Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by MarkNH: Overall a good cruise
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Overall a good cruise
This was our first cruise since becoming parents and we had our six month old daughter with us. We had breakfast and lunch at Cagneys and dinner at a specialty restaurant every night. We chose this cruise for convenience and generally prefer cruises with less sea days and more destinations. This was also our first time in a suite on NCL.
NCL would have provided a pack and play as a crib but we had our own with us.
The staff were great with our baby always wanting to see (and touch) her.
We had too much stuff to move it all by ourselves (pack and play, case of water, 3 bags, diaper bag, stroller, etc etc) but a porter was willing to come and load up our bags (they said they only do this for people with babies / elderly / disabled). We tipped him well and he recognized us at the end of the cruise and carried all our bags to our car for us.
No problem eating at specialty restaurants with the baby, they More always found a table for us with space for the stroller, and it was always near the entrance in case she got fussy and we had to get her out of there quick (so she didn't disturb other diners).
No problem getting around the ship, we usually didn't wait too long for elevators, and we could squeeze past the room stewards carts in the corridors (this was with a 22.75 inch wide stroller, our regular stroller would have been too wide). On deck 7 you can go outside and walk around the ship, great way to get the baby to nap.
Had to take the baby out of the stroller for security every time we got on the ship.
The humidity was too much for our daughter so we spent most of the at sea time in our room.
Food at Cagneys was variable, coffee wasn't good (water not hot enough to brew the coffee properly), medium steak at dinner was dry and not seared enough, medium steak at breakfast on the other hand was perfect.
We didn't see much of the butler, he brought a plate of snacks every night at 5pm, the only other time we saw him was as we were leaving on the last day - he got a smaller than planned tip. Our butler last year on MSC Fantasia was much better and in general MSC seemed to have a better suite offering than NCL.
Our room was showing it's age - the coffee machine broke (had to call twice, the first time they just unplugged it and plugged it back in but it was still broken), the toilet wouldn't flush (with no foreign objects involved, this happened twice, both times they fixed it without entering our room), the curtain by the balcony was badly worn and missing a way to tie it back, half the curtain around the bed area was missing, there was a loose section of wood trim, the seat in the closet area fell apart (the seat was attached to the base loosely with two screws that were too small for the holes), and one part of the wood railing on the balcony had an inch of vertical movement if you leaned on it.
When we got to our room for the first time it already had someones bags and valuables in it - apparently the butler had taken then to the wrong room where they dropped off their stuff and went to lunch.
Check in and boarding was simple, drop off the bags, take the elevator up one floor, through security, pay corkage on our wine, escorted past the lines to the next checkin desk, then escorted to the vip waiting area where we met the concierge and were escorted directly to our suite.
Our room steward was excellent, always said hi and wanted to see our daughter, made up our room the moment we left it and set the "make room up" flag. We gave him most of the tip we had planned to give to the butler as he was around more often and did more for us.
The room was a good size and we loved the aft balcony looking out at the ship's wake.
Most of the food in the specialty restaurants was excellent and service was prompt and accurate.
The concierge was great, made all our dinner reservations at the times we wanted, always said hello when she saw us, made disembarkation simple.
We didn't go to any shows (baby fell asleep at 7.30 every night) but we did get to enjoy piano music at Gatsby's most evenings.
Massages at the spa were very good, and the spa/gym in general were high quality. Repeated upsell attempts at the spa were annoying.
Bermuda was a nice island to visit, we stayed around the dockyard the first day (museum is interesting and good value, not impressed with the clock tower shops), the second day we had a taxi for six hours (driven by Dennis Hollis, really nice guy, $40/hr), and the third day we took the ferry to Hamilton to look around the shops and get lunch.
Weather was perfect (except for the humidity), calm seas both ways and sunny every day, just a couple of passing showers. Less
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Cabin review: SF9232 Aft-Facing Penthouse with Large Balcony
The room is showing it's age - the coffee machine broke (had to call twice, the first time they just unplugged it and plugged it back in but it was still broken), the toilet wouldn't flush (with no foreign objects involved, this happened twice, both times they fixed it without entering our room), the curtain by the balcony was badly worn and missing a way to tie it back, half the curtain around the bed area was missing, there was a loose section of wood trim, the seat in the closet area fell apart (the seat was attached to the base loosely with two screws that were too small for the holes), and one part of the wood railing on the balcony had an inch of vertical movement if you leaned on it.