First time on P&O and very disappointed. Previously travelled Princess & love it. First cruise for Pacific Aria with the 5 Ships Spectacular was great but Pacific Aria was not so spectacular. The Pantry & new way of dining was not good, bring back the buffet !!! Having to go to 3 seperate areas to
get bacon, eggs & toast was wrong. In the new dining you get one tray for 1 particular type of food so you cant have a choice of different foods on your plate otherwise you end up with about 5 trays or plates. Service in one bar for a coffee was absolutely disgusting. After waiting 15mins for a coffee I was told they dont have that coffee, shouldnt I have been told this when I placed the order, not 15mins later waiting for it!! Heard from several ppl on the cruise that this was the first cruise for a lot of the crew so that would explain for a lot of the things that went wrong but I think we should have been told if that was the case. Also could not use internet because they lost the keyboards for all 6 terminals !!!
Being The Aria's first trip the ship was no where ready, the renovations were not completed and the ship had not been cleaned properly (IE: new carpet had not been vacuumed and still had fluff balls all over it). Public areas were not cleaned and re-stocked very often, and had lots of plumbing
problems throughout the ship, causing a huge inconvenience . The staff seemed very confused as to what they should be doing, causing delays in service. We paid for a quad room but found that the fourth bed was a lounge made up, and did not have a mattress only sheets over the cushions, this was extremely uncomfortable for a adult. The pantry was a great idea but the food was found not to be very fresh at times and of poor quality (IE: dried out eggs). Thoroughly enjoyed the wine cellar, very informative and excellent service. Overall our group managed to have a good time together and make the most of it, but we were all very disappointed in the trip and was glad it was only a short one. We have all been on P&O before and as a general consensus from our group we feel that we would not go with P&O again.
For a cruise ship that had so much hype made about it "very disappointed" is un understatement. This ship has just joined P&O and supposed to have been revamped!!!! Cabin was dirty complete with a broken window, drawers not closing, dirty carpet, old tv, and food left in fridge. Embarkation was a
joke but that was only the start of the weekend from hell. Boat drill made to stand on the deck in blazing sun for an hour. Crew were very disorganised in all aspects. As for the "new" dining experience at "the pantry" it was worse than a cheap cafeteria. Line up in one queue for eggs and bacon then one to the next queue for toast the next queue for juice, by the time you finish everything is cold, then try to find a seat that you are not having condensation dripping on you or your food. Lunch and dinner was the same every day and night for three days. Restaurant is worse after waiting ages to be seated serving sizes are so small with no side salads or vegetables that you leave hungry and then go to the pantry for food. Entertainment was ok. Bar staff far and few between. Then disembarkation was so unorganised with no one knowing what was happening with no announcements made.
Cruise no 16 in 4 years. What a disaster right from embarkation. Left to wait in the heat for hours while the air conditioned termlnal sat vacant. Then 1500 passengers lined up like cattle to go aboard. No excuse, this company has been cruising for years they should have known the ship was not ready
to take passengers. Elderly people with no fridge in room for medication, shower over deep bath and NO toilet brush. AT the waterfront restaurant no table cloths and one had to queue up and get a buzzer, real class ??? and then the meals were not up to standard and waiters in some cases down right rude, what has happened. It seemed like everything was arranged for the convenience of the crew and the passengers were just a nuisance. we have been on other P & O ships and were completely happy with everything, sorry this time not happy with anything. Our daughter runs a caravan park and over the last few years we have given P & O thousands of dollars worth of good publicity I am sorry but that is going to stop, from now on we will be advising people not to consider going P & O.
Where to start? Cruise A550 Vanuatu Explorer on December 7th 2015 aboard the Pacific Aria was the best cruise we have been on. This was our 6th cruise and we have rated it the best yet. From the moment we booked with Cruisesalefinder to the moment we disembarked from the boat was totally awesome.
The staff at Cruisesalefinder looked after us with an upgrade on the same deck (we were on deck 5 and I think we will stay on that deck from now on when we can). It was an inside cabin but it was dark, quiet and very roomy. The cabins were spotless, all the staff from the cabin stewards to the wait staff looked after all of us extremely well. There was so much choice of food everyday that it was hard to know where to go for your meals. Every bit of food we had was excellent. The price we paid was 1/3 of the price of the original cruise so it was indeed the best value for money we have every had. We have already booked our next cruise with cruisesalefinder for May 2016 and we are counting down already. We will never book directly with the cruise line again. Thank you cruisesalefinder for being there for us all the way.
Having never cruised before we though it would be great to do a sample type cruise before we commit ourselves to a longer time and more expensive cruise. We were pleasantly surprised just how much we enjoyed the concept of cruising and all the stories' we heard about the "Dreadful Buffet" are gone -
what P&O have done with this new ship is amazing and it appears more hygienic and the food appeared always fresh.
It was a new ships, 2nd voyage out I think and their was some teething problems, but rather than just focus on that I want to tell you the positives - the staff could not have done more for us to make it enjoyable. The rooms while a little dated compared to the rest of the ship were well serviced with all amenities working, the entertainment was great and we liked the idea of just moving from area to area at our leisure with a drink in hand I must add - something you just cant do in most other holiday destinations. The on boarding and disembarking were effortless and we were surprised just how quickly everyone got on and off the ship.
In summary, as a result of this experience, my wife and I are planning a 2016 cruise thanks to a lovely 3 days sample cruise.
The Pacific Aria is a lovely ship we could not fault the decor, the colour schemes throughout the ship are terrific. We liked the blue room and other bar areas, the waterfront restaurant looks great but is really too small fr the 1500 people the ship holds with seating for under 400 with long
waiting times. The buffet is an improvement on the previous style of tray service which caused a lot of waste. Our balcony cabin was roomy, larger than on previous cruises. The biggest downfall was the bathroom which had not been renovated and had a very small spa bath which didn't work and was very dangerous to step into, not enough handrails. As My wife has limited mobility she was not able to shower for the 10 days of the cruise. Also there is not enough limited mobility cabins available. Please advise PO to obtain proof of disability from people when booking I was told by another passenger without a disability that they obtained a disabled cabin because they are bigger. We met some lovely people but one thing I would like to comment on is we only had three ports as we could not get into Cooktown, I feel we should have had a substitute port. Boarding and disembarking my wife had a wheelchair was very efficiently organised. Overall a very nice trip
We had a great time on the Pacific Aria in December 2015. It was our second cruise and it was the ships first voyage to the South Pacific under the P&O banner.
We loved the new pantry concept and the large adults only deck area! (We spent much of our time here). The renovations in all the public areas were done wonderfully. It will be fantastic if all of the cabins can be updated like all of the common areas too.
Although the ship still had some bugs to iron out it was an amazing time away from the hussle and bustle of life.
I highly recommend cruising for a holiday. We got to have plenty of time relaxing and being away from the busyness of life - phones were turned off and put away. Then at each port we were able to see and explore some of the most beautiful places you could ever encounter. Add to this all of the activities and entertainment onboard the ship, and you're in for a pretty fantastic holiday.
No matter what sort of holiday you are after (relaxing or busy as a bee) you can find it on a cruising holiday.
If you ask us, it's the way to go!!!
I do not appreciate being the test dummy for an international cruising company to help them sort out their inadequacies and failings as a service provider. We changed rooms 5 times in 7 days as they could not get the toilets working. The entire deck 9 port side had similar problems which were not
resolved at anytime during the cruise. The final straw came when the toilets actually began to overflow and spill into the cabins.
The Aria is an old ship with a very dubious refurbishment. On the surface things seemed okay but very little worked properly, the food was mediocre and the less said about the entertainment the better. A very expensive but thoroughly unpleasant experience which will never be repeated.
As the ship had only had its relaunch voyage a month earlier very few of the systems worked properly and the crew, although lovely in themselves, gave the impression that they were continually 'fighting fires' and trying to rectify issues as they went along. Everyday presented new and interesting ways to ruin your holiday however the great consistency was the failing toilets. It was always an exciting time at 3am, having to get dressed to use the public toilets and then playing the lottery of whether the public ones would flush. A very poor performance from P&O in this case. I think the high point was when we sat down to dinner with another couple who said ' we are having an awful time with the cabins but there is one poor couple who have changes rooms half a dozen times' They were quite surprised that the couple they were taking about was us almost as much as I was surprised about our new found celebrity status as the nomads of Aria, maybe David Attenborough could make a documentary about our travels from cabin to cabin. With this I am therefore sure I am not the only person delivering a negative review.
The ship itself is splendid. Beautifully set out and appointed. The boarding part of the experience couldn't have been better fast and efficient whilst still courteous. The cabin was awesome as was the cabin steward. Spacious and plenty if wardrobe space. There was it seemed not enough crew to keep
the cruislings covered with drink orders or in the waterfront restaurant. Food was no were near as good as previous cruises in the waterfront. The food either had a lengthy wait or pushed through extremely quick and for the most part was luke warm. The two other Restaurants Angelo's and dragon lady were both fantastically appointed and the service superb. The food was quite good although the selection minimal. Overall the pantry was a improvement over the buffet of old. Food for the most part was superior and service extremely good. Seating seems to be less so being able to sit whilst dining is sometimes problematic. Island stops were good. Port villa as favorite due to tourism being around for quite some time in this country and the amenities set up for it. Mystery island was missed due to weather which is understandable. The drink package was okay but a medium one including coffee and milkshakes would be good. The lack of a decent band which played regularly was quite a major minus. Overall we were happy with our cruise but will be going on the Pacific Dawn next time to see if the changes have affected experiences compared to previous cruises