Pacific Dawn - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Pacific Dawn

★★★ +

Berlitz’s Ratings

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

Tonnage: 70,285

Lifestyle: Standard

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

Elevators: 9

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 2

Hot Tubs (on deck): 4

Self-Service Launderette: Yes

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

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.