8 Norwegian Dawn Cruise to Nowhere Cruise Reviews

We just got back from Norwegian Cruise to nowhere that started from New Orleans. We were booked from 11/13/15-11/15/15. It was party of 10 that went on a three days cruise. It is our first time to cruise in United States. It was three ... Read More
We just got back from Norwegian Cruise to nowhere that started from New Orleans. We were booked from 11/13/15-11/15/15. It was party of 10 that went on a three days cruise. It is our first time to cruise in United States. It was three family and 10 members. We (three of us) stayed at stateroom 11130 on eleventh floor, room with balcony. We are absolutely amazed with service, organization and everything in between. Even though the arrival took a little of time due to many new customer service representatives doing check ins, we had best time from the moment we entered the ship. Service was amazing, starting with clean room, enough towels, very nice bathroom. We were told that there is a children station where they had programs for children. Our 6 years old girl LOVED it. Splash Academy rocks!!! The staff was awesome! My husband and I had a lot of time for ourselves to enjoy, which we were not able to do it in ages. Our child couldn't wait to go on all scheduled programs. There is a lots of food options, entertainment, ... shopping, but we ate mostly in Venetian. The service, food, everything is 5 stars. Servers were exceptional. Staff from Monte Negro and Croatia were the most pleasant ones, but all others as well. Great experience. We went to Irish Pub, to Club to dance, awesome! Our overall experience was GREAT one! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Hubby and I along with our best friends used this as our weekend adult getaway. I loved the ship. I've read plenty of reviews that did not seem favorable and cannot understand why. The service was great and the food was very good. ... Read More
Hubby and I along with our best friends used this as our weekend adult getaway. I loved the ship. I've read plenty of reviews that did not seem favorable and cannot understand why. The service was great and the food was very good. We never saw our cabin steward, but I did not think it was a big deal since it was only a 2 night CTN. He/she did leave us a towel animal on the last night though! The buffet seemed to over a great variety of food. We did not eat in the MDR at all. We ate at Moderno the first night. Service was a little slow. The waiter seemed to be overwhelmed with the few tables he had. However, the food was good. Not sure if it was worth a $20 pp cover charge though. The second night we ate at La Cucina for $10 per person. The food was very good and service was EXCELLENT! We also ate at the Sushi Bar twice. The a la carte pricing was very reasonable compared to what we pay at home. The sushi (spicy tuna) was the best I have had in a long time. Again, service was very good. We also ate at The Blue Lagoon. Service was good and food was not bad at all. We thought the ship was perfect size. Our balcony cabin was small but perfect for the 2 of us. We know that we would need at least a mini suite for the family when we go on the Dawn again. The staff was very friendly. We never saw a staff member who was not helpful or smiling - even in frigid temperatures! Over all, great weekend cruise, great ship and great staff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
In contrast to Vegas, 18 year olds can gamble on cruise ships... so my nephew, whose favorite movie is "Vegas Vacation" wanted to go on a cruise so he could gamble. He is still in high school so we had to do a short cruise where ... Read More
In contrast to Vegas, 18 year olds can gamble on cruise ships... so my nephew, whose favorite movie is "Vegas Vacation" wanted to go on a cruise so he could gamble. He is still in high school so we had to do a short cruise where he could miss a day or two of school only. My TA found this cruise for us. We chose an AE cabin (it was the best we could reserve about 60 days prior to sailing). There would be three of us in the cabin: my nephew, my mother (his grandmother) and me. We utilized the mini-suite to sleep 3 people separately. It was fine for 2 nights but I would have preferred more room. With the bed pushed apart to make 2 beds it was difficult to use the closet and with the sofa bed out there was hardly room for the furniture and access to the balcony and fridge. But we managed. Hey, we were on vacation. The room was clean and we never had to ask for anything. We flew in to NYC a day early and stayed with friends. That was nice. We took a cab to the port and embarkation was easy. I had ordered the birthday package and the room was great! There were banners and balloons and a very nice cake. It was well worth the money in my opinion. Besides, I am not sure how I could have snuck in early to decorate. This way we all had the element of surprise. Next, thanks to CC I knew to go to the Main Restaurant and not the buffet. I do not like buffets and avoid them whenever possible. When my nephew and I went to the casino we were in for a surprise. All of the table limits were very high $25 for blackjack and $50 for Pai Gow Poker (which we had both learned to play recently). It did not take long for us to lose a bundle. I was a BJ dealer for a long time so I was doing everything right. But when you split and double down at $25 a pop - and the dealer draws to 21 - OUCH! We did play slots. There were plenty of all amounts. Luckily we found a blackjack machine in the lounge that sat 5 people. The minimum bets were $5.00 - now you're talking! It was a hoot. There were digitally enhanced buxom female dealers. Everyone was cracking up. But who cares? SInce we all won and won and won. I never even cashed a traveler's check. My nephew got to play a lot of blackjack and he was happy. That machine saved us! We went to dinner in Salsa night one for IL POPO - this is my mother's favorite NCL restaurant and her favorite NCL dish. It was just as tasty as when we had it on the Jewel last year. Salsa was wonderful. We all loved it. (Being from Texas I was not impressed with the salsa or guacamole, but what can you do when you are out of Texas?) The next night was my nephew's birthday celebration and we ate at Le Bistro. Now the day before I had made reservations (right after embarkation) and they had us in the "wine cellar". Well, when they went to seat us it was just a place in front of the restaurant where the piano player is. It might be ok if you don't care about atmosphere, but I was disappointed to not be in the very nice dining room with the nice artwork. When I expressed my unhappiness they cheerfully offered us a nice table in the back, near the Renoir. Voila. It was perfect! We made friends with the people next to us and enjoyed wonderful conversation. My nephew and I split the Chateaubriand (an extra charge) and it was wonderful - fork tender. My mother had escargot and filet mignon. We all had chocolate souffle. I can't imagine a better celebratory dinner. We had breakfast in the main dining room both mornings. It was fine. Nothing special - but it gave us the morning fuel! We tried to have a late night snack in the Blue Lagoon but we soon found what a difference a ship makes. I loved the Blue Lagoon on Jewel. On the Dawn it is a loud teen hangout. There is no way to have a conversation in there. The first night I had a treatment in the spa. It was an exfoliation and massage. I am not a big fan of ginger so they used coconut. It was great. After my body was rubbed with the salts I was able to shower in the same room and then have the massage. It was a splurge, but worth every penny. Besides, I received a $100 OBC from Cruise Rewards (more later. Played bingo a few times, never won. It was very expensive in my opinion. But on such a short cruise I went for the gusto and played the computer. What the heck. Was able to play the morning and movie trivia games. My mom and I came in 2nd on morning and our team won the movie trivia thanks to my mom's historical movie knowledge. It was fun. Because of the short cruise length, no internet cafe, shopping or the like. I never used the outdoor pool or hot tubs, but a lot of people did and seemed to be enjoying themselves. Disembarkation was slow, but hey, everyone was leaving. Since this was a 2 nighter we all had to transport our own bags all of the time. It was a little hard on my mom (we tried to help her but she wouldn't give up her suitcases). I much prefer the traditional way of leaving the bags outside the door the night before leaving. I booked the Cruise Rewards and have already reserved an AC PH on the Sun for next February. I think the Dawn is a lovely ship. I had a great time. The crew was very nice and I am a fan of Freestyle - so what's not to like! My one complaint was that I could not find a decent cup of coffee in the late evening (the Java cafe had just closed). Luckily in my AC PH I will have a nifty coffee maker with a great brew. In closing, this was a wonderful trip to give my nephew. I don't think we could have come up with a better present for him. Besides, the additional time in NYC (Broadway Shows and Restaurants) was a real treat too! Read Less
Sail Date April 2008
Friday: Embarkation was a breeze. At check in I was given a sheet of paper stating that the rooms wouldn't be ready until 2:00. Ours was ready before 12:30. When I got on to the Dawn I immediately went to the line for reservations. ... Read More
Friday: Embarkation was a breeze. At check in I was given a sheet of paper stating that the rooms wouldn't be ready until 2:00. Ours was ready before 12:30. When I got on to the Dawn I immediately went to the line for reservations. At first it seemed to move slowly but it quickly picked up pace and I easily got the two reservations I wanted: Salsa on Friday and LeBistro on Saturday. We ate lunch in the main dining room. It was enjoyable. Then we went back to the room, my DH changed into his bathing suit (I didn't bring mine) and then we headed to the pool. DH went over to the pool, but said he "wasn't feeling it" so instead he got a bucket of beer, he changed and we explored the ship and played some ping-pong until the muster drill. The muster drill was different on this cruise than on my last three. I don't know if this is common for the Norwegian Dawn (We were on Norwegian Spirit in 2006 & 2007 and it wasn't this way), but our drill was held in different indoor areas of the ship. Ours was in the Impressions dining room. It was really short. However, my one great complaint about the cruise is this: The tables were already set up for dinner. Everyone was touching everything on the tables. You couldn't help it. You were bored waiting for the rest of the people to get there. Kids were playing with the forks; adults were rubbing their hands on the glasses. I refolded the napkin ten times. DH spun the plate around about a hundred times. Ewww, and I meant to ask for a new place setting when we got to Salsa that evening but of course, I had forgotten about it by then. The reason I call that my one great complaint is because it is the only thing that I would say I should actually formally complain about. In fact, I think I am going to post something about it to the board on the Norwegian boards. Anyway, back to the cruise: Since we didn't have a balcony (we got an OV on 4th deck) we went up to the pool for sail away right after the muster drill. I'm not sure if we ran late or if I just got the time wrong, but we didn't leave until after 6 and I thought it was supposed to be 5. But that was okay because we were enjoying people watching and had secured a nice table on the Starboard side so that we'd have a nice view of the Statue of Liberty as we went by her. I was surprised that the large crowd that was on deck had left before we had gotten that far. Now that I am writing this I thought of another "issue" that perhaps I should formally complain about although I do think it would be weird for me to be the one to do it as I am a smoker. Here it is. The Port side of the Pool deck is smoking. The Starboard side is not. Even though I am a smoker, I chose a table on the starboard side specifically for sail away. I was aware that it was non-smoking and wouldn't have dreamed of smoking there. We were about two or three tables in from the bar area. At the first two tables was a large group in probably mid twenties. I actually think they didn't know they couldn't smoke in that area, so I don't blame them. I also don't know how the ashtrays arrived at their tables. Perhaps they did know and went across the deck to get them, or maybe they were already close by or at the tables. Anyway, they ALL smoked A LOT for over an hour. Staff went by—different staff. Nobody said anything to them. As a passenger I shouldn't have to enforce the rules to the other passengers, so it was not my place to say anything to them. And as a smoker I am embarrassed that I am even complaining about it. Anyway (again) back to the cruise: We went back to the room and waited for someone to come to fix the safe. Someone came about 7:15 and found that the problem was the battery brut he couldn't fix that and we had to be in the room to have it fixed. We had 7:30 res so that wasn't going to happen. We never did call them to have it fixed. No problem, I didn't really have anything that valuable. On a longer cruise it would have mattered more. We changed for dinner and headed to Salsa for our 7:30 res. Table was ready. Dinner was really nice. The appetizers were better than the entrEe (we both got the burrito and expected something more like we get in an area restaurant that is so delicious so it is almost not fair to compare) The service at Salsa was very efficient and everyone was polite and friendly. When I told the waiter not to be shy with the guacamole, he brought over a nice sized side of it. We went to the evening show which we enjoyed and then to adult karaoke (only to observe :) ) and that was fun as well. At midnight we went to the casino and lost our first $100 in record time. (this would become a pattern each time we went to the casino—good thing it was only two days) We headed up to the Blue Lagoon which is a 24 hour food spot. One of the hostesses told us that people had been waiting a long time for their food and suggested we go back to the casino for the buffet they had set up in there. We decided we didn't really need the food anyway and called it a night. Saturday I awoke early (as I usually do on vacations) took a shower and then harassed DH until he got up. We normally get room service for coffee each morning on our cruises. But when we got back to the room on Friday night there was no pen in the room to go along with the b-fast room service menu. We didn't want to wait for them to come with the pen so we just didn't bother with it for the one morning. Not a big deal. (btw, I found that I had a pen in my bag the next but didn't think I had at the time) We went to the buffet for breakfast which is really unlike us. I normally like the service at the sit down restaurants on the cruise and avoid the buffet as much as possible. It was still early enough that they were only using one side of the buffet and there was ample seating. We enjoyed the breakfast. I just really didn't like the coffee. After breakfast we went down to the Java Cafe and got coffee there. It was like $2 a cup but I liked it better. Then we headed to the first activity we were interested in: Trivia. We did not actually participate in a team we just sat and observed and thought of the answers ourselves. It was fun. Then they had the Wii bowling at the same location. We watched two "tournaments" and then we went to Bingo. I am not much for Bingo on the ships especially since it cost me $92 to play. Yes I misunderstood something and ended up with an addition final round sheet and some kind of pull and play cards, but it was okay because I won about that much back when I split the $330 prize with two other people on the second game. Niceeee. Then I had to go to casino to get the cash, so bye-bye $$ again. My main problem with the casino is that you can smoke in there! I smoke and I found it a convenient place to go for a smoke, but I literally felt the urge to gamble each time I went in there. Each cigarette cost me about $40 in slots! Perhaps I should have just dealt with the wind out on deck. After losing the bingo winnings and then some, we went to the main restaurant for lunch. We were invited to the Honeymoon/Anniversary champagne & cake party at 4pm at the star bar because I ordered the anniversary dinner package. We arrived at 4 and were told that only 4 other people were expected. This was not an rsvp event, so we just waited to see if they arrived while enjoying a glass of champagne after taking a picture in front of the cake. After 15 minutes no one else came so the hostess cut the cake and offered us each a piece. We had the cake and another glass of champagne and then left at about 4:30. When we were leaving another couple arrived and insisted that the photographer come back even though they were late. I thought that was rude since they were pretty late and they didn't ask—they demanded. We wanted to go to Win Lose or Draw and to the Movie trivia. The movie trivia started ½ hour after Win, Lose, or Draw so we really couldn't do both. We just went to the movie trivia. The room was divided into two teams. The trivia worked off of a DVD. It was a fun game (especially since our side was consistently in the lead but it was always very close) we then hit the casino again so I could smoke and lose money before changing for dinner. Dinner at Le Bistro was yummy! The service was a bit sluggish, but no problem since we knew we wouldn't make the 8:30 comedy show anyway. We went to the 9:30 show "Band on the Run" which was really good. Then we went into the casino again to lose money. There were still a few activities on the schedule that we were interested in, but we decided to call it a night instead ;) Again Sunday morning I got up early and showered then harassed DH to get up. Oh, I forgot to mention that they kept the beds Desi/Lucy style and DH loved that. Now he wants his own bedroom-lol! I, on the other hand, although I like my isolated space on the bed, I still like to know that he's next to me. Again, (I trail off a lot), back to the cruise: We went to breakfast in the main dining room. No line (about 7:30am) but the place was beginning to fill up. By the time we left (probably 8:00 ish) the lines were forming at the entrance. We picked up our free 5x7 photo from the honeymoon/anniversary party then went back to the room to get our suitcase. I'm not sure what time we go off the ship, but we were home by 10am, I think, and that was with stopping at Dunkin Donuts and briefly at A&P. We really enjoyed the cruise and found it a really great break. We didn't feel rushed at all. I would definitely do a two-night cruise again, if the timing and price worked out for us. We don't think we'd like a one night. Saturday morning we said we'd not feel satisfied if we had to leave at that time. At present, the next 2 night on Norwegian from NY is next May 1st (2009) which is too soon after our $$$ 12 night cruise in April. Carnival is having one in October this year, but we'll be on Freedom in October. So we'll wait and see if one shows up at a time that is in between the two or sometime better in Summer/Fall 2009 and if we financially able to go. Read Less
Sail Date April 2008
I had often seen NORWEGIAN DAWN in New York and in various ports in the Caribbean and was curious about the big white ship with the bold-colored murals on the bows. Also, a friend who I often sailed with on QUEEN ELIZABETH 2, had said she ... Read More
I had often seen NORWEGIAN DAWN in New York and in various ports in the Caribbean and was curious about the big white ship with the bold-colored murals on the bows. Also, a friend who I often sailed with on QUEEN ELIZABETH 2, had said she had fallen in love with the DAWN and her recommendation carried considerable weight. Accordingly, when the opportunity arose to take a short cruise on NORWEGIAN DAWN, I booked a cabin. The Cruise: This was a two-day cruise to nowhere, round-trip New York. The cruise lines offer these trips primarily in order to fill gaps in their schedule. For example, there may be a gap of an odd number of days between the end of a ship's last full-length cruise out of its summer time homeport and the date it is to begin its new cruising season in its winter homeport. Rather than have the ship sit idle, the cruise line adds a short cruise without any ports. From a marketing perspective, such cruises give people who are new to the ship a taste of what it is like on board (which will hopefully make them wish to try a longer cruise) and it gives regular passengers a chance to spend some additional time aboard one of their favorite ships. The overall cost of the cruise is usually less than a full-length cruise but on a per day basis, the cost tends to be higher. The Ship: NORWEGIAN DAWN is 92,250 gross tons placing her well within the large ship category. She was built in Germany in 2002 and was refurbished in 2005. Capable of 24 knots, the ship is diesel-electric powered with an azipod propulsion arrangement. Although she is a modern cruise ship (as opposed to an ocean liner like QE2), she proved her seaworthiness by weathering the sometimes difficult East Coast winter waters, cruising winters out of New York from 2003 until 2007. Inside the ship, the public rooms are decorated in a contemporary, post-modernist style. These rooms are creatively designed, use good quality materials and make judicious use of lighting. They are also well-maintained. As a result, the overall look is elegant and sophisticated. There is no glitter, no neon, no shock and awe. Instead, there are original works by Renoir, Matisse, Van Gogh and Warhol. The Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is the number three cruise line in the United States, operating a fleet of 12 ships. It targets the American mass market and distinguishes itself from its competitors by taking an approach it calls "Freestyle Cruising." The aim of this approach is to give the passengers more freedom and flexibility in their cruise experience than is traditional. The company is owned by Star Cruises of Singapore but operates from Miami, Florida. Embarkation: The NCL ships use the Manhattan Passenger Ship Terminal on the West Side of Manhattan. These are the piers once used by the great ocean liners QUEEN MARY, NORMANDIE, FRANCE and QUEEN ELIZABETH. The piers were extensively rebuilt in the 1970s and are undergoing refurbishment now. The Manhattan Terminal is easy to get to and is well-known to taxi and limousine drivers. In addition, ships leaving the terminal must sail down the Hudson (called the North River at that point) past the skyline of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, a most memorable experience. On these short cruises, most people carry (or more commonly, roll) their baggage aboard. Even with this extra burden, the lines to have the tickets and documents processed went smoothly and the process of getting onto the ship was fairly quick. Stateroom: I booked an inside cabin on Deck 11 for this voyage. It had two lower beds, which could be put together to make a queen-size bed. In similar situations on other lines when I have booked single occupancy, the beds were automatically put together but here they were not. This, however, is my only criticism of the cabin staff as otherwise the service in the cabin was efficient and non-obtrusive. The stateroom itself was clean and utilitarian. There were some nice touches such as polished cherry wood closets and a sliding door rather than a rubber curtain on the shower. However, for the most part, the stateroom was more practical than luxurious. In addition to a few inside cabins, Deck 11 holds Penthouses and Mini-suites. These staterooms looked sumptuous. Dining: Flexibility in dining is a major part of Freestyle cruising. There are no assigned restaurants, assigned tables, or set dinner times. The passenger can decide when and where to eat. However, with this freedom comes responsibility. One cannot just breeze into the most popular dining venue at seven o'clock and expect to seated. Instead, if you want to dine in a particular restaurant during the most popular dinner hours you have to make a reservation. It is best to do this as early as possible as the most popular venues and times fill quickly. I experienced three of NORWEGIAN DAWN's dining venues during the cruise. The Venetian main dining room is a huge room at the stern of the ship. However, instead of looking cavernous, the room is light and colorful. A row of large windows along the stern account for much of the light. However, the decoration uses colors reminiscent of the paintings by Caneletto of Venice in its glory days and the feeling of that graceful city lifts the atmosphere of the room. Despite the Italian name, the menu is international. For breakfast, there were familiar staples such as cereals, eggs, pancakes and French toast as well as the usual sides of bacon and smoked salmon. For lunch, the menu ranged from light fare such as hamburgers to multi-course meals with more complex entrees. I found the food good and the service attentive and helpful. Indeed, when I mentioned to one of the assistant restaurant managers that I had to leave for an appointment in a few minutes, he personally went and brought my dessert. Impressions, decorated with large reproductions of French Impressionist masterpieces, was once a general dining room. However, it has become the Italian specialty restaurant. Do not expect red-checked table cloths but rather the sophistication of Milan or of an upscale Roman venue. There is pizza but it is individually prepared appetizer pizza for one. There is pasta but it is prepared at the table pasta. Then, the main dishes, such as Salmon Francesca, are complex in their flavors. Very impressive. Le Bistro is an extra-tariff French specialty restaurant. It has been rated by other reviewers as the best dining venue on the ship. Perhaps because my expectations were so high, I found it somewhat disappointing. The food was good but no better than the Venetian and not as interesting as Impressions. It just goes to show that one should not always rely on what one reads in reviews. Entertainment: Because there are no set seatings in the restaurants, the evening entertainment does not follow the usual pattern of early shows and late shows. Rather, the entertainment is spaced throughout the evening. As a result, if one plans ahead, one can see a variety of shows during an evening. On the first night of the cruise, the show in the Stardust Theater, the ship's large entertainment venue, was headed by a combination juggler/comedian. His juggling work was impressive. His comedy was much more amateurish but because the quality of his personality shone through, it worked. The second night, the ship presented a Las Vegas style production show. This was thoroughly professional and entertaining. Interestingly, although NCL is actively courting the Baby Boom generation, the music in the show (late 1970s/1980s) was actually post-Baby Boomer. Later, I saw a show by a comedian in the Spinnaker Lounge, a large room atop the navigation bridge. It was only moderately amusing. In various other venues around the ship, there was live music. A trio of three guitarists in the Grand Atrium was the most memorable. Daytime activities: Because of the overcast skies and cool temperatures, few passengers ventured out on the open decks. Inside, the ship presented a schedule of typical cruise ship activities such as trivia contests and name that tune. There were lectures by the spa staff but no enrichment lectures and since there were no ports, no port lectures. Children's Facilities: There were very few children on this voyage. However, one cannot help but notice the extensive children's play area at the stern of the ship. It includes large statues of cartoon-like dinosaurs, a man-made cave, pools and various other items. There are also indoor facilities dedicated to children and teenagers. In summary, NORWEGIAN DAWN is a beautiful modern cruise ship providing a style of cruising that is different than that of the other major lines in many respects. Indeed, it bears a substantial similarity to a shore-side resort experience in that the guest has the flexibility and the responsibility to design much of his or her experience. My photos of the ship are posted at: http://www.beyondships.com/NCLDawn-Tour-1.html. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
I was on the Dawn 2005, I originally booked this because this was to be the cruise before it set sail to Florida it's new home. However, that has changed and I am happy to see that she will be here a little longer. Paul and I took ... Read More
I was on the Dawn 2005, I originally booked this because this was to be the cruise before it set sail to Florida it's new home. However, that has changed and I am happy to see that she will be here a little longer. Paul and I took the Metro from New Haven, to Grand Central station, from there we took a cab to the pier. Unfortunately, there was a virus onboard the ship and they had to clean the ship from top to bottom before we went on.(They did give us the option to cruise or not) It took a little longer than usual to get on board but honestly, I would rather they clean then get sick. We got on about 1:00 (we were lucky to register early, only a few of us were able to) We had lunch at the buffet, we had to wait for our rooms to be ready till 4:00 and had to carry our luggage with us, originally the room were to be ready at 2:00. We had a great time, we ate at Cagney's for dinner on Friday night, and Le Bistro on Saturday night. The food was excellent, and the service terrific. I have been on over 30 cruises and the casino was hoping, I have never seen so many people win at a casino as I did this weekend. I took advantage of the promotion they had on the ship,it was well worth the price for future cruises. This was a perfect get a way and I wish more were available. I would recommend this cruise to everyone. The Dawn is a great ship and I will miss her. I love NCL free style. I can't wait to book another cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
This was our 11th cruise, 5th on NCL, and second time on the Dawn. It was our first weekend cruise. My wife surprised me with this trip and we traveled with two of our closest friends. Embarkation: We left the Boston area at 5:25 am on ... Read More
This was our 11th cruise, 5th on NCL, and second time on the Dawn. It was our first weekend cruise. My wife surprised me with this trip and we traveled with two of our closest friends. Embarkation: We left the Boston area at 5:25 am on Friday. We arrived to the pier in NYC at 9:40 am. The drive down was terrific and somehow we missed the rush hour traffic for Boston, Hartford, and NYC. We arrived at the check-in area at the Manhattan Pier and were greeted with the news that there was a Noro-like virus that infected about 5% of the passengers and crew on the NCL Dawn last week. We received a statement in writing with an offer of a credit if we chose not to sail this week. The actual embarkation was not going to occur until 1:00pm because the crew was performing extra cleaning in all areas. We decided to stay and take the cruise and were glad that did. The cruise was an excellent experience and a fun weekend away. Food: We enjoyed all of our meals on this cruise. Since this was our second time on the Dawn, we had a plan on the restaurants that we wanted to try. We first ate dinner in Venetian as soon as we boarded. I ordered the Tilapia and it was excellent. We all enjoyed a nice leisurely lunch by the back window. We ate dinner at Le Bistro on Friday evening. We have been to this restaurant on all of our NCL cruises and consider it our favorite. We all chose the lobster and shrimp martini, escargot, and short ribs and filet for our main course. Everything was once again perfectly done and the service was superb. We asked for chocolate fondue and fruit for dessert and although it is no longer on the menu, it was delivered with a smile and was delicious. This was a great way to introduce our friends to NCL and freestyle cruising. We had a nice hot breakfast delivered by the butler on Saturday morning. I had Eggs Benedict and fresh fruit which were very good. This was a nice treat for us and everything was hot and got our morning off to a good start. Bamboo, Teppanyaki, and Cagney's were all open for lunch on this cruise. Back in August, Bamboo, the Asian restaurant, was my least favorite of all of my meals. We decided to give it another try and I was glad that I did. It was delicious and the portions were large. However, the service was quite slow and the head waiter came over and apologized for this. We were not too upset as we were enjoying the company and conversation. I had the lemon chicken for my main course and it was worth the wait. It was a two hour lunch but we really did not care. It gave us the opportunity to spend quality time with our friends in a nice atmosphere. We had dinner in Impressions of Italy. The Caesar salad, minestrone soup, and beef dish was excellent and the service was again superb. All of our meals were as good and some even better than we experienced on our week on the Dawn back in August. It was a nice surprise because for some reason I was prepared for things to be not up to the standards we experienced on longer cruises. This was not accurate in our experience. All of the crew that we encountered went out of their way to make our weekend enjoyable. Entertainment: We did not go to any shows in the Stardust Theater. We did go and see Fire and Ice, a singing group from Barbados. Rosie and Max can sure fill up a room! She has such an incredible singing voice and we first saw them on the Dawn in August. If you have a chance to see her perform do not miss it. She sings Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, and others. We also participated in the Quest. It was a lot of fun and definitely an adults only show. If you are up for a good laugh and want to have some fun you must add this to your "to do" list. Public Areas: We found that the public areas were very clean. The Noro-like virus from the previous week prompted a thorough cleaning of all the public areas. Although this delayed our embarkation, it was evident that lots of cleaning had taken place. The Casino was filled with smoke for most of the weekend. Although I am not a smoker, I can be around it without any problems if I choose to. I found it hard to stay in there for very long. Stateroom: We stayed in an AB Penthouse suite. This was our second time in this cabin this year and we knew what to expect. It is a great place to stay and it is my favorite cabin on a cruise ship with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living and dining area, and balcony. The master bath has a huge shower and a Jacuzzi. It is a comfortable cabin and at over 550 square feet offered lots of room for the 4 of us. Penthouse Perks: I will self describe us as people who are easy to please. We do not ask for much but do enjoy some of the services of the concierge and butler. Michael, the concierge and his assistant Johnny were very helpful and got us the dining room reservations that we wanted. Anshuman, the butler, came in to introduce himself after I called him. He told me that on the weekend cruises, we will not receive the perks that we received back in August (we did have another butler in August). He told me that there was no complimentary champagne (this actually arrived to the cabin about 30 minutes after our conversation), no in-suite dining, and no suite menu breakfasts. When I told him that we already had our dining reservations and that we only wanted a hot breakfast in the suite, he said that he could do this. He got the menus and instructed us to put whatever we wanted and leave it on the table in the suite and he will get it. We had a great breakfast in the suite on Saturday morning. Anshuman never came to get the menu on Saturday evening for Sunday's breakfast. This was not a big deal for us and we decided to eat in Venetian before we left the ship. Debarkation: We arrived back to NYC at about 8:00 as we were eating our breakfast by the back window of the Venetian dining room. The NCL Spirit followed us in and the NCL Crown was ahead of us. With 3 NCL ships in port, the pier was bound to be busy. However, at about 9:00 am it was announced that we could leave. The Freestyle requested that we leave the ship by 9:00am. I do not remember reading this on the longer cruises and were planning to leave about that time anyway. We gathered our things and in about 15 minutes, we were off the ship and leaving in our car at 9:25 am. We enjoyed our weekend away on the Dawn. We will definitely consider another 2 day cruise out NYC or Boston in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
My wife and I just returned from the 9/1/07 Labor Day weekend "Cruise to No Where" from NYC and had a very positive experience. We booked this short get away cruise to celebrate our 15th Wedding Anniversary without our kids (ages ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from the 9/1/07 Labor Day weekend "Cruise to No Where" from NYC and had a very positive experience. We booked this short get away cruise to celebrate our 15th Wedding Anniversary without our kids (ages 7 and 9). This was our 7th cruise (2nd with NCL, 2 w/Princess, 3 w/Carnival) and our first cruise to No Where. You can bet that it won't be our last. We had read all the reader reviews about the Dawn, but found the one written by Cruise Critic's editor, Carolyn Spencer Brown (7/03/2007) "My Cruise to Nowhere on Norwegian Spirit" to be the most helpful in preparing for this one-night experience. The weather was a beautiful 80 degrees, partly cloudy, summer sunny afternoon. We arrived at the port at 12:00 p.m., parked our car on the pier roof top parking lot ($25.00) and were on the ship by 12:30 p.m. The embarkation process was orderly and organized. Once on board, we headed to Salsa, one of the ship's restaurants, to review the menus of all other the restaurants and to make our dinner reservation. Based on all of the positive reviews that we had read, we booked a 6:00 p.m. dinner reservation in Le Bistro (extra fee of $15 per person). Since NCL does not allow passengers to go to their rooms until 2:00 p.m., we lugged our overnight bag down to the Venetian for a very lovely sit-down lunch experience. The Venetian is one of the ship's main dining rooms that were actually open for lunch - very unusual compared to any of our other cruise experiences where only a "buffet" lunch is served. A lovely female waiter team (Romanian and Yugoslavian) provided us with a very cheerful and pleasant experience. After our delicious lunch, we checked out the two other dining choices and concluded that we had made the right choice for lunch. At 2:00 p.m. we went to our balcony room (#10026) to quickly unpack and change into our bathing suits. The beautifully decorated cabin was much smaller than what we had experienced on Carnival and Princess; the storage space was adequate, but not generous. The bathroom was very unique in that it was a three-part design -- the shower and toilet areas are equipped with sliding glass privacy doors to allow multiple users at one time. There was also a mini-fridge that was empty, so we filled it with our bottle of white wine that we had packed in our overnight bag. We spent a lot of time on our balcony and highly recommend same for the one-night experience. We then went upstairs to the open pool deck area and easily found two lounge chairs, where we placed our towels and nick knacks. Since the "pool party" did not appear to be in full swing yet, we decided to take a self guided tour of the ship's public areas and to get to know our way around the ship. We tried the "one scoop" ice cream cone at Sprinkles, but greatly missed the self serve soft ice cream and frozen yogurt machines that are typically found on Carnival ships. After the 3:30 p.m. life jacket drill, we returned to the Lido Deck for the Deck Party send-off. At 4:00 p.m., an elaborate outdoor pool side BBQ (pork ribs, hamburgers, hotdogs, and chicken) and a live Asian party band were in full swing. We picked at the delicious ribs and grilled chicken and drank our frozen Pina Coladas. When the ship finally left the pier at 4:45 p.m., we headed to the Jacuzzi tub located in the front of the ship. Here we had a beautiful view of Manhattan, New Jersey, Statue of Liberty and Verazanno Bridge. As we approached the tip of Manhattan, we left the Jacuzzi and went to our port side room, which is on the right side of the ship facing New Jersey and the Statue of Liberty. There we sat on our balcony and admired the Statue of Liberty, passing boats, Staten Island Ferry and Verazanno Bridge. Already 6:00 p.m., we headed down to Le Bistro for dinner. We were seated between the Renoir (valued at $30 million) and Monet paintings, which were both situated behind bullet proof glass. The low lighting, candle light (battery operated), soft background music and small size created an intimate, romantic atmosphere. To our surprise and luck, the female waiter team that had served us at lunch, were also assigned to our table at Le Bistro. We each ordered a glass of wine and found the four-course French service dinner to be outstanding and the food heavenly! The lobster martini, escargot, French onion soup, large salmon filet and chocolate mouse all were fantastic. Pay the extra $15 a head; you won't be sorry you did! We were not at all impressed with the 8:30 p.m. show "Band on the Run", but sat through the same anyway. Then we went to Spinnakers and danced to the music provided by that great Asian band. At 10:30 p.m., after the band stopped playing, we participated in a very hilarious, adult only, audience participation game show called "Quest". It was raucous, R-rated entertainment that kept you laughing until midnight. During the show, the MC also entertained us with his outstanding juggling talents. Still awake, we headed to the casino to play some video poker. I was very surprised that the minimum table was $10.00. Additionally, an elaborate hot "buffet" was set up in the middle of the casino for all to enjoy - very unusual compared to any of our other cruise experiences where only drinks (not food) are served. This tactic was obviously done to keep the gamblers in the casino for extended periods. After playing for 45 minutes (loosing only $10.00 at video poker), the smoke was getting to us, so we decided to head back to the room to spend some time on our balcony, where we heard the waves crashing against the ship and admired the clear sky, stars and moon lit ocean. What a wonderful way to end the night. Between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. we sat on our balcony and watched the sun rise and our slow approach under the Verazanno Bridge. There were no clouds in the sky and the weather was perfect. At 7:30 a.m., we went down to the Venetian for a very lovely sit-down breakfast experience. We were seated at a table that was situated closest to the rear windows of the dining room (facing the Verazanno Bridge and Manhattan skyline). The view was incredibly awesome and a wonderful way to end our wedding anniversary celebration. At 9:00 a.m. they announced that passengers on our deck should begin to disembark the ship. We did not experience any lines and just walked off the ship. We would definitely recommend the NCL Dawn, and especially her one-night "Cruise to No Where" for a quick, reasonably priced (base ticket - $336 per couple) romantic get away without the kids. Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
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