Its a telling sign when those who once followed you now chase you. For years NCL has been our favorite cruise line. As veteran cruisers (19 for me and 23 for my wife) we are very familiar with several cruise lines and many ships. NCL Dawn is BY FAR the worst we have been aboard.
The design is very disjointed and public areas have suffered to offer tens of thousand square feet of unused pay restaurant space. There is no "Great Outdoors" dining area or Aft dining which is on most ships. The pool deck is crammed with chairs, tables and loungers leaving little access.
This ship is plagued by a staff that loves to hear themselves talk over the ships intercom. Messages are BLASTED throughout the ship making it impossible to relax. If the ship docks at 7AM a lengthy diatribe will be unleashed, blasting into every nook and cranny. ART AUCTION!!! BINGO!!! Simple messages take several minutes to deliver. On days you tender it is non stop for hours in 3 languages.
If you have booked this ship and cannot change bring Bose headphones.
There are some positives on this ship. By far the best pastries in the buffet you will get on a cruise ship. The buffet is also the best place to eat. We ate in both main restaurants as well as "Cagneys" and La Cucina. The food is good but the service is terrible. There is no bar service in the main dining rooms, so if you want a drink or a bottle of wine, you are just adding to the work load for the wait staff which is already heavy. The Bimini Grill is a great place for lunch and the bartender, Emmerson and his staff are the best.
There is good entertainment on this ship. The piano bar "Gatsby's" has fantastic options and excellent service. Don't miss "Band on the Run" in the Stardust.
You can enjoy yourself on this cruise when you stop thinking of how much better it could have been. It took us about 5 days.