A so-so cruise
Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Ship: Norwegian Dawn
Cabin Type: Inside
Traveled As: Family (older children)
Reviewed: 8 years ago
Overall, we were underwhelmed by this cruise. We had not cruised for more than 10 years, and this time we brought our three boys, aged 15, 11, and 8. They made their own friends on board and did not partake in the kids programs.
We hated the fact that we were constantly being hounded to buy more stuff, and we would never again go on a cruise that requires tenders for more than one port. If we had not been scheduled for a shore excursion in Samana, we might never have made it off the ship. As it was, we were 45 minutes late getting off.
And even though NCL seems proud it has owned its private island, Great Stirrup Cay, for 30 years, it amazes us that they never seem to have noticed that its too small for such a large number of guests. If you have not booked a shore excursion, you have to get a tender ticket for each member of your party, beginning at 7:30am. If you are not in the first couple hundred, you will wait and wait and wait to get ashore. And when you get there, you will have to scrounge for a decent chair and a little patch of sand to put it on. We were packed in like sardines. And to make matters worse, NCL charges $25 to rent a large float for the kids to play on a float I seriously doubt cost $25 to begin with. And they wanted $29 to rent adult snorkel equipment and $15 for kids. They only rent them by the day, even though you realistically cannot use them for more than about 3-4 hours.
As delineated below, we also thought the food was mediocre, and we resented having to pay extra for decent food and service.
Bear in mind, however, that we were in the sunny, warm Carinbean, not in the cold mid-Atlantic, so it's somewhat relative!
Pros: The Entertainment, a couple of the crew
Cons: The food, the tendering operations