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Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise for its Southern Carribbean itenarity. We visited 5 islands in 6 days with only one sea day which we liked as well. Starting in San Juan we flew in the day before to enjoy the city of Old San Juan. We stayed in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its Southern Carribbean itenarity. We visited 5 islands in 6 days with only one sea day which we liked as well. Starting in San Juan we flew in the day before to enjoy the city of Old San Juan. We stayed in the Sheraton OSJ which is a great location right across the street from "some" of the cruise terminals. Be advised that there are two different terminals in OSJ and our ship left from the Pan American terminal. This is across the bay from the hotel and will require a cab or uber. Embarkation was a breeze due to our late departure. This resulted in lots of free style choices to board the ship starting at 12:30pm and ending at 6:30. The ship layout is a bit confusing but after a couple days you can find your way around. The ship was very well maintained, clean, updated, and in my opinion managed. Buffet layout was a bit confusing, food was average. O'Sheenans food was great, hot and plentiful however service was lacking. We had dinner in Vinietian main dining on the back of the ship as we found less wait times and better table availability here over Aqua main dining. Entertainment was excellent, production shows were standard but enjoyable. The highlight shows were the magician, comedian, and elements. Ports of call all excellent with no tendering to get to the islands. Visiting St Lucia, Antigua, Barbados, US and British Virgin Islands. Freestyle disembarkation was a breeze as we had booked a excursion with airport transfer. I would advise that disembarkation times will adjust if customs has a back up which could lead to some stress with a tight flight schedule. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Great process for embarkation. Smooth and fast Cabins clean and spiffy. Cabin Steward was always available but did not need to have him fix any problems with cabin. Refurb of ship is quite nice. Very evident they spent ... Read More
Great process for embarkation. Smooth and fast Cabins clean and spiffy. Cabin Steward was always available but did not need to have him fix any problems with cabin. Refurb of ship is quite nice. Very evident they spent attention to making inside beautiful However carpets are showing age in cabin and hallways. Dining was excellent. Pretty much no enrichment activities Excursions went well. Once canceled by weather and ship staff was great in reschedule. Time in port could of been more. Seemed they could of left later in the day. Check-in and Out from ship was swift and efficient. Explored San Juan before and after due to airline schedules. Stayed in Old San Juan and very satisfied with hotel. No hurricane damage evident in Old San Juan except some paint on buildings seemed to have been sandblasted off. Very evident most buildings were repainted. San Juan area east of Airport near casinos saw several hotels and buildings abandoned and awaiting repair. People of Puerto Rico are great and were happy we visited!. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Since I'm not a total pessimist, let me start with the positives: - The majority of the crew was fantastic (outside of some rude guest service folks at night). - The musical entertainment throughout the ship was solid, and so ... Read More
Since I'm not a total pessimist, let me start with the positives: - The majority of the crew was fantastic (outside of some rude guest service folks at night). - The musical entertainment throughout the ship was solid, and so were the magician and comedian. - Loved the ports and the shore excursions that we went on (Diamond Falls in St. Lucia, beach break in Barbados, lobster cruise in Antigua, and remote beach day in Tortola). - Embarkation was extremely efficient. - The freestyle dining option was much better than my dining experience on other cruises (Carnival and Royal Caribbean). Now onto the less appealing parts of the trip: - The ship is definitely older and a bit of a maze to get around. - I noticed the rocking more on the Dawn than on other ships I have been on. - Disembarkation was fast, but our travel service to the airport was not available since we disembarked so early, so we ended up taking a taxi to the airport. - Service on the pool decks and at some of the bars was sub-par due to a lack of staff. Some of the bartenders weren't super friendly either. - We used the laundry service, and they ruined a pair of my board shorts. Full disclosure, guest service didn't charge us for the service and provided a $25 credit. ** Now for the low-light of the trip, our horrible room. It was obvious on the first day we arrived that the AC was not working and had not been working, yet they kept us in the room (maybe hoping we wouldn't mind). Not to mention, there was an odd, almost sewage like smell in the room. We called maintenance immediately and they came to fix it the first time. We left assuming it would be better when we came back...it was not. Called again, and the same situation. Keep in mind no updates are being provided. A couple days later. we come to find out from our room steward that the room above us had overflow issues which obviously zapped the electrical service in our room since the AC, the bathroom fan and several of our lights were shot. Rather than providing us with a new room (not even asking for an upgrade). They kept going on with this circus for 4 days. Finally, I was so fed up with sweating every night in bed that i asked for a fan. Miraculously, a downgraded room had opened up that day for us to sleep in (highly unlikely that it wasn't there the whole time). Guest service did adjust our service charges for the trip to attempt to right the wrong, but it was too little much too late. In summary, this trip left such a sour taste in my mouth that I highly doubt I will ever cruise with Norwegian again. I also will not be recommending them to anymore friends or family. This trip was embarrassing enough since we suggested it to our two friends who were first time cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We actually choose this cruise because of the unbelievable price and the beautiful islands we would be visiting. The staff were so friendly even if you were just passing them in a hallway, they would always have a smile and say hi. This ... Read More
We actually choose this cruise because of the unbelievable price and the beautiful islands we would be visiting. The staff were so friendly even if you were just passing them in a hallway, they would always have a smile and say hi. This one woman at the buffet providing hand sanitizer was the happiest person I ever met. She would greet each guess by saying “washy washy, happy happy!” The cruise director Richard was awesome, he would attended every bit of entertainment and would talk to everyone and tell funny jokes. The magician PJ Whn was awesome and Max the aerialist was unbelievably talented. The buffet could have been much bigger and a whole lot better. Ninja turtle our waiter at the Venetian was awesome and the food was tasty. We felt like the drink package wasn’t worth the $ because we were visiting 5 ports but next time we will definitely purchase it. The drinks are $10-$15 USA plus 20% gratuity on-board. The NCL site says you don’t need reservations for bamboo but I would strongly suggest too, our family of 8 was unable to get a seat the whole week. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted to try out Norwegian because we are trying out different cruise lines to see which we like. This was one of the largest we have been on. The shows were wonderful. The staff and crew were very customer oriented. They were always ... Read More
We wanted to try out Norwegian because we are trying out different cruise lines to see which we like. This was one of the largest we have been on. The shows were wonderful. The staff and crew were very customer oriented. They were always polite and greeted you with a smile. The ship was kept clean. The restrooms were never dirty. The food was great. We will definitely cruise with them again once we save up some money. I liked that there was as a huge area for kids to play in the pools and it had water slides. It was away from the main pools and hot tubs, but it had hot tubs for the parents/guardians who were watching them. The staff who watched the kids did a good job because any time I saw kids, they were well behaved and not disruptive, but yet were giggling and having a great cruise. Our kids are grown and when they were small, we never would have allowed the type of behavior we have seen on other cruise lines. Good job Norwegian and good job parents for keeping a close eye on your kids. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
A friend told us of a "bargain" cruise on the Silver Wind sailing from San Juan. Therefore, we signed up for the cruise. The Silver Wind is an older ship which apparently is due for a makeover in 2020. Also, it is supposed to ... Read More
A friend told us of a "bargain" cruise on the Silver Wind sailing from San Juan. Therefore, we signed up for the cruise. The Silver Wind is an older ship which apparently is due for a makeover in 2020. Also, it is supposed to outfitted to sail to Norway and even the Arctic. In any event, I had read reviews online about how it is an older ship. Indeed it is. There are a number of pluses about the Silver Wind. It is a small ship with not too many decks. Thus, it is easy to get around without thousands of people being on board. The ship still has a nice design, and we were always able to find seating in the theater, unlike some larger ships on which we have traveled. There are basically 3 restaurants: the main restaurant, with open, anytime seating; La Dame, in which it is hard to get a reservation, and The Grill/Hot Rocks on deck 8 by the pool bar. For the most part, the food was good. The dinner at La Dame was excellent, as was the service. Dinner at Hot Rocks was also good; I like to choose the meat and cook it on the hot stone. Of course, others chose to have the chef cook their entrees. Lunch at The Grill, however, was hit or miss. My wife ordered a reuben. Anybody who knows what a real reuben sandwich is would be appalled. The sandwich had a few very thin slices of some processed meat, nothing like what a reuben is supposed to be. Even though my wife complained, the chef either didn't care or couldn't change it since the same lame sandwich was offered the whole cruise. Service in the dining rooms was usually quite good. The sommeliers are excellent, and the ship has a decent wine list, although some of the wines are a little overpriced. The serving staff was quite friendly as well. Generally, the bar drinks were good, though some were a little off. The pool had a number of lounges. Usually some were available, at least in the morning, since the cruise had no sea days. The pool was closed once for "sanitation". It is a small pool not conducive to swimming. The cruise director Colin is engaging and an extremely talented pianist. The singers were quite good; 2 of them had operatic voices. The shows were entertaining. The lecturer was John Pennycate, who gave several interesting historical lectures, although he was not allowed to talk about the controversial subject of the use of nuclear bombs during World War II. Our butler Ranni was hit or miss. For example, once we asked Ranni for a bottle of white wine, 2 diet Cokes and extra glasses. He didn't bring any of them. Other times, he brought ice as needed for me to ice my knee post surgery. Our room steward Karin was good, although she forgot to leave us wash clothes once. The ports of call were often lesser known Caribbean islands. The most well known was St. Barths. The only ship shore excursion we took was to Belle Mont Farms for lunch and an island tour of St. Kitts. The lunch was good with many ingredients grown on the site, and there was more than enough to eat. The tour was all right, but not outstanding. Also, the tour seemed a little pricey for what we got. On Antigua we had booked a tour through Costco which was much cheaper, although the lunch there could not hold a candle to the one on St. Kitts. For the most part the excursions were for snorkeling, sailing, etc. The one to the Baths apparently was somewhat risky since some people slipped going down around or through the rocks. The Silver Wind is not designed for children travelers, but several families brought children. There are not child activities on board. That having been said, this was our last Silversea cruise. The people on our deck were notified that the hot water would be turned off from 2:30 PM to approximately 3:30 PM for maintenance. Nothing else was said, and no warnings were given. When my wife took a shower later that afternoon, she noticed that her white wash cloth turned rust colored. When she dried off, rust-colored spots dotted her bath towel. Obviously, there was a lot of rust in the line, but the ship's personnel did not warn anyone of that possibility. My wife called the butler, who said that he was sorry. Then he ran the cold water. After he left, I turned the temperature to all hot water and let it run a long time. The bathtub floor was filled with dirt, sand, rocks and rust. I went to the reception desk and complained that they could have waited until the ship docked at the end of the cruise to do the work. The receptionist claimed that it was an "emergency". If it was an emergency, the work should have been done immediately, not hours later. I told the receptionist that at least the ship should have warned passengers about the possibility of dirt, rust, etc coming out of the shower and faucet and told them to run the hot water for a long time. The receptionist claimed that rust and dirt had never come out of any faucets or showers before. I told her that was extremely difficult to believe given how old the ship was, the maintenance problems and the likely result. After all, a hot water line broke earlier in the cruise, requiring the ship to move the occupants of two suites to other accommodations. Furthermore, outside of a perfunctory "I'm sorry" initially from the reception, there was never any apology from the hotel manager or anyone from the cruise line. Apparently, they felt that it was not a problem. We have sailed many cruises. While maintenance issues can pop up from time to time, we have never experienced anything close to what occurred on this cruise. The water coming out of the tub faucet at times looked like sewer water, and it left enough residue for us to start our own dirt lot. To cover my wife in rusty, dirty water was truly appalling. Not to apologize formally for such a horrible incident, however, is inexcusable for any cruise line, much less a so-called luxury cruise line. So I hope that Silversea enjoyed our dollars. They won't be getting any more from us ever again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted to try Viking out and this cruise seemed to meet our needs of a winter cruise, in some warm weather at a better price than Viking offers for its Med Cruises. Our travel was so tiring, with a drive to Manchester, an overnight, ... Read More
We wanted to try Viking out and this cruise seemed to meet our needs of a winter cruise, in some warm weather at a better price than Viking offers for its Med Cruises. Our travel was so tiring, with a drive to Manchester, an overnight, then a morning flight out to Philadelphia, then a 5 hour lay over as there was a delay, then a 4 hour flight to San Juan. Coming back was even worse as I drove back from Manchester coming off the overnight flight from Philadelphia. Unfortunately as good as the cruise was, we will not attempt that travel again, as you might have guessed we are not part of the younger generation. Embarkation at the port was so easy and very quick, probably helped by it being past midnight before we got there. Our standard balcony cabin was lovely, all mod cons in place including charging points, bed nice and comfy although my wife and our cabin steward (Bayu) did have a few attempts at getting the right mix of pillows. Bayu was excellent, smiling every day and nothing was too much trouble. He did his job well and worked round our timings in the cabin. Bathroom was modern and really well appointed with a big glass shower cubicle. We thoroughly enjoyed the inclusive trips, they were mainly an overview, but all our guides were really good and we felt safe in their company. Getting on and off the Ship was so quick and easy, next to no queues. Some of the docking places were a bit industrial, so a couple of times our view was the container park when other ships in seemed to have better berths on occasion. We are not big drinkers but had the silver drinks package, it was excellent. Pina Coladas, the best we have had on any ship, we don't like the brain freeze drinks so the bar staff would make it on the rocks with just enough ice, nice and creamy and used the dark rum. We visited Barrincha in Puerto Rico, where the Pina Colada was supposedly invented and the ones on the ship were every bit as good as there. Don't worry if your favourite tipple is not on the bar menu, they will make it if you or they know the ingredients. Doods deserves special mention for looking after us so well. if we wandered in there as our last call for a nightcap he knew what I wanted and a simple thumbs up meant my Toasted Almond arrived at our table. Food was generally excellent, probably the best we have had at Sea other than Oceania, so Viking need to just get that bit better and match them to be top of the league. We did have the occasional wobble, but it was excellently handled by the waiters and in Manfredis we were delivered our pasta and risotto dishes at the same time as our huge steaks. They removed the steaks immediately. Viking head of Departments all get given a cabin at random to look after, so we got Gary, the Executive Chef (recently joined from Oceania). He rang us every couple of days and saw us out and about. On learning of our dislike of the mashed potato he immediately changed the recipe and it was so good after that. He also insisted we re visit Manfredis after our earlier issue with the Steaks, he organised it all and we had the best service and food of the cruise. we were also left nice little surprises in the room on a few of the days. So well done to Viking, as Gary said, it helps him stay close to the Guests and he can jump on things quickly and he did. We never had to queue for anything, sun beds were always available around the pools, no queues at the Bars, restaurants straight in. Entertainment, the Singers were really good, but Viking did not make best use of them, I would like to have seen a show in the lovely theatre every night. Also after 10.30 the ship was even more empty, some guest duos brought on board to enhance evening entertainment would be better for us. Would I go with Viking again, yes if they can keep their prices competitive and home port the Ship in the Caribbean where we can get a direct flight from Britain. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Well, we are back from our first Viking Ocean cruise – 10 days West Indies Explorer on the Viking Sea March 2019. We arranged our own flights, so we got to San Juan PR and made our way to the ship. Check in was easy-peasy and so ... Read More
