253 Norwegian Dawn Bermuda Cruise Reviews

This was DD's college graduation cruise, and she brought her high school best friend, who had also just graduated. Had the suite decorated and a cake delivered. Made them both quite happy! Total party was Mom, Dad, son, daughter, ... Read More
This was DD's college graduation cruise, and she brought her high school best friend, who had also just graduated. Had the suite decorated and a cake delivered. Made them both quite happy! Total party was Mom, Dad, son, daughter, graduate daughter, and best friend. Arrived in Boston a couple of days early. Stayed in a lovely VRBO that accommodated all 6 of us. Walked the Freedom Trail. Went to the ship early, since we had the GV. Terminal was very busy and the suites area was very small and quite crowded. We were escorted through as soon as customs cleared the ship. I have to say that the GV has more SQ FT than my house. Three of us play the piano, so I had requested it be tuned, which they did on the first day. There was a wedding party in the adjacent GV and we had piano wars one morning, which was quite fun. We did have dinner in the suite a couple of times. Private hot tub and sauna were GREAT! Excellent service from Jane, our butler, Gian, our Concierge, and Conrad, our steward. Went to a few shows. If you are on the Dawn, I would highly suggest seeing Elements (which is a Cirque du Soleil-like production), Jose and Patty (who sing in the atrium and have a show in the theater), and PJ, the magician was quite entertaining. During our first night, we ate at Los Lobos. The table-side quacamole was very good, but everything else was pretty blah. Moderno was excellent; Cagneys was excellent. O'Sheehans always great for wings and fajitas. Le Bistro was fine. La Cucina was warm and loud when we were there; ended up leaving after 45 minutes without main course. (Asst. Matre "d very apologetic and sent meal up to our room, with dessert, which was nice.) Bamboo was very good---almost didn't try after Pearl experience, but glad we did. We did lots of trivia, made a Gecko, learned dances, etc. Cruise Director staff was very enjoyable. We did not buy the spa pass because our suite had a personal hot tub and sauna. However, we did get the 10/20/30% off on massages. I didn't know before, but evidently you can forgo the 10% and get the embarkation special (which is extra time), so we opted for that. Overall, staff was friendly and engaging. Completed several hero cards. Bermuda had lovely weather. We did the Bermuda Triangle evening cruise through the ship. The captain was quirky and quite enjoyable. We rented bikes the 2nd day and tried to make the whole island. HA! I thought we would stop along the way and check things out....oh, no, my DH thought it was a race. Lots of hills in Bermuda. Who knew? Ended up going from Dockyard to Hamilton. DS and I separated from group for a short while without $$ or IDs....but the people on the island were very nice and even helped me when my pedal bike needed some tightening of the kick stand. Once group back together, we paid to catch the ferry back and turn in bikes----personally, if I never see another bike, I will not be sad. On last day, took ship ferry (which is very nice and quite big) over to St. Georges. Did a little shopping and ate at The Wharf, which was expensive, but good. Both DH and I think we should visit Bermuda again, as we didn't see all the things we wanted! I spent time every day in the casino. I play craps. Tables run $10. Ended up donating all my money, but for the most part had lots of fun playing. Which is the moral that I pass along to my kids....only play what you are willing to lose, and generally budget what you would for an evening of fun, because that's all you can count on getting. Once back in Boston, we had planned for water taxi from ship to store luggage (more sightseeing), then on to airport. However, the GV comes with transportation back to airport. I didn't know that. So, ended up taking provided transportation to water taxi luggage place, then went to aquarium, then water taxi to airport. There is a shuttle bus from water taxi drop off (you have to walk up ramp with luggage). Water taxi is nothing fancy, but I thought it would be an adventure. They have a cruise ship special of $25 to pick you up near ship, store your luggage, then take you to airport. Since we did this trip in May, the weather on the first sea day and last sea day was chilly. As with most cruises, bring something to ward off the chill. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Overall a very good cruise to Bermuda, For frequent NCL passengers a few changes. Embarkation was a breeze, the only bottleneck was security and the scanners. We arrived curbside at the pier at Noon and 20 minutes later ordered lunch in ... Read More
Overall a very good cruise to Bermuda, For frequent NCL passengers a few changes. Embarkation was a breeze, the only bottleneck was security and the scanners. We arrived curbside at the pier at Noon and 20 minutes later ordered lunch in the dining room. We had late dinner reservations the entire cruise 9PM and the specialty restaurants were all still fairly busy but winding down. It appears the shows are in a phase of changing. Where we had seen "Band on the Run" and Elements at least a half dozen times, we typically skip the shows. This trip we saw one - but I don't recall the name. Typical production, no plot where during the whole thing you wished you were as thin and flexible again. I did not see in the daily the expected Band on the Run, but I might have missed it. I saw on the TV the crew talent show, that I was glad I could switch channels. The food in the Specialty restaurants was excellent but smaller portions. The 38oz Tomahawk at Cagney's has forever slipped into the past. Even things like sides portions have been reduced. We breakfast in Venetian and the food now is hot when served. A big improvement. Even the poached eggs are perfect and still warm. The Venetian lunch menu everyday is the same and closed on most port days. I wish this changed back to a different menu each day with some surprise items. One surprise to us, NCL now has there own 450 passenger ferry to St George. It runs 3 or 4 times certain days and is excellent and very punctual. The only grip being it departs from the other end of the pier, a couple thousand foot hike from the gangway. But then again, the Bermuda run city ferry is farther away. Disembarkation was a little different. We did not receive immigration declaration forms or luggage tags to our room, we had to fetch them from deck 7 at the last moment. No one ever collected our completed declaration so maybe its not required any longer. They asked for those with yellow or gold luggage tags to the big show lounge around 9am. Exited right out the door and got off without any of the expected congestion of inconsiderate or angry passengers. One hint I would have is don't try going the entire length of the ship on deck 7. Best to use a cabin deck unless your dragging luggage, as your screwed by the steward carts. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
One person in our party was offered a cruise from the casino we took the offer and upgraded. Spoiled ourselves on the 1st cruise experience with a Family Suite with balcony. The Boston to Bermuda cruise had lots to do, or you could do ... Read More
One person in our party was offered a cruise from the casino we took the offer and upgraded. Spoiled ourselves on the 1st cruise experience with a Family Suite with balcony. The Boston to Bermuda cruise had lots to do, or you could do nothing. Restaurant service was good and everyone was friendly. The food was good and plenty. The morning and lunch crew at Cagneys were super friendly and easy going. The ship floor plan was somewhat confusing, mostly aft, and took a bit to get acquainted. Enjoyed walks around deck 7. Utilized the free gym (some classes were for a fee) and thermal spa package. Somewhat disappointed that the hot tubs didn't have real jets to work on my back. I was the only one with a smartphone and utilized iconcierge on my phone (their free onboard app) which came in handy to see activities for the next few days, nothing from menus though so I took photos of those. Entertainment all round was great. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was my first cruise ever. Went with two of my friends and my girlfriend. We traveled to Bermuda from Boston. Didn't know what to expect. Ship: The Norwegian Dawn is a big and beautiful ship with lots of things to do on-board. ... Read More
