I have cruised before but this was my first time on the Norwegian Dawn. I have cruised with Celebrity in the past and will go back to that line. Freestyle cruising is not for me. There are many options for dining, unfortunately you have to wait for a table. We waited over 1 hour and then missed a show one evening. There are many choices when it comes to dining but several of then require an extra fee. Isn't the point of a cruise is that the food is free? I also missed the personalized service that you get on other cruise lines when you have one waiter all week long. Out of seven nights we had 3 good waiters, 2 of those 3 were exceptional. I would have enjoyed having one of them all week long.
I felt that the cruise director, Collin, was great but as a whole I did not feel that the cruise staff was very friendly. I am used to seeing them everywhere and having conversations with them throughout the week. This was not the case. They do not do a lot of activities with guests. They played volleyball at the pool twice but there were no other pool side games. When I cruise with Celebrity they have a variety of games for all ages and they come out and dance during the days at sea. I am not sure what the NCL staff did all day, but I didn't see them.
I was also very disappointed because our itinerary was changed. We were to leave for Nassau at 4 p.m. on Thursday. At around 4:30 there was an announcement that there was something wrong with the ship, since Miami, and we needed to leave for New York ASAP. They said that we only had one propeller and our knots would have to be lessened. Well we were cruise along and arrived in NY 8 hours early. Everyone was furious. Many people also found it interesting that we could go to NCL's private island where they charge more than 20 dollars for rafts. They had to make a mint that day! That island is extremely crowded and getting off the ship to get there was unorganized and chaotic. We waited for the lines to go down, unfortunately when we arrived there were no seats available and no more rafts. The lines for lunch were very long as well.
There were many rumors as to why we really didn't go to the Bahamas. Who knows for sure. They did credit each person 100$ but only 200$ per room. My brother had four people in his room so he only was credited for two. I did not feel that this was enough compensation. They tried to cheer everyone up while we were at sea on Friday (instead of the Bahamas) by giving a 2 hour open bar from 12-2. We definitely took advantage of that although there was no longer any waiter service by the pool, they ran out of certain drinks, and bartenders were cranky. By the way those drinks that they ran out of did reappear along with the cash bar.
Our last day at sea we did experience bad weather. They did not have a rainy day back up plan so there were not many things to do that day. Again were was the NCL cruise staff?
I had fun with my family, but will not travel with NCL again.