Relaxing Getaway Cruise

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 39

Overall rating:

3.4 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Dawn

7 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip)

Sail date: March 01, 2020

Ship: Norwegian Dawn

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 11002

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

My past cruise experiences were better than this NCL trip to the western Caribbean. I would choose a different cruise line next time for a better ship layout, more formal dining experience, and better shore excursion.


2 out of 5
Embarkation was unorganized, confusing, and crowded with very long lines. This was partially due to an extra form that had to be completed before checking in, because of the coronavirus. There was no clear instruction about the procedure, so many people tried to check in, but had to get back in line after completing the form because they had not been told what to do. I happened to notice the small table with the forms that had to be filled out.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
We paid extra for specialty restaurants, for one of our party. It was included as a perk for two. The food wasn’t much better than the non specialty restaurant. We had to pay a 20% gratuity per person, and there was a line to add even more gratuity, so I felt “nickel and dimed.” There were always an abundance of choices at the buffet. The quality was okay. The restaurants were very good.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
I went to the comedy show, casino, and played bingo. I also listened to some of the music. The bingo was very expensive for only three games. I wouldn’t participate again. The comedian was great. A young white woman sang the songs for the Stevie Wonder Tribute...she had no soul. However, she was great on the Sax. She should use her chop strength for the horn, not vocals. The singer and guitarist in the center of the ship were excellent, and performed a lot of hours.


3 out of 5
Already commented

Children's Programs

5 out of 5

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
All of the service staff were attentive and kind.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
There was not enough staff to keep up with the careless travelers who left beer bottles and trash throughout the ship. There was no place inside to sit at tables and play card games, or just to relax and enjoy the view. I wish there had been an adults only jacuzzi and quiet area.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
I slept on the sofa bed. I’m only 5’7” and my feet hung off the end. The room was kept clean. This is the first cruise I have been on that charged a per person fee for room service. So, we did not request it. The space was fine for three people. However, we paid $450 for a bid on a larger room. I was told that the room cost over $800 without bidding. It felt like a scam because the room wasn’t much bigger than a regular balcony room. We did appreciate our location which was the first forward room on deck 11.

Ship tip

Book all of your dinner reservations ASAP.. we had to eat late because we didn’t book early. Eating late is unhealthy.

Ports of call

Tampa, Florida

3 out of 5

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

3 out of 5
The Mayan ruins were interesting, but the excursion felt rushed, and we were not allowed to go up to the temple. It was difficult for some people to keep up with the group because of their physical condition. We were only given 10 minutes at each stop to look around and take pics. The explanation of Mayan culture was interesting.

Harvest Caye, Belize

3 out of 5
There wasn’t much to do. We had an expensive lunch and walked around the shops.

Coxen Hole, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

5 out of 5
I had the best snorkel experience ever. The entire cruise was worth it for this port.

Cozumel, Mexico

2 out of 5
I went on a snorkel, beach party excursion. It was sunny heading out on the catamaran. It started to rain at the snorkel spot. It was so cold that I didn’t get in. I am anemic, so I get cold easily, but the cold and rain didn’t keep others from snorkeling. When we got to the beach, it was raining even harder, and it was even colder. I only had a towel, but it wasn’t enough to keep me warm. The only lunch offering was an expensive hamburger, which I ate while shivering and wishing I was back on the ship. There was minimal protection from the rain and wind on the catamaran ride back to the ship. Nonetheless, the crew danced all the way back and asked for tips per usual. I tipped for the safe ride back, and the crew’s conscientious efforts to keep people entertained.


3 out of 5
We carried our own bags off of the ship because of our early flight. Communication was lacking for people in our situation.
Was this review helpful? 39


Leave a comment

Remember: Be polite and respectful. Our diverse community is home to members with different opinions and a broad range of cruise experiences.

Other reviews of this sailing