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Home > Virtual Cruises > Norwegian Dawn: New York to Nassau
Norwegian Dawn: New York to Nassau
Day 1: Departure from New York
Day 2: At Sea
Day 3: Port Canaveral, FL
Day 4: Miami, FL
Day 5: Nassau, Bahamas
Day 6: Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas
Day 7: At Sea
Day 8: Disembarkation in New York
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Day 6: Friday, Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas
Great Stirrup Cay, BahamasDAILY DISPATCH (Noon, Friday, December 12)
LOCATION: 25°50'N, 77°55'W: Anchored at Great Stirrup Cay

The weather gods had chosen to smile kindly down upon Norwegian Dawn. By 7:00 AM we were already anchored off NCL's private island. The wind was dead calm; the seas were dead calm . . . but the passengers were not dead calm -- they were ecstatic, this cloudless day fulfilling the promise of the warm weather escape they anticipated when they booked passage.

In actuality I've found little grousing about the weather among my fellow passengers. For the most part, those complaining were the ones who had booked shore excursions in Miami that put them outdoors, away from shelter, where they had to suffer through the inclement weather. Particularly vehement were those poor souls who booked the Everglades Airboat excursion. They were issued raingear by the tour operators, but at sixty miles per hour in an open airboat it would almost take a NASA space suit to keep dry.

Aside from those folks, I found most passengers seemed perfectly satisfied, and, from what I can gather from my conversations with them (and from those conversations I eavesdropped on), they felt simply by getting away from the cold and snow storms, they had, in fact, cheated winter. Even if their destination was cool and wet, it still qualified as an escape from far worse weather. Also, given the fact that a huge portion of our passenger load live and/or work in the pressure cooker of New York City, the relaxed ambiance of the cruise qualified as its own type of escape.

I made it over to the island by about 9:30. Our port call would be short, with the last tender returning to the ship at about 1:00. As I passed the Oasis Pool area on my way off the ship I noted that the pool area was almost 50% occupied. Clearly nearly everyone onboard was going to take advantage of the break in the weather to soak up some rays, and many had chosen to skip the tender ride into the island in favor of using that time for more baking.

I am happy to report that, even though nearly the entire passenger complement was exiting the ship, tender embarkation went exceedingly smoothly and quickly. NCL keeps three large tenders ashore at Great Stirrup, and all three shuttled continuously. During peak tendering times two gangways were used, one forward and one aft, further improving passenger flow.

I have visited NCL's private island on a number of previous occasions, and chose to avoid the elbow-to-elbow crowds on the beachfront to explore the island's nature trails, which led across the island, then along the shoreline to a deserted area with tidepools shaded by tall palm trees. A little farther along was the island's lighthouse; very picturesque.

Another asset added to the program at the island since my last visit was a massage tent, operated by the ship's Mandara Spa.

In the water toy department, the usual floating mats renting for $5.00 have been joined by inflatable "party rafts," circular floats which can accommodate up to four or so, and which rent for $15.00. NCL also rents glass-bottom pedal boats ($10/half-hour), kayaks ($20/hour), and sailing catamarans ($30/hour).

After the typical island barbecue lunch I returned to the ship, along with a cheerful tender load of passengers, many of whose winter pale skins were showing the effects of the sudden appearance of the tropic sun.

As the ship weighed anchor at 2:00, passengers spread throughout the ship, with a number making their way to the pool area to soak up yet more rays. That's not to say that the casino didn't get its share of visitors, and Bingo had its biggest crowds of the entire cruise. Interestingly enough, the best lounge for observation, the forward-looking Spinnaker Lounge on Deck 12, is also one of the most used for Bingo and other activities, so it doesn't turn out to be much of a hangout (except for late night, when it becomes the disco/nightclub). There is a higher lounge on the ship, the Star Bar on Deck 13, and though it has forward facing large-paned windows, the view forward is blocked by other structures.

In point of fact, there is no real epicenter for passengers aboard the ship. Everyone seems to have his preferred venue, and the large number of lounges and other private rooms spread the crowds out.

Tonight was the night that lobster appeared on the menu in the three main dining rooms, so the alternatives were virtually empty. I returned to Bamboo to try their Asian fusion dinner, which offers two menu choices and a dessert for a cover charge of $10.00.

After dinner I viewed "Bollywood," the final production show of the cruise. At first the choice of India's potboiler movies as subject matter for a cruise ship production show seemed strange. In reality, the Bollywood concept was merely a framework to mount a "Cirque du Soleil" type presentation with lots of acrobatics and aerial feats. The audience went wild over it.

Tomorrow is our final day at sea, and, with it, issues of packing and disembarkation (ugh!).
Day 5: Nassau, Bahamas red arrow Day 7: At Sea

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