1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
To celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary We begun our cruise by the check-in staff very awkwardly telling us that there is an issue we wanted a a double room/bed with obstructed sea views, the obstruction was the port holes were ... Read More
To celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary We begun our cruise by the check-in staff very awkwardly telling us that there is an issue we wanted a a double room/bed with obstructed sea views, the obstruction was the port holes were closed, so we saw nothing until the day before we docked. We are pensioners and were not able to climb up into bunk bed, the young cabin boy was so sorry and advised us to go to the admin staff I wanted to get off the ship and would have until my husband came back, they had assured him that they would find another cabin but could not help until ship left the port and they would contact us, we waited in the cabin not touching anything or unpacking for 4 hour, my husband went back to desk who informed him that there were no other cabins and that was that, he asked what about double bed and was told a double bed would not fit in. By now i was crying and my husband took the mattress of the upper bunk and put it on the floor the young man looking after us said he was told to offer us a trundle bed which we declined, my husband complained again and he said someone may be getting off at the next port we knew he was lying because he would of known if it was happening and we were told we'd refused a trundle my husband suffers from back pain and i recently had two knee replacements, we got the trundle and it was bad sleeping on the floor on a mattress and having 9" to walk down the side of the but the trundle was like a hammock sinking in the middle on 3" foam we both had to sleep on a single mattress for three nights and 4 nights on and off the trundle I could go on and on but it was the worse experience we have ever had and all we wanted was a double bed and a lovely week to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary i don't think that was asking to much I won't even start on the cleanliness or food. Hope this review helps some one else not waste their money on P&O Watch out in the pantry for the waxed lemons in bowls with scrapings off where rats scratch to big for mice. Def give this ship a giant miss Mr and Mrs J M & C Laurie Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We wanted a break after the exhaustion of Christmas and New Year. A short comedy cruise seemed to fit the bill. Pros.....our superb cabin - see below; the comedy acts; the speciality restaurants; Cons.....bogan, unruly, loud, ill ... Read More
We wanted a break after the exhaustion of Christmas and New Year. A short comedy cruise seemed to fit the bill. Pros.....our superb cabin - see below; the comedy acts; the speciality restaurants; Cons.....bogan, unruly, loud, ill mannered adults. The zillions of kids were great in comparison! The ship has been extensively refurbished and seems to work, except the atrium and main public areas are still to small for gatherings. The couple of bars are of a good size and well furnished. The Dome seemed to be empty most of the cruise (what a waste). Duty free area is full of the usual suspect gold by the inch and other junk. The bars are OK, but a couple of the bar staff need manners-training. I'm a wine drinker but unfortunately only the bottom of the list wines were available by the glass in all the bars and the theatre. You have to go to the speciality restaurants to get a reasonable glass. The comedy shows were great....two family shows and one 18+ each night in the Marquee. In spite of the rules, an few minor arguments broke out over passengers reserving several seats for friends. Music groups abounded in the lounges each evening. But nothing during the day. For two days passengers are captive on the ship and it would have been nice to hear a pianist, or a quiet group in the afternoon. The Waterfront restaurant was a great disappointment. The meals we had were bland and unimaginative. A couple of the staff had attitude problems. I don't complain but on one occasion for dinner here we were ignored for a good length of time and had to call the supervisor. There was a great wine tasting on the second day. It's a pity the good wines tasted were not available by the glass anywhere. Luke Mangens restaurant was superb, as was the Shell and Bones seafood restaurant. A great seafood platter for 2 for $50. We buzzed through the Pantry which seemed to have fresher, and more interesting food than the main restaurant. But too small for the passengers. There was no Nic and Toni's as mentioned on the Cruise Critic review. We rarely ventured to the top deck which was for families, kids and fun seekers having a great time. The movies on the big screen were new releases, and of excellent visual and audio clarity. Most fellow passengers were Aussie families and friends. Few singles or gay couples to be seen. There were your usual loud mouth, singlet clad bogans. No problem on the top deck and in the pool, but there was supposed to be a dress code and if the code states long trousers and collared shirt after 5 then why is it not policed? There is a choice. Up stairs dress as you like, down stairs in the evening...be decent. Many people were not. The Gatsby evening was a lot of fun. The white party not so much. Special theme party on the first night is not sensible. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We originally decided to choose the Dawn because the family friendly facilities and activities appealed to us. This was our first cruise, so naturally we were excited with anticipation and certain expectations. The pantry restaurant which ... Read More
