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This was our third cruise but first with the Princess Line and Dawn Princess. This cruise was chosen as it fitted in with our dates and the itinerary included ports we wanted to visit. With some upgrading and hard saving for 18 months we had the Madeira Suite (C749), to us it was worth the extra $$$ as we enjoyed suite only benefits of being able to order room service from the main dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a free dinner for two at the Sterling Steakhouse, other benefits were, free laundry (washing and pressing), afternoon tea and evening canapes served in our cabin, a bowl of fresh fruit every day, free bottled water and also a once off mini bar set up. It was also my husbands 60th birthday and he was surprised with a chocolate cake and dinner at the Sterling Steakhouse. The service we received from all the crew was excellent, nothing ever seemed too much for them and we were always greeted with smiles. The food in general was okay, we only ate at the buffet for breakfast once and lunch twice, not overly impressed, food was bland and dry and it was next to impossible to find somewhere to sit, we ate twice at the Barbecue Grill, thoroughly enjoyed it as it was cooked fresh right in front of you. We were assigned to the Florentine room for dinner, but only ate there 4 times, mainly because we could have it delivered to our cabin and we are casual people who don't enjoy dressing up every night. Of the normal Room Service Menu we tried the club sandwich, burger and hot dog which were all good, but give the BLT on the brekky menu a miss, the toast was just dried out bread, with cardboard bacon and a sliced up boiled egg, no mayo, no sauce, suffice to say we didn't eat them. The Sterling Steakhouse fare was excellent, big hunks of cow (lamb, pork or chicken) cooked to order, usually so big that after having the prawns for an entree and leaving room for dessert a must, I could barely touch the sides, choice of potatoes, spinach and asparagus (yuck). The Pizza restaurant served nice pizza's but the choice was limited to selections from a menu, on our previous cruises they were made to order plus the pizza restaurant only had limited hours, closing at 11:30pm, so no late night snacks. We only went to a couple of shows, okay but I have seen better. We like to play the poker machines but did find it difficult to get on a machine, probably saved us some dough in the long run. Ship board activities were good, the usual trivia, bingo, dance classes etc. the cooking show by the chef Claus was excellent. We did the ship tour, another treat for hubby, as soon as we boarded we went straight to the Pursers and put our names down, they only do it once per cruise and it is for a limited number, so if you're keen get in early or you could be disappointed, it is very popular and fills up quick, four of the people on our tour were on a waiting list. It was well worth the money, visiting the galley, cold storage, medical centre, laundry, print shop, photo lab, anchor room and of course meet the captain on the bridge. At the end of the tour you get champagne and canapes, photos, a gorgeous photo frame, personalised writing paper, apron and bathrobe. We did the Mekong Delta tour offered by the ship and although a long day (5 hour round trip on a mini bus with 4 other people) was excellent. We joined up with some Cruise Critic people for a tour in Cambodia which was also excellent. We spoke to the people that we did the Mekong Delta tour with, they did the ship tour which included a barbecue and bus tour, they weren't overly impressed. The Bangkok on your own was good, although it is almost a 6 hour round trip from the port to the centre of Bangkok, so if you don't want to waste half a day sitting on a bus, give it a miss and go to Patayya etc. As a treat for my husband we chartered a yacht for a four hour cruise in Koh Samui which took us across the neighbouring island where we could have gone swimming or diving but we just chose to sail. Bali we just did our own thing. We were far from impressed with the internet service and packages, very expensive and almost impossible to connect during the day, apparently they only have one server that is used by those who pay to subscribe but is also used by those who just want to go on to the ships web page so they can send emails between cabin, check what's happening on board etc. When you can log on it's very slow as there are too many people using it, I know service at sea can be limited but I haven't experienced it this bad before. We wasted nearly $300 on internet just so we could confirm bookings and do banking. The ship is very tired looking, we saw quite a few buckets for leaks, my husband spoke to some ladies who had been put out of their cabin from early in the morning as their toilet had backed up, all the carpet had to be ripped up and replaced. When he saw them they were sitting on the stairs, he offered for them to come to our cabin but they were hoping they might be able to back in within the hour, they had been cabinless for 10 hours at that stage. At times we also noticed some sewage smells in the hallways. Overall we had a great cruise, but we would not choose to sail on her again unless she had a major overhaul. We found the other ships we have been on rated much higher, more modern, better casual dining choices and no drips.

