My husband and I decided for our 10th wedding anniversary to go on a cruise. Not wanting to fly to the port we settled on a ship setting sail out of New York City as it was within driving distance for us. The ship was the Norwegian Dawn out of the Norwegian Cruise Lines fleet. What an excellent choice we made.
We sailed on a 7 day cruise out of New York City stopping in Port Canavral, Miami, Nassau Bahamas and the cruise line's private island in the Bahamas. We paid approximately $1200 per person for a nice balcony room on the 11th floor. Yes you do pay a little more for a balcony but it is so worth while. I don't think I would cruise again without one. It is like having an extra room with space for two chairs and a small table. We would have coffee out there in the morning, drinks and munchies in the late afternoon and we slept with our slider open so we could hear the waves. It was such a nice feature.
The ship is beautiful and huge. It has numerous pools, a casino, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, shopping, sitting areas, a theater, a library and nooks and crannies to be explored. It is tastefully and elegantly decorated. You really feel pampered spending time on this ship. The crew was wonderful as well, from the housekeeper to the wait staff to the officers.
One of the highlights and biggest selling points for me was the dining. Instead of traditional cruise dining where you would have an assigned time, location and table to eat at Norwegian offers Freestyle cruising. What this means is you eat when you want, with who you want, where you want. They have about 10 different restaurants from the classic dining room to French to Japanese to Italian to Mexican. Each night my husband and I ate somewhere new, just the two of us, when we wanted to. It was fantastic and much more appealing to us than eating with the same strangers each night at an assigned table.
We also loved the all inclusiveness of the cruise. All of your food is included. For things like shopping or shore excursions or alcoholic beverages you can just sign them to your rooom and receive a bill the end of the week. They make it quite easy and convenient to take care of additional charges.
I can't say enough about how wonderful a cruise ship the Norwegian Dawn is. I can't wait to go back on it myself!