107 Brisbane Senior Cruise Reviews

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
We’ve done a few cruises with other liners and they were so much better than the Princess if you are between 70 - 90 yrs old, then this slow paced ship is designed for you it was boring. The same program almost every day. The constant ... Read More
We’ve done a few cruises with other liners and they were so much better than the Princess if you are between 70 - 90 yrs old, then this slow paced ship is designed for you it was boring. The same program almost every day. The constant pushing and harassment to get you to buy on board all the very overpriced things suggesting markdowns, discounts, buy buy buy! The staff are friendly enough, it’s not their fault, it’s the sales pitch their forced to do. Raffles to win was one way to get you in. There were many ‘evemts’ Daily, enticed to get you to buy more! This never happened on the other cruises. The food was also boring. No variety. I’ve been on a few cruises and this one has to be the worst when it comes to selection or choices. If you want lactose free milk, you had to ask for it especially. It was never an option next to the breakfasts where it should be. There were no lactose free cheese, yoghurt or ice cream. Yeti when we booked we were given the option to select food requirements and this was suggested that it was already a part of their every day food choices! I received an email stating that lactose free will be available. For gluten free needs, there was one little section with the same food in it daily! I’m not gluten free but would hate to be as 8 know someone with coeliacs disease and she gets very sick if she eats gluten! So having such very little food options would be a dreadfully long cruise with the boring selections! It reawas very disappointing. I’m never a complainer with anything and will always make do with what we have but this really needed to be mentioned! The movies by the stars, was a huge screen at the end of an open deck pool area. So you can imagine how noisy it was! You couldn’t watch a movie at all during the day as you couldn’t hear it, it was just noise in the background over people talking loudly or kids in the pool. The evening movies were better but you had to fight to get a good spot to see it clearly as most of the deck chairs were on the level of the pool and they had this fountain in the middle (which was never used except for special events!) and you had to battle to see through rails, bars, decorative trees and so on. So it was really poorly designed to see around it. The best seats were near the smokers deck and we had to put up with inhaling their second hand smoke or sit somewhere we couldn’t see the screen well! The theatre where we had most of the main entrainment held, was badly designed. If weren’t lined up an hour early, you were either unlucky to get a seat at all, or got one of the crappy seats on the front several rows to either side which you couldn’t see the show anyway! That’s when the seats were not broken! For a new ship, I really felt there was so much poor design of the layout. Other than all of this, I did find that most of the staff were wonderful! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
To give this review some context we are somewhat experienced cruisers having been three times on RCL, twice on Carnival and once on Celebrity, three of those cruises were for nineteen nights and the rest shorter. Pacific Dawn is an ... Read More
To give this review some context we are somewhat experienced cruisers having been three times on RCL, twice on Carnival and once on Celebrity, three of those cruises were for nineteen nights and the rest shorter. Pacific Dawn is an older and smaller ship than most we’d been on but after the refurbishment the interior of the ship is typical of most ships and in good condition. The ship had recently been affected by Cyclone Oma so there were more than the usual signs of surface rust showing, the crew were always painting whenever conditions allowed. Cruise ships are like aircraft they are constantly in use, a docked cruise ship is just eating money, so a quick turnaround is always the norm, this necessitates maintenance being done whilst a ship is on a cruise. Overall, we thought the Pacific Dawn was well maintained and in good condition considering its age. Our cabin was a suite (SA) on deck eleven, it was very comfortable, the carpets and everything that wasn’t nailed down had been replaced during the refurbishment. That said we aren’t 5 Star travellers, preferring budget airlines and better rooms in 4 star hotels instead of standard rooms in 5 star hotels. Without question the best thing about this ship are the crew, an amazing bunch of people, they were always, friendly, smiling and helpful. We ate in both the Main Dining Room and The Pantry as well as room service breakfasts on most mornings, the room service breakfasts were excellent as were some of the meals in the other two venues, however we felt that choices in the MDR were somewhat limited and seemed designed more to impress than please, a lady on an adjacent table received a turkey breast that was so tough she couldn’t cut it and it was replaced by another, somewhat better but still tough. Some of the meals were excellent, barramundi in filo pastry, Italian meat balls and lasagne with quinoa spring to mind, my wife who is less adventurous found most of the meals a bit too exotic and settled for soup and desert on many nights, she was obviously disappointed (her waistline wasn’t!) Here again the staff were excellent! Our experience in the Pantry was similar with their breakfasts quite good when we ate there but on occasions the food was pretty ordinary, on the first day I had an Asian dish with beef that was very tough, on another occasion they had a lot of cinnamon and sugar donuts which looked lovely but required some serious chewing to eat. On the other hand the fish and chips were excellent, the deserts were variable some good some not so good which pretty much sums up the food generally. The Pantry is an excellent concept as long as it is well staffed and in our experience it was, there is no doubt that having all of the food served from behind glass will limit the gastro problem as people can’t drop a spoon on the floor and put it back, taste food off the spoon and put it back etc etc as is sometimes seen in the traditional buffets. The eating areas are also divided into smaller areas which avoids that cafeteria feeling of some ships. We had drinks before dinner most nights in the Cocktail Bar on deck seven overlooking the Atrium, the service was good but they repeatedly ran out of martini glasses and had to serve them in a wine glass and a beer glass was no where to be seen. Pretty poor form for a cocktail bar. Like all cruises common sense is required if you don’t want to search for a table in the Pantry don’t go at peak times, the same can be said for going ashore by tender, after all it’s a holiday, will another half hour ruin your day? We didn’t go to any shows but we did go ashore in Alotau to the Cultural Festival which was excellent, didn’t in Kitava because it rained on and off, Rabaul was a fascinating place and really took some getting used to because people would come up to you, introduce themselves and thank you for visiting Rabaul, one of those situations that invariably invokes the “what are you selling response” but these people were genuine and a refreshing change to the usual run of spivs and hawkers you come across on shore visits. We also went ashore in Kiriwina and had a swim as well. All of the islands were worth a visit but be sure to have reef shoes, the coral can be very sharp, even on some of the beaches. Regardless of the ups and downs we enjoyed our cruise to PNG, there were a good range of people on board, a few children but overall a well-behaved and friendly crowd. Would we cruise again with P & O? Probably not, but we choose cruises by itinerary and when we booked this was one of few cruises going to PNG, that has now changed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We had heard from many friends how good Princess cruises were so we booked one. The first three days to New Zealand were cancelled because of Cyclone OMA. Staff were caring and efficient . Our cabin boy BILLY could not have more polite or ... Read More
We had heard from many friends how good Princess cruises were so we booked one. The first three days to New Zealand were cancelled because of Cyclone OMA. Staff were caring and efficient . Our cabin boy BILLY could not have more polite or committed to his work. Our cabin was kept in a pristine state morning and afternoon. Food was of a very high standard with many different choices daily. There was no time to get bored with such an interesting array of dishes and different cuisines. Nightly entertainment and shows were varied and extremely well performed. Shore tours were well organised and enjoyable. Our cruise director Lyn was a wonderful ambassador for Princess oozing personality and professionalism. The daily programme was jam packed with interesting and fun things to do. The assistant cruise directors were multi talented and loads of fun as well. We cant wait to book our next cruise on the Sea Princess. Lynda and Fred from BRISBANE Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We had a three day delay and security technical difficulties on boarding with our NZ cruise from Brisbane but Princess Cruises did everything to make it up to us with refunds and discounts. We were so happy with the "crew" ... Read More
We had a three day delay and security technical difficulties on boarding with our NZ cruise from Brisbane but Princess Cruises did everything to make it up to us with refunds and discounts. We were so happy with the "crew" everyone was so helpful and friendly. It was hugs all round when we sadly disembarked, just like leaving family. It was as if the "powers that be" said sorry for the delay and here is the best weather you could ever hope for, Seriously it was like cruising on a lake. The cabin was nice and the bed, doona and pillows were so soft, like sleeping on a cloud. I loved the food especially the buffet restaurant and pizza. With three sea days I thought I might be bored and took books, magazines (never read one) and crochet to do but I had SO much I wanted to do and sometimes three things at the same time so it was difficult to choose. I absolutely would go again - we did the same cruise 5 years ago and still I would love to go again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We were supposed to cruise on the 24th February, but a cyclone off the Brisbane coast stopped that. We managed to get out of port on the 27th instead. Great communication from Princess but alas we missed the South Island of NZ as a result. ... Read More
We were supposed to cruise on the 24th February, but a cyclone off the Brisbane coast stopped that. We managed to get out of port on the 27th instead. Great communication from Princess but alas we missed the South Island of NZ as a result. But NZ put on its very best weather for us. It was like Queensland, beautiful one day, perfect the next. I loved the new beds they’ve been on about. Very comfy. 2 fabulous comedians on board keeping us entertained and in stitches. The show band was also very entertaining. I’m doing this cruise again soon, this time hopefully I’ll get to see the South Island. The food was brilliant, I asked for anytime dining and being alone, I met new people every night. The menu was varied and food was plentiful, Lobster Tails, Atlantic Salmon, Beef Wellington, Lamb, New York Steak. And then the entrees and desserts. I think I overindulged a bit. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We found the embarkation to be okay but it didn't run as smoothly as Sydney. ( our hometown). The ship Aria we found to be very small compared to other cruise ships we have been on. These are the points we enjoyed about the boat. ... Read More
We found the embarkation to be okay but it didn't run as smoothly as Sydney. ( our hometown). The ship Aria we found to be very small compared to other cruise ships we have been on. These are the points we enjoyed about the boat. * Small & intimate - easy to get around. * Pools were never crowded so easy to get a deckchair . Deck 10 pool was empty most of the time so great for relaxing. We just didn't like the chairs as very uncomfortable. * Bars all had a nice ambience especially the Blue Room. * Limited children onboard. Dining - the best All we can say is thank goodness for Salt Grill Restaurant as we dined there most evenings . The food & service were outstanding for a cruise ship. We also loved the Chef's table - excellent yummy degustation with interesting people. So, so - restaurants. Dragonlady - food was cold & horrible... the worst restaurant on the ship. The Waterfront - okay food but the menu didn't change which made it boring. Ambience & atmosphere, service was excellent. Angelo's - okay but nothing to write about. Just average. The Pantry - Not enough seats - horrible dining experience. We felt like we were living in a boarding school. However; we did like the salad bar & curry bar the best. Breakfast - on our balcony which was blissful although the food was pretty ordinary. Casino - We found the staff to be unfriendly & unhelpful . We did have a few wins on the roulette table & pokies which made our evenings fun. Entertainment - good quality entertainment. We enjoyed the comedy shows the best. Service - Level 10 staff were fabulous - especially our butlers. Great having free laundry done everyday & our ice delivered to the room. Drink package - we wished we hadn't brought it as we found it hard to use it up everyday. Overall - We did enjoy our cruise, especially having a suite & dining at Salt Restaurant which made our cruise more memorable. We also loved visiting PNG islands , villages, schools & hospital. A suite is a MUST on this ship.... Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My sister and I live apart and she organised this cruise, my first, so we could enjoy a holiday away together. From the moment we went on board I found the staff and crew very friendly, courteous and only to willing to assist if necessary. ... Read More
My sister and I live apart and she organised this cruise, my first, so we could enjoy a holiday away together. From the moment we went on board I found the staff and crew very friendly, courteous and only to willing to assist if necessary. The Cruise Director was brilliant, the entertainment was great. Food was delicious, Room service ( cabin boy ) very friendly, helpful and always available. Movie under the Stars was great. Photographers and photo shop staff exceptional, waiting staff excellent. Was plenty of activities to chose from if you wanted or else quiet time in the library or sitting around the pool. The pools and there were plenty to chose from were very clean and well kept and there was plenty of sitting room available around them. Would highly recommend Princess Cruise ship to friends and family and with a bit of luck maybe I will get to do another in the future Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise as it departed from Brisbane and we had mutual friends already going. Our first impressions were of poor service. Especially in the bars. Servers weren’t just ignoring us they were downright rude. Drinks were ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it departed from Brisbane and we had mutual friends already going. Our first impressions were of poor service. Especially in the bars. Servers weren’t just ignoring us they were downright rude. Drinks were really expensive. $8.75 for a small beer. There was also a 15 drinks a day maximum on the drinks package which was not advertised. All of the entertainment on this cruise other than the movies under the stars (which is great) targets the over 60’s. There is hardly anyone in the bars of a night and the nightclub doesn’t kick of until 10pm and is also dead. The shows and musical entertainment are also for the over 60’s. For positives the ship is immaculately clean and the food at all venues is exceptional. Also the kids club is fabulous! Possibly a good choice if you are over 60. Otherwise give it a miss. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Over all wonderful experience and only hiccup was we ordered wine pre cruising and when we asked for it they didn’t have it onboard and no other label we knew for similar price. We were credited but then bought wine by the glass to ... Read More
Over all wonderful experience and only hiccup was we ordered wine pre cruising and when we asked for it they didn’t have it onboard and no other label we knew for similar price. We were credited but then bought wine by the glass to find out the cabinet Sauvignon we were drinking was actually just a red blend for 42 a bottle I didn’t feel this was acceptable. Wouldn’t happen in a restaurant? Also had a few issues with reception having workers who weren’t very fluent in English. We had exceptional service from Matt Baker the cruise director and from our travitor restaurant hostess Xin Rue was certainly a highlight on our experience. Our cabin was kept beautifully and nothing was too much trouble. The destination was wonderful going to Paupa New Guinea even if we missed two of our ports due to weather. We felt the captain was very safe and thought of his passengers first. Entertainment was just the best. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
it was the best way to get away board the Sea Princess any immediately in relax mode . This was our 8th cruise and 5th with Princess . Just a bit more class than the other Cruise Ships that we have been on. Definitely best Bars an Buffet ... Read More
it was the best way to get away board the Sea Princess any immediately in relax mode . This was our 8th cruise and 5th with Princess . Just a bit more class than the other Cruise Ships that we have been on. Definitely best Bars an Buffet . Particularly the Nook Whisky Bar . It had great ambience and Bar staff and wait staff (Derrick and Vanessa) went beyond their call of duty to provide patrons with above excellent service . Our stateroom attendant was a very accomplished steward our stateroom very well serviced( Melvin)always new towels even when I did not think we needed them. Beach Towels those boys did a magnificent job considering some Guests were using up to 5 or 6 Towels at a time. The Tender crews loading and offloading passengers in what was very difficult conditions at Conflict Island need a medal for bravery and dedication. The Captain I thought was the very best with informative chats at Noon and was very visible at times around the pool deck . A big mention of the Boys at Riviera Bar for a mighty effort to keep up a high standard of service for such a large number of Guests frequenting the area . I also think it is necessary to mention the maintenance crew who are working to keep the ship looking spic and span while we are sleeping e.g the smell of paint Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We departed from Brisbane which is our home port so did not need to do any exploring before we left. Embarkation was really quick this time and was relatively easy which was good. We have been on this ship a few times before so knew ... Read More
We departed from Brisbane which is our home port so did not need to do any exploring before we left. Embarkation was really quick this time and was relatively easy which was good. We have been on this ship a few times before so knew our way around easily. This time our balcony cabin was more to the rear of the ship and we noticed more engine noise than previously. We had traditional dining which started at 5:30. The wait staff were always pleased to see us and were very helpful with any extra requests. We found the menu a little unimaginative this time round however. The entertainment was always at 7.30 or 9.30 and you needed to get to theatre early to get a seat which was almost impossible with the early dining sitting. We would have to wait till the later performance if we wanted to see a show and then get there by at least 9.00pm. We only saw one show by the Princess performers which was excellent and the other entertainers were also worth watching, comedian and a female and then a male singer. The comedian was hilarious and not smutty at all. Apparently one entertainer was a no-show so the Cruise Director filled in. Matt Baker was a very talented and entertaining person. Unfortunately we did not get to the ports of Kitava or Kiriwina due to rough weather making tendering difficult. We did get to Alotau which had changed for the better since we were there 3 years ago. There was paving in the square as opposed to a rough road and a few more new stores. Rabaul was in difficulties due to a lot of rain and the roads were very rutted and with lots of very large potholes covering the roads making driving interesting. Conflict Islands was the jewel of the trip. A really magical tropical island. We had two days there to make up for missing two other ports. The owner has partnered with P&O to help with the infrastructure and is heavily involved in turtles and looking after the eggs and babies. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise simply for the itinerary. We didn't make it to the fiordlands due to weather, which we understand. The ship seemed understaffed and I've definitely been on happier ships. Late embarking led to harried crew ... Read More
