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518 P&O Australia Brisbane Cruise Reviews

Me and the wife chose this cruise because the ship sailed from brisbane and we took our kids with us so it worked for us to sail on aria. As my review title stated good that p and o are getting rid of this ship in the next year or so its ... Read More
Me and the wife chose this cruise because the ship sailed from brisbane and we took our kids with us so it worked for us to sail on aria. As my review title stated good that p and o are getting rid of this ship in the next year or so its old and in need off a massive makeover rust everywhere on the ship the entire cruise maintenance was getting done cutting rust off the ship and repainting which left a toxic smell in our cabin for most of the cruise. There is not alot to do on the ship so if your someone that likes to always be doing something you will get bored very quickly. To the positives crew was very polite and helpful our room stewart's yuyus and budi were great and to len and freddie in the restaurant areas where fantastic great with my to little children always happy to see us. Food on board was better than i thought it was going to be the restaurants which were complementary were really good. Boarding and disembarking the ship was brilliant very will organised and a easy process. I would not book another cruise on this ship though but i would book another cruise with p and o this was our first cruise with p and o. i hope this review is helpful to someone Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have sailed 2X with Pacific Aria and now did our second trip with the Dawn due to the kids section as we took our son and his family with us which made it their 1st cruise and our 4th cruise. Needless to say the kids play area was too ... Read More
We have sailed 2X with Pacific Aria and now did our second trip with the Dawn due to the kids section as we took our son and his family with us which made it their 1st cruise and our 4th cruise. Needless to say the kids play area was too cold for the kids so there were hardly any kids in there, the main pool was very dangerous as it just went down so he couldn't swim in there as hot tubs just too hot but you could have up to 12 kids in it at anytime.There was hardly any entertainment for the little kids. They only had 2 waiters on top so you had dirty plates and glasses sitting there for hours, no waiters to come and take your drink orders unlike the 1st time. The Aria was on top of their game on that one at all time. Plus the Aria has 3 free restaurants as to only 1 on the Dawn. The Aria Pantry also had more selection as oppose to the Dawn pantry. The waterfront restaurant, I will give our waiter Khaled for table 4 10 out of 10 as not only was he entertaining with my grandson, but alway very polite and helpful. The whole ship could have done with more of him. The entertainment fell down badly. I would rate 2 out of 10.Not good at all. I bought some inch of gold jewellery and when I got home, found that I was given a dodgy clasp that didn't open or close.Won't make that mistake again. The staff although tried to be happy, you could see they were very tired which was sad to see. Needless to say my son and family will never cruise again and we will never cruise the Dawn again. If I could get my money back I would as I paid for all 5 of us. We like to go every 6 month so it will be the Aria until the new port is open with more ships on offer. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
IN THIS REVIEW: Kids Club, Dining, On Board Credit, Pools, Comedy Shows, Shopping, Cabins, Service. Being that it was our first time doing a cruise, we decided to do a weekend cruise for a feel. What better way to do it than a comedy ... Read More
IN THIS REVIEW: Kids Club, Dining, On Board Credit, Pools, Comedy Shows, Shopping, Cabins, Service. Being that it was our first time doing a cruise, we decided to do a weekend cruise for a feel. What better way to do it than a comedy cruise which also advertised that it is kid friendly and suitable... It is not kid friendly unfortunately. Yes they have an on board kids club and the Edge Adventures but it is very poorly set out. The adults flocked the Edge Adventures and the kids club centred around kids being in a designated room for most of their time within the club surrounded by electronics (times: 9am-12pm & 2pm-6pm & 7pm-1am > between 9am-10pm children are free to sign themselves out and roam the ship unsupervised - which is fine for the teenagers but not OK for the younger kids). What makes this even more worrying is that the older kids clubs are directly below the casino (with only a set of stairs dividing them) and next to the on board nightclub. The comedy shows are repeated daily so there isn't anything new. There are two outdoor pools, rather small ones at that, which are ice cold at all times (heating the pools would be the smart thing to do) two small hot tubs and two small pool showers. There is a designated smoking area near the pools which is, surprise surprise, next to the little kids club (aged up to 7 years i think - not sure as my 10 year old was in the older kids, not teenagers, kids club). The food is delicious and as an added bonus is completely HALAL - obvious exception of the bacon, however, it is a real shame that all the restaurants and eateries close at 9pm. Room service is from 10am-11pm but the selection is limited. It would be smart to take cash or your savings card on board - they have an ATM - to load your cruise card with on board credit. DO NOT pre-load your cruise card online before the cruise because if you don't use all the credit you won't get a refund of whats left but if you load it on the ship then what you don't use gets refunded to you in cash at the reception. We found that $100 each for on board credit was perfect (this is not including shopping expenses just alcoholic drinks and dining that isn't inclusive of your fare). First thing to do when you board the ship is to make your reservations at any of the restaurants because they fill up FAST! The seafood restaurant is absolutely divine but it does come at a cost. Shopping is limited but don't rush on the first day or the second day, wait till the day before your cruise is over because that's when they have fantastic sales and when they bring out new items! We had an Ocean view cabin and two balcony suites. The ocen view was larger than the balcony suites but the bathrooms were the same. Let me tell you this, the bathroom is NOT made for tall people or larger people. It is very confined - functional - but confined. What was worrying was the security camera outside our ocean view window facing into our cabin... The lifts are painfully slow and they have six of them for the passengers. Our designated steward for our cabin was outstanding! All other staff on board were fantastic but we found that on our final day/night on board the staff - specifically within the hospitality area - didn't give much of a damn in listening or serving us the way they did the previous days, to the point where one staff verbally abused my son and my sister over a mocktail which he was adamant about being an alcoholic drink. When told to leave the whole issue and we move on he continued to severely bad mouth my son and sister to other staff - who stayed silent - and in ear shot of other passengers. All in all, this cruise is great for adults who love to drink and party and laze around in minimal attire and speak freely with every second word being a profanity. Book a family specific cruise if you want to take your kids, of any age, with you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose this cruise primarily because it was going to Papua New Guinea (PNG). It was a destination I always wanted to go to and this cruise certainly didn't disappoint. Before I start on my own review, I like others take a read of ... Read More
