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  #1  
Old September 20th, 2004, 08:22 PM
DivaG DivaG is offline
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Default Dawn Review - 9/12 - 9/19/04

This was me and DH's first cruise and to say we were excited is an UNDERSTATEMENT!!! Then the hurricanes came into the picture and we weren't so excited anymore. LOL BUT ... all went well and we had an AWESOME time.

I took notes during the cruise so that I wouldn't forget anything and here is an overall review of our cruise.

Embarkment - considering there were 4 other ships in port and the Dawn arrived late - I thought embarkment went well. We arrived into the terminal around 12:45 - people were still getting off the Dawn. I thought everyone did a good job trying to get everyone to cooperate - but people will be people and there were lots who were complaining about the wait. We were in our cabin just before 2:15 pm. Once we began to move along, things went very smoothly. My opinion is - prepare to wait. It is a process. There are 2,000 people doing the same thing you are. Use a little common sense.

Cabin - we had a balcony on deck 8 forward starboard side and it was great!! Originally we were going to get a mini-suite and we're glad we didn't. I'll get to that later. The bathroom is small, but very managable - hubby is 6'3" and had no problem with the shower - he thought the toilet area was a bit small for him, but he managed. There is ample closet space as well as hangers (had to be about 15 of them (wooden) - someone mentioned bringing some from home - I disagree!!) They provide soap, shampoo and shower gel but I would STRONGLY SUGGEST you bring your own!!! Did I say STRONGLY SUGGEST!!! Enough said!! The water pressure is fabulous and you will get so much HOTTTTT water, no matter what time you turn the faucet or shower on. Not a problem at all. The beds were put together (as we requested) and it was very comfortable. The sofa is hard as a rock so if you're gonna use it - ask for extra duvets so it'll be softer. Our room stewards Larry and Fernando were FABULOUS!!! Our bags arrived before the muster drill (mandatory evacuation drill) around 4 pm. Fabulous fabulous fabulous.

Restaurants - we met our roll call buddies after the muster drill at the Bimini Bar (out by the pool area - full service bar and grill - hot dogs, burgers, fries, chicken breast). A quick shout out to - Ari and Gil, Steve and Nancy, UnclePaulie and Barbara and sons, Anne, Sue and Ed, Tony and Monica. Venetians (free) was fabulous - we had our first meal there (lunch) and the food and service was impeccable. Aqua (free) - pretty good - preferred Venetians. Garden Cafe (buffet) - great food - open all the time - breakfast, lunch, deli, dinner, late night snacks - desserts - very very very good - large variety of foods. Le Bistro - we purchased the anniversary package and had dinner there. WONDERFUL!!! Salsa - (free - but you need a reservation) great food - nice atmosphere. We didn't eat at Cagneys, but Ari and Gil did and they said it was GREAT!! We didn't get to Bamboo, but heard it was great as well.

There was so much to do and so little time to do it all. The Dawn makes sure you are never bored.

Shows/Entertainment - Bollywood was WONDERFUL!! Talented artists. There were comedians, jugglers (Thien Fu - he was FABULOUS), bands, magicians, pianists, singers for all music lovers. The Spinnaker lounge was a favorite of ours (after 11 pm - when the DJ came on). There are "the not so newlywed game", "family fued", etc - lots to do. The Stardust Theatre (very roomy and you can enjoy the shows from practically every seat) had something for everyone every night. Read the Freestyle Daily that's given to you every day for the shows and anything that's going on on board.

Gym/Spa - Hubby and I checked out the gym and the equipment is top notch. They offer many types of classes, spinning, abs, aerobic, step, etc.) The spa is where the indoor pool and 2 jacuzzi's are located. Very nice - most folks actually used the pool to swim so that was good. The jacuzzi's were a bit crowded at times, but everyone used them for a bit and then got out. We did not use any of the other spa treatments. The juice bar was also very good.

