Great Cruise, A Few Things to Know
Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review to Bermuda
Sail Date: June 10, 2011
Ship: Norwegian Dawn
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 6 years ago
We overall really enjoyed our cruise on the Dawn and would do it again. The food was pretty good, the activities and entertainment from music to comedy to guest-participation shows were phenomenal, and our experiences in Bermuda were amazing. There are some down-sides to be aware of that are kind of ignored/hidden by all the marketing literature. To start, they were doing construction on the pool deck, so a section was completely closed throughout the cruise and surrounding areas were blocked off a few times, which made it really difficult to get across the deck. I wish they'd told us about that in advance. I was surprised by how many areas permitted smoking - in addition to the casino (which you had to walk through to get to some other areas at times), basically all outdoor decks allowed smoking everywhere, even where people were eating and right next to the pool and hot tubs. It's no fun to have smoke blowing in your face while you're relaxing in the hot tub. We were prepared for the drinks to be expensive but just want to reiterate that you should get the soda package if you have more than 3 small sodas a day and should know that EVERY drink order gets an automatic gratuity tacked on. Get your account statement every day and make sure the charges are accurate (we had one drink order double-charged and were missing an onboard credit). We were not really prepared for the abundance of tacky lottery sales and merchandising - there was a raffle for a free cruise they kept trying to sell tickets to, an "instant win" lottery type of promotion that was always being sold during other ship entertainment, ridiculously expensive bingo, "flea market" style tables with cheap watches frequently set up in the Atrium, and art auctions and spa specials being thrown in your face at every turn. Finally, there are really only two solid dinner restaurants that are included - all the other good restaurants have a $10 to $25 cover per person. The marketing made it sound like more of them would be included. The main dining rooms have rather limited hours (about 5:30-9:30pm) so you're otherwise stuck with the Garden Cafe buffet, which is decent but not fine dining by any means, or one of the limited-menu spots. Again, we overall liked the cruise, but we were surprised/disappointed by the way the things above were handled. There was excellent entertainment like Second City improv comedians, a great stand-up comedian, fantastic live bands, piano players, and a DJ, fun game show-style entertainment, trivia, and more that we couldn't fit it all in!
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Ports of Call
Don't Miss: Snorkel Park Late Night Party (adults only, $10 cover) - just "pre-game" if you can because drinks are extra-expensive here!
Pros: Freestyle angle, activities and entertainment, port experience
Cons: Instant win/raffle selling, dining hours/expense, smoking, construction