Background: My wife and I are Platinum, our daughter and family joined us along with 2 grandkids, ages 7 & 4. The first cruise for them.
We found the newly refurbished Dawn very clean and well maintained. In fact, the cleanest ship we have ever cruised.
We never felt overcrowded even though the cruise was sold out. Plenty of seating at the pool and entertainment venues. Very different from our recent experience on the Epic in January.
The mattresses and pillows were very comfortable.
Our only negative was the kids pool/play area needs some supervision. Kids coming down the slides and crashing into each other at the bottom is common and many a little kid was crying. We watched a little kid throw-up all over his father in the middle pool and then get washed off right in the pool! It was pretty crazy. If your kids aren’t tough, I would stay away. We never returned after the first visit. But our kids had fun at the pool with us.
We enjoyed the Venetian and Aqua main dining rooms as well as La Cucina, Cagney’s, Garden Cafe and Bamboo.
La Cucina was by far our favorite. I know that many will disagree, but the food was great and the service was the best on the ship! Loved Bamboo and main dining rooms.
Our food was great at Cagney’s, but the service was terrible. Over 2 hours for dinner.
We miss the pool side cooking and did get a little tired with the same old burgers and hotdogs at lunch. And the kid’s menu should have a few more options. Such as a pasta dish (besides Mac & Cheese), meatballs, etc.
We didn’t use all of our specialty dining package because making a reservation before 9 PM is next to impossible once on board.
The shows in the Stardust Theater were great! We also really enjoyed Blue Moon, Azalea, V.I.P. band. Plus, we could always find a seat! The kids really loved Po (magician) and production shows.
A very friendly staff that did a great job! Big shout out to our server Irene at the pool! Luz was the Cruise Director and we really liked her.
Embarkation & Debarkation-A
Both went much smoother than we experienced out of NYC in past cruises. No complaints. We got to the ship around 11 AM and were on board around 12:15.
No rush getting off, it took about 30 minutes total.
Bottom line, we all had a great time! It confirmed that we prefer the smaller ships and we will be sailing on the Dawn again!