Sail Date: April 2018
More or less the individuals cruising with us helped choose the location and timing of our particular cruise with the NCL Dawn. We were all located on the same deck (ten) and had balcony rooms. We were situated both on the port side and ... Read More
More or less the individuals cruising with us helped choose the location and timing of our particular cruise with the NCL Dawn. We were all located on the same deck (ten) and had balcony rooms. We were situated both on the port side and starboard side of the deck. The room stewards on both sides were excellent, as well as the stewards we passed in the hallways who were friendly and helpful with directions basically to everywhere on the NCL Dawn. Dining, bars and entertainment was excellent everywhere! Children were plentiful due to a mixture of spring break and Easter Holiday. This meant the children took over the hot tubs everywhere except the spa area. Thank goodness I booked the spa package since there is only a limited amount sold per ship. Many days I had the hot tub, sauna and pool in the spa all to myself or a maximum of three other people. Ports were effortlessly laid out for everyone in a artful colorful ray of colors. Many of my photos were taken just for the many artful subjects around every corner; eye candy for the traveler. My favorite place to eat breakfast and lunch on the NCL Dawn is the O' Sheehan's Bar & Grill; service was awesome and available 24/7. The dawn of cruising has arrived and you can find it all on the NCL Dawn. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
My family of 4 (two kids 12 and 10) really enjoyed our Western Caribbean cruise on the Dawn. It was our first cruise. Pros: 1. The ship is in excellent condition, and service was excellent. Our mini-suite with balcony was perfect ... Read More
My family of 4 (two kids 12 and 10) really enjoyed our Western Caribbean cruise on the Dawn. It was our first cruise. Pros: 1. The ship is in excellent condition, and service was excellent. Our mini-suite with balcony was perfect for us. I particularly appreciated the design of the bathroom. Even though it's just one room, the toilet and shower can both be closed off from the sink area. 2. Food and drink. Speciality dining (Moderno, La Cucina and Cagney's) was excellent -- well above expectations. The buffet, especially once you learn what to avoid, was also excellent. We had the ultimate beverage package, and I was impressed with the quality of beer, wine and cocktails -- especially once I learned which bartenders really knew how to make a drink. 3. Entertainment. While the various lounge singers were pretty bad, the comedian (Tim Kaminski), the singing and dancing shows, the magician and the aerialists were all great. We really felt like we were getting something for our cruise dollars. 4. Roatan. While almost entirely propped up by tourism, Roatan is an authentic destination unlike Costa Maya and Harvest Caye. 5. Laid back, "freestyle" atmosphere. I simply would not take a cruise with assigned dining times and dress requirements beyond a collared shirt. Not my style. NCL fit our vibe perfectly. Cons: 1. Internet. We got the 250 minutes/1 gb package as a freebie, and it was mostly an exercise in frustration. Page loads take FOREVER. It's good only for quick email checks and texts. Forget anything with a photo or video. This wasn't such a big deal because I actually wanted to unplug; but when I did the handful of obligatory email and text checks, I wish it had been smooth. Even dial up model smooth would have been good enough. 2. The pool. It's small. And it was crowded and loud, but in fairness our cruise was an Easter/Spring Break cruise with almost 3000 guests, including more than 780 children. With crew, we were only 23 people short of the ship's max capacity of 4000. 3. NCL's own shore excursions are expensive. Like really expensive. We booked Chachchobben Mayan Ruins at Costa Maya through NCL and probably shouldn't have. In Roatan we went out on our own and saved a ton of money. 4. Onboard "active" activities are somewhat limited. The basketball court was almost always very busy. Other than than that, there are a couple ping pong tables, giant outdoor chess and some shuffle puck. Considering how crowded the pool is, all together there aren't enough active options for days at sea. I would choose NCL again, and I would probably choose the Dawn again too even though the onboard activities -- except for the entertainment -- were somewhat limited. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our first cruise, and we really didn't do much research to see what cruise line to pick, or what the differences were--my wife and I were more focused on the destinations and just getting time together. The Norwegian experience ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and we really didn't do much research to see what cruise line to pick, or what the differences were--my wife and I were more focused on the destinations and just getting time together. The Norwegian experience was a surprising bonus to what we already thought would be a great trip. Didn't know what to expect and weren't prepared for formal nights, etc, so we lucked out with the Freestyle cruising atmosphere provided by NCL. They drew the line at my tank top for seated dinner, but otherwise were unfussy and very friendly. Specialty restaurants quickly filled up but we never had to wait for seats in the main restaurants, and the food was very good, even in the buffet. Entertainment was excellent throughout, and with a ship the size of the Dawn, we never had to make reservations. Ports of call were arrived at on schedule even with medical diversions, and the crew were informative. The ports were great with the exception of Harvest Caye, which is a company island and therefore contained higher costs for purchases, little local culture and the imported sand was rough. Em/Debarkation in Tampa was far rougher than it needed to be, as Tampa has only one gangway. Getting into the ports of call was easy (docked at all ports), and our experiences there were great. Onshore excursions were good (especially Mayan ruins), but our best onshore experience was with a local guide shop in Roatan, who gave us a dedicated driver tour of the west half of the island, Chocolate factory, snorkling and monkey park for a reasonable price, returning well ahead of all aboard time. Wasn't keen on costs before going, but after the experience I would go again! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This is our forth sailing on NCL, our first on the Dawn, first from Tampa, but have been on this Western Carib route in the past - most recently on the Jade from Houston 2 years ago. As this was our first time sailing from Tampa, I ... Read More
This is our forth sailing on NCL, our first on the Dawn, first from Tampa, but have been on this Western Carib route in the past - most recently on the Jade from Houston 2 years ago. As this was our first time sailing from Tampa, I didn't know what to expect. One thing I noticed right away was the clientele was a bit different than what we've seen on NCL going out of Miami. I felt like we were getting on Carnival. All I'll say for now is baseball hats and tank-tops are not appropriate at dinner. And what is up with wearing the American flag as a pair of shorts? Uuum.. ya. Our journey began in Chicago. We decided to drive for several reasons, mostly cost of airfare, as we booked this sailing much closer to the sail date than we have in the past, and air was outrageous. Other reasons we drove were that we typically stop at family along the way - first in Indi, to see the in laws, and to kennel the dog & cat. Much more affordable there vs home. We got into Tampa the night before and stayed at my wife's cousin's house, who lives in Brandon. We left the car there which was also a plus. After a 15 min ride to the port, we were dropped behind the covered parking / Uber spot and walked to the entrance. We got there much earlier than we should have, but probably worked out best, as the line was already about 150 ppl deep at 10a. The sun was hot and our 15-yog was of course complaining. We met a nice couple from Mass who were there without any kids and hoped they knew this was Spring Break. Ironically, out of the 2500+ on board, we ran into this couple at least half a dozen times throughout the week. Seemed like they were having a great time. So more about Port of Tampa - as soon as we spotted a porter, he took our bags, but we had to find a stapler first to attach our NCL bag tags. Fortunately, the porter had one, and took care of it. Nice guy, and tipped him well. Once inside, the process was pretty quick. We're not first time cruisers, so we were able to use the priority line. For some reason, there was a problem with how our reservation was setup (didn't appear to us anything was wrong before we got there). It took quite a long time for the agent to check us in. They had to call over others to help, get on the phone, walk into another room. I think we were standing there about 20 min. Finally, we get our keycards and find a place to sit. At roughly 12p, the boarding began. We were in group 4, so we got on pretty quick. But, when we tried to scan our keycards at the security check in on board, there were issues. Apparently, the pictures that were taken at check in were not assigned to the right names. So right to guest services we went to get it fixed - this took about 45 min. We had to repeat the entire check in process again. I couldn't get a reason why this happened, only that the agent on board said the folks in the terminal didn't check us in correctly. Finally, we're all set - onward, upward.... Of course rooms weren't ready so we decided to grab a bite. We hadn't had anything to eat yet that day and we had a cranky teenager (DAD!! I'm hungry!!) - **Tip - NEVER go to the buffet on embarkation day. The main dining room was open and very empty. We got served really quick. We then took a walk and see what the pool was like. After a quick walk around, the rooms were ready. We were in Balcony cabin 10618. Was exactly like our room on the Jade. Very small. I realize this is an older boat, which was just rehab'd, but of course the rooms weren't made any larger. I tried to bid on a Family Suite, but my offer of 1000.00 was rejected. O well. We'll make do. This room is on the port side, mid-ship. Was really convenient to the mid stairs/elevators. Nice thing about the Dawn is it only has 13 or so decks. Being that our room was on 10. it was only a 2 deck walk up to the pool, or 2 down to O'Sheehans/ or the other bars. I think over the 7 days, we used the elevator maybe 3 times, which was when we came back on board on deck 4. Our cabin steward was really nice. Leticia from St Lucia. She did a great job, always had a towel animal every night (other cruises we didn't). Made sure we took care of her. The room was average. There was only one Edison outlet in the room. Surprised there were no USB plugs. Decent enough closet space, but the bathroom could be bigger. I'd say take the wall out between the toilet and sink area. The bed was comfortable, and the sofa bed was easy to put away ourselves. Assembly drill was at 3p, which we were outside, along the port side. It always amazes me how there's so many people that are disrespectful, talking, or not paying attention during the drill. This information could save your life. Maybe you should listen? It's 15 minutes out of your week. I can't even imagine what would happen if an evacuation was necessary. Ok, moving on... Leaving port - this was one thing I was looking forward to, going under the skyway bridge. After we pushed off the dock at 4p, it was another 2 hours or so until we got to the bridge. I snapped a few nice pics while we went under. After that, we checked in our teenager into Entourage. I was so hoping she was going to make friends. Luckily she did, and we hardly saw her. A few hours after we left port, our bags started coming up. I think we had all of them before we went to dinner. We had reservations at 715 at Teppanyaki, but was also wanting to see the preview show they do on the first night. The last cruise we were on (The Escape), dinner in the MDR on the first night took over 3 hours and we missed the show. As was the way it went this time too, but the dinner experience was really good, so I didn't mind. I'll review the food later on. After dinner, we decide to walk around, find a bar, and sit on the pool deck. Not too much later, we decided to make it an early night and get some rest. Next day was at sea, and decided to eat in the MDR. Much better than fight the lines or try to find a table at the buffet. Spent some time exploring the Dawn. Ended up walking 6 laps on the outside deck that morning, and 6 more that afternoon. While walking around, we started to hear sounds of a helicopter getting closer. It was the coast guard. They were trying to land. Apparently, there was a young boy that had some health issues that something happened and needed urgent care. Not exactly something you see on a cruise, but hope he's ok. I heard we deviated from our course to Cozumel so we'd be in range of the Coast Guard. No dinner plans that night, so we ate in Aqua, which is the other MDR. Day 3 in Cozumel - Didn't arrange any excursions, so we went ashore and walked around. There were some things I wanted to get in the shops and we ended up getting some ceviche and shared a margarita at a local tourist spot overlooking the water. Shopping goals met, we went back on board and found a big lounger at the pool. We ate at Moderno that night. It was just ok. We did spend a few evenings at the Mojito bar later that week. Day 4 in Costa Maya. First time we'd been here. I'm not really a fan of the 'manufactured environments' where either the cruise line or the country builds these shopping villages. To me, this paints a very unrealistic view of what the area is like. We could have been in any shopping mall with a pool, and you wouldn't have known any different. To get into town is a short cab ride. I wanted to walk, but was told that wasn't a good idea. Trying to convince the wife and teenager to go exploring in town didn't go over well, so our experience of Costa Maya was limited. Back on board, we had dinner at Los Lobos. If you aren't into the paid venues, I suggest trying this hidden gem. Day 5 we're in Roatan. We planned an excursion online before we left home and ended up getting a private tour of the island. I highly recommend. We made a lot of stops at sights along the way, was offered to try Iguana, which was a delicacy at that time of year, went to a small zoo where you can hold capuchin monkeys, sloths and macaws. It was nice to see the island for what it really is (as much as you can in a few hours) instead of some isolated shopping mall. Once on board again, we ate at La Cucina that night. Day 6 was Harvest Caye. We didn't plan any excursions as we were only in port until 130p. This was again, another 'manufactured environment'. To me, it felt like we were in a DisneyWorld