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We have sailed on the Dawn several times out of Boston and we were glad to see this Southern Caribbean sailing offered out of San Juan. We chose the "Free or Reduced Flights" offer and were given same day flights out of Boston at a rate of $99 per person round trip. We flew on American Airlines ( and our flights were NOT scheduled on the 737 MAX) We were given a 6:10 am flight to Charlotte with 40 minutes to change planes and on to San Juan arriving at 1:30 pm. At the time we booked, the only other option was to fly in a day early, pay a $50 change fee, and book a pre-cruise hotel thru NCL - the cost of the hotel was $285 PER PERSON so we opted to keep the flights awarded us. They changed the program after we were ticketed, so that you may now book your own hotel at considerable savings but would not let me change when I inquired. We kept the NCL transfers to the ship thinking if we were delayed that NCL would get us to the ship. We should have taken a cab which would have been half the price and more timely. The wait for the NCL transport was long and disorganized and we got to the ship just after 3:00 pm. Check in was fast and easy and we went straight to our cabin to drop the one carry-on we kept with us. Our luggage actually arrived fairly fast and we had time to unpack before the 4:30 Muster. If you aren't on board for the muster you MUST attend a makeup the next day at sea. We were traveling with a group of 8 so met up with all of them for dinner and found the best waitstaff on board. Cherry was our lead waiter, and her assistant Vergilio - they were fun and we had such a great time with them, we requested them every other night in the Venetian dining room, and were able to get reservations each night to assure we would be with her. There was ONE "Dress up or Not" evening our second night out and guests were requested to wear "smart casual" in the main dining room but we found that the dress code was only observed that one night (ie no shorts or jeans) any other night it was completely casual, with men and women wearing shorts and very casual day wear. The menu's were plain, and other than the Prime Rib in O'Sheehans on the first night, and a Beef Tenderloin on another night, were nothing remarkable, other than we found most of the meats dry and overcooked. Disappointing as we are NOT huge foodies, so it takes very little to impress us with a good meal. We stayed in Cabin 8590 which is an obstructed view cabin - up the hall from O'Sheehan's. This corridor has several twists and turns, so we never heard loud music from O'Sheehan's. We had a life boat directly outside our windows so we had light coming in, but no view which was fine with us - we knew we would not be spending a lot of time in our cabin. We did have workmen in the lifeboat two mornings fairly early, but these were port days so we were up early anyway. Our first cabin issue came with some knucklheads who thought it was fun to "turn" the door messages. There is a little place next to your door cabin where you can alert your steward to Make up the Cabin, Turn Down the Cabin or Do Not Disturb - some clowns thought it was funny to go down the corridor and change the cabins signs, resulting in our cabin not being made up or turned down accordingly. After the first instance on the first day when our cabin wasn't made up by 1:00 pm we realized the sign on the door had been changed to "Do Not Disturb" and notified our cabin attendant by leaving a message. We NEVER met her all week! We explained that we knew it wasn't her fault and to please ignore the door sign in the future. It happened several more times, we reported it several more times, but our cabin was not attended to at least half of the trip. We felt that the steward could have done more to check to see if we were in the cabin - a phone call, or a knock on the door especially since we ASKED for her to ignore the door signs after reporting the issue several times. Just poor communication till she knocked on our door at 7:00 am the day of disembarkation to see if we were there - the ONLY day she bothered to check.... On the days we did get fresh towels, often the were severely frayed around the edges with strings hanging - the looked more like rags than towels - they should NEVER have been placed in a guests cabin! We also used the $50 port credit fee to book several excursions. Being GOLD Latitudes members we are supposed to get a discount on excursions, and noticed they weren't showing up on our account - we had to go to the excursion desk to request this perk - we were told it's "not automatic"... My friend is Platinum and she had to pay a $3.95 registration charge to use her "free internet" minutes. More and more the N in NCL is representing "Nickle and Dime" and we were getting weary of these little things popping up. Excursion were fine but often not as stated on the packet - our first one was to Soufriere Falls and was supposed to be 4.5 hours - it was actually 6.5 hours which was fine with us but not the expectation that was set and some people were not happy they did not have time to "shop" before returning to the ship. We found that the time printed for duration was often a less than the actual tour times. The entertainment was what we expected - no more, no less. We were glad to see Patti and Jose still on board, and a great comedian, Andrew Kennedy - his late show was great! We do miss the smaller gathering places on this ship - there are not many intimate areas to sit and enjoy a drink without a lot of "noise". The wine cellar was empty every time we passed thru and perhaps could be better used as another type of venue. Gatsby's is a nice place with smaller group entertainment but still very loud and not a lot of seating. Overall we enjoyed our cruise and it was as we expected having been on the Dawn before, but we find that NCL's changes in policies and lack of attention to details getting to be more of the norm. We will be putting NCL at the bottom of our list for the next few cruises.

The Dawn is not rising

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by cinbol

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Obstructed Oceanview
We have sailed on the Dawn several times out of Boston and we were glad to see this Southern Caribbean sailing offered out of San Juan.

We chose the "Free or Reduced Flights" offer and were given same day flights out of Boston at a rate of $99 per person round trip. We flew on American Airlines ( and our flights were NOT scheduled on the 737 MAX) We were given a 6:10 am flight to Charlotte with 40 minutes to change planes and on to San Juan arriving at 1:30 pm. At the time we booked, the only other option was to fly in a day early, pay a $50 change fee, and book a pre-cruise hotel thru NCL - the cost of the hotel was $285 PER PERSON so we opted to keep the flights awarded us. They changed the program after we were ticketed, so that you may now book your own hotel at considerable savings but would not let me change when I inquired. We kept the NCL transfers to the ship thinking if we were delayed that NCL would get us to the ship. We should have taken a cab which would have been half the price and more timely. The wait for the NCL transport was long and disorganized and we got to the ship just after 3:00 pm. Check in was fast and easy and we went straight to our cabin to drop the one carry-on we kept with us. Our luggage actually arrived fairly fast and we had time to unpack before the 4:30 Muster. If you aren't on board for the muster you MUST attend a makeup the next day at sea.

We were traveling with a group of 8 so met up with all of them for dinner and found the best waitstaff on board. Cherry was our lead waiter, and her assistant Vergilio - they were fun and we had such a great time with them, we requested them every other night in the Venetian dining room, and were able to get reservations each night to assure we would be with her. There was ONE "Dress up or Not" evening our second night out and guests were requested to wear "smart casual" in the main dining room but we found that the dress code was only observed that one night (ie no shorts or jeans) any other night it was completely casual, with men and women wearing shorts and very casual day wear. The menu's were plain, and other than the Prime Rib in O'Sheehans on the first night, and a Beef Tenderloin on another night, were nothing remarkable, other than we found most of the meats dry and overcooked. Disappointing as we are NOT huge foodies, so it takes very little to impress us with a good meal.

We stayed in Cabin 8590 which is an obstructed view cabin - up the hall from O'Sheehan's. This corridor has several twists and turns, so we never heard loud music from O'Sheehan's. We had a life boat directly outside our windows so we had light coming in, but no view which was fine with us - we knew we would not be spending a lot of time in our cabin. We did have workmen in the lifeboat two mornings fairly early, but these were port days so we were up early anyway. Our first cabin issue came with some knucklheads who thought it was fun to "turn" the door messages. There is a little place next to your door cabin where you can alert your steward to Make up the Cabin, Turn Down the Cabin or Do Not Disturb - some clowns thought it was funny to go down the corridor and change the cabins signs, resulting in our cabin not being made up or turned down accordingly. After the first instance on the first day when our cabin wasn't made up by 1:00 pm we realized the sign on the door had been changed to "Do Not Disturb" and notified our cabin attendant by leaving a message. We NEVER met her all week! We explained that we knew it wasn't her fault and to please ignore the door sign in the future. It happened several more times, we reported it several more times, but our cabin was not attended to at least half of the trip. We felt that the steward could have done more to check to see if we were in the cabin - a phone call, or a knock on the door especially since we ASKED for her to ignore the door signs after reporting the issue several times. Just poor communication till she knocked on our door at 7:00 am the day of disembarkation to see if we were there - the ONLY day she bothered to check.... On the days we did get fresh towels, often the were severely frayed around the edges with strings hanging - the looked more like rags than towels - they should NEVER have been placed in a guests cabin!

We also used the $50 port credit fee to book several excursions. Being GOLD Latitudes members we are supposed to get a discount on excursions, and noticed they weren't showing up on our account - we had to go to the excursion desk to request this perk - we were told it's "not automatic"... My friend is Platinum and she had to pay a $3.95 registration charge to use her "free internet" minutes. More and more the N in NCL is representing "Nickle and Dime" and we were getting weary of these little things popping up.

Excursion were fine but often not as stated on the packet - our first one was to Soufriere Falls and was supposed to be 4.5 hours - it was actually 6.5 hours which was fine with us but not the expectation that was set and some people were not happy they did not have time to "shop" before returning to the ship. We found that the time printed for duration was often a less than the actual tour times.

The entertainment was what we expected - no more, no less. We were glad to see Patti and Jose still on board, and a great comedian, Andrew Kennedy - his late show was great! We do miss the smaller gathering places on this ship - there are not many intimate areas to sit and enjoy a drink without a lot of "noise". The wine cellar was empty every time we passed thru and perhaps could be better used as another type of venue. Gatsby's is a nice place with smaller group entertainment but still very loud and not a lot of seating.

Overall we enjoyed our cruise and it was as we expected having been on the Dawn before, but we find that NCL's changes in policies and lack of attention to details getting to be more of the norm. We will be putting NCL at the bottom of our list for the next few cruises.
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Cabin Review

Obstructed Oceanview
Cabin OK 8590
Smaller cabin; rated for 4 people but it would be a tight squeeze. The cabin is small (which we expected) but not laid out well. When the beds are pushed together for a queen size bed, the bottom of the bed meets the vanity on one side, and there is an overhead bunk on the other side that you have to dodge to get into bed. We would have been better leaving twin beds. Plenty of storage for two people and suitcases fit under one bed - the other bed has a trundle under it.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins