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Norwegian Dawn - Cruise Ship Review - Passenger Reviews

Norwegian Dawn departing New York In the year 2000, Norwegian Cruise Line decided that cruising had become too stuffy, so it began redesigning its onboard programs and its ships to be more casual, down-to-earth, and just plain fun. The 92,000-ton, 2,224-guest Norwegian Dawn and her sister ship, Norwegian Star, were some of the first fruits of that makeover. Launched in 2002, Norwegian Dawn offers a festive atmoshere, great entertainment, a slew of restaurants, awesome children’s centers and outdoor play spaces, fun decor, fantastic suites, and comfortable standard staterooms, all at a fair price. She’s also looking extra-spiffy due to a major May 2011 makeover that added new features and modernized some old ones.

From Norwegian Dawn’s bow, festive streamers and dancing dolphins painted on the hull add a playful touch that was designed to say, “Hey! Come aboard. We have fun in here.”

Public Rooms & Entertainment On Norwegian Dawn
Inside, the mood continues from the moment you step into the atrium lobby, with its fantasy furniture and artwork. An explosion of bright Miami-style colors set the tone in both the public rooms and accommodations, and a dash of contemporary and art deco styling elevates things in some of the ship’s fancier restaurants and lounges.

Like all the NCL ships, Norwegian Dawn shines when it comes to entertainment. The multi-deck Stardust Theater seats more than 1,000 guests for some of the best production shows in the cruise world, as well as performances by the great Second City comedy troupe. In the stern on Deck 7, the Spinnaker Lounge hosts late-night music and dancing. Gamblers head to the expansive Dawn Club Casino on Deck 6, while those with a taste for sophistication lounge stylishly at Gatsby’s Champagne Bar, or go all Hemingway at the Havana Club cigar lounge. Beer more your thing? Try the Pearly King’s Pub, a raucous English-style pub offering piano entertainment and big-screen TVs for sports. Other public rooms include a library, an Internet center, a a coffee bar, and a sake bar attached to the ship’s Asian restaurant.

Family Cruising On Norwegian Dawn
Kids get a huge, bright play area outfitted with cozy TV rooms, a huge climbing maze, and great crafts, play, and computer areas. Outside, there’s a fantastic, dinosaur-themed kids’ pool area with a paddling pool, water slides, and a kid-size Jacuzzi. A new “Under 2 Zoo” room offers activities specifically for the toddler set, with parents accompanying. Teens get their own hangout space and disco.

Norwegian Dawn Venetian restaurantDining On Norwegian Dawn
At dinnertime, guests can choose among 11 different restaurants:
•The main Aqua and Venetian dining rooms
•Le Bistro, the most formal restaurant onboard, serving French and continental cuisine
•Bamboo, for Asian food
•The Teppanyaki Room, where chefs prepare your meal at a tableside grill, Japanese style
•A sushi and sashimi bar
•Cagney’s, a classic steakhouse with an attached, 1930s-style bar for cocktails before or after dinner
•La Cucina, serving casual, family-style Italian meals
•The Garden Cafe buffet restaurant
•The casual Blue Lagoon, serving comfort food 24 hours a day
•A new South American–style steakhouse called Moderno Churrascaria, where servers circulate among the tables with a huge selection of grilled meats
There are also the usual outdoor grills and indoor snack spots during the day, plus room service, and you can even order pizza 24 hours a day for $5 per pie, delivered to you anywhere on the ship.

Pools & Fitness On Norwegian Dawn
Outdoors, Norwegian Dawn’s resort-like pool deck is hedged to port and starboard by a row of palm-tree-shaped street lamps, framing a large pool and six hot tubs. Up in the bow on that same deck is the ship’s amazing spa, with its multiple treatment rooms, saunas, beauty salon, and calming relaxation center with its own aquatherapy pool. Guests enter into a sunlit, multi-deck foyer full of plants and Mayan reliefs, with a juice bar on one side. Inside, the spa is centered on an indoor pool room featuring a large lap pool (the largest indoor pool at sea, according to Norwegian Cruise Line), a hot tub, a jet-massage pool, and wooden deck chairs in a sunny lounging area. A large fitness center is next door, and there’s a jogging track and a basketball/volleyball court outside. Up in the bow on Deck 13, there’s an out-of-the-way sunning spot with a hot tub and deck chairs, all looking out over the bow.

Mini suite on Norwegian DawnCabins On Norwegian Dawn
Standard staterooms are comfortable if not plush, decorated in bright fabrics and woody paneling and accents. Furniture tends to be a bit spindly and insubstantial, but overall the rooms are pleasant and livable, with TVs, minibars, well-designed bathrooms, and, in a little less than half the outside cabins, smallish but acceptable private balconies. Outsides range from about 159 to 203 square feet.

At the high end, the Norwegian Dawn offers 10 different categories of suites, from the incredible Garden Villa — with its three separate bedrooms, living room, dining room, private garden with hot tub, and outdoor dining area and terrace — down to the 283-square-foot Mini-Suite.

Freestyle Cruising

Norwegian Cruise Line's ships are all about Freestyle Cruising. Freestyle Cruising means individual flexibility and freedom. On a Freestyle cruise you choose what to do on your vacation.

Freestyle Dining
Freestyle Dining: choose between up to 20 different dining venues per ship (20 on the Norwegian Epic). No need to rush, no need to watch the clock. In addition to two Freestyle main dining rooms, Norwegian Cruise Line's ships offer an array of a la carte gourmet and ethnic restaurants and casual eateries. From elegant French bistros and Italian trattorias to sushi and tapas bars, and more, there's a different dining option for every night of your cruise. Dine at a cozy table for two or reserve a table for up to ten friends and family members. When, where, and with whom you dine is your decision.

Freestyle Attire
Freestyle Attire: On your Freestyle cruise the attire is "resort casual"; think collared shirts and pants or designer jeans in the evening for the men, and the equivalent for the ladies. No need to pack gowns, suits, or ties. Should you prefer to dress up a little more, feel free to do so. With Freestyle Cruising the choice is yours.

Ship Information
Norwegian Dawn is specially built for Freestyle Cruising. In addition to the multitude of Freestyle restaurants we have come to know and to love, the ship features a Broadway Theater, casino, several pools, two of the largest suites at sea - the 5,750 square foot Garden Villas, and much more. At a cruising speed of 25 knots, the Dawn/Jewel class cruise ships are among the fastest of any cruise ship. The Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Star do not have a private Courtyard pool area.

Romance suite on the Norwegian DawnShip Facts
Year Built 2002 ♦ Ship's Class: Dawn/Jewel Class ♦ Country of Registry Bahamas ♦ Tonnage 92,000 ♦ Length 965 ft - 290 m ♦ Cruising Speed 25 knots ♦ Passenger Capacity (double occupancy) 2,224 ♦ Passenger Capacity (incl. upper beds) TBA ♦ Passenger Decks 11 ♦ Officers and Crew 1,126 ♦ Officer's Nationality International ♦ Crew and Hotel Staff Nationality International

Total 1,112 ♦ Suites with Balcony 145 ♦ Oceanview with Balcony 364 ♦ Oceanview without Balcony 250 ♦ Inside 353 ♦ Accessible Cabins (all categories) 20 ♦ Amenties in all cabins include luxury bedding, refrigerator, satellite TV programming, and complimentary room service.

Cabin Amenities
TV with music channels ♦ In-Cabin Movies ♦ In-Cabin Internet Access ♦ Private Safe ♦ Minibar ♦ Hair Dryer

Freestyle Dining - you decide when, where, and with whom to dine. Dining in the two Main Dining Rooms, in the indoor and outdoor buffets, the around the clock dining venue, and the poolside eateries is included. For the more exclusive specialty restaurants, such as the French Le Bistro or the Japanese Teppanyaki, there is a $10 - 25 cover charge. ♦ Traditional Dining - None, there is no traditional, assigned seating dining on Norwegian Cruise Line ships ♦ Formal Nights - for those who wish to dress up (usually about 1/3 of passengers), there is a "formal optional" evening, but don't expect to see any tuxedos or ballgowns ♦ Main Freestyle Dining Rooms: Venetian, Aqua ♦ Specialty Restaurants: Le Bistro, Cagney's Steakhouse, Teppanyaki, Bamboo - A Taste of Asia, Salsa, Impressions, Sushi ♦ Exclusive Breakfast & Lunch Restaurant for Suites ♦ Specialty Coffee Bar ♦ 24 Hour Food Service Available

Le Bistro on the Norwegian DawnPublic Rooms
Bars and Lounges ♦ Library ♦ Internet Center

Showlounge - Broadway style shows ♦ Casino ♦ Card Room/Game Room ♦ Video Games Arcade

Sports and Activities
Outdoor Pools ♦ Sports Court ♦ Fitness Center ♦ Jogging Track ♦ Promenade Deck - wraps around the ship

Spa and Wellness
Full Service Spa ♦ MedSpa Services ♦ Sauna or Steam Room ♦ Beauty Salon ♦ Yoga ♦ Pilates ♦ Fitness Assessment ♦ Health and Nutrition Evaluation

Children and Teens
Family Cabins ♦ Organized Age Specific Activities ♦ Children's Pool ♦ Outdoor Children's Play Area ♦ Youth Staff ♦ Dedicated Teen Center ♦ Teen Programs ♦ Teen Staff ♦ Group Babysitting Services

Other Facilities and Services
Duty Free Shops and Boutiques ♦ Dry Cleaning and Laundry Service ♦ Business Center Services ♦ Medical Center