This was our first Australian cruise and will be our last. Whilst we found the crew on Princess to be very friendly and cooperative many things need to be changed to avoid customers becoming dissatisfied with the company.
Having travelled with Princess before I must agree that embarkation in America is quicker and handled much better than my countrymen here in Fremantle will ever manage to do. It was a shamble - no clear directions on where you need to go, no one to help and too much congestion to even get to a consultant when you are finally allowed to board.
Our cabin Steward was the most delightful gentleman I have met on any cruise and would love to have him on future cruises just to receive that same service. The rooms are small compared to Diamond and Coral rooms and we would have to open the bathroom door to be able to dry ourselves as my husband and I are quite tall. Other than that the room was comfortable and very clean. Electricity plugs need to be marked either US or AUS to help confusion.
The rest of the cruise went down hill from there. This boat needs to be mothballed. I have never felt so sick in all my life. It is not stable in the slightest breeze which meant I suffered terribly with sea sickness - the other boats I have been on experienced rough seas and I had no trouble. Surely in this day and age they can improve its stability?
Whoever is in charge of supplies needs to be dressed down. We ran out of Green Tea at Geraldton to be told that new supplies would be available that night. Well that night turned into at least 14 nights later as it was only available after we called in at Brisbane. Not good enough Princess. We then also ran out of crackers - something people like to eat when feeling sick and once again it was only at Brisbane that they reappeared also. The food was good but why close the balcony grill at 6pm - one night there was nothing I liked in the Horizon Court and other than going to the Pizza place nothing else was available - surely it should stay open until at least 8pm. The sundae bar also shut at 6pm so if you wanted to watch Movies Under the Stars and have an ice cream too bad. But then who could hear the movie - apparently the sound system was supposed to be upgraded whilst in dry dock but didn't happen and all the stuff is sitting on the ship for a free ride. Some nights we couldn't hear what was being said but when they played concerts (usually the same ones over and over again - got boring you know!) I could hear the bass in my cabin 3 decks down - needs to be fixed ASAP. As for live music - I won't name the group but if you open your mouth correctly whilst talking and singing people can understand what you are saying - mumble,mumble is not good enough. Whilst sometimes you were good other times you were downright annoying - I lay on the pool deck to get fresh air and peace and quiet - not to be awoken by sub-standard singing and playing (the drummer needs to get some serious lessons on how to play in time!)
As for ports of call - did not enjoy pretty well all of them. Geraldton has nothing to offer, Lombok was and is a complete waste of time, Broome was ok - spent too long there though, Kimberley Coast - the only good thing, Darwin was good for the little time we had there - how about ditching Lombok so we can have more time in Darwin, Port Douglas - have never seen such big seas and thought the tender was going to ditch us all in the ocean - most ridiculous operation by Princess - thank goodness they finally used the big catamarans instead - but the railway and cable car rides were good, Airlie Beach - arrived too late and couldn't be bothered to disembark and wait 1-2 hours on the ship to get off, Brisbane - did high tea at Palazzo Versace hotel - got better service at the high tea on the ship, shopping - what shopping? don't consider a quick 30 mins at some mall as shopping and then got hijacked by the tour guide for a quick look at Brisbane which none of us wanted. And then doing this all whilst continually being sea sick or actually sick because some person has the nerve to spread their germs by coming on the ship sick. Do have high praise for the medical staff who were extremely busy because of the flu and so many medical emergencies - ambulances for the cruise was at least 7.
All in all did I enjoy this cruise? - Yes and No. Yes because I did manage to relax a little and met some wonderful crew and fellow passengers. No because I don't think this is a worthwhile itinerary or ship to travel on. I will not sail on Dawn ever again and will be sticking to bigger ships for sure. Will they be with Princess - most certainly. I will not travel on ships that do not cater for your washing needs or have restrictions on where you may go on the ship because your loyalty level is not high enough such as Royal Caribbean.
Princess just need to listen to their customers as they did with the smoking - applause for that one at long last, and they will only benefit from it.