We chose this cruise simply for the itinerary. We didn't make it to the fiordlands due to weather, which we understand. The ship seemed understaffed and I've definitely been on happier ships. Late embarking led to harried crew ordering us to our muster station, where we were told to move when we tried to put our heavy carry on luggage and stroller down. So sitting on a step which was the only available seating, we waited 40mins for the muster briefing to begin. Time enough I would have thought to drop our hand luggage and stroller in the cabin. When we did get to our cabin, it was to find a dirty plate with cold food under the bed along with a dirty sock and paper. I won't mention what was near the drinks tray, suffice to say the room felt vey dirty. Again I blame understaffing. The attitude of the crew improved toward the end of the first week however, the emphasis on 'cruise status' and the colour of your ships card was obvious all through the cruise. Very disappointing. The upper bunks in our cabin were incredibly uncomfortable, with mattresses like cement. We initiated a roster system so the adults could take turns having a comfortable nights sleep in the lower bunk. Princess it seems have iniated a Third Class system, keeping tradition with the Titanic. While there were some fun moments, those aimed at a younger demographic for a change, they were far and few between. Our grandson loved kids club, and was cared for beautifully by them. Sadly there were no really child friendly outdoor areas, and instead of an adults sanctuary, which was in fact the whole ship, we could have done with a family sanctuary, one to keep out the grumpy older passengers. We are a fit 63 years old, yet on this ship I felt 30 years old still the overly loud music played near the pool was a poor effort to acknowledge younger minded passengers. I'm a retired RN, and I understand the special needs of the elderly however, almost an entire ship devoted to them alone is too much. If the line only wants that demographic on board they should be fair and state as much in their marketing. Traditional dining in the Rigaletto restaurant was fantastic. Our waiter Rod and assistant waiter Joel were unbelievably caring and attentive. Service was impeccable. They were incredibly patient with our grandson and intuitive of our needs. We can't thank them enough. Buffet dining was relatively bland and hot foods were especially lacking in variety at breakfast and lunch. Food options it appears were sacrificed for a larger seating area, which given the number of passengers who ignored signs designating tables for the disabled, it seems there still weren't enough. We had no trouble finding a table somewhere everyday though. We paid over $600 to go to Hobbiton on a bus with non-existent air-conditioning for an hour both ways, were rushed back to the bus because the driver gave us the wrong time. Too huge a group meant standing for too long in the heat, with a couple of people close to fainting. Not worth the cost. Price of alcohol on board was phenomenal. A bottle of wine on board selling for $55 can be bought for $30 in Australia. Wine by the glass averaged at $15 a glass. Cocktails averaged at $15 a glass. Our cabin was noisy on port days as the ship docked and the disembarkation equipment was erected. On one night at 10.30pm a balloon drop party with loud rock and roll music was held 100 metres from our room and went on until 11.05pm, waking our grandson and his designated babysitter - grandfather, but then again third class doesn't count. Considering the complaints we had to hear from certain upper deck passengers when forced to queue at ports, I understand the need to inflict the party on us. If I sound a little unhappy it's because I am, an expensive, long anticipated holiday was a disappointment. Princess line please be honest in your marketing approach, and try to remember the colour of your cruise card just depends on how many repeat cruises you make. Mine will forever remain the colour it is. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We took our 88 yr.old mother for her first cruise and to have Christmas lunch at sea. She really enjoyed almost everything - especially the shows and music lounges and was roaming until well after her normal bedtime. Unfortunately, ... Read More
We took our 88 yr.old mother for her first cruise and to have Christmas lunch at sea. She really enjoyed almost everything - especially the shows and music lounges and was roaming until well after her normal bedtime. Unfortunately, we missed out on Christmas lunch as the officers had decided to have it the day before on Christmas Eve as they do in Europe, and we, like many other disappointed passengers, were not informed of this change.Our table Maitre de in the dining room, when learning of our plight managed to'rustle up' some Xmas puddings from the meal we'd missed. Catrina was a 'gem'. It really took the edge off the cruise with our mother! NB, We had already booked for the 106 day World Cruise for 2018 on the same ship, otherwise would reconsider future cruises on Sea Princess. Also we had advised Princess we would need a wheelchair for my mother to board. Unfortunately, we had to wait over 1 hour in a crowded, stuffy 'waiting area' as there were not enough chairs nor handlers, causing our mother to become quite distressed. NB - We have booked a 7 nighter on Sea Princess for February as a 'practice run' for the World cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The cruise on the Sea Princess was delightful. The Horizon buffet served a wide variety of food for everyone's taste and cooked food was hot. For example, one day we'd have herring, another stuffed eggs, smoked cheese, an array ... Read More
