This is about the 5th time we have done a Dawn repositioning from New Orleans to Boston, or the fall reverse. As always, we find the repositioning to be a great value, as well as the added advantage of walking off the ship and being home ... Read More
This is about the 5th time we have done a Dawn repositioning from New Orleans to Boston, or the fall reverse. As always, we find the repositioning to be a great value, as well as the added advantage of walking off the ship and being home in 40 minutes without the hassle of boarding a plane.
Our goal on vacation is sleep late, drink lots, and eat good food. This cruise fulfilled all the above. We have a tendency to eat the whole time in the premium dining rooms and find them well worth the expense when purchased with the dinning package. The food and the service is well worth the $11 per meal extra charge.
Our cabin was an inside on deck 8, 8089. We have always loved deck 8. One floor above the promenade and with O'sheehan's 24 hour restaurant on the same deck, and a view of the nightly shows in the atrium and sea day afternoons. Our cabin was one of those turned sideways to the hall. I have for a while wanted to experience one of these, and to be honest it was OK, but I think a bit tighter on the real estate. Next time I will opt for the standard Port to Starboard configuration. A couple nights you could hear the BOOM-BOOM of a base, but it was tough to tell if it was coming from the musicians on deck 6 or a party on deck around the pool. Very little hall traffic was notices.
We have been to all the ports we visited a bunch of times and as this is a ship review with not comment on them in this ship review. The ship was in excellent condition, with only two exceptions, first the carpet in front of the Java café on deck 7 was soaked, and gave off a noticeable stink of...well, wet carpet. The seam closest to the bar was open, stretched and a trip hazard. Probably from guest repeatable spilling drinks, and the crew wet vacuuming daily. The other issue is during the refit last year, some really poor interior decorator or art consultant defaced the are in the Venetian Dining room. I spook to the Restaurant manager regarding it, and she agreed and stated she gets at least one complaint about it every day. She did not expect NCL to change and correct it as apparently, it was performing as expected and sparking continues controversy....
The food overall was excellent. If you have sailed with NCL in the past I have always found the main dining room food at breakfast came out cold and mediocre. On this trip, it was delicious, hot and cooked the way it was ordered. The main dining room lunch is still locked basically on one menu, but it was all dine very well and delicious. I will give them credit for offering a special one lunch of "Weiner-snitzel" that made me want to order a second.
Cagney's has slid down a little as the steaks appeared to be slightly smaller, and from what I understand the giant portion steaks as the 38 oz. Tomahawk and the equally overwhelming T bone will be dropping from the menu. Which also reminded me that Lobster is no longer available, even as an add in the main dining room. One of my favorites the Beef Wellington was also regrettably recently dropped.
La Bistro remains the same with basically the same menu it as had for years. Great food and excellent service. One note to make, the window seats look nice and wrap around your head. They look nice, but are extremely low, uncomfortable, and with the wings, almost impossible to communicate or rubberneck to the side. I liked it to being placed in a coffin at a viewing. Ask for another table if seated at one. There is nothing to see at night on an open sea. Crystal the Matre d, is quick witted, and fun to tease and spar with.
Los Lobos - One of those good surprises. The guacamole is made tableside, and delicious. The skirt steak was very good, and my wife enjoyed the fish tacos. Much improved and was a busy place the two nights we visited. If you elected not to take the dinner package, this would be a good place to try a-la cart. as the prices were inexpensive. (Bar drinks were very limited as they push Tequila so if you drink scotch, get one before you go.) This restaurant was manned 100% by Philipino's. The Maitre D, Emelinda, spends the whole night turning ripe avocados into delicious mush.
La Cucina - This was another surprise. A couple years ago the meal was poor to OK. Last fall it was good, this time it was great, the menu has changed and honestly, I had the best steak of the cruise here. The restaurant is lit well, and very comfortable. Certainly on our list to return to. Mario, has been the matre d, is a bit, I would say, nervous. He has held the position for the last year. A new hostess or host (I called him Mario 2, but I believe his name is Manual, runs the front of the house very well as Mario 1 lurks from around the corners and come out of the shadows when he thinks it safe.
O'Sheehan's - When we didn't have anything else to do, this was our destination. It overlooks the Atrium or main lobby. Food is non-stop 24 hours, super hot as it is always cooked to order, and delicious comfort food. The bar is one of the largest on the ship and drinks are quick to come by. While at sea and at night there always seems to be some type of entertainment such as live music, demonstrations or Q and A's with department heads. I was lucky to be recognized by Komang the nightly maître d. A small stocky dark skinned guy from Bali. His grin is truly from ear to ear. We seemed to adopt each other from the first day, and he went way out his way to assure every aspect of our cruise was to our liking. I can not say enough for the things he did for us.
The last name I want to drop is the Restaurant Manager, Ionela. A very tall Romania beautiful woman with a warm personality. She always made time to talk to us ever night, despite how busy things seemed to be. If you have ANY issues with any restaurant issue I'm sure she can straighten it out. Read Less