Our cruise on the Norwegian Dawn February 2008 was our 7th cruise and our 3rd with Norwegian Cruise Line. We found the entertainment at the nightly shows to be the best we have ever experienced. The cruise director and assistant cruise director and their entire staff was great. The 60280 band was great. We found the food on the ship to be the worst we have ever had. Most evenings we dined in the main dining room. The appetizers and deserts were good but the main course every night was of extremely poor quality. We had to wonder where they got the beef they served. The evening that lobster was served it was cooked to a rubber like consistency and our waiter did not offer drawn butter so we had to eat it dry. The nights steak and prime rib were served the meat was tasteless, tough and only about one quarter of an inch thick. On the final night the choices were limited and one of the offerings in the main dining room was hotdogs, which we decided to skip. The food in the buffets was okay at times but here again the main courses left something to be desired. One of the two evenings we ate at the buffet my wife had a slice of beef that was so tough she had to set it aside and try to find something different to eat. There was no soft serve ice cream, pizza or other snacks available as we have experience on other cruises and after the late show at 9:30 each night, choices of snacks etc. was limited to the Blue Lagoon Lounge which was very small and served a limited fair. The buffets were closed. Overall this ship gets a significantly failing mark on food from us. Drinks onboard were "pay through the nose". Our first and last alcoholic beverage onboard was a Pina Colada that we ordered upon arrival. $19.95 U.S. for 2 including an automatic 15% gartuity for the bartenders on the drink as well as the plastic "sourineer glass." I asked about the automatic inclusion of the tip on the drinks as well as a tip on the plastic glass and the bar tender told me they had been working hard and long hours so they deserved it. After that we felt the purchase of wine or a drink onboard to be an absolute rip off so we saved our drink money for purchases of drinks in port rather than onboard. As far as ports of call, we had to wonder why the ship even stopped at the Dominican Republic. The ship’s staff even joked about this port of call. We did the whale-watching excursion at this port. They handed out raincoats and we got soaked. We did see whales surfacing but it was not worth the money or seasickness some of the passengers experienced. We did not go ashore at this port after our whale-watching excursion but heard from other passengers that we did not miss anything, as there was little to see. We did an excursion at Tortolla, which was good and St. Thomas is St. Thomas. We felt that the cruise lacked good ports of call as well as good food. It might seem that I dwell on the food but only because it did not measure up to past cruises. The layout of the ship itself was only okay. Our stateroom was the smallest we have ever had. The bathroom in our stateroom was adequate. Shopping onboard was limited to one small shop. Not up to par. The ship was stable in 4’ to 9’ seas. We hardly felt the movement. The dining and stateroom staff was pleasant but not outgoing. There was a $10 per day per person “service charge” added to our bill that supposedly took the place of tips for stateroom and dining room personnel. Most passengers were not aware that this charge could be removed from their bill. We would rather tip our stateroom and dining room staff with cash. Who knows where this money goes otherwise. Overall, not our best experience. What made this cruise great was our understanding of what a cruise is and our ability to enjoy ourselves in less than optimal circumstances.
Public areas okay. Shopping onboard sub par.
Our advice; find a different ship and different itinerary.
Pros: The entertainment
Cons: The food
Recommends Norwegian Dawn? No.
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See our review
Food and Dining
See our review
Cabin / Stateroom
Smaller than on any of our other cruises but fairly clean. Some days we were lacking wash cloths and the floor was not vacuumed. Not up to par with other ships we have been on. Twice we found a bill on our beds for drinks from the minibar that we did not take. We had to assume that one of our stateroom staff got thursty. The charges were removed from our bill.
Service and Staff
Friendly but didn't see anything above and beyond. Numerous times we had to wait as ship staff walked in front of us instead of allowing us to pass first.
The evening shows were the best we have seen but snacks were extremely limited after the 9:30 show.
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