6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I had been on the Dawn before but it didn't impress me to much. I went again because I was told it was refurbished. The Stardust still had broken seats and all I could see different was the carpeting. I also went because it was going ... Read More
I had been on the Dawn before but it didn't impress me to much. I went again because I was told it was refurbished. The Stardust still had broken seats and all I could see different was the carpeting. I also went because it was going to islands I hadn't been to. At the last minute they changed St. Croix (which was one I hadn't seen) to St. Thomas. The staff was excellent except the Guest Service Desk. Due to Jet Blue changing our flt to an earlier one, Guest Service said we would have to see to our own luggage and find our own way to the airport in San Juan. Mind you, if said in black and white on the final notice that if we were leaving the ship after 8:00 we could leave out our bags and get passage to the airport. They (guest service) said no we had to do it on our own. I am 73 years old by the way. As for food, I was very disappointed because I bought a meal package and picked 2 nights at the Italian restaurant twice. What Italian place does not serve Chicken or Veal Parmesean? Food was never hot only warm. The best part was when I was in the shower all soaped up the water shuts off. I go down to the Guest service desk because they wouldn't answer the phone and asked why. Was assured that it would be on shortly (which was almost 4 hours later) plus I had to wait 10 minutes ringing the front desk bell till someone came out from the back. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
NCL did a great job finding ports that they had to replace because of the hurricanes. The trip was fun, the food was great in all the restaurants. We were on a 16 day cruise and ate in every restaurant. We enjoyed every minute of the ... Read More
NCL did a great job finding ports that they had to replace because of the hurricanes. The trip was fun, the food was great in all the restaurants. We were on a 16 day cruise and ate in every restaurant. We enjoyed every minute of the cruises. The entertainment was first rate. The staff was friendly and helpful. On the second cruise NCL gave discounts to the people of Puerto Rico so that they could have a pleasant vacation. It was great seeing the kids face light up when they came aboard. NCL kept the kids very busy and we would see them with their faces painted and having a great time. It was sad talking to them and hearing what they went through. Also, St. Thomas was badly hit, and it was great that we went there also but also sad to hear their stories. We have gone on 10 cruises with NCL and have enjoyed everyone including Alaska and Panama Canal. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Love Boarding in Boston easy to get to terminal is good , the only thing is the older white hair woman who is very rude and pushy at the Platinum/Platinum Plus Boarding area. This ship is an older ship and smaller compared to the other ... Read More
Love Boarding in Boston easy to get to terminal is good , the only thing is the older white hair woman who is very rude and pushy at the Platinum/Platinum Plus Boarding area. This ship is an older ship and smaller compared to the other ships in this fleet. there are no rock climbing walls ,no mini golf or water slides the pool is small and ofter over crowded, Children take it over and feel they can dive-jump all the time. some parents also thougth it was ok to take infants with diapers in the pool and hot tubs . older children thought it was ok to take them over as bath tubs, this ship is not a good ship for kids they seemed board. The Ports are ok Martinique needs to be replaced with Barbados. Martinique is not a real friendly port and it is dirty, Would love to have Cozumel or Grand Camen on the repositon out of Boston as something different . The Garden Cafe is great much better than the very slow service in the dining room. Due to the port changes not a lot of excersisions were offered however made the best of it . Love the entertainment . would like to see Amadeus on this ship loved them on the Majesty. Due to the overwhelming smoking in the casino many people could not go or enjoy it I am surprised NCL subjects the second hand smoke to their employees, need much better ventilation San Juan was hard to disembark at needed to use deck 4 not a lot of room for people to move . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Chose this cruise because it fit my vacation dates. This was our 5th cruise with NCL, 2nd on the Dawn. Our previous cruises with NCL were great, but this one was not the same. Had we known, we would not have purchase another set of ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it fit my vacation dates. This was our 5th cruise with NCL, 2nd on the Dawn. Our previous cruises with NCL were great, but this one was not the same. Had we known, we would not have purchase another set of cruise next vouchers. We still have some from a previous purchase. Embarkation was very quick. The cabins and stewards are wonderful as always. The excursion desk and information presentation was terrific. The entertainment was great. but .... The lack of information for the cruise changes after the hurricanes was extremely poor. Nothing was said until last minute. We were nervous to not hear anything for so long. I was extremely disappointed that there were no theme nights to the buffet on this cruise (seafood night, sushi night, etc). Another passenger who took a tour of the ship had