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seppy55

Dawn Review

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I just got back from my honeymoon on the Dawn and wanted to share my thoughts. I had read a lot of reviews of the ship and was surprised that my experience was quite the opposite of other reviews. Here we go:

 

The Good: My wife and I had one of the Romance Suites (Category AD). Because we had a suite, we got priority embarkation which got us into our stateroom within 15 minutes of checking in. Debarkation was just as nice and we had VIP tender tickets for each location, which was great, although we didn't use them. Our concierge Claudio, our butler Carmen and our two room stewards were all incredible. Claudio got us dinner reservations and shore excursions very quickly and Carmen was at our beck and command whenever we needed something for the room. We really took advantage of breakfast in bed and dinner in our room. The ship was absolutely stunning and better laid out than some other people have said. I didn't really have a hard time getting used to how to get around the ship. We also thought there was plenty of stuff to do on the ship when we were at sea. We spent a lot of time in the casino too and thought it was well laid out with a good selection of games.

 

The Bad: We were pretty disappointed with the food quality. The first night we had dinner in our room and it was very mediocre. We had a bunch of specialty restaurant reservations for later in the week, but decided to hit up the Venetian on our second night for the Lobster dinner. The lobster was very overcooked, in my opinion and a guy at the next table even leaned over to ask if our food was as bad as his. So we basically chalked this up to Norwegian wanting mediocre food in the main dining rooms so you'd eat at the better food in the specialty restaurants. Well we proceeded to eat at Teppanyaki, Sushi, Bamboo, Le Bistro, Salsa and La Trattoria during the rest of the week. Teppanyaki was excellent, Sushi was very average, Bamboo was pretty bad (my wife took one bite of her Thai Crab Cakes and stopped eating), my Le Bistro meal was very good, but my wife's Lobster was mushy, Salsa was great the first time we ate there, mediocre the second and La Trattoria was very bland Italian food. We ended up eating a LOT from Blue Lagoon, which is the 24 hour fast food place on board. We honestly thought they had the best food on the ship.

 

Summary: Would I sail with Norwegian again? Maybe. I've been on two other cruises, both with Carnival and their food was amazing in my opinion. I selected the Dawn based on its itinerary, which really was the best part of our trip. But I would choose Carnival over Norwegian if they have similar itineraries on our next cruise.

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seppy, this isn't directed at you, so please don't take offense. Your post just reminded me of something.

 

On every single cruiseline board, I'm constantly reading negative comments about the lobster. I cannot fathom why having this particular dish is such a big deal. We all know that most, if not all, of the meat and fish on board is frozen, and we all know that this can negatively affect the quality of the food, especially with lobster. On lobster night, people around me are usually complaining about mushiness or mealiness (or the smallness of the tails), while I'm usually happily enjoying my chicken, beef or fish dinner. Sometimes these items have been compromised by freezer time, but in general they hold up better under freezing than lobsters do.

 

Why is it so important to have lobster on board? Is it because lobster is expensive and people can't resist getting some for "free"? If a great lobster is really important, why not spring for a fresh one in a terra firma restaurant?

 

FWIW, I feel the same way about the chocolate buffet and have now attended my last one. The sight of hundreds of people shoving into each other, trampling cake and cookies into the floor, and stacking their plates to diabetes-inducing levels is just too gross. There's something about the perception of getting a highly desired food for "free" that turns some cruise passengers into major oinkers.

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No offense taken. My wife and I just honestly love lobster. We can afford it at home from time to time so that's not the big deal. But in my prior cruises with Carnival I had no complaints about the lobster. But to go from overcooked to mushy in the course of a couple of nights AND to have to pay extra for it in Le Bistro was very disappointing.

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Hi i read your review on the dawn we are going soon,and was wondering other than the lobster,was the food good? I have also read the service isnt that good any comments would be appreciated thanks

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No offense taken. My wife and I just honestly love lobster. We can afford it at home from time to time so that's not the big deal. But in my prior cruises with Carnival I had no complaints about the lobster. But to go from overcooked to mushy in the course of a couple of nights AND to have to pay extra for it in Le Bistro was very disappointing.

 

At tip if you ever go back and for others. If you do in fact really like lobster the best place is Cagneys that prepares live 1.5 lb cold water lobsters.

 

I am not a frozen lobster tail fan. I have on several occasion eaten in the Bistro on "lobster" night. Getting the tails for no additional charge is ok with me:)

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I thought that compared to Carnival, the food overall was very average. Compared to regular food I guess it was ok, but I was disappointed because I expected quality similar to Carnival. As for the service, we had a suite so the service was excellent. They catered on us hand and foot. The service on the rest of the boat was ok. The one night we ate in the regular dining room our server was not very friendly. In the specialty restaurants they were extremely nice though.

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Thanks for the tip about Cagney's for lobster. Maybe I'll make reservations for two nights at Cagney's, as I've also read they have great steak. :D Much as I love NCL, I've never been a fan of their lobster preparation. Same is true, though, of Celebrity, Princess, HAL, Royal Caribbean, etc., etc. The only line where I experience exceptional fresh lobster every time is Crystal, but you really can't compare the lines.

 

While the majority of our cruises have been with NCL, we haven't sailed them since 2000. Our dining experiences were generally good, and occasionally excellent. It's been disappointing to read so many reviews where people didn't care for the food. :mad:

 

Thanks again, Carla

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If you love steak you will love the 24 oz. porterhouse. They cook it and season it to perfection...............:)

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Thanks for the tip about Cagney's for lobster. Maybe I'll make reservations for two nights at Cagney's, as I've also read they have great steak. :D Much as I love NCL, I've never been a fan of their lobster preparation. Same is true, though, of Celebrity, Princess, HAL, Royal Caribbean, etc., etc. The only line where I experience exceptional fresh lobster every time is Crystal, but you really can't compare the lines.

 

While the majority of our cruises have been with NCL, we haven't sailed them since 2000. Our dining experiences were generally good, and occasionally excellent. It's been disappointing to read so many reviews where people didn't care for the food. :mad:

 

Thanks again, Carla

 

Go early in the cruise when the lobster are still fresh.It is not unusual for them to run out before the last few nights of the cruise.

 

Food is so subjective and it clearly did not meet seppy55's expectations. I have found very little difference in the quality on Carnival or NCL. The main difference with 10 restaurants you can always find something you like on the Dawn.

 

I always check out the menus for the cruise at the front desk day one and book my specialty restaurants around the menus that just don't have anything I really want.

 

Even if you don't do that at least check out the menus when they are posted. If you don't see what you want you still have options. I have never had a problem booking the Bistro or Cagney's the same day. I have booked them as late as 6 pm. I may end up with a 9:15 reservation.

 

As pointed out there is always the Blue Lagoon and the Garden café. One night we cut through thru Garden Café on our way to dinner. They had giant shrimp in the rough. We made our dinner from all you could eat shrimp and Caesar salad made to order.

 

It is freestyle. You don't have to eat in a dinning room every night. The challenge to maximizing the value is your ability to make the right choices. It takes a little more work then a traditional cruise but you are in control.

 

If I was in Chin Chin and got a dish I did not like it would take me 10 seconds to order something else. Same goes for those that post their steak was overcooked. Why would you eat it ?

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We sailed twice on the Dawn and my wife is a big lobster fan. SHe too thought the lobster were either overcooked or too salty. Just my 2 cents. Loved the cruise though!

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At tip if you ever go back and for others. If you do in fact really like lobster the best place is Cagneys that prepares live 1.5 lb cold water lobsters.

 

I am not a frozen lobster tail fan. I have on several occasion eaten in the Bistro on "lobster" night. Getting the tails for no additional charge is ok with me:)

 

Where do they keep the Lobster Tank:confused: I just may have to "set them free":D

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My DH and I loved the food on the Dawn....especially Salsa. We also enjoyed Bamboo and ate there when the cover was 1/2 off ( we had an amazing green tea ice cream ). We also won free dinner at Cagney's on the slot machine and that was great too. We did find the buffet to be repetitive in selections.

 

The food quality in our experiance on Royal Caribbean was mediocre and we generally liked Carnival.

 

I can't comment on the lobster...if it swims I don't eat it.

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I've never seen so much complaining about the food, Do most of you just cruise for the food? If so slow down on the cheeseburgers :D No wonder eveyone is obese

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Ive been on the Dawn several times in the last 2 years and can not complain about the food.

You will have a great experience dining! The staff at both the dining rooms and specialty resturants go over and beyond for you. They are very attentative, concerned and will always make sure your meal is OK.

The Dawn is my favorate ship. I've been on 38 cruises on 6 different cruise lines. NCL takes pride in what they do. Each staff member wears a pin that says: S. T. Y. L. E. which means "Service, Teamwork and Yes Leads to Excellence." Take notice of this. They really work as a team and yes it does show their excellent service.

So my advice to you is..Go on the Dawn and enjoy. Go with an open mind. Make your own judgements and opinions. YOU WONT BE DISAPPOINTED!

NCL is the best!

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I went on the Dawn this past June and Carnival's Fascination this past September. This is only my own experience and opinion. Everyone's is different. I felt there was no comparison in the quality and taste of the food between the two: NCL won hands-down. Same with the service. Don't get me wrong, I loved my cruise with Carnival and the food was good. But, I felt the service, quality, and taste of the food on the Dawn was superior.

 

Seppy, thank you for such an objective review. So many people come back from their cruises and make one post that entirely bashes whatever cruiseline they were on (not just NCL, read some of the other boards, too - trolls are everywhere). I'm glad you enjoyed your cruise. :D

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Gee I am kind of looking forward to trying NCL Dawns food. We have been on Celebrity 4 times, Galaxy & Millenium. Food was great, but gourmet food can get to you after awhile, then you can't wait to go home and have a good home cooked meal. One that I can choose and cook. We have been on RCCL, Enchantment, Grandeur, Legend of the Seas. Their food is ok. But not as good a Celebrity. You know alot of times I would just be happy in the buffet.

 

And as for the person who said that our food is free on the ship. I feel that we paid for the food when we booked our cruise. NCL was very smart putting those restaurants in there that they charge so they can make more money on the food that should already be included in the price. But that is my opinion.

 

My husband and I don't drink nor gamble so the cruise lines don't make very much money off of us after we get on the ship. So a specialty restaruant might attract someone like us.

 

I am kind of hoping the food is good and more down to earth than gourmet.

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And as for the person who said that our food is free on the ship. I feel that we paid for the food when we booked our cruise.

 

Yep, we sure did. That's why I said "free" in quotation marks--because it isn't free. As I added, it's the perception that food is free that seems to make some folks think they must have a certain dish or eat a lot of something.

 

Having said that, I don't mind paying a reasonable surcharge for specialty restaurants, which are over and above regular food service. Some people like to hit the slots, others like to shop a lot, others like to play bingo or or attend martini clinics or buy art onboard.

 

We once sailed with a guy who refused to pay for a specialty meal--not even $5 for sushi--but would attend several fee-based exercise events so he could get the "free" t-shirt. Different strokes.

 

We love having the flexibility to choose which extras to pay for.

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