2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
First time traveling to New Zealand and first time on Princess line. Unexpected problem at the start and cruise cut short by 3 days due to cyclone.. can't help the weather. Just myself and best friend on this trip. Embarkation ... Read More
First time traveling to New Zealand and first time on Princess line. Unexpected problem at the start and cruise cut short by 3 days due to cyclone.. can't help the weather. Just myself and best friend on this trip. Embarkation went smoothly as did disembarkation when we returned. Entertainment was fantastic something for everyone.Especially one group in particular- Mosaic was their name..great band.All staff were amazing very friendly knowledgeable approachable. Food was amazing we had anytime dining. Service terrific staff amazing food fantastic Lots of areas to have quiet time or be active.. enjoyed very relaxing massage inn the spa.. staff running activities were easy going friendly Cabin was very clean and tidy. Looked after each day by amazing staff.. had arranged day tours before arriving. Organisation of these was well done.. buses were then when required. Left on time. Ticked off a couple of things inn my bucket list . visited Tauranga and went to Hobbiton and while in Aukland violated Sky Tower.. amazingly stunning views Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We found the embarkation to be okay but it didn't run as smoothly as Sydney. ( our hometown). The ship Aria we found to be very small compared to other cruise ships we have been on. These are the points we enjoyed about the boat. ... Read More
We found the embarkation to be okay but it didn't run as smoothly as Sydney. ( our hometown). The ship Aria we found to be very small compared to other cruise ships we have been on. These are the points we enjoyed about the boat. * Small & intimate - easy to get around. * Pools were never crowded so easy to get a deckchair . Deck 10 pool was empty most of the time so great for relaxing. We just didn't like the chairs as very uncomfortable. * Bars all had a nice ambience especially the Blue Room. * Limited children onboard. Dining - the best All we can say is thank goodness for Salt Grill Restaurant as we dined there most evenings . The food & service were outstanding for a cruise ship. We also loved the Chef's table - excellent yummy degustation with interesting people. So, so - restaurants. Dragonlady - food was cold & horrible... the worst restaurant on the ship. The Waterfront - okay food but the menu didn't change which made it boring. Ambience & atmosphere, service was excellent. Angelo's - okay but nothing to write about. Just average. The Pantry - Not enough seats - horrible dining experience. We felt like we were living in a boarding school. However; we did like the salad bar & curry bar the best. Breakfast - on our balcony which was blissful although the food was pretty ordinary. Casino - We found the staff to be unfriendly & unhelpful . We did have a few wins on the roulette table & pokies which made our evenings fun. Entertainment - good quality entertainment. We enjoyed the comedy shows the best. Service - Level 10 staff were fabulous - especially our butlers. Great having free laundry done everyday & our ice delivered to the room. Drink package - we wished we hadn't brought it as we found it hard to use it up everyday. Overall - We did enjoy our cruise, especially having a suite & dining at Salt Restaurant which made our cruise more memorable. We also loved visiting PNG islands , villages, schools & hospital. A suite is a MUST on this ship.... Read Less
4 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We were pleasantly surprised by the Pacific Dawn. We had a balcony, which was very small but the outlook was great. The cabins were clean and had usual 3 star amenities liquid soap, shampoo/conditioner and tissues. The cabin stewards were ... Read More
We were pleasantly surprised by the Pacific Dawn. We had a balcony, which was very small but the outlook was great. The cabins were clean and had usual 3 star amenities liquid soap, shampoo/conditioner and tissues. The cabin stewards were very helpful and friendly. On the cruise we mainly ate at the Waterfront Restaurant and there was always enough choice. Always remember the kitchens are in the bottom of the boat so don’t choose food that would dry out easily. The Pantry always had a lot of food to choose from. We were on a cruise with 2000 people but it never seemed overly crowded. We always got a seat and there were some quiet areas on the boat. The live music was great I would have liked a bit more live music on deck in the afternoons. You have to remember most people pay less than $200 a day to travel on this boat. This includes all your meals. You can’t get a cafe breakfast for less than $20, $25 for lunch and $30 for dinner so I think paying less than $200 a day for accommodation, transport, food and entertainment is unbelievable value. It is not 5 star but neither is the price . If you don’t want to spend money at Airlie grab your towel and head to the lagoon, it is beautiful and view is priceless . If you want quiet time head to decks on 6 or 7 - heaps of seating or to The Dome. It was a great cruise with great staff. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
After being on loads of cruise ships some good but most bad, I have to say Majestic princess was an outstanding surprise. The food quality was excellent even in the buffet.. The bed comfort was the best I have ever been on, they usually ... Read More
After being on loads of cruise ships some good but most bad, I have to say Majestic princess was an outstanding surprise. The food quality was excellent even in the buffet.. The bed comfort was the best I have ever been on, they usually are so hard and put my back in spasms but this was exceptional cloud like comfort. So many restaurants and coffee shops to choose from, and so many areas on the ship to relax in peace and quiet. This ship is so big that even fully booked and at maximum capacity we never had to line up for anything. My only advice when booking a cruise is always look up when the boat was built it doesn't matter how many refurbs its had 30 yr old aircon and 30 yr old plumbing will ruin any cruise. I will never sail on an old cruise ship again majestic princess was built only 1 yr ago. It's my new favourite cruise ship. I will definitely be going back.. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The ship is a smaller on then the P&O Jewel and the P&O Dawn which makes it much easier to get around and to learn the lay of the land. Half the amount of passengers, than the Jewel or the Dawn make it infinitely more hygienic. We ... Read More
The ship is a smaller on then the P&O Jewel and the P&O Dawn which makes it much easier to get around and to learn the lay of the land. Half the amount of passengers, than the Jewel or the Dawn make it infinitely more hygienic. We spent a delightful week without the smell of effluent which is always a bonus. Loosing the smell of effluent on the open decks is always a delight, as is not contracting a bout of Novo Virus. The Aria is not a new ship but it has been looked after well. There are clean carpet, wallpaper and curtains with no stains decorating the whole ship. The upholstery on seats is in good condition as is bench tops, tables and other furnishings. The ship has been renovated but there are signs of age here and there. Being wary of the Novo virus I didn't swim in the pools but they appeared quite clean and smelled fresh. The main pool has a dome over the top and they do not hesitate to close it if the weather has even the slightest change. Theatre There's a small intimate theatre where films are shown several times a day. The screen is the same size as our largest television at home but can been seen easily enough from all over the room. Parents tend to use the theatre as a baby sitting area and have no problem dumping kids of all ages there, leaving them unsupervised to the annoyance of anyone who actually went to see the film. This was major turn-off and I was put off going back. Restaurants The Pantry, the main eating area is like a food court in any shopping mall. You walk around choosing from each different 'stall' what you feel like eating. Don't be afraid to put you plate over the counter and ask to have the chips put on the plate you already have food on. Don't be afraid to ask for a bigger serving either. This new idea is to stop pigs from loading their plates a foot high with food they will waste, to stop dirty people from pawing the slice of bread that will end up on your plate, to stop mouth-breathers from coughing/sneezing all over that same slice of bread. And it works. You know the food on your plate is as clean as it can be for you. After a couple of meals form The Pantry though, everything started to taste the same. There's a lot of choice there but nothing is exciting. Believe me, I know how that sounds but it is what it is. In other restaurants the meals are ordered by you and served to your table by wait-staff. We ate in The Waterfront and The Dragon Lady, you should too, they are a nice experience for you and are part of your package but you have to book into them. I don't know why you have to book because there are always empty seats everywhere maybe its to add to the ambiance. These meals are a little more exciting and we enjoyed the change of scenery. Note: a glass of Cab. Sav. red in The Dragon Lady was $13.00 with the bottle being $49.00 the same bottle in the bar upstairs was $28.00. Seems everyone thinks corkage is a big thing. I don't mind a surcharge because its a dining room but that $21.00 mark-up, is over the top. We are on a ship ! Surely, it all came from the same storage pallet ! One thing we did do, each night we visited a little shop in The Pantry and had the girl put together a cheese platter which we bought back to the cabin to have with a wine and a movie. A small indulgence that we enjoyed very much. The Beauty Salon (These days it's called a Day Spa 'sheesh') We bought the 10,20,30 package from the salon Elemis and did not regret it. If you can't afford all of them and need to choose one, buy the seaweed wrap. The attendant named BM is wonderful, ask for her if you can. She sure knows how to spoil you and leaves nothing to chance. Every little detail is attended to and you are made to feel quite special. BM never missed saying hello to me when she saw me around the ship later and even made some time in her very busy schedule to stop and ask me how I was feeling for the rest of the week. I cant say enough about this attendant, she has a wonderful skill she is an ultimate professional that has a very personal touch. I thoroughly enjoyed the Fire and Ice mani-pedi with Chi-Chi who is such a lovely person and certainly knows what she is doing and Zen who did my crystal massage is an excellent professional. We went to a couple of seminars such as the “How to Get Your Metabolism Going” and “Feet and Posture” (or something like that). They were interesting and we would have attended more except for the 'hard sell' at the end of everything in which you participate. I totally got sick of having to listen to the spiel of how I really needed to buy this or that product just because I turned up. This made the seminars/talks/conversations very impersonal and I came to feel like I was being perceived as nothing more and an open wallet regardless of how it was disguised. So if you attend these things be prepared for that hard sell at the end because, regardless of how personal they are making it all feel, they are going to go for your money just as soon as they get to it make no mistake. Cabin We had a balcony cabin and there's a lot to be said for that. We came on a weeks cruise just to catch some well needed R&R (work life balance n all that) so we indulged in some massages and the balcony. We spent a lot of time sleeping, resting and getting away from people , the cabin with the balcony was ample room for us to stretch out and sleep, watch TV (lots o free DVDs available) eat and relax. There are a few things aging in the cabin, some cracked tiles, worn metals, scratched surfaces on the porcelain, just little things like that but on the whole the cabin is comfortable. We must remember that The Aria is not a new ship. Cabin Attendants I talked to various passengers around the traps and most were pleased with their cabin attendants. I was however surprised to see that I was not the only one that was not completely happy with the cabin service. The cabin was clean, don't get me wrong but the service, while cheerful, was not always satisfactory. For instance, one day we had to make our own bed, towels that we left on the floor were not always replaced and requests were not always attended to, I ordered two DVDs for a nights viewing, when they had not been delivered by lunch, I reminded the attendant of my request, then again at 4pm and again at 6 with the reply, “I will get them for you before 9pm” they never came that night but were at our door the next morning but just a little too late. I know these are small things but they add up, over a week. Miscellaneous Even though you are only cruising the Whitsunday Reef, ring your mobile provider and have them turn off international roaming. I manually turned off IR on my cell but my provider still charged me for international rates even though we never left Australian waters then my data went over the limit and I was charged international pricing for this as well. I now have to have one of those extra long calls to Telstra. Don't bother taking the walking jaunt around the ship on Deck 6 while it would be lovely, there are always a bunch of smokers out there waiting to make you feel sick. It's hard to believe some people still smoke in 2018 but there they are, on Deck 6. In my time, smoking will be made illegal in all public places eventually, even on the Aria but not just yet. To all the smokers reading this, Namaste. The washing machine is 3 x $1.00 coins (28 minutes cycle on normal/warm) and the dryer is 3 x $1.00 (45 minute cycle) free detergent. Free games such as Jenga, Scrable, Chess are available on the floor with the internet stations. Internet packages are available but are very expensive. 90 Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My wife and I took this 4 night cruise for a short break, I was looking forward to it as we had never cruised on Pacific Aria before, this was my 6th cruise and I must say I enjoyed the ship itself once you've worked out how to get ... Read More
My wife and I took this 4 night cruise for a short break, I was looking forward to it as we had never cruised on Pacific Aria before, this was my 6th cruise and I must say I enjoyed the ship itself once you've worked out how to get around the ship, it dosen't take long to get to where you want to be. The decor gave a nice intimate feeling, embarkation/debarkation was nice and quick the cabin had good amount of room and also had a decent sized shub which was good as I love to have a bath, just as well because the spa pools on the lido deck were not usable for me as one was cold and the other was luke warm. We tried all the main restaurants including Luke Mangan's, I would give Luke Mangan's and the Dragon lady four stars for food and service Angelo's three stars and the Waterfront two stars the food there was terrible the menu was limited and the only redeeming factor was the service.We also did the high tea which we loved defintely worth paying the $25 for if you love your food. The Pantry was a pleasant surprise compared to the buffet's I've been to on other ships the food was of a decent quality the lines were short the food court concept worked very well we preferred it to the waterfront which is saying something as we prefer to go Al'acarte. The highlight of the cruise for me was the entertainment, the shows at the Marquee were excellent a lot of talented performers on show, however what I loved best was the band Lazy Leis they were brilliant and Wesley at the Mix Piano bar could really get us singing, very enjoyable if you love to sing along.The Dome was a great place to go especially around dusk, its a lot smaller than the Dome on the Pacific Dawn however it had a much nicer more intimate feel to it you also felt closer to the view you were seeing through the full room height windows the bar was right in the middle which was easy to access. Being a for night cruise we had one shore excursion at Airlie Beach which seems to have got a lot busier than it was six years ago when we visited it on the Pacific Sun. Overall it was a very pleasant cruise just a bit too short I would love to do a longer cruise on Pacific Aria as long as it had the same entertianers on board. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
I recently took a 4 day cruise to the whitsundays and was impressed with service,friendliness on this cruise ,from the Maitre D' Karthik the exec chef Jose ,restaurant manager Philipe,head waiters and waiters. on deck 10 bar is ... Read More
I recently took a 4 day cruise to the whitsundays and was impressed with service,friendliness on this cruise ,from the Maitre D' Karthik the exec chef Jose ,restaurant manager Philipe,head waiters and waiters. on deck 10 bar is very good atmosphere and enjoyed afternoon drinks,the bars are good but drinks are very pricy $16 for long island tea?? Chefs table was good food was good and portion sizes however wine matching was off the mark. Room steward very invisible and cabin shower not in good operational order. Balcony too small its more like a big window and the bed mattress very hard,cupboard room and hanging space very adequate. I would not go on a longer cruise than 4 days. There are a lot of add on payments ,room service is at a fee and pizzas are too expensive 12.50. and it seems that while you pay a reasonable but not very low price there are other costs added on if you want a bit more. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Comprehensive Review P & O – Pacific Dawn trip to the Pacific Islands. Embarkation day – The luggage was collected at the terminal in a control manner and the check in was also straight forward. Disembarkation – No issues, ... Read More
Comprehensive Review P & O – Pacific Dawn trip to the Pacific Islands. Embarkation day – The luggage was collected at the terminal in a control manner and the check in was also straight forward. Disembarkation – No issues, well organised. Boarding – Ship’s security x-ray the hand bag and passed through the metal detector similar to the airport. Dining Request - As the dining option was waitlisted so there were passengers queuing outside the Waterfront restaurant to make their reservations and I was lucky to have a table as requested. If you come alone or as a couple the customer service will try to fit you with others on the big table. Inside Cabin – The cabin is fine for 2 persons with 2 children but for 4 adults in it would be squashy and not recommended. There are no toiletries provided, the bathroom is at a reasonable size and the room service had to be chosen whether once or twice daily. (2 x daily service not automatic) Deck Party – On the first day whilst the ship still alongside the crew performed a DJ dance party on the main deck and that was the only time it happened throughout the all trip. Reception – Deck 5 is part of a 3-storey atrium with a wide staircase at one end leading to the upper levels, there is an ATM machine and also some stations to check and top up for the bills. There are 2 restaurants where food is inclusive in the fares, the Waterfront (Dress Code for dinner only) & the Pantry. The Waterfront is an a la carte restaurant where the meals (entre & main) are more likely to be well presented, decorative but small in quantity but quality food can be purchase at a cost, I always complemented my meal to the Pantry particularly with the desert but no ice cream which can be bought. Guests can eat at the Pantry’s food-court-style outlets as many plates as they like with international cuisine but struggle to accommodate passengers at peak times. Sport competitions – There are some games on board such as Table Tennis, mini Golf etc. as there were one large group only at each competition, going through the second round can be a long haul. Daily Shows – The twice daily shows are non-spectacular, are for those who like stage musical, a little bit of magic and stand-up comedy. Bingo & Trivia – these are regular pastimes on the ship, every day. Music Band – There were 2 bands on board, a piano man and a guitar man. Main Deck – there is no adult laps swimming pool on the ship just a small one for the kids and a couple of hot tubs mainly on Deck 10 aft. There is a giant cinema screen on Deck with a reasonable sound system. Walking exercise area – Blocked for a few days due to high wind. Waterslides & Waterpark – Good enjoyment for the kids & grown-ups. Fitness Centre – Deck 2, inside gymnasium with no natural light. Massage & Beauticians - Very Expensive. Casino – Poker machines & some tables for entertainments only. Noumea – Berth right in town & free Wi-Fi available ashore, walking distance. Lifou – Tender transfer, nice beach. Port Vila – Mini bus ride to the city, shocking drivers with continuation nagging and hassle for a tour of the island. There are a couple of duty free stores with reasonable prices. The bottom line, the ship can be a fun ship , average in excellence (3*) but expect to pay extra for upgraded meals and for some activities. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Was very excited as this was my first cruise. Cabin was hot could not sleep. Turned air con to cool still too hot. Entertainment was average. Food was average. Could not sit outside on wooden recliners as people had put towels on them but ... Read More
