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6 Boston to Bahamas Cruise Reviews

Here we are back home again and getting ready for winter. What is the best travel deal going? NCL's cruise to Bermuda from Boston. I love Bermuda and I have been traveling there since 1977. This would have been my 33rd trip to BDA had ... Read More
Here we are back home again and getting ready for winter. What is the best travel deal going? NCL's cruise to Bermuda from Boston. I love Bermuda and I have been traveling there since 1977. This would have been my 33rd trip to BDA had it not been for Hurricane Gonzalo, (30 by air and 2 by sea, NCL Dream 2007, NCL Spirit 2009). The Dawn is showing it's age a little bit, but so what. I think that people just sometimes look for things to complain about. The change to the Bahamas, was a great call by NCL. I can see where they were coming from. It would have been nice if we had a little more notice of where we were going. Not so much the destination but rather would it be a warm or cold climate?. The day we left Boston was a "gift". It was 75 degrees and hardly a cloud in the sky. I remember one year on October 10th leaving Logan airport to BDA in a good size snow storm. We didn't have to wait very long to settle into our cabin, and we got right down to getting unpacked. Within 45 mins. of getting on board we were officially on vacation with a "pain killer" in hand. The "pain killer" became Our drink of choice throughout the complete journey, (I must say that they made a heck of a great Side Car in the Venetian, for those who don't know that's a classic). Our first "cocktail" was served to us by Johnathan at the Bimini Bar on deck 11, from that point on the sun deck became home. Johnathan, Nanette and Irene were always accommodating and their service was spectacular. I would start my day by getting into the hot tub at 6:45am and watch the sun come up. By the time I finished that daily ritual my wife was up and about so off to breakfast we would go. Throughout the whole cruise we chose to have Breakfast in the Garden Café. We like the formal dining rooms, however we could eat and run if there were other thing's to see or do without losing much time. The food was great, not to mention plentiful. There where more choices than ever. If you went hungry it was your own fault. Which brings us to "Hugo the Dancing Chef". This guy was a trip. He always greeted you with a smile and a kind word. The thing I can't get over is 2000 people on board and everyday he remembered my order. It got to the point where I didn't even have to tell him what I wanted. Another Kudos goes to Keith, the Garden Cafe's Waterologist. He would come around with coffee refills and bottled water, then he would make your day with all kinds of humor. Lying about in the chasse lounge chairs all day pretty much became the norm. No phone, No e-mail, No one to bug you, warm sunshine it was great. one afternoon of the starboard side of the ship several miles away there was a water spout (tornado), Oh well, have another "pain killer". I always wanted to go to Nassau, now I can say I've seen it. It is not Bermuda. The weather was nice. We took a glass bottom boat ride which was interesting. On our return we walked around and visited the shops, found Senior Frogs and had a Bahama Mama, (when in Rome). The ship sailed at 6:00pm so we made sure that we were back by 5:00pm and walked right into a NCL sail away party. Tied up on the same pier was the Disney Dream. The DJ and Cruise Director got a friendly little competition between the two ships. And, in the middle of it all was Hugo the dancing chef and about 20 crewmembers doing a synced dance routine. The next day found us at Great Stirrip Cay, NCL's own Island. We were really impressed with the Island and it's facilities. You had to go by Tender to and from the island which just added to the adventure. The entertainment was above and beyond. Pedro was at Gatsby's and is a super guitarist. He does a bang up job on Santana's "Europa". Patti & Jose again great as well, so was Areil on the piano, and top it off with Elements in the Stardust theater. The ship's orchestra had a tribute to the music of Glen Miller in the Spinnaker Lounge. The hardest thing is trying to coordinate as to who to see and when. The Food was excellent. Enough said. Service was superb in all the restaurants and bars. The pool and entrainment was fun, (except for the kid who were horsing around and slammed into my head, and left me dazed, Mom saw the whole thing and said nothing...bad parenting Mom). That's why they have kiddy pools, but you can't blame NCL for that. Our Cabin was nice, economical. On our first cruise we had a small suite, we found out that we were never in our cabin. The last 2 cruises we booked inside cabins and it suits us just fine. We are not wealthy. We literally save Our change and put it in a jar. We don't want bigger ships, climbing walls, huge jumbo trons or Ipads and cell phones. To us cursing is an art, a civilized way of vacationing. Everybody at NCL did a great job from the Reservationist, to the Captain and crew. So much in fact that we purchased the future cruise certificate and looking forward to our next one. Good job guys.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Our first disappointment was 3 hours prior to departure when we were informed that we would be going to the Bahamas instead of our original itinerary which was Bermuda. This was the only reason I booked NCL. The reason was hurricane ... Read More
Our first disappointment was 3 hours prior to departure when we were informed that we would be going to the Bahamas instead of our original itinerary which was Bermuda. This was the only reason I booked NCL. The reason was hurricane Gonsalvez that had hit Bermuda (perhaps I could excuse them for this). Having been on other cruise lines, I have to say the service was mediocre to sub-standard. Almost every day at breakfast we had to request for cutlery. At the lunch and dinner buffets on several occasion we had to ask the servers to replenish the empty food trays, Likewise, they also had to be reminded about the desert dessert trays. On their private island when I asked one of the servers to replenish the juice machine, I was told to go to the bar and purchase one. Worst of all we were assigned a room below the Aqua dinning room where the noise of moving tables and chairs was very disturbing. To add to our frustration, on the right side of the room we could hear the plumbing and on the left, it was the constant noise of a TV. When I asked guest service to change our room we were told that the ship was fully booked. I knew it was a lie as there were several empty cabins on my floor as well as others. I have been on sold out cruise and know the difference. This cruise was about 60% sold. On the last day I went to guest service and told them to remove the gratuities from my final bill as I did not feel the service I received warranted it. I did however individually tip those who did provide me with exceptional service. There were other little instances where on other cruise lines, I have not encountered. If you want value for your money and exceptional service, "DONT SAIL LIKE A NORWEGIAN"   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Reading the negative reviews is interesting - my husband and I had a great trip! Of course we were bummed we didn't go to Bermuda, but we'd been watching the weather so the itinerary change wasn't unexpected. I was just glad ... Read More
Reading the negative reviews is interesting - my husband and I had a great trip! Of course we were bummed we didn't go to Bermuda, but we'd been watching the weather so the itinerary change wasn't unexpected. I was just glad to be heading somewhere warm! The seas were a little rough but we took Dramamine each night and fared just fine, even though I'm a little prone to getting seasick. My husband woke up one of the last nights a little alarmed at the waves, but I slept right through it. We loved the wind up on the top decks and were happy to take the lounge chairs up there. The pool was a little small, but we just wanted to lay out and read and drink, and there was a lot of room to do that. Weather was surprisingly good - warm and sunny once we left Boston. It was a tad rainy the last day at sea, but nothing to get worked up about. Our cabin was big enough for two, and we loved the balcony. Our steward, George, was absolutely charming and took great care of us through the week. Friends sent us champagne and it was waiting for us, chilled, in our room when we arrived, which was awesome. We saw three shows in the Stardust - Show Down, Second City, and the magician - all were good. We liked the late night shows and games in Spinnaker and were there almost every night. Havana Club cigars were great, and we loved that the waiter would check in with us and refill drinks as needed. Alcohol prices were comparable to living in the city, so no surprises there. We thought the food was, overall, really good. As far as I'm concerned, whenever neither of us has to grocery shop or cook for a week, I'm happy. We loved the Venetian for breakfast, and my standout dish was lamb at the Aqua. Service could be a bit slow, but we were on vacation and had nowhere pressing to be, so it was fine with us. We did the buffet for lunch each day, and while it wasn't mind-blowing, we were content. Overall, we read lots, napped lots, laughed, ate decent food, drank a bunch, and laid in the sun. No complaints. You can always choose to complain, or choose to make the most of things, and we went with the latter. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
NCL DAWN, Boston to Bermuda, umm, never mind, Boston to Bahamas, October 17, 2014 This was our third time sailing NCL Dawn (the second time in five months). Can you tell we love this ship, the crew and Bermuda. The week before our cruise, ... Read More
NCL DAWN, Boston to Bermuda, umm, never mind, Boston to Bahamas, October 17, 2014 This was our third time sailing NCL Dawn (the second time in five months). Can you tell we love this ship, the crew and Bermuda. The week before our cruise, Bermuda got hit with two storms and with another one bearing down on the island we knew we were probably going to get diverted. We were praying that we were to be diverted to the Bahamas and not Canada….Nothing against Canada, but when you are looking forward to tropical weather ……you know what I mean…. We booked a MX GTY and we were assigned a mini-suite forward 11012. Not the Garden Villa upgrade I was hoping for, but it was fine. It was 3 cabins from the SC (2 bedroom, 2 bathroom) 11020 that we stayed in our last two cruises. We did miss the big suite, but it was just the two of us and we really don’t need that much room. We live 15 miles south of Boston, I couldn’t wait to get our vacation started so we had my daughter drop us off at the cruise port around 10 am (she was happy we were cruising, but sad because it was my first time cruising without her, she is 21). We handed our luggage off to the porter and we went right in. At this point, I was checking in on cruise critic and had read that we were going to the Bahamas instead of Bermuda due to Hurricane Gonzalo. Passport and tickets in hand, we went right upstairs to check in. As soon as we got to the check in area we were handed a “Change in Itinerary” paper stating that we were going to the Bahamas. I was so happy I jumped up and down! I got my wish, always wanted a Boston to Bahamas cruise, but NCL does not offer one. I am Lattitudes gold, so they we were put in the line where the “suite” people check in and we were assigned #1 for boarding. It was now about 10:20 and we were told we could begin boarding about 11. So we people watched for a bit. And listened to the other people, some were happy with the change in itinerary, some not so happy and some were quite pissed….I guess it’s the chance you take when you book a cruise in October. At 11 we headed on the ship and went to the buffet. I am not a buffet fan, but my boyfriend likes it, so that’s where we went. After we ate we headed to our cabin. Our room steward came and told us the room wasn’t ready yet, but as he was telling us, the announcement that our cabins were ready and we were all set. Our room steward, Winstor was the best!! Knew our names from that moment on, always referred to us by name, and was just great!! We weren’t going to purchase the UDP, but once we realized that we were going to be on the ship every night after 6 and that it included drinks on Great Stirrup Cay, we decided to go for it. My boyfriend is a big guy and holds his drinks well, me not so much. I definitely had more to drink that I was used to on the first night (making sure I got my $$$ worth). The mini-suite was fine for the two of us. I was afraid I would be disappointed after being in a suite twice, but it was fine. No leaks, no lights out, nothing left from the passengers before us. We had no complaints. We ate in Aqua twice, Moderno once, Cagneys once, LaCuccina once and Blue Lagoon once…. I wasn’t thrilled with the Blue Lagoon, but it was ok. All our meals were served hot and delicious. The night we ate at Moderno, there were only two other couple at our seating so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Pearly Kings just isn’t the same without “Chips Ahoy”, our favorite bartender. He was on vacation but not coming back to the Dawn. I can’t remember if he is going to the Breakaway or the Getaway. Our loss is their gain. Nassau was ok, we got off the ship walked around a bit, did a lot of shopping for souvenirs. Found a Dunkin Donuts, saw a dead rat in the road, some guy offered to sell my boyfriend “green or white”, I asked BF what the guy was talking about, duh, weed or coke….We opened Senor Frogs….had some nachos, giant drinks and was ready to go back to the ship by 1. The pool at the ship was pretty empty so we hung out there for the rest of the day. Great Stirrup Cay was a blast. We had booked two excursions, the excursion tickets counted as tender tickets, we took the first tender over. We booked the eco boat tour. It was an older crowd…..Boyfriend whispered to me that we were the youngest couple there by like 20 years. I didn’t mind it, got to see and touch some sea cucumbers, sea stars and some jelly fish, lots of jelly fish. Next up was jet skiing….We had the BEST TIME!! In Bermuda there is a wake zone till you get out of the area with all the boats….Here it was ready, set go!!! And we went we flew around for about 1.5 hours!! It was great fun. We stopped and could swim for a bit, which I did, but the guides had to help me back on the jet ski.. Thank goodness I had the water camera, if Scott had it, there would have been some pretty unflattering shots of me with the poor guide pushing my butt back on. The buffet on the island was tasty. The line looked long, but only took about 10 minutes, we found seats right away…..We met up with some of the couples we had met on the cruise and hung out in the water for the rest of the day. It was a great day!! We went to Jose and Patty’s shows in the atrium, they are not to be missed!! We also went to their Neil Diamond show at the Stardust Theater, it was great!! I think we saw all the shows in the Stardust Theater, some we had seen before, some we hadn’t, all were very good. Except for Second City, we didn’t like them on our first Dawn cruise and havent been back to see them. Some of our new friends went and walked out….So I guess they aren’t for everybody. The last full sea day was very wavy, probably due to Hurricane Gonzalo. I stayed indoors, made the best of it, went to shows, played bingo and Dare or No Dare. Didn’t win….But had a lot of laughs!! The illusionist, David DaVinchy was entertaining… All in all, we had a great cruise, met some great people. Met some not so great people, but learned who to stay away from….I think NCL handled the itinerary change the best they could. We were off the ship by 9 am and we were home by 10. (my daughter picked us up). So about a week after we got home, I started having cruise withdrawals and I booked the Dawn again. This time out of New Orleans in January. The countdown is on!!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was my first time cruising on Norwegian Cruise Lines and my first time cruising during hurricane season. Probably will not do either again... First the season/weather - yes, the day we left port in Boston (10/17/14) a full blown ... Read More
This was my first time cruising on Norwegian Cruise Lines and my first time cruising during hurricane season. Probably will not do either again... First the season/weather - yes, the day we left port in Boston (10/17/14) a full blown hurricane was scheduled to hit Bermuda so we were told that we were being rerouted to the Bahamas. Since I know this is always a possibility, I wasn't upset about it but felt that since they handed out a pre-printed letter explaining it as we were entering the terminal, they should have emailed us first. This would allow us (who use smartphones to keep current) to tell our family that had dropped us off, what the new plan was for the cruise. Weather was rough a few days, first time I saw "barf bags" placed throughout the ship...not a reassuring sign. I take Bonine so I did not experience nausea, and was thankful. A couple of nights we did get woken by the rough waters and once by a big tip of the waves! Since I can get the same prices during non-hurricane season, I won't do this again. Next my review of the ship - since this was my first time on NCL, I can't compare with any of their other NCL ships but I can compare with the variety of ships I have cruised on from Royal Caribbean International. I have been on RCI's oldest ship (Majesty of the Seas), on the Jewel, Serenade, Voyager, Mariner, Liberty and Independance of the Seas - all of which I liked. My favorites are Serenade and Independance. I found the NCL Dawn to be "old looking" compared to even the oldest RCI Majesty. The set up was also poor...it always seemed you were walking down the hall to get anywhere - but on RCI you have a nice middle ship area that isn't a narrow hallway. RCI is much easier to navigate through, as well as to always know where you are and where you are going. Deck 8 - cabin 8592: The room was an outside obstructed view cabin on NCL. I chose this since I didn't feel my usual balcony choice was worth the price on the Dawn, and was quite glad I didn't get the balcony as we had more room in our OBX stateroom, than our friends did in their balcony due to the set up of the twin beds in both our rooms. Since this was a "girls cruise" we had the twin bed set up rather than the full bed, as I do when traveling with my husband. The bathroom was odd, and there was barely any room where the toilet sat...as it was wedged into a "water closet" type of bathroom. Since I am 5'9" tall, my knees essentially hit the wall when using the toilet and that was without attempting to close the "somewhat see-through" sliding door to the water closet. If you don't know what a water closet is...it is when they enclose the toilet section with a privacy door but it is still within the bathroom assuming people can be using the toilet privately, while others can use the sink area. This wasn't the case in this bathroom. We also had a terrible gushing-water sound all the time from the wall behind the toilet, but luckily when the bathroom door was closed tight at night, we were able to sleep. Twice we had to call maintenance to help - first when the toilet was extremely slow flushing (you pushed the flush button, but it didn't flush for about 2-3 more minutes). Then when the shower didn't drain and flooded the floor of the bathroom. They did come quickly to fix it but I have since found out that other friends have had the same issues on this ship on different cruise weeks and decks. My biggest complaint was the service...only a few select individuals really gave us "good service". I'm not sure if this is because tips are automatic now, or what. We only saw our cabin steward twice, neither on the first day...yet one of the other stewards on our floor was always working hard, and went out of his way to say hello and wish us a good day. My friend actually remarked that we should have given HIM an additional tip, not our own steward. Our floor was not vacuumed daily, yes we did have fresh towels and the beds were made daily but it was "minimal" service at best. Call me spoiled, but I'm used to being greeted on day one by the steward, asked what they can do for us (do we like our ice bucket filled daily, etc?)...I missed this service. Since there was only ONE (yes ONE!!!!) electric plug and it was on the dresser - we asked for an extension cord. We were told we had to go get it ourselves at Guest Services and we had to sign it out and then return it the last day (when the lines were ridiculous). Since we needed this for a medical device, we had no choice. RCI cabin stewards bring it to you, set it up and you leave it when you leave...much better service! Dining room service was awful most days except for Edwardo Mendoza in the Venetian who we were able to have only one time, and Marlene (?head waiter) who helped with gluten free dishes. I was served a so-called gluten free french toast and I just knew it wasn't by looking at it, since it was much bigger, thicker than what I had eaten the day before. When I questioned the waiter if THIS was the GF one, she insisted it was. I was still hesitant, as were my friends...so we asked our other waiter who sent the original one over and said YES, she checked and it was gf...You guessed it, it was not!!! Luckily I am insistent and decided not to eat it so by the time Marlene came by to see how my breakfast was, she immediately recognized it was NOT the gluten free bread/french toast and whisked it away replacing it with the correct one. Last thing I need is to be sick on a cruise from being served a food I'm allergic/intolerant to ....especially since I filled out the special request long before the date of the cruise. NEVER have I had this issue with RCI...they are so very careful and ALL their staff is very well aware of what allergies are in terms of food. I also discovered that every time I asked about food, I got different answers from different dining staff as to what I had to "pre-order daily for the next day" and what they have as standards that I can just order when I come to dinner or breakfast in the MDR. Ugh! So yes, I will happily stick to Royal Caribbean,,,,,,   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our very first cruise. We booked the adventure three weeks prior to departure based on the fact it was sailing out of Boston and close to home, which eliminated an air fair cost. Weeks and days up until departure friends and ... Read More
This was our very first cruise. We booked the adventure three weeks prior to departure based on the fact it was sailing out of Boston and close to home, which eliminated an air fair cost. Weeks and days up until departure friends and family kept reminding us that Bermuda was about to take a direct hit by Hurricane Gonzalo. Watching the weather, it seemed the day we were to arrive in port, Gonzalo would be well north of the island. With the weather forecast, along with no contact from NCL saying anything about the hurricane, we assumed the "Bermuda" itinerary was set and still in place. However, the day we arrived on the ship, once we were past the point of no return, we found that the ship was was being rerouted to the Bahamas. What a huge disappointment....they didn't know this ahead of time...only when we were on the ship did we find out you were being kidnapped and sent somewhere else (lucky I was wasn't a fugitive from the Bahama's and could return there. lol). First negative - All our Bermuda plans were now thrown out, booked golf tee times, transportation etc...gone, out the window with no forewarning or recourse. Second negative - Remaining optimistic with our first cruise expectations high, we ventured to purchase the unlimited drink package for $850.00. Big mistake! What this entitled us to was not clearly explained. One would think it would include any and all liquid...not the case. It did not include soda, WATER, or coffee. It's good for beer, but not for a "bucket of beer". You need to order two at a time! How "ultimate" is this? Third negative - People rave about food on cruise and we had high expectations for grand buffet's with ice carvings and all the fixings. So not the case! Daily chow lines with a grade above cafeteria food. So not impressed. We were sure to fill up during breakfast (can't screw up breakfast) to get us through the day. Dinner was terrible. Order New England fish and chips, nothing short of a Vanda Kamp fish stick! Aqua Restaurant seemed to be our safe haven. Garden Restaurant, management tip...during breakfast, move the omelette station away from the main buffet, it should be its own station. They only cook one at a time and people waiting for their personal omelette backs up the line....forever! Wipe down the tables, sticky and dirty...really. Fourth negative - With all Bermuda plans lost, we turned to the Concierge for help in planning activities in the Bahama's. They could not even provide a map of the island. Unless what you were asking involved an excursion NCL was offering they were not helpful at all. Fifth negative - With no Help from NCL, we thought of turning to the internet to research ourselves, but outrageous cost to log on and unhappy people complaining about the time it takes to long on (wasted minutes) we decided to hold off. So we sailed two days blind, unknown what to expect or where to go. Sixth negative - Quite pool time...forget it. A cigarette smoke filled pool area, with blaring music and kids running everywhere. Found ourselves gravitating to the forward and aft decks for quite, but had to endure gale force winds. Seventh negative - Be wary of shopping excursions being promoted by NCL at Diamond and Tanzinite International in Nassau. We went to the "how to shop" show and followed the sales pitch offered by NCL. We were bombarded by sales persons and we bought some Tanzinite, but they won't appraise things for you there. You have to do that when you get home with your own jeweler. So you leave there hoping your getting what you wanted. Crap shoot! (we lucked out!) First positive - We found the stateroom satisfactory, we had a balcony suite on the 8th deck, starboard side (hurricane side). Watching waves crash against the ship was something you don't see everyday, so we made the best of it. Our Stewart was great "Aguyn" great job! Second Positive - Awesome shows in the Stardust Although there were more negatives than positives, all in all, the trip was a success, we kept reminding ourselves that's it not the destination, but how you get there is what makes a trip. Our first cruise and a hurricane to boot! Not turned off by cruises, but will probably seek another cruise line next time.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014

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