Pacific Explorer

Former name: Dawn Princess

Pacific Explorer current position

Pacific Explorer current location is at West Australia (coordinates -32.04846 S / 115.74610 E) cruising en route to Fremantle. The AIS position was reported 5 minutes ago.

All Itineraries Current Position

Current itinerary of Pacific Explorer

Pacific Explorer current cruise is 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise, themed as "Comedy". The itinerary starts on 19 Apr, 2024 and ends on 22 Apr, 2024.

Date / TimePort
19 Apr 18:00    Departing from Fremantle, Perth, Western Australia hotels
22 Apr 07:00    Arriving in Fremantle, Perth, Western Australia hotels

Specifications of Pacific Explorer

Year of build1997  /  Age: 27
Flag state United Kingdom
BuilderFincantieri (Monfalcone, Italy)
Building costUSD 300 million
Engines (power)Wartsila-Sulzer (46.1 MW / 61821 hp)
Speed23 kn / 43 km/h / 26 mph
Length (LOA)261 m / 856 ft
Beam (width)32 m / 105 ft
Gross Tonnage77441 gt
Passengers1996 - 2395
Crew924
Passengers-to-space ratio32
Decks14
Cabins998
Decks with cabins7
Last Refurbishment2020
Sister-shipsSea Princess, Sun Princess (Pacific World)
Former namesDawn Princess
Christened byDora the Explorer (Nickelodeon character) for Princess Cruises
OwnerCarnival Corporation & PLC
OperatorCarnival Australia (via P&O Cruises Australia)

Pacific Explorer Itineraries

DateItineraryDeparture PortPrice from
2024 Mar 29 5 days, one-way from Adelaide to Fremantle Adelaide
2024 Apr 03 12 days, round-trip Indonesian Adventure Fremantle
2024 Apr 15 4 days, round-trip Exmouth Fremantle
2024 Apr 19 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Fremantle
2024 Apr 22 10 days, round-trip Kimberley Coast Adventure Fremantle
2024 May 02 3 days, round-trip 80s Themed Cruise Fremantle
2024 May 05 10 days, one-way from Fremantle to Cairns Fremantle
2024 May 15 10 days, round-trip Solomon Sea Islands Cairns
2024 May 25 7 days, round-trip New Guinea Island Encounter Cairns
2024 Jun 01 3 days, one-way from Cairns to Brisbane Cairns
2024 Jun 04 2 days, one-way from Brisbane to Sydney Brisbane
2024 Jun 04 28 days, round-trip Australian Explorer Brisbane
2024 Jun 06 9 days, one-way from Sydney to Fremantle Sydney
2024 Jun 06 28 days, round-trip Australian Explorer Sydney
2024 Jun 15 19 days, one-way from Fremantle to Sydney Fremantle
2024 Jul 02 2 days, one-way from Brisbane to Sydney Brisbane
2024 Jul 04 4 days, one-way from Sydney to Auckland Sydney
2024 Jul 08 9 days, round-trip Pacific Island Hopper Auckland
2024 Jul 17 8 days, round-trip Fiji Encounter Auckland
2024 Jul 25 9 days, round-trip Pacific Island Hopper Auckland
2024 Aug 03 13 days, round-trip Bounty Adventure Auckland
2024 Aug 16 3 days, round-trip Country Auckland
2024 Aug 19 10 days, round-trip Tongan Discovery Auckland
2024 Aug 29 4 days, round-trip Picton Auckland
2024 Sep 02 8 days, round-trip Fiji Encounter Auckland
2024 Sep 10 10 days, round-trip Bounty Discovery Auckland
2024 Sep 20 3 days, round-trip 80s Themed Cruise Auckland
2024 Sep 23 8 days, round-trip Fiji Encounter Auckland
2024 Oct 01 10 days, round-trip Bounty Discovery Auckland
2024 Oct 11 4 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Auckland
2024 Oct 30 5 days, one-way from Auckland to Melbourne Auckland
2024 Nov 04 4 days, round-trip Kangaroo Island Melbourne
2024 Nov 08 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Melbourne
2024 Nov 11 4 days, round-trip Kangaroo Island Melbourne
2024 Nov 15 3 days, round-trip 80s Themed Cruise Melbourne
2024 Nov 18 4 days, round-trip Hobart Melbourne
2024 Nov 22 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Melbourne
2024 Nov 25 4 days, round-trip Kangaroo Island Melbourne
2024 Nov 29 2 days, one-way from Melbourne to Adelaide Melbourne
2024 Dec 01 4 days, round-trip Southern Getaway Adelaide
2024 Dec 05 4 days, round-trip 90S Adelaide
2024 Dec 09 4 days, round-trip Southern Getaway Adelaide
2024 Dec 13 4 days, round-trip Kangaroo Island Adelaide
2024 Dec 17 2 days, one-way from Adelaide to Melbourne Adelaide
2024 Dec 19 8 days, round-trip Christmas Cruise Melbourne
2024 Dec 27 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Melbourne
2024 Dec 30 13 days, round-trip New Years Eve Cruise Melbourne
2025 Jan 12 5 days, round-trip A Taste Of Tasmania Melbourne
2025 Jan 17 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Melbourne
2025 Jan 20 4 days, round-trip Kangaroo Island Melbourne
2025 Jan 24 3 days, round-trip Aussie Classics Melbourne
2025 Jan 27 7 days, one-way from Melbourne to Fremantle Melbourne
2025 Feb 03 4 days, round-trip Exmouth Fremantle
2025 Feb 07 11 days, one-way from Fremantle to Singapore Fremantle
2025 Mar 02 12 days, one-way from Singapore to Fremantle Singapore
2025 Mar 14 3 days, round-trip 80s Themed Cruise Fremantle
2025 Mar 17 4 days, round-trip Busselton Fremantle
2025 Mar 21 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Fremantle
2025 Mar 24 5 days, one-way from Fremantle to Adelaide Fremantle
2025 Mar 29 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Adelaide
2025 Apr 01 4 days, round-trip Southern Getaway Adelaide
2025 Apr 05 6 days, one-way from Adelaide to Auckland Adelaide
2025 Apr 11 8 days, round-trip Pacific Island Hopper Auckland
2025 Apr 19 9 days, round-trip Fiji Encounter Auckland
2025 Apr 28 8 days, round-trip Pacific Island Hopper Auckland
2025 May 06 10 days, round-trip Bounty Discovery Auckland
2025 May 16 3 days, round-trip 80s Themed Cruise Auckland
2025 May 19 4 days, round-trip Bay Of Islands Auckland
2025 May 23 8 days, round-trip Pacific Island Hopper Auckland
2025 May 31 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Auckland
2025 Jun 03 10 days, round-trip Bounty Discovery Auckland
2025 Jun 13 14 days, round-trip Queensland Explorer Auckland
2025 Jun 27 9 days, round-trip Fiji Encounter Auckland
2025 Jul 06 8 days, round-trip Pacific Island Hopper Auckland
2025 Jul 14 10 days, round-trip Bounty Discovery Auckland
2025 Jul 24 4 days, round-trip Bay Of Islands Auckland
2025 Jul 28 10 days, round-trip Tongan Discovery Auckland
2025 Aug 07 4 days, one-way from Auckland to Brisbane Auckland
2025 Aug 11 4 days, round-trip Whitsundays Cruise Brisbane
2025 Aug 15 14 days, round-trip Bounty Adventure Brisbane
2025 Aug 29 7 days, round-trip Pacific Island Hopper Brisbane
2025 Sep 05 4 days, round-trip Whitsundays Cruise Brisbane
2025 Sep 09 10 days, round-trip New Guinea Island Encounter Brisbane
2025 Sep 19 6 days, round-trip Barrier Reef Discovery Brisbane
2025 Sep 25 8 days, round-trip Pacific Island Hopper Brisbane
2025 Oct 03 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Brisbane
2025 Oct 06 4 days, round-trip Whitsundays Cruise Brisbane
2025 Oct 10 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Brisbane
2025 Oct 13 7 days, round-trip Barrier Reef Discovery Brisbane
2025 Oct 20 4 days, round-trip Whitsundays Cruise Brisbane
2025 Oct 24 3 days, one-way from Brisbane to Melbourne Brisbane
2025 Oct 27 4 days, round-trip Kangaroo Island Melbourne
2025 Oct 31 7 days, round-trip Southern Getaway Melbourne
2025 Nov 07 3 days, round-trip 80s Themed Cruise Melbourne
2025 Nov 10 4 days, round-trip Kangaroo Island Melbourne
2025 Nov 14 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Melbourne
2025 Nov 17 4 days, round-trip Kangaroo Island Melbourne
2025 Nov 21 2 days, one-way from Melbourne to Adelaide Melbourne
2025 Nov 23 4 days, round-trip Southern Getaway Adelaide
2025 Nov 27 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Adelaide
2025 Nov 30 4 days, round-trip Southern Getaway Adelaide
2025 Dec 04 4 days, round-trip Melbourne Adelaide
2025 Dec 08 4 days, round-trip Southern Getaway Adelaide
2025 Dec 12 4 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Adelaide
2025 Dec 16 3 days, one-way from Adelaide to Melbourne Adelaide
2025 Dec 19 8 days, round-trip Christmas Cruise Melbourne
2025 Dec 27 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Melbourne
2025 Dec 30 7 days, round-trip New Years Eve Cruise Melbourne
2026 Jan 06 4 days, round-trip Kangaroo Island Melbourne
2026 Jan 10 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Melbourne
2026 Jan 13 4 days, round-trip Kangaroo Island Melbourne
2026 Jan 17 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Melbourne
2026 Jan 20 4 days, round-trip Kangaroo Island Melbourne
2026 Jan 24 3 days, round-trip Aussie Classics Melbourne
2026 Jan 27 6 days, round-trip Southern Getaway Melbourne
2026 Feb 02 2 days, one-way from Melbourne to Adelaide Melbourne
2026 Feb 04 4 days, round-trip Kangaroo Island Adelaide
2026 Feb 08 5 days, round-trip Southern Getaway Adelaide
2026 Feb 13 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Adelaide
2026 Feb 16 4 days, round-trip Melbourne Adelaide
2026 Feb 20 3 days, round-trip 80s Themed Cruise Adelaide
2026 Feb 23 4 days, round-trip Kangaroo Island Adelaide
2026 Feb 27 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Adelaide
2026 Mar 02 5 days, one-way from Adelaide to Fremantle Adelaide
2026 Mar 07 6 days, round-trip Coral Coast Discovery Fremantle
2026 Mar 13 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Fremantle
2026 Mar 16 4 days, round-trip Busselton Fremantle
2026 Mar 20 3 days, round-trip 80s Themed Cruise Fremantle
2026 Mar 23 4 days, round-trip Exmouth Fremantle
2026 Mar 27 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Fremantle
2026 Mar 30 4 days, round-trip Busselton Fremantle
2026 Apr 03 8 days, round-trip Coral Coast Discovery Fremantle
2026 Apr 11 4 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Fremantle
2026 Apr 15 4 days, round-trip Exmouth Fremantle
2026 Apr 19 7 days, one-way from Fremantle to Melbourne Fremantle
2026 Apr 26 5 days, one-way from Melbourne to Auckland Melbourne
2026 May 01 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Auckland
2026 May 04 4 days, round-trip Bay Of Islands Auckland
2026 May 08 3 days, round-trip 80s Themed Cruise Auckland
2026 May 11 8 days, round-trip Pacific Island Hopper Auckland
2026 May 19 10 days, round-trip Bounty Discovery Auckland
2026 May 29 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Auckland
2026 Jun 01 9 days, round-trip Fiji Encounter Auckland
2026 Jun 10 10 days, round-trip Bounty Discovery Auckland
2026 Jun 20 3 days, round-trip Comedy Cruise Auckland
2026 Jun 23 8 days, round-trip Pacific Island Hopper Auckland

Pacific Explorer Review

Review of Pacific Explorer

The 1997-built (as Dawn Princess) cruise ship Pacific Explorer was the second Sun-class vessel in the Princess Cruises fleet, with sisterships Sea Princess (now Dream Charming) and Sun Princess (now Pacific World). The liner was transferred to P&O Australia in May 2017 under its current name "Pacific Explorer".

The vessel (IMO number 9103996) is currently UK-flagged (MMSI 232006603) and registered in Southampton.

In 2021, P&O Australia received two more ex-Princess boats - Golden Princess (Pacific Adventure) and Star Princess (Pacific Encounter).

History - construction and ownership

P&O Cruises is a subsidiary company and two brands owned by Carnival Corporation - P&O UK and P&O Australia. In 2000, P&O Cruises became subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises, which merged with Carnival Corporation in 2003. P&O is the world's oldest cruise company, starting passenger shipping operations in 1822 on the routes connecting England with Iberia.

The ship's hull is adorned with the company's new livery - the Southern Cross, the national symbol of Australia and New Zealand, which is also incorporated in their country flags. Following a major drydock refurbishment in Singapore (at Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Yard), the boat was renamed in 2017 from "Dawn Princess" to "Pacific Explorer".

Pacific Explorer cruise ship (Dawn Princess)

The inaugural cruise for P&O Australia departed from Sydney NSW on June 22 (2017). The vessel was a replacement for Pacific Pearl, sold to CMV UK and renamed Columbus.

Decks and Cabins

Pacific Explorer staterooms (998 total, in 20 categories) include 38x Suites, 372x Balconies, 192x Oceanviews and 396x Inside, including 19x wheelchair-accessible. Most cabins are sized 140-160 ft2 (13-15 m2), with cabin balconies sized 30 ft2 (3 m2). Nearly 70% of all outside staterooms are with private step-out balconies. The largest accommodations are the Balcony Suites (375-430 ft2 / 35-40 m2, with terraces sized 85-275 ft2 / 8-26 m2).

The boat has 14 decks, of which 11 are passenger-accessible and 7 with cabins.

Review/Shipboard facilities and amenities

Pacific Explorer passengers can enjoy thrilling waterslides, kids' aquapark, extreme sports park (P&O Edge/climbing course and Zip Line across the top deck) and barefoot bowling on open decks. Popular leisure and relaxation options are a day spa, cabana-style pool deck, a total of 4 swimming pools and 5 Jacuzzies/hot tubs, live performances (music and shows).

Pacific Explorer's 2017 drydock refurbishment added two new for P&O AU casual dining venues - "Luke's Grill" (poolside food bar/evening restaurant by Australian chef Luke Mangan) and "400 Gradi" (traditional Neapolitan pizzeria by chef Johnny Di Francesco).

Other dining venues include Waterfront Restaurant (MDR-Main Dining Room), Angelo's (Italian), Dragon Lady (Asian), The Pantry (Lido buffet restaurant/marketplace with 9 fresh food outlets).

Also new is The Bonded Store (bar lounge) serving signature cocktails via partnership with Archie Rose Distilling Co (2014-founded in Sydney NSW), also hosting themed whisky- and gin-making classes and tasting events.

Pacific Explorer cruise ship (Dawn Princess)

Deck 4 houses all staff/crew cabins, the ship's Tender Embarkation/Disembarkation areas and the Infirmary/Hospital/Medical Center (served by resident physicians and nurses on 24-hour call duty).

Deck 5 houses The Grand Atrium (4-decks high, with a stage for live performances), and the Lobby Hall (Reception Desk and Shore Tours Desk) served by Lilly's Bar and Charlie's Bar (specialty coffees, pastries, desserts, also wine and liquor). On Deck 5 is also the Waterfront Restaurant (complimentary Dining Room open for breakfast, lunch and dinner).

Midship-aft on Deck 6 are the Dragon Lady (Asian) and Angelo's (Italia) restaurants, as well as P&O Retail (duty-free shopping complex). Angelo's Restaurant is a complimentary Dining Room for Italian cuisine and specialties like slow-cooked pork neck, veal shank ragout, fontina, and pumpkin arancini balls, osso bucco, seafood cacciucco, pan-fried gnocchi and sweets like crispy cannoli. Bookings for dinner can be made at the Reception Desk. Dragon Lady has an origami-folded menu and offers non-alcoholic welcome shooters. Dishes are designed to be shared banquet-style. Dinner bookings are made at the Reception Desk.

Deck 7 houses Marquee Theatre (2-floor main show lounge for large-scale evening music and show productions, daily trivia games, bingo sessions, game shows, culinary demonstrations, workshops, seminars, kids' talent shows), Explorer Hotel (daily piano bar /evening English pub bar with comfortable seating, dance floor, stage for live performances, fine alcohol and craft beers), Future Cruise Sales Office, Blue Room (Atrium Lounge & Bar), Art Gallery, IMAGES Photo Gallery, HQ & HQ+ (club bars/large dance floor, evening DJ programming, daily karaoke, game shows, art auctions, various classes), Black Circus Theatre.

Blue Room is an Atrium Lounge & Bar with a dance floor and live music entertainment, and nightly transforms into a disco club with DJ programming. The lounge is served by its own piano bar. The late-night blues session named Blues@Blue features several very talented musicians getting together for a 1-hour-long jam, rotating with excellent guitarists and different singers.

Black Circus Theatre is an entertainment lounge with a stage for performances (by guest comedians, singers, illusionists, cabaret-style performances) and has its own full-service Bar. Intended for cabaret performances, the venue has a supper club vibe but there are no full-size tables to eat supper, so it's basically a theatre with rows of seats along with ledges to place drinks. During the day, the lounge is used for kids' TC&Skipper's Island Adventure Show, The Edge's laser tag gaming and as Cinema/early evening movies.

Deck 8 houses the Casino (gaming lounge with slot machines and gambling tables, including modern poker machines with large curved screens; served by its own Bar, also hosts Texas Hold'em tournaments and Pokies tournaments), and 400 Gradi (pizzeria by chef Johnny Di Francesco). 400 Gradi is open for Lunch (between 12-1:30 pm) and Dinner (between 6-11 pm) and provides takeaway pizzas for eating elsewhere on the ship as well as cabin delivery (via the room service).

Aft on Deck 11 is the Lawn Bowls (outdoor bowling green) open to all ages between 10 am - 5 pm. Singles and doubles tournaments are held at designated times scheduled/listed in the ship's daily newsletter. Bar service is available, featuring Pimms, white wine and beer sold from a yellow kiosk.

Deck 12 houses the Navigation Bridge/Wheelhouse, midship pool deck area (2x swimming pools - Main Pool and Family Pool), 3x Jacuzzies/hot tubs, Pool Bar (beverages), Band Stage (for live performances)) Ice Cream Bar (serving complimentary New Zealand Natural Ice Cream, also sells premium coffees and gourmet sweets), as well as the youth centers Turtle Cove (kids, with a Paddling Pool) and Shark Shack (teens), both with outdoor playground areas, Photo Shop, Card Room/Library, Level UP Arcade (21 gaming machines), and the ship's wellness complex (Spa and Gym).

The ship's wellness complex Elemis SPA (fka "Aqua HealthSpaFitness") consists of a round-shaped pool, 2x Jacuzzies/spa pools, Fitness Center (with a separate Aerobics Studio for classes), Elemis Day Spa, Thermal Suite, 2x Saunas, Treatments Rooms (for massages), Beauty Salon (manicure/pedicure/barber services). The aft-facing Spa Deck has a Virtual Golf Simulator.

Deck 14 houses The Pantry (Lido buffet/forward), Shell & Bones, Luke's Bar & Grill (previously Lobster & Burger Bar), Big Screen (outdoor cinema with a huge LED screen, complimentary popcorn-cookies-milk during the evening projections), Deck Games area (Shuffleboard, Golf Net/Cage), and the aft Oasis Pool Deck sunbathing area with 1x Jacuzzi/hot tub and served with beverages by the outdoor Oasis Bar).

