This cruise was to celebrate a wedding anniversary. We live near Boston so no flying was involved. College age / teenage kids were left at home, previous two cruises (on Carnival) included the kids. Getting on and off the ship was quick ... Read More
This cruise was to celebrate a wedding anniversary. We live near Boston so no flying was involved. College age / teenage kids were left at home, previous two cruises (on Carnival) included the kids. Getting on and off the ship was quick and easy, parking near the cruise terminal is very convenient.
We stayed in a balcony cabin mid ship on deck 10. The room was decent size with adequate room for luggage storage. The balcony is a very nice feature, providing a bit of extra room and a nice view. This part of the ship is was quiet.
The ship is in good condition and our steward kept the room neat during the cruise.
Promo Packages: We selected the Ultimate Beverage Package and the Internet Package. The beverage package requires you to pay the gratuity in advance (about $200 for a couple for the week). This is a good deal if you have more than two drinks per person per day, which we did. We had no trouble at all getting bar service, both from waiters and by going to one of the bars. The package covers alcoholic beverages up to $15 (you pay the difference), plus soda. Most drinks & glasses of wine cost less than $15. I recommend the beverage package if it is provided for only the gratuity cost and you enjoy a couple or more adult beverages per day.
We also chose the internet package, 250 minutes for free. This was enough to use our ipod and iphones to check email and texts. Per minute internet service is expensive, so this package made sense for us.
Dining: The two main dining rooms were very good, we ate many meals in the Venetian, the larger of the two at the rear of the ship. All of our meals were well prepared. There was ample variety at each meal, and the service was very good. We ate several times at O'Sheehans, which is a pub that serves sandwiches, chicken wings, and other things. O'Sheehans was quite good, with very good service.
We ate two dinners at the "added cost" locations. Cagney's Steak House was excellent, we both got filet and several sides. I would go back to Cagney's, even though the cost was about $60 (not including wine, which was "free" with the beverage package for us). We also went to the Italian specialty location, which I would not do again. The food there was good, as was the service, but not worth the added cost (about $40) given that the main dining rooms were quite good. There are several other specialty dining locations that we did not try. I cannot recommend Bamboo, the Asian dining option (no additional fee), the food was not as good there as the local Chinese joints you can find throughout New England.
Entertainment: Very good. The ship offered a show every night, song and dance, acrobats, comedy, and magic (make the girl disappear type show). Each show was pretty good, some very good. If you take the cruise try to see the staff talent show, some of the staff are very talented but do not perform regularly.
Music: Dawn has excellent musicians performing throughout the ship, from the show band, to individual piano and guitar players, to singing groups. One negative is that some of these performers are placed in common areas where they are hard to hear.
Service: Food service was great, always prompt and cheerful. When we asked for items not shown on the menu, they were always provided (example: a bowl of quac. for my wife).
Bermuda: This is a beautiful island. Two and a half days on Dawn's itinerary allowed us to see a good chunk of it. When we first arrived we took a tour of the island from Mr. Thomas (we purchased this from Norwegian for about $100 pp). This was five hours and gave us a good overview -- the island is only 21 miles long, so you can go end-to-end during this tour.
We went to Horseshoe Bay Beach the 2nd day. It is lovely and provides services at one end, which is quite crowded (there were two ships in port this day). If you want more space you can walk down the beach. Getting there and back was very easy, minibuses are plentiful on both ends and cost $7 pp each way.
Our last day we went to Hamilton on a public ferry, also very convenient from the Dock Yard, and then did some souvenir shopping in the Dock Yard before returning to the ship for the return voyage.
If we do this trip again we would go to the Crystal Caves, and go back to St Georges, which is a quaint town at the far end of the island from DockYard. We went there on the tour, but most of the town was closed because it was Sunday.
Based on our trip I would highly recommend the Norwegian Dawn Boston to Bermuda itinerary. Bon Voyage! Read Less