Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Experience
2-3 cruises

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3 out of 5

Good, but not great

Sail Date: January 10, 2009

Reviewed: 7 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

The ship itself was beautiful on the inside, always clean and polished. The service was excellent - I have no complaints there! And the entertainment was fun. But the ship's layout was confusing, the stateroom bathroom was really quite small, and the "freestyle dining" definitely isn't free.

Pros: The service was excellent

Cons: The stateroom was small

Recommends Norwegian Dawn? No.

Cabin / Stateroom
We had a balcony stateroom. The balcony was wonderful - room for two to sit and watch the sea. The rest of the room left something to be desired. The bed was literally two twin beds pushed together, which by the end of the night had separated and left both of us with aching backs. There literally was not room for more than one of us to move anywhere at the same time - one of us had to be seated or laying in bed for the other to go anywhere. The bathroom, though was the worst. The toilet portion of the bathroom was partitioned off from the rest of the bathroom area with glass doors. That partition made it very difficult for us to use the bathroom in our stateroom - it was difficult to use the facilities and clean up afterward. It was bad enough that we made a point during our cruise to use the bathrooms around the ship and avoided using our own.
Ship Quality
The layout was confusing - navigating from our aft stateroom to some places located forward required getting off on deck seven, crossing from aft to forward, and riding another elevator down. Also, we frequently had to walk though restaurants to get to another location on the ship. Not the best layout.
Food and Dining
One of the reasons we chose this cruise was for its dining options. We've cruised before and found the rigid dining times often meant we missed dinner. So, when we saw that we had a variety of restaurants available and no set time to go, we were excited. When we got on board and saw that all of the restaurants we wanted to go to charged some sort of cover we were a little surprised - nothing we read in the cruise literature before boarding indicated that these restaurants charged. We went anyway and the food was generally excellent. The teppenyaki was a fun show with excellent food, the steakhouse was absolutely divine, and the Mexican restaurant, Salsa, was delicious. The Italian restaurant, Impressions, was okay, but nothing to rave about. However, each of those restaurants charged a cover - between $10 and $25 per person. It's worth it, but be prepared to pay for it. As for the rest - bar food and buffet food - good, but nothing to write home about.
Entertainment
The ship offered different entertainment every night, and sometimes two different shows each night. It felt like there was something for everyone every night. We only saw one show - Second City - but it was excellent. The balcony area where we were seated had only a mildly obstructed view of the stage, but we didn't miss a thing and the sound quality was excellent.
Service and Staff
The staff was excellent overall. They were attentive without hovering, pleasant, and thorough. There were a couple of exceptions, but they were all the more notable because the service was so good overall.
Cayo Levantado (Samana), Dominican Republic
As the port guide said - the Dominican Republic is a third world country. Very little shopping, very few excursions, and the locals will rip you off if you go with them for a tour or a ride.
Don't Miss: The ship. Stay on board.
Great Stirrup Cay (Cruiseline Private Island), Bahamas
We ended up being redirected from Great Stirrup Cay to Nassau. Nassau was another fun port with lots to see and do, great shopping, and friendly locals. Another place I'd like to go back to.
Don't Miss: Atlantis
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
St. Thomas is for shopping and it was wonderful. All the shops you could hope for, friendly locals, lots of places to go visit. I'm planning to go back just to visit St. Thomas.
Don't Miss: The shopping!
Road Town, Tortola, B.V.I.
Tortola is a cross between Samana and St. Thomas - rustic without locals out to rip you off any way they can. The shopping was more craft-based, which was also enjoyable.


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