This was our Honeymoon cruise; second cruise in total, first aboard the Pacific Dawn. Our first cruise was on the Sapphire Princess and we were told that we were spoiling ourselves as no other ship would live up to the cruise, and that was true, but going on board the Dawn with that advice in mind, we were not dejected by the differences or age of the ship.
Ship: Being 17 years old the Dawn shows her age in places, but there is nothing that we found to be overly an issue. There were patches of rust on our balcony, but we just looked passed these and were happy with the ship. There are a number of public room, and they really do have their own environment to them. The Dome went off at night but was a nice place to sit during the day and participate in Trivia, dance classes or other quiet activities. The Bengal bar was the more boisterous of location with louder activities organized here but the Promenade Bar is next door and much more subdued. All of these room were comfortable and clean. The International Show Lounge was great, being tall I loved the leg room to cater for the drink staff to serve you.
Room: A few weeks before sailing we received a visit from the Upgrade Fairy (see it still happens) as were moved from a BA to an AB so were had a lot more room, were given all the perks of being in a mini-suite like priority check in and out, canapes delivered to the room free on formal nights, it was great. The room was massive and were thought that the furnishing were excellent. The only complain is that the mattresses on the bed were a bit old and could do with an update, but we were so tired by night time and we fell asleep really quickly. Our steward was great, even did towel animals when we asked about them.
Meals: I have no idea how anyone could ever complain about the food on the ship. It was exquisite every night and day. The buffet was buffet food, but it was yummy and heaps of it. The drinks were yummy and the drinks stewards would ask once and then not ask again if you had said no, unless you called them over.
Activities: Being our honeymoon we did less activities than others I guess. The ones we did do were great. On time, well organized and heaps of fun. We had one of our ports cancelled due to very very very bad weather and the use of the Tenders was unsafe, and within 30 mins we received a new day planner and it was full of FRESH, NEW activated, not just ones rehashed from other days.
Staff: The staff were great, smiled, friendly and wonderful. Can’t really say much more. A few of them, Martin – Cruise Director- and others were telling us that the next cruise was their last one, and you could tell that they needed a break, but there were great.
Entertainers: I always think that anyone who can sing and dance on a moving stage is a superstar! The shows were great, and the guest entertainers were good too. The comedian was telling jokes we head on the last cruise, but hey I guess there is only so many jokes you can tell.
Ports: They were good, sad that we didn’t get to Mystery Island, but it was such bad weather that the Tenders would have been too dangerous so the Captain made the right choice. New Caledonia was a bid of a let down as a lot of stuff is closed on Mondays, the day we were there. Vanuatu was great shopping and markets.
Overall: It was a great cruise, great ship and great staff. Little things could have been better. We never used the kids program but we never saw the kids so they were locked up….. I mean looked after well. We did get friendly with one couple with kids in the program and from what they said we were very impressed with both the program and the cost of baby sitting after hours.