My wife has always had major reservations about cruising but considering it was the year of my 40th birthday she decided to treat me and our daughter to a cruise. We then managed to convince the rest of her family to come with us and ended up with 4 cabins all together. Lets just say that we didn't have any expectations about P&O or cruising at all. It was all new. We have been to Africa twice, New Zealand twice for skiing and various places in Australia for vacations. I have also travelled around the USA twice before. This 7 day South Pacific cruise ended up being the best family holiday we have been on. It was affordable, had a great itinerary, great facilities on board, good entertainment and incredible staff. It helped that the first 6 days were like sailing on a pond. I couldn't fault P&O and their staff though. Our cabin steward and waiters made us feel like we were the only ones on board and the kids club staff were great too!
Large oceanview cabin with big window. This was the perfect size for the three of us and offered a good sized living area with comfy bunk beds and writing desk, great sized wardrobe and storage, smallish bathroom with a great sized shower. It was clean, comfortable and a great place to escape to at the end of the day. I would have preferred a bigger cabin with a queen sized bed and a pull down bed over a couch like I've seen in some other cruise ships and maybe next time I'll go for a balcony. The door on the fridge cupboard wouldn't stay shut. Otherwise it was great!
Food was amazing and we found that alcohol was very affordable. Pacific Dawn is a good size ship. We didn't feel like we would get lost on her but there was so many things to do as well.
Ports of call were great (not long enough) but a great introduction to South Pacific culture. We ended up organising our own tours off shore which worked out much cheaper. Brisbane needs to do more to entice cruise ship companies with its portside facilities but otherwise i couldn't fault the cruise!