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Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by Graham Lloyd

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Norwegian Dawn
Norwegian Dawn
Member Name: Graham Lloyd
Cruise Date: January 2012
Embarkation: Miami
Destination: Western Caribbean
Cabin Category: SE
Cabin Number: 9002
Booking Method: Cruise Line
See More About: Norwegian Dawn Cruise Reviews | Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews | NCL Cruise Deals
Member Rating   4.0 out of 5+
Dining 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 4.0
Spa & Fitness 3.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 4.0
Embarkation 5.0
Service 5.0
Value-for-Money 3.0
Rates 3.0
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Ship Facts: Norwegian Dawn Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Norwegian Dawn Deck Plans
Firstly - check in ... FANTASTIC! As we were classified as "VIP" passengers - once we passed through the security scanners we were whisked into a side room where we were quickly "processed" and then personally escorted to a VIP lunch at Cagneys Steak House ...

After lunch we had a quick (and confusing!) walk around several decks and waited for our room to be ready ... and we weren't disappointed. 9002 is one of the four penthouses at the bow of the ship (on the ships' webcam you can be viewed around the world as it is one of only 2 decks visible!). The room is large and well equipped including a 32" satellite TV, Lavazzo coffee machine, well stocked (but pricey) minibar and drinks cupboard with lots of cupboard and shelf space and a large double wardrobe. The bathroom was small but did the job. One word of advice ... there was 1 UK 3 pin 240V socket - the rest are mainly EUROPEAN round pin sockets (not the straight pin US ones we had taken with us!). The deck was fantastic - large but private and with 2 very comfortable loungers and a small table. We met our Butler who tried to look after us constantly - but we made little use of his specialised services (although the automatic delivery of chocolates or canapes around 4pm every afternoon was eagerly anticipated!)

The bed was huge and very comfortable ... the air con in the room was more than sufficient - altogether it was a very nice start to our first ever cruise

We ate at Cagneys (OK), Bamboo and La Bistro (both fantastic), Aqua and Venetian (OK), and the Oasis BBQ (great), but avoided the buffet as it looked like a very noisy school cafeteria, cramped, and with far too many people who seemed more concerned with quantity of food rather than the quality. I did visit around 9pm one evening while my wife was not too well, and the place was a lot quieter, the food was fine (both in variety and quality) but lukewarm ...

We only made one reservation - the rest of the time we just turned up at the restaurant of choice and got in virtually straight away

The whole ship is obsessed with your hands ... so in every restaurant, activity area, elevator or embarkation point there are hand sanitizers or the "Washy Washy Happy Happy" girls who squirted sanitizer onto your hands for you.

Our biggest issue was with the Oasis pool area ... for obvious reasons, the pool is quite small - but the seating around the pool is VERY cramped and there is a lot of sunbed "reservations" with no people using them and the live entertainment is VERY loud ... we missed being able to enjoy the freedom and peace found on a land based pool area ...

We found ourselves exhausted virtually every night -- so we saw very little of the entertainment in the Stardust Theatre (which is very impressive to look at) ... the guy Jay playing jazz piano in Gatsby's bar was our favourite entertainment ... the Casino was always busy -- and full of cigarette smoke (it's legal to smoke in the casino)

Getting on and off the ship at each port was very easy and well organised ... and being VIP's -- the priority disembarkation at the end of the cruise meant we had no queues to join ...

The main thing that grated on us was the constant drive to remove money from us ... bingo ... art auctions ... shopping deals ... drinks ... snacks ... everything costs extra on an NCL cruise ... we'd prefer it to become an "All Inclusive" deal which is becoming increasingly popular in both Europe and the Caribbean. Yes -- the initial cost of the trip would be higher ... but then we could have budgeted fully and not felt as if we were being turned over every minute of the day to generate further profits for the cruise line

Despite being a big ship (almost 1000 feet long) and with seas and winds being no more than "slight" -- we were very surprised at the amount of lateral movement of the ship -- particularly noticeable at night when I guess they speeded the ship up to get to it's next destination ... it meant that my wife was unable to get a good nights' sleep throughout the cruise

Publication Date: 02/09/12
Read the Western Caribbean ports review by Graham Lloyd
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