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Pacific Dawn Cruise Review by rayrob56

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Pacific Dawn
Pacific Dawn
Member Name: rayrob56
Cruise Date: May 2013
Embarkation: Cairns
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
Cabin Category: disability with obstructed view
Cabin Number: 8106
Booking Method:
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Member Rating   3.0 out of 5+
Dining 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 1.0
Spa & Fitness 3.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 1.0
Embarkation 4.0
Service 5.0
Value-for-Money 3.0
Rates 3.0
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Ship Facts: Pacific Dawn Review (by Cruise Critic!)
Not the way I wanted my Mum to experience her first cruise

Embarkation was quick & trouble free as we had the help of staff at the terminal for my 86 yr old mum with her wheelie walker. It was unfortunate that we (and others with disabilities) were expected to walk right around the building past the buses to the mini bus at the back of the carpark for transport to Fisherman's island wharf.

Our room was a disability room #8106 which was spacious, well fitted out & clean when we arrived.

We were only a few doors from the casino but this was about the only noise we didn't hear. There must have been children in the corridor above as we had a " herd of elephants" coming through the ceiling every time they ran to their cabin. We didn't need to go to the bars on deck 7 as we could hear every word sung by their entertainers at night.
There was plenty of food in the buffet & the staff were very quick to offer mum help with her tray. There were many times when most things (including roast potatoes when lamb roast was served) were covered in chilli or other spices. This made it hard for those who cant eat spicy food. It is so easy to provide a sauce to be added to food but impossible to remove it.

Having cruised on Sun Princess 18months earlier I find it impossible not to compare the two experiences. The entertainment was a standout difference. The quality & number of choices of both daytime & nightime entertainment on Pacific Dawn were disappointing. The in room TV could have had a movie on it during the day for those who were feeling a bit too seedy to sit on top deck. The same episode of Packed with the Rafters was on every day & 2 years old. There was too much reliance on karaoke & talent quest to provide what the entertainment crew are being paid for.

Unfortunately the weather was bad so we had rough seas & strong winds for the 7 days with only a few hours of calm seas. This could not be avoided but P & O could have done a lot more to entertain the passengers who were unable to do what they had paid their money for. We arrived in Noumea 3 hours late which made sightseeing tours a waste of money.

There wasn't much provided for those who were unable to use the pools due to the rough seas. As I didn't have children on the cruise I cant comment on the kids clubs but there were a lot of kids with their parents during the day which we didn't see on Princess.
Missing out on our days in port was disappointing but safety must come first. We did go to Champagne Bay which was lovely but I waited for over an hour in the queue to return to the ship. The tender boats were operating but not full on each trip. Fortunately all those waiting did so with good humour & we were able to stand in the shade of the huge trees. It would have been difficult on a hot day.

Thanks to the help of the staff we had a super easy disembarkation when we arrived in Brisbane even if we were an hour later than our requested time & second last to leave the ship.

Mum is pleased that she has faced her fears & survived the cruise ( she has had a fear of boats all her life)but we are both disappointed with the cruise itself. I will cruise again but probably not with P & O.

Publication Date: 06/18/13
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