Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by dmoney72
- Sail Date: August 2010
- Destination: Bermuda
- Cabin Type: Oceanview Picture Window
The Ship: Good: Common areas are great..especially the Spinnaker Lounge and the Venetian main dining room.
I found myself at the Spinnaker more than one afternoon to get away from the herds at the pool to read and enjoy the panoramic view.
The Venetian was a big beautiful room at the back of the ship with huge windows. This is what a dining room should look like
The okay: the rooms overall were fine if a little beaten up..drawers very noisy opening and closing..but the bad...
The carpet was FILTHY. We should not have been allowed to enter our stateroom without this carpet being at least steam cleaned in visible areas. It looked like there were old ketchup stains everywhere. Yuck.
The main pool was overcrowded at sea, but great when we were docked in Bermuda. Likewise with the kids pool. At night the hot tubs were overflowing with teenagers trying to be sexy.
I like that they have 2 different size water slides for the kids since my toddler isn't much of a swimmer yet, he still got to go down a slide in water he could easily stand up in.
The Food: Dining room food was decent to good. Breakfast was ok but very repetitive. Buffet was hit or miss at lunch..some hot dishes were good, some okay, but crowds were an issue at peak times. Overall this buffet was better than Disney in size and variety, but Disney's dinner food was noticeably better.
We booked a night at Le Bistro. I was not pleased to find out that the lobsters on the menu had an upcharge of $10 ..from the $20 we already shelled (no pun intended) out. This wasn't indicated anywhere on the menu outside, I only knew of it from my server telling me. Total nonsense, considering lobster tails were on the main menus at the dining rooms with no up-charge. I refused to pay $10 extra on top of the $20, so no lobster for me on this trip..which is enough to make me reconsider ever booking with NCL again. The food at Le Bistro was good but not as good as Disney's upscale restaurant Palo, which was well worth the $15 extra.
The service was fine, if a bit slow and forgetful at times.
This whole freestyle cruising thing is way overrated when it comes to dining. You'd rather wait 40 minutes for a table than have to show up at 6:30 for dinner? Strange. Since the Venetian holds 400 and the Aqua 100 or so people, and there are 2000+ on the ship, guess what that equates to with no set dining time, even if 500 people stay in the pool?
It's not just about the lobster. The constant up-selling and hawking that goes on with this cruise line is just over the top. They really need to tone it down. You can't watch a show without being asked if you want a drink every 2 minutes..can I at least hear one of the comedian's punchlines? The cruise director is on the horn every 5 minutes about some $50 bingo tournament. Enough, NCL!!
Speaking of the shows, they were okay, the comedian Dave Heenan had some good jokes and there were some good singers. Not up to snuff with Disney's near Broadway quality productions at sea, but from what I've heard no other cruise line matches that.
The not so good: Sailing with other New Yorkers. Even if it's only 20% of the guests who are either Jersey Shore wannabes, snot nosed suburban teenagers, or overwhelming sense of entitlement yuppies, that 20% is enough to give the cruise a distinctively different feel from a cruise made up of a broader section of folks. Cruise lines really need to have some rules about kids 17 and under after certain hours. Why are 7 year olds having spring races down my hallway at 11PM?
I've lived in NY all of my life, but I'd rather cruise with Midwesterners and Southerners any day, sorry. Cutting lines, loud mouths, pushy, loads of attitude, one guy in particular getting in the maitre' de's face because they wouldn't let him in wearing shorts a few days earlier.."but hey, I saw you let some kid in the last day of the cruise with shorts". Shut up jerk. It clearly states in every piece of info you get on this cruise that you can't wear shorts in the dining rooms after 5:30!!! CAN YOU READ? This isn't NCL's fault, but just a word of warning to people taking this cruise..prepare for some real jerks.
Sailing down the Hudson from midtown, past the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano: awesome, a definite plus as opposed to embarking from, say, Port Canaveral? There is NOTHING there. Looking down the streets of Manhattan from the top deck of the Dawn was an enjoyable experience.
Bermuda was lovely and you can't beat the price of cruising there..take a look at how expensive hotels in Bermuda are...ouch.
So overall, I'll be trying another cruise line on my next trip..from reviews I see here Carnival is a better experience for similar prices to NCL. I'll have to get back to you on that.
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