hotel neighborhood. In fact, talking with some of the shop workers, they said Harvest Caye was designed by an ex-Disney Imagineer. The pool was nice, but really didn't appreciate that if you wanted food you had to pay for it. This is NCLs private area - should be included like some other cruise lines do. Had to be on board by 130p. Spent the rest of the day at the pool. Dinner that night was at Bamboo. Was pretty good. Day 7 - Last day. Walked a few more laps around the deck, packed that afternoon, saw the production show 'Elements' (Time for an update), ate in the MDR. Made it an early night. Apparently, there was another medical issue on board. During the previous night, we made an unscheduled stop in Cozumel as there was someone that had a heart attack and needed immediate care. The change in course we were told later that next day may push the arrival time in Tampa back a few hours. In the end we arrived just about on time. Hopefully the person who had the heart attack is recovering. Disembark in Tampa - This was arduous. Not sure if it was because of the delay (can't believe that it was, we were there on time), but the line to get off was around the entire inside of deck 7. I think we walked off by 1130a. Our bags were in the arrival hall, got through immigration really quick, and got on Uber. All in all, pretty smooth. So, that's a quick review of our week, now to talk about the Dawn: The boat itself is very much like all the other vessels in this class, but the Dawn has some differences. It looks like the designers were trying to give a 'grand atrium' feel with how the center concourse was built. This was uncharacteristic of other NCL ships we've been on. I think it was nice. There was this wide open space where a small singing group performs most every night, right by the coffee bar. It took me a bit longer than usual to get used to the deck layout. When I thought I knew were I was going, I'd end up at a dead end or a closed door. I thought it was strange that you couldn't walk to the front of the boat on the pool deck, without having to go up to the next level. I kept thinking this was like the Jade, but it really wasn't. I'm not saying the layout was confusing, but just took longer to get used to. I really like the large sofa loungers on the pool deck where several people can sit together. Tough part was finding one vacant. Most people would 'reserve' them by putting a towel down and staying in the pool. It was good that the rule of holding loungers was being enforced. I think the service overall was really good. Compared to our last cruise on the Escape (which was horrible), the staff I felt was very attentive, looked like they were happy, and were willing to talk to you. I can only imagine what It's like working on a cruise for months on end, with rude drunk people, living in a shared small room, very little time off, not seeing your family. These guys work really hard. Which leads me to my next point: Forced Gratuities: Just about every cruise line has this policy. I disagree with it. I know people that work for cruise lines so I have a bit more understanding on how this works. I think most cruisers believe that the 14.00 a day per person that you pay really goes to the people that are working to make your cruise fun. In a round about way it does, but not in the way you'd think. About 95% of the workers are contractual, meaning they sign a contract for a flat fee over 6-8 months. That fee is negotiated at the time they sign, they might get a bonus if they sign again. Sometimes they're asked to extend their time. We met a bartender from India on this sailing that was supposed to be going home at the end of the cruise, but was told he was going to be staying on for another month. I've always thought, why can't this fee be added into the cruise fare? Why charge it separately? The reason is the cruise line classifies most of the contract workers as 'tipped workers' sort of the same as the way a server in a restaurant get's paid. Only difference is, (and this is where I have the problem) the money the workers get for their contract is pre-determined. It won't increase or decrease based on how well the job they do. I understand why this policy was put in place. Mostly because if cruisers were left to decide on their own, a lot wouldn't give anything. On the other side of it, if the cruise line charged the gratuities as part of the fare, the workers classification changes to a salaried employee, which ends up costing the cruise line a lot more. I'm sure a lot will disagree with me about this, but my feeling about gratuities is that it should not be implied - on a cruise or anywhere else. To me, I'd rather tip these guys directly, where I know the money I'm being 'forced' to pay is really going to them, as a tip. not a salary. Ok, done ranting. Review on the Food: We've been sailing NCL for over 4 years. We're almost gold status. In that time, there's been very little that has changed on the menus in the MDRs, buffet and in the paid venues. ITS TIME! Like I mentioned above, the one hidden gem of the dining venues was Los Lobos. I was told this is a trial on the Dawn and may be rolled out on the rest of the fleet. I hope it does. This was probably the only place where I felt the food preparation had some care taken in the quality and presentation. The key to good Mexican / Yucatan food is in the simplicity and thoughtfulness of the preparations. I think they succeeded on both fronts. I wanted to eat here every night. Shame it wasn't open for lunch. The other paid venues were disappointing at best. It's time for a major rehab of the menus, or a complete change in the restaurants - these are been there for years. Buffet - nice update to the seating, just was tough to find a place to sit. One note about breakfast: I'm not a big eater, and typically have the same things for breakfast. One of my favorites is Smoked Salmon. A bit over a year ago, this was taken off the breakfast buffet, and replaced with a salmon mousse that could pass for bad baby food (just awful). If you wanted smoked salmon, you had to go to the MDR. But on the second day, we were in the buffet, and I happen to ask one of the staff would it be possible to get some from the MDR - he just opened a cabinet under the buffet and handed me a few pieces. Great!, but wait, why isn't this put out on the buffet? He said that's how they're doing it for now. So smoked salmon is a secret? Makes no sense. I even had a few people ask me 'where'd you get that? Whatever, maybe by the next cruise it will be back on the buffet. I'm sure the motivation is cost. Entertainment: We saw a few shows - Soul Rockin Night, The acrobats, the comedian (Tim Cominski), and Elements (saw this show 2 years ago). All were really good. Wish NCL would get a featured show again, like when Blue Man Group was on the Epic. So that's our week on the Dawn. Hope this is helpful. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We live near the Port of Tampa, so this was a convenient choice. We've cruised the Dawn before, and had good experiences in the past; unfortunately, this was different (and not at all the best experience we've had with NCL and the Dawn). ... Read More
We live near the Port of Tampa, so this was a convenient choice. We've cruised the Dawn before, and had good experiences in the past; unfortunately, this was different (and not at all the best experience we've had with NCL and the Dawn). We do plan to send a letter to NCL management in order to notify upper levels of management of the changes we witnessed on this cruise. If you're interested in specifics, here's just a few... *The overall attitude of the majority of the crew was extremely poor -- from the first day until the last. Even during the disembarkation process, I overhead an employee at the Guest Services desk screaming, "I am full! Take my contract and tear it up." *We were actually harassed by a masseuse who refused to give us directions to a specific location UNLESS we would "get into his chair for a massage first!" We were NOT in the spa when this happened -- we were actually walking down a public hallway near elevators. Completely unacceptable! *Every beach towel we were given had stains from drinks and sunscreen. NO JOKE -- every beach towel we received! *We were not provided with bath towels on the last evening of our trip even though we called and notified Guest Services. We phoned before 10pm when we discovered NO towels, and phoned again over an hour later because we wanted to go to sleep! Since our bath towels never arrived, we dried off the next morning with our stained beach towels. Not acceptable! *We found the comedian's entertainment to be inappropriate, as well as very juvenile (poop jokes! really?!?!). *Many of the locks in the women's public restrooms did NOT function. In one restroom specifically, HALF of the locks did not work! *In our cabin, we had to keep the thermostat at the highest heating level in order for us to be comfortable. Any level lower than the highest heat level and we were freezing. In an effort to provide a balanced review, I will say that the food served in the sit-down restaurant options (including the free dining options) was quite good. Also, there were several medical emergencies on our cruise, and we felt the Captain did an exceptional job handling each of those situations (at least from our perspective -- we were not personally involved in any of the medical emergency situations). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
My wife and I had an amazing week on the Dawn. Sure, few bumps through the week, but nothing that would taint the fantastic experience we had on the ship. To break it down as others have, here it goes: Cabin: We upgraded to a ... Read More
My wife and I had an amazing week on the Dawn. Sure, few bumps through the week, but nothing that would taint the fantastic experience we had on the ship. To break it down as others have, here it goes: Cabin: We upgraded to a penthouse, and were in 10002 (forward facing balcony). This was money well spend. We underused the butler, but appreciated everything he did for us. We had plenty of room, and the outside deck made the trip. We would be happy with a side balcony, but this was fantastic. Steward was fantastic and our cabin was spotless. Dining: Ate at specialty Los Lobos, Tappanyaki, Bamboo, Cagney's. Only negative was the food at Bamboo, which we thought was average. The others were top shelf. Garden Cafe and Venetian (complimentary) were also very, very good. Entertainment: Comedian on ship was hysterical. The ELEMENTS show was also excellent. Embarkation: We had no problems being in a suite and priority boarding. There were lines at security and check-in, but did not appear to us to be anything worse than an airport. Disembarkation: This was the low-light of the trip. My suggestion, especially for Tampa, is to NOT allow self-embarkation. All luggage should be checked and picked up in the terminal. There is just not enough terminal space to get off ship with all the luggage folks were carting off. Ports: Roatan, and especially the West End, was absolutely beautiful. We did the Las Sarenas all-inclusive and it was top shelf for $65 a piece. Costa Maya (Mahajual) was nice, but the malachon vendors were exhausting. We sat outside the Maya Bar (rented golf cart which was nice) for most of the day and people watched. Port area was nice also and would have had no problem staying there. Cozumel was typical tourist. Mr. Sancho's was our beach excursion and was also a super time. No problems to/from port and food/drink were excellent. Harvest Caye was a tourist trap and we only spent about two hours off ship. Sanitized experience for us but still a beautiful island. We have placed a deposit on our next NCL cruise and I would love to be on the Dawn again. Fantastic service, and I applaud several staff who were really taking some heat from obviously drunk college kids and even some adults but kept their composure. It was a trip of a lifetime and we can't wait to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our first cruise as a family (mom, dad, two teenage boys) and it was everything that we hoped for. Great weather, great staff, great destinations - we didn't want to leave! Favorite thing: We were in an accessible cabin - ... Read More
This was our first cruise as a family (mom, dad, two teenage boys) and it was everything that we hoped for. Great weather, great staff, great destinations - we didn't want to leave! Favorite thing: We were in an accessible cabin - #11116 - and there was plenty of room for my husband to get around - even when the bed for the boys was set up. He uses a motorized wheelchair AND we brought a manual chair AND we had rented a water wheelchair - all fit no problem. The bathroom was perfect size, with grab bars in all the right places and a roll-under sink - all those features were so important for a comfortable week for my husband. There is even wheelchair balcony access! Our other favorite thing about the room was that it was one floor below the Garden Cafe on 12- which is open 24/7 and has great food selections. The boys just went up a flight of steps and could eat as much as they wanted. Freestyle dining all the way! We definitely did hear the scraping of chairs on the floor above, but it never bothered us. (If there was an identical accessible room on the 10th floor - it might be tempting to try.) Port fun: Cozumel, Mexico: First excursion was booked through NCL - Dolphin swim. Note about needing accessible travel did NOT get through - but Anita at the excursions desk took care of it for us. We went on a Dolphin swim excursion with Dolphinaris, and - after speaking with the manager - they found a way for my husband to participate. Very crowded at first - but once you are in your small group it gets way better. Photos are very expensive - be warned! But they ARE great and they give you digital CD of prints. Costa Maya, Mexico: We booked a non-NCL excursion with Victor from Mahahual Ecotours to tour Mayan ruins. HIGHLY recommend! Look him up on TripAdvisor for all the great reviews - that's how we found him. He's a storyteller and expert in all things Mayan and natural resources in the area. He's a national treasure. Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras - Anita from the NCL on-board excursions desk recommended the perfect outing for us in Roatan, Maya Key! It's a private island with a great beach - short boat ride that leaves just steps from the port. We used my husband's manual chair and the boat operators helped him easily. Gorgeous beach day. Harvest Caye, Belize - We just bummed it at the beach and pool on this short port day. And shopped. Not true Belize, but enjoyable anyway. Also FREE beach wheelchair was a very nice feature. ++ Entertainment: We only saw one show - Elements - which was very good and worth it. Other nights we spent up at the pool or in the hot tubs b/c that's when they were available - or played cards together - family time! We used checkers, sports court and game arcade too. Boys didn't participate in teen activities at all - nothing tempted them. One night we watched a movie in our room - which cost $10. Food: We ate 5 meals a day plus ice cream stops! Most meals were in Garden Cafe - they have such variety there and no waiting - everybody could get just what they wanted. My son LOVED the cheeseburgers in O'Sheehans Pub - v. good! We tried Bamboo - need a reservation - but it was pretty good. All of this is included - by the way - which is astounding to me. We ate twice in Aqua and once in Venetian - I always got the fish which was delicious and left room for yummy deserts. Overall this was one of the greatest vacations we've ever had. Yes there are lines for the elevators at embarkation and port days...but that's just a fact of life when there are 2,000 people trying to go someplace - so expect it and you won't be bothered. If anyone in your party has special needs and you are planning excursions, definitely go to the excursion desk to double check that the messages got through. Even if they didn't, Anita and the others will take good care of you. Most of all, don't hesitate - book now and enjoy yourself! I miss it! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our 10th cruise with NCL. Because of life we had a four year hiatus from cruising and was excited to get back to it. Embarkation went very smooth as Platinum cruiser with NCL. Very efficient and pleasurable. Disembarkation ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise with NCL. Because of life we had a four year hiatus from cruising and was excited to get back to it. Embarkation went very smooth as Platinum cruiser with NCL. Very efficient and pleasurable. Disembarkation was less than pleasurable. We arrived late to the port, but priority disembarkation was non existent. I waited in a line that wrapped around the ship that I was in for more than an hour and a half. The ship was refurbished since we last sailed on the Dawn. It was very clean and nice. Our inside cabin was small, but very nice. Our cabin steward left a lot to be desired for. She was not engaging at all or personable. We missed that greatly. I don't believe she ever addressed us by name if she addressed us at all. The buffets were very good with great variety. I missed the BBQ's they use to do on the deck on sea days. The specialty restaurant's although very good. If you did not book a reservation the first night onboard. You almost certain not to get in. The new Ala Carte format rather than the straight surcharge as in the past, well let's just say that I am not a fan. Also, as a platinum member the dining certificates have changed and not for the better. It does not feel like a reward for our loyalty any longer with al the restrictions they have added. When I spoke with the latitude representative regarding my concerns he was very difficult to speak with and basically rude. He did not want to be bothered. He just wanted me to book another cruise. Entertainment or lack thereof. The lounge singers were marginal at best. I heard one entertainer who sang the same set of music wherever I saw him and poorly might I add. The show in the Stardust Theater was okay, but not spectacular. It was advertised that "Band on the Run" was the show, but what was performed. Which is okay because we saw "Band on the Run" four years ago. The comedian was funny, but there was never any adult only comedy shows as in the past with Second City that use to be on all NCL cruises. Maybe they have moved all the good entertainment to the mega new ships. The service overall on the ship at the pools, dining rooms and all common areas were very good, of course with the exception of our cabin steward and the director of the cruise next team. We love the ports. We have been on this same itinerary three times before. The easy snorkel in Cozumel was exceptional and a great value. My wife, son and I had a great time. Our Jeep Safari & Beach excursion in Costa Maya was horrible. Definitely misrepresented in the description and for $119 a person a total rip off. We were suppose to do the so called safari portion when we left at 9AM. As it turns out because another cruise line was running late we went to the beach first. We were suppose to get our lunch on this trip which we did at 9:15AM. Who want's lunch at 9:15AM? No one! Then the beach was very rocky and not anything special at all. Some nice street shopping available. Then the safari portion was no safari it was a drive down an extremely poorly kept narrow road through a small fishing area to a point where we turned around and did it all over again. We all arrived back at the port covered in dust and feeling very unsatisfied. In Roatan we did the "Ultimate Resort Getaway". The bus ride to the resort was very nice seeing the countryside. The resort it self was also beautiful. The pool and beach was great. The food and beverages for sale were all very good. The pricing was comparable and of good value. The lounge chairs, floats and facility was very well maintained. The only thing that needs to be highly emphasized is that you need plenty of bug repellant. Everyone one the excursion got bit up pretty bad. Didn't feel the bites, so must have been sand fleas or no seeums. Overall exceptional excursion. Belize Harvest Caye, was a beautiful. The pool and facility was sensational. We did not do an excursion. We assumed it was like NCL's private island stirrup cay. We were shocked to the exuberant prices of everything there. It is definitely a revenue generating source for someone. Disappointed that the cost, but loved the pool. I was traveling with my wife and 13 year old son. He did not take part much in the teen program. Most of the kid's were a few years older than him and the difference between a 13 year old and a 15-16 year old is huge. Also, several of their events start at 11PM. He was ready for bed by then. He did have fun dining in the various restaurants. He was 9 the last we cruised and it is also a big difference. He missed the slides at the pool and the pool to him was very small. We also traveled with another couple who we've been on two or three other cruises with. We did decide we would try again and have already booked our next spring break cruise on the new ship the Bliss for the March 9, 2019 sailing. We're hopefully for a much better experience on the newer ship, but we definitely miss what we've shared on all the other ships we sailed in the past. We booked with the cruise next team and not the director, but the other one training on the ship. Although she was not as rude and the director of the department. When we didn't purchase as many cruise next certificates as she thought we should. She definitely gave off the impression of I need to get this over with, so I can move on to someone willing to do what she wanted. We fell in love with NCL after our first cruise with our son when he fell asleep in my arms at 3 or 4 at the life boat drill. We know from other cruising experiences on other cruise lines. If we had the assign seating in the dining rooms we would have missed dinner, because with a child we would have chosen the early seating. Everyone know you don't wake a sleeping child, so when he woke up at 8pm. We got ready and went to dinner. We love the free style dining. It would be a shame after all the years to have to start over with a new cruise line. Our fingers are crossed Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Will never again take a cruise where unlimited bar is offered as an incinitive. This cruise was full of drunks. Felt more like a cheap juk-joint than a vacation. Service in dining rooms mediocre, at best. Food just okay. Too many ... Read More
Will never again take a cruise where unlimited bar is offered as an incinitive. This cruise was full of drunks. Felt more like a cheap juk-joint than a vacation. Service in dining rooms mediocre, at best. Food just okay. Too many teens running around unsupervised. Loud neighbors, whatever they(two guys) were doing actually shook the wall and our bed. Harvest Caye a total waste. Bathroom is too small. Faulty toilet. Had to report non-working toilet twice. Toilet area to small for an average size person to turn around in. Shows in the Stardust theater was too loud. Which to me indicates lack of talent. Shows in the Atrium were excellent. Did not take any ship sponsored excursions because they are too expensive. Took the WiFi package incinitive for this cruise. But was not informed that the time included in the offer starts counting down as soon as a log on is created and you must log out through a special url every time or the count down continues. 250 min of WiFi was gone in less that five hours. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Last year I thought I went on budget cruise doing a Carnival so thinking NCL was a step up I was very excited for a class act, nothing could be more untrue, first we got hit with buying bottled water for an exorbitant price. We at ... Read More
Last year I thought I went on budget cruise doing a Carnival so thinking NCL was a step up I was very excited for a class act, nothing could be more untrue, first we got hit with buying bottled water for an exorbitant price. We at ate at the dining room for both breakfast and dinner if you ordered eggs scrambled they were liquid and or powered eggs, The dinners were basic dishes and when they finally had a seafood dish that I may like, it was described as prawns over linguini they size of a nickel. That was not a prawn all the dishes I was expecting. The all inclusive drink package if you did not specify the alcoholic of choice you got some off brand vodka or other. When I specify Titos they ran out. The bar on the pool deck was small and always packed with a line. The snack bar/food at the pool was hamburgers, hotdogs and some other grilled meat, we went into the buffet one time for lunch the food was terrible. I have not been on a an NCL in 30 years this was my first time back and wont be returning. 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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