We found the embarkation to be okay but it didn't run as smoothly as Sydney. ( our hometown).
The ship Aria we found to be very small compared to other cruise ships we have been on. These are the points we enjoyed about the boat.
* Small & intimate - easy to get around.
* Pools were never crowded so easy to get a deckchair . Deck 10 pool was empty most of the time so great for relaxing. We just didn't like the chairs as very uncomfortable.
* Bars all had a nice ambience especially the Blue Room.
* Limited children onboard.
Dining - the best
All we can say is thank goodness for Salt Grill Restaurant as we dined there most evenings . The food & service were outstanding for a cruise ship.
We also loved the Chef's table - excellent yummy degustation with interesting people.
So, so - restaurants.
Dragonlady - food was cold & horrible... the worst restaurant on the ship.
The Waterfront - okay food but the menu didn't change which made it boring. Ambience & atmosphere, service was excellent.
Angelo's - okay but nothing to write about. Just average.
The Pantry - Not enough seats - horrible dining experience. We felt like we were living in a boarding school. However; we did like the salad bar & curry bar the best.
Breakfast - on our balcony which was blissful although the food was pretty ordinary.
Casino - We found the staff to be unfriendly & unhelpful . We did have a few wins on the roulette table & pokies which made our evenings fun.
Entertainment - good quality entertainment. We enjoyed the comedy shows the best.
Service - Level 10 staff were fabulous - especially our butlers. Great having free laundry done everyday & our ice delivered to the room.
Drink package - we wished we hadn't brought it as we found it hard to use it up everyday.
Overall - We did enjoy our cruise, especially having a suite & dining at Salt Restaurant which made our cruise more memorable. We also loved visiting PNG islands , villages, schools & hospital. A suite is a MUST on this ship....
We enjoyed our spacious suite, especially the large dressing room with plenty of wardrobe space. The bathroom was your typical shower over the bath with limited space.
The balcony was a fabulous size with plenty of room for 2 deck chairs & table & 4 chairs which was greatly appreciated when having breakfast on the balcony.
The room needed an updating as it was a little old fashioned however the king size bed was extremely comfortable.