Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Pacific Dawn (2009)

On 10th. September I embarked aboard P&O Australia's Pacific Dawn (ex Regal Princess) for a fourteen day South Pacific cruise. Ports of call were Noumea (New Caledonia), Nuku'alofa and Vava'u (Tonga), Savu Savu, Suva and Port Denaru (Fiji). Though the ship operates at the budget end of the market (as generally reflected by the clientele and the extent of the menus), the service and food quality were good. The ship was very well run and catered especially well for families. Physically she was much the same as when I sailed aboard her as Regal Princess in 2002. The most noticeable change (and vast improvement) was the relocation of the casino from the lookout lounge to what was the nightclub, lower in the ship. The lookout lounge was remodeled into 'The Dome', a general purpose lounge during the day and a nightclub at night.

Pacific Dawn at Darling Harbour, Sydney 10th. September.

My cabin.
The Dome nightclub by day.

A quiet afternoon at sea.

The Noumea pilot launch coming alongside.

Approaching the berth in Noumea.

Coming alongside.
Other shipping in Noumea.

Sailing from Noumea.

The Nuku'alofa pilot launch.

Making fast in Nuku'alofa.

Loading engine room parts flown to Tonga as departure time passes.

(L - R) The Nuku'alofa pilot, the captain, the staff captain waiting to sail.

Linesmen waiting to let go.

Under way at last.

Evening at sea in the tropics.

Tender alongside at Vava'u.
Do Vava'u Club members enjoy reciprocal rights with the Melbourne Club?

Ship's tenders at Vava'u.

The ship's port stabiliser fin can be seen in the clear Pacific seawater.

We passed by Tin Can Bay where historically, ships would leave mail in tin cans off the island for locals to collect and  forward by air.

Tender operations at Savu Savu.

The ship at anchor in Savu Savu bay.

Returning to the ship.

The ship's atrium.

Early morning arrival at Suva.

Berthing in Suva.

Downtown Suva.

A pig's head, anyone?

Late afternoon sailing from Suva.

The captain's dining room, used for entertaining.

The chief officer.

Luxury craft moored at Port Denaru.

Photos from one of the luxury resorts at Port Denaru.

Returning to the ship by tender.

The ship's excellent Filipino rock band playing poolside.

Two of the friendly bar waiters.

My excellent dining table stewards.

The executive chef (L) and maitre 'd, Craig Hammond (R), a friend of mine. Craig is now an assistant maitre 'd on Queen Elizabeth.

One of the chefs at work in the galley.

Me with some of the dining room head waiters.

Arrival back in Sydney harbour.

End of the cruise - all fast at Darling Harbour.