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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
This cruise was from New Orleans to Boston 12 days with five port. It s à repositioning cruise. The price was very good for 12 days. The cabin was ok clean and fonctionnal. The food was overall good to very good for the most part. We have ... Read More
This cruise was from New Orleans to Boston 12 days with five port. It s à repositioning cruise. The price was very good for 12 days. The cabin was ok clean and fonctionnal. The food was overall good to very good for the most part. We have been to every show at night in the stardust theater ( Musical comedy, Humor, Hypnosis, Magician ) Service at the different bar was a little bit slow but what to complain about we re in vacation .... no hurry. We took a 8 bottles win package and save about 10 to 15 dollars per bottle. Négative point for my part is that you have to buy water bottle on the boat. At the end of the cruises the ask us to be in a room before 7h AM for the custom agent. That showed only around 8h30 very badly organized. Overall we have enjoyed the cruise ....mostly the entertainment Excuse my writing I am French speaking person Sylvain Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
Flew to New Orleans to take the ship which ended in Boston where I live. Everything was perfect.. Very attentive butler. We were in a suite which was a great experience. Taking a suite is just not the better cabin, but all of the perks ... Read More
Flew to New Orleans to take the ship which ended in Boston where I live. Everything was perfect.. Very attentive butler. We were in a suite which was a great experience. Taking a suite is just not the better cabin, but all of the perks that come along with it. Every move you make is a priority over everyone else on the ship. A suite is the only way to cruise. Norwegian did it up perfectly. The ship was great, and the islands were very nice, sunny, and warm the entire time., On the third day of sailing you know that you are heading north because of the cold and uninviting temperatures. I will definitely take Norwegian again. I love the sailings to and from Boston which makes it very easy for local residence. The Dawn was revamped last year and has a whole new look inside. For an older ship, it has been given a now and fresh overhaul. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise because of the length and locations it was going too. We had never been to the Western Caribbean. Since we had a Family Suite with a balcony we received the privilages that come with this. Once we arrived at the pier ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the length and locations it was going too. We had never been to the Western Caribbean. Since we had a Family Suite with a balcony we received the privilages that come with this. Once we arrived at the pier we looked for the location where people in Suites checked in. They first tried having us go in line with everyone else but I knew better so I looked around and sure enough I found the sign and walked right up and checked in. Once checked in we were escorted to a Suite Lounge area to wait and board the ship. While waiting we had a long table of foods available for us to select from and various drinks (no liquer). We met some of the Conceriges who were there to help you with anything you might need help with such as making sure any specialty restaurant you wanted reservations in were made. Once the ship was ready for passengers we were the first to be escorted onto the ship. The next 12 days for us were glorious, and relaxing. When we got to our cabin we met our Butler, Romel who was terrific the whole cruise. Later we met our concerige who was Roel along with our Room Steward Felix. Each of them were terrific. Our dining reservations all met our expectations with the exception of the Lu Cinca which we addressed immediately. We took advantage eating in the Moderno most mornings which is for Suite guests only, loved the petite filet mignon and eggs. We didn't go to the buffet at all. We had the Butler bring lunch to us in the cabin on several occasions. Entertainment was generally very good with the exception of one night they had a Cabera Show, not good. We had 2 excursions on this cruise they both were okay. Love it when in Cartegena we got off the ship and didn't have an excursion but went into the gift shop and right behind it was like a small wildlife santuary with monkeys running around and beautiful birds. This didn't cost anything and was a highlight of the cruise along with Pusser's Outpost in Tortola. Overall we had a great time. If you didn't have a good time you have no one to blame but yourself. I read one review where the person did nothing but complain my advice to them would be stay home, all cruises are subjective when it comes to reviews, the people work hard and with so many different folks it is very hard to please everyone! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
It was chaos in New Orleans for embarkation but disembarkation in Boston went very smoothly. Jose and Patti who were entertainment in the atrium were an amazing husband and wife duet. The buffet was a bit lacking, this was my first cruise ... Read More
It was chaos in New Orleans for embarkation but disembarkation in Boston went very smoothly. Jose and Patti who were entertainment in the atrium were an amazing husband and wife duet. The buffet was a bit lacking, this was my first cruise ever where I only got mashed potatoes once and I am a mashed potato lover and am used to getting them at buffet for lunch or dinner. Was very confused as to why that was the case. Scalloped potatoes were there several days but other that that it was fried or wedges? The meats were the same everyday. Only had meat at the carvery at the buffet twice? Usually something is there everyday. Specialty meals were awesome as always. Our room was a sideways OK category and we loved it. Passion Island in Cozumel was beautiful. Cruisenext team on this ship is not as friendly and helpful as I've found others to be. Shows in the theater were great. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
New ports to visit.....reasonable prices.....previous sailing experiences on the Dawn were good. Both the embarkation and the disembarkation went very smoothly. The wide offering of dining rooms was an experience. Our cabin gal kept the ... Read More
New ports to visit.....reasonable prices.....previous sailing experiences on the Dawn were good. Both the embarkation and the disembarkation went very smoothly. The wide offering of dining rooms was an experience. Our cabin gal kept the room clean and we were very satisfied with all the servers and staff in general. Nightly entertainment was excellent with the diverse shows. Kinda disappointed in the way NCL handled the whole upgrade auction thing. Some other cruise lines just upgrade their good cruisers without charge or auctions. Be careful with the drink package as it does not allow the purchase of specialty coffees. What's with that? For the gamblers aboard, the casino was active and I thought that the slot machines were loose paying often. I actually sat beside a lady who got a payout of $ 11,000. Wow. All in all we had an excellent trip and with our latitude level increasing will cruise again with NCL. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
For this cruise of the Western Caribbean, Norwegian Dawn probably deserves on 3 stars, but we had 4 stars worth of fun anyway. Our balcony cabin was lovely, with cheery decor and a nice big bathroom. Decor in the rest of the ship was ... Read More
For this cruise of the Western Caribbean, Norwegian Dawn probably deserves on 3 stars, but we had 4 stars worth of fun anyway. Our balcony cabin was lovely, with cheery decor and a nice big bathroom. Decor in the rest of the ship was seriously lacking. The 'artwork' and carpeting in the foyers made it impossible to get your bearings and even on the last day we were turning the wrong way. The artwork in the Venetian Dining room was downright scary although the food was almost always excellent. The buffet for breakfast on early shore days was mediocre and the decor grim. We had a few disappointing meals in O'Sheehans. Aqua turned out to be the best, excellent food, nice decor and tables close enough to allow some friendly interaction. Pool deck was terrible. Only shade or rain shelter was big sofas arranged in patterns that allowed two people to take up room for eight - and half of that was smoking area. Bimini Bar had some shaded tables, but they weren't serving food. Biggest complaint was getting off the ship for shore excursions - terrible cattle press with no organization. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We were advised to go on this cruise from our Travel Agent. We enjoyed every part of the trip. The music, food, shows, the staff and the excursions. One thing we didn't enjoy was that smoking was allowed on deck and in a certain ... Read More
We were advised to go on this cruise from our Travel Agent. We enjoyed every part of the trip. The music, food, shows, the staff and the excursions. One thing we didn't enjoy was that smoking was allowed on deck and in a certain lounge. We can't tolerate smoke and the smell seemed to linger and raise to other levels. The staff was so helpful for any of our questions. The jewelry store was nice, but we purchased a watch and found that it didn't work. We took it back and they didn't have another one to exchange it with. We tried a battery, but that didn't work either. I chose another watch and that too didn't work. The gal was helpful, but said the ship only carries one of each style, so that was a bummer. The liquor in the shop was really well priced, but we didn't want to fly with it. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
