I can not express how dissappointed I was in our NCL booked transport to the Manhattan terminal. We were looking forward to starting our cruise in a relaxing manner by not having to drive to the port. A week before we left I called Academy Bus to confirm our transfers and see if there was anything we needed to do. After giving our cell phone numbers I was told to be there 20 mins early so the bus can depart on time. I assured them I would be there 40 mins early as I was excited for my vacation and did not want to hold anyone up (a little OCD, I know but I had wanted them to know I wouldn't be late.)
The morning of our departure we were almost an hour early for our bus! We were just too excited! Departure for our pick up was scheduled for 7:45 and I wanted to get good seats on the bus. There was no one there! At 7:45 one of my friends called (because I was of the understanding they would be there 20mins before our departure time...) and he was just around the way at that point. Ok, no problem, maybe the early pick up location had some problems... NOPE! We were the first pick up! So off we go. At this point we were told that there was only one other pick up so we would make up some time there and after that everything seemed to go well until we hit Manhattan and then passed Manhattan and then was asked for the address of the port BY THE DRIVER!!!!
We tried to get him back on track but non of us had a GPS that handled bus routes and he couldn't go down certain streets. (Even though a couple times he did and we ended up in a pickle). I called NCL and Academy Bus during this fright ride asking for someone to help this guy or have him let us off so we could get cabs... he did not listen to the directions coming over the radio, refusing to turn when he was told to, AND refusing to pull over and let us off!!!!! It was maddening! We were approaching sailaway and still we were not at the pier! Finally (after the cut off time of 3pm), we arrived at the port and they were holding the ship for us! THANK YOU NCL!!!!
We had to cart everything on the ship but WHO CARES!!!!! Unfortunately, Muster was called and the deck we were on was engulfed with people AND we were trying to negotiate the already packed area with our luggage. Not the ideal start but WE MADE IT!!! WE WERE ON THE BREAKAWAY!!!!!
During muster we were sent to and fro as no one knew what to do with this crew with all their belongings in tow... it was not a good time to be honest. We were angry, fluster and STARVING (not to mention in need of quite a few cocktails after our ordeal!!!!) All in all the muster was quick and we enjoyed the theater as we got one of the remaining seats.
We went to our cabins and enjoyed the spa decor. Our steward Jovi was absolutely the BEST! Knew our names upon arrival!!!! What a great job he did! After quickly putting our bags in the rooms we went to O'Sheehans for snacks. The food here is decent but it seems that this may be the "training" restaurant. There were a couple mishaps but only chalked that up to our "BAD" day... UGH! We went up on deck, had a couple drinks and went to dinner. At this point we were DONE!!!! It was night night for us.
The rest of the cruise went well! It was all uphill from there. The second day we did spend "running around" to try to re-arrange plans from our first day mayhem (it was inconvenient and I worried that the couple that went with us was regretting coming on this cruise with us!) We got everything done! Had to cut our cruise critic meeting short and run out (Sorry Guys! Unfortunately I did not get to connect with any of them after that!!!!)
At the cruisecritic meeting we had such a nice surprise. We met an AMAZING Maitre 'd on our first cruise with NCL on the EPIC. Deepak Gonsalves did such a great time taking care of my special dietary needs it is hard to cruise without him. We met up again on the Star and now once again on the Breakaway! He is now in charge of all the restaurants and sent my husband gluten free cookies everynight so he had his midnight snack!!!! He made sure we were more than accomodated on this ship and was not happy when I told him we were having problems in the dining rooms. (I didn't tell him til the end of the cruise when he asked me why we were always at the buffet).
We ate in Taste and Savor... the decor was very similar and we hardly ever had a wait. There was mis-communication time and time again over my meals (as I am Gluten Free) and felt it was better just to eat at the buffet. Remarkably, they always made my food fresh and had it readily available. (In the morning they have bagels and a dedicated toaster! (Breakfast Tip: Try Uptown Grill... they have an omlete station and egg sandwiches, bacon, hashbrowns, and.... NO WAIT!!!) AWESOME! anyways...Pasta station had GF pasta and there was also GF Pizza made fresh! Not a lot of Dairy free options I'm afraid as my husband was LOOKING! They have Sorbet at the Gelato stand but even that has MILK IN IT!!!!
The best Dinner was surprisingly at the Cirque' show! They made our meal to order and gave us a lovely baked potato with a dish of Au'Jus... DELICIOUS!!!! I have been on the Epic twice and the only time I got "Glutened" was at the Cirque (BOTH TIMES)... this was not the case here!!!!! It was so smooth I wanted to go AGAIN! The show by the way --- AMAZING!
Despite a lot of negative reviews I did quite enjoy Rock of Ages! (The nuns that sat behind us did not but I did!) They post EVERYWHERE that this is an ADULT show but the amount of kids astounded me. The cast did not flinch and even waved bye to a few people as they left the theater. The band that played for that show was AMAZING!!!!
Burn the floor was AWESOME! The music, the movement, I LOVED IT! All of these performers pull some sort of double duty and we noticed that we recognized several of them from around the ship. All I can say, they work hard for their money!!!!
We had spa access this week as we had a spa balcony cabin. (First let me say the balconies are not as small as people are complaining about and I found it delightful to be able to sit outside and enjoy the air!) But I digress... The spa was SOOOO relaxing!!!! I may not be able to book another standard cabin... EVER!!!! Going to steam and then whirlpool and fall asleep on a warm tile bed! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....
Because there was so much Spa-ing... we did not get to do the waterslides BUT I did tackle the ropes course (TWICE!). I. AM. A. NINJA WARRIOR!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAH!!!! So much fun, you just have to try it!
Spice H2O is TEENY compared to EPIC so the Glow party was more of a fizzle... there aren't the steps so you can look over all the dancers (which I LOVED). AlSO bring back the Wings.... I missed them!!!!
Bermuda was beautiful! This was the 3rd time we have been on the island and I would come back again! It is clean and friendly (relatively safe). I recommend a taxi tour. These drivers know their way around the island and will hit the areas you really want to see.
I can't believe it over! At the end of the week I felt that I didn't get to explore the ship fully! There is so much to do and I would enjoy sailing on her again! (Driving in or taking the train next time!)