The last days aboard the Pacific Dawn

I’ve been MIA for over a week now, but now I’m back baby!

 The Birthday

I had celebrated my 20th birthday on the cruise,  and it had certainly not been one to forget.

The hands-down best way to spend a birthday

The drinking had started early, by the time the Gatsby party had kicked off I was dancing in the stairwell entangling strangers with faux fur.

At lunch I was given an entire circular chocolate cake, whom we shared with people on our deck. Since we had no utensils, we resorted to using a credit card to cut the pieces


Mistakes were made that day.

I don’t recall taking this photo but it must have occurred sometime during the night. Oh well, he looked like a Hemsworth Bro

By 2am, after my legs had given out and my eyelids drooped – I made my way back to the shared  cabin, the ship’s rocking had sent me off to a doze the moment my head hit the pillow.


Before the sun even rose this morning- I was up and moving, hurriedly stuffing the last of my damp bikini tops into my already overfilled backpack.

Silence, only broken with the zipping of bags filled the small cabin. Unkempt hair and unwashed faces left us feeling rather like how we looked;


The cessation of rocking held with it the promise of being back at port. Since we had no window, the time and location was impossible to tell.

The top deck looking mighty empty in the early morning

Gathering whatever clothes I had left from my cupboard space, we made our way to our last breakfast aboard the Pacific Dawn.

As we walked from level 5, and my card beeped with the scanner for the last time; I looked back – all the drama and hilarity that had unfolded on that ship slipped away.

How empty and different it would feel now, if I was to ever board again; the ship would seem somewhat incomplete without the same theater group whom dominated the dance floor everynight,

the tanners on deck 10 with the complexion of leather.

Heck, even my awesome steward Anoop who always smiled, left me elephants made of towels, and fistpumped me as we left the cabin every afternoon.

As we rode home; Thomas, Marcel’s Dad- and our designated driver home; retraced our minds back to the ship that we had just left.

squad on point


How we spoke of the shenanigans we got up to and the food we ate, the people we met and the nights we didn’t remember.

Dad I found two new boyfriends!

Marcel exclaimed, bringing his father’s attention to the back of his iPhone 6 case – complete with two new smiling Polaroids.

Good Jub!

Replied Thomas, in his strong Filipino accent. His thumbs up-with the hint of a smile on his face.

The drive home felt shorter than it had been when we left to go aboard. Each of us excitedly chirped up when a broad question about he holiday was asked, all too eager to share stories.

We laughed as some boys we met on the cruise sent us Facebook messages, and we uploaded photo after photo of us (majority of me) looking awkward (as is the tradition of birthday photo montages on facebook).

When I got home, I unpacked, ate and hit up my gym. And started on what I’m doing right now: writing about it!

The cabin life

Travelling in a group of close friends was the best idea we had. We knew that we’d get on eachother’s nerves and so we tried best to accommodate for that.


Left to right: Marcel, Ash, Me, Mish at Lifou

Me and Marcel having the liveliest personas often shouted and competed for attention, causing a ruckus with a simple stare.
Ashleigh was the responsible one, making sure all of us got up in time or took our seasick tablets before bed, though she’d never say no to a good party. Mish was the calm, quiet friend who always was there for a good chat, or even a singing buddy if you were up for it.

The cabin was surprisingly spacious for four people, each of us had an allotted cabinet space. We shared the bathroom, although I would usually pop out to my parent’s suite for a better shower.

The things I loved the most

Don’t judge me, but one of my favorites had to be the bread.


this was literally the best


I don’t know what it is about the bread on board – but it was something else. If I could just eat those rolls for lunch and dinner i’d be a happy person.

The food overall was really good, there was nothing I didn’t like!

This fish was exquisite!

Pancakes to pan seared bacon for brekky, garlic snails, godly nachos at midnight and generous scoops of icecream at the New Zealand Natural located straight outside the Buffet – you’re really spoilt for choice!

some of the fancier diahes

The drinks were beautiful, and from the $480 bill I received you could probably guess where most of my money went.

It was a great trip, with parties every night and endless tables of food. So many lovely people I met aboard, and so many I didn’t have the chance to meet.
And Oh how the laughter and rage filled our cabin every night, the groans at 6am alarms and who had used the toilet last.

So finally, after the goodbyes were said, Facebook friends and status’ updated; we found that we had learnt more about eachother in 7 days than we had in 7 years. The night before, we had harnessed our inner Freddie Mercury and belted out some Queen renditions. Now even that seemed as if it was an eternity ago.

And, as we drove closer to home; the holiday high (like sleep in our eyes) – lingered.

So to boil it down to a single question;

would I go again?

Without a Dawning Doubt!

===Anna Freeman===

=== Student Dietitian===