NCL Dawn Halloween cruise-just back

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#1
NJ, USA
3,479 Posts
Joined May 2001
Hi Everyone!

I don't have time for a long review right now, but our Cruise Critic group has returned. I think I'll post the review in stages when I get the time.

For me, the cruise was wonderful. Embarkation was an absolute BREEZE. They had more staff than they needed and there were smiles all around. Happy crew and officers seemed to be a theme for the whole trip, which makes it better for us. I've been on a few ships where I suspected an almost abusive attitude from the negativity of the crew, and it was hard to enjoy myself because I felt bad for the people serving me. Here, if they weren't happy, they'd been trained in the best acting I'd ever seen!

They had some beverages right there at the peer, giving the sense that the pampering had started before you even got your room key. There were plenty of people to welcome, point directions, smile, etc.

They had a talented piano player right at the peer, however, he was playing some pretty adrenaline pumped classical music at a quicker-than-the-composer-intended tempo. Maybe it's just the music therapist in me talking here, but the only stressful factor of embarkation was the heart-quickening music. I'm not saying we needed Muzak, but somewhere in the area of light and uplifting would be better than angst producing.

One problem, the photography people were stressed from the beginning and you could see on the faces of people in pictures that the photo op was not a tour bonus. Other cruise photographers always gave the impression that they were recording a celebration and they were welcoming us to be a part with pictures. These guys gave the impression that they had a quota to fill and they just want us to stand in front of a life preserver so they can get it over with. For the first time, I noticed a great number of people just refusing to stand and pose in port. I think the photographers are an independent company from NCL because they were the only operation that didn't fit the upbeat profile. More about the poor photography staff later.

We got onboard and were escorted immediately to our cabin. This ship uses pure white sheets and comforters, which just gives the impression of immaculately clean. I've been on some ships where I wondered if they even bothered to change the sheets. This ship has just-bleached-white clean, which really made an impression on me. The cabins were well layed out (we had a balcony, not a suite). They'd designed the beds so you can push even large suitcases underneath and WOW what a space saver that is! Closets were spacious with an inside light and the option to pull down extra shelves. Bathrooms were the most spacious I've seen for a non-suite. Unfortunately, I missed showering and brushing my teeth in the sink at the same time. .

The colors in the cabin were perfect...tasteful and not that dreadful combination of neons that I've seen. The art was very well chosen, with pictures of underwater scenes. My only complaint was that I liked the barracudas in my parents cabin better than the fish in my own. The balcony was about as spacious as you could hope for. I liked that the doors stayed open on their own and did not have to be propped with a chair or a table.

That's all for now. Stay tuned for the pleasant surprise at the lunch buffet. Actually better than the main dining room in some of the ships I've sailed.
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Sandy
Losin' for the Mouse!!!
Disney visits every year!!
Carn. Jubilee, Nov 13,2000
NCL Sea, July 22,2001
Cel Zenith Oct 19, 2002
Carn. Pride Aug 27, 2003
NCL Dawn, Oct. 31, 2004-CC Halloween cruisers
Mississippi Queen, July 30, 2005
Mississippi Queen, Aug. 6, 2005
Camping at the Delaware River, Sept. 9, 2006


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#2
New England
110 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Hi Sandy,
I totally forgot about the Cruise Critic gathering until that afternoon.
Darn!
I just wrote a trip report that should be posting on the cruise review board soon.
Bobbi
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Disney Cruise March 2003
Norwegian Dawn November 2004
Nowegian Jewel November 2005
#3
NJ, USA
3,479 Posts
Joined May 2001
Hello! I am so sorry you missed the meeting. We all had dinner one night with a great team of staff (Armando, Indre, and Ernesto H.). It really was festive, but I'm afraid we got a little loud and boisterous during our three hour meal.

I'll post more about that later.
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Sandy
Losin' for the Mouse!!!
Disney visits every year!!
Carn. Jubilee, Nov 13,2000
NCL Sea, July 22,2001
Cel Zenith Oct 19, 2002
Carn. Pride Aug 27, 2003
NCL Dawn, Oct. 31, 2004-CC Halloween cruisers
Mississippi Queen, July 30, 2005
Mississippi Queen, Aug. 6, 2005
Camping at the Delaware River, Sept. 9, 2006


http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum...ysprune=&f=149
#4
358 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
Hi Everyone!

Sorry I missed the gathering, I went up and no one was there, I must have gone to the wrong bar :-(

Anyway, embarkation was very smooth, the lines went fairly quickly and we were on board by 12:30PM. Sandy is right about the photographers, they definitely were not of the same level of service or making you feel comfortable with the pics they were taking. Even on board for the portraits, and I was not happy with them at all. This is the first time I didn't buy a formal portrait of us.

We got into our cabins right away, we had 3 on deck 10, balconies, and they were definitely worth the price. I saw the inside cabins and they were just large closets. not even a sitting area. The handicap cabins are large and spacious so if you need one for a wheelchair, try to get one of these. Views were great from the balcony and we had lots of room. We had 3 in each cabin. The pull out sofa beds are very hard and you have to request additional padding for them. They opened the doors between the balconies so we could talk to each other, but they are a little smaller than we had hoped for.

We had room service every morning for coffee, just can't function without it :-) and they were always on time with a big smile. We did breakfast in the Venetian once, and the service was good, but the food was not hot. We did breakfast in the garden cafe everyday after that, got the eggs once from the buffet and they are powdered, the omlet bar is the place to go for your eggs. The bacon is good, not smoked, the sausage was spicy, and the little round hash browns were surprisingly good.

Lunch was done in the garden cafe ( when we remembered to go!) and was usually very good. They offer a shrimp bisque that is to die for. The kids buffet was good too, always had chicken nuggets, fries, burgers and dogs and brownies. Be VERY careful when getting ice cream, it is not always labeled correctly and you could get nuts, etc when you are not prepared for it and if you have allergies to these things, it could be bad.

We had to go to the ships doctor for my daughter, she had let herself get very dehydrated. We went down and the hours posted were from 9-10:30 and 4-6. We knocked on the door and they were in there. They did blood work and urine sample, gave her a shot that knocked her out for 4 hours and told her to drink water and charged me $200.00. The fee doubled since we were there at 11:30 in the morning and that is outside their normal hours so they charge double. I was very dissappointed in that, seemed to me like they were just padding the bill.

There were lots of activites for every age group. I liked the sexy legs contest, the guy from Jersey must have been a dancer in another life.....

I hardly ever saw my kids, they had a blast on the boat. You have to be careful with the teenagers though, they got into dazzles and the spinnaker after 11 and were served alcohol.

I saw Dave Heenan the first time and he was not bad, the ventriloquist was hysterical, he pulled my oldest up on the stage (she was the one who answered her phone during the perfomance) and had her panting and shaking her leg like a dog! I was crying since I was laughing so hard. Bollywood was ok, but not what I expected.

Bar service at the Oasis pool was great. We had Anthony taking care of us and he was the best. His timing was perfect, always knew when to come to ask if we wanted another round, didn't harass us to death like some of the waitstaff can do, and I can't say enough good about him. He even held our table for us in the morning :-)

Dinner:

Captains night in the Venetian was good, the lobster tails were delicious, but the filet mignon was overcooked for all of us. The captain didn't even show up in the dining room. I was a little dissapointed with the food in the main dining room, and the kids wouldn't eat there after the second night. We did La Tratoria, which was pretty good, Italian food. We also went one night to Le Bistro, and the food was awesome. Larry had the steamed chicken breast filled with tiger prawn mousse and I had the sea bass. The wild mushroom soup in the crusty sourdough bread was so good, I didn't want it to end. The ambience was lovely and quiet, the paintings were stunning, and the service was second to none.

Overall, the cruise was lovely. I don't like the fact that I have to pay for a soda with dinner, Royal Caribbean gives you soda at meals. I can only drink so much coffee!

The one downside is debarkation. It can be a mad house trying to get off the pier, especially when others are trying to get on. One word of advice, if you are going to try to take a cab from the pier, you have to get a ticket at the doors before you go out or you don't get a cab. We waited an hour and a half trying to get a minivan cab and ended up with 2 cabs just to get to Penn station. Have someone pick you up or park at the pier.

If anyone has any questions, I will be more than happy to answer it!

Chris
#5
Monmouth Cty
6 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
HI Everyone,
welcome back, did you all still feel the swaying of the ship when you returned? is it "normal" or just wishful thinking? Well, after getting back from my first cruise, it was a great experience, it was great meeting people from the cruise critic board (especially Sandy's mom)! I'm sorry we missed that cc dinner, thanks Sandy for including us! But the Salsa was good (for the kids) and ok for the grown ups, but the ambience and the live music was great- my husband ordered 2 lobster dinners! I thought the ship with 2800 guests would've felt crowded but we didn't! My 2 boys loved the kids crew area, but my 'now 12 yr old didn't care for it. i thought the teens on the cruise was alittle too loud after 11pm in the staircases when i was putting my little one to bed. and there were lots of 'running' by the teens on the stairs. but all in all, i felt safe enough to allow my kids roam of the ship-during the day, (maybe they were also 'running'-i hope not!). I think this cruise convinced my doubtful husband to start planning for our next cruise but it won't be a for a few yrs, it was alot of work with my 2 yrs old! thank God for the Kids area, to give me some reprieve. my little 2 yr old is asking me, are we going to see a show now? oh, i feel the swaying again, maybe it's time for my massage! Just wishful thinking ... ttyl
#6
NJ, USA
3,479 Posts
Joined May 2001
Originally posted by seawyllow
Hi Everyone!

Sorry I missed the gathering, I went up and no one was there, I must have gone to the wrong bar :-(

They offer a shrimp bisque that is to die for.

I saw Dave Heenan the first time and he was not bad, the ventriloquist was hysterical, he pulled my oldest up on the stage (she was the one who answered her phone during the perfomance) and had her panting and shaking her leg like a dog! I was crying since I was laughing so hard. Bollywood was ok, but not what I expected.

Chris
HI Chris, so sorry we missed each other.

I can't believe you mentioned the shrimp bisque. I actually brought my Dad to the buffet, telling him he can't miss it, but they'd taken the buffet down by the time we got there. Did you try the pumpkin lobster bisque? I'd never have thought it, but WOW!

Were you the lady talking to your daughter at the show? Our group was sitting together just a few feet from you.

Hi Ruby (Mommy of 3),
Yes, I'm feeling the swaying too. I know what you mean about the teens, but that was after the program let them out. While the programs were going on, the teens were really under control and not a problem at all.
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Sandy
Losin' for the Mouse!!!
Disney visits every year!!
Carn. Jubilee, Nov 13,2000
NCL Sea, July 22,2001
Cel Zenith Oct 19, 2002
Carn. Pride Aug 27, 2003
NCL Dawn, Oct. 31, 2004-CC Halloween cruisers
Mississippi Queen, July 30, 2005
Mississippi Queen, Aug. 6, 2005
Camping at the Delaware River, Sept. 9, 2006


http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum...ysprune=&f=149
#7
Monmouth Cty
6 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Hi Sandy,
i missed the lobster bisque, and the carribean bbq at 10pm, and so many others!we had the sit down dinner (& even lunches sometimes), there were so many choices, oh, if could've eaten more, i would! It was interesting, even tho we ate so much (& many times), it wasn't to the point of being sick. the portions were just right. my older 2 kids always ate from the main menu and were also able to eat most of it. i was very disappointed with our last night's dinner of the italian night at Impressions, the risotto wasn't fully cooked, maybe we just ate too early (6:30pm)... We should have gone to Le Bistro that night instead. c'est la vie! Good thing i was able to chase around my kids that i didn't need to use the fitness center. how were your excursions? we went to visit Atlantis for a few hours on Paradise Island and in the PM, went to Cable Beach via bus, we definitely liked the beaches at Cable Beach, but like (even tho we didn't use them) the facilities at Atlantis. S/Have booked the Comfort suites like some of the others, oh well, next time.
ttyl,
ruby
#8
19 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Hello Sandy and all the Cruise Critic People!!!

Thanks again Sandy, it was so nice of you to take the time to gather us all together.

... When we came to the meeting it was nice chatting with everyone. This is the funny part...I talked on line with a couple from our town, at the meeting we found we live on the same street. What a pleasent suprise!

This was my second trip on the Dawn. A lot has changed for the better

I still feel they did not make up for our lost day at the NCL Island.
The overnight in Nassau was nice but we left so early the next day we couldn't do anything.

I will be writing a letter to NCL regarding this.

NCL knew they were not going to the Island for quite a while but failed to inform us of this untill the last min.

Carol & Dan
NCL Dawn 2004
NCL dawn 2003
#9
358 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
Hey Sandy,

I'm sorry I missed you too! I was with my inlaws on the trip and they are great but........

We were sitting in the first row on the left facing the stage. My daughter was the 6 foot tall Kaitlin #2. She was saying "I will" in that deep voice and shaking her leg and panting like a dog. The little boy in the skit was hysterical. He was wearing the flames shirt (my son has the same shirt! I know where his mom shops...lol). Was that you in the group about 3 rows back, but in the middle section? I was so embarrassed when the dummy started complaining about her answering the cell phone in port! Stupid boyfriend calling constantly, but then I remember being that age.......
#10
NJ
159 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Sea-I was at the ventriloquist show and saw your daughter. That was hysterical!! I think the best we saw. Also, that little boy Dillon was great. Is he anyone here's?

I also thought Embarkment was a breeze. We got to the dock at 11:30 and we were on the ship at our room by 12:30. No one walked us to our room, we found it by ourselves but that was not a problem. My husband's room key wasn't working so we went down to the atrium and they fixed it right away. At this time we also bought the boy's soda cards and one smoothie coupon book to share (which was plenty for both of them, plus I had a few here and there). Next, we went out to see the pool. The music was already playing and we ordered drinks. I made the mistake of buying a frozen drink from one of the waiters who had them set up on a table and it was warm and separated. When I brought it back to him a minute later, he wasn't too happy with me. He wanted me to take another but I could tell they had been sitting in the sun and were all like that. He got me a fresh one from the bar that was very good.

The first night we ate in Salsa's and all liked it. The ambiance was wonderful, as was the waitress and maitre de (sp?).

We ate breakfast every morning (but one) in the Venetian. That was our favorite meal of the day. It never took too long and everything was delicious. We had breakfast one morning in the Garden Buffet but didn't like it. The eggs were not warm and the milk machines were empty. When we told a waitress, she directed us to the next buffet area down (not a short walk carrying trays) were we found those milk machines empty and were directed back to where we just came from. Eventually someone filled the machines and we were good to go.

We loved the game shows. The Not So Newlywed game was hysterical. We also saw Jeopardy and Family Feud. Paul and Mike were great. My kids loved to see them go on stage. They are very talented. Dave Heenan (comedian) was good. He mentioned a few times that he grew up in NYC but I was almost sure I detected a British accent. Anyone else? We really enjoyed the Magician but he was only there until Wednesday, I think. The ventriloquist was very good, we saw him twice. All the Jean Ryan shows were very good. I think I would have to say the entertainment was my favorite part of the cruise. That guest talent show was unbelievable. Who would have thought there would be so many talented guests on board?

I was not crazy crazy about the food like I thought I would be. I mean it was OK, but not as I'd expected. (In fact, I lost 1/2 pound--- :-) We didn't eat in an extra pay restaurants. We ate in Salsas, Impressions, Aqua (our favorite), the Venetian (2nd favorite). The shrimp cocktail was the worst thing I had.. these little, little baby shrimp served in a pudding cup with lots of cocktail sauce. Tasted like mush. We preferred to have lunch at the Bimini Bar or the Pub (good fish and chips) over the buffet or pool BBQ. My kids LOVED room service and had a nice snack every night (brownies, cookies, or chocolate mouse and milk. My husband even ordered a sandwich one night).

I liked the casino, but we always lost. Heard many guests were up though, so I guess that was just us.

I liked Bingo but thought it was very expensive. I would have played more if it were less expensive.

We loved our room (mini-suite) and our room stewards. We were mid ship in an AF on the 11th floor. We really liked our location. The balcony was so great.. I don't think I would have enjoyed the cruise half as much without it. The bathroom was nice and big. We brought the over the door shoe bag for extra storage of our bathroom supplies (as directed here on the boards) and that was a great tip. Plenty of storage in the room for 4 of us. We took the life jackets down off the shelves over the closet and put them in the floor or the closet and put the kid’s clothes up there. We especially liked the towel animals.. so creative!! I do have to say that the room was not quiet. This didn't bother us much as we are heaving sleepers. But I see so many people ask here on the boards I thought I would mention that. We could hear our neighbors when they came in late at night laughing and chatting. We could hear children running up and down the hall and we could hear the staff setting up the pool tables and chairs over our heads first thing in the morning.

The Kid's Crew - my youngest (9) loved it - even though he didn't go TOO much.. maybe 3 or 4 times). He got moved to the older group. (My husband worked this out with them!) But my older son (11) didn't enjoy it and went less. My little one enjoyed the activities like GaGa Ball and the basketball tournaments.

In Orlando, we rented a car (worked out great) and went to the Kennedy Space Center. My husband and I enjoyed it but the boys were bored stiff.

In Miami, we stayed on the ship and enjoyed the pool (which was normally WAY too crowded for our enjoyment (that is what I would say we liked the least about the cruise). It was like trying to find a table in a mall food court with everyone walking around with their trays. One day we actually found 4 person table (OK, we stalked a family who was ready to leave). My 11 year old sat and held our table while we went to get our food on the buffet line. The poor kid practically had to wrap his legs around the other 3 chairs to keep people from taking them before we got back. I was watching him from the line.

