Sail Date: May 2019
The boat was nice and clean and decorated well. Decor was modern and not as busy as some boats can be. Our room was clean and bathroom was largest we have had on a cruise. Center area of bathroom had sink and vanity and to right was ... Read More
The boat was nice and clean and decorated well. Decor was modern and not as busy as some boats can be. Our room was clean and bathroom was largest we have had on a cruise. Center area of bathroom had sink and vanity and to right was shower with a sliding door, and toilet area had a sliding door as well. The food quality was very good. The buffet food was good, but set up could be better as it created crowding. Also, seating was limited which was frustrating as we had to sit outside on deck with our food in our laps several times. They should have seating to accommodate everyone. They also have a few separate restaurants on board that are included and not an up charge which was nice. We tried a few of them and they were decent. The ports were nice and Stir Up Cay the private island was our favorite. Plenty of seating, very clean, the food was very good and set up of island was good. Getting on an off the boat to tender over to island was very easy and fast. The entertainment did lack a bit compared to other boats we have been on. Our cruise director was not very interactive as others have been and was a little dead and didn't get the crowd involved or going as others have in the past. Night club was nice and we went every night and enjoyed the music. However, sometimes some of the other guest were more entertaining to watch then the actual entertainers. Staff was friendly and professional and our room was always clean and turned on time. However the staff wasn't very engaging as we have experienced on other cruises. They were never rude, but we never even met our cabin person. Normally they introduce themselves and say hi when they see you in the hallway. Same with dinner service always professional and no issues, but again just not very inter-active/friendly. Don't worry if you booked this cruise you will have a great time. The food was great and boat was very nice. We traveled with friends and had a lot of fun together. We also had the drink package and although we are not big drinkers did save a lot of money and the drinks were good. My favorite was the Mango Meltdown. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
I usually start with the good on my reviews and I will again. The service on the Dawn was exemplary. Waiters (most of them, notably in the specialty restaurants), cabin steward, butler and concierge, even guest services exceeded ... Read More
I usually start with the good on my reviews and I will again. The service on the Dawn was exemplary. Waiters (most of them, notably in the specialty restaurants), cabin steward, butler and concierge, even guest services exceeded expectations. The other good, food in the specialty restaurants. We had amazing meals in both La Cucina. That's about where the good stuff stops though. Going to stick with the food here a minute. MDR food was ok, but not amazing. Too much salt, not enough other flavor. But the buffet, horrendous. Seems to be a common complaint on here, and they're all right. I sampled a bunch of items, couldn't taste much of anything in any of them. Even dishes that looked like they should be flavorful tasted...brown. Thankfully we only ate there once for lunch. Entertainment was another big gripe. None of the big production shows even remotely interested us. The music in the bars was hit and miss. The guitarist was decent, the piano singer... lets not go there. Only act we liked was the duet group Azalea. A constant problem in the venues we were in was the volume level for the space. Gatsby's was too loud, the Atrium was too quiet. On the daytime activity side, I am usually a trivia guy, but I had a hard time having fun with it. Both trivia people were very low energy and the questions were hyper specific. For example, on my previous cruise, the general knowledge trivia winners usually had around 15/20 right, on Dawn, it was around 10. None of the other activities even got my attention as pretty much all of the rest were athletic in some form. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
I’d like to start by saying the overall cruise experience with NCL was a good one. The stateroom accommodations were very nice. Our cabin steward was dedicated & pleasant. The way NCL upgraded the ship was nice, too. We liked the way ... Read More
I’d like to start by saying the overall cruise experience with NCL was a good one. The stateroom accommodations were very nice. Our cabin steward was dedicated & pleasant. The way NCL upgraded the ship was nice, too. We liked the way the vessel was laid out. The restaurants were all easy to find, with the exception of the Italian restaurant tucked away in the stern of the ship. We took all our meals onboard except for one day when we had lunch at a restaurant ashore. The food on the ship was very good with the exception of the Asian restaurant. The seafood soup there was inedible and the remaining courses we had there were below average. However, I must say the hostess at the Asian restaurant was accommodating. We also feel the overall variety of food NCL offered on the ship was great. There was lots to choose from. The entertainment onboard seemed to be hit or miss. The dancers were good. The choreography was also good but I’m sorry to say that some of the singers were poor. Our NCL cruise director may be good at her job but I’m afraid she doesn’t have a very good voice. The bands we heard were also good. The brass band was very good. The man & woman trapeze act was fabulous! Again, overall the entertainment was both good & not so good. Great Stirrup Cay was absolutely beautiful. It made for a perfect day. I thought the fact that NCL didn’t have a dock to accommodate the ship & to aid in getting passengers on & off the island was going to be a major inconvenience but it wasn’t. The ferry shuttle was fine. The island was pristine. Personally, this beach day was the highlight of my trip. I’m sorry to say the most disappointing part of the cruise was disembarking on the last day. I understand NCL reserves the right to run a few minutes ahead of schedule or behind schedule as they see fit while disembarking passengers. I know it’s a huge undertaking to get everyone off the ship & to turn the vessel around. However, what we experienced the last day was disturbing. The scheduled time for us to disembark was 9:40am to 10:am. Personally, my girlfriend & I were running about 10 minutes ahead of schedule to disembark. At the same time NCL was running about a half hour ahead of schedule disembarking passengers. We had eaten, we were packed & we were dressing to disembark, when at 9:25am a knock came at our cabin door. We yelled through the door for the individual knocking to wait but in literally two seconds the stateroom door was unlocked & opened from the outside. An officer dressed in white appeared in the threshold of our cabin shouting, “You must leave the ship!” Again, my girlfriend & I were not dressed. How rude?! It was so embarrassing. I was angered. The whole ordeal just stressed us out. Frankly, we cruised with NCL to unplug & to un-stress. Instead it seemed like we ended up disembarking with more stress than we initially boarded with. I’m still shaking my head. I’ve cruised with Disney & I don’t believe Disney would ever, EVER do anything like this! Again, I know all cruise lines need to keep a tight schedule when disembarking passengers & turning vessels around. However, for NCL to apply this much pressure is to the detriment of the their guests. I also believe the officer at our door didn’t just decide to be this intrusive on her own. She was more than likely instructed by upper management to clear out the ship. Regardless, NCL needs to understand they simply cannot do this to their guests and think it’s ok because it’s just simply, Not ok. So, all-in-all we had a good cruise but I really don’t know if we’ll be coming back to NCL after being embarrassed & chased off the ship. And finally, if there are free-safe modes of transportation available at any NCL ports of call there should be no reason why NCL wouldn’t want to advertise that. NCL brochures & the NCL website are full of information about shore excursions & paid modes of transportation. NCL needs to advertise all major transportation options available at their ports of call, both free & paid options & allow passengers to choose. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This was the fourth NCL cruise for my wife and me, and our first on Dawn. Overall, the cruise was good, but not our best NCL experience. Embarkation was smooth and our mid-ship balcony cabin was ready by 1:00 pm. As noted below, the cabin ... Read More
This was the fourth NCL cruise for my wife and me, and our first on Dawn. Overall, the cruise was good, but not our best NCL experience. Embarkation was smooth and our mid-ship balcony cabin was ready by 1:00 pm. As noted below, the cabin was quite nice and clean. We were very satisfied with the cabin. We chose to dine in the Garden Cafe rather than the main dining room or specialty restaurants. The food was average; nothing bad, nothing outstanding. The menu at Cagney's looked very good, but we did not have an opportunity to try it. The open deck space was good, and we were able to find areas of relative privacy to relax and enjoy watching the ocean go by. We were, however, disappointed in two things: First, some of the staff were less engaging and responsive than our prior experiences. Our cabin attendant was very friendly, but other staff members seemed annoyed by questions. Second, I expected the casino area to smell of cigarette smoke; but, the smell permeated most of the open, non-smoking areas on decks 6 and 7 where trivia and other activities were held. We were traveling with another couple and all noticed the strong smell of cigarette smoke immediately upon boarding the ship on deck 7. I am a non-smoker, but not an anti-smoker. If others choose to smoke, that's fine with me. I was just surprised at how strong the smell of cigarette smoke was in non-smoking areas of the ship. In summary, I would say this about Dawn: We would not specifically target this ship for another cruise; however, If we found an itinerary that we liked, we would sail on Dawn again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was to be a nice little relaxing 4 night cruise for birthday. As a seasoned cruiser (34) I see changes. Freestyle as gone too far. Tee shirts and shorts allowed in dining room at dinner, some were clean, a little over the top. No ... Read More
This was to be a nice little relaxing 4 night cruise for birthday. As a seasoned cruiser (34) I see changes. Freestyle as gone too far. Tee shirts and shorts allowed in dining room at dinner, some were clean, a little over the top. No formal nights. No welcome back latitudes members, no cocktail party with captain and senior officer's. Kids run big promotions and change "rules" on the cuff. Free cruise raffles was supposed to be at 5pm on Key West port. You had to be present to win. I came back to ship as not to miss that 5pm in stone final deadline. 5pm came and went. Assistant cruise director decided to change drawing time till after we were forced to wait 2 bingo games. Now 5:45 changes drawing till they sell another batch of their scratch off games. After all those folks filled oit their little red tickets seperated and put into raffle drum we were ready for a free cruise drawing. Woops the door on the drum wont stay closed. Duck Tape!! Poolside parties were poorly attended No towel animals. No latitude perks. Can of soda $3.75. Anywhere on ship or in your room Beer starts at $6.75 Cocktails start at 9.75 Tips $15.pp per day. Oh how things change. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
This was the first and last time I will ever vacation in a Norwigen Cruiseline again. The reason why we weren’t pleased with this cruiseline because they nickel and dime for everything. We had the “Ultimate Driking Package” however ... Read More
This was the first and last time I will ever vacation in a Norwigen Cruiseline again. The reason why we weren’t pleased with this cruiseline because they nickel and dime for everything. We had the “Ultimate Driking Package” however we still had to pay extra if we wanted a freshly squeezed fruit juice or a specialty coffee such as a capachino. With Carnival there drinking package covers everything. Also I had signed up for a parasailing excursion and when I get the tickets for all my excursions they send me a letter telling me that the parasailing excursion was canceled for undisclosed reasons and that they will credit my account for what I payed for. Also weren’t to satisfied with the dinning restaurants. Unless you were at one of the special restaurants where you had to pay extra, all there restaurants had the same menu every day. My wife and I felt there was no variety. I will say the onboard performances were quite entertaining. However, even though the staff was friendly and professional, after this vacation my wife and I decided going forward we will only vacation on Carnival Cruise Line because we’ve had the best experiences and no complaints. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Hello. I was looking for a cruise to wind down and relax. However the cruise was a tornado of dysfunctional proportions by the cruise line. I get to the window and give them my passports. They ask for my room number. I offer it. The lady ... Read More
Hello. I was looking for a cruise to wind down and relax. However the cruise was a tornado of dysfunctional proportions by the cruise line. I get to the window and give them my passports. They ask for my room number. I offer it. The lady says, no the room number on the website is not your room. The supervisor female comes over and says they double booked us. Here is our number to our room. They gave us 2 sets of keys Incase (liability) all day long. We tried our room number from the website a gentleman and his female were in the room. He got angry with me from entering. Clearly NCL screwed up. Days 1,2,5 we had a toilet not working. I called days 1 & 2 to fix it. On day 2 the toilet comes out of the wall. I called guest services no answer, I tried again, finally someone answered. I said “didn’t you guys put the toilet back on after fixing it” I had charges from this other couple on my bill. I had photos on my card of this same other couple. On the day we were supposed to leave, I never got a letter that affords my group to be taken to Miami airport. Went down to the desk asked for the letter. The room number on the letter was different.... again. Plus all the charges on my bill were someone else. By fighting when them days 1,2,5 I was mentally exhausted by 8 pm. I had anxiety from the stress and my grandmother so angry. My grandmother has been on lots of cruises but this one was beyond her comprehension. I asked for a full refund. I didn’t enjoy at all. It didn’t live up to the amount I paid. The food was OK like a upscale Disney Park. The people working on the boat always smiling and exceptional. But no one has authority. Even when this guy hit me. No one took a interest in my concerns or safety despite writing in the comment box. And NCL never responded to my email. So. I would not recommend NCL Dawn. In good faith I was looking for a apologize. Don’t know if I will ever get it. The toilet came out of the wall bruised my leg. Just a really bad time. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
