I have rave reviews regarding my cruise from the very beginning until the end. I originally booked a mid ship balcony on level 8 in May. In early September, I called NCL and asked if there was a upgrade available as prices had dropped. They returned my phone call the next day with a free upgrade to an aft balcony and I was ecstatic. Wednesday before my cruise sailed, I received another phone call for an upgrade to the Deluxe Owners Suite on Deck 12. I did have to give up a balcony (which I struggled with), but there was too many perks not to take the upgrade and I am so glad I did. My fiance and I could not have asked for any better service and experience, with the exclusion of the weather.
We arrived at the terminal and were whisked into a private waiting room for suite occupants, offered coffee and snacks while we waited.We were also advised of all of our perks and I seriously had to contain my self and truly thought my face would crack from smiling. Our concierge, Virginia, introduced her self and after 20 minutes we were then escorted through security, check in, and by alot of waiting passengers to be the very first guests on the Dawn. Even though the rooms were not entirely ready yet, we were allowed to enter our suite before proceeding to Cagney's for lunch. Breakfast and lunch at Cagney's was one of the inclusions for being a guest in the Owner's suite.
I cannot begin to describe the suite, ask and I can send you pics. The view from the king size bed is amazing. The suite is huge - large bedroom with floor to ceiling windows and king size bed and closet, another bedroom with desk and closet, 2 bathrooms with one that has a jacuzzi bathtub and TV with a separate shower in both, living room with flat screen and 2 floor to ceiling viewing windows, dining area with table and coffee machine and wet bar and two other sets of closets. Huge, huge room.
The rest of the week was pure heaven. We had breakfast at Cagney's every morning and never got tired of the menu, we had lunch there 3 times opting to eat in Bermuda or grab a quick bite at the Blue Lagoon or Garden Cafe. Garden Cafe is a buffet set up with fresh entrees. I was less impressed with the Blue Lagoon as it had fairly slow service and my meal was less than desirable. Cagney's was our home to eat, we had dinner there 3 times (yes it does cost but it is well worth it) and became friends with the staff there. We had 3 dinners at the Venetian and one dinner at Aqua. Those were all fine but Cagney's quality of meat was exceptional and the wait staff over the top. If you go to Cagney's, make sure to ask for Sandra - one of the best waitresses I have ever encountered.
All the staff on the Dawn are very helpful and pleasant, and not the fake kind where you know they are being nice to get a good tip, they honestly enjoy your company. We only ran into one waiter that we were less than impressed with. That was one night in the Venetian and he didn't do anything wrong, he was not outgoing and seem to be rushed even though none of the other staff seemed rushed.
We had a meet and greet cocktail hour with the Captain and crew that was very nice and I also attended that cruise critic roll call meet and greet followed by a slot pull. These are nice way to mingle with other cruisers and connect with people form the Cruise Critic site. There was a couple who work for Cruise Critic that attended and I am curious to read their review.
Our butler was there when we needed him to be and invisibly provided items when he wasn't needed - that was kinda nice as my fiance and I like our quiet alone time. Virginia, our concierge, was always helpful. She provided us reservations to all the restaurants we wanted and seats at all the shows we wanted. Once again, perks for being in the owner's suite. How can you go back to regular cruising after this?
We did not book any excursions through NCL and instead opted for booking our own unique excursions. We booked horseback riding at Spicelands Equestrian Center which was awesome. Almost a 2 hour trail ride through the back streets and farmland of Bermuda to secluded beaches. The horses were well cared for and minded well for the most part, except when they wanted to eat, LOL. We then rented a small boat for 4 hours to cruise around Bermuda, stopping at the Vixen wreck and small islands to snorkel that were very secluded and then finished with a few hours of fishing with poles and bait provided from Somerset Bridge Watersports for a very minimal amount. I am extremely happy that I did not rent motor scooters after an enlightening trip on the public system, I don't think I will ever put my life on the line with those.
I bought the spa pass for the week for my fiance and I. I would not do this again if I had a suite since we used the jacuzzi in the bathroom, but we went a few times and I find it more enjoyable than the outside pool with all the people and the noise. I had one spa treatment that was heaven, but I do not like how they push their services and products.
The library seemed to be used frequently, trivia was well attended as was karaoke and Bingo games. I also had a great time in the Casino which means I won, ha ha. I used a coupon from slotplayers.com and I warn people to make sure they know how to use the coupon before hitting buttons on the slot machine or you will end up having to use the entire amount on one machine.
Disembarking was almost painless, although it had a longer wait than I had become used to during my week of pampering.
As you can see, I truly enjoyed my entire cruise. The weather was a different story and the seas were very rough but I realize that neither my self or the cruise line can control the weather and I did book during hurricane season. Some people did grumble but hey, it's better than being at work.