Daytime offerings include all the cruise ship standards: trivia, board and card games, art auctions, cocktail-making demos, etc. However, Princess also offers a variety of "@Sea" themed events. Computers@Sea is the biggest, teaching beginning computer, photo editing and even movie making; Ballroom@Sea classes teach guests to dance; Common Interest@Sea offers social get-togethers for likeminded folks grouped by profession (rescue workers, medical staff), interests (sports fans) or lifestyle (Friends of Dorothy, singles); Scholarship@Sea features educational lectures on topics as diverse as bridge play, astronomy or destination information; plus there are @Sea events for scrapbooking, games, book discussions and ceramics.
One special offering is the Ultimate Ship Tour, which takes passengers behind the scenes on the ship to places like the galley, bridge, backstage area of the theatre, engine control room and funnel. The three-hour tour costs 175 AUD and participants receive an official chef's jacket, personalised stationery, luxurious bath robe and a framed photo taken with the captain.
On world cruises, Dawn Princess passengers typically commit to some sort of regular activity, whether that be a passenger choir, a fitness regimen, or learning how to golf, play bridge or use a computer.
In the evening, Dawn Princess can offer a variety of entertainment because it has two show lounges, as well as smaller lounges and Movies Under the Stars. Performances may include guest musicians, comedians, production shows by the ship's entertainment staff and local acts. Themed late-night dance parties allow guests to show off their dance movies with Ballroom Blitz, rock and roll parties, a country western hoe down, and dancing under the stars. Karaoke nights are often listed as "Scary-O-Kee" to convince everyone to sing, even if they have "a voice that can peel paint."
The Princess Theatre, decorated in a rich burgundy, offers state-of-the-art sound and lighting, a huge stage, comfortable theatre-style seating, no distracting tables or bar service and excellent sight lines from each of the theatre's 550 seats. The theatre is also used for enrichment lectures during the day.
The other show venue is the Vista Lounge, which is a more typical cruise ship show lounge, with slightly tiered seating with comfortable banquettes and little cocktail tables arched across the room. It's perfect for bingo and cabaret performances, and is used as a movie theatre when an on-deck event shuts down Movies Under the Stars. It's a lovely room with deep rose carpet and blue and gold seating. Avoid sitting near the bar in the back during show time -- the blender can crank up quite a distraction.
Movies Under the Stars, the big-screen outdoor theatre that's proven so popular with the line's newest ships, was installed on Dawn Princess in 2009. The 300-square-foot LED screen shows movies and concerts and is also utilised for larger-than-life Wii play. Complimentary popcorn and blankets (for chilly evenings) are available at evening screenings.
Deck 7 is the entertainment hub of the ship, anchored by the Princess Theatre and Vista Lounge. Heading from aft, the Wheelhouse Bar, located just outside the theatre, has been transformed into a whisky bar. It still has its dark and moody ambience plus two grand pianos and a great selection of around 60 whiskies.
The Atrium Bar on the third level of the atrium has a magnificent stained glass ceiling just off the atrium's opening. It's a quiet place for people-watching and pre-dinner cocktails. You'll often encounter a string quartet or a pianist who serenades guests lingering over the lounge's cocktails or espresso.
Jammer's nightclub is open until the early morning hours and is popular with passengers of all ages. Different nights feature the music of different decades from the 50's to the 90's, as well as Karaoke. Done in grey and mauve, it has carpets with a celestial motif and neon tubes snaking across the ceiling for a startling night sky effect.
Magnum's, located opposite Jammer's nightclub, is the perfect hideaway for a tete a tete over caviar and Champagne. The desert cactus window boxes are a nice touch.
Up one floor (a staircase outside Magnum's leads right to it), the Casino has an abundance of slot machines, plus blackjack, roulette and craps tables -- all of which stay lively in the evening. A variety of card tables and art auction paraphernalia share the space.