1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Dawn
Although not our first experience cruising this was our first on Norwegian. This ship and itinerary were chosen for us as we were traveling with a pretty large group. Prior to boarding all we had known from talking to others about Norwegian is that their food was terrible. That could not have been further from the truth. I did not have a bad meal on this ship and through their freestyle dining options I was able to get some really awesome and delicious food on the ship. We paid a little one night for Teppanyaki which was the best meal we had on the ship. We ate more than once at the Bamboo Grill for Chinese food, a few times at O'Sheehans for some pub food, at the Dining room for a few meals and the rest at the Garden Cafe. With the food being good we did find however that some of the food services were not well run where it seemed that servers were a bit confused. I am not sure if that was a symptom of the freestyle dining or just that ship because in all my cruising I've never experienced that before. Finally if you have any dietary restrictions like vegetarian you may have a hard time finding a large spectrum of food to eat. The crew was outstanding as usual on a cruise ship. Everyone says hello, waiters and waitresses were always pleasant and gave you whatever you asked for if possible and would go way out of your way to be the best service they could provide. Our cabin steward as well as those of my family and friends were awesome. There ware a few things about this ship we liked and a few we absolutely did not like. I think the dislikes outdid the likes too. Likes: - The Food - The casino was tucked away in a secluded part of the ship. If you want to go there you had to make an effort. Many other ships I've been on make you go through or past the casino to get to other places on the ship walking through a cloud of cigarette smoke. That was a huge plus on this ship. - The ship was very clean. - The crew. - The shops did not pressure sell us. - Art Auctions were not pushed on us everywhere we walked. - The onboard talent was awesome. Dislikes: - The excursion desk was rarely staffed. There should be someone there most of the time before you get to your destination and during the stay to answer questions, help with issues or work with those who booked the wrong excursions. - There was a reservations line on the phone in the room. No one picked up any of the times that I called it. I don't know if anyone was ever there. - Cabins were very small even for 2 people. It was a 3 person cabin too. - There was one ice cream machine and it was not available past 11:00. - One night I couldn't get a cup of coffee past 11:00 as all of the machines were shut down. - There was no Columbian Coffee at the coffee and tea bar. So I couldn't even buy a better cup of coffee. - This ship was basically a free for all. There were no rules for anyone mostly the smokers. They were supposed to smoke only in designated areas but there was smoking all over the outside of the ship. I observed many times ships crew serving smokers drinks right under a no smoking sign. I couldn't walk anywhere on the outside of the ship or near the pool without a face full of smoke. It was really nasty. We also had to walk through the pool area on deck 12 if we wanted to go eat at the Garden Grill. If we chose to get something there and bring it back to our rooms or on deck we had to walk past the smokers with our food. The only way around it was to get the food, go down a few decks and then across the ship and back up to the cabin or part of the deck you were sitting. Should have been that way. - No programs for teens and they were really obnoxious. We went to the library one evening to read in a quiet space and the teens came in, were loud, foul mouthed and left plates and cup and things all over. When we asked them if they could be a little quieter they go nasty with us. It was not a nice evening. - With that said, there were not areas for those over 21 who didn't want to be splashed in the pool or hot tubs by children or overcome by teens trying to pick each other up. - Photos - We have purchased many pictures on cruise ships. They are expensive but always do a really great job. We wanted to spend $199 on a package but were told that someone from our cabin had to be in every picture to be included in the package. We were traveling with our adult children, relative and friends who each had their own cabin. If we wanted pictures without us in them we would have had to pay extra. We passed on the package and spent much less than $199. Many of the pictures we took were awesome too. Shame. - We had eaten in the Bamboo restaurant a few times. Their desserts were awesome but we could only have them if we ate there with a reservation. They wouldn't allow us to get them and take them elsewhere on the ship. I didn't get that at all. Very disappointing. - We went to a few live shows in the Bliss lounge. It would get very crowded in there because it was way to small for the amount of people on the ship. The shows were great especially the Karaoke however there were no doors to close off the lounge. During live performances the people in the back were talking so loud that we could barely hear the singers. Also, the bartenders were singing one night during a live performance. Finally there were children in an adults only performance in the Bliss by the Second City TV troop that was on board. There was no security and no one did a thing to make those who wanted to hear more comfortable. No crew spoke up or said anything. I've never experienced that on a cruise before. This was the most I had ever paid for a cruise for my family. All in all I had a great time in Bermuda and on the ship with my friends but there were enough things that I did not like on that ship that could have been prevented. I would have to say that unless I go with another group, Norwegian would be very low on my list when planning my next cruise.

