Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by cruisingiwish
- Sail Date: May 2009
- Destination: Bermuda
- Cabin Type: Two-Bedroom Family Suite with Balcony
Penthouse 11060Travelers: Friends aged 65, 58, 54 and 53Pre-Cruise Stay in New York: 5/14-17/09We flew in/out of LaGuardia and booked ground transportation with Dial 7. Rates were very similar to what we would have paid for taxi service. Since there were four of us with luggage, we were picked up in a mini-van. Dial 7 was prompt, courteous and clean. We arranged for their transportation from hotel to port and port to airport after the cruise as well.We booked the hotel on our own and obtained a great deal on the Hilton website at the Waldorf=Astoria. At booking, we agreed to take an e-upgrade, if available at check-in for a stated dollar amount (much less than the standard rate). Upon check-in, we were upgrade to a full 1-bedroom suite (the upgrade offer had been for a mini-suite) for the rate we had agreed to on-line at time of booking. The suite consisted of one bedroom (two queen-sized beds), a living room, and two full bathroomsthis was great for four women. The Waldorf is approximately 15 minutes from the port.This was the first time we had stayed in a suite with butler and concierge service. We have stayed in inside, outside, and balcony cabins previously. I stayed with my sister, niece and another friend in the Presidential Suite on the Norway the winter before her accident. The upgrade fairy visited that time with a remarkable offer. The Norway had concierge service but not butler service.EMBARKATIONWe arrived at the port at approximately 11:40 a.m. and were escorted onboard by our concierge, Anshuwan, within 20 minutes. We went directly to Cagney's for lunch. By the time we had finished eating, the announcement had been made that the staterooms were ready.PENTHOUSEThe penthouse consisted of a master bedroom (king-sized bed which I understand was very comfortable) and a flat screened TV with DVD player, a HUGE master bathroom with windows from the shower and whirlpool bathtub overlooking the ocean, a TV over the bathtub, a large vanity with double sink and dressing table area, large closet and a great deal of storage space. Bathrobes were provided (for both bedrooms) and slippers for those in the master bedroom. It was absolutely lovely and the master bathroom was simply fabulous!The living room had another TV with DVD player, two chairs, sofa and coffee table. We found the furniture all to be very comfortable. The dining area had a small table with four chairs. The coffee maker was easy to use and we found that we liked the tea capsules rather than the espresso/coffee capsules. We had fresh fruit delivered daily as well as evening snacks. The flower arrangement in the cabin lasted the entire week.The second bedroom was a small inside cabin with limited storage space (three drawers and a small closet area, a bath with stool/sink/shower. This bedroom can sleep threea pull-out sofa (double) and an upper berth. Two adult women were fine in this bedroom as the only time spent in there was to sleep, shower and change.The balcony had two full loungers and a small table.DININGAs suite holders, we were able to have breakfast and lunch at Cagney's. The food was great and service excellent. I have never seen shrimp as large as those served in the shrimp cocktails. This is a very nice perk for those staying in suites.We ate in both main dining rooms and found the food to be excellent. This was the first week that Norwegian rolled out their new menus. Each dining room has its own menu that remains the same throughout the week (the two menus are slightly different from one another) and daily specials. The daily specials were the same for both dining rooms. Since the food was exceptionally good, we did not see the need to spend extra for specialty dining. We did go to the Jazz Brunch ($15 surcharge) and enjoyed it very much. We did not wait for longer than a few minutes to be seated in either dining room but we chose to dine either early or later not during the rush from 6:30-8:00. You can count on it taking 1-1/2 or 2 hours for complete dinner service. The first evening there was a long line at the Venetian so we went to Aqua and were seated immediately. Since we had butler service, we did have dinner in our cabin twice.The Chocoholic Buffet was okaynot anything like the buffet of years ago though.SERVICEOur room steward was nice and did an adequate job of cleaning. I had the feeling he was fairly new to his position though. We had towel animals most nights.Our concierge, Anshuwan, was wonderful. We found him to be very pleasant and personable. We only used his services a couple of times in making reservations. He even stopped by the Jazz Brunch to check on us and make sure everything was okay.Our butler was Huda. We cannot say enought about him. He truly goes above and beyond. One of the women in our group was celebrating her birthday on the Sunday of our return. I ordered a birthday cake for her to be served our last night (Saturday) as a surprise and we ordered dinner in the cabin. Huda served dinner, cleared the table, sat it again with a clean tablecloth spread with rose petals and brought the cake in singing her Happy Birthday. He also brought our friend five long stem red roses. Talk about making someone's trip ...We found all the crew on the Norwegian to be extremely friendly.SPAWe purchased the spa passes for the week $150 for two or $99 per person. It was well worth the money. The Dawn has an indoor lap pool, two hot tubs and lounge chairs overlooking floor to ceiling windows in the co-ed area. There are separate male/female areas with changing rooms, steam room, sauna and a relaxation room with the most comfortable chairs. The relaxation room was very quiet and a great place to read and relax. The spa was open 8a-10p on port days and 8a-8p on sea days.BERMUDAWe did not take any of the tours offered by Norwegian choosing to go off on our own since we were docked for two nights at King's Whart. The bus/ferry pass runs $28 for three days for adults. The public transportation was excellent.We took a complete taxi tour of the island. Our driver/tour guide was Arther. He had lived in Bermuda his entire life and was very knowledgeable. We took our time, made many stops, took lots of pictures and got to meet some of the local people. We were with Arthur for approximately 5-1/2 hours. We especially enjoyed seeing all the beaches and the botanical gardens. It ran $35-40 per hour if I remember correctly. We ended our tour in Hamilton and did some light shopping, had a late lunch and took the ferry back to the Dockyard after enjoying a little of the Hamilton nights.The second day we took the ferry back to St. George's to walk around a bit more, took a tour of the Bermuda perfumery, had lunch at a restaurant on the water and then went back to the ship to change to visit the beaches. The water was a bit cool at first, but we quickly got used to it and found it pleasant. We took a long stroll down the beaches. Unfortunately we didn't have long enough to do the entire pathway between the south shore beaches. There were a few sprinkles of rain while we were on the bus back to the Dockyard, just enough that the driver had to periodically swipe with his windshield wipers but it had stopped by the time we made it back to the ship.Friday we spent exploring the Dockyard shops, had lunch at Cagney's and then spent the remainder of the afternoon relaxing at the spa.ENTERTAINMENTCannot really comment as we only saw parts of a few shows. We did attend the afternoon program to see Fountains. WEATHERThe first night and sea day were overcast and cool with moderate ocean waves. A little rough but not too bad. The remaining sea days were nice and waves were slight. It was in the middle 70's in Bermuda. The weather was perfect not too hot or too cold.SUMMARYOverall, I would say the service and food were much better this year on the Dawn than what I experienced last year on the Jewel. The only negatives, which were minor, were that the phone in the second bedroom did not work and was not repaired while were were on board. Also, it was interesting that the remote for the television in the living room would also activate the TV in the master bedroom. So, the early birds that slept in the second bedroom did not feel that they could turn on the TV in the living room as it inevitably turned on the master bedroom TV and woke the two that were sleeping.Two of us purchased the future cruise rewards certificate. I think Bermuda is in our future again ...
cruisingiwish’s Full Rating Summary
Wonderful. Noted a small amount of noise overhead at times but nothing that bothered us. The master bedroom and bathroom were fabulous!
Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins