This was our first cuise with NCL and it was the best!!
We had the easiest & quickest embarkation ever!! Arrived at Miami port @11:30 and waited 1 hour to board the ship. You receive your room card, account setup and picture at the terminal so when you board the ship there is no further delays. Room wasn't ready till 2:00, as advised, so we had lunch at the Venetian Dining Room @1:00 and then relaxed at Oasis Pool till room was ready.
We had a balcony room on deck 9. Room was good location on ship, not far from the elevators. There were 2 chairs and table on balcony. We ate breakfast there on port days as we would order room service as we were arriving in port...another reason I love cruising!!
The Venetian Dining Room was our favorite place to eat. The Aqua was ok but we enjoyed the service and atmosphere at the Venetian. We always had breakfast & supper at the Venetian and booked 2 of the specialty restaurants - Teppenaki & Cagney's which were both ok, but I wouldn't book specialties again as food is great in the dining room. There was never a wait for the dining room.
Entertainment on the Dawn was great. We went to the early show every evening in the Stardust Theater. They have impressionist, comedian, illusionist, hypnotist and the entertainment crew who are excellent.
The staff are very attentive and always pleasant and there to help. At the gangway on the port return the crew are dancing and offering water & cold cloths which are quite refreshing and welcoming!! They are the best!!
Here's a review of port excursions which I booked independently from the ship:
- Samana, DR - Razor Tours - ATV Tour - 5 hour tour around Samana. There was a lot of rain the day before so we couldn't get to the falls and beach but we were taken around the town and to another beach, which was ok.
- Tortola, BVI - taxi tour from pier. I recommend to book a tour as the taxi from the dock wasn't that great. You have to wait for the taxi to fill before they will leave. After 20 minutes of waiting and twice checking with the driver, he unwillingly took us on the tour.
- Philipsburg, St.Maarten - Bernard's Tour - Excellent tour of St.Maarten including iguana farm, Marigot Sarafina's Pastry store is a must do!!),Orient Beach,& Maho Beach to watch the planes land. My favorite port!!
- St.John's, Antigua - Segway Antigua tour - 2 hour tour on segway which was fun and then as long as you want on Miller's by the Sea beach which is very calm & quiet...relaxing!!
- Roseau, Dominica - Nature Isle Explorers - wonderful day of exploring at Champagne Beach for snorkelling, Titou Gorge was very refeshing and to see Trafalgar Falls and relax in Screws Spa. Another excellent day!!
- Bridgetown, Barbados - Scenic Barbados Tour - drive around Barbados, visited Gun Hill, old church, Bathsheba & then relaxed at Coconut Court Beach. Ok tour nothing extra.
- Basseterre, St.Kitts - amazing tour with Royston Tours in his "go anywhere" van!! We saw wonderful St.Kitts in a unique way. We drove thru town and saw Independence Square, visited Romney Manor & Caribelle Batik (cool place,lunch at Brimstone Hill Fortress, Black Rock, Timothy Hill (amazing view) & saw South Friar's Beach. Awesome Tour!!
De-embarkation was as well. We did walk off with our luggage as our flight left Miami @11:30. We could leave the ship @8:00, went thru customs quickly as there was nobody waiting there and outside to get shared shuttle to airport ($20 pp). Smooth sailing all the way!!
We love Freestyle cruising and would certainly cruise with NCL again. Our best cruise yet!!!