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irishhrts4

Dawn Secrets?

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He are going to be taking a cruise on the Dawn (have not booked yet), was wondering if anyone has any secrets. Secret spots, things not to be missed, thngs that not very many people know about? Stuff like that.

Thanks.

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We have been on the Dawn 2 times and are looking forward to our 3rd trip next May. We love everything about this ship. We have some special things we love but they are really not secrets.

 

Sitting outside in the quiet shade outside of the Blue Lagoon with a cup of coffee watching the world go by.

 

Running from one activity to another and not missing a thing.

 

Using room service as our wake up alarm.(they call you 5 minutes before they arrive at your door)

 

There are so many things we love I could go on forever.

 

Enjoy

Jeanne

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For irishhrts4...

We were on the DAWN in April and booked for the same time next year before we left the ship...we WERE that impressed!

 

After our trip on the DAWN and our trip on the MAJESTY three weeks later, I started a question & answer message thread...here a link to it http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=27800 . Keep in mind that the questions and answers there cover our experiences on the two separate ships and two separate cruises.

 

Specifically, here are some tidbits I found in the notes I took on our DAWN cruise (not in any particular order):

 

THE GOOD:

Self-serve laundries...free washers & driers (soap costs $1.00)...with irons & ironing boards. Or if you don't want to iron your clothes yourself, they have a 50% off Ironing Special only available on the first day of the cruise.

 

Cabins all have a hot water pot, small refridgerator, hair dryer (works good).

 

You get a coupon in one of the Freestyle Daily Papers for a FREE tote bag at Del Soliel in Nassau.

 

Fun photo opportunity...get your picture taken with a "Waiter in the Water" at the Private Island.

 

Food seems to be found everywhere...great Burgers & Chicken at Bimini Bar & Grill.

 

Super deals at the spa on the first day of the cruise...especially a massage on the beach at the private island.

 

Be sure to see the Children's Area on Deck 12...great spot to view is from Deck 13 above. It makes you wish you were a kid again! This is one of the best children's areas I've seen on any ship we've sailed on.

 

The steam rooms & sauna, lap pool, hot tub, & hydrotherapy pool in the spa are all "no charge".

 

Don't miss any of the main production shows...they're all phenomenal!

 

There is a great model of the DAWN in the Grand Atrium in front of the Java Cafe.

 

When you take a walk around the Deck 7 Promenade...be sure to look at all the ecclectic artwork on the outer wall...each scene gives you a clue as to what occupies the area on the public deck inside.

 

Instead of taking the central elevator to the Grand Atrium on Deck 7...get off at Deck 8 and walk down the curved staircase to Deck 7...it is a very pretty entrance to a beautiful area.

 

You can go to the Reception Desk and "order" a ship position map for $6.95 which is signed by the Captain and addressed to you. It gives the ship's route for your cruise and makes a nice momento.

 

You can program your phone for a wake-up call.

 

Hand Sanitation Globes in front of every food service area.

 

The entertainment in the Grand Atrium.

 

Order the $79 ANNIVERSARY PACKAGE for you and your husband...it is a great deal for the money! (Even if your anniversary is NOT on your cruise, you can pretend that it is!)

 

Super on-deck barbeques on certain days during the cruise.

 

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE & CREME BRULEE for desserts on certain days.

 

BEEF WELLINGTON for dinner one evening.

 

EGGS BENEDICT for breakfast on certain mornings.

 

Super "Dive-In Adventure" Excursion program.

 

On Channel 14 (I think) of your cabin television is the SHIP'S LOG...featuring temperatures, humidity levels, sunrise & sunset times (so you can get that perfect sunset picture), wave height, distance from NYC, distance to your next port, etc. GREAT INFORMATION for those who want to know.

 

The best snorkeling at the Private Island...look for someone from Dive-In Adventures as they have snorkel "tours". You can rent snorkel equipment on the island and charge it to your on-board account. All items purchased at the small Straw Market there, must be paid for in cash (only a couple vendors accepted credit cards).

 

Great barbeque at the private island.

 

The tender boat that takes you to and from the private island has water jets to wash the beach sand off your bare feet as you walk up the ramp. They'll shut the water off if you have shoes on!

 

One of the private island tender boats is one of the former tender boats that was called the LITTLE NORWAY which was used on the legendary "blue lady", the S.S. NORWAY (aka "The France").

 

Having a cabin steward that delights you with towel animals in your cabin each night!

 

THE NOT-SO-GOOD:

No escorts to cabins...you have to find your own way...so bring your deck plans with you. I made an enlarged color copy for our trip from the brochure.

 

No midnight buffets...but there is 24 hour food available at the Blue Lagoon (take out available too), and through Room Service.

 

There was supposed to be "free" make your own ice cream sundaes and frozen yogurt available at SPRINKLES ICE CREAM BAR. Sadly the machine had an "OUT OF ORDER" sign on it all during our cruise, although they did have Hagen Das Ice Cream available for purchase. My question...was the machine really "out of order"???

 

Terrycloth robes are ONLY available in the Mini Suite Category cabins and above.

 

No "transfers" at the end of your cruise to JFK airport...only LaGuardia.

 

No video tapes available featuring the DAWN...even though they may be advertised in the "Freestyle Daily".

 

Not too many "DAWN" ship logo items available in the Galleria Shops. They really need to get more small items like ship playing cards, pens, key chains, magnets, lanyards, water wallets, picture albums, etc.

 

If you "purchase" an NCL water bottle holder and/or bottled water "on deck" as you are leaving the ship...this is written on a BAR RECEIPT and a 15% gratuity is automatically charged on it, even though you wouldn't think that this is a "bar" purchase. The only other place you can purchase an NCL water bottle holder is at the Spinnaker Lounge Bar (if I remember correctly). They weren't for sale in the gift shop!

 

AND SOME OTHER STUFF THAT'S GOOD TO KNOW:

If you want to make reservations for LE BISTRO...make sure that you state you want to eat in the restaurant or they may put you just outside the entrance in an area called the WINE CELLAR (which is actually in a small lobby area).

 

If you eat in the main (free) VENETIAN DINING ROOM...try to get a table next to the aft windows...a great spot to watch the wake behind the ship and don't be surprised if the automatic window washing makes a sweep past you!

 

The Captain may switch the full day at the Private Island and the half day at Nassau around due to weather conditions.

 

The Spa automatically adds a 15% gratuity to the bill that you sign. I didn't know that and ended up giving the masseuse a cash tip on top of that.

 

 

Hope you enjoy my little pieces of DAWN trivia! :D

 

Debjo

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You know how they are always taking your picture everywhere on the ship and it gets annoying and you just walk past them?? Make sure you wait to get your photo taken after getting off the ship in Nassau. It turns out really great. Your group is in the foreground and the photographer is position so he gets the whole ship behind you. We walked straight past the photographers since we were sick of having pictures done. My sister waited and it looks so nice. I'll just have to cruise again so I can get the picture - that sounds reasonable, right??

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debjo-Thank you for all your "hints." I just copied them to my cruise file and know I will enjoy looking them over again and using them on our cruise!

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For jeannep...

Just spotted that you also "enjoyed" the REGAL EMPRESS amongst your first cruises...we sure do miss that little ship!

 

For crystalloubear...

That is one picture that we seemed to have missed this past April...we'll have to put that one on our "to do" list for April 2005 cruise!

 

For ontheopenseas...

Glad to pass these "hints" along, although I must not take credit for "all" of them...many of these tips I picked up off the Cruise Critic Board before we went on our first "DAWN" cruise. Since it is "hard" to find things on the "old" message board, here they are again.

 

HAPPY CRUISING...

