323 P&O Australia Pacific Aria Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because we were looking for a getaway from the kids for a week, and to see Tasmania. We stayed in Melbourne for 2 days prior to leaving. The weather was nice until it was time for us to sail. It became rough with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were looking for a getaway from the kids for a week, and to see Tasmania. We stayed in Melbourne for 2 days prior to leaving. The weather was nice until it was time for us to sail. It became rough with gale force winds. We left port over 12 hours late. Then the first day at sea was very rough. Almost half the ship out with sea sickness. Embarking was easy, as was disembarkation at each port. Very smooth, we ran into no issues. The staff were amazing, they could not help you enough. Entertainment was good. Lots of good bands, quality shows. A lot of activities geared toward very social people or an older generation or families. Not a lot for couples. The food in the pantry was a little MEH for our tastes. A lot of the food was a hit or miss. We either loved it...or hated it. However the decor in the public areas was nice. You can tell they have put a lot of effort into it. As were all of the restaurants. The coffee in the machine in the pantry was the worst. Just absolutely disgusting. The bought coffee was better. Coffee in the waterfront restaurant was at least coffee. We also bought the edge passes, gold. And it was a waste of money. Young children and teens would have got more use out of them. We would have spent less if we paid for each individual activity we did. A lot of the activities geared towards adults were on days that it was rough (so they were cancelled) or when we were in port exploring our destinations. We got to do 3 activities (my partner did 4). The abseiling was okay...would have been nice if it was from higher up or if it was more challenging. The most fun was the flying fox. And the least fun was the VR, very basic and could be done in your living room. The archery was a good solid activity. However, these activities were placed all over the ship with absolutely no privacy; most were in the main public area. It would have been better if they had a dedicated space, room, for their needs. The staff on these activities were great. Knowledgeable and fun. Well suited for their job. The Spa was great. Mahummod was fantastic at cutting hair and did a wonderful job. Overall, we had an average, just okay, time. Maybe we had built the trip up in our heads a little (first holiday in 8 years) and we were a little disappointed when it didn't live up the expectations we had. Everything that seemed to want to go wrong did. Flight delays, uncomfortable beds, food that wasn't great, rough weather which lead to cancelled onboard activities and a late port arrival which also lead to us having to cancel a shore tour due to it leaving a lot later than we wanted and having other plans on shore, and a shore tour that went longer than we expected and then didn't feed us lunch (arriving back at the ship after even The Pantry had closed). The last day was the worst. Waking up all the passengers with loud music through the halls at 6am is NOT OKAY. Essentially a big get the hell off our ship, leaving everyone with a bad taste in their mouth. We heard other passengers grumbling as well. We arrived home tired and a little wrung out. Just happy to be in our own beds. For the money we spent over 7 days (5 on the ship) I feel a little cheated. A little disappointed. IF we ever went on another cruise...I don't think it would be with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My daughter had been on Carnival and Princess Cruises. She wanted us all to go on one together. A lovely ship with the majority of staff that were just so friendly. Room decor a bit dated and the windows had obviously seen many days at sea ... Read More
My daughter had been on Carnival and Princess Cruises. She wanted us all to go on one together. A lovely ship with the majority of staff that were just so friendly. Room decor a bit dated and the windows had obviously seen many days at sea so they looked dirty although they weren't. Very spacious, a/c worked great. It was the last voyage from Brisbane as it will remain in Melbourne for a bit of time. We mostly had to dine at "The Pantry" or " The waterfront". The Asian and Italian Restaurants were booked out for the entire cruise on the first day obviously by Cruisers who knew the ropes. A more fair system would be to be given a voucher with your cruise ticket to all of the restaurants. A lot of the meals in the pantry that had meat (Asian, Indian meals) were very tough and not very flavorsome and often not hot at all. The desserts looked good but very underwhelming to eat. A lot of variety so you can find something you'll like. Majority of staff are very hard working and very pleasant. A handful of staff that serve up the food weren't impolite but very disinterested in being there. So many were serving tiny portions so I'd often hear younger guys asking for bigger serves. Great entertainment all around the ship. There is a lot of things you pay for on P&O that is included on other cruises. I heard many people continually mentioning this. Many people were also questioning their accounts. I think by 9.30 the only food available is a place that sells pizza's, pies, hamburgers. I cant emphasize enough of how friendly and hard working the staff are. We stopped at Eden, it was so beautiful to arrive at. We visited the little marked on the pier. Brought some lovely organic chilli relishes. You must check that out. My daughter and husband enjoyed the onboard parties. The view and comfortable chairs up at the Dome is not to be missed. So many lovely sitting areas. A seperate pool just for adults as well as the one kids can go in. If i could be guaranteed a spot in one of the 2 restaurants we had no hope of getting into, then I'd consider going again. The crowd on board were the friendliest, happiest people I've come across in a long time. The atmosphere was amazing. Young, old and inbetween everyone was so beautiful. Elma up at " The Waterfront Restaurant" was a real sweetheart. Elfy at " The Pantry" was always smiling and her happiness is infectious. Make sure you get hold of the daily itinary so you know what's on. We didn't get 2 days so we missed out on a lot. I didn't realise i needed it until people mentioned it. I assume someone took it from outside our door. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
After 9 long cruises of 16 + days we wanted to do few short trips and thought the Australia Day cruise from Brisbane would be a great trip. The rooms were excellent in size and were very neat, bathroom was awesome. Unfortunately that ... Read More
After 9 long cruises of 16 + days we wanted to do few short trips and thought the Australia Day cruise from Brisbane would be a great trip. The rooms were excellent in size and were very neat, bathroom was awesome. Unfortunately that is where it stops. We wanted to try the alternate restaurants to the Waterfront but were told on the first night they were all booked out. The Waterfront was very nice but the food was hit and miss, we had a party of nine and on the three nights we dined in the waterfront over 50% were not happy with the food. I can only say that a local pub would have served better food. We all found the staff in general a bit rude and especially the front Reception staff. The Pantry food was tasteless and mostly cold. I have normally travelled on Princess Cruises and 1 on the PO Pacific Dawn and have never felt that I needed to say anything bad about a ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We read all the negative reviews expecting this cruise to be substandard. This cruise was perfect, staff great. I have no idea what people complain about and wonder if there is an expectation beyond what people pay for. Service great, food ... Read More
We read all the negative reviews expecting this cruise to be substandard. This cruise was perfect, staff great. I have no idea what people complain about and wonder if there is an expectation beyond what people pay for. Service great, food in buffet and free restaurants average, but you get what you pay for. If people expect high quality food while travelling 7 days to 2 countries with five star service while not paying for it, then complain away. Cruise was awesome. Please people see for yourselves and don’t believe the negative comments as gospel. A tip, a drink package at 100.00 Australian a day gives you 15 drinks a day. I could not use it and think next time will pay for the drinks as I go along. I feel people complain over minutiae. Great cruise and would book with them again. Please book salt restaurant, you pay for it and it’s the best food on board. I go back to saying, you get what you pay for otherwise don’t complain. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Chose this ship as going to PNG with friends. Most staff were very friendly and helpful however difficult to understand at times - especially announcements from the bridge. Food was very average - some dishes inedible. Bland. The scrambled ... Read More
Chose this ship as going to PNG with friends. Most staff were very friendly and helpful however difficult to understand at times - especially announcements from the bridge. Food was very average - some dishes inedible. Bland. The scrambled eggs were like slop. Fruit had bad spots. If you wanted better quality food you had to pay. Salt Grill restaurant was outstanding but had to pay. Breakfast at Waterfront is free and was better than pantry. Internet was overpriced. Originally advertised at $99 but when we boarded was $129. Average intermittent internet service even with premium package. App on board was clunky to use. Even though ship had obviously been refurbished in areas, furniture was impractical and obviously was done on the cheap. A lot of seats too low - especially in dining area. Adult only pool lounges uncomfortable and not adjustable. Seats in spa area near gym at a ridiculous angle. Would not go on this ship again. Just a means to reach the final destination. Have to say the coffee was the best part of the cruise. And some of the shows were very good. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
December 2019 cruise to PNG. Something different to see and well impressed. Be prepared for some negatives on the Aria. No chance of sleeping in as each day from 7.30 am an over enthusiastic crewman/ fitter excels in bashing ship metal ... Read More
December 2019 cruise to PNG. Something different to see and well impressed. Be prepared for some negatives on the Aria. No chance of sleeping in as each day from 7.30 am an over enthusiastic crewman/ fitter excels in bashing ship metal with a mallet then spending ages grinding off bits with an angle grinder somewhere around deck 4 or 5 midships. Food generally good but suggest giving Angelos a miss. Cold unpalatable mains, miniscule entres and regrettably surly serving staff. Whereas, the Dragon Lady Asian Fusion is a must. Excellent food and most pleasant staff. Wanted to eat in Waterfront restaurant one night, had to book, head waiter said sorry fully booked out for next two nights. Went to leave when he suddenly offered table for 5pm, said no thanks as too early. Again went to leave when he suddenly said "I can give you a table that night at 7.30pm",( notice I kept my hand in my pocket the whole time). What is his game. Anyway, came to dinner at 7.30pm many people who had not booked were standing around waiting to get in (no tables?). The entire time during our meal around 90 minutes we were surrounded by numerous empty tables. Tip: Expect the worst and you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Me and the wife chose this cruise because the ship sailed from brisbane and we took our kids with us so it worked for us to sail on aria. As my review title stated good that p and o are getting rid of this ship in the next year or so its ... Read More
Me and the wife chose this cruise because the ship sailed from brisbane and we took our kids with us so it worked for us to sail on aria. As my review title stated good that p and o are getting rid of this ship in the next year or so its old and in need off a massive makeover rust everywhere on the ship the entire cruise maintenance was getting done cutting rust off the ship and repainting which left a toxic smell in our cabin for most of the cruise. There is not alot to do on the ship so if your someone that likes to always be doing something you will get bored very quickly. To the positives crew was very polite and helpful our room stewart's yuyus and budi were great and to len and freddie in the restaurant areas where fantastic great with my to little children always happy to see us. Food on board was better than i thought it was going to be the restaurants which were complementary were really good. Boarding and disembarking the ship was brilliant very will organised and a easy process. I would not book another cruise on this ship though but i would book another cruise with p and o this was our first cruise with p and o. i hope this review is helpful to someone Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose this cruise primarily because it was going to Papua New Guinea (PNG). It was a destination I always wanted to go to and this cruise certainly didn't disappoint. Before I start on my own review, I like others take a read of ... Read More
I chose this cruise primarily because it was going to Papua New Guinea (PNG). It was a destination I always wanted to go to and this cruise certainly didn't disappoint. Before I start on my own review, I like others take a read of the other reviews to see what others had to say. I noticed that for some a single negative experience would go onto colour their view of the entire cruise. There were others that were just rants making you wonder about their mental well-being. These sort of reviews are just not helpful. Whether it's this site or elsewhere, I usually skip over these. Embarkation/Disembarkation. It took about 15 minutes to get on the ship. Possibly the fastest I've experienced. It took around 45 minutes to get off. The hold up was in customs. The Ship. It's an old ship. There's evidence of rust and overall wear and tear. Having said that, the ship was kept clean and the public areas were in good order and visually appealing. The Cabin. We booked a suite. At around 54 Sq Metres, it's twice the size of a normal balcony room and easily bigger than most suites found on other ships - go check. We were delighted. Dining. I rather liked the booking system for Angelos, Waterfront and Dragon Lady. The restaurants were perfectly okay. Service was great. I particularly liked the Pantry. A few reasons: 1) The staff served you. Far more hygienic with less blatant food wastage. All cruise ships should follow suit. 2) The design was kind of funky without that canteen kind of feel. 3) Food was often cooked in front of you. For example, the fried/grilled fish and chips. Had poached eggs too. Entertainment and Activities. I have to hand it to P&O. They worked hard on this and quite surprised how good it was. The Highly Strung Rock and Roll Orchestra were just amazing. Blew me away. Wasn't expecting it. They also had a guitarist from PNG, Isaiah Monah. He was X-factor material. All other shows and bands were all good. Service. The staff smiled and quite cheerful. So important. I thought they worked hard. Ports and Shore Excursions. Here in Australia we should feel lucky to have such great destinations. PNG was just brilliant. Conflict Islands, for example, is the kind of coral atoll people dream about - turquoise water, white sand, beautiful coral. These places still exist. I just hope they are kept in their pristine state and not destroyed through excessive tourism. Would I go again? The answer is Yes. PNG is a great destination and the ship was perfectly okay. The staff worked hard. It was much appreciated. Would prefer a longer cruise around PNG. Negatives: - The windows in the public areas should have been washed to get rid of the salt building up. - The pizzas in the Grill were below par. It's a cruise ship with mass appeal, attracting people from all walks of life, and with a price point to match. Don't expect a Cunard, Silversea or Disney type experience. Keep this in mind and people will have a good time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
IN THIS REVIEW: Kids Club, Dining, On Board Credit, Pools, Comedy Shows, Shopping, Cabins, Service. Being that it was our first time doing a cruise, we decided to do a weekend cruise for a feel. What better way to do it than a comedy ... Read More
IN THIS REVIEW: Kids Club, Dining, On Board Credit, Pools, Comedy Shows, Shopping, Cabins, Service. Being that it was our first time doing a cruise, we decided to do a weekend cruise for a feel. What better way to do it than a comedy cruise which also advertised that it is kid friendly and suitable... It is not kid friendly unfortunately. Yes they have an on board kids club and the Edge Adventures but it is very poorly set out. The adults flocked the Edge Adventures and the kids club centred around kids being in a designated room for most of their time within the club surrounded by electronics (times: 9am-12pm & 2pm-6pm & 7pm-1am > between 9am-10pm children are free to sign themselves out and roam the ship unsupervised - which is fine for the teenagers but not OK for the younger kids). What makes this even more worrying is that the older kids clubs are directly below the casino (with only a set of stairs dividing them) and next to the on board nightclub. The comedy shows are repeated daily so there isn't anything new. There are two outdoor pools, rather small ones at that, which are ice cold at all times (heating the pools would be the smart thing to do) two small hot tubs and two small pool showers. There is a designated smoking area near the pools which is, surprise surprise, next to the little kids club (aged up to 7 years i think - not sure as my 10 year old was in the older kids, not teenagers, kids club). The food is delicious and as an added bonus is completely HALAL - obvious exception of the bacon, however, it is a real shame that all the restaurants and eateries close at 9pm. Room service is from 10am-11pm but the selection is limited. It would be smart to take cash or your savings card on board - they have an ATM - to load your cruise card with on board credit. DO NOT pre-load your cruise card online before the cruise because if you don't use all the credit you won't get a refund of whats left but if you load it on the ship then what you don't use gets refunded to you in cash at the reception. We found that $100 each for on board credit was perfect (this is not including shopping expenses just alcoholic drinks and dining that isn't inclusive of your fare). First thing to do when you board the ship is to make your reservations at any of the restaurants because they fill up FAST! The seafood restaurant is absolutely divine but it does come at a cost. Shopping is limited but don't rush on the first day or the second day, wait till the day before your cruise is over because that's when they have fantastic sales and when they bring out new items! We had an Ocean view cabin and two balcony suites. The ocen view was larger than the balcony suites but the bathrooms were the same. Let me tell you this, the bathroom is NOT made for tall people or larger people. It is very confined - functional - but confined. What was worrying was the security camera outside our ocean view window facing into our cabin... The lifts are painfully slow and they have six of them for the passengers. Our designated steward for our cabin was outstanding! All other staff on board were fantastic but we found that on our final day/night on board the staff - specifically within the hospitality area - didn't give much of a damn in listening or serving us the way they did the previous days, to the point where one staff verbally abused my son and my sister over a mocktail which he was adamant about being an alcoholic drink. When told to leave the whole issue and we move on he continued to severely bad mouth my son and sister to other staff - who stayed silent - and in ear shot of other passengers. All in all, this cruise is great for adults who love to drink and party and laze around in minimal attire and speak freely with every second word being a profanity. Book a family specific cruise if you want to take your kids, of any age, with you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We booked this cruise for a 50th birthday. 4 girls shared a 4 berth room on deck 5 & 2 girls shared a balcony room. Embarkation was very smooth, recommend choosing the early embarkation time so you have time to familiarise yourself ... Read More
We booked this cruise for a 50th birthday. 4 girls shared a 4 berth room on deck 5 & 2 girls shared a balcony room. Embarkation was very smooth, recommend choosing the early embarkation time so you have time to familiarise yourself around the ship. The 4 berth room was definitely quite crowded. Bearing in mind that ladies need to bring several different outfits to wear for the parties, evening & day wear, so suitcases were quite large. The balcony accommodation was perfect the room was spacious with lots of storage & a mini bar. Food choices were excellent. Recommend booking the restaurants early. Dragon Lady & Angela’s were the best. Elemis Spa was expensive but luxurious. On board thermal longe, saunas, massage, facials. Well equipped gym with free stretch & abs classes or u can pay for other classes. Adult pool is lovely & relaxing. Dress up parties were fun. Live gigs in all the bars were excellent & definitely take in some of the live shows. Bingo good fun. Take advantage of the duty free alcohol so cheap, buy early as they run out. Precook you onshore trips. Noumea was disappointing & town closed on a Sunday. Recommend cultural tour on Mare. Vanuatu fantastic. We used a local company called Atmosphere Tours & visited Cascades, Turtle Cove & Blue Lagoon. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
we went as part of a wedding group, we were invited to attend a wedding on the cruise. wonderful time was had. Food was often cold, and bland. The fish at the Pantry is disgusting (can think of no other word for it) need to use a ... Read More
we went as part of a wedding group, we were invited to attend a wedding on the cruise. wonderful time was had. Food was often cold, and bland. The fish at the Pantry is disgusting (can think of no other word for it) need to use a different type of fish. The rooms were very clean and tidy. The staff were wonderful and so helpful. Bingo was great and entertaining but quite expensive for the few games you play. Bit disappointed with the confidentiality of some of the staff. Our daughter-in-law was only 8 weeks pregnant at the time of the cruise and it is a requirement to let the cruise know if you are. Seeing as they had paid travel insurance, and she had found out a few weeks before the cruise she thought she had best let them know. But they had not told anyone else!! Found out after the cruise that the cruise co-ordinator had told all the wedding group that she was pregnant as one of the other girls in the wedding group was pregnant also . Needless to say they were very disappointed as they hadn't even told family members, and did not want to take any of the glory from the couple who were getting married. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Staff generally trying hard to please but let down by poor planning and ignorance. Do not travel on this vessel if you are vegetarian, vegan or allergic to anything. Examples include chicken in the vegetarian dishes, not by accident. ... Read More
Staff generally trying hard to please but let down by poor planning and ignorance. Do not travel on this vessel if you are vegetarian, vegan or allergic to anything. Examples include chicken in the vegetarian dishes, not by accident. Evidently chicken is a vegetable? One of my party is allergic, two don’t eat meat. One restaurant catered if preordered but everything else was unwilling to modify even a salad roll. Very disappointing. The cabin is worn, needs painting and the fridge acts like a hot box (it does not work). Room service breakfast for my mothers room never showed up and an industrial dishwasher opposite our room blew up leaving our room filled with a pungent, fowl smell. Also, the shower fittings seem to have been retrieved from the titanic. All in all, it’s a cattle class experience at a first class cost. May the fleas of a million camels infest your armpits, or, take a cruise on the Pacific Aria. Suggest it only for those you wish to scorn. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first cruise, just myself and my partner. It was the Fiji Adventure 12 night cruise, sailing on the Pacific Aria. We stayed on deck 6, in cabin 6023, a sort of oceanview cabin but the view looked out onto the deck which ... Read More
This was our first cruise, just myself and my partner. It was the Fiji Adventure 12 night cruise, sailing on the Pacific Aria. We stayed on deck 6, in cabin 6023, a sort of oceanview cabin but the view looked out onto the deck which people could walk around on. It’s due to make stops at; Port Vila (Vanuatu) Port Denarau (Fiji) Suva (Fiji) Mystery Island (Vanuatu) Isle of Pines (New Caledonia) Everything went as the cruise says, except due to rough sea, our stop at Isle of Pines was cancelled and changed to Noumea so we didn’t lose a stop. We didn’t buy the drinks package, and still only spent $800 on board for the whole trip. Ship: The Pacific Aria, I believe is the smallest ship P&O Australia currently have in their fleet. From the moment I stepped on this ship I liked it a lot. The carpet and decorations were nice, staff greeting people in friendly manner, as expected, and the whole new experience of been on a cruise ship for both of us added to the excitement. Within the first few hours we were familiar with the location of most on board shops, bars, pool areas, casino, marquee for the shows, etc. It was a good layout and easily remembered. Cabin: We stayed in 6023. It’s classed as an obstructed oceanview room on deck 6. It looks out on the the deck which people can walk the whole way around, and is underneath the marquee. You see many people walk past this cabin at all times of day and night through your window. It was a nice cabin, very clean and well kept, size was bigger than I expected. Shower worked well and was in a bathtub. The only negative thing I can say about the cabin was the fact that it was underneath the marquee, and you can hear bangs and music pretty loudly from above during show times, if your not at the shows that is! Dining: We were happy with what the pantry had to offer. All sorts of different food every day, served pretty much throughout the whole day. Plenty of tables so always somewhere to sit even at the busiest times. We managed to get to the Waterfront Restaurant & Angelo’s. Both restaurants need booking and there is no charge for eating at them. I suggest booking tables at these places as soon as you can as we only managed to go to each restaurant once. The Waterfront was average. Not too much on the menu, but something for everyone. Angelo’s, in my opinion, was absolutely fantastic. I had the lasagne and would definitely say it was the best lasagne I have ever had. Entertainment & Activities: Every night you receive a newsletter for the next day, which has what’s going on’s and show times through the whole day. Easy to read and definitely a lot going on. You will never get bored, there is something for everyone. Shows, fitness, sales, and more. Shows in the marquee were 19:30 and 21:30 every night, and we went to quite a few. I believe there was a few on later on certain nights also. There is also a cinema that has a few movies on a day, which we went to a couple of times. There’s plenty of stuff on the tv in your room also. Cruise director Cole is always telling you about what’s going on so you don’t miss out. Service: It was great. Our room attendants were a lady called Joy & a fella who’s name I can’t remember, but they were fantastic. Every day smiling and asking how we are, and they did an amazing job with our cabin. Service throughout the whole ship was great, in the restaurants and bars, reception & activities. The captain every day explains your position in the ‘mighty’ ocean, and talks about the weather & times your expected to dock at wherever your going. Not sure of his name, but he was Italian and regularly walks around the ship. It was also his idea to cancel our stop at Isle of Pines due to rough sea, and make a stop at Noumea instead, so we don’t lose a tour day. We wouldn’t of been able to get onto the tender’s at isle of pines. Ports & Shore Excursions: The only difference Port Vila; This was our first stop. It was a really nice place. We did the turtle sanctuary shore tour, which took us on a 45 min bus ride to a small beach, then about a 45 minute boat trip across to another island. We saw some dolphins on the way. We then stopped for an hours swim & snorkel, the water was really clear and lots to see. The gear provided wasn’t in great condition but was still usable. After the swim we had lunch cooked by some locals which was a really nice bbq. Then we made our way to where the turtle sanctuary was. There was lots of baby turtles separated into different tanks for different ages, and then eventually released when they become less easy to be preyed on. I think we would of got back to the ship around 15:30/16:00 so was not much time to go anywhere far due to the ship leaving around 17:30 so the tour is pretty much a full day. Port Denarau; We did the Oolala Island tour, so didn’t spend much time in Port Denarau at all. Upon arriving we got on a locals tender but it was big, so heaps of people transferred quickly. Then we took a boat from Port Denarau to Oolala Island, which took a little over an hour. Oolala Island was my favourite place we went, it is visually stunning and the sea is so warm and clear, snorkelling here was truely unbelievable. The staff on the tour were friendly and the is lots to drink, and snacks, and there is multiple things to do on the island. You can borrow snorkelling gear and do your own thing, or go with a guide, or you can go on a glass bottom boat. They cooked a bbq lunch which was nice and offered free beer during lunch. Suva; We did a city tour, which a tour bus took us on a drive around Suva, some local towns and made a stop at the museum. Plenty of interesting things to see at the museum. The bus got back to Suva around 12:00/13:00 so still plenty of time to explore the city. We got some hassle from locals, trying to get us to buy from certain shops, but I suggest just try stay with your group and don’t stop and talk to anybody that seems overly friendly. Mystery Island; We only did a small snorkelling and clear kayak tour here. It wasn’t great, the gear was in poor condition and the snorkelling guide didn’t say much or seem interested as been a guide at all. The kayaks were in very poor condition and a bit of rough sea made the floats on the side break off. We didn’t eat on the island so can’t comment on the food. Cancelled Isle of Pines stop and changed to Noumea; Noumea was my second favourite stop, and I’m glad we ended up coming here. Lots of French culture, markets, and easy to get around with the red & blue busses that circle the city every day. We did our own thing here, and only bad thing I can say is it’s pretty damn expensive. Shops close from 12:00 - 14:00 or something too so be prepared for that. There’s a nice beach nearby with amazing sea colours, and a restaurant area with lots of choice. Also an aquarium but we didn’t make it there. Tours Overall; We did a decent few tours, booked through p&o and spent about $1000 for them for the two of us, but I’d suggest to people not to book tours through p&o because we found that it was half price for some of the same tours once your on shore. Cruise overall; We both had a fantastic holiday on our first cruise and enjoyed every stop in a different way. We had fun on all the sea days and enjoyed all the shows. We didn’t buy the drinks package, and still only spent $800 on board. We would definitely return on this same cruise, on the same ship, with the exact same crew anytime, and P&O have done a great job with everything. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We'd previously done the Pacific Islands Cruise on Pacific Dawn with P&O and wanted a cruise departure from Brisbane. Papua New Guinea wasn't even on our radar but the dates aligned and we thought 'why not'? We ... Read More
We'd previously done the Pacific Islands Cruise on Pacific Dawn with P&O and wanted a cruise departure from Brisbane. Papua New Guinea wasn't even on our radar but the dates aligned and we thought 'why not'? We booked our first balcony cabin and we wont go back to ocean view again. With school holiday pricing it was not a budget cruise like our first one but it was nice to treat ourselves. It's so nice to have extra space in the room as well as the deck which had 2 chairs, sunlounge and small coffee table. Our room (9070) had a great queen sized bed while our daughter slept on the converted sofa. She loved having her own space. There's loads of hanging and drawer storage too, though large suitcases wont fit in cupboards (tip..they will fit under the bed if left opened which is great for shoe storage) Our room had a bar fridge (other rooms don't). We were able to take our own soft drinks which was great given we didn't opt for a drinks package this time and saved a heap of money. The bathroom was fitted with spa bath which we loved. The toilet looked new and the shower pressure and temperature control were great. Our room stewards were brilliant as always and it was great coming back after lunch to an immaculately presented room. Aria is an excellent ship. Just the right size with good facilities and heaps of restaurants and bars to choose from. The decor is great and beautifully fitted out. The lounge are in the Atrium on level 6 is great for playing games or reading. There's always organised games here too and some cool prizes to win. We always found room by the pool on the sun lounges. The pool and 2 spas were crowded with kids but being school holidays that's understandable. The sliding roof is brilliant and the lounge areas to the side of the pool are very popular. We didn't get to go to the adults only area as our daughter decided HQ was not for her. (one day!!) The gym is amazing with great panoramic views. My wife is quite the gym junkie and she found everything she needed. She also indulged in a massage at the spa which we paid more than we should (the same massage was offered on the last day for much cheaper) Our daughter also got a great hair cut which she is busily instagramming everyone about. Food was generally good. The Pantry is a great concept and the food is better than the old buffet style with lots of variety. Some hit and misses but great breakfasts! Angelos Italian was very disappointing. Flavourless and bland. Dragon Lady was above average. Salt grill was sublime. The Waterfront is a beautiful restaurant but the service has gone down hill. I don't know if P&O are pushing for more business like service from their waiters but many have little personality and aren't friendly. Very robotic. There were of course some exceptions. The menu feels very limited and my daughter struggled to find anything on the main menu. Entertainment was good. Its very cabaret in style which is not to our liking but the movie theatre was great and the TV in the room had some good shows and movies. There's also a massive DVD library. We picked 2 but they were never delivered. Ports of call for PNG are hit and miss. Alatou was not very pleasant and not much to see if you don't do a planned tour. Kitava was missed due to weather. Kiriwina was good. Very cultural with heaps of markets and great beaches to swim in. The locals are very friendly and we enjoyed our outrigger canoe ride across the reef. The highlight though is Conflict Islands. Its paradise in one easy to navigate small island. Sublime beaches and snorkelling. Tip- take your own snorkel gear and make your own way to eastern tip of the island. Save yourself $100 in excursions which happen off the same beach. It's a beautiful walk along the beach or through the middle of the island. Weirdly this island doesn't use money, rather a voucher system. You have to buy the vouchers from a kiosk (long lines) and then use the vouchers at the bar, gift shop, water activities kiosk or restaurant. Food is pretty good and the bar is well stocked with local and international beers. There were no issues with gastro on board that we knew of. Disembarkation took us about 15 minutes, we were home in 45. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise as it was the only one that suited a family holiday in School holiday times. 5 of the 7 guests have cruised extensively before, 2 were new to cruising. They will not cruise again after this experience. The rooms ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was the only one that suited a family holiday in School holiday times. 5 of the 7 guests have cruised extensively before, 2 were new to cruising. They will not cruise again after this experience. The rooms were terrible. Torn carpets, everything is falling apart. The rooms are dirty (could clearly see spilled drinks and food just left on the walls) mould throughout bathrooms and around windows on oceanview rooms. The sheets are just nasty, stained from years of use. You did not feel like lazing around in your room that is for sure. One of the rooms was so bad it took several days of complaining but eventually the bathroom was regrouted and siliconed. It shouldn't take days to get an issue sorted. And for all these inconveniences a bottle of wine was offered and dinner at salt. No room change or refund, disgusting customer service. The rooms smelled, they are in need of a thorough deep clean. Add to all this that for most of the cruise the a/c around the boat seemed to not work very well especially in the rooms. Some people we spoke to could not get there rooms below 25 degrees. On the last few nights it did start to work better but black dust and dirt was coming out the vents. Back to the smells, the boat is just old. All the bathrooms in the main areas always seemed to be overflowing constantly, not just 1 but everywhere you went. You spent a lot of time holding your breathe as you walked past certain parts. As for activities, there is not a lot to do on p&o ships. It was our second time on board one of there ships and I don't think i would ever cruise with them again. There are plenty of other options and good deals out there. If your just looking to buy a drinks package and get hammered drunk all day, then maybe this is for you but everything about p&o compared to other lines is budget. Everything is an extra. I've been on budget ships before and you get what you pay for, but for the price of these cruises for a few hundred extra i would definately go on something else. Pacific aria should be retired well and truely. P&O should be ashamed to be charging guests for such a horrid experience. I also feel extremely sorry for all the staff stuck on board, they seem severely over worked. They all look tired, and fed up, cant blame them. 2 guys cleaning 36 rooms, no wonder they are filthy. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We went in to this cruise expecting to be impressed. Everyone I know who has been on a cruise has loved it, raved about it, told me "you'll LOVE it - once you cruise you never go back!" And many people are repeat cruisers, ... Read More
We went in to this cruise expecting to be impressed. Everyone I know who has been on a cruise has loved it, raved about it, told me "you'll LOVE it - once you cruise you never go back!" And many people are repeat cruisers, so I was expecting it to be pretty enjoyable. Well....it was OK. I mean, it was better than being at work. However it was pretty massively disappointing as well. The ship itself was pretty dated. Our cabin (4007) wasn't awful, it was spacious enough, but the bathtub was grotty and full of mold, the fixtures all seemed a bit cheap and like they had lived a hard life. The bed was reasonably comfortable. The food was a massive disappointment. The Pantry was just gross - the food was cold and inedible 90% for the time, and it was like feeding time at the zoo - just a herd of bodies trying to ram as much food in to themselves as possible. We preferred the Waterfront, which had table service and was a generally nicer atmosphere, but the food here was extremely disappointing as well, generally tasteless and often cold, with very few options. My kids hated the children's choices as well, with the gruel-like "kid's favourite soup" and other strange choices. Kids like chicken nuggets and chips, standard sandwiches, pizza....these shoudl be standard, consistent options. We tried Angelo's one night and were hugely disappointed here as well. The chef seems to think Heinz tomato sauce is a pasta sauce, as it seemed to feature heavily in the pasta bolognese and lasagna. We cancelled our second booking. We tried Dragon Lady once. The grilled trout available one night was amazing. Everything else was again, cold, weird and barely edible. It was like they were trying