Maureen Marriner sails from Auckland to Napier aboard the Pacific Aria


P&O Australia

How big: 55,800 tonnes, nine guest decks


How old: Built in 1994, it is newer and smaller than it's Auckland home-ported predecessor, Pacific Jewel.

How many passengers: 1260.

Destination: A round-trip from Auckland to Napier.

Cabins: Interior, ocean view, balcony and SUITES (plus a penthouse). Our 35sq m suite on deck 10, aft and roughly midships was a revelation, such was the quality leap up from a balcony cabin on a sister ship. Spacious and appointed to quality-hotel level: think mirror-walled dressing room with vanity, triple