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Overall we had a great vacation on the Norwegian Dawn sailing to Bermuda on 9/2. We were informed on the first day that it was very likely we would leave Bermuda a day early due to Hurricane Katia but that didn't put a damper on our cruise. The staff had plenty of time to plan activities for the extra sea day and it allowed us to have great weather throughout the cruise. EMBARKATION: Embarkation was very easy. We drove to the Black Falcon terminal and arrived around 11AM, parked, and it was a short walk from the parking garage to the terminal. There was no line for checking in and we were on the ship in about 30 minutes. As soon as you walked on the ship you could hear music playing and the cruise activity staff and crew was there dancing and welcoming you on. You definitely felt like you were on vacation! LIFE BOAT DRILL: The life boat drill was the quickest I've ever experienced. They didn't seem to wait for all the late passengers like they did on previous cruise lines I've been on which made it a lot less painful. Our muster station was also in the theater instead of having to stand outside on one of the decks so that probably made a difference too. ACTIVITIES/ENTERTAINMENT: There was always something to do on the boat and members in my group were big participants. We enjoyed trivia, scavenger hunts, the pub hop (beware you hit 5 bars in 45 minutes), the mystery dinner, Second City, poolside games, casino tournaments, and our favorite being all the game shows in the Spinnaker. We found most of the cruise activity staff to be great (Paul Scally, Ferdi, Derick, and Louis), they even remembered our names throughout the entire cruise. Don't miss the Dawn Crew show on the last day, this crew has talent! We didn't find the assistant cruise director to be very friendly (Megan). We played Bingo once but thought it was very slow, poorly organized, and too expensive ($40 for the cheapest package). STATEROOM: Since we were travelling with friends we knew we would barely be in our cabin so we booked an inside. Good choice since we left our cabin in the morning and didn't come back till late at night. The cabin was adequate, with plenty of storage for two people. The bathroom also had plenty of storage. The showers were the best showers I'd ever had on a cruise, almost the size of bath tub. Plenty of room! We didn't have any trouble with noise from other cabins above/below/or beside us...but our cabin did creak alot just from the movement of the boat. My only complaint was that I couldn't get out of bed and walk to the bathroom, I'd run right into a table. They could have designed that a little better. Also, if NCL is ever reading these reviews, could I suggest a light in the closet? SERVICE Overall, we had very good service. Our drinks and food were all brought in a timely fashion. Being in our cabin as little as we were, we never met our cabin steward. I left a note for him for a request and it was ignored the entire cruise. We did get a new towel animal every night which was fun. The bartenders around the Bimini bar were excellent. We only ordered room service for coffee in the morning but the service was great. We ordered using the card you can leave on the door the night before and the coffee arrived every morning 15 minutes earlier than the time we requested. I wish coffee got delivered to me every morning! FOOD/DRINKS Overall, the food was very good. The buffet was okay food as expected but the food in the main dining rooms and specialty restaurants was excellent. We ate dinner at Agua, Moderno, Bamboo, and LaCucina. We tried breakfast at the Venetian but found the food to be the same food you could get at the buffet with inattentive service. Also, when in need of a snack try the wings at Blue Lagoon (the 24hr restaurant), they are yummy! However, we missed having a 24 hour buffet for when you wanted a late night snack. Blue Lagoon is a sit down with a menu sort of restaurant which isn't what you are usually looking for late at night. At least there is something available though. In addition to the food, part of the fun of a cruise vacation is trying the drinks of the day. My favorite was the dark and stormy (dark rum and ginger beer) but the others were all tasty too. SHIP We found the ship to be very clean, well maintained, and easy to get around. We thought the layout at the buffet was a 100 times better than the buffet layout on Royal Caribbeans Freedom of the Seas. You could easily get food, even made to order items, and find a place to sit unlike the zoo I experienced on the Freedom. I didn't go to the spa but the gym was nice with plenty of equipment in good shape. Even on sea days it wasn't crowded. The pool and pool area seemed really small. On our cruise it worked because I don't think we were a full ship and there weren't many kids. I imagine it being crazy during the peak sailing times. BERMUDA Bermuda was beautiful. The first day we rented scooters and headed to the crystal caves. They were really neat to see. The second day we spent the morning at Horseshoe Bay. The weather was great, but the waves and riptide were crazy due to the hurricane coming. It was fun playing in the waves. It was nice going to the beach in the morning because the crowds seemed to come by about 12:30pm when we were ready to go. DEBARKATION In theory, the freestyle debarkation process seemed like a good idea. You could either pick your time (out of about 4 groups) or just walk off with your luggage anytime. Well...the groups were too big and there was only one spot to exit creating a massive line to get off the ship. It seems like this would be an easy area to improve. If you park in the garage, just send one person up to get the car so you don't need to wait for an elevator. There's a spot to pick up passengers right outside the garage. SUMMARY Overall, we had a fun cruise sailing on the Norwegian Dawn and would recommend it. This was our first NCL cruise and we would consider sailing NCL again if the price and itinerary were right. We also enjoyed other cruise lines that we would sail with again.

