Sail Date: January 2018
We were really looking forward to this cruise after cruising Central and South America, the Baltic and Mediterranean. Leaving from the USA, ports accepting US $ and speaking English sounded so stress free. It was! An 11 day cruise in ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this cruise after cruising Central and South America, the Baltic and Mediterranean. Leaving from the USA, ports accepting US $ and speaking English sounded so stress free. It was! An 11 day cruise in January attracted an older crowd and we fit in there. There was nice balance of port days(6) and sea days(4). We were also checking out the ship for a future cruise with children and grandchildren booked for June. We ate at four special restaurants; Teppanyaki was fun and the food was great. LeBistro has the escargot and wonderful cream of mushroom soup and the dover sole was to die for. Cagney's is good, but now that were are home we can't remember what we ordered. La Cucina was fine. We were looking for the old stand-by veal parmesan or chicken cacciatore . Didn't hear good reviews on Los Lobos, but we have great Mexican restaurants back home. In the Venetian and Aqua there was always some part of the meal that was yummy. For the most part, service was great. We did not go to much of the entertainment. Elements is great as usual. The magician was good, but how many times and how many ways can you make the girl disappear and come back again? We also did not do many of the activities. Our favorite activity was reading and napping. Great library on ship! Wonder if they could have a lecturer or National Geographic videos on the ports. They have had them on other NCL cruises. We get the wine package for a bottle at dinner and had a beer at O'Sheehan's. We can't comment on the bars. We had a $50 per cabin credit for each port toward shore excursion, but only took one. Nothing really appealed. We had been to these ports before and knew how to get around. We did the Thermal suite on a day pass. Wonderful, but very few people seemed to be using it. Maybe bring down the cost a bit? My bamboo massage was terrific. The star was very attentive. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our ninth cruise with NCL, our first as Platinum Latitudes members. We chose this cruise because it looked like a good value with some ports that we hadn't visited before. After the hurricanes damaged some of the ports on the ... Read More
This was our ninth cruise with NCL, our first as Platinum Latitudes members. We chose this cruise because it looked like a good value with some ports that we hadn't visited before. After the hurricanes damaged some of the ports on the original itinerary we still liked the selection even though only one was new to us. Embarkation in Tampa was chaotic outside the port building with long lineups. Once inside it flowed more smoothly. We noticed similar chaos last year when we cruised from Tampa on the Jade. Although it was our first time on the Dawn, we have been on the Sun and Star. They are not our favorite layout, but with the Dawn having been updated just a year or so ago, the decor was fairly fresh. However, we had plumbing problems in our cabin, with the toilet only working intermittently for the first few days. We enjoyed the entertainment overall. The musicians and dancers did a great job, and there were a couple of comedians that were great. We were satisfied with the food in the buffet and complimentary restaurants were very good. As platinum members we qualified for a couple of fine dining meals, which were excellent. We were disappointed at how the 'behind the scenes' ship tour (another platinum perk) was handled. The information delivered to our room was not very prominent or clear and as it turned out we had to sign up for the tour on the first day, before 9 pm. We hand no idea about that and when we checked the next morning the tours were all full. (I contend that if that is a platinum perk, everyone who is platinum should be accommodated!) Not surprising to us, the wifi was pathetic. It was slow, expensive and often didn't work. Their iConcierge app for texting and phoning onboard was practically useless. (We asked for our money back near the end of the cruise.) We have introduced numerous people to cruising with NCL and I have always said that their strength is how they take the uncertainties out of things like excursions, which justifies the higher costs. But on this cruise I was disappointed in their lack of organization and signage to help passengers find their group on the pier. On the positive side, as usual, the crew was great...especially our room steward and the restaurant staff. Everyone was friendly and positive (although I noticed the "washy-washy-happy-happy" greetings in the buffet were missing on this cruise). Overall, we enjoyed the cruise and will most likely cruise with NCL again, but I prefer the Jewel-class ships like the Pearl, Jade, etc. And I'm hoping the shortcomings were not indications of a trend... Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
