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First I have to admit, we were very concerned when we read the large number of negative reviews concerning the Norwegian Dawn. Everything from bad food to surly crew was outlined in the reviews and we were concerned that these reviews were accurate and would result in a less than enjoyable experience on board the Dawn. A little background on us. We are a 50ish couple who have taken 15 cruises in the past 10 years. We have sailed Carnival, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess. We are experienced cruisers who have always enjoyed every cruise we have been on. We have a saying, there is no bad cruise, some are just better than others. This brings us to the Dawn. We arrived at the Port of New York at approximately 10:00 am on Sunday, April 25 for our 7 day cruise. We have found that by arriving early, you can generally get on the ship fairly quickly and can be on deck eating lunch by the time the lines form to embark. Our system did let us down a bit this cruise as the Dawn was going through a Coast Guard inspection and were not able to actually get on board until around Noon. We found the embarkation procedures to be well thought out and very simple to board the ship. After we got onboard, we went to the Welcome Aboard Buffet and had our first sample of the quality and taste of the food on the Dawn. Remember that one of the biggest criticisms of the Dawn was the quality of the food. We thought the lunch buffet was excellent and the food well prepared and very good. In comparison to the other cruise lines we have been on, it was completely comparable, no better and no worse. After sitting on the deck for awhile, where we were greeted by an extremely friendly and welcoming crew, our room was ready around 2:00. This is one of the downsides to freestyle cruising. Since the previous guests are allowed to remain in their stateroom until disembarkation, the rooms are ready a little later than other cruise lines. Our room was very clean and very nice (as was the rest of the ship). We initially felt it was smaller than some of the other cruise lines, but later decided that because of the King Size bed, it simply felt smaller. On a high note, in addition to the King Sized Bed, there was also a 4 cup coffee maker in the room and the shower much larger than we have seen on other ships. We really thought this was a nice touch. Our luggage arrived very quickly and we were unpacked and off to explore the ship. We located the casino, several bars and checked out the dining menu for that first evening. The casino had very tight slots. This continued throughout the cruise. Probably the tightest slot machines we have encountered in our cruising history. We had a late afternoon snack in the Blue Lagoon on deck 7. Probably the best kept secret on the cruise ship. A small "diner" serving wings, salads, burgers, Spinach and Artichoke dip, chicken tenders, soups and typical "diner food". This became one of our favorite places to grab a quick snack. Everything we sampled was very, very good. We awoke the following morning to heavy seas and cool temps. We went up to the buffet for breakfast and again found the quality of the food excellent. We roamed the ship and were repeatedly greeted by a very friendly staff and crew. We also had lunch in the buffet and felt it was very good. We went to an art auction in the afternoon. If you have never gone to one of the auctions, this is an excellent place to get very good buys on top quality art. In the evening, we had dinner in the Blue Lagoon and went to the casino. Christina at the Casino Bar became our bartender of choice as she was pleasant and very efficient. Later that night, we went to see the Newlywed and Not So Newlywed Game show. Typical passenger involved activity, but funny and quite enjoyable and entertaining. To bed fairly early as the rough seas and high wind continued. Awoke Tuesday to 10 foot seas and 38 Knot winds. Water very rough (not cruise ship's fault). We ate breakfast at the buffet and had a very enjoyable meal. The biscuits and gravy were excellent. Walked the walking track this morning. This was quite an experience as you had to time your walk to the wave action. The weather remains very cool and seas very rough. We decided on a light lunch at the Blue Lagoon and were impressed by the quality, taste and freshness of the food. We went to a second art auction in the afternoon and then sat by the pool and enjoyed a few drinks. The service was, as usual, excellent. We decided to go to the Dining Room for dinner. I had a well seasoned and tender steak which was cooked perfectly and Mary had the Lobster which was also very good. The cheese cake and apple tart were excellent. We awoke the next morning to smooth seas and sunshine. Arrived in Bermuda and was tied up at the dock at 7:45. The Breakfast buffet was very good as were the lunch and dinner buffet. We shopped in the Boatyard area during the morning and took a tour (Homes and Hideways of the Rich and Famous) which was also very good and interesting. The casino was closed while in Port. The second day in Bermuda we went to Saint Georges. This was a small village about 45 minutes from Hamilton. There was very little in the area, but we had a nice lunch at the Whitehorse Pub. It was very good, but also very expensive. $70 for two lunches and a Rum Swizzles each. We rode the ferry back to the boatyard and had dinner at the buffet. Again it was very good. The last day in Bermuda, we shopped in Hamilton and returned to the ship early. We went up to the Sail Away party at the pool deck and enjoyed the band very much. Later in the evening, we went to the Bollywood show and found it to be acrobatic and very entertaining. Left port on time for the return voyage to New York. The last day at sea was rough and cool. Fortunately the sun was shining so the cool air was comfortable. We arrived back in New York the following morning and was tied up at dock about 15 minutes late. Disembarkation was smooth. Overall, the bad reviews we read on line were, in our opinion, incorrect. We found the food tasty and well prepared and the crew and ship were very nice. Perhaps we do not have the same extremely high expectations other cruisers have had, but overall we thought the cruise was a good value for the money and in fact we are discussing going on the Dawn out of Miami in November or December later this year. Do not be disheartened by the other reviews, this cruise was as nice as any of our other 14 cruises. Like any cruise, there are things you like and things you don't, but don't be concerned about the food or the staff on the Dawn. They were both great. Happy Cruising. If you have questions about this ship or cruising in general, please e-mail me at cweathers@comcast.net. Please include "Cruise Info" in your subject

Fair Review - Must Read

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by ChipandMary

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2010
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Aft-Facing Balcony
First I have to admit, we were very concerned when we read the large number of negative reviews concerning the Norwegian Dawn. Everything from bad food to surly crew was outlined in the reviews and we were concerned that these reviews were accurate and would result in a less than enjoyable experience on board the Dawn.
A little background on us. We are a 50ish couple who have taken 15 cruises in the past 10 years. We have sailed Carnival, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess. We are experienced cruisers who have always enjoyed every cruise we have been on. We have a saying, there is no bad cruise, some are just better than others. This brings us to the Dawn.
We arrived at the Port of New York at approximately 10:00 am on Sunday, April 25 for our 7 day cruise. We have found that by arriving early, you can generally get on the ship fairly quickly and can be on deck eating lunch by the time the lines form to embark. Our system did let us down a bit this cruise as the Dawn was going through a Coast Guard inspection and were not able to actually get on board until around Noon. We found the embarkation procedures to be well thought out and very simple to board the ship. After we got onboard, we went to the Welcome Aboard Buffet and had our first sample of the quality and taste of the food on the Dawn. Remember that one of the biggest criticisms of the Dawn was the quality of the food. We thought the lunch buffet was excellent and the food well prepared and very good. In comparison to the other cruise lines we have been on, it was completely comparable, no better and no worse. After sitting on the deck for awhile, where we were greeted by an extremely friendly and welcoming crew, our room was ready around 2:00. This is one of the downsides to freestyle cruising. Since the previous guests are allowed to remain in their stateroom until disembarkation, the rooms are ready a little later than other cruise lines.
Our room was very clean and very nice (as was the rest of the ship). We initially felt it was smaller than some of the other cruise lines, but later decided that because of the King Size bed, it simply felt smaller. On a high note, in addition to the King Sized Bed, there was also a 4 cup coffee maker in the room and the shower much larger than we have seen on other ships. We really thought this was a nice touch. Our luggage arrived very quickly and we were unpacked and off to explore the ship. We located the casino, several bars and checked out the dining menu for that first evening. The casino had very tight slots. This continued throughout the cruise. Probably the tightest slot machines we have encountered in our cruising history. We had a late afternoon snack in the Blue Lagoon on deck 7. Probably the best kept secret on the cruise ship. A small "diner" serving wings, salads, burgers, Spinach and Artichoke dip, chicken tenders, soups and typical "diner food". This became one of our favorite places to grab a quick snack. Everything we sampled was very, very good.
We awoke the following morning to heavy seas and cool temps. We went up to the buffet for breakfast and again found the quality of the food excellent. We roamed the ship and were repeatedly greeted by a very friendly staff and crew. We also had lunch in the buffet and felt it was very good. We went to an art auction in the afternoon. If you have never gone to one of the auctions, this is an excellent place to get very good buys on top quality art. In the evening, we had dinner in the Blue Lagoon and went to the casino. Christina at the Casino Bar became our bartender of choice as she was pleasant and very efficient. Later that night, we went to see the Newlywed and Not So Newlywed Game show. Typical passenger involved activity, but funny and quite enjoyable and entertaining. To bed fairly early as the rough seas and high wind continued.
Awoke Tuesday to 10 foot seas and 38 Knot winds. Water very rough (not cruise ship's fault). We ate breakfast at the buffet and had a very enjoyable meal. The biscuits and gravy were excellent. Walked the walking track this morning. This was quite an experience as you had to time your walk to the wave action. The weather remains very cool and seas very rough. We decided on a light lunch at the Blue Lagoon and were impressed by the quality, taste and freshness of the food. We went to a second art auction in the afternoon and then sat by the pool and enjoyed a few drinks. The service was, as usual, excellent. We decided to go to the Dining Room for dinner. I had a well seasoned and tender steak which was cooked perfectly and Mary had the Lobster which was also very good. The cheese cake and apple tart were excellent.
We awoke the next morning to smooth seas and sunshine. Arrived in Bermuda and was tied up at the dock at 7:45. The Breakfast buffet was very good as were the lunch and dinner buffet. We shopped in the Boatyard area during the morning and took a tour (Homes and Hideways of the Rich and Famous) which was also very good and interesting. The casino was closed while in Port.
The second day in Bermuda we went to Saint Georges. This was a small village about 45 minutes from Hamilton. There was very little in the area, but we had a nice lunch at the Whitehorse Pub. It was very good, but also very expensive. $70 for two lunches and a Rum Swizzles each. We rode the ferry back to the boatyard and had dinner at the buffet. Again it was very good.
The last day in Bermuda, we shopped in Hamilton and returned to the ship early. We went up to the Sail Away party at the pool deck and enjoyed the band very much. Later in the evening, we went to the Bollywood show and found it to be acrobatic and very entertaining. Left port on time for the return voyage to New York.
The last day at sea was rough and cool. Fortunately the sun was shining so the cool air was comfortable. We arrived back in New York the following morning and was tied up at dock about 15 minutes late. Disembarkation was smooth.
Overall, the bad reviews we read on line were, in our opinion, incorrect. We found the food tasty and well prepared and the crew and ship were very nice. Perhaps we do not have the same extremely high expectations other cruisers have had, but overall we thought the cruise was a good value for the money and in fact we are discussing going on the Dawn out of Miami in November or December later this year. Do not be disheartened by the other reviews, this cruise was as nice as any of our other 14 cruises. Like any cruise, there are things you like and things you don't, but don't be concerned about the food or the staff on the Dawn. They were both great. Happy Cruising.
If you have questions about this ship or cruising in general, please e-mail me at cweathers@comcast.net. Please include "Cruise Info" in your subject
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