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Want2Cruise

Dawn Review: 6/13-6/20 (Warning: Long)

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There were three of us, my husband, son (age 6) and myself. We had a category BA cabin, #10598. It was a bit crowded but nothing that was unbearable. Had plenty of room for our clothes, which we over packed. The balcony was very nice since it gave you a place to get away from others in the cabin. We took an afternoon rest prior to dinner. My husband would take a nap, my son would watch Cartoon Network and I would relax on the balcony. I think we used the balcony more this cruise then our prior cruise. We have previously cruised on the Sun Princess in 1997 prior to our son coming into our lives. We enjoyed our cruise and would consider taking another cruise on the Dawn. We like the convenience of leaving out of New York.

 

We took the Weehawken Ferry over and walked to the port. We had three rolling suitcases and one carryon. Parking came to $67.50 and of course the ferry trip which was around $25.00 roundtrip. Got to the port around 11:15 was told to go up the mezzanine level. We waited there for less then 10 minutes and were brought back downstairs. They were holding the people who didn’t go up the mezzanine level. The check in process was very smooth. Just make sure your Bahamas card is complete otherwise you had to go to another area to complete it before you can check in. The room wasn’t ready yet. We put our carryon in the closet and let the room steward know it was our bag.

 

 

Food/Freestyle Dining:

 

I liked the idea of eating whenever you wanted to. We usually ate around 5:30 – 6:30 and then my son went up to the kids club after dinner. My son ate off the regular menu instead of the children’s menu.

 

Sunday: Venetian had the Prime Rib which was very good. Had a very good server that actually cut my son’s meat. It was a little confusing to find this restaurant. Had to take the AFT elevators/stairs or if you mid ship take the elevator to 7 and walk toward the AFT.

 

Monday: Salsa. I was really looking forward to this restaurant. I had the Chicken Fajitas (sp??). I had better but it wasn’t bad either. The service was good food was okay. This was also formal night. We didn’t dress up but just wore nicer casual clothes.

 

Tuesday: Aqua had the Concord grape appetizer, salad, fire & ice melon soup and lamb and all were very good. My son had the Cowboy steak which was good from the piece I tried. Service was very good. They were very attentive to my son.

 

Wednesday: Impressions had the lamb again. If I knew lamb was going to be served again I would have had the veal on Tuesday. Anyway this was the President’s dinner. All three restaurants had the same menu so it didn’t matter where you ate. My son didn’t want to eat with us so he ate at the buffet and we had dinner after dropping him off at the kid’s club at 7:00. There was a 20 minute wait for a table for 2. The hostesses asked if we wanted her to call the Venetian or Aqua to see if we could be seated sooner. We told her we didn’t mind the wait and had a drink at the bar. Service was okay here. The waiter was very efficient but lacked personality. Maybe he was just having a bad day.

 

Thursday: Cagney’s had the T-bone steak. The food was great, but the service was slow. It wasn’t only us who thought that. Was talking to this other lady the next day at the pool and she ate there on the same day and said it was very slow. We choose to eat here since it was the Caribbean night menu.

 

Friday: Venetian had the filet migion and lobster tails. We had a seat right by the windows of the back of the ship which was an excellent view. Food was very good. Had the baked Alaska which was yummy and my husband had the banana’s foster which he said was good. Service was good. Waiter was not as good as our previous waiter. He seemed confused, maybe he was new.

 

Saturday: Italian night. Venetian and had the veal chop with marsala wine. It was a very good meal. Had two desserts, chocolate soufflé and tiramisu (sp) Okay I shared the soufflé. Service was very good.

 

Overall I enjoyed the meals. I preferred eating breakfast at the Venetian instead of the buffet. If I did eat at the buffet I had an omelet. The scrambled eggs seemed very runny for my liking. Lunch I preferred the Blimi Bar or NY Deli. We didn’t have a chance to eat lunch at a sit down restaurant. If you want ice cream you can get it at lunch time at the buffet. They have a table set up. Ice cream was also served for dessert at dinner time. What we did since we ate dinner early was around 9:00 if we wanted a snack we went up to the buffet before it closed. The only thing I missed which seems corny is when the wait staff Baked Alaska presentation and the Bananas Foster presentation that we had during our Princess cruise. Another thing is if you like the same waiter. A coworker asked this to me. You can always request to be seated with a particular person if you want. I heard many people asking to be seated in a particular person’s area.

 

Excursions:

 

Port Canaveral: We rented a car from Hertz and went to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. We got there after 10 and left around 3:45 went we saw the dark thunder storm clouds coming our way. By then we had enough of the sun and water.