The cruise destinations (Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, Jamaica, Grand Cayman) were great except Jamaica . Given this problems there, I don't know why any cruise line still stops there. Not a fan of the layout of the ship, mostly floor ... Read More
The cruise destinations (Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, Jamaica, Grand Cayman) were great except Jamaica . Given this problems there, I don't know why any cruise line still stops there. Not a fan of the layout of the ship, mostly floor 12 with the garden cafe. You can't walk all the way around the buffet because Los Lobos has taken up the end section. Not a lot of variety on the buffet but made to order omletts are always delish. Main restaurants were always good if there was something on the menu to your liking. Cagney's was outstanding as always. Los Lobos is a waste of space as is Moderno IMO. Not impressed with La Bistro or La Cucina either but I guess other people enjoy eating there. Service in most of the restaurants was slow but who's in a hurry on a cruise? My main issue was with the Java bar staff. I usually get 2 lattes a day and on other cruises, after the 2nd day, they know me and my order. On this ship, the usual employee on duty seemed like he wished he was somewhere else all the time. About 1/2 way thru the 11 days, another gentleman started waiting on me and he remembered me and my order. What really made the cruise was Cruise Director JC as well as the staff: Shakeit Shirley, Wreckit Ronnie, etc. All the activities involving the CD staff was entertaining and fun! If you just want to explore the town, walk out the port area and several individuals will be there to take you on a drive around town, pointing out the interesting things, for $20 a person. Loved the itenerary even though it was originally the S Carib, but won't be going on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We really like the Southern routes. Getting tired of the Western stops. I should first say that we are Gold Members. After booking on a guarantee for a Ocean View room, we were given a port hole. Also it was the smallest room on the ... Read More
We really like the Southern routes. Getting tired of the Western stops. I should first say that we are Gold Members. After booking on a guarantee for a Ocean View room, we were given a port hole. Also it was the smallest room on the ship. We happen to know of a balcony room that stayed empty the entire cruise and we were not upgraded to that room. I use a mobility scooter and it was difficult to bring my scooter into the room at night to charge it up. I complained to everyone that would listen, but was still not upgraded. Our port hole window (very dirty) room was next to the crews rooms and the door opened and slammed all night. Our Cabin Steward was excellent. The service in the Casino were very good also. Overall we are very unhappy with NCL and will probably discontinue cruising with them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our 15th and 2nd B2B NCL cruise so it could be assumed that NCL is our cruise line of choice. However, our experience on the Jan 2018 NCL Dawn cruise has caused us to rethink our loyalty to NCL. This decision is based on the ... Read More
This was our 15th and 2nd B2B NCL cruise so it could be assumed that NCL is our cruise line of choice. However, our experience on the Jan 2018 NCL Dawn cruise has caused us to rethink our loyalty to NCL. This decision is based on the failure of Dawn Senior Staff to accept the responsibilty to timely address passenger requests and concerns. For every issue we raised during this B2B cruise management we were initially told "it can't be done" but that they would have to contact "headquarters" for a decision. We had made the same requests on our NCL Jewel B2B South Pacific cruise in Oct/Nov 2017 and the decision to approve was made immediately by their Senior management. One of our requests was regarding a dessert from the shared kitchen of Cagney's Steakhouse and Moderno Churrascaria restaurants. Moderno has a lovely charred pineapple as one of the items. As the pineapple is grilled in the Cagney kitchen, on prior cruises on the Jewel and Spirit, they kindly agreed to serving us 2 slices of pineapple with one scoop of vanilla ice cream. When we made the same request on the Dawn, it was firmly stated when we dined twice at Cagney's that it was NOT possible. We and others we shared this with during the Dawn cruise felt that this was an insignificant request that could have easily been filled. For this request NCL Dawn wouldn't even contact "headquarters". It was just a firm NO. The other request related to a drinks request. Due to medication, one of our party was unable to use their "drinks" package. We brought this to NCL Jewel Senior management and they immediately agreed to "comping in" specialty coffees in restaurants. The NCL Jewel management also noted it was actually a savings since a specialty coffee is $2.95 verses a glass of wine for $8.99. The same request to the Dawn senior staff was met with an immediate "not possible"; however, when I shared it had been done on other NCL ships they said it would be taken to "headquarters". A couple of days later, the request was finally approved. To us it was disappointing that Dawn Senior management wouldn't accept responsibility to make this decision to meet a passenger's needs immediately but deferred any decision to "headquarters". It was also noted by European passengers that both specialty coffees in restaurants and alcohol are included in their "drinks package" but not for passengers purchasing their tickets in the USA. The last issue we encountered was that our names nor room number was listed on the manifest for the second leg of the B2B cruise. Due to US restrictions we were required to exit the ship. Since we had to change rooms for the second leg, we went to the Customer Service Desk and got new ship cards and our "Back to Back" sticker to show we were already registered for the 2nd part of the cruise. We then stood in line for over 45 minutes to exit the ship before even getting to the immigration desk. Since it took this long to exit we decided not to go into Tampa but simply get back on the ship. However, when we got in the line to re-board the ship, we were told that our names were not on the manifest and when we asked them to check to see our name with our new stateroom. The person checked both for our names and the cabin number and we were not listed. There was even a different name listed for our Mini-suite that we already had security passes for. Since we had ship cards and were wearing "Back to Back" stickers, Tampa Security took pity on us and hand walked us through. However, it was very embarrassing holding up the new passengers trying to get on the ship. Once on board, I went to the Customer Service Counter and asked to speak with the manager. First they didn't want me to speak to her but I saw her standing in the area and went over to her to explain the embarrassing situation. She was not helpful and simply said "she did what she was told to do". She didn't even offer to find out what had gone wrong that excluded our names from the manifest. Sadly we found that attitude to be the same as what we'd encountered from the other Dawn Senior Management. The sharing of cruise experience is always part of the discussion amongst passengers and we found that our experience was similar to other passengers on this NCL Dawn cruise. We think this is a sad commentary on the NCL Dawn Senior Management. We're booked on a NCL Jade cruise in June 2018 and don't anticipate having the same problems as we had a great cruise on the Jade in September 2017 and also in May 2016. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
First, this was the slowest most disorganized embarkation we have ever experienced, We have cruised on the Dawn several times and found this cruise fell short of our expectations. This was our 20th cruise with NCL and have always enjoyed ... Read More
First, this was the slowest most disorganized embarkation we have ever experienced, We have cruised on the Dawn several times and found this cruise fell short of our expectations. This was our 20th cruise with NCL and have always enjoyed cruising with Norwegian, however, this cruise was very disappointing for several reasons. First, we were called to guest services right before the life boat drill because they said that there mistakes in our registration. We were never told what the problem was, but went through the entire process again and were given new sea pass cards. We need to return to guest services twice shortly thereafter because when we purchase drinks, the bar tenders told us that there were problems with our cards and that we did not have the beverage package (which we did). We return to guest services again and they said that we did not have the beverage package. We went back to our cabin and showed our paperwork to the supervisor/manager upon looking at our confirmation, still claimed that we had the the dining package, not the beverage package (which was shown on our printout confirmation. Secondly, the overall restaurant service was not up to NCL standards. Several times, I had to ask for water because I was not given any when I sat down and ordered. Several times my water glass and coffee cup was not refilled. Also, we were infrequently asked if everything was okay. Our cabin Stewart took our chocolate covered strawberries away. The strawberries were received on the evening of embarkation. When we returned from breakfast the next morning, they were gone. We had only eaten one. When we asked our cabin Stewart, he said that he thought that we were finished with them. Next, the crew was not up to their usual friendliness. We have always in the past been very impressed by NCL crew and found them to be the friendliest of all the cruise lines. This was the worst NCL Cruise we have ever had. If it had been our first, we probably would not cruise NCL again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary which was great (other than Jamaica), but we were very disappointed with the food. We mostly ate at the garden buffet, we tried the specialty dining areas (aqua dining room) and it was a bit ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary which was great (other than Jamaica), but we were very disappointed with the food. We mostly ate at the garden buffet, we tried the specialty dining areas (aqua dining room) and it was a bit better but not by much. The steak in the aqua dining room was tough and not high quality by any means. The food in the buffet was cold most times, same old food day after day and quite tasteless. If you want a weight loss program, then this is the cruise for you because you won't want to eat the food anyways. Perhaps the specialty dining was better, but we didn't want to spend any extra on food, since it's already expensive enough to travel. I feel that the food should be a lot better on a cruise, especially an 11 night cruise. The seats in the theater look like they have been redone, but are very uncomfortable. The entertainment was good, but nothing to rave about in my opinion. The ports were great, other than Jamaica, likely will not go back to Jamaica again. They are very pushy and annoying and they are everywhere. You can't even go to Dunn's Falls without having to walk through people set up in their tents and wanting to have you come and look at all their things that they are selling. Aruba, Bonaire and Grand Cayman were amazing though!! We just had an inside cabin and it was very irritating to sleep in for 11 nights as it is just two twin beds pushed together, so you fall into the "crack" each and every night, making for a pretty crummy sleep. Norwegian is fairly decently priced, but we won't likely be back. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Had a great time aboard the Dawn - Only 1800 onboard, in part because it was a repositioning cruise - also some concerns about PR after Hurricane Maria. Loved St Thomas - bought 1L of vodka at Pueblo supermarket near cruise terminal and ... Read More
Had a great time aboard the Dawn - Only 1800 onboard, in part because it was a repositioning cruise - also some concerns about PR after Hurricane Maria. Loved St Thomas - bought 1L of vodka at Pueblo supermarket near cruise terminal and visited Sapphire Beach for the day - Spent the day on a chaise lounge on the serenity pool deck at the resort. Iguanas seemed to get closer everytime I blinked until they were under my chair and would NOT leave! Day 2 in Antigua I caught bus # 22 to Valley Church Beach - for $1.50. Beautiful beach with a bit of a pebbly wave break however, so seniors with mobility issues may choose another beach. Back downtown we took Bus #17 to Nelson's Dockyard - Didn't go in but bought a few beer for $4, before riding back downtown to the casino just beside the cruise terminal for free wifi! Got picked to play "Deal or No Deal" in the evening and won $77 onboard credit. Day 3 in beautiful Martinique - Caught the local ferry across to L'Anse de L'an - and went to Coco's resort to snorkel, then down the road 10" to another larger beach - had a beer there and used their free wifi. Day 4 was spent at the Boatyard in Barbados - a $5 cab ride and $20 to get in. The free turtle boat snorkelling turned out to be "turtle-free". When I asked "where are the turtles, they told me that there hadn't been any since the hurricane" Lol. Still lots of fun, snorkelling 30" over two sunken shipwrecks in crystal-clear water. I tried the shark-bite after reading someone else's recommendation, but shoulda stuck to a Carib beer, as I couldn't taste any hard liquor in it. Managed to make up for this though, by attending the art auction and champagne guzzling. Although I didn't buy an art installation I did sample 5 flutes! Day 5 found us in St Lucia, and I chose to go with Ambrose Spence Tours to Sugar Beach. 35 min speedboat ride found us first at the beach and got dibs on a tiki-covered chair. For $91 Ambrose promised free lunch, rum punch, soda, and water and boy did they deliver. Awesome nosh, with several "Pitons" beer - named after the two Pitons (Mountain peaks) on site. Rum "punch" was spiced with fresh cinnamon, and nutmeg. Had a great day snorkelling, and relaxing. However, as we headed back - one of the engines broke down on the boat and the driver informed us that Ambrose was coming with another boat to pick us up. After 5 beer and two rum punch, transferring boats in the waves was not pleasant. They poured us a drink of rum punch, then hit the gas to make time and we laughed in delight as the rum punch splashed all over the people behind us. Unfortunately one lady sitting in the bow, fell off her seat as the boat pounded and bounced over the waves, and she could not get back up. Eventually the front of the boat went quite high up in the air and slammed down with a bone jarring smash. At this point Ambrose cut the throttle, as everyone yelled at him to slow down! he lady climbed back up on the seat and her husband was NOT happy. We did make it back to port with 10 minutes grace before the gate closed. As we disembarked, Ambrose said "So apart from that little glitch did everyone enjoy themselves?" LOL Needless to say nobody tipped him. To be fair I had read a single review prior to booking that talked about one of their boats breaking down and them having to get a small part delivered, but chose to disregard it as all other reviews were great. Buyer beware - the cruise ships don't wait for private excursions. Nuff said. Day 6 found us in St Kitts and not having anything in particular to do, I tagged along with a couple that I met at the bus terminal and caught a bus to Brimstone Fortress National Park. Didn't realize the fortress was 800 m straight up, and a 1/2 mile walk, but the view was exceptional, and the beer tasted great after the hike up and down! Last few days at sea found me getting pulled up on stage to sing with Natalie Toro (Like the bull, or the lawnmower) :) which was kinda fun, and then decided to do a bit of standup comedy at the "Audience Participation" night at the Bliss Lounge - telling a historical Inuit cultural story. :) Only misgivings were having to wait 35 min to be picked up at the air terminal as my "host" had gone to lunch with her Mom, and not being able to access the sauna after a workout without buying a 10 day spa pass for $246 US. Food and entertainment were great though and met a lot of very nice people onboard. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
The Dawn was a fair bit smaller than our last ship, the Epic and consequently a very different experience. What the Dawn lacked in entertainment, it made up for in great ports and excursions. The food was very good, the service excellent! ... Read More
The Dawn was a fair bit smaller than our last ship, the Epic and consequently a very different experience. What the Dawn lacked in entertainment, it made up for in great ports and excursions. The food was very good, the service excellent! Our steward, Jonar, was a delight, meticulous, helpful, friendly and informative. In fact, all the staff were friendly and extremely helpful. The facilities were kept very clean. The speciality dining was very good, with Los Lobos getting a big thumbs up, the Bistro very good, Cagney good but Moderno a disappointment. The complimentary dining was very good as well with the Venetian getting a huge thumbs up, Osheeans very good and the Garden Cafe pretty good, although the coffe was way too strong. My only complaint On the whole cruise, and it is really minor!! is that the deck chairs were not put out early enough. All in all, had a very good trip. Would definitely take this ship again and this cruise again! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
If you don't like the mega-ships (like me), the Dawn is just right. It is big enough to offer all of the expected entertainment and amenities- yet there is lots of breathing room. It is considered to be "older", but it is well ... Read More
If you don't like the mega-ships (like me), the Dawn is just right. It is big enough to offer all of the expected entertainment and amenities- yet there is lots of breathing room. It is considered to be "older", but it is well maintained. The staff and crew were very attentive and accommodating. I did have some issues with the layout of the ship... some of the restaurants and venues were located in odd locations. I suppose maybe I was the only one consistently turned around and confused. Still, it was easy enough to get back on track. The seats in the theater were very uncomfortable. The leg room was minuscule, and the backs of the seats were made of solid material... so there was no way to gain any relief of you are long-legged. The food was good, and the waiters and servers in the main dining areas were absolutely great. The bars were also staffed by attentive bartenders and waiters. The musicians in the lounge areas were also great caliber. My balcony cabin was comfortable and my cabin steward was fantastic. We originated in San Juan and ended in Tampa. The last three days were at sea, but the others included the ports of St Thomas, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados, St Lucia and St Kitts. There wasn't a dud in the bunch! The last two ports were new to me, and I enjoyed them. They were the only ones where I actually sprung for excursions through the cruise line. In St Lucia, I did a historical tour excursion, and I have to say I was a bit disappointed. We saw some obscure historical places, but not the iconic Pitons. On St Kitts, I did the railroad excursion. When I laid eyes on the train, I thought, "Oh no, what have I done?!", but it turned out to be a fun jaunt around the perimeter of the island. Even when the train broke down in the middle of nowhere for 45 minutes, the scenery was beautiful and the rum punch kept flowing. It was a great first impression of St Kitts. 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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