What a wonderful and awe inspiring beginning to our cruise! Thanks to the "powers that be" we were privileged to have the best seats in the house for viewing the spotlight beams blazing into the sky in remembrance of those who so tragically lost their lives on 9/11.
Travel and Embarkation: Smooth sailing from start to finish. We drove from RI straight down 95, took the Henry Hudson Parkway south (9A south)straight to the pier. We recommend going straight to parking an not to the drop off point. Baggage handlers are at the parking lot to help. We processed through at about 1130 and got aboard at about 1230. Went to eat and dropped our stuff off at 1330.
Cabin: Superb! Clean and more than enough room for the two of us. We really enjoyed the balcony. The steward from Indonesia was efficient--probably the best we have ever had.
Food: Not a clinker in the bunch. The last time aboard I had little success with the beef dishes. This time was just the opposite. All meals, to include appetizers and desserts were great. I just can't figure out why people can't find something they like on the menu. The menu was extensive and varied. If you don't like something, send it back and try something else! The wait staff was superb and was the Maitre 'D. I also recommend getting one of the wine packages. It's a great deal if you enjoy wine.
Entertainment: The juggler was great! The ventriloquist was not, but not for lack of effort on his part. I just didn't get fired up. Ticket to Ride was great as was the Generations show. One of our production shows got cancelled due to Maria. I didn't watch the comedians--way past my bedtime. Physical plant: The crew went out of their way to keep up with all of us messy folks. No complaints from us on cleanliness or availability of necessities. They took good care of us.
As mentioned before, the cabin was great. The space was optimized. I'm not sure how things could have been better arranged. Having cruised previously, we knew what the space would be like and packed accordingly. IF you do this, you won't have a problem.
Bermuda was wonderful--Maria notwithstanding! She just added to the experience. We recommend taking the ferry from King's Wharf to St Georges (40 minutes) and returning on the "pink bus" via Hamilton. St Georges was neat as a pin, but very quiet. It is perhaps the most quaint and picturesque of the three main cities. Lots of history. Hamilton was bustling place. We ate at the Pickled Onion on Front St right across from the pier (Veendam was in port) and had the local chowder--absolutely superb!! We did a little window shopping at took the 45 minute ride to King's Wharf. Plenty of time to lounge around before early seating. Day 2 was all Maria. We did get off the ship and hit the Clocktower Mall once the rain easede ujp. It was extremely windy, but not so windy you could get over to the mall via the provided transportation. We actually walked back. Day 3 was Horsehoe Bay which was nice and refreshing. It's a long walk back up the hill, but not a show-stopper. Trip back was uneventful except for the second sea day. We hit some unnamed depression that carried 57 knot winds so we were rocking and rolling most of the way back. It wasn't an issue for most.