My wife and I just returned from the Dawn cruise. We had a great time. The only problem that we had, was the traffic getting to the port on the Sunday of our departure. We arrived in late morning in a chartered bus, and was asked to return in a couple of hours. When we returned, there was a massive traffic jam. We finally got on at 2:30pm, as the NCL gate people were quite fast.(HINT: have all of the paperwork available).
Once we were on the ship, we went to our room to unpack. There was entertainment around the pool area that you could just sit and relax, after you got a drink and some food.
The first day at sea was a gread way to unwind. At Port Canaveral, we decided to take the shuttle($17 all day pass) to Cocoa Beach. This was a nice beach to start the vacation.
In Miami, we also opted for the SouthBeach Shuttle($15 all day). We went to the HarbourSide Mall in the morning, and went to the beach around 11:30am.
The water was warm. but had a little chop. You must get a couple of drinks at either Mangos' or Wet Willies. Go inside at Mangos, and check out the dancing.
At Nassau, we opted for the Sea-Island($62) Adventure. This was well worth it. This is one of the nicest beaches around. The sand was soft, and the water was perfect. They give you a barbecue lunch and get you back around 4:30pm. You will have a little time to visit the Straw-Market, befor you have to be on the ship by 5:30.
Most of the shops were closed on this Thursday, as it was their 30th Independence Day celebration.
The next beach was Great Stirrip Cay, their own island. I was a little dissapointed at this place, after trying Labadee through Royal Carribean a few years ago. The beach is very rocky, but we made the best of the situation. We rented the floats($5 each), and spent the day floating in the area.
The entertainment on board was very good. There were some very talented people. You will not believe the energy of the JeanAnn Ryan Company. The juggler/comedian David Lucas should not be missed.
On the other hand, comedian David Naster, was not that funny. There was minimal laughter during his first show.
Keeping an open mind, we saw him again on Saturday nite. He was a little better, especially since he began to pick on some arrogant kids in the audience. The crowd began to like this.
We never had to wait to eat at any of the restaurants. We ate dinners at Aqua, Venetian, Salsa, and Impressions(3 times). The waiter(Ross/Margo team) was the best. Ask to be seated at his table at Impressions.
I will want to go on another NCL FreeStyle cruise, but would prefer to leave out of a Florida port. There is less congestion at PortCanaveral or Miami.