Norwegian Dawn


Dawn delights cruise passengers

Ship Review by Michael Coleman, July 2008

Norwegian Dawn, a 2,224-passenger vessel based in New York with the Statue of Liberty boldly painted on its hull, is about choice . . . lots of onboard choices.

Cruise News Weekly's NCL Dawn photoset Cruise News Weekly’s NCL Dawn photoset

The daily roster of activities, most geared towards families, rivals that of any land-based resort and there are more restaurants aboard this ship than there are days in a week. Youd be hard pressed, as well, to hit each of the nine shipboard bars/lounges over the course of the same seven-day period.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) wouldn’t have it any other way.

When the 14-deck ship debuted almost six years ago, the companys Freestyle Cruising concept was in its infancy. Passengers then, like now, were given a myriad of shipboard choices to enjoy. Resort casual wear was implemented there are no formal nights onboard and passengers could dine when they wanted, where they wanted, and with whomever they wanted. Regimented onboard routines – like set dining times – would be a thing of the past.

Today, Freestyle Cruising has been rolled out fleet wide NCL operates 12 ships – and the concept is now a highly-successful, working reality. So much so that other mass market cruise lines have strategically followed suit.

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but NCL is not resting on its laurels. Dawn, like other vessels in the fleet, now features a new concept: Freestyle 2.0 which takes Freestyle Cruising to the next passenger service level complete with a broad range of onboard improvements and enhancements.

The re-tooling can be seen at just about every onboard turn. The dining experience has been enhanced look for more lobster than ever before at meal time staterooms have been upgraded and even more on-board activities await passengers to enjoy. Balcony, suite and villa guests will now receive additional recognition, service and amenities.

Dawn Delights

Aboard Dawn, however, the biggest passenger challenge is not what to eat each night but where to eat. Dining venues – 13 in all – run the gamut from steak, sushi, Teppanyaki and tapas to French, Mediterranean, Asian Fusion, Italian and Tex-Mex. No other cruise line offers as many restaurants aboard a single ship and fewer, still, can lay claim to housing some of the worlds finest art. Original works by Matisse, Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh can be enjoyed while dining in Le Bistro.

Choices abound in the health and fitness arena as well. Dawn features the El Dorado Spa and Fitness Center, a beauty salon, sports court (basketball and volleyball), two swimming pools and six hot tubs.

Theres a cinema, spacious theater, casino and library; card, reading and writing room; Internet cafe, a teen club and T-Rex Kids Center.

And, theres a host of comfortable lounge chairs on Sun Deck where one can soak in the rays and do absolutely nothing. It, too, is a great Freestyle Cruising choice.


  • Year Built: 2002
  • Year Refurbished: 2005
  • Passenger Capacity: 2,224
  • Passenger Decks: 11
  • Number of Crew: 1,126

  • Total Staterooms: 1,112
  • Suites with balcony: 145
  • Suites, no balcony: 0
  • Ocean View with balcony: 364
  • Ocean View, no balcony: 250
  • Inside: 353

  • Casino
  • Disco/Nightclub
  • Movies
  • Card Room
  • Game Arcade
Spa / Wellness / Fitness

  • Fitness Center
  • Full Service Spa
  • Sauna/Steam Room
  • Beauty Salon
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Basketball, Volleyball
Public Rooms

  • Bars/Lounges
  • Library
  • Internet Center
Children / Teens

  • Organized Age-Specific Activities
  • Outdoor Children’s Play Area
  • Dedicated Teen Center
  • Teen Programs
  • Children’s Pool
  • Youth Staff
  • Babysitting Available

  • Open Seating Dining
  • Formal Nights
  • Specialty/Alternative Dining Venues
  • Coffeehouse/Patisserie
  • 24-Hr Venues
Other Facilities / Services

  • Elevators
  • Duty-Free Shops/Boutiques
  • Dry Cleaning/Laundry
  • Concierge Desk
  • Infirmary/Medical Center
  • Safe Deposit Boxes
  • Business Center Services
(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)


  1. Carol says:

    Appreciated your information, but would you list the decks the laundromats are on.


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