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kruisekathy

just back from the dawn

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As I read the wonderful reviews of the Dawn I wonder if I just got off the same ship. We did not have a suite and had a very different experience. First of all our service was horrible. We tried Venetian and Aqua and it was like Amateur night in the dining room. I spoke to other travelers and they got the same impression. Maybe a suite is the answer. The food was sub par. We did go to Cagney's and it was lovely but I feel that Cagney's gave us the food and service that other lines offer for free. I think some of you NCL loyalists should try another line and see how it compares. I for one will go back to Princess or RCL. I know that this will certainly anger you all but it was such bad service that I have already emailed NCL. Sorry guys. I would never recommend it to anyone.

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Thanks for being honest! :)



 

Could you give more details please. I like to read Dawn reviews whether they are good or bad. Just gives it a balance, ya know?

 

Thanks,

~Connie

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We experienced long waits in the dining venues. Inexperienced wait staff. Waited 1 nite 1hr and 15 mins after being seated for dinner to be served. Buffet was also bad. Trays piled up on tables. Always had to ask for a table to be cleared so we could sit. often they ran out of plates, utensils or glasses.We would have to go searching. Cruise director Ricky, not up to par nor was his staff. Thought the main dining menus were not a great selection. Heavy on fish (and I am not a fish lover). Final straw. my 6 yo grandson was asked to pick up trash during the evening kids program. A dangerous practice at best. No more NCL for me.

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I do agree with some of your complaints,we stayed in a mini suite and go no special service, there was way too much fish on the menu, and the first nite our experiance was awful in the dinning room. I do believe the food on rcc and celeb. are much better, however the service everywhere was good,for us anyway, the ship is very comfy, and we loved going out of new york. We did notice that people with small children were haveing a hard time come around the 8th day, and husbands were getting antcy, i think every cruise line has it's strong points, we found allot to do on this ship and meet some great people, and going out of NYC is a big bonus for us.

Marie

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Going out of NYC is the strongest selling point for us - at least on this upcomming cruise. Hopefully NCL will impress!

 

Was the ship crowded? A lot of kids? Did you grandson like the kids club?How was the "ride"? Shows?

 

Can you tell I cant get enough info about this ship? :o

 

~Connie

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I loved leaving out of NY. That was our selling point. We had a chilly 2nd day and then beautiful and a cold last day coming up the coast. I had only wished they had more inside activities. It was a little rough in the Atlantic but I like a little bounce so it didn't bother me. There was a lot of Bonine going around. My grandson did not attend the kids program because he is almost 6 and was in the group of 2 to 5 and was geared way younger than him. My daughter tried to get him moved to the 6+ and they wouldn't budge so he went a couple of times in the evening when it wasn't as structured. We didn't feel there was a whole lot to do in general. It was ok but many of the organized things were quite lame. We always look forward to a good laugh at the pool games and believe me there was no laughing because they were very poor. Nothing too exciting. A number game, sexy legs, hairy chest and a soda drinking game. I think that was the extent of them for 10 days. Yes, there were a lot of kids onboard. I saw a lot of unruly older kids. We saw them late at night running all over the ship, heard a lot of vulgar language and not many parents around. But I think all cruise lines are dealing with this problem. We had a great time, but that was because we had a large group and made our own fun. If we were dependent on the cruise for fun, we would have been very bored. This was our 15th cruise and our 4th NCL and the 2 worse cruises have been the sun and the Dawn. I doubt if we will try again. Freestyle is not for everyone and obviously not for us. With a little effort it could be very successful but it still needs work. We heard the ship was short on help and that was why the service was bad but I am not sure I buy that excuse. When we had a complait, those in charge just gave us a blank look. They seldom had an answer or remedy. I hope you have a better experience but if not there are more ships coming into the NYC market. Competition may help the Dawn

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We also just returned from the Dawn. It was the best cruise experience we have ever had. We have cruised 3 times on Celebrity. We kept an open mind and looked at the bright side of everything. Freestyle to us meant the luxury of not having to be at dinner at 6:15 on the dot. We traveled with four children and not having to be on time or to dress up was a definite plus. And choosing between 10 restaurants instead of 3 was a plus. Yes the menu was not as extensive and the food not quite as good but we found it very good. We dined most of the time at the Venetian. The first night our service was very good. On the second night it was fantastic. We had Humberto as a waiter and he was fabulous. When we requested him the third night he brought our children's drinks right over and also knew we wanted the wine list. He brought our coffee cups immediately after the plates were cleared and we did receive coffee before the dessert. On our last night we did not get Humberto as he only had small tables. The waiter we did get was very busy and did not ask if we wanted drinks. Five minutes later Humberto who had walked past us on the way to the kitchen brought the kids sodas without us asking him. On the days we dined at the Venetian for breakfast and lunch and had different waiters we found them all very good.

