We were a large group (18) that took the NCL Norwegian Dawn a week ago, and returned to Tampa yesterday morning.
Have many issues to address. Let's start with some of the idiotic policies that NCL imposes upon their passengers. First, many of us wanted to purchase their "Ultimate Beverage Package". The issue? NCL requires every "eligible" passenger in a booked cabin to purchase the package. I drink, my husband does not. My best friend does not drink, her husband does. Out of 18 people, we had several who were made up of a drinker, rooming with a non-drinker. I even went to the front desk to request they bend their policy, as I wanted to purchase the UBP. They refused and said it was impossible to override the policy in the computer. In addition, through no fault of NCL, there was heavy fog on Sunday 24th, and the port of Tampa was closed until late in the afternoon on Sunday the 24th and we could not board the ship until 11 p.m. on Sunday evening, (losing an entire day on the boat), and basically we were all rushed on just in time to go to bed. Those couples that did buy two packages for their cabin were not credited with one day, and were told by NCL that they would not refund an unused day on the UBP. So, they paid for 7 days for only got 6 days of value. Three trips down to Customer Relations by one particular passenger (a friend of mine) still resulted in no satisfaction. NCL absolutely refused to adjust the price of the package.
So, I ended up purchasing a wine package from them, which cost me approximately $200. Had I been able to purchase the UBP, I would have spent $400. To require all eligible adults in a cabin to purchase the Ultimate Beverage Package is ridiculous. There are many reasons why certain passengers would not want, or should not buy, the package. Diabetics, alcoholics, Mormons, people taking certain medication regimens...there are many reasons why a passenger shouldn't HAVE to buy the package. This policy stinks.
The second issue? The service. It was dreadful. There was one exception: The Pearly King's Pub was the only place on the ship where the service was excellent. In the dining rooms, the shops, the cruise director staff...everyone working on the Dawn seemed to be pissed off at the entire world. There were 18 of us, and we all hung in different groups at different times, went on separate excursions, and we all had stories to tell about the crappy service, attitudes and behaviours of the crew. One couple had a wine glass sit in their cabin for 5 straight days, untouched, as well as their coffee pot uncleaned and unemptied for 5 straight days.
Back to my wine package, which I bought because I was assured that I could have my wine anywhere on the ship, at any venue, I was at the Bimini lounge and gave the bartender my slip for a bottle of wine, and was told flat out "I'm not going down to the wine cellar to get that," and he slapped the slip back on the counter. We were the only ones in the bar at the time, and there were three bartenders, so it wasn't as if he would have to leave the place unattended to retrieve my wine. He just didn't want to bother.
If this had been our first cruise, we would have come away with a resolve to never cruise again. It was not our first cruise, but it will be our last with NCL.
From start to finish, it was dreadful. The only thing that made it tolerable was the fact that we were all traveling together.