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Found 182 results

  1. The Dawn is currently docked in Syracuse, Italy. Here's a few shots of how it looks onboard: edit: Bluh. The board never separates them with a space, there are 5 photos in total, clickable for full size!
  2. My cousin and I just got off of the Norwegian Dawn this morning. Due to effects of chemo, my cousin has mobility issues and had to use a scooter. I can't say enough about the crew and passengers who were so very kind to us during the trip. For those of you who held a door, made room on an elevator, stepped aside as she learned to navigate with the scooter, charging the scooter each evening, offering wheelchair assistance at the port, etc. We are most grateful. I really wanted her to be able to go into the water at Great Stirrup Cay but she was so scared since she is unstable on her feet. As I walked her to the water, passengers whom we never met, came to her assistance. Upon getting out of the water, again, the passengers jumped right in to help. A special thanks to the young man who held her arm and around her waist to assist, you are to be commended. Thanks also to the women (one was an Occupational Therapist) who offered assistance to her getting out of the sand wheelchair. She had a great "first cruise experience" thanks to all of you!
  3. “For what human ill does not DAWN seem to be an alleviation?” -Thornton Wilder- (An what an alleviation the Dawn was for us indeed!!) Hey guys!! Welcome to my review of my cruise aboard the Norwegian Dawn on Thanksgiving week, Nov. 18-25, 2018 out of San Juan, PR. I’m still getting over my PCD (Post Cruise Depression) and as I write this and reminisce about those too few days, it only gets worse. So, what do I do? Easy. I start planning another cruise...LOL!! This was my fourth cruise but only the second along with my DW. It was also our first cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line and didn’t know what to expect with their Freestyle Cruising. And although in the end we had a great time, we were a bit nervous because there was so much lack of good, recent information about the Dawn and I felt as if we were almost going in blind. CC has spoiled me into going on cruises well informed about ships and destinations that this time, it was a bit nerve-wracking having so many “we’ll see…” things in mind. We were very surprised and surprisingly satisfied with the Dawn and its crew and we hope we get to sail on her again someday soon! Disclaimer: Opinions vary from person to person and what you will read here are my opinions, thoughts, experiences and those of my wife in some instances. They might not be the same as yours and even if you traveled on the same sailing as us, you might have experienced things differently. I can sometimes be opinionated and most times I try to be funny about it all. But in the end I do hope that our opinions help some and entertain others. If you have read any of my previous reviews, you’ll know that I work in the hospitality/gaming industry and therefore I might sometimes be very (maybe even too) critical of guest services, crew attitude and things like that. You might think it’s ranting or nit-picking but trust me, after 24 years in the business I know that the devil is in the details and even though you might not consciously care, details do start to stack up when not done right and they do mess with your experience. Yes, there were a few things that were off. It wasn’t all perfect as you’ll see when I get into details. But nothing was so major that it lessened our enjoyment of the cruise. Now, there might also be some differences from other sailings of the Dawn from San Juan since not all are scheduled to be the same in length and itinerary as ours. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, the sailing right after the one we took was a 10-day itinerary followed by an 11-day which included stops in the A-B-C islands as well as the ones we visited (at least I think that was the order). I will also be doing a bit of comparison between this trip and my previous cruises which had similar destinations. All my previous cruises have been with Carnival Cruise Line on the Southern Caribbean route out of San Juan. Even though we have previously visited most of the islands on this itinerary with Carnival (Carnival doesn’t usually stop at Antigua when sailing from SJ), we decided against booking with Carnival because we wanted a new ship. Royal Caribbean also has the Freedom of the Seas sailing from PR, but it didn’t seem as a better value for our “all-of-a-sudden” budget. NCL’s Dawn slotted right between the Fascination and the FOTS and even though there’s a lot of discussion about the “value” of the free perks on NCL, it worked great for us in the end. The ship experience will be different from those previous reviews, but you’ll still find reference for info on what to do on the islands (well at least I’d hope so!). Another difference from other reviews out there (for the Dawn or otherwise) is that I am local to Puerto Rico. That means that I will not be writing about the experience of