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444 New York (Manhattan) to Bermuda Cruise Reviews

It was the closest cruise to our 50th anniversary date. Friends had recommended Norwegian. Long time waiting to get aboard, Much better getting off ourselves. We were VERY disappointed in our "Ultimate dining package " ... Read More
It was the closest cruise to our 50th anniversary date. Friends had recommended Norwegian. Long time waiting to get aboard, Much better getting off ourselves. We were VERY disappointed in our "Ultimate dining package " We found out at the first restaurant, first night, that it was only good for ONE meal ! I had made reservations for each of the 4 nights, thinking I was getting 4 meals. In speaking to several of your staff prior to the cruise, NOBODY mentioned that we were only getting one meal ! Not very transparent, actually SNEAKY ! Bad Job, Crappy way to treat first time cruisers on Norwegian. But , you probably train them that way. The specialty restaurant , La Cuchina, was only average as it turned out. We cancelled the other 3 reservations, after noticing that they cost about $75 pp ! The breakfasts and dinners in the Venetian dining room were OK. The Beverage package was OK. The pool deck was very crowded, no chairs available and not enough staff to get you a drink without a long wait. This was the smallest ship we have been on. On board shopping was very limited, except if you wanted to spend hundreds or thousands. $10 T shirts were advertised for the last night but there were NONE there, only trinkets and junk . The ring we bought for my wife is turning her finger black. NCLs 100 mins of WIFI was useless, never worked. The entertainment was OK, for a small ship. Patti and Josy were very good. The highlight was our cabin and cabin steward, both very good. The weather was beautiful the whole cruise. Way too short of time to do anything in Bermuda, a place we like alot. Been there before. Stores closed in Hamilton, on a Sunday. We would classify NCL as better than Carnival, not as good as RCL. We would like a response to this review from NCL Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Cabin was fine as noted below. However I did notice that the carpet could have been cleaner. Bathroom was tight but well laid out. 1). Fun party boat with mostly middle age and younger folks. (A waiter told us the average age on this ... Read More
Cabin was fine as noted below. However I did notice that the carpet could have been cleaner. Bathroom was tight but well laid out. 1). Fun party boat with mostly middle age and younger folks. (A waiter told us the average age on this 4 day Bermuda weekend cruise was 48 as compared to an 11 night Canada/New England just prior to our sailing where the average age was 68!) 2). Local folk from all walks of life. 3) We experienced every level of service.. From stellar service from Rose in ship photography who went above and beyond helping us connect to wifi when the IT department was long gone, to downright rude staff. Notably a front desk member was annoyed with a very simple question and a eat staff member seemed to unexplainably stomp off in the middle of serving us. (It appeared were walked in on some some of dispute between her and the hostess, since i we did nothing to provoke this. 4). The food:. The free stuff was not good. Honestly, barely edible, with exceptions. Garden Cafe buffet: Mainly just gross. Go here only if you have no other option. Omelets were ok. Crepes were ok. Fruit salads and slices were good. Soft serve machine was always broken. Topsiders: Mini version of inside buffet food but since it's exposed to heat and humidity, I'd just stay away. They do offer ice cream, and that is the exception here. Wings at O'Sheehan's were ok, as was the Spinach artichoke dip. Everything else we had was just weirdly prepared or not good. Bamboo: Didn't get to experience because strangely the Norwegian app indicated that "Reservations not Accepted". However, when we went there they were only accepting those with reservations. ??? Venetian:. Let me just say this. Save yourself. Eat here. We had something very good at every meal. Although, it takes time for your food, it was worth it. Aqua:. We didn't get to but has same menu as Venetian. Los Lobos:. Good, small portions, and you are paying reasonable ala cart prices. Teppanyaki:. Good. Entertaining but expensive. Drinks:. About average for vacation, figure on $10 drink. We did not do the drink package. We figured we'd have to drink at least 10 drinks a day per person to make it worth it. We brought wine aboard. All in all, it was a fun weekend cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise to spend a few extra days in NYC and we hadn’t been to Bermuda before. It was just my husband and I. We have been on several NCL cruises before and had no complaints with them. We were spent a significant portion of ... Read More
We chose this cruise to spend a few extra days in NYC and we hadn’t been to Bermuda before. It was just my husband and I. We have been on several NCL cruises before and had no complaints with them. We were spent a significant portion of our time onboard with the art auctions as that was our primary reason for the cruise. The condition of the ship overall was somewhat rundown. For example, chairs had no padding left in the padded seats. Not quite as clean, bits missing here and there. Our room was okay. Unlike other cruises where the steward introduced himself the first day, we didn’t even see ours until mid-week. A lot of the staff seemed to have an attitude. The food in the buffet area was so-so. Not much variety and there were times the condition was not acceptable (cold eggs, hard edges on French toast). Even some of the specialty dining options were so-so. The French restaurant Le Bistro was very good. Teppenyaki was good but so loud you couldn’t carry on a conversation. The entertainment options were somewhat limited but they did have some great comedy acts. The lines at the guest serves were always long and I know that I had to go back several times over the same issue. Bermuda is beautiful. Clean, very safe, and easy to get around. Since we had 3 days in port, we didn’t schedule any excursions. Took the ferry and public bus to get around. You can also rent scooters. In general, everything is a little more $$ there but worth getting out. Not much shopping other than the usual. Beaches, snorkeling, or scuba is best use of time. Just a warning . . . If you aren’t used humidity, it really hits you . . . Like swimming underwater! Don’t use NCL transportation to the airport. They don’t leave until everyone is on board. After waiting 1 hour, 2/3 of the passengers to Newark hadn’t shown up and we were told if we needed to catch a taxi to make our flight, NCL would reimburse transportation voucher, I’m still fighting with them. Overall, very disappointing experience. I’m not sure if I will cruise NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Friends and family had nothing but praise for this cruise line. Unfortunately the embarkment was 45 min off and disembarking was a hectic cluster as the cruise line did not follow their own policy. As we did obtain their green banding and ... Read More
Friends and family had nothing but praise for this cruise line. Unfortunately the embarkment was 45 min off and disembarking was a hectic cluster as the cruise line did not follow their own policy. As we did obtain their green banding and waited for our call as told...when our call came we found the whole ship and passengers were left in an unruly manner. Causing mass confusion. Which makes one wonder what what would happen in the event of an emergency. Our cabin was not cleaned to the standard we had expected with dust and hair found sporadically around the room. When returning to our cabin after many hours we had to ask or forgo cleaning of our room on many days and fill our towels ourselves. In all fairness our dining was 5 star. Entertainment and activities were in abundance. It did take multiple calls and 3 days to get water for my husbands cpap. Bermuda itself is a beautiful island but the excursions, for the cost, was not actually worth the money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Heard good things about Norwegian Escape. Have always been loyal to royal Caribbean. Ground transport from LaGuardia to the cruise terminal and as horrible. Took 2 hours. Buses were not called to pick us up until after they confirmed ... Read More
Heard good things about Norwegian Escape. Have always been loyal to royal Caribbean. Ground transport from LaGuardia to the cruise terminal and as horrible. Took 2 hours. Buses were not called to pick us up until after they confirmed the number of people waiting. We were corralled in an air at the airport with no seating. Food servers in the restaurants did not know their menus or the side dishes that came with them. The stateroom crew were the best. The most pleasant and most accommodating. Disembarking was horrendous. Took an hour to get off the ship once we got in line. We missed our flight which Norwegian had booked. The ground transport to LaGuardia took forever and they don’t drop you at your terminal. They drop everyone at terminal A and then you are on your one to get to your correct terminal. We barely made out 2nd flight and had to pay an additional $150.00 for Norwegian’s mistake. The night at Cagney’s was ruined because they charged us $7.20 for sparkling water, even though we have the premium drink package. Internet service was terrible. The 250 free minutes are used up waiting for text messages and emails to go through. Had to pay an additional $85 for unlimited internet but only one of us go be online at a time. Very annoying! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We selected this itinerary because we were looking for a Zika free destination with the ease of the all-inclusive resorts available in much of the Caribbean. In this regard, the Escape to Bermuda was a good choice for us and our ... Read More
We selected this itinerary because we were looking for a Zika free destination with the ease of the all-inclusive resorts available in much of the Caribbean. In this regard, the Escape to Bermuda was a good choice for us and our four-year-old daughter. We were impressed with Splash Academy, whose counselors worked hard to create a new theme for the kids each day. Our daughter kept telling us we had picked her up too early, which was a wonderful “problem,” as it gave us time to relax, just the two of us. My daughter enjoyed performing in a show on the last day. The boat was clean. Our room was well-kept and most of the staff were courteous, with “hellos” she smiles. Bermuda is lovely and easy to navigate. We didn’t book excursions. The entertainment on the boat was quite good. The Choir of Man show, in particular, had a real artistry to it that I didn’t expect on a cruise trip. All of the performers were talented and well-trained. The issues that arose for us were all due to the extreme over-crowding. We felt like we couldn’t really go in the pools (though my daughter didn’t mind the crowds) or hot tubs. There was a “party” mentality that I’m sure is appealing for some, but was not so for us. A lot of kids were unsupervised and I found myself having to advocate for my daughter many times when other parents were not around to watch their children. The drink package is excellent and worth the price, though because of the crowding, it usually took quite a long time to get a drink. By the middle of the trip, drinks were watered down and we switched to wine and beer, particularly at the pool bar. There were hour-long waits for the slides and often chaos in the buffet area, again, due to the ship being at capacity. It caused frustration amongst passengers and I witnessed rude behavior more than once, which both surprised and disappointed me. The food was fine. Some of it was good, particularly in the Irish pub, but most of it was just “fine” and perhaps a bit repetitive. Would I sale on the Escape again? Yes, but with the caveat that it be during more of an off-season, as the crowds really were a detriment to an otherwise good experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I selected this cruise because the port was close to home and I didn’t have to drive or fly anywhere. The ship is very modern and nice. There were many activities on the boat and the food was good. I love the touch screen TV’s on every ... Read More
I selected this cruise because the port was close to home and I didn’t have to drive or fly anywhere. The ship is very modern and nice. There were many activities on the boat and the food was good. I love the touch screen TV’s on every floor, you can make reservations on them too. I also love the itinerary they left the night before for the following day. We got the drink package and Specialty restaurant deal. We ate at the steak house which was delicious, the moderno (Brazilian) and the Cucina (Italian) were okay. The drink package was good many selections and top brands, but you need to request or else they’ll give you the house brands. The only thing I don’t like is they don’t include bottle water. Bermuda was beautiful, definitely stop at horseshoe bay. We didn’t do any excursions because we traveled with our young children and there weren’t too many options for young kids. My kids did partake in the children's camp, they have many activities for the kids all ages. Now the bad. Our personal rep owed us an on board credit and he did not give it to us, I would call him and he would not answer my calls. I called guest services to complain and they don’t care, I left voicemails, spoke to supervisors and got no answers. The money I spent on this cruise was not worth it. Our bathroom smelled like urine the first day we arrived, I called housekeeping to clean it but no one came. My husband got food poison that night at the Manhattan Room restaurant, he lost a whole day because he was so sick. The pool deck chair situation is TERRIBLE, a bunch of chairs with towels and bags and no one sitting on them. The worst part is the staff doesn’t enforce their 60 minutes rule policy. It’s packed during sea days and the children’s water park area is even worse, it’s a bad layout. Nowhere to sit and very small. Overall we had a nice time and made the best of it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Have traveled on Norwegian in the past. Have to say that my experience on this cruise was definitely disappointing compared to my other cruises with Norwegian. Some of the employees at the slide and several different bars were very ... Read More
Have traveled on Norwegian in the past. Have to say that my experience on this cruise was definitely disappointing compared to my other cruises with Norwegian. Some of the employees at the slide and several different bars were very rude and unprofessional to both my daughter and husband.After having this experience, I am now looking for other cruise lines to do business with. I had a room in the Haven suite which was beautiful except for some of our service from our night butler. One night he never picked up our order for breakfast in the morning so our day butler had to go get us breakfast which took awhile. We were late embarking off the ship that day and had to rush to the Dolphin Quest so that my daughter wouldn’t miss her class. The room steward Renaldo was excellent and the day butler was ok. Patrick in the Haven was very accommodating and helpful. He helped us order caviar with our dinner at La Bistro and came to the restaurant to make sure that we received it. Some of the staff in La Bistro didn’t know how to prepare the caviar which we had to do ourselves unlike the other La Bistro ‘s that we have been on in the Dawn and Gem. Our waitress didn’t even know what caviar was which I found was a little shocking for someone who works in a restaurant. The atmosphere was nothing like the other ships. It was very loud and decorated very plain unlike the Gem and Dawn. The service was ok. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We choose this cruise because of convenience. Leaving from New York City was our attraction. There were so many issues I had with the cruise. I can write a book.. Let me start with the housekeeping staff! My room had an smell. The toliet ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of convenience. Leaving from New York City was our attraction. There were so many issues I had with the cruise. I can write a book.. Let me start with the housekeeping staff! My room had an smell. The toliet smelled like bowel and urine. Under the beds had dirt left over from previous guest. I loudly complained. Totally disgusted. They recleaned room. The lady who cleaned our room did not clean the room. She only gave us towels and made up beds. There was gum on sheet and she made up bed to hide gum on sheet. And the list goes on and on. My mother diabete testing stripes were stolen from her room. When she complained was told maybe someone you're with took them. Smoking cigarettes in casino very upset about that so I didn't go there. How about having 2 casinos one being smoke free? So guest like me can enjoy the casino as well. RUDE STAFF. I noticed the Philippines workers were much nicer to non-black guest!!! I personally had 2 encounter's with staff and was given such mean attitude look as if to say did I have permission to speak to this man! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Generally the ship was nice and clean. The food was above average. Entertainment was very good. Staff was courteous and always helpful. Biggest problem with ship is the swimming pool situation and no real adult area. That makes this ... Read More
Generally the ship was nice and clean. The food was above average. Entertainment was very good. Staff was courteous and always helpful. Biggest problem with ship is the swimming pool situation and no real adult area. That makes this ship a very poor choice for me and most adults I know. Hard to believe whoever designed this ship missed on this one. First time i cruised Norwegian, but I will need to check ship out in more detail before I cruise with them again. The agent I booked with said there was an adult pool and area. He was correct, but the pool was tiny, there was only one adult hot tub and there were kids all over the place. Also, whats the point of having a small pool and the entire thing is 6'8" deep. everyone was hanging on the sides because no one like treading water in the middle when you are trying to relax and talk to friends. design people really messed up big time. I was not the only one complaining. It seemed to be what many people talked about everyday. Variety of bars was great, but usually difficult to get a drink. What makes it worse is paying for the drink package and spending half you time trying to get drinks just to get your moneys worth. Also for the price you pay for drink package, they should have bottled water. Very poor! Agent told me they did have bottled water with package, but was wrong. Very disappointed, as i am a water drinker more than an alcohol drinker. I had to spend money to buy bottled water. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Choose for the pools and activities for teens we brought. Very crowed pool area with just one adult pool that you could not stand up in. Child pool not so great either. I would call this "Cruise without pools". Cruise for the ... Read More
