Sail Date: April 2019
I was a bit taken back after booking this cruise to have the Norwegian agent say you may be disappointed after being in the Bliss...a true statement. From embarkation, seemed like one ball drop after another. Met some truly wonderful ... Read More
I was a bit taken back after booking this cruise to have the Norwegian agent say you may be disappointed after being in the Bliss...a true statement. From embarkation, seemed like one ball drop after another. Met some truly wonderful people and staff- and as well some people I wish stayed home. Cabin older (10058-balcony) but clean, smaller. Toilet was small and on five occasions I had to call guest service- wouldn’t flush... someone a few cabins away kept blocking it. Met people who had no a/c in an interior, sewage smell , in their cabins.... one night on my deck an electrical fire broke out causing many to be evacuated to deck 13... we didn’t hear the commotion but heard thru passengers horrible stuff and handling. The smoking section at top of ship was flat out horrible traversing twenty plus steps. Food was good, specialty restaurants good, entertainment and music was so so.... same people same songs...all in all I will sail on Norwegian again but not on the Dawn. Also, I think Norwegian needs to deal with some of the surly staff and the way they handle problems or complaints. You have a wonderful product but Passengers who pay have rights too—help those or reimburse those with uncorrectable problems..instead of babysitting people who are in a large suite who act inappropriately, worry about the folks who work hard and want a wonderful experience Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise for its Southern Carribbean itenarity. We visited 5 islands in 6 days with only one sea day which we liked as well. Starting in San Juan we flew in the day before to enjoy the city of Old San Juan. We stayed in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its Southern Carribbean itenarity. We visited 5 islands in 6 days with only one sea day which we liked as well. Starting in San Juan we flew in the day before to enjoy the city of Old San Juan. We stayed in the Sheraton OSJ which is a great location right across the street from "some" of the cruise terminals. Be advised that there are two different terminals in OSJ and our ship left from the Pan American terminal. This is across the bay from the hotel and will require a cab or uber. Embarkation was a breeze due to our late departure. This resulted in lots of free style choices to board the ship starting at 12:30pm and ending at 6:30. The ship layout is a bit confusing but after a couple days you can find your way around. The ship was very well maintained, clean, updated, and in my opinion managed. Buffet layout was a bit confusing, food was average. O'Sheenans food was great, hot and plentiful however service was lacking. We had dinner in Vinietian main dining on the back of the ship as we found less wait times and better table availability here over Aqua main dining. Entertainment was excellent, production shows were standard but enjoyable. The highlight shows were the magician, comedian, and elements. Ports of call all excellent with no tendering to get to the islands. Visiting St Lucia, Antigua, Barbados, US and British Virgin Islands. Freestyle disembarkation was a breeze as we had booked a excursion with airport transfer. I would advise that disembarkation times will adjust if customs has a back up which could lead to some stress with a tight flight schedule. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Great process for embarkation. Smooth and fast Cabins clean and spiffy. Cabin Steward was always available but did not need to have him fix any problems with cabin. Refurb of ship is quite nice. Very evident they spent ... Read More
Great process for embarkation. Smooth and fast Cabins clean and spiffy. Cabin Steward was always available but did not need to have him fix any problems with cabin. Refurb of ship is quite nice. Very evident they spent attention to making inside beautiful However carpets are showing age in cabin and hallways. Dining was excellent. Pretty much no enrichment activities Excursions went well. Once canceled by weather and ship staff was great in reschedule. Time in port could of been more. Seemed they could of left later in the day. Check-in and Out from ship was swift and efficient. Explored San Juan before and after due to airline schedules. Stayed in Old San Juan and very satisfied with hotel. No hurricane damage evident in Old San Juan except some paint on buildings seemed to have been sandblasted off. Very evident most buildings were repainted. San Juan area east of Airport near casinos saw several hotels and buildings abandoned and awaiting repair. People of Puerto Rico are great and were happy we visited!. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted to try out Norwegian because we are trying out different cruise lines to see which we like. This was one of the largest we have been on. The shows were wonderful. The staff and crew were very customer oriented. They were always ... Read More
We wanted to try out Norwegian because we are trying out different cruise lines to see which we like. This was one of the largest we have been on. The shows were wonderful. The staff and crew were very customer oriented. They were always polite and greeted you with a smile. The ship was kept clean. The restrooms were never dirty. The food was great. We will definitely cruise with them again once we save up some money. I liked that there was as a huge area for kids to play in the pools and it had water slides. It was away from the main pools and hot tubs, but it had hot tubs for the parents/guardians who were watching them. The staff who watched the kids did a good job because any time I saw kids, they were well behaved and not disruptive, but yet were giggling and having a great cruise. Our kids are grown and when they were small, we never would have allowed the type of behavior we have seen on other cruise lines. Good job Norwegian and good job parents for keeping a close eye on your kids. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We actually choose this cruise because of the unbelievable price and the beautiful islands we would be visiting. The staff were so friendly even if you were just passing them in a hallway, they would always have a smile and say hi. This ... Read More
We actually choose this cruise because of the unbelievable price and the beautiful islands we would be visiting. The staff were so friendly even if you were just passing them in a hallway, they would always have a smile and say hi. This one woman at the buffet providing hand sanitizer was the happiest person I ever met. She would greet each guess by saying “washy washy, happy happy!” The cruise director Richard was awesome, he would attended every bit of entertainment and would talk to everyone and tell funny jokes. The magician PJ Whn was awesome and Max the aerialist was unbelievably talented. The buffet could have been much bigger and a whole lot better. Ninja turtle our waiter at the Venetian was awesome and the food was tasty. We felt like the drink package wasn’t worth the $ because we were visiting 5 ports but next time we will definitely purchase it. The drinks are $10-$15 USA plus 20% gratuity on-board. The NCL site says you don’t need reservations for bamboo but I would strongly suggest too, our family of 8 was unable to get a seat the whole week. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Since I'm not a total pessimist, let me start with the positives: - The majority of the crew was fantastic (outside of some rude guest service folks at night). - The musical entertainment throughout the ship was solid, and so ... Read More
Since I'm not a total pessimist, let me start with the positives: - The majority of the crew was fantastic (outside of some rude guest service folks at night). - The musical entertainment throughout the ship was solid, and so were the magician and comedian. - Loved the ports and the shore excursions that we went on (Diamond Falls in St. Lucia, beach break in Barbados, lobster cruise in Antigua, and remote beach day in Tortola). - Embarkation was extremely efficient. - The freestyle dining option was much better than my dining experience on other cruises (Carnival and Royal Caribbean). Now onto the less appealing parts of the trip: - The ship is definitely older and a bit of a maze to get around. - I noticed the rocking more on the Dawn than on other ships I have been on. - Disembarkation was fast, but our travel service to the airport was not available since we disembarked so early, so we ended up taking a taxi to the airport. - Service on the pool decks and at some of the bars was sub-par due to a lack of staff. Some of the bartenders weren't super friendly either. - We used the laundry service, and they ruined a pair of my board shorts. Full disclosure, guest service didn't charge us for the service and provided a $25 credit. ** Now for the low-light of the trip, our horrible room. It was obvious on the first day we arrived that the AC was not working and had not been working, yet they kept us in the room (maybe hoping we wouldn't mind). Not to mention, there was an odd, almost sewage like smell in the room. We called maintenance immediately and they came to fix it the first time. We left assuming it would be better when we came back...it was not. Called again, and the same situation. Keep in mind no updates are being provided. A couple days later. we come to find out from our room steward that the room above us had overflow issues which obviously zapped the electrical service in our room since the AC, the bathroom fan and several of our lights were shot. Rather than providing us with a new room (not even asking for an upgrade). They kept going on with this circus for 4 days. Finally, I was so fed up with sweating every night in bed that i asked for a fan. Miraculously, a downgraded room had opened up that day for us to sleep in (highly unlikely that it wasn't there the whole time). Guest service did adjust our service charges for the trip to attempt to right the wrong, but it was too little much too late. In summary, this trip left such a sour taste in my mouth that I highly doubt I will ever cruise with Norwegian again. I also will not be recommending them to anymore friends or family. This trip was embarrassing enough since we suggested it to our two friends who were first time cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to do something in the Caribbean and this package offered stops at islands that we were interested in exploring for potential future island vacation destinations. Unfortunately we did not get the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to do something in the Caribbean and this package offered stops at islands that we were interested in exploring for potential future island vacation destinations. Unfortunately we did not get the chance to explore our departure city as flights in and out were on the same days as embarkation and disembarkation. Something to keep in mind for future cruises. Our room was towards the front end and it had an outside balcony as we had chosen during booking. There was plenty of storage to hang and organize our clothing and toiletries. Bathroom is kind of tight so prepare to share space with your cabin mate. This provided us with excellent sunsets ans sun rises. It was fun to sit out and watch as we pulled in to the various ports. Might look into a slightly larger room next time. Rooms were clean and very quiet although we slept every night with the balcony door cracked to take in the sea air and listen to the crashing of the waves. Staff overall were very pleasant and friendly and willing to take time to talk and share some insight into their daily and personal lives. It was fun learning about the many different cultures that work on this ship. This time around, we booked all our shore excursions through the cruise line and found the process to be very organised, smooth and as described in their brochure. Food at the complimentary locations was as expected but the fine dining was superb especially the Tapenyaki Japanese restaurant. What an experience and awesome food. Night time entertainment was spectacular and offered so much variety to choose from. There is something for everyone. Signage on the ship could be improved as we had to ask directions many times and once we found ourselves standing st the door to one location and didn't know it till a deck hand told us. We will definitely cruise again but looking for more shore time as we felt rushed to meet the schedule of 5 islands in 5 days. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My boyfriend and I went on the 7-day southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan in March of 2019. Went down a day early and stayed in San Juan overnight. We were able to check out Old San Juan with the few hours we had that evening. We are ... Read More
My boyfriend and I went on the 7-day southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan in March of 2019. Went down a day early and stayed in San Juan overnight. We were able to check out Old San Juan with the few hours we had that evening. We are in our early thirties and had a really fun time on this cruise. We weren't sure what to expect based on previous reviews, but this cruise did not disappoint for a smaller ship. We have been on the Escape twice (once for Eastern Caribbean and once for Western Caribbean). I have also been on two other cruise from another cruise line. This was my favorite cruise so far. Embarkation: We were scheduled to embark at 11:00 and got to the terminal around 10:30. Getting through security was quick and overall efficient, but we did have to wait in line once we were all checked in for about 40 minutes in a very small building with poor air conditioning with a few hundred other people while waiting to board the ship. The building was much smaller than those in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. I understand that the crew had to quickly turn over the ship before new passengers could be let on, but I noticed there weren't many places to sit while waiting and some of the older passengers and children were complaining about standing for that long. We were just happy to be out of the cold weather and excited to explore the ship. Once we were on board, we were able to grab drinks and hang out by the pool. It wasn't very busy out on the sundeck until later in the day. They had a band playing and music until the ship set sail at 9pm. The ship itself was smaller than others I've been on but has everything you need. As mentioned in many other reviews, the layout can be a bit confusing. We found ourselves in a "you can't get there from here" situation several times. The hallways to the staterooms were quite narrow. We noticed some people having difficulty navigating them with motorized scooters. We opted to take the stairs and avoid elevators mostly but when we did use the elevators there was never a long wait. Plenty of bars and restaurants to keep us satisfied. There is a small casino compared to the one on the Escape but has a lot of slot machines, quarter games and a few table games. We threw a $20 in the penny slots and won some money so no complaints. The theater was surprisingly quite large for a small ship. Some of the seats seemed to be broken/uncomfortable but overall was fine. The pool on the sundeck is a saltwater pool and there were 4 hot tubs that were the same as the ones on the Escape. There was always a lifeguard on duty which I have never seen on a cruise ship before. He seemed to take his job very seriously. Pool area was crowded on our one sea day. I would recommend getting seats/loungers early on those days. There were plenty of lounge chairs, high top tables with chairs and some more comfortable couches and chairs on the sundeck and on other days we didn't have to spent too much time finding a spot when we got back on the ship in the afternoon. Our bartender, Deny kept the drinks coming and always made a point to check on us if he saw us. I'm pretty sure he was on the Escape last time I was. We did not use the spa or gym this time, but did take a look at the gym. There was plenty of cardio equipment and a room with spin bikes from what I remember. Public restrooms were much smaller than on the Escape but very clean and no waiting in line, at least not for more than a minute or two. Our cabin was 8525. Close to O'Sheehans and easy access to the stairwell. Overall, minimal noise complaints. There was one night where we could hear some music, but it stopped by 10 pm. It was an inside room, so it was small and dark, as we expected. I always bring an over-the-door shoe organizer to keep our sunscreen/bathing suits/extra items out of the way and hang it on the outside of the bathroom door. We really only use our room to sleep and shower so it was fine for our needs. The bed is essentially 2 twins pushed together. I always have an issue with the "crack" between the two beds, but we survived. We asked our room steward via post-it note to remove all alcohol from the minibar so we didn't get charged and so we could use the fridge space and he did so on the first evening. The bathroom, again small but has everything you need. Shower had a door and worked just fine. Sink and toilet were similar to other ships. Not a lot of bathroom storage space. Sam, our steward was great and made our room up several times a day while we were out. Always left us fresh towels and even made us some fun towel animals. (Something I look forward to on cruises). We found our cabin to be a bit damp on the last day for some reason. Dining: Buffet as mentioned in a lot of other reviews was subpar compared to the Escape. Not much variety and food was quite bland. It also had limited hours. Every time we wanted to grab a late night snack it was closed. Food was mostly American fare at the buffet: burgers, hotdogs, pizza and pasta items. Some sandwiches and baked dishes as well. Having read other reviews, we kind of expected this and only ate at the buffet for afternoon snacks. It's close to the pool, but the pool bar had similar food items as well. Having learned from previous cruises that the buffet is CRAZY at breakfast time, we decided to eat at O'Sheehans every morning for a sit-down breakfast and we really enjoyed it much more without feeling rushed. It probably took us about the same time it would in the buffet. The breakfast menu was the same every day, but we got different things each day and it was all very good. We ate at O'Sheehans a lot over the course of the week, but the service was good and so was the food. We were familiar with it because there is one on the Escape as well. The food was consistent. The bbq wings and spinach dip were our favorite snacks from there. I believe it stayed open 24 hours. We ate at the main dining rooms for dinner every night as the food tends to be quite good and again, less crazy than the buffet. We tried Aqua the first night. It had a more dark, romantic (and in my opinion, sleepy) atmosphere. The service was slow and the food was only ok. We decided to try the Venetian the next night, and although they serve the same food as Aqua, it seemed to be much better. The service and atmosphere at the Venetian was better as well so we decided to go there for dinner the rest of the week. We had some meals we really liked and some that were just ok, but were able to eat and get on our way in about an hour. Best part is freestyle dining with Norwegian! No need to dress up or reserve dinner times, just show up. My boyfriend and I agreed that we were only going to dress up one night on this cruise as we dress up for work every day and we didn't want to on vacation. I didn't see anyone that was super dressed up on this ship on any night. We have on others. We never waited more than a few minutes to be seated at any restaurant on the ship. We did not pay extra for any of the specialty dining spots and based on reviews I read before, it wasn't worth it so we didn't really bother looking into it. Bars/Drinks: We did have the beverage package included and if you plan on drinking more than 1-2 alcoholic drinks a day, it is a must. We had met people who racked up a $500 bar bill after only a few days because they didn't know about the beverage package. Only includes alcoholic drinks under $15, but we didn't have any issues. Unless you want top shelf drinks, most things are included in the beverage package. It does not include soda or bottled water. Buffet has lemonade/iced tea/juices/water fountain drinks. Mostly got drinks from the Topsider's Bar near the pool and some drinks at the casino while waiting for shows in the nearby Theater. They were always consistent no matter what bar you got them at and also the same as on the Escape. I did wait in line for a beer at the Bimini (smoker's) Bar on the upper deck overlooking the pool. There was one bartender that took FOREVER to make drinks. I asked for 2 beers and he made me 2 mixed drinks that I didn't order. I decided to just get our next drink at Topsider's as it took much less time even though it was further away from our seats. I read reviews that said smoke from the Bimini bar was annoying to people by the pool, but I never really noticed it at all. As mentioned, Deny our personal bartender kept the drinks coming out by the pool without us needing to leave the hot tub/pool which was great. We avoided the Atrium bar as it was usually close to bands playing and where crowds gathered, but they were kind enough to fill our water bottles in the morning before we left for the day. O'Sheehans did the same. Not enough plain water anywhere unless you wanted to overpay for bottles. The ship water is gross if you get it from your room by the way. We had tried the Sugarcane mojito bar on the Escape and didn't really have time to explore it on the Dawn. We avoided the Champagne Bar, which I actually wanted to go to because of the cigarette smoke coming from the cigar bar next door. I didn't really see anyone smoking cigars in there, only cigarettes. We went to several shows at the Bliss lounge. They had some different cocktails there that were good. They had servers during the shows and the bar line was never very long. Entertainment: We went to several shows at the Bliss Lounge and they seemed to always have something going on day and night. We went to dance one night when the DJ was playing, the Karaoke championship, some dance competitions and other shows that we stumbled in on that turned out to be much better than I expected. It seemed to be that in the evening if you wanted a show you either had the option of whatever was going on in Bliss or the Stardust Theater. We caught the end of the Not So Newlywed game which they usually have on the Norweigian ships and it was quite funny. We watched the rest on TV while we were getting ready one morning as they broadcast it on their channel. We went to the magician/illusionist (PJ or DJ) he was really good. We went to Elements which was really cool. It was kind of ballet/acrobatics/magic all mixed together. We missed the comedian's main show (Andrew Kennedy), but the adult's only show on the last day was really funny. They must have changed some of the entertainment because recent reviews weren't great for some of the entertainment and we thought everything was pretty good for cruise ship shows. There were some bands and singers in the Atrium every evening, we didn't really listen to them for long but all seemed very good. More oldies type stuff. They had a Johnny Cash tribute one evening. The DJ and band by the pool (Sabor Latino) was good on the first day but throughout the week, we realized their set never changed and we kept hearing the same songs over and over. Good mix of English and Spanish songs. Not as much Jimmy Buffet style music, but more of a latin style overall compared to other ships. We went to the White Hot party and it was much more fun than we expected based on the one we went to on the Escape. People seemed to really be having a good time. I know we did. Service: Overall very good. No bad experiences. Cabin steward was very good. Bar staff overall very good. Dining room staff were ok. We found some of them to be inexperienced or have some difficulty with speaking English, but it didn't cause any issues for us. Ports: We chose this cruise because of the 5 stops and fewer sea days. My boyfriend has a hard time to sit still and gets bored when we have too many sea days. It kept us very busy and we didn't have a lot of down time, but we always made it back to the ship a little earlier than the all aboard time to enjoy the pool and try to get a little relaxation time in. We booked 2 excursions through the ship and 2 in port. Much cheaper at the port, but if you don't make it back in time, the ship won't wait for you. We just make sure to give ourselves plenty of extra time to get back. St. Lucia: Easy walk to port shops. We booked an excursion through JJ's in the port. This turned out to be really fun as we didn't really have a plan when we got off the ship. We took a speedboat with a group of maybe 20 people to Soufriere Beach and then got a little tour of the area from the water and took pictures in front of the Pitons. The beach was at a resort and there was SCUBA equipment and a bar nearby. My boyfriend snorkeled and saw a lot of tropical fish in the cove. Beach was more volcanic dark sand. If you want a chair/umbrella you have to pay more. Cost was $55/person for the excursion and was reasonable. They gave us some local rum and rum punch to try. Barbados: 10 minute walk from the ship to port shops. Norwegian did have a shuttle but we decided to walk and it was fine. Took a taxi to The Boatyard beach club which I heard about from a review. $25/person and this includes beach chairs, umbrella, use of the inflatable water toys and a free welcome drink. There is a bar/restaurant there. We got buckets of Carib for $20 (6 beers). Bartenders were friendly. They don't allow you to use the motorized "toys" due to insurance reasons. Water was clear blue, sand was white and the sun was hot. We had a great day just hanging out in the water and we felt very safe there. They arrange for a shuttle to get you back to the port as part of the entrance fee. Cab ride there was a reasonable price from the port. Taxi service had an area in the port, but were not very helpful and we had to ask several people questions to actually get a ride arranged. As we drove there, you could tell Barbados is a very poor island. A lot of rundown buildings. St. Kitts: Easy walk off the ship. Booked SNUBA excursion through the ship. It was raining and cloudy most of the day. Took a long bus ride to a remote beach club in a small bay. SNUBA staff were knowledgeable but when I got nervous about doing it, they weren't very encouraging and I ended up backing out. My boyfriend is SCUBA certified and found this to be a middle ground between snorkeling and SCUBA diving. You are able to go about 10 ft under water using a regulator that is attached to a float with an oxygen tank on it. There were 4 people per SNUBA unit and I overheard people talking about how they kept kicking other people next to them. The water was kind of merky on the beach. It seemed to be more clear in the bay. My boyfriend says he saw a lot of different fish there. We got to spend another hour there, but it was poor weather and everyone was pretty much ready to go back to the ship. We stopped at Timothy Hill for photos of where the Caribbean and Atlantic meet. This was our least favorite port. St. Maarten: Easy walk to the port. We have been here before the hurricane's hit. You can tell they are still recovering. We took a taxi to Maho Beach (the one where the planes fly over to land at the airport). This was really a cool spot and the Sunset Beach Bar is right there. We paid $20 for 2 chairs and an umbrella. Water was clear blue and we had a really great day. Saw probably 20 planes fly over while we were there. Got a pizza from the bar and it was really good. Bar service was poor and bartenders not friendly at the main bar. Cab fare was round trip and you meet at the taxi spot near the beach bar to get a ride back. They had cabs going all afternoon. Took 30 minutes or so to get back to the port. We were told there is drawbridge/turntable bridge that can cause delays on the way back so beware! We gave ourselves plenty of time to get back and did not have any issues. St. Thomas: We have both been here several times before and it is always one of our favorite spots. Easy walk to the port. We booked a catamaran, snorkeling and beach excursion through the ship. There were about 40 people on the boat. We were on the Cruzan Breeze with captain Mike and his mates Lindy and Charles. They were all very fun,funny, knowledgeable and made the trip worthwhile! Took a 20 minute ride to Turtle Bay where we were instructed on how to use our snorkeling gear. Lindy took everyone to look for turtles and we did see 3-4. We also saw a few stingrays. We then swam over to the nearby reef and saw all kinds of fish, coral and even an octopus. After about an hour we moved on to Honeymoon Beach on Water Island where they provided us with bottomless rum punch. There were a couple beach bars there as well. We spent the time in the crystal clear water looking out at the boats in the cove .We stayed here for about an hour and then made the 30 minute boat ride back to the port. This was SO MUCH FUN. Disembarkation: It all went well but we chose to leave at the latest time due to our late flight home. We had breakfast at O'Sheehans and spent some time on the pool deck that morning. We did have to wait an hour in the Bliss lounge after our scheduled time to get of the boat due to backup on the gangway and in the customs area. Once we got off we were able to get our bags and went through customs fairly quickly and without issue. There were shuttles waiting outside and it was a reasonable fair to the airport from there. I promise I'm finishing up this long post, but a few more things I noticed during this trip. Minimal children and the ones we did see on our ship were very well behaved. There is a children's pool area and we didn't have any issues with kids in the adult pool/hot tubs as we have on other ships. Wide variety of ages from teenagers to older adults. We were joking that the average age was probably 52 by general survey. All the fellow passengers we met were very friendly. There's always something for everyone on the ship and they have classes/shows during the day for those who like to stay onboard. We didn't do any shopping or buy any photos from the ship. I know this was lengthy but if it helps even one person plan their trip, I'll be happy. I know I used a lot of reviews before I planned this trip after making some mistakes in the past and it definitely made a difference in some of the choices we made. We have liked Norwegian in the past and will likely continue to cruise with them in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We have sailed on the Dawn several times out of Boston and we were glad to see this Southern Caribbean sailing offered out of San Juan. We chose the "Free or Reduced Flights" offer and were given same day flights out of ... Read More
We have sailed on the Dawn several times out of Boston and we were glad to see this Southern Caribbean sailing offered out of San Juan. We chose the "Free or Reduced Flights" offer and were given same day flights out of Boston at a rate of $99 per person round trip. We flew on American Airlines ( and our flights were NOT scheduled on the 737 MAX) We were given a 6:10 am flight to Charlotte with 40 minutes to change planes and on to San Juan arriving at 1:30 pm. At the time we booked, the only other option was to fly in a day early, pay a $50 change fee, and book a pre-cruise hotel thru NCL - the cost of the hotel was $285 PER PERSON so we opted to keep the flights awarded us. They changed the program after we were ticketed, so that you may now book your own hotel at considerable savings but would not let me change when I inquired. We kept the NCL transfers to the ship thinking if we were delayed that NCL would get us to the ship. We should have taken a cab which would have been half the price and more timely. The wait for the NCL transport was long and disorganized and we got to the ship just after 3:00 pm. Check in was fast and easy and we went straight to our cabin to drop the one carry-on we kept with us. Our luggage actually arrived fairly fast and we had time to unpack before the 4:30 Muster. If you aren't on board for the muster you MUST attend a makeup the next day at sea. We were traveling with a group of 8 so met up with all of them for dinner and found the best waitstaff on board. Cherry was our lead waiter, and her assistant Vergilio - they were fun and we had such a great time with them, we requested them every other night in the Venetian dining room, and were able to get reservations each night to assure we would be with her. There was ONE "Dress up or Not" evening our second night out and guests were requested to wear "smart casual" in the main dining room but we found that the dress code was only observed that one night (ie no shorts or jeans) any other night it was completely casual, with men and women wearing shorts and very casual day wear. The menu's were plain, and other than the Prime Rib in O'Sheehans on the first night, and a Beef Tenderloin on another night, were nothing remarkable, other than we found most of the meats dry and overcooked. Disappointing as we are NOT huge foodies, so it takes very little to impress us with a good meal. We stayed in Cabin 8590 which is an obstructed view cabin - up the hall from O'Sheehan's. This corridor has several twists and turns, so we never heard loud music from O'Sheehan's. We had a life boat directly outside our windows so we had light coming in, but no view which was fine with us - we knew we would not be spending a lot of time in our cabin. We did have workmen in the lifeboat two mornings fairly early, but these were port days so we were up early anyway. Our first cabin issue came with some knucklheads who thought it was fun to "turn" the door messages. There is a little place next to your door cabin where you can alert your steward to Make up the Cabin, Turn Down the Cabin or Do Not Disturb - some clowns thought it was funny to go down the corridor and change the cabins signs, resulting in our cabin not being made up or turned down accordingly. After the first instance on the first day when our cabin wasn't made up by 1:00 pm we realized the sign on the door had been changed to "Do Not Disturb" and notified our cabin attendant by leaving a message. We NEVER met her all week! We explained that we knew it wasn't her fault and to please ignore the door sign in the future. It happened several more times, we reported it several more times, but our cabin was not attended to at least half of the trip. We felt that the steward could have done more to check to see if we were in the cabin - a phone call, or a knock on the door especially since we ASKED for her to ignore the door signs after reporting the issue several times. Just poor communication till she knocked on our door at 7:00 am the day of disembarkation to see if we were there - the ONLY day she bothered to check.... On the days we did get fresh towels, often the were severely frayed around the edges with strings hanging - the looked more like rags than towels - they should NEVER have been placed in a guests cabin! We also used the $50 port credit fee to book several excursions. Being GOLD Latitudes members we are supposed to get a discount on excursions, and noticed they weren't showing up on our account - we had to go to the excursion desk to request this perk - we were told it's "not automatic"... My friend is Platinum and she had to pay a $3.95 registration charge to use her "free internet" minutes. More and more the N in NCL is representing "Nickle and Dime" and we were getting weary of these little things popping up. Excursion were fine but often not as stated on the packet - our first one was to Soufriere Falls and was supposed to be 4.5 hours - it was actually 6.5 hours which was fine with us but not the expectation that was set and some people were not happy they did not have time to "shop" before returning to the ship. We found that the time printed for duration was often a less than the actual tour times. The entertainment was what we expected - no more, no less. We were glad to see Patti and Jose still on board, and a great comedian, Andrew Kennedy - his late show was great! We do miss the smaller gathering places on this ship - there are not many intimate areas to sit and enjoy a drink without a lot of "noise". The wine cellar was empty every time we passed thru and perhaps could be better used as another type of venue. Gatsby's is a nice place with smaller group entertainment but still very loud and not a lot of seating. Overall we enjoyed our cruise and it was as we expected having been on the Dawn before, but we find that NCL's changes in policies and lack of attention to details getting to be more of the norm. We will be putting NCL at the bottom of our list for the next few cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
It was amazing the first step on the platform. I was in aw. I was so excited to cruise around and see beautiful islands with my wonderful husband. It was beautiful almost every day. The ships staff were beyond helpful. I love the hibachi ... Read More
It was amazing the first step on the platform. I was in aw. I was so excited to cruise around and see beautiful islands with my wonderful husband. It was beautiful almost every day. The ships staff were beyond helpful. I love the hibachi food it was delicious. The aqua and Venician were good as well. There was a great show with acrobats and dancing and then after we got to thank all the crew members for the spectacular jobs. I thought that was fantastic. The islands would take too long to write about but they were Aaaaamazing. I want to go on a cruise every day. But I think maybe every couple years would be more realistic. Thank you for one of the best vacations I have ever had. Plus it was my honeymoon. The only thing I was sad about is that I left my picture I bought of my husband and I that we took on the ship. Oh and of course leaving the ship. Read Less
Norwegian Dawn Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.5 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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