225 Norwegian Dawn Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

The destination was my primary reason for choosing this cruise line. I had never traveled with Norwegian, but heard it was good. We had problems with the setup of room and accessibility to outlets for my laptop. The cost of the ... Read More
The destination was my primary reason for choosing this cruise line. I had never traveled with Norwegian, but heard it was good. We had problems with the setup of room and accessibility to outlets for my laptop. The cost of the internet was way above other ships I have traveled with. The room was not cleaned from the previous people. Mirrors on the outside of the bathroom needed cleaning and an empty liquor bottle was left behind the night stand. Food was average to less than average and not hot on the buffet. The buffet was more like cafeteria food. I was VERY disappointed in the lack of friendliness of dining staff, the lack of glitz or niceties that most ships offer - like towel animals, etc. The ship was fine. The entertainment very good, especially Jose and Patti. They made the cruise for me. Shore excursions were quite expensive. I will not travel this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. Norwegian has decided to nickel and dime people as a way to become more and more profitable. It became baffling. Buying water to drink as it was not included in the beverage package we ordered. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. Norwegian has decided to nickel and dime people as a way to become more and more profitable. It became baffling. Buying water to drink as it was not included in the beverage package we ordered. Paying a gratuity for a free beverage package. Specialty coffees not included in the package either. The cruise director was active and all around the ship however as he was Filipino his accent was at times very hard to understand. There was also a Japanese member of his team that I never could understand. Entertainment was quite good however. The food experience was average. Service in the complementary restaurants was quite slow to get started but when orders were finally able to be placed the food was delivered in a timely manner. I had a package for specialty restaurants. The steakhouse and the French restaurant would both terrific. The Italian restaurant was, I hate to say it, disgusting. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My friend and I were excited to be cruising on the Norwegian Dawn, that quickly changed. We’ve both have been on 12 cruises each, and this had to be the worst experience we’ve had on any ship. The food in the dining room was like basic ... Read More
My friend and I were excited to be cruising on the Norwegian Dawn, that quickly changed. We’ve both have been on 12 cruises each, and this had to be the worst experience we’ve had on any ship. The food in the dining room was like basic “diner food” - Absolutely No- 5 star unless you wanted to pay$$ at one of their seven restaurants. There was not enough staff in the dining room and it would take over an hour to get your food. Not a lot of actives going on around the cruise ship, so we would go sit in our cabins to watch the same movies played over and over again. The last 3 days of our cruise I noticed red bite marks on my skin that were extremely itchy...I was scared it might have been bed bugs. Today, I decided to looked into bed bug complaints on the NCL Dawn and found a news story about a family that were bitten by bed bugs, on deck 8 of the Norwegian Dawn, last year. Obviously, the bed bug situation is still a PROBLEM. Our cabin was #8003 on deck 8 - and when we disembarked they were turning the ship around and going back to New York for 12 days. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
DINING/DRINKS/SERVICE: We paid for the Meal Specialty Dining Package, Adult Ultimate Beverage Package and the Prepaid Service Charge. It was money well spent and a great value. We were able to eat at four specialty restaurants and the ... Read More
DINING/DRINKS/SERVICE: We paid for the Meal Specialty Dining Package, Adult Ultimate Beverage Package and the Prepaid Service Charge. It was money well spent and a great value. We were able to eat at four specialty restaurants and the food in each was excellent. The Venetian Main Dining Room also had great food. Some of the desserts were better than what we had in the Specialty Restaurants. The Garden Cafe was great for breakfast and snacks, fresh fruit, soft serve ice cream, salad, breads/muffins. O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar & Grill had good food. The dinner food in the Garden Cafe served was mediocre. SERVICE: The service throughout the ship was great and the staff works hard. I saw some of the wait staff, especially bartenders put up with some rude people and they did it gracefully. Even though we prepaid Service Charges we tipped our room steward extra and also tipped extra in some of the specialty restaurants (even though 20% was included). ENTERTAINMENT: What we saw in the Stardust Theater was okay. The seating in the main area is cramped, not much leg room which made it uncomfortable. The upper side levels had more comfortable seating. Because the majority of the people were older the Stardust was packed the two times we attended a show. BAND ENTERTAINMENT We really enjoyed the Jose and Patti AND the band Sonata. SHORE EXCURSIONS: All of our excursions were booked through Norwegian and most of them were excellent. The "Fortress of Louisbourg" was good; however, our bus arrived 30 minutes late and returned us to the dock 10 minutes early. The time was 10:30 AM-2:15 PM and we note each excursion states "estimated." It was an extreme rush to try to see and enjoy the Fortress of Louisbourg which was a disappointment. This excursion should be longer because there is a lot to see and they have reenactors in the buildings which are period dressed and it is very interesting. The "Iconic Towns of Nova Scotia" tour our guide on the bus was excellent. The area the bus stopped at in Mahone Bay is across from a beautiful church and next to the water. It is a beautiful area; however, there is only shopping here. It would have been better if they eliminated Mahone Bay so more time could be spent in Lunenburg and Peggy's Cove. Regardless, it was wonderful and the prices were very reasonable. HOT TUBS/POOL: The hot tubs (6) and swimming pool were great and often empty at night Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I choose this cruise because of the ports of calls visited and the cruise length was the shortest (9 days) of all cruise lines. This was the second cruise we’d taken with NCL, the last was about 20 years ago. The embarkation process ... Read More
I choose this cruise because of the ports of calls visited and the cruise length was the shortest (9 days) of all cruise lines. This was the second cruise we’d taken with NCL, the last was about 20 years ago. The embarkation process in Quebec City was clumsy and resulted in long lines and wait times even though you were required to select a check in time in advance. All of the port of calls, except two, required you to be tendered to shore and required you to pick up tickets in advance. One of the two ports where we docked required passengers to be bussed to the terminal because the dock was a commercial facility. Tender process took away from the amount of time in port, especially in New Port, RI where we only had 5-1/2 hours in port. The disembarkation process in Manhattan was quick and easy. I was most dissatisfied with the quality of food on the ship. The ingredients were stretched very thin and and in many cases the food was over cooked, and was overall not very tasty. The food in the speciality restaurants (3 visited at additional cost) was better, but not up to the quality on other cruise lines The service in most venues was slow, and we only ate in the Main dining room once. We also ate at O’Sheeans, which was was no better than other venues, and we ended up walking away from our table because it took so long to get our food. We ended up eating our mid-day meals in town at the port of calls which was our best meal of the day. The overall look of the ship was good (recent upgrade), service at bars, excursion desk and customer service was good. The entertainment was average and onboard activities typical to other lines. Our cruise package included 250 internet minutes. However the quality of the wi-fi was very spotty across the ship and poor in our cabin. I spent a lot of those 250 minutes “spinning”. Shore excursion offerings were passive in nature (bus tours) and and didn’t really appeal to us as we have an active lifestyle. Therefore, we researched the ports of call and made our own tour. Overall very dissatisfied with our cruise and won’t be sailing with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Time of year and cruise itinerary. Ports of call were about what we expected but found the tendering to be very tedious . Snacks or light food in the late afternoon could have been more varied. The crew were very polite and helpful. The ... Read More
