46 Norwegian Dawn Bermuda Cruise Reviews

This ship (NCL DAWN) needs a overhaul from the ship to the staff. I had 5 rooms and 17 people and everyone experienced something bad while aboard the ship. Half the time the bathrooms were out of order, the staff was rude, it took FOREVER ... Read More
This ship (NCL DAWN) needs a overhaul from the ship to the staff. I had 5 rooms and 17 people and everyone experienced something bad while aboard the ship. Half the time the bathrooms were out of order, the staff was rude, it took FOREVER to get a drink, the rooms were not made up until 3pm, buffet was awful and cold-by the fifth day I was vomiting and had diarrhea, my ceiling on my balcony fell down onto the balcony floor which made it useless even though we paid extra money just for the balcony, my friends room flooded and they didn't give them another room instead they kept them up all night vacuuming and trying to clean it, another room had their smoke alarms go off all night long for 3 days, professional pictures had peoples head's cut off, we had trouble in the dining room, the pool was yellow and had cigarettes and trash floating in it, there was mold all over the walls and ladders for the pools, the entertainment was not that good-one female /male duo would stop singing and say they forgot the words-their voices were pretty bad, I could go on and on but it's making me more upset re hashing all this. I wish I just flew there or went with a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Last week after 18 months of planning my family and friends (17 in total) sailed on the Norwegian Dawn and the trip left a lot to be desired. The majority of my past cruises have been on Norwegian and I can honestly say that I’m not sure ... Read More
Last week after 18 months of planning my family and friends (17 in total) sailed on the Norwegian Dawn and the trip left a lot to be desired. The majority of my past cruises have been on Norwegian and I can honestly say that I’m not sure I will ever sail with them again. As a large group who planned this cruise for over a year in celebration of our friends 40th birthday we collectively spent more than $30,000, which I understand in the grand scheme of things is small change but to us working class folks was difficult and took a lot of sacrifices to make the vacation happen. If you don’t know what the word debacle means it can be defined by our week on this cruise ship. Personally I sailed with my 9 month old son and my husband. I was charged $700.00 for the baby who didn’t eat any of the ships food or participate in any of the ships activities due to his young age. I had to pack a week’s worth of baby food and toys for him and pay for him the same amount our friends paid for their 15 year old. We arrived at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal in Boston as a group and from the minute we got out of our bus it was a bad experience. The baggage handlers were extremely rude and unhelpful. We went through the check in process and because my husband and I had a suite we were made to be separated from our group and enter the boat separately which was supposed to be “VIP” access. Well our 15 friends actually made it onto the ship before us and we missed out on the group embarkation photo because we were made to enter separately. The next issue we encountered was that our luggage did not arrive to the room. Our room was a suite so at 6pm I notified the concierge who ensured me that while we were at dinner he would take care of it. I came back to the room at 10pm and the luggage was still not there. I called and was told I had to go down to the front desk and talk to them. So I put my 9 month old back in the stroller and went down to the front desk. The staff on this ship was the most unfriendly hostile group I have ever encountered on a cruise. They were very unhelpful. I described the bag perfectly a large orange Eddie Bauer rolling duffle bag. Rather than get the bag for me they made me trek down to where the luggage was kept with my baby in the stroller and get the bag. Every other bag down there was black or blue. The orange bag wasn’t mistakable. The concierge who was assigned to our room did almost nothing but drop a plate of fruit off in our room daily. He on several occasions came in when the do not disturb sign was out and on our final morning of the cruise when we arrived back in Boston he banged on our door at 7am and asked when we would be leaving . He woke our infant son who then cried and would not go back to sleep. My husband explained we were getting off when the color purple was called because we were with a group and that’s when we were all departing. He stood there as if he were waiting for something perhaps a tip but we did not feel it was exceptional service and we pre-paid our gratuity so we opted not to give him any extra money, he stood there at 7 am basically staring at my husband waiting for a handout until my husband shut the door. It was a very awkward and uncomfortable situation. Then after he was specifically told that we were getting off the boat with the purple luggage tags he knocked on the door again 30 minutes later to see if we were out. The dining experience was disappointing as well. Our wait staff in the Aqua restaurant was beyond unfriendly. We were with a large group so we made arrangements to be seated at a large table. The table was a long table and ended up having two different servers so they took orders at different times and we never ended up eating at the same time due to the wait staff being different. I have literally received better service at a rest stop McDonalds off the interstate. We were repeatedly asked to clear our own plates to the edge of the table so the waitress could take them. The crumbs were never swept from the table and it basically was such an unpleasant experience we ate at the buffet a few nights just so we could avoid it even though we would have preferred a sit down meal. I have never experienced anything like this on a cruise ship. The list goes on and on. The boat was supposedly at capacity yet seemed extremely understaffed. With most people having the beverage package and with the drink limit being one at a time I would expect that there would be plenty of bar staff, however that was not the case. Each trip to the bar was an average of a 20 minute wait for 1 drink up to a max of 45 minutes one time when my husband went up. With a cruise ship at capacity and having three sea days when every person is on the ship I don’t understand how half of the pool bar could be closed and there was only two bar tenders and very few drink waiters. The drink service at dinner was equally as absent. We were never offered more than one round of drinks unless we specifically sought them out. There were many issues that our group encountered individually. One room repeatedly flooded from back up in the shower and were promised it would be fixed while we were at dinner and then when dinner was over and they returned to the room at midnight it still was not fixed, the room was saturated with water and they had to wait in the hall for it to be fixed. They only compensation they were offered for this hideous experience was 4 chocolate covered strawberries. Another of the rooms repeatedly had the smoke alarm going off for no reason at all hours of the day and night and they had workers in and out of the room trying to fix that and they were offered no compensation at all. Another couple in our group had the roof of their balcony collapse and could not go out there however they were offered nothing to compensate them for paying for a balcony room that they couldn’t use. We all went to the photo gallery to look at our photos and there were several that our heads were totally cut off and the photos were actually printed and displayed that way. Overall we spent top dollar for disappointing less than mediocre service. Almost every aspect of the cruise had some disappointing factor. The bar service, the restaurant service, the food quality, the photo gallery, and the overall integrity of the rooms were extremely disappointing Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
After years of dreaming of going to Bermuda, my husband and I decided to take a cruise there. We chose Norwegian, because their sail date was over our anniversary and the time in port was to be 3 days. We scrimped and saved and planned for ... Read More
After years of dreaming of going to Bermuda, my husband and I decided to take a cruise there. We chose Norwegian, because their sail date was over our anniversary and the time in port was to be 3 days. We scrimped and saved and planned for 10 months for this trip. I don’t know about most people, but a vacation like this is a sheer luxury for us and not something we take lightly. We had cruised on Royal Caribbean before and loved it, and foolishly expected this cruise to be similar. Now, we understand that no one can control the weather – so we don’t blame the cruise line for the change in itinerary. BUT – considering we received AT LEAST one email – sometimes more - DAILY for a month before the cruise, we know they had our email address. We flew into Boston the day before (another expense on top of the cruise) and when we arrived at the terminal thought we were still going to Bermuda. The cruise line apparently decided that the hurricane had made it impossible to carry thru with this itinerary. Ok – we get that. BUT what we don’t get is not being informed of this change until it was too late to reschedule our trip. Had Norwegian been upfront with us, we would have gladly rescheduled the cruise, flown home and been back to take the cruise another time. To not tell us until we were boarding was just wrong – they knew how to reach us – but they didn’t want us – or any other cruisers – to reschedule. Well, let me tell you – they’d have been better off to cancel the cruise than to keep us captive on a trip to the Bahamas instead. That ship had no business being out in the rough seas – we were cold, it was rainy, the wind was howling – sitting outside was plain miserable. They had to cancel the poolside barbecues, net the pools (you’d have been washed overboard had you tried to get in the pool), and cancel many shows. At one point we were all scared that we wouldn’t make it back to Boston. The cruise line did NOTHING to make any of this up to us. I don’t drink alcohol due to medical reasons, but my husband does. They wouldn’t let him by an adult beverage package if I didn’t get one. WHAT? Other cruise lines “trust” their guests enough to let you do this – we’d already bought the “soda package” – oh but wait – if you buy this it DOES NOT include bottled waters, coffees, etc like the other cruise line packages do. We felt nickeled and dimed throughout the entire cruise. Their “Freestyle Cruising” is for the birds too. You have to wait over an hour to get a table at the Venetian or Aqua (complimentary) dining rooms, and we know that they are just trying to get you to give up and go pay more at the specialty dining rooms. We had already reserved a night at Cagney’s for our anniversary when we booked the cruise (in February) – another $30 per person for that dinner – so when we showed up for that dinner we were seated next to the busser’s station – great ambiance, really? – and then charged for sparkling water ON TOP of the $60 – good grief. The servers in the complimentary dining rooms were not engaged, and almost made you feel guilty for making them work. The hostesses were even worse – trying very hard to be snooty and make you feel as if they were doing you a huge favor by getting you seated. Don’t even bother eating at the café – the food was exactly the same every single day and questionable. Nothing looked fresh and believe me – NOTHING was warm. The tables were disgusting – sticky and dirty. Our balcony stateroom was just ok – very dated – not really clean, the balcony was very dirty. Our steward was rarely around. This was not the cruise we had dreamed of and planned for. The cruise director – Dingo Dave – GAWD – so annoying and really loves the sound of his own voice. We cringed every time he made an announcement. When we got to the Bahamas, we were there a couple of hours and pretty much just wanted to get on a plane and go home. There was nothing redeeming about the locations they chose. We tried many times to speak to someone about our experiences – they made no secret of letting us know that they just plain did NOT care. Also – everything seemed to be a secret – especially our tab. On the Royal Caribbean you can access your tab on the interactive channel on the stateroom tv – not on Norwegian. Nope, you gotta go stand in line and waste your time to find out where you stand. The internet package they sell is not worth the money either – I bought 100 minutes for $58 – problem was is that it took a good 5 of my minutes every time I logged on to get it up and running. My husband had also surprised me with an onboard credit for a massage, but because their rates are a “surprise” and not published, he had no idea that $100 was not even half the cost. Plus they made him choose a date. Well I went in on my date he chose, to schedule the massage to find out they “were all booked” – but then in the Freestyle Daily there were all sorts of “specials” advertised. I went ahead and booked a massage for another day – and found out AFTER THE MASSAGE that it was $245 – for a BASIC MASSAGE. Then they tried to upsell $60 lotions. So insulting. This was a basic massage you’d pay no more than $100 for in Denver! Basically – this cruise and cruise line was a waste of our hard earned money and a sheer disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our first experience with NCL and it will be our last. We have sailed on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, MSC and Celebrity and I would rank NCL just above MSC as the worst. Free Style cruising in my opinion is just a marketing pitch ... Read More
This was our first experience with NCL and it will be our last. We have sailed on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, MSC and Celebrity and I would rank NCL just above MSC as the worst. Free Style cruising in my opinion is just a marketing pitch with the real goal to being to "up-sell" you to specialty dining rooms because the main dining options that come with the cruise are so poor. After trying 3 of the specialty rooms (Cagney's (ok steak), French and Italian = extra money to get you up to an average cruise dining room status. Bottom line the food was below Carnival and Royal Caribbean and way below Celebrity. The entertainment was spotty and the buffet was the worst I've seen. The table were sticky because they needed to be cleaned better and the food on the buffet (especially breakfast) was sub par. Hotdog and Hamburger buns were old and hard, pancakes and eggs were old and cold and often items were just not properly refreshed and left on the line so long the viability of the food was questionable.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I guess I should start by saying its all about expectations. I have only cruised two other times, both with Carnival, and I absolutely loved both trips!! The ships were beautiful, shows were incredible, and the staff during both trips ... Read More
I guess I should start by saying its all about expectations. I have only cruised two other times, both with Carnival, and I absolutely loved both trips!! The ships were beautiful, shows were incredible, and the staff during both trips couldn't do enough for you. I had been told Carnival was a "party" ship, and kind of bottom of the barrel as far as cruise lines. On both trips, we went with extended family that included groups from 8yrs old up to 75, and we all had a fantastic time. My expectation when we booked our Norwegian cruise, was that it would be bigger & better... I couldn't have been more wrong! I was again traveling with extended family, this time though, our kids were ages 14 thru 20, and we had adults 36 thru 75yrs. My first disappointment was after downloading the Norwegian app that promised me I could keep up with what was happening on the ship as well as stay in touch with everyone in my party via text for just over $7pp...a bargain considering this would allow me to keep tabs on my teens. We even used the apps countdown to our cruise... only to find out upon arrival, that this app does NOT work on our ship!!! Crazy that I was using it to count down the days til I boarded the "Dawn" but was never informed I couldn't use it on the trip. Another let down was how small every venue was. I was unable to cross my legs in the Stardust theatre. other then the Comedian - who was fabulous, and the dancing show, which was the most popular show... so that even when we arrived 20min early, the only seats left had a very obstructed view, not much was worth sitting through anyway. In the lounge where they had Karaoke only 10 people were not obstructed by large wooden pillars. Many shows in the Spinnaker where quite a few shows took place was also way too small, and there were always at least 30 people left standing. Maybe if they had less "pay" dining venues, they would have space for larger venues. On carnival, food was quite good, and presentation was incredible. Here, there was NO variety at the Garden Café buffet. If you dined at the complimentary Venetian, you can expect to invest at least 2hrs per meal. On Carnival, not only did the wait staff entertain, but they were always smiling and interacting... asking about our day, even making suggestions for what to do/where to go. This staff had no interpersonal skills, there was virtually no interaction all 7 nights. They basically took our orders, and eventually served our food. There were not many food "events" on the Dawn the way most ships have. They had a Cupcake "extravaganza" that was less impressive then something you would see at a home birthday party. Seriously, I even took pics cause it was so outrageously "underwhelming" I thought it was almost funny. Same with the pizza making event. Not only was it understaffed, so the wait was super long, there was almost nothing to it. It is crazy to me that we were on a cruise ship where the expectation is "spectacular" and we were getting ridiculous! When you finally get to the front of the line, the staff is very unfriendly, barely making any eye contact. The same is for the entire crew on Norwegian. At one point I was alone in an elevator with a white uniformed crew member, not only did he not return my smile, but he didn't utter a word... awkward!! On carnival our family attended a class to learn how to make those cute towel animals. We were all given towels, and had a lot of fun & laughs creating the different animals Here on the Dawn they also had a class, however, you were not given any towels to make your own animal, you just watched the crew make them... we left, as did most other people. If a crew member didn't have an answer for your question, they would just say "I don't Know" No one made any effort to find out or accommodate in any way. Actually the cabin stewards were the friendliest and most helpful of the crew, I must give credit where credit is due. I am a big slot machine player, I found a machine I liked, it literally broke down 6 times while I was playing. The staff member was annoyed ea time I needed assistance, finally I switched to a second machine... you guessed it, it also broke. I went back 3 nights later, I kid you not, same thing happened!! The saving grace of this cruise was the 3 days in Bermuda. That is when we finally saw spectacular. We had a great time, and were thrilled to be off the ship! I also have a very fun and wonderful family, so spending time with them was also great. I will never go on a Norwegian Cruise again, and will certainly check out any ship before I book, I was naïve to think every ship is a great ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
NCL markets their ships as having “adult-only” clubs were you can dance until dawn.” Although not mentioned by NCL, which promotes the Norwegian Dawn as having “12 fun bars and lounges”, the real target groups for this cruise are ... Read More
NCL markets their ships as having “adult-only” clubs were you can dance until dawn.” Although not mentioned by NCL, which promotes the Norwegian Dawn as having “12 fun bars and lounges”, the real target groups for this cruise are (1) parents that want to allow their 18 yr. old children to drink and gamble (although clearly no effort was made to ensure that those that only perhaps looked 18 were not drinking and gambling), and (2) families with small children. Children are allowed everywhere and at all times. The only exception is the disco where children under 18 are apparently not allowed after 11:00 pm., which makes little sense as there is a separate disco for children. Therefore, unless you want to dance or sing along with children, there is no place to do so until 11:00 pm., and then you are likely to be surrounded by intoxicated 18 year olds (or those that looked close enough). While there may have been recent problems, we have never experienced any similar issues with either Carnival or Royal Caribbean, which do not appear to encourage or support under age drinking. There is no real adult-oriented entertainment, which is fine provided NCL makes that disclaimer in its advertising. There were two comedy shows the entire trip, and only on the last night was there an attempted “adult” show. This one adult show was held in a smaller venue, the disco, and after the teenagers had already been allowed into the disco. Therefore many of the teenagers simply stayed, and therefore there were no place for adults to sit, except on the floor. The venue was extremely over-packed with people standing or sitting shoulder-to-shoulder on the floor and was certainly a dangerous fire hazard, which did not appear to be a concern for NCL or the Cruise Director that introduced the show. The freestyle dining is also not handled particularly well. First, there is a lot of misinformation. We saw people passing through the long lines and wait to get into the main dining rooms that had made reservations. Therefore, we made reservations ourselves. The next night, however, the reservations desk told us that they did not take reservations for the main dining rooms, which was clearly wrong. A majority of the time the food was not delivered timely, but this was not the fault of the waiters but was a problem with the kitchen and management. It was not unusual to wait 20 to 25 minutes after ordering before the salad or first course was served. Therefore, unless you prefer the buffets or do not mind the wait, freestyle dining did not work particularly well on Norwegian Dawn. The food, although prepared well, was also blander than other cruises, which may be because they are attempting to appeal to a wide variety of individuals. Another comment, directed more toward the passengers, is that there seemed to be a greater amount of trash and discarded eating material left behind on the pool deck. Although it is not much of an excuse, there were not a lot of trash receptacles nearby, but passengers did not appear to be as concerned about leaving their trash behind after laying in the sun (perhaps this relates back to the amount of underage drinking). The only bright spot of the cruise is the stateroom and bathroom, and our room steward, Gilbert. He was attentive and responsive. The bedroom was not bad, and bathroom was nicer than most cruises. NCL’s wine corkage fee is also unreasonable. Unlike other cruise lines, NCL charges an excessive corking fee even if you only consume wine in your stateroom. Further, other cruses will return your shore-purchased wine the last day of sailing as opposed to NCL that returns any wine the morning before you debark. Therefore, the NCL policy appears to encourage under-age consumption so long as it is paid for while on board – Nice. Regardless, based on the above, Norwegian Dawn, will be our only NCL cruise as we believe the cruise was misrepresented, does not offer much for adults without children, and is not managed particularly well. Hopefully other cruise lines will resist any similar policies.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Regular cruisers, my wife and I still had not had the chance to sail the Norwegian Line, so when a July 12, 2013 trip to Bermuda sailing out of Boston, our hometown, came up we jumped aboard. The ship was the Norwegian Dawn, hereinafter, ... Read More
Regular cruisers, my wife and I still had not had the chance to sail the Norwegian Line, so when a July 12, 2013 trip to Bermuda sailing out of Boston, our hometown, came up we jumped aboard. The ship was the Norwegian Dawn, hereinafter, the Norwegian Doom. Early signs of trouble showed up at portside passenger registration, when we were told the ship, rated for 2,224 passengers, had been bumped up to about 3,000 the extra souls on board all apparently children. Clearly, the oil of fresh pressed humanity would soon be oozing out of the Doom's steel pores like sweat dripping down a first time marathoner with 60 pounds still to lose. Visions immediately sprang to mind of a repeat of the Doom's November 27, 2009 incident when it lost all power while returning to Miami from the blazing Caribbean. The more than 2,000 baked potato passengers endured no running water, electricity, air conditioning or toilets. Add another thousand to that number with this sailing, toss in an extra large pinch of panicky, bawling children and their overwrought patents and the potential for high mayhem on the seas stretched before us like so many ominous Norwegian red Dawns. If you have ever yearned for an authentic reenactment of your immigrant forbears Coming to America experience, this was the trip for you. Almost every cabin of the Doom was bursting with people, with bunk beds folded down everywhere and elated children bouncing up and down on them like crazed puppies. In our cabin it got no better. The ship's walls were cheap tenement house thin. The two little next-door girls loved to sing and sometimes, their father, who had some pretty decent pipes, also joined in on occasion. It was like shipboard Glee, but of the fever induced kind. I suppose I could have banged on their cabin door, but how often could I do that? These little girls loved to sing their lungs out, AM to PM. Instead, when things got especially raucous I joined in, my crappy voice immediately ruining their dulcet duets and triumphant trios. That usually put a stop to it, at least for a while. Then there were the Ritalin-deprived kids directly above us who continually crashed back and forth down the ship corridor, a cacophonous stampede of desperate little feet with nowhere to exit. Rounding out the immigrant tramp steamer experience was the ship's food. My early 20th century Italian forebears probably stuffed their cardboard suitcases