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12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because it fit our time schedule for a vacation. We thought it would be exciting to be in Boston for the Fourth of July and the departure port in Brooklyn was a simple 3 Hour Drive from our home. I blame myself a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it fit our time schedule for a vacation. We thought it would be exciting to be in Boston for the Fourth of July and the departure port in Brooklyn was a simple 3 Hour Drive from our home. I blame myself a little for not researching the cruise more. We booked last minute, and we thought it would just be a lot of fun. We did not have passports as we don’t travel a ton outside Mexico and Canada. We were told by Cunard we could not have pre printed E tickets due to the fact that we did not have passports. This was a huge source of stress. I knew our enhanced licenses and birth certificates would be fine for getting us in and out of the country, but just not sure how it would all work. Getting on the boat was a complete disaster. We waited in line with everyone else for three hours. There were so many disabled people and elderly getting on the boat that simply had to go ahead of us. No one followed the time on their ticket and we were told to come at noon because we were unable to get pre printed tickets. The whole process was chaotic and confusing and people were very upset. Elderly people in line with us struggled to stand for three hours. There was no place to get anything to drink or eat. We had not eaten since the morning and didn’t enter the boat until 3 PM. People did not want to get out of line to even go to the restroom, because tempers were running thin. While waiting in line to enter the boat, we realized that we were probably some of the youngest passengers. Mind you we are not young in her late 40s. So basically getting on the boat was terrible. If I were getting on the boat again in Brooklyn I would get there around 3 PM. The boat didn’t even leave port until after eight due to a medical emergency and the boat being held for a flight coming from England containing eight passengers. Activities on the boat are OK. There is a lot to do. Definitely geared towards older people. If you are an active younger couple or group of people, I would suggest another cruise. We were interested in a fun time in wanted to be active during the day and have beautiful dinners and some nightlife in the evening. Activity was hindered by the poor condition of the swimming pools and hot tubs. Most of the hot tubs didn’t even work. They were simply warm small pools in need of painting and maintenance with no jets. The pools are not extremely clean and we’re in need of repair and paintings well. Be forewarned the Queen Mary two does not have five pools as advertised. One of the pools on the very top deck must have been removed in the refurbishment in 2016. We were disappointed with our lack of options for swimming and lounging during the day as the weather was quite favorable for such activity. One of the outdoor pools was netted for the entire cruise, so It was unable to be used by any of the passengers. Frankly the condition and access to pools was unacceptable. The walking deck, deck seven, was often closed in sections making it impossible to walk loops around the deck. Once again the Queen Mary fell short in providing the simplest of activity. The food was not bad. We enjoyed the main dining room three nights out of our seven night cruise. Our poor waiter really struggled with English and this hindered us from getting great service. He did try his hardest though. The food in the main dining room was presented nicely and there was a pretty good variety. The main buffet was also sufficient, but became a bit repetitive after seven days. I’m not sure how somebody does a 14 or 27 day cruise eating the same food over and over. The quality was quite good and overall we were usually able to find something we really liked. We were in cabin 4022. This was a sheltered balcony in the front of the boat. I’ve very favorable things to say about the cabin. Our steward Gerry was very friendly and hard-working. He did a good job cleaning the room quickly and was helpful when we had questions. Although the room was not brand new or in sparkling shape it was a fine cabin. Even for being in the front of the boat, I found there to be little motion or disturbance. Nightlife was also disappointing. Pretty much after 10 PM the place shuts down. The shows we saw in the royal court theater were nice. The dancers, singers and orchestra put on a wonderful production. There’s a nightly movie in the illuminations theater, but we were looking for more engaging activities. The night club is open later, but when we visited there it was quite empty. So basically if you’re not interested in going to bed around 10 or 11 PM you’ll have trouble finding anything to do. The ports we visited were wonderful and a lot of fun. Halifax with a cute little city and we enjoyed our time walking around shopping and visiting museums. Boston was a great deal of fun as well, We did the trolley tour and then met up with our niece later. We like to walk, so we did walk a couple miles back to the boat. Not a bad walk but it was pretty hot when we did it. We viewed the highest of the fireworks from the top deck. We had fun in Newport Rhode Island, but getting off the boat was another disaster. We had booked a tour that was canceled because they could not run the tenders due to fog. I understand they have no control of the fog or the weather. The problem we encountered was they told us not to get tickets for the tender, but when our tour was canceled They required us to have tickets. Consequently we were in the back of the line and one of the last tenders to go out to Newport. We only had a couple of hours to spend in Port. The kicker is the captain and staff went on and on about How incredibly unsafe it would be to run the tenders during the fog in the morning. They canceled the tours and we were understanding because we all wanted to be safe. The problem I have is when we return to the boat after visiting Newport the fog had returned. No one spoke of any safety issues or concerns as they loaded us on to the tender and we took the small boat in the thick fog back to the Queen Mary 2. It was so foggy that when we finally returned to the crew ship the 100 passengers broke out in cheers and were clapping As we were so relieved. It seems they were concerned about our safety in the morning, when the fog had returned in the afternoon our safety seem to go out the window because they were more concerned with keeping their schedule. In the end we had a good time because we made our own fun. I highly recommend this cruise for older people who want a nice quiet time. If you’re younger or want fun and a little nightlife look elsewhere. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Embarkation: Worse experience ever. Almost 2 hours just to check-in at the port. Two lines – one for priority one for steerage (us). Our line did not move. Meanwhile they closed our line (about 15 people behind us) and everyone was ... Read More
Embarkation: Worse experience ever. Almost 2 hours just to check-in at the port. Two lines – one for priority one for steerage (us). Our line did not move. Meanwhile they closed our line (about 15 people behind us) and everyone was sent to the priority line. We watched people get in line an hour after us and checked-in within 20 mins or less. Were told the reason for our line not moving was that they permitted all those with wheelchairs or strollers (who were in a separate line) to check in immediately from our side. If this was the case then why didn’t they take people from both sides for the next available check-in counter? This was our 7th cruise on five different lines and we have never taken more than 15 mins. (if that long) for check-in. Cunard should be embarrassed. This was unacceptable and inexcusable and is how our vacation started. When we finally made it to the ship, dropped off our carry-on in the cabin and went to grab some lunch (because we spent lunch in line waiting to check-in) it was almost 3:30 p.m. and they were clearing the food from the buffet. Not a great first impression. Disembarkation: This was fine. We got in a line when we were ready (rather than waiting for the designated times provided by Cunard) and other than getting stuck behind two people who could not get their wheelchairs over the ramp, it took about 10 mins. Cabin: The cabin was fine. The furnishings were outdated, dusty in places, dirty carpeting (not just in need of a good vacuuming but stains), mold in the bathroom but there was plenty of closet and storage space for two people and the bed and pillows were comfortable. Horrible sewage odor at all times in the bathroom. We never, and I mean never, met our steward. We knew his name because there was a card in the room and we saw him in the hallway a couple of times but he never introduced himself or stopped by to see if we needed anything (we left him an extra tip every day too) – EXCEPT when we were still in the room at 8:30 a.m. on disembarkation day – then he knocked on the door and told us we had to leave. Again, having been on six other cruises this is the first time a steward was incognito. The location of our cabin was good. We had an inside midship (between stairs C and D but closest to D). HOWEVER, the cabin vibrated constantly – the bed, sitting on the toilet, the floor, sitting in the chair – the entire cabin almost the entire time. We couldn’t understand why because we were on deck 4 above the Britannia dining room. This was very annoying. Dining: The buffet set-up was weird – multiple locations separated by eating areas. The dining areas in the buffet were great but the buffet itself was very limited, especially at breakfast where there was no variety – same thing every day and they didn’t have bananas or hard boiled eggs. We ate in the Britannia for dinner all nights except the last (didn't like the menu). Britannia menu was also very limited but overall the food was good and service was very good. We were however disappointed because we were originally told we would be at a table of six but had a table for two. It would have been nice to have tablemates and I don’t know why they changed this from our initial reservation. Bars/Lounges: Golden Lion was nice, especially for lunch – it was always crowded and very difficult to find a seat. We didn’t experience Carinthia or Commodore. Drink prices were surprisingly affordable, including bottles of wine. Wine selection was extensive. Entertainment: The few shows were good, especially the comedian. We did not attend any of the lectures. Afternoon Tea: Afternoon tea was the best part of the cruise. Finger sandwiches, desserts, scones. All of it was delicious and decadent. Activities: What surprised me the most was the lack of organized activities. There were things to do throughout the day such as lectures, movies, trivia but there were