My wife selected this cruise for my son's senior trip along with several families who traveled with us. We just got back yesterday. This cruise was excellent and I highly recommend it to anyone. Here are a few of the reasons: ... Read More
My wife selected this cruise for my son's senior trip along with several families who traveled with us. We just got back yesterday. This cruise was excellent and I highly recommend it to anyone. Here are a few of the reasons: Easy and fast embarkation. It took about 45 minutes to board which was way faster than our Carnival cruise. Getting off was easier. Our family of five got off the ship yesterday in less than an hour and were headed home. Use the option to carry off your luggage it is why it was fast. The food quality and restaurants were excellent. A pro tip here is to eat at O'Sheehans for dinner or lunch a few days on your trip. This is the Irish pub onboard. The food is amazing. Get the BBQ wings and try a Reuben. You won't be disappointed. Plus they bring out food and drink fast and the view is great there. Beverages. Get the unlimited drink package if you like beer and wine and don't worry about your bill. Just enjoy yourself. The kids had the soda package which worked out great. The lines at the top deck bar can get busy but aren't too bad. Overall I was very pleased with this. Tips; unlike most cruises, they encourage tipping. Don't worry, there is no pressure by anyone to do so, its no big deal. We pre-paid ours and tipped occasionally. If you tip your bartenders they will remember you and will really take care of you. Rooms. We got two rooms, both inside on the 9th deck. One for me and the wife and the teenagers had the other. They had to be side by side because we have two minors. The rooms were clean and comfortable, not too small. I wouldn't pay for the upgraded room personally because overall I was very happy with it. The shower and bathroom were bigger than what you would expect from an interior room. Entertainment. Top notch and impressive. I wasn't into this but my wife was. I really liked them. We did karaoke a few night which was fun and danced in the Bliss lounge. Fun, fun, fun. Fitness center. Very nice with everything you'd want. Now for the downside. Many of the crew were not overly friendly. They did have excellent service, just not always with a smile. Although not the fault of the crew or captain, we had many nights where we could really feel the ship pitching and rolling. This is a medium sized ship so it isn't as stable as the huge cruise liners out there now. It didn't bother me, but some of our friends got a little queasy. Although the stops were good, the beaches aren't great at any of them. Eastern Carribean stops are much nicer. We didn't do any excursions from the ship but did catch a cab at Roatan and went to a dive shop and did an introduction and beginner dive which was amazing. Highly recommend. We did pay for an all-inclusive on Cozumel called Mr. Sanchos. All drinks and food included. It was great, try it out. Book it yourself before you sail. Harvest Caye was cool, but you pay for everything there out of pocket. It isn't an included benefit. Overall, good trip. Better clientele and more upscale than Carnival. I liked that. I would book with Norweigan again. If you book early enough like we did you can get the cruise at prices comparable to Carnival. This also blew away the cruise I did with Royal Carribean. Much better. Hope you choose it, it will be great, Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
Received a free cruise and upgraded to balcony, think it would be a good time to go , no bad weather and not so hot. Did know that it was spring break, over 800 college students onboard, for the most part most behaved however very, very ... Read More
Received a free cruise and upgraded to balcony, think it would be a good time to go , no bad weather and not so hot. Did know that it was spring break, over 800 college students onboard, for the most part most behaved however very, very noisy on the pool deck and tons and tons of drinking, so many underage yet were served. We've sailed NCL 8 times, and and are Platinum members and probably won't sail again on NCL, one big reason, price of drinks.....17 dollars for a martini, over 10 dollars just for a mixed drink.....way to much, we ordered coffee and baileys at the coffee bar it was over 25 dollars......NCL you've gone too far, now I'm not a drinker but like a drink now and then, but now as then we can't afford it. Overall service was good, shows were pretty good, casino, so so. Only saw cruise director once, seems he has his helpers do all the work, other ships you saw the cruise director all the time. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
For my first cruise it was okay. I wasn't sure what to expect but found very little guidance onboard on where to go, how things work, etc. The Dining experience was good. We had an awesome waiter at the Aqua and continued going ... Read More
For my first cruise it was okay. I wasn't sure what to expect but found very little guidance onboard on where to go, how things work, etc. The Dining experience was good. We had an awesome waiter at the Aqua and continued going back and requesting his section. The bar experience wasn't all that great as we tried to order certain drinks that they said they couldn't make. Also, had a very difficult time finding Mountain Dew for my son even though we had a soda package for him. The entertainment was pretty good - was only disappointed in one show. Really enjoyed the SoulDuo show and the crew talent show. The dancers were good, too. Did not really enjoy Norwegian Belize Island. Traveled with my teenage son but he did not participate in the teens activities even though I tried to get him to go often. Our cabin steward was very attentive and great. Am looking into our next cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Cruise review & journal Norwegian Dawn, March 5-12, 2017 Western Caribbean itinerary sailing from port of New Orleans by CruiseCritic member RocketSci73, from Huntsville, AL solo cruiser, male age 43, 10 prior cruises, ... Read More
Cruise review & journal Norwegian Dawn, March 5-12, 2017 Western Caribbean itinerary sailing from port of New Orleans by CruiseCritic member RocketSci73, from Huntsville, AL solo cruiser, male age 43, 10 prior cruises, 8 with Norwegian Summary: Pros: - New Orleans is a great cruise port, convenient to a shopping mall and several good food vendors. The city itself is a good destination of its own, with hotels and attractions within walking distance of the cruise port. - The New Orleans airport shuttle service is a good bargain. - Boarding & check in for the cruise went smoother than expected. - NCL has excellent food and restaurants! Their onboard entertainers are also very good too, such as comedy performers, magicians, and acrobats. - NCL has great service! They know how to be formal, but also know how to have fun, and party very well too. - NCL has pretty good organized activities for solo travellers. For example, they will let you share a table with others in the main dining rooms. - The NCL Dawn has great gym facilities, but hot & stuffy. Every NCL ship so far I have seen has had a great gym. - Cozumel is always a fun spot to visit, something for everyone, and plenty of good shopping! - The Mayan ruins of Nim Li Punit and Spice Farm in Belize is a great excursion, very informative and well paced. - All those annoying promotional loudspeaker cruise announcements on the ship have been reduced, compared with previous cruises. - I did not notice any screaming kids while on the cruise, and there was a mixture of all types of passengers. This means parents on NCL are responsible, and so is the NCL daycare. Kudos. - Interactive in-room TVs on the ship are very useful, a great innovation. - NCL has improved the photo process, making it more personal and less of a hassle than before. Cons: - Bad ship layout, hard to get around, the NCL Dawn needs more direction signs - Karaoke is offered limited hours and not enough time for everyone to sing. - Background music throughout the ship was often too loud. It's been great on previous NCL cruises. - Only one ship can dock in Roatan, and others must use tender vessels to carry passengers to the port. The tendering process could have been better organized, and I have seen NCL handle this better in the past. - Roatan is still getting their act together as a cruise port. For example, the port area has several snack stands, but needs a good sit-down restaurant, especially with many cruise customers unable to simply walk aboard their ship, due to limited dock space & tendering. Local folks everywhere were asking for cash, and tip jars were everywhere. - Costa Maya needs a better variety of souvenir vendors. Tips: - Before boarding, be sure to research shore excursions, shopping, activities and prices, if you can. It's all online, and can even build to the excitement of your vacation. - Be sure to meet with other travellers and share experiences whenever you can while on vacation, such as at dinner or while on excursions. You will learn a lot, and make some great friends. Excursions are often mixed between different ships and cruise lines, which helps even more. - In Belize, everyone is a native speaker of English, and 1 US dollar is always worth 2 Belize dollars. - You can avoid seeing daily gratuity charges appear on your bill if you pre-pay your gratuities via the NCL website. It's not as expensive as you may think. - You can also reserve shore excursions, meal plans, and most other onboard purchases at the NCL website before your cruise. - The shops recommended by the cruise line are a tad more pricey than others, but have a lot better service to deal with. - Midway through the cruise you should receive an offer to wash & fold all the laundry you can fit in one large bag, for a good price, around $20-25. Use it! I like not having such chores to do when I get back home. - The CruiseNext deposit option is a good deal, even though over-promoted. While on board, you can put down deposits on a future cruises, and get half your money back immediately toward your current cruise. You do not have to pick out a future sailing, just put down a deposit which can be used on any future NCL cruise within 4 years. Day 00/ Mar04 - Arrival in New Orleans My flight to New Orleans went well, as usual. Flights were rather empty this Saturday, so I got surprise upgraded to first class. This was my first time flying Delta first class, and discovered their first class is nice but rather overrated. I found the New Orleans airport shuttle van service to be a good bargain, $24 per person, available in the baggage claim area of the airport. A taxi would be $36 per person. Our shuttle driver was nice and helpful and pointed out landmarks along the way, as he dropped customers off at their various hotels. There is another service company available that can pick up your luggage bags at the airport, store them under secure watch, and transfer them to the ship for your cruise, all for a reasonable cost, or transport them vice versa from the cruise to the airport. I did not use that this time, but it seems like a good idea. The Hilton near the cruise port was a convenient bargain for this visit. The cruise port and Hilton are joined into the Riverwalk Mall, which is quite convenient, downtown right on the scenic riverside. One can walk freely from the Hilton, through the mall, to the port, and all in air conditioned comfort. I saw several other cruise passengers with luggage going through the mall, to drop their luggage off at the cruise port. The mall also gives you something to do & eat, instead of waiting in long lines to board the ship. I have not seen that at other ports. It looks like the Hilton has been expanded several times, so is a bit disorganized. Most features at the hotel (food, gym, internet) are extra charge. I explored the area around the cruise port in New Orleans on foot, and did some shopping for loved ones. The food in New Orleans is always good. Day 01/ Mar 05 - Boarding the ship I checked out of the Hilton, and dropped my baggage off at the nearby cruise port, leaving me free to shop and explore on my own a bit. A New Orleans city transit pass is a good buy at only $3 per day, and includes the scenic cable cars, all city public busses, and even a new airport shuttle, dubbed route 202. I had some beignet donuts and milk at the Riverwalk's Cafe du Monde, then headed to the port to board the ship. The line to board the ship was long, but moved rather quickly through security screening, check in, photos & promos, and boarding. I boarded in time to get lunch in the main dining room, called the Venetian restaurant, which was very nice. This was the first time I recalled boarding in time to get lunch on the ship. I unpacked in my cabin, and then came the usual mandatory lifeboat drill. We had to find our emergency muster station, watch how to put on a life vest, and listen to a safety briefing from the cruise director. I did not even notice the ship was moving after the lifeboat drill, until I looked out of a window. After, I took an organized tour of the ship, which was not very helpful. It showed the feature areas of the ship, but not very well how to get around. The layout of this ship is very disorganized. I like previous NCL ships much better. I joined the solo travellers meet up in one of the public bars, and we went to dinner together in the Aqua restaurant, which has a nice atmosphere, though hard to get to. I am glad NCL has an organized meetup for solo travellers, and seems to be one of the few cruise lines that cater to them. After, we spent a couple hours at karaoke, and called it a night. The singer list at karaoke was too long, and I did not get to sing. Accoustics in the disco bar were also poor for karaoke. I did not attempt karaoke the rest of the cruise. Back in my cabin, the rocking of the ship put me sound asleep, as we left the Mississippi River headed for the Gulf of Mexico. Day 02/ Mar 06 - Day at sea I woke well rested around dawn, and had oatmeal for breakfast at the 24 hour atrium restaurant "O'Sheehan's Irish pub." Service, music, and food have always been good at NCL. I tried to play ping pong this morning, but it was too windy on the decks, due to a nearby storm that just hit New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. We had 13 foot waves and 63 mile an hour breezes, and about one third of passengers were seriously sea sick today. I wish better direction and deck layout signs were posted throughout the ship. Instead of ping pong, I spent an hour in the gym, which was very nice, with free weights, treadmills, rowing machines, and such, with some good sea views. It could use better ventilation, as it was hot and stuffy, and several others complained about this too. I then found it ironic that the buffet is right next to the fitness center, and I had a good meal, watching the waves. I changed clothes, then attended the presentation on shore excursions and shopping in the main theater. It was a waste of time, as I had done a lot of research before the cruise, but the shopping deals & coupons handed out were useful. I then attended the Latitudes party, for prior NCL guests, and learned how the benefits are changing slightly, but are still good. I also met with fellow experienced cruisers, always informative and pleasurable. I then had lunch in the main dining room, and found the soup spoons were too large to fit in my mouth. My waiter remembered this on several future occassions, and it became sort of a running joke. I have always been pleased with NCL service, all over the ship. Musical performances all over the ship were also very good, but often too loud when used as background music. The live newlywed game was fun, as usual. I found the in-room TVs have lots of interactive features. You can check your room bill account, order shore excursions, schedule a dining reservation, check weather and navigation information, see a schedule of onboard activities, and more. Day 03/Mar 07 - Cozumel, Island Highlights & Shopping My tour of Cozumel was moved 3 hours earlier, with no explanation given. So I went to bed early, could not sleep well, but was awakened to wonderful refreshing tropical air and breezes. I took the island highlights and shopping tour. It was a great tour, one of the best I have ever taken. It is a great overview of the whole island, and nicely paced. We got to see a museum of Mexican artwork and culture called "Discover Mexico," see Mayan temples and villages to a scale of about 4 feeet high, see a modern Mayan handicraft village with some minor Mayan ruins (El Cedral), visit a chocolate factory with lessons on how chocolate was discoved and made, visit a tequila store with lessons and samples, and see great views of the island tropical jungles and coasts, including the El Mirador rocky coastal point. The tour dropped us off at Pancho's Backyard, a wonderful lunch restaurant, also recommended by the cruise line. Good food, good service, reasonable prices, cool shade in a Mexican hacienda, and a live marimba band. Pancho's is about 8 blocks from the cruise port, a nice walk, and gives opportunity to pass by lots of great shops on the way back to the ship. I of course spent too much money shopping along the way, but it was worth it. The shops recommended by the cruise line were very respectful and professional, but the local shops were very pushy, almost desperate for a sale! They love to haggle; it's the Mexican way. I found this all true in Costa Maya as well. Back on the ship, I had a late buffet lunch, as we sailed away from Cozumel. I wish fresh drinking water were more commonly available on NCL ships, to prevent dehydration. At some cruise docks, NCL had set up a relaxation welcome tent before entering the ship, with small cups available of lightly flavored water and some cooling fans. This helped some. The evening magician show was pretty good, but looked staged, as it was always in sync with certain sound effects. He seemed rather unprofessional at times, often demanding more applause from the audience. One problem with the theater was that spotlights would occassionally circle over the audience, blinding passengers at random. For supper, I tried Le Bistro, the onboard French cuisine restaurant. It was very good, with rich flavors. I could not finish the whole meal. After, I felt drowsy from a full day and full stomach, and went to bed. I woke in the middle of the night, alert and ready for more action, but hungry again. So I went to the 24-hour O'Sheehan's Irish pub, met some fellow travellers there, then went to the gym to wear myself out, and took a nap. In a couple hours I woke up. Day 04/ Mar 08 - Roatan, Gumbalimba Nature Park What a mess! The ship could not dock at the pier in Roatan, and none of the crew seemed to be prepared for this. Tender vessels had to be used to get on and off the ship, and only one tender was loading or unloading at a time. Thus, everyone wanting to get off the ship had to wait in one long line. NCL claimed they were giving priority to those with shore excursion tickets, but I saw no such system in place. I had to wait in line standing for 2 hours, and nearly missed my shore excursion meeting time. Many people did miss theirs, especially the early ones. The line for getting on the tenders was so long, spilling through the main staircase, and Aqua main restaurant, and other public areas of the ship. Once ashore, we were loaded onto busses, and conveyed to our destination Gumbalimba Park. The nature park was very crowded, as there were at least 4 ships in port, and the park was not prepared for this. Our guided tour of the park had to stop at each attraction, while each previous tour group went through. I was told from the park's website that a self guided tour of the park was an option, but it was not. The park did not have maps or signs ready, a shame. I would have been lost in the jungle without our tour guide! We did get to see a good variety of local flora and fauna, and cross a river on a fun swing bridge. I got my picture taken with tropical birds and monkeys. Our tour guides were very good at taking pictures for everyone, though it slowed things down. The weather was hot, but the park is mostly shaded. The gift shop had a good variety and reasonable prices, but the snack stand was way overpriced. Rental lockers ($3/day) are purchased in the gift shop, but actually located on the other side of the park, which caused some confusion. There is also a beach and pool area, and ziplines available for a modest extra fee, which many seemed to enjoy. In summary, this was not the tranquil retreat that I had expected. Busses cycled through the entrance area to the park about every 20-30 minutes, to shuttle visitors back to the cruise port, and this was handled well. The Roatan cruise port has lots of good shopping, and several snack stands, but needs a good sit-down restaurant, especially for those passengers that tender to their ships. One crew member told me that NCL and RCCL alternate weeks as to who docks at the Roatan port. This was not our lucky week. On a later day, during the Senior Officers Q&A, the Captain confirmed this problem. Back on the ship, I dined at the upscale Italian restaurant La Cucina, which had very good food and service. I have been pleased with getting the NCL restaurant dining package on this cruise, and can recommend it to others, but have also been plenty pleased with the food choices included complimentary onboard. The food quality, flavor, service, decoration, and atmosphere have all fulfilled my desires, no matter which dining venue I am in. After a great meal, I hit the hot tub to relax away the evening, with Bob Marley songs performed by the reggae band on deck, under the stars. Very nice, just what I needed after such a long rough day. Day 05/ Mar 09 - Belize, Mayan Ruins & Spice Farm I woke up a little sore from yesterday's exercise, but looking forward to this day. Our ship docked at the newly opened cutom-built tourist island of Harvest Caye, but my excursion was going to the mainland Mayan ruins of Nim Li Punit and a nearby spice farm. This was one of the best tours I have taken! It was educational, shaded, and well paced. There were plenty of rest stops included, for restrooms and shopping and such, and even an opportunity for a quick lunch. From the ship, we boarded a ferry then bus, and were at the Mayan ruin site within the hour. Our tour guides were very professional, entertaining, and informative. The bus was also quite comfortable, even though some access roads were rocky along the way. The ruins were not that large or grand (as I expected), but still authentic and very satisfying, even though I have been to many other Mayan ruin sites before. At this site, trails of leaf cutter ants were marching everywhere, carrying sections of leaf back to their nest, very fascinating to watch. A couple folks needed insect repellent, mainly those who stepped in the pathways of the ants, but I did not, and most others did not. There were not many flying bugs here, and it was well shaded, which was nice. Our bus next took us to a nearby spice farm, where we had opportunity for some lunch and souvenir shopping first. A limited a-la-cart buffet was offered there, with some pretty good local choices. We then toured the spice farm on tractor-pulled, covered wagons, and our guide pointed out all the plants and their properties: allspice, nutmeg, cocoa, pepper, vanilla beans, and more! We got to learn, smell, and taste most of them. In the farm, we got to open and taste a ripe cocoa pod. I expected the gum surrounding the seeds to be nasty, but it was actually rather nice, a lot like orange pulp, both in flavor and texture. After, there was about 20 minutes to shop for spices and souvenirs at the spice farm, before the bus and ferry took us back to Harvest Caye. We had about an hour of relaxation and shopping remaining at Harvest Caye, before our ship sailed. I found a nice variety of shops, and helpful folks at them. There is a Del Sol shop here, which sells those famous color changing items. Onboard, I dined in the Venetian main dining room and shared experiences with fellow travellers at my table. The food and service were great as usual. After, I watched the Second City comedy group perform in the main theater. They were hilarious, very entertaining, very skilled at acting. They improvised skits based on audience suggestions, life's quirks aborad a cruise ship, and the awkwardness of a first date of a couple selected from the audience. Day 06/ Mar10 - Costa Maya, Mayan Reality Tour Today I took the "Mayan Reality Tour," which is a look at how Mayan people live in modern Mexico. It was rather boring, especially since our tour guide spoke very broken English. There was a lot of standing around and listening to our tour guide. He kept asking the guests questions, to continually stir up conversation and speculation as to how the Mayans really live, but I found this lecture habit very annoying. We were taken by bus (about 45 minutes) to a modern Mayan village, I believe called Limones. It looked like any other small run down Mexican town: cinder block stucco buildings and dust, graffiti, and poverty everywhere. According to our tour guide, most of the town is government subsidized and non-productive, as these people chose to stay put and not seek out employment opportunities elsewhere. We made a stop at a large thatched hut in the middle of the village called the City Center, where half a dozen local women all sold the same souvenirs on small tables. Next to the center, was a small Mayan pyramid temple. Part of the temple had been repaired in the last few decades, as it was a slightly different color, and had no moss growing. This shows that they care for their religion and community, a positive sign. Our tour guide also attempted to explain the Mayan calendar system. We were next taken by bus to a nearby Mayan household. Each room was a separate thatched hut, with some modern conveniences present, such as limited electrical wiring, but no running water that I could tell. The kitchen had a refridgerator and a coal stove/oven. The man and woman of the household served us a small meal of spiced chicken baked in a iron pot in a pit in the earth. This was served as taquitos, small tacos with a variety of seasoning sauces. They were actually really good. We were also served water, cola, and beer. This was served in a large outdoor dining ring, with stumps for seats. They also showed how rope, cloth, and tequila are made from agave palnt fibers, using wooden tools. With 45 minutes left back at Costa Maya, I did some shopping. There must have been at least 15 vendors all selling the same souvenirs (and yelling loudly at the tourists), but only 1 liquor store, and all priced higher than Cozumel. Costa Maya is the Caribbean's first custom built port for cruise ships, meaning it's an overpriced artificial tourist trap. Harvest Caye is another, specific to NCL. Back on the ship, I raided the buffet, then took a country line dance class offered. Having an international cruise crew is interesting, as we were learning Nashville dances from an Italian man yelling "Yeehaw!" Day 07/Mar 11 - Day at Sea I cannot believe it is here, the last full day of our cruise. I started with another great meal in the main dining room, then attended a presentation in the disco on all the work that goes on behind the scenes to make a cruise: the bridge, laundry, kitchens, engine room, etc. This was followed by a half hour Q&A with the senior officers of the ship: the Captain, Chief Engineer, and Hotel Director. The audience had some very good questions, and the officers had some very enlightening answers. Next I reviewed and purchased my prefered photos in the photo gallery. I am impressed how NCL has improved the photo process on this ship, with touchscreen review, sorting & marking your favorite photos, and electronic ordering. It is a lot more personal and less of a hassle than before, as you see only the photos for your stateroom, and don't have to wade through all the others. For an extra $20, you can have all photos you purchase put on a USB memory stick. You can do this all at once, or have later photo purchases added to the same memory stick as the cruise goes by. Next I attended a program on future NCL cruises (boring), began packing up my bags, tallying my souvenirs to fill in the customs form, and ate lunch. I cannot believe I spent $197 in souvenirs, but it's worth it. (I had budgeted about double that, just in case, so was actually pleased.) After lunch, I watched the onboard magician perform and even teach a few tricks, followed by an enlightening Q&A session with him. I finished packing my bags, then competed in a trivia contest of identifying beautiful global natural landmarks. Our team won first place, getting the most right. It was great fun for everyone, even though there were no prizes. For supper, the tepanyaki room was booked up, so I went to Le Bistro again, and had another wonderful meal. After, I watched the acrobatics show in the main theater, quite amazing as always. On this day, I noticed that we had gotten no rain during this whole cruise, though we got 13 foot high seas and 63 mile an hour winds on our first sea day. The Caribbean is known for great weather year-round, but in the course of a winter week one can expect a serious storm or two, no matter where you are, even on a cruise. I have seen worse, though this was new to many first time cruisers. Day 08/Mar12 - End of cruise and journey home I woke up an hour early, as did a lot of other guests, as this was the day we changed to daylight savings time, but most of the ship's clocks had not been properly set yet. This caused mass confusion, with everyone asking everyone else what the time was, and folks wondering when they could or could not eat, as well as wondering when they had to get off the ship. We arrived and docked in New Orleans to a gloomy, cold, windy, rainy storm of a morning. Winter is still present in March in America. Getting off the ship and transferred to the airport for the flight home was rather straight-forward, as I had purchased an airport transfer through the cruise line. At the airport, I discovered GLO Airlines does not allow luggage check in until 2 hours before flight, which was an inconvenience, and different from most airlines. This meant for about an hour, I had to lug my bags through the airport. The flight home was great. Everyone working for GLO seemed happy and professional. The airplane was small, noisy, and shaky, but overall better than I had expected. There was plenty of room, comparable with other airlines, and the snack / beverage service was better than most coach flights. I made it home in plenty of time, and arrived home to a clear, bright, sunny day. (Edit: GLO airlines has since gone out of business later in 2017.) Overall, the vacation was great, and I am looking forward to my next with Norwegian Cruise Line! (Edit: My current plan is Norwegian Getaway on 04Mar2018.) Let me know if you would like to know more, or have any questions. I love talking about my vacations, and dreaming about them too! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2017
