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basicprincess24

NCL Escape to Bermuda May 19 2019: A Detailed Trip Report with Photos!

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I know you are doing day by day but any chance you can post a quick pic of Day 6 Dailie? I have all but that day and I’m trying to plan out dining/excursions/shows for my mom’s group of 12 sailing in 2 weeks.

 

also, any idea how long the choir of man and the after midnight shows run?

 

and any chance you took a pic of the free ferry schedule to St. George’s?

 

 

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7 hours ago, conandrob240 said:

I know you are doing day by day but any chance you can post a quick pic of Day 6 Dailie? I have all but that day and I’m trying to plan out dining/excursions/shows for my mom’s group of 12 sailing in 2 weeks.

 

also, any idea how long the choir of man and the after midnight shows run?

 

and any chance you took a pic of the free ferry schedule to St. George’s?

 

 

Of course! What a big group - I planned for 8 over the holidays, and that was stressful! Here is the daily for Day 6, our last day in Bermuda:

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And here is the NCL ferry schedule: (the first column covered by the clip says "Leaves Dockyard")

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Choir of Man was about an hour long. We ended up skipping After Midnight because we got too tired, but I would assume no more than an hour as well. I've never seen a show on NCL go longer than an hour.

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Day 5 - Bermuda

 

We woke up at 6am to a pilot boat whizzing past. We’re here! We headed out on the balcony to watch the pilot boat speeding toward the Celebrity ship that would be docked with us in Bermuda.

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The sunrise was also gorgeous! Rather than going out to the waterfront for our coffee and croissants, we ordered room service this morning so that we could watch the sail in to Bermuda.

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Definitely worth it! It was so cool to see Bermuda coming into focus.

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This little boat served an interesting purpose - it parked next to us and then we turned around, essentially using the boat as a pivot point.

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We met up with Matt & Grace for a quick breakfast at O’Sheehan’s, and then headed off the ship.

 

We were off by 8:45am, and it was a little misty and chilly. Here are a few of the transportation signs on the dock:

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The Escape docked in Bermuda!

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And the Celebrity ship - I believe this was the Summit.

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We found the moongate!

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And the British-style phone booths!

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We stopped in at the Visitor Center and purchased 2-day bus passes. The bus stop is located across the street from the Clocktower Mall, under the big white tent. This came in handy because as soon as we got there it started raining! Our plan for the day was to head to Horseshoe Bay for the morning, so we decided to get on the bus and hope that the rain would stop by the time we got to the Horseshoe Bay stop. It did not. It was raining even harder! We actually got out, and the bus driver looked at us, reopened the door, and said “come on, come back, we’ll take you to Hamilton, go shopping.” Haha! So we got back on the bus and continued on to Hamilton.

 

The total time on the bus from Dockyard to Hamilton was around an hour, and when we finally got off the sun was peeking through the clouds. We decided to walk around front street and do some shopping that we had originally planned for tomorrow.

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Grace’s dad had requested a pair of authentic Bermuda shorts, so we stopped in at TABS, The Authentic Bermuda Shorts.

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We also found this pub with a Guinness sign out front. Sean absolutely loves toucans, so he had to have a photo with this one.

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We bought Bermuda t-shirts and other souvenirs from the little shops on Front Street, and then decided we were ready to find lunch.

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A Bermudian mail box!

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We knew the original Swizzle Inn was on our list, so we stopped into the Hamilton Visitor Center to ask for directions. I absolutely recommend going into the Visitor Centers if you need directions or help with the public transportation. The staff were always very kind and helpful when we stopped in. Multiple bus lines go to the Swizzle Inn stop, so we walked to the Hamilton bus terminal and got on the first one that arrived.

 

The Swizzle Inn has its own bus stop (technically I think it’s for the Crystal Caves…), so if you’re interested in visiting it is easy to do.

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We got a table outside on the patio and ordered a jug of rum swizzle, of course!

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There were two fish sandwiches on the menu, so Sean and I each ordered one. Sean had the Blue Hole fish sandwich

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And I had the Fried Fish sandwich.

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Our waiter had recommended the Blue Hole, and he was totally right! It does have a kick, so keep that in mind if you don’t like spicy food. While my fish was really good, I just didn’t think the sandwich really worked. Something about the mix of tartar sauce and cheddar cheese was just not for me! I ended up deconstructing it and just eating the fish. We were in no rush, so we ordered some frozen cocktails after we had finished our food.

Sean got a Dark n Stormy float

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I got a Blue Hole cocktail

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And Matt got a Dirty Banana.

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I think we liked them!

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We then got back on the bus to visit St. George’s. Once we arrived, we walked up the hill to see the Unfinished Church.

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And then kept walking to see Tobacco Bay beach.

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We also found the St George’s town square.

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We looked around the marina and into a few shops but we were starting to get tired, so we hopped on the 1:30 NCL ferry back to Dockyard. This was about a 45min ride, and it was choppy! The ferry crew was handing out sick bags, definitely something to be aware of if you are prone to seasickness. There was a line to get through port security, but we made it back onto the ship around 3pm and all took naps!

 

We regrouped for dinner at 7pm at the Manhattan Room. Sean and I had stopped for a drink from the Prime Meridian bar on the way - he got a martini.

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To start, I had Pasta e Fagioli soup

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Sean had potstickers

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For entrees, we both got the Mediterranean Beef Brochette, which was great.

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For dessert, I got cannoli

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And Sean had an English trifle.

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After dinner, Matt & Sean decided they wanted to press their luck in the casino. Sean saw an empty Craps table, walked up, and asked the staff to teach them to play! Both put in $40 each. Grace and I went to sit on the waterfront and chat, since the boys were convinced we would be bad luck if we watched. By the time they came to find us, Sean had won $500! Beginner’s luck! We also had the 11pm adult comedy show tonight in Headliners. The comedian was pretty funny! After the show, we all headed straight to our cabins for the night - it had been a long day!

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On 6/12/2019 at 12:25 AM, basicprincess24 said:

Day 4 - At Sea

 

This was our first cruise with two sea days back-to-back. I have to say it was really lovely! We definitely were feeling the vacation relaxation by the end of this day.

 

 

 

Sea days are the best! You'll have to try a TransAtlantic or TransPacific sometime! So enjoyable.

 

Thanks for this review. Have a day in Bermuda later this year, so like reading up on what everyone does there.

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4 hours ago, ellenw said:

 

Sea days are the best! You'll have to try a TransAtlantic or TransPacific sometime! So enjoyable.

 

Thanks for this review. Have a day in Bermuda later this year, so like reading up on what everyone does there.

A Transatlantic is definitely on our list! They sound fabulous 🙂

 

3 hours ago, AmyJA said:

What a nice bus driver!

Yes! Everyone we interacted with in Bermuda was just so genuinely nice, it was refreshing.

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Day 6 - Bermuda

 

We were up early again to have croissants and coffee (and cinnamon rolls!) on our balcony from room service.

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We absolutely loved being able to do this on mornings in port. This was our first time having a balcony cabin, and being able to have morning coffee outside totally sold us on balconies! We met up with Matt & Grace at 8:30am for a quick breakfast at Margaritaville. This is a great option for a quick port day breakfast when the buffet is totally mobbed - it seems like almost no one knows that Margaritaville is an option! They offer a smaller selection of buffet food, but all the basics are there, including an omelet station. Plus, you can’t beat the views!

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By the time we were done with breakfast, it was raining. Our plan for today was to try to make it to Horseshoe Bay Beach again. Since we knew from the previous day that the rain would likely burn off by 10am, we decided to go down to the atrium to wait out the weather. Morning trivia was about to start, so we decided to play - and we won! We got nice wooden NCL pens as our prize.

 

By 9:45am, we decided to go ahead and get off the ship, even though it was still cold and windy, but it wasn’t raining! We got on the #7 bus just like yesterday, but it there were a lot more people today. My recommendation would be to get off the ship early and try not to be too scared by the morning rain. Pack an umbrella and get to the beach early so you don’t have to fight the crowds on the bus.

 

Once we made it to the Horseshoe Bay stop, we walked down the hill to the beach.

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I had read about this hill, and I really didn’t think it was as bad as others had made it sound. There are flat boardwalks all the way down that are stepped, so you’re never climbing up/down an incline. Grace has some sensitivity to heat/sun, so we rented a beach tent and two chairs for $85. They weren’t renting umbrellas because of the high winds - the umbrella and two chair rental would have been much less. They follow you out to the beach with your rental and set it up for you, which is really nice.

 

The beach is gorgeous. I cannot emphasize this enough. Do NOT miss this beach when you come to Bermuda. The sand is actually pink! You can see the little pink grains in the sand. And this was the clearest, bluest water I have ever seen.

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At 12:45pm, Sean and Matt went to go get lunch from the Rum Bum Beach Bar.

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Sean and I got fish and chips and Carlsberg beers. Sean had asked if they had any local beers, which they didn’t have, but he was told that the locals love Carlsberg, so that’s what he got.

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Around 1pm, it rained for about 5min, which did clear the beach a little bit. After those 5 min, it was beautiful and perfectly sunny again.

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We enjoyed the beach until about 3pm, when we decided to head back up the hill to the bus stop. A sense of the crowds at 3pm:

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There are these little lookout points along the walk up the hill so we stopped to take photos at one.

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We got on another very full #7 bus back to Dockyard, we had to stand the whole way.

 

We stopped at the 5 O’Clock Somewhere bar on the waterfront and grabbed a few drinks. First, we got Off to See the Lizard (so green!) and then Sean got a Landshark, with a lime of course.

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We met for dinner at 7pm at the Manhattan Room. I remember that this menu was a little weird tonight. Almost like all the 2nd tier options were together on this night. Sean and I both got Corn Chili Bisque to start.

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For our entrees, Sean had Cajun Shrimp

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I had the Beef Ragu. I don’t really like NCL’s take on ragu, I’ve gotten it a couple times and it’s always a little sweet, which I don’t enjoy.

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The boys decided to try their hands at Craps again after their big win the previous night, but no such luck. They walked away after losing $80 in about 10 min. We headed back to the cabin for the night around 10pm.

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The daily for our 2nd day in Bermuda

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Thanks so much for your pic review.  I haven’t been back to Bermuda in a while.  I was thinking of doing an Alaska cruise.  Because of your review, I’m now looking at this itinerary, SAILING NEXT WEEK!

 

😉

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1 hour ago, graphicguy said:

Thanks so much for your pic review.  I haven’t been back to Bermuda in a while.  I was thinking of doing an Alaska cruise.  Because of your review, I’m now looking at this itinerary, SAILING NEXT WEEK!

 

😉

I totally get it! We absolutely fell in love with Bermuda and can’t wait to get back. :) 

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Loving your review.  Thanks for doing it.  We have only done. 5 nighter years ago that had minimal time bermuda (weather was awful) and a day stop that past cruise in May.  Thinking about a longer cruise as it seems more relaxing. 

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Thanks for your great review.  We are also in the East Bay (near Lafayette) and will be on the Escape to Bermuda this Fall.

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This is a great review. I have a group of 8 doing this cruise in Oct. I am concerned about the weather. I realize that you went in May and we are going early October, but I am not getting warm fuzzies for what type of weather that we will experience. We are beach people that love the sun and water and hate the cold.

 

I realize that you are not done with your review and it takes time to post all of the details and pictures, but did ya'll do any excursions either through NCL or other while in Bermuda? We were thinking about a cruise out over the Bermuda Triangle at night but now unsure if the ferry is so choppy being within the ports?

 

Thanks again.

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Day 7 - Bermuda

 

We were up at 6:30am this morning and caught this beautiful sunrise from our balcony. We had our usual coffee and croissants on the Waterfront, then met Matt & Grace at Margaritaville for breakfast at 8:30am.

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This Friday was a Bermuda national holiday, Bermuda Day. In my research prior to the cruise, I had read that there would be a parade in Hamilton, a race in St. George’s (half marathon, maybe?), and that all the locals go to the beach. We didn’t want to risk missing the ship on this last day, especially with all the extra traffic from the holiday, so we had decided to stay in the Dockyard area. We were off the ship by 9:15am, and wandered around doing some shopping. We stopped into the Gosling’s store to see about prices on Gosling’s rum. Since it was a holiday, they could not offer the lower duty-free pricing, so we didn’t buy any rum.

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We did get a sticker (we collect brewery/cidery/winery stickers to put on our Yeti cooler), and Sean and I got cans of Dark & Stormy. Hey, we were on vacation!

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We also looked around in the Clocktower Mall.

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Just after 10am, we headed over to Fun Golf.

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This is at the same location as Snorkel Park. This mini golf was unlike any I’ve ever played before. Each hold is a miniature version of a hole from a famous golf course in Bermuda, Scotland, or the US. Fun Golf also overlooks the ocean, so you have beautiful views while you play. The course was a little busy so it took us 2 hrs to get through all 18 holes.

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At 12:30pm, we bought rum cakes from the Bermuda Rum Cake Co. It was insanely busy, and the building does not have AC. If you want a rum cake, do NOT wait until the last day to buy. We were in line to purchase our 2 cakes for 15-20min. We got back on board by 1pm and had lunch at O’Sheehan’s. Sean  Jamaican Jerk wings (good) and a Chicago Dog, which he said was just fine. I had my O’Sheehan’s usual, nachos and a Chipotle Chicken sandwich - yum!

 

After lunch we went up to take a second shot at the ropes course. Thankfully, it was almost all open! We were able to do one of the zip lines, go out on the plank, and do all 3 levels. The only thing that was closed was the zip line that goes over the side of the ship - when is this part ever open if not in port?! We had a lot of fun doing all the different obstacles! We all needed a drink after facing our fear of heights, so our next stop was the District Brewhouse, where we got beers/ciders and played Uno for a little bit. We took naps and got ready for our special dinner.

 

We had reservations at Cagney’s at 7pm this evening!

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We were all pretty excited for this dinner. We got lucky and got seated all the way in the back next to the window. The captain and some officers were also having dinner at the table next to us! I love the giant wine glasses at Cagney’s, so Sean and I both had glasses of Pinot Noir.

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The ship was really rocking, and the sommelier who poured our wine didn’t even spill! It was impressive. We love the Cagney’s rosemary bread!

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To start, Sean got Lobster Bisque.

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I got the pork belly.

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And here is Matt’s crab cake.

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For entrees, Sean had the ribeye.

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I had the petit filet.

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For dessert, we shared the 7 layer cake.

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We were all exhausted and full after dinner, so we headed back to our cabins for the evening. Our towel animal tonight - we’d never had a monkey before!

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The daily for our last day in Bermuda

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Edited by basicprincess24

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2 hours ago, herdingdogmom said:

Thanks for your great review.  We are also in the East Bay (near Lafayette) and will be on the Escape to Bermuda this Fall.

Glad to have another Bay Area cruiser reading along! You'll have a great time on the Escape 🙂

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52 minutes ago, Atlgator said:

This is a great review. I have a group of 8 doing this cruise in Oct. I am concerned about the weather. I realize that you went in May and we are going early October, but I am not getting warm fuzzies for what type of weather that we will experience. We are beach people that love the sun and water and hate the cold.

 

I realize that you are not done with your review and it takes time to post all of the details and pictures, but did ya'll do any excursions either through NCL or other while in Bermuda? We were thinking about a cruise out over the Bermuda Triangle at night but now unsure if the ferry is so choppy being within the ports?

 

Thanks again.

We definitely got spooked by the rain the first day, but, like clockwork, it was sunny by 10am every day. Bring a light jacket for the morning. As a fellow sun-lover, I can say that I was happy with the weather!

 

We did not do any formal excursions, just toured on our own using the public bus system. Can't comment on the Bermuda Triangle cruise compared to our ferry experience, since that was the only time we were on a boat in Bermuda. Maybe someone else who did both can help out with comparing the experiences!

 

 

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Thanks @basicprincess24 for a great cruise play by play. We've done the Bermuda cruise from Boston many times but are looking at the Escape in November for their 5 day cruise as it fits our schedule. What are your overall impressions with the ship? Layout? Cabins? Activities? Ease of embarkation (yours looked quick!) and debarkation (if you've done it yet)? Any hints? Regrets (do overs)? Recommendations?

 

Thanks in advance!

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1 hour ago, MsAnnMcD said:

Thanks @basicprincess24 for a great cruise play by play. We've done the Bermuda cruise from Boston many times but are looking at the Escape in November for their 5 day cruise as it fits our schedule. What are your overall impressions with the ship? Layout? Cabins? Activities? Ease of embarkation (yours looked quick!) and debarkation (if you've done it yet)? Any hints? Regrets (do overs)? Recommendations?

 

Thanks in advance!

We loved the Escape. We've really enjoyed all 3 of the Breakaway-class ships that we've sailed, but the Escape has been our favorite. Looking at your signature, it looks like you haven't done a big ship before, so that might be a little bit of adjustment for you, since the Escape is quite large. However, it handles the crowds well and it never felt crowded. I like the layout as well - it seems like everywhere you want to be is pretty close together with all the bars/lounges/restaurants on decks 6, 7, and 8. As you can probably tell by how much time we spent out there, we also really love the Waterfront area on deck 8. I've only ever sailed NCL, so I can't compare the cabins to other lines, but they are standard NCL cabins. We liked ours. We also don't do a lot of the organized activities, so I can't comment on those. 

 

Embarkation was surprisingly quick and easy. For debarkation, we waited onboard in the atrium until someone came and told us to leave, so it was also pretty painless. 

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Thank you for such a wonderful review. We have cruised to Bermuda several times, it is our go-to spot for relaxing.  You purchased  the 2-day pass, which we always bought... what was the cost and were the bus lines very crowded? It showed on the photo you posted, there are a lot more options than last time we were there, and it looked like they were discouraging visitors to get the bus/ferry pass. Also, are all the free dining venues, non-reservations, anytime dining?  Do you know if they still have the free tour of St. George starting at Town Square and also, does the lady have the horse and carriage rides from the square? We are cruising 2 weeks from now, really need a relaxing vacation. Thanks for your help!

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2 hours ago, biebz said:

Thank you for such a wonderful review. We have cruised to Bermuda several times, it is our go-to spot for relaxing.  You purchased  the 2-day pass, which we always bought... what was the cost and were the bus lines very crowded? It showed on the photo you posted, there are a lot more options than last time we were there, and it looked like they were discouraging visitors to get the bus/ferry pass. Also, are all the free dining venues, non-reservations, anytime dining?  Do you know if they still have the free tour of St. George starting at Town Square and also, does the lady have the horse and carriage rides from the square? We are cruising 2 weeks from now, really need a relaxing vacation. Thanks for your help!

Thanks for reading along! The 2-day bus pass was $31.50 per adult. Full list of bus fares can be found here. Definitely do the math based on where you plan to go before buying the pass, the tokens might be a better value if you're just going to the beach and back. We ran into a little crowding on the 2nd day both to and from Horseshoe Bay, and had to stand for portions of the ride both directions. 

 

All the complimentary restaurants are freestyle. You have the ability to make reservations, but we did not, just walked up when we were ready to have dinner. We only had a wait one evening, and it was 10 min. If your group is 4 people or fewer, I would say don't worry about reservations for the MDRs. Any larger of a group and I'd recommend making reservations just because there are fewer larger tables in each restaurant. 

 

Can't comment on the tour at St George's, but we did see the horse and carriage lady! 

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What a wonderful review thank you so much!  We board this same Cruise on July 14th... so excited!  I love all the fancy drinks (you made me very thirsty reading this lol) and all the fabulous meal pictures!  It definitely looks like you all had a fabulous time - YAY!

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On 6/16/2019 at 7:48 PM, Atlgator said:

This is a great review. I have a group of 8 doing this cruise in Oct. I am concerned about the weather. I realize that you went in May and we are going early October, but I am not getting warm fuzzies for what type of weather that we will experience. We are beach people that love the sun and water and hate the cold.

 

I realize that you are not done with your review and it takes time to post all of the details and pictures, but did ya'll do any excursions either through NCL or other while in Bermuda? We were thinking about a cruise out over the Bermuda Triangle at night but now unsure if the ferry is so choppy being within the ports?

 

Thanks again.

@Atlgator - in 2013 I did the Bermuda Triangle at night and it was a great excursion- I don't think there were any problems on it- I was going to do the Rum Swizzle cruise last year but canceled (will likely do it next  year).

-OP I loved Fun Golf when I went in 2013 as well as the dockyard museum- I went the same week you did last year and it was great and it was also nice that Monday was a holiday here which gave time to recover.

 

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