Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pacific Dawn refurbishment, June 2012

In June 2012, I was invited on a tour of the recently refurbished Pacific Dawn at its home port of Portside in Brisbane.

The Pacific Dawn went into dry dock across from Portside (literally across the Brisbane River) for several weeks in April, 2012. The multi-million dollar refurbishment included interconnecting a range of standard cabins and upgrading the ship’s 50 suites and mini-suites with new furnishings and carpets. A giant entertainment screen now sits over the pool deck and the Bengal Bar was transformed into the Orient Pub (similar to that on Pacific Pearl).

Other refurbishments included a major revamp of the Show Lounge, which received new upholstery, carpet, wall coverings and a giant LED screen wall; a refurbishment of the buffet with a new colour scheme and furniture, and the transformation of the Bacchus Bar into the Mix Cocktail Bar.

The tour included many travel agents, so, while I tried my best to keep the photos people-free, this wasn't always the case. I've also done up as many composites as possible, showing the 'old' and the 'new'. This post is mainly photo driven, so I won't keep you waiting...

(above photo - Pacific Dawn docked at Portside in Brisbane)

I have discovered that this post runs slowly if viewed on Internet Explorer. It's best viewed on Google Chrome or Firefox (not as fast as Chrome).

The Pacific Dawn sits in dry dock at the Cairncross yards, receiving her multi-million dollar 'facelift' in April 2012.
The dry dock is cross the Brisbane River from Portside, her home when she's in Brisbane (photo taken from Portside).
Let's start in of the refurbished suites (it comes minus the travel agents!).
I'm not sure if they refurbished the balcony of the suites but here's what they look like...
The bathroom in the suite - very nice and a wee bit bigger than what you get in a standard cabin.
That's not a mirror! This is one of the interconnecting double rooms.
An interconnecting Inside room.
An interconnecting double and quad share room - ideal for mum, dad and the kids.
One of the new look mini-suites.
The Promenade Bar - same name but now with new furniture and carpet (bottom)...and it's a martini bar.
The Bengal Bar (top) is now the Orient Bar.
The Bengal tiger that used to be in the centre of the Bengal Bar (top), overlooking the karaoke singers,
remains in the Orient Bar but has now been moved to the side, overlooking the bar.
The 'You Are Here' maps scattered around the ship have been altered.
The old on top, the new below.
The projection screen in the Show Lounge (top) has been replaced with a giant LED screen wall. 
The Show Lounge also has new carpet, upholstery and wall coverings (old - top, new - bottom).

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If you like the photography in my blogs, it's because I am a professional photographer. My photos don't merely show something, they tell a story. And visual stories i.e. photos, are more interesting than pictures that merely show something. 

If you'd like to know how to turn your images into visual stories, I've published a book that takes a whole new slant on photography and 'translates' the art of taking photos into a language we all understand.

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*     *     *     *     *

The old room numbering system (top) has gone for a more 'hotel' style.
The old colour scheme and furniture in the Cafe del Sol buffet (top) have been replaced.
The Bacchus Bar (top) overlooking the Atrium is now Mix Bar.
I'm a big whisky fan and Mix Bar (the old Bacchus Bar) has a great
selection of single malts.
The Sundaes ice cream bar has been replaced by a New Zealand Natural ice cream stand (in the same place
on the starboard side of the ship outside Cafe del Sol).
The giant entertainment screen now sitting over the pool deck.
Some of the new artwork (by Sydney photographer Tony Rae) filling the halls and stairwells.

While a tour of a cruise ship might sound quite 'cruisy' (excuse the pun), we were kept very busy. One load of passengers was disembarking and another load was starting to board the ship, so we were on a tight schedule. The next photos are of our well-earned lunch (insert smiley face here)...

Table setting - lovely.
Starter - beef carpaccio, baby rocket, pesto oil and pumpkin souffle.
In a word - delicious!
One of the others at the table wasn't keen on theirs so I helped them out...hey, I'm a growing boy! 
Entree - mushroom and green asparagus risotto, crisp bacon, parmesan shavings, shallots.
The rice was a tiny bit crunchy but you have to remember they are cooking risotto for
several hundred people, so a great effort. The crisp bacon, parmesan shavings and shallots
worked beautifully. 
Main course - grilled rib eye steak, garlic and black pepper butter, fried potato wedges, french beans.
Steak a bit fatty (many of the others at the table said the same) but was cooked well and
all in all not bad.
Dessert - the carpaccio was sensational but who doesn't love a dessert?!
Here we have a trilogy of chocolate mousse, warm chocolate sauce.
If this dessert had a motto, it would be 'now you see it, now you don't!' - my plate was empty in seconds.
Several of the others at the table barely touched theirs and it nearly brought me to tears.

Dessert was a great was to end my 'return' to the Pacific Dawn (I cruised on her in February 2012 - review here). No sooner had we finished, then we were down the gangplank and on the way home. As I write, many are tucking into the carpaccio and/or dessert. How I envy them...

Bon voyage!


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All photos by Giulio Saggin
© Use of photos and text must be via written permission

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