This is my review of my recent Norwegian DAWN Cruise. After reading all the recent negative reviews I was nervous. I disagree with all the negative reviews except for the food. I did see buckets, I counted 9 throughout my trip. They didn't bother me at all. All the workers on the ship were as polite as they could be. Everyone smiled and went out of their way to help if needed. We purchased the soda card and never had a problem getting a soda anywhere on the ship. Even the staff at the buffet would take an order for a soda with a smile. We never had any trouble finding a table for 5 at the buffet, plenty were available at all different times. We did not find anyone pushing us to buy anything.
I'll start with embarkation. No problem checking in but there was a delay in boarding the ship because of problems with the guests on the private charter, which sailed the week before us. We checked in about 11:45, we boarded about 1:30 and the rooms were ready about 2:30. We had lunch in the Venetian, it was OK.
Here's my only negative of the entire cruise, the food. I was not happy with the food on this cruise. I've been on Norwegian, I've also been on the Dawn and the food went way down hill. The selections were boring and most were tasteless. My best meals in the MDR was the chicken from the every day menu, the lobster and the ceasar salad. One night the special in the MDR was Mexican Meatballs, really? Meatballs? They tasted like taco meat. The best desert all week was the chocolate truffle cake on the everyday menu. The deserts were all pudding or flan like. There was no actual cake. It was like something they would serve in a retirement community cafeteria. The service was excellent, no problem there. We found that the service and atmosphere in the Aqua was much better than the Venetian. The Venetian always seemed very hectic. We dined at Salsa, Cagney's and Impressions. Was not impressed at all with the food in either place. The best thing we had in Salsa was the crab dip they put on the table with the chips. Impressions was just plain bad. The appetizers were good but the meal was bad. Service, again GREAT! We celebrated my DD15 birthday in Cagney's on Thursday. Again, the service was great but the food just good. I had the Lobster, $35.00, and I found it to be good but it was no better than the free one I had on Saturday and the MDR. It was not one big tail but two small ones, looked just like the one from the MDR. My mother had the Lamb Chops and said they were FABULOUS, DH had the filet and enjoyed it. The buffet for breakfast and lunch were great. Plenty of choices for everyone. And who could resist those pretzel rolls at lunch!? I ate my fair share. I traveled with a peanut allergy and everyone onboard was very helpful and knowledgeable and I was very comfortable eating what they suggested was safe for me. I had no problems.
We went to all the shows, they were all great! The only one that was so/so was the Hypnotist, the Mesmerizing Brenda Kaye. The ventriloquist was very funny!! Matt Baker, the cruise director, and Asly, the assistant were the BEST. We loved them! The late night game shows were hysterical. The Liars Club is not to be missed! Bingo, I thought, was a ripoff. They made so much money and probably only gave away about 30 or 40% of it. Not too expensive to play but the prizes just weren't adding up. Dave Heenan, the comedian, was GREAT! Patti and Jose in the Atrium drew a big crowd but I could take or leave them.
We're not drinkers so I can't comment on the bars or bar service.
The pool area was always crowded on sea days, but that's the way it is on all ships. We had no problem finding places to sit but never anywhere near the pool. Lots of great places to sit, relax and read a book throughout the ship. We used the game room a few times and enjoyed the games they supplied.
Were were in the handicapped accessible room 8620. I have pictures if anyone wants to see them. It was the first room right past the Salsa Restaurant. The room was very nice, plenty of room to accommodate. We had an obstructed ocean view full sized window. The view was beautiful. The only obstruction was a life boat but it was under and above the window. We could see straight out. The only thing with that room is that the kitchen for Salsa is right across the hall and sometimes the smells of different foods would take over our cabin. Also another thing that might bother some but did not bother us is the Atrium is so close and you could here the music very loudly in the room. If you're an early sleeper that might be a problem.
All ports of call were great. In Samana we did the Cayo Levatado beach escape. It was beautiful. We were the only ship there so it wasn't crowded at all. I would suggest not eating there though. The food was bad and not worth paying for when you could get it free on the ship. Tortola just some shopping, nothing close though, lots of walking. DH went fly fishing for Tarpon. He booked it independently through the computer. He had a great time but caught no Tarpon. Antigua DD and DH went zip lining. They had an awesome time. Barbados snorkeling with sea turtles, EXCELLENT! St Kitts, shopping, EXCELLENT area to shop! DH went golfing with Aaron the NIKE golf pro aboard the Dawn.
The teen club was non-existent. There were only about 30 teens on board and only 2 really showed up to join. The counselor in the teen club was not very friendly and did not go out of her way to introduce herself to my DD or the 1 other teen. DD did not go back. She was a bit disappointed but enjoyed her time with us seeing the shows and enjoying the ship.
The casino, well, I made a pretty good deposit. That's all I can say about that.
We had a great trip and would definitely cruise the Dawn again. Hopefully they will address the bad food reviews. I would love to answer any questions if anyone has any.