Norwegian Dawn's cabins got a makeover, not plastic surgery, in the ship's 2016 refurbishment. Gone are the turquoise, starfish-stuffed carpets, the lime green couches and the fuchsia chairs -- replaced by a tasteful, neutral gray decor. Yet standard cabin bathrooms and furnishings remain the same, so expect some scuffs on the tables and throwback ashtrays by the toilet.
Standard cabins are on the small side, but can easily accommodate two people. Add in a third or fourth, either by bunk bed or pullout sofa, and you'll start to feel the squeeze. Storage is plentiful with a closet that offers both hanging space and wide shelves, three drawers of a suitable size for clothing and a few high shelves.
These cabins feature queen beds that can separate out into twins, one nightstand, a corner vanity with an ottoman-like stool and attached hair dryer, and a moveable square table with a second stool. Hidden behind cabinet doors in the closet area are a mini-bar (you can ask to have the items removed) and a safe. Flat-screen televisions are mostly utilized as Norwegian ads, with several ship channels (bow cam, shore excursion videos) and descriptions of onboard spaces, with a bunch of news channels, one free movie channel, one general TV show channel and a lot of pay-per-view movies. Cabins also come with ice buckets and glasses, and coffee makers and coffee cups.
Definitely bring some sort of multi-plug device because there is only one 110-volt outlet and one 220-volt outlet by the vanity. You won't be able to plug in your cellphone and leave it by the bed.
Bathrooms are laid out in a convenient three-part design (two for inside and outside cabins). The showers (bathtubs for mini-suites and beyond) have sliding-glass doors, as does the toilet compartment. The doors separate each from the central sink area. When both doors are shut, each mini-room becomes semiprivate. The showers are spacious by cruise ship standards, but general bathroom storage is lacking and it's pretty easy to bang your elbows on all the dividing walls. Fun fact: The odd wall attachments by the toilet are an ashtray (smoking hasn't been allowed in cabins for years) and a magazine rack.
Provided toiletries include bar soap, body lotion and attached pumps of hand soap, shower gel and conditioning shampoo. No brand name is provided.
Norwegian Dawn has 26 wheelchair-accessible cabins, with an option in every category.
Interior: Inside cabins measure 142 square feet, and have a large mirror on the wall behind the bed (where the window would be in the identical outside cabins). They can sleep up to four people, with pulldown bunk beds.
Oceanview: Outside cabins measure 158 square feet, with a porthole or picture window above the bed. Obstructed-view outsides on Deck 8, behind the lifeboats, can measure up to 196 square feet. Outside cabins can also sleep up to four.
Balcony: Balcony cabins measure 166 square feet, with 37-square-foot verandas. These staterooms add in a small pullout sofa that can sleep one, and is not overly comfortable. Balconies are furnished with two metal and plastic-mesh chairs with a small drinks table. For those sleeping on the pullout, it's important to note that it's rock-hard. Aft-facing balconies on decks 8 through 10 are the same size as regular balcony cabins but offer a larger veranda, ranging in size from 71 to 136 square feet.
Minisuite: Mini-suites are laid out like balcony cabins, but at 229 square feet with 54-square-foot verandas, they offer more space. Mini-suites upgrade to shower-tub combos and queen-sized pullout sofas.
Suite: Norwegian Dawn has 64 suites, including two Garden Villas and eight Owner's Suites, as well as Penthouse and Family Suites. All of these suites receive butler and concierge service, exclusive breakfast and lunch (held inside Moderno), priority embarkation and disembarkation and tendering, Bulgari toiletries, espresso machines, priority restaurant reservations, meals from specialty restaurants delivered to your cabin (fees apply) plus a special room service menu with full breakfast, canapes and treats delivered to your suite, pillow menu and sparkling wine on embarkation day. Owner's Suite and Garden Villa residents receive a complimentary liquor setup, and Villa residents get a limo transfer from the pier to the airport.
Penthouse: Penthouses can be found all the way forward or all the way aft. Forward-facing penthouses on decks 9 and 10 range in size from 448 to 568 square feet, with balconies sized from 134 to 252 square feet. Aft-facing penthouses on decks 8, 9 and 10 are slightly smaller, at 365 to 411 square feet, with 78- to 123-square-foot balconies. The majority sleep three people, though a few can sleep four. Penthouse suites feature a walk-in closet, living area with couch, coffee table and chair and a small dining table with four chairs. Balconies feature full-sized lounge chairs.
Owner's Suite: The four Owner's Suites on Deck 12 forward measure 667 to 732 square feet and have no balcony. Two Owner's Suites each on decks 9 and 10 forward range in size from 721 to 900 square feet (including balcony) and feature forward- and side-facing balconies, for a total of 150 square feet of balcony space. Each can sleep four with a pullout sofa. The Deck 12 suites feature a large living area with couch, coffee table and two easy chairs, a dining table for four, full desk, flat-screen TV and bar setup for alcohol and coffee (with three complimentary bottles of alcohol, plus bottled water and soda). The bedroom has a vanity table, closet (not walk-in) and second TV. The huge bathroom has double sinks, whirlpool tub and separate shower, and a toilet behind a closed door. Toiletries are by Bulgari, though you still get the Norwegian no-brand soap and shampoo dispensers. Slanted floor-to-ceiling windows in both the living and sleeping areas offer stunning views. In contrast, the Owner's Suites with balconies have a walk-in closet in the bathroom, a second guest half-bath by the entrance and a smaller bedroom space. One balcony offers a dining table and chairs, the other loungers.
Garden Villa: The crown jewels of the Norwegian Dawn accommodations are the ship's two Garden Villas on keycard-access-only Deck 14. These 6,694-square-foot cabins (the size includes three bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and humongous, two-story outside deck areas) are, in a word, fabulous -- and more space than the seven people who can sleep in each villa could possibly need for themselves. The individual bedrooms vary in size (and amazingness of the bathroom and closet space), but all have floor-to-ceiling windows. Two have king-sized beds and whirlpool tubs, while the third has a queen-sized bed and standard bathtub and shower. The living room looks out over the pool deck and features a grand piano, dining table, couch and chairs and bar/kitchen area (with six complimentary bottles of alcohol, plus bottled water and soda). The villas have their own private outdoor deck areas with whirlpool and lounge chairs, top-of-ship sunbathing decks and even steam rooms. If a large group books both Garden Villas together, walls in the living room and outer decks can be opened up to create one enormous social space.
Family: Norwegian Dawn has three types of family suites: Family Suites without a balcony, Family Suites with Balcony and Two-Bedroom Family Suites. The no-balcony suites are found on Deck 12, measure 409 to 452 square feet and can sleep six. The room features a living area with pullout couch and two chairs, small dining table for four, walk-in closet and bathroom with double sinks and separate tub and shower. The family suites with balcony have an identical layout, but add a 110-square-foot balcony with two upright chairs and a drinks table.
The 10 two-bedroom Family Suites are found on Deck 11; they measure 587 square feet with 54-square-foot balconies, located off the living area. A tiny inside kids' room can sleep three with a queen-sized pullout couch and a pulldown bunk bed; this room has its own bathroom, similar to the one found in a regular inside cabin, as well as its own TV. The living room has a sitting area with couch and easy chairs, dining table and coffee bar. The balcony has two padded, wicker loungers and a drinks table. Go through a door, and you find yourself in the walk-in closet. On one side is the master bedroom, divided from the closet by a curtain; on the other is the huge bathroom, complete with double sinks, shower stall, toilet behind a door and a whirlpool tub with a window. (To us, it feels like you're sleeping in the bathroom, and that the master bed might get claustrophobic with the curtains drawn, but it's a small price to pay for all that space.)