P&O, cruising, kidstravel, cruisingwithkids, familytravel, aria, p&oaria, carnivalaustralia

A sneak peek of P&O Pacific Aria – super stylish and kid friendly

IMG_0949We were recently invited on-board the newly refurbished P&O Pacific Aria for a media update and exclusive first look at the ship as part of its maiden call to our hometown of Brisbane,  Australia. What we didn’t expect was a personalised tour and full run-through by P&O Cruise’s Senior Vice-President Sture Myrmell. #starstruck

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Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry was also on-hand and gave a detailed run down on the new-wave of cruising from the Queensland Sunshine State to previously untapped destinations along the magical east coast of Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. Thanks to P&O, little cruiselings are now able to feed the dolphins on stunning Moreton Island and visit the spectacular playground that is Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays.

We are new to cruising and I wasn’t sure what to expect from P&O having cruised just once  before with another company. What I saw, I have to tell you, was nothing like the rumoured sticky-floored floating RSLs and something more like the pages of Vogue Magazine or a boutique luxury hotel.

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I discovered: Exceptional styling and modern decor…

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Quirky and fun statement pieces.

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15 dining options including intimate signature restaurants, a 14-person Chefs Table degustation option and no buffets! #praisetheLord! I loved this, instead you choose from 8 fresh gourmet food stations in the very contemporary Pantry…

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A sea cellar door where you can have your Glendore Estate Wines from the Hunter Valley sent to the restaurant of your choice…

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A penthouse suite with private balcony! This is  just one of the 630 beautifully appointed rooms, some of which are interconnecting which is great for traveling with older kids.

And then there’s shopping… mums they have Chanel…#enoughsaid

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The completely renovated P&O Pacific Aria could be defined as luxe-cruising to its core…and I promise you that although it could be easy to forget that you have kids..that they have not been forgotten in P&O’s planning! This 9 deck floating oasis caters for around 1500 guests and definitely has plenty for your kids to do.

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As a start, there are four supervised clubs are available onboard. These include Turtle Cove (2-6 years), Shark Shack (7-10 years), HQ (11-14 years) and HQ+ (15-17 years). From what I could tell, these looked like a cool place to hang out and I was pretty excited to hear that there was a dedicated LEGO play zone that had been created by LEGO certified pro Ryan McNaught. I’m going to his Brick Man exhibition in Brisbane this Friday and am a huge fan of his work!!!

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There is also a family swimming pool on the Lido Deck. It’s been designed with retractable roof, so you can keep swimming regardless of the weather. Note: There is an adults-only pool and sanctuary called the Oasis also (pictured above).

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For more adventurous kids, you can check out P&O Edge Adventure Park. Some highlights of this included a zip line that runs the length of the top-deck and the opportunity to walk the plank – a great parenting alternative to timeout and sending kids to the the naughty spot! #toughlove!

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The kids food sounded ok too.. Sture (who is impressively hands on with every part of the ship) described to me in detail the dinosaur chicken nuggets and special fresh mini menu that is available for cruiselings. The ice cream selection on the Lido Deck is equally impressive – it’s New Zealand Natural – and given half a chance going between here and the Mix Cocktail Bar would probably be where i’d spend my days 😉

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So there you have it – that’s my snapshot of P&O‘s next generation ship, Pacific Aria.

There is so much that families will love about this fabulous new ship and with cruising increasingly becoming the new way to holiday with kids – why not do it in style I say! Our only regret from our visit was not being able to sail away with the ship that day, but we made sure we were there to wave Bon Voyage!IMG_0967 (1)


Credits:

Observations are from our media tour of P&O Pacific Aria in Brisbane. All opinions are own and correct at the time of publication.
For more information, contact your fave licenced travel agent or visit pocruises.com.au


 

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Thanks for reading our review. Have you been a P&O Cruise or have plans to holiday on P&O Pacific Aria? We’d love to hear from you. Please tell us about it here!