Excellent Crew, Great Itinerary, Tired Ship

Dawn Princess Cruise Review by RobynC

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was our third cruise but first with the Princess Line and Dawn Princess. This cruise was chosen as it fitted in with our dates and the itinerary included ports we wanted to visit. With some upgrading and hard saving for 18 months we had the Madeira Suite (C749), to us it was worth the extra $$$ as we enjoyed suite only benefits of being able to order room service from the main dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a free dinner for two at the Sterling Steakhouse, other benefits were, free laundry (washing and pressing), afternoon tea and evening canapes served in our cabin, a bowl of fresh fruit every day, free bottled water and also a once off mini bar set up. It was also my husbands 60th birthday and he was surprised with a chocolate cake and dinner at the Sterling Steakhouse.

The service we received from all the crew was excellent, nothing ever seemed too much for them and we were always greeted with smiles.

The food in general was okay, we only ate at the buffet for breakfast once and lunch twice, not overly impressed, food was bland and dry and it was next to impossible to find somewhere to sit, we ate twice at the Barbecue Grill, thoroughly enjoyed it as it was cooked fresh right in front of you. We were assigned to the Florentine room for dinner, but only ate there 4 times, mainly because we could have it delivered to our cabin and we are casual people who don't enjoy dressing up every night. Of the normal Room Service Menu we tried the club sandwich, burger and hot dog which were all good, but give the BLT on the brekky menu a miss, the toast was just dried out bread, with cardboard bacon and a sliced up boiled egg, no mayo, no sauce, suffice to say we didn't eat them. The Sterling Steakhouse fare was excellent, big hunks of cow (lamb, pork or chicken) cooked to order, usually so big that after having the prawns for an entree and leaving room for dessert a must, I could barely touch the sides, choice of potatoes, spinach and asparagus (yuck). The Pizza restaurant served nice pizza's but the choice was limited to selections from a menu, on our previous cruises they were made to order plus the pizza restaurant only had limited hours, closing at 11:30pm, so no late night snacks.

We only went to a couple of shows, okay but I have seen better. We like to play the poker machines but did find it difficult to get on a machine, probably saved us some dough in the long run. Ship board activities were good, the usual trivia, bingo, dance classes etc. the cooking show by the chef Claus was excellent.

We did the ship tour, another treat for hubby, as soon as we boarded we went straight to the Pursers and put our names down, they only do it once per cruise and it is for a limited number, so if you're keen get in early or you could be disappointed, it is very popular and fills up quick, four of the people on our tour were on a waiting list. It was well worth the money, visiting the galley, cold storage, medical centre, laundry, print shop, photo lab, anchor room and of course meet the captain on the bridge. At the end of the tour you get champagne and canapes, photos, a gorgeous photo frame, personalised writing paper, apron and bathrobe.

We did the Mekong Delta tour offered by the ship and although a long day (5 hour round trip on a mini bus with 4 other people) was excellent. We joined up with some Cruise Critic people for a tour in Cambodia which was also excellent. We spoke to the people that we did the Mekong Delta tour with, they did the ship tour which included a barbecue and bus tour, they weren't overly impressed. The Bangkok on your own was good, although it is almost a 6 hour round trip from the port to the centre of Bangkok, so if you don't want to waste half a day sitting on a bus, give it a miss and go to Patayya etc. As a treat for my husband we chartered a yacht for a four hour cruise in Koh Samui which took us across the neighbouring island where we could have gone swimming or diving but we just chose to sail. Bali we just did our own thing.

We were far from impressed with the internet service and packages, very expensive and almost impossible to connect during the day, apparently they only have one server that is used by those who pay to subscribe but is also used by those who just want to go on to the ships web page so they can send emails between cabin, check what's happening on board etc. When you can log on it's very slow as there are too many people using it, I know service at sea can be limited but I haven't experienced it this bad before. We wasted nearly $300 on internet just so we could confirm bookings and do banking.

The ship is very tired looking, we saw quite a few buckets for leaks, my husband spoke to some ladies who had been put out of their cabin from early in the morning as their toilet had backed up, all the carpet had to be ripped up and replaced. When he saw them they were sitting on the stairs, he offered for them to come to our cabin but they were hoping they might be able to back in within the hour, they had been cabinless for 10 hours at that stage. At times we also noticed some sewage smells in the hallways.

Overall we had a great cruise, but we would not choose to sail on her again unless she had a major overhaul. We found the other ships we have been on rated much higher, more modern, better casual dining choices and no drips.
RobynC’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Owner's Suite with Balcony
Cabin S2 C749
Lots of space, lots of extra benefits and best of all Aft, we love being at the back of the ship. You do get some slight vibration but that doesn't bother us.
Baja Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews