My mom (71) and I (49) sailed from Tampa, FL on Norwegian Dawn on April 14-21, 2013. She lives near Tampa and drove to the port. I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Rocky Point and I highly recommend it. I got a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel and a shuttle to the port the next day for $10.00. I had dinner on Saturday night at the Bahama Breeze which is right next door. It was crazy busy and crowded and a very long wait for tables. The food is great and it is on an inlet with a boat dock and nice view. They have fun tropical drinks too and it seemed many cruisers were there the night before.
Embarkation was easy for us. We got in line at the terminal around 12:00 and we were on the ship and had checked out our stateroom (9610) by 1:00. I was very impressed with the size of the cabin, bathroom, closet storage, hooks in bathroom, everything was just right. Plenty of room. Room service arrived right away with for some reason, three of the bottles of wine I had ordered. Luckily I had a copy of my order and showed it to him and he went off to find the rest. We headed up to the Bimini Bar and got cheeseburgers and a bucket of beer. Took the bucket back to the room and our luggage was ready. We relaxed and unpacked and the rest of the wine arrived. Around 4:00 we left a note for the room steward to please empty the fridge and leave some ice for us. We changed and went to the pool. There was a fun sail away party with bbq steaks, chicken and hot dogs and we had a snack. Took a bunch of pictures and explored the ship. Went to Pearly King's pub and met our friends Fran and Michelle who took care of us all week. Changed and showered and had dinner in the Venetian dining room. They told us we'd wait 20 minutes but it was only 10. We had great service and both had the steak and lobster which was excellent. I also had a Caesar salad, mushroom soup and caramel bread pudding. Great table by the window and excellent service.
Monday at sea we hung by the pool. Had breakfast at the buffet and this was not impressive. The margarita at the pool didn't taste like it had any alcohol. We planned on having lunch at the pool - they cooked sausages and chicken which smelled wonderful. Went to change our clothes and shower and returned back at 2:00 and they closed the whole thing down. This was disappointing as we could see them taking lots of food off the grill ???. We ordered a pizza instead which was $5.00 and pretty much what you'd expect for that price. Dinner was wonderful at the Teppanyaki restaurant.