Sail Date: December 2018
We had a balcony cabin-there was only one 110V outlet in the entire cabin. We played the plug in the shaver, 2 phones, 2 watches, iPod, iPad game to try to keep things charged. Bring a multi outlet splitter if you have devices. The ... Read More
We had a balcony cabin-there was only one 110V outlet in the entire cabin. We played the plug in the shaver, 2 phones, 2 watches, iPod, iPad game to try to keep things charged. Bring a multi outlet splitter if you have devices. The entertainment is hit and miss - Elements show was excellent. There were several times where the concept of running a good business and keeping customers happy, just didn't make sense. For ex. we had the drink plan-but we chose to take two bottles of special reserve wine. The wine was confiscated and a $15 corkage ransom was demanded. We pointed out that their wine was already paid for with the plan and if we drank our wine, we wouldn't drink theirs. In the end we drank LOTS of their wine and just had our two bottles returned at the end of the trip...wonder what genius thought this was a good idea. We tried unsuccessfully to get reservations at Los Lobos and finally stopped by to just have appetizers. The bar was completely empty but they said they don't serve food at the bar. The food at the Garden cafe was the same almost every day & the bread was stale. Ice cream only from 5-10! The decorum in the Aqua and especially the Venetian was that if you don't have to dress, you can clearly carry on like you are at McDonalds. Kids were screaming and running around and the noise level was not what we expected in the formal dining room. Le Bistro and Cagneys were very, very good. Moderno's was a waste of money.They came by only one time on rotation and the quality was not what we expected. No free Yoga on ship- pay if you want to participate. The crew was the highlight...there were some standouts El Marie in Gatsbys and the lovely dancing hand washing guy. Norwegian can do much better! If this had been my first - it would have been my last. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Our two families sailed on NCL for Christmas last year and had so much fun that we decided to do New Years this year. Sailing out of San Juan on the NCL Dawn was easier than expected. Taxis have a set price per zone plus $1 per bag. Our ... Read More
Our two families sailed on NCL for Christmas last year and had so much fun that we decided to do New Years this year. Sailing out of San Juan on the NCL Dawn was easier than expected. Taxis have a set price per zone plus $1 per bag. Our hotel was near the airport and cost $20 plus bag fee. An Uber XL cost $14 for the 10-12 minute ride to the pier. We arrived on time and there were no lines and we were on the ship in minutes. We had a balcony and inside stateroom for our party. The walk in shower with good water pressure was spacious. No complaints at all with the cabin. Our stewardess Dorina was always smiling, pleasant and funny! She was a joy to see every day. In fact, when guest services dropped the ball on handling our defective safe, Dorina stepped in and had security present in 5 minutes! The bartenders work very hard on this ship. Two really stood out: Ian at the Bimini bar and Arthur at Topsiders. Ian took his time to make the drinks properly and was courteous. He made serving you more personable. Arthur hands down makes the BEST margaritas on the ship! The man is a wizard. While all our servers were very professional, we had only one kink for service at Le Bistro. Two of us had the specialty dining package while the other two did not. The waiter switched the check so we had to pay for 1 dinner that was supposed to be on specialty dining and did not for the other. The difference was about $25 extra we had to pay. Rather than argue about it we just ate the difference. However the next time evening that we dined there, and the food was really really good especially the seafood medley appetizer, we got the same waiter! I pedantically explained which two people had specialty dining and who did not BEFORE we ordered. He screwed up the checks AGAIN and we had to pay about $25 extra. I brought it to his attention and after much waiting he returned and mumbled that it was all fixed and we left. It wasn't fixed at all. This is a minor thing that didn't ruin our cruise but it was an unprofessional thing that I'd expect at a Denny's or Burger King; not on NCL. While our server (Agnelo) was a pleasant and smiling person he needs more training. So my recommendation is if you get him as your server then ask for another. We also dined at Cagneys and had a great meal. I liked the atmosphere at Le Bistro better though. With regard to the entertainment, the dancers and singers were excellent! Elements is a big stage production and a must see. We actually met a group of performers on the beach one day, including Emily and Lucy, and spoke with them. They were the nicest of people. Also a big shout out to the movie skit crew show. That was a really good low-budget performance that had us in stitches! As for the ship itself, it was easy to navigate around but for the life of me I don't get the space for the dinosaurs on the aft deck. I'd make seating and even a bar/grill like the Jade rather than that kid zone. In all the times I passed that section, I never saw any kids there. Which tells me it is under utilized space. Overall, the Dawn is a nice ship but we prefer the layout of the Jade better. The ship did not feel crowded at all even on the at sea day especially when compared to the Epic. There were plenty of loungers to go around. Lastly, the southern Caribbean itinerary was a show stopper! Fantastic. I'd do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We decided to sail out of San Juan because of the iitenerary. It did not disappoint. Barbados and St. Lucia were great ports. The Virgin Islands were good as well. I like NCLfreestyle ways. Everyone on board was friendly and went out of ... Read More
We decided to sail out of San Juan because of the iitenerary. It did not disappoint. Barbados and St. Lucia were great ports. The Virgin Islands were good as well. I like NCLfreestyle ways. Everyone on board was friendly and went out of their way to make your experience a good one. The room stewards are on point Adrian was ours and he was great. Pedro the entertainment director does a good job. The not so newlywed game had me in tears literally. I advise booking some speciality restaurants and booking early. They fill up fast. The complimentary restaurants get old after a while. The Dawn is an older smaller ship. It wears its age well. The ship is well cleaned. The staff is great. The dock party was a blast. NCL entertain better than carnival in my opinion. Moving the white party indoors because of weather was premature. Ended up being beautiful outside. Overall, it was a great trip. There are a lot of free giveaways in port. Check the insert of you daily entertainment publishing. Oh to my surprise, the drinks on NCL were poten. Not cheap, 10-15 each. But strong and tasty. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We traveled as a family with two adult children and their spouses. We found the boat in excellent condition, like new almost. The ship is a bit smaller than some of the mega ships we have been on and we found that quite refreshing. ... Read More
We traveled as a family with two adult children and their spouses. We found the boat in excellent condition, like new almost. The ship is a bit smaller than some of the mega ships we have been on and we found that quite refreshing. The lay out of the boat and signage makes navigating the boat easy. There are a wide range of activities more than you can do. Something for everybody. Good restaurants, be sure to book specialty restaurants early. Many of them sold out on our cruise. We found the sit down restaurants, venition and aqua much better than the buffet. The cruise next program is excellent. You get half of any future cruise deposit as an onboard credit to spend on your current cruise, an incredible value. Our only complaint was the bedding was not comfortable , but our room steward quickly got us some extra padding that fixed this. This ship is an incredible value. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We opted to go on the Dawn after having traveled in the same exact room a year ago. This time we left from San Juan. San Juan is still recovering but we stayed close to the port at the Condado Hotel (Gretchen at the pool bar was great) and ... Read More
We opted to go on the Dawn after having traveled in the same exact room a year ago. This time we left from San Juan. San Juan is still recovering but we stayed close to the port at the Condado Hotel (Gretchen at the pool bar was great) and it was still pretty rough around the hotel but they are working hard at it. Close to port! For the cruise the suite is awesome and just like the photos you see so did not take more. We had an awesome butler - Mellany Sison and the steward was Edna who worked harder than anyone I have seen and she was my "hero" for the week. Roel (concierge) is always so awesome and we met a new contact Stefan Korac who was the assistant Maître D and he was also very helpful and knowledgeable about wines. The ship was clean and neat and had been recently remodeled so no complaints at all there. We only went to a few shows but liked the comedian the best (Michael Mancini). My father was a comedian and usually I do not enjoy comedy shows and this one was very good. We did not gamble (yay! first time ever I think I kept husband away from casino) but he did shop (for me) which was nice. We got a great deal on some earrings from Arik Zaguri of Infinity Jewelry onboard. Restaurants/Bars Our VERY favorite thing about staying in a suite is the ability to eat breakfast and lunch in Moderno or Cagney's. We absolutely hate the buffet and did not go one time to the main buffet. Service was always great for breakfast and lunch and I cannot tell you how much we feel that is worth the price of the upgrade alone (not to mention the butler brought us cheese trays, chocolate covered strawberries and other treats every day). One tip I will share is we fell for a great price on some champagne but paid dearly for port tax as we purchased prior to sailing.. save some money and buy while underway. LaCucina was very good our first night. We did not have a reservation because online it said it was not available. I do not use the butler for these reservations as I like to plan ahead. We decided to try Italian and our favorite item was the lobster ravioli. We are not big pasta people so that was saying a lot for us! We frequented the Cellars Wine bar and tried several types of wines and did both wine tastings. The chocolate was the most fun. The blind tasting is interesting too. Carolina was awesome! Gatsy's had some nice live music to enjoy each time we stopped by. There was a very interesting martini flight you could try (not included in drink package) We ate at Cagney's Steakhouse and it was good as usual. My husband even surprised me with a Christmas gift delivered by Infinity Jewelry right to the table! LeBistro is always very good. There was a mix-up with our champagne we planned to have that night as it