This was my first cruise ever. Went with two of my friends and my girlfriend. We traveled to Bermuda from Boston. Didn't know what to expect. Ship: The Norwegian Dawn is a big and beautiful ship with lots of things to do on-board. Rooms: We stayed in an inside cabin and loved it. It is comfortable and very clean. Got a lot of good sleep. Room sturits are very friendly and nice. Our friends had a balcony room and it was awesome. Spent more time in their room because of the view. Nice to relax on the balcony. Food: Can be a hit or a miss. Some restaurant are unbelievable and others are not so much. Bought a 3 dinner package and was disappointed by couple places we went to. Bamboo is an Asian food restaurant, thought it would be good but boy were we disappointed. Not worth it at all. Went to Cagney's Statehouse and were very disappointed in the service. Our steak wasn't cooked the way we ordered. DO NOT EAT ANY OF THE SOUPS. Los Lobos is a Mexican restaurant and it is amazing. Get the Guac! Our server named "Faruk" is the guy you want. He will tell you how it is and will not disappoint. We put our trust in his hands and he kept bringing us delicious foods and drinks. Hands down the best servant we have ever had. Venetian is great for breakfast and lunch. We had a server named "Diaz", we was very good. Good assortment of food. Bimini Grill by the Oasis pool has awesome burgers and drinks. Aqua is a great place for dinner. Le Bistro is a French restaurant which we saved for last. We were blown away by the service and the food. Everything was so delicious. Service was outstanding. The Garden Cafe which is a buffet, has a great variety of food for everyone. Everything was clean and food was fresh. There are a lot of restaurants that you can go to. Trust me, you will gain some weight. Gained 10lbs myself. Crew: Crew is great. These guys make the whole experience that much better. They treat you as if you own the ship. They are there to help with anything you need. Definitely are understated. They go above and beyond to make sure you have what you need and that you are happy. Entertainment: There are always things going on all the time. Acrobatics, comedy, music, movies, games, and trivia. Cruise Director: Are very helpful and make it easy for everyday plan. Excursions: Something for everyone of any age and ability. Makes Great Memories. Enough time in port for excursions and shopping. Did the glass bottom ferry tour and it was awesome. Cool to see different fish, coral, ship wreck, and $3 Rum Swizzles. Beaches are beautiful and clear. Locals are very friendly and helpful. Lots of places to shop around. Did a jet ski tour out of Somerset Bridge Water Sports 441-236-7758. Had an awesome time. Harry Patchett was our tour guide. Was really nice and made the tour fun. Was lot of fun doing 45mph on the water. Bermuda: Lots of things to do and enjoy. If you are looking for a taxi then Shaun, P. Tucker is your guy. Was awesome and very informative. Took us to the beach we wanted to see, but there wasn't much there. Shaun told us he will take us to an awesome beach. We drove around half the island. he told us about the history. Dropped us of at clear water beach. We spent 3-4hrs there. He came back later and picked us up. Was a great guy. Tucker's Taxi Service Cell:441-336-9674 or email: shaunp@logic.bm Trip was very relaxing for sure. No worries at all. No cooking, no cleaning, no kids, drinks available everywhere..."get the booze package" you're welcome. Overall had an amazing experience especially for being a first timer. There are lots of things to do and explore. Lots of restaurants with lots of variety. Had a great company and made some new friends. Will book again for sure. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
It was an easy access for us out of Boston and the service was very good. The entertainment excellent. We were able to enjoy wonderful food in the Venetian, and Le Bistro. The staff were very attentive. It was like a Resort on the ... Read More
It was an easy access for us out of Boston and the service was very good. The entertainment excellent. We were able to enjoy wonderful food in the Venetian, and Le Bistro. The staff were very attentive. It was like a Resort on the water. This was a very reasonable trip. I would say cost of things such as bingo cards very excessive $39++. I would suggest that although there was sufficient signage I believe much of our time was spent finding our way around. Having more diagrams of the ship from “you are here” and a large diagram of the ship in our room would have been extremely helpful. I would like to see more formal dining experiences offered..a very dresss up night. The dance floor/area concisited of moving between tables on carpeted floor in the Atrium area. Seating in the Atrium very limited on the main floor. There was only about 20 little tables and seating limited. During several shows one had to sit in metal folding chairs. The pool area and available lounge chairs very generous. The pool was not heated and the weather fair so a heated pool would be a big advantage during the early summer sails. We were never offered drinks by the pool as on other ships. We saw very few wait staff offering beverages. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I chose this cruise, since i wanted to go to Bermuda with my family. Words cannot describe how beautiful this tiny country is! I was hesitant to take a Norwegian cruise, since most of what I read was negative or misinformed. The cruise ... Read More
I chose this cruise, since i wanted to go to Bermuda with my family. Words cannot describe how beautiful this tiny country is! I was hesitant to take a Norwegian cruise, since most of what I read was negative or misinformed. The cruise was very good. However, there are too many restaurants that are additional fees. Also, the drinks packages must be designed for alcoholics since you would have to have at least 7 mixed drinks per day to make up the price of the package! I am not a drinker, so that was not a problem. However, I did hear complaints from others that certain specialty drinks had an additional fee. What you aren't told is that drinks are capped at $12 or so. Anything over that and you have to pay the difference. They also charge gratuities on any restaurant that is not included in the "free" restaurants. Prices range from fixed prices to a la cart and can get to be very expensive. The Mexican Restaurant is very over priced. We also had problems with embarkation and disembarkation. The staff did not appear to know where to send everyone and how to get everyone on and off the ship in a timely manner. It took almost an hour and a half for us to disembark. We chose the option of keeping our luggage and walking off at 8 am. It was almost 9:30 before anyone was allowed to leave and no explanation was given. By that time, the second set of people who had set their luggage out the night before had already left the ship! The ship can appear to be quite crowded at times, especially during meals. We had one evening when we were seated and placed our orders. Our appetizers came out, along with the children's meals, even though we asked that they be served at the same time. That was the last time we saw our waitress. We could not get anyone's attention and left without eating after waiting for over 45 minutes. I would blame the wait staff rather than the restaurant on that, since every other night the wait staff was excellent. If you are punctual and keep up with your time, I would not recommend paying for excursions on the ship. The prices are much higher than if you schedule them yourself before your cruise or once you arrive. The only reason to schedule through the ship is that on the final day in port, if you are with a cruise group, arrangements will be made to get you to the ship. If you are late and on your own, you are going to have to pay to fly back. I was told that this happens almost every week. Of course, if you keep track of your time, this will not be an issue. We traveled with two children and one of the reasons we chose Norwegian is that it was highly ranked for family cruises. The activities for the children were great. They could not wait to go to the activities every day. The staff was attentive and kept their interests peaked throughout the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
had a great time on the dawn to bermuda last week 4/20-4/27. Cant complain about anything on the ship . entertainment was great, food was above average. did the beverage,dining and pre-paid tip package. skip the mexican place for the fine ... Read More
had a great time on the dawn to bermuda last week 4/20-4/27. Cant complain about anything on the ship . entertainment was great, food was above average. did the beverage,dining and pre-paid tip package. skip the mexican place for the fine dining,it was average at best. la cucina and cagneys were very good. could use more bartenders at the pool bar. parking in boston- the massport website steered me to sp parking on 501 congress street so i prepaid for this parking lot and i wished i had just driven in and checked out the parking situation. the garage at the edic center was not full on friday and another lot that was right next to the ship was available for 25 a day. the embarkation and debarkation process was a little slow. it seemed like everyone basically arrived at 11am so it was a little crazy getting on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our 2nd cruise on the Dawn, first time to Bermuda. The parking lot near the ship was $175 for the week but was right across the street. We had a 12pm embarkation time and the dropping luggage and initial security check was quick. ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise on the Dawn, first time to Bermuda. The parking lot near the ship was $175 for the week but was right across the street. We had a 12pm embarkation time and the dropping luggage and initial security check was quick. It took about 20 minutes to get thru security and check in. We did opt for drink package and shore excursions. I felt the drink package was worth it, it beats coming home with a bar tab. The drinks were not watered down at all. We did most of our dining in Venetian and Aqua, they both have the same menu but I’m not a fan of the buffet. It’s crowded and the food is ok. Patti and Jose always put on a great show in the Atruim. The Elements show is a must see. Lots of things to do but be prepared for fees for many. Most staff were very pleasant and always greeted you. We had an obstructed picture window deck 8. It was mid ship and close to everything. The room was always clean. My only complaint is that smoking should not be allowed on pool deck, the port side was always full of smoke when you walked through. Most stores are closed on Sundays when you arrive in Bermuda but the dockyard has shops and restaurants that are open. Bermuda is expensive to eat, but we wanted to try some local flavor. Horseshoe Bay is a must see. Overall it was a great relaxing cruise and that’s how vacation should be. We will cruise again on Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our second cruise to Bermuda on the Dawn, We wanted a simple vacation with no flying involved. Because our last cabin was too small and didn't even have a seating area, we got a mini suite this time and it was well worth the ... Read More
