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  #1  
Old January 2nd, 2012, 08:08 PM
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Default Norwegian Dawn Photo Review: A Caribbean Christmas

A little bit of background... I start most of my reviews with this disclaimer: I told my husband that if I ever start acting like a spoilt brat on a cruise, we should stop cruising for a while. I am working on never becoming one, because I love cruising too much. So, this review is from a ‘glass-half-full’ perspective. I hope you enjoy it and find some helpful tips.

If you would like to see pictures of the ship itself, click on this link:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1536934

If you would like to see the Freestyle Dailies from our cruise, click on this link:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...t=dawn+dailies

Following will be several posts with pictures, since there is a limit per post

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Old January 2nd, 2012, 08:13 PM
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As a quick summary, I will mention that my favorite things on the ship were the hot tub at the T-rex pool (often deserted on port days), Lucky Duo (musicians in the atrium), the question and answer session with some officers (the captain, hotel director, and chief engineer), dinner with our new CC friends, the Dawn Crew show, and the special Christmas show. We were also treated to a special performance by “Cat’s Pajamas”, which was a lot of fun and quite amazing 'a cappella' talent! The crew of the Dawn is truly friendly. I only encountered one person not smiling back and he was working at Sprinkles... can you blame the poor guy?

On the down side, entertainment was not well balanced in public areas. There was a lot of piano entertainment (3 pianist/singers). Although the piano entertainment in the Venetian was supposed to create a relaxing atmosphere, it just caused the volume to rise so that we had a hard time hearing our table mates.

TIP: If you want a more quiet area in the Venetian where you can hear your table mates better, ask to be seated in the side sections. We discovered this the last night of the cruise.

I know I am quite in the minority in this, but I do not care for suggestive dancing during shows, so I did not enjoy the Band on the Run. The acrobatics are quite spectacular though. Just a personal opinion.

I will attempt to turn this into an interesting picture review with tips from here on... I hope it works.

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Carnival Fantasy (April 2004); RCCL Enchantment of the Seas (October 2005); RCCL Majesty of the Seas (July 2006); Norwegian Dawn (April 2009)Costa Atlantica (April 2010); Read my Review; Celebrity Infinity (July 2010) Read my Review; Carnival Dream (March 2011) Read my Review; Carnival Legend (June 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Legend; Norwegian Dawn (A Caribbean Christmas 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Norwegian Dawn; Carnival Liberty (June 2012) Read my Review or See the FunTimes, Western; Carnival Fascination (July 2012) Read my picture review; Carnival Freedom (March 2013) Review, Ship pictures and FunTimes here!; RCCL Freedom of the Seas (June 2013) Click here for Promenade Stateroom Locations; Click here for Eastern Compass; RCCL Independence of the Seas (March 2014)Click here for my Picture Review; Click here for Eastern Compass; Carnival Liberty (June 2014) Read my review
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  #3  
Old January 2nd, 2012, 08:19 PM
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We arrived at the port around 11:15 a.m. We parked in parking garage C. Directions to the port:
http://www.ncl.com/csimages/153/470/...ions_Miami.pdf

TIP: On NCL it states that they only take cash at this parking garage. However, that info is outdated. They now have self-pay machines by the elevators where you can use your credit card. Maybe NCL will see this review and update it

We did not know that we were assigned “VIP”, and were taken through the regular check in process. However, when we got to the front of the line, we were escorted to the VIP ‘lounge’ and were on the ship by 11:45 a.m.

Once on the ship, we went to the Venetian for a relaxed lunch. We loved their Philly Cheesesteak, Angus Burger, and Shrimp Caesar salads at lunch. We ate at the Venetian most of the time, especially for breakfast and dinner. We prefer the more relaxed atmosphere over the rat race in the Garden Cafe. The Garden Cafe was our favorite choice for lunch on port days. We also enjoyed the Blue Lagoon, especially for an evening snack while listening to “Lucky Duo”. Here they are:



A great tip we picked up from here on CC: Popcorn is available in the Pearly Kings Pub whenever they are open:




The ship was decorated beautifully for Christmas. Not too much, just enough to enjoy the season. Here are the the Java Cafe decorations...
TIP: Note the table with the blue table cloth to the right in the picture. You can get free, great coffee here. It is self-serve in paper cups, but the best free coffee on the ship.


