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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: February 2015
This is our 4th cruise and unfortunately the Dawn disappointed. I am by no means a snob however the previous ships including the Jewel, Sun and Epic were superior in their accommodations, food and on board entertainment. The balcony cabin ... Read More
This is our 4th cruise and unfortunately the Dawn disappointed. I am by no means a snob however the previous ships including the Jewel, Sun and Epic were superior in their accommodations, food and on board entertainment. The balcony cabin was in a good location however what struck me as terrible was the rock hardness of he bed. The sleep quality of a vacation is paramount. The lobster night which was provided on previous cruises was absent. We did have lobster in the specialty restaurants but it was stringy and overcooked. For a $30 service fee, i would expect better. The Royal caribbean ship porting at cosumel had a lobster night, why not NCL? The servers said they were using a different menu... From a school cafeteria perhaps. Buffet ... meh. Comp dining.... meh. If you are trying to cut costs NCL, wrong place to do it. The housekeeping staff was excellent. Filled out a positive comment card for our steward. This will be our last cruise with NCL and perhaps our last cruise. All inclusive resorts are looking better and better. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
Overall, very pleasant cruise. The staff are the friendliest, most courteous and welcoming crew on any of the NCL ships we have sailed in the past. The food was really delicious in Cagney's for breakfast, lunch and dinner. LeBistro ... Read More
Overall, very pleasant cruise. The staff are the friendliest, most courteous and welcoming crew on any of the NCL ships we have sailed in the past. The food was really delicious in Cagney's for breakfast, lunch and dinner. LeBistro was extremely loud and chaotic and did not lend itself to a fine dining experience. We were seated near the kitchen and the staff seemed frantic. Service was incredibly slow and caused us to miss the late theater show. We were told that the hostess always seated the Suite guests where it was the noisiest out of meanness and we did not understand why. Service and atmosphere were excellent in La Cucina, Moderno and Cagney's. The food was good in Le Bistro but we have had better on other NCL ships. The public areas on ship were well maintained and always clean, including the rest rooms. The pool water was not as inviting as it was in December. There were oil slicks with bubbles on top and I reported it but didn't see much improvement. The water was clean in December and I spent a lot of time in the pool on that cruise. The aft penthouse was small, but very comfortable and we absolutely love having access to the wrap around balcony. Our Cabin Steward, Diogo, was fantastic as was our Butler, Henry. Geraldine served us every meal in Cagney's and was truly a delight to be around and excellent at her job. In room DVD selection was okay but some of the DVDs skipped or paused on their own and were not clean and one DVD was missing from the case. The pianist at Gatsby's Bar was okay but he improvised and it was often difficult to connect the tune to his playing. The female guitarist was talented but far too loud for the venue and it was not possible for us to stay, it was that loud. Twice as Nice performed in the Atrium and drew large crowds every night they performed. Their music was not too loud and was appealing to all generations. Very talented and once discovered, standing only room existed. Not only were they entertaining, they loved their audience and let them know it. After their act was finished, they would even mingle with their fans. Lovely people, fabulous entertainment, and we hope to see them again. We took one excursion in Cozumel to Paradise Island. It was advertised as a five hour excursion but in reality was only 4 and that made it over priced in our opinion. The all inclusive island was beautiful. It took about 35 minutes by boat to reach the island. They served local cuisine but it was only warm and not hot. Unlimited Beverages of water, sweet rum drinks, soft drinks and beer. We felt the tip hat was passed around too many times. Enjoyed the water and there were trampolines in the water and other water activities. We left at 9;15 and were back on board ship at 1:15. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
Just my daughter and I cruised to "test the waters" before our Mediteraniane venture. It was a great experience and I met some wonderful people. My 20 year old daughter made friends with some of the Old Miss. students on spring ... Read More
Just my daughter and I cruised to "test the waters" before our Mediteraniane venture. It was a great experience and I met some wonderful people. My 20 year old daughter made friends with some of the Old Miss. students on spring break (about 150 in attendance). The food was great; especially the breakfast buffet at Garden Cafe. I never had to wait long for made-to-order omelet and eggs benedict. I Gede Buana Putra, our stateroom steward, from Bally, took awesome care of our room and any needs we had. I felt very secure and the crew was quick to please. My daughter worked out every day and enjoyed the facility and people she met. I slept like a bear and never had any noise issues (#9616). Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
Mediocre Cruise summed it up for me already. No more explanation needed if you read their review. Service is lacking quite a bit from other cruise lines we have been on. Boat is tired looking, not kept up and service across the ... Read More
Mediocre Cruise summed it up for me already. No more explanation needed if you read their review. Service is lacking quite a bit from other cruise lines we have been on. Boat is tired looking, not kept up and service across the board is not what I've come to expect when cruising. One thing I will add is about the kids program. My daughter enjoyed it but didn't enjoy it as much as she has the other kids programs on Royal Caribbean or Disney. I would suggest another cruise line or boat if you are traveling with kids. Dinning service did not meet our expectations. Wait time between courses too long, food was mediocre, service was far below any other line. We would not choose to cruise NCL again, regardless of the price. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
