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cruzin nana

DAWN Review--Just Back 10/10/04

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We were fortunate to be on the Dawn on 10/3/04, the first cruise back to the private island, Great Stirrup Cay in 5 weeks, after all the problems caused by the hurricanes.


The ship was beautiful, the deck chairs plentiful, and we ate in 5 of the restaurants, the 3 main dining rooms, and 2 specialty restaurants. Out of the 3 main restaurants, we enjoyed the Venetian the most. We also ate in the Teppanaki Room at the Bamboo Restaurant, and enjoyed the experience. The extra charge for 6 of us wasn't as bad as we'd expected. Some of our group also ate in Salsa, and liked the dishes served there, also. Contrary to what others have posted in their reviews, we never encountered any problems with lack of service, friendliness, or helpfulness with any of the staff. As always, we find that the most negative cruise experiences come mostly from the attitudes of other passengers, although, you may run into one or two staff members who could be a bit more attentive or friendly. But this time, we really can't say that we had any negative experiences.


Our balcony cabin (deck 10) was ample enough for the two of us, and we did like the layout of the bathroom (or "head", as my nautically-minded husband calls it). We were travelling with 4 others, with our 3 cabins located in a row. Our cabin steward and his assistant cheerfully agreed to remove the dividers between the balconies one afternoon, so that we could enjoy a little pre-dinner wine and "munchies", and the freedom to walk from one balcony to another.


The shows were, for the most part, very enjoyable, particularly the "Music of the Night", featuring Andrew Lloyd Webber's music, as well as "Bollywood", which was wonderful. We enjoyed the other entertainment as well, but personally did not care for the comic, Dave--not our style of humor, I guess.


The cruise director, Paul Baya, and his assistant, Mike, were quite energetic, and surprized us at the Caribbean Deck Party by jumping into the pool, fully dressed, with several other passengers and staff members joining in spontaneously--that was a first for us!


As I dislike flying, we picked the option of taking the NCL-chartered bus service from Boston, MA to NYC. The price was reasonable at $50 per person, and it really worked out well for us. I would recommend the service to anyone who prefers not to fly and/or doesn't want to drive to NY and leave their vehicle parked there for the week.


Another positive is the disembarkation process. We found it so much less stressful to be able to remain in the cabin until our group was called. We actually ended up being within the first group to be called, as we were leaving by bus. There seemed to be less confusion and people left the ship in a more orderly fashion.


Wish we could have been on the Dawn for a few more days. We would like to have been able to eat in the remaining restaurants and check out all the other activities we didn't have time for. The week was over TOO SOON!


The only criticisms I would have is that the Galleria Shops carry mostly pricey items, not as much to choose from in the mid-price range as we've seen on other ships. Also, we weren't overly impressed by the quality of the photos taken by the photography staff this time around.


Our overall opinion is that the Dawn is a beautiful ship, and we all had a very enjoyable cruise vacation.


Will be glad to answer any questions, if we can.

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Hi Cruisin Nana


Thanks for the great review. We're going on the Dawn on Nov.7th and it's nice to hear you had almost no complaints. We almost never buy anything out of the gift shops. (too pricey!) and I don't mind hearing that the photography was off, It will keep me from thinking I need to buy so many:D . We are also in a balcony on the 10th deck. I hope we have enough room as we're taking my teenaged grandson with us. Thanks again for the review Pat

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You mentioned your cruise was the first to return to the private island. I had read a short comment here on the boards right after the ship's return that the island was awful and NCL should not be stopping there yet. How did you feel about GSC? Did you see a lot of damage?



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First of all I'd like to say the Ship was AWSOME! The best time I ever had. Great people and great times. We really didn't get to the specialty resturants, except for 2 Salsa, which was kinda like Fridays or a Chili's but with a dim atmosphere. If I were you I'd check it out. Hey its free and worth the time to make a reservation. Also, we ate at the Carngey Steak House..... with a couple of our new extended family members. :) The steak was awsome, and the service was "EXCELLENT".


For myself the first day started with a bang. I got right up on stage and imbarrassed myself....(But thats what its all about... isn't it?) Just an FYI if you want to have a great first night sit in the 2 front rows at the show. You'll love it. & Don't be shy...... (you'll never meet people that way.);)


The Spinnaker Lounge was jumppin too! LOTS of good times there. We stayed up with all our new friends till around 4 am. got about 4 hours of sleep each night...... and went on our excursions.... and did it all over again each night. I was SO SAD to leave my extended family. I love everyone. They were all great.


Karaokee...... gotta love Karaokee. I hope my neighbors down the hall got atleast a little peak at a bunch of us making everyone laugh. (Doreen,Dennis,John & Linda);) You all would've loved it.


I think I had more fun on the ship then on shore. The Private island, well they can Keep it. Not worth getting off the boat for. It was my first time there and the only good thing about it was the Jet skis. (Thanks for coming with me Adam!) & the Volleyball nets..... otherwise unless your used to massive masquitoes don't get off. & bring water shoes.... (one thing I forgot.)


Lastly I'd like to thank all my extended family for a great week. I'lll always remember ALL of you...... Linda, John, Dennis, Doreen, Kevin, Dom, Tracey, Laurie, Brian, Kerri, Rich (west Virgina), Adam, Brickett (aka: Mike), Logon, Matt, Lance, Katie, Dwight, Donna, Sherry, Joe, Clarissa, Erin (atlanta GA!) & All the NCL Staff.... Maddy, Joel, Mike (Asst. Criuse Dir.) & Paul (Cruise Dir.) who was cool and signed my hat. Well, you can all tell I had the best time. So nows your turn, let us know what you thought..... & REMEMBER DON'T BE SHY!

Luv ya All!!


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About GSC (NCL's private island): sad to say, it really looked bad--a lot of damage to the trees. We've been there previously 3 times before, and we remember there being more trees. Also, I don't recall the roughness underfoot--you really do need water shoes now. The barbecue was okay, but we seemed to have had more choices before, including free cold drinks like lemonade and iced tea, this time all we saw was either coffee or water (and bar drinks, which of course you pay for). The day we were there the water was rough and parasailing was cancelled. My husband commented that perhaps spending 2 days in Nassau would've been better.


As for the comedians, they had Thien Fu and Dave Heenan. No Adam Ace, to our knowledge. Thien Fu was ok, but did not care for Dave Heenan.


Janell, we so enjoyed spending time with you! You made the best of your week, that's for sure! Have a picture coming your way, with possibly more to come from Dennis & Doreen. Didn't the week go by too fast? Tell Tammy we all say "hi".

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