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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We sailed on Carnival Conquest from the 27th of October to the 4th of November. Even though my mother and I have been traveling together ever since I was born (22 years ago), all around the world - it’s only recently we started cruising. ... Read More
We sailed on Carnival Conquest from the 27th of October to the 4th of November. Even though my mother and I have been traveling together ever since I was born (22 years ago), all around the world - it’s only recently we started cruising. This was our fourth cruise and the first Carnival Cruiseline. Stateroom 2214: It was a very cozy, little cabin. Nothing extremely exciting, but what to expect from a standard cabin. The cabin-stewards were always very quick with cleaning the cabin, so it always looked nice. The cabin stewards were very sweet and always made sweet towel animals - so many that we had a zoo on the last day! The beds were outstanding! Never have we slept in better beds - not in hotels or other cruises - the madras was so soft and the pillows were fluffy and big. Dining: There were quite a lot different places to eat - but if it is doing the busy hours, not enough room to sit. We eat mostly on the Lido Deck with the buffets, Blue Iguana and the Pizza place. The food, in general, was good, but the variety isn’t the biggest. We liked the fact that we were able to get pizza almost any hour of the day and the frozen yogurt was available 24/7. The frozen yogurt/soft ice was very tasty and even though there weren’t more than three flavors to choose from - you never got tired of them. Breakfast: the croissants and most of the bread wasn’t fresh - which were quite a big bummer. The pasties such as cinnamon rolls were fresher and tasted great - but you expect to eat fresh bread every day when you are on an 8-nights cruise - actually no matter how many days you are onboard. Lunch: we loved the burritos and tacos - in general the lunch was great with a better variety. Dinner: the variety wasn’t the biggest, but it had a good taste. It could have been a plus if the Blue Iguana were open doing dinner-time. Desserts: Most of the cakes lacked taste and texture. Many were almost uneatable due to the huge amount of gelatin, so they became rubbery. Crew: We had the great honor of having Leigh as our cruise director - who is absolutely the star of the ship (if not the company). Leigh is energetic and shows a lot of passion and enthusiasm about his work. He cares a lot about the passengers, always allow himself time to chat with them and knows everyone onboard. He is without a doubt the greatest gift to this company and will with guarantee make your vacation even more unforgettable. He became a great friend of my mother and me, and we will always be thankful for everything he did. You will differently be missing him when you get back home. We hope to cruise with him again!!! Captain Claudio is - just like Leigh - a star of the ship. He is a very sweet, outgoing, charming man, that cares about his passengers, his crew and his ship. He likes to chat with people - not only doing events but also outside of the ship. My mother told him, I want to be a captain myself, and he immediately courage me to do so. The officers: all of the officers we came across were very smiling, sweet and caring. They always said hi and wanted to chat. Not only onboard but also when they saw you outside. The waiters: our experience with the waiters on the lido deck wasn't the best. They did not clean the tables very quickly and did not speak very much with the passengers. They did not seem to be very happy about their job and did not really want to get in contact with anyone - this was a shame, many want to talk with all kinds from the crew, and every other ship we have been to, the waiters were much more talkable and made you feel special. Entertainment: You will never be bored on carnival. If so, it’s your own fault. They have so many different activities during the day and night - so the only problem there is is the time-limit you have. Everything with Leigh is a must. He can make every event laughable. The game shows are a great fun - especially the love & marriage show. The shows with the dancers and singers have a beautiful, creative scenery, the performers and music are great - but the shows are quite the same concept except from a different theme (Motown, the 70’s & the 80’s). so it lacks a bit of variety. We were so lucky to be on Conquest on Halloween night. It was great to see that so many had a costume and Carnival for sure did a lot to put up special drinks and decoration for the night. The only minus was that it wasn’t the guests who chose the winner of the costume competition. It was a shame. Many talked about this afterward and they wished they had a saying in who should have won. The Wi-Fi was terrible. You have to log out and reconnect all the time, and you aren’t able to make a call over Messenger. The Hub-app, Carnival have is a great way to see what’s happening during the day and even get a reminder for the events. You are also able to see a map over the ship, which can come in handy for the first few days. Unfortunately, the app wasn’t able to download after leaving the port due to the Carnivals weak internet. Overall our first experience with Carnival was a success and we look forward to joining the fleet again in April on Carnival Splendor. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Recommended by travel agent, this was to be our first cruise, and had great expectations. On joining the ship my case was withheld and I had to muster in the lower deck to retrieve it, to be told that the £48 bottle of whisky was to be ... Read More