My first cruise was twelve years ago. It was a cruise to the Caribbean out of New Orleans. It was amazing. I prayed the ship would break down and we would have to stay at sea a little longer. The food and service was impeccable. ... Read More
My first cruise was twelve years ago. It was a cruise to the Caribbean out of New Orleans. It was amazing. I prayed the ship would break down and we would have to stay at sea a little longer. The food and service was impeccable. Unforgettable Memories were made. This was my first NCL cruise. Big difference. I was quite ready to get back to New Orleans and disembark the ship. I was disappointed in the food. I could compare it to an medeoker all you can eat buffet. This includes the fine dining and the Steakhouse. Service? Maybe it is because the tips are set. The steward was just okay. Nothing about him will be remembered. The wait staff the same. Forget refills. Never happend without waiting and begging. The shows were just okay. Nothing memorable. The activities mostly lame. The trivia winner received no prize. The music? Such sad songs. Too many love songs. So now you may be wondering about the, "searching for the lost shaker of salt." All of the salt and pepper shakers were tbe same in all but one of the restaurants. They were the mill type. The ones you have to turn the top to use. If you could manage to turn the top nothing ever came out. It was a fight all week. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was our 20th cruise but our first on NCL. Our cabin, an oceanview w/balcony was nice but a bit smaller than we're use to on other cruiselines HAL, RCL, Princess.......... The food in the buffet was awful, an example was one ... Read More
This was our 20th cruise but our first on NCL. Our cabin, an oceanview w/balcony was nice but a bit smaller than we're use to on other cruiselines HAL, RCL, Princess.......... The food in the buffet was awful, an example was one evening we decided to try it for dinner....there was a beautiful (looking) large piece of beef that was waiting to be carved...when they carved into it the entire piece of meat (approx 9-12") was well done. Additionally, the corned beef (hubby's fav) was inedible!! Breakfast in buffet was just average. Dinner in the dining room Aqua was much better and our servers were very good. Our group had a standing 6 PM. Lunch in Venetion was good but the service was horrible, practically throwing the food on the table and had to ask for everything that should have beend brought with sandwiches and burgers..........mayo, mustard, refills for drinks etc. Worst of all was the cruise staff...........not friendly, as on other cruiselines, also very dismissive when asking questions etc.........whether at the game shows, bingo (BTW - THE MOST EXPENSIVE AND THE LEAST AMOUNT OF GAMES i'VE SEEN ON ANY CRUISELINE) or just around the ship. NCL seemed to always be asking for $$$$ with 7 'alternative' restaurants and only ONE pool. Pool service was barely available with attention being given to all the big drinking folks. The service in the Asian/Sushi restaurant was the worst on this ship....the server couldn't really explain items on the menu and literally threw the food on the table - again - we had to ask for every little item that one would assume to be brought with the items we ordered. The Photo dept staff with the exception of one or two, were also abrupt and uninformed. We had purchased a ship pkg that (among other things) included 4 - 5 x7 pictures AND a group photo (which was not defined) the confusion re: the group photo was ASTOUNDING!! They first tried to say that since our group had a 'group photo' taken the coupon was for that - even though our group leader paid for all the group photos and not all of the group had purchased this pkg. Then after much clammering and many of the photo staff getting involved, they siad that for the group photo 4 people had to be in the picture ?!?!?! Thankfully, we had a picture taken with friends. Also we were had a photo charge that should not have been on our bill. When I questioned it they just blew me off and referred me to the fromt desk, where the lines were a block long!! i''ve given an 'average' rating only due to the cruise staff that were friendly and helpful, the organized embarkation/disembarkation. The entertainment was fairly decent also. Ironically, the good reviews that I can see are ostly from people that stayed in suites................hmmmmmmm Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was our first cruise and it was a lot of years in the making. We had high expectations and booked it about a year ahead so we had plenty of time to further increase our anticipation and expectations. Obviously a recipe for an epic ... Read More
This was our first cruise and it was a lot of years in the making. We had high expectations and booked it about a year ahead so we had plenty of time to further increase our anticipation and expectations. Obviously a recipe for an epic disappointment. However, our cruise met and exceeded our expectations in all ways. We travelled from Alabama so only had a 3 1/2 hour drive and the Fulton Street Parking facilities were good with their shuttle service handling the transportation to/from the terminal effectively. We booked an aft balcony room and it was perfect. The size was comfortable and our room steward kept it impeccable. He was personable handmade us feel welcomed whenever we met him which was frequently every day. His towel animals were an extra treat. All of the staff were friendly and left good impressions in all locations on the ship. The dining was exceptional and the complementary dining room experiences left us feeling like we were in a 4 star restaurant every night and welcomed very morning for breakfast. We were surprised at the quality of the evening entertainment as to us this was an add-on and the professional quality of the entertainers was a bonus that we were not expecting. The additional activities of the cruise