I took the one night cruise to nowhere on the Dawn Sept 1st 2007. Norwegian will be running this cruise to nowhere on the Norwegian Spirit every Sat in Sept and October.
This is the first time I had cruised with NCL, previously I've been on RCCL 3 times. I had a good time for the night and it was a great value for a day trip and a night over, but I was a little disappointed.
The last cruise I took was on RCCL's Explorer of the Seas. I took it from Miami but its since taken up residency at Port Liberty, NJ, one of the NYC area ports. The Explorer has a rock climbing wall, the indoor adult pool/jacuzzi area, an ice skating rink, and an indoor mall (Promenade) with high ceilings that gave the ship a very open feel. The Promenade also helps you locate your room as you can tell what you're nearest to in the promenade. RCCL also tosses in sculptures in the hallways to help orient you to your room.
I was only on the Dawn for one day and can't give a complete review but I did notice quite a few points that would make me hesitant to book a 7 day cruise.
The only indoor pool is a small lap pool located in the spa. There are also 2 jacuzzis there and most of the guests don't know its there, so it isn't crowded and is very enjoyable. I did enjoy the indoor pool area on the Explorer, and I found the dawn lacking here. It was nice that the dawn has a separate kiddie pool area which attracts young children away from the main pool. It was a beautiful day, but during inclement weather the main pool would be a real let down.
Being there only one day and night I had trouble locating my room, there don't seem to be any obvious landmarks/sculptures to recognize. The floors are clearly marked, but it seems like every floor has the same Andy Warhol print at the staircase.
The food was pretty good and creative, but I am told that the pay extra restaurants are well worth it. I went with 4 friends for one night and freestyle worked for me, but I'm not sure I would care for it on a longer cruise. The grand 3 level ballrooms I'm accustomed to on RCCL are really a sight to be seen and while sitting with strangers can be awkward, I rather enjoy meeting new people. The last cruise on the explorer I made 2 friends at my table that made the trip all the more enjoyable. Also, the cruise crowd took advantage of the freestyle concept and some guests were inappropriately dressed for dinner. I'm not one for suits, but I saw quite a few in t shirts and jeans.
I had a good time, but I think I've been spoiled by my experiences on RCCL.