Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by jimminie_crickets
- Sail Date: April 2012
- Destination: Bermuda
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
The embarkation process is smoothly handled by NCL. They had everything organized in their computer system. We just needed to present out passports, credit card and "e-documents" (from pre-checkin on the NCL.com site). We were traveling with another couple - where one of their party happens to carry a Belgium passport - and his check-in wasn't as seamless. Nevertheless NCL handled our check-in quickly. One side note for those leaving from Black Falcon terminal in Boston: Massport (the state government authority) seems to run a chaotic process when you arrive at the terminal. The scene approaching the terminal from the street is one big ball of confusion with no clear organized staging for those arriving or for taxis dropping off. After we finished our embarkation process (around 40 minutes), we were on board at about 1pm for a 4pm departure.
We were informed that our cabin was ready, but we opted for a quick lunch at the Garden Cafe. There's a kid's seating section where we ate grilled vegetables and other hot dishes. Then we proceeded to our cabin. We began to settle in and enjoy the accommodations, when we were directed to a muster drill in the Aqua restaurant. They basically told us where to go, in case of an emergency.
Then we met up with our fellow travel companions and headed for the pool party on 12th deck. We snacked on barbeque burgers and enjoyed some cocktails, as we cruised out of Boston harbor.
We traveled with our 21-month-old daughter - and we noted that there were a number of other families on the boat. At our daughter's age we didn't struggle to keep her entertained. The Dawn has a kids area - with a "Under 2 zoo" playroom. For those over 2-year-old, the Dawn has a very well run kids camp. Where there are supervised activities that keep the children busy from 9am-4pm. We over hear some kids say to their parents that they didn't want to leave the activities center. Also on the back of the boat there's a kid's oriented swim/play areas. Our daughter was unfortunately too young to use this facility.
We ate at Cagne's steakhouse once (our only play-to-play dining experience) - and found the food fantastic. One area (across from Cagne's steakhouse) does not seem properly utilized on the ship - the Star Bar - which is a really nicely appointed bar overlooking the 12th deck and pool area. It just seems that there is very little going on in that bar. But it was an ideal location for us to have some quiet time to ourselves and enjoy some drinks in somewhat private comfort.
On other nights we ate at Aqua or the Venetian. We thought both were good - but we liked Aqua's more contemporary atmosphere better.
My wife summed up the our fellow Dawn passengers as: "...a mixed bag of nuts." An extreme rage of folks from conservative to "edgy" (to put it kindly). We saw people in very tasteful attire - and then we saw many that looked down right scary. Gang-bang looks, neck tattoos and pajama pants were the fashions of choice on a lot of the crown - particularly those that hung out by the pool areas. Not assuming that NCL caters to this demographic - but nevertheless the down-market/mixed bag of nuts are in abundance on this cruise.
Our stay and activities in Bermuda were dictated by the weather in large part. It rained and gusted relentlessly until the morning of our last day in Kings Wharf. We made the most of with a delightful morning at Snorkel Beach ($5 access fee - well worth it). Lunch at the Frog and Onion pub. And a ferry ride to Hamilton.
The service on the cruise was wonderful, throughout. The enthusiasm of the staff was infectious and made our time on-board memorable.
All-in-all, we would do the trip again - even with the mixed bag of nuts.
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