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“Island Hopper”

Portside Cruises Pacific Dawn Day Tours
Reviewed 31 May 2018 via mobile

First time on a P&0 ship Pacific Dawn, she is an older ship, our room was large with plenty of storage space. Staff were great and reasonably friendly. Food was great with a good variety. Entertainment caters mainly for families and especially the movies. TV in your room at night was not as good as another cruise line. We got the 7 night cruise for a bargain so for the price we paid we were completely happy. Cocktails were wonderful and a good price. Duty free on the ship I think was a little expensive. All in all we met some great people and had a wonderful time

1  Thank Bellakeetah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"island hopper"
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"waterfront restaurant"
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"port vila"
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"airlie beach"
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in 12 reviews
"cruise experience"
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"salt restaurant"
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"drinks package"
in 13 reviews
"luke mangan"
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"great ship"
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16 - 20 of 339 reviews

Reviewed 21 May 2018

I booked an inexpensive 4 night cruise from Brisbane to Airlie Beach ( Whitsundays ) for May 2018 as a trial for my husband, myself and our teenage son ( both the boys get very seasick which is why we haven't cruised before ) We have just returned and I want to write an honest review as before embarking on our first cruise I found a lot of negative reviews online. Firstly I'll say it was certainly value for money ( cost us just $600 each with insurance and soft drinks packages plus we spent around $300 on board ) Getting on the ship was super easy, they really do have it down pat. I suggest packing LANYARDS to put your cruise card on so you don't have to buy them on board ( although not that expensive - 2 for $12 ) We had an ocean view cabin on deck 6, middle to front and I was surprised as the room was bigger than I expected with plenty of storage space ( I suggest packing a few extra hangers or maybe I take too many dresses ! ) The cabin staff were super friendly, always smiling as were the staff all over the boat. It was really crowded up on deck when the ship left port so I would suggest after doing the mandatory safety talk that you head straight up and get a spot.My son and myself are lactose intolerant and I eat a mostly plant based healthy diet so I was worried about the food choices and yet we found the food at the Pantry and the Waterfront Restaurant to be very high quality with lots of healthy choices and fresh vegetables available. ( Stir Fry Asian Veggies, Seafood Gumbo, mexican green rice, veggie curries ) I lined up upon boarding the ship as suggested to book the waterfront restaurant and could only get the late session ( 7.45 pm ) We ate there twice however my husband and son both felt sick in that location on the ship so we cancelled our other bookings.My tip for the Pantry would be to get there early as the food is really fresh and it can be difficult to get a good seat at busy times.The staff get to know you and would remember your choices and I was able to get lactose free milk each morning for my coffee. I didn't like the taste of the water available so we purchased bottles.There were plenty of bars/ lounges around and I found the alcohol prices very reasonable ( cocktails are $12 and wine $9-$10 a glass ) My husband and I enjoyed the Piano Bar on deck 7 and the Dome at the front of the ship was a great spot to get away from the crowds. The Magician show was really good :-) It could be difficult to get a nice lounge space on the deck, we got there early on the one sunny sea day we had.There are a lot of "extra" costs as a lot of people had written about but its up to you to choose them. My son had a few goes at the V8 simulator ( $ 25 a turn ). There were good movie choices and the shows were really good. I went along to wellness seminar but it was disappointing as we couldn't understand the presenter and she basically left after 2 minutes to offer individual consultations so it seemed just about selling products. I got up for a jog on the first day ( yes I'm one of those people ! ) its beautiful up on the top deck however there was a lot of people smoking at 6 am and it wasn't pleasant running through it each lap so I went to the gym the next few days ( very clean and efficient gym,towels and water available,my tip is to take headphones to listen to the TV/ Music they have attached to the equipment ) We didn't book a tour at Airlie as we have been there before ( We previously did the Catamaran 3 Islands day tour which was amazing and I totally recommend although 3 out of our 5 family members got sea sick ) We got the tender over to Airlie and friends drove us out to Northerlies for lunch which was just divine, great food and amazing views ) Overall as a first cruise I really enjoyed the experience and would recommend

1  Thank DanielleA262
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2018 via mobile

Boarding of the ship was quite smooth and not too much waiting around.
Once on board we headed straight to the Waterfront restaurant to book a table for the 4 nights of the cruise. We had been advised to do this by our daughter- a frequent cruiser.
Finding our cabin was quite easy and not to far from one of the lifts.
We had a balcony cabin which was spacious with a large wardrobe and drawers.
I was glad we had a balcony as I suffer from motion sickness and having access to fresh air really helped. I only needed to take 4 tablets for the whole trip.
We enjoyed dining at the Waterfront for most of our meals. At breakfast and lunch we sat at a shared table, which was great as we met some nice people!
We splashed out on lunch one day at Salt and wasn’t disappointed. We mentioned we were celebrating our anniversary and they gave us a lovely cake to take back to our cabin!
The various shows and bands were very entertaining.
I especially enjoyed the outdoor movies.
If I went on a longer cruise I would purchase the coffee/tea package as I drink a lot of coffee and mock tails are included.
You can basically leave the ship as soon the doors open and your luggage is waiting for you.
We will definitely be booking another cruise soon!

1  Thank Dee B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2018 via mobile

We had SUCH a fabulous time on board the Pacific Dawn from Brisbane to Vanuatu. It was a last minute trip booked to distress and unwind and found everything so well prepared and clean and relaxing. We left our Pet dog in the capable hands of Louella from PetCloud and headed off for 4 days. I would recommend taking some Travacalm and a water bottle to first timers - but yes just perfect! You don't need to lift a finger.

2  Thank webfra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 April 2018 via mobile

Just got back from a 10 day Pacific cruise.
You wonder why it was reasonably priced?
First thing we encountered was some kiwi locals who wore their white freezing gum boots,and kept wearing them the whole trip.
Good luck finding the fish in the batter.
Couldn't sleep due to the commercial fans drying out the carpet all night from the swimming pool overflow from the top deck.
Any good entertainment was really late at night so children couldn't be exposed to adult language.
Questioned on arrival about our health status, but staff on board sneezed and coughed all over us and laughed when we complained.
To add insult to injury they lost my duty-free, and no amount of phone calls or emails can either get it back or give me a refund.
We thought the staff were great.

Thank Bundle63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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