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Overall Rating
Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions

Age: 68


Number of Cruises: 17

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Dawn Princess

Sailing Date: 2012-03-16

Itinerary: around australia

Very poor value for amount charged. The predominant philosophy seems to be increasing the "bottom line". Predatory prices for alcohol & excursions. Only one bottle of wine allowed on board per voyage, forcing you to spend 3 to 4 times retail for mediocre wines. Wines brought on board are confiscated for "safe keeping". Best ports scheduled for sundays and holidays. Many shops closed. Price of excursions very high. Renting a car is much more economical and allows you more freedom. Dress code not enforced in dining room. Some passengers came to dine in hooded sweats and shorts. Actually, the ship is like a cruising "bus" loading and unloading passengers at virtually all of the ports on the itinerary. Consequently, many of the passengers exhibited attire and behavior not usually seen on other Princess ships. The ship is tired, has very small cabins, and there is unbelievable noise in moderate to rough seas coming from the stern. The ship has had propulsion problems in the past. The amount of vibration, grinding, and banging precluded sleep. Asked for a different cabin; but told that ship was full. Options were to tough it out or leave the cruise at the next port. There also appears to be a problem on board regarding allergens. Many passengers complained of runny eyes and noses as well as chest tightness and even wheezing. Wondered about mildew in the air-conditioning ducts or filters. Symptoms would clear after stepping outdoors. Hand sanitizers were not provided in the dining rooms. One of the few positives about the cruise was the new rule prohibiting smoking in cabins and verandahs.

Generally good; but bland, perhaps to please the predominantly northern European origins of the ship's passengers.

Much of the food was salty: but there appeared to be a rule against using garlic in the food,

Service in the dining rooms was generally good and professional.

Cramped, small, noisy, creaky. Odor of stale urine in the bathroom. Carpet did not look clean.


Excursions are very expensive relative to value. You are much better off renting a car than riding the excursion coaches. You will have much greater freedom of movement and pay a quarter of the excursion price.

The ship scheduled excursions to Australian wine districts although there is a standing rule of only one bottle of wine brought on board per voyage. Once again, the need for profit trumps passenger satisfaction.

The worst cruise we have taken in 21 years of cruising. The poorest value/cost ratio. Would not recommend this cruise to seasoned cruisers who seek the company of well-mannered passengers in an atmosphere of civility.

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