Overview Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Freestyle Cruising” was first popularized on the NCL Dawn. In fact, the ship was specifically designed and built to turn the concept of “Freestyle Cruising” into a reality.
What is “Freestyle Cruising”? Well, to begin with, let’s just say that it “completely broke the mold” from the cruise industry’s long tradition of seating all guests for dinner at two designated times in one main restaurant. Instead, the Dawn was built with 12 different dining venues, ranging from the very casual Garden Café to the upscale Le Bistro French Restaurant (which has a cover charge). Other favorites include Bamboo (offering a taste of Asia), Bimini Grill, Blue Lagoon, Cagney’s Steakhouse, Impressions Italian Restaurant, Salsa Tapas Bar, Teppanyaki (where the preparation of the food is a show in itself) and the ship’s two main dining rooms, Aqua and Venetian.
The “Dawn” also pioneered another signature feature of “Freestyle Cruising”, the concept of a “ship within a ship”. Although the Norwegian “Dawn” (and all other NCL ships) generally offer a “contemporary” moderately-priced cruise experience, more affluent guests can indulge themselves in a completely separate section of the ship that offers luxury living in 3-bedroom Garden Villas, each with up to 6,694 square feet of space, including a huge living room and dining room and a private garden area. These are the largest accommodations on any cruise ship, including the so-called “luxury liners”. Other suites on the Norwegian Dawn include the 721 square foot Owner’s Suite as well as
Penthouse Suites up to 481 square feet. Then, for those cruising with families, there are reasonably priced 2-bedroom Family Suites and mini-suites at 283 square feet. Standard accommodations include interior staterooms (no window) with 142 square feet, standard ocean-view staterooms with 159 square feet and standard balcony staterooms with 203 square feet of space.
Built in 2002 and refurbished in 2006, the NCL “Dawn” is considered to be a “mid-sized” ship by today’s standards. She’s 92,250 tons and measures 965 feet long with a beam (width) of 105 feet and a capacity of 2,224 passengers (based on double-occupancy) and 1,066 crew members.
As unique as the “Dawn” is, she still has many of the same features and amenities that you’ll find on more “traditional” cruise ships, including a wide selection of lounges, pools, sports and recreation areas, a full gym, a spa and multiple entertainment venues. Often imitated, but never duplicated, the Norwegian “Dawn” is a true original.
Top Norwegian Dawn Cruise Deals
View our featured cruise deals and itineraries on the Norwegian Dawn. For more information on these Dawn cruise itineraries, click below or call Direct Line Cruises.