We were excited to finally get to go on an NCL cruise. The Dawn, at first, seemed fine. However, as the cruise went on, we noticed more and more buckets catching water drips from the ceilings and towels laid down on the floor as well. One of the public bathrooms near the main pool and elevator had "water" all over the floor and didn't seem taken care of anymore.
We were excited also about the dining options but then figured out that there were more "pay-extra-to-eat" restaurants than the "free" restaurants. We ate mostly at the free ones and that meant really 2 sit down options. Of course there was still the buffet and the 24-hr dining option but as far as sit down free dinner restaurants, it's basically the Aqua and the Venetian. Both had good food. Nothing to write home about. All in our party were honestly not impressed.
The kids play room was excellent. I have 3 children, all in different age groups and all had a great time. We hardly saw our teenager, she made many new friends, and all the teens had to be back in their rooms by 1am.
The kids pool, which is where we spent most of our at-sea days, was a lot of fun. The kids were there for many hours each day. However, you have to supervise your children while they are there and there's hardly any shade. If you are in the shade, you can't keep an eye on your kids. There also weren't enough seats for adults to sit on while the children played. Lastly, we had some older kids and even some adults that were using the kids pool/slide making it harder for the little ones to get to play there. NCL should provide some occasional supervision for those purposes.
The shows were great, the buffet food was pretty good actually. The desserts weren't though.
Only option for free drinks were water, iced tea and coffee. If your kids don't drink tea or water, you're in trouble. Offering juices or lemonade would have been nice.
Our cruise director was AWESOME! I'd follow him anywhere!