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This was my 12th or 13th cruise, second with NCL. I chose it based on the size of the cabin and rate for this trip to Bermuda. We had a Deluxe Owner's Suite, Cabin 12500. We also had the the Ultimate Dining Package and Ultimate Beverage Package, which was extremely convenient. I loved not having to sign a receipt for every drink, and keep track of expenses all week. The only thing that may be kind of annoying is the upcharges, but they didn't bother us. My husband ordered some drinks that were not included, but it didn't matter much at all, they would charge a small fee like $2 or $3 for those. I think it can be very confusing to know what is included and what's not. We dined at every one of the specialty restaurants. I always had to ask what our ultimate dining package included, sometimes I wasn't sure if we would have extra charges, it was confusing. But I found all of them to be great. We are foodies, so I was worried about the quality of the food, some other lines we haven't had great food. But we found this cruise to have very good food, and exceptional service at the specialty restaurants. We loved having the suite and being able to dine at Cagney's or Moderno for breakfast, we really don't like crowds. We did go to the buffet quite a bit for lunch, just because it was easier. The kids program was phenomenal. Our kids loved to go there, especially for the circus performance they put on. It was really, really adorable. I loved when they sang at the end. It was so special, and such a great memory for our family. The kids program was not open all of the time, our kids generally went from 7-10pm, but did go some early times too. They made some really great friends, and the staff was so nice!! They did also spend some time in the arcade, but that can add up really quick. We did like playing monopoly and checkers from the library also. The pools were not overtaken with children, except maybe the first day. I didn't find the cruise to be packed with kids. The first sea day was more kids than usual in the main pool, and I can see that as being hard on some of the adults without children, but the problem that day was the kiddie pool area was closed for the day. Believe me, I would much rather my younger children being in the kiddie pool area, than in a pool of 6ft water that was waving. We didn't get to experience the kids pool until days 6&7 after being in Bermuda for two days, and one day of high winds when we left Bermuda and the pools were closed. I watched my kids right from the edge of the pool, most kids were most definitely supervised. There were some kids jumping in the pool even though there is no jumping allowed, I did tell some of those kids to stop because someone could get hurt. Also, I can't be in two places at once, and since this ship is kind of awkwardly set up and my older kids were too old for the kiddie pool, but still needed to be watched, we did spend some extra time at the main pool. There were always chairs available away from the pool that I found to be really relaxing, when our kids were at the kids program. I would say though that if you are worried about children, this is probably not the ship for you unless you go on a week that there are no school breaks. This week there was school break for Columbus Day and Yom Kippur, so there may have been more kids that normal, but nothing like you'd experience in the summer. Or you can always book a cruise that has adult only areas and pools, which many of them do. The ship can accommodate families really well, with family suites and the owner's suites, so I would highly recommend this ship to families. And all of the staff on the ship were exceptionally nice to my children, and I appreciated that. This cruise line is very good for families, I felt. I really liked the ship, aside from some of the bathrooms, I felt it was very clean and looks great. I didn't see it before the refurb, but I think they did a good job with it and I was happy. I like the smaller ships with my family, its much easier. The ship does have an awkward layout and it took me a few days to figure out the best way to get to the spa and the kids program. Being on deck 12, it was easy to get to the pool, I did get tired of walking through the buffet, which seemed to be the way from our cabin to the kids program. Getting to the kids pool from the main pool was a bit difficult to figure out. I ended up at the arcade a lot, or the gym, which I obviously did not want to walk through with wet kids. Bermuda was beautiful as always. We spent half a day all alone at Sea glass beach, in calm perfectly blue water. We did witness someone come and try stealing sea glass. Please if you go to this beach, be respectful and don't steal it! We spent the other half the day at Jobson's Cove. Only a handful of people and perfect for the kids and grown ups. Lots of major strong waves in Bermuda due to Nicole, and we were glad to be in calm water. The next day we went to Tobacco Bay, which was also wonderful. We did some great snorkeling there. We did miss the ferry to St. George's, had to take a ferry to Hamilton, then a bus to St. George's, then walk to Tobacco Bay, that ate up a lot of our time, but I was glad my family got to see more of the island (I have been to Bermuda several times). We did not do shore excursions with the ship, just bought two day bus/ferry passes and went where we wanted to go. We liked all of the specialty restaurants, but our favorites were Teppanyaki and Los Cobos. Le Bistro was probably our least favorite, not that it was bad, but not suberb like the rest. My husband loved La Cucina. The steakhouses were really good too, but his steak was always overcooked, he felt. The hostess at Teppanyaki was wonderful. I didn't like though that the picture they take there cannot be part of the photo package, it was a separate charge. Embarkation and Disembarkation was a complete breeze. We waited for neither, since we were in the suite, they got us on and off really quickly. We were home by 11:30 am, we live a couple of hours away. We had breakfast at Cagney's, got to where we needed to meet the other suite members, and just off. Very easy. My biggest issue with this cruise was their lack of knowledge of food allergies. I have two children with allergies to nuts, and my two nephews who were traveling with us are also allergic to nuts. I had spoken to NCL repeatedly about their food allergies, and they kept assuring us that we would have know what was safe. I talked to a Personal Cruise Consultant before we sailed who told me she has children with severe food allergies, and assured me that NCL is great with allergies, and even at the buffet they would be able to eat because there would be labels. On other lines, we only ate at the dining room due to the allergies, but were excited that this ship seemed to be food allergy friendly. It was not. Most of the staff knew nothing about what was in any food, even in the dining room and restaurants. Nothing was labeled with allergens.There was one sous chef, Mohammed, who was wonderful, and the only one I trusted, honestly. Even our butler brought chocolate covered strawberries, covered with nuts to our cabin. I informed him of the allergy, and he didn't bring us nuts again, but I felt that should have been something they already knew. It was in all of our information. We also got conflicting information from different staff. Some would look at us like they had no idea what we were talking about if we mentioned their nut allergy. I would be a little hesitant booking this ship if you have a severe food allergy. We had a wonderful time on this cruise!!

Wonderful Bermuda cruise

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by kristen3525

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2016
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Owner's Suite
This was my 12th or 13th cruise, second with NCL. I chose it based on the size of the cabin and rate for this trip to Bermuda. We had a Deluxe Owner's Suite, Cabin 12500. We also had the the Ultimate Dining Package and Ultimate Beverage Package, which was extremely convenient. I loved not having to sign a receipt for every drink, and keep track of expenses all week. The only thing that may be kind of annoying is the upcharges, but they didn't bother us. My husband ordered some drinks that were not included, but it didn't matter much at all, they would charge a small fee like $2 or $3 for those. I think it can be very confusing to know what is included and what's not. We dined at every one of the specialty restaurants. I always had to ask what our ultimate dining package included, sometimes I wasn't sure if we would have extra charges, it was confusing. But I found all of them to be great. We are foodies, so I was worried about the quality of the food, some other lines we haven't had great food. But we found this cruise to have very good food, and exceptional service at the specialty restaurants. We loved having the suite and being able to dine at Cagney's or Moderno for breakfast, we really don't like crowds. We did go to the buffet quite a bit for lunch, just because it was easier.

The kids program was phenomenal. Our kids loved to go there, especially for the circus performance they put on. It was really, really adorable. I loved when they sang at the end. It was so special, and such a great memory for our family. The kids program was not open all of the time, our kids generally went from 7-10pm, but did go some early times too. They made some really great friends, and the staff was so nice!! They did also spend some time in the arcade, but that can add up really quick. We did like playing monopoly and checkers from the library also.

The pools were not overtaken with children, except maybe the first day. I didn't find the cruise to be packed with kids. The first sea day was more kids than usual in the main pool, and I can see that as being hard on some of the adults without children, but the problem that day was the kiddie pool area was closed for the day. Believe me, I would much rather my younger children being in the kiddie pool area, than in a pool of 6ft water that was waving. We didn't get to experience the kids pool until days 6&7 after being in Bermuda for two days, and one day of high winds when we left Bermuda and the pools were closed. I watched my kids right from the edge of the pool, most kids were most definitely supervised. There were some kids jumping in the pool even though there is no jumping allowed, I did tell some of those kids to stop because someone could get hurt. Also, I can't be in two places at once, and since this ship is kind of awkwardly set up and my older kids were too old for the kiddie pool, but still needed to be watched, we did spend some extra time at the main pool. There were always chairs available away from the pool that I found to be really relaxing, when our kids were at the kids program. I would say though that if you are worried about children, this is probably not the ship for you unless you go on a week that there are no school breaks. This week there was school break for Columbus Day and Yom Kippur, so there may have been more kids that normal, but nothing like you'd experience in the summer. Or you can always book a cruise that has adult only areas and pools, which many of them do. The ship can accommodate families really well, with family suites and the owner's suites, so I would highly recommend this ship to families. And all of the staff on the ship were exceptionally nice to my children, and I appreciated that. This cruise line is very good for families, I felt.