Time of year and cruise itinerary. Ports of call were about what we expected but found the tendering to be very tedious . Snacks or light food in the late afternoon could have been more varied. The crew were very polite and helpful. The entertainment for the most part was top notch and Harry O 'Donoghue present a very funny and entertaining program. In addition we had dinner with him one night and thoroughly enjoyed his company.. I would suggest you have more performers like him. We ate at four of the specialty restaurants and enjoyed all of our meals (especially Cagney's - went twice) except for Modero's which I found the food to be overdone and very dry. We were very impressed at the cleanliness of all phases of the ship and the effort by the staff to keep every one germ free (washy, washy?) Will do Norwegian again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We had not cruised on Norwegian since the mid-nineties, but past experiences had been good. More recent cruises had been on Princess and Celebrity. Our biggest disappointments were with the food in ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We had not cruised on Norwegian since the mid-nineties, but past experiences had been good. More recent cruises had been on Princess and Celebrity. Our biggest disappointments were with the food in the "complimentary" venues and with the seemingly constant nickel and diming we saw. The food on past Norwegian cruises had been good- the "specialty" restaurants had been for a special occasion, not to get a good meal. This is our first cruise ever where neither shrimp cocktail or escargot was offered- the menu reminded us of a diner or Cracker Barrel- nothing exotic at all. Can you imagine a cruise to Canada and New England not offering lobster? We certainly couldn't, but they didn't. On the plus side, our mini-suite was spacious and nice- the only negative was it was below the uncarpeted buffet dining area and patrons or cleaning staff moving chairs made noises that carried down to our room. This will be our last cruise with this line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Wait staff, ship's officers and crew, security & maintenance, as usual, are all top notch. Management is just the opposite. From 6 hours on the phone over 5 weeks unsuccessfully trying to get a return call from a ... Read More
Wait staff, ship's officers and crew, security & maintenance, as usual, are all top notch. Management is just the opposite. From 6 hours on the phone over 5 weeks unsuccessfully trying to get a return call from a "supervisor" at the NCL Air Department to rectify air connections that flew us into a City 200 miles from the port on the wrong day to condescending, rude, in-your-face "service desk" managers who couldn't communicate effectively and blamed you for their errors. We overheard one loud argument that would later echo our sentiment exactly. He was yelling "This is your mistake, not mine. I shouldn't be having to work for YOU to straighten out YOUR errors on MY vacation and spend MY time trying to resolve YOUR problems." They called security on him. We smiled and thought, well, he probably could have handled that better..." Little did we know that a day or two later we would find ourselves in the same position and being goaded by these very same incompetent, argumentative "service personnel" about our credit card and saying roughly the same thing and ultimately having to "go to work" on our vacation to correct yet another error by NCL. (I guess they figured since we let them get away with taking our $200 in airfare they'd attempt to go back to the well for more.) Ours is far from the only observation on the web that over the last 5 years, while the day-to-day personnel continues to remain gregarious, friendly, courteous and competent, there has been a tectonic shift at the Helm of NCL's home office & bean counters resulting in business management that just gets more pathetic with each passing cruise. Not vessel management, "hospitality" management. As for the air department in particular, don't waste your money. Read the plethora of negative reviews about this cruise and those who've been snookered into the Montreal/YQB switcheroo. Since no one would return our calls, we finally just wrote off the $200 airfare as a loss and booked ourselves into Quebec (YQB). NCL may have taken our money, but we refused to let them steal our joy. We spent 4 fantastic days enjoying Quebec Quebec City, and wished for more to be honest. Sadly we listened to horror stories each day of people with similar experiences who had to find their own way to the port from some far away city or who sat for hours on the side of a major highway, the bus rocking from the traffic whizzing by their broken down bus. They said it was terrifying thinking about becoming a statistic. One reviewer said it took NCL 12 hours to get them from Montreal Trudeau to the ship. It's so laughable even the comedian made their misery the butt of several jokes in his act. So if you think they'll actually treat you differently than all the other thousands of guests they've hoodwinked, then the joke'll be on you. One day NCL is going to screw over the WRONG attorney who's going to file a class action suit over their "bait and switch" tactics and false repeated claims that "there aren't seats into Quebec," to which we responded, "We've got 4 windows open with 4 different airlines with flights from 4 different cities into YQB all with empty cabins, so don't sit there and lie to me. I'm looking at planes I could play ping pong in and never hit a soul with a serve." It's a shame management is slowly sinking what was once a fine cruise line. The ship's older design must have been originally for the Caribbean or Mediterranean as the only observation areas are outside. A lot of women don't like their hair being blown around after they've fixed it up. There's no area aft to sit and watch the horizon recede. The ship has mysterious humps in the floor, odd, dead-end nooks and crannies and there is no bridge viewing room like there is on Jewel-Class vessels. The curries on the buffet were, as always, excellent. Healthy choices on the buffet were plentiful. Main dining rooms were on par with other ships in the NCL fleet. Specialty dining went from totally inedible in Los Lobos (other reviewers agree) to "OMG, this is the best meal I've ever eaten!" in the Italian Restaurant (La Cucina?) The manager Vaughn, was fantastic and very observant, not to mention funny. He's a true asset to the company. All of the ports were enjoyable other than maybe Halifax and simply because it's such a big city and industrial port. I mean there's nothing WRONG with Halifax, it's just not very walkable it's so large. Bar Harbor or Portland were likely our favorite, due to Acadia and the breath-taking views from Cadillac Mountain and the views of the lighthouses from Fort Williams. Still, each port was charming in it's own way. Quebec City is worth a week. Don't let NCL entice you into cheap airfare only to find they didn't give you time to explore this fascinating world of old and new. I'm told the entertainment on board was good. I don't go on cruises for food or entertainment, but my wife and other party members enjoyed the variety of shows. The pool deck was generally lightly populated due to the chilly temperatures. The library is in an odd, but very quiet place. I liked its location. Not alot of traffic due to it being isolated at the start of a U-shaped hallway of forward cabins. It's kind of where the health club "class" workout room is often located on the Jewel-Class vessels. We did not find the Ultimate Beverage Package to be a very good deal for us because we don't drink a lot so a beer or glass of wine would wind up costing $50 when you averaged it out per diem. And forget finding a Mountain Dew when you wanted one. I mentioned earlier the attentiveness of the staff. I should clarify that I mean wait staff, room stewards, etc. If you see an officer or security personnel, they are almost always approachable, congenial and helpful. On the other hand, any "hotel staffer" in one of the dark, business-like suits - is a waste of your time. The only solution they can offer is to write an email to the home office, because they have no authority to provide any solutions for you. Your room steward on the other hand can answer 90% of your questions and solve the majority of your issues, just remember all he did for you at the end of the cruise. Same with the food services. If you ask for something politely, if it's on the ship it will magically appear at your table generally within a reasonable time. Not always, but generally. A lot of it depends on your attitude toward your server. One final tip - and it's about tips. When we wanted to acknowledge a staffer who went above and beyond, we would add an amount above what was included in our prepaid tip package to the paper receipts at the restaurant only to learn that those tips went into the general pool for all workers, thus eliminating what we were attempting to do, which was let someone know we appreciated their specific extra effort. After learning that, we always carried a little cash around and looked for opportunities to make someone's day when it was deserved. I hope I can remember that the next time I cruise with Norwegian. They may be the American Airlines of the cruise industry, but they're cheap - sadly in more ways than one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our 4th NCL cruise and will be our last. We are not big eaters, but enjoy a "snack" before going to bed. The buffet, under title "24/7", closed at 10:30. We came up from shows and could not eat in the ... Read More
This was our 4th NCL cruise and will be our last. We are not big eaters, but enjoy a "snack" before going to bed. The buffet, under title "24/7", closed at 10:30. We came up from shows and could not eat in the buffet. We did not want food from a restaurant, just bread or a cookie. We ended up going up earlier, getting bread and leaving it in the room. We are not "foodies" so the food was fine. Seems as though they were cutting corners. Outside entertainment was very good to excellent and production "elements" was excellent. The room was noisy because we were under a galley, but it seems that a lot of people had a noise problem. After complaining it got a little better and they did give us complimentary wine when we complained. Other then the noise, the ship was fine. The staff was courteous and friendly so we had no complaint with them. The ports were very good, unfortunately we had to tender in 4 of the 7 ports. We got credits for excursions so we used only NCL tours. The best tour was "Peggy Cove and the Titanic Cemetery" in Halifax. Excellent guide. You usually overpay for Cruise Line tours, but with the credit, it wasn't worth looking around. Since we had only 1 bag each, we disembarkation was easy. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
On Thursday September 12 I had a rather testy conversation with a man who was working the customer service desk on that morning. I began the conversation by starting to explain that we had received a voicemail saying that my wife had left ... Read More
On Thursday September 12 I had a rather testy conversation with a man who was working the customer service desk on that morning. I began the conversation by starting to explain that we had received a voicemail saying that my wife had left her purse in a public area and that it had been turned in to lost and found. What I actually got out of my mouth before being interrupted was “we received a voicemail saying” at which point he interrupted me and asked my room number. I stopped talking and gave him my room number but then began again explaining why I was there. He again interrupted and started talking over me. I told him I was trying to explain what I wanted but that he kept talking over me. I started utalking again trying to explain what I wanted and he again started talking over me. At this point he would say I was rude to him. I will call it not being very happy with him. I became very frustrated with him and told him that I wanted to talk to someone else. He waved his hand toward several other people at the counter and I moved over to that area and began to explain what I was wanting to another male worker but he moved over and tried to interject his opinion of what was going on. I then told this new person that he wouldn’t let me talk but kept interrupting me. The new person then said that was fine and how could he help me. I then explained (without being interrupted) why I was there. I gave him my name and room number and he was familiar with my wife’s purse so he went back to get it. When he came back with her purse I had my room card and ID out for him and in a matter of just a few minutes I was done. The rude worker was watching everything that went on and was laughing with another female employee as I was getting ready to leave. I asked him if he thought this was funny and he said no that he thought it was sad. I said that I thought it was sad also. I decided that I wanted to get this persons name so when I was sent an evaluation of my cruise experience I would know who he was. I did not see him behind the service desk again until the evening of Saturday September 14. All I really wanted was his name so I walked up toward him and tried to take a picture of his name tag. He tried to cover up his name tag and then tried to engage my wife in a conversation about how rude I was to him. He said I was not allowed to take pictures of him and said he was calling security. I said go ahead that I would talk to security. During that time my wife and I were able to read his name tag and I made a note of it. So, I waited. A woman who said that she was his supervisor came out to talk to me and I explained all that had happened. She said that for security reasons I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of him. I told her all I wanted was his name and that I now had it so I would delete the pictures of him. With her watching I deleted both pictures I had taken. She said that she would talk to him. By the way, a security representative did show up while I was talking to her but I never interacted with him. For the life of me I don’t know why he over reacted like that. As I explained to his supervisor I am the one on vacation here and the one who has spent a lot of money to be on this ship. All of the employees of this ship should feel like they work for me and most do. I am not sure what his agenda in working on that ship is but on that morning it was certainly not to listen to me or try to help me with a problem. It seemed to be to interrupt me and talk over me. While still on the ship I went to the NCL website and filled out a comment on my experience and made a note of the confirmation number and after not hearing from them I filled out another comment form a couple of days later (all while still on the ship). Two days before disembarkation I received a call from the manager over the service desk (a different lady) wanting to talk to me. I went down to talk to her in person. She was very nice and mentioned the NCL form that I had filled out on the NCL site. So at least I had got their attention. She was very apologetic and kept apologizing for his actions. She mentioned that they would use it as a training tool. The cruise itself including the itinerary was not bad and we enjoyed the ports. I will say that we have never been on a cruise that tendered so many ports. Out of the 8 ports we visited 5 of them were tendered and one of the dock ports was at a commercial dock so they had to bus us over to the passenger dock. So 6 of 8 were non-standard docks. Also, the food in the food court was subpar. We spent most of our breakfast and lunch meals in O’Sheehans. And unlike most Princess cruises we never had a dinner choice of shrimp, scallop or lobster dishes. The only fish meals we were offered were a variety of filleted fish. My wife and I frequently take cruises and they are almost always enjoyable. We have 14 on Princess, 4 on Disney, 7 or 8 on Carnival, 2 on Oceania and 3 on Viking. I believe this is either our 4th or 5th on NCL. I will tell you that this man and his actions will certainly make this cruise memorable but not in a positive way. But I walked away satisfied that someone had finally heard me and apologized for his actions. Ken Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
wanted to see the Maritimes, hopefully with fall colors, but too early for that, up the St Lawrence was great, lots of little , villages. fantastic homes in Newport, must hv been nice to have money in those days only downfall was number ... Read More
wanted to see the Maritimes, hopefully with fall colors, but too early for that, up the St Lawrence was great, lots of little , villages. fantastic homes in Newport, must hv been nice to have money in those days only downfall was number of ports where you had to tender in, some were 25 min each direction ship was very modern, wonderful staff in rooms & eating places ate all meals in Garden Cafe where food was very varied and good dress was casual which I prefer , entertainment in Stardust lounge very good enjoyed Halifax, Pier 21 was very enjoyable ( this is where immigrants landed, and had a Titanic exhibit, weather was good, sea rough coming into Rhode Island, end of hurricane Dorian Did not leave ship in most ports because of tendering and I use a cane to get me around very happy with trip and will most likely do it again Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit New England and Canada. I am a Norwegian gold member. Unfortunately the Dawn disappointed. Being on the Dawn felt like being in a Petri dish. My husband and I are in our early 50s, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit New England and Canada. I am a Norwegian gold member. Unfortunately the Dawn disappointed. Being on the Dawn felt like being in a Petri dish. My husband and I are in our early 50s, generally healthy and active people. On the Dawn, we both got very sick about eight days in with an acute sinus infection. I have been sick for about three weeks, and imy husband for 1.5 weeks. I should’ve known what was coming when we walked into the room the first day...The sunlight was coming in so we could see all the fingerprints and dirt all over the cabin walls, doors and around the bathroom. There also appeared to be a small spot of feces on the toilet seat! I kid you not. I showed my husband. We immediately went to the cabin steward who insisted that the mark on the toilet was part of the seat, but that ‘he would try to clean it just in case.’ I asked him to also wipe down the room a little bit better. When we returned to the room, the spot was gone from the toilet seat. We didn’t complain to steward’s superior because we wanted to give him a chance. I recommend that you bring Lysol wipes on the Dawn. I ended up having to go to their doctor, get an antibiotic, and was charged $255. Guest services wouldn’t budge and I didn’t have the ship’s travel insurance protection. When I came home I had to get a stronger antibiotic over a week later because the bacterial infection was so bad. The ship as a whole just didn’t feel good and clean and fresh.... The food was just OK and the food quality was also just OK. The dining service was good. It’s time for Norwegian to offer more fresh alternatives like calcium free yogurt, dairy-free milk ( without having to wait for them to find it in the kitchen for you ) nuts, less salt in the food, etc. There weren’t any berries to be seen. If you go on Celebrity, and probably other cruises there are restaurants like Blu where you can enjoy a better, healthier quality of food. I think Norwegian should get with the program and not stereotype its clientele as unhealthy eaters The spa was terrible. We always go to the spa when we cruise. We paid upfront online. Right when we got there we saw that it was very small; there was just a pool and a little Jacuzzi that wasn’t even hot. What a rip off! So we immediately insisted on getting a credit for that and didn’t go to the spa for the rest of the trip. Stops were delightful. We couldn’t go to Charlottetown because a hurricane was looming. The captain did a great job making us feel safe. We did all of the excursions on our own. We enjoy activities involving exercise. So we rented bikes in Newport (awesome but wear a helmet!) Bar Harbor and Portland... all beautiful places to explore with bicycles. Lots of rental places right in town. Stayed in an Air BNB in Quebec City for a night afterwards....lovely, kind of expensive, European city. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
At Manhattan Terminal, the Embarkation staffs are rude and shouting to the senior guests, this is the worst Embarkation experience have ever experienced for 25 years Cruse vacation. Free Dining: (1) Bamboo (Deck 7): Bamboo is the ... Read More
At Manhattan Terminal, the Embarkation staffs are rude and shouting to the senior guests, this is the worst Embarkation experience have ever experienced for 25 years Cruse vacation. Free Dining: (1) Bamboo (Deck 7): Bamboo is the best ship's restaurant. Recommend menu items: appetizers (pot stickers and spring rolls), soups ( egg drop), mains (kung pao chicken, vegetarian fried rice), BBQ Pork noodle soup and desserts (coconut tapioca pudding, crispy chestnut and red bean triangles). (2) Main Dining Rooms: Venetian and Aqua (Deck 6): Prefer Venetian for comfortable seating and better services. Aqua has more crowded sitting. The Best Cruise Director and programs: the best Show “Elements”, the best Vocalist Jenene Caramielo, Jose & Patti@ Grand Atrium. Balcony Room class BB @ 10/FL Mid-ship is a little quieter than Class BA @9/FL mid-ship. The Room layout is not good to use. The storage has only 3 drawers. 1/3 Inside cabins (353) crowded the Buffet and public area. The TV is very small. The Buffet area are always crowded and food quality is so so. The Movies at Bliss room has poor quality and sitting. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have cruised many time and this time we chose the Norwegian cruise from NYC to Quebec City for the itinerary. Overall we had a good time in the locations on most of our excursions. Our cabin steward, Rhayan, was outstanding, friendly ... Read More
We have cruised many time and this time we chose the Norwegian cruise from NYC to Quebec City for the itinerary. Overall we had a good time in the locations on most of our excursions. Our cabin steward, Rhayan, was outstanding, friendly and worked very hard to keep our cabin in excellent condition and help us have a good experience. We did take at least one excursion in each port and enjoyed most of them. The ones we felt lukewarm over were just our taste. Unfortunately the “NCL specialist” that helped us book our excursions and room was either not knowledgeable or just wanted to sell. After asking for a cabin in a quiet location, we were booked into a cabin directly above the Bliss nightclub. The first two nights the music was overwhelming and our bed vibrated. Each visit to the customer service counter resulted in earplugs and an apology that seemed more like an accusation that we shouldn’t complain since we chose the cabin completely ignoring the fact that it was chosen by the “NCL specialist”. If I ever chose to sail Norwegian again, I would definitely be sure to pick my own cabin! We were also told we would not be able to disembark before noon so we chose an excursion that ended at the airport and booked a hotel there overnight. Turns out we could have gotten off the ship early and flown home the same day. The food had good flavor but always came to us lukewarm. Even after returning the food to be warmed it came out less than warm. We did visit speciality restaurants and this must be where they put their efforts. Guess they want you to spend more money. If you sail Norwegian, do your homework first! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was my 24th Cruise, which includes river cruises in Europe. It was our first time on NCL and will be our last! Their customer service stinks! NCL booked our flights and 6 hours before our departure, our flight was cancelled. I ... Read More
This was my 24th Cruise, which includes river cruises in Europe. It was our first time on NCL and will be our last! Their customer service stinks! NCL booked our flights and 6 hours before our departure, our flight was cancelled. I called the NCL emergency number for flight problems and was on hold for 40 minutes! The NCL person said he could not help me and gave me a phone number to call.....which was the exact number I had just called!! The airline was finally able to rebook us, but it was touch and go. On arrival in NYC, we waited 3 hours for our prepaid transfers to the ship. Again, we tried to contact NCL with our new flight arrival time, but couldn’t get ahold of them on a Saturday morning. When we finally departed JFK on the shuttle, the shuttle driver was probably hi on something! He passed every car on the road and did a U-turn in the middle of the block. Everyone was frightened by his driving. Our first nite on board, our toilet flooded the bathroom floor due to a leak. In the morning, I called housekeeping and then guest services to report, but no answer at either place. About 3 hours later, we finally got ahold of housekeeping. It was repaired that afternoon. Nice bath towels from our room steward helped until it was repaired. Before departure, I called twice with questions....one time I was on hold for 40 minutes and the second time on hold for 20 minutes. This is no way to run a business! Also, the Dawn is rather tired, the food was only so-so unless you were dining at a specialty restaurant. The food there was good. Hamburgers by the pool were cold...couldn’t even eat mine. We had a balcony cabin with peeling paint and rust on the balcony. The cabin itself was adequate. Only one outlet in the entire cabin!! Always static on our phone line, which made it difficult to talk to our travel companions. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose NCL due to affordability and its casual atmosphere. We especially enjoyed these entertainers: Harry 0 the Irish guy, the Ukrainian aerialists, Jose and Patti, and the Elements show. La Bistro and Teppanyaki both A+. Cagney’s B ... Read More
We chose NCL due to affordability and its casual atmosphere. We especially enjoyed these entertainers: Harry 0 the Irish guy, the Ukrainian aerialists, Jose and Patti, and the Elements show. La Bistro and Teppanyaki both A+. Cagney’s B (tough filet mignon), Bamboo C (over-seasoned), O’Sheehan’s B+ (good breakfast and lunch, other times not enough servers), Venetian and Aqua B (tough red meat, over seasoned or oddly seasoned), Garden Cafe D (hit or miss). All baked goods and desserts excellent no matter what restaurant. Excursions: Kennebunkport B - not much to see except Bush compound from a distance, Bar Harbor A - Testa’s for lobster, Quebec City A - long walk to tourist area. Our cabin 4501 was fine. At the bow, we rarely heard any noise from our neighbors. We occasionally heard a scraping rattling noise. The cabin (inside) isn’t pitch black since light enters through the peep hole, etc. Small space, but affordable. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are in our 60s. We took the cruise because we wanted to visit new places up North before it got too cold. We knew no kids would be onboard as school started that week. So 8/31/19 12-day cruise was a Grandma & Grandpa crowd. ... Read More
We are in our 60s. We took the cruise because we wanted to visit new places up North before it got too cold. We knew no kids would be onboard as school started that week. So 8/31/19 12-day cruise was a Grandma & Grandpa crowd. Entertainment was great, & staterooms too. But food onboard gets a 3 out of 5. Soups were poor. Brown watery cream of mushroom soup. Minestrone was not a soup but a clear broth with 6 macaroni and 8 beans. Most soups missed the mark; 'brothy' and clear. Bakery was great. Dining room - everything had at least 1 flavor/ingredient added too much. Garden Buffet every sandwich had mayonnaise on each slice of bread, everything! Corned beef sandwiches one day, pastrami hogie next day, every panini all week, plus turkey & Swiss, you name the sandwich served daily and it had mayonnaise on it. And on both sides of the bread! Nobody could make me a sandwich w/o mayo no matter who I asked. I have high cholesterol and take Lipitor like many other seniors on a senior cruise might have, but this 90% fat condiment (look at the nutrition label) was on every sandwich all the time and I couldn't get anyone to accommodate me and make me a non-mayo sandwich, not once. Everybody has a niche in life. I have diabetes and high cholesterol, but I'm allowed certain foods in moderation 2-3 times a week. But never mayonnaise, which was in a bowl to add to your sandwich in at least 2 places along the buffet line. Mustard (only salad mustard & no spicy brown anywhere, UGH!) and ketchup were at each table. I can have unlimited ketchup and mustard, but I would have been mayo overwhelmed if I ate any sandwich served (other than the make your own franks and burgers). If they had ready made franks in buns or burgers on rolls, they too would have been drenched in mayonnaise. The chef was mayonnaise-happy, I guess. There was plenty else to eat, I didn't go hungry, but I would have liked a corned beef or pastrami or turkey sandwich the 1 day it was offered if done so w/o the mayo, Even the seafood sandwich was topped with Sirachi mayonnaise. PLEASE LOSE THE MAYO. I can always add it, it's right there on the buffet but I couldn't take it off after they drenched both sides of the bread and sandwich that way. Service in the dining room was hit or miss each night depending on which random waiter you got. Smoked salmon ONLY served in the dining room at breakfast, but herring in the buffet. The herring looked like the bait I use to go fishing. One night we had our dining room orders taken and were each served the wrong soups, then corrected, and followed by the wrong salads next. Salt and pepper were in grinders that were identical, no P or S or other distinction on the grinder and I ruined a dish by adding salt by mistake instead of pepper. The foods had a dozen ingredients each where 9 or 10 would have been fine if you know what I mean. This wasn't Master Chef or Chopped, after all. But I didn't go hungry. Just overkill. And PLEASE lose all that cholesterol laden Mayo, PLEASE! I'll add it if I want it. The 'midnight' snack buffet on an earlier cruise was from 11:30-12:30AM. This cruise it was 9:30-10:30. Way, way too early for me. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
When I started traveling on cruise ship years ago, a travel agent told me : the most important factor for a cruise is the SHIP, destination and ports are are not important. In this case the Dawn should not be on top of your list. ... Read More
When I started traveling on cruise ship years ago, a travel agent told me : the most important factor for a cruise is the SHIP, destination and ports are are not important. In this case the Dawn should not be on top of your list. Lets start with the negative: Embarkation is long process, cannot blame NCL its a private company who does all the work Cabins: NOT confortable , small narrow no chair to sit bathroom has 3 section with 16 inches doors between each of them (take your measurements first) As mentioned by many previous members the ship is outdated .... Dining: hits and miss, no WOW .... too many "breaded meat or fish" the appetizers are practically the same every night, only the order changes and a few are replaced every night Cabin attendant : I guess we had a "new guy on the job" never knew would do the cabin if we took a nap at 11:00 he would knock on the door, sometimes after lunch .... no steady schedule. NCL gives returning customer a bottle of sparkling wine NO glasses, we asked twice ..... Nothing Now the good: Have to admit the personnel (except security staff who take their job too seriously) is very nice always smiling Dining room. Buffet, bars The shows are not too bad, its free - nothing to say. the ports were interesting we didn't take any excursion, because of all bad experience in the past. shore excursion always end up being bus ride Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I had only been on one cruise prior to this voyage and I can honestly say it was an exceptional trip. The ship was exceptionally decorated, the public rooms and restaurants felt more upscale than advertised... having said that the layout ... Read More
I had only been on one cruise prior to this voyage and I can honestly say it was an exceptional trip. The ship was exceptionally decorated, the public rooms and restaurants felt more upscale than advertised... having said that the layout of some spaces left something to be desired. The two-story atrium where the champagne bar is located is not well devised because the Havana Cigar Club lounge, even if segregated by partitions and glass walls is poorly ventilated meaning that the fumes of cigars and cigarettes leak into the atrium and spoil the ambiance of the space. On another note, live music that plays by the champagne bar spoils the atmosphere of the 'Le Bistro' French Restaurant, the 'La Cucina' Italian Restaurant and the Bamboo Restaurant on the second level because either the live music blasts into the dining room when the doors are left open (Le Bistro) or it just spills into the restaurant because its entry has no doors to begin with (La Cucina & Bamboo). There is nothing more deflating than to be enjoying Edith Piaf while eating Escargot when suddenly you hear the roar of someone doing a cover of Ed Sheeran because the doors suddenly burst open... I'm sorry, unless the ACTUAL Ed Sheeran is playing outside I don't want to hear it with my French dinner! On another note the art displayed on the art auctions and art gallery is trivial and gimmicky... I would have been more impressed if they had displayed talented unkown artists from the ports of call (Canada and New England in this case) than to see Thomas Kinkade and Romero Brittos whose work is only seen in their own bloated brand-gallery shops in Mid-Western Mega Malls. Give your passengers the chance to purchase something based on real artistic worth not on notiriety and brand-image. On the last note layouts of some restaurants seemed remote and out of the way such as the 'Los Lobos' Mexican Restaurant which was my favourite restaurant in the ship but seemed lost in the maze of corridors to the rear of the ship. And the Venetian Restaurant's Decor looks like it came out of the 1970's even with some of the contemporary art spread throughout the room. Out of all the restaurants the Venetian's Decor was the odd man out of all the other public rooms. Having said all that my experience with the staff, excursions, and dining was wonderful and I had the best time in my life... I will definetly come back to Norwegian Cruise Line in the future and I might return to the Norwegian Dawn Just to see the crew and entertainers again (shout out to the band who played the Jazz Standards... I forgot the band's name but I love that they played all the songs I suggested). They all deserve a raise... Just please fix the sound and smoke issues and I might raise my review rating from very good to excellent. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise because our daughter and son-in-law were going along and the time frame fit their schedules. We have cruised on Norwegian many times but never on the Dawn. Prior to going, I read several negative reviews and was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our daughter and son-in-law were going along and the time frame fit their schedules. We have cruised on Norwegian many times but never on the Dawn. Prior to going, I read several negative reviews and was hesitant that we chose the right cruise for their first time. We had a wonderful time. Our cabins were always immaculate, there was no smell anywhere as I had previously read from past passengers. The food was good, especially in Cagneys. On previous ships we did experience food that was not hot, but not this time. All our food was served hot and quickly. All the staff that we encountered were friendly and helpful. The entertainment was good in all locations. All the common areas were well maintained and immaculate. The only problem that we encountered was in Newport where you have to tender to the pier. There were six tenders, not two as I have read, but it took quite some time to tender all the passengers. We have learned to always book a shore tour when we tender so we can get off the ship with the tour group. Tendering in Bar Harbor was easy. We had a great time and I would recommend the Dawn to anyone. Yes, it is an older ship but it does not show a ton of wear and tear. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I used to carry on a bottle of wine to enjoy in my cabin, and there was no charge. They would only charge you a corkage fee if you took it to the dining room to open and enjoy. Now, they stop you immediately after TSA and make you feel ... Read More
I used to carry on a bottle of wine to enjoy in my cabin, and there was no charge. They would only charge you a corkage fee if you took it to the dining room to open and enjoy. Now, they stop you immediately after TSA and make you feel like a criminal! I asked the guy taking my information to charge me, when this rule came to be and he would not answer me. I guess the nickel and diming will continue! Our bathroom flooded twice because the drain backed up. Thank god it was not the toilet! There was no offer of any compensation, almost as if its a regular occurrence. They did clean my sisters pajamas, which got wet. We did enjoy the food, went to 3 specialty restaurants, all of which were spectacular. Also, the Venetian dining room was wonderful all 4 times we went there. Service around most of the rest of the ship was just average. Something must have been up with the employees, because they were the least friendly bunch in all of my 19 cruises. The ports were all great, with the exception of St. John. We left on time, every time and got into port on time, every time. If you are going to Newport RI, make sure you book a tour so you can get off the ship quickly! They tender in and from what people said, they waited for hours. Then only had a few hours on short, then we ALL had to wait in an hour long line to tender back to the ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I truly don’t know how to adequately express how disappointed we are in our first cruise with Norwegian and first cruise ever. I have always heard that this is the elite of the cruise lines and this is who we should take our first cruise ... Read More
I truly don’t know how to adequately express how disappointed we are in our first cruise with Norwegian and first cruise ever. I have always heard that this is the elite of the cruise lines and this is who we should take our first cruise with. We had 3 rooms for this cruise and spent over 16,000 for rooms, 5,000 for airfare, and spent 4,000 on the ship in extras. We saved up for this trip and had such high hopes but were quickly disappointed. We all had rooms 11116, 11126, & 11128. We were on the 11th floor on the Dawn, which is directly located under the Garden Grille which does not have carpeted floors ( I would truly like to know who thought this was ok) and we heard chairs scooting around from 5:00 am (which we assume the crew started getting ready for the day) till 1:00 am at night. We never had more than 4 hours sleep due to this excessive noise. We heard kids running back and forth all day as well. In room 11128 there was a constant pipe noise coming from the ceiling as well, that the party in this room did not get any sleep. Also, when we booked our cruise the reservation agent told us we could take the divider out from the rooms 11126 & 11128 to have one big balcony, which turned out to not be true at all. We upgraded our rooms because of this misinformation. This was a complete lie and we were misled. We spent 2,000 on spa services and a spa pass. The spa had very dirty windows you could not see through and we feel we didn’t even remotely get our value for what we paid. ( I am attaching pictures of this). We did not get our full value for port day #5 in Newport, RI. We only had two tender boats and we did not get to land until 1:30 and had to be back by 3:00 and the lines were ridiculous to get back and forth. We were supposed to have 10:00-4:00. I must say this was the most unorganized cruise. I also heard this from several other passengers, as I had nothing to compare it to. Then the kicker is, we bought 8 Next Cruise Deposits for a total of 2,000 because we thought hey, we will give them another shot maybe this ship is just old and a fluke. We booked on ship for our next cruise and they said over and over we were getting upgraded to a balcony mini-suite but that did not happen at all. It was only a balcony. We asked at least 10 times and they said yes. I think that you really should have English speaking people that understand how things work, when it comes to Next Cruise onboard a ship because language and communication was a huge hurdle when buying and booking the next cruise. The food was awful! My kids and parents had been on the Pearl and loved the food but there was no variety on this ship when compared to others, and no seafood which is really sad when you are going on a Canada/East/Atlantic cruise. I am just so disappointed after saving up for so long and having an experience like this. I wish I could just dispute this charge with my credit card company because none of us got any sleep. It was not an enjoyable 7 days at all and honestly, I think we should be compensated quite a lot for this. This wasn’t just a bad night’s sleep in a hotel, we saved and spent thousands on a trip we got no sleep on and I just don’t feel that is right. The singing acts were awful on this ship as well.I know there has to be better singers out there willing to work on a cruise ship. Drinks were very watered down. The selection of shore excursions was pitiful when compared to other companies. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Overview (C): We rated each category A-F based on our experience on the NCL Dawn. Overall the ship was okay... nothing exceptionally glamorous but not terrible either. Our main issue with the Dawn was terrible communication and ... Read More
Overview (C): We rated each category A-F based on our experience on the NCL Dawn. Overall the ship was okay... nothing exceptionally glamorous but not terrible either. Our main issue with the Dawn was terrible communication and transparency especially when it came to logistical problems such as boarding the ship (which took over two hours and we were there at our allotted time) and two different tender ports which precluded us from getting off the ship for the first two hours. People on Cruise Critic talk about the layout being confusing and not as easy as more updated cruise ships and they are correct. We LOVED all the ports and had great excursions. If you are a loyal NCL cruiser and like smaller ships, you will love the Dawn. All the people we met that like "less crowds, smaller ships, NCL perks, etc." loved it. But, if you are more loyal to Royal Caribbean or Princess and slightly larger ships (ex. Princess Royal at 142K tons and holds 3600 people or RC Adventure of the Seas at 137K tons and holds 3100 people vs Dawn 92K tons and holds about 2300 people), you will likely be disappointed. Dinning (C-): In comparison to RC and Princess, the food quality was subpar. We ate at four specialty restaurants (three were included in our "package" and one was free but mandatory reservations). We felt even at those places the food was okay - not great. They have two main dining rooms - we tried them both. We felt Aqua had better ambiance than Venetian, but they served the same food. The food was never impressive no matter how many options we ordered. Also, we found there to be a lack of dining options outside of 5:30-8pm. For breakfast it was only the giant buffet (for a brief time the dining room would open up, but it was the same food and it took 30 min longer to get). There was no "all the time sandwich, pizza, sushi, ice cream bar, etc" open all day and at all hours of the night which is different than what we've experienced on RC, Princess, and Carnival. The Dawn did have dining options out on the main deck, but they were closed 5 of the 7 days due to "inclement weather" which we were told was because of the temperature (which it was between 55-69 every day). There was one rainy day, but even in the 60s in the sun it was nice on the main deck so we were confused why there wasn't food being served. Also, there was NO room service without a charge! I know RC and Princess will charge during late-night hours but at least they have complimentary breakfast you can order to your room in the morning or a mid-day snack if you wanted something. Entertainment (C): All the entertainment was lackluster at best. Our one day at sea should have been the "Super Bowl" for the cruise director and it was just as pitiful as all the other days. Typically they had four things going on every night: the main show on one end of the boat, karaoke on the other end of the boat, the cruise ship musicians in the main atrium, and a guitar player next to the Champagne Bar (which was also right next to the Cigar Bar and the Casino - so it reeked of smoke all the time). None of the shows on this ship compared to the RC or Princess. Drink Package (B): The plus is you can buy two drinks at a time with one card. You still have to have both people in the room with drink packages, but it is nice to pull out one card. We did get up to $15 for any drink, but NCL also has higher prices in in comparison to the other cruise lines. What I was REALLY disappointed in was their wine selection...especially in the Wine Bar. They had about 30 wines, but only about 10 were within the package. I wasn't impressed and considered them "drinkable." Also, they only had about two types of liquor in each category as part of the package. On the other ships, pretty much everything except one "top shelf" was included. The most disappointing part of the drink package is NCL does NOT include coffee or water like the other major cruise lines. Even if you pick the drink package as one of your "free" options, they are still going to charge you an additional fee (ours was $139/person) to compensate for the additional cost in comparison to the other "free" options. Please note that if you are in a U.S. port, even with a "free" beverage package, they still charge a "port tax" on every drink purchase. It isn't much, but it will appear on your bill and would be nice if NCL informed you of that. Spa Package (C): We ordered this in advance because we loved the one on Princess so much. We don't regret buying it ($139/person in advance, $186/person once on the ship and they only let 60 people in). But, in comparison to what Princess had, it was not nearly as impressive. This ship had a very small "lap pool" as they called it, but if you are a true swimmer, you would spend more time doing flip turns than swimming. They had a hot tub and a hydrotherapy pool. The hydrotherapy pool was half the size of what was on the Princess and it looked very industrial versus the sleek and upgraded design on Princess. Princess had four temperate and scent showers (cool mist that smells like lavender, warm mist, waterfall, etc), but there was nothing like that on the Dawn. The Dawn had sauna and steam rooms - but segregated between men and women which was disappointing for us because we could do that together on Princess. Also, the men had both a warm and cold plunge tub, but neither for the women. Both ships had the stone/tile heated chairs, but the design on the Dawn was too curvy which contorted your body versus the Princess Royal which was more ergonomic. The only plus for the Dawn was you could sit in these chairs and see out the back of the boat - but the drawback is it was always very light in there versus Princess who kept it dim lit like a spa. The Dawn did have "Reflection Rooms" which allows you to see off the back of the ship as well and just relax anytime the spa was open. One final thing - if you do the spa tour on day one, it seems like the various exfoliating scrubs are included, but actually that was just for show and then it was an "upcharge" if you want it. Again, lack of transparency. Logistics (D): MUTLIPLE times they really messed up the logistics. The first day just getting on the ship was a nightmare. NCL is the first line I've ever had to "select a time" to board when I was filling out my registration. I even called customer service to ask if I got there early or late, what would happen and she said we would have to wait until everyone in the designated time had boarded and then we would get on afterwards. That was NOT true. There was no time for anything. No place you reported for your specified time. We got there 20 min early just to make sure we would be in our boarding time and it took us TWO HOURS to get on the ship! I also asked customer service prior to our boarding if we boarded at noon, would our rooms be ready (because on other lines, they normally aren't ready until between 1:30-3pm). She said yes - but the answer was no...rooms were not ready until after 1:30pm. When we hit our last stop, Newport, RI, they only had FOUR tenders. NCL was NOT transparent with us that it would take this long nor did the Captain, Cruise Director, or Transportation Direction make any announcements about why this was the case. All the Cruise Director kept saying was to be patient. We tendered at 11am and were not allowed to leave the ship until 1:15pm. We had to be back at the tender station at 4:30pm, so we only had three hours to explore this port which was very disappointing. Another fact NCL was not transparent about was that if you booked an excursion with them, you were first off. So, anyone who did an excursion with other vendors or no formal excursions were not allowed to leave for over TWO HOURS! When we went to ask about it, guest services said it was a port limit that we couldn't have more than four tenders; whereas that might be the case, communication and transparency is essential. When you disembark the ship, they let people who carry their own luggage off for the first hour and they get to the colored bag tags. We got off near the end of the "self-assist," and it took us less than 10 minutes to be out of the cruise terminal, including customs. Maintenance (B): We had our toilet go out for about 18 hours. Not ideal, but we know accidents happen and apparently it was a whole block of rooms due to a "clog." Again, no one notified us it was more than just ours until I started asking questions. Even when we returned the maintenance people couldn't tell us how long it would be. NCL did send us a bottle of Chardonnay and some chocolate covered strawberries two nights later, but honestly, even that was not transparent. It was a simple guest services card that said, "Thanks for traveling with us." So I didn't' know if it was for the toilet issues, because we were in a balcony, because we were first time NCL travelers, or because the logistics in Newport was so terrible. Also, there was always a few coffee machines that didn't work for breakfast in the large buffet which always created a cluster. Kid Friendly (A): They have an area on the back of the ship that is the best I have seen so far. It is perfect for kids ~3-7 years old. All shallow, a few slides, giant dinosaurs, and other fun things. It's at the back of the boat so you are somewhat secluded. The downside for our trip was the cooler weather, so people only really used it the first and last day. But, for other locations, it would be great. We also met a lady who said her kid was 12 and was in the 8-12 group and had such a fabulous time he never wanted to leave. She said the hours are great and they do lots of fun events with them. They have classes for all ages and even the tiny babies/toddlers have a place parents can bring them and let them play with the toy in a safe environment. Recommended Excursions: Halifax - Segway Nova Scotia (only one in town) - the crew here is very friendly and the tour is beautiful. They do a very thorough job making sure you are fully trained on the Segway before they take off on the tour. St. John, Bay of Fundy - Moosehead Brewery Tour - very informative and TONS of free samples to include one inside their vat that is 3 degrees - the freshest beer you'll ever have! We booked this through NCL and they provided transportation to and from the brewery which also included a drive by the reversing rapids. Bar Harbor - Bar Harbor Whale Watching - location was literally right off the tender boat which was great. But, if you get sea sick at all...DO NOT TAKE THIS TOUR! Many people on the boat were sick because they go 25-33 miles off the coast to see the whales and even on a beautiful day like ours, the wind was so strong the boat was rocking very hard. If you are not typically sea/motion sick, you will be fine and have a great time. We did get to see a Fin Whale (2nd largest on earth behind the Blue Whale) - but that was the only one we saw, so they actually gave a voucher to go again in the next three years for free. That is a great thing about this company - if you don't see a whale, they will give you a 3-year return voucher. Specifically we did the Whale and Puffin Tour and the only thing I would say is don't expect to see a puffin up close unless you have binoculars (which they do rent for $5 on the boat). Portland - Maine Food For Thought Walking Food Tour - this is a MUST to do it with this particular company (which I booked through Viator, but you can book it directly with them). It's rated #1 on TripAdvisor for Food Tours in Maine and there is a reason for that. Every place is upscale and/or unique and Brice (the owner) really knows his stuff! He's well educated and takes the "farm to table" discussion to another dimension. Newport, RI - We did not plan a specific excursion for this city and instead took the trolley to the Breakers and walked the 3 mile (1.5 miles each way) coastline and saw the amazing mansions which brings it so much popularity. We would have done more, but this was the stop NCL really messed up the logistics and we only had a few hours. Fortunately you tender one block from the Visitor's Center which is where you can buy tickets for the trolley to take you to the coastline. Everyone was very friendly and helpful to get you the right ticket on the right trolley. 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Sail Date June 2019