staff were appreciated and added to the evening fun. We tried a shore excursion in every port and enjoyed each one. The one thing that we did find was that we needed an evening off about 1/2 way through the cruise. This let us restore our energy levels - like the Energizer Bunny. The coordination of embarkation and disembarkation was well handled and the option to choose your disembarkation time allowed us to plan our morning to match our schedule to our wants. I particularly enjoyed Routan, Honduras and of all the ports this was the one that I could see flying to as a vacation destination. We enjoyed dancing when we could and would have enjoyed more partner and/or country dancing and less "electronic dance club" music but we were able to find times when we could take to the floor whenever we went out (which was nightly). No bad experiences at all and we totally enjoyed ourselves. We have already booked again for next year - this is the true test of how much we enjoyed our first cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
The employees were all wonderful except guy at front desk (can't recall name, but he had black hair and wore dark glasses). Needed help late one night with Internet and all he did was bark at me. On that note, I went to Internet ... Read More
The employees were all wonderful except guy at front desk (can't recall name, but he had black hair and wore dark glasses). Needed help late one night with Internet and all he did was bark at me. On that note, I went to Internet Cafe the next morning and the young man who was working there was AMAZING! He helped me with my issues and treated my very kindly. Only major issue I had was sleeping. Room was very noisy. Murphy bed creaked and cracked all night long. Plus we could hear them cleaning the deck in the middle of the night with a pressure washer. (right above our room) The staff that took care of our room was great. Never had an issue. Need better signing with actual deck layout and also telling if you were "aft" or "forward". I spent more time being lost then anything else. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
Everyone does his or her job with a smile and courtesy. This make a world of difference in guest's mind.Thank you. Cleanliness was carefully attended to: A Food quality A- Service: A Entertainment A Shopping consultant ... Read More
Everyone does his or her job with a smile and courtesy. This make a world of difference in guest's mind.Thank you. Cleanliness was carefully attended to: A Food quality A- Service: A Entertainment A Shopping consultant appeared to be employed by stores that he spoke about. This could create lack of trust on behafe of NCL guests. Just my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
Travelling from Australia and spending time in New Orleans we were excited to be boarding Norwegian Dawn. We are experienced cruisers with Princess and Royal Caribbean, so we took a gamble as we wanted to visit the destinations offered. ... Read More
Travelling from Australia and spending time in New Orleans we were excited to be boarding Norwegian Dawn. We are experienced cruisers with Princess and Royal Caribbean, so we took a gamble as we wanted to visit the destinations offered. In short we were disappointed with not having bedside tables on either side. Only one noisy main swimming pool, and not enough quiet areas inside. We found the food very average, mostly too salty and sweet for our palette. However it was the best coffee from the coffee shop we have had on any cruise. The cabin steward and staff on board were great, no problems there. So nearly one week after getting off the ship we find, plus friends travelling with us, have had significant cash taken out of our accounts, without our authorisation. Being Easter we cannot transfer funds as banks are closed and so we are stuck. Spoken to NCL and apparently it common practice. What a nice nest egg, over 2000 people all having at least $800 kept from them and earning NCL interest. My advice, FIND ANOTHER CRUISE LINE. Never have we had this happen to us on our other cruises. Oh and if we hadn't have picked it up by cards being declined wonder when we may get our money back..... Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was my 20th cruise, 1st time on NCL Dawn. The biggest disappointment was the food. Since this is a big part of cruising, it left a bad "taste" in our mouths. My husband is a meat person... his first 3 dinners were ... Read More
This was my 20th cruise, 1st time on NCL Dawn. The biggest disappointment was the food. Since this is a big part of cruising, it left a bad "taste" in our mouths. My husband is a meat person... his first 3 dinners were consistently poor (tough pork chops, tasteless steaks, etc.). We ate 5 dinners in the MDRs and 2 at the specialty restaurants (Italian and Brazilian). The Italian one was ok, nothing spectacular... I ordered the chicken parmigiana and it was fair... needed some sauce because it was dry. I did enjoy the Brazilian restaurant food (ribs, lamb chops, chicken, nice salad bar) however, the location out in the open atrium was not great. We were with 2 other couples and could not have a conversation because the jazz band drowned us out. The MDR food was just ok... desserts were nothing spectacular, need more vegetable accompaniments, and there wasn't the great things you see on other lines like a lobster dinner, baked Alaska, shrimp cocktails available every night, escargot, etc. If you want something like that you are forced to go to a specialty restaurant which of course costs money. We were in cabin 10176. It was narrow in width... small distance between end of bed and wall. The balcony was smaller and furniture more dingy than what I am used to. The cabin was lacking in storage space... only one end table and no drawers in bathroom and small counter space there. The shower was a nice size and it was nice to have a couch. Bed was ok. Our cabin steward was mostly MIA. We rarely saw her and I had to remind her to do something like fill up our container of shampoo. Also, amenities were poor... no hair conditioner, lotion, shower cap, or other little things that make a cruise special. I did think the entertainment was good... especially loved "Elements," the aerialists and magician was pretty good. The staff running Trivia and other games were enthusiastic and fun. The dining staff were mostly so-so. (Also, should have someone by ALL the anti-bacterial machines going into every dining area... did not see excessive cleaning like most ships nowadays... like bannister rails, tables, etc). I did think the embarkation and disembarkation ran smoothly. The shore excursions from the ship were good (we did dune buggies/snorkeling in Cozumel and catamaran sail/snorkel in Roatan) and we liked our excursion from Shoretrips.com to Chaccoben ruins and 7 color lagoon... small group and less expensive than ship's excursion. Ship itself was attractive... I liked the murals on the wall and the art. The atrium was a bit small. The shops were not that great... most ships offer way more. Casino was too smoky so I only did a Blackjack tournament. Many ships now are going non-smoking in the casinos (i.e. Celebrity), so NCL should follow suit. Also, if you were in the bar area between the casino and the cigar bar, the smoke and smell was terrible. We enjoyed the spa area and bought spa passes but probably didn't use them enough. All in all, we had a good time because we were with a large group of friends. However, I probably would not recommend this cruise line as the food, cabin, and service were disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
From the moment we walked on board we were bombarded with staff members hawking paintings, jewelery and diamonds. There were others upselling the speciality restaurants, the tours, and the beverage and speciality restaurant packages, and ... Read More
From the moment we walked on board we were bombarded with staff members hawking paintings, jewelery and diamonds. There were others upselling the speciality restaurants, the tours, and the beverage and speciality restaurant packages, and other things. I had not yet gotten to my cabin yet! I felt as though I was being fleeced, even though I had already paid the cruise fare. If you are into crossword puzzle challenges, bingo starting at $40 a pop, "entertainment" in the form of audience participation/reenacting TV game shows, and $10 for 2 ounces of not-so-good wine, then you will enjoy this cruise. I wish I could find something good to say about my week on Norwegian, but alas, I cannot. The food was mediocre at best. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
First I want to say that I spent alot of time reading reviews on this site to prepare for our cruise and it was so very helpful. We planned our trip for several months and read up on everything I could and STILL PACKED TOO MUCH! So if ... Read More
First I want to say that I spent alot of time reading reviews on this site to prepare for our cruise and it was so very helpful. We planned our trip for several months and read up on everything I could and STILL PACKED TOO MUCH! So if your cruising for the first time take the "minimum luggage" advice! I did pretty good for my husband, actually could have packed him a couple more t-shirts to wear with his swim trunks. A few things I won't pack the next time......SHOES! Honestly I could have done fine with only 5 pair other than the ones I wore on. I was very thankful I had purchased some sports sandals that strapped on and were closed toe, I wore them boarding and leaving and also they were great for our Mayan ruin day. Beach sandals, 2 on board day time sandals (black and brown), 1 dressy sandal and a pair of water shoes for the areas with rocks or coral. I am a shoe person and this may seem like too many to some of you but for me its minimal and I still felt like I had a choice. The very best tips I got were.... the over the door shoe holder to hang on the bathroom door, we put all of our lotions, extra glasses, etc in this handy item that took very little room. The suction hooks for the shower wall were great for hanging our swimsuits to dry. You definantly want to take along a laundry detergent pod because even though you rinse out the swim suits daily they still don't smell so fresh after about day 4. Getting on and off the ship any time was so much easier and quicker than we had anticipated! I don't know about any other cruise lines but NCL has this system down so the experience is very pleasant. We pre-planned and paid all of our excursions. This worked very well for us and kept our week running smoothly. I've read a lot of these reviews while planning our trip and was AMAZED at some of the petty things people complain about. I didn't meet anyone on board who worked for NCL that was not human. Therefore we did not expect perfection! So we were pleasantly surprised when things were pretty near perfect! Honestly it took us a couple of days to get used to being waited on hand and foot. Overall we were very pleased with everything Norwegian and still yell "washy washy" and laugh several times a day. Highly recommend this cruise. Excursions.... Cozumel - we rented a jeep and had a wonderful adventourous day in Mexico! We ate lunch at Albertos, enjoyed visiting Punta Sur Eco Park, and ended the day at Coconuts! Ahhh the view from Coconuts is priceless! Belize - We took the Altun Ha/ Olde Belize RIver tour and LOVED IT! Amalia is the best tour guide in all of Belize! and while on the boat I enjoyed my conversation with Roy. Didn't think I would be climbing the ruins but CONQUERED them! Roatan - If you want great snorkeling then go to Maya Key! This was my first time to snorkel and when I swam out over the wall of the reef I was forever hooked. Not many experiences have left me feeling that peaceful. We paid the extra to swim with the sharks and it was worth every penny! That was an encounter I will remember for the rest of my life. Take the time to go on the tour to hear about the Mayan culture and the rescue animals, it only takes an hour. GREAT DAY!! Costa Maya - We spent a very relaxing day at Almaplena Eco Beach. Even had my own security, Bella the Rottwieler, loved her and the resort. I will have to say the massage on the beach took me a little out of my box.....but that could just be me.LOL We loved all the shows in the theatre and as long as we got there about 15-20 min before the show started we had great seats. There were a few things we attended at Spinnakers that we didn't understand why they didn't have them at Stardust instead of everyone battling over the very limited seating. Thats the only place we encountered a rude person the whole trip. if she reads this for any reason I hope she enjoyed her cruise because I sort of felt sorry for her. To be that rude to people you have to be pretty miserable with yourself. So please remember, all the crew is working hard for a living and trying their best to make you comfortable and that EVERYONE on the ship has the right to be there. I'll add one other little thing, we purchased our own snorkel gear for around $35 on Amazon and loved being able to snorkel anytime we were able to. If you go to Almaplena scratch Bella behind the ears for me! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
Let me start by saying this is my 4 cruise. We've done 2 with Royal & 2 with Carnival. My husband and I are in our early 30's. Overall the ship was very nice. Our cabin was larger then most other ships I had previously ... Read More
Let me start by saying this is my 4 cruise. We've done 2 with Royal & 2 with Carnival. My husband and I are in our early 30's. Overall the ship was very nice. Our cabin was larger then most other ships I had previously been on. Ship was also clean and wasn't as gaudy as some others. We had an oceanview with a large window. The food in the main dining room was very good and our server was great. He often brough out extras for us to try and better our experience. The Windjammer is ok. They had the same food everyday for breakfast which got old. We had previously cruised on Carnival Freedom in October and that was fresh in our minds. The Freedom had many free dining options. In fact there were so many different options we couldn't even try them all. While Serenade only offers Windjammer buffet, main dining room & the Park Cafe. We were lucky enough to have Guys Burger Joint on Freedom and got spoiled. Serenade can not compete with those. Not really a huge fan of the pay extra restaurants. There are 4 on Serenade... none of which we tried. The entertainment was not the greatest. The comedian was funny but we felt like they could have had more of them. The broadway style shows were ok but not our cup of tea. We felt Carnival offered more options that catered to our age group. Poolside activities were not so great. In fact they were pretty non-existant. RC and Carnival both had DJ's but RC just had a guy basically playing backgroud music. While Carnival had a guy who was really entertaining and pumped up the crowd while at sea. The reggae band on RC was nice but not very visable as the hot tubs block the stage if you're sitting on the right side of the pool. Debarkation was a breeze on RC while a pain on Carnival. Might have had something to do with the size difference of the ships. Would sail on RC again but more likely to do Carnival as they are usually cheaper and we felt more satisified with them. I would recommend sailing on Carnivals newer ships or ones with the 2.0 upgrades. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Our first cruise and absolutely wonderful Very organized at embarkment. We got the Oceanview room with 3 by 4 ft picture window Gorgeous no wasted space but plenty of room for everything. The Brazilian restaurant was my favorite well ... Read More
Our first cruise and absolutely wonderful Very organized at embarkment. We got the Oceanview room with 3 by 4 ft picture window Gorgeous no wasted space but plenty of room for everything. The Brazilian restaurant was my favorite well worth the cover. EVERYTHING cooked to perfection. The Aqua was also elegant and delicious It serves same menus as the Venetian but without the wait. The buffet had a wide variety of choices and delicious. I loved the separate children's area for eating in the garden cafe. Although I heard experience d cruise rs complaining that they like the assignment if dinner times because they feel more catered to, I loved the freestyle cruise and flexibility of eating when I want and not tied to a schedule. Lots of diverse activities I took a Salsa class, pilates, and attended a photography lecture. Two complaints The Spa gorgeous but dissappointly overpriced almost 200 fir a massage once u add gratuity .Get one on the beach instead! !! The tender one or two boats for 2000 people Really be carefull r you will be late for your excursion! Staff sweet but obviously tired and overworked Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This was my first cruise and my girlfriends 13th. I was open minded and asked other vacationers how this ship/ cruise line compared to others. Entertainment was FABULOUS, the crew was Awesome. We had the dinner package. They brag about ... Read More
This was my first cruise and my girlfriends 13th. I was open minded and asked other vacationers how this ship/ cruise line compared to others. Entertainment was FABULOUS, the crew was Awesome. We had the dinner package. They brag about "FreeStyle Dining and Cruising" We paid $250 for the extra dining package and NEVER got to eat in any of the premium restaurants. The other restaurants were very good, service great. The buffet was really good also. One thing that made not getting into the premium restaurants was there was a BBQ almost every evening at pool side. We chose several evenings to eat in out swim gear vs dressing for dinner. The disappointing item about the premium restaurants was the reservation desk was RUDE. I wish I would have complained on ship now. They were the rudest people. When we asked several nights why there were so many empty tables in 3 of the restaurants when we were told they were full, were told they were reserved. We stopped by an hour later and still empty. I did ask the customer service desk and they did admit that parties book several diff times and restaurants each night for their party then go to one of them. The rest of the crew was fantastic. The two times that someone on the crew did not know the answer that crew member found who did know the answer ASAP. The drink package was a joke. Yes we had paid for drinks but EACH drink was ran through the machine and TWO receipts were printed and you had to sign one. When asked why this was were told it was for tipping (they all ready ad 18%) or for a record. Our cabin neihbors got the soft drink package and smuggled their booze on, for this reason alone. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
