This was our second time on the Norwegian Dawn. Boarding in Boston is so easy and parking, although pricey, is easy and accessible to the ship. We boarded with no problems. We were upgraded to a picture window and could not have been happier with our room and our steward. Having sailed the Dawn 3 years earlier, we opted for not tipping up front and decided to tip at our discretion. The service, as compared to 3 years ago, was sub-par.
We at dinner in the complimentary restaurants most evenings and found the Maitre Ds to be impolite and rude. Some of that may have been a language barrier, but you can give non-verbal cues that are friendly! We did not purchase the VERY expensive drink package. Unfortunately, the cost of the package perpetuates a lot of drunk people on board. When you pay over $100.00 dollars a day you need to get your money's worth! We were never offered bar service at a table or around the pool, but needed to stand in line at the bar to receive a drink - often waiting for more than 10 minutes. It was shocking to see that we were charged an 18 percent gratuity for waiting on ourselves...with an option to pay more! At O'Sheehans Bar we waited while the bar tender filled all the wait staff's orders (which was fine), but then other men came to the bar and he waited on them before he waited on us (females) - never an apology or an "I'll be right with you"....and we had to pay 18 percent gratuity for that! On the Dawn, there are about 4 complimentary restaurants and a lot of speciality restaurants. We didn't have a complaint about the food - other than the buffet, but it's all very similar. Wait staff was vey mixed - some excellent and some not. The wait staff was not able to explain or describe food - they had no idea what was being served. It was fine because you could order it and decide for yourself - but not very helpful.
The best part of the cruise is the time in Bermuda. The ship is a great place to come and go from that is a reasonable price for a nightly room. Unfortunately, no water was allowed on board. This meant purchasing water for a large price and also meant having no water for some very hot Bermuda days without purchasing at a store.
Loved our cabin and our steward.
Excursions were very expensive. I recommend using public transpiration to go where you want. We used the ferry/bus system to go the beach, the caves, Hamilton, etc.