NCL Dawn from Boston to Bermuda May 30 - June 2, 2014: Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by akittynamedsassy

Norwegian Dawn 5
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NCL Dawn from Boston to Bermuda May 30 - June 2, 2014

Sail Date: May 2014
Destination: Bermuda
Embarkation: Boston
We are a couple, in our late 50s/early 60s. This was our 5th cruise on NCL. We are mostly loyal to NCL so we are now Platinum Latitudes level (their highest level).


We arrived by taxi (approximately 11:00 am) and were in the sitting area reserved for suites in minutes. This area seemed more uncomfortable and the chairs more crowded together than on our cruises in the past. But we weren't there too long: we were on the ship and eating by the pool within 30 minutes. Luggage arrived right before the muster drill.


This is the second ship we have taken in this class of ship (Dawn Class). The first was the STAR. Even though the STAR was the older ship of the two, I think they got more things right on the STAR. If any of this review sounds critical of the DAWN it may be more from comparison to STAR than anything actually lacking on DAWN. DAWN is a beautiful ship, and easy to get around. The Grand Atrium is picture perfect. There is no More problem getting a deck chair in the sun. Abundant dining options. Enjoyable choices for entertainment or music steps away. Friendly, smiling, hardworking employees. Clean and cared for. What's not to love?


We took a light breakfast on the balcony every day so cannot comment on breakfast dining venues. Lunch was either in the buffet or at Cagneys. I think NCL has a nice buffet. I am always tempted by the pizza. We went back several times to refresh our supply of Swedish meatballs. Lunch at Cagneys is a nice perk if you want time away from the bustle.

We ate at 2 specialty restaurants (as a Platinum Latitudes perk). La Cucina: Fast becoming our favorite restaurant on the ship. Didn't disappoint on STAR, maybe even better on DAWN. Osso Bucco is rarely on a menu in our hometown, so we have no choice, it has to be ordered. Delicious.

Moderno: Waste of time. It is with a sad heart that I say this. We LOVE Brazillian rodizio and go to one in most every city we visit. We chose Moderno for our anniversary dinner on EPIC. On EPIC it is a beautiful restaurant (in a devoted room with ambience and artwork). The meats were prepared perfectly. The grilled pineapple -- OMG -- keep it coming! The waiters tied our hands together and sang "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" (beautifully), the salad bar was immense. On DAWN (and actually on the STAR too), the experience was the exact opposite (insert "Price is Right" loser music here).

Free dining: Venetian and Aqua. No difference between them that we detect. Short waits with pager. No problem. Food was good. Desserts were all good. Blue Lagoon: dreadful on the STAR, thought we would give it a 2nd chance because people seem to enjoy it in reviews. On the DAWN, with the exception of the wings, don't bother. Save the calories for something else.


Equipment works. TVs work. Lots of activities.


Usually we see every show. This time we only saw Tim Kominski (comedian), Second City, and the magician.

Tim Kominski -- funny, clean comedy. Uses a lot of audience participation. We enjoyed his afternoon encore show better than the evening show.

Second City -- when we first saw them on Pride of America (our first cruise) they were hilarious. They have been on every single NCL ship since then. With some of the same skits (how many times will they perform the blow up doll gag?). I had the lowest of expectations this last time, but was still disappointed. NCL, if you are reading this, I am begging you, please stop having Second City as evening entertainment. They aren't funny anymore.

Magician -- extremely talented. We watched from the balcony on the side and still couldn't see how he was doing some of these tricks. If he amped up the showmanship he could be awesome.

We passed on the rest of the shows. Seen them on previous NCL cruises. Instead listened to music. That is the disadvantage of being Platinum Latitudes -- the shows start becoming repetitive on similar sized ships. If NCL values repeat customers this should be a consideration.


Patti and Jose -- Very popular in reviews. The first night Patti might have had a bad night because she hit some sour notes that had us both wincing. We both agreed Jose would be better without her. As nights went on she was a lot better. Then what started bothering us about them was that they spent so much time "selling" their next night's show instead of just singing. They would even say to people that they couldn't sing a requested song because it was in another night's playlist. Just sing already!

Ariel -- he did some tribute music. The tributes were intended for an even older crowd than us, but we enjoyed him nonetheless. Good music is good music, no matter which era it is from, and he had a lot of talent. Gatsbys can get very loud, but people tended to listen instead of talk.

Compton -- he changed off between piano and guitar. He had talent too, but it got lost somewhere. Maybe his sound system isn't as good, or he doesn't have the confidence to command an audience yet, but people talked so loud you forgot he was even there.


Lots of bests:

Best concierge -- John D'Sousa. We had several small issues that he handled with pleasure. He was friendly and nice from day one. He is changing to a ship out of Seattle after this. A concierge past made us feel like a bother, nuisance and not worthy of her time (Ruth, and we had her twice {EPIC and BREAKAWAY}). Here's hoping she isn't on the GETAWAY when we go in September.

Best cruise director -- Arwen. I had never filled out a comment card for a Cruise Director before this. Normally they are all over the top in some way -- too "on". Arwen got the same things accomplished in a slightly classier way. He's a Seattle boy. He was brand new to the ship and handled it with ease.

Best Captain to talk with. Funny guy.


Late May ending early June itinerary so few children. Mostly an older demographic.


The cabin is nice sized. The balcony is on the smaller side, wide enough but not very deep. It provided 2 loungers and a small table. A large part of what we enjoy about a cruise is the balcony. We eat breakfast out there most days (however, you have the option of eating breakfast and lunch at Cagneys as a suite guest if you prefer).

Comfortable bed. You can request any kind of pillow you want. We choose a memory foam pillow. Espresso machine. Basket of fresh flowers. Fruit bowl refreshed daily. Afternoon treats delivered. Wine and treats waiting for you on arrival day. Suite guests get a mixer with the Captain. Of course towel animals. Nice separate vanity area with drawers and cubbies. Decent hair dryer. Full length mirror on closet door. Closet can be accessed from the front and back sides. Tub/shower combo. Deep tub (bath salts provided; no jets). Shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, bar soap, and body moisturizer provided. Table for dining. Small coffee table. Couch in corner that can become a bed. A big umbrella.

Would have liked to have gone on the behind the scenes tour (free as a Platinum Latitudes perk) but it was offered at 1:00 on the only full day in Bermuda.


Our first time with bad luck weather-wise on a cruise.

Sunday arrival. Some things are closed on Sundays, so plan accordingly. We bought a 3-day ferry/bus pass. Walked around the Wharf waiting for the next Hamilton ferry, then just went to Bonefish (not the chain from U.S.) for a bottle of wine and appetizer to wait out a rainstorm.

Monday was St. George's. We took the guided walking tour (interesting), saw the wench get dunked, had conch fritters and Swizzles, then walked to Fort Catherine, and beyond, returning to town. Spectacular walk. The water is so turquoise. There are nice little coves with people swimming. Because it was overcast the weather was perfect. Full sun made it too hot.

Tuesday rainy. We didn't even get off the ship.

BOSTON ( post cruise)

The main reason we took this particular cruise was the departure from Boston. We had never been before. Rich history (history lovers). Delicious food. But beware, drivers and pedestrians alike are maniacs. We were the odd-balls actually waiting for the walk signal. During our driving trips we came upon two separate accidents that had JUST happened, on the same day. I was gasping and yelping so often I ended up staring straight out the *side* window to quit reacting.

Overall we had an enjoyable time, as usual. But, for the first time, I didn't leave the ship this time wishing I was getting right on another one. Less

Published 06/16/14

Cabin review: 9236

This is an AFT-facing penthouse suite. Nowhere near the rest of the suite cabins.Nice cabin, but seemed smaller than a similar cabin location on the STAR. Balcony was definitely smaller - ok in width, but shallow in depth. Cabin above us can look down and see us while we are standing at the railing. We missed the extra cubbies to stash stuff. That said, it is still a very nice cabin and comfortable. Espresso machine. Fresh flowers, water bottle, bottle of champagne, fresh fruit bowl and chocolate covered strawberries were there when we arrived.Bed was very comfy -- but I haven't had a bed yet on an NCL cruise that I didn't sleep like a baby. We requested the memory foam (Tempur-pedic) pillows that we like. They seemed flatter and weirder shaped than usual, but got the job done. Room comes with a butler. We enjoy breakfast on our balcony so he brought us breakfast every day. He sets the table for us too. Little did he know he could have just dropped it off and ran for all we cared. The room gets an afternoon snack every day. Our butler noticed that we didn't eat the canapés they left one day, but devour the cookies, chocolates and chocolate-covered strawberries, etc., so he only left things we enjoyed -- without our asking I might add. Bathroom has a tub/shower combo. Fairly deep tub if you like a nice long soak. No jets. They provide the bath salts. They provide bottled shampoo, conditioner and bath gel, plus there is a dispenser. Not sure why there is both, but I only used the bottles. Also bar soap. There is a separate vanity area, with seat. There are three drawers in the vanity for stuff, and a couple cubbies on the side. Full length mirror on the closet doors. You can access the closet from both sides (the back or the front). Less congestion when both of us are getting ready at the same time.There is a table for dining. A couch that converts to a bed. A small round coffee table. A large umbrella. Plenty of room under the bed for suitcases.

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