I booked this particular cruise with this particular cruiseline because of leaving from Tampa and had not been to several of the ports of call. We have been on at least 8 cruises with many cruise lines. After I booked I had read the reviews of the Dawn and was afraid I had made a mistake!
From the minute we arrived at port, I could tell that the negative reviews were just that..negative. Don't let that dissuade you from taking this trip. We arrived at port @ 10:30, checked in and was on the ship by 11. Upon a recommendation we went to the restaurant reservation desk and made reservations for the Venetian dining room for the week. Went to the Venetian for lunch and the rooms were ready by 12:30. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of space in the room and the bathroom. We have had much smaller bathrooms. Because NCL allows you to bring your own pop and water aboard, we asked the room steward to empty the contents of the refrigerator so we could keep drinks cold and he was very accommodating. After lunch we unpacked, explored the ship and went to the muster drill which was the easiest and the most efficient we have ever experienced. People even listened. Watched the ship sail out of Tampa Bay, explored some more and went to dinner. After dinner went to the welcome aboard show and it was fabulous. My very favorite entertainers for the week were Patti and Jose. They are tremendous and not to be missed.
Monday was a typical sea day...lots of people...lots of food...lots of relaxation and fun.
Tuesday we were in Honduras and went to Little French Key. If you EVER have opportunity to go there, you won't be disappointed. They have a limited amount of guests and it is the most perfect little island you will find. They also have an animal rescue zoo and they will let you hold the monkeys and take your picture. They ask no compensation. We were never once asked for a tip. It was a perfect day. Went to the Venetian for dinner and the evening shows. Again, spectacular.
Wednesday-Belize...I don't like the tender so we stayed on ship and had a great time just relaxing. comedian was good.
Thursday-Costa Maya-Went on an ATV tour and did some shopping. The acrobatics were pronominal and got a standing ovation every time they performed.
Friday-Cozumel-Went to Paradise Beach-Massage on the beach, beautiful scenery, bright sunny day, sparkling pool and tremendous food. $14 each way for a cab, $3.00 entry. What could be better! Band on the run show! It was awesome!
Saturday-End of cruise blues set in...but we found a chair and chilled out and had another great day.
Sunday-Disembark-Took a little bit as all ships do but we never felt rushed or that we had overstayed our welcome. Disembark was very ease.
Final general thoughts. I think Americans are very spoiled and complain about everything. I had read horror stories about the crew on ship and how they were rude and insensitive. I did not meet one person who could be defined as rude or even short. I read the complaints of the food. We were good with it. Its not necessary to eat in the extra pay restaurants. The food in the Garden Café was always good and the crew there was very accommodating. Our Room Steward Vincy Rodriguez was a delight and took care of needs before they existed. We cannot say enough for the Dawn. We have sailed Princess, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean. Usually at the last day of every cruise, the crew starts to disconnect from you because they know you are getting off the ship the next week. We did not experience that. They were very delightful even as we were exiting the ship.
Give the Dawn a chance....and negative reviewers....really?