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Old February 15th, 2010, 12:34 PM
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Default First time cruisers booked on NCL Dawn

Hi all! We have taken the plunge and booked a balcony cabin on the Dawn for Feb. 2011. I have just read several negative reviews on this ship and no I'm concerned that we didn't make the right choice. This cruise is for our 10 year anniversary so I want everything to be perfect! Should we consider another line/ship?? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old February 15th, 2010, 01:02 PM
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As someone else mentioned, if you look hard enough, there's always something to criticize.

We sailed on the Dawn in October, and thought it was a lot of fun.
Real nice ship, great condition.

We pretty much enjoyed NCL's "freestyle" sailings although for a finer dinner, you will mostly find the "for pay" restaurant meals better, that was our experience.

But you should have a grand time. My girlfriend and I took this sailing as a celebration as well, and we had no regrets.

Was everything perfect? No, but the few negatives didn't take away from anything, we had a grand time and would do it again.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 03:25 PM
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Read my review on t his board on the NCL Gem...but when we do go on NCL again we will be again prepared to go to the alternative restaurants.. Cagneys is definetely, positively well worth it.. and Le Bistro was wonderful.. The 24 hour restaurant has fabulous tomato soup and chicken wings are to die for.. Seriously, if your going from NYC to the Caribbean you can't go wrong..any winter...
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Old February 15th, 2010, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaseeker View Post
Hi all! We have taken the plunge and booked a balcony cabin on the Dawn for Feb. 2011. I have just read several negative reviews on this ship and no I'm concerned that we didn't make the right choice. This cruise is for our 10 year anniversary so I want everything to be perfect! Should we consider another line/ship?? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
you did not mention the interary and the departure port? The ship itself was average to above average when we sailed about 18 months ago - so I wouldn't worry about the ship or crew... however if you are leaving from NY in Feb.........???
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Old February 16th, 2010, 07:46 PM
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We have been on 3 Ncl crusie's and the Dawn is our favorite. Great ship, better layout. The ship was clean and well keep. We had 2 balcony staterooms and they were perfect. In all I would cruise on the Dawn in a second. Have a great trip!!
Though all this is my opinion.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 08:07 PM
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10th anniversary - sounds like you are younger. I think you will enjoy the ship a lot. If leaving from New York in February take along some bonine just in case you start to feel sea sick.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 10:46 PM
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I really enjoy the surcharge restaurants on NCL. However, the food in the no charge dining venues were pretty good this last cruise on the Jewel in November. The Dawn is nice in that it has a lot of the same amenities of their newer ships and if you find you really like it, it might entice you to book another cruise on one of their Jewel Class Ships which are very nice.

I think you'll be very glad you booked a balcony, if you are interested in more space, you might see if the price is close to upgrade to a minisuite. But honestly a regular balcony will be very nice.

I like NCL for the most part, on our last cruise we were treated to amazing entertainment and had a great time.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 10:54 AM
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We have been on the Dawn twice and really liked the ship. We are fans of freestyle dining so NCL really works for us. We like to eat in the main dining rooms but also mix it up and try a few speciality restaurants too.

It was announced last week that the Dawn will be taking over the Boston to Bermuda cruises for the 2011 season. We live close to the port so we were really excited to hear this news. However, the Gem will be doing the 2011 cruises to Bermuda from NYC and we found a better price on that ship compared to the Dawn. We will be going on the Gem for our 20th anniversary.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 03:16 PM
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Default Excellent ship....Mini Review

As a long time lurker, I felt I had to reply to this post. My wife and I have sailed on the Sun twice and and the Jewel three times. Last Friday we returned from a 14 day cruise on the Dawn. It was our first time on the Dawn so we weren't really sure what to expect. We, also had read some not so flattering reviews of the ship. We flew from Toronto to Miami a day early and man what a drill at the airport. U.S. customs and security is at the airport in Toronto before you get on the plane. Line up after line up, go here, go there, no ,go back there, you're in the wrong line. What a nightmare. Purses completely emptied and searched, Belts, shoes, body scan machines. We had never seem anything like it in years of flying...........Back to the ship review, sorry.

