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Norwegian Dawn Review

4.0 / 5.0
2,985 reviews

Ship of Discontent

Review for Transatlantic Cruise on Norwegian Dawn
10+ Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms

Additional details

Sail Date: Apr 2023
Cabin: Mid-Ship Balcony

Ncl’s dawn is a logistical nightmare with basic cruise processes. The one tendering port process ran an average of 2 hours late and we were unable to go into dublin after our tour as a result of ncl’s incompetence. Ncl knows how many passengers fit into a tender, how many guests are onboard, how many guests are on ncl tours, and what time they are scheduled to depart. Using only 3 tenders that accommodate 150 passengers for 2500 guests with a 25 minute crossing time in each direction is something a 5 year old would know was going to be a disaster! Then to only receive a 30% discount for missing our free time in dublin is an insult when ncl created the problem. Even on non-tender port stops, to meet in a packed theater waiting for “your” tour to be called and then go into a hallway to checkin and receive a sticker adds more time to an already tedious process. Simply checkin when you get to the meeting point so when your tour is called you can just leave!!!

We also missed the 2nd and 3rd stop due to “icebergs” and yet port charges and taxes were not refunded. We received a $25 pp or $50 per cabin obc for missing 2 ports, but not a refund for the port fees and taxes; pure theft of 2500 passengers fees!!! How dare ncl keep our money for something we did not receive. Additionally, we were made to wait in a line for almost 2 hours simply to drop off a canadian immigration form. No id or even room card was required so the form could have been dropped off at customer service or left in the room for the cabin steward. This is my 4th trip up the canadian coast on other cruise lines and the only time that guests were made to stand in lengthy lines to drop off forms that do not require id…stupidity at its finest ncl!!

Service fees were increased by 25% and cabin service was decreased by 50%. Also, ncl guests are not as stupid as you think bc we know that you also cut the stewards and almost doubled their cabins to service!!! This meant that many cabins were not cleaned until late in the day…not the fault of the clearly overworked stewards!!! Dining staff was also cutback and 30 minute waits for service in main dining rooms was not uncommon…again, not the fault of the staff with too many tables!! Often terrible communication and miscommunication throughout the 14 days, except for all of ncl’s upsells which were were inundated with daily!! When huge issues arose, none of the management was visible or heard from, leaving the guest service desk personnel to manage long lines of angry people!! Internet manager was not in cafe as scheduled hours, rude, and lied about a special package that i saw online 3 days after sailing when i went to sign in for the first time. She said that it had been offered each day in the freestyle bulletins when it had not…i saved all of the bulletins!! As with most upper staff; zero accountability!!! Most of the conversations between passengers on the ship were about the poor communications, unnecessary huge waits for food, drinks, tenders, tours, disrepair of the ship with broken heating in cabins, toilets that did not flush, moldy and sewage odors. I guess i got lucky with a working cabin!!! Ncl, sadly the terrible reviews on the dawn are all true!!! Your attempts to pad the pockets of top level executives at the expense of your guests and staff will be the reason you will have ultimately lost this sapphire client after i use my last large credit!!! Shame on you, ncl!!!

Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony

My cabin was in working order so apparently that was a huge plus! Most cabin categories were smaller than on other NCL ships, but mine, although dated and with a TV not much bigger than my iPad, was an average size balcony.

Port Reviews


An interesting city with Martine Disaster history and gorgeous coastal towns.

Le Havre

Le Havre is strictly a gateway city where French is predominantly spoken. I went to Honfleur which is charming and beautiful.

New York (Manhattan)

Departure only, but NYC has much to offer and arriving a couple of days ahead is suggested.


Loved Reykjavik and rented a car for the day to explore the Golden Circle and other points of interest.

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