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Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by melarch69

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Norwegian Dawn
Norwegian Dawn
Member Name: melarch69
Cruise Date: May 2012
Embarkation: Boston
Destination: Bermuda
Cabin Category: MB
Cabin Number: 11016
Booking Method: Local Travel Agency
See More About: Norwegian Dawn Cruise Reviews | Bermuda Cruise Reviews | NCL Cruise Deals
Member Rating   4.0 out of 5+
Dining 5.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 5+
Entertainment 4.0
Spa & Fitness 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 5+
Embarkation 4.0
Service 3.0
Value-for-Money 5.0
Rates 4.0
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Ship Facts: Norwegian Dawn Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Norwegian Dawn Deck Plans
Dawn, The Good, The Bad, The Spacious
As I said, mostly good, with a few exceptions (all customer service related). We sailed from Boston, which I really wish there were more cruises leaving from there. Boston is a great city to launch from, extremely walkable, and the public transportation is fantastic. Taxi drivers are only necessary when it comes time to get to the actual harbor, and even then they are so efficient! Getting on the ship was very easy, we always use the porter service to avoid the hectic baggage line, so it was just 25 minutes or so from tipping the porter to walking onto the ship. Our room was fantastic, more shelf space than we actually needed, and the bathroom was actually larger than I'd expected. Our balcony was of course used constantly...much nicer to enjoy the scenery from the calm serenity of our private balcony than dealing with the hordes of passengers elbowing for space along the upper decks (not to mention the wind and rain which came later). Our room steward, Hopeton, was the best! He greeted us immediately, introduced himself, and knew us by name for the remainder of the cruise. When he realized my parents were in a room further down the deck he made sure to keep us both appraised of each other where-abouts. Hopeton is the best!

The weather was not so great...stormy seas getting down to Bermuda, then rain showers most of the three days we were there, but we all made the best of it...sharing umbrellas and enjoying all the excursions that offered bus transfers, such as the Horseshoe Bay beach (gorgeous), the Cave/Aquarium tours (so much fun!) and the island bus tour. All of our tour guides were from Bermuda, so we received very personalized tours, including the location of one guide's house, and their favorite church, and even pulled over in one spot to watch Parrot Fish feeding off the side of the road when the tide was in, because the bus driver enjoys taking his family there. Highly recommend these tours! Not to mention the Rum cakes. oh yes, Rum cakes!

The cruise back to Boston was fairly quiet, calmer seas, but a cold fog descended on us and the captain had the foghorn going for most of the journey back, which I found simultaneously haunting and romantic.

I felt the food was great, lots of choices, although I do recommend taking the time to walk the full circuit around the 6 buffet stations in the Garden Cafe to make sure what is all available. We never did get to try the ice cream "shop" Sprinkles (closed whenever we walked by it), but the soft serve on the inside was good. The only specialty restaurant we tried was Cagney's, which was fantastic...excellent steak, excellent sides, excellent waiter, excellent decor. I do think that for a restaurant that we pay extra for, sodas should be included with the meal however, not an extra charge.

So those were all the good...now for the not-so-great. Some of the service staff really missed opportunities to wow us with their skills. I was actually snapped at by a table attendant in the Garden Cafe...my parents were sitting at a table that had yet to be cleared, so I stacked up the few dishes and cups and walked them over to one of the clearing stations...and instead of thanking me, or apologizing and taking the plates from me, the woman actually snapped at me and said "don't put those there! that's just been cleaned! they go here!" and pointed behind her. I was shocked...5th cruise with Norwegian and I've never been spoken to like that before. We had a similar experience attempting to eat at the Blue Lagoon, we approached the seating hostess, she looked us over rather haughtily and said "how many in your party", which there were 4, then said "I don't have any tables for 4, and I don't really know when I will have time to seat you". And having walked through the restaurant to reach her hostess station, there were many tables for 2 empty...just waiting to be pushed together, but I guess this wasn't something she was interested in offering. We tried the Blue Lagoon again (gluttons for punishment I guess) the next day, when they were nearly empty, were seated right away, then had the most inattentive waiter I've ever seen. He repeated each of our orders back three times, almost as though he were mocking us, then proceeded to forget the final course when it came time to serve us. On the up-side, the food was really good. My mother had an issue with a waiter in the Aqua restaurant, he apparently took offence at her ordering on behalf of my father, who is extremely hard of hearing, and refused to look at my mom, then pawned the table off onto his young assistant, who turned out to be a great waitress for the remainder of the meal. Finally, we had a waiter at the Java Cafe that nearly yanked a chair out from under me as we attempted to seat ourselves, informing us "you can't sit there! we're setting up for an event!", and no, he didn't offer to locate another table for us.

So out of 1100 staff (approximately?) we had 5 who need to seriously reconsider their career choices, and beyond that, we had a great cruise! My mom has actually already booked her next cruise, also on the Dawn, so I'm telling her to keep track of the good and the bad with names, and let the front desk know next time. I really love sailing with NCL, but too many instances of poor customer service like these and I won't be able to convince the rest of my party to return.

Publication Date: 06/06/12
Read the Bermuda ports review by melarch69
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