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We originally decided to choose the Dawn because the family friendly facilities and activities appealed to us. This was our first cruise, so naturally we were excited with anticipation and certain expectations. The pantry restaurant which was inclusive of our fare seemed appealing at first, with selections and choice of various flavours of dining tastes. As the days went on the food became repeatative and average. I noticed the trifle looked like they recycled left overs and put it together to fool us into eating a different trifle. Breakfast not bad nice to have bacon and eggs, but scrambled eggs were cold. Pastries seemed quite bland. The ship itself being the size it was, encouraged you to walk a distance to get where you were going. Various areas and structures badly needed painting, or repairing, I spotted cracks peeling paint, on beams, walls etc. A highlight was the outdoor pool area, great for the kids, waterpark nice, slides good pool a little small. Large screen good for movies out on deck. There are amazing vantage points for taking photos especially front of boat on deck 10. The Edge activities are great for kids and adults. We paid $116 for a gold pass unlimited for our 14 yr old. He really became much more active. It’s good too to give the parents some down time.We only had an inside cabin, no windows. At first when we arrived we noticed only two single bunk beds made up. We had our 14 yr old with us. We complained as the sleeping arrangements didn’t suit our situation. They wouldn’t allow the third top bunk to come down for safety reasons. We were adamant and demanded a queen bed( two singles really put together), and a roll out bed for our son. So really get the point across if you’re not happy. We got our “queen” bed and single bed. Not much room in cabin but I thought there was plenty of storage space for clothes. There were drawers and four hanging spaces for your clothes. I recommend you take your own pillow, as we found the pillows thin and therefore got sore necks.Everyday you would receive a newsletter for the days activities, which was good, the entertainment team were awesome, always in high spirits, the shows were always packed I thoroughly enjoyed them, you can order a drink just before the show with roaming waiters but sometimes hard to flag them down when there’s a full house get there early for good seats and to get served by the waiter. I took part in the hypnosis show absolutely fantastic. The service everywhere was always friendly and impeccable. Our stewards always smiled and knew our name and were only too happy to assist us with whatever we needed. We gave them a tip daily. A few tips on Port disembarking, and tenders. When going ashore by tender, it pays to get up early get organised, pack sunscreen, water, etc, get to breakfast early, and head to the meeting point, in our case, the promenade level 7. If you get there first or earlier you will get on the tenders earlier. If you get there late you will be lining up. Then you are handed a ticket number and told to wait in the atrium till your number is called. So the later you get to the promenade the longer the ticket call. Anyone doing the New Caledonia, Fiji, Lifou, Vanuatu trip, the first mentioned island is great for snorkelling, and relaxing but not too much to do, Fiji, great for shopping, the currency was good $1.58 to our Australian dollar so we got a bit more back on exchange. Keep your wits about you, don’t carry valuables in your pockets as you may get pickpocketed, my son almost got robbed, ushered into a back room while trying on a chain, but he rushed out so a close call. If you get off in Fiji be prepared to say no because you be approached by locals trying to pursuade you to go to a particular shop, don’t buy from on street shops go into shopping centre, to avoid getting ripped off. But we enjoyed the shopping off the street. If you hop into a taxi as you get off the ship, the driver will try to get as much money out of you by wanting to drive you around and into the country ( good chance of being robbed). We walked everywhere it wasn’t far from the ship anyway. Port Vila the best stop save some money for this one! Great tours, they have a Nike shop good value for money, we went to the blue lagoon unforgettable experience especially for the kids highly recommended. I wanted to spend longer in Port Vila, when you dock they have markets dockside great variety and I bought some beautiful dresses there. Oh and it’s a good idea to purchase the drinks package if you’re someone who would love to laze by the pool and sip on a cocktail, or not worry about how much you’re clocking up in cost. We regrettably didn’t get the drink package because my partner thought my $300 on board credit would last me 12 days. Nup we ended spending around $2000 which was too much last two days we ran out of money so I was miserable not being able to enjoy cocktails near the end of the cruise. We spent $200 in one night at the white party yikes so least with drink package you can relax and have as many cocktails as you like. We bonded with the staff so when disembarking in Brisbane I cried because truley speaking the staff really do make you feel special. The waterfront is better than the pantry but you need to book your table. Better quality and slightly better variety. Well sorry this is a long review but from one first timer to another it’s good to know this stuff before you go so you are better prepared and in for a more enjoyable experience. Happy travels and bon voyage.

Not bad for first time but you get what you pay for.

Pacific Dawn Cruise Review by Cruisling enthusiast

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We originally decided to choose the Dawn because the family friendly facilities and activities appealed to us. This was our first cruise, so naturally we were excited with anticipation and certain expectations. The pantry restaurant which was inclusive of our fare seemed appealing at first, with selections and choice of various flavours of dining tastes.

As the days went on the food became repeatative and average. I noticed the trifle looked like they recycled left overs and put it together to fool us into eating a different trifle. Breakfast not bad nice to have bacon and eggs, but scrambled eggs were cold. Pastries seemed quite bland. The ship itself being the size it was, encouraged you to walk a distance to get where you were going. Various areas and structures badly needed painting, or repairing, I spotted cracks peeling paint, on beams, walls etc. A highlight was the outdoor pool area, great for the kids, waterpark nice, slides good pool a little small. Large screen good for movies out on deck. There are amazing vantage points for taking photos especially front of boat on deck 10. The Edge activities are great for kids and adults. We paid $116 for a gold pass unlimited for our 14 yr old. He really became much more active. It’s good too to give the parents some down time.We only had an inside cabin, no windows. At first when we arrived we noticed only two single bunk beds made up. We had our 14 yr old with us. We complained as the sleeping arrangements didn’t suit our situation. They wouldn’t allow the third top bunk to come down for safety reasons. We were adamant and demanded a queen bed( two singles really put together), and a roll out bed for our son. So really get the point across if you’re not happy. We got our “queen” bed and single bed. Not much room in cabin but I thought there was plenty of storage space for clothes. There were drawers and four hanging spaces for your clothes. I recommend you take your own pillow, as we found the pillows thin and therefore got sore necks.Everyday you would receive a newsletter for the days activities, which was good, the entertainment team were awesome, always in high spirits, the shows were always packed I thoroughly enjoyed them, you can order a drink just before the show with roaming waiters but sometimes hard to flag them down when there’s a full house get there early for good seats and to get served by the waiter. I took part in the hypnosis show absolutely fantastic. The service everywhere was always friendly and impeccable. Our stewards always smiled and knew our name and were only too happy to assist us with whatever we needed. We gave them a tip daily.

A few tips on Port disembarking, and tenders.

When going ashore by tender, it pays to get up early get organised, pack sunscreen, water, etc, get to breakfast early, and head to the meeting point, in our case, the promenade level 7. If you get there first or earlier you will get on the tenders earlier. If you get there late you will be lining up. Then you are handed a ticket number and told to wait in the atrium till your number is called. So the later you get to the promenade the longer the ticket call.

Anyone doing the New Caledonia, Fiji, Lifou, Vanuatu trip, the first mentioned island is great for snorkelling, and relaxing but not too much to do, Fiji, great for shopping, the currency was good $1.58 to our Australian dollar so we got a bit more back on exchange. Keep your wits about you, don’t carry valuables in your pockets as you may get pickpocketed, my son almost got robbed, ushered into a back room while trying on a chain, but he rushed out so a close call. If you get off in Fiji be prepared to say no because you be approached by locals trying to pursuade you to go to a particular shop, don’t buy from on street shops go into shopping centre, to avoid getting ripped off. But we enjoyed the shopping off the street. If you hop into a taxi as you get off the ship, the driver will try to get as much money out of you by wanting to drive you around and into the country ( good chance of being robbed). We walked everywhere it wasn’t far from the ship anyway.

Port Vila the best stop save some money for this one! Great tours, they have a Nike shop good value for money, we went to the blue lagoon unforgettable experience especially for the kids highly recommended. I wanted to spend longer in Port Vila, when you dock they have markets dockside great variety and I bought some beautiful dresses there.

Oh and it’s a good idea to purchase the drinks package if you’re someone who would love to laze by the pool and sip on a cocktail, or not worry about how much you’re clocking up in cost. We regrettably didn’t get the drink package because my partner thought my $300 on board credit would last me 12 days. Nup we ended spending around $2000 which was too much last two days we ran out of money so I was miserable not being able to enjoy cocktails near the end of the cruise. We spent $200 in one night at the white party yikes so least with drink package you can relax and have as many cocktails as you like.

We bonded with the staff so when disembarking in Brisbane I cried because truley speaking the staff really do make you feel special. The waterfront is better than the pantry but you need to book your table. Better quality and slightly better variety.

Well sorry this is a long review but from one first timer to another it’s good to know this stuff before you go so you are better prepared and in for a more enjoyable experience.

Happy travels and bon voyage.
Cruisling enthusiast’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Cabin 6137
The cabin was clean slightly small, nice to have fresh sheets bed made up daily, cleaned daily and fresh towels daily. You pay for what you get, but no window only air con so not much air circulation. Small shower, water pressure ...hmmm toilet small noisy to flush. But we managed.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews