We were on the Dawn during 1997, the inaugural year. It was also our first cruise and we were wowed. We are heading for our fourth Princess cruise in about two weeks, on the Crown. The Sun, and Grand have not take over first place in our hearts. As you said, all ships have an off week and cruise lines tend to send some of their more experienced crew to the new ship. Even so, Alaska on the Dawn will be remembered as our "first love" and it will probably take a lot to displace the Dawn from the top position in our heirarchy of cruise ships.