Let me start by saying that I have only cruised three times. About nine years ago, I took my young children and wife on a Norwegian Cruise out of Miami to the Western Caribbean. The ship was spotless, the entertainment was outstanding, and the crew had a wonderful, upbeat and accommodating attitude that made us all feel very special.
Three years ago, I took my two girls on a Carnival cruise from Tampa, once again to the Western Caribbean. It was horrific! All of the activities were very alcohol-centric, and the entertainment was quite poor. After that experience, we decided that we would not be inclined to take another Carnival cruise again.
I was excited to plan this most recent trip on the Norwegian Dawn, out of Boston to Bermuda. The excitement lasted only about fifteen minutes into the cruise, however.
The crew was somber, appeared to be exhausted, and missed a lot of little things. For example, since we had made a reservation in Cagney's specialty restaurant, a bottle of wine was left in our cabin as a "thank-you". However, only one wine glass was left (not a big deal, but there were numerous small things that seemed to add up).
After ordering room service, many people placed their dirty dishes in the passageway outside of their cabins. Sometimes those dishes sat for more than four or five hours!
We did thoroughly enjoy our dinner at Cagney's specialty steak restaurant and feel that it was well worth the extra $50 for the two of us. The other food that we ate during the cruise was awful! It was consistently overcooked, flavorless, and in some cases not even palatable.
One evening the cruise featured a "chocolate night." There were chocolate deserts of every shape and size. It looked wonderful...but after tasting several, they also proved to be pretty much tasteless.
Much of this cruise is spent aboard ship at sea. During those days, it seemed that most activities centered around alcohol. We drink, but it seemed to be the focus of at-sea activities.
I found that I was troubled by the seemingly endless announcements about special sales at "this" or "that" shop. I felt that Norwegian was committed to emptying our pockets of every last bit of cash we might have.
Speaking of shopping...I was interested in purchasing a watch and had waited to see what prices were like in the gift shop. I was interested in a Tag Heuer and was surprised that Norwegian's $2850 price, was almost $400 more than my local jeweler is charging!
The size of the swimming pool is tiny, on the Dawn. There were so many people in the pool that we never even had a chance to put our feet in the water.
Overall, it was not restful or relaxing and service was not close to our expectations. If you feel like you might want to visit Bermuda, fly there and stay in a hotel. It was truly lovely!