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Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review to Bermuda

Experience: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 12

Overall Rating:

3 out of 5
Verified Review

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

3 out of 5
Included dining rooms Aqua and Venetian were very good. Menus were decent though we later learned we sometimes were shown the prior day's list of specials! The dining rooms need to have longer hours and more should be included without an extra cover charge.


5 out of 5
Great variety of activities, phenomenal entertainment, full schedule of options (or you could choose to just relax!).

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Most of staff phenomenal. Some difficult to understand due to accents or language barrier. A few times ran into somewhat less-cordial people, but this was rare.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Overall really nice ship, beautifully made, nice staterooms and public areas. Construction was a draw-back. Elevators had pasted-over signs in a few spots where they could not stop on certain floors, and many passengers were confused. Smoking allowed everywhere on the deck made it less enjoyable for eating and swimming. Women's bathroom near pool frequently had two or three stalls (out of only four total) out of order. Atrium was frequently turned into a flea-market - tacky and very difficult to pass through getting to other parts of ship.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Excellent room - we had a balcony with a great view. Steward was excellent and everything in this respect was perfect.
5 out of 5
Beautiful port with lots of history. Shopping and food/bar options seemed a bit limited (the Frog and Onion is over-rated) but the customs / visitor's desk staff were very helpful and public transportation easily accessible.
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

Recommends Norwegian Dawn? Yes!

Was this review helpful? 12

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