Underwhelmed!: Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by kdouty

Norwegian Dawn 1
Member Since 2014

Overall Member Rating


Sail Date: July 2014
Destination: Bermuda
Embarkation: Boston
I guess I should start by saying its all about expectations. I have only cruised two other times, both with Carnival, and I absolutely loved both trips!! The ships were beautiful, shows were incredible, and the staff during both trips couldn't do enough for you. I had been told Carnival was a "party" ship, and kind of bottom of the barrel as far as cruise lines. On both trips, we went with extended family that included groups from 8yrs old up to 75, and we all had a fantastic time. My expectation when we booked our Norwegian cruise, was that it would be bigger & better... I couldn't have been more wrong! I was again traveling with extended family, this time though, our kids were ages 14 thru 20, and we had adults 36 thru 75yrs. My first disappointment was after downloading the Norwegian app that promised me I could keep up with what was happening on the ship as well as stay in touch with everyone in my party via text for just over $7pp...a bargain considering this would allow me More to keep tabs on my teens. We even used the apps countdown to our cruise... only to find out upon arrival, that this app does NOT work on our ship!!! Crazy that I was using it to count down the days til I boarded the "Dawn" but was never informed I couldn't use it on the trip.

Another let down was how small every venue was. I was unable to cross my legs in the Stardust theatre. other then the Comedian - who was fabulous, and the dancing show, which was the most popular show... so that even when we arrived 20min early, the only seats left had a very obstructed view, not much was worth sitting through anyway. In the lounge where they had Karaoke only 10 people were not obstructed by large wooden pillars. Many shows in the Spinnaker where quite a few shows took place was also way too small, and there were always at least 30 people left standing. Maybe if they had less "pay" dining venues, they would have space for larger venues.

On carnival, food was quite good, and presentation was incredible. Here, there was NO variety at the Garden Café buffet. If you dined at the complimentary Venetian, you can expect to invest at least 2hrs per meal. On Carnival, not only did the wait staff entertain, but they were always smiling and interacting... asking about our day, even making suggestions for what to do/where to go. This staff had no interpersonal skills, there was virtually no interaction all 7 nights. They basically took our orders, and eventually served our food. There were not many food "events" on the Dawn the way most ships have. They had a Cupcake "extravaganza" that was less impressive then something you would see at a home birthday party. Seriously, I even took pics cause it was so outrageously "underwhelming" I thought it was almost funny. Same with the pizza making event. Not only was it understaffed, so the wait was super long, there was almost nothing to it. It is crazy to me that we were on a cruise ship where the expectation is "spectacular" and we were getting ridiculous! When you finally get to the front of the line, the staff is very unfriendly, barely making any eye contact. The same is for the entire crew on Norwegian. At one point I was alone in an elevator with a white uniformed crew member, not only did he not return my smile, but he didn't utter a word... awkward!!

On carnival our family attended a class to learn how to make those cute towel animals. We were all given towels, and had a lot of fun & laughs creating the different animals Here on the Dawn they also had a class, however, you were not given any towels to make your own animal, you just watched the crew make them... we left, as did most other people.

If a crew member didn't have an answer for your question, they would just say "I don't Know" No one made any effort to find out or accommodate in any way. Actually the cabin stewards were the friendliest and most helpful of the crew, I must give credit where credit is due.

I am a big slot machine player, I found a machine I liked, it literally broke down 6 times while I was playing. The staff member was annoyed ea time I needed assistance, finally I switched to a second machine... you guessed it, it also broke. I went back 3 nights later, I kid you not, same thing happened!!

The saving grace of this cruise was the 3 days in Bermuda. That is when we finally saw spectacular. We had a great time, and were thrilled to be off the ship! I also have a very fun and wonderful family, so spending time with them was also great. I will never go on a Norwegian Cruise again, and will certainly check out any ship before I book, I was naïve to think every ship is a great ship. Less

Published 08/05/14

Cabin review: 5535

The cabin was smaller then our Carnival cabin which I though was small, but we managed. Our cabin was always made up and turned down in a very timely manner. Other then it being so small, I really didn't have any issues with it.

Read more Norwegian Dawn cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Norwegian Dawn Review >>

Compare Prices on Norwegian Dawn Bermuda Cruises

Member Since 2014
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Norwegian Dawn deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Norwegian Dawn 68% Loved It

7-day Bermuda From Boston
See all Norwegian Dawn Deals >>