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Opinions please - best cruise line for Bermuda

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Looking to sail in early June. Have been on multiple lines but never to Bermuda. Who would you sail with and why? Thanks:D
Tough question. Our overall preferred cruise line is Royal Caribbean. They basically only do 5 day Bermuda cruises while NCL does 7 to Bermuda. I prefer the longer 7 days NCL does but prefer RCI in general. Then again there are many other cruise lines that go to Bermuda. RCI and NCL are just the ones I'm most familiar with.

 

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Thanks. Definitely doing 7 days. Just took first Norwegian cruise and enjoyed. Have also sailed Princess, HAL, Celebrity and Carnival. know what each line offers in general but wondering about specific advantages for Bermuda

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This past June I went on the NCL Escape with my mom and my 2 teenagers. The Escape is okay, but we all think it was too big, too many people, and my kids refused to interact with other kids. The food was just so-so, and they didn't have as much variety that we liked on the free alcohol package. Great entertainment if you could actually get into it, because everything was so crowded.

 

For the 3 summers before that my mom and I went on the Celebrity Summit. We both love the Summit. Just the right size, better drink package, better food. If it weren't for my kids, we would have done it again this year.

 

Next year we are going on the Escape again because the Summit isn't doing Bermuda the week that we need to go.

 

We have done Royal Caribbean to Bermuda, but it was back in 2005, and was so long ago that it didn't dock at the Dockyard. It spent have the time in St. George and half in Hamilton. I wish they still did that.

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The way to approach it is the more time in Bermuda the better. Bermuda being the prime reason for the cruise and the ship secondary. So either Escape or Summit. Bringing children, Escape has more for them to do, so that might be a consideration. There is stuff for kids on Summit but if were a kid I think I would love Escape. I prefer Summit, no indoor smoking, no smoking in the Casino, I found the smoke from the Casino on NCL got sucked into other public areas, that bothered me but which cruise line is best for Bermuda is a personal preference. There are some small "Boutique" cruise lines that call at both St. George's and Hamilton which I think is a better itinerary than the Royal Navy Dockyard but there is only a limited number of those sailings to choose from.

Edited by Charles4515

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I vote for Holland America, certainly not because of their “rousing nightlife” on the ship but because they docked in Hamilton. If they (HAL) still do (I went last year and it did) and you are seeking as much time in Bermuda as possible then HAL is the answer.

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I vote for Holland America, certainly not because of their “rousing nightlife” on the ship but because they docked in Hamilton. If they (HAL) still do (I went last year and it did) and you are seeking as much time in Bermuda as possible then HAL is the answer.

 

I agree with you about HAL, but unfortunately, HAL is no longer doing Bermuda.

 

SBtS

Edited by SailBadtheSinner
speling

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I vote for Holland America, certainly not because of their “rousing nightlife” on the ship but because they docked in Hamilton. If they (HAL) still do (I went last year and it did) and you are seeking as much time in Bermuda as possible then HAL is the answer.

 

I didn't mention as HAL as HAL has discontinued those sailings. I did two of those myself. I did mention there are a few sailings on boutique cruise lines that do St. George's and Hamiltion.

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Sorry to hear HAL no longer goes to Bermuda....we went last year with them ...went a little earlier in the season that we would normally go to Bermuda (July) but they were only doing a few trips to Bermuda from Boston. Never checked for this year as we are going in the fall (this Sunday to be exact). It was lovely to be docked in Hamilton!

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Tough question. Our overall preferred cruise line is Royal Caribbean. They basically only do 5 day Bermuda cruises while NCL does 7 to Bermuda. I prefer the longer 7 days NCL does but prefer RCI in general. Then again there are many other cruise lines that go to Bermuda. RCI and NCL are just the ones I'm most familiar with.

 

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RC does have 7 day Bermuda sailings too but they are usually later in the summer/fall. I am going on a 7 day Bermuda cruise on Serenade of the Seas this weekend from Boston!

 

 

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RC does have 7 day Bermuda sailings too but they are usually later in the summer/fall. I am going on a 7 day Bermuda cruise on Serenade of the Seas this weekend from Boston!

 

 

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Yeah and I like those cruises. I actually wanted to do one on Anthem in April that stops in Boston on the way back. I really want to do that one at some point.

 

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Shame about HAL- Veendam was a great ship for it and docking in Hamilton is much better than being in the Dockyard. Much more central to everything.

 

We booked Oceania which is doing 3 trips this year in August from New York. 2.5 days in St George and another day and a half in Hamilton- really a perfect itinerary reminiscent of the old days. Haven’t sailed Oceania before but it looks as if it’s the best ship calling on Bermuda all season.

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Looking to sail in early June. Have been on multiple lines but never to Bermuda. Who would you sail with and why? Thanks:D

HAL because it docks in Hamilton.

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HAL because it docks in Hamilton.

 

 

Unfortunately HAL no longer docks in Hamilton. Several mentioned that farther down the thread.

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Shame about HAL- Veendam was a great ship for it and docking in Hamilton is much better than being in the Dockyard. Much more central to everything.

 

We booked Oceania which is doing 3 trips this year in August from New York. 2.5 days in St George and another day and a half in Hamilton- really a perfect itinerary reminiscent of the old days. Haven’t sailed Oceania before but it looks as if it’s the best ship calling on Bermuda all season.

 

 

I have Oceania booked next year in August on that itinerary. I have not sailed Oceania before either but I have been on a sister ship to Insignia.

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We also have sailed the "Veendam" twice to Bermuda. We were hoping to do it in 2019, but as others have stated, HAL is not doing to Bermuda run in 2019. Of the others, our next favorite would be the "X" "Summit" out of NJ, which we have also done twice. We've sailed on NCL and RCI, but not on the "Bermuda" ships. I think the overall fit and finish of the ships and appointments and dining are nicer on "X". Again.....just my opinion.

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We've taken NCL to Bermuda a number of times and love it. Two nights / three days in port (with casino open at night) gives you time to both enjoy the island and have time at sea.

 

 

NCL docks in the Dockyard allowing good access to: the islands major cities by ferry, to Horseshoe bay by shuttle, and to the Frog and Onion for a pint :)

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We've taken NCL to Bermuda a number of times and love it. Two nights / three days in port (with casino open at night) gives you time to both enjoy the island and have time at sea.

 

 

NCL docks in the Dockyard allowing good access to: the islands major cities by ferry, to Horseshoe bay by shuttle, and to the Frog and Onion for a pint :)

 

Unfortunately the casino on NCL Breakaway class ships and the adjoining public areas, were useless to me because they allow smoking in the casino. Celebrity Summit does not allow smoking in the casino or any inside smoking. That has sealed the deal for me to prefer Summit. Summit is at the Dockyard the same days, but an hour or two longer.

 

I will throw NCL another bone other than their good stuff for active children, I am surprised that none has mentioned even though the exposure to second hand smoke on NCL is a dealbreaker to me since there is the Summit without that issue. NCL has their own ferry to St. George's which is complementary for their passengers. None of the other cruise lines have that.

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We've taken NCL to Bermuda a number of times and love it. Two nights / three days in port (with casino open at night) gives you time to both enjoy the island and have time at sea.

 

 

NCL docks in the Dockyard allowing good access to: the islands major cities by ferry, to Horseshoe bay by shuttle, and to the Frog and Onion for a pint :)

 

 

 

Their ships have just gotten too big for our tastes- NCL used to do Bermuda years and years ago with ships small enough to dock in St George and Hamilton.

 

We tried Celebrity Summit one year which was nice but you still end up at the Dockyard which, after a couple days, was tiresome with the crowds, over commercialization, and remote location on the island. We don’t like moving with the crowds so we spent a lot of $$ on taxis that year.

 

HAL Veendam was a really good mix for us- just as nice as Celebrity but smaller ship. Big advantage was docking in Hamilton which we found much more enjoyable than the Dockyard and a lot easier to get around the island without being beholden to ferry schedules.

 

And as I mentioned we’re booked on Oceania this next trip in August (incidentally owned by NCL, which I didn’t know) which will dock the majority of the time in St George which I’m both intrigued and apprehensive about. While it’s a charming little town it doesn’t strike me as having much to do after 10pm like Hamilton would. But we also do get one night docked in Hamilton.

 

Point of the ramble being that we’ve tried it all to Bermuda, over a long period of time (even some weird one offs like QE2 from New York in the ‘90s). In our experience the smaller the ship you can get down there the better the experience overall will be.

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And as I mentioned we’re booked on Oceania this next trip in August (incidentally owned by NCL, which I didn’t know) which will dock the majority of the time in St George which I’m both intrigued and apprehensive about. While it’s a charming little town it doesn’t strike me as having much to do after 10pm like Hamilton would. But we also do get one night docked in Hamilton.

 

 

 

We used to go to the White Horse Tavern till late when docked in St.George’s. Would leave about 1:00 am because that is when the ships crew would arrive to party and it would get a bit too wild for us. Dancing started when the crew arrived. Eight or Ten years later.......won’t be staying there that late. LOL.

Edited by Charles4515

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Sadly, Bermuda is an example of the destruction done to places by the “success” of the cruise industry.

 

Until a few years ago reasonably sized ships (800-1200 pax) would call at St. George and/or Hamilton - giving easy access to the attractions of that once-lovely Island. Stores like Triminghams (in business a century and a half) offered shopping options not seen elsewhere.  It was easy to get around the island.

 

Now behemoths carrying 4,000, 5,000 and more pax are unloading mobs at the Dockyard - an artificial tourist trap which has taken over the old navy base.

 

Yes, it is still a beautiful island, but sharing it with 10,000 or 15,000 other cruisers who do not want to spend anything ashore has made it very different - and just a reminder of what it used to be.

 

Much like Santorini, the Cinque Terre, Venice, etc., Bermuda has paid heavily for the success of the cruise industry.

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13 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Sadly, Bermuda is an example of the destruction done to places by the “success” of the cruise industry.

 

Until a few years ago reasonably sized ships (800-1200 pax) would call at St. George and/or Hamilton - giving easy access to the attractions of that once-lovely Island. Stores like Triminghams (in business a century and a half) offered shopping options not seen elsewhere.  It was easy to get around the island.

 

Now behemoths carrying 4,000, 5,000 and more pax are unloading mobs at the Dockyard - an artificial tourist trap which has taken over the old navy base.

 

Yes, it is still a beautiful island, but sharing it with 10,000 or 15,000 other cruisers who do not want to spend anything ashore has made it very different - and just a reminder of what it used to be.

 

Much like Santorini, the Cinque Terre, Venice, etc., Bermuda has paid heavily for the success of the cruise industry.

 

As someone who has been a regular visitor to Bermuda for more than 30 years, I generally agree with what you're saying, but your numbers are a bit overstated. Here's an article discussing yesterday's transportation issues that arose due to a record number of cruise ship passengers being in port, 9,341, so there's never been 10 to 15 thousand in port at the same time...close to 10K this one time, but never anywhere near 15K .

 

http://www.royalgazette.com/tourism/article/20181101/tourists-face-dockyard-transport-delays

 

 

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14 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Sadly, Bermuda is an example of the destruction done to places by the “success” of the cruise industry.

 

Until a few years ago reasonably sized ships (800-1200 pax) would call at St. George and/or Hamilton - giving easy access to the attractions of that once-lovely Island. Stores like Triminghams (in business a century and a half) offered shopping options not seen elsewhere.  It was easy to get around the island.

 

Now behemoths carrying 4,000, 5,000 and more pax are unloading mobs at the Dockyard - an artificial tourist trap which has taken over the old navy base.

 

Yes, it is still a beautiful island, but sharing it with 10,000 or 15,000 other cruisers who do not want to spend anything ashore has made it very different - and just a reminder of what it used to be.

 

Much like Santorini, the Cinque Terre, Venice, etc., Bermuda has paid heavily for the success of the cruise industry.

 

The Dockyard can get very crowded but I don't think Bermuda's tourist crowding  can be compared to Santorini or Venice both of which I have been to and are oversaturated. Arriving at the Dockyard there is the opportunity to get away from the tourist trap. Not so Venice and Santorini.  

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12 minutes ago, njhorseman said:

 

As someone who has been a regular visitor to Bermuda for more than 30 years, I generally agree with what you're saying, but your numbers are a bit overstated. Here's an article discussing yesterday's transportation issues that arose due to a record number of cruise ship passengers being in port, 9,341, so there's never been 10 to 15 thousand in port at the same time...close to 10K this one time, but never anywhere near 15K .

 

http://www.royalgazette.com/tourism/article/20181101/tourists-face-dockyard-transport-delays

 

 

 

It was an unusual situation with two ships docked and one ship tendering to the Dockyard. I think yesterday should not be allowed to be repeated. They shoud not allow more than the two docked ships at Royal Navy Dockyard, no tendering ships.

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38 minutes ago, njhorseman said:

 

As someone who has been a regular visitor to Bermuda for more than 30 years, I generally agree with what you're saying, but your numbers are a bit overstated. Here's an article discussing yesterday's transportation issues that arose due to a record number of cruise ship passengers being in port, 9,341, so there's never been 10 to 15 thousand in port at the same time...close to 10K this one time, but never anywhere near 15K .

 

http://www.royalgazette.com/tourism/article/20181101/tourists-face-dockyard-transport-delays

 

 

 

Thanks for the correction - I was just extrapolating from the notion of three ships at the same time and the size of the larger ships now calling at Dockyard.

 

Still, it is obvious that the island’s infrastructure is being taxed, the atmosphere stressed,  and the experience diminished.  There are some places and things which, while being wonderful to see and experience, simply cannot survive an overload of seeing and visiting.

 

All things cannot be made available to all people.  It is somewhat reminiscent of the proposal made back in the 1970’s or 1980’s that the Lexington Avenue Express in the NY  Subway system should make more stops  - so more people can use it.

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