A bit of background- my boyfriend and I are first-time cruisers; I am 25 and he is 30. This cruise appealed to us not only due to its departure from Boston, but also due to the "Freestyle" cruising mantra. In all, we had a fantastic time on our first cruise (hopefully of many!) and definitely plan on cruising on NCL in the future.
Embarkation in Boston was efficient and low-stress. We were dropped off at the pier around 12:15, and we were able to be dining in Windows by about 1pm. Only about 20 other groups were in Windows at this time so I highly recommend heading there rather than to the deck party they try and steer you toward! Rooms were ready at 2pm and we were able to enjoy our balcony as we left Boston.
The sea days en route to Bermuda were fun- we enjoyed the trivia sessions as well as Paul Scally and Friends and "Just Magic" with Jorgos. We also went to the "Newlywed Not so Newlywed Gameshow" which was a riot- the couples selected had been married anywhere from 2 days to 62 years! All in all, the days gave us a good chance to get ready for Bermuda.
We arrived in Bermuda late Sunday morning, and rather than try and fight the hordes trying to exit the ship early, we once again had a leisurely lunch. (Windows ended up being our favorite dining spot.) We left the ship around 12:30 and wandered around the Dockyard for a while, confirming which places would be open the following day. We had elected to do an excursion through NCL for their "Shipwreck Snorkel", which ended up being altered slightly due to the horrendous wind conditions but was still a lot of fun and also allowed us to see a lot of the island from a different point of view. The dinner that evening at Windows was superb- I had the Beef Wellington, which I am still dreaming about!
Monday was Bermuda Day, a national holiday, and as such the reef fishing excursion that we had planned on doing was pushed back to Tuesday. The weather also started to turn for the worse, with high winds and rain. We decided to take advantage of the day anyway and go into Hamilton via the excellent public transportation system. The marathon was going on as we got into Hamilton, and very few shops were open. It was definitely something else to see how the Bermudians turned out to support their friends, though! That afternoon we headed to Horseshoe Bay, which would have been a lovely beach in better weather conditions. As it was, we were sandblasted and thoroughly exhausted by the time we returned to the ship, but still made it to a delicious meal at Cagney's, followed by the EXCELLENT Second City scripted show. We ended up going to every Second City performance during the voyage!
Tuesday the weather had actually worsened, and our fishing excursion ended up being cancelled. We ended up going back into Hamilton, where we did some more shopping and got our passports stamped at the Post Office on Parliament Street. We ended up heading back to the ship earlier than anticipated, because snorkeling had introduced some bacteria to my face and it had turned rather red, swollen, and covered in dozens of tiny pustules. The medical staff was very professional and one bottle of penicillin later, I was ready to enjoy the trip home.
During the remaining sea days, we went to all of the Second City shows, Paul Scally's comedy show, and the Chocoholic Buffet. We also went to the towel folding presentation, which came in handy as we did not receive a towel animal on the last night! I ended up making my own and leaving it for our stewards.
We arrived in Boston early- I woke up at 5:45 and we were already in port- and disembarkation was a breeze.
All in all, other than a few minor hiccups which were largely beyond NCL's control, we had a fantastic time on our maiden voyage to Bermuda and definitely plan on cruising with NCL in the future.