Well, we are back from our first Viking Ocean cruise – 10 days West Indies Explorer on the Viking Sea March 2019. We arranged our own flights, so we got to San Juan PR and made our way to the ship. Check in was easy-peasy and so different than what happens on other lines. I’ve sailed Carnival (platinum), Royal Caribbean, and NCL in the past, so this was not my first check-in. Of course 930 passengers vice 3000-5000 makes quite a difference. Our room stewards Teddy and Emm were great and met us when we arrived and explained features of our room. They always greeted us if they were about and ensured we had everything we needed. Even though it was about 3:30PM, we found the pool grill had wonderful and we got our first wine and beer (free with lunch and dinner). Waiters were available and checked on us often. This continued throughout the entire cruise in all dining venues! Great job. On the second night onboard, just as we were getting ready to leave San Juan behind, we had our Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle – an invitation was left in our room with the Viking Daily the day before. The Captain and his command staff were busy, but every available senior staff officer attended. We had a very nice chat with Tom Aberg (Hotel General Manager), Edgar de Jaspi (Beverage Manager) and John Cunningham (Restaurant Manager) while enjoying free drinks and finger foods. From that evening on, we were always greeted by these senior officers. Surprisingly, a few days later we got another invitation to another Meet and Mingle. We went and when we asked, we were told by another Cruise Critic member, that they missed the first one – apparently they didn’t realize they had to sign up for the M&M on CC prior to arriving onboard, so they didn’t receive an invitation. But the staff wanted to ensure that they were not left out, so we had a second get together with all the trimmings and all the senior staff. (Now what other cruise line would do that???) At this meeting, in addition to Edgar and John, I had a nice talk with Jenn Beaudoin (Cruise Director) and Mara Buga (Guest Services Manager). I had a special request of Jenn and she made some calls had made arrangements. Thank you Jenn and thanks for Fredrik Svensson for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to another Engineer! I’m not going to do a day to day accounting of my experiences, but I will make a few comments. First, the food and drink onboard is outstanding. All venues were excellent, but we always like the Restaurant and had wonderful meals in Manfredi’s and at the Chef’s Table. Service was impeccable regardless of where we ate. Secondly, I was so impressed by the Senior Staff. On most lines, one does not even see the Hotel Manager, Restaurant Manager, Financial Officer or Beverage Manager, but on this ship/line, they were highly visible and jumped in anytime there was need. For example, Tom, John or Edgar often were escorting guests in the Restaurant or in the Theater. (Again, where else have you ever seen this happen?) Third, I was somewhat concerned about taking the included excursions thinking they would be boring. Not so. The guides were obviously well vetted and could answer any question thrown at them. In many of the ports, the tour at a specific time was broken into smaller groups which worked well and kept wait time to a minimum. I learned something at every port! We also did a 3 optional tours and they were wonderful! Only thing I questioned was at all these wonderful Caribbean ports, there were no Scuba diving tours… hmmm. Fourth, was the general ‘we want you to learn something’ on this cruise vibe on the ship. There was a resident historian onboard who had some wonderful lectures and round table discussions. There was also a Geologist who gave talks on how the islands were formed and such. Really interesting! If you happened to miss the talk, don’t fear, it was recorded for on-demand broadcast on the in cabin TV along with lots of other great informative programs, news stations and movies. Fifth, the entertainment onboard was wonderful – singers and musicians were top notch. Shows were excellent. A steel pan group was brought onboard at one port to play by the pool for an afternoon show. We also had Line Dance lessons. Unfortunately, I have 2 left feet when it comes to this! But it was enjoyable! Overall, it was a GREAT Experience and it will not be our last Viking Ocean cruise! Great Job by everyone onboard! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We had done two Viking Ocean cruises and have cruised other lines such as Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Oceana. We like the Viking River cruises better. We had a balcony but it was on the rear of the ship so we walked a lot. ... Read More
We had done two Viking Ocean cruises and have cruised other lines such as Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Oceana. We like the Viking River cruises better. We had a balcony but it was on the rear of the ship so we walked a lot. There were few hangers and not that many drawers to put things in. They kept the hallways very cold,the restaurants were cold and the theater was cold. We were in the Caribbean so it should not have been cold when it was warm outside. I was getting sore throat and had to take a lot of cough drops. We ate most of our meals in the World Cafe even though tipping is automatic. The specialty restaurants were included but you needed to make all of your reservations at the beginning of the cruise. I am a comfort food person, not a gourmet. The Mexican restaurant food was not like any Mexican food I had before. The portions were small and some of the food was unfamiliar to me even though I spent 30 years going to Mexico. The Italian restaurant menu was in Italian with extremely small print in English and I could not read it with my glasses on. I just asked for ceasar salad and Chicken Parmesan. The Restaurant seemed to serve the same menu pretty often. Viking gives you wine and beer with lunch and dinner and we had purchased the silver package using a credti from our travel agent and that was good. There were two Captains parties plus a sale away on the last night with champayne and snacks and this was very good. I had a problem about being invited to a mix and mingle even though I had started the role call. So I missed the first event but Mara from Romania, who was the head of Guest Services helped us out and there was a second mix and mingle that we did attend. It seems redundant that first you have to either start the role call or enroll and an exiisting role call and then also register for a mix and mingle, But I now know this and will be ready for the next cruise. I like the River cruises better because the ships are smaller, it was never too cold and we had people, who kept us fully informed on all events. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We spent the extra money on the suite and it was totally worth it. I can say that the service level was top notch. Food was great. Much better than our Disney Cruise experience. Ship is very well maintained and I don’t mean in the ... Read More
We spent the extra money on the suite and it was totally worth it. I can say that the service level was top notch. Food was great. Much better than our Disney Cruise experience. Ship is very well maintained and I don’t mean in the sense that things are just “painted” over and over. It’s clear many things have been revamped and replaced. Disney was nice but “old” nice. Not Norwegian it’s clear they take great price in their “facilities”. My kids loved the kids club, also more than Disney. The only lame part about the kids club was the check in took WAY too long (Disney does better). The one area where the Norwegian did not stack up to Disney was the entertainment. The guest entertainers were great. One comedian. And one magician. The on board entertainment staff were extremely talented and I don’t want to take anything away from that. What I was not imprsssed with was the quality of the content they were performing. As an example. Most of the songs during the numbers were from the 60’s and even some from the 50’s. There was a dabble here and there of some seventies and maybe even 80’s but per the cruise director the median age in the ship was 48. I am 40. Who in the hell who is that young is listening to stuff from that far back??! My parents were born in 1956 and they don’t even listen to that old of music. Save that stuff for Holland America and try to bring it a little more modern. Richard thecruise director was a great face to see consistently. He was very engaging and friendly. Overall the cruise was fantastic and I’d totally reccomend. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
It was amazing the first step on the platform. I was in aw. I was so excited to cruise around and see beautiful islands with my wonderful husband. It was beautiful almost every day. The ships staff were beyond helpful. I love the hibachi ... Read More
It was amazing the first step on the platform. I was in aw. I was so excited to cruise around and see beautiful islands with my wonderful husband. It was beautiful almost every day. The ships staff were beyond helpful. I love the hibachi food it was delicious. The aqua and Venician were good as well. There was a great show with acrobats and dancing and then after we got to thank all the crew members for the spectacular jobs. I thought that was fantastic. The islands would take too long to write about but they were Aaaaamazing. I want to go on a cruise every day. But I think maybe every couple years would be more realistic. Thank you for one of the best vacations I have ever had. Plus it was my honeymoon. The only thing I was sad about is that I left my picture I bought of my husband and I that we took on the ship. Oh and of course leaving the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We have sailed on the Dawn several times out of Boston and we were glad to see this Southern Caribbean sailing offered out of San Juan. We chose the "Free or Reduced Flights" offer and were given same day flights out of ... Read More