The Pantry (self-service buffet restaurant/marketplace with 9 fresh food outlets) is complimentary and open for Breakfast (6:30-11:30 am), Lunch (11:30 am - 3:30 pm) or British Pub Lunch (11:30-1:30 pm /on selected days) and Dinner (5:30-11 pm). The buffet has its own bar for drinks, a stage for live performances, and a dance floor. At lunch and dinner, the food outlets include McGregor's Garden (salads), Stix (stir fry), Mexicana (tacos and burritos), Curry House, Hook's (fish-and-chips), Nic & Toni's (Italian), Fat Cow (carvery), Kettle & Bun (soups and sandwiches), and Sugar Bar (desserts). In the evenings, a 10th venue (Shell & Bones) opens as an a la carte priced restaurant. A kids' dinner for children between 3 and 10 years is held at 4:15 pm daily, with highchairs available upon request.

Pacific Explorer cruise ship (Dawn Princess)

Deck 15 houses the adults-only sundeck (fka The Sanctuary, with a swimming pool and full-service Bar/fka Windjammers Bar for beverages and light meals), P&O Edge facilities (outdoor sports activities area), the Sports Court (multi-sports combined court for playing basketball, volleyball, football) and the aft Aquapark (Waterslides' entry level).

Pacific Explorer's AquaPark is P&O Australia's ever-first water park with slides. Its Twin-Racer (two/dual-racing slides) has length 80+ m (260+ ft) and features several twists and turns, in-tube LED lights and sound effects. The aquapark has a separate shaded area for kids (outdoor playground) equipped with a dumping bucket and oversized water toys.

Itineraries

Pacific Explorer's cruise itinerary program is based on roundtrips from Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Fremantle, Cairns) and from New Zealand (Auckland). The voyages visit Tasmania, South Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea, NZ. Also are offered short breaks/mini-cruises and cruises to nowhere (themed voyages without any call ports).

Following the Coronavirus crisis, the ship was paused for 2+ years (March 202 through June 2022) and scheduled to restart on May 31, 2022, with roundtrips from homeport Sydney. The boat's previous homeporting plans (from Adelaide, Fremantle-Perth, Cairns / February-June 2022) were canceled. However, in late-February 2022, P&O canceled the entire NZ season - all departures (20x total) from Auckland scheduled for the period July 5-Nov 27, 2022.

Pacific Explorer - user reviews and comments

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The Fincantieri Monfalcone-built Pacific Explorer ship has the longest and wildest waterslides found on an Australian-based cruise liner. Each of the slides stretches over 80 m (260 ft). During the drydock in Singapore, the P&OEdge Adventure Park (top-deck outdoor sporting facility) was installed. Decors of all onboard public spaces and venues (including Atrium, bars, lounges, restaurants) were changed.

Pacific Explorer (Monfalcone shipyard/hull number 5955) is powered by Wartsila-Sulzer marine diesel engines (models 8ZAV40S and 8ZAL40) generating total power output 46,08 MW.

The liner's Captain is Roger Bilton.

Dawn Princess cruise ship (Pacific Explorer)

In March 2017, P&O Australia confirmed the company's exclusive partnership with the Sydney-based "Archie Rose Distilling Co". The Pacific Explorer ship became fleet's first liner with the new Archie Rose Bar. Part of the new premium cocktail bar is "The Bonded Store", where all cocktails are with Archie Rose spirits. There are also hosted gin making and whisky masterclasses.

On July 2, 2017, at Sydney's Overseas Passenger Terminal was held ship's christening ceremony lead by godmother Dora the Explorer (fictional / Nickelodeon character). At the naming ceremony, Dora was joined by many Nickelodeon friends, including the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, SpongeBob SquarePants, Skye / PAW Patrol). The "bottle smashing" part of the ceremony involved a papier-mache champagne bottle and the ship in front of the funnel. Dora was handed over a large stick, with which she smashed open the bottle and green goo spurted out and covered Sture Myrmell (P&O Australia's President). Before the naming ceremony, kids onboard enjoyed a Welcome Party where they met their Nickelodeon heroes.

In June 2018, P&O Australia launched on Pacific Explorer "The Big Laugh" onboard show program - advertised as "the biggest comedy festival at sea". The program included all 14 stand-up comedy celebrities performing a total of 36 shipboard live shows (combined over 33 hours live performances). The program started with the 4-day roundtrip Sydney cruise to Moreton Island (departure June 20). "The Big Laugh" program comprised of all 72 comedy-themed cruises in 2018-2019.

Pacific Explorer refurbishment 2020 review

During the ship's drydock 2020 refurbishment (February 12-27, in Singapore) were conducted general maintenance works, hull cleaning and repainting, repairs. The USD 30 million drydocking project also included renovations of public areas (venues, hallways, staircases) and all cabins - including new carpeting, upholstery, artworks, lights. Both ship's theatres and several public spaces were renovated, new cabin categories and games activities for families were introduced. The project also resulted in the following changes.

