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vacationgogo

Dawn 4/24 review (very long)

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Just back from the Dawn and we had a wonderful cruise. With all that has happened in the passed few weeks (itinerary changes, the wave, etc) I left expecting the worst and hoping for the best. First, I have to say, you would never know the wave hit that ship. No public rooms off limit, no musty smell, just a few water marks on some carpet (which may have even been there already, since it was midship to aft). The ship looked beautiful!

 

Embarkation- We arrived at the pier at 12:30 and were onboard at about 2:00. We were prepared that it would take a while. There were a couple of mix ups but it was okay.

 

Food- General consensus from our party of 13 - All of us loved Le Bistro. Our waiter, Ivan could not have been nicer or more attentive. The food was excellent. Debjo, I hope you gave it another try. We loved it. The adults loved Impressions. I read on this board that it was more intimate and it was. It felt like a premium restaurant. Ravi and Geanina were our servers on different nights and they were friendly and excellent servers. We preferred it to Aqua, (we felt the atmosphere was nothing special) and Venetian (which was beautiful but huge). We had one friend who couldn't eat in the Venetian because she was seasick and there was too much motion at the back of the ship. The kids and some of the adults thought the food was very good at the Garden Cafe and we all enjoyed the deck BBQ. Blue Lagoon was okay. We didn't get to Cagneys because we had reservations for the night of the Murder Mystery dinner, so we had to cancel. We went to Salsas and loved it. Food was great, service was great. Our servers were Carla and Ramona, they had great suggestions and were wonderful. By the way, not all of the food is mexican, it's tex/mex. If you have people in your group that don't like mexican food you may want to check the menu. They may find something they like. We didn't go to Bamboo but our teenage daughters did. They thought the food was good there too. All in all, I'd say the food ranged from good to excellent. The service was excellent as well. The only slow meal was in Le Bistro and we were a party of 13 that night. That's the way the french do it anyway, so that was fine.

 

Entertainment- We all loved the comedian/magician, Ed Alonzo, and we really enjoyed Edge too. Adults enjoyed Bollywood but the kids thought it was okay. Second City was funny and we missed "South Beach Rave". We did the Murder Mystery dinner and had a blast. Our dinner was in the Venetian. (I ordered the grilled chicken. It was the only meal that I really didn't like.) We also enjoyed the crew show. We just weren't able to make it to any of the game shows they do between shows. The Liar's Club was funny.

 

Excursions - We went to IOA with the express pass plus. We had a great time in spite of the weather. I highly recommend the express pass plus. We went right on every ride and some more than once, since they didn't initial the pass. In Miami, we did the duck tour in the rain. Had a great time anyway. You ride through South Beach, and then enter the water and cruise by homes of celebrities. It was fun. We took cabs to Bayside and ate at Bubba Gumps (great food) and the sun broke through. We strolled around the shops and then headed back to the ship and spent the late afternoon at the pool. It was a great way to spend the day. GSC was great. A sign was posted the previous night that tender tickets would be available at 8:15 the next morning. I came down to reception at 7:30 because I was missing one snorkeling excursion ticket and needed to straighten it out. There was already a huge line. I got on it at about 7:45 and ended up on the 5th tender. As we approached the island, it was already very crowded. When we got off the tender, we went to the right. It wasn't as pretty as the larger area on the left, but there were chairs available. We ended up liking it better over there anyway because it was much less crowded and it was closer to the music, food, straw market and bathrooms. When you want to swim, you should go to the area on the other side. It's very rocky on the right side and it could be dangerous to try to swim there. There were also chairs and picnic tables available further back, towards the straw market. There was no parasailing that day, due to the wind. I had been worried about getting a float, but I didn't even need one. Just relax in the sun and sea and enjoy. Also, if you have already purchased a teen passport, don't forget to bring it and enjoy smoothies on the island. We thought we would leave the island early but lines started forming before we were ready to leave, so we changed our plan and decided to take the last tender back instead. We rather enjoy laying in the sun than standing in the line. Don't worry about missing it, you'll be able to watch the people board and the line. It was a great day at the beach and we were glad to have gotten the most out of it. We didn't leave the ship that night (we did the mystery dinner and we did have to rush to be there on time. That was the price we paid for the long day at the beach, but it was worth it.) Then we went to the show (Edge) and the deck party. Both were fun. The following morning we did the powerboat ride. The driver was no fun but the ride was. Very fast but not too many bumps. You get sprayed by the water but not too much. The ride let's you out at the straw market. We enjoyed shopping there and at the shops on the way back to the ship. We had about an hour to shop, which was fine with us.

 

Crew- The ones at the restaurants and spa were exceptional. One was very helpful at reception. Lots of greetings and smiles in the hallways. Others at reception and elsewhere were polite but not friendly. Over 1000 crew members, I guess they can't all be perky and friendly.

 

Disembarkation- A breeze and a pleasure to wait in our room, watching a movie.

 

The Bill- Check it carefully. Due to the mix up with the snorkel excursion, they double billed us for it.

 

The patch- My friend used it and it made her seasick. She was fine once she took it off. Her doctor didn't tell her that it does affect some people that way. Just thought I'd mention it. The rest of us used Bonine and we felt fine but tired, even though it's not suppose to make you drowsy.

 

Miscellaneous- I'm not a drinker but I went to the martini clinic because I heard so much about it here. Gede was great- he informed and entertained and made a great martini. The music in the lounges, Gatsbys and the Grand Atrium were wonderful. It was great to sit down and have a drink or cup of coffee and relax and enjoy the music. Also, we enjoyed going to the java cafe at night for a decaf mocha breve (they also have nice desserts). Bring the post-its, we used them all the time (even on our cabin doors to leave notes saying where we were). I also used the tip I found on this board about using room service as my wake up call. It was great. I got the call and 2 minutes later room service was at my door with my coffee. I had my coffee on the balcony every morning. What a way to start the day! I'd be happy to answer any questions, if there's anything I left out. I thank all of you who gave me such great advice, it made my vacation that much better.

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Great review!

 

 

Glad you had a great time.

 

What night was the murder mystery dinner and how did you sign up for it?

 

Tim

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I completely forgot about the CC get together! I also forgot about the cocktail party the travel agent planned for us. My duaghter was cold on deck so after we ate and spent some time on deck we went to the cabin. I started unpacking and the next thing I knew it was 6:15.

 

 

The Murder Mystery dinner was Thursday night (you were suppoe to be there at 5:00) and sign up was Wed. night between 8:00 and 10:00

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Glad you enjoyed your cruise. We also had great service from Geanina and Ramona (part of our "Romanian All-Stars") on our Dawn cruise.

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Thanks! we were hoping it wasn't thursday night because we wanted to explore Nassau at night. Now we gotta choose!

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Good news! You really don't have to choose. You do your role playing during dinner. You, as a group can choose whether to reveal the murderer during dinner. At 7:50, you go back to the stardust lounge and they show a 2 minute scene revealing the murderer. You're done by 8:00, which is when you are suppose to be pulling into port in Nassau. Enjoy both!

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That's great news. Thanks . :D After thinking about it, I realized we'd probably finish up before dinner anyways. Did you enjoy it? It sounds like so much fun.

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Thanks for the review!!!

 

Now I am getting more anxious to go.

Glad you had a great time.

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It was a lot of fun but of course it depends on the people in your group. The more people get into it, the more fun it is. We decided to do our accusations by having everyone point to the one they thought was the murderer on the count of three. It was hysterical with everyone pointing in different directions. We laughed so hard we had half the room looking at us. Then we couldn't wait to know who the murderer was, so we chose to have the murderer reveal him/herself right then and there. We did it a la "to Tell the Truth" with everyone getting up and down until the murderer was the last one standing. I hope you get a good group. Good luck and have fun.

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Usually that is what happens, once you get on the ship one tends to get caught up in everything that is going on. I have been to CC meetings with 30 people and 3, you just never know. And for some reason the originator of the Roll Call does not show. Glad you had a great cruise.

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For the murder mystery, do you form your own groups? Or will they assign groups for those who only have 4-6 people together? My DH and I would love that (especially because we'll have the kids at the kid club~!), but don't know anyone else on the cruise (yet!!!).

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For the murder mystery, do you form your own groups? Or will they assign groups for those who only have 4-6 people together? My DH and I would love that (especially because we'll have the kids at the kid club~!), but don't know anyone else on the cruise (yet!!!).

 

They build groups when you meet in the Stardust. They seat you with others to form groups of 8 or you can find others and show up as a group of 8. Depending on the people you are seated with it can be a great time or a bust. Reminded me of traditional dining in that regard :)

 

When you get to the Stardust slip into a row with passengers that at least look like fun.

