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This was our 8th trip on Dawn so we are very familiar with her! We booked this cruise after an injury this summer forced us to cancel a transatlantic cruise. The itinerary was appealing - we love the ABC islands and honeymooned on St. Lucia. Grenada and Barbados were new to my husband so it was a go! The Dawn is a "right sized" ship. Not too big and not too small. In addition we love Cellars, the wine bar. Gracious Carolina the cellar master makes all feel so very welcome. She totally made our trip. The thermal suite has a great lap pool that other ships do not have. The good: Cellars, the thermal suite, Le Bistro. Edward the chef in the Garden Cafe that specially made gluten free crepes for my husband who is celiac. That made his trip! He had not had crepes since he was diagnosed and didn't miss a night. Nikki took the time to clean the equipment each night when he arrived and took good care of him. Dinner in Le Bistro was excellent both times we went. Siva our waiter took great care of us. The weather was perfect - we literally had 4 drops of rain coming back from an excursion the entire trip. The OK: Moderno and Cagney's. Meals were average. Certainly without the dining package we would never pay the absurd prices they list. The receipts for Cagney's for the 2 of us were over $150 (0$ to us because of dining package) and no way was that food worth a quarter of that. Funny bookkeeping. Our meals were OK, not great and my brownie dessert was so stale it was inedible. Moderno was a better value but still would not pay $80 for us to dine there. The not so good: Our bed was hard as a rock even with the requested egg crate. The pillows were awful and we woke up with neck aches every morning. We eat almost all meals in the Venetian. It was touch and go as to what was deemed gluten free that day which caused some concern. Kim helped by having my husband preorder meals but that didn't always work out - what was ordered somehow was not available several times. The cabin caused us both to have that annoying tickle cough that we did not experience when not in it. Several times during the night we smelled cigarette smoke in our balcony cabin. Since we were aft and there is no smoking we have no idea where it was coming from. The bad: LaCucina. Tasteless food. We both had the veal.They had put flour on my husband's 5 prior day preorder of osso bucco, so it was unavailable. No flavor in anything we had. Once again, no way would we pay extra for this. Roast sirloin beef in the Venetian that my steak knife literally could not cut. It was cooked perfectly medium rare and looked delicious yet was apparently made of leather. I had the same issue during breakfast with a scrambled egg croissant with ham. My teeth could not bite into it. Seriously? How can ham be that tough? None of the meals were more than average. My favorite Reuben at O'Sheehan's was perfect the first time. After that they ran out of rye bread and served it on white. The first time I thought maybe they had been confused with my husband ordering GF bread and gave me that. The next time I spoke with a manager who informed me that not all rye bread has seeds. No kidding! I have been eating rye my whole life and know that rye bread has a tan tinge due to the rye flour and duh actually smells like rye. The pure white bread they were serving had no scent or taste which ruined the Reuben. NCL = No Cookie Line. Try getting cookie outside of the allowed hours of 3 to 5:30 in the Garden Cafe. Nope. Can't happen. Those of us who would like one as a lunch dessert or before bed are out of luck. Seriously? NCL has never been known for its outstanding food, but on this trip we saw that it had really dropped down a notch. We are Platinum so we do have a lot of experience with them. NCL's pricing with all the "free" perks has edged it out of being a value anymore. The gratuities you are forced to pay on your "free" beverage perk are more than we would actually pay straight out for drinks without it. Other cruise lines offer perks like the beverage package and include the gratuities so there is no extra charge. The Dawn is definitely our favorite ship and we are sad that she is moving to Europe. It is going to have to be a special trip for us to book again.

Love the Dawn

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by Autumn72

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
This was our 8th trip on Dawn so we are very familiar with her! We booked this cruise after an injury this summer forced us to cancel a transatlantic cruise. The itinerary was appealing - we love the ABC islands and honeymooned on St. Lucia. Grenada and Barbados were new to my husband so it was a go!

The Dawn is a "right sized" ship. Not too big and not too small. In addition we love Cellars, the wine bar. Gracious Carolina the cellar master makes all feel so very welcome. She totally made our trip. The thermal suite has a great lap pool that other ships do not have.

The good: Cellars, the thermal suite, Le Bistro. Edward the chef in the Garden Cafe that specially made gluten free crepes for my husband who is celiac. That made his trip! He had not had crepes since he was diagnosed and didn't miss a night. Nikki took the time to clean the equipment each night when he arrived and took good care of him.

