Embarkation - we flew up to Brisbane (from Canberra) on the morning of the cruise, this is something we would not normally do as if flights are disrupted we could have missed the ship. We arrived at Portside at around 11.15am after a $30 cab ride from the airport. We were able to check- in (despite our time being 12.30) and it went fairly quickly despite the line, as we were on the ship by 11.45am. We went straight to the Waterfront for lunch and we were told the rooms were already accessible.
The ship - Pacific Aria - it was clean and tidy and relatively good condition despite it's age. We like the design of this class ship and with only around 1200 pax aboard it doesn't feel crowded. The cruise passengers were mainly Queenslanders, with family groups and such but not that many children. Overall it was a fairly old demographic (I would guess the av age around 70+).
Service was excellent all around the ship.
Room was clean and adequate as per usual. I requested a fridge (for my pills and drinks) which was delivered on the second sea day.
Tender ports, we didn't get to go ashore at Kitava, but Kiriwina was wonderful. Snorkelling was difficult due to the low tide.
Tender port, absolutely beautiful, great swimming and snorkelling as well as all the amenitites on shore.