I Chose the Norwegian Escape from recommendations from others. My husband and 14 year old son had the greatest time on this ship. The family suite fit perfectly for the 3 of us. The staff was wonderful and the food was excellent. Between ... Read More
I Chose the Norwegian Escape from recommendations from others. My husband and 14 year old son had the greatest time on this ship. The family suite fit perfectly for the 3 of us. The staff was wonderful and the food was excellent. Between the Specialty restaurants and dining rooms I couldn't have asked for anything better. The ride was smooth and I was afraid of the ship rocking. I didn't feel a thing. The shows and entertainment kept my family and I very busy when we were at sea. My son loved the basketball court at the top of the ship. The shore excursion to a resort in Jamaica was amazing between the ride there and time spent on the resort we had a blast. Thank you to the staff at La Cusina who helped me and my husband celebrate our 20th anniversary with great dessert and food with laughter and fun. Read Less
Everything went smoothly. The food was awesome. The ports were ok not great but we just really went to enjoy our friends and the ship. Tubing was so much fun. We did they speciality dining 4 times which were great. We loved the Le Bistro ... Read More
Everything went smoothly. The food was awesome. The ports were ok not great but we just really went to enjoy our friends and the ship. Tubing was so much fun. We did they speciality dining 4 times which were great. We loved the Le Bistro the best. Cagneys was so good the food was awesome. Teppanki was a great show. La Cucina was our least favorite. The pool was always crowded but we always got chairs. The casino was awesome. The boat was kept very cleaned. The staff was awesome!! Getting on & off the ship was very easy. The pictures were very pricey so I did not buy a lot. The shows were good. Loved the Skyline Bar the best. Had great entertainment every night! We ate breakfast most days at the buffet but did try the main dining rooms as well. O’sheehan’s was also a good spot for breakfast or a quick bite. Read Less
This was our 4th family cruise and first on Norweign Cruise line. We have cruised Disney, Carnival and Royal. This by far is our least liked cruise. This experience left a lot to be desired from food selection to entertainment to kids ... Read More
This was our 4th family cruise and first on Norweign Cruise line. We have cruised Disney, Carnival and Royal. This by far is our least liked cruise. This experience left a lot to be desired from food selection to entertainment to kids program. The only best part of our cruise was the unlimited beverage package we opted for as one of the bonus. If we didn't have this I probably would of gave this experience a one. The only food we enjoyed was breakfast as it provided lots of options but that was where it ended as Lunch was below average and dinner we skipped because of lack of selection. Servers appeared to be unhappy with their jobs as they were not personable at all nor did they smile. They one person who was pleasant to see every day was the lady spraying antibacterial on our hands as we enter the outdoor dining room. We definitely do not plan to cruise Norweign again and will share with all our not so fun time here. Read Less
I’m an avid cruise goer and I have yet to try a Norwegian cruise. We left from Miami and left for Cozumel on a 4 night adventure. This was the only cruise where the service and food have been bare minimum and honestly a 4/10. The ... Read More
I’m an avid cruise goer and I have yet to try a Norwegian cruise. We left from Miami and left for Cozumel on a 4 night adventure. This was the only cruise where the service and food have been bare minimum and honestly a 4/10. The food selection was terrible and the service staff looked as if they hated all their jobs. Each restaurant dining took a minimum of 1:45 min to eat and leave. The service at the bars was also under par. The unlimited package claims 2 drinks per transaction but I was told that wasn’t a policy by a bartender. Then he proceeded to give an older gentleman two during his transaction right beside me! So Ondont know if there was a miscommunication but regardless it was quite annoying and distasteful. The breakfast was the worst food on the boat. carnival and royal Caribbean both have wonderful all you can eat buffet but Norwegians tasted like powedered eggs and over cooked everything. Read Less
It is hard for me to be objective about this ship. My wife and I sailed on this ship for our honeymoon in November, 2007 when she was the Pride of Hawaii and it was our first and best cruise. At the time it was NCL's newest and most ... Read More
It is hard for me to be objective about this ship. My wife and I sailed on this ship for our honeymoon in November, 2007 when she was the Pride of Hawaii and it was our first and best cruise. At the time it was NCL's newest and most expensive ship ever built. The ships built since then definitely have bigger and better features, but I have a soft spot in my heart for this ship even though she is not the newest or fanciest any more. There were a few little things I could nitpick such as no Latitudes package or wine or stationary in our state room the first day and some minor issues with our shower which had a slow drain and inconsistent temperature but it did not stop us from having a wonderful time on the ship.
Embarkation was as smooth as possible considering the ship was sold out. We parked with one of the off site parking services and arrived at our scheduled time and were checked in and on the ship in less than an hour. The rooms were not ready yet so we went straight to the Grand Pacific dining room for an excellent lunch. We were happy to see that the Grand Pacific was relatively unchanged during the refurbishment, the carpet and chairs and some of the paintings were new, but the light fixtures and marble staircase were left unchanged.
We had not been on this ship since our honeymoon and were eager to see the refurbishments. Previously the Atrium and other public areas were adorned with Chihuly glass flowers, and I wish they had not removed them although the new color changing chandelier is also very nice. We preferred the purple and orange carpet to the brown and creme colored theme they are currently using, although I understand why they changed it considering the ship is in Europe half the year and is frequently used for charters. They also removed the water slide from the pool deck although compared to the breakaway class water slides this one was less than exciting when it was there. All in all the refurbs are classy, the ship is very clean and well maintained, and there are still a few leftovers from the Pride of Hawaii days if you know where to look, especially in the SS United States library and the bridge viewing room which still has the original US flag encased in glass. The Stardust Theater and the art in the corridors on the room decks were also as we remembered.
The ship although sold out did not seem crowded except at the pool deck on the sea days and on the last morning at the buffet. The bars were also a bit crowded since this was a spring break cruise, but we were able to get drink service without a problem.
Our cabin was ready around 2PM and we did have to clean a few smudges off the walls and fixtures that were missed in the turnaround, but overall the cabin was clean and everything worked. The A/C was a little noisy but worked well. Our room steward Renato was very friendly and addressed all of our concerns, when we asked why we had no Latitudes Package or wine he brought us three bottles! We also got to cheer him on during the towel animal demonstration in the Atrium on the last sea day.
After the life boat drill and dinner at the buffet with some choice prime rib, we went to the welcome show at the Stardust Theater. This was a preview show of the main theater entertainment, Blazing Boots, Duo Nica and the Illusionists. The production quality was excellent but we quickly discovered that this wasn't going to be up our alley so we did not go to any more theater shows. Overall we were not impressed with the main entertainment which was better on the Escape when we sailed in December but the Jade Show Band and the Hi-Lux band were top notch and even did a few sets together. We especially enjoyed the Dixie Land set the Show Band did on the last night.
The activities were a lot of fun, we had two sea days on a four day cruise and Richard, Francesco, DJ Flip, Nacho and the rest of the cruise directors staff kept us going with some very challenging trivia along with a scavenger hunt, bingo, deal or no deal, and other games.
The service in the main dining rooms was excellent and on point. We were seated right away in most cases and served in a timely manor. (We tend to eat early.) We did see a few lines to get in to the restaurants at later times but again the ship was full and there were several large groups on board. There was a 30 minute wait to get into Jasmine on the first sea night but this is also the smallest non up-charge restaurant on the ship. They gave us a pager so we could go to the casino or out on the Promenade Deck so it wasn't a problem to wait. We ate at Moderno on our last night, the food was perfect and we had a great view of the sun set.
Cozumel was our only stop and we loved it! We had never been there before but it was easy to get around with a super cute VW beetle we rented for only $30.00! The people were all friendly and we did not feel unsafe at any time. We stopped at Punta Sur for some fun in the sun and then on to the Mayan Ruins at San Gervasio. Punta Sur is a beautiful beach spot but I would not recommend going there without a rental car, the area is huge and there is only one very bumpy dirt road to get to the beach. There are only three gas stations on the island so we had to wait in a long line to get gas, but besides that the rental was a smooth and easy process and the rental office was within walking distance of the pier.
Overall we had an excellent cruise and found the service to be better than when we cruised on the Escape in December, especially in the main dining rooms. The Escape is much bigger than the Jade but it seemed more congested especially in the Atrium where most of the activities were. The Jade had multiple activities in several of the small lounges so none of them felt crowded. As stated earlier I have a soft spot in my heart for this ship, but I would recommend the Jade to anyone who likes a fun cruise on a good ship with an excellent crew. Read Less
Husband and I have never cruised so we decided on a quick cruse to try it out. Embarkation went smooth we arrived at port of Miami at 12:00 and on boat by 12:35. Our room was not ready but they said we could eat at 4 different places or ... Read More
Husband and I have never cruised so we decided on a quick cruse to try it out. Embarkation went smooth we arrived at port of Miami at 12:00 and on boat by 12:35. Our room was not ready but they said we could eat at 4 different places or grab a drink, We grabbed a bite and went sit by pool. We were very impressed with staff all very friendly. We booked a ocean Balcony room we were on 10th floor. Room size was very comfortable for us two. Only thing missing in room is a clock we had to keep our phones on so we would know what time it was. We only had 1 port Cozumel and we booked a dolphin swim and they had a meeting point at end of pier very easy to find they drove us there and picked us up. We ate at Cagney's and Morderno and Tempanaki and a dinner at Garden Café all our meals were great and staff once again impressed us. We are cruisers now I can't wait to start to plan another one. Read Less
This was not the best cruise we have ever taken - actually one of the poorest. I will start with the embarkation process which took over 2 hours of standing in line waiting to board the ship. When we finally get through security, its ... Read More
This was not the best cruise we have ever taken - actually one of the poorest. I will start with the embarkation process which took over 2 hours of standing in line waiting to board the ship. When we finally get through security, its chaos trying to fill out health forms etc and standing in another queue to checkin. Get onboard prior to sailing and have to go directly to muster. Once onboard, the ship is old and not laid out in a good manner. You have floors that are blocked midship with restaurants and have to remember which floors you are on to go up or down to get between front and back of boat. Only one lounge with activities at night which never had seating available. The restaurant staff was unfriendly and took forever to get drinks poolside - couldn't get waiters to stop for order because we were on a drink package. The ports were okay but very limited shore excursions to choose from based on our experience with other cruise lines. Actually booked two of our excursions directly in port because the ship didn't offer beforehand. Harvest Caye was disappointing as there is really only the beach and pool to do so have to take a ferry to the village. However village caters to excursions so wasted 2 hours trying to find food once we got off ship and waited for ferry. Cabins were tight - we had a balcony room which has metal enclosure around balcony so limits your views. No counter space for belongings in the cabin - hard to get ready with kids and husband. Pool entertainment at day of sea consisted of a band for 2 hours and one activity by staff - disappointed based on past experience. Also, late night food and the buffet choices were lacking. I am used to bigger selections in the buffet and having late night options. Also, we booked two rooms and had separate reservations so it was a pain every time we had to give cabin numbers etc. All of our paperwork and such had to be done twice - one for each cabin which makes no sense to not link them. The disembarkation process was awful - if you dont carry your bags off you have to wait. Used to getting off the ship shortly after docking - it was 3 hours after docking before we could get off.
Dont get me wrong - there were some positives. The cabin steward was great! He knew if was my husbands bday and brought a cupcake to celebrate. Very nice and friendly. The food was good but not great! I really enjoyed the theater entertainment at night - it was very good. Also liked that they had photographers setup each night so we got some really good family pics - even though they are super expensive.
I would not recommend this ship - not sure if some of the issue we encountered was because of the ship or Norwegian itself but will not book Norwegian again. I will stick with Royal Caribbean from now on. Read Less
My family of 4 (two kids 12 and 10) really enjoyed our Western Caribbean cruise on the Dawn. It was our first cruise.
1. The ship is in excellent condition, and service was excellent. Our mini-suite with balcony was perfect ... Read More
My family of 4 (two kids 12 and 10) really enjoyed our Western Caribbean cruise on the Dawn. It was our first cruise.
1. The ship is in excellent condition, and service was excellent. Our mini-suite with balcony was perfect for us. I particularly appreciated the design of the bathroom. Even though it's just one room, the toilet and shower can both be closed off from the sink area.
2. Food and drink. Speciality dining (Moderno, La Cucina and Cagney's) was excellent -- well above expectations. The buffet, especially once you learn what to avoid, was also excellent. We had the ultimate beverage package, and I was impressed with the quality of beer, wine and cocktails -- especially once I learned which bartenders really knew how to make a drink.
3. Entertainment. While the various lounge singers were pretty bad, the comedian (Tim Kaminski), the singing and dancing shows, the magician and the aerialists were all great. We really felt like we were getting something for our cruise dollars.
4. Roatan. While almost entirely propped up by tourism, Roatan is an authentic destination unlike Costa Maya and Harvest Caye.
5. Laid back, "freestyle" atmosphere. I simply would not take a cruise with assigned dining times and dress requirements beyond a collared shirt. Not my style. NCL fit our vibe perfectly.
1. Internet. We got the 250 minutes/1 gb package as a freebie, and it was mostly an exercise in frustration. Page loads take FOREVER. It's good only for quick email checks and texts. Forget anything with a photo or video. This wasn't such a big deal because I actually wanted to unplug; but when I did the handful of obligatory email and text checks, I wish it had been smooth. Even dial up model smooth would have been good enough.
2. The pool. It's small. And it was crowded and loud, but in fairness our cruise was an Easter/Spring Break cruise with almost 3000 guests, including more than 780 children. With crew, we were only 23 people short of the ship's max capacity of 4000.
3. NCL's own shore excursions are expensive. Like really expensive. We booked Chachchobben Mayan Ruins at Costa Maya through NCL and probably shouldn't have. In Roatan we went out on our own and saved a ton of money.
4. Onboard "active" activities are somewhat limited. The basketball court was almost always very busy. Other than than that, there are a couple ping pong tables, giant outdoor chess and some shuffle puck. Considering how crowded the pool is, all together there aren't enough active options for days at sea.
I would choose NCL again, and I would probably choose the Dawn again too even though the onboard activities -- except for the entertainment -- were somewhat limited. Read Less
More or less the individuals cruising with us helped choose the location and timing of our particular cruise with the NCL Dawn. We were all located on the same deck (ten) and had balcony rooms. We were situated both on the port side and ... Read More
More or less the individuals cruising with us helped choose the location and timing of our particular cruise with the NCL Dawn. We were all located on the same deck (ten) and had balcony rooms. We were situated both on the port side and starboard side of the deck. The room stewards on both sides were excellent, as well as the stewards we passed in the hallways who were friendly and helpful with directions basically to everywhere on the NCL Dawn. Dining, bars and entertainment was excellent everywhere! Children were plentiful due to a mixture of spring break and Easter Holiday. This meant the children took over the hot tubs everywhere except the spa area. Thank goodness I booked the spa package since there is only a limited amount sold per ship. Many days I had the hot tub, sauna and pool in the spa all to myself or a maximum of three other people. Ports were effortlessly laid out for everyone in a artful colorful ray of colors. Many of my photos were taken just for the many artful subjects around every corner; eye candy for the traveler. My favorite place to eat breakfast and lunch on the NCL Dawn is the O' Sheehan's Bar & Grill; service was awesome and available 24/7. The dawn of cruising has arrived and you can find it all on the NCL Dawn. Read Less
We were celebrating paying off our mortgage, and our travel agent suggested this cruise. We had cruised on several other lines, but never Norwegian, and we were kind of skeptical, mostly because we had heard that food wasn't so great ... Read More
We were celebrating paying off our mortgage, and our travel agent suggested this cruise. We had cruised on several other lines, but never Norwegian, and we were kind of skeptical, mostly because we had heard that food wasn't so great on Norwegian. We were very pleasantly surprised, especially regarding the food.
We went to some wonderful restaurants: Bamboo: wonderful Asian food, great service. Le Bistro: Wonderful French cuisine in a fancy atmosphere. One thing though, that bothered us about this restaurant is that my husband was not informed that he couldn't wear shorts; and he had to go back to our room to change. Otherwise, it was a pleasant experience. The Aqua was excellent, as was the Venetian Room. Cagney's was great, also, and the service was top notch. Our final evening was spent at La Cugina, which is an Italian restaurant. Food was very good here, also. We had a wonderful waiter named, Mark, who was very attentive to our needs. The buffet was good, also. I particularly liked breakfast. The eggs were done just the way I liked!
Dingo Dave, the cruise director, is such a hoot! We loved his personality and sense of humor. He created a fun atmosphere on the ship. For entertainment, we saw a Rock Show which was wonderful; the Newlywed Game was fun; the comedian, Dave, was a riot with his casting of the Wizard of Oz; and the Elements Show was excellent.
The one thing that could have been better is the pool. It is small compared to other ships we have been on, and it was hard to get into, especially on days at sea, because it was so crowded. The hot-tubs were particularly hard to get into.
The ports were fun, especially Roatan (Honduras) and Belize. We were kind of nervous about them both, but they turned out to be our favorites, especially Roatan. We were taken by taxi to a beautiful spot called Infinity Bay. On the way we stopped to see monkeys, sloths and parrots. Really a fun day. Belize is also a beautiful spot.
Our stateroom was a balcony on the 9th floor. It was nice enough. Could have been more storage room for 2 of us. Décor was nice, but nothing fancy. It was kept very clean by our wonderful steward. He couldn't have been better.
I found that on most of the ship, that the décor wasn't as fancy as the other ships we had been on; but that is ok --- we had a really fun time. Also, the relaxed dining was a new experience. We were used to having to get dressed up at least a couple of nights. It was definitely more relaxing!
The worst part of our experience was Embarkation, which isn't the ship's fault. We found it to be very slow and not a great experience in Tampa. Coming home was better, though. Read Less
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