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7 Night Caribbean Cruise from San Juan

7 Night Caribbean Cruise from San Juan

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Norwegian Dawn
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    San Juan
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    St. Lucia
  • Day 4
    Barbados
  • Day 5
    Antigua
  • Day 6
    St. Thomas
  • Day 7
    Tortola
  • Day 8
    San Juan

Norwegian Dawn

Norwegian Dawn - Norwegian Cruise Line

Pros

Tons of dining, bars and activities keep everyone entertained; refurb is modern, not tacky

Cons

Less-than-perfect ship has confusing layout and occasional maintenance issues

Bottom Line

Enthusiastic crowd has a fun time onboard, despite upcharges and an older ship


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: March 2019
NCL Dawn, March 3 to March 10. Mini-Suite Rm 11676 I’ll preface my critique noting that this was my first NCL cruise, but I’ll also add that I’ve cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. First, boarding (mainly cause our ... Read More
NCL Dawn, March 3 to March 10. Mini-Suite Rm 11676 I’ll preface my critique noting that this was my first NCL cruise, but I’ll also add that I’ve cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. First, boarding (mainly cause our departure was at 9:00pm) was very quick and easy - as I boarded at 1:00pm. Food in the Garden Cafe was available, and our room became available at approximately 3:00pm. We also booked three specialty dinning options, and our reservation times were all met. Teppanyaki: By far was my favorite. Great service, outstanding food from the edamame, fried rice and sea food selection was all worth it. Cagney’s: Was a close second on favorites. Great porterhouse steak. Le Bistro: Although the least favorite, it was worth the up charge. As for other food options, the Garden Cafe was OK - but not bad. The Venetian, Aqua and Bamboo were all good options if not at the specialty dinning location. Also, classy touch to provide appetizers at the casino later in the evening. We booked a few excursions, however the one that stood out was ANUD1011 Kayak & Snorkel Adventure on Antiqua. At $70.00 per person, we believe this excursion gave the most bang for the buck. Besides a ride thru the countryside, we kayaked thru the man grooves, hiked to a mountain top to view the Atlantic Ocean, then snorkeled. After our boat back to catch a bus back to the ship, water, rum punch and snacks we available. What really stood out was the professionalism and work ethic of the staff. Never a let down throughout the cruise - always courteous, and providing great service. The other thing that stood out was the ship never felt over crowded, and lines were minimal and always moved. If there was any negatives, general announcements were very hard to hear. The smoking room which was located on the sixth floor, sometimes leaked smoke into the bar area - and can be a bit overwhelming for non-smokers. Lastly, our Cabin Steward was very good, and besides the normal gratuities, I gave him an additional tip in person - but he didn’t seem happy. Not sure if I’m reading him wrong, or he was insulted. Overall, an oddly laid out ship really became its strength and appeal. And I took advantage of almost all of the ship, from sunning and swimming, sitting on my personal deck, multiple dinning locations, bars and gambling too - With my experience being excellent. I miss it, and would book another NCL cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We were part of a business group putting on an annual thank you event. They hosted several parties that were great and they provided ultimate drink package endorsements. Overall the trip, ship and experience were undeniably fantastic. ... Read More
We were part of a business group putting on an annual thank you event. They hosted several parties that were great and they provided ultimate drink package endorsements. Overall the trip, ship and experience were undeniably fantastic. We were left with a few head scratchers at the end... the dining experiences were less than hoped for and a couple times even disappointing. We experienced a short tempered and fairly rude hostess at the Los Lobos restaurant. She was cross and insured we were well aware we needed a reservation to dine there, but it was her duty to seat us if she could. We were seated in the back but still in sight enough to complete our experience with only two other tables being sat the entire time. The food in general was good not excellent. The food service was slower than necessary even for a relaxed guest environment. A little more attention to each table and/or more prompt food delivery would have kept us personally less anxious to conclude a dinner seating. The comedian was great, Alex Ortiz. The aerialists were beautiful. The ship dance crew was energetic and smiley but the choreography was laughable and we left a few shows. The last couple days the ship started coming down with cold symptoms, myself included. Our room steward mentioned she had been in medical with a fever earlier that day... was curious as to why she was then in our room. Again, overall the experience was amazing and the crew is great and we ate and drank and played to our desire. We are unsure as to if another cruise was left to our planning if we would cruise Norwegian again or try a different line. We thank you all for a wonderful vacation nonetheless. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We've been fortunate to have sailed on Royal Caribbean (Freedom and Oasis) in the past but once we saw the deal Norwegian had (free air fare for me and my husband and $99 for our daughters, drinks, shore excursion credit and free ... Read More
We've been fortunate to have sailed on Royal Caribbean (Freedom and Oasis) in the past but once we saw the deal Norwegian had (free air fare for me and my husband and $99 for our daughters, drinks, shore excursion credit and free wifi), we decided to take a chance on this cruise line. We're happy we did. ABOUT THE BOAT: This is a smaller boat so be prepared, especially at night, to feel the sway of the ship. It apparently was updated a few years ago and it shows: the decor is modern and clean. One of the main dining rooms (Aqua) looks like an upscale New York restaurant. There was only one pool but we never felt like sardines in it - there was enough room in and around it for everyone. There is another pool in the spa but you have to pay for it. We upgraded to a family suite since we have two teenage daughters. We expected they would share the pull out couch but we were thrilled to discover the suite has a pull out couch, a murphy bed AND a king bed. It was awesome! We didn't splurge on a balcony because being on the 12th deck we could easily walk to the pool deck. Our room also came with a nespresso machine which we loved. ABOUT THE FOOD: I read numerous reviews about the poor quality of the food and I totally disagree. The quality and variety of the buffet (Garden Cafe) was outstanding (better than either RC cruise we were on). One night they even had a huge spread of peel and eat shrimp and oysters. The coffee was always fresh and strong and they had lemon for the water. The options in the main dining rooms were also very good, even for one of our picky eaters. However, if you're hoping for lobster, you'll have to buy it on one of the islands since that's one thing Norwegian doesn't have. Some things to note: they told us that shorts weren't allowed in Aqua but that's not true. The majority of men wore shorts with no issue. Also, the only place we were able to find water was at the bar (if you ask) and at the buffet. The one benefit I liked on RC ships is that they have water dispensers at the end of each bar so you can take water when you want and not have to wait in line. ABOUT THE EXCURSIONS: We took two: one to a beach in St. Lucia and one snorkeling off of St. Thomas. The beach in St. Lucia was very nice; it was adjacent to a Sandals resort. We had to pay $10 for an umbrella but the lounge chairs were "free." Snorkeling was very cool. We went out on a catamaran and saw turtles, a ray, fish, coral and a shipwreck. The only thing about this though was that it was advertised as a 3.5 hour trip and we were back at the boat in less than 3 hours. We walked into Bridgetown in Barbados which was nice. Our favorite port was St. John in Antigua since we liked the market and historic section. ABOUT THE DEALS: We live in Vermont so booking airfare to anywhere is expensive. Free air fare was incredible. We had to fly out of Boston which was fine. The only thing I didn't like at all is that they offer you choice airports to fly out of and then get back to you with your flight times. With RC, I worked with the agent together to determine the best departure and arrival times for us. The Norwegian process was clunky. The other deal was for free drinks up to $15 per drink. Totally worth it. The only disappointment was even though my husband had free wifi, it was super slow. But we were supposed to be on vacation so it wasn't a deal breaker. All in all, we were exceptionally pleased. My parents have taken 13 cruises, 12 of which were on RC. After we shared our experience, my father has been looking into a Norwegian cruise for them. Read Less
View All Norwegian Dawn Reviews
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