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We are a family of 4 (kids - 10 & 11). We've been on Carnival and Royal before. Embarkation We arrived at the pier at noon and was on board before 1pm. We had a mini suite, so NCL had a separate line for all balcony, suites and mini suites. We didn't wait on line for anything at all. The whole process was quite smooth. Cabin Our cabin was ready by 2pm and by around 4pm, our luggage was there. One nice thing about the mini suite was that the bathroom had a tub in it. The bathroom was definitely bigger. We had ample storage room for our clothes. My husband being 6'4" tall really enjoyed having a bathtub to shower instead of a stall. The room was kep clean all the time. As far as extra amenities, we had a bar of soap, small bottle of lotion, and a shower cap. I didn't like the self-dispensing shower gel that was in the tub, it was too watery, so I used the soap instead. We never had the issue of not having enough towels. When we first got into our cabin, my husband noticed one of the towels had some stains on it. He told the steward, and it was replaced when he came to turn down the cabin. The kids were really tired on the first night, so they wanted to go to bed a little early (around 9pm). However, being the first night, the stewards were all busy transporting all the luggage to the room. My husband told our steward that the kids were tired, he immediately dropped everything and set the pullout sofa for the kids. We had towel animals everynight. I didn't ask the steward to empty out the fridge, I just pushed everything aside and put our 4 big bottles of water in the fridge. Public Area We didn't go to the pool at all. It was packed everyday, but if you go very early in the morning and late at night, then it's empty. We didn't like sitting out in the sun, so we didn't even go to the pool deck that much. On the main deck, you can only go from one end of the ship to the other through one side of the ship. That long hallway became very congested all the time. There were only a few shops to browse through. Kids Program The kids' program was horrible. My kids went to one craft thing and they cancelled it. They were going to play monkey ball with the 6 to 9 yr-olds instead. My kids didn't want to play with the little guys, so we left. When I looked through the programs that they had for the entire duration, they really had nothing exciting for the kids. My husband and I didn't mind having the kids with us anyway. Entertainment We really liked the singing and dancing shows. They were very good. We didn't care too much about the Second City and the comedian Dave. We also enjoyed the magic show and his memory seminar. There were a lot of music going on in other areas. We particularly liked the guy Bernie Martini. He was very talented. We also did the ballroom dancing lessons which were good. We also attended a cooking demo by the executive chef. He was a very funny guy. However, some people didn't appreciate his humor and found him annoying. We didn't participate in the Bingo. It was very expensive. NCL pushed the bingo every night before every show began. Food There are 2 MDR's - Venetian and Aqua. Venetian was grand while Aqua was cozy. We ate there pretty much for all dinners and some lunch. Venetain and Aqua had their own menus, but they were not that much difference between them. The daily chef's selections were the same for both. We ate dinner at 5:30pm every night and we didn't have to wait at all. Try to avoid dinner between 6:30pm and 9pm. That's when you definitely have to wait. Both menus pretty much had a beef dish, a chicken dish, a seafood dish, and a vegetarian dish. The food was fine, not bad, but nothing to write home about. We went to Le Bistro one night and the food was definitely better. The portions in the dinning rooms were kind of small for appetizer. Make sure you ask how many pieces were there and just order more. The Garden Cafe was just your normal buffet food. We didn't like eating buffet food that much, so we only ate there when we had to grab something quick. We were not a family of hamburger and hot dog either, so we didn't go to the Pool deck BBQ. We even went to Venetain for breakfast. We didn't like the crowd at the buffet for breakfast. We tried Blue Lagoon a few times, it's fine if you just need a small snack. The wait staff were fine. They were not rude at all, but not very attentive. There was one dessert that they served during luch that I really liked, so I asked the waitress to see if I could have that for dinner. She said that's only for lunch, not dinner. When I was on Royal, the waiter was more than happy to accomodate whatever I needed. Bermuda It was absolutely beautiful! I wouldn't going back there again. Unfortunately, instead of having 2 1/2 days there, we only had 1 1/2 beacuse of the hurricane. We had to leave on Thursday afternoon instead of Friday afternoon. NCL refunded our port charges of $20 p.p. We took a ferry to St. George and walked around for about 2 hours. Then we took a bus to Crystal Cave. It was worth it. Then we went to Hamilton, but we didn't have much time left, so we didn't do that much there. Things were definitely expensive in Bermuda. I tried the Fish Chowder with the sherry rum sauce, it was a unique taste. I liked it. If you decide to purchase the transportation pass, make sure you factor in the frequency of the buses. You might have to wait 45min. or longer for the next bus if you miss one. We also did the Helmet dive the next morning. That was really the highlight of the day. You were walking at the bottom of the ocean (approx. 15ft deep) and touched some of the fish. They could take pictures for you down there for $15 p.p. plus $10 for the CD. They download all the pictures for you on a CD. Debarkation Since we only had one big suitcase and 2 carryons. We decided to do the easy walkoff. We left the ship at 9am and were home by 10:30am. All in all, this was not a bad cruise. Our expectation was not very high for NCL and everything was within that. My first choice will still be Royal. I will only go on NCL if the itineray fits me. I would not go on a more than 7-day cruise with NCL since you are going to look at the same menu day after day. There were some good choices (I especially liked the Indian dish on the chef selection one night), but it could get a little boring.

1st time on NCL

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by rsvcs

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2009
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
We are a family of 4 (kids - 10 & 11). We've been on Carnival and Royal before.
Embarkation We arrived at the pier at noon and was on board before 1pm. We had a mini suite, so NCL had a separate line for all balcony, suites and mini suites. We didn't wait on line for anything at all. The whole process was quite smooth.
Cabin Our cabin was ready by 2pm and by around 4pm, our luggage was there. One nice thing about the mini suite was that the bathroom had a tub in it. The bathroom was definitely bigger. We had ample storage room for our clothes. My husband being 6'4" tall really enjoyed having a bathtub to shower instead of a stall. The room was kep clean all the time. As far as extra amenities, we had a bar of soap, small bottle of lotion, and a shower cap. I didn't like the self-dispensing shower gel that was in the tub, it was too watery, so I used the soap instead. We never had the issue of not having enough towels. When we first got into our cabin, my husband noticed one of the towels had some stains on it. He told the steward, and it was replaced when he came to turn down the cabin. The kids were really tired on the first night, so they wanted to go to bed a little early (around 9pm). However, being the first night, the stewards were all busy transporting all the luggage to the room. My husband told our steward that the kids were tired, he immediately dropped everything and set the pullout sofa for the kids. We had towel animals everynight. I didn't ask the steward to empty out the fridge, I just pushed everything aside and put our 4 big bottles of water in the fridge.
Public Area We didn't go to the pool at all. It was packed everyday, but if you go very early in the morning and late at night, then it's empty. We didn't like sitting out in the sun, so we didn't even go to the pool deck that much. On the main deck, you can only go from one end of the ship to the other through one side of the ship. That long hallway became very congested all the time. There were only a few shops to browse through.
Kids Program The kids' program was horrible. My kids went to one craft thing and they cancelled it. They were going to play monkey ball with the 6 to 9 yr-olds instead. My kids didn't want to play with the little guys, so we left. When I looked through the programs that they had for the entire duration, they really had nothing exciting for the kids. My husband and I didn't mind having the kids with us anyway.
Entertainment We really liked the singing and dancing shows. They were very good. We didn't care too much about the Second City and the comedian Dave. We also enjoyed the magic show and his memory seminar. There were a lot of music going on in other areas. We particularly liked the guy Bernie Martini. He was very talented. We also did the ballroom dancing lessons which were good. We also attended a cooking demo by the executive chef. He was a very funny guy. However, some people didn't appreciate his humor and found him annoying. We didn't participate in the Bingo. It was very expensive. NCL pushed the bingo every night before every show began.
Food There are 2 MDR's - Venetian and Aqua. Venetian was grand while Aqua was cozy. We ate there pretty much for all dinners and some lunch. Venetain and Aqua had their own menus, but they were not that much difference between them. The daily chef's selections were the same for both. We ate dinner at 5:30pm every night and we didn't have to wait at all. Try to avoid dinner between 6:30pm and 9pm. That's when you definitely have to wait. Both menus pretty much had a beef dish, a chicken dish, a seafood dish, and a vegetarian dish. The food was fine, not bad, but nothing to write home about. We went to Le Bistro one night and the food was definitely better. The portions in the dinning rooms were kind of small for appetizer. Make sure you ask how many pieces were there and just order more. The Garden Cafe was just your normal buffet food. We didn't like eating buffet food that much, so we only ate there when we had to grab something quick. We were not a family of hamburger and hot dog either, so we didn't go to the Pool deck BBQ. We even went to Venetain for breakfast. We didn't like the crowd at the buffet for breakfast. We tried Blue Lagoon a few times, it's fine if you just need a small snack. The wait staff were fine. They were not rude at all, but not very attentive. There was one dessert that they served during luch that I really liked, so I asked the waitress to see if I could have that for dinner. She said that's only for lunch, not dinner. When I was on Royal, the waiter was more than happy to accomodate whatever I needed.
Bermuda It was absolutely beautiful! I wouldn't going back there again. Unfortunately, instead of having 2 1/2 days there, we only had 1 1/2 beacuse of the hurricane. We had to leave on Thursday afternoon instead of Friday afternoon. NCL refunded our port charges of $20 p.p. We took a ferry to St. George and walked around for about 2 hours. Then we took a bus to Crystal Cave. It was worth it. Then we went to Hamilton, but we didn't have much time left, so we didn't do that much there. Things were definitely expensive in Bermuda. I tried the Fish Chowder with the sherry rum sauce, it was a unique taste. I liked it. If you decide to purchase the transportation pass, make sure you factor in the frequency of the buses. You might have to wait 45min. or longer for the next bus if you miss one. We also did the Helmet dive the next morning. That was really the highlight of the day. You were walking at the bottom of the ocean (approx. 15ft deep) and touched some of the fish. They could take pictures for you down there for $15 p.p. plus $10 for the CD. They download all the pictures for you on a CD.
Debarkation Since we only had one big suitcase and 2 carryons. We decided to do the easy walkoff. We left the ship at 9am and were home by 10:30am.
All in all, this was not a bad cruise. Our expectation was not very high for NCL and everything was within that. My first choice will still be Royal. I will only go on NCL if the itineray fits me. I would not go on a more than 7-day cruise with NCL since you are going to look at the same menu day after day. There were some good choices (I especially liked the Indian dish on the chef selection one night), but it could get a little boring.
rsvcs’s Full Rating Summary
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Embarkation
Dining
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Entertainment
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB 11502
Mini Suite 11502 forward
Ample closet, room and bathroom. Having a bathtub was a plus. Very quiet. No inside stateroom across from the cabin.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins