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We have cruised to Bermuda 8 times now in the past 9 years. This cruise was BY FAR the worst. This cruise makes me really miss the old Zenith (Celebrity). 1) Embarkation - Check In was fast and efficient. The room was never completely cleared of debris from the previous passengers, after numerous attempts to communicate this with room steward. 2) The Pool - Staff on board refused to enforce their own posted rules. Specifically, children jumping from the Hot Tub into the adult pool. Children went into pools with just regular diapers and/or swim diapers, a blatant violation of posted rules. This was an obvious health concern and safety, which is also addressed later. 3) Pool Area - Signs posted prohibit the reserving of sun chairs, but EVERYONE did it, and NOTHING was done about it. One nasty staff member, who was also in charge of the POOL TOWELS, reminded us of the rule in a stern and nasty manner, but refused to do anything about the above mentioned children / Hot Tub issue. 4) Restaurants - Service was ALWAYS slow at best. Food was MOSTLY mediocre at best. We were chided for wearing shorts on the Salsa restaurant, but EVERYONE else was doing it. In Aqua, it took 10 minutes to bring cocktail sauce for the shrimp cocktail. In addition, the person who took our drink order was nasty, especially when she realized we had presented a ticket for an already opened bottle of wine that was being saved for us. At Cagney's, the appetizers were served barely warm, and the meats were not cooked correctly - a medium steak came out well done. In the Venetian, the Eggs Benedict was served on a mushy untoasted English muffin. In the Blue Lagoon, we were blatantly ignored, had to beg to have the table cleaned and be given eating utensils. Of course, the food order was wrong. The buffet was a joke - as some items could only be reached by people with extremely long arms, and the prongs used to pick up food were awful. 5) Reservations - Could not reach restaurant reservation desk via phone. When we went to that desk in lobby, the person was just standing around. You would think she would be on the phone the whole time. 6) Bar Staff - Extremely aggressive in attempting to get drink orders. For example, we were approached by 5 different people in a 10 minute period poolside. This is not necessary. Mixed drinks were OK, but expensive. They did not communicate the option of purchasing drinks in Souvenir glasses versus regular glasses, as the former would cost $2 or more additional per drink. 7) Room steward / room service - we literally had to beg for ice and pitchers of water. 3 people in our party needed water to take multiple medications. Water could only be obtained via room service, which would take an hour or more. On previous cruises, a pitcher was provided in each room. The room steward did not clean the rooms properly - he would lave dirty glasses and filled garbage cans. 8) Service Charges - NCL does not make it plainly obvious that they charge $10 per person per day service charge as a forced gratuity. Whenever we cruised on Celebrity, we were given guidelines for tipping, but in the end, we made the determination. 9) Ship Cleanliness - This ship was a germ fest. Waiters walked around coughing into plates. Hairs were found in foods on more than one occasion. Bathroom glasses were cleaned by running hot water into them. If this ship was subject to health regulations as do NYC restaurants, they would have been shut down. 2 people in our party contracted conjunctivitis, and one had an intestinal virus on board, and another came home with a sinus infection. 10) Customer Service - Any time we expressed concerns about the above issues, the staff member was defensive, rather than being apologetic. At times, they would blame us for the problems we encountered! For example, we were blamed for having our room cards deactivated, because we supposedly carried them together! Sorry, we did not walk into a magnetic field! No attempts were made to correct the issues - not even the obligatory apologetic bottle of cheap champagne was not offered! In summary, we wouldn't go back if they gave us a suite for free.

CRUISE TO HELL AND BACK

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by John L

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2008
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
We have cruised to Bermuda 8 times now in the past 9 years. This cruise was BY FAR the worst. This cruise makes me really miss the old Zenith (Celebrity).
1) Embarkation - Check In was fast and efficient. The room was never completely cleared of debris from the previous passengers, after numerous attempts to communicate this with room steward. 2) The Pool - Staff on board refused to enforce their own posted rules. Specifically, children jumping from the Hot Tub into the adult pool. Children went into pools with just regular diapers and/or swim diapers, a blatant violation of posted rules. This was an obvious health concern and safety, which is also addressed later. 3) Pool Area - Signs posted prohibit the reserving of sun chairs, but EVERYONE did it, and NOTHING was done about it. One nasty staff member, who was also in charge of the POOL TOWELS, reminded us of the rule in a stern and nasty manner, but refused to do anything about the above mentioned children / Hot Tub issue. 4) Restaurants - Service was ALWAYS slow at best. Food was MOSTLY mediocre at best. We were chided for wearing shorts on the Salsa restaurant, but EVERYONE else was doing it. In Aqua, it took 10 minutes to bring cocktail sauce for the shrimp cocktail. In addition, the person who took our drink order was nasty, especially when she realized we had presented a ticket for an already opened bottle of wine that was being saved for us. At Cagney's, the appetizers were served barely warm, and the meats were not cooked correctly - a medium steak came out well done. In the Venetian, the Eggs Benedict was served on a mushy untoasted English muffin. In the Blue Lagoon, we were blatantly ignored, had to beg to have the table cleaned and be given eating utensils. Of course, the food order was wrong. The buffet was a joke - as some items could only be reached by people with extremely long arms, and the prongs used to pick up food were awful. 5) Reservations - Could not reach restaurant reservation desk via phone. When we went to that desk in lobby, the person was just standing around. You would think she would be on the phone the whole time. 6) Bar Staff - Extremely aggressive in attempting to get drink orders. For example, we were approached by 5 different people in a 10 minute period poolside. This is not necessary. Mixed drinks were OK, but expensive. They did not communicate the option of purchasing drinks in Souvenir glasses versus regular glasses, as the former would cost $2 or more additional per drink. 7) Room steward / room service - we literally had to beg for ice and pitchers of water. 3 people in our party needed water to take multiple medications. Water could only be obtained via room service, which would take an hour or more. On previous cruises, a pitcher was provided in each room. The room steward did not clean the rooms properly - he would lave dirty glasses and filled garbage cans. 8) Service Charges - NCL does not make it plainly obvious that they charge $10 per person per day service charge as a forced gratuity. Whenever we cruised on Celebrity, we were given guidelines for tipping, but in the end, we made the determination. 9) Ship Cleanliness - This ship was a germ fest. Waiters walked around coughing into plates. Hairs were found in foods on more than one occasion. Bathroom glasses were cleaned by running hot water into them. If this ship was subject to health regulations as do NYC restaurants, they would have been shut down. 2 people in our party contracted conjunctivitis, and one had an intestinal virus on board, and another came home with a sinus infection. 10) Customer Service - Any time we expressed concerns about the above issues, the staff member was defensive, rather than being apologetic. At times, they would blame us for the problems we encountered! For example, we were blamed for having our room cards deactivated, because we supposedly carried them together! Sorry, we did not walk into a magnetic field! No attempts were made to correct the issues - not even the obligatory apologetic bottle of cheap champagne was not offered!
In summary, we wouldn't go back if they gave us a suite for free.
John L’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Rates
Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
Service
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BB
Bathroom toilet area too small, balcony puny, carpets need to be replaced.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins