Pacific Aria: first impressions

I’ve arrived onboard P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Aria for a seven-day journey  from Brisbane to New Caledonia and back.

Ship’s webcam view of port in Brisbane

I’ll be blogging when I can, and posting updates on social media. In the meantime, I’ve undertaken a reconnaissance mission and here are some pictures of the ship and the port.

Continue reading Pacific Aria: first impressions

I’m sold on this sailing deal

On a whim, I’ve booked a week-long cruise starting in four days — on Friday, May 19. I nearly booked it yesterday, but by waiting a day I saved about US$75 (A$100) on what was already a bargain price.

Last-minute deals are fantastic if you are at a loose end — on holiday with no firm plans (as I am), retired, or otherwise flexible with your time — and you don’t mind missing out if it’s already sold out. Continue reading I’m sold on this sailing deal

Baggage handling blues

Imagine being stuck on a cruise ship with nothing but the clothes you’re wearing. That’s what happened to an Englishwoman when a company hired to load her luggage put the bag on the wrong ship.


While I empathise with the woman concerned, I think the story has wider implications.

Continue reading Baggage handling blues

We want affordable wi-fi!

There is one area where the hospitality industry has struggled (or is unwilling) to keep up and be competitive: the provision of internet services.

It is ridiculous in this day and age that some hotels, airlines and cruise ships offer near-extortionate prices for internet access (which, according to the United Nations, is a basic human right, no less).

Continue reading We want affordable wi-fi!

Cruise ship mind games

“Understanding the psychographic … of our current and future guests is the key – acknowledging and realising what they want from a holiday and then providing it for them.”


That’s a quote from P&O Cruises senior vice president Paul Ludlow talking about the thinking behind the design of the company’s newest ship.

Continue reading Cruise ship mind games

Boaty McBoatface sails again

The last time the British public were asked to name an oceangoing vessel, they voted overwhelmingly to call a research vessel “Boaty McBoatface”.


Undeterred, or perhaps inspired by that, P&O, the UK-based cruise line, has announced that it wants its passengers to help name its next ship.

Continue reading Boaty McBoatface sails again