36 Boston Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

My family traveled with 50 members and overall had a blast. From the minute we got to the pier embarkation went very smoothly. My family had 3 cabins- a Family Suite w/ balcony on deck 12, a balcony on 8, and an obstructed ocean view on 8. ... Read More
My family traveled with 50 members and overall had a blast. From the minute we got to the pier embarkation went very smoothly. My family had 3 cabins- a Family Suite w/ balcony on deck 12, a balcony on 8, and an obstructed ocean view on 8. We were in a VIP room for approximately 45 min. at that time we were able to make reservations at all restaurants (Specialty and main Dining rooms) this was a nice feature. We were then escorted to our cabin to leave our carry on belongings, met our cabin steward and went to have lunch. The cabin was not fully ready but that was okay with us. Vacation had begun! We downloaded the NCL I concierge app so we could communicate via text as a family. The app is free to download but the it does cost $9.95 to hook up. This was worth it. You can monitor you onboard account as well. The ship upgrades were very nice especially at the pool area. Service for beverages could have been a bit swifter, but the wait staff did work very hard to serve you there just wasn't enough of them since it appeared that everyone had the drink package. Most people do save seats at the pool and we did witness a women having a fit over that, but as the saying goes "when in Rome" ... There is also a smoking area on the pool deck for smokers which was nice for my husband... The food was very good each night ..we ate at Aqua, Venetian, Le Cucina, Teppanachi, OSheehans Pub. Service at OSheehans was extremely slow so be patient, the food portions were very small. We went to a Comedy Show, played Deal or No Deal, Kareoke Night which was a blast as many family members sang....the White Out Night was the best night of all so don't miss that! Each night after dinner we stopped into the casino... Not much luck there... It is small and smokey. The staff on the ship were very pleasant and helpful. For our two days in Bermuda we went to Snorkel Park beach which was in walking distance, kids went on a jet ski tour and went to Horseshoe Bay. One tip on that... Once you get off the ship you can pay $7.00 per person for a van taxi that will take you to the bay. Chair and umbrella rentals were 2 chairs and umbrella for $40. As far as our sailing days the first two nights were a little rough and it was smooth sailing after that! Disembarkation wasn't bad. You have two options- Carry your own off or have them take it before midnight the night before. My kids wheeled their luggage off themselves and found their grandmother trying to do the same... It was hard for her to wheel it on the carpet...she should have chose not to handle it. I chose not to handle it. I wasn't going to carry or wheel my luggage around as I have a bad back and my grandson surely couldn't wheel his since he is 5. We left the ship at 9:15 through priority and when we got off it was right there lined up had a porter take it to a cab and that all she wrote! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I heard some Shipmates from our time being stationed in Bermuda were planning a return trip, and after a thirty hear absence from the Islands, it was time to go back for a visit. We settled on the Veendam as it is a smaller ship and docks ... Read More
I heard some Shipmates from our time being stationed in Bermuda were planning a return trip, and after a thirty hear absence from the Islands, it was time to go back for a visit. We settled on the Veendam as it is a smaller ship and docks right down town Hamilton. The larger ships have to pull into the Dockyards, at the far end of the islands. It also spends more time in port in Bermuda. The staterooms and dining facilities were wonderful, the staff attentive and accommodating. Bermuda was as wonderful as we remembered, made some new friends and visited old haunts. I would recommend this ship and cruse line for anyone heading to Bermuda. Our next trip might include the extra week cruising the Canadian maritime. All in all a very pleasant experience and more than lived up to our expectations as our first cruise. Thank you very much. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
we took the dawn to Bermuda, this was our first cruise. we cruised with another couple & we shared a room, next time we will definitely get our own room for privacy but overall it was an amazing time. we live about a hour away from ... Read More
we took the dawn to Bermuda, this was our first cruise. we cruised with another couple & we shared a room, next time we will definitely get our own room for privacy but overall it was an amazing time. we live about a hour away from Boston so this cruise was very convient for us. like I said I had never been on a cruise before so I really didn't know what to expect, but i will tell you it blew my expectations right out of the water! there was never a dull moment, always something to do, lots of live entertainment, such as bands by the pool, dj's, and shows at the theater. when we got to Bermuda we took a cab to horeshoe bay, one of the most popular beaches on the island. on the way to the beach he told us all about Bermuda, what we should see, and all the history of the island. he also set us up with scooters, he took a business card out & dialed the number to set us up right. we rented from elbow cycles, they were truly amazing. Mrs. t treated us like family, she wrote on our map, explain in detail how to get there. Kevin (Mrs t's son) fave us a full lesson on how to drive the scooters, he wouldn't let us go until we were fully confident. after we got the scooters we did so much, we had a full day of adventure. we saw & did everything we wanted to do.everyone on the island was so kind & understanding, you could literally ask anyone for directions. we snorkels at church bay & that was by far my favorite part of this cruise. being so close to all of the different kind of fish was amazing. my boyfriend & I are already planning our 2nd trip. truly an amazing vacation!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our 5th cruise. The Brilliance was spotless. Every inch of the ship was clean. The staff was also adamant that guests use hand sanitizer before & after every meal. We had a cruise ruined a couple years back because of a virus ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise. The Brilliance was spotless. Every inch of the ship was clean. The staff was also adamant that guests use hand sanitizer before & after every meal. We had a cruise ruined a couple years back because of a virus so it was comforting for us to see. The staff bent over backwards to meet our every need. The staff seemed genuinely happy and our dinner crew had a great sense of humor. They kept us laughing during dinner. We love to go to karaoke night but we were sorely disappointed in the host and organization for the karaoke. If you like karaoke, don't bother. The high point of our cruise on the ship was the 70's party in the Centrum, the entertainment on the last night, and believe it or not, a silly party up in the Starquest lounge. We put on headphones and got out on the dance floor with no ambient music playing. What seemed like a stupid game ended up being a blast. With headphones on even shy people like myself can be a rock star and not care about what anybody thinks. We had an accessible cabin as two out of three in our party have disabilities. The crew was very accommodating. As is usually the case, the shore excursions were more difficult to accommodate but overall everything went well. Unlike other cruises we have been on, all parties that had mobility issues were assigned one room to wait in for disembarkation. That way there were dedicated crew members to help everybody get off the ship. Our assigned crew member took us all the way through customs and to a taxi. Couldn't have been smoother. I rate this cruise a 9 out of 10. Woulda been a 10 except for the karaoke and a small issue we had with our cabin steward. Overall, one of the best cruises we have been on. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
August 5, 2016 We are frequent cruisers having sailed since 1987 (Marde Gras) got us hooked. 75+ under our belt and still going strong. One of the best cruises we have ever been on. Planning on doing it again. Had a lanai ... Read More
August 5, 2016 We are frequent cruisers having sailed since 1987 (Marde Gras) got us hooked. 75+ under our belt and still going strong. One of the best cruises we have ever been on. Planning on doing it again. Had a lanai stateroom. They are awesome. Ports of call were great. US, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Netherlands, Norway, Ireland and then back to Iceland, Greenland, Canada and US. We did not repeat ports. Weather was brisk but scenery was fantastic. We had wonderful speakers on several subjects but also much on the Vikings and their travels. Would recommend it to anyone. Love sailing on Holland America (Prinsendam is another of our favorite HAL Ships, but all have their special features) also wonderful cruises on Celebrity (love the ships with the glass blowers) Nothing better than cruising. Visited over 90 Countries an still have a few more to tick off. Wonderful way to see and taste the world. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We booked this family reunion cruise last August. There were 14 adults booked in 7 rooms on the Main floor (2) in oceanview rooms. Let me start by saying that all of our other cruises were with Royal Caribbean. We've avoided Carnival ... Read More
We booked this family reunion cruise last August. There were 14 adults booked in 7 rooms on the Main floor (2) in oceanview rooms. Let me start by saying that all of our other cruises were with Royal Caribbean. We've avoided Carnival because of their reputation as a party boat (loud, drinking, booze cruise). Unfortunately, my mom has always wanted to go to Nova Scotia (only Carnival had cruises there at the beginning of July) and since we were celebrating our parents 60 anniversary and 80th birthdays, we looked at cruises that would take us to Canada. There really wasn't any choice for the dates that all 14 of us could go, so we had to book on Carnival. Embarkation was easy and pleasant. Some of our group flew in and some of us drove from the midwest arriving the day before. We had time to walk the Freedom Trail in the morning and still board around noon. We shuttled the luggage down to the dock and dropped everyone off and then my husband parked our van in the lot provided. It cost $60 for the 5 night cruise (we paid $35 for the one night at our hotel). Getting on the boat was very easy and everyone was pleasant. We headed down to our room right away and were greeted by our stewards Pat and Nur. They were great all week and when Pat found out that we were celebrating a special occasion, made sure that she did some things to make my parents feel special - chocolates, towel art, etc. I had brought Welcome bags for the group on board and Pat let me leave those in each room before we headed upstairs to the buffet. We tried Guy's burgers first and they were really good. Throughout the cruise, this was a popular place, but we were always able to get a burger really fast. After touring the ship and making some spa arrangements and dinner arrangements, we headed to the hot tubs in the back to soak and watch as we left the port... great memory and we really liked the Aft Adult Only pool and hot tubs. Usually quiet and a good view. Let me stop here and comment on our tour of the ship...I was confused by the layout that afternoon and never really figured out how to get around on the ship. You could only go from front to back on deck 5 and 9, so if you came up the wrong staircase and realized that you needed to be in another part of the ship, you had to take the stairs or elevator down to another floor to get where you were going. The trouble seemed to be that the restaurant was in the middle and closed for much of the day. Not a good arrangement. The decor was not pleasing to me - Carnival/Circus theme?, but it wasn't terrible. I did think that the rooms were bigger than Royal Caribbean and we had plenty of storage room. One big complaint about Carnival was the lack of entertainment. Royal Caribbean had an early and late showing of each evening's entertainment so that both dinner seatings could enjoy it. We saw the Motor City show which we enjoyed but some of our family walked out of the Divas show. One evening had a magician in the lounge and unfortunately, he was set in the middle of the room where only the people right in front of him could see. He could have been good, but since we couldn't see or understand his thick accent, we ended up just clapping politely and waiting until the end. We did enjoy the family friendly comedy show, but it was also held in a lounge, so everyone was crammed in. On Royal Caribbean, they had a comedian and a magician as main acts in the main theatre where everyone could enjoy them. They also had lots of music in different areas throughout the ship, but Carnival had a smattering of music and it always ended early. We would literally finish dinner at 10 and walk around the ship trying to find somewhere to sit an enjoy some music or dancing. If we did find a spot, it was soon over. We ate in the lower level Platinum Dining Room at 8:15 each evening. Our waiters made an effort to know our names and preferences which was especially hard as we never sat in the same chairs twice, but moved around so that we could talk with different family members each evening. The food was good and portioned right. Really liked the melting chocolate cake. The second evening we ate at the Steakhouse which was exceptional. I would highly recommend getting reservations before you board, paying the extra fee and saving room for dessert. I had the surf and turf and the lobster was wonderful! Their cheesecake was huge - we called it the "wall of cheesecake". They should warn you before ordering it because it is hard to eat it all after the wonderful meal that they serve you. Definitely better if you split it with someone! I did the foot/ankle and hand/arm massage with a facial one day for $59. It took about an hour and was very relaxing although I was surprised that there wasn't a separate room for this. Hard to completely relax with conversations around you. We did utilize the Serenity area and especially liked the round rattan loungers. It was a bit odd that the children's area was right next to this Adults only area. Another thing I enjoyed about the Carnival cruise was the trivia and games that continued most of the day. Our family could meet up and form a team for a quick half hour game of trivia or wander in and play individually throughout the day. It was a nice break if you just wanted to do something different for a short amount of time. Most of the time this was right next to the casino which wasn't conducive to hearing and lots of people walked through, but for the most part it was a fun atmosphere. Ports - St. Johns New Brunswick. We stopped at the information center and got a walking tour map. When we got to the King's Square Cemetery, we were stopped by a volunteer with the historical society and he gave us a wonderful tour and lots of information about this area. We also did some shopping and got a Great Lunch at Steamers which is across from the dock. My husband had the $39 lunch which included a large bowl of chowder, roll, bucket of muscles (or shrimp), corn on the cob and a 1 1/2 lb lobster. I did feel like St. John's was a bit of a stretch for a port of call, but enjoyed walking around, nonetheless. Halifax, Nova Scotia - this was the port we were waiting for and we had given my folks an excursion to Peggy's Cove. Since my mother can't walk for extended periods of time, this 50 minute trip on a comfortable motorcoach out to the little fishing village of Peggy's Cove with it's picturesque light house was just the ticket. The tour guide was excellent and the scenery was beautiful. Our only complaint was the little time we had in the village. I could have walked around, taken pictures, shopped, got a drink for hours, but the stop was only for 55 minutes. Next time we'll rent a car and spend the afternoon. I should mention that we didn't have the best weather, but we didn't have the worst weather. We were enveloped by fog for the first two days of our trip and some joked that they just had a big fog machine on and the boat would take us across Boston harbor to a little village set up with actors waving Canadian flags and saying "Aye." This didn't bother me because the temperature was still warm enough to sit out and you didn't have to worry about sun burn plus you couldn't tell the boat was moving because the seas were so calm. The fog horn that the ship used was incredibly loud (hopefully so that no one would ram into us :) ) and it was hard to doze on the deck. I also heard that anyone that had a balcony room heard the fog horn all night! Thank goodness we couldn't afford a balcony for this cruise. Our last sea day was beautiful and we loved watching the whales and dolphins all day. I'm not sure if Royal Caribbean offers the Self Assist option for dembarkation, but it worked beautifully for us. We were the first ones off, got the car and were driving home within a 1/2 hour of our the ship allowing people off the boat. A great trip with lots of memories and fun times. I would definitely try Carnival again.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
As stated on other reviews, if you have cruised enough to compare to past trips you will know the things that have changed or are missing. A lot below will be direct comparison to last year's cruise.Lido - The new Guy burgers and ... Read More
As stated on other reviews, if you have cruised enough to compare to past trips you will know the things that have changed or are missing. A lot below will be direct comparison to last year's cruise.Lido - The new Guy burgers and burrito were good. They took away the asian wok which was a disappointment as it had the longest lines on most ships as it was popular. In reflection, the regular daily theme offerings were worse. This trip we did not touch it. And in reflection.. I seems to be eating too many burgers and burritos as it seemed the only thing worth getting.Dining - moved to GROUP Dining - I was among those in the long lines of very unhappy people on the first day trying to change out from being placed into a late Group dining. Confirmed or on waitlisted people anytime dining we all got a surprise - that line stayed open the entire time. Everyone was trying to get out of the large group tables. One person was so angry he was calling customer service on his phone while waiting in line having had a confirmed anytime dining for over a month.Dining problem:The dining room each have 2 sections. What has changed to create this problem is that only 1 section out of the total of four dining sections was set for Anytime dining for the entire cruise. So the most popular option you had 1/4 a chance to get it. So you ended up missing most of the entertainment if you did late dining. CLOSE tables - Past trip on Fascination, you could walk between the tables of 2. On Glory, we were lucky to be placed on a side by