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Norwegian Dawn

Price: $     Size: L     Refurbished: 4 yrs ago    

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5 star
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5 star

Excellent Family Cruise

conratm reviewed 3 days ago

What people said about this ship:

"The Dining Room experiences were terrible." in 95 reviews.

"We did not eat in any of the specialty restaurant s and found the food in the Venetian to be just we..." in 13 reviews.

"The cruise director did his best to hide from everyone - his idea of a was..." in 59 reviews.




1832 reviews from our community




3 star
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3 out of 5

Good first cruise

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Dawn | Sail Date: Aug 14, 2015

Cons: coffee was bad - was never hot and tasted like it was burned, only one small swimming pool - there is a kids pool, but no one takes there kids there.  No lifeguard or anyone to enforce the rules (no jumping, no reserving of pool chairs, no leaving your chair for more than 30 mins), Not enough lounge chairs on the ship for everyone - even if you went to all the decks, far away from the pool, there still wasn't any available chairs.  The Spinnaker lounge, where a lot of events were held, was too small, not enough chairs and was very hot.  Annoying that you had to sign a receipt every time you ordered a drink on the ultimate beverage package.  It's too bad you can't order professional pictures after the cruise is over online (they make you buy them in their photo gallery on the ship).  Could have used 1 more day in Bermuda to not feel rushed and to be able to see everything.

Pros: nice to be able to eat when and where you wanted, staff was always very nice and tried to help (even tho sometimes they couldn't understand English very well), fun onboard activities, ship was clean, I heard the onboard daycare was free so I think that's a good feature. Ran into the same people all the time, which was nice to get to know people.

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lorgirl614
Second Mate
4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star
4 out of 5

Overall, awesome!

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Dawn | Sail Date: Aug 14, 2015

My husband and I had an awesome time on the Norwegian Dawn!

The staff was generally fantastic (with a few exceptions). The food was great - for dinner. We were a bit disappointed with the breakfast options. It would have been nice to have more variety in the dining room - the buffet had the same exact food. Bermuda was beautiful! We definitely would go back! The door off the ship was open 24 hours so you can come and go as you please. There are a lot of great activities while in port that are not included in shore excursions. My husband and I had a great time on the jet ski tour.  

We would have liked to see more free activities for sea days (there were 3). You can only go to so many gemstone lectures and trivia groups. They had crafts, but it was just origami. The bingo was $40 for three cards. The ship did offer a behind the scenes tour ($79 per person) that was fantastic and well worth it! 

Overall, we recommend this cruise and would go on it again for sure! :) 

Cruise Photos

Decks Crystal Caves Bermuda pink sand

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5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 out of 5

Great vacation!

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Dawn | Sail Date: Aug 14, 2015

Great vacation! I was really worried about this cruise not living up to our expectations after reading all the negative and nitpicky reviews and comments over the last couple of months. We traveled on the Dawn from Boston to Bermuda 8/14-8/21/15. We are a couple with 2 teenage daughters. We traveled with 2 other families. Cabin: We booked connecting balconies on the 9th floor. Both rooms were clean, well equipped and comfortable. There was plenty of storage if you are organized. The bathroom was great, especially the shower. We never heard any noise. Our room steward was great. So efficient, responsive & friendly. Food: The food was very good. We generally had breakfast in the buffet, lunch at the poolside barbeque and we had dinner at Venetian, Aqua, Bamboo & Cagney’s. The food was consistently good. The service was hit or miss but we enjoyed every meal. Entertainment: There is something to do all day & night if you wanted. We really enjoyed the shows, karaoke, the poolside music & games and the casino. Bars: There were waits at the bars. You had to be patient and tip these hard working bartenders and servers. Some of the pool waiters were amazing, especially Danny. We did tip him consistently and he always took great care of us and the kids. Pool: Great fun and very relaxing. You did need to get the early bird in our group to reserve chairs. The pool was crowded but we still enjoyed it every day. Everyone was respectful and having fun. Other passengers: When you travel out of Boston in August expect Boston area families including their children. There were lots of families, extended families, large groups and tons of kids of all ages. Our kids met great friends as did we. I found almost everyone to be having a great time. I did not see any trouble, over intoxicated people or anything obnoxious. Bermuda: Perfect. Beautiful Island with great transportation options. Nickel & Dime complaints: I never experienced any of this. We bought a few pictures, played a little in the casino and had one dinner at Cagney’s. I never felt pressure to buy anything. We had no interest in bingo and I never even saw the “pull-tabs” I read so much about. We had the UBP and the kids had the soda package. The $13.50 per day was well worth the amazing service we got. We had a wonderful time & I would recommend this vacation to families. This is not a time to cruise for romantic couples or older people. I would assume that the demographics change once school starts in early September

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bigm35
Purser
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 out of 5

Great vacation cruise

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Dawn | Sail Date: Aug 14, 2015

Had a great time on the Dawn last week.   Wish I were there now.  I have filled out several surveys about this and in each one my only complaint was that at the bar at the swimming pool, you would have to wait a long time to get a drink.  They were understaffed for the amount of people frequenting it.

