Christmas on the Dawn: Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by Dallas_Doggie_Mom

Norwegian Dawn 5
Member Since 2009
414 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Christmas on the Dawn

Sail Date: December 2010
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
My husband and I sailed on the Dawn from 12/17 to 12/26/2010. This was our second Christmas cruise - both of which have been on NCL ships. We loved it so much, we've already booked next Christmas on the Pearl - and are bringing family along. We met a group of people on our Cruise Critic board before the cruise. We had a great time with them from the Meet & Greet until we were together on the last night as a team for The Quest! It really added a layer of fun to the cruise.

The crew of this ship stood out for us - top to bottom. Captain Sverre Sovdsnes - aka "Captain Smashing" - gave a little introductory speech for each port first thing in the morning. We would find ourselves scrambling to find the TV's remote so we could hear his speech! He always made us laugh - especially since he ended each speech with "Have a Smashing day!". Then entire senior staff of this crew was very visible. Not a night went by when we did not see at least one, sometimes two, of the crew in the More dining rooms making sure everyone was having a good time.

Daniel, the Cruise Director, is new to his position, but he's excellent at his job! The Second City crew took great delight in making fun of his obvious youth. (If anyone finds a lost Pokemon, please return it to Daniel!) Our team managed to make him blush during The Quest. It was a lot of fun, and Daniel was a great MC for all the game-shows.

Our room stewards, Joeffry and Bernard (Deck 10 Aft, port side) were amazing! They took care of all our requests promptly, and they were always smiling and laughing. Such a difference to the ones we had last year on the Spirit, who I'm not sure I even met.

In the Spinnaker Lounge, we met a Jr. Bar Server, Jessie. She made sure we always found each other if we arrived separately. Jessie knew our favorite drinks, and she made some great suggestions, too. Also, we ran into Jessie on the pier helping organize shore excursions. She was in training to switch positions. Jessie helped us out in both areas. She's very good at her job - and incredibly sweet!

We met another Bar Server, Christina, in Gatsby's Lounge, who was also very good at what she does. Christina made sure we found a table, had munchies, and always remembered our favorite drinks. She made us feel very much at home while we listened to Greg Lupton play the piano. Greg is lots of fun and a gifted musician. We enjoyed meeting him - and sharing a late-night snack with him in the Blue Lagoon. He's very approachable and a lot of laughs.

Dave Heenan was the featured comedian. His "adults only" show was hilarious! Wow. Had to buy his DVD!

All the shows were fantastic, but the Holiday Show was even better! The crew is very talented!

We hope the crew on the Pearl is as friendly and out-going as the crew on the Dawn! Less

Published 01/07/11

Cabin review: BB10698 Balcony

We were in cabin 10698. which is a handicapped accessible cabin. The cabin was spacious, and well designed. I have difficulty standing for long periods of time, and the chair for the shower was a tremendous help! The grab bars in the bathroom were also a great help. The placement of the emergency call button by the bed was poorly thought out, though. I hit it with my backside the first night, which prompts an immediate call from the Guest Services desk! They remained on the line until I went across the cabin to the reset button by the door. From that point on, I was extremely careful not to bump the button again! (Thankfully, they all have a good sense of humor, and they found it as funny as I did!) The cabin was spotlessly clean, the bed was comfortable, and the balcony was a peaceful get-away. We got to know our neighbors, and the day wasn't officially started until we had wished them a good morning. We were initially concerned because of the cabin's proximity to the elevators, but we only heard them ding once or twice, and traffic was never a problem, although teens did feel a need to rearrange my holiday cling letters on our door - and actually take some of them - as the cruise went by. We had moderate swells the last two days on the ship, and being this far aft was great! The ship's movements were significantly reduced compared to our friends' cabin at the bow on the same deck.

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Port and Shore Excursions

In Antigua, we went on the Antigua Beach Escape. We rode by van to a "resort" (I use that term loosely!), where the sand was white, the water was turquoise, and they served us rum punch and a Caribbean lunch - which was very tasty. We rented an umbrella for $6 for the day. Even with it, my husband's legs got burnt. There were people trying to sell you stuff all day, but they were not overly aggressive, and if you said no thank-you, they left you alone. In addition to the expected jewelry and hair beading, they were selling rides on horse along the beach (the horses looked very under-nourished!), and rides on wave runners. The wave runners looked like fun, and a few people rented them.

Bring bug spray, though, because even though you may not see them, we got a bunch of mosquito bites!

The lunch was a piece of BBQ chicken, rice, pasta salad or coleslaw, and half of a roasted potato - which was delicious. I'm not sure if you could ask for seconds, but they do sell ice cream for dessert. I had pistachio, and it was just what I needed after that meal and being in the sun all day!

There was shopping around the pier, but we didn't explore. We were pretty tired and just got back on the ship.

Read 1192 Antigua Reviews

In Barbados, we went on the Barbados Finest Blends & Beach Bar excursion. The excursion took us to the Mount Gay Rum distillery, and we were given a tour which included a film about the distillery's history, and then we were treated to a tasting of two of the rum varieties they make. From there, we got to see the bottling operation (which was not working at that time), and finally, we went to the gift store.

From Mount Gay, they took us to Banks beer brewery. We were given another tour and taken to their welcome center where we could select the type of beer we'd like to sample, and were then given a bottle to enjoy.

Next, the tour guide, Susan, took us to the Cockspur Beach Club for a rum punch, a quick walk on the beach, and then back on the bus. This was the only part of the tour that seemed like a waste of time. We would have been happy to go directly back to the port from the brewery - especially as time was getting uncomfortably short. We needed to be back on board by 5:30, and I think we made it by 5:15. Considering you need to wind your way through the port shopping center and get on a shuttle bus to get to the ship, we would have liked a little more time in case we wanted to pick-up any last-minute souvenirs at the port.

Read 1228 Barbados Reviews

We took the Scenic Rail excursion in St. Kitts. It was a lot of fun! The train certainly moves slowly, but it allows you to see parts of the island you probably wouldn't see in a car. The train is quaint, the staff is friendly, and the drinks are free-flowing! They served rum punch, pina coladas, rum & coke, and a variety of non-alcoholic drinks. They also gave you a sugar cookie to sample at one point. Since it was Christmas, they had a group of carolers traveling between the cars singing A Capella. The scenery was beautiful! The mountain tops were partially covered in clouds, and the cliffs with the waves crashing below were beautiful. We saw lots of goats, cows, a wild pig, and some egrets along the way. Some of the people in the villages would wave, and the children all waved and yelled hello.

After traveling 18 miles in 2 hours, we were transferred back to our buses, and we finished the circuit of the island. We ended up back at the port, where there were a ton of shops and restaurants, with plenty of time to browse.

Side Note: A family we met through Cruise Critic took the tour after ours, and the train derailed! They were put on buses, and they finished their tour that way.

Read 1323 St. Kitts Reviews

My husband and I were not interested in any of the excursions listed for this port, so we decided to just explore on our own. We walked into town and went to Sunny Caribbee Spice Shop. Wow. Nirvana for cooks. We bought some spices and teas and then walked back to the ship.

In retrospect, I wish we had taken a tour of the island and seen more. This was a really nice island - and the people seemed very friendly.

We did see Captain Smashing ride by on his bicycle. He could be seen in most ports on that bike heading up to the hills for a strenuous ride!

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