Just back from a fabulous girls week away to Bermuda. I think this cruise rockets to the top of my favourite destination ever!
We flew from Ottawa to Boston to meet the Dawn. I was thrilled to see her, as the Star is one of my favourite ships. In fact, my husband and I plan to do a Panama on her in 2015. One of my complaints about the Star was the lack of space to walk outside. This is because I would rather be outside any day than in a gym. I owe an apology to the Star because I obviously did not explore the ship enough to find the deck 7 promenade! I did enjoy it very much on the Dawn.
We, two ladies in our 40s, found our outside cabin to be comfortable and roomy. We were well looked after by our steward who possessed magical cleaning and ice replenishing powers.
We enjoyed three shows - Band on the Run (I sang along which made me happy, but maybe not my seat mates) History of Magic ( entertaining) and the Second City show which I thought was excellently paced and frenetic with energy.
We participated in the Pub Hop which involved shots, cucumbers, t-shirts and some dirty dealing during competition - in fun. Romeo and Joe ran a good program and were ready to make up things on the spot if necessary or work around other ship events. They also remembered us for the rest of the cruise. This made the ship seem more of a community than my last cruise on the Epic. The ages of the hop participants were very broad which made me happy and everyone seemed accepting of one another. The games were adult in nature and only one, involving beer and straws struck me as going a little too far.
Bermuda for three days was so perfect! We had rain in the forecast for all three days but did not see it. We were so lucky. We enjoyed the caves, the zoo, St. George, a fantastic tea at the Fairmont Princess in Hamilton and visited both Swizzles. The rum swizzle might be what they are known for but the piña colada with the shot of gosling dark rum was delicious after a morning at Horseshoe Bay.
Now about the Dawn - a fine crew were aboard. We found people remembered us and we were often greeted by name. I do not think I have ever found a more accessible group of officers on any other ship. We met the Captain several times and were greeted by other top ranking staff as well when we were walking around the ship.
The ship was in good repair. They were replacing stair carpeting which wasn't intrusive but the glue was a little stinky. Paint was being applied to all corners and crevices and our cabin was in very good shape.
I have left the best for last! The food. The yardstick by which cruises are often measured. I have to say the new menu is wonderful and we only went to one specialty restaurant, Le Bistro. I also went to the dining room for lunch which I have never done before and we dined in style at the Venetian every morning for breakfast. In all I think we went to the Buffett twice. I liked the space in the Venetian more than Aqua, although both rooms are lovely, I felt squished in at Aqua. We did not have a bad meal and the new menu offers something new every night. I had a very nice salmon one night, a crab soufflé and prime rib. It seemed to me the desserts had improved as well. if you are saving space for a dessert you don't want to be disappointed.
Service could be slow in the morning especially, but staff were always sure to let you know food was coming! I did notice there were many new trainees on the floor. We did have a few food mix ups but so did everyone else at lunch the day they offered a chicken salad and a chicken salad sandwich on the menu. I am assuming this was because staff were still getting used to the menu. Once the mistake was discovered sandwiches appeared very quickly.
It was a wonderful trip and our husbands are very jealous so the chances of us going again are VERY good.