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

Great service on an average cruise

Pacific Aria Cruise Review by Caszie87

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2020
  • Destination: the South Pacific

We chose this cruise because we were looking for a getaway from the kids for a week, and to see Tasmania.

We stayed in Melbourne for 2 days prior to leaving. The weather was nice until it was time for us to sail. It became rough with gale force winds. We left port over 12 hours late. Then the first day at sea was very rough. Almost half the ship out with sea sickness.

Embarking was easy, as was disembarkation at each port. Very smooth, we ran into no issues.

The staff were amazing, they could not help you enough. Entertainment was good. Lots of good bands, quality shows. A lot of activities geared toward very social people or an older generation or families. Not a lot for couples.

The food in the pantry was a little MEH for our tastes. A lot of the food was a hit or miss. We either loved it...or hated it. However the decor in the public areas was nice. You can tell they have put a lot of effort into it. As were all of the restaurants. The coffee in the machine in the pantry was the worst. Just absolutely disgusting. The bought coffee was better. Coffee in the waterfront restaurant was at least coffee.

We also bought the edge passes, gold. And it was a waste of money. Young children and teens would have got more use out of them. We would have spent less if we paid for each individual activity we did. A lot of the activities geared towards adults were on days that it was rough (so they were cancelled) or when we were in port exploring our destinations. We got to do 3 activities (my partner did 4). The abseiling was okay...would have been nice if it was from higher up or if it was more challenging. The most fun was the flying fox. And the least fun was the VR, very basic and could be done in your living room. The archery was a good solid activity. However, these activities were placed all over the ship with absolutely no privacy; most were in the main public area. It would have been better if they had a dedicated space, room, for their needs. The staff on these activities were great. Knowledgeable and fun. Well suited for their job.

The Spa was great. Mahummod was fantastic at cutting hair and did a wonderful job.

Overall, we had an average, just okay, time. Maybe we had built the trip up in our heads a little (first holiday in 8 years) and we were a little disappointed when it didn't live up the expectations we had. Everything that seemed to want to go wrong did. Flight delays, uncomfortable beds, food that wasn't great, rough weather which lead to cancelled onboard activities and a late port arrival which also lead to us having to cancel a shore tour due to it leaving a lot later than we wanted and having other plans on shore, and a shore tour that went longer than we expected and then didn't feed us lunch (arriving back at the ship after even The Pantry had closed). The last day was the worst. Waking up all the passengers with loud music through the halls at 6am is NOT OKAY. Essentially a big get the hell off our ship, leaving everyone with a bad taste in their mouth. We heard other passengers grumbling as well.

We arrived home tired and a little wrung out. Just happy to be in our own beds. For the money we spent over 7 days (5 on the ship) I feel a little cheated. A little disappointed. IF we ever went on another cruise...I don't think it would be with P&O.

Caszie87's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

The cabin was definitely subpar. The beds were very firm, I could have slept on the floor and it would have felt the same as the mattress. Same with the pillows...very firm. The sheets had yellowing stains all over them. The sink in the bathroom was broken when we got into the cabin (the push down plug was stuck and we had a to call a room attendant to fix it). The shower tap dripped non stop. Rust was present under the fittings and there was mould in the seals around the tub. It just seemed tired, unloved and in need of a desperate make over.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


We loved Hobart. Lots to do here. LOTS of walking.

Port Arthur

Another great port. Don't need to pay for a shore tour here. You can just walk around and see for yourself, read the plaques, learn. Take photos. Definitely don't need a full day here.

The tour lasted longer than expected. There was lots of driving in a bus. The caves are far inland and the canyon even further. Then a long drive back. No food is allowed to leave the ship which means we had nowhere to get lunch...maybe would have been nice to be warned to bring some sort of packaged snack etc. The tour lady gave lots of information about the agriculture and history of Burnie, if that's your thing, you'll love this tour. The Caves were great. However you are only as fast as your slowest member...some people should not have booked this tour as they were barely fit enough to make it down there, let alone up. Lots of waiting around in the caves for people to catch up.

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