P&O Cruises Australia - MV Pacific Aria - 14 Day PNG Cruise ex Brisbane February 10, 2017 - Page 2

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MV Pacific Aria is seen at anchor of an Island at Papua New Guinea

Page Two

Pools & Decks, Sports, Fitness Centre, P&O EDGE, & Accommodations & Deck Plan

 

Please Note: Photographs on this page were taken by & are by Reuben Goossens & Hun-Eng Tan, unless noted otherwise!

Welcome to Page Two:

This page has a very different feel to Page One, as I began with an overall description of the ship and its indoor facilities as well as my general review of the ship and the cruise we experienced! However, this page turns from the indoors to the outdoors, and the adventurous, as well to the place where we will rest our heads at night in the comfort of our accommodations. Therefore, I am sure this page will prove just as interesting as Page One. Whilst Page Three will cover the fascinating destinations of our wonderful voyage of discovery to the ports of Papua New Guinea, and I am sure that you will be delighted by its content, for you will find it is amazingly colourful!

Reuben Goossens.

Maritime Historian, Author & Cruise ‘n’ Ship Reviewer.

Commenced in the Passenger Shipping Industry in 1960.

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Pools & Decks:

Besides the amidships pool on Deck 11, which has a sliding glass dome over it, making the area perfect in any weather situation. At this pool children are very welcome in addition there are also several hot tubs, near the large jumping Dolphin sculptures. On some nights special parties are organised around the pool area. The sides and other areas are furnished with very finest, as there are thickly cushioned Day Beds, which are super comfortable as well the best of luxurious chairs and tables, ideal to enjoy a drink, or even to enjoy your lunch, which you will have obtained from “The Pantry” just aft, or the “Grill” forward. Located starboard just forward of the pool is a bandstand, where ships band and artists perform during the day and in the evening. Aft towards the portside is the Lido Bar that also has a delightful lounge area that spreads across the ship.

 

 Above & below: the Lido Pool and its Spa Baths by the jumping Dolphins.

 

  

 

Looking along portside to forward along the Pool, both single and double sun lounges are lined up, whilst tables & chairs are located under cover

 

 

Above & below: Here we see the Pool Bar with its stylish lounge area that spreads the full width of the ship

 

 

The Bandstand is on the starboard side that faces the Pool Bar Lounge and there is a dance floor 

The Oasis: Located aft on Deck 10, you will discover the wonderful “Oasis Adult only Deck,” which offers a Pool a huge Sun Deck and a Bar. This area offers thickly cushioned Day Beds, which are super comfortable and luxurious chairs and tables, suitable for a place that is “child free.” Pacific Aria’s “Oasis” is larger than on any of the other P&O ships, except the Pacific Eden of course, being the Aria’s sister ship!

The Adults only Oasis Pool and Deck

 

Eng Tan is seen during an early visit to “The Oasis” whilst at sea

 

However, early on February 18, as we were arriving in the Port of Madang I headed aft on Deck 10 to the

Oasis Pool area to take in the views, and a crew member kindly took this photo of me, in yes in the scooter

Sports & Fitness Facilities:

Pacific Aria has ample sports decks including a Basketball Court as well as a Tennis Courts located aft on Deck 12, as well as ample deck space for walking and an ideal viewing space when arriving or departing various ports. However, further aft, located above on Deck 13 is the location for those who love something far more adventurous, and that is why there is “P&O-EDGE,” featuring not only a flying fox that allows you to ride from aft to forward of the ship and back. But, then there is that far scarier “if you dare” … “Walk the Plank.” The end of the plank slides well over the starboard side of the ship and you, that is IF YOUR DARE to walk to the very end, you discover you may be asked to do something more? In fact, you are asked to turn around and face towards the ship and, yes to lean back over the sea a little for your photograph of course. You may ask is it safe, well what do you think would they ask you if it was, or not?

The Basketball Court is on the starboard side (left) and the Tennis Court on the portside (right)

The white metal tower on the starboard side is where you can walk the plank

 

Here is a daring young lady walking the plank!

Walking the plank is of course quite a harrowing experience, for as you look down you are a long, long way up, and the ship is moving quite fast. Then, if you do reach the end, you will have to turn around, and lean back as far as you can for, yes your photograph! Did I tell you that you will have a safety belt on and a very sturdy line that goes above and will keep you very safe (I hope)? Of course it will as that is 100% assured!

This photograph shows not only the sliding steel and Glass dome over the pool

But also the steel lines for those who will enjoy a ride on the long haul on the ships Flying Fox

 

Here is another of the “P&O-EDGE,” Adventures to try

Photograph by & Terry Whitter

Then there is the spacious Elemis Spa for those who like to be pampered, and more importantly, the Elemis Fitness Centre, which has every possible apparatus you may wish to use as the photographs show. Each morning from 7 am to 8 am there are two free sessions at the Fitness Centre, each being a half hour session under the guidance of a professional instructor and the sessions are; “Sunrise Stretch” and the second half hour is “Abdominal Conditioning.”

 

Above & below: Here we see two photographs of the Gym it has many spaces as it is very large!

 

The Entertainment staff do a great deal to keep the guest occupied, be it Trivia, and other activities, including Shuffleboard, Bocce Ball, Deck Quoits, Golf Chipping, Volley Ball Bean Bag Challenge, Golf Putting, and Wine Tasting! However, I do not think that the latter is an official part of the sports programme, yet it is a great way to end a day of activities!

But, then down on Deck 6 there is something that is far more traditional and that is a much-loved full walk-around Promenade Deck being a very popular activity for that early morning brisk walk, but it can be done at anytime of the day, or join one of the organised a “walk a mile” walks around the deck with one of the staff members.

Here we see the full walk-around Promenade Deck

As we have discovered so far, there are so many things to do and countless activities indoors as well as outdoors onboard the Pacific Aria! But, it is now time to look at the wonderful accommodations that are available.

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Accommodations:

I have now been on this delightful ship three times and have found that passengers have generally praised their accommodations for their comfort, their excellent appointments, especially when compared to most other ships that many have sailed on in the past. All cabins on the Pacific Aria have a separate lounge area with a sofa and a coffee table. Some cabins may have bathroom with a shower, however the majority will have a bath with an overhead shower. This applies to both Inside and Outside Cabins with a window or those few located far forward in the hull section that have a porthole.

Let us look at the cabins I have just mentioned!

Please Note: Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite & Penthouse photographs were provided by & P&O Cruises Australia

Whilst Suite 10058 was photographed by & the author Reuben Goossens

 

This is the least expensive cabin aboard the entire ship, being an Inside Cabin on Deck 4, yet it does have a lounge area

 

 

Here we see another Inside Cabin that could be on Decks 5, 6, 9 or 10 and we see that the bedroom and lounge is separate

 

 

This is a typical Outside Cabin with the same layout as the Inside Cabin seen above and this style of

Cabin is located on Decks 4, 5 & 6, which looks out at the walk around Promenade Deck. In addition

there are six outside Cabins located on the portside on Deck 9 forward

 

 

A typical bathroom for most of the Cabins onboard that have a full-length bath with the overhead shower

 

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Balcony Cabins:

Before the ship became the Pacific Aria, she was part of the Holland America Line stable of ships and she was the Ryndam. These balcony rooms were known as “Vista Suites.” With P&O they are just known as Balcony Cabins, but as soon as you walk in, you know that they are rather special, for their layout are more like mini suites having a spacious lounge and bedroom, massive wardrobes and cupboard space and in the bathroom you will discover not just a bath with the overhead shower, but a deluxe Spa bath with an overhead shower, as seen in the shower image just above.

 

Here we see a Balcony Cabin and all have a Spa Bath in their bathrooms and are on Decks 9 and on Deck 10 aft

 

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Suites:

These magnificent suites, were previously known as Neptune Suites, but are now simply sold as a “Suite.” But they have retained all their delightful beauty of the Holland America Line (HAL) days, which I love, for I have sailed with HAL in suites just like this one many times, and it is just like coming home!

-Suite

Above we see our Suite # 10015 in August 2016, which was made up with a Queen sized bed,

however the steward soon split into a twin bedded room as we had originally requested in our booking!

These suites are spacious and can be made up with a queen-sized bed, or as requested for my purpose it has to be made up in a twin bedded configuration as I travel with my dear friend and carer Hun-Eng Tan.

Sadly this suite had regular bathroom with a Spa bath with a high side, making it difficult for me

The bathroom is more spacious than it appears, due to the door being in the way

I have finally managed to obtain Suite 10058 for our December 2016 and this cruise in February 2017 for it is the only Suite, which has a ‘Special Needs’ bathroom, for I am unable to get into those high walled Spa baths!

Suites have a more spacious bathroom with a black polished granite vanity, WC, and that deluxe Spa bath with an overhead shower. Between the Bedroom and the bathroom is the dressing room, complete with a make up table and a round sink, huge mirror and a backlit mirror with enlargement, for those special touches. Although for me, it became my office and my laptop took pride and centre as I would work and write my review here! Three large mirrored doors contained spacious wardrobes, which even had sufficient space for our suitcases as well.

 

Above & below: This is our Suite # 10058 located of course on Deck 10

 

Just for interest, love the paintings, which are the original Holland America Line art works

and here we have a fine partial Dutch Windmill, one of the most famous ones in Holland!

 

This is a photo looking towards the Bar and the entrance, as you will see ample space to park my scooter

 

Behind the author, on the cabinets, there is a pair of Binoculars, flat screen HD TV with DVD player

Also a fine Coffee Machine and an I-Pod Sound System, with a wide range of music included

Due to the door, photographs are difficult to take, and the room is larger than it appears in the photographs

 

 

Above and below; we see photographs of the special needs bathroom; there is a full-length shower

And a fold down seat, which I cover with a small towel and beside the WC, is a fold down armrest

 

 

 

Above & below: Suite balconies are very spacious, both wide and deep and offers a round dining table with four

comfortable high backed chairs. In addition there are two sun lounges and a wicker chair with a small round table

 

Like during our cruise last December, we were superbly looked after by our delightful Indonesian stewards, Mae (right) and Guna (left). They not only kept our Suite spotless, and as they knew our likes and dislikes, the Suite was made up just as we like it with the right pillows, and bedding, etc! In addition, they were so very helpful in regard anything we desired and nothing was any trouble. The service these days on P&O Cruises is as good as on any Cruise Company, and I rated these two wonderful stewards a 9 out of 10. The Accommodation Manager also, Mr. Ashok Krisran was most helpful in regard obtaining the right seat for my office, as well as arranging our disembarkation procedure. Thank you very much Ashok for all you kind assistance!

Guna and Mae seen on our Balcony

PS: Guna’s dear wife was about to have a baby the next day, no wonder he looks so happy

But they always have such a beautiful and genuine smile, for the truth is, they are such lovely people!

To conclude my thoughts regarding cruising in style: If you like cruising in luxury and sheer comfort, do yourself a favour and book a Suite for besides all the additional space, there are many extra luxuries that come along with the room, and not to forget that huge superbly furnished balcony!

The Penthouse:

The Penthouse is certainly not for everyone, as it is a three-room apartment. Last August I knew the couple very well who were in the Penthouse and they said that they wished they were in a suite like the one we had, for the dinning room was a waste of space and it was never used. Even the steward said that it has only been used once or twice. However, during the days when the ship was a 5 star Holland America Line ship, when the wealthy occupied the Penthouse the Dinning Room as well as the Balcony had parties and special events all the time! The bedroom has a King sized bed and it cannot be split into a twin bedded configuration. The lounge has a huge sweeping curved sofa with armchairs and a large glass coffee table. Then there is the third room, being the aforementioned dinning room with a table with seating for eight. Of course the all-marble bathroom is simply magnificent and it has a large separate spa bath!

 

Above & below: The Penthouse has a large Bedroom and a large curved Lounge as well as

a separate Dining Room. The Bathroom has a large Spa bath as can be seen on the lower photograph

 

 

 

 

 

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Pacific Aria’s Deck Plan: 

 Provided by P&O Cruises Australia

 

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MV Pacific Aria PNG Cruise Review Index:

Page One Cruise Review, Public Venues, & Dinning Experiences.

Page Two Sports, Fitness Centre, P&O EDGE, & Accommodations & Deck Plan.

Page Three The Papua New Guinea Experience - Part One.

Page Four The Papua New Guinea Experience - Part Two.

Page Five The PNG Photo Experience.

 

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There we see the delights from the beach of a PNG Island and the Pacific Aria at anchor

Photograph by &  Terry Whitter

 

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