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Pacific Aria Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
314 Reviews

Suite is good value but dining at "the Pantry" is a huge dissappointment

Pacific Aria Cruise Review by mjh237

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2019
  • Destination: Australia & New Zealand


We were very impressed with the size of the Suite (living area, bathroom and deck), Including the free laundry services provided no matter how many cruises you've done. Also, the priority booking perk worked well, as we tried to book restaurant seats late on the first day and were refused & treated like ignorant scum until later we tried again and mentioned our Suite number - then instant bookings occurred this time with only a hint of crankiness / impatience by the staff.


We found "the Pantry" to be absolutely horrid. In two words we would describe it as 'lazy' and 'cheap'. For bfast there was only one station providing both bacon and eggs and there was always a large queue for it. Another station had bacon but although it very clearly said "eggs cooked to order" on their display sign (& there was a grill plate cooker behind them) the staff would not cook eggs and sent everyone who wanted eggs to line up at the other station. We even pointed out the “eggs cooked to order” sign to one of the supervisors and he actually told us we shouldn’t be reading that part of the sign (fair dinkum!). If you wanted something from a few stations, you had to line up at each one while your meals go cold and get coughed over by people pushing past. A buffet service is so much faster - they need to bring this back.

I found it very tiring and stressful to dine at the Pantry because the food choices were so poor, there was fierce competition to get seats, people were crowded together in the seating areas and in the walkways, and the ceiling was low and claustrophobic. There was nothing that impressed us at lunch or dinner at any of the stations, it all pretty much looked like the food you'd cook yourself at home. An exception is the fish and chips station that had good chips and a very nice batter, but although calamari was supposed to be served we never saw any, only fish, and the 'plates' provided were wire baskets with a sheet of paper under the food, and so very difficult to eat from with a knife and fork as the paper fell apart and the food fell through the wires onto the table so you ended up actually eating off the table itself. Some people were eating off what looked like prison or boarding school trays! (which I imagine are meant to be trendy but had the opposite effect).

One station had on display at almost every visit the same thing which was a pitiful looking sliced devon sausage and tiny little piles of crudities (sliced carrots etc) and nothing else! Similarly at another station, significant display space was used up with widely spaced small bowls of cereal or very simple salads depending on the time of day.

The pantry was a huge disappointment, and I dreaded going there when other dining options were not open. Instead of looking forward to meal times, we were put off at the thought as it was such an unpleasant experience.


We didn't try Salt but wished we had, because we later found out that Salt meals are apparently specially prepared to order, unlike with the other restaurants the meals are pre-prepared and stored. Dragon Lady and Angelo's were good, but nothing to write home about. We did the Chef's Table and at least one of the dishes served had also been served at the Waterfront the day before (yet we paid $119 pp for 'special' meals). We think Princess Cruises do a much better job of the food in all aspects.

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Cabin Review

Cabin Suite 10042

An impressive size Suite and the best part of the cruise. You do hear a lot deck chairs scraping above but most of the time it's quiet.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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