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6,306 Norwegian (NCL) Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews

Not rating this a 5, mostly because we did not get the recognition and the perks of being silver latitude members. Getting on the ship went well, getting off a little more confusing, they routed us the long way around the lobby, and we ... Read More
Not rating this a 5, mostly because we did not get the recognition and the perks of being silver latitude members. Getting on the ship went well, getting off a little more confusing, they routed us the long way around the lobby, and we were getting off late enough, they were allowing exit through the lobby area. Just the 3 of us, all senior citizens but pretty active. My sister was with us and it was her first cruise, so overlooked not getting a ship pin or invites to the parties. I guess all of that was supposed to be placed in our cabin the first day, but we didn't get any of it and the lattitudes contact person on board acted like it was our fault, we should have known better when i asked him the last day of the cruise. well, it's been 4 years since we sailed on NCL, so weren't really sure until we checked on our perks when we got back. it's a good thing the ship is going into dry dock, the public bathrooms need some work! loose toilets, doors that won't lock, etc.... the ship wasn't full, so the upgrade fairy called 3 days before we left and we upgraded to a mini suite with a balcony. loved it! loved it more that i didn't have to crawl up into a bunk bed every night like i would have had to do in the original cabin that we booked. also had a bathtub and a coffee pot! the food and service was all good, the Chateaubriand was the best we have ever had on a cruise (35 of them), the Escargot was really different, not what we were expecting, more of a mushroom and escargot mix in sauce served between flaky crusts. loved that they served bananas foster! no lobster included for free though. The dining room wouldn't let me take my desert back to my room, darn! I wanted to save it for later. Didn't really like how the 24 hour food place worked though. It could be slow at times to get served, and a limited menu, like sitting down in a cafe for a bite to eat. we didn't utilize the buffet much but was very nice when we did. clean area and good food choices. The ice cream and bbq out by the pool seemed to be offered for only a short amount of time, kept missing it! Entertainment was fun, and so much going on! The magician Davinchi, was just ok. I guess we have seen the same acts many times before with other magicians! Nice theater acts overall. Lots of ship activities going on for all! Loved the cruise director, Richard, he was everywhere! The piano bar was wonderful, especially with the rat pack tribute singer, and the atrium with Jose & Maria. She got sick half way through the cruise though, so we missed her! Room was always clean, cute towel animals, one morning a little later than usual, but hey, it was going to be a long day! Went to Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Costa Maya, but have bee there many times before, so did not book any excursions. Did our souvenir shopping in downtown Cozumel. Like that NCL parks the boat downtown. Haven't been downtown the last few cruises, but the sales people are worse than ever! Can get downright rude and mean with you when you don't come in or leave without buying anything! Not much to Roatan but did get a fish spa, and some lovely beaded angel christmas tree ornaments. Also got a nice candle with the purchase helping local battered women and children. Not big spenders here! Got a nice deal on a horse and buggy ride around town in Belize. Final and best was costa maya. this is just a nice place to spend the day! NCL tries to promote their excursions so not really any mention of the fun things you can do right at the pier for free! Huge pool to use situated between 2 bars. Dolphin encounter excursion right there at the pier offered by the ship, but you can watch for free! Pretty cool! Lots of tiki huts around the area with last minute souvenirs as it was our last stop. People were snorkeling out by the pier, but rocky beach, free lounges and a few palm trees for shade. Good place to buy $1 maracas that are handpainted! Vendors aren't too bad, but it's not really true when they tell you "it's almost free". All being said I love NCL as the happy ship! The crews always do seem happy with you and each other, and that makes your cruising experience more enjoyable. And I firmly believe there is no such thing as a bad cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Our two reasons for taking this cruise, which was our 16th overall and 9th with NCL, were 1) leaving out of New Orleans; 2) visiting 3 new ports in the Western Caribbean Itinerary: Roatan, Honduras, Belize, and Costa Maya. (We have ... Read More
Our two reasons for taking this cruise, which was our 16th overall and 9th with NCL, were 1) leaving out of New Orleans; 2) visiting 3 new ports in the Western Caribbean Itinerary: Roatan, Honduras, Belize, and Costa Maya. (We have previously been to Cozumel). Our pre-cruise stay in New Orleans was great, even though the weather wasn't the best. This was our 2nd time in this port, but our travel-mates' 1st visit, which added to the fun of sharing experiences. As we had expected, the NCL Dawn definitely showed her age on this trip. We first sailed on her in 2004, when she was still new. Of course, we realize that a refurb is scheduled for her soon, and hopefully, the ship will be bright and sparkling afterwards. Our balcony cabin was on the 9th deck, and showed some wear & tear, but everything in it seemed to be functioning properly. We had the UBP package, which was convenient, and we hardly ever experienced a long wait for service. Unfortunately, the quality of the food has really decreased over the past few years, and we were disappointed in 2 out of the 3 specialty restaurants in which we ate. Our favorite was LeBistro, as everyone in our party agreed. We were fortunate to have good weather and smooth seas during this cruise, other than the first day, which was cool and windy. Our room steward was very good, a nice young man, who very friendly, helpful, and responded to our requests quickly, for the most part. The overall service we received in the restaurants and bars was slightly inconsistent, but most servers did well. However, we found the overall attitude and service in the Guest Services area to be substandard. We often asked the same questions of different staff members and received conflicting answers. The Shore Excursion staff seemed much more competent and helpful. Being VIP this trip, I found the Concierge to be extremely professional. Most of the entertainment venues we participated in were very good, especially Elements, Jose & Patti, and Jocka & Maria. Our excursions were a mixture of NCL-sponsored and private companies. First, in Cozumel, some of us took the Passion Island excursion, which was enjoyable, and 2 others decided on the Dolphin Experience. They enjoyed interacting with the dolphins, but weren't very impressed with the buffet lunch included in the price of the excursion. In Roatan, we used Victor Bodden, who has been recommended highly by both Cruise Critic members and Trip Advisor. His company did not disappoint. For a very reasonable price, we choose the Fun-n-Sun Tour. The driver and tour guide were both excellent. In Belize, our choice was cave-tubing.bz (Vitalino Reyes' company) for cave-tubing and ziplining. They provided a very good experience for all of us, and a nice Belizean lunch at the end of our tour. The driver was Vitalino, Jr. and our guide, Lewis, did an excellent job. We would recommend them highly. In Costa Maya, we did our own thing. We stayed at the complex near the pier, and some of us took a taxi to Mahahual to barter with the vendors and briefly visit the beach area. We enjoyed our day there, but did find some of the vendors a bit pushy. After disembarking our cruise, we took the NCL Past, Present & Perfect Tour of New Orleans. The driver and guide were outstanding and we were provided with a lot of information. At the end of this tour some of our group were brought directly to the airport with our luggage, which was very convenient (we had a late flight home). The others were dropped off at their hotel for a one night post-cruise stay, which worked out well for them, also. All in all, we had a very pleasant and relaxing cruise on the Dawn. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Our cruise on the Dawn was one of our best vacations. The 7 days went by so fast starting with the embarkation. We carried our own luggage cutting out any wait time. Once aboard, Finding our cabin for the first time was a challenge, but ... Read More
