9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Having downsized our large property after our children left home we’re now in a situation where we can spend money on traveling to the places that we have been dreaming about for years, the question was where to start first? Having done ... Read More
Having downsized our large property after our children left home we’re now in a situation where we can spend money on traveling to the places that we have been dreaming about for years, the question was where to start first? Having done a reasonable amount of Australia when our children were growing up, we decided that a trip to our local House of Travel in Motueka to investigate cruising was the best place to start. Friends and family had already been on Princess Line cruises with great feedback on how much they had enjoyed themselves. After seeing what was available to suit our schedule and what we considered to be the best value we decided on the Fiji Encounter with P&O and promptly booked and paid for our tickets. Excitedly we returned home and started further researching our dream breakaway only to be horrified by the online reviews of what seemed to be the holiday from hell so if you’ve just found yourself in this situation I want you to take a breath and relax, Pacific Aria is not five stars but be realistic you haven’t paid for five stars so if you board Aria with a determination to have a great holiday you won’t be disappointed. The ship; Pacific Aria is the smallest ship in the P&O fleet but still packs in all the features that you would expect on the larger ships just on a smaller scale. I would have to say that the Aria is not the greatest ship that I’ve traveled on after we encountered a few days of rough weather, neither of us suffers from motion sickness but there were onboard reports of our fellow travelers struggling with the conditions. Our advice would be to take a sea legs tablet the day before you depart and keep taking them for the remainder of your cruise if you’re concerned about seasickness. We had a balcony room on deck 10 and the condition of the room had lost a bit of its gloss from new and could do with a refresh up. Still, it was very clean, and our room Stewart’s were amazing at keeping it spotless. Again, the Aria is not five stars and we spent very little time in our cabin anyway. The restaurants and bars have faired better and still retain a lot of the original shine. Dining; This is where we feel that the Aria has been unfairly slammed the most in online reviews, so we took special note of what was on offer. The Pantry, is where you can eat as much as you like pretty much when you like and has a good selection on café type food it looked well stocked and clean we only had one quick lunch here and it seemed to be on par with other cafes that we’ve grabbed a quick bite at when in a hurry. In short nothing spectacular but by no means bad. The Waterfront restaurant is where you can dine for all three meals on sea days and has a varied menu with great service. We tried a bit of everything, and it was nicely prepared if slightly lacking in imagination. Again, they’re preparing a lot of meals and dealing with a lot of dietary needs, so we gave them a solid 7 for food and a 10 for service. Angelo’s is one of the two specialty restaurants onboard the Aria that is included in your fare and is well worth a visit. We dined there twice and sampled both menus A and menu B. Angelo’s has beautiful décor and good service. We gave Angelo’s an 8 for food and an 8 for the overall dining experience. The Dragon Lady; “Wow” This is not what we expected when we paid our fare, we would have to rate Dragon Lady as one of the best restaurants that we’ve dined at. This is qualified by over forty years of combined experience in the hospitality and service sectors. We gave menu A, a well-deserved 10 and Menu B a solid 8. Service was exceptional. We dined there on four occasions and would’ve gladly eaten there every night. This is the best GF menu that we’ve ever seen, anywhere! Just needs another GF dessert option on menu B. Salt Grill by Luke Mangan; This is billed as the best dining experience onboard P&O and is the only place where you have to pay an additional surcharge so we were looking forward to something special and at the risk of upsetting our Aussie brothers and sisters we were underwhelmed with both the menu and the service. The food is good, it’s just not as good as it’s hyped up to be and we found the service to be slightly arrogant. In fairness, I do have a GF diet so maybe some of the ingredients had to be removed from the dishes, but this wasn’t an issue elsewhere on Aria. We gave Salt Grill a 7 for the food and a 7 for service. Entertainment; this is where the Pacific Aria shines as the production shows held in the Marquee are world-class with slick choreography and singing which is supported by great lighting and sound. Our favorite was Johnny Balance the Comedian Magician who had us laughing so much that it hurt. Name that tune with Georgie, Cruise Director Cole’s morning Trivia, Bingo with Cameron, Pacific Popstar and the riotous Rock the Room were some of the other standouts for us. Unfortunately, the Ocean Bar is just not big enough for all of those wanting to participate in the fun. This is also where the Aria fell short with the themed parties that were a bit of a let down as we had visions of us dancing the night away in a grand setting, but full marks must go to Cole and his wonderful team. If you can’t find something fun to do on the Aria, we would suggest that you check your pulse. Music and Bars; There is a range of theme bars with matched live music that is of a high standard our favorites were Kawai and Ian Berry, but they were all great. As far as the bars go the Blue Room was the standout for us due to the excellent service and late-night coffees. It’s a great place to chill out reading with a premium coffee during the day or to enjoy live music and a cocktail in the evening. We would also like to rebuff the online nonsense regarding short poured drinks as the drinks that we watched being made were always prepared using the correct standard measures. Bar hygiene was also of a very high standard. We weren’t cruising with any children of our own and there was plenty on board, but we hardly ever saw them we can only assume that they were locked away in the engine room or having the time of their lives in the kid’s clubs and pools. Shore excursions; These were of an acceptable standard for us but we would suggest that P&O send some undercover team along from time to time to make sure that standards are being maintained our tour guides were great on the bus but left us to our devices once we arrived at our destinations. We found a lot more was on offer once we moved away from the group and went exploring on our own. The standout was the amazing cultural shows and singing. The only bad point was the tender trip into Port Denarau which took an hour in very hot and humid conditions. Overall, we had a great time cruising with P&O and would do it again on one of their bigger ships but in saying that the letdowns due to the size and age of Pacific Aria were expertly papered over by the outstanding crew. Pacific Aria is still a fun place to spend a value-packed holiday and a great introduction into the world of cruising. David and Gaylene, Motueka NZ. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise as we had never been to Vanuatu before and this was the only cruise line which departs Auckland for this destination. We also have done two previous P&O cruises which have been ok. However the standards have ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had never been to Vanuatu before and this was the only cruise line which departs Auckland for this destination. We also have done two previous P&O cruises which have been ok. However the standards have dropped with much cheaper food lines. You can definitely see where cut backs have been made to the food which is presented. This was very dissapointing and would possibly prevent us from sailing with P&O in the future. Even in the sit down dining restaurants it was difficult to find something descent to eat. We also thought the ship could do with a good scrub down. The main viewing windows on the ship in the dining areas & restaurants were green from algie and looked disgusting. Surely there must be a way these can be cleaned as they bought the whole ship standard down. The staff were all pretty good though. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This is not a luxury five star ship whatever the travel agents claim, not now. It was back in 2008 when it was launched, but its been worked hard since then. Its evident when you embark through its nice white hull and enter its interior ... Read More
This is not a luxury five star ship whatever the travel agents claim, not now. It was back in 2008 when it was launched, but its been worked hard since then. Its evident when you embark through its nice white hull and enter its interior that its tired and overdue for a refit. We did venture up to the buffet on the first day and were surprised it was a serve yourself affair (a known novivirus risk) and the carpet was badly food stained and furniture chipped and stained. We never went up again. The food in the main dining room was good though, and our table staff were excellent, but the stained drapes and furnishings were similarly in need of attention.We went to most of the shows which were pretty average Broadway type shows, although we did have a good comedian one evening. We had pre-dinner drinks most evenings at the ice bar where the bar staff (and some of the guests) were always entertaining. The other bars offer a more relaxed experience with faster service though. We got off the ship at every stop and found them interesting and worth a visit, especially if the weathers good. Overall we had the impression they are only attending to basic maintenance and cleaning on the Solstice leading up to its refit next year. Avoid this ship until after its refit, or in the meantime there are other better alternatives like Princess or Holland America. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This a cruise you can do regularly and never get bored. The Princess ships make it one of the most comfortable and easy cruises to do. They provide the smoothest embarkation and disembarkation, the finest food on the sea, served by a ... Read More
This a cruise you can do regularly and never get bored. The Princess ships make it one of the most comfortable and easy cruises to do. They provide the smoothest embarkation and disembarkation, the finest food on the sea, served by a dedicated and friendly crew. The staterooms are spacious well appointed and kept that way by a caring steward, always at hand to tend your every need. Entertainment is the best of any cruise ship, with highly talented musicians, singers, dancers and production staff to deliver world class productions. Shore excursions are carefully chosen to offer you the best days in port, offering local and extended tours to capture the essence of the area visited. Overall service and assistance during the cruise is a Princess tradition and the variety of activities provided, ensures a most enjoyable experience. Specialty restaurants are a feature and cover the tastes of all nations, with the finest ingredients, prepared by top chefs. there is something for everyone who boards a Princess ship. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Such a fantastic ship and the step up in quality from our previous provider was HUGE. I didn't think it would be that different from our previous cruises but it really was. The rooms were so much tidier and newer. The bed was very ... Read More
Such a fantastic ship and the step up in quality from our previous provider was HUGE. I didn't think it would be that different from our previous cruises but it really was. The rooms were so much tidier and newer. The bed was very comfortable and the air con worked well. On previous cruises the air con didn't work which was horrid. Food was fabulous, outstanding in fact and we all put on weight lol. I think above all the dining staff were superb - they went above and beyond their duty each night and we really were grateful. We ate in the Symphony restaurant and recommend it highly. We had a meal in one of the specialty restaurants but we still preferred the Symphony. We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment which was also a big step up from the previous provider we've used in the past. We would definitely recommend this ship over other providers of similar value. We were so impressed that we have booked two more cruises with this company. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our second Viking Cruise. Loved it the first time we cruised with Viking Sea; all went according to what we paid for and what we got. Our Penthouse Junior Suite (PJS 8007) was what we asked for and that was exactly what we got. ... Read More
This was our second Viking Cruise. Loved it the first time we cruised with Viking Sea; all went according to what we paid for and what we got. Our Penthouse Junior Suite (PJS 8007) was what we asked for and that was exactly what we got. Based upon this positive experience, we booked a second cruise to New Zealand and Australia. We elected to add a pre-cruise extension in Auckland and love the vitality of the city. The hotel assignment offered comfortable rooms conveniently located to the city's highlights. The cruise lasted about 3 weeks and made all stops as per the itinerary. The ship handled very rough seas fairly well, and the ship's common areas were as advertised on the website. There were many "at sea" days. Meals in the dining venues allowed for decent variety. The restaurants are the same ones on all the ocean ships and, at Manfredi's, we saw the same things on the menu as we'd seen on the Viking Sun. Breakfast in the World Cafe offered a good variety. We saw one or two shows while on board. The Aboriginal show the last night was quite good. Some of the lecturers were outstanding and it was nice to be able to watch them in our room when we were not able to attend the lectures. The crew were helpful and performed their jobs well. There was not enough time in ports to really enjoy the areas. We would have liked more free time. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The Viking Orion is identical to any of the other Viking Ocean ships which made the entire experience very predictable. Our room was horrible. Our Viking Agent concealed from us that we were assigned one of the two "handicapped' rooms (room 6020) and we only learned about our room assignment until the day before departure. This handicapped room is grossly misrepresented as a Penthouse Junior Suite room. Viking's website contains not so much as one photo for this inadequate room (there are only 2 handicapped cabins on the entire ship). If someone needs wheelchair access, then 6020 or 6021 are the rooms to book. Otherwise, the access to the cabin's deck posed a serious tripping hazard. Furthermore, the room configuration further reduces any usable interior space. Our room had no sitting room (like every other room on the entire ship besides room 6021) and we needed to sit on the bed to watch TV. We needed to bring in the table from the deck whereas all other rooms actually had a coffee table, etc. Viking advertises this "handicapped room" (rooms 6020 and 6021) as consisting of 405 sf. but it is not. We measured the suite and deck; our suite 6020 fell so far short of 405 sq as to make this a case for a serious misrepresentation. The General Manager of our cruise wrote to Viking's head office telling them "we have had complaints with this room in the past" (so Viking had already known about previous problems with these rooms) when we told him about our concerns. He told us Viking would only deal with us when we returned home. Which they did. Just as an aside (and a heads-up), unhappy travelers who decide to settle their claims with Viking are required, by Viking, to sign a non-disclosure agreement with Viking that prohibits us travelers from saying anything negative about Viking or talking about our experiences. Ever. Go through a travel agent. Protect yourself and your investment. Your own personal travel agent is interested in having "you" return as a future customer to whom they will sell future travel business. We also have an official BBB claim in progress against Viking (with photos). Variety is the spice of life. There is little or no variety here. And the more ships Viking adds, the greater is the impact on quality control. One of the two main elevators did not function for the entire duration of our cruise. The main oven in the restaurant did not operate properly one night and the raw fish for dinner was apologized for with free bottles of wine sent to rooms of all those who dined there. The room greatly impacted our ability to enjoy the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Itinerary is what counts and long port stays as well as Quest being a ship we sailed on previously. We love overnights in port so we have longer time in port. We use our ship as a hotel. We don't really care about casinos, shopping ... Read More
Itinerary is what counts and long port stays as well as Quest being a ship we sailed on previously. We love overnights in port so we have longer time in port. We use our ship as a hotel. We don't really care about casinos, shopping or entertainment on board. I want a lovely cabin, great bed and nice common areas. Having said that, the Quest is in need of an overhaul. I was shocked at the condition of our bathroom- its was a bit gross with putty in the bottom of the shower. Wallpaper in the shower??? Not a great idea. the good news- it is going to drydock after the cruise following our departure in Cairns- after it docks in Singapore and it needs it. My only complaint about the service was in the dining room and the buffet in the am- I had to beg for coffee refills and for water!!! Its hot in australia and I don't think on a ship the caliber of Quest I should have to run after waiters to get water or coffee. Otherwise, the service was great. Clearly there were newbees onboard in both areas that did not speak English very well and struggled in that regard. They frequently smiled, said yes and disappeared never to bring what I had asked for. And that is literally the worst thing that happened over the 29 days. Otherwise, the service is impeccable, attentive and the folks on board we traveled with were delightful. I had a really great time and I will say- we have already booked our next 30 days B2B cruise. It will be on Quest- I hope the refurb is still intact when we sail again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Bucket list to see Australia. Embarkation and disembarking are the worst part of any cruise. This was no different, although clearing the ship of that large a number of passengers and preparing for the arriving passengers in 4 to 5 hours ... Read More
Bucket list to see Australia. Embarkation and disembarking are the worst part of any cruise. This was no different, although clearing the ship of that large a number of passengers and preparing for the arriving passengers in 4 to 5 hours is a difficult task. The crew was fantastic in every department. They actually appeared to be happy to serve you. The food was well prepared but the selection was small. It seems they want you to use the buffet or pay for one of the specialty restaurants. My main complaint is the constant up selling. I researched to find the cruise I wanted along with the type cabin and extra packages. I bought the classic drink package and was constantly receiving emails trying to get me to upgrade. At least twice a day on the cruise I was approached about booking specialty dining. Everything now seems to be geared toward getting you to spend every cent you have in the shops and restaurants. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
My wife and I have been on 55 cruises, the shortest 11 days, the longest 28 days. We have sailed with NCL, Holland America, Princess, Azamara and Celebrity. On Celebrity we are Elite Plus members with 2000 points. Our most recent cruise ... Read More
My wife and I have been on 55 cruises, the shortest 11 days, the longest 28 days. We have sailed with NCL, Holland America, Princess, Azamara and Celebrity. On Celebrity we are Elite Plus members with 2000 points. Our most recent cruise was a back to back on Celebrity Solstice. Here are the pros and cons.  The pros: Friendly Crew and excellent service though out the ship. Good meals. Nice casino. Wi-Fi is good. The daily get together for Captain's Club members in the Sky Lounge was very enjoyable. The music played at the pool wasn't deafening. The cons: Because the backs lounge chairs in the Solarium can only be raised about 45 degrees and we found them too uncomfortalbe to just sit and read. The ship is starting to get a "tired" look. I noticed a lot of rust. Maybe Celebrity should attend to the fleet before more building new ships. Unrelated pet peeves:: Cruisers who come to breakfast for the gym or track wearing their sweat soaked work out attire. They obviously don't have any respect of their fellow travels. Maybe a security guard should be posted at the entrances and deny them entry. This happens on all the ships. Cruisers who linger chatting or reading after breakfast and lunch while others are searching for a table. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Chose this cruise because of the opportunity to see New Zealand and Australia. For us, this was the chance of a lifetime and we were looking forward to checking this off our bucket list! We flew in the night before to Auckland and ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the opportunity to see New Zealand and Australia. For us, this was the chance of a lifetime and we were looking forward to checking this off our bucket list! We flew in the night before to Auckland and spent the next day touring the city for a bit before boarding our cruise! Embarkation was a breeze. Everyone there was very friendly. We headed to our cabin and were shocked to find stains on our sheets and bedskirt and a balcony that you wouldn't want to step foot on unless you had your shoes on (pictures posted). So we turned around and headed straight to Guest Services with our pictures to ask to be switched to a different room. Mind you, I have never ever made such a request. But this was NOT Royal Caribbean quality - this was Motel 6 in a bad part of town quality going on here! Of course, they said they didn't have any other rooms, but they would send housekeeping and maintenance to come take a look. When they arrived, they changed the sheets and bedskirt and told us that they knew the balcony was bad and not up to their standards. They told us they could fix it, but it would take three days and we wouldn't be able to use it. In the meantime, they powerwashed it, (but that didn't change anything) and provided beach towels to put on the balcony floor!!! So needless to say that part was a real disappointment because I've been on several RC cruises and Royal Caribbean is better than this. The second day of the cruise I realize that our in-room refrigerator isn't cooling anything. When I ask our room steward about this, he tells me it isn't a refrigerator, it's a cooler. I explain that I have a prescription that needs to be refrigerated and he says he will talk to his supervisor about it. We go out that day on our excursions and when I return I find a 3 1/5 foot refrigerator in the middle of the floor of our room!!!!!! WTH!! I moved it out to the hallway and called maintenance to come pick it up! From then on they provided me with ice buckets each night and plastic bags for me to put my prescription in it to keep it cold. SMH As far as other public facilities, the wear and tear on this boat is showing. One night I went to the ladies room and (I kid you not) the faucet was being held together by duct tape!!! There were three sinks with three soap dispensers and only one dispenser worked. The attendant acknowledged that the other two were broken, and says "here you can use this one." (I was stunned and disappointed - I've never seen anything like that on a Royal Caribbean cruise.) The dining was great as usual. We ate at the Windjammer for breakfast and the MDR for dinner each evening. I don't know why people complain about the food. Honestly, there's so much selection that if you don't like something, try something else! Entertainment and activities were limited because it's a smaller ship. The Cruise Director was entertaining & made an effort to mingle with the guests and say hi. The ports were great! There's so much to see and do in NZ! Honestly I want to go back to NZ to see more. Though I would advise not doing the Akaroa - Christchurch and Countryside tour. We went to a sheep ranch and watched the farmer shear sheep and then watched his dogs herd sheep from the mountain. Afterwards his wife had sausage rolls, tea, and biscuits for everyone. THAT part was awesome! They were a lovely couple who were just so kind and welcoming to allow our tour group to come to their home. The rest of the tour was a loooong drive to Christchurch which was a pretty countryside drive. However, the drive was over an hour and a half just to get to Christchurch! Then we were only there about 50 minutes before we had to get back on the bus to head back to the ship for an almost two hour drive. And honestly, there isn't much of anything to see in Christchurch. You see the cathedral which is still in terrible disrepair from the earthquake in 2011 and still has fencing all around it. That's it! That's all there is to see! You get off the bus, walk up to where the cathedral is, & look at it. Then you try and find a bite to eat and get back on the bus. So the majority of this excursion was spent on a bus!!! Not my idea of a good time. Total waste of time spent there in my opinion. Save your money on this excursion and find something else to do. Fitness center was good. My husband went there most everyday and I ran on the outdoor track each morning, before the crowds head up there. Overall this was a wonderful cruise and I would love to go again! But we will never cruise on this ship again or this size ship again. We definitely prefer the larger, newer ships. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Found ship hard to move around, to many pinch points for the number of people moving through, can't walk around ship on any level. Dining Service was slow and unfinished. Entertainment was all at once, seems to stop everyone doing ... Read More
Found ship hard to move around, to many pinch points for the number of people moving through, can't walk around ship on any level. Dining Service was slow and unfinished. Entertainment was all at once, seems to stop everyone doing everything as not nearly enough space for everyone.Cabin was suitable for our needs, Hollywood area was good, but with no open air smelt of chlorine which upset my nasal issues. Wave bar aft was nice but you had to get a spot out of the wind. Activities seemed to be set up in walking areas in atrium as not enough spaces around the ship so you had to go around the atrium with hundreds of others.staff were mostly friendly but had some experiences with some that were not so great. Embarkation & did embarkation was a breeze, even on tender ports things went smoothly. This ship you will either like or dislike. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Overall the cruise was ok, it was a Christmas holiday cruise. The service was poor, the food was of a poor quality with the same items repeated every few days. The specialty French Restaurant La Met was amazing, the steakhouse, Crown Grill ... Read More
Overall the cruise was ok, it was a Christmas holiday cruise. The service was poor, the food was of a poor quality with the same items repeated every few days. The specialty French Restaurant La Met was amazing, the steakhouse, Crown Grill was extremely disappointing! I would have to say that overall the entertainment was limited and quite lame - unless you like to dance in the Piazza or attend some limited time jewellery sales pitch!, which seemed to be the only thing promoted each day. While there were some great staff onboard, the majority were uninterested and couldn’t be bothered. The Marketplace essentially served as a staff canteen in the evenings. The ship however was super clean and well kept, as expected given it’s just a year old. The skywalk was cool for the first few days but after that it got a little boring and didn’t seem to have a purpose. They should have put an extra lift or two in because there certainly isn’t enough! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
So I have been on many cruises in the past. Princess cruises was my first cruise ever in fact. I had nothing to compare it to at the time so I loved that cruise. My kids were very young so I had no real time for entertainment then. I have ... Read More
So I have been on many cruises in the past. Princess cruises was my first cruise ever in fact. I had nothing to compare it to at the time so I loved that cruise. My kids were very young so I had no real time for entertainment then. I have cruises on carnival, royal Caribbean and Norwegian and all of those are fun. Princess is the most boring cruise I have ever been on. There was nothing going on ever. I brought teenagers with us and they were bored out of their minds which was really disappointing since I spent so much money on this cruise. For the first time in my life I couldn’t wait until this cruise was over and I have never felt that before. They cater to old people and people who like quiet refined entertainment. Lots of orchestra bands playing everywhere always!!! It was annoying to say the least. On sea days there was no entertainment besides outdoor movies or playing your own cards or board games. Many people reading all over the ship. That says a lot about the kind of cruise ship this is. BORING!!!! The service is great, the staff is friendly for the most part but if you are under 60 and if you like to have fun, this is not the ship for you! Evening entertainment was just as dismal as the day with many classical musical shows and very few upbeat events anywhere to be found. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I was very dissapointed in our cabin. Firstly theres no excuse for filth. My sheer nylon curtains were absolutely filthy and asked them to be removed and cleaned. Secondly we couldn't and i mean couldn't open the door to the ... Read More
I was very dissapointed in our cabin. Firstly theres no excuse for filth. My sheer nylon curtains were absolutely filthy and asked them to be removed and cleaned. Secondly we couldn't and i mean couldn't open the door to the balcony, so much so they had to take it off in Bay of Islands and put new rollers on. Thirdly the carpet in front of the couch was soaked from the bathroom leaking. That was easily fixed by just cutting the carpet out and putting in new carpet. Fourthly they were working on our balcony 2 days and left a note that they would be back a third day to work on it again (rust) I went down to the guest relation and told them they were not to come into our cabin again under any circumstances. Then on the third day before the finish of the cruise both my husband and I got sick, really sick I mean. I went to the doctors on the ship and after paying $500 for an injection and 10 antibiotics which cost $120 AUD. Now three weeks later I am still sick, it went to pheunomia, I am still on antibiotics. I feel that they are not sanitising properly. There were so many people sick. At the doctors they tested me for influenza and something else which they said I didn't have, but on the TV when we got home it said it takes 24 hours for the results to come back for influenza. So who knows???? Other than all that I personally love this little ship but the cabins need updating. The staff are wonderful and the food is wonderful too, especially at nighttime. They did compensate us with 20% off a future cruise based on the price that we'd paid for this cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I want to share some very good aspects and some not so good issues. Start with the good then bad and finish with the ugly. The good was the buffet, Hamburger grill, fitness center, and some of the service. The bad was one of our shore ... Read More
I want to share some very good aspects and some not so good issues. Start with the good then bad and finish with the ugly. The good was the buffet, Hamburger grill, fitness center, and some of the service. The bad was one of our shore excursions "The Train Ride" to no where and stop at stops of nothingness ( it was a waste of money and a wasted day). The ugly is what I call it when you go to the service desk three to four times to get information or fix an issue and receive different advice or information every time from a different representative. We had the same issue with the activity crew in trying to do a simple activity such as volleyball. (little help and different answer when you did talk to the activity crew). If I was to sum up what the cruise was like is to say "This one is for retired people." Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
going around new zealand was wonderful watching as depart was so cool! we enjoyed ourselves so much, we got spoiled rotten by the staff ,the Elton jack show was amazing , Picton and Akaroa are gorgeous, the food was Excellent not to ... Read More
going around new zealand was wonderful watching as depart was so cool! we enjoyed ourselves so much, we got spoiled rotten by the staff ,the Elton jack show was amazing , Picton and Akaroa are gorgeous, the food was Excellent not to forget the amazing, Joseph, Jay Jay, Thia and Victoria the made our experience triple! the last night was tough, the whole ride was very smooth, except for some bumps every now and then. the cabin was very nice with an amazing view everyday, the creme brûlées were spectacular, just everything was bliss, many thanks to all the amazing staff that made the cruise AMAZING! and of course to the amazing, hilarious captain that made me and my family laugh, i am just so grateful for the experience and i wish it never ended. D: The James Family #2 sorry for any constant words this was written by an eleven year old that just woke up. :) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We cannot travel far from home at the moment due to family commitments so the 12 day around NZ was ideal. The boarding in Auckland was the easiest I have ever done and basically we just walked onboard with a few ID checks and the key card ... Read More
We cannot travel far from home at the moment due to family commitments so the 12 day around NZ was ideal. The boarding in Auckland was the easiest I have ever done and basically we just walked onboard with a few ID checks and the key card issuance. The ship was not full, about 900 passengers when she will take 1200, so there was a real feeling of space. We stayed in the Neptune 043 suite and loved it - heaps of room, a balcony to die for and nicely appointed throughout. This also gave us access to the Neptune Lounge, which I initially doubted we would use much, but as it turned out we became addicted to our quiet time in there with a decent cup of coffee and some nice snacks. It also came in handy when work intruded on the holiday and I needed something printed out and then scanned - this was the easiest I have ever managed to do this at sea. The food was of good standard - although a bit cold at times in the LIdo, service was faultless throughout and the activities were all well organised. The only criticism is that they seemed to be 'short' an act or two; there was no main production troupe so no dance shows and a couple of the entertainers they had were asked to do two or more shows, and quite frankly their material was not strong enough for this. Despite this, we felt entertained (mostly) and there was a really happy, friendly feel to the cruise, all the passengers were smiling and always ready for a chat over food, and the trivia teams were always happy to let others join in when they didn't have a full quota. Jonathon, the cruise director did an excellent job running these and just about any other entertainment. John in the piano bar was fabulous and the stools around his piano were always filled with people who had drunk enough to think they could sing (including us). Great fun there at night. We missed one port (Norfolk Island) due to rough weather and questions were asked as to whether ships should even go there as the success rate is not good apparently, but the captain circumnavigated it and took us off to see another island (no landing), and the tour charges were quickly refunded in full with no fuss. I would travel again on the Maasdam, she is probably not the newest ship out there but we enjoyed the layout and found everything we wanted. The shopping was a bit limited compared to others - not everyone wants high end jewellery, but this is minor and probably saved us some money. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I didn't pick this cruise; I was dragged into it. I suppose cruises are ok if you don't mind all the people and waiting for stuff. This ship is showing its age (chipped finishes, torn carpets, etc.). We had a balcony cabin; my RV ... Read More
I didn't pick this cruise; I was dragged into it. I suppose cruises are ok if you don't mind all the people and waiting for stuff. This ship is showing its age (chipped finishes, torn carpets, etc.). We had a balcony cabin; my RV has more space, including the kitchen. It was hard to figure out what to go do, as they didn't post the day's activities until the morning of; we missed a couple of things because they weren't posted (found out about them later from other folks). Went to a couple of "Production" shows; they were ok, but geared to really old folks (we're 70). All the crew is very polite, but really clueless as to what's going on outside of their area; we couldn't find anyone to tell us about the activities on board. Instructions for the shore excursions were very minimal - you better show up at the designated spot and get in line; very few details about the excursions themselves. I guess the best part was the food; very well done and presented, sit down service was excellent, although a little slow at times (I suppose that's the point). They did have a fitness center, but no trainers. The pools were closed most of the time, and cold when they were open. This did it for me, I'm never going on a cruise again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
My daughter, grandson and I recently went on another short break cruise out of Auckland. We did this cruise last year and loved it so decided to go again and were especially looking forward to seeing the recent renovations onboard. ... Read More
My daughter, grandson and I recently went on another short break cruise out of Auckland. We did this cruise last year and loved it so decided to go again and were especially looking forward to seeing the recent renovations onboard. We got a mini suite again but this time but on the opposite side of the ship as our last room was a bit noisy in the evening as it was under the Grill. This time we were under Shell and Bones and it was very quiet - no problem at all with any noise. (Last room was 11164, this time 11163). Food was really good in both Waterfront Restaurant and the Pantry. We had breakfast every morning at the Waterfront and found this to be very relaxing. We had two evening meals in the Waterfront and one in the Pantry - all enjoyable. We actually got a table early in the Pantry before it opened and that made for a much more relaxed dinner there. My grandson (12) again loved the HQ kids club and spent a lot of time there. We did the gatsby dance lesson and that was great fun. We also walked around the entire ship and only used the lift once, on formal night. My exercise tracker showed that I'd walked up over 120 flights of stairs in three days so I was happy with that given that I'm 61. I must mention the shows which were much better than last time. The production and staging was fantastic and we absolutely loved them. Our room steward was wonderful and made up the sofa bed each night and then back to a sofa for daytime - something that didn't happen on the last cruise. We also had really good bathroom supplies including beautiful top brand body lotion, shampoo and conditioner etc. Last time we didn't get these quality products. We didn't find any hard sell or having to pay extra for everything (as was said in previous reviews). We enjoyed the trivia quizzes and other free entertainment put on for us. It was a great surprise as well to find we could buy unlimited wifi for only $19 for the three days. Great to keep in touch with family while away. Overall we really couldn't fault our cruise. Yes the Jewel is getting an older ship but it is generally in great condition for a short cruise out of Auckland. So much so that my daughter and her husband are off again in July and my husband and I in August. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I have just returned from an 8 night Fiji Experience Cruise on the Pacific Jewel (me + my two kids, 6 & 8 along with other family & friends) and I have to say that overall it was a wonderful experience. The staff were very friendly ... Read More
I have just returned from an 8 night Fiji Experience Cruise on the Pacific Jewel (me + my two kids, 6 & 8 along with other family & friends) and I have to say that overall it was a wonderful experience. The staff were very friendly & welcoming, the food & entertainment was great and the overall atmosphere fantastic. The rooms are a little dated (3 star) but well maintained and well laid out. Plenty of storage space (so many draws!). The common areas have recently been renovated & look great! The food in the Pantry (think buffet) was ok & I always found something I liked – it’s not gourmet food by any stretch of the imagination – I would place it slightly above food court. We choose to have dinner at the Waterfront restaurant most nights and the food there was great. On the first night the kids even managed to see a pod of Dolphins alongside the ship as they ate which was a great surprise for them. A big shout out to our waitress ‘Shelia’ who was fantastic with the kids. Despite having a large table of 11 of us to contend with, she managed to find time to show them an amazing card trick (I still have no idea how she did it!). I would also like to give a big shout out to Ria who works at the ‘Sugar bar’ in the Pantry. She was fantastic with my son (6) & always kept an eye out for him to make sure he was served – they became great friends & my son was very sad when he had to say goodbye. Also Bobbi, the Cruise Director, was amazing with him on Gatsby night. She danced with him for ages and made it a really special & memorable night for him – he was sad that he didn’t get to say goodbye to her as she made quite the impact! All in all a great experience & perfect for families. From kids club to activities to the evening shows there was always something to do. I went as a solo parent and it was great for me as well as I could get some ‘downtime’ when the kids were in kids club. No idea why there are so many negative reviews - would definitely recommend!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This ship is tired. They charge for everything they can think of.Do not recommend.No dress standards at all. Though staff in dining room and cabin,s do their best,the ship is past it,s use by date. The cabin 10156 was tired but kept ... Read More
This ship is tired. They charge for everything they can think of.Do not recommend.No dress standards at all. Though staff in dining room and cabin,s do their best,the ship is past it,s use by date. The cabin 10156 was tired but kept clean. The balcony was the smallest we have ever had,there is no way you could sit facing out to sea as it was so narrow. The beds were very hard and one lumpy There was little to no sound proofing between cabins and one side of us had noises up to 2 am some nights Dining room was acceptable with the staff working hard Entertainment in the main show room was standard cruise fare,but the entertainment else where was not the best . We do no ship tours ,the islands were easy to do your own thing . Everything was over priced and they charge for most things they can think of . Kids often out of control in the main dining room Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
My first cruise. Escape to the warmth en route to Fiji for 8 days. Fun filled days, great food, (The Pantry and Waterfront Restaurant absolurely splendid. Wonderful resaurants - Chefs Table is a must; Island excursion's to ... Read More
My first cruise. Escape to the warmth en route to Fiji for 8 days. Fun filled days, great food, (The Pantry and Waterfront Restaurant absolurely splendid. Wonderful resaurants - Chefs Table is a must; Island excursion's to outer islands just wonderful. Dravuni Island tremendous. Tour operators were alot of fun. Loved the singing. Water warm. Nightlife greatest fun.- Gatsby Party and Back to School meant dressing up and great dancing. Great drinks. My cabin was very private and comfortable. Very clean. TV room reception ace. Thoroughly enjoyed the open air big movie screen, and The Cafe. The on board lectures were informative and very helpful eg acupuncture and posture lectures. It was fun attending the opening of the new on board Pandora Shop. Embarking and disembarking very organised. On board shopping great value. Great gift specials. Very kind and very helpful staff. Didn't want to come home! Saving for my next cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
The outdated swirly carpet that I initially saw upon embarkation didn’t bother me. The chipped paint in the lift upon entering the first elevator didn’t bother me. In fact the pube that we found on the pillow upon entering our room ... Read More
The outdated swirly carpet that I initially saw upon embarkation didn’t bother me. The chipped paint in the lift upon entering the first elevator didn’t bother me. In fact the pube that we found on the pillow upon entering our room didn’t even bother me - we actually thought it was funny and affectionately name him ‘Pete The Pube.’ What did bother me though? The gut wrenching smell of mould and, even worse, sewerage, particularly on the lower floors of this ship! My friends were on Emerald deck and there were buckets along the corridor catching drips of who knows what leaking everywhere - it was gross and disgusting! Thankfully I was high up on Aloha deck. I’ve been on many cruises in my time and this ship was in the worst state I’ve ever seen... I only spent 4 nights on her, but I could not have stayed another night! 300 passengers embarked for the last 4 nights of a full New Zealand Cruise heading back to Sydney. We were excited and were ready to party... only to be told that the nightclub would be closed by 11pm and that was then end of our fun for the night - which is sub standard from the many cruises I’ve taken. There were constant leaks on the top decks as well, which were unsafe, you had to be really careful. I couldn’t believe that once I disembarked in Sydney this ship was on its way through the Pacific and on its way up to Hawaii... it really needs to go straight to a ship yard and taken to bits for parts! The crew tried their best, but they know they’re on a sinking ship...all I can say is BUYER BEWARE! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
16 months in the planning of this trip. To be disappointed by the weather but at the end of the day no one can pre plan this aspect. We started our adventure by flying to hong Kong then flying to Auckland to join the ship. embarkation 10 ... Read More
16 months in the planning of this trip. To be disappointed by the weather but at the end of the day no one can pre plan this aspect. We started our adventure by flying to hong Kong then flying to Auckland to join the ship. embarkation 10 out of 10 Once on-board enjoyed superb lunch compliments of concierge class. Shown to our cabin biggest we have had so far. We have always chosen balcony but this was bigger than most. From then on could not fault anything. All the staff whom we met were so helpful and friendly at the same time being courteous and polite. The food was excellent in our opinion. The service in the restaurant was second to none. We went to 3 of the speciality restaurants of which silk was the best offering different food to the main dining room. If there was a niggle it would be the way they push these restaurants form day one only to find the price reduced a day or two later. I'd recommend that the other two restaurants serve the same food as in the main dining room but it is service you are paying extra for, therefore people should make their own decision when booking. We dined at the elements dining room most nights and all staff very polite and would like to thank camilo, dewi ne, Agnelo,and the other lady sommelier, sorry forgotten your name. Just a little footnote this wasn't the first time we have cruised with celebrity. We cruised last year on the millennium which was by far inferior to this one. Thank you millennium you have restored our faith in celebrity. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
After a two week holiday in New Zealand for mum, dad and three children, I had planned to take mum and the kids on a short voyage back to Sydney on the Sun Princess. I have been on a few cruises but mum and the kids had never sailed on a ... Read More
After a two week holiday in New Zealand for mum, dad and three children, I had planned to take mum and the kids on a short voyage back to Sydney on the Sun Princess. I have been on a few cruises but mum and the kids had never sailed on a cruise before. I thought that a four day voyage would give them a sample and perhaps if they liked it, we would be able to take a cruising holiday in the future. Unfortunately, as we were ascending the ramp in Auckland our noses were assaulted by an awful smell like that of sewage, such as that from a septic tank. I said that we should hurry up and get on the ship to escape it. But guess what; the smell was coming from the ship, not the ramp. Some parts of the ship were free of the smell. Our rooms were on Baja deck and my son and I were in a cabin which was only a short distance from my other half and my two daughters and our cabin was free of the smell. Unfortunately, the mini suite occupied by the girls was affected very strongly. My daughters disliked it but were not sick. The missus though, felt quite ill for most of the journey and threw up several times. She could not eat for most of the time so missed out on the delicious meals that the rest of us were able to enjoy. We complained to the sympathetic cabin steward who told us that many other people were also suffering from the stench and that the crew were attempting to fix the problem. He suggested that we leave the windows open, but it was too hot and humid for that. The promenade deck forward on the starboard side was also badly affected by smell and though also terrible, it was slightly different, although it still smelled like sewage. This made it unpleasant to use the deck to walk around for some excercise. Just about everything else about the voyage was good. For the first couple of days we dined in the Marquis restaurant, but we soon decided that the buffet was much better and didn't return to the restaurant. There was a greater variety of food to be had in the buffet and it was excellent. Also the smell was not evident in the buffet though it was in the dining room, though not to such an extent as in the mini suite. There was a very good variety of movies and entertainment both on the big screen or on the tv in the privacy of the cabins. The swimming pools were just the right temperature for us and were never crowded so we spent quite a bit of time in them. Everything was as good as it could be apart from the smell. Now it looks as if we will not be taking another cruise. The kids and I said that we would like to, but the missus does not want to risk that, and I would not put her through such an ordeal again so I guess that's the end of that. Read Less

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