We left the hotel at 11:30 and we were on the ship in less than an hour. The ship and our balcony cabin were spotless. As we explored the ship while the cabin was being readied we saw many differences from the Sun and the Jewel, and some similarities.
One pool midships with a children's pool at the back (aft). No outdoor cafe, an extention of the garden cafe (buffet) Many more lounges at the front (bow) of the ship to get away from the excitement of the pool area. But we did feel a lot of familiarity with the ship from our previous cruises.

Food......As we have seem before, food tastes can be very subjective. I agree with other posters who suggest to budget a little extra to try some "pay" restaurants. We dined in both main dining rooms and several of the specialty restaurants. I do agree the the food in the main dining rooms has changed in the last few cruises to appeal to the tastes of the majority of the people. The food was still good and there was plenty of it. Our favourite restaurant was the Bamboo (Asian). We ate there several times and the food and staff was always great. It never seemed to be crowded and we kind of wondered if we had really needed to make reservations. We also ate at Cagneys (steakhouse) Perhaps it was our menu choices or a so so night in the kitchen but it really didn't meet our expectations. We would try it again though. We had comfort food at Blue Lagoon (wings,burgers,fries,sandwichs which was all very good. We found that Impressions was not our cup of tea either, but the couple we ate with that night raved about their meals. Go figure. We had two really good meals at Salsa's (texmex) and ate breakfast every day in the garden cafe (buffet). Tons of choice at the buffet. So much food, so little time. I know that sounds like a lot of eating but we did have to sustain ourselves fo 14 days.

We are walkers, but we did try out the gym one day. We found it clean, modern and spacious. Lots of stuff going on all day with bingo,trivia, martini tasting etc. Tons of nightlife with live music and several bands playing in the many bars and lounges. We saw the Jean Ryan shows Bollywood and Band on the Run. Both were great. The ship also has a movie theatre and we saw a movie together for the first time in years. As I said before, only one main pool (no waterslide) and you have to get there early to get a good spot in the sun near the pool. The pool never seemed crowded, maybe because of the childrens pool at the aft. Most of the staff that we encountered were super (mostly bar staff I'm afraid). I cannot believe how they remember your names and you start to develop a mini relationship with them. Always asking "How was your day in port?' "Where are you going for supper tonight?" etc. These people work so many hours at so many location throughout the ship. Every time we turned around at a lounge or presentation there was one of our favourites. I realize this is the norm for all cruise ships.

Wow... This mini review is not so mini after all. Bottom line....We would go back to the Dawn in a minute. In fact this week we are wondering who is in "our" cabin and wondering if they are enjoying it as much as we did. Cruising is what you make it. Sure there were some things that weren't perfect, but much more that was great that we will remember for a long time. I purposely did not go into the excursions etc as the original post was asking about the ship. I hope this will encourage you to stay with the Dawn and have a great time. I believe that "freestyle cruising" is right for first timers and NCL did invent it.

Newtonville Dan
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Old February 18th, 2010, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaseeker View Post
Hi all! We have taken the plunge and booked a balcony cabin on the Dawn for Feb. 2011. I have just read several negative reviews on this ship and no I'm concerned that we didn't make the right choice. This cruise is for our 10 year anniversary so I want everything to be perfect! Should we consider another line/ship?? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
I can't say enough about the Dawn. I've sailed on her 3 different times and I'm booked again for May to Bermuda. All cruises, food, and entertainment is very subjective. Also, from cruise to cruise it can vary. We sailed twice within 2 months and it must have been the end of one crew and the beginning on a new crew because the experiences were like night and day. The food varied between cruises, but the ship was the same - clean and well organized. I love this class of ship. We've been on the Gem twice and are scheduled to leave in 2 wks to the Bahamas.

I think you should give NCL and the Dawn a try. Have fun and Happy Anniversary!
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