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214 P&O Australia Cruise Reviews

The ship is falling apart, constantly learning of people being moved from their rooms due to water leaking from the ceiling and walls, one lady i know woke up with ankle deep water in her room, ants through at least 6 cabins and the lovely ... Read More
The ship is falling apart, constantly learning of people being moved from their rooms due to water leaking from the ceiling and walls, one lady i know woke up with ankle deep water in her room, ants through at least 6 cabins and the lovely aroma of sewerage floating through the pantry and other sections of the ship. many people would get the runs after eating at any of the food locations. the pantry has many large leaks in the roof causing them to close at least 2 stations of the buffet and cordon off the buckets everywhere(one of which was 16 buckets in one location) BUY YOUR DUTY FREE ALCOHOL IN VILLA at feung kuei much cheaper than the ship The Edge wasn't open for the first 8 nights. no communication before the cruise even after we learned it had not been available on the cruise previous to ours. the 8th night we received notification of the edge finally being open when the ridiculous price list turned up with an offer of an adults for kids prices deal if you booked for the next day, however if they had to cancel it for whatever reason no refund or reschedule. when one of our group tried to book they attempted to charge full price. we were guaranteed a photographer would be available for the edge but on the day we were informed that the activity was not going to be on, the photographer was not coming and it was tough luck. after speaking with a manger we were told we would get a full refund, come the final day charges still on the bill and told that they would not give us the money back even though they said they would. if you would like to use the spa...... i hope you like to share the 1 working spa with kids using water guns that is until later at night when they throw the nets over all the pools ..... which only opened after the 3rd day of smooth sailing. Do you like elevators? if you can get one that works and you don't get stuck in them (happened to me and a disabled woman with her husband, it was their second time) i hope the floors you select stay selected and you don't imitate a yoyo for several minutes. which whilst entertaining the first time it happens can be hazardous when the hand rails fall off. the decorartion in the elevators is lovely i especially liked the double sided tape left where they had placed cardboard placards with "pacific Aria" on them. at the end of the cruise 1 elevator had a metal sign with the ship name the others either had MS RYNDAM or picture of the ship taped or again just the tape. but don't forget this only is a problem on 75 percent of the elevators because a minimum of 1 in 4 front and back are out of order everyday. if you were told this is a new ship the fine print should inform you "new to the P&O line" twice previously suffering from a norovirus outbreak as recently as july 2015. as for the food, the pantry serves the same food every morning and lunch and almost the exact same every dinner. the waterfront has a great selection with few good waiters. if you suffer the displeasure of this ship try to get alex as your waiter only decent one we found having eaten there 7 times. the dragon lady and antonellis well after the 10th attemot to get through the booking to hear a busy tone we gave up. booked out everyday. although from other people on the ship we missed nothing. it was a 50/50 if you would have bad food, bad waiters and long wait times. or a good experience. Do you enjoy the scenery whilst looking out the window to avoid wind or smokers. well look between the smudges, salt and whatever the hell else junked them up. fair enough if it had been only a few windows but almost every one was dirty so pick the cleaner options and ignore the surrounding areas. deck 6, can enjoy starboard side smoker alley or port side closed almost every day. as well as a fair amount of light coming through the windows which even if you use a coat hangar to clasp the "black out" curtains together will leave you with enough light to navigate your room at ease and no fear of stepping on anything or running into anything especially the fridge which even if you need one for medication good luck getting one. one lady who requested a fridge (which when booking they said was no problem) waited three days and when she finally confronted the french bloke she was angry he responded with i am not going to help you because you yelled at me. no news if her husband became ill or not but she cancelled her next cruise on the aria right there and then. Tenders or lifeboats which ever you prefer are dropped at any place without a big enough port so enjoy a lovely 5 am wake up when they drop the noisy things outside your window and tie off ropes immediately beneath your window. i took photos a couple of times this happened and the manager refused to accept it. there was barely any light on the horizon but i was lying because all the crew member responsible for the tenders are lazy and only turn up around 6 or 7. as for the cabins. most of the light switches work, the light covers are stained as are some of the decorative covers for the beds, which can include if your lucky lipstick or tears in pillow cases and sheets. my sister had poo stained underwear in her cabin upon entry and when she dropped it onto the reception desk it was ignored as if it did not matter. the showers can come with a bath tub which if an elderly person attempts to use may have extreme difficulty. and trying to figure out the shower is about a 20 minute experiment due to faulty buttons and dodgy setups with no instructions. if you make a complaint about this you are promptly treated like a moron for not knowing that the cabin boy/cleaner should have shown you .... and the 22 other cabins he was responsible for. you need to start the water running, press the button as many times as it takes for it to change to the shower head, then pull back on the switch on the other tap to add hot water sounds easy but try to figure it out when the taps go opposite directions and the button to switch from tub to shower head works occasionally. Oh and don't forget to tighten the fittings to stop the hot water jetting from the fixtures to your privates (your welcome) and don't mind the rust. the room comes with a tv and dvd player. the adds look and sound beautiful, the movies which repeat all day alll four of them on 2 channels or the same 2 tv shows on a third channel will repeat after 4 days but it doesn't matter that they repeat it's so you can try to hear the parts you missed when the picture or sound stopped randomly or glitched badly. and no guide for times just watch the end of a movie you have or haven't seen and you'lll know a new one is about to start that you have probably seen. but avoid the torquay or the marquay because being that uncomfortable on the seats, which if you aren't in the front row can't show you more than a half screen and heads should be illegal. the torquay is freezing which made a few people leave, and even the projector shoots through peoples heads. almost forgot the marquee leaks too have fun with that. if you would like to encourage binge drinking you can grab the 79 dollars a day pack which must be bought on in the first 48 hrs and is for the entire 10 days including disembarkation day. while the drinks are expensive, unless you plan to drinks consistently all day or maybe just 8 cocktails at night because you can only order drinks up 11 dollars in value, cocktails are 11,12 or 16 dollars. you are going to be having difficulty making it worth your while. the soft drink package is more reasonable at 7 dollars a day, if you ask for less ice you can get lucky with only half to three quarters of the glass full with ice. you cannot get a can of softdrink unless you pay $3.50 on top of the package which is meant to be unlimited softdrink. if you go to a bar you can get flat coke from a can that has been sitting on the bench for no one knows how long or from the tap with a ridiculous amount of ice. if you use the cruise control site don't worry about the on ship parties, for the 2 weeks prior to the cruise it probably won't show you where you are going or what is available. apparently there is another app that had the correct info but P&O failed to inform us. consequently we missed 5 separate dress up nights which makes you feel really good to be the odd one out especially the next morning when people ask why you didn't show and you get to see the pictures and hear the stories. the laundromat fees apply, but 1 of the 3 washing machine and 1 of the 3 dryers were broken the whole trip. the walkways between cabins are wide enough to walk past people but if you follow anyone in a wheelchair watch and be amazed as they have to bash against the cleaners carts while staff members watch including one of the managers, when i offered to help the man he said it was ok he was used to it now. and the bloke on reception the one with unending empathy lol, good luck getting change from him. he refused to hand out smaller denominations even though he had tens of thousands worth (from the managers mouth there was more than enough for everyone on board to take hundreds in 5s every place we stopped) do you enjoy the view from the front of the vessel? well No your not able to go there. aircon is dodgy in some rooms power cords aren't taped down even if they have a large blower out for days trying to dry the soaked carpet in the pantry and on the stair cases. entertainment - well if you enjoy listening to music all night you are going to love this cruise if you wan't to do anything else the very limited options will leave you bored to the point of falling asleep and yawning on sea days. at least on port days you can leave the ship. same musicians for 10 nights, tennis and basketball courts are immediately over the pantry. the duty free shops on board are a joke. some items are 4 times the price. but a few are normally priced i don't think i found anything that was cheaper than it should have been. breakfast drink options for free are orange juice and apple juice or tea and coffee. lunch is water or tea and coffee and dinner is water or tea and coffee. if you don't like spicy food prepare to eat the same thing day and night. if you frighten easily beware the ceiling on the 11th floor no warning when they move it open or close there will be screaming and people jump or tremble visibly. entertaining for some. if you want to avoid the children do not rely on the youth security. never around when you need them and when a kid finally has a fatal accident don't be surprised. i dread the thought but if it isn't stated it will be ignored. the machines to check how much money you've spent sometimes work. one was out of order for days but not surprised if you don't know what you spend how can you be careful. the shore tours are much cheaper on the islands in vanuatu, do not pay for snorkeling tours on mystery island you can do it anywhere and the glass bottom kayaks are just pespex tubs and are terrible to use. the people running them are great though and the people in vanuatu are very nice and friendly almost beyond belief. atv and aquaquad/vego are amazing on villa, the off road buggies are good in the wet but fairly slow in the dry. you should bring goggles for both glasses do not cut it. if you get a cab in villa they will take you around the island for a cheap price. feel free to pay a little more for the cab as the buses only leave when full and take you to the more expensive places. with no warning that you may have to pay to use the toilets which are just holes in the ground. nomeau new caledonia is an absolute hole, like the valley at 3 in the morning unless you take the tchou tchou express or some other tour of the island it will be unpleasant and the general white population are very rude. if we had been informed better we would have definitely taken a tour out of the dock area to the main city and beaches. mare new caledonia, you can go for a walk to the left of the dock looking at it from the water and find i nice secluded but small beach other wise you have to pay 9.50 for the dodgiest bus/coaches i have ever seen. filthy with windows rusted to the point of almost falling out. seat belts held by wire. expect great service from most of the underpaid waiters and cleaners except in the restaurant where they may throw knives and forks at you if you tell them your steak is cold or solid. and forget the standards for steak the medium rare is rare and the medium is medium rare etc. if you order a drink before the entree that isn't alcoholic you may wait until after desert. the entertainers in general are very fun and outgoing some more than others. 2 comedy shows and one magic/singing show in 10 days the rest were dance performances which if you don't like them mean nothing to do. the movies shown in the theaters were on the tv at least 2 separate days for half the day if you have complaints write them down and keep a copy because you won't get yours back. do not hesitate to share them you will not be alone. also repairs to the ship happen almost constantly trying to remove large amounts of rust or just painting over some of it(i couldn't believe my eyes and keep telling myself it must have rust converter in it) doors, lights, elevators, the nozzles for the fire system. leaks pests, broken or missing railings all need repairs, 1.5 cm x 6 cm signs to let you know a door or railing have been coated in varnish. dents, missing pieces of wall trim, broken floor covering. if you want to book a cruise on a ship that makes you feel like your in a cheap motel with crappy food where everything is crazily expensive. this is for you! 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Sail Date December 2015
The cruise was disappointing from the outset. The itinerary was changed times before departure. The final itinerary was vastly different to the original. The boarding time changed 2 days prior to departure. We needlessly paid for ... Read More
The cruise was disappointing from the outset. The itinerary was changed times before departure. The final itinerary was vastly different to the original. The boarding time changed 2 days prior to departure. We needlessly paid for overnight accommodation and relief staff. The boarding process was a mess? The check-in times were ignored. There was little information in the boarding area. The process was just series of long uncoordinated queues. Once on board there was no welcome just some surly staff telling us to get in a lift and out of the way. No help, no smile, no welcoming drink. We found our cabin and our luggage along the way which was lucky as some people spent ages looking for theirs. No help from the crew. We feel the word 'new' should not be used when referring to the Pacific Aria. It commenced service with P &O. There is very little new. Our cabin was average; it was a good size but very dated. There was nothing new in the cabin, aside from the mattresses but these had a dirty, stained and very hairy mattress protector on them. Two single beds are pushed together to form a king sized bed. The bed was comfortable but the crack in the middle could have been improved if the mattresses fastened to each other. The bathroom had an old avocado green mini spa bath with a mouldy shower curtain to match the tile grout. The tiling was newish and the vanity nice but the toilet base was scratched and should be replaced. The carpet was worn in places and the throw cushions look like something the cat has been sleeping on. The brown vinyl sofa was wrong in so many ways. It should be buried at sea so that no one else ever has to stick to it. The caravan style height adjustable table added nothing to the look. The balcony furniture should join the sofa, it was old and damaged. Our main cabin lighting failed on the first evening it took 2 more nights to get it fixed. The TV was a flat screen but a very old analogue one with no digital inputs. There was a DVD player but who has DVDs these days? The neighbouring toilets are very loud especially annoying at night. The halls were vacuumed each night outside our cabin about 11:30pm or mid night. We were near the stairs so it might have been these but very annoying all the same. The food! Oh dear; the food was dreadful! It’s a very long way from restaurant quality; more like school camp. The pantry is pathetic. Poor variety, unnamed food items, poor quality, stale, left out too long. Daily repeats of just about everything. Bad surly service. Desserts without icecream or cream. Multiple queues needed to complete a meal. Long wait times. Coffee is disgusting. No juices or ice tea or anything else. No trays. Not enough tables. What's with all the stools? Most people, especially older or ones with infants, do not want to eat perched on a stool. Who came up with the idea to put a basketball courts above the restaurant? Another fail; you finally find a table in the pantry and then have to endure the food and constant crashing from overhead. Then there are the opening hours. I expect to be able to get food on a cruise at any time without having to pay extra. Cruises are about food not corporate greed. The waterfront is equally poor. Queue to get a buzzer to wait for a table and don't provide seats while you wait. Fail. Once seated and the waiter finally comes to take your order you have to order all 3 courses at once or the waiter gets upset. Drinks service seems to be optional. Sometimes they come sometimes not. The food arrives usually lukewarm regardless of whether it was meant to be hot or cold. The desserts seem to arrive from the kitchen with the mains so have no chance of being served at the correct temperature. The seating process in the restaurant seems random and clearly doesn't work. The waiters have no idea about serving etiquette. We found out the waterfront restaurant was closed some port days for lunch but this seemed to be random and not included in the daily handouts. The lifts are story in themselves. They never all worked. When they did work they had a mind of their own. Is the technical expertise that lacking they can’t get the lifts to work? The pools were closed for the first day or so and at other times. The second spa never worked. The edge, the big new feature never opened. If it did it was for a select few only. The 2nd floor of the theatre is another fail. Only a few seats can see the stage and the low back seats are nearly as uncomfortable as the beloved stools. The entertainment was not up to the usual cruise ship standard. The contemporary production was not well received and the side show alley one was odd and somewhat disturbing. Tendering was painful and made worse by the surly staff. Their jobs may suck but they should at least make an effort to appear friendly. The female security crew seem to have the most attitude and are not suited to customer facing duties. There didn’t seem to be enough tenders in the water to keep the people moving. It took hours to get off and at least an hour to get back each time we tendered. So if you are only in a port for 6 hours you’ll lose 3 in the tender process. We noticed the tenders didn’t have life jackets, this was somewhat concerning given the inexperience of the crew and the amount of time trapped on the boats. We regret this cruise and will avoid P&O in the future, we booked it as the dates suites us but we should have done more homework on P&O and their ‘new’ ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Beware....not all rooms have a fridge so even though you are encouraged to bring canned drinks on board, there is no way to keep them cold. My son had an inside room on deck 5 but nowhere to store medicines that needed refrigeration. ... Read More
Beware....not all rooms have a fridge so even though you are encouraged to bring canned drinks on board, there is no way to keep them cold. My son had an inside room on deck 5 but nowhere to store medicines that needed refrigeration. Despite me ( his mother) demanding a fridge for 3 days in a row nothing arrived and we gave up asking. That strategy worked for them! So service is so lacking it is non-exsistent! My son had a robe supplied and tissues. We were not so lucky. Tissues turned up on day four. Seating needs to be revised. Most lounges are low to the ground and uncomfortable. Bar stools in the Waterfront are downright dangerous, and uncomfortable. Food - over salted. Waterfront the best bet for lunch and dinner. Reasonable variety but some overlooked eg. Steak. Coffee the best on board but avoid the excuse for coffee served in the Pantry. Room service ordered never turned up. Forget ordering drinks in the restaurants....drink waiters are at a premium and are usually not available. Speaking of drinks, some seem to be lacking the correct amount of alcohol! Ship due to its smaller size has more roll and pitch than other cruises we have been on. So bring seasick pills. Lifts don't work so I hope you like going up and down stairs all the time. In your room, be prepared for a challenge to get the shower to turn on and the hot water to work. It takes a science degree to figure it out. Won't hurt P&O to provide instructions. So running after the room attendant half naked must be their idea of entertainment. Multiple changes to itinerary before we sailed was disappointing. It certainly made the option of choosing your next cruise itinerary laughable. Never again will I go with P&O. No value for money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We have cruised before and had a great time with excellent service, we had high expectations for this P&O ship especially having seen the advertising. We are both aged 30 and found this trip to be very disappointing with the ... Read More
