On August 3, 2003, my father, mother and I went on board the Norwegian Dawn in New York City. After being stuck in 2 hours of traffic in New Jersey before the Lincoln Tunnel and an hour of traffic by the cruise terminal, we got to the Dawn (at about 12:45) After parking, we went in line and got on the ship pretty fast. SHIP- This is by far the most beautiful ship that I was on. Its pretty big, but you get used to it after 2 days. Colors and paintings make the ships setting nice. When we got on, the ship was very clean, unlike the Carnival Triumph, which had stains on the carpet. However, as the days went by, there were some various defects. Most were minor, but on the 4th day when we were waiting for the elevator, the doors opened and the elevator rang, but the elevator wasn't there! This is very dangerous and it should be fixed. BE CAUTIOUS!
CABIN- Although the room isn't as big as Carnival's rooms, its adequate enough. The beds are quite comfortable and the bathroom has actual sliding doors for both the toilet and shower, instead of a curtain. The cabin is also decorated nicely, with wood trim. Our cabin stewardess, Henry, was very good and set our bed up nicely at night.
FOOD- The food was the best I ever had on any cruise line. The quality of the food is far more superior than Carnival's. Since there were various restaurants to chose from, we ate at 6 out of the 10. The Venitian had good food, but it was a little too quiet for us. The Aqua was a nice restaurant with more people and the food was very good, with the exception of Carribian night- the food had good quality, but I didn't like Carribian and neither did my parents. I highly recommend the Bamboo- a Chinese and Japanese restaurant. The food was outstanding and I tried sushi for the first time and it was good. There is a $10.00 per person fee. The Salsa serves Mexican food- it was good overall. La Tritorria is an Italian restaurant that is the buffet in the day time. We didn't like the setting because people kept walking through, but the food was good. The Blue Lagoon is a fast food joint that serves burgers, fries, fish and chips, and Chinese food. This place is good for a snack, but not to dine at.
ENTERTAINMENT-The entertainment was good for the most part. Our cruise director, Rich, was funny. The night shows included 3 performances by the Jean Ann Ryan Company and 4 performances by various performers, 1 was a juggleler and the other was a violin player. All of the night shows were top notch. Other entertaiment included Karaoke, which was good for the first 3 nights, but got worse the last 3 nights because it was the same people over and over and they weren't good at all. BINGO was good, but we never won. My mother and I did a golf putting tournament. We didn't win, but I came out 4th out of 20 people and it was fun. The last night of our cruise had a talent show. It was OK. I am in a bad age group because the activities that are for 13-17 year olds are a bit childish-like a scavenger hunt and the 18-20 year old activities include a dance from 10PM to close everynight. I am 17 years old, but I turn 18 next week. So I didn't want to do scavenger hunts and I didn't want to go the the 18-20 year old party because no one went. So I spent most of the time with my parents.
SERVICE- The service is outstanding. Anything you want is available within 5 minutes, except food at restaurants. The service in the restaurants is good too.
PORTS OF CALL- 1)Port Canavral- We took a cab for $30.00 to the Space Center. When my parents went in 1983, it was free to get in. Now it costs $33.00 per person! My father wasn't going to pay that to see fake space shuttles and fake astronauts. Since we couldn't find a cab, these very nice people brought us back to the ship. 2)Miami- South Beach might look nice on TV, but its all fabricated. There are no museums or attractions to see and the beach is nothing special. We stayed there for 3 hours and went back to the ship. 3)Nassau, Bahamas- This port was pretty good. We took a cab for $4.00 per person to the Atlatis. We spents 2 hours on the beach next to the Atlantis and then went back to Nassau to shop. 4)Great Stirip Cay- This would have been nice if it didn't rain the day we went. When we got on the ferry to go it was sunny. When we got to the island, it was pouring! It stayed like that all day, so we went back to the ship.
OVERALL- The Norwegian Dawn is a great ship- the food, entertainment and service is outstanding. The Florida ports are nothing special, but we liked the Bahamas. I recommend this cruise, but I suggest you go in the winter, when its cooler in the islands, not 93 degrees with 100% humidity.