My wife, teenage children, and I took the Dawn, Boston to Bermuda, for our family vacation 8-3 to 8-10-2012. We have been on the NCL Majesty (twice), Spirit (twice), Dawn (three times), Dream, Pearl, and Gem. This was our third time on this ship, our 10th NCL, and our 17th cruise.
Embarkation: We have been to Black Falcon before and being from the area it was no problem to get to the pier. I dropped off my family and the bags and parked the car in the garage. The weekly fee for parking the car here was 112.00. The pier has been renovated. We now need to go to the second floor for check in.
Check-in was easy and soon we we were meeting the concierge, Karabi, getting our room keys and waiting for the announcement for the escort to board the Norwegian Dawn.
At 11:30, Mark, our Butler came and brought us and the other suite passengers on. We were able to got to our suite and drop off our things, lock our valuables, and go to Cagney's for a nice lunch. Our cabin was ready when our lunch was done.
The ship is still beautiful. It is clean and the recent renovations did much to improve the ship. I still miss the old Spinnakers Lounge which was located on deck 12 forward. However our new suite was located here and it was beautiful.
We stayed in a Family Suite. This was a wonderful space for the 4 of us. The location was great, deck 12 right down the hall from the pool and on the same deck as the buffet and the fitness center. The suite offered plenty of closet space and storage. The wall of windows provided an amazing view.
Dining is subjective. We enjoyed all our meals. We ate in Le Bistro, Cagney's Bamboo, Moderno, Blue Lagoon, La Cuchina, and the buffet. Service was excellent in all of these restaurants. The food was also great and I was pleasantly surprised. I noticed an improvement in the meat quality from last year's cruise on the Gem. All meals were cooked to our specifications. We enjoyed every dining experience but some stood out more than others. Moises, the waiter in Le Bistro gets special recognition. He was superb and went above and beyond! We asked for him again and dined with him again on our last night. We also had most of our breakfasts in Cagney's. This is a treat for us and a stress free way to start the day. The staff anticipated our needs after the first day. They made breakfast special.
Other crew also provided excellent Service. Mark, our butler was wonderful. He took the time to explain his services and really made us feel that we were his only passengers on the whole ship. Roy our Room Steward was also great. He did an excellent job keeping our room clean and anticipating our schedules as to not interfere with our vacation. Karabi, the concierge, made our dining reservations and was always checking in to be sure that we had everything that we needed. Wilson, at the Guest Service desk took the time to ask us how we were enjoying our cruise. We only went there to ask a question. However, he specifically asked if we were satisfied with the service, meals, cabin, and ship. I have never experienced this before and it was a welcome sign that they really wanted to know what we thought. The staff in the Garden Buffet also asked us frequently if our meals were good and if there was anything that we needed. This is a sign of caring, teamwork, and service. From the officers to the crew. All seemed to be working well together. As I said before, I have been on 17 cruises and the crew really went out of their way to make our vacation wonderful. These are just some of the vacation hero's that made our cruise special.
There are a lot of activities for people to do on a NCL cruise. You can do as little or as much as you want. I took classes in the fitness center, enjoyed the games by the pool, participated or observed the many game shows offered. Bingo and Deal or No Deal are the gaming options. There were pool parties day and night, dancing every night, and music to listen to in all the lounges and in the grand Atrium. The Dawn also has shows or comedy every night, including when in port. There really was something for everyone. The Freestyle Daily lists all the things going on.
We had a great turnout for our meet and greet. I organized it so I was thankful that most showed and there were plenty of officers that took the time to meet us. Thank you Captain, Christian, the restaurant Manager, and others for coming.
We were blessed with the most beautiful weather and incredibly calm seas the whole week. It was unbelievable! Even the crew were amazed. The pool area was crowded but with the exception for one morning, I always found a good place to sit and enjoy the sun, pool, and activities pool side. The nice weather really brought most passengers out to the pool area and upper decks. It was really enjoyable to be out on deck.
This was our 7th time to Bermuda. We went to Horseshoe Bay for another unforgettable beach day. We took the ferry to St. George to see the dunking of the wench and explore this quaint little town. From St. George we took the bus to Hamilton for some shopping. Then we hopped on a ferry back to the Dockyard. The Harbor Nights festival was in the Dockyard on Monday night and this was the first time that we participated in that. It was like a craft fair and there were dancers and music. On our last day we walked to the sea glass beach and then took the Rising Son II catamaran tour in the afternoon. It is great to have 3 days in a port.
Our cruise was excellent. As I talked to other passengers all seemed to be enjoying themselves. There were many large groups on this sailing. From extended families to groups of friends. All seemed to be enjoying the ship and Bermuda.
The Dawn delivered an excellent vacation for my family and friends. The service, food, entertainment, and weather were all fantastic. I am grateful for another wonderful experience on NCL.