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403 Dawn Princess Cruise Reviews

We have cruised on the Dawn before and had a great experience. Not so this time. She's an old ship and we expect some issues so put up with foul smells of wet rotting carpet and air conditioning that didn't work properly, but ... Read More
We have cruised on the Dawn before and had a great experience. Not so this time. She's an old ship and we expect some issues so put up with foul smells of wet rotting carpet and air conditioning that didn't work properly, but this was Dawn Princess final cruise to Singapore before going over to P & O. We did NOT expect to run out of many non perishable goods or have the shops shutdown halfway thru the cruise!! (so goods could be packed up). 5 days from the end they ran out of Johnny Walker red Whiskey, plus other whiskeys. Gin ran out along with Sav Blanc and Chardony and.. get this Breakfast teas of all brands ran out!! This is unexcusable! We have written to Princess and not had the courtesy of a reply. This cruise was not advertised as a cheap one off or final sailing so we expected it to be like other cruises who Never runout of Tea or Wine! This has left a bitter taste that Princess could treat it's loyal followers so badly Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The Princess Line Cruises were recommended to us and thought we would book following my husband's ill health and also the ease of catching the cruise in Fremantle. We didn't know that this was the Dawn's final cruise. 2 ... Read More
The Princess Line Cruises were recommended to us and thought we would book following my husband's ill health and also the ease of catching the cruise in Fremantle. We didn't know that this was the Dawn's final cruise. 2 days into the cruise, we realised that they were just winding down with no consideration to paying guests. They ran out of Stout, whiskey, gin and Red Wine unless you took the $80 - $120 bottles of red wine. Food was also in short supply especially fresh fruit, prunes, berries (breakfast necessities). Toilets were blocked most of the cruise including ours which was blocked 5 out of the 12 days. Some guests had to use the public toilets on another floor for the first 6 days. Entertainment during the day was extremely limited and was wound down after a few days (horse racing for instance - only 4 days). The casino was closed early because maintenance had to be done for handover to P & O. Shops were closed for stocktaking halfway through the cruise. Couldn't even buy Panadol/Candy etc. Airconditioners didn't work in the dining areas and a lot of the waiters/waitresses carried hand held fans to cope. We got food from the buffet and ate outside. The formal dining room was stifling!! I am hoping that Princess offers the cruisers on this cruise a reimbursement! Dreadful treatment of loyal customers, many of whom had booked knowing it was the last cruise on a ship that they had enjoyed many good times. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We booked this cruise in June 2016 and looked forward to it very much. Things changed after about day 2. The majority of passengers were 75 years old up to around 87 years old. I have nothing against the elderly and it is great to ... Read More
We booked this cruise in June 2016 and looked forward to it very much. Things changed after about day 2. The majority of passengers were 75 years old up to around 87 years old. I have nothing against the elderly and it is great to see them still enjoying an active life. The activities on the ship seemed to cater for this age group which made the trip extremely uneventful and boring for my husband and I. My husband and I are 58 and 59 and were expecting a few more activities that we could enjoy. The highlight of our days were meal times. The food was excellent and the service from the staff outstanding. Cannot fault either. We chose an inside cabin which was a mistake as it was extremely claustrophobic and I felt I needed to open a window. We asked to be moved to an outside cabin but the ship was booked out. This is not a criticism of the ship but advice for anyone considering an inside cabin. The prices on board the ship are horrendous. $10.00 for a glass of wine $ 33.00 for a bottle that retails for $7.00 at our local bottle shop. $ 30.00 for a bingo card and the shore excursions are over the top. A camel ride at Cable Beach Broome is $ 45.00 if you chose to do it on your own and $ 200.00 if you go through the cruise ship. There should be a law against it. The staff are constantly at you to sign up for wine tasting which offers wine at $105.00 a bottle. Very much hard sell. It got to the point where we would be rude to them so they would stop asking us to participate. We heard a story from a coach driver whoused to drive coaches for Princess passengers on trips to the Hunter Valley Wineries. Princess charged their passengers $ 400 per person for the wine tour ( a coach of 48 