64 Boston Repositioning Cruise Reviews

We embarked in Boston for an 18-day cruise to San Diego via the Panama Canal. Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida at the time while Hurricane Jose was setting sights on Puerto Rico. Captain Jutten navigated between the storms, never ... Read More
We embarked in Boston for an 18-day cruise to San Diego via the Panama Canal. Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida at the time while Hurricane Jose was setting sights on Puerto Rico. Captain Jutten navigated between the storms, never getting closer than 500 miles to either. We had 15-foot seas for one full day but the ship handled them well. Our interior cabin on the Lower Promenade Deck, #417, was spacious and comfortable. We loved walking the teak deck at four laps to the mile. Arriving at Fort Lauderdale, we found the city mostly without power and all shore excursions cancelled. We got a taxi to the beach but never made it there due to sand clogging the streets. We found a store running on a generator and got some supplies before re-boarding. Thankfully, the airport had reopened the day before and two dear friends were able to join with us for the remainder of the cruise. This was our longest itinerary to date and the first time cruising with friends. Maasdam is an older ship (1993) that is aging gracefully. She is well maintained and the perfect size for 1,200 or so passengers and 500 crew. We never felt rushed and didn't have to wait in a line for a single thing. Service from all staff was cheerful and attentive. Dining choices and food quality were very good. We had salads most days for lunch and went to the Rotterdam Dining Room most nights for dinner. We pre-purchased the Cellar Master Package, which afforded us several bottles of wine, two dinners in The Pinnacle Grill and two wine tasting events. The steaks were very good in Pinnacle but the Alaskan King Crab legs were even better; the premium wine tasting event was superior. The ship's entertainment was very good, with talented singers and dancers and an excellent comedian. About a week in, hotel staff advised that another passenger had designs on our stateroom, asking if we would mind relocating to a Vista Suite. Seems this other passenger was booked in cabin #417 for the next cruise, a 50+ day journey from San Diego to Sydney, and wanted to settle in as soon as possible. We were happy to oblige and super cabin attendant Joe made moving to balcony cabin #151 a breeze. What a great upgrade! The ten-hour passage through the Panama Canal was memorable. A local narrator came on-board for the 50-mile journey. That, together with excellent lectures and documentaries, really brought home the significance of this engineering marvel. Shore excursions were likewise excellent. Costa Rica's rivers and jungles, with crocodiles, poison dart frogs and exotic plants, Nicaragua and Guatemala, with smoldering volcanoes, bubbling mud pots and Mayan ruins and Cabo San Lucas, with its famous rock formations and snorkeling. Yet it was unassuming Puerto Chiapas, Mexico where we experienced the highlight of our cruise. On a small tour, we visited the modest but beautiful home of Josefina, a world-class chocolate maker with a wall of awards including #1 world's best chocolate as selected in competition at Perugia in Umbria, Italy. She served us an authentic Mexican breakfast on banana leaves, then demonstrated her art, picking the cocoa fruit, toasting the beans and inviting us to grind them up. She separated out the hulls in a wheat vs. chaff maneuver and packed the remainder tightly together for our tasting. We felt fully immersed in this wonderful culture. A tropical storm lay in our path on the last leg to San Diego, but the ship handled it with ease. We had a great last day watching sea lions in La Jolla and visiting Cabrillo Point, then on to our red-eye flight home. What a great cruise, made all the more special with the company of very close friends. It opened our eyes to how enjoyable longer itineraries can be, and we look forward to cruising with Holland America again soon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We took this cruise as a last minute deal to get away from Hurricane Irma. Had a wonderful time on board. Shows were great, food way to good, and staff was friendly and hospitable. What a way to ride out the storm. The fine dining ... Read More
We took this cruise as a last minute deal to get away from Hurricane Irma. Had a wonderful time on board. Shows were great, food way to good, and staff was friendly and hospitable. What a way to ride out the storm. The fine dining was great except for the way you now get a certificate and can only choose one salad-or- soup. In the main dining room, you can order whatever you want, as much, or little, as you like. Fine dining is limited and sometimes I'd love to have a soup and salad. You have to pay extra. Not quite worthwhile when the main dining and buffet areas have such fabulous items too. The port is so easy to get around - just walk off and you're already in a fort. Jump on the free water shuttle to go to St. George's. Overall a fabulous cruise. Love NCL. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This is my third time on this exact same boat, and my grand kinds seem to enjoy it tremendously. This year one of my granddaughters is thirteen, and was in the teen program, The loft. She had the absolute time of her life and has made ... Read More
This is my third time on this exact same boat, and my grand kinds seem to enjoy it tremendously. This year one of my granddaughters is thirteen, and was in the teen program, The loft. She had the absolute time of her life and has made friends she's still super close with months later. The crew is polite and excellent, and food is delicious. The shows were enjoyable, especially the comedians. The pots were fun, and I truly got to see part of Canada. the ship however is a little older than the others, but still works perfectly fine. The ship is a perfect size, not to small, and not to big. I rarely got lost, and when I did there was always crew members nearby willing to point me in the right direction. getting off the ship and disembarking was an easy and smooth journey, and made getting back home easier then expected. Best cruise I've ever been on! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We prefer re-positioning cruises for their normally unique itineraries and they are normally more than the standard 7 day adventures. This cruise embarkation was in Boston which is only an hour flight from Toronto so we could fly out and ... Read More
We prefer re-positioning cruises for their normally unique itineraries and they are normally more than the standard 7 day adventures. This cruise embarkation was in Boston which is only an hour flight from Toronto so we could fly out and board the same day. Boarding was a little hectic but manageable. Disembarking in Fort Lauderdale was a completely different story and probably the worst disembarkation we have ever encountered in the nearly 15 cruises with Royal we have been encountered. While luggage was right where it should have been the nightmare began right after that. No one directing where the lines to customs began so it was a mad dash to where you thought you should be and some people ended up in the preferred customer line which was for diamond plus and pinnacle levels only and when told they could not use were hustled back to their line....and what a line it was with probably 20 switch back type lanes that really didn't move with any steady pace. Then to see groups who used porters have their luggage taken a completely different direction and were allowed to cut the line and get through...a total mishandling of clients for sure. Rooms were same as usual (inside for us) but are starting to show some wear and tear. Entertain was just OK withe Love and Marriage show the usual hit. The food was by far the worst we have ever had on any of our Royal cruises. Often cold and normally over cooked and not a great deal of variety. This was our first time trying my time dining but I don't think that that option was why these issues were so noticeable. The bright spot was by far the ports we visited which are all ones we have been to before and they didn't disappoint. We look forward to reading other reviews from this particular cruise to see if we were alone in our observations about these issues. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because of friends that were also booked. If not for these friends and new ones we met it would be hard to find many positive comments other than the crew members. The flight to Boston was a breeze as was the taxi ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of friends that were also booked. If not for these friends and new ones we met it would be hard to find many positive comments other than the crew members. The flight to Boston was a breeze as was the taxi to the ship. To the best of my recollection check-in and boarding went smoothly. I recall seeing rust and paint bubbled as we walked along the deck to get inside the ship. When we went to our cabin on the inside we noticed the ship was really showing her age. Now it was time to get a bite to eat so off to the Windjammer to find the variety was not the same as other RCI cruises and this stayed the same for the next 12 days. Dinner in the Dining Room was less than exciting, we found it hard (some nights) to find something on the menu that looked all that appetizing. It used to be our evenings were planned around the show in the theatre but the quality of the entertainment was at an all time low. We went to two shows one of witch we should have got up and left. The in-house entertainment was so much better that the guest entertainment. Our favorite was the young man that played piano like no one I have ever seen. Now for the positive side: In the Diamond Lounge each evening we had one of the best bar tenders we've had on any of our 28 cruises. Over all the crew were exceptional from our cabin steward to the bartenders and fantastic wait staff in all eating venues. The young lady that made my omelet each morning was cheerful and just a delight. Best meal on the trip was at Chops Grill, great food and service. Would I cruise with RCI again, yes but probably choose a different ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
A nice way to have several days at sea and experience great Islands. The covered Solarium is great and has a nice small eating area for breakfast or lunch. Unfortunately the food has gone down hill. No Prime Rib was offered on the ... Read More
A nice way to have several days at sea and experience great Islands. The covered Solarium is great and has a nice small eating area for breakfast or lunch. Unfortunately the food has gone down hill. No Prime Rib was offered on the dinner menu. We ended up eating 2 or 3 Appetizers instead of an Entree several nights. This was our 3rd cruise on Serenade. Altogether I have cruised 89 times with over 15 on Royal Caribbean. When my companion had trouble breathing, the Medical team was excellent. They kept him overnight, did a full workup and supplied him with a breathing machine for the last night. The only problem was getting off the ship. The porter with the wheelchair who came to pick him up at the cabin could not take him off the ship into the terminal, so it was a long wait to get another porter with a wheelchair! The Concierge Lounge had an excellent waiter named Al. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
RCL is pushing hard to specialty restaurants dining just to made more money. plus they can cut even more staff. MDR is serving less entree's and poorer quality. Windjammer is better food but the same food everyday. Bright spot of ... Read More
RCL is pushing hard to specialty restaurants dining just to made more money. plus they can cut even more staff. MDR is serving less entree's and poorer quality. Windjammer is better food but the same food everyday. Bright spot of cruise is the staff from the Captain down are 5 star. Please remember that your servers, waiters, bartenders and room attendant do not get paid very much, so please tip them. This cruise is not our first. we are a cruise away from making Diamond class. I'm also a stock holder but not happy about the way RCL is headed. If this had been my first cruise not sure i would book with RCL again. But the rooms and staff win me over ,their both great. The ship needs a touch up, little rust showing, and wood could use a little care. Could use a good dusting in public areas. Our cabin was super clean, no spots or worn places. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The second day at sea I had not heard where the Cruise Critic meet up was to be so I checked with the guest services and was told it had already happened and they gave me to note. They would note that I was missed on the distribution. ... Read More
The second day at sea I had not heard where the Cruise Critic meet up was to be so I checked with the guest services and was told it had already happened and they gave me to note. They would note that I was missed on the distribution. Sorry to have missed seeing any of you that did attend. My stateroom was what I expected and served my needs well. Attendant was excellent. The ship is good except for the placement of the elevators. It seem that what I wanted to do was always away from where they were. I never was able to get a sense of direction on board. The daily "Compass" newsletter listed what the featured cuisine was in the Windjammer each evening. That would have been helpful in dinner planning if the electronic menus for the main dining room worked. Most nights the dining room menu was not that inspiring to me. Having cruised on RCI 8 time in the past 2.5 years the headliner shows were what I had seen before. The RCI cast singers, dancers, and musicians were very good. Activities offered were the normal wide range of things. I always found something to do when I wanted to engage. Cruise director's staff ranged from great to OK. Any problems I had were solved quickly and in a professional way, but if they took a little more time before they could have been avoided. Seem to be a lack of communication between departments. I didn't take many shore excursions but the ones I did were very good. Fitness center has some problems. Equipment is old compared to many other RCI ships. Bikes and treadmills don't have video screens. Drinking fountain has sign "For public health reasons Do not fill water bottles" This is the one place that people need to fill water bottles. There