Would like some input on the Dawn?

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118 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Would like any kind of input about the Dawn out of NY..........I know it's cold out of NY during March & April, when does it start warming up as you sail along the east coast? Are there many families w/small children at this time of year? What's it like on the ship.....people friendly?.....heavy smokers?........long lines?.......I want to hear the good the bad and the ugly........PLEASE
Brooklyn, NY
701 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by Sushi
Would like any kind of input about the Dawn out of NY..........I know it's cold out of NY during March & April, when does it start warming up as you sail along the east coast? Are there many families w/small children at this time of year? What's it like on the ship.....people friendly?.....heavy smokers?........long lines?.......I want to hear the good the bad and the ugly........PLEASE

Hi. We nevered sailed the Dawn in April, but have in August and this September. I have also traveled to FL a number of times in April for business. The weather is sorta iffy at best leaving NYC. It will warm up nicely once you hit Miami and assuredly in Nassau. It is also Fl rainy season so be prepared. The temps are nice though. Low humidity, temps around the 70 and 80 range. Being April is Easter, expect lots of families before, during and after that week. You will also get some spring breakers.

The staff are very nice and friendly. Treat with respect...etc. Smoking is only allowed on the portside deck 7 and in the cigar bar.

The longest lines will be for dinner at the venetian, bistro and the poolside bbq. The longest lines will be for the WDW and Universal shuttle buses and the tenders for GSC island.

The main pool is small, the pool behind the main pool is nice, but watch your step going down! The kids pools aft is very nice. The lap pool is ok.

The best place to watch while sailing is in Spinnacker's lounge deck 12 forward. It overlooks the bow of the ship. The best place for leaving NYC to watch is the bar deck 14 forward. NICE views.

Try to get a balcony if you afford it. It makes A LOT of difference! Try a balcony deck 8 forward either port or starboard. Deck 8 is right above the main rest., the stardust theater and casino and below the pool, buffet and movie theater and library. Its also the same deck for Salsa's and the internet cafe.

The best places to eat are the buffet, Salsa's and the sushi place. Next is Cagney's and La T. We never tried the venetian or le bistro. The Blue Lagoon and the pub are ok. The poolside bbq is also ok.

Please let me know if you need more info or I did not answer a question very well.
New York, NY, USA
11,229 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Here's a link to my review, which I posted on CC back in March. I was on the 2/22/04 sailing of the Dawn. Be forewarned: the review is quite long and I don't know how much longer it will be available since there's a CC notation indicating that the old boards will only be accessible thru the end of June. Since they're still accessible, that date has obviously changed.


If you want the short answer, I had a great cruise.
Merrick, LI, NY
2,994 Posts
Joined May 2002
Johnql, I am so glad you posted that link. I had not read your review and it was extensive, especially for me, since I have a deck 8 inside booked. I am going Presidents' Week and am prepared for the onslaught of kids--I myself am bringing an 18 year old. Thanks for all the good information.

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"Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters." - Howard Bloomfield

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New York, NY, USA
11,229 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
bragstarr, you're more than welcome. I'm just glad that the link still works. Glad you found some of the info useful.
New York, NY
71 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Originally posted by Sushi
...start warming up as you sail along the east coast?...
It starts warming up by North Carolina.

Norwegian Dawn: New York - Florida - Bahamas - New York

Southeast US Weather Satellite

For yearly averages:
--National Weather Service Page. See Climatology link.
--Weather.com Page, see Averages & Records

