I decided that I wanted to take my partner on a holiday. This cruise departed on her birthday so thought it would be a good introduction to cruising as neither of us had been on a cruise before. 7 nights from Brisbane to the Barrier Reef stopping in Hamilton Island and Cairns. I got a great deal on a Oceanview Room during P & O 7 day sale so I booked it. I then read many reviews on the Pacific Aria and started to regret my choice as they all seemed to can the ship and the company. We were early to arrive at the embarkation point in Brisbane but could easily drop off our bags and then head off for breakfast prior to boarding. The check in process was easy with friendly staff eager to answer our (probably) dumb questions. Once on board we were greeted by friendly staff that always had a smile. I did get a few good tips from reviews and booked into restaurants for dinner as soon as I got on the ship. I ate in the Waterfront Restaurant the first two nights which was good but then stuck to The Pantry the other five. Both places had reasonable meals, not five star but then I didn't pay 5 star price for the cruise. Some of the furnishings in The Dome were worn but still useable. The cabins were clean and tidy and more than spacious enough for the two of us. Room attendants came twice daily to service it. The entertainment was good, shows every night as well as themed parties. There were plenty of areas where you could relax for a drink and the 18+ only pool area was a great place to hang out and get some sun in relative quiet. I would advise anyone booking on this ship to do so, but remember, if you pay budget prices, don't complain if it is not up to your five star expectations. Would I go on this ship again, hell yes. I was looking for somewhere to hide to go on it's next journey.
The room was spacious. We had it set up with twin beds and it gave you planty of room to move around without falling over each other.
I booked a golf buggy on arrival on Hamilton as it was cheaper than booking through the cruise line. Unfortunately it could only be booked for an hour which didn't give you much time to get around and see everything.
Once again we waited until arriving in Cairns to book tours as it is a lot cheaper than booking through the cruise. We went to Geen Island on the first day and did the Seawalker experience. Well worth the money to do it.