The mid-sized Pacific Aria helped to usher in P&O Australia’s modern cruising revolution back in 2015. Her contemporary Aussie decor, entertainment, and dining options provide fantastic holidays to cruise lovers, and she sails a range of exciting itineraries around the South Pacific. Affordability and style don’t often combine, but they come together with a bang on the Pacific Aria.
Boarding this distinctive dark-hulled ship is a real treat. There’s so much to do once you get there, however, that it’s a good idea to know what to expect before you depart. This is our guide to the essentials of cruising on the Pacific Aria! Read on and prepare for your voyage on this lovely ship.
Length: 219 metres
Top speed: 22 knots
Passenger capacity: 1,258 maximum occupancy
The feel of the ship
Frequent cruisers will know that each boat - even different vessels within the same line - has its own particular vibe, a feeling that sets the tone for their holiday. Stepping on the Pacific Aria, cruisers can expect cool, contemporary luxury in the fit out of the shared spaces. The pool deck could be confused for an upmarket hotel’s outdoor area, and the bars are as trendy as any you’d find in a city like Melbourne or Wellington.
P&O attracts all kinds of holidaymakers, and you won’t be able to pin the Pacific Aria down as a “party” ship or “retiree” ship. It’s very family friendly, as are all in the P&O fleet. In fact, it’s an all-around friendly place.
Accommodation on the Pacific Aria
The Pacific Aria’s accommodation options run the gamut from inside cabins with no windows to the luxury Penthouse suite which we listed amongst the most lavish suites available at sea. The ship has 129 inside cabins, 352 oceanview cabins with windows only, 120 balcony cabins, 28 suites with balcony, and one penthouse.
There are options for interconnected cabins on the Pacific Aria, a fantastic feature which is great for family groups.
What’s to eat?
The Pacific Aria was one of the first ships to introduce P&O’s revolutionary new buffet alternative, the Pantry, which debuted on the Pacific Jewel in 2015. It offers food market-style dining with an array of small casual eateries and is a firm favourite. The ship’s main dining room, the Waterfront Restaurant, has a delicious contemporary Australian menu. Other complementary dining options include Italian cuisine at Angelo’s and Pan-Asian dishes at Dragon Lady.
This ship has a few specialty restaurants too, although you can get an excellent array of tastes at those included in the fare. For a special night out try the classic Salt Grill by celebrity chef Luke Mangan, or fancy pizzeria 400 Gradi. There is also the Chef’s Table experience, which provides an unforgettable and exclusive evening of fine dining.
This ship is aimed at families - and there’s plenty for kids to enjoy onboard. P&O’s kids and teens clubs are free of charge and include kids between the ages of two (if they are toilet trained) and seventeen. The fun ranges from crafts and storytime for the toddlers to PlayStations for older kids and mocktail parties for the teens, all supervised by qualified staff.
There is also babysitting available for three- to ten-year-olds in the evenings at a charge. For family time, kids and adults alike can enjoy the many activities and facilities of the Pacific Aria.
The Pantry offers excellent and delicious casual dining that families love, and the flexible seating times in the main restaurant mean that dinner can work to your tribe’s schedule.
Entertainment day and night
Cruise lovers Down Under are often of the “work hard, play hard” variety, and the Pacific Aria takes that theme and runs with it. There’s lots to do, and there is also plenty of opportunity to retreat and relax.
During the day, the P&O crew will run all kinds of fun activities, from quizzes to sports tournaments (dodgeball, anyone?) to dance classes to craft workshops and beyond. There are deck games, bingo, movies happening in the cinemas and plenty more - and it’s all listed in the daily schedule that’s delivered to each cabin.
You can enjoy the pool, read a book in the Dome, hit the gym, or sign up to try one of the adventure activities of the P&O Edge program. These include a flying fox, climbing the ship funnel and other thrill-seeking fun.
Wanting to relax? Head to the adults-only Oasis which is stocked with luxury loungers and a poolside bar. Heaven! There is also the main pool deck where you can take a dip and sunbathe, the spa where you can head for treatments, and many bars and lounges throughout the ship open in the day and into the night.
When the sun goes down, the bars really come alive, and so do the casino and theatre. Enjoy a special night out, and go all out for the P&O theme parties like Bianco and Gatsby night.
Convinced this lovely ship is the one for your next voyage? Take a look at our cruise deals on the Pacific Aria and plan an adventure to remember.