full with delicious prosciutto, capicola, and Parmesan. Fat chance in 2013, as the ship's security scanners would have confiscated any such tasty goodies. The Doom's buffets were in acute need of a miracle of loaves and fishes. Lines of an hour or more were not uncommon. Better that Norwegian had issued everyone fishing tackle and wished the passengers good luck. The Venetian, the Doom's main dining room, was a black hole into which any food taste that may have once existed had been sucked into an eager alternate universe. One night I was served a beef dish with a special sauce. Rather than waste the unyielding slice of meat I resoled my shoe with it. As staff apologies I was next served a "sirloin steak," which was about as an accurate representation as a gerrymandered congressional district. One breakfast morning in the Venetian I asked the server whether the pancakes or waffles were better. He said waffles. Out came thin, brown, corrugated cement things that could have cobbled the streets of a colonial era themed mall. The server took them away, he and the chef apparently tasted them, and the server came back to our table with the look of a man about to commit harakiri as contrition. On another evening I tried the rosemary chicken. It had been dead before it was ever alive. The mash potatoes were as cold and lifeless as clueless zombies and the sparse amounts of carrots and peas were metered out with the adoring fetish of an OCD accountant. The food difficulty, of course, was that the ship was way overbooked, despite what Norwegian might say about this posing no problem. But it was a problem, and a big one. The hapless staff was being pushed to the breaking point. Up on the pool deck hungry lines snaked around the barbecue area and the sweltering pit workers had the look of tortured souls condemned to Dante's innermost circle of hell. On disembarkation day the, we're-one-big-happy-family illusion started to come apart at the seams like a swollen piñata. We had gone to the Venetian for our final breakfast. We sat near a server station. The place was in an uproar. Servers were screaming into the ship phones connecting them to the kitchen, meals were missing, passengers were pissed, the dining room managers were exhorting the staff to stay calm, telling them to hold it together for "just five more minutes," and strangest of all, big troves of food were suddenly disappearing off the dining room floor. I inquired about what was going on. I was told that every four to six months the US government sends health inspectional workers to inspect food services on the ship. I wondered why this was such a big deal. Shouldn't this be just like any other working day in the ship's kitchens? Apparently not, which prompted a whole new series of thoughts, none of which I cared to think too deeply about. Rounding out the so last century experience was the ship's Internet and computer services. We had some important ship travel documents stored on our iPad, a common thing to use when traveling. I showed them to ship Customer Services and was informed that that they needed a hard copy, of course, no problem. Just allow me to connect to your wireless network. Sorry, our Customer Service system is hardwired. So, a Customer Service Rep and I trooped up to the Doom's Internet cafe, which has wireless. Uh, sorry, we can't print out from an iPad. I finally ended up emailing the docs to the Rep. What should have been a five minute issue became a 45 minute fiasco. Were there any high points? The ship's premium restaurants, in particular Le Bistro ($20 per person surcharge) and the Italian La Cucina ($15 per person surcharge) were not simply good, but outstanding. Their food rivaled the best anywhere. But these should be special occasion outings, not routine on board events. We ended up having dinner twice at each restaurant, only eating the Doom's dining room food when we wanted to lose weight. Also the Customer Service Rep who saw my ship document problem all the way through to the end was superb. Apparently many of those on board were having their first cruise experience and had no way to compare. They thought all this was normal. It's not. If you want to eat good food and drink at low cost there are better choices. If you want a more upscale experience there also better options than the Doom. Normally, when I get off a ship I leave with warm lingering memories. In the Doom's case I really could use a Men In Black memory erase. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We waited 44 years to take our first cruise. After our experience on Norwegian it will be at least that long before we take another. I am not writing this to seek any type of response or accommodation from Norwegian, nor am I naive enough ... Read More
We waited 44 years to take our first cruise. After our experience on Norwegian it will be at least that long before we take another. I am not writing this to seek any type of response or accommodation from Norwegian, nor am I naive enough to think that the CEO or company cares even a little about the opinion of one person (actually four because my husband and parents who were along for the trip completely agree with me). I am writing this simply to inform those who are considering a Norwegian cruise vacation of our experience. Details are provided below, but I will sum up for those who do not want to read the very long critique that follows: If you work for your money and/or if your vacation time is limited and precious to you, or even if you have millions and take a vacation every week, we do not recommend a cruise on the Norwegian Dawn. In fact, we would stay home if this vacation were our only option. If we won a free cruise, we would give it away to someone we dont like very much! I know that reviews are personal opinion, and that it helps to know who is writing. My husband and I are a professional couple in our 40s with no children. We not particularly picky about food and do not care about gourmet meals, wine, or liquor. We exercise regularly and are in decent shape. We like being by water on summer vacations and love trying new activities. We like casinos. We are willing to pay extra for an all-inclusive vacation because of the convenience. We have both worked in service industries and how that tips are well-deserved and earned by the hard work necessary in the service industry. We are not demanding and do not expect to be waited on hand-and-foot, but we do expect courtesy and to be treated like people who have just paid what to them is a large amount of money for the only big vacation they take a year. I would also add that we have been to Europe eight times, most of the lower 48 states, Aruba three times, The Dominican Republic twice, the Bahamas, Cancun, and Jamaica. We also own a time-share. We have never had a bad vacation and have never before written any sort of complaint to anyone regarding a vacation. We have never even complained about our time share; that alone should tell you that we are easy-going. Check-in and arrival on the boat: We left from Boston on July 26, 2013 for a 7-day cruise to Bermuda on Norwegian Dawn. Literally from the minute we arrived at the dock the vacation went poorly. There was a large crowd (to be expected) trying to figure out what to do with luggage and how to board the ship. That in itself was not a problem. We found a very nice porter who agreed to put our luggage on his cart and directed us to follow him to the check-in line. We were following as directed when a female employee (blond, short hair, middle-aged for identification purposes) literally put her hand in my husbands face (without any warning) and said/yelled with a very loud and rude tone, You cant go there. Go back to the line, (and pointed somewhere behind us). My husband tried to begin to explain that we were following the man with our luggage. She cut him off and said The lines back there. You cant go here. Our porter and she then began to argue, and the porter called his supervisor to the scene. The supervisor told us and him that she has no say over what the porters do, and that we were to ignore her and follow our porter. He then told his employee to walk right past her. The woman apparently had no authority (although she was wearing an employee tag) since she didnt pursue the matter (or us) and simply turned around, (and Im not kidding), to begin screaming at another group to Stop where you are right now? The check-in line moved quickly, but when we arrived at the desk the woman behind the counter said nothing friendly at all. The conversation went as follows: Passports. (I presented mine.) Ticket. We presented it. Where do we go after here? Husbands passport. Where do we go after here? Credit card. (My husband gave his.) Do we have another line after this? (No response.) We went through security and were asked for our group number to begin boarding. Three separate people asked us and we told each that we had not been given one. The first two people said something to the effect that it was impossible and that we needed a number. Then both told us it didnt matter and to go straight on the boat. When the third person approached us, she said that without group number we had to wait in a sitting area. While waiting, my husband decided to stand next to his chair instead of sitting down. While standing he was almost immediately told by a woman who was helping to move the crowd to Sit down!. When he asked Why? the woman replied Because you are in the way. We asked if we should go back downstairs to get a number and we were ignored. We found out from another passenger that we had to wait for general boarding. We did. When we were called we were waiting to board and three times a woman said loudly Have room keys out. My husband was looking for his and the woman approached him and said again Room key! He explained that he was looking for it and she said You need a room key to board. Room key. Thankfully he produced it, thus forcing the yelling woman to leave us alone and approach someone else in the same manner. Upon stepping foot on the boat we were greeted by a woman with spray bottle of hand sanitizer repeating Happy, happy, washy, washy then proceeded to spray in the direction of our hands without permission. That same scenario happened at nearly every single meal. I tried to get a soda at the bar and was told that we were supposed to have been given a beverage sticker at the check-in desk. We were not. I was told that without the sticker we would be charged for each drink, even though we had already paid for the beverage package. I found a table selling beverage packages and explained the situation. The employee called over two others to ask what to do. He received no answer and then told me he was leaving and that the next person would handle it. A woman arrived. I explained the situation again and she gave me a sticker, which I found out on the last day was incorrect. We had to show our room key each time ordered a soda and were charged. When I questioned it, an employee told me that this is policy and that after a few days the charges would be removed because we had the beverage plan. Not so. Money, money, money Skip the 7-day cruise ordeal and go to a 3-hour time share presentation to understand the attitude toward money on the ship. You will receive the same hard-sell-youreally-want-to-need-to-give-us-more attitude as the cruise ship for a lot less investment of time. Precious few of the restaurants are included in the purchase price. Aside from the snack bar, there are nine sit down restaurants for dinner. Two are included. Seven charge additional fees. Also included is the very crowded and not well serviced buffet. All of the specialty restaurants are additional fees. There are shopping representatives in the atrium every day. The shopping consultant makes several announcements during the day encouraging all to purchase the special item of the day. Of particular note was the television program about Ammorite (or Ammonite, some kind o f blue-green stone) and how a passenger could become an Ammorite VIP if a certain dollar amount was purchased. Spa representatives walk the pool deck while in port and stand at the entrance to the fitness center to solicit passengers and drum up business. The ships photographers are at port with various creatures (pirates, parrots) asking people to pose. They are also in the atrium all day, and walk the restaurants during dinner asking people for photo shoots. Each 5 x 7 picture is $12.95. If there are three or more people the photo is $19.95. Apparently it costs more to aim for three people. There are multiple announcements each day to book your next cruise now for super bargain deals and to become a member of cruise rewards. There are multiple announcements throughout the day for the various paid activities. Many activities have extra charges, like the murder mystery lunch in which I was interested. A large number of the free activities, like the posture seminar, are actually sales pitches for products and services available for purchase. Even the free shows begin with a sale of instant lottery cards and raffle tickets. The free entertainment can be summed up as follows: these are not Vegas or Broadway quality performances; in fact they are far from that. They are free for a reason; without being overly critical, quality of the shows is mediocre at best. The grand finale of the last nights show includes two employees with the hand sanitizer performing a dance of sorts