Choose for the pools and activities for teens we brought. Very crowed pool area with just one adult pool that you could not stand up in. Child pool not so great either. I would call this "Cruise without pools". Cruise for the 18 to 25 age group that like much noise. The big water slides are very slow with long lines, rope course not used much. They would have been better off using the room for more pools, these were not used much. Plenty of so called hot tubs with few umbrella's in upper quieter decks. Food was mediocre at best, restaurants all seemed to get food from same location with some minor differences. Don't bother with the filet, tasteless dry beef, they should wrap it with bacon. If your want hot food and real toast just go to buffet for breakfast, breakfast at restaurant will give you: no toast, under cooked bacon and just plain cold breakfast that is brought in from above. Maybe the buffet is the best for all meals, so skip the specialty restaurants, not worth it. They are strange about the towels, just make sure you leave what was in your cabin back when you leave. Balcony rooms are very nice with plenty of room, do not get inside cabin. Shows and activities just repeat every night it seems. Bottom line I/we will never go on this cruise again. Will look for something much better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We just returned from 7 day trip to Bermuda with NCL Escape and I've come to the conclusion that cruises are not what they used to be anymore. Stay at the Haven was fantastic - great service, hospitality and amenity. However, the rest ... Read More
We just returned from 7 day trip to Bermuda with NCL Escape and I've come to the conclusion that cruises are not what they used to be anymore. Stay at the Haven was fantastic - great service, hospitality and amenity. However, the rest of the ship and what it offered was just average, nothing unique or spectacular. The Haven review - Staying in The Haven was worth every penny, just to be able to avoid the layers and layers of people at the main pool deck on sea days. We appreciated the constantly high level of attentive, friendly and professional service from the entire staff on the Haven (room steward, concierge, Haven restaurant staff, and other service staff). - Embarkation/Disembarkation was very smooth, having an ability to use Haven only priority lane as well as the Haven only elevators. But don't expect any welcome cocktail anymore (at least not at New York terminal). - We spent a lot of time on the Haven pool area. Because of the time of the year, there were many families with small children, but they were all relatively well behaved. There is also an adult only part of the Haven on sundeck, including hottub, if you want to get away from kids. That said, Haven pool area was never crowded or loud and we were always able to find a lounger or place to sit and relax. - We ate a lot at THE Haven restaurant. Food was very good with varieties of stuff on menu so we never got tired of eating there. I say the quality was equal or better than the high end specialty restaurants. The service was a bit slow but that's expected on cruise ship restaurant - you slow down your pace and get to enjoy your meal and family time for a change! Cabin (H5 on port side) Rooms are significantly small, compared to those on older ships, which is the downside of these newer ships. It's much smaller than family suite on Dawn, for example. It is enough for 2 adults and 1 kid but if you wanted to dine in your room, a table is not big enough (it's cocktail table). A deck is small, enough only for 2 chars and a small table. But since we were so close to the Haven lounge/pool/sundeck, it was fine. If you carry a lot of clothes, there may not be enough closet space though. One tip of advice - if you are going to Bermuda, a port side will face the island but there is a beach party some nights, which is pretty loud and goes to wee hours so if noise is an issue, you may want to consider the location. However, you get to see a beautiful sunset from your balcony. Rest of the Ship - Main pool area is small and compact (and crowded as expected) - Kids pool area is right next to the main pool, which is good and bad - adults can go get drinks and other things easily, but it feels really cramped. - H2O area is nice and it is open to all ages after 6pm. We enjoyed the outdoor movie night and dance party thereafter. - I thought indoor entertainment amenities were lacking. There are 2 lanes of duck pin bowling and arcade games - that's pretty much it. I wish they offer more music and other fun activities indoors during a daytime. I personally think RCI offers better fun amenities. - We ate at Cagneys, Teppanyaki and Cucina and I thought food qualities were much better than other NCL ships. I was pleasantly surprised by the teppanyaki filet. - Main entertainment was pretty good. We enjoyed magician and Choir of Man. However, the rest of the entertainment/activities throughout a day were very disappointing. Many were clearly designed to sell you stuff, which really turned us off. - Jogging track is a joke and seemed like it was completely afterthought. RCI, for example, has jogging track secluded from the main deck. This one cuts through the bars and busy access area to the pool areas so it's only open till 9am and after 6pm, which is fine as I usually run early in the morning, but the worst part was it was only 0.2KM in length! After about 5 laps, I lost track. For a ship this size, I expected much bigger and better jogging track. Also, it is right beside the smoking area so you get to enjoy second hand smoking as you run. Ports - We love Bermuda and this is our 4th trip there. We independently booked the access to Elbow Beach Resort. Since it was a private beach, it was not crowded and beach was great. However, wave was pretty rough (not sure if it was particular for that day or is usually like that) so was not ideal for families with small children. Also, food/drinks were so overpriced (2 regular beer on tap and 1 OJ = $35), we ended up not eating there. - Glass bottom tour was nice - our captain was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot about Bermuda, its marine life, architecture and history. It was packed but we all were able to see the glass bottom. - Snorkel beach is very tiny and is not nearly as nice as other beautiful beaches Bermuda offers but it's convenient. I hear it gets pretty packed on the last day so recommend going there the first day. Kids This was the second cruise on our 4 year old and she enjoyed it. It was nice that there were many families with kids in the Haven level. She did not want to go to Splash Academy until the last day - and when she finally did, she really enjoyed it. Hopefully she will go more the next time! Kids pool area looked fun but again, it was very crowded so she spent most of her time in the Haven pool area with us. I wish there were more kids friendly amenities indoor. Final thoughts Although experience at the Haven was very nice, I am not sure if it was worth the money we paid. We've been to all-inclusive beach resort with personal butler/chef/nanny included for the similar price. Although we will definitely go cruising again (what can I say, we love cruise), I think it is time to try different brand. NCL has become a bit too formulaic, and does not offer that special feeling you get on the cruise trip anymore. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
All the entertainment options my wife and I wanted to experience were fully booked by the first evening on the ship. The complimentary restaurants all had the same menu so there was only really two food options each day, one of the ... Read More
All the entertainment options my wife and I wanted to experience were fully booked by the first evening on the ship. The complimentary restaurants all had the same menu so there was only really two food options each day, one of the complimentary restaurants or the buffet. There was more food options but of course you would have to pay extra if you wanted to dine at them. The internet package that my wife payed access for only let her connect have of the time. Although the ship looked big the deck space was limited and almost all lounge chairs were claimed by 9am each morning. On the positive side the room steward was excellent and very attentive. He provided ice for us every day so we could keep or son’s baby food frozen. We did do excursions but decided to book on our own because it was cheaper then to book through the ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
For our family vacation this year we chose the NCL Escape. This was our 3rd cruise on NCL, and the 2nd on a Breakaway class ship. This cruise was, unfortunately, just OK. The Escape is a HUGE ship, over 4000 passengers, but I found it ... Read More
For our family vacation this year we chose the NCL Escape. This was our 3rd cruise on NCL, and the 2nd on a Breakaway class ship. This cruise was, unfortunately, just OK. The Escape is a HUGE ship, over 4000 passengers, but I found it to be poorly thought out and crowded. Our embarkation was flawless, NCL really has this down. Since we are latitude members we went from parking on the pier, to being on the ship in less than an hour. We were able to get into our cabin in about 2 hours, and finally start to relax. We sailed on time and leaving NY is always amazing to see! The ship is beautiful, clean and BIG! NCL's mantra has always been "Freestyle Cruising", so if that is the case why do I have to BOOK EVERYTHING! The one thing that I don't want to do on vacation is to make appointments and to keep them, but I can tell you from experience if you do not book shows, dinners, etc beforehand you will NOT get in. On our last NCL cruise you could just show up to the dueling pianos, or the comedy club, or theater, not this time. Everything was sold out, standing room only. The specialty dining sold out almost immediately so even though we had the dining package we ended up eating at the included restaurants most nights. The other issue I have is the "mandatory" tipping that has caused the service to go away. In the past tipping was something that we did when the service was excellent. Now, with mandatory tipping there is no reason for any of the staff to go above and beyond. I can tell you that I would wait almost 20 MINUTES for a drink at the pool bars. There was only 1 bartender on staff! My cabin steward for not unfriendly, but he rarely spoke to us. He worked his butt off and our room was spotless, but on past cruised they were always so friendly and went out of there way to get to know you. Also an FYI, NCL has stopped doing towel animals, stating that they want to cut down on washing, how about if you just put one less towel in the room and make the animals anyway, those little things cannot be emphasized enough. You can ask for them, but I did not know that until our last day. The food was hit or miss, some entrees were to die for, others I could make better at home. The staff in the dining rooms was also unpredictable. Some nights the servers were amazing, others they just did not seem to care. It was disappointing. Debarkation was as smooth as getting on. We walked off the ship through customs to our car in about an hour. It is definitely worth it to walk your own bags off the ship if possible. Any vacation is what you make it to be and we did have a great time. However, because of the things I mentioned above I will have to consider other cruise lines for our next trip even tough we are Latitude members. The ship was just too crowded and poorly thought out and mandatory tipping has taken the great service away from what has always been a great cruise brand. We may have to try Royal Caribbean next time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I think it's important before leaving a rating to understand the frame of mind of the traveler and their expectation levels before cruising. Let me say that in my case - I love cruising. To be it's about relaxation, the ... Read More
I think it's important before leaving a rating to understand the frame of mind of the traveler and their expectation levels before cruising. Let me say that in my case - I love cruising. To be it's about relaxation, the vacation coming to you, the full itinerary, the work is done for you, and the fact that everything is settled in advance. You go, you don't have to think too much about spending a fortune, you unwind, recharge, and when you get back, you don't feel like you need another vacation. That said on The Escape... The service was absolutely excellent, the food was excellent. The shows (Choir of Man and After Midnight, their Magic duo) were excellent. Our weather and our "ride" to an fro were excellent. So why just a 3-star review? The Escape loses points because it is simply overcrowded, there are not enough "open" spaces to just conversate or relax unless you want to tan on the upper deck and even that is way too overcrowded, and a little unruly and dirty (not their fault, the guests just leave food and drinks and dirty towels everywhere and the staff can't keep up). A lot of the indoor functions took place in the Theatre or the "Atrium," and it too was way overcrowded. The Theatre was fine, uncomfortable and rather small considering that there are 4000 guests on the ship. Spice H2O is a great party space, but again, way too overcrowded. This made it uncomfortable for my kind of tastes. As NY'ers, we go on a cruise to get away from that shoulder-to-shoulder discomfort, not to enter into it. Bars were hit or miss with service. O'Sheehan's., the main bar overlooking the Atrium was incredibly understaffed at the bar, and on a number of occasions we were simply ignored for 10-15 minutes at a time. Thankfully, there are other bars where it's easier to score a drink...no big deal. Felt a bit nickel-and-dimed at times (do they really have to charge $5.50 for a bottle of water in the room, especially when they charge guests $15 a day already?), and way, way, way too much space designated to art and photography. that's just a money grab and a waste of good space. On nights when photographers were around you had stairways blocked, cues of lines in hallways just to pass, it was rather obnoxious at times. It's a problem because the Escape just doesn't have a lot of usable space for a ship this large, there is simply too much congestion, and then throw in blocked hallways and staircases into the mix simply to take a portrait, c'mon now! And to do it for the final 4 nights on the cruise is a little too much. Choose a single night to do that, people dress up, take your picture, and be done with it. The Escape just hits you over the head with that nonsense. The automated bingo with predetermined winners was a letdown and way too expensive. Deal or no Deal and some of the other "game shows" were really boring and a letdown, but because that's not why I choose to cruise it didn't lose too many points. The bottom line is this - the Escape is NOT cheap and it is a good time. Where it needs to deliver - Food, drink, service, cleanliness, embarkation process - it truly is fantastic! but there a lot of minor annoyances that certainly will have me looking to "try something different" next time around, not because it's a bad ship but because I didn't walk away saying, "Wow, that ship is amazing" and that's simply what I want when I cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
THE GOOD: I can't stress enough how having a great, caring, and helpful staff can make or break your experience, and this staff shined as bright as the sun! The bartenders and servers were all so very quick to provide any ... Read More
THE GOOD: I can't stress enough how having a great, caring, and helpful staff can make or break your experience, and this staff shined as bright as the sun! The bartenders and servers were all so very quick to provide any assistance and did so with a friendly smile. The events staff was exceptionally amazing. Shauna started the cruise off wonderfully doing the thankless job of giving the safety lecture in the Liquid Lounge, which was our muster station. She also was joyfully the KJ for many of the karaoke events in the Red Frog Pub. Adam and Diego were a joy to bounce back-and-forth with at Bingo, Pablo (hola!) was surprisingly a funny opener to the comics at the dual lineup of standup comedy in the Liquid Lounge (he also made a fun trivia host), and Tyler was by and far my favorite trivia host (lo siento Pablo) and ran the last night of karaoke. Of all the talent performing throughout the cruise, Scott at the Piano Bar was so enjoyable. He was funny, accommodating (especially when he didn't have the requested song), and supremely talented. We found ourselves spending the remaining hours of three different nights relaxing and singing along in the bar. For those reading this, he has three-month contracts on these cruises and our last night on the Sunrise was his too, as he now is performing on the Carnival Magic. When the service is universally this amazing, you can tell that it stems from great management, because a truly successful leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. Chris (aka The Flying Scotsman) was the cruise director, and boy was he a delight. He devised great activities and events throughout our time on the ship, and also was a great host and performer. One highlight regarding his hosting skills was at the Love & Marriage event on the last day at sea. This is basically the Newlywed Game on a stage. I've seen it done on different ships (including Royal Caribbean) before, but Chris was by and far the funniest host, and really worked great on the spot with the contestants who were chosen at random as the show started. I laughed harder at him than I did even the hilarious raunchy comedians the night before. I purchased this vacation to celebrate the 3rd anniversary with my girlfriend, and to propose to her (she said yes by the way). Part of the advanced planning involved ordering the Happy Anniversary Celebration Package provided by The Fun Shops. It included a small cake (I chose chocolate), a 5" x 7" photo frame, 30" x 60" beach towel, and four dangling banners with romantic words on them that were hung on the ceiling via magnetic ends. When ordering, they ask what day of the cruise you would like this to be set up in the cabin. I chose the first day, hoping that the cabin would have everything ready to go before we stepped foot in it after embarkation. My whole idea of getting the package as a surprise to my then-girlfriend was to propose to her in the cabin at the very start of the cruise. After purchasing the package online months before we set sail, I called the Fun Shops to confirm that, if I chose to have the room decorated on the first day if the cabin, would the cabin be decorated before we set sail at 4pm? They could not confirm this, because the only guarantee they make is the decorations will be set up before the "end of the day" (i.e. as late as 9pm as I recall them saying). Given we had dinner reservations for 7pm, and I wanted to propose before dinner, this was a small concern. They suggested I talk with someone in the Retail Cares department (as they're the ones responsible for delivering the packages in the cabins) via the Guest Services desk on the day I embark to confirm if it was set up yet. We embarked at around 1:30pm, so I went solo to the Guest Services desk and a helpful agent (I really wish I remembered her name because she was so sweet and helpful) made the call to confirm if it was set up yet. She wasn't able to reach the person who could confirm that, so she stepped away from the desk for about 3 minutes and physically went to my cabin to check and confirmed it was! The way they decorated the room around the bed with the banners was lovely (and the chocolate cake we had later that night was DELICIOUS). It really made for a memorable proposal. My only gripe was I filled out a personal, meaningfully romantic message to be printed (like the small ones you can get printed with a flower delivery) when I ordered the package online many months before, and it was never printed. Depending on where and what you ate, the food ranged from nearly flawless to cheap hospital/institutional-tasting. The best restaurant food we ate was the steak and sides at Fahrenheit 555. It was an extra $38 per person, but well worth it for food that compares to what prices you normally find at a nice steakhouse. Our filet mignons were huge (the menu said 9oz, but I swear they were bigger), perfectly trimmed, and flawlessly cooked to medium-rare. This is not as much of a surprise to me if they're a great steakhouse because many I've been to in NYC can provide this too. The best surprise for me was the side of sautéed medley of fresh mushrooms. I'm not even a fan of many mushroom dishes, but this was one not to be missed; I only wish I ordered two of them instead of wasting a side on the decent mac and cheese. The best room service by far was a small thin-crust pie we ordered through the Pizzeria del Capitano for only $5 (you order through the helpful HUB app mentioned below). They deliver these pies to nearly every area on the ship. I'm a pizza snob and have had most all of the best pizza places in NYC. This pizza definitely wasn't in the upper-echelon, but man was it better than so many NYC slice joints. Seriously, do yourself a favor and try one of these pies. Also, on a whim, we were going to have the buffet for brunch on Deck 9 around 12pm, but the line was so damn long (something I've read in nearly every review on this website), so instead we opted for some burgers and fries at Guy's Burger's Joint. These burgers compare to the best you'll get at Five Guys (the fresh cut-style fries are pretty much the same) and other fast-casual restaurants. The burger patties are loosely formed and well seasoned, which lends itself to why they taste so damned good. The donkey sauce is a perfect burger topping. Oh, and do yourself a favor and dip those fries in a side of Guy’s bar-b-que sauce on the topping station. I thought it was going to taste cheap and just be nothing but sweet like bottled Kraft sauce. It was on the sweeter side, but it was really well spiced and finished with a nice little kick of heat. Finally, I haven't been on a cruise in over 5 years (my last one being with Royal Carribean), and so I've never seen an app quite like Carnival HUB. This app is amazing, and I hope all cruise liners copy its format and make some small common-sense improvements. Once you're on the ship, it immediately provides a listing of all events happening on the ship each day, from early morning to late at night, as well as every dining option available, based on the time of day, and allows you to create a daily planner well in advance to set your customized itinerary. What's more is you will get helpful push notifications on your phone ahead of time, reminding you of the next event or dining reservation you have. Without going on endlessly though just about the app, here's more info on it: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/carnival-hub/id925117977 . My only gripe with it is that it lists some rooms as being on a specific deck, but the entrance to that room is on an entirely different deck. For example, the Sunshine Dining Room (the main dining room on the ship) is listed on the app as being on Deck 5, but the entrance is on Deck 3. This is so frustrating and makes me wonder why the app doesn't list that specific info, to make it easier to navigate on the ship. Also, as far as improvements with technology, it would be great if the ship had a WiFi-centric GPS on each deck, so you can navigate your way to each location. That might be wishful thinking, but it would be such a helpful tool on a ship with difficult to find entrances for various rooms. THE BAD: The ship was cramped in all public spaces and the bars sprinkled throughout. These caused inconveniences galore just walking around the ship. For instance, the beautiful lobby on Deck 3 had a ceiling, which extended many floors above, and each floor overlooking the lobby walkways around this, but those walkways were so small in width, it would always be congested from people just standing around and looking towards that beautiful space. And when there were events or musicians performing in the lobby, that made things even more congested. Having to constantly bump into people when you're just trying to walk by on a huge cruise ship feels really inconvenient. And the orientation of the pools, whirlpools, and deck chairs on the Lido deck (9) was almost impossibly to walk through without bumping into people. On my last cruise (Royal Caribbean), the main public walking spaces were so nicely spread out this kind of congestion almost never occurred. Not only were the walkway widths small, but also so was the seating in many event rooms. Given the Sunshine is a renovation from the Triumph, and that it added more cabins, they didn't do a good job in making the event rooms more accommodating for the higher passenger count. The Limelight Lounge (where the comedians were most every night) was so cramped and small, you could never get a seat and the body heat from the room made it uncomfortably hot. The congestion trying to get around and the small rooms, given the number of people on the ship also had the unfortunate effect of making life difficult for the servers delivering drinks to guests who weren't sitting at the bar. For example, the cramped quarters of the Liquid Lounge made it nearly impossible for the servers to get guests their drinks, especially when they didn't have any space to walk through the aisles. It felt like being served a drink in the stands at a baseball or football game. And bless the patience of those drink servers on the Lido deck. The entrees at Cucina Del Capitano (Italian restaurant), some of the lunch items for room service, and all of the dinner in the Sunshine Dining Room were just way off the mark. At Cucina Del Capitano (which has a $15 per person charge), the appetizers we got (Nonna’s Meatball) were tastefully seasoned and had a wonderful crumbly, tender texture, and the red sauce accompanied it well. The three-component desserts we got (Agrumi/Torta Al Miele e Polenta/Sorbetto di Limone) were very tasty too. But the entrees (Cavatelli with pork Bolognese and the Pappardelle with shrimp and pancetta) were so disappointing. Like, no joke, we've both had better food (regrettably) at an Olive Garden. The free room service items we ordered for lunch were hit-and-miss. We both got sandwiches. The grilled cheese with was had nice Panini-style grill marks on the bread, but it was dry and tasted like they used zero butter or any other kind of cooking fat on the bread to give it the taste we all are used to with grilled cheese. The accompanying potato salad chosen was just a couple of red potatoes, cut in half and slathered in mayo, and tasted as plain as you would expect. This was not what anyone would want if they were expecting potato salad. The BLT was a nice surprise with bacon galore and a good smattering of mayo to lubricate the whole sandwich and I got it with a handful of (what I think were) Wise-brand potato chips. The chocolate cake was delicious but the cheesecake didn't have any tang you want from cream cheese and the crust was weird in taste and texture. On a side note, we had the "Bottomless Bubbles" drink package that includes free soda and juices, yet we were told we had to pay for soda delivered via room service. That makes zero sense. We decided we would dine in the Sunshine Dining Room on the elegant evening attire night (second night). From the cheaply made appetizer (a pathetic 5-piece arrangement of tiny rubbery shrimp cocktail with a watery-thin cocktail sauce) to the lack of seasoning on the entire snapper entree (despite this, the snapper was really perfectly cooked) to the misworded dessert (hazelnut malted chocolate cake that, to me, would taste something close to Nutella, but because it had no hazelnut flavor to be found, just tasted like an overly-rich chocolate cake). The dessert was so disappointing, I simply asked for the vanilla ice cream, just to clear the