Recommended by travel agent, this was to be our first cruise, and had great expectations. On joining the ship my case was withheld and I had to muster in the lower deck to retrieve it, to be told that the £48 bottle of whisky was to be taken and "destroyed"! in New York I had had a small glass from the total of one litre. On asking to witness the destruction of my whisky, I was informed that It wasn't possible; and that the security would deal with it. I bet they did, no doubt shared around. It should be policy that any confiscated drink if not kept as an unopened bottle, should be poured down the sink in font of the owner. out of order RC. This sadly set the tone for the rest of the cruise, with gratuities added daily; and not informed that no one needs to pay this, but one can pay those in the tips envelopes to those you choose at the end of the cruise. I was charged for a treatment in the spa I did not request or receive. The staff were superb and the waiters in the Great Gatsby made our cruise, the young guy who daily did our cabin was also top notch. We have decided cruising is not for us, great if you like a Butlins at sea. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Background information: I booked this cruise with my recently widowed sister so that we could have some sister time together. It was her first regular cruise (she did one previously with Tauck) and her first time to Bermuda. It was my ... Read More
Background information: I booked this cruise with my recently widowed sister so that we could have some sister time together. It was her first regular cruise (she did one previously with Tauck) and her first time to Bermuda. It was my 27th cruise, and my 7th visit to Bermuda - my third on Grandeur of the Seas. I was 80 years old at the time of the cruise and I use a mobility scooter to get around. The scooter easily folds into a small light package, but my (younger) sister fell just before the cruise and sprained her wrist so while she could fold the scooter, I didn't want her to have to do so. Travel to embarkation port; Normally for embarkation in Baltimore, we drive up and stay at a hotel which offers free parking, but for this cruise, my sister came down to Baltimore on the train the day before and my husband Bob was dropping us off and picking us up. On embarkation day we drove straight up to the Cruise Maryland terminal and got there about 12:30. They gave Bob a big orange window sign that said Drop Off and we gave our two bags to the baggage men. Bob put together the scooter, put the red duffel with the scooter charger underneath the seat and my computer bag on the back and I put my pocketbook under the seat and he bungie corded my cane to the front of the scooter, and we got in line. (My sister just had a large pocketbook) Embarkation: My sister had to put the red duffel bag, my pocketbook and the computer bag, plus my camera and my cell phone through the scanner and then they were going to pat me down. She started to load stuff back on the scooter before they got to me to pat me down, and they reprimanded us for that and made the red bag go through again. Then we got to where we gave them our passports and our set-sail passes. The lady had a problem that my passport says my name is Rosalie Ann (with a space) and my registration says RosalieAnn without a space. She said she had to get that changed, and the confusion, she forgot to photograph us. We got on the ship at deck 1 with the wheelchair people instead of going up the ramp, but when we handed our cards to the lady at the entrance, there were no photos on them !!! So she took our photos there. God knows what they look like. I took off my hat and my hair is probably all on end. I guess it is fortunate that no one sees them except the ship company. The lifeboat drill was out on the deck and took a long time. They put all the people on scooters or with wheelchairs in one section so I could actually see what was going on, but on other ships, they do this drill for the handicapped people indoors so the people with them can sit down. Ship information: Grandeur is a smaller ship, which I appreciate. The only complaint I have about the ship is that it is very noisy. The music in the atrium is LOUD. If I were not already partly deaf, I would be after spending any time in the atrium. The internet connection was quite good in our cabin but I had signed up and then canceled and signed up for a different package, so I got two computer cards at embarkation. The man in the computer lab was excellent at straightening this out. The elevators were pretty quick and I didn't usually have a long wait, but I always had a hard time when I got off the elevator in figuring out which way to turn to get to our cabin. My sister quite liked the spa. We both swam in the spa pool which was nice and warm (it was salt water). I loved the spa pool, but for my sister the pool was 5'4" deep - too deep for her to stand, and it made it hard for her to keep the splint on her hand out of the water, so she mostly went up there to sit and read as it was warm and quiet up there. The library is pretty useless. We looked to see if they had a backgammon board, but they did not and the library is right off the atrium so it is very noisy. The band that played in the atrium was quite good and they played classical music in the afternoon which was nice and not as loud as at night. The climbing wall was sometimes closed because of the wind conditions, but we weren't going to be doing that anyway!! The ship made good time to Bermuda and probably could have docked at 2 pm - the five day cruises arrive on the second day at 1 pm. But they took the long way around the island instead of just going straight in and the reason for this was apparent when we got around to King's Wharf. Disney Magic was still at our spot on the pier. So we had to wait until the tugs pulled her off the pier before we could dock. We did not get docked until 5, and the Craft Market was closed by then. That was a waste of time we could have had in Bermuda Activities: I did not do any of the regular scheduled activities such as bingo or trivia because I was too busy talking to my sister. We haven't traveled together just the two of us (without husbands or parents) since 1964. There were two formal nights. One was the first sea day and the other was the day before Halloween. Since Halloween was the last night on the ship, the cruise director scheduled the Halloween costume parade on the second formal night so that we would not have to be packing and doing costumes on the last night. This worked REALLY well. My sister was Red Riding Hood and I was Grandma after the wolf ate her. There was a great parade of costumes with prizes. The only problem with this was the noise - the music was played so loud that you had to yell in someone's ear for them to hear you. Cruise Critics meeting was on the first sea day and they had munchies and drinks and a nice raffle for prizes. I think they should have people introduce themselves, but RCCI does not seem to do that. There was a meeting for Platinum and above at 10:00 and I had to leave breakfast (because service was slow) in order to get to it and I was 15 or 20 minutes late. The Captain and the Cruise Director spoke to us and told some jokes. All the heads of the departments were introduced and each said where they were from and thanked all of us for sailing with Royal. They had an award for the couple who were Pinnacle Plus (more than 700 days cruising) and also a Crystal award for another couple. Entertainment: I didn't go to any of the shows or lectures, but my sister did and she liked them. Some of the shows were broadcast on the TV later Dining: We went up to the WIndjammer for lunch on embarkation, and never used it again. I can't hold a plate and a glass and still run the scooter and there was no one to help at all. The labels and some of the dishes were over my head, so my sister had to get me something to eat and drink. It is perhaps unfair to judge the Windjammer on the basis of embarkation lunch, but we never went there again. For dinner, we had My Time Dining and we got a nice table for 10 at 5 pm which we had for the rest of the cruise thanks to the guy assigning the tables. Service there was great. The quality of the food was sometimes good and sometimes not so good. The cakes tended to be dry. There was one lobster night which also included strawberry soup (very good) and baked Alaska We used Izumi one time. Japanese food is not my "cup of tea", but my sister who often eats Japanese food and is a better judge than I am liked it very well, and thought that the prices were quite reasonable. My sister also like the Ben & Jerry's ice cream Since we were not using the Windjammer, we always had breakfast in the MDR. Service was quite slow. It did not matter if you ordered the Express Breakfast or the Special of the day - it was the same as far as speed went. They had a buffet set-up for fruit and cold cereal but my problem with this was the same as with the Windjammer. One morning was Chocolate morning, and the chocolate bread was delicious. If we wanted breakfast before the MDR opened, we had Room Service. A hot breakfast it is $7.95 extra plus a 15% tip, but if you don't get a hot breakfast (by which they apparently mean eggs), it is free. So we ordered oatmeal and tea and English muffins for 6:30 to 7 and a wake-up call for 6:30. At 6:20 I got a call that breakfast was coming. He needed two trips because the hot water for the tea would not fit on the tray. The tea was hot but the English muffins were barely warm and ditto the oatmeal. I ate mine, but my sister didn't want just barely warm oatmeal. The second day in port we just had yoghurt, fruit and tea from Room Service. Lunch in the MDR also has a buffet section for a chopped salad which I hesitated to use because I thought I would have a problem doing this on the scooter. On the last day at lunch I did try it and it was excellent, but I did have to carry my plate back to the table myself. On other ships when I have done this, one of the servers carried my plate back to the table for me. Shore excursions: I booked two excursions for Sunday which I thought I could reasonably do on a scooter and which would give my sister a good overview of Bermda. One was the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo (BAMZ), and the other was a boat tour of the island both listed as Easy. I had booked a private guide for Monday. The excursion desk switched the BAMZ tour to Monday, so we canceled that one. When I got the tickets for the boat tour, it said that people must be able to walk and climb steps. That was NOT on the excursion write-up on the website or on the printed information about the excursion. I can walk a little and if I have to I can climb steps but I decided to cancel this excursion too. I talked to someone who took it and she said that the boarding ramp was a narrow shaky plank so it is probably good that I canceled it. Instead we booked little red train (The Scenic West End Trolley) and that was scheduled to meet at 9:15 for an hour tour. We thought maybe we could go to church afterward. They said that I could not take my scooter on the train (although I really could have done as there was space for it folded up), so I decided that I would leave the scooter on the ship on deck 1. They offered me a wheelchair so I took it to the end of the ship where there was a little tent with seats and we sat there. But 9:15 came and went and we did not see the little red train. The lady that said she would come and get us when the time came, did NOT come and get us and when I finally saw the train out about 400 yards from me she had already gone past. So with great difficulty, I walked, stopping at each bollard to rest, and finally got to the street where the train was and collapsed into a seat where the taxi drivers wait. It came around the corner to us so I could get on. By now it was 9:40. The actual tour was nice. The driver (Sidney who was 92 years old) explained a lot of Bermuda history including how they built their houses and how the roofs are configured to collect water. He said when modern houses are build, they dig a big hole as big as the largest room, and then line it to make it waterproof. That acts as a cistern and they build the house on top of it. He went out of the dockyard and all the way to Somerset Parish. We had thought that we could get to church after the train ride, but we did not get back to the dockyard area until about 11:30 and then instead of taking us back to the ship he let us off at the Clocktower Mall. This was not acceptable - I could not walk back to the ship and I couldn't stand and wait for the free train to get back there either as I would still have had to walk quite a distance from the free train to the ship. Independent Activities in Port: After the excursion driver dropped us at the Clocktower Mall I hired a taxi [Conrad Albouy (441-334-8796)] for $50/hour and we went to lunch at The Swizzle and to the BAMZ. Then on Monday I had a guide my husband and I had used before [Lewis Foggo email: lewis_foggo@hotmail.com]. He gave us an excellent tour. He showed us where the ship logos that had been painted on the walls in the dockyard were erased by the Americas Cup people. We saw a lot of beautiful beaches and overlooks. He showed us a property for sale They want $695,000.00 for 0.28 acres (a little over a quarter of an acre). There was nothing on it. He said no one had bought it because they were asking too much money. He took us up to a fort on a hill, and we went to St. David's Lighthouse. We even got to see the ducking in St. George which I had never been there in time to see before. Service: Our room steward was very good and gave us ice for my sister to put in the ice bag for her wrist. The service in the MDR at dinner was very good. Breakfast service was cheerful but slow. Disembarkation We got our disembarkation tickets and times in the stateroom on the 29th. On November 1st we are to get off between 9:15 and 9:30. (Green 21) - the next to last time. I went up to ask about it. The customer service desk estimated 45 minutes to get our bags and get out to be picked up, which would be about 10 am. She says that my husband Bob who is picking us up will only be able to wait for a couple of minutes. Since he will be driving 100 miles to pick us up, and we are not really sure when we will be off the ship, this might be a problem. I thought Bob would leave about 8 to get there at 10. But I was worried as I had not heard from him for the whole length of the cruise. So about 6:45 I tried to call and got the answering machine each time. Eventually I called our daughter in Texas because she said she would check on him to be sure he wasn't doing the back house roof (which he was) when he was home alone. She said he hadn't seemed to be getting my emails. (He said later that they had all gone to spam). We vacated the cabin and went to breakfast about 7:45 with the carry-on luggage (for me this was my computer bag and my pocketbook and cane as I had sent the red bag with the charger down with the suitcase and my sister just had a large purse). We both got the Express breakfast, which still wasn't very express.They had told me that they would announce disembarkation numbers in the restaurant, but they did not. So when we finished breakfast they were up to #17. We went and sat in the library with a couple people who were B2B. We were supposed to wait on deck 6 but then I would have had to get an elevator up and then an elevator down. I turned my phone on and we got in line a little after our group was called about 8:55. At 9:15 we were still in line in the atrium (there was some hold-up downstream) and Bob called that he was there. They would let wheelchair people get off on deck 1 (where we had gotten on), but I saw no reason to do that as I knew from previous experience that getting an elevator down there would be the hard part. We inched our way down and through the walkway to the terminal. There was a large man/boy ahead of us carrying two small bags and he kept trying to sit or lean on the HVAC systems which were posted NOT to sit or lean on and which had benches right next to them if you needed to sit. Went through immigration (there was no customs to go through), and then went to find our bags. Bob usually finds the bags and brings them to me, but my sister was not so organized. I put the red bag on the scooter and then we found my bag, but my sister had found her bag and then lost it again (It was black like all the other bags and she has not apparently learned Mother's trick of tying some colorful thing to the handle) Then we went outside and the cars picking people up were all by the fence out by the road. Bob was there. He was able to wait for more than a few minutes. He took my sister to the train station and then we drove home. Summary I enjoyed the cruise and I always enjoy Bermuda. But I don't think I have converted my sister to cruising. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
