Australia is so fortunate to have the islands of the South Pacific within easy reach. Every year honeymooners, families and singles fly to an island of choice and come back wanting to do it again.
However, to visit more than one of the islands and they are all so different Natalie Gruzlewski recommends boarding one of P&O Cruises' superliners to get a taste of them. Check their website for departure dates: www.pocruises.com.au.
In late 2007 P&O introduced their first superliner: Pacific Dawn. It's based in Australia and cruises the Pacific year round to fulfil demand. It's not surprising cruising is so popular. There are no airport hassles once you're on board; just be welcomed aboard, unpack once and have everything is done for you. There's great food, entertainment for adults and children, lazy days at sea and fantastic destinations. Forty percent of those on board are return passengers.
Pacific Dawn can carry 2050 passengers, though the average cruise runs with around 1800 with people travelling solo choosing to stay in double rooms. Almost 700 crew members take care of your every whim that averages out to one crew member for every three passengers. One of those crew members spends the day creating fabulous ice sculptures!
The superliner has 11 decks and 795 cabins made up of 440 standard outside cabins and 171 standard inside cabins. Of the 134 outside cabins, 14 suites and 36 mini-suites have a private balcony. Currency and electricity plugs are Australian, so how easy is that!
There are two pools, whirlpool spas, sauna and steam rooms. The ship has five dining areas, nine bars and lounges and live shows every night. You can take dance lessons, play table tennis, join in bingo games and trivia quizzes, take art and craft classes, stay fit on the jogging track and make everyone at home envious when you e-mail them from the internet cafe. You can even do some duty-free shopping on board. A daily newsletter outlines activities and you can decide what you want to do over a leisurely breakfast.
The Dome entertainment area and observation lounge was designed by world-renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano. It rocks at night. The viZion light show transforms the three-level atrium into a light and sound production three times every cruise.
To keep everyone happy, Pacific Dawn has three children's clubs. Turtle Cove caters for the three- to seven-year-olds, the Shark Shack is for seven- to 12-year-olds and HQ is for teens only. Strictly no adults allowed.
It's an adventure when you're in port, jumping ship and hoping aboard a tender craft. Locals will be there to meet you and while they would like you to buy their wares, they do give you a genuine welcome to their island.
Cruising around the South Pacific aboard P&O Cruises' Pacific Dawn
P&O Cruises' Pacific Dawn
has three- to 21-night cruises departing regularly from Sydney and Brisbane as of December. They start at $699 per person twin share, including all main meals, accommodation and entertainment.
Prices correct at August 6, 2009.
For further information
203 Pacific Highway
St Leonards 2065
Ph: 132 469
P&O Cruises is offering a special cruise deal to Getaway viewers on Pacific Dawn's nine-night Island Adventures cruise departing Brisbane on October 2, 2010, visiting the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia, Ouvea in the Loyalty Islands and Vila and Mystery Island in Vanuatu. The first 100 viewers to book on the cruise will receive a $140 saving on the fare, bringing the cost down to only $1099 per person quad share or $1699 per person twin-share. Visit www.pocruises.com.au to book and quote promotion code WC1.