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20 Night Africa Cruise from Cape Town

20 Night Africa Cruise from Cape Town

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Norwegian Dawn
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Cape Town
  • Day 2
    Mossel Bay
  • Day 3
    Port Elizabeth
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    Richards Bay
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    Cruising
  • Day 9
    Pointe des Galets
  • Day 10
    Port Louis
  • Day 11
    Cruising
  • Day 12
    Cruising
  • Day 13
    Seychelles
  • Day 14
    Seychelles
  • Day 15
    Cruising
  • Day 16
    Cruising
  • Day 17
    Cruising
  • Day 18
    Muscat
  • Day 19
    Abu Dhabi
  • Day 20
    Dubai
  • Day 21
    Dubai

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

We have cruised the Caribbean with RCCL, Celebrity, and Princess (the best, prior to this cruise); this was our first cruise on NCL, and we chose it as it was going to Antigua, where we wanted to take a cooking class there with our friend, ... Read More
We have cruised the Caribbean with RCCL, Celebrity, and Princess (the best, prior to this cruise); this was our first cruise on NCL, and we chose it as it was going to Antigua, where we wanted to take a cooking class there with our friend, Chef Nicole Arthurton of "Nicole's Table". It was an Excellent cruise, and we loved it so much that we bought (for the first time) the "cruise next" discount so we can plan another! This was our 15th Wedding Anniversary cruise and very special for us, and several members of the staff made it a really wonderful cruise for us, with special treats which we will always remember! (I sent NCL an email with the names of the great staff- hope they get raises!) For us, the staff can really make or break a cruise, and they made this one great! Our cabin wasn't huge, but we Loved our little balcony- we love having our Continental Breakfasts delivered to our stateroom so we can enjoy them on the balcony, and falling asleep to the sound of the sea... as well as great food and drinks at the Sushi Bar (and their excellent staff), the Cigar Bar and the nice people we met there, and the great bartenders at Gatsby's, and thought the entertainment was very good/excellent- especially their award winning show, which was a superb, Le Cirque-style spectacular! We got several perks which we enjoyed, as well: some On Board Credit, the drink package (which pleased and surprised us with such things as Brazilian Cachaça caipirinhas, special unfiltered sake & sake cocktails at Bamboo/Sushi Bar, interesting & yummy martinis & mojitos, excellent Israeli wines, & Jameson's...), internet (predictably slow, but usable), and two specialty restaurant dinners. We took two of the ship's excursions (we usually book all our excursions privately, and did so for 4 of the 6 ports on this cruise), and were very pleased and surprised at how good they were, especially the St. Kitts "rail and sail" excursion, which was truly excellent! I found several very good books at the ship's Library, and we also enjoyed indulging ourselves at the Spa with mani/pedis & a Couples Massage that was SO good that we did it twice! (We do wish they'd stop the "hard sell" for products at the spa, but that is the norm on all cruises, unfortunately...) We only wish that we had more time in port on the port days, so we could have had dinner in port, as we did on Celebrity and Princess cruises, where we were in port until 10pm... We stayed in Tampa for 4 nights prior to the cruise and 2 nights after, and that was great, too- lots of fun things to do there, esp. Sparkman's Wharf, and exploring historic Ybor City, and enjoying some great restaurants... It was a 12-day cruise, and we both wished it was longer! Can't wait to do it again!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our 9th cruise with NCL. We were looking for a relaxing vacation with warm weather to some ports that we hadn’t visited. We were on the Dawn several years ago. It is a mid-sized ship and easy to get around. We booked an aft ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise with NCL. We were looking for a relaxing vacation with warm weather to some ports that we hadn’t visited. We were on the Dawn several years ago. It is a mid-sized ship and easy to get around. We booked an aft suite which had a great balcony . By booking a suite we had access to Moderno for breakfast and lunch daily. Suite guests also have a butler and concierge which makes everything very easy. The cruise starts with 3 sea days and ends with 2 - very relaxing. We booked excursions through NCL at each port. They were all fun. The onboard entertainment was good. A great dance band nightly in Bliss. Music was also played nightly in the Atrium and the martini bar. The gym is large and we used it daily. I am pleased to report that NCL does not stalk you with photographers any more. They are always available in the Atrium but you aren’t hounded in all of the speciality restaurants. Fellow cruisers were friendly- it was an older crowd this time of year. Very few children. They need new ping pong tables and should put wind screens up so they can be used. A mini golf course would also be a good addition. They do not have enough outlets for cell phone charging. We had to ask for an extension cord. ( older ship) We had a great time ! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
From the beginning, when I made the reservation, there was miscommunication. After only about a month, I could not reach the Norwegian travel agent that I had booked with. I had several questions that never were answered. I had booked two ... Read More
From the beginning, when I made the reservation, there was miscommunication. After only about a month, I could not reach the Norwegian travel agent that I had booked with. I had several questions that never were answered. I had booked two cruises within two months with Norwegian and the travel agent disappeared from the face of the earth. Very disappointed. Embarkation was speedy, although the clerks seem to be crowded and unorganized; they were certainly friendly. I had a very enjoyable cruise. 12 days is perfect. However, I was on the Dawn for seven day cruise during the same time three years ago, services and entertainment seemed to be of a much higher quality then. I had specific problems with our room steward, pool side servers, staff singers, photo staff and Venetian serving staff. Also maintenance. Room steward I believe it must have been his first cruise. He did not speak or understand English well. We tried several times. The first day he did not get to clean our room until after 7 PM Things improved after the first couple days; although I think they reduced his workload. There were days that he did not put pillowcases back on the accent pillows. Almost every day he left a coffee cup, carafe, or miscellaneous obviously dirty item in our room. Every night I turned my comforter around because the duvet opening was at the head of the bed, rather than being at the foot of the bed. Isn’t this common sense? The poolside wait staff was almost nonexistent. We were in various places poolside, and always had to wait for an extended period of time to find a waiter. They weren’t very visible at all. I tip in cash, so I would think and hope that they would pay more attention. If I was being ignored, I’m absolutely certain others were also. I would have to rate the poolside service very poor. Please add staff. The photographers do not seem to be trained in actual photography strategies. There are ways to make people look good in images and they seem to be asking people to do the exact opposite. I noticed this with my photos, and watching them take photos with other groups. I had one conversation with multiple groups in the photography area where they were just as disappointed as I was. You would raise the sales on portrait images if the images that are taken were flattering. The poolside singers sang the same seven songs throughout the whole trip. I realize that they are singing with different languages and accents than they are used to, However, they are singing the incorrect words. With standards, it is a jarring mistake when the singer does not know the lyrics. The same entertainment staff was present at the Gatsby piano bar and the grand atrium. I would think that an upgrade would behoove the ship in this area. We absolutely LOVED our Aqua server SIVA (from India) he really made dining special. We brought several groups of friends back to meet him. Prior to finding him, we felt that the aqua service was just ok. It is, however, a beautiful dining room. The Venetian wait staff was attentive, but it seemed every time we went we waited an inordinate amount of time to be greeted at the table. I would also recommend that the menus have more seafood on them. Especially for a longer cruise, people would much appreciate the variety. Menus were very much the same throughout the whole trip. I would like to see things such as shrimp, escargot, clams, or even a lobster option. We complained daily for the first several days about our air-conditioning. We had to have it on high blast to keep the room moderately cool. Even after being gone for hours on excursions, walking in, the room was warmer than the hallway. It seem to occasionally catch up, or open fully, because there were brief times we turned it down only to have to put it on high blast again within the hour. Also, we had problems with our lights coming on, staying on, and constantly flickering. Of course, we had the same problems with the safe as most of the passengers were having. Many times it flashed battery meaning that the battery was low. They said that they did not have a way to change the batteries so we were very hesitant to use a safe that we may not be able to unlock when needed. They did did send out an “Electrician” that turned out to be another room steward to investigate the lights. The next day they said the electrician had visited us, along with the HVAC technician.We had seen neither of those people. The light problem has been corrected with the air-conditioning was not right the whole cruise. We spoke to the Service desk about all these issues several times, without any real solutions, then just gave up, it was a putting a pall on my vacation and I did not want to spend my whole cruise complaining. Again, I have to say that I enjoyed the cruise. The ship was kept very clean, everyone seemed happy and they took extra precautions to prevent illness after notice of the coronavirus being active on other cruise ships. there was plenty to involve yourself in if you chose to participate in the activities. The ports stops were top notch and the main reason we chose this itinerary. I would have liked a sea day in the middle of the six stops, to rest a little, but they were all very beautiful. The Dawn is a favorite ship of mine. It’s getting a bit older, and showing her age, with some care she can regain her Grace. I hope that the problems I outlined here can be addressed. Thanks for a good vacation! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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