The ship is very large with alot of people. This cruise we traveled with friends, not all liked the large ship. We travel out of the NY port which is very convenient for us living in Penna. One draw back on the ship is the Atrium is way ... Read More
The ship is very large with alot of people. This cruise we traveled with friends, not all liked the large ship. We travel out of the NY port which is very convenient for us living in Penna. One draw back on the ship is the Atrium is way too busy. I prefer a Martini bar which NCL has omitted from the newer ships. The martini bars were always out of the way of the crowd. The only place to get favored Martinis is at the Atrium where there is a lot of activities going on most of the time. So you can not relax very often at the Atrium bar. NCL has added a couple of other bars, where you can go for a quiet atmosphere. a wine bar and a brewhouse (beer). The stores on board had some nice products. We always like the specialty restaurants, mainly Le Bistro, Cagney's , and Teppanyaki. The mini-golf is always a draw for many people but is a fun activity for all. We were not able to enjoy all the shows but the ones we attended were enjoyable. Because we have been to this port before we did not take any excursions but walked around the port shops. The shops had a variety of items at mostly reasonable prices. The overall cruise was good and enjoyable. NCL has the best prices and ammenities for the price. The cabins have always been comfortable for us. I will continue to cruise with NCL (16 cruises and number 17 coming up) but do not like all the changes that have been made by the company. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first time on the ESCAPE and the first time on this large of a ship. Way too many people for us. We will be going back to the smaller ships. WAY to many kids. A few suggestions for NCL- 1. Perhaps have a kids sections ... Read More
This was our first time on the ESCAPE and the first time on this large of a ship. Way too many people for us. We will be going back to the smaller ships. WAY to many kids. A few suggestions for NCL- 1. Perhaps have a kids sections at the dining rooms so everyone doesn't have to listen to crying babies while trying to enjoy a nice dinner 2. Use the Main Theatre for events/gathering instead of the Atrium for everything- NOT enough seating and jams up the area-very frustrating MOST Events were held in the Atrium, very strange! 3. DON'T make people pre-book comedy shows etc. half the people don't even show up that book it and then the tickets are sold out and you have to get there 40 minutes ahead of time to wait in the standby line. Too much thinking ahead of time. People just arrive that want to go to the show, when it's full come back to another one. Once again the venues are WAY to small for the size of ship to many people having to stand at ALL the shows or turned away. Use the Theatre that is mostly never used at night Staff was very friendly, food was good, rooms were nice. It was a great trip just too many kids which we were surprised this time of year. Crystle Caves are a must for a tour- Do both! NCL is still our favorite cruise line! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Said on the Norwegian Escape out of NYC on Oct 14. Had a great time. We were in a minisuite on Deck 11 (11226) The view sailing down the Hudson River and out of the bay was totally worth it. I highly recommend sailing out of NYC at ... Read More
Said on the Norwegian Escape out of NYC on Oct 14. Had a great time. We were in a minisuite on Deck 11 (11226) The view sailing down the Hudson River and out of the bay was totally worth it. I highly recommend sailing out of NYC at least once. Thermal Spa Pass: We got Thermal Spa Passes the day they went on sale and it was totally worth it. I highly recommend it. We used the spa in the morning (wouldn’t get crowded until about 10:30am and then in the evening. Quiet times. Hydrotherapy was nice and so were all the lounges. Tried the snow room, salt room, sauna and steam rooms but didn’t stay in those long. Just nice to have a quiet place to relax. Overall impression of the ship: Even though there were over 4000 people it never seemed crowded. The only odd thing is everything seemed compartmented. There wasn’t any general main open space inside. For example on the Norwegian Sun the main guest services area had several levels and stairways going above it. The guest services area and atrium seemed very small. Farther down that deck was a stairwell near the casinos and stores and seemed small. Cabins seemed dated - at least the decor. For being such a new ship, I would have thought the decor, color, etc.. would seem newer and more modern. Looked like a tired old ship. I wish all shows were free, and all the speciality restaurants were free. Just seemed like a lot of extra costs for things. We had taken the 3 speciality meal and 250 internet plans. Both times the spa treatments shorted me on time. My facial was supposed to be 50 minutes and it was 10 minutes short. The person told me it was because I didn’t need any extractions. I paid for 50 minutes I should get it. Same with a massage, I swear I was shorted about 5 minutes. I should get the time I paid for. I remember on another ship my time was short and I complained and got a partial refund. Another passenger mentioned how she thought all the areas around the ship seemed small and compartmented. Theaters seemed small for a ship that size. I know they can’t build a 4000 seat theater but they seemed small. Secret spots/tips about the ship: Deck 7 – nice quiet empty place to walk and watch the sunset. Walk forward all the way near the front near the shuffleboard area. Food buffet – quiet spot to eat: Just outside on the left under the water slides. Always pretty empty While everyone rushed off the ship as soon as we docked, we ate at the buffet and leisurely ate and eventually left the ship with no crowds at all. Cabin: We stayed in 11226, a mini suite on the left side on the 11th deck. Nice sized bathroom. Enough storage area. Mid ship. Murugan was a steward and was always very friendly and nice. At first we had trouble finding the main switch for the light in the bathroom and cabin but realized it was under the compartment to put your key card in. We had brought a hotel car to put in the slot, but to save electricity we always pulled it out when we left the cabin. Arrival: We arrived at the Pier and found the porters who took our bags. They gave us new tags and the one guy said the paper ones are worthless. We arrived about 9:30am and the security line seemed long but got significantly longer after we arrived. It seemed like it didn’t open until 10am but once it opened it moved fast. I thought it was very organized. After security, lines were separated by Deck and the first line was a form about being sick. Then a short line to get our picture taken, show our passport and get boarding card. Didn’t seem like a long wait but we could still see people leaving the ship from the previous cruise. We were boarding group 10. The announcement kept saying we would be called by boarding group and the doors were in the middle, but a worker came by and announced our boarding crew in person and took us to the other end of the ship to board. Went to O’Sheehan’s for lunch (don’t listen to the announcements or the person at the check in who said the only place open for lunch was the buffet). When we walked up to O’Sheehans they were serving lunch and seemed pretty full even though it was just before the opening hours. Nachos weren’t great but the rest of the food was good. After lunch we walked around the ship, signed up for a behind the scenes tour and went up to see the spa. Had the 3 meal speciality dining plan and had reservations at Tepanyaki that first evening for 5:45pm. The food was good except the rice. Not sure how an Asian restaurant can mess up on the rice but they can. It lasted until about 7:05pm. Had made a massage appointment that evening so went up to the spa for that. The person who gave me the massage was nice but at the end recommended products of course. Day 2: Ate breakfast at the buffet and then spent the morning at the Thermal spa. Went to the cruise critic meet and greet and then had lunch at the buffet. The buffet was crowded and food wasn’t that great but a variety of choices. I went to the pamper party for women. It was nice, got to try each product they were trying to sell and had discount on some items. Didn’t buy anything but it was one of the fun activities. Compared to other ships, this cruise didn’t have many interesting activities. The waterfront is a nice and quiet area and lots of seating areas to sit, talk or read and enjoy the ocean. We tried Savor for dinner, but it was slow service, the choices weren’t that great and neither was the food. Didn’t go to Taste and didn’t go back to Savor. Used the thermal spa in the evening. It’s open until 10pm so it’s quiet and almost empty in the evenings. Day 3: Didn’t do anything special. Used the thermal spa in the morning and evening. Went to see Choir of Man that evening. Excellent show and I thought the food was good. I had read comments the food was awful but it wasn’t. I wish they just would have the show without the food and not charge extra. Day 4: Sat at the H20 deck for awhile, although it got very crowded with almost no seats available. Had lunch at Margaritaville (a speciality restaurant) and it was one of the best meals we had on the ship. The fish tacos were really good. Finally arrived in Bermuda that evening at 6pm. Saw the Brat Pack show that evening. Another good show. Walked up about 5 minutes before it started and there were plenty of seats. Only issue were people who talked through most of the show. I don’t understand why people see shows and just talk which is rude to everyone around them. A couple near us had brought a baby and the baby didn’t make a peep and was quieter than some adults. Had signed up for the night cruise via the ship. It was excellent and I recommend it. I think it left at 9pm and was a lot of fun. Glad we signed up for it, as the ocean was too rough the next evening and our sunset cruise was canceled. Day 5: A few months before the cruise I had contacted a private taxi driver that was recommended on this board. We had booked him for a 4-5 hour tour. I emailed him a week before the cruise and confirmed he was still available. He said he was. We went to the pier and he never showed up. Even a couple pier workers who knew him tried a couple times to call and he never answered. I eventually got an email from him later that day and he apologized and said the Escape had changed it’s itinerary so many times in the last month and he said it wasn’t on the schedule. I just wonder how dozens of other taxi drivers and tour guides knew about the ship being in port, they showed up at the pier. It was raining just as we got off the ship and part of the day but eventually stopped and cleared up. **Luckily while waiting, a mini bus service driver was advertising a tour of the island. We joined a couple and so glad we did. He was a great tour guide, friendly person and it cost us half the price of what we were originally going to pay. ($60 each) He drove us all over the island, to St. George, stop in Hamilton, the forts, lighthouse, near the airport and even a stop at Horseshoe Bay. **I recommend Tucker’s Transport Ltd – 504-6657 or rtucker@transact.bm ** Afterwards we came back and walking around the stores and ate at a good restaurant right near the pier. Good food, especially after eating cruise ship food for several days. As I mentioned because of the rough seas, the catamaran sunset cruise was canceled. Friday: Went to Horseshoe Bay. Normally I don’t get excursions through the ship as private excursions are normally cheaper and better. I know it’s cheaper to take a taxi or the bus to Horseshoe bay but because we were leaving that day and we were worried of an accident or issues on the roads, we booked the transportation via the ship to Horseshoe Bay. It was easy and convenient. We left at 9am and then had to meet the bus back at 12:20pm. It was a 30 minute bus ride each way. The driver pointed out sights and stopped at spots for good pictures. Walked down towards the coves and found a quiet almost empty area and went swimming. Walked down a path and then found other paths down to the water. I recommend walking away from the entrance and the crowds. I don’t understand why people all huddle near the entrance of the beach. The beach has a bar, food service and small gift ship. Ate lunch at O’Sheehans. Service was really bad this day. We ordered appetizers and never got them. The table next to us first was never waited on, and although they arrived before us they were still waiting for their food when we left after finishing ours. After we got our food we never saw the waitress again. Went to the atrium and watched the Cruise Next presentation. Saw the show “After Midnight” and it was probably the best show we saw on the ship. Highly recommend it. Saturday: Took the behind the scenes tour. Elsyabeth was our guide and she was friendly and informative. We were offered to take a photo in the kitchen with a chef’s hat and holding some item. We didn’t realize by declining the photo we wouldn’t receive the folder with the Escape photo and us. Had lunch at the buffet in our quiet spot to eat outside. Spent a couple hours at the Thermal spa again. Due to the fact we were going through a storm and the ocean had waves at 11 feet, the hydrotherapy pool seemed like a wave pool. Had dinner at Moderno that evening and that was probably the best food of the whole ship. Salad bad had so many choices I could have eaten the whole dinner at the salad bar. Meats and side dishes were good too. Highly recommend. Sunday/Disembarkation: Got up early, went up to the buffet soon after it open, so it wasn't crowded yet. Got the color to disembark with our own baggage at the latest time. Took the elevator up and just stayed on when it went back down (otherwise the elevator was packed). Easy to get off. Customs line wasn't even very long and got to Penn Station by 9:15am. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We took a quick 5 day cruise to Bermuda as a getaway; the room rates were a bargain. Having been on the Oasis, the Anthem was a small letdown although there were different activities. Bumper cars, iFly, North Star, and so on. We ... Read More
We took a quick 5 day cruise to Bermuda as a getaway; the room rates were a bargain. Having been on the Oasis, the Anthem was a small letdown although there were different activities. Bumper cars, iFly, North Star, and so on. We never felt crowded. Dining rooms seemed to have empty tables and even the Windjammer wasn't so packed that you bumped into people at every turn, as we have experienced in the past. Cruise director Drew was fine if not mechanical. The assistant from Wales was much more engaging and personable. Like other lines Royal has cut back noticeably on food selections if not quality. It was good, but fewer dinner choices and not that much variety. In the Windjammer I made the mistake of getting a burger - meatloaf texture and totally bland. The burgers in the Pub ($8) were significantly better. The North Star is a nice looking toy but for the people who took it on the last sea day, in the gloom of the open sea, I doubt they saw much of anything. The iFly people are extremely patient with the passengers with no reservations who claim to have made them on the tv (which isn't possible). Staff at the rock wall kept things moving and were helpful. The captain was virtually invisible other than two scheduled sessions. Not too many announcements from anyone, not even for their "sales" of crummy jewelry and generic t-shirts. The theater shows which required reservations were never full. "The Gift" was not particularly interesting. "We Will Rock You" had familiar music performed well and a plot that was, to be kind, silly. "Spectra's Cabaret" was a train wreck of noise and visuals. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. One big complaint - and probably applies to all cruise ships - bars on land have bouncers for good reasons. On two nights we saw the stereotypical lounge lizards being creeps and hitting on women, including making unwanted physical contact. One woman finally made a huge stink after the bar staff did nothing (other than continue to serve the creep) and finally some security showed up. This should never happen. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the cruise for the departure city, as well as the destination and the schedule. Not to mention RCL was my favorite line and we would be the only ship in dock. We arrived on time at the port in Boston and getting on the ship ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the departure city, as well as the destination and the schedule. Not to mention RCL was my favorite line and we would be the only ship in dock. We arrived on time at the port in Boston and getting on the ship was fairly quick and easy. The ship was beautiful and easy to navigate, we had "scored" one of the newly created ultra large ocean view cabins on the deck 7. It was a spacious room with roughly 100 square feet of space.It was very nice. I was a little sad they didn't use a little of that space in the showers tho! Our Room Steward, Jean , was a phenomenal, making sure we had everything we needed and checking in with us to make sure we had a good day. Dining was good, I noticed that there had been cuts in the Windjammer, there was less variety at breakfast and lunch than on my prior trip. We had our dinner in Reflections at 5:30 each nite. Our waiters Hurry and Mohammad were incredible. One evening I took the lemon wedge from my shrimp cocktail and put it in my water. The next evening I had a small plate of lemon wedges. There were additional things they did as well to make the dining experience extraordinary. Entertainment and activities to quote my nieces and nephews.. were lame. I am used to an early and a late show. More often than not there was one show and it was late. Activities were poor, Friday we had trivia scheduled 5x through out the day, the cruise director's staff was in general "removed and unfriendly" and only visible when conducting an activity. ( Interestingly, I ran in to a B2B cruise who expressed the disparity between last weeks activities and this weeks activities, she claimed the prior week was much livelier, where this was boring.) We were in contact with Guest services 3 times, the first two times the staff member was unfriendly,disconnected and removed. There was no warmth, or friendliness, perhaps if we had received good information from her I would could have forgiven the unfriendly and disconnected interaction..The 3rd time we stopped by as we received conflicting information on debarking, the rep was friendly, helpful and engaged. I was also sad as due to the new computer system RCL installed that there were flaw and many,many of the 87 of us signed up for the meet and mingle never received invitations. Knowing the new system had problems it would have been nice if they had had a back up system to have avoided this issue. We did not book any ship excursions as Bermuda is pretty easy to navigate on your own.. However the island in general was wonderful. Debarking was a nightmare! We chose to carry our luggage off , apparently they were not prepared of the numbers, we received conflicting information from the staff assigned to assist, Basically it was a fire marshal's nightmare and took an hour to get off the ship.Prior to this I thought RCL had one of the pleasantest more organised departure schedule.. What happened? Would I cruise this line again.. Yes, if I liked the departure port, destination and schedule. However I would take more books and some movies/activities to keep me entertained in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Embarkation was a breeze, Boston had improved the process tremendoulsly. Although the ship is looking a little tired, she is still beautiful. We had great weather with rain only one day on the way home for 15 minutes in the morning. ... Read More
Embarkation was a breeze, Boston had improved the process tremendoulsly. Although the ship is looking a little tired, she is still beautiful. We had great weather with rain only one day on the way home for 15 minutes in the morning. Rocking seas on way down made for the solarium pool to become a carnival ride if you dared to enter. Our room was a balcony near the forward of the ship. Great room steward, one of the best in over 25 cruises. Beds were comfortable and room was clean and well kept up. Food in the main dining room was good but the food in Windjammer has declined. Seemed to be less choices and items were all a lot smaller. Fruit diced into little cubes, small tiny pastries. Lunch had limited variety. Staff however in the Windjammer were friendly and kept up with the crowds. I feel the beverage package is a huge mistake, lots of drunks on board trying to make their daily quota---the golden age of cruising is gone. Bartenders in all venues were nice and remembered you by name. The Diamond Lounge is a mess. The wait staff had to make drinks from a makeshift bar area near the buffet and it was often difficult to get a drink. Disembarkation was a nightmare as over half the ship decided to walk off with their luggage and the crew was not prepared. This is our second voyage on Serenade and would sail her again if the ports were what we wanted. Read Less

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