7 Day Weather Forecast

Day ----- Port ---------- Arrival ----- Departure ----- Weather Link

4 Sun:
New York ----------------------- 4:00 PM -------- New York City
5 Mon: At Sea
6 Tue: Port Canaveral ---- 9:00 AM ---- 8:00 PM -------- Cape Canaveral
7 Wed: Miami, Fl --------- 9:00 AM ---- 6:00 PM -------- Miami
8 Thu: Great Stirrup Cay - 8:00 AM ---- 6:00 PM -------- Nassau
9 Fri: Nassau ------------ 7:00 AM ---- 2:00 PM -------- Nassau
10Sat: At Sea
New York ----------10:00 AM --------------------- New York City
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New York, NY
21,021 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
We traveled on the Dawn the cruise after Johnql. We loved it. It was warm by the time we were in Cape C. Warm enough to swim. It was warm enough to swim on the way back until after 2 on Saturday. We thought the water was calm. My wife smokes and the information above about smoking is inaccurate. Smoking is permitted in the bar lounges and the Casino on one side(port I think). but I don't smoke and it wasn't a problem. No smoking in the theater and the restuarants but there is a smoking area outside Impressions. If smoking bothers you remember if you have a balcony the people next to you ARE permitted to smoke. There is no such thing as a no smoking cabin but they do a great job of keeping them fresh.
We love the Dawn good crew and nice ship..
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Central New York State (aka "Upstate New York")
2,136 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
For sushi...
We were on the DAWN the last week in April and found the weather to be very nice leaving NYC, but that was just our fortunate luck for that week. Exactly three weeks after our return from the DAWN, we sailed on the MAJESTY out of Boston (end of May) and experienced 50 degree weather...so you just have to take your chances. All in all, our time on the DAWN was great. We loved the ship SO MUCH that we booked for the same time in 2005 before we left the ship. We had a balcony cabin and highly recommend the extra expense. As far as smoking, "ditto" on the above comments regarding the "lobby" area by the IMPRESSIONS restaurant...the Cigar Bar is adjacent to the area and you can smell the smoke. I'm extremely sensitive to smoke smells, so I just tried to steer clear of that area, but have to admit that I loved the IMPRESSIONS restaurant the best! The only other time we encountered "smoke" was on our balcony when we tried to "enjoy" it one sailing day. Someone on a balcony more forward in the ship than our midship cabin was "enjoying" a cigar that day. Needless to say, we didn't "enjoy" it, so we had to abandon our balcony. Our solution is that our next trip will have a balcony in the forward section of the ship...that way, the "wind" won't drift the smoke back to us as much!

After our trips, we started the following thread: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=27800 You might find some comments, questions, & answers there that may be helpful to you.

As far as children go on our cruise...there were alot of them, but the kid's program is so great the only places that we really had a sense of their portion of the passenger compliment was around the pool areas. We had learned, prior to our cruise, that even though we had "missed" spring break & Easter vacations for kids around home, it was spring break time for kids in New Hampshire and Connecticut the week of our cruise!

I can only think of "good" on our DAWN cruise as far as the ship and staff. The only "bad" thing that I remember is that NCL doesn't have a "transfer" to JFK airport...only LaGuardia (although there it was printed in our Disembarkation Paper that there was a "transfer" to JFK). I thought this would be a problem for us, and was concerned about the availability of a taxi for the four adults and ensuing luggage for our party (we wanted to all travel to the airport together rather than in two separate taxiis). Fortunately there was a "dispatch" person right outside the passenger pier terminal who got a "van" taxi to accomodate our needs immediately. So our "disembarkation" experience wasn't the problem that I anticipated.

The theatre and shows on the DAWN far outdo any that we've partaken of on past cruises with other lines! Be sure not to miss a single one!

This comment isn't "pro or con"...just my opinion on something different. Our first three cruises were on ships with "traditional" dining. Our DAWN cruise was the first we've experiences with the "freestyle" concept ("personal choice" on another line). In my opinion, I have to say that I prefer to dine at the SAME table each night with the SAME waitstaff and SAME tablemates. This CAN be accomplished on the DAWN, but it isn't as easy. I find that dining at a different restaurant, different table with different waitstaff and table companions doesn't give me that sense of "pampering" that we experienced with "traditional" dining. I enjoy the "traditional" dining more because the waitstaff gets to know you by name, they know your preferences and anticipate them, you become friends with your table companions and spot them at other times during the cruise easier, etc. I feel that the "freestyle" concept is good in that it offers a great deal of variety, but there really were too many choices on the DAWN for dining. If you can manage to schedule your cruise dining experiences to "try" each of the dining venues and happen to find a favorite...it is hard to find available time on a 7 day cruise to "repeat" a favorite! Even though you can dine at any time on the DAWN, we tended to have our meals at the same time each day. It made planning our activities that much easier, so we didn't have to worry about "times" only "locations" to eat. I guess I just like routine a bit more than some other people! After all, I'm on a cruise to relax...not juggle too many things at once!

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