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Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by P Essex

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Norwegian Dawn
Norwegian Dawn
Member Name: P Essex
Cruise Date: January 2014
Embarkation: Tampa
Destination: Western Caribbean
Cabin Category:
Cabin Number: 9232
Booking Method:
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Member Rating   3.0 out of 5+
Dining 2.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 3.0
Entertainment 3.0
Spa & Fitness Not Rated
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions Not Rated
Embarkation 5.0
Service 3.0
Value-for-Money 4.0
Rates Not Rated
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Ship Facts: Norwegian Dawn Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Norwegian Dawn Deck Plans
Going downhill fast

Just got home yesterday from our third cruise on the Norwegian Dawn. The first two were a ten day in March 2012 and a seven day in October 2012, which were great experiences in the Owner's Suite 10006. This one? Not so great.

The service:

Other than the cabin steward, who was indifferent and never cleaned up anything on the balcony, we encountered few problems. He left dirty, wet towels in the sink one night and never replaced the empty box of tissues - he just left the tissue box open and went elsewhere for the night. We're still waiting for the extra balcony chair he promised us on Day 2. He also needs a refresher course in bed making. In the ten cruises I've taken this guy was the worst cabin steward ever. The butler was good, coming around a few times a day to check on us and sent cheese and crackers every afternoon. The rest of the staff was OK..

The restaurants:

We never got into the Venetian or Aqua - the lines were awful all week. We had a reservation for Aqua one night and upon arriving were told that 1) she couldn't find it and 2) they didn't take reservations anyway. I had her call the concierge, who gave us some really cockamamie made-up-on-the-spot lie about why our reservation wasn't there, but he walked us to La Cucina and we got a free dinner for two and a free bottle of wine. We had breakfast and lunch at Cagney's every day, had dinner at La Cucina twice, Bamboo twice, Le Bistro once, Moderno once and on the last night, ate at Blue Lagoon. Cagney's was good, La Cucina was good, Bamboo was good, the food at Moderno was good but the wait time for our 7 PM reservation unacceptable, Le Bistro good and Blue Lagoon dreadful. Nothing was great. The Garden Cafe looked like a high school cafeteria and the food looked just as unappealing. They made no effort to provide variety, dress the place up at dinnertime or to serve anything but basic food. Ugh.

More lies:

We saw online that suite guests were entitled to three free bottles of liquor, but the fine print on the bottom gave the cruise line the option of not providing it on certain cruises or in certain class suites. I found this extremely dishonest - it gives them a way of denying a well-advertised perk to anyone they want, at any time they want. When we pointed it out, they gave us a six-pack of Pepsi and two bottles of water. Thanks, guys.

We received a letter from NCL outlining the perks of being a silver or gold member. One of the perks was 10% off spa services. All services except the one I apparently received. The looked puzzled when we even brought it up.

The Spa: Not bad. I didn't get the hard sell that I've gotten on other cruise lines and the aesthetician was friendly and extremely proficiant.

Priority disembarkation was great, the best managed ever.

I liked the Dawn quite a bit until this cruise, but I don't think I'll be vacationing with them again. After sailing on a lot of the Holland America ships and a Celebrity a lot of things seemed low-end, mismanaged or falsely advertised.


Publication Date: 02/05/14
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