Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review to Bermuda

Deck Hand

4-6 cruises


Helpful Votes

2 out of 5

Worst cruise so far

Sail Date: June 27, 2010

Reviewed: 6 years ago

Traveled As: Family w/young children

Room Type: Oceanview

That was our 4th cruise and first one with NCL.
Based on our excitement of previous trips our friends had decided to celebrate their 20th anniversary at the Norwegian Dawn.
Unfortunately, after this trip I am not sure if our friends are going to cruise again - so many disappointments we had experienced. Most of the things we got frustrated with must be NCL policies compared to other cruise lines we'd been to.
I will try to describe them below.

1) Rooms.
Our party included me, my wife, our 20 years daughter and 10-years old son. We had outside cabin with large window. The room was very small.
There were 2 single beds on the sides and one folding out bunk bed. The bed for the fourth person was set between two single beds making one 3-people surface. Pretty awkward setup when you have 20-years old daughter in your party.
Our friends' room was one with the balcony. It was so small even for 3 people. When their beds were prepared for sleep there was almost no way to get to the balcony.
2) Restaurants.
There were 2 restaurants (large Venetian and smaller Aqua) and 2 cafes included in price of the cruise.
On the first day of the cruise it took us 3 hours to dine (including an hour of waiting in line). When we complained, we were told that it's "free style cruising" and therefore to avoid lines we have dine at "unpopular" times.
At the same time there were 7 or 8 restaurants with cover charge (usually from $15 to $25 per person) which were promoted by NCL staff at every corner of the ship. Most of those restaurants stayed completely empty for the duration of our trip. Imagine how much precious ship space those useless restaurants took
2) Food.
Food quality was OK. But variety of food was very mediocre. Exact same menu every day within seven days is not what we expected for. By some strange reason Ice cream had to be given out by the cruise staff member and that always caused lines.
The only drinks included all the time - tea and coffee. No soda for free whatsoever. Free juices only included at breakfast.
Glass cover above the food counter was set out so far, that it was extremely inconvenient to get any food located far from the edge of the counter.
Food quality was OK. Service was on a slow side. Taste wise the food was very mediocre, absolutely nothing to be excited about.
3) Duty free shop takes a hefty part of the ship. Never seen it's been that big on other ships.
4) Pool - extremely small for 2000 guests. Never enough lounge chairs. $25 deposit to get a towel by the pool. Jacuzzis were always full and no staff managed rotation of people in there.
5) NCL collects $12 per person per day as a service charge. For our party it was $350 for the duration of the cruise - pretty good tips in my opinion.
But getting food to the room, for example, was not free. Waiters on the ship sell drinks so aggressively that for 10 minutes of sitting with a bottle of beer I was asked by about 10 of them if I want more. Nobody seemed to manage them.
6) No ESPN and therefore no World Cup 2010 coverage huge disappointment. Sports bar had only ESPN2 channel showing college baseball or something similar. The bar was empty for 7 days.
7) Personnel on the ship was friendly, but pretty unsmiling. There was no atmosphere of celebration which I always felt on my previous trips.
I will not going to cruise with NCL again.

Pros: Bermuda

Cons: Penny-saving policies of the NCL

Recommends Norwegian Dawn? No.

Service and Staff
Very good people, but very unsmiling. No "going above at beyond" at all.
Ship Quality
Moving around the ship is not very convenient. Pool area is extremely small and always overcrowded.
Food and Dining
2 included restaurants against 8 you have to pay for.
Cabin / Stateroom
Extremely small room. Very inconvenient setup for 4 people.

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