October 2016 - 7 Night Bahamas & Florida (New York Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Breakaway
August 2014 - 7 Night Bermuda (Boston Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Dawn
February 2014 - 7 Night Bahamas & Florida (New York Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Breakaway
Sail Date: February 05, 2012
This cruise was AMAZING. Very few kids since we avoided school vacation week (yessss!). Tampa is a great port and we wished we had more time to spend there. Cozumel, Costa Maya, Belize, and Roatan were great ports. Belize City was really scummy, but we went on an excursion and had a great time. We went zip lining and cave tubing through NCL. It was expensive but worth it! Cozumel we did the Cozumel Bar Hop, which is through a private company (just Google search Cozumel Bar Hop). The company is run by Canadian and American ex pats. We enjoyed the bar hop so much we really want to go back! At Costa Maya we did a half day excursion through NCL to the Mayan ruins at Chacchoben. We chose the morning excursion and then had time to shop around the port and go to the little beach near by. It was a really enjoyable excursion and was one of the less expensive ruins excursions. At Roatan we did another NCL excursion to Maya Key, a private island a short boat ride from the port. The weather wasn't so great that day, but Maya Key had a wildlife refuge, a nice beach, some historical exhibits, and a nice lunch. The service on the ship was great and the food was awesome. No complaints. Our room was good but our ocean view was an obstructed view (we did know this in advance though, so whatever). The shows were good. We were very wiped from all of our activities in the ports that we didn't spend a lot of time out at night in the bars or night club.
Sail Date: July 05, 2013
I had a great time on the Dawn! Getting on the ship in Boston was easy for me as I live nearby. I found the port of Boston to be a little disorganized, but once we got to NCL's portion of the port everything went smoothly. As expected, the Garden Cafe was very busy for lunch upon embarkation. Not really a big deal to us. We only saw one show but we enjoyed it. We also enjoyed the piano bar. Dining was good. The specialty restaurants are excellent and I would recommend La Cucina! Bermuda was beautiful and we had a great time. We did not do any of the NCL excursions, we just rented a scooter and went off to do our own thing.
Check the deck plan thoroughly before you book a cabin. If you book over the phone be sure to have the deck plan in front of you while they are offering you cabins so you can be sure of the location before you commit. Avoid being under the buffet, any other loud venue, or near the casino (smoke).
Save your receipts from when you order drinks from servers around the pool. You may not recognize the name of the bar on your statement at the end of the week, as you did not go to the bar directly to order the drink. This saves headaches in case there is a purchase on your account that looks fishy.
The buffet gets VERY busy during breakfast. Try one of the main dining rooms for breakfast, room service, or just be very patient. I enjoyed the buffet for breakfast. Make sure to pick your seat first before you go up to get food so your food doesn't get cold looking for a table!
La Cucina, the Italian specialty restaurant, is great and well worth the cover charge! They have great steak, fish, and Italian staples like chicken parm and fried calamari. No need to pay for Cagney's (which is awesome too) when you can get a great steak at the cheaper Italian restaurant!
Go to the upper decks for a better chance at getting deck chairs. I slept kind of late on most days (like 10/11am) and didn't have too much trouble getting deck chairs up on the higher decks. If you are an earlier riser then you can easily find one with a good view up on high! Higher is less noisy!
The tables in Le Bistro are very close together on the Dawn. If you are looking for an intimate dining experience then I would avoid this ship's Le Bistro. The Le Bistro on the Jewel was set up better and a much larger room.
Loved Maya Key. Also some things to do just off the ship.
Very nice! We spend a day at the beginning and end of our cruise there.
Good port area, a little beach right by the ship. We went to the Chacchoben Ruins
Do not just wander around Belize City. Do an excursion. We loved the zip lining and cave tubing.
Loved it! We did Cozumel Bar Hop through a private company. Nice area.
The lines to get even up to security were long and confusing. Using a porter will get you through faster.
The Garden Cafe is good for breakfast as long as you have patience. The omelet station is great. If you are health conscious then ask them to spray the pan for your omelet rather than use the oil that they ladle into the pan.
If you are interested in the specialty restaurants (Le Bistro, Cagney's, Chin Chin, etc), make your reservations early so you don't have to worry about waiting. They fill up at the end of the week, so for a better experience go at the beginning of the trip. Teppanyaki is popular so do that ASAP.
Go the the buffet early if you want a nice relaxing breakfast. It gets really busy so be prepared to spend time finding a seat and waiting in line if you aren't early. There is also sit-down breakfast in Tsar's, one of the main dining rooms.
At Port Canaveral take the 888 taxi/shuttle to Cocoa Beach or the shopping village. They are there as soon as you exit the ship, can't miss them! Its $5 per person as long as there are at least 4 people in the van. If you're a couple just wait a couple of minutes for another couple.