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Juanito Joseph Perera

Age: 69

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Dawn Princess

Sailing Date: 2013-11-16

Itinerary: Circummnavigation of Australia and New Zealand

This was an excellent cruise. It was relaxing and very pleasant. If I were to mark this cruise out of 100, I would give it 80 marks. I would recommend this cruise to all Australians.

The food in Horizon Court was ample and for a buffet style meal, it was very good. There was a lot of variety. My wife and I were in the Venetian Dining Room. We went there for dinner. Every day we were provided with a menu with with lots of choices. Our waiter was very knowledgeable, friendly and extremely helpful. We did not frequent the Steak House. One area of the Horizon Court became the Steak House in the evening for the price of $20 pp. This made the Horizon Court even tighter because it was difficult to find a table at certain times of the day.The Riviera deck had sausages and kebabs.The Sundae was really bad. Worse than McDonalds! We kept away from it because Horizon Court provided us with everything we longed for. Afternoon tea was served in the Venetian Dining room with waiters coming around with dainties. The same was also served in Horizon Court. There is a bar on Deck 5, presumptuously called "Patisserie" which only provided a tray with the same food in Horizon Court. It could have provided something much more elegant and dainty as the word Patisserie would require.

Rather small but very functional. We had a very comfortable and King size bed. The pillows were awkward and we woke up with a sore neck practically every morning.Dawn Princess was remedy this. The balcony was tight and the floor of the balcony looked old, worn out and rusty in some places. It must be remembered that this ship is 17 years old. It is however, well maintained. The carpet in the stateroom looked old but clean. The toilet is very small with only a shower which suited us fine. The wardrobes were generously provided with clothe hangers and the safe was very easy to operate. We were on Deck 14, stateroom number A540. This room is almost in front of an Emergency exit and the noise of the engines are clearly heard in the corridor. Once in the room, the noise is totally blocked out. The air conditioning could not be adjusted. It may have been the source for the distribution of a flu. Almost all passengers suffered from colds, tonsillitis and coughs.

There were activities advertised in the daily Patter. They were many and varied. The shows in the evening were generally very good. Regrettably some entertainers used it to promote their own beliefs which sometimes went against respect for human dignity. One such entertainer suggested that only people invited by Australia should be allowed to enter the country. I believe that Australia is not an exclusive club and as a signatory to the United Nations Charter, our country generously accepts refugees.

My wife and I did not go on any excursion arranged by the Ship. However, those who did said that they were well organized and reasonably priced. A visit to the Ship's doctor cost $75. This is very reasonable.

The cruise circumnavigated Australia, New Zealand and visited Lombok in Indonesia. I suggest that Dawn Princess could visit a more exciting island in Indonesia. Passports were collected on leaving the Kimberley Coast and everyone had to pay for a Visa. On re-entry to Australia, we had to go through Australian Customs again. Our Passports were also taken before we entered New Zealand waters. We looked forward to this cruise and we were not disappointed. We were more than pleased with our experiences aboard. The crew was extremely friendly and could not do enough to please us. Tipping was not obligatory but I know that Australians tip good service and that was never lacking. Even though the ports of call were for just one day, they provided us with a bird's eye view of the place visited and the cruise through the fiordland National Park cruise of New Zealand, especially of Milford Sound was just marvellous.

These were 35 days of relaxation and bliss. Adult passengers were allowed to bring one bottle of wine or Champagne which was generous of Dawn Princess.

Embarkation and disembarkation were handled with precision. On re-entry from every port of call, security was high, as we expected. Our embarkation cards were checked and our bags were scanned. We were not allowed to take food from the ship and in Brisbane a sniffer dog was used. In New Zealand we were required to carry an ID.

Food was excellent and all Australians and New Zealanders were spoke to were very pleased. Regrettably, not so the Americans? We could not understand that.

The seas were kind to us during the circumnavigation of Australia and the visit to Lombok. However, the Tasman Sea gave us a bettering for two days. There was an emergency aboard the Dawn Princess. A fire was detected and all passengers were requested to grab their life jackets and gather at muster stations. It took about two hours before we were allowed to return to our cabins. We were constantly informed of what was happening.This emergency was handled very efficiently and professionally by the crew. In compensation, the Captain offered all passengers wine in the dining rooms.

The Captained welcomed us twice. On the first occasion, a few days after departure and on the second occasion, it was a few days before the end of the cruise. On both these occasion, drinks were served with canapes. I could not quite understand why the Captain felt the need to mention the quantities the passengers ate and drank during the cruise. He also said that we entered the ship as passengers and would leave the ship as cargo. I would never have said that to guests in our home.

This was a great cruise, indeed!

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