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We were on the GEM 4/15/12 to 4/22/12 and had a great time. Loved the ship and most of the crew. Just booked the Dawn from Boston to Bermuda for 5/3/13 to 5/10/13 for our 20th Anniversary.

 

Those of you that have done both ships can you give me an idea of similarities/differences? I'm sure that we will have a great time but would like to know what to expect.

Edited by PCLMassachusetts

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The two are very similar. Food, shows, bars, restaurants are all the same. No Bliss nightclub on the Dawn or bowling alleys. They do a sort of club in the Spinaker on the Dawn but nothing like Bliss. Kids pools on the Dawn are much better than the small kid area on the Gem. Rooms are basically the same. The Dawn has a hot tub on the aft, Gem has that nice lounge area in the aft. The Blue Lagoon on the Dawn is more like a pass through than a restaurant, lots of kids hanging out there. The Dawn seemed a bit smaller than the Gem, but both are a good time :)

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I love the Dawn and have been on her at least four times. Love Gem too and have been one her two times but have been on her sister ships, Pearl and Jewel.

 

One main difference is the Garden Cafe buffet. The layout on Dawn is not a nice and open as Gem. Space on Dawn and is more of a long buffet line. Gem has "action stations" so you are not confined to stand on a long buffet line.

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We were on the GEM 4/15/12 to 4/22/12 and had a great time. Loved the ship and most of the crew. Just booked the Dawn from Boston to Bermuda for 5/3/13 to 5/10/13 for our 20th Anniversary.

 

Those of you that have done both ships can you give me an idea of similarities/differences? I'm sure that we will have a great time but would like to know what to expect.

We are sailing Friday May 18th on the Dawn and have been on the Gem as well. If you have any specific questions about their similarities and/or differences, I will try to answer them.

Basically the Gem is much newer than the Dawn.

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We are sailing Friday May 18th on the Dawn and have been on the Gem as well. If you have any specific questions about their similarities and/or differences, I will try to answer them.

Basically the Gem is much newer than the Dawn.

 

One of my specific questions would be is the age of the Dawn noticeable or has it been well maintained?

 

I am sure that we will have a blast. I just don't want to walk onto a ship for our 20th anniversary and be disappointed because the ship hasn't been kept up. I'm pretty sure that it went through a refurb at some point so I'm not overly concerned.

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I thought the Dawn looked beautiful. Last year too. We didn't really care for Spinnaker though. I must be getting old because I hated the loud thumping DJ music. And weird siren sounds.

 

I love to dance but all they were doing was jumping up and down with their arms flailing in the air. Even the few older people and it looked odd. And since it was often the DJ/s after a certain hour they liked 'mixing' and they would speed up the songs and make everyone jump themselves into a frenzy.

I wish they had a nice rocking blues venue once in awhile.

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One of my specific questions would be is the age of the Dawn noticeable or has it been well maintained?

 

I am sure that we will have a blast. I just don't want to walk onto a ship for our 20th anniversary and be disappointed because the ship hasn't been kept up. I'm pretty sure that it went through a refurb at some point so I'm not overly concerned.

I know what you mean. It is an older ship, but that doesn't matter if they maintain it well. I will let you know when I come back next Friday, leaving May 18th

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I know what you mean. It is an older ship, but that doesn't matter if they maintain it well. I will let you know when I come back next Friday, leaving May 18th

 

Can't wait to hear what you think

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I just got back from the Dawn in April on the last cruise before she repo'd to Boston. She's in great shape and has been very well maintained. I hope you have a great trip!

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I liked the decor on the Dawn better. It was much more subdued than all of the greens & purples on the Gem. Being newer the Gem has a few more bells & whistles -- Bliss, the bowling etc. I liked the layout of the Dawn better. Both are nice ships.

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I thought the Dawn looked beautiful. Last year too. We didn't really care for Spinnaker though. I must be getting old because I hated the loud thumping DJ music. And weird siren sounds.

 

I love to dance but all they were doing was jumping up and down with their arms flailing in the air. Even the few older people and it looked odd. And since it was often the DJ/s after a certain hour they liked 'mixing' and they would speed up the songs and make everyone jump themselves into a frenzy.

I wish they had a nice rocking blues venue once in awhile.

 

At least it must of been entertaining to watch for a few minutes! Thanks for the laugh!!

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My biggest disappointment was when they redid the Dawn, and replaced the feature Spinnaker observation lounge with additional cabins. The Spinnaker was my favorite lounge on the ship, with superb views from its top, forward location. They made the original shopping galleria on the Dawn into the new Spinnaker lounge, and they moved the shopping forward into what used to be the Dazzle's entertainment lounge. So the net effect....more passengers aboard, and fewer public space.

 

If you 'google' NCL Dawn deck plan, you can see on two sites, the first the original config, and then the newer version, for a direct comparo.....

 

The Dawn does have the full height atrium, which the Gem does not.

The Gem has the bowling alleys, a rock-climbing wall, and a 'bridge viewing room'.....

The Gem does have a different setup in the buffet, with the aforementioned 'stations', but the Dawn has tables and windows on both sides of the ship, while the Gem is only on the Starboard....

On the other hand, the Gem has the 'Great Outdoors' where the Dawn has its gym and spa....

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