people). The coach company got $ 900.00 for this service and the Cruiseline pocketed the balance. ( over $18,000.00 ) You have to register your credit card with them and you are then issued with a card which is scanned ( or not- sometimes they just write down your number on a pad ) when you purchase anything ie drinks or tours. We heard some stories of people getting incorrect charges on their statement. Our first stop was Brisbane where we caught up with our son for lunch- a great day for us. Then we had 2 sea days before we docked at Cairns. The most boring 2 days of our lives. There was NOTHING to do except wait for meal times and wander aimlessly around the ship. After 5 days on board we decided to jump ship in Cairns and fly home. Summary: Ship is old and tired Toilet had good days and bad days with flushing. Boring activities Food excellent Staff outstanding- in every department- dining room- our cabin staff- bar staff- all fantastic. Inside cabin- I needed a window. Comfortable bed. We will never cruise again Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The Dawn Princess is 20 years old. It had lots of charm and was on its second to last cruise before going out of the fleet. Of the 1900 passengers, all were either Aussies or Kiwis. There were only 70 Americans. At least we all spoke ... Read More
The Dawn Princess is 20 years old. It had lots of charm and was on its second to last cruise before going out of the fleet. Of the 1900 passengers, all were either Aussies or Kiwis. There were only 70 Americans. At least we all spoke the same language. The average age of the passengers was 72 and there were only 4 children. The staff was wonderful--very cordial, delightful, and seemed to enjoy themselves as much as the passengers did! Our cabin, C-233, was much smaller than we have experienced on other Princess ships. There was more than enough closet space; the bathroom was exactly what we are used to; very few electric outlets, but we didn't have need for additional ones! The dining rooms were fixed times only. We are used to "anytime dining" but we were at a table for 10 and our table mates were a wonderful group of people--3 married couples, and 2 pairs of single ladies. Our wait service in the dining room was wonderful. They really took care of our dietary needs and saw to it that our food was prepared exactly the way we wanted. There were more than enough activities --day and night--to keep us really busy. On some days it was hard to pick and choose which activities to do! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We were with our family on this Cruise and almost everything was almost good. Food was great and lots of activities. But we could not leave our children to the childrens club because staff look liked that they weren't sober and ... Read More
We were with our family on this Cruise and almost everything was almost good. Food was great and lots of activities. But we could not leave our children to the childrens club because staff look liked that they weren't sober and smelled like liquor.. They should make them take breathtests before allowing to work. Because of that we missed some activities and hope that if we come again there's more professional staff. But mainly everything was what we were looking for. Big thanks to the other crew for being so nice and taking so good care of us. Also the ship was plagued by what the ships doctors termed viral bronchitis. Lots of people and I mean lots of people were ill with chest , throat , and eye infections. Reporting to the Hotel Manager and Customer Service Manager was met with little desire and satisfaction to try alleviate the problems. The main excuse is they are at sea and have little resources to do these repairs. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was a last minute bargain, two night cruise from Sydney to Brisbane. The ship was going on for another forty nights through Asia so about 700 were only on until Brisbane. I expected to find a ship in need of some TLC as it is to ... Read More
This was a last minute bargain, two night cruise from Sydney to Brisbane. The ship was going on for another forty nights through Asia so about 700 were only on until Brisbane. I expected to find a ship in need of some TLC as it is to be rebranded into a P&O Australia ship in coming months but the ship was in surprisingly good condition. We had a good time and good weather, although we did get a bit of rain during our sail out from Sydney Harbour. Food and service was good, we had fixed dining 7.45pm table for six. We were alone the first night, and joined by another couple the second. We didn't mind, the dining room was half-empty. There was no anytime dining on the ship, only two set times, I think the other was 5.45pm. Wines prices were OK, we bought a bottle of Semiliion Sauvignon Blanc for around $28 so not bad. We had most meals in the main dining room, and one breakfast (disembarkation day) in the Buffet. I rarely choose the buffet on any ship so I was quite surprised by how good it was and the servers were excellent, bringing cups of juice and coffee and clearing away plates promptly. Food was great too. Entertainment on Princess is always good, we attended all the trivia sessions and one show. Casino was ok but nothing special. Nice ship overall, with great public spaces (especially the Vista Lounge, I hope this survives the refit). I am looking forward to sailing on this ship again when it becomes P&O Explorer. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The Cruise took in the Cherry Blossoms in Japan, I was very excited as I wanted to travel on the Bullet Train and visit Mount Fuji. To my surprise Princess Tours DID NOT Offer these two very important travel adventures, they offer a ... Read More
The Cruise took in the Cherry Blossoms in Japan, I was very excited as I wanted to travel on the Bullet Train and visit Mount Fuji. To my surprise Princess Tours DID NOT Offer these two very important travel adventures, they offer a VERY EXPENSIVE Bus Trip with VIEWS of Mt Fuji. I arranged a Group and took 11 other people we had 13.5 hours ashore we did the Bullet Train Mt Fuji Tokyo experienced the Subway Sardine Crush for $235AUD a big saving. The Dawn Princess is a rusting old Hulk that has never had a cabin refurbishment in its 20 year history, even the Mini Suites were falling to pieces. Princess does not care about giving Disability Cabins to people with out Disabilities, the people in Cabin C315 had no disability, I spoke with them up in the Piggery, I did not tell them that I was an Amputee, I enquired about their Disability Cabin, the person informed me that He was Elite and that he always got what he wanted,its not what you know its who you know was his smart statement. Princess has done a great deal of damage to their reputation by placing the very old Dawn on that Long 42 Day Cruise.....Im now Elite may be next time if I ever travel with them again I may get my requested disability cabin. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This Cruise was on my Bucket List, and although i had been to New Zealand before- 10 yrs ago via a Coach Tour. I wanted to do it via a Cruise. It went to all of the places that i wanted to see,as well as passing the countryside from the ... Read More
This Cruise was on my Bucket List, and although i had been to New Zealand before- 10 yrs ago via a Coach Tour. I wanted to do it via a Cruise. It went to all of the places that i wanted to see,as well as passing the countryside from the ship.We cruised into towns that i wanted to see. Going to FIORDLANDS was fantastic,even though it was misty and showery.It did not stop us from seeing the sights. we went into 5 different bays- or sounds. But at every port that we visited i did land coach tours from the ship on every occassion. It gave us a close up look at the different towns and cities. There was nothing that we could do about the weather, but it didnt stop us from having a great time. The Captain and Crew were just fantastic so help was nearby if needed. Certainly i would recommend a PRINCESS CRUISE to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Seeing Australia and New Zealand has always been a dream. We found interesting things to do and the scenery was always beautiful. The ship is due to retire and be sold soon, and it definitely showed. The entertainment was quite good with a ... Read More
Seeing Australia and New Zealand has always been a dream. We found interesting things to do and the scenery was always beautiful. The ship is due to retire and be sold soon, and it definitely showed. The entertainment was quite good with a lot of variety - singers, magician, comedians, even a ventriloquist. The Princes singers/dancers were very talented. One night two dancers did an absolutely magnificent ballet routine during fairly rocky seas. It was breathtaking and seemed so dangerous but it was so gracefully performed. Ports: Sydney. 5 days pre-cruise. Blue Mountains, downtown Sydney, Symbio Wildlife Park. Bay of Islands: Princess Shore excursion to glow worms cave and Puketi Kauri Forest. Aukland. HoHo bus. Kelly Tarlton sealife Sky City Tower Tauranga - Rotorua, Maori village, geysers. Napier - Art deco town. Weillington- HoHo bus. Akaroa - Giant's house Port Chalmers - Silverfern train. HoHo and Larnach castle Wonderful Trip! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We wanted to see more of our own beautiful country from a different perspective and to enjoying exciting Sydney. Loved the itinerary, my favourite places were The Bay of Islands,Sydney and the spectacular Milford Sounds. We ... Read More
