This was our fifth cruise on NCL, our third on the Dawn. What impressed us the most was the friendly and attentive service -- from our cabin steward, to the servers in the dining room, those on the guest services desk staff. They were all ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise on NCL, our third on the Dawn. What impressed us the most was the friendly and attentive service -- from our cabin steward, to the servers in the dining room, those on the guest services desk staff. They were all friendly, efficient and eager to please.
We chose this particular cruise because of its length (12 nights) and the fact that its final destination was Boston, not far from where we live.
We had wonderful weather the whole way and enjoyed visiting Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas.
But with seven sea days we really had lots of opportunity to see how the crew on the Dawn goes to great lengths to make sure passengers enjoy themselves. There are plenty of activities for those who like lots to do, and plenty of opportunities to just chill for those who prefer to relax.
Having cruised with other lines (Celebrity, Azamara, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean) the one are where the Dawn disappoints is in the food. We dined almost exclusively in Venetian, one of the main dining rooms. The Venetian is attractive and bright. The lunch menu was adequate but didn't change much from day to day on our cruise. The dinner menu offers a mix of items that are offered every night and variety of "specials." Portions were more than adequate, and hot items were brought to the table when they were still hot. The servers were very familiar with the items on the menu. In summary we would say the food that while the food more than satisfactory, it was certainly not memorable. Twice we went to the Jazz Brunch which was served in La Cucina, one of the alternative dining venues. There the standard was much better. More attention was paid to presentation, and the entrees were much more enticing. We had the mini filet mignon and grilled ship one time and the chateaubriand the other, and they were both excellent.
Foodies considering a cruise on NCL might want to consider purchasing a dining package which would enable them to eat at the specialty restaurants for less than the standard extra fee.
Overall the Dawn was well maintained. The one area where the high standard of cleanliness doesn't seem to be maintained is around the Pool Deck and Sun Deck. Litter can lie around uncollected for an hour or more, and this detracts from the ship's appearance. Another disappointment in appearance is the condition of the tables in Blue Lagoon. The surfaces are cracked and warped. They should be replaced, or at least covered with tablecloths.
That all being said, NCL offers exceptional value for the money and they go to great lengths to make sure that the service their crew members give will keep guests coming back. Read Less