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The service on NCL has always been wonderful and the kids club (Splash Academy) is excellent. That and the freestyle dining is usually our main reason for choosing NCL. We do a sit-down breakfast and dinner in the main dining rooms and always enjoy the food & the service. We do not eat at the buffet because the desserts are sub-par (especially when compared to the dining room desserts) and the buffet is way too crowded. We loved the itinerary which included islands we enjoyed (Aruba) and new islands (Bonaire, Barbados, Antigua). A few of the islands are very primitive (Grenada, St. Lucia and Guadaloupe) so we did not get too adventurous when we got to port. We usually did a local water taxi tour or took an official taxi to a local beach or attraction. Boarding in San Juan was A BREEZE! The started boarding passengers at 11:30 AM and the boat left port at 9:00 PM. We boarded around 3:00 PM and there was ZERO wait to check in and get on the ship. It was the easiest boarding experience I ever had. The dance crew has improved. The dancers & singers were really good this time. They are still never going to be as good as Royal Caribbean, but they were pretty good. A trio of female singers did some Motown covers in the Stardust theater one night and they were AMAZING. The cruise director was cheesy and annoying, but that's par for the course on these ships. We've been on the Norwegian Dawn before and I like the ship. It's not a mega ship but has lots of good amenities including a nice kids pool, good gym, interesting restaurants and some shopping. The rooms are tiny because it's an old ship, but we don't spend much time in our room anyway. We did not do any excursions. They are very expensive and vary in quality. Instead, we took a cab or water taxi to visit local attractions in every port. We brought our own snorkel equipment and had a great time snorkeling in Bonaire. I've heard that others did not have good experiences on the excursions, especially the snorkel trips in Guadaloupe and waterfalls in Grenada, but my shore experience was fine.

Pretty good itinerary; still some "old ship" problems

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by mmb1974usa

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2017
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Inside
The service on NCL has always been wonderful and the kids club (Splash Academy) is excellent. That and the freestyle dining is usually our main reason for choosing NCL. We do a sit-down breakfast and dinner in the main dining rooms and always enjoy the food & the service. We do not eat at the buffet because the desserts are sub-par (especially when compared to the dining room desserts) and the buffet is way too crowded.

We loved the itinerary which included islands we enjoyed (Aruba) and new islands (Bonaire, Barbados, Antigua). A few of the islands are very primitive (Grenada, St. Lucia and Guadaloupe) so we did not get too adventurous when we got to port. We usually did a local water taxi tour or took an official taxi to a local beach or attraction.

Boarding in San Juan was A BREEZE! The started boarding passengers at 11:30 AM and the boat left port at 9:00 PM. We boarded around 3:00 PM and there was ZERO wait to check in and get on the ship. It was the easiest boarding experience I ever had.

The dance crew has improved. The dancers & singers were really good this time. They are still never going to be as good as Royal Caribbean, but they were pretty good. A trio of female singers did some Motown covers in the Stardust theater one night and they were AMAZING. The cruise director was cheesy and annoying, but that's par for the course on these ships.

We've been on the Norwegian Dawn before and I like the ship. It's not a mega ship but has lots of good amenities including a nice kids pool, good gym, interesting restaurants and some shopping. The rooms are tiny because it's an old ship, but we don't spend much time in our room anyway.

We did not do any excursions. They are very expensive and vary in quality. Instead, we took a cab or water taxi to visit local attractions in every port. We brought our own snorkel equipment and had a great time snorkeling in Bonaire. I've heard that others did not have good experiences on the excursions, especially the snorkel trips in Guadaloupe and waterfalls in Grenada, but my shore experience was fine.
mmb1974usa’s Full Rating Summary
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Ages 3 to 6
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Inside
Cabin IA 10603
Even though the boat has been fully renovated, there were still some minor "old ship" issues. For example there is only one electrical outlet in each room, our safe was malfunctioning, the mini fridge broke and the little bottles of alcohol flew out over the broken shelf whenever I opened it, the bathroom door did not lock and the clock on the wall of the gym has been broken since the last time we were on this ship 6 months ago. That's what you get when you book an interior cabin on a 15 year old ship.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews