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3,129 Norwegian (NCL) Bermuda Cruise Reviews

We sailed on the Aug 3 New York-Bermuda run; Frank Tartaro's review "Dawn Disaster" pretty much sums up our experience, though we ate in fewer restaurants than they did. Embarkation was the easiest I've ever ... Read More
We sailed on the Aug 3 New York-Bermuda run; Frank Tartaro's review "Dawn Disaster" pretty much sums up our experience, though we ate in fewer restaurants than they did. Embarkation was the easiest I've ever encountered, as was disembarkation. Alas, everything in between was much less satisfactory. Our balcony cabin on deck 10 was adequate, nothing more. On previous ships the balcony was large enough for two lounge chairs; here only two chairs, not loungers, fit. Likewise the bathroom was as small as any I have ever seen on a ship and the smallest I have ever seen in a balcony grade cabin. The cabin itself was also tight, though we got used to it. The room stewards kept the cabin clean, and, unlike others on this cruise, ours did introduce themselves. The food was a major disappointment. We ate in Aqua the first night and hated the room, disliked our lackadaisical server and thought the food was mediocre. We ate in the Venetian on four nights and enjoyed that more, though the food was again mediocre at best and almost always too salty. I agree with the reviewer who wondered what the kitchen did to the prime rib; it was unlike any I have ever encountered and I fervently hope never to encounter it again. Salsa was an improvement, as was the sushi bar. Both of those meals were quite good, though nothing better than we can get locally in the New York area. We might have tried Impressions (Italian) or the steak house, but quite frankly, I resent paying extra for food on a ship. This was my 21st sailing and I have watched the nickel and diming of passengers grow apace; I for one dislike the trend! I have subscribed to "Cruise Travel" magazine for years and have read with interest the ongoing discussion of freestyle cruising versus the traditional sit-at-the-same-table approach. I understand both sides of the argument but having now sampled Norwegian Line's version, I opt for traditional! One image that was truly shocking was of dozens of people standing outside the two main (free) restaurants on the first night, waiting for tables. Actually only half were standing; the others were sitting on the steps. This is NOT an image NCL uses in its brochure, and hardly matches one's expectations of shipboard dining! To be fair, things did get better as the days passed, but this is the first time on any cruise ever that I have waited, even a minute, for a table. The other aspect of this cruise that was completely unsatisfactory was the tendering ashore. At King's Wharf the ship doesn't even offer free transport; one must purchase a ride on a large local ferry. That turned out to be a blessing, however, as we learned when we "sailed" a mile into the harbor for the third day in Bermuda. There we boarded another local ferry that took over 30 minutes to load and another 30 to unload. TOTALLY unacceptable! I can't comment on the ship's entertainment because we don't go to shows or take part in activities. We cruise to relax, read and spend time together, preferably in a lounge chair on our balcony - we'll book with another line for that. Oh, one last comment: NCL claims to require "resort casual" attire in the ship's public rooms after 5pm - don't believe it! We saw plenty of shorts, t-shirts and worse in the dining rooms. Elegance, you are sorely missed! Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
We have cruised to Bermuda 8 times now in the past 9 years. This cruise was BY FAR the worst. This cruise makes me really miss the old Zenith (Celebrity). 1) Embarkation - Check In was fast and efficient. The room was never completely ... Read More
We have cruised to Bermuda 8 times now in the past 9 years. This cruise was BY FAR the worst. This cruise makes me really miss the old Zenith (Celebrity). 1) Embarkation - Check In was fast and efficient. The room was never completely cleared of debris from the previous passengers, after numerous attempts to communicate this with room steward. 2) The Pool - Staff on board refused to enforce their own posted rules. Specifically, children jumping from the Hot Tub into the adult pool. Children went into pools with just regular diapers and/or swim diapers, a blatant violation of posted rules. This was an obvious health concern and safety, which is also addressed later. 3) Pool Area - Signs posted prohibit the reserving of sun chairs, but EVERYONE did it, and NOTHING was done about it. One nasty staff member, who was also in charge of the POOL TOWELS, reminded us of the rule in a stern and nasty manner, but refused to do anything about the above mentioned children / Hot Tub issue. 4) Restaurants - Service was ALWAYS slow at best. Food was MOSTLY mediocre at best. We were chided for wearing shorts on the Salsa restaurant, but EVERYONE else was doing it. In Aqua, it took 10 minutes to bring cocktail sauce for the shrimp cocktail. In addition, the person who took our drink order was nasty, especially when she realized we had presented a ticket for an already opened bottle of wine that was being saved for us. At Cagney's, the appetizers were served barely warm, and the meats were not cooked correctly - a medium steak came out well done. In the Venetian, the Eggs Benedict was served on a mushy untoasted English muffin. In the Blue Lagoon, we were blatantly ignored, had to beg to have the table cleaned and be given eating utensils. Of course, the food order was wrong. The buffet was a joke - as some items could only be reached by people with extremely long arms, and the prongs used to pick up food were awful. 5) Reservations - Could not reach restaurant reservation desk via phone. When we went to that desk in lobby, the person was just standing around. You would think she would be on the phone the whole time. 6) Bar Staff - Extremely aggressive in attempting to get drink orders. For example, we were approached by 5 different people in a 10 minute period poolside. This is not necessary. Mixed drinks were OK, but expensive. They did not communicate the option of purchasing drinks in Souvenir glasses versus regular glasses, as the former would cost $2 or more additional per drink. 7) Room steward / room service - we literally had to beg for ice and pitchers of water. 3 people in our party needed water to take multiple medications. Water could only be obtained via room service, which would take an hour or more. On previous cruises, a pitcher was provided in each room. The room steward did not clean the rooms properly - he would lave dirty glasses and filled garbage cans. 8) Service Charges - NCL does not make it plainly obvious that they charge $10 per person per day service charge as a forced gratuity. Whenever we cruised on Celebrity, we were given guidelines for tipping, but in the end, we made the determination. 9) Ship Cleanliness - This ship was a germ fest. Waiters walked around coughing into plates. Hairs were found in foods on more than one occasion. Bathroom glasses were cleaned by running hot water into them. If this ship was subject to health regulations as do NYC restaurants, they would have been shut down. 2 people in our party contracted conjunctivitis, and one had an intestinal virus on board, and another came home with a sinus infection. 10) Customer Service - Any time we expressed concerns about the above issues, the staff member was defensive, rather than being apologetic. At times, they would blame us for the problems we encountered! For example, we were blamed for having our room cards deactivated, because we supposedly carried them together! Sorry, we did not walk into a magnetic field! No attempts were made to correct the issues - not even the obligatory apologetic bottle of cheap champagne was not offered! In summary, we wouldn't go back if they gave us a suite for free. Read Less
Sail Date July 2008
This was our 7th cruise, 1st on NCL. Never again. Having sailed only on Holland America, this cruise came as a disappointing shock. LOUD music(?) greeted us and never stopped. Ironically, the captain's voice and instructions could ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise, 1st on NCL. Never again. Having sailed only on Holland America, this cruise came as a disappointing shock. LOUD music(?) greeted us and never stopped. Ironically, the captain's voice and instructions could not be heard over the din. The only quiet place we could find in over 7 days was our own cabin - into which the captain's voice was not projected unless you had the TV on! Oh, the TV. It worked only 2 nights "because we are having trouble with our satellite." "We apologize for the inconvenience." I've never heard that phrase as often as I did last week. We did look forward to watching the ship leave the harbor from the forward lounge. Unfortunately it stank of sewage both inside and out. We tried going back each night and it was the same; one waiter, a few passengers, and an unusable, gorgeous space. Each time we entered, gagged, and left. The ship was filthy; our cabin still reeked of former passengers. Cabinets, drawers, windows all contained handprints of prior passengers. Dust and grease everywhere. Trim on closet cabinetry missing; worn looking frayed furniture. Rubber bath mat was filthy and made entire bathroom stink through out cruise. In 7 days onboard, linen was changed only once; when we requested it. On several days pillows were merely turned over instead of changed. A 12 inch tear on duvet cover; solution? Turn it over! No room service to speak of; either "too busy" "unavailable" "too late" or they simply didn't answer their line. When breakfast did arrive, it was cold, sugar or salt or pepper or cream was missing and had to be requested. Everything felt on the cheap, and we felt resented for requesting ordinary condiments. Coffee arrived in stained, tarnished and dented carafes. Were we in steerage? My husband became our room service, running back and forth to the cafeteria line to bring semi-dry cold food -- and a cup of tea, for which room service was too busy. In Cagney's, with its $20/person surcharge, we were told the steak my husband wanted would cost an additional $10. Total misrepresentation! And drinks through out the ship were exorbitantly priced! Great food in the pricey restaurants, but unadorned, bland, leftovers in the others. At dinner one evening, the lady at the table across from ours began coughing severely. As she continued I realized she couldn't speak and her coughing worsened. I rushed to her table prepared to perform the Heimlich maneuver, but first I took her hand and asked if could talk. She could, but barely, and I stayed with her until the episode passed. She was embarrassed at having made a scene - yet she had definite medical issues which could easily have resulted in tragedy and needed immediate attention. After I had been with her for several minutes, a waiter meekly approached, said nothing, looked helpless, and left before I did. On the last night we went to the talent show to hear a friend play piano. We arrived a bit late and it was dark. The stair railing ended mid-way down the steps. We wanted to be in the first row. I have trouble seeing in the dark but expected an usher with a flashlight. No such thing. Although I was holding my husband's arm, with no arm rail I missed last step and fell, landing on my hands and knees. (Had major hand surgery 3 mos ago) My husband picked me up, no one else to help. FINALLY: I have multiple neurological problems which are not apparent to most; but I have significant balance problems and walk with difficulty. So does my friend, the piano player in the talent show. After he finished he walked slowly off the stage, weaving with stiff legs as he did so. The talent show pointed to him, laughing, saying that he (my friend) must have a few too many before the show! WOW, he said, look at that! That's really bad!! As he laughed he encouraged the entire audience to laugh, too! My talented friend slowly, warily left the stage embarrassed by everyone's laughter. Great fun!!! Some mercy, please! Not all of us consider ourselves disabled, but many of us DO have invisible problems and we all manage these problems as best we can! Overall, the staff was insensitive, rude, sparse, unskilled, unfriendly, and lazy. One last note: on embarkation, guests were met with a glass of champagne! Great move for all the children and non-drinkers! Then, an unescorted free-for-all to the cabins. So it was noisy non-service for the remainder of the week. I overheard someone say NCL stood for NO CLASS LINE. Ditto. Read Less
Sail Date April 2008
I realize that many people already stated that the hurricane cancelled our plans to ncl private island and bahamas. Therefor, we went to Bermuda, Bermuda and Bermuda! Yes, it was two days of rough seas and seasick folks. I'm not sure ... Read More
I realize that many people already stated that the hurricane cancelled our plans to ncl private island and bahamas. Therefor, we went to Bermuda, Bermuda and Bermuda! Yes, it was two days of rough seas and seasick folks. I'm not sure if I was sick from the boat rocking or from the quality of the food. This was my first and last cruise. I have always heard the food is abundant and awesome. Well the abundant part is true, but the awesome part would only be allowed from an ex con! Where do these people eat that can rate this substandard cafeteria food and good? I must say that my daughter did enjoy herself and the directors of the kids were very energetic and nice. However, I foolishly expected big pools for us to go swimming in. Well there was one pool no bigger than my living room and that was for over 2,000 people! It was ice cold sea water! We didn't need to worry about all 2,000 people wanting to go in. There was four circular hot tubs that 6 people could fit in, so if my math is correct 6x4=24. That leaves 1,976 people with no pool or hot tub at any given moment. Oh but I splurged and paid $10 to go in a warm pool inside the weight room, only thing they wouldn't let my daughter come in with me, so this was her birthday gift for us to go on a vacation together and we couldn't even swim together. Unless we wanted to reenact the seen from the Titanic and watch our lips turn blue and freeze to death! By the end of the trip my daughter had pink eye, strep throat, and an ear infection. Oh they let me see the ship doctor, who prescribed childrens Tylenol for strep throat and only charged me $95 for that medical advice! My friend who came with us also got sick a few days after the cruise from hell. She is still sick and no one can figure out what;s wrong, I think it was from that ship. They show a movie of how they recycle the septic water to drinking water. Thats what I want to see as I sip a glass of water after throwing up from sea sickness. Made me feel so much better to know that only a few short hours ago this very water was coming out of someone's ass! Well people don't let me discourage you from cruising, just don't choose the Dawn! Read Less
Sail Date August 2006
This was the first time my husband and I cruised with Norwegian, we have only done RC cruises, but with all the "HYPE" of Freestyle, we thought we would give it a try. Like most couples after a stressful year, we look so ... Read More