are a number of units on the market that allow for filling on bottles with out a risk of cross contamination. The enrichment lectures were atrocious. The pictures were very old and usually didn't relate to the the subject being babbled about. No order to the lecture just a incoherent ramble. Transfer from ship to airport was a disaster. Very poor signage to the pick up point, the person checking us in did not have a alphabetized list so had to go thru the entire list for each person (very slow). The bus driver circled the airport several times (I think he was lost) before stopping at the wrong place. All of us who were told this is your stop had to re-board and ride to the correct place. From ship to airport terminal 1 hour. Not how I wanted to end my cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our 6th cruise on the Dawn. Living inland Massachusetts it makes for an easy ride to the port. Most of the changes done at the dry dock were favorable. The Theater is nice with new colors. O'Sheehans has taken over the ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise on the Dawn. Living inland Massachusetts it makes for an easy ride to the port. Most of the changes done at the dry dock were favorable. The Theater is nice with new colors. O'Sheehans has taken over the entire 8th floor above the atrium, allowing for great viewing for the ever fabulous Jose & Patti in the evenings. The crew at the bar were personable and efficient. We ate most of our breakfasts in O'Sheehans and most of our lunches there also. On sea days O'Sheehans had a nightly special 2 nights of Prime Rib, which was very good. The staff in O'Sheehans was wonderful. A special thanks to Tomi in O'Sheehans He was in constant motion, just like the energizer bunny. Our midship mini had very little changes. We noticed they took out the small table next to the counter, making the room feel larger. We thought we would miss it, but by the end of the 14 days we did not notice it gone.. The refrigerator is smaller now, but with the beverage package and no fluids to be take on the ship in was hardly used. The closet is still the same unfortunately. I brought gallons of distilled water to do a medical treatment along with a note from my doctor. I never received my water. I went to the service desk on day two, by the time I returned to my room there was a gallon of distilled water there. They told us that no fluids are allowed to be brought on board now. We had the beverage package and all II can say is, the staff was always asking if I needed a refill. The thing we did not like was only 4 computer stations. Before there were plenty of stations to work with. It was very difficult to gain excess to AOL for some reason we were only able to excess when the computer expert was there. When it was time to print boarding passes 24 hours before the cruise ended there were some selfish people that stated "I paid for computer time I'm taking it now". Leaving only 2 computers for the rest of us. We snorkeled in Bonaire and Grand Cayman. Grand Cayman was the absolute best ever snorkel again. It was an excellent cruise. We did not see all the shows as we have seen most before. The Magician and the hypnotist, and Harry O Donnahue were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The cruise was 14 days starting in Boston and ending in New Orleans. The dining was good for the most part. The cooks at Teppanyaki were not really as good as we have experienced in the past. We went twice and had the same experience ... Read More
The cruise was 14 days starting in Boston and ending in New Orleans. The dining was good for the most part. The cooks at Teppanyaki were not really as good as we have experienced in the past. We went twice and had the same experience both times. Moderno was very good and resulted in us cancelling dining at Cagney's, an alright meal, to have a second dining at Moderno. La Cucina was the same as eating in the buffet with the same options available while Le Bistro we never have gotten a good meal no matter which ship we are on. Though none of these were as bad as Bamboo which should be listed as a tapas restaurant since the main meal options are so small making it necessary to order more than one for a meal. Entertainment: Harry O'Donoghue, Oh What A Night and David Naster are remarkable and extremely funny and entertaining. There shows were all full no matter what time they were offered. Though the solo performance of George Solomon from Oh What a Night was a disappointment and his "personal story" was not appropriate nor believable. Band on the Run is a standard performance that is just OK at best. This show definitely needs to be updated or a new show brought on board. Rod Long is a comedian who for the most part is far from funny as was the cast from Second City who were a disgrace to the name. Don't waste your time seeing Ineffable Two or the hypnotist Kelly Karl. They think they are funny but are far from it. El Gaucho used to be very good but over the years his act has become stale. David Davinci, Showdown, and Elements are average performances and are good enough for something to do. Music All the entertainers are average performers. Jose and Patti perform in the atrium most nights and while alright they are aging performers who should act and dress their ages. Ship The ship just came back from being refurbished so the numerous plumbing issues should have been fixed but was not. It took going to the Hotel Manager and over 7 calls and five days to get our toilet working. And in the end all we were offered was a plate of chocolates. Shore Excursions: The Mexican Cuisine workshop in Cozumel was one of the best shore excursions we have ever taken. It was fun and a great way to spend the day. Though the beach was not what we thought it would be it was still a great way to spend the day. The other ports excursions were typical and not much to talk about. Shopping: Diamonds International gave us the cheap necklace instead of the actual necklace and insisted it was correct, switching them in the backroom and packing it up so no one would know until after leaving the store. When we tried to correct the problem or return the items we were told they do not do returns. Even Branden the shopping consultant would not help stating it looked fine. I have never shopped at a store, especially a jewelry store, that does not take back their merchandise when the buyer was not happy with it. All in all the cruise was nice and we will be going on another sailing early next year. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We took this Repositioning Cruise last year and loved the itinerary and the older crowd, so we took it again this year..We had a balcony room and got the free prepaid service charges and ultimate beverage package and we paid the 18% ... Read More
We took this Repositioning Cruise last year and loved the itinerary and the older crowd, so we took it again this year..We had a balcony room and got the free prepaid service charges and ultimate beverage package and we paid the 18% gratuities for the drink package up front We spent very little on board so our on board account was very small at the end. The Ship has a new look now and for the most part the changes were an improvement. Didn't care for the wine bar on deck 7, not a wine drinker, and it seemed to be empty most of the time unless there was a social event taking place there, Otherwise it was probably a quiet place to sit and relax. They turned the internet room that used to be on deck 9 into a nice lounge overlooking the Atrium, perfect for relaxing and enjoying Jose and Patty's nightly performances in the atrium. Below that on deck 8 is O'Sheehan's Pub that is open 24 hrs a day. The food was decent, the Reuben sandwich was excellent there. This also overlooks the atrium staircase where Jose and Patty entertain at night. Love that they added a special area off to the side in the atrium on deck 7 for the jewelry specials etc, No more clogging up the main atrium floor selling items. The Photography Shop has been brought into the digital age where you can look for your the photos by using your key card. There is a small internet area there too. The lounge on deck 7 aft was nicely redone. We didn't eat at the specialty restaurants at all. The complimentary food at Venetian dining room and Garden Cafe was very good for the most part and we did not go hungry at all. Loved the variety of soups each night at the Venetian and enjoyed all meals except the pork medallions which were overcooked and tough. Had to opt for Shrimp Jambalaya instead which was very good. Prime rib was excellent. Oasis Pool area is very nicely redone. Spent time in the pool and hot tubs which was crowded at times but less so at other times. The ports were wonderful, we did our own thing in Puerto Rico, Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, but in Jamaica we opted for an NCL excursion for safety reasons. Bamboo Beach Club Excursion was great fun with good food and rum punch and lemonade being my choice of free beverage. They had a bar if you wanted to purchase drinks. Water was warm with nice waves there, a little rocky in areas so water shoes are a good choice. Overall the cruise was great except for the NCL policy that doesn't allow us to bring bottled water on board. Bring a to go cup and fill up at the garden cafe with water. We look forward to taking another freestyle cruise in the future, perhaps from east to west coast via Panama Canal or the Canada, New England Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I was a big time lover of NCL before this cruise. The crew for the most part didn't seem happy to be there. Majority of the crew would walk by without smiling or saying hello. When we were on the Star everyone was happy and everyone ... Read More
I was a big time lover of NCL before this cruise. The crew for the most part didn't seem happy to be there. Majority of the crew would walk by without smiling or saying hello. When we were on the Star everyone was happy and everyone said hello, what a difference. We never saw our cabin steward until day 3. I had to leave him a note on day one to please clean our bathroom as it smelt like urine. Our cabin was never cleaned until around 2:30 each day. He told us that he worked alone although we always saw him either in the hall or in a cabin talking with a woman who was also dressed as a cabin steward. Was never sure what that was all about but I their talking slowed them down. I was concerned one day about our cabin being vacuumed as my husband had put some ice in a glass and the glass shattered going on the carpet. We picked up what we could see but you never know if there were little fragments still left behind. I asked our steward if he had vacuumed and he told me yes. Not sure that was the truth. As I was sitting there doing my makeup low and behold I saw two shards of glass which I picked up. Once again another note left to please vacuum as I was still finding glass after he said he had vacuumed earlier. His trolley was always around but never him. The specialty restaurants we just okay. Service was below par. We ate at the dining room twice, once for breakfast and once for lunch, it was okay. We ate at the specialty restaurants 9 times other than that we either went to Bamboo the asian restaurant or OSheehan's. We enjoyed OSheehan's for breakfast although service could be hit and miss. Chicken wings are great. They ran out of english muffins, diet lemon lime soda and pino Grigio wine was running low. These were just the things that we ordered that we knew they ran out of. On numerous occasions when I did ask for Pino Grigio wine if they didn't have it they told me to go try another bar. I guess my fare didn't pay for service? I did go down to the wine bar and got my own on my way back up to OSheehan's I stopped by Guest Services and the woman was very apologetic and asked if I would please talk to the head of bar services. He said that I should never have been told to go find my own and he spoke to the server. Let me just say after this it did happen 3 more times after that at which point I just gave up, service was just poor to say the least. I have an allergy to some wines as is why I stick to Pino Grigio. Around day 8 I was told they were running low on this wine, interesting. So one night at OSheehan's I ordered a glass of Pino. I took one sip and knew it wasn't Pino Grigio as I started breaking out in hives and sweating. I went down to the wine bar where I was told it was Chardonnay. Needless to say when this happened I went back to Guest Services and asked to speak with the head of Bar Services. The woman behind the desk's English wasn't so good and she told me the head of the bar was the bartender! Another person stepped in and got the Bar Services manager to come up to where we were sitting. After about 15 minutes someone showed up it wasn't the person in charge but it was someone under him which was fine. She came and apologized and gave me a bottle of Pino Grigio on the house (did I say I had the ultimate Beverage Package). No follow up letter or anything. On the Star I remember officers going around all restaurants, basically anywhere on the ship asking how everything was going, never on this ship. We got talking to one of the restaurant officers and she asked us how everything was. We told her that compared to the Star this wasn't that good. She agreed! Said this definitely wasn't the Star, she had been on the Star and loved it too. She told us that she worked her way up over 10 years and that now they hire people via skype off the street and start them off in the specialty restaurants, hence the comment I made earlier about the service. This is a wear what you like ship. We saw people in sweatpants and sloppy clothes coming and going out of the specialty restaurants. Our days on NCL are done which is too bad as we loved the Star. If you go on this ship look for a server his name Is Emory, he is the best. He served us in Gatsby's but was saying he thought they were going to change him to another bar as he would be able to get more days off. Poor fellow only had one day off on a 14 day cruise. Loved Gatsby's bar. We didn't see any shows at night in the theatre as we loved watching Patti and Jose in the Atrium, they were amazing. The ports of call were great, really enjoyed them. Embarkation went smooth we picked early arrival time of 10:30 and were on the ship by around 11:30. We had priority disembarkation and were off by 8:45 and at our hotel in the French Quarter by around 9:15. We had a midship cabin on deck 9, #9622, great spot easy access to everything. The rating I gave it is for the service of our cabin not the cabin itself. This is the first time I hadn't brought my own hairdryer, mistake. I have thick shoulder length hair and it took me over 30 minutes to dry my hair, and the dryers aren't light. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was my 8th cruise with NCL and 4th on the Dawn. I chose the re-positioning cruise because I went in April 2015 and enjoyed the length of time and the amount of stops. I have only cruised with NCL so can't compare to any other ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise with NCL and 4th on the Dawn. I chose the re-positioning cruise because I went in April 2015 and enjoyed the length of time and the amount of stops. I have only cruised with NCL so can't compare to any other cruise line. I was happy overall. The staff is excellent, as always, although they use to be more Happy, Happy, Washy, Washy. I enjoy free-style cruising because I can choose when to eat and how to dress. My first cruise with NCL in June 2000 on the Majesty was not free-style. I am glad they changed to free-style. Most meals were eaten at the Garden Cafe because of our busy schedule, however, the food choices were almost always the same. This had been the case on most of the cruises. We did eat at O'Sheehan's a few times and once at the Venetian. O'Sheehan's makeover/name change was nice, however what they did to the Venetian was horrible. I don't see how lines through pictures can be considered Modern Art. I heard a lot of complaints about the Venetian makeovers. I enjoy going to the shows but only went to a few this time since most shows are the same shows offered from cruise to cruise. I think a rotation of shows would be good. Second City was good, however only a few changes from previous Second City shows I have seen. I did like the cast of this Second City though. They seemed to work well together and Bruce and CJ was very quick witted and very funny. I have another re-positioning cruise scheduled in April 2017 on the Dawn and have two more cruise deposits to use, but after, I will definitely try another ship and will likely try another cruise line. NCL has changed since my last cruise in September of 2015, and in my opinion, not for the better. For example, water and soda use to be able to be brought on by those people that didn't like flavored water or Pepsi products, but not any longer. Not sure why? The alcohol package, if bought outright, is outrageously priced. I don't even think a hard-core drinker could drink the value of it's cost. We booked excursions for every stop, except Puerto Rico, which we did our own thing and took a bus to the Rain Forest and saw waterfalls. We were happy with the excursions with the exception of the Snorkel and Beach getaway which was 5 minutes away from the ship and dangerously rocky, and the Myan Ruins excursion in Tulum Mexico. The best excursion by far was the Grand Cayman Shipwreck and Reef Snorkel. That was by far the best snorkeling we have ever done. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We did this same cruise 3 years ago and had a great time. We live in NH and the Boston departure port was excellent (no flying to departure port), and what can be wrong about New Orleans. Although we had visited a number of the Islands ... Read More
We did this same cruise 3 years ago and had a great time. We live in NH and the Boston departure port was excellent (no flying to departure port), and what can be wrong about New Orleans. Although we had visited a number of the Islands previously, there were a few that we hadn’t been to before. Embarquation is easy, although a few more scanners would have been preferable. Once we were able to board, we left out carryon luggage in the room, and then enjoyed a wonderful lunch in the Venetian, which was fairly crowded. There was a variety of choices for lunch, and this lunch menu remained constant throughout the cruise. Our room was small but still had a good amount of drawers, shelves, closet space for the 2 week cruise worth of clothes. One caveat about our room…you may read that it is next door to the crew bar which it is. At night you may hear noise in the hallway from the crew bar, but you will NOT hear this noise in the room. However, there was some noise in the middle of the night of some carts moving through the kitchen which was on the deck above us; we told guest services and they did their best to improve the situation. The entertainment staff, led by Richard Matic, was excellent! Richard was very personable and fun, and made sure that the crowd was entertained and involved. The hotel manager, Alain, was amazing! He was also very, very visible throughout the cruise, and was also very personable in addition to being a fantastic manager. The food has improved over the past several years, and although there were a few misses (which can happen anywhere), we really enjoyed and raved about the food. There were lots of good selections. I liked that we could also have the option of going to Bamboo. If I were to have one selection, I would have take-out available in O'Sheehans like there used to be. Service was excellent. We enjoyed meeting restaurant manager Ionela Oprisan who warmly greeted us. We had the Ultimate Beverage Package which we enjoyed the options. Bar waiter Elmer Brown was very sweet and always warmly greeted us when he saw us. Housekeeping was also excellent. I also enjoyed the lectures given by a deputy district attorney from LA. And we all enjoyed Patti & Jose...always excellent music! There were a few times when there was supposed to be a free stretching class, but it didn't take place. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise mostly for the itinerary. Ports were good. For some reason it took more than an hour to get back on the ship in San Juan, as they only had one gangway open and very little crew working at the gangway. Had some issues ... Read More
We chose this cruise mostly for the itinerary. Ports were good. For some reason it took more than an hour to get back on the ship in San Juan, as they only had one gangway open and very little crew working at the gangway. Had some issues with the hot tubs. Some mornings too cold, some mornings hot enough to scald the skin. Bliss Lounge was kept so cold that a few times we left due to the cold. We asked at guest services and they said there was no way to control the air conditioning. Food - They have Americanized the menu to the point there was very little variety. Larger portions do not improve the quality or taste of the food. We would rate the overall food in the MDR and buffet as poor. Much of the food was tasteless (ex. bacon, chicken) Foods were so mildly spiced there was little or no flavour. Food in the Bamboo was excellant. Food in La Cucina was excellent as well. We were extremely disappointed in Le Bistro, where we had the worst meal of our cruise. I would rate Le Bistro as terrible. The french onion soup was mediocre and the Coq au Vin was horrible as my chicken was swimming in grease. Even the plating was bad. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Left on October 28 for a 2 week cruise and a 2 week break from the Presidential race. Both worked out perfectly. The Dawn is my favorite ship and still is after this cruise. Like the latest updates they did on the ship. And the crew ... Read More
Left on October 28 for a 2 week cruise and a 2 week break from the Presidential race. Both worked out perfectly. The Dawn is my favorite ship and still is after this cruise. Like the latest updates they did on the ship. And the crew was their usual excellent people. Very good entertainment with something of good quality every night. We used the Spa every day with the heated chaise lounges along with the hot tub. Very relaxing. Had a nice ocean view room with a very handy location. Our room steward was a good as I have come to expect them to be. Had a little plumbing problem that he got fixed in a very short time. The casino was their usual top notch quality too. Our Cruise Critic Meet & Greet was attended by over 100 people. Met a lot of nice cruisers. We will be doing another NCL cruise in 2 months. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Third time on the Dawn's two week repo and many times on the Dawn. Our fave ship overall. The Hotel Director Alain runs a tight ship, corporate decision not withstanding ! Of the 2200+ guest on board, over 500 are Norwegian Platinum ... Read More
Third time on the Dawn's two week repo and many times on the Dawn. Our fave ship overall. The Hotel Director Alain runs a tight ship, corporate decision not withstanding ! Of the 2200+ guest on board, over 500 are Norwegian Platinum Member ( the highest level of their loyalty plan ), it speaks volume on the popularity of the Dawn. Jose and Patti, the main entertainer on board is one of the reason that guest come back to the ship. The Atrium where they usually perform is always full with the staff adding folding chairs for additional seating. The newly renovated Dawn has it's ups and downs. The down being the temperamental stateroom toilet, it flushes when it want to, sometimes more than a minute after one push the flush button. New carpet, room furnishing, new venues gave the Dawn a flesh look. A bit disappointed that the Statue of Liberty on the port side and the dolphins on the starboard side of the ship was painted over in renovation ( another corporate decision no doubt ). Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We like the freestyle cruising of Norwegian. There is no appointed place or time for a given room. The list of things to do is extensive on sea days and even enough to keep most busy even on port of call days. Activities include: ... Read More
We like the freestyle cruising of Norwegian. There is no appointed place or time for a given room. The list of things to do is extensive on sea days and even enough to keep most busy even on port of call days. Activities include: Fitness center, small library, Trivia, Sudoku, Ping Pong - Shuffleboard - Beanbag toss tournaments. Presentations on books and subjects, dance and card playing basic instruction. Entertainment included - comedians (yes more than one) - singing, shows, entertainment provided by the crew, game shows, sing alongs, piano playing, dancing Food - 7 specialty (for a price) Restaurants, 1 informal buffet, several grills, 2 -be served restaurants. We ate at them all (except the Sushi specialty restaurant). And of them the best was the non-specialty main dining room Restaurant (Aqua) on prime rib night. The meat was perfect as was the rest of the meal. Of the Specialty eateries - We liked them all - Japanese, French (escargots were excellent), Italian, Chinese, Steak House, Brazilian, It is hard to chose the best. BE AWARE - reservations are required at the Specialty Restaurants, if you do not plan in advance times can be a little odd. This seemed to bother some guests far more than others - it was fine with us. The Activities staff was wonderful as was all of the Restaurant Staff. Housekeeping was average. I went on one Shore Excursion - Advice - AVOID Palm Beach Reef Snorkeling on Bonaire in Kralendijk - the Reef is pretty dead (but is coming back slowly). Fitness center was quite nice. Generally we liked the ports of call. Nothing Specific to say about them though Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose NCL Dawn for its adventure into the Caribbean. Especially for its eastern stops in Aruba, Jamaica and Georgetown. Stops we hadn't ventured to yet. Loved the experiences. Overall it was a excellent vacation throughout its ... Read More
We chose NCL Dawn for its adventure into the Caribbean. Especially for its eastern stops in Aruba, Jamaica and Georgetown. Stops we hadn't ventured to yet. Loved the experiences. Overall it was a excellent vacation throughout its voyage. The Norwegian Dawn she was a beauty. Restored to her amazing grace of the sea. Embarkation went smoothly. Arrived in Boston at our pier time of 10am. Got our reservation checked in. Getting on the ship was smoothly. Enjoyed lunch ,relaxed and before you knew it. She was at sea. First night aboard we had dinner at Cagney's. Dinner and Wait staff was excellent. Every night there was a different show. We especially enjoyed Patti and Jose. They were our favorites. The Grand Atrium was where they were. The Elements performance was outstanding. The Dawn performers were amazing, talented group of people. We went off The Dawn at her ports of call. Favorite one was in Jamaica. We did the 4x4 Safari to Dunn's River Falls. The experience through the area and to taste and feel the cultural atmosphere is wonderful . And to walk up the Dunn's River Falls. Excellent location and experience. Disembarkation day. Port of New Orleans. We chose the walk off with your luggage. It was the most smoothest transition from ship to port I have ever experience. We did it early. And it was smooth . Got off the ship. Through the long, never ending terminal. Grabbed a taxi to our hotel and we were checked in at our hotel before 10am... Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our second time on the Dawn, we were not overly impressed 2years ago about the pool layout, and the lack of Great outdoors. However, this trip surpassed my expectations. Embarkation was fast and seamless. We had fantastic ... Read More
This was our second time on the Dawn, we were not overly impressed 2years ago about the pool layout, and the lack of Great outdoors. However, this trip surpassed my expectations. Embarkation was fast and seamless. We had fantastic service at all locations, Main dinning rooms, Specialty Restaurants, Bars, shore excursion desk, Photo Gallery, Guest services. Everyone we spoke to always had a smile, and kind words. Our cabin was ready quickly and we met our steward within mins of entering our cabin. I asked him for a couple of things and they were there in mins. We saw our steward every day of the cruise, he was always cheerful and always asked if everything was alright and if we needed anything. We had one issue with one of the excursions we had booked through NCL, when we went to the desk to give them our feedback on this tour, more so to let them know the operators were not very professional nor did they provide us with the excursion we had signed up for. The NCL staff member immediately took down all the info, and gave us what we thought was a 20% refund for our trouble, which we were more then satisfied with. A couple of days later I got a print out of our account, only to see that we not only got the 20% we also got a full refund. I was extremely happy and pleasantly surprised. This was a Repo cruise the islands were all beautiful, I would do this same trip again sometime it was that good. We did book another vacation for next year, A Back to Back on the Gem out of Puerto Rico. Now the countdown to then. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The crew were very good, cabin OK and the food satisfactory. The entertainment and shows excellent. The ship usage of space and some NCL policies created problems. The space usage on the ship was something of a mystery with ... Read More
The crew were very good, cabin OK and the food satisfactory. The entertainment and shows excellent. The ship usage of space and some NCL policies created problems. The space usage on the ship was something of a mystery with throughways blocked off for things like new pay restaurants or for some other use of space and a pay restaurant located next to the atrium. This ensured food odours circulated freely about the atrium and other areas of the ship. The atrium was used for entertainment, with additional seating added each night and stairways to the atrium blocked off. Next they added ship "market stalls" selling all sorts of stuff most of us don't need and allowed the photographers to set up shop blocking off what little space was left ensuring an adventure for anyone wanting to use the stairs or negotiate this area to reach another part of the ship. But that's not all, the internet centre was located around the upper level of the atrium and when the entertainment was in full swing anyone using the centre had trouble first finding a chair as the overflow entertainment crowd went up to the computer centre and used the chairs. The noise level made it almost impossible to comfortably use the internet centre at night and spend the 75c a minute after successfully gaining an expensive and impossibly slow connection. The lack of deck chairs on the promenade deck was inexplicable. Chairs, 11 on port and starboard with smoking almost unrestricted on the deck so no fun then for a non smoker wanting to enjoy fresh sea air while sitting down for a read. The noise level on the ship generally rivalled a room full of teenagers having a party while the parents were away. The daily service charge plus the service charges added to tours and drinks or just about anything sold on the ship would ensure a few surprises at the end of the cruise for the unwary. For the dancers, do not expect much on this ship. When an opportunity arose the cruise directors staff would sometimes invade the floor and jump around forcing dancers off the floor. It was almost as if the guests could not be trusted to entertain themselves without cruise director staff telling them what to do. Much of the organised daily activity was of the intellectual level suitable for a pet dog. The lack of a dress up night meant on occasions some people decided to unpack the tuxedo and gowns as they missed the dress up night and so they created their own. The big losers here were the photographers who are becoming a bit of a nuisance in the cruise industry. Perhaps NCL is too casual in dress code. Well watching dancers in shorts and flip flops and baseball hats, admittedly turned the right way around, dancing to the excellent big band, suggests NCL might need to review their dress code. Ports of call all good, the one tender stop negotiated without any waiting around for a tender which was a pleasant surprise. One big disappointment was on the Nov 11 remembrance ceremony they did not have the Australian or New Zealand flags but all the other relevant national flags were on display, lots of Aussies on board and a few from NZ. Have done more than 50 cruises and decided to try NCL again after a bad experience in 2007 because of the Boston start and New Orleans finish. Perhaps in 8 years we may try them again as they had improved from our 2007 cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Our cruise left Boston on October 30. The first three days were nice, getting to know the ship and activities for the cruise. Dingo Dave "cruise director " and his staff did a great job of keeping all occupied with activities ... Read More
Our cruise left Boston on October 30. The first three days were nice, getting to know the ship and activities for the cruise. Dingo Dave "cruise director " and his staff did a great job of keeping all occupied with activities throughout the day. While at poolside a nice touch was fruit sticks passed around the area, and then wet hand towels to get refreshed. As usual there were far too many guests reserving lounge chairs at poolside around 800 and then not showing up until 1100 or noon. Our excursion experience was fair. The first trip was to the rain forest in Puerto Rico was pleasant. Though there wasn't many flowers blooming it was colorful and the guide was infomitive. On Bonaire the beach escape was a trap. Taken to a resort that was only a quarter mile from the dock. On the description in said activity level was 1 "easy" the beach was covered coral and rocks and not suitable for just swimming. Anyone who has a mobility issue cannot use the beach as described. There was a large pool onsite which did make the tour tolerable but still not worth the price offered. On Curaçao we were to take a bus tour of the island and a beach. Arriving at the bus we were informed that we would have to sign a waiver by the tour company to ride the bus relinquishing our rights in case of accident. This was unexceptionable and not in the description of the tour. An excursion rep from the dawn was summoned and a refund was given to us. This was the first time in 35 years of cruising that a waiver was needed just to board a bus. Norwegian should check into this practice, and make adjustments to the tour described and make passengers aware of signing waivers allegedly giving up their rights should an event occur. On Jamaica I took the zipline and watertubing excursion. This one you needed to sign a waiver and I concurred due to strenuous activity involved. What was not described was the you needed covered shoes to zipline and someone had to rent water shoes. Also not described was that you needed to rent a locker to keep belongings secured, while on your excursion. On the Grand Cayman tour I it was good and the turtle farm was exciting. Not a lot of time left after excursion to do shopping. On Aruba and Cozimel we went on our on due to multiple trips previously to these stops. The best part of the trip was the nightly entertainment. Jose and Patti were by far the best duo I have aver listened to cruising. Elements was a great show, kept you going. The voice was fantastic. Second city, the magic show, Irish comedian, Mr Solomon and his Jersey boys routine were all good. All entertainers are worthy of praise and contract renewals. The photo staff was great and took care of specials needs of the customers. I would give the food experience 3.5 out of 5. Bringing it down was certain meals prepared were dry and tasteless, mistakes by waitstaff in the Venetion room, and some undercooked food and the presence of flies around the buffet lines salad areas. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We had been on the Dawn last year so we knew a bit about the ship. It is a nice size ship, plenty of activities and there is a lot of variety for food. We had the dining package so we got to eat it all the specialty restaurants. Our ... Read More
We had been on the Dawn last year so we knew a bit about the ship. It is a nice size ship, plenty of activities and there is a lot of variety for food. We had the dining package so we got to eat it all the specialty restaurants. Our favorites were Cagney's and the Teppanaki restaurant which is a show unto itself. There were more activities this year at least when we were at sea. There was even a needlework group which I loved. The entertainment was fabulous too!My only complaints were the captain was on the load speaker too much, there weren't many activities when we were in port and often we were berthed pretty far away from major activities. Oh and they forgot my birthday! But all and all it was a great cruise for the money. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our first re-positioning cruise and we weren't expecting the majority of guests to be a part of the over 60 crowd, as we are both under 30. This is one of Norwegian's older ships and while it was clear they tried to ... Read More
This was our first re-positioning cruise and we weren't expecting the majority of guests to be a part of the over 60 crowd, as we are both under 30. This is one of Norwegian's older ships and while it was clear they tried to update some of the dining options and staterooms, our particular stateroom didn't seem to get the updated treatment. Moderno was a disappointment, clearly stuffed into an existing space much smaller than it's given on other ships like the Breakaway. Cagney's and Teppanyaki were the only worthwhile dining options. The entertainment was also definitely geared towards the majority of passengers, with a lot of focus on 60's and 70''s era hits and cover bands. I can't tell you the sheer number of times I heard "We Are Family" throughout those 2 weeks. It was more than I've ever heard it in my life. Overall, as we've come to expect on NCL, the staff were outstanding and so friendly. We quickly got to know our bartenders and wait staff and they were responsible for making this cruise as enjoyable as it could be. While we still really enjoy cruising with Norwegian, we won't be booking anything on these older class of ships again. Breakaway class seems to be way to go if you're looking for onboard entertainment and unending activities. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our second cruise on Royal Caribbean and our first repositioning cruise. As Floridians, we usually sail from Jacksonville, Port Canaveral or Fort Lauderdale. We found the embarkation process in Boston to be fine. The port was ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Royal Caribbean and our first repositioning cruise. As Floridians, we usually sail from Jacksonville, Port Canaveral or Fort Lauderdale. We found the embarkation process in Boston to be fine. The port was easy to find and the drop off seamless. The registration line was long for non-pinnacle or diamond members and we waited in line to register for more than 45 minutes. One of our traveling companions required a wheelchair assist and unfortunately she was made to wait an additional 45 minutes for to board. Once on board we were greeted with a glass of champagne and directed to the Windjammer Lounge for lunch. We were pleased that we were able to go to our cabin by 1:30 pm. Itinerary - This cruise began with three days at sea followed by visits to St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Barbados, Aruba, Curacao followed by three more sea days. Loved the ports of call but I wished that we had been able to stay in Curacao (my favorite port) more than just 6 hours. We took bus tour excursions in St. Kitts, Barbados and Aruba. The excursions were good and just long enough to give us time to to explore our ports of call and taste the local beer before re-boarding. We did not book excursions in St. Lucia or Curacao and those stops ended up being my favorite because we were able to explore the neighborhoods, taste the local beers and delicacies and mingle with the islanders. In St. Lucia we took the short walk to the IGA Supermarket for Banana Ketchup (really delicious) and only available in St. Lucia. Cabin - We were is stateroom 7064 which is an obstructed balcony stateroom. The obstruction was minimal and our view was not impaired (I do not need to look down). As with real life, you cannot choose the individuals in the adjoining cabins so I will not say more :) I was surprised by the amount of storage space in the cabin. Our cabin steward Marius did a great job and we looked forward to seeing him every day. This cabin is above the clubs and lounges on Deck 6 but we did not have any noise problems during the cruise. Dining - By far, the food was the worst part of this cruise. The food was overcooked and over salty. The menus did not vary much from day to day. The silver lining is that I did not gain an ounce after 13 days. We ate at both Giovanni's and Chops Grille and were very disappointed with both. I felt as though I was taken advantage of and will never book a specialty restaurant on Royal Caribbean again. Do yourself a favor and save your money. Oh and don't get me started about the coffee at dinner before dessert. My advice is that you order it with your meal if you want it before the end of desert. I would like to thank Paula for taking such good care of me after the first two days and keeping me adequately caffeinated. With regards to the Anytime Dining option...plan on it being a nightmare unless you plan to eat before 5:30 or after 8:30 pm. Long lines and overwhelmed matre d's. Activities - There was an adequate number of activities available. Loved the progressive trivia, captain talks, demonstrations, classes, mini-golf, rock climbing wall and fitness center. The best thing about this ship is that you are able to walk around Deck 5 completely which my husband and I enjoyed twice a day - every day. The fitness center was wonderful and had enough equipment so that we never had to wait. I really enjoyed the Ladies Pampering session in the Spa that was free. With all this being said, I was so grateful for the availability of Daily Mass. Thank you Father Connolly. Entertainment - The shows were great but the late show was way too crowded. We adapted our schedule to allow for the first show. The entertainment was well rounded and offered something for everyone. My biggest disappointment was with the RC singers...whoa, the volume needs to be toned down because the beautiful voices turned into screeching and screaming..very painful to listen to. During our cruise the outdoor screen did not work (no sound). I was amazed that no one could fix it. We really enjoy watching movies and sports events under the stars and were disappointed that this was not available. The movie options in the cinema were awful. All science fiction, adventure and sad drama. It would have been nice to have a light comedy selection for sea days. Loved the pool table! On Being non-Platinum --- Expect to be treated as though you are second class. Nothing to entice me to sail again. I felt slighted. All and all - It was okay...did not knock my socks off. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015

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