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

My first cruise

Pacific Aria Cruise Review by Hannahmc

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

My husband and I had never been on a cruise before but wanted to try one. We booked one for a great price despite the negative reviews we read online about the Pacific Aria and P&O. I'm so glad we did, we loved it!!


*I had low expectations due to reviews online stating the food was crap. My expectations were exceeded and I was impressed by both the food in the restaurants and the Pantry! Especially the restaurants! Advice: get one member of your group/ couple to go straight to the desk at Angelos restaurant as soon as they can, and immediately book Dragon Lady and Angelos, even more than once each! Waterfront is easier to book in for, those other two are difficult. These 3 restaurants are all free. We enjoyed dining in restaurants at night instead of the Pantry at night.

*loved the shows, musicals, and things the itinery lists you can attend. Especially that last musical!

*we found alot of fun or decent things to do in the itinery to keep us occupied

*I would describe our affordable room as decent sized, not as the 'sardine tins' size I've heard it described as

*last boat I was on I got so sea sick. On here I was fine. I started off on travel calm till I realised I didnt need it.

*loved the themed parties and how its a cleaner club environment before 11pm each night

*we were occupied enough that we didnt go for board games or books or sunbaking (4 night cruise)

*most of the staff were kind, friendly

*I loved getting the opportunity to dress up well at nights, dine in restaurants without paying extra, attend shows and go dancing and have a couple drinks

*vegetarian friendly

*the way the ship is decorated and designed and styled was very very nice and well thought out!

*coffee tastes good and is available free when the Pantry is open (which is most of the time I think?). Glad they offered more than just cows milk

*barista coffees are available for purchase in takeaway cups anytime to take anywhere on the ship

*try Dragon Ladys shared plates for two people option!!! Wow!

*this ship has an adults only pool of good size. Good.. Coz I hate kids splashing :P

*cruise director Kabirs jokes over the speaker were funny


*my husband and I need a particular environment to sleep easy and this wasnt it. We needed sleeping pills every night.. But we have struggled to sleep elsewhere before where I thought it would have been easy to. Occasionally there were people talking loudly in the hall at night but that wouldnt be as much an issue if you dont go to bed early. At one point for 30 mins the wind made the motor boats squeak. We were on deck six where motor boats were pended above the deck outside our window

*the staff may be afraid of people burning themselves.. So most things are (in my opinion) not hot enough. I got used to it.. But the coolest was coffee at the Waterfront (ask for very hot coffee there). Concerned about food poisoning if its not hot enough. I didnt get sick

*the hallways had a bad odor but it wasnt very strong

*some staff werent friendly enough but thats the same everywhere

*nearly all the staff are foreign. So there was a language barrier once. Does the company employ them so they can pay really low wages? I dont know

*I'd like to try out another P& O ship next time as I've already explored the Aria sufficiently

*if future shows are the same then I might need to bring a book or play one of their board games. Maybe

*it is very easy to spend alot of money on board. With so many hours free its very popular to purchase many drinks. I'm glad we didnt purchase the drinks package we were tempted to, as it turned out cheaper buying drinks individually.

*on non-sea days, try leave the boat at non-peak times if you dont want to stand in queues for awhile

*I saw some of the prices in nicer rooms for the same cruise I went on. It wasnt worth those large amounts of money per person for those rooms. Perhaps people who spend heaps on cruises have very high expectations and are more picky with complaining?

*when restaurants are prone to getting fully picked out.. You are asked if you will share a table. This can be hit and miss. We did this three times and twice it was ok but another time it was actually so awkward and couldnt wait to leave. I would prefer to book all restaurants at the start of the cruise with no share tables, just in case

*the aircon wasnt cool enough in The Pantry dining area at times

*the deck seats for dining arent shaded so get used to that and bring sunnies and you'll be fine

Looking forward to my next P&O cruise, as I was left impressed!

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