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Age: 37

Occupation:Aviation Maintenance

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Dawn

Sailing Date: July 14th, 2007

Itinerary: Bermuda

This was our first cruise and the Freestyle seemed exactly what we want in a vacation-no schedules!! The food was excellent overall with only a few minor misses, but nothing that wouldn't happen in any restaurant. We didn't go for any of the 'cover charge' venues and only hit the buffet for breakfast and snacks. A buffet is a buffet and nothing special on a cruise (or at the Ritz), so it was not our focus. I overheard a few guests were complaining about the carving station being empty, but I had no issues. The buffet food was good quality, quantity and selection.

The staff in every bar/restaurant was happy and never said no. The main dining rooms Venetian and Aqua were fine and we never had to wait more than 5 minutes to get a seat. The specialty places usually needed a reservation- we made it in the morning the day before and had no problems. The Italian restaurant 'Impressions' with the French paintings was very good and had a wide selection of pasta, fish, veal, steak and vegetarian. Salsa was Tex-Mex and very good as well.

Drinks were my main expense and about $5-8 with the automatic 15% tip depending on what you got, beer or mixed drink. They didn't seem watered down and the bar staff were not pushy or very far away at any given time, so you won't go dry or sober very long!

The pool is the only miss on the Dawn and it got very crowded very early. You needed to get a space by 8am if you wanted to be near the pool and hot tubs. It was quite loud all day in this area and is not a place to really relax. Quite time can be found forward of the pool or really quiet on the aft deck, just don't expect to swim. Actually the pool was pretty full and it would only be a dip to cool off if anything. The crew said the Dawn was the first ship in this class and they misjudged the pool layout. The newest ships have two main pools and one is adult only and a bit quieter - according to the crew and other seasoned guests. I didn't miss the pool and found plenty to do around the ship. We had two balcony rooms that adjoined on the balcony, room 9202/starboard aft and it made for a really nice time with the group.

The ship is mostly a 220v setup with one 110v outlet in the room. If you are like most people, you have a cell phone, DVD player, iPod, etc to charge up and run out of places to plug them in. I would bring a 6ft extension cord with multiple outlets to plug in a few items at the same time. The outlet in our cabin was across from the bed the DVD player cord had to stretch across the only walkway in the room when the battery died. It made quite a tripping hazard for me on a rolling ship! I would also bring a 220v converter if you have one to give yourself an extra outlet. The room had a hairdryer built in already.

We found most of the shows very interesting and funny. Not worth a trip by themselves, but perfect for the captive audience. Second City, Greg Gleason magic, juggler Romano Frediani and the ships dancers had good productions. Matt Baker was the cruise director and really wacky. He was all over the place and ran some funny participation games in the lounges - he really made the cruise interesting.

We were late out of NYC and got to Nassau late, so everything was closed up. They gave every room a $50 credit for screwing up the excursion plans here. Stirrup Cay was great and the tender operation worked very smoothly and minimal waiting to get off of the ship. Getting on was longer as we all waited until the last few tenders trips to go. The beach was clean, BBQ and music made it a nice party ashore. Bermuda was really nice and I wish we stayed longer! King Wharf is undergoing development for the bigger ships and they are adding more to the area every day. Skip the overpriced tour. Get a $12 all day transport pass and take the ferry and buses all over the island. Just don't miss the boat!!! We, and the rest of the ship, seemed to wind up on Horseshoe Bay. They have a shower and changing room for you as well. Free beach and clean.

Overall the NCL concept is great and we would go again in a heartbeat.

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