My wife and I just did the 7 night NCL cruise on the Breakaway from NYC - our first post COVID cruise. I wanted to share what to expect in a Bermuda cruise now since it was hard for me to find current info. Overall, we had a great cruise vacation thanks to the 40% capacity (2000 instead of 5000) and our good fortune with weather (we departed on 10/31 - the prior cruise ended up stuck in rough seas for 5 days leaving only 1 day in Bermuda instead of 3!). We had never been to Bermuda before and found it a pleasant, safe, and picturesque destination, albeit a bit boring compared to HI or other Carribean islands.
The main downside happened prior to boarding - having to take the Bermuda PCR test 4 days before and submit with $75 payment for a travel authorization and then take 2 more tests at check-in. It took us 3 hours to finally get onboard and others were closer to 4 hours. Let's just say those Eurofins guys aren't exactly fast with the nose swabs. Knowing this - I strongly recommend (1) arriving as early as possible - we arrived at 10:30 for an 11:30 check-in and the lines got much longer by the time we left and (2) check in your luggage curbside if you don't want to have to drag it with you for the next 3 hours. Our luggage was waiting at our room by the time we got there - usually we don't see it until later that evening. I'd also bring some food so you don't pass out during the long wait - there is nothing in the terminal.
The upside of all the testing is the confidence of knowing you are boarding a certified COVID free bubble and can walk mask less just like past cruises. It was a really weird but exciting feeling to be around so many people without any COVID social distancing restrictions. Still, this bubble is not perfect - the ship's captain admitted during a Q&A that a few passengers were in quarantine confined to cabin during the cruise due to positive test results or being in proximity of someone who was. I can't imagine a vacation scenario worse than that!! Knowing how easy it is to contract a cold, flu, or other non-COVID illness onboard, I wore my mask except when dining and outdoors but I was in a small minority. For you buffet lovers, you'll be happy to know that there were really no restrictions other than washing your hands before entering. Guests were free to pick and/or cough on the food items of their choosing. We dined at the restaurants where the tables are socially distanced and the quality of food and service was excellent - noticeably better than past cruises although it's probably due to fewer guests to serve.
The balcony room in the Breakaway is perfect for trip like this. We got a wonderful view of the Statue of Liberty when departing and saw the Manhattan skyline for sunrise on return - truly memorable. The cabin is spacious with lots of light - we had our curtains open the entire cruise to take full advantage. The balcony is small but enough to sit and enjoy a morning coffee. Our steward was fabulous and their laundry service was amazing.