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  #1  
Old December 29th, 2004, 05:06 PM
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michelle45 michelle45 is offline
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Thumbs up Review of Dawn cruise 9th December

This is the first chance I’ve had since getting back on the 23rd to sit down and write a review of our lovely cruise on the Norwegian Dawn (actually it is the second time I’ve sat down to it as the first time I lost the review when I tried to post it!)

We left New York on the 9th December on our first cruise with NCL. We have cruised before; once with Carnival and numerous occasions with RCI. I guess that any comparisons whether conscious or not will be against these two cruise lines.



First off I have to say that we really enjoyed our cruise. We liked Freestyle dining and enjoyed the options it gave us. We had no problems about getting a table when and where we wanted it and we liked to eat around 8 to 8.30pm.

Thought it might be easier, rather than giving a blow-by-blow account, to look at what we saw as the positives and negatives of the cruise.



POSITIVES

The food…we enjoyed the food throughout the cruise both in the restaurants and in the buffets. We enjoy our food, are not particularly picky but do eat out regularly so I am comparing it to that. The portions are plentiful but we did find it more ‘prescribed’ than on RCI. The staff, although wonderfully pleasant, was less able or willing to go ‘off menu’. Having said that, I think freestyle dining has so many positives that when I take my next RCI cruise (already booked) I know I will feel a frustration with the more rigid approach to dining.

The crew…cannot rate them highly enough. From the officers to the cabin staff, I never saw ONE of them without getting a smile or greeting from them. I truly believe this comes from ‘the top’ and without a doubt the ship is well managed

The kid’s club…my son who is 11 is a seasoned ‘kids clubber’ and even though he went to this club less than he has done before I put that more down to age and the fact that he is getting more confident about making his own way around and doing his own thing. He thought the two girls that took his age group were great. They were fair, got to know the kids very quickly but took no nonsense in terms of any bad behaviour. All in all, a success.

The bars…we thought all the bars were comfortable and welcoming even on the occasions when they weren’t very full. The lighting in these places makes such a difference and I think NCL have got it right. It’s a shame that on some nights a great band like Modal Magic were playing to small audiences in an empty Dazzles. I think they deserved better as their voices were fantastic and they sang some great soul classics.

The passengers…what a nice bunch! Typically British, we tend to keep ourselves to ourselves, but even so everyone we spoke to was pleasant and friendly. There weren’t too many chair grabbers or table huggers, no gangs of teenagers or over-excited kids…wonderful. On top of that, I lost a very expensive watch at the pool (completely my fault i.e. don’t take your best jewellery to the pool and don’t then wrap it in a towel, forget about it and drop it on the floor!!). I assumed it had gone for good, but no, some kind person handed it in and the ents. Director brought it to my stateroom. That is after the pool attendants had gone through the towels in all of the towel bins. Thanks to you all!!



THE NEGATIVES

New York as an embarkation port…I know it was really handy for many passengers but for us we felt we lost too much sunbathing time on the way to and fro from the Caribbean. Yes, I know we could expect nothing different in December but in future I think we will sail from Miami.

New York as a disembarkation port…Aagh what a nightmare. Never again!!

Size of a mini-suite…I think if I hadn’t sailed on some of the newer RCI ships then this would not have been an issue, but this room felt quite tight. Especially once the sofa bed had been put up. We ended up putting the sofa bed away ourselves as soon as we woke up so it wasn’t a massive problem, but the room wasn’t my favourite bit (except the bathroom which was well-designed)

The entertainment…this is such a personal taste thing I know, but for us the entertainment was at best, patchy. The Jean Ann Ryan dancers (hope I’ve got the name right) were good in the stage show, as were Modal Magic. However I thought the comedian was atrocious and the magician we saw looked amateurish (as I said only our opinion). Got to say though, if you go to the main ‘broadway’type shows look out for the two featured dancers. They are spectacular

The creaking of the ship…the noise of a ship at sea lulls me to sleep and I love it. However I have never been on a ship that made as much noise as this one. When the sea was choppy, it was almost funny to listen to the noises in our cabin. I cannot believe that this is not some kind of design fault in the fitting out of the ship. I have to say though that this cacophony never made me feel that the ship was anything other than safe.



So all in all, a great cruise . Hope this review is helpful. Let me know if I’ve raised any questions.
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  #2  
Old December 29th, 2004, 06:10 PM
JessLCH JessLCH is offline
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Thanks for your review. We also had a major creaking problem in our midship, balcony cabin on deck 10 back in May, 2003. It was really my only major complaint about the cruise. Where was your minisuite located? We are staying in an AB suite- FWD eeck 11. I am now fearing more creaking since these suites are located right mext to the minis.
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Norwegian Dawn (2/10)
Pride of America (8/09)
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  #3  
Old December 29th, 2004, 07:49 PM
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uneamie uneamie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessLCH
Thanks for your review. We also had a major creaking problem in our midship, balcony cabin on deck 10 back in May, 2003. It was really my only major complaint about the cruise. Where was your minisuite located? We are staying in an AB suite- FWD eeck 11. I am now fearing more creaking since these suites are located right mext to the minis.
Hmmm...I would think that "creaking is creaking" no matter what suite or cabin your in. I could be wrong here, but I think aft versus the front of the ship makes a difference. I also heard if you partake in enough "foo foo" drinks before retiring to bed you dont' hear a thing!


Thanks for the great review Michelle! Glad to hear you enjoyed it.
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Home Lines Atlantic - 5/1988 - Bermuda
Disney Wonder - 10/1998 - Bahamas
Carnival Triumph - 7/02 - Nova Scotia /Canada
Carnival Legend - 10/03 - Eastern Caribbean
NCL - Dawn - 1/05 - Southern Caribbean NCL
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Last edited by uneamie; December 29th, 2004 at 07:51 PM.
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  #4  
Old December 29th, 2004, 08:17 PM
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bragstarr bragstarr is offline
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Default Thank You!

Am now on a 53 (or is it 52) day countdown and any information on Dawn is more than welcomed; saw you tried to post review before and lost it...something that has happened to me also! Was interesting to read your perspective since my other three cruises have been on RCL also. Thanks for the information.

Robin
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"Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters." - Howard Bloomfield

RCI Explorer of the Seas (W. Caribbean) 12/7/02
RCI Serenade of the Seas (Canada) 9/25/03
RCI Majesty of the Seas (Bahamas) 2/16/04
Norwegian Dawn (Bahamas) 2/20/05
Norwegian Crown (Bermuda) 9/24/06
Carnival Imagination (E. Caribbean) 1/28/08
Norwegian Dawn (Canada/New England) 9/21/08
Star Princess (Alaska) 7/19/09
RCI Oasis of the Seas (E. Caribbean) 1/23/10
Norwegian Gem 12/11/10 (Bahamas)

Carnival Glory 9/5/11 (Canada)
Norwegian Jewel 11/4/12 (Bahamas)
Carnival Conquest 01/12/14 (W. Caribbean)
Norwegian Breakaway 1/4/15 (S. Caribbean)




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  #5  
Old December 30th, 2004, 04:57 AM
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michelle45 michelle45 is offline
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Hi JessLCH, our cabin was 11066 which seemed to me pretty much mid-ship, under the pool area. I was a little concerned before we went away that we may get noise from the deck above, but this proved to be no problem at all. The odd 'scraping' noise maybe but nothing that proved an issue. As regards the 'creaking, I think that Uneamie has the right idea in their reply...alcohol could help at the times that the sea is choppy!!
Final tip for Robin...if you've also lost the odd reply or post into the ether, try doing what I did this time which is to type your reply into 'word', copy it and then paste it onto this site. I am the original technophobe but it worked for me!
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  #6  
Old December 30th, 2004, 07:27 AM
chatisfaction chatisfaction is offline
 
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michelle45 and bragstarr

I now type my review as a word document then copy it when I post. That way if it goes into limbo you still have the original. You've probably thought of that by now but just in case your brain is still fuddled from too much sun and fun thought I'd mention it.
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  #7  
Old December 30th, 2004, 09:43 AM
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Tomct Tomct is offline
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Smile Review

This 12/9 10 day was our 3rd cruise on the Dawn, and may skip an all out review this time, but would like to make a few comments on your enjoyable review. As obvious fans of NCL and this ship, I'm always glad to read about happy customers.

Creaking - Not sure if it's us, or if we've been lucky, but we have not had any such problems. I read about it when the ship was brand new, and got some inside info on how they were correcting the problem piecemeal, by replacing wall pieces as fast as the major problem areas were identified. I never did hear if they went through the entire ship, as the complaints seemed to go away for the most part. We've always been forward, Deck 10. On that rocky night on our return to NYC, we did have some wind related noises that woke us up. It seemed to be a whistling noise outside, as we closed our balcony door and thinking that was the problem, and there were some heavy drafts within the cabin. None were really bothersome, but were noted.

Entertainment - we really enjoy the Jean Ann Ryan performances, even for a 3rd time. We are very tired of the comedian, Dave Heenan, and his style does wear thin rather quickly. I skipped the magician, but my wife would agree wholeheartedly with your comments; basically not talented at all. As for Modal Magic, we enjoy them very much, but this time our schedule did not mesh well with theirs. I never did notice they were in Dazzles, as I would have loved to have been "up close and personal" with them.

Off menu - we didn't often ask to go off menu, and when we did we had no problem. However, we had several occasions where our waitstaff took us off menu without our request. I asked our fantastic waiter, Ivan, in LeBistro, where we could get Creme Brule on the ship, and while we were eating our Chocolate Fondue, he brought us 4 orders of Creme Brule from Bamboo. Since we are normally so pleased with the meals as ordered, I don't even think to ask for substitutions, or extra portions, but on this cruise, it seemed our waitstaff was going over and above for us. In Cagney's, as I was ordering my T-Bone, I mentioned to Renato how good the veal chop was there on our last cruise, when he was also our waiter. He offerrred a veal chop to go with my steak. He also made up a 2nd shrimp cocktail platter for one in our party, as an entree to go with her shrimp cocktail appetizer.

I may have mentioned to you previously that my father was born in Lincoln, England, and came to this country as a youngster, early 1900's. Passing Ellis Island is always a little special!!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
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Norwegian Star 4/2002
Norwegian Dawn 4/2003
Norwegian Dawn 6/2004
Norwegian Dawn 12/2004
Norwegian Majesty 6/2005
Norwegian Jewel 10/2005
Norwegian Gem 1/16/2008
Norwegian Spirit 5/2009
Norwegian Dawn 10/4/2009
Norwegian Epic 10/9/2010
Norwegian Breakaway 5/19/2013

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  #8  
Old December 30th, 2004, 11:09 AM
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michelle45 michelle45 is offline
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Tomcat, Can't promise when it will be but when I next get to Lincoln I'll try and get some photo's for you. It is a lovely place especially the Cathedral. Have you ever been?
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  #9  
Old December 30th, 2004, 11:09 PM
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Tomct Tomct is offline
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Default Lincoln

Never been to England; the closest I got was Ireland!!

We've talked about it, but we are now into cruising, so who knows!!

We used to have a souvenir cabinet in our house when growing up, and not sure where the items all went, but I do recall many items, like spoons, with the "Lincoln Imp" on it.
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Norwegian Star 4/2002
Norwegian Dawn 4/2003
Norwegian Dawn 6/2004
Norwegian Dawn 12/2004
Norwegian Majesty 6/2005
Norwegian Jewel 10/2005
Norwegian Gem 1/16/2008
Norwegian Spirit 5/2009
Norwegian Dawn 10/4/2009
Norwegian Epic 10/9/2010
Norwegian Breakaway 5/19/2013

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