First trip to Panama Canal

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 7
Helpful Votes: 150

Overall rating:

3.3 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Dawn

14 Night Panama Canal Partial Transit (Tampa Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 01, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Dawn

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 5635

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

We really enjoyed our visit to the canal, but wish there was less cruise line ports with their jewelry, souvenir stores and more true cultural ports of the countries visited.


2 out of 5
Poorly controlled embarkation process. The lineup of people outside terminal and luggage handling is horrible. No queue control. People jumping lines...and horrible traffic

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Did not attend specialty restaurants. However the food in main dining has gone steaks, other than nightly sirloin. Prime rib once out of 14 lobsters an occasional shrimp cocktail. Food adequate but not great

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Need more quiet public areas !!!!! For reading, conversing....etc


3 out of 5
Stage shows weren't bad, do not need acrobats....singers and dancers good. However, Andrew in the Atrium was horrible!!!! Brian in Gatsby was bad. The Gatsby had to much cigar smell and too cold.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Our cabin steward, bar waiter in Osheehans and waiter in Aqua were all excellent! waiter in Osheehans was great

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Very clean and we'll maintained! A little congested...need more quiet public areas

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
The cabin size was what we expected, functional. Our room steward was excellent and very personable maintained the room well clean. Drawbacks: It was noisy at night and early morning with cart traffic to the galley. The safe in our room and many others were not functionable.

Ship tip

Like most NCL cruises there are no real dress up occasions- it's voluntary. Most cruisers are no longer taking suits and ties.

Ports of call

Key West, Florida

3 out of 5
Have been many times. Did enjoy a tour and lecture at the Truman Whitehouse

Falmouth, Jamaica

2 out of 5
Have been many times. It's not really Jamaica, but a port for cruise stores, souvenir shops, liquor stores.....

Santa Marta, Colombia

3 out of 5
Interesting. We shopped for some souvenirs, Had a beer and back to ship. Not much to see

Cartagena, Colombia

4 out of 5
A better port and some interesting sites

Panama Canal (Cruise Into Canal)

5 out of 5
Did not go ashore, but did enjoy the canal passage and discussion on the canal thru the day

Coxen Hole, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

1 out of 5
Somewhat disappointed.... Once again,it's a small cruise line port lined with jewelry and souvenir stores. Not really Honduras

Harvest Caye, Belize

1 out of 5
It is nice, pretty private island...pretty scenery nice beaches and pools, excursions....and again more jewelry and souvenir stores... Not really Belize and it's culture.

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

2 out of 5
Again, another cruise line port!!!!!! Jewellery stores, souveniers......Not really Mexico!!!!! However, you can get a free trolley ride at the back of the port to a small Mexican city. It is interesting, has some shops, restaurants, can sit or swim off their beach. There are a lot of hawkers trying to sell, but it safe and more real Mexico! Rides back to port via taxi are roughly $2-$4/pp. .....about 15 minutes.


2 out of 5
Like embarkation a mess! Poorly organized chaos.... The other cruise terminals in Tampa are better orgaized!.
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