too hard to make the meals interesting and exotic, but they missed the mark wildly, and we would have been far happier with standard Asian fare actually done well. Service was OK in all restaurants. Not great. Not terrible. A bit slow, but not like we had anywhere to go. The best food we had were the pizza's at The Grill that had to be purchased. They were pretty cheap, but felt like a bit of a rip off given it was meant to be all inclusive. The ports were were interesting, although we were MASSIVELY disappointed that the volcano tour in Rabaul didn't actually go up (or anywhere near) the volcano. We stayed on shore as long as possible at each port to feel like we were actually traveling. The evening entertainment, bars etc weren't bad, but got old quickly. As my husband said "it's like being on a floating Wests club". The pool was pretty tiny, but ok. The Dolphin statues seemed like a pointless decoration given they were draped in signs saying "Do not enter this area". The cocktails were pretty tasty by and large. My kids loved the kids club, and here I would give them 5 stars - the kid's staff were amazing, and they had a ball making new friends and going to all the kids' events. All in all - pretty sure we aren't "cruise" people after this, and I tend to think that the people who are (if this was all standard) have very low expectations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
P&O Recommend passengers bring two bags: On the night prior to disembarking, passengers are required to leave their luggage outside their room for collection. Instead of thinking I was being efficient with only one bag, a second bag ... Read More
P&O Recommend passengers bring two bags: On the night prior to disembarking, passengers are required to leave their luggage outside their room for collection. Instead of thinking I was being efficient with only one bag, a second bag would have been very useful for the last overnight. Bring a lanyard, doesn’t matter what other company it promotes, everyone wears them, all colours and varieties. Book your dinners on the first day, especially if you’re travelling with a large group. Other times at the restaurants you just need to show up as your entire group before being seated. Children are well catered for at the restaurants . This was a great teaching opportunity for us to to share dining etiquette in a friendly environment. The same children’s menu that is offered at all included restaurants. Our older (12 years) children were offered to children’s menu, which was considerate of the wait staff. They were included as adults. When deciding what to spend the day doing, a highlighter marker would be useful to mark up the daily newsletter. Attend a show. They are not going to take very much time. Most were under an hour. After the show the cruise director will give information about the days activities and those coming up on following days. It would be useful to advertise how long events are expected to take for planning and group coordination. Tea and coffee, juice and water were freely available all the time at The Pantry.The Pantry hours on the day of Embarking are generous. There will be something available when you board. The room has a DVD player, but I downloaded some movies before we left. Helped when there were quiet (or needed to be quiet moments) Loved the cruise. The whole family experience was exactly what I was hoping for. A memory maker. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our second cruise on this ship, the first was a disappointment as you will see in our previous review but we wanted to go to Cairns and couldn’t fly so it was Hobson’s choice. We had a balcony cabin which was a good size and ... Read More
This was our second cruise on this ship, the first was a disappointment as you will see in our previous review but we wanted to go to Cairns and couldn’t fly so it was Hobson’s choice. We had a balcony cabin which was a good size and quiet comfortable except for the bathroom which was a disaster. The shower was over a spa bath and impossible for anyone with even a minor disability to access, the toilet was designed for very short people and was very difficult to get off for elderly people, although a toilet raiser was supplied on request. Most disappointing was the food, we tried the pantry but found the food cold and unappetising. The seating arrangement was modern cafeteria and almost impossible to get a table for two. When possible we ate in the Waterfront restaurant and again were disappointed. The selection of dishes was very limited and the standard of cooking poor, in some cases inedible with that kept warm to long flavour. There was no decent coffee shop and the service was very poor generally resulting in us having to go to the bar a join a line to order. Entertainment was bog standard and after twenty cruises had nothing new to attract us.there was no classical music or decency comedy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Embarkation - we flew up to Brisbane (from Canberra) on the morning of the cruise, this is something we would not normally do as if flights are disrupted we could have missed the ship. We arrived at Portside at around 11.15am after a $30 ... Read More
Embarkation - we flew up to Brisbane (from Canberra) on the morning of the cruise, this is something we would not normally do as if flights are disrupted we could have missed the ship. We arrived at Portside at around 11.15am after a $30 cab ride from the airport. We were able to check- in (despite our time being 12.30) and it went fairly quickly despite the line, as we were on the ship by 11.45am. We went straight to the Waterfront for lunch and we were told the rooms were already accessible. The ship - Pacific Aria - it was clean and tidy and relatively good condition despite it's age. We like the design of this class ship and with only around 1200 pax aboard it doesn't feel crowded. The cruise passengers were mainly Queenslanders, with family groups and such but not that many children. Overall it was a fairly old demographic (I would guess the av age around 70+). Service was excellent all around the ship. Food was good in the Waterfront (4 nights) and excellent in Dragon Lady (3 nights) and Angelos (3 nights), and the pantry had great selections with Mexican, Asian, indian, sandwich, fish and chip, roast, salad and dessert stations. The waterfront was open for lunch every day (even port days) and we used it often as well as for breakfast most days. Ports Alatou - we used Jaywood tours ($60pp for the two of us), which was good and they took us all over the place visiting numerous sites and highlights. We would recommend utilising the Cruise PNG page on FB which has numerous recommendations. If you want the Cultural show, Alatou tours is best utilised or the ship's tour. Kitava Island - we couldn't tender due to winds, but we were going to swim and snorkel. Rabual - we used Scenic tours ($85pp and we were put on a bus with around 10 others). It was the Volcano, town and WWII tour and was excellent, it took close to 7 hours and mainly due to road conditions slowing the drives. Kirawina Island - we swam and looked at the stalls and the village, took a canoe ride, it was low tide so snorkelling was difficult. This is the place to buy any woodwork as the selection was huge. Use up all your Kina here as well. Conflict Island - great island beautiful swimming and snorkelling. Food and drinks ashore are reasonably priced and you need to buy vouchers for the purchases (they accepted AUD and Kina). We took 210 Kina with us and had bought some dresses and shirts for our granddaughter as well as some drinks, the rest was used as tips and gifts as well as swapping our left over Kina for AUD at Kirawina as they cannot change the AUD. Debarkation - had to be out of the cabins by 6.30am (explains why the rooms were ready so early on embarkation day), we did the walk off and was in a cab by 6.45am. Overall, the cruise was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Hi, my husband and I and 2 friends boarded this cruise on the 13th August to the New Guinea Islands. My first disappointment was the fact that we could not take on a pack of bottled water or the usual 2 bottles of wine on baord, like we ... Read More
Hi, my husband and I and 2 friends boarded this cruise on the 13th August to the New Guinea Islands. My first disappointment was the fact that we could not take on a pack of bottled water or the usual 2 bottles of wine on baord, like we could on every other cruise. And our first thoughts as we headed towards the boat was how tired and dirty the boat looked. As the cruise sailed up the Brisbane River, we all decided to get a cocktail to celebrate the beginning of our holiday only to find out that the cocktails we ordered had half the amount of alcohol in them. It was on another P & O Cruise that the bar staff taught us how to make Mudslides and Toblerones and these cocktails on the Aria were like chocolate milkshakes, the other drinks on the boat seemed to be watered down as well. Not impressed at all. This happened right throughout the cruise and when we questioned the bar staff they just said (It is company policy) which I can only gather is what they have been told to say. Not good enough. We wrote in a complaint at desk and asked to see someone higher up, which of course never happened. The next complaint is the variety of food in the Pantry Dining - poorer quality and poorer variety of food than any other cruise we have been on. We tried 3 other restaurants and was not happy with the amount of dishes to choose from, on there menu's and at these venues. Had much better on other P & O Boats. Then we went to see a show - because of the layout and low tiering of the seats in the Marquee - we could not see the stage performances hardly at all, and in the end, we had to get to the Marquee sometimes 3/4 of an hour earlier just to get a seat in front of the glass petitions on the top level to be able to see the show. Then there was the trivia - we learnt early that we also had to get to trivia at least 1/2 hour beforehand just to get a seat and many people just walked away in disgust. When we ordered drinks from any venue (except the Dome room) we had a long wait. Any venue that had a good entertainer at it, just got swamped with people and there, again, was no where to sit. The layout of the boat is very poor. The adult pool on the back deck didn't even have 1 spa - this has never happened on another ship. Pretty poor. The only 2 spa's on the main deck were usually full of kids and parents. The amount of toilet facilities around the boat were very poor and outdated. None I found had more than 2 toilets in them. We were all very disappointed with this cruise ship and would never go on it again and this was not just our opinion - there were people on the boat that told us how disappointed they were as well. The only good thing I could say about the boat is that the rooms were nice and that the staff cleaning our room were very good. I feel this trip was not worth the money we spent on it. The only way P & O will get us back on their boats is to give us a free cruise to prove they have changed their policies and maybe ditch the Aria boat or give it a make over. I feel terrible to make this sad revue but feel it is necessary to do so and hope P & O read it and make plans to rectify situation before more people right more sad revues. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I personally enjoyed my cruise with my family very much! We spend 10 nights on the Pacific Aria and it was awesome! Cons: -We had to skip one of the islands (Kitava) as the weather of the sea was too strong for the wee boats to take ... Read More
I personally enjoyed my cruise with my family very much! We spend 10 nights on the Pacific Aria and it was awesome! Cons: -We had to skip one of the islands (Kitava) as the weather of the sea was too strong for the wee boats to take us to the island. -If there are announcements about the activities throughout the day you can't really hear them from your cabin without opening your door (we were on deck 4). Pros: -The food was delicious and we dined in the pantry most days. We tried Dragon Lady (Asian Restaurant) and Angelo's (Italian Restaurant) once but the portions were really small. The waterfront was perfect for Breakfast and Lunch. - There were many activities to participate in on sea days such as parties, fitness/dance classes, anti-aging courses, coloring, board games, and many competitions. - The Edge was an amazing fun thing for us to do. It is a group you can sign up for and do many outdoor extreme activities like rock climbing, walk the plank, the flying fox and laser tag. -The decoration throughout the ship was really beautiful with an added touch of each elevator having a different design. - The staff was extremely kind and our Steward Dodi was amazing. Every day we were welcomed with a towel made creature and he would often incorporate my brothers' toys into the towel creature. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We always said we would not cruise with P&O Australia as it always receives such dismal reviews but they offered a cheap Auckland to Brisbane 4 night comedy cruise and we thought let’s try it as it is better than flying and if we ... Read More
We always said we would not cruise with P&O Australia as it always receives such dismal reviews but they offered a cheap Auckland to Brisbane 4 night comedy cruise and we thought let’s try it as it is better than flying and if we hate it it is only 4 days, We have cruised all the cruise lines and over a 100 cruises so are the first to admit a little jaded and critical. Well we were impressed with the decor of the ship on boarding as the public rooms and pool area are very modern in decor and still in good condition. The staterooms are original Holland America decor but still tidy and comfortable and very spacious. We had stateroom 10062 with a balcony which was a good position for the pantry and access to the pool etc. The food overall was good in all restaurants and the service was excellent and much better than we thought it was going to be. The production shows were fantastic and some of the best shows and singing we have seen on a ship for a long time. There were lots of activities on during the day and with lots of children on board it seemed to keep everyone happy. The drinks at the bars were priced ok and included all service charges unlike HAL and Princess who add 15% on top of the menu prices. The staff were all friendly and very efficient and so nice to see Pacifica staff onboard to add to the flavour of the cruise line being based in Australia and NZ. It is definitely a family oriented ship but a few too many children for our liking as we are at a stage in life that we like a quiet time. Well done to P&O and your wonderful staff you managed to impress us! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Having downsized our large property after our children left home we’re now in a situation where we can spend money on traveling to the places that we have been dreaming about for years, the question was where to start first? Having done ... Read More
Having downsized our large property after our children left home we’re now in a situation where we can spend money on traveling to the places that we have been dreaming about for years, the question was where to start first? Having done a reasonable amount of Australia when our children were growing up, we decided that a trip to our local House of Travel in Motueka to investigate cruising was the best place to start. Friends and family had already been on Princess Line cruises with great feedback on how much they had enjoyed themselves. After seeing what was available to suit our schedule and what we considered to be the best value we decided on the Fiji Encounter with P&O and promptly booked and paid for our tickets. Excitedly we returned home and started further researching our dream breakaway only to be horrified by the online reviews of what seemed to be the holiday from hell so if you’ve just found yourself in this situation I want you to take a breath and relax, Pacific Aria is not five stars but be realistic you haven’t paid for five stars so if you board Aria with a determination to have a great holiday you won’t be disappointed. The ship; Pacific Aria is the smallest ship in the P&O fleet but still packs in all the features that you would expect on the larger ships just on a smaller scale. I would have to say that the Aria is not the greatest ship that I’ve traveled on after we encountered a few days of rough weather, neither of us suffers from motion sickness but there were onboard reports of our fellow travelers struggling with the conditions. Our advice would be to take a sea legs tablet the day before you depart and keep taking them for the remainder of your cruise if you’re concerned about seasickness. We had a balcony room on deck 10 and the condition of the room had lost a bit of its gloss from new and could do with a refresh up. Still, it was very clean, and our room Stewart’s were amazing at keeping it spotless. Again, the Aria is not five stars and we spent very little time in our cabin anyway. The restaurants and bars have faired better and still retain a lot of the original shine. Dining; This is where we feel that the Aria has been unfairly slammed the most in online reviews, so we took special note of what was on offer. The Pantry, is where you can eat as much as you like pretty much when you like and has a good selection on café type food it looked well stocked and clean we only had one quick lunch here and it seemed to be on par with other cafes that we’ve grabbed a quick bite at when in a hurry. In short nothing spectacular but by no means bad. The Waterfront restaurant is where you can dine for all three meals on sea days and has a varied menu with great service. We tried a bit of everything, and it was nicely prepared if slightly lacking in imagination. Again, they’re preparing a lot of meals and dealing with a lot of dietary needs, so we gave them a solid 7 for food and a 10 for service. Angelo’s is one of the two specialty restaurants onboard the Aria that is included in your fare and is well worth a visit. We dined there twice and sampled both menus A and menu B. Angelo’s has beautiful décor and good service. We gave Angelo’s an 8 for food and an 8 for the overall dining experience. The Dragon Lady; “Wow” This is not what we expected when we paid our fare, we would have to rate Dragon Lady as one of the best restaurants that we’ve dined at. This is qualified by over forty years of combined experience in the hospitality and service sectors. We gave menu A, a well-deserved 10 and Menu B a solid 8. Service was exceptional. We dined there on four occasions and would’ve gladly eaten there every night. This is the best GF menu that we’ve ever seen, anywhere! Just needs another GF dessert option on menu B. Salt Grill by Luke Mangan; This is billed as the best dining experience onboard P&O and is the only place where you have to pay an additional surcharge so we were looking forward to something special and at the risk of upsetting our Aussie brothers and sisters we were underwhelmed with both the menu and the service. The food is good, it’s just not as good as it’s hyped up to be and we found the service to be slightly arrogant. In fairness, I do have a GF diet so maybe some of the ingredients had to be removed from the dishes, but this wasn’t an issue elsewhere on Aria. We gave Salt Grill a 7 for the food and a 7 for service. Entertainment; this is where the Pacific Aria shines as the production shows held in the Marquee are world-class with slick choreography and singing which is supported by great lighting and sound. Our favorite was Johnny Balance the Comedian Magician who had us laughing so much that it hurt. Name that tune with Georgie, Cruise Director Cole’s morning Trivia, Bingo with Cameron, Pacific Popstar and the riotous Rock the Room were some of the other standouts for us. Unfortunately, the Ocean Bar is just not big enough for all of those wanting to participate in the fun. This is also where the Aria fell short with the themed parties that were a bit of a let down as we had visions of us dancing the night away in a grand setting, but full marks must go to Cole and his wonderful team. If you can’t find something fun to do on the Aria, we would suggest that you check your pulse. Music and Bars; There is a range of theme bars with matched live music that is of a high standard our favorites were Kawai and Ian Berry, but they were all great. As far as the bars go the Blue Room was the standout for us due to the excellent service and late-night coffees. It’s a great place to chill out reading with a premium coffee during the day or to enjoy live music and a cocktail in the evening. We would also like to rebuff the online nonsense regarding short poured drinks as the drinks that we watched being made were always prepared using the correct standard measures. Bar hygiene was also of a very high standard. We weren’t cruising with any children of our own and there was plenty on board, but we hardly ever saw them we can only assume that they were locked away in the engine room or having the time of their lives in the kid’s clubs and pools. Shore excursions; These were of an acceptable standard for us but we would suggest that P&O send some undercover team along from time to time to make sure that standards are being maintained our tour guides were great on the bus but left us to our devices once we arrived at our destinations. We found a lot more was on offer once we moved away from the group and went exploring on our own. The standout was the amazing cultural shows and singing. The only bad point was the tender trip into Port Denarau which took an hour in very hot and humid conditions. Overall, we had a great time cruising with P&O and would do it again on one of their bigger ships but in saying that the letdowns due to the size and age of Pacific Aria were expertly papered over by the outstanding crew. Pacific Aria is still a fun place to spend a value-packed holiday and a great introduction into the world of cruising. David and Gaylene, Motueka NZ. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Having been on an earlier cruise on the Pacific Jewel we decided to do a longer cruise on the Pacific Aria. The ship was smaller and more intimate than the Jewel but parts were quite dated and we noticed an almost musty smell in our cabin. ... Read More
Having been on an earlier cruise on the Pacific Jewel we decided to do a longer cruise on the Pacific Aria. The ship was smaller and more intimate than the Jewel but parts were quite dated and we noticed an almost musty smell in our cabin. The service could not be faulted from the housekeeping staff, the entertainment, the restaurants and we felt the food was superior in the Waterfront to previous although not so keen on the pantry food. We were fortunate enough to be gifted a lunch at Luke Mangins Salt Grill and the steaks were absolutely the best we have ever had and would give them a 10+ We felt this ship being smaller was more rockier than previous but it may have been due to the weather. Special thanks to our Room Stewards Viddy and Elmer for helping us and making our stay just that ore special with their service. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise as we had never been to Vanuatu before and this was the only cruise line which departs Auckland for this destination. We also have done two previous P&O cruises which have been ok. However the standards have ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had never been to Vanuatu before and this was the only cruise line which departs Auckland for this destination. We also have done two previous P&O cruises which have been ok. However the standards have dropped with much cheaper food lines. You can definitely see where cut backs have been made to the food which is presented. This was very dissapointing and would possibly prevent us from sailing with P&O in the future. Even in the sit down dining restaurants it was difficult to find something descent to eat. We also thought the ship could do with a good scrub down. The main viewing windows on the ship in the dining areas & restaurants were green from algie and looked disgusting. Surely there must be a way these can be cleaned as they bought the whole ship standard down. The staff were all pretty good though. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Pacific Aria Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.6
Dining 4.0 3.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.4
Public Rooms 5.0 3.6
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.4
Family 4.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.2
Enrichment 3.0 3.0
Service 4.5 3.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.2

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click