 

Miami: Did the Everglades Airboat ride. It was good. After they would drop you off by the Bayside Mall or back to the ship. Our tour guide said for $15.00 per person you could take a boat ride around the islands to see the rich and famous homes. It was about an hour ride that you could book at the Bayside Mall.

 

Private Island: Got on the first tender. Ocean was rough. Was talking to the lifeguard and he said it was almost too rough for the tenders to handle. When we got to the island is started to rain but only lasted a little bit. Personally I was a bit disappointed with the island. I thought that is could have been cleaner. The sand could have been racked. Saw left over items from other visitors. Cigarette butts in the sand. On the comment card they gave you I noted this. In also speaking with other people they thought the same thing too. I enjoyed it but I think it could have been nicer. We were able to use our soda cards on the private island. They gave you it to you in SMALL plastic cup. I thought we couldn’t use them, but my husband saw NCL TV that you were able to.

 

Nassau: Dolphin Encounter was awesome only wished we could have spent more time at Blue Lagoon. The beach was beautiful there. We got back to the pier around 12:30 and had to be on the ship by 1:30. Since our room was on the port side the Disney Wonder was right next to us. My son wants to go on that ship next time.

 

 

Kids Club/T-Rex pool: My son enjoyed the Kids Club. On Monday and Saturday he went after breakfast until noon and then he spent the rest of the day at the T-Rex pool which he preferred over the Oasis pool. My husband and I took shifts in watching him. One of us would sit on the chair by the pool while the other rested on the lounge chair that was located on the side. It would have been nicer if there was more adult seating. The bar staff did make an occasional appearance to take drink orders, but most of the time we walked toward the Oasis pool area to get a drink or something to eat. I heard some of the older adults complaining about kids at the Oasis pool and hot tubs. We only spent time at the Oasis when my son was at the Kids club. Maybe if they made the kid’s pool area more family friendly there would be less kids that the Oasis pool. It was the parents who were the ones wanting to leave to go to the Oasis pool and not the kids. The kid’s pool was fresh water while the oasis was not.

 

Casino: I only played the slots. It was a good way to lose a quick $20.00 after dinner. I am not a big gambler as you can see. However on Saturday, my husband was at the T-Rex pool and told me he was going back to the cabin since he had a headache. I knew he was going to the casino. Thirty minutes later he came back to the pool with the smirk on his face. He had the receipt showing that he won $473.00. He played $10.00 in the dollar slots.

 

Overall the cruise was good. I enjoyed Princess much more, but it was only two of us too so you really can’t compare the two cruises and I like the Western Caribbean port of call better. I liked the balcony on the Dawn better since it was clear unlike the Sun Princess since it was steel and only could see the ocean when standing up. We would go on the Dawn again, but I want to go on other cruises before that.

 

Let me know if you have any other questions. I will try to answer them.

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Thanks for your review. We are sailing on the Dawn 7/4 with 4 adults, two 4 year olds, a 3 year old and a baby. Any tips on which kid stuff your son liked best?? Do you think I would have any problem around the ship with a stroller for the baby??

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Thanks for your detailed restaurant reviews, it's helping me figure out what night I want to eat in a main restaurant and which to head for the alternative ones!

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Hi. Great review! Culd you plesase tell me the depth of the water in the t-rex pool? My 7 yo has trouble swimming in less than 3 ft of water. Also I only saw kid size deckchairs near the kid pool. R there adult siez ones too? Thanks again.

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crystalloubear: My son like the video arcade and the kids pool. He also like going to the kids club to play with children his age instead of hanging around mom & dad. But I think he had the most fun on the excursions. He loves Typhoon Lagoon, he had been the before and playing on the beach in the sand at the private Island. I brought a bucket and two shovels. I also bought some inexpensive floatation rings from Walmart. His favorite place was Blue Lagoon at the Bahamas. He said he wants us to move there. I saw numerous people with babystrollers and they seemed to get around easy. The only problem I would see was getting the the T-Rex pool area. We went to deck 13 and then walked down a set of stairs to deck 12. I guess you could always cut through the fitness area.

 

Bragstarr: Your welcome. They also had a fish and a vegetarian item on the menu, but I had enough trouble remembering what I ate. On Monday at the main restaurants they had Beef Wellington and some type of german dish. We ate at Salsa that night.

 

fkwok: The t-rex pool is less then 3ft. Maybe 2 1/2 feet at the most. There are adult lounge chairs (aprx 16) but they are on the outside area of the t-rex area. You can't see the upper level where the main pool is. They are regular chairs (aprx 10) in front of the main pool area where you can sit. One of us always stayed since there were a couple of instances that older / bigger kids came in the were rough housing and their parents were no where to be found. As you can see sitting is very limited.

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First of all, thanks for the great review. I love to read long, detailed reviews like yours. I noticed that you mentioned that your son watched the Cartoon Channel. What other channels did they have that are kid appropriate. My DS (9) likes to relax in the evening watching cartoons. He especially likes Toon Disney but I'm betting they don't have that on the Dawn.

 

Also, can you get omlets at the Venetian? I love omlets but I hate buffets.

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Thank you and Hi.. I was just on another websites Disney's Cruise boards and saw your post about going on NCL. Researching my next cruise already.

 

The only kids program was the Cartoon Network and only when available according to the tv guide. My son was able to watch it at night before bed and in the afternoon to relax prior to dinner. I didn't give him a chance to watch tv in the morning otherwise it would have taken forever for him to get ready. He also for some reason like watching the bridgecam.

 

They had CNN and were showing Everyone Loves Raymond and the King of Queens.

 

Yes you can get omelets at the Venetian. That is what I ate every day :-) since I don't make them at home. I like being served. Breakfast usually consisted of OJ, fresh slice fruit plate, ham & cheese omelette, toast or hash browns. They also come around with a pasty plate where you can choose a danish, crossiant or sweet roll.

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I am glad that they at least have the cartoon channel - that will make for a much happier 9 year old.

 

We loved our DCL cruise in November. I think your son would love it. He is a perfect age for DCL. Our next cruise in October is on NCL because my mother and father are going with us and I don't think DCL is the best choice for them. They also want to travel out of NYC and not have to fly somewhere else. We will be doing DCL again April 2005. I would like to try RCCL out of Bayonne as well.

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Just curious, it looks like a great review, but why didn't you just keep it allin one thread and reply?

 

Very nice job on it, btw. It's a great one!

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Great review, thank you.

 

We are leaving Sunday 6/27. Can you tell me more about renting a car, I did not think you could get one at the port in PC. We want to go to universal and was thinking a car would be more ecniomical than the excursion since there are five of us.

 

Thanks, Paula

 

Majesty - 2002

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You can reserve a car in Port Canaveral through Hertz. They run shuttle vans to the ship on port days. The van runs about every 15 minutes. It takes you to the office, which is about 8 minutes from the ship. If you return the car early enough (before 7), the van returns you to the ship.

 

Check with the office about van hours. They do vary. There were 2 ships in port on our stop.

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When speaking with the Hertz shuttle driver the day we were in port was the first day the Miracle (Carnival) was in port with NCL. The arrived around 6:00 am. He also told us the they need to use RCCL pier for the Miracle since it was too big for their pier.

 

Also ask when the last shuttle is. They do reinmburse you for taxi fare. The sign outside said 4:45 but it was later. I guess it may depend on the volume of cars rented for the day.

 

Davy: I enjoyed your review.. very good. I see four of us decided to do reviews.

 

sbc5390: Thank you. I had mine all written out in Word and couldn't get on the internet and then the boards. When I was finally able to I just started a new thread and after the fact saw others have already did reviews for the same time.

 

JerseyMom: That is why we decided to go on the Dawn so we wouldn't have airfare and to experience leaving out of NYC. Orignially we were going to do DCL. I really want to see Castaway Cay since I heard great things about it. I want to go soon while he is at the age that it is good to be with mom and dad still. Thinking of going on the Wonder and do a couple of days at Universal since I haven't been there since 1991. It looks like the Magic will be in California next summer.

 

A coworker went a cruise from Bayonne recently. I believe he went up towards Canada. He said everthing was very smooth at the port. He drove right in, parked, gave the porter his luggage and checked in. Was on the boat within 20 minutes of arriving.

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I have to try that Bayonne stuff sometime. Hope it gets popular, since I live right here in NJ!

 

-Brian

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Thank you so much for the great review, can't wait until the Dawn and seeing everyone's reviews adds to the excitement.

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Thank you. I am glad that I can help. I enjoyed reading others trip reviews so I am more then happy to write a review to help out others.

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Thank you. WANT2CRUISE, for your review of your Dawn cruise. We will be sailing on 10/3 and will also have a Category BA stateroom. It sounds like you enjoyed your balcony. Will keep your tips on the food/restaurants, etc. in mind.

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