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Mother/daughter review of Dawn FL/Bahamas cruise

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Just a little background, our family of 3 usually sails about once a year so this is my dd, age 12, 9th cruise.  We have been on NCL, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity (before dd) and Disney.  We sailed the Dawn before refurbishment when it was actually a Nickelodeon themed cruise complete with Dora and Sponge Bob. Most recently, we have sailed the Gem and Breakaway.  We love the convenience of sailing out of NY (less than an hour from home) and this was a repeat itinerary for us.  I am first providing her reveiw and will add my comments at the end. 


     This summer I went on the Norwegian Dawn from August 17-24. One of my favorite things was Splash Academy, which is a kid's club for kids ages 3-12. In Splash Academy the kids are split into three different age groups. First, are the turtles for kids ages 3-5, next, there are the seals for kids ages 6-9, and lastly, come the dolphins for kids ages 10-12I was a dolphin. In Splash Academy we got to play video games, go on the sports deck and even go in entourage, the teen club. 

    Another one of my favorite things was the pool area.  There is a main pool, a kid's pool, and a couple hot tubs. In the main pool it is fun, but deep; I could not stand so I had to use a life jacket. The main hot tub was also deep. Since I am under 16, required adult supervision while using the hot tub. Then there is the kid pool, but if you want to avoid the crowds and have the kid pool to yourself then you have to get there at 8:00 in the morningThe kid pool is dinosaur themed and has a pool with sprinklersthree slides and a hot tub.  One slide is for babies and the other two slides are medium sized and go pretty fastThe hot tub is the perfect deepness and temperature. However, there are dinosaur figures that are supposed to move and squirt water but when you press the button, they just won't do anything.   

    Overall, this ship has pretty good food.  I had the 3 meal dining package so I got to go to the specialty restaurants.  Teppanyaki is the hibachi place and the guys who cook your food are super nice and funny. Los lobos is the Mexican place and I really loved their food, but my parents thought it was just ok. My meal was a cheese quesadilla with white rice and refried beans.  The original meal was a chicken cheese quesadilla, but I just asked for it without the chicken. The last specialty restaurant I went to was CagneysCagneys is a steak house and had filet mignon and gourmet mac and cheeseI would give it 3/5 stars because my bacon appetizer was amazing At the Garden Café, some of the food was good and some was not.  My favorite foods were white rice, pepper skirt steak with vegetables, bangers, and chicken skewers. I also liked the drinks they had at the buffet during the day; they had lemonade, iced tea, strawberry kiwi flavored water, and mango flavored waterThe problem was the buffet got really crowded so my family usually went to sit down lunch in the Venetian  They had really good hummus there as an appetizer and I could order cookies and brownies off the kid’s menu for dessertIn contrast, one place I did not like on this cruise was O’Sheenans When tried to order chicken noodle soup and a hot dog from the kid’s menu, they said they only had chicken tenders and mac and cheese.  Also, the kid’s mac and cheese at the buffet and in the main dining  room was awful and the chicken tenders were just okay.  

     On this cruise, we had three days in port. The first stop was Florida and we went to ICON park. In ICON park you can ride the Orlando Eye. The Orlando Eye is a big Ferris wheel and you can see all of Orlando when you are on it.  There is a touch screen inside so you know what you are looking at and it can help you identify the sights. In ICON, there is also a Madame Tusnad's wax museum and I took lots of crazy pictures with many star statues such as Elvis, Donald Trump, and Taylor Swift.  also got a wax sculpture of my hand made. Then there is an aquarium called Sea Life and it is super kid friendly and has something for everyone. In Sea Life there is a dome in one of the fish tanks that you can stick your head in. Sea Life also has more play areas and interactive activities as you walk through the aquarium. Also, in the ICON plaza there is a Sugar Factory.  I was so excited to go, but the Cookie Monster shake I got was awful. The next day, we went to the private islandbut it rained so everyone had to go into the buffet on the island to take shelter.  The last stop was Nassau and we did a day pass to the Hilton.  It rained a bit in the morning but they had sand toys to play with and there was also a pool. Overall, the days in port were really fun. 


     Now for the parent perspective:  The counselors at Splash were amazing and kept the kids entertained.  My dh and I did miss the Great Outdoors and smaller lounge areas as places to hang out in the evenings.  We tend not to go to the big production shows so the choices were a bit limited.  However, the production singers did host two carbaret nights in Bliss which were awesome.  Gatsby's also offered entertainment but the smell of smoke from the casino was too strong for us to enjoy this venue and there was usually music in the atrium but you either had to find seating at Starbucks or look down from O Sheehans.  Both my dh and I felt the quality of the food has improved, possibly it has to do with the size of the ship?  Teppanyaki and Cagneys were the best we have experienced compared to other ships.  I had high expectations for Los Lobos but felt it was average, although really enjoyed having guacamole made table side.  

     We did have two issues during this cruise that I thought NCL could have handled better.  First, after getting ready for bed night 1 we discovered that the sink leaked.  Not exaggerating, the floor of the entire sink/tub area was covered in water and it extended under the divider to the toliet area.  We tried calling but no answer and decided just to soak it up with towels the best we could.  I reported it early (around 7 a.m.) the next morning at guest services and they put in a maintenance report.  Long story short, they did send several workers to look at it and even replaced a pipe but it was still leaking.  I know the room steward also reported the issue.  We wanted to get ready for dress up night as we had a specialty restuarant booked and wanted to do photos first and although I said we would be out of the room after 7 pm,  finally, around 5:30, they sent someone to snake it out and we had no problems the rest of the cruise.  The other glitch was with our onboard account.  On the first sea day (the same day we were dealing with the sink issues), I received a letter that our onboard account was frozen due to an issue with the credit card which I knew could not be possible.  The first representative tried running the card on file again and even gave me a complimentary call to the credit card company. The credit card company said there should be no problem and just asked my dates and places of travel.  When NCL ran the card again, it still did not go through.  Another representive then asked if I filled out any paperwork and when I said no, she said we would try running a different amount.  When she gave me the paperwork to sign, the problem was immediatley evident to me as it was not my credit card number.  I am not sure how this happened but feel verifying the credit card number should be the first step taken.  The next day, we received a bottle of wine and chocolate covered strawberries to the room for our patience.  Overall, we enjoyed our cruise and ports of call and would sail NCL again. 



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12 hours ago, 2kruzers said:

  The next day, we received a bottle of wine and chocolate covered strawberries to the room for our patience.    



We were part of a party of 13 on our Bermuda sailing on the Escape. 9 members met for dinner at Lacucina and had service issues (over an hour wait and cold food), so I reported it to Hotel Assistant Manager (Charry). I was invited to a second "Meet the Officers" party and brought the entire group (they said I could), and Charry asked "Has the Hotel Manager spoken to your brother (other half of our group)", I replied "Not that I know of" and pointed him out.....Charry talked to him about the service issue, then invited the entire group to Margaritaville for lunch on NCL's dime, and a bottle of Vino and Strawberries to each Cabin. Totally unexpected and greatly appreciated.

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