Cruise detail: back to back on NCL Dawn for Christmas and New Year's Eve 2014.
Rooms: 11020 and 9000
Cruise director: Dingo Dave
Review Tweet version: The Dawn is a wonderful ship perfect for your family vacation. She is not a new ship nor I don't think anyone working the ship would claim that she doesn't have some things that need improvement.
The Dawn is like that old sweatshirt that you have. It's older maybe there's a tear in it but it's comfortable and it's warm and it's the first thing you grab when you come home on a cold winter day.
That's the Dawn, comfortable and filled with warm people ready to help you.
Review long version:
We ate in the main dining room, Le bistro, the Italian restaurant, the Chinese restaurant, buffet and Teppanaki.
I did make reservations each morning for the desired restaurant.
There were no pacing or service issues in any of the restaurants; in fact I would go as far as saying it was spectacular service.
Biggest surprise was the Italian restaurant. I ordered something not on the menu and they created the most wonderful tasting eggplant creation. By far the best of my two weeks on the ship.
I always found food that I wanted on the buffet. I primarily eat vegetarian style so the Indian dishes for me were very enjoyable. Highlight of the Indian dishes was the spinach with fried tofu, I could have eaten that all day long. Of course now that you've just read that I praised the spinach you might question my food savviness.
Bottom line: no issues with the food, the service or the quality.
Main areas of the ship overview:
The ship was decorated for the two weeks for Christmas and for New Year's Eve. Midway through the New Year ’s Eve cruise they started taking down the Christmas decorations.
There were a couple Christmas trees and several opportunities to have your pictures professionally taken in front of the trees.
On Christmas eve there were Christmas carols in the atrium and Santa Claus arrived on Christmas morning handing out presents and taking photos with anybody that wanted to.
When I didn't choose to sit on my balcony and wanted to go up on deck there was never an issue finding a chair. I did not see people reserving chairs for any long period of time.
Tip: Front of the ship on deck 13 is a quieter area.
Internet: The closer you were to the Internet café the faster the speed. I noticed when I was in my room with the door closed it was not as fast, connectable yes fast no.
Tip: remember to logout. I saw several people in line complaining that they had additional minutes charge to them. They did not realize or know that they had to log out, the system does not automatically stop after your minutes have been used, it will continue to bill you.
Fitness Room: I worked out every day sometimes twice. Once people had left the ship for the ports I would then run laps on the running track. I believe I figured out it's about five laps for a mile maybe a little bit more.
All the equipment in the fitness room were operable and clean.
There were weight machines, weights, treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, spin classes for a fee, Ab classes, stretch classes. yoga rooms for relaxation, stretching and individualized workouts.
If you are a family of four for me there is no better suite room than 11020. There's an amazing living room area, small bedroom with bathroom, and then a larger master bath and bedroom.
Plenty of space for myself, husband, sister, and 20-year-old niece.
Towel animals were made each night.
The steward always changed where he put the towel animal. Sometimes in the small bedroom, the master bedroom, or hanging from the ceiling. It was fun!
The second week of the back to back we were in room 9000. Just two of us this time. it's comfortable for two people. I'd be hard-pressed to say you can fit four adults in their comfortably. But what I like this room for is the balcony. The balcony seems as large as the room.
We had a great time!. The service was wonderful.
Tip: go to trivia, you might actually meet some great people and have a good time.