1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Dawn
We picked a cruise from Puerto Rico so we could spend a couple of days there beforehand and to minimize at-sea days. We've sailed on Norwegian once before and liked it. This was a really good cruise, the staff were great, the food was delicious, and the shore excursions were mostly excellent. We had an obstructed oceanview room -- the view was actually pretty good, we could see the ocean over the top of a lifeboat. For some reason we were assigned an "accessible" cabin even though we hadn't requested one. Apparently these are a bit bigger, so we're certainly not complaining. Others have commented on plumbing problems on this ship. We had a problem with the shower running only hot and the toilet not always flushing, but the staff fixed it and so no big deal. We went during March break so there were quite a few kids but the ship has a good children's program and we seniors didn't find the kids annoying at all. It was good to have a wider variety of ages than often happens. The food was great, especially in the specialty restaurants, but the main dining room was really good as well. I don't know where the people who complain about Norwegian's food normally dine, but I certainly ate well on the cruise. Don't bother with the drinks package unless you drink a lot, the drinks on board are reasonably priced, at least for a cruise. The shore excursions were pretty good. The best was the catamaran sail, snorkel and beach lunch at St. John's. Good snorkelling with the ability to either take a long route (for experienced snorkellers) or hang around a reef close to the boat. Also swimming from a beach, a great lunch, and lots of rum punch. We had booked SNUBA at St. Thomas but as soon as we got on the ship there was a long form about medical conditions which, if you answered yes to anything, might result in you being barred by the operator with no refund, so we cancelled rather than risk that (as we both would have to answer yes to some things.) So don't book that one if you are on any meds. The Virgin Gorda and the Baths tour was a bit disorganized. Rather than have a guide with you, there are people directing you at various points, to the boat to Virgin Gorda, then safari buses to and from the baths. The guide on the boat seemed pretty confused about the times, but everyone did make it there and back and the sea caves are spectacular. Embarkation and debarkation were really quick and smooth, the best by far of the three cruises we've taken.

Great cruise on Norwegian

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by canoeyacht

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Obstructed Oceanview
We picked a cruise from Puerto Rico so we could spend a couple of days there beforehand and to minimize at-sea days. We've sailed on Norwegian once before and liked it. This was a really good cruise, the staff were great, the food was delicious, and the shore excursions were mostly excellent.

We had an obstructed oceanview room -- the view was actually pretty good, we could see the ocean over the top of a lifeboat. For some reason we were assigned an "accessible" cabin even though we hadn't requested one. Apparently these are a bit bigger, so we're certainly not complaining.

Others have commented on plumbing problems on this ship. We had a problem with the shower running only hot and the toilet not always flushing, but the staff fixed it and so no big deal.

We went during March break so there were quite a few kids but the ship has a good children's program and we seniors didn't find the kids annoying at all. It was good to have a wider variety of ages than often happens.

The food was great, especially in the specialty restaurants, but the main dining room was really good as well. I don't know where the people who complain about Norwegian's food normally dine, but I certainly ate well on the cruise. Don't bother with the drinks package unless you drink a lot, the drinks on board are reasonably priced, at least for a cruise.

The shore excursions were pretty good. The best was the catamaran sail, snorkel and beach lunch at St. John's. Good snorkelling with the ability to either take a long route (for experienced snorkellers) or hang around a reef close to the boat. Also swimming from a beach, a great lunch, and lots of rum punch.

We had booked SNUBA at St. Thomas but as soon as we got on the ship there was a long form about medical conditions which, if you answered yes to anything, might result in you being barred by the operator with no refund, so we cancelled rather than risk that (as we both would have to answer yes to some things.) So don't book that one if you are on any meds.

The Virgin Gorda and the Baths tour was a bit disorganized. Rather than have a guide with you, there are people directing you at various points, to the boat to Virgin Gorda, then safari buses to and from the baths. The guide on the boat seemed pretty confused about the times, but everyone did make it there and back and the sea caves are spectacular.

Embarkation and debarkation were really quick and smooth, the best by far of the three cruises we've taken.
canoeyacht’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

Obstructed Oceanview
Cabin OK 8626
View was better than expected, we could see over the top of a lifeboat below. There was a problem with the plumbing -- shower was only hot and then toilet stopped flushing. Apparently something was blocking a cold water line. It took two tries, but they fixed it and otherwise the cabin was fine.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Catamaran Sail
    The catamaran sail, snorkel and beach cruise was the best of the trip. Great snorkelling with the flexibility to follow a longish tour or just hang out on a reef near the boat. I did the latter, and saw lots of coral and fish. The tour includes a good lunch, swimming on a beach, and lots of rum punch. They even put up the sails and sailed without the motor for a while. Definitely a trip to take!
    View All 97 Catamaran Sail Reviews
  • Island Tour
    We took the Island Splendour tour through Norwegian. Nice tour, went to an orchid park and a national park with a great view.
    View All 123 Island Tour Reviews
  • San Juan
    We'd never seen San Juan so we got there a couple of days early. The damage from the hurricane has mostly been cleaned up. We spent a day in the old city, where there happened to be a busker festival. We stayed at an Airbnb in Ocean Park near the beach.

    The trip to the ship was strange. Our Uber driver tried to drop us off miles away, and I had to show her where to go on my phone. It didn't help that she spoke no English and I no Spanish. But we got there eventually!
    View All 3,791 San Juan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's San Juan Cruise Port Review
  • St. Lucia
    We took a bus around the island, saw a plantation and a waterfall, then a catamaran ride back by way of a nice beach for swimming and lunch. Good trip, well organized. The waterfall was crowded and not too interesting (I'm from Ontario, where we have a lot of waterfalls, so perhaps that's why. But overall a very good experience.
    View All 13,150 St. Lucia Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Lucia Cruise Port Review
  • St. Thomas
    We had the SNUBA excursion booked, but on boarding the ship we were told to fill out a long form that told us we risked being prevented from taking the tour by the operator with no refund if we answered yes to anything. So we cancelled and just went on our own. We walked to the old synagogue (about half an hour from the ship on foot) then took a taxi to Mountaintop for the spectacular view and the banana daquiri and then back to the ship. We had a very good day in spite of not taking an official tour.
    View All 4,663 St. Thomas Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Thomas Cruise Port Review
  • Virgin Gorda
    We booked Virgin Gorda and the Baths. The Baths are spectacular sea caves, You need to be reasonably agile, but we're around 70 and we got through ok, though it took us about an hour. There's a nice beach at the end and a shortcut (10 minutes) back. Watch out for a bit of disorganization as you don't have a guide throughout and the instructions were a bit confused.
    View All 217 Virgin Gorda Reviews