This was our second cruise to Bermuda on the Dawn, We wanted a simple vacation with no flying involved. Because our last cabin was too small and didn't even have a seating area, we got a mini suite this time and it was well worth the extra money. For the first time I actually got to take a bath at sea! There was plenty of room, lots of storage and the cabin was very comfortable. Although we were near the spa, there was no noise from it at all. We were on deck 11 and even though the sea was a little rough one day, it was still very comfortable. This was our third cruise on the Dawn but the first since she was in dry dock. The changes worked well and she looked nice and fresh. Entertainment on board was good but on several nights there was only one show which resulted in a lot of crowding. I found the activities pretty disappointing. The food in the dining rooms and Cagneys and the teppenyaki was great. I was very surprised to find the dining room closed for lunch on two days in port. That left us at the mercy of the Garden Court or the pub unfortunately the food was not up to par in either place. If this happens to you, eat in Bermuda. We didn't go on any shore excursions because we had been to Bermuda in the past. There is a great public transportation system so it is easy to get just about any place you want. Although we had free internet minutes, we didn't even use them all because service is so slow. NCL needs to get with the times and improve this. The internet manager is wonderful though. So helpful and taught me some tricks I now use on land. Another thing I appreciated was that they were not constantly dunning you to have your picture taken and this was a welcome change. Some of the wait staff were wonderful an others were just going through the motions. If I had to work as many hours as they do, I'm sure I would have bad days too! The Latitudes cocktail party, which is usually fun, was a big disappointment. The drinks and appetizers were fine but none of the officers spoke or introduced themselves and the cruise director left a lot to be desired. Embarkation and disembarkation went much more smoothly than it has in the past. We were celebrating an anniversary and one night they gave us a cake and sang Let Me Call You Sweetheart. This was a lovely thoughtful touch. We probably won't go to Bermuda again but we will sail with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our first time on the new "Norwegian Dawn" since the "refurb"-so have nothing to compare from before.We loved it very much.Found it to be very colorful,very friendly easy to manoeuver around once we found our ... Read More
This was our first time on the new "Norwegian Dawn" since the "refurb"-so have nothing to compare from before.We loved it very much.Found it to be very colorful,very friendly easy to manoeuver around once we found our bearings.We always take the first day to go around all the areas of our likes before settling down on any one area.The casino was great had a lot of more modern machines and the service was excellent for us.My husband is a good tipper so we are always treated well.It didn't hurt that we also had very good luck as well..The entertainment in the theatre both venues were first rate.There had been a standing ovation for both shows.Food and drink are always good on Norwegian since we have the "UBP"it is much easier now at the bars.We tried the "Sunset" boat excursions around the Hamilton Coastline,they too were first rate.Those rum cruises are not chinzy at all.Alot of fun and kept the mood going..Even though the weather was very cool,maybe 65-68 degrees at night,that didn't dampen our spirits at all.We loved Bermuda and maybe thinking of returning at an other time to go to the other side of the island to see St.Georges,we hear that's quite a nice place as well. The music and bartenders in the Atrium were also great and always in a good mood. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our first cruise. It was convenient for us leaving out of Boston. We had two teenagers with us that we barely saw. The teen club was awesome for them. The staff and crew on the ship was great. It's the little things that ... Read More
This was our first cruise. It was convenient for us leaving out of Boston. We had two teenagers with us that we barely saw. The teen club was awesome for them. The staff and crew on the ship was great. It's the little things that struck me as great customer service. One day coming back to the ship it was raining and we were greeted with plushy towels to wrap in. The entertainment was excellent and offered something for every taste. The dining options were plenty-full and varied enough to not become boring. I would recommend to take the dining package that allows for three meals at the higher level restaurants. We enjoyed that as a break from the main dining halls although they were great as well. I am not sure I will ever go on a cruise again, but if I would, the Norwegian Dawn would be ship that I'd consider. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Chose to drive to Boston, no airfare necessary. Boston driving was crazy. Once at port checking in was quick and we were on ship with in 30 min.This ship is smaller than Breakaway Ship. Inside room was very smallest I've ever been in ... Read More
Chose to drive to Boston, no airfare necessary. Boston driving was crazy. Once at port checking in was quick and we were on ship with in 30 min.This ship is smaller than Breakaway Ship. Inside room was very smallest I've ever been in but was ok for my husband and I. Dining at buffet was ok, by end of week was sick of same food. Restaurants were good especially Cagneys and Tempanyaki. I booked specialty restaurants prior to cruise. The entertainment was included in price unlike Breakaway which was nice. Did not like that you could not see the entertainment schedule daily prior to cruise, there was conflict with the restaurants scheduled and the shows I wanted to see. At port there was a free ferry offered from Norwegian to bring you from ship to other end of island which was a great way to sight see. We did rent a scooter which is highly discouraged on board. It is the best way to do and see what you want and when. if you have never ridden any kind of motorized bike than I would not recommend it though. Roads are very narrow and you drive on opposite side. This was our second cruise to Bermuda with Norwegian. I did like going out of NYC better than Boston. Going twice we were able to see everything we wanted. Not sure if I would go again. I think children would be bored in Bermuda. No parks really, just beaches, aquarium and zoo, shopping. There is a dolphin adventure but of course those are expensive. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I live in Baltimore County and there are two cruise lines that operate from here. Visiting Bermuda was on my bucket list, especially since it is so close to the U.S. East Coast. After years of vacation trips to the Northern Caribbean, ... Read More
I live in Baltimore County and there are two cruise lines that operate from here. Visiting Bermuda was on my bucket list, especially since it is so close to the U.S. East Coast. After years of vacation trips to the Northern Caribbean, Bermuda just called out "visit me". Due to date and cost issues, I selected to travel North to Boston to catch the NCL Dawn for three days in Bermuda. The only problem was the timing - I got a good single fare at the last minute but discovered that my passport had expired. No problem - I made a morning appointment at the Tip O'Neal Federal building in Boston the day of the departure. I arrived at the fed building at 10 AM and left at 10:45 with a brand-new passport, still warm from the printing presses. Now my cruising education began. I arrived at the cruise terminal at my scheduled time. I I turned my baggage over to the NCL baggage-handlers out fromt of the terminal. I entered the terminal and then stood in a long line to register my boarding documents with the NCL clerk who eventually issued my key to the kingdom - my NCL ship's ID/charge card. I was then guided to a large auditorium where I was given a boarding number and waited for a long time for my number to be called. I wished that they had a bar there. Once aboard I set off to locate my inside cabin. I am ex-U.S. Navy so I knew something about nautical life. I located my cabin in quick order. My bags took a bit of time to materialize. I went to find a bar and explore the ship. I found O'Shanahan's bar where I heard that before our departure there would be a life-boat drill. After that drill the ship departed Boston on time at 5 PM. After an early morning plane trip from Maryland I was hungry so I found the buffet for my first meal aboard. The food offered was very good - not Club Med level gourmet cooking but a wide selection of acceptable and sometimes intriguing dishes. I made my home-base at O'Shanahan's where I quickly bonded with the Filipino bartenders there. In the Navy I was stationed in the Philippines for a year, so we had much to talk about, And befriending bartenders can have its advantages. Our two-day crossing to Bermuda was menaced by the Northward approach of hurricane Jose. The ship did some protective maneuvering and the storm eventually turned away from Bermuda. My trip priorities were to travel, explore, rest, drink and socialize with a lot of people. I accomplished all of these without attending much of the ship's other entertainment offerings - shows, games, shops, gambling, etc. I did enjoy an hour of video poker in the casino but was disappointed that there were no free drinks there. I have always been reluctant for hotel staff to go poking around in my room, so I had very little use for my pre-paid room steward. I let him change my bed every day (so unnecessary!) just so he would have something to do. The ship docked in the western-most island in the Bermuda chain at the Royal Navy Dockyard. This contains a historical British citadel and a large collection of bars, shops and tourist services and activities. After the near brush with the hurricane the weather was hot and humid. I discovered that there is a road system that runs west-to-east connecting the island chain. There are also ferry boats that carry people back and forth. I purchased a two-day bus and ferry pass and climbed aboard a ferry to the main town of Hamilton. It was a Sunday and a lot of non-tourist related things were closed. I found an Irish pub with great draft beer. One Norwegian perk is its large, air-conditioned private ferry boat that only NCL passengers can ride to the eastern-most, historic port of St. George's. I boarded this on my second day in Bermuda. My first stop was at a restaurant where I ordered a lunch of chowder, conch and fries with a local draft beer. On the third day I returned to Hamilton and took the harbor ferry around to all of the residential docks that the city's inhabitants use for work and shopping. Once back in Hamilton returned to my newly-found Irish pub and did a walk-about among the business people walking the streets of the downtown area. And yes, businessmen in Bermuda do indeed wear white short-sleeved shirts with tie and Bermuda shorts. I then rode the island transit bus back west to the ship in order to see the island's interior residential areas. We arrived back at the Navy pier and I explored the commercial shops surrounding the old military citadel and has another beer at the popular pier bar and restaurant there. The trip back to Boston was uneventful and I returned to Baltimore with a head full of Bermuda memories. Food in the buffet and the gratis restaurants was very good and service was excellent throughout. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We were going with a group to Bermuda, so we chose this cruise, since it left from Boston. It was a very good cruise and the service and food were outstanding. We enjoyed walking around the deck of the ship for exercise and we found it to ... Read More
We were going with a group to Bermuda, so we chose this cruise, since it left from Boston. It was a very good cruise and the service and food were outstanding. We enjoyed walking around the deck of the ship for exercise and we found it to be very rewarding, as well as the fitness center. There was a good sized library with up to date books and games to borrow. The shows were very good with ample space in the theater to get a good seat every night. On the downside this was the first time that we encountered very loud music played during the shows, around the ship and especially around the pool, so much so that it was not relaxing to sit by the pool since we couldn't talk! A lot of people talking loudly at bars when we were trying to listen to a group play in a lounge. All in all a very good cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Convienent to home and I like the smaller ship.the crew on the dawn are great always friendly and helpful.The worst part of the cruise is the casino it is not a nice experience with people blowing smoke in your face. They should try to ... Read More
Convienent to home and I like the smaller ship.the crew on the dawn are great always friendly and helpful.The worst part of the cruise is the casino it is not a nice experience with people blowing smoke in your face. They should try to section it off even if it's just a small section at least it's not right next to you.we had great dinning experiences with the food prepared,served,with a smile and in a very timely manner.the seas were choppy from the storms but the captain took us up towards Nova Scotia to make it a little smother We also liked the free ferry service to saint georges and hope ncl continues this.We like this cruise and have been four times I would like to see a change of shows when we go again but not sure that can be done.all in all it was a great vacation and look forward to next time Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We flew across country (on a red eye) to take our first cruise to Bermuda. It was a good decision. While it would have been nice to spend time in Boston, my thrifty (cheap!) nature that says "more money for cruises, less for ... Read More
We flew across country (on a red eye) to take our first cruise to Bermuda. It was a good decision. While it would have been nice to spend time in Boston, my thrifty (cheap!) nature that says "more money for cruises, less for hotels", helped make this decision. We arrived at the port around 10 a.m. Embarkation went smoothly and we were snacking (some would call it "pigging out") in the Garden Cafe by 11:30 a.m. Cabins were ready about 1:30 p.m. I wrote a separate cabin review but 10657 (inside) was OK except for its inability to block noises (some call it music) from the atrium. One time we also smelled food frying at O'Sheehan's but that only happened once. Speaking of food: Food everywhere (Moderno, Cagney's, Teppanyaki, Le Bistro, and Garden Cafe) was all good to excellent. Moderno's salad bar was fabulous. Le Bistro and Cagney's were up to par with good service. I think the chef's in Teppanyaki need some new jokes (this is our 10th cruise on NCL) but the meal was fun and good as usual. The waitresses there seemed baffled by simple requests made by folks around us and the receptionist at the front desk (combined with the Asian restaurant) might be described as "surly" but my mom always said keep my mouth shut if I couldn't say something nice. Again going against my mom's advice, I'll wish silently that folks would use their "inside voices" in restaurants. My friend claimed that they sell 4 times more tylenol on the east coast than the west coast but he may have been kidding. I had been on the Dawn since it's last dry dock and refurb. But this cruise, I noticed that the decor was a bit generic in Cagney's and Moderno. They look alike. No "Roaring 20's" feel in Cagney's. Le Bistro has some style though. I found the entertainment in the theater to be good with "Elements" being my favorite although everything I saw (Soul Duo-acrobats, the comedian, and the singing "contest") was well worth the time and a standing ovation. I also saw part of the cast perform cabaret style in the Bliss Lounge and enjoyed it. We did not take a ship connected tour. But explored Somerset one day, St. George's, and Hamilton the next. Our investment was visiting the Crystal and Fantasy Caves. We took a ferry to St. George's ($5.00 each), a bus from St. Georges to the caves ($3.00 or so each), a bus to Hamilton ($4.50 each), and a government ferry from Hamilton back to the ship ($4.50 each). The bus ride was a bit like "The Wild Ride of Mr. Toad" at Disneyland but without the high price. The guided tour of the both caves was $32 so it was a pretty inexpensive day outing. The weather wasn't super particularly in St. George's where we would have spent more time except for the liquid sunshine falling. We did shop a bit in Hamilton. Both towns seem worthy of extensive exploration by foot. Service on the ship was fine with the only exceptions noted above. Our cabin steward, Mark R., was on his first contract with NCL and had just completed his first month. He did a fine job, was friendly, and had a sense of humor. Our towel animal on the first night was a hand towel laid flat with two eyes on it. :) I decided it was a "flatworm". Subsequent animals were up to par--notably a dog and a frog/toad. I enjoyed the Thermal Spa Suite package which I generally buy. The Spa in the Dawn is nice. The men's relaxation room was constantly inhabited by couples (M/F) which is something I hadn't seen on other cruises. The men's locker room itself is divided up and not as nice as others (like the Gem or the Jewel) in terms of features. I still don't regret buying the package though. I am a daily gym goer. 1st thing in the morning. The Dawn's gym is large and well equipped. But was largely empty most of the time. I appreciate having the choice of probably 40 treadmills/bikes, but I never saw more than 20% of them utilized at any one time. There are also two large exercise rooms that weren't utilized much. Other ships have a lounge at the bow, like the Spinnaker on the Jewel and others. I missed that on the Dawn. I would definitely do this cruise again or any other cruise that goes to Bermuda. My biggest wish would be to spend more time in Bermuda even though I think sea days are great too. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We love the convenience of this cruise (we are an hour from Boston) and the size of the Dawn. The food was good, the service was good overall and the entertainment was also good. Loved the Wine bar and Carolina took good care of us. We ... Read More
We love the convenience of this cruise (we are an hour from Boston) and the size of the Dawn. The food was good, the service was good overall and the entertainment was also good. Loved the Wine bar and Carolina took good care of us. We hit most of the wine tastings that were offered. The thermal suite pass was a wonderful way to relax - we enjoyed every minute. Jose and Patti in the Atrium were wonderful to listen to again - can't wait to see them again! Love the size of the balcony on the Dawn versus the tiny ones on newer ships and the fact you can actually walk all the way around the promenade deck. That doesn't seem to be so on most of the newer ships and we miss it. The weather was wonderful - no rain at all. We docked at 9 a.m. instead of 1 p.m. due to the hurricane threats, which was nice. Since there was no issue getting there early, why can't they do it all the time? That would give us just about 3 full days in Bermuda. There is so much to do in Bermuda that we manage to find something new each time we go. No need for shore excursions in Bermuda! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I am very loyal to Carnival Cruise Lines because their service, food, entertainment, and itineraries are consistently outstanding. The last time (before this cruise) I cruised Norwegian was back in 2003. I was thoroughly disappointed ... Read More
I am very loyal to Carnival Cruise Lines because their service, food, entertainment, and itineraries are consistently outstanding. The last time (before this cruise) I cruised Norwegian was back in 2003. I was thoroughly disappointed with the service, the plasticware on the top deck cafeteria, and the stateroom not being made up until 2:30 in the afternoon, if made up at all during the day. I WON this cruise at a local Casino and decided to see if the cruise line had made any improvement over the past decade and a half. So, I booked the room and even though Hurricane Irma was going strong, they notified us that we were definitely heading to Bermuda. I was pleasantly surprised. The Embarkation went smoothly and quickly. The staff was friendly on land as well as on the ship. Overall, we ended up having a blast and the Service in the stateroom and dining rooms was superb. We had smooth seas and 85+ degree temperatures. Smooth sailing upon our return as well. No longer is plasticware the norm in the Garden Cafe, but silverware IS. The keep it on each individual table. The Entertainment was excellent. Musicians in all ensembles were professional and sounded great! They have LIVE MUSICIANS in most of their Stage Productions as well. We truly enjoyed all shows. The Fitness Center had decent equipment, though it was difficult to locate on the first day. The Elliptical machines were challenging, and there were only 3 exercise bikes available. The Casino was very good to us Blackjack players, though expect a smoky atmosphere if you're planning on staying for a while. The food was average at best. Everything we ate was either "just ok" or dry. The ONLY entree that was palatable was the the Prime Rib. THAT was done to perfection. Most offerings were quite salty, from soups to entrees. Our Servers was consistently professional The BATHROOMS in the stateroom are luxurious and large. There are sliding door to separate the sink from the toilet and shower. Smart design. The remainder of the room is tiny. TV selections are poor. There are 2 movie channels, a news channel, and one "TV Station" that showed mostly cartoons. Overall, we had a blast! SERVICE was EXCELLENT. Will definitely consider cruising with Norwegian again..... and maybe not even wait 15 years to do so! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I've been sailing on the Dawn from Boston to Bermuda each year for the past 5 years. This year was special because my nephew and his fiancee arranged to be married on the Dawn. They got engaged onboard the Dawn in 2015, and thought it ... Read More
I've been sailing on the Dawn from Boston to Bermuda each year for the past 5 years. This year was special because my nephew and his fiancee arranged to be married on the Dawn. They got engaged onboard the Dawn in 2015, and thought it would the best wedding ever to be married onboard the Dawn. The wedding was arranged with the wedding planners affiliated with Norwegian Cruise Line. The ceremony and reception was held in the Bliss Lounge onboard. The wedding planners met the entire group at the pier, and escorted us efficiently through the boarding process, and we were allowed to board the Dawn early. The whole process of handling all the guests went extremely well, and it was a beautiful day. We ended the first day onboard with the entire wedding party and sailing guests having dinner together in the Venetian Restaurant. Everything was fabulous! Our cabin was inside on deck 9, and it was comfortable with adequate storage. Our cabin steward was amazing, she was very friendly, and she was always available if we had any special requests. We enjoyed all of our meals in the complimentary dining restaurants, and we did not have a bad experience anywhere.The service in the restaurants was great. Onboard experience with entertainment, and activities was also very good. During the day there were plenty of different activities happening, you could choose to participate or just relax with a good book in a quiet area of the ship. There was also a good selection of shore excursions offered for Bermuda, and I would recommend booking before you sail, because space may not be available if you wait until your onboard. Entertainment onboard was very good, from theater shows in the Stardust Theater every night to music entertainment in the different lounges onboard. The cruise itself was also fantastic, beautiful weather, and calm seas, and of course beautiful Bermuda. I live in Massachusetts during the summer months, and I cannot think of better way to end my summer. I am planning on sailing on the Dawn again in 2018 Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
had a blast everyone on this cruise ship was awsome!!!!! especially the bartenders at osheehans reasturant they are the best had so much fun celebrating my birthday... and all the waitstaff there also.... great shows so much to do on the ... Read More
had a blast everyone on this cruise ship was awsome!!!!! especially the bartenders at osheehans reasturant they are the best had so much fun celebrating my birthday... and all the waitstaff there also.... great shows so much to do on the ship....so much fun at the pool side they have a great band outside at the pool keeps us happy and singinging ,,,..casino was also fun.... ship is a perfect size not to big not too small.... also have jose and patti the sing in the atrium almost every night they are great!!!! they really get the crowd dancing and singing .... bernuda was amazing there so much to do the beaches are beatutifull and the weather was amazing ncl dawn is a great ship they have many reasturant ... i liked the brazzilian reasturant called the maderno i would recommend it to everyone the food is out of this world,,,, so tasty... one waiter his name was NOEL HE WAS THE BEST !!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Itinerary and departure port worked best for us. Recommendations from multiple people who love this cruise made the decision easier. Loved the cabin had sufficient room for three adults. Would have preferred shows that had more of a story ... Read More
Itinerary and departure port worked best for us. Recommendations from multiple people who love this cruise made the decision easier. Loved the cabin had sufficient room for three adults. Would have preferred shows that had more of a story to them but the dancing and singing was excellent. Overall enjoyed the ship. The dining and service were the highlights. We are not very interested in the pool but was definitely on the small side and crowded. The long port call in Bermuda was the main reason we took the cruise and enjoyed coming and going from the ship freely. Did not have any negative experiences. Special assistance on and off the ship for my mother in law was very helpful. For the size of ship it was clean and run efficiently. I would recommend the Dawn for the trip to Bermuda and will most likely sail again on the Dawn. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The Norwegian Dawn is our favorite ship. We choose this cruise because we live in the Boston area, and getting to port is easy. The Dawn is small enough to not feel overwhelming, but big enough to offer lots of great Freestyle choices. ... Read More
The Norwegian Dawn is our favorite ship. We choose this cruise because we live in the Boston area, and getting to port is easy. The Dawn is small enough to not feel overwhelming, but big enough to offer lots of great Freestyle choices. We watch for sailings featuring Jose and Patti as part of the entertainment - they are the highlight of our trip! Embarkation was very speedy and easy. The Ultimate Beverage Package and Internet Package were our chosen perks, and they were more than adequate to get a mixed drink or soda every time we felt like one and log on to the internet any time we wished. The Oceanview cabin (8006) we were in was cozy and featured plenty of storage to accommodate our belongings. There is only one outlet, so absolutely bring a power strip! We mostly dined in the Venetian, Aqua and O'Sheehan's for breakfast and dinner. The menu choices were excellent and elegantly prepared. We would have liked to go to a specialty restaurant, but getting a reservation was near impossible at a sensible hour. The shows were very good, and Elements was excellent. We bought Thermal Spa passes and they were worth every penny. I miss karaoke at Pearly Kings - Bliss karaoke is often early and conflicting with Stardust shows, or quite late. Bandaoke was very fun but not enough selection of songs, especially songs for women. The band, Mus'k Nation, are flawless. We enjoyed them every time we saw them perform. I did one of the acrylic painting sessions - fun, but the fellow leading the activity could barely paint and was not a natural teacher. Bermuda was beautiful and wonderful as usual. We did not get to use the St. George's Ferry, but that is and awesome benefit and look forward to using it next year, we hope. CONS: Upgrade bidding was awful - I never received any communication as to whether my upgrade bid was accepted or denied, and I saw many other people online who seemed to have a smoother and better informed experience. When I called NCL to get some information, I was told it was not their department and the could not give me a number or e-mail to find out more information. I was very disappointed as a Gold Latitudes Member that it was as dismal experience as it was - I was excited to participate. The TV offerings are very poor. It would be nice to have USA outlets in the Atrium and other public areas for people using laptops and other media. On the second day, our cabin stewardess, Eileen, had a family emergency and disappeared. After that, attention to our cabin was lax at best, and we had to call several times to have the cabin cleaned and made up. Some nights it was not turned down. There were no more cute towel animals or chocolates on the pillow. Everywhere you turn it seems like Norwegian is trying to sell you something - photo packages, Cruise Next certificates, jewelry, overpriced spa treatments, shore excursions, etc. It was a little excessive. I think that coffee, latte's, etc. at the cafe and the bottled water package should be included in the UBP. Room service should be free, too. We absolutely will go again to Bermuda on the Dawn, and hope to take some other NCL cruises - we are looking at Cuba, Alaska and another Mediterranean in 2019. I am hoping next summer to book with our family for a fun week to Bermuda again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise because we live near Boston and have never been to Bermuda. I originally booked an ocean view room, but took advantage of the upgrade bidding process and was upgraded to a balcony room for $300 more (a deal). ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we live near Boston and have never been to Bermuda. I originally booked an ocean view room, but took advantage of the upgrade bidding process and was upgraded to a balcony room for $300 more (a deal). Embarkation: Couldn't have been smoother. We arrived via a taxi from South Station ($12 fare - about 10 minutes with average traffic), around 11:00 AM and dropped off our luggage with the porter. Went upstairs, went through security, and handed paperwork to NCL registration desk. Was given a number for boarding (#11). We boarded around 12:00! Had our backpacks ready with swimming suits so immediately changed and jumped into one of the hot tubs to relax until dinner time. Cabin 9176: Smaller room than on Carnival or Princess (only other cruise lines I've used before). I recommend two tips I read on here - ONE: if you are using the sofa bed for sleeping, DO ask for an eggshell crate mattress pad. Makes all the difference in the world. TWO: DO bring an extension cord if you need to power up more than one item at the same time. There is only one outlet for use in the cabin and it is on the tiny vanity across from the bed and pretty far from the sofa. Cabin - The good: room is comfy enough - and with ok space for storage for two people. Add a third and it would be a disaster! The sofa bed blocks the sliding glass door access to the balcony...so you would either have to fold up the bed every morning (our steward did not do this for us)...or walk over the bed to get out! But...the beds are cozy and the bathroom, while small, is perfectly acceptable. The shower is large with soap and conditioning shampoo dispensers. Amenities include hand lotion and bar soap. A/C in the room worked fine - but keep your curtains closed while in Bermuda to keep your room nice and cool. Room had a fridge, safe, and awesome powerful hair dryer outside of the bathroom. Cabin - The bad: The cabin has seriously thin walls. The cabin adjacent to ours (9174) had a mother and two girls and we could hear every conversation, every door slam, and the chatter from their TV. I felt like they were haring our cabin....seriously! I have never experienced that before with any other cabin on any other cruise line. Speaking of TV, I know no one cruises to be able to watch TV, but in the evenings, we liked to catch up on the news. The channel selection was pathetic....7 channels devoted to NCL - the navigation page, on board cam, and 5 pages devoted to selling you something! After that - 4 news channels (but no weather channel), 1 sports channel, 1 children's channel, and 2 movie channels. No way to know when the movies were playing...it was hit or miss! The in room intercom NEVER announced the important things - like the Captain's report in the AM (very important since we were following a hurricane!), but piped in the annoying assistant cruise director's (Simon) stupid calls to Bingo.....very irritating. The ship - GOOD: I recommend O'Sheehan's for buffalo wings and reubens...it's complimentary. I heard the fish and chips were good, too. I also recommend the Venetian for breakfast and dinner - avoid the buffet, unless you like lukewarm food (although there is quite a variety of it...), lots of people bumping into you, or children running around unattended. We also tried the Asian restaurant "Bamboo" which was also complimentary as well as a few ala carte items for a price. We chose calamari, dumplings, rice rolls and a noodle soup - all were very good and only the rice rolls were upcharged at a very reasonable total of $12. All in all - multiple food choices, most were good, service was almost always with a smile. We also tried room service. Continental breakfast is complimentary with no tipping or service charge required. However, everything else on the menu is delivered for a $7.95 service fee. No tipping required. The roast chicken and fish/chips were very good. Our cabin and the rest of the ship was kept quite clean - no complaints. Others mentioned that the ship looked worn - I saw no signs of that at all. It was recently refurbished and is quite attractive. The ship - BAD: I felt nickeled and dimed to death! I've cruised many times and I know the score. But NCL has raised the bar on asking for money for everything! Room service delivery charge, expensive mixed drinks averaging about $12.95 each...a beer around 6-7$ each....multitude of upcharge restaurants, onboard activities requiring a fee. I didn't feel there were enough things to keep one occupied, and with one small pool and 5 hot tubs (no adult only pool) for ALL to share, there just weren't enough things to do during the sea days. I wasn't fond of the ship's layout...bottlenecks having to go through the Garden Cafe to the pool area - and then through the pool area which was extremely crowded. Same for the shopping area - bottlenecks especially when there were "sales"..... BUT...Bermuda was lovely...the excursions we booked independent of the ship were fabulous. And DO book your excursions off of the ship - there is no need to pay NCL the extra bucks for the exact same excursion. We really did enjoy this cruise and we did enjoy NCL Dawn...but it might be time for a larger ship with more amenities...although the food, embarkation/disembarkation and cleanliness of ship were all great pluses! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Introduction My mother and I are avid cruisers (but really, that’s all of us here). We know that the only remedy for being away from cruise ships is to go on more. When Mom decided that she needed a getaway sometime this year, I went ... Read More
Introduction My mother and I are avid cruisers (but really, that’s all of us here). We know that the only remedy for being away from cruise ships is to go on more. When Mom decided that she needed a getaway sometime this year, I went hunting for cruise options that fit her schedule. We settled on a 7-day cruise to Bermuda (round-trip from Boston), a place neither of us has been. We also picked NCL, a cruise line neither of us has been on. What sold that for us was not only the cheap base price, but also that they were offering a deal of $100 onboard spending credit and choice of 2 perk packages. That kind of deal is hard to beat. We chose 250 minutes of WiFi and 3 meals in the specialty restaurants. When I went on my first cruise several years ago, I saw Norwegian ships among the other ships in port. Their logo with the motto “Freestyle cruising” popped off the ships, and caught my eye. It made me begin to wonder if I’d ever cruise on a Norwegian ship one day. After all, FREESTYLE cruising…what’s not to love about that idea? However, since then, I’ve developed my own palate for what I like in cruising. The two lines I’ve sailed on previously have been Princess and HAL, and I will say that I prefer the traditional approach to cruising. I like getting to know my waiters and fellow cruisers in the MDR, having afternoon tea, enrichment options, and the onboard ambiance. I knew what I was getting into with an NCL cruise. I knew it probably wasn’t going to be my favorite cruising style, but I was also open to trying it out. My aunt is an NCL regular, and I was glad to have her as a resource to be prepared for what I would encounter before I boarded. When I went on my first HAL cruise after my previous sailings on Princess, it was a bit of a shock the first few days. I knew I didn’t want to repeat that this time, especially when the cruising style on NCL is even more different. Despite my preference for traditional cruising, I was looking forward to the chance to have the greater flexibility that NCL delivers with their freestyle cruising. Eating whenever I want, with plenty of cuisine options, and great entertainment are certainly appealing. Our perks, with meals in the best restaurants onboard and free spending money, were sure to make our cruise even more enjoyable. I was expecting to have a great time, but also thinking it wouldn’t be my first choice in how I like to cruise. In short, I was right. Embarkation Embarkation We chose to fly into Boston the night before the cruise to avoid the hassle of potential delays or very early morning flights. Upon arriving at the pier, we had a smooth and efficient (you’ll see me use this word a lot) embarkation. We went through security bag check (no outside water was permitted onboard), received a boarding group number, and proceeded to check-in. At check-in, they scanned our passports, gave us a public health questionnaire, took our security photos, and provided us with our cruise cards. Photo gallery pictures were available for taking in front of a green screen, but I was easily able to bypass it. It was then time to wait with 2000 of our newest closest friends until we could board. Most of the seats were full, with people lined up standing behind the rows of seats, but I was fortunate to find a single seat open because a recent foot injury made sitting preferable. Embarkation started shortly, and though we were boarding group 20, they went through the numbers fast. We probably boarded less than an hour after we arrived at the pier. This sense of efficiency extended to the rest of the cruise, such as the muster drill. We were assigned a room of the ship and a section of the room for the drill, which streamlined the process. We didn’t need to bring our life jackets, and it was hassle-free. Food delivery in the restaurants was usually fast, and photos in the photo gallery were available in assigned binders or through a computer-based program. This was a much more intuitive way of finding photos than attempting to search for them on a display case. The Ship I don’t know what the Dawn looked like before the refit, but I’m sure the refit added much needed modifications to the décor and offerings. I’d heard that the ship’s layout was on the confusing side, and while it’s not the easiest ship to navigate, I found it generally straightforward once I understood the directions to important parts of the ship. Deck 7 is the hub of the atrium, with Deck 8 boasting O’Sheehan’s pub, and Deck 9 a comfortable wraparound lounge. Balconies overlooking the atrium are found several decks going up. The Dawn really exemplified the concept of a cruise ship as not only a floating hotel, but a resort. The number of restaurants was the most notable differentiating factor from the other ships I’d been on. The ambiance onboard the ship reminded me of being in an NYC club. The ship is indeed beautiful, featuring colors of black, gold, and silver throughout—a sleek and classy design. The artwork was geometric and graphic patterns rather than figure artwork. The carpet around the atrium is designed with patterns that remind me of blood vessels or brain neurons, and the Bliss Lounge (my favorite spot) is art deco on the walls. The pool deck is the most hopping area of the ship, and much more so than my previous cruises. The pools and hot tubs were usually crowded, and there’s always a band or DJ playing while the place lights up at night in bright colors. Several staggered rows of pool chairs face the pool from one direction, and couches and tables surround the pool. Because of how crowded it gets, sometimes it can be difficult to find somewhere to sit, and the crew regularly wipes down the outdoor high-top chairs. It’s a great place to people watch, but I don’t want to sit on a wet chair in my dry clothes. The plumbing on the ship would benefit from maintenance. At one point, our toilet wouldn’t flush and many of the public toilets would flush by themselves. They’d flush while I was sitting on them, or once I press flush they’d flush multiple times before they’d finish. The Room When I arrived at my cabin, I was surprised to find that it was much smaller than I expected, especially since we were in a balcony cabin. My mother agreed. They’d already set up our cabin with two twin beds. We thought there wasn’t a mini bar until we found it later above the closets (different than the place we would usually expect, below the TV). I usually expect to find a “guide to the ship” binder for the cabin, but there wasn’t one here. The fairly small balcony was equipped with two chairs, a tiny table, and a faux teak flooring. There was only one pair of 110v and 220v outlets. I found the cabin to be adequate for the most part but lacking in many of the features we’re used to on ships. However, the bed was comfortable and we did like the bathroom. The room may have been small, but that was made up for in a slightly larger than average bathroom. Both the toilet alcove and shower had their own set of sliding doors, meaning one of us could use the toilet while the other was in the shower. The shower was large (you could stretch your legs!) and the bath products provided were a nice lemongrass scent. The light above the toilet was shaped like a seashell which I found cute. The space outside the door included a dial to turn to indicate the state of the room: please clean, turn down, do not disturb, all color coded. I hadn’t seen this anywhere before and I liked this compared to using a door handle sleeve. Our room steward was very good. She was professional and competent and always excited to see us, and she did a great job at answering questions when we had them. The Food Most of the food I had onboard the Norwegian Dawn was very good, with some of it decent and others excellent. The food served in the MDRs was often delicious, but the specialty dining has by far the best cuisine on the ship. We visited La Cucina, with hearty Italian main dishes, amazing olive oil dip and some of the best tiramisu I’ve ever eaten. The steaks at Cagney’s were a cut above the rest, and the Brazilian steakhouse was a unique dining experience (one I hadn’t had before); the meat was fantastically seasoned and it came with an amazing cinnamon sugar caramelized pineapple. I was not a fan of the Garden. I went there for the late night snack they had every evening, but other than that I only ate a meal there two times. It got very crowded and it was sometimes difficult to find a table, although the food quality was comparable to the rest of the ship. The soft serve machine at the back was very popular, especially with the kids and teens. However, only the vanilla really worked during my visits there; the chocolate came out mostly melted through. They served nice ice cream out on deck, but that also was generally melted beyond my preference when it was served to me. Similarly, I ate at O’Sheehan’s, but I wasn’t a huge fan. I thought the food was average compared to what I had in the main dining room. I like the concept, though. I ate most of my meals in the Venetian. I really liked the ambiance. The portion sizes served at breakfast and lunch were surprisingly small to me, but for dinner it was closer to “standard American” size. The seasoning on the food was usually tasty and I especially enjoyed the soups. My favorite was their always-featured chocolate lava cake with strawberry sauce and vanilla chocolate chip gelato. It was so good I ordered it multiple times. Breakfast in the Venetian was great too; I thought the French toast was average, but the waffles were