We wanted to see more of our own beautiful country from a different perspective and to enjoying exciting Sydney. Loved the itinerary, my favourite places were The Bay of Islands,Sydney and the spectacular Milford Sounds. We didn't have the best weather, not a lot of sun, beautiful in Sydney but sailed off into a severe storm on departure with thunder and lightening all through the night. Despite this our Captain kept us informed and safe, ship was amazingly stable considering the conditions and the fact that he was trying to keep ahead of the severe weather. The service from our wonderful room steward and our restaurant waiters was excellent. They went beyond our expectations being especially caring to the older members of our family group to ensure they had a safe comfortable time. The food was beautiful in the restaurant and a nice choice at Horizon for casual meals. Entertainment at night was disappointing, comedians not that funny, magic show ho hum. Loved the Dawn princess singers, dancers and orchestra though. Unfortunately there was illness on board this time with many passengers getting type A influenza including one in our group despite careful handwashing and using hand sanitisers. I guess with 1000 passengers this is not unexpected. The medical team were very professional with their care and advice, our whole group was given Tamiflu but this of course is at an added cost. We loved our cruise despite the difficult times with illness. The service from the staff was very good. Our family have travelled with Princess several times now and we would continue to do so. We'd love to try one of the newer bigger Princess ships one day. The Majestic Princess is the next one to look out for, sounds amazing. With cruising increasing in popularity more Princess ships are on the way. Due to demand more cruises are planned for "down under" which is good to hear. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We have just returned from a Sydney round trip cruise to New Zealand on the Dawn, we had an excellent trip with Princess and although previous reviews have not been to kind to the Dawn, we had a great time and the ship was in great ... Read More
We have just returned from a Sydney round trip cruise to New Zealand on the Dawn, we had an excellent trip with Princess and although previous reviews have not been to kind to the Dawn, we had a great time and the ship was in great condition, with continued maintenance happening around the ship, the food was great, we dined at the Horizon most nights as our party was not seated together for the downstairs dinning, an oversite at the time of booking and not able to change once on board, we had a meal in the Steakhouse and this comes highly recommended, the steaks were the best the group has had in a longtime, the portion size huge and cooked to perfection, onboard entertainment was good from the nightly shows the daily quiz and other activities were run on time and very entertaining, embarkation and disembarkation are run to very efficiently and easy to follow what is going on, There is a lot of selling of products for the first few days, wine tasting and shore excursions but this dies down as the trip continues Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was our first cruise with Princess ,sorry to say it may be our last we had numerous problems with our cabin toilet, on one occasion it flooded our Ocean view cabin and we had to move out and were put in a pokey internal cabin (All we ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Princess ,sorry to say it may be our last we had numerous problems with our cabin toilet, on one occasion it flooded our Ocean view cabin and we had to move out and were put in a pokey internal cabin (All we have ) One night in there was enough, we moved back into our own cabin which had a blower going to dry the carpet.So when we went in the blower went out,when we went out the blower went back in .Also the hair dryer stopped working twice and was replaced .And the for some reason both my wife's and my key cards stopped working at the same time?? Can't fault the food ,fantastic selection and the service of the staff ,who were most apologetic every time we went down with a problem We have been on two previous cruises both with P&O and never experienced problems to this degree. We did enjoy New Zealand though and Fjord land was brilliant . Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
To see 3 Ports in Tasmania ,then Melbourne and Sydney ,followed up by 4 Days Bay of Island & Auckland . We were pleasantly Surprised with all Aspects of the Ship ,especially staff and Food Services . Some Areas are in less than ... Read More
To see 3 Ports in Tasmania ,then Melbourne and Sydney ,followed up by 4 Days Bay of Island & Auckland . We were pleasantly Surprised with all Aspects of the Ship ,especially staff and Food Services . Some Areas are in less than perfect Condition ,but with a little Refurbishment in those Areas it will be an Asset to P & O . The Cabin Steward we had on this Cruise ( Shekhar Bandodkar ) was up there with the Best we have had on all our Cruises . Dining Room and Horizon Court staff , as usual excellent . Food Quality very good . Tender ports an Embarkation and Disembarkation as smooth as anything we have seen . My Wife did want to stay on the Ship for the rest of her NZ Trip . But our ticket said Jump Ship in Auckland to the Golden Princess to Melbourne . In Hindsight we should have Stayed !!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We usually like to travel with princess cruises. In the past have enjoyed the Line very much. We don't know if this is a new method with all the princess cruises. We were not keen on their account methods. e.g. We ordered drinks but ... Read More
We usually like to travel with princess cruises. In the past have enjoyed the Line very much. We don't know if this is a new method with all the princess cruises. We were not keen on their account methods. e.g. We ordered drinks but never got a receipt nor were we asked to sign for our purchases" our friends had two wrong entries - sales in the shop - which were not theirs. If you didn't print yourself a bill everyday and kept a tally you had no idea if the purchases were correct or not. I liked the old way where the card was swiped!!!!! Maybe somebody can enlightened me. Otherwise we enjoyed the cruise, food good, staff helpful and friendly. I have read that the Dawn is being taken over by P&O. After being refurbished. The Princess Line are obviously having new ships built. Thanks to the Princess for a good holiday. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
My husband and I had an interior cabin with our adult children next door. Cabins were old and small but very clean and well serviced. We had gone on the trip with parents for their 50th wedding anniversary and we had just completed a ... Read More
My husband and I had an interior cabin with our adult children next door. Cabins were old and small but very clean and well serviced. We had gone on the trip with parents for their 50th wedding anniversary and we had just completed a trip on the brand new Ovation of the Seas so the difference in the age of the ship was hugely apparent. The pools were very good although the adult only area was pathetic and I never saw anyone use it. The average age on this cruise to Tasmania was about 75 and the ship catered to this age group somewhat (fair enough). We found the entertainment a bit boring (pipe band???) and the games very slow - music trivia where they played the songs over and over until everyone would get it! The food was very good and the service good too although the main buffet area was always stifling hot and absolutely packed. Fantastic service in the main dining room and in Sterling Steakhouse. Extremely disappointing that the 'all you can drink soda packages' include fountain soda only which consisted of only coke and sprite, yet you could get other sodas in cans if you paid for them. Embarkation was good and quick as was disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This ship leaves the Princess fleet soon,but I have some comments that may speak to Princess generally...First, all hands tried to please...lots of smiles....boarding and departure was smooth and well organized....our balcony room seemed ... Read More
This ship leaves the Princess fleet soon,but I have some comments that may speak to Princess generally...First, all hands tried to please...lots of smiles....boarding and departure was smooth and well organized....our balcony room seemed well equipped and standard....there was some rust on the balcony and the robes had some staining and were only one size...which had to be a problem for about 75 percent of the overweight passengers...the shows were appreciated by most folks....the food was fine and our morning coffee service at seven,on time and hot...the off ship excursions are overpriced and there is really not a lot to see in New Zealand,at some stops...there are always vendors at dockside with better prices,etc...Now,however a few negative comments...I realize that Dawn Princess is Aussie,but I was surprised to see how casual the passengers dressedandhow the parents let kids run up and down the stateroom passageways ...on formal nights only a very few men dressed formally...about 5 percent and another 5 to ten percent coat and tie...most men wore bluejeans,shirt tails out at our table, regardless of the night...I think the Captain said there were about 200 non Aussies on board...we enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We wanted to visit friends in New Zealand and see a bit of the country. We boarded in Aukland at the end of a Sydney-to-Sydney run. It would be better to embark and disembark at the true beginning and end of this kind lf cruise. The folks ... Read More
We wanted to visit friends in New Zealand and see a bit of the country. We boarded in Aukland at the end of a Sydney-to-Sydney run. It would be better to embark and disembark at the true beginning and end of this kind lf cruise. The folks who used the Auckland embarkation kind of got lost in the shuffle. We received our welcomes five days later in Sydney, and our tours were a bit disorganized. This had a lot to do with the rather lackadaisical excursions staff, but that doesn't really matter now that the Dawn Princess has moved to P&O lines. The food was good, the buffet was lovely. It was aimed at the Australian crowd, so a bit more salt and fried than we are used to, but lots of variety. Both our servers were great; the head waiter was wonderful, and our room steward was perfect. There was a bit of a problem with leaky pipes and our room flooded once, but he got right on it and the plumbers fixed it promptly. We took one tour, the day-long bus ride across NZ to see where LotR was filmed. Scenery was amazing, and the guide/driver was absolutely the best. We had a tea break in the morning at a cafe, and a lunch later catered by the Ladies' Aid in a small WWI memorial building. A really fun cruise, which we will not be able to repeat given the ship is no longer around. But we will certainly return to NZ again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Please do not book a cruise on this ship at the moment. It is plagued by systemic problems and needs a complete overhaul before being in a fit shape for passengers. Where to begin??? Firstly let me assure that this review is honest ... Read More
Please do not book a cruise on this ship at the moment. It is plagued by systemic problems and needs a complete overhaul before being in a fit shape for passengers. Where to begin??? Firstly let me assure that this review is honest and objective and from anecdotal evidence from other passengers, the views I'm about to express were shared by many other passengers (victims!). My son and I had a balcony room on deck 12, which was okay, except that the toilet flooded on each of the first two nights - the first night around 11:00pm, and the second night at 3:00pm. The second time this happened the plumber that came to fix it, told us that this is what he did all day/night long - fix blocked and flooding toilets on the ship. Disgusting and outrageous that the owners of this cruise ship are aware that this problem is and will continue to occur, and yet they place profits above customer satisfaction - an absolute disgrace!! The stink of faeces was particularly overpowering in a number of locations around deck 7 (the deck that you can walk all the way around), and at times made its way into the stairwells inside the ship - again, quite hard to believe in this day and age that a company could be so brazen in its lack of customer care. Clearly the entire plumbing system is faulty and should be fully repaired before allowing passengers. The internet is absurdly slow (virtually dial-up speed) and at around 1 dollar per minute represents price-gouging at its worst. As an aside, when I did use the internet, I was sprayed with water from the roof above - apparently the fire sprinkler system was leaking!!!??? Bandaids over bandaids. The food was great, service staff were pretty good, and more modern Princess ships may well be fine, but please avoid the Dawn at all costs. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was my first time on Princess cruises, and I must say i was not disappointed. On the first night at dinner I was sat at a table of other solo travellers all aged between 64 and 86. I have no complaints regarding the Dawn Princess, ... Read More
This was my first time on Princess cruises, and I must say i was not disappointed. On the first night at dinner I was sat at a table of other solo travellers all aged between 64 and 86. I have no complaints regarding the Dawn Princess, yes she is showing signs of wear and tear but aren',t we all as we age. Christmas was very well done especially for the children. New Year was so much fun up on the pool deck.I would choose Princess in a flash and recommend them to anyone asking my opinion.If I had to gripe it was that my cabin was smaller then other cruise ships I have been on.I loved Jo LIttle, Babbba and Fusion class acts in the Theatre.A huge thank you to our waiters Tyrone and Raj, you certainly made mealtimes pleasant. Also to Runiel who kept my cabin spotless he was always smiling The problem I had with my lights was fixed promptly and.the follow up from customer service very good.especially the chocolates. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Have cruised Princess before (same ship), so knew what we were in for. Have cruised this particular area (South Pacific Vanuatu and New Caledonia) 4 times. It would be very hard not to have a good time on a cruise. Great service is a ... Read More
Have cruised Princess before (same ship), so knew what we were in for. Have cruised this particular area (South Pacific Vanuatu and New Caledonia) 4 times. It would be very hard not to have a good time on a cruise. Great service is a given. However the problem you have when you've cruised a bit.. is you start to expect excellence. The service we received was very good - but not excellent as we've often had. One of the main reasons we choose Princess is the food. The MDR as usual served very good food. Perhaps not excellent, but still generally very good. The buffet was a mix of mostly good, but some not so good. However that's not really an issue - the variety makes up for any not so good stuff. There's also the Grill and the Pizza Restaurant which are both good. My wife had a migraine a couple of nights and ordered room-service (no charge) and was very happy with it. The inside cabins are adequate. Smaller than other ships we've sailed on; but as mentioned - we knew that boarding and they're adequate. The ship is aging and doesn't have some of the bells and whistles of newer ships.. but it's still an elegant ship. Yes, there is some signs of her age (if you're looking for them).. that's too be expected and doesn't have an impact on the experience. The embarkation and getting off at the other end are handled smoothly. Entertainment is disappointing. Perhaps it's partly to do with the very elderly demographic. We've sailed on her before out of the same port - but this X-mas cruise seemed to have a different passenger demographic and far less families and children. Walking frames everywhere. Our teen son had a good time as usual; however commented that it wasn't as good as previous cruises, the kids club nowhere near as good and there were noticeably far less kids/teens. Some of his more traveled friends commented they preferred other lines. For adults the entertainment is quite tame and generally aimed at the older folk. It ranged in quality. The shows and guest entertainers ranged from great to terrible. They were sparse, repeated and a let-down. They repeated Jo Little on 3 nights. Luckily she's a hoot and pulled it off 3 times in a row.. or otherwise there could have been some loud complaints. Babba was a good Abba tribute. Princess deserve a thumbs down for entertainment - on a 12 night cruise they should be offering better - as other lines do. The Cruise Director is ok.. but nothing special. The Juggler they had was terrible. People walked out! And then they repeated him a few nights later. Cost-cutting and Penny-pinching madness. The usual Motown and Rock & Roll dance act from the ship dancers that every cruise ship seems to have. The Casino still has a live dealer for Texas Poker (instead of the electronic version many ships now offer) which is great. Not a lot of action in the casino though as most of the ship very elderly and in bed at night. Ports: We've been to all the ports many times. Excursions booked via the ship are extremely expensive. Unless it's something particular you want to do - getting off the ship and grabbing a local taxi will get you there at a fraction of the cost. We missed Mystery Island this time. Was a pity as it's one of the best for snorkeling - but that's life.. can't blame Princess for the weather. Common theme we've heard - is people wondering why the ships insist on going to Noumea. Many people would prefer to skip that port. But maybe it's required for supplies? Luganville is a dirty, unexciting port too. However the Blue Hole about 30 mins away is great. In summary; a good cruise, but not an excellent cruise. Let down primarily by the entertainment. The fact that we've done this cruise a number of times may have meant we were a little bit blase - which obviously isn't Princess's fault. The fact that they shifted us from a table of 10 to a table of 6 (there's 3 of us) was disappointing when we had asked to be at a table of 10 and we struggled to get conversation from the other 3 (we had a ball last time with our table-mates). As mentioned, things were generally good.. but just not excellent. Given the great competition for our discretionary dollar.. ships are striving for excellence in competing for it - we will look to shop around brands for the next cruise. We expect better entertainment which we've seen on other lines. We would also prefer a more family or younger oriented line. That last part of course is not a slur against Princess - just an observation that each line attracts different demographics. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The Lotus Spa is a luxury to most of us, pity this cruise the staff were not up to standard. I had a gratuity automatically placed $22.50 for acupuncture, I wasn't asked, what poor form is this. They state on the cruising contract ... Read More
