Best NCL cruise ever on the Dawn!: Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by tbmrt

Norwegian Dawn 5
Member Since 2008
3,260 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Best NCL cruise ever on the Dawn!

Sail Date: December 2011
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
We drove to LaQuinta East by Miami Airport the day before our 11 day cruise. Nice, clean, but plain rooms, free parking for car and free buffet next morning. Great Cuban restaurant, Hitching Post, with hotel pickup and return only $5 per couple. Hotel was fine except for noise from overhead planes if that bothers one. Helpful staff, especially Marcel. Be sure not to miss the small service road when trying to locate hotel from GPS.

Took free 10am shuttle to port, easy embarkation, were eating by noon, rooms ready at 2pm, life preserver not needed at muster.

Cove in-hull balcony was fine w/plexiglass on bottom so we could sit and see the water.

Dawn was attractive although too cold in the public areas for us. Food was about an "8" which was great compared to food on past cruises. We didn't feel the specialty restaurants were needed. Sheets kept sliding off bed and pillows were uncomfortable. Mattress OK, but asked for egg crate since I kept sliding More into the middle between 2 beds! Bathroom and storage space good.

Room steward, Jimmy, was marginal. Didn't clean glasses several times, didn't clean off deck, etc. Just did animals, bathrooms, etc. Waiter service improved alot since our past cruises. Not as much "pushing" drinks as in the past.

Enjoyed the first sea day poolside. Weather good for the whole cruise with very occasional, quick spotty showers. Guessing about 80 degrees and windy at beaches most days. We were told that December is windy in Southern Caribbean.

Did many private excursions this trip and were just too tired to see most shows. Loved the impressionist show and heard many good comments about others.

Didn't like the Spinnaker Lounge change - now dark and feels closed in. Also would have preferred White Party on the deck...just not the same inside the Spinnaker. Also missed the outside eating area off the garden buffet as on other NCL ships.

Mixed ages with more children than I expected due to length of cruise. Many Canadians and other nationalities which was nice. Made many new friends through Facebook and Cruise Critic before leaving. Lots of fun at Mix and Mingle and dinner.

Debarkation and customs went smoothly. Finding luggage no problem.

Would do this cruise again in a heartbeat....Everything seemed to go perfectly and noticed a huge improvement in many areas from NCL.

Dominican Republic - Samana (not listed individually below)
Best stop ever! Don't decide to stay on ship or visit port! Book an excursion and you'll be thrilled with the beauty of Samana. We took an ATV tour with Terry and enjoyed ourselves tremendously. He is such a nice guy and Pablo really helped us tour. Had a great homemade lunch, saw the rainforest, drove through rivers, up mountains, etc. People were very friendly.

See port info below for other stops we made. Less

Published 12/28/11
Helpful? Thank tbmrt

Cabin review: BD8556 Balcony

Cabin 8556 - Cove, in-hull balcony with plexiglass from rail to floor. Was worried about this, but it was fine although a little narrower than standard balconies. Near elevator, but no noise. Over Star Lounge, but very little noise...just once during bingo, but still not bad. Plenty of storage for clothes. Bathroom with sliding door, separate toilet area from sink. Flat screen tv.

Read All Balcony (BD) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We were exhausted from the prior day's excursions and decided to just shop and stay at pool afterward. (either expensive stores or junk in our opinions) Heard that the tours weren't the best with drivers who spoke very little english and weren't informative at all. Barbara
Read 1192 Antigua Reviews

Snorkeled over reefs. Nice time with only about 10 people onboard.

Enjoyed the turtles immensely. However, the water was rough near the beach and our catamaran host said we couldn't eat our lunch there. So we ate and stayed on the catamaran afterward for 2 hours (a bit boring)

Loved Champagne Beach - beautiful, but some people were intimidated by having to walk over alot of rocks to enter water.

Loved, loved, loved Screws Sulphur Springs. One of the best stops on all our excursions.

Ti Tou Gorge was amazing and a highlight of our cruise.

Enjoyed South Friars Beach and especially the Shipwreck Bar - great nachos! Good snorkeling, but didn't like the "dark sand"
Read 1321 St. Kitts Reviews

Started with a bus tour of the French and Dutch sides of the island. Very friendly nice tour. Spent 2 hours at Orient Beach (could choose nude or prude beach), stopped to shop at at Margot, went to Sunset Bar Beach and were amazed to see planes flying overhead. Fun day w/Bernards Tour! Barbara

Visited Jost Van Dyke with bvi360. Great trip on a very fast pontoon type wet and laughed all the way there! Visited Soggy Dollar Bar for a delicious painkiller drink and loved the beach and atmosphere.
Read 1240 Tortola Reviews

Compare Prices on Norwegian Dawn Southern Caribbean Cruises

Read more Norwegian Dawn cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Norwegian Dawn Review >>

Compare Prices on Norwegian Dawn Southern Caribbean Cruises

Member Since 2008
3,260 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Norwegian Dawn deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Norwegian Dawn 68% Loved It

7-day Bermuda From Boston
See all Norwegian Dawn Deals >>