208 Norwegian Dawn Caribbean - Southern Cruise Reviews

This was my first time on the Dawn, second on Norwegian. We had cruised on the Escape in February so I wasn’t sure I would be very impressed with the older ship. The interior was beautiful and tastefully done. Our suite was fantastic. ... Read More
This was my first time on the Dawn, second on Norwegian. We had cruised on the Escape in February so I wasn’t sure I would be very impressed with the older ship. The interior was beautiful and tastefully done. Our suite was fantastic. The only minor disappointment with the suite was that the middle windows were permanently discolored, so the view was partially obstructed and these windows had an air leak in the seal that whistled when we were cruising or if it was windy. The crew was amazingly friendly and attentive. The biggest disappointment was the food. On the Escape, we were all very happy eating at the buffet in the Cafe. On the Dawn, the food was terrible and unappetizing. Burgers looked as if they were hockey pucks, roasts sat under heat lamps and dried them out so they looked like shoe leather, and choices were quite limited. Cagney’s did not have ribeye steak during the entire cruise. La Cucina gave us reservations for 7:15 and when we arrived we were told there were no tables inside for us “because they had a large party of 9” so they could only seat us in the outside area that was smoky from the nearby cigar lounge and impossible to hold a conversation because of music being played at Gadsby’s bar. It is not the best environment for an up charge restaurant. The wait staff at the restaurants are well-trained and every server we had was pleasant and attentive. The servers in Moderno and Cagney’s were our favorites. Beverage servers in O’Sheehans and Gadsby’s knew our names and remembered our favorite drinks. The crew seems genuinely happy for the most part and that helped make our trip a good one. I would travel in the Dawn again, but would love to see them up their game in the food department, especially the Garden Cafe. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Our family cruised because we wanted to celebrate our parents !!! 50 years of marriage There was 22 of us and we made wonderful memories . We didn’t care for our day at sea so much, had a few people with motion sickness but that ... Read More
Our family cruised because we wanted to celebrate our parents !!! 50 years of marriage There was 22 of us and we made wonderful memories . We didn’t care for our day at sea so much, had a few people with motion sickness but that quickly passed . The staff was amazing “washy washy” of course won our hearts !!! The specialty restaurants was fantastic, the breakfast buffet got really old really fast !!! The bartender las where rockstars and not to mention the housekeeper!!!! Keep up the good work !!!! Our excursions went smoothly. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze we loved the ice cold wash cloths we where welcomed with for our faces on the hot days . We spent a lot of nights playing fun family games on deck . We didn’t really care for the small pool area it was always crowded . Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I chose this cruise because of dates and itinerary, also offered better rates as compared to other similar alternatives. Always is a plus in my case that NCL offers a solo program, which I was looking forward to experiencing. The solo ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of dates and itinerary, also offered better rates as compared to other similar alternatives. Always is a plus in my case that NCL offers a solo program, which I was looking forward to experiencing. The solo program is fine, no pressures at all, met very nice people and shared dinners and nice conversations. Average entertainment (very good The Elements and PG Magician). Very good complimentary restaurants (specially Venetian and O'Shelly's). Lots of dining options for extra payment. Drinks packages and Internet extremely expensive. Great staff. Cabin looked old but was perfect for 1/2 guests (although it accomodates 4, please do not!) I enjoyed Old San Juan in my 2 days prior to embarkation. One day would have been enough. Cannot comment on shore excursions, I just got off the ship in every islands and looked for the nearest beach, which I found very accesible in all cases, just a shared taxi and a fee for the chair/umbrella. Do not need to book shore excursions to go to the beach. Ship is old but very well maintained, medium size, rare distribution, but I would no doubt sail on it again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Norweigen Dawn My cabin was a Mini-Suite I have taken more than ten cruises and it was the worst ever. The food at all of the restaurants that I tried (8) was well below par. To put things in perspective, The food that I was ... Read More
Norweigen Dawn My cabin was a Mini-Suite I have taken more than ten cruises and it was the worst ever. The food at all of the restaurants that I tried (8) was well below par. To put things in perspective, The food that I was served on the airplane going home was better than all of the meals that I had on the ship. Yes the ship food, including their specialty dinning restaurants was below "airline" food! Specifically, the main dinning room, The Venetian, consistently served cold, assembly line cafeteria food. The French onion soup was served luke warm without anything in it. The prime rib was over cooked and tasteless. Shrimp scampi on pasta was cold, dry and boring. The thanksgiving dinner was "crap"! The turkey was very overcooked and dry. The rest of the meal was not worth talking about other than to say that I did not eat it and neither did many other people. I went and got a hamburger after trying that dinner. The Specialty restaurants, Le Bistro and Cagney's were unacceptable! Surf and turf at Cagney's is a small filet and three tiny shrimp grilled on a skewer. They lacked taste, spice or any other redeeming values. The filet was ordered "medium" and was served very rare or "Bleu". After asking me to cut the steak multiple times to verify it was under cooked, the waiter offered to get the pieced cooked some more. I declined this option and requested a new steak. This was a fight! The waiter agreed but the chef refused. Turned out to be an expensive, over rated, poor meal. When this is combined with poor service from waiters that cannot speak English or Spanish, the dinning on this trip was BAD! A classic example was my breakfast on my last day, I ordered an "English" muffin. The waiter brought a bagel to the table and called it an "English muffin". I asked if he knew the difference between an English muffin and a bagel, it was clear that he did not know the difference. This explained why meal orders were screwed up and wrong ALL week. The service was not any better. The cabin stewards loved to slam doors all day and night. The tub in my cabin did not work and was never fixed. The music in the main Atrium was poor, had a significant Latin influence and was the same night after night. The comedy and magic shows were very good. The music and singing is some of the small lounges was good and they were packed. I will not cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I needed a cruise to get away and relax and I have always wanted to do the Caribbean. Looked into cruises and this one gave me the most islands for the dollar.yes it is an older ship with some flaws but the staff and crew seemed to go out ... Read More
I needed a cruise to get away and relax and I have always wanted to do the Caribbean. Looked into cruises and this one gave me the most islands for the dollar.yes it is an older ship with some flaws but the staff and crew seemed to go out of their way to make sure I had an enjoyable time. Only negative I had was in the spa. After a massage I got the hard sell to buy their products. Even after saying no a couple of time they kept trying to sell me product. After meeting a crew member once they knew my name and always smiled and said hello. Public rooms were always nice and clean, pool deck had plenty of room and always music or something fun going on. Nightly game shows were fun to go to. Excursions were good and a lot of variety in the choices. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This is maybe my 15th or 16th cruise; but it was the first for 5 of my family/friends to celebrate my 55th birthday; all adults. I was completely disappointed, so this is my first cruise review. Know before you go!! Especially, if you ... Read More
This is maybe my 15th or 16th cruise; but it was the first for 5 of my family/friends to celebrate my 55th birthday; all adults. I was completely disappointed, so this is my first cruise review. Know before you go!! Especially, if you plan on being on sailing on the NCL Dawn. 1) The ship setup is choppy at best. Everything is separated by great distances and inconvenient to get to. There will ALWAYS be extensive walking or need for taking the stairs. Not good for folks with any type of physical disability or ailment. 2) Dinner reservations are needed for ALL complimentary and pay-as-you-go dining rooms, except the Garden Café which is pool side. Good luck with making reservations for a reasonable hour if you have to make reservations while on the ship. Our options were 5:30 (1730) or 8:45 (2045), that's just for a few, there were later times available for others. The Aqua and O'Sheenan's was ok, but great if you want you food hot. The food in the Garden Café, general dining area, is less than flavorful, bland and is always lukewarm. The Garden Café is the go-to, if you don't have reservations. Unfortunately, the only foods that didn't taste like school lunch were their Asian cuisines. Nachos are offered for late night snack, but your cheese is slide American. Burgers were frozen patties and never above warm; ie. don't add your own cheese, if won't melt! If you're a late riser, FORGET about eating bacon or an omelet; when they run out that's it and there won't be any coming no matter what they say!! The dinner reservation desk has bankers hours. 3) I'm working on my third Master' Degree, so I purchased Premium Unlimited WiFi for $34.99/day. It's neither Premium nor is it Unlimited. My WiFi went in/out the entire cruise. I purchased the WiFi so that I could do homework, which was virtually impossible on this ship. The Manager was the least helpful. Yes, she reiterated that I needed to completely login and use logout.com, but that was the extent of her assistance. On what should have been the last 24 hours of my services, my WiFi went out for 6 hours. It came back on a few hours before it was supposed to be disconnected. No refunds!! 4) They advertise 2 pools. HaHaHa!! There are 2 pools; 1 has a max capacity of about 25 if you don't want to knock someone over getting in/out with 4 (yes FOUR) hottubs that surround it. The other is a small water area for kids. Guess where all the kids hand out? Yep, in the pool and hottubs with the adults near the bar. Oh, there's another hottub at the front of the ship. Yeah!! 5 hottubs on a Southern Caribbean cruise. By the way, did I say that the kids water play area is right next to the gym that has floor to ceiling glass looking out onto the area. Both a positive and negative. But there's a full-court basketball court. :( 5) Our Steward was wonderful and ensured that our privacy was respected when the do not disturb sign was out; the suite we had wasn't worth the cost. The tub is too high for people short in stature, I'm 63", and presents a safety hazard. As a suite, the only extra space you get is where the couch is located that sleeps to more people and is separated by a drape. 6) Watch out for the unlimited drink package, an Irish Coffee will be free; but if you want a Chai Latte you'll have to pay out of pocket. Also, if you're at a US port you'll have to pay taxes drink package or not. Another tidbit that we weren't told about until getting on the ship. 7) We prepaid transfer fees to/from the airport to the port. When we arrived at the airport we had to help the transportation folks find our names on what looked like emails with names. They had us listed to arrive at the time we originally left BWI in Maryland. We sat in the airport for almost 2 hours, because they couldn't get transport large enough for our party of 8. Yet, we watched people get off of flights from Canada and Europe with larger parties that were taken to transport immediately. Luckily enough, the return trip to the airport was much better because they had a list of names with room numbers. 8) If you're an avid cruiser, you're accustomed to hearing the Cruise or Entertainment Director(s) on the intercom telling you or reminding you about all the great activities planned that day and where they're located. Nope, not so much! If you don't read the nightly 'Free Style' or watch the cruise channel you find things out word of mouth from other travelers. 9) Embarkation was good, Disembarkation even better! 10) We didn't explore our departure before or after due to the times of our flights to/from San Juan, PR. However, the shore excursions were WONDERFUL!! Chose wisely, a few just take you shopping, others to beaches you can get to yourself for $7-10 roundtrip. Well that's my story....Know Before You Go!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I chose this cruise because I live close to the home port the itinerary included some islands I have not yet visited, and because I could book a balcony at a reasonable rate for a solo traveler. Embarkation and disembarkation was very ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I live close to the home port the itinerary included some islands I have not yet visited, and because I could book a balcony at a reasonable rate for a solo traveler. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth. The activities, entertainment, cabin and shore excursions were all fine. I particularly enjoyed the attention paid to solo travelers. Also, I treated myself by paying for open access to the spa's facilities. I always had that pool and hot tub to myself and I avoided the crowds at the outdoor communal pool. I admit that it is not my favorite ship but it is not my least-favorite ship. This is the first time I have been on a ship that had a telephone app that could be used for finding out activities, etc. This is a nice feature, but frankly I was not ready to carry my phone around with me. I enjoyed that St Thomas was the last port of call before heading back to San Juan, because St Thomas is included in my cell phone's basic plan and I could call home to confirm disembarkation arrangements. There are two things that would make the overall experience better. First, when you get off the ship and waiting in the hot sun for your ride, there is no place to sit down. Second, when you try to access the NCL website in Puerto Rico, it defaults to Spanish and there is no option to change the language. You can get around this by using a VPN and/or using Chrome as the web browser because it will translate to English. But most people would not really care about this, so for most people it is a non-issue. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Value, cruised 8 times prior, this was the worse! Billed for more than should have with no reason, took 3 days to correct it. Premier eatery was out of Ribeye steaks and had been for 3 weeks. Failed to have proper glasses for wine ... Read More
Value, cruised 8 times prior, this was the worse! Billed for more than should have with no reason, took 3 days to correct it. Premier eatery was out of Ribeye steaks and had been for 3 weeks. Failed to have proper glasses for wine served all in small white wine glasses, even offering “wine classes, then not following through. La Bisto was right next to the music venue, making the restraint very noisy, almost unbearable. The wine cellar was a plus, wine steward knew her wines, very knowledgeable. Carney’s was still the best, wait staff and others, reservations were on time, excellent food. LaContina was the surprise very, very good, food, might say almost the best speciality. Very arrogant photo staff, all they wanted to sell was pictures, talk down to folks asking advice. Submit comment cards during the cruise only got one response from Raj the beverage manager, satisfied my question. Latitudes get together was very quick all they talked about was “CruiseNext” nothing about NCL and what was on the horizon, what is coming. Found information very lacking concerning future cruises. Will make me think twice when choosing my next cruise did not sign up for my next CruiseNext. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We wanted an early winter mini-break so booked a 9-day out of Boston on the Dawn. We have been on the Dawn before and found the re-furbishing a major disappointment, and the reason for four stars vs five. Space is even more cut up than ... Read More
We wanted an early winter mini-break so booked a 9-day out of Boston on the Dawn. We have been on the Dawn before and found the re-furbishing a major disappointment, and the reason for four stars vs five. Space is even more cut up than before with flow through just about nil. We enjoy the main dining menus and food and see no need for the many, many specialty restaurants taking up all the common space. Our cabin (mini suite with balcony) seemed smaller than usual (11102) due to the different layout. We usually cruise mid-ship but on the Dawn the mid ship mini suites are under the pool so did not want to hear the chairs scraping. One of our drawers did not stay shut but cabin steward had carpenters fix immediately. Plenty of storage (prefer the cabins with more drawers vs shelves, but still plenty) Entertainment was again, excellent, with a good variety in the various venues. Food was good - not exceptional, but good, lots of variety and plentiful. We did try LeBistro (disappointing), LosLobos (nothing special) and Cagney's (Excellent) with our "free" perk for distinctive voyage/Latitudes Platinum. While we would go back to Cagney's (with our Latitude rewards, NOT to pay extra), we find plenty of variety and excellent choices in the dining room. We never eat in the cafe (I have a food allergy and don't trust the other diners not to cross-contaminate). Service was wonderful throughout the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and price. First time ever chose the transfer and hotel package - will not do that again. Hotel was fine but transfer was awful. It took several calls and we almost ended up calling a cab because ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and price. First time ever chose the transfer and hotel package - will not do that again. Hotel was fine but transfer was awful. It took several calls and we almost ended up calling a cab because they were so late. Only good part of that was that we had no lines at embarkation! We have sailed on this ship before its renovation and liked the old version better. Remodel has it very chopped up so they can accommodate all of the specialty restaurants. It was rough the first day and half due to weather but staff handled having everyone inside all day very well and had many activities. I was disappointed to find so many of them were infomercials however. I do not buy art, wine or beauty items onboard. Prices for Bingo and Lets make a deal seemed high, but had a wonderful time anyway. I am a trivia fan and wished that the times were better for those (had general tirvia at 9AM and 5PM) . The guitar player in the Gatsby lounge was terrific, other venues were okay. Food was good but repetitive. Excellent chips in Cagneys and burgers in O Sheehans was excellent.. One of our party has a severe shellfish allergy and I am diabetic, Mr. Q took excellent care of us. We stayed overnight in Puerto Rico and had arranged a private tour with a couple of other cruise critic members. It was excellent. My favorite excursion was in St. Maarten. We chose to make our own perfume. What a terrific experience I would say this was not to be missed. So much fun and so informative and I love my 'personal' perfume! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We loved our time on the Dawn. I truly cannot say enough - it was my first and my husband's third cruise. Everything went beautifully and we had many romantic, fun memories. I cannot wait to cruise again! The staff were ... Read More
We loved our time on the Dawn. I truly cannot say enough - it was my first and my husband's third cruise. Everything went beautifully and we had many romantic, fun memories. I cannot wait to cruise again! The staff were exceptional. We felt pampered, appreciated and were utterly relaxed upon our return home. We did a wine tasting, lots of shore excursions, trivia, the comedy show, a game show and had a blast. My husband got onstage and we laughed till our sides hurt. It was a vacation that I wasn't ready to head home from. Having a balcony mid-ship made the cruise so enjoyable. Sipping coffee with the beautiful views is heaven for us. The staff made it the incredible experience, everyone seems happy to help you have a great cruise. Warm, kind and friendly; they offer service I have never experienced in my life to date. Thank you NCL Dawn! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had a lot of fun on this cruise. We went to many beautiful beaches with some great people that we meet on the ship. The ship is really clean. The staff work quickly to clear the tables to accommodate other guests in the dining ... Read More
