This was my very first cruise and after it was all said and done it certainly will not be my last! I went on this vacation with my boyfriend and one other couple, we range in age from 23-25, and this was the first cruise for all of us. Despite the poor weather in Bermuda we still had an amazing time. I did a lot of research prior to this cruise and I must say that my expectations were exceeded in every way.
We traveled to Bayonne NJ from Philadelphia and the ride was easy and quick. There was some confusion with the port itself, a lot of people were still coming off the last cruise as we were arriving, and the baggage area was very congested. Once we situated ourselves and got our luggage loaded we proceeded to the waiting terminal and munched on cookies and coffee until our group was called.
Once on the ship we just took it all in and our excitement never faded from that moment on. We ate some lunch at the Windjammer and I was shocked to see how roomy the Windjammer was. I expected crowds of people all standing in long lines but it was not that way at all. The food was just fine to me and the selection of food suited everyone perfectly.
After lunch we headed straight to the pool area and we were the very first people to get in those hot tubs. We officially started the party! We drank a bit and enjoyed the Calypso band while we soaked up the sunshine. We stayed on the pool deck for several hours and around 4:00 we decided to check out our rooms. Our luggage was sitting outside of our door when we arrived at our rooms. Even the bags with our rum runners in them ?. We were on deck 6 with a promenade window, which I LOVED. It was also great to be so close to everything, it made exploring very easy. Our room was spacious enough for us and all of our suitcases fit nicely under the bed so we had a lot of floor space.
After unpacking we were off to try to find the Flyers game on one of the TVs, unfortunately their search was unfounded. The guys were disappointed but nothing another drink and a round of mini golf couldn't solve. We did a little more exploring then went back to the pool deck to lounge around and watch our ship set sail.
Our dinner every night was at 8:30 which was perfect for allowing us ladies plenty of time to get all pretty for dinner. Our waiters were wonderful, the food was spectacular, and the overall service every night was perfect. I give those workers so much credit for all that they do each and every night. They go above and beyond to make everyone feel special.
We visited each of the bars throughout our trip and our group's general consensus was that the cigar lounge kicked butt! It was the perfect place to just relax after a very long day, even if you do not smoke cigars; I guarantee the vibe in that room will win you over. They even serve chocolate covered strawberries for the ladies. We had a nice long conversation with the main bartender there and he was an awesome fellow.
For breakfast, each day we tried something new so we hit up all of the breakfast options. The top pick for breakfast was the main dining room for sure. For lunch we did the Windjammer or the cafe on the promenade. The cafe was also perfect for those late night drunk munchies.
We hung in the casino for a bit but my friend and I did not play any games. Our boyfriends played though and won! My boyfriend won 200 bucks with the 3 card poker! We also went to the adult comedy show which was pretty funny and we saw the ice show, which blew my mind. It was fantastic in every way. The costumes, the sets, and the performers were so good. I left that show with a longing to learn how to skate like the stars in that show. We also went to the Quest game show and of course my boyfriend and my friend's boyfriend had to volunteer to be the two male captains of our team. Our guys are extremely competitive and the word lose is not in their vocabulary, so of course that being said, they made pulled out all the stops and freaking won. They only won hats though. I think the prizes on the ship could be stepped up a bit. But the Quest was hilarious and I laughed until it hurt.
We used the gym twice and I must say running on a treadmill while looking out into the ocean significantly helps to keep your mind off the sweat and pain. We did not use the spa but it looked nice and there is always next time.
We used the hot tubs a lot. The solarium ones were the best. We swam in the pool as well, but the water is very salty so it does burn the eyes a bit. We never had a problem finding four lounge chairs together, which was also an issue I anticipated.
Now onto Bermuda, Bermuda....oh Bermuda. I was a little bummed with the weather but really there is nothing you can do about it. Just have to make the best of it and that we did. We faced those gale force winds and I thought it was quite fun. You can't help but to laugh at everyone all blowing around. We saw a bit of the dockyard, kissed under a moongate, aww. And then took a ferry into Hamilton. The parade was going on so we saw a little bit of that and then went off to eat lunch at the Hog Penny. The Bermuda seafood chowder was delicious and we tried our first Rum Swizzle. After lunch, the sun came out for a bit, so we looked up the closest beach and took one of the cute little pink buses to Shelly Bay. It was not much of a beach but the four us were the only ones on it. We pretty much got a private beach experience. The water was crystal clear and blue like I have never seen. It was beautiful. Those of us in the group who wore our bathing suits got to swim about in the pretty sea. The water was surprisingly very warm and very calm. Shelly Bay is a little peninsula so it does not get the crazy waves and it's pretty shallow all the way through. We dried off and we were still felling adventurous so we hopped on another bus and went into St. George. Most of the shops were closed but we did manage to get some Cuban Cigars and some Bermuda souvenirs. We explored St. George and then we were beat so we all got on the bus to go back to Hamilton, then another to go to the Dockyard.
Later that night, we attempted to venture back out after dinner but the rain made it too cold. We did not get very far before giving up and going back to the ship.
The second day in Bermuda started out even worse then the first. Instead of gale-force winds we got pouring rain. But that did not stop us! We packed on our hats and hoods and set off for that ferry again. From Hamilton we took a bus to the caves and that was the best thing to do on a rainy day. They were covered up from the rain and they were beautiful. We only saw the Crystal Cave but that was enough. The cave had such a pretty little river or lake or whatever you want to call it, running through it and the whole cave was just so awe inspiring. After the cave experience, we ate lunch and drank at the Swizzle Inn. The food was once again very yummy and the Rum Swizzles did there job. The Swizzle Inn was another group favorite.
After, lunch we crossed the street and hopped on yet another bus that took us to Horse Shoe Bay. We ended up missing the stop so we had to do a bit of walking but it was well worth it. That beach was amazing; it looked just like a post card. I have never seen little coves like that on a beach so I was very excited. We played in the coves and took lots of pictures and then we really had to get back to the ship. It was almost 4:30 and the ship was leaving at 5. We took a cab, which was parked right by the beach, and our driver was a nice little dude. He got us to our ship on time and we did not get left behind.
I imagine that with a pretty sunshine and blue sky Bermuda would really have been splendid, but even with the cloudy days and the rain I still think it was a beautiful island.
The rest of the cruise went well and like I said before we loved every minute of it. We came across a few fellow travelers who complained about what a miserable time they had on this cruise. I felt sorry for those people. A vacation is what you make it and we made ours the best time of our lives so far.