This was my first cruise on NCL. All past cruises have been on RC or Celebrity. I took this cruise because of its destination (Bermuda) which I had never been to as well as its departure city Boston (which meant I did not have the added expense of airfare. After reading MANY of the negative reviews from the Dawn's recent winter itineraries, I was beginning to think I made a major mistake in booking this cruise line / ship.
I knew going into this trip that I was not going to have the same experience I had on the RC mega ships or the luxury found on the Celebrity Solstice class ships. I understood that the NCL Dawn was a smaller, older ship so I was under no illusion that I was going to experience the same kind of cruise.
That being said, I was very surprised to find the staff overall to be very friendly and helpful. Restaurant staff was cordial, remembered our party of 3 from previous meals (the food staff rotate between dining rooms for Breakfast and lunch but work the same dining room for dinner throughout the cruise. Water was always topped off, bread and butter was always replaced and overall the staff was attentive.
Where I noticed a difference was in the Garden Café where the staff struggled to refill utensils tableside. Im not surprised as the gluttony of the guests eating there was quite evident. People were using 3 or 4 sets of utensils as they made multiple trips up to top off their plates
We were in a mini suite on deck 11. There was enough room for the three of us to maneuver. Balcony was a decent size for 3 chairs and a small table.
Our cabin steward Mark was very friendly, always remembered our names, always had ice and clean towels. We tipped him over and above the standard gratuity.
Bermuda was wonderful. Beautiful island that rivals many Caribbean destinations. Beaches were plentiful and not crowded.
Did not attend any shows. Went to Cagney's for one dinner. That meal was worth the $30 surcharge.
Age group on this ship was pretty much over 50. Many people with walkers, canes and wheel chairs. The wait for elevators was sometimes lengthy. We found it easier to take the stairs then fight for space on the elevator.
Pool area is too small. Floating Band-Aids in the pool kind of turned me off from using it as much as I would have liked. If you wanted to walk up some stairs to a higher deck, there was ample lounge chairs for sunbathing.
Would I travel on NCL again? Probably not. But not because they did anything wrong, It just does not cater to my demographics as much as other cruise lines do.
Most importantly, I had a great vacation and that's what its all about. Not sure if I just hit a good week or other reviewers are just too nit picky.