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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: December 2018
Me, my husband and two daughters (age 19 and 20) cruised over the Christmas holiday with a group of friends. All together, we were 18 in our group. We selected the Norwegian Dawn because of the ports of call. In summary, this cruise ... Read More
Me, my husband and two daughters (age 19 and 20) cruised over the Christmas holiday with a group of friends. All together, we were 18 in our group. We selected the Norwegian Dawn because of the ports of call. In summary, this cruise featured: * Friendly staff who remembered my name and greeted me with a smile * Clean rooms and common areas * Lots of entertainment options * Easy on/off the ship at ports of call Now for the areas for improvement: * Food was not so good. Whether eating at the buffet or at the dining room, the food was basically the same everywhere. For example, you could find the same french toast at the buffet and at the dining room. The only difference is at the buffet you will fight the crowds to get your food and find a table. Most of the food was lacking in flavor - even pasta dishes seemed to have no taste whatsoever. By the end of the cruise, we were all so tired of the food. * Juice bar was awful and cost extra - my husband ordered and paid extra for a fresh squeezed orange juice. He couldn't drink it - it was so awful. * Coffee bar with speciality coffee drinks was just average and also cost extra $$. * Elevators were always packed and so slow. We often took the stairs which was good exercise. * The St. Lucia beach excursion was about $70/pp and was basically a ride to a small beach, free chairs and free use of the rest room. The umbrella rental was an extra $20. When we got on the bus to the beach, the tour guide seemed rude and unfriendly. The beach had locals selling things and they were quite pushy. They would not take "no" for an answer and became angry when we declined to buy their products/services. I do not recommend this excursion. You are better off to take a local taxi to a beach for $5-$10/per person. In summary, I cannot recommend the Norwegian Dawn. The ports were lovely overall, but the ship needs some upgrading and improvements to the food service. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Wife and I are NCL Platinum Plus, and this was our 4th time on the Dawn. We were not enthused about our prior cruises on the Dawn, but we took it again because of the (Southern Caribbean) itinerary. Many years ago we took our 2 kids on ... Read More
Wife and I are NCL Platinum Plus, and this was our 4th time on the Dawn. We were not enthused about our prior cruises on the Dawn, but we took it again because of the (Southern Caribbean) itinerary. Many years ago we took our 2 kids on a Carnival cruise and it ranks as the worst cruise; this last cruise is now second-worst. We don't expect gourmet food, but frankly the dinners were bad. At best, the food tasted bland, sometimes not even reaching that level. This includes Le Bistro. We get 2 free Specialty Dining, otherwise I would have been perturbed to have paid for the literally tasteless Le Bistro food. Giving credit where credit is due, our one positive dining experience was at Moderno - food was very good there. Everyone's taste is different, but we found the main show entertainment poor. The "side shows" in the Bliss Lounge were fun and enjoyable. Finally, major criticism for getting on and off the ship at the ports. Having to wait on long lines had me angry. I don't see waiting on a line as part of an enjoyable vacation. Why the lines, you ask? Because they had ONE security guard scanning your room card. At one port we skipped ahead of a lot of people on line, inadvertently. That line to get back on ship was so long we presumed they were waiting for afternoon shore excursions. We were lucky no one shot us for skipping that line! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Honestly I would say it was the ship that was the bad part, because the staff was great and the drink package was amazing, but the food was pretty terrible. Some of the free restaurants were alright (the main dinning room and aqua) but ... Read More
Honestly I would say it was the ship that was the bad part, because the staff was great and the drink package was amazing, but the food was pretty terrible. Some of the free restaurants were alright (the main dinning room and aqua) but the pub was very bad. The hot tubs were always full and kind of gross. Never saw them clean anything except the food tables. Met a lot of amazing people on this ship!!! My favourite part was the bars! The mojito and champagne bar were fantastic, and the live singers were always great. The shows in the theatre were very bad! Walked out of all of them except the aerialists show. The comedian wasn’t funny. The magician was basic. Cabin was quite big, was expecting smaller so that was nice. We had a window room, and the window had the emergency boats right outside so I kinda wish they would have informed us of that because we didn’t really have a view of the ocean at all. Best part was definitely the excursions! Usually fast and put together. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
The Norwegian Dawn embarkation and disembarkation were very quick and well organized. The transfer from the airport to ship was very well done but disappointed the ship was docked at the cargo port instead of near old town. One of the ... Read More
The Norwegian Dawn embarkation and disembarkation were very quick and well organized. The transfer from the airport to ship was very well done but disappointed the ship was docked at the cargo port instead of near old town. One of the highlights of the trip was our pass to the sauna used every day of the trip-very relaxing.Room was mid ship balcony on deck ten and very quiet. Meals were fine in the free dining and buffet- lots of salad and fresh fruit. Didn't see any shows except the comedian and he was funny and clean jokes.Went on snorkeling excursions every day and enjoyed each one. Saw turtles, lots of different fish and a blue spotted moral eel. As usual some excursions were better than others. Our cabin attendant, Adrian. was terrific and very helpful. In fact all of the staff on the Dawn were friendly and courteous. Relaxing trip and would recommend for all ages. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
It was going to a few ports that we had not been to on prior Caribbean cruises. It sailed from San Juan, P.R. and we enjoyed spending a night there prior to the cruise leaving. We enjoy travelling on the "mid" sized ships ... Read More
It was going to a few ports that we had not been to on prior Caribbean cruises. It sailed from San Juan, P.R. and we enjoyed spending a night there prior to the cruise leaving. We enjoy travelling on the "mid" sized ships (2,000 - 3,000 passengers) and the Dawn fit the bill. We stayed in a suite on Deck 12 and enjoyed the amenities of a suite, ie, priority boarding and disembarkation, butler service and 24 hour room service. Ship was very nicely decorated for the Christmas holiday. Specialty restaurants were excellent. Enjoyed dining in Cagneys, LaCucina and LeBistro. Food in the buffets was very good. The service was top notch in the dining room, restaurants, bars and cabin. Entertainment was OK and activities on board were not as great as I had hoped. Ports and excursions were excellent. We did not travel with any children, however, we did share our suite with our 24 year old daughter. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Just back from Christmas on the Norwegian Dawn. We are a family of 8 ranging in age from 9 to 59 years. Everyone had the time of their lives. The Dawn is a lovely ship with the most friendly and accommodating staff. Food was out of this ... Read More
Just back from Christmas on the Norwegian Dawn. We are a family of 8 ranging in age from 9 to 59 years. Everyone had the time of their lives. The Dawn is a lovely ship with the most friendly and accommodating staff. Food was out of this world. We did not have one meal that we didn’t enjoy. We dined in a variety of locations on the ship including one Specialty Restaurant. Not having to adhere to scheduled dining times was a definite bonus when travelling with children. Drinks were very tasty and having the Ultimate Beverage Package as a perk was great. Entertainment was very enjoyable. We loved all of the ports. We have cruised other Cruise Lines in the past. This was our first time with Norwegian and we had such an amazing time that we will definitely be booking with them again. As the crew state in their farewell song—we are Norwegian now! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this ship because of all the ports it visited. Our cabin was #10370, a balcony cabin right off the back of the ship. The bathroom and the balcony were both fairly large. Our cabin steward, Edna, was exceptional. We loved ... Read More
We chose this ship because of all the ports it visited. Our cabin was #10370, a balcony cabin right off the back of the ship. The bathroom and the balcony were both fairly large. Our cabin steward, Edna, was exceptional. We loved dining at the specialty restaurants. We really enjoyed Le Bistro, La Cucina, Cagney's, Moderno, Aqua, and Teppanyaki. The food was excellent and the service at all the restaurants was fabulous. Embarkation and debarkation was the easiest ever. We saw a lot on the varied shore excursions. The entertainment and shows were top notch. The magician was so entertaining. The shows were incredible with all the singers, dancers and the couple that did the gymnastics and flying sessions were incredible. The ship was beautiful even though we were kind of leery knowing it had been refurbished. It was decorated so nice for Christmas. We are ready to go back! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Leaving out of New York is super easy. You just need to learn to navigate the streets and plan your trip. The embarkation process was fine. The young lady had an attitude and was slow in checking us in but we were able to board right away. ... Read More
Leaving out of New York is super easy. You just need to learn to navigate the streets and plan your trip. The embarkation process was fine. The young lady had an attitude and was slow in checking us in but we were able to board right away. Welcome aboard was nice when we first entered the ship. Overall crew and staff were nice. This ship is bare bones though, entertainment was just ok, the activities from the cruise director were sparse. Bars were ok, some great bartenders like Joel and Ketut. Mary Ann in Magenta is wonderful! My overall complaint with this ship is that the lunch served in the buffet is the same every single day. The have a huge salad bar station with little ingredients, pizza, a pasta station which is the same every day. Vegetarian section which is basically a combination of the salad bar and stir fried vegetables everyday. Asian section for lunch was a joke...it had stir fried vegetables (same as vegetarian section), a fried rice and an indian dish. NO creativity on this ship what so ever. In the main dining room the menu is literally the same. This was an 11 days cruise and the main dining room had the same menu every single lunch. Sad! We have been a sister ship, the Jade, and the food was speictauar on it. The Gem needs to look at what it offers its passengers. I don't recommend this ship unless you want one with very little to do. Poorly managed Splash Academy. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Holiday cruise with family. This was our second time sailing on the Gem for Christmas. The first was back in 2010 for a 7 day cruise. Ship has been refurbished (2015) but still shows outward signs of being an older boat. I must admit ... Read More
Holiday cruise with family. This was our second time sailing on the Gem for Christmas. The first was back in 2010 for a 7 day cruise. Ship has been refurbished (2015) but still shows outward signs of being an older boat. I must admit that the food quality was better now than previously. Norwegian is no Royal Caribbean however. Lobster was nowhere on the menu for any of the restaurants or dining rooms. The dining room experience was nice but the service is extremely slow. Give yourself at least 2 1/2 hours for dinner. The long unpredictable dining time makes seeing a scheduled show at the theater a challenge. One night we went to dinner at 6:30 and hand to skip the dessert portion of our meal because we didn't want to miss the 9:00 show. Speaking of shows, the production (singing, music, and dancing) is excellent. There were times while we were at sea that there wasn't anything to do. This is an old ship, so there is only a pool slide, athletic court, and rock climbing wall. We had the Carnival Sunshine in port with us in Puerto Rico and St. Kitts, and that ship seemed like it contained an adult and children playground in the back of the boat. Disembarkation was a nightmare. They need more structure with this process. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This is my 12th cruise on the Gem, twice a year annually since 2012. I love the size of the ship, the food in both the main dining rooms and specialties was great, the lounge entertainment was exceptional, my room was always clean and ... Read More
This is my 12th cruise on the Gem, twice a year annually since 2012. I love the size of the ship, the food in both the main dining rooms and specialties was great, the lounge entertainment was exceptional, my room was always clean and ready when I needed it. This cruise is ideal for adults, or adults travelling with older teens or young adults. My main purpose to cruising is relaxation, which is readily achieved through the ample pool decks, and pools, separated for adults and children. This cruise does not provide "amusement type amenities" which takes up too much deck space for my liking, but rather is geared towards those who enjoy sun bathing and offers both lively and quite deck spaces. The ports were outstanding: the Southern and Eastern Caribbean out of NYC! The ports offered both interesting excursions through the ship, or were very friendly to those who went to beaches and destinations on their own. Read Less
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