Dinner in Le Bistro was excellent both times we went. Siva our waiter took great care of us. The weather was perfect - we literally had 4 drops of rain coming back from an excursion the entire trip.

The OK: Moderno and Cagney's. Meals were average. Certainly without the dining package we would never pay the absurd prices they list. The receipts for Cagney's for the 2 of us were over $150 (0$ to us because of dining package) and no way was that food worth a quarter of that. Funny bookkeeping. Our meals were OK, not great and my brownie dessert was so stale it was inedible. Moderno was a better value but still would not pay $80 for us to dine there.

The not so good: Our bed was hard as a rock even with the requested egg crate. The pillows were awful and we woke up with neck aches every morning. We eat almost all meals in the Venetian. It was touch and go as to what was deemed gluten free that day which caused some concern. Kim helped by having my husband preorder meals but that didn't always work out - what was ordered somehow was not available several times. The cabin caused us both to have that annoying tickle cough that we did not experience when not in it. Several times during the night we smelled cigarette smoke in our balcony cabin. Since we were aft and there is no smoking we have no idea where it was coming from.

The bad: LaCucina. Tasteless food. We both had the veal.They had put flour on my husband's 5 prior day preorder of osso bucco, so it was unavailable. No flavor in anything we had. Once again, no way would we pay extra for this.

Roast sirloin beef in the Venetian that my steak knife literally could not cut. It was cooked perfectly medium rare and looked delicious yet was apparently made of leather. I had the same issue during breakfast with a scrambled egg croissant with ham. My teeth could not bite into it. Seriously? How can ham be that tough?

None of the meals were more than average. My favorite Reuben at O'Sheehan's was perfect the first time. After that they ran out of rye bread and served it on white. The first time I thought maybe they had been confused with my husband ordering GF bread and gave me that. The next time I spoke with a manager who informed me that not all rye bread has seeds. No kidding! I have been eating rye my whole life and know that rye bread has a tan tinge due to the rye flour and duh actually smells like rye. The pure white bread they were serving had no scent or taste which ruined the Reuben.

NCL = No Cookie Line. Try getting cookie outside of the allowed hours of 3 to 5:30 in the Garden Cafe. Nope. Can't happen. Those of us who would like one as a lunch dessert or before bed are out of luck. Seriously?

NCL has never been known for its outstanding food, but on this trip we saw that it had really dropped down a notch. We are Platinum so we do have a lot of experience with them.

NCL's pricing with all the "free" perks has edged it out of being a value anymore. The gratuities you are forced to pay on your "free" beverage perk are more than we would actually pay straight out for drinks without it. Other cruise lines offer perks like the beverage package and include the gratuities so there is no extra charge.

The Dawn is definitely our favorite ship and we are sad that she is moving to Europe. It is going to have to be a special trip for us to book again.
Autumn72’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
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Dining
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Harrison's Cave
    It is a cave with a tram ride through it. Looks like any other cave. We had the unfortunate luck of being in a group of people that couldn't follow directions and the tram had to stop every 20 feet to get them seated or to stop shining the phone's video light into the tour guide's eyes so she could see.
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  • Snorkeling
    Highly recommend Woodwind snorkeling in Bonaire. They have top equipment - even offer prescription masks for those with glasses and rash guard shirts. Klein Bonaire is a nature preserve and the fish are abundant. We saw sea turtles and octopus as well. They serve a wonderful fresh stir fry lunch on the way back. Best. Snorkeling. Ever!
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  • Island Tour
    OK. Not great. Saw spices and had a lot of opportunity to buy them including when the van stops and they get on with kids selling them. Last stop at Annandale Falls you literally were accosted every 20 feet by someone selling spices, selling pictures with monkeys, wanting money for singing a song and wanting money for jumping off the falls. Wouldn't recommend.
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  • St. Kitts (Port Zante)
    Started with a really nice catamaran trip down the coast and ended with a narrow gauge rail ride. The rail car was a double decker and open on top so you could have a nice view. Drinks were plentiful on both and local girls came and serenaded each car as we rode. Really nice.
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  • St. Lucia
    Nice overall tour of the island.
    View All 1,412 St. Lucia Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Lucia Cruise Port Review