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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
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose to sail from San Juan, Puerto Rico in order to see the southern islands not normally available from the Florida ports. First off, the experience of boarding from San Juan was phenomenal. From the time we were dropped off, to the ... Read More
We chose to sail from San Juan, Puerto Rico in order to see the southern islands not normally available from the Florida ports. First off, the experience of boarding from San Juan was phenomenal. From the time we were dropped off, to the time we were on the ship took 25 minutes! Also, a small note that LYFT is not available in Puerto Rico so Uber or a taxi from Condado to the port was $22 for 4 people. We had sailed on the Dawn to Bermuda before so we were familiar with the ship. I prefer this size to the larger ships (getaway, breakaway) but there is not as many activities for kids on the Dawn and the pool is fairly small. Apart from that, we love the ship. The theater is easily big enough to accommodate the entire passenger size and you do not need to reserve a time to see any show. We particularly enjoyed the acrobats and the "Elements" show which featured the entire entertainment team. I will say that I was not that impressed with the singing and the Soul Rocking Nights was a broadway-stylized rock show and not very good. The islands we saw were St.Lucia- excellent, Barbados- good, Antigua- okay, St. Thomas- excellent, and Tortola-okay. The food is always good on the Dawn and I recommend the Venetian over Aqua for free dining. One thing I wish Norwegian would change is O'Shanihans which is dated and a limited menu. The cruise entertainment staff was very good including cruise director Richard and assistant Luz. I also enjoyed activities run by Mona and Samia. Overall, this was my fourth cruise on Norwegian and I am looking forward to the next one. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
As college spring breakers, Norwegian seemed attractive to us for its many perks such as getting free open bar for the entirety of the trip and free or reduced airfare. We chose the Norwegian Dawn and departed from Puerto Rico. As soon as ... Read More
As college spring breakers, Norwegian seemed attractive to us for its many perks such as getting free open bar for the entirety of the trip and free or reduced airfare. We chose the Norwegian Dawn and departed from Puerto Rico. As soon as we touched down in Puerto Rico, everything went as smooth as it possibly could. We went to the port and it literally took less than 20 minutes to get through everything and walk on to the ship. In my past experiences, embarkation took sometimes up to an hour and a half. Ship and Cabin: The ship was very nice and had a modern touch to it. The common spaces were all very nice and the ship was pretty easy to navigate. The outdoor spaces such as the pool were clean. The pool was relatively easy to get chairs at and service was quick. Our room was ready as soon as we got on and our bags were in our room within a couple hours of getting on the ship as well. The room was very clean and spacious and our steward introduced himself right off the bat and worked very hard. Dining: We tried both the Venetian and Aqua dining rooms and multiple occasions and both had amazing service and food. Elizabeth in Venetian was especially attentive and made our first couple nights very memorable. Bamboo also had great food and was quick, but you definitely need a reservation! Also, the buffett was very good and had tons of options for lunch and dinner every day. Poolside drinks were always flowing, especially from the awesome Alistar. This guy was amazing! He always had the biggest smile on his face and made every interaction that much more fun. Entertainment and Activities: The Bliss Lounge was by far our favorite place to hangout. There was always something fun going on in there such as a karaoke contest or some type of game. There was also a DJ until late night that took requests and always made for a fun time. Mouna and Geo were two of the best dancers we have ever seen and were always pumping up the crowd. Nemanja and Alistar were also bar waiters in here and were awesome! They remembered all of our names and favorite drinks night after night. Go see them! Also, the ship had theme nights every night like Carribean Night or a White Out night. This brought tons of people out to the deck for music and dancing under the stars. The shows in the Stardust theatre were amazing. Every single one had people on the edge of their seats the entire time. They were definitely worth the time to go and see every single one. We would 100% go again, and plan on it! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The overall trip was pretty good. We've cruised before with NCL on the Escape and it was fantastic. The Ship is small and everything seemed to be well laid out. Spent most of our time mid-ship and forward. I think the reason we ... Read More
The overall trip was pretty good. We've cruised before with NCL on the Escape and it was fantastic. The Ship is small and everything seemed to be well laid out. Spent most of our time mid-ship and forward. I think the reason we didn't get to everything on the ship was simply due to the number of ports visited. This was a 5 port trip, so we were busy off the ship most of the time. The ports were great and the excursions were really cool. Food was really good in most of the areas, but I've never tasted a worse filet mignon than what I had in the Brazilian steakhouse. Cagney's steakhouse made up for it though. That was a fantastic supper! Our waiter Ray was on top of it and I'd cruise with that guy anytime. My only complaint is that I had a balcony room that I paid for and couldn't use. The smokers next door were in their room all the time and the only time we got some relief was late at night when we were moving and we could open the door and air out our cabin. The smoke was so bad that our clothing smelled like a used cigarette when we got home. The staff was told repeatedly and I know they were confronted at least twice, but it didn't do any good at all. NCL should have thrown them off the ship and charged them a lot of $$ for violating the no smoking policy in the rooms. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Our first Windstar cruise, based on a recommendation from a friend who knows that we like smart and engaging people, don't like rowdy drunk crowds, and want a genuine experience. We learned a lot and immediately signed back up for ... Read More