going through the airports, airlines, staying at any hotel, taxis, etc. Anyhow, if you have any questions about these topics, feel free to ask whatever you like, and I’ll try to answer to the best of my knowledge. When I started with this cruise bug, I got TONS of ideas and information from other reviewers who shared their experiences like Mitsugirly, pghsteelerfan, among others. Some are still posting, some since retired or on hiatus from cruising and/or CC. But since the info I gathered from reading those reviews helped me further the enjoyment of my travels, I always try to pay it forward in case my experience can help someone else have a better one themselves. Also, while I try to be comprehensive in the info I gather and the pictures I take, please be aware that we’re still on vacation. So there might be some things I missed because, well… I was having fun!! Also, we had the Specialty Dining Package for three nights, which means the menus for the MDR will likely be missing for those nights, although I did save all the dailies for you guys. I’ll also try to post as soon as I can, as quickly as I can. These things take time to put together and life happens and can sometimes get in the way. So, please be patient if you don’t see the whole thing posted in three days. I never leave my reviews incomplete so I won’t leave you hanging. That being said… on to the review. Pre-cruise: This cruise basically came out of nowhere for us. We are currently doing some home renovations, including fixing up damage from last year’s hurricane Maria. We had already budgeted and put aside some cash in case something went over budget (as usually happens). Although the renovations are still ongoing, we have basically signed all contracts for the remaining work and GASP!!! nothing will actually go too much over budget so that means we got some moolah left after all. So, what does my DW do? She turns to me and says something along the lines of “after all this and what’s still to come, we need a vacation. Honey, go book a cruise!” (I might've said Hell yeah!!!! No less than an hour later I had the info on prices that we needed and sat down to discuss the options. I still had some personal time at work and she was getting Thanksgiving week off from hers so we decided to cruise on that week since the timing was perfect for us. I had never even looked at cruises for Thanksgiving week until this opportunity came along and I was amazed that (At least sailings from San Juan) prices weren’t really that bad. I was truly expecting them to be higher, specially in PR since a lot of people have days off during that week. Carnival was dirt cheap and came in around $700-something per person including taxes, fees and gratuities for an inside cabin with no extra amenities. FOTS was way up there since insides showed as sold out (or blocked maybe? RCI has a HUGE presence here in PR with local travel agents). So, they had ocean view and upward cabins starting at around $1000 per person including fees, taxes and gratuities. NCL had the “Free at Sea” promotion where Ocean View cabins and up received at least two perks “free”. We opted for NCL and the Dawn and opted for the “free” 3-day Ultimate Dining package and the Unlimited Beverage Package (UBP) and alas!! not all “free stuff” is free. There was a $100-something gratuities per person added to your fare if you opted for the UBP. We were fine with this since the regular charge for the UBP is $99 per person, per day PLUS 20% gratuity so for us it made a heck of a lot of sense to just pay the gratuities. The cost was just over $2,100 (or $1,050 per person) including taxes, fees and all gratuities (for the cruise and the UBP). Although NCL had the highest overall cost, we thought we had the best net value on NCL. This “free/not free” thing has garnered a lot of discussion here on CC about “misrepresentation” of what the promo really means but in the end, we saved money and that’s all I really care about. So, our sailing ended up being the first sailing of the Dawn from San Juan for its winter season, coming from her reposition trip from Boston, MA. Our itinerary would be a 7 night cruise with stops at Barbados, Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. We also ended up booking an OK (class) Obstructed Ocean View cabin on deck 8. DW wanted me to get an inside but I convinced her to get an OV for one extra “perk” and we also got $160 of OBC with the offer at the time. I looked at the available rooms on some deck plans and chose cabin 8566 because it was one of the four cabins (two on each side) with the least obstructed view since the lifeboat in front of the window was smaller and had no roof cover, hence visibility wasn’t THAT much obstructed. But a few days after booking (I booked about 50 days out) I received an email with an “invitation” to bid for an upgrade. I took the bait and bid just over the minimum for a balcony cabin upgrade. This had me going crazy, logging in to NCL.com, looking for a “congratulations” message or doing mock bookings to see the remaining inventory, hoping to see lots of balcony cabins still unsold (which I did). Finally, 9 days before sailing I received an email stating that my bid was accepted and was moved to an aft balcony (not aft-facing) cabin #9196. SCORE!! A few minutes later I had all my cruise docs all printed out and my luggage tags with their info filled. Yeah, I was that exited!!! The day before we were to sail I had my suitcase all ready and kindda felt it a bit light. But I could not put my finger on why it was. Heck, I even had some space left. I thought it was due to packing smaller clothing than usual since I had lost over 40 lbs since the last time I cruised and was wearing one size smaller clothes than last time (as if that made any real difference). Little did I know that this “I feel lighter” would come into play a few times later in the cruise in multiple ways. Ughh...even writing this I feel like slapping myself. You’ll see… After doing some research I ended up buying three things specifically to take on this cruise and eventual cruises. One were some cruise luggage tags. Last trip the paper tags were almost ripped off my bags and being an over-worrier some times, I told myself that I wouldn’t risk it. This held up perfectly this time. Another item was a non-surge protected multi plug thingy which almost didn’t fit on the only American 120V outlet in the room (there’s actually another for electric razors in the bathroom). Although I forgot to take a picture of it actually plugged in but all I can say is that it was a tight, tight fit. Also, unless your chargers are very slim, it’s almost impossible to fit three chargers at at time, but we had no problem connecting two to the regular outlets and two more devices using the USB outlets provided for a total of 4 devices. Last but not least, after reading all the controversy and outrage about cruise lines doing away with drinking straws, I decided to buy a set of stainless steel straws. The set included 8 straight, narrow tubes, 4 straight wider ones and 4 bent tubes, along with two brushes to clean them on the inside. At 10.5” they ended up being to long for almost any glass that NCL served us in (which varied from plastic to glass, small to tall) and we ended up not using them that much unless we knew we were going to order frozen drinks. Also carrying them was a bit of a hassle sometimes, even if they were only two. So either I get shorter straws or I simply leave them at home next time and simply adapt. One thing that never, ever, ever goes into my suitcase is my photo equipment. I have a 55L backpack that gobbles up a LOT of stuff. I decided to put all the photo equipment I was taking on it so I could have it with me all the time during embarkation. And after this trip I vowed to leave most of it home next time. If you’re into photography and you already have been once (or more) to a place, you start to think about photo ops, specific shots of specific places and specific angles. Theory is one thing, practicality and what happens once you’re there is something else altogether. I have (and took with me) a Canon SX50HS bridge camera with UV and CPL filters, a Nikon AW100 (for underwater, now my secondary UW camera), an Olympus TG4 also for underwater photography (primary for underwater, mostly due to RAW shooting capability). I also took for its maiden snorkel trip an Apeman A80 action cam (GoPro clone with great capabilities and comparable qualities that I TOTALLY managed to mess up!) and finally my Galaxy S7 smartphone (in which I alternate taking jpeg and RAW pictures). In the end, the Canon is getting to bulky for cruising for me and having FIVE chargers, plus accessories, plus extra batteries are simply becoming overkill. I am starting to look into upgrading the Canon or simply not taking it with me on cruises. The TG4’s RAW capability and the S7’s (since upgraded to and S8+) camera proved to be quite sufficient on almost all conditions for what I needed. Although having two UW cameras for still pictures might be too much, it came into play later in the trip. As if that weren’t enough, I also took with me my Tycka Compact Travel Tripod (looking at a Gorillapod for next trip now) since I wanted to do some time-lapse videos with the action camera. An experiment that came out horrendous. It ended up being too much equipment for the activities weI did so I made the decision that this would be the last cruise hauling so much photo stuff. I am in no way a pro photographer. Just a photo enthusiast that sometimes has delusions of being Andy Warhol...lol! The thing is that I ended up using the tripod just once for a miserably failed attempt at a time lapse shoot leaving San Juan bay and the selfie stick once. I didn’t even install the windshield mount on the car while in St. Thomas. I think I’m going to start using the TG-4 a bit more to get the feeling of what it could do as a companion to my (now) S8+ cell phone, which is also capable of taking RAW images. That is, of course, IF I don’t end up getting a new mirror-less Olympus I got me eyes on before the next trip. Either way, I really need to figure out how to take less with me. So, finally, tomorrow I get my taste of the Dawn!!
