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2,550 New York (Manhattan) to Bermuda Cruise Reviews

After seeing some poor reviews regarding the Norwegian Crown, I felt I had to submit our experience. We were a little apprehensive since our last 3 cruises had been on brand new larger ships and we were very pleasantly surprised by how ... Read More
After seeing some poor reviews regarding the Norwegian Crown, I felt I had to submit our experience. We were a little apprehensive since our last 3 cruises had been on brand new larger ships and we were very pleasantly surprised by how beautifully the Crown has been maintained. The cabins are a good size with plenty of storage and nothing looked worn. The meals were delicious with varied menus. Usually ate in the main dining room but did try Chopsticks and the Italian for variety and they were also very good. We were going to book the Bistro and the person taking the reservations told us to wait for another night since that was the Captain's Dinner and we would have missed lobster. Found the staff overall to be very accommodating and helpful, especially the dining and shore excursion staff. We didn't get the usual "towel animals" in our stateroom but it was always clean and that's all that matters. Entertainment was quite good with varied shows. The itinerary was amazing. I would not hesitate to recommend the Crown and would definitely agree with the four star rating. Only downside was getting off to clear customs in New York when you are not American was very disorganized and about 100 people were left standing for over two hours waiting to disembark very early in the morning, because a larger ship was docked prior to our landing. Sometimes your experience depends on your attitude. Did think we would like the bigger newer ships much better but after sailing on the Crown have booked Hawaii on the Norwegian Wind this spring. Aloha! Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
Embarkation -- Traffic at the pier was tied up - We had taken a limo in (we are from Long Island) and opted to get out at 50th St and 12th Av- We just had to walk across the street and take the elevator up to the ship. Since we were there ... Read More
Embarkation -- Traffic at the pier was tied up - We had taken a limo in (we are from Long Island) and opted to get out at 50th St and 12th Av- We just had to walk across the street and take the elevator up to the ship. Since we were there before noon, getting on was a breeze. No lines- we were in our cabin (and ready for lunch) within minutes. We went to the Seven Seas restaurant for lunch- which is where we took all our meals onboard. Food quality there is good, better than the Dawn, especially the quality of the baked goods. Service is good in the Seven Seas except if it gets crowded we noticed things get dicey. We looked at the buffet in the Yacht Club a few times, there was nothing there we would consider eating. Tea was offered each afternoon- Cookies especially were good- Cabin was fair- It clearly is showing some wear- and those who are bothered by small things such as a slightly worn tub-should be aware it is NOT perfection. We had a "mini-suite" which was really spacious- Nice sitting area with a "bay" type window which offered an excellent view- ( all the windows on the ship could stand a good cleaning- both in and out)- We each had a closet complete with a set of drawers- Very ample storage was given in the bathroom as well. The bathroom is a smaller version of what you are likely to have at home. It was fine. The room steward we had wasn't very good. He would either show up at 9AM or 130 PM- It wasn't predictable. He also came to turn down the bed in the evening. One day he didn't leave us two sets of towels - we had to ask for the second set. Other people we spoke with said their attendant came three times a day and "slipped in" when they weren't in the cabin. I guess it is the luck of the draw. We didn't take any shore excursions since I learned from this site how easy it is to get around Bermuda- Coupled with the fact the ship moved three times it was easy to cover everything we wanted to do. We had EXCELLENT weather, which also helped. I did use the "dine ashore" vouchers. We ate at the Carriage House in St George- they had no "special" menu- the food was excellent. Make sure you inquire about pricing before you order if it isn't listed on the menu--The production shows on the ship were not of top quality, but given with the number of people they had to work with they did a good job. Steve Van Zandt was the comedian, he was VERY good- Sharkbait ( juggling comedy act) appeared- I liked them better at their second appearance. Elvie Rose was the featured singer, she was very good- All the "featured" performers appeared along with Simon, the cruise director, in the "Liars Club" - it was hilarious. Bar service was good- Drinks were ample and good. The casino was small- OK but didn't inspire me to stay and play. Getting off the ship was a snap- We did the "express" route and were called at 8:30AM- We were off in minutes and home by 10 AM. I would recommend the "express route" if you can carry all your luggage off yourself. I enjoyed the cruise- After all the bad reviews I saw here I was a bit concerned- It turned out great- and, as I said, it isn't perfection- but it still is very enjoyable- and I would say good value for your money. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
Sorry to inform that this ship is the "summer rental" of the seas. Having been in service since the 80s, even a recent facelift from NCL could not mask the fact that the ship is in need of repairs to its physical plants and ... Read More
Sorry to inform that this ship is the "summer rental" of the seas. Having been in service since the 80s, even a recent facelift from NCL could not mask the fact that the ship is in need of repairs to its physical plants and amenities. My room (9062) offered complementary champagne and fruit bowl. It also offered torn and malfunctioning window treatments, broken fixtures, exposed electrical wiring, malfunctioning plumbing, filthy windows (inside), cracked window glass, dated decor, recycled furniture, poor housekeeping. I never met my concierge. She was always available by voicemail though (I heard her voice on the phone). The cabin steward gave us lip service when we decided to stay in the room when he wanted to clean it. I could never get any bottled water in my room. The dining rooms refused to sell me any and told me to ask my cabin steward (oh yeah, and get more lip service). Outside I saw more warped wood and rust than I think I've ever seen on any ship. Maintenance was occurring daily; limiting access to precious public deck space, but the efforts weren't helping. There was always one broken elevator when I went to use them, and after day 2 resumed a fitness regimen on the stairs. There was rarely dining room opens when I wanted to eat, and there were 4 separate spaces to get a meal. The ship offered little of the NCL "freestyle" experience that I have previously enjoyed on their other ships. Having added bars and dining facilities to attempt at improving choice, the public decks space suffered to the point that a stroll onto it during the day was like a walk on the Jersey Shore in summer. There was little space for the amount of passengers booked and never anywhere to sit outside during the day. Food on the Crown was better than on other NCL ships, but service was poor. The casino was serviceable. Bingo was fun. I did not go to any shows. The shopping on the ship is anticlimactic; there is little space for shops on this ship. I recommend drinking heartily on this ship, the bars pour a proud cocktail and inebriation affords one the aura of luxury. On other ships you get ice sculptures and floral arrangements in the public spaces. On the crown you get carved painted foam art pieces that were kind of scary looking, especially those in the buffet area. Some of them were even cracked and mended back together. A funny fiber optic peacock in a cage graced one of the entrances to the theater. (It's all about tacky on the Crown!) Day 6: the ship's main power plant just stopped, leaving the boat adrift in the Atlantic for what felt like an eternity. We were lied to, by the ship's cruise director, who announced over public address that we had minimal propulsion. (I looked, the screws were dead, and the boat was drifting in lazy circles in the ocean). I enjoyed talking to people who were stuck in the shower full of soap and shampoo because the ship had no electricity, water or waste management at that time. The bars remained open during the ship's malfunction and the ship bought everyone a glass of champagne afterwards. We were reminded over and over again to go drink it but I never saw a glass come my way. During the time the ship lay dead in the water, a Seder service was occurring in the library, next to where I was sitting. A couple walked in the room to learn it was a brief and concluded service, to which the male passenger remarked "don't you think now is a good time for one"? Had Bermuda not been so beautiful the trip would have been a wash. I took no excursions; Bermuda is best experienced on your timetable. Rent a scooter, but use "Oleander Cycles" if possible, their machines are in best repair. Cruises are about being pampered and feeling special; you won't get that on the Crown. By all means, do consider another choice for spending your hard-earned cash. I was disappointed with mine. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
We sailed on the Crown 8/22-29/04. Our group consisted of myself,my husband,our two girls 5 & 7,and my inlaws. We have sailed previously on NCL,RCCL and Disney. EMBARKATION: The NY pier was much less congested than last year. No ... Read More
We sailed on the Crown 8/22-29/04. Our group consisted of myself,my husband,our two girls 5 & 7,and my inlaws. We have sailed previously on NCL,RCCL and Disney. EMBARKATION: The NY pier was much less congested than last year. No traffic at all. We arrived at 11:30,lined up and at 11:45 they let us in to check-in. This took about 10 minutes and then we were on the ship. A very friendly staff member named Nardan showed us to our suite. CABIN: We had an AB suite, #1017. It was one large room in the shape of an L with queen bed and pullout. The room was in great shape and spotless. Plenty of closet and drawer space- 4 closets in fact. We did not use all the storage space. Bathroom was roomy for a ship,with marble and a tub as well as upgraded toiletries. The balcony was outstanding! The biggest we've ever enjoyed. There were two lounge chairs as well as a table and 4 chairs,with plenty of room to walk around. One afternoon while sailing we saw dolphins from the balcony, and the last morning we got up early to see the Statue of Liberty. The balcony was a wonderful respite when the pool deck got crowded and noisy. Also great to take a relaxing break there every afternoon. BUTLER & CONCIERGE: Our Butler Karan introduced himself and brought us glasses of champagne. There was also a bottle chilled and fresh fruit and flowers. He took our order for 3 bottles of liquor as well as soda and water. Fruit,soda and water were stocked throughout the week. Every night before dinner appetizers were delivered,and there were sweets delivered nightly after dinner. Our concierge Shahana arranged a shore excursion for us as well as Le Bistro reservations. We got a few videos for the kids through her as well. CD's,DVD's and tapes were available. SHIP: The ship is in great condition,very clean,and you would see staff working on this continually. One day they changed our curtains- I have no idea why as the old one looked like new. There's a minor amount of rust on the hull. The ship is considerably smaller than others we've been on. For instance, less restaurants and bars,and smaller pool deck than the Dawn. But on the positive side,it is so easy to get around. Everything is a short walk away. We didn't find any of the public rooms crowded. We found that overall service was similar to larger ships,and it was nice with fewer crew members you saw them more frequently and they were more familiar. Pool deck is relatively small. We are early birds so had no problem getting a table and spending the morning there on sea days. Pool band was OK. By early afternoon it was too loud and crowded so we went elsewhere. They could use a larger pool deck,but this would not deter me from choosing this ship. There are also deck areas on deck 10 and 11 for lounging. I liked deck 10 also as they have barbecues there some afternoons. This was also where we enjoyed the sailaway, great views and not as crowded as deck 7. DINING: We ate all dinners except one in the Seven Seas. We eat early with the kids,and enjoy traditional dining. So the maitre d' arranged the same table and waiter nightly at 5:50 PM,and this worked out well for us. The food in the Seven Seas was good to excellent. I personally enjoy the President's dinner most,but the lobster was surprisingly good as well. Our waiter Yolin was excellent and took very good care of us,and knew how to keep the girls occupied through a relatively long (for them) dinner nightly- about 90 minutes to an hour and 45 minutes. We ate in the buffet a few times for breakfast and lunch. I thought it was fine. It is what it is after all. During breakfast they had a fresh fruit bar and omelet and waffle stations. During lunch ice cream was available and the girls enjoyed a few cones. Breakfast and lunch in the Seven Seas were very good, but more time-consuming. Twice we had lunch on deck 10 at Cafe Italia which is an outdoor buffet and barbecue. I really like the NCL barbecues as I enjoy eating outside. It was also easy to carry a tray back to the room and balcony. We had dinner one night in Le Bistro. Atmosphere is quiet and the food same or slightly better than the Seven Seas. Service however was not as good. I think the waiter just had too many tables, he seemed backed up most of the night. SERVICE: Service was very good to excellent throughout. Yolin,our waiter was a real pleasure to "come home" to nightly. His service was flawless. Other waitstaff worth mentioning are: Nardan asst waiter who never waited on us but always had a very big smile for us whenever we saw him and Christina from Romania a waitress who was very personable. Andres the maitre d' was very congenial. One lunch he brought a plate of cookies for the girls to bring to our room, a thoughtful touch. Roberto,bartender in the Top of the Crown is excellent,a real gentleman, who we looked forward to seeing nightly. Had a few encounters with the reception desk. They always were very pleasant . There was a minor problem with our bill which we discovered the last evening. They had it fixed the next morning before debarkation. CD and staff were great. Simon the CD is so energetic. He even came into the Kids Club to play Simon says. His assistant Carl was also excellent,in a quieter way with a dry sense of humor. In general,we found if you smile at a staffmember and treat them with the respect they deserve, ,they will bend over backwards to accommodate you. KIDS CREW: Superb. The planned activities were fun for both our girls. There were different themes, i.e. pirate night,prince and princess,game night,spy night, juggling lessons, unbirthday party etc. Some nights they paraded the kids through the public areas of the ship,which was too cute. The counselors were outstanding. Lots of energy and good skill in handling the kids. Very sweet as well,especially with the 2-5 year olds. Our girls preferred this far and away to the Disney kids program as the groups were smaller and there were more counselors. For instance,most nights there were 8-10 kids in the 2-5 y.o. group,and 3 counselors for this group. Not a bad ratio. There were more kids in the 7-9 y.o.,but the counselors did an excellent job handling the larger group. Overall we were extremely pleased with the Kids Crew. As an aside,being August there were lots of families on board. But the kids and teens throughout the ship were very well behaved. SEA DAYS: As mentioned,by afternoon sea days got crowded around the pool. But there were lots of other activities- the usual bingo,art auction, casino,shops, trivia,etc. One or two afternoons and one evening there were movies. ST GEORGE: We had planned to take a carriage ride in the AM,but did not book it through the ship. Mistake. All the carriages were contracted by the ship. We walked around a little. There are a few streets with shops. Saw the town square and dunking chair. There's not a lot to do in the immediate town. Lot of folks went to Tobacco Bay. I heard St Catherine's was less crowded. We returned to the ship before lunch and the girls had a little time in the pool,which was empty. I highly recommend ashort pool break when in port, it's refreshing and not crowded. In the afternoon we took the Turtle Bay Catamaran trip. This was great! We sailed out to Turtle Bay,anchored, swam with noodles and drank rum swizzles. The water was warm and beautiful. Beach was clean. I would do this again. The crew really was interested in everybody having a good time. It rained a little but passed quickly.. HAMILTON: Here we took a carriage ride for an hour , which was very enjoyable. Had planned on using the voucher for lunch at Hartley' at the Southampton Princess,but we were hot after the carriage ride and shopping ,and headed back to the ship. Then it rained,so we stayed on the ship. The hot tub is a cool place in the rain! The girls and I enjoyed it immensely. Harbour nights festival was cancelled due to rain. We shopped a little after dinner. DOCKYARD: Took a cab to Horseshoe Bay for the day. It was $20 each way plus tip. I recommend a cab or bus ride to everybody,as it gave me an appreciation of how beautiful Bermuda is beyond the ports.Horsehoe Bay was fantastic. Because it was cloudy,it was not crowded. For families it's a good choice as there are restrooms,food,chairs and umbrellas and lifeguards. Chair an umbrella I think were $18. There was very little surf,also good for children learning to swim. For some reason,everyone drops anchor right at the entrance. If you want less crowded,walk to the left. If you keep walking farther to the left you will find smaller,quieter coves and no people. At the Dockyard,there is a craft market and smaller branches of some of the shops in Hamilton. I loved the glassblowing studio. There's also dolphin encounter and the maritime museum. I would suggest planning to spend part of the day elsewhere,as its not a full day destination. Snorkel Park is at the Dockyard. What a great idea! We went there the last morning for two hours and swam. They have rafts with slides into the water. The water is very calm. You do need watershoes because of coral. We got a few cuts on our feet. Also my littlest got stung by a jellyfish.I thought this worked out well for the last morning,as there is not much time to go elsewhere. DEBARKATION: Freestyle debarkation is the best. No cattle calls. On this cruise however,a large number of people utilized express debarkation where you carry your own bags off the ship,and are the first to leave. This slowed things up a bit. We had priority debarkation due to the suite,were the first group to leave after express and were off the ship by 9:15. In the terminal finding our bags was easy,not like the chaos the year previous exiting the Dawn,an advantage of a smaller ship with fewer people. The street area was also not crowded and our ride picked us up easily and quickly. FINAL NOTE: We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and would sail the Crown again. I heard a number of people expressing disappointment with the Crown,having sailed on the Dawn last year. We were not disappointed,as I researched it on these boards and knew what to expect. They are by nature very different entities, but both very enjoyable.The Crown is a more intimate,more comfortable,and slightly more laid back ship than the Dawn. For us the Dawn was the destination last year whereas Bermuda the destination this year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
I recently booked a cruise through Liberty Travel in Middletown, New York. The cruise was to Bermuda on the Norwegian Crown from August 29 - September 5. I looked forward to this trip for 9 months as well as the 9 other people that ... Read More
I recently booked a cruise through Liberty Travel in Middletown, New York. The cruise was to Bermuda on the Norwegian Crown from August 29 - September 5. I looked forward to this trip for 9 months as well as the 9 other people that booked it with me. Unfortunately it was nothing but a disappointment. Norwegian is considered to be "Freestyle Cruising". When looking into the whole "freestyle cruising" theme....it states on the NCL website as well in all brochures we received that your attire is at your preference. It states on the website "Wear what you want. Dress according to your mood--it's your vacation. How you dress is up to you". Seven Seas which in the main restaurant does not allow you to wear jeans or sneakers. So this meant that not everyone in my group was able to eat dinner together every night. If someone did not have enough dressy clothes with them, we had to split up and eat dinner seperately. This was never explained to us before booking this cruise. This leads me to my next problem which is dining. I understood before hand that there was a $15.00 cover charge at La Bistro. However, the other restaurants required reservations at least a week in advance, which was told to us on the ship....NOT before we booked our cruise. When we tried to make reservations for "Chopsticks", we were told the restaurant was booked up for the remainder of the cruise. If we missed breakfast one day, there was nothing available to eat until lunch was served which was between 11:30-12:00pm. What happened to food being available 24 hours? We were told we could order room service or wait until lunch. This is ridiculous. Room service states on the menu to expect 30 minutes for food to arrive. If we did order room service, it never came sooner then an hour. I also paid $28.00 for unlimited soda for the entire week. I was given nothing bigger then a 6oz cup every time I asked for soda. I would finish the cup within 2 or 3 sips, then I would have to wait on line again for another cup. We were told if we wanted the unused portion of the soda that was still in the can, we would have to pay an additional $1.25 on top of the $28.00 which was already paid. Twice during dinner I was told they ran out of soda. There was an announcement made over the loud-speakers (that we had to leave our room to hear because it did not work in the state rooms) that everyone was given a $5.00 credit voucher to either use at one of the restaurants in Bermuda, or if we didn't want to use it at a restaurant, we could have the $5.00 taken off our account at the end. This was very misleading. You are already charged the $5.00 to your account. If you chose not to use the voucher, you have to have the $5.00 taken from what you would have been charged for. So you are actually not given anything! You would be paying the $5.00 at the end of your trip! The service we received from the staff was down right rude. Don't get me wrong, our room steward, Roy McClean was very courteous, professional and friendly. He did his job 100%. The service from the waiter & waitresses at Seven Seas restaurant was degrading. For example, when my sister-in-law asked for a piece of lemon with her tea, the waitress we had that night, Anna, made a comment to another waitress that she should give her a used piece of lemon that was on the table next to us. Then they both started to laugh and make a joke about it. I did not find this funny in the least, in fact I found it very immature. This is not the kind of service I expect when going on a cruise. I do not agree that the tips or "service charge" as it states on your bill, is automatically charged to your account. I feel that because the tips are automatically included, the workers do not work as hard as they normally would if the tips were not included. For this reason, we decided to have the tips taken off our account and reduce the monetary value of the tips that we decided to give. This was not an easy process. I spoke to a receptionist named, Analiza, who made it extremely difficult to get the tips taken off of our account. We had to fill out a comment card along with an explanation of why we did not want to include tips which was fine with us. I want everyone to know about my experience. Another problem we incurred while on the Crown was the water stopped working in our bathroom, so needless to say the toilet did not flush. I noticed this problem at 1am and called the service desk. I was told someone would come to fix the problem "immediately", to my disappointment no one EVER came. The next day arrived and I had to call the service desk and complain a second time. This boat was a lot smaller then we expected it to be. There was one pool on the entire ship. The pool was not cleaned or drained until the last day of our cruise, to make it look presentable for the next cruise. This was disgusting to look at. The pool was green and filled with algae. I had looked forward to swimming in the pool but I refused to even step foot near it. Another point I wanted to make was about the entertainment. I have always looked forward to the entertainment while on cruise ships. However, two grown men juggling for two nights during a seven night cruise is not my idea of good entertainment. I also understood that people were able to smoke cigarettes on the boat as long as they stay in their room or cabin. I was in cabin number 5086, & the people in the room next door to mine would smoke in the hallways every single day. I made a call to the service desk and was told they would address the issue. This issue was never addressed. I am getting married next summer and was strongly thinking of going on a cruise for my honeymoon. I will never, ever again cruise with NCL. I will tell everyone I know, who is thinking of cruising with NCL not to make the same mistake I did, and to please look into another cruise line. This cruise was nothing but pure aggravation and a waste of hard earned money. It was more trouble then it was actually worth. This is not the kind of service I expect or deserve from such a well known cruise line. I am disgusted with the type of service I received. I found the workers to be extremely unprofessional. I advise everyone to look into all the "hidden" details that are not mentioned to you when you book a cruise. This was the absolute worst vacation I was ever on. I am appalled to think that this is the kind of service that is provided on this ship. If I had the choice of leaving from New York, which is where I am from, or paying extra money for air fare to leave from Florida on another cruise line, that's what I would pick. So to anyone thinking about booking a cruise with Norwegian, please THINK AGAIN! Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
Where to begin? Well I guess I should start with the unsightly appearance of the Crown. It has numerous repair blemishes on the outside and inside of the ship. The corridors smell of human waste, deck boards were dislodged and food and ... Read More
Where to begin? Well I guess I should start with the unsightly appearance of the Crown. It has numerous repair blemishes on the outside and inside of the ship. The corridors smell of human waste, deck boards were dislodged and food and drink spills on the pool deck were never cleaned. Our stateroom, though larger than we expected was barely cleaned. Used items, such as drinking water, toilet tissue and drinking cups were never replaced or thrown away if need be. While sitting by the pool which is the size of a matchbox car, I actually witnessed a member of the crew take pool towels from the dirty bin, refold them and place them in the clean bin for continued use by other passengers. The crew was completely unenthusiastic, unprofessional and even rude. Save your money on the shore excursions as the staff left us completely misinformed on what would be appropriate for our 6 year-old child. The food was just mediocre and my husband was forced to refill his own beverage after trying to get our waiter's attention numerous times. Overall the NCL Crown was a complete disappointment. I think that if you were to buy a row boat, bring a cooler filled with juice boxes and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and a transistor radio for entertainment you would have a more fulfilling vacation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
This was my second cruise and first on NCL. Overall, I was very impressed with the service and ports of call. The ship's facilities leave something to be desired, especially after having sailed on a much larger and newer vessel. We ... Read More
This was my second cruise and first on NCL. Overall, I was very impressed with the service and ports of call. The ship's facilities leave something to be desired, especially after having sailed on a much larger and newer vessel. We departed from New York City (we live close-by). I was part of a group of about 40 people composed of family and family-friends. There were people of various ages in our party. We booked through a familiar local travel agent. Embarkation couldn't have been easier. We arrived around noon at the terminal. Porters were waiting by our bus to take our luggage. Wait times for security and check-in were minimal. While I have read of embarkation horror stories, I have had nothing but good embarkation experiences on both of my cruises out of New York (granted I didn't have to worry about flight connections.) The food and service were excellent throughout the week. We ate in the main restaurant each night for dinner and for a few breakfasts and luncheons. We did not have a chance to eat in any of the specialty restaurants, because it was nearly impossible to make reservations for large parties. We did not care for the Freestyle Dining Program. While it was nice having flexibility and options, the wait-times for dinner were often in excess of 20 minutes. We never had the same wait staff twice. I prefer the traditional two-seating method. The buffets were adequate, not exceptional (aside from the Chocoholics Buffet). The Crown has only one pool and two hot tubs (despite some website assertions of two pools and three hot tubs). The fitness room was adequate, but there is no steam room or sauna (it seems that some amenities have been replaced by a larger (and more lucrative) spa facility. The area around the pool was typically crowded, but there was plenty of space for sunbathing on other decks. The bar service is expectantly abundant. NCL strictly enforces its drinking age requirements (they'll scan your cruise card to check your age). The staterooms are average size and are well kept for the age of the ship. Our stateroom stewardess did a great job and we tipped her about the recommended levels. The tips, by the way, are automatically billed to your account at a rate of 10 dollars per guest per day (children under a certain age are charged half that.) The entertainment was average. They had an amusing juggling show and some singers. Two shows were cancelled on our cruise because one of the singers fell ill. The comedian, Rex Havens, was hilarious. I would definitely recommend seeing his show. We loved Bermuda. We had excellent weather for the entire week. We didn't do any shore excursions. The day in St. George's we went to Tobacco Bay Beach, which is a small, crowded beach with a nice, still cove. There is another beach close-by with rougher water and more space. Prices for food and chairs and umbrellas on the beach are rather high. For the day in Hamilton, we did some sightseeing. We went to the Crystal Caves (would recommend it) and Devil's Hole (wouldn't recommend it). There was a street carnival right outside the ship at night (everything in Bermuda costs at least twice what you would pay at home. The final day, we went to Horseshoe Bay, the most famous (and best) beach in Bermuda. There was abundant space and more reasonably priced amenities. Overall, we enjoyed Bermuda very much. Overall, this was a very enjoyable cruise. Hopefully, if you have booked this cruise you are aware of the limited facilities due to the size of the ship. Big ships cannot dock in Bermuda. I hope to go back to Bermuda, but probably not on a cruise. I would recommend the Crown to those who don't want to have a huge amount of activities and just want to relax on their cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
We had very rough weather the first two days of the cruise. The weather was rainy leaving new york and got worse as we headed out to sea. High crashing waves, lightening...this ship creaked, moved all around the place...a lot of people got ... Read More
We had very rough weather the first two days of the cruise. The weather was rainy leaving new york and got worse as we headed out to sea. High crashing waves, lightening...this ship creaked, moved all around the place...a lot of people got seasick including myself..which I never did before..this was my 8th cruise.....this ship is really not meant for travel in the atlantic ocean..the size is too small and too old to handle the punishment the atlantic ocean is capable of...and there was no warning over the loudspeaker system of the rough weather...could have taken the proper medicine etc...shame on NCL for allowing this size ship to do this run... Thank goodness the rest of the cruise...the weather was calm and uneventful...the wait staff in the main dining room were great...I was part of a group and we had assigned dining every night..at the same table..with the same wait staff...best way to go...noticed there were long lines every night..people waiting to get into dining room...we just walked in and sat down at our table....best food and staff on the ship....freestyle cruising was not meant for this ship..again..shame on NCL for taking precious public space and trying to convert this ship into something it is not..the food in the other restaurants..had basically lunch menus...did not try LeBistro...$15 per person cover charge...the group felt it was not worth it...one tiny pool on the whole ship...NCL added cabins during the last renovation..but forgot to add another pool..crowded all the time..with screaming kids jumping here and there..with no staff supervision. Too many passengers for this tiny pool to handle...we had to stake out an area for the day..and one of us had to guard our chairs and towels..to make sure someone else did not grab it..this is no way to cruise....and if you love to be around construction sites..then you will love this ship...hammering, banging, painting going on...night and day...a member of our group was kept up all night by the crew trying to fix some pipes.... One day at lunch in the main dining room....crew started banging on outside walls.....another time..very foul odor...like varnish or burnt plastic...passengers thought there was an electrical fire and reported it to staff..who said it was repair work going on....again..shame on NCL for not dry docking this ship and getting the work done the right way..not piecemeal..would you believe crew members were carrying big pieces of plastic up and down the various decks all day...this ship is definitely over the hill..and should be retired...the crew was friendly and accommodating..but could not make up for their surroundings.....do not take this ship to Bermuda..if you get caught in a storm..it will be hell on earth..this ship can not take rough seas at all...and the constant construction going on is a very big negative.....for the same money..or maybe a little bit more..you can get a newer bigger ship...with more things to do as well..and more pool space and hot tubs..right near the pool as well..not a couple of decks away...Royal Caribbean is introducing two big ships out of new jersey to Bermuda..starting in 2005..book one of them....you will be much better off.........andy Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
We have just returned from a delightful cruise on the NCL Crown to Bermuda from July 25th to Aug 1st. Our cabin was on the third deck near the Medical Center and would recommend choosing a higher up cabin because this was also a crew deck ... Read More
We have just returned from a delightful cruise on the NCL Crown to Bermuda from July 25th to Aug 1st. Our cabin was on the third deck near the Medical Center and would recommend choosing a higher up cabin because this was also a crew deck for comedians and performers and there was often too much smoke in the corridors -not that I am accusing anyone. Furthermore I booked an oceanview cabin which had a porthole the size of a dinner plate- not exactly an ocean view and quite a disappointment so buyer beware!!!! However, the room was spacious compared to other ships with loads of cupboard space and drawers but a little small for our bulky suitcases as I have yet to learn the art of travelling light. The ship is small and cosy and the only crowded space is the pool deck on sea days and finding a chair and keeping it is is a challenge. Relatively the pool is also small but I went to Bermuda for the beach so I did not really care. The shops have limited goods so did not do much shopping but did browse a lot. My kids did not join the kid's camp because they could not sign in or out freely, however entertainers still played games with them and awarded them many prizes to their delight and for which I was very grateful . They were occupied and happy. The food on the Crown was good to excellent with always lovely presentation for dinner. We appreciated the little hand washing disinfectant station prior to eating. or entering the ship. Breakfast was buffet style and one had to be really fussy not to find something to their liking. Lunch was limited in number of choices but there was variety every day so it never got boring. We did eat at the Bistro but we were misinformed about the kids fee as it was the same as adults. However they were kind enough to correct the discrepancy due to reservations misinformation. The wine glass we ordered was a joke with a drop of wine in a huge glass for 6$$ greatly overpriced for barely 2 ounces. Personally I would stick to the dining room as the food is just as good there. The difference would be the noise level as Bistro is much smaller and quieter... Bermuda itself was GORGEOUS . I recommend you do not buy buss passes but get tokens for your rides. Bus 7 will give you an incredible scenic ride pass fabulous beaches and coves. We went to St Catherine's Beach -waves and surf -too rough for me and just up a hill Bluebeard's cove which had fabulous calm waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling around the rocks. Horseshoe Bay is amazing and it too has a little quiet cove. In the Dockyards the Snorkeling park was great but do bring water shoes to avoid problems. I always do. Shops were closed because of the Emancipation Cricket match held over 2 weekends (Thursday-Friday ) in July and August. This happens every year so shop on the arrival day because NOTHING is open except the beach on those weekends. Check out the sales there are great bargains for quality stuff if you have patience. We spent our shopping dollars at Trimingham's in Hamilton, as they were having sales. All in all we loved the service, helpful staff, fabulous food and entertainment. I would recommend more smoke free sections all over the ship including the casino. Loved the Garfield nickel slot machine. It was great fun even though we lost. I recommend Ncl for quality/price ratio. Hope to do Bermuda again next year and with NCL. Michele Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
