Cruise News

I have just returned from a 10-day cruise to north of Sydney stopping at Airlie Beach, Cairns, Port Douglas, Willis Island, Brisbane and then back to Sydney on the newly re-furbished Pacific Explorer previously call Dawn Princess.

I was never on the Dawn Princess but was told the colours were dark and dingy and this has now been replaced with a light and airy décor throughout with bay windows with comfortable padded seating with cushions that were ideal for reading, snoozing and watching the world go by.

Although the cabins were small they were comfortable and clean with every effort made by the housekeeping staff to ensure that we were taken care of. Every night the bedding was turned back and alternate nights there was either chocolates or animal’s sculptures made from the towels.

I thought the food was extremely good compared to the Eden which we did not like at all and was more like a 3-star cruise. We used the Pantry for lunch where you could help yourself to a variety of hot meals, salads, sandwiches and fresh fruit. We also had some passes to Luke’s outdoor burger and grill, Dragon Lady and Shell & Bone.

Also, the waterfront we used regularly for other dining nights and the food and service was very good with plenty of variety since the staff can order meals from the iPad that goes directly to the kitchen.

The activities were awesome with zip lining, walk the plank, waterslide and plenty of free ship games.


Although no dome area for after the sun goes down there is the Blue Room where you have a gathering of single/married there for a cocktail or chat there is also other lounges like the Explorer lounge that had all the usual trivial pursuit, bingo, dance classes and other seminars running daily.

Loved the adult sanctuaries not one but 2 the Oasis was above the fitness centre and the sanctuary was at the other end of the ship. In the Oasis had a bar but I did not like the fact that smokers were in one corner comfortable with table and chairs there was nothing provided for non-smokers in similar seating.

There was a pool and 2 spas’ and no kids! The kids were in the main pool area and there would be no chance to get a swim in there without being bombed by kids. The Sanctuary was a little sterile with no bar service there, don’t get me wrong it was lovely and quiet with a good book and plenty snoozing there but what was missing was a bar or a cold towel given out by staff.

In the main theatre was a little disappointing as had only one level and no special seating for disabled people meaning a stray lounge chair had to be carried over for disabled passengers to sit at the back of the theatre. If you were late getting there you basically missed out on a seat.

OVERALL it was a good cruise but there was still a problem with toilets blocking outside the Waterfront Restaurant despite giving warnings prior to sailing on what can and can’t be flushed down the toilets – there is always people that disregard what is said.

We were rewarded all the way up the coast with whales playing with their calves and dolphins galore. Had a great R&R time away from our businesses and were relaxed and met awesome people on board.

Would definitely go again on another P&O cruise and look forward to the next one!