First Cruise, Incredible vacation!: Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by CurlyGold
Overall Member Rating
First Cruise, Incredible vacation!
Destination: Western Caribbean
I have no other cruise to compare this to, but I will say the crew are a heckuva friendly bunch. And eager to help. We had many interesting conversations with crew members.
Best Bar: Gatsby's Champagne Bar. Never heard anyone order Champagne here, but this was the place to be. With Ruby and Mandy as servers, it was always a laugh. If you like contemporary martinis (not Gin and Vermouth), do the Martini Tasting here. So much fun that most of us who did the first one also were in attendance for the second one. The downside, there is some smoke smell from the nearby casino and Havana (cigar smoking) bar. But it wasn't bad, and we HATE smoke smell. It didn't keep us away.
Venetian over More Aqua: Service was slow and spotty in Aqua. The hostess one busy night was a little rude. Apparently the woman outside the restaurant sending us through to the hostess had not gotten the message that there weren't any tables for 2 available (although there were quite a few empty tables of 4 that were actually tables for 2). When we got to the hostess, she unpleasantly asked if we'd just walked in without seeing the other woman first. I don't know how we could have slipped by the other woman who was pretty much blocking the entry! We said no, and when 2 more sets of 2 diners came in, she handed us all pagers. It was a short wait, and everything was nice, but slow, after that. Venetian was much better, servers more attentive and friendly. Oh, and in case you don't know, it's all the same food, so it's just a different venue.
Bamboo: This was a bit of a disappointment. The service is worse than Aqua-- much slower (believe it or not) and not very attentive. The food the first time we went was pretty good, so when we were craving Asian food later in the cruise, we went back. Service was worse, less attentive, and the food was not anywhere near the very good level it had been the first visit.
Sushi Bar: Craving sushi, we visited the Sushi Bar the last night. It utilizes the same staff as Bamboo, although we didn't know that. SLOW service. We ordered miso soup and a sushi/sashimi plate that we thought was for 1 person. The plate was easily enough for 2 hungry people, and really it should have said so on the menu. Way too much food. We waited a long long time for our soup, watching the sushi chef make sushi. We saw two platters of sushi and sashimi (my husband and I had ordered the same thing) placed on the counter to be served. It was so much we had no idea it was OUR sushi. Also, we were having soup first, and it still hadn't come. So finally it shows up, lukewarm, and it doesn't taste like miso soup either. We ate a few spoonfuls and had just decided we didn't want more when the server picks up the two platters that had been sitting there waiting all this time and brings it to us! OMG! So it's not cold, it's room temp from waiting around so long. So it wasn't good, it was way too much food even if it had been good, and then we had to sit and stare at our bowls of soup and huge platter of food for the longest time until finally we caught the server's eye. He never brought us water or checked to see about us (there was very little soy sauce and we guests were having to work together to get enough for all of our needs-- while the server ignored ALL of us and watched the sushi chef. It was the weirdest thing, really.
The shows were good. We particularly enjoyed the comedy shows, but the musical and variety shows were good too (just not our personal cup of tea). We enjoyed all we saw. Took us awhile to take note of the shows in the Spinnaker Lounge, but once we did, we enjoyed the live band and comedy.
We went to one Trivia, 2 Martini tastings and a few fun/funny competitions. The crew members who hosted these events were perfect. Gregarious and silly, they were always a laugh that served to bring cruisers together.
SPECIAL NOTE TO NORWEGIAN: Don't do away with the promenade decks! We LOVED Deck 7. Morning walks, afternoon walks, evening walks. Meant to play shuffleboard but didn't get around to it (so busy), but loved finishing a meal with a nice walk around Deck 7. Our last port, we were docked next to the Norwegian Epic. No promenade! Unless you call that little 15 foot or so opening between all the lifeboats where a few people stood shoulder to shoulder to wave goodbye to us when they left the port. Other than that, people had to gather on the top deck or their balconies, but if you want to have a "group experience" being on a deck with others is much more fun. Norwegian seems to be about fun, so it made no sense seeing the newer Epic missing a proper promenade. Less
Cabin review: 10065
Our inside Mid-ship room was small, as fully expected, but not "tight". We expected it to be cramped and noisy. It was neither.There were two of us, XXL and XL, and we were not bumping into each other and found it easy to get around the room. The space was efficiently used. A very quiet room overall. I'm usually easily disturbed in sleep and had earplugs with me to use as I often need to in hotels. However they aren't comfortable, so I tried the first night without them and never thought of them again. They were not needed. On our cruise we had 2 very rocky nights, near gale force winds and high seas. We certainly felt the movement in our room, but NOTHING like in the aft or forward sections. It was surprising to be at the Stardust or in the Spinnaker (at either end of the ship), where the rocking was really strong, and to come back to our room expecting to be tossed from our bed in the night, only to find the motion of the ocean was much less in our room. (Thankfully we didn't get seasick, so this wasn't as important as it could have been, but the difference was interesting.)
Carnival; never again
Very fun and comfortable
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