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Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,976 Reviews

Just OK on Norwegian Dawn

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by dubidubi

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2014
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Inside

We went with a large group, 15 people. Norwegian Dawn from New Orleans to Cozumel, Belize, Honduras/Roatan, and Costa Maya. The food was pretty good at the buffets, where we ate all breakfasts and lunches. The only issue was variety - there seemed to be very little. Sure they changed stuff around here and there, but it was basically the same from day-to-day. Some curries and Asian-influenced dishes, which were a nice change for lunch.

With a group our size we made a standing dinner reservation for 8:30 each night prior to leaving. Then we realized we needed an earlier time because the show started at about 9, so we switched to 7:30. On the first night dinner took nearly three hours! We couldn't tell why. We asked Placido, one of those guys walking around checking on everyone, to switch our reservation to 7. Because of so many rooms, dinner on the second night was a little confused as well, and took nearly as long. We skipped coffee and dessert to see the show. Starting on the third night, we got a great wait staff named Ketut and Katherine. It was smooth sailing from then on. The one disappointment with dinner was no lobster night. Otherwise the food was quite good.

Our inside cabins were tiny. I mean really, really tight. Except for the shower; it was big and pretty decent. Definitely not enough room for wife's clothes and shoes. The rooms had their fair share of issues (we had 7 rooms). First was the puddle just inside our door. We called, got a big blower fan thingy for most of one day, and then a dehumidifier. Thought it was dry. Nope. Same thing next day and same routine. On the third day we went to visit the front desk and talk to a manager, who was busy at that moment. She did call a few times, as did lots and lots of people to apologize for this. The manager stopped by as well and confirmed that we had a puddle. On the fourth day another blower/dehumidifier, and finally on the fifth day a plumber who fixed the leak! Yay! A small account credit and a few bottles of wine from their complementary list -- they've done this before -- and we were set. Another set of rooms’ toilets weren't flushing. They were turned-off for some reason, but were turned-on and flushed remotely!

My wife got a massage and was quite unhappy with it. First, the masseuse asked her a bunch of questions for several minutes. She seemed to ignore the answers, which were no issues and the desire for a relaxation massage, and proceeded to poke and prod my wife who claims to have asked her several time to be gentler. Second, the massage lasted significantly less than the allotted time of 75 minutes, seemingly due to a hard sell on "stuff" afterward, as well as being grilled on why my wife wasn't interested. Third, we were told there’s a 10% discount. This was not applied even after they admitted their mistake. The spa manager, Jelena, mostly took care of everything (except the discount) and all was well again.

The casino was fun with a variety of games, even live Texas Hold ‘Em poker. The unfortunate thing is that there’s a 10% rake/commission on every hand, with a minimum of $1 and a maximum of $25! Blinds were $1-$2. That’s a crazy rake! The $1 is crazy because if everyone folds to the big blind, s/he gets only their $2 back. Pots under $250 are charged 10%. That’s something none of the players had ever heard of or expected. One additionally bad experience was in craps. On the come-out roll I played a $5 horn high yo. I somehow forgot to make a pass line bet and the dealer didn't remind me. Of course the shooter rolled 6-5 and very surprisingly to me the dealers would NOT pay my bet. Mind you I’d played several days in a row and for a while this session. At least they returned my $5. That’s some bad karma if you ask me and I left. We went to a single bingo session because we couldn't stand the constant chatter from the staff. Every single number had to have a little comment or story or something. 3 games of bingo took about an hour and a half! Is that normal?!

In essence, this was not a bad trip or ship. They don’t seem to quite have their act together, though, which is surprising, and all the little stuff above, added-up, definitely detracted from the experience.


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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Inside
Cabin IB 9561-9567

Our inside cabins were tiny. I mean really, really tight. Except for the shower; it was big and pretty decent. Definitely not enough room for wife's clothes and shoes. The rooms had their fair share of issues (we had 7 rooms). First was the puddle just inside our door. We called, got a big blower fan thingy for most of one day, and then a dehumidifier. Thought it was dry. Nope. Same thing next day and same routine. On the third day we went to visit the front desk and talk to a manager, who was busy at that moment. She did call a few times, as did lots and lots of people to apologize for this. The manager stopped by as well and confirmed that we had a puddle. On the fourth day another blower/dehumidifier, and finally on the fifth day a plumber who fixed the leak! Yay! A small account credit and a few bottles of wine from their complementary list -- they've done this before -- and we were set. Another set of rooms’ toilets weren't flushing. They were turned-off for some reason, but were turned-on and flushed remotely!


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