M/S Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review for the week of 7/6/03 from New York by Michael P. Foley: There has been a new Dawn on the cruise industry. The M/S Norwegian Dawn is an absolutely amazing ship that I describe as indescribable, but I will try my best to let you know what a fabulous time I had and what a fabulous vessel this is. I went with my father and mother, 57 and 46 respectively, my sisters, 20 and 22, a long time friend of the family, age 50 and a boyfriend of my sister, age 26. All of us had a simply marvelous time. I am only a fourteen years old, but please do not let that discourage you from reading this review as I am fairly knowledgeable about this amazing industry of cruising. "To the ship:" The Dawn is much more elegant than I expected. The Grand Atrium was not obtrusive compared to most of the new ships. It was three decks high (they were the main reception and Java Cafe, the optional Salsa restaurant and the Internet Cafe) and was never very crowded. The only time I had to wait on line there was for the midnight buffet which was at 2:00 pm when we left NCL's private island. The most advertised feature of an NCL cruise is being able to Freestyle Cruise. The Norwegian Dawn, Star, Sky and Sun were all built with this in mind. For those who do not know what Freestyle cruising is, it is being able to dine when you want, with whom you want, where pretty much, wear what you want. In other words this is even more like a resort/hotel at sea. This worked very well for us, although we chose to make reservations every once in a while. The TEN restaurants were beautiful and the food absolutely could not have been better. The main "Oasis Pool" was more than adequate but was crowded on the days at sea, which is how most ships are. The sister ship, Norwegian Star, has two water slides by her pool, but they were not installed on the Dawn, most likely because of space, and it was definitely a good move. I cannot say enough about the entertainment, from the shows in the Stardust Theater which were like eye candy to the games that the hilarious and talented cruise staff put on. Everything was amusing and entertaining. "I ate the entire time..."I am very surprised that when I look up the word gluttony, a picture of the Venetian restaurant onboard the Dawn is not there! Our party of seven used the Freestyle Dining concept and went to all the included restaurants besides Impressions, because of a line. [Tip- Each day make reservations at whatever restaurant at which you wish to eat to be on the safe side]. Our favorite was the Venetian. It is such a classy and beautiful restaurant. We asked and of course received the same table and great waiter, Minon, almost each time we went, however, there is no guarantee for this preference. The food all over the ship was simply irresistible and scrumptious! Even the B.B.Q by the pool had fantastic paella and more. I have heard fabulous things about the optional restaurants especially Le Bistro, a French cuisine restaurant. It is home to original masterpieces by Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Andy Worhal and Matisse! For those who are booked on the Dawn this should be helpful:Included restaurants: Venetian, Aqua, Impressions, Trattoria, Garden Cafe (buffet), and the Blue Lagoon.Optional; Extra Fee restaurants (reservations are needed): Le Bistro $12.50 cover charge, Cagney's Steak house $17.50, Bamboo $10 cover charge, Teppanyaki a la carte pricing (Asian food being cooked hibachi style right in front of you). Embarkation went very smoothly, unlike what I have read from other cruise ships that left from Miami. [Tip/reminder- fill out those Bahamas cards before you go to leave from the port of New York]. Overall, this cruise was indescribable. The ports and rooms were good. Garden Villa Suites are amazing.
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