knew this information before we left Brisbane but kept it quiet and decided to put our lives at risk by taking us straight into a cyclone. We should have been given the option before we boarded the ship to continue or not with the cruise. Had this information been communicated to us, we would have forfitted the amount we had spent to not go on the cruise. I would never ever recommend P&O cruises to anyone. I would highly recommended if you are thinking about doing a cruise to choose another company. I will be take my compliant with them further as this simply was not good enough in my view. My words of advice....DO NOT GO P&O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I had previously traveled Sea Princess and we had an enjoyable time. However, we had a number of issues with this cruise that we didn't feel were adequately dealt with. Family Friendly - The biggest issue was the lack of family ... Read More
I had previously traveled Sea Princess and we had an enjoyable time. However, we had a number of issues with this cruise that we didn't feel were adequately dealt with. Family Friendly - The biggest issue was the lack of family friendly activities, entertainment and the poor experience with the Kids Club staff. We were advised on the first night, that due to a high number of children on board, there may not always be availability on the kids club. We had to book in advance a number of times. On many occasions, the kids club were not available at all as they had scheduled alternate activities (where parents would need to attend as they were unsupervised). When we did have our children in kids club, we were paged repeatedly for minor things so we had to come collect our children. We weren't able to fully enjoy the other activities as a result. This wouldn't have been so bad if there were family friendly areas or entertainment for our children. They rarely had any children programming on television, and no other place to take them where they'd have fun. The swimming pool was quite dangerous due to the rockiness of the boat and children were generally unwelcome in the calmer pool. Activities & Entertainment - Activities on board ranged from good to pretty ordinary, the shows were pretty good (the singers and dancers were lovely and we really loved the Mentalist). However many of the "enrichment" activities involved spending more money and there was a lot of push to get you to gamble (eg play bingo, go to the casino). I remember some dancing activities the last time I sailed with Sea Princess which seemed to be lacking this cruise. The Zumba teacher was AWFUL (no sense of rhythm at all, songs were bad) and very rude, she yelled at another staff member during the first session over the sound of the music. She also yelled at a child in front of everyone during Trivia because he said an answer out loud. Food - Food was mostly good especially in the Horizon court & traditional dining areas. However, the chips (french fries) were generally over cooked and bland and the coffee left a lot to be desired (and this was the specialty coffee we paid extra for). The drinks were okay, but pricey, and they didn't make a very nice vodka lime and soda. Service - service was generally good however on the deck 5 atrium, there was a bar that was always very very slow to serve. I would often stand for quite a while, while others who arrived after me were served before me - making me feel like I wasn't there at all. When I finally got served, coffees and drinks took 10 mins to make. Facilities - the gym was a little small - it would have been nice if they had some fitness classes on throughout the day. The pool was fine, but as mentioned, it wasn't that safe for children. Occasionally it appeared something was dripping from the roof on the lower levels of the ship, I think this ship needs an upgrade and some maintenance done. Ports - we travelled to Papua New Guinea which wasn't on the list above - some of the locations were really average. Most of the stops didn't have any shore excursions. At one particular stop, the locals were very unfriendly, and the area seemed generally unsafe. Doini Island was lovely however, and Rabaul was fascinating. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Been on 4 previous P&O cruises, which were fabulous. Waterfront restaurant food on the Aria was mediocre at best. Lots of dishes were over seasoned, especially with salt. Burnt desserts, hot food was served luke warm & cold food ... Read More
Been on 4 previous P&O cruises, which were fabulous. Waterfront restaurant food on the Aria was mediocre at best. Lots of dishes were over seasoned, especially with salt. Burnt desserts, hot food was served luke warm & cold food was served luke warm. Extremely disappointed. Pantry was better than the old serve yourself, but staff would not put food on the same plate at different stations. Makes it extremely difficult to juggle 3 plates, cutlery & a cuppa when your trying to find a seat. Average age on this cruise was at least 65. So many wheely walkers it was hard to get into a lift, made me take the stairs (which was a hidden bonus). My companion had a broken foot & the stairs were still the best option. Don't expect to get a seat around the pool on Lido deck, for some reason people decided to use the couches as beds all day every day. So seating for up to 14 was taken up by 3 people, in numerous sections. Butterflys on the carpet, don't make up for happy, friendly staff who can speak English well enough to understand you & converse. Staff at the Pantry had such limited English they couldn't tell you what was in the dish. Not great for anyone with food allergies. Room Stewards were fabulous on this ship. Entertainment was mostly comedians. Some definitely need to get a real job, heaps of people walked out of these shows. Musical shows were good. Didn't like the layout of the ship. Had to go up or down a floor to get to Waterfront if you were at the front of the ship. Bars on the same deck as cabins, walking deck & smoking area on same deck as cabins. Blue room extremely noisy & very dark. Ocean Bar was nice, but always crowded with trivia contestants. Trivia was a cruise long thing, so you had to be there the first day. So other contestants told us. Bingo $30 a day, 5 games low prizes. Dome was great for a relax provided they weren't having jazzercise, pilates or tap dancing classes in there. Would not sail on the Aria again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Have been to islands before Entertainment and activities. Very old to movies, sound of music, South Pacific, Annie and mr and Mrs smith and these were also how's in theatre Although the musicians were very good, The sound ... Read More
Have been to islands before Entertainment and activities. Very old to movies, sound of music, South Pacific, Annie and mr and Mrs smith and these were also how's in theatre Although the musicians were very good, The sound was so loud in the bars that we retreated to cabin A couple of good shows in the marque but 4 comedians, a juggler, a clown and magician, what tha? Entertainment very limited. Good if you like trivial pursuit and dance classes We had a balcony which was good except they put a fridge where dressing table was meant to be.Fridge apparently didn't fit in allocated space and also had wrong power supply Service. We had an excellent cabin steward and waiter in the dining room but also experienced some very ordinary waiters. Service was excellent One chocolate every. 3 days. They should either ditch it altogether or have it every day We both said we wouldn't go with p and o again Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We wanted to go to Rabaul and the timing was right for us. It was extremely disappointing. Cabin staff and restraunt staff were excellent, the rest of the crew seems to be incompetant an unaware of the ships shortcomings. The Aria is an ... Read More
We wanted to go to Rabaul and the timing was right for us. It was extremely disappointing. Cabin staff and restraunt staff were excellent, the rest of the crew seems to be incompetant an unaware of the ships shortcomings. The Aria is an old ship and tha facilities (apart from the cabins) are inadequate for the numbers on board. The movies/lecture room was a rediculously small room and an odd shape resulting in most people sitting at an acute angle to the TV sized action point. The Show/entrtainment area was too small and again only a small proportion of people could see the whole stage. Food was generally ordinary (and worse if you do not eat the 3 melons as the only fruit!) Any attempt to produce culinery delights was far off the mark. Overall organisation getting onto and off the ship at destination ports was chaotic... and in 5 advertised ports of call, we only got to get off the ship twice. Now I know why friends replied to our disappointment with, "Oh, did you go with P&O?' Seeing Rabaul was great, but wished we had taken the tour with the locals. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
i have been complaining about our drink packages on the ship & by suryey & by phone . no one but no one will come forward and say that they are responable for the rubbish drinks package sold on board . it seems its easy to hand ... Read More
i have been complaining about our drink packages on the ship & by suryey & by phone . no one but no one will come forward and say that they are responable for the rubbish drinks package sold on board . it seems its easy to hand over the money. but when there is a complaint ? there is no one at all. a real shame p & o. the nite entertainment was only three quarters of an hour each nite. this would be more of an afternoon show ?my main purpose for the cruise was entertainment ?the entertainment director would pick someone out of the crowd & belittle them & this carried through everyone who came out on the stage ? he was also very unclear on island trips & could have put a lot more info out .to complain about the tender boats, penntecoste had 4 boats removing & only 2 bringing people back ? causing a huge line up , & as for p&o charging for drinks on the island ? on a tender we were on coming back from denaro took an hour , with one front window unable to be opened made some older people very very hot an nearly passing out , i made complaints to the crew in the area, but only looked at me as if i was speaking a different language, they may as well have been the people in charge of the drink packages, i am & will be waiting for that person to ring me about my first complaint, not happy at all p&o Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We have just returned from our sixth cruise. First time on Pacific Aria. Last time on Pacific Aria. What a boring ship this is. The food is well below par in any of the restaurants. The main restaurant on deck 7 is hard to get to. Once ... Read More
We have just returned from our sixth cruise. First time on Pacific Aria. Last time on Pacific Aria. What a boring ship this is. The food is well below par in any of the restaurants. The main restaurant on deck 7 is hard to get to. Once there, and after being told it was, any time dining, we found we could not get in at that time and there would be a 30 minute wait. We were given a buzzer and told to go sit in a nearby bar until we were buzzed. After 40 minutes and 2 hungry children in tow, we went back and asked if there was seating. Yes there was, so why didn't they buzz us? Never mind, we entered the eatery where we were seated at rustic wooden tables with no table cloths. The table was dirty, there were no wine glasses or bread rolls. The menu was for both food and wine. Not really much choice in the food, but the wine list was OK. We had to ask for the children's menu, which was shoved in my hand and even though there were 2 children (aged 9 and 11), we only got one menu. We had a three course meal in under 15 minutes and our wine glasses were big enough to be used as a goldfish bowl. The waiters were very sullen and we never had the same waiter twice in the 8 days we were there. So, no wonder they were sullen, how do you build up a rapport with someone in 15 minutes? I am guessing, they were missing the tips they got on other cruise ships. I would be sullen too. Don't even bother going to the Pantry, what a waste of space that is. Same old stuff doled out day after day, and having to queue at different stations to get the food you want to eat. I really think The Pantry is a bad idea. Please, Please, P & O, do not put this on any of your other ships. I couldn't find anyone on board who had a good thing to say about The Pantry. Not only is the food bad, but the seating is all sectioned off and I found it very claustrophobic. Embarkation was speedy, same with Disembarkation. Full marks there. The cabins are quite spacious. Full marks there. The Edge, for all you dare devils out there, is pretty cool. Although pricey. The shows were well above average, one show we saw, "Twice Upon A Time" had a very dark theme (and I am not sure it's actually cruise ship material) was in my opinion, brilliant. The Atrium is tiny and even though it's spread over 3 decks, there is not much going on there. No entertainment, no champagne waterfall. But best of all, No Art Auctions. I only found out who the cruise director was on the last day and that was purely by chance. The Pacific Entertainers may have been around somewhere on the ship, but we didn't see any of that action. The pool is small, but has a fantastic wave action in rough weather. Unfortunately, it was emptied for repairs for 3 days of our trip. Smokers pay the same as anyone else and they are not catered for at all on this ship. There are 2 smoking stations, neither of them have chairs or tables and one of them is on deck 12 with no shelter from the weather. If you like movies under the stars, you are going to be disappointed, there is no big screen on this ship, but it does have a pool deck area with a roof area that can be closed in bad weather. All in all, there is no such thing as a bad cruise, but this came very close. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
First time cruisers, mid twenties. Slightly apprehensive after reading the reviews but we thought - we will make our own fun if all else fails. Essentially we wanted some drinks and sun - all in all we weren't disappointed. After ... Read More
