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We have been on the Dawn multiple times over the years and despite her age, it is still an excellent ship on which to cruise. We've tried larger ships but the crowds and lines are off-putting when you took a cruise vacation for the relaxation. The Dawn is the perfect size, large enough to find quiet out of the way spots but small enough that you are not sharing every meal and theater show with thousands of people. The staff and crew of the Dawn are what set it apart from other lines and we always make friends with members of the ship's crew every time we sail. We have never had a bad steward on NCL, and Faisol was no exception. He was responsive and attentive the entire cruise and could not be more friendly. The same can be said for the wait and bar staff throughout the ship. Donnah and Jinky in the Garden Cafe are lovely, Donovan in O'Sheehan's was always fun and funny, Julia and Hetut in Aqua were fantastic and Maryella in the Venetian was also great. Jenny in customer service was also super helpful and friendly. The entertainment on the Dawn is the best at sea. They changed the shows in the Stardust Theater and I was sorry to see the Second City troupe go (they were always top notch) but the replacements were fine. Jose & Patti alone are worth booking the cruise for. They are phenomenal and I loved that they added a theater show from them. The cover a wide range of music and do some spot-on impressions of Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, Cher, Janis Joplin, etc. Always a great show, The food was always great, especially in the specialty restaurants - but even if you stay with the free dining rooms, the buffet and O'Sheehan's - you can't go wrong. The food is fine - not top notch like Cagney's but as good or better than any other cruise ship food. We did have one slight problem with drinks for other tables being put on our account. This was resolved later on by customer service, but I suspect that it was one overwhelmed server that was the root of the problem. Bermuda was beautiful (as always) and the change of pace (and temperature) was very welcome. I love the fact that the Dawn docks for 3 days at one pier so there is no need to take time-consuming launches or to rush back to the ship at the end of the day (except obviously on the last day). It was a great trip, with great people on and older (but still great) ship.

NCL Dawn Aging Well

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by Tom1964

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window
We have been on the Dawn multiple times over the years and despite her age, it is still an excellent ship on which to cruise. We've tried larger ships but the crowds and lines are off-putting when you took a cruise vacation for the relaxation.

The Dawn is the perfect size, large enough to find quiet out of the way spots but small enough that you are not sharing every meal and theater show with thousands of people. The staff and crew of the Dawn are what set it apart from other lines and we always make friends with members of the ship's crew every time we sail. We have never had a bad steward on NCL, and Faisol was no exception. He was responsive and attentive the entire cruise and could not be more friendly. The same can be said for the wait and bar staff throughout the ship. Donnah and Jinky in the Garden Cafe are lovely, Donovan in O'Sheehan's was always fun and funny, Julia and Hetut in Aqua were fantastic and Maryella in the Venetian was also great. Jenny in customer service was also super helpful and friendly.

The entertainment on the Dawn is the best at sea. They changed the shows in the Stardust Theater and I was sorry to see the Second City troupe go (they were always top notch) but the replacements were fine. Jose & Patti alone are worth booking the cruise for. They are phenomenal and I loved that they added a theater show from them. The cover a wide range of music and do some spot-on impressions of Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, Cher, Janis Joplin, etc. Always a great show,

The food was always great, especially in the specialty restaurants - but even if you stay with the free dining rooms, the buffet and O'Sheehan's - you can't go wrong. The food is fine - not top notch like Cagney's but as good or better than any other cruise ship food.

We did have one slight problem with drinks for other tables being put on our account. This was resolved later on by customer service, but I suspect that it was one overwhelmed server that was the root of the problem.

Bermuda was beautiful (as always) and the change of pace (and temperature) was very welcome. I love the fact that the Dawn docks for 3 days at one pier so there is no need to take time-consuming launches or to rush back to the ship at the end of the day (except obviously on the last day).

It was a great trip, with great people on and older (but still great) ship.
Tom1964’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window
Cabin OB 5152
The cabins are slightly smaller, but I am a "big dude" and could operate with ease in the cabin and bathroom (though it was tight). Get an ocean view if you can because the inside cabins tend to be dark. Balconies are fine, but port hole and picture window views tend to be closer to the water line and offer less movement if you are not sure how you will fare on the sea sickness front. (I am descended from a long line of drunken Irish pirates, so no issues here)
Deck 5 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • King's Wharf
    In my opinion this is the best (most fun) excursion. It is relatively short cruise around half way around Bermuda from the dockyard, to drink rum swizzles, taste gold and black seal rum, and learn about the history of rum on the island. If you get a good group of fellow cruisers, it can be a lot of fun and the crew from Goslings always keeps it light and fun.
    View All 13,797 King's Wharf Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's King's Wharf Cruise Port Review
  • Island Tour
    Both the full Island tour and the crystal caves / aquarium zoo tours are fine. We split up as a group and half took the full island (which I have done before) and the others went to the crystal caves. The caves were fantastic (a must see) and the aquarium is fine. The zoo is lacking if you live in a city with anything resembling a normal zoo. The only animals native to Bermuda are birds - so if a zoo of squirrels and turtles thrills you - this will be your cup of tea. The island tour is similar to the ones on Caribbean lslands - a lot of it depends on your driver. If you get a good one, it is a great tour and if you get one that is going through the motions - it is just OK. We had a great one (I think his name was Francis) last time I did the tour and I guess they had a good one on this tour because my wife and daughter came back raving about the tour. So thumbs up on both.
    View All 6 Island Tour Reviews