with their spray bottles and singing happy-happy-washy-washy. Tips & Service Tips must be prepaid. On our cruise it was $12 a day per person. Perhaps that is why service is not particularly good or fast. Of course, there is a list of people who do not share in the group tip, so you are asked to tip on board in addition to paying tips in advance. Spa and specialty restaurants add another 18% to the bill automatically, so tips there are also an additional and mandatory fee. The service was very unfriendly. When I returned the beach towels I was apparently unaware of the proper procedure. I placed the towels on the counter (which was evidently for clean towels only). The employee simply looked at me and pointed. I turned to see the pile of dirty towels and placed mine there. I handed him my receipt and was expecting a confirmation that I had returned the towels so that I would not be charged the $25 deposit. He took my receipt, said nothing, and ignored me even though there was no other passenger there. I asked, Am I all set? He said simply Yeah and continued with what he was doing. Service in the main dining room was slow and not once did the server come back after placing the food on the table to ask if we needed anything. We had to fight for someones attention to ask for more water or for condiments. I walked behind an employee too closely at the buffet and was told Watch out! I watched a very elderly man place a coffee stirrer in the wrong receptacle and be yelled at by an employee. The employee was very rude. To his credit, that man replied, What are you going to do, throw me off the ship? Good for him. Saturday of the cruise was my mothers birthday. At lunch we asked for a piece of cake to be brought with a candle on it. The employee responded, Do you want to do that now? Why dont you wait until dinner? After we explained that in fact we did want it now, the waitress did bring the cake and candle. It was a bit unnerving to be questioned when making a request that didnt seem particularly labor intensive. I attended a salsa dance class, but again the attitude of the staff was unwelcoming. I was wearing flip-flops. I had only brought flip-flops and high heels with me. I did not want to try a new dance in stilettos. The cruise director surveyed the crowd and announced that flip-flops are the worst shoes to wear to a dance class. He added that, although those of us in flip-flops were welcome to stay, we would not be able to keep up or participate well. His tone indicated that he was fatigued at the flip-flop wearers lack of preparation. I stayed for a few minutes and then left. Despite purchasing the beverage package, when the final billed arrived on our day of departure, we were charged for every single drink. My husband took the bill to the front desk to ask for clarification. We were told that we were given the wrong sticker on our key card, the UB ultimate beverage package we had did not include soft drinks. My husband told the woman working the front desk, Jesse J., that since we dont drink alcohol and did not purchase an alcohol package, we had purchased the soft drink package. Every one of the drinks charged was either a diet Pepsi or Ginger Ale, which was surely included in the soft drink package. Ms. J. started looking up each of the charges then stopped and answered the phone and proceeded to help another guest and then someone else at the desk. My husband had to ask for someone else to help him with the billing issue. Dijana P. began to help him with the issue, but she quickly handed it off to the food and beverage manager who had to print the receipts for every single drink and then void them out one by one. That process took almost 45 minutes. Neither one of the women nor the food and beverage manager was friendly or apologized for the error. He was presented the revised billed as the employee promptly said Next. Spa Prices at the spa are what one would expect at a resort, pricey but not extravagant. However, be prepared to listen to a sales pitch for products after your treatment. You will be walked through the shop and shown what you need to buy. The questionnaire that must be completed prior to any treatment asks if you have certain conditions (so that the employee can offer you the correct package of products to buy). You can avoid that by checking off nothing on the questionnaire. You will not avoid the general sales pitch for works-for-all-problems products. I booked a massage, but after waiting 40 minutes completely by myself in the waiting room with no acknowledgement of any kind, I informed the receptionist that I was leaving. I was asked if I wanted to reschedule. Obviously I did not. The therapist called and apologized. There was some mistake in her schedule and no one knew I was there because the receptionist didnt inform anyone. Again I was asked if I wanted to reschedule. I did not. To the spas credit, the manager called with apologies and offered me a free massage. I accepted and tipped the therapist well. Food Main dining room: The food in main dining room is mediocre at best. The main dining room is packed every night, probably because most of the restaurant space is specialty restaurants. It cannot accommodate the number of people on board. If you do not make a reservation, at certain times there can be an hour wait. Apparently people make reservations for the entire week since we tried to make reservations a day ahead of time and were told that he only times available were 5:00 pm or 8:15. That happened on two different days. The service is slow, again because it cannot accommodate the numbers of people. We ate at 6:30 the first night. We waited 45minutes for a table and dinner took 2  hours. We waited 35 minutes for a salad. We chose to eat at 5:00pm for the rest of the week in order to avoid the chaos. Although it was different from our normal dinner time, it was worth avoiding the prime hours. The crowds were forming as we exited every night. The menu is essentially the same every night. There was a specialty each night, but the main section was exactly the same. The portions were tiny. We are not big eaters, but these portions were really small. The last evening my husband received strip steak the size of the palm of his hand, an ice cream scoop size of mashed potatoes and eight (yes, we counted) green beans as his dinner. Buffet: On one day at breakfast there were no clean glasses for at least 20 minutes. At certain times there were no tables available. There are long lines everywhere and a very narrow path to walk from the line to the tables, in which you not only have other passengers, but workers with carts and trays. After 9:30 am the only place for breakfast is the buffet. Although the hours state that it serves until 11:30, long before then employees begin clearing to prepare for lunch, and breakfast items are not replenished. I was there one day at 10:50 and breakfast items were being replaced already with lunch. Despite the large number of passengers, the only times that I saw both sides of the buffet open were the mornings of departure and arrival. The rest of the time only one side was open, creating even longer lines. The buffet food is served cafeteria style (grab a plate and slide it down the line) and is luke warm to the point that butter does not melt on anything you want it to. (Even if it were hot, it would have been cold by the time we found a table.) The coffee machine on one side was broken twice and the ice cream machine was unavailable for two days. Temporary receptacles were brought out, but the coffee was cold and the ice cream melted. Apparently a nice meal can be purchased at the other dining venues, but if you expect good food for the initial price of the cruise, be prepared to be disappointed. Beverages (and money) Soft drinks and (of course) alcohol are not included in the price. Passengers can buy a beverage package, but even with that coffees that are considered specialty (like cappuccino or flavored syrups) and bottled water is not included and charged separately. You can purchase a bottle water package independently of your other drink package that includes six1 liter bottles for only $21. The Java Cafe is not included and all coffee there is also charged separately. (The employee there told me that it was special Italian coffee.) Even if you purchase a beverage package, you will have to show your key, be charged, and sign a receipt for every drink you have. Cleanliness On Sunday morning I made coffee in the room. I forgot about it. On Wednesday morning I went to make another pot. The coffee and filter were still there. I noticed a piece of pineapple on the floor near the entrance to the 24 hour restaurant on Monday. I noticed it every morning thereafter. On Thursday, the morning of departure, it was still there. On the morning of arrival room checkout was 9 am. At 7:30 my husband and I went to onboard credit to deal with the problem with our bill. The room steward asked us if he could enter the room to make the bed. We agreed and when we returned the bed was set up with the welcome sign for the new arrivals. We had access to that bed for the rest of the morning (about two hours). We sat on it and had our luggage on it. The point is, we could have slept in it and the new guests would not have known. Bermuda Ships can no longer dock in Hamilton, leaving the Royal Naval Dockyard as the home for cruise ships. The dockyard is at least a 20 minute drive to a nice beach. There is a man-made beach in walking distance of the ship, but it is tiny and so near the ships that the water has a film floating on it. Whether it is oil or suntan lotion I could not tell. There are no waves at that beach and there is a $5.00 per person fee to use this area. The ship is about 25 minutes by car from Horseshoe Bay Beach. Transportation options are a crowded bus, a scooter rental at $85 a day, or a cab for about $40 one-way. Tourists can pay to rent chairs and umbrellas at the beach; there are none available free to the public. The beach is gorgeous and the water is crystal clear. There are fun water sports to do in the dockyard, but of course they are a separate fee. (That is to be expected since they are not part of the cruise. Im not complaining at all about that.) Jet-skis are great, but again, they are expensive ($155 for 75 minutes). There are other activities as well, but the cheapest option I saw was a half-hour banana boat for about $38. Almost all of Hamilton closes at 6pm. Restaurants are open but there is almost no need; they were essentially empty. I was told that most of Bermudas shops and tourist activities close early. That leaves the ship for nighttime entertainment, even while docked in Bermuda. Pool deck Capacity on the Dawn is 2200 passengers. There is only one main pool that is filled with sea water (and a kiddie pool). The main pool is smaller than some backyard pools. There are not enough lounge chairs so people wake up early to stake out their territory. They leave towels on chairs and some remain unoccupied almost all day. I arrived at 9:00am one morning and there was nothing available, but there were probably only 100 people on the deck. The towels had been laid out much earlier. I heard at least two arguments between passengers and employees about the situation at the pool. Without a pool, one is left to walk the ship, gamble, or sit in an indoor area without much to do. On a positive note: Our cabin was large enough and away from the noise on the active decks. We paid for an aft-facing balcony. It was a good location and on the return trip the deck had sun, so I didnt have to even attempt to navigate the awful crowds at the pool. Room service and the in-room breakfast service were timely and efficient. The 24 hour snack restaurant was not bad, and we always found a seat. The casino was decent, but the room is hot and full of smoke. That is to be expected in a casino, but if smoke bothers you, you will have a hard time there. Our luggage was not lost. We received our luggage about three hours after entering our room, but with the large numbers of suitcases employees must deliver, we have no complaints. The other passengers were gracious and polite. The ship did not sink or have any major mechanical problems like other cruise lines have experienced recently. We also made it back to our Boston port as scheduled. Would we do it again? Absolutely not.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
In June of 2008, along with other family members, I took a cruise on NCL's Majesty to Bermuda. The ventilation ducts in our cabin were very noisy from the time we arrived until the time we disembarked, complaining got us nowhere. At ... Read More
In June of 2008, along with other family members, I took a cruise on NCL's Majesty to Bermuda. The ventilation ducts in our cabin were very noisy from the time we arrived until the time we disembarked, complaining got us nowhere. At the elevator bank/ stairwell closest to our cabins (on deck 6), was a terrible odor of raw sewage, which was present the entire length of the cruise. At the poolside bar where our grandchildren went for sodas, they were regularly ignored until the adults there had been served. I said I would never sail with NCL again. In June of this year,I gave in to other family members and agreed to try again, BIG MISTAKE. NCL ships now dock at "Kings Wharf" in Bermuda, it's the middle of nowhere. One has to walk about 1/2 mile to the bus stop and ferry dock. NCL will tell you they have a "train" type thing that will transport you back and forth, good luck with that. I saw it twice in three days, it carries about 30 folks and services two ships carrying a total of about 3 to 4 thousand passengers, do the math. The closest popular beach is about 1/2 hour ride from the ship, they PACK the buses. FOOD: The buffet is not at all good (breakfast is decent), meals in main dining room area mediocre at best. Wait staff however are very nice.What bothered me the most was the men's room just outside of the buffet area, necessity took me there a number of times. The toilet bowls were stained and the floor around them was wet with what had to be urine. Nice that people stepped in this and then walked back through a dining area, not very sanitary and explains why there have been breakouts of illness on some cruise lines. The men's room on the pool deck, near the ice cream dispensing area, was pretty much the same, ignored and disgusting. If the ship is underway and the sun is out, good luck trying to get a deck chair and a spot in the sun.The pool deck and the deck above it were elbow to elbow with folks.CASINO: Bring your oxygen bottle, place smells like a dirty ashtray, poor ventilation. Gaming table coverings (cloth tops) are worn and dirty. Have never seen such a dingy casino on a cruise ship. Prior to disembarking, my account was paid in full using my credit card, the bill matched my charge slips to the penny. Several days later they attempted to place additional charges on my credit card, I refused to pay them. Suggest you check your bill closely and do save your signed charge slips. We have sailed with a number of cruise lines, in my opinion, NCL is the worst. Aside from the crew staff, I don't have anything good to say about my cruise on the Dawn to Bermuda this past June,or on NCL in general. NEVER AGAIN. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
My husband and I took our 4 children (8mos, 2yrs, 8yrs, and 8yrs) on this NCL cruise out of Boston. We live in Vermont so we chose a cruise that we could drive to the embarkation port to save money. I was extremely disappointed ... Read More
My husband and I took our 4 children (8mos, 2yrs, 8yrs, and 8yrs) on this NCL cruise out of Boston. We live in Vermont so we chose a cruise that we could drive to the embarkation port to save money. I was extremely disappointed with the food. The buffets were the same pretty much every day and it was cafeteria type food. Nothing special at all. The two restaraunts that you could go to without paying a cover charge pretty much had the same food that you could find on the buffet. They ran out of lemonade for the kids with 3 days left on the cruise. The adults tried to order lemonade with dinner but we were told that lemonade was just for the kids. The shows were mediocre at best. The 8 year olds did love the kid's club that they offered, so that was pretty much the only high point of the cruise. I know that you typically don't spend a lot of time your cabin during a cruise, but when you have young children, often times you have to. There was very limited TV show choices for children. I would not bring any children that aren't potty trained on an NCL cruise. they were not allowed in any pools, even with swimmy diapers. You can't tell me that the people that sat in the pools all day long didn't urinate in the pools. It was ridiculous. Also, people were reserving deck chairs at 7:30 in the morning, even though you are not allowed to. No staff enforced that rule. Our room attendant didn't bother to get to know us or talk to us. The freestyle concept ended up making you wait for dinner for 30 minutes during peak times. Needless to say, we won't be doing this cruise ever again. Save your money and spend it on another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I have always sailed with NCL and each year it gets worse, this last cruise was the last one I will ever sail with NCL, the convenience of port is not even worth it anymore. cruise director, If we really had one, did not do his job. see ... Read More
I have always sailed with NCL and each year it gets worse, this last cruise was the last one I will ever sail with NCL, the convenience of port is not even worth it anymore. cruise director, If we really had one, did not do his job. see bullets below: - soda card purchased, was treated like I was presenting a state welfare card when I went to get soda, used the spray soda only but, when that didn't work used two already opened flat sodas to fill my dixie cup. - paid for the spa $60 each a day for Sea days only, not counting the first or last day but, then they tried to sell me for 7 days however, the first day and last day would not count as it was closed ok, so wouldn't that be a 5 day pass? staff consumed all water, juice & tea ran out, waited 2.5 hours for water finally went to the buffet to get my own. also when you tour they have aromatherapy units and music on but, when you use it, nada. - bed bugs, yes my husband and I were both bit. - not a single towel animal - once in Bermuda asked for directions from google maps as I have always received before to be printed to a nearby destination, I was told "to just take a cab" I said that we were travelling my moped and I was told" I am not into directions" - pool seats were completely "reserved" from 7:30am on, we watched people "reserve" 9 and 10 at a time not once were they told not to, they would put a towel ( where they got them, I don't know, 1 towel per person until you turn it in, could not find towel station until the 6th day) or t shirt, then simply walk away and not come back or better sit in a table behind the chairs and never even use them. - shows were the same old ones for years, newlywed show, perfect couple etc... even the questions were the same. Bollywood was good but, maybe should of had a PG 13 or at the very least some mention to families. - pools were not drained and cleaned consistently the hot tubs either had the babies/toddlers and kids in them or the teenagers who would just sit on the sides, so we did not go in after the first day, people are drinking and sitting in them for hours no exaggerating, no way they are not urinating and then you have the little ones with and without their swimmies. - food was the exact same every day aside from one small area and it was not good in the buffet, the "24 hour" blue lagoon you need to be seated much preferred the other style. used the same batter with the fish as with the chicken so tasted fishy and had to stop getting it since I do not like seafood. - no more latte/cappuccino/espressos included with dinners in the main dining area, you have to pay $2 something then the 18% grat. - in room dining did not pick up dishes timely, I noted food from early evening the night before even when we got breakfast one day from them that afternoon still in the halls, this cruise had quite a few persons with wheelchairs which must of been impossible to go down the narrow hall. This cruise has become nothing more than a booze cruise and is 75% ghetto. the dockyard is also ghetto especially compared to St. Georges where we used to dock no going out at night there for a moped ride and snorkel park, the only "swimming area" now charges $5 to go on, not for the day either, it will close on you to get ready for the night party and then you pay again and I think more money. We are going to try Royal Caribbean as we have been told since day 1 of cruising with NCL that we are crazy as the service and experience is poor compared to Royal. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I just got off the Dawn yesterday morning following a 7 day cruise from NYC to Bermuda.  I was with my wife and 3 year old daughter.  I should mention that this was my first cruise and most likely my last thanks to NCL First the ... Read More
I just got off the Dawn yesterday morning following a 7 day cruise from NYC to Bermuda.  I was with my wife and 3 year old daughter.  I should mention that this was my first cruise and most likely my last thanks to NCL First the positive, which really has nothing to do with NCL, Bermuda is beautiful,  great beaches, friendly people, very safe island, and most of all 3 days on the island is 3 less on this horrible ship. 10- Mass chaos getting onto boat.  There was no one to guide me and my family as to where to go once we boarded.  No one to ask, trust me I looked. I tried to ask the reception desk, but wasn't in the mood to wait on a line of about 50 people deep. 9-Got a balcony room that was as small as a walk in closet.  Not completely unexpected, but do not book this for anymore than 2 small people, you'll hate it. 8- need more towels?  need to get your valuables out of your broken safe? Need to get your toilet to flush?  Well just try getting someone to pick up the phone when you call reception!!!  No one picks up EVER!  Un real! Pick up the phone!  Give me some service or choice B, could be, provide me with more than 2 bath towels, provide me with a safe that opens, and please for the love of g-d, give me a toilet that flushes!!! so much to ask?  I don't think so for 3 grand? 7- My safe broke twice, locking me out from my wallet, camera, jewelry, medicine, etc.  There's 40 minutes off my trip waiting for a supervisor to come to the room to open my safe, I'll never get back! 6-Ahh yes, the filthy balcony.  The balcony I paid a major premium for.  Used match sticks, dirt and cigarette ashes.  Had to wear shoes on that one. 5- How did I almost forget the nightly party in the hallways.  About 2 am every night, screaming and yelling from other guests?  Security, please do something?  Nothing like my 3 year old waking me to say, Dad, i'm scared! from the noise!! 4- the food is terrible.  from the awful buffet to the over packed main dining rooms, which if you do decide to go after this review (perhaps you like bad food), make a reservation or expect a nightly 40 minute wait starting at 630 pm 3- wait staff, not a big fan of smiling, or speaking english, really.  very hard to communicate.  If you speak Fillipino, you'll do great. 2-No water pressure in the shower and the number one reason you should never get on the Dawn... THE POOL!  THE 1 POOL!  IT IS SO PACKED, YOU CAN'T MOVE.  IT IS SO LOUD AND THERE IS NO ESCAPING IT, UNLESS YOU WANT TO SIT 3 MILES AWAY FROM THE POOL. YOU LITERALLY HAVE TO SEARCH FOR A LONG LONG TIME (TOOK ME 30 MINUTES ON DAY 2) TO FIND A LOUNGE CHAIR, BECAUSE EVERYONE RESERVES THEIR CHAIR AT THE CRACK OF DAWN, AND THE STAFF DOES NOTHING TO CONTROL IT.  WE HATED THE POOL AND BEING AT SEA FOR 4 FULL DAYS, YOU HAVE NO WHERE ELSE TO GO DURING THE DAY.   PLEASE DO NOT GO ON THIS CRUISE.  I WILL POST THIS REVIEW EVERYWHERE, SO NO ONE ELSE SUFFERS THROUGH THIS AGAIN.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
don't be fooled into thinking you will get quality: we took a week long cruise on the Dawn from NYC to Bermuda. our first cruise and most likely our last cruise, especially with NCL  $250/week parking at NYC......yet another ... Read More
don't be fooled into thinking you will get quality: we took a week long cruise on the Dawn from NYC to Bermuda. our first cruise and most likely our last cruise, especially with NCL  $250/week parking at NYC......yet another rip off !  Bermuda is over priced & over rated even with it's beautiful beaches. the bermuda police must do a great job cause the island felt safe without the usual suspects lurking around even in the evening hours.i liked the top 10 list format another poster used, so i will use a similar posting format. 10- from the moment we boarded it was long lines and unorganized. we waited 1 hour on line to book an excursion. we asked for a manager, the woman smiled and ignored our request, she was selling spa packages to people waiting on endless lines and only cared about that.  There was no management present execpt those who were welcoming their own families onto the ship. there was noone to ask for help. even the front help credit desk was100 people deep. 9-found a piece of half eaten cake in the room fridge, the extra $1000 for the balcony was not worth it. the balcony was dirty and the railing had peeling paint and rotted metal under it. the glass was not cleaned in ages. the sliding door required 2 hands and a good lean to move......terrible ! 8- if you need more towels,like we did, be prepared to wait till the next day.  7- the worst food period, even the upcharge (total rip off) restaurants were awful.loaded with salt the buffest was packed with cheap foods. what a disappointment. the menu remained the same in the restaurants all week long, with only 6 entrees to choose from,this forces you to pay for the upcharge restaurants which were a joke too. 6- a 13" old tv in a $3000 room ?   again a disappointment 5- not safe or secure after dark on the outside decks, never saw a uniformed security officer anywhere. this is not safe,especially with the news reporting people missing on these cruises. 4- back to the gross food..     it was the worst , we eached gained 10 lbs from water weight due to the salt !    we maintain a healthier diet and were not enamored by the endless supply of cheap salty food.the awful buffet had long lines, good luck finding a fork and napkin...we had to ask other people if we can take a set off their table....this is ghetto style cruising !!!   the main dining rooms were packed because the ship was over crowded with 30 minute waits.  i was told 3 corporate employees were on board, i saw one man in a wrinkled shirt writing notes on a napkin, turns out he was indeed from corporate....what a joke !    these people should be fired immediately !!! the executive chef walked around like he was someone important, he did not test the temperature or taste a  single item on the entire buffet line. the food was more often then not cold or just warm. 20 minutes for an omlette in the mornings because they had one employee making the omlettes for 300 cruisers, again what a joke !!!but don't worry, if you want powdered eggs , they had plenty in the cafeteria style pans at the buffet.remember we paid $3000+++ for this cruise....all in, it cost over $4500 with excusions.the french restaurant le bistro was the worst and it cost $25+$10 extra per person to dine there. the food director of the ship is french , he needs to go to paris and actually taste real french food, for if he served that garbage to a real french chef, he would be laughed out of paris ! 3- the wait staff or servers were not professional for the most part. this is because you are forced to leave a tip at the end of your cruise regardless of your own opinion....there was no incentive for them to provide quality service. they have a guy who drank too much espresso or red bulls screaming into a microphone,this was the dawn's cruise director. he was annoying by the second day and made us feel like we were on a college party cruise,yet the crowd was mature so yet another ncl misfit. the dance company (especially the 2 russian couples )jean ann ryan was fantastic as was the piano player bernie, the comedian dave & the magician greg. 2- upon entering the aqua restaurant ,we were asked by a manager if he could help us. we asked for a table for 2....he walked outside the glass entrance door and looked inside at us and other guests standing and waiting to be seated....that is the level of service we received. there was one manager in the venetian who was professional, a young woman who should be the head manager.  1- the pool was tiny and packed with as many of the 3000 cruisers who could find an inch of room to stand in it.4 feet deep, this is not a pool, it is a joke !the carnival ship had a giant slide on it which we saw while docked in NYC, the Dawn has No slide or No real pool in reality.....packed liked sardines,loud people laying inches away from one another, you will be searching for a lounge chair everyday. this was truely ghetto and an awful experience.the jacuzzis were not hot and they were over crowded ,as they only have a few for 3000 people ?plan on being charged $150 each if you want to "swim" in their 20 foot long pool adjacent to the gym.DO NOT WASTE YOUR HARD EARNED EARNED MONEY WITH THIS CRUISE LINE !!! 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Sail Date July 2009
THIS IS NO CRACKIN, CRACKERJACK,SMASHING GOOD TIME. MORE LIKE A WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY! LET's be Blunt this cruise stunk. The Sun has set on this ship appropriately named the dawn because it must be hoping the dawn will soon ... Read More
THIS IS NO CRACKIN, CRACKERJACK,SMASHING GOOD TIME. MORE LIKE A WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY! LET's be Blunt this cruise stunk. The Sun has set on this ship appropriately named the dawn because it must be hoping the dawn will soon come, or maybe renamed the NCL DUSK since the sun has went down on this ship a long time ago. CRUISE DIRECTOR— They make the cruise memorable, John was horrible. He even knocked his own ship a few times. WHERE TO START!!! The terminal was chaos no direction people flooding in from every direction, glad I was able to take a train to Grand Central from upstate 21 dollars RT and an 8 dollar taxi to the terminal beats almost $300 to park. Got introduced right from the start to the endless supply of skin drying alcohol based hand sanitizer, started with the initial spray down before getting on the ship. Got FREE glass of champagne upon entrance to the ship. Must have tried to use as a distraction from the mass chaos in the lobby. The lines were deep and all in this small lobby for excursions, restaurants, promotions, customer service. There was no direction and worst of all no visible hospitality staff to assist. THIS WAS A GIANT FREE FOR ALL. One person was working the excursion desk upon entry she was very nice but overwhelmed by the line of so many people finally a second person appeared after I was on line for over a half hour. We were told our room was ready. We had two twins we specifically asked to have them together. Could not find our room steward. We wanted our fridge emptied, I like Ice in the room so I wanted that, most of all I just wanted that cruise type service. The room size was OK, small 13" basic tv no remote. Still no room steward called front desk guess what slow to answer, finally got someone, said they would take care of it. Still did not meet room steward until next afternoon and did not even introduce himself. Never got ICE, never got turn down service, no TOWEL ANIMALS, barely got towels had to call about that too guess took forever to get answer. Never removed any dirty dishes or glassware. We negotiated some of the gratuity at the end with the front desk. FOOD: HORRIBLE!!!! Food was seemed to be the same everynight the menus never seemed to change. Very manufactured not appealing, lacked flavor but very high in salt at least by taste. Breakfast: stunk! Buffet horrible with long lines, powdered eggs one omelet station in each line with only one cook doing 2 omelets at a time. Blue Lagoon was ok more like a mini diner. Lunch: the outdoor BBQ's were ok but if I'm spending the money I did I should get better than hamburgers and hot dogs. You could go to the buffet hall more like a school cafeteria line and have a few more choices and a decent variety. Dinner: They almost force you to go to specialty rest. They are good they have the legendary service you expect to get on a cruise but you pay for it. Monday nite was our anniversary we went to cagneys it was very good but with two drinks and dinner $81. Tex Mex Salsa was excellent worth the money there. The Italian joint was also good but service was very poor which seemed to be a theme for the ship. The main dining rooms horrible service and same menu every night. Blue lagoon, bimini bar, -good for a quick snack. Entertainment- Pub crawl was great had a lot of fun, the shows were good not spectacular, the comedian was great, and so was the improve show. Other than that the entertainment was non-existent after dark any where you went full of young kids if there was. The bars were all ok but all closed early and lacked service and entertainment. Deckside- pool?? WHERE???? Couldn't find it through the sea of 2000 people trying to do the same thing. On the deck -get out early to try and find a lounge chair because everyone else does and staff does nothing about it. So when in Rome do as the Romans RIGHT!!!! Otherwise be prepared to search for some time for a chair. No deck security at all even at night this is not good especially for a ship that has lost people at sea and is full of rowdy adults and teenagers. Biggest positive -BERMUDA was beautiful but expensive but we knew this ahead of time. Do not use cruise excursions you can walk off boat and find many wonderful people that will be willing to assist you with whatever your needs are. Save you nickels and dimes they will take them. Example for $150 you could get access to the big lap pool in the spa as well as the sauna, and whirlpool. Why do I have to pay that much, my gym membership at home for the year costs that much and has all the same stuff. I could probably go on forever about how bad this cruise was and I have many other things but the best I can tell you is unless you get this cruise at a very cheap price. DO NOT TAKE!!!!!!! I didn't listen and I learned the hard way Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
My wife and I took a trip on Norwegian Dawn out of NY for our Honeymoon on May17th to Bermuda. I am sorry to say that other than 2 of the shows we saw onboard Bermuda was the only good part of the trip. I have taken Carnival a number of ... Read More
My wife and I took a trip on Norwegian Dawn out of NY for our Honeymoon on May17th to Bermuda. I am sorry to say that other than 2 of the shows we saw onboard Bermuda was the only good part of the trip. I have taken Carnival a number of times. Most were fantastic , I had one bad trip but I did not expect much for a 7 day cruise for only $299, worse part is, it was much more enjoyable than the Dawn.             Lets start with the food. In the dining room, we had dinner twice, both times we walked out and went to Salsa restaurant and put up the extra money. Once because the food was awful and once because we waited over an hour and still had no meal. We went once for lunch and had a very tough steak. We went twice for breakfast, waited 45 minutes and left one time and had an ok breakfast the next. The food that was served at the buffets was about as bad as I have ever seen anywhere in my life. Have you guys ever heard of refrigeration? The cheese and cold cuts would go out about 11:00 AM and stay out until probably around 4:00 PM with no refrigeration!!!!!!!!!! The cheese was actually dried out and warm. The rest of the food on the hot bar was barely edible. If you are going to depart from New York with allot of New Yorkers on board you should make sure that if you have a place called the New York Deli that it somehow represents a NEW YORK DELI!!! Room temp cold cuts and bread ( not rye bread ) is not a New York Deli, especially all the disgusting hot dogs and sausages floating in dirty disgusting water, dirty water dogs is about all you had that was New York, you even had andoulli sausage which is a Cajun thing. The food we had at Salsa restaurant was amazing every time we went, but with a $1400 ticket for each of us I think it stinks that we had to pay to get good food. I saved the worst food story for last, the room service. I got a grilled cheese sandwich, that was 2 slices of white toast with one slice of a cheese product between the toast.  I got a burger, not bad if I am comparing it to McDonalds. The best was that out of about 12 containers of milk during my stay more than half were sour, once like cottage cheese. So, the only good food I had was at Salsa and in Bermuda, the rest was barely edible and at points sickening , I am surprised the health dept has not done something about your obvious refrigeration problems. P.S. Carnival had a New York Deli also, there was a person behind the counter making hot corned beef and pastrami sandwiches. They also had a free standing pizza counter making fresh pizza 10 times better than whatever it was you guys served.             Lets move to the room stewards. On Carnival I knew the names of my room stewards the first day on the boat and did not have one complaint about them for the entire trip. On the Dawn however, not so good. They never introduced themselves. They actually took dirty wet towels off the floor and folded them back up and put them on the shelf. There was dirty glasses and empty soda cans from the first day until the last day among allot of other garbage.             I found very few people on board spoke good English. That made it very hard to find our way around the boat. You also need allot of work on the way you disembark. I was one of the first people down because I wanted off the boat so bad but I was told to wait in the wrong spot and wound up at the end of the line.             Pretty much everything about your boat and company stinks and I am sure that neither I or anyone I know will ever be on a Norwegian ship again. When we got home we actually took a 2nd honeymoon to Delaware just so we could forget about our horrible exp. on your boat. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
We sailed on the Aug 3 New York-Bermuda run; Frank Tartaro's review "Dawn Disaster" pretty much sums up our experience, though we ate in fewer restaurants than they did. Embarkation was the easiest I've ever ... Read More
We sailed on the Aug 3 New York-Bermuda run; Frank Tartaro's review "Dawn Disaster" pretty much sums up our experience, though we ate in fewer restaurants than they did. Embarkation was the easiest I've ever encountered, as was disembarkation. Alas, everything in between was much less satisfactory. Our balcony cabin on deck 10 was adequate, nothing more. On previous ships the balcony was large enough for two lounge chairs; here only two chairs, not loungers, fit. Likewise the bathroom was as small as any I have ever seen on a ship and the smallest I have ever seen in a balcony grade cabin. The cabin itself was also tight, though we got used to it. The room stewards kept the cabin clean, and, unlike others on this cruise, ours did introduce themselves. The food was a major disappointment. We ate in Aqua the first night and hated the room, disliked our lackadaisical server and thought the food was mediocre. We ate in the Venetian on four nights and enjoyed that more, though the food was again mediocre at best and almost always too salty. I agree with the reviewer who wondered what the kitchen did to the prime rib; it was unlike any I have ever encountered and I fervently hope never to encounter it again. Salsa was an improvement, as was the sushi bar. Both of those meals were quite good, though nothing better than we can get locally in the New York area. We might have tried Impressions (Italian) or the steak house, but quite frankly, I resent paying extra for food on a ship. This was my 21st sailing and I have watched the nickel and diming of passengers grow apace; I for one dislike the trend! I have subscribed to "Cruise Travel" magazine for years and have read with interest the ongoing discussion of freestyle cruising versus the traditional sit-at-the-same-table approach. I understand both sides of the argument but having now sampled Norwegian Line's version, I opt for traditional! One image that was truly shocking was of dozens of people standing outside the two main (free) restaurants on the first night, waiting for tables. Actually only half were standing; the others were sitting on the steps. This is NOT an image NCL uses in its brochure, and hardly matches one's expectations of shipboard dining! To be fair, things did get better as the days passed, but this is the first time on any cruise ever that I have waited, even a minute, for a table. The other aspect of this cruise that was completely unsatisfactory was the tendering ashore. At King's Wharf the ship doesn't even offer free transport; one must purchase a ride on a large local ferry. That turned out to be a blessing, however, as we learned when we "sailed" a mile into the harbor for the third day in Bermuda. There we boarded another local ferry that took over 30 minutes to load and another 30 to unload. TOTALLY unacceptable! I can't comment on the ship's entertainment because we don't go to shows or take part in activities. We cruise to relax, read and spend time together, preferably in a lounge chair on our balcony - we'll book with another line for that. Oh, one last comment: NCL claims to require "resort casual" attire in the ship's public rooms after 5pm - don't believe it! We saw plenty of shorts, t-shirts and worse in the dining rooms. Elegance, you are sorely missed! Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
This review may be lengthy, but I wanted to warn people off this ship before they waste their hard earned money. My wife and I sailed on the NCL Dawn from New York to Bermuda on August 3, 2008 and returned August 10, 2008 along with ... Read More
This review may be lengthy, but I wanted to warn people off this ship before they waste their hard earned money. My wife and I sailed on the NCL Dawn from New York to Bermuda on August 3, 2008 and returned August 10, 2008 along with eight of our cousins. We had a balcony cabin on Deck 8. Our cousins booked 3 cabins with windows on Deck 9. Our ages range from 15 to 57. EMBARKATION: Our cousins arrived at the pier at 12 noon and flew right through the boarding process. My wife and I arrived at 1 PM and were greeted by a line that spanned the length of the Passenger Ship Terminal. There was one line for two ships, the NCL Dawn and the NCL Spirit. There were no porters or luggage carts to help with the luggage until you reached the main entrance to the terminal which took about 45 minutes. Once inside the terminal our ID and boarding pass was checked and our carry-ons were scanned. This went very smoothly. The next line was to arrange for our on-board credit and to obtain our key cards. This line took about another ½ hour. We boarded the ship at 2:30 PM. We were not offered any welcoming champagne although other people were walking around with a glass in each hand. Asked how to get to our cabin so we could drop off our carry-ons we were told the cabins were not ready. An announcement was made around 3:15 PM that the cabins were ready. CABINS: The cabin was of adequate size with enough storage space for the two of us. We got a cabin with a balcony because I am a smoker and my wife isn't. The balcony was well worth the additional cost. The room was kept very clean by our room stewards, but the balcony area was totally ignored. Every morning I had to clean the balcony myself, i.e., empty the ash tray, wipe down the table and chairs, etc. I left a napkin on the balcony that I used to clean up on the first morning and the same napkin was still there on the last day. CABIN STEWARDS: As stated above, the stewards kept the room very clean but ignored the balcony. Neither steward introduced themselves and till today we do not know their names. On the first night, the steward handed me two pieces of candy and a bingo card in the hallway and said goodnight. This was repeated a couple of times. On other nights, we would return to our cabin and find the bed beautifully turned down with chocolates on the pillow and animals crafted out of towels on the bed. DINING: What can I say. Unless you want to pay extra for dinner every night, do not expect much. We ate breakfast at the buffet every day except one. The breakfast offerings at the buffet were diverse and the quality was good. If you want eggs, an omelet or waffles, expect to wait on a long line. One morning we went to the Venetian for the longest breakfast ever. The waiter kept disappearing for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Coffee cups were never refilled. I ordered Eggs Benedict and they were served dried out and cold. Breakfast took almost 2 hours to complete. Dinner was an experience. The first night we ate in the Venetian (free). The waiter was totally disinterested in what he was doing. Once again he would disappear for long periods of time. Three of us ordered steaks. The steaks were about 1/4 inch thick, overcooked and dried out. We asked for A-1 Steak Sauce in the hope of salvaging the meal. We were give HP sauce which did nothing to help. Dinner took about 2 hours. This scenario was repeated the only other time we ate at the Venetian. The other free restaurant on board is Aqua. The wait staff at Aqua was much more attentive and friendly with the exception of the drink server. One night 5 of us arrived and were seated at our table. We asked to order drinks while we waited for the rest of our party. We were told by the drink server that we would have to wait for the rest of our party because she did not want to walk back and forth with separate drink orders. When we told her we did not want to wait, she said she would not take our drink order until the entire party was seated. I called over the waiter and requested the drink server be removed from our table. He immediately took care of the situation. The quality of food was a little better than at the Venetian. This could be because the food was served hot. The lobster was overcooked and you only got drawn butter if you requested it. If you are going to eat in a free restaurant, eat at Aqua. We tried 3 of the added charge restaurants. The first one we ate at was Tappanayaki, the Japanese restaurant located inside Bamboo. This restaurant carried a $25/head charge. Once we were seated, we were told we had exactly 1 hour 15 minutes to complete our dinner. If we did not finish in the allotted time, we would have to carry our plates out to the Bamboo to complete our dinner. It seems strange that we would be given a time limit to eat in a much as we had just spent $250 plus drinks for the privilege of eating here. The food was just OK. I ordered the steak and shrimp combo. The shrimp was delicious but the steak was overcooked. We were continually offered more fried rice as a way of filling us up because the portions were small. The Italian restaurant, Impressions, was good. This restaurant carried a $10/head cover charge. With the exception of having to ask for plates so we could eat the antipasto they had on the table, the service was very good. Food was served promptly and hot. This was well worth the extra 10 bucks. On the last night we ate at Cagney's Steakhouse. This carried a $20/head cover charge. If you ordered things like lobster or crab legs an additional $10 per item was added to the cover. We made a reservation for 5:45 hoping to beat the crowd but the restaurant was packed. Service was good and the staff was very attentive. I ordered a porterhouse steak medium rare and it was delicious. When I asked the waiter why I could not get a steak like that in the free restaurants, he said it was because they wanted you to pay extra for quality food. ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment on the ship was OK. The shows in the Stardust was varied. The comedian was funny, the magician was run of the mill. The main feature was the Jean Ray Ann Troupe. The dancing and costumes were good, the singing was bad. Every night in the Stardust you were attacked by cruise staff members trying to sell you raffle tickets. The entertainment in the lounges was basically the same every night with the entertainers rotating venues. If you were not into karaoke, all entertainment ended at 11:30 PM. PORTS OF CALL: Kings Wharf (Royal Naval Dockyard): King's Wharf was very nice. It is basically a shopping area with a small beach and a couple of restaurants and bars. This port is very conveniently located. You can buy a three day, $28 transportation pass and come and go as you please. St Georges is only a 20 minute ferry ride from King's Wharf while Hamilton is only a 25 minute ride. We took the ferry into Hamilton twice in the same day. We also took a bus to Horseshoe Bay and spent a beautiful day on the beach. It should be noted that if you want to see any of the tourist attractions go early. Most attractions close for the day between 2 and 4 PM. Hamilton: We spent time in Hamilton while we were docked at King's Wharf so we decided to go to St. Georges. This day was a complete nightmare. You get 8 hours from the time the ship anchors until the time it leaves for home. The ship anchors out in the ocean as it is too large for the dock in Hamilton. We went down to get the tender to Hamilton. We waited 35 minutes before we were loaded onto a life boat that was used for a tender. The life boat was hot and smelled of the exhaust fumes. It took another 25 minutes to reach the dock in Hamilton. We went to the bus terminal and enjoyed the 50 minute ride into St. Georges. After an enjoyable 3 hours in St. Georges, we returned to the bus stop for the trip back to Hamilton. We were told the last tender was at 4 PM. We tried to beat the crowd back to the ship and arrived at the tender area at 3 PM. By this time there was about 500 people ahead of us on line for the tender. We were told by someone on line that they were there for 45 minutes without seeing a tender arrive. We asked a NCL staff member how long the wait would be and he said they were having trouble getting the tenders in because of sea traffic. He also said a ferry boat was coming in due to the large crowd. We finally got on the ferry after an hour wait. We were told by a ferry worker that this takes place every week From my perch on the upper deck of the ferry, I heard a count of over 500 people crammed onto the ferry. After the 25 minute ride back to the ship it took another half hour to get off the ferry. We finally arrived at the elevator on the ship at 5:02 PM, two hours after we got on line for the tender. When we went to complain at the reception desk we were told there was nothing that can be done and this was an unusual occurrence. When we told her the ferry employee said this happens every week she basically called us liars. CONCLUSION: If you want to have an enjoyable cruise, avoid this ship at all cost. Freestyle sailing means NCL is free to charge you extra for services you would normally get for free, i.e., a decent meal, courteous service, etc. Three out of the eight hours we were anchored in Hamilton were spent using the tender. When you complain, you are insulted. The restaurant staff in the Venetian is extremely slow and disinterested. If you ask for something you get a nasty look. Our cousin bought a watch in the gift shop that needed a couple of links removed. When she went to pick it up the crystal was smashed. When she asked for a refund she was told "We are here to make money, not issue refunds". If you want to purchase a photo you must buy an 8" x 10" photo at $25 each in order to earn the right to buy a 5" x 7" copy of the same photo. If you are not into karaoke, the only entertainment option after 11:30 PM is to go to the casino. This was my seventh cruise and the worst cruise I have ever been on. Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
1. Embarkation was smooth and easy but one of us needed a wheelchair from the curb only to be told that you must go inside about 400 feet from the curb to get a wheelchair- figure that one out! 2. Initial room impression was good only to ... Read More
1. Embarkation was smooth and easy but one of us needed a wheelchair from the curb only to be told that you must go inside about 400 feet from the curb to get a wheelchair- figure that one out! 2. Initial room impression was good only to find hair in the sheets and a less-than-clean bathroom. 3. Apparently, "Freestyle" means "nickel and dime" as any time you want to eat somewhere other than the two dining rooms, Aqua and Venetian, you are required to pay a cover charge. Not the worst thing in the world but the food in the Aqua and Venetian were absolutely horrible for dinner leaving us no other option but to pay the cover to eat elsewhere. Unfortunately, once you pay the cover charge you are also subject to paying even more for certain items on the menu. As an example, it was insulting to pay a $20 cover charge for entry to the mexican restaurant. To pay $20 for something like chicken fajitas is horrendous. To pay $20 for entry to Impressions, the Italian restaurant is equally as bad- $20 to get a bowl of pasta- and, frankly, it was the worst plate of pasta imaginable. Someone in our party commented that the food is intentionally bad in the Aqua and Venetian so people will be forced to pay more and east elsewhere. 3. Contacting the front desk or restaurant reservations is the worst. Phone rings and rings until the phone goes dead or you get a fast busy. 4. No enforcement of polices at the pool "Adult-only" Jacuzzis always had young children in it. It seems that no one at any time was looking after enforcing any policies while aboard. 5. Apparently theres not much to do for young adults because at all hours of day and night packs of teenagers who were too young to buy alcohol were walking around with bottles of beer, etc. 6. Almost no scheduled activities aside from "rip-off" bingo and "rip-off" artwork for sale. 7. No food late at night except for Blue Lagoon which is a fast-fried-food area and on two nights there was a 45 minute wait to sit and even for takeout. Imagine being on a cruise and not being able to go somewhere and get something to eat without waiting an hour. 8. Internet access was awful slow. 9. Overall, only a small handful of wait staff smiled and were friendly, the rest seemed cold without any desire to get what you want or assist in any way. "obnoxious" is a great description for the majority of staff. 10. Excursions in Bermuda didn't even include Scuba diving for people who were certified, only the Discover Scuba for beginners. Overall, the worst cruise I've taken. Dirty rooms, poor service, few activities. If you want to go on a cruise, get drunk and let your teenagers stay out all night the Dawn is for you. If you want something with the slightest amount of class and good service go elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
We have cruised to Bermuda 8 times now in the past 9 years. This cruise was BY FAR the worst. This cruise makes me really miss the old Zenith (Celebrity). 1) Embarkation - Check In was fast and efficient. The room was never completely ... Read More
We have cruised to Bermuda 8 times now in the past 9 years. This cruise was BY FAR the worst. This cruise makes me really miss the old Zenith (Celebrity). 1) Embarkation - Check In was fast and efficient. The room was never completely cleared of debris from the previous passengers, after numerous attempts to communicate this with room steward. 2) The Pool - Staff on board refused to enforce their own posted rules. Specifically, children jumping from the Hot Tub into the adult pool. Children went into pools with just regular diapers and/or swim diapers, a blatant violation of posted rules. This was an obvious health concern and safety, which is also addressed later. 3) Pool Area - Signs posted prohibit the reserving of sun chairs, but EVERYONE did it, and NOTHING was done about it. One nasty staff member, who was also in charge of the POOL TOWELS, reminded us of the rule in a stern and nasty manner, but refused to do anything about the above mentioned children / Hot Tub issue. 4) Restaurants - Service was ALWAYS slow at best. Food was MOSTLY mediocre at best. We were chided for wearing shorts on the Salsa restaurant, but EVERYONE else was doing it. In Aqua, it took 10 minutes to bring cocktail sauce for the shrimp cocktail. In addition, the person who took our drink order was nasty, especially when she realized we had presented a ticket for an already opened bottle of wine that was being saved for us. At Cagney's, the appetizers were served barely warm, and the meats were not cooked correctly - a medium steak came out well done. In the Venetian, the Eggs Benedict was served on a mushy untoasted English muffin. In the Blue Lagoon, we were blatantly ignored, had to beg to have the table cleaned and be given eating utensils. Of course, the food order was wrong. The buffet was a joke - as some items could only be reached by people with extremely long arms, and the prongs used to pick up food were awful. 5) Reservations - Could not reach restaurant reservation desk via phone. When we went to that desk in lobby, the person was just standing around. You would think she would be on the phone the whole time. 6) Bar Staff - Extremely aggressive in attempting to get drink orders. For example, we were approached by 5 different people in a 10 minute period poolside. This is not necessary. Mixed drinks were OK, but expensive. They did not communicate the option of purchasing drinks in Souvenir glasses versus regular glasses, as the former would cost $2 or more additional per drink. 7) Room steward / room service - we literally had to beg for ice and pitchers of water. 3 people in our party needed water to take multiple medications. Water could only be obtained via room service, which would take an hour or more. On previous cruises, a pitcher was provided in each room. The room steward did not clean the rooms properly - he would lave dirty glasses and filled garbage cans. 8) Service Charges - NCL does not make it plainly obvious that they charge $10 per person per day service charge as a forced gratuity. Whenever we cruised on Celebrity, we were given guidelines for tipping, but in the end, we made the determination. 9) Ship Cleanliness - This ship was a germ fest. Waiters walked around coughing into plates. Hairs were found in foods on more than one occasion. Bathroom glasses were cleaned by running hot water into them. If this ship was subject to health regulations as do NYC restaurants, they would have been shut down. 2 people in our party contracted conjunctivitis, and one had an intestinal virus on board, and another came home with a sinus infection. 10) Customer Service - Any time we expressed concerns about the above issues, the staff member was defensive, rather than being apologetic. At times, they would blame us for the problems we encountered! For example, we were blamed for having our room cards deactivated, because we supposedly carried them together! Sorry, we did not walk into a magnetic field! No attempts were made to correct the issues - not even the obligatory apologetic bottle of cheap champagne was not offered! In summary, we wouldn't go back if they gave us a suite for free. Read Less
Sail Date July 2008
This was our 7th cruise, 1st on NCL. Never again. Having sailed only on Holland America, this cruise came as a disappointing shock. LOUD music(?) greeted us and never stopped. Ironically, the captain's voice and instructions could ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise, 1st on NCL. Never again. Having sailed only on Holland America, this cruise came as a disappointing shock. LOUD music(?) greeted us and never stopped. Ironically, the captain's voice and instructions could not be heard over the din. The only quiet place we could find in over 7 days was our own cabin - into which the captain's voice was not projected unless you had the TV on! Oh, the TV. It worked only 2 nights "because we are having trouble with our satellite." "We apologize for the inconvenience." I've never heard that phrase as often as I did last week. We did look forward to watching the ship leave the harbor from the forward lounge. Unfortunately it stank of sewage both inside and out. We tried going back each night and it was the same; one waiter, a few passengers, and an unusable, gorgeous space. Each time we entered, gagged, and left. The ship was filthy; our cabin still reeked of former passengers. Cabinets, drawers, windows all contained handprints of prior passengers. Dust and grease everywhere. Trim on closet cabinetry missing; worn looking frayed furniture. Rubber bath mat was filthy and made entire bathroom stink through out cruise. In 7 days onboard, linen was changed only once; when we requested it. On several days pillows were merely turned over instead of changed. A 12 inch tear on duvet cover; solution? Turn it over! No room service to speak of; either "too busy" "unavailable" "too late" or they simply didn't answer their line. When breakfast did arrive, it was cold, sugar or salt or pepper or cream was missing and had to be requested. Everything felt on the cheap, and we felt resented for requesting ordinary condiments. Coffee arrived in stained, tarnished and dented carafes. Were we in steerage? My husband became our room service, running back and forth to the cafeteria line to bring semi-dry cold food -- and a cup of tea, for which room service was too busy. In Cagney's, with its $20/person surcharge, we were told the steak my husband wanted would cost an additional $10. Total misrepresentation! And drinks through out the ship were exorbitantly priced! Great food in the pricey restaurants, but unadorned, bland, leftovers in the others. At dinner one evening, the lady at the table across from ours began coughing severely. As she continued I realized she couldn't speak and her coughing worsened. I rushed to her table prepared to perform the Heimlich maneuver, but first I took her hand and asked if could talk. She could, but barely, and I stayed with her until the episode passed. She was embarrassed at having made a scene - yet she had definite medical issues which could easily have resulted in tragedy and needed immediate attention. After I had been with her for several minutes, a waiter meekly approached, said nothing, looked helpless, and left before I did. On the last night we went to the talent show to hear a friend play piano. We arrived a bit late and it was dark. The stair railing ended mid-way down the steps. We wanted to be in the first row. I have trouble seeing in the dark but expected an usher with a flashlight. No such thing. Although I was holding my husband's arm, with no arm rail I missed last step and fell, landing on my hands and knees. (Had major hand surgery 3 mos ago) My husband picked me up, no one else to help. FINALLY: I have multiple neurological problems which are not apparent to most; but I have significant balance problems and walk with difficulty. So does my friend, the piano player in the talent show. After he finished he walked slowly off the stage, weaving with stiff legs as he did so. The talent show pointed to him, laughing, saying that he (my friend) must have a few too many before the show! WOW, he said, look at that! That's really bad!! As he laughed he encouraged the entire audience to laugh, too! My talented friend slowly, warily left the stage embarrassed by everyone's laughter. Great fun!!! Some mercy, please! Not all of us consider ourselves disabled, but many of us DO have invisible problems and we all manage these problems as best we can! Overall, the staff was insensitive, rude, sparse, unskilled, unfriendly, and lazy. One last note: on embarkation, guests were met with a glass of champagne! Great move for all the children and non-drinkers! Then, an unescorted free-for-all to the cabins. So it was noisy non-service for the remainder of the week. I overheard someone say NCL stood for NO CLASS LINE. Ditto. Read Less
Sail Date April 2008
I realize that many people already stated that the hurricane cancelled our plans to ncl private island and bahamas. Therefor, we went to Bermuda, Bermuda and Bermuda! Yes, it was two days of rough seas and seasick folks. I'm not sure ... Read More
I realize that many people already stated that the hurricane cancelled our plans to ncl private island and bahamas. Therefor, we went to Bermuda, Bermuda and Bermuda! Yes, it was two days of rough seas and seasick folks. I'm not sure if I was sick from the boat rocking or from the quality of the food. This was my first and last cruise. I have always heard the food is abundant and awesome. Well the abundant part is true, but the awesome part would only be allowed from an ex con! Where do these people eat that can rate this substandard cafeteria food and good? I must say that my daughter did enjoy herself and the directors of the kids were very energetic and nice. However, I foolishly expected big pools for us to go swimming in. Well there was one pool no bigger than my living room and that was for over 2,000 people! It was ice cold sea water! We didn't need to worry about all 2,000 people wanting to go in. There was four circular hot tubs that 6 people could fit in, so if my math is correct 6x4=24. That leaves 1,976 people with no pool or hot tub at any given moment. Oh but I splurged and paid $10 to go in a warm pool inside the weight room, only thing they wouldn't let my daughter come in with me, so this was her birthday gift for us to go on a vacation together and we couldn't even swim together. Unless we wanted to reenact the seen from the Titanic and watch our lips turn blue and freeze to death! By the end of the trip my daughter had pink eye, strep throat, and an ear infection. Oh they let me see the ship doctor, who prescribed childrens Tylenol for strep throat and only charged me $95 for that medical advice! My friend who came with us also got sick a few days after the cruise from hell. She is still sick and no one can figure out what;s wrong, I think it was from that ship. They show a movie of how they recycle the septic water to drinking water. Thats what I want to see as I sip a glass of water after throwing up from sea sickness. Made me feel so much better to know that only a few short hours ago this very water was coming out of someone's ass! Well people don't let me discourage you from cruising, just don't choose the Dawn! Read Less
Sail Date August 2006
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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