First time cruisers, mid twenties. Slightly apprehensive after reading the reviews but we thought - we will make our own fun if all else fails. Essentially we wanted some drinks and sun - all in all we weren't disappointed. After seeing some of the deplorable behaviour from fellow passengers, I can see how some of these reviews came to be. If you're expecting a 5 star cruise, book a 5 star cruise. If you act like an entitled jerk, the staff won't be all too receptive to that. I saw a grown couple throw a tantrum and sit down in the middle of a corridor because they had arrived at the wrong time for their tender and an older woman argue with bar staff over the strength of her cocktail. We encountered nothing but helpful, friendly staff, our room attendant was exceptionally lovely and worked around our comings and goings. Say hello and thank you, your experience will be all the better for it. We were a little sea sick the first two days but grabbed a couple of DVDs from our attendant and some snacks from the Pantry, which is your standard food court fare - never had to wait more than a couple seconds to be served - and headed back to our room. A rocky ship can't really be helped! Days on the islands were amazing, everything went smoothly - we did our own thing and had a blast. Angelos and Dragon Lady were great for what they were, a cruise ship restaurant masquerading as some form of fine dining, however the service was lovely in both and food was above average - the Wasabi Creme Brulee was exceptional. Enjoyed them. Went to Waterfront for breakfast most mornings, never had to wait for a table, here the waiters appeared to be a little flustered for a simple breakfast service but it honestly didn't bother us, the food was nice and the coffee was hot. Being in the 20 - 30 yr old age range there really wasn't anything on the activity front that attracted us, however we were planning on not doing much more than relaxing with a drink in the Oasis which was amazing when the weather permitted. The Main Pool was always loud and slightly feral (like an indoor aquatic centre) however all children seemed to be having a blast. At night we spent most of our time in the Blue Room, thoroughly enjoyed the bands and table service. Bar staff here were lovely and remembered how we liked our drinks made! Rooms were in the standard of a 3 star hotel room - loved our balcony. No issues with the bathroom or toilet, the room itself was very loud and creaky, probably the biggest issue we had with the cruise. Embarking/Disembarking were smooth and fast. Keep your attitude and expectations in check and you will have a great time! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I 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
This is my second cruise on Pacific Aria and a great improvement on my first cruise (which was the ships second sailing under P&O). BOARDING Well organised and went smoothly. SHIP LAYOUT The ship is much nicer than other ... Read More
This is my second cruise on Pacific Aria and a great improvement on my first cruise (which was the ships second sailing under P&O). BOARDING Well organised and went smoothly. SHIP LAYOUT The ship is much nicer than other P&O ships. A few funny things in the layout: - Bottom floor of atrium is odd, needs something down there other than internet/computers - Restaurant - needs a bar just outside the door - Salt Grill lounge - seems wasted space - Dome - needs to be used for more than just the night club (see comments on trivia below) SAIL AWAY We left late (4.30pm) so sailaway was brief before going to the restaurant for dinner. ENTERTAINMENT - SHOWS There has not been a show every night (one night had nothing in the show lounge but a movie): - Day 1 - Welcome aboard show - Day 2 - Off the charts - - Day 3 - Hypnotist, Anthony Laffan (Guest) - Very good show - Day 4 - Angus & Matilda (Guest) - Day 5 - Twice upon a time - Interesting show, artistic dance, I would not watch again - Day 6 - Marriage Match show (passenger participation) - one show only - Day 7 - No show - Day 8 - Side Show Alley - A dark version of a circus show, I found a little depressing for a cruise - Day 9 - Ace McDermott (Guest) - Day 10 - Michael Young (Guest) - Day 11 - The velvet rope Just my opinion, but I feel the older P&O shows are better than the current ones. You could watch them a few times, they had good songs that you could sing along with, etc. DINNING I have not had a problem with dinning, we have always managed to get a table and quick service with good food, etc. Some passengers have complained about things like no table cloths, small tables, waiting times in dinning rooms, etc. The Pantry is working well - I prefer it to the buffet. ACTIVITIES Trivia has been very well organised and fits in well with dinner times. However most trivia is held in the Ocean Bar which is too small - should think about moving it to the Dome, which is not really used for much. Most of the other normal P&O activities seem to be running well. PORTS / SHORE TOURS Other than Mystery Island being cancelled due to cyclone Ula, we have had no issues with ports or shore tours. We visited - Port Vila - Port Denaru - Suva - Mare LOYALTY No Captain's Club party or Officers Party (for other than Suite passengers) for frequent passengers :-( Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We found that it was relaxing. The food in the Pantry, as others have said, lacked variety. What was there was good, but needs to be changed. There also should be some simple food for lunch (proper sandwiches, made to order). Cabin ... Read More
We found that it was relaxing. The food in the Pantry, as others have said, lacked variety. What was there was good, but needs to be changed. There also should be some simple food for lunch (proper sandwiches, made to order). Cabin staff were excellent and everyone else we dealt with were mostly friendly. Some of the areas they did seem bored. Overall we enjoyed the shows and entertainment and would go again. We travelled by car to port. Embarkation and disembarkation was as good as can be when dealing with Port Authorities. We arranged our own shore excursions. 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 my second cruise on the Dawn and it will be my last. My first cruise 4 years ago was great and had no complaints what so ever so naturally thought the same about this one. Wrong! From the moment we got to the embarkation counter ... Read More
This was my second cruise on the Dawn and it will be my last. My first cruise 4 years ago was great and had no complaints what so ever so naturally thought the same about this one. Wrong! From the moment we got to the embarkation counter the problems started and continued every day even to the point at disembarking. They did not have my sister in law in the system so we had to wait for the ship to print a boarding card for her. Luckily she had her Eticket with her. We waited for an hour for this to be done and then was told she couldn't have her photo taken, it had to be taken on the ship. We proceeded to have this rectified on board and then was told she couldn't get it done on board because all the cameras were off the ship. What a fiasco. We were then told that the tours that we had previously booked through cruise control had been changed. I was basically called a liar by the shore tours manager when I told him that the information on cruise control is different than what is on his system. i was so upset by this stage they offered us a couple of free wine to help smooth things over. Our cabin was only set up for 2 people instead of 3. So we had to ask for more towels etc. This was an ongoing saga for nearly the whole trip. All we wanted was to have 3 towels, washers,glasses etc and everyday it was a drama. We eventually had to call the accommodation manager to help rectify the problems. On our second day I asked for an extra glass and our room steward basically accused me of stealing a glass to which i went to town. His words- "so am I lying" i replied that I didn't care what he said, I didn't come on the cruise to steal a water glass on my second day. What pathetic customer service. PNG we really enjoyed but again the tendering process is ridiculous. We were told at one place that they were bringing more older people back and we would have to wait to go off the ship because the older passengers were wanting to get back on board for their lunch. Seriously???? The buffet and restaurant closed spot on time every day so if you were ashore, you could not get anything else to eat for lunch after 2.30pm unless you paid for it, or wait until dinner. I have traveled on many cruises around the world and you can always get food when you come back on board. Not with this bunch. They are too tight fisted for that. You have to pay for everything now even the craft ideas. This was always free. P&O Edge was so expensive - $20 for 1 ride on the zip line! Nearly ALL the staff look unhappy and unfriendly. They are not properly service trained. They lean over you to pass menus and to refill coffee and water instead of going around the table. The buffet is so sub standard. A bowl of lettuce does not constitute a salad P&O. People want choice. The tours in PNG are sooo expensive. The History tour in Rabaul cost me nearly $130 for 3 1/2 hours and the time at the museum was 25 minutes. The actual cost for entrance was 5 kinas(approx $2.50 aud). We could not even get to have a decent look as we were being herded to all the 9 vans waiting. Disgusting. Wonder where all that money is going to? Not the people of PNG. I have read that people say you get what you pay for. While myself and my fellow cabin mates got a really good deal, The cost in our same cabin for twin was over $1600 each. That is not cheap. We have had absolutely fantastic cruises for less money,longer times and far far superior service. The DJ was just always content to play his own music and not really interested in what others wanted.They even lost my aunt's duty free alcohol on the last morning. This was my sister in laws first cruise and what a disappointment for her. Her words- "this is like a caravan park on water" The saga just went on for the whole 10 nights and never got better. I am happy to give credit were credit is due but I can't find any. Australians are a captive market in the cruising industry so we should demand better service etc. Having traveled with P&O 4 times prior, this was such a let down. Take heed P&O and lift your game or else you will continue to lose passengers just like this one. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015

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