309 P&O Australia Pacific Dawn Cruise Reviews

Terrible accommodation with water leaks in rooms making an extremely unpleasant smell. When speaking to staff about this it was ignored and told that's just the way it is. Destinations changed which were not comparable with what was ... Read More
Terrible accommodation with water leaks in rooms making an extremely unpleasant smell. When speaking to staff about this it was ignored and told that's just the way it is. Destinations changed which were not comparable with what was booked and payed for. Island completely missed with no compensation on board. Unhelpful staff who try to palm off every issue as "nothing can be done until you return home". Medical staff are incompetent and overlooked a medical condition I experienced while on board which landed me in hospital for 2 days once arriving home. Compensation offered in writing over email yet months later and no refund received and ignored on every attempt to find out the progress. I would not recommend P&O to anyone. From my experience they seem to be the Air Asia of the sea. Still waiting on refund offer back on April 3rd. Since then I have been ignored in all aspects. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We especially went on this cruise as we really wanted to go to Rabaul where my father in law was from but this was cancelled half way through the trip as was another island stop so only had 3 stops instead of 5 very poorly communicated ... Read More
We especially went on this cruise as we really wanted to go to Rabaul where my father in law was from but this was cancelled half way through the trip as was another island stop so only had 3 stops instead of 5 very poorly communicated from staff Alotau was really fun and Conflict island was amazing like swimming in an aquarium Some staff were great The entertainment and food was average at best but it is cheaper cruise so to be expected Drinks prices crazy and ridiculous you are not allowed to take bottles of water on board the only cruise line with such a stupid rule Dion and NoNo cabin attendants awesome always happy cleaned our room twice a day Most of the staff at guest services were useless different answer from them all to simple questions with exception of Sharon and Collin who were great Arnold in buffet area is really lovely deserves a pay rise Really disappointed that there is Nowhere out side to read a book in peace, music or presentations in every space. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The cruise in general was very good and we were happy with the entertainment, activities and food - our cabin staff worked very hard and so did the cruise director. Due the corona virus we missed 2 ports which was dissappointing and ... Read More
The cruise in general was very good and we were happy with the entertainment, activities and food - our cabin staff worked very hard and so did the cruise director. Due the corona virus we missed 2 ports which was dissappointing and P&O said that we were not going to be offered any compensation which I was not happy about. Many other passengers had received room credits in the past when these have happened with P&O (I can only assume that carnival is not making any money at the moment so they are being tight). Even a $50 credit would have kept me happy. There are signs that the ship needs work - our bathroom floor was uneven and needed regrouting which they did during the cruise but they did a quick and nasty job. The pantry floor is taped down in many places with yellow and black tape as it needs replacing - not a good look. They ask at the end of the cruise what you think of the ship condition - i said not very good. They have sold the ship so they are doing minimum maintenance by the look of it - only a minor issue really but just not a good look for their brand. We found plenty of activities on board and there are 3 free gym classes per day which we enjoyed. The pantry food was fine with a good choice for a buffet - sometimes the food is not warm enough but just ask for hotter food. We went to the waterfront most nights and were very happy with the choice and service. Some people complain online that they dont get enough food - just ask for more as you can order as many entrees, mains and desserts as you like. PNG was very interesting for the 3 ports that we stopped at. We just did our own thing and didnt book any tours from the ship. There was a academic on board who gave seminars on PNG - very interesting. Things to watch put for - not much shade at the back of the pantry or in the adults only area. Lots of things that they try and sell you with some very dubious claims made in the health seminars that they want you to then buy a product or service - be careful with these. We had great value for money as we spent little on the ship as we dont need the booze package or photos, clothes, jewelery etc tht they try to sell you. We even went without the internet which was a nice break. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
For context this was our 5th cruise. We have sailed on Holland America's Maasdam ( Southern Carribean), Carnival Breeze (Mediterranean), Royal Caribbean Navigator Of The Seas (Mediterranean) and Ovation OTS( New Zealand). This was our ... Read More
For context this was our 5th cruise. We have sailed on Holland America's Maasdam ( Southern Carribean), Carnival Breeze (Mediterranean), Royal Caribbean Navigator Of The Seas (Mediterranean) and Ovation OTS( New Zealand). This was our first cruise with P&O Australia. My wife and I and 2 friends sailed to Papua New Guinea on February 22 out of Brisbane for 10 days. At this time travel restrictions were in place for several countries due to Civid-19. Check in was easy and friendly. We were prepared to have our temperature reading checked but the only extra requirement was to complete a questionnairre regarding travel in last 14 days. No other efforts to screen possibly ill passengers and in short order we were on board. Luggage was delivered to the room quickly. Hand sanitizer stations were everywhere and for the first day or so a crew member was everywhere with a bottle of sanitizer. After the first 2 days however passengers were left to sanitize themselves. Our room was an ocean view cabin on deck 10. It was clean and the bed was very comfortable. The cabin stewards were pleasant and efficient. Lots of storage and our suitcases easily fit under the bed. The food quality was very good and we ate most of meals in the Waterfront restaurant.The Pantry restaurant had decent food but it was just to busy and unable to keep up with the volume of diners. Low ceilings, uneven floors, line ups fr everything and not enough seats. The adjoining back deck eating are was workable for Dinner (Tea) however for lunch it was just too hot out there with no shade at all. The coffee machines were finicky and the main drink station in the Pantry was too small and disorganized. The coffee was also not very good. The public areas: The remodelled parts of the ship were very nice. The bars were clean and modern, the Atrium was comfortable. The waterfront had a nice atmosphere. The pool decks were a major shortcoming. No shade unless you are sitting under the deck and then no breeze. It is darn hot in this part of the world in February. The Adult Oasis was a nice idea but again no shade unless you got a spot under the deck overhang. There are 2 round chairs for 2 on end Oasis level. That is all the shade available. Did I mention that it was HOT? Also the two tiny jacuzzis (max 5 bathers each) on the Oasis deck were way too hot. No one could use them What was needed was a plunge pool where you could cool down. Crew members were asked to reduce the temperature but it did not change. The pool deck had one small pool that was well used by children. The two Tiny Jacuzzis on this deck were also way too hot. Subsequently they were hardly used. Entertainment: the entertainment staff was very good. We had a lot of fun with them. The various musical entertainment on the ship was excellent. The evening shows were hit and miss. The magician was not very good as was the production show X-Centric in my opinion. The remaining shows including the comedians were enjoyable. The crew talent nite was great. The ports of call were reduced from 5 to 3 due to Covid-19. No fault of the cruise line. The extra day added to the Conflict Island stop was by far the best of the three remaining ports. Loading and unloading passengers via tenders needs work. It seemed like it was new process for the crew when it certainly wasn't. Finally disembarkation was a gong show. It took all morning to get everyone off and we were in the last 10 or so. The cruise staff said Immigration officials were holding things up and when we went through Border Security the officials asked if the cruise was blaming them because they were having no issues. Our scheduled walk off time was 1015 and we finally left the ship at 1230. Overall with our friends we had a fun 10 days. The ship is showing its age but in spite of that most of the cruise was enjoyable. It is easy to overlook the negative parts when you can see such a beautiful part of the world. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise because it was short and served as a ‘taster’ for first time cruising experience. I felt the welcome and wait staff was excellent, as was the overall organisation of the boarding, activities and disembarkment. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was short and served as a ‘taster’ for first time cruising experience. I felt the welcome and wait staff was excellent, as was the overall organisation of the boarding, activities and disembarkment. To my taste, some of the food especially the dishes containing meat products, in The Watermark restaurant, as well as The Pantry counter style foods (both inclusive in the price) was way too salty. Asides from that, there was good variety if you’re not too picky or have food intolerances. Otherwise, could prove limiting. The basic cabins were adequate, however toilets became smelly. Bunks mattresses on the uncomfortable side. Suites are more comfy and suitably spacious, as would be expected. We loved the Oasis Deck which was an adults only retreat with bar and 2 spas but on the downside, the water was uncomfortably warm, and lacking adequate shade from the hot sun. Even a cool outdoor shower would have been better. The pool (and spa) deck was spacious but again, lacked shelter from the sun for the number of sun lounges and could definitely have benefited from an AO pool/s. The only smallish pool was always used by children and I felt, was rather uninviting. It would have been lovely to go for a swim or even refresh in cool water but other than in the shower, that wasn’t to happen. There was an outside shower on the pool deck. The shows, musical entertainment, bands and bars and activities were varied to suit a range of tastes and generally of quality. Something for everyone! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We booked a 3 day Cruise (W964) on the Pacific Dawn for our 30 year Wedding Anniversary, which became our worst holiday experience ever. My wife and I were really looking forward to this. My Wife has a number of health issues which ... Read More
We booked a 3 day Cruise (W964) on the Pacific Dawn for our 30 year Wedding Anniversary, which became our worst holiday experience ever. My wife and I were really looking forward to this. My Wife has a number of health issues which have become increasingly worse in recent years, in particular - she suffers from chronic and debilitating anxiety and depression issues. She also has chronic asthma which has now progressed to a decline in her lung function, and her extreme anxiety attacks have sometimes caused her to stop breathing - with her airways completely closing up on her. It does not take too much to stress her out to reach this state, and I am extremely concerned about her. She carries a portable nebuliser at all times to address her lung function problem, and is seeing a specialist for this condition. This is in addition to upcoming therapy to address her anxiety issues. We were looking forward to this Cruise for our 30 year anniversary, however we ended up having a very bad P&O experience – mostly due to an over zealous Spa and Wellness company (Elemis) on Board – who totally ruined our holiday. Their hard sell routine caused my wife to have a total anxiety meltdown where she nearly stopped breathing all together, after being ripped off by signing her up to approx. $830 of Spa, acupuncture and other alternative treatments - that we really couldn’t afford. The charges were not transparent, very vaguely explained, confusing and kept changing throughout the consultations. It started when she won a Spa treatment for free at the Wellness seminar on the first night. A $150 voucher for spa treatments. She decided on a particular $169 dollar Manager’s special massage package. So that would have only left a $19 balance to pay. My wife was overwhelmed with happiness at winning this prize and cried when she won. The first doctor (one of the P&O Wellness Professionals at Elemis) initially saw my wife for an additional (unplanned) free consultation session the following morning – where he tried to hard sell her a non-surgical facial procedure (like Botox) that she wasn't interested in. He offered her this 5 minute treatment / procedure to her for almost $1000. Then when she said there was no way that we could afford all this, and that she needed to go and speak to her husband (me) about it - he immediately pulled out a calculator and said "I can do a special price just for you today - don’t tell anyone" (yes really) , and changed the price 3 times! ' I can do this procedure right now” he said. He kept pushing , pulling out the calculator and finally offered her a special price of just over $600 !!! So he was originally happy to try and rip her off for approximately 40% above the real price - which was probably still way over the top. I am a professional R&D Manager for a major Global Chemical company, and have been involved in business for 33 years – and in my business, this type of selling tactic is regarded as dishonest and unprofessional. Then during the subsequent consultation, the other doctor also recommended a larger package of treatments – including acupuncture , herbal and other treatments aimed at reducing her stress and anxiety. I decided to purchase that for her as a gift, as she seemed very happy with the treatments promised (even though we had not budgeted for this, and couldn’t really afford it) ,however we were willing to try this as another possible remedy for her chronic anxiety and neck and back pain problems.It was our anniversary and I wanted to make her happy. I got the doctor to confirm the total price - several times, and then reluctantly agreed on the total final price of $598. It was still more than we were originally intending to spend. Before leaving the spa I confirmed at least twice - that the total charge would not exceed this $598 total . She confirmed -yes, although there would be a maximum of 5% in the final figure. I then left, and my wife was going to return to our room after her session. The total included 2 acupuncture treatments - over 2 short sessions and were extremely expensive compared to similar services on land. My wife then did the 1st acupuncture session, (20 minutes), received 2 bottles of herbal pills and the massage. She was told that she will also need to purchase some additional herbal pills online, when we get home to be able to complete the herbal treatment course (only 2 months worth). She advised that the additional pills would also be expensive. Immediately after the massage the therapist then tried to sell my wife another $428 worth of cream products that she didn’t want, and she was feeling pressured – so she felt obliged to purchase one of the products for another $69. However at the end of this first session my wife was also handed an additional surprise bill for the massage - and was told that that was $323 in total, not the $169 that she expected. She was charged an additional $181.65 dollars above the $150 voucher that she won. This additional charge also included $8.65 in gratuitites – that Elemis added themselves – basically a compulsory tip that we did not offer. We also copped additional ‘autogratuities’ added to other charges and receipts we received from Elemis. They even list the charge as ‘autogratuities’. So we basically had to pay a compulsory tip for the pleasure of being ripped off. By now the entire charges racked up were up to approx $830 , and this was charged to my card by the second day. My wife tried to get them to make sense of these additional costs and charges, but it overwhelmed her to the point that she then had a massive anxiety attack in the reception area, crying - and then ran out of the Spa. She ran up the stairs crying , an absolute mess - and this triggered a severe asthma attack and breathing issue - her lung function issues kicked in, her airways started closing as she ran up the stairs , and by the time she got back to our room where I was waiting for her, unaware of what had happened - she collapsed outside our cabin door. I opened the door to her when I heard her outside trying to knock on the door. She was on the ground struggling to breathe - having a full blown Panic attack like I have never seen before. She was an unconsolable mess - and her anxieties had risen to the point that she later told me that she felt so depressed that she felt like jumping overboard on a few occasions. We got her nebuliser activated to try and get her breathing sorted. She nearly stopped breathing, and we just managed to get her nebuliser on in time to get oxygen in to her to try and open her airways. I was very worried about her because she had a similar panic attack in recent weeks at home where she had completely stopped breathing - and only managed to pull out of that life and death situation with the help of her electronic nebuliser at the very last minute. When I finally pieced together what had happened, I was angry. After I settled her down, I went down to the Elemis centre to have this out with them. This was meant to be our happy 30th Wedding Anniversary - and it was now ruined by P&O’s Elemis Wellness selling routine. She never recovered from this episode during the trip, and I struggled to even get her to leave the room after that. I went down and confronted the People at Elemis to ask them what the hell they did to my wife! She came out of the session 10 times worse than when she went in! A free 150 massage voucher had now turned into $830 of other things she never originally wanted. I reminded the doctor and manager on several occasions that my wife has a mental health issue - extreme anxiety problems, and related low lung function problems - she is prone to dangerous panic attacks - that can become medical emergencies. While they were very apologetic - they failed to see that they had totally misread this persons situation - and instead of the feigned caring act that they displayed throughout this whole episode - they pushed her to the brink , by trying to sell as much as possible at every opportunity to a vulnerable person with mental issues. A person who doesnt have the will power to say no when she needs to. If she had of taken the additional facial session (nearly $1000 ) , and the other bag of cream products that the massage therapist was pushing - then we could have been facing a total bill of $2190 (and rising) . That’s almost double the entire cost of the Cruise tickets! After I finished telling them that this was totally unacceptable, and they had ruined our Wedding Anniversary - and my wife was almost suicidal - after a so called relaxing spa session where she came out worse than when she came in - it was also clear that the whole Wellness thing that they sold her - did not work for her condition - and I wanted to know what they were going to do about it. The manager at Reception then said that as a Manager she was authorised to and would refund us the amounts for the second day session to come - and that we basically wouldn’t be charged for the first acupuncture session which clearly didn’t work. The massage didn’t work either as she still had chronic neck pains that night. So that would have taken approx $300 dollars back off the bill, bringing it back to the $598 approx that I originally agreed to. She told me that the final session on the second day would be free of charge by way of an apology. My wife relunctantly agreed to come back the next day for the final ‘totally free’ treatment session - thinking that it would actually be totally free. It wasn’t. The second day treatment was even changed – to substitute a totally different (Reflexology) – 10 minute treatment. It seemed like they couldn’t wait to get this uncomfortable issue behind them – and rushed this half hour session (acupuncture , reflexology) through to try and complete their obligations. The whole process was vague, with charges being not transparent at all , and the pricing and description of the services to be provided were confusing and misleading. The rest of the Cruise was not enjoyable - she just couldnt escape the mental state that had Elemis put her in, and our entire Wedding Anniverssary was ruined by this P&O nightmare. To make matters worse, on the second day after the end of this Elemis fiasco - I checked our room bill and found that the $830 (approx) Elemis charges were unaltered - we had not been discounted as promised. I rang the Spa, spoke to the manager again - and alerted her to this, and she said she would fix it right away. By the time we disembarked the next day - the bill had still not been rectified as promised, however a small amount was refunded the next day. On a positive note, Dinner at Luke Mangin's Salt Grill Restaurant was excellent, and that experience is recommended.However elsewhere we did experience some rude bar service on the top deck, with a couple of bar staff members in particular being very unfriendly, and reprimanding my wife for briefly placing 1 basket of chips on the bar while waiting for service.She has another anxiety attack over that issue and I had to take her back to the cabin where she stayed for the rest of the afternoon. Room service was also ordinary - we ordered Soup of the Day - advised as Pumpkin - but turned out to be some inedible cauliflower swill that resembled and tasted like dishwater. Sent it back. This is our formal complaint to P&O, and we are now about to also log our whole experience on other review sites including Reviews.com - to warn others about this situation. This was easily the worst holiday experience of our life. We left the boat more stressed than when we boarded. My wife was stressed to the point that she felt suicidal - and this is no joke P&O. When you have so called health professionals on board that fail to acknowledge the risks involved in financially pressuring people with debilitating anxiety and mental health issues -after being advised of these facts , several times – then I question their real professional objectives . When these health professionals then instead proceed with a hard sell routine in pursuit of profits above the real needs of the patient - then I fail to see the ‘Wellness’ part of any of this. My wife is not well, and Elemis made her feel 10 times worse. Thanks P&O for a 30 year wedding anniversary that we will never forget – for all the wrong reasons. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our first cruise ever. We decided to take the plunge, so to speak, and try a short 3 night getaway as a sampler. Our first impressions were quite good. We were happy with our cabin (mini suite) and the service, once we entered the ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever. We decided to take the plunge, so to speak, and try a short 3 night getaway as a sampler. Our first impressions were quite good. We were happy with our cabin (mini suite) and the service, once we entered the ship, was good however, we felt that a few simple things could have been done differently which would have made a big difference. The spa's at the Oasis deck were heated. We noticed that everyone that went to hop in, commented on this as it was a hot 27degree day (hotter in the sun). One gentleman said that he felt like a lobster being put into a pot to cook. Needless to say, most hopped straight out. We were hot and couldn't cool down in cool water. We found the main pool, too small and always full of children so a second adults only cool down zone would be fabulous. Even an outdoor shower in that zone would help. Australian ships should be equipped for Australian summers. More shade would be fab too. Food was quite nice but we found it way too salty. More healthy/gluten free options would be welcomed also as I am on a gluten restricted diet and struggled for variety. Photos taken by team were great but way too expensive. I suggest giving one complimentary photo to higher package paying guests and offering cheaper package deals for photos. More would buy. Theme nights were great! So much fun. Common areas and bars were beautiful and disembarkation went smoothly. Good overall but if I can't get wet, looking at the gorgeous ocean view is just torture. Thank you for hosting us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this as a 3 day Xmas cruise with friends and due to that we had a great time. A great time that had little to do with the ship and the facilities. Toilet blocked as we left the ship and the poor room steward had to clean ... Read More
We chose this as a 3 day Xmas cruise with friends and due to that we had a great time. A great time that had little to do with the ship and the facilities. Toilet blocked as we left the ship and the poor room steward had to clean up.....continuous noises from the toilet all the time in the cabin over the 3 days until it gave up. The staff are excellent and always had a smile ( God knows why), the ship is old dirty and rusty. Couldn't see out of the cabin window clearly and it hadn't been cleaned in quite a while. The "bathroom" was about the size of our shower and toilet at home. I went out into the cabin to dry myself and my wife had to wait for me to pass by before she could get into the bathroom. Struggled to find a seat in any bar for pre dinner drinks over the three days. The pool is a joke, couldn't get near it and those that did commented that it was 6 foot all the way through...no standing room at all. The running/walking track on the top deck goes right past the designated smokers area....nice design touch !! On the upside we found the food was good in The Pantry and reasonable in The Waterfront where the meals that came out didn't represent the description on the menu very well but were OK. Except for one steak that I had which was excellent ! Probably never do a P & O cruise again but life is full of learning curves. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was my first Cruise so I can not fairly compare this to any other cruise and the thought of wasting money to sit on a ship when I could be at home working did not impress me. But from the minute I stepped on board i was amazed the ... Read More
This was my first Cruise so I can not fairly compare this to any other cruise and the thought of wasting money to sit on a ship when I could be at home working did not impress me. But from the minute I stepped on board i was amazed the atmosphere was great the polite tolerant and friendly service was fantastic and I was made to feel welcome from the minute I boarded, There were some staff that obviously had been on the ship for to long and needed a break but as the cruise continued even they relaxed back down again. Have you ever stepped into an elevator and as the doors close the cone of silence comes down and no one speaks a word, Well not on the pacific Dawn the elevator the decks and even the restaurants are a buzz with excited and happy passengers all keen to meet greet and share their love of this cruise. The cruise was a pleasure and I have been completely converted and I will be going on as many cruises as I can now to make up for all the years I stayed at home. Now I have a special compliment I would like to give out, and that is to the staff of the Salt Grill. If you ever get the pleasure of attending the Pacific Dawn do your self a flavor favor I had given up on food I use to eat because I love the taste of food but had lost that many years ago food had become bland and boring, But The Salt Grill on the Pacific Dawn was and is amazing not only did my taste bud come a live again but the staff were fantastic from the first greeting to the final good bye we ended up eating there every night and were never disappointed. The food was great but the Staff make the whole experience one to remember I can not applaud the staff at the Salt Grill enough and you really need to go there and experience these fantastic people to fully understand just how great theses people are you can tell they love their jobs, customers and are determined to give you the very best dining experience possible. Anyone who has read any i my reviews before would know criticism comes easy for me so to rave so positively about this restaurant and their incredible staff is a rarity Thank you Salt grill for a fantastic experience.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
When we booked with Flight Centre Werribee we asked for oceanview cabin and we also said that we were going for our honeymoon the lady through Flight Centre said that she will tell P&O it was our honeymoon and see if we could have an ... Read More
When we booked with Flight Centre Werribee we asked for oceanview cabin and we also said that we were going for our honeymoon the lady through Flight Centre said that she will tell P&O it was our honeymoon and see if we could have an upgrade and when we went in to get our tickets she said all was good and we got our upgrade as we boarded the Pacific Dawn and went to our cabin we were in the middle of the ship with two single beds in a quad room so our honeymoon didn't get off to a good start as we were very disappointed in the room we got .Not only we had to wait for them to re fix the cabin we were right across from the Turtle Cove kids club that was very noisy you could hear them through the walls there was a missed communication from Flight Centre P&O because we already boarded they couldn't do anything about it will very disappointed not a very good way to start our honeymoon. Other than the cabin service weird head from Shell on bones restaurant was outstanding and staff in there also very friendly. We went on to have a very good cruise besides the cabin we had funny moments and memories at the last I like time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have sailed 2X with Pacific Aria and now did our second trip with the Dawn due to the kids section as we took our son and his family with us which made it their 1st cruise and our 4th cruise. Needless to say the kids play area was too ... Read More
We have sailed 2X with Pacific Aria and now did our second trip with the Dawn due to the kids section as we took our son and his family with us which made it their 1st cruise and our 4th cruise. Needless to say the kids play area was too cold for the kids so there were hardly any kids in there, the main pool was very dangerous as it just went down so he couldn't swim in there as hot tubs just too hot but you could have up to 12 kids in it at anytime.There was hardly any entertainment for the little kids. They only had 2 waiters on top so you had dirty plates and glasses sitting there for hours, no waiters to come and take your drink orders unlike the 1st time. The Aria was on top of their game on that one at all time. Plus the Aria has 3 free restaurants as to only 1 on the Dawn. The Aria Pantry also had more selection as oppose to the Dawn pantry. The waterfront restaurant, I will give our waiter Khaled for table 4 10 out of 10 as not only was he entertaining with my grandson, but alway very polite and helpful. The whole ship could have done with more of him. The entertainment fell down badly. I would rate 2 out of 10.Not good at all. I bought some inch of gold jewellery and when I got home, found that I was given a dodgy clasp that didn't open or close.Won't make that mistake again. The staff although tried to be happy, you could see they were very tired which was sad to see. Needless to say my son and family will never cruise again and we will never cruise the Dawn again. If I could get my money back I would as I paid for all 5 of us. We like to go every 6 month so it will be the Aria until the new port is open with more ships on offer. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The crew we met complained about working long hours and receiving poor pay in return. The entertainment was rubbish with the singers obviously miming and the theatre was very cold. We were in cabin 11195 but couldn’t use the ... Read More
The crew we met complained about working long hours and receiving poor pay in return. The entertainment was rubbish with the singers obviously miming and the theatre was very cold. We were in cabin 11195 but couldn’t use the miniscule balcony as there was water leaking from the water slide above. The furniture on the balcony was filthy and paint was splashed over it and the glass doors. Our safe didn’t work from arrival and took over 48 hours to replace it, which meant we had to keep valuables and passports with us at all times. The extractor in the shower was very rusty, and the bathroom constantly smelt of stale urine although it looked quite clean. There is extensive corrosion on the boat with holes you could put your hand thro, l have no idea how structurally safe it really is. The food was average, however it was basically impossible to get a table with travelling companions and then go to get food from a variety of serving points and sit down and eat together. Many of the windows are either very dirty or going opaque with old age so seeing the views is obscured. The swimming pool is a joke so didn’t even bother trying it. The boat is well past it’s best and should be cut up for scrap, giving it 2 stars is being generous Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My partner booked this cruise as a gift. He booked a mini suite (with a balcony) and included the premium drinks package. The ship is old, tired and dirty. Completely inadequate for 2000 people to be able to spend time in the main deck. ... Read More
My partner booked this cruise as a gift. He booked a mini suite (with a balcony) and included the premium drinks package. The ship is old, tired and dirty. Completely inadequate for 2000 people to be able to spend time in the main deck. The only pool on the ship is tiny and dominated by splashing kids. The person on pool guard did not control this well. Most of the movies were catered to kids. A few people book the small amount of loungers early in the morning (for the full day) with towels and bags and are allowed to get away with it though there is a security presence on the deck. Basically the other 1900 odd people have nowhere to relax or sunbath. People would sleep on a three seater lounger all day long while most of the guests were hunting for a spot just to get out of the sun. The cocktails cost $13-17 and taste extremely watered down which I believe is illegal. When a drink is returned, the bar staff hastily exchange the drink and replace it with the proper strength. Returning each drink get tedious though so you eventually drank these heavily diluted drinks. You are not allowed to take your own water on board however a bottle of water costs $3.00. What a rip off. The entertainment was good. The bands were able to cater to a variety of audiences. We really appreciated having our own balcony as the noisy kids and loud movies sometimes became too much. We were able to retreat to our quiet balcony to suntan. The food was average. Recycling of food from one meal to the next was often obvious as they did not try too hard to change it. If you went to the formal restaurant (Waterfront restaurant) the portion sizes were ridiculously tiny. I sent a duck pasta starter dish back because it had three scraggly bits of duck strips (much smaller than a stir fry strip of meat) The coffee is the worst you may ever taste. We purchased coffee bags at a port as the machine coffee in the dinning room was undrinkable. You need to pay $5.00 for a barista coffee and this cannot be charged within the drinks package though you get 14 drinks a day which you seldom finish. The hospitality and cleaning staff were excellent. Friendly, always happy to accommodate. The staff who cleaned our rooms acted like our hosts on the ship and were always happy to assist in anyway. The advantage of the suite and mini suite reservations are priority embarkation and disembarkation at ports which was lovely. We are unlikely to ever do a P&O cruise again Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Long enough to experience cruises to ensure we'd enjoy them. The cleaning and catering crew worked tirelessly to ensure we had clean cabins and good food. Cruise crew did great job in organising on-board activities, tours were ... Read More
Long enough to experience cruises to ensure we'd enjoy them. The cleaning and catering crew worked tirelessly to ensure we had clean cabins and good food. Cruise crew did great job in organising on-board activities, tours were organised efficiently though some of the tenders used were not suitable to the level of mobility of some of the paxs. Watching paxs using walkers to board a vessel through a hatch was quite concerning for their safety. Also made disembarking a very slow process as those with mobility problems tried to exit for the mobile paxs, should have been staggered to allow more fluid disembarkation. My real disappointments of the cruise was the way I witnessed some of the officers taking to the junior crew. In particular one blond officer who publicly delivered what can only be classed as a tirade of verbal abuse at a staff member who was marshalling paxs for tours. It was not a good look. The other area was the lack of skill and expertise of the officers screening boarding paxs after shore tours. They were inefficient and generally rude, I've never experienced such behaviour with screening before. More training required in this area. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We went on this 7 night cruise with our two young children (2 &3) it said family friendly and plenty to do etc. Cons- I wouldn't bother taking little kids on this cruise ship there wasnt much for small kids to do they ... Read More
We went on this 7 night cruise with our two young children (2 &3) it said family friendly and plenty to do etc. Cons- I wouldn't bother taking little kids on this cruise ship there wasnt much for small kids to do they couldn't do any of the activities, turtle cove was good but have to leave the kids there and go and some kids don't like to be left with strangers. There was messy play which went for 20mins in the morning and then the water park which was freezing even on a 30 degree day. Took way way to long to get off the boat was lining up for over an hour for Noumea, and 45mins for Lifou was fairly quick at Port Vila but to get off to come home was waiting way to long again really unorganised. They Also broke my brand suit case and were very rough with throwing them on and left them in the rain. Towards to end of the cruise the youth workers started to seem grumpy obviously getting over working 7 days a week but weren't as cheerful. Pros- Food was good and big variety Ports were really nice and loved them Workers at resurant were really lovely and always tried to make the kids laugh All up was a nice trip but would definitely not use the cruise ship with kids as its not very family friendly as they advertise Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Having been on only 5 cruises in 16 years ( on 5 separate cruise lines), we don’t qualify as frequent cruisers, but we do regard ourselves as seasoned travellers. Our most recent trip was on the Pacific Dawn, which we picked up in ... Read More
Having been on only 5 cruises in 16 years ( on 5 separate cruise lines), we don’t qualify as frequent cruisers, but we do regard ourselves as seasoned travellers. Our most recent trip was on the Pacific Dawn, which we picked up in Darwin on the way from Singapore to Brisbane. The cruise suited us as a 6-day relaxing way of returning home to Brisbane from a holiday in Darwin. We had read the range of reviews of the ship’s recent voyages, and weren’t expecting too much. Consequently, we were pleasantly surprised. Pacific Dawn is probably in its twilight years, but has many good features. Ours was an outside cabin on deck 6, so by no means upmarket. Compared with other cruise ships we’ve been on, both the cabin itself and the shower were larger and better appointed. The bed was comfortable. Everything functioned properly, and the cabin staff were attentive and efficient. Because the journey had commenced several days before we joined the ship, our social contact with other passengers was limited. Most seemed to be enjoying the cruise, but we did hear quite a few complaints. Happily, they weren’t issues that affected us. Of course, we weren’t on board to add any notches to our cruising record or to tick off any bucket list items, so that may help to account for our genuine enjoyment of the experience. Passing through the Torres Strait and around Cape York was fascinating, with helpful explanatory commentary from the Bridge. The ship’s route followed the North Queensland coast as far as Airlie Beach, and the scenery was spectacular. Our only stop and shore venture was at Airlie Beach. The process of getting ashore by tender was slow and a bit frustrating, but returning on board was quick and efficient. Every night the entertainment in the Marquee theatre was first-rate. We did find the cruise director’s regular verbal intrusions on the performances and other ship’s activities to be long-winded and unnecessary - she has verbal diarrhoea - but that was a minor irritation. There were plenty of the popular cruise activities like trivia quizzes, karaoke and bingo, but we didn't take part in them. The food, in both the Waterfront Restaurant and The Pantry bistro was quite good. We did book one specialty dinner, in the Shell and Bones Restaurant, and found both the meal and the service quality to be outstanding. The price was also reasonable, and excellent value. We understand that this may not be a ship for the jaded cruise palate, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My Fiance bought this cruise for my 50th birthday. We departed from Singapore on 25/08/19. Singapore is a magnificent place by the way. The first thing we noticed was that the ship was not the gleaming white vessel depicted in the ... Read More
My Fiance bought this cruise for my 50th birthday. We departed from Singapore on 25/08/19. Singapore is a magnificent place by the way. The first thing we noticed was that the ship was not the gleaming white vessel depicted in the brochures. On deck 12 there are large windows which are held in by steel bracelets. These brackets in places were rusted through and effectively were holding nothing. The carpet outside our room was marked and stained and the hallway smelt musty. There was also an odour of raw sewerage which remained inside and outside for the rest of the cruise. This smell was disgusting. The carpet in our room was frayed, wet and musty. The carpet had to be lifted and dried with a blower. The shower had active mould growing around the top. The shower vent was rusted as was the outer wall. Fittings were missing off the toilet and the toilet brush was disgusting. At night our cabin door squeaked constantly to the point that we had to jam paper in it to quieten it. In some toilets cisterns were not secured to the walls. One tap was covered in duct tape to stop a leak. Some of the doors in public toilets were swollen from moisture and smelt bad. Every day they would incinerate rubbish which would cause black soot to fall all over the back of the ship including in your drinks, food and clothing. All of the windows on the ship were filthy - even at the start of the cruise. The cabin walls are incredibly thin and you can hear everything going on the next cabin. Activities are tailored toolder people. The pool is tiny. Damien Mullin (Elvis) was very good as was the comedian Stephen Whiteley. The rest of the entertainment was so so. There was plenty of food but the same thing was served many different ways. Eg todays roast became tomorrow's stir fry the sandwiches on the third day. The staff were friendly but even their enthusiasm does not not make up for the tired old tub they work on. The ship had been dry docked in Singapore for 14 days for maintenance so it must have been bad before. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted somewhere different to the Pacific Islands and it suited our timeline. We flew to Singapore and had a few days there before embarking on the Dawn which was an easy process except for the “Taking” ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted somewhere different to the Pacific Islands and it suited our timeline. We flew to Singapore and had a few days there before embarking on the Dawn which was an easy process except for the “Taking” of our passports, with no receipt of SUCH. Wasn’t impressed by this. Our cabin was OK. Plenty of room for 2 people. I think it went downhill from there. Went to the Pantry to have a look, well if you call it a look. We could not see out of the very dirty windows. Can’t take decent photos through windows as they are all almost opaque, we were told it is because the ship is old and it’s on the inside of the double windows and can’t be cleaned. Just terrible. The whole ship is like this. Have to go on deck to see clearly, and not on the smoking deck or you almost suffocate in the smoke. Air conditioning, or lack of it in our room from day 1. Was eventually fixed albiet, could not adjust it at all, till the second last day when it died again and then we were offered a fan as a replacement!!!!! A couple of days in and our sink plug would not unplug. Their solution to this was to pull it right out and sit it on the side of sink which left a gaping hole, we could not fill and heaven help if anything fell down the hole. Then our toilet would not flush, first thing in the morning, both busting to go. It really was a nightmare with the plumbing. The rest of ship had many, many problems with toilets not working in public area and cabins, air conditioning only worked overtime in the Marqui area where it was freezing cold every day for activities and entertainment. No wonder everyone was coughing by the end. Apparently this virus has been on this ship for years as per other reviews. Now for the food, was fabulous the first night in the Waterfront restaurant, but it went downhill from there. Very strange combination of described flavours. Mostly you could not taste any of these. Fresh basil was described on one, well one miniscule flake of green was probably basil? Meat is also inedible. Veal saltimboka was full of gristle and unchewable. Orange, marzipan bread & butter pudding had no orange at all and not sure on the marzipan, I couldn’t tell. And, their signature “crispy cream puff” with passion fruit. What a joke. Dense, doughnut like ball with no passion fruit in sight, just maybe a touch of orange colour with no flavour is on the menu every night. YUK!!! The Pantry has a wide selection of different cultures of food but usually it is cold. All the food is out by 5 o’clock to feed the under 15 kids, but is there for the rest of us. It sits for hours if not popular. I had Indian food on the last night and when I tried it the rice was dead cold, the curried veggies were tepid and the curry almost cold. Could not eat it. So much waste. The bacon at breakfast is almost unchewable, the toast is cold and you have to go two or three stations down to get rock hard butter for your toast. Ridiculous!!!!! Now to the swimming pool. Postage size pool. Over 6 foot deep with vertical ladders at the sides. People could not stand in it, kids who could not swim could not use it. Very, very difficult to get out of it. There is a kids water play area next to it that used to be a pool. I think I only saw kids playing in it about 3 times. What a waste, could have been a shallow pool for the kids. Activities, they had lots of trivia but was so hard to get a seat or join in as there just isn’t enough seating areas except for the Marquis which they only used for bingo and night entertainment. Only had 1 movie in the Marquis area and it was packed. Should have used this area more but it was always freezing in there. Shore excursions are very expensive, but did one in Bali and the Komodo tour. Very well organised and enjoyed them both. Only got off ship yesterday morning so this is very fresh, had to be out of cabin by 6-30, what is with that?? Needless to say I will never ever do a P&O cruise again if this is there standard of service. Oh, almost forgot, on the morning of disembarkation we had our onboard account in our box outside door. There was a $30 onboard credit stated on there. I queried this and it was for compensation for aircon, toilet issues. I asked for it in cash, but no they said I could spend it onboard. On what, nothing is open when in dock. Laughable!!!!!!!! NEVER AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this ship because of affordability- that it was travelling from Singapore to Brisbane and going to Komodo and Darwin for our son was living there. We were excited to be doing something different and the ship had been in dry ... Read More
We chose this ship because of affordability- that it was travelling from Singapore to Brisbane and going to Komodo and Darwin for our son was living there. We were excited to be doing something different and the ship had been in dry dock before heading out of Singapore. New carpet, bedding and some painting done. Food in the pantry good but very busy hard to get seat Waterfront restaurant was our pick mostly - nice menus but didn’t change breakfast menu the whole time and the other meals were good mostly but not fantastic. Salt grill was good but don’t know if it was worth the money - I had lamb cutlets which I could not eat they were big but not cooked properly. Fat not rendered, my husband meal was nice. Shell and Bones good value for money, with other dishes for non seafood eaters. Bars nice and friendly waiters especially Michael at the Ocean bar. Unfortunately by the time we were heading to Komodo I had got a very heavy head cold and cough. My husband ended up with this as well but about a week later. Everywhere you went on the ship there were people coughing and blowing their nose. Quite a few people were taken off the ship by ambulance at different ports. We have now been home 5 days and we are both still sick. I have ended up at hospital today with a diagnosis of Bells Palsy which is connected to the viral infection we got on the ship. I had read in the reviews that a lot of people on the previous cruise going to Singapore had the same thing - cough and cold. So it does make you wonder. We were very careful upon boarding use hand sanitizer, wiping over cabin with dettol wipes, not touching hand rails. Staying away from others when we were at our worse. We always had flu shot prior to leaving. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Pacific Dawn slogan is ‘Like no place on Earth’ and for a cruise liner that is old, rusty and way past it’s use by date that covered it! I booked this cruise as it’s rare to board a cruise in Darwin stopping at Timor Leste, ... Read More
The Pacific Dawn slogan is ‘Like no place on Earth’ and for a cruise liner that is old, rusty and way past it’s use by date that covered it! I booked this cruise as it’s rare to board a cruise in Darwin stopping at Timor Leste, Komodo Island, Bali and Singapore. The first meal was in The Pantry & it was very average with long queues, food was cold & to find a spare seat was impossible. All other meals were in the Waterfront restaurant. The room needed an good clean and paint and the sink was so old it was peeling enamel, the balcony had rust on the railing so a warning not to lean on it. The nightly entertainment was not world class but it was enjoyable to watch. The best meal was High Tea which cost extra but was worth it. The shore excursions were way overpriced, in Dili I booked direct with Timor Adventures, a wonderful day and Carlos our guide was very informative. Pacific Dawn staff seemed to be lack lustre and not like on other cruises where they are so happy and couldn’t do enough for you. I won’t be booking on P&O again as compared with other cruise line cruises I have done I am rating this cruise a 2, being generous. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise because it was going to Singapore , what a mistake , smell of sewerage everywhere , our toilet kept blocking up .Over crowded ,swimming pool was more like a bath tub .Had to wait hours to get on and off ship by tender ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was going to Singapore , what a mistake , smell of sewerage everywhere , our toilet kept blocking up .Over crowded ,swimming pool was more like a bath tub .Had to wait hours to get on and off ship by tender .Staff as usual were excellent hpwever management treated everyone lime cattle .Never again ,got charge for visa to Timor , only out about the day before we arrived there , then price went up 33 1/3 % overnight . Lined up everywhere for food , half the time couldn't get a seat when dining or for shows . Found most ot the staff who were higher up in rank rude and arogant . The ship itself is old , there is rust everywhere and bits were actually falling off .A lot of the facilities were out of order and were never fixed the whole time we were on the cruise . Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to the Darwin Cup and Komodo Island. All that dates aligned with the ship docking in Darwin on the date of the Darwin Cup. Paseptic Doom Room 8107 -do not go there. I was so excited to be ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to the Darwin Cup and Komodo Island. All that dates aligned with the ship docking in Darwin on the date of the Darwin Cup. Paseptic Doom Room 8107 -do not go there. I was so excited to be going on a cruise, Brisbane to Singapore, with stops at Port Douglas, Darwin, Timor Leste, Komodo Island and Benoa Bali. I had read some bad reviews and also some good reviews about the Pacific Dawn and I decided to go with the the good reviews. I booked an interior room and were surprised to have been given a complimentary upgrade to cabin 8107, obstructed view. The first night we noticed our floor vibrating, then the loud noise from the band, then karaoke (help me please). We made the decision to not come back to our cabin till after 11.30 to avoid this. We had a great few days enjoying the ship. The decor is very modern, and we soon settled in to ship life. Day 2 my partner came down with very bad head congestion and rough cough. By Day 6 I also had it. So we did not contaminate others, we lay low and and hid in our cabin. That’s when we noticed the little laneway outside our cabin carrying all kind of engineering/ seamen past our cabin window. One whole afternoon they were grinding metal outside our windows. So curtains closed during the day, and noise till 11.30 pm each night. As we disembarked in Darwin to head to the chemist for medication, we noticed a couple of 100 more people with the same problem cough. After we were feeling a little better and not contagious we ventured out. One night in the Marqee lounge, the chorus of coughing was louder than the entertainment. My guess would be that the air conditioning on this ship is very sick. We washed our hands thoroughly, used the sanitiser, I sanitised our cabin twice a day with eucalyptus spray. You can’t catch it through the food handling as the staff handle all the food. So I am guessing if you go on this ship get a balcony cabin so you can have fresh air. I am sitting by the pool right now and it is a chorus of coughing. Now down to the sewerage problem. The first couple of days all was fine, then a massive sewerage smell started sweeping over the ship. Staff outside the Marquee were spraying air freshener on to the carpet to try to cover it up. The smell was very dominant around deck 7,8,9 and 11. This is not good enough P&O. This is a major health risk to your staff and your passengers. I do hope that this is your major priority of your 2 week dry dock in Singapore. Getting off the ship at tender ports. It is so slow. Arrive Bali at 8.00am, still trying to get off at 12pm. Not complaining as I can see the problem, but just be aware if you book tours privately. Promenade bar is a great spot to get a serious drink and unwind before dinner. A very big Thank-you to John and Bella for looking out for us. Orient Bar Too noisy for me, always trivia, games, karaoke going on , but way to loud for my tastes. The Pantry Food acceptable, the only problem for me was if I wanted butter with my toast, I had to line up in 2 queues, as the butter did not live with the toast. A good concept of a food court style. Stops germs spreading. Food was ok, service was excellent. The Waterfront Gone are the days of having the same table for dinner every night. But it was ok, we got used to it. The food was of an acceptable standard and the service was efficient. Salt Grill What a disappointment We had dined here previously 10 yeas ago on the Jewel. It was brilliant back then. I ordered sashimi scallop. There was more potato on the plate than scallop, and covered in a green herb sauce that totally over powered the delicate taste of the scallop. I had a steak that was a little on the tough side for main. I had the cheese for dessert, which was the smallest serving of cheese I have seen on a platter. All in all very bad value for money at $59 per head. Nice wine list though. We also had the afternoon tea at Salt Grill which was very good at $29. I wish they would change the menu as I would have liked to this again. Chefs Table Pre dinner canapés with Australian Sparking, followed by a 7 course degustation. This was a lovely meal, the standout dish for me was the lobster bisque We had Tuna Lobster Bisque Barramundi Strawberry Daquiri Steak Mango dessert Cheese platter All dishes had accompanying Australian wines. It was a very well balanced out menu Shell & Bones Thanks Kylie for a wonderful night. The food was what I expected and the prices reasonable. We ended up esting here Twice The Grill Perfect Pizza, excellent. The Spa Did not go to the spa as the prices were off the charts. I really wanted a masssge but not at those prices. I wonder how many people would book treatments if the prices were not so high. Our Cabin 8107 Very clean, our steward James was fantastic looking after us in every possible way. Hot water is magically hot and pressure is the best. But as above, do not book this if you want privacy or peace and quiet. The Orient bar runs all day and concludes at 9.45 and some nights 11.45pm. All access tour. I really wanted to do this, it was something I was looking forward too. We had the access all area’s tour booked, but we are both so sick and we don’t want to affect anyone else’s holiday. The staff are amazing, they go above and beyond any request possible. If it were not for the bad cabin and illness I would rate this a really good cruise. Day Trips Port Douglas Too rough to tender. Darwin Went to the Darwin cup, the buses run for free from the city service. The set up on the day is great, Hundred of long tables under cover for the public. Timor Leste We chose to tour privately with Timor Adventures. The tour was great, but we were pushed for time due to the tender process getting off the boat. Our tour was scheduled to leave at 9am, but it did not leave until 11am, whilst we waited for people to get off the boat. We drove out to the old fort, stopped at an old gaol, seaside lunch, Cristo Rei and the cemeteries where the massacre was. We learnt a lot about the struggles of the people of Timor Leste. Komodo Island We booked a private tour here with Beyond Komodo Tours. It was the highlight of my trip. We had a small group tour of the dragons, sighting 7 in total. We then went on a boat to Pink Beach where we were given snorkelling gear and were dropped straight on the the reef. It was spectacular, beautiful corals and a multitude of fish. Then we were served a delicious lunch of prawns, calamari, chicken, eggplant and stir fry with rice and noodles. Thankyou Leo from Beyond Komodo. This made our trip. Bali Another private tour in a car to Ubud, we visited the monkey forest, a traditional housing compound and a Lewakcoffee house. As we struggled to get off the ship again due to tended, we missed 4 hours of our tour. We used Hire Bali Driver. Leo was very good trying to fit in as much as possible. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Here is the short version of my review. My longer detailed version is below. If you are a first time cruiser with no expectations and you are looking for an average cruise on an average ship with an average crew the pacific dawn is ... Read More
Here is the short version of my review. My longer detailed version is below. If you are a first time cruiser with no expectations and you are looking for an average cruise on an average ship with an average crew the pacific dawn is perfect for you. However, if you are an experienced cruiser with expectations for anything above the bare minimum I would absolutely avoid this ship and this cruise. Long version: this was the first time my wife and I had ever cruised with P&O and it will be the last. We paid a little bit more with Holland America but we had a much better experience! I can't say anything was really TERRIBLE about P&O and the Pacific Dawn but there was nothing above the bare minimum either. There was rust in our cabin and on the outside of the ship. The ship is 28 years old and it is dated and worn out. Half way through our cruise some of the toilets on the lower decks started to back up and smell really bad. Our bed was nice but the pillows we were given were terrible. The crew were nice enough and were never rude but most of them never went out of their way to learn our names or give us anything above the bare minimum. The food was not bad but it was very average. We were not impressed. P&O also charges 5 dollars or more for all the extras (ice cream, hamburgers, hotdogs etc) the only food they don't charge extra for is the food served at breakfast, lunch or dinner The on board entertainment was not bad but again, it was very average. Their "library" is a mobile book cart and the selection is extremely limited. The TV in our room wasn't on demand. If you wanted to watch something you had to plan your day so you wouldn't miss the movie. Now for the positives: P&O does not charge that daily gratuity fee which is very refreshing. Additionally, not every show or every meal were terrible but overall, both the shows and the meals were just average. They did offer a free kitchen gallery tour which many other cruise lines charge upwards of 50 dollars for. That was neat. Also our room stewards really did a good job taking care of us. Some of these complaints might seem petty but as experienced cruisers we just expected more and were disappointed. But as the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for". P. S. Full disclosure, after we disembarked in Singapore P&O claims they are putting the ship in dry dock for 12 days and renovating everything. Unfortunately we weren't on board the ship again to see the results. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our 1st ever cruise was some 10/12 years ago on P&O Pacific Star. Well, haven't things changed (for the better). We were very happy with the offering from P&O and in particular the crew on board the ship. They were a credit to ... Read More
Our 1st ever cruise was some 10/12 years ago on P&O Pacific Star. Well, haven't things changed (for the better). We were very happy with the offering from P&O and in particular the crew on board the ship. They were a credit to the Company and although the ship is an older vessel (certainly showing external signs of age) the vibe on board was friendly and efficient and the crew appeared (primarily) to enjoy their job. Admittedly we did have lower expectations having travelled with the more highly rated Celebrity and Princess Lines, however we were overall quite impressed with the majority of aspects onboard. A special mention to the bands. . . both Popcorn and The Lazy Leis were fantastic and the jam session on the last evening involving all performers was truly memorable . . . very talented. On board crew shows were excellent, a couple of guest performers are past their use by date and appeared to be simply topping up their super. Production shows were considered to be a significantly higher standard - crew shows were particularly entertaining viz LipSync Battle. Having Petro Civoniceva on board was a nice touch as well. . .thanks to him for his valuable time and open participation. A couple of constructive comments . . . the Tendering situation needs work - whoever made the decision to honour the tickets from the aborted tender operation in Port Douglas in preference to distributed tickets for Dili needs to consider their future. . . a real howler. Actual Shore time was significantly reduced in both Dili and Bali due to sea swell and the large number of Ships Tours and "Priority" passengers. Made our own arrangements re a tour in Timor Leste and also Bali - understand cruise coys favour their own shore excursions though we prefer the small group experience v's a coach load. Anytime dining in the Waterfront took a few days to sort out - many passengers had made permanent bookings which meant there was initially up to an hours wait for anytime dining - this resolved itself after 4 nights when some perm bookings were a no show and therefore cancelled. Could easily do with an additional lunch menu in the Waterfront restaurant for variety . . .only 2 menus for the 14 days. . . though there was the variety in The Pantry. Drink prices are excessive though consistent across all lines - what did happen to duty free prices??. . .would like to see a similar policy to that of Princess. . ie allowed to bring a bottle of wine pp onboard. There was sufficient entertainment with usual trivia etc however big screen movies were heavily weighted in favour of children's themes and animations - this despite the small number of children on board. Special mention to the Captain for his accessibility and daily broadcasts - very approachable and informative (luvs his "Minions") . Upon arrival in Singapore, we skipped the long taxi lines and got the MRT direct to the Airport for flight back to BNE. Very efficient disembarkation, despite the fact the ship was advertised as docking at Marina Bay - instead we turned up at Harbourfront - this caught many off guard. Singapore has such a great public transport system - even with luggage. Extremely happy with our decision to revisit a P&O Aust classic ship - overall a good value for money cruise - we will be back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I wish to make a few comments about my recent 3 night comedy cruise aboard P&O Pacific Dawn from Brisbane. I have travelled on this ship for a previous South Pacific Cruise as well as several cruises aboard Princess and Norwegian ... Read More
I wish to make a few comments about my recent 3 night comedy cruise aboard P&O Pacific Dawn from Brisbane. I have travelled on this ship for a previous South Pacific Cruise as well as several cruises aboard Princess and Norwegian cruise lines. I felt that the standard of customer service on the Pacific Dawn has declined to almost deplorable level, most notably the friendliness of staff and their readiness to offer help. The meals were mediocre at best. The choices were limited and it was a struggle at some meals to find something appetising. I also felt that there is a culture of penny pinching, as in everything is at an extra cost. As an example I was shocked at The Indulge menu in the main dining room, at an extra cost. And The Grill has a fee for food items. We did visit Salt and enjoyed our meal but I was violently ill a few hours later and believe the sea scallops were to blame (I commented to my fellow diner at the time that they tasted a bit strange). The ultimate insult was to be asked to vacate our cabin at 6:30am on our disembarkation day. This was our holiday, not bootcamp. Lots of very grumpy travellers that morning! Breakfast was offered until 7:30am on the last morning but was served in a rushed brusk manner. Add to all this the unpleasant smells in some corridors, the slow lifts which would sound fault alarms when they were half full, the blocked toilets on various decks, and the very inappropriate locations of Trivia and other social events (the lobby???, really) which were much too small for all the attendees, and you can perhaps understand why I am disappointed with the way the P&O experience has declined to the point that the brand is being harmed. Cheap can be good, but cheap and nasty is NEVER good. Regretfully I will not be travelling with P&O again on my future cruises, since standards have dropped a step too far, and with plenty of competition I will be looking for more pampering and attention in the future. Good Points: The bed was comfortable, and the comedy acts and other entertainment were very good. Embarkation was quick and easy. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Pacific Dawn Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 3.5 N/A
Dining 3.5 3.3
Entertainment 3.5 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 3.6
Fitness & Recreation 3.0 N/A
Family 5.0 3.1
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.0 3.7
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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