Just returned from my cruise on the Norwegian Dawn (6/17 – 6/24 to Bermuda and Nassau) and had a great time! The ship was simply gorgeous and the Cruise Director Matt was phenomenal.
Well first things first, I found the food very good; there were a few exceptions but all in all good. One thing I really thought was a brilliant idea was to have hand sanitizers outside of every restaurant and also before entering the buffet line. I didn't get a chance to try the specialty restaurants, my group decided to stick to the main dining rooms. We favored the Venetian, but also tried Aqua and Impressions. Impressions, even though a lovely restaurant, was a little disappointing. My Mom ordered the chicken and it turned out to be quite dry. Aqua was pretty good, we ate there twice. All dining rooms had wonderful service. By Wednesday we were getting tired of eating 3 full meals a day (unbelievable I know) we discovered the "Blue Logoon which is a 24-hour diner. Because the eating area is quite small and always crowded we never tried it until we discovered they offered take-out! We were able to take food out onto the promenade and also to our rooms. Try the fish and chips and the buffalo chicken wings both are very good! Some of our group tried the Buffet on deck 12 – I ate there twice – breakfast was alright but by the time you have everything something is cold and a late dinner, if you want something light find the area where you can have a Caesar salad, pasta and Asian noodle soup made to your specifications.
The Chocoholic Buffet was held in the Venetian dining room and I never saw so much chocolate. They offered champagne ($5) or coffee/tea (free). Word to the wise the time given was 11:45, but people must have started lining up by 11:00/11:15 because we got there @ 11:30 and the line reached the front lobby (right in front of the Shore Excursion desk!) The line moved quickly though, but the anticipation just about killed us (smiles.)
On the formal nights it was a mixture of outfits, some people went all out in tuxedos and gowns, others had on a simple suit and cocktail dress, and some were, well let's just say they were quite informal.
If you are a smoker (which I am) try the Gatsby Piano Bar for a quick smoke – the music is good and the people are very friendly. They also have a cigar bar, named Club Havana, which seemed very popular.
The private island, Great Stirrup Cay, was a great way to spend the day. Just two words of advice take the time to get your tender tickets the day before – you definitely want to be on one of the first tenders and also sit on the lower level – they get off first. I was on the 1st tender and sat on the upper level – because of that my group lost out on prime beach locations. If you don't want to visit the island – no problem – the pool will be practically empty!
I knew that I was finally relaxed when I completely forgot what day it was! Some of the other activities I did: visited the Cinema were I saw "Memoirs of a Geisha;" enjoyed listening to the singer in "Dazzles Lounge;" learned how to make "towel animals;" of course saw and enjoyed every show (especially Bollywood and the Fountains was hilarious); tried my hand at the slot machines, but decided I rather spend my $$ in the duty free shop.
The atmosphere on board is very festive – if you enjoy fun, laughter and letting your hair down you'll have a ball. All in all I give the Norwegian Dawn 10 stars!
P.S. I had such a good time I'm trying to arrange another for Thanksgiving week – wish me luck!