Fun on the Norwegian Dawn

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by coasterfreak

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2011
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Inside
Overall we had a great vacation on the Norwegian Dawn sailing to Bermuda on 9/2. We were informed on the first day that it was very likely we would leave Bermuda a day early due to Hurricane Katia but that didn't put a damper on our cruise. The staff had plenty of time to plan activities for the extra sea day and it allowed us to have great weather throughout the cruise.



EMBARKATION:

Embarkation was very easy. We drove to the Black Falcon terminal and arrived around 11AM, parked, and it was a short walk from the parking garage to the terminal. There was no line for checking in and we were on the ship in about 30 minutes. As soon as you walked on the ship you could hear music playing and the cruise activity staff and crew was there dancing and welcoming you on. You definitely felt like you were on vacation!



LIFE BOAT DRILL:

The life boat drill was the quickest I've ever experienced. They didn't seem to wait for all the late passengers like they did on previous cruise lines I've been on which made it a lot less painful. Our muster station was also in the theater instead of having to stand outside on one of the decks so that probably made a difference too.



ACTIVITIES/ENTERTAINMENT:

There was always something to do on the boat and members in my group were big participants. We enjoyed trivia, scavenger hunts, the pub hop (beware you hit 5 bars in 45 minutes), the mystery dinner, Second City, poolside games, casino tournaments, and our favorite being all the game shows in the Spinnaker. We found most of the cruise activity staff to be great (Paul Scally, Ferdi, Derick, and Louis), they even remembered our names throughout the entire cruise. Don't miss the Dawn Crew show on the last day, this crew has talent! We didn't find the assistant cruise director to be very friendly (Megan). We played Bingo once but thought it was very slow, poorly organized, and too expensive ($40 for the cheapest package).



STATEROOM:

Since we were travelling with friends we knew we would barely be in our cabin so we booked an inside. Good choice since we left our cabin in the morning and didn't come back till late at night. The cabin was adequate, with plenty of storage for two people. The bathroom also had plenty of storage. The showers were the best showers I'd ever had on a cruise, almost the size of bath tub. Plenty of room! We didn't have any trouble with noise from other cabins above/below/or beside us...but our cabin did creak alot just from the movement of the boat.



My only complaint was that I couldn't get out of bed and walk to the bathroom, I'd run right into a table. They could have designed that a little better. Also, if NCL is ever reading these reviews, could I suggest a light in the closet?



SERVICE

Overall, we had very good service. Our drinks and food were all brought in a timely fashion. Being in our cabin as little as we were, we never met our cabin steward. I left a note for him for a request and it was ignored the entire cruise. We did get a new towel animal every night which was fun. The bartenders around the Bimini bar were excellent. We only ordered room service for coffee in the morning but the service was great. We ordered using the card you can leave on the door the night before and the coffee arrived every morning 15 minutes earlier than the time we requested. I wish coffee got delivered to me every morning!



FOOD/DRINKS

Overall, the food was very good. The buffet was okay food as expected but the food in the main dining rooms and specialty restaurants was excellent. We ate dinner at Agua, Moderno, Bamboo, and LaCucina. We tried breakfast at the Venetian but found the food to be the same food you could get at the buffet with inattentive service. Also, when in need of a snack try the wings at Blue Lagoon (the 24hr restaurant), they are yummy! However, we missed having a 24 hour buffet for when you wanted a late night snack. Blue Lagoon is a sit down with a menu sort of restaurant which isn't what you are usually looking for late at night. At least there is something available though.



In addition to the food, part of the fun of a cruise vacation is trying the drinks of the day. My favorite was the dark and stormy (dark rum and ginger beer) but the others were all tasty too.



SHIP

We found the ship to be very clean, well maintained, and easy to get around. We thought the layout at the buffet was a 100 times better than the buffet layout on Royal Caribbeans Freedom of the Seas. You could easily get food, even made to order items, and find a place to sit unlike the zoo I experienced on the Freedom. I didn't go to the spa but the gym was nice with plenty of equipment in good shape. Even on sea days it wasn't crowded. The pool and pool area seemed really small. On our cruise it worked because I don't think we were a full ship and there weren't many kids. I imagine it being crazy during the peak sailing times.



BERMUDA

Bermuda was beautiful. The first day we rented scooters and headed to the crystal caves. They were really neat to see. The second day we spent the morning at Horseshoe Bay. The weather was great, but the waves and riptide were crazy due to the hurricane coming. It was fun playing in the waves. It was nice going to the beach in the morning because the crowds seemed to come by about 12:30pm when we were ready to go.



DEBARKATION

In theory, the freestyle debarkation process seemed like a good idea. You could either pick your time (out of about 4 groups) or just walk off with your luggage anytime. Well...the groups were too big and there was only one spot to exit creating a massive line to get off the ship. It seems like this would be an easy area to improve. If you park in the garage, just send one person up to get the car so you don't need to wait for an elevator. There's a spot to pick up passengers right outside the garage.



SUMMARY

Overall, we had a fun cruise sailing on the Norwegian Dawn and would recommend it. This was our first NCL cruise and we would consider sailing NCL again if the price and itinerary were right. We also enjoyed other cruise lines that we would sail with again.
coasterfreak’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Inside
Cabin ID 9563
Quiet location with easy access to forward stairs/elevator
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins