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iceburg1

Dawn Review 1/20-1/30

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Our overall opinion on the Dawn: :) Beautiful ship; fabulous entertainment; top-notch restaurants and food; great service and friendly, warm crew. We also met some wonderful people on the ship and made some new friends at the CC get-together and during the 10 days-- (Hi Debbie and Greg, if you're reading this; Also, Hi to Felicia and Rob). Only real complaint was embarkation delay and breakdown in NCL's numbering system for boarding in NY port and long wait for porters on debarkation in NY (this was not NCL's fault).

 

This was the first cruise for me and our son and my wife's second cruise (she cruised years ago before we were married) and we all had a wonderful time. We thought that the entertainment on the ship was superb.... Colin, the CD was hilarious and he really made the cruise so much more enjoyable in every way.... Great theater shows: Andrew Lloyd Webber's Music of the Night was Broadway caliber; Second City Troupe comedy shows and workshops were lots of fun as were the game shows, (especially Liar's Club- improvised game show with Colin and Second City cast members); South Beach Rave and Bollywood shows were both excellent with fantastic modern dance and acrobatics; Ventriloquist Joel Leder was talented and funny; and late night themed parties and dances (especially with Modal Magic) were always fun with a special guest appearance by a really crazy Elvis at the 50's & 60's Rock and Roll Party. Please no more laughs and comments!

 

We thought food quality and restaurant ambience was very good and loved all the choices and being able to eat when and where we wanted. We ate in all the restaurants except Cagneys and Bamboo. Our favorites were Le Bistro for our anniversary dinner and Salsa where we joined Debbie and Greg for a lovely dinner but found the food and its presentation to be top-notch at all the restarants, including the 3 main restaurants. The service was attentive at the specialty and the at the main 3 restaurants, especially at Aqua and Impressions (where the waitstaff was more efiicient and friendly), maybe a tad less at Venetian, but certainly nothing to complain about. Our son, who is special needs, and does not always want to eat at a designated time made us especially appreciate the Freestyle aspect of meals on the Dawn. (He also absolutely loved all the shows and parties and literally could not wait till the next show began.) We ate at the buffet for breakfast and a few lunches except for 1 day where we joined Debbie and Greg for breakfast at the Venetian. Plenty to choose from at the buffet but some choices were better than others, i.e. not uniformly as good as rest of food but liked the Norwegian smoked salmon for breakfast and deli hero sandwiches when we ate lunch.

 

We had a balcony cabin for the 3 of us and it was a bit tight when the sofabed was opened at night for sleeping but otherwise it was fine and especially liked the balcony and going out to sit "on the sea" when we were in warm climates. Did hear the creaking on the ship especially the next to last night on the trip back to NY when it got a little rocky. Our cabin stewards --Jeanette and Rose -- were fantastic and treated all of us with that little bit of extra care, especially our son Steven, and we left them a well desreved extra tip before we left to show our appreciation.

 

We used the pool area extensively on warm "at sea" days. We were able to find lounge chairs near the pool with some difficulty since chair "reserving" is quite commonplace and there are not enough chairs to go around for everyone while at sea. The pool is rather small for this size ship but never had too many people in it since most people just use the deck chairs and don't seem to go in the water much. Pool volleyball was also lots of fun. We did not use the spa facilities but did use the aerobics and weight machines. Also tried out the golf driving range -- hitting balls into a net-- and the putting contests but wish they had a golf simulator to play simulated golf courses which are available on some other ships.

 

We went on 3 NCL excursions -- SeaBlaster Snorkeling trip in St. Thomas, 4X4 Safari and Paradise Beach in Barbados, and The Baths at Virgin Gorda in Tortola. In Antigua, we went on a private tour of the island and to a beach with Lawrence of Antigua and in St. Martin we went on our own to Orient Beach and then did some shopping in Philipsburg. All the excursions were fun but especially liked:

1. the speed boat/snorkeling trip in St. Thomas which took us to 2 different reefs: one off St. James, an uninhabited island with lots of colorful fish on the reef and the 2nd to an area with sea turtles where we swam with the turtles!

2. The Baths at Virgin Gorda are really amazing and fun to climb through. Quite a unique experience.

3. The 4X4 Safari in Barbados is lots of fun going thru some sugar cane fields on rough terrain to a beautiful vista at Betsheba(sp?) on the Atlantic side of the island and then some beach time at beautiful Paradise Beach.

 

In summary, this was a "fabulous" cruise and the highlights were 1) the entertainment, 2) Colin, the Cruise Director, 3) the Freestyle Restaurants with the many choices of top-notch food, 4) the excursions, 5) the friendly crew and staff:o .

 

Only negatives were minor: 1) Embarkation and Debarkation problems in NY, 2) Creaking on ship at times of high seas, 3) Wish they would add a golf simulator to the Dawn.

 

Will try to answer questions, if any.

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Iceburg1- Sounds like you had a fantastic time. Thanks for a wonderful preview of the ship for our April trip. These positive reviews really help to add to our enthusiasm! Glad your family had a geat experience!

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Sounds like you had a great time!

 

We are going on our cruise this upcoming Sunday - February 20th and wish we had a longer cruise as you. We only have the 7 days.

 

How was the weather the first day out of NYC? Was it warm enough to sun bathe or was it strictly indoor activities?

 

Thanks again.

 

Don

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Hi Harry,

 

How was the ski trip?

 

Reading your review was great- it brought back the cruise and all the wonderful things about it. Needless to say, both Greg and I wish we were getting ready to embark once again! Now that you have become a bona fide cruiser, are you and Carol planning another one? We really feel that when we book again it'll have to be Norwegian because of the Freestyle (unless there was a deal so amazing we couldn't pass it up on another line!)

 

We'll drop you a line offline and send a picture of the 5 of us from breakfast-

 

again, thanks for a great review Elvis

 

 

Debbie and Greg

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Sounds like you had a great time!

 

We are going on our cruise this upcoming Sunday - February 20th and wish we had a longer cruise as you. We only have the 7 days.

 

How was the weather the first day out of NYC? Was it warm enough to sun bathe or was it strictly indoor activities?

 

Thanks again.

 

Don

 

The weather on the first day was kind of cool for sunbathing (low 50's and quite windy, I think) but the 2nd sea day (and the next to last sea day) was perfect.... sunny and low 70's. It may be warmer on the 1st day of your cruise though since the weather seems to have warmed up. Hope you have a great time.

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a couple of questions.

Were you able to find places to lay out anywhere? I've heard this is a problem on the ship. Do they have lemonade,ice tea available 24 hr a day.Do the restaurents have a variety of food or is each restaurent a different food theme. By this I mean does one rest. have strickly italian,one strictly steak,one strictly seafood,etc. I like the idea of getting various items in a rest. like on land. I like things my SO doesn't and don't want to end up sitting in a restaurant all by myself. Thanks for your help.

Laura

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a couple of questions.

Were you able to find places to lay out anywhere? I've heard this is a problem on the ship. Do they have lemonade,ice tea available 24 hr a day.Do the restaurents have a variety of food or is each restaurent a different food theme. By this I mean does one rest. have strickly italian,one strictly steak,one strictly seafood,etc. I like the idea of getting various items in a rest. like on land. I like things my SO doesn't and don't want to end up sitting in a restaurant all by myself. Thanks for your help.

Laura

 

Even on sea days we were able to find lounge chairs poolside with some difficulty. Getting there early would definitely help because lots of people "reserve" the chairs early by putting their stuff/towels on them and going off somewhere else. Not the best system.

 

Iced tea is always available in the Garden Cafe, also juices available during breakfast.

 

There is a good variety in all the restaurants--- even the specialty restaurants --- so you should not have much trouble finding various items on the menu. That said, the greatest variety will be found in the 3 main restaurants. My advice is to ask for a copy of all the dinner menus for the entire cruise when you board so you can see your choices ahead of time.

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