I'm writing this to warn any and everybody of what a sad trip I just had on the Norwegian Dawn. And this was supposed to be a very special Christmas Cruise. It was anything but - except the outrageous price. This occurred during the week of Christmas 2013.
I've cruised several times before on Carnival and Royal Caribbean and never had such a forgettable trip.
First, it took forever to check-in. My family and I arrived at about 12:45pm and there was a huge line. It took some two hours before we got into our cabins.
I don't know what they use to disinfect the elevators but they all had a persistent nauseating odor - simply awful, for seven days.
We thought we paid to be on a Higher deck (we were actually on deck 4) and we ended up on the lowest floor for passengers. We heard all sorts of knocking and pinging every day and night. We don't know what but it was probably normal 'crew' type activity.
The free-style dining wasn't working - each night a huge queue of people (us too) with no pre-assigned dining time or table waiting for up to an hour for dinner. That is unless you opted for the buffet - again huge queues and waits. The food was good though lacked imagination and variety. Again this was CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!! And we paid a fortune for this cruise.
The staff was largely a foreign crew that had only mediocre english skills - many simple questions were met with a curious "stare" - like "what did he say?"
There was only one pool for adults and it was always packed - The kids had two private pools!
The entertainment was abyssmal for a holiday cruise. There was a very un-entertaining comedian that seemed to dominate cruise evenings. He was featured on four different evenings as a headliner and he was awful. The Norwegian dancers were good - not great but weren't featured enough. The best entertainment was a duo of Russian Ballet dancers who were excellent. Other than them the singers weren't good and the comedians weren't funny. Correction - Second City was funny with their rehearsed skits but not the improvisation.
The cruise director was forgettable with his constant "Now here's the plan of attack" after yet another joke of a performance.
There was one silver ling - our Cabin stewardess, Kim, was courteous and polite and kept or rooms tidy.
Overall I'm ashamed for having paid what I did for this cruise. There was almost no Christmas atmosphere on board, Norwegian will never get another dime out of me.