We chose this cruise for its itinerary, and we are not disappointed. In addition to the ports specifically included in the menu here, we also went to Hobart and Burnie in Tasmania, Albany and Bunbury along the SW coast, Freemantle/Perth on the west coast, the Indonesian island of Bali off the NW coast, Broome on the NW side, and Port Douglas on the NE side in the Great Barrier reef. Not to be missed highlights were Port Arthur near Hobart to experience early prisoner life, Louisa's Walk in Hobart, a private trip to Cradle Mtn. south of Burnie hosted by Murray's Day Out @$150 pp, and the ship's tour on Bali to UBUD and the Monkey Forest ($119 pp). Unfortunately, high wind and rain made the anchoring at Port Douglas too rough to get the tenders alongside our ship, and the captain was forced to leave without seeing the Great Barrier Reef.
The demographics of this cruise was 70% Aussies, 10% each of Kiwis, Americans, and UK, and a scattering of others. The onboard currency was Australian $.
Cabin B523 on 10th deck Baja. Very small at 179 sq. ft. Balcony
adequate. closet space OK. Main problem was really no room for 2 people
to sit down and watch TV. There was a small desk with one chair. Most
cabins of this class on newer ships have a small sofa in addition to a
desk. Cabin down the hall from the laundramat. But this is a whole
other story! Only 2 washers and dryers per floor for a 28 day cruise.
Sending laundry out for the ship to do is very expensive. We did it
early in the cruise and it cost over $100. People lined up waiting to
use laundry room, and fights broke out due to frustration. Had to time
your washing on port days or in the evening.
The Dawn Princess lacks some of the amenities of newer ships, such as multiple specialy dining venues, breadth of shopping, and space for special events. The afternoon bridge players used either the dining room or the casino.
This cruise is expensive by Princess standards. Our cramped balcony cabin cost $250 pp per day. Gratuities were $10 pp per day, wine list expensive and very limited. You can buy wine on land and bring one bottle per person back on board, but then they charge you a $20 corking fee in the dining room. Cocktails are in the $10 range, many shore excursions in the 150-200 range, and so on.
Nontheless, we very much enjoyed the cruise as well as the pre-cruise trip to Ayers Rock.