Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
mitsugirly

MITSUGIRLYS DAWN TO BERMUDA NOVEL (or review as some may call it)

Recommended Posts

I really enjoyed your review, Kim. I was looking forward to your review to see what your impressions were & what you did that we did not. It looks like we both loved our experience even though we did totally different things.

 

I tend to cruise from our local port (Baltimore). I sailed to Bermuda in May on RCI Grandeur of the Seas. I loved it. We did not do any beaches. We did take a 5 hour tour with Colin Jennings (fabulous) & the ferry over to Hamilton & just wandered around (& a little shopping). We also did some wandering (& shopping) in Dockyard. We were on the ship for dinner & stayed there the rest of the night.

 

I enjoyed this so much I would love to go back again without hubby. He doesn't walk well & I would love to do the walking tours in St George & Hamilton. I'll just have to find someone to go with me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think it's just the decor and run down though honestly. There's just something about it that doesn't compare to the others for some reason. I do know that a grand atrium is a "biggie" for me, but the atrium's on these 2 just don't cut it. Maybe it's the huge ugly arch that goes over the area. It's a total turn off.

 

I agree with you about the Dawn. Of the 4 NCL ships I've sailed, it is my least favorite by far. The Jade is our favorite. I also agree that the Star was in rough shape and just wanted to let you know that the Star has been "fixed".

 

I don't think the Star has that ugly arch in the atrium . The area around the café, duty free/jewelry store and front desk on the Star. And the modern photo gallery was fantastic.

 

The Dawn may look better after dry dock, but I hope they can figure out a fix to the negative vibe and overall morale on that ship. The crew just seems downtrodden. They try, but nothing exceptional. I don't think they are empowered to solve problems. We were on the Dawn 3 years ago and cancelling excursions due to the flu confirmed by the Dr. on the ship was just too darn difficult. We waited for 2 hours in line in the casino and stairwells to get off the ship in Canada. Obviously, there were problems with SLOW immigration officers in Quebec, but again the staff on board had no idea how to deal with the issue. I never saw any ship officers trying to assist like I did on the Star last month. We also had a problem with the $100 OBC with the FCC that they were unable to solve on board. It took 2 months dealing with people in Miami to get the OBC finally.

 

Oh and about getting sick on the ship, the Dawn was the first time this happened to us and we think it was from stateroom. We now disinfect the entire stateroom before unpacking by wiping every surface down. It works, we haven't caught anything since our trip on the Dawn.

Edited by herdingdogmom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh, sweetie don't think my decision would be based solely on your opinion. Like I said, I'm following all Dawn reviews.

 

I will likely keep the cruise. Like you, I can have a good time despite my surroundings (and I have). That said, we only get to vacation once every 5-6 years. I would really like to enjoy my surroundings!

 

I hope whatever you decide, you have a great time and cruise. I know what all goes into planning a cruise and if it's only every 5-6 years, I agree, I would want to enjoy my surroundings too. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. :)

 

Thanks for another wonderful review, Kim. I always enjoy hearing about what you and your family get up to and your beautiful pictures are just the icing on the cake! :) I haven't sailed Magic or Dream, but Breeze is my absolute favourite ship so far, so I have to put my vote in for Breeze for your next cruise. We did the 6 day and you are right, that is definitely not long enough, but we picked it because of wanting to be on a ship on our 25th anniversary. Happy decision making whatever you choose! :)

Heather

 

Thanks so much Heather. I appreciate the comments. Glad to hear the Breeze is your favorite. I hear that from A LOT of people and I have read that it's Carnivals #1 ship. There has to be a reason for it. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I'm so glad to read your thoughts on Bermuda and all your beautiful pictures. You truly seem to have a natural talent for it. Your little girl is just adorable! I think her and I would become fast friends both being animal lovers, and also when I was that age, I loved to draw as well :D. Many times getting in trouble in school for drawing instead of doing schoolwork lol. I'm sorry the Dawn was a disappointment for you, we loved after sailing her on our first cruise. Of course we were newbies and we still in awe of the whole idea of cruising lol. That's strange what you say about washy washy seeming to disappear. On our Pearl cruise a few weeks ago, it was everywhere! I'm thinking it probably has to do with them having problems with Noro recently, including on our sailing. I'm selfishly hoping you choose the Breakaway for your next Bermuda cruise because of we go to there with NCL, that will be the ship I choose lol. I can't wait for your next cruise, to read another one of your outstanding reviews!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with you about the Dawn. Of the 4 NCL ships I've sailed, it is my least favorite by far. The Jade is our favorite. I also agree that the Star was in rough shape and just wanted to let you know that the Star has been "fixed".

 

I don't think the Star has that ugly arch in the atrium . The area around the café, duty free/jewelry store and front desk on the Star. And the modern photo gallery was fantastic.

 

The Dawn may look better after dry dock, but I hope they can figure out a fix to the negative vibe and overall morale on that ship. The crew just seems downtrodden. They try, but nothing exceptional. I don't think they are empowered to solve problems. We were on the Dawn 3 years ago and cancelling excursions due to the flu confirmed by the Dr. on the ship was just too darn difficult. We waited for 2 hours in line in the casino and stairwells to get off the ship in Canada. Obviously, there were problems with SLOW immigration officers in Quebec, but again the staff on board had no idea how to deal with the issue. I never saw any ship officers trying to assist like I did on the Star last month. We also had a problem with the $100 OBC with the FCC that they were unable to solve on board. It took 2 months dealing with people in Miami to get the OBC finally.

 

Oh and about getting sick on the ship, the Dawn was the first time this happened to us and we think it was from stateroom. We now disinfect the entire stateroom before unpacking by wiping every surface down. It works, we haven't caught anything since our trip on the Dawn.

 

Hmm, well you just sparked my interest when you said the Jade is your favorite since I'm considering that one for the end of the year. I only have the Jade & the Gem left to go of the older ships and then the Breakaway for the newer (well until Escape gets here). POA, is just out of the picture at this point, so I don't even include it at the moment. LOL

 

The Star definitely has the arch in the atrium just like the Dawn...trust me. That's the first thing I noticed when I boarded.

 

atrium-birds-above-M.jpg

 

It's in the same exact spot.

 

Upper half of the picture below...I was trying my best to cut it out of the picture like if it didn't exists. LOL

 

atrium-stairs-2-M.jpg

 

 

I have never gotten sick on a ship before either and I think being in the profession I'm in and working at the hospital for so many years, I have a pretty high immune system. I was just shocked. But I have become even more shocked to hear from others that have had the same problem on this ship. Yikes!

 

I'm still not fully recovered, but I FEEL 100% better. I still have the cough, but I think the meds are helping to "break up" the mucus. Nights are still really bad as soon as I lay down and early in the morning when I get up. But it's definitely better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you think that's what NCL is using?

Next person to do a BTS tour should ask :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really enjoyed your review, Kim. I was looking forward to your review to see what your impressions were & what you did that we did not. It looks like we both loved our experience even though we did totally different things.

 

I tend to cruise from our local port (Baltimore). I sailed to Bermuda in May on RCI Grandeur of the Seas. I loved it. We did not do any beaches. We did take a 5 hour tour with Colin Jennings (fabulous) & the ferry over to Hamilton & just wandered around (& a little shopping). We also did some wandering (& shopping) in Dockyard. We were on the ship for dinner & stayed there the rest of the night.

 

I enjoyed this so much I would love to go back again without hubby. He doesn't walk well & I would love to do the walking tours in St George & Hamilton. I'll just have to find someone to go with me.

 

Glad you enjoyed the review and a different perspective of things to do. It sounds like you had a wonderful time even though you did different things. It's always neat to get different ideas and I would love to do a walking tour some day and hit up all the neat places...just not with a small child. Maybe some day. :)

 

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I'm so glad to read your thoughts on Bermuda and all your beautiful pictures. You truly seem to have a natural talent for it. Your little girl is just adorable! I think her and I would become fast friends both being animal lovers, and also when I was that age, I loved to draw as well :D. Many times getting in trouble in school for drawing instead of doing schoolwork lol. I'm sorry the Dawn was a disappointment for you, we loved after sailing her on our first cruise. Of course we were newbies and we still in awe of the whole idea of cruising lol. That's strange what you say about washy washy seeming to disappear. On our Pearl cruise a few weeks ago, it was everywhere! I'm thinking it probably has to do with them having problems with Noro recently, including on our sailing. I'm selfishly hoping you choose the Breakaway for your next Bermuda cruise because of we go to there with NCL, that will be the ship I choose lol. I can't wait for your next cruise, to read another one of your outstanding reviews!

 

Awww, you are so kind. I appreciate your words and so glad you enjoyed the review.

 

Sakari doesn't usually get in trouble for her drawings that I know of, but I can gaurantee that every one of her math pages she does while in school has some type of animal wrapped around the math problem. Seriously. I will show you a pic...

 

math-M.jpg

 

At the end of this school year, she received the award for being the most talented artist for her class. Whoda thought? LOL :p

 

I'm selfishly hoping to chose the BA as well...just.got.to.justify.with.the.hubs LOL I'm also afraid if I decide on the BA, I won't be able to do anything for February (my bday) or May (our anniversary). Ugh, decisions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my report on how I organize my reviews for the world to see. LOL

Everyone knows how much Sakari likes to draw. She always takes her notebooks with her on the cruise to occupy herself on both the plane and in the room at night before bed. I use the back few pages (and sometimes any pages I can find that she can spare) to write down my events and thoughts for the day. It’s kinda like my own little daily diary.

