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Kuppykat

Dawn Review

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I must start by saying I loved this cruise. I had a wonderful time and wouldn't hesitate to sail NCL again, free style cruising is for us.

 

This cruise was a birthday present from me to my husband for his 60th BD and I wanted it to be special, it exceded my expectations.

 

We were picked up at our home on Staten Island by limo at 11:30am, arrived at the pier by noon. The line looked soooo long, yet we were in our cabin by 12:45. Embarktion was painless and everyone at the pier was helpful.

 

We dropped our bags off in our cabin and went off to the Venetian restaurant for lunch.

During the week we tried all of the restaurants on the ship. In all of the restaurants the service and food was excellent. Although, I did suggest they turn one of their main restaurants into a family restaurant where standard food was served,(mashed potatoes, pork chops, fried chicken, ect. ect.) especially for families with children. Most of the dishes being served was too exotic for children.

 

After lunch we returned to our cabin.I bought the BD package, the room was decorated and they supplied a large BD cake. We booked the AB penthouse and our friends booked the mini suite next door to us.

I have to say " The AB suite was very nice and I honestly don't think I would want to cruise again unless I was able to cruise in this suite. This suite spoiled us. Lanie our Butler was wonderful, I wanted to adopt her by the end of the week. We had room service for breakfast everyday and once Lanie knew our friends were next door every perk I was allowed she included our friends. I can't say enough good things about her and she was a big part in making our vacation a memorable one.

 

The ports were ok. 1st stop we Booked Universal Studios, we bought the express pass and it was a wise decision. The lines were long and we never waited more than 5 minutes. I've been to Universal before but this was the 1st time with the express pass and it was worth the extra money in my opinion.

Next we were off to Miami and we took the duck tour, it was cute and we enjoyed it.

Next stop..Great stirrup Cay. We decided not to get off the ship, the water was choppy and those tenders were bouncing all over the place. That night when we spoke to a few people they claimed when they got to the island people were trying to save lounge chairs and the water was too cold so they returned on the 1st tender back to the shipO others claimed to have a great time. I guess it's just a matter of taste.

The last port was Nassau. We are given so little time in Nassau we decided to just shop and go on a horse and buggy tour, it was ok.

 

All in all we loved this ship. The ship was clean and the crew were (all) so friendly.

Bingo...It is expensive but I enjoy it, so went to every game.

Casino...I found the machines to be pretty tight all week but the last night it seemed everyone was winning jackpots. I lost all week but won 1500 back on Saturday night. Although I didn't come home a winner I loved the casino and thought they had a good selection of machines.

I didn't feel like any of the bar staff were pushy, they offered you a drink if you said "no" they smiled and left you alone.

The shows were nice. The performers were very talented South Beach Rave was my favorite.

 

The pool area was very nice. There were plenty of lounge chairs for everyone and I didn't notice anyone saving chairs. The afternoon barbaque was also enjoyable.

 

 

The Garden Cafe served a variety of foods and the miniture buffet area for kids is adorable.

 

The Blue lagoon 24 hour snack bar is small but the turn over went quickly so don't get discouraged wait a couple of minutes and you'll get a seat.

 

I can go on and on about this ship but I don't want to bore you to death. If anyone has any question feel free to ask and I will be happy to answer.......Linda

 

"Happiness is a choice"

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Hello there, Kuppykat!

Thanks for the terrific review. I will be sailing this Sunday (Easter) on the Dawn with my family and would greatly appreciate it if you would take a moment to answer a question. I live in Staten Island too and want to take my family to the pier via limo. If you don’t mind sharing, what limo service did you use, and how much did they charge?

Glad to hear that you enjoyed your cruise.

Bob823

 

Norweigan Dawn - 4/11/04

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Hi Bob

I would love to tell you the limo co. but the last time I posted it here they errased it off the board. I think it's considered advertising.If you want to email me at Sweeetdreamsbaby@aol.com I will gladly tell you.

I can tell you the price though. We live at the end of SI Princes bay and one way with the limo was 125.00 that included tax and tip...if interested just email me.....Linda

 

"Happiness is a choice"

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Hi Linda,

Glad you had such a wonderful time!

 

I am curious about the express pass at Universal Studios. What exactly is that? Sounds good!

Julie

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Hi

Re: the express pass....it's the only way to go if you don't want to spend all your time on lines. The pass does cost more and I'm sure if you have a large family it could get expensive.

We took the excursion through NCL and the cost was 145.00 per person. That included a nice bus ride round trip, they had a movie on the bus and a bathroom. The bus ride was aprox 45 min but seemed a lot faster. We also received a 10.00 coupon that you could use toward lunch or anything else you might purchase. They gave us a pass you wear around your neck and it showed that we were express passangers and this is how it worked. When you approach any line for a ride there is the regular line you see and right next to it it has a sign that states "express passangerline". While everyone else is in line the line you take takes you right to the front of the line and you are first for the next ride. We had no waiting, it was great and to tell you the truth for me and my husband(ages 60&53) our waiting in line days are over.....lol. I hope I explained this clearly enough. Linda

 

"Happiness is a choice"

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Wow, that is so expensive! The one day adult pass (if purchased through the Universal website) is $51.73. I know the upgrade to express pass is additional, but I think under $20 p/p. Does that mean you are paying all the rest just for the bus ride? Yikes!

 

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This is our FIRST Cruise

 

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I know it's expensive and if you're traveling as a family could become quite expensive. I think the price of an express pass through the park is 80.00 pp.

For me and my husband it was well worth the price. The bus picks you up at the pier (my husband has had recent surgeries and is not that well) the bus also has a bathroom.

I don't think you can purchase the bus separatly. Also you only have 6 hrs at the park and I felt if we spent most of our time standing online (which my husband couldn't do anyway) our friends traveling with us wouldn't get to see everything. I can say by purchasing the pass we saw everything the park had to offer and we also had lunch within 5 hrs.

Either way you will still have a great time.........Linda

 

"Happiness is a choice"

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We are purchasing the standard Universal excursion through the cruise line for $89, and were told that you can upgrade to the express pass when you get to the park. That way you get the transportation and admission, and you only pay Universal for the upgrade. The only thing you miss out on is the lunch.

Bob823

 

Norweigan Dawn - 4/11/04

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We won't actually be going to Universal for our CC excursion. We were just there for 5 days in January (stayed on site at the Royal Pacific Resort - LOVE IT!), but anyway, we are such HUGE Universal fans that 6 hours would be like a tease to my family! I think we will try the Space Center this time.

 

For those of you going to Universal - it is a blast and the express pass is worth it's wait in GOLD! Make sure you go to Shreck 3D (it was my favorite, although my kids will tell you Spiderman was better.) We also LOVE their water rides, but bring one of those throw away rain ponchos because you WILL get soaked! (and if you buy it in the park, you will get $soaked$)

 

DJ

 

P.S. One thing I love about Universal that you never hear anyone mention is that you can buy beer/wine, etc in the park. Everynight at 5 (I think) they do some type of a buy one get one free happy hour thing). I may be wrong, but I don't think you can do that in Disney.

 

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This is our FIRST Cruise

 

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Hi Bob

I received your Email and sent a response..........Linda

 

"Happiness is a choice"

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Thanks Linda for your review. How were the extra's in the suite? Did you go to Teppanyaki?

 

Can't wait till September for my cruise just wish it were sooner.

 

Madeline

 

Norwegian Dawn

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Hi Madeline

 

The AB penthouse was beautiful. We had more than enough room for the 2 of us, the extra bedroom held our luggage....lol. Tell me what exactly you want to know about the suite and I'll be happy to answer you.

Although the cabin was nice I do think the best part was having Lanie for our Butler, she was great.She made all our dinner reservations and served us breakfast everymorning. She was always pleasant and never acted like you were bothering her. I already had my excursions booked so I didn't need any help with that.Yes we ate dinner Teppanyaki and enjoyed it very much. We ate in every restaurant and enjoyed them all except for Bamboo and that's only because their menu is limited, though the service was wonderful.....I don't know if I answered your question......lol....Linda

 

"Happiness is a choice"

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Thanks Linda. As you may remember, my husband & I will be in the Owner's Suite. I have heard Lanie was wonderful and home she will still be there when we go. Did you get complimentary liquor, soda or is that just in Owner's suites? Also, I read on another board that the suites get special seating at the shows, is this true?

 

Thanks again,

 

Madeline

 

Norwegian Dawn

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Madeline

I took a quick look at the owners suite and they are lovely. Remember the rooms always look bigger in the pictures but there is plenty of space. You also have 2 decks one in the front of the ship and one on the side. In the owners suite you get the free liquor in the AB penthouse you don't but for us it would have gone to waste, I even left the bottle of champagne they gave us behind. As far as special seating in the shows I can't answer you because I never asked about it. I did everything by the spur of the moment. So if we were done with dinner in time we went to a show. I really wouldn't worry about where you sit because all the seats are good and the theatre was never full capacity.

You will love Lanie she is a real sweet heart. I really hope she is your butler when you go. I asked her what suites she takes care of and she told me they change her every few weeks. Last week she took care of all 10 AB penthouses and starting next week I think she is on deck 10 taking care of all penthouses aft and forward. When I told her we were def. coming back she did tell me to request her and she would be our butler no matter what suite we were in...You have to tell me how the owners suite is we might try it next time.....Linda

 

"Happiness is a choice"

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Good morning, Linda.

I booked the limo for the ride to the pier. The price was higher - $135 plus tolls. Did you have to pay extra for the VZ bridge toll and/or Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toll?

...just curious.

Thanks.

Bob

 

Norweigan Dawn - 4/11/04

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Hi Bob

No, the tolls are included in the price. You might be paying a few dollars more because it's Easter Sunday...Either way it's nice to start your vacation being pampered. I'm jealous I wish I was going back on the Dawn. I know you'll have a great time. Enjoy a wonderful stress free vacation.....Linda

 

"Happiness is a choice"

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Kuppykat: I'm considering the Universal express pass tickets from NCL. Please clarify. Do you literally go right on the rides or do you have to get a time to go back and go right on (like the express tickets sold at the park)? Seems that would make a tremendous difference.

 

Thanks in advance. icon_smile.gif

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You go right on the ride.

When you approach the ride there are 2 lines. One of the lines says "For express pass holders". You may have a few express passangers in front of you but you are the next group that goes on the ride...We thought the express pass was great. You get to see everything without waiting online and as you know some of those lines are very long. It made my experience a very positive one.....I would never go again without the express pass....Linda

 

"Happiness is a choice"

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I totally agree! We were at Universal between Christmas and New Years and the pass was invaluable. Some of the better rides (shreck and spiderman) the wait was in excess of 1 hour. We would be on in minutes. It was the best!! Make sure you look for the special entrance at each ride. If you don't see it, ask the attendants (they are everywhere). Very few rides don't have express entrances. You can also use it at a few of the sit down restaurants in Universal AND citywalk. It doesn't work quite as fast but if there is a long wait, it will give you some priority.

 

DJ

 

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This is our FIRST Cruise

 

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Thanks again Linda. The Owner's Suite is a treat for us and we can't wait.

 

Norwegian Dawn

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The owners suite would be a treat for me also. Although so was the AB penthouse. Their is a drawback to these cabins though, I don't think you're ever satisfied again with a standard cabin......Linda

 

"Happiness is a choice"

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