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14 Night Caribbean Cruise from New York

14 Night Caribbean Cruise from New York (Manhattan)

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Norwegian Dawn
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    New York (Manhattan)
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    Aruba
  • Day 6
    Curacao
  • Day 7
    Bonaire
  • Day 8
    Grenada
  • Day 9
    Barbados
  • Day 10
    St. Lucia
  • Day 11
    St. Kitts (Port Zante)
  • Day 12
    St. Thomas
  • Day 13
    Cruising
  • Day 14
    Cruising
  • Day 15
    New York (Manhattan)
  • Day 15
    New York (Manhattan)
  • Day 15
    New York (Manhattan)
  • Day 15
    New York (Manhattan)

Norwegian Dawn

Norwegian Dawn - Norwegian Cruise Line

Pros

Tons of dining, bars and activities keep everyone entertained; refurb is modern, not tacky

Cons

Less-than-perfect ship has confusing layout and occasional maintenance issues

Bottom Line

Enthusiastic crowd has a fun time onboard, despite upcharges and an older ship


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: August 2019
My wife and I chose the 8-day to the Bahamas with a stop at Port Canaveral to relax, and spend a short time visiting Disney's Epcot. This cruise included a lot of (relaxing) at-sea time and was relatively inexpensive conpared to ... Read More
My wife and I chose the 8-day to the Bahamas with a stop at Port Canaveral to relax, and spend a short time visiting Disney's Epcot. This cruise included a lot of (relaxing) at-sea time and was relatively inexpensive conpared to other itineraries. The ship was nice and clean, the staff was extremely friendly and fairly competent but only a few crew members seemed to do anything more than they had to. Some were clearly not properly trained or prepared for their roles. The cruise director (Richard) was exceptional and seemingly everywhere but he was the exception to the rule. Food handlers seemed unsure of how to handle special requests, our art "teacher" did not know the english words for all of the colors of paint and could not help with artistic questions, and the staff at Mondavi's wine bar were not at all knowledgeable about wine. One cabin steward did not know the word "tissue" although a quick mime solved the problem. They were ALL very nice, just not always trained to do their jobs and handle requests. We did not choose the dining package in an attenpt to save money. The food at both free, main dining rooms (The Venetian and Aqua) was good to very good, but nothing we would say was delicious. Portions were very small but you could order multiple choices. Some better-than-average-dishes included Chicken Pho soup, scallops, seafood with orzo, and salmon. Service here too was friendly, but they forgot a few orders, had gtoi be asked multiple times to refill water glasses, and rarely offered refills on drinks. The buffet was good with many choices but again, nothing we felt was outstanding. There are multiple buffet lines and we didn't realize until after the first few days that they often offer different items. There is no direction or signage or :"themed" areas that would have helped us find things we were interested in. We stood on each (4) lines looking for our best choices. Nothing at the buffet was bad or inedible but nothing was outstanding. There were many "international" choices we enjoyed, with various Indian and Asian dishes available. Staff was friendly but again, did not handle special requests well (can I add spinach to the omlette please? was a problem that required 3 crew members to resolve). We felt the shows were good but nothing on par with cruises on other lines, although this ship was smaller than those we had been on, which may limit the performances. Comedian wasn't particulalrly funny and "blockbuster" show, "Elements" was not that impressive. Our excursion to Disney (through NCL) went well, trip was a little more than an hour each was by air conditioned motor coach. We had only 4-5 hours at Disney but we knew that when we planned the trip. Los Lobos- the only specialty dining we paid for, was delicious! Service was great. We enjoyed table-side made quacamole and chips, fish tacos, salsa, and steak. O"Sheehan's- With a large bar and practically 24-hour service, this became our "go-to" for a drink or snack. Wings were good, sandwiches and fries were good. This choice is included in the cruise and is not an extra charge. "Great Stirrup Cay" waa clean and well stocked with food and drink. There is no pier large enough to accomodate the ships so small boat "tenders" that carry 100-150 people shuttle guests back and forth to the island. The ride is nice (only 6-8 minutes) but the waiting process to get on at each end can take 10-45 minutes depending on how many people want to travel at the same time you do. There is no food or water avilable in the waiting areas or on the tenders. If everyone wants to leave the island at once (late in the dayor rainstorm), the 2-3 tenders could take more than an hour and a alf to get everyone back to the ship. RCL has a nearby private isalnd too (within view) and they have a pier. We did have one actual complaint. There is open smoking allowed in some areas (that's fine" but some are not enclosed. We could avoid areas like oudoor smoking areas an casino, but the area around "Gatsby's Bar" in between the cigar lounge and LeBistro was always smoke-filled and it wafted to the open areas above. You get what you pay for. We wanted a relatively inexpensive and relaxing vacatation with good food and fridendly service and we did get all that....just not much more. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We love sailing on Norwegian. The flexibility really works for us. The food is great, the activities and entertainment are fun. Everyone was friendly. I found some great places to relax and read whether I wanted sun or shade. It was ... Read More
We love sailing on Norwegian. The flexibility really works for us. The food is great, the activities and entertainment are fun. Everyone was friendly. I found some great places to relax and read whether I wanted sun or shade. It was exciting to sail out of NYC and still be in the US for our first port day. Had an excellent time in Port Canaveral. Our cabin was quiet when we wanted to sleep. It was also clean and roomy enough for two. Our steward kept it clean and well stocked all week. The restaurants had delicious food. We never waited for a table. We talked with some nice couples who were seated near us. The hostess gave us window seats when they were available. There are so many specialty restaurants to choose from. Any appetite would be happy with the choices. We are already looking for a Norwegian cruise for next summer. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My review - NCL Dawn This is my 10th NCL Cruise and my 1st on the Dawn. I've been on the Gem and the Breakaway and was very very happy. Also - the last 4 cruises I have been in the Haven. So I definitely have an expectation for ... Read More
My review - NCL Dawn This is my 10th NCL Cruise and my 1st on the Dawn. I've been on the Gem and the Breakaway and was very very happy. Also - the last 4 cruises I have been in the Haven. So I definitely have an expectation for a level of service - and have always thought that NCL was a *bit* better than others. it's a good mix of 'mr. sexy legs' and 'quiet reading on the deck'. We got to the dock and have always left from NYC/NJ. I also continue on NCL because I am Platinum. When I got to the dock - no one seemed to know what to tell me. We were discouraged by two folks to not go to the VIP/Platinum line. I finally asked where to go, the lady rolled her eyes at me and said - ok - over there. Hmmm. I also want to mention that this was after my friend (who has MS) would have had a very difficult time waiting on the 1 hour line for security and then 1 hour to get checked-in. He asked if he could use the handicapped line (which he has plenty of documentation) and she again rolled her eyes. She said, “you can’t use this line without a wheel chair”. (Lots of folks have disabilities that don’t require a wheelchair). So we asked for a wheel chair. “Well… we don’t have them (they do).” The entire process seemed very uninformed and unprofessional. The check-in was flawless and was on the ship about 30 minutes later. We arrived around 11:30 am so getting on the ship around noon/12:15 is pretty good for me. I try my best to avoid the buffet usually - but especially on embarkation day. As I had read in other reviews - the main dining room is open - but many MANY NCL crew members try to steer you away and towards the buffet. I'm glad I knew better. It was quiet start to the cruise. Always start your cruise with a rebellious fish (or two or three). Ship: The ship shows its age - but the crew does an excellent job on keeping her VERY clean and sparkling. Once in a while I found an 'out of order' sign - to be expected - but it was always cleared up the very next day. I found the ship very familiar experience to the Gem which I found very comforting. I loved the Breakaway (and will take the Escape in October) - but it's so very large. This size of ship - to me - is perfect. Not too big - not too small. Cabin: The first one or the second one? :-) Here is my story - I booked a balcony state room - and was offered an upgrade. I did this once before and got a Haven Spa Suite - so cool. So we bid on the upgrade and hoped for the best we could get. They did upgrade us - from a balcony to a mini-suite. YES! oh no! The older ships the better rooms are on higher up decks. That means the mini-suites are DIRECTLY UNDER THE POOL DECK. But I roll with the punches - it's going to be a great curise!! I love crusing! Nope - first night - they were moving deck chairs - and when I say moving - I mean DRAGGING - the deck chairs at midnight - then at 1:30 am - then at 2:30 am - then again at 5:30 am. Now the Dawn is an older ship, as I said - and they don't have a huge pool - they have many more deck chairs on multiple stepped levels - all facing the pool. That's important. So - it was a restless night - no amount of extra rebellious fishes could have solved this problem. Long story short - AVOID the rooms under the pool deck if noise bothers you. I've heard - the rooms under the buffet are worse. But then - during the day? Anytime there is something going on the pool deck (read: pool party) then you hear the sound in your room. I like a nap after time in the sun - but there are generally lots of music happening all day - and then a break for dinner - and then again until about 10/10:30 pm. It was so loud - we really would strain to hear a conversation on our balcony over the loud music on the pool deck. My advice - for the bit of extra room - and extra $$ - stick to the balcony rooms on older ships like the dawn. It's just not worth the extra aggravation. Bright lining - after my cabin mate - complained (not really the right word :-) they *found* me a new room. Still a mini-suite, but just about 5 rooms from the end of the ship (next to the spa). Now - if you really want a mini-suite, that's the best location. Plus - I always get the spa pass - very easy access to spa - main dining room, etc... a great room. My advice: pay VERY close attention to what is above you and below you. And if you are 50/50 on getting the room - be conservative - and careful. It wasn't an upgrade at all. Original room: 11072 . New Room: 11676 Dining: We at at 3 specially restaurants and the Aqua Restaurant. Moderno: Churrascaria. I have to admit that I'm very spoiled living in NYC with GREAT steak places and churrascaria places. They have one of the BEST salad bar I've had. They tell you not to fill up on salad - go for it. The meat - was tough - overcooked - and over-salted. We all made sure we took our BP medication that night. Cagneys: Steakhouse. Here is where we diverged. I had a T-bone and so did my friend. I loved mine - his was VERY tough. But it's a great stop. Le Bistro: French - the best meal of the cruise. The mushroom soup is a NEVER miss item. We had many many drinks and entrees and the service was impeccable. We had our other meals in the Aqua - because you can wear shorts - and it's the same menu as the Main Dining Room. The food was hit-or-miss. I had some spectacular meals (the lamb shank for instance) and had some lack-luster meals. Overall a solid B+/A- My advice - don't be afraid to order more than one thing - and ask for another if you really enjoyed the dish. And if you don't like something - get something else. They will bring you as much and whatever you wish. Don't be timid. Entertainment and Activities: We did a few of the shows. I know they vary by weeks - the performance shows - the Showdown American Idol type of show was blah (remember I live 20 minutes from Broadway) but entertaining enough. The Elements show was quite good. I always like the comedians. Other than that - it was OK. But by idea of a good time is drinks by the pool all day. I don't cruise for the shows. Service: This is where the cruise was hit or miss. One thing I really like - and please don't think I'm petty - but I like a pitcher of water in my room to drink in the evening. It was everyone else's problem - no one could find one and deliver one. I was always told - you can call this one or call that one. Plus - we wanted to re-arrange reservations for the specialty restaurants - and we had the concierge to help us. After leaving a message for two days - I was told (lectured really) that I should call sooner because he can't make changes last minute. And then kept going. I hung up. Ports and Shore excursions: Again to be fair - my cruise mantra is - I pay all this money to get on the ship, why would I pay again to get off the ship?!? The one thing I want to everyone be careful about - in Florida - there were a few other ships in dock - and we got the LAST parking spot. This meant that it was a 15-20 minute walk to the place where you can meet your shore excursion transportation. It was HOT and HUMID and I would have not appreciated that walk... but again - I didn't get off the ship. Plus - remember in Florida - you get in at 1 pm and must be back on the ship at 8:30 pm. The only way I get off the ship is to do Disney. That's not that long in the park - especially when it's super busy in the summer. Overall - it was a fun vacation - lots of great drinks and good food and had a blast. I love to cruise - but some things could have been better. Oh - and I always get the Thermal Spa week pass - what a great value. A few days I was the only person in the spa!!! I swear the pool is bigger than the deck pool - and it's sans kids!! A great value! Read Less
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