Cruise Ratings
See Reviews For
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
After 7 cruises on NCL beginning with the Norway in 1999, no more NCL for us until some policies are reversed. We felt more nickel and dimed than ever. First you can no longer bring your own bottled water on board. I can't ... Read More
After 7 cruises on NCL beginning with the Norway in 1999, no more NCL for us until some policies are reversed. We felt more nickel and dimed than ever. First you can no longer bring your own bottled water on board. I can't tolerate the tap water on the ship as it makes me feel ill and the cost of on board bottled water is ridiculous. This amounts to extortion. Also once on board I was taking a shower and suddenly there was no water AT ALL. Not in the shower, the tap or toilette This lasted for a while. So NCL denied us bringing our own water then was unable to provide water. Let the lawsuits begin. In addition they have the gall to now have items on the main menus you now have to pay more for. Seriously? The remaining "free" items are getting sketchy and forget ordering fish in the main dining rooms which is always dry and tasteless. Regarding their new private beach Harvest Caye (pronounced key), we nicknamed it harvest pee. There was a strong sewage smell throughout and the water was very murky. If you do want to go in the water we suggest walking past the zip line tower as it didn't seem to smell as bad. It seems they are still in the process of setting up as there were lots of empty shelves in shops and some shops were closed. The area is beautifully landscaped and the butterfly exhibit was fun. The process to get on the ship in ports has slowed down and resulted in long lines. Passengers now insert card keys into the readers themselves and the number of readers has been reduced. On a positive note, the crew was great as usual. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
I had the best time on this cruise. I have been on many cruises with lots of companies but this cruise prompted me to join cruise critic and write this review. I have read other reviews and understand that the Dawn is old but she still is ... Read More
I had the best time on this cruise. I have been on many cruises with lots of companies but this cruise prompted me to join cruise critic and write this review. I have read other reviews and understand that the Dawn is old but she still is a beauty and the staff take care of her well. Apart from a bit of wear and tear she is in great condition which was surprising as I was expecting her to barely be floating by reading other reviews. Entertainment The entertainment made my cruise! It was top-notch and cruise director "Dingo Dave" (5 star) is the best in the business. He is funny, charming and an all round nice guy. He and his team work so hard and he is everywhere - it's as though they never sleep! His morning TV show was the highlight of my morning. The main shows in the theatre were also fabulous especially "Elements" and I was amazed that Dingo Dave was even featured in one of the production shows (I especially liked his singing and dancing!) As far as facilities, the Dawn doesn't have the bells and whistles like the newer ships but the activities staff kept me and my partner well entertained. Awesome Alvin was great at karaoke and the Assistant Cruise Director Scott Mikelonis did a phenomenal job too (and he's quite easy on the eyes if you know what I mean.) Food Better than Royal Caribbean. Room service was fast but took me a while to get through some times. We preferred eating in Aqua to the Venetian but we are cruise more for the ports and entertainment rather than food on a ship. Room A tad small but you can't change the way that a ship is built. My cabin steward Ketut seemed to live under the bed as he was always around and cleaning up after us. Other A special mention to Alain the Hotel Director, he is very visible and seems to support his team very well. I met Captain Martin as well during Norwegians Night Out and he is a very funny guy, he's level headed and approachable. The staff and crew is what made this trip for me. They all deserve a raise and I will be back soon sailing on the Dawn. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
This was our third time cruising NCL, and first time on the Dawn. Other ships included the Pearl and Spirit. We selected this cruise because of the itinerary and previous good experiences on NCL. Have also cruised on Royal Caribbean and ... Read More
This was our third time cruising NCL, and first time on the Dawn. Other ships included the Pearl and Spirit. We selected this cruise because of the itinerary and previous good experiences on NCL. Have also cruised on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Ships many times. We left Chicago's snow and cold, and flew to New Orleans the day before our cruise. Stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans Airport, which is near Lake Pontchartrain. They have a free airport shuttle along with very nice accommodations. We enjoyed a late night meal at the hotel which was absolutely delicious; Turkey club, with Mac n' Cheese side, dish-killer! There is a casino nearby with a complete floor that is nonsmoking, which you can walk to, or take a complimentary shuttle. Sunday morning the front desk called a taxi to take us to the cruise port, about 20 minutes away, supposedly $33 for two people. Be sure your taxi gets in the NCL line at the port, and not Carnival line. Our taxi driver was not that alert, and I was able to save us some time here. At the terminal, the NCL baggage handler greeted us warmly. Once inside, we filled out the health forms, showed our passports and checked in with our EDocs. We were all done within twenty minutes and onboard by noon. No problems. Great customer service throughout the terminal. We had lunch in the Garden Café Buffet and then began to explore the ship. It was cool out and there was an extremely heavy fog and at times the downtown buildings along the Mississippi River, and the majestic bridge seemed to disappear. The Life Boat drill was conducted in the Venetian Dining Room & went smoothly. The fog delayed our departure by 2 hours, and since it was dark out, we did not get to see the city and shoreline as planned. Safety first. I heard they shut down the Mississippi for all vessels excepts cruise ships that evening. Our ports included Cozumel (Xcaret), Belize City (Baboon Sanctuary), Roatan (Gumbalimba Park and Tabyana Beach & BBQ) and Costa Maya (Yaya Beach) We loved them all! We were very pleased with our cruise and the ports. The ship was spacious and well kept with the exception of a few Women's restrooms that needed some attention at times, not always. We went to the shows in the main Theatre. Most shows were very good including the Illusionist, who was quite gifted. I still can't figure out how it did what he did. There was a afternoon show the last day at sea, where we saw the end... and he gave some tips to his tricks. Probably would've loved the entire show. The Second City Comedy Show was quite funny and Elements, which is their Main Production and was lovely. There is one outdoor pool with 2 whirlpools that we did not use, due to inclement weather on sea days, and no time while in port. There is an indoor pool in the Spa area, with 2 special whirlpools, which we would have loved to use. We declined to pay the $125 per person fee for use of the indoor pool. We thought that was too much to spend for the limited use we would need it for (2 hours on the two sea days). We have enjoyed Celebrity and Royal Caribbean Ships that have Adult Only Indoor Pools areas with no extra charges. The indoor pool looked very nice and the few times we stopped in to gaze, nobody was even using the pools. Suggestion, they could sell day passes for $10-$15 per person if they need to, if they need to limit the number of persons, and see how that goes. I love walking around the ship outside (Deck 7 on the Dawn). There was ample outdoor space on the Dawn for this, with some "smoking areas", which selfishly, I hope they eventually do away with. Shuffleboard. Ping Pong, and Outdoor chess? Yes they have it. We played Ping Pong - loads of fun, and great way to start the day. I would've loved some "quieter" music poolside, for a portion of the time. We enjoyed eating breakfast in Blue Lagoon, which was a relaxing way to start a port day. Lunch in the Venetian Dining Room is a treat, and we tried a variety of options, especially loved the hummus appetizer. The Bimini Grill served a mean burger (hot dogs too), higher deck overlooking the pool. My husband enjoyed the ice cream served pool side on many days. The buffet was ample, and sometimes there was a line at the beginning. We did not realize at first that there are different stations with different choices and you can pretty much avoid waiting in line. We ate dinner in Venetian and Aqua, and were satisfied with the variety, presentation and quality. The food was very good. Some of the appetizers are overly generous. My husband loved the Chocolate Volcano dessert, which he ordered 3 different evenings. I asked for a small portion in the dining room for dessert and was always accommodated. We received great service from all of the wait staff, who were pleasant and most accommodating. Our stateroom attendant was efficient and our room was always kept clean, and the towels at night were quite extraordinary, over and above what we've been used to. I loved the Sea Turtle Artwork on our wall, my favorite creature on earth. The casino was like most, with some new games to have fun with. We pretty much broke even. There was a nice snack station next to the bar, which again, was nice to get some fresh fruit while gaming. On the last day, we ate breakfast in the Aqua Restaurant before getting off the ship, and chatted with some fellow cruisers, comparing notes. This was their first cruise and they wanted to know how the Dawn compared to our other cruises. My husband said it best "We've never had a bad cruise". A lot is what you make of it. Don't let little things annoy you and if something needs to be addressed, then do so, right away, and you'll have a much better time. The staff is there to assist you. Getting off the ship was a breeze. We found our luggage quickly and were whisked through customs. The staff overall was wonderful, and did their job well, and were truly "Vacation Experts". We took a cab to a nearby car rental agency to explore Biloxi for the day before flying home on Monday. We are enjoying sharing wonderful stories and memories about our cruise with friends and family, and of course look forward to our next Adventure.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Hi, If your going to read this I appreciate you taking the time and hope my experience helps you in some way, more so in your decision to use a different cruise line for your needed services needs! Our boarding hours were 12 to 2 but you ... Read More
Hi, If your going to read this I appreciate you taking the time and hope my experience helps you in some way, more so in your decision to use a different cruise line for your needed services needs! Our boarding hours were 12 to 2 but you have to go the long way around to understand that and they got it so there's not a lot of congestion all at one time to get on the ship but there is anyway, They are not at all forthcoming with information and what you see, hear, or read may be different than what actually occurs and they bank on that! Now with that being said, We were traveling with 2 senior citizens and 2 people with disabilities and they didn't offer or were not forthcoming with the information to take good care of them for boarding, while on the ship, ports, getting off ship, our group total was 13, all being adult but 1 teen and 2 children. Felt herded like cattle, like it does but uncomfortable and not like they say they have it set up. Now I won't be bias by using other company names but I have cruised before and can tell the difference, as well as worked for a cruise line in the embarkation/debarkation department so I am basing what I tell you on nothing more than my experiences! Going into the second day not even on the ship 24 hours yet and get accused of smoking in our room, now we are smokers, but the best time of our cruise was getting out of the room to go smoke areas where (we met the most interesting people on the whole cruise every time), eat, take on activities, so I didn't appreciate our steward one bit trying to scam us out of the 250$ charge you can pay if you want to (which is really all that is), she was a very miserable person who was way over worked to give the care that position is suppose to entail, 1 steward for 15 rooms and 2 of them "penthouses". It took till the 5th day of the cruise to get ice, or a towel animal, and I had to fuss to even get that, they moved our stuff around a lot for what looked like no reason. When one of the pool towels was used they didn't keep up with replacing it, so I had to say something every day or risk losing 25$ for taking a towel I didn't take or would even want! Our cabin was easy to deal with, only us 2 adults who picked up after ourselves, living right out of the suitcases, and were out of the room pretty much the whole time, except to sleep! This was my husbands first cruise so I really hoped he could have seen that good care a steward does, but alas, I was disappointed! You have to turn a pie chart rolling thing on the wall "welcome", "make up cabin" "turn down bed" "Do not disturb" I kept forgetting to do this, we were excited to be on our cruise, why isn't this by the door knob? and with my husbands first cruise, would have been nice, if when our horrible steward came up to introduce herself why didn't she show how that thing worked? Now I have an accent and it is possible some may have had a hard time understanding what I was saying, I took that into account until I watched it happen to a better english speaking person than me, then I knew, They just did not listen to what we told them to do, or what we wanted! Felt like I was dealing with a trained monkey who only knew how to do one only way to do something. Example and I have many, but here's an example at the buffet they had the omelet station I asked for 1 fried egg, guy gave me 2, it was little things, someone told me if you have any more trouble contact me, but oddly when you go to talk to them, they are to busy to talk to you at that time, nor make an arrangement to get back to you, and this was when I was actually going to thank a person that helped me! My biggest complaint was the misleading information, and that they really just did what they wanted to, not what they said they would do, my first drink I got came in the souvenir cup, I didn't ask for it or get