Ships and Dip 4 - Norwegian Dawn

I think I've only sailed on Norwegian once before and it was years ago so I didn't have a feel for how it was going to be. On the formal side? Big, small or medium? Mediocre service and food or good?

Well, I'm pleased to say Norwegian is like the final porridge that Goldilocks tried; it was just right.

First of all, they didn't require formal dress for dinner. In fact, you didn't even have to go sit and have dinner at the same time and table each night. There were plenty of eating spots and we were able to go to the main dining room and get a table for our group of 11 without any issues at all. The food was good in there, too. They even did a fair job of blue rare steak.

The Stardust Theater was a great venue for the big shows on board. We had good seats for our Barenaked Ladies show and fantastic seats for the Songwriters in the Round event. There were lots of other lounges and areas to feature all the performers on board, too.

One thing we found puzzling, though. There was no Lido deck! We've always made the Lido deck our home base on our cruises and we made arrangements to meet up there once we got on board and dumped our stuff in our cabin. However, when we got to the elevator and checked the ship's deck listings, there was no Lido! So, we got in the elevator with the intention of going to the top deck with the assumption that would be the Lido equivalent.

Looks like 12 is popular!

However, we had a pretty good clue we needed to go to 12 based on the worn out elevator button. The dude in the reflection was a crew member and he was a bit surprised that I would take a picture of that but he clearly didn't recognize me for the photographic documentation peep that I am. Twelve was indeed the correct deck and, while they just called it the Oasis Pool, we declared it the non-Lido deck for the extent of the cruise.

The non-Lido deck.

They set up a permanent stage by the Oasis pool where most of the bands played at one time or another (and some of them more than once). There were bleacher seats facing the stage and some of our group camped out there for some of their favorites but we were content to sit by the pool and enjoy the tunes.

The staff was pretty good overall. We did hook up with a great server. August was our man! He was Johnny on the spot with the beverages, remembered our names and even asked me where Norene was one day when I was without her. That's good service.

Just like every other cruise I've been on, we did get towel animals in our room a few nights. There was an elephant and a bunny and a...well, we weren't sure what one of them was.

Just not sure...

After puzzling on it for a while, I decided it was Jar Jar Binks. Or at least an attempt at one. Funny thing, to me, was that Norene had no idea who Jar Jar Binks was. I'd say she's the lucky one as he has to rank up there in the top five most annoying movie characters of all time along with child Anakin Skywalker and adult Anakin Skywalker. Oh, George Lucas, how could you have created such annoying characters?

But, I digress.

If you're looking for a more casual and unstructured cruise, Norwegian is a good choice. I wouldn't hesitate to travel with them again.


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