Other than that no complaints.  The entertainment was amazing.  David DaVinci and his beautiful wife and their birds was so good.   Food was delicious, staterooms were adequate.

Next time though we will aim for mid ship...........Would save alot of walking, which I probably needed though after those huge breakfasts at the Venetian Restaurant.

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5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 out of 5

Happy Cruise

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Dawn | Sail Date: Aug 14, 2015

Was the best ship I was on Happy and the people ran it was great. Was always something to do. I plan on going on another cruise next year .I like that everything happens on the ship ,shows ,music, games and the food was great something for everyone. My friend first cruise she had a good time too.

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conratm
Third Mate
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 out of 5

Excellent Family Cruise

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Dawn | Sail Date: Aug 14, 2015

We are a family of first time cruisers. My wife and I, 3 children - daughter 10, daughter 8, and son 6, cruised on Norwegian Dawn on August 14 to Bermuda.

We were a little hesitant to cruise with our children, and a little hesitant overall based on some of the reviews I had read prior to departure.

Each one of us had a wonderful time. We had two "sideways" inside cabins on Deck 12. Perfect location - on the same deck as the main pool, library, Garden Buffet, Spa (adults only), kids' Splash Academy, and T-Rex pool (for kids). The main pool area was often busy and loud, but once through the sliding doors towards the cabins a sound could not be heard.

I had read a lot about this being an "older" ship and in need of updating and repair. In our experience this could not be further from the truth. The ship was immaculate, tastefully decorated, elegant, and staff were ever-present - cleaning , helping, and, with VERY few exceptions, quite friendly. We all loved the ship, the crew, and all of the many different locations onboard one could find to relax and enjoy. There was ALWAYS something (sometimes too many choices) going on to satisfy everyone of every age. As beautiful as Bermuda is, and it most certainly is picturesque, all of us found the Dawn to be the highlight of the vacation.

Splash Academy was absolutely flawless. Our kids can be a bit picky and we were anxious they would like it and want to attend. They LOVED it and wanted to go almost anytime they could. The staff didn't just keep them in the Academy, they had excellent activities, themes, adventures, and even had the kids put on a circus show in the main Theatre on Thursday. Awesome for the kids. Very safe, adults can't even enter the Academy after Day 1, wrist bands, passwords and room keys all utilized for security. First rate in every way. 

The food was outstanding. We ate at Venetian, Bamboo, Blue Lagoon, and The Garden Buffet. The buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner had an incredible variety of dishes from angus burgers to Asian and Indian dishes I can't pronounce. My wife and I were amazed at how fresh, varied and delicious each of the offerings were. And that was at the Buffet!! As an aside the Buffet is HUGE!! Really can't overstate how great it was- made to order waffles, omelettes, carving stations each night, Lamb, Prime Rib, Turkey... also nice that it was open from 5:30 am to 11:30 pm. Whew!

Venetian was beautiful. Food was excellent, with good choices available. A little tougher for us with younger children, but a definite can't miss multiple visit choice.

Bamboo was nice. Not as great in terms of atmosphere and/or menu selections, but the food was delicious and, of course, you can order as much as you care to eat.

Blue Lagoon was a favorite. Great atmosphere off of Atrium, food was delicious (especially the buffalo wings) and was so nice to have a couple of late night/early morning stops there as a treat. In reviews I read prior to cruise I got the impression it was more "cafeteria" style, but it is not. Sit down, waiter, menu.

We did not get any beverage package. Kids did not need at all. Unlimited 24/7 milk, choc. milk, juice, flavored water (delicious strawberry and mango...), hot chocolate, tea... Also my wife and I are BIG coffee drinkers and were very pleasantly surprised by the unlimited and very easy access to coffee all over the ship. It was Lavazza brand, and it was very good.

Room 12307 and 12039. Perfect for the 5 of us to "share" plenty of room to move around and unpack. Small Fridge was very handy. Simple but, very clean, bathroom well appointed and our steward Alberto was outstanding. Was always available. Friendly, responsive and went above and beyond for us without our asking. Cleaned room each morning, and turn down service with towel animals and chocolates each night. Remember these we were the least expensive Inside Cabins on the ship!

Bermuda was incredibly beautiful. Horseshoe Bay the best beach I've ever seen. Fish were all around, water was everything you imagine it to be. Gorgeously clear and turquoise.        

This Cruise exceeded all expectations. Ship, food, and crew.

A few suggestions/tips: Embarkation was easy. Call up groups by #'s based on priority, not by arrival time. Got there at 1030 on ship by 11:45.

Disembarkation: Take the last color off ship (around 10) relax enjoy breakfast, coffee and last mimosa and let everyone else stand in line before you walk off the ship with a few other smart people.

Bring power strip. No need for beach towels. Bring goggles/mask for swimming seeing tropical fish. See Elements and David Davinci (magician). Both shows incredible. Elements was Cirque caliber believe it or not. Snorkel Bay was ok, but would never go again. Too many other spectacular beaches even if you can't just walk. Go to the "far side" of Horseshoe Bay beach. Worth the extra bit of walk as there is cove after cove and bay after bay on the other side. It was like having our own private cove away from the crowds. My wife and I had one "date night" and went to Cagney's. Worth every penny (upcharge of 29 per person). Apps, soup, entrée, dessert all excellent. My wife got 16 oz. boneless ribeye and said it was best she ever had. I got 18 oz. bone-in ribeye and it was hard to disagree. 250 dollar meal at Morton's or Capital Grill. Bring case of water for in-room fridge. Get room on deck 12. Perfect location rooms all new as of 2011 refurbishment. Our big splurge was the Thermal Suite on-board. Absolutely beautiful. Indoor pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, private changing rooms and showers. Quiet sitting areas with best view on ship Floor to ceiling windows Aft. Teak loungers, fresh robes and towels, live plants, great tea and ambient music floating through the silence was serenity at its best. Only able to use for approximately 5 hours but would definitely do it again. 139 dollars on ship; 119 if booked before cruise. My wife and I got a taste of the "Rich and Famous" with that. Located directly under kids section of ship too, so that was a nice plus.

We will definitely return on Norwegian, and thank Vacation Outlet for making the process so easy.  

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joggen
Purser
4 star
4 star
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4 star
empty star
4 out of 5

Very Nice Cruise

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Dawn | Sail Date: Aug 14, 2015

After reading some of the reviews, I was a bit apprehensive about this cruise. I am pleased to say that we were very happy with this trip.  The ship was very clean and well kept, the service was great and the meals in the dining room were very good. It would be nice if they offered a lower calorie option on the dining room menus, and the buffet could use some additional selections during the course of the week.  The bands at the pool and the music in the atrium were very good. The theater entertainment could use a little more variety.  Overall, this was a very nice trip.

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negms4
Purser
4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star
4 out of 5

VERY NICE CRUISE

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Dawn | Sail Date: Aug 14, 2015

it was our first cruise so it was a very nice experience. I think the ship was smaller than I expected and didn't have enough poolside tables and the pool was small. Te mid-ship suite was very comfortable and the cruise layout was very nicely planned. I do recommend this cruise from Boston and hope they plan other cruises to different destinations. 

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RAHowell
Purser
4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star
4 out of 5

Great cruise for kids/family

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Dawn | Sail Date: Aug 07, 2015

First cruise we've taken in the past 15 years. Overall, we had a really great time. We'll definitely do it again. Super convenient leaving right from Boston. Especially pleased with activities/programming for my 4 year-old. (Yeah, Splash Academy!!!) Also, very pleased with workout facilities and Spa packages (my wife did the spa most every day). Shows/Entertainment were excellent. Bermuda beaches are beautiful.

Challenges/Opportunities - Disembarkation was pretty bad... really not the kind of final impression you want to leave with a passenger; my mom is a senior and uses a walker, she could hardly get on any ship elevator to get to down to the landing for disembarkation; then she was almost crushed by the masses of people trying to get off the boat. We alerted cruise staff who did very little to address the situation. This was especially surprising/unfortunate because the cruise staff handled the initial onboarding/embarkation so well. Secondly, we bought the dining package and made a few nites reservations in advance of the cruise. Glad we did this because every venue was booked solid the rest of the week. Never made it to Cagney's or the Japanese restaurant. Took a loss on this one. Finally, dining service was generally slow; especially in the main dining rooms. Food was good, but not great. (The dining experience has always stood out for us on prior cruises. it's what you really look forward to.) I got the sense that with all the focus on specialty dining options, the main dining experience has taken a hit in terms of quality/service.

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4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star
4 out of 5

Great Family Fun

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Dawn | Sail Date: Aug 07, 2015

The ND experience was perfect for our family of pre-teens and teenagers. The on board shows were fantastic! The Illusionist, Dave DaVinci and Jamie were amazing. Also, highly recommended is the Aerialist's show who were also very entertaining. The dancers and singers are very talented and not to be missed. The food was good to very good and we enjoyed eating at the Garden Cafe and the Venetian. The accommodations were comfortable. The staff was friendly and accommodating. The basketball court was a plus as well as the clubs for teenagers and kids. The only comment I would have is that the pool is small for the number of guests. The only disappointing part is that I booked a spa treatment for $159 and found out that a day in the thermal spa was not included for this price.  I think this policy should be reconsidered as most spa guests would probably only spend at most 1/2 day in the thermal suite anyway. 

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I like the smaller ships for you don't get overwhelmed as with the bigger vessels. It's a more personal and relaxing atmosphere.

Get to know the layout of the ship on your first day at sea. It will help you plan your activities.

Staterooms were too small and cramped, but overall it was comfortable. Free room service for breakfast was a great option.

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