As a "Princess only" Cruiser, I went on a Harrah's cruise with NCL. I had the mindset that NCL had lower standards than Princess and not to expect much. I was blown away by the hospitality on board NCL. The cruise staff ... Read More
As a "Princess only" Cruiser, I went on a Harrah's cruise with NCL. I had the mindset that NCL had lower standards than Princess and not to expect much. I was blown away by the hospitality on board NCL. The cruise staff and entertainment had all passengers wanting to see the shows and bands each day and night. The food was excellent in every outlet and service was top notch all around the ship. I'd say the ship wasn't as well maintained as other ships I've cruised, but barely noticed with all of the pluses they received in other areas. The entire crew made all guests feel important and fun every step of the way. Knowing how hard these people work round the clock they never had a negative vibe about them, just hospitable and fun. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
The check-in process seemed to be much more confusing than usual. After passing through security the boarding process was haphazard. The lines were longer, at times movement was rather confusing and ... Read More
The check-in process seemed to be much more confusing than usual. After passing through security the boarding process was haphazard. The lines were longer, at times movement was rather confusing and the folks directing traffic were not as efficient as we’ve come to expect. Jan and I carried our bags on board and were able to go right to our cabin #5000, all the way forward at the end of the hall. Though the cabin is located on the deck beneath the main theater we never heard a sound from that source. About the cabin. During the cruise we were occasionally able to hear waves lightly slapping against the hull but the sound was regular and rather soothing. What was annoying was a broken fan like sound that would begin slowly, get progressively faster and louder and then stop, usually within a few minutes. Wasn’t enough to wake us up so we ignored it. A major disappointment was the four hour delay leaving the dock for sail-away. We got some amusement from watching the frantic activity as the ship was being loaded, but by the time we began to move it was dark so we couldn't see the sights as we sailed the several hour trip down the Mississippi to the Gulf. Initial impressions of the Dawn were not great. The atrium area, where a goodly number of activities take place, especially the shows put on by Jose and Patti (who gave many great performances), is too small to accommodate many people and the second level is composed of a couple of restaurants so that it's inconvenient as a viewing area. The wrap around computer lab on deck nine had a view of the atrium and it didn’t take long for folks to make that discovery. Very bothersome was the photography sessions that occurred during the shows, they took up space that folks could use for viewing, especially the stairways from which many people where chased. Again we're faced with a ship without a decent observation lounge or windows with both a view and comfortable seating. The Pearly King Pub, forward of the Spinnaker Lounge, had some decent seating along the starboard side but could get pretty noisy. There's really no place that offers forward facing viewing. We found out about the Spa, located at the stern of the ship that had excellent wrap around rear facing views with both a lounge chair section and, on either side, soft chairs with ottomans. It also contained a heated pool with Jacuzzi and hot tub. To have access to this area cost $179 per person and membership is limited to 80. We decided to go for it. This turned out to be a great investment as we spent most mornings there and periodically during the daytime. It got more crowded in the afternoons, particularly during days at sea. Tea and hot water carafes were available as well as cold water but no coffee or snacks. As hot as it got outside the temperature inside the ship seemed always too cold. The large Spinnaker lounge at the stern was often frigid. As a cruise addict you've got to learn to roll with the waves. There are high points and troughs. To make the best of the Dawn experience you must be flexible, like seaweed. This is an unexceptional craft but there are little pearls that will bring pleasure. For the sun worshippers the stadium setup aft of the pool will warm your heart as well as tan your skin. The stadium arrangement of the area of the lounge chair seating amidship, forward of the main pool is efficient and permits sun worshipers to avoid much of the hustle and bustle of passenger traffic, but there's no shade. It also eliminated some of the problems of chair hogs. For those who hope for enjoyable entertainment venues the main theater is spacious and the stadium seating allows fine viewing from almost anywhere that’s not obstructed by columns. The balcony is reserved for the suites. The shows are varied and the performances are professional. The music of Jose and Patti will have you staking out seats well before the singing begins. Their repertoire is extensive and spans the decades. The food and service in the main dining rooms is very good though it can get a little loud. The menu selections are varied enough and the wait staff will try to accommodate you within reason (some folks can be unreasonable). I think diners would be well served to find a waiter/waitress they like then stick with them throughout the cruise. The Garden Restaurant buffet is mediocre. I have been spoiled by the food stations on other cruise lines. If all you want is quantity then this will do, but dining on a cruise ship raises the bar and the expectations. It’s just food at this venue. There are fine window seats for early birds and the lucky. Lots of noise and activity. The Blue Lagoon restaurant has a very limited menu but it specializes in chicken wings. The service is adequate but uneven, we were served once by a waitress with attitude and gruffly shown to our seat another time by a supervisor dressed in a white uniform - who should know better. There is good viewing either from one of the ocean tables overlooking the water or atrium viewing tables for those who like people watching. Another off-putting feature of the Dawn were the railings along the upper decks. There is little enough good viewing area but the angled second tier of railings obscures the view, needlessly I think. The Promenade does circle the ship but the two deck shuttle games can create blockages for strollers. The boardwalk narrows down to single file on both sides of the stern area making passage awkward. There were only a dozen or so lounge chairs on this great viewing deck - why? Class status, as measured by currency not blood, is back in fashion in the industry, quite in keeping with the rest of our culture. What used to be a 180 degree observation lounge overlooking the pool area with views over the water to either side of the ship is now the exclusive domain of suite residents who already have spacious accommodations and extensive views from the luxury of their own units and reserved lounge areas. On the positive side, this income stream does help subsidize the less privileged among us. Having to lose features like a good viewing area is bearable as long as good alternate locations are available. One would assume that good observation areas were a given on board a ship - not any longer. Debarkation was a breeze. Having engaged with the customs officials on the ship at US Virgin Islands all we had to do was submit out little declaration paper and walk off. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Cruise left new orleans 4 hours late, never had this happen prior to this disembarkation port. the "waiting" area prior to getting on the cruise was total chaos. Total!! tampa and miami are so much more organized than new ... Read More
Cruise left new orleans 4 hours late, never had this happen prior to this disembarkation port. the "waiting" area prior to getting on the cruise was total chaos. Total!! tampa and miami are so much more organized than new orleans. Our shower in our stateroom has long dark hairs in it and some substance on the shower wall. also hair in the sink. asked that the entire room be re-cleaned. In one restaurant we had a rude waiter. never has that happen before. what i found strange is the "supervisor", after i told him what the waiter did, went right over to him and told him what i said. he should of taken him somewhere private and asked him what was he doing. also a new waiter should have been assigned to our table. Ncl is getting very penny pinching!! used to get 10 % off in the gift shop as a benefit of cruise rewards/latitudes program. Now only get that on ncl products. Also children used to get their meals half off. now have to pay full price. ??? The most aggravating of all issues is that they are wasting time getting to ports ie: took 3 days to get to our first port,could have made it in two, more time to pay for drinks and gamble. and then 3 days to come home, again, spend more on board. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Being that this was my first cruise, I had little expectation. However I was happily surprised. It was wonderful. The service was very good, food amazing and plentiful, and entertainment was good but somewhat repetitive. The ... Read More
Being that this was my first cruise, I had little expectation. However I was happily surprised. It was wonderful. The service was very good, food amazing and plentiful, and entertainment was good but somewhat repetitive. The little details such as the welcome back to the ship by the dancing staff after an excursion, the cabin animal towels and the flexibility of 'mix n match' with the menus added extra enjoyment. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
The 12 day repositioning cruise we returned from on May 1st really changed my opinion of Norwegian. The Norwegian Dawn started in New Orleans, went to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and finishing in Boston. We have been to ... Read More
The 12 day repositioning cruise we returned from on May 1st really changed my opinion of Norwegian. The Norwegian Dawn started in New Orleans, went to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and finishing in Boston. We have been to every location multiple times on many cruise lines, but this was only our second cruise on Norwegian. Our first experience was on the Majestic which left from Charleston. The Majestic was a nice ship but we found the food to be sub par, the service mediocre, and the overall experience less than satisfying. I had heard that there was some management shakeup within Norwegian, so we decided to give them another try and I'm glad we did. The crew of the Dawn had their act together. While eating, we watched crew members do a complete table change over within 3 seconds after the last passenger left their seat. It took 30-45 seconds to ready the table for the next diners. This happened night after night. Well trained and efficient. We also saw officers helping crew members do their jobs. Nice way to lead by example. We found the crew going above and beyond in multiple ways. When was the last time a cruise line welcomed you back to the ship, after a long hot day ashore, with a cool, wet, scented towel and a cool drink? Crew members with REAL smiles on their faces, as though they actually enjoyed their jobs. Crew members that remember your first name. This crew worked as a team and it showed! While the ship is not the newest in the fleet, maintanance was being done while under way. New carpets were being installed throughout the ship and crewmembers could constantly be seen scraping finish on the mahogany railings or paint. While some may complain about this, I say get over it! Maintanence needs to be done and workmen don't get in the way or inconvenience anyone. Food was far better than our previous Norwegian cruise. It was always delivered at the appropriate temperature and always fresh. We had a few special requests which were always delivered in a timely fashion. Every waiter we had was courteous and helpful. We have always found that if you are polite and courteous, those that you interact with will act appropriately. As mentioned, we had previously been to every port, so excursions were no surprise and were as expected. This was a nice relaxing cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We did the repositioning out of new orleans. We are platinum on ncl and were on the dawn for two weeks in january and this 12 day cruise was the worst ncl I have been on and I have been on ncl for 60 days since january 11th this year. ... Read More
We did the repositioning out of new orleans. We are platinum on ncl and were on the dawn for two weeks in january and this 12 day cruise was the worst ncl I have been on and I have been on ncl for 60 days since january 11th this year. Staff seemed half hearted. Never met the cruise director. They left port four hours late so we missed the delta in the daylight. Our suite looked beat up. They ran out of coffee for the suite expresso pots. They ran out of bananas. The food looked fair to middling in the café and we had bad meals in le bistro both times. We could not bring our dessert back to our room. Service in lebistro and the main dining rooms was very slow. Our cabin steward left a dust rag on the lamp, missed a rubber ear plug from a previous passenger on the floor! The room looked beat up with nicks and scratches. For a suite, I was less than impressed. I could go on but it is too depressing. We had a much too small room for the pre-board for suites. People had to stand. I paid for a suite that was a waste. Had it not been for our butler it would have been a total waste. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We have cruised with Patty and Jose in the past and so picked this cruise to enjoy them again—we weren’t disappointed. Embarkation from New Orleans was the worse that we’ve been through. They used a very large room for people ... Read More
We have cruised with Patty and Jose in the past and so picked this cruise to enjoy them again—we weren’t disappointed. Embarkation from New Orleans was the worse that we’ve been through. They used a very large room for people waiting to check in and waiting to get on the boat. Some people had numbers and some didn’t. It was too crowded to find someone to ask questions. Many were confused, including us. Very few smiles. Our luggage finally got to our room after 6PM. Dining—The Garden Café had similar food daily for breakfast and lunch. There were sections for Asian food, Hot Dogs and Hamburgers, a lettuce salad bar, a dessert bar and a meat and vegetable area. Usually there was no line for omelets or eggs to order. Fruity chilled soups were very good and warm soups were just OK. Barbeques by the pool often added a few more choices. The main dining rooms served very good meals and had very good waiters and waitresses. We were served quickly and always had hot food. Generally it took about an hour and fifteen minutes for dinner. There are several specialty restaurants for a fee or for those with bonus dining credits. The Garden Café steps up their faire for dinner (Prime Rib one night and often main courses similar to ones served in the main dining rooms). It was a good option for those wanting a quicker and more casual experience and then getting on to the evening’s entertainment. Entertainment—The production shows in the Stardust Theatre were great. The ship had six very good vocalists that entertained us several nights (and days). Patty and Jose were in the Atrium most nights and then in the Stardust for two shows—“Happy TwoGether” and “Neil Diamond”. Neither of those shows in the Stardust should be missed. The piano bar had a very good singer each night and the Spinnaker lounge had a dance band every late night. Dingo our cruise director was always around. He genuinely wanted us to be having a great time. There seemed to be few places to read or play cards or talk to friends. The tables in the Garden Café and around the pool were often used for socializing making it more difficult to find a place to sit and eat meals. We enjoyed the Dawn being a smaller ship (compared to the Mega ships). We seemed to see those “new friends” more often. Elsa in the Blue Lagoon knew our name after the second visit and made sure that we were seated with the waitress that we wanted. Marianne served us coffee each morning and knew our names and what we wanted from the first day. Those little things make your day go a little nicer, your cruise a little more pleasant and pretty soon a little romance seems to bloom! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Along with my two sisters, and a good friend, I boarded the Carnival Dream for an all girl week. It has been about 10 years since I was on a cruise ship, and I have never cruised the Caribbean before, so I was surprised, and disappointed, ... Read More
Along with my two sisters, and a good friend, I boarded the Carnival Dream for an all girl week. It has been about 10 years since I was on a cruise ship, and I have never cruised the Caribbean before, so I was surprised, and disappointed, that we were on the Carnival "experience". The sales pitches were unrelenting, the entertainment was high school-ish (with the one exception of Marcus Anthony, which was amazing). The food was just ok, but the staff was unerringly attentive and courteous. At the end of the second port stop (Belize) I began to wonder if we were simply sailing in a big circle while the people at the port changed signs. Each port was generically the same, owned by Carnival, and shopping was limited and expensive. We booked two tours. The first, a glass bottom boat experience, with stops at a cameo factory and a rum cake bakery, was not bad. The second, a trip to view the Mayan ruins, was excruciatingly boring. 5 hours on a bus, 1 hour at the site (no educational info, except from a guide that spoke very strongly accented English that was difficult to understand), and twenty minutes for lunch. On the Mayan adventure, we were asked to fill out ratings forms, and hand them back to the guide. No real value in ratings that we know were read, and possibly discarded, by the guide if they were not very complimentary. I left mine mostly blank. No more cruises for me. Read Less

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