  • Completely redesigned were 400 Gradi (midship deck 8, Pizzeria by chef Johnny Di Francesco) and Luke’s Bar (deck 14, grill bar by chef Luke Mangan). Luke’s Bar now also functions as specialty restaurant for lunch and dinner but continues to operate as poolside food bar for premium burgers and seafood dishes (take-away option).
  • A new games arcade was added. Among the 21 arcade machines is the popular VR game "Virtual Rabbids".
  • For families were added two new 5-bed Suites, with perks like priority embarkation-disembarkation-tendering and complimentary laundry service. All the ship’s quad cabins were fitted with new beds, carpets, artworks, full-length luggage lockers.
  • The Elemis Spa (deck 12, wellness complex) was redesigned and the Beauty Bar now has a nail studio.

Some of the main public spaces (The Atrium, The Pantry, Marquee Lounge) were also refreshed. Black Circus Lounge (deck 5) was renovated and updated with new artworks and upholstery.

Pacific Explorer refurbishment 2017 review

Before entering the P&O Australia's fleet, the liner underwent a multi-million drydock refit and refurbishment (May 30 - June 9) by Sembcorp Marine (Singapore). As Dawn Princess, the vessel was last refurbished in 2016 May.

Deckplan changes following the refit included:

  • (deck 5) Florentine Restaurant was transformed into Waterfront Restaurant.
  • (deck 6) Rigoletto Restaurant was redesigned into 2 new specialty restaurants - Dragon Lady (Asian / portside) and Angelo's (Italian / starboard).
  • (deck 7 forward) Princess Theater was renamed to The Marquee.
  • (deck 7 forward starboard) Wheelhouse Bar was transformed into Summer Pub.
  • (deck 7 port side) Jammers disco was transformed into the Blue Room.
  • (deck 7 port side) "Library & Writing Room" was transformed into HQ&HQ* (kids facilities). Internet Cafe was removed.
  • (deck 7 aft) Vista Lounge was transformed into Black Circus Lounge & Bar.
  • (pool deck 12 aft) Ice Cream Bar was transformed into P&O AU's signature "New Zealand Natural Ice Cream". Turtle Cove (kids lounge) was renamed to Youth Center. Shark Shack (teens lounge) was renamed to Teen Center. Lotus Spa was renamed to Elemis Day Spa. Platinum Studio was renamed to Photo Studio.
  • (lido deck 14) Horizon Buffet was transformed into The Pantry (marketplace). Movies Under The Stars (outdoor theatre) was renamed to Big Screen. Seaview Bar (aft) was renamed to The Oasis (adults deck).

For the ship transformation were hired 1000+ contractor workers who spent over 200,000 hours fitting the vessel with 25,000 m2 of new carpets, painting 10,000 m2 of walls, installing more than 3,000 units of new furniture and around 1,200 pieces of artwork. The hull was adorned the P&O Australia's new Southern Cross livery, introduced on Pacific Dawn (now Ambassador Ambience) in March 2017.

The list of newly added (fleet's first) venues and facilities on MS Pacific Explorer includes:

  • barefoot lawn (bowling green court)
  • Aqua Park (deck 15) with 2 waterslides (stretching over 80 m / 260 ft) and a separate shaded area for kids (with dumping bucket and oversized water toys).
  • top-deck P&OEdge Adventure Park (outdoor sporting facility)
  • Luke’s fast-casual dining (poolside grill by Australian chef Luke Mangan)
  • 400 Gradi (Neapolitan pizzeria by chef Johnny Di Francesco)
  • The Bonded Store (new bar with signature cocktails menu via a partnership with Sydney-based Archie Rose Distilling Co, themed whisky- and gin-making classes and tasting events).

Inaugural cruise itineraries 2017

Follows the list of all departures from Sydney NSW during Pacific Explorer's inaugural cruise itinerary program in 2017:

  • The "Inaugural Cruise" from Sydney started on June 22, 2017 - 10-night "Melanesian Discovery", round-trip to New Caledonia (Noumea, Lifou), Vanuatu (Vila, Mystery Island), New Caledonia (Isle of Pines).
  • 3-night Cruises to Nowhere from Sydney were scheduled for July 28 (2017), August 4 (2017), September 21 (2017), October 28 92017), November 10 and 17 (2017), December 14 and 27 (2017).
  • 4-night "Sunshine Coast" Queensland cruises to Mooloolaba were scheduled for 2017 - July 31, August 26.
  • 4-night "Moreton Island" Queensland cruises to Moreton Island were scheduled for 2017 - September 17, October 31, November 13 and 30,
  • 5-night "Australian Open Tennis" cruise round-trip from Sydney to Melbourne (Jan 21, 8 am - 8 pm) is on January 19, 2018.
  • 7-night "Southern Barrier Reef Discovery" (to Mooloolaba, Gladstone, Moreton Island) is on August 19, 2017.
  • 8-night "Getaway To Mare" New Caledonia itineraries (to Noumea, Mare, Isle of Pines) were scheduled for 2017 - July 2, July 20, September 9, October 4, December 30 (New Year 2017).
  • 10-night "Barrier Reef Discovery" cruise to Queensland (Airlie Beach, Cairns, Port Douglas, Willis Island, Brisbane) is on August 30, 2017.
  • 10-night "Melanesian Discovery"New Caledonia and Vanuatu itineraries (to Noumea, Lifou, Vila, Mystery Island, Isle of Pines) were scheduled for 2017 - July 10, September 24, November 20, December 4 and 17 (Christmas 2017).
  • 12-night "Best Of The Pacific" New Caledonia and Vanuatu itineraries (to Champagne Bay, Vila, Mystery Island, Mare, Noumea) is on August 7, 2017.
  • 16-night "Bounty Adventure" (to Norfolk Island, Nuku'alofa Tonga, Vava'u Tonga, Suva Fiji, Port Denarau Fiji, Dravuni Fiji, Mare New Caledonia) is on October 12, 2017.

