Going downhill fast: Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by P Essex

Norwegian Dawn 3
P Essex
Member Since 2013

Overall Member Rating

Going downhill fast

Sail Date: January 2014
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Tampa
Just got home yesterday from our third cruise on the Norwegian Dawn. The first two were a ten day in March 2012 and a seven day in October 2012, which were great experiences in the Owner's Suite 10006. This one? Not so great.

The service:

Other than the cabin steward, who was indifferent and never cleaned up anything on the balcony, we encountered few problems. He left dirty, wet towels in the sink one night and never replaced the empty box of tissues - he just left the tissue box open and went elsewhere for the night. We're still waiting for the extra balcony chair he promised us on Day 2. He also needs a refresher course in bed making. In the ten cruises I've taken this guy was the worst cabin steward ever. The butler was good, coming around a few times a day to check on us and sent cheese and crackers every afternoon. The rest of the staff was OK..

The restaurants:

We never got into the Venetian or Aqua - the lines were awful all week. We had a More reservation for Aqua one night and upon arriving were told that 1) she couldn't find it and 2) they didn't take reservations anyway. I had her call the concierge, who gave us some really cockamamie made-up-on-the-spot lie about why our reservation wasn't there, but he walked us to La Cucina and we got a free dinner for two and a free bottle of wine. We had breakfast and lunch at Cagney's every day, had dinner at La Cucina twice, Bamboo twice, Le Bistro once, Moderno once and on the last night, ate at Blue Lagoon. Cagney's was good, La Cucina was good, Bamboo was good, the food at Moderno was good but the wait time for our 7 PM reservation unacceptable, Le Bistro good and Blue Lagoon dreadful. Nothing was great. The Garden Cafe looked like a high school cafeteria and the food looked just as unappealing. They made no effort to provide variety, dress the place up at dinnertime or to serve anything but basic food. Ugh.

More lies:

We saw online that suite guests were entitled to three free bottles of liquor, but the fine print on the bottom gave the cruise line the option of not providing it on certain cruises or in certain class suites. I found this extremely dishonest - it gives them a way of denying a well-advertised perk to anyone they want, at any time they want. When we pointed it out, they gave us a six-pack of Pepsi and two bottles of water. Thanks, guys.

We received a letter from NCL outlining the perks of being a silver or gold member. One of the perks was 10% off spa services. All services except the one I apparently received. The looked puzzled when we even brought it up.

The Spa: Not bad. I didn't get the hard sell that I've gotten on other cruise lines and the aesthetician was friendly and extremely proficiant.

Priority disembarkation was great, the best managed ever.

I liked the Dawn quite a bit until this cruise, but I don't think I'll be vacationing with them again. After sailing on a lot of the Holland America ships and a Celebrity a lot of things seemed low-end, mismanaged or falsely advertised. Less

Published 02/05/14

Cabin review: 9232

The cabin:We were in Penthouse Suite 9232, which isn't a penthouse nor a suite but an aft-facing corner cabin. It was well-designed - good closet space, big bathroom, good-sized vanity outside the bathroom. But there was too much furniture crammed into what was basically - in my estimation - an 18 by 18 foot room. The room contained a bed - advertised as queen but it seemed bigger - with two nightstands; a bench at the bottom of the bed; a built-in desk; a 30" square table with four chairs; a chair that converted to a twin-size bed; an easy chair with a foot rest; a round side table and a large plant. Can you imagine? We could barely move around the cabin. The picture on the NCL website shows a far more spacious layout than it really is. The cabin is advertised as being able to accommodate four guests, but this was absolutely not the case unless two of the guest were willing to share one fold-out twin bed and they're willing to sleep a foot away from the other two guests with just a curtain separating them. Our balcony wasn't all that large, either - it had one lounge chair that had to be kept parallel to the railing because there wasn' t enough room to place it looking out to sea, and one regular chair. Many other had two lounge chairs, which made the balconies really crowded, so I suppose we were better off. There were two cushions on the one lounge chair, in need of replacing - they were frayed and dirty. We were told that there used to be another lounge chair there but that it was moved and was missing on the ship.

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P Essex
Member Since 2013
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