The Pacific Dawn is 245 metres in length, 70,285 Tonnes in Weight has eleven guest decks for 2,000 passengers. Yes, PiandO have stayed at some luxurious hotels and the Dawn did not appear to fall short on splendour.
To give some comparison; P & O were told that their suites were much more spacious than those on Great Southern Railways; The Ghan, used in July 2015, but not as spacious as those at The Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, visited in 2015. It would be difficult to rank these modes of accommodation on a scale of 1-10, a score for each of 10 would not be unreasonable. John Smith of Delta Prestige Limousines provided the means of travel between home and all embarkation points. Clearing customs and immigration along with guest registration is a pain. It is alleviated at The Peninsula by a representative meeting guests at the flying bridge at Chek Lap Kok terminal, being escorted through Customs and Immigration and conveyed in one of The Peninsula’s Peninsula Green Rolls Royce Phantom’s and taken directly to the suite, bypassing reception.
Once aboard the Pacific Dawn, the embarkation procedure was overshadowed by the three levels of the Atrium. These levels comprised shops, bars with comfortable seating and table service. Guests waited until cabin attendants had delivered luggage to the rooms that were then ready for occupation. The task of settling into the cabin comprised no difficulty but it did not take long for Mahesh and Alvin, the cabin attendants on that level to announce their presence. Argument's were futile as the guests discovered in the days that followed.
The nearby lifts gave quick access to the upper levels. Finding spots against the rails a view of the Brisbane River and the Gateway Bridge was of interest to many. One young person, perhaps eight years of age, drew attention to the flying fox that ran from the funnel to the forward section of the ship. At the end he was captured and on descending to the deck was all smiles, eager to do the ride again.
The drivers of vehicles crossing both spans of the bridge would have been surprised when under each span, The Captain sounded the ships siren. The ship headed into Morton Bay and after dropping the pilot set into the sea.
It was time for passengers to set about exploring that vast attractions of the ship. The Promenade Bar, Orient Bar and the Mix attracted those seeking a drink, coffee a snack or just to listen to music or a band.
Friendly service by bar staff and the delivery of drinks, coffee or cakes by waiting attendants was reminiscent of the Lobby at the Peninsula in Hong Kong. Entertainment is provided in all bars and lounges. It may range from a solo pianist to a small band. It is an individual source, children are amply catered for, seeming to enjoy the variety. Apart from the Casino the ship has theatres devoted to films and marquees for other entertainment. Then, if that is not enough, the guest can venture to the gymnasium for more vigorous activity. It is all a matter of choice.
Top Deck:: Monkey Arrives Swinging
A Pacific Dawn
Deciding to try a different mode of travel PiandO briefly enquired from an agent and at the end of October 2015, an early pick-up by John Smith of Prestige Delta Limousines delivered them to Portside, Hamilton where the P & O vessel, Pacific Dawn lay at berth. It was time to complete a round-robin of travel by Air, Rail and Sea.
This was a new experience and previously only overnight travel by sea had been experienced; that included one overnight trip across the North Sea in a Force 11 Gale.