On Friday 12th February 2016 my Husband our 2 children (aged 4 ½ & 7) and my parents started our 4 night cruise from Brisbane to Hamilton island on the ‘new’ P&O Aria and back again. We were first time cruisers, my parents had been on one other cruise (Celebrity Solstice) 2 years ago. I had read both negative and positive reviews before going on the cruise. I tried to cancel our cruise after reading some of these reviews however if we had have cancelled we would have lost 50% of our money so decided to still go ahead and make up our own opinion. We stayed in Suite 10018 and my parents stayed in Suite 10026.
Boarding the boat was a very smooth and speedy process, we were very happy with this side of things.
Upon embarking the boat and after looking around the different areas the décor and furnishings in the main areas were lovely. Our room was very spacious, with a large dressing room and a decent sized bathroom. Some of the furniture was a little tired (ie scratches on the wooden arms of the furniture, showing signs of wear and tear), however overall we were happy with the room. We were very happy with the size of the balcony also. We did notice a fair bit of corrosion around the boat which looked like it had just been patched up with paint.
Very comfortable bed, large room with large balcony, suite had a fridge. Shame we couldn't sleep for 2 nights of the trip as blowers were on right outside our door trying to dry out wet carpet.
We didn't do any of the planned onshore excursions. We decided to do our own thing on Hamilton Island. They had free buses that leave quite regularly on the island so you can get around and stop where you want when you want quite easily.