I had read that the Dawn had paper thin walls and was noisy. It's all unfortunately true. Our much needed week of rest and relaxation was not that due to the lack of sleep from noise between midnight and 3AM. We decided to try our luck at going with a guaranteed Ocean View cabin category since it was on the promotion. We were hoping NCL would treat its Latitudes members well. We had set our expectations low and anticipated being on Deck 4, but thought we lucked on out on Deck 8 with a sideways cabin! The arrangement of the cabin was fine for us and was a little tight where he bathroom and changing/closet area are together. Our obstructed view wasn't bad either and our window was between two lifeboats. The location of our cabin was the worse, next to the elevators. It was extremely noisy all night long, especially midnight to about 3AM. We even had someone bang on our door after 1AM, kids running up and down the halls after midnight, and the live music from the atrium was bothersome. We were glad we brought earplugs.
We have been cruising since the 1980's (started young!), and believe since the weekly cruise tips are now mandatory and added to your bill, we find the service to have digressed, particularily on NCL because of Free Style. This was our third NCL cruise. Food service was inconsistent, but better in the up-charge restaurants. Le Bistro was the best service and food. Cagney's (the most expensive) service disappointing, but the food very good.
There is only one main pool on the Dawn, with four hot tubs around it. Two hot tubs are marked adult only, but there were many children in them and NCL was not monitoring this. There's a single hot tub in the front of the ship. There's a children's pool in the back of the ship with animals and small slides. We found this arrangement really poor design. Most cruise ships have more than one pool, one for families, one for adults only, one for children. Past passengers told us there had been a second smaller pool, probably for adults only, but it had been removed. You are given a beach towel per person in your cabin, which you must exchange at the Towel Station if you want a clean one. If you want more towels, you must sign off on the $25 deposit.
The fitness center was nice with great equipment. The few free group classes are 15 minutes long at 7AM and 7:30AM. There is a per person fee PLUS tip for all other group classes like yoga, pilates. We did one yoga class and the instructor did not teach to different abilities - only the more advanced poses. We did one free 7AM stretch which was fine, but did not return. Typically we indulge at the Spa but decided to pass at $159 per person for the week. The Spa pool and hot tubs were fine.