The Lotus Spa is a luxury to most of us, pity this cruise the staff were not up to standard. I had a gratuity automatically placed $22.50 for acupuncture, I wasn't asked, what poor form is this. They state on the cruising contract that gratuity is voluntary. Others in our group mentioned the poor massages they received and one woman was left with oil dripping from her hair as she returned to her cabin. Are the staff overworked or just lazy. The last cruise I found the Lotus Spa was expensive but at least we had value for money. I found the general staff also seemed tired, the service was still very good, but seemed not to a higher standard as previous cruises. Maybe sea sickness rained supreme. Overall the staff were very accommodating and did give very good service. They greeted everyone even the below deck crew. Cruising is a wonderful holiday experience and the crew certainly add to the adventure. Shore excursions that you arrange off ship privately give better value for money. But the ship staff do provide adequate excursions for first time visitors. Maybe you should put a secret shopper into the Lotus Spa to review their services. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The seven ports of New Caledonia, Vanatu and Fiji were the reason we choose this two week cruise from Sydney. The trip was great the interior room was well laid out and comfortable, the first sitting in the Venetian dining room was ... Read More
The seven ports of New Caledonia, Vanatu and Fiji were the reason we choose this two week cruise from Sydney. The trip was great the interior room was well laid out and comfortable, the first sitting in the Venetian dining room was enjoyable food always excellent, tasty and a great selection beef tenderloin, duck, terrific lamb chops, loved the salmon.All the staff aboard the Dawn were professional and very accommodating at the dining table, buffet and cabin could not have been any better. Staff are good at keeping things clean throughout the ship. The entertainment at night was very good and a variety of performers and great dancers were shown. The only problem was one needed to rush to the main theatre as it has insufficient capacity and 15% at each performance are not accommodated. Princess should live broadcast in the evening on the main deck one of the shows so everyone has an opportunity to see the shows.......I believe broadcasting one live performance each night would eleviate any problem with copy write since no copy is actually made. One other thing that could improve Princess's performance would be to repeat show main movies over the day in one corner of the many bars. This could be done on a large TV screen. The various films rebroadcast in cabin TV's are often difficult to identify in advance and too often because of dining times conflict. The ships daily newspaper could identify perhaps two movies repeatedly show in a set bar. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Cruise was planned with a family group of 8. We were very lucky with only the last cruising at sea day being rough enough to have to hang onto handrails. The ports of call were lovely with our favourites being Maui, very pretty, and ... Read More
Cruise was planned with a family group of 8. We were very lucky with only the last cruising at sea day being rough enough to have to hang onto handrails. The ports of call were lovely with our favourites being Maui, very pretty, and Moorea, where we swam with stingrays and sharks. Loved the Crossing the Equator ceremonial fun on board. The entire crew were excellent with special mention to our 2 dining room waiters Bong and Yudi, our steward, Elson and those Cruise team we mainly interacted with, Gayve, Robbie, Riccardo and Ricki. The meals were excellent though items repeated a bit more often than I thought they would and the cabin comfortable. Thoght the Cruise line arranged Excursions and tours expensive. In most places we found a similar deal at half the price A typically relaxing holiday where you very soon didn't know what day it was. Thank you Captain. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Have been on 10 cruises all have been great p&o also princess until we went on board the dawn princess tired rundown old. Ship.food was boring staff wonderful what a shame ship and cooks didn't match the lovely staff .nearly ... Read More
Have been on 10 cruises all have been great p&o also princess until we went on board the dawn princess tired rundown old. Ship.food was boring staff wonderful what a shame ship and cooks didn't match the lovely staff .nearly everybody on board was ill with a virus hospital staff so busy with all the sick passengers.had cruise booked for next October when it returns as p&o.pacific explorer.have cancelled this booking would be to concerned about being on this ship again make sure you have travel insurance if boarding this damp smelling ship shame on you princess good luck p&o.had queen size bed which was comfortable but could not get up side of bed to narrow had to climb in and crawl up to get in and out ok if teenager not ok when in 70s.some cabins leaked from under swimming pool toilets frequently would not flush walls in horizon& vista lounge dirty needed a good scrub with hot soapy water.excursions were good .weather beautiful,passengers lovely , best result for this ship retire to scrap heap! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Dawn Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.6
Enrichment 4.0 3.3
Service 3.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.9

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