only a couple of actual organized activities with cruise staff throughout the entire cruise. Ports: Halifax - great day – no issues. We were delayed getting into Boston and then had to go immigration. Similar to disembarkation we were supposed to go through at specified times but it seemed like everyone got in line immediately and it wrapped around almost the length of the ship. We waited 90 minutes before going to immigration and got through in about 5 minutes (great decision). Newport – we tendered and got fogged in so could not get off the ship until about 1 p.m. Tender ticket issuing was poorly handled, extremely disorganized and it took a very long time to get everyone who wanted to off the ship. Once on shore we only had about 3 hours to explore – disappointing. Pools/Spas: The children’s pool was closed the entire cruise because of an issue with soot from the smoke stacks landing in the pool. The other pool was fine but the hot tubs were not hot (the heaters were broken and were supposed to be fixed when we were in Boston but they weren’t). The inside pool and spas were always crowded. Casino: The casino was very small with a number of slot machines, a few black jack tables and a roulette table but no poker tables. Outside/Smoking Areas: One big issue was that the children’s pool was on deck six aft directly below deck seven aft which was the smoking section and deck eight aft which was the location of the outside pool as well as an additional smoking area. That meant that smoke wafted down (especially cigar smoke) to deck six where most of the lounge chairs were. Deck 13 (sports deck) was fine to get away from it all except they only had about 20 lounge chairs out and all others were stacked and covered. The deck chairs on the promenade were plentiful and always filled. Overall the cons far outweighed the pros for this cruise. If you like cruising (for me it’s about the destinations) with not a lot to do throughout the day/night, this is for you. Personally I thought the food options were very limited without much variety and was extremely displeased with the embarkation process. Fellow passengers were fantastic. I would only cruise Cunard again if the price was right. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I used to carry on a bottle of wine to enjoy in my cabin, and there was no charge. They would only charge you a corkage fee if you took it to the dining room to open and enjoy. Now, they stop you immediately after TSA and make you feel ... Read More
I used to carry on a bottle of wine to enjoy in my cabin, and there was no charge. They would only charge you a corkage fee if you took it to the dining room to open and enjoy. Now, they stop you immediately after TSA and make you feel like a criminal! I asked the guy taking my information to charge me, when this rule came to be and he would not answer me. I guess the nickel and diming will continue! Our bathroom flooded twice because the drain backed up. Thank god it was not the toilet! There was no offer of any compensation, almost as if its a regular occurrence. They did clean my sisters pajamas, which got wet. We did enjoy the food, went to 3 specialty restaurants, all of which were spectacular. Also, the Venetian dining room was wonderful all 4 times we went there. Service around most of the rest of the ship was just average. Something must have been up with the employees, because they were the least friendly bunch in all of my 19 cruises. The ports were all great, with the exception of St. John. We left on time, every time and got into port on time, every time. If you are going to Newport RI, make sure you book a tour so you can get off the ship quickly! They tender in and from what people said, they waited for hours. Then only had a few hours on short, then we ALL had to wait in an hour long line to tender back to the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because our daughter and son-in-law were going along and the time frame fit their schedules. We have cruised on Norwegian many times but never on the Dawn. Prior to going, I read several negative reviews and was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our daughter and son-in-law were going along and the time frame fit their schedules. We have cruised on Norwegian many times but never on the Dawn. Prior to going, I read several negative reviews and was hesitant that we chose the right cruise for their first time. We had a wonderful time. Our cabins were always immaculate, there was no smell anywhere as I had previously read from past passengers. The food was good, especially in Cagneys. On previous ships we did experience food that was not hot, but not this time. All our food was served hot and quickly. All the staff that we encountered were friendly and helpful. The entertainment was good in all locations. All the common areas were well maintained and immaculate. The only problem that we encountered was in Newport where you have to tender to the pier. There were six tenders, not two as I have read, but it took quite some time to tender all the passengers. We have learned to always book a shore tour when we tender so we can get off the ship with the tour group. Tendering in Bar Harbor was easy. We had a great time and I would recommend the Dawn to anyone. Yes, it is an older ship but it does not show a ton of wear and tear. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I had only been on one cruise prior to this voyage and I can honestly say it was an exceptional trip. The ship was exceptionally decorated, the public rooms and restaurants felt more upscale than advertised... having said that the layout ... Read More
I had only been on one cruise prior to this voyage and I can honestly say it was an exceptional trip. The ship was exceptionally decorated, the public rooms and restaurants felt more upscale than advertised... having said that the layout of some spaces left something to be desired. The two-story atrium where the champagne bar is located is not well devised because the Havana Cigar Club lounge, even if segregated by partitions and glass walls is poorly ventilated meaning that the fumes of cigars and cigarettes leak into the atrium and spoil the ambiance of the space. On another note, live music that plays by the champagne bar spoils the atmosphere of the 'Le Bistro' French Restaurant, the 'La Cucina' Italian Restaurant and the Bamboo Restaurant on the second level because either the live music blasts into the dining room when the doors are left open (Le Bistro) or it just spills into the restaurant because its entry has no doors to begin with (La Cucina & Bamboo). There is nothing more deflating than to be enjoying Edith Piaf while eating Escargot when suddenly you hear the roar of someone doing a cover of Ed Sheeran because the doors suddenly burst open... I'm sorry, unless the ACTUAL Ed Sheeran is playing outside I don't want to hear it with my French dinner! On another note the art displayed on the art auctions and art gallery is trivial and gimmicky... I would have been more impressed if they had displayed talented unkown artists from the ports of call (Canada and New England in this case) than to see Thomas Kinkade and Romero Brittos whose work is only seen in their own bloated brand-gallery shops in Mid-Western Mega Malls. Give your passengers the chance to purchase something based on real artistic worth not on notiriety and brand-image. On the last note layouts of some restaurants seemed remote and out of the way such as the 'Los Lobos' Mexican Restaurant which was my favourite restaurant in the ship but seemed lost in the maze of corridors to the rear of the ship. And the Venetian Restaurant's Decor looks like it came out of the 1970's even with some of the contemporary art spread throughout the room. Out of all the restaurants the Venetian's Decor was the odd man out of all the other public rooms. Having said all that my experience with the staff, excursions, and dining was wonderful and I had the best time in my life... I will definetly come back to Norwegian Cruise Line in the future and I might return to the Norwegian Dawn Just to see the crew and entertainers again (shout out to the band who played the Jazz Standards... I forgot the band's name but I love that they played all the songs I suggested). They all deserve a raise... Just please fix the sound and smoke issues and I might raise my review rating from very good to excellent. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Overview (C): We rated each category A-F based on our experience on the NCL Dawn. Overall the ship was okay... nothing exceptionally glamorous but not terrible either. Our main issue with the Dawn was terrible communication and ... Read More
Overview (C): We rated each category A-F based on our experience on the NCL Dawn. Overall the ship was okay... nothing exceptionally glamorous but not terrible either. Our main issue with the Dawn was terrible communication and transparency especially when it came to logistical problems such as boarding the ship (which took over two hours and we were there at our allotted time) and two different tender ports which precluded us from getting off the ship for the first two hours. People on Cruise Critic talk about the layout being confusing and not as easy as more updated cruise ships and they are correct. We LOVED all the ports and had great excursions. If you are a loyal NCL cruiser and like smaller ships, you will love the Dawn. All the people we met that like "less crowds, smaller ships, NCL perks, etc." loved it. But, if you are more loyal to Royal Caribbean or Princess and slightly larger ships (ex. Princess Royal at 142K tons and holds 3600 people or RC Adventure of the Seas at 137K tons and holds 3100 people vs Dawn 92K tons and holds about 2300 people), you will likely be disappointed. Dinning (C-): In comparison to RC and Princess, the food quality was subpar. We ate at four specialty restaurants (three were included in our "package" and one was free but mandatory reservations). We felt even at those places the food was okay - not great. They have two main dining rooms - we tried them both. We felt Aqua had better ambiance than Venetian, but they served the same food. The food was never impressive no matter how many options we ordered. Also, we found there to be a lack of dining options outside of 5:30-8pm. For breakfast it was only the giant buffet (for a brief time the dining room would open up, but it was the same food and it took 30 min longer to get). There was no "all the time sandwich, pizza, sushi, ice cream bar, etc" open all day and at all hours of the night which is different than what we've experienced on RC, Princess, and Carnival. The Dawn did have dining options out on the main deck, but they were closed 5 of the 7 days due to "inclement weather" which we were told was because of the temperature (which it was between 55-69 every day). There was one rainy day, but even in the 60s in the sun it was nice on the main deck so we were confused why there wasn't food being served. Also, there was NO room service without a charge! I know RC and Princess will charge during late-night hours but at least they have complimentary breakfast you can order to your room in the morning or a mid-day snack if you wanted something. Entertainment (C): All the entertainment was lackluster at best. Our one day at sea should have been the "Super Bowl" for the cruise director and it was just as pitiful as all the other days. Typically they had four things going on every night: the main show on one end of the boat, karaoke on the other end of the boat, the cruise ship musicians in the main atrium, and a guitar player next to the Champagne Bar (which was also right next to the Cigar Bar and the Casino - so it reeked of smoke all the time). None of the shows on this ship compared to the RC or Princess. Drink Package (B): The plus is you can buy two drinks at a time with one card. You still have to have both people in the room with drink packages, but it is nice to pull out one card. We did get up to $15 for any drink, but NCL also has higher prices in in comparison to the other cruise lines. What I was REALLY disappointed in was their wine selection...especially in the Wine Bar. They had about 30 wines, but only about 10 were within the package. I wasn't impressed and considered them "drinkable." Also, they only had about two types of liquor in each category as part of the package. On the other ships, pretty much everything except one "top shelf" was included. The most disappointing part of the drink package is NCL does NOT include coffee or water like the other major cruise lines. Even if you pick the drink package as one of your "free" options, they are still going to charge you an additional fee (ours was $139/person) to compensate for the additional cost in comparison to the other "free" options. Please note that if you are in a U.S. port, even with a "free" beverage package, they still charge a "port tax" on every drink purchase. It isn't much, but it will appear on your bill and would be nice if NCL informed you of that. Spa Package (C): We ordered this in advance because we loved the one on Princess so much. We don't regret buying it ($139/person in advance, $186/person once on the ship and they only let 60 people in). But, in comparison to what Princess had, it was not nearly as impressive. This ship had a very small "lap pool" as they called it, but if you are a true swimmer, you would spend more time doing flip turns than swimming. They had a hot tub and a hydrotherapy pool. The hydrotherapy pool was half the size of what was on the Princess and it looked very industrial versus the sleek and upgraded design on Princess. Princess had four temperate and scent showers (cool mist that smells like lavender, warm mist, waterfall, etc), but there was nothing like that on the Dawn. The Dawn had sauna and steam rooms - but segregated between men and women which was disappointing for us because we could do that together on Princess. Also, the men had both a warm and cold plunge tub, but neither for the women. Both ships had the stone/tile heated chairs, but the design on the Dawn was too curvy which contorted your body versus the Princess Royal which was more ergonomic. The only plus for the Dawn was you could sit in these chairs and see out the back of the boat - but the drawback is it was always very light in there versus Princess who kept it dim lit like a spa. The Dawn did have "Reflection Rooms" which allows you to see off the back of the ship as well and just relax anytime the spa was open. One final thing - if you do the spa tour on day one, it seems like the various exfoliating scrubs are included, but actually that was just for show and then it was an "upcharge" if you want it. Again, lack of transparency. Logistics (D): MUTLIPLE times they really messed up the logistics. The first day just getting on the ship was a nightmare. NCL is the first line I've ever had to "select a time" to board when I was filling out my registration. I even called customer service to ask if I got there early or late, what would happen and she said we would have to wait until everyone in the designated time had boarded and then we would get on afterwards. That was NOT true. There was no time for anything. No place you reported for your specified time. We got there 20 min early just to make sure we would be in our boarding time and it took us TWO HOURS to get on the ship! I also asked customer service prior to our boarding if we boarded at noon, would our rooms be ready (because on other lines, they normally aren't ready until between 1:30-3pm). She said yes - but the answer was no...rooms were not ready until after 1:30pm. When we hit our last stop, Newport, RI, they only had FOUR tenders. NCL was NOT transparent with us that it would take this long nor did the Captain, Cruise Director, or Transportation Direction make any announcements about why this was the case. All the Cruise Director kept saying was to be patient. We tendered at 11am and were not allowed to leave the ship until 1:15pm. We had to be back at the tender station at 4:30pm, so we only had three hours to explore this port which was very disappointing. Another fact NCL was not transparent about was that if you booked an excursion with them, you were first off. So, anyone who did an excursion with other vendors or no formal excursions were not allowed to leave for over TWO HOURS! When we went to ask about it, guest services said it was a port limit that we couldn't have more than four tenders; whereas that might be the case, communication and transparency is essential. When you disembark the ship, they let people who carry their own luggage off for the first hour and they get to the colored bag tags. We got off near the end of the "self-assist," and it took us less than 10 minutes to be out of the cruise terminal, including customs. Maintenance (B): We had our toilet go out for about 18 hours. Not ideal, but we know accidents happen and apparently it was a whole block of rooms due to a "clog." Again, no one notified us it was more than just ours until I started asking questions. Even when we returned the maintenance people couldn't tell us how long it would be. NCL did send us a bottle of Chardonnay and some chocolate covered strawberries two nights later, but honestly, even that was not transparent. It was a simple guest services card that said, "Thanks for traveling with us." So I didn't' know if it was for the toilet issues, because we were in a balcony, because we were first time NCL travelers, or because the logistics in Newport was so terrible. Also, there was always a few coffee machines that didn't work for breakfast in the large buffet which always created a cluster. Kid Friendly (A): They have an area on the back of the ship that is the best I have seen so far. It is perfect for kids ~3-7 years old. All shallow, a few slides, giant dinosaurs, and other fun things. It's at the back of the boat so you are somewhat secluded. The downside for our trip was the cooler weather, so people only really used it the first and last day. But, for other locations, it would be great. We also met a lady who said her kid was 12 and was in the 8-12 group and had such a fabulous time he never wanted to leave. She said the hours are great and they do lots of fun events with them. They have classes for all ages and even the tiny babies/toddlers have a place parents can bring them and let them play with the toy in a safe environment. Recommended Excursions: Halifax - Segway Nova Scotia (only one in town) - the crew here is very friendly and the tour is beautiful. They do a very thorough job making sure you are fully trained on the Segway before they take off on the tour. St. John, Bay of Fundy - Moosehead Brewery Tour - very informative and TONS of free samples to include one inside their vat that is 3 degrees - the freshest beer you'll ever have! We booked this through NCL and they provided transportation to and from the brewery which also included a drive by the reversing rapids. Bar Harbor - Bar Harbor Whale Watching - location was literally right off the tender boat which was great. But, if you get sea sick at all...DO NOT TAKE THIS TOUR! Many people on the boat were sick because they go 25-33 miles off the coast to see the whales and even on a beautiful day like ours, the wind was so strong the boat was rocking very hard. If you are not typically sea/motion sick, you will be fine and have a great time. We did get to see a Fin Whale (2nd largest on earth behind the Blue Whale) - but that was the only one we saw, so they actually gave a voucher to go again in the next three years for free. That is a great thing about this company - if you don't see a whale, they will give you a 3-year return voucher. Specifically we did the Whale and Puffin Tour and the only thing I would say is don't expect to see a puffin up close unless you have binoculars (which they do rent for $5 on the boat). Portland - Maine Food For Thought Walking Food Tour - this is a MUST to do it with this particular company (which I booked through Viator, but you can book it directly with them). It's rated #1 on TripAdvisor for Food Tours in Maine and there is a reason for that. Every place is upscale and/or unique and Brice (the owner) really knows his stuff! He's well educated and takes the "farm to table" discussion to another dimension. Newport, RI - We did not plan a specific excursion for this city and instead took the trolley to the Breakers and walked the 3 mile (1.5 miles each way) coastline and saw the amazing mansions which brings it so much popularity. We would have done more, but this was the stop NCL really messed up the logistics and we only had a few hours. Fortunately you tender one block from the Visitor's Center which is where you can buy tickets for the trolley to take you to the coastline. Everyone was very friendly and helpful to get you the right ticket on the right trolley. 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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I truly don’t know how to adequately express how disappointed we are in our first cruise with Norwegian and first cruise ever. I have always heard that this is the elite of the cruise lines and this is who we should take our first cruise ... Read More
I truly don’t know how to adequately express how disappointed we are in our first cruise with Norwegian and first cruise ever. I have always heard that this is the elite of the cruise lines and this is who we should take our first cruise with. We had 3 rooms for this cruise and spent over 16,000 for rooms, 5,000 for airfare, and spent 4,000 on the ship in extras. We saved up for this trip and had such high hopes but were quickly disappointed. We all had rooms 11116, 11126, & 11128. We were on the 11th floor on the Dawn, which is directly located under the Garden Grille which does not have carpeted floors ( I would truly like to know who thought this was ok) and we heard chairs scooting around from 5:00 am (which we assume the crew started getting ready for the day) till 1:00 am at night. We never had more than 4 hours sleep due to this excessive noise. We heard kids running back and forth all day as well. In room 11128 there was a constant pipe noise coming from the ceiling as well, that the party in this room did not get any sleep. Also, when we booked our cruise the reservation agent told us we could take the divider out from the rooms 11126 & 11128 to have one big balcony, which turned out to not be true at all. We upgraded our rooms because of this misinformation. This was a complete lie and we were misled. We spent 2,000 on spa services and a spa pass. The spa had very dirty windows you could not see through and we feel we didn’t even remotely get our value for what we paid. ( I am attaching pictures of this). We did not get our full value for port day #5 in Newport, RI. We only had two tender boats and we did not get to land until 1:30 and had to be back by 3:00 and the lines were ridiculous to get back and forth. We were supposed to have 10:00-4:00. I must say this was the most unorganized cruise. I also heard this from several other passengers, as I had nothing to compare it to. Then the kicker is, we bought 8 Next Cruise Deposits for a total of 2,000 because we thought hey, we will give them another shot maybe this ship is just old and a fluke. We booked on ship for our next cruise and they said over and over we were getting upgraded to a balcony mini-suite but that did not happen at all. It was only a balcony. We asked at least 10 times and they said yes. I think that you really should have English speaking people that understand how things work, when it comes to Next Cruise onboard a ship because language and communication was a huge hurdle when buying and booking the next cruise. The food was awful! My kids and parents had been on the Pearl and loved the food but there was no variety on this ship when compared to others, and no seafood which is really sad when you are going on a Canada/East/Atlantic cruise. I am just so disappointed after saving up for so long and having an experience like this. I wish I could just dispute this charge with my credit card company because none of us got any sleep. It was not an enjoyable 7 days at all and honestly, I think we should be compensated quite a lot for this. This wasn’t just a bad night’s sleep in a hotel, we saved and spent thousands on a trip we got no sleep on and I just don’t feel that is right. The singing acts were awful on this ship as well.I know there has to be better singers out there willing to work on a cruise ship. Drinks were very watered down. The selection of shore excursions was pitiful when compared to other companies. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We choose this cruise because our adult children chose it. We would choose it again if they wanted to, but we would never choose it for ourselves. We prefer higher-end ships and cruise lines. All features of the ship were adequate. ... Read More
We choose this cruise because our adult children chose it. We would choose it again if they wanted to, but we would never choose it for ourselves. We prefer higher-end ships and cruise lines. All features of the ship were adequate. Some of the specialty restaurants were exceptionally good. The gym had great machines, but the mats and exercise balls were locked up and we couldn't use them. Bar Harbor was a great port..fantastic lobster and cute shops! Entertainment was not so great. Here is what we did not like: our luggage was delivered to the wrong cabin, and we had to find it ourselves; they refuse to provide CPAP water; need to use pumice on the toilets; cafe menu is limited, but the food was ok; we asked for ice, but it was never delivered; rooms have insufficient plugs (but you can check out extension cords). The tender process was horrible!! At one port, the ship arrived at 10am (one employee told us it was because it costs a lot of money to anchor there). We waited in endless lines and finally got to the port at noon. This gave us almost no time to enjoy that port. We should have stayed on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I decided to do a quick 1 week cruise out of New York and traveled with my daughter and 11 month old grandson in a separate cabin. We had sailed the S.S. Norway and had such a bad experience we stayed away from NCL. We have ... Read More
My wife and I decided to do a quick 1 week cruise out of New York and traveled with my daughter and 11 month old grandson in a separate cabin. We had sailed the S.S. Norway and had such a bad experience we stayed away from NCL. We have 34 cruises under our belts so it was NCL, not cruising, we avoided. This was our least favorite of 13 cruise lines. I know they have their loyal following and it may be like preferring vanilla over chocolate ice cream but this was not what we have experienced on any other cruise line. Embarkation was a long and tedious process but I don't blame NCL and the fault lies mainly with the company they contract with for the whole process. This was on me but I have always brought the usual one bottle of wine per adult for cabin consumption allowed on every other line we sailed. Not this one but, again, that is their policy and I didn't do my homework. I had to pay a corkage fee for each bottle. It didn't matter that I had the beverage package. It made no sense. As soon as we boarded we headed to the Lido as all of the other lunch venues were packed. But I'll discuss dining later. The ship is older but we have sailed several old ships that have been maintained. This has not been maintained. We stayed in a mini-suite that was spacious enough but very worn. The AC was great and responded to changes very quickly. It also had a very musty odor like old sneakers. The cabin was well located mid-ship and was relatively quiet. The balcony was the standard size. What I was pleased with was the number of outlets it had if you knew enough to bring European and UK adapters which we did. Some of the outlets we located where a piece of furniture must have been since they were in the middle of the wall over an empty space and there were severe rub marks counter height. We had a full length sofa and the seating area was separated from the sleeping area by a curtain. The mattress was very hard for my taste and, by the end of the week, my back was sore. The bathroom was fine although I prefer a shower stall to a tub/shower. Water pressure was great. Generic soap dispensers and hand soap were plentiful. Now, for the musty odor, there was a major leak from the tub that saturated the carpet in the closet and soaked all of our clothes in our hamper. Our daughter had a balcony cabin that we found to be very small. We had a pack-n-play for the baby that took up all of the available floor space in front of the loveseat. The door to the balcony was almost frozen shut but was eventually able to be repaired by maintenance. She too had a major leak in the bathroom with standing water. Another call to maintenance. So, two cabins with leaks should not happen. We found out later that we were not alone with this problem. There were several great bars located throughout the ship and they all had a good vibe. Drink service was excellent. I also liked the fact that you could order top shelf alcohol and only pay the difference above the drink allowance. Out favorite bar was Gatsby's but it always smelled of smoke because of the adjacent smoking room. Other areas seemed smokey as well but couldn't find the source. The casino was another area that had a lot of smoke was the casino where it was permitted and we had to pass through it to get to the show lounge or go to a different deck. The layout of the ship is very poor. We ran into several dead ends until we learned the lay of the land and also discovered which elevator went to where you wanted to go. However, only on elevator went down to the Venetian Dining Room which was a challenge for all of the wheelchairs and strollers. With a ship of such poor design we should have been given maps. Not a good ship for newbies. The elevators did come quickly which was a big plus. Another big issue I had was the nickel and dining that went on. I should have anticipated this since we had to pay gratuities on our "Free" perks. There were non-stop announcements for every thing imaginable they were selling. Even returning to the ship after tendering we were greeted with raffle ticket sales after security. Before the shows the cruise staff was also selling raffle tickets. This I did not like one bit. Constant photographers greeted us at every meal. Enough is enough. Getting to the food, this was a major disappointment. The Garden Cafe was worse than my hospital cafeteria and I was turned off by people grabbing food with their bare hands. Again, this is not the fault of NCL. The layout also didn't allow for a good flow since it was U shaped and you couldn't go around in a circle. And, seating was difficult to get. Our only MDR experience was The Venetian since we preferred the ocean views. Breakfast and lunches were best in the Venetian. Dinner was nothing special. Most nights we dined in specialty restaurants. Believe it or not, we loved Los Cabos. The food reminded me of when I lived in Mexico. The queso fundido was delish as were the guacamole, chips and our main courses. A spicy Margarita is not to be missed. La Cucina turned out to be a big disappointment. Service was terrible. We waited 45 minutes for appetizers. The fish was awful (a repeating theme on this ship), my risotto was very undercooked but my osso buco was good. Cagneys was also good if you like a steak house. Good food and service. Two nights we dined in Le Bistro and enjoyed them both. The Maitre 'd was exceptional and very accommodating. My grandson dined there and was an angel. Food was also very well done with fancy French service. One thing I found lacking was a good observation lounge or someplace quiet to read. Even the library seemed to be very busy. Maybe I wasn't looking in the right places but that was something my wife and I missed. We did no cruise ship excursions which, if you have tender ports, I recommend you do since they had the worst tendering service. Our first tender port was Bar Harbor which was also where we had to clear immigration. We cleared early but we weren't able to get to port until 1 PM. I would book the cheapest excursion and bail just to get off the ship at a reasonable time. The line went all the way up to Deck 7 and almost down to the show lounge. This was the worst. It was slightly better in Newport but tendering is never fun. Debarkation was a breeze. You essentially get off when you want. we were in the first group but all of the luggage was already on the dock. It was strange that you don't get debarkation instructions ahead. This is also Free Style. The luggage tags are at guest relations and you just pick what you want and leave when you want. There were no crowds and we just walked off. What did I like. The crew. I found them to be extremely friendly and efficient. They were always willing to help. Guest relations was efficient and well staffed. As mentioned before bar service was excellent. Did I have a good time? How could I not with my grandson in tow. The itinerary was great. Would I sail NCL again? No. The competition has a much better product. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I really like Norwegian ships. I have only been on several, but plan many more. The ship was clean and the food was good. I booked the last minute as a solo traveler. I did not have any of the specials (food or beverage packages). The ... Read More
I really like Norwegian ships. I have only been on several, but plan many more. The ship was clean and the food was good. I booked the last minute as a solo traveler. I did not have any of the specials (food or beverage packages). The comp restaurants were great. The Solo Hostess made the experience fun and interesting. She made sure there was a solo meet-up every day. Made sure we had reservations for dinner as a group. It really made a difference having an active hostess for our group. I made many friends and enjoyed tours and meals with other solo travelers. I drove to NYC. Can't say that was easy. $280 to park is excessive. Otherwise, on and off the ship was easy. However, it was a long walk with luggage upon returning to NYC. We returned to a different pier. Cabin was very nice. I had easy access to the atrium and glass elevators. It was nice to be able to dash down to the pub. I was happy with the location of the cabin. Especially since they assigned the cabin. This was a busy cruise with 5 ports in 7 days. One of the main reasons I picked this itinerary. My favorite ports are in NE and Canada. I did not have time to enjoy many of the entertainments but the aerial act was impressive. Note: Most of the group were ladies. Some married, some single, some widowed. I t was fun meeting people from all over the country. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Overall, we enjoyed the Dawn. Food We ate in three specialty restaurants, both main rooms and Garden Cafe. The quality of the food was consistently good. Our biggest complaint was the lack of variety for the breakfast buffet. Le ... Read More
Overall, we enjoyed the Dawn. Food We ate in three specialty restaurants, both main rooms and Garden Cafe. The quality of the food was consistently good. Our biggest complaint was the lack of variety for the breakfast buffet. Le Bistro and La Cucina were both excellent. Cagney’s Was ok, with my steak being too thin and over cooked. The food choices and quality in the main rooms were very good Entertainment Loved the different music groups, especially VIP and Azalea. The shows in Stardust were also very good Shore excursion They were ok. However, the process of getting off the ship with tenders was chaotic and poorly organized Service While there were examples of exemplary service, it was inconsistent. I expected to be wowed but the service often fell short. Some of the staff were not nice and were unable to anticipate guests’ needs I would go on Dawn again. I think the entertainment and food made up for service shortcomings Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Wife and I took the 7 day cruise out of Manhattan and had a wonderful trip. A little cold and windy especially in Canada but we knew that would be a strong possibility when we scheduled for May. Weather was much better on the US leg of ... Read More
Wife and I took the 7 day cruise out of Manhattan and had a wonderful trip. A little cold and windy especially in Canada but we knew that would be a strong possibility when we scheduled for May. Weather was much better on the US leg of the cruise. Stayed in penthouse suite 10002 and loved the room and the added service that came along with it. Food was very good, we stayed away from the buffet as much as possible. All employees that work on the Dawn are very courteous and want their guests to enjoy their stay. Only small negative I had was we were supposed to get expedited boarding but was sent to the wrong line by a NCL employee. Entertainment can get a little stale multiple cruises. . Nova Scotia . Did the Peggy's Cove Tour, most of the tour is driving but worth it since is a very awesome place to visit. Saint John stayed in the local area Bar Harbor did a tour with a local tour guide and this was the highlight of our cruise. Acadia is an awesome place to visit and the views are unreal. Portland Maine Did a local excursion to Kennenbunkport. Really enjoyed this area and the downtown area is really a nice place to visit and eat lobster rolls. Newport RI cancelled due to wind condition Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We sailed on Dawn in December 2018 out of San Juan, and had a chance to sail again to NE/Canada in May 2019. Booked an inside on deck 10 midship. Plenty of storage for two, the round table under the TV is in the way and too large for this ... Read More
We sailed on Dawn in December 2018 out of San Juan, and had a chance to sail again to NE/Canada in May 2019. Booked an inside on deck 10 midship. Plenty of storage for two, the round table under the TV is in the way and too large for this cabin. It was bumped right up against the bed on one side so my husband was fine getting in and out but not for me when I had to get out of bed. They need to replace it with a smaller table. Liked this deck and would book same again. Embark was good and so was disembark. We checked our bags at embark around 10am and walked over to the Intrepid which is so fun and interesting and would highly suggest to visit. Sail away was on time and it was a beautiful day. We did eat at the Venetian (MDR) for lunch and service was a little slow even though it was not crowded. We ate mainly in the Venetian and service was much slower than our 1st cruise on the Dawn back in December, but we are usually not in a hurry so not a big issue for us. The food was good and soup which we ordered each time was nice and hot. We ate in Aqua one night after we said we would not from the not so good experience back in December, which was slow and not very friendly servers, but we tried again and it was the same, the servers did not seem happy and service was slow. Food was good. We tried one time to eat at the buffet for lunch but did not care for it at all. Food was barely warm and too crowded. Ate at Cagney's the last night and food and service was very good. Ate at the chinese restaurant one night and it was very good. Entertainment was very good, the aerialist are excellent and so entertaining. Singers all good. We enjoyed all the bars/lounges and found all servers/bartenders are nice and pleasant. Gatsby's serves the best lavender martini which I was pleased to see it still being served from the 1st cruise. Comedian was good, only went once. Casino was as usual very, very smokey. It made me appreciate the Bliss cruise with the enclosed room for smokers in the casino. I wish all the ships had the separate smoking room as it would benefit all. It was full and busy except for the first night. Drink service is very good. Even thought the Halifax and St John ports were cold and rainy we still enjoyed getting off and exploring on our own (our 4th time and this was the 1st time it was cold/rain) Bar Harbor and Portland are two of our favorite ports and so much to do. We walked and shopped and ate lunch in Bar Harbor and did a City and lighthouse tour in Portland (went through a vendor located just off ship) Could not anchor in Newport RI due to high winds. We were disappointed because we had booked a excursion for the Cliff walk/Mansion tour. Will try next time. We have been to Newport before on a land based trip and felt bad for those first timers with plans, etc., but the winds were terrible and the Captain made the right call. Dawn is one of our favorites and will probably sail on her again. Also, regarding our room steward, JJ was wonderful and polite, Always greeted us by name. Thank you. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary, particularly Newport, Rhode Island and two stops in Canada. We were excited that after this cruise we would be 1 point away from becoming Platinum Plus (175 points). We booked the cruise as a ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary, particularly Newport, Rhode Island and two stops in Canada. We were excited that after this cruise we would be 1 point away from becoming Platinum Plus (175 points). We booked the cruise as a Latitudes Insider Special. The "reward" was double points (14) and 30 extra internet minutes, So far, they rewarded us with 7 points, and we were unable to connect to the internet all cruise long. The Wi-Fi did not work. Upon arrival at the Cruise Terminal in New York, things started a little off. As platinum members, we directed ourselves to the Platinum embarkation area. The guard twice refused to let us in. It wasn't until another NCL member gave the green light that we were allowed to enter. When we got to our cabin, our tour tickets were already there, But, our Champagne and waters were not. We asked about them and were told they will be delivered soon. The champagne bottle arrived, but NCL did not provide us glasses, and even after insisting, we were told NCL does not provide glasses. I guess we have to drink champagne directly out of the bottle. The steward delivered 1 bottle of water, and it took 3 calls and 2 days to get the second bottle (champagne and water are benefits of being Platinum). Every day, we watched the NCL channel for weather and arrival/departure updates. The channel reflected information of the previews cruise and gave details fo the wrong arrival and departure times. One day it even stated a 2-hour error that caused us to have to call the Guest Services twice to confirm. On day 1, we went to O'Sheehans for lunch. We sat and saw 4 other groups sit after us. All ate and we waited for salads over 40 minutes! The others ate hot food! A night later, we went back for desert. We were directed to a table that needed to be cleaned and set-ups brought to us. Food crumbs were still on the table. The waitress came, took our order and saw us clean the table ourselves without even hinting about helping us! We ate in the Garden only once. The table servers were awesome, but the people behind the buffet areas had an attitude or did not understand English. We enjoyed eating at Le Bistro, arguably one of the few bright spots. However, we were extremely disappointed with Moderno. The meat was less than adequate in terms of temperature (we asked for medium) and taste (hard). We tried booking a couples at the spa, but the reps were rude and wanted to force us to take a time slot we did not want and wanted to charge us a non-promotional fee for the same service they were promoting at a nice discount. The tours were awesome. The guides were knowledgeable and attentive. The weather did not cooperate in Canada, though. In summary, NCL is not longer at the top of our list. If NCL does not make good on the additional 7 Latitudes points, we are going to cancel one of our two next booked cruises. We are scheduled to go to Cuba in August and South America in December. We might keep the Cuba cruise, but we will cancel the other and start using Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Azamara, or any other willing to give us a good value and treat us well. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
My wife and I got a email advertising a great rate 1 week before she sailed so we jumped on it, employers were kind of pissed but hey that's what vacation days are for in our book. Took a bus to NYC, got to the terminal in plenty ... Read More
My wife and I got a email advertising a great rate 1 week before she sailed so we jumped on it, employers were kind of pissed but hey that's what vacation days are for in our book. Took a bus to NYC, got to the terminal in plenty of time. The embarkation was a bit chaotic, unlike Celebrity and RCL. I attributed it to NYC and the craziness that is NYC. Felt like a mouse in a maze a few times but we were thru it in 15 minutes. We travelled self assisted with carry on luggage only, that was a pain until our room was ready, next time I will let the cruise company take care of it. Once we got onboard the ship was nice, Dawn maybe older but she wears it well and is well cared for by the crew. We went with a inside stateroom and it was felt larger than it was and the room was spotless. Marvin Nucum our room steward the best we could have asked for the entire voyage. This being our first NCL cruise we had never done freestyle before so we went with the Venetian, Aqua and Bamboo for our meals. Venetian's breakfast is very well done just ask for the stronger coffee if that's to your liking. O Shennigans Bar and Grill did not impress at all and the Garden Café was too packed for anything than grabbing an ice cream cone. Luz the cruise director and her staff showed us some of the best entertainment we have seen at sea. Elements should not be missed or the aerialists and the comedian Keith Bender had us laughing as well as everyone else. Ruby owned the trivia area in Gatsby and we won't forget her. As far as ship board services, the only thing lacking was communication and being forthright with charges. We noticed that we were charged a NYC tax or that's what guest services called it on each drink. And we were charged for the ticket to get off the on the tender in Newport, neither one we were made aware of by the crew. Newport was scrubbed because of wind and we got our ticket refunded. Also passengers herded to the Bliss lounge to get tickets for the tender and only after waiting for 30 minutes did the ticket vendor announce that shore excursion did not need to wait in line. And on the lines of service, in the Canadian ports and Bar Harbor we were informed by our waiter that we could not have an evening glass of wine with our meal because there was only one bar operating and it was a long way from the Venetian and Aqua. Aqua did bring it but later in the meal. Why did we get a drink card we both wondered. I love maritime and immigration history and both Halifax and St John delivered both. Get Jody on the St John trolley and she will teach you a lot. We took a bike ride in Portland and walked the ocean path on Bar Harbor we live near both of these locations. We have done almost a dozen cruises and this was our first NCL experience. If it was not for the entertainment and the cruise directors well picked offerings and the meals in Venetian and Aqua and the stellar service in Bamboo we would not even think of trying them again. My wife has a ginger allergy and the head cook in Bamboo picked food for her and visited our table many times to talk to her and ask questions. Also Azalea in the Atrium was easy to listen to in the evenings and VIP owned the Bliss lounge at night, great band from Columbia. NCL needs to work on communication and letting people know of charges before you get surprised. Also please tell people about the various drink and dining plans before you book, guest services was selling an add on drink package on top of our plan that covered bottled water, coffee shop coffees and top shelf drinks that were not made aware of when we booked. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I booked a last minute porthole cabin on the deck 4. This cruise jammed five ports into seven days (Halifax, St. John, Portland, Bar Harbor, and Newport, which was canceled due to weather). The Dawn's refurbishment had varied ... Read More
I booked a last minute porthole cabin on the deck 4. This cruise jammed five ports into seven days (Halifax, St. John, Portland, Bar Harbor, and Newport, which was canceled due to weather). The Dawn's refurbishment had varied results, but you can't change the architecture and in that regard, the Dawn will always be inferior to the NCL Jewel Class. The decor ranges from mystifying (the artwork in the Venetian) to tacky (the 1970's shopping mall-style atrium). I would advise anyone booking the Dawn to AVOID DECK 4! I was kept awake for half the week with a rhythmic metallic banging every ten to 12 seconds! Despite reporting it, no solution was found until it seemed to go away on its own - only to be replaced with more random noises. As a single traveler, my beds were pushed together to make one big bed. The only problem is this left little room to safely get into bed on either side due to the built-in desk on the right and the 'stored' bunk on the left, which juts out eight inches into the room. Who looks at this and says "that's okay?" The solution was to push the against the left wall, which was okay for me, but what if a couple were in that room and wanted a double bed? They would have to disturb their partner to get in and out at night! My bedside tables looked like they were from the original 2002 design and were eroded and chipped at the edges. The shower temperature nob was missing its button and sharp metal edges were exposed. The closet hinge was detached. Again, who looks at all this and says "that's okay?" Deck 4 was once shut down completely for a crew drill. The two tender ports used deck 4 as well, so our corridor was a windy, cold, crowded place for two full days. Don't get me started on the elevators, which were a real trial for even the most patient traveler. The ship tries to be accessible, but trips over itself in the customer service area of accessibility. Activities are often held in the atrium, three steps up from the floor. The Venetian Restaurant has ONE elevator to avoid its idiotic grand staircase, but just try to get the staff's attention when they are all on a staircase behind you when you enter! This was a Canada New England cruise, but the only lobsters you'll find are on the postcards. Not even in the premium eateries! The NCL menus are all the same whether you are in Cairo or California. The Venetian (the main dining room) serves brown and serve previously frozen sausage and deep fried hash brown patties - McDonald's at Sea. Worst thing about NCL - they NEVER STOP UP-SELLING! Nearly everything except a game of trivia costs an added fee. I was getting target marketed sales pitch letters and robo-calls IN MY CABIN! I had to demand to be taken off the list. Still, every announcement for activities at sea is for things that require a fee. The staff is generally very nice and super accommodating, except for one woman at the Shore Excursion desk who barely looked up and never spoke while I was telling her how their "HIGHLIGHTS OF ST. JOHN" was a misnomer. The first stop on the bus was a view of the reversing rapids that was dominated by a HUGE Paper Factory belching white effluence into the air. The second stop was a cross between a craft fair and a supermarket. The third stop was closed! All the while, feedback from the guide's microphone and condensation on the bus windows due to the weather. Neither driver nor guide knew what to do about these conditions, despite their experience. If I wanted to see factories and shopping centers I could have stayed in New Jersey. Even if it had been a clear, sunny warm day - St. John was a massive let-down. For Newport and Portland, NCL's only help for those not using their own tours, was a poster board next to the customer relations desk. No map, no shopping tips, no restaurant guides - nothing. Just one bulletin board for everyone wanting to plan their own day off the ship. The Dawn should be retired. It will never satisfy the experienced cruiser. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Honest review from a 40 year old guy who works in public service and says it like it is. The Dawn is a nice ship and looked perfectly fine in all areas. I did not notice anything that needed immediate attention or to be fixed. Staff was ... Read More
Honest review from a 40 year old guy who works in public service and says it like it is. The Dawn is a nice ship and looked perfectly fine in all areas. I did not notice anything that needed immediate attention or to be fixed. Staff was polite and helpful when we needed something or asked for something. Our cabin steward Michael was great. I kept calling him "Sir" and he would say - "it's just Michael". We had a inside cabin deck 4 (4597) which was in a great place actually as many of the ports have the exit on deck 4, 5 or 7. The room was a typical inside cabin. Only complaint was that the table under the TV really restricts that movement to that side of the bed when the two beds are pushed together. Ports of call were fine. We did the make stops at as many local pubs as possible while in Canada. We hit Garrisons in Halifax which is just outside the cruise terminal. We also did the Maritime museum which was interesting as well. It was raining and just piss poor weather to do anything else there so nothing we really could do about it. The stop at Garrisons was well worth it. While in Saint John we hit up some really good bars. The 2 that I recommend going to are Big Tide, Graham House. Just had good beer and the staff was great. We hit up a couple others but were not really impressed. It was raining here as well and nothing we could do about that. We did stop at the police museum which was small and nice but nothing amazing. The fire museum was closed which was disappointing....but I'm not a hydrant humper or a hose dragger so it wasn't that big of a deal to me. Bar Harbor we walked around town and put on about 5 miles that day according to our fit bit. We ended up eating at Geddys which was nice - had the hot lobster rolls (they have a gluten free bun so it was a win for the wife - but the bun was a little over grilled and black around the edge). Honestly not much else to do here and kinda of a waste of a stop for us personally. We were there preseason as most things were opening up that first week of June. Portland was the next stop and we walked to the Holy Donut to grab some of those power rings as I call them. They were okay - not sure what the hype is about as I've had just as good if not better and cheaper donuts from a gas station. The gluten free donuts were so oily that it really was too bad. Note - you can not take them back onto the ship - unless you hide them in the front pocket of your hoodie or in your jacket you are wearing. We did do the lobster boat trip with Lucky Catch.. this was well worth it and one of the highlights - they have a website so check them out. We did not make the port to Rhode Island because of high winds....it was very windy and we could not tender safely. We were given a credit of $8pp on our accounts for this missed stop/port. We did do the Sushi train on board as one of the highlights of our trip and spending a little money while on board. We spent $30 and left full. Only thing disappointing was that there was almost no sushi on the belt as it passed by. We had 6 plates off the bet and when we left there were only 3 still passing by. It's like they just didn't care that we were there eating and didn't want to keep it full of food for other guests. Entertainment was okay - we did not do any of the shows except for the comedian (Keith forgot his last name) and he was horrible. I'm sorry just making fun of your own family because they are black and 90% of the passengers are white just doesn't do it for me (I'm white by the way). The music bands were fine and we did listen to them. We ate breakfast most mornings in the Venetian and did eat in the Aqua once and a while too. The buffet was okay and nothing special. Gluten free food was good according to the wife and she had no issues. We did not spend any other money on board... in fact with the credit from the missed port we actually only spend $14 for sushi so that was a win for us. We do not have the beverage package and this is why: NCL IF YOU READ THIS TAKE NOTE: The cost for 1 drink of Woodford Reserve Whisky was $23 (I like this type of whiskey). They sell the bottle in the gift shop for $40. So if I purchase 2 drinks at a total cost of $46usd, I have already purchased more than an entire bottle of the stuff that I can drink at home and really enjoy. I'm sorry folks and (Andy - NCL President /CEO) this is just wrong - horribly wrong to charge a consumer this amount for a drink yet sell the bottle in your gift shop for less than 2 drinks. I understand the beer price and all that but this is why the beverage package is what it is and why I will not purchase it ever and I mean ever! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We were offered a "Free" cruise from NCL through our local casino. First and foremost, it is not FREE. Having worked in the maritime business for almost 30 years including with cruise, we knew that we would be responsible for ... Read More
We were offered a "Free" cruise from NCL through our local casino. First and foremost, it is not FREE. Having worked in the maritime business for almost 30 years including with cruise, we knew that we would be responsible for the port charges and taxes which we had no issue paying. However, there was a $20 per person, per day "administrative" charge which is not something you pay on a regularly booked cruise. That being said, we booked to give another try to the Canada/New England itinerary which we took on another line last year ~ we missed two ports of call due to weather so thought it would be a good way to try again, AND we were celebrating our anniversary. It was still a significant savings over booking regularly so we figured we'd go with it. We feel that NCL should NOT use the term FREE since you have to pay a fee as noted above, and if you choose one of the five FREE items, you still have to pay gratuities, therefore it is not FREE. Perhaps using the terms "reduced cost" would be a better option. Embarkation was smooth. We knew from experience that the buffet would be mobbed, so we chose to try the Venetian Dining Room for lunch. We were greeted fairly quickly and seated, but after 20 minutes with no acknowledgment by anyone we left. Our second major issue was the next evening for dinner. We went to the Venetian again and the hostess remarked that shorts were not permitted in the dining room. She was very rude about it when we mentioned that we reviewed the dining information and there was only one dining venue that did not permit shorts; subsequently we spoke with the maitre'd who was also very rude and condescending. We showed her the daily activity sheet showing only one restaurant, but she continue her rude behavior and blamed it on the department that puts out the activity sheet. It was very embarrassing to be treated that way. We never returned to the Venetian. We tried Aqua one night since you can wear shorts, but the service was very lacking. The staff was not friendly in the least. To top it off, my husband's chicken picatta was grossly undercooked. We didn't eat in the dining rooms for the rmainder of the cruise. The flexible dining could be a good thing, but NCL doesn't seem to handle it well. The idea is to go to dinner when it works for you, but when you are told that there is a 45-60 minute wait, what is the point? We have sailed on Carnival who offers both seated times and "my time dining" and it works much better. The Garden Cafe buffet was usually a cluster, and it was the same food day in and day out; very little change at all, maybe one dish per day. They really need to learn how to cook bacon; it was extremely undercooked, almost raw some days. If you dug to the bottom of the heap you could find some that was somewhat cooked. I will say that the Crispy Crab and Cream Cheese Wontons on our one day in the main restaurant were very good, otherwise, the best food on the ship was at O'Sheehan's Pub. The Norwegian app could be helpful, but they did not list the dining room menus (which ended up not being an issue for us afterall) but other cruise lines do list the choices each day on the app and that is certainly helpful. Another issue is in the Garden Cafe when the staff practically hovers over you waiting to take your used plates. One evening late, three staff members were milling around just waiting to pounce on our used plates ~ it's not comfortable having people hang over you. The entertainment on the ship was very good. "Soul Rocking Nights" was a fabulous show. The theater performers were great, although the seating in the theater was very tight. I'm only 5'5" and my knees were into the seat in front of me. The only thing that was strange was during the "elements" show where there were three people in long black hooded robes hanging around in the state props ~ made no sense with the rest of the show. Just thought this was strange. The musicians throughout the ship were also very entertaining. The ship is tough to navigate as not all decks go through so it takes some time to figure things out. We love to play trivia, but the lounge where they hold the trivia is directly next to the cigar bar where everyone hung out to smoke. While it is enclosed, unfortunately, the smoke permeated the entire area. I'm asthmatic so I couldn't sit there. Only went into the casino two times at the beginning of the cruise before that became too smoky as well. On our last port day which we were looking forward to in Newport, Rhode Island, we went to get our tender tickets and the staff member said we would be delayed due to weather and the captain would let us know. One and one-half hours after we should have arrived the captain finally announced that we would miss the port due to winds which would be too rough for tendering. I get that and totally understand that safety is first, but why so late with the announcement? Most of the staff we saw throughout the ship was friendly with the exception of the dining staff as noted above. We have sailed Carnival, Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Disney and have never had such a disappointing sailing as we did with NCL. With so many other choices we will probably not sail NCL again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We have been on the Dawn twice before this trip but this is the first time since it was refurbished. We had gotten a good price and it included prepaid tips plus three other choices of extras. We chose the Drinks Package, Internet Package ... Read More
We have been on the Dawn twice before this trip but this is the first time since it was refurbished. We had gotten a good price and it included prepaid tips plus three other choices of extras. We chose the Drinks Package, Internet Package and $50 per Port Excursion Credit. Since we are Platinum, we received vouchers for two alternative restaurants as well as the other Platinum perks. We chose an Outside Obstructed View Cabin on Deck 8. There was plenty of light and it was a very quiet location. The cabin seemed smaller than those we have had in the past but it was fine for the two of us. The whole ship was very clean and I have no complaints with the service or food either. We ate in the main dining rooms 5 nights and once at LeBistro and once at LaCucina. We never had to wait to be seated at any venue and were always able to get bar service quickly whether it was for a drink or a soda. Entertainment was very good. Do not miss the aerialists (Duo Vole I think was their name) or the magician (I forget his name but I recall he was from Taiwan). The Elements show is terrific - a must see! We have been to all of these ports before so we took some different tours than previous ones. The $50 per port credit helped out too. Although the weather was cool, it was a very good week. All the staff I encountered were friendly and helpful. There were a few low points though - sometimes communication was not as good as it could have been, for instance, no announcement was made that the ship was cleared for people to leave (we had an early tour meeting time on the pier 7:20 am) and another passenger happened to see people leaving and informed people who were waiting. I also had a minor mishap. I was walking on Deck 6 and someone opened the Handicapped Bathroom Door by pushing the plate and it swung open and hit my arm. The person (who did not appear to be handicapped) went back into the bathroom when he saw what happened. I might add that I was not seriously hurt just a little bit swollen and bruised. I did not need medical attention. I also saw someone else get hit on Deck 7 in the same way and he was ok too. The point of all this is just to urge caution when passing these doors. Embarkation and disembarkation were both painless. Overall a great week. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Loved the itinerary for this cruse and a chance to escape the Florida heat. Saw a lot of mixed reviews for this ship so we were a little concerned. First trip with Norwegian and overall we were very happy with our experience and will try ... Read More
Loved the itinerary for this cruse and a chance to escape the Florida heat. Saw a lot of mixed reviews for this ship so we were a little concerned. First trip with Norwegian and overall we were very happy with our experience and will try them again for sure. The ship was great. It has been renovated and they did a nice job. It is an older ship but overall very well maintained. If you look real hard, you will see her age but our room and the public rooms we visited were well done and not worn looking. We received a free upgrade to a mini suite with balcony on deck 11. Made sure we weren't under the buffet due to a lot of noise complaints we saw in previous reviews. Ended up in 11098 and loved the room and balcony. Comfy bed, nice furnishings and overall very nice. We had a beverage and specialty dining package included in our rate and really enjoyed both. Not sure I would do the beverage package again as price versus how much we drink made me think we would have done better to buy our drinks but the specialty dining was great. Really enjoyed Cagney's and La Cucina. Moderno was good, not great. Wish we had done Los Lobos instead but enjoyed it regardless. Overall, food was very good. Ate in the MDR twice for dinner and both meals were excellent. Breakfast is a bit of a disappointment and the buffet is hit or miss. O'Sheehans was decent food (not great) but the service was very uneven. At times we were ignored. In general the service was very good and met a lot of very nice staff but most of the staff at O'Sheehan's were not interested and some were rude. Bartenders could be difficult to get to help you here and the ship sailed well below capacity. We really enjoyed the size of the ship with about 2200 people on board. We never waited in a line longer than 5 minutes except one late arrival into Newport which resulted in a huge mess getting tenders on and off the ship. Entertainment was great. In particular Azalea who for some reason played the Atrium every evening. They are fantastic and far more talented than any other cruise ship group I have ever heard, even in many of the shows. Why these two aren't doing shows in the Theater is a mystery! Benjamin and Mia are fantastic musicians but also very nice people. They made the rounds after every set and spoke with many guests. They had quite the following by the end of the cruise. Loved Halifax, Bar Harbor, Portland and Newport. St. John was just ok. No excursion was just fantastic. You can do these ports on your own or book tours with a little research and save a lot of money. Overall, we thought NCL was a step up from Carnival and RCL. Our next big cruise will be Alaska next year and we are looking at NCL, Celebrity, and Princess for that one. I would not hesitate to endorse this cruise and itinerary but the enjoyment factor is definitely increased when the ship is not sailing at full capacity. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I was travelling with a group of 13 ages 55-65, the ship is very nicely refurbished not the neon colors like some others. Dining options are good, there is the Venetian which is the main dining room, the Aqua, another nice dining room ... Read More
I was travelling with a group of 13 ages 55-65, the ship is very nicely refurbished not the neon colors like some others. Dining options are good, there is the Venetian which is the main dining room, the Aqua, another nice dining room but more intimate, O'Shannesey's Pub a fun bar and restaurant and the buffet. We ate at the venetian for breakfast most days, as we got to warmer climates outside the temperature rose in that room, it was hot, not sure if there was an AC issue. The Aqua is only open for dinner but was comfortable, menu is the same as the Venetian which offers many good options and was cooler. O'Shannesey's Pub had more pub food choices although each night they have a special, one night was prime rib. The buffet was actually very good, we ate there 2 nights and everything was fresh and well seasoned. Breakfast and lunch was a mad house each day, people sit at their table after they are done eating, play cards or scrabble leaving folks with no place to sit, it is rude! The Casino was fun, adequate amount of slot machines, craps, black jack and roulette tables but is of course smoky as they allow smoking but this was another area that was very warm. I'm guessing the temp was low 80's so there was no air flow, there was a huge lack of ventilation in the casino. Entertainment: We enjoyed the shows in the Stardust theater especially "Elements" a cirque de solei type show, it was fantastic. As far as general music around the ship they really missed an opportunity here. They offered 80's tribute music and our group was excited to attend but it turned out to be one woman on a piano playing mellow 80's, same for the Beatles tribute, the band VIP performed Beatles songs but chose all mellow, slow dance songs, again boring. We did really enjoy the DIsco night. We took 5 shore excursions, all were good with the exception of Peggy's Cove, we drove around town for an hour or so looking at historical homes which only left us 50 minutes at Peggy's Cove, it was lunch time so we quickly ordered lunch at the So eastern which was very good but we had to take half to go and never got to really spend time in and around Peggy's Cove. Too bad because it was beautiful there! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We enjoy NCL's product and especially like the "Getaway" nature of the itinerary. We had not been on the Dawn and we were looking forward to the ship. We love this size ship and are especially fond of the Jade and Gem. ... Read More
We enjoy NCL's product and especially like the "Getaway" nature of the itinerary. We had not been on the Dawn and we were looking forward to the ship. We love this size ship and are especially fond of the Jade and Gem. The Dawn is older and of a different type than the Jewel Class. We found the ship in excellent condition, well maintained and spotless. We love the Bistro and Cagney's and were excited to try the new Mexican restaurant, Los Lobos. Bistro and Los Lobos were exceptional while Cagney's was mediocre. We were in Cabin 10528 and it was well maintained and clean - love having the coffee maker and the balcony was a nice size. The entertainment was very good to excellent and the aerialists Macx and his girlfriend were amazing and deserved the standing ovations they received.The young married couple who sang nightly in the atrium above the Java Bar were very good and the Spa was gorgeous and well tended. Now for the things that were not so good.... 1. The cruise director and cruise staff were unfriendly, non-engaging, and very clickish with each other. I have been on many cruises and have not encountered such an amateurish unprofessional cruise activities team. The final day's bingo for the final call they had a young lady perform the call that was very inexperienced she struggled to communicate beyond pat responses to questions - English was a struggle. But the most disappointing aspect was the cigarette smoke that permeated the casino and Gatsby's - if you dislike cigarette smoke - never mind allergies or respiratory problems - you will need to avoid these areas as the smoking and escaping smoke is out of hand. The ship does not have a useable/reasonable outdoor dining area - Great American outdoor restaurant as is found on Jade, Gem, Sun, Sky..... we really missed having this wonderful outdoor space. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We wanted to see the fall colors in New England and Princess had the right time frame for us. The ship was very nice and the food was good, some meals better than others. The entertainment was good. The cabin was real nice and bigger ... Read More
We wanted to see the fall colors in New England and Princess had the right time frame for us. The ship was very nice and the food was good, some meals better than others. The entertainment was good. The cabin was real nice and bigger than I expected. We took Six shore excursions and I didn't think they were really worth the money we paid for them. Services were great, room service was fast and the cabin was always cleaned and when ever we got back to the cabin we always had a full ice bucket. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smooth. Overall we had a good time on the cruise and enjoyed all the entertainment we went to see. We ate one night in the Crown Grill and one time at Sabatinis. I enjoyed the Crown Grill better than Sabatinis because I like Steak more than liked the food at Sabatinis. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The crew needs a vacation. Really surprised at how many crew would not make eye contact or smile. Had to track down waitstaff to get a Coke every time. Ship is nice but unhappy or tired crew is palpable and left us feeling less satisfied ... Read More
The crew needs a vacation. Really surprised at how many crew would not make eye contact or smile. Had to track down waitstaff to get a Coke every time. Ship is nice but unhappy or tired crew is palpable and left us feeling less satisfied than previous cruises. Food was so-so. Internet connection better than previous Princess Cruises, and was actually usable and functional. Room was clean and attended to promptly. Captain was good at communicating about sea conditions, since we were coming out off NYC, where there was a storm. Please be aware that transfers from airport to ship are poorly organized. Princess will tell you one thing but the people who actually pick you up don’t talk with the Princess phone staff and vice versa. We were almost left behind despite waiting exactly where we were told to wait. It was a comedy of errors and very upsetting. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
The Regal Princess in a beautiful relatively new ship. I chose this 5 day cruise because my friend had never cruised before and I wanted to show her how wonderful cruising is as I've been on over 20 cruises on many different lines.. ... Read More
The Regal Princess in a beautiful relatively new ship. I chose this 5 day cruise because my friend had never cruised before and I wanted to show her how wonderful cruising is as I've been on over 20 cruises on many different lines.. Also leaving out of Brooklyn seemed easy since we could drive from New Jersey and park at the port. Getting back out of that port to the Verazzano Bridge on a weekday, not so easy. My friend is a chef and was critical of the dinner food in the dining room and she was right, it's not the best but for serving hundreds of people all at once it was okay,,Breakfast and lunch in the dining room were just fine. Alfredo's cafe has great pizza and nice light menu for no extra charge. We had fish and chips pub lunch one day at the Wheelhouse Bar with bread pudding dessert, all delicious. We opted for the specialty dining at Sabatini's and the Crown Grill and were not disappointed. You could never get a wonderful five course dinner for $ 25 and $ 29 at any restaurant I know.The food and service was top notch excellent! The shows were all very good but we did not care for the comedian even though he tried hard to be funny. He started out by telling the audience that he had Cerebral Palsy which was a bit of a downer and made it hard to see the comedy in his show. Halloween was great fun with crew dressing up in costumes. My friend had booked a massage at the Lotus Spa which she said was excellent. We had booked a Foodie Walking Tour in St. John and that was fun and informative and although a cloudy day, at least it didn't rain. Read Less

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