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The Norwegian Dawn is a bare bones ship compared to some of the larger ships with all of their “extras” such as water slides, aqua parks etc. but for those who like a more relaxed cruising experience with an excellent assortment of ports of call in the Southern Caribbean, this is an excellent ship to cruise on. For a ship it’s size, it has a nice assortment of dining venues, entertainment and venues. The ship was also beautifully refurbished in 2016 and has a very nice “feel” to it. Here are some additional observations: EMBARKATION: From San Juan, this was the smoothest embarkation of the seven cruises I’ve been on. It took less than 15 minutes to go through security and check in. After a short time in the waiting area, we were on ship in about a half an hour. Being on a smaller ship speeds up process compared to the Gem and Breakaway. CABINS: While nothing fancy, our balcony was more than adequate for the two of us. One important thing to note. There is only one outlet in the room and it was not near the bed. For those who need to use CPAP, this can be challenging. Also for those who have other electronic devices that need charging, having one plug is a hassle. I highly recommend being a surge protector or extension chord for your devices. My recommendation for Norwegian is to add USB plugs and outlets on their next refurbishment. FOOD: We did not eat at any specialty restaurants, but we found the two main dining rooms, the Aqua and Venetian were very good. I had prime rib one night that was delicious and the Cajun shrimp dish was very good. I also found the Garden Cafe buffet, while not fancy, was not bad and the food was well prepared. O Sheehan’s has excellent food as well with their delicious brownie cheese cake. My only minor criticism was that I felt that the service at O Sheehan’s was a bit slow. But this was only a minor issue. PORTS OF CALL: very good ports of call and a ten day venue through the Southern Caribbean is a good way to spend a winter’s day when our relatives are freezing back home. We did a combination of shore excursions and self guided discoveries while in port. Here are some of my observations. ARUBA: Webt to Eagle Beach. We took public transportation to Eagle Beach. The bus station is very near port and was an much less expensive than taxi. CARUCAO: Self guided walk across floating bridge into old city. Since we arrived on Dunday, a number of businesses were closed. GRENADA. We went to the chocolate museum and the old fort which was a vigorous walk up the hill. We also took a bus to Annandale Falls, a pretty spot. As in many ports however, plan on being accosted by genders trying to sell you stuff. ST LUCIA: We took the volcanoes shore excursion and wish we had taken the land and sea excursion. Riding a van over rough winding roads for five hours was a bit much. There is an excursion in which you drive out to the volcano area and sail back on water which would have been a better choice for us. BARBADOS: The best of Bsrbados excursion was a very nice ride through the countryside. We also had time to walk downtown. They have a nice beach in the downtown area at Carlisle Bay. ANTIGUA: We took the Scenic Antigua tour. Don’t waste your time on thus one. We were very disappointed in that they only stopped once with very few photo ops. We did take a taxi to Dickinson Bay beach which was a beautiful beach. ST KITTS: We took the train which was a relaxing wonderful ride and one of our favorite excursions. SAN JUAN: We took the rainforest to airport excursion on the day of Debarking. A nice way to close things off. Prior to the cruise, we spent two days touring old San Juan. One of my favorite places to visit. One other note: Be sure to arrive early for your excursion. We were one minute late and almost missed catching up to our group. DEBARKATION: While not as smooth as embarking, it was ok. I found picking up your baggage was very chaotic and confusing. Norwegian might want to find a more efficient system. ENTERTAINMENT: I found the entertainment quite good though I felt it was better on some of their other ships. The ventriloquist and the Elements were excellent. I was not overly impressed with the comedian. All in all, the entertainment was quite good and the cruise director did a fine job keeping us engaged. I was impressed how he seemed to be everywhere and was quite approachable. I thought the entertainment at pool side was quite good too. OVERALL IMPRESSION: We’ve been on seven cruises (four with Norwegian) and next to Norwegian’s Hawaii Cruise, I think this was one of my favorite cruises. The relaxed atmosphere with an excellent itinerary made this a memorable experience. I do think this is a cruise that is more designed for older couples and empty nesters as opposed to younger families with children since there are fewer venues to pick from that you might find on larger ships. Even in the Dawn, there is a kids area, but if you are looking for water slides or other venues, this isn’t the ship for you. But if you are looking for a relaxing, easy paced ship, then the Dawn is for you.

Great cruise on a smaller ship

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by Consultingpastor

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
The Norwegian Dawn is a bare bones ship compared to some of the larger ships with all of their “extras” such as water slides, aqua parks etc. but for those who like a more relaxed cruising experience with an excellent assortment of ports of call in the Southern Caribbean, this is an excellent ship to cruise on. For a ship it’s size, it has a nice assortment of dining venues, entertainment and venues. The ship was also beautifully refurbished in 2016 and has a very nice “feel” to it. Here are some additional observations:

EMBARKATION: From San Juan, this was the smoothest embarkation of the seven cruises I’ve been on. It took less than 15 minutes to go through security and check in. After a short time in the waiting area, we were on ship in about a half an hour. Being on a smaller ship speeds up process compared to the Gem and Breakaway.

CABINS: While nothing fancy, our balcony was more than adequate for the two of us. One important thing to note. There is only one outlet in the room and it was not near the bed. For those who need to use CPAP, this can be challenging. Also for those who have other electronic devices that need charging, having one plug is a hassle. I highly recommend being a surge protector or extension chord for your devices. My recommendation for Norwegian is to add USB plugs and outlets on their next refurbishment.

FOOD: We did not eat at any specialty restaurants, but we found the two main dining rooms, the Aqua and Venetian were very good. I had prime rib one night that was delicious and the Cajun shrimp dish was very good. I also found the Garden Cafe buffet, while not fancy, was not bad and the food was well prepared. O Sheehan’s has excellent food as well with their delicious brownie cheese cake. My only minor criticism was that I felt that the service at O Sheehan’s was a bit slow. But this was only a minor issue.

PORTS OF CALL: very good ports of call and a ten day venue through the Southern Caribbean is a good way to spend a winter’s day when our relatives are freezing back home. We did a combination of shore excursions and self guided discoveries while in port. Here are some of my observations.

ARUBA: Webt to Eagle Beach. We took public transportation to Eagle Beach. The bus station is very near port and was an much less expensive than taxi.

CARUCAO: Self guided walk across floating bridge into old city. Since we arrived on Dunday, a number of businesses were closed.

GRENADA. We went to the chocolate museum and the old fort which was a vigorous walk up the hill. We also took a bus to Annandale Falls, a pretty spot. As in many ports however, plan on being accosted by genders trying to sell you stuff.

ST LUCIA: We took the volcanoes shore excursion and wish we had taken the land and sea excursion. Riding a van over rough winding roads for five hours was a bit much. There is an excursion in which you drive out to the volcano area and sail back on water which would have been a better choice for us.

BARBADOS: The best of Bsrbados excursion was a very nice ride through the countryside. We also had time to walk downtown. They have a nice beach in the downtown area at Carlisle Bay.

ANTIGUA: We took the Scenic Antigua tour. Don’t waste your time on thus one. We were very disappointed in that they only stopped once with very few photo ops. We did take a taxi to Dickinson Bay beach which was a beautiful beach.

ST KITTS: We took the train which was a relaxing wonderful ride and one of our favorite excursions.

SAN JUAN: We took the rainforest to airport excursion on the day of Debarking. A nice way to close things off. Prior to the cruise, we spent two days touring old San Juan. One of my favorite places to visit.

One other note: Be sure to arrive early for your excursion. We were one minute late and almost missed catching up to our group.

DEBARKATION: While not as smooth as embarking, it was ok. I found picking up your baggage was very chaotic and confusing. Norwegian might want to find a more efficient system.

ENTERTAINMENT: I found the entertainment quite good though I felt it was better on some of their other ships. The ventriloquist and the Elements were excellent. I was not overly impressed with the comedian. All in all, the entertainment was quite good and the cruise director did a fine job keeping us engaged. I was impressed how he seemed to be everywhere and was quite approachable. I thought the entertainment at pool side was quite good too.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: We’ve been on seven cruises (four with Norwegian) and next to Norwegian’s Hawaii Cruise, I think this was one of my favorite cruises. The relaxed atmosphere with an excellent itinerary made this a memorable experience. I do think this is a cruise that is more designed for older couples and empty nesters as opposed to younger families with children since there are fewer venues to pick from that you might find on larger ships. Even in the Dawn, there is a kids area, but if you are looking for water slides or other venues, this isn’t the ship for you. But if you are looking for a relaxing, easy paced ship, then the Dawn is for you.
Consultingpastor’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BA 10070
See above notes especially about electric outlets.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews