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  #1  
Old April 4th, 2013, 05:32 PM
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Default Teen's Review of NCL Dawn cruise 3/24-3/31

-This is an edited version of my original thread/post, as I corrected all of the spelling errors -
Hi everyone! My family just returned from a 7-day NCL Dawn cruise that was from 3/24-3/31 out of Tampa, FL. I planned a lot for this cruise, and noticed that there isn’t much information for teens, so I thought I could help my fellow teenagers out there, or just others, with a review of my cruise.
I have to say: this was the BEST CRUISE EVER! Here’s some background info: our group was me (Katherine, 15), my parents, and my two brothers (17). We’re from Pennsylvania, outside of Philly. This was my 4th cruise, the first 3 being on Royal Caribbean.
Throughout this review, I'll try to sum up my family's daily activities, compare NCL to RCI, and give you everything through a teen's perspective!
If you have any questions, or specific topics you would like me to include, feel free to ask!
I will be posting my review bit-by-bit over the next few days. This is my first time writing a review, so I apologize if it’s not as good as it could be, but I hope you enjoy.
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  #2  
Old April 4th, 2013, 05:57 PM
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I know my son, who was 16 when we were on the Dawn, absolutely loved it! Looking forward to reading your journey. It is very nice that you are taking your time to write this from a teenagers perspective. Enjoy writing your review and don't worry about little things like typos.
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  #3  
Old April 4th, 2013, 06:38 PM
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Zhane's mum Zhane's mum is offline
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I am looking forward to the rest of your review, you're right there is hardly any information for teens on the boards
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  #4  
Old April 4th, 2013, 07:58 PM
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Looking forward to your review!
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Old April 4th, 2013, 09:04 PM
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Looking forward to this also and then showing it to my niece and nephew who cruise with me to Alaska this year...
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  #6  
Old April 4th, 2013, 09:19 PM
Happytotravel64 Happytotravel64 is offline
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I will be traveling on Norwegian Breakaway with 6 teens (celebrating sweet 16). Thanks for whatever tips you can give us to make this the most special birthday ever.
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  #7  
Old April 5th, 2013, 12:42 AM
Shayhooper Shayhooper is offline
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I am traveling with my 17 year old son on the Jewel in August. Looking forward to your review.
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  #8  
Old April 5th, 2013, 08:05 AM
punkinmp punkinmp is offline
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Default Teenagers

Do you have to pay to play the games in arcade room?
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  #9  
Old April 5th, 2013, 10:34 AM
Mistizoom Mistizoom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punkinmp View Post
Do you have to pay to play the games in arcade room?
Not the OP, but the games in the arcade are $1 to $2 each. You swipe your card to pay. Some of them weren't working on the Dawn when I went 3/17-3/24. My 10 year old son, my husband, and I managed to spend $120 in the arcade over the week.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 03:02 PM
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We're taking our 14 year old niece on her 1st cruise this June, and we are both anxious to read your review. Me because we have never sailed with a child and her because it's her first.

Thank you for going to the trouble.
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  #11  
Old April 5th, 2013, 04:02 PM
DMLyons DMLyons is offline
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I've read that they have game systems (Wii/XBox/etc.) in the kid/teen clubs and in several bars. Any opinions on it? Good games? Easy to get time on them? In working order?

I have two older teens (an adult teen and a 16 y/o) and a young teen. Did anyone give you problems when you were exploring on your own aboard?

Thanks for information.
DML
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  #12  
Old April 5th, 2013, 04:07 PM
cubbysan cubbysan is offline
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I just came on to post a thread asking about teens and the Dawn ship, and your thread was the first one in the queue!

My fifteen year old daughter thinks the NCL Dawn is for a "lazy cruise" and there is nothing for teens. I will be looking forward to the rest of your review. We are planning on taking the Dawn next summer out of Boston to Bermuda. She has never been on a cruise before and has nothing to compare it to. I have been on 1 Carnival and 2 RCCLs, so this will be my first time on NCL as well.

Last edited by cubbysan; April 5th, 2013 at 04:09 PM.
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  #13  
Old April 5th, 2013, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMLyons View Post
I've read that they have game systems (Wii/XBox/etc.) in the kid/teen clubs and in several bars. Any opinions on it? Good games? Easy to get time on them? In working order?

I have two older teens (an adult teen and a 16 y/o) and a young teen. Did anyone give you problems when you were exploring on your own aboard?

Thanks for information.
DML
In the teen club, I wasnt sure what gaming systems there were (I'm not much of a gamer haha) but there were 2 or 3 tv screens, with 2 different systems and couches/chairs. There were pretty much always kids using them, but I saw that people rotated/took turns. The games must have been decent, I saw some guys playing what looked like NHL 12. The systems seemed good.

When you say "on your own", are you referring to just one kid walking around the ship by themselves, or a group of kids walking around together? I did both, and no one ever seemed to have any issues with it, the staff always smiled and said hello, but my group of friends were never roudy or anything!
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3/08 Enchantment of the Seas
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3/24/13 NCL Dawn


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  #14  
Old April 5th, 2013, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by live_to_cruise View Post
In the teen club, I wasnt sure what gaming systems there were (I'm not much of a gamer haha) but there were 2 or 3 tv screens, with 2 different systems and couches/chairs. There were pretty much always kids using them, but I saw that people rotated/took turns. The games must have been decent, I saw some guys playing what looked like NHL 12. The systems seemed good.

When you say "on your own", are you referring to just one kid walking around the ship by themselves, or a group of kids walking around together? I did both, and no one ever seemed to have any issues with it, the staff always smiled and said hello, but my group of friends were never roudy or anything!
You are doing a great job so far!!!!!


Your parents must be so proud of you, you write very well and are very thoughtful to do a review for your peers and their family.

I love the Dawn, she was my first ship in 2007 and I am back on her in a few months. My daughter was 18 that time and now she is 24.......boy time flies
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  #15  
Old April 6th, 2013, 03:25 PM
DMLyons DMLyons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by live_to_cruise View Post
When you say "on your own", are you referring to just one kid walking around the ship by themselves, or a group of kids walking around together? I did both, and no one ever seemed to have any issues with it, the staff always smiled and said hello, but my group of friends were never roudy or anything!
My older two are likely to roam alone. My youngest is likely to roam with her older sister. So, a little of both. Mine aren't rowdy either, but we've had bad experiences in the past with pushy people trying to order my kids around, so it's good to hear you didn't have any problems. Thanks a lot.

DML
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  #16  
Old April 7th, 2013, 04:39 PM
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Default Day 1- Embarkation

Before I start, I'd like to thank all of the CC members with their posts and reviews, which I found VERY helpful in planning this cruise. CC members are the best! Okay, so here goes nothing, hope you enjoy:

DAY 1- EMBARKATION

After a grueling drive from Philly, we visited with some relatives in FL, and arrived to the port in Tampa around 11:00. My dad dropped the rest of us and the luggage off, and then parked the car in the long-term parking lot. We gave our suitcases to the porters, and were in the waiting area at around 11:30. We went to the check-in tables/desks, and were given our Sea Passes and waiting Group #5. Those waiting were offered water, juice, and the daily cruise news. We (Group 5) were quickly called, and boarded the ship around 11:45. We went straight up to the Garden Café for lunch, and I would HIGHLY suggest boarding early, then directly going to lunch, as it got VERY crowded. Afterwards, we went to the Teen Center so my parents could register us, and explored the ship until our cabins were ready at 1:00. Our bags arrived at about 2:00. The Muster Drill was around 3:15, our meeting area was in the Stardust Theater, and was very sweet, short, and to the point…WAY shorter than on RCI. We made a reservation for the Venetian for 5:45. I would suggest going before 6:20 or so, because there was a VERY long line, and I would assume, a VERY long wait. On the first night, they were allowing people with shorts, a worker explained that this was because many people weren’t aware of the “no shorts” policy, and they would start to enforce this rule for the rest of the cruise. I had the shrimp and potatoes, surf and turf, and key lime pie. It was all very delicious! Other family members got the cheesecake (BEST EVER) and the bread and butter pudding, both which I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone!

Then it was off to the teen club! I arrived at around 8:00, and there was a line of teens, for the staff was checking everyone in, making sure they were registered, and you got an eyeball sticker on your card to verify your registration. While the others were getting checked in, those of us already in sat on the couches/chairs and met each other. This is how I met three of my closest friends on the cruise! So once everyone was checked in, the two teen counselors introduced themselves (Dazzle and Pebbles), they were awesome! They went over rules and such, and then we played a bunch of ice breaker games to get to know each other. I made a group of about 7-8 friends, and we all went to the pool deck to talk and go in the hot tubs. We checked back at the teen club late that night, but it was a group of people awkwardly break dancing, so we just hung out until the 1am curfew.

My opinions of the Teen Club:

I have to say, I had a much better experience with the teen club on NCL than on Royal. Though the fact that my NCL cruise was a 7-day on the Dawn during spring break and my RCI was a 3-day on Monarch OTS during President’s Day weekend could have made a difference. I did meet some nice friends on RCI, but overall I felt that the teens on NCL were just really friendly and fun.

Facilities: The Teen Club on the Dawn was really great! There were 2-3 TV’s on the one side, with couches/comfy chairs and gaming systems. These (video games) were usually occupied, but kids were taking turns. There were about 4 tall tables with chairs where people just sat and talked. There was an air hockey table and a foosball table. As for the dancing area, the main/center part of the whole room was a dance floor. On the side there was a small DJ booth, and surrounding the dance floor were couches/love seats. There were rectangle bean bag cushions that were pushed to the side, but sometimes my friends and I would throw them on the dance floor and lay on them. I noticed that almost every night there were pizza, wings, and other finger foods delivered to the club.

Activities: The activities on RCI and NCL are pretty much the exact same. There was a schedule (I’ll post copies) of Teen Club activities given out when you first board the ship, and it was posted outside of the Club as well. Most of the fun activities started at 8:00, and the dances started around 11:00 or 11:30 and then went until closing (1:00am). What my friends and I normally did was, we would meet at the Club at 8:00, decide if we wanted to do any of the activities they offered, if not, we hit the hot tubs or talked at the top deck, and went back to the Club for the dances. There were groups of other teens coming in and out of the club throughout the nights, so I guess most others did the same.

Teen Staff: With the staff on RCI, I felt they tried to act too much like teenagers, they were very friendly though! Dazzle and Pebbles (NCL) were fantastic counselors! They weren’t too much like “Mom and Dad”, and weren’t trying to be everyone’s best friend either, they were just really great! I feel like they interacted with us enough, without trying to dictate what we did. For example, if the majority of teens weren’t thrilled with the activity listed on the schedule, they were more than willing to cater to what we wanted to do. Finally, Dazzle taught all of us how to do a dance that the crew had done at the Sail Away Party called “Danza Kuduro”. It was literally the most fun thing I’ve ever done at any type of dance! It became the teen crew’s “theme song” in a way, as we danced to it almost every night! If anyone is interested, I have the video of us doing it, and the video is a good way to see what the teen club looks like as well!

Advice/Pointers: GO TO THE TEEN CLUB THE FIRST NIGHT AT 8:00. I cannot stress this enough! This is where everyone first meets each other…it’s basically how you form your group of friends for the rest of the cruise! There are plenty of ice breaker games, though awkward, you meet people. Make sure to be outgoing and friendly, even if you are shy at home, no one knows that! Also, if you don’t make friends right off the bat, try again the 2nd night; people were very open and friendly and groups grew with more people as the cruise went on. I mean, we love our families, but you don’t want to hang out with your parents every night, right!?

A side note: I posted on the CC Roll Call for my cruise, and got in contact with some other teens pre-cruise. I set up a facebook group so we could all meet each other, which I highly suggest! Now, we use the facebook group for all teens that were on the cruise and post funny memories and such. It’s also a great way for everyone to find each other, just in case they forgot to get someone’s contact info.


Teen Schedule: (Below)

Hope you like it so far, and I apologize for the length! I'll try to post Day 2 and more pictures of Day 1 as quickly as I can!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 926.jpg (12.5 KB, 319 views)
File Type: jpg 927.jpg (9.9 KB, 138 views)
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Past Cruises:
3/07 Jewel of the Seas
3/08 Enchantment of the Seas
2/17/12 Monarch of the Seas
3/24/13 NCL Dawn


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  #17  
Old April 7th, 2013, 09:30 PM
sclipere23 sclipere23 is offline
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Thanks for the review. We'll be cruising in December and it will be my two girls first time in the teen club....both had previously done kids crew. So far, from reading your review, they are excited to be graduating up to the teen club!
Thanks again!
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  #18  
Old April 8th, 2013, 03:57 PM
Hmc2013 Hmc2013 is offline
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My niece is gonna be thrilled with all your info....
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  #19  
Old April 9th, 2013, 09:36 AM
KweezyCruiser KweezyCruiser is offline
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Thank you so much for posting. I can't wait to read more. This is one of the most helpful posts I've read on CC.
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  #20  
Old April 12th, 2013, 11:01 AM
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Gregor4500 Gregor4500 is online now
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This reminds me of waiting for my kids to finish their homework when they were younger.
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