I chose this cruise to get away from winter and to relax. I was traveling by myself. This ship had only one pool that was crowded during sea days but lovely when I was on the ship on port days. I didn't do any of the specialty ... Read More
I chose this cruise to get away from winter and to relax. I was traveling by myself. This ship had only one pool that was crowded during sea days but lovely when I was on the ship on port days. I didn't do any of the specialty dining this cruise but the offerings in the main dining rooms was satisfactory, even good. Service oveall was good on this cruise. New Orleans for a embarkation port was very disorganized and not as smooth and easy as other ports. As noted in my room review other than having poor sleep all week and being generallytired all week (avoid room 10607 if possible) it was overall what I expected. The cruise staff were all friendly and helpful. I was surprised at the limited number and variety of bars and lounges on this ship. Often at night, the one lounge on deck 6 there wasn't any seating available. The layout was very confusing on the upper levels near the pool and fitness area, you had to go through areas and I was still confused on how to get to an elevator. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2017
Norwegian Cruise lines is trying too hard to be in the leagues of much better cruise lines (IMHO) as Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruises - achieving little more than a second city status (BTW Second City Comedy troupe was FABULOUS and ... Read More
Norwegian Cruise lines is trying too hard to be in the leagues of much better cruise lines (IMHO) as Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruises - achieving little more than a second city status (BTW Second City Comedy troupe was FABULOUS and laugh out loud funny..one of the few highlights on this cruise). Tired of nickel and diming for substandard dining and entertainment. OK, I probably was spoiled by my last cruise on Celebrity where we had a butler, free dining/drink packages, superior dining options (Celebrity had a separate dining room for concierge levels on up), an additional indoor pool, unique drinks and restaurants, etc. NCL should be ashamed of themselves for charging double the rates of most cruise lines for drink packages and offering poorer quality of food at least for the average cruiser. For example: I had Pad Thai that was savory and not sweetened with tamarind as it should be. At the Bamboo restaurant, I had chow fun which should be large flat rice noodles in a savory brown sauce. Instead, this was an overly sweet, gloppy concoction with skinny spaghetti noodles. Seems the kitchen has an issue with noodle dishes. Except for the spaghetti and meat sauce which was decent and tasty, dishes such as linguini and clams (or calamari - in another dish) came in as a congealed cheesy messes. And the house dancers/singers in NCL were sophomoric compared to Broadway caliber performances on Celebrity Cruises. Some singers were even a bit off-key. As for the pros: staff was nice and professional and the room was decent. The House band was also fantastic. All in all a nice cruise, but have been to better ones. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2017
Our cruising experience was badly marred by difficulties finding our way around. Our cabin was on deck four and not accessible from all lifts to deck four. We still can't figure out why not. There are 3 lifts. When waiting it is clear ... Read More
Our cruising experience was badly marred by difficulties finding our way around. Our cabin was on deck four and not accessible from all lifts to deck four. We still can't figure out why not. There are 3 lifts. When waiting it is clear what deck you are on but not which lift (Forward, mid or aft) nor which direction to go ( forward or aft). The restaurant & bars have names which do not always indicate what syle they are. Clever, snazzy names but meaningless. Getting around was always an unpleasant, disorienting experience for us Eating and drinking was pretty good, in some cases truly excellent. We had a restaurant and drinks package that was well worth the extra. It included 3 speciality resto visits plus comprehensive good quality drinks menu including some delightful surprises. Once we found it he cabin was fine, not big but more than adequate, quiet and peaceful, close to waterline so quite stable in rough seas. The great strength of this ship is the wonderfully attentive staff. Unfailingly smiling, polite, helpful, really good at their job, especially every waitress and waiter in bars or restaurants. The theatre shows were also excellent. Maybe not what I would pay to see normally, (e.g. cabaret dancing, conjurer etc) but very professional I had occasion to consult a doctor in the medical centre. Expensive but thorough and effective. It is important to attend before 9.30 am otherwise it's a house call and costs even more. Our instruction for boarding in New Orleans were very vague. Baggage arrangements were a matter of chance, whether the loaders spotted you or not.. Disembarking was similarly hit-and-miss.We got the airport shuttle from inside the terminal but we had not been informed that it was available. We were lucky enough to spot it in an unmarked corridor. We enjoyed the holiday but have decided cruising isn't our cup of tea. We prefer the freedom of fly-drive. We choose our own destination and it avoids the need to eat and drink to fill in time between activities. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We are first time cruisers from Canada, a married 40 year old couple with a 4 year old son. We chose a cruise, as opposed to an all inclusive resort holiday, so that we had a high level of service, great accommodations, excellent food, ... Read More
We are first time cruisers from Canada, a married 40 year old couple with a 4 year old son. We chose a cruise, as opposed to an all inclusive resort holiday, so that we had a high level of service, great accommodations, excellent food, varied ports, and a kids club for our 4 year old son. We chose this particular cruise because of its port (New Orleans) We wanted to go somewhere unique that we’ve never been and spend a few days in addition to our cruise. We were also attracted by the ports. We were excited about Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya, and Cozumel. All in all we had a great time on the Norwegian Dawn and it met a lot of our expectations. Here’s what we liked: 1. The food was excellent. We ate in the complimentary restaurants only, and enjoyed the Garden Cafe the most, Aqua was nice, and so was O’Sheehans pub. There was a ton of healthy options, the hot buffet was really fantastic, there was a lot of children’s options (mac and cheese, hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, fries). The breakfasts were especially great with every imaginable option. You can't beat a soft serve ice cream machine either! That was a hit with my boys. 2. The service was excellent. The staff are from around the world and we had a great time hearing their stories and learning more about what lead them to work away from their families (and children) for up to 8 months at a time. 3. The ports offered a lot of variety. We really loved Cozumel (more on the ports below); Costa Maya (the town of Mahahual was amazing); and Roatan, Honduras were wonderful. 4. The stateroom was very good. We were in an inside stateroom and it was actually just fine for us. Our son slept in the top pull down bed and we had our big king bed. The bathroom was a nice size with a good sized shower. We were on the 8th floor aft (back of the ship) and it was nice and quiet. The limited channels even offered quite a few kids shows. 