5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My partner and i were given this cruise as a birthday gift from my daughters. Because we didn’t choose it, we looked for reviews on the Pacific Aria and found a lot if negatives. Well we couldn’t fault it. Embarkation and ... Read More
My partner and i were given this cruise as a birthday gift from my daughters. Because we didn’t choose it, we looked for reviews on the Pacific Aria and found a lot if negatives. Well we couldn’t fault it. Embarkation and disembarkation were so easy and quick. Luggage to our rooms were quick. We love the Ocean Bar on deck 8. We spent most of our time there. They did Trivia a couple of times a day. They had karaoke every night. The entertainment crew were terrific, especially Jeffersen, Megan and Georgie. Jeffersen was fantastic at bingo. He made it so fun. The Sideshow Alley show was our favourite but also enjoyed the others. Our favourite free restaurants were The Dragon Lady snd The Waterfront. Didn’t like Angelos. The pantry was great for quick meals that could be taken and eaten anywhere. We didn’t get to go to Airlie Beach becsuse of a cyclone. We had a tour booked, but was refunded immediately to our onboard credit. We were given a letter regarding the cyclone as sokn as we boarded and had announcements by the Captain on a few occasions informing us of the situation. Never felt scared at all. Lived, loved, loved the Aria and all the staff 10/10 Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
What a wonderful time!! The food, the service, the entire experience - from start to finish - we loved it all! Even though it was our first cruise and we were told by some others that there were fancier cruises out there, for us it was ... Read More
What a wonderful time!! The food, the service, the entire experience - from start to finish - we loved it all! Even though it was our first cruise and we were told by some others that there were fancier cruises out there, for us it was just spot on. Be sure to read the TIPS below for some helpful hints re:this ship, but the following might answer some general questions. The staff? So helpful, friendly - just such lovely people - from servers, waiters, entertainers, activity hosts, security - they just made the cruise so special for you. The food? The Pantry had great offerings - and this from fussy eaters. Additionally, three great, included restaurants provided an up-market pace. The Dragon Lady offering a range of Asian cuisine from different countries was a fave. Irrespective of venue, the service was was wonderful and helpings were endless. We didn't try the non-included restaurants as we just didn't see the need, but a fellow cruiser raved about the Salt Grill. The crowds? There were families and kids on board but we didn't often see or hear many youngsters; same as there our fair share of baby boomer / grey nomads, but they seemed to party just as hard as their younger counterparts! I think the ship was pretty full but we didn't notice - the occasional wait for a barista coffee, but everything else was reasonable. The entertainment/activities? There seemed lots to do for all ages - sample pages from Good Times pic attached. Towel Animal Parade was a huge surprise (pic attached), as were the Sit-Down Comedy shows (definite crowd pleasers, some R18+ and ID checked). Production shows pretty good; trivia; activities; etc. Plenty to do!! Prices? We were amazed how reasonable things were - $4/$5 for barista coffee & frappe's, lots of cocktails for $12 (some $15-$17), $6.50-$8 for a beer, it was even cheaper for the NZ ice-cream on-board than it was on land in Cairns! All except - bottled water - that was ridiculous, and the photos were expensive, but they were very professional and looked it, so, probably cheaper than land prices. TIPS - water and tea/coffee stations available 24/7 - take a travel mug &/or water bottle so you can take drinks easily from the Pantry back to your room or around the ship; - different spa vouchers & offers were given to rooms daily through out the cruise (most days) - fill out the free raffle tickets in your embarkation booklet but for the spa ticket only tick the areas you actually might use (not what you are 'interested in'); - consider the drinks package - although prices are reasonable, you just tend to drink more than you normally would (even/especially non-alcoholic ones); - check what times tours are leaving so that you can avoid those times yourself for getting on/off at ports; and take a back pack / bag when you go - if taking food off the ship and they see it you're up for hassles - most evening show times tend to be 7pm & 9pm so if booking restaurants consider accordingly - most shows went for ~45 mins - If queuing for a show, level 7 starboard door tended to open first; - don't go early, or late, for safety drill - just when told to do so to save unnecessary waiting; - bring a lanyard for your cruise card (one that can detach at the end easily to hand over your card for swiping); - using the cash kiosks was quick and easy - you can keep an eye on your account via the app available through their intranet - hassle free and no charging to cards, even when checking out, no dramas! - level 6 has the best laundry, all use $1 coins - plus our room had plenty of hangers and a line over the shower; and - check the deck plans carefully if selecting cabins - deck 6 had windows out to the walking track so curtains would have to be kept closed most times; dis/embarking occurred deck 3 & 5 so choose carefully if considering as queuing occurred outside many of these cabins; smokers are outside on deck 6, mid-ship/aft starboard side; deck 10 has restaurant, etc., above and can be noisy; deck 9 was fantastic. Mid-ship best for minimal noise (I'd keep away from stairs/lifts). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Last minute decision. Booked Thursday leave Friday as price was good. Little slow boarding, but no problems were dropped off in car park. Once on board went to room to discover had been set up for 4 people not a double! Staff said ... Read More
Last minute decision. Booked Thursday leave Friday as price was good. Little slow boarding, but no problems were dropped off in car park. Once on board went to room to discover had been set up for 4 people not a double! Staff said they would fix it, two bags in front of door for people unknown but with our room number on them? Anyways it was fixed later in evening, so all good except no face washers or tissues and cupboards door falling off and cupboards full of blankets etc... Cyclone Owen caused lots of high swells for few days and strong winds which meant we missed Hamilton Island. Made it into Cairns for an overnight stay. It's amazing how the cruise lines ( all of them) can arrange arrival times that make you miss by 5 minutes any chance of getting onto an outer reef trip unless you book onboard at $60 more than price ashore. AND ship leaves next day one hour before outer reef trips return to Cairns....amazing... Wet weather meant the Kuranda Rail was not running for the two days we were in port. Willis Island visit was good and sunny, interesting. Ship activities were the usual, however, the trivia was won by same group of retired woman 95% of the time ( even music trivia etc ), obviously they always do it as ship crew knew the names of the woman. It really sucks, and most people were cheesed off big time. Food at Pantry was good as usual - with the usual being sometimes cold food and overcooked bacon etc to watch out for. But variety was good. Italian and Asian restaurants were also good, but booking can sometimes be difficult especially for last few days. Waterfront didn't try as too many past experiences of slow service and crap food. Entertainment staff were generally good and Cruise Director Kabir was young but very dedicated and tech. savvy, He said he was Canadian with Indian ( as with India ) parents, he loved dressing with smart Indian attire. Dancers and guests performers were very good, no complaints there. Ship is well setup ( past Holland America Ship) and rooms are good size. Theatre is a bad setup at top level, the seats stick into your back and you cannot see the stage very well unless you are in the front. Downstairs is OK. Wine is a rip off ( minimum $9.50 a glass) , beer is average cost ( from $6). There was no bargains at the shops, everything was well overpriced including alcohol at same price you could buy it at BWS or any outlet in Australia. ( Price is half when ship goes to Port Vila ). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise as a family and for the Ports....Airley Beach....Cairns and Willis Island. The stop overs were fantastic... no complaints there...food on the cruise was average except for Angelo's which was to die for...having to ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a family and for the Ports....Airley Beach....Cairns and Willis Island. The stop overs were fantastic... no complaints there...food on the cruise was average except for Angelo's which was to die for...having to purchase food in the dining room for indulgences such as lobster tail or sirloin steak for $29 was a joke....I have never experience this with any other cruise line...The pantry was humid and basketball court above it sounded like a game was in progress in the pantry itself. I challenge anyone to try and get a glass or a mixed drink with coke...seems the crew have been told there is only pepsi on board....not true! A shortage of duty free alcohol and smokes on board...sorry but we missed a delivery????? I have cruised a number of times before and am ashamed at what we produce as Australians.......I am an average Aussie and have cruised happily for many years with other cruise lines without complaint but will never cruise with P & O again! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I have not cruised with P&O Australia in 3 years and last sailed with Pacific Dawn. When the opportunity to sail onboard the Pacific Aria presented itself my dad and I could not resist. This review will be a little lengthy but to ... Read More
I have not cruised with P&O Australia in 3 years and last sailed with Pacific Dawn. When the opportunity to sail onboard the Pacific Aria presented itself my dad and I could not resist. This review will be a little lengthy but to summarise our expectations were well and truely exceeded. Embarkation- We had been assigned 12:00pm boarding time as our cabin was only allocated close to the sail date. We arrived at the port at approximately 11:00am and dropped our bags off. A staff member told people that they were only allowing people with 11:00am boarding in and others to come back again in an hour. We took the opportunity to go around and get some photos of the ship before boarding. Once we realised that they were letting people board we went right back to the terminal. Check-in was fast and efficient and done in around 15 minutes maximum. It was all brilliantly organised. We waited maybe 20 minutes for our group to be called and then headed onboard the ship. We already had a plan and went straight to "The Bar" located deck 8 aft to book in some of our dinner reservations. On embarkation day you are allowed to book any 3 nights, and then return the following day to book the rest. Overall we never had a problem with booking in to the restaurants and always got the times and dates we wanted. The Waterfront- We ate breakfast here everyday except disembarkation day and found the meals to be great and overall a great way to start your day. We also opted to have lunch here almost everyday that it was open and thoroughly enjoyed it. The few dinners we had here were also amazing. We were unable to fault the food or the service. Angelos- We dined here twice for dinner, once with menu A and once later in the cruise with menu B. This was a great place to go for dinner however we felt that menu A was the better. Dragon Lady- The absolute highlight of the cruise when it comes to food. We were absolutely blown away with the fact that we were on a P&O ship and not in a proper restaurant. The food was impeccable and always pleasing. We dined here twice, once with menu A and again on the final night with menu B. We had such a hard time deciding what to order as simple we could have eaten any of the dishes they all sounded amazing. Everything about this restaurant was a 10/10. The Pantry- We only dined here a few times and found it to be ok, you were able to find something to eat but it was not our favourite. Salt Grill & Chefs Table- We did not dine here and once we got onboard and tried the free food we were glad we didn't waste our money paying for food. The Ship- Absolutely stunning decor all around the ship. The staff work tirelessly to make sure it is looking its best and always feels welcoming. Despite the cruise being sold out and almost at capacity (official count of 1460/1500 passengers) it never felt crowded. Yes we had to wait for service at the bars at times but that was due to going at peak times (the Ocean Bar during trivia, or The Dome at start of service in the afternoon). Overall I would absolutely not hesitate to book another cruise on this ship and actually encourage people to book on this ship and experience it for themselves. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
In one of the the three restaurants. The Menu offered Beef Cheeks. What was served was Ox tongue. Lots of gravy didn't conceal the fact the it wasn't Beef Cheeks. Didn't send it back as we had other commitments and the ... Read More
In one of the the three restaurants. The Menu offered Beef Cheeks. What was served was Ox tongue. Lots of gravy didn't conceal the fact the it wasn't Beef Cheeks. Didn't send it back as we had other commitments and the Serving Staff were very busy. Perhaps too busy! At the Pantry. The Menu was offering a Pork and Peppers Roll for lunch. What was handed out was a ham and salad roll. Questioning didn't do any good. At the Restaurants. One person only looking after the orders of many waiters at the main despatching point for the Restaurants.. Result. Long delays for drinks. The persons serving have no idea of the need to serve beer and wine that has been chilled properly and not put in the fridge just before dinner. Getting a glass for beer is another issue that leads to even longer delays. The waiting time meant that the food was served and going cold before the drinks came. (Talking about 15 to 20 minutes) Even complaining to the Supervisor did not resolve the issue as insufficient staff at the serving point. Serving of wine and water at the table. Training needs to happen so that staff do not 'slop' the wine and water over the sides of the glasses and the table. Being dressed up to enjoy the evening is a pleasing aspect of dining but having wine and water dripping onto clothes is a real issue. The "Smokers" are a real problem outside the Dome. The wind blows the stale smoke into the 'smoke free' space as the automatic doors just keep opening when anyone is near the Lifts. The Lifts are mostly 'Under Maintenance' so waiting ends up the 'norm' with unacceptable time frames. Very annoying when needing to move handicapped and elderly to other decks. These are the reasons for rating Dining as "Poor". Toilets are an issue near the Swimming Pool as they are often have wet floors and poorly maintained with simple items like paper. There is an issue with the toilets in most of the public areas. The 'Kids Club" was excellent. The Adventure Program was great. The Gym was fine. The engagement with the various staff running the entertainment was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We attended a conference on this cruise to Papua New Guinea for 10 days. Unfortunatly there were only a few great parts. I'll start with the good points. Our room was wonderful and serciced by the loveliest attendants. It was ... Read More
We attended a conference on this cruise to Papua New Guinea for 10 days. Unfortunatly there were only a few great parts. I'll start with the good points. Our room was wonderful and serciced by the loveliest attendants. It was spaceous and had everything we needed. The 5 ports and people we beautiful. The chefs tables and salt grill were the only highlights of the food. The down sides. Very strict almost harrasment by security with their RSA to the point that we didnt bother going to the bars much because they were constantly dictating the frequency we could drink. Not allowed to buy shots, bars being vacumed by 10 pm. Drinks were expensive, $19 for an average expersso martini. There was an outbreak of noroviris over 400 people affected and the entire deck 6 reaked of vomit and faeces for days. Sick people sharing tenders with well people. Attendants wearing 1 pair of gloves for the entire disembarking process touching sick and healthy people. Captains cocktail hour was cancelled due to the bug but happy for white night to go ahead. Waterfront dining was served mostly luke warm to cold. The dragon lady was over an hour and a half process for dinner and wasn't anything to write home about. Even though we had the suite with priority dinner reservations we had to book everything the first day and were given unrealistic times we cancelled most night because the quality of the food was poor. We were charged a few times for room service even though its included in the suit and had to keep going to get this rectified. The conflict island although beautiful was very expensive and if you wanted to purchase anything you had to buy their fake currencies and get charged to change it back to AUS dollars. This ship is definilty for the older population as the night entertainment was poor and scarce. Dead well before midnight most nights. Most servers and staff were polite and helful but there was so very few of them that they were under the pump and never had time to offer quality service. The 5 ports of PNG we visited were very beautiful although we had pre arranged tours I dont know how others would have faired at the large ports that is just industrial areas. The handling of the infectious norovirus was pretty poor, affected people we not restricted to their cabins and continued the spread of the virus. The poor medical staff were under the pump with no sleep for 36hours trying their best to control the situation. The enforcement of water between every drink was offensive when there were clearly certain groups of people slouching and slurring but security were too intimidated to confront them so instead they harrassed us. The coffee was expensive and of poor quality. The limited hours of food service in the pantry meant if you wanted to see a show or attend an event the food would be packed up and gone by 9. All in all our conference was fun, our shore tours were great and the specialty food was the only highlights of our trip. If you between 20-50 dont go on this ship if your looking for a great night life or lots of entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
New cruise, wanted to go snorkelling and swim with dolphins. the boat was very small but loved the room configuration as bunk beds were seperate from the adults bed. Our room 6088 was great!, good convenient spot. Pantry food was great ... Read More
New cruise, wanted to go snorkelling and swim with dolphins. the boat was very small but loved the room configuration as bunk beds were seperate from the adults bed. Our room 6088 was great!, good convenient spot. Pantry food was great as more hygienic. Restaurants were 8/10. Staff were pretty good considering there long hours etc. Entertainment staff were good, however didnt provide much entertainment on the theme nights..boring!!!!!!. show entertainment was okay. The comedian and papau new guinea singer were standouts. things to note... Ice dispensor on board so you can use a cup and fill your water bottles (wide brim). take your own snorkelling gear and sunscreen. Book the restaurants for the whole week as soon as possible to avoid missing out. Take some extra coat hangers as plenty of hanging space . If kids dont have drink package, take the 12 cans per person onboard and a thermo cup and fill it with ice and the softdrink. be super aware, papau new guinea native boats can capsize so take the bigger ones and a floatie for kids or people who cant swim or at least limit to two people on small ones. Pack your gear in a waterproof bag. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was my 11th cruise in 6 years. 3rd one for this year. I had the best time. We enjoyed ourselves. We had a balcony suite which was so relaxing watching The water from our cabin. We went to The Gatsby, Bianca White & farewell ... Read More
This was my 11th cruise in 6 years. 3rd one for this year. I had the best time. We enjoyed ourselves. We had a balcony suite which was so relaxing watching The water from our cabin. We went to The Gatsby, Bianca White & farewell parties were all good fun. The band's were so good and the piano player was great. My personal favorite... the show entertainment team. Lead singers, Sam, Katherine & Ben were just awesome so we're the dancers. Loved it. We went to every show. The Crew are super friendly and some of them are so funny. Food was so good in the Pantry. Can't wait till my next cruise next year. I recommend everyone to take a break. Go on a cruise. There is no better place to relax, be pampered and have fun. And the kids have a ball. You'll never get them out of kids club. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I loved my time at Airlie Beach. Dressing up was also fun for the parties don’t know why they start as late as 9:30 though. hun. Restaurant staff were however lovely and patient with you. Dragon Lady was easily my favourite food ... Read More
I loved my time at Airlie Beach. Dressing up was also fun for the parties don’t know why they start as late as 9:30 though. hun. Restaurant staff were however lovely and patient with you. Dragon Lady was easily my favourite food & service wise. Stephanie was our waitress at Dragon Lady deserves a raise just lovely! Our room stewards were lovely too, just a little hard to understand sometimes. The photos that were taken of us on Gatsby night turned out great however the prices are ridiculous, at least consider offering a payment plan! My friend tried to ask about that and was given attitude. Again, if you don’t like your job that’s not out problem. Watered down cocktails weren’t what I was expecting on a cruise either. And what annoyed me more than anything was the loud noise in the bathroom I don’t know if it’s simply from the ship moving but it pretty much kept me awake the entire time. I thought you were meant to make things comfortable for everyone so they come home well rested? Overall it was alright but not mind blowing. It was the views from deck 11 & 12 & my day at Airlie that got me through Read Less
Pacific Aria Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.6
Dining 4.0 3.1
Entertainment 3.0 3.3
Public Rooms 5.0 3.6
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.4
Family 4.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.1
Enrichment 3.0 3.0
Service 3.0 3.5
Value For Money 4.0 3.2

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