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Princess Cruises: Dawn Princess

  • Princess Cruises

Dawn Princess Review

Launched in 1997 as the second of Princess Cruises’ Sun-class ships, Dawn Princess is based in Australia year-round and uses only Australian currency onboard. Dawn Princess offers passengers a unique experience throughout some of the world’s most exotic destinations,

including Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific. The ship has been updated to include popular onboard features, such as The Sanctuary and Movies Under the Stars

Refined and graceful, Sun-class ships offer many of the choices attributed to larger Grand-class ships without sacrificing the smaller-ship atmosphere for which they're noted. The four-story atrium with a circular marble floor, stained-glass dome, and magnificent floating staircase are ideal settings for relaxation, people-watching, and making a grand entrance. Only Sea Princess sails Caribbean cruises; Sun and Dawn Princess are deployed in the South Pacific.

Onboard decor is a combination of neutrals and pastels, which are easy on the eyes after a sunny day ashore. The main public rooms are situated in a vertical arrangement on four lower decks, and, with the exception of promenade deck, cabins are forward and aft. In a nice design twist, the casino is somewhat isolated, and passengers aren't forced to use it as a passageway to reach dining rooms or the art deco main show lounge. Sea Princess also has an outdoor Movies Under the Stars LED screen.

Princess Cruises may be best known for introducing cruise travel to millions of viewers, when its flagship became the setting for The Love Boat television series in 1977. Since that heady time of small-screen stardom, the Princess fleet has grown both in the number and size of ships. Although most are large in scale, Princess vessels manage to create the illusion of intimacy through the use of color and decor in understated yet lovely public rooms graced by multimillion-dollar art collections.

Princess has also become more flexible; Personal Choice Cruising offers alternatives for open seating dining (when you wish and with whom you please) and entertainment options as diverse as those found in resorts ashore.

Lovely chapels or the wide-open decks are equally romantic settings for weddings at sea with the captain officiating.

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What You Should Know

Pros

  • You can always escape the crowds by ducking into the cozy reading room
  • No matter what flavor is on the menu, dessert soufflés can't be beat
  • On Riviera Deck a dramatic, partially shaded pool with two hot tubs appears suspended between two decks

Cons

  • Horizon Court Lido buffet restaurants occupy the far forward space, meaning there is no observatory lounge
  • There's nothing about the interior decor that'll knock your socks off
  • These are large ships but not large enough to overcome the invasive art auctions
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 900
  • Entered Service 1997
  • Gross Tons 77,000
  • Length 856 feet
  • Number of Cabins 975
  • Passenger Capacity 1,950
  • Width 106 feet

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