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norwegian dawn

Aboard the Norwegian Dawn

By Angela Ash

With a full capacity of  2,348 passengers, and a length of 965 feet, this is truly a magnificent vessel.  She is decorated in bright, vibrant colors, setting the mood for your jaunt to Bermuda. The ship is elegant, but casual, which is a perfect mirror to the company's Freestyle concept. Plus, it's newly remodeled!

As soon as we began the sign in process (which was extremely quick and painless), I could tell that this cruise thing was a good idea. I totally eavesdropped on the couple in front of us, who were saying that this was the SIXTH time that they had been on this ship. They went on to rave about the activities and the food, and I am quite certain that I heard something about “more food than anyone could possibly eat”. I was definitely happy… and hungry.

When thinking of the term "Freestyle Cruising," you may be wondering what that might entail. Let me tell you, the answer will definitely thrill and excite! It is the most fantastic cruise concept in the world! With the freedom to basically eat what you want, where you want and at what time, with the option to dress up or down, it's easy to see how a person could gain 20 pounds during a cruise.

Now comes the best part. You can wear whatever you want. You can eat whenever you want. No… I repeat… NO reservations. When Norwegian says “Freestyle Cruising”, they mean it. Of course, there are certain times you can eat at certain places, but no stuffy host is standing at the restaurant entrance, tapping his foot and waiting to chastise you because you are 20 minutes late for your dinner reservation. 

Let’s be serious. Sometimes it is completely unavoidable. Sometimes it is not possible to tear yourself away from the heat of the sun and the water gently lapping at your toes. Sometimes you mentally tell yourself that no one will care if you are 20, even 30 minutes late for dinner. Well, Norwegian sure doesn’t care if you are late for your reservation. Oh wait… WHAT reservation?


Just think, after a long day exploring Bermuda, you may want to hit up the buffet in flip flops and shorts. But you may also get the notion to dress up and show off that new dress or suit at the steakhouse. The choices are entirely yours. With two main dining rooms, a bountiful buffet, Asian Fusion, burgers and hot dogs by the pool, and O'Sheehans, a lively nieghborhood Irish bar, the options are endless.

norwegian teppanyaki

But when it comes to al a carte dining, this is where Norwegian truly excels. If you want an extra-special night out, opt for  specialty dining like mouth-watering steaks at Cagney's Steakhouse, Italiane fare at La Cucina, , the French delicacies at Le Bistro, a selection of Brazilian-style meats at Moderno, Japanese Hibachi at Teppanyaki, the Sushi and Saki Bar, and the most divine authentic Mexican dishes you will ever devour at Los Lobos.  

I was so happy on this ship that I found that I was almost always nearly skipping to my stateroom, which was in an awesome location… close to everything, but not too close to HEAR everything. The area was a lot more spacious than I expected. There was plenty of room to move about, and loads of closet and drawer space. And yes… the bed was comfy. Oh joy!

norweian stateroom

Choice seems to be a big theme with Norwegian Cruise Line. There are so many stateroom options. If you are on a budget vacation, or made a last-minute booking and just want to be on the ship, beautifully decorated, spacious indoor and outdoor spaces are available. If you wish to "feel at one with the sea", I would definitely suggest a balcony room.  And if you're ready to splurge, you can choose from several categories of suites.

And when it comes time to enjoy the ship, you'll never be hard-pressed for something fun to do. See a full production in the showroom, or catch one of many musical performances throughout the many bars and clubs on the ship. 

norwegian spa

If relaxation is on your to-do-list, then visit the Mandara Spa, the most relaxing space on the entire ship. With an indoor pool, whirlpools, steam rooms and more, this is definitely the place to unwind and relax.

If you're ready to get wet, you can also immerse yourself in one of six hot tubs. And don't forget to take a dip in the refreshing Oasis pool, or even take a twist down a water slide.  There is also a swimming pool just for the kids!  Great activities are also offered daily for every age group, making it easy to see why children love to sail with Norwegian Cruise Line!

norwegian pool

While the ship boasts many wonderful itineraries, you'll find that Bermuda may be calling. Plus, who wants to pass up the chance to sepdn some time in Boston?

The ship docks at the Royal Naval Dockyard, which has all of the charm of something quite decidedly British, but without the transatlantic flight and the bad airplane food. You could easily stroll around the city for days, visiting museums and shops.Take in the unfinished cathedral, visit the Tucker House Museum or take one of the pink buses into Hamilton or the cruise line's free boat to St. George's to see a vast array of other sights.

However, when one thinks about Bermuda, it is usually about her beaches… pink sand and turquoise waters. These are truly the most beautiful beaches on the planet, and the diversity is amazing. Visit a more tourist-oriented beach like Tobacco Bay (located within walking distance from the town of St. George's, or get away from the crowds at John Smith’s Bay, or one of the beautiful little coves scattered between the pink sands of Horseshoe Bay and Warwick Long Bay. 

But do you want something with all of the amenities of a full-service resort instead?



Coco Reef has everything that you could want out of a beach day in paradise! Their private beach must be one of the picturesque in the world, with gentle waves lapping against the soft sand. Of course, there are plenty of loungers to take in the sun, as well as bar service so that you're never too far from an expertly mixed cocktail.

Want to spend a little bit of time in one of the island's nicest pools? Then relax the day away as you enjoy a swim or some time to soak up the rays.

And when hunger calls, head over to Tamara's Terrace, a beautiful Mediterranean-themed restaurant overlooking the ocean. You can expect delightful dishes, ranging from calamari to burgers to steaks. Everything is delicious, especially when washed down with Bermuda's official drink, the Rum Swizzle.  


Now, if you’ve always wanted to visit Boston or have been wanting to plan a return visit, it is a wonderful port. There is so much history packed into this compact city, perfect to see on foot or with the help of the Old Town Trolley. You can pay one price, and hop on and off as much as you like. It is perfect for sightseeing! Now, if you are really short on time, the trolley does a complete, narrated tour of Boston, and you just stay right in your seat until you arrive back where you started.  

A trip to the New England Aquarium should also not be missed! I still get chills when I think about the sharks. Speaking of chills, the Ghosts and Gravestones Tour offers a wonderful night-time trolley tour, packed full of history and those special moments when you learn all about what happens when the sun goes down in Boston!

 quincy adams

Now where to lay your head without your beautiful cruise ship? Well, the Best Western Adams Inn is a more than welcoming substitute. This establishment offers stunning water views, and is in a very convenient area. The rooms are modern, yet comfortable, and the staff is always friendly and willing to point you in the right direction. But what's the best part? Well, that would be the free shuttle back and forth to the cruise port!

Now, if you still aren’t ready to go home, take a ferry over to Salem and spend the day.


Do not leave Salem without seeing the legendary House of the Seven Gables, made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Also visit the many museums depicting Salem’s vast and often mysterious past. For a good taste of Salem’s paranormal side, try the Salem Witch Walk. This was by far my best experience in Salem… walking through the historic streets with the moon high above, hearing tales retold in such a spirited narrative that I had permanent goose bumps.

Cruises are truly a magical adventure. You just never quite know what you're about to experience, but you know it's going to be wonderful. Norwegian definitely offers a mix between elegance and casual sophistication that is unparallelled, which truly sets it apart from its competitors.

So what are you waiting for? The high seas await! You can begin planning your cruise vacation by clicking HERE.