Since my reviews have gotten bigger and bigger over the years with so much more detail, let’s be honest, I’m not getting any younger and my mind is going, so these things must be wrote down for future reference. LOL

Every night after my shower I will sit in bed (or the balcony if we have one), while the hubby watches tv and after Sakari is done with her drawing and drifting off to her cruise dreams, I will jot down my thoughts from the day, what we have done and everything I can remember that I might have seen or wanted to make note of during the review. This usually consists of things that I have seen that might not be so good (like the shape of the ship or the service) or exceptionally good things that I might have encountered from the staff to exceptional service. I do this daily.

Once I get home, the first thing I do is to download my thousands of pictures. I usually take around 4,000 to 5,000 pictures…hoping to capture that “perfect” picture to describe what I want to say that will hopefully not even need words to express its beauty…but I still help it along with my (hopefully) funny antics. Just saying… (I have to say that this review with my battery issues, I only took 1546 pictures TOTAL!!! YIKES)

 

 

 

 

 

So, first I go to my desktop, right click, create a new folder and name it what the cruise was.

 

 

P6261287-M.jpg

 

 

The whole entire process is to make folder after folder to keep things organized. (You think I’m kidding? I kid you not…you will be sick of folders)

Once I have downloaded all the pictures from my multiple disk from the cruise, I will then start to create folders inside of that folder. I usually make the following folders for each cruise:

1) Before-this is the folder I will put little things in it usually building up to the cruise if I want it noted. Sometimes these are little things like a picture of my countdown clock showing “todays the day”, maybe a picture of Sakari’s countdown calendar we have made for the cruise, this cruise it would be my awful burn injury to my arm just before leaving that I wanted to share.

2 Plane There- Obviously pictures of us at the airport or on the plane to our destination.

3) (Hotel name)-where we stayed for pre-cruise

4) Day 1-The morning we leave the hotel, heading to the port, getting on the ship, and the events of the first day.

5) Day 2----Day 7 (all for each day and if we are in port, I will name it that name as well)

6) Day 8 Home-us coming home on the way home

7) SHIP-all the ship pictures for just the ship review

As you can see, I will also pull my spreadsheet that I used for estimating the cost of everything into that main folder as well to keep track of it.

 

 

P6261288-M.jpg

 

 

 

Now within each folder, I have additional folders again.

1) Within my HOTEL folder I will have folder for: The hotel grounds, the room, things we did there.

2) For the SHIP-This is where things get tricky…I will list each individual deck of the ship. So, on this Dawn report, You will find Deck 5 up to Deck 13. Then there will also be a folder named ROOM for just my stateroom pictures only. I sometimes have a few “extra” folders that just don’t qualify for anything…such as this time I had a “bloopers” folder which I pulled things I seen around the ship that needed repairs into. (Of course after all the pictures are downloaded, you have to separate everything…oh the fun!)

 

 

 

 

P6261289-M.jpg a) Within the folders for each deck, you then have to create another folder of each PLACE. So for instance Deck 6 has 8 different places for pictures. Once everything is downloaded, you will separate not only the decks, but the pictures of each individual place on that deck as well.

 

 

 

 

P6261290-M.jpg

 

 

b) Within that folder, I create 2 more folders: One that is not stamped and one that is stamped. Obviously the “stamped” photos are the ones that I will share during my review. The “no stamp” are obviously the pictures without my watermark on them and will be used for my social media site AND used when I have pictures printed off for my scrapbooking AND for my online book that I make using Shutterfly when they give you the great “free 8x8 online scrapbook” that I make for each cruise too.

 

 

 

 

P6271291-M.jpg

 

 

3) The “Sea Day” folders are the easiest of course. You will just open them up and find everything from that day in there either in a stamped folder or no stamped folder. I guess I could go one step further by creating additional folders within that to separate each events we did (for instance swimming, a show, or whatever) but I think at this point I’m not too senile yet that I can’t remember what goes with what and in what order.

4) Port days-I make more folders for the places we went and what we did. So, for our first day in Bermuda there’s a folder for: Dockyard, Horseshoe Bay, To Horseshoe, Way back to Ship, then the “Stamped” and “not stamped” represent the rest of the day on board the ship that evening.

 

 

P6271292-M.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a) Obviously those folders have additional folders as well…for Dockyard we went to the playground, snorkel park…things like that. Like I said, folders inside of folders inside of folders.

 

P6271293-L.jpg

Within this Port Day folder, I will also drag in any information regarding those places we went. Maps, website, spreadsheets I did, notes…you name it.

 

 

 

 

So once all of the folders are organized and made up, the fun task of looking at each individual picture and dragging it into the correct folder begins. This takes a LONG time. LOL It’s not always easy to determine the places and I sometimes have to do a search online to verify…yep, that’s the carpet for that room so it must be….la cucina. LOL See how much fun this is??

