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This was our very first cruise on any line; we had great expectations for a terrific experience. It turns out that our cruise was not what we had hoped for from the moment we arrived at the pier. We had informed NCL of our expected arrival time of 11:30 on November 2nd many weeks before our arrival. Our cruise documents indicate NCL was aware of our arrival time. We could have taken a later train from Rhode Island and slept in and had a leisurely breakfast, but we chose to get up early to be sure we were not late to the ship in case of train delays or any other reason due to our travel arrangements. We made sure that we arrived at 11:30 as we had indicated to NCL. When we arrived at the cruise port it was total insanity! Thousands of pieces of luggage on the curb and thousands of people in line! There was NO direction from NCL staff for those of us not experienced with the boarding process. We snaked all around the building following the people in front of us hoping we were in the correct line. Finally we got through the security screening and almost instantly NCL staff started to announce that the companies WIFI had gone down and they were not able to check us in. The NCL staff indicated that they were waiting for NCL IT staff to repair the WIFI and that we could not be checked in until the problem was resolved. They suggested anyone not already through security should leave and come back in a few hours. We had been in line for an hour at this point. So much for a pleasant start to our first cruise! Those of us through security were not told that there was seating available farther down the hall, had we had been told by the NCL call center that once we were on the ship we would be able to go to one of the ships Restaurant’s for a very pleasant lunch. What we got, was standing in line at the ONLY food concession in the terminal for an hour, so that we could buy a fried egg sandwich! So much for an awesome first meal with NCL! We spent almost 4 ½ hours on the pier! When we attended the ships operation and meet the Captain and Engineering Officer get together on Friday morning one of the questions asked by another PAYING guest was what happened at check in on Saturday and why were the PAYING customers not called or emailed? The Captain responded and I quote “the PRIORITY and LATITUDES customers were emailed and asked to check in late due to the ships late arrival and the damage to the gangways”. We were very surprised to find out that NEW PAYING CUSTOMERS must not matter to NCL!! Once on board things improved, dinner in the Venetian and the staff were very attentive and the meal was very good. Our luggage was brought to our room sometime after 8 pm, as we unpacked the first thing we tried to do was place our passports and valuables in our room safe. To our surprise the safe did not work, when I asked our cabin attendant about it he said that the safe does not work and to trust the hall cameras and the employee door swipe cards. We were later told that all of the tan colored safes on board were inoperable, why were we not told this prior to boarding, why where the units not fixed? We might have left our valuables and cash at home rather than worry about being robbed of our valuables all week?? Though dinner the first night was enjoyable, breakfast the following morning was a different story! Most of us on the ship set our clocks back an hour since it was what most of us do in the USA on the appropriate date, which was the morning of Saturday, November 3rd. Little did we know the ship does not turn it’s clocks back. During our first 8 or so hours on the NCL Dawn we were given a lot of information about food, internet, and drink packages we could buy over the ships intercom system. Never once was there an announcement about the ship NOT changing its clocks. The 12 or so people in line in front of us were turned away because, per the ships clock it was 10 am, not 9 am as those of us PAYING customers who had changed their clocks indicated. When they tried to turn us away, I requested to speak to a supervisor, the gentlemen in charge of the dinning floor was called and he too told us we were too late for a meal. I then asked for his supervisor and after some discussion he put a call into his supervisor. This gentleman in a white uniform suggested we go to the buffet, I explained to him that I do not eat at buffets and that per my clock and the thirty people standing behind me, that as PAYING customers who changed our clocks per the national standard we should be seated. After much discussion he called the chef, who agreed to feed us. One would think that things would now improve, but it did not! Now we had to deal with the unhappy wait staff that had set all of the empty tables for lunch and they did not want to have to reset the tables. We were eventually waited on by unhappily NCL wait staff. I did talk to the cruise director later in the day about our experience. She told us that she also had set her clock back resulting in her missing the Captain’s meeting that morning. As a follow up to the time change fiasco, we were given a note on Thursday night indicating that we should turn our clocks back that night. Breakfast Friday morning went smoothly! We had other problems while traveling on the NCL Dawn, on four occasions our toilets would not flush for hours at a time. Again we were not told of the issue, until we found out that the waste could not be flushed. Each time we called we were told that Engineering was aware and the crew was working on the problem. Jill and I feel the correct way NCL’s staff should have handled the situation would have been to do what NCL did multiple times during the cruise, which was leaving a robo call about sales that we could possibly take advantage of. Why did NCL not make a similar call for the affected PAYING customers not to use the toilets and to direct us to a public toilet? It would have been more pleasant in our cabins had NCL done this. This happened a FIFTH TIME on Friday afternoon. We called the “customer service” agent at 4:45 pm to notify them of the recurring problem. We were astonished to find out when we returned to our room at 9:45 pm that the toilet was still NOT WORKING!! I called back down to the “customer service” desk and they said they would follow up. The toilet started to work about fifteen minutes later. When we returned to our cabin Friday night expecting to find a working toilet, we found a NCL maintenance person leaving our room. We had called “customer service” the day before to let them now we had no heat in the cabin. This NCL maintenance person had just fixed the heat in our room, more than 24 hours from the time of our call! We did have many pleasant experiences and 99.5 percent of the staff were terrific. The debacle at check in, the time change issue, and the issue with the toilets and heat undid what the NCL terrific shipboard staff accomplished! We wonder why anyone would frequent NCL with such poor customer service!

Poor Customer Service from the time we got to the dock until we returned!

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by johnfhogan

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2019
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
This was our very first cruise on any line; we had great expectations for a terrific experience. It turns out that our cruise was not what we had hoped for from the moment we arrived at the pier. We had informed NCL of our expected arrival time of 11:30 on November 2nd many weeks before our arrival. Our cruise documents indicate NCL was aware of our arrival time.

We could have taken a later train from Rhode Island and slept in and had a leisurely breakfast, but we chose to get up early to be sure we were not late to the ship in case of train delays or any other reason due to our travel arrangements. We made sure that we arrived at 11:30 as we had indicated to NCL.

When we arrived at the cruise port it was total insanity! Thousands of pieces of luggage on the curb and thousands of people in line! There was NO direction from NCL staff for those of us not experienced with the boarding process. We snaked all around the building following the people in front of us hoping we were in the correct line. Finally we got through the security screening and almost instantly NCL staff started to announce that the companies WIFI had gone down and they were not able to check us in. The NCL staff indicated that they were waiting for NCL IT staff to repair the WIFI and that we could not be checked in until the problem was resolved. They suggested anyone not already through security should leave and come back in a few hours. We had been in line for an hour at this point. So much for a pleasant start to our first cruise!

Those of us through security were not told that there was seating available farther down the hall, had we had been told by the NCL call center that once we were on the ship we would be able to go to one of the ships Restaurant’s for a very pleasant lunch. What we got, was standing in line at the ONLY food concession in the terminal for an hour, so that we could buy a fried egg sandwich! So much for an awesome first meal with NCL! We spent almost 4 ½ hours on the pier!

When we attended the ships operation and meet the Captain and Engineering Officer get together on Friday morning one of the questions asked by another PAYING guest was what happened at check in on Saturday and why were the PAYING customers not called or emailed? The Captain responded and I quote “the PRIORITY and LATITUDES customers were emailed and asked to check in late due to the ships late arrival and the damage to the gangways”. We were very surprised to find out that NEW PAYING CUSTOMERS must not matter to NCL!! Once on board things improved, dinner in the Venetian and the staff were very attentive and the meal was very good.

Our luggage was brought to our room sometime after 8 pm, as we unpacked the first thing we tried to do was place our passports and valuables in our room safe. To our surprise the safe did not work, when I asked our cabin attendant about it he said that the safe does not work and to trust the hall cameras and the employee door swipe cards. We were later told that all of the tan colored safes on board were inoperable, why were we not told this prior to boarding, why where the units not fixed? We might have left our valuables and cash at home rather than worry about being robbed of our valuables all week??

Though dinner the first night was enjoyable, breakfast the following morning was a different story! Most of us on the ship set our clocks back an hour since it was what most of us do in the USA on the appropriate date, which was the morning of Saturday, November 3rd. Little did we know the ship does not turn it’s clocks back. During our first 8 or so hours on the NCL Dawn we were given a lot of information about food, internet, and drink packages we could buy over the ships intercom system. Never once was there an announcement about the ship NOT changing its clocks. The 12 or so people in line in front of us were turned away because, per the ships clock it was 10 am, not 9 am as those of us PAYING customers who had changed their clocks indicated. When they tried to turn us away, I requested to speak to a supervisor, the gentlemen in charge of the dinning floor was called and he too told us we were too late for a meal. I then asked for his supervisor and after some discussion he put a call into his supervisor. This gentleman in a white uniform suggested we go to the buffet, I explained to him that I do not eat at buffets and that per my clock and the thirty people standing behind me, that as PAYING customers who changed our clocks per the national standard we should be seated. After much discussion he called the chef, who agreed to feed us.

One would think that things would now improve, but it did not! Now we had to deal with the unhappy wait staff that had set all of the empty tables for lunch and they did not want to have to reset the tables. We were eventually waited on by unhappily NCL wait staff.

I did talk to the cruise director later in the day about our experience. She told us that she also had set her clock back resulting in her missing the Captain’s meeting that morning. As a follow up to the time change fiasco, we were given a note on Thursday night indicating that we should turn our clocks back that night. Breakfast Friday morning went smoothly!

We had other problems while traveling on the NCL Dawn, on four occasions our toilets would not flush for hours at a time. Again we were not told of the issue, until we found out that the waste could not be flushed. Each time we called we were told that Engineering was aware and the crew was working on the problem. Jill and I feel the correct way NCL’s staff should have handled the situation would have been to do what NCL did multiple times during the cruise, which was leaving a robo call about sales that we could possibly take advantage of. Why did NCL not make a similar call for the affected PAYING customers not to use the toilets and to direct us to a public toilet? It would have been more pleasant in our cabins had NCL done this. This happened a FIFTH TIME on Friday afternoon. We called the “customer service” agent at 4:45 pm to notify them of the recurring problem. We were astonished to find out when we returned to our room at 9:45 pm that the toilet was still NOT WORKING!! I called back down to the “customer service” desk and they said they would follow up. The toilet started to work about fifteen minutes later.

When we returned to our cabin Friday night expecting to find a working toilet, we found a NCL maintenance person leaving our room. We had called “customer service” the day before to let them now we had no heat in the cabin. This NCL maintenance person had just fixed the heat in our room, more than 24 hours from the time of our call!

We did have many pleasant experiences and 99.5 percent of the staff were terrific. The debacle at check in, the time change issue, and the issue with the toilets and heat undid what the NCL terrific shipboard staff accomplished! We wonder why anyone would frequent NCL with such poor customer service!
johnfhogan’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BC
Very clean and well kept by the cabin attendant.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins