1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Dawn
Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived on Sunday 4/20 at Noon and we were on the ship at 1:10. Not bad. This was my 3rd NCL cruise, but I have not sailed with them since 1998. My last 6 cruises have been with Carnival. I was looking for a change from the Carnival scene. I must say I was disappointed. When we first got on the ship we were greeted by champagne. I would have preferred it to have been a map of the ship. If you want one you have to ask for it from the reception desk. If you are traveling with kids the camp seems pretty good for the younger kids. My daughter is 14 and they really didn't have a great program for her age group. I found the scheduled on-board activities to be lame and very few activities offered. We had 2 days at sea and nothing was planned for around the pool where most of the people were hanging out. Maybe this is due to the fact that it is still cool out. I am not sure. Ship: The ship is really pretty. Our room was a nice size, but when they put my daughter's bed down for the evening it would block the access onto the balcony. You had to climb over the bed to go out the sliding glass door. The bathroom setup was nice except if you are a larger adult I could see you having space issues. The door into the toilet area was really narrow. The corridors were single file. I think they were about 3 feet wide at most. The public rooms were kept very clean. Entertainment: The bands were mediocre at best. They band playing in the Spinnaker had a new lead singer who didn't know the words to most of the songs. The Piano players at Gatsbys were all pretty good. The comedian was ok although I think he stole a lot of his material from others. He reminded me of the guy from the last comic standing. I think they called him cave man? Not sure who stole from who but I had a real strong sense of deja vu! The magician was really good. The Guitar player in Pearly Kings was by far the best on the ship. His name was Aaron Noone. Dining: The tables in the Garden Cafe were too close together and every time someone passed behind you or sat behind you they would bump into your chair. The setup of the Garden Cafe was very confusing too. Often the plates were in the middle of the buffet line. The menus were all new so the crew seemed clueless. The freestyle dining was ok. I liked being able to choose when I could go to dinner. Even though they said you could make reservations we were told at the Venetian that they did not take reservations for groups under 6. As a party of 3 we had to wait 30 -40 minutes to get seated if we wanted to eat before 08:00 PM. They also did not enforce the dress code. Every night we would see men and women wearing blue jeans and t-shirts in the dining room. A lot of men wearing baseball caps also. Kids in pajamas. If you are looking for a Filet mignon you will be disappointed. They removed it from the general dining menu. You will have to pay extra at the steak house for that. I missed having the same waiter every night. Overall, the food was ok. Nothing to write home about. A lot of the time it arrived cold. I like being able to sit down and have my drink arrive without having to continually ask for it. So I would put up with being told when to eat. The Blue Lagoon should be avoided if you are in a hurry. We waited 30 minutes to order on 4/25/08 (14:35 Ship time), and another 35 to get our food. My daughter ordered mozzarella sticks that were served to another table and then had to wait another 20 for them to be made again. It appeared they had give staff off and no one knew what to do. They called in reinforcements from the other dining rooms to try and help but they really were not familiar with the menu or the table numbers. They were delivering the food to the wrong tables. Drinks and bars: The drinks are pricey. You will pay more than most ships. A bucket of beer ran about 20 bucks (5 beers). They were running a buy 5 get one free special. But still seemed like a lot for beer. A glass of wine was $7. The cheapest bottle of wine was 25 before the gratuity. They permit 18 year olds to drink with parents permission. According to the ship this is for wine and beer only but we saw a group drinking mixed drinks. I really was turned off by the parents providing alcohol to under age kids (18-20). I am not sure if they even checked the age because one girl even stated to security that she would be 18 in 6 weeks. He didn't seem to care that she was under age. The waiters for the shows were none existent, so if you want a drink bring it with you. The last night we went to see the show and my daughter ordered a soda from the waiter and he never delivered it. Beware the times given on the Program of the day, as I call it. They list that the Blue Lagoon is always open but I found out they close between 04:00 - 05:00. Most of the bars close around 01:00 even though they say whenever. We found that the Pearly Kings pub liked to close around 12:30 - 01:00 regardless of the crowd. Going ashore: The only other thing I want to point out is if they are using tenders leave plenty of extra time. We arrived in Hamilton on Wednesday and they seemed to be confused on how to get people off the ship. They were using the life boats as tenders, and gave out tickets. It seemed really unorganized. It took my family over an hour to get off once they called our ticket number. Once on shore getting around was a breeze. Buy the 3 day pass and just hop on a bus or ferry. If you want a good place to eat we were recommended a restaurant called "the Spot". We did not eat there but the menu seemed reasonable. We were told it is frequented by the locals. Re-boarding the ship in Hamilton took a long time too. We waited about 45 minutes for a tender to arrive at the dock. The following day we had the choice to re-board the ship by 3:00PM for the sail over to the Dockyards or you could meet the ship there. After the experience with getting on and off via tenders we decided to meet the ship in the dockyards. The last ferry from St Georges to the dockyard is at 6:10 PM. Disembarkation: We waited in comfort in the spinnaker lounge the only problem is that the announcements were not broadcast into the lounge so I you had to jump up and run out into the hallway to hear the announcements. They were about 25 -30 minutes behind in letting people off the ship. So pick an earlier time to get off if you need to meet a limo or a ride. My conclusion is that I probably will not sail NCL again.

NCL Dawn beautiful but beware the double standards

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by chance1218

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2008
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived on Sunday 4/20 at Noon and we were on the ship at 1:10. Not bad. This was my 3rd NCL cruise, but I have not sailed with them since 1998. My last 6 cruises have been with Carnival. I was looking for a change from the Carnival scene. I must say I was disappointed. When we first got on the ship we were greeted by champagne. I would have preferred it to have been a map of the ship. If you want one you have to ask for it from the reception desk. If you are traveling with kids the camp seems pretty good for the younger kids. My daughter is 14 and they really didn't have a great program for her age group. I found the scheduled on-board activities to be lame and very few activities offered. We had 2 days at sea and nothing was planned for around the pool where most of the people were hanging out. Maybe this is due to the fact that it is still cool out. I am not sure.
Ship: The ship is really pretty. Our room was a nice size, but when they put my daughter's bed down for the evening it would block the access onto the balcony. You had to climb over the bed to go out the sliding glass door. The bathroom setup was nice except if you are a larger adult I could see you having space issues. The door into the toilet area was really narrow. The corridors were single file. I think they were about 3 feet wide at most. The public rooms were kept very clean.
Entertainment: The bands were mediocre at best. They band playing in the Spinnaker had a new lead singer who didn't know the words to most of the songs. The Piano players at Gatsbys were all pretty good. The comedian was ok although I think he stole a lot of his material from others. He reminded me of the guy from the last comic standing. I think they called him cave man? Not sure who stole from who but I had a real strong sense of deja vu! The magician was really good. The Guitar player in Pearly Kings was by far the best on the ship. His name was Aaron Noone. Dining: The tables in the Garden Cafe were too close together and every time someone passed behind you or sat behind you they would bump into your chair. The setup of the Garden Cafe was very confusing too. Often the plates were in the middle of the buffet line. The menus were all new so the crew seemed clueless. The freestyle dining was ok. I liked being able to choose when I could go to dinner. Even though they said you could make reservations we were told at the Venetian that they did not take reservations for groups under 6. As a party of 3 we had to wait 30 -40 minutes to get seated if we wanted to eat before 08:00 PM. They also did not enforce the dress code. Every night we would see men and women wearing blue jeans and t-shirts in the dining room. A lot of men wearing baseball caps also. Kids in pajamas. If you are looking for a Filet mignon you will be disappointed. They removed it from the general dining menu. You will have to pay extra at the steak house for that. I missed having the same waiter every night. Overall, the food was ok. Nothing to write home about. A lot of the time it arrived cold. I like being able to sit down and have my drink arrive without having to continually ask for it. So I would put up with being told when to eat. The Blue Lagoon should be avoided if you are in a hurry. We waited 30 minutes to order on 4/25/08 (14:35 Ship time), and another 35 to get our food. My daughter ordered mozzarella sticks that were served to another table and then had to wait another 20 for them to be made again. It appeared they had give staff off and no one knew what to do. They called in reinforcements from the other dining rooms to try and help but they really were not familiar with the menu or the table numbers. They were delivering the food to the wrong tables.
Drinks and bars: The drinks are pricey. You will pay more than most ships. A bucket of beer ran about 20 bucks (5 beers). They were running a buy 5 get one free special. But still seemed like a lot for beer. A glass of wine was $7. The cheapest bottle of wine was 25 before the gratuity. They permit 18 year olds to drink with parents permission. According to the ship this is for wine and beer only but we saw a group drinking mixed drinks. I really was turned off by the parents providing alcohol to under age kids (18-20). I am not sure if they even checked the age because one girl even stated to security that she would be 18 in 6 weeks. He didn't seem to care that she was under age. The waiters for the shows were none existent, so if you want a drink bring it with you. The last night we went to see the show and my daughter ordered a soda from the waiter and he never delivered it. Beware the times given on the Program of the day, as I call it. They list that the Blue Lagoon is always open but I found out they close between 04:00 - 05:00. Most of the bars close around 01:00 even though they say whenever. We found that the Pearly Kings pub liked to close around 12:30 - 01:00 regardless of the crowd. Going ashore: The only other thing I want to point out is if they are using tenders leave plenty of extra time. We arrived in Hamilton on Wednesday and they seemed to be confused on how to get people off the ship. They were using the life boats as tenders, and gave out tickets. It seemed really unorganized. It took my family over an hour to get off once they called our ticket number. Once on shore getting around was a breeze. Buy the 3 day pass and just hop on a bus or ferry. If you want a good place to eat we were recommended a restaurant called "the Spot". We did not eat there but the menu seemed reasonable. We were told it is frequented by the locals. Re-boarding the ship in Hamilton took a long time too. We waited about 45 minutes for a tender to arrive at the dock. The following day we had the choice to re-board the ship by 3:00PM for the sail over to the Dockyards or you could meet the ship there. After the experience with getting on and off via tenders we decided to meet the ship in the dockyards. The last ferry from St Georges to the dockyard is at 6:10 PM.
Disembarkation: We waited in comfort in the spinnaker lounge the only problem is that the announcements were not broadcast into the lounge so I you had to jump up and run out into the hallway to hear the announcements. They were about 25 -30 minutes behind in letting people off the ship. So pick an earlier time to get off if you need to meet a limo or a ride. My conclusion is that I probably will not sail NCL again.
chance1218’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Rates
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Dawn price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email