I chose this cruise primarily because it was going to Papua New Guinea (PNG). It was a destination I always wanted to go to and this cruise certainly didn't disappoint. Before I start on my own review, I like others take a read of the other reviews to see what others had to say. I noticed that for some a single negative experience would go onto colour their view of the entire cruise. There were others that were just rants making you wonder about their mental well-being. These sort of reviews are just not helpful. Whether it's this site or elsewhere, I usually skip over these. Embarkation/Disembarkation. It took about 15 minutes to get on the ship. Possibly the fastest I've experienced. It took around 45 minutes to get off. The hold up was in customs. The Ship. It's an old ship. There's evidence of rust and overall wear and tear. Having said that, the ship was kept clean and the public areas were in good order and visually appealing. The Cabin. We booked a suite. At around 54 Sq Metres, it's twice the size of a normal balcony room and easily bigger than most suites found on other ships - go check. We were delighted. Dining. I rather liked the booking system for Angelos, Waterfront and Dragon Lady. The restaurants were perfectly okay. Service was great. I particularly liked the Pantry. A few reasons: 1) The staff served you. Far more hygienic with less blatant food wastage. All cruise ships should follow suit. 2) The design was kind of funky without that canteen kind of feel. 3) Food was often cooked in front of you. For example, the fried/grilled fish and chips. Had poached eggs too. Entertainment and Activities. I have to hand it to P&O. They worked hard on this and quite surprised how good it was. The Highly Strung Rock and Roll Orchestra were just amazing. Blew me away. Wasn't expecting it. They also had a guitarist from PNG, Isaiah Monah. He was X-factor material. All other shows and bands were all good. Service. The staff smiled and quite cheerful. So important. I thought they worked hard. Ports and Shore Excursions. Here in Australia we should feel lucky to have such great destinations. PNG was just brilliant. Conflict Islands, for example, is the kind of coral atoll people dream about - turquoise water, white sand, beautiful coral. These places still exist. I just hope they are kept in their pristine state and not destroyed through excessive tourism. Would I go again? The answer is Yes. PNG is a great destination and the ship was perfectly okay. The staff worked hard. It was much appreciated. Would prefer a longer cruise around PNG. Negatives: - The windows in the public areas should have been washed to get rid of the salt building up. - The pizzas in the Grill were below par. It's a cruise ship with mass appeal, attracting people from all walks of life, and with a price point to match. Don't expect a Cunard, Silversea or Disney type experience. Keep this in mind and people will have a good time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My partner booked this cruise as a gift. He booked a mini suite (with a balcony) and included the premium drinks package. The ship is old, tired and dirty. Completely inadequate for 2000 people to be able to spend time in the main deck. ... Read More
My partner booked this cruise as a gift. He booked a mini suite (with a balcony) and included the premium drinks package. The ship is old, tired and dirty. Completely inadequate for 2000 people to be able to spend time in the main deck. The only pool on the ship is tiny and dominated by splashing kids. The person on pool guard did not control this well. Most of the movies were catered to kids. A few people book the small amount of loungers early in the morning (for the full day) with towels and bags and are allowed to get away with it though there is a security presence on the deck. Basically the other 1900 odd people have nowhere to relax or sunbath. People would sleep on a three seater lounger all day long while most of the guests were hunting for a spot just to get out of the sun. The cocktails cost $13-17 and taste extremely watered down which I believe is illegal. When a drink is returned, the bar staff hastily exchange the drink and replace it with the proper strength. Returning each drink get tedious though so you eventually drank these heavily diluted drinks. You are not allowed to take your own water on board however a bottle of water costs $3.00. What a rip off. The entertainment was good. The bands were able to cater to a variety of audiences. We really appreciated having our own balcony as the noisy kids and loud movies sometimes became too much. We were able to retreat to our quiet balcony to suntan. The food was average. Recycling of food from one meal to the next was often obvious as they did not try too hard to change it. If you went to the formal restaurant (Waterfront restaurant) the portion sizes were ridiculously tiny. I sent a duck pasta starter dish back because it had three scraggly bits of duck strips (much smaller than a stir fry strip of meat) The coffee is the worst you may ever taste. We purchased coffee bags at a port as the machine coffee in the dinning room was undrinkable. You need to pay $5.00 for a barista coffee and this cannot be charged within the drinks package though you get 14 drinks a day which you seldom finish. The hospitality and cleaning staff were excellent. Friendly, always happy to accommodate. The staff who cleaned our rooms acted like our hosts on the ship and were always happy to assist in anyway. The advantage of the suite and mini suite reservations are priority embarkation and disembarkation at ports which was lovely. We are unlikely to ever do a P&O cruise again Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Long enough to experience cruises to ensure we'd enjoy them. The cleaning and catering crew worked tirelessly to ensure we had clean cabins and good food. Cruise crew did great job in organising on-board activities, tours were ... Read More
Long enough to experience cruises to ensure we'd enjoy them. The cleaning and catering crew worked tirelessly to ensure we had clean cabins and good food. Cruise crew did great job in organising on-board activities, tours were organised efficiently though some of the tenders used were not suitable to the level of mobility of some of the paxs. Watching paxs using walkers to board a vessel through a hatch was quite concerning for their safety. Also made disembarking a very slow process as those with mobility problems tried to exit for the mobile paxs, should have been staggered to allow more fluid disembarkation. My real disappointments of the cruise was the way I witnessed some of the officers taking to the junior crew. In particular one blond officer who publicly delivered what can only be classed as a tirade of verbal abuse at a staff member who was marshalling paxs for tours. It was not a good look. The other area was the lack of skill and expertise of the officers screening boarding paxs after shore tours. They were inefficient and generally rude, I've never experienced such behaviour with screening before. More training required in this area. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We booked this cruise for a 50th birthday. 4 girls shared a 4 berth room on deck 5 & 2 girls shared a balcony room. Embarkation was very smooth, recommend choosing the early embarkation time so you have time to familiarise yourself ... Read More
We booked this cruise for a 50th birthday. 4 girls shared a 4 berth room on deck 5 & 2 girls shared a balcony room. Embarkation was very smooth, recommend choosing the early embarkation time so you have time to familiarise yourself around the ship. The 4 berth room was definitely quite crowded. Bearing in mind that ladies need to bring several different outfits to wear for the parties, evening & day wear, so suitcases were quite large. The balcony accommodation was perfect the room was spacious with lots of storage & a mini bar. Food choices were excellent. Recommend booking the restaurants early. Dragon Lady & Angela’s were the best. Elemis Spa was expensive but luxurious. On board thermal longe, saunas, massage, facials. Well equipped gym with free stretch & abs classes or u can pay for other classes. Adult pool is lovely & relaxing. Dress up parties were fun. Live gigs in all the bars were excellent & definitely take in some of the live shows. Bingo good fun. Take advantage of the duty free alcohol so cheap, buy early as they run out. Precook you onshore trips. Noumea was disappointing & town closed on a Sunday. Recommend cultural tour on Mare. Vanuatu fantastic. We used a local company called Atmosphere Tours & visited Cascades, Turtle Cove & Blue Lagoon. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
we went as part of a wedding group, we were invited to attend a wedding on the cruise. wonderful time was had. Food was often cold, and bland. The fish at the Pantry is disgusting (can think of no other word for it) need to use a ... Read More
we went as part of a wedding group, we were invited to attend a wedding on the cruise. wonderful time was had. Food was often cold, and bland. The fish at the Pantry is disgusting (can think of no other word for it) need to use a different type of fish. The rooms were very clean and tidy. The staff were wonderful and so helpful. Bingo was great and entertaining but quite expensive for the few games you play. Bit disappointed with the confidentiality of some of the staff. Our daughter-in-law was only 8 weeks pregnant at the time of the cruise and it is a requirement to let the cruise know if you are. Seeing as they had paid travel insurance, and she had found out a few weeks before the cruise she thought she had best let them know. But they had not told anyone else!! Found out after the cruise that the cruise co-ordinator had told all the wedding group that she was pregnant as one of the other girls in the wedding group was pregnant also . Needless to say they were very disappointed as they hadn't even told family members, and did not want to take any of the glory from the couple who were getting married. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Staff generally trying hard to please but let down by poor planning and ignorance. Do not travel on this vessel if you are vegetarian, vegan or allergic to anything. Examples include chicken in the vegetarian dishes, not by accident. ... Read More
Staff generally trying hard to please but let down by poor planning and ignorance. Do not travel on this vessel if you are vegetarian, vegan or allergic to anything. Examples include chicken in the vegetarian dishes, not by accident. Evidently chicken is a vegetable? One of my party is allergic, two don’t eat meat. One restaurant catered if preordered but everything else was unwilling to modify even a salad roll. Very disappointing. The cabin is worn, needs painting and the fridge acts like a hot box (it does not work). Room service breakfast for my mothers room never showed up and an industrial dishwasher opposite our room blew up leaving our room filled with a pungent, fowl smell. Also, the shower fittings seem to have been retrieved from the titanic. All in all, it’s a cattle class experience at a first class cost. May the fleas of a million camels infest your armpits, or, take a cruise on the Pacific Aria. Suggest it only for those you wish to scorn. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We went on this 7 night cruise with our two young children (2 &3) it said family friendly and plenty to do etc. Cons- I wouldn't bother taking little kids on this cruise ship there wasnt much for small kids to do they ... Read More
We went on this 7 night cruise with our two young children (2 &3) it said family friendly and plenty to do etc. Cons- I wouldn't bother taking little kids on this cruise ship there wasnt much for small kids to do they couldn't do any of the activities, turtle cove was good but have to leave the kids there and go and some kids don't like to be left with strangers. There was messy play which went for 20mins in the morning and then the water park which was freezing even on a 30 degree day. Took way way to long to get off the boat was lining up for over an hour for Noumea, and 45mins for Lifou was fairly quick at Port Vila but to get off to come home was waiting way to long again really unorganised. They Also broke my brand suit case and were very rough with throwing them on and left them in the rain. Towards to end of the cruise the youth workers started to seem grumpy obviously getting over working 7 days a week but weren't as cheerful. Pros- Food was good and big variety Ports were really nice and loved them Workers at resurant were really lovely and always tried to make the kids laugh All up was a nice trip but would definitely not use the cruise ship with kids as its not very family friendly as they advertise Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first cruise, just myself and my partner. It was the Fiji Adventure 12 night cruise, sailing on the Pacific Aria. We stayed on deck 6, in cabin 6023, a sort of oceanview cabin but the view looked out onto the deck which ... Read More
This was our first cruise, just myself and my partner. It was the Fiji Adventure 12 night cruise, sailing on the Pacific Aria. We stayed on deck 6, in cabin 6023, a sort of oceanview cabin but the view looked out onto the deck which people could walk around on. It’s due to make stops at; Port Vila (Vanuatu) Port Denarau (Fiji) Suva (Fiji) Mystery Island (Vanuatu) Isle of Pines (New Caledonia) Everything went as the cruise says, except due to rough sea, our stop at Isle of Pines was cancelled and changed to Noumea so we didn’t lose a stop. We didn’t buy the drinks package, and still only spent $800 on board for the whole trip. Ship: The Pacific Aria, I believe is the smallest ship P&O Australia currently have in their fleet. From the moment I stepped on this ship I liked it a lot. The carpet and decorations were nice, staff greeting people in friendly manner, as expected, and the whole new experience of been on a cruise ship for both of us added to the excitement. Within the first few hours we were familiar with the location of most on board shops, bars, pool areas, casino, marquee for the shows, etc. It was a good layout and easily remembered. Cabin: We stayed in 6023. It’s classed as an obstructed oceanview room on deck 6. It looks out on the the deck which people can walk the whole way around, and is underneath the marquee. You see many people walk past this cabin at all times of day and night through your window. It was a nice cabin, very clean and well kept, size was bigger than I expected. Shower worked well and was in a bathtub. The only negative thing I can say about the cabin was the fact that it was underneath the marquee, and you can hear bangs and music pretty loudly from above during show times, if your not at the shows that is! Dining: We were happy with what the pantry had to offer. All sorts of different food every day, served pretty much throughout the whole day. Plenty of tables so always somewhere to sit even at the busiest times. We managed to get to the Waterfront Restaurant & Angelo’s. Both restaurants need booking and there is no charge for eating at them. I suggest booking tables at these places as soon as you can as we only managed to go to each restaurant once. The Waterfront was average. Not too much on the menu, but something for everyone. Angelo’s, in my opinion, was absolutely fantastic. I had the lasagne and would definitely say it was the best lasagne I have ever had. Entertainment & Activities: Every night you receive a newsletter for the next day, which has what’s going on’s and show times through the whole day. Easy to read and definitely a lot going on. You will never get bored, there is something for everyone. Shows, fitness, sales, and more. Shows in the marquee were 19:30 and 21:30 every night, and we went to quite a few. I believe there was a few on later on certain nights also. There is also a cinema that has a few movies on a day, which we went to a couple of times. There’s plenty of stuff on the tv in your room also. Cruise director Cole is always telling you about what’s going on so you don’t miss out. Service: It was great. Our room attendants were a lady called Joy & a fella who’s name I can’t remember, but they were fantastic. Every day smiling and asking how we are, and they did an amazing job with our cabin. Service throughout the whole ship was great, in the restaurants and bars, reception & activities. The captain every day explains your position in the ‘mighty’ ocean, and talks about the weather & times your expected to dock at wherever your going. Not sure of his name, but he was Italian and regularly walks around the ship. It was also his idea to cancel our stop at Isle of Pines due to rough sea, and make a stop at Noumea instead, so we don’t lose a tour day. We wouldn’t of been able to get onto the tender’s at isle of pines. Ports & Shore Excursions: The only difference Port Vila; This was our first stop. It was a really nice place. We did the turtle sanctuary shore tour, which took us on a 45 min bus ride to a small beach, then about a 45 minute boat trip across to another island. We saw some dolphins on the way. We then stopped for an hours swim & snorkel, the water was really clear and lots to see. The gear provided wasn’t in great condition but was still usable. After the swim we had lunch cooked by some locals which was a really nice bbq. Then we made our way to where the turtle sanctuary was. There was lots of baby turtles separated into different tanks for different ages, and then eventually released when they become less easy to be preyed on. I think we would of got back to the ship around 15:30/16:00 so was not much time to go anywhere far due to the ship leaving around 17:30 so the tour is pretty much a full day. Port Denarau; We did the Oolala Island tour, so didn’t spend much time in Port Denarau at all. Upon arriving we got on a locals tender but it was big, so heaps of people transferred quickly. Then we took a boat from Port Denarau to Oolala Island, which took a little over an hour. Oolala Island was my favourite place we went, it is visually stunning and the sea is so warm and clear, snorkelling here was truely unbelievable. The staff on the tour were friendly and the is lots to drink, and snacks, and there is multiple things to do on the island. You can borrow snorkelling gear and do your own thing, or go with a guide, or you can go on a glass bottom boat. They cooked a bbq lunch which was nice and offered free beer during lunch. Suva; We did a city tour, which a tour bus took us on a drive around Suva, some local towns and made a stop at the museum. Plenty of interesting things to see at the museum. The bus got back to Suva around 12:00/13:00 so still plenty of time to explore the city. We got some hassle from locals, trying to get us to buy from certain shops, but I suggest just try stay with your group and don’t stop and talk to anybody that seems overly friendly. Mystery Island; We only did a small snorkelling and clear kayak tour here. It wasn’t great, the gear was in poor condition and the snorkelling guide didn’t say much or seem interested as been a guide at all. The kayaks were in very poor condition and a bit of rough sea made the floats on the side break off. We didn’t eat on the island so can’t comment on the food. Cancelled Isle of Pines stop and changed to Noumea; Noumea was my second favourite stop, and I’m glad we ended up coming here. Lots of French culture, markets, and easy to get around with the red & blue busses that circle the city every day. We did our own thing here, and only bad thing I can say is it’s pretty damn expensive. Shops close from 12:00 - 14:00 or something too so be prepared for that. There’s a nice beach nearby with amazing sea colours, and a restaurant area with lots of choice. Also an aquarium but we didn’t make it there. Tours Overall; We did a decent few tours, booked through p&o and spent about $1000 for them for the two of us, but I’d suggest to people not to book tours through p&o because we found that it was half price for some of the same tours once your on shore. Cruise overall; We both had a fantastic holiday on our first cruise and enjoyed every stop in a different way. We had fun on all the sea days and enjoyed all the shows. We didn’t buy the drinks package, and still only spent $800 on board. We would definitely return on this same cruise, on the same ship, with the exact same crew anytime, and P&O have done a great job with everything. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise as it was the only one that suited a family holiday in School holiday times. 5 of the 7 guests have cruised extensively before, 2 were new to cruising. They will not cruise again after this experience. The rooms ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was the only one that suited a family holiday in School holiday times. 5 of the 7 guests have cruised extensively before, 2 were new to cruising. They will not cruise again after this experience. The rooms were terrible. Torn carpets, everything is falling apart. The rooms are dirty (could clearly see spilled drinks and food just left on the walls) mould throughout bathrooms and around windows on oceanview rooms. The sheets are just nasty, stained from years of use. You did not feel like lazing around in your room that is for sure. One of the rooms was so bad it took several days of complaining but eventually the bathroom was regrouted and siliconed. It shouldn't take days to get an issue sorted. And for all these inconveniences a bottle of wine was offered and dinner at salt. No room change or refund, disgusting customer service. The rooms smelled, they are in need of a thorough deep clean. Add to all this that for most of the cruise the a/c around the boat seemed to not work very well especially in the rooms. Some people we spoke to could not get there rooms below 25 degrees. On the last few nights it did start to work better but black dust and dirt was coming out the vents. Back to the smells, the boat is just old. All the bathrooms in the main areas always seemed to be overflowing constantly, not just 1 but everywhere you went. You spent a lot of time holding your breathe as you walked past certain parts. As for activities, there is not a lot to do on p&o ships. It was our second time on board one of there ships and I don't think i would ever cruise with them again. There are plenty of other options and good deals out there. If your just looking to buy a drinks package and get hammered drunk all day, then maybe this is for you but everything about p&o compared to other lines is budget. Everything is an extra. I've been on budget ships before and you get what you pay for, but for the price of these cruises for a few hundred extra i would definately go on something else. Pacific aria should be retired well and truely. P&O should be ashamed to be charging guests for such a horrid experience. I also feel extremely sorry for all the staff stuck on board, they seem severely over worked. They all look tired, and fed up, cant blame them. 2 guys cleaning 36 rooms, no wonder they are filthy. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We'd previously done the Pacific Islands Cruise on Pacific Dawn with P&O and wanted a cruise departure from Brisbane. Papua New Guinea wasn't even on our radar but the dates aligned and we thought 'why not'? We ... Read More
We'd previously done the Pacific Islands Cruise on Pacific Dawn with P&O and wanted a cruise departure from Brisbane. Papua New Guinea wasn't even on our radar but the dates aligned and we thought 'why not'? We booked our first balcony cabin and we wont go back to ocean view again. With school holiday pricing it was not a budget cruise like our first one but it was nice to treat ourselves. It's so nice to have extra space in the room as well as the deck which had 2 chairs, sunlounge and small coffee table. Our room (9070) had a great queen sized bed while our daughter slept on the converted sofa. She loved having her own space. There's loads of hanging and drawer storage too, though large suitcases wont fit in cupboards (tip..they will fit under the bed if left opened which is great for shoe storage) Our room had a bar fridge (other rooms don't). We were able to take our own soft drinks which was great given we didn't opt for a drinks package this time and saved a heap of money. The bathroom was fitted with spa bath which we loved. The toilet looked new and the shower pressure and temperature control were great. Our room stewards were brilliant as always and it was great coming back after lunch to an immaculately presented room. Aria is an excellent ship. Just the right size with good facilities and heaps of restaurants and bars to choose from. The decor is great and beautifully fitted out. The lounge are in the Atrium on level 6 is great for playing games or reading. There's always organised games here too and some cool prizes to win. We always found room by the pool on the sun lounges. The pool and 2 spas were crowded with kids but being school holidays that's understandable. The sliding roof is brilliant and the lounge areas to the side of the pool are very popular. We didn't get to go to the adults only area as our daughter decided HQ was not for her. (one day!!) The gym is amazing with great panoramic views. My wife is quite the gym junkie and she found everything she needed. She also indulged in a massage at the spa which we paid more than we should (the same massage was offered on the last day for much cheaper) Our daughter also got a great hair cut which she is busily instagramming everyone about. Food was generally good. The Pantry is a great concept and the food is better than the old buffet style with lots of variety. Some hit and misses but great breakfasts! Angelos Italian was very disappointing. Flavourless and bland. Dragon Lady was above average. Salt grill was sublime. The Waterfront is a beautiful restaurant but the service has gone down hill. I don't know if P&O are pushing for more business like service from their waiters but many have little personality and aren't friendly. Very robotic. There were of course some exceptions. The menu feels very limited and my daughter struggled to find anything on the main menu. Entertainment was good. Its very cabaret in style which is not to our liking but the movie theatre was great and the TV in the room had some good shows and movies. There's also a massive DVD library. We picked 2 but they were never delivered. Ports of call for PNG are hit and miss. Alatou was not very pleasant and not much to see if you don't do a planned tour. Kitava was missed due to weather. Kiriwina was good. Very cultural with heaps of markets and great beaches to swim in. The locals are very friendly and we enjoyed our outrigger canoe ride across the reef. The highlight though is Conflict Islands. Its paradise in one easy to navigate small island. Sublime beaches and snorkelling. Tip- take your own snorkel gear and make your own way to eastern tip of the island. Save yourself $100 in excursions which happen off the same beach. It's a beautiful walk along the beach or through the middle of the island. Weirdly this island doesn't use money, rather a voucher system. You have to buy the vouchers from a kiosk (long lines) and then use the vouchers at the bar, gift shop, water activities kiosk or restaurant. Food is pretty good and the bar is well stocked with local and international beers. There were no issues with gastro on board that we knew of. Disembarkation took us about 15 minutes, we were home in 45. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We went in to this cruise expecting to be impressed. Everyone I know who has been on a cruise has loved it, raved about it, told me "you'll LOVE it - once you cruise you never go back!" And many people are repeat cruisers, ... Read More
We went in to this cruise expecting to be impressed. Everyone I know who has been on a cruise has loved it, raved about it, told me "you'll LOVE it - once you cruise you never go back!" And many people are repeat cruisers, so I was expecting it to be pretty enjoyable. Well....it was OK. I mean, it was better than being at work. However it was pretty massively disappointing as well. The ship itself was pretty dated. Our cabin (4007) wasn't awful, it was spacious enough, but the bathtub was grotty and full of mold, the fixtures all seemed a bit cheap and like they had lived a hard life. The bed was reasonably comfortable. The food was a massive disappointment. The Pantry was just gross - the food was cold and inedible 90% for the time, and it was like feeding time at the zoo - just a herd of bodies trying to ram as much food in to themselves as possible. We preferred the Waterfront, which had table service and was a generally nicer atmosphere, but the food here was extremely disappointing as well, generally tasteless and often cold, with very few options. My kids hated the children's choices as well, with the gruel-like "kid's favourite soup" and other strange choices. Kids like chicken nuggets and chips, standard sandwiches, pizza....these shoudl be standard, consistent options. We tried Angelo's one night and were hugely disappointed here as well. The chef seems to think Heinz tomato sauce is a pasta sauce, as it seemed to feature heavily in the pasta bolognese and lasagna. We cancelled our second booking. We tried Dragon Lady once. The grilled trout available one night was amazing. Everything else was again, cold, weird and barely edible. It was like they were trying too hard to make the meals interesting and exotic, but they missed the mark wildly, and we would have been far happier with standard Asian fare actually done well. Service was OK in all restaurants. Not great. Not terrible. A bit slow, but not like we had anywhere to go. The best food we had were the pizza's at The Grill that had to be purchased. They were pretty cheap, but felt like a bit of a rip off given it was meant to be all inclusive. The ports were were interesting, although we were MASSIVELY disappointed that the volcano tour in Rabaul didn't actually go up (or anywhere near) the volcano. We stayed on shore as long as possible at each port to feel like we were actually traveling. The evening entertainment, bars etc weren't bad, but got old quickly. As my husband said "it's like being on a floating Wests club". The pool was pretty tiny, but ok. The Dolphin statues seemed like a pointless decoration given they were draped in signs saying "Do not enter this area". The cocktails were pretty tasty by and large. My kids loved the kids club, and here I would give them 5 stars - the kid's staff were amazing, and they had a ball making new friends and going to all the kids' events. All in all - pretty sure we aren't "cruise" people after this, and I tend to think that the people who are (if this was all standard) have very low expectations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
P&O Recommend passengers bring two bags: On the night prior to disembarking, passengers are required to leave their luggage outside their room for collection. Instead of thinking I was being efficient with only one bag, a second bag ... Read More
P&O Recommend passengers bring two bags: On the night prior to disembarking, passengers are required to leave their luggage outside their room for collection. Instead of thinking I was being efficient with only one bag, a second bag would have been very useful for the last overnight. Bring a lanyard, doesn’t matter what other company it promotes, everyone wears them, all colours and varieties. Book your dinners on the first day, especially if you’re travelling with a large group. Other times at the restaurants you just need to show up as your entire group before being seated. Children are well catered for at the restaurants . This was a great teaching opportunity for us to to share dining etiquette in a friendly environment. The same children’s menu that is offered at all included restaurants. Our older (12 years) children were offered to children’s menu, which was considerate of the wait staff. They were included as adults. When deciding what to spend the day doing, a highlighter marker would be useful to mark up the daily newsletter. Attend a show. They are not going to take very much time. Most were under an hour. After the show the cruise director will give information about the days activities and those coming up on following days. It would be useful to advertise how long events are expected to take for planning and group coordination. Tea and coffee, juice and water were freely available all the time at The Pantry.The Pantry hours on the day of Embarking are generous. There will be something available when you board. The room has a DVD player, but I downloaded some movies before we left. Helped when there were quiet (or needed to be quiet moments) Loved the cruise. The whole family experience was exactly what I was hoping for. A memory maker. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our second cruise on this ship, the first was a disappointment as you will see in our previous review but we wanted to go to Cairns and couldn’t fly so it was Hobson’s choice. We had a balcony cabin which was a good size and ... Read More
This was our second cruise on this ship, the first was a disappointment as you will see in our previous review but we wanted to go to Cairns and couldn’t fly so it was Hobson’s choice. We had a balcony cabin which was a good size and quiet comfortable except for the bathroom which was a disaster. The shower was over a spa bath and impossible for anyone with even a minor disability to access, the toilet was designed for very short people and was very difficult to get off for elderly people, although a toilet raiser was supplied on request. Most disappointing was the food, we tried the pantry but found the food cold and unappetising. The seating arrangement was modern cafeteria and almost impossible to get a table for two. When possible we ate in the Waterfront restaurant and again were disappointed. The selection of dishes was very limited and the standard of cooking poor, in some cases inedible with that kept warm to long flavour. There was no decent coffee shop and the service was very poor generally resulting in us having to go to the bar a join a line to order. Entertainment was bog standard and after twenty cruises had nothing new to attract us.there was no classical music or decency comedy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Embarkation - we flew up to Brisbane (from Canberra) on the morning of the cruise, this is something we would not normally do as if flights are disrupted we could have missed the ship. We arrived at Portside at around 11.15am after a $30 ... Read More
Embarkation - we flew up to Brisbane (from Canberra) on the morning of the cruise, this is something we would not normally do as if flights are disrupted we could have missed the ship. We arrived at Portside at around 11.15am after a $30 cab ride from the airport. We were able to check- in (despite our time being 12.30) and it went fairly quickly despite the line, as we were on the ship by 11.45am. We went straight to the Waterfront for lunch and we were told the rooms were already accessible. The ship - Pacific Aria - it was clean and tidy and relatively good condition despite it's age. We like the design of this class ship and with only around 1200 pax aboard it doesn't feel crowded. The cruise passengers were mainly Queenslanders, with family groups and such but not that many children. Overall it was a fairly old demographic (I would guess the av age around 70+). Service was excellent all around the ship. Food was good in the Waterfront (4 nights) and excellent in Dragon Lady (3 nights) and Angelos (3 nights), and the pantry had great selections with Mexican, Asian, indian, sandwich, fish and chip, roast, salad and dessert stations. The waterfront was open for lunch every day (even port days) and we used it often as well as for breakfast most days. Ports Alatou - we used Jaywood tours ($60pp for the two of us), which was good and they took us all over the place visiting numerous sites and highlights. We would recommend utilising the Cruise PNG page on FB which has numerous recommendations. If you want the Cultural show, Alatou tours is best utilised or the ship's tour. Kitava Island - we couldn't tender due to winds, but we were going to swim and snorkel. Rabual - we used Scenic tours ($85pp and we were put on a bus with around 10 others). It was the Volcano, town and WWII tour and was excellent, it took close to 7 hours and mainly due to road conditions slowing the drives. Kirawina Island - we swam and looked at the stalls and the village, took a canoe ride, it was low tide so snorkelling was difficult. This is the place to buy any woodwork as the selection was huge. Use up all your Kina here as well. Conflict Island - great island beautiful swimming and snorkelling. Food and drinks ashore are reasonably priced and you need to buy vouchers for the purchases (they accepted AUD and Kina). We took 210 Kina with us and had bought some dresses and shirts for our granddaughter as well as some drinks, the rest was used as tips and gifts as well as swapping our left over Kina for AUD at Kirawina as they cannot change the AUD. Debarkation - had to be out of the cabins by 6.30am (explains why the rooms were ready so early on embarkation day), we did the walk off and was in a cab by 6.45am. Overall, the cruise was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I personally enjoyed my cruise with my family very much! We spend 10 nights on the Pacific Aria and it was awesome! Cons: -We had to skip one of the islands (Kitava) as the weather of the sea was too strong for the wee boats to take ... Read More
I personally enjoyed my cruise with my family very much! We spend 10 nights on the Pacific Aria and it was awesome! Cons: -We had to skip one of the islands (Kitava) as the weather of the sea was too strong for the wee boats to take us to the island. -If there are announcements about the activities throughout the day you can't really hear them from your cabin without opening your door (we were on deck 4). Pros: -The food was delicious and we dined in the pantry most days. We tried Dragon Lady (Asian Restaurant) and Angelo's (Italian Restaurant) once but the portions were really small. The waterfront was perfect for Breakfast and Lunch. - There were many activities to participate in on sea days such as parties, fitness/dance classes, anti-aging courses, coloring, board games, and many competitions. - The Edge was an amazing fun thing for us to do. It is a group you can sign up for and do many outdoor extreme activities like rock climbing, walk the plank, the flying fox and laser tag. -The decoration throughout the ship was really beautiful with an added touch of each elevator having a different design. - The staff was extremely kind and our Steward Dodi was amazing. Every day we were welcomed with a towel made creature and he would often incorporate my brothers' toys into the towel creature. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise because it was going to Singapore , what a mistake , smell of sewerage everywhere , our toilet kept blocking up .Over crowded ,swimming pool was more like a bath tub .Had to wait hours to get on and off ship by tender ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was going to Singapore , what a mistake , smell of sewerage everywhere , our toilet kept blocking up .Over crowded ,swimming pool was more like a bath tub .Had to wait hours to get on and off ship by tender .Staff as usual were excellent hpwever management treated everyone lime cattle .Never again ,got charge for visa to Timor , only out about the day before we arrived there , then price went up 33 1/3 % overnight . Lined up everywhere for food , half the time couldn't get a seat when dining or for shows . Found most ot the staff who were higher up in rank rude and arogant . The ship itself is old , there is rust everywhere and bits were actually falling off .A lot of the facilities were out of order and were never fixed the whole time we were on the cruise . Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to the Darwin Cup and Komodo Island. All that dates aligned with the ship docking in Darwin on the date of the Darwin Cup. Paseptic Doom Room 8107 -do not go there. I was so excited to be ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to the Darwin Cup and Komodo Island. All that dates aligned with the ship docking in Darwin on the date of the Darwin Cup. Paseptic Doom Room 8107 -do not go there. I was so excited to be going on a cruise, Brisbane to Singapore, with stops at Port Douglas, Darwin, Timor Leste, Komodo Island and Benoa Bali. I had read some bad reviews and also some good reviews about the Pacific Dawn and I decided to go with the the good reviews. I booked an interior room and were surprised to have been given a complimentary upgrade to cabin 8107, obstructed view. The first night we noticed our floor vibrating, then the loud noise from the band, then karaoke (help me please). We made the decision to not come back to our cabin till after 11.30 to avoid this. We had a great few days enjoying the ship. The decor is very modern, and we soon settled in to ship life. Day 2 my partner came down with very bad head congestion and rough cough. By Day 6 I also had it. So we did not contaminate others, we lay low and and hid in our cabin. That’s when we noticed the little laneway outside our cabin carrying all kind of engineering/ seamen past our cabin window. One whole afternoon they were grinding metal outside our windows. So curtains closed during the day, and noise till 11.30 pm each night. As we disembarked in Darwin to head to the chemist for medication, we noticed a couple of 100 more people with the same problem cough. After we were feeling a little better and not contagious we ventured out. One night in the Marqee lounge, the chorus of coughing was louder than the entertainment. My guess would be that the air conditioning on this ship is very sick. We washed our hands thoroughly, used the sanitiser, I sanitised our cabin twice a day with eucalyptus spray. You can’t catch it through the food handling as the staff handle all the food. So I am guessing if you go on this ship get a balcony cabin so you can have fresh air. I am sitting by the pool right now and it is a chorus of coughing. Now down to the sewerage problem. The first couple of days all was fine, then a massive sewerage smell started sweeping over the ship. Staff outside the Marquee were spraying air freshener on to the carpet to try to cover it up. The smell was very dominant around deck 7,8,9 and 11. This is not good enough P&O. This is a major health risk to your staff and your passengers. I do hope that this is your major priority of your 2 week dry dock in Singapore. Getting off the ship at tender ports. It is so slow. Arrive Bali at 8.00am, still trying to get off at 12pm. Not complaining as I can see the problem, but just be aware if you book tours privately. Promenade bar is a great spot to get a serious drink and unwind before dinner. A very big Thank-you to John and Bella for looking out for us. Orient Bar Too noisy for me, always trivia, games, karaoke going on , but way to loud for my tastes. The Pantry Food acceptable, the only problem for me was if I wanted butter with my toast, I had to line up in 2 queues, as the butter did not live with the toast. A good concept of a food court style. Stops germs spreading. Food was ok, service was excellent. The Waterfront Gone are the days of having the same table for dinner every night. But it was ok, we got used to it. The food was of an acceptable standard and the service was efficient. Salt Grill What a disappointment We had dined here previously 10 yeas ago on the Jewel. It was brilliant back then. I ordered sashimi scallop. There was more potato on the plate than scallop, and covered in a green herb sauce that totally over powered the delicate taste of the scallop. I had a steak that was a little on the tough side for main. I had the cheese for dessert, which was the smallest serving of cheese I have seen on a platter. All in all very bad value for money at $59 per head. Nice wine list though. We also had the afternoon tea at Salt Grill which was very good at $29. I wish they would change the menu as I would have liked to this again. Chefs Table Pre dinner canapés with Australian Sparking, followed by a 7 course degustation. This was a lovely meal, the standout dish for me was the lobster bisque We had Tuna Lobster Bisque Barramundi Strawberry Daquiri Steak Mango dessert Cheese platter All dishes had accompanying Australian wines. It was a very well balanced out menu Shell & Bones Thanks Kylie for a wonderful night. The food was what I expected and the prices reasonable. We ended up esting here Twice The Grill Perfect Pizza, excellent. The Spa Did not go to the spa as the prices were off the charts. I really wanted a masssge but not at those prices. I wonder how many people would book treatments if the prices were not so high. Our Cabin 8107 Very clean, our steward James was fantastic looking after us in every possible way. Hot water is magically hot and pressure is the best. But as above, do not book this if you want privacy or peace and quiet. The Orient bar runs all day and concludes at 9.45 and some nights 11.45pm. All access tour. I really wanted to do this, it was something I was looking forward too. We had the access all area’s tour booked, but we are both so sick and we don’t want to affect anyone else’s holiday. The staff are amazing, they go above and beyond any request possible. If it were not for the bad cabin and illness I would rate this a really good cruise. Day Trips Port Douglas Too rough to tender. Darwin Went to the Darwin cup, the buses run for free from the city service. The set up on the day is great, Hundred of long tables under cover for the public. Timor Leste We chose to tour privately with Timor Adventures. The tour was great, but we were pushed for time due to the tender process getting off the boat. Our tour was scheduled to leave at 9am, but it did not leave until 11am, whilst we waited for people to get off the boat. We drove out to the old fort, stopped at an old gaol, seaside lunch, Cristo Rei and the cemeteries where the massacre was. We learnt a lot about the struggles of the people of Timor Leste. Komodo Island We booked a private tour here with Beyond Komodo Tours. It was the highlight of my trip. We had a small group tour of the dragons, sighting 7 in total. We then went on a boat to Pink Beach where we were given snorkelling gear and were dropped straight on the the reef. It was spectacular, beautiful corals and a multitude of fish. Then we were served a delicious lunch of prawns, calamari, chicken, eggplant and stir fry with rice and noodles. Thankyou Leo from Beyond Komodo. This made our trip. Bali Another private tour in a car to Ubud, we visited the monkey forest, a traditional housing compound and a Lewakcoffee house. As we struggled to get off the ship again due to tended, we missed 4 hours of our tour. We used Hire Bali Driver. Leo was very good trying to fit in as much as possible. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Here is the short version of my review. My longer detailed version is below. If you are a first time cruiser with no expectations and you are looking for an average cruise on an average ship with an average crew the pacific dawn is ... Read More
Here is the short version of my review. My longer detailed version is below. If you are a first time cruiser with no expectations and you are looking for an average cruise on an average ship with an average crew the pacific dawn is perfect for you. However, if you are an experienced cruiser with expectations for anything above the bare minimum I would absolutely avoid this ship and this cruise. Long version: this was the first time my wife and I had ever cruised with P&O and it will be the last. We paid a little bit more with Holland America but we had a much better experience! I can't say anything was really TERRIBLE about P&O and the Pacific Dawn but there was nothing above the bare minimum either. There was rust in our cabin and on the outside of the ship. The ship is 28 years old and it is dated and worn out. Half way through our cruise some of the toilets on the lower decks started to back up and smell really bad. Our bed was nice but the pillows we were given were terrible. The crew were nice enough and were never rude but most of them never went out of their way to learn our names or give us anything above the bare minimum. The food was not bad but it was very average. We were not impressed. P&O also charges 5 dollars or more for all the extras (ice cream, hamburgers, hotdogs etc) the only food they don't charge extra for is the food served at breakfast, lunch or dinner The on board entertainment was not bad but again, it was very average. Their "library" is a mobile book cart and the selection is extremely limited. The TV in our room wasn't on demand. If you wanted to watch something you had to plan your day so you wouldn't miss the movie. Now for the positives: P&O does not charge that daily gratuity fee which is very refreshing. Additionally, not every show or every meal were terrible but overall, both the shows and the meals were just average. They did offer a free kitchen gallery tour which many other cruise lines charge upwards of 50 dollars for. That was neat. Also our room stewards really did a good job taking care of us. Some of these complaints might seem petty but as experienced cruisers we just expected more and were disappointed. But as the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for". P. S. Full disclosure, after we disembarked in Singapore P&O claims they are putting the ship in dry dock for 12 days and renovating everything. Unfortunately we weren't on board the ship again to see the results. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our 1st ever cruise was some 10/12 years ago on P&O Pacific Star. Well, haven't things changed (for the better). We were very happy with the offering from P&O and in particular the crew on board the ship. They were a credit to ... Read More
Our 1st ever cruise was some 10/12 years ago on P&O Pacific Star. Well, haven't things changed (for the better). We were very happy with the offering from P&O and in particular the crew on board the ship. They were a credit to the Company and although the ship is an older vessel (certainly showing external signs of age) the vibe on board was friendly and efficient and the crew appeared (primarily) to enjoy their job. Admittedly we did have lower expectations having travelled with the more highly rated Celebrity and Princess Lines, however we were overall quite impressed with the majority of aspects onboard. A special mention to the bands. . . both Popcorn and The Lazy Leis were fantastic and the jam session on the last evening involving all performers was truly memorable . . . very talented. On board crew shows were excellent, a couple of guest performers are past their use by date and appeared to be simply topping up their super. Production shows were considered to be a significantly higher standard - crew shows were particularly entertaining viz LipSync Battle. Having Petro Civoniceva on board was a nice touch as well. . .thanks to him for his valuable time and open participation. A couple of constructive comments . . . the Tendering situation needs work - whoever made the decision to honour the tickets from the aborted tender operation in Port Douglas in preference to distributed tickets for Dili needs to consider their future. . . a real howler. Actual Shore time was significantly reduced in both Dili and Bali due to sea swell and the large number of Ships Tours and "Priority" passengers. Made our own arrangements re a tour in Timor Leste and also Bali - understand cruise coys favour their own shore excursions though we prefer the small group experience v's a coach load. Anytime dining in the Waterfront took a few days to sort out - many passengers had made permanent bookings which meant there was initially up to an hours wait for anytime dining - this resolved itself after 4 nights when some perm bookings were a no show and therefore cancelled. Could easily do with an additional lunch menu in the Waterfront restaurant for variety . . .only 2 menus for the 14 days. . . though there was the variety in The Pantry. Drink prices are excessive though consistent across all lines - what did happen to duty free prices??. . .would like to see a similar policy to that of Princess. . ie allowed to bring a bottle of wine pp onboard. There was sufficient entertainment with usual trivia etc however big screen movies were heavily weighted in favour of children's themes and animations - this despite the small number of children on board. Special mention to the Captain for his accessibility and daily broadcasts - very approachable and informative (luvs his "Minions") . Upon arrival in Singapore, we skipped the long taxi lines and got the MRT direct to the Airport for flight back to BNE. Very efficient disembarkation, despite the fact the ship was advertised as docking at Marina Bay - instead we turned up at Harbourfront - this caught many off guard. Singapore has such a great public transport system - even with luggage. Extremely happy with our decision to revisit a P&O Aust classic ship - overall a good value for money cruise - we will be back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I wish to make a few comments about my recent 3 night comedy cruise aboard P&O Pacific Dawn from Brisbane. I have travelled on this ship for a previous South Pacific Cruise as well as several cruises aboard Princess and Norwegian ... Read More
I wish to make a few comments about my recent 3 night comedy cruise aboard P&O Pacific Dawn from Brisbane. I have travelled on this ship for a previous South Pacific Cruise as well as several cruises aboard Princess and Norwegian cruise lines. I felt that the standard of customer service on the Pacific Dawn has declined to almost deplorable level, most notably the friendliness of staff and their readiness to offer help. The meals were mediocre at best. The choices were limited and it was a struggle at some meals to find something appetising. I also felt that there is a culture of penny pinching, as in everything is at an extra cost. As an example I was shocked at The Indulge menu in the main dining room, at an extra cost. And The Grill has a fee for food items. We did visit Salt and enjoyed our meal but I was violently ill a few hours later and believe the sea scallops were to blame (I commented to my fellow diner at the time that they tasted a bit strange). The ultimate insult was to be asked to vacate our cabin at 6:30am on our disembarkation day. This was our holiday, not bootcamp. Lots of very grumpy travellers that morning! Breakfast was offered until 7:30am on the last morning but was served in a rushed brusk manner. Add to all this the unpleasant smells in some corridors, the slow lifts which would sound fault alarms when they were half full, the blocked toilets on various decks, and the very inappropriate locations of Trivia and other social events (the lobby???, really) which were much too small for all the attendees, and you can perhaps understand why I am disappointed with the way the P&O experience has declined to the point that the brand is being harmed. Cheap can be good, but cheap and nasty is NEVER good. Regretfully I will not be travelling with P&O again on my future cruises, since standards have dropped a step too far, and with plenty of competition I will be looking for more pampering and attention in the future. Good Points: The bed was comfortable, and the comedy acts and other entertainment were very good. Embarkation was quick and easy. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our 1st cruise and I booked P and O because of their $1 deposit. I've seen and heard many negatives ,particularly the Pacific Dawn. I couldn't fault our cruise at all - and I can be hard to please. But I really think some ... Read More
Our 1st cruise and I booked P and O because of their $1 deposit. I've seen and heard many negatives ,particularly the Pacific Dawn. I couldn't fault our cruise at all - and I can be hard to please. But I really think some people just like to complain and whine about nothing. From our boarding to disembarking the crew were fabulous. I found the food great (if I didn't like what I got , I went and tried something else). The people that looked after our room were warm and friendly, basically at your beck and call They remembered mine and the kids names after 1st meeting us. Waiters serving us pre dinner drinks remembered from the 1st night what cocktail I liked. The evening shows are world class. I thoroughly enjoyed them every night. The activities, whether family orientated or for myself were plentiful and fun. I absolutely was in awe of everything. These holidays are really what you put in and make of it. My family and I had a fantastic time. The best value holiday ever. And if P and O is an entry level cruise , I can't wait to try another cruise line. But I would also book another p and o without hesitation My only and biggest regret...... I didn't book one long enough. As soon as I boarded I knew 4 nights was not going to be long enough. New cruise addict here! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have cruised P&O many times from Brisbane as we do not have a lot of options for local ships - until 2020 at least. We were blown away by the service of almost all groups on this ship. The folks running the Edge program are ... Read More
We have cruised P&O many times from Brisbane as we do not have a lot of options for local ships - until 2020 at least. We were blown away by the service of almost all groups on this ship. The folks running the Edge program are AMAZING, and everyone we encountered in the dining rooms / stateroom attendants/ restaurants were fantastic. Sadly there were too many issues with this cruise to recommend anyone travel on the Pacific Dawn. The water supply to our cabin was polluted (*see cabin info below). The food was ordinary at best - with the exception of Salt Grill which was amazing. My wife has coeliac disease, and sadly the labelling on items in the buffet was either incomplete or factually incorrect. An example was a soup at the asian area that said Gluten Free - but when I quizzed the staff I was told no - there is soy sauce in this. The waterfront restaurant made attempts to modify some dishes (dinnertime only) and these were of an ok standard. We had a lot of photos taken as part of a photo package, sadly when we checked the USB drive once at home only a fraction of the photos we selected were actually on this USB disk. This was heartbreaking as we had some wonderful dress-up shots taken of our children. I can only put this down to lazyness of the staff in the photo area. The ship is rusty and tired (it was sad seeing the rust hastily whitewashed over when in lovely Pacific Island ports) the eateries never have enough seating space and have comparably short open hours compared to Royal or Princess. Whilst the waterslides are great, they do not make up for the tiny pool or limited deck chairs on the Lido deck for a cruise with 500 children onboard. Unless you can only afford a 3 day trip from Brisbane or have never cruised before - steer clear of this ship. I took a $600 hit to the pocket by cancelling another cruise I had booked rather than sail on the Pacific Dawn - or probably with P&O - ever again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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