This is my third time on the Dawn. I have been on 15 cruises before this one. This includes, Holland, Princess, Regal, Carnival Dolphin, and RCCL. Let me say that overall the cruise itself was passable.
The ship is still kept clean and beautiful. The cabins are still the same small sizes. The service from the cabin stewards, some cruise staff and restaurant staff are great. The rest of the staff needs some serious re- training.
Some negatives: 1. The cruise director Ricky was terrible and was only seen at functions. He had the rest of his staff do all the dirty work. He must of been working on his tan all week. Last year,every where we turned to, the cruise staff was right around you to make sure you had a good time.
2. The food in the main dinning rooms was very salty and they used milk and cream in every single dish. We had Pasta with white clam sauce one night and it came out in Alfredo sauce. It never said it was in Alfredo sauce on the menu. I'm an Italian American and it was the worst white clam sauce we ever tasted. The chef came out and tried to explain the dish to us and even he didn't know what was in it. My brother and I figured out that NCL had cut costs and were using canned clams. The alfredo sauce was used to hide the taste of the canned clams. Last year we did have real clams in real white clam sauce with no cream. I'm sorry that I sound so negative, but white clam sauce is fairly easy to make.
3. It was a hit or miss in the main restaurants with the servers. My sister-in-law ordered hard boiled eggs one day for breakfast and when she cracked them open, they came out like a chicken had just laid them. Staff in the main restaurants had a funny way of changing dirty tables to clean ones. They would pull back the dirty table cloth halfway over the table, then place the clean dishes and silverware with a clean cloth on the table. Then remove the dirty dishes and dirty silverware from the other half of the table. Then pull the clean cloth,dishes and clean silverware completely over the table. Sickness waiting to happen. The servers not only had touched the dirty dishes, but handled the clean ones all in one motion. We brought this to the attention of the head wait staff, and were told that "this is the way we train our staff". NCL, the correct way to change a table is to have one person clear the dirty dishes and another person place clean dishes on the table.
4. The pools were drained every single night at around 9:30 PM with no warnings on why.
5. No activities after 12 midnight. They would get you all worked up and after 12 midnight, if u didn't want to listen to HipHop in Dazzels, u had to go to sleep. We and several other guests asked the DJ to mix the music, but were tuned out every single night. It was so bad that the night the ship had an overnight in Nassau, we counted close to 300 passengers wandering around the ship after midnight looking for something to do. When we asked the cruise staff the next day about it, they told us that we were in Nassau and had to find our own entertainment.
6. The front desk doesn't take cash to settle your bill after 9 PM on the day before the cruise ends. 7. Photos were very overpriced. 8. Smokers were all over the ship and never even worried about fellow guests that were non smokers. Ok,
Now to the positives: 1. The wait staff in every single Speciality restaurant we ate in were great.
2. My cabin stewards were great.
3. The art auction had a nice priced variety of works.
4. Some of the cruise staff were great and tried very hard to work with the guests.
5. Dan Hodge was an outstanding performer and had us entertained every single night.
6. Bollywood was ok.
7. The buffet was better than it was last year.
8. The food in Blue LAgoon was better than last year. 9. The staff overall did try to please.I'm not sure if I want to give NCL another chance.