We selected a cruise because we were looking for an easy, no risk introduction to international travel (my partner had never been overseas before). Selecting the Dawn Princess was accidental - the destination was what mattered - six ports in the South Pacific - two in New Caledonia (Noumea and Lifou), three in Fiji (Suva, Port Denaru and Dravini Island), and one in Vanuatu - Port Vila.
After a week at sea our mind was made up - cruising is a great way to see the South Pacific on a short holiday and burn off the stress of modern city lives. I mean, even when you are sitting around you are doing something - you are getting to your next destination! Perfect relaxation.
Then there is the effect of all being in this together. This means everyone is friendly and chatting is as easy as saying hello. You rub shoulders with people you would never normally meet, and get the opportunity to do things you would never normally do.
Plenty of activities for adults on board - nightly entertainment in two theatres (singing, dancing, comedy - the acts changed every two nights). Also good quality music in several bars and cocktail lounges - piano man, covers band, duet, string quartet. Adult classes during the day, a library and internet lounge.
Excursions were expensive. If you are able, you can do much better on your own - but make sure you get back to the ship on time! Also, better to purchase the local currency at home before you leave (exchange on ship is expensive, and you need to queue).
Many people say they don't want a cabin with a view or a balcony - but they are the ones who seem to get sea sick. We thought it worth the expense and spent enough time there to make it worthwhile. All in all, the rooms and room service were great.
Food is a trap. Firstly, its all free, so the temptation to eat all day is great. Try not to. If you do eat, then exercise as well (use the stairs instead of lifts and do at least six rounds of the promenade deck daily, its a great stroll). Secondly, the food was a missed opportunity - beautiful setting, beautiful presentation, excellent service - but quality not much better than pub food (there were a number of notable exceptions!)
Administration on the ship was fantastic - queuing minimal. This included disembarkation, which was as painless as possible. Just be aware that thirteen days consumption at sea can put a dent in your credit card!