We decided to take a cruise to celebrate our 25th anniversary, without our kids. There is so much advice and information on the internet, it is almost hard to follow it all. We booked the cruise on the Norwegian Dawn, Boston to Bermuda for September 6 a year in advance. We did our research, took notes an compiled a list of what we needed to bring/do going by what others have done. As we were bringing our kids and were looking for a cruise that had fewer kids than normal, our cruise person suggested this date as kids would be back to school. There were still kids on the cruise, and most were well behaved but most likely not nearly the number of kids as when school is out. Norwegian's web site is very helpful as to what you need to do in advance of the trip - identification, passports, etc. It is a very organized company.
We drove from Maine, about a 3 hour ride or so, and parked in the parking garage (about $112 for the week). The garage has elevators however there is no one available to assist you with your bags so be prepared to haul them to the terminal - a short walk. Be sure to have your luggage tagged with the tags they provide you in your e-docs. Once at the terminal, our bags were taken (we kept a carryon) and headed to the check in process. We produced our ID (passports, headed through the scanners. If you bring spare batteries for a camera, they will show up looking like "bullets" so be prepared for that. Also, a diabetic kit left the scanning officer stumped on what it all was, even though prescriptions were in there we had to explain everything that was in it. We then proceeded to the desk, left a credit card for onboard expenses and received our ship cards. Don't lose these cards as you will need them for everything on the ship - coming and going, purchases, drinks, etc. Lanyards are a great idea. Once through, you will be bombarded by the photographers (be prepared as they snag you for photos of everything and no you don't have to buy them but they are annoying as heck). Then we were on the ship. You will be greeted with Washy, washy, happy, happy or something like that and the bottle of hand sanitizer. That will occur throughout the ship and there are sanitizer stations everywhere - a good thing to prevent illness. We were told our room was ready when we asked, so we headed upstairs. Elevators and stairs are across from each other. Usually faster to take the stairs. Our room was ready, clean and bright. Luggage hadn't arrived yet but anything we would have needed was in our carryon. We left the bag and set out to investigate the ship. Lunch was being served in the Garden Cafe - lots to choose from including fruits, salad, burgers, etc. We checked out the pool which was immediately busy with drinking adults. It was already chaotic up there. We didn't use the pool once while on the ship. We are relatively quiet people who just wanted to enjoy each other's company. Something creepy about older men sitting in the hot tubs with teen girls and young girls. Wished the hot tubs were for 18 and older and there were others for under that age. Our first dinner onboard was at Aqua - good restaurant and good service. We also ate at the Venetian (not so great but food was okay), the Blue Lagoon and paid extra to eat at LeBistro (French); LaCucina (Italian); Cagney's
Steakhouse; and Moderno. All excellent with excellent service. Leo at LeBistro is the best! We made our reservations for LeBistro, LaCucina and Cagney's prior to the cruise and took advantage of book 3 and save. No complaints on the food at all. Entertainment was plentiful - Patti and Jose were our favorites, we loved the piano players an Jamroc as well. No complaints at all about this ship - bathroom was plenty big and the shower was roomy with lots of hot water. You do not need to bring a hair dryer. We brought a power strip as others suggested but never used it. Plenty of hangers for clothes and a safe for papers/valuables. Arriving in Bermuda was smooth. Again, have your passports and ship card ready for going into Bermuda through the security as well as back to the ship. Oh, and the photographers, they are there too. We purchased a combo transportation pass - bus and ferry but we also used the taxis - the drivers are more than willing to quote you the cost to get where you have to go and will act as your personal tour guides. The buses are fast, hot and the drivers are not always friendly or helpful. We used day 1 in Bermuda for the beach - we went to Warwick Long Bay Beach at the suggestion of a waitress in Hamilton at the Pickled Onion. Less busy than Horseshoe Beach and there is a great little cove for kids or just quiet. Most everything in Hamilton is closed on Sunday as with other towns. A trip to St. George by ferry is a must - beautiful architecture, shopping, historic sites, etc. Hamilton is great for shopping, architecture, etc. The Dockyard has great shops - Bermuda Glassworks and Rum Cake company are great. Everything is expensive. Watch your onboard tab - drinks and purchases will rack up your account. We had an $800 tab when we check out for drinks, shopping, photos (we did the formal night photos). Things we learned for next time: bring a case of water and/or soda if you drink soda as soda is an extra charge (we dont drink it); Bring a clock as your room doesn't have one, bring an over the door shoe pocket holder for the bathroom door for extra convenient storage; music (ipod and ipod dock).