Debjo

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Bring your own soap and shampoo. The ones they give you were too watery for me. Bring an electrical power strip. The cabin has only one decent outlet. The tiolet flush is VERY noisy, I thought I was being launched into orbit. LOL. The food is sorta salty so let NCL know your food preferences when you book.

 

We love the DAWN and highly recommend it.

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Check out the musicians in the various lounges so you don't overlook the ones who play your kind of music.

 

Try to sample as many restaurants as possible, especially all that don't charge an extra fee.

 

If you like the musicians performing just above the Java Cafe in the atrium, don't be afraid to dance there. We did on the terrazzo floor in front of the model of the Norwegian Dawn. On our cruise, their music (Anna Y Los Vientos) was too good to waste and other couples joined us.

 

We are looking forward to returning to the Dawn again in November.

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There is a hottub and lounge chairs aft of the Bimini Bar, maybe deck 11? This looked like a great hideaway from the crowds. It's not on the deck plans so is probably undiscovered by many. We did not see it until teh morning of debarkation when we were having coffee up there (just love that freestyle debarkation!) so we didn't use it. But we will next time.

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Hi Debjo

We loved the Regal Empress. On our cruise on the Dawn this past May, we docked next to the Regal Empress in the Bahamas. It was a 2 night cruise from Miami. The original sign "Regal Empress" was still there next to the stack but there was another name on the hull. Sorry I don't remember what it was so we could follow her around the internet.

Jeanne

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debjo

Just wanted to let you know that the "out of order" sign was still on the ice cream machine. I wonder also if they just have the sign on it.

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For jeannep & crystalloubear...

 

RE: REGAL EMPRESS...how wonderful it would have been if we could have seen the REGAL EMPRESS when our DAWN cruise was in Nassau this past spring. All we were surprised with is the gangway with the REGAL EMPRESS name on the side...it was like seeing an "old friend". Perhaps we'll be fortunate enough to see the REGAL EMPRESS on our April '05 DAWN cruise when we will be in Nassau. I'll have to check out the two ship's schedules to see if they coincide.

 

I know that the REGAL EMPRESS now sails under Imperial Majesty Cruises on two night trips from Fort Lauderdale (I think) to Nassau & an island. As much as I'd like to sail on the "EMPRESS" again, I can't justify flying to Florida and back for just a two night cruise. Perhaps a "back to back"???? Anyway, it would be good to see that old ship in person when we are in Nassau on the DAWN to see if she's still in good shape for being 50 years old!

 

For JOANN226...

Thanks for the "update" on the ice cream machine...if they don't get it fixed before our April 2005 cruise, my husband will be VERY disappointed. Maybe we need to write NCL a letter?!?!?

 

Debjo

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When we were on the Dawn in May they were not serving ice cream by the pool but every day during the lunch buffet in the Garden Cafe, there was a man serving hard ice cream. They had all the fixings for sundaes. It was great. There is always something to eat somewhere.

 

Enjoy

Jeanne

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THOUGHT I'D REVIVE THIS THREAD TO SEE IF THERE WAS ANYTHING "NEW" THAT WE UPCOMING DAWN CRUISERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT...

 

Debjo

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Debjo-

 

Great idea to bring back this thread and just sat and cut and pasted things that interest me. I am driving my group nuts with all my planning and overplanning. They aren't kidding, they don't want to hear it. We booked last year and I love looking forward to and planning everything. I'm not sharing anything any more with them. Maybe when we have nice pictures in Nassau and they can't find us because we're enjoying our coffee outside the Blue Lagoon they'll not make fun of me.

 

So, thanks to you and everyone else who have posted here and elsewhere to help make MY cruise even more enjoyable than usual!

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I'll add what I can when I get back from our 5/1 Dawn cruise.

 

I plan to keep a daily journal (I don't remember our March 04 Dawn cruise all that well) so I can give a detailed review and so it helps me remember the names of the crew that provided great service so we can mention their names on our comment cards!

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Debjo, just when I think I have all the info I need, I find out that I'm wrong! I too will be saving all that great information. My girls made regular trips to get soft ice cream on our last cruise and have, like your husband, been really looking forward to doing it again. I hope they have it fixed, but I'll prepare them for the worst.

 

Cruisin with kids, I've been driving my group crazy too! Planning is just my way of getting psyched.

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cruizin with kids,

 

 

i'm driving everyone mad with my obsessive talking about the cruise! but would they rather i be glum about it?!

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Great thread, I copied and pasted the info so I had keep it.

 

Keep the ideas and info coming.

 

To those that have lots of info and the group doesn't want to hear it, I do! Please share with me! Feel free to e-mail me all the info you got autumnsam@aol.com.

 

I booked this cruise last minute and I don't have much time (a year) to reasearch like I do most of the time. It's driving me crazy! LOL

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I was on the Dawn 3/20, and the soft serve ice cream machine at Sprinkles was fixed, although they only had vanilla ice cream all week. They also had a variety of sauces and sprinkles to choose from. It has the broken sign on it last year, and we were very happy to have it on this cruise!

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Debjo, I just got off the phone with NCL, they confirmed these changes:

 

Sun -5/1/05 - depart NYC 4pm

Mon 5/2/05- at sea

Tue 5/3/05 - Port Canaveral Note change: arrive 10:00AM - depart 9:00PM

Wed. 5/4/05-no change Miami: Arrive 8:00am - Depart 6:00 PM

Thur. 5/5/05-Great Stirrup Cay: Arrive 8:00AM - Depart 4:00PM

Thur. 5/5/05 ARRIVE NASSAU BAHAMAS 8:00PM

Fri. 5/6/05 - Depart NASSAU AT 12:00 (NOON)

Sat. 5/7/05 - at Sea

Sun. 5/8/05 - Arrive NYC 10:00am

 

I am going to cancel my Comfort Suites room today.

Take care,

Nan

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Debjo has a nice list. Del Sol in Nassau now requires a $10 purchase for the tote bag - no longer free.

 

The ice cream machine not working is an old, old issue. Soft ice cream was available at Topsiders/Sprinkles out near the pool from noon - 6 pm on both Feb. & April sailings. Also at least 3 kinds of hard ice cream are offered and a few toppings like fudge & jimmies. Also avail inside the Garden Cafe as well as lunch & dinner. You won't go hungry for ice cream!:D

 

Anna y los Vientos are apparently going onto the Jewel. Best of Friends, 3 guys with a wonderful harmony, serenade nightly in the atrium. Instead of taking a window seat in Salsa's for dinner, try sitting right along the rail. Just like having a private concert.

 

The digital photo tour shown Sat. afternoon, showcasing the engine, galley and bridge areas of the Dawn, along with pix of recent drydock & a nice Q & A session with the Captain was a really interesting hour or so....especially in rough seas looking for something to do.

 

Besides the main show that Second City comedy does, don't miss the improv show up in Spinnakers later in the week and the Sat. afternoon workshop. It was great to see the high level of audience participation. No pressure to get on stage but plenty of volunteers.;)

 

Don't miss the 2 for 1 specials they've rolled out at the specialty restaurants the first 2 nights. The idea must have caught on because we didn't see or hear of any regular DR lines all week, even at peak times. If you want to go to one of the alternatives the 1st or 2nd night, do it as soon as you board as the line in the lobby gets a bit long later in the afternoon. Of course, you can also call, or if you have concierge svcs, she/he can do it for you.

 

Try to make the cha cha or swing class given by the internationally acclaimed dance team of Svetlana & Roman. Cha cha was @ 8 pm so check the Freestyle Daily for times.

 

One other tip: when you sit in the Stardust for "Bollywood", don't sit in the first 12 rows or so. You don't want to miss the aerial thrills coming down from the ceiling.:eek:

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