 

We did not have a suite and were very happy with our experience. We never waited more than 5 minutes for a seat at the Venetian or the Aqua.

 

The buffet was also very good. My only complaint would be that they did not have smoked salmon or if they did I did not find it. The omelet station was very good also. I thought the breads and pasties were better than the Celebrity's. I also thought they cleared the tables in the Cafe just as quickly or better than Celebrity.

 

The Dawn was a great ship; the layout, the pools, the casino, lots of public bathrooms, smoothness of embarkment and disembarkment, and the friendliness and approachability of the Captain, the Officers, and Ricky.

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We also just returned from the same sailing, and I'm saddened to read that some onboard had a totally different experience. I really don't think having a suite would have made any difference, based upon the issues you've mentioned. It appears that the size of your group may actually play more of a part in the difficulties you experienced.

 

I must say that it's not uncommon to have the main course delivered quite a long while after actually being seated, particularly if multiple appetizer, soup, and salad courses are ordered. Also on Formal Nights, the dining rooms are so much more crowded, which severely impacts the pace of the meal. We rather enjoyed the slower pace of dining, and if we missed the show as a result we knew it was our fault for chosing to dine too late. :o

 

With the exception of having difficulty getting coffee served properly, we really had no complaints about the diningroom service, and thoroughly enjoyed our meals.

 

I agree that the buffet is not wonderful, but honestly, what buffet is? It's nearly impossible to provide fabulous food in a buffet setting, particularly in so large a venue, while trying to please so many different tastes, etc.

 

You mentioned that staff members you complained to had no answers and offered no solutions. What types of problems were you presenting, and to whom? Knowing might be of help to some of us on future cruises! :)

 

I'm really sorry that your cruise was not fabulous, and truly hope that your future sailings are much more to your liking. ;)

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:confused:

 

Doesn't make much sense to me...

 

I don't see smoke, smell smoke therefore there must not be a fire!

 

Carry ON! :)

 

Norman

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I don't think our group size had anything to do with it because we were not glued at the hip and often were in different dining venues at the same time. When I mentioned we waited over 1 hour to eat, it was not because of multiple courses. We were given 1 course and then we waited. When we found a waiter we liked, we asked to have him/her again, and only once was that possible. The rest of the time we were told that they were somewhere else. As for buffets, try Royal Caribbean. They probably have the best "buffet" on the sea. It is not a line, it is different stations and the food is wonderful. We love buffet breakfasts and always eat there and this was by far the least appetizing of any we have ever had.

The Dawn has some positive points, they just didn't outweigh the bad. The STar Dust is Magnificent. The nicest we have ever seen. It is the first theater that we didn't have to get there a half hour or more before the show. Good thing because we would not have made it. The ship itself is also beautiful. I enjoyed seeing the artwork throughout the ship.

I think that the captain knew there were some problems because half way through the cruise there was a very long meeting with the entire staff and we did see a definate improvement in service after that. However, there were still some very noticable lags in service that had not been corrected. I also feel the NCL is pushing people into their specialty dining. The service there was equal to the free dining rooms on other ships. I resent having to pay for it. Our room steward was certainly a pleasant guy but I had a dirty glass sitting on my "desk" for three days with no replacement glass. I have never in 14 previous cruises ever encountered that. My daughter was in an inside cabin and they would usually put their children to bed around 8. They would leave their cabin with the please make up sign and more often than not the room was not made up when they got back. These may be minor but after cruising other lines you come to expect better service. Leaving out of NY was great but we probably will wait for the other ships to start winter cruising before we do it again. I certainly am happy for all those who had a great time but we spoke to a lot of other people that were veterans of other cruise lines and they seem to all feel the same way. So it wasn't just are large group. This group cruises together every year and size has never been an issue. In fact usually it was a more the merrier attitude by the staff.

