An Enjoyable 12 Day Repositioning Cruise - NYC to Miami: Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by PorkChopKid

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An Enjoyable 12 Day Repositioning Cruise - NYC to Miami

Sail Date: October 2010
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
We were poking around on NCL's "Hot Deals" page and came across this 12 day repositioning cruise. Norwegian's DAWN serves the New York City market during the spring and summer but gets "repositioned" to the Miami market for the winter. These cruises are popular and come with some pretty reasonable prices. A couple clicks later and we were in.

This was our third cruise and our second on DAWN. When we cruised on DAWN last year from NYC through Canada and New England we had a balcony cabin and frankly have gotten spoiled. Balconies are great and we've gotten to really like the wall to wall and floor to ceiling window they provide. Of course having a place to sit and watch the world go by isn't to shabby either.

Sailing out of New York harbor was really special this time around. DAWN has been sailing from New York for eight years but will be returning to Boston in the spring. This was her final departure from New York so passing by the Statue of Liberty was done with More much fanfare.

This was an absolutely wonderful cruise for us. In 12 days we stopped in 5 ports which meant we had lots of sea days mixed in. We enjoy the sea days because the pace is much more relaxed. The weather and sea conditions don't get any better. In fact, Roatan Honduras was hit by a hurricane 4 days after we left the area, whew! In addition, passengers were predominantly adults with 46 different nationalities represented. We were told that around 800 of the 2200 passengers were non-US citizens with the largest group being from Germany.

We must be easy to please because we had no complaints about the food, our cabin, the ship, or the service. We did run into a couple who said this was their 17th cruise... their first and last on NCL. When asked why they mentioned the lack of "formal bridge card games" and the "lack of lectures on topics like local wildlife and fauna". Sounded like nitpicking to me but like I said, we're easy to please...

Our first port was Samana in the Dominican Republic. You know that things are "rustic" when the cruise line has no shopping venues to suggest. Word on the ship was to make your way to one of several beaches. We didn't want to spend the day on a beach so we found an excursion titled "Waterfall Hike". This excursion was rated an activity level 3 and said to expect to get dirty. Traveling to/from the trailhead was an eye opener in itself and I managed to capture some images that will remind me of how lucky we are to live here in the USA. At the trailhead, we were encouraged to leave our sneakers behind and wear boots which everyone did. Conditions were HOT and MUGGY and the trail was narrow, steep, rocky, and covered in ankle deep mud. It most definitely was a challenge! We were told to bring swimwear but the waterfall was muddy water so we did not go in for a swim. Some of the others did. We gave the excursion a 5 star rating because we SURVIVED in spite of being the oldest people on the trail. Less

Published 10/26/10

Cabin review: BB10010 Balcony

The NCL Dawn cabin was smaller, had less closet space, the bed was harder, and bedding not as comfortable as experienced on Carnival Miracle. Our NCL Dawn bathroom did have a shower door instead of a curtain which we prefer. Our balcony was one of the ones forward that were particially enclosed (not wide open) which we ended up liking because it gave us some additional shade and protection from rain.

Read All Balcony (BB) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

The third port of call was Oranjestad Aruba which is also part of the Netherlands Antilles. For this stop we had made arrangements to go on a sailing/snorkeling excursion aboard the “Mi Dushi” an early 1900’s sailing vessel. Our day aboard involved making three stops to snorkel one of which was in 65 feet of water over a sunken ship. Snorkel gear and instruction were provided. The crew was focused on making sure everyone had a good time. They were great.

Read 1289 Aruba Reviews

The final port was Cozumel Mexico which turned out to be totally different than what we expected. As first time visitors we ended up doing the usual which was walk along the main road which was lined with shops. Every shop, including the better ones, had people outside hawking what they had to sell which drove us nuts. My wife did buy a ring and a couple ceramic cats for her collection. I bought a t-shirt and a couple golf shirts. Next time we’ll get away from the stores and see the rest of the island.

Read 5490 Cozumel Reviews

These tired old bones really appreciated the day at sea following the hike in Samana before arriving at the next port which was Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles. Curacao was described as looking like a city from the Netherlands with a Caribbean flare. Very colorful so our goal was to simply walk around with our cameras and take some pictures.

Read 917 Curacao Reviews

Another port of call was Roatan in Honduras which we were told is as “rustic” as Samana but we found it to be a couple steps better. It turns out that the west end of the island is very nice because of the beaches and resorts frequented by tourists. The east end is where the locals live which was much more of interest to us. We decided to forgo a cruise ship excursion and just see what was available on shore. In the end we took a 2-1/2 hour taxi tour of the east end which took us to an iguana park and for a ride through town. The Norwegian’s new ship EPIC was in port so we got a look at it.

Read 2446 Roatan Reviews

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