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We chose this cruise because of the number of islands in the Itinerary and the fact that it leaves out of a port that is basically already there (less sail days). We also wanted to experience an NCL cruise on a smaller ship with less people, we were not disappointed. We realized that there would not be the amenities that the larger ships have like a Margarita Ville and the outside bars and restaurants - we missed this on the Dawn. There are very few outside bars and restaurants have no outside seating. On our previous cruises (Getaway and Breakaway) they played fun music across the ship. I did not realize what a difference that made. The Dawn plays much older fashioned music and the entertainment was really geared to an older (70+) crowd. We also found that the specialty dining is different. The restaurants are very small and they ran out of food types (we were restricted to 6oz filet minion at the steakhouse restaurant. Cabins - you get what you pay for. We splurged for our wedding anniversary and had an owners suite (Park Avenue Suite 10506). This cabin is fantastic! There are two decks, one of the front of the ship and one on the side. There is butler service and all the perks that come along like priority boarding and disembarkation (no lines) and many other great things. This ship does not have a Haven but the service and extra perks are really worth it. We booked excursions almost every day at each port. I recommend doing this so you can get a feel for the island to see if you might want to return.

Wonderful Cruise Destination Sites, the Dawn is nice

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by Cake4Crusin

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2018
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Owner's Suite with Double Balcony
We chose this cruise because of the number of islands in the Itinerary and the fact that it leaves out of a port that is basically already there (less sail days). We also wanted to experience an NCL cruise on a smaller ship with less people, we were not disappointed.

We realized that there would not be the amenities that the larger ships have like a Margarita Ville and the outside bars and restaurants - we missed this on the Dawn. There are very few outside bars and restaurants have no outside seating.

On our previous cruises (Getaway and Breakaway) they played fun music across the ship. I did not realize what a difference that made. The Dawn plays much older fashioned music and the entertainment was really geared to an older (70+) crowd.

We also found that the specialty dining is different. The restaurants are very small and they ran out of food types (we were restricted to 6oz filet minion at the steakhouse restaurant.

Cabins - you get what you pay for. We splurged for our wedding anniversary and had an owners suite (Park Avenue Suite 10506). This cabin is fantastic! There are two decks, one of the front of the ship and one on the side. There is butler service and all the perks that come along like priority boarding and disembarkation (no lines) and many other great things. This ship does not have a Haven but the service and extra perks are really worth it. We booked excursions almost every day at each port. I recommend doing this so you can get a feel for the island to see if you might want to return.
Cake4Crusin’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Owner's Suite with Double Balcony
Cabin SB 10506
This cabin was amazing. One thing: if you are from the US, bring the two prong Europe electric plug converters if you want to charge your phone and such. The room is called the Park Avenue Suite. We really enjoyed the space, the large bathroom and closet. I think one of our favorite was the Nespresso coffee machine! The room provides real coffee cups, wine glasses and bar wear. There are two TVs, two bathrooms, two decks, a very spacious living area, a table with seating for 4, a large bedroom with a beautiful deck outside at the front of the ship. One thing to note, this room is right under the bridge of the ship. You will need to turn lights off in the room if you want to be on the front deck at night. Also, realize that the bridge crew can look down and see you but most of the crew is behind their stations, the only time I saw crew was when we were docking and leaving a port. We were able to get sun almost every day on the front deck and they have 2 full lounge chairs along with 2 sitting chairs and a small table.
The bathroom has a double sink, shower and a great bathtub with jets and bath salts. They provide soap pumps for washing hands, a small shower puff, shower gel, lotion and few other items. I suggest bringing your own shampoo and conditioner. The closet has plenty of room for his and her clothes. It has a sit down vanity with great lighting, a hair dryer and they provide a container with fresh Q-tips and cotton balls. There are two safes in the closet and a separate sliding door to close it off from the bathroom. There is a great bar/coffee area that has a fridge under the counter that they stock with soda and water (get with the butler on what you want). We really enjoyed this room, the bed was very comfortable, it was really spacious too.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Aruba
    This excursion was from De Palm Tours. You ride in the back of a very large off road truck. It is very rough and you bounce around a lot. You get to see the north side of the island and a few of the natural bridges, a chapel on the top of a hill and then the take you to a beach that has no amenities, chairs, drinks for 45 mins and then they take you back to the ship.
    View All 12,434 Aruba Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Catamaran Tour
    We went on the Miami Five Star Catamaran & Turtles snorkeling adventure. The catamaran ride was ok but they took us way out to sea while the other boat that had the other group went much closer to shore. Our boat could not see much of the places they were talking about onshore. They took us to a place to snorkel, gave us masks but no fins and put people in the water with a lot of boat traffic coming in. It was very dangerous. This was just a bad experience overall - way too many people. There were 82 people on our boat.
    View All 94 Catamaran Tour Reviews
  • Snorkeling
    We went on the Sea Cow Snorkel Trip. They are amazing! They make sure that everyone is very well taken care of, comfortable and happy. They take you to a protected reef and guide you through two snorkel areas. We saw amazing fish, the guide was great and made sure that we all had an amazing experience. LOVE this excursion and will probably go back!
    View All 145 Snorkeling Reviews
  • Curacao
    This was one of our favorite excursions. The aquarium is amazing and the area around the aquarium is beautiful! We had a great time on this excursion!
    View All 1,239 Curacao Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Island Tour
    We went on the Mountain Rainforest, Grand Etang Lake and Annandale Falls Island tour. We spent most of the time on a cramped bus driving all over the island. We finally got to the Etang Lake location which was far away from the lake. We took a few photos and then went to the Annandale falls, a typical water fall where you will be asked by many people to give them money to jump off a cliff or to take a picture with their monkey. Very disappointing.
    View All 52 Island Tour Reviews
  • St. Lucia
    This was a lot of fun. We took a short drive to a stable. They gave us helmets and matched us up to a horse. We rode the horses as a group down a road to the beach. The beach was fun, you can ride the horse in the water or relax on the beach. There is a place to get a drink or something to eat.
    View All 12,434 St. Lucia Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Catamaran Tour
    This was a great time. We toured the bay in the catamaran. We knew that there was not going to be much to do given the hurricane damage but we were happy to see that things are getting back.
    View All 77 Catamaran Tour Reviews
  • Tortola
    This was a great tour. Our guide took us to several neat places where we could take photos overlooking the bays and other islands. We went to a very nice beach at the end of our tour.
    View All 12,434 Tortola Cruise Port Reviews
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