Comprehensive Review P & O – Pacific Dawn trip to the Pacific Islands.
Embarkation day – The luggage was collected at the terminal in a control manner and the check in was also straight forward. Disembarkation – No issues, well organised.
Boarding – Ship’s security x-ray the hand bag and passed through the metal detector similar to the airport.
Dining Request - As the dining option was waitlisted so there were passengers queuing outside the Waterfront restaurant to make their reservations and I was lucky to have a table as requested. If you come alone or as a couple the customer service will try to fit you with others on the big table.
Inside Cabin – The cabin is fine for 2 persons with 2 children but for 4 adults in it would be squashy and not recommended. There are no toiletries provided, the bathroom is at a reasonable size and the room service had to be chosen whether once or twice daily. (2 x daily service not automatic)
Deck Party – On the first day whilst the ship still alongside the crew performed a DJ dance party on the main deck and that was the only time it happened throughout the all trip.
Reception – Deck 5 is part of a 3-storey atrium with a wide staircase at one end leading to the upper levels, there is an ATM machine and also some stations to check and top up for the bills.
There are 2 restaurants where food is inclusive in the fares, the Waterfront (Dress Code for dinner only) & the Pantry. The Waterfront is an a la carte restaurant where the meals (entre & main) are more likely to be well presented, decorative but small in quantity but quality food can be purchase at a cost, I always complemented my meal to the Pantry particularly with the desert but no ice cream which can be bought. Guests can eat at the Pantry’s food-court-style outlets as many plates as they like with international cuisine but struggle to accommodate passengers at peak times.
Sport competitions – There are some games on board such as Table Tennis, mini Golf etc. as there were one large group only at each competition, going through the second round can be a long haul.
Daily Shows – The twice daily shows are non-spectacular, are for those who like stage musical, a little bit of magic and stand-up comedy. Bingo & Trivia – these are regular pastimes on the ship, every day. Music Band – There were 2 bands on board, a piano man and a guitar man.
Main Deck – there is no adult laps swimming pool on the ship just a small one for the kids and a couple of hot tubs mainly on Deck 10 aft. There is a giant cinema screen on Deck with a reasonable sound system.
Walking exercise area – Blocked for a few days due to high wind.
Waterslides & Waterpark – Good enjoyment for the kids & grown-ups.
Fitness Centre – Deck 2, inside gymnasium with no natural light.
Massage & Beauticians - Very Expensive. Casino – Poker machines & some tables for entertainments only.
Noumea – Berth right in town & free Wi-Fi available ashore, walking distance. Lifou – Tender transfer, nice beach. Port Vila – Mini bus ride to the city, shocking drivers with continuation nagging and hassle for a tour of the island. There are a couple of duty free stores with reasonable prices.
The bottom line, the ship can be a fun ship , average in excellence (3*) but expect to pay extra for upgraded meals and for some activities.
Inside Cabin – The cabin is fine for 2 persons with 2 children maximum but for 4 adults staying in it would be squashy and not recommended. No toiletries provided.
Transfer from Brisbane Airport, mini bus door to door service.
Ship berthed right in town, walking distance. Wifi available ashore.
Vessel dropped anchor, tender tranfer, beach small but fine.
Ship berth, small little drive by mini bus. Duty free in town with reasonable prices.
Perhaps the company should have arranged complimentary transportations to the city. Mini bus drivers nagged & hassled passengers for tour of the island.