NCL Crown Cruise to Bermuda July 25, 2004 to August 1, 2004 There was a group of eight of us who went on this sailing. This was my wife's and my third cruise on NCL, previously sailing on the S/S Norway and NCL Dream. We left ... Read More
NCL Crown Cruise to Bermuda July 25, 2004 to August 1, 2004 There was a group of eight of us who went on this sailing. This was my wife's and my third cruise on NCL, previously sailing on the S/S Norway and NCL Dream. We left Allentown, PA on a charter bus arriving at the NY Pier around noon. The embarkation process was extremely quick and easy. There were no lines, we had pre-registered online and had no difficulties. We were probably on the ship within 15 minutes. CABIN We had a category D cabin on the Laguna deck (5044). The cabin was well maintained and clean. It had an unbelievable amount of closet and drawer space. Absolutely no problem with storing our clothes. This cabin had two single beds on different sides of the cabin (not parallel). We asked to have the beds moved together. This cabin is not configured in such as way as to make joined beds very convenient. You might have to wake or climb over the other person if you have to get up in the middle of the night. We also lost some drawer space which we did not need anyway. This did not bother us, but it might others. We looked into other cabins in this same category and joined beds were no problem. I guess it's just the way the other furniture is arranged. This cabin was in a perfect location of the ship! We were one deck below the Seven Seas Dining Room and one deck above the debarkation points for the Bermuda ports. FOOD We ate all our dinners in the Seven Seas Dining Room. The quality of the food was excellent. Very nice choices, good taste and presentation. We never felt rushed and usually took 1 ½ to 2 hours to finish all the courses. The wait staff was excellent! They were very personable, very hard working and quite fun to be around. There were numerous birthdays and anniversary celebrations and the wait staff always sang a tune with great enthusiasm! As a result we never considered going to one of the alternate dining rooms, therefore cannot comment on these. We only had significant waits (30 minutes) twice. Once was the Captain's Formal night when we went around 8PM. This was a very popular time. The other wait was on Thursday when they held the Chocoholic Buffet in the afternoon. Again, most people decided to eat late and this caused a backup. Otherwise our waits were no more than 5 - 10 minutes. We ate most of our lunches at the Yacht Club buffet. It is my personal opinion that buffets are always difficult to maintain. Some foods do well while others do not. They had the usual hot dogs and hamburgers and then some other entrees. All in all I thought the food was good. They offered some unbelievable dessert choices at both meals! There were some sugar free items that I swear you could not tell were dietetic. My buddy and I decided to leave the ship prior to its 7AM departure to get in an early round of golf. We asked for room service at 6AM which is a half an hour earlier than their stated start time. It was delivered promptly at 6 with a phone call a couple of minutes prior. PUBLIC AREAS The shops were awfully small and therefore choices were a bit limited. You also could not get many people in at one time without having to climb over each other. The casino is also small. There were plenty of slots machines unfortunately some were very close to the gaming tables. When someone hit big it seemed the alarms went off for a very long time! They have three blackjack tables ($5, $10 & $25 minimum), three card poker, roulette and craps. Staff was great. The Stardust Lounge is also smallish. One night (Thursday I think) they only offered one show and the place was packed! You must get there early. Others have commented on the pool area and it is very true, it is way too small. Saturday was a bright sunny day with very calm seas. There were so many deck chairs in the pool area you just about could not walk around! There are other areas to sun, but then there is no real area to cool off. Deck 11 had a good area to sun and had showers but I thought the bar service was inadequate. Long periods of time with no one in sight. I thought the entire ship was clean and well maintained. You could always see someone cleaning or painting. ENTERTAINMENT We did not go to many of the shows. Due to illness of one person in the Jean Ann Ryan Company, two of their shows were cancelled. The comedian was hysterical! Missed his first show but the second was great. The singer was also very good. Sorry but I cannot remember either of there names. Bingo seemed very well attended as best as I could tell. The duo that performs at the Top of the Crown was also very good based on the limited time I spent there. MISCELLANEOUS There were a ton of kids on this cruise of all ages. I did not expect this. Everyone seemed to be having a good time. Simon, the Cruise Director, was everywhere! He was great and always took time to speak with you. The last Thursday and Friday of July is a 2 day National Holiday. We did not know this. Most of the stores close (especially in Hamilton) and many of the excursions were cancelled. I am surprised NCL was not better prepared for this. Some of our group really wanted to go helmet diving and they we all cancelled. Many of the islanders camp out in tents and there is a two day cricket match. We golfed twice, at the Southampton Princess and Port Royal. Both are fantastic courses. We made our tee times in advance of the cruise in order to get earlier times and not blow the whole day. This worked very well! DEBARKATION What a breeze! I was told by one of the crew that our cruise had more people using the express check out than any previous cruise. The Dawn comes in about an hour after the Crown and Simon really suggested using Express to beat the crowd, especially if you were local. Seems a lot of folks took his advice. Everyone else gets called by the color of their luggage tags. We were in the last group to be called and we were off by 9:45AM. No problem finding our luggage, getting a porter or going through Customs. BERMUDA This was my first time here. What a beautiful place! Wish we had more time to explore. Personally I think moving the ship to three different ports is a waste of time. Like what the Majesty does better (staying in St Georges the entire time), but that is just my opinion. I'm sure there are many others who like moving around. Sherry, the Port Consultant, did suggest not renting scooters and after being in a couple of taxis I can see why. Besides driving on the left, roads are narrow and curvy and the taxis get right behind you. We did not see any injuries but did hear of some previous experiences. Overall I thought this cruise was a tremendous value. I would do this again without any hesitation and would recommend this to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
Review of Radisson Seven Seas Navigator ~ July 28, 2004 New York to Bermuda Guests: I am in my late thirties and serve as executive director of a charitable foundation. My husband is in his early forties and runs a consulting business. ... Read More
