In 2003, Norwegian Dawn came to public attention as the first cruise ship to be based in New York City on a year-round basis. Although there was considerable skepticism in the industry, the Dawn made a success out of being the New York ship and fulfilled that role for several years. More recently, however, she has made her home in New York's great rival, Boston.
“She is a popular ship out of Boston. She is a Boston ship right now and it is great to be in Boston,” comments Dawn's Hotel Director Alain Magnier. “Our Boston crowd comes back year after year. We have a lot of repeaters who come back. They love the product and they love the team. I spend a lot of time on the gangway on embarkation and it is great to meet them. They have been here before and they are ask is that waiter still here, is that person aboard, who is the captain.”
The guests are mostly from the Boston and greater New England area. “It is different than in the Caribbean when you have guests flying in from all over.”
Today's Dawn has evolved since her New York days in order to stay in the front line of the cruise industry. “Our company has really developed the Dawn in terms of product. We have this new main dining room menu.” (See examples on our menus page).
“We also have a new show, Elements, which is the most beautiful show you can have. “Elements being fire, [water, air and earth] so you have different tableau that show you all different things. It requires you to see it two times in order to really capture the entire set because it is all around you. There are people in the air, people left and right. There is a bit of magic. It is really beautiful.”
The Dawn has a battery of specialty restaurants. In keeping with changing tastes, the line-up has been changed with the Moderno Churascarria, a South American steakhouse replacing Salsa, a Tex-Mex specialty restaurant.
Moderno currently occupies a space on Deck 8 overlooking the ship's lobby. However, in the future, an O'Sheehan's Bar and Grill will occupy that space and the adjoining space now occupied by the Blue Lagoon comfort food restaurant. As a result, O'Sheehan's will take up the entire mezzanine overlooking the lobby.
“We don't have a final date yet but that should be coming up as we get closer to drydock. At that time, the Moderno will be moved to Deck 13 by Cagney's. It has been working very successfully on the Jewel, [which] has been updated already.”
“We are looking forward to it. I was on [Norwegian Epic – where the concept premiered - -] so I can appreciate the whole O'Sheehan's concept. I was able to really look into it. It does cover [the role of the Blue Lagoon] plus more activities, more games. On Epic, it is a cool place, a 24-hour operation. It is a great place. It is a convenient place to come in, sit down, enjoy some simple, classic American food, relax and start again.”
A major change that has already taken place is the movement of the Spinnaker Lounge from Deck 12 to Deck 7. Originally, the Spinnaker was a large observation lounge at the front of the ship. That space is now occupied by a series of suites and a conference center. The shops on Deck 7 were moved forward so that the Spinnaker could occupy the same space as the Bliss Lounge does on some of Norwegian's Jewel class ships (e.g., Norwegian Gem).
“It is more like Bliss except we don't have a bowling alley. We use it a lot during the daytime on sea days. When we are in port, we use it for activities. We have a dancing class, movies in the afternoon. In the evening it is one of the main lounges. It goes late night, we consider it as our disco place They also do a lot of early night activities such as the newly weds and the classic games that you will find on cruise ships. It is a busy place.”
The Spinnaker is not Dawn's only entertainment venue. “We have a bit of entertainment in the Atrium in the evening. We have the Spinnaker, which is very busy. We have the Gatsby Bar [with live music] and the Casino. And the big show twice a night [in the theater]. There are a lot of things happening at night.”
“In Bermuda, we try to have a lot of things on the pool deck. Weather permitting, the pool deck is a great place to make parties in the evening. We have our famous White Hot Party by the pool on this ship. We also do a tropical night, a country and western night, tonight we do a barbeque at 5:30 during the sailaway. In the good weather, you want to be outside.”
Norwegian Dawn does not spend the entire year in Boston. She arrives in the Spring and leaves in late fall, doing primarily Bermuda cruises and a few Canada/New England cruises.
“This past winter we were doing the Caribbean from Tampa. We were very busy all winter. This upcoming winter, we will be doing the Caribbean from New Orleans. We will be doing Coata Maya; Roatan, Honduras; Belize; and Cozumel. It is a popular run with one sea day at the end and one sea day at the beginning.”
Although she is no longer Norwegian's New York ship, the Dawn's hull art remains the same including a large mural of the Statue of Liberty on the port side. “It is still the same. One side was the Caribbean and Miami, the dolphins, and then the other side was New York with the Statue. We still have it. It is part of our image.”
Click here for the Norwegian Dawn profile page
Click here for our photo tour of Norwegian Dawn
Click here for our Norwegian Dawn daily programs page
Click here for our Norwegian Dawn menus page
Click here for deck plans of Norwegian Dawn
Click here for a photo feature on Dawn in Bermuda
Click here for a video of Dawn going to sea
Cruise ship interview - Norwegian Cruise Line - Norwegian Dawn - Hotel Director