We have sailed on the Dawn several times out of Boston and we were glad to see this Southern Caribbean sailing offered out of San Juan. We chose the "Free or Reduced Flights" offer and were given same day flights out of Boston at a rate of $99 per person round trip. We flew on American Airlines ( and our flights were NOT scheduled on the 737 MAX) We were given a 6:10 am flight to Charlotte with 40 minutes to change planes and on to San Juan arriving at 1:30 pm. At the time we booked, the only other option was to fly in a day early, pay a $50 change fee, and book a pre-cruise hotel thru NCL - the cost of the hotel was $285 PER PERSON so we opted to keep the flights awarded us. They changed the program after we were ticketed, so that you may now book your own hotel at considerable savings but would not let me change when I inquired. We kept the NCL transfers to the ship thinking if we were delayed that NCL would get us to the ship. We should have taken a cab which would have been half the price and more timely. The wait for the NCL transport was long and disorganized and we got to the ship just after 3:00 pm. Check in was fast and easy and we went straight to our cabin to drop the one carry-on we kept with us. Our luggage actually arrived fairly fast and we had time to unpack before the 4:30 Muster. If you aren't on board for the muster you MUST attend a makeup the next day at sea. We were traveling with a group of 8 so met up with all of them for dinner and found the best waitstaff on board. Cherry was our lead waiter, and her assistant Vergilio - they were fun and we had such a great time with them, we requested them every other night in the Venetian dining room, and were able to get reservations each night to assure we would be with her. There was ONE "Dress up or Not" evening our second night out and guests were requested to wear "smart casual" in the main dining room but we found that the dress code was only observed that one night (ie no shorts or jeans) any other night it was completely casual, with men and women wearing shorts and very casual day wear. The menu's were plain, and other than the Prime Rib in O'Sheehans on the first night, and a Beef Tenderloin on another night, were nothing remarkable, other than we found most of the meats dry and overcooked. Disappointing as we are NOT huge foodies, so it takes very little to impress us with a good meal. We stayed in Cabin 8590 which is an obstructed view cabin - up the hall from O'Sheehan's. This corridor has several twists and turns, so we never heard loud music from O'Sheehan's. We had a life boat directly outside our windows so we had light coming in, but no view which was fine with us - we knew we would not be spending a lot of time in our cabin. We did have workmen in the lifeboat two mornings fairly early, but these were port days so we were up early anyway. Our first cabin issue came with some knucklheads who thought it was fun to "turn" the door messages. There is a little place next to your door cabin where you can alert your steward to Make up the Cabin, Turn Down the Cabin or Do Not Disturb - some clowns thought it was funny to go down the corridor and change the cabins signs, resulting in our cabin not being made up or turned down accordingly. After the first instance on the first day when our cabin wasn't made up by 1:00 pm we realized the sign on the door had been changed to "Do Not Disturb" and notified our cabin attendant by leaving a message. We NEVER met her all week! We explained that we knew it wasn't her fault and to please ignore the door sign in the future. It happened several more times, we reported it several more times, but our cabin was not attended to at least half of the trip. We felt that the steward could have done more to check to see if we were in the cabin - a phone call, or a knock on the door especially since we ASKED for her to ignore the door signs after reporting the issue several times. Just poor communication till she knocked on our door at 7:00 am the day of disembarkation to see if we were there - the ONLY day she bothered to check.... On the days we did get fresh towels, often the were severely frayed around the edges with strings hanging - the looked more like rags than towels - they should NEVER have been placed in a guests cabin! We also used the $50 port credit fee to book several excursions. Being GOLD Latitudes members we are supposed to get a discount on excursions, and noticed they weren't showing up on our account - we had to go to the excursion desk to request this perk - we were told it's "not automatic"... My friend is Platinum and she had to pay a $3.95 registration charge to use her "free internet" minutes. More and more the N in NCL is representing "Nickle and Dime" and we were getting weary of these little things popping up. Excursion were fine but often not as stated on the packet - our first one was to Soufriere Falls and was supposed to be 4.5 hours - it was actually 6.5 hours which was fine with us but not the expectation that was set and some people were not happy they did not have time to "shop" before returning to the ship. We found that the time printed for duration was often a less than the actual tour times. The entertainment was what we expected - no more, no less. We were glad to see Patti and Jose still on board, and a great comedian, Andrew Kennedy - his late show was great! We do miss the smaller gathering places on this ship - there are not many intimate areas to sit and enjoy a drink without a lot of "noise". The wine cellar was empty every time we passed thru and perhaps could be better used as another type of venue. Gatsby's is a nice place with smaller group entertainment but still very loud and not a lot of seating. Overall we enjoyed our cruise and it was as we expected having been on the Dawn before, but we find that NCL's changes in policies and lack of attention to details getting to be more of the norm. We will be putting NCL at the bottom of our list for the next few cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We've been on several cruises, with Norwegian and others, and chose this one for the itinerary. Departing from Puerto Rico has the advantage of being able to hit several islands with only one day at sea, so it seemed a great choice. ... Read More
We've been on several cruises, with Norwegian and others, and chose this one for the itinerary. Departing from Puerto Rico has the advantage of being able to hit several islands with only one day at sea, so it seemed a great choice. I think to keep this as short as possible I'll just say that the Dawn had the feel of everything being second-string. Not the worst, but not top shelf either. Balcony cabin was ok, our steward was great, and everything worked. Two twin beds pushed together do not make a queen though, and the gap makes sure you sleep on your uncomfortable side and no snuggling. The balcony and exterior had a lot of rust, but it was useable for a little late night wind and relaxation. The food was average, about what we expected. For all the complaints the Garden Cafe (buffet) wasn't bad. Be selective and understand it for what it is. O'Sheehan's was below average, and the Bistro was overpriced and overrated. Don't even bother with the sushi. I know it's a cruise ship, but if you're going to feature it, do it well. Service went from good (Le Bistro) to indifferent (O'Sheehan's) to just plain bad (Sushi), and we overheard several complaints. All the bars were hit or miss. Anything poolside was a coin flip, and the roving servers didn't seem to get better or worse with or without an extra tip. Typical over-sugared and under-liquored "tropical" drinks, and I even ordered some liquor+mixer only drinks that tasted odd. I'll never understand why the beer selection is so poor, especially with the explosion of micro-brews, and with most of the islands having their own beers why not feature some of them? Easily fixed, but I won't hold my breath. Gatsby's was the lone exception, with better music (Charlie), overall atmosphere, and martinis - a few of which were pretty good. It was also rarely too crowded, and the service was fast and friendly. Proximity to the cigar room is a minus for some, but I was ok with it. Huge complaint with the music. I mentioned Charlie in Gatsby's as a huge plus, Jose and Patti also good, and VIP was fine also. Whomever booked Sabor Latino should be fired, along with the person who scheduled them poolside every day right after you'd typically board the ship after a day ashore. Forget chilling by the pool. Nice people I'm sure, but unlistenable. Again, I heard lots of complaints. Stick to the DJ. Every island has its charms and shortcomings, so I won't go into that. I will say that we did far better with locally booked or non-NCL booked excursions. Better price, better variety, and a more personalized experience. Do a little research and you'll be happy. Overall it wasn't horrible. Typical nickel and diming every chance possible, but the crew just didn't seem with it. There was some great service, but mostly everyone acted like they wanted to be somewhere else. Not awful, but not "first string". We had a good time, but the value wasn't there. I don't think we'll be going on the Dawn again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise was fantastice and the service impeccable. Picked the cruise because I had family already booked on it. The room itself was large and well laid out with quality furnishing's and many amenities. Picked the owners' ... Read More
The cruise was fantastice and the service impeccable. Picked the cruise because I had family already booked on it. The room itself was large and well laid out with quality furnishing's and many amenities. Picked the owners' suite due to the floor to celing windows in anticipation of captivating views from inside the room. Unfortunately not able to enjoy the views during the day because if you leave the shades and drapes open the room gets very hot, and the views aren't that great at night. Window shades were in poor condition and hard to operate and the drapes did not slide easily and were too short to close all the way. The drapes had no wrap-arounds to hold them open, we just wrapped rope around them to keep open. The service's that come with the suites is excellent and the people very friendly and helpful. They kept the room stocked with the preferred snacks and drinks requested. The food at the specialty restaurant's was very good and the seating was open and relaxed. The food in the main dining room was good, but the tables were a little too close and the noise distracting. We booked the excursions ourselves so can't comment on ship offerings. If not for the condition of the room it would have been a five star cruise. I would recomment the cruise ship, but not the Deluxe Owners Suite. P.S. My daughter and her family stayed in the Garden Villa suite, it was gorgeous and well maintained. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of it's ports, we came into San Juan same day (which is always a risk) but weather was not a problem, instead if it was a Boeing Jet that was. We fortunately had no problem and trip from SJU via a taxi ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of it's ports, we came into San Juan same day (which is always a risk) but weather was not a problem, instead if it was a Boeing Jet that was. We fortunately had no problem and trip from SJU via a taxi ($26) was effortless. Embarking the ship was the smoothest ever, we moved along nicely and were on ship quickly. Found deck chairs near pool side which is abnormal. Knew going in this was a smaller boat and having been on Breakaway, Getaway and Epic, there was going to be some size shock... Negatives: Bars and Restaurants were not going to be as plentiful, missed the Waterfront sitting areas w/ outside bars, no dueling pianos/comedy club. But what we did get was a Lively Group (St Pat's was Day One!) and due to small ship, if you met a couple, chances you were going to bump into them over and over. The Meet and Greet though small was the best we ever attended. Met several couples which we later had a drink, meal, excursion, and just a chat with. We kept commenting that this was "A FUN CRUISE!" You definitely need a compass to get around... Venetian is on deck 6 but you enter from 7, Los Lobos is hidden at end of buffet, needed to ask directions 2x. walk through Wine Cellar... MEALS: Breakfast was at buffet 2x (it's a buffet) and Venetian which was fine but lil slow due to volume. Had Lunch on Embark day which was fine. Dinner: Aqua and Venetian were both very good and dinner service was fine; Los Lobos was exception, service was Fantastic! Moderno was also very good, Cagney's left Alot to be desired. This was always one of our favorites, but medium was still alive, my porterhouse was loaded with grizzle and the sides were not cooked, getting a drink was impossible, major disappointment!... La Bistro was again exceptional, nobody would believe that a French restaurant would be my favorite of cruise... PORTS: All excursions were organized by me with a Big assist from CC reviews: St Lucia: went hiking at Pigeon Island Park... fantastic and Way cheap. A Plus (Andy) drove us there, supplied cold drinks and island lunch for $40 (total) and hiking to top of isle's to forts and the view was breath taking, then down to jump in crystal blue water! Barbados: Cat ride on Calabaza was the best cat ride I've ever been on, service:bend over backwards, feeding turtles: a must see! Highly Recommended! our best day by Far St Kitts: went to Marriott Resort cheap cab ride but weather didn't cooperate and rained most of day! Property was very nice w/ beach cabanas, food pricey and drinks were in line w/ ship. ST Maartin: Took ferry cheap and fun to beach... to the land of chair hawks, every 2 feet someone offering umbrella and 4 drinks for $20...at chairs vendors every couple minutes offering everything from massages to sea shell jewelry... Would look for a quieter beach next time. St Thomas: normally go to St Johns but due to beaches impacted by hurricane, went to town and walked around shopping and found a tour guide who took us around island, $20 ea) Picture ops, and a stop at Sunset Beach made for an unexpected good day ENTERTAINMENT: Very good with the Adult Comedy a Riot!!! Live entertainment around pool Band was nice, though I coulda done without the Beer Pong play by play. LOUD and just... WHY??? Saw 2 shows... seating was lil cramped, few seats were left open, very well attended and very entertaining Atrium Bar had piano most enjoyable if you could get a seat. Smoke tank little too close and not air tight. Pool bars were great with Topsider lunch buffet a nice touch. Bimini at high deck was perfect for watching islands disappear while sipping on cocktails. SERVICE: Excellent... from Rebecca who kept our room clean and organized, with towel creatures to bar staff, kept drinks flowing, waiters and waitresses waited on us hand and foot. very friendly! DISEMBARK: Were in no rush to leave, so eat at Venetian, and were able to virtually walk off ship. Not being a mega boat has it's advantage, Customs was extra friendly... welcoming to Puerto Rico, took a $10per van to airport which was right outside, had to wait to fill, which took couple minutes. TIP: need to have luggage screened by USDA, this is before check in. Would we go again.... YES! meet more friends, and great ports! out weigh the need to leave bread crumbs to get there from here and back :) Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My boyfriend and I went on the 7-day southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan in March of 2019. Went down a day early and stayed in San Juan overnight. We were able to check out Old San Juan with the few hours we had that evening. We are ... Read More
My boyfriend and I went on the 7-day southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan in March of 2019. Went down a day early and stayed in San Juan overnight. We were able to check out Old San Juan with the few hours we had that evening. We are in our early thirties and had a really fun time on this cruise. We weren't sure what to expect based on previous reviews, but this cruise did not disappoint for a smaller ship. We have been on the Escape twice (once for Eastern Caribbean and once for Western Caribbean). I have also been on two other cruise from another cruise line. This was my favorite cruise so far. Embarkation: We were scheduled to embark at 11:00 and got to the terminal around 10:30. Getting through security was quick and overall efficient, but we did have to wait in line once we were all checked in for about 40 minutes in a very small building with poor air conditioning with a few hundred other people while waiting to board the ship. The building was much smaller than those in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. I understand that the crew had to quickly turn over the ship before new passengers could be let on, but I noticed there weren't many places to sit while waiting and some of the older passengers and children were complaining about standing for that long. We were just happy to be out of the cold weather and excited to explore the ship. Once we were on board, we were able to grab drinks and hang out by the pool. It wasn't very busy out on the sundeck until later in the day. They had a band playing and music until the ship set sail at 9pm. The ship itself was smaller than others I've been on but has everything you need. As mentioned in many other reviews, the layout can be a bit confusing. We found ourselves in a "you can't get there from here" situation several times. The hallways to the staterooms were quite narrow. We noticed some people having difficulty navigating them with motorized scooters. We opted to take the stairs and avoid elevators mostly but when we did use the elevators there was never a long wait. Plenty of bars and restaurants to keep us satisfied. There is a small casino compared to the one on the Escape but has a lot of slot machines, quarter games and a few table games. We threw a $20 in the penny slots and won some money so no complaints. The theater was surprisingly quite large for a small ship. Some of the seats seemed to be broken/uncomfortable but overall was fine. The pool on the sundeck is a saltwater pool and there were 4 hot tubs that were the same as the ones on the Escape. There was always a lifeguard on duty which I have never seen on a cruise ship before. He seemed to take his job very seriously. Pool area was crowded on our one sea day. I would recommend getting seats/loungers early on those days. There were plenty of lounge chairs, high top tables with chairs and some more comfortable couches and chairs on the sundeck and on other days we didn't have to spent too much time finding a spot when we got back on the ship in the afternoon. Our bartender, Deny kept the drinks coming and always made a point to check on us if he saw us. I'm pretty sure he was on the Escape last time I was. We did not use the spa or gym this time, but did take a look at the gym. There was plenty of cardio equipment and a room with spin bikes from what I remember. Public restrooms were much smaller than on the Escape but very clean and no waiting in line, at least not for more than a minute or two. Our cabin was 8525. Close to O'Sheehans and easy access to the stairwell. Overall, minimal noise complaints. There was one night where we could hear some music, but it stopped by 10 pm. It was an inside room, so it was small and dark, as we expected. I always bring an over-the-door shoe organizer to keep our sunscreen/bathing suits/extra items out of the way and hang it on the outside of the bathroom door. We really only use our room to sleep and shower so it was fine for our needs. The bed is essentially 2 twins pushed together. I always have an issue with the "crack" between the two beds, but we survived. We asked our room steward via post-it note to remove all alcohol from the minibar so we didn't get charged and so we could use the fridge space and he did so on the first evening. The bathroom, again small but has everything you need. Shower had a door and worked just fine. Sink and toilet were similar to other ships. Not a lot of bathroom storage space. Sam, our steward was great and made our room up several times a day while we were out. Always left us fresh towels and even made us some fun towel animals. (Something I look forward to on cruises). We found our cabin to be a bit damp on the last day for some reason. Dining: Buffet as mentioned in a lot of other reviews was subpar compared to the Escape. Not much variety and food was quite bland. It also had limited hours. Every time we wanted to grab a late night snack it was closed. Food was mostly American fare at the buffet: burgers, hotdogs, pizza and pasta items. Some sandwiches and baked dishes as well. Having read other reviews, we kind of expected this and only ate at the buffet for afternoon snacks. It's close to the pool, but the pool bar had similar food items as well. Having learned from previous cruises that the buffet is CRAZY at breakfast time, we decided to eat at O'Sheehans every morning for a sit-down breakfast and we really enjoyed it much more without feeling rushed. It probably took us about the same time it would in the buffet. The breakfast menu was the same every day, but we got different things each day and it was all very good. We ate at O'Sheehans