Just back from norwegian dawn_ hits and misses – cruise critic

(1:50 p.m. How to cook chicken fingers EDT) — Norwegian Dawn is one of the older ships in Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet, having debuted in 2002. How to make homemade chicken fingers In 2016, the ship went under the knife for a monthlong makeover, gaining new restaurants and bars, as well as spruced-up public spaces and staterooms. Deep fried chicken tenders recipe We just came off a week-long Boston-to-Bermuda cruise on Dawn — here’s what we loved and where we were disappointed. Chicken strips recipe ideas Hits

Los Lobos is the new a la carte Mexcian restaurant, carved out of a section of the buffet. Zaxby’s chicken fingers recipe The venue is simply decorated, with floor-to-ceiling windows along one wall and Mexican-inspired decorated skulls (less morbid than you’d think) on the others. Dipping sauce for chicken fingers The food was also quite good; we ordered guacamole made tableside (pick your level of spiciness), cheese quesadillas, fish tacos and a beignet dessert that was crispy and finger-licking good with its powdered sugar and guava sauce.

Norwegian’s Dawn atrium doesn’t have the wow factor of the soaring venues you find on other ships, but it was one of the best used ones I’ve seen. Oven chicken fingers A stage hovers on Deck 8, surrounded by casual restaurant/pub O’Sheehan’s and overlooking the Deck 7 Java Café and reception area. Chicken fingers recipe fried During the evening, musical duo Jose and Patti would gather a crowd with their renditions of popular hits throughout the decades, turning O’Sheehan’s into standing room only and allowing couples to dance in the open area between Guest Services and Shore Excursions. Deep fried chicken fingers recipe Between the lively atmosphere in the atrium and the lighted tubes behind the reception desk that mesmerizingly change colors, waiting in line to ask a question or check your bill becomes way more fun.

If you don’t find crazy bright jewel tones and wild patterns soothing, you’ll love Dawn’s new cabin décor as much as we did. Chicken strips recipe oven The turquoise rugs, lime green patterned couches and fuschia chairs have been thrown out and replaced with modern grays. How to make chicken strips batter The new carpeting is plush and feels good under your feet, and an awkward desk chair has been swapped for space-saving stools.

Norwegian Dawn is fun! With 3.5 sea days on its Bermuda itineraries and 2.5 days of beaching, shopping and boating from the Royal Dockyard, cruisers on this ship are ready to stay up late and have a good time. Zaxby’s chicken finger plate calories The theater was often packed, the casino hopping and the atrium area crowded. Recipe chicken fingers If you fancy a snack at the buffet in the late evening or O’Sheehan’s after midnight, you will not be the only one around. Baked chicken tenders calories No “dead after 10 p.m.” vibe here.

For a mainstream cruise ship, the buffet fare was surprisingly good. Cooking chicken tenders on stove The pizza was some of the best we’ve had at a buffet, and the curly fries alone were a reason to consume more calories after 10 p.m. Homemade chicken tenders fried We were also pleased with the large selection of offerings at every meal. Baked chicken strips in oven However, the layout was frustrating, with different stations on the port and starboard sides but with no cut-through at the aft end because Los Lobos takes up that space. How to make chicken strips in the oven In order to check out all your options, you had to travel all the way to the end of one side then backtrack to the middle, then do it again on the second side. How long to cook chicken tenders at 350 Our other gripe was the lone self-serve, soft-serve ice cream station was all the way in a back corner by a buffet area that was seldom used.

While you won’t find the Broadway-caliber shows you’ll see on Norwegian’s newest ships, we were pleased with the entertainment options onboard. Arby’s chicken tenders calories Sea days were packed with trivia contests, matinee shows, silly games like ring toss and goofy golf and family activities like circus school and game shows. Making chicken fingers The evening song-and-dance theater shows, while still cheesy, were generally a cut above similar shows on other lines. Dip for chicken fingers The magician was quite impressive — though we could have used more tricks and less time wasting; the acrobatic duo was jaw-dropping, yet their show was slow; Jose and Patti were always fun; and Second City was hit or miss.

Norwegian Dawn suffers from a serious case of “you can’t get there from here,” and its huge makeover couldn’t address its layout issues. Sauce for chicken fingers Deck 6 restaurants and bars aren’t accessible from every staircase, making the main dining rooms — Aqua and Venetian — difficult to find. Healthy baked chicken fingers Top-deck venues were likewise tricky to reach. Pan fried chicken fingers We spent quite some time trying to locate Los Lobos on our first night (partly due to ship maps that made it look midship rather than aft) and we mostly accessed the kids’ pool area by cutting through the arcade or the fitness center. Homemade baked chicken fingers Speaking of the gym, its entrance was very well marked, but the main spa entrance was hidden away in a cabin corridor the deck below. Homemade chicken fingers baked Even on the last day of our cruise, we were still blundering around lost.

Norwegian Dawn might have a pretty face, but it’s still an old ship, and somehow the crew can’t keep up with all the minor flaws. Ultimate chicken fingers Public bathrooms were routinely out of order, with many passengers reporting messes that weren’t cleaned in a timely fashion. Homemade fried chicken fingers Elevator lights were constantly on the fritz, and occasionally the elevators themselves get stuck, trapping people inside for a few minutes. How long to bake chicken fingers In our connecting cabins, one sink drain was wonky, the balcony door needed oiling and the mini-fridge door had come detached from the cabinet.

Themed bars are fun, and we had yummy drinks in the Sugarcane Mojito Bar and Los Lobos Tequila Bar. How long to cook chicken fingers However, if you want a mojito and your friend wants a margarita, you don’t want to do a pub crawl just so you can drink together. Chicken fingers in oven On Norwegian Dawn, many of the bars serve only limited kinds of drinks, and don’t have all the standard alcohols at hand. How long to fry chicken fingers Plus, some of the new bars are inside restaurants, and it feels strange to dodge waiters carrying skewers of meat to wend your way to the bar for a drink.

Someone in our party wondered aloud if NCL stood for “nickel” in “nickel and diming.” Dawn has all the usual spa seminars, art auctions and jewelry sales aimed at parting you from your cash. Homemade chicken fingers fried But it seems to take the concept further than other lines. Homemade chicken strips batter All room service — except continental breakfast — has a $7.95 per order fee, which meant we never had the fun or convenience of a non-cereal meal in our room. Homemade chicken strips fried Get to the theater early for a show and entertainment staffers are hawking instant-win games and raffle tickets. Homemade chicken plucker fingers Even the a la carte model for many of the restaurants was off-putting, as you’re constantly second-guessing that appetizer or dessert — and was even confusing for folks with dining packages, who weren’t clear on how many items they could order.