Next table shows the ship's inaugural cruise (itinerary June 22 - July 2, 10-days, themed "Discover Vanuatu") as ports of call sequence and port times. Prices started from AUD 880 pp (double-occupancy inside cabin rates).

Date / TimePort
22 JunDeparting from Sydney, NSW, Australia
25 Jun 08:00 - 17:00Noumea, New Caledonia
26 Jun 08:00 - 17:00Lifou Island, New Caledonia
27 Jun 08:00 - 18:00Port Vila, Efate Island, Vanuatu
28 Jun 08:00 - 17:00Mystery Island, Vanuatu
29 Jun 08:00 - 16:00Isle of Pines, New Caledonia
02 JulArriving in Sydney

4 nights / 5 days (Inaugural short-break cruise (roundtrip to Moreton Island) - prices from AUD 580 pp

Date / TimePort
17 SepDeparting from Sydney
19 Sep 08:00 - 20:00Moreton Island, Queensland Australia
21 SepArriving in Sydney

On September 21, 2017, was the 3-night / 4-day Inaugural "cruise to nowhere" from Sydney (themed "Food and Wine") - prices started from AUD 400 pp.

Pacific Explorer's Cruise to Nowhere deals are on specially themed Australian roundtrip itineraries with no additional ports of call along the route. These short breaks are usually themed "Food and Wine", "Music" (various styles/performers), "Comedy", "Sports".

P&O Australia "cruises to nowhere" prices are inclusive of all special activities and themed entertainment on the ship, including classes and workshops, lectures, presentations, guest performances, theme parties.

Dawn Princess ship

  • Cabin grades number: 25
  • Dining Rooms: Florentine, Venetian
  • Restaurants and food bars: Sterling (steakhouse), Horizon Court (buffet), La Scala (Pizzeria), Balcony Grill
  • Lounges & Bars: Theatre, Atrium, Vista, Jammers (nightclub), La Patisserie (lobby), Wheelhouse, Windjammers, Magnums, poolside bars
  • Adult retreat areas (The Sanctuary), Oasis & Lotus Spa, Basketball court, Swimming Pools (3 - Lotus Spa pool, Riviera pool, Kid's splash pool), Gym, Jacuzzis (4), Shuffleboard, Golf simulator, "Movies Under The Stars" (outdoor theatre), ship around promenade (deck 7).
  • The Princess Dawn ship is from the line's Sun-class series (oldest). Her Princess sisters are Sea (now Dream Charming) and Sun (now Pacific World).
  • Princess Cruises Dawn ship was constructed in 1997 by the Italian company Fincantieri. The christening ceremony was held in Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades, Florida) on the 8th of May, 1997. The vessel has a long list of godparents. These are Gavin MacLeod, Fred Grandy, Ted Lange, Bernie Kopell, Jill Whelan and Lauren Tewes - all-stars of the 1970s-1980s TV series "The Love Boat". The naming ceremony was the first time to gather all artists, since TV series ended in 1986, and they had not met for about 10 years. Love Boat had 9 successful seasons and the ceremony was a brilliant occasion to recall the old times. All actors were dressed in their original Love Boat costumes and burst out a real media explosion when appeared on stage for the joint christening of Dawn Princess.

In 2009, Dawn Princess was repositioned in the South Pacific Ocean for cruises around Australia and New Zealand.

In 2017, Dawn Princess was transferred to the fleet of P&O Australia (Carnival Corp brand) - after 20 years of service for Princess. P&O Australia received in Fall 2015 two ships from Holland America Line (also a Carnival Corp brand) - MS Ryndam (now Celestyal Journey) and MS Statendam (now Vasco da Gama Nicko).

Dawn Princess's last voyage was on May 14, 2017 - the 12-day repositioning itinerary from Australia to Asia (Fremantle to Singapore). Next, you can see the relocation cruise (May 14 - 26), as well as the ship's last Australian "Princess itinerary" (15-day Brisbane to Fremantle, April 29 - May 14) as ports sequences and times.

Date / TimePort
29 AprDeparting from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
02 May 07:00 - 19:00Cairns, Queensland, Australia
04 May 07:00 - 16:00Alotau, Papua New Guinea
07 May 13:00 - 20:00Darwin, NT Australia
10 May 11:00 - 22:00Broome, Kimberley, Western Australia
13 May 10:00 - 17:00Geraldton, Western Australia
14 MayArriving in Fremantle, Western Australia

Repositioning from Australia to Asia for the refurbishment.

Date / TimePort
14 MayDeparting from Fremantle
18 May 07:00 - 17:00Benoa, Bali, Indonesia
21 May 08:00 - 19:00Klang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
22 May 08:00 - 21:00Pulau Penang Island, Malaysia
23 May 08:00 - 18:00Pulau Langkawi Island, Malaysia
24 May 08:00 - 18:00Phuket, Phuket Island, Thailand
26 MayArriving in Singapore

Godspeed!

Dawn Princess ship review

Dawn Princess itinerary program was based on Australia and New Zealand itineraries departing from Sydney, Fremantle, and Melbourne.

The 77,441-ton, 1,950-passenger Dawn Princess ship was constantly based in Australia. It offered itineraries in Australia-New Zealand, South Pacific Islands, Hawaii, as well as World Cruises. Onboard prices were in AUD, Vegemite replaces peanut butter at breakfast, and the fitness center runs classes like "legs, bums, and tums". As opposed to other Princess ships, Dawn was far more intimate. This also meant that facilities are neither as large nor as well equipped as those on the fleet's newer vessels.

The size is particularly felt in the Horizon Court buffet restaurant (where options are not as varied as in other lido buffets), the cramped workout room and the teen lounge. On the other side, having 2 show lounges was a good way to give passengers more entertainment opportunities every night. Princess really utilized the onboard space with a wide diversity of onboard activities, everything from ceramics to dance classes, game tournaments to computer workshops.

The Florentine and Venetian Dining Rooms aboard Dawn Princess are virtually identical, differing only in their decor color and in the exquisite murals depicting Florence and Venice. Both rooms contain etched glass panels and lovely wood, creating a feeling of intimate dining. The food preparation is of very good quality, beautifully presented and varied. Vegetarian selections are excellent, desserts - superb. A good selection of healthy items is provided every night. Waiters are friendly and helpful. The popular dining venue, Horizon Court, is open 24 hours a day. Horizon Court is situated one deck above the swimming pool area. The buffet is tiny by new-ship standards but offers excellent breakfast options from 4 am to 11:30 am, along with an abundance of fruits and bread, and European specialties.

Follows the complete list of Dawn Princess restaurants and food bars.

  • Florentine Restaurant (dinner only, aft Dining Room, with 2 fixed seatings - 5:45 and 7:45 p.m.)
  • Venetian Restaurant (aft Dining Room open for Breakfast 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 a.m., Lunch 12 p.m. - 1 p.m., Afternoon Tea 3:30 p.m. -4:30 p.m., with 2 fixed Dinner seatings- at 5:45 p.m. or 7:45 p.m.)
  • La Scala Pizzeria (complimentary)
  • Horizon Court (self-service buffet restaurant, complimentary)
  • Sterling Steakhouse (specialty restaurant)
  • Balcony Grill Bar (fast food bar, complimentary).

Dawn Princess daytime offerings include all the cruise standards: trivia, art auctions, board, and card games, cocktail-making demos. However, Princess also provides a variety of themed "@Sea" events. Computers@Sea is the main, teaching photo editing, beginning computer and even movie-making. Common Interest@Sea features social get-togethers by profession, interests or lifestyle. Ballroom@Sea classes teach passengers to dance. Scholarship@Sea offers educational lectures on diverse topics as astronomy, destination information, bridge play. There are also @Sea events for games, ceramics, scrapbooking and book discussions. A special offering is Dawn's Ultimate Ship Tour, taking guests behind the scenes onboard to places like the bridge, galley, backstage of the theater, funnel and engine control room. The 3-hour tour costs AUD175 and participants receive a luxurious bathrobe, personalized stationery, official chef's jacket and a framed photo with the captain.

Follows the complete list of Dawn Princess lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens, and adults.

  • The Grand Piazza Atrium (4-deck open floor area; features live performances entertainment and lobby Bar Piazza)
  • La Patisserie Bar (offers specialty coffees, desserts, pastries, wine, liquor)
  • Atrium Boutiques (Regatta Shop)
  • Art Gallery; Photo Gallery & Shop; Platinum Studio
  • Internet Cafe (24-hour), Card Room
  • Princess Dawn Theatre (musical and show productions; hosts workshops, seminars, game shows)
  • Jammers Disco & Nightclub
  • Princess Dawn Grand Casino
  • Vista Lounge & Bar
  • Wheelhouse Bar (piano bar during the day and an English pub nightly)
  • Magnums Bar (wine bar); Sundaes Bar; Oasis Bar
  • Dawn’s Oasis Spa complex; Beauty Salon; Fitness Center (with Aerobics Studio)
  • Movies Under the Stars (LED screen outdoor cinema)
  • Video Games Arcade; Teen Center; Youth Center with Paddling Pool and outdoor playing areas
  • The Sanctuary (adult-only open-air area); Riviera Pool area
  • Sports Court (volleyball, basketball, European football)
  • Shuffleboard, Golf Net, Princess Links (mini-golf course)