My wife and I decided to do a quick 1 week cruise out of New York and traveled with my daughter and 11 month old grandson in a separate cabin. We had sailed the S.S. Norway and had such a bad experience we stayed away from NCL. We have ... Read More
My wife and I decided to do a quick 1 week cruise out of New York and traveled with my daughter and 11 month old grandson in a separate cabin. We had sailed the S.S. Norway and had such a bad experience we stayed away from NCL. We have 34 cruises under our belts so it was NCL, not cruising, we avoided. This was our least favorite of 13 cruise lines. I know they have their loyal following and it may be like preferring vanilla over chocolate ice cream but this was not what we have experienced on any other cruise line. Embarkation was a long and tedious process but I don't blame NCL and the fault lies mainly with the company they contract with for the whole process. This was on me but I have always brought the usual one bottle of wine per adult for cabin consumption allowed on every other line we sailed. Not this one but, again, that is their policy and I didn't do my homework. I had to pay a corkage fee for each bottle. It didn't matter that I had the beverage package. It made no sense. As soon as we boarded we headed to the Lido as all of the other lunch venues were packed. But I'll discuss dining later. The ship is older but we have sailed several old ships that have been maintained. This has not been maintained. We stayed in a mini-suite that was spacious enough but very worn. The AC was great and responded to changes very quickly. It also had a very musty odor like old sneakers. The cabin was well located mid-ship and was relatively quiet. The balcony was the standard size. What I was pleased with was the number of outlets it had if you knew enough to bring European and UK adapters which we did. Some of the outlets we located where a piece of furniture must have been since they were in the middle of the wall over an empty space and there were severe rub marks counter height. We had a full length sofa and the seating area was separated from the sleeping area by a curtain. The mattress was very hard for my taste and, by the end of the week, my back was sore. The bathroom was fine although I prefer a shower stall to a tub/shower. Water pressure was great. Generic soap dispensers and hand soap were plentiful. Now, for the musty odor, there was a major leak from the tub that saturated the carpet in the closet and soaked all of our clothes in our hamper. Our daughter had a balcony cabin that we found to be very small. We had a pack-n-play for the baby that took up all of the available floor space in front of the loveseat. The door to the balcony was almost frozen shut but was eventually able to be repaired by maintenance. She too had a major leak in the bathroom with standing water. Another call to maintenance. So, two cabins with leaks should not happen. We found out later that we were not alone with this problem. There were several great bars located throughout the ship and they all had a good vibe. Drink service was excellent. I also liked the fact that you could order top shelf alcohol and only pay the difference above the drink allowance. Out favorite bar was Gatsby's but it always smelled of smoke because of the adjacent smoking room. Other areas seemed smokey as well but couldn't find the source. The casino was another area that had a lot of smoke was the casino where it was permitted and we had to pass through it to get to the show lounge or go to a different deck. The layout of the ship is very poor. We ran into several dead ends until we learned the lay of the land and also discovered which elevator went to where you wanted to go. However, only on elevator went down to the Venetian Dining Room which was a challenge for all of the wheelchairs and strollers. With a ship of such poor design we should have been given maps. Not a good ship for newbies. The elevators did come quickly which was a big plus. Another big issue I had was the nickel and dining that went on. I should have anticipated this since we had to pay gratuities on our "Free" perks. There were non-stop announcements for every thing imaginable they were selling. Even returning to the ship after tendering we were greeted with raffle ticket sales after security. Before the shows the cruise staff was also selling raffle tickets. This I did not like one bit. Constant photographers greeted us at every meal. Enough is enough. Getting to the food, this was a major disappointment. The Garden Cafe was worse than my hospital cafeteria and I was turned off by people grabbing food with their bare hands. Again, this is not the fault of NCL. The layout also didn't allow for a good flow since it was U shaped and you couldn't go around in a circle. And, seating was difficult to get. Our only MDR experience was The Venetian since we preferred the ocean views. Breakfast and lunches were best in the Venetian. Dinner was nothing special. Most nights we dined in specialty restaurants. Believe it or not, we loved Los Cabos. The food reminded me of when I lived in Mexico. The queso fundido was delish as were the guacamole, chips and our main courses. A spicy Margarita is not to be missed. La Cucina turned out to be a big disappointment. Service was terrible. We waited 45 minutes for appetizers. The fish was awful (a repeating theme on this ship), my risotto was very undercooked but my osso buco was good. Cagneys was also good if you like a steak house. Good food and service. Two nights we dined in Le Bistro and enjoyed them both. The Maitre 'd was exceptional and very accommodating. My grandson dined there and was an angel. Food was also very well done with fancy French service. One thing I found lacking was a good observation lounge or someplace quiet to read. Even the library seemed to be very busy. Maybe I wasn't looking in the right places but that was something my wife and I missed. We did no cruise ship excursions which, if you have tender ports, I recommend you do since they had the worst tendering service. Our first tender port was Bar Harbor which was also where we had to clear immigration. We cleared early but we weren't able to get to port until 1 PM. I would book the cheapest excursion and bail just to get off the ship at a reasonable time. The line went all the way up to Deck 7 and almost down to the show lounge. This was the worst. It was slightly better in Newport but tendering is never fun. Debarkation was a breeze. You essentially get off when you want. we were in the first group but all of the luggage was already on the dock. It was strange that you don't get debarkation instructions ahead. This is also Free Style. The luggage tags are at guest relations and you just pick what you want and leave when you want. There were no crowds and we just walked off. What did I like. The crew. I found them to be extremely friendly and efficient. They were always willing to help. Guest relations was efficient and well staffed. As mentioned before bar service was excellent. Did I have a good time? How could I not with my grandson in tow. The itinerary was great. Would I sail NCL again? No. The competition has a much better product. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I really like Norwegian ships. I have only been on several, but plan many more. The ship was clean and the food was good. I booked the last minute as a solo traveler. I did not have any of the specials (food or beverage packages). The ... Read More
I really like Norwegian ships. I have only been on several, but plan many more. The ship was clean and the food was good. I booked the last minute as a solo traveler. I did not have any of the specials (food or beverage packages). The comp restaurants were great. The Solo Hostess made the experience fun and interesting. She made sure there was a solo meet-up every day. Made sure we had reservations for dinner as a group. It really made a difference having an active hostess for our group. I made many friends and enjoyed tours and meals with other solo travelers. I drove to NYC. Can't say that was easy. $280 to park is excessive. Otherwise, on and off the ship was easy. However, it was a long walk with luggage upon returning to NYC. We returned to a different pier. Cabin was very nice. I had easy access to the atrium and glass elevators. It was nice to be able to dash down to the pub. I was happy with the location of the cabin. Especially since they assigned the cabin. This was a busy cruise with 5 ports in 7 days. One of the main reasons I picked this itinerary. My favorite ports are in NE and Canada. I did not have time to enjoy many of the entertainments but the aerial act was impressive. Note: Most of the group were ladies. Some married, some single, some widowed. I t was fun meeting people from all over the country. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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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