Pacific Dawn

I’ve never been on a cruise but that doesn’t mean I haven’t wanted to.

On the weekend I had the unexpected opportunity to fly to Brisbane and tour the Pacific Dawn.

The ship!

The Pacific Dawn is part of the P&O fleet and is a three and a half-star to four star cruise ship that travels from Brisbane to New Zealand or around the Pacific Islands or up to Far North Queensland and back to Brisbane again.

The Promenade Deck – life rafts directly overhead!

The ship takes around 2000 passengers and they were all disembarking when we squeezed past them for a tour that allowed us access to all areas of the ship (except the Bridge) between one cruise finishing and another one starting.  I wasn’t expecting much from a three and a half-star ship but I was pleasantly surprised.

Celebrity chef Luke Mangan has opened a restaurant on the ship named Salt.  For a total cost of $40.00 diners can order whatever their preference from the menu.  Drinks are extra but this is certainly great value for money.

Luke Mangan’s restaurant, ‘Salt’

The ship has a number of swimming pools with this being the main pool.

One of the swimming pools

Here I am in the adults only area.  What a great place to recline.

Working up a sweat

The cabins are more roomy than I was expecting.  Here is a standard cabin with a window.

A standard cabin

The hallways are really long.  Really long.  I would advise bringing comfortable shoes.

To walk these corridors you need your walking shoes

There are a number of suites on board with balconies.  They are very spacious with generous bathrooms.

A suite

The ship has a large theatre with a variety of entertainment.  I noticed that wherever you sat in this theatre, you would have a fabulous view of the stage.

The theatre

In the centre of the atrium is a waterfall.  When we were having our tour of this part of the ship we saw contractors coming through to set up Christmas decorations on the ship.

The atrium being decorated in Christmas decorations

It’s a shame the duty-free wasn’t open – just think of the possibilities!

Everyone loves duty free

And there’s a piano bar.

The piano bar

There are several places to dine on the ship and this is the a la carte restaurant.

The restaurant – a lovely amount of space between the tables

And before our tour was finished, embarkation had commenced and we saw all the new passengers arriving on board for their two-week cruise to New Zealand.  Our time to disembark had arrived and I couldn’t help but be envious of the 2000 passengers who clearly were off on an adventure to have an amazing experience for the next 14 nights.

Pacific Dawn offers an affordable cruising experience.  There is a variety of cruise destinations to choose from.  Holidays are generally around seven to 10 days.

I disembarked, took a taxi to the airport and caught a plane home.  All the while wondering how those on the Pacific Dawn were enjoying themselves.

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  1. WOW! Like a dream voyage… Thanks and Love, nia

  2. The Love Boat soon will be making another run,
    ….Promises something for everyone!

  3. Fun!!

  4. We love cruising for a variety of reasons …. and from what I can tell, I think you would enjoy it as well. Thanks for the tour.

  5. Charlie, I oohed and aahed my way through your photos and descriptions, but my personal favorite was the piano bar. 🙂 I’ve never been on a cruise… glad you shared a glimpse… and I expect next time you’ll be sitting in that lounge chair for two weeks!

  6. Nice to see the ship–looks comfortable and attractive. I once cruised to Jamaica with my mother. I was 18 and a wee bit condescending about going on a cruise with her, but we had so much fun. Treasured memories.

  7. What a star cruiseship my friend 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. Well I was going to say ‘oh no I wasn’t here I could have taken you to lunch!!’ but it seems you were in and out of here quick smart!
    I actually didn’t think they’d be that nice. I think I’d be going for a suite over a room but it looks like a lovely way to travel.

  9. Cruising can be a lot of fun. We’ve been on several cruises (all on RSSC) and enjoyed every one. The great thing is you unpack only once. The downside is that you don’t get to spend that much time in any given port. But it’s a really relaxing vacation, and definitely worth trying.

  10. Oh wow what a great tour around the cruise 🙂 i remember going on a cruise quite a few years ago and it was so much fun but then I was a bit young and don’t think I enjoyed it as much.

    I actually have a high school friend working on one of the cruises now! What a life!

  11. What a fantastic opportunity! Looks like it received a rave from you!

  12. I’ve gone on two Princess cruises in the Eastern and Western Caribbean. The boat is just as you showed but with 1000 people trying to cram themselves around that pool, I found myself either eating, sitting on our balcony with my feet up reading a book or gambling.

    Cruising isn’t for me. I felt like I was locked in to a hotel. I couldn’t wait for the shore visits. 🙂

  13. Like Maureen cruising is not for me, may be when I am physically challenged I will change my mind.

  14. My mum and dad have been on several cruises, and loved every one! Mum even a couple of ladies who have opted to go from cruise to cruise to cruise all year round instead of going into a retirement village. They said the food is better, the entertainment is great, there’s a doctor available 24/7, they meet interesting people, go to interesting places- and it’s much, much cheaper!
    It’s certainly someting to think about I guess 🙂

  15. I still haven’t been on a cruise and I’m a bit scared of them to be honest. I’m not sure why!

  16. Wow – what an impressive ship. Cruises have never appealed to me but this might change my mind!

  17. What a beautiful ship! I’ve only been on one cruise, and it was a lot of fun. I’d love a two-week cruise! You took some wonderful photos and I particularly enjoyed the photo of you in full release! Relaxation, even for a few moments, is a good thing! 🙂

  18. How fun that we also got to see what a cruise would be like. My folks always wanted to take us kids on a cruise – hasn’t happened yet. Maybe us kids can take the folks instead.
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  19. I’m yet to go on a cruise but I’ve been dying to go for ages now!

  20. Pretty fancy, if I must say so. Thanks for the tour. I really had no idea what these cruise liners were like. Since I don’t like being on water, I’d never go on one, though, unless it was docked.

  21. How interesting to see the ship. I’ve never really thought of going on a cruise, but it does look nice. Lucky you to get a tour with no crowds!

  22. waw! What a large cruise ship! I never cruised before but maybe in my old days,….

  23. looks like a great place to go to!!! I’ve been looking at your blog but from my cell phone and I hate writing there, I have to get into my computer and, after working so many hours I just really don’t feel like getting there but I see you’ve been cooking a lot as always and posting great posts, you’re an amazing writer!!!!

  24. I thoroughly enjoyed my voyage on board the Pacific Dawn.
    I know you mentioned that you had read my posts on the voyage. You really do have to try it one day. You can’t understand just how relaxing a holiday can be until you have cruised.
    …Oh and Salt was amazing! …but I had to do the exercise classes each morning because the food and cocktails were so good.
    Love that “Adult Only” lounging bar, Mr GG and I spent most of the cruise there 🙂

  25. I’ve never been on a cruise and don’t know if it’s for me. However, looking at your pictures, I am sure I could learn to love it! Looks like a great adventure.

  26. As I get seasick very easily I have always steered away from cruises (forgive the pun) I would hate to spend so much money and be unwell for the whole 14 days or whatever. But maybe its time to rethink – this looks excellent.

  27. I’m too scared of being far away from land!

  28. A room with a window would fit me. And those long corridors would definitely keep me in shape during the cruise… 🙂

  29. I keep saying that I want to go on a cruise but I don’t want to go on the cruise, decide I hate it and then be stuck there for days. maybe I’ll do a 3 day one first to check it out. Looks like you had a very fun time!

  30. I also have never been on a cruise and although I loved looking at your photos, I can’t say that it’s the type of vacation that I’d enjoy. I think I’d feel too cooped up or end up eating way too much.

  31. I’ve had both really good and totally awful experiences with cruises…but this one actually looks awesome! Did it have that weird cruise boat smell, though?

  32. I’ve never been on a cruise, either, but that is a good looking ship! Thanks for the tour!

  33. I went to a couple of cruises and felt too “contained”, although was nice to see the pictures, maybe because it was not crowded.

  34. I’ve never been on a cruise yet, but maybe one day. It’s fun to see the inside of the cruise, it’s like open house. I love checking out inside the house/cruise and use my imagination. 😀 Thanks for the tour!

  35. Haha I’m not a boat/ship person and large bodies of water freak me out so I don’t know how I’d fare being on a cruise ship for days on end (the ferry from Picton to Wellington was long enough!) but this cruise ship does look pretty cool and yay, a Luke Mangan restaurant on board? Awesome.

  36. How cool to get to take a tour of the ship! I’ve never been on a cruise (serious sea-sickness in my family), but this boat looks so luxurious! Fun 🙂

  37. A much fancier cruise ship than the one I went on many many years ago. Best part about that trip was being able to drink on the open seas because of the low age limit. 😉

  38. How fabulous to be able to tour the ship. I’ve been on a Mediterranean cruise on a ship very similar to this one. It was great. GG

  39. What is that yellow thing on the bed? Is it leather?

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Yes, it’s a square of leather that your suitcases are put on when they arrive in your room. Well spotted!

  40. How fun that you got to do that!

  41. Charlie, this is wonderful! Just like the old Love Boat series – I didn’t think they were nearly as swish inside – I always thought cruise ships were a bit sleezy. Thanks for the tour!

  42. You look completely at home there Charlie! Maybe one day . . .

  43. What a fun ship! I’ve never been on a cruise ship, or really seen pics of one outside of on TV. I can’t say that I’ve ever had the desire to do one, but this is making me rethink that. The rooms aren’t nearly as small as I would have expected.

  44. I have been on two cruises, both to the Caribbean. Loved them both! The food was fantastic 🙂 My only problem is…now, I can’t stop thinking about moving to one of those islands!

    p.s. Your idea of “working up a sweat”, is exactly like mine!!

  45. Thanks for the tour. We are heading off on a cruise to nz next year. Can’t wait.

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