side table of 2. The space to the next table was almost impossible to walk between as they were so close. It was almost a group long table. Entertainment - If you remember the many dancers and big shows - Carnival has cut it down that it seems to be 4 male and 4 female entertainers. It reflects in how 'big' the production is. Everyone has to sing inclusive of the 2 leads. Not everyone can teach so not everyone can sing. Just listen if you go.Do you like to breathe second hand smoke? Because while a lot of the entertainment use to be in the main theater, most seem to take place in the casino stage. The casino ventilation was really bad this trip. We really did not want to walk through the area.Ship layout and changes - Bars were added basically. But in the same amount of space before. The tables added or moved are much closer now. It feels really crowded. And yes... the camels are gone to make space to squeeze more space out of the casino. Shocking seriously. So what's gone? As mentioned by others... the free specialty coffees from dining as expected. There was the late night special buffet but that seems to be gone.Ports - St John - as always a nice place to explore. The path to the reversing falls is partially closed currently. But the town is nice to explore.Halifax - much more to explore on foot. Lots of exploration. This is my forth trip but frankly the worst trip in 2 years. Its a steady decline in past services and offerings. Its unfortunate. It bothered me enough that it made me post this. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
I went on this cruise with three other girlfriends and had a ball! We got on the ship in Boston and it was fun and easy from there. We settled into our rooms and then went to the Garden Cafe for a yummy buffet. There were so many ... Read More
I went on this cruise with three other girlfriends and had a ball! We got on the ship in Boston and it was fun and easy from there. We settled into our rooms and then went to the Garden Cafe for a yummy buffet. There were so many highlights to our trip including the fabulous entertainment, wonderful food, gorgeous fall foliage, friendly staff, and overall organization of this cruise. I am so happy to say that our trip, including excursions, all went well and we had the time of our lives. I had never been to Canada and was absolutely in awe of the beauty. There are millions of colorful trees this time of year and it is so colorful. I truly believe that Canada (ports were Charlottetown, Halifax, La Baie, and Gaspe) is the prettiest place to be this time of year. The entertainment was truly outstanding! Justino and Daniella are fabulous as are Jeff London, Jose and Patty, the cruise ship dancers and the funny comedian Jeff Harms. It was so nice seeing them here and there throughout the cruise also. The final skit on Thurs. night, Fountain, was so funny! Quite possibly the funniest thing we have ever seen. My friends and I were laughing so hard! Great job Ken, Fish, Luke etc. We also had fun with Gigi at karaoke, Ruby, and many others on the cruise staff. We enjoyed dining at the Garden cafe, Venetian and Aqua. We did not go to any specialty restaurants because the complimentary ones were fine with us. We did five Norwegian excursions and loved them all. we were blessed with nice weather and great tour guides. We left in Quebec City and was very impressed with how organized departure was. We especially appreciated how they helped us get a taxi to our hotel. Great job Norwegian staff and crew and thank you for an outstanding birthday gift! Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Excursions were too expensive, one could go on shore and find the same type for less than half. Food in dining room Rotterdam was bland, slow, and showed little imagination for culinary tastes. My wife and I ate three times in the ... Read More
Excursions were too expensive, one could go on shore and find the same type for less than half. Food in dining room Rotterdam was bland, slow, and showed little imagination for culinary tastes. My wife and I ate three times in the Pinnacle Grill, found the food to be outstanding, service excellent, and well worth the $25 add on. Medical facilities were great as I had to use twice. Our new Lanai Room 356 seems a bit small, the couch was mini, the desk very small. storage good, beds excellent, bath Ok, but water closet is set very close to tub. Used shower 100%, had to be very careful when exiting tub. The most concerning isue, your outside Lanai chair pads are put in your room each night, and one must remember when the sun goes down, the UV light enables passengers walking the deck to look into your room. One quickly, unfortunately, learns to pull the drapes. Next time, we'll pay for a Veranda. Lastly, their was a 110 plug but at the desk, so my wife had to leave the bath area and sit at the desk to dry her hair. What will be,will be! Evening shows left a lot to improve upon. Four shows were repeated during the cruise. Wifi was a disaster. Paid $250 for 1000 minutes of air time. The poor internet manager probable lost ten years of his life with all the Seniors and their I Pods and the difficulties in loosing or trying to send or retreive E-Mails. The public rooms were well used, very clean, and would rate a high score. Of the 1248 quests, less than 50 were children due to lenght of time and thus had no issue. Casinoes continue to be a money maker for the shipping lines. The tipping issue continues to rear its ugly head, we paid $11.50 each per day for 35 days and then were smoozed into leaving another tip for room stewards, and dining room staffs. Fortunately they deserve it, since in London it was printed in the news that P&O Cruise line was only paying their employees less than $1.00 per hour, yet they work ten-twelve hours per day, seven days per week and must sign a ten month contract. Oh the life of a Seafarer!! The two most interesting aspects of the cruise were Stonehenge in England, and Iceburgs bigger than the ship in Greenland. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
We have cruised on a number of lines, and my parents took many cruises on HAL prior to it being taken over by Carnival. While first time cruisers would be very happy with it, we were somewhat disappointed. The little touches are not there ... Read More
We have cruised on a number of lines, and my parents took many cruises on HAL prior to it being taken over by Carnival. While first time cruisers would be very happy with it, we were somewhat disappointed. The little touches are not there anymore. Service is inconsistent; food is not up to the standard we expect of a luxury line; things that were previously complimentary (e.g. soft drinks) are now charged to your account. Something as simple as a hot dog from the grill on the pool deck - the buns were stale, there was no relish available. The cook appeared to have no familiarity with an American hot dog, being Indonesian as many HAL crew are, not his fault - but this indicated a lack of training on the part of the food service department. The breakfast buffet was very disorganized - poor traffic flow. On other lines, there are stewards available to help you, but it was very difficult to get the attention of staff if something was needed. Probably a symptom of personnel reduction. Also, not enough seating for the volume of people at peak times. In summary, it is obvious that Carnival has taken over what used to be one of the world's top luxury lines. Unfortunately that is no longer true. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
EyeSeaTravel.ca cruised from Boston to Bermuda on the September 30th, 2011, 7 day Norwegian Dawn Cruise. Where this was our first cruise with Blind and Visually Impaired travellers, we knew that their would be many things to learn and ... Read More
EyeSeaTravel.ca cruised from Boston to Bermuda on the September 30th, 2011, 7 day Norwegian Dawn Cruise. Where this was our first cruise with Blind and Visually Impaired travellers, we knew that their would be many things to learn and experience. From the expedited boarding, room service, front desk staff, waiters in the Venetian Restaurant, the Blue Lagoon Restaurant and beyond... we were very well taken care of! One of our highlights was the Wednesday formal Dinner, where the ladies were in their finest and the 4 men of the group all wore authentic Bermuda Formal attire right down to the "Bermuda Shorts!" While on Bermuda our Group of 4 Blind Travellers experienced a Bermudian picnic at the Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, scooter rides and of course the Islands Fast Ferries (easier and faster than the buses) In St Georges we participated in the Ducking of the Wench, and toured the Historic St Peters Church. Climbing the 185 stairs in Gibbs Lighthouse was good exercise and helped make more room for the Dawn Food! Buss tour, Swizzle Inn and Stagger Out, Maritime Museum, and Swimming with the Dolphins all to be topped off with The Frog and Onion Pub and a refreshing swim at Snorkel park! Bermuda we miss you and look forward to experiencing you again! Norwegian Staff were good to excellent! Overall grade A to A+ The food in the Venetian Restaurant was supper and the service of Louis was even better! Grade for the Venetian A+. The Blue Lagoon had a very limited menu and service was fair to good, overall grade B+. Buffet food was alright I would grade as B- Overall experience on the Dawn was Excellent and we all look forward to future cruises and would jump on the Dawn at any chance! check out our unique service for the visually impaired at www.eyeseatravel.ca or www.eyeseatravel.us Read Less
Sail Date September 2011

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