Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by canopus
- Sail Date: July 2010
- Destination: Bermuda
- Cabin Type: Balcony
Good stateroom (balcony room) on the 10th floor aft. Aft was wonderful, very quiet and away from all the hubbub, but close to the Garden Cafe, the Spa and Fitness Center. We spent a good deal of time relaxing on the balcony in our stateroom.
We purchased a spa pass ($150 for both of us). A little pricey and we were not thrilled about the extra costs on this cruise, but the spa pass was well worth it. Shallow indoor pool, 2 hot tubs, sauna and steam room (in the locker rooms). Plus comfortable lounges chairs looking out a huge window in the back of the boat. It was never too crowded, was very relaxing and saved us from the overcrowded, noisy, kid-filled pool area.
The entertainment was good. A great dance troupe performed several times, a decent comedian and an ok magician.
The food in the specialty restaurants was good - not fabulous and like others, we resent paying a cover charge and then some in these restaurants especially when the food is not outstanding, but then again, we admittedly are food snobs. The Venetian and Aqua serve the same menu. The Venetian is a much nicer restaurant. Service at all restaurants was good and very friendly. The Garden Cafe was awful. There are many choices for breakfast lunch and dinner, but tasteless food. They do not use real eggs for omelets or scrambled eggs and if you request fried eggs, they cook then in an inch of oil. Yuck. Waffles, pancakes, French toast looked great but had no taste. We ordered room service for breakfast several days. Lunch was the best meal here with a wide variety of sandwiches, hotdogs, burgers, and hot food. Good soups. Strangely, they offered bottle salad dressings (Kraft) which I never use. The best thing about the Garden Cafe is that you can pick up a quick snack since it's always open. Drinks available (no charge) are iced tea, hot teas, coffee and water. They use very small glasses, though so you're always re-filling. We did not opt for a soda or alcohol package and stuck with the free stuff. That's another nickel & dime thing they do that is very annoying. Sodas should be free.
We enjoyed the freestyle cruising as neither one of us wants to get dressed up for dinner every night. We also liked that we could eat when we wanted and where we wanted. We made reservations at the specialty restaurants while on the pier before embarkation. I recommend that you do this as it insures a table with no wait.
The pool was ridiculously small. People were so crowded in there all they could do was stand. Hot tubs, the same. Also, so many kids in both, resulting in "pee" pools. It was gross. Also, the pool area was dirty and there was some construction going on that was roped off with police tape. Very unattractive. There is no shade to speak of on the decks with lounge chairs, no umbrellas or overhangs. If you can't take the sun, it's a problem. Another reason for a spa pass
Some helpful tips:
Bring a small power strip as there is only one outlet in the staterooms. We were able to charge our phones, camera etc, but would have had an issue if we had not brought it.
Use the stairs, not the elevators. Easy staircases and the elevators were slow and always crowded.
Get the spa pass - especially if you want a relaxing place away from the noise. Rooms are 2 twin beds, or 2 twins pushed together to make an almost king. Ask your steward for a foam topper. This makes it much more comfortable and you can't feel the divide between the beds. We also asked for feather pillows which they delivered right away. We tipped our stewards up front ($20) and again at the end ($40). They were wonderful.
If you drink wine, bring it. They do not want you to do this and so give no instructions. They charge a $15 per bottle corkage fee, but this still saves you a ton of money since wine by the glass goes for $8-$12 per glass! And it's not superb wine, either! If you do bring wine, you will not get your luggage delivered to your door. We had to go to a special room to claim our luggage (which had 2 bottles of wine in it) and pay the corkage fee. Annoying, yes, but saved us a lot of money.
All in all, it was a good value in spite of extra hidden costs. It cost us about the same as a 7 night stay at an all inclusive (even with the extras). Be careful though, I saw people racking up bill of $2,000 and $3,000 mostly due to drinks.
Bermuda was nice, but we had rain for all 3 days, a little disappointing since their beaches are exquisite. We'd go again on this line, but not in the summer. We'd prefer fewer kids on board.
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