Recently we had the opportunity to enjoy a 4 Night P&O Cruise out of Brisbane to experience the facilities aboard ‘Pacific Dawn’.
Read our 10 Top Tips to discover how this might be the most relaxing family holiday you’ll ever have… and scroll to the bottom for your discounted family cruise!
Choose your dates, arrange your time off and book well ahead. Last minute deals rarely exist for families – so bite the bullet and get organised now for next year! When booking directly through P&O use their website to check prices, itineraries and other variables. Once you become a regular cruiser, remember to enter your Unique Passenger ID to get a repeat customer discount.
Use a reputable travel agent
to sort out and book your travel. They can get you great cabins close to each other that keep your large family/party together. Pacific Dawn now has interconnecting family cabins, so do check those out. Travel agents can sometimes get you a better deal than you can get yourself including cabin credit and potentially a few little ‘extras’. They can also apply your Unique Passenger ID for further discount. Families Magazine – Brisbane loves Just Cruises who are located in Brisbane and are professional and helpful. They are experienced with family bookings too! (Ask for Zoe!)
How Much is a Cruise Out of Brisbane?
Cruises vary in price as the price is dependent on season, availability and length of your trip. We travelled in March 2015 for 4 nights and paid $77 per person per night. We booked through Just Cruises and used our ‘previous passenger discount.’ We had three people per cabin – 2 adults and 1 child. Our 4 night family cruise holiday in March 2015 cost us $924 and included accommodation, food, soft drinks, entertainment and Kids Club.
What is Included in the Price of a Cruise?
Nearly everything! Food & soft drinks in the buffet style restaurant as well as the more formal dining room. The vast majority of the entertainment, live shows, live music, activities and the Kids Club is also included. There are around 40 activities a day designed just for kids as well as a variety of adult activities and family activities! Trust me, your family will not have a chance to be bored!
What is This Kids Club You Speak Of?
There are kids clubs for 4 age groups – that changed their ‘bands’ in 2018 for a trial:
Turtle Cove: 2 years – 5 years
Shark Shack: 6 years – 9 years
HQ: 10 years – 13 years
HQ+: 14 years – 17 years
These are all included in your cruise but charges do apply for group babysitting in the Kids Clubs after 10.30pm until 1am.
This trial will also offer children from 2 years of age, who are in nappies, the opportunity to participate in the activity program without the requirement of a parent or guardian to be in attendance. However, parents and guardians must be available at all times to change their children’s nappy when contacted by our Youth team. Children less than 12 months are not able to cruise at all as there are limited neo-natal facilities aboard and at ports of call.
What Should You Pack for a Cruise?
Just about everything is catered for on your P&O Cruise. Depending on the season you travel in, you will probably find that you will wear ‘beach attire’ mostly during the days on deck with a wrap/sarong. Just pack a warm jumper for the evenings – the decks can be cool when you are on the ocean. The ship will provide towels for cabins and separate towels for the pools. You will need more formal clothes to ‘dine’ in if you wish to go into the a la carte restaurants and, of course, suitable footwear. Regardless of the weather remember to ‘slip, slop, slap, slide & seek.’ Families Magazine recommends the Cancer Council’s 50+ SPF Kids sunscreen.
What is the ‘P&O Edge’ Adventure Park (and is it worth it?)
Pacific Dawn, that sails almost weekly out of Brisbane has been retrofitted with 19 adrenaline-inducing activities including a funnel climb, bungee trampoline, Titanic moment, flying fox, walk the plank, crow’s nest, boulder wall and more. Our kids loved the Laser Tag but this is something you have to see for yourself to enjoy. Watch our video below and read our review here to see just HOW worth it, it really is!
What if We Get ‘Sea-Sick’ or Any Kind of Sick?
Some seasoned travellers insist that booking a cabin on a lower deck reduces the risk of motion sickness. However, all P&O ships have a medical centre that is staffed by qualified doctors and nurses and are available 24 hours a day. Should you become ill while aboard you are able to visit the medical centre for treatment. This carries a private consultation fee that can be claimed back through travel insurance.
Is a Cruise Suitable for People With a Disability?
Yes! Pacific Dawn is wheelchair accessible and the staff is trained in helping people with a disability.
This Sounds Like My Kind Of Easy Family Holiday
What Else Do I Need to Know?
- Technology – cruise ships are fitted with wifi so you can keep in touch and post your photos to show to your land loving family & friends. Just remember to turn off your data roaming so you don’t get a huge bill from your provider;
- The ship has Australian electrical sockets for chargers;
- The currency is Australian dollars on Pacific Dawn but you will need a credit card to settle your drinks, laundry, room phone calls, purchases from the souvenir shops etc;
- Families Magazine staff always recommend travel insurance so do sort this out pre-departure.
For greater Brisbane families, Brisbane cruises with kids are an excellent option for a reasonably priced, kids’ friendly, easy, relaxing holiday.