Pacific Dawn Family
P&O has always been popular with families, thanks to a wide range of activities and age-specific clubs for children. Although there was a healthy number of kids on our cruise, they were hardly seen, except during mealtimes and around the pool area on sea days. Kids club admission is available on a first-come, first-served basis, so make sure you get in early to register your kids for participation.
Like all P&O ships, Pacific Dawn has a Youth Activity Team that organizes everything. The clubs include Turtle Cove on Emerald Deck (Deck 6) for ages 3 to 6, offering movies, cartoons, scavenger hunts, talent shows and disco nights, with arts and crafts for a fee. It's an airy space decorated with a bright palette of yellow, pink and blue, with low-rise yellow tables and blue and white chairs. In the same location on Deck 6, Shark Shack is where 7- to 10-year-olds can enjoy a range of similar activities, with the addition of PlayStation 2 and 3 competitions. Also bright and airy, its decor has colorful beanbags, decorative surfboards on the walls and a row of TV screens for computer games.
HQ and HQ+ are completely separate lounge-style venues, located aft on Sun Deck (Deck 14), where the 11- to 17-year-olds hang out to enjoy a range of activities and entertainment. They can take part in sporting competitions, pizza parties, talent shows, mocktail parties and hip-hop classes. With the bonus of a small outside deck to call their own, teens and tweens can make use of the lounge with its comfy, bright-red couches dotted with black and white cushions, flat-screen TV screens on the walls and gaming stations. Teens also enjoyed a number of special events during the cruise, including a Teen Prom Night and Teen Farewell Disco.
For adults seeking some alone time, group child-minding is available from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. at a cost of A$5 per child, per hour.