Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by Crusinwithfamily: Bermuda or Bust
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Bermuda or Bust
We recently returned from a wonderful cruise on the NCL Dawn out of Boston to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. All-in-all we had a wonderful time. Our embarkation could not have gone smoother. We arrived around 10:30, checked in within minutes, waited about an hour and boarded and were having lunch by noon. Our stateroom was ready before we finished lunch.
While the Dawn is one of NCL's oldest ships, they do a great job of maintaining it. Other than a few spots you would never now the ship is 12+ years old. For example, we saw them loading 200-300 new pool lounge chairs in Boston. We kept an eye out and saw them placed all around the sun decks. Dawn's layout is a bit quirky, but you get used to it. We rarely felt crowded. Maybe a few times in the buffet and by the pool.
As we have experienced on every cruise we've taken the crew is outstanding. Please take a few minutes to ask them about their families and their history. Their stories are heart warming and More heart breaking at the same time. I believe, it makes you appreciate their work ethic and sacrifices a bit more.
We ate in the Venetian every night for dinner. On our 4th night, we had an incredible waiter, Komang. We asked for him each night after. On our 30th Anniversary, they brought us a cake an "sang" a song to us. The food over all is good, not great. As others have reviewed, there has been a bit of a decline in the quality of the food over the recent years. Personally, I believe this is strategic as they try to push people to the up charge restaurants. The buffet was open from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day with plenty of options.
The shows overall were good. It was a mix shows that included music, dance, magic, comedy, and acrobatics. In the piano bar, Gatsby's, they had a Singer/Piano Player, Carlos Leal, who was amazing. We watched him every night for 1-2 hours.
All and all we had an excellent time and would not hesitate to cruise on the Dawn again. Less
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Cabin review: Norwegian Dawn 9228
Our cabin, 9228, was were we saw the most wear and tear on the ship. The carpet and couch needed to be replaced and a fair amount of rust on the balcony ceiling. The bed was comfortable. This was the quietest room we've ever had on 11 cruises. It was awesome. We did have problems with water pressure in the shower, reported it and maintenance made some improvements. NCL rooms I believe are the smallest in the industry. We opted for the balcony to have a bit more space and I'm glad we did.
Port and Shore Excursions
Bermuda is stunning. We had exceptional weather. We purchased the 3-day the bus/ferry pass for $35. The island is easy to navigate, so we toured the island on our own and had a blast.
First day, we jumped on a bus and went to Gibb's Lighthouse. Incredible view of the island. We then hopped on another bus and went to Warwick Beach. Much less crowded than Horseshoe and I think even more beautiful. It is one stop past Horseshoe.
We visited St. George and did a $5 walking tour from the Town Hall. We then hired a taxi for about $25 to take us to a Glass Beach and for a couple of quick stops on the outer areas of St. George.
On the bus ride back, we hopped off and did the caves. A bit pricey, but interesting.
On our last day, we went Hamilton in the morning. Unless you are a shopper of high end goods, I wouldn't waste your time in Hamilton, except for bus and ferry transfers. After a very quick visit, we took the ferry back to King's Wharf hopped a bus and went to Black Bay (a few minute bus ride) for a quick swim. It appeared to be mostly locals at the beach. After our swim we went to the National Museum in King's Wharf. I wish we had more time there. It was interesting and offered a unique view of the ship.
If you've never been to Bermuda...do it!!! We'll be back.