Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 313 out of 500
Accommodation: 135 out of 200
Food: 263 out of 400
Service: 276 out of 400
Entertainment: 72 out of 100
Cruise: 271 out of 400
Overall Score: 1330 out of 2000
Pacific Dawn Statistics
Size: Mid-size Ship
Cruise Line: P&O Cruises (Australia)
Former Names: Regal Princess
IMO Number: 8521232
Builder: Fincantieri Navali (Italy)
Original Cost: $276.8 million
Entered Service: Aug 1991/Nov 2007
Registry: Great Britain
Length (ft/m): 811.0/247.2
Beam (ft/m): 105.6/32.2
Draft (ft/m): 25.5/7.8
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (24,000kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 11
Total Crew: 725
Passengers (lower beds): 1,596
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 44.0
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.2
Cabins (total): 798
Size Range (sq ft/m): 189.4-586.6/17.6-54.5
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 148
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 13
Wheelchair accessibility: Fair
Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 2
Hot Tubs (on deck): 4
Self-Service Launderette: Yes
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: Australian $
This dated large ship is good for family-friendly cruising
Overview. Pacific Dawn provides a very pleasant cruise in elegant and comfortable surroundings, and a friendly staff will make you feel really welcome. Sunbathing space is rather limited when the ship is full. But, overall, Pacific Dawn performs well and is excellent value for money.
The Ship. There is no walk-around promenade deck outdoors - the only walking space being along the sides of the ship. Inside, the understated decor of soft pastel shades is highlighted by some colorful artwork. A striking, elegant three-deck-high atrium has a grand staircase with fountain sculpture. The Dome, an observation dome set high atop the ship, houses a multi-purpose lounge/comedy club with live music.
Families. Children have their own play areas: Turtle Cove (ages 3-6); Shark Shack (ages 7-10); HQ (11-13); and HQ+ (14-17). Each age group has dedicated counselors to keep them occupied.
Accommodation. There are numerous different price grades, ranked by location and size. In the most recent refit, some 282 cabins had upper berths fitted to accommodate two adults and two children. In general, the cabins are well designed, with large bathrooms and good soundproofing. All cabins have walk-in closets, refrigerator, personal safe, and TV set. Twin beds convert to queen-size beds in standard cabins. Lifeboats obstruct the view from the outside-view cabins for disabled passengers.
The 14 most expensive suites, each with a large private balcony, are very well equipped, and storage space is generous, adequate even for long cruises.
Dining. The Waterfront Restaurant has open seating for all meals. The food has good taste thanks to the use of fresh produce. A large ‘always available’ selection is combined with multiple daily additions; vegetable and potato side orders are always provided.
For more intimate dining, with food prepared to order, try the specialty venue Salt Grill by Luke Mangan. The fish specialties include barramundi and fresh oysters. There’s a cover charge (A$40 for dinner, A$30 for lunch; reservations are needed. The downside is the intrusive background music.
There is a Trattoria (nominal fee) for informal meals; this is particularly popular at lunchtime and in the afternoons. There’s also an extra-cost patisserie, Charlie’s Bar, in the spacious lobby.
Entertainment. The Marquee Showlounge spans two decks. There’s plenty of live music for the bars and lounges, with a wide mix of classical, jazz, and dance, from solo pianists to showbands. Three times during each cruise, a stunning laser light and sound show is presented in the atrium.
Spa/Fitness. The Aqua Spa and fitness center has a gymnasium, exercise room, steam room, and sauna.