Our first Windstar cruise, based on a recommendation from a friend who knows that we like smart and engaging people, don't like rowdy drunk crowds, and want a genuine experience. We learned a lot and immediately signed back up for more Windstar! What can I say other than "amazing!". While the large ship experiences bring their own attributes, this ship size, itinerary, and staff have us sold on Windstar, since they brought so many terrific benefits. I could go on forever, but I'll limit it to a few key topics, and a story of special coverage by the crew that was exceptional. SHIP: small, as cruise ships go, but never felt crowded, never waited in lines (except for the topside cookout in which everyone rushed the line but ten minutes later was cleared). There are plenty of places to get alone by yourself, do morning stretches, have a quiet moment with a loved one, etc. BARS: the outdoor topside bar was by far the most popular given weather, ability to spread out, but also to meet nice and interesting folks. FOOD: Terrific all around! Main dining Amphora was stellar every night. Candles night was intimate, delicious, and fantastic! Breakfast and lunch buffets are great, fresh, and the staff is totally focused on making your meal ideal, so just ask for anything special. All-day breakfast and sandwich counter made a great fill-in when we got back from sightseeing. OFFICERS, CREW, & STAFF: This is where I have to focus most. Incredibly nice, friendly, accommodating, and professional from top to bottom. Every individual we met was terrific. But the real story was about a bad situation that they made infinitely better. Just prior to the cruise, a family friend passed away, who was not only my godfather but also as much a father to me as my own, and in recent decades more so, and a dear friend. Our families consider each other extended family. The funeral had to occur during our cruise, on Day 8 of 10, so we worked with Windstar to allow us to disembark in Grenada, fly home to make the funeral, of which i was to officiate and sing. Needless to say, a very emotional situation. We had shared the fact that we were leaving early with staff that would be affected or those that simply asked and expressed condolences. We disembarked, went to the airport, and long story short, found that our flight was cancelled, and at 5pm found out that we would NOT be able to leave the island until the following afternoon, thereby missing the funeral we worked so hard to coordinate to make. With literally NO time to spare, we called the ship, asked if we could reboard, sailed through customs with the help of American Airlines staff, had a cab fly through town, and we made it to the pier with just minutes before Sail Away. Although devastated by the events so far, the next 24 hours were incredible. The Chief Pursor, front desk staff, Hotel Manager all met us and assured a smooth process, even to the extent of them asking if there was anything at all they could do to help. They were amazingly empathetic, and genuinely worked that day and the next to give us every assistance we could want, including calls, Internet, etc. The Dining staff gave us special attention, delivered us a wonderful in-room meal, and the bar staff brought us wine as we "licked our wounds". The next day, every staff member we came into contact expressed genuine concern, and went out of their way to help us enjoy this day at sea with tons of kindnesses and support. We were incredibly moved at the empathy and wonderfulness of the entire crew including officers, the bar team, the dining team, the breakfast cooks, and so on. While they may have forgotten us as they move forward to accommodate every guest every day, we will never forget them. Thank you Windstar! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Have done 8+ ocean cruises, 7 river cruises. This experience with Viking Ocean was the best we've had. Food was excellent, varied menus and lots of choices. Good excursions and options at each port. In retrospect we would have done ... Read More
Have done 8+ ocean cruises, 7 river cruises. This experience with Viking Ocean was the best we've had. Food was excellent, varied menus and lots of choices. Good excursions and options at each port. In retrospect we would have done more adventuresome excursions on our West Indies but no regrets. Staff on the ship is top shelf. The crew was just as good as could be. Have read previous reviews on CC with some complaints and negative comments about Viking Sea. If there were problems earlier there aren't now. Our evaluation, and that of others we sailed with: Viking Ocean a great experience, Far better than Oceana, Royal Caribbean, Princess etc. We noted that quite a few folks had done more than one Viking Ocean cruise already, just in their third year of operations. No casino, no kids, no pressure. No big shows. Nice events in the evening - a movie by the pool, a bit of classical music, some singers and dancers. Passengers were mostly 65+, about 1/3 from UK, 2/3 North America. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first ever cruise and we were celebrating a big birthday. Having heard about the ship, expectations were very high and it did not disappoint. We flew in to San Juan late in the evening and so just went to bed the first ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and we were celebrating a big birthday. Having heard about the ship, expectations were very high and it did not disappoint. We flew in to San Juan late in the evening and so just went to bed the first night, but the embarkation was smooth and luggage was delivered quickly. As we arrived late, they put some sandwiches and fruit out for us along with a bottle of champagne and some red wine, and reminded us that we could order room service as well. As it was gone 1am and we had been up for 24 hours we passed! We were in a Deluxe Veranda cabin. We can't understand why anyone would complain about the size of these - it was very comfortably big enough for us. The bed was large and comfortable, the sitting area was ok, the bathroom was superb and it was great to be able to sit out on the balcony. On the first day we explored the ship which was all light and airy, not at all busy and just nicely laid back. We were always able to find places to sit and service was generally attentive. We ate mainly in the World Cafe as it was more casual and did not require us to dress up. The food was always nice there, usually a good choice of mains and some divine little desserts (as well as cookies and ice cream). We also sampled the Pool Grill where they did some delicious burgers and grilled tuna. We managed to have two meals at Manfredi's, the speciality Italian restaurant. The food was delicious and the plates were huge! We also had a special birthday meal at the Chef's Table which was a five course tasting menu, where every dish was exceptional, each of them paired with wines. We really enjoyed the entertainment on the ship. The main entertainment was from four young, energetic and very talented performers who put on three main shows - an ABBA show, a showcase of famous song writers and a Beatles show. One of them also did a solo show Divas through the Decades, and another did a jazz set Beyond the Sea - both of these were top quality. They were supported by a four piece band and two lounge singers who were ok. Other entertainment included a guitarist, a classical duo and a piantist, all of whom were ok. One of the real positives about the cruise was how friendly everyone was. It was impossible to pass any crew member without them greeting you, and it always seemed natural. The cabin service was exceptional with rooms serviced twice a day. We were surprised to read any negative reviews about this ship. Perhaps it does not have quite as much going on as some mega cruise ships, but for us this was close to perfect. A nice size of ship, never crowded, very attentive staff, good food and enjoyable entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Going to start with the Positive; the Veranda suite we got was very nice about 183 sq ft a bit small but worked, we enjoyed going out on the Veranda every morning and watching the ship come up to the Ports, even had breakfast once on the ... Read More
Going to start with the Positive; the Veranda suite we got was very nice about 183 sq ft a bit small but worked, we enjoyed going out on the Veranda every morning and watching the ship come up to the Ports, even had breakfast once on the Veranda. Our Steward was excellent, room was always clean and comfortable. The specialty Restaurant La Cusina was very good loved the food at this restaurant. Spa and Spa Treatments were Excellent.Boarding was fast and easy as well as Disembarking. The whole Family had a great time together! Now for the negative; The Buffet was bad runny eggs, old Desserts, nasty dressings, old brown salad lettuce about the only thing that was good was the omelette station, oatmeal, fruit and the oxtail stew! As far as the Specialty Resturants both the Steak house and the Le Bistro was bad. The filet mignon at the steak house was good but the sides were old, potatoes gratin were hard and smelled of fish and the molten lava cake was Chalky with no lava! In Le Bistro I ordered the veal and it wasn’t veal but pork chucks not good. In the pool area there was never any seats opened and the music was blasting so loud you didn’t want to stay anyway. It was dirty with cups, dirty plates and dirty towels everywhere. The front desk Employees were rude and so were the employees in the Venetian Restaurant and the food was also not good in the main dinning room as well, the good thing is I didn’t gain any weight on this Cruise.I think the Employees are burnt out and over worked so I could see how difficult it could be for them, this is a issue I think Norwegian should address. This ship just went through a remolding but the Verandas had a lot of rust . I did book another Cruise with Viking Sky for 2020 hopefully on this smaller ship the Vacation will be Awwsome and will give me the confidence to book more Cruise in the future but as far as the Norwegian I will not be rebooking anymore Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The pluses: staff were excellent except for a few who did their jobs but seemed reluctant. Cabin was good-like the location closer to aft on deck 10. The disappointments: no outside eating area especially for breakfast. Maybe it was ... Read More
The pluses: staff were excellent except for a few who did their jobs but seemed reluctant. Cabin was good-like the location closer to aft on deck 10. The disappointments: no outside eating area especially for breakfast. Maybe it was just our cruise and the crowd, but by 10:30 it seemed everyone was in bed. The piano player and duet were talented entertainers but were done by 10 although the daily said "8:45 to close". I guess close is 10. The service in the specialty restaurants seems to be "get them out quick". While this might suit some, we prefer to dine a bit more leisurely. Nothing frustrates me more than my second course arriving while my first course is only 1/2 done. Or my wine arriving when I'm almost finished my meal. We learned to eat a bit later and to tell the server how we wanted our meal paced. We felt much more rushed than on the Jade or Breakaway. The location of Bistro and La Cucina is right outside the cigar lounge which opens to the inside. You knew you were getting close when the cigar/cigarette smoke smell greeted you. As well, the piano lounge is there. Bistro at least has a door, but when it opens the restaurant music competes with the piano player - very distracting. La Cucina is open to the lounge, and one evening we were accompanied by several audience members singing along. Good for them, but not for us. The ports were excellent and we had a good time, but we won't be on the Dawn again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary + price that included some great extras. While we had a 4th FL room w/ only a porthole, we found it quite advantageous to avoid crowds and exit/enter very easily from the ports - they were on ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary + price that included some great extras. While we had a 4th FL room w/ only a porthole, we found it quite advantageous to avoid crowds and exit/enter very easily from the ports - they were on our floor. However, get an inside room, being right next to the exits can be quite noisy early in the morning. Overall we had a great cruise. While I wouldn't consider myself a cruiser, it is great for last minute planning if the ports are good. However, since we had the prepaid beverage/dining plan, we felt it was gluttonous and would likely not take those options again. While it was of course our own decisions, we really felt obligated to eat/drink even when we weren't hungry. It's hard to return from an excursion then wait until 8:00 to dine, so of course we had a bite in the buffet, bad idea! The steakhouse and French restaurants were the best, in line w/ the reviews. We also enjoyed the Asian restaurant, the churrascaria could be passed on. The staff was great, appreciated the focus on cleanliness and service. Our room was fine, helped to get so many extras with our package. So here are my 2 beefs. 1) I read all my materials so thought I was sure that we had most costs covered. Surprise - they now have a daily per person service charge to cover ship employees who do not receive tips. I am glad they pay good wages, but I am still very sore that this was not included upfront, very sore. 2) I feel like I was up-sold to fill an excursion that was only mediocre. The gentleman told me the Golden Eagle Sail & Snorkel was the best snorkeling on the trip. It was a great catamaran but sad, sad snorkeling. When I complained about the parts I did not enjoy, nothing was done. Had I known that St Thomas was THE place to snorkel, I would have gladly bought that excursion. Next time I'll do my research and likely book elsewhere for a more reasonable price. At every port, we found better options for full or half day tours of the island highlights. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Well, we chose this cruise for the itinerary and having sailed 3 other NCL ships we tried the Dawn, ship is old and showing age, you feel a lot of movement with this ship. We were in a mini-suite on deck 10. The rooms are tattered, our ... Read More
Well, we chose this cruise for the itinerary and having sailed 3 other NCL ships we tried the Dawn, ship is old and showing age, you feel a lot of movement with this ship. We were in a mini-suite on deck 10. The rooms are tattered, our cabin steward was terrible, left trash, no tissues, no toilet paper, had to go to the hallway and get it myself off the cart, wanted ice and he told me it would take 20 minutes. if your not tipping the bartenders up at topside every time they bring you a drink they don't come back. Nothing happening on pool deck, no BBQs, same cold dry burgers, chicken, hot dogs. Venetian and Aqua were okay, but get quite boring, buffet was poor, food always seemed cold. Crew is not a happy group like on other NCL ships, does not make you feel welcome. I will not cruise the Dawn again and may not cruise with NCL anymore. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We have cruised with Carnival for many years and they don't have many perks for long time cruisers so we decided to try NCL. So glad we did. The trip was awesome. We had a mini suite with balcony which was pretty spacious for 2 ... Read More
We have cruised with Carnival for many years and they don't have many perks for long time cruisers so we decided to try NCL. So glad we did. The trip was awesome. We had a mini suite with balcony which was pretty spacious for 2 people. The bathroom was a little small with counter space but the tub/shower was great . No water on the floor. We left out of San Juan to Barbados, Antigua, st. Marten, st Kitts and St. Thomas. The staff was awesome . The food was great. The casino was a little cramped and would ha e liked a few more .25 machines. Embarkation and debarkation went smoothly. On and off within 1/2 hour. Even going ashore no lines leaving or returning to ship. Needless to say I will cruise NCL again.i am done with carnival. Our room steward was awesome we would leave and come back 1/2 later and room was done it was like he was hiding in the corner and knew we would be gone. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Our cruise departed from San Juan and cruised to Barbados, Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Marteen, and St. Thomas. We flew to San Juan the day prior to sailing which allowed us time to relax and get to the pier at our leisure. My husband and I ... Read More
Our cruise departed from San Juan and cruised to Barbados, Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Marteen, and St. Thomas. We flew to San Juan the day prior to sailing which allowed us time to relax and get to the pier at our leisure. My husband and I stayed in the Aft-Facing Penthouse with Large Balcony - Room 8170. It was a very spacious room, with a large closet that opened on two sides. The bathroom was spacious and included a tub with shower. There was a "makeup" area outside the bathroom with a large mirror, had plenty of drawers for personal items, and had a small chair. My only disappointment with the room was that the balcony did not have lounge chairs - only two chairs and a small table. It was large enough for the loungers, so I don't know why they weren't there. In hindsight, I should have requested them. We found the entire ship to be extremely clean. Our room steward, Sheila is one of the hardest working individuals we met. Our Butler, Jonathan, ensured that we had everything we could possibly need (I should have mentioned the loungers:). Each day, he delivered snacks to our cabin. He learned what we liked (including champagne) and delivered something delicious to us everyday. He was very responsive and personable. We had room service one day - food was hot and delivered in a timely manner. Since we had a suite, we were able to have breakfast and lunch in Moderno. This was fabulous! We were only on-board for lunch one day, at which time we ate at Moderno. This was one of our favorite meals - with started with shrimp cocktail (large and tasty) and I had a burger which was delicious, and my husband had a steak, which he said was outstanding, For Specialty Dining we ate at La Cucina, Cagneys, and Los Lobos (three were included in our package). We found the food at all to be fresh and delicious! The guacamole in Los Lobas was one of the best we've ever had. One of the highlights of our trip, was the private dinner we were invited to with Alain Magnier, the Hotel Manager and three ship Officers - Alain's assistant, the CFO and Juan from the NEXT Desk. There were three other couples at the dinner which was held in a private room at Le Bistro. I have never been a fan of French cuisine, but the food here was outstanding! This was a special experience - we really enjoyed meeting the other guests and the ship officers. Alain is so enthusiast about his job - he really cares about his team and his guests and enjoys meeting as many as he can. Juan was an especially friendly person, and convinced me to go outside my comfort zone by trying new food - and I'm so glad I did! Escargot is one food item I've always said I'd never try - now it's one of my favorite! I also had the mushroom soup (would love to have it again), and Filet which was perfectly cooked. For desert we had the Chocolate Fondue and Napolean - both delicious. The perks that come with a suite are definitely worth the expense - we never waited in any lines (private escort given off the ship at each port) and all of our needs were catered to. We enjoyed the size of the Dawn - not too overwhelming but big enough that we didn't get bored. There were not many children on the ship - I wouldn't say it's one that caters to children, however they did have a nice pool/activity area for them. The Elements Show was Broadway worthy - very entertaining! We also had fun each night at the Bliss Lounge - a very fun place to listen to music, dance and meet other guests. The White Party, held out at the pool was especially fun. It's not necessary to wear white, however many people did. The Beverage Package was also included in our deal - we only had to pay the service charge which we did in advance. For vodka they carry Grey Goose and Absolute (probably others as well, but this is what we like). The house wine is also pretty good. We've been to all inclusive resorts before, and this is not always the case, so we were pleasantly surprised. They allow you to bring your own wine on board, but charge you $15 per bottle. When boarding, they will direct you to a table, where they tag your wine - the fee will show up on your bill. Alex at Los Lobos makes the best drinks! Definitely make a visit to see him - we really enjoyed meeting him. On Board Shopping - just an FYI - we purchased an item at the Duty Free Shop which was in excess of $800. Upon leaving the ship, and having our Ship Card swiped, we were escorted directly past all lines, to a separate room where we were asked to fill out a Customs Form declaring all purchases (it was obvious that our purchase was flagged in the ship's system). We look forward to our next cruise with NCL! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Our good friends picked the Norwegian Dawn for a Caribbean cruise leaving from San Juan. I thought Norwegian was a good name and all their boats would be up to snuff, but stay away from this one! We may try another Norwegian cruise, but I ... Read More
Our good friends picked the Norwegian Dawn for a Caribbean cruise leaving from San Juan. I thought Norwegian was a good name and all their boats would be up to snuff, but stay away from this one! We may try another Norwegian cruise, but I would recommend a newer boat and hopefully the shows, food, spa services, and boat condition will be much better. One of the biggest disappointments was the expensive Midship Balcony Cabin. The bathroom flooded into the stateroom, the drapes had holes and slashes in them, worked on areas were left uncovered, and the balcony had so much rust everywhere you looked. In addition, my wife had aterriblw experience from the expensive Spa services and had to be treated in the Ship's Hospital twice. Whatever you decide to do in cruising I have learned my lesson about taking an older ship. I just hope if we ever take another Norwegian cruise the ship will be newer and everything else will be better as well. This was my sixth cruise and first on Norwegian and at least on the Norwegian Dawn I would rate it much lower than any of the other cruise lines we have taken for room, entertainment, food, and other services. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise largely because of the southern Caribbean itinerary, the ports (a couple of which we had not visited previously), only one sea day, and the fact that we have sailed on Norwegian four times prior and have thoroughly ... Read More
We chose this cruise largely because of the southern Caribbean itinerary, the ports (a couple of which we had not visited previously), only one sea day, and the fact that we have sailed on Norwegian four times prior and have thoroughly enjoyed it. The embarkation process in San Juan was really quick and easy and we were on board in less than 20 minutes. The lifeboat drill occurred literally as we walked on, which was somewhat annoying after a long travel day (we wanted a drink!), but in hindsight, it was nice to get that box checked right away and to get our vacation started. We booked late so balcony was unavailable, but our picture window cabin on Deck 5 was perfectly fine. It turned out to be a good location to get around the ship but also was really close to the gangway on port days which was great. We spend very little time in our cabin, so we dont spend a lot of time critiquing that part of the trip. Contrary to other reviews, we found the food and service to be very good. We ate at O'Sheehan's, The Venetian, the buffet, La Cucina, Moderno and Los Lobos and liked it all. Best meal of the week was La Cucina. Only real critique of the buffet (they are what they are) is food temperature was not great on everything and the desserts are lacking. Ports were awesome. ranked in order of favorites were 1) St Thomas (Water Island), ST. Kitts, St Maarten, Antigua, Barbados. Service throughout the ship was very good - we had wonderful experiences with bar service on the pool deck and the Atrium bar area. Only service complaint was bar service at Bimini Bar - bartenders seemed to ONLY focus on the crowd that spent the entire week up there and service to occasional visitors was second rate. REALLY enjoyed the music of Patty and Jose in the Atrium each night - great music and engagement with the crowd and we met some really fun people. We booked late and got a deal that included three choices of "extras" - we chose drink package, three nights of specialty dining and partial airfare. As a result, we felt the cruise was a great value and appreciated the freedom of the fact that almost everything was prepaid. To sum up our satisfaction with the cruise and Norwegian, we purchased Cruisenext credits and are already thinking about our next sailing! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
In full disclosure I have only traveled on NCL so my review is based on comparison of NCL ships. My husband & I prefer the mid sized ships. We've been on the Pearl several times, the Jade, the Breakaway and now the Dawn. We were ... Read More
In full disclosure I have only traveled on NCL so my review is based on comparison of NCL ships. My husband & I prefer the mid sized ships. We've been on the Pearl several times, the Jade, the Breakaway and now the Dawn. We were initially choosing ships based on ports of call. That is still a high priority for us but everything & everyone on the ship can make or break your cruise. That being said, if you pick a cruise with Richard Matic as cruise director you're going to have a fabulous time. My favorite cruise was an 8 day ABC islands on the Jade in October 2018. Richard was CD on that cruise. I was so excited when I was onboard & saw Richard was now CD on the Dawn. The social element of your cruise on the Dawn will be really fun under his leadership. His team loves him & he always showcases his Asst.CD, Luz who's equally wonderful. The Dawn is an older ship & some areas reflect that. It's decorated in an Art Deco style (reminds me of the old Rainbow Room NYC). I like the pool deck's stadium seating. It's a great use of space so more people can see all the activities in the pool area. We found the food to be better on this ship than on previous ships. Usually after a few days of cruising the buffet becomes less appealing but there's always plenty to eat. Unlike the mega ships you can actually walk around the ship on several decks. Unfortunately, unlike the Jade or the Pearl there's nowhere to dine outdoors except in the pool area. On most mid size ships you can dine outside on deck 12 aft. The shows were all really good. I always love Elements & the aerialists. The main cast will be hired for An 8 month contract. Other entertainment might be on the ship for a sailing or 2 & then another will fill their spot. Book reservations for restaurants as soon as you get onboard. Spa treatments are cheaper on port days. If you tip your bartender he'll be loyal to you the whole cruise & will call you by name. The casino was fun & staff knew you by name pretty quickly. There were a lot of winners on our cruise so that always makes everyone happy. We were on deck 9 aft & sound proofing between rooms wasn't great in comparison to other ships. Overall, despite the ship needing better maintenance & being unable to hear announcements from your room unless you open the door it's a fun cruise with lots of activities. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
NCL Dawn, March 3 to March 10. Mini-Suite Rm 11676 I’ll preface my critique noting that this was my first NCL cruise, but I’ll also add that I’ve cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. First, boarding (mainly cause our ... Read More
NCL Dawn, March 3 to March 10. Mini-Suite Rm 11676 I’ll preface my critique noting that this was my first NCL cruise, but I’ll also add that I’ve cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. First, boarding (mainly cause our departure was at 9:00pm) was very quick and easy - as I boarded at 1:00pm. Food in the Garden Cafe was available, and our room became available at approximately 3:00pm. We also booked three specialty dinning options, and our reservation times were all met. Teppanyaki: By far was my favorite. Great service, outstanding food from the edamame, fried rice and sea food selection was all worth it. Cagney’s: Was a close second on favorites. Great porterhouse steak. Le Bistro: Although the least favorite, it was worth the up charge. As for other food options, the Garden Cafe was OK - but not bad. The Venetian, Aqua and Bamboo were all good options if not at the specialty dinning location. Also, classy touch to provide appetizers at the casino later in the evening. We booked a few excursions, however the one that stood out was ANUD1011 Kayak & Snorkel Adventure on Antiqua. At $70.00 per person, we believe this excursion gave the most bang for the buck. Besides a ride thru the countryside, we kayaked thru the man grooves, hiked to a mountain top to view the Atlantic Ocean, then snorkeled. After our boat back to catch a bus back to the ship, water, rum punch and snacks we available. What really stood out was the professionalism and work ethic of the staff. Never a let down throughout the cruise - always courteous, and providing great service. The other thing that stood out was the ship never felt over crowded, and lines were minimal and always moved. If there was any negatives, general announcements were very hard to hear. The smoking room which was located on the sixth floor, sometimes leaked smoke into the bar area - and can be a bit overwhelming for non-smokers. Lastly, our Cabin Steward was very good, and besides the normal gratuities, I gave him an additional tip in person - but he didn’t seem happy. Not sure if I’m reading him wrong, or he was insulted. Overall, an oddly laid out ship really became its strength and appeal. And I took advantage of almost all of the ship, from sunning and swimming, sitting on my personal deck, multiple dinning locations, bars and gambling too - With my experience being excellent. I miss it, and would book another NCL cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Our recent southern Caribbean Cruise on the Norwegian Dawn was overall good thou some improvements are needed. The food and service was good in the Venetian Dining room with exceptional hostesses and staff. The food portions appear to be ... Read More
Our recent southern Caribbean Cruise on the Norwegian Dawn was overall good thou some improvements are needed. The food and service was good in the Venetian Dining room with exceptional hostesses and staff. The food portions appear to be smaller than on our previous three cruises. The registration process to get on the ship in San Juan was a massive confusing experience which made us feel less than the experienced cruisers we are. The facility needs updating and repairing from the previous hurricane. Viewing torn off roof segments and rusting super structure from the ship diminished our embarking. The two specialty restaurants are now ala carte for meals that were not worth the extra full price charge. Both restaurants had wait staff acting as sommeliers but the could not open a bottle or decant the wine except without our guidance. Cigarette smoke came out from the casino area in a nearby bar lounge which made it very unpleasant to seat there. The variety of the shows was very good.The entertainment volume of the shows was very high. NCL has lost of step of cruising quality and service that need some attention. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Planned this cruise about a year out based on some friends that were going to be onboard with us. They didn't end up making it but we still decided to go based on the itinerary. We flew into San Juan 3 days before the cruise and we ... Read More
