Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Dawn
Sailing Date: February 1st, 2006
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL Dawn Cruise Review
We had a great time! This was my husband's and my first cruise and it was ten days; the ports were St. Thomas, Tortola, St. Martin, Tortola and Puerto Rico and Great Stirrup Cay. There were only three things that I can say I didn't like, and one of them could not be helped-mother nature. Coming back to NYC, there was a terrible snow storm and the boat rocked and rocked and I got seasick. The other thing was the Garden Cafe, which was buffet style eating....breakfast isn't bad, but the rest of the meals were. Yuck! go to any of the other restaurants to eat lunch and dinner. Also, would have liked to spend more time in Great Stirrup Cay, we only had a few hours there instead of a day like the other places.
Other than that, life at sea was great.
We saw three excellent shows in the stardust theater, it was Las Vegas style entertainment! The casino was also very nice. Slots, black jack, Texas hold 'em, etc...
The pool and four Jacuzzis were heavenly. They also had a spa which we did not partake of.
We had an inside state room, 5577, it it was very nice. Always kept clean by the housekeeping staff, we were also only a few doors down from the guest laundry, where there were three washers and dryers which we used.
The ship itself was opulent and beautiful, the main atrium was huge! All of the bars, the restaurants, the lounges, even the bathrooms were kept clean and neat. The staff was very friendly....a note about the $10 per person per day-we took it all off at the end of the cruise, it wasn't a big deal. The one thing we could not take off was the automatic tip for drinks. That stayed. Drinks were between $5-$7.
All of the staff was very nice. The cooks, the wait staff, the maids, the bartenders, the reception staff, everyone was just great. The only thing to tell you is that all of the folks I just mentioned are not American; they are from Romania, Jamaica, Indonesia, etc... so there is a language issue but you get over that in a few days.
If you feel the need to tip them individually, do so, but you are not required to; everyone is still just as nice.
Embarkation was smooth, once we found the Pier, NYC is a crazy place! We got there extra early and we just needed our birth certificates and a picture ID. We got there early, about 10 a.m., did the check in and were on board at noon. Boarding wasn't supposed to start until 2! Not sure about the new rules, but we may need passports next time we go.
No need to bring a lot dressy clothes unless you just want to. I saw people dressed very casually to very fancy; they do take formal pictures in the evening, so dress up for that if you want.
The ports were all great! I liked St. Martin the best, I'd like to stay there for about two weeks next year. A note: if you plan on getting around on the islands to places that aren't walkable, have extra cash for taxis/buses and mind you they are not cheap-$6 per person. I found all of the locals to be very friendly and in the markets if you see something you like and want to haggle, try it. We did a few times and ended up paying a few bucks less for items.
I was quite surprised to see quite a few babies on board, not just toddlers, but infants. Yes, there were children, but the ship was not overrun with them and for the most part they were very well behaved.
Ricky Matthews was our cruise director and he was great, very funny, very engaging.
Also, anywhere you went on the ship, there was some kind of music happening and if you like music then this cruise is for you. There were two reggae type bands, Bonafide and Rhythm Explosion that usually played at the pool or in the Spinnikar Lounge. There was also the cruise ship band, then there was a trio of guys called, Best of Friends and they sang/played every night in the atrium. In Gatsbys, another bar, there was a piano player/singer whose name I can't remember. I found no reason to EVER be bored.
There is a duty free shop on board; they have jewelry, some clothing, clocks, and figurines, all quite expensive in my opinion. They also have lots of booze, but that seemed to be reasonable. We got some there and also on some of the islands which some shops will have your purchase delivered to the ship and you get that delivered to your room the night before your last day.
Getting off the ship at the end was a bit of a hassle, but again, the weather was horrible. We did express debarkation; you take your own luggage off and we preferred that to waiting around all day for each deck to get the ok to leave.
Over all, it was just fantastic and I wish I could go back! I loved it and if you go I hope you have the same wonderful experience that we did.