We have cruised before and had a great time with excellent service, we had high expectations for this P&O ship especially having seen the advertising. We are both aged 30 and found this trip to be very disappointing with the exceptions of the island days which made the holiday- perfect days and pristine beaches. The staff on board looked like they would rather be anywhere else but working on the ship, quite surly attitude and they seemed to lack basic organisation skills which frequently lead to mix ups. We were served warm white wine in the restaurant then told that 'it would be fine warm', on two occasions in the Waterfront Restaurant we were not offered drinks, after the second request for a wine menu we gave up. The food was mediocre at best - with the notable exception of Dragon Lady which we found great. The Pantry was a disaster- surly staff serving small portions- saying they have a Mexican option available simply meant chicken wraps on offer for lunch then beef in the evening! No variation at all in the food on offer, very little in way of vegetable options to accompany any meat. The boat itself was disappointing too- pool area not finished and very few areas outside to sit- given deck 6 was assigned as the smokers deck. The bars inside were lovely but lacked atmosphere most nights. We didn't find endless karaoke entertaining so were at a loose end at times. Especially after the norovirus outbreak which meant all of the pool areas were closed!- there is not much else to do on such a small ship. The cabin was fine but had no mini fridge and the bedding was not changed once during the entire cruise, we also had to continually chase pool towels. Finally getting off the ship was a further shambles- tip for everyone- ask for the self assist pink tickets then ignore them when you are told to wait in a lounge and just go to the gangway and get off the boat. Overall the service needs a major overhaul- something that will hopefully be worked on. We would however never cruise with P&O again after the experience and will be trying Solstice or Royal Caribbean next. It was a case of P&NO for us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Hi, all you cruise lovers, this was my seventh cruise and first and last with P&O. I have travelled on Royal Carribbean , Carnival cruise lines and Princess Cruise lines so I had a good yardstick beforehand to compare cruise ... Read More
Hi, all you cruise lovers, this was my seventh cruise and first and last with P&O. I have travelled on Royal Carribbean , Carnival cruise lines and Princess Cruise lines so I had a good yardstick beforehand to compare cruise companies. First of all a brief background of the events leading up to this cruise. Initially this was meant to be a 3 day cruise departing on Thursday 10th December 2015 that was to just sail around the Bass Strait out of Melbourne and was highlighted as a "Comedy Cruise" and was a so called cruise sampler holiday. However, due to engine trouble in Sydney, the Pacific Jewel was delayed a day from arriving in Melbourne and my cruise was cut short to 2 days, instead departing on the Friday. To there credit P & O were good in communicating the problem, we were notified by email and text message at 9 am on Wednesday morning, 24 hours before the scheduled departure that the ship would be delayed a day and were offered an extra $50 onboard credit and refund of one nights cruise fare OR a complete cancellation or refund if I desired it. I chose to continue with the shortened cruise as I really wanted to sample what P & O were about as I had never cruised on any of their ships. Well getting down to the nitty gritty of the cruise. I had a disabled stateroom as I am partly wheelchair bound, the stateroom was fine and rather nice, no issues with it, the door however could have been wider, anyone who had an electric gopher/scooter would never fit it through this cabin's door. I was registered as a disabled passenger but customer service and assistance at embarkation and debarkation was non existent, luckily I had an able bodied friend travelling with me who was able to provide all the help I needed but really P & O you are meant to help your disabled passengers when boarding and getting off, you expect service on a cruise ship. As for the ship itself, there were a number of irritations that P & O need to re-think on. Getting into "Fine dining" you had to book the day before to get a seat, you were never allocated the same meal time or same table, one night I could not get my dinner to 8.30 pm, it was terrible. On other cruise lines, you were allocated the same table and same meal time and sat with the same passengers and able to make friends, not this chopping and changing thing that happens on P & O, I hated it. The ship is really too small to cope with all the passengers, the dining venues are small, the main theatre is small and there is a lack of seating in public areas to cope with all the passengers, you could never find a seat at night. The quality of the food is fine and acceptable, I have eaten better on other cruise lines. The old adage "you get what you pay for" never rings more true than with P & O, it seems to be everything on the boat is extra...it's just pay...pay..pay. What is included as standard food on other cruise lines, you had to pay extra for, for example a pizza was $9 AUD and a hamburger, the price was insane, a plate of prawns was $15. The price of stuff in the gift shops was more expensive than other cruise lines too. The Pacific Jewel is a floating white cash box on the sea, just because the cruise fare is sometimes cheaper than the opposition, it is made up for by all the extras you pay for which are free on other ships from competing cruise lines. On the first night sailing out of Melbourne, I had the most horrid experience in all my time of sailing on cruise lines with sea sickness. The water was rough and this ship does not seem to have good stabilisation, I was violently ill with vomiting and diarrhea at the same time, so was my friend with me and half the ship too, it was just horrible, I took plenty of anti-nausea pills, I have been on some rough seas but never anything like this, it seems this ship, you feel every wave that hits. On the entertainment side, the comedy was mediocre and crude, maybe as I get older I am becoming square ( I am only 38 years old ), I found the jokes full of sexual innuendos to be tiresome and not really funny. In summary with all that is wrong with P & O and the rocky ship, I would never travel with this cruise line again, the sampler cruise was an eye opener and stomach churner but never again P & 0, you have a lot to do to lift your game to match Carnival Spirit or Legend or Royal Carribbean ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I have never been so disgusted in a cruise like the ship the aria what a disappointment to the point of serving off food (no hygiene at all empty hand dispensers) people were not washing hands this food area was not controlled like other ... Read More
I have never been so disgusted in a cruise like the ship the aria what a disappointment to the point of serving off food (no hygiene at all empty hand dispensers) people were not washing hands this food area was not controlled like other cruise I have been on. Its a wonder we all didn't come down sick mind you I had an upset stomach the whole cruise and was very careful as to what I ate not that there was a lot of choices no salt and pepper shakers you had to ask, bad service, the entertainment wasn't good at all. the food selection was appalling no cheese or cold meets offered 2 choice of salads same selection the whole 10 days some of the food I wouldn't serve to a dog . xmas day what a joke no see food the whole cruise only fish that was horrible, I don't know of anyone on the cruise that was happy ,smokers were treated badly (I don't smoke) but was there and seen for myself discussing. cabin nice but had to get our cleaner to change sheets as they were badly soiled with a substance I wish not to mention , these were apparently just changed, bathroom toilet had to ask to clean a gain, several time during the 10 days cruise the whole experience was awful the places we stoped were not worth seeing except canes staff were not fully trained and lack of service. Value for money nil no coffee cards available, everything was a con nothing free on this ship plus over charged on account and couldn't prove it, I could say a lot more but ill leave it at that, thank you from unhappy customer never again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We were on the Christmas cruise from Sydney to Cairns and back and what an absolute disgrace, as a long time cruiser I could never have imagined such a terrible experience. This was meant to be an enjoyable and relaxing holiday for our ... Read More
We were on the Christmas cruise from Sydney to Cairns and back and what an absolute disgrace, as a long time cruiser I could never have imagined such a terrible experience. This was meant to be an enjoyable and relaxing holiday for our family, but received nothing else but. Make no mistake, the so called refurbishment of the ship leaves a lot to be desired. The food is nothing but disgusting to point where I wouldn't feed it to my dog. We continually paid additional money at The Grill so we could eat actual hot food, yet the cheese in the hot dogs was more like cream cheese (disgusting). Meat in curries was literally gristle. Food portion, including The Pantry were incredibly small. The staff by enlarge were too inexperienced and the short comings were ever increasingly noticeable across all aspects of the ship. Sick staff members were forced to work. Moral was very low. You would be asked how your meal was, but by the time they would finish asking they would have their back to us and already walking away. Rooms have not been refurbished and ours was dirty. Stains on bedding and the couch. Rust throughout the balcony. Electrical switches incredibly loose. Carpet not vacuumed. The spa with overhead shower would only be suitable for children, and incredibly dangerous for the elderly with such a high step. Facilities including toilets, lifts, drink machines (water and coffee), computers to check accounts were often out of order. We were informed a lot of the industrial cooking equipment was also not working properly. Might help explain the cold and terrible food. Smells of disgusting sewage was ever increasingly noticeable in hallways, lift areas and at the rear of the ship. Overall the ship would be lucky to achieve a 1 star rating, but P&O are charging for a 4 - 5 star. P&O Cruises portray this to a new and sophisticated experience but it is anything but and should be ashamed for their false and misleading advertising. We will never cruise with P&O Cruises again. I sense a potential class action law suit brewing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was my 8th cruise so l am not a novis , this was a trip from hell l was so happy to get of the ship in sydney wish it could of been sooner,to start with we were delayed by the Ship so insted of a$15 taxi it was now peak hour and it ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise so l am not a novis , this was a trip from hell l was so happy to get of the ship in sydney wish it could of been sooner,to start with we were delayed by the Ship so insted of a$15 taxi it was now peak hour and it was $60 not a good start, because it was at white bay miles from no were., Arrived to cabin to unpack ,no toilet paper or towels ,no bag for the next 6hrs so went looking for myself found it in ten minuets. To our surprise no fridge to keep medications, but no mention of this in brousher, this is the first cruise that hasnt had a fridge. Go on deck no pool but no one new why ,the next day Asomeone tells me it still hasnt been cleaned so 24hrs more till we can swim . Arrive at mooloolabar the seas are rough but they are attempting to put people on there tenders [small boats to get to shore] sea is so rough that a whaling boat trys to help but broke 3 ropes and damaged the back of his boat, said he wouldnt do it any more, my mother said she wasnt going to break a hip for a tour [85] as people were being thrown onto these boats and someone trying to catch them as we were watching you heard garsps from the crowd, we were told no refund[ we did get refund in the end] next day poo was found in the pool so again it was emptied , the coffee was the pits only one decent you had to pay for , xmas eve had salad and came down with food poisening for 3 days also my mother 85 , so xmas was a write off didnt get to our destenation , entertainment was poor the only thing entertaining was the kareoke at 11.30 pm and it only ran for 40 min 70 people haveing fun and they stop it , all things to do on the ship you had to pay big dollars for ,not like that on other ships, was glad to get home ,,, sink the ship and be dun with it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Terrible food with extremely limited choice and opening times. The Pantry is disgusting. Inexperienced staff. Poor quality cabins. Hallways smell of sewage. Toilets often out of order. Entertainment by in large was ... Read More
Terrible food with extremely limited choice and opening times. The Pantry is disgusting. Inexperienced staff. Poor quality cabins. Hallways smell of sewage. Toilets often out of order. Entertainment by in large was average. Tender process is ridiculously slow. No water provided in the gym. No drinks price list and rarely provided with a receipt. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Dont believe the marketing campaign!!!!! The food is horrific. The paying restaurants are very small and fully booked out as the clever few fully booked them out early on so they didnt have to eat slops. The cabins are out of the ... Read More
Dont believe the marketing campaign!!!!! The food is horrific. The paying restaurants are very small and fully booked out as the clever few fully booked them out early on so they didnt have to eat slops. The cabins are out of the 70s and filthy. The balconies are filthy and rusted and the deckchair cushions are 30 years old. The staff need training badly in every area. There is no atmosphere as everyone is miserable. Due to my list above the fact Gastro was onboard, enter Eden at own risk. P&o slogan of "like no place on earth" is spot on!!!! Can't wait to get off and get to Sydney airport to eat some decent food; now that says it all. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Where to start? First time on a cruise and so bitterly disappointed. Following a three hour embarkation delay to disinfect the ship, my husband and I walked up the gangplank into utter chaos;. No one to greet or welcome you, harried staff ... Read More
Where to start? First time on a cruise and so bitterly disappointed. Following a three hour embarkation delay to disinfect the ship, my husband and I walked up the gangplank into utter chaos;. No one to greet or welcome you, harried staff running about the ship, passengers luggage carelessly piled up in the lift foyers and dumped outside peoples cabin doors and a sizable queue of complainants at reception. As we were unsure of protocol, and there was no one to guide us, we headed up to our room. The room was not prepared - no soap, dirty shelving from the last occupants, very little toilet paper, balcony door jammed shut and windows indescribably dirty and our luggage no where to be seen. I flagged down a steward to address the issues and he suggested we look for our bags amongst the mountains of luggage piling up in the lift foyers on various levels(!!!). Our bags didn't show up for three hours and the balcony door took another request to be unjammed to gain access. Our room was not cleaned until the following day. As we settled in we noticed the ship had begun to move (no announcement was made that we heard) so we scurried up to one of the decks to enjoy the view as we left Sydney Harbour. The food was ATROCIOUS!!! Our first meal was at Angelo's. My husband ordered spaghetti and meatballs and received something that resembled a cow pat sitting on a bed of poorly drained pasta swimming in water. It was stone cold and my meal was not much better. Pre frozen fish served cold. Yuck! We didn't receive one meal on board served at a food safe temperature. Everything was tepid at best, and frankly, no amount of heat would save the slop they were dishing up. I ordered a pannacotta that could have doubled as a superball and the creme brulee was so curdled it had the texture of scrambled eggs. When we got to Cairnes we bought a mountain of food and brought it back on board and filled our fridge. The service was ATROCIOUS! - except for our room steward, Nellie, who was helpful and delightful. A request for a pot of tea or second cup of coffee was met with an exasperated sigh and some requests were never met at all. In the end we just stopped asking as it was all too much trouble. At The Waterfront Restaurant i ordered a pork chop that arrived with three shards of bone instead of a chop - cold and overcooked. At The Dragon Lady tables were left uncleared - we spent a lengthy 1.5 hours waiting for our food and surrounded by five uncleared tables. Rumour has it the head chef was 'let go' in Cairnes and the Head Chef for all of P&O was flown in to execute damage control. The result was slightly warmer food. The king size bed in our room was very comfortable and the room/balcony proportion very good. The toilet did back up twice, however, and overflowed once, so maintenance was kept busy. This seemed to be a common problem amongst the passengers. We had a spa bath but the jets looked too rusty and dirty to risk a bath. We did not receive a Daily Schedule until day three and only received the dvd list of movies you could order two days before the end of the cruise. Only the key public areas of the ship were renovated and there were many areas on board emanating fairly unsavoury smells. Most surfaces were left wet and smeary with disinfectant and we could witness staff with masks and spray equipment making their way around the ship. The general purpose pool was out of action upon arrival (and then again later with rumours of faecal matter or vomit contamination) and the Oasis pool was so scungy looking by week two i no longer wanted to swim in it. The last day of our cruise we were informed via a slip of paper under our door that we were to vacate our rooms by SIX AM!!! Our original itinerary had us arriving in Sydney at seven with disembarkation to follow. They were in a hurry to have us vacate to disinfect the ship for the next cruise that evening. The excursions were bliss but a stark reminder of the kind of service and care we should have been receiving from P&O and were not. We feel so ripped off. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Read this review if you considering using P&O Australia they are the most disgraceful Cruise Liner in the world. You will get better service anywhere else with anyone! I am not a new cruiser this is a truthful account of the ... Read More
Read this review if you considering using P&O Australia they are the most disgraceful Cruise Liner in the world. You will get better service anywhere else with anyone! I am not a new cruiser this is a truthful account of the treatment you can expect on this horrid vessel. Christmas 10 Day Whitsunday Cruise what a dreadful place to spend Christmas this boat is designed for 4 day cruises at maximum anything longer and you will be bored. I don't know were to begin so here are the highlights. Faulty Towers is run better. Staff issues. - All staff on this boat basically don't give two hoots about anything to do with customer service. They are exhausted and run into the ground. - The only staff I found decent were our two room attendants, one server at Pantry, one waiter in salt and the fellow running the restaurant booking area between Angelos and Salt. - The British Red head running the beauty section was observed not honouring discount prices to clients and then pretty much ignoring repeated requests to void the transaction and adjust the price down. - The Tour Desk PNG Native young man in his 20's refuses to book a tour on the phone due to "rules" I went downstairs to book the tour only to be told the afternoon tour was cancelled and two slots remained on the morning tour only. He couldn't tell me this on the phone due to rules, I can not describe this mans attitude to customer service as he had none. More:- 1. Buzzers are still a requirement in Water front the restaurant is "Full" when it is at 1/4 seating capacity. The Lady I questioned about the empty tables gave me death stares for the rest of the cruise. 2. The Ship leaks water during rain in most hall ways & The Pantry 3. Disembarkation generally is a disaster at Cairns on day 1 was 1 hour late. Rude Security staff observed moving elderly people + Family from a seat that they wanted to "Rope off". They forced the 80yos to stand for 20 mins then didnt rope the area off in which they were sitting. They then told everyone waiting in queue to go back to their cabins. Moronic things like this were very common on board the security staff are clueless and generally nasty by nature. Moreton Island Disembarkation a real mess with security giving the wrong instructions and trying to send the 150 returning passengers up a narrow stair case with 150 people trying to come down to board at the same time! I'm not kidding that is exactly what theses geniuses did!! 4. Missed Cooktown Port and no compensation given. 5. The Captain has the personality of a dead fish and is rarely heard on the first 6 days on the loudspeaker and never seen wandering the boat. Company policy must be to avoid clients at all costs. 6. The Cruise was the most boring I went on. The cruise director was never seen on the ship wandering. Activities on the ship included drinking on top deck while getting sun burnt near the 4 person pool and showing off ones bad tattoos. 7. Birthdays spoke to a couple who had a birthday on board. Balloons were left at there stateroom on the door. Salt was attended by the couple and staff were informed of the birthday. The Staff did nothing for them no cheap frozen cake with a few candles and definitely no singing happy birthday as I have seen on other cruise lines. Really P&O don't put in any effort at all. 8. My Christmas dinner was spent at Salt Grill. The best they could offer was cheap bonbons on the table no pudding or ham in sight nothing special at all just brooding from the terrible Indian matridee and his side kick snotty the some kind of Asian fellow with a attitude problem. Further on the Salt grill people think its excellent its not Scallops Frozen and rubbery, Lobster Frozen tasteless and rubbery + another $22 on top of the $50 you pay. 300G Rib Fillet Steak Tough as a boot. 9. Casino worst black jack odds ever 5/6 on Blackjack and a smaller deck than a regular casino basically ensure the house cleans up to all but the lucky. Long engaging games were players are given a chance of breaking even are not offered. 10. The Pantry The concept of the servers is good but the lack of variety generally kills it off. Best Bay is Mexican, fish and chips. Breakfast omelets can not be custom designed they are instead made form whatever is available best one I had was a salmon based one. My Conclusion is never ever travel with P&O they will treat you dreadfully and do things that no other line would ever. As for me I am intending on contesting the entire charge to my card as you stand no chance of getting any compensation using there customer service which is basically like talking into a empty phone booth! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
As soon as I boarded I knew this trip was a mistake . Far from being 'new' and exciting it was like an old performer with too much makeup . The Aria is not ready to receive guests . The lifts are out of order most of the time ... Read More
As soon as I boarded I knew this trip was a mistake . Far from being 'new' and exciting it was like an old performer with too much makeup . The Aria is not ready to receive guests . The lifts are out of order most of the time and when you are lucky enough to get one going your way it mysteriously changes direction . The Pantry was a nightmare not only with the unappetising food but the placement of buckets catching water coming from the ceiling surrounded by police style tape . Actually there were a lot of areas taped off because of broken or dangerous fixtures and fittings . The food throughout the ship was sub standard even in the 'posh' restaurants . Don't know how they could make a baked dinner taste like a stew .I ended up having toast @ veggie for breakfast and paid for my coffee . Lunch was a bread roll and soup . Dinner was mostly at the Waterfront restaurant where they score a 5 out of 10 .Our shower took 3 hours to fix after we went through 4 separate staff members assuming we were too stupid to know how to use it. 2 cabins down from us were flooded and the pax were expected to remain in them even after the carpets were still damp. An elderly lady was told when her toilet started to overflow she was using too much toilet paper . It was well known by then that the staff toilets were unusable as there was /is a major plumbing problem on board Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was the worst cruise I have ever been on, P & O are now going down hill. The only reason I gave this one tick is that the cabin (a full suite) was not too bad, mainly because the balcony was huge, the room though is no where near ... Read More
This was the worst cruise I have ever been on, P & O are now going down hill. The only reason I gave this one tick is that the cabin (a full suite) was not too bad, mainly because the balcony was huge, the room though is no where near as large as the suites on the old Dawn, plus they have a shower over the bath, personally I feel it is time the ships got rid of the baths as they are dangerous and you cannot shower properly in them without drenching the bathroom. Other than that the food was atrocious, it was very obviously recycled into terrines and other foods, e.g in the Waterfront, I had baked ham, roast potatoes, with vegetables which were left over black beans mixed in with other gooey concoctions. Someones idea of what we eat is weird. The Pantry is a joke, instead of tables and chairs it looks like a kids schoolroom,with benches, stools and couches!!!! Never enough room to sit. The food was monotonous, the only highlights were the roasts. The Grill which you pay for was ok for hamburgers and hotdogs. All sauces were tomato based and very watered down, in fact horrible. The first day on board all the beef sandwiches were mouldy and had to be removed. The pastries were dry and hard, think they are budgeting by using less butter? Or none at all. The entertainment was boring, the guitarist in the Casino Lounge was woeful to the extent after 10 days it was empty. The Combo Band in the Blue Room were very good and ended up crowding out the small area, there was a lack of good entertainment. Not even afternoon tea unless you order it in your cabin. The ship leaks all over the place and unfortunately for some people their cabins did as well, not to mention the rotting window sills painted over. The refurbishment was only in the common areas, not maybe where it was needed. The crew were fine, but their moral was low. Smokers you do not have a proper place to sit and have a cigarette. Only deck 6 sitting on the rotting containers holding extra life jackets, no chairs or bar. Not very nice, some people may go yippee, but you are not catered for. There is no internet room, there are computers stuck in the middle of the atrium, whereby you have to hop on to a tall high stool. I paid for $20 but never got onto the internet, I gave it away. There is no privacy either. Over all terrible and it was the general consensus on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The whole 10 days we were served the worst food we have ever eaten. There was a couple of meals that were nice (not outstanding) and the rest were disgusting. Food was very bland, luke warm and badly cooked and the same offerings day after ... Read More
The whole 10 days we were served the worst food we have ever eaten. There was a couple of meals that were nice (not outstanding) and the rest were disgusting. Food was very bland, luke warm and badly cooked and the same offerings day after day. Soups and gravies where as salty as the ocean, meats undercooked, roast vegies of carrot, potato and 80% tasteless swede and bacon like boot leather. There was long waits to be seated at the restaurant and we soon learnt not to leave going out for dinner too late, meal sizes were not big enough so you needed to allow enough time to grab something extra to eat or go to bed hungry. If you think you can grab something to eat any time think again, the pantry was only open for a few hours at meal times, no morning tea, afternoon tea or late night snack. If you slept in or lost track of time (two things you should be able to do while on holidays) you would miss meal times. We had to buy a watch to keep an eye on the time (no clocks worked on the ship). There was a coffee machine which made very bad coffee or tea bags to make you own, plastic mugs and sticks to stir, not high class. Otherwise you could drink water or at breakfast time orange or apple juice watered down so much it tasted like cordial. Alcoholic drinks also tasted weak and very expensive. Any time you shared a table with another cruiser you heard more stories of the bad experiences, the whole vibe of the ship was a very unhappy one. The beds were comfortable but the linen stained and clean towels delivered to your room also stained. The bath to step into the shower is very high, elderly or unable people would have a very hard time. The daily activities pathetic, boring and repetitive. So perhaps fill in some time walking around the deck, parts of the deck were always closed for cleaning and maintenance. During the day staff were varnishing or painting and the strong chemical smell drifted everywhere. Talking about smells, occasionally a very bad smell like sewerage or vomit would drift through the hall ways and bed rooms. The lifts at both ends of the ship did not always work, out of 8 lifts sometimes only 2 would be working which meant long waits, crowded lifts or take the stairs. Staff service around the ship was mixed, some friendly and helpful, some rude. It was difficult to communicate with most as we could not understand them and they could not understand us. A new refurbished ship, the decor was ok but some bad design elements. Particularly the pantry seating, a lounge and coffee table was impossible to eat a meal at or you could choose to perch on a very high bar stool. There was some tables and seats but not enough to cater at meal times. In the restaurant the tables were too small, the dinner plate did not fit on the table so overhung above your lap, we also noticed that bread rolls, butter dish and glasses were not always changed between sittings. The pool was far too small for the amount of people and you were just lucky if you found an available seat to relax. The ship leaked after a small shower of rain and buckets were placed around to catch the drips, not what you would expect. The entertainment was good but shows were short and not many for the length of time onboard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our 21st cruise, and the first one with P&O. The main reason was we wanted to see what they had done to the former HAL Ryndam as we are keen HAL cruisers. The decor was pretty good especially on deck 11, but why they put ... Read More
This was our 21st cruise, and the first one with P&O. The main reason was we wanted to see what they had done to the former HAL Ryndam as we are keen HAL cruisers. The decor was pretty good especially on deck 11, but why they put sofas in an eating area I don't know. They had also taken out the library which was one of the best at sea, computers were moved to the atrium were you had to use stools to sit on and no privacy. The biggest disappointment was the staff, how we wished they had taken over the well trained, courteous staff employed by Holland America. Staff had obviously not been trained properly and the majority of them were rude and did not know how to smile. Food was terrible, the pantry serves up similar food each day, the cooks did not always have gloves on when handling food. The main restaurant food was horrible, tasteless, vegetables a rarity. Servings were usually tiny. A main course of prawn wontons was 3 wontons, with tiny shrimps in them. Food quite often was cold. No salt and paper shakers on the tables. When my wife requested them she was told rudely by the steward that the chef season all the food and she had to taste it before he would give her the salt & Pepper. RUDE!! Lifts were in banks of 4 and rarely were more than 3 operating. We had one in the AFT that was stuck permanently on deck 96, handrails in the lifts were often missing We were in cabin 9215 which is the deck below the adult swimming pool and were waken up every morning at 6AM by crew moving deck furniture on deck 10. I complained 5 times but it did not make any difference, I don't know why this could not be done at 8am in the morning. To get food at the pantry you had to dodge buckets that were placed outside the serving area to catch the water leaks. Toilets would sometimes flush , sometimes 5 minutes after they had been pressed. We rarely saw any officers they obviously were ashamed of the ship and its crew. The airconditioning varied greatly, the movie theatre was freezing and passengers were wrapping themselves in towels to keep warm. We went to one movie session where the operator realised that he was not showing the correct movie after 30 minutes and he switched to the correct movie. The Blue Room was also very cold. (great music though) Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The four of us were all looking forward to spending New Year on the ship. Sadly all went down hill once we were on the ship. It started with putting our clothes away the top hinge on the wardrobe fell of when we opened it. Then went to ... Read More
The four of us were all looking forward to spending New Year on the ship. Sadly all went down hill once we were on the ship. It started with putting our clothes away the top hinge on the wardrobe fell of when we opened it. Then went to sit on my bed well the wooden slats broke (no I am not that fat), the bed was really for a child not an adult. Then go into the shower once you figure out how to get the right temputure you have your shower hop out only to find the bathroom just about flooded. It rained on our trip and considering we went to cairns it was expected considering it is rainy season and you cant do anything about the weather. BUT you dont expect the weather to come to meet you inside the ship. It leaks like a sieve instead of bringing shorts and t shirts I should of brought gumboots, umbrella and woollen jumpers and that was just for the inside of the ship. Buckets and towels everywhere sodden wet carpet that stunk with that wet carpet smell. Be prepared to walk up and down stairs as the lifts were either very slow or did not work at all. Hand rails were falling of the lifts walk on some of the carpet and water just squishes through your toes. The entertainment was very B grade nothing like the Dawn so dont expect it. The best resturant was the dragon lady but very small portions. The New Years Eve menu was total crap I ordered for staters the Lobster and prawn bisque got 3 very very very small bits of prawn in it the lobster escaped. Overall I found the pantry the best place to eat with the most variety. The booking system of the resturants were very unfair be prepared to get there very early and wait for them to open. Our destion changed at the last minute so didnt get to go everywhere we spent 2 days in cairns instead. Going back to the bed the first time it broke they fixed it the next day but the 2nd time it broke it didnt get fixed so had to spend 2 or 3 nights on a broken bed not good for the back. I could go on and on with broken things and leaks etc. Overall this trip was the worst one I have had in my life. Not value for money at all just a total waste actually. If this ship was a car it would of been ordered of the road. But what do P&O do take more people out on it they dont really care as long as they have there money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was my second cruise with P&O the first on the Dawn was fantastic could not rate it high enough this time on the Aria worst trip of my life. staff at the pantry were good and sure the crew had a hard time trying to work with a ... Read More
This was my second cruise with P&O the first on the Dawn was fantastic could not rate it high enough this time on the Aria worst trip of my life. staff at the pantry were good and sure the crew had a hard time trying to work with a lemon of a ship. when i first boarded saw nice ship and that's where it ends. Got to our cabin a 4 berth went to put clothes in a wardrobe and the door fell off my brother sat on his bed and went through it so slept on a broken bed the entire cruise as even though they attempted to fix it next day was only suitable for a child not an adult . forget eating at the restaurants service was shocking one waitress through our plates on the table and was unprofessional menu nothing great their repleted every 3 days no great choice better selection and service at the pantry . and then it rained! a number of rooms were flooded out lifts stopped working toilets blocked up and overflowed a number of passengers slept in wet rooms and given $100 on board credit. Go to get duty free alcohol that was on sale and advertised in the shop only to told sorry sold out last cruise. All i can say is when it comes to this ship run.total waste of hard earned money. now home and need a good nights sleep from this nightmare Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Top 10 issues with the Pacific Aria: 1. The cabins flood. All types of cabin, on multiple levels, including suites and especially the penthouse. This is because the external drainage system doesn’t work and the seals around the ... Read More
Top 10 issues with the Pacific Aria: 1. The cabins flood. All types of cabin, on multiple levels, including suites and especially the penthouse. This is because the external drainage system doesn’t work and the seals around the external doors and windows have eroded and haven’t been refurbished. As soon as any water gets onto the external decks, it ends up in the cabins, goes out into the corridors, runs down the internal stairs, and also leaks down into lower cabins. When the carpets begin to dry out, the smell is unbearable. The build-up of undrained water on the decks also causes the ship to list alarmingly. Don’t leave anything on the floor of your cabin, and pay close attention during the evacuation drill (although the lifeboat used to take us to Hamilton Island also leaked significantly, so perhaps it won’t even matter). 2. The Elemis spa hard sell. The staff at the Elemis spa use all kinds of shady tricks and intimidation to attempt to extort money from passengers. The relaxing effect of a couples massage is somewhat undone when you’re shut into the room afterwards, whilst the masseuses split you up and simultaneously try to pressurise and berate you into taking additional costly products and treatments. Another tactic - telling customers who’ve booked in for a treatment that they have in fact actually booked in for a much more expensive treatment. Continuously trying to pressure customers who are in the middle of one treatment, into taking an additional treatment at the same time, despite the customer repeatedly declining this. It would be nice if the Office of Fair Trading would take some action against Elemis and P & O for this outrageous behaviour. Stay out of Elemis at all costs. 3. The food is low grade pig swill. In fact, it’s so bad, that I’m suspicious about the authenticity of any review which says that the food is “tasty”. Scrambled eggs are made from powder. Disgusting. Sausages are made from some kind of artificial substitute. Disgusting. The black pudding is the most repellent piece of food I’ve eaten in my entire life. It is so unbelievably bad, that I actually recommend you try it once. In the restaurants, the meat (notably the beef) is predominantly fat, and is flavoured with salt, salt and salt. Copious and sickly amounts of butter are also used as the other source of flavour. Everything is a simulation of a piece of proper food. If you order a croissant, you’ll get bread shaped like a croissant. The Pantry is poor. Avoid Angelo’s like the plague. The Dragon Lady is surprisingly passable (if you can get a table). Waterfront was also passable (but then we were comparing it with Angelo’s). 4. There is an incredible amount of ship movement, even in calm seas. I excitedly shot out of bed one morning and over to the window, to view the huge storm I presumed was taking place. Nothing. Calm seas. A touch of breeze perhaps. This lead to full days of many people being sick. One day the pool was closed (and half the water lost) because there was so much movement. One can only imagine what will happen when the boat encounters any kind of seriously rough sea. Stock up on hard-core anti-sickness tablets. 5. The communal areas are shoddy. The ceilings leak when it rains. The ceilings leak when it’s dry (I’m guessing it’s the air conditioning system). Water cascades in from the decks. Buckets everywhere. Areas taped off. Waterfalls cascade down through the lifts, which are out of service most of the time. Inside the lifts, the handrails are broken, and the name ‘Pacific Aria’ is on pieces of cardboard taped over the ship’s previous title. Contact P & O for an early cancellation and a full refund if you have mobility issues, as you won’t be able to move between decks. 6. The staff. Some are very rude (one woman refused to look at me whilst speaking). Some tell outright lies to your face (“this is the first time the cabins have ever flooded”, “we had 2 metres of rain”). The captain woke everyone on the ship at 5am with an in-room announcement about the laundry having to be checked for a fire. He made a second in-room announcement about there being no fire (5.05 am?). He made a final announcement explaining (unconvincingly) why he required to keep making these in-room announcements (5.10am). Coincidentally, the staff drill used a few days later was an identical scenario regarding a fire in the laundry. Annoyingly, all other announcements made on the ship (i.e. the ones you need to hear) aren’t made in-room. Treat everything you’re told by staff with due scepticism. 7. General state of the cabins. They badly need to be refurbished. We were in a suite and bits of peeling wallpaper had been taped back on. The sockets hadn’t been converted to Australian sockets. In the dressing area, you could only use American or European plugs. In our bathroom, there were screws missing from the door handle, there was rusty water running from some of the fittings, and every hook on the shower curtain was completely rusted. I’m also convinced that our towels weren’t changed – just refolded once dry. Bring a plug converter if you plan to use a hairdryer or straighteners. 8. The air conditioning has a mind of its own. From freezing in the morning, building gradually throughout the day to a balmy 28 degrees. It seems to be impossible to override this. 9. The Oasis (the adults only pool deck) is near useless, as there is virtually no shade. Skin cancer all round, thanks. 10. Couldn’t get an advance reservation at Salt, even though we supposedly had priority. I actually didn’t believe the maître-d’ when he told me it was fully booked for the next evening (given that, unless you were in a suite, you weren’t able to make a reservation until 8am the next morning). But by that point in the cruise, I actually didn’t care any more. Top 5 goods points: 1. The gym is very nicely kitted out, with plenty of benches, free weights and cables, and good opening hours. Also very quiet, as most people ignored it in favour of weird free seminars on weight loss and fat burning. Go figure. 2. P&O ultimately dealt with the immediate flooding issues by replacing smelly carpets in suites and agreeing compensation whilst still on board (which was impressive during the Christmas period). 3. There was a great little band which played the Blue Room (although this was somewhat ruined on the last night when members of the on-board shows interjected themselves into some of the songs). 4. I liked the fact that you could get breakfast delivered to your suite as late as 9.30am (once we’d worked out what was worth ordering). I recommend the banana bread and asking for eggs to be poached. 5. Bed was very comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Ok where do I start? This was the worst and most boring holiday of our lives. If you hate someone recommend the P&O Aria. Nothing to do but eat, drink and listen to lame lifeless entertainers. Cabins looked nice we had a balcony, ... Read More
Ok where do I start? This was the worst and most boring holiday of our lives. If you hate someone recommend the P&O Aria. Nothing to do but eat, drink and listen to lame lifeless entertainers. Cabins looked nice we had a balcony, although the aircon was useless it didnt cool the room and fridge was useless too couldnt chill our drinks. They had a DVD player but no DVD's to watch? We kept checking outside to see if our bags had been sent up, we eventually found them up the other end of the corridor even tho they were clearly marked with our names and room number. We went for a walk on Deck 6 but you couldnt walk right around the ship as Portside was closed off and Starboard was full of coughing smokers. The adults only pool was like a plunge pool The Pantry looked good on the promos but in actual fact it was like being trapped on a floating foodcourt. Food was the same everyday no variety, had to line up for everything, food was often cold and the roast veg was very undercooked, oh and if you wanted icecream with your dessert you had to pay $5. There weren't enough tables and chairs and what was with all the stools, bit hard to climb up on and very uncomfortable. Waterfront restaurant was average with rude waiters. One girl took 3 or 4 tags to go sort out the drinks for different tables then didnt know whos tag belonged to who. The other free restaurants were always booked out and you were not able to book ahead which either pushed you to others you had to pay for, or back to the (foodcourt) Pantry. Day 2 it began to rain and didnt stop, that's when the leaks appeared all over the ship. Towels, blankets and buckets were all over the eating areas, halls and stairwells. Dirty water was dripping on tables where people were eating staff had to tape off sections of the ship and where trying to dry carpets with airblowers we even saw them doing this to an electrical box, maybe that's why the lifts were always out of order. An annoucement at 5am that there was a fire in the laundry was a little off putting. The reception staff were rude and most unhelpful but that could be due to the fact that there was a huge language barrier, very frustrating. This ship is far from new so why advertise it that way? And why run a cruise up to Cairns in the wet season, but more fool us for booking it for that time of year. By the 5th day we'd had enoughwe got off at Cairns and stayed off. This was our 1st ever cruise and after that experience, we will NEVER do another one. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Hi Cruisers My wife and I went on the Pacific Aria for a 7 night "New Years" cruise to Cairns via Hamilton Island. We read other peoples reviews before going - found most were negative, but decided to make up our own minds! ... Read More
Hi Cruisers My wife and I went on the Pacific Aria for a 7 night "New Years" cruise to Cairns via Hamilton Island. We read other peoples reviews before going - found most were negative, but decided to make up our own minds! All I can say is that every other poor review was fully justifiable! As a mature age couple, we have been on 6 previous cruises - and this one was equal worst! From leaking roofs in dining areas, dirty plates/cups etc left scattered and uncollected on all decks/often being unable to book seats in the so-called "specialty" restaurants (why should we need to book anyway?)/smallish serves of food/having to pay for (the normally included) soft-drinks or soft-serve ice creams for kids/not being allowed to bring bottled water aboard/no bar-fridge in the cabin ....and I could keep going on! This is aside from being woken most nights by engineering noise from some type maintenance activities (at 3am!) followed by regular 7am clanging and banging by crew working on the Promenade railings! Hardly restful sleep! Do yourselves a favour and give this ship a miss .. and if you are a first time cruiser - please don't let this one put you off, as I will assure you of a much better experience on almost any other cruiseship around! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our third cruise, we have sailed twice before on the Dawn. We had decided to join this cruise last minute as it fitted our work schedule. We are writing this review just to assure you this cruise WAS that bad. The ship leaked all ... Read More
This was our third cruise, we have sailed twice before on the Dawn. We had decided to join this cruise last minute as it fitted our work schedule. We are writing this review just to assure you this cruise WAS that bad. The ship leaked all over the place but especially in the Pantry, the lifts didn't work and fittings kept falling off. The ship has excessive movement even in relatively calm seas. I wouldn't want to be on it in a storm......or frankly at any other time. When we read the reviews from the other cruises that the Aria has done in the 6 weeks or so as a P and O ship after its 'refit',it is obvious that the leaking, non functioning lifts and all the other problems have been there from the start. I am not sure how P and O can keep taking the money and using this ship in its present condition. So, no we didn't get flooded in our cabin, we only had mould in the bathroom, my cupboard door kept falling off, there was no barfridge and the TV was so old, I couldn't play the laptop on it for some much needed entertainment. We did get the 5.30 am announcement about the 'first aid on level 2' and then the 'sorry' announcement 10 minutes after just as we got back to sleep. We also got woken up at 10.30 pm on the last night (we had to vacate the room by 6.30am the next day) by a maintenance man who wanted to flush our toilet just to make sure it was working. The cabin next door did have the toilet overflow and there were plenty of strange septic smells to delight in the corridor. Not one clock on this ship tells the same or right time. You had to buy the soft drinks. No, the lifts didn't work all the time. One was stuck on floor 11 the whole trip, the others were intermittent. You had to use the stairs for most trips and Maybe that was a good thing considering we had seen water coming out of some the lifts at the rear of the boat. It is not classy to stand in line at 8am to book the 2 speciality restaurants for that night. It was even more frustrating when you got there at 7.50am to find they were already taking bookings and we got one of the last ones for that day. The food was OK in a cafeteria sort of way. We only had 2 rude waiter incidents but just wished we could communicate with them. They replied in English words but never sure what they meant. The best meal was definitely the Salthouse in Cairns. Worth getting off the ship. In fact, most restaurants and fast food outlets are worth getting off the ship for. We paid $180 to Elemis to have exclusive use of the thermal room with 20 other couples. The Spa jets hardly worked and the handles fell off the shower taps. Worst of all, Elemis started advertising spa and massage packages and on one occasion booked the heat beds out and we couldn't get a space. It wasn't what we believed we paid for. In fact the whole trip wasn't what we paid for. P and O offered us credits for our next cruise but we won't be using them. Ever. Plus side: we both lost weight on the cruise from the food, climbing from level 4 to 11 all the time and running from the smells. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
P&O Aria - ship so bad it should not be allowed at sea I had the displease of sailing on the Pacific Aria from Brisbane on the 27th Dec15 - we were told this ship was brand new and was christened in Sydney harbour along with the ... Read More
P&O Aria - ship so bad it should not be allowed at sea I had the displease of sailing on the Pacific Aria from Brisbane on the 27th Dec15 - we were told this ship was brand new and was christened in Sydney harbour along with the Eden just prior to xmas....WRONG.. WRONG .. WRONG THIS WAS A VERY OLD 30YR + EX-HOLLAND LINE CRUISE SHIP WITH A FACE LIFT OVER THE CRAP. *Every orifice of the ship leaked from day one *cabins flooded over 100 we heard, *the pantry (food court) had 30-40 buckets catching water from roof leaks the whole cruise, and one food outlet was shut down due to water running over equipment. * the dome (night life) was shut down 1 night due to massive roof leaks & the rest of the trip you walked around and the water logged carpet oozed around your toes and ruined shoes. * The 4 cabins next to us flooded, water came out from under bathroom area and the stink we had to put up with all week every time we stepped into the corridor was disgusting, made you heave. *We put up with loud water suction machines going at all hours of the night, 2 large blower fans were going constantly almost outside our door 24/7, our corridor was like a wind tunnel. *the main dining room had water poring in from the deck doors, the staff were wading in knee deep water going in at out to the deck area and towels per piled up at the doors trying to stop it - our towels, white one the go in our bathrooms, this was the first night, * the first morning at breakfast we were sat at a table right next to these doors and the carpet oozed at our feet, there were 4 of us, the table was only big enough for 2 people and the rest of the dining room was 90% empty. * Water cascaded down internal carpeted stairwells (so fast it would have taken a child down with it) (as shown on channel 7 news) *Water cascaded in from the deck, swirling around lift wells and running down the lift wells creating waterfalls 2, 3 & 4 decks below, It wasn't till an hour later they stopped people using the lifts. *The food in main dining room was crap, bland, cold, tiny portions. *Staff were rude, only interested in getting your order and getting you out of there, I had to ask 4 or 5 times for my bottle of wine, and it finally came with sweets. - at one stage I refused to eat main until my wine arrived, then sent the meal back because it was totally cold. *the Pantry (food court) was disgusting, after dodging water buckets & bins for a week, there was no buffet that you could help yourself, Your choices were roast, Mexican, wraps/rolls, fish, Indian or salad,(no meats) just salad with dressings, beans and crappy stuff. - I could not even get some salami or pancetta or corn meat and crackers for light lunch. Cheese was non existent *All food venues including Pantry only opened set hours for breakfast, lunch, dinner and if you were looking for an afternoon or supper snack, forget it, your choice was to pay for a burger or pizza on the pool deck. *There was no fresh local produce on board, we never saw a pineapple, mango or any other tropical fruit the whole cruise and it was to Cairns & back. *Our cabin was a 2 star at best, with about 3inches of blue sealant around the window, and this was supposed to be our lovely view. * THERE WAS NO FRIDGE IN THE ROOM, nowhere to keep medications cool and no cold water for a week. *The room literature said the other 3 restaurants "Italian & Asian & Sea Salt" all had surcharge, it wasn't until day 3 we found out only the Sea Salt had a surcharge, the other 2 were free - but to book in you could only book for that night, so you had to ring or cue at 7.30am in the morning to even hope to get a table - then the food was still crap, bland & cold, with similar or same dishes available in the main dining room. *All the cruise there were at least 2 lifts always out of service. *Toilets were almost impossible to find in public areas and when you did most of them were out of order or disgusting, it was easier to go down and use the cabin one. * On the return to Brisbane trip, it was fine weather, no winds (we were out on the deck) but the ship lurched and swayed so badly you couldn't walk around the ship, because it was going full steam back to port, and such an old ship even the slightest swell tossed it around. * The only fine weather in 7 days and the pool was closed, it was slopping over the sides with the rocking of the boat * I Asked for a neck pillow when I got on board as the literature tells you, to ask the cabin staff for specialty pillows, mattress toppers etc., only to be told, they haven't been supplied anything yet, the only pillow I could have is the one I had. * I asked for a pineapple juice for breakfast, and got told, stock has not yet arrived. *The phones didn't work, I tried calling our friends cabins but you could not leave a voice message for them - they replaced the phone & when I called their cabin the next day the phone message said..."the party you are calling has checked out"... Mmmm we were at sea that day, & no life boats missing... The list of disappointments, rudeness, and lack of basic facilities goes on and on,.. and they have the nerve to charge the same (& more) than other cruise lines for a ship that they know has major issues and has done every trip since it has sailed, this isn’t just our trip, this is every trip according to staff, same leaks, same cabins that leak, and you get told ‘we are working through them’…. Well fix the bloody things before you charge top dollar for a trip from hell. They were trying to palm if off that we were in tail end of cyclone,it was just regular typical summer tropical rain, and if the ship can't handle rain, it should not be on the run. Anyway, I thought ships were supposed to be 'watertight' and handle anything…. Besides cyclone or not, the ship should not LEAK INSIDE. DISGUSTING BOAT, DISGUSTING TRIP, NEVER FELT SAFE THE WHOLE TIME I WAS ON BOARD, THE SHIP WAS SINKING FROM THE INSIDE OUT.- IT WAS A LIVING NIGHTMARE THIS WAS A $2500 7 DAY TRIP AND WE PAID TO GO ON THIS HELL SHIP, WITH NOT ONE CENT OFFERED IN WAY OF COMPENSATION. We could have sailed to NZ for 10days for less money than this trip of 7 days and that ship probably had good food available 24/7 and didn’t leak. THIS SHIP SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO SAIL, MARITIME SERVICES SHOULD GROUND IT. I have previously sailed on Regal Princess which is a palace compared to Pacific Aria, so yes, I do have something to compare it to. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We had several grievances. The staff & crew were not at all welcoming they seemed tired and unhappy "just doing the job" attitude. The entertainment was extremely average the same two duos in the bars twice a day for the ... Read More
We had several grievances. The staff & crew were not at all welcoming they seemed tired and unhappy "just doing the job" attitude. The entertainment was extremely average the same two duos in the bars twice a day for the whole ten days, same pianist/vocalist in the same bar twice a day for ten days- yawn, same mediocre four piece band ( vocalist didn't know the lyrics a lot and read them on iPad), several acts in main Marquees room by the same group if young adults. Saving the boredom was a new act that came on at Adelaide was Donna Campbell doing a Dolly Parton act she was really good but only twice. They saved heaps on entertainment. Food was fantastic! Even though there was a bun fight every night at the 7.30 session at the Waterfront, we changed to 5.30 to avoid this every night. The gym is tiny, claustrophobic and hot with same music played continuously. No message service on the house phones to contact friends. No happy hour. Rooms were really good, spacious and clean with good beds. Need more signage on board people getting lost constantly. All in all paid good money for a budget time. No way we are going P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Headed to Brisbane with great excitement. This disappeared once on board. If you put a 18 year old dress on a 90 year old woman, from a distance (and on the net) it looks fantastic. When you get up close and personal (board the ship) it ... Read More
Headed to Brisbane with great excitement. This disappeared once on board. If you put a 18 year old dress on a 90 year old woman, from a distance (and on the net) it looks fantastic. When you get up close and personal (board the ship) it is obvious the refurbish was only partial and not that well done. One the first morning Elemis at sea, (the spa area) spoke to me so rudely that I cancelled our bookings we made the day before. When you then complain to reception you find out that the spa, casino and shops have nothing to do with P&O and P&O dont care if there are problems or concerns. You have to take it up with the units on board the cruise..... the same people you see sucker a confused older gentleman who attended the so called 'seminar' get swindled into signing up for over $900 worth of spay Detox packages...... Such a con. NEVER have anything to do with Elemis at sea.... basically witches ....... so many wonderous brews and potions and they talk to you like crap. On the Aria we upgraded to a balcony room. For those on level 5 they had to put up with the constant cleanup of over flowing toilets into their rooms. Family on this level had a lovely 4 problems and one that lasted all night before a cleanup crew was sent..... Hint. Never leave anything on your floor in your room on the Aria because the crew tell you they have the constant poo problems they have with their outdated toilet suction system. Even all the toilets on the ship went down for a time..... but not P&O problem...... On other cruises the crew have been welcoming and inviting. On the Aria the crew are more tolerating and abrupt. One moment you will get good drink service, next you want see anyone for hours..... The ship performers were wonderful and the highlight of the cruise. But yes the Aria is a ship of lines and buckets... lines to get on, lines to get off, (good luck with the tenders), lines for food. where the whole time of the cruise you have to also walk around buckets and rags in the dinning area. My only advise is pay the little bit more and book your cruise with Carnival. We will NEVER cruise with P&O again. It is clear that they now take the Australian market for granted and service and gone done hill from our first cruise 4 years ago. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
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