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Had a lovely trip on the Dawn last week and wanted to let you all know what my favorites (and not so favorites) were. I got so much great information from these boards, I wanted to give a little back.
THE SHIP - First of all, the Dawn is an absolutely beautiful ship. There is amazing artwork everywhere, including 3 Andy Warhol's series on the stairways (they have removed the Chairman Mao series) and, of course, the amazing originals in LeBistro. However, I did find it quite difficult to navigate around this ship and I prefer a more dramatic and central atrium.
THE ROOM - I stayed in an aft Balcony (BA) and would recommend this room to anyone. The balcony is quite a bit deeper and wider than the standard balcony room (thanks to fellow CC'er Singitalto (Maryann) for confirming when she and her husband came to take a look!) The room is smaller than other balcony cabins I've had (on Triumph and Disney) but very pretty and well laid out especially, as others have posted, the 3 compartment bathroom.
THE STAFF - Our room stewards were fabulous! The girl was very shy, but Ranji (at least I think that's what he told us to call him) was great. He introduced himself to us right away and we got a different towel animal every night. It was my 13 year old daughter and I traveling together so by the third day we had shoes everywhere. When we came back to the cabin we had our "Wall of Shoes" where they had gathered and lined them all so we could find them. For some reason, we just loved this!!
The majority of the crew on board are amazingly cheerful. Particular kudos to Leonardo the Bartender. He is the main guy at Gatsby's everynight, but we saw this man everywhere! Pool bar, Java Cafe, Spinnakers late night - even on Stirrup Cay. Another bartender that works early evenings in Gatsby's would do all sort of pouring stunts and showed my daughter some great tricks (with stirrers, straws, etc.) Dorina was one our waitstaff at Cagneys and she was an absolute pleasure. Another Cagneys' waiter whose name I don't recall actually stood at the table and cracked my friends lobster claw and pulled all the meat out of it for him! When we asked about the flambe of the day he said it was cherries jubilee. When another friend mentioned that she like bananas foster better, he went down 5 decks to get bananas from "a friend of his" and made us all a delicious batch of the Bananas Foster! That is great service. The Star Bar crew are also fabulous and just a pleasure to see their smiling faces when we walked in for our pre-dinner drink or after dinner cigarette break.
ENTERTAINMENT - I must confess, we didn't see a single show, movie or game type event. Although we did see the Sexy Legs contest on the pool deck (Cheryl - Jerry was robbed!) I don't normally do these during a cruise, so it was no reflection on the Dawn. We loved Caribbean Wave (the poolside band) and Modal Magic (top 40's type band - Spinnakers mostly). Tony Payne at Gatsby's was another favorite - does great Frank Sinatra tunes!
THE FOOD/RESTAURANTS - Frankly, I was a little disappointed in the food. We had 3 great meals, several good meals and several mediocre ones. We ate at the buffet only on the day we left and twice for breakfast, then we started going to the Venetian. Our meal at Le Bistro was definitely the best of the cruise but, unfortunately, took 4 hours to complete. I love a leisurely dinner, but there was definitely some sort of a problem going on that was never explained to us, although once we mentioned the problem to our maitre'd, we had 4 people swarming all over us! Should've spoken up sooner. Our waiter was a charming guy, but just seemed overwhelmed. As I mentioned before, Cagneys was excellent on the 2 occasions we ate there. The main restaurants were okay to very good, with the Chauterbriand and Rack of Lamb being particularly good choices.