We received a special offer from Princess in February and decided to take this five day cruise as it was at Easter and fitted in with school holidays. Usually I prefer at least ten days on a ship to have time to get to know the vessel itself and to meet people. Joining in when most of the passengers had been cruising for 23 days is not the best start to a cruise as people are already in groups for socialising at bars or playing Trivia. That being said we were just beginning to meet new friends and the cruise was over but I knew from the start it was going to be too short.
Princess lines did an excellent job with boarding and disembarking. Very well organised and no waiting time. With only 700 boarding in Melbourne waiting time should not be a problem anyway. The staff were very friendly and helpful and I was impressed how they assisted the elderly passengers on board of which there were many. The 'demographic' on this cruise would be the oldest I have experienced with lots of people needing assistance with mobility.
Our particular dining and stateroom attendants were very professional as was the Customer Service desk the two times I went there. The visiting entertainment was very average. Princess singers and dancers were excellent as was some of the regular entertainment on board. eg New Deal in the Wheelhouse and Alan and Alana in the Atrium. The ship was very nice and I love the Promenade Deck where you can walk all the way around. I did miss not having a lounge up front on a high deck where you can sit and look out at the sea. The food was great and even though the buffet was often busy you could always find a seat especially if you were willing to share.
We went on this ship to sample the Dawn Princess and an inside cabin. The cabins were the smallest we have even cruised in so be warned. I had to climb from the bottom of the bed at there was no room to walk around. I know some like smaller ships but I would not want to do a long cruise on Dawn Princess (that is more than 12-14 days) I would certainly not cruise in an inside cabin ever again on any ship.