Once the pictures are in their folders, it’s time to pick out which pictures you want to use, take each folder’s section of pictures that you are sharing into PS and I have an action set up (yes, I made this action and that’s an entirely different lesson lol) that all I have to do it click on the action to resize it, a few other clicks to make sure that PS will apply it to ALL of the pictures and hit the button. Bam, they are all resized from some ginormous picture to a more appropriate sized picture that is much easier and faster to download to your host. (I usually stick with around 1500 pixels on the biggest side)

 

 

 

 

P6271295-M.jpg

 

 

After I have resized the picture, I will then do the exact same thing again, applying the entire action that I set up called “nostamp”, which means it’s going to save all the pictures to my no stamp folder for me to keep.

 

 

Next up, I open up my watermark from my desktop and pull it aside and just start dragging it on to each picture. (Now you can set up an action for this and also do it to each picture all at once, however, it will put the watermark in the exact same location on every picture. I have found that this location is not always the best location and sometimes hard to see, so I just pull it onto each individual picture myself so that it goes where I want it).

 

 

Once I’m done applying my watermark, I hit my next action I made that says “Save Stamped” and it will once again, save all of those pictures that are now stamped and it will automatically close out every one of those pictures because it is now done.

Then you do the next set of pictures until every picture in all the folders are complete. Whew!

Once all the pictures are ready to go, it’s time to host them. I use Smugmug. Yes, I pay for this service, although I think they may have a “free” part to this service, but for the amount of pictures I have, I pay for the additional pro account to use it as much as I want. I think it’s worth it to be able to host all my pictures on there for my reviews…and my love of photography from home as well. You pay once a year and be done with it.

 

 

P6271297-M.jpg

I have folders set up in Smugmug for each individual cruise and if you notice, I also have a special folder called “Cruise Maps” lol and that is a folder that has multiple folders inside it with each individual port I have been to that has maps that I have found, maps that I have specially made for cruisers on cruise critic to show maybe a distance of something by taking google earth, zooming in, setting marker pins up on the map, taking a screen shot of it and then hosting it to explain a little better to the person asking questions on how to get somewhere or the distance, or the location, or what’s nearby. Just something I enjoy doing to help others out…why? Not because I have the time always, but because I think it’s easier to explain things visually with pictures and when people do this for me, I absolutely adore them…and who doesn’t want to be adored right? I love cruising, I love helping others. That’s just me. No question is dumb, no question can be asked too many times. We are all new once and we all can be overwhelmed with the “search function”…just putting that out there people.

 

 

P6271301-M.jpg

 

You just set up your folders on your host, just like on your desktop. A folder for the ship name and within that folder are galleries with each individual day and events.

 

 

P6271299-M.jpg

 

 

P6271300-M.jpg

So once the pictures are hosted, I will put them in order in which I want them to flow for the story, dragging each picture into the right place. Then…it’s time to start the review.

No, I do not pretype the review up in word or anything. I just start typing and adding pictures as I go along and hope for the best. As you can tell with this review (and others), I sometimes forget things or mess up. I’m far from perfect, but perfectly me. Hehe So, I make my own bloopers and add them in when I remember. Oh well…such is life.

Oh…and when I’m all done, I drag the entire cruise folder on my desktop to my external hard drive…because I want to make sure nothing gets lost if I have a computer failure and also because I just don’t have that kinda space on my computer hard drive.

I hope this helps some, but then again it might confuse some. LOL It’s just what I do and it’s what works for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great review!

 

I really appreciate your reviews since I find that we have both sailed the same ships, and usually have very similar opinions of the trips/ships. My least favorite was the Star, and most favorite was the Spirit. In June of 2013 we went to Bermuda on the Dawn and had a great time, but the staff at that time was excellent and Bermuda was so beautiful and different.

 

So we haven't sailed in 2 years now, and I have a FCC burning a hole in my pocket. Last weekend I looked at your photos and really wanted to get in the water again. I started playing with mock bookings for the week my husband is already planning on taking off in July. No rooms available in the category that we like. Anyway, long story short, later I was telling him about how your pictures made me want to go again and he said lets see what is available, and a room popped up on the screen that was not there an hour earlier. We booked! The Breakaway in a few weeks!

 

So I have been in overdrive research/shopping mode for 5 days now. I have a few questions for you.

 

Did you see many taxis in St George and at Tobacco Bay? Were the bathrooms/changing areas similar to Horseshoe beach at Tobacco Bay? Thanks for your help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here is my report on how I organize my reviews for the world to see. LOL

Everyone knows how much Sakari likes to draw. She always takes her notebooks with her on the cruise to occupy herself on both the plane and in the room at night before bed. I use the back few pages (and sometimes any pages I can find that she can spare) to write down my events and thoughts for the day. It’s kinda like my own little daily diary.

Since my reviews have gotten bigger and bigger over the years with so much more detail, let’s be honest, I’m not getting any younger and my mind is going, so these things must be wrote down for future reference. LOL

Every night after my shower I will sit in bed (or the balcony if we have one), while the hubby watches tv and after Sakari is done with her drawing and drifting off to her cruise dreams, I will jot down my thoughts from the day, what we have done and everything I can remember that I might have seen or wanted to make note of during the review. This usually consists of things that I have seen that might not be so good (like the shape of the ship or the service) or exceptionally good things that I might have encountered from the staff to exceptional service. I do this daily.

Once I get home, the first thing I do is to download my thousands of pictures. I usually take around 4,000 to 5,000 pictures…hoping to capture that “perfect” picture to describe what I want to say that will hopefully not even need words to express its beauty…but I still help it along with my (hopefully) funny antics. Just saying… (I have to say that this review with my battery issues, I only took 1546 pictures TOTAL!!! YIKES)

 

 

 

 

 

So, first I go to my desktop, right click, create a new folder and name it what the cruise was.

 

 

P6261287-M.jpg

 

 

The whole entire process is to make folder after folder to keep things organized. (You think I’m kidding? I kid you not…you will be sick of folders)

Once I have downloaded all the pictures from my multiple disk from the cruise, I will then start to create folders inside of that folder. I usually make the following folders for each cruise:

1) Before-this is the folder I will put little things in it usually building up to the cruise if I want it noted. Sometimes these are little things like a picture of my countdown clock showing “todays the day”, maybe a picture of Sakari’s countdown calendar we have made for the cruise, this cruise it would be my awful burn injury to my arm just before leaving that I wanted to share.

2 Plane There- Obviously pictures of us at the airport or on the plane to our destination.

3) (Hotel name)-where we stayed for pre-cruise

4) Day 1-The morning we leave the hotel, heading to the port, getting on the ship, and the events of the first day.

5) Day 2----Day 7 (all for each day and if we are in port, I will name it that name as well)

6) Day 8 Home-us coming home on the way home

7) SHIP-all the ship pictures for just the ship review

As you can see, I will also pull my spreadsheet that I used for estimating the cost of everything into that main folder as well to keep track of it.

 

 

P6261288-M.jpg

 

 

 

Now within each folder, I have additional folders again.

1) Within my HOTEL folder I will have folder for: The hotel grounds, the room, things we did there.

2) For the SHIP-This is where things get tricky…I will list each individual deck of the ship. So, on this Dawn report, You will find Deck 5 up to Deck 13. Then there will also be a folder named ROOM for just my stateroom pictures only. I sometimes have a few “extra” folders that just don’t qualify for anything…such as this time I had a “bloopers” folder which I pulled things I seen around the ship that needed repairs into. (Of course after all the pictures are downloaded, you have to separate everything…oh the fun!)

 

 

 

 

P6261289-M.jpg a) Within the folders for each deck, you then have to create another folder of each PLACE. So for instance Deck 6 has 8 different places for pictures. Once everything is downloaded, you will separate not only the decks, but the pictures of each individual place on that deck as well.

 

 

 

 

P6261290-M.jpg

 

 

b) Within that folder, I create 2 more folders: One that is not stamped and one that is stamped. Obviously the “stamped” photos are the ones that I will share during my review. The “no stamp” are obviously the pictures without my watermark on them and will be used for my social media site AND used when I have pictures printed off for my scrapbooking AND for my online book that I make using Shutterfly when they give you the great “free 8x8 online scrapbook” that I make for each cruise too.

 

 

 

 

P6271291-M.jpg

 

 

3) The “Sea Day” folders are the easiest of course. You will just open them up and find everything from that day in there either in a stamped folder or no stamped folder. I guess I could go one step further by creating additional folders within that to separate each events we did (for instance swimming, a show, or whatever) but I think at this point I’m not too senile yet that I can’t remember what goes with what and in what order.

4) Port days-I make more folders for the places we went and what we did. So, for our first day in Bermuda there’s a folder for: Dockyard, Horseshoe Bay, To Horseshoe, Way back to Ship, then the “Stamped” and “not stamped” represent the rest of the day on board the ship that evening.

 

 

P6271292-M.jpg

 

I'm exhausted just reading this. Thanks for all your reviews. You do a marvelous job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This review was fabulous! I learned so much about Bermuda and picked up some great organization tips (totally going to use when I start my planning).

 

The transportation situation makes Bermuda just a little bit intimidating to me. You made it look easy but I think I would be so confused trying to do all that on my own. However, being on one island for 3 days straight is very appealing.

 

What's up next for you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kim, thank you for a GREAT review! I have been to Bermuda many times and did not see 1/4 of what you did! And TY to all you NCL cruisers in allowing a CCL cruiser to visit lol.

I don't think it's just the decor and run down though honestly. There's just something about it that doesn't compare to the others for some reason. I do know that a grand atrium is a "biggie" for me, but the atrium's on these 2 just don't cut it. Maybe it's the huge ugly arch that goes over the area. It's a total turn off. I am the same way about Atriums. I loved the Dream atrium, but my favorite by and so far (lol) is the CCL Liberty. The whole ship is just beautiful in my opinion with the pretty lights throughout that change colors. Jamman has a review of the Liberty in his signature with some of Patti's famous pictures if you want to check it out. HAPPY CRUISING to you and your family and I look forward to your next adventure! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Mitsugirly! Glad to hear you love Bermuda - your pictures are great!! And your family is so adventurous enough to try jet-skis and boat! These are two of the top things to do in Bermuda and they are on the water.

 

Dawn is our least fave ship (and Star is next) - mainly due to lack of Observation lounge - even though we stayed on Deck 12 both times - SJ on Star and Inside 12039 on Dawn. We went on the Breakaway for 2 nighter CTN in Jan and LOVED the ship .... so ....

 

I would suggest you give up the Dawn June 2016 and book Breakaway. I know it'll cost you a few hundred more BUT it will be worth it ... think 3 full days in Bermuda and during the week ... think drinking and dining on Waterfront ... think ropes courses ... think water slides ... Sakari will thank you ... think Dawn will not be ready after the dry dock ... and so on.

 

You won some money in the casino - why not put it to good cause by booking the Breakaway?

 

We are now so stoked going on the new Escape since the 2 nighter on BA (we fell in love with the ship).

 

As for the walk from Horseshoe Bay beach to Long Bay Beach thru the sand dunes - it's not an easy walk - pretty hard for me - because the sand is dry and soft and it takes some energy walking uphill in some places. Good exercise though.

 

Sorry to hear about your woes about the bus trips, but you need to believe what you are told ... there are several buses out of service here (broken down) so they have had to reduce/cancel some schedules. It's PITA but this is Bermuda. Hard to believe, though. One more thing you need to do, apart from saying Good Morning/Afternoon as you enter the bus, is to say Thank You as you exit the bus :D. Our DH rode bus home from school (free school kid passes) when he was growing up, and he said bus drivers love that. Sunday schedules are crappy - both buses and ferries - but Sunday is church-going day ;)

 

While at Tobacco Bay, did you go to right side as soon as you enter the water to the rock columns and snorkel out to the sea? There are good snorkelling there. I assume from your pictures that you went straight ahead to the end.

 

If you can get away from the beaches for a bit, there is a place that you must visit - the BAMZ - Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo. Very interesting place to visit. We had yearly membership with unlimited passes and we took our DH there several times a year at weekends. Very popular place for families.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loved the review. Thanks for all the great info! We're hoping to do the ABC Islands too. I'm currently watching the rates on Navigator of the Seas for 2/3/17. Last month rates were down now they're up. I will follow on that fishing site the rest of the year to get an idea how next year might be for the best time to book. Not sure if they run KSF promo very often but you might want to check it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the great review!

 

I really appreciate your reviews since I find that we have both sailed the same ships, and usually have very similar opinions of the trips/ships. My least favorite was the Star, and most favorite was the Spirit. In June of 2013 we went to Bermuda on the Dawn and had a great time, but the staff at that time was excellent and Bermuda was so beautiful and different.

 

So we haven't sailed in 2 years now, and I have a FCC burning a hole in my pocket. Last weekend I looked at your photos and really wanted to get in the water again. I started playing with mock bookings for the week my husband is already planning on taking off in July. No rooms available in the category that we like. Anyway, long story short, later I was telling him about how your pictures made me want to go again and he said lets see what is available, and a room popped up on the screen that was not there an hour earlier. We booked! The Breakaway in a few weeks!

 

So I have been in overdrive research/shopping mode for 5 days now. I have a few questions for you.

 

Did you see many taxis in St George and at Tobacco Bay? Were the bathrooms/changing areas similar to Horseshoe beach at Tobacco Bay? Thanks for your help.

 

We do seem a lot alike because that's exactly how I feel about the Dawn and the Spirit. :D

 

The staff wasn't bad by any means, just not the type that were exceptional, which is something I have always loved about NCL. They are always so friendly and go out of their way. It felt like they were understaffed in areas.

 

How cool...going on the BA. I hope you have a wonderful trip!

 

To be honest, I did not pay attention to the taxi's in St George since we were using the HOHO bus, I was only looking for it. But I did see them around the visitor center and of course the story I told about the taxi driver that kept coming around at Achilles/St Catherines that finally ended up taking the other family back to Kings Square. He circled around every so often looking for people. But, we weren't in any area very long before our HOHO bus would come to know how often you would see them.

 

I would say that the bathroom facilities were bigger at Horseshoe Bay than Tobacco Bay. But the times that I was in either of them, they were not crowded.

 

At Horseshoe Bay I took this picture as I was walking in:

 

 

P6070490%20copy-M.jpg

 

 

At Tobacco Bay, this was their little area that you wash hands and stuff and there were a few stalls (I don't remember how many) in there.

 

 

 

P6080092%20copy-M.jpg

 

 

 

I'm exhausted just reading this. Thanks for all your reviews. You do a marvelous job.

 

 

So sorry. LOL

 

Thanks for the comments and glad you enjoyed the review. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mitsugirly, I sent an email to H20 to reserve a boat while we are there and they asked for credit card info to be sent to them to hold it. Did you do this and did you feel it to be secure? With so much theft being out there, I hate to send anything through the internet.

 

Thanks,

 

Tammy:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This review was fabulous! I learned so much about Bermuda and picked up some great organization tips (totally going to use when I start my planning).

 

The transportation situation makes Bermuda just a little bit intimidating to me. You made it look easy but I think I would be so confused trying to do all that on my own. However, being on one island for 3 days straight is very appealing.

 

What's up next for you?

 

Glad I could help some with the planning.

 

I was really worried before I left about the timing of everything. You really have to time when to leave, when the next bus or ferry is, when is the last and so on. Just print off the schedules you need, know the times and you'll be fine.

 

I'm not really sure what's up for us next. I'm still thinking...lol :p

 

Kim, thank you for a GREAT review! I have been to Bermuda many times and did not see 1/4 of what you did! And TY to all you NCL cruisers in allowing a CCL cruiser to visit lol.

I don't think it's just the decor and run down though honestly. There's just something about it that doesn't compare to the others for some reason. I do know that a grand atrium is a "biggie" for me, but the atrium's on these 2 just don't cut it. Maybe it's the huge ugly arch that goes over the area. It's a total turn off. I am the same way about Atriums. I loved the Dream atrium, but my favorite by and so far (lol) is the CCL Liberty. The whole ship is just beautiful in my opinion with the pretty lights throughout that change colors. Jamman has a review of the Liberty in his signature with some of Patti's famous pictures if you want to check it out. HAPPY CRUISING to you and your family and I look forward to your next adventure! ;)

 

I'm so glad we decided to go to Bermuda and try something new. I like new experiences, even if they are intimidating at first. LOL

 

You are more than welcome here my CCL friend. I have talked to you many times and appreciate it and the comments.

 

The Liberty does look beautiful. I remember seeing pictures of it and it's funny that it's one of the first things I google when I'm searching for a cruise ship. LOL I google pics of the atrium and the pool area. LOL That shows how much I love the atrium and what an impression it has on me when cruising. :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey Mitsugirly! Glad to hear you love Bermuda - your pictures are great!! And your family is so adventurous enough to try jet-skis and boat! These are two of the top things to do in Bermuda and they are on the water.

 

Since the decision came to do the jet skis and the boat VERY late in our planning (like the week we were to leave), I found myself thinking we should have done it on the very first day that we were there so that we could have spent more time on the water. This will probably be the plan next time around to make the most of our day. :p

 

Dawn is our least fave ship (and Star is next) - mainly due to lack of Observation lounge - even though we stayed on Deck 12 both times - SJ on Star and Inside 12039 on Dawn. We went on the Breakaway for 2 nighter CTN in Jan and LOVED the ship .... so ....

 

See, maybe it's the layout of the ship or something? It seems like I'm not the only one with these opinions of both of them.

 

I would suggest you give up the Dawn June 2016 and book Breakaway. I know it'll cost you a few hundred more BUT it will be worth it ... think 3 full days in Bermuda and during the week ... think drinking and dining on Waterfront ... think ropes courses ... think water slides ... Sakari will thank you ... think Dawn will not be ready after the dry dock ... and so on.

 

All valid points of course and I really want to do the BA. I'm just wondering if the weather we had pulling out and back in is normal for June weather (cold). My concern would be to have to pay for a ship with all these amenities and not be able to use them. I know that we would probably not use them while we are actually IN Bermuda, so I have to be able to get full use of the ship if I'm paying that kind of money.

 

You won some money in the casino - why not put it to good cause by booking the Breakaway?

 

True, but I am actually using that to pay off my cruise I just took. :p

 

We are now so stoked going on the new Escape since the 2 nighter on BA (we fell in love with the ship).

 

That's going to be amazing. I will be checking it out as soon as it has been out for a little while and (fingers crossed) the prices come down a little.

 

As for the walk from Horseshoe Bay beach to Long Bay Beach thru the sand dunes - it's not an easy walk - pretty hard for me - because the sand is dry and soft and it takes some energy walking uphill in some places. Good exercise though.

 

I will definitely do this next time I'm here. I will be better prepared. I'm on a mission. LOL

 

Sorry to hear about your woes about the bus trips, but you need to believe what you are told ... there are several buses out of service here (broken down) so they have had to reduce/cancel some schedules. It's PITA but this is Bermuda. Hard to believe, though. One more thing you need to do, apart from saying Good Morning/Afternoon as you enter the bus, is to say Thank You as you exit the bus . Our DH rode bus home from school (free school kid passes) when he was growing up, and he said bus drivers love that. Sunday schedules are crappy - both buses and ferries - but Sunday is church-going day

 

That IS one thing you will always hear from me...Thank You when we exite no matter what we are in.

 

While at Tobacco Bay, did you go to right side as soon as you enter the water to the rock columns and snorkel out to the sea? There are good snorkelling there. I assume from your pictures that you went straight ahead to the end.

 

Yes, we went to the right side the very first thing after entering the water. That's where Sakari and I snorkeled for a good 45 minutes or so until she was tired and wanted to go back over to the beach to hang out. Most of what we seen to the right were the fish that follow you around that you see everywhere, a lot of sea fans, and soft coral. There really wasn't an abundance amount of fish in the area there that day.

 

Then me and the rest of the girls then headed out straight. I feel that I really did find most of the fish and stuff out along the area straight around the sides of the rocks and straight ahead where it became deeper. The fish were a lot bigger, we seen a lot more variety over there and that's also where we found the little squid.

 

If you can get away from the beaches for a bit, there is a place that you must visit - the BAMZ - Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo. Very interesting place to visit. We had yearly membership with unlimited passes and we took our DH there several times a year at weekends. Very popular place for families.

 

I did look into BAMZ because someone had mentioned it prior to us going, but we just didn't have time to squeeze it in. Maybe next time. :) Thanks for all the info.

 

Hope you see you on the BA next June 12th;)

 

June 12th...hmmm, that sounds like perfect timing. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Loved the review. Thanks for all the great info! We're hoping to do the ABC Islands too. I'm currently watching the rates on Navigator of the Seas for 2/3/17. Last month rates were down now they're up. I will follow on that fishing site the rest of the year to get an idea how next year might be for the best time to book. Not sure if they run KSF promo very often but you might want to check it out.

 

Thanks and glad you enjoyed the review. I have found it hard to find the KSF anywhere other than NCL. I had a CCL rep call me the other day and I ask him about the KSF and if they ever have them and he pretty much said "no" and when I said "Well, that's why NCL gets a majority of my business because I have to save money when I can" and he said he had never heard of cruise lines having this deal and he had 5 kids and would "have to check them out". LOL :eek:

 

Mitsugirly, I sent an email to H20 to reserve a boat while we are there and they asked for credit card info to be sent to them to hold it. Did you do this and did you feel it to be secure? With so much theft being out there, I hate to send anything through the internet.

 

Thanks,

 

Tammy:)

 

Yes, that's exactly what I did. They don't charge the card until you finish the tour/boat that day. Well, it probably won't be run actually (or show up on your card) until you get home from there. :p Yep, I felt fine doing it after talking with them so much while booking and especially after being there. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All valid points of course and I really want to do the BA. I'm just wondering if the weather we had pulling out and back in is normal for June weather (cold). My concern would be to have to pay for a ship with all these amenities and not be able to use them. I know that we would probably not use them while we are actually IN Bermuda, so I have to be able to get full use of the ship if I'm paying that kind of money.

 

You did not have normal June weather in Boston! It can be high 80's most of the time from late May on. We have a reverse spring this year, warm in May and colder in June. Not normal at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another big THANK YOU for taking the time to share so many details! We leave tomorrow on the Breakaway and you have been very helpful in letting me know what we should make sure to check out.

 

I admire the time you put into creating your trip report! I don't think that I would have the focus to do such a comprehensive report.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In regard to your photo organizing and trip reports I can only say...GOOD...LORD. Bless you for doing it because the last thing I would want to do after all the bills and laundry and kids crap and the actual j-o-b to deal with after vacation is to do all the work you just described. I think I'm good with my measly hundred or so photos and faulty memory:p.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

You did not have normal June weather in Boston! It can be high 80's most of the time from late May on. We have a reverse spring this year, warm in May and colder in June. Not normal at all.

 

Ok, so that's not "normal" I take it. It has just been really weird weather this year (even for us). Our winter was extremely long here in Ohio and while we were in Boston, back home it was almost 90!!!

 

I really don't like the cold and it's just a major concern for me with not being able to sail a nice "loaded" ship like the BA and not get full use on sea days.

 

I'll have to think about this.

 

Another big THANK YOU for taking the time to share so many details! We leave tomorrow on the Breakaway and you have been very helpful in letting me know what we should make sure to check out.

 

I admire the time you put into creating your trip report! I don't think that I would have the focus to do such a comprehensive report.

 

Thank you so much for your comments and glad I might have given you some ideas.

 

I hope you have a wonderful time on the BA. Happy sailings! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2019
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...