5. The kids club on the 13th floor was fantastic! The staff were so skilled and friendly. Our son was in the 3-5 age group and joined in on the two sea days, as well as for an hour in the evenings so that we could go for dinner. This was totally worth the price of admission to the ship in my opinion as it gave him an opportunity to play with other kids, and us an opportunity to get some alone time. 6.The kids pool was also really great. It is little, and very shallow (only 2.5 feet deep) which is ideal because our boy didn’t need his water wings/lifejacket to go in. There are hot tubs and slides, and he played in there for hours. Here’s what we didn’t love: 1. There were way too many costs associated with this cruise! I wouldn’t do this again simply for all the add-ons to everything. Want a pint of beer? That’ll be $9 plus an 18% gratuity, on top of the $40.50 per day we are already paying for gratuity. Want to do a shore excursion? That will be $350 to go snorkeling with your family for 6 hours. Need the internet? That will be $79 per day! Want water? That is $60+ per week for bottled water. We are not cheap people, and have traveled extensively around the world, but I have not seen this level of price gouging of guests before. In addition, being Canadian, we were adding an additional 30% onto that price due to the exchange rate. Our bill at check out was over $600 just from mandatory gratuity and about 10 alcoholic drinks over the course of the week. Instead of excursions we decided to do our own thing in all of the ports and had a great time! Here’s how…. Ports: Cozumel - We got off the ship, got a cab for $15, and went to Chankanaab beach adventure park. We paid $56 usd to enter, $10 for masks and snorkels, and then $50 for beers and food. We enjoyed sitting under a palapa and had a waiter bring our drinks and food out. We watched the tour groups from all the ships marching by us so this is a reputable beach where many of the excursions go. We were there all day and had a blast! There is a little kids beach as well which was ideal for sand castles and wading in the water. The snorkelling here was really great. As well, they have dolphins, crocodiles, iguanas, a pool, a sea lion show, and several beach bars. Tip - bring small bananas or bread to attract the fish. Total cost to us : $150 usd Roatan Honduras - We loved this port! This was such an amazing and authentically beautiful island. The ship excursion to Gumbalina was around $425 for 3 of us so we decided to do the day on our own again. We hired a cab for the whole day for $50. He took us to the top point of the island for a view picture and some small little shops up there (they are really ready for the cruise ships to come in and make some money!); we then went to the butterfly farm for a $20 entry fee (my son was free) and saw a diverse array of butterflies, they had monkeys, parrots, and sloths. We then wanted to head to West Bay Beach, which we heard was a fantastic place to spend the day. He drove us all over the island, through the small villages and out to West Bay beach. He took us to the Grand Maya Beach club and we paid $20 (my son was free) to get in. That gave us nothing as far as I could tell but it said that we could sit on the beach chairs on the beach. The beach was packed with people! The water was beautiful and clear (reminded me a lot of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic), and the sand was soft and white, and the hawkers were out in full force. We couldn’t even get one minute without someone approaching us to sell cigars, bracelets, sunglasses etc. I always smile, say no thank you and they move on, but it certainly wasn’t relaxing. We ate lunch at Beaches grill with a fantastic outdoor patio overlooking the beach, that was about $35 for some ceviche, margaritas, a grilled cheese sandwich and fries. We spent a few hours at this beach and that was plenty, we then moved on to the rest of the island. We stopped and bought some rum, took some pictures, my husband wanted a haircut so he went to a local shop for a $5 cut and then back to the boat around 4pm. It was a great day for around $140 usd. Tip: Look into Tabyana beach instead of West Bay beach - if I had it to do over again I would have tried that one instead as I have a feeling it wouldn’t have been so crowded. Belize: This was not Belize. This was a custom built island 20 minutes from the real Belize. I will go to Belize one day and I’m sure it will be lovely. This was basically a beach day for the entire population of the ship to move from the ship to a beach, sit on the beach, shop, go to the kids water park, pay to eat in the restaurants and then get back on the boat 6 hours later. We spent about an hour in the kids splash park (kudoos to the architect, that is a stellar kids spash park!!) and then went back to the boat since it was mostly empty. There are excursions to the real Belize and I would encourage you to go on one to get a sense of the real country. Costa Maya/Mahahual: This port was a sleeper hit for us, as I thought it would be another custom made port. We walked off into the Costa Maya port which is a huge custom built port with restaurants and shopping and immediately got a cab into Mahahual. We paid $6 each way for a cab that goes about 5 minutes into the real town. This town is really chill, we found a nice little beach for free, sat there all day under palapas, went in the beautiful water, ate lunch at a great beach grill and then got a cab back to Costa Maya at the end of the day. Total cost was around $50 usd and we had a wonderful relaxing day on the beach. Would we do a cruise again? Yes! But I wouldn't choose one that nickeled and dimed me at every turn. I would also ensure that I was aware of all of the ports as I am just not interested in seeing fake ports. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2017
We were awarded this cruise from Wyndham Vacations. We loved the boat, it wasn't huge but had everything we wanted. We loved eating at "Aqua Restaurant" and our favorite waiter Leo. We always ordered his suggestions and if ... Read More
We were awarded this cruise from Wyndham Vacations. We loved the boat, it wasn't huge but had everything we wanted. We loved eating at "Aqua Restaurant" and our favorite waiter Leo. We always ordered his suggestions and if we didn't order one of his top three he would bring it for us to try. The snorkeling on Roatan was excellent. West Beach has a huge barrier reef of the beach. The park we were in had security to keep out souvenir vendors. The lunch was good and plentiful. On Cozumel we did the Playa Mia Beach Break. The beach was clean the free drinks and lunch were ok. The snorkeling was poor at best. We just went to the shopping area and sat by the pool. It was free that is the only thing I can say. I talked to fellow cruisers who paid $ 2 and went to the public beach. The beach had free chairs provided by the restaurants and good snorkeling. The private Island off of Belize was beautiful. They really spent the bucks on landscaping. The elderly crowd on our boat loved the "hard' rap blaring by the pool. To bad there isn't any music from the Caribean Countries. My wife and I loved the shows and we always ended the night in the atrium listening to The Downbeats. They had beautiful voices and a wide array of music. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We have been on many NCL cruises and have alway found the employees helpful and courteous. On the NCL Dawn the guest service were down right rude. Basically knew very little and didn't seem to care when asked a question. We had keys ... Read More
We have been on many NCL cruises and have alway found the employees helpful and courteous. On the NCL Dawn the guest service were down right rude. Basically knew very little and didn't seem to care when asked a question. We had keys to our cabin that didn't work and Guest Service even questioned if we knew how to use them and if we were at the right cabin. WHAT, Get real already. We are platinum members with several platinum one is a bottle of Champaign in stateroom upon arrival. I asked a man behind an inside bar(without customers) if I could please have two Champaign glasses, even explained we didn't get glasses with our bottle of Champaign. He said get them from your cabin steward. Really, he is no where to be found!! He finally gave me glasses slamming them on the counter and walking away. The Moderno restaurant is way below standard, filet mignon was tough & couldn't eat it. The meat types went down hill from there, the only bright spot was the grilled chicken. The waiters and room stewards were excellent and friendly. Another point, NCL changed their Latitude reward system, now it seem platinum members get fewer amenities. Before the change, we had two dinners in speciality restaurants with our choice of a bottle of wine. With the new program we get just one bottle of wine with the first speciality restaurant the second restaurant NO bottle of wine. NCL GOES THE CHEAP ROUTE. Oh, they gave us a bottle of water in our cabin which was supposed to replace the wine. It just seems for the prices they charge and to gain locality of returning customers they should at least keep the same amenities. Not at all happy with NCL's new latitude rewards. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose Norwegian to try the casual dining aspect and the itinerary was a new one for us. I had never been to New Orleans and with that being the departure port we were able to spend a few days there before the cruise. The Dawn had been ... Read More
We chose Norwegian to try the casual dining aspect and the itinerary was a new one for us. I had never been to New Orleans and with that being the departure port we were able to spend a few days there before the cruise. The Dawn had been recently refurbished so that also appealed to us. Leading up to the cruise we took advantage of the cabin upgrade from a balcony room to the 2 bedroom suite, Compared to Holland, Norwegian is stingy with the extra services unless you go to their top tier rooms. With Holland you can do the mid level suites and get quite a bit more service included vs Norwegian. We also found Norwegian's customer service lacking empowerment to fix things. Having watched their CEO on Undercover Boss you can see how his cheap attitude filters down to the "little people". We had an issue with the phone agent being less than honest about a noise issue with one of the "upgrade" cabins and in the end were offered a whopping $25.00 room credit. The room itself was fine inside except for the sofa being VERY uncomfortable and a sewer odor.. The sofa was designed for someone 6' 3" for some reason and the odor was taken care of with some treatment in the bathroom drains. . We were very disappointed in the balcony condition. The ship was supposedly refurbished less than a year ago and there was substantial visible rust on top and bottom railings which took away from the experience of paying for an upgraded room. Dining was very good in Cagney's steakhouse and ok in the Italian restaurant. We tried Bamboo one night and it might be the worst restaurant meal we've had in many years. Our local Panda drive thru has better food. We didn't have a meal in the buffet but did go up to check it out and had a small snack. The decor looked like it was from the 80's and the staff seemed miserable. While we sat for a short while no one came over to offer any assistance and it was not busy. The casino was very nice and was usually busy. The bars were very well staffed and we ended up at Osheehan's most of the time, great bartenders and decent food. The one issue was one of the blenders used for icy drinks had a bad bearing and was so loud the staff would plug their ears when in use. I brought it to bar manager's attention twice but it didn't stop them from using it. We just sat at the end of the bar to avoid the noise but it showed the lack of respect management has for their employees and customers. The stops were all over the place. The one stop with tenders was a DISASTER, we didn't even get off and quite a few people had to cancel excursions because the tenders were so far behind. The "Norwegian" island, Harvest Caye was a joke. It felt like we were at the ultimate tourist trap. There is this depressing mini enclosed lagoon for most of the water activities, a poorly stocked bar and over priced shops. The shops were creepy in that the staff would follow you around like you were a shoplifter. Yep, we just spent several thousand dollars on our cruise so we could steal your junky trinkets. Harvest Caye is also advertised as a stop in Belize. Sort of, if you really want to experience Belize you're about a 45 minute to an hour ferry ride from the fake island. not much day left if you actually left the Norwegian encampment. Costa Maya was also disappointing. Unless you do excursions you can not get out of the shopping area. weirdest stop ever on a cruise. Cozumel was fine, easy off and we spent the day at Nachi-Cocom beach that we booked ourselves. Short cab ride, good food and service, nice beach. We're debating if we would use Norwegian again. The crowd was fun and most of the staff was good but the ship itself was a letdown for having just been refurbished and stops on this cruise were below average at best. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
You can tell the ship is in need of an upgrade the interior is dated and several areas show a lot of wear from age. It should be remodeled or replaced. The lighting in the cabins was okay. We had quite a bit of storage. The sink in our ... Read More
You can tell the ship is in need of an upgrade the interior is dated and several areas show a lot of wear from age. It should be remodeled or replaced. The lighting in the cabins was okay. We had quite a bit of storage. The sink in our room did not drain very well at all. The a/c in the room could have been better we were hot and had to ask for a fan from housekeeping (they gave us a beat up box fan). The food was average. The dining room was good our food came out fairly warm and was decently seasoned, I would definitely suggest the dining room for breakfast and dinner. The buffet was bland and tasted like the food was not very fresh even though it was the beginning of a the meal. The other restaurants (Guy's burger, chopsticks, and blue iguana) were very good, it was very fresh and hot and well seasoned my group and I primarily ate there. On a positive note, the staff went above and beyond my expectations. I was surprised that house keeping and the wait staff in the dining room remembered all of our names (9 adults and 1 child). They were very helpful and quick to help us out with my 1 year old daughter. My wife and I got off at both ports. Cozumel is really nice and has several shops and a huge duty-free shop. If we went on this cruise again I would not get off the boat at Progresso there isn't much to see the duty-free shop was closed and we witnessed a brawl break out with the locals on the street were the bus dropped us off in town from the boat. Bottom line, you get what you pay for. I will not be taking this cruise again. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Ok, so first. I just want to say, regardless of anything else, I definitely had a great time! It's hard not to have fun when you're on a cruise and I've been on a lot. However, the ship itself needs to be dry docked ... Read More
Ok, so first. I just want to say, regardless of anything else, I definitely had a great time! It's hard not to have fun when you're on a cruise and I've been on a lot. However, the ship itself needs to be dry docked and completely overhauled. The main public areas have been redone and are very nice, but areas such as by the Aft pool look run down and falling apart. The cleanliness of the ship was not that great. When you take your finger and run it across the top of a picture in your stateroom, it should not come off full of dust. You should be able to see through the windows to your balcony at least. And the mirror should not look filthy when steamed up. We had to mention this to our stateroom attendant and it was however quickly addressed and taken care of but we should not have had to do that. The service in the main dining room was very inconsistent. Many times orders got messed up or an item forgotten. Coffee was not offered every night. It seemed we had to ask or beg for everything. The proper utensils were not always provided. It really came down to a lack of attention to detail. If attention to detail is focused on, the service will be amazing. I also noticed the staff seemed to be terribly overworked. In my opinion, hire a few more stateroom attendants for each floor and few more helpers in the main dining room and service will be greatly improved. Our cabin had a lot of broken things. The handle to the balcony was stuck in the open position, some light panels were cracked and some lights were out. Beds however were great. The food was great. The seafood selections (paid) I enjoyed the Crab Legs but it would be nice to be provided with the little fork and a set of crab crackers instead of just a regular fork and a butter knife. Again. Attention to detail!! Fix those things, dry dock and redo the ship, it will be a great ship. I've been on older which seemed to be much better taken care of. Overall though, it was still a fun, great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2017
I joined my parents and Aunty on this cruise, we chose it primarily for the stops as we really wanted some winter sunshine. We flew in from the UK and did a stop in Memphis before travelling to New Orleans on the Amtrack and enjoying ... Read More
I joined my parents and Aunty on this cruise, we chose it primarily for the stops as we really wanted some winter sunshine. We flew in from the UK and did a stop in Memphis before travelling to New Orleans on the Amtrack and enjoying the city for a couple of days before we set sail, NOLA was fabulous, very vibrant and a great vibe. Embarkation was generally fine, although they took our UK Passports off us to be authorized, is a little uncomfortable to not know where your passport has gone. We're assuming they had to check the system for our ESTA's but it would have been nice if they could do that from their system in front of them. My Aunt and I were in an inside Cabin, Parents had a balcony and both rooms were nice. The inside is small but 1 bonus over other ships is that the showers are a good size. We tried a few of the complimentary restaurants and overall they were good, Aqua was a bit loud and so that spoilt the ambience a little. The Bamboo was not very good, all our food was cold and had to be sent back and generally it was a bit bland and tasteless. My parents tried the paid for Mexican and said the meal was excellent and worth paying for. I do wonder if perhaps they are focusing on the paid for restaurants to look at up-selling and losing focus on their complimentary ones. Entertainment...not great, we felt like there wasn't very much happening at the pool areas and the quizzes weren't great (we like a quiz!) Fernando had loads of energy but the rest of his team seemed a bit tired. I think maybe for us it was tailored towards to American Audience, which is understandable considering the demographic of the ship...but the daily crossword and quizzes were very American. Second City definitely missed the mark for us Brits. They do play the Premier League football though so that was a bonus, although the 6:30am start to watch my team get beat was a bit tough. Overall the service was good, there are a lot of hard working staff making sure everything is clean and you have what you need. A couple of areas, like the bar staff in the Gatsby and the Bliss Lounge were a bit disappointing and it felt they were being a bit indifferent. I've not known this on a cruise before. O'Shennans on the other hand were fabulous. Our first port was Cozumel and My Dad and I went on the Secret River Excursion which we really enjoyed, our guide (Joshua) was fab it was a bonus to get some lunch. Had some time at the end to take in the beach before heading back to the ship. Roatan next, plenty of shore excursion operators on the port side. We didn't have anything planned for this stop and I bumped into a group who were heading to do the Zip Wires, we really enjoyed this and the guides around were awesome. We then headed to the private beach. I did find that if you hadn't booked an exercusion there was very little information provided about how to get about on your own, i asked guest services and they were helpful though. Harvest Caye, I was a bit disappointed, i'm not sure what i was expecting...but it is just an NCL Island. The sand in the beach is really tough and the water not that clear. Pool area was nice. I stayed a couple of hours and then took the opportunity to have some quiet time at the ships pool whilst everyone was at the beach and get some lunch since everything on the island was chargeable. Costa Maya, we went on the Chacchoben Ruins...whilst we enjoyed it, it is heavily populated with tour groups. We had a wander back through the port and checked out the Dolphins who were performing at the dock side. Disembarkation...a nightmare! We chose to walk off with our bags which seemed the easiest option. Queuing to leave we waited ages, apparently there was some sort of emergency and only one official checking you back through, it took almost an hour from leaving the ship to getting to immigration (it's not far, so a lot of standing about) There are lots of taxis and things but found there wasn't really anywhere to actually walk off the port side, we were only 3 blocks but had to duel with cabs to make it out and walk to the hotel. Overall we had a nice time, but I struggled a bit with the age range...previous cruises I've met other groups of similar ages (i'm 34) so I could spend time with others even if i was cruising with my parents. This time the demographic on the ship felt a little older. There always seemed to something going on that you could meet other people whereas here is felt a little lacking. I don't think I'd personally sail with Norwegian again, i'll probably go back to Royal Caribbean. However my parents really enjoyed it and they probably would cruise with them again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We cruise a great deal, had not been this route in quite some time, still liked NCL when we made the reservation, thus we did the cruise. Overall, it was a very good cruise - some of the friendliest staff on board we have encountered, ... Read More
We cruise a great deal, had not been this route in quite some time, still liked NCL when we made the reservation, thus we did the cruise. Overall, it was a very good cruise - some of the friendliest staff on board we have encountered, from the wait staff, the room steward (great!) and anyone we met on board. The spa staff were terrific as well. The spa... not so much even with having to pay $139 extra each for the privilege. Tiny showers, no water in steam/sauna area, mostly missing clean towels, and it rubs the wrong way when services that used to be included are now an additional charge. Last cruise with NCL (we are platinum and have been for quite a while) we were informed at security that we were NOT allowed to carry soft drinks on board. Really became upset for two reason: 1. that the stupid policy had been installed, 2. that we were not informed prior to having our taxi make an extra stop on the way from LAX to the port to purchase soft drinks that we had to throw away. Bought the soft drink package this time $7.50 each per day, and the ONLY diet drink was freakin' Pepsi. Hate Pepsi. Back to the "refurbishing": The Venetian restaurant used to be elegant, with lovely reproduction Victorian paintings of lords and ladies, etc. The update was to have some idiot paint 4 to 5 inch multicolored streaks across the face of the paintings, or to paint a solid coverings over 80% of the painting, or large solid color circles over the face of the painting, etc. etc. ad nauseam, covering the frames as well. It absolutely looks like a group of kindergarten children were given gallons of brightly colored paint and told to "have fun". However, the food in the general restaurants and the two specialty in which we ate was extremely good and well prepared. The stops at Harvest Caye Belize and Costa Maya Mexico were particularly disappointing. Both were basically private islands owned by the cruise company with virtual shopping centers of "local" crafts - which were at least sold by locals. But as far as actually experiencing Belize or its culture and its people, and the same with Costa Maya was totally non existent. For the last 25 years we have traveled the world largely because we love meeting people in other cultures in the environs in which they live. NCL seems to be moving away from such opportunities. We have a two week South American cruise booked with NCL and I truly wish we were traveling with another company. NCL used to be our favorite, but hey, it's been "upgraded". We are platinum with four other cruise lines and will focus on those in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Just got off Dawn from a 9 day New Year’s sailing from New Orleans. This was my seventh NCL cruise having sailed Epic, Getaway and Jade twice each before this cruise. Embarkation/Disembarkation Check in went smoothly on the pier ... Read More
Just got off Dawn from a 9 day New Year’s sailing from New Orleans. This was my seventh NCL cruise having sailed Epic, Getaway and Jade twice each before this cruise. Embarkation/Disembarkation Check in went smoothly on the pier and we were on the ship by noon. Cabins were ready by 1 pm. We were back in New Orleans quite early and the ship was alongside the terminal by 3 am. Part of this was due to rough conditions in the Gulf of Mexico so the Captain made for the sheltered waters of the Mississippi as quickly as possible. We walked off with our bags without issue, breezed through customs and were at the airport for 8:30 am. Ports This cruise featured a great 5 port itinerary with two stops in Mexico. Costa Maya – We were there on New Years Day by 10 am. Thankful it wasn’t an early day. Mayan ruins tour with local operator Native Tours was enjoyable. Harvest Caye – NCL has done a decent job of doing what I would call a glorified version of Paradise Beach in Cozumel. Nice beach and pool area along with some zip lines etc. It is a little frustrating that they talk about this great technology that can allow sail & sign cards to be used on the island but won’t allow the use of the UBP. Roatan – Used Victor Bodden for a beach and snorkel excursion. Great snorkelling with a nice local guy. Hung out in West End for a while. Cozumel – Went to Paradise Beach which is my general go to in Cozumel. Felt like the place is slipping a little. But still a good beach/pool combo. Grand Cayman – Used a local outfit for Stingray City. Bit of a cattle call but still a great excursion years later. Dining – I had no problems with the food at any venue on the ship. Food was fresh and well prepared. Main Dining – Venetian and Aqua were pretty much the same. The food was good, service a little spotty. They served a nice Beef Wellington one evening and a nice Prime Rib during the week. Buffet – Never had to fight for a seat even on very busy days. Always fresh and plentiful. Some really good sandwiches. Asian foods quite good too. Bimini Bar & Grill – Best burger on the boat. O’Sheehan’s – Much improved menu from last year. Reuben sandwich is quite good. Fajitas decent too. Served nice Prime Rib first night of the cruise. Cagney’s – Ate at the steak house twice. Both times good. Friend had to send back the tuna steak which they cooked another without issue. Le Bistro – Ate here twice too. Both meals were very good. Los Lobos – Food good but heavy. Easy to order too much. My pork tacos were a little dry. Strange that they wouldn’t let people eat at the bar. They should open this venue up for lunch on sea days. Entertainment My biggest gripe with this ship is that they did away with the Spinnaker lounge on deck 12 or 13 to put suites in. Really enjoyed this space on Jade. Bliss is not well suited for many activities. Bar was too small and congested to serve the space when busy. And it really felt like there was nothing to do on this ship after 11 aside from the disco. All the shows onboard were enjoyable. The comedian, juggler and acrobatic couple were all fairly good. The production shows were good as well for a small ship. Cruise director and staff were pleasant. Some of the live music in the lounges was a little too much like ‘elevator music’ for my taste. None of the performers really engaged the crowd and tried to do a ‘show’ with possibly the exception of the reggae band and another couple who performed together. NCL does a pretty decent job with onboard entertainment. All in all a good holiday on Dawn. Met some really nice people, weather was very good and New Orleans is a much more interesting home port than Miami or Lauderdale. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Wanted christmas away in the sun. Was extremely dissapointed with the flight, in the back of a Thompson so called dream liner, no leg room dreadful food pay for everything on a transatlantic flight !!! Got to New Orleans and finally ... Read More
Wanted christmas away in the sun. Was extremely dissapointed with the flight, in the back of a Thompson so called dream liner, no leg room dreadful food pay for everything on a transatlantic flight !!! Got to New Orleans and finally got to our cabin , not too bad outside with balconly but so I should think for what I paid. First meal was dinner and was Ok was however surprised by the drinks prices seeing as most of the time we were in international waters Was actually surprised by some of the clientelle as I said Benidorm afloat if you get my meaning caught a cough and still have it as does my partner and most of the folks aboard. Was dissapointed with the stop overs why did the ship have to leave at 17.30 when the trip tyo the next port was only 21 mies away Simple P&O saving dock fees and getting more from the passengers whils at sea My whole impression was of a money grubbing operation the whole thing cost me 5 figures and for that I expect a heck of a lot better and the worst bit was the flight back again stuck in the back of a grotty thompson so called dream liner, Great aircraft by the way its just thompsons again money grubbing attiude and craming people in , lousy food and no free drinks Overall a terrible waste of money Read Less

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