great. I love the breakfast muesli served on HAL, and the muesli served on the Dawn was almost as good. I am not a drinker, so I cannot comment on the cocktails or alcohol selection onboard. I did have a nice virgin strawberry daiquiri one night. I found it amusing when during the crew slideshow, the bar staff received some of the most cheers from the passenger audience. Activities Onboard activities run the usual gamut of cruise ship activities: exercise, trivia competition, health and beauty “seminars”, wine tasting, socials based on demographic groups, film screenings, karaoke, dancing, and live music always playing somewhere. The gambling was very active on this ship, in not only the casino but in widely attended bingo and Deal or No Deal events, which we were unable to forget because the PA would inform us every day. I’m not a gambler, so I can’t comment on the quality of the casino, but it included what I assume is the typical assortment of table games, slot machines, and a type of claw machine that might dispense wads of cash, if you get lucky. Enrichment activities onboard the Dawn was very limited. There were a few arts and crafts demonstrations (if that counts), including instruction in towel animal folding and beaded keychains, dance classes, an informal Filipino language lesson, and a few art history lectures in conjunction with the art gallery department. I went to the art history lectures, and they were good although very broad overviews of the topics covered. One was intended to be half an hour but turned into double that time. I’m not big on cruise ship entertainment, but after hearing all I did about NCL entertainment I knew I’d need to go to at least a few shows. They were featuring the Second City comedy troupe out of Chicago. Their show featured numerous quick sound bites, short sketches, and improvised routines based on audience suggestions. It was not my cup of tea. I found one of their sketches sort of amusing, and I was impressed with their improvisational abilities, but otherwise I found it average at best. However, I also attended a lunch theater the Second City comedians hosted, a comedy murder mystery show. It was great fun and much more enjoyable. One sea day included both a staff talent show (which was excellent), and Elements, NCL’s signature show. The show weaves the theme of the earth, water, fire, and air elements, through a combination dance performance, magic, and circus elements, with the visual effects (at one point, they blew wind on the audience) an important component of the experience. The show was great, and I can see why people love it, but I wasn’t blown away (except when the wind was blowing). I’m glad I saw it once, but I don’t think I’d see it again. I found the night parties to be disappointing. I tried the White Hot Party, but I found it to be not any different from other nightly music and dancing other than everyone wearing white. We were a bit surprised by the degree of nickel and diming found onboard. We knew less was included, and we were lucky that the extras we enjoyed came with our deal, but I would rather have more activities and services included. Bermuda Bermuda was a lovely, beautiful island, and I’d highly recommend a visit. There was very little enrichment about the island onboard the ship, but that was more than made up for with what I learned while there. I didn’t take any excursions offered by NCL, but I did take an independently arranged excursion on a catamaran boat in the bay of Bermuda. That was fantastic. Even though we were in Bermuda for over two full days, I would’ve loved any extra day to explore more. Maybe I’ll need to take another Bermuda cruise! Service The service was quick and efficient, and they usually got things right. I found the service generally lacked the personal touch I tended to have on Princess and HAL. It was at least somewhat friendly, but not to the same degree I was used to experiencing on the other lines. I tend to value competence over friendliness, so I was usually pleased, but NCL is not a cruise line I would choose for outstanding service. Fellow passengers It won’t shock anyone that many of the fellow passengers were from New England, and especially from Boston and surrounding cities. This really did contribute to the onboard atmosphere, and it was different for me, as most cruises I’ve been on have had a more eclectic passenger makeup. There were also a handful of people who came from more “exotic” locales; I met people from Ontario and I heard others speaking French on the cruise, and I’m guessing they would be Quebecois. There were both first-time cruisers, and passengers on their sixteenth Norwegian cruise. Notable to me was the number of passengers with disabilities, and I don’t think that was a coincidence; I’m thinking a lot of them came together as group. It’s wonderful to see that a ship can accommodate them so well. There were numerous larger and multigenerational groups sailing together, which meant far more children than what I’ve been used to. I had thought people would be less social on this cruise, tending to keep more to their families and neighbors. But I was pleasantly surprised to find most people were friendly and gregarious, just like my other cruises. I’d strike up conversations with two-seater tables next to me, and run into the same people later. People were easy to chat with, and would talk about the ship, Bermuda, and their lives back home. Debarkation This was probably my favorite debarkation and it was very smooth. Passengers can select which debarking group they want or they can “easy walk-off” any time, and keep all their luggage with them. That’s what we chose to do. Once we were ready to leave, we simply got in a line that circled the ship, and waited for our turn out. The party extended to even the debarkation—music was playing and crew were dancing at the gangway. In the port terminal all tagged passengers would search for their luggage in the baggage claim. Because we had all of ours, we could simply walk out and wait for a taxi. Overall observations Overall, I enjoyed my cruise onboard the Norwegian Dawn. The ship, dining, passengers, efficiency, and laid-back atmosphere made for a great cruise vacation. My experience was not substantially different from my previous cruises, such that I didn’t feel like a fish out of water. My time on cruise ships consists of chilling in the hot tub, participating in trivia and group game competitions, attending any lectures of interest, walking around the promenade or other decks, sitting in the library, and lots and lots of eating. All my previous cruises had these elements, and my time on the Norwegian Dawn did too. The main differences in my experience were more and diversified dining options, a less diverse passenger base, and a somewhat more easy-going vibe. It was a relief to never need to wear much more than a t-shirt and jeans (my daily uniform), and I did like that component of the “freestyle” cruising. The “no set dining times” didn’t really affect my cruise in any noticeable way. I tend to eat at the same time every day, and I especially prefer to avoid waiting in lines or crowds, so I would show up to the MDR around the time they opened for dinner. One time, I did have at least a 20 minute wait. Freestyle did mean I could choose which dining room to eat in, and I preferred the setting of the Venetian. We made reservations weeks in advance for specialty dining, which despite the “no set dining times” applying here too, in practice you do need to make reservations or they’ll likely be fully booked. All the specialty dining was excellent, and I did like the opportunity to try it. I can see why many people love Norwegian. But just as I thought before I cruised, it’s not my #1 preference in cruising style. I would take a Norwegian cruise again, especially if it is one of the more innovative ships or an itinerary lacking on one of my mainstays. But in most cases, I’d default to Princess or HAL. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We liked that the trip originated in Boston. We had never been to Bermuda, and thought it was a great time to try. My husband, who has a nut allergy, was well taken care of in all of the restaurants except Aqua, where the waiter did ... Read More
We liked that the trip originated in Boston. We had never been to Bermuda, and thought it was a great time to try. My husband, who has a nut allergy, was well taken care of in all of the restaurants except Aqua, where the waiter did not understand us. The only problem with all of the restaurants is that none of the servers speak English. When someone has a potential life threatening allergy, we would have been more comforted to know that people understood us. The entertainment on board was average. Second City and the Broadway singer were great, but the other nightly entertainment was not worth going to see. I like seeing more shows, and there were none to see. On other ships, there were more game show family activities, where this cruise there was none. In terms of the casino, I have never seen the blackjack dealers flip more 20s and 21s. It is hard to enjoy when you know it is tough to win. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Norwegian Dawn Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.5 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 4.0

Find a Norwegian Dawn Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click