we had had very good comments on this cruise line from family members and it was suppose to be a little more fancy than our only other cruise which was with Carnival Victory (it was very enjoyable although the ship ran low on breakfast ... Read More
we had had very good comments on this cruise line from family members and it was suppose to be a little more fancy than our only other cruise which was with Carnival Victory (it was very enjoyable although the ship ran low on breakfast meats on the last day). This was to be a very special cruise our first with just us and we planned to redo our vows for our 20th anniversary. Embarkation day we probably should have seen what was to come as my wife dropped me off at the dock with our luggage and left to go park the car and got sideswiped by a taxi enroute barely making it back in time to board. Boarding was great as soon as they saw I had a cane they got me a wheelchair and a steward pushed me through the building onto the ship. Three hours before we could get into our room and no swimsuits with us in our carry on. Most of the bars were closed. we had to go to one end of the ship for the 911 drill and then the other end to get into our room. 1st I knew that the room was inside and there would be no window what I didnt know was it was basically a closet with a bed. The refrigerator "mini-bar" was warm and the few bottles in there looked really old rusty tops and the like and the fridge didnt and hadn't worked for quite a while. We had bought a 12 pk of bottled water (not even spring water) 12ltrs for $33 (I wont even buy liquor at those prices). So after the first round of Bacardi and coke @$25 we went to see what it would cost to add the drink package it was around $300 when we were planning the cruise and we weren't expecting the prices to be this high. We were then taken aback at the new price quote of $700. So even if we wanted we didnt have capability because we were now on the card locked in for shipboard charges and it was only clear for $500 and we couldn't get more money as atm was broken at the time. So on we go signing every time we wanted a drink. The bars we're pretty sure charged different prices for the same drink no proof though. The buffet was mediocre at best nothing like what we had on carnival carving stations not there (oh they had one to cut up a 4ft sub) even golden corral had better options. The Japanese steakhouse left us wishing for a Kobe food wasn't great and the bar closed before our dinner was 1/2 done no more sake! the Brazilian steakhouse food was pretty good...when we finally got some 30 min wait for the meat as they were feeding the captain and friends. The bistro French restaurant the shining star in their crown awesome food and service they were what we expected from all of their meals. Dont ask any staff onboard where something is they dont know but will tell you somewhere even if they dont know. We didnt know there was a smoking section on deck 7 till the last day and found that out from other smokers. My wife is allergic to lime and dont you know they always brought her drink with one even after being told not to. It seemed every turn we were being nickel and dimed. My wife went for bingo and came back later told me it cost her $60 to play including the pull tab lottery tickets she got talked into. They had a "shopping class" that was just a diamond broker telling you to buy at their store on the island. (the satellite was down on the island so not too much sold there as no credit cards worked. The next stop it rained monsoon style for 2 hours as we tried in vain to get to the taxi stand to get to our excursion so no massage for us. all this time I'm not sleeping because my bad back cant take the worn out mattress I fall asleep sitting up a 1/2 hour at a time. my wife asked at customer service the night before leaving what tag to put on our luggage the response "your already too late it should have been out a 1/2 hour ago. never told her which tag. On the first stop I asked about using a wheelchair they said I could rent one for $150 for the cruise but it cant leave the ship (we couldn't have even got to our room hallway always cluttered.) oh and we had heard the Irish pub had good wings so we stopped in twice the first time we never did get waited on. the second time we got there and my back spasmed so we sat at a table and were told in a rude voice we had to get a hostess to seat us. we went to the bar and sat 5 guests at the bar all got served we sat there for 30 min before the bartender finally acknowledged us at all and when we ordered our drinks we asked for some wings he wouldn't take our food order we finally flagged down a server who ordered them for us and with the poor service and all they just weren't good enough to make us want to come back. The whole cruise kind of ruined our reaffirmation and all those great memories we should have. Sad I could have done Carnival for the same money and had a huge balcony room with a drink package and great food and buffets. Maybe next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
5 Day Caribbean Cruise on NCL Dawn First let me say we had a wonderful cruise. Staff was very attentive to cruisers needs. Embarkation went very smoothly. We were able to get a nice sit down lunch in the main dining room. We know ... Read More
5 Day Caribbean Cruise on NCL Dawn First let me say we had a wonderful cruise. Staff was very attentive to cruisers needs. Embarkation went very smoothly. We were able to get a nice sit down lunch in the main dining room. We know that the ship had undergone a dry dock refurbishment. The Venetian Dining room was now decorated with paintings with beautiful frames but the art work was very strange. Seems the artist who no one knew his name purposely defaced his own art. The service was good and the food was good as well. Once we were finished with lunch we were able to go to our cabin and unpack. Our bags arrived quickly and were placed by our door. We actually had everything unpacked before the life boat drill. We had placed a list of special requests on our king size bed for the room steward. Unfortunately the steward never stopped by to introduce himself and we didn’t see him till around 7:30pm, which is very usual. This is the first time this has ever happened to us. We needed distilled water for our c-pap machine, 2 blankets , 2 bathrobes and glasses for the bathroom. Entertainment was very good. We were glad to see Mona from the Cruise staff. She remembered us from our previous sailings on the Dawn. She and her other cruise staff workers were a lot of fun. Staff treated passengers like royalty. Really enjoyed the Trivia Games. Prizes were given out on the last evening. Disappointed with the choices. They did not even have a sign up for what you could get and how many signatures you needed for each item. The guy that was supposed to award the prizes arrived approximately 15 minutes late was was obviously not prepared. Our Meet and Greet Party that I set up for our small group of 20+ cruisers was well attended. Because of the time change and the of moving to Central Time 2 cruisers missed the party, but approx 20 attended. NCL sent at least 8 senior staff members including the cruise director, Luz. Shirlyn, the group coordinator, did an excellent job setting up the party in Le Bistro. There was coffee and tea urns along with delicious pastries. She even printed up Cruise Critic stick on labels. NCL puts on the best Cruise Critic Parties. It is a shame that the Cruise Critic website has changed so much for the worse making it harder to find your sailing. Our group would have had a much larger Roll Call had they not made it so difficult to find our roll call site. I dislike the changes they made to the web site. You no longer can see your previous posts from previous sailings nor can you create a count down clock. Even NCL Dawn said that they had not had a Meet and Greet Party in the past 6 sailings and they were wondering if the site was shut down. One of our roll call members, Mike L, offered to have a farewell party in his Owner’s Suite on the last sea day. He had the most spectacular cabin in the forward part of the ship. Once again the time changed and am not sure if it led to the small turn out. We still had fun. Mike had platters of hot food, sandwiches and cocktails and Frank Sinatra singing in the background creating a wonderful warm feeling with his beautiful patios and luxurious suite. A word about the steakhouse, Gatsbys. It has gone way down in quality, but still had good service. Debarkation also went smoothly. Thanks to Shirlyn, group services coordinator, she supplied my husband and myself 2 wheelchairs and pushers to our cabin to help us get off the ship. I had injured my leg toward the end of the cruise and could not walk. Shirlyn, was my hero! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I booked NCL Dawn to try a different NCL ship. I had been on the NCL Bliss and NCL Sky before this one. Bliss being one of the newest and Sky being one of the oldest. The Dawn has had a recent refurb, but I do not believe that included the ... Read More
I booked NCL Dawn to try a different NCL ship. I had been on the NCL Bliss and NCL Sky before this one. Bliss being one of the newest and Sky being one of the oldest. The Dawn has had a recent refurb, but I do not believe that included the guest rooms, just the public areas. The ships pool is VERY small. Being a larger ship than the Sky it has half the pool that the Sky does. Food was average, some good dishes and some not-so good. I think the on-board entertainment (bands, shows, etc...) was top-notch. I enjoyed Harvest Cay in Belize. I went on a fishing excursion, and spent the time afterwards wondering the island, the beach, and the fresh water pool. I drank some Belize local beer, and found the Island clean, and well managed. We hit some high winds on our second day at sea, and it was certainly making walking around the deck difficult, but not impossible. I found some amazing crew members, and some need either more training or a break (they seem tired and non-guest centered). Overall it was a good cruise, and I would repeat. I really liked Bamboo (comp dinner option) it also has some items you can upgrade with a cost. I like this option compared to a place with only upgraded options. 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

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