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Yvette Hayes

Age: 49

Occupation:Brokerage Firm

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Dawn

Sailing Date: 04-30-2009

Itinerary: Nowhere

We just returned from our first cruise experience. The only thing the Norwegian Dawn got right was the "NO" in cruise to "NOWHERE." We traveled with a group of 14. The others were seasoned cruisers (and one couple had just returned from a week long cruise on the Norwegian Dawn with nothing but great things to say about their experience). We made reservations at Cagney's steakhouse as soon as we boarded at 12:15 and could only get a 9 pm reservation. If you didn't know about the necessity of making reservations for the premium restaurants you probably weren't able to make a reservation at all. We knew we would miss the show but were assured by our friends that had just returned from a trip on this boat that Cagney's was a wonderful dining experience.

Despite arriving promptly, we weren't seated until 9:30. The appetizers were adequate, but nothing to write home about. 10:30 -- no food. 11 pm -- no food. 11:30 no food. After asking about the arrival of our main courses numerous times, we were told by one waitstaff person that they ran out of food. Another told us the grill was broken. Everyone assured us that it would be just a few more minutes. 11:45 -- still no food. 22 people left the dining room. All hungry and all disgruntled.

We had purposely eaten lightly at the afternoon buffet in anticipation of this dinner. We had grabbed wings and artichoke dip at the "Blue Lagoon" to hold us over. Wings in ketchup and artichoke flavoring in a flour concoction. I am not a picky eater. It was disgusting. We decided to forego the show for this dinner. The sole holdouts, my husband and I, left the restaurant at midnight. Before we left we asked to see the manager who told us he was sorry that we had to wait a "little bit." We then asked to see HIS manager. He never appeared. We left for the elevators. At this point our waiter came over and asked that we have a seat as he had dinner for us. He was very apologetic, told us they wouldn't charge the premium for the dinner, but the whole evening was just unbelievable. The food put in front of us at midnight (remember this was a 9 pm reservation) was not what we ordered but we were famished. We ate just enough to assauge the hunger and left. The food was absolutely terrible -- dried out and tough. The rest of our party who had already left tried to get a bite to eat at the Blue Lagoon. The line was tremendous and they gave up waiting. Some members of our party made do with the mints left on their beds. Others ordered room service and stayed up awaiting the delivery of another mediocre meal. For this we paid over $400 per couple (before drinks/gratuities).

I have been assured that this cruise experience was not the norm as compared to a regular multiple night cruise. It is quite evident that NCL is running a glorified booze cruise with no regard to the enjoyment of their travelers. The food problem was epidemic -- we overheard others similarly complaining about their experience in the other restaurants. Long waits. If you weren't in it for the long haul, you went to bed hungry. Not everyone on the boat was content to guzzle drinks and fall into the hot tubs. The prostitutes roaming the elevators (yes, prostitututes) and trolling the floors for business later in the evening were just the icing on the cake.

I guess that is what the establishment considers "free styling."

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