Review of Radisson Seven Seas Navigator ~ July 28, 2004 New York to Bermuda Guests: I am in my late thirties and serve as executive director of a charitable foundation. My husband is in his early forties and runs a consulting business. We have been on 15 previous cruises together, mostly on Princess and Celebrity to the Caribbean. Pre-Cruise: We departed Atlanta for New York the day before the cruise. This turned out to be wise, as we were delayed due to heavy storms on the way to Newark. After a 90-minute ground hold, our flight was released and was the last to land before Newark was closed for 3 hours later in the evening. We used Marriott Reward miles for a complimentary night at the New York Marriott Financial District. By the time we arrived, it was late and pouring outside, so we had a quick dinner at 85 West, the hotel bar/casual restaurant. Prior to making our way to the pier on Wednesday, we took a walking tour of Ground Zero, Wall Street and the Battery Park area. We had not been to New York since the 9/11 attacks, and the hole where the World Trade Center had been was a sobering reminder of the tragedy. Also, we noted a high degree of police presence around the NYSE, including guards with body armor and automatic weapons. (And this was the Wednesday before the terror alerts were issued on Sunday.) After a short cab ride to the pier, we were ready to board the Navigator. Embarkation: We arrived at the pier around 12:30 and were checked in with no waiting. A member of the ship's crew escorted us on board, where we were met with a glass of champagne, and directed to the Portofino Grill Restaurant for a buffet lunch. This was to be the beginning of a week of wonderful cuisine and service on the Navigator. On Princess and Celebrity cruises, we studiously avoid the buffet areas, because of the chaotic atmosphere. On the Navigator, the ratio of servers was much higher and the experience was much more relaxed. Since our suite was not yet ready, we left our carry luggage at the Reception Desk and ventured back off the ship to explore the USS Intrepid museum, which was located on the next pier. Although the flight deck was closed in preparation for Bobby Knievel's jump, to be televised on Saturday, we found the rest of the museum to be informative and entertaining. From there we were able to hear the Navigator's announcement that the suites were ready and headed back to the ship around 2:45. Suite: We had booked the ship's minimum accommodation, a Cat H oceanview suite on Deck 5. Having previously sailed in balcony staterooms and mini-suites on Princess and Celebrity, we found our suite on Radisson to exceed those accommodations in every respect (with the exception of the absence of the balcony.) We had been worried that we would miss having a balcony, but actually only wished for one the day we sailed from Bermuda. The suite was 301 sq. ft. and was separated into a bedroom and living area by a heavy curtain. The marble bathroom included a tub with hand-held and stationery faucet and a glass shower. One minor annoyance was the uneven water pressure and varying water temperature. After being scalded during my first shower, I used the tub for the rest of the voyage. The walk-in closet was more than ample for a week's worth of clothes and offered a tie rack, eight drawers and numerous hooks and shelves. It also had a safe which allowed you to set your own combination. A real plus to me were the real wooden hangers. The bedroom area had a king-size bed with an assortment of pillows and duvet cover. Although the bed was very comfortable, the pillows needed to be replaced. Night stands with two drawers and individual reading lights were on each side of the bed. The living area contained a long sofa, cocktail table and two small barrel chairs. On the opposite wall was a built-in cabinet holding a TV (with VCR), four additional drawers, a writing desk and bar setup. We requested our two complimentary bottles of liquor before going to dinner and they arrived with our turn-down that evening. A small fridge underneath contained 1 large and 2 small bottles of water, 2 Cokes, 2 diet Cokes, 2 7-Ups, 2 Club Soda, 2 Tonic Water and 2 Heinekens. All except the beer were replenished each day as they were consumed. Our cabin stewardess and her assistant (Jane and Stanley) were most efficient and unobtrusive. Sailing from New York: The sail away from New York Harbor was breathtaking and WINDY! The atmosphere was very festive, with the bar staff serving complimentary rum punch. (Lucky for me, that is my customary sail away beverage on every cruise!) As we stood near the bow watching the sights go by, we began to notice how many families with children were on board. Quick contextual note: We have an 11-year-old daughter, but made arrangements to go on this cruise without her due to our perception of the more adult, elegant and sophisticated atmosphere of Radisson Seven Seas Cruises. We like kids, but expect them to behave in a manner appropriate for their surroundings. We later learned that this voyage was a "Kids Under 17 Sail Free Promotion." There were 62 children on a ship with a normal capacity of 490. This is around the same ratio that Princess employs as the maximum number of children allowed on one of its ships. However, the big difference was that the Navigator had no dedicated facilities for children. Although they had 2 youth counselors on board, only about a third of the kids participated in the planned activities, leaving the rest to roam the ship with minimal supervision from their parents. The ship's security officers attempted to keep them under control, but were clearly outnumbered. Did the disruption caused by a number of unruly children ruin our cruise?? No way, the rest of the experience was too exceptional for that to happen. However, I would definitely check to make sure I was not sailing on the "Kids Sail Free" trip again. (The other dates for this season are the August 25 and September 1 sailings to Bermuda.) Dining: I can't think of enough superlatives to use to describe our dining experience on the Navigator. Each and every meal was a highlight! Standout items for me were: Eggs Florentine and Benedict, Beef Wellington, Seafood Newburg, Rack of Lamb and Almond Souffle with Vanilla Sauce. My husband loved the Lobster Tails and Chateaubriand. All of the appetizers, salads and soups were delicious. The desserts did not appeal to me as much, so I usually had cheese instead. I like white wine and hubby likes red, so which bottle to order usually becomes a negotiation. On Celebrity, we usually order one of each, since they are great about saving the remainder for the next night. Radisson has solved this problem with serving a house red and house white each evening free of charge. Service in the Compass Rose dining room and Portofino Grill was exceptional and unobtrusive. We never had any wait for a table for two. On the frequent occasions that my husband was having a hard time deciding between two entrEe choices, the waiters brought the one he ordered, along with a sample of the other. (Without being asked.) After the first night, the sommeliers remembered our wine preferences, and the waiters remembered that I drink regular coffee and hubby sticks to decaf. The Pool Grill served the usual fare of hamburgers, etc, with the addition of a poolside buffet. The Fish al Fresco and Tex Mex buffets were both very good. We were never in the mood to eat at tea time, but the pastries looked superb. Each night, there was a selection of canapEs in the lounges before dinner, which were a great accompaniment for our pre-dinner cocktail. Because we had read so many complaints about vibration at the aft of the vessel, we made reservations for Portofino (which is converted to the Italian alternative restaurant in the evening) for Saturday evening, which we would be docked in Hamilton. It was a fun, less formal, dining experience. The food was very delicious Northern Italian fare. The daily special that day was Osso Bucco with Risotto, which was as good as any I have had. Although each suite is limited to one reservation in Portofino per cruise, we were able to walk up and get a table on the last night, as they were not full. Bermuda: I can't comment much on the shopping, as my husband had us fully scheduled with activities during the hours the shops were open. (Coincidence? I suspect not!) Friday: Navigator docked promptly at 9:00. It was a national holiday (for the cricket Cup Match), so many shops were closed, and the bus/ferry system was operating on the holiday schedule. We took the 11:45 ferry to Somerset Bridge to get to Blue Water Diving at Robinson's Marina. Enjoyed a one-tank dive on Blue Hole, which featured a long swim-through. We returned to Hamilton via bus just in time to shower and get back off for the Chelonia Sunset Cruise. If you enjoy catamarans, cocktails, gourmet appetizers and interesting commentary from a captain whose family has lived in Bermuda for 200 years, this shore excursion is for you! Saturday: Caught the 7:15 (am!!) bus back out to Blue Water Divers for a two-tank dive. Our first site was the Badlands and Bad Caves. It is a large expanse of coral, with outcropping of fossilized algae (I think) forming overhangs that were interesting to swim through. The current was very strong, and we ended up a LONG way from the boat. Second site was the wreck of L'Hermine, a French battleship that ran aground. Although the wooden hull is long gone, there were 50+ cannons and a huge anchor. We took the bus to Horseshoe Bay, which is a beautiful beach, with very nice changing facilities. We were a little hesitant to swim, since the waves were crashing strongly over submerged rocks. Since we are not big "beach people", we enjoyed a long walk up and down the beach, then were back on the bus to Hamilton. The extent of my shopping in Bermuda was from 5:30 to 6:00 that day. My favorite store was Trimingham's, which seemed like Bermuda's version of Macy's. We found good souvenirs there and at Onion Jack's Trading Post. Sunday: The threat of high winds prevented us from repositioning to St. George's for the day. The ship provided bus passes for those of us who wanted to go over on our own. We were scheduled to play 18 holes at St. George's Club, but cut back to 11 to allow plenty of travel time to get back to the ship. Frank Thomas, the golf pro on board, encouraged us to play, even though we had not planned on it when we packed. St. George's Club is a par 62 course, with all par 3 and 4 holes. The course is tight, with some great views over the ocean. Although there are undoubtedly better courses in Bermuda, this one was fun for a beginner and a 10 handicap to play together. The course had a very casual atmosphere, and we were not self-conscious playing in our tennis shoes with rental clubs. Also, the price was very reasonable. Shortly after the ship sailed, the Captain announced that Tropical Storm Alex was approaching Cape Hatteras and was expected to reach Hurricane Force. Instead of sailing to Norfolk, VA as scheduled, we sailed to Newport, RI to avoid the storm. This was fine for us, since we would still get back to New York as scheduled. However, it created great complications for those who expected to disembark in Norfolk. Most of them stayed on the ship an extra night and disembarked in New York. The cruise line provided motor coach transportation back to Norfolk on Wednesday. Newport: This unexpected diversion ended up being delightful for us. We toured The Breakers, the 138,000 square foot summer home of the Vanderbilt family. From there, we could see the Cliff Walk, a 3.5 mile pathway along the cliffs. We figured that we were about 2 miles from the end, where we could pick up the trolley to ride back downtown. After walking for about 20 minutes along a nice wide walkway on top of the sea wall with great views of some of the other mansions, we encountered a sign warning that it was 2 miles until the next exit. No problem, we thought, we can easily walk 2 miles. After another 30 minutes of increasingly rocky terrain, we came to a sign that said "Next ¾ mile is very uneven. Turn back if you are unsure of your capabilities." Boy, we're glad we wore tennis shoes, we thought, and forged ahead. It took us another 45 minutes or so of climbing up and down the rocks to make it to the end. The Cliff Walk turned out to be another fun adventure for us, but might have posed a problem for people with physical limitations. Since we entered the walk in the middle we missed signs advising of the length and level of difficulty. The best views of the mansions and easiest walk was between Salve Regina University and the "Next Exit 2 miles" sign. Random thoughts on random topics: Bermuda Bus/Ferry System: We found this to be a great way to see the island, and it was clean, safe and economical. (I was too much of a chicken to rent mopeds and drive on the left.) We purposely chose different routes each way so that we could see as much of the island as possible. By the end of the three days, we had covered all but the Dockyards area. Note: Although there is a stop in front of Horseshoe Bay, it's a pretty long walk down (and back up, of course!) a hill to get to the beach. Diving in Bermuda: We have done most of our previous diving in the Southern Caribbean. I like the fact that all of our dives in Bermuda were more shallow (between 30 and 40 ft. max), and we saw some very interesting coral formations and shipwrecks. However the abundance and variety of sea life and color is far superior in the Southern Caribbean, IMO. Vibration: Much has been written about vibration at the aft end of the Navigator. It was very pronounced while the ship was underway in the Portofino Grill on deck 10 and the Seven Seas Show Lounge on deck 7. I can only imagine that it would have been felt in the aft passenger accommodations as well. Our cabin was near midships on deck 5, and there was no vibration or perceptible noise at all. I think this must bother some people more than others. We noticed the vibration in Portofino, but were not concerned. However, the couple at the table next to us asked to be moved to a table more midships to avoid it. Is Radisson Seven Seas really "all-inclusive"?: The only things that we signed for were shore excursions, shop purchases, photographs and a few beers by the pool. Although we don't typically drink during the day, we enjoy our pre-dinner cocktails and wine with dinner. The en suite bar setup and complimentary wine with dinner eliminated a pretty sizable line item on other cruises. Also, it just seems right that all soft drinks, juice and bottled water should be included. None of the staff seemed to expect tipping, which created a much more relaxed and genuine interaction with them. Photographs: The photo shop offered a "Cruise Memories" special whereby one could purchase ALL photos taken during the cruise for $99. This was a great way to avoid making decisions! As you can tell, we loved the Navigator and would recommend it highly! P.S. Upon our return to Atlanta, I spoke with our travel agent (who has booked at least our last dozen cruises). She was unaware of the "Kids Sail Free" promotion, but did not seem surprised. Apparently, Crystal Cruises initiated the practice. In any event, she said that she would call the Radisson District Sales Manager to register our concern. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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. 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
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. 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Sail Date August 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

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