We originally decided to choose the Dawn because the family friendly facilities and activities appealed to us. This was our first cruise, so naturally we were excited with anticipation and certain expectations. The pantry restaurant which was inclusive of our fare seemed appealing at first, with selections and choice of various flavours of dining tastes. As the days went on the food became repeatative and average. I noticed the trifle looked like they recycled left overs and put it together to fool us into eating a different trifle. Breakfast not bad nice to have bacon and eggs, but scrambled eggs were cold. Pastries seemed quite bland. The ship itself being the size it was, encouraged you to walk a distance to get where you were going. Various areas and structures badly needed painting, or repairing, I spotted cracks peeling paint, on beams, walls etc. A highlight was the outdoor pool area, great for the kids, waterpark nice, slides good pool a little small. Large screen good for movies out on deck. There are amazing vantage points for taking photos especially front of boat on deck 10. The Edge activities are great for kids and adults. We paid $116 for a gold pass unlimited for our 14 yr old. He really became much more active. It’s good too to give the parents some down time.We only had an inside cabin, no windows. At first when we arrived we noticed only two single bunk beds made up. We had our 14 yr old with us. We complained as the sleeping arrangements didn’t suit our situation. They wouldn’t allow the third top bunk to come down for safety reasons. We were adamant and demanded a queen bed( two singles really put together), and a roll out bed for our son. So really get the point across if you’re not happy. We got our “queen” bed and single bed. Not much room in cabin but I thought there was plenty of storage space for clothes. There were drawers and four hanging spaces for your clothes. I recommend you take your own pillow, as we found the pillows thin and therefore got sore necks.Everyday you would receive a newsletter for the days activities, which was good, the entertainment team were awesome, always in high spirits, the shows were always packed I thoroughly enjoyed them, you can order a drink just before the show with roaming waiters but sometimes hard to flag them down when there’s a full house get there early for good seats and to get served by the waiter. I took part in the hypnosis show absolutely fantastic. The service everywhere was always friendly and impeccable. Our stewards always smiled and knew our name and were only too happy to assist us with whatever we needed. We gave them a tip daily. A few tips on Port disembarking, and tenders. When going ashore by tender, it pays to get up early get organised, pack sunscreen, water, etc, get to breakfast early, and head to the meeting point, in our case, the promenade level 7. If you get there first or earlier you will get on the tenders earlier. If you get there late you will be lining up. Then you are handed a ticket number and told to wait in the atrium till your number is called. So the later you get to the promenade the longer the ticket call. Anyone doing the New Caledonia, Fiji, Lifou, Vanuatu trip, the first mentioned island is great for snorkelling, and relaxing but not too much to do, Fiji, great for shopping, the currency was good $1.58 to our Australian dollar so we got a bit more back on exchange. Keep your wits about you, don’t carry valuables in your pockets as you may get pickpocketed, my son almost got robbed, ushered into a back room while trying on a chain, but he rushed out so a close call. If you get off in Fiji be prepared to say no because you be approached by locals trying to pursuade you to go to a particular shop, don’t buy from on street shops go into shopping centre, to avoid getting ripped off. But we enjoyed the shopping off the street. If you hop into a taxi as you get off the ship, the driver will try to get as much money out of you by wanting to drive you around and into the country ( good chance of being robbed). We walked everywhere it wasn’t far from the ship anyway. Port Vila the best stop save some money for this one! Great tours, they have a Nike shop good value for money, we went to the blue lagoon unforgettable experience especially for the kids highly recommended. I wanted to spend longer in Port Vila, when you dock they have markets dockside great variety and I bought some beautiful dresses there. Oh and it’s a good idea to purchase the drinks package if you’re someone who would love to laze by the pool and sip on a cocktail, or not worry about how much you’re clocking up in cost. We regrettably didn’t get the drink package because my partner thought my $300 on board credit would last me 12 days. Nup we ended spending around $2000 which was too much last two days we ran out of money so I was miserable not being able to enjoy cocktails near the end of the cruise. We spent $200 in one night at the white party yikes so least with drink package you can relax and have as many cocktails as you like. We bonded with the staff so when disembarking in Brisbane I cried because truley speaking the staff really do make you feel special. The waterfront is better than the pantry but you need to book your table. Better quality and slightly better variety. Well sorry this is a long review but from one first timer to another it’s good to know this stuff before you go so you are better prepared and in for a more enjoyable experience. Happy travels and bon voyage. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Family & Friends were cruising together, When we dined at the water front for dinner the service some nights was quite annoying night 1 we waited for 15 minits for a drinks waiter to turn up but out meals arrived first. Second night ... Read More
Family & Friends were cruising together, When we dined at the water front for dinner the service some nights was quite annoying night 1 we waited for 15 minits for a drinks waiter to turn up but out meals arrived first. Second night meals arrived finished off first course was nice but need to ask for some bread buns for our table. Yoga went to attend willing to pay the $14 per class but come on a dance floor with Laser Tag going on in the same area and the Yoga on the beach was meant to be a 7am start only to be told it is now 10.30 am hot as and high tide should be a free classes under the conditions supplied. Movie night was great the first 2 nights on the top deck but Planet of the apes 3 night in a row PLUS on the tv channel as well one of the same night . Transformers was the advertised movie a lot of people had set up early and when Planet of the apes started 75% walked away in discuss. Do it again TBA Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We thought it would be good to try the Refurbed Dawn, 1) Cabin was good & the cabin stewards Shava & Hassan were excellent. 2) The overall refurb is good, the old jungle bar now the Oriant was where we spent our evenings ... Read More
We thought it would be good to try the Refurbed Dawn, 1) Cabin was good & the cabin stewards Shava & Hassan were excellent. 2) The overall refurb is good, the old jungle bar now the Oriant was where we spent our evenings 3) The entertainment was poor quality, what with 1 guitar player then 2 guitar players the response from guests was not good, the piano player played so softly she was hard to undarstand , group wise Dimage was good but colour 4 were more suited to the local dance hall-pathetic. 4) Enjoyed the pantry & Grill. 5) The main restaurant food was never hot & one time Liz got cold vegetables & when she pointed this out to waiters & supervisor who agreed the veges were cold the Answer from the Exec chef was "make sure her meal is hot tomorrow night"-not happy Jan 6)we have traveled on the Dawn 7 times & this was the last straw ,never again with P& O Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We were lucky enough to get a last minute deal for a quad cabin which worked out roughly to be $63 pp per day making it a very cheap holiday for our family of 1 adult, and 3 children. We've never cruised P&O before and I'd always been ... Read More
We were lucky enough to get a last minute deal for a quad cabin which worked out roughly to be $63 pp per day making it a very cheap holiday for our family of 1 adult, and 3 children. We've never cruised P&O before and I'd always been hesitant to book given the rumors of it being a 'party ship' among other things. Sure, I was worried on the first couple of days seeing all of the young adults drink to excess (yes, you did!!) I quickly learnt to avoid the smoking area on Deck 12, and the Dome at night. The upside was the ship was VERY quiet until about lunchtime. We had early boarding at 1030am and it was smooth and hassle free - we were onboard just after 11am giving us plenty of time to book an early slot for dinner in the Waterfront, dumping our hand luggage in our cabins, and in The Pantry eating lunch by 1130am. there were some passengers trying to jump the queue, but staff members were asking for paperwork and those without the early boarding were not let through (Ditto with the smooth and hassle free disembarkation). Getting on early meant we could explore our cabin and the ship. We had a window view quad room on the 9th deck which was adequate for our needs. Plenty of storage space for clothing, toiletries, and cases although a few extra coat hangers would be nice. Beds were comfortable, bathroom was adequate, we have no complaints about the cabin or size of the cabin. Every staff member we encountered were delightful, polite, and friendly. We have no complaints about staff members or the service, although there was a youth security officer who might need to adjust her attitude a little and understand that not all youth are unruly. Speaking of youth, I had no idea of the amount of kids onboard until the family Halloween party - I didn't find the kids to be a problem at all, quite the contrary in fact. I do wonder if the 'kids running all over the ship' mentioned in so many other reviews were doing scavenger hunts organised by the kids club. My kids did a few onboard and it does involve doing what is needed quickly. I couldn't get my boys out of the kids club, they loved it. My other child preferred to hang out with me. We all really liked The Pantry, I'm always a little wary of buffets so was interested to see how a food court would work at sea and was pleasantly surprised. We ate breakfast quite early (by 7am at the latest), lunch at 1130am and there was always plenty of seating available mostly in The Pantry, or just outside (the exception was the last sea day and disembarkation morning). Food offerings for lunch changed daily, breakfast appeared the same, I did pop in occasionally to see what they offered for dinner and it also appeared to change daily). We had dinner at the Waterfront (also tried it for breakfast and lunch) and were happy with the choices offered, and the quality of the food however something needs to be done about the temperature - it was mostly lukewarm when arriving at the tables. This is probably my biggest whinge about the trip - I hate lukewarm and cold food that is suppose to be hot, it's just asking for a boatload of food poisoning...We didn't try the other restaurants, and only had hot chips at The Grill which were nice at the beginning of the cruise, but the Grill started to stink of old fat/oil by the end and I couldn't walk past without gagging. The ice cream was nice and we enjoyed a few of those, as well as enjoying a few cocktails - well I did, the kids had soft drink! We didn't do a lot of the activities such as quizzes etc as were content to be in the pool, on the waterslides, or chilling out on deck with a book and/or talking to other passengers. The full shows we saw were Slumber and Seven and enjoyed them both, we also went to the 'introduction show' thing on the first night. Musicians onboard were fabulous and we spent a lot of time listening and singing along in the Atrium - I'm too clumsy to dance :D We didn't do any ship shore excursions preferring to sort our own thing out which has worked well in the past, and did this trip as well. We didn't think much of Noumea, but loved Lifou and Port Vila and will happily go back to either/or both! Would we cruise with P&O again? If the price was right, sure. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I chose this cruise as I was not allowed to leave the country due to visa issues. It was a very last minute booking and after a trying year, me and my husband just needed a week of relaxation. Not even close to what we were hoping for. ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I was not allowed to leave the country due to visa issues. It was a very last minute booking and after a trying year, me and my husband just needed a week of relaxation. Not even close to what we were hoping for. I'll start with the entertainment: Granted the staff can not change the weather (it rained all 7 days) however there was ZERO alterations to the scheduled activities to accommodate the poor weather. For example, the large screen located outside on deck 12 showed movies every day (weather permitting). The Dome on deck 14, which also has a large screen, had quiet time in the afternoons. Why not show the movies in there?? Who knows. Every day there were quizzes. Quizzes in the morning, afternoon and evening. A few during the cruise would have been fine but it seems they couldn't think of anything else to do. With the exception of paper airplane contests, beaded jewellery making and cocktail lessons. I have never been more bored in my life. The on-board shopping was a joke. Closed during the day...again while it was raining and there was nothing else to do. Now the food: My husband and I never ate together. The Pantry was so busy that we would have to find a table then he would go to get his food. Then about 10 minutes later (due to the massive lines) I would be able to get my food. The problem was, he was finished before I got back to the table. We tried to book at the waterfront restaurant however, it seems everyone did that through their travel agents so no luck for us. The other restaurants were not included and I couldn't justify spending a fortune on food based on the food that came out of the Pantry. We like to eat healthy but there is not a chance that happened on this ship so guess what...both of us had bad stomachs for the first few days because we had to eat junk food. The Clientele: Do not expect heaps of people with any sort of manners or consideration for anyone around them. It is a budget cruise and thats exactly the people that board this ship. I would say that the staff was rude and service was poor...they didn't really seem to want to be there but after seeing the way these budget guests treated them, I can't blame the staff in the least. Expect loud jerks, spoiled teenagers, heaps of unsupervised children. Just expect to see an annual centrelink party. (Apologies to those who need centrelink but I think you all see my point) The gym was ok...can't really complain there. We did have about 30 minutes of sunshine and guess what, not enough outside chairs for everyone. Shocking, I know. The only pool was in the kids area and the only 2 adult hot tubs fit 4 people maximum. Needless to say, we never got a chance to go in...even in the rain. SMOKING SECTIONS EVERYWHERE! They allow smoking on the entire outer main outdoor deck near the kids waterpark and the pool. There were also a few smoking areas on other decks. I am a former smoker and hated the fact that I could smell smoke everywhere I went. The cabins were fine. Had a balcony room but never used it due to the rain. The cabin stewards work very hard and did a good job. That is the only positive thing I can say about this experience. In summary, I felt as though I was in prison. The only thing there was to do was drink and stare at other bored people. I actually wanted to get back home to work. If you book this cruise, please remember that you get what you pay for. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We were allocated cabin 11195, it was like hell on earth. Right below the pantry dining room, which we thought would not be too bad, but we were so wrong. Continued thumping and noise from 6am till 10pm and even longer. Kids running was ... Read More
We were allocated cabin 11195, it was like hell on earth. Right below the pantry dining room, which we thought would not be too bad, but we were so wrong. Continued thumping and noise from 6am till 10pm and even longer. Kids running was the most. Not helped by the fact there was something in the ceiling that also squeaked. Absolutely no insulation in the ceiling, in fact the metal ceiling was fully perforated. Then there was the balcony which we paid extra for that was unusable as it got water from the new water slides above! We went with low expectations and were very, very disappointed. The marketing and organisation at P&O is incompetent. I could write far more than there is space here on the things that are just wrong or conflicting. They could not even get the flushing of the toilet instructions correct. On the positive the staff and the food were fabulous. The shows were great. The shower was also great. The boat which they say was just refurbished is a dump. The cabins are tired. Nothing like the brochure. Our TV was on the table and impossible to view as the picture was so dark. It was a flat screen, but from the Ark. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We booked this to celebrate my brother's 21st birthday. I didn't have high expectations because I have heard from other family members that P & O isn't as good as other cruise lines. I was pleasantly surprised. This ship was ... Read More
We booked this to celebrate my brother's 21st birthday. I didn't have high expectations because I have heard from other family members that P & O isn't as good as other cruise lines. I was pleasantly surprised. This ship was refurbished earlier in 2017 so the decor was fresh and modern in the public areas. We booked an Ocean View Cabin and thought it was a decent size. The bathroom was on the small side, but most are. The bed was not very comfortable though. The Pantry Buffet was excellent for a cruise buffet. We dined mostly in the Waterfront Restaurant and liked it. The Grill also offers cheap eats of good quality. A pulled pork burger was $3 and they were delicious. There were a lot of classes you could take but they cost money. We spent most of our time doing the free trivia sessions. Bingo is $30. The night entertainment was really good. We saw a mind reader and then 'Slumber' and 'Seven'. All good shows. The live music really impressed me. Chris and Jazzella were fantastic. If you want to spend time away from children then be mindful not to go in school holidays! Kids everywhere! This ship has an 'Oasis' area at the Aft but you need to get there early in the morning to get a lounger. There's only two small spas that take 5 people. This was disappointing. There is only one small pool on the lido deck and was full of kids. We tried the waterslides on our port day and they were really good. If you want time in the pool I suggest using it while everyone is in port. We took a tender at lunch time over to Airlie Beach. We've all been before so we had a quick look around the town and then went back to the ship. The staff were quite friendly and the coffee was good at Charlie's Bar (and reasonably priced). Don't pay to use the Thermal Suite at Elemis. It's a rip off. It's a sauna and steam room with heated stone seats. Nothing fancy. We've got that included on Princess Cruises before. Overall, we would go on another P & O, however, I'd like to try a different ship that has a pool in the adults only area. Read Less
Pacific Dawn Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 3.8
Dining 3.5 3.3
Entertainment 3.5 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 3.7
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.1
Family 5.0 3.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.3
Enrichment 3.0 3.1
Service 4.0 3.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 3.0 3.4

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