To continue with a review of our sailing on the Norwegian Dawn…
We boarded early, which went quite quickly and without any problems at all. We were welcomed aboard with a glass of champagne, followed by a greeting from Sponge Bob Square Pants. The stateroom wasn’t ready this early, so we took our carry-on luggage to the Dazzles Lounge and left it there. For some strange reason, the porter at the terminal refused to take our bags saying that they were too small. This is the first time we have ever heard this. After we deposited our bags, we headed to Venetian, the main dining room, and had a very nice lunch. We like to avoid the zoo at the buffet on boarding day and much prefer relaxing in the sit down restaurant. It is a real plus for us that NCL offers this option on boarding day.
We really can’t say that the food was any different than the food that we ate aboard our last cruise on the Celebrity Millennium. We had some average dishes and some very good dishes. The prime rib, although a very thin cut, was tasty and tender and better than what we ate on the Millennium.
We did eat at two specialty restaurants – Impressions, which serves Italian food and should definitely be experienced. Salsa, on the other hand, doesn’t quite cut it especially if you eat in Mexico. It does claim to be Tex-Mex, so it isn’t fair to say that it isn’t authentic Mexican food. We were lured in by the promise of a free margarita included with the $10 additional cost for this eatery. It was a bit of a disappointment to see that the free margarita only came in the frozen variety and was about half the size of a typical margarita.
Portobello with Goat Cheese
The dinner menus in the main dining room have been streamlined. There are dishes that appear everyday and 3 dishes – meat, seafood and vegetarian that repeat on a certain day of the week. This isn’t so bad if you are on a seven day cruise, but might not be as appealing if you are on a longer cruise. However, there are so many other options for food including the always available stuff, the specialty restaurants, the Blue Lagoon grill and the Garden Buffet that it should not be difficult to find something acceptable to eat. However, we did hear some complaints about the “limited” and that term is relative, selection.
We are not show people, but did first go to see the comic, the highly recommended Dave Heenan. The standing room only show took place in the Spinnaker Lounge, a venue far too small for the large turnout. We got seats in the back so that we could make an easy exit if we weren’t impressed with the show. A guy in the same row was saving several seats and I made a point to tell anybody to ask about the empty seats that that other guy was saving them. Saving seats is not permitted and I didn’t want to be considered a criminal or somebody who felt she was above the rules of the ship because I was saving seats for important people.
We heard that Dave is a really nice guy; that is good to hear especially since we didn’t find him to be very funny, although we were definitely in the minority. Raunchy and crude words, references to bodily functions and degrading ethnic humor surely elicited laughter, even if it was of the nervous variety, from the crowds. That type of humor doesn’t suit us and we don’t find it all that clever. We left our prized seats – in this case, any place to sit was valuable- and went to the casino and for once won something.
We did also attend the Second City show that had its moments, but in general was a good way to pass the evening. They offered ad-lib workshops on the sea days and I took advantage of that and enjoyed it very much.. UNTIL, one of the other participants mentioned poop. Yes, it is always funny and got laughs from the audience, the biggest laugh coming from the clever guy who said the word.
Music resonates from all over the ship and we were always able to find just about any type of music on the ship.
The staff and service throughout the ship was excellent although sometimes a little slow. The staff always greeted us and our cabin attendant greeted us by name although we never formally introduced ourselves and never even knew who our cabin attendants were for the first few days.
The ship itself is well maintained and the public spaces are usually very clean. There could be a bit more attention paid to wiping down tables in the buffet. We always enjoy a ship with a complete promenade deck and found many people enjoying that space; the shuffleboard courts seemed very popular. There are places, like Gatsby’s, where you can get a drink and listen to music. We did have the sense of there being a lot of people on board, but it wasn’t too difficult to find a quiet place.
We didn’t participate in many organized activities, but one that we thoroughly enjoyed was the martini tasting. The personality of the host, Jose, took what might be a robotic event to higher levels. We enjoyed many martinis, met lots of new people and had a lot of fun. Don’t pass this up if you are on the Dawn.
Jose hosting the Martini tasting on the NCL Dawn
Come back to see the stateroom and see photos from Bermuda.