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Hello all, To be a cruise critic, I would think that one would have needed to be on more than four cruises, but my cruise on the Pacific Dawn was one with some differences, that I wish I new about before I booked. So for you with a similar mindset this is for you. Dinning.. The freestyle concept with P&O (aust) is new, having been on the NCL (wind) which had several different venues to eat, on the Dawn it was very much smokes and whistles, to explain, the palm court offered passengers really the only individual dinning room available, which was unique in its venue, that you could go sit and be waited on with an ever changing menu. The cafe De Sol was on an upper deck and served the same food as the Palm Court (during dinner) but as a buffet style arrangement, having to serve yourself was OK but then to find a seat was another matter. Other dinning options was the Italian Pizza Restaurant, with a very limited menu, average pasta, just two choices and fair pizza. In the evening a section of the Cafe De sol is transformed into the Steakhouse, here there is a $20.00 surcharge for a nice piece of steak, really not much more as the service by the waiting staff is great throughout the ship. So to sum up, and a passenger who looks forward to the whole dinning experience on board, it is with regret that I have to say that I've certainly had a more favorable dinning experienced on other ships. Entertainment.. Another enjoyable aspect to cruising that both my partner and I enjoy is the nightly entertainment in the international show lounge, this also was fair, the band backing the artist was to my taste average, and the performance from the artist including the Pacific Dawn Troupe was tired most of the time. Surprisingly as this rebranded ship has only been sailing since Nov 07. The other entertainment on offer were ceramics, ballroom dancing, flower making classes and the casino. There was no dedicated cinema it was a screen in the show lounge, great sound but average picture. Staff.. All the staff onboard were terrific, our cabin steward was very accommodating. And the Staff in the Palm Court equally so. Though one word of warning to couples who have enjoyed the Freestyle concept of dinning previously, If you feel that you have made a dinner booking to sit at a table for two to enjoy a romantic night together, or a table for four to enjoy a meal with some newfound friends, think again, on not one occasion were our request met. If P&O are advertising this ship with this style of dinning available it needs to be fined tuned to say the least. For the smokers on board, you are not allowed to smoke in your cabin, as a smoker this is for me not a problem, but many passengers who would have preferred to have indulged in there cabin would have been lumped with a $300.00 cleaning charge, after a warning, at the end of their vacation. And as far as other areas for smokers you are allowed only to smoke on the Port side of deck 7 (Promenade) and the port side of the Casino/Sports bar which all have very limited seating available. For the non smokers this was a welcome change, but imagine the smokers. After all I have said it was a nice relaxing holiday, but would I cruise with P&O australia again, well let me put it this way, it would be great for first time people interested in cruising.

Well it was relaxing!

Pacific Dawn Cruise Review by marlin118

Trip Details
Hello all, To be a cruise critic, I would think that one would have needed to be on more than four cruises, but my cruise on the Pacific Dawn was one with some differences, that I wish I new about before I booked. So for you with a similar mindset this is for you.
Dinning.. The freestyle concept with P&O (aust) is new, having been on the NCL (wind) which had several different venues to eat, on the Dawn it was very much smokes and whistles, to explain, the palm court offered passengers really the only individual dinning room available, which was unique in its venue, that you could go sit and be waited on with an ever changing menu. The cafe De Sol was on an upper deck and served the same food as the Palm Court (during dinner) but as a buffet style arrangement, having to serve yourself was OK but then to find a seat was another matter. Other dinning options was the Italian Pizza Restaurant, with a very limited menu, average pasta, just two choices and fair pizza. In the evening a section of the Cafe De sol is transformed into the Steakhouse, here there is a $20.00 surcharge for a nice piece of steak, really not much more as the service by the waiting staff is great throughout the ship. So to sum up, and a passenger who looks forward to the whole dinning experience on board, it is with regret that I have to say that I've certainly had a more favorable dinning experienced on other ships.
Entertainment.. Another enjoyable aspect to cruising that both my partner and I enjoy is the nightly entertainment in the international show lounge, this also was fair, the band backing the artist was to my taste average, and the performance from the artist including the Pacific Dawn Troupe was tired most of the time. Surprisingly as this rebranded ship has only been sailing since Nov 07. The other entertainment on offer were ceramics, ballroom dancing, flower making classes and the casino. There was no dedicated cinema it was a screen in the show lounge, great sound but average picture.
Staff.. All the staff onboard were terrific, our cabin steward was very accommodating. And the Staff in the Palm Court equally so. Though one word of warning to couples who have enjoyed the Freestyle concept of dinning previously, If you feel that you have made a dinner booking to sit at a table for two to enjoy a romantic night together, or a table for four to enjoy a meal with some newfound friends, think again, on not one occasion were our request met. If P&O are advertising this ship with this style of dinning available it needs to be fined tuned to say the least.
For the smokers on board, you are not allowed to smoke in your cabin, as a smoker this is for me not a problem, but many passengers who would have preferred to have indulged in there cabin would have been lumped with a $300.00 cleaning charge, after a warning, at the end of their vacation. And as far as other areas for smokers you are allowed only to smoke on the Port side of deck 7 (Promenade) and the port side of the Casino/Sports bar which all have very limited seating available. For the non smokers this was a welcome change, but imagine the smokers.
After all I have said it was a nice relaxing holiday, but would I cruise with P&O australia again, well let me put it this way, it would be great for first time people interested in cruising.
marlin118’s Full Rating Summary
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