I really liked the ship, aside from some of the bathrooms, I felt it was very clean and looks great. I didn't see it before the refurb, but I think they did a good job with it and I was happy. I like the smaller ships with my family, its much easier. The ship does have an awkward layout and it took me a few days to figure out the best way to get to the spa and the kids program. Being on deck 12, it was easy to get to the pool, I did get tired of walking through the buffet, which seemed to be the way from our cabin to the kids program. Getting to the kids pool from the main pool was a bit difficult to figure out. I ended up at the arcade a lot, or the gym, which I obviously did not want to walk through with wet kids.

Bermuda was beautiful as always. We spent half a day all alone at Sea glass beach, in calm perfectly blue water. We did witness someone come and try stealing sea glass. Please if you go to this beach, be respectful and don't steal it! We spent the other half the day at Jobson's Cove. Only a handful of people and perfect for the kids and grown ups. Lots of major strong waves in Bermuda due to Nicole, and we were glad to be in calm water. The next day we went to Tobacco Bay, which was also wonderful. We did some great snorkeling there. We did miss the ferry to St. George's, had to take a ferry to Hamilton, then a bus to St. George's, then walk to Tobacco Bay, that ate up a lot of our time, but I was glad my family got to see more of the island (I have been to Bermuda several times). We did not do shore excursions with the ship, just bought two day bus/ferry passes and went where we wanted to go.

We liked all of the specialty restaurants, but our favorites were Teppanyaki and Los Cobos. Le Bistro was probably our least favorite, not that it was bad, but not suberb like the rest. My husband loved La Cucina. The steakhouses were really good too, but his steak was always overcooked, he felt. The hostess at Teppanyaki was wonderful. I didn't like though that the picture they take there cannot be part of the photo package, it was a separate charge.

Embarkation and Disembarkation was a complete breeze. We waited for neither, since we were in the suite, they got us on and off really quickly. We were home by 11:30 am, we live a couple of hours away. We had breakfast at Cagney's, got to where we needed to meet the other suite members, and just off. Very easy.

My biggest issue with this cruise was their lack of knowledge of food allergies. I have two children with allergies to nuts, and my two nephews who were traveling with us are also allergic to nuts. I had spoken to NCL repeatedly about their food allergies, and they kept assuring us that we would have know what was safe. I talked to a Personal Cruise Consultant before we sailed who told me she has children with severe food allergies, and assured me that NCL is great with allergies, and even at the buffet they would be able to eat because there would be labels. On other lines, we only ate at the dining room due to the allergies, but were excited that this ship seemed to be food allergy friendly. It was not. Most of the staff knew nothing about what was in any food, even in the dining room and restaurants. Nothing was labeled with allergens.There was one sous chef, Mohammed, who was wonderful, and the only one I trusted, honestly. Even our butler brought chocolate covered strawberries, covered with nuts to our cabin. I informed him of the allergy, and he didn't bring us nuts again, but I felt that should have been something they already knew. It was in all of our information. We also got conflicting information from different staff. Some would look at us like they had no idea what we were talking about if we mentioned their nut allergy. I would be a little hesitant booking this ship if you have a severe food allergy.

We had a wonderful time on this cruise!!
kristen3525’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Owner's Suite
Cabin SA 12500
With our cabin we got a butler and concierge. We thought the butler did a great job of keeping our room stocked of coffee and sodas, and he was such a nice person. Our children loved him!! We also loved coming back to our suite after being tired and hungry from being off the ship in Bermuda and finding small sandwiches and treats. We didn't use the concierge because I had booked all of our dining before we had sailed. We did like the size of the cabin, and having two bedrooms and two bathrooms. We had 2 adults and 4 children, and felt there was a enough room for all. The price for this cabin with our size family was reasonable. We loved having the floor to ceiling windows and seeing the sunrises in the morning, and pulling into to dock was great to see. The cabin was quite noisy with structural creaking sounds, we had a bit of trouble sleeping, but it was okay. The small windows in the living room, we actually never used, as our kids claimed them as their little secret cubby space, which they loved. Our steward even put a small mattress in one of them because our 6 year old liked to sleep in here. We had a great cabin steward. We did have some rough seas, especially after leaving Bermuda due to Hurricane Nicole. I anticipated some rockiness, especially going in the fall in the colder waters of the Atlantic, and being so forward on deck 12. We experienced major rockiness because of the storm, but tolerable. When we'd leave the cabin and go to the atrium, we felt much better. I did buy the sea sickness bands, and they did seem to help. If you are prone to motion sickness, and mid-ship, lower deck cabin would be much better for you.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews