84 Brisbane Romantic Cruise Reviews

Traveling to far off places is both exciting and enriching. I can’t think of a much further destination than Australia. While this is not our first visit to Australia, it was our longest. Thirty one days is what we spent in total. ... Read More
Traveling to far off places is both exciting and enriching. I can’t think of a much further destination than Australia. While this is not our first visit to Australia, it was our longest. Thirty one days is what we spent in total. Because we fell in love with Sydney on our last visit, we again scheduled a few days stay in this beautiful city at the Westin Inn. We chose this cruise because it circumnavigated the whole continent of Australia. On our last visit, we were at the tail end of a cruise that began in Auckland, New Zealand, and sailed south around that beautiful country, and terminated in Sydney. This cruise allowed us to visit multiple ports as we sailed counterclockwise around Australia. This provided a fascinating overview of the many different geological and commercial venues that adorn this country. A surprise port was in Alotau, New Guinea! Princess Cruises provided numerous opportunities to enjoy excursions in each port of call. There were excursions that all passengers could enjoy. Of course, you have to expect that a particular excursion might be cancelled due to lack of guests signing up. Reimbursements are made in these rare cases. Don’t miss taking the spectacular Skyrail Gondola ride in Cairns, or the Ngilgi Cave trek in Margaret River(Busselton). Entertainment on board featured some of the best musicians that we have ever experienced! Two were especially spectacular, that performed in Crooners Bar Lounge area. They were Pierre Eugene and the Moonlight Duo. Pierre, a pianist from Haiti, sang songs in his mellow, romantic voice, that covered the eras from the 1930’s through the present day. The Moonlight Duo, beautiful young ladies, that played piano and violin, enthralled guests in Crooners as well as in other venues around the ship. I could go on and on, but I’m sure space is limited. Let me end by just stating that Princess made every aspect of this cruise effortless and gracious. Princess remains the number one choice of ocean going cruise lines for us, and we have sailed with quite a few other lines. If you have the time, this will be a cruise of a lifetime, that you will never forget! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Here is the short version of my review. My longer detailed version is below. If you are a first time cruiser with no expectations and you are looking for an average cruise on an average ship with an average crew the pacific dawn is ... Read More
Here is the short version of my review. My longer detailed version is below. If you are a first time cruiser with no expectations and you are looking for an average cruise on an average ship with an average crew the pacific dawn is perfect for you. However, if you are an experienced cruiser with expectations for anything above the bare minimum I would absolutely avoid this ship and this cruise. Long version: this was the first time my wife and I had ever cruised with P&O and it will be the last. We paid a little bit more with Holland America but we had a much better experience! I can't say anything was really TERRIBLE about P&O and the Pacific Dawn but there was nothing above the bare minimum either. There was rust in our cabin and on the outside of the ship. The ship is 28 years old and it is dated and worn out. Half way through our cruise some of the toilets on the lower decks started to back up and smell really bad. Our bed was nice but the pillows we were given were terrible. The crew were nice enough and were never rude but most of them never went out of their way to learn our names or give us anything above the bare minimum. The food was not bad but it was very average. We were not impressed. P&O also charges 5 dollars or more for all the extras (ice cream, hamburgers, hotdogs etc) the only food they don't charge extra for is the food served at breakfast, lunch or dinner The on board entertainment was not bad but again, it was very average. Their "library" is a mobile book cart and the selection is extremely limited. The TV in our room wasn't on demand. If you wanted to watch something you had to plan your day so you wouldn't miss the movie. Now for the positives: P&O does not charge that daily gratuity fee which is very refreshing. Additionally, not every show or every meal were terrible but overall, both the shows and the meals were just average. They did offer a free kitchen gallery tour which many other cruise lines charge upwards of 50 dollars for. That was neat. Also our room stewards really did a good job taking care of us. Some of these complaints might seem petty but as experienced cruisers we just expected more and were disappointed. But as the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for". P. S. Full disclosure, after we disembarked in Singapore P&O claims they are putting the ship in dry dock for 12 days and renovating everything. Unfortunately we weren't on board the ship again to see the results. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Before traveling we read many negative reviews about this ship so our expectations were quite realistic. It was a taster cruise to see if I could handle the seasickness and being on board for days in a row. We had an amazing time and ... Read More
Before traveling we read many negative reviews about this ship so our expectations were quite realistic. It was a taster cruise to see if I could handle the seasickness and being on board for days in a row. We had an amazing time and could find little fault. For the price we paid, we didn't expect the highest quality food or the most luxurious accommodation but our meals in the specialty restaurants were fine. Yes the serves were small, but extra dishes could be ordered. I loved the smaller serves, compared to the huge meals served in most restaurants everywhere these days. The staff were amazing. Nothing is too much trouble. We found the entertainment to be excellent with something for everyone. I am sure there are more glamorous ships on offer but we went with an open mind and a positive attitude and enjoyed the whole experience. On this comedy cruise we laughed our way across the Tasman. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Hi just got back from a p&o cruise on the dawn I think it’s time the ship had a up grade the floor in my cabin felt not to stable and there was a real bad smell around the ship Food was always the same entertainment was average.id ... Read More
Hi just got back from a p&o cruise on the dawn I think it’s time the ship had a up grade the floor in my cabin felt not to stable and there was a real bad smell around the ship Food was always the same entertainment was average.id write this on there Facebook page but it looks like they only pick the good comments. I think it’s time they up graded the ship and the entertainment and more things to do iv been on 4 cruises on this ship and found this one to be boring sorry p&o hopefully this review helps to make an improvement not so much bring it down after all people sacrifice for for mouth s years to go on a cruise of a life time . But I’m finding p&o it’s all about the turn around not what the people want hopefully this review improves things on the ship thanks ange Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We booked this cruise for our 35th anniversary, because it left and arrived back into Brisbane. The cruise was meant to be 14 days, but due to the weather it was reduced to 11 days. It could have been reduced to 12 days, but I think it was ... Read More
We booked this cruise for our 35th anniversary, because it left and arrived back into Brisbane. The cruise was meant to be 14 days, but due to the weather it was reduced to 11 days. It could have been reduced to 12 days, but I think it was easier for the company to completely cull the South Island, rather than have to go to the South for 1 day. The ship came into dock earlier, and the staff got the night off. Normally the turnarounds are on the same day. We were told check in would be early on our departure day, so we chose to stay close overnight beforehand. We could have gotten a lift in, but the early start was too early for our friends. So our early check-in was a total debacle ... apparently a computer malfunction, so the ship didn't end up leaving until 4.30pm. We had checked out of our accommodation for our early departure, so had to find somewhere to have breakfast (along with the other 1800+ passengers), then morning tea, and so on, just waiting around for boarding. Great start we were thinking! About the ship: The cabins were small but comfortable. We had an ocean view with a balcony. The room attendant was delightful. The bed was soft but comfortable, as were the pillows. The dining options were OK. The meal portions in the main dining room were a good size, not too large, and there was variety. The quality wasn't amazing, but it was fine, in most venues. We went to one or two shows, and they were enjoyable. We also went dancing on one night, and the band was very good. The gym was great, and thank god for the gym, it was our savior! However, there is a real push to sell the expensive Elemis detox program. This program is available online for a fraction of the cost, and there was no science behind the program that we were shown. If we could all take 2 herbal pills each day, and have them clean out our systems and eliminate everything that makes our bodies work inefficiently, I think it would be a miracle cure! In the end the science says that a good healthy diet, with exercise, and eating nutritious whole foods is the answer to good health ... makes sense to me! The demographics for this style of cruising, didn't really fit with us. We felt like we were in the middle of a shipboard conference for the aged and/or overweight. This may sound harsh, as there were some young people, and healthy looking fit people as well, but they were definitely in the minority. We had never been on a large ship cruising, and we wanted to see if it was something for us into the future. We have been to the Antarctica on a small ship and had a great time, but based on this experience, large ship cruising is definitely not our thing. Being active, I think active/adventure type cruising would be more suitable for us. On a final note, we also found that, although it sounds like you have a reasonable amount of time on shore days, the time disappears very quickly, and you don't get to achieve as much as you would like. We hired cars in 3 of the 4 stops, so we could be independent, and whilst we did get out and about, there is time lost getting to the pick up point, doing the paperwork, dropping the car back, getting back to the ship etc, and we calculated that if we had flown to NZ and hired a car for 2 weeks, travelled around NZ independently, staying in nice B&B's, eating great food, and getting in some active pursuits, the cost would have been around the same, we would have been in control of our itinerary ... and we would have had a 14 (not 11) day adventure! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Excellent cruise. The service and entertainment were above average. The shows and games shows were exceptionally well done. Plenty of things to do on board. . The ship was not too small but not too big. Captain, cruise director ... Read More
Excellent cruise. The service and entertainment were above average. The shows and games shows were exceptionally well done. Plenty of things to do on board. . The ship was not too small but not too big. Captain, cruise director and crew were the best. Had a lovely time. .Due to a hurricane we got a couple of extra days on board. The captain and cruise director kept us informed about what was happening and made the stay very relaxing. Our cabin was smaller than expected but the bed was beautiful. We went on this cruise to relax and enjoy the ship. It provided that and more. Plenty of different areas to sit and relax. Love the movie under the stars. Food was good and plenty of variety. We have traveled Holland America mostly before but I think I will be considering Princess from now on. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Outrageous wine prices $44-$60 a bottle profit is on thing but this is a corporate money grab shame on you Princess cruises. Beer one price $8.75 a stubby a glass of wine $11-$15 all other drinks $10.75-$15.75 per glass make sure you ... Read More
Outrageous wine prices $44-$60 a bottle profit is on thing but this is a corporate money grab shame on you Princess cruises. Beer one price $8.75 a stubby a glass of wine $11-$15 all other drinks $10.75-$15.75 per glass make sure you bring plenty of spending money. The meals are great and restaurant service is 5 star,if you are bringing children, single cone ice creams are $5 each, they were free on the Diamond Princess when last cruised. We will be looking for alternative options for our next cruise, do to the excessively drinks cost, these prices are out of control, unfortunately we missed two island stops and a straits cruise,due to bad weather, we are very disappointed, I think the itinerary is more suited for late March onwards do to monsoonal weather conditions, I would not recommend this trip for this time of the year to anyone. We had room service delivered to our cabin which was just perfect. If you enjoy a wine and you are thinking of travelling with Princess cruises, do yourself a favour, and bring your wine with you, and pay the $15 corkage fee, you won’t regret it. The tender service was fluid no real hold ups, the cruise tours are expensive, you usually can do a better deal at dock side. We renewed our vows whilst on board, you will need to pre book, it was an experience of a life time, the captain renewed our vows and signed the certificate, the library was turned into a chapel with all the trimmings, it was truly delightful, I f you want the extra photo package allow $399 extra, also the portraits 20x allow $2100 extra and if you want a truly very professional video allow an extra $1699 Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We have sailed with Princess for 9 voyages, 8 of which were on Sea Princess. Every cruise has been filled with friendly outgoing staff, from the Head Waiters right thru to the Cabin Stewards. We were on the ship straight away and this ... Read More
We have sailed with Princess for 9 voyages, 8 of which were on Sea Princess. Every cruise has been filled with friendly outgoing staff, from the Head Waiters right thru to the Cabin Stewards. We were on the ship straight away and this time our luggage was there about 5 minutes after we arrived. We have had a balcony on every cruise but 1 and would have to recommend these cabins, they are spacious with fridge and a great balcony for some private moments. The entertainment is first class with something for every one's taste. We always go with the traditional dinning, because it allows us to get to know our servers and fellow passangers at our table. Well worth considering. In all the times we have cruised with Princess we have never had one complaint about the service we receive. The staff- even though they have to deal with some INTERESTING clients-always come through with dignity and respect ( much more than I would have). We do not do many of the excursions, but have heard a lot of positive comments. We do not travel with children, but think they must be well looked after because, when we do see them on the ship, they seem to be having a great time. We have only cruised on one other line, and they do not compare to Princess. We wil continue cruising-but only with Princess- for many years to come. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
What a wonderful time!! The food, the service, the entire experience - from start to finish - we loved it all! Even though it was our first cruise and we were told by some others that there were fancier cruises out there, for us it was ... Read More
What a wonderful time!! The food, the service, the entire experience - from start to finish - we loved it all! Even though it was our first cruise and we were told by some others that there were fancier cruises out there, for us it was just spot on. Be sure to read the TIPS below for some helpful hints re:this ship, but the following might answer some general questions. The staff? So helpful, friendly - just such lovely people - from servers, waiters, entertainers, activity hosts, security - they just made the cruise so special for you. The food? The Pantry had great offerings - and this from fussy eaters. Additionally, three great, included restaurants provided an up-market pace. The Dragon Lady offering a range of Asian cuisine from different countries was a fave. Irrespective of venue, the service was was wonderful and helpings were endless. We didn't try the non-included restaurants as we just didn't see the need, but a fellow cruiser raved about the Salt Grill. The crowds? There were families and kids on board but we didn't often see or hear many youngsters; same as there our fair share of baby boomer / grey nomads, but they seemed to party just as hard as their younger counterparts! I think the ship was pretty full but we didn't notice - the occasional wait for a barista coffee, but everything else was reasonable. The entertainment/activities? There seemed lots to do for all ages - sample pages from Good Times pic attached. Towel Animal Parade was a huge surprise (pic attached), as were the Sit-Down Comedy shows (definite crowd pleasers, some R18+ and ID checked). Production shows pretty good; trivia; activities; etc. Plenty to do!! Prices? We were amazed how reasonable things were - $4/$5 for barista coffee & frappe's, lots of cocktails for $12 (some $15-$17), $6.50-$8 for a beer, it was even cheaper for the NZ ice-cream on-board than it was on land in Cairns! All except - bottled water - that was ridiculous, and the photos were expensive, but they were very professional and looked it, so, probably cheaper than land prices. TIPS - water and tea/coffee stations available 24/7 - take a travel mug &/or water bottle so you can take drinks easily from the Pantry back to your room or around the ship; - different spa vouchers & offers were given to rooms daily through out the cruise (most days) - fill out the free raffle tickets in your embarkation booklet but for the spa ticket only tick the areas you actually might use (not what you are 'interested in'); - consider the drinks package - although prices are reasonable, you just tend to drink more than you normally would (even/especially non-alcoholic ones); - check what times tours are leaving so that you can avoid those times yourself for getting on/off at ports; and take a back pack / bag when you go - if taking food off the ship and they see it you're up for hassles - most evening show times tend to be 7pm & 9pm so if booking restaurants consider accordingly - most shows went for ~45 mins - If queuing for a show, level 7 starboard door tended to open first; - don't go early, or late, for safety drill - just when told to do so to save unnecessary waiting; - bring a lanyard for your cruise card (one that can detach at the end easily to hand over your card for swiping); - using the cash kiosks was quick and easy - you can keep an eye on your account via the app available through their intranet - hassle free and no charging to cards, even when checking out, no dramas! - level 6 has the best laundry, all use $1 coins - plus our room had plenty of hangers and a line over the shower; and - check the deck plans carefully if selecting cabins - deck 6 had windows out to the walking track so curtains would have to be kept closed most times; dis/embarking occurred deck 3 & 5 so choose carefully if considering as queuing occurred outside many of these cabins; smokers are outside on deck 6, mid-ship/aft starboard side; deck 10 has restaurant, etc., above and can be noisy; deck 9 was fantastic. Mid-ship best for minimal noise (I'd keep away from stairs/lifts). Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Embarked on pacific aria in the port of Brisbane. 1st time cruisers with p & o so went with a open mind. Not off to a good start as the ship was 6 hours delayed with a rudder problem. We visited ports of noumea, Mare, mystery ... Read More
Embarked on pacific aria in the port of Brisbane. 1st time cruisers with p & o so went with a open mind. Not off to a good start as the ship was 6 hours delayed with a rudder problem. We visited ports of noumea, Mare, mystery island and Vila. We in part was great with the exception of Vila as it rained all day. Enjoyed the ship albeit it is old and in some areas it showed wear and tear. We enjoyed most of the food although the food in the pantry did become monotonous. We did try the waterfront, dragon lady and Angelos restaurants and they were good but not memorable. Public spaces around the ship were nice and we especially enjoyed the blue room. They had a fantastic band playing hightly called highly strung who were superb. Other musicians around the ship we didn't like so much and thought the shows were quite poor in relation to other ships. Staff were all exceptional. All in all the cruise experience was good but could be improved. Would I cruise with aria again, maybe if the itinerary was right for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My Partner and I needed some time out to relax, life has been very hectic and stressful this year! So we decided to take a short cruise to unwind and stay connected. The cruise ship was lovely, I liked the idea of the pantry, it saves ... Read More
My Partner and I needed some time out to relax, life has been very hectic and stressful this year! So we decided to take a short cruise to unwind and stay connected. The cruise ship was lovely, I liked the idea of the pantry, it saves waste, and spreading germs.The restaurants were lovely, food was pretty good. Our first night we were not impressed with the waterfront restaurant, they seemed confused, and service was very slow, our meals which we opted to pay for were below average. We gave it another go on the third and last night and the food was lovely and the service was. Exceptional. Entertainment enjoyable, there was always something to do on board. Loved Christian from South Africa, he did the bingo, he was great, so entertaining and just a happy go lucky person, very pleasant to be around. Most of the staff was friendly, there was a few that looked like they hated their jobs. To sum things up I’d recommend anyone to book the cruise as it was good value for money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I recently took a 4 day cruise to the whitsundays and was impressed with service,friendliness on this cruise ,from the Maitre D' Karthik the exec chef Jose ,restaurant manager Philipe,head waiters and waiters. on deck 10 bar is ... Read More
