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2 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
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
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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
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
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
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
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
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I cruised Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise lines and wanted to try another cruise line. I went with Norwegian Cruise Lines instead of Princess because it was going to 2 other islands that Princess was not, OK so lets talk about what ... Read More
I cruised Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise lines and wanted to try another cruise line. I went with Norwegian Cruise Lines instead of Princess because it was going to 2 other islands that Princess was not, OK so lets talk about what went wrong! We noticed that in the beginning of our cruise, we were smelling sewage in the cabin hallway by our room. The cruise line, receptionist sent someone to spray a refreshsioner on the carpets, which only last for a few hours. We complained a half dozer times along with other passions. We smelled that for 10 days. Another problem was that the food was never hot, only warm. I sure it must be difficult to prepare for a thousand people but other cruise line can do it. The type or one can say menu in the buffet never changed. 10 days of the same thing. This reminds me of feeding our pets, the same thing each meal each day. I believe that Norwegian Cruise Lines must not of vetted the shore excursion vendors. Half of them did not care about their passions and did not give a history of the island on the sight seeing exclusions but instead played their music turned way up and just drove us from point A to point B. One of them even dropped us off at a shopping area and said they will be back in 2 hours, which we do not know what he did or where he went, but he did come back 2 hours later and drove us to another point of interest without and information of the island. After that, took us back to the ship. What a waste of money and time. The only positive rating I could give Norwegian Cruise Line is for their room stewards and the kitchen/galley help. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
**Second 10 day Southern Caribbean cruise on the Jade in 2 years.( 4 total NCL cruises in past 5 years.) Really enjoyed last years’cruise on the Jade and decided to go on the Jade again to visit the islands we were diverted from last ... Read More
**Second 10 day Southern Caribbean cruise on the Jade in 2 years.( 4 total NCL cruises in past 5 years.) Really enjoyed last years’cruise on the Jade and decided to go on the Jade again to visit the islands we were diverted from last year because of the hurricanes. Big mistake ! **Food was mediocre at best. Even the upcharge restaurants could not seem to serve food that was hot...food was luke warm at best and bland. The buffet was almost inedible...starch, starch, and more pale white starch. Coffee is the worst ever.Ugh. Most of the meat was tough and flavorless. I noticed food handlers, at the buffet being reprimanded by their supervisors on numerous occasions for different infractions. I work in food service, so I’m highly aware of food serving standards . Not a comforting thing to see while trying to stay healthy on a trip. **Drink package was changed, unbeknownst to me, up charges on premium brands. Ugh. This is on top of paying for taxes and a 20%gratuity on the “ free “ package.Super long waits at the outdoor bars. **Free WiFi was a joke as the free 250 minutes were used when the logout did not work. On board app needs much work, very frustrating. **Mini suite and cabin steward were both great. **After only ever sailing on NCL, this cruise has me questioning my loyalty ...don’t get me started on the latitude tier program...a joke. Will be venturing out to sea on another cruise line next time. Read Less
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