Was very excited as this was my first cruise. Cabin was hot could not sleep. Turned air con to cool still too hot. Entertainment was average. Food was average. Could not sit outside on wooden recliners as people had put towels on them but were not using them. Staff were nice. One port we stopped at every thing was closed. Other than watch the same movie there was nothing to do. Only 4 pokey little expensive shops selling leftovers. The jewelry shop was selling things for $10 that are available on line for $1. Very cheap nasty jewelry. The library was good. Drinks were nice including alcohol, Asked for medium coffee charged for large every time. Dining room nice meals, but serves were too small. Shore excursions too expensive. Even if offered a free cruise would never go on one again. It was the longest 13 days of my life, could not wait for it to end, will never ever go on another Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
To celebrate Xmas and new year and to see Milford sound from our balcony which was so great & beautiful enjoying the company of outer people , making new friends. See other from the world cruise as well as the crew members experience ... Read More
To celebrate Xmas and new year and to see Milford sound from our balcony which was so great & beautiful enjoying the company of outer people , making new friends. See other from the world cruise as well as the crew members experience the ports such as Christchurch ,Auckland , Napier having fun in the vintage car being a Queen going around the towns ,to see a new suburb grown up from the earthquake in 1930 ,to experience the sea life and tower in Auckland was a wonder . No we didn’t have any kids or teenagers,but see that they were having fun , Like the on board games , enjoyed been waited on so I didn’t, have to cook , but disappoint in some crew (cafe members )not listing to me about my chai tea with soya milk as I do have a reaction with the mixed milk Well I only hope that they will know next time Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We thought it would be good to try the Refurbed Dawn, 1) Cabin was good & the cabin stewards Shava & Hassan were excellent. 2) The overall refurb is good, the old jungle bar now the Oriant was where we spent our evenings ... Read More
We thought it would be good to try the Refurbed Dawn, 1) Cabin was good & the cabin stewards Shava & Hassan were excellent. 2) The overall refurb is good, the old jungle bar now the Oriant was where we spent our evenings 3) The entertainment was poor quality, what with 1 guitar player then 2 guitar players the response from guests was not good, the piano player played so softly she was hard to undarstand , group wise Dimage was good but colour 4 were more suited to the local dance hall-pathetic. 4) Enjoyed the pantry & Grill. 5) The main restaurant food was never hot & one time Liz got cold vegetables & when she pointed this out to waiters & supervisor who agreed the veges were cold the Answer from the Exec chef was "make sure her meal is hot tomorrow night"-not happy Jan 6)we have traveled on the Dawn 7 times & this was the last straw ,never again with P& O Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We travelled in a group of 4 couples on this short cruise from Brisbane and had a very good time. The main entertainment was several comedy shows, some rated PG which were (usually) ok for children, and some R rated for the adult themes ... Read More
We travelled in a group of 4 couples on this short cruise from Brisbane and had a very good time. The main entertainment was several comedy shows, some rated PG which were (usually) ok for children, and some R rated for the adult themes and language. We preferred the PG rated shows, which showcased the quick minds of the comedians without the swearing. I think that the nature of the cruise meant that there were very few children on board. The shows were generally very good, and we really loved the gong show, where fellow passengers could have a crack at stand up comedy - what a surprise that was! But by far the best entertainment was the range of extremely talented musicians on board. A fabulous singer/guitarist at the Oasis setting the relaxing mood, the girl with the haunting voice at the Lido, the piano player in the Blue Room and the band (Alter Ego?) at Oceans Bar, who took requests and could play and sing anything! The musicians were all superb. Now the food - we all thought that the 'food court' style of The Pantry was a positive step up from the usual buffet and the food there was simple and tasty. It is hard to get a table here though and tables are not cleared very quickly. Breakfast at the Waterfront was pretty good, but other meals were a bit hit or miss. Angelo's (the Italian) was average and Salt was disappointing (both our fish dishes were overcooked). Service is generally slow. We were unable to get into The Dragon Lady even though we tried booking after lunch on the first day - so get in quick if you want to eat here. Drinks: Coffee is best in Oceans Bar. The mocktails were way too sweet so we ordered them with soda water to dilute them. (Refreshment package was well used). Favourite cocktail - Pink ginger cosmopolitan! Drinks seemed to be diluted later in the evening. Suggestion to management: Move the trivia to a larger venue - maybe the Dome? People were sitting on the floor! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise over a year ago and surprisingly Princess had double booked our Cabin from Auckland to Sydney. The ship stunk of Sewerage on Deck 7 by the Vista Lounge and they had problems with water leaks there also. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise over a year ago and surprisingly Princess had double booked our Cabin from Auckland to Sydney. The ship stunk of Sewerage on Deck 7 by the Vista Lounge and they had problems with water leaks there also. The International Cafe in the centre was hard to get a seat in as the ships average age of passengers was 76 so we were told by staff. There is an " Elite " Class on Board who think they Own the ship and all the seats on it. Meals were substandard compared to other Cruise lines and the Entertainment was also poor with Hypnotist and Magic shows. Some of the passengers even went to sleep in the theater. The Cruise Director Tim left the ship in Honolulu and we were left with his Deputy who was hopeless at the job. The Front desk staff were rude and didn't try to help at times also. Sorry this is a negative review but we will Never sail again with this Old Peoples Home as there are far far better Company's sailing the 7 Seas and many of them don't have this Class System that Princess has. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
It's hard not to compare to previous cruises on Celebrity Solstice but to sum up first Sun Princess is an older ship with older guests. Solstice excels on style and dining but that's not what matters , what does matter is ... Read More
It's hard not to compare to previous cruises on Celebrity Solstice but to sum up first Sun Princess is an older ship with older guests. Solstice excels on style and dining but that's not what matters , what does matter is "did we enjoy ourselves????..YES we did ! " Sun Princess had ..... Excellent happy crew , genuine service, no hard sell, no long waits for a drink at a bar, brilliant open air cinema , Adult only Sanctuary (fee) comfortable clean cabins , new beds and bedding , easy embarkation and disembarkation plus friendly fellow cruisers. We don't go for destinations or excursions, cruising is a very individual experience . We like good dining and good service , quite places to relax and read , and a choice of on board entertainment and enrichment offers. Dining in MDR was a pleasant experience because of the excellent waiters however the quality of cuisine and presentation was well below the standard we experienced on Solstice. Only serious issues was that Noro Virous has plagued this ship on subsequent cruises. We were fortunate to benefit from numerous deep cleans , and were not aware of any major outbreaks on our cruise . However there were some restrictions such as closed library, waiter serve only at Horizon ( lifted in last 2 days ) no handshaking and the obvious delayed departure and constant updates on health issues. We presumed that other passengers were happy to comply with strict hygiene to have a healthy cruise. We carried on our on deep clean in our cabin taking onboard detol soap, sprays, wipes gels and a huge bag of medications . We have had Noro as well as the bronchitis cough on Solstice so like to take as many precautions as possible. Other negative was our Deck 9 Aft cabin corridors had a disgusting smell please see cabin review. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Cabin: My wife and I stayed in cabin 5195 which is a standard oceanview cabin sited at the rearmost starboard side on deck 5. Closet space was OK and our cases stored nicely under the bed. The cabin was clean and lived up to ... Read More
Cabin: My wife and I stayed in cabin 5195 which is a standard oceanview cabin sited at the rearmost starboard side on deck 5. Closet space was OK and our cases stored nicely under the bed. The cabin was clean and lived up to expectations although was a little ‘tired’ including: • One bedside draw front was loose; • Cream coloured masking tape applied to cosmetic damage on a wall; • The TV stand was clearly made for an old style CRT TV. Despite this, the cabin was more than acceptable, although I would avoid it and others aft on deck 5 in future due to a noticeable whine from the main propulsion engines which took a couple of days to acclimatise to. Having said that, despite there being a conspicuous vibration in the Plantation restaurant on deck 12 above us, this was pleasingly not apparent in the cabin. Dining: We ate largely in the Waterfront restaurant for breakfast, dinner and a couple of lunches. The restaurant was very pleasant and the staff tried hard to please with the exception of one young but very ‘tired’ waiter. The only disappointments was that the dress code was not always strictly enforced and the food although of good quality was cool on occasions. Overall a reasonable experience. We chose not to dine at either Luna or the Salt Grill having done both previously instead opting for the Chef’s Table which despite its cost we believe offers an excellent dining experience. The staff were obviously handpicked and clearly enjoyed lavishing the table with attention. This is our second visit to the Chef’s Table having done so on a previous cruise and we would so again. Entertainment: We didn’t participate in any of the physical activities, instead opting for the spectator shows, occasional trivia and quiet seating areas. This was our 6th cruise and I have to say that the ship’s entertainment was the best we have experienced to date which is commendable as we have travelled with two competitors. The singers only once dropped a note and was comparable to many evening televised shows. The shows were choreographed very professionally and we’re confident we’ll see a couple of the artists again, maybe on television. As with previous P&O and other cruise lines, the entertainment coordinators worked tirelessly to deliver a flexible and professional itinerary in what was a predominantly sea based cruise with only 5 days ashore from a 14 day cruise. The physical activities appeared to be well organised and which the younger generation clearly enjoyed. Having taken young children on cruises previously, we know how challenging this can sometimes be. We were informed there was 124 children on board who appeared to thoroughly enjoy themselves despite being a predominantly adult environment. Ship Considering this journey was relocating the ship to Singapore for a dry-dock refurbishment, we were pleasantly surprised by its overall condition. We were expecting greater wear and tear issues on fixtures and fittings, especially soft furnishings, however, the ship was generally in good condition. I would take negative ship reviews with a pinch of salt, having cruised with P&O and their competitors previously, P&O provide a reasonable and enjoyable service. Ship’s Tours: This is one area where we did raise concerns. It is generally accepted that most cruise companies provide tours that, although enjoyable, can be at best described as expensive and at worst, designed to gouge maximum $$$’s from their passengers. What set this trip apart from others is our experience of a couple of destinations: • Dili, East Timor: Prior to arrival at Dili, all passengers were informed that irrespective of intent to go ashore, or of their nationality, everyone was to have the Dili visa fee of $30USD ($43:09AUD) added to their account. Apart from being an extortionate exchange rate of 0.696 compare to the actual rate of 0.76 at the time, this does not align with the East Timor visa requirements. I’m unsure if passengers with no intent of going ashore require a visa however, as Europeans many passengers did not. East Timor signed a mutual visa waiver agreement with the European Union on 26/05/2015 permitting all citizens within the Schengen agreement the right to travel through East Timor visa free. Not only did P&O did not recognise this and apply an ‘across the board’ visa fee, when challenged about this, I was simply told it was an agreement between P&O and East Timor and that there was to be no exceptions and no further discussion! • Komodo Island: After departure from Brisbane I discovered that by decree of P&O head office, to disembark and enjoy Komodo Island all passengers were required to purchase a ship tour at a cost of $120AUD island only or $180AUD island & Pink Beach. Apart from being extremely expensive, there was no availability for tours combining Komodo Island & Pink Beach which had been sold out prior to departure. I, along with many other passengers had organised independent tours for Komodo Island & Pink Beach before setting sail only to be informed we would not be permitted to go ashore and to further exacerbate the issue, that P&O could not provide the ship tour due to being ‘sold out’. P&O cited ‘safety’ for this ruling despite the fact that independently organised tours employ the same regulated park ranger restrictions as does the P&O tours. Fortunately and against the odds, I was able to obtain two tickets for the P&O Komodo Island & Pink Beach due to a cancellation, albeit at the extortionate cost of $180AUD each, but others were not so fortunate. Along with other passengers, the company I had engaged to conduct our independent tour of Komodo Island & Pink Beach are a reputable company used by many cruise ship passengers, most recently over 1,000 guests from Osaka and Azamara Cruises on 5th February. This company provided me with an official letter authenticating the tour which was completely disregarded by P&O. The P&O organised dragon tours all took the medium length route of short, medium or long routes with literally dozens of people simultaneously converging at a staged ‘watering hole’ group of 5 dragons. The rangers did an excellent job but struggled to maintain discipline with so many passengers and crew simultaneously congregated together. The independent tour that I, and others, had organised was to have taken the longer route which would have undoubtedly reduced the converged group sizes and therefore improved individual experiences and at a reduced risk. It is interesting to note that when ashore, passengers were free to do what they wished with many organising their own 2nd dragon tour on the longer route directly with the park rangers at an additional cost of $32USD (~$43AUD). Pink Beach could also be organised separately while ashore for as little as $5USD each; two ship crew entertainers organised a putt-putt boat for $10USD total and did the same Pink Beach experience that my wife and I had been compelled to pay $60AUD each for. This was a clear and unacceptable case of ‘do as we say, not as we do!’ P&O may be forgiven if their safety restrictions result in a tangible improvement and I was willing to acknowledge this right up to the point when a P&O organised ‘tinny’ tender at Pink Beach drove over a cruise ship female passenger while snorkelling, injuring and cutting her foot. What followed can only be described as a farcical lack of organisation or incident management with the tinny operator first jumping in the water to recover the injured lady’s flipper prior to assisting her partner get the injured lady out of the water. The injured lady was subsequently treated by a fellow passenger before being bizarrely transported back to the main island in the tinny with the operator having to constantly bale out water due to being so low in the water! If safety is the real concern, where is P&O’s concern when disembarking along the northern coast of Australia with exposure to sharks, crocodiles, marine stingers… It is my opinion that this ruling is for pure financial benefit with P&O attempting to extract maximum $$$ from passengers under the guise of safety. Come on P&O, get your act together. Passengers are not stupid, nor can they be bullied to suit your objectives. If safety is the true concern, then demonstrate it! If you wish to monopolise your destinations then at least provide sufficient tours to enable all passengers to participate and enjoy in their preferred tour at a competitive cost! In the case of Komodo Island, there are more than enough local service providers to manage all passenger tour requirements without having to turn passengers away. Interestingly, our P&O Komodo Island tour was facilitated and escorted by an individual who has to travel 5 hours each way to conduct the tour. It’s clearly obvious that his wages benefits some other community and not the remote Komodo community we visited which was definitely not our preference. P&O proudly publicise their support of much needed aid to poor communities they visit and I absolutely applaud this effort, but do us all a favour, if the high cost of ship tours includes contributions to local community aid programmes then provide the incremental breakdown of that aid. As passengers, we would like to know what proportion of their ships tours actually ends up as local community aid as opposed to the expansion of P&O profits to assist us to make an informed decision, otherwise we’ll continue to research and preference independent tours. If community aid is not a factor, then note that if the cost of ship tours was competitive to similar independent tours, passengers would stop favouring the independent tours! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise as a New Year 'getaway'. We were on Deck 7 cabin D740. The bathroom didn't have a bath that didn't bother us but the size of the bathroom was very very small. The shower curtain was too short and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a New Year 'getaway'. We were on Deck 7 cabin D740. The bathroom didn't have a bath that didn't bother us but the size of the bathroom was very very small. The shower curtain was too short and continually wrapped around your ankles whilst in the shower. The cabin was small with an ocean view. A good size window, but one chair and no couch. When we went back to the cabin to read a book one of us had to lie on the bed and one of us had the chair. Lots of hanging space and shelves which was good. One electric socket in the cabin made it difficult to charge phones, ipads, and a camera. Cabin steward was fine, we hardly saw him around but the room was always clean and tidy no complaints there. The main dining room food was excellent and really enjoyed it. The staff was helpful and friendly no complaints at all. That was for dinner, and breakfast. We didn't go there at lunch time. Didn't like the set dining times either.... 5.30 or 7.45 would much rather have open dining. The buffet was very very poor. The quality of the food was ordinary to say the least. I didn't like the way it was 'helping yourself'. One thing is this is most unhygienic and messy. There were a number of children at the buffet in bare feet and making a sloppy mess of the food. The variety was poor and very unappetizing. The staff in the buffet whilst some were helpful majority were standing around quite a bit Another annoying factor was they were continually talking in their native language. That is considered quite rude but not only me but many other passengers. Entertainment was quite good on the main stage and the various bars around the ship. Embarkation and disembarkation was good no problems there. Ports however was a different thing altogether. The tender process was a nightmare to say the least. At Mystery Island they had 3 tender boats running only and the nonsense of having to wait in the dining room for a ticket was ridiculous. Another point of contention was why did we need tickets to disembark when we were not in a tender port and doing our own thing onshore. That seriously is something that annoyed me immensely to the point I would not do a long cruise with Princess for that reason alone. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My husband and I went on our first cruise for our 10th Anniversary and it was absolutely amazing. Check in went smoothly, even though they were very busy, the staff were very polite. Embarkation went well, we only had to wait 20 mins ... Read More
My husband and I went on our first cruise for our 10th Anniversary and it was absolutely amazing. Check in went smoothly, even though they were very busy, the staff were very polite. Embarkation went well, we only had to wait 20 mins for our group to be called. Staff were great and all very helpful! Housekeeping were very helpful and friendly service, no request was too much. Always saying hello to us as we walked down the hall. Our cabin was just what we needed. We spent more time out and about than in our cabin. Couldn't get the aircon to work though. Food: Plantation food at dinner was a bit meh, but breakfast and lunch were great. Waterfront was lovely. Waiters were very efficient... but felt like they were hovering for our plates as it was so busy. Disembarkation went very well also. We had such an amazing time, next time we will take the kids!! The best holiday we've ever been on. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We went on this ship in January 2016 and decided to give it one last go - and just like the first ship was not disappointed. To those people that want to complain about the small stuff the entertainment in the centrum was sensational - ... Read More
We went on this ship in January 2016 and decided to give it one last go - and just like the first ship was not disappointed. To those people that want to complain about the small stuff the entertainment in the centrum was sensational - the dinner in the main Restaurant was very good - DO NOT COMPARE THIS SHIP TO PRINCESS ETC AS IT IS UNIQUE WITHIN ITSELF - IT IS ONLY 31/2 TO 4 STARS SO LIVE WITH IT - The crew were super friendly from our cabin steward to the waiters to the bar staff Speaking of bar staff they were fantastic all round and yes sometimes we had to wait 2 minutes or so but where else were we going - to those complaining take a chill pill Of ALL the cruise ships we have been on from p&o to Princess to RC to HA this is by far our favorite ship - to me 5 stars all round Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
First time cruisers - a convenient way to have a family reunion - group of 30. Flew in from Sydney - as we had once lived in Brisbane no need to spend any extra time here - had our embarkation time - not sure why as 300 odd people were in ... Read More
First time cruisers - a convenient way to have a family reunion - group of 30. Flew in from Sydney - as we had once lived in Brisbane no need to spend any extra time here - had our embarkation time - not sure why as 300 odd people were in front of us and an hour and 15 later we boarded the boat. First sight of our cabin - decent size, nice balcony, king size bed all good - then the bad! Bath robes wrapped in plastic on the bed - should we open them we would be charged $25 for each - a cleaning fee apparently! TV was on with a loop recording advising us of how to wash our hands and advisable to use our own toilet and not any of the public ones. The shower/bath was pretty grubby - mould throughout the grouting. First meal was in the Pantry - awful - had a roast beef sandwich the bread was stale. vowed we wouldn't eat here again. Unfortunately on the day we toured Hamilton Island we had to be out early and the restaurant was closed - so we had breakfast in the Pantry - awful - the scrambled eggs were cold, sausage inedible, poached eggs were fine as was the toast! Waterfront restaurant was fine - plenty of course choices for breakfast lunch and dinner and all the meals we had were good. The service was completely hit and miss. We also ate at Angelos which was very good - Dragon lady not so much and the service also hit and miss. We ate at Luke Mangans and paid the extra for a good meal with excellent service. We saw 2 shows a magic and a comedian - both quite good. We kept away from all the loud bands and djs as that is not our thing, but lots of people seemed to enjoy them. We only had the one excursion and that was delayed due to bad weather - completely understandable. However once we got on shore our tour had been cancelled and we were left standing on the port with 2 elderly 81 yr olds with no transportation and a very rude P & O staff member who could offer no alternative! We felt that the drinks on board are hugely expensive and watered down/ as well as complete price gouging in the spa and we got tired of crossing out the 5% tipping they added to every bill! I'm not a cruiser and P & O have not changed my mind. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We took the cruise because P & O is the only line cruising from Brisbane at this time of year. We decided a few years ago not to cruise with P & O again but in desperation decided to give them another try, this was the result. ... Read More
We took the cruise because P & O is the only line cruising from Brisbane at this time of year. We decided a few years ago not to cruise with P & O again but in desperation decided to give them another try, this was the result. Food in the Plantation Restaurant was very poor. Food was cold and the choices at breakfast and lunch was very limited and repetitive. The baked beans every day were so sweet that they were inedible and the oatmeal was a thin gruel. The reason for the cold food was the air-conditioning, every part of the ship was cold and we had to wear sweaters most of the time, by the time you got your lukewarm food on a cold plate and found a table it was cold. Things that are free on other ships are charged for on P&O ie: Burgers, Pizzas, room service etc. also they don't have a pre-purchase coffee card which reduces the cost for regular coffee drinkers. The Waterfront restaurant food was not up to the standard expected on such a cruise, the menus were very simple and limited and nowhere near the standard experienced on other ships. The Wait staff were fantastic amongst the best we have experienced, just a pity about the poor food and freezing temperatures. The entertainment, if one can call it that, was third rate it looks like they have stoped trying to get good acts. The best show was the kids concert. What has happened to the Captains party? he used to have a cocktail party for frequent cruisers as a bit of a thank you. There is no library or reading room, it was claimed that the books were stolen by the passengers which says something about the "Cruislings" and P&O's "Its too hard so lets give up" attitude. As a frequent cruiser I get free internet on the Princes Line, I refuse to pay on P&O, after all they are owned by the same Company so why not offer the same rewards. The daily program guide offers the minimum of information on activities and nothing about the destinations. The TV is abysmal, the is no program guide and no program information. The satellite signal is unreliable at the best. Australian news was very hard to find, even though we were cruising off the Australian coast. We will not be cruising P&O again, compared to Princess Cruises it is no better than two stars but is charging three star prices. It seem that the Pacific Dawn is for fist time cruisers and families looking for a cheap cruising experience. NEVER AGAIN Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We had heard some good reviews about Princess cruises prior to booking. We found the gratuities extreme especially when sailing in Australian waters.We found our suite to be quite OK and the service by staff was very good.The dining was ... Read More
We had heard some good reviews about Princess cruises prior to booking. We found the gratuities extreme especially when sailing in Australian waters.We found our suite to be quite OK and the service by staff was very good.The dining was a reasonable standard however becomes tiresome after a few weeks at sea. The alcohol on board was very expensive being approximately double the retail price on land plus 15% gratuities.The entertainment whilst we saw some wonderfully talented individuals the overall experience was disappointing when compared to other cruises we have been on. The entertainment director was first class and was up front and involved in most the entertainment hosting and provided excellent commentary to the guests on board. We enjoyed the table tennis and pool area however we found it extremely frustrating when other passengers booked poolside chairs and didn't return for hours on end.The advisory signs asking passengers not to do this was not enforced by pool attendants. Also the golf put put and lawn bowls area was poorly designed and over crowded. The procedure for managing shore excursions was conducted in a very professional manner being the best we have experienced on any other cruises we have been on so far. Depending on timing and destination we would consider using Princess cruises again and we would recommend to others particularly those that havent cruised before as the staff are very good. Overall the ship suited our holiday needs but there is definitively room left for improvement when we compare to some other experiences we have had with cruising. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our second cruise with RCI and found it just as good as the first. Although getting on was slow due to technical issues beyond their control, we were quite happy to sit and wait and meet new cruisers. Although the ship is slightly ... Read More
This was our second cruise with RCI and found it just as good as the first. Although getting on was slow due to technical issues beyond their control, we were quite happy to sit and wait and meet new cruisers. Although the ship is slightly smaller than Rhapsody it was just as enjoyable. Plenty of activities to choose from so we were never bored. The service was impeccable and could not fault. Port and shore excursions were on time and great guides. Sailada Tours at Lautoka are a most reliable company and make you feel at home in Fiji. Our cabin was roomy and with the balcony had plenty of room and fresh air. Chops Grille was our favourite speciality restaurant and MDR was fantastic with terrific service. There was some form of entertainment every day/night including latest movies every afternoon and night. Disembarking was a breeze going straight off after having breakfast. A most enjoyable cruise and although we could not dock at Port Vila due to weather, we were happy to just have an extra day at sea. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
BLACK WATER - COMING FROM SHOWER WHILE HUBBY SHOWERING LEAVING BAD ODOUR ON HIM We Departed Brisbane on Monday 29/2/16 first 2 days ok, then there was a bad odour in our Cabin No. 5071 on Deck 5 early afternoon on 3/3/16 we advised ... Read More
BLACK WATER - COMING FROM SHOWER WHILE HUBBY SHOWERING LEAVING BAD ODOUR ON HIM We Departed Brisbane on Monday 29/2/16 first 2 days ok, then there was a bad odour in our Cabin No. 5071 on Deck 5 early afternoon on 3/3/16 we advised staff who were supposed to inform the proper team members who did not do this. When the Plumber came he could also smell the bad odour from the discoloured water from the shower. The Supervisor were called and around mid-night we got moved to another Cabin. While the Supervisor was there we were informed that the same thing was happening on Level 6. The Customer Service from the female Supervisor (sorry unable to remember her name) was good. My husband has not been well since this black water has been on him as there were no showers available to wash the mess off him until hours later when he was able to shower in another Cabin around mid-night. MONEY WITH-HELD FROM OUR CREDIT CARD Although we did not spend much on board, a total of $129.99 which was deducted from our Credit Card, they also withheld $59.99 and could not tell me what that was for when I just called them and spoke to GIZEL in the Philippines. AFTERNOON TEA A bit of a disappointment, no afternoon or morning tea was provided, you had to save up the muffins and sweet treats from either breakfast or lunch to have for afternoon tea, because you couldn't eat everything in one meal. SAILING ON OTHER CRUISE LINES Burgers and Ice-Creams were always included in the cost of the food so we didn't buy these things. STAFF We did however feel that the staff were accommodating and very friendly towards us, we left tips in the Restaurant and added these amounts to the total of our Wine purchase. MOVIE THEATRE Unfortunately, the screen was not placed in a way that you could see properly, they need to focus on the angle of the seating and screen and the reception was poor. PHOTOS Photos were very expensive in our opinion so we did not purchase them. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
I have completed 15 cruises with Princess but this is the worst bed I Have ever slept on whilst on a cruise ship. The Customer services Manager had another mattress placed on the bed to replace the very old one which was on the bed. It was ... Read More
I have completed 15 cruises with Princess but this is the worst bed I Have ever slept on whilst on a cruise ship. The Customer services Manager had another mattress placed on the bed to replace the very old one which was on the bed. It was not much better and the base was very squeaky. The only way to make the bed able to be slept on a board was placed under the mattress and the spring base sprayed with WD40 to stop the squeaking. It was dreadful. The entertainment was okay but it would seem that Princess are cutting staff and the cruise Directors staff were working extremely hard trying to keep passengers busy on the many sea days. The ship is getting very old and we noticed many pipes leaking on deck 7. There were many pipes bursting in some of he cabins. Our cabin had cold water for 1 1/2 days then it was so hot it almost scolded us. The air conditioning was also very cold in some areas and quite warm in other areas. Dining room staff were excellent as was the food but I noticed Princess have a shorter menu most meals. Read Less

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