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We also just returned from the Dawn. It was the best cruise experience we have ever had. We have cruised 3 times on Celebrity. We kept an open mind and looked at the bright side of everything. Freestyle to us meant the luxury of not having to be at dinner at 6:15 on the dot. We traveled with four children and not having to be on time or to dress up was a definite plus. And choosing between 10 restaurants instead of 3 was a plus. Yes the menu was not as extensive and the food not quite as good but we found it very good. We dined most of the time at the Venetian. The first night our service was very good. On the second night it was fantastic. We had Humberto as a waiter and he was fabulous. When we requested him the third night he brought our children's drinks right over and also knew we wanted the wine list. He brought our coffee cups immediately after the plates were cleared and we did receive coffee before the dessert. On our last night we did not get Humberto as he only had small tables. The waiter we did get was very busy and did not ask if we wanted drinks. Five minutes later Humberto who had walked past us on the way to the kitchen brought the kids sodas without us asking him. On the days we dined at the Venetian for breakfast and lunch and had different waiters we found them all very good.

 

We did not have a suite and were very happy with our experience. We never waited more than 5 minutes for a seat at the Venetian or the Aqua.

 

The buffet was also very good. My only complaint would be that they did not have smoked salmon or if they did I did not find it. The omelet station was very good also. I thought the breads and pasties were better than the Celebrity's. I also thought they cleared the tables in the Cafe just as quickly or better than Celebrity.

 

The Dawn was a great ship; the layout, the pools, the casino, lots of public bathrooms, smoothness of embarkment and disembarkment, and the friendliness and approachability of the Captain, the Officers, and Ricky.

 

Humberto was WONDERFUL every time we have had him as our server:)

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Sorry the Dawn did not meet your expectations. We've had great things to say about our many sailings on her and follow the current reviews very closely.

 

But an hour wait in between courses? It wouldn't have been even half that before I'd get the attention of one of the maitre d's. :eek: Especially since there's always one of them milling about. Or is that one of the "blank looks" you got?

 

Like Pepper, I'd like to hear more about how your complaints were not resolved. When the cabin was not clean when the sign was put out @ 8 pm, or the dirty glass unremoved, was someone alerted and nothing done? Did you talk to any of the CD or entertainment staff about the lack of activities you mention and were you ignored? Did you have a chance to talk to any of the Food Staff about the meals or buffet?

 

Just trying to get a better understanding of what fell apart and where in the chain it ended up (as you mention you are a veteran cruiser and have been on NCL before as well), given the glowing reports of others on the same cruise and our personal experiences on the Dawn.

 

Some time things can happen, but how they get resolved is just as important to me. Or in this case unresolved?

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Our bad experience happened to be on the last night of the cruise and by that time no one was in the mood to do more complaining. We had spoken to people in charge over other things and got no satisfaction. We are not people who make huge scenes over relatively small things. We spoke to people in charge on occasion, got no where and let it go. We have never had a cruise such as this one before. I remember our first 2 times on Norwegian. The service was impeccable and I unfortunately was looking for the same. I deal with irate people in my job and certainly do not want to have to deal with problems on my vacation. That is one of the reasons we cruise. Possibly it was our fault because we let some things ride. My feeling is that I will take a ship I know has good service and not have to deal with it. We still had a great time and that is all that matters. We just won't do it again. I was just angry that we raved to some of our first timers about all the fun things going on and they were left wondering where they were. A perfect example is the "newlywed game". That was without a doubt the most boring I have ever experienced. Ricky had no rapport with the contestants, it was over before you knew it and it barely garnered a laugh from the audience. It was the same with most of the hosted events. The had the potential for great fun and it never materialized. The end result is that the cruise is over and we learned that NCL is not for us. If that is the worse thing that happens this year, we have had a great year!

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This was our first cruise. I really did'nt know what to expect. I had heard that the food was so good that I was worried about gaining weight. Well, that did'nt happen, unless you count the water weight I gained from the salty food. I have never had a problem with swollen feet, ankles or legs. I am fairly young (39). On my third day of the cruise I was in tears because my feet, calves, & ankles were so swollen it was ridiculous! I met a nice woman from NJ in the laundry room who explained that this had happened to her once before on a cruise from the salty food. Because I am a nurse she shared her diuretics with me & they helped tremendously. The rest of the cruise I tried to avoid salt (next to impossible) & flush myself with alot of H2O. It seemed to me that wether you ate in the Garden Cafe, or any of the restaurants the quality of food was the same. Coffee was really undrinkable. Tried to have a good cup of coffee at the Java, however I swear it was instant!! There were not any rich tasting desserts either. The Chocoholic buffet was a disappointment. After forcing myself to stay awake until 11pm to go, I had to wait in a long line just to see all the same dismal quality desserts that had been served all along. I threw a couple of things on my plate & wanted to take them back to my cabin. The venetian where they had the Chocoholic buffet was packed, no tables. As I headed out of the venetian with my plate a waiter stopped me & said that this particular plate could not leave the diningroom & he proceeded to squeeze the hell out of these desserts with his tongs to put on another plain white plate. By this point I was disgusted & left without anything.Whatever you do, do not eat in the Blue Lagoon. This was the worst tasting fried food menagerie I ever encountered. Chicken fingers were more like chicken claws, no white meat.The suite that we had was lovely, however I do wonder how well they are cleaned in between guests. We disembarked at 11:30am & new passengers were embarking @ 2pm. Our sheets were not changed for the 10 days we cruised. We did not get any of the towel animals that I had so fondly heard about. OK enough complaining, no wait, one more, I swear that by the end of the cruise the kids had multiplied. What's up with that?? On a positive note, the staff were very kind. The shows were first rate quality. Rudy Macaggi is a stitch. The comedian was terrible. Seemed like a nice guy, but not funny at all. Second city was painful to watch as well. Bollywood & Miami dance thing were great, magician was also great.I don't know if we will cruise again. I'm not sure if we are cruise type people. We seemed to be feeling like caged animals for the days at sea.But who knows time will tell. We did meet several nice couples. It did seem to us though that when we were heading back home the passengers started behaving like animals. I can say that because I'm from NY. Everyone was on their best behavior in the beginning, however by end of cruise people were leaving food trash in elevators & cutting eachother off at buffet!!

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New poster syndrome anomaly in progress...

 

:D

 

If the shoe doesn't fit, hold on to it. It will save your hand when you have a lot of faces to slap!

 

Cheers,

 

Norman

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Our sheets were not changed for the 10 days we cruised. quote]

 

I was on the same cruise in a balcony cabin. Our sheet was changed every single day. Not sure about the duvet. In this time when hotels and hospitals don't change sheets every day, it was a pleasant surprise to get into a clean bed every night.

 

Carole:)

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Too tired right now to go into a real review but one thing for sure our sheets were fresh and crisp each night and except for the smell from the shower stall the cabin was spotless each and everyday.

Why didn't you tell your room steward after the first night, that you would like fresh sheets?

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Too tired right now to go into a real review but one thing for sure our sheets were fresh and crisp each night and except for the smell from the shower stall the cabin was spotless each and everyday.

Why didn't you tell your room steward after the first night, that you would like fresh sheets?

 

A tip we learned here on CC...

always bring deodorizes for your bathrooms:)

 

Some things are out of their control.

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This was our first cruise. I really did'nt know what to expect. I had heard that the food was so good that I was worried about gaining weight. Well, that did'nt happen, unless you count the water weight I gained from the salty food. I have never had a problem with swollen feet, ankles or legs. I am fairly young (39). On my third day of the cruise I was in tears because my feet, calves, & ankles were so swollen it was ridiculous! I met a nice woman from NJ in the laundry room who explained that this had happened to her once before on a cruise from the salty food. Because I am a nurse she shared her diuretics with me & they helped tremendously. The rest of the cruise I tried to avoid salt (next to impossible) & flush myself with alot of H2O. It seemed to me that wether you ate in the Garden Cafe, or any of the restaurants the quality of food was the same. Coffee was really undrinkable. Tried to have a good cup of coffee at the Java, however I swear it was instant!! There were not any rich tasting desserts either. The Chocoholic buffet was a disappointment. After forcing myself to stay awake until 11pm to go, I had to wait in a long line just to see all the same dismal quality desserts that had been served all along. I threw a couple of things on my plate & wanted to take them back to my cabin. The venetian where they had the Chocoholic buffet was packed, no tables. As I headed out of the venetian with my plate a waiter stopped me & said that this particular plate could not leave the diningroom & he proceeded to squeeze the hell out of these desserts with his tongs to put on another plain white plate. By this point I was disgusted & left without anything.Whatever you do, do not eat in the Blue Lagoon. This was the worst tasting fried food menagerie I ever encountered. Chicken fingers were more like chicken claws, no white meat.The suite that we had was lovely, however I do wonder how well they are cleaned in between guests. We disembarked at 11:30am & new passengers were embarking @ 2pm. Our sheets were not changed for the 10 days we cruised. We did not get any of the towel animals that I had so fondly heard about. OK enough complaining, no wait, one more, I swear that by the end of the cruise the kids had multiplied. What's up with that?? On a positive note, the staff were very kind. The shows were first rate quality. Rudy Macaggi is a stitch. The comedian was terrible. Seemed like a nice guy, but not funny at all. Second city was painful to watch as well. Bollywood & Miami dance thing were great, magician was also great.I don't know if we will cruise again. I'm not sure if we are cruise type people. We seemed to be feeling like caged animals for the days at sea.But who knows time will tell. We did meet several nice couples. It did seem to us though that when we were heading back home the passengers started behaving like animals. I can say that because I'm from NY. Everyone was on their best behavior in the beginning, however by end of cruise people were leaving food trash in elevators & cutting eachother off at buffet!!

 

DH and I have cruised NCL 4-X's. No trouble with swollen ankles, etc., and DH has high blood pressure.

 

You may need a good physical!

 

Chocoholic buffet...if you pay attention when you arrive...it is clearly stated and printed...take out - use white styrofoam plates, eat in...use dining room plates. NOT difficult.

 

Just like the hand sanitization...how many utilize that - though it is offered?

 

And, yes, the turnaround on the ship is a very short time span on arrival/departure time.

Have you ever left your cabin to seek out your cabin stewards on that morning?

I have...believe me...the sweat is "pouring" off of their faces!

Kudos to room stewards.

 

Cruising is not for everyone.

 

But, having traveled throughout the years...land hotels have check-out at 11am and check-in at 3pm.

We have arrived at many "posh" hotels through the years and could not get into our suite as it was not "ready".

 

This has NEVER happened on NCL cruises;)

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Please don't let this ship turn you off from cruising. There are a lot of other ships out there that offer completely different service and entertainment and you may find it more to your liking. Try a different line before you swear off a great form of vacation fun.

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DH and I have cruised NCL 4-X's. No trouble with swollen ankles, etc., and DH has high blood pressure.

 

You may need a good physical!

 

Chocoholic buffet...if you pay attention when you arrive...it is clearly stated and printed...take out - use white styrofoam plates, eat in...use dining room plates. NOT difficult.

 

Just like the hand sanitization...how many utilize that - though it is offered?

 

And, yes, the turnaround on the ship is a very short time span on arrival/departure time.

Have you ever left your cabin to seek out your cabin stewards on that morning?

I have...believe me...the sweat is "pouring" off of their faces!

Kudos to room stewards.

 

Cruising is not for everyone.

 

But, having traveled throughout the years...land hotels have check-out at 11am and check-in at 3pm.

We have arrived at many "posh" hotels through the years and could not get into our suite as it was not "ready".

 

This has NEVER happened on NCL cruises;)

No harm intended, my understanding is that this is a forum for people to express their experiences so that others reading may come to their own conclusions. I am a registered nurse & I am not in need of a good physical! Whether or not you want to believe it, that food is salty. I'm concerned for DH, if he has hypertension & you keep taking him on cruise after cruise....are you trying to kill him? As far as the Chocoholic buffet, you were not there with us. There was no sign posted to take a styrofoam plate, & in fact the waiter wasn't switching us to a styrofoam plate but rather a very similar white (china) plate. Why are you so offended, do you work on the boat?

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I agree that some food items are made from processed & sodium laden ingredients but often the swelling in the legs comes from sitting in a pressurized cabin during flights. I often experience this a day or two after a flight. Lack of excercise also will cause swelling in the legs - drinking fluids and sitting in a lounge chair all day. This phenomenon is NOT always caused by the food. I also think if this gentleman ( with hypertension) is still alive, kicking and loves to cruise - leave him alone.

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