We had a lot of fun on this cruise. We went to many beautiful beaches with some great people that we meet on the ship. The ship is really clean. The staff work quickly to clear the tables to accommodate other guests in the dining rooms. The menu choices are great! There seemed to be something for everyone. We really liked having the Distinctive Voyage Package. We ended up with 5 specialty restaurants, because we are Platinum too. Also, I loved having the phone benefit. I have an elderly Mother at home, and it was great for her to hear my voice. I wish that they would add something like that for a Platinum benefit. Just 30 minutes would be perfect! We had an early flight home on this trip. It was the first time that we used the early Latitudes disembarkation. It was amazing. We got off the ship so fast that we even had time to kill at the airport! We can't wait to go on our next cruise. The entire staff on the ship were so friendly. We also enjoy NOT having to dress up. Vacations are to relax! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
In some aspects the Dawn excelled, In some she didn't do very well. For the most part I'd say our recent trip on the Dawn was middle of the road mediocre. First of all the cruise was far from full and had just the right ... Read More
In some aspects the Dawn excelled, In some she didn't do very well. For the most part I'd say our recent trip on the Dawn was middle of the road mediocre. First of all the cruise was far from full and had just the right amount of people for my liking. There were plenty enough people to have fun without overbearing crowds. There were no lines or waits for anything for the entire 9 days and the one time I had to change a reservation at a specialty restaurant, they were able to accommodate us without a problem. Although she was remodeled in 2016, Dawn is showing signs of her age and hard life. There were considerable maintenance issues from minor cosmetic issues such as paint and rust to more significant issues, such as broken tiles, cracked glass in an elevator windows being inoperable with broken and missing hardware and plumbing malfunctions in many of the public restrooms. With the exception of one nasty female bartender at Gatsby's the staff were happy and helpful all over the ship. Our Cabin Steward got it just right! We start each trip the same by asking for 3 things, that the mini-fridge be emptied, an mattress topper be put on the bed and that robes be brought. He took care of our request promptly and without complaint, unobtrusively while we were out. He wasn't pushy about cleaning several times a day at awkward times. He cleaned while we were away and had the bed turned down in the evening whenever we returned from the evenings events. He never bothered us on days we wanted to sleep in and just "be" and linger over a late brunch served in our cabin. The food was all over the place. We had had fantastic meals in specialty restaurants, especially Cagney's and Moderno. O'Sheehan's was much better than it was on last years cruise The Main dining rooms were pretty good. However a few meals seemed like buffet fare plated nicely and served elegantly. The Buffet was hit or miss, repetitive and lackluster. That being said I didn't turn away from it for snacks and light fare. We enjoyed cocktails all over the ship. Topsider's near the pool seemed to water the drinks down especially the premixed drinks of the day. The beer and wine was always good. Ray a server there, was always upbeat, fun and helpful. The entertainment was great! Shore excursions were hit or miss. An afternoon beach break which should have been low-key and pleasant turned out to be anything but. We ere brought to a beach around 25 minutes ride from the ship. Chairs were provided. We found our spot raised the umbrella, and settled in for a little while before going into the water. Once in the water we saw a man going through our belongings and then take them. We caught up with him and he complained that we hadn't paid for the umbrella. We paid and got out things but were uncomfortable leaving our spots together after that and were not able to freely enjoy the beautiful beach. Now comes the steady stream of panhandlers, a man carrying a bird feeder collecting money for the birds, a woman carrying aloe leaves asking for money to rub you with them. A man selling USB thumb drives with "island music installed," another man approached selling sea shells. In retrospect,$59 per person was a lot for what amounted to a ride to a public beach. For the price charged, I think Norwegian could do a better job, perhaps securing a private beach at a resort would be less menacing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I picked this cruise up at a good solo traveler price when I was looking for a relaxing vacation. As it was a repo cruise, it had some sea days which I wanted to see how I liked and was my first cruise over 7 days in many years. I ... Read More
I picked this cruise up at a good solo traveler price when I was looking for a relaxing vacation. As it was a repo cruise, it had some sea days which I wanted to see how I liked and was my first cruise over 7 days in many years. I booked a guaranteed balcony which was deck 8 forward. A good location for me. I spent a lotmof time in the cabin so the extra sofa and loads of daylight was just what I wanted. The cabin is forward of the elevators, so hall was quiet and only used by those sleeping in the area. Embarkation and disembarkation were fine and went smoothly. I stayed onas long as I couldasmy flight was mid afternoon and aswewere docked at Pan Americana (not downtown), there was no point going anywhere but the airport. Ship was well maintained, quiet and comfortable. We sailed with about 600 people less than full capacity so loads of room andno lineups. I used the main dining rooms for most meals. One visit to Bamboo and one to Los lobos (birthday dinner). MDR had good service, but dinner serving sizes werehard to predict and inconsistent across the menu. One dinner had a standardsized prime rib meal and the same day had a pork belly meal that had perhaps 1/3 cup of sweet potato puree, 1/3 cup of veg and big palmsized piece of pork belly. However, there was less than 2 ounces of meat on it. Primerib dinner was 6 oz meat, 8 oz baked potato, but only one small broccoli floweret. Appetizers were also inconsistent for size. I did few activities as many were in Gatsby's but I couldn't attend due to allergies and too much smoke in the area. I attended most evening shows in the theatre and enjoyed them. Hypnotist and magician were good. I did not take any organized shore excurions and didn't visit every port. I wasdisappointed that we used a cargo dock in St.kitts despitespaceat the main pier in town. Shuttle buses were long waits so i didn't even leave ship. Service was always considerate and pleasant, but my cabin steward was only adequate. Infrequently seen, few smiles and all business. He did try to accommodate my request for early room make up in the morning, but several nights I turned in before evening turndown. No big deal, as I don't need much and maybe he is just naturally reserved. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I spoke with people at the ports we landed at who were on different ships and their time at the ports were much shorter than NCL, I feel NCL gave us longer port days. Everyone on the ship that works there go above and beyond to make ... Read More
I spoke with people at the ports we landed at who were on different ships and their time at the ports were much shorter than NCL, I feel NCL gave us longer port days. Everyone on the ship that works there go above and beyond to make sure you have the best cruise. The staff was extremely friendly and they would go out of their way to make your stay enjoyable. Entertainment was good, I enjoyed the different activities throughout the day, we would meet in the Atrium or Gatsby's to play trivia games. Personally, I found the pool deck too noisy. I prefer a quieter area to relax, but the other cruisers seemed to enjoy it. I also prefer to cruise when the kids are in school. There were not many children on this cruise due to school, those that were on it were all well behaved. It's just a preference I have to cruise with more adults than children. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have been on the Dawn before and really liked it. This cruise we won a bid and got upgraded to a suite. The service was impeccable. Our stateroom was incredible. The only negative would probably be the food. We went to the main ... Read More
We have been on the Dawn before and really liked it. This cruise we won a bid and got upgraded to a suite. The service was impeccable. Our stateroom was incredible. The only negative would probably be the food. We went to the main dining room and often did not Like the choices, the buffet was pretty much the same every day and when we went to LaCucina, the specialty restaurant, we ended up with a pizza because the offerings were just not what we were looking for. The entertainment was superb. The best we have seen. Our Butler, Jonathan was simply the best. The ports we visited were amazing. We especially liked Antigua and Tortola. They were so clean and beautiful. I sometimes feel the kids/employees are worked too j hard. They do not seem to get much downtime. Many of them seemed tired through their beautiful smiles. All in all, this was a once in a lifetime trip that I would take over and over again if I could. We love Norwegian and free style cruising and all of the perks they continue to give. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Out of Boston and back to Boston. Liked going to 7 islands. Enjoyed shore excursions for the most part. Like bigger ships usually. Enjoyed specialty restaurants. Drinks very expensive. Room on the small side. Most of entertainment very ... Read More
Out of Boston and back to Boston. Liked going to 7 islands. Enjoyed shore excursions for the most part. Like bigger ships usually. Enjoyed specialty restaurants. Drinks very expensive. Room on the small side. Most of entertainment very good. Elements excellent.Shouldn't have to ask for toilet paper or tissues. Dining room. Best table was 101. It seems to be better when sitting at one table. Get to know waiter and assistant waiter. Hypnotist had a good show but not very friendly off stage. So called drink package free but wasn't. Over $200 each person in room for taxes and tips. Patti and Jose sang in atrium every night. Very versatile and excellent singers. Hard time finding a seat in atrium area. Shore excursions had $50 off each. Still very expensive. Enjoyed games and prizes at the end of cruise. Bean bag baseball, ring toss, etc.Too much cigarette smoke on deck 6. Casino and smoking room. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our 20th cruise with NCL. We choose this cruise because we live about 50miles inland form Boston. We have been on the Dawn multiple times. We like the crew and the layout of the ship. We have found we don't care for the ... Read More
This was our 20th cruise with NCL. We choose this cruise because we live about 50miles inland form Boston. We have been on the Dawn multiple times. We like the crew and the layout of the ship. We have found we don't care for the large mega ships, and really enjoy the longer cruises. We find we are able to relax more with 10 or more days. We have sailed with many of the people that we have met on Cruise critics in the past, and made some good friends. It was nice to be able to sail to the Carribean without have to fly, stay in a hotel then fly again home. We used Worcester Airport Limo service share van to and from the port. We were picked up at our door and delivered to the ship. We arrived at the port and there was a computer problem causing them to process people very slowly, stopping the line frequently to ease the crowding up at check in. This was the longest we ever waited to check in. Once we were on, up to O'Sheehan's we went. People have learned about this gem, it was crowded. By 2p our rooms were ready. We were greeted by our room Steward Carlo Baladiang. He was one of the best Steward we have ever had. Our room was always done when ever we came back, even if it was only for 30min and we went back because we forgot something. I never needed to ask for anything. We like to have coffee and fruit from room service each morning, it was always on time or early. Then to O"Sheehans for breakfast. We ate in Cagney's twice ,Los Lobos twice and La Cucina twice., Bamboo once. We cannot complain about the food, except that they have take some cuts of beef of the menu that were there when we were on in September. Because the Dawn have been home port in Boston we have been lucky to have sailed with her 10 time, We have become friends with several crew members, and have been fortunate to sail multiple times with several. And some we have sailed with on other ships. I wanted to make a special shout out to Erwin Banares Osheehans and Bimini, Desiree Araneta and Cheryl Senarin the Atruim, Arthur Pitago(aka "King Arthur"), Rickson Dias (this young man never stops),Arron Jean, Lawrance Alfoneso, Alexender Pamkar all from O"Sheehans these people all helped make our trip so much fun. We did several excursions some we will do again and some not. Antigua the Catamaran Snorkle and Beach Lunch= Excellent we have done this before and will do again if we get back to Antigua .St Marteen Golden Eagle Snorkle= Good St Lucia Between the Pitons Catermaran-Not the best. The staff was not very attentive and the boat had very few railings, makeing movement when in motion not comfortble, Several disabled people on this boat made me very nervous when they tried to move aroud the boat, the stafff did not assist. Tortola =We went over to the Soggy Dollar on the Escspe to Jost VanDyke. We have done this before and again it was a fun time. Patti and Jose were on again and we listend most nights. These entertainers are so personable and entertainng. They remember you by name, from past cruises. Several years go they learned a song for us that was played at our wedding, and play at least one or twice each cruise we have sailed with them. We are platinum pluis and were off the ship by 9:30. We were booked for a share van home, but Worcester Limo had a Town Car in the area,so we weent home in style. We were home by 10:30. What a way to end a cruise Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was the fifth cruise my sisters and I have taken and our fourth time on the Dawn. This was the last sailing of the Dawn out of Boston before it relocates to New York. There was an air of sadness hanging over the cruise - and not ... Read More
This was the fifth cruise my sisters and I have taken and our fourth time on the Dawn. This was the last sailing of the Dawn out of Boston before it relocates to New York. There was an air of sadness hanging over the cruise - and not just because our bid to upgrade to the Garden Villa was not high enough to secure the suite. There was a sense of sadness because some staff was staying with the Dawn and others would be moving on to other ships. The crew is like family and everyone I spoke with shared how much they enjoyed working with their team and management. It was almost palpable, especially as our two week cruise was drawing to a close and it would also be the end of Jose and Patty performing for all the New Englanders. They definitely had a cult following of repeat customers. There was also a feeling of cutting corners. We started cruising together in 2011 and we have noticed a lot more corner cutting. My four sisters and I are all Platinum Latitudes now and we were looking forward to sharing the Platinum perk box of four Godiva chocolates between the five of us (one box per cabin, which makes no sense when it’s five individuals sharing a cabin) but we found out that stopped two years ago. Maybe it’s my imagination, but there seemed to be less house keeping staff. I hardly saw any staff walking in the hallways. Our room steward, Depender, was always, always working - a lot more than any previous steward we’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Another thing: pictures taken in the specialty restaurants are NOT available or included in the picture packages. The photographer comes back to the restaurant with your pictures and you purchase then and there or lose the pictures. This is a big change and seems like a really petty ploy to charge more money. Normally we would have a lot more pictures to choose from at the end of the trip. This time we had very few because most of the time we declined the photographer in the specialty restaurants. We didn’t want to waste the photographer’s time. if we weren’t 100% sure we would purchase the pictures. We were in Suite 12526 - with a large balcony. All five of us fit by utilizing the murphy bed, sleeper sofa and a roll-away bed that our steward brought in. The last cruise we did (Boston - NOLA repo in 2016) was the same sized suite but no balcony, which I don’t think we will do again. The balcony really made a difference for our small crowd and we used it all the time. The wall of windows made our suite seem so much larger. The Cruise Critic Meet and Greet was a huge success. I mean that literally. Our cruise board was VERY active and the coordinator for the Meet and Greet, PanamaTiger with assistance from his darling wife, was always posting updates for the reception and creating a buzz. Also, my sister, lotsofkids, had a drawing for some very nice LL Bean tote bags that she had originally made for family members who said they would go on the cruise with us but then dropped out. She opened the raffle to Birthdays/Anniversaries/Celebrations happening on the cruise. She also made magnets of the itinerary and gave one to everyone, which was great because we stuck ours to the wall. The Meet and Greet had so many people (over 150!) that the gathering was moved to the Bliss Lounge. It was really nice to meet the staff and to meet all the people from the board who have been chatting up the cruise for months. Dining options - there are always so many choices. Breakfast, if I wasn’t trying to get off the ship quickly for a shore excursion, was at Cagney’s. This suite perk is the number one reason why I like being in a suite. The staff knew my name within two days. Citi, I believe she was the assistant manager, made an effort to speak with every guest every morning. She was such a friendly, warm soul and I hope to be on another cruise with her again some day. I frequented the buffet when I needed a quick lunch and/or had missed the window for Cagney’s. Often times, after shore days, we’d be back on board in that window of time when it’s too late for lunch for a little while till dinner. The selection at the buffet at that time was underwhelming. Hamburgers, hotdogs, pasta and possibly an Indian dish. The menu didn’t vary very much. We each had a combination of six specialty dinners and enjoyed our visits to Cagney’s, Le Bistro, Cabo’s, La Cuccina and Teppanyaki. Dinner at the restaurants was always a major time sink - sometimes two hours! However, for in and out service, Teppanyaki was the way to go. We were shuffled out in under 45 minutes. I’m not a fan of feeling like I’m part of an assembly line, but the seafood was cooked to perfection. If you have a chance to get the singing chef, you’ve lucked out. He was very entertaining. For a quicker, yet still elevated dining experience that didn’t require using the dining package, we relied on Bamboo. It was quicker than the other restaurants and I could make an entire meal out of just appetizers. For shore days we did a combination of NCL excursion (St. Thomas), resorts we booked ourselves (Antigua, St. Lucia, Tortola, San Juan) and winging it to a random beach (St. Maarten, St. Kitts). By far, my favorite was the Sandals resort in St. Lucia except for the stinging jellyfish (at least I suspect it was jellyfish) which made swimming in the ocean painfully impossible. We had a day pass and our room had a soaking tub on the balcony. It would have been extremely romantic if I were there with my husband and not my sisters. My least favorite shore day was the Turtle Experience in Antigua that was booked thru NCL only because there was not enough time. A lot of time was wasted getting forty people off the boat and into the water, and then there was only maybe an hour in the water, with most of it not being free to snorkel and see, but rather to listen to a lecture. Ours was the first tour of the day and then there was another scheduled for the afternoon. It felt very rushed and crowded. I crossed Maho Beach in St. Maarten off my bucket list. I’ve always wanted to visit the beach that is on the flight path for incoming airplanes. However, when we got there it was disappointing to see how small the beach actually was and how crowded, especially as the day wore on. All the pictures I’ve seen show the barrier fence to be quite tall. It was actually maybe four feet at most. We got there early and were able to secure a couple of chairs and umbrella for $30US. We were right up against the road so I was concerned for the safety of our belongings. I should have been more concerned for our shoes - I rescued a few from drifting off with the incoming tide. I snorkeled in the water and found a fair supply of sea glass, but it was concerning how much raw, sharp, broken glass was in the water as well. I’d definitely suggest water shoes for next time. There is a still a lot of recovery needed on all the islands and we could see lots of damage. The people are still hurting and looking forward to the cruise ships bringing tourists and their expendable dollars. I felt it the most in St. Kitts where going into a shopping market and anyone with a stall was clamoring for me to make a purchase, any purchase. It was overwhelming and claustrophobic. Our taxi driver made it very clear not to go walking off alone. It was a wonderful cruise with great staff and fabulous memories with my sisters. We were the Yip Yips on Halloween (I was the red one) and were delighted to win “funniest costume.” I especially enjoyed knitting with a group of crafters every sea day morning and got to know some very interesting women and see their works in progress. It was also fun (and somewhat challenging) to sail thru a hurricane that was heading up the east coast as we were heading south. Then again, I find fun in just about anything - and did you know that walking in 16 to 20 foot seas counts as stairs and will close all three rings on your IWatch in a couple of hours just by walking around the ship? Will I do it again? Absolutely! I want to go a cruise tomorrow! However, I can’t plan the next one until after my husband forgets the pain of my 3 week vacation without him. Maybe he just needs to go on a cruise with me. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was the first time this cruise was offered, Boston to the Caribbean and back to Boston. The 6 sea days, 3 down and 3 back were something, including the Nor'easter that had the boat really rolling for about 24 hours. That storm ... Read More
This was the first time this cruise was offered, Boston to the Caribbean and back to Boston. The 6 sea days, 3 down and 3 back were something, including the Nor'easter that had the boat really rolling for about 24 hours. That storm was the first sea day, luckily this cruise was mostly experienced cruisers who just laid low for the day. We enjoyed the trip down just the same. It was followed by 7 days in the Caribbean. We had been to some of the islands before, but this time the weather was hot and oppressive, St. Thomas and especially St. Martin. Still we enjoyed the ship and the warm weather with air-conditioning nearby on the ship. Great to get away from the New England cold in November. The train ride on St. Kitts was a highlight, expensive but beautiful sights, nice breezes, and lots of rum punch. A group of local women sang folk songs along the way too on the train. A great tour, don't miss it. There was a lively Roll Call before the cruise, and a large Meet and Greet. I organized the gift exchange and was thrilled to have over 50 people joining in. There was a slot pull too, and I heard people enjoyed themselves. The Red Sox won the World Series during the cruise and Norwegian televised it both in the cabins and the bars. The ship was celebrating till 4am we heard. This is a great cruise if you have two weeks, very relaxing and just right in length. They are running it twice in 2019, spring and fall. For those who like to know Pedro Serra was the cruise director, he and his staff were great and kept things going all the time. Andreas Sommerfeld was Food and Beverage Director, Alaine Magnier was the Hotel Director, Captain Martin Holmqvist, and Ariel Timbang Executive Chef. The food was great, love the Indian food in the Garden Cafe. It seemed improved over our cruise on the Dawn last year. The ship is clean and everything worked in our cabin. The Dawn leaves Boston and the Gem will replace her next year, the crew even threw us a good by Boston party. The crew is the best ever on the Dawn we will miss them !! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Having barely survived, the installation of an updated kitchen, .... This was to be, that pre holiday break, that was so dearly needed. That was the hope, and that was the plan, .... But the Norwegian Dawn, .... Would quite frankly, fail ... Read More
Having barely survived, the installation of an updated kitchen, .... This was to be, that pre holiday break, that was so dearly needed. That was the hope, and that was the plan, .... But the Norwegian Dawn, .... Would quite frankly, fail to deliver !!! This ship, was such a disappointment, in so many ways, .... That one could easily fill this page, .... And still not cover it all. Suffice to say, that complaints were a normal occurrence, of just about every day. Ranging as minor as, internet minutes, .... And as major as disfunctional / overflowing toilets. Ours, had a fill valve that did not close completely. Which resulted in a flooded bathroom floor, by morning !!! Several attempts, by our cabin steward, resulted in no response, .... He finally suggested, that we should call, and perhaps they would listen to us ( What ??? ) When we did call, .... It took several attempts to resolve the problem, .... As this was obviously not unique, to just our particular stateroom !!! More importantly, .... After many years of cruising, Platinum on Norwegian alone, .... We are forced to conclude, that the so called “Norwegian Edge”, .... Or whatever they choose to call it, .... Is strictly a marketing term, that pathetically fails to deliver, in a real world sort of way !!! One only needs, to sample the food offerings, .... To put things into a crystal clear perspective. At entry level pricing, .... Norwegian feels no particular obligation, to feed you like a King. Offering their up priced, signature offerings, for those that are willing, to reach into their pocket. While quietly spoiling, suite’s and above, in a private dining area !!! The most glareing disappoinment, .... Could be found, in the Ocean Cafe, .... Where the monotony, of the day to day offerings, .... Would only be upgraded, on the very last day’s of the cruise ??? Norwegian would like to have you leave, with only good thought’s .... If one can somehow absorb, the constant pressure to sell, .... You may not be quite as patient, with the charges, on your Mini Bar Purchases, .... Which seemed all too common in scope !!! In our particular case, .... After repeated requests, for more soft beverages, we resorted to stalking it ourselves. We left a note, for our cabin steward, advising him of such, .... And still found a charge, on our final bill .... We challenged this, with the “Stone Faced Service Desk”, .... Only to be told, that we should take this issue up, with our Cabin Steward ??? The same one, that could not get our toilet fixed ... We are not so naive, .... As to not get this folks, .... Things do happen & things do break, .... And should be remedied, in a quick & professional manor, .... Sans intervention, by the customer themselves !!! We however, find ourselves in a physiological war, with Norwegian, .... And have to seriously assess, .... That if one needs to reserve a Suite or a piece of the Haven, to get a fair shake, .... Then our vacation dollars, just might best be directed, to a more appreciative cruise line !!! Hope this helped someone, .... In some small way ‘)) Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had an awesome time. Service was great. Staff incredibly friendly and efficient. Almost no kids on this trip. Adults used the kids pool area. We had a balcony cabin deck 11. Loved it. We had the best room steward ever. Food was ... Read More
We had an awesome time. Service was great. Staff incredibly friendly and efficient. Almost no kids on this trip. Adults used the kids pool area. We had a balcony cabin deck 11. Loved it. We had the best room steward ever. Food was excellent. Loved the new menus in the main dining rooms. Not a fan of new menus in the specialty restaurants. Entertainment was very good and there was always multiple things going on all over the ship every night. Rough first sea day with 16-20 ft waves. The captain was keeping us updated the entire time. We never felt unsafe. The ship was very clean and well maintained. The best part was the crew. Everyone of them worked so hard but always had a smile and made us feel pampered and special. Will miss the Dawn out of Boston. I hope the Gem is just as good. The itinerary was great. 7 eastern Caribbean islands. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Everything was just perfect from room Steward Adrian to the dining room Venetian Staff. Rodelio and Thelma just perfect. The entertainment was amazing as always. We have no complaints about anything. Weather behaved but a couple of days ... Read More
Everything was just perfect from room Steward Adrian to the dining room Venetian Staff. Rodelio and Thelma just perfect. The entertainment was amazing as always. We have no complaints about anything. Weather behaved but a couple of days was rainy and stormy can't argue with Mother Nature and we stayed in our stateroom Balcony. We always get a balcony prices are very reasonable. We'll miss the Dawn out of Boston but we'll see the Gem next time. Or may even fly to New York because it will be the 4th time on the Dawn. Wev'e sailed on the Island Princess and the Royal princess but we still say Norwegian Cruise line is the best. The entertainment was much different on this cruise. Elements put on a different show coming down on bunji cords so great. The best comedians omg they were so funny Julie Barr had me in stitches and also Sam Fedele was also funny. Great Cruise !! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My husband and I joined his brother and girlfriend on this cruise. The port of Boston was very convenient for them. I had been on the Norwegian Pearl earlier this year - and found the Dawn a bit disappointing. While the staff and food ( ... Read More
My husband and I joined his brother and girlfriend on this cruise. The port of Boston was very convenient for them. I had been on the Norwegian Pearl earlier this year - and found the Dawn a bit disappointing. While the staff and food ( for the most part) were great - the ventilation system from the Cigar Bar was terrible. We sat in the bar just outside of the Cigar Bar one night - and my hair and clothes picked up the cigarette smoke smell (not so in the Pearl ) - so there was entertainment at Gatsby's Champagne bar we could not enjoy. The whole 6th floor smelled like cigarettes. I think the Bliss lounge was a bit outdated and I missed the Spinnaker lounge and outside seating with the Buffett that is on the Pearl. Cagney's restaurant is worth going to - i wish we had gone more than once. I found the meat in the Brazillean ? restuarant dry - and would not recommend. One thing I would say about the Dawn - is that the bar staff/cocktail servers were great and attentive. On the Pearl we sometimes got tired of waiting for a server to come to our table - and went to the bar ourselves. Great Margarita's in the Los Lobos bar ( thanks John!!) and great mojitos in the Mojito bar. I would give the cruise a 4 star - but the smoke was an issue for me. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We would definitely choose NCL again. The variety of ports was very good and the time in ports was just right (all day). The only drawback with leaving from Boston was the 3 days down and 3 days back with no sea days in between ports. ... Read More
We would definitely choose NCL again. The variety of ports was very good and the time in ports was just right (all day). The only drawback with leaving from Boston was the 3 days down and 3 days back with no sea days in between ports. Understandable given the distance and length of cruise so not a deal-breaker. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze both in Boston and at ports of call. We had friends in Boston who dropped us off and picked us up. It was not a difficult port to get to or through from that standpoint. Roughly 85% of the cruisers were from Boston and most had been on the Dawn many times. We were told it is the friendliest NCL ship of the line and our experience would confirm that. Guest services was very helpful, everyone acted like they were enjoying their jobs, the entertainment was very good and the food was excellent. We did four specialty restaurants on a dining package: Le Bistro, Cagney's Steak, Tappenyaki, Moderno. All were very good but I think we were most impressed with Moderno. Given the size limitations who would have expected a great Brazilian steakhouse on a ship? Not us! But it was just excellent. I also liked the fact that the food service staff was very sensitive to people with food allergies and could accommodate or make menu suggestions for my GF issue. I could always find something to eat and did not get sick at all. Overall, I would recommend NCL cruises and in particular the Norwegian Dawn. It's not a huge ship but definitely a good one! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Norwegian Dawn Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.5 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 4.0

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