  4. DM75, DD22 & I are cruising both the UK & an Eastern Europe itinerary in June 2022. (since our Med cruise was cancelled this June for DD's college graduation) 17 days total. An OV is $400 more each for the 17 days. (so $1200 total) 17 more sq. ft. We are active cruisers who spend little time in our room; there are also only 2 sea days total over the 17 days. We did find our interior on the Breakaway the most cozy room we have ever stayed in (and there were 2 of us) We are not getting the Free at Sea--it would run us $1300 more total. DM doesn't drink much & as port intensive as it is, we didn't think we could justify the extra cost. DM often arises before us, gets ready & heads up for coffee & walks around. I realize that only we can determine if the cost is worth it. Can anyone share personal experience with 3 adults in an interior or can compare to OV size? (our YA kids have done INT together on other lines but they weren't QUITE as cozy)
  5. We have been on over 20 cruises, mostly with NCL. We understand that some gamblers smoke in the casino. We are on the Dawn now and have NEVER seen so much smoking.Numerous non gamblers sit on the window seats, stand in the aisles, and sit at the bar and smoke day and night. Last night, a lady was sitting at my Three Card Poker table, not playing, and smoking several cigarettes. When I pointed that out to 2 pit bosses, they said “she played earlier.” Can you imagine if all smoking gamblers that “played earlier” just sat at gaming tables and smoked without playing! I had to ask the pit boss twice last night to tell someone who was standing next to the table smoking to “move on”. These complaints have been given to management in writing and verbally. There has been no improvement so it appears that it is OK to just use the Dawn Casino as an indoor smoking venue and not even act like you are gambling. I understand smokers have rights. Just want to give non smoking gamblers, that may be thinking of going on the Dawn, an idea of what they will encounter.
  6. All, I would love some advice! IF cruises are actually running again in December, I am torn between two tempting trips: One is on the Norwegian Dawn, 18 days, leaving December 1. $1,177 per person, inside cabin. Itinerary is Tuesday, December 1 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Wednesday, December 2 Monte Carlo, Monaco Thursday, December 3 Florence / Pisa (Livorno), Italy Friday, December 4 Naples, Italy Saturday, December 5 Valletta, Malta Sunday, December 6 At Sea Monday, December 7 Athens (Piraeus), Greece Tuesday, December 8 Ephesus / Kusadasi, Turkey Wednesday, December 9 Istanbul, Turkey Thursday, December 10 Istanbul, Turkey Friday, December 11 At Sea Saturday, December 12 Rhodes, Greece Sunday, December 13 Limassol, Cyprus Monday, December 14 Jerusalem / Tel Aviv (Ashdod), Israel Tuesday, December 15 Haifa, Israel Wednesday, December 16 Haifa, Israel Thursday, December 17 At Sea Friday, December 18 At Sea Saturday, December 19 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy The other is the Norwegian Getaway, 14 days, leaving December 5. $882 per person, inside. Itinerary is: Saturday, December 5 Barcelona, Spain Sunday, December 6 Cartagena, Spain Monday, December 7 Malaga, Spain Tuesday, December 8 Seville, Spain Wednesday, December 9 At Sea Thursday, December 10 Funchal, Madeira, Portugal Friday, December 11 At Sea Saturday, December 12 Ponta Delgada, Portugal Sunday, December 13 At Sea Monday, December 14 At Sea Tuesday, December 15 At Sea Wednesday, December 16 At Sea Thursday, December 17 Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda Friday, December 18 At Sea Saturday, December 19 New York (Manhattan), NY This is the classic choice between old, boring ship with a great itinerary of a newish, exciting ship with a relatively dull itinerary. Also the Getaway's voyage means many days in the North Atlantic in December. On the flip side, I live in NYC, so it would nice to just get off the boat and take a cab home. The Dawn goes to Israel for three days and I think this is probably the only way I'd get to go. I'd love your advice and opinion. I need to decide before Friday -- that is when my discount expires. Thank you in advance!
  7. i'm currently booked in a regular OV on the dawn. with all these cancellations, Family OV are available. the one im looking at is the 6th floor forward, next to the theater. I know on some ships the Family OV is bigger. (ie: has a 3 person couch) Is it on the Dawn?
  8. We booked a last minute trip on the Dawn and left Tampa on the 16th, we got a great deal on a family suite without a balcony, It was close to the prices of upcoming Balcony room trips that we were looking at so we jumped on it. This was our fifth cruise on NCL, fourth time in a suite and first time without a balcony, and surprisingly we did not miss it. We were married on the Dawn 16 years ago in NYC and as it worked out our suite was very close to where the Spinnaker Lounge was located and that is where the ceremony took place. We are a family of four, but our daughters best friend came along as well, it was her first cruise and she loved it. Our last cruise was on the Breakaway and it was good to be back on a small ship, the kids missed some of the fun things like the water slides but had a great time with everything else on the Dawn. There were not many kids on board, I think they said about 100, but my son still found some kids his age to hang out with. This was our first time not sailing out of NYC and did not miss the Haven area too much since it was nice and warm out. I made a detailed photo style review and a video, and figured I would share it on here, rather than write another one. Here is a link to the photo review it is on Adobe Spark and best viewed on a computer but is mobile device friendly, not sure if it is allowed to link to it but I will try Photo Review Here is the video that I made, it was shot mostly on my iPhone with a little 360 video thrown in, I think it sums up the trip pretty well.
  9. Looking for information from anyone who has been or who is currently on the Dawn. My husband and I are both seniors and are scheduled to sail on March 22. We were wondering how the day today operations are going, if there’s any problems etc. Thanks.
  10. We have never sailed the Dawn . Hoping the very knowledgeable people on CC can help us with our choice ... I like the position of deck 10 (in between cabin decks) probably mid ships. Any cabins to avoid ? We don't like connecting cabins. We have a dining package - is there any "speciality " restaurant that stands out from the others. Is the main dining rooms open from 6.00 to catch an early (7.30??) show. Thanks for any advice/comments.
  11. Does the Dawn two bedroom family suite have two bathrooms? Thanks in advance ...
  12. Are all the balconies on the Dawn "enclosed" .? Thanks for any info.
  13. Avid water workout person here, heading out on Dawn. How deep are Dawn’s pools - the one inside the spa area, and the main pool outside. I’m 5’ 2” and and so wondering if I need to bring floatation items (belt, noodle, etc..) I do swim, too; I hear the pool inside is long enough to swim laps; what do you think?
  14. Any information about a Meet and Greet on the Norwegian Dawn's Western Caribbean sailing departing Tampa March 8, 2020,
  15. Can anyone shed any light on why there's so much trouble getting on and off the dawn? Seems like every week there is mention of NCL sending emails to passengers telling them not to come to the port before noon and if they come early they will be turned away. What the heck! Thanks for any input.
  16. We are travelling on a Greek cruise in May on the Dawn. We reserved our dinner reservations most nights at 6:30. However, what times are their shows (and are they worth it)? Any other comments on the Dawn, itself, or the Greek isles? Thanks in advance.
  17. https://photos.app.goo.gl/qumXS6R1gmFGdqN69
  18. Sailing in March. First time on this ship, 4th? 5th? time on a Norwegian ship. We've done Gem, Jewel and Breakaway in the past. Any places you would recommend to watch sail away from? We're getting a cheapie inside room, so no view from the room. How was the kids club? And the little slide in the kids area? Really bummed out they took out the slide in the main pool area. My son would use it all day on the Gem. How were the shows? We've seen a cirque du soleil type show on the 14 day sailings. Anything you want to share would be great. Going to Honduras, Belize, Mexico (Costa Maya and Cozumel).
  19. Can anyone tell me which dock Dawn uses?
  20. I booked for April. there was a thread saying 400 cabins didnt have working safes a couple of months ago. (What did people do to safeguard their valuables?) wonder if thats been rectified?
  21. Looking to upgrade to an aft-facing balcony. Do the cabins on decks 8 and 9 have loungers or chairs, pictures I've seen show different things. If any pictures are available I would appreciate it. Looking at cabins 9738,9238,8176 and 8676. Thank you so very much for any info or pictures. Mike.
  22. Anyone on or just off the ship that could advise of the officers. Especially the cruise director. thank you
  23. I would like to switch my current room, mini suite to a family suite with a balcony. We are booked on the Dawn. Is there anyone who has photos of the cabin and do you know which rooms have the larger balcony? I see some rooms have the 6th occupancy, is that the larger balcony? Any help is appreciated. Thank you.
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