asked which one (color, style) I would have liked so when I went to go change it out I had to just first chase down a bar that was actually open to do that and they gave me a hard time even doing that! For pretty much everything there were specific opened and closed times, due to the fact that we did visit 4 ports, things around the ship finished up/closed quite early everywhere in the ship, so this was not very good at all for night time people! In all I just went through so much and was not treated fairly, I did get the daily service charges removed BUT I tipped way more in cash at the time than what they were charging simply because it brings out great service in a way of saying "thank you" letting them know I appreciated from their choice them wanting to do that for ME! This was the first time I ever had to do that, usually I over tip, but I can afford to, and have once in my life worked for making tips so I know how it feels! Now I wouldn't say I am big on cruises, My vacationing ideas are much different, this last one I went on someone else paid for it, and I was doing it for them, "it's were conformity is taught, and learned by the impressionable minded" in a fun,"safe" way and for some it is needed, but I felt it my civil duty to review it and share with others in the hopes that it doesn't happen to you or help you handle it better if it does. They sent a survey to do in an email asking about my experience but right after a choice I made negative in one of the questions towards Norwegian my survey ended, they didn't even really want to hear about it, speaks volumes about their business practices. Bon Voyage Norwegian, people won't be back when you don't care what they want or give them what you say you will And they paid good money to get! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We sailed on the NCL Dawn to Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Costa Maya. The trip was very enjoyable with a few exceptions, The inside stateroom on deck 11 is horrible. At night all we heard was screeching and rolling carts at 3 AM. We ... Read More
We sailed on the NCL Dawn to Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Costa Maya. The trip was very enjoyable with a few exceptions, The inside stateroom on deck 11 is horrible. At night all we heard was screeching and rolling carts at 3 AM. We finally figured out that we were underneath the Garden Buffet. Don't choose any rooms that are on deck 11 unless you don't want to sleep. The food was good. The service was ok except at breakfast in the Venetian. Servers who serve one person there breakfast and serve the rest of the table ten minutes later have not been properly trained. This happened with so many servers we started going to the Blue Lagoon for breakfast. The shows were good. The magician was very entertaining. In Costa Maya we went to the Mayan ruins which was very good. People who complained that the poert was boring were too cheap to take an excursion. Every port is the same, shops and bars, unless you go for an excursion somewhere. The gym was great. So was the pool area except for the loud band. Overall I would recomend the cruise unless you stay on deck 11. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
This was our 9th cruise and 2nd on Norwegian. We are not fans of "Freestyle Cruising" since you never get the same waiters twice and your tips are pooled. They really are not that motivated. The service isn't bad, but ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise and 2nd on Norwegian. We are not fans of "Freestyle Cruising" since you never get the same waiters twice and your tips are pooled. They really are not that motivated. The service isn't bad, but it's not as good as lines where the staff gets to know you and really work for their tips. The food was good but nothing to really rave about. We refuse to pay extra for an optional dining room when we buy a cuise from any line and we're usually happy with the offerings. We never had a bad meal, but again, we never really had a meal that was special. Activities were rare. I don't really know what the cruise director's staff did other than sell bingo cards and strip tickets. Other cruise lines we've been on had so many activities you had to pick and choose what to do on sea days. Our other NCL cruise had few activities, but it was Alaska so there was always something to do on deck. The dawn was one of the dullest ships we've ever been on. There was no theme to speak of. The theater could have been from a old mall in the states. Nothing special at all. The shows were like very good school production, but nothing you'd want to buy a ticket for. I assume Norwegion has a pecking order for the entertainers and the dawn is at the bottem of the list. Read Less
Norwegian Dawn Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.5 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

Find a Norwegian Dawn Cruise

Email me when prices drop