Our cruise on the Dawn was one of our best vacations. The 7 days went by so fast starting with the embarkation. We carried our own luggage cutting out any wait time. Once aboard, Finding our cabin for the first time was a challenge, but after that the signage made navigating the ship fairly easy. Our Oceanview cabin was convieniently laid out; and he cabin steward always anticipated our needs. With many choices of where to eat, we found the complemententary dining rooms served excellent meals. The service was very good. We didn't participate in the late night activities, but did enjoy the professional shows. We chose the dolphin excursion in Cozamel. It was the highlight of the trip. We also bought my husband a replacement wedding ring. Negotiating with the vendor was a hoot. Also, I suggest Señor Frogs cantina. The next stop was Roatan where we went snorkeling at Tabayana Beach. THe reef was beautiful with plenty of fish to see. In Belize City, my husband took the zipline-cave tubing excursion. I didn't participate due to extensive climbing, which I could not do. He had ziplining on his "bucket list." Lastly, in Costa Maya we shopped the small town area. We struck a deal on a Molvado watch at Diamonds Intenational. IN addition to it being discounted, you can get an 8.9% rebate. THe disembarkation was very fast as we kept our luggage. In conclusion, we would take a cruise with Norwegian again. Maybe on a different ship and itinerary, just for another experience. We preferred departing New Orleans because it was only a 4 hour drive for us. Oh yeah, there was plenty of disinfectant and provided bug spray for the Zika and Nora viruses should anyone be afraid of that. Plenty of people spraying your hands saying "washy, washy, happy, happy". LOL Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
loved this cruise. this is our 4 th time sailing with ncl. the dawn was in need of some tlc. Its going into dry dock for a 75 million dollar makeover. first the service was great from the waiters and waitresses to the bartenders my hats ... Read More
loved this cruise. this is our 4 th time sailing with ncl. the dawn was in need of some tlc. Its going into dry dock for a 75 million dollar makeover. first the service was great from the waiters and waitresses to the bartenders my hats off. in the main dinning rooms ask for baby or marldon. they look out for your every need. room was ok need of some tlc as well as the balcony . Pool area was very nice but in need of some tlc Shows were great although we didn't see the magic show had no appeal. island were unbelievable from Cozumel's beach party to roatan bays catamaran ride to a private beach , to Belize's air boat ride, which was my wife's favorite to costa maya's ruins and beach lunch they were all great. The weather you couldn't beat. would recommend this cruise highly. looking forward to doing it again after the make over. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was my first cruise, so I have nothing to rate this against except my level of expectation and satisfaction, which both were met. We found the boarding process to be so easy and the whole process took about 45 minutes. Our room was ... Read More
This was my first cruise, so I have nothing to rate this against except my level of expectation and satisfaction, which both were met. We found the boarding process to be so easy and the whole process took about 45 minutes. Our room was wonderful, clean, large enough for two people (easily). Our beds were separated into two twins, but a steward that was outside of our room came right in and converted them into a queen. During the cruise we visited most of the restaurants and found the quality to be between great and outstanding. There was very little I tried that I didn't like and almost everything I tried was good quality. We saw several shows, participated in a couple of the game shows, spent a good amount of time relaxing on our balcony (top priority for me), did a little shopping, played some games (shuffleboard, etc.) had very few requests and each of them were answered/addressed almost immediately. We ate at most of the restaurants, including the specialty restaurants Cagney's Steakhouse, Le Bistro, the Japanese one ( I can't remember the name) and found them to be outstanding. The Aqua and the Venetian didn't disappoint us ever and had several breakfasts at the Garden Cafe. Twice we had lunch at the Oasis Bar & Grill by the pool. These were the only "good" meals we had, the rest were great! We took advantage of the three night dining package and found it to be a great value. We chose not to do any of the cruise offered shore excursions as we felt they were overpriced. Two of the ports we did our own thing and the other two I prearranged with private companies. In Cozumel we shopped for a bit in the morning and went to Paradise Beach for the afternoon. Excellent prices ($3 to enter, with the promise to purchase $10 of food/beverages, $18 pp for an all day pass to their "water toys" (which included large blow up things in the water, snorkeling equipment and paddle boats). An amazing value. In Roatan we used Roatan Ocean Adventures (who we found on Trip Advisor) and was thoroughly impressed. The price was half of what the cruise ship offered, for four hours of "Snorkeling Hopping" in three different spots and about an hour at the Little French Key beach. The snorkeling was the best we had ever done, the crew, although small, was so accommodating and knowledgeable. In Belize we also found an independent company and visited the Altun Ha Mayan Ruins. Although the price was the same as the cruise ship, we got more time, a tour around Belize City, a Belizian lunch (that was amazing) and a personal tour guide. There was only two of us so we got extra time to explore and tour the city. In Costa Maya we took a cab (for $3 per person) to the small town Mahahual about 2 miles south of the dock. This place has the most amazing beaches I have ever been to. There were about 12 restaurants that had beach chairs and cabanas set up in front of the restaurant. For about $65 we spent the day in a cabana on the beach, several drinks and lunch, two 30 minute massages - it was truly our day in paradise. Overall, this was an amazing week and we truly enjoyed our time on the Dawn. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our 21st cruise with NCL, all from New Orleans. Each cruise we take with NCL seems to be better than the one before. We have sailed on various different NCL ships and the Dawn is not our favorite because it does not offer a good ... Read More
This was our 21st cruise with NCL, all from New Orleans. Each cruise we take with NCL seems to be better than the one before. We have sailed on various different NCL ships and the Dawn is not our favorite because it does not offer a good place to sit and enjoy the beautiful ride down the Mississippi River.(The bar which was originally over the bridge has been converted to suites.) That being said, the wonderful crew members under the leadership of Hotel Director Alain Magnier, more than offset the loss of this view. The ports we visit are great, Cozumel, Costa Maya, Roatan and Belize, in order of favorites. Looking forward to the opening of Harvest Caye at Belize which will be available when we return next year. Read some reviews about dining room service being slow, if you feel this is an issue all you have to do is bring it to the attention of the Matri'de and it will be addressed. The Officers and Crew of the NCL DAWN are the most accommodating people in the world. They will do their best to resolve any issues you may have and to ensure that you have the best cruise experience possible. Over the years this has been our experience with NCL, they seem to erase the word NO from a persons vocabulary before they hire them. Also read some reviews which complained about the ship showing some wear and tear. (The Dawn is about to undergo a complete renovation in May.) To us, with the understanding that it is not a brand new ship, it was perfectly OK especially with the exceptional value pricing that was being offered. (Pricing in our opinion was more indicative of the poor condition of the U.S. economy than the condition of the ship.) We are very much looking forward to sailing with NCL when they return to New Orleans in the fall and would highly recommend to any and all that they join us and do the same. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Embarkation went very smoothly. We arrived at the terminal about an hour before our reserved time, and that was a good idea. Our cabin was a mid-ship balcony. Others have mentioned the balcony is small, but it was completely adequate for ... Read More
Embarkation went very smoothly. We arrived at the terminal about an hour before our reserved time, and that was a good idea. Our cabin was a mid-ship balcony. Others have mentioned the balcony is small, but it was completely adequate for two people reading or sitting companionably. Our cabin steward was wonderful. She accommodated our needs whenever we had a request, and got a repair person to our cabin quickly when our safe didn't work and our remote malfunctioned. I enjoyed that the vast majority of staff were from all over the globe, and not just local. They work very hard. We tipped our steward on the first day, mid-cruise and at the end, and I think it is unconscionable to skip tipping. The stewards seem to work 10-12 hour days seven days a week. We also tipped wait staff in the specialty restaurants. About the specialty restaurants: We enjoyed La Cucina best, and really didn't like Le Bistro at all. Almost all the dishes were oversalted considerably. Teppanyaki was meh. If I were to go with Norwegian again, I'd skip the specialty restaurants altogether, and stick with the big Garden Cafe and the included reservation restaurants. My husband doesn't eat wheat, and though everyone tried to be accommodating, they had pretty bad communication problems in conveying the information to the chefs. I think a big part of the problem was that the chefs' command of English wasn't up to the nuances of his dietary needs. But it was also true that we would make arrangements in advance, and word just wouldn't have made it to the Chef. If you have Celiac disease, you should bring your own bread with you. The bread they have on board stinks. As for entertainment, there are a ton of options. If you're bored, you're not even trying. Our favorites were the comedy shows, the trivia contests, shuffle board, name that tune games, ping pong, and hanging in the Vibe Lounge, particularly the hot tubs. We also went to the Broadway show Legally Blonde, and the dance show. Both were kind of horrifically sexist and not much fun for us. Before the cruise (and this was our first cruise), I had thought the the shore excursions would be the highlight, but in fact the ship was more fun for us. The ship's info about the ports, and the organization of the ports themselves are all focused on shopping, and we really aren't big on shopping. Specifics: Bahamas - missed this one, the seas were too high to tender us in. Ocho Rios: We wanted to walk around and eat, which we did, but be warned, Google maps stunk at locating the restaurants we were looking for, and had us walking all over the place. It was really hot and humid, a little too much for this frozen northerner. There wasn't much to do if you weren't doing an excursion. Grand CAyman: we took a local bus (much cheaper than the taxis, and pretty much the same as one) to the public beach and rented a beach umbrella and chairs. It was great. Cozumel: I'd read the reviews of the excursion to the Mayan ruins on the mainland, and pretty much everyone panned it, so I did a little research and found out that there are some Mayan ruins right on Cozumel. We met some other cruisers in the taxi line and joined together to take a taxi out to the Mayan ruins and get a tour there. It was really cool. Our taxi driver hung out playing chess while we toured the place, then took us back. I highly recommend doing this rather than the expensive and crappy excursion to the mainland site. All in all a very good cruise, and we're looking forward to cruising again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Our cruise was on the Getaway on April 17th. We stayed 1 night prior at The Pullman Hotel in Miami. The hotel had a complimentary shuttle from the airport. It was a very nice hotel with a great breakfast. The bellhop recommended a ... Read More
Our cruise was on the Getaway on April 17th. We stayed 1 night prior at The Pullman Hotel in Miami. The hotel had a complimentary shuttle from the airport. It was a very nice hotel with a great breakfast. The bellhop recommended a great Cuban restaurant named Casa Juan. I have done many cruises but it had been years since I had done one on NCL. Our cruise was on the Getaway on April 17th. Both embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. The ship is beautiful with so many great things to do and places to eat. So many choices that one week is almost not enough. Our cabin was a balcony cabin 13256. Room steward (Randy) did a good job of making sure the cabin was always clean and with enough towels. The location was very good and close to the buffet on deck 15 and to the pool area. The cabin had a lot of storage and the bathroom was a good size. We had a 3 night dining package and ate at Cagney's, Teppanyaki, and Moderno's. The food was absolutely delicious. I recommend making your reservations ahead of time, either before you get on the ship or soon after to get the times you want. The other nights we ate at the complimentary restaurants, Taste, Savor, O'Sheehans and Tropicana. The choice and food was very good at all of them. For breakfast and lunch, the majority of the time we ate at the buffet. Try the gelado. There is an extra charge, but well worth it. They changed out a lot of the items and even had prime rib one night. Also, we enjoyed the crepes. The selection of items was wonderful. Not sure what more they could offer. Not having been on a NCL cruise for awhile, I really was amazed at the freedom to chose what you want to eat, when you want to eat and with whom you want to eat with. Also, it was so nice not to have to dress up if you chose not to do so. You can book the shows ahead of time. I did not, and waited until I got onboard. There is only one comedy show that I couldn't get because it interfered with my dining . The show, Burn the floor was wonderful as was Legally Blonde. We did get Wi fi for the entire time. Most of the time it was ok. If we had a problem, the person at the internet café was more than helpful. We enjoyed the games and activities and even participated in the Newly Wed, Not So Newly wed game. They also offered a DEAL or NO DEAL show and it was just like on TV. We had been to all the ports before, so we didn't do any of the excursions that were offered. The service was good. There were 9 of us all together. 6 adults and 3 children ages 8, 10 and 11 years old. The kids had something to do all the time and loved the kids club so much that they never wanted to leave. It was a great vacation for all of us. It will be hard to now go onto another ship with not so many options, Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
First the bad: We missed Great Stirrup Cay. The good: Missing Great Stirrup Cay means we have to sail again soon to go there! This was a totally amazing cruise. We flew into Miami the day before our cruise and caught the shuttle from ... Read More
First the bad: We missed Great Stirrup Cay. The good: Missing Great Stirrup Cay means we have to sail again soon to go there! This was a totally amazing cruise. We flew into Miami the day before our cruise and caught the shuttle from our hotel to the terminal at about 10:00. Quick and easy check in then we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes. From the second we walked onto the ship until we debarked a week later we were treated as if we owned the ship. Food: We ate at the buffet, The Illusionarium, Cagney's, Moderno, Le Bistro, La Cucina, Ocean Blue, Teppanyaki, Savor, Taste, and O'Sheehan's. Every single meal was GREAT. Ocean Blue is a must if you have any sort of dining package. The food quality, presentation, and service was outstanding. Entertainment: The new Illusionarium show is even better than the original. Enjoyed that a lot. Four acts instead of five but they were all very good. Legally Blond and Burn the Floor were really good and very entertaining. The trivia games were a lot of fun as well. It was not hard to find something to do all day long. In fact t was hard to fit it all in during a single cruise! Pools: We did not try to go to the pool during what we expected to be the peak times. No need to be where the crowds are! When we did go there was no issue at all with crowding, getting loungers, the hot tubs, or anything else at all. It was absolutely perfect. Any time we even walked through the pool area there were always empty loungers. Water Slides: We trued the red and orange slide a few times each. FUN FUN FUN! The purple and blue slide are ones where you stand up on a platform and the floor drops out into the slide. They looked very cool but we missed them as we were late foir dinner before we made it over there. Oh well another reason we need to go back on the Getaway. Vibe: We got Vibe passes on our last Getaway cruise but not this time. It was very nice there and probably most folks should try it one time. However we never had an issue with crowding or finding a private quiet place when we wanted it, so we decided not to get the Vibe passes this cruise. The private hot tubs there and the bartenders bring around skewers of fresh fruit were nice extras! Cabin: We had a balcony cabin on the 13th deck forward. It was very nice. Perfect amount of room for the three of us. The balcony is not large by any means but it was very nice and offered a great view when we wanted private time. Ports: As I mentioned earlier we missed Great Stirrup Cay but safety is a priority and it was just not safe to tender with the seas expected by the end of the day. Next was Ocho Rios which was really nice. The pier is almost a mile long so if you have mobility issues look for one of the bicycle carts to take you the length of the pier. A tip is highly appropriate for this. We went to the Bamboo Beach VIP. It is your typical Caribbean off the path beach. Not up to American standards as a beach but it was VERY nice. The VIP included a meal of several courses and they kept bring you more and more if you asked. I had 3rds of the jerk chicken and lobster tails! Brought our own snorkel gear and it came in handy! Grand Cayman was our next stop. We did the sting ray excursion. We had a really good time. It was not as good as the shark and ray excursion we did in Belize last year but is was worth the money for sure. When we came back we walked over to the food court by the pier and ate some really good food. I had some sort of India dish that was very tasty. Other had pizza. Good port. Cozumel: This was our 3rd time at Cozumel. In the past we did the Playa Mia once and just walked around town once. This time we did the Joy of Chocolate. Really worth the time and money. It is a low key excursion and you get to make you won chocolate candy bar. Very tasty. This is a bit of a long pier as well and they also have bicycle couriers to get you to and from town. All in all this was a great cruise. We are in the process of planning a cruise for next spring and will be back on NCL of course! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I had never been on a cruise and was a little nervous. My husband got it for me for my birthday. It was the best time I ever had in my life. I could go on and on, but every aspect was so much fun. We already booked again! This time to ... Read More
I had never been on a cruise and was a little nervous. My husband got it for me for my birthday. It was the best time I ever had in my life. I could go on and on, but every aspect was so much fun. We already booked again! This time to the Eastern Caribbean. The unlimited drink package is awesome as well as the specialty dining. The greatest thing is you can be as busy as you want or make the cruise as relaxing as you want. No special time to eat. The shows were great and the parties every night were so much fun. We went in April, next year in May. The weather that time of year is perfect. The nights can be a little cool, but it's beautiful standing by the rail and seeing the moonlight reflecting off the water. I would recommend a balcony room. So nice to have coffee outside in the morning, and they bring it right to the room!! Can't wait till next time! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Took advantage of UBP & shore excursion credit on the only cruise to fit our time from from Port Canaveral. Also had Cruise credit from previous cruise. Like this size ship and wanted Western itinerary. The Spirit is in fine shape ... Read More
Took advantage of UBP & shore excursion credit on the only cruise to fit our time from from Port Canaveral. Also had Cruise credit from previous cruise. Like this size ship and wanted Western itinerary. The Spirit is in fine shape in the public areas and our cabin was no worse for wear considering the age of the ship and time since its last refurb, about 5 years ago I believe. Service in all venues was friendly and good to excellent. We had a change of room stewards but all was in order despite only brief encounters with them. I would say food in the MDRs has gone downhill over the years, not just on NCL. All the mainstream line seem to want to generate revenue on dining items formerly included in the fare by pushing us into specialty venues. We were not impressed with CD Dave from Australia and felt event scheduling was weak, with times nothing going on to times when things of interest conflicted more than on any previous cruise. Shore excursions were overpriced as usual with the cruise line but quality was pretty good & balanced out with the $50 per port credit, however, Bamboo beach in Jamaica was almost impossible to get in the water due to undertow & rocks....food and drinks were ok there. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Having just returned from a cruise on Norwegian Spirit, I have to say what a very pleasant surprise I had. I had read many reviews that had made me doubt my choice, mostly about the age and condition of the ship. I am happy to say, that ... Read More
Having just returned from a cruise on Norwegian Spirit, I have to say what a very pleasant surprise I had. I had read many reviews that had made me doubt my choice, mostly about the age and condition of the ship. I am happy to say, that although not as grand as some of the other ships I have cruised on, it was in very good condition, clean and comfortable with ample restaurants and activities. The service was second to none and the entertainment was very good. The atmosphere was extremely relaxed and I really could not fault the holiday. Stirrup Cay was a lovely island (privately owned by NCL) and the ships crew worked very hard providing a bbq and buffet on the beach, the reggae band played and the drinks were readily available. I personally liked the 'anytime dining' and whilst there is no pressure to dress up, the majority of people did. It really was 'freestyle' cruising. I didn't have children with me, but there quite a few children and they appeared to be very well entertained. There was the usual, bingo, quizzes etc but no pressure to join in if you didn't want to. The embarkation and disembarkation went smoother than I have found on other cruises that I have been on, but this could be due to this being a smaller ship and therefore less people. I understand that the ship is due another upgrade this year, but whilst I agree that parts were a little dated, they were not in bad repair, it was all rather charming. I would definitely sail with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My husband and I have always enjoyed cruising and just being on the boat but NCL Getaway was the worst boat we have ever been on. The Getaway is one of NCL's mega ships and it is ALL about money. The crew is constantly trying to ... Read More
My husband and I have always enjoyed cruising and just being on the boat but NCL Getaway was the worst boat we have ever been on. The Getaway is one of NCL's mega ships and it is ALL about money. The crew is constantly trying to sell you something and up selling you. The entertainment on the Getaway has a lot to be desired. The free music they offer is not really that good and it is LOUD. When you go to sit by the pool to relax you can't talk you have to yell at each other, and as I said crummy music. Bar 21 had entertainment that you could seat and listen to if you could find a seat and that was a problem thought the boat, if something was good or interesting you could not find a seat. They want you to pay extra for the decent entertainment that had been free in the past. The public areas on the Getaway are all chopped up so you have dining thought the ship so no matter where you want to go you have a crowd. I do not go or spend a lot of money for a vacation to stand in line or fight kids and crowds. This is unfourtinally is where NCL seems to be headed with their bigger ships. There are 4000 people on this boat and the pool area is the same size as a smaller ship so needless to say the adult pool area is crowded. We wanted to go swimming and you could not even get close to the pool it was at least 10 people deep all the way around with people sitting in the pool. The kids pool is a short distance from the adult pool so there are kids running all around too. Even though the hot tubs said "No Children" there were kids there. If you would like to get away from all the kids and relax the front of the boat on deck 15 is quite but it doesn't have a pool, it has a shower to cool off with though. SMOKING-If you smoke this is not the ship for you!!! This also goes for e cigarettes! In the past you could smoking on half the ship but on the Getaway there are very few areas to smoke. On deck 15 there is a 20'x30' area by the adult pool that is all glassed in and 3 seats at the small bar towards the front , on deck 8 there is a 100'x30' area by the Humidor Cigar Lounge and on deck 16 there is a 20'x30' area in Spice H20. On a boat that is 1068' long and has 4000 people there is approximately 4000 square foot that you can smoke. My husband smokes so we got to enjoy a 20'x30' area of the boat. Thanks NCL. We did not get to stop at Great Stirrup Cay because of the wind so there went one shore excursion. We booked a shore excursion called Nature Adventure & Stingray City. This was the most unorganized shore excursion and I would recommend not to book. Dolphin Cove met everyone when we got off the boat took our ticket and said wait over there. they also met everyone from the two other ships that was in port that day along with a person from a nearby hotel. We stand in line waiting, then we get to Dolphin Cove they tell us to take this dirt path. We stand in the sun on this dirt path for a hour, along with my favorite KIDS!. We saw 2 macaws and 2 other birds then after asking for gratuity they walk us into a gift shop. We are told that this 20 yard dirt path that we spent a hour standing in the sun was our Nature Adventure part of the tour and now we can sit (in the sun) and watch the people who paid to swim with the dolphins and that was our dolphin observer part of the tour. Now after sitting for over an hour we will ride a half hour and see the stingrays for 25 minutes. The part of our tour was 1 hour 25 minutes and we sat around for 3 hours doing nothing. Nobody said a word to us during this time. Our whole port excursion to Grand Cayman was a waste to. We booked Three Reef Snorkel in Cozumel and we enjoyed that. The water in Cozumel is beautiful and there were so many fish. The crew was very safe and organized. They also could tell you what fish you were seeing, well informed. I would never do this cruise again on NCL at least not on a mega ship like Getaway. The NCL Getaway has opened my eyes and now I really know what I do and what I don't want in a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We cruised from New York to the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, St Thomas, St Martin and Tortola) on the 11th April 2016 (10 days) Our first thoughts were that we might get caught up in the New York School Easter Holiday period and have too ... Read More
We cruised from New York to the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, St Thomas, St Martin and Tortola) on the 11th April 2016 (10 days) Our first thoughts were that we might get caught up in the New York School Easter Holiday period and have too many young cruisers aboard and secondly that the ship seemed to have a "party" reputation. On both counts these did not come to fruition. We missed the main school holiday period and the atmosphere on board was overly biased towards the younger or middle age ranges and we enjoyed the whole experience. This was our first NCL cruise, although we have cruised many times before on many other lines. We were particularly drawn by the cruise destinations. Embarkation at Manhattan Cruise Terminal 88.....for a mid sized ship was rather slow (2 hours), due to a first come first served policy, despite allocated time slots on documentation.Unfortunately our clerk was devoid of any pleasant personality traits and missed opportunities to explain some things better. However, our travelling companions did better with another clerk. Disembarkation at New York(same terminal) was somewhat better and we were reunited with our suitcases after about an hour wait in the lounge area. Quick pass through customs. The problem is outside The Manhattan Cruise Terminals, because of a change in policy by the Port Authority/Police, who only allow drop offs outside the terminal building. Taxi and private car pick up HAVE to take place across a very busy inner city dual carriageway and it becomes a free for all to locate your car/taxi. It makes it impossible for a car to arrive on time for a pick up. Have your mobile handy to call your transportation company !!!! Cabins were larger than most cabins on other ships...(balcony cabin 11082), with king sized bed, separate toilet and bath tub. The balcony was much larger than other larger cruise ships we have been on the passed 2 years (8 cruises so far) There are plenty of good sized lifts at Aft,Mid and Forward ship and the public areas provide good seating and bars, although on wet sea days and pre diner/theatre times expect seating to be tight.The atrium is a nice area to take a drink and listen to some piano music. We avoided the Whisky and Cocktail bar area as it was much more boisterous.The upper and forward Spinnaker Lounge was a good space for a quiet drink, although used for many other activities including Bingo, Quizzes, iive music etc. Restaurants for freedom dining are good and quite classical in design, one is more laid back whilst the other was a little grander, but still friendly. The service in both (one night apart) was efficient and friendly. The menu has sufficient choice to make each meal selection interesting. The food, like many cruise ships, is normally only served warm, but not unduly so.There is a decent wine list and can be served by the glass. We were on the Ultimate Beverage Package (UBP) which enabled us access to many wines by either small or large wine glass size. In the bars this package gave us access to most premium wines, spirits,cocktails, liquors soft drinks and special coffees (Irish etc) The cafeteria is good, but as usual, at busy times breakfast and lunch, tables are at a premium. If the weather is good, it was good to sit on the outer deck 12 eating area, where there is a separate bar, buffet, coffee, tea and ice cream dispenser. The table attendants were efficient and cleared quickly to keep the flow going. Watch out for the Americans ignoring the queue/lines....very frustrating habit.!! The shows in theatre were of a good quality and variety. No real need to get there early, unless you want a particular seat. You will find the normal "end of row hoggers" always there early !! You will hear various attempts to sell "scratch" style cards for $20 a time, but its not a heavy sell. If you want to drink whilst watching a show, take one with you, as waiters are not easy to find inside the theatre. Overall an enjoyable cruising experience and we would certainly repeat the NCL treatment, albeit from another port other than New York. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We choose this cruise because it was coinciding with another trip we had planned. We had a good time we booked our own excursions and liked the Roatan Catamaran cruise as well as the Maya Chan Beach Resort day trip the best. the Al Tun Ha ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was coinciding with another trip we had planned. We had a good time we booked our own excursions and liked the Roatan Catamaran cruise as well as the Maya Chan Beach Resort day trip the best. the Al Tun Ha Ruins was beautiful but the service we chose had a vehicle that did not have any air conditioning; which made the 1 hour ride to and from the ruins kinda uncomfortable. The on-board service was good, our cabin attendant was polite and helpful. Our dinner attendants were also very helpful and pleasant. We had a group of 11 so we had the dinner attendants regularly in Versailles, We did try the Aqua room but their service was not as nice and the atmosphere was not as inviting. The food was good and plentiful. On the sea-days we wanted to do a morning stretch class, but there was no class those days. I think it would have been nice seeing as we were on the ship all day to have that service. The Entertainment was good they had acrobats, a magician, a strong man, singers and dancers, comedian, even a hypnotist. We had a good time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We sailed on NCL Star from Tampa on April 10. We are a couple in our 60's, retired, living in Florida. We had the promotional Ultimate Beverage Package and stayed in a mini-suite. No long review here. If you want detailed ship ... Read More
We sailed on NCL Star from Tampa on April 10. We are a couple in our 60's, retired, living in Florida. We had the promotional Ultimate Beverage Package and stayed in a mini-suite. No long review here. If you want detailed ship and port info, see CTCruisers' review of the same cruise posted earlier, it's excellent with much more detail than I could ever provide. Our mini-suite was great, with plenty of room and no problems whatsoever with it. A nice large balcony too. Our room steward, Philomeno, was the best. He knew our names first thing, and greeted us as we left for breakfast just about every morning. The ship is nice; food, beverages and service were all top notch for the most part. Other than the prime rib on the first night, we enjoyed every meal. We also loved being able to make dinner reservations on-line a couple months before we left. At every restaurant we arrived 5-10 minutes before our reservation time and were seated immediately. Well done NCL. Here is a short review of each dining/drinking venue we used: O'Sheehans – Our lunch here on embarkation was very good. Food and service were both top notch. Good burgers, hot fries and Stella Artois beer on tap. Aqua – The less formal Main Dining Room where we ate dinner on the first night and again later in the week. Prime Rib was not good at all; probably one the worst I've had. Rather than send it back we just decided to enjoy desert on this night. Service was very good. Versailles – This is the more upscale of the two main dining rooms. We ate here twice and both times were impressed. Excellent service and the food was very good. Had the crab and cheese souffle as an appetizer on the last night. Really good. We liked the ambiance here. Market Cafe (buffet) – We had the breakfast buffet every morning. We didn't have any other meals here. The breakfast was fine, but it's very busy and very noisy. About what you would expect for a buffet on a cruise ship. La Cucina (pay extra) – Food was good, service was good as well. Nothing special really, but we enjoyed the quiet ambiance until a couple at a nearby table decided to have a drunken argument and tossed out several loud F-bombs. We saw them later in the week, holding hands and cuddling at the martini bar. Go figure. Cagney’s Steakhouse (pay extra) – Steaks were very good and the service was top notch. Nice ambiance as we were in a quiet corner of the restaurant. I had the ribeye steak and it was cooked to perfection. The garlic mashed potatoes were really ordinary – they could have done better. Overall worth the extra cost. Gatsby’s Champagne Bar – We stopped in here several times over the week. Good martini bartenders who know what they are doing. Especially good with the dirty martinis. Music was good, but as others have reported, the very telented piano player does play too loudly much of the time. Not a place for quiet conversation. Spinnaker Lounge – Our favorite group (Exotique) played here most nights, so we came here to dance. Nice big lounge, and it gets extremely full when some of the shows and contests are held here. Exotique's Motown show was excellent, and we only wished they played more on the cruise. 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar – Loved the bartenders who were very entertaining. Not too impressed with the décor though. I understand this is NCL's introduction to Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville, but they could have done better. At least we were always able to get a seat at the bar. Bier Garten – Top deck outside bar which is very busy much of the time. Seems like there is always a line waiting for drinks, but there were always 2-3 bartenders working, so staffing was not the problem. Too many Ultimate Beverage Packages given away I think. There is also a hotdog/hamburg bar near the pool, which had hand dipped ice cream every day. A real nice place to get a snack. Ports were blah. Nothing very exciting, but frankly, Western Carribean doesn't really have that much of interest to us. We took this trip for the convenience of traveling out of Tampa and the good price of the cruise (which included drinks). All in all we had a good time. Only real complaint is the rampant chair saving on this ship. We never saw a lounge chair near the pool after 9:00AM without a towel and book saving it. We were able to get chairs afternoons on Deck 7, Starboard Side on most days, but people saved chairs there too. Why doesn't NCL also put chairs out on Deck 7, Port Side? Never figured that out. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
The itinerary fit the dates We could travel. And, 2 of the ports were new to me. Honduras and Belize City. My girlfriend and I travel together often, but I don't get to go away with my kids as often as I like. This was a ... Read More
The itinerary fit the dates We could travel. And, 2 of the ports were new to me. Honduras and Belize City. My girlfriend and I travel together often, but I don't get to go away with my kids as often as I like. This was a treat, traveling with my daughter, her husband and my 2 1/2 year old grandson. The crew couldn't have been nicer. Being a frequent cruiser, I must say, I've NEVER sailed with a nicer crew. Best ever!! Dining was a pleasure. They really took care of us, especially the baby. The specialty dining restaurants are awesome!! The ship was clean. There was a lot to keep us busy. Honduras was lovely. We went to the nature preserve. Definitely a must see! The monkeys(with babies) were all over the place. Great photo ops! And iguanas GALORE! The tour guide was knowledgeable and very nice. The shops in port were nice. Good selection of souvenirs. I'd never want to visit Belize City again. Dirty. Nothing much to see. We did the $25 island tour doomed when we got ashore. IM glad we didn't pay twice as much booking it on the ship. In Costa maya we did the power snorkel. FANTASTIC!! The employees paid a lot of attention to you and aimed to please. We saw loads of fish and stingrays. The beach was clean and there was always someone there to bring you a drink. It was a wonderful day. The port was very pretty. Lots of stores and a huge variety of souvenirs to buy. In Cozumel. We hired a taxi for the day. It cost $150 for 5 of us, and he showed us the whole city. I had never been to the far side where the water is rough. It was beautiful. And, imagine, eating a breakfast of shrimp empanadas for just $.60 per person. YES! 60 cents!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
we picked this ship because of the Western Caribbean literary and it left from our local area (Tampa). I read a couple uncomplimentary reviews but many good ones as well...so I decided to take a chance. I took a special package that ... Read More
we picked this ship because of the Western Caribbean literary and it left from our local area (Tampa). I read a couple uncomplimentary reviews but many good ones as well...so I decided to take a chance. I took a special package that included balcony stateroom, the four specialty meal plan and unlimited alcoholic beverages...VERY smart move. We drank wine at all meals, Champaign and cocktails in the afternoon before dinner and after we ate. If you purchase the drink packages on board it costs about $1,000 per couple. Note that bottled water is not included in the unlimited alcoholic drink package but was allowed to be carried on board. It is expensive to buy (about $4-5 a bottle). They discouraged filling bottles in the dining areas such as the buffet areas but many did, especially when the crowds were down. Service was excellent and the entire staff was as cordial, friendly and absolutely professional. The specialty restaurants were excellent and even the main dining rooms were elegant with very nice menus. Security was well managed and both going ashore and returning to the ship was easy. I signed up ahead of time for excursions on every stop but was disappointed that the Cozumel day trip was cancelled due to lack of participation but other packages were made available to me and the pricing was adjusted accordingly. All the excursions we participated in were well managed and run as expected. I am not a very experienced cruiser but I can't imagine one that could be much better especially for the price.. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
The NCL Star is a beautiful ship and big. My husband and I still did not know our way around after a week. The stateroom, a picture window room, was nicer in person than in pictures. Our stateroom attendant, Victorio, kept it clean and ... Read More
The NCL Star is a beautiful ship and big. My husband and I still did not know our way around after a week. The stateroom, a picture window room, was nicer in person than in pictures. Our stateroom attendant, Victorio, kept it clean and tidy and each night left us a different animal on our bed made of towels. There were food venues all over the ship, and O'Sheehan's (a complimentary bar and grill) was open until 4:00 am. We also ate at three other complimentary restaurants: Aqua, Ginza, and Versaille's. We were escorted to our table, and the waiter placed a cloth napkin on our laps. It felt more like a specialty dining experience. Everyone that I met, whether passenger or crew, were all so friendly. The Cruise Director and his staff were always around and very approachable. The entertainment every night in the Stardust Theater was exceptional. The dancers and singers were all Broadway caliber; and whoever produced and choreographed the shows, are unbelievably creative. Each night the show was different, not only song and dance but a show with a comedian and another with a hypnotist. There were lots of things to do on the ship almost every hour starting from 7:30 am through midnight. You could also do nothing except lounge or read a book. There were plenty of quiet places and nooks outside of your room to hang out away from lots of people and noise. This was our first cruise and by far gave us the biggest bang for our buck than other vacations we have taken. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My family and my dads friends went on the ncl star on 4-10-16 it was awesome Embarking and disembarking were a breeze. Arrived at port at 10:30, checked in and sat in the port lounge and was called to go on at 11:30. Getting off was even ... Read More
My family and my dads friends went on the ncl star on 4-10-16 it was awesome Embarking and disembarking were a breeze. Arrived at port at 10:30, checked in and sat in the port lounge and was called to go on at 11:30. Getting off was even easier. You pick the time you want to get off and they were right on schedule.food was awesome and yummy special thanks to Cindy for getting us off the ship in ports quickly wished it was a longer cruise but overall it was the best went to the welcome aboard show cruise director mark was great The specialty restaurants were excellent and even the main dining rooms were elegant with very nice menus. Security was well managed and both going ashore and returning to the ship was easy.Entertainment was good. Saw a comedian, a hypnotist and their main show Paradis. All were good There are plenty of activities on the ship for most anyone. If you cannot find something to do on this ship, you are not trying hard enough. The pool area was pretty busy. Prime areas were full if you wanted a deck chair early. Please remember you are not on Broadway, but quality productions. Had a handicap room with my sister it was comfortable very easy to fall asleep in a inside cabin no noise what so ever. Wanted to go to the white out party but feel asleep :( overall it's was the best cruise ever we took it four years ago Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We booked this cruise because we needed some rest and relaxation. We selected NCL based on the itinerary offered (Cozumel, Roatan, Belize, and Costa Maya) and for the embarkation port (New Orleans). We had cruised previously on the ... Read More
We booked this cruise because we needed some rest and relaxation. We selected NCL based on the itinerary offered (Cozumel, Roatan, Belize, and Costa Maya) and for the embarkation port (New Orleans). We had cruised previously on the Norwegian Spirit in Europe and had a very good experience. We like the freestyle dining option as we prefer to eat in different venues for the variety. For this cruise, we elected not to dine in any of the specialty restaurants. The Venetian was nice, but the service was sometimes slow. The Aqua was too noisy for our liking. The Blue Lagoon was great for breakfast or a late night snack. The Garden Cafe buffet was a hit and miss, usually a miss. Overall, the food was adequate, but definitely not exceptional. My husband and I and friends traveling with us are in agreement in that we feel the food on the Dawn was of the lowest quality we have experienced on any cruise. We found the food to be much better on the Spirit in 2013. Having said this, I must also state that we absolutely do not cruise to review the food. We did not book this cruise for the entertainment, but thoroughly enjoyed the music duo that Norwegian had booked for a few weeks to entertain in the atrium. Jose and Patti are very talented performers and it would do Norwegian well to keep them under contract. The reason we are giving this cruise 3 stars is because we were unable to get the rest and relaxation we were seeking. We had an issue with young children running and jumping in the cabin above ours at all hours of the day and night. Not only did they awaken us early every morning, they also prevented us from even considering napping in the afternoon. Guest Services was unable to satisfactorily resolve the issue as the guests in the offending cabin did not respond to repeated requests to keep the noise level down. We have never encountered this type of behavior from other guests on any of our previous cruises and have never had to complain to Guests Services. Needless to say, we were relieved to get home and get some much needed rest. We found the ship to be clean and most of the personnel to be friendly. However, the crew did not live up to the boasting the Dawn officials announced to passengers at the beginning of the cruise - the Dawn crew is supposedly rated the friendliest in Norwegian's fleet. While many are concerned with traveling to the Caribbean due to the Zika virus, we had no issues with mosquitoes. NCL did provide guests with an advisory and supplied guests with a small can of mosquito repellent that contained Deet. We had to tender for Roatan and Belize City. NCL advised us that the tender for Belize City could take up to 45 minutes and that did affect a few cruisers with independent excursion plans. The waters on the tender for Belize City were choppy so it would be prudent to plan ahead with anti-nausea meds. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My husband and I have only been on one cruise prior to this and had decided that cruising was not for us, as the experience was less than pleasant. Our children, ages 9 and 10, have begged us to take them on a "big ship", so I ... Read More
My husband and I have only been on one cruise prior to this and had decided that cruising was not for us, as the experience was less than pleasant. Our children, ages 9 and 10, have begged us to take them on a "big ship", so I set out to find an interesting itinerary and a good deal. After much research, we chose the Norwegian Dawn because of the "Free at Sea" promotion, the four ports of call, and the embarkation in New Orleans which was an easy drive for us. I, of course, read all of the scathing reviews of this ship and already had very low expectations based on our previous cruise with another cruise line. (I am beginning to think that I was on a different ship than the one that was the subject of so many dreadful reviews - but more on that later)....... Initially, I booked a mini-suite with balcony but was contacted by upsell a couple weeks before the trip and upgraded to a two bedroom family suite with balcony. I made a couple specialty restaurant reservations online and booked two excursions. I kept reading about all these "hidden charges" and "rude staff", so I decided it would be best to board the vessel armed with prepaid and documented receipts. I did a lot of research on all the ports we were to visit, I checked and re-checked my various lists, was packed and prepared to the hilt, and, again based on my only prior cruise, was all set to be underwhelmed with the ship/cruise experience and vowed to make the best of the ports- after all, there were 4 ports in these 7 days. We drove down to New Orleans on Saturday and stayed in the CBD. We had been to New Orleans on numerous occasions and decided to just stay close to the hotel and rest. On Sunday, we had a quick breakfast and headed to the cruise terminal. Everyone was extremely pleasant and the porters were right there to handle our baggage before we parked the car. The price for parking, which had to be prepaid, was $127 for the week in the cruise terminal lot, which is typical. We walked into the port, went through security, went to priority check-in, got our ship cards, were directed to the VIP lounge, greeted by the Concierge and escorted onto the ship all within 45 minutes. We arrived at about 10:15 a.m., so we expected to have a wait, but did not. Once we boarded the ship, we were able to go directly to our suite. I had looked at photos and videos online and knew what to expect with the accommodations. I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the suite, and it was immaculately clean. The beds were very comfortable, there was plenty of storage and closet space, and we never felt crowded at all. We all loved the privacy afforded us with the 2nd bed and bath. I would definitely recommend this suite for families with children! One of the suite perks is having breakfast and lunch in La Cucina (I'd read that it would be in Cagney's, but the suite menu is the same and La Cucina seemed to be more conveniently located so we were fine with that!). The food was phenomenal, and I am not easily impressed. We enjoyed the fruits de Mer and crab cakes Benedict for breakfast, and the grilled asparagus with arugula and prosciutto at lunch was my favorite. We also dined in Cagney's (wonderful), Teppanyaki (very good and along the lines of any hibachi, although the chefs were very high-energy and entertaining), Bamboo and Sushi Bar (very good Pan-Asian), Moderno (you need to go here with a HUGE appetite! Wonderful), Venetian (main dining room, very good), Blue Lagoon (snacks and lunch - very good), and we sampled the buffet, which was surprisingly good and had very fresh selections. I normally associate buffet food with giant vats of institutional-type bland fare, but not the Garden Cafe! It was very good! To go one step further, I will add that you could literally eat off of the floor of any of the restaurants. There was always someone sweeping, mopping, wiping. This was not limited to the restaurants, but all over the ship. The vessel is impeccably clean. As for the value of the specialty restaurants, one would be challenged to get the quality of food and excellent service and ambiance for that price on land. We felt that the restaurants were very fairly priced. The Oasis Pool was such a fun and lively environment. The band was excellent! The pool was never crowded and there were no "unruly children" as I've read in other reviews. The pool area and the hot tubs were always kept clean and there were always smiling servers taking drink orders. If you chose to go to the bar to get your own drink, there was never a long wait. There were no "rude and snarky" servers or bartenders at the pool bar, or anyplace on the ship, for that matter. Again, I saw no basis for the negative reviews. The Entertainment on the ship was top notch. We saw all but two of the shows in the Stardust Theater and were blown away by the quality. The aerialists were amazing, and if you only catch one show, make sure to see Elements. Richard Matic, the cruise director, kept everyone in stitches from the sailaway party to the smaller shows and games in the Spinnaker Lounge. The entertainment is definitely not lacking, as some reviews have suggested. I've saved the best of the ship for last - THE STAFF. Not once did we encounter any crew member, server, officer, staff, bartender, or anyone who didn't have a smile on their faces and a willingness to help the passengers. I never had any issue with communication with any of the staff. There were no "surprises" on our final bill. Come to think of it, I can't find one single thing to complain about on this ship, and I've been accused of being hard to please :) I will be sailing on the Dawn again, and I will be there just as quickly as my budget and schedule will allow! Our family has traveled extensively and we all agreed that this vacation was one of the absolute best times we've ever had. We can't wait to do it all over again! We are Norwegian now! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My wife and I just got back from a weeks cruise on the NCL Dawn out of New Orleans. We did two sailings on the newer Getaway out of Miami in 2014, but really liked the itinerary (Cozumel, Belize, Honduras, Costa Maya) so decided to give ... Read More
My wife and I just got back from a weeks cruise on the NCL Dawn out of New Orleans. We did two sailings on the newer Getaway out of Miami in 2014, but really liked the itinerary (Cozumel, Belize, Honduras, Costa Maya) so decided to give this somewhat older ship a try. We were glad that we did because we had a great time overall. Yes the ship is a bit older, and they are actually going into dry-dock in May, but we didn't feel slighted the least bit. The room was great, the food was great, the entertainment was great, and the service was even better! The only big thing we missed from the newer Getaway was the advanced technology on board like being able to book shows, dinner, and check out account balance from the TV in our room. The on demand movies were also nice to have on the Getaway. I believe that they are going to be doing those upgrades plus a full interior 75 million dollar make over so we will definitely go again. We really liked the quaintness of the Dawn and its various pubs, bars, and restaurants on board. I read a lot of bad reviews about the dawn so we were somewhat concerned, but if you go to have a great time and not worry about every single thing being perfect you will have a great time. But if you are a complainer by nature and need every little thing to be absolutely perfect for you, just stay home because there's just no pleasing you anyway. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
So glad we decided to take a last minute cruise. Very good deal that we could not pass up. Stayed at the Embassy Suites the night before the cruise. My husband dropped me and the luggage off and then went and parked the car at the Fulton ... Read More
So glad we decided to take a last minute cruise. Very good deal that we could not pass up. Stayed at the Embassy Suites the night before the cruise. My husband dropped me and the luggage off and then went and parked the car at the Fulton St garage. Easy walk back to the hotel and the charge was a total of $104 for a Saturday until returning the following Sunday (hotel was $40 per night/valet only). Next morning, we just rolled our luggage a couple of blocks and the porter met us and took our luggage. Southern Hospitality was everywhere. Room was ok needing a refresh but for the price we were pleased. We did not eat in any specialty restaurants since this was a low budget. Regular dining and buffet was good. Did splurge for breakfast room service. We brought in 3 bottles of wine (paid $15 a piece) but I enjoyed my Rombauer wine costing less than on the ship. We brought a small suitcase of bottled water and diet cokes. We cleared out the mini fridge and stored our own drinks. Pool and deck area was relaxing and clean. Services was excellent. Staff were approachable and always willing to help. We saw a couple of shows but really wanted to chill. Only recommendation would be a few more TV/movie channels. We do like to just stay in bed with our balcony curtains open and watch TV. We did easy walk off and were leaving the boat by 8AM. The Fulton St garage parking shuttle van picked us up as soon as you exit the port. Entire trip was perfect! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We were lucky enough to have upgraded into a Penthouse Stateroom for this cruise. In addition, we had the Ultimate Dining Package and the Unlimited beverages package included in our fare as well. This was our third cruise, and first time ... Read More
We were lucky enough to have upgraded into a Penthouse Stateroom for this cruise. In addition, we had the Ultimate Dining Package and the Unlimited beverages package included in our fare as well. This was our third cruise, and first time on NCL. Here are a few things to note for our cruise: * I use a wheelchair sometimes because I am not able to stand or walk for long periods of time. Due to this, we found that everyone that worked on the ship was extremely helpful and made sure to help me with embarkation and disembarkation. My wife was not helped at all, however, she was allowed to follow us in and out of the ship. Overall, the wheelchair assistance was 5 stars. * We were in a Penthouse Suite, so we also had priority boarding as well as priority disembarkation. This was fantastic!!! 5 Stars * The ship, even though it is ready for dry dock and updating, was beautiful! Everything was very clean, and we did not see many signs of wear that you might expect. 5 Stars * Our Stateroom was a Penthouse Suite. I cant say enough good about this room. 12032 was huge, the view was spectacular, the bed was very comfortable. 5 Stars * We had the Ultimate Dining Package, so we were able to dine in the specialty restaurants at no additional charge. We chose to go to Cagney's Steak house the first night. It was a perfect choice. The food was perfect. My wife and I chose then to cancel reservations at all the other restaurants and go back to Cagney's every night. It was that good. In addition, the service was perfect. The waiter, Maitre D, and others all were very attentive, but not overly so. If we finished a plate, it was removed. If our drink was low, it was refilled. 5 Stars!!!! * We did not do many of the activities on board, simply because this was a relax vacation for us. The shows we did see were very good. Bingo took a little too long, as they were trying to stretch it out too much, but that may be because we aren't huge fans of bingo. Also, it was pretty expensive. * Ports - Cozumel - We have been here before, so we didn't do any excursions. We did go shopping. I took my wheelchair hoping to make things easier. Big mistake. The elevator was broken to get across the street (you have to go up and over). So, I had to carry the chair up and down the escalator. The shopping was normal for Cozumel - there were no other ships in port, so not many people shopping. This meant the shop owners were clamoring for sales. If you are looking for a good deal on jewelry, you just have to stand your ground and you can get cheap prices. Diamonds International does not make deals like they infer. They are expensive. The local stores do make deals. For instance, my wife looked at a ring with the much sought after stone that changes color in the light, and the original price was 348.00, she told the sales person she would pay no more than 60.00 and after about 5 minutes of back and forth, he came down to 60.00. There are deals to be had. * Ports - Roatan - We did not get off the boat, because they tendered at this port. There was no way to take the wheelchair, and the seas were very rough, so we opted not to ride the small tender boat and risk getting ill. * Ports - Belize City - This was supposed to be a port that we docked, however, we ended up tendering instead. The reason, there were 4 other cruise ships there at the same time. The tender boat ride was fine. Once we got into the port, there were at least 6000 people there, and every shop was standing room only. Lines were very long. It was difficult to look at anything. We had considered trying to get a taxi to the beach, but there were so many people, we couldn't find anything. The Diamonds International store was busy but not packed, however, we could not get waited on after 15 min so we left. Due to the crowd and the heat, we decided to go back to the boat after about an hour. * Ports - Costa Maya - Here, we docked close to the port city, and there was a free shuttle tram that covered half the walk from the boat, which was a nice extra. The shopping area was small, but there were quite a few shops with nice variety of things to look at. They had a ceremonial demonstration in the center of the area that was quite fun to watch. The shops were nice, and the sales people were nice. They did make some good deals on items we purchased. And, the coffee shop had a great frozen mocha! We liked this port the best, but still did not do any excursions. This was our second cruise to the Western Caribbean. We loved the area! We will be cruising to the Eastern Caribbean next. Would we go back? Absolutely! Overall, this was our best cruise, and NCL is our favorite cruise line. The rates are very comparable, and you actually get a nicer and happier experience than the other cruise lines. Yeah for NCL!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
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