This was the first time my husband and I cruised with Norwegian, we have only done RC cruises, but with all the "HYPE" of Freestyle, we thought we would give it a try. Like most couples after a stressful year, we look so forward to one week of heaven. We received anything BUT heaven, more like purgatory on water. Embarkation was a laugh, you stand on line line a bunch of others waiting to be fed. Upon entering the ship, you are asked to clean your hands (for what I do not know, the ship was kept like a NYC street, garbage everywhere). The stateroom, was small, not even a wet bar to hold water. No room service for breakfast. Entertainment or should I say lack there of. It was a joke! The food was the absolute worst, small portions, not well planned or very good tasting. As for the FREEstyle" if you don't make a reservation even in the main dining rooms you are still waiting. The specialty restaurants were a little better, but for the price why should you have to pay extra to get a somewhat decent meal. Overall, I must say NEVER NEVER again. This was truly the worst vacation experience of my life. Read Less
Sail Date July 2006
My husband, daughter (20) and I have been on quite a few cruises. We lived in Atlanta and would drive down to Florida for last minute cruises whenever the price was right. NCL and Princess were the only two lines we had not sailed on, ... Read More
My husband, daughter (20) and I have been on quite a few cruises. We lived in Atlanta and would drive down to Florida for last minute cruises whenever the price was right. NCL and Princess were the only two lines we had not sailed on, therefore, when we moved to Connecticut and found a good price for The NCL Spirit out of New York for 8 days May 20 to the 28. Since we could drive to the port to eliminate the airfare we booked it. This turned out to be a big mistake. Our ride to New York was uneventful until we got to the Henry Hudson Parkway. It was fleet week and it took us 1 1/2 hours to go about 3 miles to the terminal. There was general confusion and a lot of traffic. There was no info on unloading but once we got a porter all went smoothly, however, it was no comparison to the ease of the Florida Ports. Parking was very expensive $180 for the week. Inside the terminal there was little direction and we were call up to check in only to find someone else had skipped ahead of us not once, but twice. We had to stand in line in front of a check in person after we had stood in the big check in line. The ship was nice but not spectacular. We did feel crowded everywhere on this ship which surprised us as we had been on smaller ships without being with so many people all the time. The crew did a bad job of enforcing the no saving of seat rule on deck and in the theater. Cabins were a fair size and nicely laid out. The cabin staff were cool at best and we did not get the folded towel animals and other little amenities we were used to on other ships. The colors were a bit garish and the beds hard as a rock and narrow. The food was the worst in the industry. The service in the dining rooms was very slow. The buffet was not kept full and there were long waits for the stations to be refilled. I am not a fan of Oriental food so I did not like 90% of what was served. There were many, many complaints about the food and a lot of people vowed not to sail NCL again. The Blue Lagoon put mustard, ketchup and Worcester sauce in the ground meat before they cook the hamburgers. UGH! The fries were good and the shepherds pie also. The barbecue by the pool from 12 to 2 was acceptable. The desserts were awful with the only things being acceptable the english pound cake and the cookies. The chocolate buffet proved to be the biggest disappointment of all. Guests that went to the steak place said it was the worst steak that they had ever had. We missed the midnight buffets that other ships have and they had too many extra pay restaurants. The food and the service in these places was inferior and not worth the money. The Italian restaurant was a joke. They sectioned off a portion of the buffet area and called it a restaurant. The food was ok but the capacity was small the totally booked by mid cruise. Room service is good but one morning we got two breakfasts and we only received the fill out menu on our first day. Don't order the sandwiches. The best food is from the kids menu with the grilled cheese and individual pizzas from room service the best of the lot. The entertainment was ok and the cast worked hard. The at sea activities were mediocre and there was a constant barrage of things to get you to spend your money on. It was difficult to find free things to do. The activities for young adults was minimal. Drinks were totally overpriced and the soda card cost $50 each for the 8 days. At the end of the cruise the liquor pick-up was unorganized and they handed out the liquor purchased on the islands much faster than what was purchased onboard. It took 10 times longer to get the onboard purchases than the island ones. NCL needs to get organized and cater to American tastes. We will not sail this line again as we did not get the service or food quality we have come to expect from a cruise line. We rank this line at the bottom of the list. Our advice is to pay the extra money and depart from one of the Southern ports and book Carnival for fun activities, and any other line for quality food. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
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