Cruise on the Norwegian Dawn (recap)

Okay, sit down, this is gonna be a long one.

Sunday, November 22

Stephanie drove us to the cruise terminal, so we were able to avoid paying for parking or a taxi. The boys were so excited. I was proud of my minimal packing skills. Though later I will have wished for more clothes. We waited in several lines to get on the ship, but finally, we were on!

We went straight to our cabins, which were on deck 5. We had two adjoining cabins with windows. There were two twin beds and a bunk that folded down in each cabin, plus a bathroom, closet, desk, and lots of drawers. It was small, but not claustrophobic.

After getting unpacked, we went to explore the ship a bit. I thought we were supposed to leave New Orleans at 4, but after standing on the top deck for a while, the boys got cold and grumpy so we went back to the cabin.

At some point I signed them up for the kids’ club. I was envisioning them spending hours and hours in there. They saw that there were several Wii Us, so were excited to go.

I don’t remember much more about that day except that we ate in the Asian restaurant (Bamboo) for dinner, and the boys ate a bunch of calamari and white rice.

The boys were excited about the prospect of ordering pizza in the middle of the night. Since they hadn’t eaten much at dinner, I ordered them one at 10pm. They loved this.

Monday, November 23

Day at sea.

Had breakfast at the buffet (the Garden Cafe) and the boys piled their plates with bacon, sausage, pancakes, cereal, etc. There was a “Kid’s Cafe” that was basically a smaller version of the main buffet. They loved that.

Sent the boys to the kids’ club while George and I went to have an adult beverage in the Pearly King’s Pub. (Yes, there is a “British pub” on the ship.) After about half an hour, the bartender rang the bell, called my name, and told me to go get my kids.


So they weren’t really into the kids’ club.

Had lunch in one of the main restaurants (the Venetian) with the rest of the fam. My brother basically ordered everything on the menu.

I think we just spent most of the day hanging out, going to the pool, fielding questions about the status of the boys’ triplet-ness, etc.

We were all pretty worn out by the end of the day, so we grabbed a bite at the Blue Lagoon restaurant and watched some of the on board entertainers sing random songs. Not terribly, but it was very cruise-cliche.

Tuesday, November 24

Our first port! We arrived in Cozumel. No real plans. We didn’t schedule any excursions on this trip, so we just decided to wander around. Which was a mistake. There just wasn’t much to do except avoid people trying to sell stuff. We wandered a bit off the main road, but after about an hour, we were back on the boat. I did buy the boys name bracelets as souvenirs and got thoroughly ripped off (discovered later when I found out what everyone else paid for them.)

That night, we all had dinner together at the French restaurant on board. I had fancy ice cream cone appetizers and lamb. Yum.

After dinner, Evan and I went to the Second City comedy show in the big theater. It was okay. Not as funny as I would have thought. My friend Robyn is way funnier than them.

Wednesday, November 25

We arrived in Honduras to gray skies. I looked online to see if there was anything to do, and there really wasn’t, so we decided just to stay on the ship all day. No regrets. The view of Roatan from the ship was beautiful, I’m glad I didn’t spoil it with a crappy souvenir mall at the port.

We spent the day swimming, relaxing, eating ice cream, and wandering around the ship.

That evening, Grandee and Larry babysat all the kids so the grownups could have some alone time. George and I had a delicious and peaceful meal that involved no pizza or chicken nuggets at all.



Thursday, November 26

We didn’t have any plans in Belize, either, but again, a quick online perusal of Belize City’s offerings didn’t leave me full of hope. But I wanted to get off the boat, and I thought the boys would at least enjoy the tender ride to land.

Yeah, that part was fun. The rest…not so much. It was rainy, and then steamy and hot, and again, just strip mall of souvenir shops and crap. We left that area and were bombarded with tour offers and hair braiding and it was just…no thanks.

No pun intended, since it was Thanksgiving. The whole family had a meal at the Asian restaurant on board (Bamboo) but the menu that night was not Asian – I had lasagna, and lots of people got the turkey dinner.

After dinner, we all headed to the magic show in the big Stardust Theater, which was pretty cool. I have no idea how he did some of the tricks. Magic, I guess.

Friday, November 27

That day, we went back to Mexico. Costa Maya, to be exact. Even though it was all newish and Epcot Mexico-ish and the pyramid you can see in a photo below is actually a water slide, it was my favorite port. Because there was a pool and inappopriately shaped margarita cups.

I got off the boat with  my sister and her family, while George and the boys stayed on board. It was a lovely afternoon of swimming and hanging out.

Later, we all got gussied up for family pics. I’d directed everyone to wear blue, found a shady-ish spot on the boat, and set up my tripod. I would have liked to have taken them later in the day, but the boat was leaving Costa Maya at 3, and I didn’t want to leave my camera on a tripod as the boat was rocking its way through the Gulf of Mexico.

Here are a few of the pics I took, but some are going on gifts and Christmas cards, so I’ll post them another day.

Mom and Larry and grandchildren
Cousins being cute.
Cousins being silly.


After pics, we had a sibling dinner where the adults sat at one table and the kids sat at another. They loved that. Later was the big show – it was kind of like a tiny Cirque du Soleil. Impressive, considering the boat was moving so much they’d put barf bags everywhere.

I also took a cheesy cruise photo with the boys. Aw!

Saturday, November 28

Last day on the boat! I was running dangerously low on clean clothes and feeling extremely over-fed, so by Saturday, I was pretty ready to go home. But we tried to make the most of the last day. The best part was when my brother and I made up a game where we’d go hide somewhere on the ship, and the kids would be in our cabin. We’d call them from a phone and give them a clue about where we were hiding, and they’d come find us.

The ship wasn’t THAT big, so it was hard to find good spots, and they always found us quickly, but it was really fun.

Later, we had dinner with the entire family, and then some of us went to the aerialist show. It was pretty neat, again, because the boat was moving a lot. I was a bit nervous someone was gonna get dropped, but fortunately, all was okay.

Sunday, November 29

Home! George survived people. I survived with very limited internet. The boys survived without video games, youtube, and netflix. I got to spend lots of quality time with my family. All in all, a great trip!

7 thoughts on “Cruise on the Norwegian Dawn (recap)

  1. Sheree

    Thanks for your review!! Love seeing the pics, too. So I have to ask- why didn’t the boys like the kid’s club? I was hoping my almost 8 year old boy would be able to tolerate at least a couple hours a day while Mom and Dad chill. And did they like the magic/cirque shows, or were they bored? It sounds like you had a nice relaxing time with family. We took our first cruise on Thanksgiving 7 years ago with my entire extended family and it was really memorable!


    1. Pam Kocke

      You know, they’re just kind of weird. They like to play amongst themselves, not with tons of kids they don’t know. I’m sure your son will do great! Also, the Thanksgiving week was extremely busy with kids – they said there were about 8x more kids than normal (700 as opposed to 90 on a usual sailing) so that probably will help. Sometimes the kid’s club was just full.

      They loved all of the shows!


    1. Pam Kocke

      We actually didn’t do one – but when you get off the boat, the port has a pool. My brother and his family signed up for snorkeling, but ended up doing the beach party one when snorkeling was canceled.


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