Despite the annual flotilla of stunning cruise ships entering Australia each year, there is still an endearing quality associated with the older workhorses still in service today. While the exterior of the ship has seen many summers come and go, the inside may be as glam, spick and shiny as any of the new mega-ships pitching their case for your business. And it is this which keeps thousands of Aussies going back to their sentimental favourites year after year.
P&O Cruises’ Pacific Dawn is one of these ultra-reliable workhorses which may see its final summer in the years to come. Planned renovations in the pipeline for this ship also mean that there are no plans for this ship to sail off into the sunset anytime soon. But for now it continues to provide a memorable sea holiday experience to Aussies eager to see the Australian coast line, New Zealand and the islands of the South Pacific.
Each cruise caters to 1,546 passengers at double occupancy across 11 decks, with a maximum capacity of just over 2,000. Here we will take a look at the various surroundings in which these guests can lay their head down at the end of each day.
1. Interior Stateroom
Where are they? Decks 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 (Categories IA, IB, IC, ID, IE, IF)
Generally suited to two passengers, there is space for a third and fourth berth in these cabins on the higher decks. Each comes equipped with a double bed which can be separated into two singles if required.
All the modern conveniences of home can be found in each of these, including a flat-screen television, wardrobe, desk with chair and personally controlled air conditioning. Each has a private ensuite with a shower.
2. Ocean View Stateroom
Where are they? Decks 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 (Categories OA, OB, OC, OD, OE, OF, OG, OH, OI, OJ, OV, OZ)
Unlike the Interior rooms where the head of the bed is against the rear wall, most Ocean View staterooms on Pacific Dawn see the beds on the side, meaning there is nothing stopping a flood of light shining into your room (when the curtains are open of course). These rooms feature all of the same amenities as their interior counterparts.
Depending on the specific location of your particular room, you may have a slightly modified view, however this will be reflected with slight differences in the price. For example, Deck 4 may see your room with a porthole rather than a window, while Deck 8 may see your view slightly obstructed by a lifeboat or another part of the ship, however you will still be able to see the ocean in one way or another.
3. Balcony Stateroom
Where are they? Decks 10 and 11 (Categories BB, BC, BD and BE)
Much more spacious, these rooms feature swing-out balcony doors leading to your own private oasis, furnished with two deck chairs. Within the room itself, amenities are the same as the two previous categories.
As an older ship first launched in 1990, there are only two decks offering balconies owing to different design techniques in place at the time which have since been drastically improved. But while available capacity is more limited than newer ships, the interior furnishings and cabin design is incredibly modern, with bright furnishings and state-of-the-art technology.
Where are they? Deck 11 (Category MA)
A significant step up from an Interior, Ocean View and Balcony stateroom, these Mini-Suites see the bedding placed to face the ocean with room still to spare on the other side. A full sofa suite with space for at least four people features at the end of the bed, while amenities have also been upgraded.
The bathroom is also larger in size, with a shower over bath replacing a shower chamber. Guests in this category also enjoy perks such as priority embarkation and disembarkation, pillow menu, a personalised welcome letter from the Hotel Director, a welcome glass of wine on arrival, fresh fruit in the cabin replenished regularly and evening turn-down service.
Mini-Suites are also positioned toward the centre of the ship, meaning access to all of the activity elsewhere onboard is within easy reach.
Where are they? Deck 11 (Category SA)
Located on the same deck as the Mini-Suites albeit closer to the front of the ship, there are 12 of these full size Suites which make up the highest of high-living on Pacific Dawn.
A separate bedroom is off to the side of a living room with a lounge suite, while the bathroom features individual bath and shower facilities. There’s a walk-in wardrobe with dressing table and chair.
A Nespresso coffee machine also allows you to make your favourite morning drink from within your room. An iPod music system will have your favourite tunes pumping and guests are invited to the Senior Officer’s Cocktail Party on voyages of five nights or longer.
Priority access and tickets are reserved for guests in suites, including tender tickets where needed, dining reservations, spa treatments and shore excursion tickets. An optional in-room breakfast and afternoon tea service is also available to Suite guests.