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1,504 Bermuda Cruise Reviews

A little background: we are a married couple in our 30s with no children. We've sailed on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas in May 2004 on an Eastern Caribbean itinerary (via Port Canaveral) in a 10th deck inside cabin. We ... Read More
A little background: we are a married couple in our 30s with no children. We've sailed on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas in May 2004 on an Eastern Caribbean itinerary (via Port Canaveral) in a 10th deck inside cabin. We were already familiar with the size, restaurants, layout, and public rooms on the Mariner, and so were familiar with those in Voyager. Embarkation out of Bayonne was at our expectations: crowded, but smooth, quickly moving, with exceptionally friendly and competent staff. We arrived at the parking lot around 12:30 p.m., and were in our balcony room by 1:45 p.m.. We carried on all our luggage, so I cannot comment on luggage delivery. The room was clean with some wear. There was a hardened stain on the carpet between the bed and the balcony door. On the first sea day, we woke up to find our balcony drenched with large puddles, and not available for the room service breakfast we ordered. The weather was fine and clear, we could only surmise that crew had been washing the outside of the ship, but we could have been wrong. We noted the drink of the day, and I ordered one at the pool bar when I went to meet some fellow Cruise Critics on the afternoon of day one. The bartender charged full price, and was apparently not aware of the special. The service was friendly, and the drinks were generous. Restaurants: Portofino: We made a 7 p.m. reservation at Portofino for the first night. First night diners were given a complimentary glass of champagne each and a numbered artwork print per table. All aspects of our experience at Portofino were outstanding: service, food, friendliness, atmosphere. If you don't mind spending the extra $20 (we also left an extra tip) per person, I recommend it. Windjammer was as expected: a satisfactory variety of mediocre to good food. Compared to the buffet on Mariner, drink and bus service was slower. The Voyager does not feature Jade, the Asian-inspired portion of the buffet. We missed it. Some items were outstanding: I enjoyed the flan very much. The waffles were delicious, but ran out quickly. We ate lunch here four days, dinner and breakfast once each. Main dining room: On the second night, we were invited to sit at the table of some fellow Cruise Critics whose tablemates (4 of them) were absent. We thought the menu selections lacked variety, but looked appetizing. Our dinners were very good, though my husband's steak was overdone. We had been assigned to a table for 10, 8 of which were all older members of the same family. In light of that, we opted to dine again with our CC friends on the third night. The menu reflected the same lack of inspiration, but our dinners were good, not excellent. The following night was "Italian" night, which we skipped because we had enjoyed superb Italian food in Portofino already. The fifth night's menu held nothing of interest for us (turkey with stuffing, steak, in our opinion, boring selections). Johnny Rockets: Our Crown and Anchor booklets held coupons to waive the $3.95/person cover charge, so we ate dinner here on the fifth night. The service here was slow, rude, and extremely confused. There were only 3 parties seated here at the time we dined. The only thing the waiters seemed to have correct was the dance routine, which lost its charm on diners who could see their burgers cooling on the counter. They had run out of onion rings by day two. Our order was incorrect, and we were charged for the cover after we left the restaurant, which took two visits and a phone call to Customer Relations to have this deducted correctly. I do not recommend Johnny Rockets on the Voyager. I did not visit the one on the Mariner, but I have been to other locations on land. Common areas: generally clean, attractive, and well-maintained. The aquarium bar was a lovely place to read or have a quiet conversation. The Vault was visually interesting, and seemed to be quite popular. The DJ was marginally better than the one on the Mariner, but of course, this is totally subjective. All the hot tubs seemed to be closed at once more often than not. The famous men's room outside the Windjammer was reported to have a foul odor of human fluid waste during the entire cruise. Activities: Since the weather on most days was too cool to sit on deck, we found ourselves with little to do on sea days. We wished there had been more of an offering in the screening room, especially in the evenings. There was not more than one thing planned at any given time. Shows: generally entertaining. We have been spoiled by the outstanding shows at Walt Disney World resorts. That being said, the ice show was truly spectacular, considering the small space that the performers have to work in. Debarkation: As slow as expected, however, when debarking the Mariner last year, we were allowed to wait in any of the lounges. On the Voyager, pax were required to wait in the rain and cold on the pool deck, or in Studio B or the main theater, which was made more uncomfortable because of the large number of physically ill passengers who had succumbed to the stomach virus outbreak. These two common areas were not closed despite the mess in several places on the floors, probably contributing to the widespread outbreak. When comparing the Voyager to the Mariner, the Mariner places several magnitudes of quality above the Voyager, in our opinion. Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
Embarkation -- Traffic at the pier was tied up - We had taken a limo in (we are from Long Island) and opted to get out at 50th St and 12th Av- We just had to walk across the street and take the elevator up to the ship. Since we were there ... Read More
Embarkation -- Traffic at the pier was tied up - We had taken a limo in (we are from Long Island) and opted to get out at 50th St and 12th Av- We just had to walk across the street and take the elevator up to the ship. Since we were there before noon, getting on was a breeze. No lines- we were in our cabin (and ready for lunch) within minutes. We went to the Seven Seas restaurant for lunch- which is where we took all our meals onboard. Food quality there is good, better than the Dawn, especially the quality of the baked goods. Service is good in the Seven Seas except if it gets crowded we noticed things get dicey. We looked at the buffet in the Yacht Club a few times, there was nothing there we would consider eating. Tea was offered each afternoon- Cookies especially were good- Cabin was fair- It clearly is showing some wear- and those who are bothered by small things such as a slightly worn tub-should be aware it is NOT perfection. We had a "mini-suite" which was really spacious- Nice sitting area with a "bay" type window which offered an excellent view- ( all the windows on the ship could stand a good cleaning- both in and out)- We each had a closet complete with a set of drawers- Very ample storage was given in the bathroom as well. The bathroom is a smaller version of what you are likely to have at home. It was fine. The room steward we had wasn't very good. He would either show up at 9AM or 130 PM- It wasn't predictable. He also came to turn down the bed in the evening. One day he didn't leave us two sets of towels - we had to ask for the second set. Other people we spoke with said their attendant came three times a day and "slipped in" when they weren't in the cabin. I guess it is the luck of the draw. We didn't take any shore excursions since I learned from this site how easy it is to get around Bermuda- Coupled with the fact the ship moved three times it was easy to cover everything we wanted to do. We had EXCELLENT weather, which also helped. I did use the "dine ashore" vouchers. We ate at the Carriage House in St George- they had no "special" menu- the food was excellent. Make sure you inquire about pricing before you order if it isn't listed on the menu--The production shows on the ship were not of top quality, but given with the number of people they had to work with they did a good job. Steve Van Zandt was the comedian, he was VERY good- Sharkbait ( juggling comedy act) appeared- I liked them better at their second appearance. Elvie Rose was the featured singer, she was very good- All the "featured" performers appeared along with Simon, the cruise director, in the "Liars Club" - it was hilarious. Bar service was good- Drinks were ample and good. The casino was small- OK but didn't inspire me to stay and play. Getting off the ship was a snap- We did the "express" route and were called at 8:30AM- We were off in minutes and home by 10 AM. I would recommend the "express route" if you can carry all your luggage off yourself. I enjoyed the cruise- After all the bad reviews I saw here I was a bit concerned- It turned out great- and, as I said, it isn't perfection- but it still is very enjoyable- and I would say good value for your money. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
By way of introduction to this review here are some personal details. We are a married middle class couple in our late 40's who have traveled to most areas of Canada and the US at one time or another. We have 3 sons that range from 15 ... Read More
By way of introduction to this review here are some personal details. We are a married middle class couple in our late 40's who have traveled to most areas of Canada and the US at one time or another. We have 3 sons that range from 15 yrs to 22 yrs. We normally eat at chain restaurants and stay at 3 or 4 star chain hotels. The New York departure allowed an easy one day drive from home east of Toronto and saved on airfare. This vacation was special as we are celebrating our 25th anniversary later this year and this was one special way to celebrate. After much research and consultation, we chose this ship because of its destination, port of departure, and itinerary. We also considered the Empress of the Seas but is was booked before we were ready to commit and the NCL Majesty but the rooms were too small and we preferred the itinerary of the Crown. We cruised in June due to vacation time constraints. However, May or June are excellent months because the weather is usually calm that time of year as opposed to August to October. The passengers were a good mix of young and old. The kids program had 150 registered and there were several families that I noticed which included the grandparents as well as the kids. Most of the couples in our age bracket were travelling with their children. The embarkation on June 20th was much slower than it should have been due to the security check point only having one X-ray machine and one metal detector. This was not the direct fault of NCL but caused a negative review of the process. Also the NY passenger terminal was suffering from high traffic load with the combined arriving traffic from both the Dawn and Crown as well as the departing traffic from both ships. We chose to park first and then take our bags for check-in. This was a minor mistake because there is no elevator to the parking level and the escalators were not working that day. A sign warned that baggage was not allowed on the escalator but we had no choice and did it anyway. The porters basically demanded a tip even though the sign indicated it was optional. I had no problem with the tip but the aggressive attitude was interesting. In the end out 4 bags arrived in the room one at a time over about 4 hours after sailing. The room was category C on deck 5, Laguna deck. It was quite spacious at 165 sq ft and had the added advantage of a deep soaker tub / shower combo in the bathroom. The storage was more than adequate for all of our clothes etc. The bed was a combined two singles into a queen which was ok but with no box spring was a little hard. Given the apparent popularity of the Bermuda cruises, we booked this cruise / room 2 months in advance. However this ship did not sell out early. Two weeks before sailing, NCL put superior rooms ( mini-suites) on sale on their web site at significantly less than what we paid two months in advance for this room. Despite a couple of attempts by the travel agent, and ourselves we could not get even a sniff of a reasonable upgrade. We were offered one category for an additional charge even though three categories higher were being sold for as much as $400 PP less than what we paid. Of course on the day of sailing the ship was sold out ( surprise, surprise) so no luck there either. It seems that my expectations were much to high and that I should never have expected NCL to treat the advance purchasers with any respect in this situation. A significant positive was the room steward who was excellent. I think he made up the room at least 3 times a day. Never a shortage of clean towels or fresh ice in the bucket. Towels were provided for shore beach activities. The public rooms were what we expected given what we had read about the ship. One concern we had was smoking and how it would affect our use of the public areas but for the most part it was not a problem. The pool as expected was on the small side and the deck areas for the sun seekers was crowded. Prime space disappeared quickly on Monday morning. The hot tubs were much too small and provided seating for about 5 or 6 in each at most. The were also 2 decks above the pool which made any transition from pool to tubs or the reverse less than ideal. We had very little trouble getting around, the elevators were no problem and there was little crowding except for the chocoholic buffet which produced a line up from one end of the ship to the other for about an hour. On this occasion, a waiter with a tray of goodies was sent down the line so that the wait was more enjoyable. All other areas seemed to meet the demand with ease. The food ranged from good to excellent. We had no complaints about the food, in fact, were very happy. The freestyle seating at the Seven Seas was just like being at home and visiting a local restaurant. First come first seated. They expected groups to show up together before being seated. For the buffet it did not matter. We would have liked to have had a better selection of shell fish such as shrimp and scallops but aside from the lobster one night at the Seven Seas there were cold shrimp on the buffet. Late night food was available via room service or at the casino. The buffet at the Yacht Club had the expected food selections of various salads, cold cuts, cheeses, breads, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, fish, and desserts. Buffet breakfast had selections such as cereals, breads, fresh cut fruits, scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, toast, fried potatoes, pancakes, waffles, several juices, coffee, tea. Fresh made eggs (ie over easy etc), and other fresh hot choices were available at a nearby grill. The Seven Seas restaurant had full menu choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We only dined at the Seven Seas for dinner and were very impressed with the quality of the food and service. Of the other restaurants we sampled the Cafe Italia which was an outside buffet / BBQ on deck 10, and the Pasta cafe on deck 11. We did not try either Chopsticks or Le Bistro. Anyone that complains about the desserts has a serious sweet tooth problem. Even if the ice cream selection was limited, there were so many choices that a lack of self control would have significant health consequences. My complaint is with the availability of non-alcoholic drinks, in particular, juices and ice water during the day. I do not choose to drink coffee or tea. My choices are water or juices. The water was supplied in cups that would hold about 2 or 3 ounces after the ice was dumped in. Juices were at additional cost except for breakfast time. I eventually caved and went for a " soda card" ( Coke , Diet Coke, Sprite ) only. That decision meant a steady diet of Coke for the week. I had dumped the Coke habit about 3 months before but was forced to conform to the pay to drink routine that they seemed to want. I could get a reasonable quantity of ice water if I wanted to go back to the stateroom each time and take it from the tap. During meals, water and iced tea were easily available but again in small cups. Still no juices during lunch or dinner. It seems that my expectations were again much to high and that I should give my head a shake to clear the naïve thoughts that NCL would keep me hydrated with non alcoholic beverages as well as well fed. The entertainment at the Stardust Lounge ranged from adequate to excellent. The typical song and dance routines are not my first choice of entertainment so I will skip over them. There was a solo female singer that we enjoyed as well as a juggling comedy duo and a comedian that we really enjoyed. He performed two nights in a row and produced very clean family comedy. No swearing or blue innuendo which was unexpected and very refreshing. The disembarkation process went well. We cleared customs and immigration with little delay. We also took advantage of the express process and took our own luggage off with us. That allowed us to be in our car and leaving NY before 9 AM for the drive home. The car was in one piece and from what I could see there did not appear to be any that had been bothered while we were away. The parking is guarded and only open when the ships are in port. Thankfully the Dawn did not arrive until 08:30 so they did not add to the traffic congestion for us. We would probably cruise NCL again and the Crown again but would likely wait longer before booking. Our expectations would be somewhat lower and could easily lead to us trying another line next time. It seems that the travel agent attempted to provide a $25 on-board credit which has so far failed to materialize. We would definitely cruise to Bermuda again. The earlier the better.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
Just back from the Carnival Legend 4/23/04 through 4/29/04. Warning: This review is long and even though it sounds a bit hostile, I had a great time. There were 9 of us total (4 adults 4 teens, 1 nine year old) in 3 Category 8 H with ... Read More
Just back from the Carnival Legend 4/23/04 through 4/29/04. Warning: This review is long and even though it sounds a bit hostile, I had a great time. There were 9 of us total (4 adults 4 teens, 1 nine year old) in 3 Category 8 H with balconies on the Panorama Deck. We drove to NYC, and it took no more than 6 hours from NH. The port was very easy to find. We dropped off all bags and dad went to park on the roof next door. Gave the bags to a porter (long shore man) easy. First impression the ship is lovely, clean and bright against the skyline of New York. Embarkation was easy once the line started to move. They seem to have streamlined the process with port workers going up and down the line checking documentation. When you get to the counter you give your docs and get your sign and sail card at the same time. One less line to wait in, works for me. We boarded the Legend. She is quite gaudy. The dEcor is Greco- Roman meets Las Vegas. It is an acquired taste to be sure. But hell, I've seen worse and the cabins were less ugly, almost identical to the other Spirit class ships in shades of peach and pink. This was a 6 night cruise to Bermuda and Newport RI. As always we stopped and got our photo taken. There are many opportunities to have your photo taken and we never pass on one! (As I tell my family "we're only getting older...SMILE!") We know Carnival hopes we will go to the photo gallery and buy them and of course we usually do! We found our cabins easily and were very pleased. The rooms were clean and the decks were adequate. Cabin layout was very good with plenty of closet space. I am happy to say that the TV programming while still limited has improved somewhat. We did not go on the cruise to watch TV. My kids rented movies a couple of nights. After viewing our cabin we were off to the Unicorn Cafe for the welcome aboard buffet, yes! This was terrific. The space itself is nice and seating very comfortable sofa style looking out at the ocean. The food was excellent and the variety impressive. We went to the bar and bought fountain-soda cards. The kids had a good time on this Ship. They enjoyed the disco and the piano bar, 24 hour pizzeria (excellent) and frozen yogurt, hot tubs, pools, waterslide, gym, comedy shows and room service. The nine year old loved Camp Carnival. There is plenty of public space on this Ship. Together my family enjoyed the Follies Lounge, bingo, dance classes, game shows, Piano Bar and Karaoke. Having just been on the Spirit in February I was hoping to find Arts and Craft Classes and Giant Chess on Lido Deck, but NO. I did not go to many shows (same old) The adult comedy show were hilarious. The song and dance Shows were good. The Guest Talent Show was held the night we stayed over in Bermuda, we did not see it live but watched it on TV, it was dreadful with 90% glorified karaoke. On the other hand the children's talent show was great! The karaoke in the firebird lounge was a blast and the girl who runs it (I forget her name) is very entertaining and really gets the crowd going. There was a guest named Tawana (?) who was outstanding. On to dining... We did not go to the Supper Club but everyone told us it was excellent. We had late seating at Truffles. We had to change our table the first night because they put us in the annex at a small round table that could barely fit 8 and there were nine of us, so we went to the upper level and had 2 tables across from each other. This was OK but I missed eating with the kids. It is really the only mandatory activity we share. Having dinner together gives us a chance to touch base and plan the evening or next day. Anyway our servers were terrific (Paval and Kamal). The food was very good and the service was outstanding. The dining room was lovely. The Maitre d' was good and the waiters sang and danced, it was really fun. My husband and I enjoyed the Casino and Gym. The Casino was large, the slots very tight but the money lasted longer at the tables (3 card poker, Caribbean stud and Let it Ride) We went to the past cruisers and captain's parties, free drinks but no sweets. The Cruise Director was young and OK. One of the Bingo Staff (Owen) was rude to my kids on the dock in Bermuda, he pulled the Euro-snob thing with his friends, pointing and snickering, quite arrogant. Now, I know he was not on the ship and not on the clock but ill behavior denotes ignorance and in my opinion there are more qualified and courteous individuals for his job. After that incident my kids refused to buy Bingo cards from him. (f-him is what they said, and NO, not the "F" word, just f-him.) Itinerary: The worst yet. Bermuda was a waste of time. We got off the ship and had to wait an hour in line to go through customs. We were docked at Kings wharf, which is an overpriced tourist trap. It is clean and safe but felt like a military installation. The taxis are small and could only fit 6 so we walked around. The odd thing was the tourist ladies were actually discouraging us from going anywhere, they said things like "you can take a bus but you may not make it back, or you can take the ferry but everything is closed" It was late Sunday afternoon and Carnival should not have wasted a port day. We got back on board and around 9pm 4 of us took a cab to Hamilton (capitol) for a bit of bar hopping and casino action. The Beach (bar) has maybe 12 video slots and was a total dive, the Palace was much nicer and the barkeep Roseanne was fun and friendly. The kids hit (you can drink at 18) the Blue Juice but the drinks were very expensive. Everything else was closed. It was fun but I would not return. The next day another 45 min wait through customs and 30 min for a cab for the 6 of us. We got a driver with a nice van, he was an older gentleman (72) named "Valen" he was soft spoken and took us sightseeing. We went to a church with cemetery, resorts, beach, Gibbs lighthouse, a nice pharmacy, liquor store and Paraquet Restaurant. So we got to see the beauty of Bermuda. The standard of living is very high, the streets are clean and you get the feeling that the residents do not need the hassle of the cruise tourism. I would prefer to go to a port where the locals are happy to have your business and motivated to sell you something. Another odd thing, not one person could tell me the name of the Governor. The day before arriving in Newport every single passenger had to be seen by customs. Another waste or precious vacation time and to make matters worse, we hit some wind and waves and the ship was really rocking, 2 of the customs officials were carrying barf bags. The little paper bags were left all over the ship. So here are all these people in line with kids and strollers, wheelchairs, etc and getting nauseous. Me and my crew took a seat in the Atlantis Lounge just outside of the Customs room and waited for the end of the line. Music: An increasingly important aspect of cruising for my family is the variety and quality of the music on board. The Jazz at the Atlantis Lounge was excellent. I do not understand why this area is the designated smoker's area, it is an open space and you have to walk through it after dinner, yuk. In the Casino the entertainer was a great guitar player, however he should not sing. By the 4th day someone took mercy and turned down his mike. In the Atrium the easy listening music was much better and in Sachmo's the live music was the best dance/contemporary. The Piano bar was also a lot of fun. On the Lido deck was the steel drum band with Caribbean / Reggae music and I did not hear them enough for an opinion. The Carnival Legend Orchestra in Follies was great. Newport, RI: We had to tender off the Legend. Again you had to wait quite a while. But Newport is nice. It is a typical New England seaport with a rich maritime history and picturesque architecture. (church steeples and mansions) For a $1.25 you could grab a trolley. We did some shopping and walked around. The best part of Newport was the visitor's center and YES there was a Dunkin Donuts! I do not like to take tenders so I would not take a cruise to Newport, however, I will return there by car, I liked it. The one constant about this cruise was waiting. We had to wait for everything. At the Gym much of the equipment was being used by the cruise staff, most folks waiting in line at customs and on the tenders were cruise staff. The line for the Gala Buffet was over 2 hours long. Our phones in the cabin did not work properly and the messages were still on the machines from previous cruisers. And try as I might, I could not get it fixed. This was a once a year trip to Bermuda for Carnival, a way to fill 6 nights before beginning their new itinerary to St. Thomas so I think we got the short end of the stick. This is our 8th cruise so I have a pretty good idea of what to expect and I'm sure those new to cruising would not find anything wanting, but we noticed. It was the little things like, less silverware at the dinner table, no arts and craft classes, same old tired stage routines, lack luster lido parties, lame excursion offerings, half the arcade machines not working, constantly being held in "Q" when calling the purser's desk or room service, poor planning (most popular shows when no one is on board) and incorrect info in the capers. It's those little things that we take for granted that were just missing. Among our party we had folks who have never cruised before and they were extremely happy with their first cruise vacation. They could not get over the food, shows and service. They compared it to the "gilded age." I was so happy for them, I would never point just how much better it could have been. Oh yes, our room steward was terrific, his name was Andy and he took great care of us. In fact all the waiters and waitresses on the lido, Casino and lounges were exceptional. Mitch in the Gym was great, he was knowledgeable, patient and just a nice kid. The gym and spa are lovely spaces. An unexpected bonus on this cruise was the Red Sox sweeping the Yankees. I think the A-Rod debacle has reversed the curse. Anyway, it is a fun-spirited rivalry in April that becomes quite ugly in October. Till next time, Enjoy this glorious day. Read Less
Sail Date April 2004

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