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Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by Hi_Ya_Sunshine

Home > Reviews > Member Reviews > Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by Hi_Ya_Sunshine
Norwegian Dawn
Norwegian Dawn
Member Name: Hi_Ya_Sunshine
Cruise Date: May 2013
Embarkation: Boston
Destination: Bermuda
Cabin Category: IC
Cabin Number: 10509
Booking Method:
See More About: Norwegian Dawn Cruise Reviews | Bermuda Cruise Reviews | NCL Cruise Deals
Member Rating   5+ out of 5+
Dining 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 5+
Entertainment 5+
Spa & Fitness Not Rated
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions Not Rated
Embarkation 3.0
Service 5+
Value-for-Money 5+
Rates 5+
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Ship Facts: Norwegian Dawn Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Norwegian Dawn Deck Plans
Had a ROOOAARRRRING good time on the NCL Dawn May 31 to June 7, 2013

Please note that my boyfriend's review of each category appears first, followed by mine in the [brackets].

[Pre-Embarkation - Had a lovely ride on Amtrak from CT to Boston early Friday morning. If the weather is nice, I highly recommend getting a Charlie Card ($10 for 2 people round trip) to ride on the articulating/bendy section of the SL2 bus from South Station to the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal--just hold on to your luggage and enjoy the ride! The Dawn was conveniently positioned near the final bus stop and was only a very short walk back to the porter area. One thing I noticed with those of you bringing on bottled water in the cardboard trays--I would highly recommend duct taping the open, exposed sides shut as we saw numerous unintentional drops and spills off the porter's carts and watched bottles rollin', rollin', rollin' every which way.]

Embarkation - Getting on board the ship initially could have been quicker, but not bad considering the quantity of passengers. Some refreshments during this process would have been nice. [Some lines seemed to move faster than others, which I found somewhat frustrating considering we cruised on the NCL Jewel in March 2012 out of NYC to Florida/Bahamas having our own VIP line for Casino at Sea members and sailed right onto the boat within minutes--not this time. The port staff was very friendly and always smiling, though.]

The Cabins - First time in an inside state room and pleasantly surprised. (Last time had a balcony room). Though lots of jokes were made about the size of the cabins, I found it rather cozy and ample, given the fact that you don't spend an enormous amount of time in them. [Our cabin location was forward port side and worked out beautifully for all the time spent in the Stardust Theater, Casino, and Bimini Bar. I also found our bed to be very comfortable. I would add that for the two of us, we had tons of room for our suitcases and clothes in the closet space, pullout drawers, and shelves as well as ample room for our personal belongings in the bathroom area. I also had much more room in this area as the toilet is angled toward the door allowing extra head and leg room rather than straight on in the Jewel Balcony bathroom. A-LO-HAAAAAA! :) The movies, comedies and ship's navigational info on the flat screen TV were fun to pass the time with. Also, our cabin steward, Rona, was a sweetheart, very friendly, and made the best towel animals!]

Food - I love breakfast buffets so the Garden Cafe was perfectly fine for the AM. Rooster guy was funny. A couple times, they ran out of coffee mugs but I managed. Great selection in afternoon as well, but just like any buffet, not everything is suited for one's particular taste. Awesome burgers in Bimini Bar. Great poolside barbeque. Loved the filet mignon in Le Bistro. Excellent Creme Brule there as well. [We also dined in Aqua two times, which felt a bit rushed on the 1st night, (it was very late) but we took our time anyway. The hostess knew our first names prior to checking us in on the second to last night! I would recommend the delicious Mushroom Quesadilla with extra sour cream (thanks Melane!) and the Spaghetti Carbonara. My favorite items in the Garden Cafe were the fresh fruit every morning and the amazing smiley-faced crêpes in the evening. The Chocoholic Buffet was fun to look, but fell short in the taste department. The chocolate fountain with fresh bananas was my favorite part. Celebrating my birthday in Le Bistro on our last night surrounded by Van Gogh-like paintings was unforgettable and worth every penny--I dined on Escargot and Scallops for appetizers, Coq Au Vin for an entree followed by Apple Tatin with the most exquisite dollop of chocolate I've ever had in my entire life! And it was really sweet when the staff brought out a cake (my boyfriend arranged with CAS & guest services pre-cruise) and sang Happy Birthday!]

Entertainment - Loved, Loved the shows! I love rock and roll so Band on the Run was right up my alley. Comedian Tim Kaminski was hilarious, especially during the 3:00 PM Wednesday performance where he satirized the ship and cabins. Was honored to be selected (as Cowardly Lion) to participate on stage for his Sunday 9:00 PM performance. Great Wedgie! Instant popularity for remainder of cruise. Absolutely thought Bollywood was amazing, and enjoyed Second City improvisation. [I, too, highly recommend seeing Tim Kaminski's shows! My incredibly brave and talented Cowardly Lion boyfriend (ROOOAARRRR, baby!) was the star of the show in my opinion and was recognized everywhere we went, both onboard AND off the ship! Anybody know a good talent agent?! Tim brought those cruising on the Dawn together in more ways than I could have ever imagined and truly elevated this cruising experience to the highest level possible! Thank you, Tim, from the bottom of my heart!]

Bermuda - Excellent swim at Horseshoe Bay, Breathtaking beauty! Cocktails at The Swizzle Inn were excellent. Nice experience at Saint David's Lighthouse, and snorkeling at Tobacco Bay. Saint George's was very interesting. Highly recommend the ferry/bus passes, but be careful on Sunday Night because the bus stops running early and cabs are very [VERY, VERY=$40 one-way] expensive. Great walking tour of The Royal Naval Dockyard and Museum. [We had perfect, sunny weather all three days in Bermuda. We began by taking the Number 7 bus to Horseshoe Bay and enjoyed exploring the coves and caves and snorkeling, too, where I saw some small, beautiful silvery fish. My only cautions besides NOT missing the bus Sunday afternoon would be to be aware of the potential undertow and Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish (we saw one on the beach--long tentacle and all!) Otherwise, meet some of the locals and let the fun begin! There was a convenient dining area, bathrooms with showers and changing rooms, and numerous items for rent. The DJ was loud, but played some great music. The next day, we took the ferry to St. George's where we hit up Robertson's Drug Store for some much needed Tums and Aloe for the heartburn and sunburn we thought we wouldn't get! LOL! Riding the Number 6 bus from St. George's past the airport to St. David's Lighthouse was a breeze. We had the whole property to ourselves--so picturesque, private, and romantic! The bus ran every half hour for convenient pickup and dropped us off where we were able to walk by Gates Bay (awesome memorial to those shipwrecked on the Sea Venture) to both St. Catherine's Fort and Tobacco Bay. The bus driver actually physically got off the bus and walked us to where we needed to go--we were so thankful even with the six maps I had in my pocket! The water was chilly in Tobacco Bay due to an incoming tide late in the afternoon, but that didn't stop us! We snorkeled our hearts out swimming along with numerous schools of large fish, discovering Sea Cucumbers, and gathering some nice shells and ceramic pieces. I would recommend water shoes and possibly flotation for the little ones as the bottom becomes rocky and steep at various points. There was a nice bar, Buzz on the Beach, bathrooms and changing rooms, and a chair-rental area as well. I did NOT want to leave this paradise! The walk back to the ferry was quite a hike, (seeing the Unfinished Church was breathtaking) but grab a taxi if you want as they are stationed right there on the beach. The ferry ride back to the dock was very smooth and offered a great view of the island of Bermuda. I, too, highly recommend the FREE walking tour of the Royal Naval Dockyard for all its historical facts and period significance (Thank you Thomas Driver! You were quite the artist in your day!). After the tour, walk on over to the National Museum of Bermuda Incorporating the Bermuda Maritime Museum and pay the well-worth-it $10 admission to view the "Shipwreck Island: Sunken Clues to Bermuda's Past" Exhibit, as well as the cannons and the Commissioner's House that you see from the Dawn. You will be AMAZED and learn sooo much! The view is breathtaking! Seeing the dolphins frolic was great, too!]

Casino - Excellent casino staff. Had a blast playing Roulette and Craps with some of my fellow passengers. [Once onboard, we headed to the casino to pick up our CAS reward card and free house drink card. Shortly after we left Boston, we attended the CAS welcome party and had a blast. Learning to play Craps, feasting on spring rolls and wings, drinking champagne and meeting fellow passengers was the perfect start to a fabulous cruise. While docked in Bermuda, the Casino and Shops remained closed, which kept more money in my pocket. Bartenders Noel & Ryan provided excellent service and were always ready with a fresh pour! You must try the Miami Vice--so delicious and pretty to look at, too! The late-night snacks of sandwiches, wings, and fresh fruit and cheese were perfect for taking a break from all the action.]

Disembarkation - Very smooth. Highly recommend placing luggage outside cabin door the night before. Easy off and retrieval of luggage / customs process. [I concur--we had to be out of our room by 9am and chose to be the last passengers off the ship. We found comfortable seating in the Photo Gallery area on Deck 7, which was closed by then so get your photos the night before! Didn't buy much of anything other than souvenirs so customs was a breeze! The Greyhound bus trip back to CT was a bit stressful due to rain and a great deal of traffic. Next time Amtrak round-trip all the way!]

Fellow Passengers - Met tons of excellent people that were also having a fantastic time and made the trip much more pleasurable. Can't wait until next time! [I second that! The opportunities to meet people were endless! From the Sexy Legs Contest to the nightly dance parties poolside, from the Casino welcome party and the Latitudes cocktail party in the Spinnaker Lounge to the Cruise Critic Meet & Greet in the Star Bar, we met people from Canada and all over New England who love to party, play and dance! At the CC Meet & Greet, light refreshments, coffee and juice were provided. It was such a pleasure to be introduced to Captain Paul, Cruise Director Gio, and each of the cruise department heads. When it came time to add my boyfriend to the Latitudes program prior to the cocktail party, Sherry took care of us instantly and professionally. The memories made on this cruise by meeting so many fellow passengers will last a lifetime!]

[Can't wait until our next cruise! Thank you to everyone at Cruise Critic and the NCL Dawn!]

The Cowardly Lion aka Wedgie Guy & Wedgie Guy's Girlfriend aka Hi_Ya_Sunshine :)

Publication Date: 06/18/13
Read the Bermuda ports review by Hi_Ya_Sunshine
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