Sail Date: November 2018
This was my first time on the Dawn, second on Norwegian. We had cruised on the Escape in February so I wasn’t sure I would be very impressed with the older ship. The interior was beautiful and tastefully done. Our suite was ... Read More
This was my first time on the Dawn, second on Norwegian. We had cruised on the Escape in February so I wasn’t sure I would be very impressed with the older ship. The interior was beautiful and tastefully done. Our suite was fantastic. The only minor disappointment with the suite was that the middle windows were permanently discolored, so the view was partially obstructed and these windows had an air leak in the seal that whistled when we were cruising or if it was windy. The crew was amazingly friendly and attentive. The biggest disappointment was the food. On the Escape, we were all very happy eating at the buffet in the Cafe. On the Dawn, the food was terrible and unappetizing. Burgers looked as if they were hockey pucks, roasts sat under heat lamps and dried them out so they looked like shoe leather, and choices were quite limited. Cagney’s did not have ribeye steak during the entire cruise. La Cucina gave us reservations for 7:15 and when we arrived we were told there were no tables inside for us “because they had a large party of 9” so they could only seat us in the outside area that was smoky from the nearby cigar lounge and impossible to hold a conversation because of music being played at Gadsby’s bar. It is not the best environment for an up charge restaurant. The wait staff at the restaurants are well-trained and every server we had was pleasant and attentive. The servers in Moderno and Cagney’s were our favorites. Beverage servers in O’Sheehans and Gadsby’s knew our names and remembered our favorite drinks. The crew seems genuinely happy for the most part and that helped make our trip a good one. I would travel in the Dawn again, but would love to see them up their game in the food department, especially the Garden Cafe. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Our family cruised because we wanted to celebrate our parents !!! 50 years of marriage There was 22 of us and we made wonderful memories . We didn’t care for our day at sea so much, had a few people with motion sickness but that ... Read More
Our family cruised because we wanted to celebrate our parents !!! 50 years of marriage There was 22 of us and we made wonderful memories . We didn’t care for our day at sea so much, had a few people with motion sickness but that quickly passed . The staff was amazing “washy washy” of course won our hearts !!! The specialty restaurants was fantastic, the breakfast buffet got really old really fast !!! The bartender las where rockstars and not to mention the housekeeper!!!! Keep up the good work !!!! Our excursions went smoothly. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze we loved the ice cold wash cloths we where welcomed with for our faces on the hot days . We spent a lot of nights playing fun family games on deck . We didn’t really care for the small pool area it was always crowded . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I chose this cruise because of dates and itinerary, also offered better rates as compared to other similar alternatives. Always is a plus in my case that NCL offers a solo program, which I was looking forward to experiencing. The solo ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of dates and itinerary, also offered better rates as compared to other similar alternatives. Always is a plus in my case that NCL offers a solo program, which I was looking forward to experiencing. The solo program is fine, no pressures at all, met very nice people and shared dinners and nice conversations. Average entertainment (very good The Elements and PG Magician). Very good complimentary restaurants (specially Venetian and O'Shelly's). Lots of dining options for extra payment. Drinks packages and Internet extremely expensive. Great staff. Cabin looked old but was perfect for 1/2 guests (although it accomodates 4, please do not!) I enjoyed Old San Juan in my 2 days prior to embarkation. One day would have been enough. Cannot comment on shore excursions, I just got off the ship in every islands and looked for the nearest beach, which I found very accesible in all cases, just a shared taxi and a fee for the chair/umbrella. Do not need to book shore excursions to go to the beach. Ship is old but very well maintained, medium size, rare distribution, but I would no doubt sail on it again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Norweigen Dawn My cabin was a Mini-Suite I have taken more than ten cruises and it was the worst ever. The food at all of the restaurants that I tried (8) was well below par. To put things in perspective, The food that I was ... Read More
