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13 Bermuda Repositioning Cruise Reviews

It was close to home so we didn't have to fly and we have never been to Bermuda. Overall the cruise was wonderful but we were a bit surprised and annoyed a bit. 1) The whole 7th floor smelled like smoke and gave us a headache cause ... Read More
It was close to home so we didn't have to fly and we have never been to Bermuda. Overall the cruise was wonderful but we were a bit surprised and annoyed a bit. 1) The whole 7th floor smelled like smoke and gave us a headache cause they allow smoking in the open area of the casino so we didn't gamble even though i really wanted to 2) the food was AMAZINGLY TASTY and FLAVORFUL. they also had a lot of choices 3) Most of the chairs in the sun had towels or personal items on them for hours with no people in site so it doesn't allow others to use it for the purpose for which it is meant. TO SUN BAITHE. 4)Plenty of activities but no itinerary for the whole week up front so it makes it hard to plan day by day in advance. 5)the bermuda beaches were fantastic 6) When booking your cruise PLEASE find out the EXTRA CHARGES you will be hit withi.e gratuities per day @ 14.95 per persondarts/bowling/pool all have to use ur swipe card and cost from 2-6$ to play. don't use your phone unless you are ok with 100-250 in inernet charges. most of the extra charges were just not made aware of to us prior but otherwise we had a lot of fun. i would recommend this cruise unless you like to gamble and shop on the boat and you don't like smoking. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The cruise wasn’t good we stayed on the boat more than we were suppose to didn’t get to go to the destination that we paid for instead ended up in Florida and a stop for a few hours at a private island. Didn’t get to see anything I ... Read More
The cruise wasn’t good we stayed on the boat more than we were suppose to didn’t get to go to the destination that we paid for instead ended up in Florida and a stop for a few hours at a private island. Didn’t get to see anything I wanted and customer service on the boat wasn’t the best. We still haven’t gotten money back for not going to Bermuda But other cruise lines did give their customers money back and a money off the next cruise. I won’t be going through them again for a cruise. The food on this cruise was okay. It could be better and also the entertainment was probably the only good part of the cruise. The shows saved my vacation but everything else was no worth the trip. Also the drink package was a good thing to have on the cruise without those two things I would have had a worse time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I had researched many of the cruise lines before picking NCL, and thought it would be a great fit for us. I read about all the things the ship had to offer and the positive reviews posted. I had cruised before with Princess and was looking ... Read More
I had researched many of the cruise lines before picking NCL, and thought it would be a great fit for us. I read about all the things the ship had to offer and the positive reviews posted. I had cruised before with Princess and was looking forward to comparing the differences. For me it was kind of like it looked/seemed better in the pictures than in reality. Very crowded in many of the popular things to do so couldn't even try things out. I thought the passengers on the cruise were very friendly and seemed to be behaved even with all the drinking. The kids didn't seem to be out of control either. Embarkation: Getting on the ship was okay we live local so just called an Uber. Long lines once we got there. It took us about 2 hour from puling up to the pier to sitting down to get something to eat once on board. They lost one of our bags and I had to hunt it down myself as the staff didn't seem to be too concerned. Food/Drinks: We ate at 3 specialty restaurants, LeBistro, Teppanaki, Cagney's. LeBistro was our least favorite. The entrees at Teppanaki were very good, dessert and soup not so much. At Cagney's my husband got the filet mingion, which was good. I got the rib eye which was very fatty. I was glad I didn't pay for any of the restaurants as I didn't feel they were worth the extra fee. We ate at Taste and Savor and felt their food was about he same as the specialty ones. The service was the best at Cagney's. We ate breakfast and some lunches at the Garden Cafe. The food there was average to poor. They had mostly all the same food everyday on repeat with a few new ones thrown in. The buffets were often crowded and you felt like you had to be aggressive to get in line or get a table. Hand washing before getting in line at the buffet was non-existent. I saw very few people use the machine, yuck. People were often refilling their bottles from the drink station. The seats were stained and often wet from people's wet bathing suits. The drinks at the bars were very hit or miss, either too weak/strong or wrong. Some were so bad I had to just discard them and try getting a drink from a different bar. By the end of the cruise I was just getting seltzer not to deal with the inconsistencies. Thankfully we had the UBP so we weren't paying out of pocket for poor drinks. On-board activities: Many were very crowded or had long lines so we didn't want to deal with the hassle. The pool was very crowded wall to wall people. Too small of a pool for all those people. We bought the spa package to void the pools and on certain days it was hard to find loungers there also because people were saving them or sleeping on the thermal ones (only supposed to be used for 30 min). The steam room was either not working or not working well on 3 days out of the 7. The staff seemed to care less when it was brought to there attention. We attempted to go to Bingo but the cheapest bundle/package was $39+ so we skipped that. Entertainment: We saw Brat Pack, After Midnight, comedians, Howl at the Moon, juggler, and guitarist. All of them were great. Better than on other cruises. Really was looking forward to going to the Glow party but it was so packed we left after a few minutes as you couldn't even move. Service and Staff: Most not very friendly. They would say hello once we initiated it. We had only staff member ask us about our trip and that was so she could get our room number as she was looking for ratings. We never meet her nor did she ever serve us before so not really sure what I would comment on. She was going from table to table in the buffet. No one walking around with coffee refills as on other cruises. I had one person ask if we wanted drinks while at the casino. Mostly we had to hunt them down. The bartenders seemed stressed and short as they were very busy with all the people. Cabin: The Cabin was fine. We requested extension cords in advance (an email form and 2 phone calls to make sure) for CPAP machines and they still weren't there. They scrambled around to find one, only to bring back a 25 foot thick orange contractors/construction wheel type one we had to leave on our counter. Next time I'll bring my own. Ship: Kind of a pain that floors don't go straight through from aft to forward, so you have to walk through the deck to get the elevators. The public bathrooms were not well cleaned, toilet paper and "water" in many of the stalls. The elevator floors were very sticky from people spilling drinks and not being mopped. The only day I saw staff cleaning hand rails etc was one day when we got into port. There was a lot of smoke from the casino that could be smelt on all floors in the Atrium. Even in the non-smoking section people were smoking so you couldn't get away from it. Port: Loved Bermuda! We had a great time in port. The water and the beaches were beautiful. We went to Hamilton on the ferry, Horseshoe bay, Jobson Cove and snorkeling. We did the helmet dive with Hartley great fun! I would definitely go to Bermuda again just probably not with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Taste - main dining area day 2: My scrambled eggs and cheese were cold and they forgot my toast. Oddly they brought a gravy boat of shredded cheese rather than cooking it in my scrambled eggs. Manager, Moises, sent some wine and sweet ... Read More
Taste - main dining area day 2: My scrambled eggs and cheese were cold and they forgot my toast. Oddly they brought a gravy boat of shredded cheese rather than cooking it in my scrambled eggs. Manager, Moises, sent some wine and sweet treats to our room to apologize. Very classy and we appreciated it. Spa Zero spa shoes Zero lockers Zero access to thermal spa during appt Coed relaxation rooms There was some sort of detox seminar/tours to sell a service which is fine except that they hold it in the the relaxation room which isnt very relaxing for those of us trying to relax. Services were nice but overpriced for lack of additional amenities (like Thermal Spa usage with appt) Lots of upselling after appt with prices excessive for products. Amazon is much better for products over ship pricing. Sky bar has most of the late night activities but it's in n the middle of the casino so the smoke made me leave immediately. Most of the staff seemed very confused when asking where something was on the ship. So much so that after asking 3 people for directions where the sky lounge was, we never located it and missed the singles meet and greet. Not enough chairs on the ship so you have to wake up at the crack of dawn to claim your chairs. Vibe only allows for 100 people and though it has nice chairs, it only has a hot tub and no pool. All in all I'd rank the trip 4/5. Btw, our steward was Harvey and he was amazing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We took this cruise as a last minute deal to get away from Hurricane Irma. Had a wonderful time on board. Shows were great, food way to good, and staff was friendly and hospitable. What a way to ride out the storm. The fine dining ... Read More
We took this cruise as a last minute deal to get away from Hurricane Irma. Had a wonderful time on board. Shows were great, food way to good, and staff was friendly and hospitable. What a way to ride out the storm. The fine dining was great except for the way you now get a certificate and can only choose one salad-or- soup. In the main dining room, you can order whatever you want, as much, or little, as you like. Fine dining is limited and sometimes I'd love to have a soup and salad. You have to pay extra. Not quite worthwhile when the main dining and buffet areas have such fabulous items too. The port is so easy to get around - just walk off and you're already in a fort. Jump on the free water shuttle to go to St. George's. Overall a fabulous cruise. Love NCL. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The advertised package included a 16 day transatlantic cruise from miami with stops in ponte delgado, brest france, brussels belgium, southampton u.k., rotterdam netherlands,copenhagen denmark, a 2 night post cruise hotel stay and the ... Read More
The advertised package included a 16 day transatlantic cruise from miami with stops in ponte delgado, brest france, brussels belgium, southampton u.k., rotterdam netherlands,copenhagen denmark, a 2 night post cruise hotel stay and the flight back to miami. also included were six specialty dining meals for two. the ship hit a log damaging on of the five azi pods outside ponte delgado. we were unable to dock at ponte delgado. the damage slowed our speed from 22 knots to 14 knots. as a result we reached southampton at noon instead of 8:00 a.m., were called to immigration at 2:30 p.m., stood in line for an hour and a half to show our passports, tell them we were flying home on 05/18 and actually set foot on land at 4:30 p.m. of course all of the things we wanted to see were closed by then. we had about 2 hours in brest france and had brussels dropped from our itinerary. fortunately we did make it to rotterdam and copenhagen on time. The food? the buffet was fine except for the noticeable lack of service. The "complimentary" restaurants (replaces dining rooms) were good for breakfast. my wife was served a raw chicken cordon bleu one night! another night our skewered shrimp and filet minion dinners were left cooling, and arrived cold along with lots of excuses, while meals arriving later were delivered! The entertainment? gone are the traditional large showrooms! they have been replaced by much smaller venues for which you need reservations, if you can get them. what are your odds as one of 4,000 passengers??? Formal nights? none!!! Gratuities? i for one feel that $13.99 per person per day is beyond excessive! furthermore, according to the purser, the company has programmed the computers so that they can't adjust the amount of your gratuity until one day before the cruise is over. i guess they figure it will be a mob at the last minute and most people will just give up. Self serve laundromats? none!!! Now i remember why out of my 17 or so cruises only three have been on norwegian!!! Avoid at all costs. not worth the $7,000.00 plus, including hotels and airfare from california to miami. in fact the best part was the flight home on sas. great airline!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Bermuda and Boston were places we hadn't visited. It was exciting to visit new places and the two day stay in Bermuda was especially nice. It gave us time to revisit our favorite beach and see places others recommended after their ... Read More
Bermuda and Boston were places we hadn't visited. It was exciting to visit new places and the two day stay in Bermuda was especially nice. It gave us time to revisit our favorite beach and see places others recommended after their first day. The cabins were clean and roomy. Our attendant was helpful and friendly. He went out of his way to provide us with little extras that enhanced the whole experience. Food in the main dinning room, windjammer and others was excellent. The service though out our cruise was very good. Bartenders, servers, and general staff provided excellent service. There was good entertainment and activities on the ship. Day care services were excellent. The staff on board were helpful and interested in the overall quality of our experience. Arrival and departure was quick and easy relative to other cruises we have taken. The ship was modern, clean and equipment and facilities were well maintained. I would recommend this cruise to any of my friends without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Never been there before and the ship was suppose to be docked for 3 days ,. carnival estascy , cabin was noise from engines , away from couples we were traveling with ,not what we had ask for . Dining was also not what we requested due to ... Read More
Never been there before and the ship was suppose to be docked for 3 days ,. carnival estascy , cabin was noise from engines , away from couples we were traveling with ,not what we had ask for . Dining was also not what we requested due to many of party needing to have early dining we had to have it changed to anytime dining , food was most of the time prepared very good ,a few times orders were wrong or cold . Entertaiment was very good the shows are very good in the theater , activities were not as many this time as have been on other ships , i applaud the celebration for veteran days that the estascy did i am a veteran and i enjoyed it !!! Service did their best to make everyone feel at ease on a rocking ship due to rough seas and weather.the port of bermuda we had to leave a day early . For fear of wind . Bermuda was a little boring . Really feel very disappointed this cruise .but we will be cruising again!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I just returned from a Celebrity Summit 8 day Cruise that my wife and I booked as an anniversary cruise. Being a long time Celebrity cruiser, I figured this would be just another great vacation on a "Luxury" Cruise ship. What I ... Read More
I just returned from a Celebrity Summit 8 day Cruise that my wife and I booked as an anniversary cruise. Being a long time Celebrity cruiser, I figured this would be just another great vacation on a "Luxury" Cruise ship. What I found was anything but "Luxury". For starters, Celebrity has decided to take another 30% of the main dinning room away and make a new specialty restaurant for its Suit guest. In order to do this, they jammed all the tables in the main dinning room closer together. Basically to the point where you need to squeeze between tables and have to slide your chair out carefully so as not to hit a passenger at the table next to you. To add to this, the Main Dinning room (MDR) has only 7 or 8 waiters serving it, where the new Suite Restaurant has 10 waiters and blue has 7. Basically 7 or 8 waiters to serve 80%-85% of the guest, while 17 or 18 waiters serve the other 15%-20% of guest. The special treatment doesn't stop there though... After you sit, it can take a half hour before your waiter gets you a menu or water or even has time to acknowledge you. After you order, it could take up to 45 minutes to get any food. The food in the MDR now is simple and basic stuff you would expect from your local sports bar or chain restaurant, nothing special or classy or gourmet about it. In fact, it is so bad that the captain and officers prefer the buffet over the MDR. They only showed up at the captains table in the MDR on formal nights. I don't blame them! The food in the buffet was more gourmet and better tasting (not to mention, it didn't take more than an hour to get it to the table). As stated, the cruise line has decided that Suite and Aqua class guest are all they care about. Their restraints had better food, more waiters and were better appointed and decorated. I understand you should get