was Christmas but we opted for a different beverage. They made up for it later. Los Lobos Cantina was good. We tried several items on the menu but the skinny margaritas were very good! The cheese dip/queso was sinful! I am not sure why we end up doing the Teppanyaki with strangers but we always seem to do it. The food is always really good and the chef's are very entertaining but it is just so loud and me being lefthanded it is always ackward to sit next to a stranger if not on the right end. Like I said, food was good just not a nice, relaxing dinner. Venetian - main dining.. Okay, so we should have done this first and gotten it over with. You get spoiled going to speciality dining so when you do the regular dining room you feel rushed and it is also very loud. Stefan made it nicer by dropping by and bringing a couple of surprise drinks for us to try. The server was very nice and good but just a different atmosphere and will do earlier in cruise next time. They did have some awesome yeast rolls we had not had any where else. Spa: We did the thermal suite pass (always do) and it was pleasant. It wasn't very crowded ever and we wondered if it was because this cruise had so many port stops. Excursions: Captain Cliff - St. Lucia - advertised (outside NCL) as a private tour and the only private part was in the boat going over to taxi area from ship and back. He subbed us out to Sunrise Watersports - Big Mike - 520-4700 and 719-5447 because it was Christmas. It was okay but could have just used Big Mike only and been good. Captain Cliff got us in a taxi once on land with 7 other people and herded us to mud bath and then tried to get us to have lunch at a spot we were not interested in (we wanted to eat on the water) so we told cab driver and he had us head back to boat and Big Mike took us to this awesome restaurant/beach right on the water Anse Chastanet where we ate the best Mahi Mahi ever along with some grilled skewers. Our service Cedelce was awesome too. We were allowed to swim on one side (hotel guests have other side) and there was snorkeling but Big Mike only had masks and not fins so we opted out of that and ended up ending our trip a little early so he could be with family. We did a tour on St. Kitts with Greg's 4x4 tour (NCL trip) and it was nice but a lot of people as well. There were several 4x4 Land Rover type vehicles that followed each other to a couple of stops. The beach was pretty lame so don't book for that part but the ride and views were awesome! We got to try local rum drinks at one of the stops. Ended up at a spot that probably deals with Greg a lot and got drinks at a bar there too (our pay). We had to do the Moho Beach Transfer through NCL too which included a tour along the way and of course, the low flying planes. The bar there (Sunset Beach Bar) posts the schedule so you know when to be on the beach. Be careful though because they aren't kidding when saying stay away from the jet blasts. I do walk aerobics and can do from the room but my husband did take spin classes three days and really enjoyed it. Last thing we did after cruise was a San Juan tour. Countryside tours is the name and it was okay. I thought it was going to be longer but we were picked up at the port and taken around San Juan and then taken to the airport. This was an action packed trip for us and really did not rest much but room 10728 is awesome and we hung out on the balcony quite a bit. It holds two lounge chairs, two small chairs and small round table. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
While I have cruised before, my partner and his daughter were both first timers. I liked the itenarary as it would visit 5 islands which is a bonus in case either party was proned to seasickness. I also liked the size of the ship. Many of ... Read More
While I have cruised before, my partner and his daughter were both first timers. I liked the itenarary as it would visit 5 islands which is a bonus in case either party was proned to seasickness. I also liked the size of the ship. Many of the larger ships can be overwhelming to new cruisers and I wanted us all to have a more intimate experience. The cruise was wonderful. Had a mini suite room with a balcony offering lovely views at each port. The ship had a wide range of food and entertainment options, none which were ever over crowded. The Dancing with the Stars was spectacularly entertaining and the professional acts were visually stunning. The people on the ship were friendly and helpful. My only reason was lowering the rating to a 4 is a had some frustration getting bottles of wine from the wine package I ordered. We wanted them for our balcony, but unless the restaurants were open, we struggled to find a place that could give us one. Water fountains would have also help bump this cruise ratings but we hydrated in the main dining area. As for dining, there was enough options that our picky 9 year old had no problem finding delicious things to eat. Hooray! My traveling partners ended the trip committed to becoming cruise people and we will for sure be booking again at some point. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Wife and I are NCL Platinum Plus, and this was our 4th time on the Dawn. We were not enthused about our prior cruises on the Dawn, but we took it again because of the (Southern Caribbean) itinerary. Many years ago we took our 2 kids on ... Read More
Wife and I are NCL Platinum Plus, and this was our 4th time on the Dawn. We were not enthused about our prior cruises on the Dawn, but we took it again because of the (Southern Caribbean) itinerary. Many years ago we took our 2 kids on a Carnival cruise and it ranks as the worst cruise; this last cruise is now second-worst. We don't expect gourmet food, but frankly the dinners were bad. At best, the food tasted bland, sometimes not even reaching that level. This includes Le Bistro. We get 2 free Specialty Dining, otherwise I would have been perturbed to have paid for the literally tasteless Le Bistro food. Giving credit where credit is due, our one positive dining experience was at Moderno - food was very good there. Everyone's taste is different, but we found the main show entertainment poor. The "side shows" in the Bliss Lounge were fun and enjoyable. Finally, major criticism for getting on and off the ship at the ports. Having to wait on long lines had me angry. I don't see waiting on a line as part of an enjoyable vacation. Why the lines, you ask? Because they had ONE security guard scanning your room card. At one port we skipped ahead of a lot of people on line, inadvertently. That line to get back on ship was so long we presumed they were waiting for afternoon shore excursions. We were lucky no one shot us for skipping that line! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We booked B2B over Christmas and New Year's on Dawn out of San Juan because of the itinerary and we had never sailed from San Juan. Most things I found in my pre-cruise research indicated that the recent refresh of Dawn made it ... Read More
We booked B2B over Christmas and New Year's on Dawn out of San Juan because of the itinerary and we had never sailed from San Juan. Most things I found in my pre-cruise research indicated that the recent refresh of Dawn made it more modern and user friendly. Let me just say that the public spaces and restaurants are very nice and updated. The rooms on the other hand are still showing their age. There had been some sort of leak above or cabin previously and while I noticed no leaks during our stay the ceiling had never been properly repaired. Since there were public restrooms above our cabin I can only hope it was just water. The boarding process was fast and efficient. Since the ship did not sail until 9pm it seemed that there was not the usual rush for everyone to immediately board. We arrived at the terminal at 1245pm and were onboard in 20 minutes. The staff aboard this ship was absolutely top notch. They went out of their way to learn your name and engage with you to help in anyway they could. Our room steward, Gilbert, made sure we were always taken care of and had everything we needed. The Staff at the Bamini Bar and Gatsby's were the best, especially Nathaniel. I think we have just gotten spoiled by the multitude of entertainment and activities on the big ships. Even with the Holiday activities and the 5 ports on each week we still felt a bit bored at times. There are also some strange quirks about this ship. There are several areas that you can't get to from the deck that they are on. After you figure this out it's not an issue but until you learn it can be difficult. Lack of an adult's only area and limited entertainment options were really the things that brought this review down to 3 stars. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this ship because of all the ports it visited. Our cabin was #10370, a balcony cabin right off the back of the ship. The bathroom and the balcony were both fairly large. Our cabin steward, Edna, was exceptional. We loved ... Read More
We chose this ship because of all the ports it visited. Our cabin was #10370, a balcony cabin right off the back of the ship. The bathroom and the balcony were both fairly large. Our cabin steward, Edna, was exceptional. We loved dining at the specialty restaurants. We really enjoyed Le Bistro, La Cucina, Cagney's, Moderno, Aqua, and Teppanyaki. The food was excellent and the service at all the restaurants was fabulous. Embarkation and debarkation was the easiest ever. We saw a lot on the varied shore excursions. The entertainment and shows were top notch. The magician was so entertaining. The shows were incredible with all the singers, dancers and the couple that did the gymnastics and flying sessions were incredible. The ship was beautiful even though we were kind of leery knowing it had been refurbished. It was decorated so nice for Christmas. We are ready to go back! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
It was going to a few ports that we had not been to on prior Caribbean cruises. It sailed from San Juan, P.R. and we enjoyed spending a night there prior to the cruise leaving. We enjoy travelling on the "mid" sized ships ... Read More
It was going to a few ports that we had not been to on prior Caribbean cruises. It sailed from San Juan, P.R. and we enjoyed spending a night there prior to the cruise leaving. We enjoy travelling on the "mid" sized ships (2,000 - 3,000 passengers) and the Dawn fit the bill. We stayed in a suite on Deck 12 and enjoyed the amenities of a suite, ie, priority boarding and disembarkation, butler service and 24 hour room service. Ship was very nicely decorated for the Christmas holiday. Specialty restaurants were excellent. Enjoyed dining in Cagneys, LaCucina and LeBistro. Food in the buffets was very good. The service was top notch in the dining room, restaurants, bars and cabin. Entertainment was OK and activities on board were not as great as I had hoped. Ports and excursions were excellent. We did not travel with any children, however, we did share our suite with our 24 year old daughter. Read Less
Norwegian Dawn Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.5 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.0

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