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Sail Date: June 2007
We just got back from Bermuda today sailing on the Norwegian Crown leaving from Philadelphia. I gave this cruise to my husband for his birthday. Embarkation: Went very smoothly, no lines Cabin : I was very surprised at our cabin. It ... Read More
We just got back from Bermuda today sailing on the Norwegian Crown leaving from Philadelphia. I gave this cruise to my husband for his birthday. Embarkation: Went very smoothly, no lines Cabin : I was very surprised at our cabin. It was quite spacious with a lot of storage space. The bathroom was quite big with a tub which I was very happy with. I did have a problem with the housekeeping on a couple of days. We would leave our cabin at 7:30 in the morning, come back at noon and it still was not made up. Food: Mediocre at best. Went to all 3 specialty restaurants which were ok. The only way you could get surf and turf was to spend $20.00 extra a person. The yacht club which was the buffet had the same thing everyday for lunch and breakfast. Was supposed to open at 5:30 P.M. but the last night of our cruise they did not open until 6. The coffee on this cruise was like mud. Maybe it was because they did not change it. They just kept on serving it until it ran out.. Most of the meals you could not pronounce. I would have loved just to have a meatloaf or something American sounding. Drinks, I thought were very expensive. My husband loves Bailey's cream on the rocks. They did not have that brand and a double cost $11.00. I lived on Pina Colada's which were very good. They also said that they served Coor's light - but they did not have it saying that it was the last cruise out of Philly for the year to Bermuda. What does that have to do with it? I did not like the Freestyle dining. I thought I would give it a try but it was not to my liking. I like having the same waiter who gets to know you throughout the cruise. Also the waiter in the Italian Restaurant was very rude to us. Maybe he had a bad day. Entertainment - I thought it was pretty good. They had a good dance group and a couple of very funny comedians. Pool - Very small with no kiddie pools so the kids used the hot tubs as their pools and no one told them to get out. So the "older people" could not use them. Crew - I thought on the whole that they were very friendly but overworked. Disembarkation - Went very smoothly and pretty much on time. Found our luggage right away and we were out of the terminal in 5 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2007
I never thought I would not like a cruise to Bermuda since I was there before but this Cruise Ship was the worst. It started with the pool the size of a bathtub. Then we went to the bar and they did not have the kind of beer they said that ... Read More
I never thought I would not like a cruise to Bermuda since I was there before but this Cruise Ship was the worst. It started with the pool the size of a bathtub. Then we went to the bar and they did not have the kind of beer they said that they would. That started the day off bad with my husband. The only saving grace was the cabin. It was very nice with lots of storage and a bathtub which was great with me. The food, well it was not good at all. If you asked for seconds they looked at you and not favorably. The "extra" dining experiences were not good either. The Oriental restaurant was behind a curtain in the dining room. The cost of the "steak " restaurant was expensive. If you wanted to go to the pool it was impossible to find a clean table. You would have to ask someone to clean it off and they said they would and walked away. If you wanted to go to the hot tubs you could not get in because of all the children in them. I pointed out to one of the crew members that there was a sign that no one especially little children should be in them. They just shrugged their shoulders and walked away. And who would want to get in them after small children were swimming in them. I guess they were in their was because the swimming pool was over their heads. Near the end of the cruise I found out that this was the last cruise for this ship and that after our cruise they were sailing up to New York for a crew party. I have found out that they sold this ship. I do hope it was for scrap metal. In all I was very disappointed with this cruise and cruise ship Read Less
Sail Date: June 2007
We travelled from England(8 of us in total)and stayed in Philadelphia for 2 nights at Downtown Marriott, which was very nice. I think 2 days in Philadelphia is enough to see everything!! Embarkation on the Norwegian Crown was quick and ... Read More
We travelled from England(8 of us in total)and stayed in Philadelphia for 2 nights at Downtown Marriott, which was very nice. I think 2 days in Philadelphia is enough to see everything!! Embarkation on the Norwegian Crown was quick and efficient (though our line was smaller as they had a separate desk for non us citizens) The cabins were fine, ours was inside, our friends had outside. From this point on our cruise experience deteriorated big time. At this point I would like to warn all cruisers who enjoy P & O from England - DO NOT GO ON THIS SHIP - DO NOT GO FREESTYLE DINING - YOU WILL ABSOLUTELY NOT LIKE IT!!!!!! I cannot stress this enough. I had read varying reviews for this ship on this website, but our friends had booked although I did warn them what the reviews said, and as we wanted to go with them we just hoped for the best! The food was awful - plentiful at the buffet - usually cold. The Chopsticks restaurant is a joke - they just cordon it off at night from the buffet area - food was horrible. The decks ARE covered in soot from the morning onwards - by 11.30am they were filthy, and no staff were cleaning this area at all. There is no theatre on this ship just a show lounge - the comedians we saw were quite entertaining. The casino is quite small and for some reason they were playing music above the noise of the slots. It was so loud that we ended up leaving a couple of times because of this - take note NCL you are driving customers away from spending their money!! The one good thing about this ship is the staff - they were all very friendly and tried to do their best for you at all times, they deserve a better ship to serve on!! and better food to serve!! Oh and NCL - have you never heard of a wine waiters - the waiter who took our order in the main dining room also had to go get the drinks before they took our meal order - what was that about?? This ship needs more staff!!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2006
I just came back from the Bermuda Cruise today. I must say that the cruise was better than I expected after reading so many mixed reviews online. The Embarkation Process was fast and very organized, it took about 10 mins before we got on ... Read More
I just came back from the Bermuda Cruise today. I must say that the cruise was better than I expected after reading so many mixed reviews online. The Embarkation Process was fast and very organized, it took about 10 mins before we got on the ship. There was a nice trolley that took you from the parked car lot to the ship terminal. Once we got on the ship they had you sanitize your hands (these were placed all over the restaurants and when you got back on the ship). They had stewards all over to help you locate your room. We got to our room and it was bigger than I expected it to be. We had 4 beds. 2 on the floor and 2 bunk beds. Our room had a window as well. There were many drawers for our clothes and 2 suitcases fit under the bed as well. The ports I liked best were St. Georges and Hamilton because they had the most to offer. The Navy Dockyard was nice, but there really wasn't anything close by. You either had to take a taxi or a moped to get to the places there. In St. Georges we saw the Bermuda Perfumery, The Unfinished Church, Kings Square and Fort St. Catherine which had a nice beach. Hamilton which is the capitol of Bermuda was very city like compared to St Georges. In Hamilton we saw Bermuda Aquarium (Which is in another Parish near Hamilton) and Horseshoe Bay. In The Navy Dockyard we took a taxi tour which was about 3 hours long and traveled all through Bermuda. It was nice to see all the ports again. Okay.... now about the food. I must admit the food was good. It's nothing outrageous or blew my mind away but it was good. They had a nice variety at the lunch buffet, salads, hot meals, Italian. The breakfast was the same each day. Also the speciality restaurants were good as well. We ate only at Chopsticks which is the Asian themed restaurant. This menu stays the same for the whole cruise and you need a reservation for this as well. The entertainment was fantastic. The Jean and Ryan Company did several shows during the cruise and it was great. There was a comedian/acrobat named Rudi... he was really funny. Overall.... I enjoyed this cruise very much, and would travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2006
Embarkation out of Philly couldn't have been easier. Smooth, fast, easy parking ($10/day) and easy to get to. Ship was kept in good condition. We booked an AC suite since we were getting married in Hamilton during the cruise and ... Read More
Embarkation out of Philly couldn't have been easier. Smooth, fast, easy parking ($10/day) and easy to get to. Ship was kept in good condition. We booked an AC suite since we were getting married in Hamilton during the cruise and wanted to treat ourselves. Room was spacious, clean, and had a great view. Furnishings (lamps and bedspread) a bit outdated. Large bathroom with full tub with jacuzzi jets. Tons of storage space! **TIP** -- BRING YOUR OWN HAIR DRYER!!! - even though there are hairdryers in the rooms, they are ancient and blew no more air than a whisper lol. Lucky for me they had some better dryers at the front desk that passengers can borrow. Pool area small, but there are a few decks to lay out on. Jacuzzis on the deck above the pool deck. Saltwater in the pool which was fine. Big fluffy towels at stations everywhere on deck for passenger use. Food - The buffet was really not that good. Hamburgers and hot dogs and salad. It was really pretty lame. We're not fussy and would prefer to eat on the run over a long sit down dinner so we were disappointed that the buffet wasn't better. The Main dining room food was consistently good. We ate there 2 nights and 2 breakfasts and they were all good. Ate at the pasta restaurant one night because it is lovely there - on the 11th floor at the top of the ship. Service there and food was very good as well. Room service was prompt every morning with our coffee and tea and fresh fruit and toast. Fruit was delicious and the coffee was too. Went snorkeling in Bermuda - very nice time and great tour. Bermuda is just fabulous - it's my favorite place to go. St. George's was quaint and lovely, Hamilton is fabulous with the shops and restaurants - We were married in the Registrar's Office and then went for pictures at Elbow Beach Resort - it was paradise on earth there and the people were all SO nice! (Pickled Onion is a fun place at night with a really great duet playing) and the Dockyard is further "out there" but we just took a taxi that day to the fabulous Horseshoe Bay (do not miss this beach!!) The casino was very good and the bartender at the casino bar was really great! Piano bar there too with good entertainment, nice quiet "Neil Diamond" kind of voice. We didn't go to any of the shows, but heard from many passengers that they really enjoyed them.. Funny comedian, great entertainment. I was surprised since I read some not so hot comments about the entertainment .. You wouldn't have known it on our sailing .. everyone enjoyed! If you have any questions, feel free to email me! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2006
My wife and I just returned from a cruise to Bermuda on the Crown. This was my first cruise and her fourth (although she hasnt cruised in over 10 years). This was our first time on the Crown. Im 54 and she just turned the big 5  0. This ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from a cruise to Bermuda on the Crown. This was my first cruise and her fourth (although she hasnt cruised in over 10 years). This was our first time on the Crown. Im 54 and she just turned the big 5  0. This was her 50th birthday present. Although we are in our fifties, we are very active and enjoy having a good time. EMBARKATION: We drove to Philly and arrived about 12:15 pm. The directions listed by NCL were excellent and there were many people directing traffic to the proper locations. We dropped off our luggage at the terminal, drove over to long term parking ($10/day), and took the shuttle (free) back to the terminal. We walked in about 12:30 and we were surprised to see the terminal so empty. We were checked right in, received our cards, our picture was taken, and in minutes we were aboard ship. We found our cabin, OV 5081, mid ship, port side and dropped off our carry-ons and went exploring the ship. We settled in at the Lido bar and had a few drinks while we waited to meet some of the CC folks from our roll call. FOOD: Breakfast: Most mornings we ordered coffee and fruit from room service and/or went to breakfast in the Seven Seas. The food was good, much better than the Yacht Club breakfast buffet. Lunch: We ate in the Yacht Club each day and found the buffet varied and the food enjoyable. Dinner: We ate exclusively in the Seven Seas restaurant and found the food to be very good to average. The appetizers were always very good, but on the small side. Portion size as a whole was smallish, but we didnt want to gain 10 lbs. on the cruise, so we were happy with the sizes.. On Sunday night we both had the swordfish which was very good as was the lobster on Monday night. On Tuesday, we took advantage of the dine ashore program and ate dinner at the Carriage House in St. Georges. The meal was fabulous. We split the seafood crepes (outstanding), we both had a Caesar salad, as well as the Seafood Delight (excellent). The meal by far was the best of the entire trip. Our bill (excluding drinks) was $100.35. It cost us a whopping 35 cents (plus the cost of the vouchers). Well worth the money, IMHO. Wednesday, we both had the Chicken Parm, as nothing else seemed appealing to us. It was OK, nothing to write home about. On Thursday and Friday, I had a pasta dish and my DW had seafood stew (pretty good) and salmon (very good). On Saturday, the choices were the least appealing as was the food. I had the broiled pork chop and my wife had the flank steak. I definitely would recommend making a reservation at another restaurant for that evening. We tried to, after looking at the menu after breakfast, but there were no restaurants available. ACTIVITIES: There was plenty to do on and off the ship. The nightly entertainment was enjoyable. The productions in the Stardust Lounge, while by no means Vegas-like, were entertaining. Late night entertainment in the Top of the Crown provided some good laughs as well as showcasing some passenger talent (and some without talent). There were a multitude of activities listed in the dailies and one would be hard-pressed not to find something to do  trivia, bingo, casino, spa and fitness center, library, art auction, demonstrations, lectures, classes, ping pong, shuffleboard, etc. We didn't go on any excursions, so we have nothing to report about them CREW: Fantastic; very hard working, polite, pleasant and helpful staff. Just about everyone smiled and went out of their way to please the passengers. DRINKS: Beer was anywhere from $4.00 - $5.00, bar drinks $5.50 - $9.50, wine $6.50 and up. Then add 15% gratuity. For the beer drinkers, the best buy is the helmet of beer  6 bottles for the price of 5 (plus a $5.00 deposit on the helmet). BERMUDA: Absolutely beautiful, a destination to which we will definitely return. We didnt take any of the excursions. Since this was my first time there, I wanted to explore on my own. St. Georges was my favorite spot. I loved the quaint streets and small shops. We walked to Tobacco Bay about 1:00 pm and found it was very crowded. We did find some real estate on the beach and stayed for a few hours. I wish we had walked a little farther and went to St. Catherines (maybe next time). In the evening we went to the street fair, listened to the music and strolled about the square looking at the varied vendors wares. My wife liked Hamilton and its many shops. She shopped in the morning and then we took the bus to Horseshoe Bay, one of the prettiest beaches we have ever seen. We rented chairs and spent most of the afternoon there before returning by bus to the ship. The Dockyard was our least favorite port. We explored the nearby shops in the morning and then took the ferry over to Hamilton in the afternoon. SEA DAYS: Sunday and Mondays sailing were calm and we encountered no problems on our way to Bermuda. Friday was raining and the sea was angry until 3:00 pm when the sea and my stomach finally settled down. Saturday was absolutely wonderful as the sea was extremely calm. DISEMBARKATION: We ordered room service and waited in our cabin until our color was called (15 minutes early). Getting off the ship was easy. We picked up our luggage, passed through customs, and were on our way home within 30 minutes. OVERALL IMPRESSION: Very nice time, great destination, older, but well maintained ship, friendly staff, food OK to very good, and value was exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2006
My first cruising experience was on the old Queen Mary as a 15 year old. Ive also sailed on the QE2 in the year 2000. However, my husband and I have cruised together twice before, both times on the Norway. This was our first time on the ... Read More
My first cruising experience was on the old Queen Mary as a 15 year old. Ive also sailed on the QE2 in the year 2000. However, my husband and I have cruised together twice before, both times on the Norway. This was our first time on the Norwegian Crown. We loved the grandeur of the Norway, and didnt know what to expect from the Crown. We chose the Crown because of the destination, Bermuda. My husband had been there before, but this would be my first time. We sailed with friends who wanted to get married in Bermuda, and we were their witnesses and Best man and Matron of honor. Our friends wanted to get married on the cruise, but the cost was prohibitive. Our first impression was a very easy embarkation experience. Our family lives in Philly, and dropped us off effortlessly at the ship. A very nice way to start the trip. We arrived at the ship around 11Am, and we were led quickly through the boarding process, passports shown trip ID cards made, etc. After leaving the terminal building we rounded a corner and saw her for the first time. It was a beautiful day, and we admired her as we walked the long ramp to board. We separated from our friends, and set off to explore our cabin and await our luggage. We were lucky to have been given the opportunity to upgrade, which we did with pleasure. Our cabin was in the AA category, 1007, or the MYKONOS APARTMENT, as it was labeled. We were on the port side toward the bow, with a view of the Navel Yard in port. We had a very nice bottle of chilled Champagne waiting for us. Also, some light snacks. Pate2, fruit, and crackers. Although we are not fond of champagne, this had a nice flavor, and we enjoyed most of it until our friends arrived, at which time the Husband to Be, Don, gulped the rest of the bottle!! Our luggage arrived promptly, and we unpacked as most people were still boarding. Our stateroom was nicely laid out, with the bedroom as you first entered. Beyond that, was a sitting room with two chairs and a sofa and coffee table. Across from the sofa were a round table and four chairs. The furniture was wicker with light floral patterned cushions. The room had the usual things you would expect, a refrigerator, TV, Stereo, large ice bucket, glassware, and a safe. The closet was of a good size, with several drawers for each of us. Our balcony had a small wicker table with four chairs, and 2 padded chaise lounges. The bathroom was marble, and had a good size jetted tub, which I took advantage of several times. My only complaint is that the room bordered on shabby. The marble was stained, and the cushions had spots on them. None of which took away from our overall pleasure in our accommodations. We all enjoyed the services of our butler, Anoop. He took very good care of us, and was helpful with reservations in the special dining rooms. A note here, make your reservations as soon as you board, as these dining rooms fill up quickly. We liked the Freestyle dining experience. The old formality, and eating at the same table, with the same people, at the same time, was not missed at all. We think there could be major improvements in the Yacht Club buffet. By the end of the cruise, we were calling it the barf-fet. The first day on board we had lunch in the Yacht Club, and discovered that off to the side was a specialty salad station, and a chef who had a different grilled course every day. That was the only food we could count on, as the regular buffet had a varying degrees of edible food. By the end of the cruise, I was in line at lunch, and commented to the woman behind me that I couldnt find anything to eat, to which she replied, yeah, they must have run out of leftovers. I found that the Seven Seas room had a better lunch then the Yacht Club. Although the Seven Seas room is very large, and attractive, you were seated very close to your neighbors. You could check out there food and get advice, as you ended up conversing with them due to there proximity. We loved the specialty restaurants. We ate in Chopstix once, The Pasta Cafe once and once from room service, and the Bistro twice. The menu is not large in Chopstix, but we all enjoyed the food. However, if you like sushi, their offerings were limited. The Pasta cafe was very good, but again limited selections. Our friend Don ordered the pasta with Bolognese sauce, and could have eaten two portions as he is a tall man. He was disappointed, but learned to order two portions the next time (which was served in our room by Anoop) and was very happy. Anoop got us menus of each of the restaurants and we could all order something different, from a different place, and all the food arrived at the same time and was wonderful. Anoop's name came in handy when we decided we liked the Bistro and wanted to eat there again the next night. Jimmy, the host, initially told us there was no room, but when he overheard us talking about having Anoop call him, he found room for us. We all enjoyed the filet and lobster. There was a $20.00 charge per, but well worth it. Jimmy quickly became our friend and also sang for Don and his bride Stephanie at dinner after their wedding. Very nice touch. Stephanie and I both had a Spa treatment. She chose a combination of 25 minutes of massage, with 25 minutes of a full body scrub. She LOVED it. I chose a combination lasting 60 minutes consisting of a facial, scalp massage and treatment, hand and arm massage, leg and foot massage, and a wash and dry. I also enjoyed mine but I would choose Stephanies package if I had it to do over again. They do try to sell you their very expensive products. I might have been tempted, but I didnt like the scent. The Spa and exercise room were very up to date and beautifully appointed. Ken used the treadmill and claimed the view was the best on the ship. We are not Casino people, but it seemed to have the usual games. It was very smoky or I might have dropped a quarter in the slots. The gift shops were expensive, with the exception of the liquor store. The only bargain liquor on this cruise was there. You will not find any bargains on anything in Bermuda as everything is imported. We bought gold by the inch on the next to last day, and we are very happy with the purchase. Our Granddaughter also likes her ankle bracelet. We enjoyed a VERY nice lunch in St. Georges at the Carriage House using the dining ashore program. We ate as soon as we got off the ship, which is a good tip as the place had a very long line to get in as we left. You only get one dining around coupon, and we were not disappointed that we used ours there .After a great lunch, we enjoyed the only shore excursion we had time for. We went on the bell helmet dive. Our trip was hosted by Triangle Divers, and they did a great job. My husband, Ken, has a beard which becomes a problem with a traditional dive mask. Also, Don is very afraid of the water. These helmets allowed us to keep our glasses on, our hair dry, and still enjoy the fish at around fifteen feet or more down. The tricky part is getting down the ladder, after that just enjoy. They tell you there are no sharks, which Don and Stephanie were glad to hear. However, we were in the ocean, so draw your own conclusions. The water was 70 degrees, and we were offered wet suits. As a former diver, I chose not to wear one. I didnt mind the temperature, but when the dive captain dropped the fifteen pound helmet on my bare shoulders, I was bruised for the rest of the trip. Ladies, WEAR THE WET SUIT. I dont think I would have been hurt if I had had one on. We did get some great pictures with our underwater disposable camera. Thats a must if you choose this trip. They give you stale rolls to feed the fish, which was a blast. They are obviously used to this, as they came up to your hands the minute you were down the ladder. We did not attend any of the ship's nightly productions, with the exception of a variety show starring Rudi Maccagi. Hilarious, we highly recommend him if he is on board. I played bingo once, as I like Bingo, it bored my husband to death! At night we hung out in the Top of the Crown. A very nice bar, very comfortable, and has a nice drink menu. They have nightly entertainment if you want to participate, but you can also sit to the side and talk. We talked, with the exception of Karaoke night. My husband does a wonderful Elvis, but was a bit off that night. We met some very nice people on board, a good crowd, very varied. The staff also is varied, with many nations represented. The vast majority went out of their way to help. Just a few with an attitude, and they stand out as most were great. Especially our room steward, Archibald, who saw Don with a Fosters beer, and called him Fosters for the duration. Archy is a funny man. Don and Stephanie had a beautiful wedding in Hamilton on Thursday. We were in Kings Wharf on Thursday, and took a water taxi back to Hamilton. A good way to get around, skip the taxis. Hamilton was closed on Wednesday when we were there as it was Queen Victoria Day, but I wont bore you with wedding details. In Kings Wharf we went to the Frog and Onion pub, had a great time. Don got the beer sampler, and enjoyed it. By now you know hes a beer man. Ken and I enjoy Jack Daniels, but had rum swizzles in several bars and liked them Stephanie is a non drinker, but she also enjoyed the rum swizzles. Dont order one in the Yacht Club. They dont know how to make a proper one. The other bars on board make a good one. As for liquor, expect to drop $5 to $8 a drink on board. We were lucky in that the AA cabins get 3 free bottles in their suites. We filled out a slip when we first entered our room, and Anoop made it appear the next day. Debarkation was also very smooth, but sad. A great cruise is never long enough. We were met in the short term parking lot by our son in law, and dropped the newlyweds off at the airport as we were spending a few days in Philly with family. Then the long drive back to Atlanta, our temporary home. We had a great time, and would choose the Crown again. As a smaller ship, she was easier to get around, and you got to know the crew and fellow guests with greater ease. There were very few children on board, which was fine with us as empty nesters. You cant compare her to the Norway, which was the last of the large liners of her day. Its a very different experience on the Crown, but just as enjoyable. If youre looking for a ton of activities, and a younger bar crowd, this is not the ship for you. But, if you want a more relaxed cruise, with more then enough to keep you busy, this is it. Enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2006
My wife and I sailed out of Philly. This was our first cruise, we sailed for our anniversary, had a wonderful time. Embarkation: Directions where wonderful, however if leaving from Philly give yourself extra time for traffic. We arrived ... Read More
My wife and I sailed out of Philly. This was our first cruise, we sailed for our anniversary, had a wonderful time. Embarkation: Directions where wonderful, however if leaving from Philly give yourself extra time for traffic. We arrived at the port about 2:30pm (I was afraid at one point we where going to miss sailing due to traffic) and was more then pleasantly surprised at how fast and smooth our check in and boarding went. These people really know their business and it shows. Once on board we found our cabin after wondering around a bit. Room had a big window, lots of storage was nice size, bigger then we expected. Our room (remember anniversary) was to be made up as a double bed but had 2 singles. We talked to our room steward (a wonderful attentive man, he really did a wonderful job the whole trip) and he had our room taken care of by the time we returned from the life boat drill. Food: The food offerings on board where staggering. We sampled most of the offerings at one time or another during our trip and found most to be good. The Seven Seas (we ate breakfast and dinner there most of the trip) was by far the best. Portions where nice and they worked hard to make sure you where happy. My wife and I had the anniversary package so we ate dinner on Thursday in the Bistro. I thought it was good my wife had her best meal there. The Yacht Club Buffet was great for a quick snack or after the shows at night. Entertainment: There is as much or as little as you want to do on this ship. We enjoyed everything from sitting on deck watching the ocean go by to the shows in the evening. We found the Shows to be fun, full of energy, the dancers always gave it there all. The variety and comic acts where good. Enjoyed the "game" shows the ship hosts, I even won playing who wants to be a "bazzillionaire". Rich the Assistant Cruise Director was great. Casino was small, only played one time. Crew: All did a wonderful job, some better then others but all in all very nice. Ship: It's a smaller ship I am told but other then the rough seas on the way home we enjoyed being able to get to everything quickly. Crew always seemed to be working on keeping ship looking good. We will cruise on a bigger ship next time but the Crown is a beauty. Bermuda: My wife and I where really taken with Bermuda's beauty. From the crystal blue water, to the beautiful islands. We found St. Georges charming, I enjoyed strolling along the narrow streets. Hamilton is the "City" in Bermuda. We docked in Hamilton on Bermuda Day (a national holiday) so shops only open in the morning. They had a 4 hour parade on Front Street that we could watch from the ship. We walked up to the fort above Hamilton and enjoyed a wonderful view. Kings Wharf was our favorite port. Enjoyed the shops and snorkel beach. We took a carriage ride in both St. Georges and Kings Wharf. Highly recommend it in St. George, Kings Wharf ride was ok. Sea Days: Cruise to Bermuda went well. Sunny weather and smooth seas. Cruse back to Philly was a bit rough, both of us felt sick on Sat but once we passed a front it smoothed out and no other problems. Disembarkation: We used Express. We where on our way out of the parking lot by 9:30am. Overall a wonderful trip. We hope to cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2006
Just returned Sunday from a cruise to Bermuda on the Norwegian Crown. We were on this very same ship in 1998 and swore we would never cruise NCL again, or that ship. For some reason when we booked our trip a month prior to this cruise, we ... Read More
Just returned Sunday from a cruise to Bermuda on the Norwegian Crown. We were on this very same ship in 1998 and swore we would never cruise NCL again, or that ship. For some reason when we booked our trip a month prior to this cruise, we did not remember what ship we were on and really wanted to try going out of Philly. (regardless of NCL--we needed to get away and the timing was right) We were prepared to just hang-in-there until we got to Bermuda. Well, we were pleasantly surprised. The enhancements made to the Crown were really great. The biggest change was the spa area and the gym. The gym was on the lowest deck in 1998 and moved to the highest deck-forward with windows overlooking the ocean. A very pleasant area. Our room was a partially obstructed ocean view that turned out to be wonderful and quiet. It was on the Lido deck-aft. Just steps away from the spa, library and restaurants. Although not much can be said about the food on board, we did enjoy a few tasty meals. Freestyle is the best way to cruise. We never worried about getting to a restaurant or were uncomfortably dressed. What is key though, is to make reservations at the speciality restaurants the day you board since they seem to be popular. Chopstix needs a more varied menu. Sushi was just okay, nothing with tuna which is my favorite. However, the miso soup was excellent and the sweet and sour dish my husband had was good. Sushi is served as an appetizer, but they will double it for an entree which is what I did. We never made it to the Pasta Cafe. The Seven Seas restaurant had a pasta dish almost every night which my husband would order and we would share a taste. The best one was the Puttenesca pasta dish, tasted almost like my own. Very good! Le Bistro seemed to have the best service, but nothing really special on the menu outside of Filet mignon and you could order 2 large lobster tails. The lobster tail in the Seven seas restaurant was better. The appetizer choices included escargot. The Seven seas restaurant salads were excellent as well as the varied veggies. And you could always order more than one. Room service in the a.m. was excellent. I love my morning coffee before getting dressed, it arrived on time and was hot. The one problem we found while lounging on the various decks outside was the ash coming from the smokestack. I don't remember every seeing that on a ship. I will say that the crew did a noble job of cleaning it up daily. The best I have saved for last. Once you arrive at the door of the ship you are greeted by housekeeping personnel with a bottle of disinfectant ready to squirt your hands. There are automatic bacterial soap dispensers at every eating area and you are encouraged to use them before entering. There are also many reminders in the public bathrooms to wash hands. The gym has spray bottles of disinfectant for use on the equipment. And..............the Liars club is not to be missed. The funniest night of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
Summary: Nicely maintained and refurbished older, smaller cruise ship, excellent crew and staff, great meals, good value. Bermuda is a close, clean and interesting destination. Great beaches, tours and shopping. Would recommend. We were ... Read More
Summary: Nicely maintained and refurbished older, smaller cruise ship, excellent crew and staff, great meals, good value. Bermuda is a close, clean and interesting destination. Great beaches, tours and shopping. Would recommend. We were very happy with the Norwegian Crown on this latest cruise to Bermuda from Philadelphia. It was definitely an older crowd (not a party boat), and few children, which suited us. The trade-off is negotiating hallways and lobbies with some older and more infirm passengers and finding that nobody wants to get up and dance at the various music venues. As we live near Philadelphia, it was a real treat to leave from a small port rather than Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. The process was painless and well organized, and we were able to park at the pier for $70 for the week. The passage out to Bermuda was very rough, but we had brought the patch for seasickness and were not much bothered. It did make walking around the ship quite a challenge and some older folks fell. We saw one broken arm as a result. The return was much calmer and I doubt anyone was seasick coming back. Bermuda in early may can be cool  jacket weather. The water is 65-70 degrees, pretty cold for swimming and snorkeling and quite windy. We understand the locals dont go in the water much before July so these early cruises are really pushing the envelope on water activities. Our snorkel trip was cancelled due to windy conditions. I gathered it made the trips out to reef areas rather unpleasant. There was no problem about taking prepaid charges off our bill, and the staff tried their best to offer replacements. On-board ship entertainment was pretty limited but sincere. The casino was small but fun, only one table for $5 blackjack. There is smoking in all ship public areas but it wasnt too much of a problem and most times we could just move. Bingo is very expensive (av. $50 a session) but cleverly done with wireless readers and computers, minimum $100 payouts, and after one try we were hooked. We won twice and probably about broke even. Our stateroom was one of the cheaper outside cabins but it was roomy and better than we expected. Excellent if uninspired steward service on our deck. Professional if somewhat cool restaurant service  since the Freestyle approach means you are never at the same table you always have different servers and you dont get very familiar with them. The hostess gently pushes group seating but will also seat you separately. The automatic gratuity of $10/day covers tips to all the crew and staff except for special individual things like spa treatments, etc. I think it should be called a service fee since it wasnt voluntary. Still, it was nice to not have to worry about finding folks to tip at the end of the voyage. There was no charge for room service  a pleasant surprise. It was odd to charge for soft drinks, but since we dont drink these it didnt matter. Food, atmosphere and service in the Seven Seas restaurant were excellent. We were never tempted to try to reserve one of the 4 specialty restaurants. For informal and between meals eats the buffet line at the Yacht Club was also great. Our biggest food problem was that we found the coffee undrinkable. We are avid coffee drinkers and only until we could get to a Bermuda grocery store and buy some flavored creamer did we succeed in making the Crowns coffee drinkable. You could get some half and half from the wait staff with difficulty in the small packs but we were generally expected to use milk to lighten our coffee (ugh!). Expect to spend at least 50% of your basic cruise bill in shore and shipboard activities and minimal purchases/souvenirs. Drinks are $5.50-$8 plus a $1.50 service fee and they do add up. Norwegian offers vouchers for in-town dining for $5 that will get you a burger or equivalent at one of the interesting pubs or small restaurants, particularly common in Hamilton. I would recommend the Hog Penny in Hamilton or Frog and Onion at Kings Wharf for at least drinks if not a meal  seem well patronized by locals as well. St. George is my favorite Bermuda port -- you can walk to everything. We enjoyed Tobacco Bay (the one time I got wet) and the quaint streets and shops. Hamilton has a small museum near the post office that is on island time and finally opened after 10 am one morning after we had been there several times to check. The art museum is also interesting but most everything out of town gets complicated to see with expensive taxis or setting up for bus transport. A taxi to the zoo/aquarium and back cost us about $30 plus the $20 admission. We did just one ship-organized excursion, a glass-bottomed boat. It was fun to get off the ship but the coral all looks brown under illumination at night and we only saw sea slugs and one kind of fish. The best shore excursions seem to be at the Royal Navy Dockyards at the extreme western tip of the Bermuda islands. The cruise line calls this port Kings Wharf but they must have made this name up themselves. It is not called that in any tour books or maps we purchased. Here you can do a dive with an air helmet, swim with dolphins, see the best Bermuda museum, best fort, ride Segways, go biking, visit a good snorkel beach, and enjoy the best shopping under one roof that Bermuda offers. The bad news for us was due to some scheduling mix-up, we didnt get a full day at Kings Wharf as advertised, but only one hour (!) in the morning from 9:30 (when most things open) until 10:30 am on our last day. It was just enough time to squeeze in some final shopping and think about what we were missing. Hardly seemed worth the trouble of the Crown docking for this limited period. I gather another cruise ship had previously tied up the single berth at the dock and didnt let us in. But the change was not announced until the day before and no accommodations were made. If we had known we would have gone ahead over on a $4 ferry ahead of the Crown and caught up with it at departure. So dont pin your entire cruise vacation on one big shore excursion  these kinds of schedule changes or weather-related cancellations are probably common and you should always be flexible and have some backup plans. In summary, we would definitely cruise with Norwegian again and hope to return to Bermuda in future during July-August when the water is more hospitable (although that also gets into storm season). And I definitely want more time at the Royal Navy Dockyards (Kings Wharf) to do shore activities next time. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2005
Hi everyone, just back today from the NCL Crown 7-night Philly to Bermuda. What a wonderful cruise! This was our sixth cruise, second with NCL, and the first from Philly only 20 minutes from home. Embarkation from Philadelphia was smooth ... Read More
Hi everyone, just back today from the NCL Crown 7-night Philly to Bermuda. What a wonderful cruise! This was our sixth cruise, second with NCL, and the first from Philly only 20 minutes from home. Embarkation from Philadelphia was smooth - the long-term parking was only two blocks away, and baggage could be dropped off, cars parked, and walk 2 blocks back over to the port facility on Broad Street. Inside, typical setup of long lines, shorter lines for suite and penthouse guests. The ship ride from Philly to the ocean was nearly 6 hours, but a pleasant ride late in the day as the sun descended in the west. We stayed in cabin 1001, an AB penthouse, one of few on this ship with a balcony. The balcony is always worth it but especially coming into Bermuda. There are only 16 balconies on this ship - 4 of the (AB) Penthouses and 12 of the (AA) Owner's Suites. We were all on the Penthouse (10th) deck. The Sun deck is above the Penthouse deck so the people watching over the railing from up the there could see right onto the balconies. Ours, however, was just below the Pasta Cafe so we had more privacy on our balcony especially when sitting - no one could see us, whereas the others were in direct view from above. When entering ports, crowds would line the deck above these balconies - packed end to end with people enjoying the view. Our Concierge was a woman named Belky and our Butler was Raul. We always sail in a penthouse but have never before had the constant and consistent service these two provided us. It was our 22nd wedding anniversary, so I had the Anniversary package set up to surprise my husband. The suite was decorated with balloons, wedding bell streamers, a Happy Anniversary banner and wedding bell cutouts. They had a large cake decorated with Happy Anniversary for us as well besides the bottle of champagne provided in the penthouse. It was wonderful. The cake was so large it could have fed a group of 20 so we shared with the 2 ladies in the cabin next to us whom we had met while standing on our balcony. The Anniversary package was $30.00, which was well worth it, and you call Norwegian ahead of time to order it and pre-pay on a credit card. They also have the Birthday and Bon Voyage package at the same price. They deliver an appetizer or desert around 5:30 each day to the suite. They also provided you with all the large Evian water bottles, tonic and soda we wanted throughout the entire cruise complimentary. The refrigerator was stocked upon arrival and there was a selection card with your choice of 3 full size bottles of alcohol to be delivered to your cabin again complimentary. We never opened ours and ended up bringing them home. We ate lunch in the Seven Seas restaurant upon arrival on the ship at noon. We ate dinner there that evening as well but that was our only time. We ate Monday and Friday in Le Bistro fabulous food and service $15.00 charge per person well worth it. You have to have the chocolate fondue for dessert - it's to die for! We ate Thursday in Pasta Cafe and Wednesday we ate in St. George using the dining ashore program and chose the Carriage House, another fabulous restaurant. We ate in the outside cafe facing the 2 docked ships, the Norwegian Majesty and ours. The fish and chips there are amazing. Wednesday night we ate dinner in Hamilton on our own; with friends we made who were staying in one of the Owners Suites. It was a restaurant called Little Venice that was truly spectacular for the Italian food lovers. The owners are originally from Italy so they certainly know how to cook! Saturday the last night we had dinner sent to the suite. Our butler Raul brought a menu from each of the 4 restaurants so we could choose what we wanted. My husband and I each ordered from a different one everything from soup and salad to dessert and all was in the cabin set up for us within 20 minutes. The cabin has a queen size bed the pillows and comforters were extremely comfortable. The bathroom was smaller than we are used to in a penthouse suite but was still comfortable. It had a whirlpool tub with shower in it no separate shower in this bathroom. Plenty of shelf and cabinet space for all the sundries as well. There were 3 double door mirrored closets with plenty of hanger space and drawers. There is a desk with the only 110-volt outlet in the room next to it. That was perfect as a vanity table for make-up and hair. I would suggest definitely bringing an outlet strip so you can have more than one item plugged in at a time. We did bring a converter set however it did not seem to work for us in the bathroom. Definitely bring your own hair dryer as well, the one on the wall is only 650 watt and would have taken at least an hour to dry the shortest of hair. There is no coffee maker in the room however we filled out the room service breakfast card and had breakfast delivered each day along with the coffee. You can have breakfast delivered anytime between 6:30 and 10:30 and it was so nice eating on the balcony. If you don't see what you want on the menu just write it in on your own we got everything we wrote in each day (such as croissants). The balcony has two lounge chairs and 4 sitting chairs with a table. Nice outdoor wicker furniture with cushions. We actually never sat at the pool on sea days instead chose the comfort and privacy of the balcony where we sunned in the chaise lounge chairs with extra pillows from the bedroom closet along with our own beach towels provided in the rooms. We had two comfy robes and 2 new pairs of slippers waiting for us as well. The only negative I would say about room (1001) is that this particular room is the corner unit as soon as you exit the 10th floor elevators, and it is also the entrance hall to the spa and fitness center along with a service door across the hall. It did get noisy for afternoon napping or early in the morning from the crew service entrance. However the privacy of the balcony this room provided was a trade off we enjoyed. The room had a VCR and a CD player along with a built in speaker and stereo controls next to the bedside. Our cabin steward, Eduardo and assistant were wonderful - turn down service was so nice each night with a different towel animal on the bed. The bathroom was filled with fancy soaps, creams, bath salts and amenities all for a nightly whirlpool bath. The casino was not paying as well as some other ships we have sailed, however, the 25-cent Wheel of Fortune machine was and there was only one of them so hard to get it available. Orphon the slot attendant in the casino is so nice and accommodating. If you are a regular player there, they will give you a rating card, rate your play and give you a credit on your account at the end of the trip based on your play. Jules is the casino host and he made sure we had any complimentary drinks we wanted while playing. If you don't get a rating card you do have to pay for the drinks in the casino. Hanjo in the Internet cafe is such a nice young fellow, always ready for a fun chat - and by the way I did say hi for you Dave and Cheryl and he certainly remembered you! The Crown is a small ship but we felt it was highly maintained and the staff was the nicest and friendliest we have encountered. The smaller ship made it so nice to get to know the staff that was amazing at remembering our names and saying hello each time we passed by. We also met some new wonderful friends that we will certainly stay in touch with. One consideration - the room 1001 is on the port (left) side of the ship, and as such, we had port-of-call views as follows: St. George's land view, Hamilton water view, and Royal Dockyard land view. Each view from the port side of the ship was fabulous! We happened to be in port at Kings Wharf when their once a year Music Festival was going on with such headliners as Al Green and had terrific seating right from the balcony. My husband enjoyed the fitness facility on a daily basis with wonderful open windows on the front of the ship with great views of the sea or the ports. We signed up for spa treatments shortly after arrival on the ship which I would suggest as the appointments fill up very quickly. Keep in mind they do push product sales at the end of each treatment, average of $50 per product, and my husband was recommended 2 products for $100, but only selected one of them to purchase. Also recognize that 15% gratuity is automatically added to your bill, for a $120 treatment this adds on $18 immediately, so be sure you review the invoice slip and only add more if you feel it is warranted. My husband had the hot stone massage treatment and enjoyed it (50 minutes). I had the body treatment (90 minutes) where they put little tabs on you then used a machine to send shocks to certain areas to develop circulation and potentially drive weight loss. I wouldn't recommend this treatment as it is definitely shocking and not a relaxation treatment. There will be a big push to get you to make appointments on the first day, and to do so, spa prices are temporarily lowered for the first day and for the last day, and also sometimes while in port as well, so watch for the specials in the daily flyer. The ship is filled with continuous entertainment each day plenty to do if you choose to. We absolutely loved Bermuda, our first time sailing there, and will definitely sail there again. I would say this is now one of our favorite destinations. The people are all lovely and friendly. We opted for a taxi to all our locations. Taxi rides are $4.20 flat rate first mile then $1.20 each additional mile. It cost us $16.00 (each way) from ship to Horseshoe Bay in Hamilton (then add tip). Beach chair rental was from $8.50 to $10.00 depending on the style of chair you chose plus a $5.00 refundable deposit. The most beautiful beaches we had ever seen, the pink sand is so soft and cool on your feet. We went to the beach in the morning and came back to the ship to shower, change and have lunch and off for a wonderful afternoon of shopping. It cost us $5.00 from the ship to Tobacco Bay in St. George (each way). Very small and crowded there, but still nice for the 2 hours we spent there, also not the pink sands Bermuda is known for. In Kings Wharf everything was in walking distance, including a nice local beach and bay. Again the NCL Crown is a wonderfully maintained ship, wonderfully staffed and an all around pleasant experience. We would defiantly sail the Crown again and the smaller ship is such a personal experience. I hope those about to venture on their cruise to Bermuda enjoy it as much as we did, happy to answer any questions anyone has and Happy Sailing to you! __________________ Read Less
Sail Date: September 2005
Just got back from my cruise to Bermuda on the Horizon after having done much research and reading all of the review posted on this site. It was my 11th cruise and the 1st with Celebrity. Since it is the Horizon's last season, I was ... Read More
Just got back from my cruise to Bermuda on the Horizon after having done much research and reading all of the review posted on this site. It was my 11th cruise and the 1st with Celebrity. Since it is the Horizon's last season, I was not expecting too much. In some ways I was surprised and in others disappointed with the experience on both the Horizon and Celebrity. I guess in general I was satisfied with the cruise and I love Bermuda, and after getting a great deal on an obstructed outside cabin ($740.00 pp), I can't complain too much. Here are some thoughts on the ship and Celebrity in general as compared to other cruises I have been on: Food- Maybe a notch above Royal Caribbean and others, but pretty comparable. The buffet area on this ship was very crowded as compared to the newer ships. I was on the Radiance of the seas last year and was spoiled by the size and quality of the food on that ship. Service- Good but no better than on other lines. Ship's Decor- I loved the Michael's Club/Library area that was redone in the late '90s. Other areas were very dated but well maintained. Cabins- Large but in need of updating. Promenade Deck- This was the worst of any of the ships I have sailed. Very narrow, no chairs or benches to sit on, did not circle the entire ship, I never saw anyone out there. I was very disappointed in this for I expected a nice Promenade deck because it is an older ship. Port of Philly- It was great to sail out of Philly. Very convenient and well managed embark and debarkation. All in all, I was satisfied with the cruise. If I can answer any specifics about the ship please let me know. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2005
This was our second cruise. Also the second on NCL. The freestyle system works great. Now in order: Embarkation: Philly was flawless. Went to the head of the Latitudes line and got our ID cards and up the ramp! Simple. Had a noon lunch and ... Read More
This was our second cruise. Also the second on NCL. The freestyle system works great. Now in order: Embarkation: Philly was flawless. Went to the head of the Latitudes line and got our ID cards and up the ramp! Simple. Had a noon lunch and setout to explore the ship. Our previous ship was the NCL Sprit. This ship was noticeably smaller but still very nice despite her age. Other reviews on other lists have mentioned rust, flaking paint etc. The ship sails in a weak acid bath. Of course there's going to be rust. The deck crew was busy whenever possible with upkeep. This was normal and not the exception. The deck crew did great. The passage down the Delaware was much longer than I expected knowing how long it takes to drive to Cape May from Philly! Once we hit the open sea there was some rocking and rolling but not too bad. My wife did get a bit sick but it passed. On board: Mike Witte our Cruise Director (CD) did a fine job of explaining things onboard. A nice guy. I had forgotten what I call "THE SELL" This is where you are in the theater and you listen about the Watches, Clocks, Diamonds, Booze and cigarettes. I was not going to be rude and leave so I sat and listened. The biggest issue I have is the total lack of enforcement on which side of the ship where you can smoke. It seems everyone from Philly smokes. And smokes a lot! The ship has a stale odor to it. The Captain kept us informed on the PA in a perfect professional manner. Food: Who are we kidding? There was every kind of food available all day long. What's to complain about? All you have to do is look at the menus. Don't like what you see? Walk a bit to another restaurant! Short lines, fast service and wonderful attentiveness of the wait staff. Today I could not get the girl behind the counter at McDonalds to make eye contact with me. On board I was "sir". Entertainment: Under no circumstances when your wife says "do not sign us up for the Newlywed not so Newlywed game" should you do so. They broadcast it ALL DAY LONG. Everyone stops you and ask "were YOU on the Newlywed show?" I did not mind but my wife did. I'm not sure I heard CD Mike say it was to be on TV. Entertainment: The Shows were great. The magician Jean Paul was a riot and The Irish comedian / Singer was wonderful. Other amenities: I did not use the Internet Cafe on the Sprit. I sure did on the Crown. Hanjo, (should be in italics) Your Internet Cafe director was without a doubt a true highlight of the cruise. Very friendly and helpful when I was setting up my account. We spent some time talking about computers and shipboard life. A great asset on the Crown. Thank you Hanjo!(should be in italics). Photography: These three fellows were always helpful. I had all my film processed onboard to avoid the airport X Ray damage. Worth every cent! They have a new Konica Minolta digital system that gives nicely color-balanced prints. Thanks guys! Housekeeping our cabin: Two words. PERFECT and SPOTLESS Bermuda: The colony is a perfect example of how to be polite. We bought a 3-day transit pass that enabled us to go all over the colony. The ferries are included in the pass too. Pretty neat! At St George we did the "Candlelight Walk". The man who conducts it is the Mayor! A wonderful and charming man. St George is OLD. 1500-1600's and very well preserved. The ship packed up and went to Hamilton. I was born without the shopping gene so the strip of stores by the ship meant nothing to me. I did go to the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, which was a real treat for a techie like me. Beachs: Went to St Catherine's and Horseshoe Bay. St Catherine's needs a new building to change clothes. The beach was beautiful. Horseshoe Bay has a nice changing and shower room. The beach was clean except for the couple smoking in the coral cave on the east end. That was a treat. Bring your camera here and shoot the coral jutting out of the seafloor. Return to Philly: Smooth despite what the Captain said it would be! Debarkation at Philly: Smooth and fast. We chose to use the "Express Debarkation" Those people were called on the PA and down the ramp and out the building! The problem was when we needed to phone for our ride. I asked a Customs and Immigration person. You know one with a badge. She said, "I do not know. I've only been here a week. I asked her to find someone who knew where the phones were. That new person had a badge and gun. He must know! He said outside. So out we went. We looked, we asked, we were told they were inside! Now here's the problem, getting inside that building without a ticket to show. We went through 3 different people who each asked someone else how to find the phone. We got in and had to be searched and go through the metal detector. Went outside and started to wait for our ride. Nature took over and restrooms were needed. I was ready to go over to the river but thought better of it and got back in only to be searched and metal detected again. Folks in the Cruise Philly pier...GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER! I do understand the Homeland Security. Really. But to have 5-6 people NOT know where the phone is just plain dumb. Cruise on NCL again? You bet! Just a bigger ship with better smoking boundaries next time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2005
We just got back from our cruise and wanted to get this review posted while the memories are still fresh. Our most recent experience prior to this cruise was on Carnival. Frankly, I expected more from Celebrity than Carnival but after ... Read More
We just got back from our cruise and wanted to get this review posted while the memories are still fresh. Our most recent experience prior to this cruise was on Carnival. Frankly, I expected more from Celebrity than Carnival but after experiencing both would rate each cruise line about the same. Here are some observations about our trip: Embarkation and disembarkation: Smooth and painless at both ends. The Philadelphia cruise authorities really had their act together, the lines flowed quickly and everyone was very friendly. The Ship: The Horizon is handling her age well. The public areas of Horizon were clean and decorated tastefully. However, several areas of the ship seemed constantly crowded, especially the Coral Seas restaurant and the pool area. The pool area is too small for the number of passengers and it was very difficult to find a lounge chair on sailing days. Passengers would put their stuff on a chair early in the morning and leave it there all day. Although this was prohibited in the Celebrity Today newsletter, I never saw any enforcement by Celebrity staff. One other small issue was the fact that the toilets stopped working on our deck several times throughout the cruise but this was always corrected quickly. Accommodations: Our stateroom was comfortable and clean and we were treated very well by our cabin attendant, Antonio. Room service was extremely quick both times we used it. Dining: Dinners in the Starlight were fabulous, in terms of the cuisine and service. Our waiter (Armando) and assistant waiter were terrific and they took extra care to discover our preferences and give us the best possible dining experience. We ate most of our breakfasts in the Starlight and these were fine, although the service was definitely a step-down from what we experienced at dinner. We never ate lunch at the Starlight and I would have to rate the buffet lunches in the Coral Sea as mediocre with average food and crowded conditions. Entertainment: I give the entertainment on Horizon higher marks than some of the previous reviewers. The orchestra and pool band were consistently good as were the dancers and primary singers (Jeremy and Leah). There were also two excellent comedians and an outstanding guest singer named Jack Walker. Itinerary: Bermuda was quite nice even though we had some weather issues. The public transportation system worked well, even with the large number of tourists milling about. Do try to visit the British Maritime Museum at the Dockyards. Not only do you get to learn loads of interesting details about the Royal Navy and the history of Bermuda, but you get to see the Dolphin swimming experience at no extra charge since it is located within the museum grounds. Horseshoe Bay is a great beach and offers spectacular views if you wander off the main part of the beach. St. Georges is a charming town and we felt very safe wandering around the town at night. Shore Excursions: We only booked one excursion through Celebrity, a two tank scuba dive with an outfit called Triangle. I would not recommend this excursion unless you happen to enjoy disorganized cattle-boat experiences. Our four hour trip took six hours because of the overcrowding and mechanical issues. Staff: The Horizon staff was friendly and professional, with only one exception - the drink waiters were so prevalent as to be annoying and seemed to be entirely motivated by pushing more drinks on the passengers. For example, I had to ask three waiters to bring me a napkin with the first two just wandering away since I was not ordering a drink at that time. Other: As many previous reviewers have stated, be prepared for some rough seas and queasiness on the Bermuda run. This wasn't bad enough to spoil our trip but was worse than I have experienced on our previous cruises and sailing experiences. Summary: Overall, I would give the Horizon Bermuda cruise four stars out of six, or if you prefer a letter grade, I would rate the experience a B-. I was not wowed by Celebrity and do not believe they lived up to the Premium Cruise Line status on this particular cruise. However, I may try one of the newer and larger Celebrity ships and hope to write a more positive review next time. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2005
We had a wonderful cruise. We boarded the Crown at the Philadelphia Naval Yard Cruise Pier all went smoothly and we got on within an hour of arrival. We were escorted to our cabin and the porter showed us how to pull down the beds and ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise. We boarded the Crown at the Philadelphia Naval Yard Cruise Pier all went smoothly and we got on within an hour of arrival. We were escorted to our cabin and the porter showed us how to pull down the beds and other stuff. We were then shown the way to the pool deck and given FREE drinks. It was very chilly about 55-60* so the staff brought out the beach towels for everyone to use and we bundled up and drank and partied. The ship left Philly about 4:30 pm and we had a blast. Dinner that night was very informal and we all had jeans on and no one complained. We ate at the Pasta Cafe' and while the food was good the selection was very limited. So we wound up at the Yacht Club for a snack. Monday was a little rough with the sea being choppy- some passengers were ill and my husband and I were queasy so we laid out on the pool deck and fell asleep. Yes we got some sunburn but it was very relaxing. We had formal night that night with lobster for dinner and we loved it. The Seven Seas restaurant was beautiful and we ate there for dinner every night. Then we hit the casino for a little while and the up to the Top Of the Crown for the '70s Funkalicious Dance Party. Its was so cool. I danced with my step-son to the Saturday night fever theme and then my husband and I got pulled up on stage for some fun humiliation. I had to lip sync to Gloria Gaynor's I will Survive and then later my husband came out shirtless dressed as the leather guy form the Village People along with 3 other guys. Its hilarious and made the night. Tuesday we arrived at St George and while my husband and step-son went Scuba diving my daughter and I walked to Tobacco Bay. Truly a gorgeous setting. That night we wandered the little street fair thingy and then back to the ship for '80s night. Wednesday we were in Hamilton where culture shock set in. We all went for a walking tour and the Bermudians were so nice to us- hello- good morning, etc. Very very nice but expensive. We did not purchase much there because the costs were rather high. Understandably so but still. We went on the Bermuda Triangle Shipwreck Snorkel as a family but the water was cold and choppy so we didn't see much. But dinner was fabulous and we enjoyed the Karaoke night at the Top of the Crown. Thursday we were at King's Wharf. Again very nice and picturesque. My husband and step-son went on the Bell Helmut diving excursion but it was cancelled on the boat because the water wasn't safe for them and they joined us for the Restless NAtive Catamaran cruise around the islands. That was the BEST shore excursion. Very relaxed very low key. The crew took turns talking to us about the fish, the shipwrecks, the islands, the houses, etc... when we got to the snorkel spot again very low key- snorkel if you want or just swim around a little. flippers or no flippers, flotation thingy or not. They served fresh homemade cookies and rum swizzles. No rum swizzles before swimming. Frankly I did not like the rum swizzles but that was just me. We got back late from that excursion and my husband was 45 minutes late for his massage. The spa was not very nice about it and was going to charge us for 1/2 the cost of the massage but reception desk came to the rescue and all worked out well. And we enjoyed another lovely dinner at the Seven Seas. After dinner we walked around King's Wharf but nothing was open but bars so we headed back to the ship for the '50-'60s sock hop. Great fun. Julie the cruise director, her asst Ray-Ray, and Geoff were great and really worked to get all involved. Friday we left King's Wharf and spent the day just relaxing on the deck and eating eating eating. There was a variety show which was really nice and dancing at the Top of the Crown. Saturday was awful. Not NCL's fault. The weather was terrible with 15-25 foot waves winds almost hurricane level. UUUGGH The ship would go up and then BAM down and the whole ship shuddered. Many many passengers were sick and a lot of the crew too including the doctor. The captain kept us updated every hour or so especially when some equipment blew off the top of the ship. We were assured that the Coast Guard was nearby should the need to evacuate arise. Finally around late dinner time like 7pm it was a lot calmer. Unfortunately my husband, my daughter and me were sick as could be. My step-son was fine- he went and played Texas Hold 'Em at the casino. Started with 125 and came back with 5. The staff was very nice and very helpful during this time by giving out motion sickness pills and crackers, ginger ale, sprite, and apples. I was fine until after the disembarkation meeting which was boring but necessary however I could have skipped actually attending because they taped it and then played it about a 1000 times on the tv but it was useful. We made it to dinner just my husband and I (daughter in bed- stepson in casino) but my husband didn't make it all the way thru. So Saturday was a blicky day and we went to bed early. Side note: No service charge for Saturday. Sunday we got up early for a nice breakfast at the Seven Seas and by 9:45 we were off the ship. Our color tag was brown and we didn't have to wait long at all. The terminal was a mess. Luggage scattered and hard to find and then outside there were taxis, limos, private cars, etc all over. It took us longer to get out of there then it did getting off the ship. We had a marvelous adventure and would definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2004
Our group of 8 took the Celebrity bus service from Harrisburg to the Port in Philadelphia. We were met at the port by a Celebrity representative, who greeted us and instructed us where to go. Departed Harrisburg at 10am, arrived at the ... Read More
Our group of 8 took the Celebrity bus service from Harrisburg to the Port in Philadelphia. We were met at the port by a Celebrity representative, who greeted us and instructed us where to go. Departed Harrisburg at 10am, arrived at the port at 11:20am, and were on the ship by noon. Members of the crew met us with champagne as we entered the lobby area, we were instructed to go to the lunch at the Coral Seas or Dining Room, our rooms were not quite ready. This was the best embarkation, (and stress free), that I have ever experienced. The highlight of this cruise was the attitude of the crew. Our dining room service was exceptional, and our room steward and his assistant were excellent. The Horizon does show a bit of wear and tear, but I felt as if I were a guest in someones home, not a visitor in a showplace. Our stateroom was very comfortable, with more than enough storage space for two women,and that is saying something! The selection of food in the Coral Seas was varied, and very good. Ice cream was available two ways, soft serve and home made regular. The soft serve was vanilla, choc or strawberry, or mixed. The fresh ice cream was varied, usually a rum raisin, chocolate, mint chocolate chip, strawberry, and a sorbet. Hot dogs and hamburgers and french fries were available on deck 11 at the rear of the buffet section, outside. Pizza was available as well as freshly made sandwiches, along with the hot food and salad selection. The entertainment on board ranged from a pianist quietly playing in the Cova Cafe' to the Phaze 5 band playing rock and roll in the Zodiac Club. There was a trio who played also, whose music ranged from folk songs to classical. Phaza 5 band was phenomenal. They play various selections from Rock to 50's & 60's thru today's music. As always, the island music was wonderful and greatly enjoyed by those around the pool. I only took one shore excursion, a candlelight lantern walk in St. George. I DO NOT recommend this one. The man leading us, the ex-mayor, was abusive to all in our group of 30 or so, we paid to be embarrassed and made fun of. I heard some of the other excursions were great. We had tea on board, both casual and formal. They were nice. There is a sushi bar a few times during the cruise. The food then was fresh and excellent. Evening cocktails are nice in the lovely Michael's club. If you are going to Bermuda, I would recommend the Horizon. You will be treated like royalty, and greeted by name by all you deal with. Any questions, please feel free to ask. Have fun! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2004
Some folks are easier to please than others and since I haven't been on a cruise in 20 years, maybe I am in the easy-to-please category. I was very impressed with Horizon from beginning to end. The embarkation in Philadelphia was ... Read More
Some folks are easier to please than others and since I haven't been on a cruise in 20 years, maybe I am in the easy-to-please category. I was very impressed with Horizon from beginning to end. The embarkation in Philadelphia was flawless. I was traveling in a group of 29 so we had hired a bus to drop us off, which they did right at the door of the terminal. We were on the ship within 40 minutes and were greeted with a glass of champagne as we entered the ship. Our cabin was clean and neat. Our room steward was friendly and efficient. Four people in a 170 sq. ft space made it a little interesting at times, but we survived. We had an inside cabin which made me wish for some morning sunlight to wake us up some days. The Palladium Show lounge was a very nice place to hang out with our group and catch a show and have a drink. We thought the entertainment was much better than we had expected. The singers and dancers really put on a show and the comedian was quite good, also. We spent some time in the Rendez-Vous Lounge for karaoke. The casino is small but adequate. It was never crowded on the few trips we made there, except for the blackjack table. Since we were celebrating my parent's 50th wedding anniversary on this cruise, we had requested a little area where we could get all get together to share some memories and pictures. I wrote several emails before going on the ship to set this up. They gladly let us use the Card Room and a projector, at no charge. While we were in the room, Dhara, a Horizon employee checked in on us to make sure everything was going okay with the projector and the room. Having dinner each night at the Starlight was a wonderful experience. All 29 of my family were seated at four tables near each other so we could all be together at dinner. Some of us shared the same waiters and assistant waiters. We all enjoyed our waiters, Ozkan, Lyubo, Hasan, and Richard. They were always willing to get us whatever we wanted or needed. They were especially helpful to our younger diners at the table. The cruising to Bermuda was very smooth down and back. My aunt and I were hoping for a little more motion of the ocean. We thought we were on a lake. Since I have never experienced motion sickness, I shouldn't be one to comment on the rough or not-so-rough voyages. We stopped one day at St. George and 2.5 days in Hamilton. Great excursions including snorkeling and the kayaking eco tour. They were well worth it. Bad weather cut down our snorkeling time, but you'll have that. The trip to the beach by the public bus was fun, even though the one woman bus driver was the only rude Bermudian I bumped into. She was rude to everyone that got on the bus, not just to me. All in all, we all had a wonderful time and I can't wait to cruise again on Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2004
My husband, myself, and our 1.5 year old son just came back from a cruise to Bermuda on Celebrity's Horizon. I read a lot of reviews in preparation for travelling with my son. I have taken numerous cruises before, but never with a ... Read More
My husband, myself, and our 1.5 year old son just came back from a cruise to Bermuda on Celebrity's Horizon. I read a lot of reviews in preparation for travelling with my son. I have taken numerous cruises before, but never with a toddler, so I was a bit nervous. The cabin had PLENTY of room. I actually didn't use all the drawers, and I am the type of woman who typically uses all the drawers herself. We drove to Phili, and took our pack n' play in case the crib in the room wasn't acceptable. It was fine and we didn't need ours. My son was on the verge of learning how to climb out of it, as there was a horizontal bar about 1.5 feet above the mattress, but he's not at the climbing stage yet. We brought our own bedding and the cabin steward even made his bed each day, including an extra sheet in case of a night time accident. Our Chicco stroller fit under the bed (as well as his crib) and we could have even brought our suitcases (instead of our standard cruise duffle bags) as there was plenty of room. I did not allow him to go in the pools, but as the ship rocked while at sea, the overflow from the pools was contained in a tiled area around the pool, which worked out perfectly for him. It made a little 1 inch pool. He could run around and do just enough splashing to not cause any "damage." He was not able to participate in the children's program as he was too young and not potty trained. I understand we could have gone down and borrowed some toys, but we never got around to it. I wish they had a 30 minute reading or singing activity early in the trip so I could have met other parents and could have made our own activities, as I understand they don't want to have to worry about diapers. There was plenty of room for him to run around - up on the "track" area, around the pool, and in the hallways by the staterooms. If he wasn't such a proficient walker, and needed to touch the floor, I may have been more hesitant, but he was able to run off a lot of energy. The staff was very helpful with him, mostly the ones who had children at home, so there was always someone making him laugh. I brought lots of extra food, as a prepared parent always would, and was glad I did. Although at breakfast they provide small boxes of Cheerios, when we went on land excursions, I was glad to have cheese and crackers and gold fish from home. Sippy cups were a must for us, as they didn't have cups with lids. We brought 3 sippys and used all of them without stressing over needing to get one cleaned before we left the cabin. The formal nights were fine with him too. I saw some babies in a stroller by the table, but we had a highchair that he used and was fine. As far as the other areas to eat - someone was always able to find a highchair for us. I almost brought my booster seat from home, but that would have been a pain. I'm glad I just used theirs. Although I had to clean it off because it may have been sticky or full of crumbs, but the Clorox wipes I brought made me feel better about him sitting in it. All in all, I will definitely take him on a cruise again, and even when we have more children. I think it was a blast - not relaxing, but just like everything with parenting, our idea of fun doesn't involve that word anymore! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2004
Leaving out of Philadelphia couldn't have been any easier. We were dropped off at the port entrance and cleared thru and waiting to board in less than 10 minutes and entered the ship around 12:15. Although we didn't use the ... Read More
Leaving out of Philadelphia couldn't have been any easier. We were dropped off at the port entrance and cleared thru and waiting to board in less than 10 minutes and entered the ship around 12:15. Although we didn't use the parking yard, it appeared simple to access and was close to the embarkation area. We knew in advance the Crown was an older and smaller ship, so that was not a surprise. We were quite pleased at the condition it was kept in and actually liked the smaller size, easy to navigate and intimate. The crew was very visual in its upkeep. The Atlantic was terribly uncooperative on the way home (as warned in advance by the captain), and some people paid for the Crown's age and size. We loved the freestyle dining and never waited more than a few minutes to get seated. There was never a wait at the buffet, and the lines moved quickly. All the servers we encountered were efficient and courteous and didn't appear to slack off due to the freestyle gratuity plan. I thought the food was average to above average, and the dessert selection impressive. The buffet dessert table was a daily stop, usually several times a day. Wines seemed to be priced much higher than any other alcohol on board, and a good buy was a beer "helmet" of 6 imported beers for $18.75. Room service had a limited menu was but was delivered rather quickly. Only one minor complaint, the coffee was a bit strong and definitely didn't taste fresh brewed. There are 3 reservation restaurants and only LeBistro has a cover charge of $15 each. Really had no intention of eating there, especially after sampling the food in the free areas,which I considered more than adequate, but we won a dinner for two and I would say it definitely is worth the cover charge. Great food and true tables for 2, unlike the other dining rooms where tables are separated by about an inch. The room steward, Floresco (I probably butchered the spelling), was as pleasant and cheerful as could be. He was always smiling and singing and came in twice a day. Again the advance gratuity didn't affect this guy in the least. We stayed in an inside category JJ room and there was plenty of room and storage for the 2 of us. Didn't see a need to go outside or higher up and never regretted that decision. Only problem was leaving next to last when disembarking, but that was so easy it really didn't matter. You could eat and walk the ship the last day or hang in your room until your color was called to leave. No stress or being herded into a common room to sit around and wait with everyone else. Shopping on board was limited as to the size of the ship, but most of the normal essentials were available. The duty free liquor was priced great, but the guy in charge of the store was quite rude. Three liters of Absolut Vodka and two liters of Vanilla Smirnoff were only $45. Small inventory, they ran out of several popular items early, so shop on the first couple days at sea, there was a long line wrapped outside the store on the way home. Only one pool and small, but it didn't affect our particular cruise. The chair situation got out of hand several times, too many people saving them with towels and I witnessed 2 near fights over this. I got up to get lunch at the hot tub grill location called the Cafe Italia, right next to where we were laying out, and came back in 5 minutes to find my things on the ground and my chaise gone. They even took my dirty towel. Didn't go to any shows, but heard they were good. Bingo was always crowded and the assistant cruise director, Karl (who is from Calgary,Canada and gave my Philadelphia Flyers several shots), and his staff did a good job. Casino was small and limited but there was always room to lose your money. The staff there wasn't very cordial. There were plenty of excursions and I would recommend the helmet diving to anyone, it was a lot of fun. All in all we were thoroughly pleased with our Crown experience. Hand sanitation stands were set up at all restaurant entrances and whenever entering the ship, which is a great idea. We heard of no sickness on board other than from the rough sea, and taking the Crown's recent history into account, don't know if that prevented any outbreaks or not but it certainly didn't hurt. We met and dined with many nice people and since it was a Philly port cruise, most were from the general vicinity. Pricing was just ok, but I understand both Philly and Bermuda port charges are somewhat higher than Caribbean cruises that normally run out of Florida. We did save on airfare and hotel, since I would have left a day early if sailing out of a Florida port. We would not hesitate to travel on the Crown again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2004
Norwegian Crown Review Bermuda 4/18/04-4/25/04 Hi everyone, My husband and I just returned from our 8th cruise (Norwegian Crown Bermuda 4/18-4/25) . Because we found very little info online prior to our cruise (most of it unfavorable) ... Read More
Norwegian Crown Review Bermuda 4/18/04-4/25/04 Hi everyone, My husband and I just returned from our 8th cruise (Norwegian Crown Bermuda 4/18-4/25) . Because we found very little info online prior to our cruise (most of it unfavorable) I am posting my very 1st cruise review. By way of background we are a professional couple in our mid-late 30s (no kids yet but hopefully soon) and have cruised on multiple ships/lines over past 8 years (NCL Seaward 1996, NCL Dreamward 1997, SS Norway 1999 (our favorite), Disney Magic 2000, Ocean Princess New Years 2000-2001, Celebrity Horizon to Bermuda 2002, Grand Princess 2003. We enjoy cruising because of the relaxation, the open seas, beautiful ports, potential for fine dining, water sports, shopping and just time alone together. I'm not sure which format works best for a review so I've decided to go mainly day by day with the high and low points and then summarize the pros/cons of the main topics such as ship overall, dining, activities etc. Please forgive me if this gets too long as I tend to include details which may not interest everyone. Embarkation Day We arrived at the Port of Philadelphia at about noon and found a line of about 5-6 cars waiting to unload passengers. There were port workers scattered around who seemed confused about how to properly direct traffic & people so after waiting and not moving for about 10 minutes with no end in sight we just got out of the car unloaded ourselves, said goodbye to my parents, found a porter and walked into the terminal. Apparently the port of Phila staff is still figuring out security and efficiency during embarkation/debarkation. Inside the terminal we entered a serpentine line which we soon figured out was the security line with baggage xray/metal detectors. Although 2 sets of equipment were there only one was being used. After getting through security we were directed to a cruise check in line which seemed to be 1st come 1st serve. There did not seem to be any separate lines for Latitudes or Suite passengers (which we were) but even so we only had to wait 5 minutes or so. At check in the usual stuff happens with passports and credit cards and now they also take your security photo and issue your cruise card for onboard stuff. (by the way since the Crown is old you will have actual room keys rather than using the card as your key as on newer ships and they are in your room which is unlocked until you arrive and lock it.) The ship was not quite ready for boarding so we were issued a slip of paper with group #2 on it which was to determine boarding order and then directed to a lounge area with chairs and punch/cookies. We boarded the ship about 20 minutes later. During the waiting period we just looked around at the mix of passengers we would be sailing with. There were many families with kids of all ages (turned out some schools in New England were still on spring break - about 200 kids on cruise), plenty of seniors and some younger professional and middle aged couples. In general it was a considerate crowd however there were some "less traditional" families/groups who were rather loud and obnoxious (coincidentally they also had the most tattoos and pierced body parts) When it was finally time to board it didn't matter what number boarding group you were assigned to people were just going aboard. There was the usual boarding photo taken by the photographers and they were around frequently during the cruise in dining areas, activities , pool area and getting off in port. As always no obligation to buy the photos but they are fun to laugh at during the cruise. If you aren't interested in posing for them just say "no thanks" and walk away. They usually get the message but sometimes you may need to say no more than once. Once on board we easily found our suite 9046 on Riviera deck # 9 (cat AD) it was a large room about 190-200 s.f. with panoramic bay windows (close curtains at night because if you are near the window you can see into next suite because of window angle). There is a sitting area w 4 club chairs and a coffee table. A bowl of fruit and a plant were there along w a bottle of house champagne (pretty good). There is a queen size bed w/ fairly firm mattress and 4 pillows (thin and soft- one was good for me (belly sleeper) but my husband preferred to use 2). Good bedside lighting and nightstands w/ drawers on either side - one of which controlled the volume of on board announcements and optional piped in music channels. Across from bed is a mirrored wall with closets and vanity area w/ drawers and a place to plug in hairdryer etc. Small TV on desktop w usual ship channels (bridge cam, lecture/activity replays) as well as CNN, EPSN and 2 movie channels (mostly old) . Two closets side by side with drawers, shelves and hanging areas (NCL robes there to use). Safe in one closet. There is Pellegrino and Evian for sale in your room ($3) and 1st bottle of Evian complimentary in AD suite. We had purchased the $79 Romance package and highly recommend it. We received a second bottle of champagne w chocolate covered strawberries the first night, dinner for 2 in LeBistro one night w a bottle of house white (the staff sang Let Me Call You Sweetheart and gave us a special cake), 6 x 9 photo of our choice, canapes in our suite one night and a private cake/champagne party one evening w other couples (about5) who purchased the package . All in all we feel it added to our enjoyment and was worth the price. After checking out the room, we looked around the ship. We peeked into the owner's suite which was huge. We made Bistro Reservations for dinner (specialty restaurant reservations can be made at table in lobby up to one day in advance or in a suite concierge can make them- menus are available to look at too). The Bistro cover charge is 1/2 price ($7.50) from 530-630 the first night. Next we had lunch in 7 Seas the main restaurant. We sat at what was called a table for 2 however it was really like they had taken an old table for 6 and moved one part of it about 5 inches to the side. When the dining room was busy it was really like a table for 6 except people at the two tables just 5 inches apart could try to ignore each other if they wanted to since technically they were at separate tables. The maitre 'd seemed to try and fill these tables around the same time so that the waiters could take orders/serve everyone at once (like at a table for 6). It was a little awkward but we just made the best of it and decided to spend as much time as possible in the specialty restaurants where there are real tables for 2. We found the food fairly good throughout the cruise but the service in 7 Seas was (as mentioned by several others on these boards) inconsistent. With Freestyle you don't get to know your waiter/busboy and they don't get to know you. We did run into the occasional waiter who seemed to go the extra mile with a smile and if you find one you like I think you can make a standing dinner reservation for their tables with the maitre d if you want. After the safety drill out on deck , we sailed shortly after 4pm and it was a beautiful day. The scenery along the Delaware River is not that great but we grabbed some cheese, crackers and pate from the buffet and enjoyed a snack with our champagne and picture windows. There is also a fairly good room service menu which includes great snacks with wine such as crudite, cheese plate, fruit plate, finger sandwiches. We met our room steward Glorious Antonio who was wonderful. He was so good he was always in our room only when we were out and never once disturbed us. He brought us robes without being asked and told us about the complimentary 1st bottle of Evian. In addition to the tip we gave him a phone card to call home at end of cruise. Dinner in LeBistro that 1st night was excellent (food & service best of cruise). Filet mignon and sea bass delicious as were soups, salads, appetizers and desserts. By the way espresso/cappuccino are free in all restaurants at dinner. The show lounge (Stardust) has excellent sight lines with usual beverage service. The 1st show was variety w/ intro of cruise staff , Jean Ann Ryan Co dance routine and "Sharkbait" a comedic juggling duo who were entertaining. After the show we checked out the other music acts on board. Super Tonic Boom is a couple from Australia who do pop music for dancing in the Top of the Crown and are quite good. The woman has an excellent voice. Best of Friends is 3 Filipino men on bass/acoustic guitars who played mostly oldies like Beatles, Beach Boys and were quite enjoyable. They were in the Lido bar but there was no dance floor. In addition in the casino lounge there was a piano player (Rich Harris) who played big band oldies and did not seem very friendly or happy with his job. Also at various times throughout the cruise the orchestra played ballroom type music in the Stardust which was pleasant. There was also a good poolside Caribbean band w/ steel drums on most days who really helped put us in a cruising mood. The next day our 1st at sea we felt some rolling of the ship (common on Bermuda trips) and took a bonine which made us a little drowsy but we did not get seasick. Throughout the trip we also noticed some vibrations especially when the ship used the side thrusters to move into/out of port. We had breakfast in 7 Seas which was good (usual sketchy service though). We tried the "Cooking Light" entrees from the magazine which were offered and found them tasty. I am skeptical though as a "Cooking Light" magazine subscriber that they truly stuck to the recipes. For example the whole wheat apple pancakes which my husband had tasted great but definitely were not made with wheat flour. Also at lunch one day I had fish wraps which again were good but clearly fried- oh well who really eats healthy on a cruise anyway! By the way juices are free at breakfast only. Later in the morning we went to the gym which is well equipped with about 8 treadmills, 5 bikes and an elliptical and a rower. There is also a separate universal weightroom and plenty of dumbbells. My husband felt the weightroom was cramped making it difficult for him (he is 6 ft 2in) to do all the exercises comfortably. He also commented on the "casual" exercisers strolling in and out getting in the way and not really doing much- think little old ladies in sandals with handbags trying to use the equipment. I did the aerobics/toning classes throughout the week which were challenging and fun. Kathleen ,the sports afloat director, does an excellent job. In addition to the aerobics she also