Some Good and Some Not

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by stuart.farber

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2017
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Inside
Although not our first experience cruising this was our first on Norwegian. This ship and itinerary were chosen for us as we were traveling with a pretty large group. Prior to boarding all we had known from talking to others about Norwegian is that their food was terrible. That could not have been further from the truth. I did not have a bad meal on this ship and through their freestyle dining options I was able to get some really awesome and delicious food on the ship. We paid a little one night for Teppanyaki which was the best meal we had on the ship. We ate more than once at the Bamboo Grill for Chinese food, a few times at O'Sheehans for some pub food, at the Dining room for a few meals and the rest at the Garden Cafe. With the food being good we did find however that some of the food services were not well run where it seemed that servers were a bit confused. I am not sure if that was a symptom of the freestyle dining or just that ship because in all my cruising I've never experienced that before. Finally if you have any dietary restrictions like vegetarian you may have a hard time finding a large spectrum of food to eat.

The crew was outstanding as usual on a cruise ship. Everyone says hello, waiters and waitresses were always pleasant and gave you whatever you asked for if possible and would go way out of your way to be the best service they could provide. Our cabin steward as well as those of my family and friends were awesome.

There ware a few things about this ship we liked and a few we absolutely did not like. I think the dislikes outdid the likes too.

Likes:

- The Food

- The casino was tucked away in a secluded part of the ship. If you want to go there you had to make an effort. Many other ships I've been on make you go through or past the casino to get to other places on the ship walking through a cloud of cigarette smoke. That was a huge plus on this ship.

- The ship was very clean.

- The crew.

- The shops did not pressure sell us.

- Art Auctions were not pushed on us everywhere we walked.

- The onboard talent was awesome.

Dislikes:

- The excursion desk was rarely staffed. There should be someone there most of the time before you get to your destination and during the stay to answer questions, help with issues or work with those who booked the wrong excursions.

- There was a reservations line on the phone in the room. No one picked up any of the times that I called it. I don't know if anyone was ever there.

- Cabins were very small even for 2 people. It was a 3 person cabin too.

- There was one ice cream machine and it was not available past 11:00.

- One night I couldn't get a cup of coffee past 11:00 as all of the machines were shut down.

- There was no Columbian Coffee at the coffee and tea bar. So I couldn't even buy a better cup of coffee.

- This ship was basically a free for all. There were no rules for anyone mostly the smokers. They were supposed to smoke only in designated areas but there was smoking all over the outside of the ship. I observed many times ships crew serving smokers drinks right under a no smoking sign. I couldn't walk anywhere on the outside of the ship or near the pool without a face full of smoke. It was really nasty. We also had to walk through the pool area on deck 12 if we wanted to go eat at the Garden Grill. If we chose to get something there and bring it back to our rooms or on deck we had to walk past the smokers with our food. The only way around it was to get the food, go down a few decks and then across the ship and back up to the cabin or part of the deck you were sitting. Should have been that way.

- No programs for teens and they were really obnoxious. We went to the library one evening to read in a quiet space and the teens came in, were loud, foul mouthed and left plates and cup and things all over. When we asked them if they could be a little quieter they go nasty with us. It was not a nice evening.

- With that said, there were not areas for those over 21 who didn't want to be splashed in the pool or hot tubs by children or overcome by teens trying to pick each other up.

- Photos - We have purchased many pictures on cruise ships. They are expensive but always do a really great job. We wanted to spend $199 on a package but were told that someone from our cabin had to be in every picture to be included in the package. We were traveling with our adult children, relative and friends who each had their own cabin. If we wanted pictures without us in them we would have had to pay extra. We passed on the package and spent much less than $199. Many of the pictures we took were awesome too. Shame.

- We had eaten in the Bamboo restaurant a few times. Their desserts were awesome but we could only have them if we ate there with a reservation. They wouldn't allow us to get them and take them elsewhere on the ship. I didn't get that at all. Very disappointing.

- We went to a few live shows in the Bliss lounge. It would get very crowded in there because it was way to small for the amount of people on the ship. The shows were great especially the Karaoke however there were no doors to close off the lounge. During live performances the people in the back were talking so loud that we could barely hear the singers. Also, the bartenders were singing one night during a live performance. Finally there were children in an adults only performance in the Bliss by the Second City TV troop that was on board. There was no security and no one did a thing to make those who wanted to hear more comfortable. No crew spoke up or said anything. I've never experienced that on a cruise before.

This was the most I had ever paid for a cruise for my family. All in all I had a great time in Bermuda and on the ship with my friends but there were enough things that I did not like on that ship that could have been prevented. I would have to say that unless I go with another group, Norwegian would be very low on my list when planning my next cruise.
stuart.farber’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Dawn price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Inside
Cabin IF 9525
The cabins were clean and efficient but very small for two people. Hard to really get around at all. We were traveling with a large group and in a few of the cabins the toilets stopped working and had to be fixed.
Deck 5 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews