This was the first time we drove instead of flying to a port of embarkation, and want to say it was the easiest way to go. We drove to the Toms River bus terminal Sunday morning and parked our car for $2/day, versus $35 day in NYC. The senior bus fare to NY Port Authority was only $8 and two hrs later we arrived in the city. Grabbed a cab $10 to take us the short ride to the pier and when we got there, we were greeted immediately and given "S" tags which allowed us immediate entry to our cabins, because of our cabin category. We booked the deluxe verandah suite, and it was so worth every cent. The cabin was spacious, plenty of storage, closets, dressing rm, king sz bed, sitting area, and large verandah with two padded lounges and table with 4 chairs. The dressing rm had a separate sink and vanity with makeup mirror.
Complimentary Champagne and fresh fruit bowl on the bar. Two robes with nice slippers were supplied. The rm also had a safe, flat screen tv, vcr, dvd for free movies. Personalized stationary and postcards. Rm was bright, roomy and tastefully decorated. King sz bed had nice white comfortor and many soft pillows. Cozy and comfy.
Our two rm stewards were Indonesian. Polite and efficient, but hard to understand at times. Rooms were spotless. This category also had the benefit of a Concierge located a few doors away at The Neptune Lounge, which we frequented for cold and hot drinks, hor d'oeuvres, and meeting other guests. We met the captain and officers there for complimentary cocktails. We signed up for the wk at the spa's thermal suite which had hot tile lounges, a private whirlpool, and 2 steam rooms. I also had a massage and used the gym several times.
The food in the dining rm was average. The best meals were the lamb chops and the surf and turf on formal nights. My husband's fish entree contained bones and was returned to the kitchen as it was inedible. Disappointed there was no music to accompany dining on formal nights. The shows were good and we enjoyed the comedian and the musicals.
We docked right on Front St. in Hamilton and it was a great convenient location. Since it was a two day Bermudian holiday when we arrived, they closed off the st to traffic for the parade and local vendors put up tables. We took a cab to Horseshoe Bay beach and it was very crowded as 2 other cruise ships were in. Rented 2 beach chairs, $11 each and an umbrella for $11. Everything was cash, so bring money as they also require a deposit. You can buy a cold drink and a snack here, but try to stay away from the bathrooms, they are toxic.
One last word of advice. Bring your own Kaopectate. The last day of the cruise my husband went down to sick bay to buy some and he was quarantined and unable to leave the cabin. Fortunately it was the last evening and we were escorted off the ship first thing Sunday morning for fear of contamination. He wasn't really sick, just ate too much fruit, but they were being very careful. Good for Holland America.