Planned this cruise about a year out based on some friends that were going to be onboard with us. They didn't end up making it but we still decided to go based on the itinerary. We flew into San Juan 3 days before the cruise and we were able to enjoy the island before getting to the ship. Glad we did, because this time of year is known for bad weather. We were also informed on the first and only sea day that some had missed the ship in PR because of the weather delays and were having to catch the ship in Barbados. One more reason why I would never recommend flying on the same day. On embarkation day, I will say this is the smoothest and quickest that I have ever boarded a cruise. We arrived at the port about 20 minutes before our scheduled 12:00 boarding. Waited just a few minutes to drop off our bags and then through security. Once inside, we were immediately waited on to get our room keys and then proceeded directly upstairs. Past cruises we have had to wait to be called in groups. Not so this time as we boarded the ship immediately. We were onboard before noon and even had to wait for the Venetian dinning room to open for lunch. They made several announcements that rooms would be ready between 2-2:30, however, I think they actually had them ready right at 2 which was great as we were able to get right in with little wait time. Now, for the ship itself and itinerary: - This is one of the smaller ships in the NCL fleet so it was not hard to get around. And crowds weren't as bad as they sometimes are on the bigger ships. - We had a balcony room on deck 10 and it was worth every bit of it. Small, but still plenty of room for what the two of us needed. Which was a place to sleep, shower, and relax for a little bit. - Richard Matic (cruise director) was everywhere. Him and his crew did an awesome job at bringing the entertainment. - With the exception of breakfast, NCL continues to impress me with the food. Either this ship didn't offer it, or NCL changed some recipes on breakfast. In the buffet, the omelets were too greasy, and the pancakes tasted like they had been sitting out way too long. Some other little things had also changed about the breakfast but overall, meals were fantastic. - Would have liked at least one more sea day on the back end or in the middle, as this was filled with 6 ports in the 7 days. - Antigua was probably one port that we could have done without. This was the one of two ports (St. Thomas) that we decided not to do an excursion on and I wish we would have. Not a whole lot to see or do on the island without an excursion. Also the poverty on the island was sad to see and that was just outside the port. Spoke with others that had done an island tour and they had said it only got worse the further away from St. Johns. - Other ports along the way were fantastic. Even while some were still recovering from the hurricanes, they still offered a lot. Overall, would go again on NCL. Would more than likely not go on the Dawn again unless it was the itinerary that I was looking for. I personally like the ships that are a little bigger and offer more to do. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We like a more luxury cruise, without kids and casinos. The food was fantastic and all the dining options. The staff went above and beyond to make us feel welcomed and happy. The ship itself is beautiful, yet understated. A clean elegance ... Read More
We like a more luxury cruise, without kids and casinos. The food was fantastic and all the dining options. The staff went above and beyond to make us feel welcomed and happy. The ship itself is beautiful, yet understated. A clean elegance if you may. Thoroughly enjoyed our cruise director Jenna....she was a blast. We will go again on VIKING very soon. We have been on Oceania, and to date that was our favorite. One aspect lacking a tad were the included shore excursions, they really weren't worth getting off the ship for. There were plenty of other excursions offered which we did do and really liked. The wine at dinner flowed nicely but the quality was give and take, one night very good, next night almost undrinkable. It never felt crowded onboard, there were plenty of quiet spots to sit and just reflect at what a wonderful ship this is. Can't say enough good things about our trip to the Caribbean and being on a clean, beautiful ship. One very fun night was dancing under the stars, good music and lots of dancing. We took part in the Movies under the Stars as well, really liked the comfort and popcorn. The ship was spotless clean and all the staff were happy and welcomed us daily. We would give the highest stars to service, then food. We would like to try a suite at some point just to compare. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Small ship with under 100 guests and adult only. Booking through to leaving the ship was extremely well organised. We had a penthouse balcony cabin which gave excellent space for clothes as well as a sofa and chair, fridge, large tv etc ... Read More
Small ship with under 100 guests and adult only. Booking through to leaving the ship was extremely well organised. We had a penthouse balcony cabin which gave excellent space for clothes as well as a sofa and chair, fridge, large tv etc .The staff,[ particularly our cabin steward Alvin] couldn't have been better. The ship is not for people who want glitz and chandeliers, it has a comfortable elegance. The entertainment was good but not a lot of it and we would have liked it to be a little more varied. All of the restaurants were excellent far better than other cruise lines we have been with and afternoon tea was lovely. A free trip was offered on each island and the ones we went on were okay but not outstanding, the free trip we took on St Thomas should have come with a warning for back pain sufferers. The vehicles were open buses with it felt like no springs on very rough bumpy roads. We took taxis to the beach on a few occasions on different Islands with no problems until St Thomas when I wanted a nostalgic trip to Magens Bay which is unchanged and beautiful the water is so clear it is not neccesary to snorkel to see the fish they swim around your feet. unfortunately the taxi driver didn't return for us, luckily for us another couple shared their taxi with us. We would cruise with Viking again but we were very cross that we had to disembark at 7.45 for a flight at 1pm which meant a long wait at San Juan airport and another of 4 hours in New York. we would look more closely at travel arrangements made by Viking in future. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We are fairly new cruisers. We’ve been on one other cruise line, Crystal. Viking likes to brag that they’re a better rated brand than Crystal, so all of my views are compared to our experiences on Crystal. Ship: The ship itself ... Read More
We are fairly new cruisers. We’ve been on one other cruise line, Crystal. Viking likes to brag that they’re a better rated brand than Crystal, so all of my views are compared to our experiences on Crystal. Ship: The ship itself is beautiful. It’s classy and well laid out. They were very diligent about cleanliness, so we had no GI issues. It’s modern, well-stated, and the spa is phenomenal. Cabin: We booked an Explorer Suite, which was lovely. It had a wrap around balcony, a lovely bathroom, walk-in closet with a sit down vanity, ample storage, and a living room. My complaint about the room is that other than being able to book our excursions early, there’s no preferential treatment for the room category. The air travel accommodations/booking process was awful, which I will address later. When we got on the ship, we had to go looking for our luggage. It was not delivered to our room. With this room category, I would have expected a higher level of service, but that was not the case. Maybe the owner’s suite has this, but don’t expect anything extra for booking the higher level room. Dining: Crystal totally beat the Viking Sea in this category. The meal quality was spotty. We had great dinners at the specialty restaurants, Manfredi’s and The Chef’s Table, but the quality of service and food was inconsistent even there. The service and food quality at the World Cafe and The Restaurant was sometimes good and sometimes poor. We had great service in The Restaurant one night and poor service the next. They seemed untrained and even the manager was pitching in to help. I felt like this whole voyage was a training voyage for much of the crew. Entertainment: I hate to be negative here, because the entertainers were clearly trying to do a good job, but someone mentioned that it was along the lines of a high school musical presentation. I think that’s a great assessment. The left handed guitarist was great, but I wouldn't book this cruise line hoping for great entertainment. Excursions: We were in the Caribbean, so we were wanting relaxing, water-themed activities. The beach excursions were WAY TOO SHORT. We would just get settled on our beach chairs and they’d say, “time to go.” My advice would be to pay a taxi cab driver to take you to the beach and bring you back. Save the money for the taxi driver. The excursion I was most looking forward to, Cruising the Anguilla Channel, was canceled the night before. I think they knew all along, because it would never show up on our TV under our “excursions booked” tab, but they didn’t tell us until the night before. And take cash! The islands are still recovering and most of the places don’t take credit cards. We booked this cruise 8 months in advance. When we booked, the website simply said, “one free excursion per port.” They really needed an asterisk that made it clear that the excursion was their brief overview of the island in a bumpy, crowded bus. We thought it meant any excursion, which was NOT the case. Shady. Service: Our cabin manager was sweet and it would be difficult for me to fault her, but I found her English to be very hard to decipher. This was the case with many of the crew members. They were just inconsistent. We ordered room service, which is offered 24 hours a day, and more than once, they shorted us one breakfast. They brought the missing items 25 minutes later, but we had to leave for en excursion. The spotty service was most notable in the dining establishments and the luggage delivery I mentioned earlier wasn’t a good sign for our first 15 minutes on the ship. The people in Guest Relations seemed stressed out, probably from the negative comments. Everyone was trying to print boarding passes at the same time and they had trouble with the paper and printer. The spa had great people and they seemed to be the most organized and professional parts of the staff. BIG NEGATIVE: I specifically asked the travel agent and Viking NOT to make us sit and wait forever at the airport for our departing flight, as we had a nine hour flight awaiting us. Viking kicked us off the ship at 6:30 am, and our flight didn’t leave until 1:00 pm. By the time we arrived home, we had been up for 20 hours. There was a flight at 8:00 am that Viking could have booked us on. BIGGER NEGATIVE: I would advise anyone taking this cruise to book their own airfare. The cruise offers airfare as an included feature, but it’s really not worth it. We were flying out of LAX (Southern California). Viking wanted us to fly north to Chicago or New York, IN THE DEAD OF WINTER, just to turn around and fly south to Puerto Rico. We tried to renegotiate different flights that didn’t have us flying into inclement weather. We finally decided to purchase our own outbound flight, but because we did this, they charged us a $100 surcharge, which they would not reimburse us for. You read this correctly, they charged US $100, even though we paid for our own airfare, so we could avoid the illogical flights they wanted us to take!!! Embarkation and Disembarkation: The people were nice, and the guy who loaded the luggage at the Puerto Rico airport was a rock star! There certainly could have been more clear instructions, but we figured it out. Your Fellow Cruisers: Most of the people on the cruise were older people. When I say older, I mean 70+. This is fine, and we expected an older crowd. I am 60 and allegedly a young looking 60, so I had more than one older woman ask me if I was old enough to be on the ship. In fact, some women were somewhat hostile about it. My husband is older than I am, and we generated a few eye rolls and disapproving looks. We were there to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, so clearly people were jumping to some wrong conclusions. The people we enjoyed were the ones who ventured out with us on excursions. They were more active and friendly. I guess you don’t get to choose who you cruise with, but just know that it’s mostly seasoned travelers. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I was looking forward to this so much and first time trying Viking, thought the Caribbean would be a good choice as it was one of their less expensive cruises and I wanted to see what the Viking experience would be like without spending ... Read More
I was looking forward to this so much and first time trying Viking, thought the Caribbean would be a good choice as it was one of their less expensive cruises and I wanted to see what the Viking experience would be like without spending too much money. Weather was mixed, some of the Islands are still recovering from various hurricanes so be prepared for infrastructure and transport that may not be what you’re used to. No sea days, in a different port each day ( except San Juan at the beginning ) Let’s start with the good things: Beautiful contemporary classy ship with gorgeous public spaces. Staff good in the main but quite a few seemed to struggle with our British accents and some were surly and on automatic pilot. They didn’t listen. Good cabin stewards. Nice cabin but on the small side. Fantastic bathroom. Top end and stunning spa suite. Expensive for treatments though. Included excursions were ok but given itinerary it was to be expected. Optional excursions expensive. Silver beverage package good at a decent price but all drinks reasonably priced in any event. Other cruise lines should note. Good included WiFi And the not so good: Food and wine Layout of buffet and indeed main restaurant not great. Small ship so narrow down each side. In the main restaurant, you felt at times if you were sitting in a corridor. Service very spotty, wine waiters, difficult to get a hold of, serving staff were different all the time. Seemed a bit chaotic and it took on average around two hours each night for a 3 course dinner to be served. Not always asked if you wanted tea or coffee. Food itself ranged from very good to indifferent and we had over cooked fish and lukewarm food on more than a few occasions. The speciality restaurants offered better service but food didn’t live up to the hype. They take themselves far too seriously in The Chefs Table. The staff need to lighten up a bit and let their personalities come through. Having said that, there was one waiter who was particularly bumptious, condescending and aggressive. After we complained, the restaurant manager sorted it out but it was quite an upsetting experience. Mentioned the overcooked fish in mid cruise survey and was gobsmacked when