Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by Warmer Climes: Second time on Dawn- good cruise again
Overall Member Rating
Second time on Dawn- good cruise again
Destination: Western Caribbean
We were on the Fog Delay cruise. NCL did a great job informing us by email, text message and calls to both home and cell about the delay. We got to the pier at 7:00, got in line and then were taken as suite guests to security- thank you, Reggie!- and then to suite check in. We were on the ship and in our cabin in a short time. The cabin had been made up for night and we went to Aqua and had a nice dinner with complimentary wine. Were we disappointed about missing most of our first day of the cruise? Sure, but it was the weather and not NCL's fault, and the crew showed their professionalism in the smooth way they handled this situation.
We were in a DOS all the way forward in what used to be the Spinnaker lounge. We had floor to ceiling windows and no balcony, which we didn't miss at all. The suite has a large bedroom and bathroom, a living area, and a small second bedroom and bathroom. It worked for our family, although our two 6'+ sons sharing a pull out sofa was More snug. This cabin would be perfect for a family traveling with in laws and two younger children.
Cruise ship food is not gourmet food. That said, we found the food to be the best of any cruise we have been on. We ate in the MDR twice for dinner; twice at Bamboo (we loved it!); once at Moderno (worth the up charge); once at La Cucina (not my favorite although the atmosphere was nice); and once at the buffet, which was fine. As suite guests we were able to have breakfast and lunch at Cagney's, which our kids loved. I would have been just as happy in the buffet as there was plenty of seating and I don't usually eat a big breakfast.
The demographic on this cruise was retirement age, and my kids found it very dull at night. I saw two shows, Bollywood and the magician. Bollywood was ok but that type of cheesy cruise ship revue is not my thing. The magician I did not like at all.
The ship itself is very clean and well maintained. We found the service excellent, from the concierge, Ryan; butler, Ruan; cabin steward, Garfield; buffet and restaurant staff. We had a confused service on night in the Venetian but small glitches happen on every cruise and it wasn't representative of the cruise as a whole.
Usually we do private excursions but this time there were several things we wanted to do that are ship only excursions. In Roatan we went to Maya Key for the second time. Beautiful clean and quiet beach, rescued animals, delicious lunch. I highly recommend it- it would be excellent for families with young children as well as anyone looking for a relaxing day in a beautiful setting. In Belize we split up- the guys did Jungle 4x4/cave excursion and my daughter and I I'd the Eco Park Horseback riding. Both were very enjoyable. The 4x4's were old rattle traps but the guys had a great day, which included a boat ride and a swim in the river. The horseback excursion was a lot of fun and the location with pool is gorgeous. In Costa Maya three of us went to Dzibanche with The Native Choice. If you want to see ruins, go with the best and The Native Choice is the best. Small groups, informed guides, beautiful passenger vans. Contrast that with the NCL excursion from Cozumel to Tulum the next day that my sons took- three bus loads of passengers; guides that gave very little information about the ruins but rather tried to sell sell sell the whole time and usher them into gift shops. I wish I had given them each the $100 this excursion cost plus lunch money and they could have just wasted it in the town.
I would definitely book the Dawn again for myself, my husband and daughter but our sons would want something with a livelier nightlife. It all depends on what you look for in a cruise and we thought this was a great time. Less
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