Christened by the original cast of 'The Love Boat' in 1997, the Dawn Princess had a star-studded beginning. This may explain the fun, slightly glamorous atmosphere on board - there's no escaping that infectious holiday feeling.
Based out of Sydney and Brisbane, the Dawn Princess regularly sails to cities on the Australian coastline, as well as to New Zealand and the South Pacific. With only Australian currency accepted on board, be prepared for a true antipodean adventure, featuring vegemite at the breakfast bar, Australian entertainers and the odd sports match on the big screen.
Dawn Princess specs
The ship is 856 feet long and 185 feet high. There are 15 decks on board and a total of 999 guest cabins; plenty of space to accommodate all passengers comfortably.
Inside Dawn Princess
Having been on the seas since 1997, the Dawn Princess was originally considered a large ship, but she has since been outsized by many of her sister vessels. However what Dawn Princess may lack in size she makes up for in spirit, with fun activities to be found in nearly every corner.
Thanks to a refurbishment in 2009, the ship also has most of the signature Princess features, including a multi-million dollar art collection, the relaxing Lotus Spa and the Movies Under the Stars outdoor theatre.
Dawn Princess bars and restaurants
Be prepared to be pleased with the food; from traditional buffets to specialty restaurants, there are delicacies to delight everyone.
Dinner is served in two main dining rooms, both decorated in Italian style, which creates a lovely, intimate atmosphere. Guests may also choose to dine at Horizon Court, a 24 hour buffet with impressive views over the bow of the ship, or at Sterling Steakhouse, a specialty restaurant.
That said, there's a chance you might not be all that hungry come dinner time. During the day there are several tempting options, including an ice cream bar, a poolside barbecue grill and a daily afternoon 'high tea' (served in the main dining room).
Whatever you do, be sure to save some stomach space for a few after dinner drinks at one of the Dawn Princess' many bars and lounges. Wheelhouse Bar and Magnum's Bar are both great places to unwind after a long day, or if you are in the mood for a party atmosphere, you can't go wrong at the Nightclub Disco or the Vista Lounge.
Activities and entertainment on board Dawn Princess
As soon as you step inside Dawn Princess, you know you're in for a good time. The 4-storey Atrium offers enough shops to keep you busy for hours, as well as a patisserie and lounge, but don't spend too long here, the rest of the ship awaits.
Across 14 decks you'll find a range of restaurants, bars, lounges, pools and activity rooms, not to mention the Princess Theater and an adults-only Sanctuary retreat. There are many activities to choose from, day and night, from trivia and card games to ballroom dancing and Movies Under the Stars.
Dawn Princess itineraries and shore excursions
With regular sailings from Australia, a holiday on board the Dawn Princess is one of the best ways to explore New Zealand, the South Pacific and (depending on her schedule) some Asian destinations, such as Kuala Lumpur and Phuket.
As with most cruises, the Dawn Princess excursions are a wonderful way to explore a new city. The options available will of course depend on your chosen destination, but to give you an idea examples include a visit to Madame Tussauds in Sydney, a river cruise in Brisbane and waterfall walk in Hawaii.
The Dawn Princess can accommodate nearly 2000 passengers across its five cabin options. The interior rooms are a comfortable, affordable option, while the Dawn Princess suites are at the other end of the spectrum. Whether you are cruising on a budget or would like to sail in luxury, there will be a room to suit your needs. There are also some wheelchair access cabins available.
All cabins include basic amenities such as a telephone, hairdryer, vanity, mini-fridge and television. The bathrooms also come stocked with shampoo, conditioner, lotion and shower gel supplied by the Lotus Spa.
Dining included in your Dawn Princess ticket:
Specialty dining (not included in the fare price):
If variety is the spice of life, then the Dawn Princess is certainly living the dream; there is a wide variety of entertainment and activities to choose from. The only challenge lies in deciding what to do first!
Dawn Princess by day
There's no better way to make the most of your free time than by taking up a new hobby. Princess offers several 'Sea' programmes to help people learn new skills, with courses on everything from photo editing to computer basics. There is also a small selection of 'Scholarship@Sea' lectures on a variety of topics; the lectures about cruising destinations are particularly worth attending.
If you would like some time alone, the library & writing room on the Promenade Deck offers some peace and quiet, and the Sanctuary adults-only retreat is always a great option. You will also find all of your traditional cruise activities on board, such as trivia, bingo, card games and arts & crafts.
Pools and gyms on Dawn Princess
There are three freshwater pools on the Dawn Princess; the Lotus Spa Pool, the Riviera Pool and the Sanctuary Pool (adults-only). The Riviera is also home to Movies Under the Stars. Relax and enjoy a film while soaking in the pool, or make yourself comfortable on one of the many surrounding lounges. Movies Under the Stars is a popular area of the ship all year round, with staff helpfully providing warm blankets and complimentary popcorn on cooler evenings.
The Lotus Spa is located on Deck 12 and the perfect place to go if you're in need of some rejuvenation. There are many treatment options available, including facials, massages and manicures.
Guests can maintain their fitness at the Dawn Princess gym, which has sweeping views of the ocean and a good selection of fitness equipment. There are also daily group fitness classes.
Dawn Princess by night
For a fun night out, Deck 7 is the place to be. In this area you will find the Princess Theater and the Vista Lounge, both of which play host to live entertainment every night. Whether you're in the mood for movies, magicians or original Dawn Princess shows, you're bound to found something to suit your preferences.
All of the Dawn Princess bars are also worth a visit, especially the Wheelhouse Bar which has a nautical theme. Partygoers cannot go past the Nightclub Disco, the dance floor is the main attraction, except when it is Karaoke time. For those seeking a quieter establishment, pop across to Magnum's, a stylish, upmarket bar, the perfect place for a nightcap.
Dawn Princess for families
There's no shortage of activities for children on board the Dawn Princess. There are scheduled children's programmes every morning, afternoon and evening, with breaks for meal times. As on most Princess cruises, there are different activity programmes for every age group; Princess Pelicans for 3-7 year olds, Shockwaves for 8-12 year olds and Remix for 13 to 17 year olds.
In addition, there is a 'Fun Zone' centre designed for younger kids, featuring a splash pool, a castle, children's theatre and more. Teenagers tend to be found hanging out in the 'Teen Zone', which includes its own non-alcoholic bar and disco area, as well as several movies, video games and other activities.
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