1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Dawn
The Dawn just received an extensive drydock in 2016 and it really shows! We just sailed on the Dawn 3 months ago and chose it again because we were so pleased with the ship and great time that we had. Again, it did not disappoint! The ship is extremely well maintained - I witnessed absolutely no sign of wear and tear, and the decor is very fresh, modern, and trendy. There is a dizzying array of dining establishments to choose from, five of which are all complimentary! The entertainment was outstanding, and included a Vegas-style production show, acrobats, magic, and comedy. There were also a number of musicians playing throughout the ship which we greatly enjoyed. Our oceanview cabin was roomier than we are used to on cruise ships and decorated in a colorful, cheery motif. Bathroom was cramped but shower temperature and pressure were excellent. Lots of space for storage in the cabin - more than we needed. Room steward provided exemplary service twice per day. The main dining rooms weren't as good as we remembered from last time, but it was okay because we went to two of the alternative free options instead on our free nights: Bamboo (an Asian restaurant) and O'Sheehan's (an Irish pub.) Both of these were hit-or-miss, so we needed to try different things to find out what we liked, which they were more than happy to let us do. So we were able to find some options we were very happy with. We didn't care for the buffet - but that has been true for us on every ship we have ever sailed (every cruise line.) The buffet does have great views and a huge selection if you don't mind the crowds. The specialty restaurants are fantastic - we have visited all but one (Moderno) and been extremely satisfied every time. I had some of the best meals I've ever had in those restaurants. The decor in the specialty restaurants is beautiful, as was the food presentation. The lines were long at the bars at peak times on deck, and waiter service was limited with the exception of the lido deck near the pool. But we like peace and quiet, so we hung out on the promenade deck rather than the pool which is close to one of the less-busy bars so this did not affect us. The drinks were all very good. Los Lobos had the best bartender, and drinks, on the ship in my opinion, but I enjoyed all of them. The Thermal Suite is amazing, and just what I needed after a long day of walking on this big ship and exerting myself on excursions. It includes a sauna, steam room, 2 different types of Jacuzzi, a pool, heated loungers, and a relaxation room. It never got crowded and we even practically had the place to ourselves in the evening. The muster drill was fairly painless, held in the air conditioned indoors with plenty of seating. Embarkation was slow, but it was due to customs, and government delays, not the fault of Norwegian. Debarkation was not bad for us. The one and only complaint I really had was not the itinerary itself, but the order in which we visited the different ports which caused us to have only a half a day in Harvest Caye instead of a full day (especially since it was one of the biggest ports.) Had the ship started at the furthest south port and worked it's way up, it should have allowed for a full day in every port. They may have not had any control over that depending on what other ships were trying to dock there, but it was an annoyance. I could have easily spent a full day there still wanting more time. I also don't like the way specialty coffee is not included in the drink package - but I made due. Service was outstanding. I have heard some say the service isn't friendly enough on Norwegian, but that was not the case at all on this cruise for us. Staff was very friendly, helpful, and efficient. In fact, I was extremely impressed that a couple of servers even remembered us from 3 months prior!! I would definitely sail on the Dawn a third time, and highly recommend it to everyone!

A New Dawn on the Dawn!

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by GlamorousGirl

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2018
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview Picture Window
The Dawn just received an extensive drydock in 2016 and it really shows! We just sailed on the Dawn 3 months ago and chose it again because we were so pleased with the ship and great time that we had. Again, it did not disappoint! The ship is extremely well maintained - I witnessed absolutely no sign of wear and tear, and the decor is very fresh, modern, and trendy. There is a dizzying array of dining establishments to choose from, five of which are all complimentary! The entertainment was outstanding, and included a Vegas-style production show, acrobats, magic, and comedy. There were also a number of musicians playing throughout the ship which we greatly enjoyed. Our oceanview cabin was roomier than we are used to on cruise ships and decorated in a colorful, cheery motif. Bathroom was cramped but shower temperature and pressure were excellent. Lots of space for storage in the cabin - more than we needed. Room steward provided exemplary service twice per day.

The main dining rooms weren't as good as we remembered from last time, but it was okay because we went to two of the alternative free options instead on our free nights: Bamboo (an Asian restaurant) and O'Sheehan's (an Irish pub.) Both of these were hit-or-miss, so we needed to try different things to find out what we liked, which they were more than happy to let us do. So we were able to find some options we were very happy with. We didn't care for the buffet - but that has been true for us on every ship we have ever sailed (every cruise line.) The buffet does have great views and a huge selection if you don't mind the crowds. The specialty restaurants are fantastic - we have visited all but one (Moderno) and been extremely satisfied every time. I had some of the best meals I've ever had in those restaurants. The decor in the specialty restaurants is beautiful, as was the food presentation.

The lines were long at the bars at peak times on deck, and waiter service was limited with the exception of the lido deck near the pool. But we like peace and quiet, so we hung out on the promenade deck rather than the pool which is close to one of the less-busy bars so this did not affect us. The drinks were all very good. Los Lobos had the best bartender, and drinks, on the ship in my opinion, but I enjoyed all of them.

The Thermal Suite is amazing, and just what I needed after a long day of walking on this big ship and exerting myself on excursions. It includes a sauna, steam room, 2 different types of Jacuzzi, a pool, heated loungers, and a relaxation room. It never got crowded and we even practically had the place to ourselves in the evening.

The muster drill was fairly painless, held in the air conditioned indoors with plenty of seating. Embarkation was slow, but it was due to customs, and government delays, not the fault of Norwegian. Debarkation was not bad for us.

The one and only complaint I really had was not the itinerary itself, but the order in which we visited the different ports which caused us to have only a half a day in Harvest Caye instead of a full day (especially since it was one of the biggest ports.) Had the ship started at the furthest south port and worked it's way up, it should have allowed for a full day in every port. They may have not had any control over that depending on what other ships were trying to dock there, but it was an annoyance. I could have easily spent a full day there still wanting more time. I also don't like the way specialty coffee is not included in the drink package - but I made due.

Service was outstanding. I have heard some say the service isn't friendly enough on Norwegian, but that was not the case at all on this cruise for us. Staff was very friendly, helpful, and efficient. In fact, I was extremely impressed that a couple of servers even remembered us from 3 months prior!!

I would definitely sail on the Dawn a third time, and highly recommend it to everyone!
GlamorousGirl’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

Oceanview Picture Window
Cabin OA
The cabin was roomier than we are used to on cruise ships. I really enjoyed the bright, colorful decor. There was so much storage space we could not even use half of it! There was a refrigerator, which we really appreciated because some ships we have been on did not provide one. The bathroom was cramped but the temperature and water pressure in the shower were outstanding. The bed was fine. Our room steward provided outstanding service, attending to our cabin twice per day.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Segway Tour
    Was my first time on a Segway, and I will definitely be repeating the experience! Scenery was very interesting on the tour - we rode through town and right next to the beach for much of the tour! Riding the Segway was easy and a lot of fun! I will wear more shock absorbent shoes next time though because it hurt my feet a little.
    View All 27 Segway Tour Reviews
  • Horseback Riding
    A full hour of horseback riding through underwhelming but still interesting Mayan ruins. I really enjoyed the way we were not rushed. The horses were very well behaved and friendly, as were the tour guides!!
    View All 24 Horseback Riding Reviews
  • Harvest Caye
    I could not believe all of the things to do just at port. I gave the rating because the port was great, with huge beaches, a swim-up bar and pool, and tons of activities and shopping including zipline, parasailing, and rope course. But the excursion I took to see wildlife was the worst excursion I have ever booked. We were supposed to see manatees - but they barely poked their nose out of the water and I didn't really see anything. It was terribly boring and disappointing. I wished I'd stayed at port where there was plenty of more interesting things to do!
    View All 1,086 Harvest Caye Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Harvest Caye Cruise Port Review
  • Swimming with Dolphins
    I did the Dolphin Encounter and it exceeded my expectations in every way. Unlike some Dolphin excursions at other ports, they actually let you use your own camera for filming and photos for much of the experience. They take professional photos while you hug the dolphin and it gives you a kiss - but you can use your own camera for everything else. The dolphin was super friendly and playful. This is also one of the places that does not mistreat dolphins like some others. They let the dolphins go and they return on their own. Be prepared to go higher than waist deep in the water for the encounter and fully submerged if you get the swim.
    View All 43 Swimming with Dolphins Reviews