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222 P&O Australia Cruise Reviews

We did our first cruise 5 years ago on the Pacific Dawn leaving from Brisbane. We decided we would do the Pacific Dawn again as our friends had never cruised before and we thought it a good first cruise starter also due to P & O ... Read More
We did our first cruise 5 years ago on the Pacific Dawn leaving from Brisbane. We decided we would do the Pacific Dawn again as our friends had never cruised before and we thought it a good first cruise starter also due to P & O stating they have refurbished the ship. All I can say is, was it the engine room?, the only thing new is the Big screen in the pool area and the Orient bar on deck 7. The rooms are worn, the toilets are smelly,the food in the buffet was absolutely substandard, and reminded me of Army mess food, slop it on your plate, very poor choices, (the bread rolls were probably the best food item!). We ate at the Main Waterfront dining room, several times the food there was not up to scratch either. No choices for children in the buffet, very sad, you had to pay for hot chips, pizza, hotdogs. Nothing open after 11.30pm to grab a bite to eat or tea and coffee late at night, unless you had to pay for it at the grill or Cafe shop on deck 5. The entertainment was the same scenario as 5 years ago, nothing has changed. We watched Karaoke every night and played a few quiz games. Thank goodness we had good friends to enjoy the cruise, they had no expectations, but my husband and I were very embarrassed. P & O have turned this cruise ship into a Aussie cheapo cruise with cheap prices and very poor food choices. The only good news the drinks prices were pretty cheap $10.00 cocktails and beer $7, wine around $9.00, thank goodness this kept me going! The staff were very friendly, polite and helpful and our room was always clean and well made. The entertainment staff kept every one busy as well, and fun. That's my positive outlook for this ship! I am not a snob, I have cruised 7 times before on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, but nothing will get me on a P & O again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Having had many enjoyable cruises throughout my lifetime, i had at the top of my bucket list to take my eldest son on an Island Cruise. July 2015 it came about. Although not having cruised for several years, I was expecting the ... Read More
Having had many enjoyable cruises throughout my lifetime, i had at the top of my bucket list to take my eldest son on an Island Cruise. July 2015 it came about. Although not having cruised for several years, I was expecting the standard of cruising to have at least been maintained, unfortunately I returned to Brisbane disappointed, and feeling let down. P&O now owned and operated by Carnival cruise lines did not maintain the standard of the British P&O company. Embarking: Well organised, and although the airbridge was out of action,embarking proceeded reasonably smoothly, and the staff assisting were friendly. Ship: Although now getting on in years, wasn't too bad, showing signs of its age, and the fact that it operates 24/7 with no time for other than operational maintenance. The window/door to the balcony didn't really require curtains as they were so dirty one could not see out. The cabin was quite adequate although some small things were mildly irritating, like no instructions for the security safe (Missing) no instructions for the in house TV system. Cabin staff, given the extremely long hours they work,the work load, and the meagre pay, do an excellent job, Are most courteous and helpful. Dining: First night to the main dining a la carte restaurant. Very disappinted, the menu wouldn't match an Australian sports club menu, and half a glass of cask wine $A8, and remember no Duty or GST on board. The buffet restaurant ( where it would appear most passengers dined) was an improvement, and more variety. Unfortunately during the evening meal time in the buffet, sections were closed off , called a different name, and one had to pay for a meal served there, the menu appeared to be nothing more that a standard one could expect from the main dining room. With these sections closed off created overcrowding in the rest of the buffet dining area, whic meant one wandered around in the crowd, plate of food in hand ( no trays) looking for a table. Most noticeably one could not help but get the feeling that generally speaking throughout the ship, the main objective of Carnival Cruises was to the passengers for every last dollar whilst that held them captive on board. Starting with arrival in the cabin...2 bottles of water $A4.75...Cotton bath robe and slippers $A25... then moving on, what used to be included on a cruise, various tours of the ship, no likely to cost up to $A175 pp...a few deck activities once inclusive, now charged for, single scoop of ice cream $A5...left one with the impression that keep the cost of booking the cruise low, but once onboard you pay-pay-pay. Entertainment: Generally very poor standard, certainly no world class acts like previous years or as with other cruise lines...Certainly no entertainment for seniors, on that note be aware that Carnival America now owns I believe 5 cruise lines some of which are Holland-America---Princess Cruises...Carnival...P&O....so expect the same. Some activities, although promoted for adults were more suitable for children. Unlike some other cruise lines there did not appear to be a specific childrens club or fulltime care centre catering for their needs. First time cruisers not not of course have anything to compare with so would no doubt find the cruise an excitingly new experience. For me, I felt let down, not so much for myself, but the fact, as I first mentioned,that I have had many cruises over the years, which put this one at the top of my bucket list for my eldest son who was a first time cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We travelled for a holiday to destress. The kids came with us and we have travelled before on 4 cruise. The last one was on he Princess Lines and that is the one we should have picked, not P&O (the big white cash box on the water). ... Read More
We travelled for a holiday to destress. The kids came with us and we have travelled before on 4 cruise. The last one was on he Princess Lines and that is the one we should have picked, not P&O (the big white cash box on the water). The kids club was crap. My two kids did not want to go down there on level 2 and count jelly beans and sit around and play the Wii. They were so disappointed that they stayed with us for the whole holiday. The food was very average in the water front restaurant, even so I picked the same from the favourites menu 5 times in ten days. The pantry had the same food everyday, good for breakfast and lunch, not for dinner. If you wanted to dine in the restaurant, you had to call at 530pm the day before to make a reservation which I found different and painful. The other cruise lines allocate your table and waiter. The security were very rude and really need a course in people skills. I am in a people skilled area and the way they spoke to you, I was going to make a formal complaint to the Captain. I saw the way they spoke to people, elderly especially, I was amazed. We did not have any main issues with them, but as I was going to go through the metal detector, my cap was on. I got told "take the cap off" not "can you please take you cap off." I had forgot it was on, but the way they spoke to me, I tell you I would never speak to anyone like that. Taking about the captain, never saw him at all, only saw some of his offices at the ice cream bar pigging out. Do not talk to the offices in the green shirts, they just grunt. Now for the positives, the entertainment was good with a good mix of shows. The cabin we were in was the Mini Suite 11163 and it was not too bad. You could here some noise on the top deck but it was back down near the back away from the pool area so we could not here chairs being dragged across the deck, as some people on our floor had said. The cabin staff were good but I was disappointed, as my kids mad the two paper cranes with a tip in them, and when we saw them in the morning they had said nothing. I did not care but the kids would have liked a thank you, as it was there idea. The spa was good with full access for $300 for two, stream room etc. The entrainment director, well she was great and is an asset on the cruise. The Dome was good where the kids could do their gym routines on the dance floor during he day. Over all the ship was tired, with the internals very dated and the ship should either be swapped out with another or up date the interior, or scrapped Do not book any tours on the ship, as they are over priced and there are plenty of sharks outside who will do the same tour at 1/4 of the price. Just remember, when the big white cash box pulls in the prices go up on the islands Alcohol prices are also very costly, with xxxx Gold =$575 and Crown Larger =$7.50. The cheapest wine on board is $29 and at the usual liquor outlets you can get he same bottle for $7-9.00. It is worth buying a soft drink package as it would have been a lot worst without that. Sorry about being so negative re this, but I think the Princess Lines were much better and I was disappointed with the experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We live in the Gold Coast, and all of the stops that were made, we thought we were having a deja vu moment back in the Gold Coast. The places we got off (Airlie Beach and Yorkeys Knob) were nothing special at all, and not worth spending ... Read More
We live in the Gold Coast, and all of the stops that were made, we thought we were having a deja vu moment back in the Gold Coast. The places we got off (Airlie Beach and Yorkeys Knob) were nothing special at all, and not worth spending time on. The staff were friendly - some a little TOO friendly. Sometimes, when finished with room service, we would find towels missing. We understand that nature cannot be tamed; however, the ship rocked and swayed too much for what is supposed to be a stable ship. Luckily, we had a room in the middle of the ship, so the swaying was survivable. However, whenever I stepped out a few metres from my room, the swaying was severe enough to send me dashing back. This was only for the starting days of departure, and when we were returning back to Brisbane. For several days after the landing of the ship, two of three family members felt like they were still swaying on land from the horrendous waves. The cabins and deck were satisfying. The cabins had comfortable space, and there was a window where we could see the ocean clearly. On the deck, there were beach chairs we could lounge on, while watching the ocean. Entertainment was also satisfying. The performance shows and magic shows were very entertaining. Although there were good points and bad points to our stay on the ship, the stops at Airlie Beach and Yorkeys Knob and the horrendous swaying of the ship ruined the experience for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I have been on Pacific Dawn 3 times before and once when she was originally Regal Princess in 1991. I chose this cruise due to it's interesting itinerary and the fact that it had been a long time since I have visited PNG. My cabin ... Read More
I have been on Pacific Dawn 3 times before and once when she was originally Regal Princess in 1991. I chose this cruise due to it's interesting itinerary and the fact that it had been a long time since I have visited PNG. My cabin was 11143 a minsuite on deck 11. It was midship so convenient for accessing the pools and entertainment area above. The room was reasonably sized and had a sitting area and a long bench that substituted for a desk and a place to plonk my stuff on. The bathroom was weird. The shower was situated over the long side of the bath (the wall where the taps are not!) meaning I had to turn sideways to have a shower.. Very difficult when you're tall like me. Eldy my cabin steward was fantastic. Probably the saving grace of the cruise. He was polite, efficient and looked after me superbly. Congrats to Eldy! never had to ask for anything, and laundry was returned quickly and without any fuss. So, Pacific Dawn has had a refit since I last went on her. The pools, although small were adequate and benefited from what I call " Bath taps" spurting water and refilling the pool, it reminded me of the bath taps you see on modern baths and hence that's what I call them. The area that needs most modernisation are the cabins. P&O Tend to spend lots of money doing up the passenger areas, but spend nothing on the cabins (except new carpet.. not a huge upgrade!) I've travelled in a balcony cabin recently on the sister ship Pacific Jewel, and they aren't the largest. The walls are still from the Regal Princess era, and the wood is chipped and warn out. The balcony railings were disgusting, no varnish on them and wood flaking off. The rust is evident everywhere, even the painting over the rust now looks stupid and has built up over time. The minsuite had a nice area for dressing.. Wider than the standard cabin, and was nice to have a bit of space to hang clothes and change in the evenings. The other thing with the mini suite is the priority embarkation, and priority tender passes. A very useful commodity when it can take a couple of hours to get on and off the ship (you can only use them to get off, not get back on again). Food had to be the most disappointing aspect of the cruise. 3 notable exceptions... 1) Chef's table, 2) Salt Grill and 3) La Luna. I didn't even bother eating anything from the buffet. In order to eat anything decent, you'll have to pay for it. Ice creams, pizza, hot dogs etc are available for a snack and are $3.00 for most and $9 for the pizza. I had to eat at the "Grill" twice, as the food was so bad I couldn't eat what they served in the Waterfront, so only had a small amount to eat. I do highly recommend the Chef's table and the other pay for dine options. Entertainment was horrid.. vile.. the DJ would play a song for 40 seconds and everyone would get up to dance, instead of mixing it nearer the end, he would mix it about half way through. This meant people got up and down a lot. The only songs he played through till nearly the end was his own choosing. The other entertainment options were very poor, I tried listening to one or two musicians, but had to get up and leave. Normally the average age on P&O Australia is around 40. This cruise it was higher, due to a large number of older clients. Respect to them for though, and a lot of retired servicemen and women (keep up the good work!). Also at this point, I should mention the Captain. He made some really good decisions regarding tendering. It was really windy on most of the tender ports. He gave his all to make sure that we were able to tender safely. They had to keep the ship from swinging in the wind by using the thrusters. Most captains would have cancelled the ports because it was a lot of hard work for the crew. Respect to him for operating in such conditions. I choose P&O knowing the food is going to be terrible, the cabins lousy because it's VALUE FOR MONEY. You can eat nicely by alternating your dining venue, and there are nice sized mini-suites and suites available. It's value for money for families as well. On this cruise, they were trailing two drinks packages. The first was a soft drinks (only coke brand and not mineral water or coffee!) which was $7 per day, and a all in package for $69 per day (per person for both). The all inclusive package allowed purchases up to $10 per drink (excluding coffee) which left only two cocktails out, the Long Island Iced Tea and the Pacific Island Iced Tea. Most cocktails were around the $10.00 mark. Service for the bars was slow and frustrating. They need more staff to take drinks. Some of the staff were good at remembering you, but mostly poor service in the bar areas. Disembarkation was easy and done with tags. Off the ship and out the other side in around 20 mins from deciding to leave the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
For Starters , Boarding the ship in Brisbane was a joke, from the time we arrived and to the time we got to our cabin was really 2hrs, things were held up a lot by there stupid , no bottle water policy, making people throw out or drink it ... Read More
For Starters , Boarding the ship in Brisbane was a joke, from the time we arrived and to the time we got to our cabin was really 2hrs, things were held up a lot by there stupid , no bottle water policy, making people throw out or drink it on the spot, Very stupid. They were so paroind that someone my take their own booze onboard. very stupid . The ship itself is old and it looks like it. Our cabin which was a suite, was very nice, at least it was big enough to hide in. We had all our breakfasts and Lunch in there. At least we did not have to pay for anything, because of the fact of being in a Suite, I pity the family who have three kids and they want a Hamburger or pizza. The food on board was pretty average. We only went to the Buffet twice, not enough choice for us. The waterfront was a little better, the meals were nice , but not great. As we like wine, the choice you had was not very exciting, very poor choice of wines. I might as well stayed at home. The two Restaurants that you paid a lot of money for extra was not worth it. The Slat Grill which we have experienced before on the Pacific Pearl , which was amazing , this time ,the price had gone up, half the items that well had before had been taken off the menu , and what was left, had been cut down by half. La Luna, was a joke, didn't taste anything like Japanese food. The Entertainment was the worst I have ever seen on a cruise ship. Piano players had no idea how to play, I sat or should I say tried to listen to this girl playing in the Atrium area, play Piano Man, she was not even playing the right chords. The two other male Piano Players, should go back to school. The Entertainment in the Theatre by the Singers and Dancers was very poor, None of them could sing that well and had no idea about how to dance as a group. The Public areas I liked their look but, were very small for the amount of people on board, you had to get there early just to get a seat. The Only bar we liked was the Mix Bar, Those two Bartenders were great knew their stuff. It was just a pity they had terrible music down stairs. As far as the ports of PNG, All i can say is that I am glad I went on this cruise, I can now see were Australia Aid is not going to. I have no desire to go back. Which is a shame. As far as P&O go, I may give one of the new revamped ships coming out soon a go , but it will have to be really good deal to get me back onboard one of there ships. At least getting of the ship was not as bad as getting on. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
A group of around 30 family members went on this cruises to celebrate some milestone birthdays. Demarcation was quick and efficient but that's about where it stops being anything great. The food on the Pacific Dawn is mediocre at ... Read More
A group of around 30 family members went on this cruises to celebrate some milestone birthdays. Demarcation was quick and efficient but that's about where it stops being anything great. The food on the Pacific Dawn is mediocre at the best, you only have 2 choices that are included in your fare, the buffet and 1 restaurant, we gave up on the buffet as the food was so bad, it was tasteless and too simple. No variety here, jelly for dessert, maybe 1 stir fry and only 1 meat for carvey, long lines and no variety, same stuff every day. Restaurant was mildly better. At least the food was edible. This cruise line penny pinches on everything, no biscuits, cheeses, cakes or cafes for burgers hot dogs etc, you have to pay for everything. Even room service, you pay for the food as well as the delivery. I cant believe that you can go on a great barrier reef cruise and you cannot even get a banana on board or even icecream except when you pay for it separetely. As for the staff, most were grumpy and non responsive, no bright smiles here except in the Waterfront restaurant , they were pleasant here. Rooms are very basic and tired looking, dark colours and not even a picture in the Room to brighten it up. My brother-in-law is trained in first aide and had to come to the assistance on two separate occasions to persons on the tenders. One elderly lady fell and cut her head abducted required 9 stitches , the other had a fit, staff did not know what to do on both occasions and did not even have a first aide kit on board. Would I sail with P&O again? Not on your life!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I had two first time cruises with me on this cruise Jewel 22nd Oct 2015. I am so disappointed the Pantry idea is ok but the food standard was so poor. (I even lost weight )The entertainment around the ship was also very poor (3 Duo's ... Read More
I had two first time cruises with me on this cruise Jewel 22nd Oct 2015. I am so disappointed the Pantry idea is ok but the food standard was so poor. (I even lost weight )The entertainment around the ship was also very poor (3 Duo's really ) all sounded the same . Very cold air condition in Waterfront food great there but had to eat & run to cold . As for the shows three out of nine good . No sail away parties at all was bad weather when left Sydney but was promised sail away party when leaving one of Islands never happened . Gasby party was a non event . The white night was fine as the entertainment team a great job . I will never cruise P&O again very very disappointing . Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I travelled with 3 friends on Pacific Dawn on the Melbourne Cup Cruise. This will be my last ever cruise with P&O, the service and treatment by the staff was an absolute disgrace, the majority were rude and unfriendly. We ... Read More
I travelled with 3 friends on Pacific Dawn on the Melbourne Cup Cruise. This will be my last ever cruise with P&O, the service and treatment by the staff was an absolute disgrace, the majority were rude and unfriendly. We purchased a drinks package at the start and felt that the staff went out of their way to delay serving us. On one occasion, I was waiting at the bar when the lady beside me asked if the waiter was watering down the drinks. I looked over and he had a 1/2 glass of cognac on ice and had his fingers inside the glass pouring it back into a half filled bottle. When I remarked that it was unhygienic and unacceptable as he would contaminate the contents, he replied he had washed his hands earlier and the alcohol would kill any germs. Another time I was the only person at the bar and the waiter refused to serve me a bottle of beer because he was a "cocktail waiter". He actually made me go to another bar !! One night I was sick with the flu and asked for a shot of scotch to go with some honey and lemon. The waiter refused to serve me saying I was drunk and they did not serve shots after 12. I had been in my room most of the night and was far from drunk. As I had lost my voice, my friend pleaded with him and was told to go away as it was not his business. My friend remarked that the service was shit, so the waiter blocked him from drinking until the next evening. The waiter came around to our group in a very aggressive and rude manner demanding my friends card, I don't know why P&O would allow this as even in court you are innocent until proven guilty. We spoke to the front desk manager, the head of security and the head of the bar staff and requested they review the video of his actions, they still did nothing to unblock his pre paid for drinks but said they would look into it. There were several days of rain and rough seas and shows were cancelled, decks and pools were closed, but P&O did not put on any alternative activities. When we disembarked in Melbourne there was no information given on how to return to the ship if you missed the last bus at 6PM.....which was actually gone when we arrived at 5:50. Many passengers we stranded and forced to get taxi's that took them to the wrong location as the ship had docked at a different harbour than normal. The food was very average and the orders were often mixed up or forgotten. The air conditioners in the bars broke down as did the automatic doors. We were unable to access the stairs from the grill and I asked if we could get some umbrellas to cross the deck to the only available stairs. The staff member said they did not supply umbrellas, only in the wet season and suggested we run across the wet and slippery deck. The music in the Dome could have been used to set your watch to as they played the same terrible songs every evening at the same times. There were several staff members that we really nice and helpful, but after speaking to them they said they also felt out of place amongst the rude and arrogant Philippines and Indian staff. I hope senior management read this and the 20 or so comment cards I submitted and contact me to explain.......but I will not hold my breath. Farewell P&O Steve Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Just returned from the inaugural cruise of Pacific Eden Fremantle to Sydney. If this is the new P&O Australia and if this "like nothing on earth" lemmie outta here. It was a terrible disappointment. Twelve or ... Read More
Just returned from the inaugural cruise of Pacific Eden Fremantle to Sydney. If this is the new P&O Australia and if this "like nothing on earth" lemmie outta here. It was a terrible disappointment. Twelve or thirteen hundred people boarded the ship in Fremantle not knowing that most of the crew had also just boarded and that pretty much everything was as new to them as it was for us. The public areas look pretty schmik as do the restaurants and The Pantry. Alas, for us on this cruise at least, they just weren't ready for anything. Angelos and The Dragon Lady were offered without the surcharge. I tried both and as blown away as I was about the decor the food was atrocious. Luke warm, bland to tasteless, the most authentic bit of Italy in Angelos was my Asian waiter. In The Dragon Lady the food was tepid, you have to order rice as an extra (?) and even though I did order it, it arrived 15 minutes after my main course had gone cold in the process. I suspect the souffle in Angelos and the Creme Brulee in Dragon Lady were one in the same. Bland, rubbery and floury. Who adds flour to a souffle or a creme brulee ? You have to ask for salt and pepper (and then wait while the staff go and find it). What Asian restaurant, cafe or hawker stall ANYWHERE in the world doesn't offer rice as standard ?. My rice when it did arrive was so dry and had been so mashed it looked like couscous...no discernable grains of rice at all. Alas, The Waterfront was not much better. I sent food back in each place and no one came to ask me what the problem was. I guess they already knew ? The Pantry set up is great for breakfast. Except for the watered down fruit juice and lousy dispensed coffee. Tea and Coffee stations are awkward and become grid-locked. The staff were struggling to keep up demand and became frustrated and annoyed as passengers got more and more frustrated and annoyed. Lunch and Dinner selections are the same in The Pantry but after three days become very very repetitive. Large bowls of food stewing under heat lamps. Fried battered fish was always soft and soggy and the fries were tepid and limp. The stale kitchen smells of fat etc are very pervasive especially on the port side of The Pantry. Grab your food and eat on the starboard side unless you want your clothes to smell like you cooked the stuff. I Guess this is all well and good if you know it really is a shake-down cruise but some of us were paying some pretty hefty dollars for the privaledge. I was on standby for a cabin (solo traveller) for months before scoring a place. Some last minute people boasted about paying some really low fares. I wonder if they complained ? They met their deadline and the ship sailed into Sydney as required on the 25th and it all looked pretty impressive on the TV but it was no where ready to take fare paying passengers out of Fremantle. Such a shame and such a disappointment. I am booked for the same ship for next July Fremantle to Singapore but doubt I will go now. Like I said if "its like no place on earth" then I don't want to go there really. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We sailed from Fremantle on the maiden voyage. We have previously cruised with Star, Viking, Holland America and Viking. This was our first time with P&O. I will start with the Good. Clean, spacious Ocean View cabin on Deck 5. ... Read More
We sailed from Fremantle on the maiden voyage. We have previously cruised with Star, Viking, Holland America and Viking. This was our first time with P&O. I will start with the Good. Clean, spacious Ocean View cabin on Deck 5. Very helpful cabin stewards. We boarded at 1pm and were able to get lunch in the Pantry. The decor was bright and fresh and we liked the various seating arrangements. Sailed on time and we enjoyed a drink in the Dome while watching the departure. The retractable roof on Deck 11 a great idea as people could still use the pool and lounges in bad weather, thus leaving more space in inside lounges and bars. We could always find nice little nooks to sit and enjoy a drink and use our android tablets. The entertainment in the beautiful Marquee theatre was first class. The adult only Oasis was appreciated for a secluded break as there were quite a few children on board. We were quite satisfied with breakfasts in the Pantry, and some of the other meals were quite good. There was no afternoon tea service on the Eden, but all the cakes, pastries and desserts were excellent. My husband injured his arm one night and we can't speak too highly of the Medical Team. The New Zealand Ice Cream Bar served the best flat white I have had as well as delicious ice cream and sundaes, at reasonable prices. But this is where it ended, despite the Captain's announcement that everything would be done to make our cruise pleasant . We were so looking forward to this exciting event, but our first impression was not the sparkling ship we were expecting. Obviously only some areas had been refurbished and many were tired, rusting and dirty. I don't know when the windows were last cleaned. There definitely weren't sufficient staff and many were new and still being trained. The first debacle was the lifeboat drill when we were all crowded into a small area on a deck in the full afternoon heat for 25 minutes, then when it started most people couldn't even see the demonstration. On entering our cabin we noticed nicely packed bathrobes on our bed. Closer inspection revealed there would be a charge of $25 each if we wanted to use these. They were always complimentary on other cruise lines. We didn't receive our first day's "Pacific Daily" until the following morning so missed the talk on the shore excursions. Problems in our cabin included a light switch panel actually hanging off the wall, a basin plug which didn't work, a DVD player also U/S and ridiculous television programs with no TV guide. When we queried this at reception we were told that there were plenty of DVDs on the ship and they were preparing a list so they could be borrowed. A TV guide would also be made available. The compendium in the cabin advertised room service at all hours, but not complimentary. We were told the menu was being prepared but this never happened. Only breakfast was available throughout the cruise at unrealistic prices. The movies on TV improved during the last days of the cruise. There were lots of sports programs but no news programs whatsoever and still no guide. The DVD player couldn't be replaced as there were none on board so we couldn't even play our own. There was no exhaust fan in the bathroom which filled with steam when taking a shower. There was no refrigerator in the cabin so we couldn't bring some goodies down from the Pantry to have a snack in our cabin later. Other disappointments included the lack of an art gallery, library, or proper internet cafe. There were only 4 public computers available in the atrium with no privacy and they were often being used by children playing games. This same table accommodated people doing large jigsaws. Internet plans were very expensive and although our compendium advised the Internet Specialist could assist, when I asked at Reception was advised there was no such person and perhaps "one of the boys" at the back could help me. There were several movies shown each day in the cinema but some were terrible quality, pixelating and stopping and starting. They should have had these running continuously. The Oasis wasn't the haven we would have hoped as about 3/4 of the lounges were in full sun. We only used the Waterfront Restaurant twice - breakfast and lunch. Sub standard service and food both times so didn't go again. The problems in the Pantry were the annoying things like trying to find packs of knives and forks, then salt and pepper, then spoons, and waiting in queues at the various food stations e.g. for breakfast cereal and fruit, then toast and butter, then to omelettes, then to bacon/sausages etc. By this time the meal is cold. Carvery excellent but the accompanying vegetables strange. The soup was appalling. Fruit juice availabe at breakfast, but after that only free drinks are tea, coffee and water. Not even hot chocolate. There were nowhere near enough staff behind the counters to serve people or clear up. My husband was annoyed that baked beans were only available every second day. This is a basic vegetarian option. The photos were ridiculously priced - had to buy a set, not just one. The gym seemed to have a good selection of equipment but only several treadmills and bikes actually worked, the water cooler was never filled, and no staff in attendance. There were TV screens above this equipment but only one worked. Whenever there was a problem, even when I needed a shower cap, the response was - "go to Reception". I must have spent hours queued there, but did get to have some interesting discussions with other passengers. Shore excursions were very good except for the fiasco with the tenders at Esperance. Disembarkation went well although we were given the wrong tags initially. I have been waiting to send this review to see how subsequent cruisers have fared on the Eden and sadly things don't seem to have improved. I am not surprised there was an outbreak of noro virus as the use of hand sanitizing stations was not actively encouraged and they were actually placed back against walls out of view. There were things I liked about Pacific Eden, but there are too many negatives which have not been addressed, so this was my first and last time with P&O. Besides, there were no chocolates on the pillow at turn down each night! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
P & O The Jewell.... I went on this 3 night cruise on the 20th November 2015. The cruise was a nice way to relax but the ship was a very low class and low budget cruise ship, inside was ugly with a brown and white paint job a lot of ... Read More
P & O The Jewell.... I went on this 3 night cruise on the 20th November 2015. The cruise was a nice way to relax but the ship was a very low class and low budget cruise ship, inside was ugly with a brown and white paint job a lot of the inside walls were badly rusted but were painted over. The food was pathetic and there was no serve yourself buffet like on the other ships we have been on, the food was devided into four sections e.g.; Australian, Mexican, Indian & Chinese. Aussie food was a roast and chicken with vegetables and gravy, Chinese consisted of a pasta dish 99.9% pasta with cabbage and a few thin strips of carrot whatever meat was in it was almost invisible, and fish & chips. Mexican had three dishes and Indian had beef, pork and chicken with their Indian breads, the deserts were pathetic mainly something in a pastry shell, no ice cream and very watery custard. The meals were dished out by the workers which meant a very long wait in a queue up to 15 minutes or longer depending what food you wanted I waited 15 minutes just to get one bowl of oats which was more like runny liquid made on water-YUK. Breakfast had a good selection of cereals and hot food but by the time you got served most of the food was just barely warm. The tea & coffee was also served by a worker which meant a wait in line as well, the cups were green plastic for the hot drinks and some had dirty finger prints on them and also lipstick stains, a sure sign that they were probably just rinsed and not washed properly. It was almost impossible to get a table unless you were there as soon as they opened and on many occasions there was no cutlery, the reason given was that there were a lot of people and they had to wash the cutlery. The bathroom was so tiny anyone bigger then myself would have trouble moving inside but the worst was the towels they were supposed to be white but were off white with some even a light grey and had yellow stains as well, I was disgusted when I saw them, I like my whites to be snowy white not off white or grey, we were told not to drink the tap water but to buy the bottled water which was very expensive, but like everything on the ship they are obviously trying to save money at the expense of their customers. the window in our cabin was so dirty from sea spray we could'nt see out of it.. I have been on a few different cruise ships but have never come across anything like this before. A waste of good pension money, it takes us many months to save to go away and this was a cruise I will never forget. I will be doing my homework from now on before we go onto any more cruises.. Not happy.. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Wonderful ship, where nothing major went wrong - but most of the things you take for granted didn't happen. We weren't told about clocks going back until the morning after where many people got up to find that the ... Read More
Wonderful ship, where nothing major went wrong - but most of the things you take for granted didn't happen. We weren't told about clocks going back until the morning after where many people got up to find that the cafe/restaurant was not open (it was 6.15 not 7.15 and we don't open until 6.30) At one end of the ship 3 out of 4 lifts were out of service (they probably hadn't finished putting the lovely wallpaper in the lifts!) The cabin was lovely, and the DVD player completely unexpected - so it wasn't of any use as we had no DVDs with us. Unfortunately I heard many complaints and a number of people said "P&O - never again" which was a real shame as the ship is lovely, and I want to sail again on a longer cruise - hopefully they will sort out the poor service at the Waterfront restaurant. . Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We chose this cruise for a work Christmas celebration as opposed to a standard lunch or dinner. This was our 4th cruise, but second with P&O and our 1st on the Pacific Aria. Our 1st impression of the ship was good - it was lovely and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a work Christmas celebration as opposed to a standard lunch or dinner. This was our 4th cruise, but second with P&O and our 1st on the Pacific Aria. Our 1st impression of the ship was good - it was lovely and elegant. The new décor is a little dark for me, but very attractive all the same. Our ocean view cabin was very clean, large with a king sized bed and it included a bath in the ensuite! However, I was surprised that now you need to pay extra for just about everything. The food was very ordinary in the Waterfront Restaurant, The Pantry & Angelo's and I didn’t count 15 eating venues in total. We didn’t get to try the Dragon Lady as it was booked out and the Open Kitchen cooking school & Chef's Table were not open. The new lounge - the Cellar Door is where we enjoyed a lovely afternoon wine tasting and it was excellent! The Salt Grill Bar with a cover charge of $49.95 each, I thought was way overpriced for what you get. The staff generally left a lot to be desired, with a few exceptions most of them were disinterested in serving us and lacked the joviality you would normally find on P&O. All drinks other than a coffee machine and tea bags at the Pantry you have to pay for. Alcohol was more expensive than what we had found on other ships. We didn’t get to the gym and the pools seemed very small for the amount of passengers. There didn’t seem to be much entertainment, as a lot wasn’t open when I questioned the staff they explained it was only a 3-day cruise. Many passengers played cards, Yahtzee, dominoes, jigsaws or arts and crafts. Disembarking was substandard. We had used one credit card (my husband’s) as did several other people and I was stopped getting off the ship for non-payment of my bill as were several other wife’s. This I found very embarrassing! They had let our husbands through and restrained us! Overall we did we enjoy our cruise, but would we not sail on this ship again, nor recommend it to our friends. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was my 1st ever cruise I have been on. I chose this short cruise to take my mum in law on for a special time to not have to cook as we are the cooks in out households. We were very disappointed in the food, the pantry food was ... Read More
This was my 1st ever cruise I have been on. I chose this short cruise to take my mum in law on for a special time to not have to cook as we are the cooks in out households. We were very disappointed in the food, the pantry food was tasteless veggies were real hard, noodles dry, fried rice bland, we also ate at the Waterfont restraunt and our meals were just warm. The ship decor is amazingly outstanding, there was plenty of seating around the ship, the show very brilliant and the staff were friendly, I hope they can improve on the food side of things. I was hoping to look at doing a Christmas cruise with our family in 2016, I'm not quite sure anymore. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
For a company with the resources and experience of both P&O and all those under the parent company Carnival Cruises, the introduction of newly refurbished ships to the line should go like clockwork. After the two shakedown cruises ... Read More
For a company with the resources and experience of both P&O and all those under the parent company Carnival Cruises, the introduction of newly refurbished ships to the line should go like clockwork. After the two shakedown cruises prior to arriving in Brisbane one would think that most of the bugs would have been ironed out – not so. I found it hard to believe that every conversation with a stranger on board seemed to start unprompted with a complaint about P&O, the food, the crew, the restaurants and other problems on board. The only reliably positive things to be said were about the comfortable beds, roomy cabins and very good cabin attendants. Although we had a reasonably enjoyable cruise it was more to do with what we made of the few good aspects of the ship and the camaraderie with fellow sufferers than about what P&O contributed to our holiday. The ship is far behind the quality of service and food provided by the Pacific Dawn or other ships. Where to start with the problems? Life boat drill set the scene for the cruise. Crowded onto the deck in the sun for 30 minutes, elderly people needing chairs, general confusion, poor audio, little room to even get your life jacket on. FOOD: The Pantry You have to queue at multiple counters to get even one course eg cereal and fresh fruit requires 2 queues followed by toast, bacon, omelet with French toast requires 3 more queues. Light breakfast starts at 6AM and full breakfast at 6:30AM so staff were standing waiting for 6:30AM to serve food that was already in place 15-20 minutes earlier but they were not allowed to serve it hence by 6:30 you can imagine what the hot food was like. I wanted some fresh cut fruit with my cereal at 6:10AM but no you can’t have it as advised by the serving staff who were just twiddling their fingers while guarding the fresh fruit bowl. The food is often ‘tired’ with chewy bacon etc. I actually saw an attendant gripping onto the roast beef with his gloved hand while he desperately tried to hack off slices of overdone meat with an obviously blunt knife while someone else commented that the same area one day appeared to have a huge roast (probably enough for the whole sitting) to cut into so it would have been cold by the end. The whole area just appeared crowded, shabby and dirty. Have you ever tried to eat breakfast sitting on a lounge – no choice when other tables/benches are full. Best to avoid the pantry if possible. Yes, as per other reviews, the Pantry still has at times dripping water from the ceiling falling onto patrons and their food. The Waterfront restaurant. Arrive early or you have to long wait or you are given a buzzer. It all seems very haphazard in the way they serve people and congestion and confusion appeared to reign at the serving points. Over about 7 meals eaten here none were ever served hot with at best luke warm (the most common passenger complaint). The steak on the last night, that took an hour to appear despite attending early, was not only underdone but actually cold and I had to chase my plate as it slid around the table due to no tablecloths. Eggs benedict at breakfast – almost hard boiled. Angelos and Dragon Lady. Get on the phone early at 8AM to book – they were free for this trip but I gather a future surcharge will apply. The meals we ate at these were mostly better than the other venues (still not hot) with the exception of a risotto my wife had – tasty but undercooked and there answer was a serve of fish no options given. I had to change deserts one night as my order still had 30 minutes to bake. Salt Grill $49 premium. OK food but I question if the premium is really worth it. Certainly not up to the standard we expected. They did not even know if the dukkah was gluten free (and therefore would not serve it to a coeliac) as no-one had bothered to ask Luke Mangan this fundamental question!! BARS: We liked the many nooks and variety of bars and entertainment but you nearly froze in the vicinity of the Mix Bar and surrounding shops. I really enjoyed the range of beers on tap from Matilda Bay at two of the bars but a long way to go from the Dome or Waterfront for a decent beer. Staff at the Ocean Bar had difficulties serving what was ordered (3 wrong beer orders) and even forgot the key ingredient of one cocktail (ditto in the Dome). POOL AREAS: Adults only pool on level 10 a great idea but much more shade needed for the Australian tropics. ENTERTAINMENT: Varied from excellent (Carpe Idiotous and the main band) to woeful (moustached comedian). Plenty of variety of good entertainers at the various bars when they were performing. Unlike other ships where if the party is going well the band plays on or the DJ keeps the party going, P&O motto appears to be that the party shuts down when the entertainment director says so – typically 11PM. At the White Night, Gatsby night and the last night at the start of the functions the ships dancers and staff would dominate the dance and nearby bar areas, take over the dance floor and strut their stuff, not interact with the audience or make any effort to gain participation in partying then abruptly exit leaving a flat party at around 11PM latest. The final night band jam session in the dome was great but just as everyone was up and dancing and having fun it was shut down by the entertainment directress leaving the woeful DJ who did not seem capable of stirring anyone up to dance or have fun. The only time anyone got up was when he conceded to play a request. I saw a passenger expressing their views to a senior staff member but this discussion was abruptly ended by the crew member turning their back on the passenger and walking away leaving the passenger obviously fuming. TV: How in this day and age can a cruise company be incapable of even telling you what programs/movies are on let alone tell you when they were on. You just had to watch a channel until you fluked the start of a program or movie (the solution that was instructed to me by their staff when I requested a program). STAFF: The brightest and happiest staff that always made our day were the two cabin staff Mae and Nincia. They understood customer service and were always cheerful and pleasant. Many people commented that the cabin staff were the only happy ones on the ship despite working incredibly long hours. Some other staff were good but the service and attitude was very inconsistent. The Captain and senior officers were never seen walking the ship (commented on by several people) – I suspect too ashamed to do so. Smokers beware: I am not a smoker but they were treated poorly with no seating and only given a filthy old paint tin as an ash tray – not a pretty sight. Air Conditioning: You cook in the dome even at night and in areas of the pantry and you freeze in other areas. We had a suite with supposedly personal air conditioning control – it did nothing and left you at the whim of the AC system so temps varied from 20 – 25C over the day so difficult to sleep comfortably with bedding provided. Other: Lifts often out of service and are very small so get used to the steps. Leaking from the ceiling outside our cabin. Others commented on various leaks or problems around the ship. EXCURSIONS: Reef Excursion Hamilton Island: Why offer cabin service for breakfast when you can’t deliver. After assurances that you could still order in cabin breakfast a number of people went hungry on the reef tour as breakfast failed to appear at the requested time. I must admit that based on past performance those affected should have known better as room service was erratic at best. The Pantry 6:30AM opening time for a full meal really only gave you 10 minutes to gulp down a meal in order to get to the 6:45AM departure point. The tour itself was well worth it and the service provided (compared to Aria) was excellent. I gather the Hamilton Island tender to shore process was a debacle due to the very long cycle time of over an hour round trip for only 2 or 3 tenders so why not have more tenders in service?. Cairns: Great to stop somewhere overnight and get 2 days ashore. Also great to eat off the ship and get some great meals but at personal expense. I gather some missed organized tours due to delays in getting the very steep gang plank in place. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
From the outset, the boarding at Brisbane terminal was very slow, a hot and humid experience. To do the emergency drill we were standing on deck on the western side in full sun which was almost unbearable and hard work for the many older ... Read More
From the outset, the boarding at Brisbane terminal was very slow, a hot and humid experience. To do the emergency drill we were standing on deck on the western side in full sun which was almost unbearable and hard work for the many older passengers - why could they not use their lounges like on other ships do? We were made to stand for more than half an hour in the heat, lined up in rows which made it impossible to put on the life jacket. Not a good welcome. The make over of Pacific Aria initially seems impressive. The decor in the restaurants and public areas is very modern, smart and tasteful. That is probably all that is great about the Pacific Aria. I agree with all the other reviews prior to this - so many little things are not working, still being sorted etc. The two main areas for me are the service and the food. The Pantry eatery, while at first it looks a great concept, the service is slow, need to line up at each cubicle to get what you want and food portions served is so inconsistent - one day you will get a tiny bit, the next huge to double what you should get. It became boring on the 7 day cruise to be seeing the same food, same theme each day. Very little variety - and quite clearly done on a budget. I like them serving the food for hygenic reasons. The table staff were very pleasant, but extremely slow and not enough of them. In fact the whole ship seemed very light on with service staff. The Waterfront restaurant, while the surrounds look smart and new, the food is always cold and of poor quality. I ordered the rump but the waiter suggested the scotch fillet (maybe they were running out of rump). Bad choice - the scotch fillet was so scrawny I would feed my dog better. Needless to say almost the whole piece went back with a message to the kitchen. This sort of food should never be purchased - so it is not the fault of the kitchen staff - management further up need to be informed. Having to pay for pizza or burgers is a joke. We went there and waited but no one came to serve us - surely for $3 this could be included. Ice creams were also extra and expensive. In fact so many things are extra. In time the Dragon Lady and Angelos restaurants will have a cover charge too. The cabin presented very good - no issue with any of the furniture or cleanliness on arrival. The room stewards, whilst friendly are obviously over loaded with rooms, and were a little inconsistent with their service. On arrival there was no soap in the room, towels were never changed (even if I did not drop them on the floor) on a 7 day cruise towels should be automatically changed several times. Only other minor issues with the cabin, overall quite good. Bags did take a while to arrive but not excessive. At least 2 or maybe 3 lifts were out of action. At one stage there was a most foul odour in the lifts which lasted for days. Hard to describe but it was not pleasant (stairs made a better choice). We heard later the toilets on level 4 overflowed so maybe that was it. At Hamilton Island the walk through scanner broke down, so each passenger was hand scanned on arrival. This caused a huge delays and a back log of passengers who were forced to stand out in the sun for 1.5 hours waiting for the tenders. Surely they should have a backup scanner. The common areas also lacked regular cleaning & vacuuming. We are reasonably experienced cruisers, having cruised in many parts of the world. This to us was our lowest ranked cruise - and will not be back EVER on P & O Australia. They spend a lot of money getting new passengers, they should work on keeping them. They get you in on a cheap cruise then hit you for lots of other things that most cruise ships include. Do you own research, not rely on what your agent tells you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I have been on 8 Cruises on board the: Pacific Sky, Star, Sun and Dawn and had the best times and always raved about the holidays we had and told everyone they should go on a cruise for the perfect holiday. I have just been on the first ... Read More
I have been on 8 Cruises on board the: Pacific Sky, Star, Sun and Dawn and had the best times and always raved about the holidays we had and told everyone they should go on a cruise for the perfect holiday. I have just been on the first voyage for Pacific Aria and we went up north Queensland and it was the worst cruise ever. The only good thing I can say was it was beautifully set up with the décor and pool side areas were great but as for the new dining in the Pantry that was terrible. The food was awful and there was no variety as we ate the same things for lunch and dinner every day. The seating arrangement to eat was a nightmare as there wasn't enough tables to accommodate everyone. The line up was also a nightmare. The Entertainment during the day was boring and the band and singers was lifeless. The only good entertainment in the bars was the gentleman who played the piano and that was only at night. During the day they should bring back entertainment in one of the bar areas where you can have a dance and sing along with a decent band. On other cruises they had singers like Christopher Sullivan and a husband and wife band I think called something like "Musik" and they played during the day and you could here songs from old to new. As for the smoking areas we were made feel like scum as we were only allowed on Deck 12, 9 and six. Deck 12 had no shelter or anywhere that we could sit down and have a drink or chat. Deck 6 was the main walking track for people who wanted to exercise and again no seating and Deck 9 was small and was a sunbaking area with lounge beds and no shelter. On every cruise we have been on the smokers area was the fullest and most of the socialising was done there. The rooms were nice but they had no fridge in them. This was the most boring cruise I have been on and I wouldn't recommend the Pacific Aria to anyone. Bring back some of the old things from other cruises or otherwise you are going to lose business. I will be trying another cruise line next time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We cruised at start of december with some friends,we all had fun but i think maybe we should of waited for the ship and staff to maybe get there act together a bit. Don't get me wrong but morale on board seemed to be low and some ... Read More
We cruised at start of december with some friends,we all had fun but i think maybe we should of waited for the ship and staff to maybe get there act together a bit. Don't get me wrong but morale on board seemed to be low and some staff seemed like it was a chore to help us with the simple things. The cabin we had was very dated and bath was broken and seemed to be what looked liked mold in the grout on the tiles but the water was fine and hot so alright there. Staff who made up room were nice and did a good job but took 2 days to get water bottles that you can buy from your room but not a big problem. Food was not the best on board and very repetitive in the pantry and fish and chips were a bit tasteless as the batter was nothing i have tried before and chips were lifeless so did not try them again, so we ate the roast most of the time and was like RSL club food. We could not get into Angelo's or Dragon Lady as was all booked all cruise but the people we spoke to said we did not miss a thing, but we did have lunch in Luke's restaurant and was great as we had a 3 course meal and all was great but took 3 hours, but we weren't in a hurry so not a problem, we were the last to leave and got a photo with him. The ship condition was nice inside as they have some new places and looked great but not sure what the smell was there, it smelt like wet carpet, who knows. The outside pool area was nice and with the covered roof was good in any weather, but if you got there too late you will be standing as impossible to get a seat anywhere The outdoor over 18 pool was terrible as no shade as only 2 places that seat 3 people was all they had and all other sun lounges are in the all day sun so bring your sunscreen and prepare for a roasting.Entertainment was never around as the edge was closed all cruise and 1 hour of DJ is all we remember. The Bar in this area was tiny and not many staff helping with drink orders so may people waited in a line to buy a drink. Lots of the toilets seemed out of order which was a pain when you really need to go so you can spend a bit of time trying to find one that works. The MDR was ok but took time to order drinks, and the portions of food were little but was ok ,and much better than the pantry also the fit out was nicely done. I think when they fix up the food and the outside of this ship it will be much nicer, as there are lots of bad reviews on here maybe because we all expected a nice new shiny ship as P and O had been advertising, i myself did expect something different but myself and the boys still had a ball and our alcohol bill at the end was over 2 thousand and did not bother to check it so who knows how much we really spent, not much info when buying drinks at the bar. All in all go on this ship with an open mind and have some fun by the pool with your friends, but bring your own music as i did and you will bring in a fun crowd as not to much in that way of music on board. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
terrible honeymoon experience with a shocking ending it is meant to be a once in a lifetime experience where you should be treated special and i thought a cruise ship would be the perfect way to start our new life as husband and wife ... Read More
terrible honeymoon experience with a shocking ending it is meant to be a once in a lifetime experience where you should be treated special and i thought a cruise ship would be the perfect way to start our new life as husband and wife together. one spa was closed for the whole 11 day trip. we got the drinks package where we got told by room services that the water in the rooms wasn't included yet when we went to lukes restaurant it was included in the drinks package so how does that work. food at the pantry was all over the shop some days was okay other days uneatable and the people serving it where sloppy and rude. for example i got a roast one day and had gravy. the gravy had been sitting for bit and so it had a skin on it he served the skin to me except only half made it on to the plate the rest was dangling and dripping off he looked at it said sorry and passed it to me i asked him to get a napkin and wipe it off please. another time i went to the pantry for dessert went to get the lemon meringue tart she could work out how to cut the meringue part so scraped it off and just served me the lemon tart part. my husband ordered a wrap from Mexicana told the man what he would like. the staff didn't listen to him at all my husband hates avocado so the man put everything in the wrap and then put a huge amount of avocado on the top my husband said i didn't say avocado and so he guy scraped it off instead of making a fresh one and still served it to him. also i noticed that the hand sanitisers were empty at some stages. the waterfront restaurant strange how hey call it the waterfront when they close the blinds during dinner and refuse to open them even during sun set very disappointing. you get told to share a table at 5.30pm when the place is empty why.? we are on our honeymoon its meant to be romantic. you can get fresh chills for breakfast but during dinner they dont have them. you order a glass of wine but they dont bring it till after you buy your dinner oh and if you have the same wine they take away your dirty glass and refill it even when theres lipstick all over it. they forget to bring half of you meal, the muscles at lunch said they came with chips we nearly finished the meals and had to ask where the chips were and then they bring them out this happened twice. they bring out mains before cleaning up your entree pasta plates which we had stacked neatly and put to the side. on the last night this is unbelievable i was eating my steak came to the end of the meal where something sharp stabbed my gum i pulled out a piece of metal that wouldn't even bend about 2cm long (I've come to realise later that i think it was off a wire brush) it was quiet dangerous and we got the manager of the restaurant to come over he quickly took away my plate and came back and asked if i needed medical assistance i said no, he then asked if he could get me a drink snd saw that i had the premium drinks package so that wouldn't really make any difference. so he sent out some ice cream and asked for our room number. me and my husband thought that would perhaps mean they were going to send something up to the room but nothing. very very disappointing and dangerous aswell. lukes restaurant was the highlight of the dining experiences they actually bought out a compliment dessert that said congrates on the plate 10/10 for that restaurant amazing service can't fault it highly recommend ordering the cheese its like a show when they bring it out its amazing. bar staff in the martini lounge are perfect well trained super polite and attentive 10/10 and peter milligan fantastic entertainer 10/10. the debut show the contemporary piece CRAP. but the comedians and a man of a thousand voices amazing so entertaining. we had a problem with the pool water turning my hair green after a 15 min swim so called reception had to wait 1 and 1/2 hours for them to call back with an answer. during that wait we called another two times to find out what was taking so long for a call back they said the manager was out. we went to use the laundry on the second day they were all out of order except for one when we asked the room service guy where the washing detergent was he said he didnt know as he was new so he said to call reception, so we asked him the number for reception again he didn't know. staff where all very green and undertrained coming from a hospitality job i noticed staff were not only chucked into the deep end with no training some had attitude problems aswell. at one stage our room cleaner came into our room with no knock before hand (we had already had our room cleaned,it was to tell us the reception number but we had already gone and found out the number ourselves) we are honeymooners so found this very inappropriate and at an akward time to say the least. as honeymooners we didn't feel spacial at all all we got was a little room park on our door and balloons one day i expected a bit more. never again will we ship on the aria. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The first night at the dine anytime Waterfront Restaurant was the first warning - wait 10 minutes to be handed a buzzer and told to come back when it rang! (not my idea of anytime dining and not the only time it happened on this cruise). ... Read More
The first night at the dine anytime Waterfront Restaurant was the first warning - wait 10 minutes to be handed a buzzer and told to come back when it rang! (not my idea of anytime dining and not the only time it happened on this cruise). To start with the good stuff, the cabins were bigger than usual with lots of storage space. A fridge would have been nice and the shower being in a bath would have been awkward for the elderly. The bars were nice but the Blue Room seemed dark and oppressive. To be overly critical of the music, the South American band always sounded the same, the piano man needs to play more and talk less and the guitar man needs to expand his repertoire. The shows were a mixed bunch some good and some just plain weird. The Twice upon a Time show had no context, no narration and no singing and seemed to be a new dance take on death, destruction and redemption with the stage mostly in darkness (as were the audience as to what it was all about). The Sideshow Alley show also seemed to favour the dark side but at least it had singing! It would have been nice if the daily list of onboard activities also had information on when the bars and restaurants were open (in port sometimes the Waterfront was open and sometimes it wasn't) and also what the movies and shows were about. Having 4 movies a day is great but only giving the title doesn't help you decide if you want to go! My main complaint was with the Waterfront Restaurant - what a disaster, tables too small, no salt or pepper on the tables, the waiters were obviously understaffed and undertrained and rude when they got stressed. I had everything from cold tea, toast that wasn't and food that wasn't what was on the menu. It wasn't until near the end of the voyage that things started to improve and complaints were acted on. The free alternative to the restaurant was The Pantry where seating was on high breakfast bars, low coffee tables and some regular tables - designed I believe so that you didn't want to stay there long! If you didn't want spicy food, salads or sandwiches your choice was limited to roast or fish and chips both of which often had queues. Both the Pantry and the Waterfront had buckets out to catch water dripping from the ceiling!! Dining on this voyage at Angelos and The Dragon Lady was free and both gave good service with good meals. If P & O Australia's goal is to chase people out of the free restaurant and into the ones you have to pay for then their strategy may be working! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We were excited to book a cruise on P&O's new ship Pacific Aria. Makeover superficial of this ship with railings bubbled with rust and holes in some infrastructure. Ship leaked in public areas after tropical shower, so we had to ... Read More
We were excited to book a cruise on P&O's new ship Pacific Aria. Makeover superficial of this ship with railings bubbled with rust and holes in some infrastructure. Ship leaked in public areas after tropical shower, so we had to dodge multiple buckets on the floor. Variety of food great but most over salted. Dragon Lady very small portions so we had to get more food to eat after eating there. The Grill was magnificent...food yummy but you pay extra for it. Waterfront restaurant quite good....nice variety and the food was tasty, but compare menus! It was laughable that people at our table had different (wrong) menus. Drink waiters are hard to find in all restaurants. Swimming pools not opened all the time, one not filled at all during our cruise. Majority of lifts were not working. It was heartbreaking watching people with walking aids negotiate the stairs. Entertainment was Ok. My cruise was made enjoyable by our travelling companions. P&O need to do more work training staff and getting the ship fixed up. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The cruise on the Pacific Aria was probably the worst cruise I have been on. The itinerary was changed to what we originally booked, then the change in boarding times. We flew down from Cairns a day earlier than we need to wasting money on ... Read More
The cruise on the Pacific Aria was probably the worst cruise I have been on. The itinerary was changed to what we originally booked, then the change in boarding times. We flew down from Cairns a day earlier than we need to wasting money on unnecessary accommodation. Unfriendly staff (except our cabin attendants who turned out to be the only pleasant staff on ship). The food was bland, serving sizes in the Waterfront restaurant were ridiculously small as was the portion sizes in Angelos, Dragon Lady and the Salt Grill by Luke Mangan. The lack of salt and pepper annoyed lots of people including myself. I don't see why at every meal you need to ask for salt and pepper and believe me the food needed it. The food was also mainly served cold even though it was supposed to be hot. Charging for room service breakfast again is just a grab for money. None of the other cruise ships I have been on charged for room service breakfast. There was no food service between 9.30pm and 6.00am unless you paid extra for it. Going by what was served up you would be even more annoyed if you had paid extra for it. The food was the same day in day out for 10 days. Charging for bottled water is just penny pinching especially when you are in the middle of the ocean. $5.00 for a scoop of ice-cream is again is a rip off. There was no tea or coffee served at lunch or dinner in the Waterfront Restaurant unless you asked for it and even then it was served with contempt as if you were inconveniencing the serving staff. Once it started to rain the ship leaked. A leaky ship isn't good for the confidence especially with buckets strewn around the decks and restaurants catching dirty water. Air blowers going in the stairwells trying to dry out wet carpet. Its beyond me why the cleaners decide to vacuum the corridors and stairwells outside your room between midnight and 2am. Maybe they think its funny to disturb paying guests. It doesn't happen in hotels or motels so don't see why it needs to happen on a cruise ship. The lifts - 8 lifts, 3 working - 2 at one end, one at the other. Pretty pathetic really. When a couple of the others came online, they didn't work properly with lights going out, not going to floors they were supposed to. I felt sorry for the elderly, and those with walking difficulties who got sick of waiting for lifts and eventually had to climb stairs. You should be ashamed. Advertising Pacific Aria as a new ship is a huge stretch considering how old it is. The tendering process was a joke. The 2 women in charge of this process were so incredibly rude and obnoxious. If I spoke to my guests the way they spoke to people getting on and off the tenders, I would go out of business. Entertainment in the Marquee Theatre - the first show and last show were good and that is it. The layout of the theatre needs a rethink. It is very badly laid out. It was supposed to be a 50th birthday celebration for my partner, a trip to remember. Unfortunately it was for all the wrong reasons and now hoping it’s a trip to forget. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
There were a number of important aspects to this cruise experience which left us, a couple travelling with 3 companions, disappointed and feeling mislead by P & O advertising and promotion. Service and food quality standards were ... Read More
There were a number of important aspects to this cruise experience which left us, a couple travelling with 3 companions, disappointed and feeling mislead by P & O advertising and promotion. Service and food quality standards were not up to any anything like an acceptable level. Wait staff, whilst generally friendly and obliging, have not been trained to the requisite standard. Some experienced wait staff and well trained Matre d' interspersed among the others were not enough to lift the standard. Restaurants Chefs table - a much advertised and promoted concept dining experience, even advertised in onboard literature and keenly anticipated by us and our companions, was not available at all during our cruise !! Why ? "Because we haven't sorted out the menu yet" was the explanation we received. What the ?? Why did you advertise it then ? Why P&O did you tell your customers it was available ? The Waterfront - Service and food standard was very hit or miss and mostly miss. The staff were friendly enough, tried and appeared to work hard but were undertrained and on many occasions way too few in number. You can't book a table so when it's busy you have to queue to be given a pager which signals when a table is ready which could a 15 to 20 minute wait. There were several menu and wine list items unavailable as early as 1 day out. The Pantry - food quality ranged from satisfactory to almost inedible and is presented across a servery by generally disinterested and apathetic staff. Low grade, cramped cafeteria would be my description. I rate this new P&O concept as comprehensively failing to pass muster. The (Luke Mangan) Salt Grill ($49/pers) at which we dined twice was excellent. The service was superior to the other restaurants and approached fine dining standard. They all should be like this. Dragon Lady - Another disappointment. We were met at the restaurant reception by a bewilderingly disinterested individual who walked off in the direction of tables and pointed at one - we had to presume that this was where we were to sit. It did get better, the service level rose to OK but the food was well below par. Angelo's - This was quite good without being spectacular. There were persistent throughout the cruise unpleasant odours on several deck areas near restaurants which rendered these areas impossible to use for anything other than a thoroughfare. Cabins - Our Balcony cabin was very comfortable with excellent bed and quality bedding, good sized furnished balcony, reasonable wardrobe and drawer space, a good sized bathroom with bath - all in all this easily met our expectations. Cabin housekeeping staff were great in every way - Competent, friendly, obliging and the only staff to receive gratuities from us. Entertainment - The Entertainment was of a high standard. We were entertained nightly by very talented musicians, singers and stage performers and whilst every show was not entirely to our taste there was clearly assembled on this ship an enthusiastic, creative and talented entertainment crew and guest performers. Bars and public areas - have had a quick 'tart up' and superficially look quite good however there are many tell tale signs of extensive wear, tear and exposure which are impossible to conceal. Service in these areas is amongst the best aboard. Shore excursions - were numerous, well managed and on schedule. The Captain - Never spotted the Captain once ! No Captain's cocktail party, no appearance at restaurants or entertainment venues, no visibility whatsoever with his only communication being, via PA, the conduct of the emergency drill and to announce twice that Norovirus had been detected on board. An astonishingly clumsy, inept and misleading way for P&O to be showcasing a new vessel to their fleet. Disappointing to say the least and I would caution anyone considering a cruise on this vessel unless 3 star at best is your preference. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
First impression on boarding the Eden was the Public areas where fresh and nicely decorated in the style of boutique hotel. Our cabin 5087 was always clean and although a little dated was pleasant. The shower over the bath could be ... Read More
First impression on boarding the Eden was the Public areas where fresh and nicely decorated in the style of boutique hotel. Our cabin 5087 was always clean and although a little dated was pleasant. The shower over the bath could be difficult if you were elderly or had mobility problems. no fridge in the cabin, no tissues, bin liners or sanitary bags were provided. Our Room Stewards were lovely and always turned out our cabin beautifully. cocktails and drinks were very expensive and very watered down. There are no drink prices listed in any of the bars. The public area around the pool was often dirty and neglected. Could really have done with cleaning several times per day. The waterfront restaurant was hit and miss with food and staffing. Meals were never hot enough. on a few occasions we waited over and hour for our meal. Some restaurant staff were excellent but some wait staff were very undertrained. I am not a fan of Buffet style dining so in my opinion the Pantry is a improvement but still has problems. 9 days with the same menu day in day out was very boring. Very limited choice for small children. My 7 year old survived on chips and basic salad vegetables and jelly. The starboard side of the pantry smelled terribly of stale oil. Just lining up for 5 minutes to get some chips for my son, my clothes stunk of grease. the food in general in all dining options was never hot enough. A subway style station so passengers can design their own sandwiches would be a great idea. Angelo's while pleasant did not have enough pasta dishes. Saltgrill was definitely by far the best meal I ate but at a cost of $150.00 for two adults 3 courses, I'd expect it to be good. I wanted to book for Saltgrill to celebrate my birthday and was disappointed when told it was fully booked for the entire cruise. I complained at reception stating that passengers should have been advised that tables were limited and to book in advance for special occasions. We received a phone call that afternoon and offered and a booking for that evening at a 5.30 seating, we were intrigued as there were only two other couples dining at that time in the entire restaurant. Our favourite bars were TheDome and we really enjoyed listening to the jazz in the blue Room and the Sexy Sunday jams...fantastic musicians! Our only complaint would be hearing the same songs every night got a bit boring by the end of the cruise. Mykala Duo were great but again just needed a larger repertoire. Kids club for our 7 year old consisted mainly of plying video games. Limited organised activities for children of this age group. HQ for our 15 year old was a good meeting place for teenagers. Shark shack flooded badly in rain. On day six our seven year old became very sick with high temps, his illness lasted for two weeks and turned into tonsillitis requiring treatment with penicillin. The same day our child became ill there was a outbreak of Norovirus. We decided that the risk of one of us picking up this illness and passing it onto our already quite ill child, was too great so we literally confined ourselves to our cabin until we docked in Sydney. Thankfully none of our group were infected with Norovirus but there were plenty of people around us that had been struck down in our deck 5 area. Gloved up and masked cleaning crews could be seen entering the cabins around us to disinfect them. We felt the Edens crew did all they could to contain the virus and we felt we were well informed about the whole incident. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
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