said she asked why no variety and they were informed by the food services that they were stream lining towards uniform food prep for the buffet area. What's next? Uniform food everyday in the Venetian and Aqua? And some of the washy-washy staff to spray sanitizer on your hands before entering the buffet area wasn't into what they were doing even. The fruit on this cruise was bad throughout the ship. The melons and pineapples all had translucent parts and we had bad ones served to us twice in the Aqua. We had shown a hostess the mold on 2 of the slices, and she offered an apology --- but no changes since we had the same problem again on another night. The photographer seemed in a rush. Does not provide more guidance to have a better picture. Just keeps snapping away quickly. Did not see one picture that I wanted to bring home. The Latitude welcome party was not even really an appreciation event, but one to push more cruise next vouchers. Raffles used to be just part of the event, but this one was tied into the number of cruise next purchases. Disembarkation was disorganized and took forever on a line to get out to meet our tour group. A service elevator was used by passengers that landed near the front of the line of people trying to get out already. It is meant for people with disabilities, but lots of people were able to use these. This lead to a very long wait for the rest of the line that went to the back of the staircase. This cruise is a drastic change to my great experience on the 1st NCL cruise on the Gem. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
One of the big things I like about a vacation is the planning I do upfront. It was difficult to do for this cruise since we didn't know till about 3 weeks before departure if and where we were going. That made it much more difficult ... Read More
One of the big things I like about a vacation is the planning I do upfront. It was difficult to do for this cruise since we didn't know till about 3 weeks before departure if and where we were going. That made it much more difficult to feel excited about the ports we finally were going to. Embarkment - got there around 10:30 - had them take our luggage - went up stairs and only waited about 5 mins before we were being checked in. Found some seats and waited about an hour to get on-board. Actually we were with someone that was getting married so they let us board right after the platinum and handicap boarding. So we were having lunch at O'Sheehan's with a drink in hand within 15 mins of boarding. Note that the doors to get to the rooms was close but we saw people going in anyway so we did it and was able to leave our carry-ons in the room. Room - decent bed - pillow top on pull-out couch - but alway very very dark. It was so dark in the room I didn't find the light in the closet for the first few days. I would use my phone to try to see the cloths on the shelves. When I did find the light switch the light would blink off and on so still not so great. Left it on one morning and the steward must have seen the issue and had it fixed. Safe was not working so we had to have maintenance come reset it for us - they needed to have us in the room for them to reset it. Bathroom in room is fairly large - steward always had plenty of towels for the three of us. Of course as you know very small balcony. I wanted to mention our friends had room 11618 - it is a handicap room - OMG it is a very large room - great closet - you can see all the shelves - enormous balcony - two lounge chairs two tables and two regular chairs - I was so so jealous. I did use their balcony a couple of times to sit out and read. Much smaller bathroom but the room size and balcony made up for it. Entertainment - felt you could always have some fun during the day - dancing by the pool - the 'stupid' games they played were entertaining. Shows at night not bad. I was feeling sick by the 4th night so I missed many of the shows since I was asleep so early. Dining - Breakfast was decent - they couldn't get two eggs over medium right - I think the omelet pans were too hot - sometimes food was warm - sometimes cold at the buffet. Usually did quick lunch either eating food from the outside area near the pool or at buffet - nothing special. Ate in one of the two free dinning rooms every night. Sometimes with my large group which we had booked ahead and sometimes with just my husband and daughter. Never had an issue getting a seat immediately. Food was decent - first time on a cruise I loved the deserts. Missed the setup they use to have in the evening where they had chicken wings/chicken tenders out and you could help yourself. I didn't feel they were as good from O'Sheehans - maybe it was the wait for them. O'Sheehan's food on Dawn was not as good as the food on the Breakaway in O'Sheehan's - nacho cheese was runny as was the artichoke dip. Pool - luckily we had very few kids on this cruise so we could enjoy the pool most of the time. Sometimes it was overrun by kids but at least not every day. Loved the salt water and when there were waves. Hot Tub - had 17 of us in it one day - was lots of fun. Bar/Lounge- we didn't find a set bar in the evenings for the group to meet. Really missed the Pearly Kings that is replace with wine bar. Wine bar is pretty but limited. So felt this kept the full group from being together. Couple of times when there was a 'party; on the pool deck at night it worked better for us. Servers - found a good one at the pool area named Mark - he would try to keep up with our orders. Brought us shots when we were in the hot tub with the 17 people and the other 10 around the outside. Wedding - originally attending a wedding in St. Thomas - cruise people had to re-coordinate it due to hurricane keeping us from St. Thomas (though last day they changed us again and we actually made it to St. Thomas). They picked a very nice location for outside event next to beach in St. Lucia. In the evening the manager of the Venetian setup a few tables at the window for the wedding dinner. That was very nice of them since it was not planned ahead of the cruise but only after the 2nd day of the cruise. Ports - Antigua - too many ships in port - and it was our first stop - was crowded and hot and smelly. But got to the beach - Darkwood and it was the best beach of any of the islands beaches I went to this trip. Martinique - so so so pretty as you come into port. Walked over to the ferry and took it to the other side to a beach - this was what I guess someone mentioned to others in our group. The beach was ok - not really much of a beach - be careful letting anyone wander off on their own to the right of this area - seems like a couple of guys were living there - and one decided he had to pee when I was within eye shot! St. Lucia - this was the wedding day - took vans to Pigeon Island - very pretty area not sure if any public beaches here but did manage to dip in after the wedding. St Kitts - most of the group went shopping - there were tons of people with monkeys that they tried to get you to pay for taking a picture with them. I took a catamaran cruise from the ship excursions - was fun - though it poured just as we were getting into the water so difficult to see - cleared up and got to see a sea turtle - had some strong rum punch on the way back - had guys put monkeys on us as we headed back to ship - my daughter gave them $10.00 to get a picture - they tried to get $10.00 more for putting them on me but we just walked away. St. Thomas - the night before we were told we were going to St. Thomas - it was so quiet pulling into port - we took an open air taxi with 12 of our group to Megan's bay - was so sad to see some of the damage - still some great views from above but many electric poles down - electric work trucks everywhere - saw one side road completely gone. OMG so so sad at the beach - tons and tons of trees down - really abit of a mess but they were really trying to give us a good experience. They had thrown together a 'bar' area so they could serve soda and drinks. They had people doing the lounge chairs and umbrellas. water was actually slightly cool here compared to the other islands. disembarkment in San Juan - we had a late flight at 5:45 - originally planned to try to see some of Old San Juan but had heard the airport had a power outage the day before and long lines. Our friends decided to pay $25.00 a person to do the airport transfer with Norwegian - a few of us decided to do taxis - we got into line same time they did and made it to the area to get luggage at the same time - they got into an elevator we took stairs - ended up at the same point. They got a porter (they had 7 people) and the porter took them right to the security desk - only cost them $5.00 so we decided to do this as well. Worked out great - he took our bags - grabbed some other peoples bags - had us thru security quickly - took our bags out to area to get a taxi - got us a taxi - two other of our friends were out there so it was 5 us in one taxi van - cost $28,00 for all of us (course we gave her $40. - she still didn't have power where she lived). Anyway my point here is just get a taxi - so so much cheaper and I am at least she is the one getting the money versus Norwegian. Plus we got through security - had pizza and got our bags checked before our friends taking the Norwegian transfer even got to the airport. San Juan airport is fine - plenty of places to seat and to eat - or drink. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because it was a nice 9 day cruise out of Boston ending in San Juan with terrific ports of call. Of course the hurricane changed our itinerary drastically. We ended up with an OK list of islands. We are able to get ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a nice 9 day cruise out of Boston ending in San Juan with terrific ports of call. Of course the hurricane changed our itinerary drastically. We ended up with an OK list of islands. We are able to get non stop flights from Chicago at $56 one way to Logan, so it is a nice change to sail from the east coast. The ship is very nicely decorated in mute tones with elegant lighting and interesting carpeting throughout. The service was spotty but mostly good. We never met our cabin steward which has never happened to us in the 45 cruises that we have taken prior to this one. Our cabin was on deck 8 near the O'Sheehans restaurant. This was both a blessing and a nightmare. Two nights we had to call security as we had drunk adults running and yelling down the hallways. They then went into O'Sheehans and proceeded to scream there. At 3 O'Clock a.m. we called the front desk and asked that security get rid of them. The second night, the same screaming adults were back this time with their two girls (looked to be about 8 and 10 yrs old) the girls were knocking on doors at 2am REALLY? The up side is that we were close to the restaurant in the a.m. and we could walk down the hall to breakfast. We had loud obnoxious passengers seated next to us in Cagney's as well as at Le Bistro. We thought we were just picky, but we ran into 2 ladies in the elevator that walked out of Tempanyaki as they could not hear each other talk due to the loud inebriated passengers seated next to them. The perk of unlimited alcohol is just not something that should be offered. Most of the passengers drink sensibly, but there is about 20% who must be raging alcoholics. This was by far the most out of control cruise we have ever been on. The ships pool is beautiful, but it is the only one on the ship, so it fills up fast in the afternoons. Luckily we usually get out to the pool around 8am and leave about 1pm. The headliner entertainment was pretty good and the singers and dancers tried their best. All in all it was a good cruise, but we feel we like RCCL, Carnival and Celebrity better. This was our 4th NCL cruise, probably our last. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This was my 6th cruise. 4th time with NCL. 1st time on a smaller ship. However, i think the ship is just the perfect size. It’s a 9-day cruise. Our itinerary changed 2 weeks before sailing because of Hurricane Irma and Maria. And it ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise. 4th time with NCL. 1st time on a smaller ship. However, i think the ship is just the perfect size. It’s a 9-day cruise. Our itinerary changed 2 weeks before sailing because of Hurricane Irma and Maria. And it changed again on the 7th day while we were on board. From St Croix to St Thomas. Debarking at Puerto Rico was not a good idea as there were still a lot of damage. When the ship arrived, it looked like a war zone there as the cruise port itself is severely damaged and it’s right next to a National Guard station where LOTS of military helicopters and airplanes were taking off and landing. I also felt weird that while most part of the island is still without electricity and probably still needed supplies, we just got off a fancy ship and took a cab using their valuable gasoline to get to the airport. Lots of traffic signals were still out and we saw lots of devastation on our way to airport. Pro: Recently refurbished so it feels new. Not too big so you don’t have to walk far to everything and you get to see the same people throughout the ship everyday. Good food in main dining room and in Cagney’s and Teppanyaki. Good youth programs. Attentive stewardess. Service is excellent overall. Both embarkation and debarkation were fast and smooth. Con: Very hard to navigate. Always need to use alternate hallway/elevator to go to different part/floor of ship. Our stateroom bathroom has a funny smell which wouldn’t go away. Maybe because of old piping. The ship is from 2002. Only one 110v outlet in stateroom. Ventilation in Casino is nonexistent. I feel sorry for the folks in Gatsby’s as it’s located between the casino and the cigar lounge. Smoking is not permitted at Gatsby’s but you always smell smoke there. Food in buffet is the worst I’ve ever eaten in a cruise ship. Always the same food especially during lunch. Always have 2 or more different kinds of curry on the same hot plate. Everything tasted meh. Beef is always tough. Food in Bamboo restaurant does not taste Asian at all. Moderno is not great. Meats are just so so. They’re actually cooked in the same kitchen as Cagney’s. Lots of public restrooms were out of order (again, maybe because of old piping). Unexpected water outage on the 7th night at about 11:30pm. Water was not restored again until 3am. No announcement or sign posted. I’d still cruise with NCL but will choose newer ships. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Compared to the mega ships that we've been on, it was a nice change to be on a smaller ship. It helped that it was not sold out. The food in the Main Dining Room was quite good most of the time. Cagney's and Moderno were excellent. ... Read More
Compared to the mega ships that we've been on, it was a nice change to be on a smaller ship. It helped that it was not sold out. The food in the Main Dining Room was quite good most of the time. Cagney's and Moderno were excellent. The buffet was so-so. It was nice to have crepes (Nutella!!!) in the evenings. There was a lot of entertainment. Several nights, the 7 pm and 9 pm shows were different. Jose & Patti in the atrium were fantastic. The comedian was good at the "all ages" show, but not very funny at the "adult" show. The hypno-therapist was good at the comedy shows, but really showed her talent during the two morning sessions. The Dawn band was excellent no matter who they were backing up. The dancers/singers were good but not excellent. We didn't know our itinerary until about 2 weeks prior to the cruise. It would have been nice to have more time to plan, but we did our best. They changed the St Croix stop to St Thomas just the afternoon before! They should have changed that before we even left. Our cabin stewardess was wonderful, and made the cutest towel animals. We will continue to sail on NCL even though there were several issues with this cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This was the much discussed Nov 3, 2917 repositioning cruise from Boston to San Juan. It was the most stressfull vacation ever because of the lack of hotels in San Juan and not being able to trust any new reservations we tried to make. ... Read More
This was the much discussed Nov 3, 2917 repositioning cruise from Boston to San Juan. It was the most stressfull vacation ever because of the lack of hotels in San Juan and not being able to trust any new reservations we tried to make. NCL gave us very little time for late air travel changes and we ended up spending 15 hours to just go from San Juan to Boston. Embarcation went fine and we were onboard by 11:45 and had lunch in O'sheehans and we had the drinks package and did pay about $8.00 in taxes while in port waters and for a couple of hours after sailing. Dining was still overall very good. We ate 7 dinners in Venetian and the food was good enough and we only had one bad waiter. We were never there too long and they did not cause us to miss any shows. One meal in Cagneys was excellent. One meas in Bamboo was good but we did not care for their fried rice and the menu lacks variety. Entertainment was excellent and we were blessed with Patti and Jose playing for us almost every night in the atrium which is a nice place to relax on three different levels all with at least decent to good drink service. We always found the variety of shows every night to be excellent and on two nights the early and late shows were not the same. We had two shows with an outstanding comedian and I am sorry I didnt save any of the daily's so I could look up his name. Drinks package promotion worked perfectly for us. I was able to order two drinks or one double any time I wanted to with just one stateroom card and always kept some beers in the room fridge for out on the balcony or for my cooler for shore excursions. My cousin who traveled with me does not drink and he found several good carribean non alcoholic drinks that he enjoyed but there is not a specific non-alcoholic menu so you have to ask. Also no bar would give me canned soda to keep in the room for him. He was only allowed fountain soda. If you want plenty of wine with dinner just order a double glass and they will bring both at once and you will have to do this when you first sit down because you will not see the wine steward again this easily. If you got to the Stardust a little early for your show you could order drinks there too. Service in the pool area was inconsistent especially if you were in a hot tub so call out when they come near and hold up your key. On the three sea days they came up to the hot tub in the bow on deck 13 very half hour or so. For some reason the Bimini bar on deck 13 was closed for the last day and a half of our cruise with no reason given so the pool bar was very over crowded on our last day. Be sure and read my cabin review below -this was the low point of the cruise.... My cousin went to bingo one sea day and he did not find it relaxing at all and about the least you can spend is $49.00 for a decent setup. He liked the old style cards where you just used a marker instead of the punch out cards they use now. This was my third time on the Dawn this season and the Stench of smoke in the casino was not so bad on this cruise yet it smelled real bad in the atrium area that has the champaign bar and the italian and french restaurants and the Bamboo area on deck 7 also smelled real bad on sea days. Disembarkation was the worst I have ever had in over a dozen cruises. We were told ahead of time that it would be difficult because of the lack of power in the Pan American port to work the heavy lifts for the regular gangways. We knew that we would have to line up for a single very small gangway like they use for port days on deck four. We had alot of people in wheel chairs and it was very hard to get them off in such a tight area. The port from the outside looks like a bomb hit it. Large portions of the tin roofs totally missing, especially at the other building that RCI usually uses. No air conditioning inside the terminal and the rest rooms could be found by just following the stench that made its way outside the bathrooms. We were pre-warned to expect a shortage of taxis but there were actually plenty there as well as some tour operators who took lots of people like us who needed to kill time before going to the airport. Went to Old San Juan and many things were no longer open even though that part of town has power . The airport was a mob scene but at least it was actually cold inside. Ladies were taking Boston warm clothes out of their bags and putting them on...Do not forget to go through Agricultural screening as soon as you enter the airport. My final thoughts....We did not want to go to San Juan even though the economy needs our money because crime is much higher now and there is also not alot to do there because most of the island still has no power and we saw no power crews anywhere even though most of the way to the airport there are some badly damaged sub stations with whole neighborhoods with power lines strewn everwhere. Yes they need our money but there is no hotel space and travel outside the city is less safe , you can reed online daily Puerto Rico newspapers to get an idea on how really bad they have it. We feel sorry for people taking cruises from San Juan on NCL because they will be now calling on St Thomas as we did (last minute port change with very poor onboard communication until the night before) We took a 2.5 hour island tour and it was depressing to say the least. The port area looked better than the rest of the island and most port shops are open.. There are thousands of shattered power poles and shreaded cell phone towers. They will tell you that Megans bay and some other beaches are open but you wont want to go there. RCI paid for new buildings/rest rooms and cleanup to reopen Megans bay but that area is one of the most badly damaged on the whole island and traffic is a nightmare due to power cables and poles everywhere and alot of power company crews actually working in convoys to get things fixed. They are going to start visiting St Martin again along with St Thomas on the NCL cruises from San Juan so they will get to see two examples of what the two storms have done and see poverty and devestation that just cannot be described. What a vacation that will be. Read Less

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