If you are looking for a cruise company that cares about its customers P&O Pacific Dawn is the one company you should avoid like the plague.
This is a bottom of the pile cruise where you are just a 'punter' to be processed through the system. In 35 years of travelling for work and vocations this is the worst service I have ever received. If you want to feel used and exploited this is the cruise for you. Everything has to be paid for as an extra except the instant coffee, which says it all.
If you want to spend you day in a queue, meals, bar, pool, gym or even for coffee this is the cruise for you. We had a suite and still had to queue for food and to get into the restaurant, where the service was along the lines of 'get them in and out as fast as you can'. Service is processed and systematised to the extent that if you ask for anything not included in the process the staff just ignore you. People had to queue for an hour just to book in order to get Christmas dinner!
Dress code, what dress code? On formal nights many passengers were admitted to the restaurants wearing singlets shorts and thongs. Since when has cut of jeans, exposing the cheeks of your arse, and a bikini top been formal wear. Guys wearing jeans and singlet as cocktail wear! I know we are pretty laid back in Australia but this was offensive and ruined the whole point of formal and cocktail nights.
The gym and spa are on the 2nd level in the bowels of the ship and you can hear all the noise of the engines when you are trying to relax in the spa. The gym staff where great and really helpful but the gym was obviously an after thought and to small for 1600 passengers. Should have been on a higher deck with sea views. Again an example of P&O doing everything on the cheap.
When we had a problem that needed sorting out initially the reception staff were just bloody rude and unhelpful, quoting P&O processes. It was only when I pointed out that the receptionist was being rude and could she indicate how to fix the problem instead of making excuses that we got a result.
This cruise is obviously cheap and cheerful and the staff are obviously well used to dealing with the bottom end of the cruise market (hence you are not allowed to bring any alcohol onto the ship). Drinks very expensive and you even have to pay for a decent coffee. If you are looking for relaxation, style, quality and outstanding service avoid this cruise ship like the plague.