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Background Information: My husband and I are both in our early 30s and we were among the few New Jersey residents on our voyage. This was my fourth cruise (two previous cruises on NCL), but this was my husband's first cruise. Travel to Port of Embarkation: Due to reading cruise critic, I discovered the idea of traveling to the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal in Weehawken, NJ and taking the ferry to Manhattan. First of all, this avoids all NY and tunnel for people traveling outside of NY and second, it is less expensive. A roundtrip ferry tickets cost $11 (a coupon is available in the entertainment book for buy one get one free) and parking is $66 for the week. We walked to the pier (about 10 minute walk), but a taxi would've only been $5. Embarkation Process: We arrived at the pier at noon and the first group had already started boarding. We waited about 40 minutes before the let us into the registration line because of a computer malfunction on the NCL end for registration and key card. Once in that area, there was a separate latitudes line (much shorter) breezing through and we were on the ship and eating lunch by 1:25pm. The rooms were ready by 2:00 pm. Ship Info: The Dawn is a beautiful ship. Yes, it is a large ship but after a few days you become accustomed to the ship and realize how easy it is to maneuver. The workers were persistently working to maintain the ship from varnishing the wood rails to painting the outside while we were docked. The facilities were top notch, a large gym for those inclined to use it and a beautiful spa for those desiring the extra pampering. True, the pool should be larger for the amount of guest and there never seemed to be enough lounge chairs by the pool. To me, I was happy sitting on my balcony and it never bothered me plus I was glad to have a slight shield from the sun. Stateroom: Our balcony stateroom was mid-ship on the port side and we couldn't have been more pleased by the size. The bed was large and comfortable. We had a lovely sitting area with a desk and the balcony was adequate in size for two people. We had plenty of room to unpack all of our suitcases in the drawers and the closet. I did bring extra hangers from home to supplement the supply of hangers. We brought a power strip for extra outlets. We had a refrigerator where we stored plenty of bottled water we brought from home. The hair dryer was adequate in power. The bathroom was nicely laid out in three parts, shower, sink, and toilet. We had plenty of room for all our toiletries. Conditioning shampoo and shower gel is provided via a dispenser. We brought our own toiletry supplies so I cannot comment on the quality of those items. Over all, we were pleased with our stateroom. Dining: One's dining experience on a cruise is very subjective. Overall, we were pleased with our meals on the Dawn. We ate most breakfasts in the Venetian (the main dining room) and enjoyed our meals. The Cooking Light pancakes are very good. The scrambled eggs leave a bit to be desired but fried eggs are cooked well&.on NCL, tell them well done instead of over hard if you don't want your yolk to run. My husband enjoyed the coffee and I enjoyed the tea selection from the wooden chest, a special touch that always reminds me of my first cruise. Room service serves a nice continental breakfast which we enjoyed on our balcony one morning. However, it was a bit difficult for two people to eat on the balcony with the small table provided. Lunches in the Venetian were very good. The final day at sea they served a Thai chicken salad with a citrus vinaigrette and mango which tasted incredible. We ate lunch once at the Bimini Grill (hamburgers and fries were good), Blue Lagoon (hot dogs were quite tasty) and once at the buffet not quite so successful. We did not try the fresh deli section of the buffet so I cannot comment on those items. We enjoyed our meals at Cagney's, Le Bistro, and the hibachi room at Bamboo. The hibachi room at Bamboo was well worth the $12/person charge for shrimp and filet mignon. The chef was entertaining and the food tasted incredible. The fried rice rivals any hibachi restaurant on shore and there was an abundance of food you don't find at home. Dinner in the traditional dining rooms also was very good. We preferred the smaller atmosphere of Aqua to the business of the Venetian. Next time, we will try Impressions. Salsa (the Tex-Mex restaurant) had excellent appetizers and desserts but the entrees fell a bit short. The sangria more than made up for the entrees. The soda card is worth it for soda drinkers. Even if you do not break even ($40.25 and each soda is about $1.75 with a tip), it is more convenient than signing for a soda every time you wanted one. Service: We had exceptional service from our cabin stewards to the wait staff in the restaurants. Our room was kept spotless the entire cruise¬ a speck of sand remained from our beach excursions in Bermuda. Our stewards were James and Cesar and they were incredible. Our room was always ready when we needed it to be. Everyone had a dial near their door on the outside to communicate with your stewards; you need to use it to let them know that you are not in your room. The waiters and waitresses worked hard and were extremely accommodating. Room service always arrived in a timely fashion. Everyone had a smile and friendly words. Activities: We enjoyed our time on the cruise. We went to the casino and though I was disappointed there were no $5 blackjack tables, we managed to have fun at a Let it Ride table with some friendly dealers. There was an abundance of slot machines with a good variety. We also played bingo with the old fashioned paper cards and though we lost, we had a good time. For anyone scheduled to go on the Dawn and enjoy martinis, you must go the martini tasting $15 for 4 good sized martinis and you get to learn a little bit about how to make them. It was quite an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon. One down note the internet café was a bit slow. Here's a tip if you bring your own laptop write your e-mails in a word document offline and then send them on line. You'll save some minutes. Entertainment: The entertainment on the ship was outstanding as most NCL cruises are. Bollywood (the big production show) was breathtaking and we were all amazed that they did it all on a moving ship. The Second City Comedy Troupe did a skit and improve show that was hilarious, we are still laughing about it a week later. The juggler (Romano Frederiani) and the magician (Matthew Fallon) both were excellent. The night game shows were enjoyable and we had the most fun just watching other people at the game show. Jimmy did a great job as cruise director considering he has only been on the ship a short time. Shore Excursions: We originally had shore excursions booked but all were cancelled. We were slated to go on the Bermuda Bell Helmet dive but that was cancelled due to a medical emergency of the operator. We had shore excursions planned for the private island and the Bahamas but we never made it to those destinations due to the hurricane. NCL handled the itinerary change the best they could and we were pleased the outcome. We stayed the entire time in Bermuda and enjoyed paradise on our own (who could complain?) We bought a two day travel pass and explored Bermuda on our own. We had a great time and are looking forward to returning to Bermuda. Disembarkation: We did express disembarkation and carried our luggage off the ship. From the announcement to the time off the ship was about 20-30 minutes. The worst part was waiting for an elevator to go to the deck where the gangway was located. We took a cab to the ferry terminal and we were home in NJ by 10:30 am, leaving the ship's stateroom at about 9:00 am. Summary: A cruise is what you want it to be. We made the most of it and had a blast. Do attend the cruise critic meet and greet. Thanks to Sherrie for arranging it for our cruise. We met two other young couples and enjoyed their company throughout the remainder of the cruise. If you plan on cruising again, do the cruise rewards program. It is a $250 deposit on your next cruise but you'll receive a $100 instant ship board credit for the cruise you are on and you'll be automatically upgraded to Latitudes Gold for the next cruise. It's a win-win situation. On our cruise there were a few changes&.sangria in Salsa is now only by the glass not by the pitcher, Latitudes members no longer get a 15% discount at the Spinnaker lounge, and there were no 2 for 1 offer for early dining at the specialty restaurants. Our cruise was completely sold out so they may have made these changes due to the booked status of the ship. We can't wait to return to the Dawn!

Norwegian Dawn - Bermuda

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by Seashell74

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2006
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
Background Information: My husband and I are both in our early 30s and we were among the few New Jersey residents on our voyage. This was my fourth cruise (two previous cruises on NCL), but this was my husband's first cruise.
Travel to Port of Embarkation: Due to reading cruise critic, I discovered the idea of traveling to the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal in Weehawken, NJ and taking the ferry to Manhattan. First of all, this avoids all NY and tunnel for people traveling outside of NY and second, it is less expensive. A roundtrip ferry tickets cost $11 (a coupon is available in the entertainment book for buy one get one free) and parking is $66 for the week. We walked to the pier (about 10 minute walk), but a taxi would've only been $5.
Embarkation Process: We arrived at the pier at noon and the first group had already started boarding. We waited about 40 minutes before the let us into the registration line because of a computer malfunction on the NCL end for registration and key card. Once in that area, there was a separate latitudes line (much shorter) breezing through and we were on the ship and eating lunch by 1:25pm. The rooms were ready by 2:00 pm.
Ship Info: The Dawn is a beautiful ship. Yes, it is a large ship but after a few days you become accustomed to the ship and realize how easy it is to maneuver. The workers were persistently working to maintain the ship from varnishing the wood rails to painting the outside while we were docked. The facilities were top notch, a large gym for those inclined to use it and a beautiful spa for those desiring the extra pampering. True, the pool should be larger for the amount of guest and there never seemed to be enough lounge chairs by the pool. To me, I was happy sitting on my balcony and it never bothered me plus I was glad to have a slight shield from the sun.
Stateroom: Our balcony stateroom was mid-ship on the port side and we couldn't have been more pleased by the size. The bed was large and comfortable. We had a lovely sitting area with a desk and the balcony was adequate in size for two people. We had plenty of room to unpack all of our suitcases in the drawers and the closet. I did bring extra hangers from home to supplement the supply of hangers. We brought a power strip for extra outlets. We had a refrigerator where we stored plenty of bottled water we brought from home. The hair dryer was adequate in power. The bathroom was nicely laid out in three parts, shower, sink, and toilet. We had plenty of room for all our toiletries. Conditioning shampoo and shower gel is provided via a dispenser. We brought our own toiletry supplies so I cannot comment on the quality of those items. Over all, we were pleased with our stateroom.
Dining: One's dining experience on a cruise is very subjective. Overall, we were pleased with our meals on the Dawn. We ate most breakfasts in the Venetian (the main dining room) and enjoyed our meals. The Cooking Light pancakes are very good. The scrambled eggs leave a bit to be desired but fried eggs are cooked well&.on NCL, tell them well done instead of over hard if you don't want your yolk to run. My husband enjoyed the coffee and I enjoyed the tea selection from the wooden chest, a special touch that always reminds me of my first cruise. Room service serves a nice continental breakfast which we enjoyed on our balcony one morning. However, it was a bit difficult for two people to eat on the balcony with the small table provided. Lunches in the Venetian were very good. The final day at sea they served a Thai chicken salad with a citrus vinaigrette and mango which tasted incredible. We ate lunch once at the Bimini Grill (hamburgers and fries were good), Blue Lagoon (hot dogs were quite tasty) and once at the buffet not quite so successful. We did not try the fresh deli section of the buffet so I cannot comment on those items. We enjoyed our meals at Cagney's, Le Bistro, and the hibachi room at Bamboo. The hibachi room at Bamboo was well worth the $12/person charge for shrimp and filet mignon. The chef was entertaining and the food tasted incredible. The fried rice rivals any hibachi restaurant on shore and there was an abundance of food you don't find at home. Dinner in the traditional dining rooms also was very good. We preferred the smaller atmosphere of Aqua to the business of the Venetian. Next time, we will try Impressions. Salsa (the Tex-Mex restaurant) had excellent appetizers and desserts but the entrees fell a bit short. The sangria more than made up for the entrees. The soda card is worth it for soda drinkers. Even if you do not break even ($40.25 and each soda is about $1.75 with a tip), it is more convenient than signing for a soda every time you wanted one.
Service: We had exceptional service from our cabin stewards to the wait staff in the restaurants. Our room was kept spotless the entire cruise¬ a speck of sand remained from our beach excursions in Bermuda. Our stewards were James and Cesar and they were incredible. Our room was always ready when we needed it to be. Everyone had a dial near their door on the outside to communicate with your stewards; you need to use it to let them know that you are not in your room. The waiters and waitresses worked hard and were extremely accommodating. Room service always arrived in a timely fashion. Everyone had a smile and friendly words.
Activities: We enjoyed our time on the cruise. We went to the casino and though I was disappointed there were no $5 blackjack tables, we managed to have fun at a Let it Ride table with some friendly dealers. There was an abundance of slot machines with a good variety. We also played bingo with the old fashioned paper cards and though we lost, we had a good time. For anyone scheduled to go on the Dawn and enjoy martinis, you must go the martini tasting $15 for 4 good sized martinis and you get to learn a little bit about how to make them. It was quite an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon. One down note the internet café was a bit slow. Here's a tip if you bring your own laptop write your e-mails in a word document offline and then send them on line. You'll save some minutes.
Entertainment: The entertainment on the ship was outstanding as most NCL cruises are. Bollywood (the big production show) was breathtaking and we were all amazed that they did it all on a moving ship. The Second City Comedy Troupe did a skit and improve show that was hilarious, we are still laughing about it a week later. The juggler (Romano Frederiani) and the magician (Matthew Fallon) both were excellent. The night game shows were enjoyable and we had the most fun just watching other people at the game show. Jimmy did a great job as cruise director considering he has only been on the ship a short time.
Shore Excursions: We originally had shore excursions booked but all were cancelled. We were slated to go on the Bermuda Bell Helmet dive but that was cancelled due to a medical emergency of the operator. We had shore excursions planned for the private island and the Bahamas but we never made it to those destinations due to the hurricane. NCL handled the itinerary change the best they could and we were pleased the outcome. We stayed the entire time in Bermuda and enjoyed paradise on our own (who could complain?) We bought a two day travel pass and explored Bermuda on our own. We had a great time and are looking forward to returning to Bermuda.
Disembarkation: We did express disembarkation and carried our luggage off the ship. From the announcement to the time off the ship was about 20-30 minutes. The worst part was waiting for an elevator to go to the deck where the gangway was located. We took a cab to the ferry terminal and we were home in NJ by 10:30 am, leaving the ship's stateroom at about 9:00 am.
Summary: A cruise is what you want it to be. We made the most of it and had a blast. Do attend the cruise critic meet and greet. Thanks to Sherrie for arranging it for our cruise. We met two other young couples and enjoyed their company throughout the remainder of the cruise. If you plan on cruising again, do the cruise rewards program. It is a $250 deposit on your next cruise but you'll receive a $100 instant ship board credit for the cruise you are on and you'll be automatically upgraded to Latitudes Gold for the next cruise. It's a win-win situation. On our cruise there were a few changes&.sangria in Salsa is now only by the glass not by the pitcher, Latitudes members no longer get a 15% discount at the Spinnaker lounge, and there were no 2 for 1 offer for early dining at the specialty restaurants. Our cruise was completely sold out so they may have made these changes due to the booked status of the ship. We can't wait to return to the Dawn!
Seashell74’s Full Rating Summary
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