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Carnival Fantasy (April 2004); RCCL Enchantment of the Seas (October 2005); RCCL Majesty of the Seas (July 2006); Norwegian Dawn (April 2009)Costa Atlantica (April 2010); Read my Review; Celebrity Infinity (July 2010) Read my Review; Carnival Dream (March 2011) Read my Review; Carnival Legend (June 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Legend; Norwegian Dawn (A Caribbean Christmas 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Norwegian Dawn; Carnival Liberty (June 2012) Read my Review or See the FunTimes, Western; Carnival Fascination (July 2012) Read my picture review; Carnival Freedom (March 2013) Review, Ship pictures and FunTimes here!; RCCL Freedom of the Seas (June 2013) Click here for Promenade Stateroom Locations; Click here for Eastern Compass; RCCL Independence of the Seas (March 2014)Click here for my Picture Review; Click here for Eastern Compass; Carnival Liberty (June 2014) Read my review
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 08:22 PM
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A few of my favorite shows on the ship: The crew show with “Fountains”



I really liked our cruise director Johnny Sanchez. He is young and started out as a pool attendant. I especially appreciated that he did not try to be someone else. Here he is in the middle of the ‘fountain’:



The Christmas show was another highlight of the cruise. It ended with a couple of caroling songs.



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Carnival Fantasy (April 2004); RCCL Enchantment of the Seas (October 2005); RCCL Majesty of the Seas (July 2006); Norwegian Dawn (April 2009)Costa Atlantica (April 2010); Read my Review; Celebrity Infinity (July 2010) Read my Review; Carnival Dream (March 2011) Read my Review; Carnival Legend (June 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Legend; Norwegian Dawn (A Caribbean Christmas 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Norwegian Dawn; Carnival Liberty (June 2012) Read my Review or See the FunTimes, Western; Carnival Fascination (July 2012) Read my picture review; Carnival Freedom (March 2013) Review, Ship pictures and FunTimes here!; RCCL Freedom of the Seas (June 2013) Click here for Promenade Stateroom Locations; Click here for Eastern Compass; RCCL Independence of the Seas (March 2014)Click here for my Picture Review; Click here for Eastern Compass; Carnival Liberty (June 2014) Read my review
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  #5  
Old January 2nd, 2012, 08:23 PM
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Loving this!!!! Keep it coming.....
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Sailing on the Norwegian Dawn November 25, 2012
Sailed on the Norwegian Dawn January 15, 2012
Sailed on the Carnival Fascination October 15, 2011
Sailed on the Norwegian Sun December 11, 2010
Sailed on the Carnival Fascination April 26, 2010
Sailed on the Norwegian Pearl December 12, 2009
Sailed on the Carnival Fascination March 12, 2009
Sailed on the Norwegian Dawn December 6, 2008
Sailed on the Norwegian Jewel December 16, 2007
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 08:26 PM
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Another highlight on our cruise occurred on day 10 in the Java Cafe. It is called “Officers Profile” and started at 10:15. Here are the hotel director, Calvin Lodge; the captain, Karl Staffan Bengtsson, and the chief engineer, Patrik Olofsson. On the right is Johnny, of course.



We learned so many interesting facts at this meeting.

DID YOU KNOW? In most cases, Norwegian Dawn will wait up to 10 minutes for passengers at a port. It costs the ship too much money to wait longer. The ship uses 1 gallon of gas per second at full speed. Johnny noted that if you are late, you get a really good picture from the port of the ship is pulling out.

DID YOU KNOW? Norwegian Dawn produces 700,000 gallons of water from sea water per day.

There were many more interesting facts, but I could not type the numbers fast enough on my iPad.

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Carnival Fantasy (April 2004); RCCL Enchantment of the Seas (October 2005); RCCL Majesty of the Seas (July 2006); Norwegian Dawn (April 2009)Costa Atlantica (April 2010); Read my Review; Celebrity Infinity (July 2010) Read my Review; Carnival Dream (March 2011) Read my Review; Carnival Legend (June 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Legend; Norwegian Dawn (A Caribbean Christmas 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Norwegian Dawn; Carnival Liberty (June 2012) Read my Review or See the FunTimes, Western; Carnival Fascination (July 2012) Read my picture review; Carnival Freedom (March 2013) Review, Ship pictures and FunTimes here!; RCCL Freedom of the Seas (June 2013) Click here for Promenade Stateroom Locations; Click here for Eastern Compass; RCCL Independence of the Seas (March 2014)Click here for my Picture Review; Click here for Eastern Compass; Carnival Liberty (June 2014) Read my review
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  #7  
Old January 2nd, 2012, 08:30 PM
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Everyone always enjoys a chocolate buffet, right? Well, this was the mother of all rat races. I just got a few samples, left the Garden Cafe behind, took my chocolate to the Blue Lagoon, ordered coffee, and enjoyed... you guessed it... Lucky Duo.





I have not mentioned them before, but New Season was pretty entertaining at the pool. The lead singer always succeeded in engaging passengers. In this picture, he even drew a large crowd from P&O Azura. Some of them got in on the YMCA fun! The first level of passengers you see in this picture are from Dawn. The other 3 levels are from Azura! It almost felt like they were part of our cruise... maybe they wished they were




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Carnival Fantasy (April 2004); RCCL Enchantment of the Seas (October 2005); RCCL Majesty of the Seas (July 2006); Norwegian Dawn (April 2009)Costa Atlantica (April 2010); Read my Review; Celebrity Infinity (July 2010) Read my Review; Carnival Dream (March 2011) Read my Review; Carnival Legend (June 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Legend; Norwegian Dawn (A Caribbean Christmas 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Norwegian Dawn; Carnival Liberty (June 2012) Read my Review or See the FunTimes, Western; Carnival Fascination (July 2012) Read my picture review; Carnival Freedom (March 2013) Review, Ship pictures and FunTimes here!; RCCL Freedom of the Seas (June 2013) Click here for Promenade Stateroom Locations; Click here for Eastern Compass; RCCL Independence of the Seas (March 2014)Click here for my Picture Review; Click here for Eastern Compass; Carnival Liberty (June 2014) Read my review
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  #8  
Old January 2nd, 2012, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRUISIN' TOGETHER View Post
Loving this!!!! Keep it coming.....
Ditto !!
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  #9  
Old January 2nd, 2012, 08:32 PM
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Our favorite towel animals:







Self disembarkation was MUCH better than in 2009. We were off the ship and through customs within 20 minutes.

To follow, a few picture highlights of the ports... Check back later
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Carnival Fantasy (April 2004); RCCL Enchantment of the Seas (October 2005); RCCL Majesty of the Seas (July 2006); Norwegian Dawn (April 2009)Costa Atlantica (April 2010); Read my Review; Celebrity Infinity (July 2010) Read my Review; Carnival Dream (March 2011) Read my Review; Carnival Legend (June 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Legend; Norwegian Dawn (A Caribbean Christmas 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Norwegian Dawn; Carnival Liberty (June 2012) Read my Review or See the FunTimes, Western; Carnival Fascination (July 2012) Read my picture review; Carnival Freedom (March 2013) Review, Ship pictures and FunTimes here!; RCCL Freedom of the Seas (June 2013) Click here for Promenade Stateroom Locations; Click here for Eastern Compass; RCCL Independence of the Seas (March 2014)Click here for my Picture Review; Click here for Eastern Compass; Carnival Liberty (June 2014) Read my review
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  #10  
Old January 2nd, 2012, 09:11 PM
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My husband and I were also on this cruise, and we appreciated all the staff with their upbeat hellos and smiles, even during the Christmas season, when they were missing their families. We LOVED Nennette in the Pearly Kings, and Patrick of the cruise staff. Johnny "Cash" Sanchez, was as nice and honest as he could be. My husband was enjoying a "gar" (cigar), at the Bimini late one nite and Johnny stopped by and just chatted with the 2 of us, like he was a fellow cruiser. Nice! We also appreciated that NCL brought a retired priest on board for one Sunday mass and Midnite mass at Christmas, as we were at sea Christmas Eve, and got off the boat to go home Christmas day. I am sure the cruise staff that got to attend appreciated it also. Great cruise, diverse passenger list, and interesting ports, and the best part is we missed a foot of snow in Denver!!! What cruising is all about.
Kathy
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  #11  
Old January 3rd, 2012, 03:21 PM
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Default St Maarten

I will let the pictures tell most of the story for the ports. In St. Maarten, I took the Water Taxi to the shopping area (I think it was $6 Roundtrip and it takes about 10 minutes).

TIP: You can also walk to the shopping district. It is about 1.5 miles by road. However, you get beautiful views of Philipsburg from the water taxi. It was well worth it, even for the extreme budget minded traveler (like me).

TIP: Wear your swimsuit... the beaches are right next to the shopping & the water is beautiful. You can rent a chair for $10 to $25, depending on the vendor and optional perks. Of course, you could just sit on the sand...












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Carnival Fantasy (April 2004); RCCL Enchantment of the Seas (October 2005); RCCL Majesty of the Seas (July 2006); Norwegian Dawn (April 2009)Costa Atlantica (April 2010); Read my Review; Celebrity Infinity (July 2010) Read my Review; Carnival Dream (March 2011) Read my Review; Carnival Legend (June 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Legend; Norwegian Dawn (A Caribbean Christmas 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Norwegian Dawn; Carnival Liberty (June 2012) Read my Review or See the FunTimes, Western; Carnival Fascination (July 2012) Read my picture review; Carnival Freedom (March 2013) Review, Ship pictures and FunTimes here!; RCCL Freedom of the Seas (June 2013) Click here for Promenade Stateroom Locations; Click here for Eastern Compass; RCCL Independence of the Seas (March 2014)Click here for my Picture Review; Click here for Eastern Compass; Carnival Liberty (June 2014) Read my review
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 03:25 PM
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Nice job, and I love your attitude.
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GOTTA LOVE CRUISING
I am not in a hurry, I am on VACATION!!

Emerald Seas 8/80-Bahamas
Carnival Fantasy 5/92-Bahamas

Carnival Fantasy 4/94-Bahamas
Norwegian Sea 11/02-Western Caribbean
Carnival Triumph 11/04-Eastern Caribbean
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Holland America Eurodam 4/09-Eastern Caribbean
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Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas 2/12-Western Caribbean (17th Anniversary )
Holland America Eurodam 3/12-Eastern Caribbean
Norwegian Epic 11/12- Eastern Caribbean
Celebrity Silhouette 4/13- Western Caribbean
Disney Dream 1/14 Bahamas
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Norwegian Epic 4/14 Western Caribbean

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Old January 3rd, 2012, 03:25 PM
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Still St. Maarten...

A girl's dream:



It was a BUSY day in port, but not too busy in the shopping district.





TIP: St Martin (French side of the island) shops are closed on Sundays. Just something to keep in mind if you have an excursion planned on a Sunday. We happened to be there on a Sunday and spent the day on the Dutch side only.

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Carnival Fantasy (April 2004); RCCL Enchantment of the Seas (October 2005); RCCL Majesty of the Seas (July 2006); Norwegian Dawn (April 2009)Costa Atlantica (April 2010); Read my Review; Celebrity Infinity (July 2010) Read my Review; Carnival Dream (March 2011) Read my Review; Carnival Legend (June 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Legend; Norwegian Dawn (A Caribbean Christmas 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Norwegian Dawn; Carnival Liberty (June 2012) Read my Review or See the FunTimes, Western; Carnival Fascination (July 2012) Read my picture review; Carnival Freedom (March 2013) Review, Ship pictures and FunTimes here!; RCCL Freedom of the Seas (June 2013) Click here for Promenade Stateroom Locations; Click here for Eastern Compass; RCCL Independence of the Seas (March 2014)Click here for my Picture Review; Click here for Eastern Compass; Carnival Liberty (June 2014) Read my review
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 03:29 PM
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Default Antigua

I hope to go back to Antigua one day when all the renovations are done... We walked around town only - no excursion.







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Carnival Fantasy (April 2004); RCCL Enchantment of the Seas (October 2005); RCCL Majesty of the Seas (July 2006); Norwegian Dawn (April 2009)Costa Atlantica (April 2010); Read my Review; Celebrity Infinity (July 2010) Read my Review; Carnival Dream (March 2011) Read my Review; Carnival Legend (June 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Legend; Norwegian Dawn (A Caribbean Christmas 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Norwegian Dawn; Carnival Liberty (June 2012) Read my Review or See the FunTimes, Western; Carnival Fascination (July 2012) Read my picture review; Carnival Freedom (March 2013) Review, Ship pictures and FunTimes here!; RCCL Freedom of the Seas (June 2013) Click here for Promenade Stateroom Locations; Click here for Eastern Compass; RCCL Independence of the Seas (March 2014)Click here for my Picture Review; Click here for Eastern Compass; Carnival Liberty (June 2014) Read my review
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 03:38 PM
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Default Dominica

Dominica is one island where I will take an excursion next time. The mountains are beautiful!

DID YOU KNOW? We did not anchor in Dominica, even though we tendered. This is another interesting fact we learned at the Officers Profile. We 'hovered' (now that is my term to explain it ). The water is too deep to anchor, so the ship is held in place by the computers. I'm sure an engineer will cringe at this explanation, but it is my understanding of it...









I love this phone booth!


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Old January 3rd, 2012, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gelo7 View Post
Nice job, and I love your attitude.
Thank you
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Carnival Fantasy (April 2004); RCCL Enchantment of the Seas (October 2005); RCCL Majesty of the Seas (July 2006); Norwegian Dawn (April 2009)Costa Atlantica (April 2010); Read my Review; Celebrity Infinity (July 2010) Read my Review; Carnival Dream (March 2011) Read my Review; Carnival Legend (June 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Legend; Norwegian Dawn (A Caribbean Christmas 2011) Read my Review or see Pictures of Norwegian Dawn; Carnival Liberty (June 2012) Read my Review or See the FunTimes, Western; Carnival Fascination (July 2012) Read my picture review; Carnival Freedom (March 2013) Review, Ship pictures and FunTimes here!; RCCL Freedom of the Seas (June 2013) Click here for Promenade Stateroom Locations; Click here for Eastern Compass; RCCL Independence of the Seas (March 2014)Click here for my Picture Review; Click here for Eastern Compass; Carnival Liberty (June 2014) Read my review
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 03:45 PM
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I will be back a bit later for the other ports. Enjoy the ship for now...

Here it is in Barbados:



This one was taken in 2009 from the tender in Samana... (Pre-refurb)



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Old January 3rd, 2012, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by APDMOM View Post


We did not know that we were assigned “VIP”, and were taken through the regular check in process. However, when we got to the front of the line, we were escorted to the VIP ‘lounge’ and were on the ship by 11:45 a.m.

Enjoying your review and photos. Just curious, why were you VIP?
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 04:04 PM
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We'll be on Dawn the 15th and thank you for all the hints and pictures to get us even more in the mood! I so appreciate anyone who leaves us pictures or a review, all is so helpful.
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mousecrazy View Post
Enjoying your review and photos. Just curious, why were you VIP?
I contacted NCL in Miami to set up our Cruise Critic meet and greet. They did not tell me, but apparently you become VIP when you are the contact person for the meet and greet. We tried to transfer it to another member for CC, since we could not use many of the perks, but the ship could not change it, since Miami had set it up. So, that is a tip I forgot to leave...

If you set up your cruise critic roll call's meet and greet & keep the roll call current, you will probably be assigned VIP status.

It is very easy to set up the meet and greet. See this link: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1300907
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