The cruise on the Sea Princess was delightful. The Horizon buffet served a wide variety of food for everyone's taste and cooked food was hot. For example, one day we'd have herring, another stuffed eggs, smoked cheese, an array of different salads. Wonderful choices. The desserts were delicious, just sorry there was never any cheese cake available but that is an insignificant omission in the scheme of things. The MDR service was excellent with friendly, experienced and obliging waiters. The food was plentiful and hot. Butter and homemade rolls were on the table every night. Christmas was also a delightful experience with the ship adorned with lights and decorations. It was a lovely time to cruise on this ship as they tried very hard to make it an unforgettable Christmas. Duke, the Cruise Director, was the best we've ever had on our many cruises. Full marks to Duke for his energy, obvious love for his job and even his singing prowess. He was awesome! The desk staff were always pleasant and obliging. The entertainment was great with plentiful shows, music for all tastes including pianists, violinist/cellist. The highlight of the ports was Conflict Island. A beautiful island with the most amazing underwater sea life. The finest snorkeling we've ever experienced! Loved the fact that Sea Princess DIDN'T have piped music throughout the ship (like Celebrity Solstice did on a previous cruise) to annoy and disturb us. We loved the quiet moments on the deck, in the buffet, corridors, etc.Overall the Sea Princess cannot be faulted except for a couple of concerns. Although the ship has hand basins at the two entrances of the Horizon buffet, we noticed that too many passengers were side stepping the washing and entering alongside the queue with no staff watching. This annoyed us so much (think cross infection/norovirus) that after complaining to the chief honcho in the Horizon and getting no satisfaction, I wrote to the Duty Officer expressing our concern and saying the staff were not performing due diligence with respect to hand washing. He wrote back thanking me and thereafter they tightened up on the passengers' washing. However, it wasn't long before we again noticed passengers avoiding the queue to wash hands, and again slipping quietly into the buffet area. In addition, two wash basins out of the six ( 3 on either side) were "under maintenance" for the duration of the trip. That doesn't help the passengers who are keen to get into the buffet. Hand washing needs a serious review. A lift was also out of action throughout the cruise. Another gripe is the Horizon coffee. It is the worst example of coffee we have ever tasted - I would hesitate to even call it coffee. I guess the ship deliberately gives passengers lousy coffee (coloured water) in the hope they will buy a package! The cabins are very small, the bathroom pint sized, however all were kept in a clean condition thanks to our room attendant. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose to cruise on the Sea Princess as it was a smaller ship for our first cruise and We had read good reviews. All our expectations have been fulfilled. The crew & staff were friendly, helpful & always with a smile. The balcony ... Read More
We chose to cruise on the Sea Princess as it was a smaller ship for our first cruise and We had read good reviews. All our expectations have been fulfilled. The crew & staff were friendly, helpful & always with a smile. The balcony cabin was spacious & comfortable. Dining was a feast of amazing variety & quality. We were entertained day & night by concerts, comedians and carolers ( Xmas cruise). Most of the shore excursions were educational & enjoyable, especially meeting & talking to the villagers & children. The ship decor was beautifully decorated with lots of very comfy places to lounge in. You can do as much or less as you want, even room service was a treat after a long day. We have already booked another cruise, again on the Sea Princess and have told our friends of our great experience, with all positive views. Disembarkation was less hassle than embarking on the ship, but perhaps that was because it was our first venture into port check in. Loved ‘ Movies Under The Stars’ up on the pool deck, views of sunrises from our balcony, and suppers at Horizons food court after a show. Thanks Sea Princess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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
We previously been to PNG on Aria and it was great so when our friends where going on this cruise we thought we would join them. Ship was 14 hrs late to leave port so this meant we would not get to Rabaul. Emergency evacuation of ill ... Read More
We previously been to PNG on Aria and it was great so when our friends where going on this cruise we thought we would join them. Ship was 14 hrs late to leave port so this meant we would not get to Rabaul. Emergency evacuation of ill passenger meant we stayed at Kirawina Island overnight resulting in getting to Kitava late. Then we were informed we would not be going ashore in tenders because of so called wind and big swell. Debateable but you can not do anything about it. Next we had another emergency evacuation near Willis Island and were all sent to lower levels for safety reasons which is understandable but there was no extra extra entertainment just go to shop or bars and tea and coffee you had to buy. Then we had to dock at Fishermans Island disembarked at about 8.30am lost baggage meant we waited around for at least an hour an half finally getting back to starting port at 11am. We commend P&O for the care of ill passengers but think they were not truthful about other incidents. Jewel is sold off and is probably a good thing. The food was an improvement since our last P&O cruise. The entertainment was not quiet as good though.The crew and entertaiment staff were excellent.Our cabin staff kept the cabin spotless and fixed any problem we had. We still enjoyed the cruise and with the coming of some more new ships will make a good improvement to P&O.The service from our waiters in the waterfront restaurant was excellent as they also entertained us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise primarily to visit Ribaul , unfortunately it did not happen, due to unforeseen problems. I realise the Captain had to make certain calls but it was a great disappointment ,to the majority of passengers that we were ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily to visit Ribaul , unfortunately it did not happen, due to unforeseen problems. I realise the Captain had to make certain calls but it was a great disappointment ,to the majority of passengers that we were unable to dock there. Like many others we had wanted to see where our fathers had been stationed. during the War ,especially as it was so close to Remembrance Day. If the Captain had perhaps explained why we couldn't get to Ribaul, instead of saying it had been decided to leave it off the itinerary, that may have helped. Saying instead he thought going to the islands was a better option for us. The 2 medical emergencies could not have been avoided and were handled well, so we were told frequently. The Jewel is a very tired old ship. Everything VERY worn. The food , especially in the pantry was a great disappointment. Onions with everything! Breakfast was the highlight of the day and well cooked but the others .. fish was soggy, every bread roll had onions, other dishes quite spicy and really simpler fare would have appealed to a lot more. Dinning in Watermark was the best option and the restaurants you paid for as well as the only decent coffee!! The serving staff were excellent but the chefs...…….well. I doubt I will be going on a cruise in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Got the cruising bug again after a 30 year hiatus, this cruise being the 3rd in 3 years on or around my birthday. First was the Pearl out of Sydney, second Dawn out of Brisbane & this year Jewel out of Brisbane. Embarkation was ... Read More