has other activities during the week such as group walking in the morning, stretching, golf putting and sports trivia. (We are proud to say we won one of the trivia events). If you complete 20 activities during the week you win a sports t shirt which is a nice memento of the trip. After lunch we checked out the pool which had gotten crowded since the weather was good. There were kids in the pool but the water was too cold for us. The cruise staff held various games around the pool. We never had trouble finding a place to sit outside since we preferred shade most of the time but there were times deck chairs on the pool level were scarce. Keep in mind there are also 2 decks above the pool to also sit out including near the hot tubs and outdoor buffet. Plenty of towels were always available as was drink service. On port days you could also check out towels to take to beach as you left the ship. Evian also for sale at those times. Later we previewed the art auction (really more of a sale since they usually had more than one copy of each piece often all bidders got the piece for prices ranging from hundreds to thousands-only for the originals was there true competitive bidding ) and enjoyed some champagne. Next we went to cha cha lessons which were well taught. It was optional formal night and since we don't dress up often (husband works from home) we decided to bring our tux/gown. I would say about 20% of people were truly formal with another 50% wearing semiformal to resort casual and the rest ignoring even the resort casual code which was in place every night ie no shorts, jeans, t-shirts, swimsuits after 530pm. We ate in 7 Seas since it was lobster night and went about 6pm. On arrival it was already 40% full and filled up with a waiting line about 1/2 way through our meal. I recommend going early on formal night. The lobster being served was 3 two ounce slipper lobster tails per platter. We found some to be tasty but others had a mushy texture. Dessert was grand marnier souffle which was good but I think it would be better plain without the chocolate sauce. This was our 1st freestyle experience w NCL. We had done "personal choice" on Princess but had had fixed seatings on our previous NCL cruises. One of our disappointments with this cruise was that we felt a little silly at dinner on formal night in our tux/gown being seated at a "table for 2" where the 4 people sitting 5 inches away were casually dressed. We had thought that a specific restaurant or at least section of 7 Seas would be designated formal. I think maybe the Crown is too small for freestyle ? Does anyone know how other freestyle ships do formal night? The Captain's Welcome Party was after dinner in the Stardust from 745-830. This is why dinner probably filled up early. Photos with captain taken on arrival. Champagne and butlered hors d'oeuvres served. The orchestra played dance music and then officers were introduced. Curiously the party never got very crowded-I think people may have been delayed at dinner. The show "Sing, Sing, Sing " was after the party and was well done. Formal portraits where available during the evening but ours didn't turn out well. The next day we tried the breakfast buffet and found the selection good. Outside the buffet line on the left there is also a belgian waffle station, cut fruit and an omelette station which were good. Coffee/tea also served after buffet line. One thing I forgot to mention, before entering any restaurant or getting back on ship in port there are machines dispensing alcohol based hand sanitizer which the crew insists that you use. I think it is a good idea but I'm not sure if this is a permanent thing or if it was there because on the 2 voyages prior to ours there had been a small outbreak of a GI illness. Anyway, we used them and I didn't hear of anyone getting sick on our trip. We arrived in St George and the weather cleared. We bought a bus/ferry pass at the visitor's center and walked around and shopped. Having been to Bermuda just 2 years earlier we decided to enjoy the empty ship for a while. We sat by the pool and took a quick dip in the cold (salt) water. We went to the Latitudes party which was very well done. There were lots of snacks and drinks available. It was not very well attended but they gave out many door prizes (A nice lady we met at the party won a spa facial and when we ran into her the next day she gave me the gift certificate for it because she did not want to go - I went for my facial on the last sea day and found it very relaxing. All I had to do was leave gratuity). Other door prizes at the Latitiudes party were art work, dinner at le bistro, casino credit etc. We had dinner in the Pasta Cafe which was excellent both in food and service. Ask for waiter Ricardo Santiago-best of cruise. The asst maitre 'd of this restaurant was also quite good and well organized. By the way, the Pasta Cafe menu changes daily and can be reviewed at the reservation table in the lobby. After dinner we danced in Top of Crown and then went to Caribbean party by pool. I ended up being one of 16 women who participated in an event where groups of 4 of us picked some poor guy out of the audience and had to dress him up like Carmen Miranda with stuff from our cabin. Obviously they don't tell you what you have to do before you agree to participate. Our guy was a great sport he came in a close second based on the "applause o meter". I looked for him later in the cruise to buy him a drink but never ran into him. Moral of story-be careful where you sit during Caribbean party and Sock hop for that matter. After the deck party, we had a nightcap in the Crown club (near casino) and went to bed. There was a 20% discount on drinks for Latitudes members from 5-11pm each night there. The next morning we left for Hamilton and there was a pronounced rumbling pulling into port. We had breakfast on deck at the buffet and the tables were vibrating. It was great weather. We took the bus to the zoo/aquarium and had a good time. We found a little cafe nearby for lunch and had great authentic Indian food which we love. We did not use our dine ashore voucher and if you don't use it don't forget to return it to the front desk to have your account credited ($5 pp). Later we just rode the ferry around Hamilton Harbor and enjoyed the great scenery. It is a nice boatride. Last time we were in Bermuda we rented a scooter which was fun but this time we decided to try the bus/ferry system. It is a cheap, safe way around but you spend a lot of time waiting. Next time we will rent a scooter again and hopefully continue our luck with avoiding injuries. Next we did some shopping in Hamilton-lots of upscale stores there- and then headed back to the ship. We went to the special party that came with the romance package and there met 5 other nice couples of varying ages. They served plenty of champagne and had a nice cake for us which we shared with those at the nearby bar. We had dinner at Chopsticks which had great service and an excellent sushi platter but the entrees were not that good. One nice feature our night was the Caribbean band was playing just outside so we had music during dinner. The next day (again great weather) we headed over to King's Wharf where there is some nice shopping and the Maritime museum w Dolphin Quest. We also found a private little beach (just past the construction site where they are preparing the snorkel park) and relaxed there for most of the afternoon. The water was beautiful and there were a lot of nice shells. We had lunch in the Yacht club buffet that day and I do not recommend the hamburgers. Later we relaxed in the hot tubs and by the pool and then went back to our room to enjoy the canapes which had been delivered as part of the romance package. We also had our 2nd dinner in Le Bistro that night as part of the romance package and again it was excellent. We were served the house chardonnay with the package and it was decent. I had the salmon and chocolate fondue for dessert which was spectacular. My husband had the sea bass again and the crepes which were also good. The staff sang to us and also gave us a cake which we couldn't eat so we gave it to our room steward who loved it. We had planned to go to bed early because we had a railway bike tour excursion scheduled the next day but unfortunately when we got back we found out it had been cancelled due to lack of interest. We were disappointed but decided to go for a run in the morning instead. The next morning we ordered room service breakfast which unless you are in a balcony room is continental. Our order was missing some things but no big deal. It was delivered on time and they called about 2 min before to say it was coming-nice touch we thought. We did a 3 mile jog out of the dockyard and back and found some beautiful secluded coves/beaches just outside the dockyard. It is probably about a mile and walkable. It reminded us of the many roadside beaches on Maui. After our jog we sat by the pool and noticed that by about 11am it had really filled up with people. The ship sailed for home around 12 noon and the pool deck was packed by then. We had lunch at the buffet, listened to the steel drums for a while and then got showered for the afternoon. We checked out the art auction again, went to the chocolate buffet around 3pm (worth waiting in line for) and then played sports trivia. We did some shopping on board (very limited selection). We had a late dinner in Pasta Cafe that night and before dinner enjoyed our last bottle of champagne with snacks from room service in our suite. On our last day at sea we had breakfast in 7 Seas and found another good waiter Enrique Pineda. We relaxed most of the day and read since the on board activities were limited that day and not of interest to us. We had some drinks before dinner and then went to 7 Seas since we were too late for reservations in Bistro or Pasta Cafe again. We waited in a small line and when asked decided to dine at a larger table with others that night. We had a wonderful time meeting our table companions and enjoyed our last dinner on board. The chocolate souffle was very good. We went to the final show which was also good and then went to put our luggage out for disembarkation the next morning. The next morning there were several breakfast options - room service (new part of freestyle concept), buffet and 7 Seas. We chose 7 Seas which had a very basic menu that day. We were off the ship at 915am in the first group after express disembarkation (people with flights before 11am who carry all their own luggage off ship). We breezed thru customs and met my parents for our ride home. Much like embarkation the Cruise Philly staff directing traffic seemed confused so we decided to walk a block with our stuff and meet our car away from the crowd at terminal So that was our cruise in a rather large nutshell. All in all we had a great time. After 8 cruises we have learned to enjoy ourselves and not sweat the small stuff because our vacation time is too precious to focus on the negative. In summary we found we enjoyed the more intimate atmosphere of a ship this size (about 1100 passengers). We found it clean and fairly well maintained. There were several ongoing maintenance projects aboard one of which closed a section of the pool/promenade deck but we did not find this to be a problem since the running track was on a higher deck. The Crown had all the basic facilities we enjoy. There were many kids on board which is common on Bermuda trips and the staff tried to enforce rules which some parents ignored such as no one under 16 in fitness center. Our room and cabin steward were excellent. The waitstaff in the specialty restaurants were excellent but only mediocre to fair in the 7 Seas/Yachtclub buffet. The food was good to excellent except Chopstix entrees and burgers on buffet. Drinks seemed reasonably priced compared to land bars/resorts although wine list seemed more overpriced. The front desk staff was pleasant and helpful. The shore excursion/photography staff were not as friendly. The shows were good to excellent. The cruise director Simon seemed enthusiastic. Bermuda as always was beautiful. Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask questions if I left anything out that you want more specifics on. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2003
As this was our third cruise with Celebrity, we expected the same kind of service and quality of food aboard the other ships.. As usual Celebrity came thru..Now to the hurricane named Fabian..after arriving in Hamilton on tuesday sept 2, ... Read More
As this was our third cruise with Celebrity, we expected the same kind of service and quality of food aboard the other ships.. As usual Celebrity came thru..Now to the hurricane named Fabian..after arriving in Hamilton on tuesday sept 2, everyone on board had heard of the soon to arrive hurricane..I,ve never saw so many people wearing sea sickness patches in my life..funny thing was..we never had rough seas,coming and going..The captain did a wonderful job of leaving bermuda a day early, thursday sept 7th..So, all in all, the only thing we lost was a day in st george..Now to all my fellow cruisers that waited in line for 2-1/2 hours to get thru immigration, well don,t blame Celebrity..They had but 2 people to handle 1450 people..Plus this was the first ship to leave and return out of Phila.. I,m sure they,ll get it right, soon..OK, Bermuda was nice, but I,ll take St. Thomas for beaches that are way more scenic..And of course, far cheaper to buy those goodies..So congrats to Celebrity, there tops in my book.. Read Less

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