253 Norwegian Dawn Bermuda Cruise Reviews

Chose to go on this cruise out of Boston to Bermuda because I didn't need to fly to get to it! It was a great decision. Had a great time on the cruise overall. Pros......... Great service in the restaurants and with every ... Read More
Chose to go on this cruise out of Boston to Bermuda because I didn't need to fly to get to it! It was a great decision. Had a great time on the cruise overall. Pros......... Great service in the restaurants and with every aspect of the cruise. They worked hard daily and really wanted to make the experience memorable for you! And loved how the ones you saw over and over again remembered your name! Aft Suite 9236 was nice.......loved our butler (Mary Jane) and our steward (Myla). They were so attentive and helpful when we had questions, concerns, or needed something. I did enjoy the suite life....the VIP status of getting on the ship so quickly and off even quicker was awesome. It was great when we got off the ship in Bermuda before everyone else! The entertainment was great. Richard, the cruise director, and Dan, the assistant cruise director were awesome at their job and worked hard to keep activities going & fun! Dan was hysterical! Cons...... Food would have tasted better if it was hot....even luke warm would have been good. Many times it was cold. I loved Moderno Restaurant. Great Brazilian restaurant with excellent beef.....it was hot!! :-) Cagney's Restaurant was wonderful too.....I got the porterhouse and it was delicious. A friend got the ribeye, but it was so thick that it was not tender enough. And they overcooked it for her. Had to get to the pool very early to save seats. I'm used to it from some resorts in Cancun & Aruba, but with signs around the deck that stuff would be removed after 30 minutes of inactivity.....it should have been followed by Norwegian. Unfortunately the signs didn't matter. Some of the public bathrooms were out of order.....especially deck 12 near the pool & buffet. Those should have been fixed ASAP, but were not....out for days. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Chose this cruise for both the destination and location of going out of Boston. Our family had a wonderful time. We would go (and are) again. We had a family suite without a balcony. Having a balcony didnt make a difference to us. The ... Read More
Chose this cruise for both the destination and location of going out of Boston. Our family had a wonderful time. We would go (and are) again. We had a family suite without a balcony. Having a balcony didnt make a difference to us. The floor to ceiling windows more then made up for it. We also had priority embarkation/disembarkation which was nice. We ate at 3 of the specialty restaurants: cagneys, teppanyaki, and modernos. All of those places served excellent food and had great service. Even the main dining rooms there were no complaints. Staying in Bermuda for 3 days was wonderful. We didnt plan any excursions, we didnt need to. We did things at our own pace. We used the water taxis, buses and taxis. We went to Gibbs Hill lighthouse, the botanical garden, and several shops in Hamilton. The negative I have is the day after leaving bermuda we had a meeting to discuss disembarkation. I felt like we were being rushed off the ship. We still had 2 sea days left on the ship. The meeting could have waited til the next day. All in all it was a good cruise and we look forward to our next one. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We just got home from our Norwegian Dawn cruise to Bermuda! We enjoyed it very much! Embarkation went smoothly. We thought we would be there for hours when we saw the line. We were on the ship and eating lunch by noon! We had a mini ... Read More
We just got home from our Norwegian Dawn cruise to Bermuda! We enjoyed it very much! Embarkation went smoothly. We thought we would be there for hours when we saw the line. We were on the ship and eating lunch by noon! We had a mini suite and it was perfect for the two of us. I bought the party package since it was my husband's 70th birthday! Our cabin steward did a great job decorating the room while we were in Bermuda! It was a great surprise to come back and see it decorated and a cake on the bed!!!! The entertainment was great! We saw David DaVinci the magician and he was excellent. The last show of the cruise was excellent. Can't remember the name of it but all the performers came out to entertain us. Bingo was a blast! We both won during the cruise. Bermuda is as beautiful as ever. We did not do any excursions but went to St. Georges on our own. Saw the Crystal Caves which was very interesting and then ate at the Swizzle Inn. The food on the cruise was very good. We ate Bamboo, La Cucina, Los Lobos, Cagney's, Le Bistro and the two free restaurants. The food was very good in all of them. The only negative thing I see about this cruise ship is the pool is too small for the number of people on the ship. It was packed and it was difficult to find a chair close to the pool. Disembarkation was unbelievable. We took our own luggage off the ship. We were off the ship by 8:30 and home by 9:30. It was a breeze! I love the ease of taking a cruise out of Boston! We really enjoyed ourselves and hope to do it again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Living just north of Boston makes this cruise quite simple for us. No flights, hotels, just get to the pier. The boarding process is much faster and easier than in the past. The Dawn is a good size ship. Large enough to offer a variety of ... Read More
Living just north of Boston makes this cruise quite simple for us. No flights, hotels, just get to the pier. The boarding process is much faster and easier than in the past. The Dawn is a good size ship. Large enough to offer a variety of bars and restaurants, but small enough so you don't feel lost in a crowd. NCL offers 'Free style" dining as well as 'specialty' dining. The Garden Cafe is a cafeteria style eatery that offers a large variety of foods.Great breakfast. Made to order omelets, fresh fruit, waffles, you name it they have it! The ship has two traditional dining rooms. The ship also offers Asian, Mexican, and Brazilian specialty restaurants. Moderno Churrascaria, the Brazilian style restaurant was outstanding. The onboard entertainment is very good. Got kids? Not a problem! The ship offers age appropriate chaperoned activities day and night. Bermuda is a great destination. Depart Boston on Friday afternoon and arrive at the Royal Dockyard on Sunday morning. The island is clean, safe and friendly. Stores are closed on Sunday so we take a taxi or bus to Horseshoe Bay for an afternoon swim at this beautiful beach. Motor scooters are available for rent but not recommended. Take the water taxis or bus. Safer and you see a lot more! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This cruise vacation would have been excellent except that we traveled with a family group of 17 people and we could not all eat dinner together. Restaurants would not take reservations and if we just showed up , we all got separated. I ... Read More
This cruise vacation would have been excellent except that we traveled with a family group of 17 people and we could not all eat dinner together. Restaurants would not take reservations and if we just showed up , we all got separated. I would have preferred to know we would have all been together at the end of the day to dine together. Everything else was amazing and we really enjoyed our time. Perhaps if we had a smaller group, I would not have been disappointed. The inside state rooms were surprisingly large and comfortable! The shower had a door (not a curtain) and the water pressure was excellent. Staff was great, on board activities and shows were amazing. Sailing was smooth and Bermuda was gorgeous. Two days on the island was enough to accomplish much! The weather was spectacular and traveling this time of year was perfect for us! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
My family traveled with 50 members and overall had a blast. From the minute we got to the pier embarkation went very smoothly. My family had 3 cabins- a Family Suite w/ balcony on deck 12, a balcony on 8, and an obstructed ocean view on 8. ... Read More
My family traveled with 50 members and overall had a blast. From the minute we got to the pier embarkation went very smoothly. My family had 3 cabins- a Family Suite w/ balcony on deck 12, a balcony on 8, and an obstructed ocean view on 8. We were in a VIP room for approximately 45 min. at that time we were able to make reservations at all restaurants (Specialty and main Dining rooms) this was a nice feature. We were then escorted to our cabin to leave our carry on belongings, met our cabin steward and went to have lunch. The cabin was not fully ready but that was okay with us. Vacation had begun! We downloaded the NCL I concierge app so we could communicate via text as a family. The app is free to download but the it does cost $9.95 to hook up. This was worth it. You can monitor you onboard account as well. The ship upgrades were very nice especially at the pool area. Service for beverages could have been a bit swifter, but the wait staff did work very hard to serve you there just wasn't enough of them since it appeared that everyone had the drink package. Most people do save seats at the pool and we did witness a women having a fit over that, but as the saying goes "when in Rome" ... There is also a smoking area on the pool deck for smokers which was nice for my husband... The food was very good each night ..we ate at Aqua, Venetian, Le Cucina, Teppanachi, OSheehans Pub. Service at OSheehans was extremely slow so be patient, the food portions were very small. We went to a Comedy Show, played Deal or No Deal, Kareoke Night which was a blast as many family members sang....the White Out Night was the best night of all so don't miss that! Each night after dinner we stopped into the casino... Not much luck there... It is small and smokey. The staff on the ship were very pleasant and helpful. For our two days in Bermuda we went to Snorkel Park beach which was in walking distance, kids went on a jet ski tour and went to Horseshoe Bay. One tip on that... Once you get off the ship you can pay $7.00 per person for a van taxi that will take you to the bay. Chair and umbrella rentals were 2 chairs and umbrella for $40. As far as our sailing days the first two nights were a little rough and it was smooth sailing after that! Disembarkation wasn't bad. You have two options- Carry your own off or have them take it before midnight the night before. My kids wheeled their luggage off themselves and found their grandmother trying to do the same... It was hard for her to wheel it on the carpet...she should have chose not to handle it. I chose not to handle it. I wasn't going to carry or wheel my luggage around as I have a bad back and my grandson surely couldn't wheel his since he is 5. We left the ship at 9:15 through priority and when we got off it was right there lined up had a porter take it to a cab and that all she wrote! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Overall we had a great time. I want to commend our waiter Leo in Aqua, we asked for him every night and he treated us very well. I also want to thank, Irene our waitress on the pool deck, she was excellent! We had 15 people in our group ... Read More
Overall we had a great time. I want to commend our waiter Leo in Aqua, we asked for him every night and he treated us very well. I also want to thank, Irene our waitress on the pool deck, she was excellent! We had 15 people in our group and she know all of us by first name and what everyone was drinking. Food was above average in all areas of the ship (except O'Sheenans). Very disappointed with the public bathrooms, many of the bath rooms were out of order or had stalls within the bathroom which were out of order. Made it very inconvenient at times during the days at sea. Toward the end of the cruise they were running out of beer. I would suggest a cruise leaving from Boston, have a lot more beer on it. We made it work. O'sheenans had terrible service, both for food and drinks. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Hi, I know others have already talked about the newly refurbished Dawn. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of work that went into this and we liked the new look to the public areas and restaurants. In some places we compared the ... Read More
Hi, I know others have already talked about the newly refurbished Dawn. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of work that went into this and we liked the new look to the public areas and restaurants. In some places we compared the new look to that we have seen on Celebrity ships. Aqua looked pretty hip, while the Venetian looked good we were a bit puzzled by the artwork. We loved the new wine bar Cellars. This had a great feel / look to it and we enjoyed the wine tasting and Chris the Bartender was a delight. We did not eat in any specialty dining but did eat at Bamboo one night. Overall the food was good but we found the wait for our food some nights to be a bit long. I think this is due to the freestyle dining. Anyway, I'm pretty laid back so I just rolled with it. Many folks were on the beverage package so getting drinks at times on the pool deck and other locations could involve a wait but I find that having a some tip cash on hand does a lot to get you recognized and served a bit quicker. Our trip was uneventful, everything worked nothing bad happened and we enjoyed ourselves. We loved the new Photo area and found this to be fun to look at and put together our photo package. We did not shop in any shops on board so no comment there but they looked nice. We went to a couple shows and the Elements show was very good. We used the gym and the equipment is all brand new and that was a great place to work out in the morning. Getting on / off was no problem and overall I have to say we had a nice time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I've sailed on 5 Carnival cruises so far and my 6th will be this August. This is my 1st with Norwegian and this was the Dawn's 2nd cruise after it's 2016 renovation in May/June. This cruise will be compared to Carnival. ... Read More
I've sailed on 5 Carnival cruises so far and my 6th will be this August. This is my 1st with Norwegian and this was the Dawn's 2nd cruise after it's 2016 renovation in May/June. This cruise will be compared to Carnival. In my opinion, I actually liked it a lot. I'm not sure what they changed during the renovations but I do know that our cabin mattresses were not new. I guess they only replaced the bedding and carpet but not the mattresses. Because Norwegian cost more than Carnival, the clientele is "upper class" if you will, and much better behaved. I liked the Norwegian decoration which is more to the tune of Ikea type furnishings. It wasn't over the top which Carnival ships tend to be, which I don't mind. I liked the shows. They were a bit different to Carnival, but because of that, I enjoyed it. Carnival usually rely on 1 lead male and female singer in their shows. Norwegian had multiple male and female singers. Instead of having comedians, they had people from Second City (people from Who Line is it Anyway and similar to Sat Night Live). They were enjoyable but their "adult" shows were no where near as funny and raunchy as comedians shows can get. The pool deck DJ's were typical and good, so were the live bands. There is no giant size screen up on pool deck that most ships currently have. The 1 single pool is of decent size compared to Carnival, but because it's the only pool, it does get very busy. The pool is actually "deep" from 5 feet to 6 feet compared to Carnivals which is usually around under 5 feet. There were at least 5 jacuzzi on the ship - 4 around the pool, 1 at the front, 1 maybe at the rear for kids. Norwegian's White Hot party was on Wednesday night. That was a great time to dance at night under the stars up on pool deck. But in our case it rained but no one cared and still danced the night away in the warm tropical air. Compared to Carnival, booze is definitely more expensive on Norwegian and in smaller portions. Lanyard lines are free on Carnival, Norwegian sell them for $5 at the ship's store. Carnival room service is free (but tip is expected), Norwegian charge $7.95 if not staying in a suite. We chose the meal package as our "freebie" since my wife and I don't drink much booze, we buy our own excursions not thru the ship, and didn't really need wifi.....at first. The meal package give you 4 restaurant selections but not all restaurant were on the list of choice. These restaurants are not free. That's why we chose the meal plan. We ate at Italian La Cucina - don't waste your time. French Le Bistro - well worth it! Get a 32 ounce steak there! Japanese Tappanyaki - well worth it! They cook in front of you. And Brazilian Moderno Churraascaria - wonderful for meat lovers! Moderno Restaurant have servers bringing to each table meat on skewers which they slice off beef, chicken and pork until you cry uncle and can't eat any more. Bistro, Tappenyaki and Moderno will stuff you full!! Aqua Restaurant (free) was very nice, we ate there twice for dinner. But Aqua can get a bit loud with everyone in the dining room talking. Never ate the Venetian for dinner, but had breakfast and lunch when we didn't want to deal with the crowd up at Garden Cafe buffet. When I did eat at Garden Cafe, the food is decent with plenty of meat, veg, soup, and desserts for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The line moved fairly well. I'd moved around people in line if they were going to each and every food station. I knew what I wanted after a couple of times getting food there and went to my favorite food station and grabbed what I wanted. There is 1 soft serve ice cream machine at the Garden Cafe but it is not 24 hours - Carnival usually has at least 2 machines and are 24 hours. There is 3 free coffee, lemonade, juice machines in the Garden Cafe. Usually 1 would be open 24 hours. Garden Cafe is of decent size but the set up is lousy. They have the coffee/juice machine in the middle of the isle which make it difficult to move around with food on your plate trying to find a table to eat at. We've used their business center computers to email (at a charge) and the wifi there is very slow. You need patience. Cabins have pool use towels (green striped). If you dump them with other towels to be clean in your cabin after using them, you will NOT receive new pool towels. If the towels are clean for the most part, hang on to them. You can get more pool use towels up on pool deck with your room card. I live in Boston. To take a cruise from here was very nice. I didn't have to fly anywhere and didn't have to book a hotel room for 1 night before the cruise. The cruise departed Boston on Friday at 4pm. Sat is a sea day, arrive at Bermuda on Sunday afternoon at Royal Dockyard. On Sundays in Bermuda, most stores are closed, so we spent our time visiting Crystal Caves. We booked our own excursions, its way cheaper. Bought a 2-day ticket for ferry and bus at Royal Dockyard ticket bldg. Took a public ferry to Hamilton then public bus. Crystal Caves wasn't worth it at $15 per person per cave, there are 2 caves to see. We visited one of the cave. We walked down a flight of stairs, met a guide, he gave us the story about the discovery of the cave among other things then walked along a floating walkway then turned back. We didn't have enough time to see the other cave since they were closing for the day. It's a very short but interesting tour, but $15 per person seem a bit high for something so short and takes a while to get to via bus from Hamilton. On Monday our excursion was with Hat Trick Charter to snorkel. Again, we booked them on our own, not thru the ship. Small trimaran boat with a limit of 12 people. Nice size and receive personal touch from her Captain and crew. Rent the boat at $450, so split the cost among friends. We all had a great time. Bite size sandwiches, fruit, soda, cookies, and rum swizzle was served. The captain and crew was very informative of the island and what to expect to see while snorkeling. Beautiful way to see Bermuda via water! Very relaxing and fun! Give them a call! Tuesday morning we took the ferry to Hamilton and walked along Hamilton's main street to do some shopping then walked further to check out Fort Hamilton which is free. Then back to the Dockyard to check out The Keep fort at Dockyard which cost $15 per person. Both interesting if you like forts and military history of Bermuda. The ship leave Bermuda at 4pm. Then you have 2 sea days on Wednesday and Thursday before back at Boston on Friday. I did not do any of the shipboard activities. I found a nice lounge chair away from the pool and in the shade to read a book and still end up getting some sun. All in all, I liked the ship and Bermuda. The ship isn't too big or too small or too old. I thought it was just right. But you will notice motion especially closer to the front. Our cabin was directly over Stardust theater, it was never noisy there during sleep time but you will notice ship motion. It wasn't bad but trying to stand still in the cabin and else where on the front of the ship you will notice it. Even after the cruise, you feel like you were still on the ship. I would book this cruise again just to finish touring The Keep, that place is big, and snorkel with Hat Trick, plus the ship was fun to be on. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
2nd spring trip from Boston to Bermuda in so many years. This run has been well reviewed so I'll only add this: 1) Ship was in great shape after dry dock and felt clean and fresh 2) Addition of the wine bar was welcome. With the ... Read More
2nd spring trip from Boston to Bermuda in so many years. This run has been well reviewed so I'll only add this: 1) Ship was in great shape after dry dock and felt clean and fresh 2) Addition of the wine bar was welcome. With the Ultimate Drink Package offers, there could be a frustrating wait for bar service. We never waited at the wine bar (which, btw is a full bar). Kind of a secret. 3) Important! Never book a room on the 11th deck under the Garden cafe on 12th. We were shocked at how loudly the movement of chairs could be heard on our balcony and in our room. It was like a symphony of trumpets from about 7AM to 7PM. Maybe they changed the floor treatment during dry dock? Maybe this is common knowledge and we missed it? We eventually got numb to it, but it was crazy loud. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
First of all my party of six had a great time as the staff were great, My complaint is not with them but with NCL and here are the reasons. My wife and I are Gold members and always get a suite for ourselves and our two children who were ... Read More
First of all my party of six had a great time as the staff were great, My complaint is not with them but with NCL and here are the reasons. My wife and I are Gold members and always get a suite for ourselves and our two children who were traveling with their fiances, The cost of the three suites(9000,9002,9005) was in excess of $20.000.00 and included free beverages, free wifi, free excursions, and free specialty restaurant upgrade or at least that is what we were told prior to booking the trip. Upon boarding we soon found out that all these free things were not really free, First of all we had to pay for bottled water, the last time I checked water was a beverage. In respect to the wifi we were limited to 250 minutes and quite frankly it never worked properly. The excursions were not free, they gave us a $75.00 credit and any thing over that you paid for. Last but certainly not least, when we ate in the Venetian we were charged for our supper(surf and turf), Had we eaten in one of the specialty restaurants, the meal would have been free, We did not book this trip because of the free items, they were part of the package and as such should have been as represented. We are not sure if we will ever travel with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We booked the Norwegian Dawn from Boston to Bermuda at the last minute. The ship had just come in from Dry Dock so we thought it would be nice to cruise on a nearly new ship and also we liked the idea of cruising from Boston. In ... Read More
We booked the Norwegian Dawn from Boston to Bermuda at the last minute. The ship had just come in from Dry Dock so we thought it would be nice to cruise on a nearly new ship and also we liked the idea of cruising from Boston. In addition Concierge-level on the Dawn was cheaper that a regular room on Disney. We had previously only been on Disney cruises so I thought I would compare the two as it was information I wanted when booking the cruise. Embarkation: To be honest this was a mess. As concierge guests we had been promised expedited boarding and it was a little bit faster but there were no signs up at the beginning and basically the expectation seemed to be that you just went and line jumped which is really embarrassing to do. They need separate lines as it is embarrassing for those in concierge and aggravating for regular passengers who of course think you are just rude! There was meant to be a concierge waiting area but this was just a little curtained off bit off of the hall. There were not enough seats so we had to sit on the floor. This was not a great start. However, on the boat it was a lot better as our stateroom was ready immediately. This is not the case with a regular room on disney so it was nice to go to it immediately. We were in a Family Suite which was lovely and the main reason I booked the cruise. It was large and had picture windows. There were some issues that I just mention here in the hope that someone from NCL reads them. First the hardware on the draws are sharp and I have a horrific gash from one of them. Second most of the wardrobes were missing hangers. When we requested hangers they didn't fit in the wardrobes as we couldn't shut them. Third, they had (even in concierge) this rather low-rent practice of having fixed shampoo/body wash containers on the wall. Food ****** If you are in the concierge level you get to eat at Moderno for Lunch and Breakfast. I think that is an easy choice as it has a nice atmosphere and a good (if non-varying) menu. Do not eat lunch in the venetian. That was very disappointing and one of those moments where you look at each other and think - is this it. However, the venetian for dinner was good and we found it better than the Aqua. We went to three speciality restaurants. The bistro and Moderno were frankly pretty bad and both times we would have rather have eaten in the main dining room. The bistro wasn't really french (just a strange 1970s version of what people used to think French food was) and at the Moderno the meat was oversalted and not that good relative to your average cheap brazillian in Boston. I would only go to the latter if you have never been to a Brazillian. Cagneys on the other hand was a pretty good steakhouse and the lobster was surprisingly good. Overall DCL beats NCL in terms of the quality of food at dinner quite easily. In terms of lunch - well the concierge lunch/breakfast on NCL was very nice and nearly as good as Disney. NCL does beat out DCL for indian food. At the garden cafe buffet there was a secret indian section which was absolutely great and I am guessing targeted at the crew rather than the guests given that all other guests seemed to be trying to avoid it. A clear place that NCL over DCL wins is in terms of the quality of food available for eating in your room. As a concierge guest we did not have to pay a service fee for this and we took full advantage. Another place that NCL over DCL wins is the general availability of french press coffee which was very good. Palo and Remy on DCL are far better in terms of food quality than the speciality restaurants on NCL but they may be more expensive and you can't bring kids along to either Palo or Remy. Kids ***** We had twin 8-year olds and a 2-year old with us. There was basically nothing for the 2-year old on the boat. There were some toys in something called the Guppy room but it was never open when you need them with a little one (that is early). I would never recommend NCL to anyone with kids under 5. For the 8-year olds there was a kids club they could go to, though they chose not to as it was not that entertaining for them relative to trying to find other kids in the pool to hang out with. Having said that if you are an adult trying to escape from kids this may not be the greatest outcome for you and there were several times that adults shouted at the groups of kids that amassed themselves in the pool. I am not saying the adults weren't right to shout- it just didn't lead to the happiest atmosphere all round Entertainment ******************** We went to the show on the first night and vowed never again. I will just say that. Otherwise there wasn't much in terms of entertainment targeted at people like ourselves - the adult stuff we couldn't go to because of the 2-year old to be fair but it did seem in general targeted at people quite a bit older than us - Glen miller + 70s revival and the like. We went to two trivia contests and they were a lot less competitive than disney - in other words NCL could be for you if you like to win trivia as you have no hope realistically of ever winning a disney trivia contest in my opinion as the other guests are just too good at disney trivia. The white hot party was by far the best entertainment and they played at least 3 songs from the last 8 years which was such a relief. I would definitely attend this. The other good thing about the white hot party is that relative to a Disney deck party (which fizzle amazing quickly after the characters leave - usually it is just us and a german dad left dancing by ourselves) the crowd kept dancing for a longer time and later into the night. I would definitely bring white things to wear and go to this. In general, Entertainment clearly an area where if you are our age (30s) with kids Disney does a lot better. Drinks ********** 1000/2000 passengers were on the ultimate beverage plan on our boat. This meant the bars were slammed and it was hard to get a drink - 30 minute waits etc. It would seem obvious to me that in terms of logistics if you give away a free plan you can't give away a product which takes individual attention such as a crafted cocktail. I think the free plan would work if it was wine and beer or premixed cocktails but my guess is that at least wine and beer cost them more so they choose not to do that. I think surprisingly (to me) that in terms of cocktail quality Disney Cruise Line is better - if I do a head to head comparison of mojitos available on deck. Sometimes, however, Disney does very poorly on cocktails down in its lounges so I don't want to generalize. If you like beer as I do the beer selection on NCL is very poor relative to Disney unless you like Bud, Bud Light, Peroni etc. Staff ****** I think that both on the NCL and Disney boat you will meet incredibly nice people who are staff members. I didn't meet anyone indifferent at all on the boat. The biggest difference is that I think staff members at Disney live in terror of the ratings they receive on the end of cruise evaluations. NCL staff I think hope for tips and we tipped (in excess of the regular charges) our housekeeper and butler. But on the whole I have always been amazed just how good service is on cruise ships. Excursions ************* We just toured ourselves around Bermuda doing taxis. We don't generally pay money for shore excursions wherever we are. Disembarkation ******************** Really easy and straightforward in Boston. Not sure if this generalizes Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My husband and I recently took the 7-day Bermuda Cruise from Boston on Norwegian Dawn. It was our third cruise, all with Norwegian and our best. The ship was just the right size and our balcony room was more spacious than the balcony ... Read More
My husband and I recently took the 7-day Bermuda Cruise from Boston on Norwegian Dawn. It was our third cruise, all with Norwegian and our best. The ship was just the right size and our balcony room was more spacious than the balcony room on the Epic. We spent a few days before the cruise in Boston, a very friendly city, and absorbed as much history and Italian food and seafood as we could in our limited time. Visitors on board the ship were just as friendly and the staff was helpful. Entertainment was as good as on the bigger ship. One of our excursions was canceled due to weather so we went on the Behind the Scene Ship Tour. It was far more interesting than i had anticipated, especially the galley area. Oh, the food was above average. We never felt a desire or need to eat in one of the specialty restaurants. The Horseshoe Bend Beach was beautiful and our Hidden Gems Excursion was fantastic. i can't believe I swam in a cave and jumped off a cliff. The captain of the Rising Sun found a sheltered cove for snorkeling when our Shipwreck Snorkeling Event was canceled due to rough seas. My only complaint is that some visitors who had received a phone call in their rooms didn't know that an alternative excursion would be offered and were disappointed when they found out what fun we had. Bermuda is beautiful and we want to go back, maybe on the same cruise in another year. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was my 10th cruise on NCL but my first out of Boston and first to Bermuda. I have been on the Dawn twice and it is not overwhelming like some of the newer larger ships. Embarkation/disembarkation was easy and smooth however the Boston ... Read More
This was my 10th cruise on NCL but my first out of Boston and first to Bermuda. I have been on the Dawn twice and it is not overwhelming like some of the newer larger ships. Embarkation/disembarkation was easy and smooth however the Boston port people outside are outright hostile. I asked 3 different people for information and got an attitude each time. NCL needs to address tis with the port authority. I had an ocean view cabin which was fine. My room stewardess could not have been better. I think the food on this ship was much better than my last cruise which was on the Pearl. The presence and interactions of the senior cruise officers during the entire cruise shows me that NCL is trying to improve their customer service which I think has been slipping. I think the entertainment could have been better however. Patti and Jose were fantastic and we chose to watch them over the main shows. Beverage service at the pool area was slow at best but most bartenders were great. Overall it was a very enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Flew into Boston on JetBlue non-stop and I love that airline. A $25 taxi ride (including tip) had us getting onboard at 2:15. (Don't worry Sweettee the ship is not going to leave us) My wife loved the room on the 10th floor w/a ... Read More
Flew into Boston on JetBlue non-stop and I love that airline. A $25 taxi ride (including tip) had us getting onboard at 2:15. (Don't worry Sweettee the ship is not going to leave us) My wife loved the room on the 10th floor w/a nice balcony. Off to the 12th floor to the Garden Café for a late lunch buffet style and lots to choose from. Enjoyed the music and party as the Dawn said goodbye to Boston. Our luggage made it safely to our room and dressed for dinner, made it out to the Venetian for a well prepared sit down dinner. We did the free drink package and tipped a buck or two if the service was good and it always was and with a nice smile. Top of the line bourbon was Makers Mark and we loved sipping it slow and listening to the live music that was done first rate. Two very talented piano players and a guy on trumpet that carried us back to New Orleans. We did the three dinner package and would do it again. Great service and food. The Spa massages were the best I have had so ask for Sylvia and relax time (I had three) Rented a mopad and we went all over the island. Next time we will do the bus/ferry unlimited passes ($20 pp per day), Much safer and faster. I could go on but you get the picture. I will be back Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We are just off the Norwegian Dawn, Boston to Bermuda. This is the 2nd time doing this cruise and we would do it again in a heart beat. Embarkation was painless. We were on board by noon and our room was ready right away. Dining ... Read More
We are just off the Norwegian Dawn, Boston to Bermuda. This is the 2nd time doing this cruise and we would do it again in a heart beat. Embarkation was painless. We were on board by noon and our room was ready right away. Dining The main dining room, The Venetian was excellent both food and service. We did 3 specialty restaurants and were not impressed. We probably will not do one of those again. The food and service were not worth the extra charges. Entertainment Patti and Jose were spectacular. They performed mostly in the Grand Atrium where it was standing room only. They did a Neil Diamond Tribute in the Stardust Theater and it was also standing room only. The band in Spinnaker Lounge was good and played dance music most nights. The last night was too loud but it was also disco night which is hard to listen to anyway. Second City did a few improvisational shows that were very funny. The Elements show was OK. There didn't seem to be any point or direction to it and again the music was too loud. I don't even remember the other shows. It was annoying though that one side of the balcony was reserved for Haven and suites guests. There was someone there not allowing anyone else into that section. Most of the time those seats were empty. While we were on board the Patriots were playing Dallas and they showed thton football fans. It should have been shown in the Stardust Theater or at least Spinnaker. Cabin and room service We were in an obstructed ocean view, #8568 had very little obstruction. We usually get an inside room so this was a treat. The room was maintained well enough but we found belongings of the previous guests in the drawers so we are not sure how cleaned it was before we arrived. I always bring lysol wipes and spray and do my own cleaning so it wasn't too much of a problem. Room service is free for breakfast but you have to go to the front desk the day before to get the Breakfast order card. They used to be in the room but we never received any from the room steward. We like to have coffee delivered as a wake up while we are getting ready for the day but it only worked out for 2-3 days. Room service at any other time of day is now $7.95 per order. Pools and Hot tubs. There were not a lot of kids on board because it was in October. The crew does not enforce the adult only rules in the Oasis pool and hot tubs. There were kids jumping in and out of the pool and in the hot tubs. It's too bad because it was a nice pool but not very quiet. Smoking The Port side of the Oasis pool was the smoking section on that level, however the promenade deck 7 where the walking rack is, is smoking all the way around. If you are walking to try to stay in shape, having smoke everywhere kind of defeats the purpose. Activities There were scheduled activities on board but we felt that there were not enough that didn't involve spending money. They had board games available in Moderno most days. There were supposed to be Sudoku challenges but there was no one there to urn them when we went to where they were scheduled. Dingo Dave and Andre the cruise director and assistant cruise director were both great. They did a short program each day that played in your room so you would know what was going on. They made all of the activities fun. i will never hear the word hillarious without remembering Dingo Dave. Miscellaneous The ocean was quite choppy, 10 ft. seas. We used the patch for seasickness and for the most part were fine, but one day was pretty bad. Overall we had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My vacation was a lot of fun since this was my first cruise. I did not know what to expect. I was just going "to go with it" and see what a cruise is like. Since I was on a freestyle cruise I did not get a sense of a ... Read More
My vacation was a lot of fun since this was my first cruise. I did not know what to expect. I was just going "to go with it" and see what a cruise is like. Since I was on a freestyle cruise I did not get a sense of a traditional cruise, it was a freedom cruise. The Norwegian Dawn was a great ship to go on and I had a lot of fun. I caught a great picture of one sunset that I hope will be the picture of all pictures. I also had a good time with our waiter who we tried to stay with during our cruise. He anticipated our needs to the fullest extent. Also since this was my first trip on 20 years our of the country, I was a little nervous about traveling outside the U.S., we had fun in Bermuda. Touring the Island by ferry and bus and doing some shopping was a great experience. I was able to get some rest from my school work. Overall I had a great experience for my first cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My husband and I where celebrating forty years married in September 4th of 2015 on the Dawn. Cabin 10500 on the 10th floor. We honeymooned in Bermuda so it was fun to revisit. Over all the experience was good! The food was great! Our suite ... Read More
My husband and I where celebrating forty years married in September 4th of 2015 on the Dawn. Cabin 10500 on the 10th floor. We honeymooned in Bermuda so it was fun to revisit. Over all the experience was good! The food was great! Our suite was great! Because we where in a suite we had VIP treatment. Our steward Patrick was wonderful! Our concierge Karbia was really good! Our butler was ok we didn't see too much of him. We really enjoyed our trip and look forward to our next trip to Bermuda Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We had a fun cruise on the Dawn out of Boston. We arrived early (we are platinum and did not need to pick an arrival time). We ended up in group 1 and were on the ship fairly quickly. We brought our carry on to our room and met our ... Read More
We had a fun cruise on the Dawn out of Boston. We arrived early (we are platinum and did not need to pick an arrival time). We ended up in group 1 and were on the ship fairly quickly. We brought our carry on to our room and met our steward, Christian, who was very nice. Then it was off to lunch up at the Garden Cafe. It cleared up a little bit for sail-away but we chose to stay on our balcony while leaving Boston. We had calm seas to Bermuda and back also. My main complaint on this ship would be the chair hogs. If you didn't have a towel out by 8 AM you were not getting a seat. I really wish there was an adult pool because this week there tons of kids on board jumping and cannon-balling into the pool. I prefer ships with an adult pool. We had the UDP so we ate in Cagney's, Le Bistro, La Cucina, and Moderno. We found Cagney's and Le Bistro to be the best by far. We did not have a good experience in Moderno and in my opinion the Olive Garden rest. is better than La Cucina! The entertainment was somewhat lacking on this ship. Didn't care for the duo in the atrium - just not my style of music. There was a one good piano player/singer and one not so great. The entertainment in the main showroom was quite good. NCL cannot control the weather and that could have been better but that's how it goes! We found all of the employees on the ship to be top notch and very friendly. Everyone said hello in the hallways, our steward greeted us by name all the time, our dining room waiters were excellent. We already have 4 more NCL cruises booked and bought two Cruise Next certificates. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I am an avid lover of the water and did work on the water professionally years ago and finally my wife and our two older boys ages 17 and 21 were finally taking a cruise. Let's just say I was looking forward to it along with my boys. ... Read More
I am an avid lover of the water and did work on the water professionally years ago and finally my wife and our two older boys ages 17 and 21 were finally taking a cruise. Let's just say I was looking forward to it along with my boys. We are familiar with Boston Harbor and approaches to Boston and it was great to see the pilot boat and the harbor islands on departure. Cruising was uneventful weather wise and this was welcomed by my Wife especially because of concerns of motion sickness. I can say that the pre-cruise planning and reservation interaction with Norwegian was easy and efficient. We had the same easiness with the staff and hospitality stewards embarking and disembarking in port without any problems. Our room steward Emmanuel was excellent and greeted us with a smile every time we saw him. He especially made the cruise experience welcoming for us. Our expectations as far as the food , recreation equipment and exercise equipment was surpassed. The food was better than expected at the buffet. The emphasis on cleanliness was noticeable. If you can recommend dining at the sit down restaurants where you are waited on at no extra charge. Did not try Cagney's or any of the upper end restaurants. The only complaint is that I never did get a reply or confirmation that my suggestion was read or reviewed by the ship's senior hospitality officer that "Sargasso Sea" is misspelled on the NAV channel as "Saragasso Sea" in one of the slides. Also they should not charge for tours of the bridge and behind the scenes. As a former officer aboard a merchant vessel it was always a pleasure to explain what happens on the bridge to guests. I provided my email and room number and still no reply. Only promotional material in emails following the cruise. They do have the marketing down and only wish there was more time in Bermuda. And yes the pool area was disappointing and the tubs and pools occupied by either drunks, children, or inappropriate young adults. My boys were turned off mostly by the conduct of a lot of the young adults their age Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Overall this was a great cruise. As many have mentioned the ship is on the older side so if your looking for water slides climbing walls and things like that this ship will not have any of that. With that said she is in good shape for her ... Read More
Overall this was a great cruise. As many have mentioned the ship is on the older side so if your looking for water slides climbing walls and things like that this ship will not have any of that. With that said she is in good shape for her age. Ship is clean and crew is always working to keep her looking good. We had 4 people to our cabin myself, my wife and our two sons. Booked a mini suite and although not super large the space worked well for us. Room was a bit dated but overall very nice. If you travel with kids we highly recommend the splash academy. What a great program the counselors were great with the kids and our kids could never wait to get there. Amazing program and it was all free kudos to NCL for offering something like this, made everyones cruise more enjoyable. Entertainment was really good as well. David Divinci was great as was second city. Each night had a good show to see. Food in the main dining room was good to very good buffet was hit or miss sometimes great selection other times just ok. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This is a long review, so grab a coffee and put your feet up ... About Us. We've been on 10-plus cruises, and this was our second time to Bermuda on Norwegian. We were celebrating our 38th anniversary with a Twin River Casino free ... Read More
This is a long review, so grab a coffee and put your feet up ... About Us. We've been on 10-plus cruises, and this was our second time to Bermuda on Norwegian. We were celebrating our 38th anniversary with a Twin River Casino free cruise. Apparently, all that money we lost at the Casino finally paid off. The ship departed on Friday and was originally scheduled to arrive in Bermuda on Sunday at 11:00 am. However, this was changed to 1:00 pm a few weeks before we sailed. On the other end of our time in Bermuda, we were scheduled to leave at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, but for some maintenance or mechanical issue, we spent an extra night in Bermuda, leaving Wednesday morning at 6:00 a.m. Believe me, no one complained about the Bermuda bonus! In fact, as we sailed away, we got to see both the Norwegian Breakaway and Celebrity Summit sail by on their way to take our place. Embarkation. Living only an hour away from Boston, this port is an easy one for us. We were dropped off by a relative, making it unnecessary to park the car. A friendly porter promptly greeted us, but at first glance, it was unclear where to go next. Norwegian could do a better job of announcing which appointed time slot is currently boarding. A long line was forming to enter the building, but as it turns out, it was unnecessary to queue up unless it was your turn. So unless you have priority boarding, it really makes no sense to arrive super early ahead of your assigned boarding time. Once inside, getting through security and registration was a breeze. First impressions. The Dawn, for the most part, is a very attractive ship. The atrium, the first thing you see when boarding, is really beautiful. It's not as grand as some of the center hot spots on some ships, but it's classy and elegant - a perfect place to gather with friends, and sounds from the piano on the main deck reaches to the restaurants and public spaces on the atrium's upper levels. Cozy window seating nooks on decks 6-8 give guests a quiet place for reading or gazing at the ocean. Tasteful artworks adorn hallways and stairways, and colors throughout the ship are tastefully muted. It's worthy to mention that this ship has a promenade deck, a classic ship feature that seems to have vanished with the new and larger ships being introduced nowadays. This one has colorful wall murals all the way around, too. Notably, I did see a number of clogged or out-of-order toilet facilities throughout the cruise in the public areas, as well as missing stall door locks. Fellow Passengers. Couples appeared to be in the minority, as we observed a large number of families, from infants to senior citizens, as well as many large groups. Many folks, as you can guess, were from the Boston and New England area. Cabin-Category BA Balcony #10672. We paid to upgrade our complimentary interior to a balcony. We found the cabin to be similar in size to most other standard ship cabins, with the benefit of a small sofa. Storage could be a lot better, though it was fine for the two of us. There are shelves in the closet, but they're a real pain to access with the hung clothing in the way. The one thing we did miss was a desk and the drawers that typically come with one. The balcony itself is tiny, barely enough room for the two chairs and pint-sized table that occupy it. In fact, the one area of the ship I saw in need of a major facelift was the balcony floor. I'm not sure what the floor covering was, but it looked dirty, worn and downright gross. It didn't stop me from spending a few afternoons out there enjoying the sea air, though. The bathroom was clean and modern, but the layout was odd and could be a definite problem if you're a super sized person. The already small space is split into 3 sections - the sink, the shower and the toilet. A half wall with glass door divides the sink and shower to the right, and an identical one divides the sink and toilet on the left, hence three sections. The shower is great, plenty of room to move. The sink space is adequate, but the toilet section, however, is crazy tight. If you're tall, be prepared for your knees to hug the wall. If you're really wide, some creative maneuvering will be required. I get what NCL's trying to do here - allow more than one cabin occupant to use the bathroom space at the same time. Unfortunately, the space is really too small for that purpose. Bring a hanging bag for your toiletries, because there is very little storage space by the sink. Crew & Service. Our cabin steward, Roy, provided excellent service, kept our ice bucket filled and our cabin clean and orderly, all with a smile and some great towel animals. In fact, we found the crew, in general, to be friendly and eager to please. “Washy-Washy”, as the crewmember with the spray bottle of antiseptic is called, greeted us every single time we walked through the buffet, even though squirt dispensers are available everywhere. Whether this was antibacterial overkill or a friendly reminder to keep hands clean, I’m not sure. But “washy-washy” got really old fast. Pool. There is one main pool on this ship. It's not very big and gets really mobbed on sea days. Arriving early in the morning is key to getting a lounger. If you snooze, you lose. Plus, if you come early, you'll have the pool to yourself. In fact, on our final sea day, after moving the clocks and gaining an extra hour, we noticed many chairs were saved by 7:00 a.m. By noon, every chair was filled or claimed. I do give credit to the crew, as we spotted them bagging a number of items from long-vacant chairs. Due to 4-10 foot sea swells, the pool was closed on the first sea day - but not before we had a chance to ride the pool's "waves" that were crashing over the side of the pool. What a thrill it was, being tossed to and fro, akin to being in the ocean. It wasn't long, though, before the pool police came and kicked everyone out for fear of someone getting hurt. A word about the poolside hot tubs: we tried one out after we boarded, and it felt like heaven. The next day they were scalding hot. A few comments by guests to the crew resulted in the hot tub water being reduced to the proper temp for the remainder of the cruise. In addition to the main pool, there is a kids "T-Rex" pool, slide and splash area. We had no little ones with us, but the kids looked like they were having a blast when I walked by. Side note about the pool area and one pet peeve of mine: Spray sunscreen. It should be banned. Maybe 25% of it actually sticks to your skin; the rest vanishes in the ocean breeze or into the eyes or lungs of your fellow pool or chair occupants. Especially amusing were the folks who both sprayed and then hand-spread the stuff, defeating the whole purpose of spray sunscreen in the first place. Do everyone a favor and reach for the tube or bottled lotion instead. Dining. We didn't eat in every venue and did not purchase a dining package, beyond one night in LeBistro. Here's our take on dining choices that we experienced: The Venetian: Since we liked the classy European look of the Venetian, we chose this complimentary venue for dining on most evenings. Food and service were both good and met or exceeded our expectations most nights. Of particular note was a roasted turkey dinner my husband had one night that he couldn't stop raving about for the rest of the cruise. Buffet fare: The Garden Cafe served standard buffet fare. My husband enjoyed the fresh, hot omelettes at breakfast and we both thought the coffee was good. The rest of the breakfast and lunch entrees were standard fare, and we found it was hit or miss whether the food would be appropriately hot or lukewarm. The pizza, hot dogs and make-your-own sandwich station were all good. NCL went the extra mile to please their little guests, with a buffet section just for the kids, with pint-sized tables, chairs and even a buffet counter just their height. Very cool, indeed! Bamboo: This complimentary Asian restaurant was a nice addition to the dining options on board, and we thought the food was good. Unfortunately, the service was slow the night we dined there. Le Bistro: We celebrated our anniversary at this specialty restaurant. My husband had the beef tenderloin, and I had the pork tenderloin. His was excellent, and mine was good, but nothing special. The room itself was darkly lit, so much so that our neighbors at the table next to us pulled out their cell phone in order to read the menu. Service was on the slow side, but the waiters redeemed themselves when they brought out a cake for us and sang - in tune, I might add. The anniversary cake was delicious, with a raspberry filling, and the best and biggest of any of the dessert celebration cakes I've had on any other cruise line. Blue Lagoon: We came here for a quieter place to eat on several occasions, both for dinner and breakfast. The menu is limited, but it was a good place for a meal or snack when we felt like getting away from the noise and bedlam at the buffet. Plus, it's conveniently open 24/7 with a convenient self-serve coffee station. Java Coffee Bar: I was in the mood for a cafe mocha one afternoon and tried this specialty coffee bar. I sat a while listening to the piano player and waited for quite a while for a server to come by, but then gave up and went up to the bar. It took a while to get my coffee, but it was delicious and worth the extra cost. Bar Service: We didn't have a beverage package. Even though we drank more on this cruise than most other port intensive cruises we've done recently, we still didn't come close to what we would have paid for NCL's beverage package. Except for the lack of attention by staff in the coffee bar, we had no trouble getting a drink at any other venue, and waiter service was especially good at the pool. Entertainment and More... "Elements". This was by far our favorite show. We loved the choreography, with interpretations of earth, wind, water and fire very well done. Seating in the Stardust Theater, where the big shows take place, is pretty tight, but fine for an average-sized adult. For more roomy comfort, arrive early and grab one of the balcony upholstered bench seats. Second City Comedy. We missed the adult version, but did catch the family show. We had mixed feelings about Second City. Because most of their improv depended on ideas from the audience, some material was funny, and some fell flat. Honestly, we've laughed harder at other comedy shows. Maybe the adult version was better. Wii Bowling Tournament. We used to bowl in a league in our younger days, so this was a fun way to spend an hour and reminisce. I'm happy to say I beat my husband 3 out of 4 games, too. On the downside, I'm not sure how this could be called a tournament when the crewmember that ran it didn't really organize anything, nor did she stick around for the entire thing. It wound up just being free play. A word about karaoke, Wii and other video activity: Unlike some ships where these activities sometimes take place in large-capacity venues where large numbers of people gather, here on the Dawn the electronics and hardware are set up in a tiny corner of a small pub. It takes the thrill out of winning when no one is there to witness it. Name That Broadway Tune Trivia. This was a fun way to pass 40 minutes, and served to remind us that we didn't know as many Broadway show tunes as we thought we did. Martini Tasting. We arrived early to the tasting but apparently missed the official "sign up" for this extra-fee event, and no announcements were made as to how to join in. While the martini expert was giving her talk, and others around us were enjoying their martinis, a waiter came around and asked us if we wanted a drink, to which we answered, no, we would like to join the martini tasting. They kindly made a batch for us and a few other latecomers. It was definitely worth the wait - they were delicious and made up for the lackluster welcome. Casino. We did throw a good amount of cash down the giant money pit, but did make sure to have a voucher left to cash in on the last day so it would at least feel like we won something. Musicians: Overall, the music was good. Of particular note, the jazz band was excellent with a dynamite piano player. The band at the pool provided the right island and pop blend. The duo was pleasant, and the piano man did a fine job. The party band we heard in Spinnaker's one night had potential, but we didn't stick around because they were too loud. Disembarkation. Norwegian's Freestyle plan of exiting the ship looked good on paper, but in all actuality, it was more like a free-for-all, resulting in one long line from the gangway that snaked almost completely around deck 7 of the ship. Picking up your own tags and choosing the time you want to leave sounds good, but either not enough time was called between groups, or everyone just disembarked whenever they felt like it, resulting in the crazy long line. The smart people were the ones relaxing in chairs waiting for the line to come to an end when they would just get up and walk off. I'll remember that strategy for my next NCL cruise. On the positive side, we spotted our luggage right away from the escalator in an area pointed out by helpful agents, so at least that part was a breeze. Bermuda. Royal Navy Dockyard. Having previously been to many of the tourist sites, such as Crystal Caves, Botanical Gardens, the Zoo, etc., we decided to stick around the Dockyard on the first day, visiting the Maritime Museum and walking the perimeter around the grounds of the old military fort. It's a great place for a bird's eye view of the cruise ships docked at the Royal Navy Dockyard as well as the folks swimming, snorkeling and sunning at nearby Snorkel Beach. We stopped and rested at the Dolphin show located in the Museum grounds and watched some excited guests in the water with them. In all actuality, it was a hot, sweltering afternoon, and we were looking for any piece of shade we could find. Having enough sun and heat, we stopped at the Frog and Onion for a break. It's a touristy and pricey restaurant, but it was convenient, the atmosphere and food were good, and the drinks refreshing on a hot Bermuda day. Gosling Sunset Rum Cruise. We booked this independently, and it was a lot of fun. The rum expert from Gosling gave us an informative overview and sample of a variety of different rums, and by the end of the cruise, we were all feeling pretty fine! Great rum, gorgeous sunset, and a happy crowd of other rum lovers made it an enjoyable evening! Ferries/Bus. We bought a one-day pass for the busses and ferries, and began Day 3 by taking the ferry from the Dockyard to St. George. The last time we visited St. George was in 2008, when the Norwegian Dream docked there. We walked around this quaint, historical town for a while, noticing how much quieter it is now that the cruise ships no longer come here. Next, we grabbed a bus to the famous Swizzle Inn, a Bermuda must-do every time we come here. We grabbed a table on the upper deck, dined on what my husband described as the "best fish sandwich he's ever had", drank a pitcher of rum swizzle, and watched the people come and go. It was a great way to spend an hour or two away from the scorching heat. We followed up lunch with a bus ride to a beautiful nature reserve called Spittal Pond. Due to the intense mid-day heat, some health and knee arthritis issues, neither one of us were in any shape to navigate the entire area. Therefore, while my husband took a nap in the shade, I grabbed my camera and a monopod to help me down the hilly path and was rewarded with the most beautiful scenic rocky cove. I sat and watched the sea waves crash for a while and then walked the path along the pond a bit enjoying the flowers, birds and serenity, before making my way back up the hill. Spittal Pond is a bit off the beaten path and doesn't draw many tourists, so if you are a nature lover or bird watcher, I highly recommend a visit to this beautiful haven. With the exception of a couple of other wanderers, I had the place to myself. We left Spittal Pond, waited for a bus, and made our way back to Hamilton. Tired and hot after a long day, we didn't spend any time in Hamilton, but hopped the next ferry back to the ship. Horseshoe Bay. A gorgeous beach, fine pink sand, crashing waves, rock formations, colorful birds, and the clearest aqua blue water to be found anywhere; it's no wonder it's the most popular beach in Bermuda. We arrived by taxi around 10:30 a.m., found a partially shaded spot by the rocks to lay down our towels, played in the waves, dried off and left by 12:30, as the crowds arrived. We've been to other less-crowded beaches on previous visits, but this was our first time at Horseshoe Bay. In fact, if it weren't for the extra time given to us in port, we probably would have skipped it again. I'm so glad we didn't because it was one of the highlights of our cruise. Shopping. We aren't big shoppers, but I do like to bring something home for the kids and grandson. I found the Dockyard Clocktower Mall sufficient for want I needed. So while the hubby relaxed on board, I hopped on the free trolley and made my way around the Dockyard. It's not the quickest way to get around, but on a hot day, it's nice to be shaded and perspiration-free. The Mall carries a mix of touristy stuff as well as Made-in-Bermuda items. Plus, I paid a quick visit to the Rum Cake and Hand-Blown Crystal factories, so I was happy to help the local economy. Final Thoughts: There are relatively few options for cruises from Boston, and this one is an easy one, which is why it’s so popular with families – a cruise to a warm destination with no expensive flights and an easy drive for most folks. As with our three previous visits to Bermuda, we lucked out with some gorgeous, tropical weather with hardly a passing sprinkle. This was a relaxing cruise, as all Bermuda cruises are. It's a pleasure to dock for multiple nights in one port with the ability to come and go with no deadlines. While not the best cruise or ship we’ve had the privilege to experience, the Dawn was much nicer than I expected it would be, and we enjoyed the cruise, food and service. In fact, another certificate for a free Norwegian cruise appeared in our mailbox upon arrival home, practically guaranteeing our future return to Norwegian! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My wife and I have been on this cruise twice in the past four years and it just keeps getting better. This is easily the most affordable and most exciting way to visit and stay in Bermuda. Hotels on this beautiful island start at about ... Read More
My wife and I have been on this cruise twice in the past four years and it just keeps getting better. This is easily the most affordable and most exciting way to visit and stay in Bermuda. Hotels on this beautiful island start at about $400 a night and a basic meal for a family of 4 can run around $125, so $5000 for 7 days in a Family Suite with a butler and a great variety of meal options and top notch entertainment, with transportation from Boston included is real bargain. In my opinion Bermuda is the only Island in the area I would ever want to revisit. This isn't the Caribbean and it can be pretty cool in the winter months, but I have visited, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Cancun and the Bahamas and I would without a doubt select Bermuda as the most beautiful, clean and friendly Islands out of that list. You can go anywhere in the beautiful country and find safe neighborhoods with kind and happy people who are eager to please their visitor. The ship is amazing, big, but not too big. Food variety is great and quality is good. On July 31, I traveled with my wife and three sons ages, 9, 11, 12. The pools or rather pool was rather disappointing. Small, rough and crowed. The deck chair situation is a mess, which seems to be a theme anywhere you get together a group of drunk thoughtless people who have been raised to believe they are the most important people in the world. Well guess what you aren't the other 330, 000, 000 people in this country don't give a crap about you and we don't think you are cute. When you go on a lower priced cruise you are bound to be surrounded by the elderly, who don't give a crap about anyone else and can be down right surly and the young hipsters who also don't give a crap about anyone else but think everyone owes them something. Guess what both groups.... other people matter. So walk a little quicker or get to the right side so people can pass you, avoid stopping in the middle of the walking path to put on your own piece of Avant guard theater which usually involves taking picture of your child who I have no doubt you find adorable, but I can guarantee others find to be amazingly mundane. Don't be classless, cursing in public is crass and pointless and just makes people think your a low class moron. Don't eat on the buffet line, wait till you sit like a human being (if you are confused about this just do the same thing that most people who are wearing non-logo t-shirts and don't have more than 12 tattoos and who have more than 6 teeth and do as they do, you will rarely be steered wrong. Back to the cruise. We were upgraded to a joining balcony room, the rooms are small but it is a cruise for goodness sakes. We didn't spend much time in the room. The ship itself is a bit dated, but again who cares you are on a cruise and unless you are on the Titanic that is always a good thing. The third world crew is always willing a available to help. I believe I saw our cabin steward at 5am and at 10pm working the entire time, and these people work hard. Henry was from India but most stewards are from the Philippines and are quick to offer a smile, wish you a good day and chat with the kids. They also do some creative towel creatures, during our stay we go a penguin, crab, monkey, three toed sloth, mouse and a few different types of elephants. The kids were thrilled and it was fun game. We had no use for specialty restaurants, but they seemed very appetizing and very affordable, but we were just fine with the buffet and the complementary restaurants. You remember the buffet right.... yeah the place where the toothless hick is cutting in line and eating cheese right off the cutting board while waiting to get to the next offering. The pool was tiny and not enough deck chairs were provided. This seemed to be of particular concern to the French Canadians who became increasingly vocal and increasingly violent as they continued to participate in the bar offerings. We actually witnessed a physical fight over saved deck chairs. I thought it was part of the entertainment so I was riveted, but finding that it was a real fight, between real adults about real deck chairs turned an entertaining drama like a Lawrence Olivier film into a horrific comedy like an Adam Sandler movie. Of course the typical ship hoaxes are a foot. Buy Zircon Jewelry because you are on a cruise, buy Peter Max late run prints on poster paper for $10000, because you are on a cruise. Get portraits of your run of the mill and mildly unattractive family by an Asian photographer who I am sure I saw hold that camera backwards for the last three portraits, because you are on a cruise, go on excursions you can easily figure out for your self if you have the rare talent of being able to figure out a bus schedule on an Island with 11 bus routes and spend $100's of dollars extra to have the benefit of being able to see caves with a smelly bus load of strangers with no opportunity to deviate from the tour guides plans, (Hey there is the Swizzle Inn, I always wanted to go there. Yes that is part of Swizzle Inn tour which departs tomorrow is $150 per person, but today we are going to focus on going to the aquarium and zoo. But it is right across the street and we haven't done anything for 40 minutes but wait for the driver to take a nap and a piss). While the people in Bermuda are wonderful they do have a few faults, they are constantly smiling, they drive on the wrong side of the road and they beep to say hello instead of in the attempt to ruin someone's day while insulting their mother, they don't work quickly and therefore in the four years since our visit little has changed, but that is just the way we love it. Norwegian does a great job, boarding was a snap and disembarkation was just as clear and easy, not that the toothless, tattooed minions won't find something to complain about . My luggage was damaged in Boston, but I was able to not let it ruin my vacation and I am pretty sure I can get that same embark brand suit case for $30 at Target, which is probably why the wheels snapped off in the first place. Relax, its vacation and realize that everyone else wants to have a great vacation as well and you will do fine. Shows were great, not amazing but they held my attention and created a memorable time for my family and I to discuss in years to come. But remember there are those who are entitled to enjoy the show at your expense, because mommy and daddy didn't give them enough attention. Thank you to the jackass who dumped a beer on my son's hat because he didn't understand what "no beverages in the theater meant" which is an easy thing to misunderstand since it was only posted everywhere and announced in French and English, I guess they forgot to cover Serbo-Croatian and Tagalog and Yiddish, then everyone on this ship which originated from Boston might have understood what the rules were and might have avoided ruining a 12 year old's Boston Bruins hat and therefore reassuring his hatred of stupid individuals. Kids club sucked, too many rules and too many parents not able to understand or follow the rules. Again I encourage the introduction of lost languages to help minimalize the communication barriers. My kids went once and didn't want to go again, to the point of crying that they didn't want to go again. A sure sign of a good time being had by all. This elicited no guild in either my wife of myself since we weren't the ones who were crying, we are quickly learning that we are the center of the universe and what makes us happy should make everyone happy. d Bargain, Bermuda, Ship activities, value, together family time, food quality and variety. Freestyle (i.e. not false pretention) sailing. crew, towel animals, Second City Comedy. Cons- other people, pool, other people at the pool. It was a great honor to see that the program Autism at Sea was on our cruise. This is wonderful program for individuals with autism and their families. It enables them to have a vacation with skilled staff to assure everyone is entertained and doing well. It was heart warming to see these wonderful kids and some adults with autism and their families interacting in positive ways in unique situations with trained staff available to help facilitate a good, positive and mutually successful learning experience. Way to go! Support, Support, Support. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My husband and I have done the Boston to Bermuda cruise on the Dawn a few times. We decided to splurge and get an aft penthouse suite this time. Along with the suite came all the special promotions - unlimited dining, unlimited beverage, ... Read More
My husband and I have done the Boston to Bermuda cruise on the Dawn a few times. We decided to splurge and get an aft penthouse suite this time. Along with the suite came all the special promotions - unlimited dining, unlimited beverage, 250 internet minutes, and $75 shore excursion credit. We live in the Boston area so getting to the Black Falcon Pier was easy. When we got to the terminal, the porters were right there to take our bags. We checked three bags and a case of water. If you don't have luggage tags, they will print them for you. We asked about priority boarding (also a perk of having a suite) and were told to go right through. We checked in and then asked about the special area for suite guests. If we hadn't asked, they wouldn't have offered that information. We were directed to an area that was curtained off, given special room cards, offered coffee, juice, water, and snacks. We were then escorted on to the ship by one of the butlers who took us directly to our room and explained everything we passed as we went. We then went to Cagney's for lunch (another perk of having a suite). I had the best turkey burger and my husband had a swordfish sandwich. Our butler was Henry and our concierge was Karabi. We didn't really use either of them much and didn't even see Henry for the last two days of the cruise. He would bring snacks in the afternoon but never really asked what we liked. Karabi did change a dinner reservation for me. I had made all the reservations weeks before we left. We got to Bermuda early but never got a call or message from Karabi saying we were supposed to meet for priority disembarkation so we didn't get that perk. That was a little disappointing. The ship is not one of the huge mega ships and that is fine with me. It's easy to get around but still a lot of walking. The pool area is very congested on sea days. People get up very early to "reserve" their chairs around the pool and on the deck above it. There were no chairs to be found by 10 a.m. A lot of people had the unlimited beverage plan so getting a drink at the bar was almost always an ordeal. We waited at least 5-10 minutes to be served. The bartenders were working as fast as they could, there were just too many people ordering. I think they should have added more bartenders to make it easier on them and less frustrating for the cruisers. On past cruises, there were usually servers walking around the pool areas and you can order drinks from them but they were few and far between on this cruise. We had the unlimited dining plan and were able to have dinner at all the specialty restaurants. We ate at LeBistro, Cagney's, Moderno, LaCucina, and Teppanyaki. The food in all of these restaurants was good to very good but Teppanyaki was great! We also ate at Bamboo, Blue Lagoon, Bimini, and the Garden Buffet. We didn't have any meals in the main dining rooms. Bamboo was ok. Blue Lagoon service was not good at all but the food was ok. Bimini had great burgers and chicken sandwiches. The Garden Buffet was typical buffet food but very crowded most of the time. There were many items to choose from but for me, everything was extremely salty. We ate breakfast at Cagney's (another suite perk) every morning except the first when we went to the buffet. Breakfasts at Cagney's were really good. My husband had steak (filet mignon) and eggs most days! The eggs benedict was great too. We had a $75 shore excursion credit and decided to book the Rising Son Catamaran Swim and Snorkel excursion on the first day in Bermuda. I highly recommend this excursion and will do it again the next time we go to Bermuda! They came to the pier and took you across the street to get on the catamaran. The owner, Steve and the rest of his crew were very friendly, funny and informative. They took us to a spot where you can snorkel, kayak, paddle board, or just swim. They have life jackets or noodles you can use along with snorkeling equipment that they treat after every use. On the way to the snorkeling spot, they do trivia and tell about Bermuda. There are rum swizzles, water, and soda available and on the way back, they serve free rum swizzles that were very tasty! The crew was always watching out for us. If they thought someone was having the least bit of trouble, they asked if everything was alright. They had a special sign to say everything was fine. We bought a two day bus pass ($31.50 each) on the ship the day before we got to Bermuda and that saved us standing in line when we got off the ship. We used the passes to take the ferry to Hamilton, bus to Crystal Caves, bus to St George and then ferry back to the Dockyard on the second day. I was a little disappointed in Hamilton. We hadn't been there in a few years and it was a lot dirtier than I remembered. I found the prices on the ship to be better than what we saw in Hamilton or the Dockyard on everything except for the touristy souvenirs like t-shirts and sweatshirts. The Caves are amazing. It's crazy to think you are looking at something that is millions of years old. St George is beautiful. We didn't get to go to Tobacco Bay or St Catherine's Bay because the weather wasn't cooperating. On the third day in Bermuda, we took the regular Bermuda bus to Horseshoe Bay Beach. There were many "special" busses that cost a lot more to get to the beach as you get off the ship. If you walk down just a short way toward Snorkel Park, there is a bus stop right there. They have busses that go directly to Horseshoe Bay with no stops. The difference is you have to walk down a steep hill to get to the beach and with the more expensive busses, they bring you right down to the beach. They rent chairs and umbrellas, have bathrooms, showers, and changing areas, and sell drinks and snacks. Horseshoe Bay is my favorite beach on Earth so far! It's beautiful with pink sand and hidden coves. We spent about 4-5 hours there walking around, sitting in the sun (don't forget sunscreen!), and floating in the warm water. There is a bus that will take you back up the hill for $2 per person but we decided we needed the exercise after all the eating and drinking we'd been doing! It took about 5-10 minutes and really wasn't that bad. The bus stop is at the top of the hill and there is bus that takes beach people back to the Dockyard. We shopped a little more at the Dockyard and got back on the ship. They told us we had to be back on the ship by 5:00 and left at 5:30. There were two sea days after visiting Bermuda. There were activities all day long that you can choose to do or not. They had a band on the pool deck and a bbq each day. It was very crowded on the pool deck and not a lot of available seating. There are four hot tubs around the pool and another hot tub at the front of the ship for adults only. There were games by the pool that were fun to watch if you had a seat near the pool or on the deck above. The shows this year were basically the same as last year so we only went to a couple. One was Jocka and Maria who did an amazing aerial show. The other we saw was Elements which was a combination of dancing, aerial, and magic. At the end of Elements, the whole staff was introduced and sang to us. It was a lot of fun. One of the promotions we got was 250 minutes of internet use. For me, this was a waste because we didn't get service in our room. We asked the internet manager and he said it might be because our room was at the end of the ship. In order to get wifi, I had to bring my phone toward the middle of the ship which was not convenient at all. We chose to carry our own luggage off the ship. We met Karabi, the concierge in the Spinnaker Lounge at 8:30 after having our final Cagney's breakfast. We were escorted down a short walkway and got off the ship without having to stand in the line that circled all the way around Deck 7. That was one of the best perks of having a suite. We were back home by 9:30 a.m. We had a very good time on this cruise. The room was amazing, the food was good, and Bermuda was beautiful. With the exception of the butler and concierge, the people that work on this ship were great. We were always greeted with a smile and good morning/afternoon/evening. They all work extremely hard for not a lot of money so please tip accordingly! We are thinking of booking this again for next year with some friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
First time cruiser here. Myself and my wife took a drive down from Ottawa to Boston. The drive was great with no problems and then we arrived at the port. We got directed by the police officer to the parking area and then headed in for ... Read More
First time cruiser here. Myself and my wife took a drive down from Ottawa to Boston. The drive was great with no problems and then we arrived at the port. We got directed by the police officer to the parking area and then headed in for our check in. I selected 1000 time and even though we arrive a little late, we still got sent in right away to check in. Check in was painless and then we sat down to await our boarding number. One of the things that happened was that since we never cruised with Norwegian, we got given number 22 and had to wait approximately 25 minutes from the time they started calling numbers to when we got called to board. So now to the pluses, the food was great given we had UDP we ate at all the restaurants but my wife preferred Moderno. Service at all the restaurants was great. I also noticed the pool area was jam packed and most of the ship was empty during the day so getting a drink was a breeze. We went to 4 shows and I found all of them were great, especially Elements and Second City. Our room steward, Russel, was awesome and would help with anything we needed. One of the negative things I do have to mention is that some of the crew look really tired and my wife, who is of one of the Asian nationalities on board and speaks their language, talked to one of the assistant servers and was kind of upset to learn they sleep only around 5 hours a day with a pay of a little more than 1000$ a month although everything else is covered. Now, let me tell you, if I was getting 5 hours of sleep a night for 8 months, I would not be as helpful and pleasant so kudos to them for staying positive and having a great attitude. We didn't do any excursions and just explored the island by ourselves and mostly went to Hamilton, St-George and to see the pink sand beach which was awesome. We then spent two great days at sea coming back, even though we hit some rough weather, the show Elements still went on. Disembarkation went great, we walked off with our luggage at 0800. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
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

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