Got the cruising bug again after a 30 year hiatus, this cruise being the 3rd in 3 years on or around my birthday. First was the Pearl out of Sydney, second Dawn out of Brisbane & this year Jewel out of Brisbane. Embarkation was smooth, though the drop off for taxis is chaotic, two years in a row the taxi driver & traffic marshal have had fierce words when dropping me off. I chose a late boarding time, and had a stroll around portside & some pre cruise beers. When I arrived at my appointed time there was barely anyone there & I was on board in minutes. My cabin was very good, 11203, just a few doors from the Oasis. Though the Pantry was overhead I did not experience noise problems. The cabin stewards were excellent. The Pantry was my only dining venue. I travel alone, and prefer a minimum of fuss. The style of service suited me (no temptation to overeat) & I sat mostly at the high rail around the edge, with a view of the sea. I'm not a fussy eater & found the food satisfying. Only small gripe is the sometimes slow service at popular bars, as cocktail drinks were popular, & take an eternity to prepare. At the sail away party there were a couple of beer trolleys in service, which were quick & efficient. The only entertainment I observed were the singer/guitarists who popped up at various time in various venues. They were good, if a bit repetitive. My cruising style is very laid back: carry a book and follow the sun about, having some beers on the way. So no reports on the activities! Though the kids on the flying fox were having a good time, and as the weather was near perfect it was operating day long. Didn't book any shore activities, just strolled the streets of Noumea & Port Vila, and only went ashore at Mare to walk about. Sounds boring! A problem out of P&O's hands is the scrum at the dock in Port Vila, All I wanted was a water taxi to the centre of town & had to run a gauntlet of eager tour operators. Safety boarding & using the water taxis was a bit dodgy too, 14 people on mine, barely six inches of boat above the waterline. I got the platinum internet package, it worked fairly well on my phone & tablet, and the cost was covered by my room credit given by P&O for their 85th birthday. I will definitely cruise again, especially if I can find a cruise line that does deals for singles. At the moment I pay for 2, which is fair enough from P&O's point of view! But some sort of discount would enable me to go on more & longer cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The ship is a smaller on then the P&O Jewel and the P&O Dawn which makes it much easier to get around and to learn the lay of the land. Half the amount of passengers, than the Jewel or the Dawn make it infinitely more hygienic. We ... Read More
The ship is a smaller on then the P&O Jewel and the P&O Dawn which makes it much easier to get around and to learn the lay of the land. Half the amount of passengers, than the Jewel or the Dawn make it infinitely more hygienic. We spent a delightful week without the smell of effluent which is always a bonus. Loosing the smell of effluent on the open decks is always a delight, as is not contracting a bout of Novo Virus. The Aria is not a new ship but it has been looked after well. There are clean carpet, wallpaper and curtains with no stains decorating the whole ship. The upholstery on seats is in good condition as is bench tops, tables and other furnishings. The ship has been renovated but there are signs of age here and there. Being wary of the Novo virus I didn't swim in the pools but they appeared quite clean and smelled fresh. The main pool has a dome over the top and they do not hesitate to close it if the weather has even the slightest change. Theatre There's a small intimate theatre where films are shown several times a day. The screen is the same size as our largest television at home but can been seen easily enough from all over the room. Parents tend to use the theatre as a baby sitting area and have no problem dumping kids of all ages there, leaving them unsupervised to the annoyance of anyone who actually went to see the film. This was major turn-off and I was put off going back. Restaurants The Pantry, the main eating area is like a food court in any shopping mall. You walk around choosing from each different 'stall' what you feel like eating. Don't be afraid to put you plate over the counter and ask to have the chips put on the plate you already have food on. Don't be afraid to ask for a bigger serving either. This new idea is to stop pigs from loading their plates a foot high with food they will waste, to stop dirty people from pawing the slice of bread that will end up on your plate, to stop mouth-breathers from coughing/sneezing all over that same slice of bread. And it works. You know the food on your plate is as clean as it can be for you. After a couple of meals form The Pantry though, everything started to taste the same. There's a lot of choice there but nothing is exciting. Believe me, I know how that sounds but it is what it is. In other restaurants the meals are ordered by you and served to your table by wait-staff. We ate in The Waterfront and The Dragon Lady, you should too, they are a nice experience for you and are part of your package but you have to book into them. I don't know why you have to book because there are always empty seats everywhere maybe its to add to the ambiance. These meals are a little more exciting and we enjoyed the change of scenery. Note: a glass of Cab. Sav. red in The Dragon Lady was $13.00 with the bottle being $49.00 the same bottle in the bar upstairs was $28.00. Seems everyone thinks corkage is a big thing. I don't mind a surcharge because its a dining room but that $21.00 mark-up, is over the top. We are on a ship ! Surely, it all came from the same storage pallet ! One thing we did do, each night we visited a little shop in The Pantry and had the girl put together a cheese platter which we bought back to the cabin to have with a wine and a movie. A small indulgence that we enjoyed very much. The Beauty Salon (These days it's called a Day Spa 'sheesh') We bought the 10,20,30 package from the salon Elemis and did not regret it. If you can't afford all of them and need to choose one, buy the seaweed wrap. The attendant named BM is wonderful, ask for her if you can. She sure knows how to spoil you and leaves nothing to chance. Every little detail is attended to and you are made to feel quite special. BM never missed saying hello to me when she saw me around the ship later and even made some time in her very busy schedule to stop and ask me how I was feeling for the rest of the week. I cant say enough about this attendant, she has a wonderful skill she is an ultimate professional that has a very personal touch. I thoroughly enjoyed the Fire and Ice mani-pedi with Chi-Chi who is such a lovely person and certainly knows what she is doing and Zen who did my crystal massage is an excellent professional. We went to a couple of seminars such as the “How to Get Your Metabolism Going” and “Feet and Posture” (or something like that). They were interesting and we would have attended more except for the 'hard sell' at the end of everything in which you participate. I totally got sick of having to listen to the spiel of how I really needed to buy this or that product just because I turned up. This made the seminars/talks/conversations very impersonal and I came to feel like I was being perceived as nothing more and an open wallet regardless of how it was disguised. So if you attend these things be prepared for that hard sell at the end because, regardless of how personal they are making it all feel, they are going to go for your money just as soon as they get to it make no mistake. Cabin We had a balcony cabin and there's a lot to be said for that. We came on a weeks cruise just to catch some well needed R&R (work life balance n all that) so we indulged in some massages and the balcony. We spent a lot of time sleeping, resting and getting away from people , the cabin with the balcony was ample room for us to stretch out and sleep, watch TV (lots o free DVDs available) eat and relax. There are a few things aging in the cabin, some cracked tiles, worn metals, scratched surfaces on the porcelain, just little things like that but on the whole the cabin is comfortable. We must remember that The Aria is not a new ship. Cabin Attendants I talked to various passengers around the traps and most were pleased with their cabin attendants. I was however surprised to see that I was not the only one that was not completely happy with the cabin service. The cabin was clean, don't get me wrong but the service, while cheerful, was not always satisfactory. For instance, one day we had to make our own bed, towels that we left on the floor were not always replaced and requests were not always attended to, I ordered two DVDs for a nights viewing, when they had not been delivered by lunch, I reminded the attendant of my request, then again at 4pm and again at 6 with the reply, “I will get them for you before 9pm” they never came that night but were at our door the next morning but just a little too late. I know these are small things but they add up, over a week. Miscellaneous Even though you are only cruising the Whitsunday Reef, ring your mobile provider and have them turn off international roaming. I manually turned off IR on my cell but my provider still charged me for international rates even though we never left Australian waters then my data went over the limit and I was charged international pricing for this as well. I now have to have one of those extra long calls to Telstra. Don't bother taking the walking jaunt around the ship on Deck 6 while it would be lovely, there are always a bunch of smokers out there waiting to make you feel sick. It's hard to believe some people still smoke in 2018 but there they are, on Deck 6. In my time, smoking will be made illegal in all public places eventually, even on the Aria but not just yet. To all the smokers reading this, Namaste. The washing machine is 3 x $1.00 coins (28 minutes cycle on normal/warm) and the dryer is 3 x $1.00 (45 minute cycle) free detergent. Free games such as Jenga, Scrable, Chess are available on the floor with the internet stations. Internet packages are available but are very expensive. 90 Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Nil
My friend who has not cruised wanted a 3 day experience. As a 4 time cruiser the food was appalling cold, hard to put a fork into and no taste, bland and unappetising. No beverage package available. My friend doesn’t have a credit card ... Read More
My friend who has not cruised wanted a 3 day experience. As a 4 time cruiser the food was appalling cold, hard to put a fork into and no taste, bland and unappetising. No beverage package available. My friend doesn’t have a credit card as was paying cash as her load and go card was not accepted everywhere else but P&O cruises. Beds hard pillows too soft. Staff unfriendly and not helpful except our cabin staff, 1 bar staff, spa staff and 1 pantry staff member. I also had the privilege of catching up with ex work members on the cruise for the same reason and also appalled by the cruise. Good thing was leaving the ship. On exiting I have never had to take my own bags off a ship until Jewel. I will never sail P&O again and word of mouth is a powerful tool. My survey has not received by email so I am voicing my dissatisfaction on behalf of me and ny friend. I have been informed jewel is being sold off but any P&O experience will not be on my radar. You need to go Royal Carrabien and a good experience and upgrade you services. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We purchased this cruise directly from P&O website on a flash sale. They had a full suite available for $2298 for 2 people just $1149pp. This accomodation was a huge bonus, and gave us a great space as our retreat. We were in suite ... Read More
We purchased this cruise directly from P&O website on a flash sale. They had a full suite available for $2298 for 2 people just $1149pp. This accomodation was a huge bonus, and gave us a great space as our retreat. We were in suite 11115 deck 11 situated below the Salt speacialty restaurant. I’m not complaining myself, but just want to warn people to not book this suite if your a light sleeper. They clean Salt Restaurant from 11.30pm each night, and finish about 1.30am, the noise of scraping chairs, moving furniture, and heavy footsteps was constant every night. Noise started again at 5.30am till 6.30am when deliveries were being made, and boxes being dropped and moved, and more heavy footsteps. The suite had 3 Australian power points available, one in the dressing room, one where The Nespresso coffee machine is, and another above the TV where the DVD & iPod players are. We took a power board, but could have managed without it. Ronnie & Cedep were our cabin stewards who both did an amazing job, and both had very happy friendly dispositions. We had breakfast delivered to the suite each morning (except disembarkation) The selection was very good, for both hot and cold dishes, having breakfast on the balcony was a great way to start the day. Breakfast is delivered free to suites, also you can have afternoon tea delivered to you suite free of charge. Just fill in the breakfast and afternoon tea menus found beside the cups & saucers in the cupboard. Free laundry service is a great perk for suite guests. Just fill in the laundry form, itemising your clothes with a total count, tick the same day delivery box, take no notice of the specified charges, as these are all waived for suite guests. Make sure the bag is outside your cabin door before 9am, it will be delivered back about 6pm same day, however you cannot send any laundry the day before disembarkation. The food in the Waterfront restaurant was really quite good, some dishes were perhaps a little bland, but considering the numbers they cater for we were pretty happy. The service was terrific, friendly, and helpful. If you want to try several dishes, or have seconds, they are happy to oblige willingly. We did go to Salt specialty restaurant ( surcharge $59pp ) it seemed everyone was saying it was amazing. Unfortunately that was not our experience. I’ve posted pictures of the food as presented to us. Above the steak on the right was a bowl of mashed potatoes, it looked like soup, and was disgusting. I could have served a better looking steak from my Weber BBQ. The food in the Pantry looked good, and plenty of choice. We did not eat there, as finding free tables was difficult. The Atrium area has lovely decor, as do the various bars and social facilities. The Marquee theatre is very spacious, had some really good events, and the shows are fun and entertaining. Don’t expect Broadway or London quality shows, but they provide good entertainment and colour. There were plenty of places to buy drinks, coffee of good quality, and sit and enjoy them whilst watching the passing parade. You can do as much or as little as you want. They offer all sorts of activities for young and old. I’m not a big drinker, glass of wine was about $9.00, a bottle to have with dinner from $35 to $70. You can take the bottle to your cabin and return with it the next night if you wish. We found the service throughout the ship very good, from waiter staff, reception, to cleaners. The only thing I found unpleasant, was the huge number of people consuming alcohol whilst walking everywhere on the ship, up & down stairs, in the lifts, corridors, and in the shops. There were probably up to 200 children on this cruise. I fully understand that this type of holiday is financially affordable for families, and offers many activities for children. Most children were well behaved. However some were allowed to roam and do whatever they wanted. The ports of call were good. Thought the very short time in Noumea should have been longer. Perhaps a full day in Lifou could be too long. Port Vila was great! Enjoyed the water taxi experience $5 each way to town. Some terrific duty free outlets to buy your spirits etc. They deliver your alcohol purchases directly to the ship by law, so you don’t have to carry them back on board. Other purchases like Perfume, ceramics etc you carry those back yourself. As an example, bottle of Southern Comfort 1litre $20 bottle Baileys 1 litre $19 bottle. 100 ml Prada perfume $76. Unfortunately we had some rough seas going over, and on the return. However great weather at all 3 ports. Consider taking some cans of ginger ale, and plenty of motion sickness medication with you. Watch carefully where your walking in all ports, as their footpaths and roads are very very uneven. If your fussy about pillows, We took our own, and was pleased we did. The bed in the suite was super comfortable. If your in a suite, keep a jug of fresh milk from the breakfast tray to use for your Nespresso coffee or tea you make in the cabin. As long as you don’t have too high expectations before you leave, you will probably have a good cruise experience. If you get a great suite deal, or mini suite deal, go for these as you get much more space and a few extra perks. We were very surprised to get a call from P&O 3 days before embarkation. They offered us a downgrade package. They wanted to pay us $1000 cash back, and $500 on board credit if we would move from Suite 11115 to a mini suite for the cruise. We declined the offer, as we may never get a suite deal that good again in our lifetime. We thought this was a very tacky and unprofessional tactic, it made us feel devalued as P&O passengers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We always wanted to depart Brisbane on a cruise and didn’t want to go to Fiji again so did the Qld coast. Embarkation was good in that there is a car park beside the terminal so family can drop you off easily. Even though we selected ... Read More
We always wanted to depart Brisbane on a cruise and didn’t want to go to Fiji again so did the Qld coast. Embarkation was good in that there is a car park beside the terminal so family can drop you off easily. Even though we selected early embarkation time, they didn’t check that, just processed everyone as they arrived so there was quite a line up. They put you in groups to board. Plenty of seats and toilets while you wait so no dramas. We did as suggested in previous reviews and went straight to the Waterfront restaurant to book our evening dining time. Glad we did as people who left it until later were complaining there were only late slots left. Whilst down there we decided to do lunch which was delicious - better than trying to find a table in the pantry. We had a balcony cabin, chosen carefully to be in a quiet area but still had some noise disturbance- see next paragraph. Room quite small, just enough room to get around the bed, do love the walk-in robe though. The outward opening door on the balcony makes it quite the manoeuvre to get 2 people out there with 2 chairs and a table. I thought I’d planned well to avoid the Queensland school holidays but didn’t realise it was still NSW and also New Zealand school holidays so there were a lot of kids on board. I normally don’t mind kids, have 4 of my own and 7 grandkids but some of them were left to run wild. Running up and down the stairs and hallways yelling out, getting in the lift and pushing all the buttons etc. Not pleasant when you are after a quiet relaxing cruise. Another thing not done well is the movies on the big screen. I wanted to see a movie, but the only seats are all wet from the people using them whilst wet after swimming. Also there are groups of people sitting in groups nearby chatting, yelling at kids etc so nearly impossible to hear the film. Need a theatre on board! Had read previous bad reviews about the food but we loved the food both at the Pantry and the restaurant. Lots of variety and delicious. No problems either with it not being hot. I do not agree with them charging for burgers, hot dogs and pizzas. Seems silly to me when no other line does that. They do have coffee machines in the pantry where you can make yourself a reasonable cup of coffee, not like the super strong brewed stuff on the American ships. We had all tender ports on this trip. As per usual the process is quite tedious and frustrating. Shore tours booked thru the ship are very expensive so didn’t do any of those. A word of advice for those who didn’t know - you can’t use your onboard credits for bingo. I wasn’t aware of this but know now! Also note that even tho you select a late departure slot to disembark it doesn’t make a lot of difference anyway as you have to vacate your room by 7am. We did enjoy most of our cruise and would sail on Pacific Dawn again. Read Less
Sail Date April 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

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