Anniv./Honeymoon Package - we loved it. Our champagne was in our room waiting for us - in fact we got 2 bottles (don't know how that happened and didn't question it either We attended the champagne/cake party and thought it would be one glass of champagne and a slice of cake and we'd be sent on our way. NOPE!! The champagne did not stop flowing -we met some great couples there and had a great time.

Chocoholic Buffet - I do not eat chocolate - I know boo hoo for me!! Hubby was like a little kid in a chocolate store!!! The designs, made with both dark and white chocolate were massive - incredible to describe. Don't miss it!!

I could go on and on and on. We loved our vacation and are ready to plan our next cruise.

Please feel free to ask any questions. Although I wrote things down, I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Besides the wonderful time we had - the awesome folks we met from CruiseCritics definitely made this trip more memorable. Let's do this again.

G
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  #2  
Old September 20th, 2004, 08:32 PM
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Welove2cruise2 Welove2cruise2 is offline
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Default Mini-suite?

Diva G:

You said you were originally going to get a mini-suite but you were glad you didn't: why??
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  #3  
Old September 20th, 2004, 08:38 PM
DivaG DivaG is offline
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Oops - guess I should have explained that.

Sunday before we disembarked, we went to see the suites and the mini suite - although bigger than the balcony cabin wasn't all that much bigger. The balcony was a little bigger, the sofa was longer (still hard as a brick) and the bathroom was the same except for the tub (which is small). My hubby is 6'3" and there's no way we would both fit in the tub. (Oops, am I giving away too much information. LOL) Anyhoo, we felt we got a better deal. It's a nice cabin, but having been in the balcony - I wouldn't do the minisuite - now the Owners Suite and Penthouses are FABULOUS!!!

G
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Old September 20th, 2004, 08:43 PM
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Welove2cruise2 Welove2cruise2 is offline
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Default Thanks!

Well, going from a 108 or 150 SF cabin on the Majesty to a balcony stateroom on the Dawn is going to be a huge improvement for us -- I'm afraid we'll be spoiled after this one!
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  #5  
Old September 20th, 2004, 08:47 PM
DivaG DivaG is offline
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There's no way we'd cruise without a balcony now!!! Everyone told us we'd be spoiled and we are!!

We are definitely going on the Dawn again. As first time cruisers, we knew we'd have a ball - we always have a good time traveling, but this was the ultimate. Next is a longer cruise or leaving from a different port - so we can do more islands instead of Florida (we've been there so many times)

G
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  #6  
Old September 20th, 2004, 11:20 PM
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bragstarr bragstarr is offline
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Default Thanks for a great review

Great Review, DivaG! And I only have 152 days to wait......
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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
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  #7  
Old September 21st, 2004, 07:26 AM
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MalkyM MalkyM is offline
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Cool Your review

Diva G

Thanks for your review. We are sailing on November 7 and have also booked the Anniversary package. The champagne and cake party sounds great - wonder if we'll be lucky and get a second bottle of champagne when we board!!

Mal
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  #8  
Old September 21st, 2004, 09:26 AM
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djmpj djmpj is offline
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So glad you enjoyed your trip! What was the itinerary like? Did it change because of the storms? I thought I had read the private island was not back on the plans yet?

DJ
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Old September 21st, 2004, 10:20 AM
DivaG DivaG is offline
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The itinerary changed slightly.

Port Canaveral - cloudy and overcast
Miami - very cloudy, overcast - it poured for about 20 minutes - then the sun came out and it was beautiful.
Nassau - stayed overnight - which was excellent.
No private island due to the hurricane damage.
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Old September 21st, 2004, 10:21 AM
DivaG DivaG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalkyM
Diva G

Thanks for your review. We are sailing on November 7 and have also booked the Anniversary package. The champagne and cake party sounds great - wonder if we'll be lucky and get a second bottle of champagne when we board!!

Mal
We were quite surprised when we arrived and there were two glasses and a bottle of champagne in the fridge. COOL
Then I think on Tuesday afternoon another bottle arrived with two more glasses. SUPER COOL!!

I'll keep my fingers crossed for ya.

G
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  #11  
Old September 21st, 2004, 10:28 AM
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newmexicoNita newmexicoNita is offline
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Nice to read about happy cruisers; I haven't cruised the Dawn, but seems most who do think it's a wonderful experience. Too bad the hurricane interfered with some port days.

NMnita
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  #12  
Old September 21st, 2004, 11:05 AM
amaretto amaretto is offline
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I was on the dawn too...what did you think of the cruise director and staff? wasn't colin just wonderful?
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  #13  
Old September 21st, 2004, 11:11 AM
DivaG DivaG is offline
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I enjoyed both Colin and Kevin. They work very well together.
To be so "bubbly" and "courteous" all the time is not easy to do. They should both be commended. Too bad they're both leaving for vacation - but I"m glad they'll be back. I'm positive we're going back on the Dawn and we hope they're both there when we return.

We had a Cruise Critics Roll Call thread - you should have joined us - we had a blast together - meeting for the first time after talking (typing) for months.

G
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 12:59 PM
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fkwok fkwok is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DivaG
Oops - guess I should have explained that.

Sunday before we disembarked, we went to see the suites and the mini suite - although bigger than the balcony cabin wasn't all that much bigger. The balcony was a little bigger, the sofa was longer (still hard as a brick) and the bathroom was the same except for the tub (which is small). My hubby is 6'3" and there's no way we would both fit in the tub. (Oops, am I giving away too much information. LOL) Anyhoo, we felt we got a better deal. It's a nice cabin, but having been in the balcony - I wouldn't do the minisuite - now the Owners Suite and Penthouses are FABULOUS!!!

G
Darn it. Having a tub sounded VERY nice. Too bad.
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 01:01 PM
minivanmama minivanmama is offline
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Maybe the second bottle was from your Travel Agent?
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Regarding staying overnight in Nassau.. you said it was excellent. What did you do while you were there? What time did you dock and leave? Seems like NCL will be skipping the private island for a while due to damage and I would like to know about the itinerary change that you experienced.

Thanks
DJ
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 01:57 PM
DivaG DivaG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fkwok
Darn it. Having a tub sounded VERY nice. Too bad.

We were hoping the tub was HUGE too, but our bathtub at home is bigger.
It is too bad about the tub though.


Since it was just the two of us in the room, the balcony room was sufficient. I think if we had a 3rd or 4th person, we would have went with the mini-suite because it would have offered more room (slight - IMHO) and a larger balcony.
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 01:58 PM
DivaG DivaG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minivanmama
Maybe the second bottle was from your Travel Agent?

We thought so too, but we received a gift from our TA a few days later which had a note attached. Maybe it was from the upgrade genie since we were overlooked for an upgrade. LOL

G
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 02:05 PM
DivaG DivaG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmpj
Regarding staying overnight in Nassau.. you said it was excellent. What did you do while you were there? What time did you dock and leave? Seems like NCL will be skipping the private island for a while due to damage and I would like to know about the itinerary change that you experienced.

Thanks
DJ
It was wonderful to be in the Caribbean with sunny skies and more sunny skies. After the overcast days in Port Canaveral and Miami, we were ready for some fun and sun!!!
Hubby and I didn't do anything much, we decided to walk around and check out the local sights and food in town. Unfortunately, hubby didn't feel well when we returned so we didn't get to Atlantis. We docked early morning (about 9 am or so) and we left Friday morning about 11:30 am The dock was packed with ships and there was even a ship waiting for our spot.

We went to Port Canaveral first and then Miami and off to Nassau. It was announced and a letter in everyone's cabin explaining that we would not be stopping at the private island, but would stay overnight in Nassau. Everyone was pretty pleased.


G
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  #20  
Old September 22nd, 2004, 03:16 PM
Dolphins Dolphins is offline
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Question Check the map?

Quote: It was wonderful to be in the Caribbean with sunny skies?

Reality: You were never in the Caribbean which only begins over 200 miles south of Nassau.
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