Pleasantly Surprised Princess: Dawn Princess Cruise Review by hillsterz

Dawn Princess 5
Member Since 2008
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Overall Member Rating

Pleasantly Surprised Princess

Sail Date: February 2013
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
Embarkation: Melbourne
This was my first time cruising with the Princess Line and I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised. I have cruised with Cunard, 3 times before and many years ago P&O migrating to Oz on the Oriana. Embarkation in Melbourne was a breeze,and by 12 we were sitting at the Oasis bar getting ready for sail-a-way!!! We did have preferred boarding as we had a suite C746 but friends of ours had a balcony on the same deck and they were only half an hour behind us.
The suite was excellent with sitting room, large bedroom with full spa bath/ shower and seperate toilet,walk in robe. On arrival chilled champagne was waiting and the balcony was huge, table with 4 chairs and 2 lounges. Our first night we had an invitation to dine in the Sterling Steakhouse with the cover charge picked up by Princess. OMG it was fantastic and to make it even better we had a young waiter Patrick who was on the QM2 last year when we were on. The service was amazing and we went back 3 times. Our friends were More vegetarian and they had no trouble chosing from the menu.

As we had 3 sea days till Dunedin I took advantage of the hair salon and had a lovely girl Jana, the prices for shampoo and blowdry are very reasonable at $39. Also the Dawn does not add gratuities per day out of Australia so that was a bonus. The cocktails are very reasonable at $4.50 - 11.00 Au. Another fantastic area to eat is the pizzeria where you can chose your own toppings etc but they also serve pasta. We only ate at the seated dining twice, but the food was great. The shows were fine and comparable with Cunard. The only niggle for me was on theme nights. We had country and western night and there was only a handful of people who dressed up but we still made our own fun. Island night was held on deck which was great, here everyone dressed up BUT there were not enough tables and chairs and it was not great organisation. The entertainment crew were always seen and encouraged people to patrticipate in all activities.

Of course the service on board by everyone from the waiters, bar staff and cabin stewards was nothing less than perfect, I don't know if I would have the patience that these young man and women have!!!. Decor, yes she needs a paint here and there but everything was immaculate and people were always cleaning. I did notice however that in the main dining area they did not use hand sanitizer, this really surprised me. Casino was a nice size with enough machines and tables. Formal nights are not strictly speaking true formal and most of the ladies just wore a cocktail dress and men a suit and tie.

With our suite it was fantastic however being at the back of the ship you did feel vibration from the engines, but not enough to keep u awake. We were fortunate we had amazing weather going to NZ but a few people were sea sick crossing but that is to be expected in that part of the world.

So would we travel on the Dawn Princess again? Absolutely, great value for money with their suites and the extras you receive such as free dry cleaning, washing and one free mini bar set up, also corsage on formal nights, canapes every day if requested.

We also took advantage of tours every day, these were informative and a great way to get a snapshot of the country you are visiting. All in all Well done Princess!!! Less

Published 03/14/13

Cabin review: AAC746

Suite C746 Capri Suite Deck 9 Light and bright, greeeat wrap around balcony. Comfortable bed, very large walk in wardrobe. Fantastic spa bath,bathroom and seperate toilet. However being at the back of the ship you do get vibration from engines but nothing to worry about. 2 Tvs, great sitting area, fantastic suite!!!

Port and Shore Excursions

Waiheke Walking Tour

You hop on a ferry and are met the other end by a great tour guide. The scenery on Waiheke is stunning!! The talk by the guide is informative and fantastic .The morning tea down by the beach is wonderful and Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Rachael Hunter have all frequented the cafe where we ate!! The winery was great and then a relaxing ferry ride back. This tour was a highlight of our trip to Auckland. Highly recommended

Speights Brewery

Very interesting and informative. Worth doing even if you dont drink beer as they give u a cider instead of beer. My husband loved it and it is the only gravity fed brewery.

We embarked in Melbourne after flying over from Perth. This was our first time visiting Melbourne but it won't be our last!! Amazing city with wonderful art and coffee culture and soooo much to do around the river. People are extremely helpful and friendly.

We took the Deco tour and Aquarium. This was very disappointing, just rushed through to a 1920 shop hard sell sell. Then the aquarium had very little in the way of fish and very small. Coould be that in Australia we are spoilt with our fish and aquariums.
Read 80 Napier Reviews

We took another tour to a Maori village and it was brilliant!!! We had a hungi which was lunch and was absolutely delicious. It was traditional and there were so many facets to the culture you could stay there 2 days. There was singing, Haka, games more singing and the history . They involved us all and you left feeling a little sad that you had to go. The people were sooo genuine. Highly recommended.
Read 174 Tauranga Reviews

Kaiori Wildlife Sanctuary

This has been changed to Zealandia now and would recommend everyone who travels to Wellington to take this tour. Amazing flora and fauna and the volunteers who do the tours are simply fantastic. It is like going back to the Jurassic era and the stunning wildlife that you encounter is simply breathtaking. It is tranquil and they provide you with morning tea as well !!! A++++++++
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Member Since 2008
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