a lot over the course of the week, but the service was good and so was the food. We were familiar with it because there is one on the Escape as well. The food was consistent. The bbq wings and spinach dip were our favorite snacks from there. I believe it stayed open 24 hours. We ate at the main dining rooms for dinner every night as the food tends to be quite good and again, less crazy than the buffet. We tried Aqua the first night. It had a more dark, romantic (and in my opinion, sleepy) atmosphere. The service was slow and the food was only ok. We decided to try the Venetian the next night, and although they serve the same food as Aqua, it seemed to be much better. The service and atmosphere at the Venetian was better as well so we decided to go there for dinner the rest of the week. We had some meals we really liked and some that were just ok, but were able to eat and get on our way in about an hour. Best part is freestyle dining with Norwegian! No need to dress up or reserve dinner times, just show up. My boyfriend and I agreed that we were only going to dress up one night on this cruise as we dress up for work every day and we didn't want to on vacation. I didn't see anyone that was super dressed up on this ship on any night. We have on others. We never waited more than a few minutes to be seated at any restaurant on the ship. We did not pay extra for any of the specialty dining spots and based on reviews I read before, it wasn't worth it so we didn't really bother looking into it. Bars/Drinks: We did have the beverage package included and if you plan on drinking more than 1-2 alcoholic drinks a day, it is a must. We had met people who racked up a $500 bar bill after only a few days because they didn't know about the beverage package. Only includes alcoholic drinks under $15, but we didn't have any issues. Unless you want top shelf drinks, most things are included in the beverage package. It does not include soda or bottled water. Buffet has lemonade/iced tea/juices/water fountain drinks. Mostly got drinks from the Topsider's Bar near the pool and some drinks at the casino while waiting for shows in the nearby Theater. They were always consistent no matter what bar you got them at and also the same as on the Escape. I did wait in line for a beer at the Bimini (smoker's) Bar on the upper deck overlooking the pool. There was one bartender that took FOREVER to make drinks. I asked for 2 beers and he made me 2 mixed drinks that I didn't order. I decided to just get our next drink at Topsider's as it took much less time even though it was further away from our seats. I read reviews that said smoke from the Bimini bar was annoying to people by the pool, but I never really noticed it at all. As mentioned, Deny our personal bartender kept the drinks coming out by the pool without us needing to leave the hot tub/pool which was great. We avoided the Atrium bar as it was usually close to bands playing and where crowds gathered, but they were kind enough to fill our water bottles in the morning before we left for the day. O'Sheehans did the same. Not enough plain water anywhere unless you wanted to overpay for bottles. The ship water is gross if you get it from your room by the way. We had tried the Sugarcane mojito bar on the Escape and didn't really have time to explore it on the Dawn. We avoided the Champagne Bar, which I actually wanted to go to because of the cigarette smoke coming from the cigar bar next door. I didn't really see anyone smoking cigars in there, only cigarettes. We went to several shows at the Bliss lounge. They had some different cocktails there that were good. They had servers during the shows and the bar line was never very long. Entertainment: We went to several shows at the Bliss Lounge and they seemed to always have something going on day and night. We went to dance one night when the DJ was playing, the Karaoke championship, some dance competitions and other shows that we stumbled in on that turned out to be much better than I expected. It seemed to be that in the evening if you wanted a show you either had the option of whatever was going on in Bliss or the Stardust Theater. We caught the end of the Not So Newlywed game which they usually have on the Norweigian ships and it was quite funny. We watched the rest on TV while we were getting ready one morning as they broadcast it on their channel. We went to the magician/illusionist (PJ or DJ) he was really good. We went to Elements which was really cool. It was kind of ballet/acrobatics/magic all mixed together. We missed the comedian's main show (Andrew Kennedy), but the adult's only show on the last day was really funny. They must have changed some of the entertainment because recent reviews weren't great for some of the entertainment and we thought everything was pretty good for cruise ship shows. There were some bands and singers in the Atrium every evening, we didn't really listen to them for long but all seemed very good. More oldies type stuff. They had a Johnny Cash tribute one evening. The DJ and band by the pool (Sabor Latino) was good on the first day but throughout the week, we realized their set never changed and we kept hearing the same songs over and over. Good mix of English and Spanish songs. Not as much Jimmy Buffet style music, but more of a latin style overall compared to other ships. We went to the White Hot party and it was much more fun than we expected based on the one we went to on the Escape. People seemed to really be having a good time. I know we did. Service: Overall very good. No bad experiences. Cabin steward was very good. Bar staff overall very good. Dining room staff were ok. We found some of them to be inexperienced or have some difficulty with speaking English, but it didn't cause any issues for us. Ports: We chose this cruise because of the 5 stops and fewer sea days. My boyfriend has a hard time to sit still and gets bored when we have too many sea days. It kept us very busy and we didn't have a lot of down time, but we always made it back to the ship a little earlier than the all aboard time to enjoy the pool and try to get a little relaxation time in. We booked 2 excursions through the ship and 2 in port. Much cheaper at the port, but if you don't make it back in time, the ship won't wait for you. We just make sure to give ourselves plenty of extra time to get back. St. Lucia: Easy walk to port shops. We booked an excursion through JJ's in the port. This turned out to be really fun as we didn't really have a plan when we got off the ship. We took a speedboat with a group of maybe 20 people to Soufriere Beach and then got a little tour of the area from the water and took pictures in front of the Pitons. The beach was at a resort and there was SCUBA equipment and a bar nearby. My boyfriend snorkeled and saw a lot of tropical fish in the cove. Beach was more volcanic dark sand. If you want a chair/umbrella you have to pay more. Cost was $55/person for the excursion and was reasonable. They gave us some local rum and rum punch to try. Barbados: 10 minute walk from the ship to port shops. Norwegian did have a shuttle but we decided to walk and it was fine. Took a taxi to The Boatyard beach club which I heard about from a review. $25/person and this includes beach chairs, umbrella, use of the inflatable water toys and a free welcome drink. There is a bar/restaurant there. We got buckets of Carib for $20 (6 beers). Bartenders were friendly. They don't allow you to use the motorized "toys" due to insurance reasons. Water was clear blue, sand was white and the sun was hot. We had a great day just hanging out in the water and we felt very safe there. They arrange for a shuttle to get you back to the port as part of the entrance fee. Cab ride there was a reasonable price from the port. Taxi service had an area in the port, but were not very helpful and we had to ask several people questions to actually get a ride arranged. As we drove there, you could tell Barbados is a very poor island. A lot of rundown buildings. St. Kitts: Easy walk off the ship. Booked SNUBA excursion through the ship. It was raining and cloudy most of the day. Took a long bus ride to a remote beach club in a small bay. SNUBA staff were knowledgeable but when I got nervous about doing it, they weren't very encouraging and I ended up backing out. My boyfriend is SCUBA certified and found this to be a middle ground between snorkeling and SCUBA diving. You are able to go about 10 ft under water using a regulator that is attached to a float with an oxygen tank on it. There were 4 people per SNUBA unit and I overheard people talking about how they kept kicking other people next to them. The water was kind of merky on the beach. It seemed to be more clear in the bay. My boyfriend says he saw a lot of different fish there. We got to spend another hour there, but it was poor weather and everyone was pretty much ready to go back to the ship. We stopped at Timothy Hill for photos of where the Caribbean and Atlantic meet. This was our least favorite port. St. Maarten: Easy walk to the port. We have been here before the hurricane's hit. You can tell they are still recovering. We took a taxi to Maho Beach (the one where the planes fly over to land at the airport). This was really a cool spot and the Sunset Beach Bar is right there. We paid $20 for 2 chairs and an umbrella. Water was clear blue and we had a really great day. Saw probably 20 planes fly over while we were there. Got a pizza from the bar and it was really good. Bar service was poor and bartenders not friendly at the main bar. Cab fare was round trip and you meet at the taxi spot near the beach bar to get a ride back. They had cabs going all afternoon. Took 30 minutes or so to get back to the port. We were told there is drawbridge/turntable bridge that can cause delays on the way back so beware! We gave ourselves plenty of time to get back and did not have any issues. St. Thomas: We have both been here several times before and it is always one of our favorite spots. Easy walk to the port. We booked a catamaran, snorkeling and beach excursion through the ship. There were about 40 people on the boat. We were on the Cruzan Breeze with captain Mike and his mates Lindy and Charles. They were all very fun,funny, knowledgeable and made the trip worthwhile! Took a 20 minute ride to Turtle Bay where we were instructed on how to use our snorkeling gear. Lindy took everyone to look for turtles and we did see 3-4. We also saw a few stingrays. We then swam over to the nearby reef and saw all kinds of fish, coral and even an octopus. After about an hour we moved on to Honeymoon Beach on Water Island where they provided us with bottomless rum punch. There were a couple beach bars there as well. We spent the time in the crystal clear water looking out at the boats in the cove .We stayed here for about an hour and then made the 30 minute boat ride back to the port. This was SO MUCH FUN. Disembarkation: It all went well but we chose to leave at the latest time due to our late flight home. We had breakfast at O'Sheehans and spent some time on the pool deck that morning. We did have to wait an hour in the Bliss lounge after our scheduled time to get of the boat due to backup on the gangway and in the customs area. Once we got off we were able to get our bags and went through customs fairly quickly and without issue. There were shuttles waiting outside and it was a reasonable fair to the airport from there. I promise I'm finishing up this long post, but a few more things I noticed during this trip. Minimal children and the ones we did see on our ship were very well behaved. There is a children's pool area and we didn't have any issues with kids in the adult pool/hot tubs as we have on other ships. Wide variety of ages from teenagers to older adults. We were joking that the average age was probably 52 by general survey. All the fellow passengers we met were very friendly. There's always something for everyone on the ship and they have classes/shows during the day for those who like to stay onboard. We didn't do any shopping or buy any photos from the ship. I know this was lengthy but if it helps even one person plan their trip, I'll be happy. I know I used a lot of reviews before I planned this trip after making some mistakes in the past and it definitely made a difference in some of the choices we made. We have liked Norwegian in the past and will likely continue to cruise with them in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Offered a great deal and good itinerary. Arrived a day ahead in San Juan to sightsee but trollies were being diverted for event but had a nice time exploring locally around hotel. Taxi from Old San Juan to Pan Am Pier was $28. Arrived ... Read More
Offered a great deal and good itinerary. Arrived a day ahead in San Juan to sightsee but trollies were being diverted for event but had a nice time exploring locally around hotel. Taxi from Old San Juan to Pan Am Pier was $28. Arrived early to pier and boarded soon thereafter with time to explore the ship. Rooms were ready at 2pm. Had a very nice lunch in Maderno. Food was very good. Family Suite is quite large. Dining table small for room size. Left closet hangers too big for closet & not usable, can't close door, but I always bring extra hangers. As Plat+ got 4 water bottles and 2 champagne. Dined in most of the restaurants.Cagney has great steak prepared to perfection. Bistro - mushroom soup & Dover sole were very good. Mushroom risoto in LaCucina was good. Bamboo had good egg drop soup and spring rolls. Both the chicken/shrimp noodle bowl and peking chicken needed a brown sauce. Had trout in LosLobos. Sauce was too spicey. Stick to taco or barrito. Entertainment was good. Elements was exceptional. Did Segway Safari & Beach in St Lucia which was great. Terrific guides. Countryside Horseback in St Kittls. Went up to top of mountain passing farms, fields of flowers, baby goats. Beautiful views on top and great pictures. Beach Rendezvous in St Maarten was great (Harbor Bay Beach). Water was warm and crystal clear with wonderful 3ft waves.Will definitely go there again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We took this cruise because many of our NCL crew friends were together on the cruise. We have sailed eleven times on the Dawn. Living in central Massachusetts it is easy to sail out of Boston where the Dawn spent her Spring to Autumn for ... Read More
We took this cruise because many of our NCL crew friends were together on the cruise. We have sailed eleven times on the Dawn. Living in central Massachusetts it is easy to sail out of Boston where the Dawn spent her Spring to Autumn for the last eight years, This has allowed us to gain many staff friends from housekeeping to entertainers.. We left out of Boston 6 times. Taking advantage of the reduced flights we sailed out of San Juan arriving the afternoon the ship was to leave. The week before our flight was canceled due to the plane grounding. NCL changed our flight to Jet Blue which we were happier to fly with. In San Juan we met up with the NCL transport which was confusing when we arrived at the port they sent us get in line, then came back and told us to come get our luggage. Inside the terminal it was fast and easy on to the boat. We have done the Southern and Eastern Caribbean many times so most ports were on our own. On Barbados we did the Harrisons cave tour, My husband felt that was probably the best tour for the money we have been on. Unknown to us, if you do not take a tour with NCL you do not get the shore excursion credit. Being entitled to $200 obc we only received $50 credit. You get $50 per stateroom per port per excursion. Dinner reservations is one of the problems I have with the dining package. I tried to make reservations before I left. They showed up one day and were gone 3 days later. When we got on the ship I tried to make them at the desk, but were unable to get any reservation on our package. With some help from a staff member we were able to get reservations for two nights at 5p They offer to many more meal packages than they can accommodate. This is something that needs to be addressed and changed. Our mini Suite was as usual it fit us well. Our room Steward was excellent. Our evenings were spent watching Patti and Jose` and being served by Christine, Desiree and Katherine in the Java Café. We wanted to sail with Patti and Jose` again as they were leaving the ship when we did. These people are not only great entertainers, but they are also "Good People" they remember you from past cruises by name and will stop and speak with you. Afternoons were spent up in the Bimini the best Bar on the Ship. From past cruises we have made some nice friends up here. Jeffrey Escobedo, we have sailed with him 5+ times on 3 different ships from bar waiter to Bartender he is best they have. Irene and Ray Sandoval always going beyond to help with anything you might need. Making us laugh and constantly on the go serving with a smile Marlon Gomez, Jose Roly Sebua, Dubravlea "AKA Jessie", Alexander Araneta. And More I cant remember them all. The staff on this ship is the best of the nine NCL ships we have sailed. Disembarking was quick and easy using NCL transfer to the airport for our flight home on Delta. The Dawn is headed to New York and we will miss her and her staff. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to do something in the Caribbean and this package offered stops at islands that we were interested in exploring for potential future island vacation destinations. Unfortunately we did not get the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to do something in the Caribbean and this package offered stops at islands that we were interested in exploring for potential future island vacation destinations. Unfortunately we did not get the chance to explore our departure city as flights in and out were on the same days as embarkation and disembarkation. Something to keep in mind for future cruises. Our room was towards the front end and it had an outside balcony as we had chosen during booking. There was plenty of storage to hang and organize our clothing and toiletries. Bathroom is kind of tight so prepare to share space with your cabin mate. This provided us with excellent sunsets ans sun rises. It was fun to sit out and watch as we pulled in to the various ports. Might look into a slightly larger room next time. Rooms were clean and very quiet although we slept every night with the balcony door cracked to take in the sea air and listen to the crashing of the waves. Staff overall were very pleasant and friendly and willing to take time to talk and share some insight into their daily and personal lives. It was fun learning about the many different cultures that work on this ship. This time around, we booked all our shore excursions through the cruise line and found the process to be very organised, smooth and as described in their brochure. Food at the complimentary locations was as expected but the fine dining was superb especially the Tapenyaki Japanese restaurant. What an experience and awesome food. Night time entertainment was spectacular and offered so much variety to choose from. There is something for everyone. Signage on the ship could be improved as we had to ask directions many times and once we found ourselves standing st the door to one location and didn't know it till a deck hand told us. We will definitely cruise again but looking for more shore time as we felt rushed to meet the schedule of 5 islands in 5 days. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The ship is in excellent condition. The cabins are very nice and very clean and the bed was comfortable. The food was excellent and high quality. Filippo Bulgarini the Maître D is very good at insuring everything is perfect. All staff ... Read More
The ship is in excellent condition. The cabins are very nice and very clean and the bed was comfortable. The food was excellent and high quality. Filippo Bulgarini the Maître D is very good at insuring everything is perfect. All staff members have a excellent attitude and really care about insuring you have all your needs and wants met. Lots of area's on the ship to relax and enjoy the beautiful views. The on board credit was very easy to use and the store on the ship had a great selection of watches and clothing. We have travelled on many cruises. This was our first cruise with Silversea and we will return very soon because the overall experience was better than advertised. The ports of call were excellent and the extended stay in some of the ports was great because you did not feel rushed. The ship arrived on time to the ports of call everyday. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I'm not sure how the cruise director maintains his energy, even when no one is looking, but his staff and the wardrobe changes kept everyone entertained all week. There were a variety of beautiful places to dine but a lot of ... Read More
I'm not sure how the cruise director maintains his energy, even when no one is looking, but his staff and the wardrobe changes kept everyone entertained all week. There were a variety of beautiful places to dine but a lot of mediocre food choices mixed in with the nice ones. The choice of activities was great and there was something for everyone so you were never bored. One unexpected highlight was the dance classes where you learned everything from salsa to waltz, something I've always wanted to try. The downside is the sales pitches and charging for every little thing even when you think it's covered in one of the packages you purchased. I'd rather pay a few hundred dollars more to not be sold water. The shows and entertainment were an unexpected highlight and the finale was the definition of spectacular. From comedy to aerial acrobatics we were captivated every night. I would cruise with Norwegian again but I'd book sooner to snatch up a larger room. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise cause it fit our time frame we wanted to go as well as the destination we wanted to go. We also liked it because there was only 1 day at Sea vs multiple days from other cruises and other cruise ports. This was my first ... Read More
We chose this cruise cause it fit our time frame we wanted to go as well as the destination we wanted to go. We also liked it because there was only 1 day at Sea vs multiple days from other cruises and other cruise ports. This was my first cruise and my GF's 3rd. I was astounded by the way we were treated. The entire staff was nothing short of phenomenal to us. Our Cabin was a Mini Suite with large balcony and it was great. Lots of room to move around for 2 people. The dining options were plentiful and all of them were great. Lots of different food options to choose from and plenty of room for all guests to enjoy. There was also a variety of entertainment options onboard. From game shows, to comedy shows to dance parties to something as basic as Bingo. All were enjoyable and family friendly(well except for late night comedy show, but that was hysterical) The shore excursions were very well planned. We had no issues with any of them. There were plenty of different options to choose from. Anything from relaxing on a beach to hiking up a mountain to snorkeling. There was plenty to choose from for each person's taste. None of the excursions were too full either. There was just enough people to make them fun. The only issue we had, had nothing to do with Norwegian staff, some moron decided that he liked my bag more than his after we debarked so he grabbed it. Luckily the staff at Norwegian were able to track it down within 15 minutes of me reporting it. Overall, we had a GREAT time. I would absolutely recommend this cruise to anyone interested in going to the Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We picked a cruise from Puerto Rico so we could spend a couple of days there beforehand and to minimize at-sea days. We've sailed on Norwegian once before and liked it. This was a really good cruise, the staff were great, the food was ... Read More
We picked a cruise from Puerto Rico so we could spend a couple of days there beforehand and to minimize at-sea days. We've sailed on Norwegian once before and liked it. This was a really good cruise, the staff were great, the food was delicious, and the shore excursions were mostly excellent. We had an obstructed oceanview room -- the view was actually pretty good, we could see the ocean over the top of a lifeboat. For some reason we were assigned an "accessible" cabin even though we hadn't requested one. Apparently these are a bit bigger, so we're certainly not complaining. Others have commented on plumbing problems on this ship. We had a problem with the shower running only hot and the toilet not always flushing, but the staff fixed it and so no big deal. We went during March break so there were quite a few kids but the ship has a good children's program and we seniors didn't find the kids annoying at all. It was good to have a wider variety of ages than often happens. The food was great, especially in the specialty restaurants, but the main dining room was really good as well. I don't know where the people who complain about Norwegian's food normally dine, but I certainly ate well on the cruise. Don't bother with the drinks package unless you drink a lot, the drinks on board are reasonably priced, at least for a cruise. The shore excursions were pretty good. The best was the catamaran sail, snorkel and beach lunch at St. John's. Good snorkelling with the ability to either take a long route (for experienced snorkellers) or hang around a reef close to the boat. Also swimming from a beach, a great lunch, and lots of rum punch. We had booked SNUBA at St. Thomas but as soon as we got on the ship there was a long form about medical conditions which, if you answered yes to anything, might result in you being barred by the operator with no refund, so we cancelled rather than risk that (as we both would have to answer yes to some things.) So don't book that one if you are on any meds. The Virgin Gorda and the Baths tour was a bit disorganized. Rather than have a guide with you, there are people directing you at various points, to the boat to Virgin Gorda, then safari buses to and from the baths. The guide on the boat seemed pretty confused about the times, but everyone did make it there and back and the sea caves are spectacular. Embarkation and debarkation were really quick and smooth, the best by far of the three cruises we've taken. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This cruise was given to us through comps from a casino. Room was small but nice. Not enough of room for our clothes for 7 days. Bunk bed attached to the wall and cot under our bed made the room and little cramped. Lucky for us we got a ... Read More
This cruise was given to us through comps from a casino. Room was small but nice. Not enough of room for our clothes for 7 days. Bunk bed attached to the wall and cot under our bed made the room and little cramped. Lucky for us we got a discount on our drink package because normal price was $99 a day per person that has to be purchased for everyone in the cabin for the whole trip! I ordered Long Island Iced Tea for the first couple of days until I saw the bartender pouring it from the tap! It was pre-made and not a lot of alcohol in it. If I was paying full price for the alcohol package, I know I would be upset. Also water and energy drinks aren't included! Water cost me $35 for a 12 pack of 1 liter bottles. Once on board, the same 12 bottles were offered for $25! I wasn't happy. Food was good! The dining room and garden café (buffet) were included in the price but 7 other restaurants on the ship were an extra charge. Our steward was very friendly, our server in the dining room the second night was top notch. 2 bartenders in the casino were excellent. Other then that, most of the other servers or bartenders were not friendly. Service desk, excursion desk and people on the shops were very nice. Room service menu was very good and included in our price but had to pay a $7.95 service charge which I didn't mind. Checking in and out was very painless. Entertainment was good. The comedian that they had was excellent. Ship was a little hard to guide through especially on the upper decks. Shore excursions were good. Cruise director was top notch! This was my 4th cruise and my first with NCL. I should also mention that you're not allowed to bring on board and water or soft drinks, which was why I purchased a water package. You can bring on a bottle of wine per person, but they charge a $15 "corking fee" for each 750ml bottle and $30 for each 1500ml bottle. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We had a Mini-Suite underneath the Garden Cafe. Fortunately the noise was not too intrusive. The food in the Garden Cafe was inedible. The coffee was gut renching. The concept of "Freestyle Dining" was misunderstood by me. ... Read More
We had a Mini-Suite underneath the Garden Cafe. Fortunately the noise was not too intrusive. The food in the Garden Cafe was inedible. The coffee was gut renching. The concept of "Freestyle Dining" was misunderstood by me. We did not realize that we had to "plan out our dining choices for the week". I was under the impression that "freestyle dining" meant that we could choose a specialty restaurant on the same day or on the fly. which we found out was totally not true. All of the specialty restaurants were Booked prior to the ship setting sail! What a huge disappointment! The food in the main dining rooms were average. Overall, the service was superb. The staff in the restaurants, cabin steward Jefferson Dulay, was exceptional. Our favorite shore excursion, Dancing Dolphin catamaran trip from St. Thomas to St. John was excellent. Val, Jason and Brandon were absolutely wonderful. The best shore excursion by far. We hired a taxi in St. Johns Antigua. Derrick was fantastic. The 2 hour tour was awesome. He took his time with each site and it did not feel as though you were sitting in a van looking out the windows. He made numerous stops and we got out to explore each stop. The taxi broke down on the way back and he made sure we were well taken care of in very little down time. Would hire him again for sure. Richard, the Cruise Director made each event we attended very enjoyable. He has a lot of energy! Ian, the dining manager made sure the dining room staff were efficient and kept things running smoothly. He was excellent! In spite of the things mentioned above, it was an overall enjoyable and relaxing trip. Read Less

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