Norwegian Dawn - Western Caribbean: Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by parplaywright

Norwegian Dawn 4
Member Since 2006
18 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Norwegian Dawn - Western Caribbean

Sail Date: January 2006
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
I've become acquainted with Cruise Critic from friends of ours that we met on our last cruise, and prior to sailing this year, my partner and I began to utilize the site. Our cruise on the Dawn this year was my fourth cruise, the 2nd on the Dawn. The other trips were on Costa and American Hawaii Cruises. Before I begin, I do want to mention that my partner tried to attend a meeting of Cruise Critic folks on the Dawn and was treated terribly by some old woman who called him a lurker and by the host. We had been INVITED to that meeting by long-time cruise critics and that was a disappointment.

About our most recent trip on the Dawn - First the bad news...overall the service was down a notch from our sailing last year. It seems they sent the entire crew from last year (who were all really terrific) to their newest ship. Most distressing was the embarkation. As Latitude members we thought boarding the ship would be easier this year as last More year the ship was late and it was a nightmare. We arrived at 12:30 only to find out that we had missed a boarding of Latitudes members and would have to wait. The gentleman in charge (with Port Authority) asked if we thought it would be fair if we were able to board the ship before people who had been waiting since 9AM. My answer was yes. It would be a good marketing tool if Latitudes members could board at their leisure and tell everyone else, That could be you if you sail with us again. But to no avail. I learned later that NYC is the only port that does not have a specific line for Latitudes members at all times.

This year's Cruise Director was pretty awful. She was lackluster and talentless and didn't have the energy or charisma to handle this job. Most of the deck parties at night were sparsely attended and I think the CD had a lot to do with the poor turnout. I was shocked to find out that the shows in the main theatre were the same a year later.

The food was all right, again, better last year, and even the specialty restaurants were not as good. Le Bistro was out of Faux Gras the last night. Also, for those guys who enjoy the spa, the locker room was always a mess and soap and shampoo were often out.

This was also a trip with LOTS of kids marching around the ship with their camp leaders and LOTS of drunken 20-somethings at late night events. Not the case last year. This is just mentioned for information - nothing wrong with it, but if you were expecting a cruise with few kids or a more mature crowd not this time out.

There were only two deck bbqs which was also disappointing. We never met our cabin stewards and last year, they knew our names and were always helping us out and chatting with us.

With all that said, I am still impressed with the cleanliness of the ship, the variety of the food, the Freestyle dining and all of the things to do on the ship from trivia, to Karaoke, to art auctions, etc. We met our friends from last year, met new people and enjoyed a variety of activities.

As for the islands, I had been to several ports before and enjoyed staying on the ship to enjoy the outdoor pool and Jacuzzis with few people around. My favorite ports of call are Saint Maarten and a change in the itinerary brought us to Nassau, which was terrific. Hats off for Friends of Dorothy meetings although they disappeared after the first night and we had to lodge several requests before they appeared again.

Weve taken advantage of their new Platinum Plan and so we will be sailing Norwegian at least a couple more times in the next few years although I think sailing on the newest ship (whatever that happens to be) will most likely be the best bet.

My only other main comment would be to say that I believe if you have rules, they should be enforced. There are so many things from dress codes, to age limits, etc. that are listed but not adhered to. Follow your own rules Norwegian. Less

Published 02/25/06

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