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Well this is my first review so I will try to keep it flowing and honest, but please bear with me. My wife and I are in our late 20's and have been on three cruises each before. We took the Crown to Bermuda in 2006 on our anniversary and had a horrible experience but after some positive feedback from some friends on other NCL cruises, we decided to try again with the Dawn. We celebrated our two year anniversary on the boat, and we are both very happy we decided to do so! So what lies ahead is my best attempt at a review. Just a heads up, I love food, which you will find as you read along. Day 1: Arrived at the pier at 10:30, sped through the latitudes line and were checked in by 10:45. We were given group six and sat with other to wait. They started with number three and by the second call of groups, we were ready to dock. Entering on Deck 7 is a beautiful sight. We were immediately given our glass of campaign and then headed right to the reservation desk. We booked for Salsa for that night and Cagney's on Tuesday for our anniversary. We had a mini-suite (more on this later) and I don't know if that allowed us to book a couple days in advance or not. With all the people behind us, I think the woman was just happy to give me what I wanted and I was thankful as well. ? We then headed to the Garden Cafe for lunch, which was very good. Excellent chilled banana soup, surprisingly good pizza, and pretty cool stations like the pasta one. We then took our own private tour of the ship walking around checking all the areas out. Major tip here, go to all the specialty restaurants. They have samples on spoons to try! At about 1:30 an announcement was made that our rooms were ready and we checked out our room. Loved the mini suite (11026)! Decent size balcony, nice layout, not a single complaint about the room. That first night we ate at Salsa. The lobster tacos were pretty good, but were served in a hard shell (we found this odd). You get a nice amount of salsa, guacamole, etc with chips and can ask for more. The Sangria is awesome and highly recommended! The welcome aboard show was good, however being that we saw Dave Heenan in the past, he had zero new jokes. We left early. Late night snack at blue lagoon. Awesome wings, but my wife did not really love her spinach and artichoke dip. She said it was edible, but not recommended. Day 2: Day at sea. Spent most of the day relaxing. Went to Aqua for breakfast which was excellent. The hash browns are great. Service was excellent, extremely fast. Lunch was in the Garden Cafe and the pretzel bread is quite a standout. I would see people taking handfuls back to their rooms. Great stuff. While my wife went to the spa, I hung out in the Casino. As I was at the bar watching sports center, Pedro was there and hung out with my talking football. He remembered me from a cruise back on the Crown in 06. Great guy. Later that day was the meet and great which was well attended. Pedro, the captain, the hotel director and I think the head chef were all present. Later that night was dinner in Venetian. We had no wait at all and found that there wasn't a single wait for us at either dinning room. Service was again good and we had the lobster dish which was good, not great. I thought the lobster was too tough. I had some wings from blue lagoon again and attempted to sit in the pearly king pub with a beer to watch the Monday night football game, but could not because it was back so I headed back to the room. On this night, instead of chocolate on our pillows, we found chocolate chip cookies!! Newlywed game was this night, it was funny. We also sat and listened to Jose and Patti, but they weren't really our style, although they were good. We loved Berni Martini and spent almost every night in Gatsby's listening to him. Day 3: Breakfast in Garden Cafe. Same food as aqua, except there was cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing and chocolate croissants. Neither of these was available in aqua. On this day we attended our first NCL U which was the Sangria and Tapas one. It was great. They head bartender shows you how to make Sangria and the chef for Salsa teaches you how to make some of the tapas. They also give you recipes for both so you can make them on your own when you go home. At this point the boat was pretty rocky,. We were fine but many others seemed to be bothered by the swaying. We then went over the Pearly King Pub for Wii bowling tournament. This was a great place to hang out. Felix, the cruise director staff member that runs games in the pub, is hysterical. My wife rocked at Wii bowling, but neither of us scored high enough for the finals. We attended the latitudes event which was surprisingly a lot of fun. Free drinks were handed out and there were a ton of giveaways. Dinner at Cagney's for our anniversary. I was not impressed. The shrimp cocktail were big, but tough. The lobster bisque was horrible. Maybe I am a brat, but my steak (the rib eye) was flavorless. My wife did not like her crab cakes either, which were covered in guacamole, which we both found strange. Later that night we listened to some more Bernie Martini, then headed to bed. Day 4: Bermuda! Elbow beach, Swizzle Inn and a lot of shopping in Hamilton. We bought the three day bus pass, made it very easy to get around the island. At night we attended the pub games which were pretty funny. Lots of little NCL prizes. Felix is great and I suggest going to this. We capped off the night with a drink at Gatsby's listening to Bernie Martini. Day 5: Bermuda! Horseshoe Bay, lunch at lobster pot, Bermuda Aquarium and some more shopping. We were selected to have dinner this evening with the cruise consultant manager Candace. We did notice that all cruise critic members who entered the "drawing" were all assigned someone. Candace was very nice, and did not attempt to sell us any cruise rewards which we were thankful for. Later that night we went to the Chocolate buffet. This was pretty good to average. Get their early and fill your plate. Whatever you do, do not try the chocolate sushi. Absolutely horrible! We made some friends from Massachusetts here and joined their team for the Quest game. Prior to that we all watched the Liar's club which was surprisingly funny. The Quest game is nuts, and a lot of fun. I had a little help from a fellow cruise critic member's wife... lol. We came in third and were pretty happy. Day 6: Bermuda! Horseshoe Bay, lunch at the Beach Bistro and final souvenir shopping at Hamilton and Dockyard. We were back on the boat early enough to attend some more trivia with Felix. No prizes this time, but still a fun experience. The boat was late leaving because of a medical emergency. Later that evening you could feel it getting somewhat rocky as the captain was trying to make up time, but for the most part everything was tolerable. We attended Second City which was awesome. It is a shame that they kept them hidden until the last couple of nights on the boat. Day 7: Boat was really rocky during the day. My wife and I attended the perfect couple game. The crowd voted for us to win, but they gave the prizes to someone else. We were still happy with the bags that we got as consolation prizes. Back to the boat. It was so rocky, that the captain announced that it was safest to stay off of the outside decks. He also reported that there were 50 MPH wind gusts. It was raining outside as well and was just downright miserable. I was able to eat a little something, but my wife was very nauseous. There were those little throw up bags all over the boat. I toughed it and attended Second City late that night. I was one of 4 people there... It was bad. For me, the sea band wristbands really helped. My wife wasn't sick, but she didn't feel well enough to move around. Disembarkation: Arrived in NY on time, but were out in the water delayed a half hour due to high winds. We chose the 9:30 time, and departed the boat closer to 10. Getting through customs was slow, but not that bad. We were back home by 11:00. Overall it was a great cruise. I highly recommended it to all! One word of advice about the soda pass. We bought it and I think it was a waste of money. The staff were angry anytime you showed it to them, and you need to drink 50 sodas a day to make even. Also, they use flat soda for the soda passes, but fresh cans if you order the soda straight up. The bartenders in the Spinnaker Lounge were the only ones that didn't give me a hard time so I went there every day. Great guys. Check them out!

Dawn to SUNNY BERMUDA!

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by cvasto

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2008
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
Well this is my first review so I will try to keep it flowing and honest, but please bear with me. My wife and I are in our late 20's and have been on three cruises each before. We took the Crown to Bermuda in 2006 on our anniversary and had a horrible experience but after some positive feedback from some friends on other NCL cruises, we decided to try again with the Dawn. We celebrated our two year anniversary on the boat, and we are both very happy we decided to do so! So what lies ahead is my best attempt at a review. Just a heads up, I love food, which you will find as you read along.
Day 1: Arrived at the pier at 10:30, sped through the latitudes line and were checked in by 10:45. We were given group six and sat with other to wait. They started with number three and by the second call of groups, we were ready to dock. Entering on Deck 7 is a beautiful sight. We were immediately given our glass of campaign and then headed right to the reservation desk. We booked for Salsa for that night and Cagney's on Tuesday for our anniversary. We had a mini-suite (more on this later) and I don't know if that allowed us to book a couple days in advance or not. With all the people behind us, I think the woman was just happy to give me what I wanted and I was thankful as well. ? We then headed to the Garden Cafe for lunch, which was very good. Excellent chilled banana soup, surprisingly good pizza, and pretty cool stations like the pasta one. We then took our own private tour of the ship walking around checking all the areas out. Major tip here, go to all the specialty restaurants. They have samples on spoons to try! At about 1:30 an announcement was made that our rooms were ready and we checked out our room. Loved the mini suite (11026)! Decent size balcony, nice layout, not a single complaint about the room. That first night we ate at Salsa. The lobster tacos were pretty good, but were served in a hard shell (we found this odd). You get a nice amount of salsa, guacamole, etc with chips and can ask for more. The Sangria is awesome and highly recommended! The welcome aboard show was good, however being that we saw Dave Heenan in the past, he had zero new jokes. We left early. Late night snack at blue lagoon. Awesome wings, but my wife did not really love her spinach and artichoke dip. She said it was edible, but not recommended.
Day 2: Day at sea. Spent most of the day relaxing. Went to Aqua for breakfast which was excellent. The hash browns are great. Service was excellent, extremely fast. Lunch was in the Garden Cafe and the pretzel bread is quite a standout. I would see people taking handfuls back to their rooms. Great stuff. While my wife went to the spa, I hung out in the Casino. As I was at the bar watching sports center, Pedro was there and hung out with my talking football. He remembered me from a cruise back on the Crown in 06. Great guy. Later that day was the meet and great which was well attended. Pedro, the captain, the hotel director and I think the head chef were all present. Later that night was dinner in Venetian. We had no wait at all and found that there wasn't a single wait for us at either dinning room. Service was again good and we had the lobster dish which was good, not great. I thought the lobster was too tough. I had some wings from blue lagoon again and attempted to sit in the pearly king pub with a beer to watch the Monday night football game, but could not because it was back so I headed back to the room. On this night, instead of chocolate on our pillows, we found chocolate chip cookies!! Newlywed game was this night, it was funny. We also sat and listened to Jose and Patti, but they weren't really our style, although they were good. We loved Berni Martini and spent almost every night in Gatsby's listening to him.
Day 3: Breakfast in Garden Cafe. Same food as aqua, except there was cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing and chocolate croissants. Neither of these was available in aqua. On this day we attended our first NCL U which was the Sangria and Tapas one. It was great. They head bartender shows you how to make Sangria and the chef for Salsa teaches you how to make some of the tapas. They also give you recipes for both so you can make them on your own when you go home. At this point the boat was pretty rocky,. We were fine but many others seemed to be bothered by the swaying. We then went over the Pearly King Pub for Wii bowling tournament. This was a great place to hang out. Felix, the cruise director staff member that runs games in the pub, is hysterical. My wife rocked at Wii bowling, but neither of us scored high enough for the finals. We attended the latitudes event which was surprisingly a lot of fun. Free drinks were handed out and there were a ton of giveaways. Dinner at Cagney's for our anniversary. I was not impressed. The shrimp cocktail were big, but tough. The lobster bisque was horrible. Maybe I am a brat, but my steak (the rib eye) was flavorless. My wife did not like her crab cakes either, which were covered in guacamole, which we both found strange. Later that night we listened to some more Bernie Martini, then headed to bed.
Day 4: Bermuda! Elbow beach, Swizzle Inn and a lot of shopping in Hamilton. We bought the three day bus pass, made it very easy to get around the island. At night we attended the pub games which were pretty funny. Lots of little NCL prizes. Felix is great and I suggest going to this. We capped off the night with a drink at Gatsby's listening to Bernie Martini.
Day 5: Bermuda! Horseshoe Bay, lunch at lobster pot, Bermuda Aquarium and some more shopping. We were selected to have dinner this evening with the cruise consultant manager Candace. We did notice that all cruise critic members who entered the "drawing" were all assigned someone. Candace was very nice, and did not attempt to sell us any cruise rewards which we were thankful for. Later that night we went to the Chocolate buffet. This was pretty good to average. Get their early and fill your plate. Whatever you do, do not try the chocolate sushi. Absolutely horrible! We made some friends from Massachusetts here and joined their team for the Quest game. Prior to that we all watched the Liar's club which was surprisingly funny. The Quest game is nuts, and a lot of fun. I had a little help from a fellow cruise critic member's wife... lol. We came in third and were pretty happy.
Day 6: Bermuda! Horseshoe Bay, lunch at the Beach Bistro and final souvenir shopping at Hamilton and Dockyard. We were back on the boat early enough to attend some more trivia with Felix. No prizes this time, but still a fun experience. The boat was late leaving because of a medical emergency. Later that evening you could feel it getting somewhat rocky as the captain was trying to make up time, but for the most part everything was tolerable. We attended Second City which was awesome. It is a shame that they kept them hidden until the last couple of nights on the boat.
Day 7: Boat was really rocky during the day. My wife and I attended the perfect couple game. The crowd voted for us to win, but they gave the prizes to someone else. We were still happy with the bags that we got as consolation prizes. Back to the boat. It was so rocky, that the captain announced that it was safest to stay off of the outside decks. He also reported that there were 50 MPH wind gusts. It was raining outside as well and was just downright miserable. I was able to eat a little something, but my wife was very nauseous. There were those little throw up bags all over the boat. I toughed it and attended Second City late that night. I was one of 4 people there... It was bad. For me, the sea band wristbands really helped. My wife wasn't sick, but she didn't feel well enough to move around.
Disembarkation: Arrived in NY on time, but were out in the water delayed a half hour due to high winds. We chose the 9:30 time, and departed the boat closer to 10. Getting through customs was slow, but not that bad. We were back home by 11:00.
Overall it was a great cruise. I highly recommended it to all!
One word of advice about the soda pass. We bought it and I think it was a waste of money. The staff were angry anytime you showed it to them, and you need to drink 50 sodas a day to make even. Also, they use flat soda for the soda passes, but fresh cans if you order the soda straight up. The bartenders in the Spinnaker Lounge were the only ones that didn't give me a hard time so I went there every day. Great guys. Check them out!
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