This was our third Bermuda cruise. We like the Bermuda itinerary because unlike other cruises you get to spend days rather than hours in port. That means having more time to get the feel of a place.
This was our fourth cruise on NCL, the second on the Dawn.
My partner has some significant physical disabilities and so the issue of handicap access and assistance was very important to us as we prepared for the cruise.
We arrived at the ship about 1 hour before sailing time and we able to go through the embarkation process very easily. Our cabin was good size, and the handicap-accessible bathroom complete with roll-in shower was a godsend.
Our cabin steward was extremely efficient and accommodating.
Every night we ate in Aqua, the smaller of the two main dining rooms. Every night the menu offered a good selection. The waiter and assistant waiter we had the first night were both excellent, and we tried to be seated in their section every night afterward. My only complaint about Aqua is that when it's full it's very noisy, making it difficult to hold a conversation. For breakfast we would go the breakfast buffet on Deck 8 midship which was very convenient since our cabin was on Deck 8.
The only specialty restaurant meal we had was the Jazz Brunch which was served on the first of the two returning sea days in La Cucina. In addition to a great selection of buffet items there was a choice of entrees from each of the ship's specialty restaurants. The jazz combo was excellent and their music provided a wonderful backdrop.
We selected this cruise partly for price and partly for convenience (we live only 100 miles from Boston), and so we feel that this cruise was a great value.
The only shortcomings I would point to are: 1) Attendants need to do a better job of picking up after passengers on the Pool and Sun Decks. (I noticed a dirty dinner plate next to an unoccupied lounge chair that wasn't picked up for 2-3 hours.), 2) The handicap access to the Venetian (the larger of the 2 main dining rooms) is poorly designed and poorly executed, and so we stayed away from eating there although Venetian is far more attractive and has a much more spacious feel than Aqua. 3) While we like the casualness of NCL's Freestyle Cruising concept I thought the Dawn was a little too hang-loose. I'm OK with dressing casually for dinner, but I think requiring men to at least wear a collared shirt of some kind for dinner is not asking too much.