a bit more when you pay more for a suite, but when you buy any room on a cruise, especially one that sells and advertises itself as a "Luxury" cruise, you should at least receive a sign of "luxury" or appreciation for your business. The MDR tables are old and many are wobbly with bad legs or other issues (especially doesn't help when the ship decides to sail through a storm with 70 MPH winds and 30-40 foot waives, but I will get to that). On the second day, my wife and I decided to go to the pool. We spent 20 minutes looking for a lounge chair. We finally found one along side the pool in the blazing hot sun. We walked amongst the hundreds of chairs in better locations (shade) with towels and books placed on them by other passengers who weren't even at the pool at the time or anywhere near the chairs. We placed our stuff down and went to take a dip in the pool. The chairs were in our sight the whole time as we looked at all the chairs that guest had marked for themselves even though they weren't there using them. Kind of selfish if you ask me. After about 20 minutes, a pool butler walked by our chairs and placed a small laminated card down on one of our chairs. I figured it was a menu, being that he had saw us place our stuff on the chairs and also saw us sitting on the side of the pool looking at our stuff. We walked over and found out it was a laminated sign that said "As a curtsy to other guest, we will remove any items left on a chair unattended for more than 30 minute. You may reclaim your stuff at customer relations later." The pool butler did not take our stuff, and our stuff (unlike stuff on the chairs around us) wasn't "Unattended". We were there. I took the card and found the pool butler and asked him why he put that card there when he saw us by the pool. He replied it was a warning card and he did it because we weren't in the chairs. I asked about other chairs that had stuff with people no where around and he said "That stuff belongs to other guest." I continued to ask why those chairs weren't getting the card I got and he told me to not worry about it since he didn't remove my stuff. I pushed further and he finally said that the reason other chairs (with no people around) didn't get the cards was because he didn't know who the stuff actually belonged to and didn't want to remove stuff that may belong to suite guest. But since I was around, and he saw me, he knew who the stuff belonged to and could easily tell me where my stuff was if he did have to remove it. We decided to leave the pool area and go down to the shops where we encountered a rude Australian cashier, who was unhelpful and neglected to tell us (after we spent over $300) that there was a raffle taking place on the cruise and that for every $150 you spend, you get a card to fill out as your raffle ticket. We found this out later in the cruise from a friendly Romanian cashier who was shocked we weren't informed about it by her co-worker. Bad service aside, there were a ton of "private" parties held in public lounges for suite members only, and a ton of other functions for suite members only. Basically if you weren't a suite or Aqua member, you didn't exist on this ship (less than 20% of the cabins are suits and Aqua and most were either sold out or over priced when we were looking to book). Next I will mention Maintenance. While we were in the pool, we noticed some form of algae or other slimy build up on the inside walls of the pool. Showing that it wasn't subbed for atlas a few days. Most lines that I have sailed on empty the pool at night and clean it. This wasn't the case on this ship. The pool was not cleaned the full 8 days. There is also a window above the solarium that is fully shattered and just waiting to fall on someone. It is in the front right corner of the roof of the solarium and is very noticeable. If you are sailing on the summit, look for it, and lets see how long it is before the cruise line fixes it. The canopy above the band stand by the pool was ripped, and was almost torn off on the last sea day when the captain chose to sail through a storm rather than wait it out (like another ship behind us did and was only 3 hours late pulling in to port the following day). Steps on the forward and aft stair cases had rips under them and carpet coming lose. One night my wife almost tripped because of it. Our cabin attendant was excellent, however we had to practically beg him every night for towel animals. Any night we didn't ask, we didn't get them. This was my wives first cruise and I thought it would be a nice thing for her every night. A friend of ours who had an Aqua room got the towel animals every night without asking (better made as well) and so did a friend of his in a suite. Another friend of ours with an inside cabin didn't get towel animals at all. Towel animals don't cost the cruise line anything and I don't see why this is such a hard thing to get your attendants to do. We tried a few specialty dining restaurants while on the cruise and while the food was better than the MDR, it wasn't worth the added $50 per person. Basically, by the end of the cruise I was exhausted from asking for things and seeing suite guest get treated like gold, while none suite guest were treated like they didn't exist. By the last day, I was looking forward to getting off the ship (especially after watching things get tossed around my cabin while we struggled to stand and walk because the captain chose to sail through a storm with 50+ MPH winds and 30 foot waives. In the end, this cruise made it obvious that Celebrity advertises "Modern Luxury" but leave out that it is only for their suite and Aqua class guest. This cruise was far from "Luxury" and "Modern". It appears that Celebrity is trying to bring back the old days of cruising, where first class (suite and Aqua Guest) are treated like gold or royalty and second class (Veranda and Ocean view guest) are treated like trash. I don't even want to know their plans for guest traveling with inside cabins. It is okay to give Suite and Aqua class guest a little more since they pay a little more, but doing it at the expense of other guest is unacceptable. Why should 80-85% of guest be squashed together in the MDR so the 10% of Suite guest and 5% of Aqua guest can have extra space? Why should they have more waiters in each of their dining rooms than the entire rest of the guest have in the MDR? Why does the quality of the food in the MDR have to go down so Suite class food quality can go up? The ships main dining room was not designed to be separated the way they did it, and was not designed to hold all the tables it has for 80-85% of guest in the 60% of the MDR that is left now. Why dose 15% of guest get 40% of the dining space? To add to it all, they removed a port (Tortola) to add an extra sea day and raised their prices almost 25%. So they expect people to pay more for less. The last sea day (Saturday May 2nd) there was a storm (The crew and captain warned it was coming on Thursday April 30). The captain or the cruise line decided to sail through it (despite warnings from weather officials). The ship rock back and forth all day and passengers were sliding into walls as huge waives and high winds tossed the ship around like a toy. Several passengers were pushed into each other as they struggled to walk down the halls. Deck chairs and other objects slid across the decks, plates and cups fell on the floors, and the canopies above the band stand were torn further than they were. Even a few canopies above the aft bar and the suites on deck 6 got a bit torn. The NCL Breakaway was more considerate of customer/ Passenger safety and decided to hold back and wait the storm out. They arrived only 3 hours late to NYC. The summit was sailing at 13 knots, and could have easily waited the storm out and picked up to 20 knots and still made it on time. Disembarkation was even worst. Suite guest and Aqua guest sat in Michael's club and other cafe's and received food, drinks and snacks while they waited to leave the ship. None suite or Aqua guest had to wait in other lounges with no snacks or food or bar services while they waited hours to disembark the ship. If you plan on cruising on the Summit or any Celebrity Ship, and are not going to be in Aqua or a Suite, prepare to experience low quality service. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We had looked forward to sailing on Norwegian's Breakaway since last year. New ship, new feature and it offered so much promise. Sadly, the hype doesn't live up to the reality. Food was mediocre at best. Never heard or ... Read More
We had looked forward to sailing on Norwegian's Breakaway since last year. New ship, new feature and it offered so much promise. Sadly, the hype doesn't live up to the reality. Food was mediocre at best. Never heard or experienced lobster night not being served in main dining but as part of the buffet. Saw our cabin steward when we first went in to cabin then not again for 3 days. No turn down service on first night, ice bucket never filled more than 1/4 way even after leaving a note asking. The only decent place to get a steak cooked medium was Le Bistro. Everywhere else, was browned or bloodied. room service menu very limited and you get charged for late night service. Your healthy options are non-existent. You will load up on carbs and sweets so you will easily put on the 8-10 lbs. they seem to take pride in. Burgers are good, yet sausage, bratwurst and links are under cooked. Don.t eat at La Cucina. You will get better Italian food anywhere else. Informed a day prior about a low sodium request. Their solution was to serve it dry, no sauce at all. Nothing Italian about it". In the 24 hours, prior, no attempt to make a Marsala sauce with a bit less salt? Shows are limited. Theater is small so u need to book reservations. Same shows as well. Burn the floor well done...Rock of Ages...lacked energy and a plot. ..Comedian Michael Finney was very good. second City was fine. Captain was very impersonal. Posed for pics one day for a total of 15minutes...barely spoke at Latitudes gathering and lacked enthusiasm when he did. We are used to crews also initiating "hello", not the case here. When one did ask about things which were you experienced on past cruises and enjoyed, standard answer "This is the Breakaway"..... Which I determined, forget the niceties, we do things our own way, when we want to and forget the cruise experience you used to enjoy. Water slides are fun and obstacles course was a blast. Liked the adult only Spice H2O. Next cruises...smaller ship with more better food and service ratings. Read the reviews and trust the poor to middle. They are more accurate. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was our first cruise with NCL and compared to other lines there were plusses, minus and draws. Concerning the cabin the upside was there was a shower door not a curtain and a real hair dryer!!! However the vanity area was tiny and had ... Read More
This was our first cruise with NCL and compared to other lines there were plusses, minus and draws. Concerning the cabin the upside was there was a shower door not a curtain and a real hair dryer!!! However the vanity area was tiny and had no storage and there was only one outlet (not sure how ships can do this as everything requires charging these days). Cabin was a draw. The amount of activities during the day was also a draw '" pretty standard. Nighttime was great '" plenty of activities going on '" karaoke was not made into a competition and was in a much better setting than we have seen. Shows were average to good. NCL wins this one. Dining  this one I have to preface as we knew what we were signing up for. This line has the multiple venues on it, plus the MDR and buffet options. However we found that the surcharges for some options (Chinese and Brazilian Steakhouse) were kind of steep at $15.00 pp. We did dine at Le Bistro which we thought was great and reasonable '" however Cagney’s was nothing mind-blowing. The thing we disliked about the MDR is the choices were repetitive and not up to par with other lines. I’m pretty sure this is because they want to steer you towards the pay to eat dining. For this reason I wouldn’t consider taking this line on any cruise longer than 7 days- especially not a Transatlantic. Not a loss, but not really a draw either. I’ll call this a detraction. We had heard from some friends that took the Dawn several years ago they did not like this type of cruising because it was difficult to meet others. I have to concur as the 2 nights we ate in the Venetian we requested to be seated with others '" of course we were not. This doesn’t seem to fit into their business model as most tables were set up for to 2 to 4 diners. We really enjoy meeting the other passengers and hearing about their travel experiences. Another reason to not take a longer sailing on this line. This was a loss for NCL. The staff was competent, but they lacked the warmth and friendliness I have seen in other lines. Although we frequented the pub, we were never greeted by name, asked where we were from, how is the cruise going etc. NCL gets a minus on this. There were plenty of pre-school kids on this cruise and I have to applaud the parents as they were all well behaved and any bad behavior was nipped in the bud. Way to go Moms & Dads! A plus but this had nothing to do with NCL. Finally, this was absolutely the WORST disembarkation ever. NCL pretty much said '" whatever you all want to do '" take off your bags- fine with us. Have your bags at the terminal '" ok by us. The problem with this is that everyone decided to leave ALL AT ONCE. This resulted in a line that took over an hour before leaving the ship with passengers standing in a line that wrapped around the ship including outdoors. Why weren’t you classy and time everything out like the other lines do? If you want to take your bags off you must be off the ship at a certain time. Want to get your bags at the terminal '" great '" wait in one of the lounges or dining rooms until your color is called. I really felt bad for parents with little ones and passengers that were not handicapped but had mobility issues that made standing for a long time difficult. This is no way to treat passengers on the last day of their cruise. Disgraceful. NCL, you should be embarrassed- this is the last impression you leave with the passengers and it was also the worst. NCL is at the bottom of the barrel for disembarkation.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
B A C K G R O U N D When I learnt that I had to go to the United States this Summer, I had already booked our annual family holiday- it was to be a 7 night cruise in the Western Mediterranean on the Seabourn Spirit. Upon realizing that ... Read More
B A C K G R O U N D When I learnt that I had to go to the United States this Summer, I had already booked our annual family holiday- it was to be a 7 night cruise in the Western Mediterranean on the Seabourn Spirit. Upon realizing that could no longer be, I cancelled with Seabourn and started looking for a cruise departing from the USA. Two things intrigued me about the Veendam's offering- one, was the size of the ship, as she is very much the last relatively small, 55,000 ton cruise ship deployed on one week 'Sun' cruises during the Summer ex. USA from a major cruise line. Second was the nature of her itinerary- she sailed the Bermuda run of 'old', visiting St. George prior to sailing for an hour or so into Hamilton, Bermuda, docking right on Front Street. This was the Bermuda voyage of old, the classical Bermudan cruise that took you right into the heart of the island, and didn't strew you on the Royal Navy Dockyard miles away from anything of interest. You saw Bermuda for what it really was, something that is rare on today's island cruises (i.e. St. Thomas, St. Martin). And so, I booked an outside cabin, class FF Number 716. The fare per person for this cruise was $1199. P R E- C R U I S E I arrived in New York one week prior to the departure of the cruise. I stayed in The Ritz-Carlton, New York Battery Park, which although not bad was very much over-priced and I would struggle to justify staying here again. It was not akin to all the other Ritz-Carlton hotels I have stayed in, and although being on Battery Park proved tranquil at night, it was a 40 minute subway ride to anyplace of interest besides Wall Street. Again, the hotel wasn't terrible by any stretch, but for the cut-throat market that New York City is, the Ritz left a lot to be desired. E M B A R K A T I O N This was a quick, sound embarkation. Upon arriving at the Manhattan docks, a porter took our luggage and we moved into the terminal. Upon completing the signing of the medical form, we arrived at the check in desk where we quickly completed the procedure before being handed our cruise card, clearing security and then boarding the beautiful M/S Veendam. 5+ stars, a great embarkation. T H E S H I P The Veendam was recently very extensively refurbished, even being partially re-built. This has created a cruise ship which is traditional in design, yet has all the modernity that one would expect from a vessel of this age. The Explorers Cafe, a library, coffee shop, lounge and internet cafe area seemed very much like the Seabourn Square, which is quite a compliment. It was a lovely area to have on the ship. The two tiered main dining room, with a string quartet playing every night was also reminiscent of dining being an event, not the mere consumption of food- the theater was a comfortable show lounge, although I would recommend going to a show early. The Lido was akin to that of any cruise ship, with enough tables. The stern pool with the movies under the stars screen was a great addition to the ship, as was the culinary arts center which doubled into quite a nice cinema. The fitness center was more than adequate, with commanding views of the bow. Through a little-known about corridor, which you can access either from the fitness center or the promenade, one can right onto the bow of the ship. The Veendam had a sophisticated ambiance about her, with all of the comforts, intimacy and familiarity you would expect from a smaller ship, coupled with most, if not all of the features one would find on the larger vessels. When all is said and done, she was a lovely measured balance. E N T E R T A I N T M E N T The entertainment aboard was plentiful and varied, if not a slight tad more sedate than that found on the larger vessels on this route. The evening shows all were great, as were the cabaret acts that really did make you roar in laughter. There were interesting dance classes, seminars, music all over the ship, pool games on deck, dancing on deck too, the disco at night, and so on. It was lively, fun, but not over-the-top or in your face. The Culinary Arts Center had a varied program which was great for foodies, and there was also a dedicated wine tasting area. The Arts Center coupled into a cinema, and HAL would keep a table of popcorn, etc. ready at the entrance. Julie, the Cruise Director did her job well. Overall a fine balance in the on board entertainment. P O R T S OF C A L L St. George, Bermuda- When we arrived at St. George we were informed that the port had been cancelled for all but excursion guests, as one of the two tenders had had an engine failure and was unable to sail that day. Holland America Line offered non-excursion passengers a free bus transfer from Hamilton to go back and see St. George (about 40 minutes drive) as compensation. As I had taken the Bermuda island tour, we were put on tenders to St. George- as soon as our tender left the Veendam raised her anchor and set out for the 1 hour cruise into Hamilton. Upon boarding the bus for out tour, we only spent minimum time in the parish, as we had a tour of the entire island coming up. Nonetheless, from what one saw St. George really is a beautiful part of Bermuda- think St. Martin prior to the cruise boom, when she was still as she used to be. Islands people living their lives, shops, etc. designed to cater to the Bermudan people, not tourists. One needs not speak about the beauty of Bermudan beeches, for they really are something else. Nothing can possibly compare (I, myself, live on an island, and the Bermudan beeches blew me away). Although the future Veendam cruises in 2012 will not include St. George, I would strongly recommend getting on a bus and spending some time there. Hamilton, Bermuda- As Bermuda is such a small island, our stay in Hamilton was very much a stay of every parish in the country, as our great excursion took us on a round trip of the entire island. As I have repeatedly said, outside of the Royal Navy Dockyard, Bermuda is very much an relatively untouched, not overtly touristy place, which makes it all the better. As the Veendam docks right on Front Street, she acts as your city center hotel- you get off the ship and voila, you are in the heart of Hamilton. The city itself is fully walk-able, and has some good shopping, quite comfortable surroundings as well as a colonial British flair that reminded me of my own country (itself a former British island colony). I took a diving excursion which was one of the best dives I have undertaken, and we dived a recent wreck of a ferry which was good in the sense that they had cleaned her out to make her accessible to non-wreck divers. The beeches in Bermuda, again, need no introduction as they are truly fabulous, especially if you go to anyone other than Horseshoe, which can get quite crowded. C A B I N- Our cabin, Class FF Number 716 on A Deck was very comfortable, and had as much space as I expected. Two twin beds as well as a sofa that extended into a third bed during the nights, and a sitting area in the morning/daytime hours. The toilet, although small, had enough space with a bathtub that coupled as a shower. I do believe, however, that although there was nothing outwardly wrong with the cabin, the toilet needs a freshening up. Nonetheless, overall, a comfortable place to dwell and sleep in, enough room, good storage space and a good sea-view from the picture window. We had air conditioning problems for the first two nights, but to be honest they were not too extreme. It was fixed after two nights, a letter of apology was sent to us, as well as a credit which was more than generous. S E R V I C E- The service on board was wonderful, and, as HAL markets itself, premium. The waiters were great, the room steward attentive and friendly, the excursion staff helpful, the cruise director approachable, and the bar staff were courteous. Everything was as needed to be. The reception helped a lot in many situations. The Captain, however, was far less visible than that of any master in a cruise I have previously taken. He did seem to live in his own cocoon and never mixed with passengers. Even when I sent him a letter about a wonderful experience, I received a message from the Guest Relations supervisor telling me that they were pleased- the Captain didn't do anything less than his duty, which although fine, isn't what I expected. Beside this, which I wouldn't even call a gripe, the service on board was truly great. F O O D This is where the Veendam really shone. When once considers this isn't a luxury cruise, the food was approaching luxury standards. Exciting menus, everything was cooked very well, tasted wonderful and dinner was something to look forward too every evening. The lido also had a wide variety of food, although lunch would end at 2:30 every day, which was about the time I'd come back aboard from touring Bermuda. They had nothing but very light snacks until dinner, which was a shame. Some days the burger joint and pizzeria would be open at this time, and in