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jwindham

Review of Dawn 2 bedroom family suite

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I sailed on the Dawn March 3 - 10, 2013 in Suite 11550 and thought I would post some observations or things of interest about a 2 bedroom family suite. In trying to research this type of room I found very little posted that was of much value. There is a good video posted on the NCL boards but a video does not give much in the way of things like outlets and bed comfort. First let me say we were two women in our 50s traveling together. We booked this suite for individual bedrooms and NCL is the only cruise line that I have found that will let 2 people book this type of suite. It was nice to each have a bedroom and a bathroom.

 

The living area is small but good when you are not having to use it for more than sitting to watch TV, visit, or read. There is a table with 4 chairs in front of the refrigerator but we moved 2 of the chairs to the side towards the bedroom to get them out of the way and pushed the table up against them. If you have it set out where 4 people would use the chairs you will literally have to keep moving the one at the outside to get by. There are small cabinets on the bedroom wall behind the table that have glassware. The drawers under the refrigerator and sink area have a few things in them like napkins and silverware but are mostly empty for use. There is a cabinet above the refrigerator with a glass door but we found that it got hot up there from the heat the fridge was putting out below it. We moved our crackers and such out of that place as it was really too warm.

 

The TV in the living area does have a DVD player but it is built into the side of the TV so hard to find. We had brought a few DVDs but did not use them so not sure if it worked. There were 2 chairs and a sofa and a couple of throw pillow on the sofa. We found sitting on the chairs or sofa to be comfortable. We would move the chair next to the balcony doors back towards the sofa so that we could get in and out of the door easily.

 

The balcony was very small but nice as one side has a wall with a window that was at the end of the Jacuzzi tub in the master bath. Between the individual suites there were only 3 balconies so we did not hear anything from one side and only two other balconies of talking people. We were fortunate in that both couples in the other rooms were fairly quiet and there was only one smoker and he did not smoke that often. However they had 2 lounge chairs, a regular chair, and a small table on this small balcony so we had to angle one of the lounge chairs from the corner of the door where it opened towards the other side of the balcony to get out and just put the chair on the other side of the lounge that was angled and did not use it.

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The master bedroom says it has a queen bed but I am sure it is a king. The room is very small but has mirrors on the upper walls to give the impression of more room. There is a nightstand and shelf built in on each side of the bed. I liked the shelf above the regular night stand and drawers for things like a clock that was in the room and to put my glasses on at night so they would not be accidentally knocked off. In one corner at the foot of the bed is a diagonal shelf and cabinet with the TV for that room placed in the middle. By the way we did notice that all remotes work all TVs in the suite as I had to find one for the bedroom when there were two in the living room as we got to the room. But the area on each side of the bed to the wall is right about 12 inches so not a very open walkway up the side of the bed. Also the bed was extremely comfortable and soft. I have not had a bed on any ship on any cruise line that was this soft but I believe that it was due to the fact that it is never split so has a single mattress. There is also very good clearance under the bed to store luggage.

 

The master bath is wonderful. The two lavatories are spread well apart and are very big. There is plenty of counter space. The outlet for this area was on the end next to the bedroom so I was able to plug in 2 extension cords and duct tape them down to the floor to have power in the bedroom for a small fan. The walk in shower with a window out to the sea is great. It is long and has 3 outlets for water with 3 handles or knobs to operate each one. The first is a hand held or mountable shower head typical of most showers. The second set is an above the head rain shower and then a set of 2 water jets that come out about waist level. There are two wall mounted bracket type shelves that are wire and will drain when on the end towards the door where you can put soap and other things that you want to drain. Then there is a large shelf about 3 feet up in the window that is flat with a small edge for anything you might want to put there. The shower is a good size and not too small in depth. The Jacuzzi tub is outside of the shower at the end of the bath and has a huge window out to the sea and the other one out towards the balcony. There was also a small TV at the foot of the tub. All of these windows have shades but I found that I never put up the one on the balcony side but never lowered the ones on the ocean side. We also observed that the windows look gray if being observed while on shore so that no one can really see in them. The toilet area was a slight bit cramped. The closet is also in this area and has a good size hanging side with rods or shelves that can be pulled down for use if you do not need the long hanging space. Besides this were shelves and drawers that are as deep as the closet so you could put things like t shirts in the back with another stack in the front. We had 2 safes in this area but are not sure if this is standard or just a nice thing in this suite. It was nice for us to each have one so that we did not need to share a code or worry about closing it up only to have the other say they were just going to get into it for something.

 

There were two main things with the master bath that I did not like at all. First all doors for the shower and toilet areas are glass with a few frosted bars across it but there was not real privacy at all from the rest of the bath. The second is that there is no privacy from the bed area other than curtains you can draw. If it had been two people in this bedroom then if someone did not leave or draw the curtain between the bath part and the bedroom part, there would have been no privacy at all. We also had issues with the doors to the living area staying closed as they have a hook type of catch (double doors that slide together) and it was worn so it really did not hold. I used a strap when I wanted to have the privacy to bathe and then dress in the bathroom.

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The second bedroom was to the right as you first came into the suite. It would be mirrored to the left in half of the other suites. This put it up against the outside hallway. In other words the two bedrooms were on one side of the suite with a bedroom backing up to a bedroom and the bath on the outside edge. The entrance hall and living area were on the other side. You walked past the bathroom for this bedroom on the right or up against the hall side and the closet on the left up against the dining area in the living room. This bedroom was surprisingly decent in size. We did not use the Pullman up top but when the double or queen sized bed was opened up there was still a good bit of room to move around on the side of the bed toward the door. The bed itself was up against the far wall with the head and foot on the hallway wall or the other bedroom wall. The only real issue was if there was a lot of noise in the hall, you heard it in the bedroom. We asked for foam as a topper for the bed and it was supplied immediately and made that bed quite comfortable. The bathroom for this bedroom was more of a standard bath but had a nice shower with a glass sliding door and the toilet was set at an angle so was not cramped up in a corner. The other power outlet was in the area between the closet for this room and the bed so again easy to use for things not in the bath itself. At the foot of the bed next to the bathroom there was another TV and stand. So in total this suite had 4 TVs, one in each bedroom, one in the living area, and a small one over the tub in the master bath.

 

One other thing I would like to comment on about being in this suite was having a butler and a concierge. We found that we did not use the butler other than to bring in one breakfast. With breakfast and lunch available to suite guests only at Cagney's and with such a good menu in Cagney's we just did not do food in the room except for an early excursion. The butler would bring in goodies in the afternoon and they seemed to alternate between what I view as classic hors d'oeuvres or chocolate dipped things like strawberries or candy. I am sure our butler would have done more if asked but we just did not see the need. The concierge was a different matter entirely. We used her to book all of our dinner reservations except the first night when we just went to the main dining room, the Venetian, and were willing to wait. She also took care of spa bookings and shore excursion changes. They have a portable phone in the room, just a small cell phone, that you can use to carry around if you wish to call the butler or concierge or others on the ship. We never left the room with it but did call the concierge a few times. There are also regular phones in the bedrooms and one in the toilet area of the master bath. This cell phone was the one they intended for the living area. The concierge is set up in the lounge right outside of Cagney's and it very accessible. She puts out menus for all of the dining areas other than the main dining room or Aqua and when called if she did not answer immediately she called back quickly. We went up to see her on the first morning after departure to book all of our meals for the next 4 days. Then we used her again for the last 2 nights. Being able to sit in a chair and compare menus to decide what optional dining you want was great. She also told us that they had reserved seating for all of the shows and just to let her know which ones we wanted to attend. Since we are not show people we did not use her for that but it was a nice perk too to know that we just had to let them know we wanted to go and would have good seats available to us.

 

Hopefully I have not rambled too much. As I said, looking for specifics on this room was not easy. Thanks.

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Awesome review. I just booked a 2-bedroom family suite and the adjoining mini-suite. One question... on some pictures I have seen there is a pod type coffee maker in the family suite... is that still the case?

 

Thanks for the detailed review!!!

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Awesome review. I just booked a 2-bedroom family suite and the adjoining mini-suite. One question... on some pictures I have seen there is a pod type coffee maker in the family suite... is that still the case?

 

Thanks for the detailed review!!!

 

Yes there is that pod coffee maker in the room. Neither of us is a coffee drinker but we did try it once just to see how it worked. Seemed it did not put out enough water at all for the coffee chosen. I am sure if we had wanted it, all we would have done is told the butler and then either gotten it fixed or got a better explanation on how to use it. There were about 4 types of coffee and the same amount of tea selections.

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We have booked the Dawn's 11050 in May. So same room on the Starboard side. This will be my 4th time in NCL's 2 Bedroom suites. I have been in the Star, Pearl and Jewel's 2 bedrooms. Twice in the Haven. I think it works great if you are with people other than a spouse. I have not found the door between the main bathroom and the living/dining area to be an issue in the past. What kind of sash/strap would you suggest I bring? Or would a belt do?

 

Do you remember any Officers names or your Butler's names? I think I heard that the concierge's name is Virginia. What did you think of her on the whole? Is she someone you would like to see in the future?

 

Thank you - Donna

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We have booked the Dawn's 11050 in May. So same room on the Starboard side. This will be my 4th time in NCL's 2 Bedroom suites. I have been in the Star, Pearl and Jewel's 2 bedrooms. Twice in the Haven. I think it works great if you are with people other than a spouse. I have not found the door between the main bathroom and the living/dining area to be an issue in the past. What kind of sash/strap would you suggest I bring? Or would a belt do?

 

Do you remember any Officers names or your Butler's names? I think I heard that the concierge's name is Virginia. What did you think of her on the whole? Is she someone you would like to see in the future?

 

Thank you - Donna

 

The butler's name was Flor. I wanted to say Flora so I can remember that but as I said, other than her bringing breakfast one time and the occasional meeting with her when she brought the afternoon treats, we really did not interact. She was nice.

 

Virginia was the concierge and I would love to have her again at any time. Nice, responsive, and extremely prompt in dealing with anything. She had a back up that was nice too and on the one time that Virginia was not available she got back to us quickly.

 

I used the strap that I got to use with my underwater camera to make it float. It was perfect. Once I learned how to really be sure the door was catching then it did not seem to open but that took a lot of effort. As I said, just worn. But the door knobs on the bathroom side are oblong and anything would work that you could hook around. I am sure a belt would do or something that was just strong enough to hold them. The main times it was an issue was at sea when we were moving.

 

I agree that this room was perfect for two women that wanted out space.

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Sorry I forgot to address the officer question. I have no clue. I am not into officers at all and did not even attend the Captain's reception. As long as they get me safely from port to port, all is good for me. We did see a large group when we ate at Teppanyaki. They had the table across from us and we overheard they were from engineering. All that I saw were nice and the dining room manager in at least 2 of the dining rooms came by to see how the food and service was. Thanks.

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Sorry I forgot to address the officer question. I have no clue. I am not into officers at all and did not even attend the Captain's reception. As long as they get me safely from port to port, all is good for me. We did see a large group when we ate at Teppanyaki. They had the table across from us and we overheard they were from engineering. All that I saw were nice and the dining room manager in at least 2 of the dining rooms came by to see how the food and service was. Thanks.

 

Thank you for your responses. Essentially I like to know if I will be traveling with a Officer, Butler or Concierge that I have traveled with before. I am glad to hear that you had a good experience with Virginia.

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Thank you for your responses. Essentially I like to know if I will be traveling with a Officer, Butler or Concierge that I have traveled with before. I am glad to hear that you had a good experience with Virginia.

We had Virginia for concierge on the Dawn in January. She was excellent! I hope to cruise with her again. We were in the garden villa. Mark was the butler. He was great as well.

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The Dawn two bedroom was our first suite on NCL. Our kids were young and the small bedroom as perfect for them. We were on an 11 night cruise and it was fantastic! We even modelled our master bath on the bathroom on the Dawn, no Oceanview, but the tub with TV looks over our backyard, and we have the same Silestone quartz flooring, but ours is blue instead of green :)

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We will have 4 adults sharing this cabin, I am concerned about closet and storage space in the 2nd bedroom. Is it enough for 2 adult women?

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My friend and I were just talking about this last week. She stayed in the 2nd bedroom and found that it was more storage space than we usually have to share in a cabin of normal size. She honestly felt it was as much space as I had with the big bathroom/bedroom. You should be fine. One good thing is the bed in the master bedroom is tall enough for large suitcases to slide under so you can use that too for things you might not use much. Enjoy! Julia

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Thank you so much for the detailed information about the 2BR family suite. We will have this same cabin next June. How comfortable do you think it will be for five adult sisters? Is the sofa bed twin size or full size? Can five people even stand at the rail on the balcony? Sounds like five people cannot sit out there at the same time. The bathroom sounds fabulous.

~~Maun

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Thank you so much for the detailed information about the 2BR family suite. We will have this same cabin next June. How comfortable do you think it will be for five adult sisters? Is the sofa bed twin size or full size? Can five people even stand at the rail on the balcony? Sounds like five people cannot sit out there at the same time. The bathroom sounds fabulous.

 

~~Maun

 

I am pretty sure the sofa bed is a full. But the balcony is small and one lounger, a table, and 2 chairs took up the whole thing. We had to angle the lounger just to get in and out. If there was no furniture, 5 could stand shoulder to shoulder on the balcony but it would be tight.

 

One other thing about the balcony that we liked but a lot of other do not is that it was fully covered. Both of us liked sitting out there to read and not having to worry about sunscreen.

 

And yes, the master bath is unbelievable. It is as big as a normal cabin. Julia

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You are so right about the lack of information for these cabins. We will be in 11560 next month. So happy to hear the 2nd. BR will be good for our Aunt going with us. I can't thank you enough. Have a good evening.

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You are so right about the lack of information for these cabins. We will be in 11560 next month. So happy to hear the 2nd. BR will be good for our Aunt going with us. I can't thank you enough. Have a good evening.

 

Please come back after your cruise and give us your impressions of the suite and cruise in general.

~~Maun

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I've stayed in these suites a couple of times- they are great.

 

In terms of 5 people- you have a couple options. The sofa bed in the living room is a single- it flips over into a single bed rather than pulling out (which is nice because it doesn't take up any extra room or block the balcony door when made into a bed). We used it all week for an adult, and just left it made up as a bed- we sat on in during the day that way. So one person can sleep there.

 

Two can sleep in the master bedroom- though know that it doesn't separate into twins.

 

Then the small bedroom can technically sleep 3- two on the double sofa, and one on the pulldown pullman bunk above. You might be most comfortable putting one in the upper bunk, and one on the pull out bed below (rather than two down there) if you are using the living room sofa.

 

So technically there is space to sleep 6, but that would be tight- 5 works (it did for us, but we were also 5 with 3 adults and 2 kids, which is easier of course). Enjoy!

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We will be in one of these next November(2014) Cabin 11020 aboard the Dawn. I was able to find this video someone had posted of the same exact cabin we will be in. Watching it, makes me want Nov 2014 to be here NOW:

 

http://vimeo.com/46524693

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Thank you, rjm11. Very helpful. Really appreciate the detail from everyone. I've seen the video and that too made us all the more excited about the suite. This will be a once in a lifetime luxury.

When one of my sisters heard about the bathroom she said she'd be happy to sleep in the tub. LOL!

 

More questions: Is the coffee/tea free or do you have to pay if you use it like you do with the beverages in the fridge? Do "afternoon treats" come automatically or do you have to ask specifically to have something delivered to the cabin? Can you order cocktails to be delivered or do you have to go to a bar to get them yourself? How tight will closet space be for five women?

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coffee and tea pods for the coffee maker are all free- they will be replenished as you use them. We have ordered drinks from our butler before- seriously they will bring you anything you want if you ask! We also got the wine package (6 bottles ordered on first day- 20% discount on the total) and asked that half of them be delivered to the room- they were, so that was nice to have. The afternoon snacks arrive automatically- and if you want anything else to automatically show up, just ask. We had a "standing order" for fruit in the afternoon (melon specifically, as there was always fruit in the room with the fruit basket, but the kids really liked the cantaloupe and watermelon after being in the sun all day)- and the butler brought that with the snacks. We also had a standing order for cookies or brownies at turn-down- and milk to be left in the fridge (both for bedtime snacks for the kids). They are very accomodating!

 

I thought the storage room was more than enough- we didn't use all the space for a family of 4 (or even when we brought an extra adult and were 5)- but we pack light. Still I don't see it being an issue.

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