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We found ourselves on this cruise due to our limited options based on spring break. The Dawn is definitely a smaller and older ship. It doesn't have the bells and whistles of the newer ships but, is certainly clean. The ship itself is well kept but, the age shows. Few elevators and the "main rooms" are nothing elaborate. Getting on board was flawless. Easy transfer from the airport and quick check in. Luggage was a bit late to the room but, not awful. We had a nice balcony mini suite that was spacious and spotless. Gorgeous views from that balcony and well worth the extra money for that perk. A word of caution though... don't book near the pool. Even one deck below, the music was so loud from the nightly "party" and it made it impossible to sleep and be ready for early excursions. Dining was okay. The buffet had several good selections each day and was certainly handy for a family to zip in and enjoy. The other restaurants were virtually impossible to get in to but, O'Sheehans, Aqua, and the Steakhouse were great! The entertainment was a bit dated and not very exciting. Our cruise offered two great shows but, the other times were filled with painful lounge type singers and game shows. Fewer activities on board than most ships. Only one pool and limited "sport" stuff. A small basketball court and a few shuffleboard courts were it. The casino is small and SO SMOKY. Yuck. The service and crew was AMAZING. Honestly, every single person on board was friendly, outgoing and polite. The crew made the cruise! The shopping was okay... jewelry store was quite nice but.. how does the "gift shop" not carry sunscreen??? Poor planning for sure. The ports were all nice but, we got burned on some excursions. In Barbados--the snorkeling trip with the Tiami crew was tough. They wouldn't allow fins to be used which made it hard for half of the boat to even do it. The reef riders in Antigua are more challenging than advertised but very fun. The dolphin experience (push, pull) in St. Kitts is the BEST thing ever! In St. Martin I would not recommend the golden eagle sail thing. They stuffed 93 people on the catamaran and it was awful. We traveled with a 14 year old and 17 year old and this cruise was fun but, not great for them. More for the older crew for sure. Disembarkation was smooth and we were zipped to the airport without a hassle. I would use Norwegian again but, would likely try a newer and bigger ship. The staff definitely made this trip enjoyable despite the rest being "just average".

Smaller and older ship but, clean and the crew is amazing

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by capekennedy38

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
We found ourselves on this cruise due to our limited options based on spring break. The Dawn is definitely a smaller and older ship. It doesn't have the bells and whistles of the newer ships but, is certainly clean. The ship itself is well kept but, the age shows. Few elevators and the "main rooms" are nothing elaborate. Getting on board was flawless. Easy transfer from the airport and quick check in. Luggage was a bit late to the room but, not awful. We had a nice balcony mini suite that was spacious and spotless. Gorgeous views from that balcony and well worth the extra money for that perk. A word of caution though... don't book near the pool. Even one deck below, the music was so loud from the nightly "party" and it made it impossible to sleep and be ready for early excursions.

Dining was okay. The buffet had several good selections each day and was certainly handy for a family to zip in and enjoy. The other restaurants were virtually impossible to get in to but, O'Sheehans, Aqua, and the Steakhouse were great! The entertainment was a bit dated and not very exciting. Our cruise offered two great shows but, the other times were filled with painful lounge type singers and game shows. Fewer activities on board than most ships. Only one pool and limited "sport" stuff. A small basketball court and a few shuffleboard courts were it.

The casino is small and SO SMOKY. Yuck.

The service and crew was AMAZING. Honestly, every single person on board was friendly, outgoing and polite. The crew made the cruise! The shopping was okay... jewelry store was quite nice but.. how does the "gift shop" not carry sunscreen??? Poor planning for sure. The ports were all nice but, we got burned on some excursions. In Barbados--the snorkeling trip with the Tiami crew was tough. They wouldn't allow fins to be used which made it hard for half of the boat to even do it. The reef riders in Antigua are more challenging than advertised but very fun. The dolphin experience (push, pull) in St. Kitts is the BEST thing ever! In St. Martin I would not recommend the golden eagle sail thing. They stuffed 93 people on the catamaran and it was awful.

We traveled with a 14 year old and 17 year old and this cruise was fun but, not great for them. More for the older crew for sure. Disembarkation was smooth and we were zipped to the airport without a hassle.

I would use Norwegian again but, would likely try a newer and bigger ship. The staff definitely made this trip enjoyable despite the rest being "just average".
capekennedy38’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 11596
Spacious. Super clean! The bed was comfortable and the couch was nice. Having a balcony really made the room great!
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews