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1,505 Bermuda Cruise Reviews

We enjoyed this cruise very much. Food, service, cleanliness, almost everything was perfect. This is our 5th cruisse, 4th on NCL, and 2nd on the Escape. We had a spa mini suite this trip. The room was very nice, but no larger ... Read More
We enjoyed this cruise very much. Food, service, cleanliness, almost everything was perfect. This is our 5th cruisse, 4th on NCL, and 2nd on the Escape. We had a spa mini suite this trip. The room was very nice, but no larger than a regular balcony room. The bathroom is bigger with a much larger shower. That was very nice. Having a spa room gave us access to the Thermal Suite. The only bad thing was that we didn't get a spa pass on a previous cruise. It was AMAZING!! We ate as a group of 6 and again as a group of 15 in the Manhattan Room. Both times the food and service was top notch. Food Republic was great and worth paying the extra money, especially if you enjoy sushi as much as we do. Pinchos was amazing! We love the small plat2es concept and the food is always spectacular. Bayamo was great too! We paid the upcharge for the lobster and the surf and turf. Evreything was cooked to perfection. Le Bistro is our favorite restaurant fleetwide, and as usual it did not disappoint. The food and service here is always impeccable. O'Sheehans was eh. Not great, not bad. We ate breakfast and lunch in Taste and Savor a few times, and for the most part everything was good. We spent a majority of our time at Spice H2O. It's nice to have a place to go where kids are not allowed. Especially when you travel on a school vacation week. Service was great! District Brew House is also a great place to go with no kids! Service at every bar or restaurant we stopped at was great! Now for the bad parts. Disembarkation was a nightmare!!! Very little organization, hard to find crew to assist us with my cousins husband who was in a wheelchair, and basically rude and obnoxious passengers made it a stressful end to our vacation! And the other bad part was OTHER PASSENGERS and their UNATTENDED KIDS! What is wrong with people now a days???? Does noone know manners???? Do people not understand that you let the people off of the elevator off, especially those in a wheelchair, off before you get on?? Why is it acceptable to let your young children run amuck while you are nowhere to be found? I understand that this is not NCLs fault, but if you are reading this, please try to be nice to others. You are not the only one on vacation. The world doesn't revolve around you or your children. Show some humanity and don't act like animals. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose Norwegian just to try something different, as i have been a Royal Caribbean cruiser. I was told from a friend of mine that she loves Norwegian, so my husband & i decided to try a different cruise line. We usually travel in ... Read More
I chose Norwegian just to try something different, as i have been a Royal Caribbean cruiser. I was told from a friend of mine that she loves Norwegian, so my husband & i decided to try a different cruise line. We usually travel in September, However we traveled this year for our anniversary in April & was very overwhelmed with the amount of children on board. We did not realize that it was spring break. Kids will be kids but it made our cruise miserable as they have no respect for the handicapped. The food in the Garden Cafe was never hot enough, You did not sell Newport menthol on your ship. There are not enough elevators to accommodate the passengers on board. I really was very dissatisfied with the amount of staff that you employ that do NOT speak English although very polite, just cant understand. My stateroom steward Kiran was an absolute Blessing as he was very attentive to my Husband & i truly appreciated that. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
First time on the Escape. I've been on the Gem and Breakaway as well another cruise lines. Embarkation in NY always seems to take a long time. Waited about an hour before boarding. I had a mid ship mini suite. The room was ... Read More
First time on the Escape. I've been on the Gem and Breakaway as well another cruise lines. Embarkation in NY always seems to take a long time. Waited about an hour before boarding. I had a mid ship mini suite. The room was spacious. The bathroom was quite large. My room attendant Leo went above and beyond for me. The ship is clean. The areas were all clean. The staff was friendly. Everywhere. The ship is basically the same as the Breakaway. The same issues with the Breakaway are with the Escape. The atrium is too small for all the events they hold there. If you have to pull out folding chairs for the people then perhaps hold some of those events in the theater. The smoke from the casino is overpowering. It wafts up into the 6/7/8 area. The pools are too small for 4200 people. The entertainment was enjoyable. The Choir of Man and Howl at the Moon were great fun. The specialty restaurants - Cagneys, LaCucina and Le Bistro were excellent. The buffet and Savor/Taste were ok. Thermal Suite Well worth the extra money. Bermuda was great. We had 3 days of sun. It's nice staying in one place and being able to come and go as you please. One perk, and this is a good one, is NCL has a free ferry to St. Georges. This makes it easy to go to the Caves, Tobacco Bay and the town. The ferry is the nicest I've been on with the reclining seats. The worst part was the disembarkation. We knew we were going to be late because of the weather on Saturday so there is no excuse for how the Escape handled it. I had the green tag which would be self carry first off. Well at 8 AM there were lines from the front to the back, up the steps, in the elevators. It was totally ridiculous. 2 hours on line and only saw one staff member who tried to get some type of order to the line. About an hour into being on line and the cruise director made an announcement about what color tag should proceed to the deck. Everyone laughed. Clueless for sure. It took 2 1/2 hrs to get off the ship, get through customs was easy. this left a bad taste in my mouth. Overall is was a nice cruise. The staff really works hard. Bermuda was beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Embarkation - Entering the terminal by car was a mess. There was no signage or guides to help you through. I have been on enough cruises to know that it is customary to drive in, unload bags with the porter and proceed to the car parking ... Read More
Embarkation - Entering the terminal by car was a mess. There was no signage or guides to help you through. I have been on enough cruises to know that it is customary to drive in, unload bags with the porter and proceed to the car parking lot. So here, you pass the entrance to the parking first and the bag drop was at the end of the line. Then we had to exit, loop around the block in heavy traffic and then get back in the same line and enter the parking lot. In retrospect, we could have entered the parking with our luggage and rolled it to the porters. Better signage or guidance upon driving into the terminal would be most helpful. After the parking frustration, things went more smoothly and we boarded shortly after moving through the check-in line. RCI does a much better job of allowing passengers who desire, to take care of many of the check-in steps while at home and then checking people in with mobile devices instead of requiring everyone to get into long queues for the check-in desk. Food and Beverage. We had great service all around. Bar service was the best I ever encountered. Service in all the restaurants was also solid. We were generally pleased with the food in all the complimentary restaurants. The decor was nice as well. Buffet food quality was a bit of a letdown in comparison to those we have experienced on other ships. We had the beverage package and it was nice to not need to sign a slip every time we ordered a beverage. Last time we cruised RCI, they still require a slip to be signed every transaction for some reason, perhaps for the extra gratuity pitch. Entertainment - Choir of man was fun and the Levity comedians on board our sailing were great. We wanted to see the Elton John show, but by the time we found out about it, (not listed as an option prior to cruise) it was always sold out. Other than that, we were not enthused, and the entertainment paled in comparison to the offerings from RCI’s Anthem of the Seas sailing a similar itinerary. Ship - we really did not care for the layout of the ship. The restaurants were fine, but we never found a favorite lounge-around/hangout spot on the ship that was not crowded. The water slides were great, but the hours for the ropes course were oddly quite limited which meant lines were always insane. As my title states, this is the smokiest ship I have been on, which I found odd on such a modern ship. The casino is not as isolated as on other ships, so the majority of 7th deck, including areas with shops and bars, smells like an old ash tray. Also, smoking was permitted at all the outdoor bars including the one directly adjacent to the smallest jogging track at sea. So if you are a smoker, you’ll love it. If not, not so much. Fitness center was also quite small for such a large ship. You get the gist of the target demographic for this ship. Bermuda was nice as always. We did not use any of the NCL excursions, as Bermuda is easy to do on your own. Just get a transportation pass which gives you access to all the busses and ferries and you can get to wherever you need and book direct with whatever it is you want to do. There is a kiosk near the ship and the staff are quite helpful. For example, the aquarium and zoo is a great little visit. Entry is 10 bucks per person and transportation is about the same. The complimentary NCL ferry to St. George’s was awesome and much appreciated. Tobacco Bay and surrounding area was wonderful. Disembarkation - lucky four us, we had the earliest time for luggage walk-off and we headed down early since finding an elevator can be maddening. We were placed in a que in the casino and waited about a half hour after our scheduled departure until we were cleared. Those coming later were frustrated as there did not seem to be a system to organize all the people who were showing up. We were delayed due to weather, so perhaps that caused things to back up more than usual. Once we got off the ship, proceeding through customs and leaving the terminal and NYC by car was smooth. Overall, the crew made this a bearable cruise. We always make the best of the situation and even though we didn’t really care for the vibe of this particular ship, we still had a nice vacation. The new NCL Encore coming next year has a large observation lounge in the front and some more exciting-looking entertainment, so we’ll look forward to giving that one a try. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My teenage daughter and I took this cruise because she was on school break. We like to cruise out of NYC because it's only a four hour drive from our house. Driving in and out of NYC was no problem. Traffic is not bad at all on Sunday ... Read More
My teenage daughter and I took this cruise because she was on school break. We like to cruise out of NYC because it's only a four hour drive from our house. Driving in and out of NYC was no problem. Traffic is not bad at all on Sunday mornings. We parked a few blocks away from the cruise terminal, thus cutting our parking costs in half (relative to parking at the terminal). Embarkation was easy. But, if they are going to assign boarding numbers, they should follow these numbers. It seems like lots of people were getting aboard well before their number was called. The first thing we did on board was go to the box office to make our show reservations. I highly recommend doing this. I'd prefer to make all the reservation online before the trip. But, since this isn't possible, it's best to take care of reservations as soon as you get on board. The process was very quick. There was a handout at the box office listing all the show times and we got to the front of the line even before we had decided what shows we wanted to see (and when). Also, make sure to ask about the "Escape from the Big Top" show. There's a sheet to sign up, but the show wasn't listed on the handout. We avoided the hassle of eating at the Garden Cafe the first day by going to O-Sheenan's instead. The hostess told us the wait would be 20-30 minutes. But, it turned out to be only a few minutes before we were seated. The food at this Irish pub was pretty good and there were so many items that looked good on the menu that I had a lot of difficulty deciding what to order. We only ate at the complementary restaurants and I was very impressed with the quality of the food. There were not a lot of exotic dishes (and never lobster!). But, the food tasted good, especially considering how many passengers they are trying to accommodate each day. We never had to wait for more than a few minutes to get a table. Several times, the hostess asked if we minded being seated with another party and told us there would be a wait if we declined. But, even though we insisted on a table for 2, we always were promptly seated. The service was very good, even though there was a lot of variance -- one night we were in-and-out of the restaurant in less than 30 minutes. Another night, the meal lasted over 1.5 hours. Sometimes the waiters were chatty, other times they just quietly went about doing their jobs. This is to be expected under the "freestyle" dining structure. I personally prefer the set dining times offered by Royal Caribbean (and other cruise lines) where you get to know your servers and they get to know your preferences. But, the freestyle approach is fine as long as you go into it with reasonable expectations. We initially purchased an inside guarantee stateroom. But, our bid (of $55 per person) for a balcony stateroom was accepted a couple of weeks before departure. It was nice to have a bit more space in the room and it was great having a balcony. I'm not one to splurge on the staterooms -- it's mostly just a place to sleep. However, if the cost of an upgrade is so reasonable, I can't pass it up. Our stateroom steward was extremely efficient, but I hardly ever saw him. I don't like to make small talk anyway, so that was good for me. The shows were really good. I saw "Choir of Man" twice. It was really entertaining. "After Midnight" was very well performed. I enjoyed it even though I'm not really a fan of that genre (1920's and tap-dancing). All three of the main comedians (including the hypnotist) were very good. I prefer the early - PG shows. Even the PG-13 show was bit too raunchy for my tastes. The warm-up comedian was awful. She was not funny at all and pretty much just obscene. We saw two shows in the Supper Club -- "Rocket Man", which was a tribute to Elton John and a 4-guy singing group. Both were OK, well below the quality of the main shows. I liked the Rocket Man show much more than the other one. But, the singers were very good -- I just wasn't a fan of the song choices -- It was corny to hear the young men perform songs from their grandparents' era and I'm not a fan of the new hits (which are much too vulgar for my tastes). The Super Club food was the worst on the ship, mostly because you don't have any choice of what you get so you can end up with ingredients that are not your favorite. But, you always could eat something before or after the show -- no one is going to starve aboard the Escape! I'm a big fan of puzzle rooms. But, the "Escape the Big Top" has room for improvement. The puzzles themselves are extremely good -- sufficiently challenging, but doable. The problem is with the structure. There are 10 teams (8-12 members each) all competing simultaneously. Each team is assigned a table right next to the other teams and all teams share the same props. There isn't enough room for all members to work on the assigned table and as you get up to examine the various props, it's hard to keep track of who is on your team. Furthermore, each team can see what the other teams are doing. Thus, the best strategy would probably be to just look over the other 9 teams' shoulders and aggregate the information. Even if you're not trying to "cheat", it's impossible not to hear what the other teams are thinking. Finally, you have to wait on the other teams before trying your solution(s). Our team would have won. I had the "correct" answer on my list of possible answers, but it didn't seem fair to hog the lock trying out each of the combinations team members came up with while a line of other teams were forced to wait. The activities on the ship were fun. The mini-golf course was challenging with lots of obstacles -- probably the best course I've seen on a ship. The aqua racer water slide (with the freefall drop) was really cool. It also was never crowded, probably because you had to weigh at least 100 pounds to ride it, thus ruling out many of the little kids. The other water slides were very boring to me. But, they must have been enjoyable to others since the lines were always very long. The ropes course was excellent, better than the one at our local mall. It was closed most of the sea days, which was very disappointing. The game shows were pretty standard fare for a cruise ship, but still entertaining. There was an issue of the Atrium not being large enough to accommodate all the passengers who wanted to see the shows. You had to arrive 30 minutes early to have a place to sit. I wasn't willing to do this (especially for a show that's only going to last 15 - 25 minutes) so I ended up standing. Or, if you don't mind sitting on the floor, there was always room up front (which my daughter always did, along with the other teenagers). I've been to Bermuda before. But, the beaches are extremely nice. The high temperatures where in the upper 60's. I did a lot of snorkeling (at Elbow Beach and several beaches within the Cooper's Island Nature Preserve on St. George) and it was much better than the last time I went. One day, we took the Ferry to Hamilton and did the City of Hamilton Walking tour that is led by Ed Christopher, the Town Crier. The tour begins on the steps of City Hall and lasts about 2 hours. I would highly recommend taking this free tour. It was very interesting and informative. The guide seems to know all the locals and many had very intriguing back stories, e.g., we met a boxer who earned a gold medal in the Olympics. After the tour, we took a bus to Elbow Beach. There were less than 20 people on the whole beach and I was the only one snorkeling -- most people consider the water too cold to swim in this time of year. But, it was perfect for me. The second day in Bermuda, we went parasailing. Actually, only my daughter flew -- I've done it before and am not a huge fan of being so high up. She considered this to be the highlight of her vacation. I highly recommend booking through KS Watersports (6 Dockyard Terrace). You book your tour through the Island Tour Centre, which is just a few minutes walk from where the ship docks. Although advance reservations are strongly suggested, we always wait until the day we want to go in order to make sure the weather is good (and have had no trouble getting a spot on the boat). That afternoon, we took the "Caves and Waves" tour. Typically, we book our excursions through independent tour operators. But, this time we booked through NCL because there wasn't much of a price difference and you do end up going quite a long ways from the Royal Dockyard. I loved this excursion. The visit to the caves was a bit "touristy" for my tastes, but the afternoon at the Cooper's Island Nature Preserve was spectacular. Most guests stayed close to the bar/restaurant and first beach they dropped us off at. But, I would strongly encourage you to be more adventurous. There is a neat walking trail that must pass at least 10 other beaches. So, if you walk far enough, you should be able to have an entire beach to yourself. My daughter loved climbing around on the rocks and I loved the snorkeling. There were lots of nooks and crannies to explore around the rocky outcroppings and mini-islands. Also, our tour guides were extremely nice and provided an informative narration of various spots in Bermuda as we took the hour-long bus ride back from St. George to the Royal Dockyard. Disembarkation was the worst part of the cruise. There needs to be more organization. You weren't told where to wait and thus people congregated on the steps and hallways (even though we were told not to). It would be helpful to have more specifics about where the line begins. Instead, it was a huge mess. Furthermore, you can't rely on the announcements since nothing was said when departures began. Even though there were color-coded tags to denote your time of disembarkation, staff did not check passengers and thus everyone just tried to get off at the same time. And, I overheard the staff telling their superiors not to announce disembarkation had started since it was already too crowded at the gangway. Lack of information (or enforcement of policies) could be the primary source of the excessive congestion. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We wanted to see Bermuda, and spend more than one day in port - this cruise fit the bill. Overall, a very good cruise, but there is room for improvement. First, the big positives: 1 - Balcony room was very nice - good bed, largest ... Read More
We wanted to see Bermuda, and spend more than one day in port - this cruise fit the bill. Overall, a very good cruise, but there is room for improvement. First, the big positives: 1 - Balcony room was very nice - good bed, largest shower (by comparison to other ships) we've seen, and a super room steward (friendly and helpful). 2 - Great cruise director and staff - personable and a lot of fun - no shortage of talent there. 3 - Good variety of entertainment options. 4 - Overall, a clean, nice ship. Room for improvement: 1 - While food was good, overall it was not as good as food we have had on Royal Caribbean and Princess. Less variety at the buffets than on Royal Caribbean and Princess. 2 - Maybe it was because it was a busy holiday week (Easter), but the bartenders were not as cheerful as we have seen on other ships. Also, while rest of crew was friendly, we received less "Good Morning" greetings than we have on other ships. While it might seem like a small, minor point, I think it definitely reflects on the overall friendliness of the entire crew. 3 - Deck 6 Atrium is a great place for the interactive shows and contests onboard with its neat high-definition wall screen. However, the overall size was too small for many of the events conducted there, leading to overcrowding and people fighting to get seats there, with the crowd overflowing into the Guest Services area. The situation could have been improved by moving the popular comedic adult games shows to a larger venue like the theater with more room. The games were a lot of fun, but the overcrowding hampered many from truly enjoying the shows. I have discussed the good, the bad, and now the UGLY: 1 - Only one truly poor thing, but unfortunately it was the last impression we had. The disembarking procedure was a horrible joke!! Two hours in a line winding from bow to stern, through halls and mazes in the main dining room, then on to the Customs maze (which only took about 15-20 minutes. No organization whatsoever, and a lot of angry passengers stuck forever between decks on staircases. Although groups of passengers were assigned departure times, none were observed or controlled by the ship personnel. Plus, handling your own bags made things move even slower. NCL - Take some lessons from Royal Caribbean - they have disembarking down to a science. When cruising on the Allure of the Seas, with 6,300 passengers, I was able to disembark, including Customs, in 15 minutes. With 4,000 on this NCL ship, it took another member of our group of friends over 3 hours - a total joke that quickly soured a lot of us to NCL. Again, overall a very good cruise, but if NCL could get its disembarking procedure totally changed, and tweak the few things I mentioned, it could have been a 5 star cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Getting on the ship was so easy! The port was very easy to mangle. When we first boarded my first impretion was... this cruise is going to be AMAZING! It is so beautiful and the technology aboard is miraculous. First lets start with the ... Read More
Getting on the ship was so easy! The port was very easy to mangle. When we first boarded my first impretion was... this cruise is going to be AMAZING! It is so beautiful and the technology aboard is miraculous. First lets start with the Bionic Bar. It is a robot bar and it is so cool. The robots actually look so cool and it is very sanitary as well. The virtual balcony cabins are something cool too. Our Cabin was an inside but we had the virtual balcony. Our ports were Bermuda and Boston and I reccomend going. It is very cool. The service was ehhhhhhh. The people who were nice were spectacular and the people who were not, well they were just people you did not talk too. The food was good except they ony changed 2 things on the menu every night. The entertainment was okay. I was not crazy over the show ideas but the people in them were amazing. The best show was Spectra's Cabaret. It is so cool! I would travel on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Picked the Anthem for a second go around after falling in love with the ship last year. We are a family of 4 with 13 and 15 y.o. boys who were off for Spring Break. We are Emerald status folks with prime designation in Casino. Tons of ... Read More
Picked the Anthem for a second go around after falling in love with the ship last year. We are a family of 4 with 13 and 15 y.o. boys who were off for Spring Break. We are Emerald status folks with prime designation in Casino. Tons of families on this one. I'm told there were 1,400 kids on this packed cruise of just over 4,000 folks. We stayed on adjoining balcony cabins on the 12th deck forward. Good place to be. Ship is still one of my favorites even if this cruise wasn't quite as good as our previous Anthem cruise. Lines/reservations for some of the cooler amenities - North Star, bumper cars, etc. pretty much meant you were going to have to dedicate more time than you'd like for a simple activity. Dining was excellent as usual. Jamie's Italian is an absolute must and well worth the $40 freight. We learned a nice little hack on this trip that I'm hesitant to share, but here goes. The Solarium bistro on deck 14 forward is the place to go for breakfast, and you should try it for dinner as well. Light crowds, far fewer kids (though they are allowed despite this being in the Solarium), and freshly made food set it far above the harried Windjammer - which is actually pretty decent considering the crowds it has to deal with. Now for the weird. A confluence of events conspired to make the itinerary get a little jacked up. Mind you, the crew and officers did the best they could to deal with the issues we encountered. First off, we had a medical emergency on the first night that caused the Captain to turn the ship around and return to Bayonne in the middle of the night. I hear the patient made it to the hospital in one piece for emergency angioplasty. Fingers crossed she came out of things alright. Bottom line, our arrival in Bermuda was a few hours late...worth it for a saved life. Next up, bad weather. The last 2 or 3 days had the Captain watching a storm approaching NJ. To stay out of the worst of it, we stayed ahead of things leaving Boston early and getting back to NJ early on Friday evening rather than late at night. In addition, they had to cancel a couple of shows, one of which we had wanted to see, but hey, what are you gonna do? Safety first. Big impact to us was a lost night in the casino, but we took it in stride. It helped that both the Mrs. and I managed to each hit a jackpot in the last hour the casino was able to operate...Nice one. Getting on and off were a breeze. We were out of our cabin and in an Uber within 30 minutes. RCI and Bayonne have that figured out. Bottom line - the Anthem is great. Just take it easy and try to be patient. You're on vacation. Relax and have a good time and don't whine about every little injustice and inconvenience (you know who you are, people) Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I was looking for a quick last-minute mini-break, so this 4 day cruise was ideal and priced right for me, a single traveler from the New York area. One day at sea - one day in Bermuda - one day at sea. There was some confusion about ... Read More
I was looking for a quick last-minute mini-break, so this 4 day cruise was ideal and priced right for me, a single traveler from the New York area. One day at sea - one day in Bermuda - one day at sea. There was some confusion about boarding times by those who booked early, but that didn't affect me, since I booked a few days prior to sailing. I walked onto the ship with no wait. However, this was likely due to the fact that the ship had no passengers to disembark upon arrival. Norwegian sells hard from the moment you get on board. Nearly everything is at an upgrade and added fee. If that makes you feel ill-at-ease, this is not the line for you. The staff is courteous and efficient, but due to the large numbers, there's always one or two still training and inexperienced. The Getaway is a very large ship and when fully booked (4,000 passengers) it can be chaotic - especially during the 'muster' / boat drill. The ship also attracts many non-English speaking people which can sometimes cause confusion and conflict due to the lack of communication possible. This is a fact, not a problem. Patience is needed at all times on a big ship like this. For first timers to Bermuda, I highly recommend the bus tour of the full island. It takes five hours and visits St. George and Hamilton and everything in between. Guides / drivers are knowledgeable, friendly, and funny. I wish it were not raining nearly the whole time, but this is in mother nature's hands, so we made the best of it. My only complaint is that since it was an atypical trip length, there were all sorts of omissions and errors, especially in the Freestyle Daily newsletter. A happy mistake was that they charged us too much for port taxes and refunded them in onboard credit. The ship docked in Bermuda and it was 45 minutes before the first announcement about the arrival - and that was to inform us that the ship was not yet cleared. When a ship arrives - an announcement of status should be made immediately to avoid confusion. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Warning: Long Review We are a group of 4 sisters (56 - 62) and since the port was two hours away and the cruise only 4 nights it was perfect. Embarkation was easy and quick after waiting in line to drop off luggage and then self park. ... Read More
Warning: Long Review We are a group of 4 sisters (56 - 62) and since the port was two hours away and the cruise only 4 nights it was perfect. Embarkation was easy and quick after waiting in line to drop off luggage and then self park. Three of us were fully checked in and they just scanned our passport. My one sister had to do the birth certificate route and have her picture taken but it really didn't slow us down. Security moved along fairly well and we were on board before 12. Room keys were outside the stateroom when we got there. Rooms were ready at 1:00 pm as we were told. The ship itself was the biggest we had ever been on, and did take us a bit to find our way around-mostly getting turned around in the Promenade area. There are interactive deck plans but not necessarily right at the elevators and I had trouble finding what I needed. They had a program introducing you to the Anthem but it was when the ship was pulling out (late start-like 45 min.) Muster drill: we were there for almost an hour. They said they were waiting for people to board? And it was pretty worthless, but at least it was inside and we had seats. Even though it was cold, it was worth heading outside after the drill to see the NYC skyline and the ship going under the Verrazzano Bridge Cabin: We had a guarantee balcony, which ended up in a really good location (forward port side and not far from the steps). We needed the walk to the eating areas to make up for all the great food we had. And it was straight up to the Solarium/Inside Pool, and straight down to the theater. The room was a nice size although with the sofa bed pulled our it was quite crowded. The room steward left it out, but I suppose we could have requested he put it away each day. I was the only one who slept well on the sofa bed. We took turns each night. There was enough room for us all to store our things, but a longer cruise-I don't know. Would have had to do separate cabins. Entertainment/Royal IQ App: We had prebooked the shows, but I immediately logged onto the Royal IQ app and made reservations for two of us for iFly and all four of us for North Star. The app was easy enough to use, but certainly could have had more features. No hours for eating area, pools, etc. So you can't really do without the paper Compass. We each had a separate credit card, and while it showed the individual charges there was only one total. It is only wifi enabled for the app, but my iPhone kept trying to access wifi for all my wifi enabled apps which I think drained my battery faster. (Phone set to airplane mode and wifi on). We prepaid for one device internet package, which we thought we would share, as you can log off one device and use another. However, with iPhones, we were able to text message without using the internet package. Dining: We had early seating and ate in the Grand three out of four nights. We all thought the food was mostly good, occasionally great. Service was great. But no restroom outside 3rd floor dining rooms. Have to go into Casino or up to 4th floor. Windjammer for breakfast--we found the way back less crowded and kept us from returning frequently to the buffet. There is limited outside seating there but it was too cold.There is a not crowded made to order omelet and crepe station for breakfast, gluten free for lunch. Breakfast in the main dining room on disembarkation day was good and fast service. We also ate lunch one day in Cafe 270 and one day in the Solarium. A nice change from the Windjammer. Service was friendly and mostly good. Sometimes they would be around with drinks, cinnamon rolls, etc, and sometimes you wouldn't see anyone. The three shows were mixed for us. Spectra's Caberet the technology and different choreography were great, but the music was repetitious. We Will Rock You was a great production, but we had trouble with the story.. You have to read the screen in the beginning and we were just settling into our seats. The Gift also had great singers and production but we had trouble telling who was who. The theater may be beautiful, but most of the aisles have exits on only one side--and you don't know that until you climb past people and find a plastic wall or other blockage. I have a little claustrophobia and had to leave before The Gift started, and luckily found a seat in the back. Despite being a short cruise, the theater was never full. Maybe because many of the seats are blocked by poles. And maybe because you can't get to many of the seats without climbing over a whole long row of people. We loved the North Star, iFly and the Bumper Cars. North Star and iFly were filled so it is best to book as soon as you get on board if you were not able to prebook. Very easy on the app.Two of my sisters did the dance/exercise classes and I was really surprised how few people were there. We were told there were 4300 people on board (can hold up to 4900) but it rarely felt crowded. Ports/Excursions: We were in port (Bermuda) from 9-3:30 so three of us elected to tour the Dockyard, while my birding sister had hired a guide. However, we should have gone with her--she got to see the whole island and did little birding but heard lots of history and ecology stuff. (although she was a little late getting back and got yelled at-but she said there had to be a 100 people behind her) Most of the places were not open when we got off the ship (Did open later) and wasn't clear when they would open. And the beach was closed for the season--this was a problem probably only for this cruise as it was December. But cruise staff should have known. There is a courtesy shuttle which takes you around the dockyard so if you have trouble walking--it helped me out. Disembarkation: We had a 7:30 time, and decided to try the dining room. We were finished right around 7:30 and by the time we went to the bathroom and started for our waiting area our number was called. The line was really long but moved fast. However, our luggage was at the opposite end of the terminal building, we had just waited in one long line, and there was a long customs line we were expected to walk all the way back to. Luckily there are porters there who will take your baggage and expedite your way through customs. Well worth the $20 tip we gave him. So in that respect disembarkation went as well as could be expected with that many people. I would like to go back to Bermuda and I guess I would like to take my husband to experience the Anthem, but for me, once was enough for all the activities that we did do. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise first for the price, and we wanted time to explore New York for a couple days before Bermuda. The ship is beautiful and has some amazing activities. IFly and Northstar were definitely highlights. The shows were ... Read More
We chose this cruise first for the price, and we wanted time to explore New York for a couple days before Bermuda. The ship is beautiful and has some amazing activities. IFly and Northstar were definitely highlights. The shows were big productions, but after the 3rd one, the themes got a bit heavy and to some degree, a little apocalyptic. The machines are taking over seemed to be a common thread. Don't get me wrong, the technology was impressive and the talent was outstanding. I was just looking for something to feed my vacation escapism a bit more. Bermuda was short, but wonderful. We had a fantastic time and look forward to going back in the future. Drawbacks were: The beds. They were awful. Of all the cruises we've taken, these were the worst. It felt like you were sleeping on a sheet of plywood. My Time dining. I know many people like this option, but we didn't. We always enjoyed getting to know our shipmates at dinner and have made many friends we still stay in touch with after many years. Also dinner has become just another Windjammer with all the tshirts, sweatshirts and jeans every evening. We still enjoyed our trip very much, it's just different now I guess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My overall review of the trip was great. Good was sub par and few bartender didn’t seem like they like there job. Entertainment was good. Adventure ocean for kids was ok, from our 4yr old daughters story. The elevator was pretty slow and ... Read More
My overall review of the trip was great. Good was sub par and few bartender didn’t seem like they like there job. Entertainment was good. Adventure ocean for kids was ok, from our 4yr old daughters story. The elevator was pretty slow and busy. The pool was awesome, well at least the indoor once. The casino was nice and decent size but the slots wasn’t loose enough, but good thing I happened to hit the jackpot on the Quick hit slot machine of $1500... Our overall experience was great. Met some wonderful new friends along the way and did a bar crawl. Buffet restaurant could use more flavor on their food. Dinner at specialty restaurants was good. Our room steward was also very attentive to our needs. I like the robotic bartender. Overall our trip was good and we would recommend the Anthem of the seas to our family and friends! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was an exciting cruise for us. First time leaving from a northern port, Cape Liberty, NJ. First time on Anthem of the Seas. First time going to Bermuda. We cruised November 10th thru November 17th. I picked this week due to ... Read More
This was an exciting cruise for us. First time leaving from a northern port, Cape Liberty, NJ. First time on Anthem of the Seas. First time going to Bermuda. We cruised November 10th thru November 17th. I picked this week due to wanting 2.5 days in Bermuda. I knew going in the weather might be a little questionable. We drove into port. Pretty nice easy drive other that 8 hours of rain. Parking at port was quick and easy. We entered Terminal and walked right up to someone holding a tablet and checked in. Nice and easy. They used the pics we had uploaded from home. We went and sat in holding area. Right around 11 AM they started the boarding process. We were on the ship by 11:15. Right away we went to one of the Kiosk and made reservations for IFly and North Star. Then it was time to head to the buffet. The buffet was very hectic, which is the normal for embarkation day. I just grabbed first thing I came to and was happy with it. They started making announcements that the cabins were ready at 12:45. The doors to the halls were not open yet. I think this was a ploy to get people to leave the Windjammer to clear tables for other passengers needing a place to sit. Rooms did open up at 1. Our cabin was 6270. Some of these rooms on deck 6 are marked as obstructed. Was not sure how much our view would be obstructed. Was not bad. Will post some pics. Was nuisance having Jamie's outdoor seating below us. We did have to make sure drapes closed good when dressing. Our cabin was very nice. Plenty of storage. Loved the decor. Shower awesome. Floors did need a good cleaning. Not sure was vacuumed before we boarded. Our room steward had also just boarded the ship so not his fault. Leaving NJ/NY was very windy and pretty cold. We stayed out just until we went under the bridge then hurried back inside. The 2nd day was pretty cold and windy as well. Plenty of pool chairs available. Solarium was the busy spot and hard to find a seat. We really enjoyed the ship. Lots of neat things to do. We rode bumper cars several times. (There were only little over 500 Kids on our sailing, I could see there needing to be reservation times if full. Hate to spend so much of your time waiting in lines). We did North Star twice. I loved the IFly. Great experience. Loved the Shows, The Gift and We will Rock you. The Cabarret was little different. Our show was cut short do to rough seas. The guest entertainment was all wonderful and loved the house band, Switched On. Amazing talent. The parties were in too small of a venue. Also thought the Beatlemanics needed to be in bigger venue. The ship showed a couple 3D movies, but mainly on port days in the afternoon. I wish on day 2 and day 6 and 7 that these would have been offered. Would have been a little something extra to do since not great days to be out by the pool. Bermuda was stunning. Loved our days there. We rented mopeds and toured on our own. So many beautiful spots. Will definitely plan another trip, but probably go just a few weeks earlier in season when just a tad bit warmer. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had a wonderful time on the Gem! We’ve met new friends along the way also the ship has a friendly crew. The Gem seemed like it was lacking crewmen. Service was somewhat subpar in some cases. Service at Cagneys on our second specialty ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on the Gem! We’ve met new friends along the way also the ship has a friendly crew. The Gem seemed like it was lacking crewmen. Service was somewhat subpar in some cases. Service at Cagneys on our second specialty reservation was awful. Any ways we had a great time on her. I was not impressed with the casino staff, I had requested my points to be transferred from the other ships but only one was forwarded. Gem is a beautiful ship! I’m not sure if I wanna sail on her again. It’s a maybe or maybe not... Gem had a great refurbishment. I love Osheehans it’s my go to bar lol! I’m not sure why the bar stops serving alcoholic beverages at 2am. Osheehans service could can be on a slow side during lunchtime, and around the wee hours. I would suggest the Gem to my friends and family... Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This is my fourth cruise on this lady, Carnival Ecstasy, she is in good shape for an old gal! EMBARKMENT: My wife and I drove down from North Carolina and utilized the new cruise port parking arrangement. We used to park in an old ... Read More
This is my fourth cruise on this lady, Carnival Ecstasy, she is in good shape for an old gal! EMBARKMENT: My wife and I drove down from North Carolina and utilized the new cruise port parking arrangement. We used to park in an old warehouse and take buses after you dropped off the luggage at the parking lot. Now you drive in, they take your luggage and your park in the open air parking lot and take the shuttle to the cruise terminal. It appeared to be a little faster. The bottleneck at the terminal remained the same, long lines that are slow. You do get onto the ship in about an hour or so. ON BOARD: Your room key is now at your cabin's mail slot next to the cabin door, so when you get on board if you want a drink you have to show your boarding pass and give your cabin/stateroom number, the new system is a little faster, but not much. You head to the buffet on deck 10 and have the "standard" buffet food, good but not great. You get into your cabin by 1:30pm, you room key card and onboard charge card is in the mail slot next to the cabin door. INTERIOR: Rivera (4th deck) R63 is an interior cabin, with a queen bed, two twins pushed together. as my wife and I are CPAPer's we had the stateroom steward, Wayan, split the beds for us. He provided excellent service through out our cruise. Standard interior cabin, a little dated but functional. ENTERTAINMENT: On the ship, the entertainment is by cruise staff, all production shows, a couple were good, the cruise director, Deon, is a high energy and very personable. The Punchliner Comedy Club had a very good comedian, Jody White, we only saw her PG show and it was an entertaining 45 minutes. COST of DRINKS: They are getting expensive $6.50 for bottled beer and $9 and up for cocktails, similar to RCCL. PORTS OF CALL: My wife had not been to Bermuda in about 25 years, back in "those days" we did the snorkeling, glass bottom boat, the pink sand beaches and explored the island, now we sort of just walk around the port area. I will comment later about Bermuda it is a beautiful island to visit. MAIN DINING ROOM: We were "your time dining" from 5:45 pm to 9:30 pm, and there are long lines to get into the restaurant and your are given the buzzer that goes off when your table is ready, no matter what time we went, early or about 7:30 pm, there was about a half hour wait time. We dining in the Wind Star main dining room and fortunately got the same section at our request, with the team head waiter Iman and the team waiter Sentana, with a third rotating team assistant waiter at tables 138 to 146. They provided excellent service throughout the cruise. THE MENU: Standard fare, we had prime rib, two nights, beef tenderloin one night, and the menu varied on the beef and pork, with spare ribs, beef short ribs, along with the pasta, vegetarian, and seafood selection. There are two formal nights on the seven day cruise in which there are table cloths on the tables. The appetizers are standard, and they only have escargot (my favorite) one night of the cruise. Overall, the food was very good but not great. Now the "salt shakers" in the main dining room are the little cylinder ceramic shakers with three little holes onto and THEY ALWAYS CLOG!!! Five of the seven nights we had to have our waiter bring us salt shakers that were not clogged. Carnival get new salt shakers! If that was my main complaint, what am I complaining about. MEET and MINGLE gathering: I would have to rate it a poor compared to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. There were about 25 Cruise Critic M and M folks, and they coffee, juice, water and danish. On RCCL's meet and mingle, they had bottles of wine and champagne, hats, a backpack and the coveted pens and markers. THE CASINO: My wife and I were here on the Carnival Players Club "bounce back" casino offer, it you gamble "enough", and I do, you get a offer of an interior cabin for $100 per person, plus port charges and on board credit of $100 each, so essentially, its a "free cruise" excluding the port charges and taxes. Unfortunately the casino is small, and as I play three card poker (only two tables) and WPT heads up hold 'em (only one) I had limited table time as this cruise was also a Carnival players club "Premier" players club cruise and people were sitting at the table to play before the casino opened. There was a mix of old and new slot machines, mostly older vintage, and I did not hear of any really big slot machine wins announced. DEBARKMENT: Under an hour we went from the gathering place, Sapphire Lounge to pick up our luggage, through customs onto the shuttle bus and to our car in under one hour. Amazingly fast. OVERALL IMPRESSION: It was a nice cruise on an older ship, with standard accommodations, very good but not great food in the MDR that provided excellent service,that visited the beautiful island of Bermuda. There few kids on board as it is the school season, a good age group mix. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Best time of year for my time off. Embarking ship in Cape Liberty was very efficient and took very little time. Bermuda is an excellent island and safe to get around. Transportation on the island is very user friendly. Would have ... Read More
Best time of year for my time off. Embarking ship in Cape Liberty was very efficient and took very little time. Bermuda is an excellent island and safe to get around. Transportation on the island is very user friendly. Would have preferred Caribbean islands but were not available for the time I needed. Music on the ship was excellent along with the headliner shows. All the main dining room meals were great. Disembarkation in Boston was poor to put it mildly. It appeared that customs had extra officers onboard which caused a delay. Always put safety first but some communication would have helped. Boston is a nice city but the short amount of time allocated doesn't do it justice. I would have preferred more time in Bermuda and not gone to Boston. Disembarkation in Cape Liberty ran pretty smoothly as the lines kept moving. Traffic leaving the port area was a breeze. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Went on this cruise with a friend and found it to be a better cruise than some others I had been on. Entertainment - especially "Choir of Men" was fantastic. Food available in quiet settings which was a good alternative to ... Read More
Went on this cruise with a friend and found it to be a better cruise than some others I had been on. Entertainment - especially "Choir of Men" was fantastic. Food available in quiet settings which was a good alternative to waiting in line. Pedicure was good but sales pitch for weight loss product throughout pedicure was horrible experience. (Found out later I could have requested she didn't do that, but shoudn't have to ask). Cabin very spacious and Casino had great lively staff. Stay in Bermuda was cut short, but wasn't much we missed out on except possibly a day trip to Hamilton. Went on RUM cruise and had a blast - beautiful sunset, delicious rum! Highly recommend that as a side trip. Did a "Cruise Critic" tour of rooms and LOVED the Haven suites! Definitely recommend the Haven for those who can swing them! Our family ocean view room was more than ample though! This vessel much larger than last Norwegian vessel which tells you how long it's been since I went on Norwegian! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Overall fantastic. The stateroom was spacious and clean. Great balcony view. Housekeeping was always efficient and very accommodating. Food great in all the restaurants and buffet. Friendly, attentive staff. Very knowledgeable about ... Read More
Overall fantastic. The stateroom was spacious and clean. Great balcony view. Housekeeping was always efficient and very accommodating. Food great in all the restaurants and buffet. Friendly, attentive staff. Very knowledgeable about gluten allergy and precautions needed to ensure safe dining. We at at Moderno, Bayamo, Cagney's, Teppanyaki, Le Bistro, O'Sheehans, Food Republic, Tappas Bar, Manhatten Room, Taste and Savor, as well as the Garden Cafe. Had drinks in most of the bars and lounges. The various activities in the atrium we're fun and we'll attended. Our bartendrs at the Mojito tasting we're knowledgeable and entertaining. Choir of Men show was phenomenal. We loved that so much we saw it twice. Our only disappointment was the Brat Pack show. It was raunchy and offensive and we had to leave. Sadly, good talent wasted with disgusting material. The 80s movies and songs could have been crafted into an entertaining show without people stripping disn to their underwear and making crude references to religions. Read Less
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
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
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
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
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 October 2018

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