Travelling with my wife this was our 6th cruise, 2nd on NCL. We flew nonstop to Tampa the night before embarkation and stayed at the Embassy Suites Convention Center. Transportation from the airport to the hotel to the pier to the airport was provided by The Blue One Transportation contracted through the hotel. Total cost for all transportation was $46 and was stress free. We arrived at the terminal at 11:20. There was a long line and we weren't on the ship until 1:00. The woman who checked us in (pics/key card etc) was a complete incompetent. First, she forgot to put both my wife and me on the credit card. Then when someone came and fixed that problem we were headed to the ship (more of her incompetence to come). We got to the brow and my wife scanned her card, no problem, I scan my card and my wife's picture came up! So off I go to guest services for a new pic/card. By the time we were done with this our room was ready.
We had a mini-suite. The room was sufficient. Our room steward (Ferdinand) was by far the least personable room steward we have ever had. He did a fine job he just wasn't at all friendly. One thing about the room that was surprising was there was only two drawers in the entire room. Also the fridge is nothing more than a drink storage compartment, it was never cold and we didn't complain. We had ice.
Dawn is a beautiful ship. We spent a couple afternoons hanging by the pool. There was no problem finding deck chairs. The poolside entertainment (The Joy Band) was just so-so.
We ate at 2 of the premium restaurants, Teppinyaki & La Cucina. We were not impressed with Teppinyaki...everything tasted the same (garlic). Also, we were informed the 1st night underway that one of the grills was not working and they needed to move our reservation to a different night. We were promised a bottle of wine with our dinner for our inconvenience. It wasn't provided but was provided at La Cucina 2 days later. As we found out that night the grill wasn't broken, the 2nd chef had left the ship. The one remaining chef just wasn't that into it and it showed. La Cucina was delicious. My wife had the lobster fettucini and I had the vegetarian lasagna. The ricotta cheesecake was awesome. We also ate a meal at Venetian and one at Aqua. Both were good. I had read lots of complaints about the restaurant service and we saw no reason to complain. The service in all the restaurants was just fine. A special shoutout to Ass't. Cook Robert Gil. By the 3rd day he had our breakfast order memorized.
We did three of the ships' excursions: Tabyana Beach Party (would not recommend), Barrier Reef Snorkel & Beach Party in Belize (HIGHLY RECOMMEND), Fury Catamaran Snorkel & Beach Party (recommend).
Entertainment was good. There was a very good juggler (was a finalist on America's Got Talent).
This is a great itinerary, and what made this cruise so good were the people that work on Dawn. Smiles everywhere. You can't ask for much more than that. There was a bit more of a language barrier than we have dealt with in the past, but not enough to make it a deal breaker.
We did the walk-off for dis-embarkation. Very easy and customs was a breeze.
If you're thinking about this ship/itinerary all I can say is go for it!