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Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,976 Reviews

Norwegian Dawn - 12 day southern Caribbean cruise out of Puerto Rico

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by JeffCharger

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2019
  • Destination: the Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony

Itinerary. This was a 12 day cruise, sailing out of San Juan and going to Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten, and Tortola. A terrific set of ports!

We took advantage of 3 or 4 of the specialty restaurants. All were good. We particularly liked Cagney's. The food was great! We weren't as fond of the Brazilian restaurant. The food wasn't to our liking and it took forever to get dessert (they apparently have to go to a different deck to get the desserts). This almost caused us to miss one of the theatre shows.

Shows. The shows were good, however not as good as we've experienced on other ships. We were happy that there was a show every night - and all but one of the shows was help at both 7 pm and 9 pm. This provided great options. We had a different cruise where they skipped a couple of nights - and that was disappointing. The one show that we did not care for was the "Juggler". He didn't do much and seemed to want to be a comedian. It wasn't up to our expectations.

Bartenders. For the first time cruising, we had a drink package. We certainly enjoyed this and found great refuge in the Bimini bar, one deck up, overlooking the pool area. We met lots of great people there - and it became our regular spot to assemble. One bartender in particular - Jeff, looked after us very well! I must say that all bartenders were good, and genuinely looked like the enjoyed their jobs and were interested in making our journey enjoyable.

Excursions. We found the selection of ship sponsored excursions limited and expensive. While there were lots to choose from, we found that many were all the same, and could be done cheaper on your own. We were sailing to generally safe islands, so were ventured out on our own many times.

Overall, a terrific trip! Congrats NCL for putting together a great itinerary. We loved it!


JeffCharger's Full Rating Summary
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Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BA 9608

We were very pleased with our Cabin. It was close to the action (Mid ship), but far enough away from source of noise. The balcony was great. While we've had larger cabins on other ships, this one was adequate and in fact the bathroom was quite large (relatively speaking!). There was a sliding door between the sink area and the toilet area, and similarly in the shower.

We never had any hot water problems. The tap water had a taste of chlorine - so we tended not to use it.

Amenities in the cabin were good. There was lots of storage, including a decent area for hanging close, 3 drawers, and a number of shelves. There was also lots of room under the bed for storing suit cases.

We were very pleased with our cabin.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

San Juan

we didn't do anything here, but get on the ship.

Aruba Trikes. We did this 3-4 years ago and loved it! The owners have changed and it wasn't as good. But it was still very enjoyable.

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Great tour - arranged through a group.

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bus tour to the caves. This was more commercial than I would have liked, but so be it. It was about a 40 minute bus ride, but nice to see the country-side so it was well worth it.

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Curacao

good tour of the island, arranged through a group.

We rented golf carts and ventured out on our own with a map. We had a short port in Bonaire, with the ship departing at 2pm. We headed out at 7 am. People said that we could either do the north tour, or the south tour. We did both! We headed out in a group of 3-4 golf carts and had a great time!

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We booked this independently and saved about $20 each. It was a long drive to the interior (45 minutes) but it was nice to see the countryside. The caves were more commercial than I would have liked, but fascinating to see.

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Antigua

we just hopped a taxi as a group of 4 and went to Darkwood beach. This was a great day! Beautiful water, secluded beach and nice experienced. We didn't feel bothered by the people renting chairs and umbrellas. They were great!

America's Cup Regatta

this was an experience that we wanted to try. It was really good, although not as dramatic or "wild" as I was hoping. It was pretty tame, but fun.

View All 52 America's Cup Regatta Reviews

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JeffCharger
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