My Fiance booked this trip through a travel agent. The original itinerary was supposed to be a stop off in Orlando, Miami, Great Stirrup Kay, and Bermuda. I found out after I picked the tickets up that NCL decided to change the itinerary from that to Bermuda and Bahamas, despite the fact that the original destinations were in NCL's softcover planng book. But I said "what the heck, Bermuda and Bahamas sounds great as well".
Anyway, this was my first cruise and I was very disapointed. Getting on the ship was fairly easy. Once on the ship, we got to go "explore" until our rooms were ready.
The room was a state room with a balcony. Very nice and comfy. The maid staff was excellent the whole trip as well. On our first day, we set a code on the room safe and put our valuables and money in it. It opened and closed no problem as first. Then it decided to crap out and not work (it was digital). I called reception and after being on hold for 40-yes 40 minutes, I went down to the main desk and waited in line for another 40 minutes. After al that waiting, I was told rather rudely that all the staff was busy and I would have to wait at least an hour for someone to get the safe open. Mind you, this all started at 6 p.m. and it was near 7:30, thus ruining our dinner reservations. Someone finally did come and got it opened, Later in the night, my room key wouldnt open our cabin door. That meant another 15 to 20 minutes in line for them to get me another key.
We called the breakfast buffet in the Garden Cafe the "Trough". It consisted of hundreds of people waiting on the buffet line for instant eggs, tasteless bacon, greasy sausage and rotted old grapefruit halves. The restaurants were very good, however the portions were very small and they nickel and dime you for every little thing. All inclusive means house water on this cruise line.
The pool area was like a zoo. The Oasis Pool was rather small with many cruisers complaining about there not being enough beach chairs near the pool. Soon, cruisers were taking chairs and making their own places for them next to the pool, much to the dismay of the cruise staff.
Be ready for children and teenagers bumping into you constantly. Kids ran rampant and teens relieved their boredom by doing cannonballs in the jacuzis and splashing innocent sunbathers as they tried to get a tan. There really needs to be an age limit or some kind of rules in place.
The entertainment on the Dawn was excellent. The cruise Director Matt Baker did a phenomenal job performing. The bands that played were extremely talented, never missing a beat.
As for the Excursions, we had planned on doing snorkeling in Bermuda. The lady at the excursion desk asked me if I was allergic to anything and I told her bees. She denied me buying the excursion because of this. But word to the wise: we bought a snorkel and goggles in the gift shop for $14. The excursion was for rented snorkles for $29. We made out great without the rude lady or that particular excursion.
Greta Stirrup Kay (the NCL private island) was more like Comey Island on a 100 degree day. Very crowded, unclear water, and just an overall disapointment.
We met some very nice fellow cruisers but did meet some nasty, miserable people as well. No one says hello in the elevators and we even had an altercation with a nasty woman who complained that we were in her sunlight when we passed her on the deck. My travel agent had sent my Fiance and I a bottle of Champagne to celebrate. I recieved a note in my cabin to pick it up at one of the cafes. I went to pick it up and the lady told me that I had to pay a $15 corking and holding fee to recieve our champagne!!! I was stunned. If that isnt lowballing, I dont know what is.
We will never again cruise with NCL due to their nickle and diming procedures, lack of good food, crowded decks and halls, rude staff, and incompetance to have a safe and key to your room work.