1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Bermuda Cruises
  4. Bermuda Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: May 2005
My wife and I took the 7 day Celebrity Horizon cruise from Norfolk to Bermuda on May 20, 2005. We arrived at the recommended parking lot, a few miles from the dock, at 10:15. We had planned to board early and have lunch. However, the ... Read More
My wife and I took the 7 day Celebrity Horizon cruise from Norfolk to Bermuda on May 20, 2005. We arrived at the recommended parking lot, a few miles from the dock, at 10:15. We had planned to board early and have lunch. However, the recommended parking lot ($10/day cash or travelers check paid up front) was not run very well. We had to wait in a holding area for over an hour until they emptied the lot of the cars from the previous cruise. When we tried to drop off the luggage we had to wait for the porter to find luggage tags for us to fill out. We parked quickly and then got on an overloaded bus. The bus drove to the dock where we had to wait for 15-30 minutes for them to unload one bus at a time. This was very inefficient since the bus could have easily unloaded from where it was parked. The boarding process went fairly quick which was good since there were very few seats in the area. It looked like a temporary building set up for boarding. We were on board by 12:30 and went right to the lunch buffet on deck 11. The lunch buffet was just average in selection and quality. This was a disappointment since Celebrity is known for great food. About 1:30 they announced that our rooms were ready. We had upgraded to a Concierge Class room. It was the same large size as a standard cabin but had extra amenities. The window made the cabin seem larger but the light in the morning woke my wife up earlier than she was used to. We had luxurious bath robes, fresh flowers, a fruit basket, and a complimentary bottle of champagne. There was lots of storage space. An extra hair dryer was in one of the drawers. There were only a few electric outlets so we used a 15 ft extension cord with extra outlets that we brought with us. The bathroom was large for a ship but the shower curtain was the usual very lightweight kind that attacks (clings to you). Don't turn your back on it. The shower head was large with a forceful stream of water. Some of the passengers did not have very hot water but we had no problem. Each day fresh hors d'oeuvres were delivered to our cabin. We had a choice of 4 types of pillows (feather, isotonic, etc.). Some of the channels on the TV were a little fuzzy but still viewable. Some of the information (e.g. Weather) was out of date sometimes but there was a lot of good information about the ship and ports on some of the channels. The TV also had both free and pay per view movies. The first night we placed a request for a wake up call. However, the phone never rang. Then we discovered that the phone ringer was turned off by a switch on the side of the phone. We discovered that some cabins have beds aligned with the front and aft of the ship and some have beds that are aligned with the sides of the ship. This was the first time we had a bed where the head pointed toward the bow of the ship. When the ship rocked from side to side so did the bed. The rocking motion seemed much worse then when the bed was facing the side of the ship. The Horizon is the oldest and one of the smallest Celebrity ships and they will be selling or leasing her to another line later this year. Her age shows but she is kept extremely clean. Because she is small, she has fewer public areas than the midsize and larger ships. The Spa and exercise room were very small but there were still plenty of choices. Some of our tablemates liked smaller ships but we prefer a larger one. Because the ship is older, the room key was different from the Seapass which was slightly inconvenient. We had a credit card associated with the Seapass and we could charge almost everything (including the tips) on it. One notable exception was the Bermuda Bus passes which had to be paid in cash. We had to be careful walking around the ship since there were metal thresholds sticking up from the floor that were easy to trip over. More modern ships seem to have less of these. A daily list of activities was left in our room each night. We read it carefully since it had lots of good information on the next day's activities. They did show a movie every afternoon in the showroom - but only when we were in port. The movies appeared to be fairly recent. We had requested a table for 8 so that we could meet more people. However, when we arrived at the dining room we were seated at a table for 4. We immediately went to the maitre d' and we're moved to a big table. Next time we will check as soon as we get on board. We had great tablemates at dinner and we shared a lot of information. Each dinner was a real learning experience. Both couples were very interesting and great conversationalists. Their backgrounds were very different from ours and each other which made it even more interesting and a great opportunity to learn and share thoughts and experiences. We would be thrilled to travel with either couple again. We were glad that we requested a table for 8 even though one couple never showed up. The first night dinner was exceptional and up to Celebrity high standards for quantity and quality. Even the food on the casual buffet was great. However, we preferred sitting down with others at all meals. That way we learned more. We placed a special order for a shrimp cocktail every dinner and it was accepted without question. If you don't like the dinner choices on the menu you can order one of their standard alternatives of steak or chicken entrees that are not on the menu. I did that one night and it was great. Quite frequently I ordered more that one appetizer or dessert. I had to exercise more just to make myself feel good the next day. It was worth it - the food was fantastic. One of the nights my wife ordered something that was too spicy for her. They gladly brought her another choice. There was a complimentary sushi bar every night from 6 to 10 for those who liked their food still moving. Then of course there is Pizza and Pasta available until 1am if 6 meals a day is not enough. The pasta bar has fantastic sauces each day and at least one is changed daily. Most nights at 11:15 they had gourmet bites (hors d'oeuvres) provided in the lounges. The third night they had a fruit and Sorbet buffet at 11:15. It also included chicken and ribs and ice cream sundaes. There were group dances like a conga line and everyone seemed to be having a great time. The average passenger age seemed to be in the 40s or 50s. At 4 there was a casual tea with sandwiches and pastries that changed every day. Of course there was the hamburger, hot dog, and pizza stand which always had a special kind of pizza in addition to the classical types. My most adventurous one was a shrimp, feta cheese, and pineapple pizza. It sounded horrible but it tasted great. Lunch and dinner selections changed every day both at the sit down dining room and the buffet! I tried a Hamburger from the grill on the aft deck 11. I got it freshly made and it was fantastic. It was so juicy that I didn't even need ketchup - a miracle for me. There was a temporary (smaller ships have less room) ice cream cart with hard ice cream and sorbet. It was at the end of the cafe near the pool and hard to find. The last day they had both a casual tea at the buffet and a formal tea in the restaurant. We went to the formal tea. Lots of sandwiches and desserts (including scones) served at the table. It was great and was another opportunity to eat. The waffle bar on deck 11 aft outside and behind the cafe was awesome. The waffles were hot with fresh whipped cream and 3 types of berries. We will really miss these. The Grand Midnight Buffet was awesome. They had cold dishes like shrimp and lobster and tons of desserts. They even had a hot carving station. There are two sides to the Buffet on deck 11 for lunch and dinner. Usually one side has more people than the other side and the outside lines have more people than the inside lines. Opposite the dessert end of the Buffet were a sandwich station, made to order salad bar, and a pasta station that were not labeled well all of the time and easy to miss. The shows were great. The first night was a comedian. I laughed so hard the tears were rolling down my cheeks. The next night was a musical show. It had lots of energy and talent (singing and dancing). The third night was a singer and he received a standing ovation. The stage was a little small but we didn't really notice it with all of the action. The showroom was mostly level and sometimes it was hard to see over the people in front of us. Two activities that were NOT provided were a behind the stage tour and a kitchen tour. Too bad, we would have enjoyed them. The first day on the sea and the last day on the sea were windy and chilly. Good thing we brought jackets. One benefit of a smaller ship is that you see and greet people that you ate with much more often then on a larger ship. It can give you a more familiar and homey feeling. One of the benefits of Concierge Class was that we were able to disembark early - at 08:30. The downside was that we had to get up early and have breakfast early. Celebrity is known for great food and with few exceptions this cruise lived up to expectations. It appeared that for most of the better activities you had to show up 15-30 min early for a good seat. It was great that we could charge our tips. They were $11 per person per day. There were quality of life lectures and cooking demonstrations. We would have liked to have had more of them. We took a short dance class taught by two of the Celebrity dancers. It was great even when we took extra steps because of the ship’s movement. I don't know how the performers do those shows while the ship is lurching around. Bermuda is a very clean and well kept island. We noted that our cell phone and Blackberry (for email) worked but don't know if there will be extra charges for being out of the country. The Bermuda dollar is equivalent to the American dollar in value and the stores would take either type. Most of the shops and restaurants were expensive but you could find some bargains if you look hard. We did not have to use tenders in Bermuda since the ship could pull right up to the docks. We were scheduled to dock first in St. George and then move to Hamilton. However, the captain decided to go straight to Hamilton since the winds were over 15 mph and the St. George passage was narrow. We didn't mind since it was only a 1 hour bus ride to St. George and it meant that the ship didn't move for almost 4 days. The 12 dollar, 1 day bus pass, 20 dollar, 2 day bus pass, and the 28 dollar, 3 day bus pass were great bargains. We used one to go sightseeing instead of booking tours. It was cheaper, more flexible, and we saw much more. The busses only take passes, tokens, or change - no paper money. 5/24 was a holiday with parades and celebrations. The parade went on for 3 hours with 59 floats and bands and groups. There was a lot of action and enthusiasm amongst the participants. We had a front row seat (high up) from the deck of the ship and it was great. Wed night there was no show since the town was going to have a bazaar set up in the dock area of Hamilton. The street was going to be closed off and there would be many crafts and performers. However, it rained and the Bazaar never happened. We took a bus ride to the caverns. The ride was fast and on narrow roads. The bus driver did twice the speed limit of 20 mph. It really got our blood pumping. I saw a car that ran off the road, through a wall, down an embankment, and into a house. The caverns were small but interesting to me. My wife was not as thrilled. The guide was a hoot and kept it lively. We took the ferry from Hamilton to the Dockyards. We did not realize that at certain times there were two ferries: one that went fast and direct to the Dockyards and one that made stops along the way. Of course no one told us about this and we got on the slow non-air conditioned one. We did see much more of the islands this way but it took an hour rather than 20 minutes. I was happy but my wife was not. We enjoyed this cruise so much that we booked cruises to Alaska and the Southern Caribbean on Celebrity. We picked the largest ships of the Celebrity line. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2004
We cruised on the 8-day 10/23/04 sailing of the Horizon to Bermuda, the last visit by the ship for the season. This was our first Celebrity cruise: prior cruises on RSSC (3), Windstar (1), Windjammer (1), Princess (2), and RCI (1). Our ... Read More
We cruised on the 8-day 10/23/04 sailing of the Horizon to Bermuda, the last visit by the ship for the season. This was our first Celebrity cruise: prior cruises on RSSC (3), Windstar (1), Windjammer (1), Princess (2), and RCI (1). Our expectations were high, having been influenced by Cruise Critic reviews & comments, and by Celebrity's marketing focus on food & service. Embarkation was quick and efficient. We were onboard and in our cabin in about 20 min. Concierge Class probably contributed to this (there was a separate check in area for us C Class folks), and also the fact that we arrived about 1 ½ hour after embarkation began (we noted a rather large line waiting for the Noon start of embarkation for the next itinerary). Champagne was handed out as we boarded, as well as the C Class bottle waiting in our cabin. Our cabin was neat and clean, but it did show it's age just a bit. The closet door latches were noisy and hard to operate, and the door to the bathroom was also noisy. Engineering service to fix the problems was prompt, but not completely successful. The 3 music channels did not work, but we didn't need them anyway and did not request repair. This was our first cruise without a balcony in quite a while, but because the ship was docked overnight for 4 out of 8 nights, we did not miss the balcony as much as we expected. The size of the cabin was good, and storage was more than adequate for two. The decor was pleasant and the fresh flowers (placed on the desk and in the bathroom for C Class) were a nice touch. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. Our room steward was friendly, very efficient, and fulfilled our requests very promptly. The Public areas were nice and never felt crowded (reported 1307 pax out of 1354 cap), but some of the carpets in hallways and stairways looked quite dirty/stained/spotted. The rest of the public areas were clean, but we did notice a very slight sewer odor in some of the stairways in the last half of the cruise, and the smell of dishes being cleaned was frequently present in part of the buffet line (Coral Seas Cafe). Our dining table for dinner was in the elevated center section of the dining room and was not crowded, but we noted the tables a bit tighter on the sides when we dined there for breakfast a couple of days. Entertainment was good to very good, and there was a very good variety: Comedy, solo singer, jazz/pop pianist, and the usual music/dance/singing with lots of costume changes (a.k.a. Broadway variety shows). There was also a very good variety of music entertainers (5 total) and they generally performed at different venues each night, giving us the opportunity to experience all the different bars as well as the variety of music. There were two party nights out on the pool deck, one 50's/60's theme, one "Island party". Both were well done. Our big disappointment was dining in the main dining room. Disappointment #1: The food was often just barely warm, not hot as it should be. This detracted from what was otherwise a very good selection each night--the choices were a notch or two above the usual cruise fare. Exception: dessert was always excellent. Disappointment #2. Our waiter was quick and efficient, but that was it. He was not engaging with our table, as most waiters are. All business and no flair. Our asst. waiter however, was great. The good news was the buffet. Good variety, good flavor, and hot. Best was the made to order section at the aft end of the Coral Seas Cafe. Good omelets, waffles, etc. for breakfast, and great sandwiches, pasta, and salads for lunch. We highly recommend checking out the selection at this section before doing the standard buffet line. The Grill, serving burgers, dogs, & pizza was also quite good. Service in this venue was very good. All bar service was good, friendly and prompt. We used room service only for morning coffee, and it was very prompt—never more than 5-minute wait. Late night buffets were two: one an abbreviated version out on deck, one with the usual carvings, and all the treats in the main dining room. Both well done. We booked 5 shore excursions. Two were cancelled due to weather, one cancelled due to lack of participation, one was re-scheduled due to weather, and one operated as planned. The two that operated were well run, on time, as described in the pre-cruise info and had good guides. We used the services of the spa for a "hot stones" full body massage. One of us has had this treatment before, and it was just fine (but not outstanding, as was the case with the previous experience on Princess). The staff was friendly and courteous. We found the Concierge Class to be worth the extra charge. Especially nice was the priority embark and disembark (see below), and the services of the special Concierge at our disposal. We used the Concierge to obtain info about our independent shore activities, ferry service, bus service, and to make reservations for dining on shore. He was prompt, accurate and very friendly. We had read numerous postings on Cruise Critic about the dress code on Celebrity, and as a result, adhered to the guidelines provided by Celebrity in the pre-cruise documents (including the number of formal, informal, and casual nights). However, we were disappointed to learn upon embarkation that one of the informal nights was changed to casual (we try hard to pack as light as possible, and changes to the plan can make it a bit tricky to be properly dressed according to the "code"). The situation was almost further complicated by the cancellation of the first formal night due to very rough seas between Norfolk and Bermuda, but, two days later, it was reinstated, apparently due to passenger request/demand. As such, we ended up with only one "informal" night. As has been the case with others posting on Cruise Critic, we too noted the inconsistency with the descriptions of each class of dress in various documents, and in addition, were confronted with a new class, "elegant/casual" in the daily newsletter that was on board when we embarked. This came without detail description, but fortunately was deleted when the formal night mentioned above was changed. Celebrity should get it's act together on this topic. With respect to service staff not mentioned earlier (such as shore excursion desk, guest relations desk, boutique staff, etc.), all were helpful, friendly, and went out of their way to please. The Captain dealt with the weather problems on our particular cruise in the best way possible, and with a good explanation over the PA system and even more detail on the closed circuit TV. (We had very rough seas on the trip out, which the Captain tried to minimize by slowing down the ship and altering our path to Bermuda. This caused us to be 4 hours late in arriving at the entrance to St. George sound. Then, high winds and a very narrow entrance to the sound kept us from docking in St. George, so we proceeded directly to Hamilton for the first day in Bermuda). Of interest to those traveling to Bermuda (on any cruise ship, not just the Horizon). October is tricky with respect to weather. Our trip out was rock, roll and bump due to a strong storm to the north, a problem that apparently had occurred for the three previous weeks. While in Bermuda, frequent overcast & wind during the day kept us from enjoying the beaches as we would have liked, and the cooler waters this time of year make snorkeling a less than pleasant experience. We selected this particular itinerary because of five full days in port (St. George & Hamilton), and even then, did not get to do everything we would have liked. We followed Frommer's for our independent tours of St. George, Hamilton, and Sandy's and found all three to be very accurate, quite good, interesting and enjoyable experience. Bermuda was quite clean in all areas we visited (and we visited most). Never once saw a street vendor trying to sell you something. But beware: food, drink and taxis are very expensive (making a cruise to Bermuda a very good value). We will return, but definitely in the summer months. Disembarkation was smooth and efficient. Unlike our experience with other cruise lines, each colored tag category was directed to a different public area to await departure, with no loud announcements over the P.A. system. We were the second group off the ship, luggage waiting with no problems, another benefit of C Class. We like the Celebrity system. Overall, it was a good, but not great value. Had the dinner meals been hot, and the waiter more friendly and engaging, this ship would have been a great cruise for the money. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2004
Embarkation was a little off because ship was 3 hours late coming in. But we managed largely because we were Captain Club members. There seem to be a lot of first time cruisers on Celebrity and first time cruisers in general. So we got to ... Read More
Embarkation was a little off because ship was 3 hours late coming in. But we managed largely because we were Captain Club members. There seem to be a lot of first time cruisers on Celebrity and first time cruisers in general. So we got to use the priority embarkation area. No balconies took away from the overall comfort of the ship, but otherwise the crew and the food was first class. Entertainment was OK, but nothing special. We were diverted from our itinerary by a cold front and had to leave St. Georges after a short day for the Royal Boatyard. Then we had to leave for Norfolk early due to a storm between Bermuda and Norfolk. But the Captain spent a lot of time explaining to us the how, when and why. Another example of the quality of the crew. They were all great. In ports, we took a taxi tour of Hamilton and then came back for lunch. This was our first ever overnight, so we hit a couple of bars and watched game 6 of the ALCS. In St. George, we took a brief taxi tour, toured Fort St. Catherines and then spent the day at the beach next door. Nice area with beach, bar, music, toy rentals. At the Royal Boatyard, the day was so short that we only had time to shop at the shops nearby, have a rum swizzle at the Frog and Onion Pub and then get back on the boat. The ride back was pretty rough. Lots of barf bags were put in the hallways and many were used. This is a small ship by today's standards, so we were bumping, thumping and bobbing and heaving for most of the last 24 to 36 hours. The dining room was less than half full the last night. But mrtractor and the bronzegoddess hung in there - as did every member of our table of eight! Any questions, don't hesitate to email me! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2004
We cruised on the 9/5 Bermuda cruise on the Celebrity's Horizon out of Norfolk, Virginia. This was our ninth Celebrity Cruise and our second to Bermuda on this ship. We flew in the day before and stayed at the Hampton Inn Airport. It ... Read More
We cruised on the 9/5 Bermuda cruise on the Celebrity's Horizon out of Norfolk, Virginia. This was our ninth Celebrity Cruise and our second to Bermuda on this ship. We flew in the day before and stayed at the Hampton Inn Airport. It was reasonable and included breakfast the next morning. At 10:30 A.M. we took a cab from the motel to the ship, cost $14 plus tip. Embarkation: The embarkation process started at 11:00 A.M. and went smoothly as we were directed to a table for CC and Suite guests and were on the ship sipping champagne by 11:15 A.M.. Our room was ready and we stayed the until lunch in the Lido at 12:00 A.M.. Found free bottle of champagne on ice in room which we finished latter in day. Cabins: The cabin 1049 (cat. CC) was attractively decorated and good sized for the price. The shower was large and has grab handles and a hose and wand arrangement which we like. Sink had several areas where finish was chipped and you could see a black background. Cabin service was efficient and unobtrusive. If you want you little snacks at night in this class do not put up "do not disturb" sign because they will pass you by. Fresh fruit and flowers also included. The bed was comfortable and they offer you a choice of four pillow types in this class. Our cabin was in the middle which minimized walking and rocking in rough seas. Public Areas and Entertainment: The public areas were nice and never felt crowded. We had a Cruise Critic gathering in Michaels club on the first sea day with 9 coming. The bar was not open so we just talked for an hour. The production shows were fine, the comics were passable. The rendezvous Lounge got busy with adult Karaoke several times during the cruise. They had a buy 5, pay for four on Heinekin that we took advantage of a the deck bars, there is a bottle opener in the bathroom. We went of Captains club parties twice since we are select members. The second was small and intimate with all ships officers there. They had an elegant tea also for select and elite members and for those in CC or Suites and they even had scones so it was fine, didn't bring them till I asked. Also got to go to a wine tasting (free) and a back stage event with the performers. They had music all over the ship and you can find something to meet your taste if you look. Had no complaints with entertainment. Dining : We were at table 101, second seating in the Starlight Restaurant. Michael our waiter was the best we have had in 41 cruises. He made recommendations for all courses and was never wrong. Extra portions appeared upon request. Dinners were all excellent, but avoid the lamb. We had a table for eight that was never dull. We ate all our meals here when the Starlight Restaurant was open. The breakfast and lunches were all good here with open seating. Formal nights in the dining room seemed to be well-adhered to, on both Tuesday and Thursday. The buffets in the Coral Seas dining room were O.K., but sometime crowded. We had pizza several times which was passable and had hot dogs from the grill on a day that we got back late for our Ferry ride to St. Georges. They had soft serve ice cream daily here and at night they had a sushi bar and casual dining are for those who chose not to dress up ($2 tip required). Bermuda: This is the nicest island in the Atlantic or Caribbean. It is Clean and no one hounds you. The people are prosperous and friendly with a 2% unemployment rate. Good bus and ferry service. Avoid morning and evening rush on buses or you will stand. Ferry is better, modern and lots of seats. Ferry takes 30 minutes to dock yard vs 62 minutes on bus. Do buy a 3 day bus and ferry pass for $28 at the bank on deck 5 of ship. At night the set up booths and have music on streets of Hamilton. We were there for 3 days and did not go to St. Georges as planned. I was in the dock yards just after the Empress of Sea had her accident. The front of one of the tenders was smashed in. All were taken to hospital, one serious with spine injury. Police were all over the place investigating and the ship left port with one less tender. If you have never done Bermuda, do and Celebrity is the only way. Disembarkation: Everything went smoothly. We were all assigned lounges and they came to our lounge when it was time to go. Off the ship and through customs before 9 A.M. Taxis close to port and are a $21 ride to airport plus tip. Overall, I was completely satisfied with Horizon, no complaints. Bermuda from Norfolk is a breeze and pleasure. It is a shame Celebrity is not doing more cruises out of this port next year or I would be back, if price was right. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2004
CELEBRITY HORIZON TO BERMUDA Sept. 18-25, 2004 The remnants of Hurricane Ivan chased my companion Barbara and me all the way from Charlotte, NC, to Norfolk where we were scheduled to embark aboard Celebrity's Horizon for a ... Read More
CELEBRITY HORIZON TO BERMUDA Sept. 18-25, 2004 The remnants of Hurricane Ivan chased my companion Barbara and me all the way from Charlotte, NC, to Norfolk where we were scheduled to embark aboard Celebrity's Horizon for a week's cruise to Bermuda. The good news was that we were driving, not flying. In fact, that was one of the major attractions of this cruise: the opportunity to drive rather than hassle with airports, security, crowded airplanes and schlepping bags to and from the ship. Also, the Caribbean was a "been there, done that" destination, while Bermuda was a new and different experience. We spent the night in Norfolk at the Downtown Radisson, within walking distance (assuming you like to walk) of "Nauticus," the catchy name for the pier area from where the cruise ships depart. Having lived in the Tidewater area some 30 years ago, I thought the hotel seemed familiar. Lo and behold, a little research revealed that it was, in fact, formerly a Holiday Inn that had a gourmet restaurant that used to attract locals out for a special occasion. A Holiday Inn gourmet restaurant is somewhat of an oxymoron, but even more mind boggling is the question "who buys old Holiday Inns?" Obviously, Radisson did, probably for the excellent location in a reviving area of downtown Norfolk, but the bucks were apparently spent on the property, not maintenance to the hotel. The upside was that they let us park there for the duration of the cruise (actually they wanted to charge, but I had been told by an employee prior to booking the room that parking was included, so they honored that). If you want to drive in the same day, there is a lot right across the street from the Radisson that charges $10/day to park and has a shuttle (for those who don't like to walk) to the pier. Embarkation the next day was a breeze - literally and figuratively! After dropping off Barbara and the bags at the pier, I returned to park the car at the hotel and walked back to the ship, fighting the drizzle and headwinds from the lingering presence of Hurricane Ivan. Norfolk was a great place to sail out of. With only one ship in at a time, getting on and off was simple and quick. Plus, Celebrity lets you board before the rooms are ready, so you can hang out in a lounge and have the buffet lunch rather than waiting in an uncomfortable boarding area. Our room was ready shortly after we finished lunch, and our bags were waiting for us. Our room was an obstructed view, outside cabin on the Bermuda deck. This was a great deal for a Bermuda cruise. The location was optimum, amidships, up high and close to everything. The lifeboat obstructed the view, but not completely. Plenty of light still came in, and since Bermuda is the attraction on this cruise, the lack of view was no big deal. Can't beat the price, either! By today's standard, Horizon is a small, older ship without many of the features of the newer ships such as verandah cabins, rock climbing walls or ice rinks. Having sailed almost exclusively on large "new builds" lately, we were curious to see how we would react to this 1990 vintage ship. Actually, we were quite pleased. Horizon had a facelift in 1998, adding several new public rooms and spiffing up the interior look. The ship is in a good state of repair, and is kept scrupulously clean. The smaller size made it easy to get around, and the fewer number of passengers simplified logistics such as getting on and off the ship. The crew was unflaggingly friendly, and overall, the ship and crew operated with the efficiency of a well broken in machine that has long since had the "new" bugs worked out. But, there were also examples where the Horizon showed its age. The rooms, for example, while adequate in size were woefully lacking in soundproofing. You wanted to respond "Gesundheit" when the neighbors sneezed, because it sounded like they were right in the room. The problem was particularly acute in the bathroom. On the first night out, we encountered some choppy seas, and unfortunately, we were forced to share our neighbor's misery in the bathroom. The seas eventually smoothed out and the neighbors were quiet, so the poor soundproofing was not a major problem, but having inconsiderate neighbors or noisy kids next door would have been miserable. Next, the mattresses were worn to the extent that you could feel the springs. The room steward did add additional padding, but it wasn't the same as a good mattress. Other than this, the cabins were satisfactory, with adequate storage and good sized (if noisy) bathrooms. We departed Norfolk on schedule with the effects of Ivan producing low clouds, rain and wind. The ship pitched some the first night, but by the second day the weather started to clear and sun shined on the pool deck by afternoon. Interestingly, the lingering effects of Ivan produced a northwesterly wind, exactly opposite from the southeast winds that usually blow between Norfolk and Bermuda. The effect of this aberration was that the natural wind completely cancelled out the wind the ship made while sailing. Thus, you could stroll around the weather decks without being windblown or losing your hat. Or, you could have a quiet romantic moment on deck in the evening without a hair being blown awry, just like it always was on episodes of "The Love Boat." On the return trip from Bermuda, the winds were back to normal, from the southeast, and the same phenomenon existed as we sailed to the northwest. Unfortunately, the wind was still blowing hard as we prepared to enter St. George Harbor in Bermuda, our first scheduled dock. So, the decision was made to bypass the St. George docking and proceed straight to Hamilton. The "Town Cut" that the ships have to sail through to dock at St. George is quite narrow, and these cancellations are quite common. But, Hamilton was certainly an acceptable alternative, although it would have been fun to go through the narrow entrance into the scenic harbor at St. George. Bermuda is a real jewel, with much to see and do. Even with 3½ days in port, we didn't get to see and do all the things we wanted, despite a well planned and ambitious schedule. Nevertheless, we saw most of the island, and in no particular order, here are some of the things we enjoyed the most: the Crystal Caves, Gibbs Lighthouse, the South Beaches, Somerset Village, the railroad hiking trail in Sandy's Parish, Fort Hamilton, the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, and the Somerset Bridge. The Dockyard had some interesting exhibits in the museum, but we felt the area was over-commercialized and the least desirable of the 3 docks used by the cruise ships. Horseshoe Beach was certainly beautiful, but was by far the most crowded of the many beautiful beaches and not necessarily worth seeking out with so many wonderful alternatives, Warwick Long Beach, for one. Getting around the island can be done by moped or public transport. We had initially planned on renting a moped for one of the days, but the traffic was considerably heavier than I had anticipated, so we opted for the bus and ferry service. You can buy multiple day tickets for unlimited travel, and this proved to be cost effective and relatively convenient. There were, however, periodic long waits between busses, making it difficult to see multiple sights in one time period. Also, be mindful that if the buses are full, they will bypass the bus stops and keep going. This is always a problem on the South Road in the afternoon as tourists leave the beaches to head back to Hamilton. Since the Horseshoe Beach stop is the most crowded, if you get on the bus before that stop, you will be assured of getting a seat! The cruise ship as a hotel is a great way to visit Bermuda. Bermuda is expensive, yet Bermuda cruises are relatively inexpensive. A 4-day package in an average priced Bermuda hotel costs about as much a 7-day cruise. When you factor in the food costs, transfer fees and other airport costs, the cruise wins out, hands down! Plus, you get the bonus of the days as sea! We found the food on Horizon to be excellent, as was the service. Horizon still has the standard two-sitting arrangement with assigned tables, which we like. Tips are also dispensed based on service, not allocated via credit card, as is the current vogue. All in all, Celebrity is a notch above other "main line" cruise ships, in my opinion. The trip back was relaxing, smooth and uneventful. We were off the ship by 9 a.m. and on the road back home by 10:00. Bermuda is a beautiful destination, Norfolk is a great port to sail out of and this is a cruise that should be on everyone's list. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2004
Where do I start? Ok, embarkation was breeze but then again we live nearby and did not have to worry about parking. But it went smoothly. We had a wait of about an hour to get to our room and were less than pleased. The ship is in need ... Read More
Where do I start? Ok, embarkation was breeze but then again we live nearby and did not have to worry about parking. But it went smoothly. We had a wait of about an hour to get to our room and were less than pleased. The ship is in need of a facelift! The carpet was worn through in places and the bedding and curtains were biohazards. The room size was fine for us but it smelled. We were spoiled by the Carnival Triumph, if this had been out first cruise it would also have been out last. The food was absolutely terrible with the exception of dessert. Even though the food was awful we were distressed that we couldn't find enough to eat! We were hungry the entire time. The buffet and the grill were closed at dinner leaving only the dining room, alt. dining room, and room service as options. Sometimes you want a burger for dinner! Our assistant waiter was a gem, but our waiter was condescending. The children program was disappointing but they worked with what they had. Our 11 yr old son enjoyed the program but there was ever only one or two children participating and probably 10 on the entire ship. The average age on our ship was about 65....making it feel like an assisted living facility. Especially since many of these guests were "cranky", pushy, and rude to anyone under 45 or with children. The shows were mediocre at best. BUT we loved Bermuda. We did a helmet dive in St George and walked the quaint little town for gifts. We also walked over the the beach there. In Hamilton we took the bus to Horseshoe Bay and the view was so beautiful it made me misty. There we had the best meal of our trip. We each had a $3.00 hot dog that seemed pricey until we bit into it. That was the best hot dog any of us had ever had. We walked up the the light house near there and took in the breathtaking view. Getting around by bus was easy and efficient. We didn't rent a moped but out friends that did had mechanical trouble. We will go back to Bermuda in a heartbeat! But never on the Horizon. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2004
This is a must do cruise! The ship may be small by todays standards, but it was just as nice as the mega-ships. Stateroom was well laid out and never felt cramped. Room attendants couldn't have been nicer or more attentive. Food = ... Read More
This is a must do cruise! The ship may be small by todays standards, but it was just as nice as the mega-ships. Stateroom was well laid out and never felt cramped. Room attendants couldn't have been nicer or more attentive. Food = Excellent! Better than Carnival & Disney. The waitstaff were superb; funny, knowledgeable & willing to go out of their way to get you anything. And I thought Disney went overboard keeping their ships impeccably spotless, Celebrity is just as selfconscious. Bermuda is, in one word, beautiful! St. George is small enough to just get off the ship & walk around. Check out Tobacco Bay and St. Catherine's Fort, very cool. Hamilton was much larger than I had anticipated, but there are a lot of shops & restaurants along Front Street. Try the catamaran & snorkel cruise excursion on the big pink catamaran, it is a blast! And Joan will tell you everything you've ever wanted to know about Bermuda. Or grab a bus to Horseshoe Bay, it'll cost you $2.50 each way. I only wish that the Palladian Theatre showed movies during the day for those who don't gamble or are too sunburnt to lay out anymore. Otherwise, the Celebrity Horizon is a great way to get to an island paradise all your friends will ooh & aww over. Go ahead, make 'em jealous! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2004
Celebrity's Horizon to Bermuda—May 29 to June 5 This is our second cruise on the Horizon and our third visit to Bermuda. I will probably just focus on what was new to us. The parking lot in Norfolk opens at 11 A.M. Since people ... Read More
Celebrity's Horizon to Bermuda—May 29 to June 5 This is our second cruise on the Horizon and our third visit to Bermuda. I will probably just focus on what was new to us. The parking lot in Norfolk opens at 11 A.M. Since people can board at or before 11, it should open earlier. The cost is $60.00. There were lots of attendants to show us where to park. The porters came right up to the line of cars, unloaded the luggage and transferred it to the buses. The ride to the ship is about 10 minutes. We got in line immediately and were one the ship at about noon. There was no big holding area as we have encountered in Florida. When we embarked we were given a choice of a glass of champagne or a mimosa. We were directed to the casual dining area on the 11th floor where a complete buffet lunch was available. Our rooms were ready for occupancy at 1 P.M. We were in outside rooms (6031 and 6035). Although we were convenient to an elevator, we still did a lot of hoofing it up and down the stairs. I feel that rooms are well laid out and have plenty of storage space, but need refurbishing. The drawers were extremely noisy and the furniture was a bit worn. My packing suggestion is to leave clothes on hangars. There are not enough hangars and it would be easier to just pull the outfits out of the suitcases and hang them up. Interleaf plastic bags between your outfits and they won't wrinkle. We came on the ship recovering from viruses, so we didn't see every show going. The Celebrity singers and dancers are very good. The lead female singer was fabulous. If the party band "Exodus" is still onboard, you are in for a treat. They play at the pool and other occasions. Celebrity has improved their daily activity sheet. It is now on heavier paper with a crease for folding down the center. Be sure to visit the Guest Relations desk if you want to read summaries of news from a couple of sources. Also, there are free copies of the local Bermuda newspaper available. Since we've been to Bermuda before, we took no shore tours. A lot of people were buying bus tickets. These could also be bought on board. The shops on Front Street in Hamilton are fun to browse in. I bought three pairs of gold earrings in Crisson's. The prices seemed reasonable enough! There is a golf pro on board. He gave an interesting clinic. We felt that the food was even better since our last cruise on the Horizon (1 ½ yrs. ago). The desserts, especially chocolate ones, were better. They now have some very good pastries for breakfast. When you go to the Coral Seas (casual restaurant), be sure to check out all of the food stations. In addition to the buffet line, they have an area that has pasta, sandwiches, and nicer salads. Outside is the grill that serves pizza, baked pasta, hamburgers, and hot dogs. Both homemade ice cream and yogurt are available. They are in different locations. Just ask. Celebrity now allows you to charge your tips. You can only do this if you want to give the recommended amounts (or more) to the suggested personnel. Disembarkation was very easy. Apparently Norfolk's disembarkation is the smoothest of all the East coast ports. We were back at the parking lot before 9 A.M. We would have been off sooner except we waited to the time we were given! Any questions? ill be happy to try to answer them. Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise