Cruise Evolution
Sign up for our FREE e-Newsletter
Enter Your E-Mail:
Sign up to gain access to the hottest cruise deals around!
Cruise Reviews

Norwegian Dawn

Norwegian Dawn

Home > Reviews > Norwegian Cruise Line > Norwegian Dawn

The Evolving Ratings
Cruise Reviews
Overall: StarStarStarStarNo Star
Food: StarStarStarStarNo Star
Entertainment: StarStarStarStarNo Star
Family: StarStarStarStarStar
Decor: StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Service: StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Cost: DollarDollarDollarDollarNo Dollar
Value: StarStarStarStarNo Star

Photo Gallery Photo Gallery
Photo Gallery View Reader Reviews

Ship Specifications
Year Built: 2002 Age Restrictions: One person in each
Year Refurbished: 2005 room must be 21 years old or older
Previous Name: N/A Seating Assignments: Freestyle Dining
Guest Occupancy: 2,224 Dining Hours: 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Crew: 1,086 Internet Access: Yes
Tonnage: 91,740 tons Bars/Lounges: 9
Length: 965 feet Spa: Yes
Beam: 105 feet Fitness Center : Yes
Cruising Speed: 25 knots Swimming Pools: 3
Decks: 14 Hot Tubs: 6
Ship's Registry: Bahamas Bowling Alley: No
Casino: Yes Rock Climbing Wall: No
Show Room: Yes Ice Skating Rink: No
Disco/Night Club: Yes 24-Hour Room Service: Yes
Library: Yes Hair Dryer in Room: Yes

View NCL Dawn Web Cam

Norwegian Dawn has been one of the most popular cruise ships sailing from New York City, ever since she began doing so in 2003. Designed with NCL's Freestyle Cruising concept in mind, the family-friendly Dawn features 13 dining options, 9 bars and lounges, a fitness center and spa, 3 pools, a Broadway-style theatre, and much more.

Destinations & Itineraries
Norwegian Dawn will be featuring cruises in the following regions (subject to change, based on the cruise line's discretion):

2012: Western Caribbean
2013: Bermuda, Canada & New England, Western Caribbean, Cruise to Nowhere

Norwegian Dawn features a wide array of stateroom types, from its standard interior staterooms all the way up to its unbelievable, butler and concierge level, Garden Villas.

Interior Staterooms:
A great value, the interior staterooms on Norwegian Dawn feature two lower beds (that can convert to a queen-size), a TV, a small refrigerator, a hairdryer, a closet, and a bathroom with a vanity, shower and sink. Room categories range from a category N (usually the least expensive, and located on the lowest passenger deck) all the way up to a category II (located on the higher decks of the ship, and usually the most expensive inside stateroom category).

Oceanview Staterooms: The oceanview staterooms have the same standard amenities as the interior staterooms, however; they feature a porthole or window of some sort (for a nice view of the surroundings while you're traveling). The most basic oceanviews are the category H's (which feature a porthole window), while the most premium oceanviews are the category C's (which feature a picture window). The category G's have an obstructed view (there will be a lifeboat hanging in front of your window, blocking the full view).

Balcony Staterooms: The balcony staterooms on Norwegian Dawn feature a sitting area, and a floor-to-ceiling glass door that opens to a private balcony. The most premium category for the standard (non-suite) balconies is a category BA, while a BE is the least premium. The major different between the categories is the location on the ship. The more mid-ship rooms are usually more expensive.

Suites: There is a wide variety of suites on Norwegian Dawn. The most basic suites are the (category AF and AG) mini-suites. These rooms feature two lower beds that can convert to a queen-size bed, a sitting area, a private balcony, and a luxury bath and shower.

After the mini-suites, the next most premium room category are the Penthouses. These rooms feature a living area, private balcony, dining area, CD/DVD library, and a bedroom with a queen-size bed. There is also a luxury bath and shower. These rooms have a butler and concierge service available. The Romance Suite (category AD) is a special type of Penthouse, designed for romance. Category AB Penthouses are the only Penthouses that have a separate children's bedroom.

The Owner's Suites on Norwegian Dawn (category AA) are over 740 square feet. These suites feature a living room, private balcony, dining room, separate bedroom with king-size bed, mini bar, CD/DVD library, and luxury bath with whirlpool tub and separate shower. Butler and concierge service is also available.

The most premium, and spectacular, accommodations on Norwegian Dawn are the two Garden Villas (category A1). These suites are a whopping 5,750 square feet and feature a complete living room, a dining room, and three separate bedrooms that each have a king- or queen-size bed and private luxury bath and CD/DVD library. Two of the bedrooms feature a full bath with whirlpool tub and separate shower. Each of the Garden Villas has access to a private garden area that has a hot tub, outdoor dining area and terrace. Plus, you have butler and concierge service to enjoy.

