Dawn Princess Cruise
(5 – 18 December 2008)
(By Paul Chong)
Dawn princess berthed at Port Chalmers, Dundedin, New Zealand
The magnificent Dawn Princess
“Cruising down the river
On a Sunday afternoon
With the one you love
The birds above
Waiting for the moon
The old accordion playing
A sentimental tune
Cruising down the river
On a Sunday afternoon.”
Not sure how many can remember the old pop song “Cruising Down The River” of the early 50s. This hit tune crops to my mind when talking of cruise. My mind conjures also the romantic cruise on the Seine in Paris, which provides one of the most relaxing & expedient ways to view the sights of Paris in all their grandeur in the glass-covered decks of the Bateaux-Mouches. The European Rivers such as Rhine, Danube are also worth noting.
I guess the TV series of “Love Boat” promoted the greatest thrill & advertisement re cruises on the high seas, with romance filling the air. After a couple of traumatic experiences of rough crossings in the English Channel, I was going to give cruising an entire miss until persuaded to try the Star Cruise on the Virgo from Singapore to Phuket in Thailand, with a stopover in Langkawi Island, Malaysia. No more sea-sickness was encountered then, and the four-day cruise was very delightful indeed.
Monica – Our main waitress
A Princess cruise holiday is a dream holiday. You are pampered & given royalty treatment from room services to dinning in style. Some people do plan their dreams & romances by going on cruises. Some are habitually living on these love boats. Because of time & space, there is little to distinguish dream from reality. They say that dreams do come true, but then dreams fade and whatever reality there is remains only in your memory. Just when you are having such a good time, the end comes sooner than desired. Then you wonder was it all a dream? If you are young or young at heart, modern cruises are really adventurous, romantic & escaping into the world of fantasy, similar to the popular TV series “Love Boat”.
In planning for a perfect holiday, there are no shortage of exotic places to lure you. Travel brochures are full of glorifying descriptions of holiday escapes – compelling destinations like the new artificial Beach Resort in Japan, the new “Skywalk” at the Grand Canyon, play a game of tennis atop the the ultra modern 6-Star Dubai hotel, or the “themepark” at Las Vegas with all its thrills & spills. Or come 2010, the Resort World of Sentosa, Singapore will provide a kind of new excitement & experience.Whatever you are after, they range from the boring normal escorted tours to the extreme adventurous.
Our cruise itinerary
To me, to really enjoy yourself, you must have the luxury of time & leisure. Tight schedules & rush always spoil many a holiday for most people. For this reason, the fully escorted land tours are out, where you are trying to cover sight-seeing & shopping all within a limited time scale. I guess I’ll be tired out each day and at the end of it all finished up with nothing but glimpses of the tour.
Casual Self-Service (24-Hour) – The Horizon Court
Cruising is increasingly popular. There were over 2,000 passengers. It affords escapism, high sea adventures, thrills & spills, the luxury of time & leisure, aboard ship galore of activities & first class entertainment. You can have breakfast, lunch & dinner – all served with the finesse of well-attired waiters & waitresses. Be served as lady & lord in fine dining, lunch & breakfast too.
But if you are one of those who care more for your extra snooze, just stay in bed & have the meals delivered to your stateroom, or you can have access to the convenience of 24-hour food service at the Horizon Court. Here there is no shortage of choice & variety, also fruits & other desserts. If you love eating, you can eat as much as you want – you just help yourself.
Dawn Princess docked in Auckland Harbour, within walking distance to the City centre.
There is however one down side to cruises. The land content tours or shore excursions are not inclusive, even shutter buses from the docks to the city centres are charged. Usually the ship will dock in the morning & sail away again by six in the evening. Too rush for a satisfying sight-seeing & you are confronted with a variety of tours & pretty pricey too.
No holiday can be perfect or completely satisfying. I guess the important thing is that you’ll be able to say “Been there, done that.” It will be an experience well worth savoured.
The sheer pleasure of seeing the magnificent fjords of New Zealand in all their awesome wonder alone makes the cruise worthwhile. Though when sailing through the fjords region that day it was raining & cloudy, we get to see hundreds & thousands more cascading waters down their edges. Herein below are some beautiful photos by Google:
Sunday, 11 January 2009.