I went on a cruise in October on the Pearl and I am attempting to book the 7 day E. Caribbean cruise on the Dawn. Can anyone let me know if the Dawn's Spa has the Hydro Pool like in the Mandara Spa on the Pearl? All the pictures that I have seen show a basic lap pool. I wasn't sure if the ship has been renovated since those pictures were posted.
To be clear, I am not talking about the individual Hydro Tubs in the separated men/ladies area.
Hi, I have never been on the Pearl but I did sail on the Dawn in 2006 and will be going again next month, on Feb. 2, 2008. I think I know what you mean about the ambiguity of the pictures and the deck plans that I looked at on NCL's website.
In actuality, the exercise center has two hydro pools even though the deck plan shows only one. These are the pools that have an adjustable "current" of water that pushes against the swimmer so that he/she can continuously swim against the current like a "water treadmill". These pools are accessible from the gym and is located on the same deck as the main pool. I used these pools often on the last cruise and really enjoyed them.
There is one problem however. Often there are people who don't know or don't understand how the pools are supposed to be used. They think that they are a type of Jacuzzi I guess. Anyway, there may be two or three people (not to stereotype, but they are usually older) and they just stand in the water letting the current hit them. They usually stay there for long periods of time also. I tried to explain to some of them what the pools were for and I pointed out the signs that request only one person in the pools at a time, but to no avail. I suggest using these pools in the off-times or sit near the windows to the pool area so that you can monitor when they are available.
Thanks for your reply Jim. So in other words you are talking about the so-called "Endless Pool", where you swim against the current.
What I am talking about is....on the Pearl there was a "pool" in the middle of the unisex area that had 2 huge faucets that you could turn on and the water would rush out and massage/drench your neck/head. Also in the middle of this pool was a "holding wheel" mechanism that you could hold onto while you either float or kicked your feet against the current. One last thing was associated with the pool was, up against on side of the pool there was this white bamboo seat that stretched ear to ear and was 85% submerged into the water. As you sat on the seat you would hit the "jet" button and the whole seat would beginning to bubble like a jacuzzi.
I hope you understand what I am talking about.
Honestly, the reason I am being so persistent about the availability of this amenity is because on our days at sea...the Spa became our second home. We would lounge in this "pool" I am describing, get in the jacuzzis, relax on the hot rocks and read magazine in front of the big windows.
I went back through my notes and checked the info about the spa on the Dawn. The info that I talked about in my first post was wrong. The "against-the-current" pools are on the Spirit, not the Dawn. We have been on both ships and when researching your question, I checked a review written by Cruisemates and they showed that the current pools are on the Dawn but this is incorrect.
When I was on the Dawn, I had to buy a week-long "membership" to the spa which cost $60 per person. The additional amount was a suprise to me but I did get a lot of use out of this area. The spa has one large lap pool in the unisex area as well as two large hot tubs that have the lounge webbed-chairs that you talked built into the tubs so that you can lay down in the water and have the jets come through the webbing of the chairs for massage effects. This area is at the stern of the ship and has a large picture window with maybe 20 teak lounge chairs in front of the window. This is known as the "Relaxation Area" and it is supposed to be a quiet area (the entire unisex area in fact). There were times when there were many people in the room and it was not so quiet. We were told by the staff that the reason they started charging for this room was to keep children out and maintain the quiet aspect of the spa.
The seperate dressing/shower areas for men and women also have a relaxation room for each sex, again with picture windows overlooking the stern. These rooms also have television and light snacks/drinks for members.
As far as the other items that you asked about, the spa on the Dawn did not have the large faucets that you talked about in the pool area. The do not have the holding wheels either. The pool was a large lap pool that could accomodate 4 people swimming laps at one time. The pool ranges from 3-4 feet deep. The shallow end is a bit too shallow since I could touch the bottom with my hands as I swam laps.
I believe the additional cost was excessive but it was effective in keeping the number of people in the rooms to a minimum and it would not have been as enjoyable in these rooms if there had been a noisy crowd in the "relaxation" room every day.
Sorry about the mis-information in my earlier post. I did confuse the two ships and I am a bit upset that I won't be able to use the against-the-current pool on our cruise. I really liked that feature.
Thank you so much for giving your insight. After reading your email, I must say I am a little disappointed. I guess this is the type of stuff you go through when you cruise for the first time on the newest liner and then try to cruise again on an older liner and the amenities are not the same.
We will continue to cruise Norwegian as it suites our lifestyle. We truly enjoy the freestyle concept and I think more cruise lines need to increase their participation.
Well, I guess it is back to the drawing board. Most likelt we will try I believe the GEM or whichever ship was the one that just launched.
Oh and Jim, Pearl is a definite recommend. If anything try the 5 nighter out of Miami and purchase the access to the spa area for $20 on the days at sea.....it's so worth it!
Just in case others are reading this thread and wanted confirmation about the "Against-the-Current" lap pools and which ship they are on, I did check out the deck plans for the NCL Spirit and confirmed that they are on this ship. The proper name that they use is "AQUA SWIM".
If you look at the deck plan of the Spirit on NCL.Com, check Deck 12 just to the right side of the Tivoli Pool. Here is the link to the deck layout:
Again, I really liked the pools and wish they had them on all the ships.
P.S. It is currently 10 degrees and snowing in Buffalo. There was five inches of snow that fell this morning. The are forecasting 12 inches to fall overnight.
If you access this link you will see a very small image of the pool, I was talking about. It's the first picture of the lady standing under the "huge" faucet I was describing. You'll notice at the same the whole pool is bubbling like a jacuzzi. I still don't know what they call this pool so I don't have to continue trying to describe it.
I tried that link but it went to the NCL website which stated that the page was not available. I looked at the deck plans for the Pearl. Were the features that you mentioned located in one of the "Thermal Suites" within the Spa area? They show a pop-up picture (look at the deck plan for the Spa area and move your mouse over the Thermal Suite section for the picture), was this the area that you were using?
I have to say, the Pearl looks like a very nice ship.