1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Bermuda Cruises
  4. Bermuda Cruise Reviews

6,129 Bermuda Cruise Reviews

Having cruised on 43 previous cruises these are my impressions of the Magica. Carnival Conquest ship. Poor embarkation requiring passengers to wait in another long line to register credit cards. Ship felt crowded with lines and clogged ... Read More
Having cruised on 43 previous cruises these are my impressions of the Magica. Carnival Conquest ship. Poor embarkation requiring passengers to wait in another long line to register credit cards. Ship felt crowded with lines and clogged hallways. Gaming tables often full, which is inconvenient for passengers and lost revenue for ship. Have been on other sister ships (Liberty, Glory, and Valor) did not have same problem. Open seating lunch we waited 40 minutes for our first course. Found lunches to be better at upstairs buffet. Dinner service was good but food quality was poor to average with soups being the highlight of dinner. I find it hard to comprehend how this ship's dining cuisine is accepted in Europe. Experienced excellent service in the wine bar with Piano and Violin entertainment. Gym has great workout machines and never had a problem waiting. We were only in Bermuda 24 hours, since this is the reason most passengers book this cruise I would suggest a longer stay in Hamilton and a shorter or elimination of Nassau. Debarkation offered no early walk off for passengers who carry own luggage. We did not leave parking lot until 11:00 am. We probably would only cruise Costa again if price was low and itinerary outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date April 2000
This was my second cruise ever (first was also on Carnival-the Sensation) and both my boyfriend and grandmother's first. My parents are avid cruisers and Bermuda is a favorite port of call for them-it was their honeymoon destination. ... Read More
This was my second cruise ever (first was also on Carnival-the Sensation) and both my boyfriend and grandmother's first. My parents are avid cruisers and Bermuda is a favorite port of call for them-it was their honeymoon destination. Embarkation: We booked through a airline-employees travel agency (my father is employed at an airline) so we received our confirmation information and such a little differently. As a result, my boyfriend and I were unable to book a room together, however, during embarkation and check-in, the staff happily switched our rooms around so we were able to be registered in the same room (We were going to stay together anyways, but at least this way the information would match up.) It was fast, polite, and within a matter of a half an hour we were onboard the boat. The Ship: Amazing. I read some reviews before I left, and a couple people mentioned the decor being somewhat cheesy. I thought otherwise, it was new and exciting (so much better than the "outdated" Sensation) and to the person who thought there were one too many urns throughout the ship-Get over it and enjoy your vacation, there are too many fun things to do to even notice such things. When we took our trip, the ship was practically brand new, all the surfaces were impeccable (nothing was ever dirty). My boyfriend and I ran around like little kids, exploring everything from the arcade to the casino (and hitting a few of the really fun bars in between). As far as stability goes, my boyfriend Josh, is not a huge fan of water, and a lot of times he'd forget we were hundreds of miles away from land, the boat seldom rocked. The rooms were more spacious and modern then I could've imagined, it was a hotel room, not a cramped claustrophobic compartment. The Food: So good. My boyfriend is a pretty strict (read: picky-just cheese and junk) vegetarian. A lot of the vegetarian entrees were just too different for his tastes, but our waiter always offered him a pasta choice or something else which made him very happy (and me too :o). The veggie burgers on the ship were amazing as well, it was so nice to get vegetarian fare outdoors on the BBQ. The Destination: Bermuda is possibly the most beautiful place on earth. The ship docked at the Royal Naval Dockyard, which was nice, although their wasn't much to do their besides go to the fort/marketplace and the Frog and the Onion Pub. Anywhere else on the island requires transportation by ferry, taxi or bus. All the buses are air-conditioned and quite comfortable. The ferry stops running out of Hamilton to the RNDockyard at around 9:30 P.M. so Josh and I were forced to make the most out of the few hours we had in Hamilton before taking the ferry back. The ferry ride after a few (6) drinks was pretty rough, albeit, a lot cheaper than taking a taxi. While we were in Bermuda, we all went out to the Bermuda Aquarium/Zoo, which was awesome. The exhibits and animals there were well taken care of and very interesting (especially the Australian Tree Kangaroo). After the aquarium we went to the Swizzle Inn, a MUST for anyone going to Bermuda EVER. My parents told me stories about going to a pub, having their signature 'Bermuda Rum Swizzle' and then writing their names and a passage in the giant logs the restaurant kept from years past. The Swizzle Inn is a giant pub with open-air and indoor seating. The place encourages you to deface it (Josh and I carved our names into the table we were sitting at while our waitress looked on approvingly). There's writing on the walls (and it's not just in the bathroom) so bring a business card (to tack to the ceiling) a marker (to write on the walls) and an appetite (they have amazing pub food). While there my father was able to find the log book from their honeymoon and 5th anniversary trip. I took a page from my parents and copied it "IN Bermuda, In Love, will come back within 10 years, still in love" and Josh and I signed it. We can't wait to return and find our table, our cards and write some more in the logs. In conclusion, this cruise was as close to perfect as I could've wished (without the sun rash I got from sitting out too long :o( If you're lucky enough to sail on the Legend, enter the couples slot tournament, perhaps luck will be on your side as well-Josh and I walked away 500 dollars richer!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2003
The Horizon is a ship that is a rare bird these days a modern small ship that is under 50,000grt. However when she was put into service she was considered a "Mid-size" ship. My how things have changed! Due to her size the ship is ... Read More
The Horizon is a ship that is a rare bird these days a modern small ship that is under 50,000grt. However when she was put into service she was considered a "Mid-size" ship. My how things have changed! Due to her size the ship is very easy to get around and has an easy layout to learn. Three stair towers and seven elevators make it easy to access all parts of the ship. Even from the lowest deck it is only 8 decks to the highest point on the ship, far different from the mega-ships of today. This was our 16th cruise, second on a Celebrity ship and our first on the Horizon. It was also our second cruise to Bermuda, the first being on the Norwegian Majesty in 1999. What follows are some thoughts, discoveries and insights into our cruise and the ship. Port of New York continues to be one of the great places to take a cruise from. The city seems to rise out of the water and is all hustle and bustle. Once onboard there is time to take in the sights and sounds of the Hudson River and the waterfront immediately adjacent. Our cruise departed during the Memorial Day weekend and in NYC that means it was also fleet week. Yes the fleet was in, with ships from the US Navy and five other countries being represented. This is far fewer than in prior years and this was attributed to the Iraq war. The presence of the ships, sailors and visitors had little impact on our ability to access the pier and added some interesting sights to look at. Our cabin, 4096, is situated on the lowest passenger deck (Florida) and was a standard outside that could accommodate 4 people in two lower and two upper berths. We had three adults in our cabin and while a bit tight when everyone needed to dress, it was otherwise more than adequate. The cabin measured 174sqft and had a large picture window. The bathroom was a typical modular affair with a fairly roomy shower. Some rust was noted around the base of the bathroom door and door sill and the tile grout needs to be redone in the shower but overall it was acceptable. The cabin had adequate storage space to accommodate clothes for three people; however, with four in the room it could be tight. Embarkation was virtually a snap. Being a Celebrity Captains Club member, we were able to take advantage of priority check-in allowing us to avoid a line that had to be at least 45 minutes long. Anyone who has sailed previously with Celebrity is eligible for member ship and as of June the previously required $35 fee has been dropped. I highly recommend joining if you have the opportunity or have not already done so. Once the boarding picture was taken it was on to the ship. The ship is entered on deck five at the Horizon Lobby, a two-story area that contains the shore excursion and purser desk as well as the banking office. A hostess offering champagne greeted us at the entrance, well done! There is no atrium. The lobby is finished in blond woods and is wonderfully lit and sets an elegant tone. Unfortunately the waterfall sculpture at the bow end of the lobby was inoperative. A white-gloved crewperson will greet you and guide you to your cabin. This is always a nice touch and sets a proper tone. After our departure we sailed down the Hudson River and a narration highlighting the sites of NYC was presented. A period of silence was observed as we passed ground zero. Passing by the Statue of Liberty and then under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and then out to sea. Our day of departure was cold and windy and once we were in open water the seas were quite rough. I thought the ship rode reasonably well considering the sea state and the adverse conditions, others said they wondered why the ship was rolling and pitching so much. I guess 12' to 16' foot seas can do that! Apparently a goodly number of passengers found themselves suffering from seasickness that did not abate until we arrived in Bermuda 36 hours later. With only a short period of sunshine on our full day at sea the ability of the ship to provide diversions was put to the test, and for the most part she met them well with a bevy of activities. Our first port was supposed to be Saint George but due to high winds the pilot decided that any attempt to make it through the narrow channel into the harbor would be unsafe, so off we went to Hamilton and there we stayed until our departure. A downside for any ship doing the Bermuda run is that once in port virtually everything onboard save the dining rooms and a few bars are required to be shut down. Bermuda regulations even forbid amplified entertainment after a certain hour at night. Consequently passengers are required to mostly fend for themselves and seek entertainment off the ship. Normally this is not a problem but our arrival was on Bermuda Day and virtually the entire island was shut down for the national holiday. A big parade was planned for Hamilton and it was hoped that this would provide some fun. Regretfully heavy rains came and washed away any attempt to enjoy the festivities. The hearty Bermudans stayed and watched as soggy marchers passed by but it was a sad end to what could have been a really fun night. Seeking diversion on the ship relegated us to the Cova Cafe providing light classical music or the Rendez-Vous Lounge with a two-piece ensemble playing contemporary hits. This was the sum total of onboard entertainment while in port. Other simple activities were also scheduled, the best of which was the Newlywed game. Major public rooms include the aforementioned Rendez-Vous Lounge. This lounge is the primary venue for drinks prior to dinner being situated immediately adjacent to the main entrance of the Starlight Restaurant. The Zodiac Club, deck 8 aft, is a nicely laid out nightclub style lounge for music and dancing. It becomes the ship disco after 11pm. The America's Cub Club is a nicely decorated room evoking the feel of a private yacht club. It is located forward on deck 12. The Palladium Show Lounge is a two deck high room that is the venue for the production shows. Sight lines are good from anywhere in the room and the seating is comfortable. Michael's Club is the cigar smoking lounge done up to resemble a very proper and British men's club. A beautiful room it has the distinct aroma of cigars and for non-smokers is a place one would never venture. There is the requisite library and card/game rooms both nicely decorated and well suited to their purpose. A small Martini Bar is tucked into a small corner of deck 7 near the Rendez-Vous Lounge. Shopping includes a souvenir and sundries store, a jewelry store both located on deck 8 and a liquor store and art gallery located on deck 7. Dining is usually a big event aboard any ship and more so on Celebrity. The line takes great pride in the quality of the food served and it certainly did not disappoint. The menu was varied and inventive and everything sampled was sublime. Service was prompt and proper and meals arrived hot. Requests for iced tea and other beverages were filled and after the first night provided without further request. The lido dining area is called the Coral cafe and it offers the typical breakfast items. The lunch menu main dishes are the same in the lido and dining room. In the evening one side of the Coral cafe is turned into an alternative dining area, nice for those who did not wish to get dressed up for dinner. Reservations are required and a two-dollar per person tip is suggested for the waiter. We did not use this feature so I cannot comment on how service or the food was. Other dining alternatives include room service with the full restaurant menu available during dinner hours. Pizza is available and during most of the day hot dogs and hamburgers are also available from the outside grill. While attending the Captains Club cocktail party we had the pleasure of being g invited to dine at the Captains table on the second formal night. Our host was the Hotel Manager. He turned out to be a warm and jovial person, easy to talk with and he kept the table conversation lively and fun. The service was impeccable and if you ever have the chance to have this experience take it! It was certainly the highlight of our cruise. Much has been written about Bermuda so I will not say much except to say that Hamilton is a small cosmopolitan city with all the hustle, bustle, traffic and noise one would expect. One must get away from the city and travel to Saint George, the Dockyard area or the beaches to discover the true Bermuda. When you have done so you find that Bermuda is a simply lovely island with warm and gracious residents that are always willing to talk with you and offer help if needed. Buy the three-day transportation pass ($23) and use the buses and ferries to get around the island. Both are safe and very punctual. The ferries are a great alternative and often they are faster than the buses. Saint George is our favorite spot and we returned to it twice during our stay. Visit any local pub or restaurant and sample the local fare for lunch. The Bermuda fish chowder is a national dish and yummy. Dining ashore is expensive and having lunch is a great way to sample the food without going broke. Being that we have cruised so often the production shows hold little attraction for us and we didn't attend either show. Those who did said the second show was better than the first. Our return to New York was again greeted by rough seas the first night out, however, everything calmed down considerably by the next morning. The weather was cool, overcast and windy making use of the outdoor pool area problematic at best. Odds and ends The deck crew left the lounge chairs and pads out in the rain making them damp to use when the weather permitted. At least the pads should be kept under cover to avoid them getting soaked. The pool lido and sun deck above are carpeted in a light brown Berber style out door carpet. This carpet holds water like a sponge and anything laid on it got soaking wet. Some rust was showing around the pool entry steps and flakes of paint were seen. The pool area looked like it could use a bit of sprucing up. The outside coffee and tea service area was out of service for most of the cruise, apparently suffering some sort of drainage problem. Due to the rough seas the America's Cup Lounge situated above the bridge on deck 12 was hardly used at all while at sea and seemed underutilized while in port. Deck bar service was unobtrusive and the lack of public address announcements was very much appreciated. Several public bathrooms were found to be a bit untidy and one smelled very bad, as if there was a drain problem. Some public bathrooms had cotton hand towels and others did not or the hand towel supply had been used up and not replenished. There was a noticeable lack of fresh flowers around the public areas of the ship and those that were present seemed stale and in need of replacement. Bar servers in the Rendezvous lounge were very good and remembered your room number and name after a visit or two. Summing up Attentive service and pleasant crew, good food and a nice deck plan all make a favorable cruise experience. While not as impressive as the larger and newer ships in the Celebrity fleet, the Horizon exudes a charm all her own. We would certainly not hesitate to cruise the Horizon again, but next time it would be on a Caribbean itinerary. This would allow the ship to strut her stuff in more ways than on the Bermuda run. It would also most likely offer a much more sedate sea to cruise on!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2003
Just returned from our much anticipated Carnival Pride cruise out of NYC.... 7 nights (Departure Day, Day-at-sea, Bermuda, Bermuda, Bermuda, Bermuda, Day-at-sea, Arrive Home) and have terrific things to say about the ship, crew and overall ... Read More
Just returned from our much anticipated Carnival Pride cruise out of NYC.... 7 nights (Departure Day, Day-at-sea, Bermuda, Bermuda, Bermuda, Bermuda, Day-at-sea, Arrive Home) and have terrific things to say about the ship, crew and overall experience. Arriving early at the port in NYC, check in was relatively quick and painless once we figured out where to go. Walking onto the Pride, you are taken back by the beauty of the main lobby with its soaring ceiling (topped by the red-glassed smokestack) and multiple glass elevators. This was like no cruise ship I had ever seen before. Our room wasn't quite ready, so we headed up to the 9th floor Mermaid Grille, where most of the buffets and a la carte eating were to be found the rest of the trip. This dining room, with its multiple food and beverage stations and plentiful seating, was a great place to grab a quick bite or get some pizza (from their 24-hour pizza bar) while lying poolside. SPEAKING OF POOLSIDE-- my husband and I were most pleasantly surprised to find an ADULTS-ONLY pool area on the Pride. The rear deck on the 9th floor has a terrific pool and jacuzzi, ice cream bar and alcohol bar and is off-limits to the under-18 crowd. It was a great option, as a couple traveling without children, to be able to sit at a child-free pool. Security did a great job of 'redirecting' kids away from this area. This seems to be a new idea that Carnival is toying with, as the signs saying Adults Only was a computer print-out and taped to the door. From the crowds on this deck, it seems that its a popular idea! We made it down to our room and were quite pleased with the accommodations. 5th floor, obstructed balcony. I was apprehensive about the 'obstructed' part, but it turned out, as accurately explained by the Carnival rep when I booked this trip, that a lifeboat was in front of the lower part of the balcony. Not a problem at all, visibility-wise and certainly worth the savings. The deck had a small lounge chair, an upright chair and a small table. Great place to fall asleep reading. The room was clean, very spacious (3 closets!) and the bathroom was new and immaculate. Throughout the week, we ordered the FREE! room service and our order always showed up within minutes of hanging up the phone. The cruise director, Michael, and his wife, Jennie were a riot and kept things rolling along. We won 500 bucks playing Bingo the very first night. The shows were entertaining and well-done. A little used area of the ship seemed to be the Ivory Piano Bar. We went there almost every night and sang along with the personable Eric. There's nothing like hearing and singing along to 'Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard! People took turns skimming through his song folder and making requests. What fun! The crew warned passengers about Scootering/Mopeding once we got to Bermuda. Few people seemed to take heed and MANY were bandaged and broken by the time we departed from this lovely island. I also heard a few people complaining that they HAD to pay 60 bucks roundtrip for a cab to the beach. Yes, it costs that much to cab it to the beach, if you CHOOSE to go that way, but a better deal was to buy a 3-day transit pass for 23 bucks and use it for unlimited bus and ferry passage. A 15 minute bus-ride on a clean bus filled with mostly cruisers was a great alternative to that 60 dollar cab ride. Silly people. We snorkeled at Church Bay (the closest beach to the ship, though you can't walk there) and the beach was a bit rocky -- I wore my Teva's in the water when swimming. We took the bus to Horseshoe Beach and walked about 15 minutes down through a number of little isolated beaches and came to an empty beach where my husband and I spend the day riding the waves and snorkeling in virtual isolation. It was WONDERFUL and something I will always remember.(BE WARNED: I used sunscreen all over, but forgot my lips -- ended up with yucky sun poisoning on my lips in the form of lots of crusty old fever blisters--how romantic) The dining staff was adequate in the main dining room. We sat at table 404, upstairs along the railing which was great for viewing people eating downstairs and the nightly dancing done by the wait staff. The service and food was good, though the last night, something strange happened that has me still scratching my head. We saw a few tables below us eating lobster when lobster hadn't been offered on the menu. We asked about it and our waiter laughed and said he would go 'fishing' We thought that meant he would try to find us some. We saw seconds and THIRDS! being served below us and brought it to the attention of our waiter again. He joked about it and we said we weren't joking (in a nice way) and that we really would loooove some lobster. He said Sure, Sure and brought us dessert menus. When asked what I wanted for dessert, I told him lobster and he said, sure, Lobster Ice Cream, ha ha. Well, I'm all for a good laugh, but I really do wish he had pursued the lobster. Even if he wasn't able to track one down for us, I just wish he had come back and said, "I tried, Sorry, we're all out." But, no luck. Since it was the last night, we were going to tip him some extra money as a thank you, but after such craziness, we decided to just stick with the standard tip. David's restaurant was where we dined one night. My husband and I are great fans of Morton's steakhouse and we were hoping the experience would be similar. The atmosphere is lovely and the service extraordinary. Strangely, they were out of 2 of the entree's, though we were there as soon as the restaurant opened that evening. One that they were out of was their signature Crab. The quality of the steak was excellent, though not quite as wonderful as a Mortons. I was particularly impressed by the truffle butter that they offered with the bread. YUM! Having music to dance to throughout dinner was an extra wonderful touch. Without being asked or reminded, they brought us an anniversary cake, which they wrapped up for us to be taken back to our room. A nice treat. The desserts were MUCH better than the desserts in the main dining room. AHHH desserts! I MUST mention one more interesting detail about the desserts. Every night, Carnival offers a "SUGAR-FREE" cake in the dining room and the Mermaid Grille. As someone who abstains from sugar and flour much of the time, I am familiar with "Sugar-Free" desserts and what they do to one's intestinal track. Malitol, Lacitol and other sugar-free sweeteners that bakers use have a tendency to have a 'ahem' laxative effect on most of the population. I warned my husband of this as he dove into his sugar-free banana cake, only to experience this side-effect for himself later that evening. I spoke with the waiter about it, and he had no idea about it. I wonder, over the course of a cruise, how many people find themselves in the bathroom with a tummy-ache and blame it on the ship/food/flu/etc, when its actually these desserts! Read the back of any sugar-free candy that contains the aforementioned substances. It says "May cause laxative effect" Overall, we had a terrific time. I would cruise this ship again ANY time and wish that I could go again next week! Read Less
Sail Date August 2003
i was a little apprehensive about cruising carnival. i had cruised them once before and it was just fine but all the negative reviews i read gave me pause. however, money talks and we got a great deal on the ny sailing of the pride to ... Read More
i was a little apprehensive about cruising carnival. i had cruised them once before and it was just fine but all the negative reviews i read gave me pause. however, money talks and we got a great deal on the ny sailing of the pride to bermuda sooooo off we went..... we arrived at the nyc pier and parked without incident. tipped the longshoreman nicely and kissed our luggage good-bye. we were pier pick up on our docs and there was some confusion here. we filled out forms at a desk inside the terminal and when we passed thru the different points of entry everyone kept looking at these papers we had with ????in their expressions but we made it thru. i later learned that the pick up docs did not get to the pier in time. something about the plane delivering them being late, so carnival must have improvised forms. nonetheless, we breezed thru and were on the ship in no time. carnival planned well and had a slew of employees checking in people. on board the ship: very nice....i'm an artist and having art around me on a vacation is a nice plus...it was a looky, touchy, feely experience for me.. the sculpture, paintings, brasses etc. kept all of my senses busy the whole trip. this may not be everyone's cup of tea but boy i loved it. we checked out our room dropped our bags and started to explore. my dh and i went one way while my two daughters went another. we parked it in the lobby for a bit and imbibed a little while watching the rest of our fellow passengers arrive on board. we than hi-tailed it to the lido deck for something to eat. plenty of food, fair amount of choices and once sated we continued to explore mindful of the time so we could be up on deck to sail past the nyc skyline, miss liberty and the verazanno bridge. what a memory, hubby and i leaning on the railing, the statute of liberty behind us and the clouds just opening up to let streams of light shine down on the water. it made quite a photo... next it was off to dinner. we had late seating and were in a booth for four. our wait team was nice, efficient but did seem rushed the whole trip. food choices were varied. shrimp, steak, vegan etc. the food was good. we tried many apps and the wait staff was accommodating. check out the dancing waiter on the table. his last job must have been at chippendales... i thought we wouldn't find enough to interest us on sea days, but that wasn't the case. i missed many activities. the day just flew by. bermuda: got off the ship a little late. we walked to a small beach that the locals use and tried snorkeling. i wouldn't recommend this. traffic is a nightmare and it was about a 20 min walk. take a bus and go to a beach further away. carnival planned well and had extra busses and ferries available. during our stay we visited st. george, hamilton, tobacco beach, st. catherine beach, the forts at st. catherine, the aquarium and zoo(i had a nice chat with a young man who let us hold some guinea pigs they had at the zoo. apparently someone had let them loose and they were eating and destroying the native vegetation,so the zoo took them in. from the size and weight of these little porkers they must have been sampling every edible plant bermuda had to offer.) we also went to horseshoe bay, church bay and the maritime museum at the dockyards along with shopping and some art galleries. we did a lot of snorkeling. the best was at church bay. the fish were varied and close to the shore. there was this one big guy he was bright blue and black with a big mouth and it seemed everywhere i went he followed. when i got out of the water i was standing on the beach talking to a fellow snorkeler and she commented" did you notice that blue and black fish the one with the big mouth"? uh huh i said. " did you notice that all the other fish left when he arrived?" guess the other fishes didn't want to be on today's menu...ohhh ...i said, at that point i aimed my flippers inland and marched back to the blanket where i parked my generous bottom between my two svelte daughters and started to scan the horizon for my husband who was merrily snorkeling away." we thought you were going snorkeling they asked, to which i replied, i think i'll wait and see how many pieces of your father return before i go back in...for a brief moment i got a skeptical look, than they rolled over to toast the other side.... just kidding everyone!. hubby came back with all his parts and i did research on aquatic life in bermuda. very little harmful to be concerned about. so go and enjoy yourselves. if you do some planning ahead you can fit a lot in. i'll add my two cents about the mopeds...don't! other transportation is readily available and priced fair and its very easy to navigate the island. we had entertainment while we were in port. carnival got around the laws by hiring some bermudian talent and so they could have their own performers while in port. entertainment is a mixed bag. some was very good and some well...lets just say i really hurt for these people they were imho... sooo bad...but to each his own so either i sat there and enjoyed it or left to find something else to do. i love my freedom of choice... some odds and ends: our cabin was nicely appointed with lots of storage. we were notified about the laundry situation ahead of time. our steward did knock on the door a few too many times looking to clean the room. carnival needs a better system for doing this. i guess we could leave the dnd notice on the door but i was just too busy with everything else to do this. imho, carnival needs to control the smoking. it was out of hand on this ship. my suggestion would be large signs defining the smoking areas. those little signs on the tables just too easily get lost. this is a big negative for me. other ships i've cruised on have managed to better enforce their smoking policy. i've written a lengthy letter to the powers that be about this and hope others will do the same. i'll give it time but if carnival doesn't improve on the smoking issue, i'll take myself and my consumer dollars and sail on over to another line who can manage to enforce the smoking policy. we are not pool people so we spent time walking the decks and in the gym. we lucked out with good weather although windy. there were about 500 kids on this sailing. unfortunately, a small contingency of this group were a royal pain in the,,,,,you know the ones i mean they think pushing all the buttons in the elevators is fun and let us not forget the little group next to us in the mermaid that would have put ozzy osbornes vocabulary to shame...my first thought is where are the parents while these little ones are wreaking havoc.. lets see, we're on a ship, maritime law applies,ummmm do they still make you walk the plank for committing a crime (disturbing my peace and that of all the other passengers) just a note here guys before anyone gets their feathers ruffled. i have three of my own love them dearly and would be the first to push them off that plank if they behaved that way. thank you to all those great kids who know how to enjoy themselves and still respect others. all in all we have a good time. i've resolved any reservations i had about carnival so much so that we decided to sail again in september. so to all reading this, go enjoy set your expectations low and this way they'll be lots of room for all the pleasant surprises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2003
As this was our third cruise with Celebrity, we expected the same kind of service and quality of food aboard the other ships.. As usual Celebrity came thru..Now to the hurricane named Fabian..after arriving in Hamilton on tuesday sept 2, ... Read More
As this was our third cruise with Celebrity, we expected the same kind of service and quality of food aboard the other ships.. As usual Celebrity came thru..Now to the hurricane named Fabian..after arriving in Hamilton on tuesday sept 2, everyone on board had heard of the soon to arrive hurricane..I,ve never saw so many people wearing sea sickness patches in my life..funny thing was..we never had rough seas,coming and going..The captain did a wonderful job of leaving bermuda a day early, thursday sept 7th..So, all in all, the only thing we lost was a day in st george..Now to all my fellow cruisers that waited in line for 2-1/2 hours to get thru immigration, well don,t blame Celebrity..They had but 2 people to handle 1450 people..Plus this was the first ship to leave and return out of Phila.. I,m sure they,ll get it right, soon..OK, Bermuda was nice, but I,ll take St. Thomas for beaches that are way more scenic..And of course, far cheaper to buy those goodies..So congrats to Celebrity, there tops in my book.. Read Less
Sail Date September 2003
On a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate this ship overall a "6". This is me and my husbands, fourth cruise (2nd with Carnival). Decor of the ship was beautiful, however, the food was not as good as I would of expected. The food in ... Read More
On a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate this ship overall a "6". This is me and my husbands, fourth cruise (2nd with Carnival). Decor of the ship was beautiful, however, the food was not as good as I would of expected. The food in the Unicorn Cafe (alternate dining) was greasy and not much better than buffets around my own home. The main dining room food for dinner was better, however, I felt rushed to get through the meal. The automatic 15% gratuity on all bar bills is not good. Service you get from the bar staff could of been better. Since the gratuity is automatically added, they have no incentive to go above the call of duty. I prefer to tip on good service. Drink prices overall are way too high. Weather was not real good, of course that was not the fault of Carnival. The shows were terrific, the best part of the whole cruise. Pretty good shopping on the ship. Was not impressed with Bermuda and the Royal Navy Dockyard where we docked. Embarkation from Baltimore was quick and easy, however when we returned it seemed to take forever to get off the ship. Everyone has to go through immigration and customs before anyone can get off. Then you take a bus to a warehouse to retrieve your luggage, then you have to get back on another bus with your luggage to get the to parking to get your car or to another lot if you are getting picked up. This was a pain. Added a lot of stress to the end of my vacation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2003
I did have some negative feelings about my cruise experience BUT NOT against NCL. Norwalk virus broke out on the week before us so they had to delay embarkation in Miami so the Board of health could go through the ship, then there was a ... Read More
I did have some negative feelings about my cruise experience BUT NOT against NCL. Norwalk virus broke out on the week before us so they had to delay embarkation in Miami so the Board of health could go through the ship, then there was a partial power failure...none of which could be controlled by NCL--We had to wait a little, No big deal. My room was large (II Riviera deck), temperature adjustable, clean. Beds were a little old, springs were on their way out. Twin beds were bolted to the floor so you could not push them together. This just meant instead of beating on him, I had to throw a pillow across the room to stop my husbands snoring :). My room steward Glorious was wonderful. He kept our room up, even on the days we only left for meals. Hired nightly "Big show" entertainment need a little help. Juggling act was great. Magic act Ricoshea was Ok. OLD OLD OLD comedians with tired jokes. A singer that blew me away performed a few times. But then Broadway like show acts that needed a lot of help. They performed the acts great but the acts themselves were awful!! Lounge Singers get a standing O. The three man singing group was out of this world. I was watching their schedule and following their act around the ship! The lounges were OK, not much space on this ship to hang out. With three new restaurants put into an old ship, old hang out areas were taken away (did not see anything I wanted to try at the new restaurants so we never even went in any of them). The food was good. I just found I was having a hard time finding food that both my husband and I would eat. Some nights I like everything on the menu and there was nothing he would eat and other nights we swapped-Again not NCL's fault We are so damn picky! COMPLAINT: What I will complain about is food availability. We had an inside room this cruise (anyone who has done this knows how hard it is to judge time) We would wake up at 930 and run to the buffet to get breakfast before it closed at 10. Breakfast was 530-10 Lunch 12-230 and dinner 530-10. NO midnight buffets of any sort! On a 13 day cruise-that is not heard of!!! One day we had a snorkeling excursion scheduled to meet on the docs at 12:15-well lunch is not served until 12 so we did not eat from breakfast to dinner. The only any time food you can get is room service and it takes 45 min. COMPLAINT 2: The tables for 2 are not for 2, the are a table for 4 6 inches away from a table for 2. we like to sit alone so this was not something we enjoyed. COMPLAINT 3: The activities on sea days--WHAT activities?! One day ice carving, veggie carving, food prep show...Bingo-960 people over 60, do you think we got near a bingo game? there was very little to do on sea days and we had~7 of them. Plus: on sea days they had art classes that were a lot of fun! the teacher, though a little unorganized, had great ideas to keep us entertained. Warning to anyone considering a REPOSITIONING CRUISE--Younger aged people are the norm on these cruises. They tend to be older. The group on our ship seemed to be rude, pushy and very aggravating to those of us in our 30's. Activities were planned for an much older crowd so you may get bored at sea. Like I said before I overall enjoyed my first trip with NCL. This ship needa a little work but was a good deal for us. Would I got NCL again? yeah but on a bigger NEWER ship next time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2004
Norwegian Crown Review Bermuda 4/18/04-4/25/04 Hi everyone, My husband and I just returned from our 8th cruise (Norwegian Crown Bermuda 4/18-4/25) . Because we found very little info online prior to our cruise (most of it unfavorable) ... Read More
Norwegian Crown Review Bermuda 4/18/04-4/25/04 Hi everyone, My husband and I just returned from our 8th cruise (Norwegian Crown Bermuda 4/18-4/25) . Because we found very little info online prior to our cruise (most of it unfavorable) I am posting my very 1st cruise review. By way of background we are a professional couple in our mid-late 30s (no kids yet but hopefully soon) and have cruised on multiple ships/lines over past 8 years (NCL Seaward 1996, NCL Dreamward 1997, SS Norway 1999 (our favorite), Disney Magic 2000, Ocean Princess New Years 2000-2001, Celebrity Horizon to Bermuda 2002, Grand Princess 2003. We enjoy cruising because of the relaxation, the open seas, beautiful ports, potential for fine dining, water sports, shopping and just time alone together. I'm not sure which format works best for a review so I've decided to go mainly day by day with the high and low points and then summarize the pros/cons of the main topics such as ship overall, dining, activities etc. Please forgive me if this gets too long as I tend to include details which may not interest everyone. Embarkation Day We arrived at the Port of Philadelphia at about noon and found a line of about 5-6 cars waiting to unload passengers. There were port workers scattered around who seemed confused about how to properly direct traffic & people so after waiting and not moving for about 10 minutes with no end in sight we just got out of the car unloaded ourselves, said goodbye to my parents, found a porter and walked into the terminal. Apparently the port of Phila staff is still figuring out security and efficiency during embarkation/debarkation. Inside the terminal we entered a serpentine line which we soon figured out was the security line with baggage xray/metal detectors. Although 2 sets of equipment were there only one was being used. After getting through security we were directed to a cruise check in line which seemed to be 1st come 1st serve. There did not seem to be any separate lines for Latitudes or Suite passengers (which we were) but even so we only had to wait 5 minutes or so. At check in the usual stuff happens with passports and credit cards and now they also take your security photo and issue your cruise card for onboard stuff. (by the way since the Crown is old you will have actual room keys rather than using the card as your key as on newer ships and they are in your room which is unlocked until you arrive and lock it.) The ship was not quite ready for boarding so we were issued a slip of paper with group #2 on it which was to determine boarding order and then directed to a lounge area with chairs and punch/cookies. We boarded the ship about 20 minutes later. During the waiting period we just looked around at the mix of passengers we would be sailing with. There were many families with kids of all ages (turned out some schools in New England were still on spring break - about 200 kids on cruise), plenty of seniors and some younger professional and middle aged couples. In general it was a considerate crowd however there were some "less traditional" families/groups who were rather loud and obnoxious (coincidentally they also had the most tattoos and pierced body parts) When it was finally time to board it didn't matter what number boarding group you were assigned to people were just going aboard. There was the usual boarding photo taken by the photographers and they were around frequently during the cruise in dining areas, activities , pool area and getting off in port. As always no obligation to buy the photos but they are fun to laugh at during the cruise. If you aren't interested in posing for them just say "no thanks" and walk away. They usually get the message but sometimes you may need to say no more than once. Once on board we easily found our suite 9046 on Riviera deck # 9 (cat AD) it was a large room about 190-200 s.f. with panoramic bay windows (close curtains at night because if you are near the window you can see into next suite because of window angle). There is a sitting area w 4 club chairs and a coffee table. A bowl of fruit and a plant were there along w a bottle of house champagne (pretty good). There is a queen size bed w/ fairly firm mattress and 4 pillows (thin and soft- one was good for me (belly sleeper) but my husband preferred to use 2). Good bedside lighting and nightstands w/ drawers on either side - one of which controlled the volume of on board announcements and optional piped in music channels. Across from bed is a mirrored wall with closets and vanity area w/ drawers and a place to plug in hairdryer etc. Small TV on desktop w usual ship channels (bridge cam, lecture/activity replays) as well as CNN, EPSN and 2 movie channels (mostly old) . Two closets side by side with drawers, shelves and hanging areas (NCL robes there to use). Safe in one closet. There is Pellegrino and Evian for sale in your room ($3) and 1st bottle of Evian complimentary in AD suite. We had purchased the $79 Romance package and highly recommend it. We received a second bottle of champagne w chocolate covered strawberries the first night, dinner for 2 in LeBistro one night w a bottle of house white (the staff sang Let Me Call You Sweetheart and gave us a special cake), 6 x 9 photo of our choice, canapes in our suite one night and a private cake/champagne party one evening w other couples (about5) who purchased the package . All in all we feel it added to our enjoyment and was worth the price. After checking out the room, we looked around the ship. We peeked into the owner's suite which was huge. We made Bistro Reservations for dinner (specialty restaurant reservations can be made at table in lobby up to one day in advance or in a suite concierge can make them- menus are available to look at too). The Bistro cover charge is 1/2 price ($7.50) from 530-630 the first night. Next we had lunch in 7 Seas the main restaurant. We sat at what was called a table for 2 however it was really like they had taken an old table for 6 and moved one part of it about 5 inches to the side. When the dining room was busy it was really like a table for 6 except people at the two tables just 5 inches apart could try to ignore each other if they wanted to since technically they were at separate tables. The maitre 'd seemed to try and fill these tables around the same time so that the waiters could take orders/serve everyone at once (like at a table for 6). It was a little awkward but we just made the best of it and decided to spend as much time as possible in the specialty restaurants where there are real tables for 2. We found the food fairly good throughout the cruise but the service in 7 Seas was (as mentioned by several others on these boards) inconsistent. With Freestyle you don't get to know your waiter/busboy and they don't get to know you. We did run into the occasional waiter who seemed to go the extra mile with a smile and if you find one you like I think you can make a standing dinner reservation for their tables with the maitre d if you want. After the safety drill out on deck , we sailed shortly after 4pm and it was a beautiful day. The scenery along the Delaware River is not that great but we grabbed some cheese, crackers and pate from the buffet and enjoyed a snack with our champagne and picture windows. There is also a fairly good room service menu which includes great snacks with wine such as crudite, cheese plate, fruit plate, finger sandwiches. We met our room steward Glorious Antonio who was wonderful. He was so good he was always in our room only when we were out and never once disturbed us. He brought us robes without being asked and told us about the complimentary 1st bottle of Evian. In addition to the tip we gave him a phone card to call home at end of cruise. Dinner in LeBistro that 1st night was excellent (food & service best of cruise). Filet mignon and sea bass delicious as were soups, salads, appetizers and desserts. By the way espresso/cappuccino are free in all restaurants at dinner. The show lounge (Stardust) has excellent sight lines with usual beverage service. The 1st show was variety w/ intro of cruise staff , Jean Ann Ryan Co dance routine and "Sharkbait" a comedic juggling duo who were entertaining. After the show we checked out the other music acts on board. Super Tonic Boom is a couple from Australia who do pop music for dancing in the Top of the Crown and are quite good. The woman has an excellent voice. Best of Friends is 3 Filipino men on bass/acoustic guitars who played mostly oldies like Beatles, Beach Boys and were quite enjoyable. They were in the Lido bar but there was no dance floor. In addition in the casino lounge there was a piano player (Rich Harris) who played big band oldies and did not seem very friendly or happy with his job. Also at various times throughout the cruise the orchestra played ballroom type music in the Stardust which was pleasant. There was also a good poolside Caribbean band w/ steel drums on most days who really helped put us in a cruising mood. The next day our 1st at sea we felt some rolling of the ship (common on Bermuda trips) and took a bonine which made us a little drowsy but we did not get seasick. Throughout the trip we also noticed some vibrations especially when the ship used the side thrusters to move into/out of port. We had breakfast in 7 Seas which was good (usual sketchy service though). We tried the "Cooking Light" entrees from the magazine which were offered and found them tasty. I am skeptical though as a "Cooking Light" magazine subscriber that they truly stuck to the recipes. For example the whole wheat apple pancakes which my husband had tasted great but definitely were not made with wheat flour. Also at lunch one day I had fish wraps which again were good but clearly fried- oh well who really eats healthy on a cruise anyway! By the way juices are free at breakfast only. Later in the morning we went to the gym which is well equipped with about 8 treadmills, 5 bikes and an elliptical and a rower. There is also a separate universal weightroom and plenty of dumbbells. My husband felt the weightroom was cramped making it difficult for him (he is 6 ft 2in) to do all the exercises comfortably. He also commented on the "casual" exercisers strolling in and out getting in the way and not really doing much- think little old ladies in sandals with handbags trying to use the equipment. I did the aerobics/toning classes throughout the week which were challenging and fun. Kathleen ,the sports afloat director, does an excellent job. In addition to the aerobics she also has other activities during the week such as group walking in the morning, stretching, golf putting and sports trivia. (We are proud to say we won one of the trivia events). If you complete 20 activities during the week you win a sports t shirt which is a nice memento of the trip. After lunch we checked out the pool which had gotten crowded since the weather was good. There were kids in the pool but the water was too cold for us. The cruise staff held various games around the pool. We never had trouble finding a place to sit outside since we preferred shade most of the time but there were times deck chairs on the pool level were scarce. Keep in mind there are also 2 decks above the pool to also sit out including near the hot tubs and outdoor buffet. Plenty of towels were always available as was drink service. On port days you could also check out towels to take to beach as you left the ship. Evian also for sale at those times. Later we previewed the art auction (really more of a sale since they usually had more than one copy of each piece often all bidders got the piece for prices ranging from hundreds to thousands-only for the originals was there true competitive bidding ) and enjoyed some champagne. Next we went to cha cha lessons which were well taught. It was optional formal night and since we don't dress up often (husband works from home) we decided to bring our tux/gown. I would say about 20% of people were truly formal with another 50% wearing semiformal to resort casual and the rest ignoring even the resort casual code which was in place every night ie no shorts, jeans, t-shirts, swimsuits after 530pm. We ate in 7 Seas since it was lobster night and went about 6pm. On arrival it was already 40% full and filled up with a waiting line about 1/2 way through our meal. I recommend going early on formal night. The lobster being served was 3 two ounce slipper lobster tails per platter. We found some to be tasty but others had a mushy texture. Dessert was grand marnier souffle which was good but I think it would be better plain without the chocolate sauce. This was our 1st freestyle experience w NCL. We had done "personal choice" on Princess but had had fixed seatings on our previous NCL cruises. One of our disappointments with this cruise was that we felt a little silly at dinner on formal night in our tux/gown being seated at a "table for 2" where the 4 people sitting 5 inches away were casually dressed. We had thought that a specific restaurant or at least section of 7 Seas would be designated formal. I think maybe the Crown is too small for freestyle ? Does anyone know how other freestyle ships do formal night? The Captain's Welcome Party was after dinner in the Stardust from 745-830. This is why dinner probably filled up early. Photos with captain taken on arrival. Champagne and butlered hors d'oeuvres served. The orchestra played dance music and then officers were introduced. Curiously the party never got very crowded-I think people may have been delayed at dinner. The show "Sing, Sing, Sing " was after the party and was well done. Formal portraits where available during the evening but ours didn't turn out well. The next day we tried the breakfast buffet and found the selection good. Outside the buffet line on the left there is also a belgian waffle station, cut fruit and an omelette station which were good. Coffee/tea also served after buffet line. One thing I forgot to mention, before entering any restaurant or getting back on ship in port there are machines dispensing alcohol based hand sanitizer which the crew insists that you use. I think it is a good idea but I'm not sure if this is a permanent thing or if it was there because on the 2 voyages prior to ours there had been a small outbreak of a GI illness. Anyway, we used them and I didn't hear of anyone getting sick on our trip. We arrived in St George and the weather cleared. We bought a bus/ferry pass at the visitor's center and walked around and shopped. Having been to Bermuda just 2 years earlier we decided to enjoy the empty ship for a while. We sat by the pool and took a quick dip in the cold (salt) water. We went to the Latitudes party which was very well done. There were lots of snacks and drinks available. It was not very well attended but they gave out many door prizes (A nice lady we met at the party won a spa facial and when we ran into her the next day she gave me the gift certificate for it because she did not want to go - I went for my facial on the last sea day and found it very relaxing. All I had to do was leave gratuity). Other door prizes at the Latitiudes party were art work, dinner at le bistro, casino credit etc. We had dinner in the Pasta Cafe which was excellent both in food and service. Ask for waiter Ricardo Santiago-best of cruise. The asst maitre 'd of this restaurant was also quite good and well organized. By the way, the Pasta Cafe menu changes daily and can be reviewed at the reservation table in the lobby. After dinner we danced in Top of Crown and then went to Caribbean party by pool. I ended up being one of 16 women who participated in an event where groups of 4 of us picked some poor guy out of the audience and had to dress him up like Carmen Miranda with stuff from our cabin. Obviously they don't tell you what you have to do before you agree to participate. Our guy was a great sport he came in a close second based on the "applause o meter". I looked for him later in the cruise to buy him a drink but never ran into him. Moral of story-be careful where you sit during Caribbean party and Sock hop for that matter. After the deck party, we had a nightcap in the Crown club (near casino) and went to bed. There was a 20% discount on drinks for Latitudes members from 5-11pm each night there. The next morning we left for Hamilton and there was a pronounced rumbling pulling into port. We had breakfast on deck at the buffet and the tables were vibrating. It was great weather. We took the bus to the zoo/aquarium and had a good time. We found a little cafe nearby for lunch and had great authentic Indian food which we love. We did not use our dine ashore voucher and if you don't use it don't forget to return it to the front desk to have your account credited ($5 pp). Later we just rode the ferry around Hamilton Harbor and enjoyed the great scenery. It is a nice boatride. Last time we were in Bermuda we rented a scooter which was fun but this time we decided to try the bus/ferry system. It is a cheap, safe way around but you spend a lot of time waiting. Next time we will rent a scooter again and hopefully continue our luck with avoiding injuries. Next we did some shopping in Hamilton-lots of upscale stores there- and then headed back to the ship. We went to the special party that came with the romance package and there met 5 other nice couples of varying ages. They served plenty of champagne and had a nice cake for us which we shared with those at the nearby bar. We had dinner at Chopsticks which had great service and an excellent sushi platter but the entrees were not that good. One nice feature our night was the Caribbean band was playing just outside so we had music during dinner. The next day (again great weather) we headed over to King's Wharf where there is some nice shopping and the Maritime museum w Dolphin Quest. We also found a private little beach (just past the construction site where they are preparing the snorkel park) and relaxed there for most of the afternoon. The water was beautiful and there were a lot of nice shells. We had lunch in the Yacht club buffet that day and I do not recommend the hamburgers. Later we relaxed in the hot tubs and by the pool and then went back to our room to enjoy the canapes which had been delivered as part of the romance package. We also had our 2nd dinner in Le Bistro that night as part of the romance package and again it was excellent. We were served the house chardonnay with the package and it was decent. I had the salmon and chocolate fondue for dessert which was spectacular. My husband had the sea bass again and the crepes which were also good. The staff sang to us and also gave us a cake which we couldn't eat so we gave it to our room steward who loved it. We had planned to go to bed early because we had a railway bike tour excursion scheduled the next day but unfortunately when we got back we found out it had been cancelled due to lack of interest. We were disappointed but decided to go for a run in the morning instead. The next morning we ordered room service breakfast which unless you are in a balcony room is continental. Our order was missing some things but no big deal. It was delivered on time and they called about 2 min before to say it was coming-nice touch we thought. We did a 3 mile jog out of the dockyard and back and found some beautiful secluded coves/beaches just outside the dockyard. It is probably about a mile and walkable. It reminded us of the many roadside beaches on Maui. After our jog we sat by the pool and noticed that by about 11am it had really filled up with people. The ship sailed for home around 12 noon and the pool deck was packed by then. We had lunch at the buffet, listened to the steel drums for a while and then got showered for the afternoon. We checked out the art auction again, went to the chocolate buffet around 3pm (worth waiting in line for) and then played sports trivia. We did some shopping on board (very limited selection). We had a late dinner in Pasta Cafe that night and before dinner enjoyed our last bottle of champagne with snacks from room service in our suite. On our last day at sea we had breakfast in 7 Seas and found another good waiter Enrique Pineda. We relaxed most of the day and read since the on board activities were limited that day and not of interest to us. We had some drinks before dinner and then went to 7 Seas since we were too late for reservations in Bistro or Pasta Cafe again. We waited in a small line and when asked decided to dine at a larger table with others that night. We had a wonderful time meeting our table companions and enjoyed our last dinner on board. The chocolate souffle was very good. We went to the final show which was also good and then went to put our luggage out for disembarkation the next morning. The next morning there were several breakfast options - room service (new part of freestyle concept), buffet and 7 Seas. We chose 7 Seas which had a very basic menu that day. We were off the ship at 915am in the first group after express disembarkation (people with flights before 11am who carry all their own luggage off ship). We breezed thru customs and met my parents for our ride home. Much like embarkation the Cruise Philly staff directing traffic seemed confused so we decided to walk a block with our stuff and meet our car away from the crowd at terminal So that was our cruise in a rather large nutshell. All in all we had a great time. After 8 cruises we have learned to enjoy ourselves and not sweat the small stuff because our vacation time is too precious to focus on the negative. In summary we found we enjoyed the more intimate atmosphere of a ship this size (about 1100 passengers). We found it clean and fairly well maintained. There were several ongoing maintenance projects aboard one of which closed a section of the pool/promenade deck but we did not find this to be a problem since the running track was on a higher deck. The Crown had all the basic facilities we enjoy. There were many kids on board which is common on Bermuda trips and the staff tried to enforce rules which some parents ignored such as no one under 16 in fitness center. Our room and cabin steward were excellent. The waitstaff in the specialty restaurants were excellent but only mediocre to fair in the 7 Seas/Yachtclub buffet. The food was good to excellent except Chopstix entrees and burgers on buffet. Drinks seemed reasonably priced compared to land bars/resorts although wine list seemed more overpriced. The front desk staff was pleasant and helpful. The shore excursion/photography staff were not as friendly. The shows were good to excellent. The cruise director Simon seemed enthusiastic. Bermuda as always was beautiful. Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask questions if I left anything out that you want more specifics on. Read Less
Sail Date April 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
This is my first Cruise review of any kind. This latest Cruise was my third with Carnival. I had previously been on the Destiny in 2000 and the Triumph in 2002. I can confidently say this was by far my most disappointing cruise and my last ... Read More
This is my first Cruise review of any kind. This latest Cruise was my third with Carnival. I had previously been on the Destiny in 2000 and the Triumph in 2002. I can confidently say this was by far my most disappointing cruise and my last with Carnival. I will attempt to keep this brief. We were cruising to Bermuda and then Newport, Rhode Island for 6 days out of New York. The embarkation was typical. Took about an hour. As for the Ship it was a typical large Carnival Ship. A lot of wasted space. It really did not seem well built as my Wife and I toured the entire Ship from front to back. Seems like they were rushing when they built it. We found many flaws. The hallways were terrible. You would be constantly running into people as the Hallways were not straight from one end of the Ship to the other but were in sections due to extended Balconies I presume. It was constant right and left hand turns and Boom, running into someone around the corners. You have to be on this Ship to fully appreciate what I'm saying. The Stairs at the front of the Ship were like 6-7 inches in length. This was strange and a major problem for me since I wear size 12 in shoes. It was difficult for me to walk down these Stairs without falling. Also we had some rough seas for one day which was nothing major as compared to a previous Cruise yet this ship was creaking as if we were in a Hurricane. It was amazing to listen to. Here is a brand new Ship which sounded like it was about to break apart do to some semi rough seas. The creaking was so loud in those Hallways it was freaky. The previous Ships did not have this problem. We had a Room with a Balcony. It was ok. The Balcony was not long enough for me to stretch my 6'3" frame out on which was a disappointment. It was clean though. Two twin Beds pushed together. No complaints there really. We had the late seating dinner which we always have. Another problem with this Ship is that they only have one Dining Room. The caused the one Dining Room to be very overcrowded and many people feeling they were out in the boondocks away from any action going on. Previous Ships had two Dining Rooms which worked out better for everyone. We assume they switched to one Dining Room to cut staff. Now for my first major complaint. The Midnight Buffet. Actually they do not even call it a midnight Buffet anymore which is appropriate. It consisted of Pizza/Calzone and some sandwich meat. That's about it. My first Cruise on the Destiny in 2000 the midnight Buffet was something everyone looked forward to. The amount and variety of Food available at that time was mind boggling. Now it is truly a joke. My Wife tells me the midnight Buffet was even better on the Ecstasy in 1997 on her first Cruise with Carnival. People loved it, looked forward to it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Now it is not even worth going to. Again we assume this is cost cutting by Carnival. The service and Food in the dining Room was fine. My second major complaint was the entertainment and activities on board. This was another joke. Our days at sea consisted of bingo and hairy chest competitions. Total waste of time and very boring. The shows at night have really gone down hill from the past. The comedian was pretty good. But the other shows with the dancers are not nearly as good as they were as Carnival has added singers to these shows who leave a lot to be desired. I grade the overall entertainment on board a D and that is being liberal. My Wife was also very disappointed. Now for my main complaint which has caused me to state I will never Cruise with Carnival again. I became sick with severe stomach cramps and diarrhea from Saturday night's 4/24/04 dinner through Sunday morning. My Wife requested something from the infirmary such as Lomotil or Immodium, but was only given Kaopectate. After taking the Kaopectate, it resolved the problem through the day on Sunday so we were able to enjoy our first day in Bermuda. After returning to the ship Sunday night, I again began having more severe stomach cramps and diarrhea. We had not eaten any of the food in Bermuda. Around midnight Sunday, I called the infirmary and stated that I needed Lomotil or Immodium and medication for the abdominal cramps. The nurse was reluctant to give any medication at all, and recommended Kaopectate again. I had to make numerous phone calls to this nurse who finally grudgingly agreed to give my Wife Lomotil, but stated there would be a $50.00 charge for it. She asked if I had a temperature. Since my Wife is a Registered Nurse and certainly can tell if someone has a temperature, I told her I did NOT have a temperature, just the diarrhea and stomach cramps. She then stated it was not a professional diagnosis and I had to go to the infirmary. I was too weak to go, as the infirmary was at the other end of the Ship. The nurse then stated that I would be quarantined to my stateroom and not be allowed to leave the Ship or the stateroom for 24 hours. Medical clearance would only be given on Tuesday morning. I asked the Nurse if I felt better the next morning could I go on shore to Bermuda and was told NO. This caused us to miss our second day in Bermuda which was the main reason we went on this cruise to begin with. All the compensation we received from Carnival was free pay-per view movies for the 24 hours of which the selection was horrible. Who wants to watch movies when you are in Bermuda? We were forced to stay in the stateroom. She also threatened that if I attempted to leave the ship while docked in Bermuda on Monday, I would have my sign and sail card taken away. Mind you the nurse made this judgment without ever seeing me. We feel this was done as retaliation for awakening her from her sleep on Sunday night as she had a major attitude problem through this entire episode. On Tuesday Morning, we went to the infirmary and the nurse asked when I last had the diarrhea and I told the nurse that it had stopped Monday morning. She proceeded to give me medical clearance and said sarcastically "Now you can enjoy the rest of your cruise." This entire episode was outrageous and totally mishandled. Bottom line is I got sick from food served by Carnival and should NOT be penalized for it. I called Carnival's guest relations department and was given the expected excuses. They said they would send me a voucher for $50.00 off my next Carnival Cruise as well as a free excursion. Whoopee. Carnival, you can keep your $50.00 discount and free excursion. You lost not only my Business as well as my Wife's. I will never Cruise with you again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
This is my first Cruise review of any kind. This latest cruise was my third with Carnival. Sailing date was 4/23/2004. I had previously been on the Destiny in 2000 and the Triumph in 2002. I can confidently say this was by far the worst ... Read More
This is my first Cruise review of any kind. This latest cruise was my third with Carnival. Sailing date was 4/23/2004. I had previously been on the Destiny in 2000 and the Triumph in 2002. I can confidently say this was by far the worst cruise I have ever been on and my last with Carnival. I will attempt to keep this brief. We were cruising to Bermuda and then Newport, Rhode Island for 6 days out of New York. The embarkation was typical. Took about an hour. As for the Ship it was a typical large Carnival Ship. A lot of wasted space. It really did not seem well built as my Wife and I toured the entire Ship from front to back. Seems like they were rushing when they built it. We found many flaws. The hallways were terrible. You would be constantly running into people as the Hallways were not straight from one end of the Ship to the other but were in sections due to extended Balconies I presume. It was constant right and left hand turns and Boom, running into someone around the corners. You have to be on this ship to fully appreciate what I'm saying. The stairs at the front of the ship were like 6-7 inches in length. This was strange and a major problem for me since I wear size 12 in shoes. It was difficult for me to walk down these stairs without falling. Also we had some rough seas for one day which was nothing major as compared to a previous Cruise yet this ship was creaking as if we were in a Hurricane. It was amazing to listen to. Here is a brand new Ship which sounded like it was about to break apart do to some semi rough seas. The creaking was so loud in those Hallways it was freaky. The previous Ships did not have this problem. We felt the ship had some major structural problems. It's obvious they rushed building it. We had a Room with a Balcony. It was ok. The Balcony was not long enough for me to stretch my 6'3" frame out on which was a disappointment. It was clean though. Two twin Beds pushed together. No complaints there really. We had the late seating dinner which we always have. Another problem with this Ship is that they only have one Dining Room. The caused the one Dining Room to be very overcrowded and many people feeling they were out in the boondocks away from any action going on. Previous Ships had two Dining Rooms which worked out better for everyone. We assume they switched to one Dining Room to cut staff. Now for my first major complaint. The Midnight Buffet. Actually they do not even call it a midnight Buffet anymore which is appropriate. It consisted of Pizza/Calzone and some sandwich meat. That's about it. My first Cruise on the Destiny in 2000 the midnight Buffet was something everyone looked forward to. The amount and variety of Food available at that time was mind boggling. Now it is truly a joke. My Wife tells me the midnight Buffet was even better on the Ecstasy in 1997 on her first Cruise with Carnival. People loved it, looked forward to it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Now it is not even worth going to. Again we assume this is cost cutting by Carnival. The service and Food in the dining Room was fine. My second major complaint was the entertainment and activities on board. This was another joke. Our days at sea consisted of bingo and hairy chest competitions. Total waste of time and very boring. Also before we left for our cruise we contacted Carnival by phone and were specifically told that there would be only one formal night for dinner. We packed accordingly. When we arrived on the ship we found out there were actually two formal night. To say the least we were very upset by this situation (especially my wife). We spoke to a Woman at the pursers desk only to be met with blank stares. Then to make matters worse they misprinted which nights were formal night in the daily carnival capers pamphlet. Causing half the people to show up to dinner dressed to kill and the other half dressed casual. Why couldn't carnival make a simple announcement over the ships intercom that there was a misprint and correctly inform the customers. Total incompetence. They DO NOT care about their customers. It's also obvious that they have a very low opinion of their customers as we were shocked when we sat at out table for dinner in the formal dining room and found only one fork and one knife along side the plate. YES, FOLKS, you get ONE FORK and ONE KNIFE for the appetizer, dinner and desert. I kid you not. We were stunned by this as on previous Carnival cruises we always had three forks and three knifes at the dinner seating. It seems Carnival feels their customers do not have enough class to mind and they may be right from witnessing the people on board with us. Also the waiter was the worst we ever had. He even tried to avoid giving us the paper place mat with the picture of the Legend the last night of the cruise. We noticed every other table was getting theirs except us We waited and waited knowing he was trying to avoid giving it to us. Finally we had to go over to the Maitre'D and request it. We ended up only getting one when we were suppose to get one for each of us. The shows at night have really gone down hill from the past. The comedian was pretty good. But the other shows with the dancers are not nearly as good as they were as Carnival has added singers to these shows who leave a lot to be desired. I grade the overall entertainment on board a D and that is being liberal. My Wife was also very disappointed. Now for my main complaint which has caused me to state I will never Cruise with Carnival again. I became sick with severe stomach cramps and diarrhea from Saturday night's 4/24/04 dinner through Sunday morning. My Wife requested something from the infirmary such as Lomotil or Immodium, but was only given Kaopectate. After taking the Kaopectate, it resolved the problem through the day on Sunday so we were able to enjoy our first day in Bermuda. After returning to the ship Sunday night, I again began having more severe stomach cramps and diarrhea. We had not eaten any of the food in Bermuda. Around midnight Sunday, I called the infirmary and stated that I needed Lomotil or Immodium and medication for the abdominal cramps. The nurse was reluctant to give any medication at all, and recommended Kaopectate again. I had to make numerous phone calls to this nurse who finally grudgingly agreed to give my Wife Lomotil, but stated there would be a $50.00 charge for it. She asked if I had a temperature. Since my Wife is a Registered Nurse and certainly can tell if someone has a temperature, I told her I did NOT have a temperature, just the diarrhea and stomach cramps. She then stated it was not a professional diagnosis and I had to go to the infirmary. I was too weak to go, as the infirmary was at the other end of the Ship. The nurse then stated that I would be quarantined to my stateroom and not be allowed to leave the Ship or the stateroom for 24 hours. Medical clearance would only be given on Tuesday morning. I asked the Nurse if I felt better the next morning could I go on shore to Bermuda and was told NO. This caused us to miss our second day in Bermuda which was the main reason we went on this cruise to begin with. All the compensation we received from Carnival was free pay-per view movies for the 24 hours of which the selection was horrible. Who wants to watch movies when you are in Bermuda? We were forced to stay in the stateroom. She also threatened that if I attempted to leave the ship while docked in Bermuda on Monday, I would have my sign and sail card taken away. Mind you the nurse made this judgment without ever seeing me. We feel this was done as retaliation for awakening her from her sleep on Sunday night as she had a major attitude problem through this entire episode. On Tuesday Morning, we went to the infirmary and the nurse asked when I last had the diarrhea and I told the nurse that it had stopped Monday morning. She proceeded to give me medical clearance and said sarcastically "Now you can enjoy the rest of your cruise." This entire episode was outrageous and totally mishandled. Bottom line is I got sick from food served by Carnival and should NOT be penalized for it. I called Carnival's guest relations department and was given the expected excuses. They said they would send me a voucher for $50 off my next Carnival Cruise as well as a free excursion. Whoopee. Carnival, you can keep your $50 discount and free excursion. You lost not only my Business as well as my Wife's. I will never cruise with you again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
Leaving out of Philadelphia couldn't have been any easier. We were dropped off at the port entrance and cleared thru and waiting to board in less than 10 minutes and entered the ship around 12:15. Although we didn't use the ... Read More
Leaving out of Philadelphia couldn't have been any easier. We were dropped off at the port entrance and cleared thru and waiting to board in less than 10 minutes and entered the ship around 12:15. Although we didn't use the parking yard, it appeared simple to access and was close to the embarkation area. We knew in advance the Crown was an older and smaller ship, so that was not a surprise. We were quite pleased at the condition it was kept in and actually liked the smaller size, easy to navigate and intimate. The crew was very visual in its upkeep. The Atlantic was terribly uncooperative on the way home (as warned in advance by the captain), and some people paid for the Crown's age and size. We loved the freestyle dining and never waited more than a few minutes to get seated. There was never a wait at the buffet, and the lines moved quickly. All the servers we encountered were efficient and courteous and didn't appear to slack off due to the freestyle gratuity plan. I thought the food was average to above average, and the dessert selection impressive. The buffet dessert table was a daily stop, usually several times a day. Wines seemed to be priced much higher than any other alcohol on board, and a good buy was a beer "helmet" of 6 imported beers for $18.75. Room service had a limited menu was but was delivered rather quickly. Only one minor complaint, the coffee was a bit strong and definitely didn't taste fresh brewed. There are 3 reservation restaurants and only LeBistro has a cover charge of $15 each. Really had no intention of eating there, especially after sampling the food in the free areas,which I considered more than adequate, but we won a dinner for two and I would say it definitely is worth the cover charge. Great food and true tables for 2, unlike the other dining rooms where tables are separated by about an inch. The room steward, Floresco (I probably butchered the spelling), was as pleasant and cheerful as could be. He was always smiling and singing and came in twice a day. Again the advance gratuity didn't affect this guy in the least. We stayed in an inside category JJ room and there was plenty of room and storage for the 2 of us. Didn't see a need to go outside or higher up and never regretted that decision. Only problem was leaving next to last when disembarking, but that was so easy it really didn't matter. You could eat and walk the ship the last day or hang in your room until your color was called to leave. No stress or being herded into a common room to sit around and wait with everyone else. Shopping on board was limited as to the size of the ship, but most of the normal essentials were available. The duty free liquor was priced great, but the guy in charge of the store was quite rude. Three liters of Absolut Vodka and two liters of Vanilla Smirnoff were only $45. Small inventory, they ran out of several popular items early, so shop on the first couple days at sea, there was a long line wrapped outside the store on the way home. Only one pool and small, but it didn't affect our particular cruise. The chair situation got out of hand several times, too many people saving them with towels and I witnessed 2 near fights over this. I got up to get lunch at the hot tub grill location called the Cafe Italia, right next to where we were laying out, and came back in 5 minutes to find my things on the ground and my chaise gone. They even took my dirty towel. Didn't go to any shows, but heard they were good. Bingo was always crowded and the assistant cruise director, Karl (who is from Calgary,Canada and gave my Philadelphia Flyers several shots), and his staff did a good job. Casino was small and limited but there was always room to lose your money. The staff there wasn't very cordial. There were plenty of excursions and I would recommend the helmet diving to anyone, it was a lot of fun. All in all we were thoroughly pleased with our Crown experience. Hand sanitation stands were set up at all restaurant entrances and whenever entering the ship, which is a great idea. We heard of no sickness on board other than from the rough sea, and taking the Crown's recent history into account, don't know if that prevented any outbreaks or not but it certainly didn't hurt. We met and dined with many nice people and since it was a Philly port cruise, most were from the general vicinity. Pricing was just ok, but I understand both Philly and Bermuda port charges are somewhat higher than Caribbean cruises that normally run out of Florida. We did save on airfare and hotel, since I would have left a day early if sailing out of a Florida port. We would not hesitate to travel on the Crown again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
Celebrity's Horizon to Bermuda—May 29 to June 5 This is our second cruise on the Horizon and our third visit to Bermuda. I will probably just focus on what was new to us. The parking lot in Norfolk opens at 11 A.M. Since people ... Read More
Celebrity's Horizon to Bermuda—May 29 to June 5 This is our second cruise on the Horizon and our third visit to Bermuda. I will probably just focus on what was new to us. The parking lot in Norfolk opens at 11 A.M. Since people can board at or before 11, it should open earlier. The cost is $60.00. There were lots of attendants to show us where to park. The porters came right up to the line of cars, unloaded the luggage and transferred it to the buses. The ride to the ship is about 10 minutes. We got in line immediately and were one the ship at about noon. There was no big holding area as we have encountered in Florida. When we embarked we were given a choice of a glass of champagne or a mimosa. We were directed to the casual dining area on the 11th floor where a complete buffet lunch was available. Our rooms were ready for occupancy at 1 P.M. We were in outside rooms (6031 and 6035). Although we were convenient to an elevator, we still did a lot of hoofing it up and down the stairs. I feel that rooms are well laid out and have plenty of storage space, but need refurbishing. The drawers were extremely noisy and the furniture was a bit worn. My packing suggestion is to leave clothes on hangars. There are not enough hangars and it would be easier to just pull the outfits out of the suitcases and hang them up. Interleaf plastic bags between your outfits and they won't wrinkle. We came on the ship recovering from viruses, so we didn't see every show going. The Celebrity singers and dancers are very good. The lead female singer was fabulous. If the party band "Exodus" is still onboard, you are in for a treat. They play at the pool and other occasions. Celebrity has improved their daily activity sheet. It is now on heavier paper with a crease for folding down the center. Be sure to visit the Guest Relations desk if you want to read summaries of news from a couple of sources. Also, there are free copies of the local Bermuda newspaper available. Since we've been to Bermuda before, we took no shore tours. A lot of people were buying bus tickets. These could also be bought on board. The shops on Front Street in Hamilton are fun to browse in. I bought three pairs of gold earrings in Crisson's. The prices seemed reasonable enough! There is a golf pro on board. He gave an interesting clinic. We felt that the food was even better since our last cruise on the Horizon (1 ½ yrs. ago). The desserts, especially chocolate ones, were better. They now have some very good pastries for breakfast. When you go to the Coral Seas (casual restaurant), be sure to check out all of the food stations. In addition to the buffet line, they have an area that has pasta, sandwiches, and nicer salads. Outside is the grill that serves pizza, baked pasta, hamburgers, and hot dogs. Both homemade ice cream and yogurt are available. They are in different locations. Just ask. Celebrity now allows you to charge your tips. You can only do this if you want to give the recommended amounts (or more) to the suggested personnel. Disembarkation was very easy. Apparently Norfolk's disembarkation is the smoothest of all the East coast ports. We were back at the parking lot before 9 A.M. We would have been off sooner except we waited to the time we were given! Any questions? ill be happy to try to answer them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
This is a must do cruise! The ship may be small by todays standards, but it was just as nice as the mega-ships. Stateroom was well laid out and never felt cramped. Room attendants couldn't have been nicer or more attentive. Food = ... Read More
This is a must do cruise! The ship may be small by todays standards, but it was just as nice as the mega-ships. Stateroom was well laid out and never felt cramped. Room attendants couldn't have been nicer or more attentive. Food = Excellent! Better than Carnival & Disney. The waitstaff were superb; funny, knowledgeable & willing to go out of their way to get you anything. And I thought Disney went overboard keeping their ships impeccably spotless, Celebrity is just as selfconscious. Bermuda is, in one word, beautiful! St. George is small enough to just get off the ship & walk around. Check out Tobacco Bay and St. Catherine's Fort, very cool. Hamilton was much larger than I had anticipated, but there are a lot of shops & restaurants along Front Street. Try the catamaran & snorkel cruise excursion on the big pink catamaran, it is a blast! And Joan will tell you everything you've ever wanted to know about Bermuda. Or grab a bus to Horseshoe Bay, it'll cost you $2.50 each way. I only wish that the Palladian Theatre showed movies during the day for those who don't gamble or are too sunburnt to lay out anymore. Otherwise, the Celebrity Horizon is a great way to get to an island paradise all your friends will ooh & aww over. Go ahead, make 'em jealous! Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
Where do I start? Ok, embarkation was breeze but then again we live nearby and did not have to worry about parking. But it went smoothly. We had a wait of about an hour to get to our room and were less than pleased. The ship is in need ... Read More
Where do I start? Ok, embarkation was breeze but then again we live nearby and did not have to worry about parking. But it went smoothly. We had a wait of about an hour to get to our room and were less than pleased. The ship is in need of a facelift! The carpet was worn through in places and the bedding and curtains were biohazards. The room size was fine for us but it smelled. We were spoiled by the Carnival Triumph, if this had been out first cruise it would also have been out last. The food was absolutely terrible with the exception of dessert. Even though the food was awful we were distressed that we couldn't find enough to eat! We were hungry the entire time. The buffet and the grill were closed at dinner leaving only the dining room, alt. dining room, and room service as options. Sometimes you want a burger for dinner! Our assistant waiter was a gem, but our waiter was condescending. The children program was disappointing but they worked with what they had. Our 11 yr old son enjoyed the program but there was ever only one or two children participating and probably 10 on the entire ship. The average age on our ship was about 65....making it feel like an assisted living facility. Especially since many of these guests were "cranky", pushy, and rude to anyone under 45 or with children. The shows were mediocre at best. BUT we loved Bermuda. We did a helmet dive in St George and walked the quaint little town for gifts. We also walked over the the beach there. In Hamilton we took the bus to Horseshoe Bay and the view was so beautiful it made me misty. There we had the best meal of our trip. We each had a $3.00 hot dog that seemed pricey until we bit into it. That was the best hot dog any of us had ever had. We walked up the the light house near there and took in the breathtaking view. Getting around by bus was easy and efficient. We didn't rent a moped but out friends that did had mechanical trouble. We will go back to Bermuda in a heartbeat! But never on the Horizon. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
We just returned form sailing on the Norwegian Crown out of New York on June 6th and wanted to post a detailed review. My wife and I were actually married in the Top of the Crown lounge on the vessel before debarkation so we have some ... Read More
We just returned form sailing on the Norwegian Crown out of New York on June 6th and wanted to post a detailed review. My wife and I were actually married in the Top of the Crown lounge on the vessel before debarkation so we have some additional items to comment on for those considering marrying on the vessel. We were given priority check-in and boarded the vessel at 11:00AM. We were informed that this was the earliest a wedding couple had ever been permitted to board thanks to the re-positioning cruise the week before. Upon our return to New York there was another wedding, but the terminal had become somewhat chaotic due to people departing the vessel, and we learned form talking to people that the wedding couple would likely not be afforded nearly as much time as we were given. We must note, however, that the wedding ceremony and reception were truly wonderful. We had approximately 63 guests at our wedding (22 sailing and the rest not), which made for a little confusion when boarding, but we worked things out and highly recommend considering the Crown for a wedding. The Top of the Crown offered a panoramic view of the city for our guests who all have told us they had a terrific time. Having sailed 4 times before, we noted that the ship, while very clean, looked a little old and the ship was indeed a small vessel. This appealed to us as we were looking for a somewhat intimate setting for our honeymoon, but left limited entertainment opportunities while at sea. Additionally, the majority of the passengers were significantly older than us, and the limited entertainment options primarily geared towards the 50 and older crowd. Additionally, while the seas were fairly calm on our departure out of New York, the ship really had a lot of movement. We thought it was kind of fun, but in our past sailings we had never experienced such rocking and felt it necessary to warn future passengers. We sailed into a storm on our way home and experienced swells of 5-10 meters which really made things interesting, but any ship sailing into those seas would experience movement. It was the obvious movement in calm seas that surprised us though. The cabins were large and roomy. Our steward, Virgilio (AKA Virgil) was the best cabin steward we had ever had and so kind and meticulous. If any one is reading this and sailing in the same corridor as we were you really have something to look forward to with Virgil... he was absolutely wonderful! Also, we had read some negative comments regarding the wait staff prior to sailing. However, we found the staff in the dining rooms to be wonderful... courteous, motivated, and terrific with children. I can't say anything negative about the freestyle cruising experience or the staff in the dining rooms. It all went off without a hitch and we were never unable to get a table for multiple people or had to wait to be seated. My only negative comments on the Crown are: 1) the Information/Reception desk was downright awful! We had ordered bon voyage gifts for wedding guests who sailed and they were all either delivered with incorrect messages or simply not delivered at all. We almost had to beg to get the gifts that we had ordered, and been billed for, delivered when they weren't. We were even accused of spending the casino chips we had pre-purchased for one passenger when they were never delivered. 2) The ship underwent major construction while in port (St. George's, Hamilton, and King's Wharf). We had paid for a bay window, but in St. George's looked out at welders pulling steel panels from the hull and welding new pieces on. We had to close our curtains as the workers hung from the ship all afternoon peering into people's windows. In Hamilton the other side of the ship received the same treatment, and in King's wharf more of the same plus hull painting and touch ups. The problem was all of this construction made for a lot of noise while in port in the cabins and really disappointed us. When we asked the information desk how long these jobs would go on, they either accused of lying about construction noises, said no construction was taking place, or said they needed to check with the bridge never to get back to you. I simply cannot comment enough on how awful their services were. Other passengers informed me of key requests that were never met, lies told about shore excursions, and other unbelievably rude treatment. The amazing thing is that no other department behaved in such a manner. The information desk is not representative of the ship's staff, but prepare yourself for horrible treatment from that desk. Finally, the ports were wonderful. St. George's historical beauty was terrific, and we took the Charles Island Snorkel excursion which was absolutely wonderful and completely worth the money. Hamilton was terrific and a lot of fun. We made the mistake of eating at M.R. Onions with the voucher program which sort of scammed us with high "service charges," but our other friends who used the program had nothing but great experiences with the vouchers, so our recommendation is just to stay away form M.R. Onions. King's wharf glass blowing factory and shopping center were nice, but this is a great day for another excursion or heading to the beaches in the south of the island. King's Wharf simply does not offer that many entertainment options as it is fairly remote and the beaches on the west end pale in comparison to those in the south. All-in-all we were very happy with our cruise. We had a six year-old with us and she had an absolute blast in the kid's crew, which I participated in many many years ago myself so NCL still offers that wonderful option for parents, and it appears only to have gotten better. Each parent was given a beeper for emergencies which was also a nice touch. While the Crown was a wonderful experience, I think my wife and I will sail on a larger vessel next time with more entertainment options which caters to a slightly younger or mixed crowd. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
The 7-day trip from New York to Bermuda started out on a dreary, rainy Sunday morning but picked up from there. This was the maiden voyage for the Crown to Bermuda and it was also our first cruise with a "free style cruising" ... Read More
The 7-day trip from New York to Bermuda started out on a dreary, rainy Sunday morning but picked up from there. This was the maiden voyage for the Crown to Bermuda and it was also our first cruise with a "free style cruising" theme, meaning no assigned seating times or table, no dress code and optional restaurants to choose from. My wife and I found the stateroom larger than expected - 8 x 20 with three sleeping options available with the help of the room stewards who were very helpful. Decks 3-6 seem to have the same size rooms based on an dockside view with only the window size being different. Rooms were very clean, closets large, storage space more than needed and plentiful, a bathroom with shower and good view from a picture window. We ended up giving our room steward extra money at the end even though he would get his portion from the daily surcharge. See below. Free style dining was totally different than any other cruises we have taken. Although we could choose when, where and with whom to dine, our options were limited due to the size of this ship - about 1000 passengers, 500 crew. The ship had only 6 restaurants, with 3 added within the last year by making room from existing facilities. The main dining room (Seven Seas) was large but noisy. Seating for two was promised but turned out to be within 6 inches of the couple in a table for four who made it impolite to ignore them. The three speciality restaurants did have seating for two however. Le Bristro, the French restaurant, which had a $15/PP cover charge filled up quickly each day. Chopsticks and Cafe Pasta, the other two speciality restaurants were okay and had no cover charge. The buffet at the Yacht Club rarely changed from day-to-day and meal-to-meal. Individual service suffered because a $10/PP was tacked onto our bill each day and spread amongst the crew. Gone was the personal attention from the same waiter/waitress for the week who became your friend and knew your needs by day two. In their place was an anonymous wait staff who were a bit slow and impersonal. This was not their fault. I need to say the the $10/PP is good as I feel some passengers stiff the staff under the normal tipping arrangement. At least this way those cheap passengers ante up one way or another. I would rate the food in the main dining room good but not on par with that from a formal dining setting on the popular mass market cruise lines. Fish meals were very good, steaks thin and lamb fatty. Most meals offered 3-4 selections per course. Most noticeable was the lack of passengers asking for second helpings, which made me wonder why. The speciality restaurant menus lacked variety and had the same items each day. The menues were posted daily which allowed for dining choices. Because we did not have assigned seating we met different people each meal, and were fortunate to meet some real nice folks. Going with a group of four or more would solve the problem of dining with strangers. Public rooms were small, as would be expected on a small ship, but most annoying was the tiny size of ships store and it's lack of provisions. Bars and lounges were adequate, drink prices reasonable and service good. Waiters however were non existent on the uppermost sun decks and most passengers seemed to serve themselves from the closest bar which fortunately were always nearby. We were disappointed in the lack of knowledge of the shore excursion staff when our prepaid sunset catamaran cruise was cancelled. They did not know of any "local" options although we found several by just asking when ashore. Miscellaneous; Entertainment was excellent per fellow passengers, although we did not see one show because we were exhausted from shopping, sunning and beaching it every day. Towels for sunning or beach excursions were plentiful. The only pool was small, very deep but cooling. Security was very good, the staff very friendly but the reception staff was awesome and even offered free aspirin and seasick pills for the one short stretch of bad weather. The four elevators worked fantastically. And finally, disembarkation was beautiful as we were able to stay in our rooms until our color coded luggage tag color was called. This method is a lot better than staying in a crowded public area awaiting your turn to leave the ship. Overall I felt "free style cruising" was good for the flexibility and casualness but lacked the personal touch at the dining end. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
My husband, myself, and our 1.5 year old son just came back from a cruise to Bermuda on Celebrity's Horizon. I read a lot of reviews in preparation for travelling with my son. I have taken numerous cruises before, but never with a ... Read More
My husband, myself, and our 1.5 year old son just came back from a cruise to Bermuda on Celebrity's Horizon. I read a lot of reviews in preparation for travelling with my son. I have taken numerous cruises before, but never with a toddler, so I was a bit nervous. The cabin had PLENTY of room. I actually didn't use all the drawers, and I am the type of woman who typically uses all the drawers herself. We drove to Phili, and took our pack n' play in case the crib in the room wasn't acceptable. It was fine and we didn't need ours. My son was on the verge of learning how to climb out of it, as there was a horizontal bar about 1.5 feet above the mattress, but he's not at the climbing stage yet. We brought our own bedding and the cabin steward even made his bed each day, including an extra sheet in case of a night time accident. Our Chicco stroller fit under the bed (as well as his crib) and we could have even brought our suitcases (instead of our standard cruise duffle bags) as there was plenty of room. I did not allow him to go in the pools, but as the ship rocked while at sea, the overflow from the pools was contained in a tiled area around the pool, which worked out perfectly for him. It made a little 1 inch pool. He could run around and do just enough splashing to not cause any "damage." He was not able to participate in the children's program as he was too young and not potty trained. I understand we could have gone down and borrowed some toys, but we never got around to it. I wish they had a 30 minute reading or singing activity early in the trip so I could have met other parents and could have made our own activities, as I understand they don't want to have to worry about diapers. There was plenty of room for him to run around - up on the "track" area, around the pool, and in the hallways by the staterooms. If he wasn't such a proficient walker, and needed to touch the floor, I may have been more hesitant, but he was able to run off a lot of energy. The staff was very helpful with him, mostly the ones who had children at home, so there was always someone making him laugh. I brought lots of extra food, as a prepared parent always would, and was glad I did. Although at breakfast they provide small boxes of Cheerios, when we went on land excursions, I was glad to have cheese and crackers and gold fish from home. Sippy cups were a must for us, as they didn't have cups with lids. We brought 3 sippys and used all of them without stressing over needing to get one cleaned before we left the cabin. The formal nights were fine with him too. I saw some babies in a stroller by the table, but we had a highchair that he used and was fine. As far as the other areas to eat - someone was always able to find a highchair for us. I almost brought my booster seat from home, but that would have been a pain. I'm glad I just used theirs. Although I had to clean it off because it may have been sticky or full of crumbs, but the Clorox wipes I brought made me feel better about him sitting in it. All in all, I will definitely take him on a cruise again, and even when we have more children. I think it was a blast - not relaxing, but just like everything with parenting, our idea of fun doesn't involve that word anymore! Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
You may recognize my last name as the same as another passenger/critic on the Norwegian Crown June 6th, 2004 cruise, New York to Bermuda. He is our son and, as he stated, he and his wife were married on the ship just before departure. My ... Read More
You may recognize my last name as the same as another passenger/critic on the Norwegian Crown June 6th, 2004 cruise, New York to Bermuda. He is our son and, as he stated, he and his wife were married on the ship just before departure. My wife and I occupied one of the Owner's Suites (category AA) on the Penthouse Deck. The Crown is notably short on private verandahs, a feature which we find very valuable on a cruise (see more later under handicapped experience). Therefore, we opted for an Owner's Suite, one of 12 with verandahs plus 4 smaller Penthouse Suites with verandahs. The good things: Anshuman, our butler in the Owner's Suite was, alone, worth the price of admission. A charming young man from India who was attentive, pleasant and who made the trip one of our most memorable cruises. He treated my wife with affection and respect. In Anshuman, NCL has a gem on their hands! The Owner's Suite is very large, comprising a bedroom with queen-size bed, a marble bathroom with tub/shower/whirlpool unit, a true walk-in closet, a dining area with a large table for four, a sitting area with a sofa and two chairs, plus the very large verandah with two wonderful old-fashioned wooden deck chairs plus a table with three chairs. A very large and pleasantly decorated unit. It was labeled in the corridor with raised gold letters as the "Sandringham Apartment". Nice touch! Freestyle dining. This was of potential concern to us, anticipating long lines, inattentive service, and such. Nothing of the sort occurred. We never waited in line at the main Seven Seas Dining Room more than two or three minutes, usually not at all. NCL's tipping-added-to-the cruise-cost policy is, I think, indeed a good thing for the employees. My daughter, once a waitress in an up-scale restaurant, has told me tales of the incredibly poor tipping that often goes on. I followed my own policy of judiciously giving modest tips to restaurant staff starting on the first day. They caught on quickly, sought us out for their tables sometimes, and gave us very personal and attentive service. Food quality. My wife and I are used to dining in better restaurants in New York and in our home city of Philadelphia (great restaurant city). I'd rate the food in the Seven Seas Restaurant a 7 our of 10 (I consider that a good rating). The daily cold soup was excellent. We never tried a hot soup. Entrees were generally good. Occasionally over-cooked. Beef entrees were generally below par. I noted another reviewer commenting on the lack of second helping requests. I suspect that was more a function of today's generally lighter eating habits than a reflection on food quality. Handicapped experience. My wife is totally blind and uses a wheelchair for any travel other than just a few feet with a walker. That's why the private verandah is so important to us. Our experience was excellent. We don't like handicapped access rooms so we had to deal with our narrower-than-the-wheelchair cabin door. A bit of a nuisance but one which we had expected. We had anticipated major elevator problems. The ship has only four elevators and we have experienced cruise ship elevator bottlenecks in the past. None at all on the Norwegian Crown! We pushed the button and, without exception, we got an elevator in moments. Other passengers were generally very understanding and eager to help us. On a few occasions, Anshuman pushed my wife's wheelchair to the dining room for us. My apologies to those other passengers nearly bowled over as we progressed to the dining room at high speed. I had trouble keeping up and I was just propelling myself. Now for some bad stuff. I too had a bad experience at the Reception Desk. A day or so into the cruise, I requested that they apply my daughter's extra charges (she had her own cabin in the bowels of the ship) to my credit card. I visited the Reception Desk, signed the authorization, they swiped my card, they even showed me a printout of charge authorizations which showed her name added to my cabin number. Came the final evening and it had not been done. I called the reception desk and they denied that I had ever made the authorization. They suggested I come down to the Desk to give them my authorization. Very annoyed, I refused to do so and they sent someone up to get new signatures. Lo and behold it was the same lady who had done it originally. I reminded her of our conversation -- we had made some specific comments about names since she and my dog shared the beautiful name Annalisa and she even told how she came to have that name. Face to face she told me she remembered the conversation but she had no recollection of the charges authorization. A small thing but my experience, coupled with my son's, tells me that this desk needs a lot more training in handling passengers' complaints. Implying that the passenger is lying dos not work very well! I had guests with me one night at the extra-charge specialty restaurant, Le Bistro. We had an extremely poor service experience. To his credit, the Hotel Director of the ship, Jacques, subsequently offered us dinner at Le Bistro on another night on his charge authorization. I appreciated his gesture, but I found the Seven Seas quite adequate. To me, Le Bistro seemed more pretension than quality. My wife's lobster was fatally over-cooked and my beef was nearly inedible. Ship's movement. Discounting the stormy Thursday evening (which my wife and I found to be fun - yes I know that's weird) I detected a slight side to side movement in the ship whenever it was under way. It was not very noticeable while moving around but when I was in our bed which was positioned parallel to the ship's direction the movement became quite annoying. Try going to sleep when you are performing a half-inch side to side oscillation. Hard, hard, hard bed, too. In-port construction. We knew of it but we, on the top deck, were not bothered by it. One day we did note a rope tied to our railing which supported a worker hanging down the ship's side, presumably bothering the heck out of people on lower decks. All of that said - we really did enjoy this cruise (our eighth) and I am visiting our travel agent today for brochures for another cruise later this year. Our compliments to the ship's excellent staff. Captain Zupan, Jacques, the Hotel Director, our concierge, Gemma, our cabin steward, Eduardo, and - of course - Anshuman. Significant warning. If you book on the Penthouse Deck of the Norwegian Crown, I must warn you that Anshuman has returned to India with plans to come back to NCL in December. We hope all of his plans work out well and he returns a married man. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
We had a great time. The cruise was very full with 1200 people and 300 kids. The pool and decks were very crowded but we had an owner's suite (very large and well laid out) with a 160 sq foot balcony which we could just lay out on. ... Read More
We had a great time. The cruise was very full with 1200 people and 300 kids. The pool and decks were very crowded but we had an owner's suite (very large and well laid out) with a 160 sq foot balcony which we could just lay out on. You get three bottles of booze with the room (I ordered one bottle of port which was very good as well)The food was good as the regular restaurants on the Dawn. I recognized the restaurant manager from the Norweigan Sea from last September. We ate at chopsticks one evening and while the service was exceptional the menu is too limited and there is a strange noise in the restaurant that can become annoying (a high pitched sound that they couldn't locate). I went snorkeling on our own at St. Catherine's beach and Horseshoe bay and saw many many exotic fish. One was black when coming at me and when it turned it was a shocking color of purple. I said "oh wow" out loud not that best thing to do with a snorkel in my mouth. You get priority disembarkation with the AA but we left after the walk offs with their own luggage and there was NO traffic at all at the pier. We were in our car with the luggage on our way by 9:30. We thought the shows were good but they don't have as nice a lounge area as the Dawn. We spent a lot time in The Casino bar and the pianist was ok. He also played a pan flute. Our butler (it was his first week) was great (Karin) as were the truly outstanding room stewards. I actually liked the Crown very much. I am amazed how even after some cruises people know so little (it was one couples second NCL cruise and they thought you pay extra for room service) at the first days lunch the senior people were coming around and some women complained to them about the small portions and he very nicely said, you can have a second or third if you want. I do tend to stop at two. The deserts were excellent and a tip of my hat to the people who said to order the chocolate mousse from room service. It was by far the best mousse I have ever had. The only time we saw a problem was the first sea day for dinner about 8:30 there was a terrible line. After that it was fine. No more than a 5 minute wait to be seated. The cruise was very full with over 1200 and more than 300 kids. The kids seemed to have a good time but by Thursday night I think they were getting bored as they started pressing all the elevator buttons. I thought the shops had a better selection of stuff at reasonable prices than the Dawn. The chocoholics buffet was Saturday 3-4. This was the best one I had so far on NCL. Great chocolate macadamia nuts brittle. Strawberries and fresh fruit chocolate cups. While there was a line, The manager sent wait staff out with trays of chocolates so you could start early eating them a nice touch. The entertainment staff and CD were excellent and very approachable. I had a long conversation with the CD at a party and the next day he sent me maybe 20 pages of the latest news on the NCL fleet. With his working so long days I was impressed by his follow up. The Post and Cruise consultant was far and away the best I had seen on any ship ever. Knowledgeable about the ports, not too pushy on buying things from NCL and short and to the point. We liked both St. George and Hamilton., The dockyard was ok (it rained Thursday night and Friday morning). We went into Hamilton by Ferry for dinner Thursday but the ferry schedule back sucks and we decided to eat a snack at the Fairmont Princess and make the 7:15 ferry back(a 20 minute ferry)-The next Ferry leaves at 9:45 and makes every stop and doesn't get back to the Dockyard until 11. Well the 7:15 ferry turned out to be the one non a-c ferry they have (even the fans don't work) and it poured (lightening and thundering-I started singing Gilligan's Isle) on the way back and it was an adventure-oh when we were getting off the Crown to take the Ferry the Captain saw I had an umbrella and he told me it never rained much in Bermuda...turns out when we were on the Ferry back he went out bicycling and got soaked to the bone shoes and all. He and I had a good laugh at that later...Bermuda needs to add a direct Ferry around 8:30 so you can eat dinner on shore and get back at a reasonable hour. The voucher for the Fairmont would be a good deal and the food we had there was good but NY hotel prices. It is a well run ship with a good crew in good shape for a 16 year old ship. It is small but then again all the ships in Bermuda were relatively small. St Catherine's beach in St. George is much less crowded than Tobacco bay. Getting around Bermuda was extraordinarily easy, even with a taxi strike. Mostly you can take Buses or the Ferry which are relatively inexpensive (compared to a ship sponsored excursion) and easy. You don't need to get a $12.00 one day or the three day one for whatever pass. You can buy tokens for 2.50 (bus) or 4.00 (Ferry) for a ride unless you are going to take a lot of trips on the Bus or Ferry, the tokens are less expensive. We took the Bus from the Dockyard to Horseshoe Beach. It was a 25 minute very interesting ride. You walk down the hill or to take a $1.00 per person jitney ride down and back up- We walked down and bussed up. In the Dockyard there is a free shuttle bus that makes the rounds every 15 minutes or so. Especially when you come back from the Beach its a good idea to catch this bus which takes you right tup to the ship. At the pier in St. George you can take a cab (even though there was a strike there were some cabs) for $5.00 each way for two (not per person). Remember it's your vacation and about a mile or so walk with a fair amount up hill. We went to St Catherine's and not Tabacco bay-which was we hear very crowded. We rented two lounge chairs and an umbrella-- $35.00 per day and worth it (for two chairs and an umbrella) at St Catherine's- good snorkeling too. Available for rent (I bring my own). At Horseshoe its $10.00 to rent an umbrella and $10.00 for a sand chair. If you go early on Thursday (we made the 9:30 bus) The beach was empty. When we left at 1 or so it had crowded up but it still wasn't bad. Shopping- All three have ports have shopping very close. Davidson sells Bermuda logoed shirts at discount prices and other very good and reasonable clothes (both Men and Women) We bought a lot at the AS Coopers in Hamilton. They have a Balik artist there for the next month or so who will personalized the Balik for you (sign the bottom i.e Bermuda 2004 etc) relatively reasonable Balik at that. There was also a wedgewood artist doing the same thing. This is an old style service oriented department store. There used to be many of these smaller department stores in every town in the US they are gone and replaced by you know who. It reminded me of B Altman's in NY and Sidney's in western NY. The shopping was ok and in the heat of the day its a good place to go...and since we won a couple hundred dollars at the slots we stayed at least even. The only thing that upset us was leaving the ship and one person who said I had bumped a line (I didn't) Whales ho! Both going of NY and on the way back there be whales. I saw on the first night spouting of water and took a second to realize there be whales! These were large but I couldn't see what kind I called my wife out who I scared but yelling come quick! On the way back there were also small mink whales. The weather other than the rain was very hot in the mid 80's and it was nice to get back to the a/c some times. I did get rained out of my helmet dive on Friday :( any questions just email me Smeyer418@yahoo.com Read Less
Sail Date June 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
Re: Norwegian Crown to Bermuda from NYC ( June 6 - 13, 2004) I booked Suites 9061 & 9063. I would like to preface this by saying that the Voyage was to have been a very special one for me. I had planned and booked months in advance ... Read More
Re: Norwegian Crown to Bermuda from NYC ( June 6 - 13, 2004) I booked Suites 9061 & 9063. I would like to preface this by saying that the Voyage was to have been a very special one for me. I had planned and booked months in advance of the sailing. The brochures on the Freestyle Cruising and pictures of the ship all seemed very promising. But most important, I got engaged on this voyage and wanted all of our memories to be the best that they could be. However, when I speak about the trip I now say that I had a great time in Bermuda but would not recommend the ship to anyone. Having made the same trip on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean I expected the same quality of service with NCL. The following recaps some of the issues I had on this trip: · When our Driver approached the pier he asked if the NCL Dawn was our ship. We all agreed that she was a beautiful vessel. When we approached the Crown, I was embarrassed. The name on the ship was spotted with a red rust preventative, some of the letters were totally covered with a gray primer and others were scattered with blue, white and red paint. It looked as if it was a war torn battle ship! I understand that routine maintenance is an ongoing process, but take pride in finishing her name! We were constantly reminded of "wet paint" throughout the outer decks. · Upon boarding, I was impressed with the size of our Mini Suite. I had purchased an Anniversary package (Item #504) and an adult soda package. Each cabin had a person celebrating a birthday. All of this was confirmed prior to sailing. However, the sparkling wine and the strawberries were to have been in my stateroom for embarkation. I wanted to toast the Statue of Liberty and the beginning of our Vacation. Well, the berries and champagne were in the room but it was not on ice and we did not have any glasses. I called the concierge and requested ice and glasses. A return call was made the following day to me. In the interim I contacted room service and was told that they were very busy and would get to me after we were at sea. This totally ruined my embarkation plans and photos. · When I went to a bar to inquire about the adult soda package, I was told that I should have a receipt or paper confirming what I had ordered. I had called NCL and paid for it well before we boarded and received no documents. Only their verbal confirmation. So, as instructed, I returned to my room to check for papers or instructions. went back to the bar and he told me to go to the front desk. I went to the front desk and was given some paperwork that I had to bring back to the bar for issuance of a sticker on the cruise card. This all seems to a lot of work for something that was prearranged. We were told in the dining rooms that we should have received additional paperwork for the Birthdays. We never received this either! · I also confirmed with NCL that we had our Latitude number associated with our booking. I was told it was. But when walking to our room we noticed a lot of cabins had a latitudes letter inviting them to an event with the Captain. When we called the desk we were told to come down for our pins and a copy of the letter. We did that and had another problem with not receiving a second letter. Once again we went to the desk to straighten it out. It was only when Sherry (Latitudes Rep) got involved that I felt confident. I'm still not sure if it really was corrected. · The Anniversary package came with a photograph. We were told that the free picture was only the one we took with the Captain. We really didn't like the picture because the Captain looked away from the camera to a point 90 degrees to the right. When I turned to see what he was looking at, the photographer took the picture. The Captain said all of the flashes bothered his eyes. We reluctantly took the picture home. This policy was not stated anywhere and we would have preferred to have received a different picture. We threw the picture out. · The romantic dinner for two in Le Bistro (Also included in the package) did not go smoothly either. I had made reservations for dinner at 7:00 PM Thursday (6/10). Due to transportation issues on the island (2 buses rode past us because they were filled), I had to take a taxi to Hamilton and ferry to the ship. I was 20 minutes late so I immediately went to the restaurant and told them I could not get dressed in time. They agreed to cancel the reservation and asked if I wanted to reschedule for Saturday. I said I had to check with my fiancEe for a time and was told that there were a lot of openings. So I went back to the room and immediately called the concierge about scheduling dinner for 7:00 PM Saturday. She said she would call me in the morning to confirm. I never received a call and went to the lobby to check the status of my reservation, after lunch. I was told to come back later. I returned late afternoon. It was then that I was told I was on a waiting list! She said to check back on Saturday. I went back and was told to check back after lunch! After I said I thought she was a little lax in scheduling and that had probably been the reason I was on a waiting list, she called me back in an hour with a cancellation that I could have. She then told me it would cost fifteen dollars per person cover to eat there. I repeated several times, that I had a dinner and bottle of wine with the anniversary package. She was very confused and had to call me back to confirm this. Apparently, someone told her there was no additional charge and she called me back. I question her knowledge of operations and ability to effectively serve as concierge. I had asked why I didn't receive a call back on the champagne and reservation issues. They told me that they did call and I wasn't in my room! Perhaps a note on the door would have worked better than the apparent lack of follow up. The dinner at Le Bistro was the best meal I had on the ship! · Speaking of meals, the voucher program for $25 Lunch credit is a little misleading. I thought I would receive a credit for $25 on my bill. We had met a local resident acquaintance for Lunch at the Pickled Onion Restaurant and Bar. After we reviewed the menu and said we had the vouchers, the waitress took our 4 menus and replaced them with a very trimmed down burger, fries, chicken nugget type menu. She said we could not order from the main menu. So our guest ordered from the regular menu and we settled for burgers fries and a coke! Aside from being embarrassed, in front of our Guest (whose Husband is a political officer), we were surprised with the policy that seemed to be prevalent in some of the affiliated establishments. · I also must say that I have never been exposed to a serving staff that had no idea of what they were serving! During the cocktail hours or any other time the crew came around with trays of food, when asked what something was - NOBODY knew. This was a common occurrence. There was not one waiter that was aware of what they were serving. They said they just take the trays and pass them out. Now, what happens if a person is allergic to something that is prepared in a way as to not be obvious, and someone eats it? I mean they had no clue! · While on board, we went to the shows. I must say that watching 2 jugglers refine their act and the 2 singers from the Jean Ann Ryan group perform... it was reminiscent of a High School Production. The Comic tried hard and was OK. Overall, I was not impressed with the productions that were presented to us. Having seen some really good shows / productions on the other lines, this was truly a letdown. · The ping-pong tournament was scheduled for a sea day... Is that a good idea with the wind? It was canceled. We had brought ping-pong balls with us because they are sometimes a scarce commodity. The crew never set up the table, despite our requests. In fact, the single sheet that included a weeks worth of recommended activities listed 3 tournaments and only one of them appeared in the Freestyle Daily. That was the one while we were at sea! AM and PM Trivia games, talks on arthritis, ring toss, darts (they couldn't find).. Not too impressive. · OK, here's one of my major issues. We were engaged on Wednesday at a moongate in Hamilton. A local jeweler presented us with a gold moongate lapel pin. My FiancEe wore this daily and took it off for the formal Friday dinner. We both agreed that it might damage her dress. The pin was put in the ashtray on the desk along with Chap Stick and a paper clip. When we looked for the pin on Saturday, it was not there. The other items were there but the pin was missing. We asked our Room Steward and he said he didn't see it. But he couldn't look us in the eye afterwards. We tore the room apart on Saturday and did not find the pin. It didn't take long because we travel with everything neatly stowed away. When we were talking to another couple on the floor, they said the wife was also missing a pair of gold hoop earrings. So, we both called the reception desk and were told that Security would call us. When they called the other couple, the wife said she had found the earrings. We later found out that she said this because she didn't want her Husband to know that they were still missing! When I received a return call, they said that it was too late for them to do anything because we had packed and they would have rechecked our room. I had a flashlight and searched everywhere! My FiancEe checked all of her bags and clothes multiple times. I checked all around and behind the desk, and never found her Pin. If this pin had not meant that much to her she may not have paid as close of attention as she did. In retrospect, we should have placed it in the safe. But you just don't think that someone would stoop that low. And I had been giving him additional tips throughout the journey! I have filled out an incident report but seriously doubt that anything is being done. Perhaps a search of the room steward's room might uncover some items that he would have a hard time explaining. · We arrive in New York. The PA system does not work in our room, or anyone else's on our floor. People had to leave their stateroom doors open to hear the announcements. After releasing the VIP's, Special needs, group passengers etc, they started to call the floors. Being a latitude member in a mini suite meant that we were called next to last? They started releasing people from the lower floors on upwards. I though one of the benefits of a nicer room and latitude membership might have been an earlier departure from the ship. Wrong again. · Waiting in our room got a little old. So, we went to the Yacht Club to wait. After watching most of the others depart, we just sat with a few others, and watched the crew clean up! Someone remarked that they saw a bug jump from the end of the buffet line. I said it was a raisin from the cereal and left to see how much longer we had to wait. Upon my return people were talking about the roach that one of the crew had stepped on after his attention was called to it. He apparently showed a kitchen aid and the others around us. It's bound to happen when you move so much food, but it was the proverbial "icing on the cake" for us. I have spoken to 4 other groups that have cruised to Bermuda, on different lines. I let them read this and they were appalled. They have nothing but accolades about their ships and were quite sympathetic about my experience. I know not all of NCL's vessels warrant such harsh criticism, but this one surely did. Respectfully, John Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
Bermuda was fabulous but I would not recommend sailing on the Crown for the following reasons: The ship was badly in need of attention. Even though the crew was attending to this when we were in port, the rust was abundant, especially ... Read More
Bermuda was fabulous but I would not recommend sailing on the Crown for the following reasons: The ship was badly in need of attention. Even though the crew was attending to this when we were in port, the rust was abundant, especially around the life boats, as if it had been neglected for years. The plumbing system in our room was horrible. Twice we had to call the front desk because the toilet didn't work. The 1st time, maintenance finally arrived over an hour later, about 1:30AM, to fix the problem. The 2nd time was on the day of debarkation, all the toilets in all the cabins in our the entire hallway were out. The rooms were busy being emptied and cleaned and we were told to just use the public restrooms. Then there was the stained furniture and carpets. They were everywhere, in the cabin and other public rooms, but most prevalent in the show lounge where there was not 1 chair that we saw that did not have a stain. This was disgusting. Other issues: The food was tasty, but we were not able to get a reservation in the pasta restaurant until the last day. I felt the hostess in the dining room was a little too pushy, when it came to "encouraging" us to eat with other people. My husband is disabled and not comfortable eating with others. I passed her a note on the way out one day explaining this but she still continued to strongly "recommend" not dining alone every time we entered. The show quality in the lounge was not up to that of other ships. It was reminiscent of high school productions, where there is a very limited budget. The bright side: our cabin steward was very good and Bermuda was fabulous. We have previously sailed on Carnival, Disney and Princess and although this was our first Norweigian, I would be inclined not to use them again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
Our enjoyment of the cruise was seriously dampened by several breakdowns of the toilet system. One lasted for THIRTEEN HOURS!!!! I have been deprived of many creature comforts out of necessity. One does not expect a lack of toilet ... Read More
Our enjoyment of the cruise was seriously dampened by several breakdowns of the toilet system. One lasted for THIRTEEN HOURS!!!! I have been deprived of many creature comforts out of necessity. One does not expect a lack of toilet facilities on a cruise ship. Embarkation was smooth, and our mini-suite was decently roomy, with good closet space, a shower and a tub. We had heard from other passengers that the buffet gave the best value in terms of variety and speed of service so we had all our meals there except two. The buffet food was good, but almost everything was too salty for our taste. If edibles are too bland you can add seasoning; it is more difficult, if not impossible, to remove condiments. We ate twice in LE BISTRO, the best specialty restaurant on the CROWN, at an extra cost of $15-$20 plus liquor, soda, bottled water, etc. We also left what most people would consider an exorbitant tip in tribute to the quality of the food and the excellent service. Eating in LE BISTRO was definitely worth the price. A quick review of other aspects of the ship and the cruise: ENTERTAINMENT - second or third rate, no worse than you would expect on a ship of this size. SEAWORTHINESS - Despite the CROWN's relatively small displacement, the trip was smooth with little pitching and rolling. CREW - Overall, quite decent, friendly, and accommodating. CASINO - Very small, but most of the dealers were both friendly and competent. BERMUDA - One of the world's greatest places--friendly people, good shopping, excellent beaches (Horseshoe is superb), and perfect weather. If the toilets had worked consistently, we would have rated this cruise as A to A+. Read Less
Sail Date July 2004

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click