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2 P&O Australia Darwin Cruise Reviews

Having been on only 5 cruises in 16 years ( on 5 separate cruise lines), we don’t qualify as frequent cruisers, but we do regard ourselves as seasoned travellers. Our most recent trip was on the Pacific Dawn, which we picked up in ... Read More
Having been on only 5 cruises in 16 years ( on 5 separate cruise lines), we don’t qualify as frequent cruisers, but we do regard ourselves as seasoned travellers. Our most recent trip was on the Pacific Dawn, which we picked up in Darwin on the way from Singapore to Brisbane. The cruise suited us as a 6-day relaxing way of returning home to Brisbane from a holiday in Darwin. We had read the range of reviews of the ship’s recent voyages, and weren’t expecting too much. Consequently, we were pleasantly surprised. Pacific Dawn is probably in its twilight years, but has many good features. Ours was an outside cabin on deck 6, so by no means upmarket. Compared with other cruise ships we’ve been on, both the cabin itself and the shower were larger and better appointed. The bed was comfortable. Everything functioned properly, and the cabin staff were attentive and efficient. Because the journey had commenced several days before we joined the ship, our social contact with other passengers was limited. Most seemed to be enjoying the cruise, but we did hear quite a few complaints. Happily, they weren’t issues that affected us. Of course, we weren’t on board to add any notches to our cruising record or to tick off any bucket list items, so that may help to account for our genuine enjoyment of the experience. Passing through the Torres Strait and around Cape York was fascinating, with helpful explanatory commentary from the Bridge. The ship’s route followed the North Queensland coast as far as Airlie Beach, and the scenery was spectacular. Our only stop and shore venture was at Airlie Beach. The process of getting ashore by tender was slow and a bit frustrating, but returning on board was quick and efficient. Every night the entertainment in the Marquee theatre was first-rate. We did find the cruise director’s regular verbal intrusions on the performances and other ship’s activities to be long-winded and unnecessary - she has verbal diarrhoea - but that was a minor irritation. There were plenty of the popular cruise activities like trivia quizzes, karaoke and bingo, but we didn't take part in them. The food, in both the Waterfront Restaurant and The Pantry bistro was quite good. We did book one specialty dinner, in the Shell and Bones Restaurant, and found both the meal and the service quality to be outstanding. The price was also reasonable, and excellent value. We understand that this may not be a ship for the jaded cruise palate, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The Pacific Dawn slogan is ‘Like no place on Earth’ and for a cruise liner that is old, rusty and way past it’s use by date that covered it! I booked this cruise as it’s rare to board a cruise in Darwin stopping at Timor Leste, ... Read More
The Pacific Dawn slogan is ‘Like no place on Earth’ and for a cruise liner that is old, rusty and way past it’s use by date that covered it! I booked this cruise as it’s rare to board a cruise in Darwin stopping at Timor Leste, Komodo Island, Bali and Singapore. The first meal was in The Pantry & it was very average with long queues, food was cold & to find a spare seat was impossible. All other meals were in the Waterfront restaurant. The room needed an good clean and paint and the sink was so old it was peeling enamel, the balcony had rust on the railing so a warning not to lean on it. The nightly entertainment was not world class but it was enjoyable to watch. The best meal was High Tea which cost extra but was worth it. The shore excursions were way overpriced, in Dili I booked direct with Timor Adventures, a wonderful day and Carlos our guide was very informative. Pacific Dawn staff seemed to be lack lustre and not like on other cruises where they are so happy and couldn’t do enough for you. I won’t be booking on P&O again as compared with other cruise line cruises I have done I am rating this cruise a 2, being generous. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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