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MariaG

NCL Dawn Insider Tips

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Hi all... going on my first cruise in January on the Dawn. Does anyone have any advice or little tidbits to share for this particular ship?

 

Here's my general tip... check out your local (ahem) Wholesale Bulk Food stores (I'm not naming any names since I read somewhere you can't do that) for cruise prices through their TA. For my cruise I tried every Internet site and many different travel agents, including through Corporate Amex. Everyone had the same basic price with Corp Amex a lil lower, but through one of the Wholesale Food chains, I received a pretty nice discount! :)

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Hi all... going on my first cruise in January on the Dawn. Does anyone have any advice or little tidbits to share for this particular ship?

 

Here's my general tip... check out your local (ahem) Wholesale Bulk Food stores (I'm not naming any names since I read somewhere you can't do that) for cruise prices through their TA. For my cruise I tried every Internet site and many different travel agents, including through Corporate Amex. Everyone had the same basic price with Corp Amex a lil lower, but through one of the Wholesale Food chains, I received a pretty nice discount! :)

 

The Dawn is wonderful, you'll have a blast!! As for little secrets.....my fave was the 'secret' hot tub all the way forward on deck 13, forward of Bimini. Was very often un-crowded and often empty;) Also check out Star Bar for drink deals later in the evening, 2 for one and such, and I regret not attending the 'Martini Clinic' I've heard so much about since my cruise. The loungers by the indoor pool in the Spa are a great place to relax and watch the wake. Book the specialy restaurants early, try Le Bistro, and have fun:cool:

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Oooh thanks! How long does it take to actually board the ship and start having fun? :)

 

There are many different stories out there relating to the various checking experiences that people have had. Ours was easy, but we are non-US citizens and went to a different line, which was empty, and we already had our documentation completed and were pre-registered. The whole process, from arriving at the port, to being in our room, was about 45 minutes I seem to recall. We got there around 11am. Some people arrive later and I hear it can take a couple of hours to board if you time it wrong. There is a Lattitudes line which seems to be quicker than the 'regular' line, if you've cruised NCL before. We were unpacked, full from lunch, and rather tipsy before we even departed:p

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Oh wow, my BF is Canadian and I'm American. I guess I'll give him the luggage so he can unpack since he'll be on sooner.... tee hee!

 

This may be a silly question as I've never been on a cruise, but can you bring all your luggage in the line with you or is it like flying where you have to "check" your bags, to be delivered to your room at a later date?

 

**I'm SO excited for this cruise!!!!**

 

:D

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Yes, you "check" your large bags and take your carry-on with you. We've always had our bags delivered in a reasonable time. Some people take a change of clothes with them just in case they want/need to change for dinner and the bags haven't arrived.

 

Enjoy!

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Thanks! :)

 

I guess my next days will be spent researching what there is to do at each port! I've heard from some people it is less expensive to do the excursions through the private co's on the Islands. Is there an advantage to booking through the cruise line?

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The advantage of taking the ship's tours is that if you're late, they wait. If you go on your own and are late, you get left.

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MariaG,

 

Once you board, go to the Venetian for lunch. The Venetian is located on Deck 6 aft. Most newbies are at the buffet. Find out what the real food is like right away. Portions are small, but ask for as much as you like.

 

Usually the first two night have discounts for the Pay Specialty Restaurants, Le Bistro, Cagneys & Bamboo. They are worth the extra.

 

Have a great cruise:)

Monty

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Thanks again all. I'm going through the boards now cutting and pasting any good tidbits into a Word Doc. I'll edit it down later. If you think of anything else, let me know! :)

 

One other thing, I keep reading (and hearing from friends) conflicting information on bring wine onto the boat. I hear "don't do it, they xray it and take it away from you or charge per bottle" and I hear "everyone does it, why not bring your fav bottles of wine from home"

 

(sigh)

 

What has been your experience?

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I should have been more clear. A friend of mine that just came back from a Carnival Cruise said that she didn't bring wine from home b/c of the xray machines, but did buy wine while in Puerto Rico and brought it back on board with no problem. So to be more specific, do they search your bags as you reenter the ship from ports?

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I should have been more clear. A friend of mine that just came back from a Carnival Cruise said that she didn't bring wine from home b/c of the xray machines, but did buy wine while in Puerto Rico and brought it back on board with no problem. So to be more specific, do they search your bags as you reenter the ship from ports?

 

NCL does, Carnival probably doesn't.

 

But every now and then, one can get away sneaking liquor onto a NCL ship too.

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I just got off the phone with NCL. There has been a policy change. You are *allowed to bring wine on board*. They will not take it away from you and they will only charge you a cork fee AS AND WHEN you consume the wine. So if you are like me and are only looking to bring wine to have late at night before bed, you should be fine. Alternatively, if you want to bring it to dinner with you, you will be charged the $15 cork fee.

 

Hope that helps everyone else out! I'm now good! :)

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MariaG

We have sailed twice on the Dawn and truly loved both experiences.

Dont miss the El Dorado Spa, they have a great lap pool, and beautiful hot tubs to relax in.

Having dinner at Le Bistros is a must. Dining with the "Masters" is truly a unique experience,..Best Sea Bass I have ever had....and chocolate fondue to "die for".

 

Have a wonderful cruise

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I just got off the phone with NCL. There has been a policy change. You are *allowed to bring wine on board*. They will not take it away from you and they will only charge you a cork fee AS AND WHEN you consume the wine. So if you are like me and are only looking to bring wine to have late at night before bed, you should be fine. Alternatively, if you want to bring it to dinner with you, you will be charged the $15 cork fee.

 

Hope that helps everyone else out! I'm now good! :)

 

Maria,

 

They charge you the corkage fee no matter where you drink it. If they find it in your bags,I think you have to go down and pick up your bags & pay the corkage fee at that time. They aren't going to let it be that easy, as in, if you drink it in your room, you don't pay a fee. Wine is one of cruise ships biggest sellers.

 

Mark

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Oh another thing is to pack a couple of power strips for the outlets. There are only 2 outlets in the cabin, one in the living room & one in the bathroom.

 

Mark

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Hi all... going on my first cruise in January on the Dawn. Does anyone have any advice or little tidbits to share for this particular ship?

 

There's one tip I haven't seen posted in quite awhile, that I found most helpful . For anyone sailing when it's cold outside (and I think that would apply in Jan.) there is one particular spot on deck 13 where you can stay warm while waiting for the obligatory overhead V. Bridge photo. Starboard side (right) just before the steps to the raised bow area with the forward hot tub there is a large vent which provides enough warm air to keep you defrosted while enjoying the view.

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1) Get drunk before embarkation, for you will know what the folks on Ellis Island felt like when you see how awful the process is in NYC. (Should port employees be yelling at people just because they are in the wrong line?)

2) Skip the Private Island BBQ. Hamburgers and Hot Dogs on a dirty beach with 2,000 persons from Bensonhurst.

3) Don't make reservations for specialty restaurants on the last night. The trip tends to be a rough one--rogue wave or not--so there will be plenty of cancellations. We ate at Le Bistro and had the whole restaurant to ourselves.

4) Exercise equipment REALLY gets heavy use in the afternoon, so plan to go early or late.

5) Skip blackjack tournament. The way they run it its basically nothing more than a "lottery" where the more tickets (places) you buy, the better your odds. [saw someone buy $150 in seatings at once.]

6) Don't want to pay to go to Le Bistro? Impressions has similar ambiance.

 

 

Hi all... going on my first cruise in January on the Dawn. Does anyone have any advice or little tidbits to share for this particular ship?

 

Here's my general tip... check out your local (ahem) Wholesale Bulk Food stores (I'm not naming any names since I read somewhere you can't do that) for cruise prices through their TA. For my cruise I tried every Internet site and many different travel agents, including through Corporate Amex. Everyone had the same basic price with Corp Amex a lil lower, but through one of the Wholesale Food chains, I received a pretty nice discount! :)

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Exercise equipment REALLY gets heavy use in the afternoon, so plan to go early or late.

 

What kind of exercise equipment do they have? Do they have a good selection of weight machines or it mostly cardio? Thanks.

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They had many different stations, so even an avid power lifter would be pleased. I think they had about 10 different types of non-cardio devices (e.g., curl machine) and then several standard benches for miscellanous stuff (e.g., bench press). The cardio equipment tended to get most of the attention, however.

What kind of exercise equipment do they have? Do they have a good selection of weight machines or it mostly cardio? Thanks.

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They had many different stations, so even an avid power lifter would be pleased. I think they had about 10 different types of non-cardio devices (e.g., curl machine) and then several standard benches for miscellanous stuff (e.g., bench press). The cardio equipment tended to get most of the attention, however.

 

Thanks. I was hoping to keep up a workout routine to offset all the food I'll be eating.

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My tip is that the burgers in the Blue Lagoon (just by the reception desk) are far better than anywhere else on the ship. And there is fresh popcorn, sometimes, at the sportsbar.

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You can bring wine onboard as you noted; whether they charge the corkage fee on embarkation is hit or miss.

 

Tip: There are three main staircases. To help you keep oriented, the one in the rear (aft) has a picture of the sunset on each landing, the one in the Middle has a picture of Marilyn Monroe (M -middle), and the one in the front ... oops, can't remember right now, but it began with an F (front). I think it is a flower.

 

Another tip: the buffet lines are not identical, if you don't find what you like on one side check out the other. Also one of them has great indian food.

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