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Vacationto go, I loved your review!!! I print a loty of the reviews to read when I can off line and don't always get back to respond.

 

Great info on Salsa's I can't wait to try that one, invoice info and GSC. Everything!!! I also like to print them cause I give my mother the copies to read.

 

Thanks for posting it was well appreciated for us soon to be Dawn Cruisers.

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Thanks for taking the time to do this review!!! Really enjoyed reading and found it VERY helpful!

 

Happy Sailing! OCruisers :)

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For vacationgogo...

I almost forgot about our 4/24 Cruise Critic Meet & Greet...DH and I were enjoying the beginnings of our meal in Cagney's when I looked at my watch and remembered that the Meet & Greet was already going on in the Lifestyle's Room. I asked him if it would be O.K. for me to make an appearance and he said it would be alright. So, I excused myself briefly from our meal and literally ran from one end of the ship to the other! (Great way to work off those extra calories!) I was glad that I did because Liz & her family were still there. Sadly only Danielle & her mother Anne Marie had showed up. Liz mentioned that Klaus Lugmeir has come...I was sorry that I missed meeting him.

 

All in all, I guess that it is hard to get Cruise Critic people to a Meet & Greet that is scheduled for the first day of the cruise...everyone is too excited and trying to find their way around the ship, etc. Sorry that you had forgotten about the meeting...it would have been nice to meet you since we had "written" so much before our mutual cruise.

 

Great review...you've gotten it together long before me. My DH and I were down with colds the week we came home from the DAWN. He even ran a fever & had chills (which we have later attributed to sun poisoning...he got burned real bad on his lower legs and tops of his feet at GSC). We still had a great time on the ship. After I started feeling better, I went to my computer to catch up with the happenings on Cruise Critic and discovered that my computer was "sick". I'm now getting acclimated to a new system, so it is taking me a bit longer to "get caught up" with everything.

 

We did the MURDER MYSTERY too, what a hoot...perhaps we even saw each other and didn't know it. That seems to be the only "event" that we had in common on our 4/24 cruise with you.

 

Hard to believe that we've been home over two weeks now...I miss being on the ship!

 

Debjo

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Debjo, glad you're both feeling better. It seems that a lot of us forgot to sunscreen the tops of our feet! Would you believe my feet peeled?

 

At the mm dinner, did your group eat at the Venetian? If so, our group did our accusations by counting to 3 and pointing to the one we thought was the murderer. We laughed so loud at the sight of 8 people all pointing in different directions that people from the neighboring tables were all looking at us. If you witnessed that spectacle, I was one of the people at that table.

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For vacationgogo...

Yes, we did eat in VENETIAN for the Murder Mystery. And, we did all point to who we thought the "murderer" was at the end...I just don't remember the 1-2-3 bit. And yes, we did a lot of laughing. I was the asst. hotel manager and my husband was the photographer. If you were part of our "group"...you might remember me stopping by the reception desk in the atrium to get pens and paper for all of us as we made our way to VENETIAN...I took my "role" quite seriously from the beginning! There were also two older sisters in our group that played the "husband" & "wife" oil barons. After we all returned to the Stardust Theatre to find out who the murder was, we took a couple pictures of our group and had the "murderer" sign our M.M. programs. If any of this rings a bell...please tell me what part you "played" in the game. Wouldn't it be ironic if we were at the same table and didn't know it at the time!

 

Debjo

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Hi

 

I love Murder Mysteries - but I am not sure - is it difficult to understand? My english is not sooooooo good.... my travel companion is more experienced than me - so I am sure, he will understand everything - but it is not so funny to ask after every second word "what was said???"

 

Or do you think, we will have fun?

 

Thank you!

 

Wendy

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Debjo,

 

Sorry, I was the assistant hotel manager too, so we definitely weren't in the same group but we may have been at the next table. How about BINGO? We did play a lot of that!

 

Wendy, it could become difficult because it is unscripted and people tend to get excited and jump right in with their questions and comments. Sometimes people may speak at the same time so I can see how it may become difficult to follow. On the other hand, it was a lot of fun. Maybe if you explain the situation to your group, they can slow down the dialogue. There is plenty of time to play out the whole thing during dinner, so there is no need to rush. If I were you I would give it a try and explain the situation. I'm sure your fellow diners will help you out.

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