Norwegian Dawn Review R/T Miami 02/05 -- 02/15/2012
Background -- We are John and Mary, both in our mid-sixties. We are retired, but workcamp part time in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania for six months and full time RV for the other six months. We love RV'ing, but also enjoy our yearly (or bi-yearly!) cruise. Our philosophy is to go with the flow, we're both low maintenance, easy to please. This is our 17th cruise, the sixth with NCL. We have also cruised with Carnival, Holland America and Princess.
Pre-Cruise - Presently we are staying a bit north of Tampa, about a six hour drive from Miami. To avoid a long drive before cruising we left a day ahead of time and stayed at the Quality Hotel. At best, I would rate this as a two star hotel. Suitable as an overnight, I wouldn't return. One reason we choose this hotel was because it advertises complimentary "on demand" shuttle service to the cruise port. Actually you are offered a choice of two times, either 9:30 or 12:30. We like to arrive around 11 or 11:30, so these times weren't right. We decided on 9:30, knowing that we would have to wait for a little while. The driver was prompt, with traffic we arrived at the port shortly before 10, dropped our bags with a porter who actually said "Would you like to leave me anything?" Yes, there are signs all over about not needing to tip, but we always give a generous tip anyway. We waited in a short line outside for about 15 minutes before we were let in. The free shuttle is only to the port, you make your own arrangements for returning. The hotel uses a transportation service that you can arrange for your return at $12.00 per person. In retrospect, we should have done that. We used a taxi, had a driver that we couldn't understand, also had an address mix up, and ended up paying $50.00 for our return to pick up our truck at the hotel.
Under the Garden Cafe, but there was little noise at night. One night we heard carts rolling, but it was no big problem. We could hear women's heels walking back and forth, again it was no problem. Limited drawers but plenty of shelving in the big closet. Firm bed, I liked it. It would be crowded with four people in here.