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I had read the reviews on this ship prior to departure and was extremely concerned by the bad reports. I contacted P & O to express these concerns and was assured that the ship was sea worthy and that we would have a wonderful time. How right they were! Despite a last minute hitch getting on board to receive a phone call from the dog sitter that she had got locked out of the house (good neighbour managed to get her in) and my husband believing it was yet another sign that we should not be going, we had the best time. The weather was wonderful with slight seas apart from the first night when the ship did rock and roll a bit when there was 100km winds. Also the Captain coming over on the intercom to ask First Aid to attend to deck 5 - at 1 am in the morning. Then for him to come over again shortly after to advise passengers not to be alarmed but there had been a fire on board but it was all under control. Think I would rather not have known this detail. The ship was well decorated and we loved the smaller areas, made it feel more special, rather than having one or two large bars and dining rooms. We ate in all the restaurants except the Salt Grill as we had eaten in this on a previous cruise. The Pantry was really nice for lunch or a quick dinner, based on the shopping centre food halls. You just went to your desired choice where there may be one or two in the queue ahead and you were served your food. Nothing stopped you from then going to another choice or back to the same one again for more if you were still hungry. Staff asked you how much you wanted and it was easy to say "more please!" We had breakfast every day in the Waterfront Restaurant where the food was ordered and brought to the table. Found this a relaxing start to the day. We also had a few evening meals there and again the service and quality of the food was excellent. The Dragon Lady was a really nice restaurant with very tasty food. Normally there is a surcharge but this was wavered on our cruise. The decoration was very nice and you could have been at any 5 star restaurant in a capital city. The only disappointment we had with food was Angelo's the Italian. It was decorated lovely with Sophia Loren posters on the walls. However we found the food to be disappointing and it was here that we had our only bad experience with a staff member when he just threw our plates down in front of us without any pleasantries. Perhaps it was just a bad night for them but we were pleased that the surcharge was waivered on this cruise as would have complained had we had to pay extra. We did not do any of the shore tours because I had a knee operation and did not know how I would be but we did go ashore by ourselves at each port. We found the Isle of Pines the best with the lovely golden sand which was easy to walk on and the sea lovely to swim in. We had been warned about the taxi drivers hounding you at Port Vila but it was so much worse than we had expected. Police were on the dock trying to keep them out but it was a frightening experience and we are a couple together. Had I been on my own with a girl friend or was an older couple I would have found it really frightening. So unless you are going on an organised tour I would recommend that you do not get off the ship early but leave it till it has calmed down and then get off when the majority of these drivers have gone and you can then walk around the local market stalls. During the cruise we went to several of the shows and listened to all the entertainers. They were all very good, but some were better than others. We would agree that Sibling Rivalry (brother Aaron and Sister Gemma) were excellent and we would aim to go to where they were singing. This was often in the Ocean Bar and during the night their performance was interrupted by DJ Sakery with Name that Tune. We found this fun and light hearted. The Blue Room was lovely but played a lot of Jazz in this area which we are not a lover of anyway. We had a suite and found that it was worth paying for this as it gave us so many extras to make the cruise special. Priority Embarkation - straight to the front of the queue (which wasn't that long anyway) Priority Tenders - could chose when we wanted to go ashore just turned up when we were ready Priority Disembarkation - left the ship early - luggage was dockside waiting for us. Only thing here we had forgotten that we had to carry it all through customs and had a large and a small suitcase and a bag each so was difficult to juggle. Trolleys were only available for disabled travellers. Bottle of Champagne on arrival in the suite Wine and canopes served on cocktail nights Fresh fruit in the room - but it was wasted as always had enough to eat elsewhere Complementary Bottled water Complementary Afternoon Tea served on the balcony Cocktail Party with Captain and other crew Complementary breakfast served in room but we decided it was nicer to go to the Waterfront restaurant as the choice was more to our liking Complementary laundry Staff were excellent throughout the trip and the cabin staff could not do enough to help you . Always had a lovely smile and remembered your name from the word go. We did attend a seminar on Liver Detox and after we went for the InBody analysis test which advised on the supplements that you needed to purchase in order to fully detox your liver to enable it to work efficiently - and would aid weight loss amongst other things. The 2 fitness instructors were very knowledgeable but the cost of the supplements would have been over $1500 for us so we decided not to go ahead. There was no pressure from him to buy but if we had known the cost before we may not have had the analysis done which in itself was $112. We experienced no noise at night although we were on deck 10 and were under the lido where the cruise parties happened. We could hear the noise and music but this all finished by 12. Late night parties were held in the Dome where there were no cabins underneath them. We did not have children running up and down the corridors. Our days were mainly spent on a sunbed in the Adult Only Oasis Pool area. This was very nice with plenty of beds available, I had had a knee operation a couple of weeks prior and found getting out of the beds quite hard. Having said that there were a few ones that were higher and we chose to lay on these after the initial day. They was not a lot of shade but with the lovely sea breeze and suntan cream it was not really a problem for us. I could not get into the pool because of my knee but found it easy to take a shower to cool down, which were located around the pool. I think our cruise was lovely from start to finish and we would definitely chose to go back on the Aria.

Excellent Cruise

Pacific Aria Cruise Review by Heatherw1

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I had read the reviews on this ship prior to departure and was extremely concerned by the bad reports. I contacted P & O to express these concerns and was assured that the ship was sea worthy and that we would have a wonderful time.

How right they were! Despite a last minute hitch getting on board to receive a phone call from the dog sitter that she had got locked out of the house (good neighbour managed to get her in) and my husband believing it was yet another sign that we should not be going, we had the best time.

The weather was wonderful with slight seas apart from the first night when the ship did rock and roll a bit when there was 100km winds. Also the Captain coming over on the intercom to ask First Aid to attend to deck 5 - at 1 am in the morning. Then for him to come over again shortly after to advise passengers not to be alarmed but there had been a fire on board but it was all under control. Think I would rather not have known this detail.

The ship was well decorated and we loved the smaller areas, made it feel more special, rather than having one or two large bars and dining rooms.

We ate in all the restaurants except the Salt Grill as we had eaten in this on a previous cruise. The Pantry was really nice for lunch or a quick dinner, based on the shopping centre food halls. You just went to your desired choice where there may be one or two in the queue ahead and you were served your food. Nothing stopped you from then going to another choice or back to the same one again for more if you were still hungry. Staff asked you how much you wanted and it was easy to say "more please!"

We had breakfast every day in the Waterfront Restaurant where the food was ordered and brought to the table. Found this a relaxing start to the day. We also had a few evening meals there and again the service and quality of the food was excellent.

The Dragon Lady was a really nice restaurant with very tasty food. Normally there is a surcharge but this was wavered on our cruise. The decoration was very nice and you could have been at any 5 star restaurant in a capital city.

The only disappointment we had with food was Angelo's the Italian. It was decorated lovely with Sophia Loren posters on the walls. However we found the food to be disappointing and it was here that we had our only bad experience with a staff member when he just threw our plates down in front of us without any pleasantries. Perhaps it was just a bad night for them but we were pleased that the surcharge was waivered on this cruise as would have complained had we had to pay extra.

We did not do any of the shore tours because I had a knee operation and did not know how I would be but we did go ashore by ourselves at each port. We found the Isle of Pines the best with the lovely golden sand which was easy to walk on and the sea lovely to swim in. We had been warned about the taxi drivers hounding you at Port Vila but it was so much worse than we had expected. Police were on the dock trying to keep them out but it was a frightening experience and we are a couple together. Had I been on my own with a girl friend or was an older couple I would have found it really frightening. So unless you are going on an organised tour I would recommend that you do not get off the ship early but leave it till it has calmed down and then get off when the majority of these drivers have gone and you can then walk around the local market stalls.

During the cruise we went to several of the shows and listened to all the entertainers. They were all very good, but some were better than others. We would agree that Sibling Rivalry (brother Aaron and Sister Gemma) were excellent and we would aim to go to where they were singing. This was often in the Ocean Bar and during the night their performance was interrupted by DJ Sakery with Name that Tune. We found this fun and light hearted.

The Blue Room was lovely but played a lot of Jazz in this area which we are not a lover of anyway.

We had a suite and found that it was worth paying for this as it gave us so many extras to make the cruise special.

Priority Embarkation - straight to the front of the queue (which wasn't that long anyway)

Priority Tenders - could chose when we wanted to go ashore just turned up when we were ready

Priority Disembarkation - left the ship early - luggage was dockside waiting for us. Only thing here we had forgotten that we had to carry it all through customs and had a large and a small suitcase and a bag each so was difficult to juggle. Trolleys were only available for disabled travellers.

Bottle of Champagne on arrival in the suite

Wine and canopes served on cocktail nights

Fresh fruit in the room - but it was wasted as always had enough to eat elsewhere

Complementary Bottled water

Complementary Afternoon Tea served on the balcony

Cocktail Party with Captain and other crew

Complementary breakfast served in room but we decided it was nicer to go to the Waterfront restaurant as the choice was more to our liking

Complementary laundry

Staff were excellent throughout the trip and the cabin staff could not do enough to help you . Always had a lovely smile and remembered your name from the word go.

We did attend a seminar on Liver Detox and after we went for the InBody analysis test which advised on the supplements that you needed to purchase in order to fully detox your liver to enable it to work efficiently - and would aid weight loss amongst other things. The 2 fitness instructors were very knowledgeable but the cost of the supplements would have been over $1500 for us so we decided not to go ahead. There was no pressure from him to buy but if we had known the cost before we may not have had the analysis done which in itself was $112.

We experienced no noise at night although we were on deck 10 and were under the lido where the cruise parties happened. We could hear the noise and music but this all finished by 12. Late night parties were held in the Dome where there were no cabins underneath them. We did not have children running up and down the corridors.

Our days were mainly spent on a sunbed in the Adult Only Oasis Pool area. This was very nice with plenty of beds available, I had had a knee operation a couple of weeks prior and found getting out of the beds quite hard. Having said that there were a few ones that were higher and we chose to lay on these after the initial day. They was not a lot of shade but with the lovely sea breeze and suntan cream it was not really a problem for us.

I could not get into the pool because of my knee but found it easy to take a shower to cool down, which were located around the pool.

I think our cruise was lovely from start to finish and we would definitely chose to go back on the Aria.
Heatherw1’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Cabin 10042
Our Cabin was excellent, a king size bed with a sofa and table and 2 other arm chairs. Separate dressing area.
I found that even with my knee I could get into the shower which was over the bath.
Balcony had a table and 5 chairs and 2 sunbeds and there was plenty of room to move around.
Staff Bonia and Nincia were excellent kept the room clean and delighted us with the different animals that they made from the towels.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews