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Norwegian Dawn Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2862 reviews
1 Award

Ferry form NOLA to Boston

Review for Norwegian Dawn to the Caribbean
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dennphill
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Cabin
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Dining
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Additional details

Sail Date: Apr 2017
Cabin: Mini-Suite with Balcony

Have elderly family - nearly the last of my father's side of the family - living near Boston and try to visit a couple of times a year. Options are flight to Logan (from where I live in the Florid Panhandle) for a couple of days visit...or an ugly slog up I-10 and I-95 (or I-85 and I-95 for a couple of days each way. A couple of years ago I saw a re-positioning of the RCI Serenade of the Seas form NOLA to BOS for 13 days (enroute to the Baltic for the summer) and took it. MUCH more elegant than the interstate! Restful...and the RCI ship and staff were very good. (I may have reviewed this trip previously.)

Anyway, we - my wife and I - were in an 11th deck mini-suite (aft, stbd side - Cabin 11172) which was fine. Very comfortable and we had an excellent steward. (Though we are very undemanding regarding the room and clean-up. Haven't ever tried room service! But the room service was very good.) Meals at the Aqua (noisy, and people not very subdued or quiet) was fine. Food and service OK for the couple of meals there. The Venetian (only a little more refined and quiet - until the Asian family groups came to dine!) was also OK with fairly good service. Food was pretty goods overall. Staff was noticeably very kind and polite. We remarked on this many times. THANKS! Specialty dining was at the Moderno, an Argentinian pig-out of meat specialties - judged: so-so. Better was the Teppanyaki - Japanese showy meal - lots of steel blades clanking and slapping around! Food was good and it was good entertainment! La Cucina was pretty much OK. Food OK and good service. And we changed one night to get into Cagney's - the steak house - which was also pretty good. (Those were our four specialty dining events.) We prepaid gratuities (for the 12 day cruise) and selected 2 offered Free at Sea options - the specialty dining package (4 dinner meals) and the beverage package (free drinks for the cruise). We pre-paid gratuities - $324 total. Gratuities were pre-paid also for the dining package - $30.24 - and the beverage package - $341.28. Travel insurance was $384. Cruise fees - arranged through Explore Cruise Travel were about $1,500 per person, with $180 Government fees and some other misc package fees and an upgrade fee...Basically all under $4,500. total. the ship was pretty good - we had been out on the Dawn for a week form/to New Orleans a year-and-a-half earlier (before a recent re-fit) and we found the ship in good condition and attractive. A previous lounge on the 13th floor had been converted to 'garden suites' or some such...we weren't there. The theater and shows were actually very good. Entertaining, and some of the entertainment in other lounges and venues were also very good. Overall a good cruise on a good ship that NCL should be proud of. THE BAD? Well, the port personnel in NOLA were horrible. EMBARKATION: After getting through the security screening, they rounded up passengers into groups and 'fed' them into two lines to wait to get to the room where you had the desks and personnel (NOLA, not NCL, personnel!) to check you in, give you the cabin keys, take your credit card, etc. Very slow - very, VERY unorganized! Of course they took all the handicapped folks (and their parties, and the Platinum/Double/Platinum/etc guests) directly to the front - I am used to that and it's OK. But they had one line - about 100-120 in it - and another line - it looked to be about the same EXCEPT it curved back on itself THREE times - and it had probably well over 300 people in it - to get into the room where you 'hooked and jabbed' with others to get to a check-in agent. Well, you can guess which line we ended up in! Took us about 1-1/2 hours to the other line's maybe 30 minutes to get to the check-in room! About half of the people that we met on the ship complained about the situation. Lousy, lousy, LOUSY New Orleans! ROUTE: After a day at sea, we went to Cozumel. We stayed on ship - been there done that. (And the shop was at the north terminall, not in town!) Next was Roatan, Honduras. Also stayed on board (Snorkeled there, too, before). Another day at sea and then we came to Cartegena, Columbia - a firt time there for us. Had a tour arranged with not NCL, but from Trip Advisor) with a Marelvy Pena. Actually had an other guide, but for $95 we had a nice A/Ced bus for us and 3 other couples. Nice tour of the old city. Next nother day at sea an then cemt San Juan, PR! Boy, General Kelly and Trump need to 'drain the swamp at Homeland Security and INS and TSA!!! We had nearly a two hour wait to get though custome and onto the island! No EXCUSE for this type treatment of US citizens in the US! OK, so when we got off the shop, we found tht the Carnivl was 'at the town pier' and we were a $13.50 each bus ride to the old town! Nice walk-around, saw the forts, nice lunch. And then when we got back to bord the ship we had all 1,200+ staff and crew in a (it was a full 3 hour wait they had!) line to 'clear US Customs.' Shame on our US Border and Customs personnel!!! OK so bad says getting on the boat at NOLA and a bad day with Customes at San Juan! Next (last enroute) stop was in BVI at Tortola. i arranged to take the NCL tour to Jost van Dyke for the day. Easy trip ($107 pp)....we took the Rebel Yell motorized catamaran there and found ourselves - all 50-60 of us - at a nice white beach with about 6 bars facing us. We got a short briefing on each and a promise that the boat would return for us in about 4 hours. We sat at on loungers at the first bar we came to - the Soggy Dollar Bar - and ordered a couple of Painkillers. After about 4 hours - and 3 or so more Painkillers and great Bar-B-Que for a lunch - the Rebel Yell did indeed return and take us back to the Dawn. Three more days steaming up the Atlantic Coast got us to Beantown, where - thankfully! - Customs and debarking was a breeze. there you have it - stale of taking a ferry form NOLA to Boston Spring 2017!

Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony

Cabin MB

Good Cabin - GREAT steward! See above comments.

Port Reviews

San Juan

San Juan Old Town is nice. Good food. Horrible with US Customs getting off the ship. Ridiculous lines....lousy service. 3rd world countries are better than our Homeland Security people! Getting back on the ship was not an issue, BUT thwey had all of the ship's personnel required to stand in line - 3+ hours - and all required to clear US customs. I was embarrassed for my country! GEN Kelly should be ashamed of his personnel!

New Orleans

Lousy service from port personnel lining us up and checking us in! VERY poor. Not NCL's fault.

Cozumel

Been there done that. (BTW, Cozumel Chef - Josefina - seen on an earlier cruise is very nice expereince.)

Roatan

Been there - done that.

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