those situations there was no problem. I think it is vital for a cruise ship to have at least one eatery serving food during all daytime hours, other than room service. Other than that, the food was superb. C O N C L U S I O N Will I be returning to Bermuda in the future? Yes, yes and yes ! Will I be returning to HAL in the future? Three yeses. Both proved to be wonderful and replenishing. It is a shame that HAL are pulling this itinerary after 2012, so if I were you I'd do everything to experience it before then. This is the last remnant of 'classical' Bermudan cruising, of going to the islands through their real gateways, St. George and Hamilton, not the massive cruise port on the North of the island. When the Veendam departs Bermuda for the last time, an era in Bermudan cruising would be over. The Veendam is a delightful ship, that offers a premium experience with great value for money. This is a wonderful cruise vacation that was very much a 'premium' experience that I would full heartily recommend. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I have a big issue with Holland America Veendam! I can't be the only one, though from the staff and hotel manager on the Veendam...you'd think I was the only one!! I am aghast that there is no non-smoking policy enforce for the ... Read More
I have a big issue with Holland America Veendam! I can't be the only one, though from the staff and hotel manager on the Veendam...you'd think I was the only one!! I am aghast that there is no non-smoking policy enforce for the year 2010 on the Holland America Veendam. Embarcation was smooth sailing... and we were allowed into our rooms right away - very different than the other cruise lines we've been on that need the extra time to clean the rooms between those leaving and those coming. Well... as soon as we entered our cabin (553) Main Deck forward on the starboard side.... the intense smell of a cigarette ashtray was apparent. I could feel my sinuses inflaming as we entered and put down our small carry on luggage. The Indonesian staff was in the hallways and very friendly. Immediately, I called to the front desk to request a different room... as there was no way in hell.. I was going to be able to survive or enjoy my trip in this stench of a room. Dustin, the manager over the stateroom crew quipped that there were no other rooms available and that they would bring down an ozone matching immediately and have in place for an hour. We agreed and went to the top deck to check out the sites. We returned to the room and hour and 15 minutes later. No one had been in the room and the room still smelled awful. The young stateroom attended came by and let us know that the woman who was in our room, heavily smoked the whole trip and he spoke with her about her smoking. I asked, "Don't you have a no smoking policy for safety and clean air in the state rooms?" He answered indirectly that they do, but you are also allowed to smoke in the rooms. Huh???? That is contradictory. At this point, I worked the day before leaving, caught a red eye to Manhattan and was exhausted at this point.. and just wanted a place to take a nap.. in a room with clean air. I called back up to the desk and seemed to get no where. No one was willing to acknowledge my health concerns. I am extremely reactive to smoke. There is no option to keep me in this room. I wanted OUT... . The front desk staff female was polite and dutifully giving me the shpeel... but I demanded to speak with the manager. He is the first to tell me there was no other option and that I had to keep my room. I told him that it was their problem they allowed this women to smoke in the room and they needed a better resolution because even after the ozone on in the room, the smell seemed to intensify. Remember... at this point I am extremely tired. I was not going to accept just going back to the room, which is why I felt this young semi-asinine individual, Dustin ??? snapped at me and turned to walk away and enter the hotel manager's office - talking about me as if wasn't standing there. He told the hotel manager ( also a very rude individual) that I wasn't giving them a chance???? even though I waited over two hours for them to clear the room and it wasn't working. They were on my vacation time at this point and my about to leave for Bermuda cruise was starting out on a poor note. Because I was standing in the door way listening to them have a discussion about me .... I asked to be included in the conversation... if they were going to talk ABOUT me instead of with me... not very impressed with either of their customer service skills. The older man from Belgium.. the hotel manager would simply not listen to me... condescended me when I explained that I was told they were going to come to the room and never came originally. I also told him that I was being forced to take a room which produced medical response to the environment and ozone cleaning the room does not take away the stench that has permeated the bed, the couch, the walls... I really was getting mad at this point. He was commenting very rudely - and had my jaw to the floor... I couldn't believe the comments he was making... I was so upset all I could do is walk out on both of them and go down to my room which started to inflame my nose. They both reinforced that there was no definite policy for smoking in the rooms and was not prohibited. When I made my reservation, I asked for a non-smoking room. He quipped, "Oh, when you scheduled with your travel agent?" To which I replied, "No, when I scheduled with the trained staff at Holland America!" He was silent. How can they not have a policy in place in the year 2010~???? They had no answer for me and continued to condescend me ... so I thought, "Screw this!" Last trip on Holland America... their staff do not get the big picture!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2010

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