Please be aware that the suites on Norwegian Dawn that are made for those with disabilities will not have the luxury bath - they will only have a shower.

All Norwegian Cruise Line ships have an open dining setup (which is one of the main aspects of their Freestyle Cruising format). Open dining means that you can eat where you want, when you want. Norwegian Dawn has 12 dining venues from which you can choose from, besides the 24-hour room service (with a limited menu) that is available to everyone.

The two main dining rooms on Norwegian Dawn are the Venetian and Aqua. The Venetian is located on deck 6 and has a grand Italian theme. Aqua is also on deck 6 and has a very soft, comforting ambiance. Both of these restaurants offer the same five-course menu as each other, but the menu changes each night of the cruise. Dinner is served from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm.

The Garden Cafe, located on deck 12, is Norwegian Dawn's buffet. It features a wide array of options for you to choose from, depending on the time and day you dine there (including omelets, pastas, soups, ethnic specialties, salads, and more). There is a special kids area for children, featuring smaller chairs and tables.

Perfect for those "midnight snackers," the Blue Lagoon (located on deck 7) is a 24-hour eatery, featuring a menu that includes favorites such as hamburgers, french fries, and even fast-wok dishes. During the day the Blue Lagoon has a very fast and friendly atmosphere, as many people frequent it while between daily activities. Late at night (and sometimes into the early morning) it's a popular hangout for night owls and teens and, understandably, is at a much slower pace.

The Bimini Grill, located poolside on deck 14, is a great (and popular) place to grab a quick bite to eat. They serve burgers, pizza, and more grilled items. It's right by Sprinkles Ice Cream Bar.

The specialty restaurants onboard Norwegian Dawn offer many dining choices to choose from. Most of these venues have a per person cover charge, ranging between $10 and $30. Some of the specialty dining venues only charge half the normal cover charge from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Cagney's Steakhouse (located on deck 13) is one of the most popular specialty restaurants onboard Norwegian Dawn. Cagney's is an upscale traditional American steakhouse, with a 1930's theme. This restaurant charges a $20 per person cover charge for those that dine in it and choose anything but the Surf 'n Turf (which costs $30 per person). Le Bistro is a French specialty restaurant with a great menu, located on deck 6. Bamboo is Norwegian Dawn's Pan Asian restaurant, featuring a wonderful Japanese/Chinese/Thai menu (you really need to try the duck crepes, they're excellent!). This restaurant features a sushi, sake and sashimi bar and teppanyaki (also known as Hibachi) room. There is an all-you-can-eat sushi option available at a flat fee of $15 per person.

There are two specialty restaurants onboard Norwegian Dawn that are less expensive than the others (at only $10 per person). The first is Impressions Italian Restaurant (a casual Italian eatery located on deck 6), featuring pizza, pasta, salads, and more. There is also Salsa Tapas Bar (also on deck 6), where delicious hot and cold tapas, and a typical Tex-Mex menu, is offered.

Reservations are highly recommended for the specialty restaurants, as they are very in demand and can book up quickly. Dining reservations cannot be made prior to your cruise. You can make a reservation 24 hours prior to the day you want to dine, unless you have a balcony or higher (in which case you can make a reservation within 48 hours). Be sure to make reservations at least the night before you want to dine, to help ensure that the time (and restaurant) you want to dine at will be available for you.

Onboard Features
Norwegian Dawn is packed with tons of places to go and things to do. There's really something for everyone...

As far as sport-related features go, there is a jogging/walking track (located on deck 13), a basketball/volleyball/tennis court (on deck 14), and the El Dorado Fitness Center (which is open 24-hours a day and has daily fitness classes). There is also the Oasis Pool, and six hot tubs located around the ship. There are 456 seats and 206 sun lounges on Norwegian Dawn.

During the day, Topsiders Bar (poolside on deck 12) is a popular, and busy, place to hang out. Dazzles Lounge & Night Club (deck 7) is a definite hot spot at night. Dazzles has dancing and music every night, into the late hours. Spinnaker Lounge (located on deck 12) features a bar, music and dancing; it's a great choice to spend your evening in and it has two adjoining rooms available for parties. For those looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, there is Gatsby's Champagne Bar, the Wine Cellar, and the Star Bar (a 30's style bar located on deck 13).

Norwegian Dawn Club Casino (located on deck 6) is a real hot spot, especially at night and on days at sea. There are lots of slot machines and many tables to choose from. There will usually be many poker, slot, and blackjack tournaments throughout the cruise. Of course, there is also a full bar in the casino.

One of the most popular things to do on Norwegian Dawn is to go to the Stardust Theatre for its nightly show. The Stardust Theatre is huge! It spans three decks (5, 6, and 7). This theatre has a capacity of 1,037 and features various Broadway and Vegas-style shows.

The list goes on! There is also a library, internet cafe, the Shuffles Card Room, the LifeStyles room (a place for quiet reading), and the Havana Club (a premium cigar, cognac, and spirits club). The El Dorado Spa is located on deck 11. Feel free pamper yourself and choose from a wide range of spa treatments - you won't regret it!

Want to shop? Not a problem...the Galleria shops are located on deck 7. This set of department store style shops feature tax-free discounted liquor, perfume, jewelry, clothing, snacks, medicine, and much more.

Dress Code and Attire
Because of the Freestyle Cruising concept, the dress code is not very strict or formal on a Norwegian Cruise - it is actually quite casual, relative to other cruise lines. As far as dining goes, casual attire is preferred during the day. Examples of casual attire are: khakis, skirts, jeans, casual tops, and shorts. At the buffet and outdoor dining venues, swimwear with a cover-up is just fine.

During dinner a collared shirt and pants (or nice jeans) is fine for men. For women slacks, jeans, dresses, skirts, and tops are fine. If you'd like to dress up for dinner and wear something more formal or glamorous that is OK too, as on most NCL cruises there is usually at least one night were many people will do so (known as the "Captain's Night" or "Formal Night"). For kids 12 and under, shorts are OK in all of the restaurants.

Children Programs
NCL's children's program is called the Kids Crew. The Kids Crew program is run by NCL's Youth Staff and is free of charge (of course, gratuities are appreciated by the staff). Each staff member is CPR and First Aid certified. The Kids Crew program features complimentary activities that are scheduled throughout each day of your cruise. Examples of these activities are painting, pajama parties, pizza making, and shows. A parent or guardian is required to initially register 2-17 year olds for this program. Children are assigned to groups, based on age (Juniors = 2-5 years old, First Mates = 6-9 years old, Navigators = 10-12 years old, and Teens = 13-17 years old). Kids under 13 may not sign themselves out. There is not a one-on-one care program available in the Youth Program.

There is group-sitting available for kids. The "Late Night Party Zone" and "Port Play" are both programs for kids 2-12 years of age. The "Port Play" program is run from 9 am to 5 pm and is for parents that want to go on shore excursions alone, leaving their kids in the hands of qualified professionals. The "Late Night Party Zone" is available from 10 pm to 1 am. The cost of these two programs is $5 per hour, per child, and $3 per hour for each additional sibling in the same family. These charges are applied to your onboard expense account.

There is also a Teen Program available on Norwegian Dawn. This program is for those that are 13-17 years of age. This program is a great way for teens to meet and have fun.

As far as facilities for children and teens goes, there is a video arcade on deck 13 that features various video games and machines. There is also the Teen Club, a hip teen hang out (also located on deck 13). T-Rex Kid's Center is located on deck 13; it's a special kids area filled with an indoor jungle gym/obstacle course.

Tipping and Gratuities
NCL charges a fixed fee for what they call service charges on all Norwegian Dawn cruises. This fee is $12 per person, per day and is charged to your onboard expense account. There is no such charge for children under 3 years of age. If while on your cruise you find that these fees are more than you'd like to pay (or if you are very unhappy with the service you've been provided with by the staff), you can adjust the service charge fees to the level you prefer (as long as you do so before you leave the ship). NCL does not consider this service charge to be the same thing as a gratuity or tip. NCL states that they do not auto-charge you for gratuities (even though the service charge does seem to be a similar fee).

If you find a few staff members that really stand out and make your vacation more enjoyable, NCL's staff is allowed to accept cash gratuities. The recommended gratuity for guests purchasing bar beverages is 15%. For those purchasing spa and salon services, please be aware that NCL automatically adds a gratuity of 18% (called a service charge on certain ships).

Alcohol Policy
The official legal drinking age on a Norwegian cruise is 21 years of age. However, guests that are 18 to 20 years old with written consent from their parents or guardian are allowed to purchase beer and wine when the ship is sailing in international waters (except in Alaska & Hawaii, where you must be 21 years old to do so).

Gambling Policy
The minimum gambling age on all NCL cruise ships in 18 years of age. A valid photo ID may be required, so be sure to have one with you while in the casino. Please be aware that onboard casinos are closed on NCL ships while sailing in Hawaii.

Custom Search

Cruise Forum
Cruise Evolution's Popular Links


Cruise Message Boards
© , CruisEvolution LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Cruise Evolution