Norweigen Dawn My cabin was a Mini-Suite I have taken more than ten cruises and it was the worst ever. The food at all of the restaurants that I tried (8) was well below par. To put things in perspective, The food that I was served on the airplane going home was better than all of the meals that I had on the ship. Yes the ship food, including their specialty dinning restaurants was below "airline" food! Specifically, the main dinning room, The Venetian, consistently served cold, assembly line cafeteria food. The French onion soup was served luke warm without anything in it. The prime rib was over cooked and tasteless. Shrimp scampi on pasta was cold, dry and boring. The thanksgiving dinner was "crap"! The turkey was very overcooked and dry. The rest of the meal was not worth talking about other than to say that I did not eat it and neither did many other people. I went and got a hamburger after trying that dinner. The Specialty restaurants, Le Bistro and Cagney's were unacceptable! Surf and turf at Cagney's is a small filet and three tiny shrimp grilled on a skewer. They lacked taste, spice or any other redeeming values. The filet was ordered "medium" and was served very rare or "Bleu". After asking me to cut the steak multiple times to verify it was under cooked, the waiter offered to get the pieced cooked some more. I declined this option and requested a new steak. This was a fight! The waiter agreed but the chef refused. Turned out to be an expensive, over rated, poor meal. When this is combined with poor service from waiters that cannot speak English or Spanish, the dinning on this trip was BAD! A classic example was my breakfast on my last day, I ordered an "English" muffin. The waiter brought a bagel to the table and called it an "English muffin". I asked if he knew the difference between an English muffin and a bagel, it was clear that he did not know the difference. This explained why meal orders were screwed up and wrong ALL week. The service was not any better. The cabin stewards loved to slam doors all day and night. The tub in my cabin did not work and was never fixed. The music in the main Atrium was poor, had a significant Latin influence and was the same night after night. The comedy and magic shows were very good. The music and singing is some of the small lounges was good and they were packed. I will not cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I needed a cruise to get away and relax and I have always wanted to do the Caribbean. Looked into cruises and this one gave me the most islands for the dollar.yes it is an older ship with some flaws but the staff and crew seemed to go out ... Read More
I needed a cruise to get away and relax and I have always wanted to do the Caribbean. Looked into cruises and this one gave me the most islands for the dollar.yes it is an older ship with some flaws but the staff and crew seemed to go out of their way to make sure I had an enjoyable time. Only negative I had was in the spa. After a massage I got the hard sell to buy their products. Even after saying no a couple of time they kept trying to sell me product. After meeting a crew member once they knew my name and always smiled and said hello. Public rooms were always nice and clean, pool deck had plenty of room and always music or something fun going on. Nightly game shows were fun to go to. Excursions were good and a lot of variety in the choices. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This is maybe my 15th or 16th cruise; but it was the first for 5 of my family/friends to celebrate my 55th birthday; all adults. I was completely disappointed, so this is my first cruise review. Know before you go!! Especially, if you ... Read More
This is maybe my 15th or 16th cruise; but it was the first for 5 of my family/friends to celebrate my 55th birthday; all adults. I was completely disappointed, so this is my first cruise review. Know before you go!! Especially, if you plan on being on sailing on the NCL Dawn. 1) The ship setup is choppy at best. Everything is separated by great distances and inconvenient to get to. There will ALWAYS be extensive walking or need for taking the stairs. Not good for folks with any type of physical disability or ailment. 2) Dinner reservations are needed for ALL complimentary and pay-as-you-go dining rooms, except the Garden Café which is pool side. Good luck with making reservations for a reasonable hour if you have to make reservations while on the ship. Our options were 5:30 (1730) or 8:45 (2045), that's just for a few, there were later times available for others. The Aqua and O'Sheenan's was ok, but great if you want you food hot. The food in the Garden Café, general dining area, is less than flavorful, bland and is always lukewarm. The Garden Café is the go-to, if you don't have reservations. Unfortunately, the only foods that didn't taste like school lunch were their Asian cuisines. Nachos are offered for late night snack, but your cheese is slide American. Burgers were frozen patties and never above warm; ie. don't add your own cheese, if won't melt! If you're a late riser, FORGET about eating bacon or an omelet; when they run out that's it and there won't be any coming no matter what they say!! The dinner reservation desk has bankers hours. 3) I'm working on my third Master' Degree, so I purchased Premium Unlimited WiFi for $34.99/day. It's neither Premium nor is it Unlimited. My WiFi went in/out the entire cruise. I purchased the WiFi so that I could do homework, which was virtually impossible on this ship. The Manager was the least helpful. Yes, she reiterated that I needed to completely login and use logout.com, but that was the extent of her assistance. On what should have been the last 24 hours of my services, my WiFi went out for 6 hours. It came back on a few hours before it was supposed to be disconnected. No refunds!! 4) They advertise 2 pools. HaHaHa!! There are 2 pools; 1 has a max capacity of about 25 if you don't want to knock someone over getting in/out with 4 (yes FOUR) hottubs that surround it. The other is a small water area for kids. Guess where all the kids hand out? Yep, in the pool and hottubs with the adults near the bar. Oh, there's another hottub at the front of the ship. Yeah!! 5 hottubs on a Southern Caribbean cruise. By the way, did I say that the kids water play area is right next to the gym that has floor to ceiling glass looking out onto the area. Both a positive and negative. But there's a full-court basketball court. :( 5) Our Steward was wonderful and ensured that our privacy was respected when the do not disturb sign was out; the suite we had wasn't worth the cost. The tub is too high for people short in stature, I'm 63", and presents a safety hazard. As a suite, the only extra space you get is where the couch is located that sleeps to more people and is separated by a drape. 6) Watch out for the unlimited drink package, an Irish Coffee will be free; but if you want a Chai Latte you'll have to pay out of pocket. Also, if you're at a US port you'll have to pay taxes drink package or not. Another tidbit that we weren't told about until getting on the ship. 7) We prepaid transfer fees to/from the airport to the port. When we arrived at the airport we had to help the transportation folks find our names on what looked like emails with names. They had us listed to arrive at the time we originally left BWI in Maryland. We sat in the airport for almost 2 hours, because they couldn't get transport large enough for our party of 8. Yet, we watched people get off of flights from Canada and Europe with larger parties that were taken to transport immediately. Luckily enough, the return trip to the airport was much better because they had a list of names with room numbers. 8) If you're an avid cruiser, you're accustomed to hearing the Cruise or Entertainment Director(s) on the intercom telling you or reminding you about all the great activities planned that day and where they're located. Nope, not so much! If you don't read the nightly 'Free Style' or watch the cruise channel you find things out word of mouth from other travelers. 9) Embarkation was good, Disembarkation even better! 10) We didn't explore our departure before or after due to the times of our flights to/from San Juan, PR. However, the shore excursions were WONDERFUL!! Chose wisely, a few just take you shopping, others to beaches you can get to yourself for $7-10 roundtrip. Well that's my story....Know Before You Go!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I chose this cruise because I live close to the home port the itinerary included some islands I have not yet visited, and because I could book a balcony at a reasonable rate for a solo traveler. Embarkation and disembarkation was very ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I live close to the home port the itinerary included some islands I have not yet visited, and because I could book a balcony at a reasonable rate for a solo traveler. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth. The activities, entertainment, cabin and shore excursions were all fine. I particularly enjoyed the attention paid to solo travelers. Also, I treated myself by paying for open access to the spa's facilities. I always had that pool and hot tub to myself and I avoided the crowds at the outdoor communal pool. I admit that it is not my favorite ship but it is not my least-favorite ship. This is the first time I have been on a ship that had a telephone app that could be used for finding out activities, etc. This is a nice feature, but frankly I was not ready to carry my phone around with me. I enjoyed that St Thomas was the last port of call before heading back to San Juan, because St Thomas is included in my cell phone's basic plan and I could call home to confirm disembarkation arrangements. There are two things that would make the overall experience better. First, when you get off the ship and waiting in the hot sun for your ride, there is no place to sit down. Second, when you try to access the NCL website in Puerto Rico, it defaults to Spanish and there is no option to change the language. You can get around this by using a VPN and/or using Chrome as the web browser because it will translate to English. But most people would not really care about this, so for most people it is a non-issue. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Value, cruised 8 times prior, this was the worse! Billed for more than should have with no reason, took 3 days to correct it. Premier eatery was out of Ribeye steaks and had been for 3 weeks. Failed to have proper glasses for wine ... Read More
Value, cruised 8 times prior, this was the worse! Billed for more than should have with no reason, took 3 days to correct it. Premier eatery was out of Ribeye steaks and had been for 3 weeks. Failed to have proper glasses for wine served all in small white wine glasses, even offering “wine classes, then not following through. La Bisto was right next to the music venue, making the restraint very noisy, almost unbearable. The wine cellar was a plus, wine steward knew her wines, very knowledgeable. Carney’s was still the best, wait staff and others, reservations were on time, excellent food. LaContina was the surprise very, very good, food, might say almost the best speciality. Very arrogant photo staff, all they wanted to sell was pictures, talk down to folks asking advice. Submit comment cards during the cruise only got one response from Raj the beverage manager, satisfied my question. Latitudes get together was very quick all they talked about was “CruiseNext” nothing about NCL and what was on the horizon, what is coming. Found information very lacking concerning future cruises. Will make me think twice when choosing my next cruise did not sign up for my next CruiseNext. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We wanted an early winter mini-break so booked a 9-day out of Boston on the Dawn. We have been on the Dawn before and found the re-furbishing a major disappointment, and the reason for four stars vs five. Space is even more cut up than ... Read More
We wanted an early winter mini-break so booked a 9-day out of Boston on the Dawn. We have been on the Dawn before and found the re-furbishing a major disappointment, and the reason for four stars vs five. Space is even more cut up than before with flow through just about nil. We enjoy the main dining menus and food and see no need for the many, many specialty restaurants taking up all the common space. Our cabin (mini suite with balcony) seemed smaller than usual (11102) due to the different layout. We usually cruise mid-ship but on the Dawn the mid ship mini suites are under the pool so did not want to hear the chairs scraping. One of our drawers did not stay shut but cabin steward had carpenters fix immediately. Plenty of storage (prefer the cabins with more drawers vs shelves, but still plenty) Entertainment was again, excellent, with a good variety in the various venues. Food was good - not exceptional, but good, lots of variety and plentiful. We did try LeBistro (disappointing), LosLobos (nothing special) and Cagney's (Excellent) with our "free" perk for distinctive voyage/Latitudes Platinum. While we would go back to Cagney's (with our Latitude rewards, NOT to pay extra), we find plenty of variety and excellent choices in the dining room. We never eat in the cafe (I have a food allergy and don't trust the other diners not to cross-contaminate). Service was wonderful throughout the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and price. First time ever chose the transfer and hotel package - will not do that again. Hotel was fine but transfer was awful. It took several calls and we almost ended up calling a cab because ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and price. First time ever chose the transfer and hotel package - will not do that again. Hotel was fine but transfer was awful. It took several calls and we almost ended up calling a cab because they were so late. Only good part of that was that we had no lines at embarkation! We have sailed on this ship before its renovation and liked the old version better. Remodel has it very chopped up so they can accommodate all of the specialty restaurants. It was rough the first day and half due to weather but staff handled having everyone inside all day very well and had many activities. I was disappointed to find so many of them were infomercials however. I do not buy art, wine or beauty items onboard. Prices for Bingo and Lets make a deal seemed high, but had a wonderful time anyway. I am a trivia fan and wished that the times were better for those (had general tirvia at 9AM and 5PM) . The guitar player in the Gatsby lounge was terrific, other venues were okay. Food was good but repetitive. Excellent chips in Cagneys and burgers in O Sheehans was excellent.. One of our party has a severe shellfish allergy and I am diabetic, Mr. Q took excellent care of us. We stayed overnight in Puerto Rico and had arranged a private tour with a couple of other cruise critic members. It was excellent. My favorite excursion was in St. Maarten. We chose to make our own perfume. What a terrific experience I would say this was not to be missed. So much fun and so informative and I love my 'personal' perfume! Read Less
Norwegian Dawn Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.5 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.0

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