Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by VinDeTable
- Sail Date: January 2019
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Balcony
Staff: As usual, the NCL staff is their strongest asset, and the crew could not have been nicer to us (and everyone) during the cruise.
Our steward, Flavia St. Rose, provided exceptional and friendly service, taking care of our requests to use ice bucket liners (which we provide) and to empty the fridge in stride.
Poolside service was uneven, but generally ok. Pool bars great.
Restaurants/Bars: Jeffrey, a bartender we met on a previous NCL cruise was also aboard and that was a great time in the Mojito Bar. Everyone has a favorite, and Jeffrey is ours.
Meals and service in the Venetian(main) dining room were great as well.
We did not care, once again, for the food or service in La Cuchina, and did not try Moderno this voyage.
This was our first encounter with the Los Lobos restaurant, and we enjoyed that very much. It's a tequila themed bar and Alexander made us several great drinks, the chicken mole enchilada and the Carne Asada were great. Make sure to get the elote (mexican grilled corn) and table side guacamole. They will take the corn off of the cob for you and it's a great dish to share.
Le Bistro continues to provide upscale experience if you can make it through the smoke in Gatsby bar (more on that later). Cagney's was great thanks to the help of Matthew, their sommelier.
Garden Court buffet was uninspired and best avoided.
Public Areas: Pool furniture is pretty uncomfortable and old. Atrium is nice.
Quiet space: They have taken the quiet space at the front of the ship and turned it into the Bliss Lounge. During the day it's always set up for Art auctions. I'd much rather have a quiet area to go and read other than the library, but then, reading is not spending money, is it? Still. The art auction thing is starting to get to be a pain.
The ship's tour (Behind the scenes) through cruise next was great although I've now seen the stardust dressing room in each ship I've been on but never the stage or backstage or the control booth. Cruise Next was present and got their message out but not obnoxious as it can be some times.
Embarkation/Disembark: Both very very smooth, by far the smoothest in the 10 cruises we've taken.
All that is well and good, but here is the one major problem with this ship that will keep us from booking another cruise on the Dawn. Smoke. Smoking is allowed in the Casino as well as the Cigar Lounge, and they both open into the area making up Gatsby bar and entrance to Le B. The smoke leakage into that area make Gatsby bar unusable (for us). It didn't matter if the door was closed, smoke was wafting into the common area. Several smokers also mentioned the smoke inside of the Cigar Lounge was intolerable. Perhaps they were having a mechanical difficulty with the ventilation.
For those so inclined, smoking is also allowed in the Bimini Bar (Deck 13 outside) and (it seems) all along deck 7 promenade.
A letter (Dear Tony) to the Hotel director about the smoke from Casino and Cigar Lounge in Le Bistro and Gatsby received no response.
Cabin: Standard balcony. Comfortable bed, couch just ok. Water was cut off without warning one morning for maintenance, according to Guest Services. Our toilet ceased to flush for several hours but was fixed somewhere else since no one ever came to our cabin or bothered to let us know the problem was resolved. TV is very small but adequate. Lack of electrical outlets (1) is a problem. Be sure to bring some kind of outlet strip, getting one with usb ports helps as well.
Disembarkation: I notice a lot of people who should not be doing the walk-off doing it, struggling with their luggage and essentially ending up getting assisted walk-off. If you're out of breath just getting your luggage to deck 7, you should let them move it. Just saying.
Kudos to the security staff being so polite and keeping their cool during the whole embark/disembark process.
Getting there: Easy $25 taxi to/from Cruise Pier, surcharge for extra bags, make sure to ask rate before getting in. Taxi kiosk immediately outside baggage claim.
Uber is available.
I would be fine with this cabin again were I to book on the Dawn.
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