the head chef called, came to see us in Manfredis that night, got the main chef to come to our table too and arranged for beautiful petit fours to be sent to our cabin. It was impressive how Viking wanted to sort things out. We had upgraded wines as on the package- seemed to confuse staff but in the main the upgraded versions were decent enough. However, the included wines were pretty poor with very limited choice. It wasn’t exactly free flowing either way. Mamsens good, coffee and pastries in the downstairs bar good. Lovely Gelato and desserts in the buffet. You get much better food and wine on Oceania though. No comparison. Room service- we gave up after a few days. Missing items. Wrong items. Entertainment- A real weak point. Good band, four great young singers with 4/5 shows over a 10 day cruise. Couple of movies shown in the evening. No guest artistes. Classical duo. Nice up to a point and then begins to grate. Good pianist but no vocals.Not looking for high impact stuff but it was a bit too sedate. Better than Oceania though where the Tumbleweed roams freely. Atrium bar and Explorers bar very nice places for a pre dinner cocktail. Toshaven - lovely little venue for dancing but not well attended. Good fun though and the band/ singers very good. Didn’t go to any enrichment lectures so can’t comment. Others said they were interesting. No casino but in my book, not missed. We are a couple in our late 50’s so we were at the lower end of the age spectrum. Fellow guests were in the main very nice, polite and courteous. So, summary- there is much to like about Viking BUT at this price point, there are other options that may suit better. It depends what you’re looking for. If only I could combine a bit of Oceania, a bit of Celebrity, Regent and Azamara with Viking, I think I’d have found the perfect cruise line. I thought I had found it, but I wouldn’t rush to book another cruise with them unless the itinerary sang to me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We had been on the ocean ships before so knew what to expect. The boat is not that old the décor the same as other of the ocean ships. The layout virtually identical. So that makes a great experience or does it? The main plus is that you ... Read More
We had been on the ocean ships before so knew what to expect. The boat is not that old the décor the same as other of the ocean ships. The layout virtually identical. So that makes a great experience or does it? The main plus is that you get what you expect if you have been with them before. Much is the same, like the speciality restaurants and the casual dining venue and the general layout .The continuous growth of the company raises interesting possible concerns. Staff training needs to be good and standards maintained. It feel at times they are on the edge with inconsistent service levels at restaurants and dining venues. Casual eating at breakfast and lunch saw staff being moved around often to "cover" an area then be countermanded by another staff member which left gaps in cover. Food was not consistently hot, when advised the answer was not really acceptable as they said you could ask for hot plates. This was something of a challenge when you asked for hot plates, staff consistently looked surprised and often had to search around. The trips were in the main quite good for the places visited. They were of reasonable length and the party sizes good. The worst was the delay we had to an already Viking scheduled late arrival of 9 pm. We eventually reached our cabin at 1 in the morning. The staffing level was small on arrival and transfer to the ship was slow. It was clearly not unexpected. Departure was equally disappointing off the ship by 8 for a flight in the afternoon at 2 pm. 6 hours and not even a cup of coffee provided. Basically you lose a day travelling at each end not great value Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We've been fortunate to have sailed on Royal Caribbean (Freedom and Oasis) in the past but once we saw the deal Norwegian had (free air fare for me and my husband and $99 for our daughters, drinks, shore excursion credit and free ... Read More
We've been fortunate to have sailed on Royal Caribbean (Freedom and Oasis) in the past but once we saw the deal Norwegian had (free air fare for me and my husband and $99 for our daughters, drinks, shore excursion credit and free wifi), we decided to take a chance on this cruise line. We're happy we did. ABOUT THE BOAT: This is a smaller boat so be prepared, especially at night, to feel the sway of the ship. It apparently was updated a few years ago and it shows: the decor is modern and clean. One of the main dining rooms (Aqua) looks like an upscale New York restaurant. There was only one pool but we never felt like sardines in it - there was enough room in and around it for everyone. There is another pool in the spa but you have to pay for it. We upgraded to a family suite since we have two teenage daughters. We expected they would share the pull out couch but we were thrilled to discover the suite has a pull out couch, a murphy bed AND a king bed. It was awesome! We didn't splurge on a balcony because being on the 12th deck we could easily walk to the pool deck. Our room also came with a nespresso machine which we loved. ABOUT THE FOOD: I read numerous reviews about the poor quality of the food and I totally disagree. The quality and variety of the buffet (Garden Cafe) was outstanding (better than either RC cruise we were on). One night they even had a huge spread of peel and eat shrimp and oysters. The coffee was always fresh and strong and they had lemon for the water. The options in the main dining rooms were also very good, even for one of our picky eaters. However, if you're hoping for lobster, you'll have to buy it on one of the islands since that's one thing Norwegian doesn't have. Some things to note: they told us that shorts weren't allowed in Aqua but that's not true. The majority of men wore shorts with no issue. Also, the only place we were able to find water was at the bar (if you ask) and at the buffet. The one benefit I liked on RC ships is that they have water dispensers at the end of each bar so you can take water when you want and not have to wait in line. ABOUT THE EXCURSIONS: We took two: one to a beach in St. Lucia and one snorkeling off of St. Thomas. The beach in St. Lucia was very nice; it was adjacent to a Sandals resort. We had to pay $10 for an umbrella but the lounge chairs were "free." Snorkeling was very cool. We went out on a catamaran and saw turtles, a ray, fish, coral and a shipwreck. The only thing about this though was that it was advertised as a 3.5 hour trip and we were back at the boat in less than 3 hours. We walked into Bridgetown in Barbados which was nice. Our favorite port was St. John in Antigua since we liked the market and historic section. ABOUT THE DEALS: We live in Vermont so booking airfare to anywhere is expensive. Free air fare was incredible. We had to fly out of Boston which was fine. The only thing I didn't like at all is that they offer you choice airports to fly out of and then get back to you with your flight times. With RC, I worked with the agent together to determine the best departure and arrival times for us. The Norwegian process was clunky. The other deal was for free drinks up to $15 per drink. Totally worth it. The only disappointment was even though my husband had free wifi, it was super slow. But we were supposed to be on vacation so it wasn't a deal breaker. All in all, we were exceptionally pleased. My parents have taken 13 cruises, 12 of which were on RC. After we shared our experience, my father has been looking into a Norwegian cruise for them. Read Less

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