We have just returned from a very enjoyable cruise on Dawn Princess, my partner and I travelling this time with our 80 year old mother and her friend. We had previously been on this ship 2 years ago, on the final leg of the world cruise, and this cruise compared favourably.
There was some difficulty with embarkation, caused from both the Qantas strike in Australia, and the delay of the ship's arrival and departure as a result of propulsion engine trouble on the last cruise. However Princess handled these problems very well, and we finally left some 5 hours late.
Our inside cabin was small, but with lots of storage space, and a bathroom slightly larger than the outside cabins, and we adapted to the small space. Our cabin steward was excellent, and attended promptly to all our requirements, such as a different pillow.
The public areas were mostly good, but we were disappointed with the fitness and recreation areas, which we use a lot( not a patch on the Royal Caribbean equivalent.)
The entertainment was also not really up to the usual cruise line offerings, but we went along anyway as this is part of the cruise experience we enjoy. We also enjoy a pre-dinner show before the late sitting dining, but this was not offered.The staff show was very good though, as was the passenger show and karaoke final.
The food was very good to excellent, with only 2 nights of the 14 in the dining room not enjoyable. Our dining waiters were all exceptionally good. The attention to a gluten-free dietary requirement was fantastic. Horizon Court food was also very good for both breakfast and lunch, and we avoided the rush by going later than the main crowd.
In the ports we easily arranged our own small tours when we got to each dock, all of which were satisfactory, at a cost of between $10 and $15 a head.
Princess excursions were very expensive, but good for those who aren't confident in arranging their own.
Jammers Nightclub was fun, and quite busy some nights, especially after the formal parties.
Disembarkation was very quick and efficient.
We had perfect weather, and smooth seas for the entire cruise, wonderful service throughout, and a very enjoyable social life while on board, all of which added up to a great cruise holiday.