Since this was our second cruise with Princess, the first being on Sun Princess to the South Pacific, it was obvious from the start that we were going to be comparing everything between both ships.
It goes without saying, both ships have very attentive staff/crew who would bend backwards for you. They always had smiles on their faces and were never intrusive.
Our biggest disappointment on the Dawn Princess came from not having enough activities and the steep Bar Prices.
Sailing in the Peak School Holiday period with 2 children, we found that a majority of activities catered mainly for the older passengers (55 +) and did not cater so well for the middle of the road age group. The weather unfortunately did play a big part but upon saying that, felt more activities could have been held around the pool where alot of families descended with their children who swam in the pool.
Evening shows were excellent but once again, if you were in 2nd sitting as we were, it was very hard to find a seat to atttend and found some passenger were missing out altogether.
After the shows, there really was'nt much to do, apart from go to the Disco or the Wheelhouse Bar. On the Sun Princess, we found that after the shows, you could go to the night's theme night in the Vista Lounge, which the Dawn seemed to have before the shows and of course we missed out because we were at dinner.
People would argue, go to the Bistro for dinner if you want to take part in these events, well we enjoyed the dining room dinners, being served upon and being able to relax and enjoy our conversations with fellows passengers.
As for Bar Prices, cannot justify a glass of wine being $8.10 and a mixed drink of Brady and Coke being $6.10. Go figure. Cocktails were pretty reasonable depending on what you had. Bottles of Wine also were way above Restaurant Prices in Melbourne and could not be justified.
Leaving from Melbourne is a bonus, but going to New Zealand we felt really only accommodates older people and not families.
Looking at Princess's itineries, all their ships duirng the Summer Months seem to go to New Zealand, which is bizarre. How about alternating your trips from Melbourne, 1 New Zealand, 1 South Pacific, especially during Peak School Holiday periods.
All in all, we did'nt have a bad time but we were still disappointed compared to our wonderful time on the Sun.