overkill of chocolate, and the ice cream had a gummy texture similar to low-quality supermarket ice cream and (worse) contained unappetizing ice crystals throughout. But, this was part of the free food on the ship, so my expectations were already low. To top it all off, the steeping water that accompanied my order of black tea was not even close to boiling temperature. Finally, when Chris would cheerfully make his non-emergent announcements at 8 in the morning, almost always just to provide an extra promotion for some various events throughout the day, it would be nice to NOT have the hallway speakers blaring in the cabins at 8 in the morning, so the (sometimes) hung-over and (always) tired guests like us at 8 in the morning could be able to sleep in a little. After all, we were enjoying our nights in the public spaces until at least midnight or later. THE UGLY: The servers and bartenders throughout the various locations on the ship were all courteous and helpful, but there was one exception, and that was at the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse restaurant. As I mentioned above, the food at this restaurant was the best on the ship, but the service, from the hostess, to the drink server, to the bread server, to our main server, was just rude; the kind of rude service some snooty French restaurants are stereotyped as having. The hostess basically chided us for arriving 15 minutes early before our reservation time and said we would have to wait (which we didn't mind), but her rude tone was one that would have been somewhat appropriate if we just walked in without a reservation and insisted we get sat immediately. The drink server took forever to return with our drinks (just soda), didn't return our cards after serving the soda and gave an attitude when I simply asked for the cards back, and the sodas were both flat for some reason, which we hadn't experienced in any other bar or restaurant the entire cruise. The bread server’s frown looked like he was serving prison time. The main server had a snippy tone that seemed bothered with any question I had about the menu items. Plus, when I ordered the steak, I forgot to mention the sauce I would like to accompany it on the side. When I was finally able to hail down the waitress to ask, she read me the list of three different sauces, and I asked if they also maybe had a simple house sauce (which many steakhouses of this ilk have). Based on the tone of her answer (which was no, by the way) you would think I asked her "how much do you weigh?" The only bright spot of service was the chef (can't remember his name) who came to the table asking about how the food was. Speaking of food service, other than the room service mentioned above, also ordered it twice for breakfast. Both breakfasts’ were awful experiences. First off, the pre-order room service door hangs you get to fill out in the cabins offer 1/2 hour windows for delivery. I would imagine many people, such as myself, set your alarm to wake you up very shortly before you expect the room service. With a 1/2-hour window chosen, I understand if it doesn't get delivered until the very end of that time, but both mornings, the room service attendant delivered them between 5-10 minutes early. So, not to be petty, but it woke us up that much earlier before our alarms went off, and we didn’t like losing any minutes of sleep. The really terrible thing though (and why it's in the "ugly" section of my review) is the quality of the food was just reprehensible. The first morning we only ordered fruit. I don't know about you but I like my fruit to be ripe and our fruit was both under and overly ripe. Unless you're baking or making smoothies, bananas should be perfectly yellow, not overwhelmingly covered in "liver spots" like ours were. And melon should be soft and juicy, not crunchy and flavorless like ours were. Even more abhorrent was the second morning (July 20) we got breakfast. We ordered cereal and the little 8oz containers of skim milk were all spoiled upon arrival, and they weren't even past the printed sell-by date of July 22. Like, I know it's the summer, but keeping milk cold and far from spoiling is food service 101 for a dining operation. Also spoiled, by the way, was the little 8oz container of low-fat chocolate milk, which had the same sell-by date. Finally, the orientation of entrances to various different public spaces in this cruise was just confusing. As I mentioned in the “good” part of the review above, the Sunshine Dining Room is listed as being on Deck 5, but the entrance is on Deck 3. The Limelight Lounge on Deck 4 was so difficult to find (go off the walkway, into the middle of the casino on Deck 5 towards an unseen staircase and then walk down to Deck 4). It was so meandering and confusing, they had to put signs on a stand just to give passengers a hint. I'm convinced it was easier for Harry Potter to find the entrance for the Hogwarts Express train on Platform 9 & 3/4 than it was for passengers like me to find the entrance to the Limelight Lounge. Overall, given the great staff and fun activities, I would highly consider cruising with Carnival again, just not on the Sunrise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We went on this cruise with 13 people because we had a lot of young adults with us and figured it was the most economical. First off the pool area is way to small for the size ship. When your on vacation you shouldn’t need to get up at ... Read More
We went on this cruise with 13 people because we had a lot of young adults with us and figured it was the most economical. First off the pool area is way to small for the size ship. When your on vacation you shouldn’t need to get up at 6:30 in the morning just to try and save a few seats together. If the pool is packed your not getting a seat if you show up later than breakfast. Second we had multiple issues at the extra restaurants. We waited almost more than an hour after our reservation at Cagneys the steak house and then were finally given a table with no view whatsoever next to a wall. We also went to Tapenyaki and two peoples orders were either wrong or didn’t get the full meal. We didn’t realize until after because one of our younger girls didn’t want to make a big deal about it. But when your paying extra, you should get what your paying for. Finally we were at dinner in the Manhattans room. We had an adult order a diet soda and instead was given a jack and coke. Not a big deal unless the mistake was done to a minor or even worse a recovering alcoholic. The staff was always apologetic and always very pleasant with that being said. I just think the ship at full capacity is unable To ruń efficiently and smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
So I was a little weary about this cruise just by reading some of the most recent reviews but I decided to go in with an open mind. NYC is the port my family and I travel out of the most. Out of this port we have been on the Gem, ... Read More
So I was a little weary about this cruise just by reading some of the most recent reviews but I decided to go in with an open mind. NYC is the port my family and I travel out of the most. Out of this port we have been on the Gem, Breakaway, and now the Escape. We sailed to Bermuda in 2013 on the Breakaway for her inaugural season. We really enjoyed the Breakaway and thought that we were going to really enjoy the Escape as it was a sister ship to the Breakaway. When I learned that we were going on the Escape I started doing my research on the ship. I noticed that it was the first of the Breakaway Plus class. I was pretty excited as I have been following the Bliss and Joy which are also breakaway plus ships. Unfortunately what I failed to realize is that the Escape holds almost 400 more people than the Breakaway. This paired with the higher than usual drunk New Yorkers that seemed to love to try and fight people from Jersey, (as someone from Mass I don't understand the feud) made the cruise a little bit frustrating. By the end of the cruise it seemed that people were generally less relaxed than when they got on. The atmosphere was pretty tense the morning of disembarkation; seemed like people just wanted to get off. We were a group of 5 split between 3 Family Oceanview Staterooms. We all put in bids to upgrade from inside to Oceanview at $50pp per stateroom and they were accepted. Couple in one room had one room stew and myself and another couple had a different stew for our two rooms. Our room stew Kutut was honestly the best room stew we have ever had on NCL. He anticipated our needs before we even had to ask him and was just generally a pleasant person to have a quick chat with throughout the cruise. The food seriously ranged throughout the cruise. On sea days the food was usually rushed and seemed as if the quality was lacking. The people in the Garden Cafe had some trouble keeping up with the sheer amount of people that the restaurant sees during high traffic times. People clearing tables were on top of their game and there was ample amount of staff for that and getting new forks and napkins and such. We dined in the Manhattan room the first Sea Day evening and the last night we were in Bermuda. Same situation here. Since people were out and about on Bermuda there was less demand from the Kitchen Staff so the quality of meals went up pretty good. O'Sheehans didn't seem to serve Mozzarella sticks. This is just a personal snack that I would have loved to have. They served them on the Breakaway so I am not sure what makes the escape different. All in all I would say that I was underwhelmed with the food on the ship throughout the week. Embarkation was an absolute breeze. We got to the port around 11:30 and we went through TSA, Customs and the Check In area right away. We were on the ship by Noonish. Our cruise director was Alvin. We have never had him as a cruise director. At first he is a little annoying but he grew on us by the end of the cruise. The Cruise Director staff was pretty good for the most part. Another thing about this ship is how poorly planned the Gym was on board. Way too small of a room to try and work out. Not enough machines and equipment for the amount of demand the gym has. Good luck trying to work some of that food from the Garden Cafe off. Everything went pretty smoothly throughout the cruise and didn't seem to have a problem. The shuffle board equipment was all pretty banged up and in need of serious repair but that was whatever. Slides and ropes course are truly the coolest thing about the ship. I did the ropes course on the Breakaway when we were in port. I did them this time on a Sea day. Long story short, next time I will wait until we are in port to do the ropes course. The only thing that was the worst part of the cruise was the sheer amount of people. It was like we were packed in like sardines. You could not move around comfortably throughout the ship. Thankfully were were docked in Bermuda for three days so it thinned out the herd a little. Bermuda is absolutely beautiful this time of year and its my favorite place in the world so there was nothing stopping me from enjoying the vacation. We will most likely cruise on NCL again but definitely will be shopping around next time instead of going right to NCL. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have sailed on NCL before- last year on the Gem to the Bahamas. That trip was lovely- the boat was smaller and not as modern, but the overall experience was better. Getting on and off the ship was easy- unfortunately, the called ... Read More
We have sailed on NCL before- last year on the Gem to the Bahamas. That trip was lovely- the boat was smaller and not as modern, but the overall experience was better. Getting on and off the ship was easy- unfortunately, the called “last call” for our check out at 7:40- when our check out was 8:30-9:00- so we rushed- and that was the issue. You had to get to everything before it ran out it sold out- the shows- the buffet- the lounge chairs( good lord- let’s not go there- people save them forever and tons at a time- then go and sleep til noon. You go to deck at 7 am- and it’s empty, but all the chairs are taken- NCL has a policy on this, but doesn’t follow through). 18 and over deck- lol- no one is going to say much to dad putting his kids in the hot tub- so much for that. Want to watch something in the Atrium- better get there 1 1/2 hours early to be able to see anything! It was exhausting and created a negative vibe. And staff was fine- just so obviously overwhelmed and overworked- very different than our last experience with NCL. We made the best of it and had a great time- but it’s hard to enjoy yourself when you are surrounded by workers so obviously exhausted and stressed. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We went on this cruise because we were traveling as a family group of 24, with ages ranging from 2-96. It is not a cruise I would select traveling as a couple of empty nest adults. Frankly, the children's activities were also ... Read More
We went on this cruise because we were traveling as a family group of 24, with ages ranging from 2-96. It is not a cruise I would select traveling as a couple of empty nest adults. Frankly, the children's activities were also lacking, as described below. A few tips: 1. The ship was vastly overcrowded. There is ONE adult swimming pool (and the adult-ness is not enforced) for 5200 passengers. The pool at our 200-unit condo is at least twice the size. The one children's pool reeked of urine. The hot tubs are small and not particularly hot. I never went into one pool or hot tub on our week long cruise, they were that unappealing. Naturally, it is impossible to get a lounge chair for the same reason. 2. The beverage package includes wine- yet only up to $15. The only included wines were underwhelming and there are no $15. glasses; it's $9 or you pay full price for anything over $15, which is the wines you might care to drink. 3. Child Care- there are no included children's activities for under 3 year olds. Our grandson went once to the afternoon children's center and was so upset about the experience that he never went back again. Also, the ship needs to have an option for in-room babysitting at night. We were willing to pay for babysitting, but unwilling to have him fall asleep in one place and then need to move back to his own room. 4. Don't bother with internet. It is very expensive and hard to log out of. Consequently, our minutes constantly disappeared with every use. 5. The staff is trying and most were kind and helpful. Security staff are unnecessarily harsh. 6. Food is decent, though certainly not memorable. We enjoyed meals at Cagney's and Le Bistro, for which there were a la carte upcharges. All in all, we have done 2 other multigenerational cruises on Royal Caribbean, and we enjoyed those more. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We were on an Ultra Casino event on the Carnival Sunrise June 24-July 2 Quick to process, on board by 11:30 am Pig and Anchor very good on deck 10-still don't have water/lemonade/ice tea there. In cabin 7372 inside-plenty of ... Read More
We were on an Ultra Casino event on the Carnival Sunrise June 24-July 2 Quick to process, on board by 11:30 am Pig and Anchor very good on deck 10-still don't have water/lemonade/ice tea there. In cabin 7372 inside-plenty of room, love the usb ports. Close to mid/aft stairs and elevators. Comedy shows were great-could always get in, sometimes had to stand. Loved Chris Williams the cruise director-all about the ship. Also very talented don't miss his show. Don't care for some of the changes-by adding the Taco stand and burger bar took out the aft buffet line. Got very congested there at breakfast but there are many other locations that can prepare eggs, breakfast etc (deli, seafood shack, cucina, etc) Food on the hole was better than our last Carnival ship. We did my time dining, never had to wait. Check in deck 5 and walk down aft stairs to deck 3-Get table with Rachelle she is the best. Very efficient and always smiling. You may see her up on deck doing bar service also. Never had a problem getting a chair-but it was very hot this week and there isn't alot of shade on the ship. Several days we sat by where the DJ performs to escape the sun. Didn't go to spa, production shows, have pictures taken. Went to Steakhouse one night (courtesy of the casino) filet was very fatty by waitress never checked. Had to mention to the hostess then the waitress got an attitude. Being that we were on an Ultra cruise event we had alot of drawings, etc in the casino. We also had 'free' drinks while playing. Biggest complaint is not enough bar servers. Would wait over an hour for a drink as you can't go to the bar and order. Each days more and more people were getting the drinks on us card adding more people that could get drinks. Prob the worst service in the casino. Plus they ran out of everything Corona, Kahluha, Kendall Jackson Chardonnay. Wouldn't have it one day get it the next and gone the next. Maybe when a casino event is going on they need to order more-just saying. On orientated the ship was pretty easy to navigate-we used deck 5 as it went front to back-Liquid lounge (shows) forward on 3/4 and Limelight lounge deck 4 mid ship so used stairs by casino. First time to Bermuda-don't think I would rush back. We took the ferry over to Hamilton ($4.50 token/person each way). Walked around the town. Found things extremely expensive. All of the locals we encountered were great-very friendly and helpful. Returned to the port area and walked around the Royal Navy Dockyard. Water surrounding looked great-you can swim from Calico Jacks at the pier for a fee. We stopped and had a beer at the Frog and Onion brewery and it was about $18 for one 16 ounce beer. I am sure the beaches are beautiful but being that we had 4 sea days we didn't really need more sun. NCL Escape was in port with us and they spend almost 3 days in Bermuda but offer their passengers free shuttle to St. Georges. Our only other stop was Grand Turk which we had been to many times. Laid by the pool at Margaritaville and then back on the boat. Our casino hosts on this trip were Adrian and Jen and were very personable. They were out on the floor talking to guests. We have been on several RCL cruises and the hosts just sit at a desk. Don't miss the Quest-prob one of the best we have seen in 35 cruises. Debarkation was handled very well by Chris the cruise director. If you did self assist you were allowed to leave only when your deck was called-if you attempted to leave earlier you were sent back. Previously it was like a free for all for all the self assist folks-like this way much better. We were off the boat by 9am. Overall had a good cruise, met lots of great people. Don't know if all the changes on the ship were good. The ship still need alot of TLC. I know the additions are about $$-cabins, pay dining venues, etc. No cruise is ever bad-just felt this one lacked due to the congestion in the buffet, lack of servers in the casino, and running our of bar items in the casino. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Choose this for the length of cruise, time of year, and the ports. The ship was very nicely decorated and had a lot to do, but just too overcrowded. We stopped going to buffet because of not much choice and too long of a line. All of Deck ... Read More
Choose this for the length of cruise, time of year, and the ports. The ship was very nicely decorated and had a lot to do, but just too overcrowded. We stopped going to buffet because of not much choice and too long of a line. All of Deck 9 was just too crazy including the pools. We had a nice time, but wouldn’t choose Sunrise in future, due to its layout and just seemed they did not manage crowds well. MDR has good choices but found food to come out lukewarm, sometimes cold. Again didn’t seem organized to us. Staff was very friendly and does their best to satisfy. They need drink station nearer buffet. Have make separate trips once get food, then drinks, plus look for a table. Why we stopped going there. Specialty Steak and Italian were good. Service and meal to expect every night on cruise and not have to upgrade. Bartenders were great! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Have sailed lots of mega ships including Vista and Horizon. Was Excited to try a smaller ship especially since they added a lot of the goodies from the megaships like guys burgers the taco place picking anchor the ropes course waterslides ... Read More
Have sailed lots of mega ships including Vista and Horizon. Was Excited to try a smaller ship especially since they added a lot of the goodies from the megaships like guys burgers the taco place picking anchor the ropes course waterslides there seem to be enough to keep my kids occupied. excited to try a smaller ship especially since they added a lot of the goodies from the megaships like guys burgers the taco place spic and anchor the ropes course waterslides there seem to be enough to keep my kids occupied. However the flow of the ship caused bottlenecking everywhere I turned the Buffay was the most awful experience of any cruiseship I have ever been on I gave up eating at the buffet because most times it would take 20 to 30 minutes just to get through the line by the time I would sit down my food would be cold . We had a family of five which included two adults and three children ages 11,14 and 17. The room was very small very crammed and I’ve never seen a cot have to be brought into a room for the 5th person. The bunk came over the main bed which meant when you woke up in the morning you had to remember before you sought up that there was a bunk over your head or you would smack your head. The room is not an appropriate size for five people when they did the remodel it’s as if they tried to cram as many people onto the boat as they could. I found the staff to be great they were very pleasant they were definitely overworked and appeared very tired. Both embarkation and debarkation went smoother than a lot of cruises I have been on so that was a plus. All in all I had a great vacation but I can say I will not cruise on this ship again. We cruise about once a year and this was the most money I’ve ever spent on booking a cruise and it definitely left a bad taste in my mouth. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My in-laws booked this cruise as a family weekend getaway. From the beginning, the ship felt crowded. The lobby bar area was always very full as were quick dining locations. You could wait in line for 30-40 minutes at the food options ... Read More
My in-laws booked this cruise as a family weekend getaway. From the beginning, the ship felt crowded. The lobby bar area was always very full as were quick dining locations. You could wait in line for 30-40 minutes at the food options around the main pool. We chose to eat at the restaurants on board. We were very pleased with the steakhouse, Fahrenheit 555 and the Chef‘s table. There were some rude guests on our cruise; however, the staff impressively handled these difficult situations. The cruise ship needs to update and use room key bracelets rather than the cards. It got to be insulting how many times crew members would ask you for your card and a bracelet would have been a much simpler way of scanning for drinks, towels, etc. Disembarkment was a little messy in the morning, we paid for the faster to the fun pass but had to wait 45 minutes to disembark as some of the rude guests mentioned earlier needed to be escorted off of the ship by NYPD. It would have been nice to have had them wait with NYPD on the ship so the rest of us could have left on time (my husband and I needed to go straight to work). Our cabin steward, Larson, was wonderful! He sensed our needs before we had them! The highlights of this cruise for our group were Nikola and Denis at the Alchemy Bar and Scott at the Piano Bar. Nikola was a highly knowledgeable and talented bartender, we took his mixology class on the Sunday afternoon of our cruise. You could tell that he loves what he does! Scott had us laughing and singing for hours. He had a great personality and played off of the people in the room. For adults on this cruise ship, I recommend using the Serenity area of the deck (quieter, just get there early for a daybed). Overall, I think that the best way to do this cruise is to pay extra for the better dining options and to spend your time at the Alchemy Bar and Piano Bar. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Our 5th cruise. 1st with Carnival (3 NCL, 1 RCCL). 1st with kids (ages 11 and 13). We chose the cruise because the length was good for the kids, we hadn't been to Bermuda, leaving from NY was easier than flying to FL, and the ... Read More
Our 5th cruise. 1st with Carnival (3 NCL, 1 RCCL). 1st with kids (ages 11 and 13). We chose the cruise because the length was good for the kids, we hadn't been to Bermuda, leaving from NY was easier than flying to FL, and the Sunrise had recently undergone a $200M refurbishment. Embarkation: Cruise port was relatively easy to get to. Parking was right next to the ship. Definitely older than port facilities in Miami; less high tech experience, but lines weren't bad. View of the city on the way out was a really nice highlight. Statue of Liberty, Empire State, 1 WTC, etc. Room: Standard balcony room. Just like others we have had on other ships. Standard bathroom. USB outlets on headboard were a nice touch. Good storage space. Tasteful decor. Bathroom standard; not used to shower curtain vs shower door but no issues. Crew: Friendly but not outgoing. Were hardly greeted entering the ship. No one greeted us when we entered the buffet. No "washy, washy!" In fact, no one on the ship offered us hand sanitizer; not once. This is a real surprise and something that concerned us a bit. Bartenders were a bit slow, but not unacceptably so. We saw our cabin steward several hours after boarding. He had us sign a paper stating when we wanted the room cleaned. We didn't see him again until the obligatory goodbye around tip time. Room was made up once a day. If we took an afternoon nap, the bed wasn't remade in the evening. That said, several staff members were very kind to us. Our waiter quickly learned the kids' names and remembered them when he saw them at a different time in a different part of the ship. I saw another crew member assisting a mom whose child was seasick, which was nice. Food: Buffet was average; not as much selection as we are used to. Main Dining Room fare was also standard; nothing to rave about, but no complaints. Other free restaurants - Guy's Burgers, Guy's BBQ, Blue Iguana, deli, and pizza place were all quite good. We didn't eat in any of the specialty restaurants. Crowds: Crowd flow was poor. In trying to update the ship and add more stuff, they've created a number of bottlenecks. There was always a line for food. They couldn't make pizzas fast enough. All of the buffet items are in a row, so you have to get in a line and go through everything just to get one item. Individual stations would be much more efficient. In addition, there are so many food places on the Lido deck that it seems like one continuous line, particularly when combined with crowded pool and bar areas. Entertainment: Pretty good. We went to see a band play rock/pop hits a few times and they were quite good. Kids liked Hasbro Game Night. PG rated comedy acts were both funny. We liked the vibe at Red Frog Pub, including the little game room in the back. Disembarkation: Terrible. Not enough to ruin the cruise, but it does end it on a down note. They ask you to wait in your state room until they call your deck. I don't think people listened. We did but even then, we got our bags down from Deck 7 to Deck 5 and then had to wait in a mass of people to get down the stairs to Deck 3 for at least an hour if not more. Balancing heavy bags on narrow stairs with hundreds of irritated people and restless kids was not fun. They need to fix this ASAP. Thankfully we didn't have a flight to catch. Overall: A good time, but don't let the $200M in upgrades fool you into thinking the Sunrise is the equivalent of one of the newer megaships. It's solid and standard but by no means spectacular. I don't see us taking the Sunrise again unless the itinerary and the price were too good to pass up. We're even a little skeptical of Carnival. Again, no major negatives, but we felt other cruiselines did it better. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019

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