Another Good NCL Cruise - Price was Right!: Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by bestofXs

Norwegian Dawn 4
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Another Good NCL Cruise - Price was Right!

Sail Date: January 2013
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Tampa
Our Western Caribbean cruise on the NCL Dawn was from January 13 to January 20, 2013. We had done this same itinerary in 2012 on the NCL Star but the price was too good to pass up! We booked a pre-cruise Hampton Inn hotel in Tampa through stay123 which included over-night stay, breakfast, free parking in their lot and transportation to the cruise pier. Taxi on the way back to the hotel was $20. There are always taxis waiting at the pier.

Embarkation was a breeze, as we arrived about 11:30 AM and were eating lunch in the Venetian at 12:15 PM. Rooms were ready by 12:45 PM and our luggage was in our room by 3 PM. We met our room steward Paul (he looks like a young Lou Diamond Phillips) and he was great. He even made my 1st sea turtle towel animal.

Interior on the 9th deck mid ship was a good central area to getting to most ship venues. Room was smallish, very tight squeeze to get into bed. Had an issue with beds separating and was told that More they are replacing the beds, but just not the 9th deck yet.

We ate at the Venetian (deck 6) sometimes for breakfast on sea days, lunch a few times and almost every night. What can I say -- I like to be waited on! Last year open seating for dinner, if you came at a busy time, they gave you a beeper and a coupon for each person to get a glass of wine, champagne or soda. This year you got a beeper only. Occasionally we caught a server with wine and champagne in the photo gallery area.
One evening we tried the Aqua (deck 6) but found it a bit noisy. The Garden Cafe Buffet (deck 12) had a great variety of foods and always served with a smile. The Blue Lagoon (deck 7) is open 24 hours, which was very convenient when we got back from one of our tours late in the afternoon. We had delicious chicken wings and chips with spinach cheese dip.
We did not try any of the specialty dining. We were completely happy with the regular dining venues.

Norwegian Dawn Production Cast did a great job; they seemed to put their heart & souls into their shows. Although "Band on the Run" with music of the 70's wasn't our favorite decade of music. Their final production of "Bollywood" was too long and was a hard story line to follow.
Saw Second City, but some of the material had not changed from last year. They might want to do some new material.
Greg London's impressionist show was very entertaining. As was the comedy and juggling show of Scotty Cavanaugh.
Not-So-Newlywed Game Show in the Spinnaker Lounge (deck 7) was funny, as long as you are not a contestant!

Keith "Rooster" was the "washy-washy, happy-happy" person at the Venetian for dinner. But his nickname "Rooster" comes from the breakfast buffet. He would push the coffee cart to give people a refill and as he did that he would occasionally crow like a rooster! He was the highlight of many of our mornings!
One day for lunch in the Venetian our waitress was Marjorie. I noted that she looked familiar. Come to find out she had been our waitress on the inaugural voyage of the NCL Star in Hawaii back in 2003!

+ They were very effective with the sanitizers in all of the dining venues
+ Food was very good -- lots of choices
+ Crew was outstanding
+ Captain was funny -- his remote control joke was hilarious!
- Chair hogs
- Our queen bed kept separating -- had to be made into two twins -- we were not happy

We chose to do the "Easy Walk Off" which worked great for us. As long as you can carry all your luggage off, you can leave any time between 7:45 and 10:00 AM. You don't need colored tags and you don't have to put your luggage in the hallway the night before. We left at 7:45 AM and U.S. Customs was a breeze. Less

Published 02/28/13

Cabin review: IB9597 Mid-Ship Inside

Interior room 9597 was on the 9th deck mid ship. Convenient to mid ship and forward elevators. Quiet room. A bit small, not enough room to get into bed from the sides - had to crawl in from the end. Bed kept seperating and had to have room stewart make them into twins. We were told that they have had problems with beds seperating and that they are replacing beds - just not on the 9th floor yet.

Read All Mid-Ship Inside (IB) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Had been to Belize City last year and because the ship was anchored 5 miles from the pier (1/2 hour ride each way by tender) Instead we stayed on the Dawn and enjoyed the pool and entertainment.

Beach Break

We did the Nohoch Kay beach break at Mahahual, which we had also done in 2012. Liked it so much, we did it again! $40 per adult included: a full open bar, lunch with a choice of: Ceviche, Tacos, or Nachos. We also had guacamole, salsa and chips on the beach before lunch. We had reserved lounge chairs & palm frond palapas for shade. Could have used the kayak, but just chilled instead. Jaime was the best host. Staff of Bety Boop, Willie, Junior and Nacho were very attentive.

We had been here several times so, we got off, walked around the shopping mall that is attached to the pier and were back on the ship by 11 AM.
Read 5470 Cozumel Reviews

We pre-booked a tour through Island Marketing for a beach day at the Fantasy Island resort on Roatan. We enjoyed the great snorkeling and taking in the beautiful tropical weather. Probably won't do this tour again, as we had a few glitches. Tour van left ½ hour late and a discrepancy about what was included. Fortunately, I had a copy of our contract. Cost $38 per adult (no lunch)
Read 2444 Roatan Reviews

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