I recently took a 4 day cruise to the whitsundays and was impressed with service,friendliness on this cruise ,from the Maitre D' Karthik the exec chef Jose ,restaurant manager Philipe,head waiters and waiters. on deck 10 bar is very good atmosphere and enjoyed afternoon drinks,the bars are good but drinks are very pricy $16 for long island tea?? Chefs table was good food was good and portion sizes however wine matching was off the mark. Room steward very invisible and cabin shower not in good operational order. Balcony too small its more like a big window and the bed mattress very hard,cupboard room and hanging space very adequate. I would not go on a longer cruise than 4 days. There are a lot of add on payments ,room service is at a fee and pizzas are too expensive 12.50. and it seems that while you pay a reasonable but not very low price there are other costs added on if you want a bit more. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I wanted to take my wife on her first cruise and decided on the 4 night Airlie beach getaway, it was also our anniversary on the second day of the cruise. Loved the ship and the staff were great. We were made to feel welcome be every ... Read More
I wanted to take my wife on her first cruise and decided on the 4 night Airlie beach getaway, it was also our anniversary on the second day of the cruise. Loved the ship and the staff were great. We were made to feel welcome be every staff member and our cabin boys were great. The problems began with the food at the pantry. The first night I decided to have Chinese (Bad Move) I have no idea what spice they used and if the food was fresh but it left me feeling ill. I could taste that spice for the rest of the week and I felt ill at the thought of it. One night there was a magnificent looking roast beef, so I decided to go for that. The meat was so tough I could not even cut it with a knife never mind chew it. The Yorkshire pudding was a dry biscuit. The second day which was our anniversary, I went to the Waterfront restaurant in the morning to book a table for two for that evening and was informed that booking did not start until 2.30pm. So at 2.30 I wondered back down and was the second in line. I was told that the earliest available table was 7.45pm. Sorry to late for us as we wanted to see the show. Talking to a regular cruiser, I found out that people were booking the waterfront restaurant for the same time each night and that is why we could not get in earlier. We were not informed about this and read somewhere that it had to be booked on a daily basis. The first show was great, all singing but the artists were a pleasure to listen too and the applause was overwhelming. The second show: Singing again by the same cast, just changed the props and songs so more like the fist night, the applause was not as good. The last show we saw was the same again, the same cast singing with different props. Very little applause and people were wandering out. All three shows were the same. It would have been good to have variety shows instead of all singing. (We did have a magician one night though and that got boring after ten minutes. We were very disappointed with the food and entertainment. Again the ship was clean, something always going on and the staff were incredible, We did not have the cabin shown in the photo when booking. Finally - The price of "real" coffee was cheaper than on shore - The photo's were $25 each but a special if you purchased two - Cocktails were around $12 each - There is always something going on - The children always had something to do. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
As experienced Princess customers we looked forward to our Australian Cruise on the Sea Princess. On the positive side crewmembers were friendly, efficient and attentive to the passengers. However, The Sea Princess is a poorly designed ... Read More
As experienced Princess customers we looked forward to our Australian Cruise on the Sea Princess. On the positive side crewmembers were friendly, efficient and attentive to the passengers. However, The Sea Princess is a poorly designed vessel. Unlike other Princess ships the buffet dining venue is all the way forward at the topmost part of the ship making it more subject to ship motion, not the ideal situation when trying to eat. The lack of an elevator midship’s causes extensive walking to either the bow or the stern in order to get from the lower to the uppermost decks. Not the most considerate design considering the aging populace presently cruising. Again, unlike other Princess vessels, when configured for a double bed, the inside cabins are so poorly designed as to leave less than 6 inches between the bottom corner of one side of the bed and the closet which makes for tricky navigation if one wants to use the bathroom in the middle of the night without having to crawl over your bed partner. Also, unlike other Princess vessels, the free soft serve ice cream and pizza stations normally found on the Lido deck have been replaced by an ice cream for purchase concession (no more free ice cream on demand) while the pizza by the slice station has been replaced with a sit down “Café” pizza facility midship’s. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes half an hour to get seated at this “café” and then an additional half hour to get a pizza. Although the pizza itself remains free it is presented on a menu wherein many other choices are presented for a fee. In general, we found the food on this ship quite unremarkable although there are an increasing number of “specialty” restaurants costing additional fees. In fact, they have converted half the buffet dining venue to a specialty for fee restaurant. We certainly hope that this is not a portend of things to come on Princess ships. If so it is a clear message that the cruising experience is giving way to increasing the opportunities to extract as much money from passengers as possible by reducing amenities as well as the quality of “free” dining and increasing the incessant opportunities to purchase jewelry and artwork. You probably guessed we did not enjoy this cruising experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We have done 10 cruises before this, all small expensive boutique cruises. It was time for a short break and in desperation booked on the Aria for a seven night cruise. All the negative reviews and media did not help our stress levels, ... Read More
We have done 10 cruises before this, all small expensive boutique cruises. It was time for a short break and in desperation booked on the Aria for a seven night cruise. All the negative reviews and media did not help our stress levels, but we needed a quick break. We were in for a massive surprise. Our balcony suite was really nice, all the staff friendly and helpful. Entertainment was great. We loved the food. Salt is a must. Dragon Lady and Angelos were also good. My favorite was the Pantry. I used to grab a plate and walked around picking my favorite bit from every stall. Waterfront is average to good. Only one negative, if you like your eggs perfect its going to be hit and miss. The ship is very accessible for the disabled and there were heaps of people in wheelchairs having a great time like all the others. We only had a long queue to get on the ship, but its the same as when we fly international. This is mainly due to people not following their embarkation times and showing up whenever they want to. The one other issue raised in the past is the ship not catering for smokers. This is not true anymore as deck 12 has a great spot high up for the smokers with the Dome Bar just inside to grab a cocktail. We had 100km/h winds and 6 meter swells on the way back from Vanuatu. The ship coped magnificently with only a small amount of rolling and pitching considering the weather. (I am an ex naval officer who has spend a lot of time at sea in different ships and atrocious conditions.) All in all it was the best value holiday we ever had. We will be back. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We have cruised many times on various cruise lines including the Costa, Carnival, Celebrity, NCL and HAL almost always in a suite or penthouse product. This was our first time on a P and O. To be honest we have previously avoided cruising ... Read More
We have cruised many times on various cruise lines including the Costa, Carnival, Celebrity, NCL and HAL almost always in a suite or penthouse product. This was our first time on a P and O. To be honest we have previously avoided cruising out of Brisbane even though we live nearby in Noosa. We read the negative reviews about this ship and expected the worst but instead found it really great value for our cruise on the Aria to Noumea, Mare and Port Villa. I encourage you not to believe the other negative reviews about this ship. I will tell you why. The refurb is fantastic. The public areas are clean and have sophisticated decor. The ship is an old HAL ship and the layout is a smaller version of the Noordam. Yes the ship is worn in a few places like some of the chair arms and bath tubs, but if you think that is horrible and will ruin your cruise, then really what are you doing here anyway? The staff on board were all happy, friendly and helpful. We have been on ships where the staff don't smile and are worn out and show it. (Like the Celebrity Millennium where the staff were rude and our room wasn't cleaned upon arrival, during the cruise and we could write our names and play naughts and crosses on the dirt and grease on the glass coffee table!) For this cruise we decided to try the suite category at $2200 each including the drinks package. It was worth every cent! We were welcomed aboard with a complimentary bottle of champagne and fresh fruit bowl. Our room was spacious and the attendants Mannix and Jayson were friendly, approachable and fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble. If you ask, they unpack for you but we normally do that ourselves. Like the rest of the ship the room was spotless. The extra large balcony was perfect for us as we sometimes get a little freaked out by the heights of bigger ships but on the Aria the huge space enabled us to feel safe. There were two sun lounges and a table for four so it too was spacious. We ate our room service breakfast (free for suite guests) every morning enjoying the spectacular views. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that except for snacks like peanuts etc and drinks the rest of the room service menu is free for suite guests. After a day onshore pjs, room service and movie is perfect. This cruise was incredible value for money in the suite category especially when compared to other cruise lines. The only thing missing was a proper butler and concierge. Having said that, the main reception and shore tours desks were never crowded when we went there. Our room attendants were just as good as a butler anyway. We really wanted to review the food here. By comparison to HAL and Carnival the food was better. If you can't find several nice things to eat on this ship you must be too well done for. The Pantry offers wonderful, plentiful options and the food was suitably hot. This concept of being served the food is fantastic. On other ships where the food is self served in this casual eating option, we always have the fear of everyone else who isn't hygienic touching the utensils. Not on this ship! Other reviews have commented on dessert being 'mass' produced. Seriously with 1200 guests and 600 crew any food offering is mass produced! The desserts on board were on par with every other ship we have cruised with including the penthouse products on the NCL. We weren't impressed with Salt as much as we thought we would be. The custard dessert was exactly the same as the Pantry and The Waterfront Brûlée custard and the Agnolotti was greasy. Angelos was, however, spectacular and Dragonlady wonderful too. The food on board was the same standard as all of the complimentary eating areas we have had on the other ships we have been on. Overall this cruise was excellent value for money. Let's add it up. Clean stylish accomodations, spa bath, robes, slippers, welcome champagne, fruit, afternoon canapés and complimentary wine and soft drink when served, free laundry, free room service, free drinks, complimentary high tea in your suite, Nespresso coffee machine, priority disembarkation and embarkation and it results in a value for money for product. The destinations were great but as we got to Noumea late the shore excursions were cancelled. Of course there were disgruntled passengers however most agreed it was a good excuse to come back again! We came on this cruise to give it a go. It was a nice smooth cruise. If you are use to superior ships like NCL and Celebrity suite categories of course the amenities on the Aria suite aren't as luxurious. But it is a third of the cost, and given that, this is a great price, great product, and great destinations. Great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Sea Princess New Zealand Cruise 4-18 Jan 2018 CABIN A620 Norovirus Sea Princess motto should be changed from "Come back new" to "Come back poor and barely alive". Having had twelve cruises with several cruise ... Read More
Sea Princess New Zealand Cruise 4-18 Jan 2018 CABIN A620 Norovirus Sea Princess motto should be changed from "Come back new" to "Come back poor and barely alive". Having had twelve cruises with several cruise lines we are fairly aware of what to expect when cruising. We saw news headlines stating that the Sea Princess had had approximately 200 passengers ill with the norovirus but measures were being undertaken to disinfect/sanitise the ship while returning to Brisbane and while in port prior to departure for the cruise we were booked on. Considering how infectious and dangerous this virus is my wife and I boarded the ship with some confidence that the crew had undertaken a rigorous cleaning of the ship. We also disinfected our cabin with Glenn 20 as an added precaution. All went well until late on day four when I came down with the Norvovirus. Obviously somebody had not been as rigorous as they should have been when cleaning the ship. During the next four days I was very ill, visiting ships doctor on several occasions, had two cannula's inserted for various reasons, high temperature and anti vomiting medication. All of these visits amounted to over $1000 in medical fees and included a $3.88 charge for an adult nappy when I asked for one to protect the new mattress that Princess were boasting about and had just installed as part of the recent refit the ship had undergone. Part of the treatment for norovirus is isolation of the passengers, but during the entire time I had the virus my wife still shared toiled facilities, shower and hand basin, but.. she was still allowed to roam the ship, go ashore, eat in all restaurants attend the theatre etc. This to me indicated how little the ships senior officers understood the word "isolation" and the contempt they showed to fellow passengers on the ship, some of whom were recovering from chemotherapy, aged and young children. You would think after only a week or so since the first outbreak they would have made wiser decisions. While I could go on about the lack of concern from senior staff who were quick to ignore the illness we had it on good authority that I was not the only case, but when staff were questioned their silence said it all. Once partly recovered with three ports remaining I was well enough to make the following observations on this cruise. a. If you are coming for romantic dinners in the more upper class restaurants ie. Traviata, Rigoletto forget it. Tables for two are practically non existent, and your choice is "Shared dining" or "shared dining". Initially shared dining was satisfactory but as the cruise progressed table numbers went from 6 to 12. Very hard to eat when the person next to you has their elbow in your soup. Food very average b. If you needed Senior staff (if there were any) were very scarce. I also noted while you are not spending money on excursions you receive notes asking why not but if you are on your death bed with an illness no one comes near, not even a note to ask if you are feeling better. As all novovirus have to be reported ignorance is not an excuse. c. Starboard side of ship deck 7 near where smokers hang out, be prepared for foulest sewer smell you can get. Some nights this stench actually made it up to deck 11 and we had to close our door. d. Food served at salmonella bar, oops! Horizon Court Buffet very average except for vegetable soup, which was served under several different names throughout the cruise. We also noted cold meats, cheeses and salads were placed in serving areas at least one to two hours before service began (good luck eating that). e. New mattresses, while comfortable, were hot to sleep on. Luckily we had a balcony so opening the door, when the sewer stench was blowing the other way, solved this problem. Those passengers with inside cabins that we talked to were not so lucky complaining about hot mattresses. Pillows smelt of sweat on a few occasions and on two days the sheets had some not pretty stains on them. f. Shows on the Sea Princess that I was able to watch were very disappointing except for one. I think there were no shows for the first two nights because cast were rehearsing, surely this should have been done before the cruise started. Last night no show so if my maths are right that is 22% of nights no shows. Theatre very small so unless you arrived 45 minutes before start of show no seats were available. You could go view show on a large screen but this just gave the crew more opportunity to load you up with very expensive drinks. All in all this is one cruise line that cares little for its paying passengers and is very much overpriced for what you get. The services, food, entertainment are average at best and the ship, while it looks good on the surface is showing its age, rust is not removed it is painted over unlike other cruise ships we have been on where great care to ongoing maintenance is taken. My closing comment is if you choose to cruise with Princess don't say you were not warned. This cruise nearly put us of cruising for life. We will be sailing with more reputable lines that we are familiar with in the future. Recommend this line if you need to lose weight, I lost over 3 kilos when I had the virus. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise to get a taste of New Zealand & because we had been advised the Sea Princess was a beautiful ship. After sailing with P&O & MSC prior to this cruise however, we were a little disappointed with our ... Read More
We chose this cruise to get a taste of New Zealand & because we had been advised the Sea Princess was a beautiful ship. After sailing with P&O & MSC prior to this cruise however, we were a little disappointed with our experience on the Sea Princess. Aside from the outbreak of the norovirus, which we fortunately didn't catch, the restaurant menu was very disappointing. It hardly seemed to change whereas other cruises we've been on had theme nights of food on the menu. The food was quite plain & inedible at times. We decided to eat in the buffet mostly, but even though there was lots to choose from, it was always the same. Our outside cabin was quite small. Here again on P&O and MSC we always had a couch in our cabin, but only one tub chair on the Sea Princess (for 2 people) and just as well we're not large people because there wasn't any room to spare either side of the bed. A point of caution, be careful to choose a cabin of 55 sq ft, not a 47 sq ft cabin. Our steward did a great job of getting around our bed to make it each morning. Still don't know how he did it. The ship also lacked shops so not much to browse. The staff on the ship were very good so no complaints there. The entertainment in the theatre was excellent. There was no one monitoring the library, so considering the outbreak of the norovirus, it was concerning to see the turnover of books without any cleansing the book covers. Also one of the cabin boys advised us they're not allowed to wear gloves when cleaning the cabins because passengers would question why they need to wear gloves. My query is, why are they NOT wearing gloves when there's an outbreak of the norovirus. Also, why were they not wearing protective clothing when entering each cabin, for their own protection, as well as the passengers. I wear gloves when cleaning my house. The cruise line needs to review their health & hygiene policies. This cruise has definitely ended our cruising days. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We had to cancel our 4x4 trip to the Simpson desert. I was looking forward to this trip , the car was ready and the bags was packed. Then my husband had to have an emergency hip replacement. This would have been his 3 in just 5 months. ... Read More
We had to cancel our 4x4 trip to the Simpson desert. I was looking forward to this trip , the car was ready and the bags was packed. Then my husband had to have an emergency hip replacement. This would have been his 3 in just 5 months. Holding back the tears with the lump in your throat as the specialist explains the procedure once more , To help my husband to heal I thought of a cruise, he got the ok from the doctor and all I had to do was book. ITS THE BEST THING WE HAVE EVER DONE LAST MINUTE CRUISE. Was relaxing , healing , exciting , it gave us something to look forward to. Booking the cruise was easy , I had a cruise booked within weeks. Our cabin was perfect, especially the cabin crew. They made us laugh everyday. We ate breakfast and dinner in the restaurant every morning and night, and enjoyed every meal. We had a ball with the passengers as they where all friendly. My husband and I was able to visit the islands as disembarking was easy . For the entertainment well , we only watched a few. As we enjoyed sitting by the bar playing the games and chatting with other passengers . We had a ball. This cruise was healing, exciting, relaxing , comfortable and very friendly Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This is our 2nd cruise on the Aria and 9th cruise overall. We've sailed with many different lines, some 5 star so I feel we can compare fairly with other cruises on offer from Australia. We booked this 4 night cruise to Hamilton ... Read More
This is our 2nd cruise on the Aria and 9th cruise overall. We've sailed with many different lines, some 5 star so I feel we can compare fairly with other cruises on offer from Australia. We booked this 4 night cruise to Hamilton Island and back to Brisbane for a great price when P&O were having one of their many online sales. I think we paid less than $100 AUD a night when they were trying to fill cabins. We sailed with 2 other couples, and our cabin was 4216 interior on deck 4. We don't spend a lot of time in our cabin and it was nice being down low for the quiet and stability, particularly on our last night which was quite rough coming back into a storm in Brisbane. (My husband took 2 Kwells and slept through the whole thing, lol..) We've been on this ship before and love the classy refurb done a couple of years ago and have always found the un-refurbished cabins spacious, clean and comfortable - we had our 10 yr old sharing with us last time. I was interested to see how things have changed for the better or worse since our cruise on Aria last June. We booked our dinner reservations as soon as we got on board at the Monkey Bar outside Angelos and Dragon Lady. We got all the evenings and times we wanted. Dragon Lady was absolutely fantastic - the restaurant's decor is amazing, our server Mary-Beth was great and the food has really improved on last time. There was a perfect amount of time in between each course which is a big improvement on last time. A tip though - the portions are on the smaller side so we ordered 2 entrees each and some extra mains and it was great to try different flavours and share. Angelos was lovely too, great atmosphere and tasty food - not 5 star, but perfect service and lovely wine selections. My husband loved his lamb shank and the salmon was good. Waterfront is still pretty good - some tasty dishes and great service. They really try hard. I notice other cruisers have complained about dishes coming out cold. This only happened once to us in 5 days - my husband's egg benedict on our last morning came out cold and dried out like it had been pre-cooked and left sitting. Disappointing as the restaurant was nearly empty but he ordered 2 other things off the menu for breakfast that morning so he was quite satisfied. We didn't try Salt this time - we were going to do it on our last night but it was quite rough and some of our group were feeling a little queasy, so we cancelled. Although it was superb last June. The Pantry is in my opinion a good option for a quick lunch or dinner. It can be tricky getting a table, but the food is tasty and never cold - not sure why people have complained about this..? The Indian curries are to die for, the Mexican made to order tacos and burritos good too and on the other side you can pick up a cheese platter to enjoy by the pool with your drinks in the afternoon. The only disappointment was desserts at the Pantry - they were mass-produced and tasteless. But generally the Pantry is good and with staff serving you over the counter it keeps wastage and hygiene in check and the staff are lovely. The ship is being well maintained - decks and railings were being re-painted and varnished during our cruise and deck chairs had new cushions rotating each day. Entertainment - there was a FANTASTIC band on board (apparently they are finishing up with P&O at the end of the year after many many years) called Alter Ego. They are 4 very talented Asian guys and they played every request the audience threw at them - from Elvis to Jimmy Barnes! They had the entire Ocean Bar up dancing on the very first night! The Gatsby party (on every cruise) in the nightclub is so much fun. Do yourselves a favour and dress up! Girls - cocktail dress and a feather headband from Lovisa... Guys - black and white trousers/shirt/tie/suspenders/hat combo... it's not hard. They had everyone up there in the nightclub with Alter Ego playing. I saw 19 year olds to 90 year olds on the dance floor. They also hand around complimentary champagne. Also go to the Gatsby dance classes earlier that day to learn the dances to do that night. I love the acoustic guitar/singing at the Oasis adults only pool/bar deck at the back of the ship every afternoon from 4pm - very chilled and relaxing. They had a more upbeat band playing around the Lido deck which suited the atmosphere there with a few children in the pool and a bit more noise around. In comparison with Carnival, who we sailed with in April this year to Tahiti, P&O do this much better. They really maximise the best out of each area and put on some great bands in appropriate areas and parties too and get everyone involved. The shows in the theatre were pretty good, on 2nd last night we had a comedian Peter Krause I'd seen before using the same material (yawn..) but the stand out was a talented trio of 3 girls from Victoria who sang songs from the 50's and 60's with a great routine going on. All the buggies were booked out so we walked around Hamilton Island shops, visited the yacht club, pool areas and beach and wandered back to the boat. Some guests did the Reefworld day trip etc but we'd been before and actually enjoyed the atmosphere at the Oasis deck on the back of the ship compared to the public pool area at Hamilton. One of our gripes with P&O is the watered down spirits and cocktails.. particularly at the pool bars.. not impressed when you are paying $9 for a rum & coke. Maybe stick to beer and wine if this is an issue. The lifts were mainly all operating well (except when they are moving guests' luggage to where it needs to go). The gym and day spa is a great area, although we didn't use it this time. Good coffee and T2 tea is available from Ocean Bar and the Ice-cream shop on the Lido deck at reasonable prices. The Grill on the Lido deck has unbelievable pulled pork burgers if you're still hungry..! All in all we had a great 4 night cruise for unbelievable value and we felt like we'd been away for a week! We were lucky with the weather until the last afternoon/night but the Captain warned us and they modified the evening's activities and most retired early to their cabins. As he predicted, at exactly 1am we entered calm water and sailed back into Brisbane. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth, hardly any waiting. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Just returned from 10 day cruise in Pacific. Overall very nice made more special by Renewing our Vows on board. To start with embarkation was as expected a little busy with a later than normal boarding due to extra sanitisation taking ... Read More
Just returned from 10 day cruise in Pacific. Overall very nice made more special by Renewing our Vows on board. To start with embarkation was as expected a little busy with a later than normal boarding due to extra sanitisation taking place. The average age of cruisers would have been around 70 ,even though we are a lot younger made no difference to us . We chose anytime dining which I understand is relatively new on board and can recommend this as we got to meet new people most nights with great conversation had. Entertainment most nights was very good with special guests coming on board and the usual Princess singers and dancers in between. We had most breakfasts and lunches at Horizons ( ok only) and we choose specialty restaurants for dinners. Special mention to Stirling Steakhouse , very nice indeed. We did go on any Princess organised shore excursions, instead either went for walks or organised our our private excursions which suited our needs and more importantly our budget. Special mention to the staff who organised our Renewal of Vows package, cannot speak highly enough of them , very highly recommended to those considering. Did not use the gym but it looked spacious with plenty of equipment and nice view out to sea. On the last night we watched movie under the stars for something different, can recommend if you need quieter night or if travelling with younger ones. The ship itself overall was very nice ( staff great) with everything functioning and working, did not witness and issues. It is getting a little tired but did not detract from overall experience. Will we go again , yes absolutely. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Why can't their be an area that is not focused on alcohol. What ever happened to family dance night where there is no bar or alcohol involved. As a family we love all activities. We paid for the gold tickets for the adventure park ... Read More
Why can't their be an area that is not focused on alcohol. What ever happened to family dance night where there is no bar or alcohol involved. As a family we love all activities. We paid for the gold tickets for the adventure park and our children couldn't use their tickets because the adventure park office didn't open until the third day of cruising. We have one adult daughter, three teenaged youth and one under 12 child. We don't drink neither do our children. We participated in all the dress up parties but they were overcrowded. If you had children you had to sit it out because they couldn't come join in the fun it's not appropriate to have alcohol around them. Every floor had a bar and the cruise parties were alcohol focused and we didn't want our son or youth around that. We took our son up to the children's den and there was nothing up their for him to do. Overall, the food, staff and accommodation was good but it would have been perfect if there were options for non-alcohol drinking adults and there adult children. We wanted to listen to the comedy but that was in the bar. We wanted to watch a family movie but there was bingo in the auditorium. Disappointed with not enough options for families. We went swimming after breakfast and guess what everyone is drinking alcohol. Went to spend time in the spa pool, well they were drinking their too. My son wants to cruise again soon, but the alcohol focus is a turn off for me. Our bathroom had built in dirt in the hand basin. Two adults in our group complained about hitting their head on the upper bunk bed. No towels for the swimming area. Including myself. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The cabin was tired and old looking. Looked as if the room was decorated in the 70's. There was a bath which didn't work however you had to climb into it to use the shower. The outdoor chairs on the balcony were old. Overall the ... Read More
The cabin was tired and old looking. Looked as if the room was decorated in the 70's. There was a bath which didn't work however you had to climb into it to use the shower. The outdoor chairs on the balcony were old. Overall the size of the cabin and bathroom was good. Cabin staff were friendly but kept knocking on the door in the ending to see when you were,going for dinner so they could turn down the sheets. The food was the most disappointing aspect...cheap, highly processed and over cooked and often cold. I was amazed you don't hear of mass food poisoning. The "new look Pantry" was dismal worse than a bad food court. The Waterfront Restaurant 'fine dining' was a joke. The Sal Grill which you pay an extra $49 each wasn't bad but lacked finesse and was disappointed that you then had to pay for the tea/coffee at the end. The Chefs Table which was an extra $100 each was good. The outdoor hot tubs looked like a cesspool of germs and I never seen the water quality checked once. The pools were too cold to swim in. Enrichment Activities were geared to the overweight, nothing more than a hard sell to get them to buy detox or weight loss programs on the ship. The staff were under trained. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Were looking forward to a lovely 3 day vacation on the Pacific dawn after a disastrous cruise on same ship last year. Where there was a major Domestic violence issue in the balcony cabin next door to us, which lasted 9 hours and repeated ... Read More
Were looking forward to a lovely 3 day vacation on the Pacific dawn after a disastrous cruise on same ship last year. Where there was a major Domestic violence issue in the balcony cabin next door to us, which lasted 9 hours and repeated phone calls to security. This ended in which a customers luggage and handbag were thrown overboard. P&O were kind enough to give my partner and myself $100 cabin credit to say sorry and enjoy on our next cruise. So as we had mentioned this when we booked this cruise we thought that we would be well looked after to build lost confidence in P&O after last year fiasco... well it didn't. We got to our cabin 9231 and it stunk of vomit, so we said that's not a good start from P&O, so we went to reception only to find out that they had no spare cabin and we'd have to put up with it. One of our party is chemical insensitive so carpet shampoo couldn't be used. Yes P&O did try to get rid of the smell but couldn't, the worst part of the this is you cant go to your cabin to chill because of the smell... We put up with it that night, here's the clincher, after breakfast and a few activities we went back to the room only to find they had ripped up the old carpet and relayed new carpet with GLUE with fumes that really stunk and made breathing hard and gave you really bad headaches after few minutes. As I said having a member of our party that is allergic to chemicals we were furious. Back of to reception and another we cant help you you'll have to put up with it again. They did use and ioniser which help a bit, but once again we could go back toi the cabin when we wanted because of the smell. Arrghhh... To wrap things up two of the other party we moved to another new cabin 8184 while My partner and I we stuck in the stinky cabin with breathing issues and headaches for the rest of the cruise and even after we got off for a few days, To this stage I have written to P&O twice and have no response from them yet, so lets wait and see how they can gain our confidence back after another problematic cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Was a bit apprehensive before the trip as I wasn't sure about the hole cruise thing. The Pacific Dawn was a spacious comfortable ship with lots to do. The cabin was a window twin cabin. It was spacious and clean with a wardrobe, safe, ... Read More
Was a bit apprehensive before the trip as I wasn't sure about the hole cruise thing. The Pacific Dawn was a spacious comfortable ship with lots to do. The cabin was a window twin cabin. It was spacious and clean with a wardrobe, safe, tv, phone, and fridge. There was an ensuite which was small but adequate. Regi and Nathaniel were our room stewards and seemed to work endlessly. They were very friendly and nice people. The dining options were good. Don't expect Michelin star restaurants, but the food and service was good for the cost of the cruise. There were shows and musical entertainment in various parts of the ship every day and it was of a good standard. The service onboard was efficient and very friendly, although the bartenders seemed a little overwhelmed at times. The Pacific Island Hopper visited Noumea, Lifou Island and Port Vila. There were plenty of tours you could pre book on board and also when you goy ashore you could book then. It was a very enjoyable trip. So good in fact, we booked another cruise before we left. Highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017

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