In Bahamas we rented the room at the Comfort Suites and did the Atlantis thing. We loved this. We spent the first half of the day at the pools (which the kids went nuts over) and the 2nd half of the day at the Beach. The water was clear and beautiful and you could see fish swimming around you. My husband rented a jet ski for $40 for 1/2 hour and took the boys out. They got a big thrill out of that. Beware - The food is extremely expensive at Atlantis.

What else am I forgetting? The weather was AWESOME and the ship was beautiful and the crew was very nice!! Bring a lanyard for your room key or buy one in the gift shop. It is very handy!!

Disembarkment was a nightmare. They line up all your suitcases in lines against a wall. I would have thought they would attempt to keep our bags together but that was not the case. When you walked down a long line of suitcases and realized yours was not in the line, you couldn't walk around to the other line. You kind of had to back out past others with their suitcases and go back to the beginning to get to the next line of suitcases. It took us nearly 45 minutes to claim 4 bags. At one point, we were certain one of ours was missing and even went to the lost and found, but finally found it. If I can make a BIG suggestion, it would be to tie something unique around your suitcase handle (bows and streamers, like some I saw - the more the better!!). This would make it easier to spot your bag from out in the isle. We had booked a car (minivan) to take us home. This worked out well for us, but the driver told us he had to keep going around and around because they would not allow him to stop in the area until we were there. We were home in NJ by 12:30. So great not to have to hop a plane at that point.

Hey, I thought a cruise was supposed to be so relaxing? We're beat!! And, everything is still rocking for me!! Isn't that a weird feeling? I noticed it doesn't happen in the car, just when I am still.
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#11
NJ, USA
3,479 Posts
Joined May 2001
Hi everyone!

I agree, that boy Dillon was the BEST! He kept laughing and slapping his knee in the cutest way. He was SO cute and his outfit was too perfect for the act. If I were a talent scout, I'd have given him an audition for something.

Yes, I've noticed the world is still rocking like the ship. I took a Pilates class this morning and I almost got nauseous on the floor because it felt like it was moving.

OK, a little more of my review...........

We had our room service coffee in the morning the first day. I LOVE room service coffee. We had breakfast in the Venetian and found the best waiter/assistant team. (Armondo S. and Indre). They gave us the kind of attention that you expect when tips are given out to your every day waiter team at the end of the cruise. We loved them. When it came to breakfast, though, the food and serving temperature was best at the buffet.

The band by the pool was very entertaining. I love that atmosphere of music and celebration.

At 10:00, we set out for our cruise critic meeting. They had set up a wonderful spread! I did not expect such a thing and I was so impressed. Gary A. (the group coordinator) met us in the room and made sure we had what we needed. Unfortunately, I had picked a time when a very long announcement was being made over the loud speaker. We could not really talk over it, and we spent a bit of time standing there unable to chat. Next, someone came in and was disappointed that no official people were there. We lost about six people in that early part of the meeting. Then, the room was full of everyone from the cruise ship. Klaus (hotel director), Orhan (food and beverage director), Paul and Mike (cruise director), and a few others who's names I unfortunately forgot. They were so wonderful to us. I mean, really guys, we are like a big Star Trek club for cruisers, but they treated us with such respect and attentiveness. Throughout the cruise, all I heard was how accomodating they were to the people at the meeting. They would make a point of coming up to us and asking how things were throughout the cruise and I still can't believe they remembered our names.

After the meeting, we made reservations at La Trattoria for dinner and Orhan made sure we got the waiter we liked so much from breakfast. At dinner, we also met assistant Maitre'D Ernesto H. Look him up onboard, he has great stories and is a great guy to meet. Dinner was so good. I was still doing low carbs on that day and I asked for only the meat with the starch left off the plate (low will power). I noticed there were alot of special orders at our table. THey were very accomodating, but I suppose that is alot to ask of the kitchen to custom make each plate. Part way through the cruise I gave up on low carbs and stopped asking to have things left off my plate just to stop being a pain. Anyway, lobster tails came, then we had seconds. Desserts were wonderful. The evening was a true success and, when I apologized to Indre for being what I imagine was quite loud, she sweetly said "Oh, no, you were a very happy group".

Our cruise critic group then moved on to the ventriloquist show, which was very funny. And that brings us full circle back to Dillon, so i'll stop this part of the review right here.


Until next time!
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Sandy
Losin' for the Mouse!!!
Disney visits every year!!
Carn. Jubilee, Nov 13,2000
NCL Sea, July 22,2001
Cel Zenith Oct 19, 2002
Carn. Pride Aug 27, 2003
NCL Dawn, Oct. 31, 2004-CC Halloween cruisers
Mississippi Queen, July 30, 2005
Mississippi Queen, Aug. 6, 2005
Camping at the Delaware River, Sept. 9, 2006


http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum...ysprune=&f=149
#12
New Jersey
606 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Hi Everyone,

I missed the CC meeting on Monday too because mother was being difficult and wanted to do another activity instead - I think it was the ship tour but I'm not sure if that was it. Couldn't do it on her own - I had to come with her. I had a wonderful time and will post a full review later. I got coughed all over in a packed elevator on Sunday evening and I brought back a nasty cold as a souvenier. I got up earlier than I had wanted to because Daddy called me every morning at 6:30 a.m. to go jogging - Mom got to sleep in but I had to run first thing in the morning - uggh! I absolutely loved all of the restaurants we tried except for the buffet for dinner - it was o.k. for breakfast and lunch but the one night we ate there for dinner, I ended up going back to my room and ordering room service. We went to La Trattoria, Salsa, Venetian, Aqua, and Impressions - all excellent. Aqua was our favorite - my Dad absolutely thought there was nothing like our waitress there - Bharti.

Sandy - We also had Armando and Indre once and they were excellent - very accomodating. One day for lunch we wanted the cobb salads (very good btw) and a little something extra - I wanted to try the pot stickers but didn't want a whole entree - Armando said "No problem". He just brought me a smaller portion.
#13
NJ, USA
3,479 Posts
Joined May 2001
Originally posted by JerseyMom
Hi Everyone,

I Aqua was our favorite - my Dad absolutely thought there was nothing like our waitress there - Bharti.

Sandy - We also had Armando and Indre once and they were excellent - very accomodating. One day for lunch we wanted the cobb salads (very good btw) and a little something extra - I wanted to try the pot stickers but didn't want a whole entree - Armando said "No problem". He just brought me a smaller portion.
Bharti,
I also enjoyed Aqua. I thought it had a different sort of feel with all female waiters. It was somehow more warm and nurturing and the attitude was different somehow, not better than main, but different. We had a great waitress team, a european woman with blond hair and a sweet, shy Asian woman as assistant. They had a dessert called floating island and when I asked what it was, the assistant said "They're islands that float" with a completely serious, professional tone before we all busted out laughing. I guess you had to be there, but her delivery was perfect.

The Maitre'D was also very interesting. We were talking about the incredibly talented singers (Todd Noel, you would not believe this guy's voice and the other talented guy who sang the lead for the onboard segment of Jesus Christ Superstar) When we were talking about the other guy, the Maitre'D broke from this very professional,polished presentation to smile and say "That's my boyfriend". IT was so funny to see her change like that.

I think the shift from the very polished presentation that NCL must have trained them to have (a plus) to the glimpses of real personality, like you are getting to know who a person is, was what struck me most about Aqua. While they were still professional, you could see a little chatting and quiet giggling her and there. They seemed to really like working together and it was more of a close-knit feeling. I noticed more joking together with guests about each other, too. I can't explain it, kind of like a Sorority I guess. But the attitudes were always professional, dignified, and appropriate, not like some waitresses who kind of lose track of proper boundaries and go overboard with the way they act.

Anyway, enough about that, I have to check into my other thread. . If you are trying to lose a few post-cruise pounds, check the cruise diet countdown club below!

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...46#post2363346



BYE!
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Sandy
Losin' for the Mouse!!!
Disney visits every year!!
Carn. Jubilee, Nov 13,2000
NCL Sea, July 22,2001
Cel Zenith Oct 19, 2002
Carn. Pride Aug 27, 2003
NCL Dawn, Oct. 31, 2004-CC Halloween cruisers
Mississippi Queen, July 30, 2005
Mississippi Queen, Aug. 6, 2005
Camping at the Delaware River, Sept. 9, 2006


http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum...ysprune=&f=149
#14
155 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
We were on the same cruise last week and we had a really great time. We were on it last year and we were not very impressed, we gave it another try because we got such a great price. So happy we went. Everyone was so wonderful! Smiles everywhere the most pleasant staff I've seen in a long time(this was our 15th cruise) We had a probelem with our cabin we were right under the buffet, so needless to say we were up 5:00 Am because of the noise.(cabin 11117) We went to the desk they sent someone to check out the noise said they would tell them to be more quiet (impossible) We got a phone call a little later to ask if we wanted to change our cabin. We were hesitant only because who wants to pack up? They sent someone to help, he took everything out of the closet and set us up in our new place all the while smiling (gave him a nice tip) They also credited us with on board credit of $100. It was a nice surprise.

We also loved the service in the Aqua almost ate there every night, the maitre'd Ratmiller was the best so sweet and happy to help anyone even the crying kids.

We thought the food greatly improved. We were very happy. The entertainment was pretty good too...loved the ventriloquest. Have seen the juggler before but still found him entertaining. Hated the buffets. Except for the fact that they added more stations for fresh eggs. Last year they only had one WHAT A MESS!!!! Overall I thought it was a great crusie. The weather was the best part. Who could ask for anything more.

Couldn't belive all the Jersey people. We know alot of people took advantage of the Teachers Convention. I work in school and did.

Untill next time...,......
#15
753 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
[quote=Sandycruise]Hi Everyone!

The colors in the cabin were perfect...tasteful and not that dreadful combination of neons that I've seen. The art was very well chosen, with pictures of underwater scenes. My only complaint was that I liked the barracudas in my parents cabin better than the fish in my own. The balcony was about as spacious as you could hope for. I liked that the doors stayed open on their own and did not have to be propped with a chair or a table.


I"m so glad someone has finally mentioned the stateroom color scheme! I too had reservations about those horrid neon stateroom colors shown in all the brochures and virutual tours. I kept thinking they could trigger a migrane for sure. Now I'm really ready to get on board!!!
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Leanne

Next up - NCL Escape 5/12/19

NCL Gem 3/17/14

NCL EPIC 10/09/10

NCL Star 10/10/09
NCL Dawn 7/6/08
NCL Pearl 2/8/08
NCL Pearl 2/3/08
NCL Dawn 2/18/07
NCL Dawn 2/12/06
NCL Dawn 2/10/05

Costa Atlantica 4/11/04
#16
Stratford, NJ USA
1,106 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
I guess I posted in the wrong place earlier.

Thanks Sandy and Len for the wonderful gift. Daddy and I totally enjoyed it. I wish HAL offered Freestyle for our May cruise. Did you manage to get info on how we can personally thank Ernesto Hernadez for his continual effort to make sure we were well taken care of? I wish Icould remember all the others. Was it Armondo we requested for for our meeting? He was great as well. I have to get to Curves so I won't go into all the fantastic experiences we encountered but "ditto" to the few positive posts twice over. I will get to read the rest of the posts later.

Love, Ma
#17
308 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
well i am thinking about dawn next year - as i am a new yorker, i like leaving out of ny - how does the dinner situation work - do u have assigned table in the main dining room each night or do u have to make a reservation every night? - the room colors look dizzy online but are they really that loud?

we were on carnival miracle in august out of NY - it was nice but now we want to try something else - either thinking of dawn or rccl voyager which leaves out of nj - the only thing is that voyager goes to bermuda only 5 days - i really like the 7 day ones.

we don't usually sit right by the pool, sit up on the sun deck - how is that on dawn?

i know shorts are not allowed for eating dinner - are jeans okay - i really like to be comfortable.

how about ports - are they worth it on the dawn?

any other advice would love to hear
#18
NJ, USA
3,479 Posts
Joined May 2001
Good morning!

Gig, what was it that turned you off at the buffet?

oLEE and Lefty, definitely consider the Dawn! Lefty, I felt the cabins were very tasteful on the Dawn, as were all the other locations. When we sailed the Carnival Pride last year, they chose classic paintings and sculptures as their theme. It was just a bit odd, because the era they chose meant alot of HUGE nudes everywhere you go. FOr example, as you go up the glass elevator, you suddenly come upon this HUGE replica of Michaelangelo's David sans the fig-leaf that some might have added for delicacy. I mean, really, full frontal nudity on the way to dinner is just not necessary. There were a few other replicas that evoked either stunned stares or giggles from kids. For me, the first time the elevator reached that particular body part, I gasped because you just don't expect to see a naked guy who seemed over ten feet tall from your glass elevator. With all the building codes out there, you'd think they'd have some kind of penal code against such things. 'nuff said.

I have not sailed Voyager, but I'm familiar with the ship. RCCL is supposed to be top notch as far as service and food, I've heard. Voyager has a HUGE atrium, very impressive. The Carnival Pride also has a huge atrium that takes your breath away. The Dawn does not have this, however, I realized why. They very skillfully placed a bar and entertainment area at the bottom of the atrium, but the open space creating the high ceiling effect is rather narrow. Instead of leaving the space empty on the decks above, they added specialty restaurants, which are quite small, like Salsa. The restaurants give the impresson of being much larger and open because they are designed in a horseshoe shape with an open middle that borrows the expanse of the atrium. By doing this, the specialty restaurants get the benefit of the live entertainment below, offer more dining choices, and don't give the impression that twenty tables have been stuck in a closet. WOW! I hope the architect won some award for that creativity. SO, it you walk onto the Dawn and you're disappointed that some huge high ceiling doesn't take your breath away, think of the plus when you can choose MExican, Japanese, or any of the other options they have.

If you do go to Bermuda, you HAVE to book Hartley's Helmet dive. Tell Greg Hartley that Sandy from NJ says hello if you go.

Sun deck on the Dawn was great. Many lounge chairs on a tiered peer on one end with the most delightful snacks just a few feet away. Tables on the top deck to sit with a drink or coffee. Options of shade and sun all over the place. Easy access to open deck from the buffet if you prefer dining in the sea air.

About the jeans, while I believe they didn't encourage jeans in the formal dining room, I saw quite a few outfits that didn't seem to follow the dress code and no one was tossed out.

The ports on the Dawn...hmmmm. This was probably not the biggest plus for me for some reason. Alot of people stayed on the ship while in port. I'm the type of person who can sit on a rock by any body of water or interesting scenery for hours and soak in the local atmosphere to entertain myself. (AKA the bloom where you are planted approach) If I sailed the Dawn again, though, the ports would not be the main reason. We enjoyed a wonderful Duck tour in Miame, an interesting Pontoon boat ride in Ft. Lauderdale, and the Atlantis tour in Bahamas. Would there be anything new to see if I went back? Not so sure. Maybe the long bus excursion to Disney would be nice.

Ma, I'm glad you had a good time. We had fun, too.

Hope I answered your questions. Stay tuned for more of my review to come.
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Sandy
Losin' for the Mouse!!!
Disney visits every year!!
Carn. Jubilee, Nov 13,2000
NCL Sea, July 22,2001
Cel Zenith Oct 19, 2002
Carn. Pride Aug 27, 2003
NCL Dawn, Oct. 31, 2004-CC Halloween cruisers
Mississippi Queen, July 30, 2005
Mississippi Queen, Aug. 6, 2005
Camping at the Delaware River, Sept. 9, 2006


http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum...ysprune=&f=149
#19
308 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
well thank u for u input - i am not quite familiar with their dining - each day, do u have to make reservations to eat dinner someplace - or is their the main dining room which u still can go to eat with a designated table - when i was on carnival - my dinner was 8:00 - so i knew if i wanted to eat there, at least i did not have to make a reservation.

if that is not the case - u go to eat whenever u want to eat, but how are the lines - one thing about me, when i want to eat, i want to eat (lol) - i just was not sure that if u did not pick the other restaurants on the dawn, do u at least have u choice at the main dining room.

well it seems we want to go the week of july 4 next year so we are really looking into the dawn - when i see the pictures of the cabin online - is it really pretty - i thought it looked kinda dizzy with the blue - are the balcony cabins a good size - on the carnival miracle they were okay but the shower was awesome.

thank u
#20
20,068 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by Lefty1
well thank u for u input - i am not quite familiar with their dining - each day, do u have to make reservations to eat dinner someplace - or is their the main dining room which u still can go to eat with a designated table - when i was on carnival - my dinner was 8:00 - so i knew if i wanted to eat there, at least i did not have to make a reservation.

if that is not the case - u go to eat whenever u want to eat, but how are the lines - one thing about me, when i want to eat, i want to eat (lol) - i just was not sure that if u did not pick the other restaurants on the dawn, do u at least have u choice at the main dining room.

well it seems we want to go the week of july 4 next year so we are really looking into the dawn - when i see the pictures of the cabin online - is it really pretty - i thought it looked kinda dizzy with the blue - are the balcony cabins a good size - on the carnival miracle they were okay but the shower was awesome.

thank u
You want to eat when you want to eat then the Dawn will work well. There are 3 main dinning rooms you can go to anytime between 5:30 and 10 pm. You may have a short wait if you hit the door right at 7 or just after the first show gets out. We ate late and just walked in. If you want to you can go to dinner at 5:30 and eat a second dinner at 9:30

The specialty resturants are by reservation and can be made as eary as 9 am the day before.

With 10 resturants all serving dinner at the same time not only should you be able to eat when you want but also what you want.