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4.6

Southern Caribbean Suite Life by redbeardhoosier

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (older children)
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Caribbean - Southern

This cruise was our first experience with a departure port outside of the mainland US. The flight to Puerto Rico isn't bad, and we enjoyed an extra day before and after the cruise. We originally booked a family mini-suite with balcony, with the full gamut of Free at Sea promotions (beverage package, specialty dining package, internet, 3rd and 4th guests sail free, shore excursion credits). We bid on an upgrade for a 2-bedroom family suite with balcony. Our bid was accepted, and we were given the Jade penthouse suite, stateroom 11020. I generally enjoy smaller ships, and this cruise exemplified why: passengers get to know each other more easily, cruise staff get to know the passengers better, and activities onboard tend to have more intimacy. I must say, I now understand the appeal of the suite life, and of longer cruises - though we found this one to be slightly more port-intensive than our liking. Almost all the ports were fantastic, though, and we greatly enjoyed getting to see some of the islands that are not typically within range of a Caribbean cruise departing from the mainland US. Overall, we loved the experience so much that we booked the same suite on an even longer cruise (13 nights) on the Norwegian Jade in 2021. Background: My wife and I are in my early 40s, we have two tween-age girls (11 and 10 at the time of this cruise; currently ages 12 and 10). This cruise was our fifth overall, and second with Norwegian. We are reasonably experienced cruisers, having taken (at the time of writing this review) five cruises on Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Disney, and MSC (and with five more booked on Norwegian and Disney). We travel as a family, and look for a mix of relaxation, family time (these two being my personal #1 priority), good food, entertainment, and fun in a cruise vacation. While I try to incorporate educational experiences, we do not usually seek out action/adventure experiences.

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5.0

Awesome cruise by OldGreyWolf

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Caribbean

Fantastic cruise. The crew were wonderful. They were attentive, friendly and always smiling and cheerful. Our room steward was wonderful. Always looked after the small details. He was always easy to be found when we needed to speak to him but never intrusive. The food was excellent. We had lunch in the buffet most days but went to Bamboo for 1 lunch and 2 dinners. We only dined at 2 speciality restaurants, Le Bistro and Moderno and the food at each was great. The only negative I had for these two venues was that Le Bistro was much too cramped and crowded. All other dining venues allotted the diner much more space. The food was great though. The main dining rooms were great. The food was well prepared, and there was a good variety. Any steaks or beef I ordered was cooked to order. If I requested medium rare it always arrived piping hot and cooked to perfection. Never under done and never over done. The service was prompt and attentive and the servers were always polite and smiling. On the first and last night of the cruise we arrived at Aqua shortly after 7 and it was very busy and we were told there would be a 20 minute wait for seating. We were given a buzzer to carry and sent over to Gatsby’s Champagne Bar for a complimentary sparkling wine while we had to wait. On both occasions we were paged within 5 minutes, just after getting our wine. Very nice touch.

 The ports were wonderful. We enjoyed them all with each one having it's own charm to offer and things to see. The weather was great with rain on only 1 morning and the seas were calm and smooth on all but one day and that was moderate. The entertainment was wonderful. Elements was quite the show and Jose and Patti in the atrium on most nights had the atrium and Blue Lagoon and the internet cafe packed with an appreciative audience. 

Our only unpleasantness was on the first 2 days we encountered cigarette smoke (and other smoke) in our hallway outside our cabin. A quick call to the services people and this was looked after promptly and we did not have a repeat performance.

All in all this was an absolutely perfect cruise. I loved the fact that it was 14 days.

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This Itinerary is INCREDIBLE!!!! by jazzman61

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Caribbean - Southern

This is one of the best cruises ever. The weather was just right for 10 days highs in the low to mid 80s. We saw about 20 minutes of showers during the day for the entire trip. Water is cool but is quite swimmable and refreshing. The ship is great for this itinerary. I would NOT try to eat in the VENETIAN as your reservation is meaningless - tried it twice over two cruises. You will be asked to wait in line for you reservation? And the service and food is not really that good - buffet is better. The specialty restaurants are much better and we ate mostly there. The Gatsby's Bar is the BEST!!! The staff was incredible. Really everything was great it was an adventure for sure. There are a lot of ports, which can wear you out. So be careful as they all are great. Only two seas which are early.

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Norwegian Dawn cruise to Bermuda, 5/6/2014 by helene219

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Bermuda

We boarded the Norwegian Dawn on a grey and misty morning Boston morning.

 

First look at the Norwegian Dawn experience: Our first impression of the Cruiseline and the cruise was the baggage handlers, the people who met us at the street as we exited our taxi. They were so rude and disorganized. A poor first impression is hard to change. There was no clear direction as to what to do or where to go, no signage, no entrances clearly marked. We basically just left our belongings for the upcoming week with a bad-tempered and rude Bostonian and trusted that we would see our luggage again. This, in comparison to the handlers we have experienced curbside at Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and especially Disney, falls so far below expectations that I would give it an F-. Disney had the best curbside service I have ever seen.

 

The Boarding experience: We then went through a short and pleasant check-in experience, had a seat, and were told we would be aboard the ship shortly. This portion I would give a good and solid A. Compares fairly evenly with HAL, RCL, and Disney.

 

Apparently there was a problem that day. They kept pushing more and more people into that relatively small area in the terminal, based on the amount of people who were arriving, and telling everyone to stay behind the posts and behind the lines and to 'have a seat'. The seats were long-since filled, no one was being allowed to board the ship, and more and more and more people were entering that terminal space. It was crowded and it was uncomfortable and it was unexplained; all three of these things led to a very unhappy and disgruntled crowd. We were held there for about an hour or longer past our boarding time. Finally we started boarding in our small, pre-numbered groups, according to the times we had actually arrived at the terminal. This portion I again would give an F. Compared to other cruise lines, HAL, RCL, and Disney, no comparison at all. NCL was awful.

 

Due to the late time, everyone was hungry and descended en masse on the dining room. Again, the problem that was in the terminal; too many people, not enough space to put them. Fortunately our rooms were ready fairly soon and we were able to go there and relax, put our carry-ons down, and explore the ship a little. Again, compared to the other lines, a D+ at best.

 

Our Cabin: Our cabin was a good size and compared well with HAL and RCL. The closet space and bathroom space are decent and comparable. Even our inside cabin at Disney was larger. I have to say that Disney has the best cabin size. Probably a good solid B.

 

Our complaints about this NCL cabin:

1). There was only ONE electrical outlet in the entire cabin, including the bathroom. Between the iPhone chargers, curling iron, breathing machine for sleep apnea, charger for the iPad, charger for the camera, charger for the heating pad for the sore neck, it was ridiculous. We had to go borrow a multi-plug from Guest Services, and then we couldn't walk around the cabin without tripping over cords. F.

2). The couch is so uncomfortable you can't sit on it. I know it's really just a sleeper sofa, but come on; can't you get one that at least is comfy? Other than that, the bed was good and the outside furniture was nice. C-

3). On HAL and RCL, the Room Stewards fall over themselves to bring you ice and keep your bucket filled. On NCL, we had to constantly ask for ice, and we are SO consistently friendly and nice to our cabin stewards. We ask their names, ask about their families, tip them generously, and really make an effort to personalize the cruise. I think they had more rooms to do than the guys on the other cruise lines do. D

 

The Dining experience:

All in all, the food was fairly good. There was a good variety, it was served at the appropriate temperatures, and they never ran out of anything. The gravlax was good (how I rate cruise ships!) and fresh. The specialty restaurants were good and the service was impeccable. We ate at the Brazillian Steakhouse and the Japanese Steakhouse. Both A  grades. That being said, my husband and I are not fans of "freestyle dining", which this ship promotes. We prefer to have a set dining time, a set dining table, and the same serving staff so that we can get to know them. HAL does this and we really like this style of dining. We also really like Disney's dining set-up, with rotating dining rooms printed right on your room key, and your dining staff who rotate right along with you. As far as the quality of food on the four cruise lines we've travelled; 1). Holland America. The best, hands-down. 2). Norwegian. It was a bummer of a ship, but the food was very good. 3). Royal Caribbean. 4). Hate to say it, but Disney just fell at the bottom of the list for us. There was good solid food every night, but nothing imaginative (really, Disney, no imagination in your food?). No wonderful fruit soups like I've come to love on HAL. No wide variety of wonderful appetizers like NCL and HAL. Just...food. So NCL-A grade for food.

 

The Shipboard experience: unfortunately this cruise left out of Boston. All of our other cruises, except our Alaskan cruise, have left out of our state, Florida. No offense to the great state of Massachussets, but there are an awful lot of smokers up there! And for some reason, they all seemed to be accompanying us on this particular cruise. We paid for a balcony cabin which we were unable to enjoy because we had smokers on either side. The powerful smokiness overtaking our balcony as a result drove us inside and we wished we had just saved the money and gotten an inside cabin. there were few places to sit quietly and read, relax, and look at the ocean (3 at sea days on this cruise) without having your air space assaulted by smokers. Even if they weren't currently smoking, their clothes, hair, and bodies reeked of smoke. It was just truly disgusting. We've never experienced anything like it on a cruise. Maybe it was the port, maybe it was the clientele, who knows. We just have never encountered this before, and since this was our first NCL cruise, it was also our only NCL cruise. The clientele in general was a lower class than we've experienced on HAL (the highest), RCL, and Disney. I realize that this is a personal issue and for most people, smoking isn't a problem at all, but for us it is a huge issue; we can't stand being around cigarette and cigar smoke. We save all year for a cruise vacation, and when we go, we have an expectation level that we are paying for. We want a nice, clean room, we want nice, smoke-free areas where we can relax and enjoy sun, shade, outside, inside, whatever we feel in the mood for. We would like to be able to enjoy our own private spaces which we have paid premium prices for, and I don't think any of this is unreasonable. We take nice clothes when we go, we change for dinner, and we don't like looking at someone's dirty tee-shirt, nasty shorts that he's spent all day sweating in, and his gross flip-flops with his hairy toes hanging out, and smell his or her smoky, sweaty body anywhere near me. There are dress code guide lines for a reason. Cruising is supposed to be one of the niceties of life.

 

The destination: Bermuda. This was an absolute dream destination. We arrived at 11:00am on Day One and had 24 hour open access to the ship until we departed at 5pm on Day Three. We did a 5-hour bus Trip Excursion around the island first thing on our first day. This oriented us, and gave us an idea of what we might want to return to for a better look and more time spent. We docked at the Naval Dockyard, which is on one tip if the island. From there it is easy to catch a ferry/bus to the capital city, Hamilton (center of the island) or St. George (opposite tip of the island). I recommend you buy the 3-day pass, which allows ferry and bus rides, and you can hop on and off wherever you wish. It's fast, dependable, and stops all over the place (the buses). The ferry gets you between the main towns fast. Don't miss the Swizzle Inn!

Please feel free to contact me for further information.

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4.4

Great Time with great friends by kkgem

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Bermuda

Great time with great peopIe. I enjoy the feel of a smaller ship. The people and staff just seem nicer. Our group of 7 was always able to sit together and never felt that it was any inconvenience to any of the staff.

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This is a Cruise You Should Do at least once!!! by jazzman61

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Canada, New England, New York

It was a great cruise. I am so glad we went to this part of the world. It was more than I realized and we will be back. All the ports are so different from the caribbean. It was not as cold as I thought it would be. Spend the money on the excursions on this cruise as in some cases you cannot really get to the really cool sites without it. It is much harder to book off ship as well as there is not nearly as much of a market for cruise except during season. Definitely spend extra time in Quebec and get to Peggy's Cove the first time.

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Honest cruise experience ! by Amyandenos

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Caribbean - Western

Over all a wonderful experience just needs a couple of tweaks to make the experience amazing ! Fix the WiFi connection for paying WiFi guests !

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5.0

Western Caribbean - Great Excursions! by motoitalia

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Caribbean - Western

Best excursions of any of our Caribbean cruises, except spending time in Havana

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4.2

Wonderful 14 day Caribbean Cruise by TrishZ1950

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Caribbean - Eastern

So very glad that NCL offers this round trip Caribbean Cruise out of Boston. It is close to home so we don't have to fly anywhere and 14 days is perfect. We had a wonderful cruise and will do it again in March, 2019.

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3.8

It was enjoyable but attention to detail was lacking by loujones

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

Good in specialty restaurants but buffet mediocre

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5.0

Just another wonderful cruise by Popdog

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Bermuda

With exception of one issue which had nothing to do with the cruise this was an absolutely wonderful cruise. I have nothing to complain about and no suggestions to improve the experience. The ship was wonderful the crew and staff were wonderful the food was wonderful and Bermuda is as beautiful as ever. We are looking forward to again sailing next year in May and October on the Dawn

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5.0

Terrific Cruise! by RVACruiser43

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Caribbean - Southern

Nothing but good things to report from this cruise. It was wonderful!

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4.1

Beautiful Bermuda by trvlgurl21

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Bermuda

Good cruise Bermuda is beautiful do a private taxi tour

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4.1

It was a fantastic sailing!!! by CruisingBs

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Caribbean - Southern

Our 20th anniversary trip was amazing. We very much enjoyed the thermal spa package and VIP treatment. We will definitely be sailing with NCL again. Our only problem is always before we sail. The NCL agent we had was terrible. Thankfully a supervisor stepped in and fixed EVERYTHING! For this reason, I will not reveal our NCL agents name but we will book differently next time.

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4.8

Wonderful cruise by earldiane

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Caribbean - Western

Wonderful first time Cruise for my husband my 8th or 9th loved it already plan on going again

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3.0

Caribbean Cruise 2017 by pkds2005

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Caribbean - Western

Our cruise was okay I mean the islands and the ocean we great, but you can sure tell the cruise lines own each port, 

Cozumel was good there is a lot of shopping ,

Honduras is really pretty and we rented a taxi on our own and Miss Sonia took us from one end of the island to he other 

Belize was good also they have added more shopping from what we were told.

Costa Maya is beautiful it is kind of a smaller area but it is newer and we think they will add more later on,they have a pool area with sand in the shopping area, and the dolphin swim area is right there also, 

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4.4

Wonderful Bermuda Cruise by TrishZ1950

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Bermuda

This was our second cruise to Bermuda and we love it there. The beaches are great and there is much to do and see. The weather was nice except for a downpour on Sunday. We got caught in it and got soaked but had fun despite the rain. Monday and Tuesday we had wonderful weather.

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First Time Cruiser: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly from my experience. by totogirl972

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Caribbean - Western

Loved cruising, hated major inefficiencies/errors.

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Overall, awesome! by lorgirl614

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Bermuda

My husband and I had an awesome time on the Norwegian Dawn!

The staff was generally fantastic (with a few exceptions). The food was great - for dinner. We were a bit disappointed with the breakfast options. It would have been nice to have more variety in the dining room - the buffet had the same exact food. Bermuda was beautiful! We definitely would go back! The door off the ship was open 24 hours so you can come and go as you please. There are a lot of great activities while in port that are not included in shore excursions. My husband and I had a great time on the jet ski tour.  

We would have liked to see more free activities for sea days (there were 3). You can only go to so many gemstone lectures and trivia groups. They had crafts, but it was just origami. The bingo was $40 for three cards. The ship did offer a behind the scenes tour ($79 per person) that was fantastic and well worth it! 

Overall, we recommend this cruise and would go on it again for sure! :) 

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A relaxing week! by kimberlyliss

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Dawn / Destination: Caribbean - Western

My husband and I loved the cruise, however we would not go again during spring break!  We will go again at a different time. :)  

The dining experiences were pretty good and found most food on the buffet excellent!  Our favorite open dining room was the Venetian ~ loved the atmosphere.  The Aqua was nice too.  

Our room porter/server was exceptional!  His name was Alvin and he was the best!!  Very attentive, helpful and excellent work ethic.  He was always smiling and friendly.

The ship was pretty and very clean.  We enjoyed the promenade deck, however the people smoking just outside the door was annoying.  Did not like having to walk through a gauntlet of smoke to go outside :(  We felt like there was less "lounging" areas on the top deck compared to our cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy.  I always went to the very front or back of the ship to lay out in order to avoid the loud music around the pool area.  

The entertainment was excellent and loved ALL the shows and games in the Spinaker Lounge.

Our choice of shore excursions were perfect!  All well worth the price and we booked through the cruise line only.  The West Bay Kayak and Snorkel excursion was terrific and would highly recommend it as well as the Cave Tubing and Zip Line in Belize.  So much fun!

I will try the patch behind the ear for our next cruise.  I had a few bouts of motion sickness during the week, but not too severe.  

 

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